Twenty Questions

Mkay, so I started this last night with the intention of just typing and not editing anything, but I faltered halfway through and didn’t finish it – here we go (again)!

What was the last thing you threw in the garbage/recycling?

Paper towels in the bathroom (at work) after washing my hands.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

Don’t have an iPod and not sure how to even retrieve that info from my iPhone (where I have the most music), if it’s even possible.  I generally just leave it on shuffle/random and skip past songs I don’t feel like listening to.  It’s a silly way to listen to music when I could make actual playlists, but I am indecisive and lazy about organization of…most things, but I liken it to the way I also enjoy scanning through the radio stations on a commute every once in a while, just to see if I’ll hear a song I hadn’t thought of in a long time.  Radio in my city generally blows, though, so I don’t often get that lucky.  The song I play most, though, is on CD – Muse’s Madness.  Ike used to fall asleep in the car to it all the time when he was tiny, and I still try it when he gets fussy while I’m driving, but it doesn’t work much anymore.

What is your favorite quote?

I have many regrets, and I’m sure everyone does.  The stupid things you do, you regret…if you have any sense, and if you don’t regret them, maybe you’re stupid.  ~Katharine Hepburn

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Pretty much all of them, but if I had to pick the worst, I’d say cleaning the bathroom.  Things are awfully dusty around here, too.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

The closest thing to exercise that I manage is yoga.  I wouldn’t say that I have a practice outside of snatching up Groupons for all the new studios that keep cropping up all over the ‘burbs here.  I am, however, signed up to run a Warrior Dash in August.  I should probably start thinking about training a little bit for that, maybe. Soon.

What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

Weekdays, arriving at my parents’ house to pick Ike up, and getting that big smile when he sees me.  Weekends, lying in bed as long as I can after waking up and listening to baby babble, having our nonsense chats.  Saturday is my favorite day of the week, year round, and I love spring, so let’s say May.  When green things start poking up out of the ground and flowers start budding and blooming, I feel better.  To put that all together, I’d say waking up on a Saturday in May, windows open to let in the scent of the lilacs outside the bedroom.  Can’t wait to do that with Ike this year.

What is on your bedside table?

A lamp, a Kindle reading light that I designated a night light, the copy of Anna Karenina I’ve been trying to finish since…I think I was still pregnant (!), and a stack of Ike’s books.  Right now, there are Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a Cleveland Indians book, and a couple Sesame street books about numbers and shapes.  Also usually a glass of water. Surely a good deal of dust.

What is your favorite body part?

On me?  Years ago I would have said my hair, but since about three months after Ike was born it’s been shedding like crazy, so for now I guess I’d have to go with my feet.  As far as feet go, they’re pretty not bad.  Neglected, being near the end of winter now, but a pedicure is within sight!

Would you use the power of invisibility for good or evil? Elaborate.

I can’t imagine not getting a little evil with it, at least.  Hopefully I wouldn’t have to choose absolutely between the two, and could use it for a lot of good and a little evil?  Fund some Batman-type do-gooding, or something like that.  Force the most fortunate to help the least.

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

Probably somewhere in the 23-25 range.  Finishing school, falling in love, getting married.  Good times.

What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

Pay off all our debt.  Depending on the jackpot, maybe I could still make a serious donation to March of Dimes or something similar (would require much research) and take a serious vacation.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Consistently atrocious grammar.  Occasional fuckups that don’t cause actual confusion, I can generally deal.  But COME ON.  It’s not that hard to get the basics right, most of the time.

If you could know the answer to any question, what would it be?

This is a hard one.  Since I’ve come to terms with my atheism/agnosticism, I’m much more okay with not knowing things that are just unknowable.  Everything I can think of, like…will Ike be happy and okay even after Mike and I are dead and gone, leads me to more awful possibilities where that wouldn’t be an applicable question.  Yeah, I don’t like this idea!  I’m going to cop out with this:  will I die content?

At what age did you become an adult?

Probably 23, when I graduated and officially moved out on my own after school (even though I basically had lived with Mike for a year or more already) and got a “real” job related to my degree.

Recommend a book, movie, or television show in three sentences or less.

The Wire.  If you haven’t seen it, go on a binge – watch as many as you can at a time, and you will not regret it.  It’s tragic at the same time as it’s hilarious and thought-provoking.  Good, good TV – and I even like some bad TV now and then!

