Friday, July 11, 2003

The Friday Five:

1. Do you remember your first best friend? Who was it?
I had a best friend named Missy when I was about five. She was a year younger than me. Our dads were stationed on the same air base in Germany, and we became friends because our families spent so much time together. Our families both ended up being stationed in New Mexico a few years later, and we still got together for cookouts and spent the night at each other's house quite a bit.

2. Are you still in touch with this person?
No. The last time I saw her was when my sister and I stayed the night at her house one night, eating rootbeer floats and listening to music. I think we were about 7 and 8. The next day, her mom was really upset when she drove us home. She called my mom later and started yelling at her about how disrespectful we were. She said we were standing up on the bar in the room where we slept and jumping onto the pull-out couchbed. She said she'd come in yelling for us to stop but we didn't. The weird thing? We never did that. Even when Missy tried to tell her, and my mom called her back after we told her, she didn't believe us. I think she must have had a very vivid dream where she honestly believed it happened, but after that, she never spoke to my mom and we never saw Missy.

3. Do you have a current close friend?
I have a two people who'd I consider best friends. One is my friend from Florida. We've been close for about 13 years. While we don't talk all the time, we just always seem to pick up where we left off whenever we talk. Since I got laid off, I don't see her as often as I did when I was able to travel on the company dime to Florida. She's just the kind of person who can make you laugh until your cheeks feel like they're stuck in smiling position. She's a little more outspoken than I am, but we balance each other out because I'm a little more stable. I think she's coming to visit in October, so I'm looking forward to that.

The other person would be my sister-in-law. We always said we were soul sisters because we're both left handed, have the same birthday, had to wear special shoes growing up (me for flat feet, her because she had major surgery on her knees and needed sturdy shoes), and love to read books. She has the amazing ability to to listen as a friend, even if I'm complaining about her own brother. She's really been my support system since I moved here.

4. How did you become friends with this person?
My friend in Florida, I met through my ex-husband when we were just dating. I remember her coming to his house one night after she got back from New York, where she's from. She had this little touch of a New York accent, this big hoop earrings and this little fluffy puppy dog. I just thought she was so cool. I ended up staying with her and her mom for a few weeks before I moved across the state with my boyfriend. We've been close ever since.

I met my sister-in-law when she came to Florida to go on a President's Club trip with her brother (back when he and I were still just friends). She and I went with him to pick out swimming trunks to go on the trip. We were picking out the tiniest speedos and the shortest ugliest trunks and laughing. He just thought we were nuts. We talked all night at the barbeque he threw for her before they left and have been friends every since.

5. Is there a friend from your past that you wish you were still in contact with? Why?
I've actually made contact with several of my friends from high school, so that's been pretty cool. One person I haven't found is a girl I went to elementary school with. We were best friends from 3rd to 6th grade before my dad was stationed in Arizona. We did everything together. I wonder whatever happened to her. Another person would be a friend I had my first year in college. She was such a great person and I did something really stupid to end our friendship (that's another blog ... maybe ... it's still something I'm not so proud of).

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Three signs that Boogie is a 14-month-old genius.

1. I had just finished a very lengthy e-mail reply to a friend of mine who just had a baby. Boogie was playing around in the office, climbing onto the armchair, grabbing books off the bookshelf, looking at the framed picture of her and her daddy. Just as I was about to press send, she ran over and banged on the keyboard, somehow erasing everything. Of course I was upset and I took her hand, looked into her eyes and very firmly said, "No! You don't do that!" She looked at me, with a sad look on her face and leaned forward to kiss me. How's that for putting things into perspective?

2. I retyped my e-mail and while I was doing that, Boogie left the room. A moment later, she reappeared, holding a blister pack of some Pepcid tablets. I quickly grabbed it from her and asked her where she got it. I stood up and said, "Show me where you go this from." She walked out of the room and down the hallway with me following her. She walked into my room and into my bathroom. I saw one of the vanity drawers pulled out and saw my husband's overnight case where he keeps travel stuff. I realized that's where the tablets came from. I was amazed that she understood me enough to show me where she'd been. (Of course, I closed the door and cursed myself for not watching her more closely. We usually keep the doors closed to those rooms, but I guess I forgot.)

3. We were in the living room watching her favorite Baby Einstein video. She was standing by the coffee table, dancing to the classical music. Suddenly she started saying, "poo poo," "poo poo." I didn't really think about what she was saying until she walked over to me a few minutes later and I smelled what she meant. Most kids aren't potty trained until they're well past two. But I have a feeling that if she understands that she's about to go poop before she does it, we may be able to potty train her earlier.

I told my husband about these events when he got home from school tonight. His reaction: "I don't think that's normal. It's scary how smart she is." I think so too.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

I'm ready to have another baby. I don't think I even fully realized or admitted it to myself until today.

