Sunday, October 28, 2007


So Mitch and I have narrowed things to Rochester, NY, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. It's a funny decision to have to make: the experience of living in Europe would be great great great, but Rochester is offering so much more money. It's one of those times when one's values are truly put to test, and I don't think we actually have to test them very often. I'm quite intimidated by moving abroad with children so little. If we'd already had the baby maybe I could better judge what would be difficult about it, but as it is, I just don't know how having two is going to be. The other night when we were getting in bed, Mitch said, "If someone said to you that you could either spend 4 (for example) great years in the Netherlands, a really great experience that you'll treasure, or we'll hand you a quarter of a million dollars, which would you pick?" And that is truly the dilemma. It's an interesting dilemma to have.

I've been polling people in general (M and I joke that we'll just poll x number of people and go with the highest vote) and it's very helpful to hear what folks have to say for either side. It's pretty funny that the one person who has actually moved overseas recently with a small child said "without question, go to Rochester." Certainly with that money we could travel, and possibly live abroad later during a sabbatical if we wanted. I think it's all about knowing myself and what's important to me. How much do I value money? I'm not sure. Of course, it's not only the money... it's the stress it lifts and the quality of life it provides. Money doesn't make you happy, but it sure makes life easier.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I can feel him move now. It's funny how quickly you forget what these things feel like. I mean, it wasn't that long ago that I was pregnant. I suspect that's nature's plan—the forgetting; else why would I even agree to go through this childbirth thing again??

It's still pretty slight movement, little pings in my abdomen. I won't feel them for a while, then it's like a sweet little surprise. Oh, hello there! Little man moving around.

And we're in Rochester, NY right now, in a hotel with down pillows near campus. Mitch got a job offer from them last week. We're here so I can see what this place looks like and so the folks at the Simon school can tell me the winters aren't so bad. We'll have a real estate tour tomorrow and I'll know more then. Today the dean asked Mitch point blank what was affecting his decision and he pointed at me. So I tried to gather my thoughts about what my criteria are for a place, but I couldn't get them all out in the right order. I hit on some of them but maybe I it's just about a feeling. FEELING. Actually, this isn't a bad way to go about it, I don't think. I usually try to figure these things out in my head and that gets me just nowhere. Perhaps if I tried to feel it in my gut instead (where the little pings are happening...)

Friday, October 19, 2007

pregnancy brain

I don't remember its being this bad last time. I will be standing in the front of the class, MID-SENTENCE, and the thought will leave my brain. Just dissipate, like steam. It really makes you feel silly. Today I got home from the grocery store without the sandwich meat I'd had the deli slice. I suspect it's still sitting on the top of the deli case as I write this, waiting me for to come rescue it. I even checked my receipt to see if I lost it somewhere in transit, but it never made it to the register. And this is the SECOND time I've done that. Seriously.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Yesterday was the ultrasound. I’m not afraid anymore. I had a bit of a breakdown a couple of nights ago, cried until my head hurt again, and I think I got a good bit of the emotional gunk out. Now I’m ready. When we went to the ultrasound I was ready for the baby to become real to me, ready to accept this into my life.

And it’s a BOY. I sort of can’t believe it. In my world, all little people are the girl variety. I thought from the beginning of this pregnancy that it was a boy, but I am still surprised. I imagined Frances with a sister… What to do with a boy? I have a friend who is pregnant with her fourth (fourth!) boy and she told me recently about taking her kids to storytime at the library. She said there were about twenty little girls there, all sitting quietly with their legs crossed, and only one boy other than her three. The boys spent the whole time running laps around the room and trying to climb the piano.

Boy. It seems so strange. Mitch said he hoped we have a boy for my sake, because girls’ relationships with their mothers are contentious, and boys love their mamas. Yes, that does sound sweet.

I know these last two (the 3D shots) are kind of freaky, but they're also pretty cool. Note the hand in the top black and white pic.

