Thoughtful ThursdayBurrito and Tamale’s nanny and I were talking about someone I know who just experienced neonatal loss.

Nanny: Has she ever been pregnant before?
Me: I don’t think so, but she tried for many years to get pregnant.
Nanny: That’s so strange that some people try to get pregnant.
Me: You say that because you’re 19 years old. None of us wanted to get pregnant when we were 19, even those of us who wanted very much to get pregnant years later and had to try very hard to get and stay pregnant.

DH’s reaction when I recounted the conversation: “In many ways, she’s a child.”

One of the nanny’s friends has a baby who was born around the same time as Burrito and Tamale. Sometimes the nanny will make comparisons between the babies, mostly neutral — what size they’re wearing, how many teeth, etc. The nanny also likes to make comparisons between me and her friend, and in those comparisons I always come out ahead. “My friend has been giving her baby cookies! It’s so much better that you only feed them organic fruits and vegetables.” “My friend planned her baby’s birthday party for right before his bedtime. She’s so selfish. That party’s for her, not him. You were so smart to have their birthday party at 11 a.m.” “My friend and her baby’s father just got engaged, but their relationship is so rocky, it’s totally not going to last. You and DH were so wise to wait until you’d established your marriage and your careers, and traveled around the world, before you had kids.”

Now, for all I know, her friend could have been a sub-par mother even if she’d waited 20 more years to have a baby. But, I have a sense that many of her shortcomings have to do with age. It’s just not a fair comparison. This girl is half my age. I have about 10 more years of education than she does. She was in kindergarten when DH and I got married.

I’d like to think that if things had turned out differently and I’d gotten pregnant young, I still would have been a good mother, but I know that I wouldn’t have been as good a mother as I am now.

In a choice between getting pregnant too easily at too young an age versus after much difficulty and 7 years of infertility, I’d actually take the infertility. You?

If you had your life to live over again, would you rather get pregnant too early or too late?

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Thoughtful ThursdayOur house is now officially on the market. We’ve also been looking at rental housing in the new city, though we can’t commit to anything until the house sells.

There are so many ways we can go with the rentals in the new city:
View or no view
Closer commute or cool neighborhood
More square footage or less expensive
More upscale or less expensive
Suburban (have a yard but have to drive everywhere) or in-town (no yard but can walk to parks, restaurants, shopping, etc.)

There are so many combinations of possibilities — for example, in-town plus yard but smaller vs. in-town with no yard but bigger vs. less expensive plus yard plus bigger but not in-town. It’s hard to know what to value most, and how monetize the different benefits. Is it worth an extra $800 a month to be able to walk to everything? No, not that much. What if there’s an incredible view? Maybe. What if I can’t get a job right away? Uh…

Strangely, in a city of several million people, we seem to have honed in quickly on a 10-block radius, even before we’re officially looking. We seem to value being close to everything in the cool neighborhood. We’ll trade square footage and splendor for lower rent (and anyway, we can’t afford a huge beautiful house in that neighborhood). I think we might be willing to spend a lot more for the breathtaking view. We are still considering bigger suburban houses that are substantially cheaper, but view plus funky walkable neighborhood may be too much to resist.

Our priorities in the new house are quite contrary to where we live now: preposterously short commute, view of trees but nothing specific like a lake or mountain, close to nothing, huge glorious house, much more expensive than is sensible. In previous homes we’ve ranged from decent to arduous commutes, somewhat interesting to blah neighborhoods, dinky to spacious, slightly cruddy to upscale, sub-suburban to urban. Each had its charm, but if the new place is as good as I’m imagining, it may be the first place that I don’t want to leave.

What criteria matter most to you when you choose a place to live? Do you try to live within your means, or are you willing to spend more for a better quality of life (however you define that)?

Thoughtful Thursday

A year ago, reaching October still pregnant was a joyful accomplishment. This year, it’s more like, “Wait, how did it get to be October?” Welcome to the October Intelligentsia, the people who commented on every Thoughtful Thursday post for the month of September.

#20: Wiseguy from Woman Anyone?
#13: Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV
#12: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#11: A from Are You Kidding Me?
#7: Rebecca from Northern Grin
#4: Strongblonde from Strong Blonde

Thoughtful ThursdaySince we’re about to put our house on the market, there’s so much to do. Some of it we’re hiring others to do: paint, clean carpets, trim hedges, etc. But, most of the rest of it falls to me. I’ve made a lot of progress, but every day I spend hours working on the house. Some of it involves cleaning and organizing, but most of it is going through things and getting rid of the excess. Things that don’t fit, things we don’t need anymore, things we don’t want to pay to move. Frankly, most of it should have gone long ago, but there was always something more important to do.

  • Thousands of papers — work files from 10 years ago, bills, receipts, Christmas cards…
  • Several years of magazines
  • Clothes that are too ’90s
  • The pantyhose I never unpacked when I moved here 4 years ago
  • The ballet shoes I bought when I was about to start college just in case I resumed ballet classes; never worn
  • A couple of collections I used to enjoy which now just collect dust
  • 80 pound stash of kitty litter 😦
  • Breast pump supplies
  • Outgrown baby clothes and gear
  • Fertility Awareness charts from the first two years of TTC
  • That damned Ov-Watch
  • Used needles from IVFs/IUIs

Even though you’re probably not moving, there must be something that you keep meaning to get rid of. What is it?