My husband and I always talked about that when our daughter turned 1, we'd try to get pregnant again. Then we lost our jobs and everything changed. Two months have passed since she turned a year, and I'm still not working. I know I can't possibly look for a job while pregnant (what company would hire someone new only to lose them a few months later?). I also don't want to start a job and have to leave even nine months later.

So I'm waiting until I find a job, stay there a suitable amount of time (whatever that is), and then try again. I just worry that next year I'll be 35, and while there are a lot of people who have babies older than that, 35 was always my cut-off point of having kids.

The weird thing is that up until today, I wasn't quite sure that I even wanted another baby. I've been having so much fun with my daughter (of course we have trying moments too, but overall, she's just the best little girl). I look at how perfect she is, not only in her looks, but how smart and entertaining and strong she is. And I worry that I'm pressing my luck if I have another baby. I always joke that I'll have "devil child" since she's such an angel. I also worry about birth defects or other health problems, since she's so healthy. I told my husband, who wants to have more kids very much, that I was perfectly content with her and didn't feel that I needed to have another one.

But for the past several months, I've been having problems with breakthrough bleeding. I'd switched from one birth control pill to another with no luck. Finally my doctor gave me a pill that has the highest levels of hormone. It worked so well that I didn't have a period at all last month. I was a little worried, but called the doctor who said I could take a pregnancy test to ease my mind, but that I'd probably start in the next week. So I took a pregnancy test and was surprised that I was a little bummed that it was negative. I took another test a week later when my period still hadn't started and it came back negative too.

But then, as I went three more weeks without a period, a small voice in my head started questioning about whether the tests had been false. A part of me started preparing myself for what I'd do if I was indeed pregnant. Until today. I finally started my period after two months of nothing. And while I am relieved that everything's OK, a small part of me is a little sad that I'm not having a baby.

Yes, I know that we can try to have a baby whenever we want, but it's just not practical with my husband in school and me without a significant source of income. It's just that if an accident happened, a new baby would have been welcomed.

So now I sit (im)patiently, still waiting for word from that second interview, and hoping that a couple of other interesting positions that I've applied for will work out. Hoping that in a few months or so, we can start the process of giving Boogie a sibling.

Monday, July 07, 2003

I'm still amazed about the housing market in Southern California.

When I first moved here nearly four years ago, I was astounded at how expensive everything was. Nearly two years later, as we looked for a home where we could start a family, the cost of housing was the major topic of the fights between me and my husband. "Why is everything three times the cost of Florida?" I'd ask. "It's just better here," was his reply. "Look, I know the weather's great, but traffic sucks. And weather doesn't add a few hundred thousand dollars to a house." But eventually we got lucky and found a neglected four-bedroom house at a reduced price in a great neighborhood. We put in a lot of hard work, and a little bit of money, and have really made it a nice home.

Now we just found out that our neighbors are selling their house. And get this. They're selling it for a $125,000 more than we paid for our house just over two years ago! That goes to show just how much the housing market here has skyrocketed. When I lived in Florida, I had a townhouse that in two years appraised for $10,000 more. And I was pretty happy about it.

It's very tempting to think that we could sell our house and make at least a $125,000 profit (after all, our lot size is bigger and we have one more bedroom than they do), but then you have to think, where would we go. If our house has appreciated that much, others will have done the same. So unless we somehow decided to leave California (which will never happen because my husband's too attached ... but imagine the house we could get somewhere else!), we're staying put.

So that means that now we have to hope for good neighbors to move in. For the past few days, we seen dozens of unfamiliar cars and people who are obviously realtors (is it a requirement to wear a suit with a silk scarf tied around your neck if you're a realtor?) checking out the place. Because they all seem to park in front of my house, from my front window I've seen single people, couples with kids, and others who I hope just won't like it. Like today, as I was going for a walk with my daughter, I saw an older guy (maybe in his late 50s) with a woman who from far away you'd think would be 30, but up close would cause you to exclaim to yourself, "Oh, my! Look at those wrinkles!" She had bleach-blond hair, was very tan, and had the obvious fake boobs that look like grapefruit halves. She had an off-the-shoulder shirt, tight cropped pants and high heels. All I could picture is her laying out topless by the pool, and me catching a glimpse of her liposuctioned body as I watered the plants (oh, wait, my husband does that ... yeah, that's not going to work ... he's already outside enough as it is!).

My husband, as well as my other neighbors, asked if I was nervous or upset that our current neighbors are moving. I said not yet. We'll see who moves in. Hopefully it will be someone who I really bond with, maybe with a child, or wanting to have one, and a husband that can bond with my husband. We could get together for Bunko (although I have no idea how to play, but I've heard it's a game that old married couples play so I'd better learn soon) and cookouts, and the guys can play basketball at the park next door while we women go shopping or just hang out and gossip. Time will tell, I guess.