Friday, October 12, 2007


My mailman Bobby, whom I adore, saw me out walking yesterday and waved hi. Then his smile sort of turned quizical and, looking at my belly, he said, “Don’t tell me you’re going there again. You just did that.”

I still feel foolish. I still feel embarrassed. I find myself explaining or apologizing or something, when anyone notices or congratulates me. I don’t feel like congratulations. I don’t know what I feel. I feel panicked. I finally started to cry about it last night, but I think I need about 3 more hours of crying to really get to the heart of it. I already feel trapped, and the baby isn’t even here yet. I feel trapped by the baby and by the move, like I’ll be so stuck taking care of them that I’ll never be able to make friends, never be able to come up for air.

And yet Frances is adorable these days. She’s started making animal noises (what does the sheep say, Frances?) and she’s a little clingy around the house, but that also translates to sweetness when I finally give up trying to get dinner started and just sit on the floor while she pushes the music buttons on her firetruck. She periodically comes and hugs me, then goes back to button pushing.

If only I were a different person, the kind of person who gets excited about the adventure of change rather than afraid. Why can't I be this kind of person?

Thursday, October 11, 2007


When Frances and I come home from the grocery, I take her out of her car seat and stand her on the grass while I unload the bags from the trunk. Then I carry all the groceries I can at once, leave the rest by the car, and call to her to follow me. I rush up the walk and up the front steps to put my armload down by the door, then hustle back to her before she falls and hurts herself. In the meantime she’s sort of tottered over the grass to the walk and is trying to climb the first two steps down near the street. She’s got her hands on the cement, her blanket still clutched in one hand while she wills her feet to step up once, twice. The earnestness of her attempt, the seriousness of her face as she tries to follow me absolutely break my heart. I don’t know why I get so emotional over this—it’s probably the hormones from the pregnancy—but it has something to do with her wanting to follow me and not really being able to. She relies on having me come back for her.

And being emotional about this makes me feel so ridiculous.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

headaches and a sense of humor

My belly is swelling. Now when I hug M, my belly touches first.

I loved being pregnant before—felt better than I ever had, both physically and emotionally. Maybe that will come still, but right now I’m not enjoying this much at all. Lately I’ve been struggling with my headaches, which let up during my pregnancy with F. Have had no such luck this time. And I’m even on this crazy super restricted diet to keep them down, which makes my life quite complicated and sometimes not much fun. After a certain period of time I’m supposed to be able to add back some of the items, and I recently decided to try to add yogurt back. It was, needless to say, an utter failure, and I’m (today) looking at my 8th day of 12 with a headache.

We have an appointment Friday for an ultrasound and to find out the sex of the baby. But I don’t want to know… not because I want to be surprised or anything like that. I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it’s because knowing the sex will make this baby more real to me. I’m scared out of my mind to have another kid, keep wondering what the hell we’re doing, and it’s strange to me that this is what I have to deal with: this is my life, what it will be anyway. I’m an only child and it’s so odd for me to think of myself as mothering two little ones so close together. It’s frankly hard for me to imagine having more than one kid at all. I know I want this—know it in my head—but I still don’t know it in my bones. I’m trying to look at it as an adventure. I try most of the time to look at my life in general this way, but it doesn’t come easily for me.

There’s this goofy country song out right now called “Mr. Mom” about a fella who got laid off from work. He comes home and tells his wife, and she says “That’s okay, babe. I’ll go to work and you can stay home with the kids.” The chorus is: “Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer, crayons go up one drawer higher, rewind Barney for the 15th time, breakfast at 6, naps at 9. There’s bubble gum in the baby’s hair, sweet potatoes in my lazy chair, been crazy all day long and it’s only Monday Mr. Mom.” Something about this song makes me relax about it all… That the hardest thing to deal with is food in the couch, crayon marks on the wall. I mean, it’s irritating, but it’s not complicated. Maybe all I really need is a sense of humor. Anyone know where I can find one of those?