A year has passed

About a year has passed since I started blogging, and I am not very impressed with the quantity of entries. When I started blogging, I made the list, "In the next 11 years, I hope to...", so here is where I am on that list, a year later.

Get organized: Yeah right.
Audition: I just attended my first NJ audition this past weekend, and didn't make the cut. It was refreshing to enter back into the scene, though.
Become a women's rights activist: Does standing up to my husband and giving him lip count?
Write a piece of literature with some significance...: At first, I wanted to keep this to myself because I didn't want people inquiring on its progress, but I have started to write something on a larger scale than this blog, with the hope to eventually publish.
Start using my gym membership: I did do that...and then school started, I got pregnant, and I quit. Ugh.
Finish reading Anna Karenina: It looks so nice on my bookshelf! I have started a book club with my former roommates, though.
Audit classes...: Not so much.
Continue loving my family: Easy some days... ;)
Have another kid or two: Welcome, Zoe!
Become president: I really hope Sarah Palin doesn't steal my thunder on the woman part of this, because if she gets into office, I'm afraid no one will vote another woman into office again.
Live a life full of meaning: Whatever that means.

There. Now you can hold me accountable.


Stranger in My Home

That's me. The last two days I have gone into the basement, glass in hand, to sneak a shot of gin into my glass before adding 100%-no-sugar-added cranberry juice. When the in-laws are in for a visit, our house transforms into a vegetarian, nonfat milk drinking family of teetotalers. These are all not true of our family on any other day, but when we host Scott's parents, we put on another face, false as it may be. It bothers me that we do this altogether, but for the sake of peace and aged obedience this transformation has continued for seven years.
There have been lapses, of course, like the time Scott and I came back from our honeymoon in California's wine country with a bottle of wine for his parents. As he handed the bottle to them, a look of horror passed over their faces. We haven't brought alcohol back to their house anymore. Even now, Scott hides any alcohol we have in the basement during a visit and, if there is an open bottle of wine shortly before they arrive, he is sure to empty it before their arrival (not down the drain, of course).
During this past visit, as we shopped for the week's groceries, I informed Don that our family drinks 1% milk, with great gusto. I backed off, though, claiming that the only reason we did this was because Olivia needed the fat in her diet, according to her pediatrician. Quite frankly, I can't stomach the taste of nonfat milk anymore. It tastes like white water with an awful aftertaste.
Even Scott's dad has lapses as a vegetarian. Nearly every time we visit each other, Scott's mom makes meatloaf, and Scott's dad eats multiple helpings of the stuff. Seeing this window of opportunity, I cooked chicken the following night. He ate none, and filled himself with rice and salad at dinner, followed by multiple helpings of multigrain cheerios (with nonfat milk, of course) and dannon light 'n' fit yogurt. When he asked about my former vegetarianism, I told him that my pregnancy with Olivia brought irresistible cravings for burgers...made with beef. He looked at me with disdain and called me a 'failed vegetarian'. Oh well.
I say this all with tongue in cheek, but it does raise a question:
How long and to what degree must we 'honor our parents'?


Staying Home

I have decided to stay home with my girls. Enter your knee-jerk reactions.

Anytime I tell some one this in a 'real' conversation, unlike this hypothetical conversation (assuming people read my blog), there are two basic responses. One of them is "Wow, that will be a big change. How do you feel about your decision?", and the other is "Congratulations!". Sometimes I question the sincerity of those who say the latter. Do they say this because they feel it is the necessary response? I wonder if what they really want to say is, "What the heck are you thinking? You're in debt, you just finished your masters degree, and now you're staying home? What a waste."

Okay, sometimes that is what I'm thinking, and I think it has to be what others think, too. After all, that very label used to be something I would spit out of my mouth as soon as it entered. Sometimes I wonder if I should be contributing to the greater good of humankind in some other venue. Sometimes I wonder if home is the best place to start. Sometimes it feels a little self-indulgent. Sometimes it feels like the most selfless act I've ever done in my life. But, as soon as I say that, I guess it isn't really selfless, is it?

Lately I've noticed that most stay-at-home moms have something else going on-either a business run at home or another business held outside the home during evening hours. Now that I am one of these stay-at-homers, I feel the need to say, "But I am doing..." But what? What am I doing? As a person hoping to return to the 'professional' world after a few years, there actually is a need to do 'something'--and by 'something' I mean a position I could place on my resumé. I have played with a few ideas, but none of them seem to promise fulfillment, and none of them would look impressive on a resumé.

My conclusion is that I'm staying at home with my girls because I want to, because it seems like what needs to be done at the time. I know it will be trying on my patience and my pocketbook...and the almighty 'professional' resumé. But there is a beauty in the monotony, the simplicity of everyday life as a mother and nothing else. The last two nights, Zoe has awoke in the middle of the night for her feeding, but for some reason or another she has been unable to go back to sleep right away. In exhaustion and frustration, I have called on Scott to walk her around, but it always ends with me standing, rocking her in my arms, as she reaches up and strokes my hair and falls slowly back to sleep. That is why I'm staying home. There is nothing more beautiful and fulfilling than that.


10 Things you should NOT say to an overdue woman:

10. Boy, you don't look like you've dropped at all.
9. You look like you just have a basketball under your shirt! (I guess this is preferable to "You're really carrying that baby all around, aren't you?")
8. Why are you still here?
7. I was 3 weeks late with mine.
6. I can see your belly.
5. You look like you're about to pop!
4. Boy, you look uncomfortable.
3. Not in labor yet, huh?
2. You should be at home with your baby.
1. Moo. (Thank you, Sam Gettleman, you jerk.)