Think the next post will be my last set of answers, though it'll be long. Here we go!
What were other top contender names when you were naming Harper?
The biggest contender (that we had almost 100% decided on by third trimester) was Parker Lee. So much so that my mom called HJ "Parker" a few times when she was a teeny tiny baby... I still love that name and I actually think it really would have fit her.
We changed for a couple reasons. One, we wanted a bit more meaning behind it and Parker was just too random. Ultimately, we chose Harper because of To Kill a Mockingbird -- we're book nerds, love that one in particular (and its southern roots), and I liked knowing the story behind it, even if other people don't get it.
(Of course, we could have kept the Lee part -- originally for cc's brother -- but that was just a bit too much for us.)
A few people had also guessed Parker (and/or it had been pulled out of us) and that spoiled some of the fun of a name reveal. I'll probably keep our next baby's name a secret, too, because once you start telling everyone and their fish has an opinion. Whereas if you keep it on the hush, no one will say a thing once it's done and done and they see the name attached to a cute little mug.
What is a normal day of food for you?
I wake up and put the water on for tea right away. Drink a cup (English breaky or Early Grey) with milk and sugar. That tides me over for an hour or so, then I usually have a too-carb-heavy breakfast. A couple of pieces of whole wheat toast with butter/jam, etc. If I've got the ingredients, what I love most is an egg + cheese + tomato sandwich on a hard roll. The rest of the day is kind of a constant grazing. Some sliced or dried fruit, nuts, handful of her cheddar bunnies, some dark chocolate, peanut butter crackers, another cup of tea.
While she's napping I do try and eat a "real" lunch. Leftovers from the night before (pasta or Indian or something) or a greens and avocado salad. Through the afternoon, I snack a bit more, a cheese stick and/or usually on what I give her for supper. Then I make dinner for cc and me, but don't usually eat until she's asleep. (Except on the weekends, when we tend to eat earlier, all together.) I can't really enjoy my dinner if she's awake. Sad?
Dinner will be quinoa pancakes or bean quesadillas or mushroom pasta or polenta and kale... or Thai takeout or pizza from this amazing Mario Batali place near the train station. And then we snack a lot/too much at night. We bond over our snacking, dude. Popcorn, pita chips, dark chocolate, dried mango (no, we don't have any in the house right now)...
Were you popular in High School?
Kidding. So when I think of "popular" I think of Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club. That whole scene with the coolness and the stress over how you act and the mean girls and the untouchable quality and the feathered hair. I was very un-that. But I did have it easy socially/academically, had boyfriends, and got to be the lead in the play and stuff. So looking back, I can't complain -- especially because I actually had a really solid and hip group of pals I would (and still do when we can get together) hang with now. At the time, though, I was miserable miserable miserable. Oh, me.
How do you think most people find your blog?
A chunk from other blogs that either randomly found me over the years or are in-real-life friends and linked up to me. Or through me finding a blog I love, commenting a bunch, and then them clicking over. Or word of mouth from people I know in real life to their friends. Like cc to his boss... Hi, Chris! I'm kind of terrible at the whole blog world, though, and wish I were better at spreading the BJA word.
Are you the kind of mom you thought you would be?
For the most part, yes. I had a lot of experience with kids before having Harps because I babysat and nannied for years and years, so I had a general idea of how I would be. Things I'm not surprised by = I'm very affectionate/hands-on lovey/hold her a lot and I'm crunchy with my food and crafty and clothes stuff and I worry too much and I try and let her have a lot of quiet/solo time and we have a lot of dance parties and I talk to her/explain things to her all day long.
But I'm less strict than I thought I'd be probably; I really ran a tight ship as a nanny. With her, I can be too much of a softie (I held her for all of her naps till she was 6 months old) and I let her make too much of a mess and I let her negotiate with me too much. (She's always asking for "Five more minutes?" for anything from a new diaper to eating her peas and I usually agree -- but then follow through and make her do it after.)
Oh and a pleasant surprise is I'm confident enough in my mothering not to let people's comments or opinions about my choices affect me too much. It's a relief!
What parenting decisions have you made that you NEVER thought would happen.
Probably rewarding good behavior with treats. Definitely saw that as a sign of weakness before I had my own babe, but there are times when you just have to do it. (Or I have to do it -- rock on if you've got another awesome method!)
Okay, but wait! Let me explain, me!
