Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sad, but true

I've never before understood when people would sigh and sheepishly say, "I totally forgot it was my birthday." I mean, as a kid, you knew the months, days, and hours until your big day--the one spot out of the year where things truly revolved around you. You'd hinted at all the presents you wanted, decided on a party and guests, and even specified what kind of cake would be adorned with candles.

But as you got older, the celebration changed a bit. Fewer cartoon characters and more beverages. And yes, no party favors, unless it was one helluva hangover. But nonetheless, you were well aware of your birthday's place in the calendar, and festivities were appropriately planned.

Somehow this year was different. When The Banker mentioned my birthday next week I was caught off guard. I'd actually forgotten. How did this happen? It seems life has been so hectic, that the dates have slipped by unnoticed. Instead I'm focusing on things farther out. There's the Oct. 10th date--the date of my next big sonogram. And I'm waiting, desperately waiting, for the first movement I can feel. Now THAT would be a birthday gift! And of course, the can't-get-here-too-soon date that is March 10, or thereabouts, when the little one makes his or her big entrance. (Yeah, we've opted for surprise over painting the room blue or pink.)

By comparison, when people ask for gift ideas, the list is pathetically limited. No clothes. What fun is that when your frame is ever-expanding (too much for my mere four months, if you listen to my mom, who tells anyone who cares to listen)? No fun night out with drinks and friends. No energy and obviously, no drinking. Books are always a good choice, but few find that exciting. And the house needs work: a new dishwasher, oven and range, countertops. But that's a bit much to ask.

I guess part of me misses the excitement that birthdays held when I was younger. But I suppose my future is more about making sure that birthdays and holidays are memorable for a new generation. And that's not so bad. Although a drink sure would be nice. =o)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This and that

So where exactly did my vacation calm go? Yep, that holiday buzz has been replaced with the frantic pace of life. So where to begin?

Well, for starters Sister #1 and her husband made good on their pipedream of leaving town and abruptly did so yesterday. My sister quit her hotel job, her husband his teaching gig, and within the week the house was filled with boxes and general panic. I'm thrilled for them both--the two years The Banker and I spent out of town were wonderful, full of adventure and self-discovery--but we're sad to see them go. They were great fun to spend time with and it leaves me as the sole remaining daughter in town. What a loaded position that is!

Also, I began doing some digging at work into maternity benefits...and alternative work schedules. The Banker and I'd decided that after my three months of leave, I'd ideally go back part-time. Except the really big company I work for, while promising flexibility and employee-friendliness, apparently has some strict criteria for alternative work schedules. Specifically, tenure requirements I don't meet. It would help if I had a manager to go to bat for me, but my manager was just reassigned to another division and isn't due to return till I'm on leave. And the interim manager? She doesn't know me from Adam and even better, she's so close to retirement that she doesn't give a shit.

So where does that leave me? I still have a few people to talk to, in about two month's time, to determine if I really can't take on an alternative schedule. And then The Banker and I talk budgets, job options, and lifestyles. And I try to figure out what I want to do with my life. No biggie, right?

And to finish out the this-ing and that-ing, here are some more (requested) pics from our vacation...that blessed time that already seems so long ago.

Tower Bridge

Roman Baths in...appropriately enough, Bath

A view of pubs and towering castle in Scotland

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Home again, home again

London was incredible. Bath, Lacock, and Stone Henge were beautiful. And Edinburgh was wet. Overall, it all was so invigorating, so refreshing, so much fun. It was really difficult to come home, though, and I begged The Banker for more time. Actually, I begged for a permanent change of address. Ever sensible, he made sure we made the flight.

But here's just some of what we saw:

I was so blown away by how rich the history was, everywhere we went. And the people were so kind, so accomodating. And even better? I felt great the entire trip. More later when I get caught up some more on my sleep, laundry, and such.