Right now, I should be baking some cookies. Or making some dinner. Or cleaning a counter top or two. Or writing some emails I owe. Or calling some friends whom I miss. Or walking on a treadmill to get that heart rate up.
And instead I'm sitting quietly. I am about to turn my brain off in front of the TV and await my husband's return home. I am not going to get to any of these chores tonight.
Lately, I think both Michael & I have been feeling a little Manhattan Malaise. We haven't left the city in quite some time, and have no definite plans to do so in the near future. We just went through one period of serious change and are preparing for yet another. I'm about to celebrate two years at my current job, one I love tremendously but sometimes get tired of. I told Michael yesterday that we need to go do something fun - go away for the weekend, or run off to see a movie on a random weeknight (daring, isn't it?), or just spice up the routine somehow.
And yet much of this malaise is from not having our routines. We still don't have our patterns set for taking walks and enjoying the neighborhood and doing all those fun things that we had settled on in our old neighborhood. We're still in transition, but a quieter form of it.
Today, Michael and I were responsible parents. We purchased life insurance!
For whatever reason, this task seemed beyond obnoxious to me. It's that perfect combination of thinking about your own mortality (and that of your beloved spouse), of spending a lot of money on something you hope to never need, of seeing how little your life is "worth," and of working through brokers who want to sell you more than you need. What made this task a little more... tedious for me was the way in which our MetLife agent treated me. In very small ways, he acted like I was the weaker, less intelligentspouse. While we filled out paperwork this morning, he deferred all financial questions to Michael and assumed I wasn't working. He was kind, but very old fashioned, I guess.
Anyway, this was one of those things I really dreaded doing, but feel proud of us for getting done. We're insured!!
Well, this little baby is now 30-weeks along! We are three-quarters of the way through this pregnancy, and incredibly grateful for the relative ease of it. Now, as the baby grows bigger and bigger and the physical demands of the pregnancy get harder on me, I've been thinking about all the benefits of it that I will miss once our girl is here. And they are...
1. My belly!
2. Almost always getting a seat on the train.
3. How nice strangers are to me now, telling me how good I look and asking when I'm due. I tell ya, New Yorkers are kind to pregnant women!
4. Play time with my baby. I love that she is always with me now, and that she'll have a kicking fit in the middle of a work day. Her active times feel like play times for me, and I love that I can enjoy those throughout the day. I know how much I miss Michael when I'm at work. I can't imagine how much I'm going to miss my baby.
5. Guilt-free eating! Oh Snickers bars! I think the last time I ate a whole snickers bar before this pregnancy was in high school. I've had too many to count in the last 20 weeks or so. They are so delicious...
6. Always feeling good when I leave the gym, just for having made it there. Even if I've only gone once the whole week, I'm still proud for making it there (rather than feeling bad about how infrequently I'm going, which is how I felt when I wasn't pregnant).
7. All the compliments and smiles I get. Love that!
So that's the start - the parts of pregnancy that I will surely miss. And the elements to hold on to as it gets harder in the home stretch!
For the first time in several weeks, Michael and I were able to enjoy some relaxed time together. We went for a long walk in Riverside Park, exploring new green spaces in our neighborhood. Then we meandered to Kitchenette for a hearty lunch. When we got home, Michael put his feet up and is now enjoying a late afternoon nap.
His work has been very demanding as of late, and having a stress-free afternoon together was just what the doctor ordered.
In the six years since I moved to New York, I have lived in two apartments furnished with dining room tables. I lived in these apartments for a combined total of seven months. For the rest of the time, I have had to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in my lap. If you think about it, tables (for all their conveniences) require serious amounts of space. And so most of us living in tiny apartments forgo this luxury.
In our last apartment, once our dear friend Nicky graciously handed down his coffee table to us, we managed to eat hovering somewhere between the couch and the coffee table. This required a hunched posture, and almost inevitably lead to eating quickly and, well, heartburn. Michael and I grew to really hate this about our apartment - that we simply had no room for a place to eat like humans.
Now we do! On Saturday, Ikea delivered our brand new dining room table (and four chairs to boot!). Michael and I enjoyed our first meal around our table tonight, and it was heavenly. This feels like progress...
The Met highlights a piece of artwork from its permanent collection on its website daily. I've been enjoying these lately. None have been earth-shattering, but they have been quite lovely pieces of artwork. Today's is particularly pretty, so I thought I'd share!
It's my baby girl kickin'! Most of the activity happens right at the very beginning of the video and then about 18-seconds in on the right side of my stomach. All that bumping isn't gas... it's the baby!
So I know I'm behind on this, but Melissa made it okay for me to post this list in 2010 here.
Michael had an amazing year with books, as he described here. But I must say, I didn't. I read a lot of bad books (the worst of the worst: "And Then We Came to the End" and "Him Her Him Again The End of Him"). That said, there were definitely some highlights. Barbara Kingsolver defined my literary year. I read three of her books this year; two of the three made it to my top 5. "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" inspired me through the end of winter this past year, encouraging me to eat locally, grow my own food (which I actually did this summer), and to move to a farm in the mountains of Virginia. I think it will be one of the best books I've ever read, simply for the way it inspired me. And I'm currently reading The Lacuna (Kingsolver's most recent) and loving it!
So my top 5 from 2009: 5. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver 4. Beautiful Children by Charles Bock 3. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout 2. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld 1. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Today is the second day I've been stuck at home, trying to get over this monsterous cold. For whatever reason, when I get sick, I get SICK. I'm usually out of work for four days or so and stuck at home. This time is particularly irksome because I feel like time out of the office will translate into time away from my baby girl - these sick days I'm eating up are reducing my maternity leave. That said, I know I need to keep her healthy now, so that she joins us just when and as she should.
As riveting as this must be to read about, it's pretty much all I have to share. I have been enjoying the views from our apartment, Barbara Kingsolver's new book, and lots of episodes of "Law & Order: SVU." Oh and the new sparkling "juice" (ie soda) from Duane Reade!
Just after Christmas, my cousin and her husband came to visit - and it was a blast! We had a great time, traveling around our neighborhood, checking out the Rockefeller Christmas tree, enjoying fancy cheeses & some dumplings and ending the night with some serious karaoke. Of course, alcohol was consumed throughout (by those who could). It was great having such good friends in town - and just made me wish we all lived closer together.
Happy New Year! Michael and I have enjoyed a quiet, relaxing day - waking only to go back to sleep, reading quietly, watching TV, eating home-cooked food. I ventured out for a walk around our new neighborhood around 3, and it just felt nice to stretch my legs for no reason other than to enjoy being outdoors. I didn't have a destination in mind, but just meandered for a bit. I ended up walking home through Riverside Park - beautiful.
2009 was a strange year for our household, dominated largely by work. Of course, the highlight was finding out about our beautiful baby girl. Others included a week at Rehoboth with my mom and brother, visits with family in Virginia, Florida and New York, and weekend getaways with just me and my man.
2010 has so much in store for us! God willing, we'll bring home a baby girl! My brother will graduate college! My mom will move back to the States! Our professional lives will progress! And we'll continue to make this new apartment our home.
One of the life changes I worry about when thinking about becoming a mom is just feeling constantly stressed and never feeling present anywhere. Balancing work and family will be more difficult than I can even imagine yet. But today, during my slow and enjoyable walk around the neighborhood, I saw glimpses of how I hope we can find peace with our little family. It's going to be the challenge of 2010, but well worth it.
"But when she stepped off the train in New York, her plain little face looked beautiful for a moment, as if the future were opening before her and its glow were already upon her forehead, as if she were eager and proud and ready to meet it..."