A perfect example is yesterday on the plane. Harper would not put on her seat belt during takeoff. For the half hour of boarding, she was happy as a clam in her seat, reading books and being quiet, but once I asked her to belt up she lost her ever lovin' mind. And she's an engineer/Houdini in the making, so as soon as I struggled it on her, she would take it right off. Then squirm and fight and scream -- and that girl is strong.
Because this isn't a daily issue I need to address (she loves her car seat and generally listens when I tell her to sit correctly/be safe in other chairs) and because it was a real safety issue and because there were other people on the plane who didn't need to be treated to a major tantrum, after 5 minutes of attempted negotiations, I told her she could have a few jellybeans if she buckled up. "O-kay!" Tantrum immediately stopped, she sat still, belt on, jellybeans consumed.
After a few, she happily went back to reading her books, staying calm and belted for the next 3 hours. It works for us during those toddler times when she's hungry/tired/in a weird situation and nothing else is working/you need results quick. But I'm sure if I heard myself back in the day saying "Sit down and I'll give you some jellybeans!" I'd have rolled my eyes sumpin fierce.
How did you meet CC?
Match.com, baby! I was 22 and at home for the summer after graduating college. Bored in rural Massachusetts, I...started cruising for dudes online? Weird. But he was real cute and had a Royal Tenenbaums quote on his profile and so I emailed him with some awkward just-graduated-from-college witticisms, I'm sure. (I think it was something about needing to buy my first real suit? And did I ever wear said suit? Maybe once.)
Why do you hate pants? Do shorts and Leggings count as pants (Why or Why not?)?
They are so uncomfortable on me! So uncomfortable. My whole life, and especially now after having had a baby person, I've had a Buddha belly. Cannot even imagine having a flat belly. Then I've got serious hips, but not really a bum, and then skinny legs. It's a nightmare to find pants that can fit all those crazy contradictions. I usually end up with something that fits everything but my belly and they're always digging into me and I hate life.
I just spent some serious hours in comfy cutoffs in Florida, though. I bought jeans at a thrift store and cut them, but now wish I'd left them as real pants because I think they might be magic! Gap curvy jeans. Buying some stat.
Leggings can be wonderful, but often have the same problem as jeans and cords! I'm wearing some J. Crew ones right now and they are my only success story. Don't even get me started on tights -- cannot wear them without tears. Basically, I should probably wear dresses and thigh highs a la Stephanie Tanner's naughty best friend Mickey. (I think I didn't just make up that character -- please someone know what I'm talking about?)
Are you going to look for your forever home in CT?
Oh, forever homes. I feel like we'll never have one of those babies, but maybe I'm wrong... We definitely like it here and I think we'll be staying for quite awhile, but not sure when/if we'll commit to buying a house. Renting has worked so well for us for so long...
And if we do commit, there's a good chance it would only be for 5-10 years. We're actually interested in buying something in the Portland, Maine area... My mom's up there along with the rest of my fam nearish by and we love that city. Would be really fun to have a second space there.
What blogs do you visit, that aren't any commentators on yours?
I love the blog Mimi Smartypants and have been reading for years. She is so smart and so funny and so NOT that whole I'm-a-perfect-picture blog movement. I have also been a steady fan of C. Jane, Enjoy It; I like the way she thinks. Another great, sassy, smart writer is Crazy Aunt Purl.
Those are the blogs I read that make me happy and make me think a bit. I won't list the list of vapid/showy-off ones I read and loathe and make me miserable. It's an addiction and I need to stop, yo.
You and I have talked about theatre/theater...whatevs...What's your favorite play? What made you leave it? And did you ever do the forensics stuff in high school?
I don't have a good, easy answer on the favorite play, but for tonight I think I'll say...A Chorus Line because it's just me and combines all the things I really love on -- the kicky music and the monologues and the daaaaaance. I'd die to be in that show, even though it's so old school.
I left because I could picture doing other things. It was kind of that simple. I realized that if you can imagine yourself as much other than an actor, you probably won't have the nerve to stick through all the rough times. You've gotta want it singularly. And I think I was ultimately too self-conscious to really throw myself into it. I can see now I'm more of a performer, less of an actor. That distinction sounds crazypants, but I think it describes the problem of me trying to be a serious actress. I still miss theater all the time, though, and hope one day I get to be a batty housewife type starring in community theater.
I don't think I understand the forensics question -- say more!