Friday Reads

If Jamie the Very Worst Missionary isn’t on your to-read list, it should be. Her recent post, I Worry for the Mommy Bloggers, is great.

And you thought you spent a lot of money on your kid. You’ve got nothing on the guy in this story: The Most Insane Truck Ever Built and the 4-Year-Old Who Commands It.

I found this article about online Mormon missionaries very intriguing. If I was a missionary, I’d make a great online proselytizer!

The Trick of Life. Especially moving to me right now, as I await news that will determine my future in more ways than one, I will pray for people around me instead of dwelling on my own uncertainty.

Breaking the News to a 3-Year Old

We told Future President way too soon that he was going to be a big brother. I was only six weeks into my pregnancy, but I was excited. So we told him, “there’s a baby in mommy’s belly,” which he then told the very next day – in those exact words – to my in-laws. Since the cat was out of the bag, we told other close family and friends, whom we swore to secrecy. But how do you keep a 3-year old from telling everyone? You can’t. I now know firsthand that three-year olds can’t keep secrets. 

I was cleaning the playroom (formerly known as the living room) and discussing storage solutions for all the tiny Playmobil and Lego pieces with my husband. When the room was clean, Future President said, “Ready for baby! He’s coming tomorrow.” Time is an almost impossible concept for a small child to grasp, so I’m sure he didn’t get it when I explained that it was going to be a long, long time before baby arrived. Why were we worrying about messy toys right now? 

Future President periodically stops to chat with the baby, leaning close to my stomach: “Hi, Baby!” or “Good morning, Baby!” or sometimes he rubs my stomach. He also wants to name the baby Baby P, after himself, which I’ve tried explaining would be confusing but he doesn’t care. He insists that’s going to be the baby’s name. He’s also asserted himself very clearly, that he’ll “always be mommy’s baby” and he repeats this at least a couple of times a day. He plays baby a lot now, pretending to cry, crawl, ask for a bottle and breaks into baby talk frequently. At night when he turns the light off, he now crawls from the bedroom door to me in the rocker, telling me, “I’ll always be your baby.” 

For a long time, whenever he wanted a new toy, I would tell him to put it on his Christmas list or birthday list. Now I tell him he can make a list for the baby as the baby is going to bring him a new toy. I’m regretting that decision a little, because the baby is going to be bankrupt as soon as he/she is born as that list is growing longer by the day.

I am hopeful that since Future President will be four months shy of 4 when the baby arrives that things will go smoothly and the adjustment from one to two children will be easy for both of them. But I’m not ignorant. It could be awful.

Friday Reads

Read about This American Life’s experience working on the Veronica Mars movie, complete with pictures!

This working mom schooled Gwyneth Paltrow in the realities of working at an office job without the perks that come with celebrity, like lots of money and 24/7 child care.

Are the ABCs a sacred order, or like the dictionary and encyclopedia, are they doomed for extinction?

Apparently a lot of people don’t get the importance of why a dad should stick around during an entire (!) 3-day paternity leave, or why a woman wouldn’t just choose to have a c-section so her baller husband could be at the birth of their child.

This April Fools prank by Penguin is absolutely hilarious. I generally hate April Fools pranks but my husband convinced us to announce our big news on the infamous day of pranking: we’re having a baby!

The Last Forever

I am now 100% convinced I could never be a TV critic, because after last night’s series finale of How I Met Your Mother, I have all sorts of feelings but am pretty sure a blog post cannot convey how sad I am that 1) it ended the way it did and 2) I wasted my time on this last season at all. Anyway, I’ll try.

I’m not sad I watched the show, though. It’s one of the comedies my husband and I have enjoyed together, since the very beginning. And after nine years, which is how long we’ve been married, we both agree that the show did a fantastic job of portraying life after college, with the highs and lows of job loss, marriage, babies, breakups, and even death. Life after college is hard and the show didn’t shy away from portraying that, as well as the crazy, funny, and awesome ways to celebrate adulthood. 

The two scenes that made me cry the most:

  • When Robin said goodbye to Lily in the old apartment. “We’ll always be friends. It’s just never going to be like how it was,” Robin says. And I too mourned the loss of the way wonderful friendships once were, that are no longer the same because life goes on. 
  • When Barney met his daughter. I’m not a fan of how that daughter came to be (suggesting that some things never change and some people revert back to their immature selfs) and how Barney spoke of No. 31, but NPH knocked it out of the park with the emotional meeting of his true love. 

But who am I kidding? I cried most of the way through. 

My absolute favorite episode of the series was Season 8, Episode 12: The Final Page, Part 2, when despite all of Ted’s accomplishments, he is still alone. Barney reveals that his playbook has been all about getting Robin to say yes to his marriage proposal. Marshall and Lily spend time away from their son for the first time, and it doesn’t go exactly as planned. It was such a bittersweet episode. 

