Friday, November 25, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties Gives Thanksgiving the Bird

I had big ideas for this Thanksgiving. For the last two years, we have eaten here. Now I know what you're thinking. A woman in her thirties hosts and prepares a proper Thanksgiving. Believe me, I've prepared my fair share of turkeys, even when living in China. But the last two years I've come to the realization that I don't love Thanksgiving food. It's okay. But it doesn't seem worth the hours and hours of work to prepare all the food when neither I nor anyone in my household goes gaga over it. So it's off to Chinese food we've gone (or taken out, as my baby was not even a week old last Thanksgiving), and it's been great.

This year I wanted to start a new tradition in our family, especially since I was going to have the whole morning free. I signed us up for the Walk to End Hunger at the Giant Mega Mall of Craziness, under Team C. This post was going to be all about how a woman in her thirties teaches her daughter to be grateful; to give back.

And then Wednesday happened. Now keep in mind that Anna had FOUR immunizations the day before, so when she was running a fever I wasn't surprised. But there was definitely something different by Wednesday night. She had a slight cough, and I felt like I was counting down the minutes until her next dose of Tylenol. When she woke up at 9:00pm throwing up, I took her temperature and gasped when I saw 103 degrees. Off to the ER we went, only to find that her temperature when we got there was 104.7. If you're wondering what it feels like to hear that your baby has a temp of almost 105 degrees, it feels a bit like you've been punched in the stomach. By the Incredible Hulk.

There were many hours spent in the ER, many pokes and prods that I will refrain from reliving in detail. Let's just say that my little Pumpkin was very, very brave. And easily the cutest thing I've ever seen in a hospital gown:And after an X-Ray, the diagnosis was clear: Pneumonia. My baby has pneumonia. If you are wondering what it feels like to hear that your baby girl has pneumonia, it feels a bit like someone has carved your heart out with a spoon and handed it to you, even though your stomach is still killing you from that punch by the Incredible Hulk.

My big ideas to feed the hungry yesterday were clearly shot, so we spent most of the day snuggling in front of the TV watching Sesame Street. L went out to pick up Chinese food, and while we tried to salvage Thanksgiving by getting something special (Beijing duck), it clearly wasn't the same. Here is our feast, in all its Styrofoam glory:

So this Thanksgiving didn't exactly go according to plan. But I was thinking about it as I was falling asleep last night, about how a woman in her thirties rolls with the punches and makes the best of things. Sure, I hadn't planned on spending the night before Thanksgiving learning to use a rectal thermometer, but it's a good thing I now know how. And as much as I wanted to punch the nurses in the face every time they gave my baby another shot or drew more blood, I'm thankful they were able to figure out what was wrong. I'm thankful for antibiotics. I'm thankful for Elmo and Ellen DeGeneres, both of whom can make Anna smile when she's sick.

And as for a 'proper' Thanksgiving... maybe next year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties Plans Parties All By Herself*

Please note: Any sentence in this post that ends with a (*) is a lie. A woman in her thirties tells the truth. Ish.

Ever since Anna was born, I have been planning her first birthday party!* I love planning events and hosting parties, mainly because I'm so good at it!* All by myself, without any help from H, I came up with the idea of 'It's good to BEE One!'* I couldn't wait to start shopping on Etsy for cute bumble bee themed party favors and decorations!*

I spent a ton of time stressing out about this party.* I just felt like everything had to be PERFECT.* H was totally supportive of my paperless invitations, as well as my idea to buy all the food from Costco.* She thinks I have great taste, and knew that everything I picked was going to be fabulous.*

Here are some pictures from the big day. I was so excited we got our first snow on the day of the party!* (I had tons of time to take pictures, so these were definitely not hijacked from Auntie M's memory card.*)
Clearly, AB didn't enjoy all the attention she received on her birthday.* I'm so happy I did all of this by myself, without any help from my mother-in-Law, sister-in-law, husband, and friend H.* Can't wait to start planning for next year!*

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties is One

Dear Bubby Bubberoo,

(your pictures in today's post [with one obvious exception] are by Kim P of Mimsydotes. Seriously-- could she be any more awesome?)

Before I get started on your first birthday post, I feel like I should say something about the nicknames. You might have noticed that each month I've called you something different, from AB to Pookers to Chunkerson. You are probably asking, 'You didn't really call me those things, did you Mom?' Sorry, Bub, but the answer is yes. You are a baby of many nicknames. At least it's better than Chewbecca, right? Right?

Regardless, here we are, at your first birthday. I say 'we' because I'd never thought of birthdays as a family affair until having a baby of my own. Sure, it's awesome that you are one year old, but I never fully considered what that meant. You are one, which means I-- a silly, oftentimes lazy, somewhat insensitive, but well-meaning woman in her thirties-- have kept you alive for an entire year. If that is not a miracle in and of itself, I don't know what is.