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

Not nearly as many things as I did that SHOULD have gotten me into trouble!  I was a pretty wild teenager, but I was extremely crafty at not getting caught.  I like to think of it as being young and stupid, but not quite recklessly stupid.  Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll – standard, stereotypical stuff.  Without going into much detail (here anyway, if you ask privately I will divulge more), the one time I nearly got into actual legal trouble involved an ex-boyfriend so dumb he admitted to a drug abuse charge in order to report drugs as stolen (it wasn’t me!).  Thankfully, there ended up being no juvenile record (nor is there an adult one!) to have sealed, but only due to me being lucky and/or smart enough to do dumb things in intelligent ways.

What was the first album you bought with your own money?

I’m not sure, honestly, if I ever have, as impossible as it sounds. I know I requested some things as gifts when I was a kid (NKOTB, etc.), but I have never been a big purchaser of music.  Most things were given to me by friends who made copies of their own for me.  I may have bought a copy of STP’s No. 4 after I lost the one my brother gave me for a birthday, I think.  Love that album, still.  Even when I fall in love with a song, I can’t justify spending money on it when I know there are ways to hear it for free (I know, the artists should and do hate people like me).

If someone wrote a book about you, what would be the title?

… And She Got Away With It, Too

What story do you wish your family would stop telling about you?

Probably the childhood one from when I was apparently regressing a bit or being upset about not being the baby – when my (younger) sister was learning to cut her own food, I was being stubborn about cutting mine, even though I obviously had the ability.  She’ll still offer to cut my pancakes for me whenever the opportunity arises.

True or false: The unicorn is the greatest mythical creature. State your case.

No way.  When I think mythical creature, the first thing I think of is Cerberus.  Three-headed dog!  Actually, I have a hard time suspending belief; I don’t get into sci-fi very much at all, and I like fiction that is at least possible, if not plausible.  Still – any one of these creatures sounds more interesting and intimidating than a unicorn to me!  Plus, the whole thing about only virgins being able to capture a unicorn (yeah, I totally had to look that up, too)? Gag.

A day late and way more than a dollar short….

Yesterday I was featured on PAIL’s Monday Shapshot.  Here are a couple more photos I took during the same banana breakfast on Saturday morning:

photo (7)

 

 

 

 

 

photo (8)

So that was a fun look back at what was a pretty nice weekend.  This week’s pretty much turned to crap already, frankly.  This morning as I was driving down the highway to drop Ike off at my parents’ house before work, a little star in my windshield that we had “repaired” a while ago decided it was high time to get crackin’.  Literally.  Not sure how well you can see it here, but it split almost all the way across, near the bottom of the windshield.

photo (9)

Was actually kind of cool to see happen, but it would have been a lot cooler if I didn’t have to pay to have it replaced.  I’d even settle for the middle-of-the-road-cool of having a clue as to how I’m going to pay to have it replaced. Terrible timing, as all unforeseen financial obligations are, I suppose. Motherfucking MEH.  I had really been hoping to purchase the digital files, or at the very least a few more nice, larger prints from Ike’s six month photo session, but it looks like I can pretty much kiss that idea goodbye.  Breaks my heart a little bit, but clearly having a structurally sound windshield on the car in which he’s most often transported is more important.

I would really like to get back to actually writing more often here.  Too many months have gone by in which I’ve barely posted anything beyond my letter to Baby Ike, and while I’m still amazed that I even get to do such a thing, I can do better.  I hope, anyway.  I don’t know if it’s some seasonal affective-type stuff, and hopefully not delayed PPD, but I am feeling not so chipper lately.  Not that chipper is a word I’d actually use to describe myself even in the best of moods, but you know what I mean, I’m sure.   I probably just need more sleep (and to write a post about that, at some point, too). Thankfully, PAIL also has the perfect meme to get me going again, at least with posting SOMETHING, if not actual writing – I have 20 questions to answer, hopefully tonight.  Please feel free to harass me if you don’t see them, along with answers, posted soon!

Staying in the Frame

Per jjiraffe’s request, here are some photos of me looking like me.  Not all are current, but I think they are in the spirit of what we’re going for with the project.

Very chinny, very postpartum puffy, but soooo happy!

Picking up our rally ticket!