Here’s what I said about it when it aired in December of 2012.

How I Met Your Mother is one of the best shows on TV. At least from the perspective of a married couple that lives with the husband’s parents, has one child, and sort of figures life has to turn around one of these days. Right? 

In the last few seasons, HIMYM has rightfully turned a bit dour. It’s taken an emotional downward spiral as Ted continues to wonder where and if he will meet Mrs. Right. Robin wonders if she and Barney are actually meant to be together and Barney gets engaged to the wrong woman. Robin’s career takes many wrong turns before she finally lands on her feet. Ted’s career also careens in many directions. Ted, Robin and Marshall all sacrifice the lofty ideals of their young adulthood just to pay the bills and to work. Lilly and Marshall experience heartache at the loss of his father and the joy at the birth of their son. Marshall loses his job and then gets a new one, but one that doesn’t pay enough that Lilly can stay home with Marvin.

And while the show is NOT realistic in the sense that these young 30 somethings live in mansions by NYC standards and wear fantastics clothes (did you see Robin’s owl sweater a few episodes ago? Yeah, that was Burberry. $1200.), it touches on so many themes that tell me the writers just get it.

The economy sucks. People are out of work, underemployed, selling their souls, doing what it takes to get by. This week’s episode was so wonderful. The song that played at the end, “Let Your Heart Hold Fast” by Fort Atlantic was so perfect. Ted is still all alone. But we know it will get better. We do. 

“So let your heart hold fast
for this soon
shall pass
like the high 
tide takes the
sand.” – Fort Atlantic

I’m not content that Ted ended up with Robin, because I really don’t think that she is Mrs. Right for Him. I’m not happy that Barney has only sort of matured after we spent an entire season (and more!) being convinced that Robin and Barney should be together, only for their marriage to end because Robin was traveling a lot for work. I’m very sad that The Mother died and six years later, the kids were a-ok with their father moving on without a twinge of sadness. 

Did you watch the finale? What did you think? 

 

Friday Reads

The Overprotected Kid is an interesting article about how “kids these days” get too much supervision from parents and other adults. When I was a kid, we would spend hours in the jungle behind our apartment building, climbing on large boulders and swinging on vines. We were even stalked by rabid dogs. Before the 8th grade, I was riding a public bus to the library all by myself. And yet I’m horrified to think of my son doing any of these things. Maybe we are too overprotective!

Speaking of parenting, check out this hilarious parody, New Parenting Study Released. Hilarious because: see above. I read them, too! ALL.THE.TIME.

In Search of Oxford is a fabulous travel essay and brought me back to what was honestly one of the top five experiences of my life: living in Oxford.

An old essay I keep thinking about, The Richness of Empty Evenings, makes me anticipate silence and worry less about making gourmet meals (let’s face it, that only happens once or twice a month!).

Sacred and Profane revisits the Waco siege and posits whether a different negotiation tactic would have ended in less bloodshed.

A Taste of Spring

It’s amazing what a little sun does for my mood. The weekend and Monday were glorious here, with clear skies and warm sun. The grass dried up enough to mow, which led to a good old-fashioned game of croquet in the backyard and there were walks and picking up sticks and stomping on ants. Future President got his first pair of flip flops and spent lots of time kicking them off and turning the bottoms of his feet green.

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And now it’s raining again. For some reason the rain makes it a little less painful that even though it is Spring Break, I am at work for most of the week. It’s weeks like these I really wish I was a teacher – to have Spring Break and Christmas and summer vacation off to spend with my family. I can’t complain about the amount of vacation time I get at my job, but because of various cutbacks, there’s no way for more than one or two people to take time off at once. So I’m slogging away at work this week, looking forward to our upcoming tropical vacation that’s just a little over three weeks away, trying not to fret that for at least the first day or two of said tropical vacation, I will blind everyone on the island with my pasty white arms and legs.

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Friday Reads

My Dementia: Telling Who I am Before I Forget is a compelling and heartbreaking story about a professor’s mental decline. Her awareness of what she no longer knows is staggeringly profound.

This article about breast pumps made me laugh. I spent many, many hours behind a closed door at work pumping, pumping, pumping and I will never forget that sound. I’m grateful the technology exists, but I wish there was a more efficient solution for working moms to continue to provide milk for their babies. On-site child care is my vote!

Eileen Fisher, business woman and fashion designer, talks about work-life balance. I’d like to be home by 3, too!

Speaking of parenting: grab some tissues before you watch this Dear Future Mom video created for a woman pregnant with a child with Down Syndrome. Very moving.

Helping Dad Die: A Daughter’s Story of course reminds me of Me Before You, the book I can’t forget because it haunts me. What if? What if? What if?