Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life: Prediction v. Reality

Some of my oldest friends (and as J points out, that means that we’ve known each other for a long time … not that they’re old), who also happen to be bloggers, recently approached me with a fantastic idea. Let’s talk about life - love, family, and career. How did we think things might turn out? What predictions did we make in the past about our future lives? And, how have those things played out in reality?

So here is the challenge... what did you expect your life to look like? Is it anything close to what you once imagined? The best way to attack this topic is to compartmentalize into three major subsections: Love, Family, and Career.

LOVE
Prediction: I had a firm plan that I wouldn’t even consider getting married before age 30. I would first conquer the world, then think about settling down. What I did know, though, was that the person I ended up with would be as many of the following things as possible: Catholic, tall/dark/handsome, refined/educated, smart , driven, successful. He would be all of those things and still willing to let me rule the world. I would also not end up with somebody who ‘had potential’ … it would have to be someone who was already achieving their potential.

Reality: I met Husband when I was 23, almost 24. The rest, as they say, is history. The walls came tumbling down, albeit after some resistance on my part. Husband has a much more elaborate and exaggerated version of this story and how I ‘ran like a scared rabbit’ … yes, even educated men in the south use expressions like this. As it turns out, Husband actually had every single quality I ever imagined wanting. And then some.

Breaking it down: I’m not sure my predictions could have ever really been based in reality, because I don’t think it is possible to plan for something you don’t know exists. Husband, while meeting all of those superficial characteristics I mentioned, is so much more loving and supportive that I ever thought possible.

FAMILY
Prediction: I was all over the spectrum on this one, ranging from thinking I would never have children to thinking I would have or adopt a whole litter. The thing I was fairly certain of was that children wouldn’t really enter the picture until much later in life.

Reality: I turn 30 this October. I’ll have an almost-four-year old marriage and an almost-two-year-old daughter.

Break it down: Who knew?! This might be the one and only time in my life that I’ll admit to having been wrong and actually be happy about it! Pregnancy was hard, and Brian is not as into the idea of adoption as I am, so the future remains to be seen. For now, we’re good with only having one toddler rule the roost.

CAREER
Prediction: I’m not sure I ever had a specific plan of my own. Which is strange considering how much of a planner I am. Sure, there were times I thought I’d be a lawyer or a counselor or something truly noble. But, I think I just always expected to graduate from college, move to New York City (or Milan or Paris), find something interesting and important to do – anything ranging from human rights to fashion – become insanely wealthy, and never look back.

Reality: In one word – family. I was ultimately just too tied to my family to move far away. The more detailed description, of course, involves: applying to law school, not getting into the schools I wanted (probably because I didn’t put a ton of effort into my applications or the LSAT), studying for both the GRE and GMAT but never taking either ... and subsequently just needing to ‘get a job’ … which, I did. I sell textbooks. Glamorous, I know.

Breaking it down: It’s actually been a really enjoyable career path. I work for a phenomenal company that really takes care of its employees. I’ve been able to travel all over the US for work and to some more exotic destinations on incentive trips. I have more hotel and airline points that I will probably ever know what to do with, so traveling is always affordable for us. And, working in the publishing world has opened doors for me that I might never have considered otherwise ... blogging, publishing Macaroni Kid, and more.

One thing I know for sure is that I will forever be ruined for any kind of desk job or position that requires set hours or being micromanaged.

How does your reality compare to your predictions? I’d love to host a linky, but I have no idea how to do that and no time to look into it! If you post about this topic, comment below with your link!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baby Talk

I’ve blogged recently about how talkative Baby has become. Although I try not to brag, I really am a pretty proud mama. She has an excellent vocabulary, and is adding new words and phrases daily.


That said, like most mother/child duos, I would guess that I’m the only one who can recognize about 60% of what she says. I know exactly what she’s saying, and it all makes perfect sense ... to me.


However, to others, it still just sounds a lot like gibberish.