Sadly, the above is pretty accurate for how I usually look (this was taken Saturday).  Way, way overdue for a haircut, no makeup, jeans and a hoodie (if I’m out of the house – otherwise, subtract jeans and the bra and add yoga pants/sweats).  Big smile that makes my eyes totally disappear.

Here’s right after Ike was born – I LOVE this one:

Brand new, still in the birthing center, only hours old!

 

 

October 15th: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Tonight when we light our four candles at 7 pm for the International Wave of Light, I’ll be thinking of you and yours as well.  If you’re feeling alone, please reach out and seek the support you need and deserve. None of us are alone.  

I’m so lucky to have my stretch marks, but I will never forget all the years I wondered if I’d ever even have the chance, and I do not forget that so many of you are still “in the trenches.”  I hope peace finds you today.

Book Club & Mother’s Day

I’m pretty much going to gloss right over it being Mother’s Day.  We did celebrate, but I admit that it feels somewhat like counting a pre-hatched chicken.  I will say it’s been a great day, full of lovely things including (but not limited to) donuts, moules-frites at brunch with my parents, a bit more progress on the nursery (glider!  We did the changing table yesterday, so all furniture is now assembled, woohoo!), and even some rug-doctoring on the only remaining carpet in the house and the couch.  Feeling very lucky, but still thinking of those for whom today may have been quite miserable.  I’ve not forgotten what it’s like to aim for survival rather than enjoyment when it comes to Mother’s Day – and Father’s Day too, for that matter.  We typically have not made huge deals out of those days in my family, not so much gift-y as a meal, a card, some flowers or a smallish gift, but the simple stuff is sometimes the most poignant, you know?  Last year especially it was so hard to not feel gutted on both of those days, hanging out with my parents and not knowing if we’d ever get the chance to make them grandparents.  They’re so happy for us, as are Mike’s parents.

I did manage to finish Bringing Up Bebe, a couple weeks ago.  I should have written about it then, but clearly I’ve waited until the last brilliant minute.  Thankfully, people did send some questions and quotes to Esperanza, so…I’ll use them.  Brilliant!  The quotes not associated with questions really sort of speak for themselves.

“I hear other American moms say ‘I’m a bad mother,’ too. The phrase has become a kind of verbal tic. Emily says ‘I’m a bad mother’ so often that, though it sounds negative, I realize she must find the phrase soothing. For American mothers, guilt is an emotional tax we pay for going to work, not buying organic vegetables, or plopping our kids in front of the television so we can surf the Internet or make dinner. If we feel guilty, then it’s easier to do these things. We’re not just selfish. We’ve ‘paid’ for our lapses.” 

* * *
“There are no fixed rules…You have to keep changing what you do”
* * *
Quote from a French parent: “In the US, sometimes I have the feeling that if it’s not difficult for you, you have to feel bad about it.”

There definitely are some things described in the book that I think will be worth trying.  The author makes it sound like a fairly great system, if you can call it that, helping to create a much calmer household and lifestyle than what most American families would probably say is typical.  I think my problem is what seems like the impossibility of trying to implement it all here.  Parts of it could probably be done, like “the pause,” which apparently allows babies (and therefore parents as well) to start sleeping through the night as early as six to eight weeks in.  But I think it would be extremely frustrating to expect the same overall results when applying some of these ideas in the context of a parenting culture that is hardly conducive on all fronts.  For instance, it’s also noted that French toddlers are not necessarily always accompanied by baggies of Cheerios or the like, that parents and caregivers are not constantly soothing with snacks like American parents tend to do.  I think it might be rather hard, but perhaps not impossible, to stick to that very strictly here when we have such a drastically different food culture.  

Another thing that struck me as a dramatic difference in culture is that in general, these lovely French children are taught self-soothing, self-amusement, and patience at such a young age that they often don’t throw tantrums, or at least they don’t throw them at the same scale or frequency as we expect here. Sounds great, right?  Of course!  It sounds almost too good to be true.  I think that a lot of this French parenting philosophy is clearly made possible by the great benefits provided to parents:  paid (at least in part) parental leave, excellent neighborhood daycare that won’t cost you most of your salary, and perhaps best of all – no Are You Mom Enough crap.  TIME magazine really jumped the shark this week, if you happen to have missed it.  I won’t even link to it – not because of the image, but because it’s just bait and I don’t need to take it.  But it is a great example of what French women are not subjected to – this competitive thing, where mother becomes martyr and everything is the most important thing you can do for your kids: the way you give birth, how long you breastfeed, whether you go back to work, and on and on and on.