This month with you has been all about talking. Whatever skills you lack in the walking department (P.S., really need you to get on that...), you more than make up for with all you can say. Your first word besides Da-Dee and Mo-Mee, the one that will go in the baby book, was 'Baby', and I think it gave you such delight that you've spent every moment since adding to your repertoire. 'Duck' (Cuck), 'Circle' (Cucole), 'Daniel' (Da!), 'Bubble' (Bub-BLE), and 'Lamb' (Nam) were close behind. Now if only you could describe which sippy cup you will use, so I can stop buying every single kind at Target in hopes you'll actually drink from it.

If there is one thing a Momma in her thirties says, it's that the time goes by fast. Anna (see? I call you that sometimes!), I've figured out that people say that because it's true. One year ago today, this happened:

And time both stopped and started at once. I put my career on hold only to find my new purpose as your Mom. You and I both spent many sleepless nights figuring out naps, eating, pooping, and all the other things a woman in her thirties takes for granted. I can remember the warmth of your head on my chest for the first time even still, yet suddenly here you are now:

And this is nothing compared to what the next few birthdays will bring. When I was in my twenties, I felt like I was constantly ready for the next thing, waiting for the next adventure. Now, all I want is to find the brake pedal and be here with you for awhile.

Anna B, you will never know how much we love you. Sure, we'll tell you and you'll hear the words, and sometimes you'll get close to feeling it, but you could never know just how much. There is no measurement for it, but this picture comes close:

Someday, maybe when you are a woman in your thirties yourself, you'll look at this and be able to understand how happy we are at this moment. How completely blessed we are to have each other as we go forward, wherever life takes us.

So with that, a woman in her thirties wipes away her tears as she finishes her letter to her baby girl. Year one is over; we did it. Logically speaking, I think it's safe to say this has been the best year of your life. What you don't know is that it's also been the best year of mine.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties is a Year... in Bunnies

My Spunkin turns one year old this week. Let the tear-filled posts lamenting the passage of time commence... now.

At my baby shower, K suggested that take a picture every month of Anna's life for the first year next to a stuffed animal to track her growth. Believe me when I say that it is crazy-- Ubeki-beki-beki-stan crazy-- that I actually did it. The animal I chose was the pink bunny from PB that L picked out for AB the day we found out it was a girl. Please forgive the shoddy photography-- a woman in her thirties is working on her camera skills.

Months 1-2
A woman in her thirties doesn't make excuses, but let me just say that breastfeeding was all-encompassing for me for a very long time. Sorry about that. So the first pic doesn't include the bunny, but it does include a Santa hat, which is equally cute if I do say so myself.
Month 3
Month 4Month 5
Month 6
Month 7Month 8Month 9
Month 10

Month 11
Month 12 (Shirt from T- in my next life, I'm going to be super thoughtful like my friends)
I'll add another one from today, since it's so darn cute:

So there you have it: A year in bunnies. You can stop growing now, Anna B. Thanks.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties Needs her Mom(s)

I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I mean, it's okay. But aside from bags full of fun sized Baby Ruths, I don't see a whole lot to look forward to. Maybe a woman in her thirties who was drama club PRESIDENT in high school (sniff sniff) has had enough of costumes.

Despite being a little meh about the holiday, I live in a neighborhood where Halloween is taken very seriously. So seriously that there was a giant pumpkin for my little ladybug to sit on for a photo op (AB was neither impressed nor excited):

So seriously, that the local news was parked a few houses down to get in on the action. Notice Dan in the corner-- he made the 5:00 news:

I was all set to post about this on Tuesday, when I started to feel funny. You knew what I'm talking about. When you wake up and go, 'Ugh, I have a headache', and by 7:00 that night you're puking your guts out and calling your bff giving her way too much information about your symptoms (sorry about that, K).

A woman in her thirties has no time for the flu, but this one had me feeling like I'd been wrung out like a dirty dishtowel. Asking for help is never fun, but considering walking up and down the stairs was making me dizzy and drinking water was making me gag, I knew it was time to assemble the troops. And by troops, I mean my mother-in-law. My oh-my-gosh-I-don't-know-what-I-would-do-without-you mother-in-law.

My original request had been for her to come watch Anna for a couple of hours so I could rest and puke in peace. What she ended up doing was coming over at 10:00am to make homemade chicken soup and song you bing (I might have butchered the pin yin there, but basically they are pancakes fried with green onions. I haven't had them since living in BJ!)

All this while I rested upstairs and talked to my actual Mom, who was beside herself with worry and called every ten minutes to see if I was better.

As with all things, this flu seems to have run its course and today I'm feeling much more like the chipper woman in her thirties I am. But it has gotten me thinking about being a Mom, and how it never ends. How I've got one Mom far away, and one Mom close, and even though I'm an old woman in her thirties now, I need them both and they are always there. And how lucky that makes little old me.