I promised you some answers, and you all were pretty tame in your questions, so here we go...
A couple of weeks ago, One Tired Ema asked why the third child has to be right this minute. Ahhh, One Tired Ema, that is an excellent question indeed. I ask myself that very question pretty much EVERY SINGLE DAY. Alas, Josh is adamant that if we are having a third child, it needs to be now. His sister is 4 years older than he is, and I suspect that may have something to do with it, because she and he have always been in dramatically different places in life, so although they get along well and love each other and all that, there hasn't been much "sharing of experiences". Josh's other reason, is that he doesn't love the knee deep baby/toddler stage of diapers and sleeplessness and never-ending demands, so he'd like to lump them together rather than make them last even longer. Regardless, I tend to be of the mindset that parenting is hard. Different hard at different stages, but I don't think it gets much easier so more spacing seems better to me. My original intention was for Josie and Gabe to be farther apart in age than they actually are, and we all know how that turned out.
I'm also desperately hoping not to have another winter baby, because two December birthdays in the thick of flu season are really enough for me. A pregnancy in the near future brings us into the late Spring/early Summer bracket and I'd be thrilled with that, although ideally I'd love a little more time. I've begged and pleaded and cajoled, and he really really really doesn't want to wait any longer. It is annoying, and frustrating, and we've talked this to death, but in the end, I really really really do want a third child, and I'll be thrilled with another baby, close together or not. I'm putting the spacing out of my mind, and hoping we don't have trouble getting pregnant. The first two were quick and easy, but I've learned from my many reads in the blogosphere, that is no guarantee for subsequent pregnancies. So wish me luck. And have no fear, I'll share as soon as I know anything.
Kai asked, what is one thing you wish you had done before you had kids that you didn't get the chance to do? This is a hard question, Kai, because I feel like we waited a good amount of time before we had kids (5 years of marriage, 8 and a half years of dating). I guess the easy answer would be to have traveled more, although we've traveled together a ton (25 countries is our latest count, I think). There are many, many places I wish we'd visited, though, like Egypt and Africa and Indonesia and India, and many other places that aren't particularly child appropriate. We also had more disposable income prior to having kids, so although we are totally willing to travel with kids, we just don't have the money right now. Most of our travels are to visit the grandparents, and those are purchased with mileage from Josh's work travel. The harder answer, if I was really pressed, is that I wish I'd found my life's calling work wise, before we had kids. The thing is, I enjoyed working at a law firm up until I got pregnant, so I didn't feel pressure to find something else. Once I got pregnant and then had Gabe, law firm life (or at least the law firms I've worked in) were totally incompatible with my vision of myself as a mother. A fulfilling career would have been nice, and there are many moments where I wish I'd found it before I got pregnant. I have big plans, though, and I think (hope) I still have plenty of time to figure things out.
Stacydh asked, what is your ultimate fantasy? Oh, Stacy, my ultimate fantasy is to move to Paris permanently, or at least for a few years. I worked in Paris in law school for 2 months, and seriously, SERIOUSLY, I loved it. Adored it. Wanted to kiss the ground every single day. I can amend my fantasy, though, to say that I'd be willing to live in a variety of places for a few years with Josh and the kids. Josh and I talk about it all the time, and whether it would really be feasible to save our pennies and for Josh to quit his job and move somewhere like Buenos Aires or Madrid or Rome for a few years with the kids. His job gives us the option of moving to Germany for a few months, and if that works out, for two years, and I am super on board with that move. The hitch in that plan (besides the whole leaving our friends and family and being horribly lonely) is the kids. We love our new neighborhood and the school district and as the kids get older, it gets harder and harder. We were actually supposed to be in Germany right now, from last January until this August, but it didn't work out for a variety of reasons. Anyway, I'd love to live somewhere different and fun and exciting for a good length of time. Not that exciting of a fantasy, I guess.
Chatty Cricket makes me laugh because she asks, how do you keep your hair so shiny? Funny you should ask, because lately I have felt that my hair is very dry and brittle and not shiny, and I attributed it to weaning Josie. I don't know why I think that is giving me all these hair problems, but maybe something to do with fluctuating hormones or something of the sort? Anyway, when I'm not having dry and brittle hair, I will wash my hair and condition with any old shampoo and conditioner (store brands mostly) and at the very last minute, as I'm climbing out of the shower, I rinse with freezing cold water. Then I use Alterna Hemp Straightening Balm on my towel dried hair, and let it air dry. Once it is totally dry, I'll make an assessment of how much frizz we are looking at- if it is quite a bit, I'll heat up the trusty old flat iron and do a 30 second flat ironing of just the top layer of my hair. Literally, 30 seconds, just enough to smooth it out. I adore my flat iron and will be forever grateful to my sister in law for introducing us. If it isn't too frizzy, then I do a tiny bit of Macadamia Oil on my palm and smooth it on, and voila. Instant shine.