“College-educated mothers rarely ditch their careers, temporarily or permanently, after having kids. When I tell Americans that I have a child, they usually ask, ‘Are you working?’ Whereas French people just ask, ‘What do you do?’”

I do like that a lot of what is described is basically free range parenting, letting kids have their own existences – not helicoptering and giving as much freedom as possible within a certain framework.  The most important rules (safety, basic manners, respect and consideration for others, for example), are never broken without consequence.  It is not a bargaining match; it is simply, firmly, you must always or you must never for the most important parts – teaching kids not to be “good” so much as to be sage, all the while realizing that children are children, and will of course be naughty and silly.  I like the concept of bêtises, small infractions that are not ignored, but are not punishable offenses.  The caca boudin thing cracks me up.

I’m past the deadline for sending this link, and it’s way past my beditme, so I’m going to wrap up as usual with little in the way of a final judgment or conclusion.  I liked it, overall.  I am far from ready to say, I’m going to do it this way, or that way, or, I’ll never do this or that.  I plan to take it as it comes, and this book provided a glimpse into a culture that seems to be doing very well at that, so I will definitely be keeping it on the Kindle, letting Mike read it, and probably rereading at some point when I need a reminder that it’s okay to chill out, let the little things go, and that there are no actual trophies for being a “super mom.”

April PAIL Theme Post

The prompt for this month’s theme post asks:

What kind of parent am I or do I want to be? If you’re already a parent, what kinds of things work for you now? Did they always? Has your view of what kind of parent you are changed? If you’re pregnant or TTC, have you given this topic much thought? What is your style likely to be? Are you a structure sort of person? Will you or did you cry-it-out? Will you or did you try to get your baby on a schedule? Did you or will you demand feed? Did you or will you subscribe to a method like Attachment Parenting or Babywise or some other method? Do you think you can spoil a baby by holding it too much?

