Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Fabulous Friday: Finding the Fun Again July 20, 2012

courtesy: iStockphoto

Trying to make a baby is supposed to be fun, and for a while it can be. But if you’ve been trying for some time, maybe even years, odds are it’s lost its luster.

What’s worse, the stress of infertility or the specter of a rapidly closing fertility window, plus the constant conversations of why you don’t have kids, can color your entire life. After a while, it’s easy to forget what you used to do for fun or even that you’re still supposed to have fun.

It’s been well over three years since Mr. Fab and I decided to get off the baby train, and let me tell you, it’s been hard to reignite our passion for the fun things in life.

We talked about it recently and realized it’s time to find that fun again. We made a list of things to do around town and we’re checking them off.

So far, we’ve taken a (rather exciting) canoe trip, been back to our favorite museum, and seen Gone With the Wind on the big screen. Here’s our list of what’s to come:

Go to an L.A. Galaxy Game

Play Mahjong at the Skirball Center

Have Dim Sum in Chinatown

Go to the Griffith Observatory

Kayak around Naples Island

Take a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour of Hollywood

Go on a day sail

What about you? Are you remembering to have some fun? What’s on your list?

P.S. For those of you who get to be an auntie to nieces, nephews, and children of friends, happy Auntie’s Day for Sunday.


Rekindling Old Passions and Finding New May 25, 2012

I have a new passion: bird spotting.

Okay, so it’s not exactly new, nor is it the kind of passion that has me twitching in a hide in the middle of a field every weekend, so let’s call it a rekindled interest instead.

When I was young, I knew the names of hundreds of birds. Since then, I’ve moved to another continent with new birds and I’ve forgotten so much of what I once knew.  But on a recent trip to the coast, after squinting at a flock of birds nesting on a cliff face and having no clue what they were, I invested in a pair of binoculars and a copy of Sibley’s Field Guide to Birds of Western North America.

In all honesty, I stink at bird identification, and I’m stumped by more birds that I identify, but I’ve added several species to my scorecard, from the tiny Oak Titmouse that visits the “Bird Café” outside my office window, to the magnificent Bald Eagle that circled above me in the San Juan Islands. I even managed to identify a Western Screech-Owl after an in-depth search for recordings of its call. But most of all, I’m having fun rekindling an old hobby and learning something new.

So here’s my challenge to you on this fabulous (pre-holiday weekend) Friday: What can you learn about next week? Maybe it’s an old passion you can rekindle or a new pleasure you’d like to investigate. Find something new to learn and report back on what you’ve learned, even if it’s just a bit of trivia on your topic.

For now, I’ll leave with a very poor quality iPhone photo of a pair of Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser) that I spotted on the creek in my neighborhood. Happy holiday weekend to those of you stateside, and have fun learning something new!

P.S. Thanks to Kathleen for her suggestion for this post and for her excitement over my very common Common Merganser.


Fabulous Friday February 3, 2012

Time for a Fabulous Friday again, I think.


Here’s your chance to rave about all that’s good in your life right now – big plans, fun things, or even just life’s sweet spots.


I’m off for a weekend at the coast with Mr. Fab. It’s partly work-related, but that work will include wine tasting, eating, and milling around pretty towns. The non-work bits will be all about resting, chilling in a cottage on a clifftop, and taking some beautiful hikes. The weather forecast looks good and we are ready to just spend some quiet time together. I expect to be back on Monday, refreshed and ready to take on the world. Fabulous.


So, what’s fabulous in your world this Friday?


My Inner Child on Time Out January 26, 2012

In my “real life” as a freelance writer, I’m hard at work writing a guidebook to California’s Wine Country, where I’m lucky enough to live part-time. It’s a fun project, I’ve been enjoying doing the research, and I’m now down to the serious task of compiling all my information and committing it to paper.

It has been fun to learn about the region in which I live and I now have a whole list of activities I’d like to try, restaurants I’d like to eat at, and places I want to visit, once the book is done.

On my travels, I’ve come across some great kid-friendly place I’d love to try. Safari West is a wildlife preserve where you can camp out over night and do a dawn animal patrol. How cool is that? Pee Wee Golf is an old-fashioned miniature golf course that’s supposed to be a blast. And then there’s Train Town, where you can take a 20-minute train ride on a quarter-scale train though tunnels, over trestle bridges, and through miniature towns. I want to do that.

If I had kids, I’d have the perfect excuse to do all these silly things. But I don’t have kids, so what am I supposed to do, go to Train Town alone? Can you see me in my striped engineers hat, woot-wooting in the tunnels, surrounded by 6-year olds who are terrified of the weird lady?

My inner child is alive and well, but without kids as a cover, I’m not sure how it gets to come out to play.


Harry Potter and the end of a tradition July 16, 2011

Filed under: Current Affairs,Fun Stuff — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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Mr. Fab and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie on Thursday night. We went to the midnight show, double-feature (Parts I & II of the Deathly Hallows), and didn’t get home until after 3:00 a.m.! We didn’t dress up as Harry and Hermione and didn’t line up to six hours ahead of time to get the best seat in the house. We didn’t go because we are Harry Potter fanatics; we went because it’s tradition.

