March 1, 2015

Babies, babies, babies

When Aiden was little, I really disliked being told Oh, this is the best time of your life!  Young babies?  Just soak it up and enjoy it all because it’s gone so fast!  I mean, yes, it’s absolutely true- solid advice, really.  It’s just that it was typically advice I received while standing in line at the drug store after work, holding an increasingly annoyed baby, strung out from interrupted sleep, with no less than 3 kinds of stains on my shirt and trying to buy breast pads before the baby-annoyance turned into actual crying.  I have to admit, that's not my typical vision of “enjoyable.”

That everyone kept telling me it was supposed to be The Most Special Time Ever made me anxious.  This? I thought.  I must be missing out and it's apparently the best thing ever!  I knew I should be savoring moments and locking memories away but that just felt like another thing on my To Do list.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Aiden’s babyhood, but it had this overarching theme of rushing it along; Just get through this day/week/month.  I was waiting for the sleepless nights/exclusive nursing/diapers/etc to pass.  So essentially waiting for the baby-ness to pass.

And everything IS easier now!  So so much easier- we get a full nights sleep, he feeds himself, and entertains himself (sometimes), and uses the toilet himself and it’s amaaaaaazing.  I appreciate all of those things literally daily but it also means he is by definition not a baby anymore and I'm suddenly extremely nostalgic.  The chubby thighs, the cooing, the snuggly sleeping on your chest, the big quiet eyes, that they needed you; I want so badly to do it all over again.

Guys, the biological clock is for real.

When we had Aiden, I will admit we were not totally prepared.  I mean we were in a practical sense; we had the car seat, the witty/adorable baby onesies, all the "necessities".  But not so much in a mental sense.  I guess most people aren't- how could you know what it’s like from just reading books or talking to your friends?  But now we have our system and I know exactly which things I would do the same and which I would do differently, which parts I would savor and which I would gloss over.  Now I have my strategy, so wasn’t that the practice run?  

It's arguable that I wouldn't be feeling this way if Aiden's babyhood had been a little less rushed.  You know how they say anticipation is the biggest part?  If most people anticipate babies for years, we anticipated him for 7, maybe 8 months.  And it didn't slow down after he came- life just kept coming with new jobs and states and houses and relationships.  But having baby Aiden was also pretty amazing and practically I probably couldn't have squeezed any more enjoyment out of it.  To say I (or anyone) could have is likely unattainable, just making parents feel unnecessarily guilty.

There are really great reasons for why we are not having another one (at least now, maybe ever).  Going into those is probably for another time and place.  And in addition, I don't believe most of the tired arguments against having just one:
Then they can be friends.  Er.. I'm not bringing a person into the world so he/she can be a companion for my son.
Single children are spoiled.  The scientific evidence disagree with you.
Then they will have someone when your gone.  Except what if they're not close- I know tons of adults who aren't close with their siblings.

None the less, leaving this life-stage sounds terrifying.  Not to be dramatic (and I'm about to be extremely dramatic) but it feels like I'm moving one step closer to death.  The first net-negative life stage change is kinda hard to embrace.  But it really does makes sense to just have one, particularly for us and particularly now.  So I'm trying to embrace the unknown, the scary and exciting possibility that anything could happen.  And maybe that thing is nothing.

February 22, 2015

Philadelphia, the one in Pennsylvania

As a Rocky Mountains/west-coaster, I have to admit my East Coast geography is dismal.  I didn't know what the 3rd city in "tri-cities" was or that Buffalo, NY is closer to Detroit than NYC and it still trips me up that all the states out there are so damn close together.  My year living in NYC I didn't go anywhere a subway wouldn't take me so it's probably not surprising that I've never been to Philly or even knew anything about it.  Shamefully, David and I even had a mini debate about which state it was in- he gets a pass because he's from Europe so luckily I was right.

Anyway, we popped down there for 24 hours on our recent vacation it was probably my favorite surprise of the trip.  It's not like any other American city I've ever been to.  Or any city anywhere, really, although it did have a vaguely European feel to it and David said it reminded him of parts of Brussels.  Maybe because it was so old and historic?  Or maybe that everyone kept pointing out the old boot scrapers and David kept saying yeah, we have those in Europe guys (for hundreds of years, you Americans youngsters).

We did a giant city walk-about (6-ish miles) through the dueling cheesesteak joints, down South St, and then through Old Town.  We passed the Liberty Bell, Declaration of Independence signing location, and Ben Franklin's final resting place.  I couldn't get over how much brick there was- seriously, the majority of our walk!!  (Side note: one of the friends we were visiting there is from England and was saying she was shocked when she came here and saw houses being built out of plywood; that's totally normal out west but I guess it's looks like a joke compared to brick.)  My favorite was the stone "paved" streets from hundreds of years ago- kinda like walking on mini boulders so not much for the practicality but they look way cool.  

The next day we even ran walked the Rocky steps and, like the rest of the tourists, promptly ignored the art museum behind them (which is apparently great).   Overall, the whole city just felt so.... authentic and middle American?  Since I'm on a roll of admitting things I didn't know, I kinda didn't know there was cities like that still existed in the States.  It's comforting in a way to know that there are; like that the "classic American city" portrayed in movies isn't a lie and that you can even still go there.

February 17, 2015


Do you find yourself sitting in your favorite chair, surfing the 'net with a cup of tea and thinking to yourself I wonder what Amber is doing with her hair these days??  Well!!  Wonder no longer!

I went into the salon the other day like the wild middle-aged (?) mom that I am and, with a (bleach) gun to my head, asked her to talk me out of going blonde.  Honestly, she did a great job.  Did you know it takes hours and hours, not to mention dollars and dollars??  And to top it off, you have to redo it every month!  Yes, it's true.  Lost as I might be, I know in heart I'm not ready for that kind of commitment.  A three hour chunk of time is not something easy to come by these days.

So instead, I went blondish.  Or, as I so eloquently described something to my dad as a little girl: lightish-darkish.

(name of the salon, not how it happened- it's sound effect would have been more like a three-hour long tsssttttshhhh)

It's called a balayage which is new vocab for me and means something like free-form highlights.  Basically she bleached my ends, left my roots as is, and blended the rest.  The word ombre was also thrown around which I guess refers to the fade.  I was kinda dazed and unsure when I left the salon but now I'm in love with it.  The best part is that there is no awkward grow-out phase- you can get it redone as long as you want or it just slowly fades away as you get trims.

So now you know and have to wonder no longer.  But don't worry; we're not breaking up.