I suppose I’ve thought about this some, but not in great detail.  Being, and staying, pregnant should obviously lead to that train of thought, but frankly I’ve gotten about as far as reading up on natural childbirth, and not much further – yet.  It’s been hard for me to picture us parenting.  It’s getting better as I get bigger, and the other current PAIL project (book club, wheee!) is helping, too.  We are reading Bringing Up Bebe (sorry, not hunting for e’s with accent marks) by Pamela Druckerman.  I’m not finished reading yet – in fact I just started, but so far, I am actually liking it.  I wasn’t sure what my preconceived notions were from the description and sample – I sort of thought I was going to either love it or hate it for being overly judgmental toward everything I haven’t even had a chance to try yet.  Not being even halfway through yet, I’m reserving final judgement.  I don’t think I’ll use it as my go-to parenting manual, necessarily, but so far there is definitely at least one thing I think I’d like to incorporate into my…I don’t even know what to call it – that’s funny.  Style?  Method?  SURVIVAL TACTICS!   I’ll not get specific yet, since I’ll be writing about the book again once I’m done reading it.  
I think what I’d like to aim for as a parent is a sense of balance.  Of course being a mother will change me, and parenting will probably be our primary focus, but I’d like it to not fully consume and obliterate everything else that we enjoy.  I don’t want to be a mother who has nothing going on other than mothering, basically.  I think it’s important for kids to be able to see their parents as people, not just as parents (or their servants, as I think happens in a lot of cases).  I want to trust my kid(s?  so greedy of me).  I haven’t read the book itself, but from what I have read about it, I like the idea of Free Range Kids, as I think that’s how my parents pretty much approached it.  Granted, it was twenty-five to thirty years ago, but we were allowed to roam the neighborhood (not every house was assumed to be inhabited by a pedophile) on foot and on bicycle (WITHOUT HELMETS, GASP!), and did not always have direct parental supervision of playtime.  It’s not that there were no rules or expectations (far from it), but we were not helicoptered by any means.  Even into adolescence, if I was keeping my grades (way) up, which I did, I wasn’t given a lot of restrictions on what I did with my free time. Not saying I had great judgement (are teenagers supposed to?) – I was really good at being bad and not actually getting in trouble.  Plenty of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (let’s not talk about the country music phase – we’ll pretend that never happened).  But I survived, without any major damage, I think.  That’s basically what I want for my kid(s) – to of course keep themselves safe, but to not be afraid to experience life.  I plan to be more open and honest about the sex and drugs part with him/them than my parents were with us (not that my parents were puritanical in any deliberate way – they simply said nothing about those things at all, ever, unless my shenanigans forced them).  Hopefully not as much will be hidden from me as I hid from my parents.  It’s gonna happen, I figure, and while ignorance may be bliss – it could also lead to disaster.  Luckily I was just a fairly normal amount of self-destructive and stupid and not bent on actual destruction.  Actually, that’s probably not so much luck as proof that my parents did an awful lot very well.
As far as my plan for the beginning, I’m hoping to be as flexible as possible, hopefully without creating unsustainable sleep and eating patterns.  I like the idea of attachment parenting (or as much as I know of it – the baby-wearing and bonding, not spanking, etc.), and I do NOT think you can spoil an infant by holding it too much (though I don’t think you need to necessarily pick up a baby within 5 seconds of a whimper, either – self-soothing is a necessary development as well).  This reminds me of a comment Mike’s dad made at Christmas, actually.  Mike’s cousin and his wife’s son was about six months old at the time, and after we left the family dinner gathering, my father in law noted that the baby was “pretty well-behaved.”  I sputtered and choked on the inside, because…yes, while I suppose infants technically exhibit behaviors, but I don’t think you could ever fairly criticize a six month old as behaving badly, either.  I’m no expert on infant development, but I don’t think that babies can be manipulative.  They’re just learning and surviving for the most part.  So even if the kid was having an awful day and cried and fussed the entire time, I don’t think you should really have much to say about it (unless of course you’re also witnessing parental abuse/neglect).  
I do not like what I’ve read about Babywise.  I’m not assuming I’ll never turn to Ferber or cry-it-out, but the criticism for Ezzo’s methods just listed on the wiki page are enough to turn me quickly in the opposite direction.  Or at least hope to feel confident enough to go with my best guess, knowing that there are plenty of guides and gurus out there to consult as necessary.  I don’t want to have so much of a plan in place that any necessary deviation throws a bunch of other stuff out of whack and I feel like we have to start all over.  I want to learn as I go (without hopefully fucking anything up too badly…like maybe his very first word shouldn’t be fuck, as my mom half-jokingly mentioned while we were stroller shopping/researching). With breastfeeding, yes, I suppose I’ll start out feeding on demand, but then hopefully get him on a schedule by two to three months or so and get myself to pumping like crazy so that we can have some to leave with my mom during the day when I go back to work and so Mike can feed him when he wants to or when I need a break, too.  If that pumping is exhausting to the point I’m not getting to enjoy my baby, then screw it, some formula there will be.  I’ll be disappointed, but hopefully not crushed.  
Basically, I want to try and stay flexible and balanced and not lose my shit over the little stuff.  I don’t think my parents were perfect, by any means, but I feel like I have a pretty good base to build upon.  I’m not going to be able to do the SAHM thing, at least in the very near future, so I want to try and enjoy as much as I can while he’s tiny – yet I have no illusion that it will all be enjoyable.  Sometimes it will probably suck rather mightily, but that’s okay.  I still can hardly believe I am getting to legitimately consider such questions…even if I maybe am not taking them seriously enough yet.  On the other hand – I don’t want to fall into taking everything too seriously, either.  It’s just really, really nice right now to be able to believe that, most likely, everything is going to be okay.    
(29w3d)

PAIL Post – Breastfeeding

Well.  That was quite a kerfuffle.  I’d not anticipated the level of hurt feelings that were expressed about the start of PAIL.  I hate that Mel was hurt by it, because she’s obviously been a champion of building an active, supportive community for ALI (adoption, loss, infertility).  I’d never want to have to remove myself from the blogroll to beat all blogrolls, but frankly, I have not requested to be moved from the Loss Room to the Pregnancy and Parenting room.  I can imagine that perhaps (and I don’t pretend to know) that for a woman whose primary challenge was getting pregnant (or finalizing an adoption or whatever path one takes), that might be a huge celebration, to move from one of the “before” rooms to the “after” room – but again, that probably varies from person to person.  For me…it would feel presumptuous to do it now, as if I’m taking a live, healthy birth for granted.  I’m starting to believe it might really happen, but I’m still having moments of disbelief as well.

