Getting Ready for Baby, Maybe?

I shared a few weeks ago that MT and I signed up for an online course called Purposeful Conception. (See button on the right for more info.) Mostly it was an overview of things I had already researched, but it lead to some interesting conversations between the two of us. Mostly, how can anyone really be ready for the journey of becoming parents?

For both of us, but for MT in particular, considering the losses is much easier than projecting the possible gains. The loss of freedom is one that resonates most. We have no concept of just how much freedom we have right now because we've never been without it. Flexibility to make plans as far in advance or on a moment's notice is something that we both treasure. While I wouldn't consider us spontaneous people, having a kid will challenge even our "super planner" personalities.

It's also a scary thing to make ourselves vulnerable to the process of trying to get pregnant. There are so many things out of our control and so very few that we have power to shape. Even when the pre-natal vitamin is taken religiously and the sex is timed perfectly, the chance of conceiving each month is dismal. Potential disappointment lurks around each monthly cycle's corner.

And yet, here we are, in the process. We went from actively avoiding to actively trying, kidding ourselves at first that we'll just "wait and see what happens." That isn't who we are. We are the 100% committed kind of people! We want results. We want affirmation.

There is so much yet to be learned, things I cannot even imagine. I'm nervous but excited. I know I'm not ready and that I never really could be, but I'm comforted in knowing that no one ever is.

My Strange Addiction

The context of this isn't that important, but after experiencing a serious hangover after a dinner party, I was just screwing around on my laptop, hoping my headache would go away if I watched enough dog gifs on Buzzfeed. For no particular reason, I was looking at a blog written by one of my college classmates. She and I weren't exactly friends, but the school was small and our paths inevitably crossed from time to time. Since college she's gone on to have a pretty huge presence in the blogosphere and I've sort of followed her from time to time when I was bored at my job.

When I googled her website the other night, I found another blog listed second below her url with a mission to satirize everything she writes. I thought to myself, stupid trolls. They're just jealous of her success, right? But the more I read the critique (very hilariously written, by the way), the more I found myself agreeing with most every point. Now I can't stop reading it! I'm about a third of the way through 100 pages of this artfully crafted mockery, and I've stooped to using it as a mid-day reward when I've completed some big project. ("Come on, KT! Finish up this report and you can read 5 pages of the hilarity.")

At first I thought pretty poorly of myself to be participating in something that's just pure snark, especially towards an acquaintance whom I don't really have a personal problem with. But it's made me reflect on myself and my own online presence, which is albeit minute in comparison, and yet there is one thing all bloggers share: we choose to publish information related to who we are for public consumption. Admittedly, there is some bit of narcissism involved, right? We want people to read about our lives. It's categorically different from keeping a journal. Writing for an audience means that we open ourselves up for the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Back when more people read my blog, especially when I was posting about dates which attracts more voyeurs than talking about buying a car with your husband (and I am among the voyeurs!), I used to get the occasional snarky, even mean comment. I took it way too personally and would either delete it or try to defend myself. I couldn't believe people would hop on the internet to go shit all over someone's life choices.

And I still don't. But if I'm hoping to avoid the pervasive presence of trolls, I'd be better off just removing myself from the Internet altogether. The next time I get a comment that's "trollish" I'm going to let it ride. The last thing I want is to believe that anything I say is above reproach or criticism. At the end of the day, I need to have confidence in myself that I'm just doing the best that I can.

I will probably continue to block the crazy spam comments I get, although some of them are so horribly written they'd be funny to let fly.

So, fellow bloggers, what do you think? Do you agree with the points I've brought up? How do you feel about trolls?

The Car of our Future

I never realized how much emotional baggage a vehicle could hold until we traded one in last weekend.

Growing up with a mother who avoided the most necessary of tasks in order to function in her anxiety-filled state of being, I have overcompensated to a fault. I'm the person who is likely to put that beloved t-shirt you haven't donned since last September in the discard pile and get it to the Goodwill before you can spot in missing in your bottom drawer. The second something pops up that causes me an ounce of anxiety, I am on a mission to resolve it as quickly as possible, even if it means a trip to the dentist or the gynecologist or, worst of all, the DMV.

At the same time, I am an incredibly cautious when it comes to financial decisions that have long-term implications. Truth be told, I haven't been in that situation much in my adult life. I've had to sign leases for pricey apartments in Connecticut and DC, but that's about the extent of it. Thanks to the generosity of my aforementioned anxious mother, I've been driving the same clunker since college, which suits me just fine. It takes a lot of energy to enter a car dealership, don't you think?

What's funny is that we weren't even replacing my car. We were out to trader in MT's functioning, yet rapidly deteriorating Saturn Vue. Let me tell you, finding a part for a car from a manufacturer that no longer exists is about as easy as scouring Ebay for a pair of gently used silver size 10 Jimmy Choo pumps. Sure, they might be out there, but how much of your time and energy do you want to spend on your search?

While the Vue was running just fine, minus a few brake pad replacements here and there, it had some cosmetic things that were starting to become problematic. For instance, the passenger side door developed a leak between the window and the door, so that after a hard rainstorm, which is basically a daily afternoon occurrence in the summer, when MT made his first hard left turn, I'd end up with a bunch of stinky brown rain water dumped in my lap. So, we'd still get where we were going, but not in the most pleasant way imaginable.

Ultimately my desire to remain dry on the way to a restaurant on date night overrode my desire to put off a huge financial decision and we ended up at the dealership looking at a slightly used SUV that had features that pretty much made us start salivating, although we tried not to let on to the salesman that we were desperate. When he'd leave us alone for a minute to check on numbers, we'd squeal, "The Bluetooth is AWESOME! We can listen to Pandora while we drive. Omg, Santigold station!" "Don't you love the wooden finish on the inner console? It looks so classy! And there are FOUR cup holders in the front. We can have two drinks each!"

Of course, by the time you actually purchase the car and fill out the dozens of required forms, it's nearly impossible to even remember what the car you've bought even looks like. There were moments of serious impatience, mostly due to my not having eaten anything since breakfast other than the complimentary popcorn the dealership had for its customers. "I didn't even know we were buying a car today," I snapped at one point.  Somehow we managed to push through the five hour purchase process and made our way home in our new ride, playing with all of the buttons and calling everyone we could via Bluetooth (obviously).

But, it did something deeper than I was expecting. Trading in theVue for a car that we both have equal ownership of was yet another step towards solidifying our new life together as a married couple, putting behind the cars and memories and decisions of the past and looking toward our future of road trips and kids in car seats and joint decision-making. I love our car because it adds to the narrative of us. It means new adventures and memories that we'll make together, singing to the Beatles and Maroon 5 and James Taylor the whole way. The keyless entry ain't so bad either.