Harry Potter is one of those quirky things that binds Mr. Fab and I together. I took him home to meet my family for the first time the summer book four came out. We lined up in town at midnight to pick up a copy, and I have a picture of him standing under my mother’s clock, holding his purchase.

We got married the year the third movie came out and we saw it on our honeymoon, dubbed into Spanish. We’ve bought every book at midnight, read them together, own copies of some in Spanish, Welsh, and Latin, and have been to every midnight opening show.

Young people interviewed after the movie said that the end of the Harry Potter movies marks the end of their childhood. They grew up on the books, and now the story has done being told, it’s time for them to move on. For us, I don’t think of it as the end of anything, just a catalog of good memories we’ve logged together. I know it’s goofy, but Harry Potter is special to us and it became a tradition and a guilty pleasure.

What traditions and guilty pleasures do you have? Is there an event that you never miss, no matter how goofy it seems to others?

P.S. happynenes, I’m envious of your visit to Harry Potter World!


Finding My Christmas Cheer December 3, 2010

Filed under: Childless Not By Choice,Family and Friends,Fun Stuff — Life Without Baby @ 11:48 am
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It’s December and I can feel myself slipping into the black hole of the holidays. I have no gift ideas for my loved ones, no plans for how to spend Christmas, and frankly no time or energy to do anything about either. I could go on about being busy, getting frustrated with the holiday madness, and blah-di-blah, but it’s not Whiny Wednesday and that’s not what this post is about.

I’ll admit that my holiday funk stems from “that-time-which-shall-not-be-named” when my husband and I were at our lowest point on our infertility journey and decided not to bother with Christmas that year. We made no plans, didn’t get a tree, and decided to hole up for a few days and avoid everyone and everything Christmas-y. About two days before Christmas I finally cracked and thought, “I’m infertile; I’m not dead!” and ran out and bought a rosemary tree and something delicious for Christmas dinner. But even now, I still can’t get my Christmas groove back.

I think part of this stems from my family being so far away. I used to enjoy shopping in October for my nieces and nephews, then shipping a giant box of presents via surface mail. It was fun for me and for them to anticipate the arrival of the box. Would it make it in time? Would it make it at all? But since the USPS did away with surface mail and jacked up the airmail prices so that shipping costs more than the gifts, I do most of my Christmas shopping online and have it shipped direct. It’s efficient and convenient, but really, it’s no fun.

Today we received a gift from one of my husband’s corporate associates. Instead of the usual basket of fake cheese and heart attack salami, they sent us a beautiful live wreath. I opened it up and the house filled with the scent of pine and cedar. Christmas! Now, all of a sudden I want to get my tree, I want to bake gingerbread, and give homemade gifts. I want to throw a party, celebrate Christmas and have fun! But I can’t remember how.

If I’d had children I would have passed my family’s traditions on to them and my holiday fun would have revolved about them. But as it is, it’s just the two of us, and the cat, so how to make Christmas Christmas-y again?

What do you do to keep the Christmas cheer? Do you decorate? Bake? Sing? What do you do to keep the spirit of the holidays?

I’m going to find some string to hang up this wreath, and I’m going to get a rosemary bush and some poinsettia’s this weekend. I’m also going to plan an informal party – some friends and drinks. This year I’m putting some fun back into my holidays.


More Than Just an Infertile Couple October 21, 2010

Over the summer my husband and I went with a group of friends to see one of our favorite bands in concert. We’ve seen them several times in that last couple of years, but this concert was a small outdoor venue at a winery in Sonoma County, the heart of California’s Wine Country.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, the wine flowed, the picnic we brought was delicious, and when I suggested to my husband that we get up to dance on the lawn, he said yes. We danced through the entire show, until I was perspiring in a most unladylike manner and we’d just about worn a bald spot on the grass. Our other friends (who all have children) have “husbands-who-don’t-dance” and the wives, I’m sure, coveted my husband for a couple of hours. After the show we bought a CD, got it autographed by the band and even chased down the drummer, who I have a small , strange crush on. And we laughed. We danced and laughed and ate and drank. It really was a perfect day.

Two months have passed and I’m still thinking about that day. We’ve been to other concerts and events since and had a good time, maybe even been to better concerts, but that day sticks in my mind. That day my husband and I were the people we used to be before we were an infertile couple. Somewhere along that journey, little bits of who we were chipped off and we forgot why we ever got together and wanted children in the first place. That day reminded me.

If you’re childless-not-by-choice (or even not-exactly-by-choice) has the experienced changed who you are? And when was the last time you did something with your partner that made you both happy? If it’s been a while, can you plan something in the upcoming weeks that will break you out of your “infertile couple” state and remind you why you got together in the first place?

Earlier this year, Vicki at A Woman Without Children wrote about a hiking adventure with her husband. Maybe this will give you some inspiration, too.