It has occurred to me that people clicking through the blogs in the Loss room might come upon mine and feel that sting I’ve felt so many times when exploring new blogs, realizing that I’m now writing more about an ongoing pregnancy than any of my losses.  I don’t want to purposefully inflict that on anyone, but again…a quick look at Sitemeter or StatCounter shows that it’s less likely – more people are already finding me via PAIL than via Sorted and Filed.  I hope that PAIL will be what Elphie wants for it to be – an active community.  I’ve found some of that in the RPL subset of ALI since my last miscarriage, and it’s been absolutely priceless.  I must thank Misfit Mrs. for adding me to her list of fellow misfits – and even more for the private email she sent me with advice on what to expect when I posted about my impending D&C in December 2010.  Those individual acts of outreach mean a helluva lot – and I haven’t gotten that sense of community via the main ALI, so I didn’t hesitate to join PAIL when I found it.  I don’t think it’s meant to be exclusionary, it’s just that it’s the nature of the nasty beast we all battle.  When you’re infertile you’re excluded from the fertile.  When you’re an RPLer who can conceive naturally, you’re sort of even excluded from the mainstream infertile (no IVF, no IUI…a Clomid cycle like mine, for instance, is considered child’s play, basically). And I’m assuming that the adoption route has its own set of exclusionary feelings – all that waiting, the feeling of being made to prove you’re fit to parent rather than just proving that your biology is competent…it’s a whole ‘nother thing, I’m sure.  Each room has subsets, and each is deserving of a support network that’s actually supportive.  If a separate blogroll is what it takes to make that truly functional, I say so be it.  But I really do not mean to say it in a snotty tone that disparages Mel’s work, not at all.  I can absolutely understand her frustration, but for me and my situation, it’s not right to decline an opportunity to further connect with people who might actually reach back.  I feel fairly confident in speaking for everyone who’s reached or is reaching “the other side” – we want all of you to join us.  This isn’t meant to rub anyone’s face in anything or to be Sneetch-y.

With all that said, the group activity so far is to have a monthly theme post-gathering.  First topic being breastfeeding. What do I think about it?  Besides the fact I’m totally not there yet and I still can’t really picture myself actually doing it, I’m for it.  And then I have to laugh because I have so many what-ifs and tangents to explore on the topic.  I want to do it.  I haven’t done much to prepare other than reading online and putting some supplies on my registries and confirming that the hospitals (yeah, that’s plural.  Still TBD which one I’ll end up going to) will rent me a pump.  I plan to take a class, once I figure out which hospital I’ll be dealing with, and I plan to not hesitate to ask for help.  But I also plan to keep a can of formula (or at least the samples that already came in the mail, gah) in the house and if I need to use it, to try not to beat myself up about it.  Not saying I won’t be upset if it comes to that, but I don’t want it to have to mean that I FAIL AT ALL THE THINGS.  Bottom line, feeding the baby is important, clearly.  Method, less so.  Frankly, it would be a huge bonus for us to not have the expense of formula, but I have to be realistic – my past PCOS indicators could mean that it won’t be easy or perhaps even possible to establish a good supply.  If that ends up being the case, I have to remain convinced that it won’t be my fault.  I will give it my best – Mother’s Milk tea and fenugreek and whatever else I can come up with, I will try.  But if it doesn’t work out, it won’t be the end of the world.

The other piece I wanted to touch on is the judgment factor – it grosses me out that it grosses you out.  Really.  Two of my best friends clearly have opinions or at least feelings about it, and negative ones.  Which, fine, whatever, but also…the fuck?  In one instance I don’t really feel judged about my intended choice, it was just posed as a “do you plan to” question and nothing else was really said about it.  It wasn’t right for her and her kids, and that’s totally fine. Not to say I get it, but that doesn’t matter – her kids, her choices.  The other…does make me feel sort of weirdly judged, though I’m not sure why.  (Hi, sorry, yes, this is about you.)  I guess it’s just not exactly affirming to be shuddered at when you mention the concept.  Seriously.  She shudders at the thought.  If I ever get a surplus going I’m going to try to squirt her, just for spite.

Again, in the end, it doesn’t matter what people think.  I think I will have the support (my mom, Mike, most moms I know in “real life”) I’ll need to give it my best effort.  Like everything else in this rodeo – fingers crossed!