To that end, I thought I’d interpret her latest monologue for y’all. I’m sure that some things will be lost in translation, but you’ll get the gist. It goes something like this …


“Hi! My name is Baby, and I’ll be your tour guide today as you journey through The Land of No-No-Mama-Bye-Bye-Go! I’m a super smart little girl, so you might hear me refer to this place from time to time as ‘Adios Mama!’ (because can totally pull off 'bilingual') or as ‘Be Seein’ You’ (because I can play ‘casual’ pretty well too). Whatever I call it, it all means the same thing. You want me to do something that I don’t want to do, so I’m telling you to leave. I will attempt to push you into corners or close the door in your face. I will run away from you, and make no mistake – I’m fast. I’ll even occasionally throw in a kiss or two just to throw you for a loop. You’ll think I’m sweet, and I’ll get what I want. That’s just the way I roll. I’m 19-months-old, and I’m awesome. Also … I own you.”


Anyone else been to The Land of No-No-Mama-Bye-Bye-Go? I’d love to borrow your map and/or itinerary. I wonder if Frommer’s has a book out on this place yet…

Friday, June 17, 2011

Potty mouth

I always thought I’d be the one to have to watch my mouth. Especially as Baby learns more words, is mimicking and talking more, and generally becomes more aware of what is going on around her.

This, however, is not exactly the case. I’ve actually been pretty careful about my own words.

And, I’ve literally had to squelch my overflowing pride a time or two so as not to boast that my 18-month-old has an incredible vocabulary. I’m really not trying to brag (okay, maybe a little), but she does know over 100 words. She has several phrases. She chimes in on songs.

Words seem to be her forte.

The problem? Her pronunciation.

Of course, as her mom, I know exactly what she’s saying, what she means, and what she wants.

And, at times, I forget that my understanding of her words doesn’t exactly transfer to others.

Which isn’t a huge problem.

Except when you’re sitting in a public place. And your oh-so-sweet daughter sings ‘quack quack quack’ or waves out the window to the ‘truck’ … and it does not sound at all like she’s saying ‘quack’ or ‘truck’ …

No, it doesn’t sound like that at all.

Then you start to wonder how many public places you’ve visited where she exclaimed these words and you never even realized what it must sound like to those around you.

Oh my. She really doesn’t have a potty mouth. But I bet it sounds like she does to other people.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rockin' the Bump!

Husband and I were discussing my pregnancy over the weekend. He mentioned that, although he remembers me being pregnant (how could he not recall that miserable time?!) ... he actually doesn't remember much about my belly.

So, I thought I'd join Shell at Things I Can't Say for Rockin' the Bump as a little reminder!



A friend took a couple of maternity pictures for me about a month before Baby was born. At this point, I was finally feeling a little better for a few hours a day (thank you, zofran!).





This was at 37 weeks...just 2 weeks before Baby was born!


Novemer 27th - Birth Day!



I wouldn't say that I 'rocked' much of anything during pregnancy, but the one thing I actually do miss is that sweet little baby bump!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The toddler years

I think we all have our fears and concerns about being mothers.

Will I be good at this?

Will I be good enough at this?

How and when and where will I know what to do? Or how to do it? Or if it is the right thing to do?

I’m sure we all have a handful (or more) of questions that linger in the back of minds.

But then something amazing happens. You baby is born and instincts kick in. You just know how to nurture that little bundle of joy. Sure there are things you have to figure out along the way – lessons you learn the hard way – but overall, the whole mothering things comes much more naturally than you ever expected.

It’s pure bliss. Only you don’t realize how blissful it is until … WAHM! The toddler years hit.

Suddenly you find yourself sitting, defeated, on the bathroom floor as your naked one-year-old runs around taunting you. She’s got your parenting book in one hand (no clue how that ended up in the bathroom!) and a dirty diaper in the other, and it’s sooo obvious that she totally owns you. She will scream bloody murder as you attempt to get her into the bathtub, then laugh maniacally as she escapes your grasp. And, instead of the shampoo, it’s this process that you rinse and repeat for the next half hour.

This is the moment when you reflect back on her infancy and yearn for those blissful days where you were actually in control. If only you had been able to appreciate a baby who not only needed you, but wanted you. If only, instead of Mozart, you had thought to send a few subliminal messages at night …. Mommy is in charge. Mommy is in control. Mommy is the boss.

Of course, you’re not really sure if you should have played those for Baby or yourself. Or both?