The Ten Questions I’m Always Asked, and the Honest Answers I Never GiveJaime Morrison Curtis
Hello, I’m Jaime. It’s nice to meet you. Jacinda and I are both excited and a little apprehensive about joining the Babble Voices blogging team. Our nerves about this new venture seem odd, even to us. After all, we’ve been blogging for over three years at Prudent Baby (and a couple for Babble too) – so what’s the problem? Well, while we share DIY’s, tips, tutorials, travel adventures, and even videos with the prudent mamas over at PB, here at Babble Voices we are supposed to get a little more personal. I’ve started and abandoned about ten different posts, all with the intention of sharing something about my experience as a parent, or a woman, or even just as a friend, but I couldn’t seem to find my “voice” in this context (yes, I know, I’ve written two books on pretty much the exact same subject matter… but books don’t have comments!). So instead, today I think I’ll just introduce myself, then ask Jacinda to do the same. But, first, let me introduce our families.
Of course, I would rather just introduce Jacinda. Jacinda – St. Louis-frozen-custard-eating, bad-picture-texting, guaranteed-non-judging, deepest-secret-sharing, former-boss-turned-friend, Jacinda.
But alas, that would be cheating. It’s time to stop talking about crafts, cooking, what shoes I bought, and wherever I just traveled to, and start talking about what it’s like to be an author, blogger, mother, and semi-failure at everything… in other words, me. So, to that end I’ve rounded up the ten questions I am always asked, and provided the actual real, honest, perhaps-TMI answers I have never given in full. So if you want to talk miscarriages, boobs, and boxed macaroni and cheese, please continue reading…
Do you want more kids?
I’m a Carrier. MTHRFR c677t. Does anybody else out there have some sexy gene mutations like me? I know there’s more of us, as the test becomes more common, and we discover why we have such a hard time keeping babies in our wombs. I had three miscarriages. I had one beautiful baby, who is now one beautiful four-year-old little girl. Whenever someone asks me if I’m going to have more, I answer like it’s a question of what I want, because that’s all they seem to think factors into the decision. Once you’ve given yourself lovenox shots in your distended pregnant abdomen for forty weeks… well, if you’ve had a hard pregnancy or four (or heaven forbid, more), you learn to give people the answer they want to hear. As Michael Jackson would say: Ain’t nobody’s business but mine and my baby’s. Oh, and I guess yours now, too.
What’s your favorite recipe?
I love to eat. Who doesn’t? When i’m really happy, like super satisfied and life is firing on all cylinders, I eat delicious healthy things that fill my body with good energy and my mouth with delicate flavors. My favorite happy food is baked crab hand rolls from izakaya. If i’m on top of the world in all areas of life, that’s when i really enjoy making complicated recipes from fresh ingredients, when I’ll spend three hours to make a single galette or prepare homemade marshmallows at midnight to have in my morning coffee. When i’m on my way down… when it’s been a series of stressful events or I can feel the pressure of work/motherhood/marriage building, that’s when I make macaroni and cheese. Pure comfort food at it’s finest. I’ve tried a million recipes but usually i just grab the flour and the butter and start cooking a roux right on the stove. If i’m already down, we are talking like rock bottom, then it’s straight up Velveeta shells and cheese. The yellow box from the sad processed food aisle at CVS. And i don’t even ride my bike to get it – I’ll drive my car the measly three blocks, fire up the stove, then furtively consume it in my bed while watching netflix reruns of law and order. Don’t judge me. Or do. I’m not proud.
Are you related to Jamie Lee Curtis?
Yes, she is my sister, and we have the same name. Yes, you are the first person to ever ask me that. Wait, umm, no. But I do like yogurt, and her childrens’ books.
What inspired you to write your first book (Prudent Advice)?
I was scared that I was going to die. That I would be dead, and Scarlet would be motherless. Like utterly terrified. That’s the plain truth. In retrospect I understand that I had postpartum anxiety. I’ve answered this question a million times, and I always try to put a positive spin on it (It did turn out to be positive – I didn’t die, I wrote her a book, and writing it helped me get better, and changed both of our lives.), but the simple answer is that I was a mess and somehow that made me write a book. So now you know. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful or inspiring with that one.
How did you and him meet?
I hate this question because it’s usually asked by someone I just met with this look of curiousity as to how one such as I could have possibly landed such a hot husband. But also, I love that I have a really hot husband. The simple answer: we met in an office building where we both worked. And to answer the real question being asked: Carleton likes a little junk in the trunk. Ha. Yes, I am not thin, yet I am married to a good looking man, who likes my not-skinny body and my flabby butt. This happens, ladies. Stop looking so surprised.
Where are you taking your next vacation?
It’s not a trick question, but I have a trick answer. I’m taking a vacation from alcohol. Just for a week. Possibly because I’ve reached that aforementioned velveeta-shells-and-cheese moment, so I needed to do something. I love wine (this summer’s fave was Whispering Angel Rose, so crisp, so refreshing, so… relaxing). I especially love wine with bubbles in it, as anyone who reads Prudent Baby will know. But sometimes I feel like reaching for a glass of wine in the evening can become too much of a reflex. And after a glass or two of wine I don’t sleep well (we always forget we aren’t going to sleep well, don’t we?), so waking up to another long, busy day leads to another glass of wine… rinse… repeat. So I decided to take a vacation from alcohol to reset. I do this occasionally, it’s like a cleanse. On this trip, there are other activities and entertainment I’m trying, like spin class at soul cycle and meeting friends for chamomile tea at 9 p.m. I’m enjoying it. Next I might even take a vacation from work. Ha, who am i kidding?
So your dad is an OB/GYN… is he your doctor?
Eww, no, gross. What kind of question is that? Why does everyone always ask me that? Yuck.
Where are you from?
I’m from Los Angeles. For some reason this always elicits a surprised look or gasp of incredulity, just because when you talk to people here, it tends to seem like no one you meet is actually from LA. But it’s true, I was born to my New Yorker parents at Twentynine Palms naval hospital, then moved to LA as baby when my dad’s service was over. I went to an all girls high school in Pasadena (huge proponent of single sex education for girls – but that’s another story), lived in the bay area for a while during college, then moved back here. I know many, many native angelenos, and many transplants. I love my city and all the culture, diversity, and sunshine that it has to offer. I feel so lucky to live here.
Are they real?
Really? Sigh. Yes – see the previous note about being curvy. I used to always wish they were small. It’s a sort of grass-is-always-greener situation. But somewhere during pregnancy, when my usual 34DDD hit somewhere in the 44 QQQ range, I realized that the size of your breasts truly does not matter. They have a job to do and they are all awesome, at any size. This is the best bra, for those of us who want our post baby boobies to hover somewhere north of our waists: Wacoal red carpet strapless bra. I wear it with and without the straps, and it holds them in place without hurting me. Next question.
What one piece of advice would you give to other parents?
I honestly do not have any advice for other parents. I gave my daughter advice, but that just came from my heart and it was for her. I don’t have advice for the whole world. I wish I did, but I know very little about parenting. I’m making it up as I go along. I think we’re all just trying to get by, and doing the best we possibly can. The only thing close to advice that I would say to other parents is this: Give yourself a break. You’re doing just fine. Everything is going to be okay. And your kids… your kids are wonderful.
Jaime Morrison Curtis is author of the bestselling book Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Baby Daughter (A Life List for Every Woman), follow up fill-in journal My Prudent Advice, and founding co-editor at Prudent Baby, the premier DIY destination for crafty moms seeking ways to make their lives even more stylish and beautiful.