Linda asks, what is your favorite birthday memory? I actually can't think of my favorite birthday memory. Isn't that kind of lame? I guess the year I was pregnant with Gabe and I had my big ultrasound right around my birthday was kind of fabulous. We went out to this cute Argentine restaurant outside of Boston, and I was looking obviously pregnant for one of the first times ever, and my parents were in town, and it was super fun. Another year, Josh made me a sunflower cake, entirely from scratch and cut out the shape and stem and leaves of the sunflower. When I turned 15, I had this huge party, and then my closest friends slept outside in a gigantic tent and we had cake for breakfast.
Oh wait, actually, I do have a really great birthday memory. When my parents first moved to the United States, it took them several years to get citizenship, and in the meantime, they couldn't go back to Argentina. When I turned 10 was the first time my parents had been back to Argentina in 12 years, and my parents reconnected with all their family and old friends who they hadn't seen in over a decade. They used my birthday as an excuse to have a HUGE party with everyone they'd ever known, and it was a blast. Ahh, turning 10 was so much more fun than turning 32.
Kellie asked, do you ever regret not going back to work? There are several different reasons for this answer, but I always return to no. I'd always planned on going back to work, and I certainly revisit the question quite often, but I really love staying home with my kids and I wouldn't change a thing. Going back to the first question above, I wish I'd had a career I really loved before I stopped working, but there is no question that I was not meant to go back to a law firm. This is the best "job" I've ever done, and this is the happiest I've ever been. I get impatient and annoyed and frustrated and all the rest, but I also have tons of fun with my kids and I really and truly don't believe anyone could raise my children better than me. Plus, I want to swallow them whole most of the time. That being said, I've been considering going back to school and I go back and forth and back and forth on that idea every couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
Beth asked, what on earth did you do to be struck with all this bad luck? Seriously? Just tell us. I won't judge you ;) Oh Beth, I wish I knew because then I'd go atone for my sins or do the appropriate voodoo or Wicca or whatever the heck I need to do. Honestly, this is getting ridiculous. This summer has been fun, but I've HAD IT with hospital visits and doctors and surgeries and crazy emergencies. Yesterday we had another emergency x-ray for Josie because she was BREATHING FUNNY and they were concerned she'd swallowed a foreign body and I walked out of the doctor's office and almost screamed at the heavens, "WHAT THE F&$%?" but I didn't, and she didn't swallow anything but she does have severely enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Make what you will with that information. I'm taking a break from listening to doctors for a little while.
And lastly, Anonymous asked, how are Tango and Murray? Well, the hardest question by far to answer, but they are doing really well. They are really happy and healthy and less stressed, and I miss them desperately. There was a stretch about a month back, where I was literally crying every couple of days because I'd see people walking their dogs and it would break my heart and I'd burst into tears while driving. The truth is, though, as much as I miss them, and as much as I wish they were with me, there is no doubt in my mind that they are happier and better off living with a couple with no children. They have this totally fabulous life where they go to work with their new mom (she works in a holistic medicine office) and they are smothered with love and the patients all visit them and ask for them and their new owner adores them and spoils them rotten. It is the life they wanted, and I couldn't give them the same stress-free life they'd had before Gabe and Josie and I believe they are happier now. I was devastated to hear from their new owner that Tango had a health scare where he had to have cataract surgery which resulted in some complications and they went through a tough couple of weeks, but he is doing really well now. Moments like those are the hardest, because I wonder what Tango must be thinking and whether he wonders where I am. Hopefully, HOPEFULLY, both Tango and Murray love and adore their new mom as much as she loves and adores them, and they've forgotten all about me. That would be my greatest wish, well, that and a happy life for them. I miss them, but the kids are happier, the dogs are happier, Josh is happier, and I am less stressed, that's for sure. Happier probably isn't the right term for me, but I'm okay.
Thanks for all the questions! That was fun!