Monday, August 27, 2012

A Woman in her Thirties- Back to Reality

For those of you who don't know, I've been living in a bit of a fantasy world for the last ten weeks.  L, my husband otherwise known as the Chinese Brad Pitt, has been on sabbatical all summer.  That's right.  Ten whole weeks.  It is, by far, the longest stretch of time we have ever spent together.

It is not a coincidence that the timing worked out that he would be around 24x7 while I recovered from a C-Section and cared for a newborn.  When I found out I was pregnant last Halloween (jeez... eons ago...), one of the first things I did was insist that L plan his sabbatical for right after the baby came.  It was a bit sad, considering his last sabbatical found us lounging on a boat cruise in Sydney Harbor:

Ah, Australia.  I'd move there in a heart beat.  Less than a heart beat.  Good times.  

But things have changed in seven years. L had exactly three days of relaxation before Aaron came, and since then it's been work.  Lots of it.  Gym dates.  Swim lessons.  Bath time.  All the duties of a stay-at-home Dad, with the added bonus of having a wife who couldn't do much to help for the first six weeks and the knowledge that his next 'real' break won't happen for another seven years.  Luckily, the bonding time he has had with Anna has been invaluable, and I know he wouldn't have done it another way.

Showing Anna the penguins at the zoo

But this Thursday is looming large, and it's back to reality.  L's travel schedule is looking exceptionally brutal this fall, and I'm back to married-single-Mom status.  For the last couple of weeks I've tried really hard to take both kids as much as possible, to give L a break as well as make me feel like I can actually do this on a day-to-day basis on my own.  I am currently typing this post with washed and straightened hair (win!), however I am also not wearing underwear (fail).  So I'd say things are going as well as a woman in her thirties might expect them to.  

It's true what they say about all good things.  They must come to an end.  L and I haven't gotten on each other's nerves one bit in the last ten weeks (okay that is a lie.  It just sounds really good to say).  But despite that, I've gotten used to having another set of hands around at my beck and call as I figure out the logistics of caring for two.  

And all of us will miss having Daddy around all the time.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Woman in her Thirties is Productive

For the past hour, both of my children have been sleeping.  Not one.  BOTH.  Considering I've been running on what can barely qualify as fumes for the last week (possibly the fumes from my hair, which hadn't been washed for a week before last night), you would think that I would have taken the opportunity to nap.  Or at least catch up on Intervention.

Believe me, it was tempting. But then I started to do stuff.  You know, stuff. As in the stuff that needs to be done if a woman in her thirties wants to participate in life.  And as I sit down to write this post, I realize just how productive a Mom can be when given a few precious minutes 'alone'.

Here goes:

Dishes- One load.
Laundry- One load (folded and put away, thank you very much)
Promiscuous Brownies- One batch for dinner with friends tonight
(sampled, to ensure quality)
Chicken Salad for lunches- One tupperware full
Floors Swiffered- Three
Counters disinfected- Two
Pictures downloaded- Ninety-six.  Don't judge me.  Here are some keepers:

Thank you notes written- Two
Bills paid- One
Bills unpaid thanks to Cigna's 'system upgrade'- Seven
Blog posts written- ONE!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Woman in her Thirties, Down Two

Hey Buddy,

Another four weeks have passed, and you are two months old. I'm pretty sure this has been the fastest AND slowest month of human history, but don't ask me how that's possible.  It's a mystery, like the pyramids and how I accidentally 'liked' Khloe Kardashian on my Facebook page.

People keep asking me how things are going.  By 'things', they mean the basics.  Eating.  Sleeping.  Pooping.  I'm happy to say that you're doing all of those things quite well, just not in the order I might like.  Particularly the sleeping.

Particularly.  The.  Sleeping.  

But a woman in her thirties should know that she can't have it all.  What you lack in the sleep department you more than make up for in the sweetness department.  You coo and snort and fart really loudly, and oftentimes the only thing you want in the whole wide world is for someone (anyone) to hold you.  And with a face like yours, it's impossible to say no.  Even at 3:00am.  

Anna is still doing well with adding you to our mix.  I think she's been sufficiently spoiled by visitors and friends, and only recently has started a baby revolt (involving refusing to go to sleep, of course), when she feels like the attention is not being fairly divvied.  I'm not going to lie-- those times have been tough.  But there are times, magic times, when both of you sleep and the house is quiet, and it is in those moments that I turn off my phone, respond quickly to emails, and breathe.  

Just yesterday you started smiling. You've smiled before, but I can say now that you are actually responding and interacting.  I don't know if you realize just how appropriate the timing was, but let's just say this Momma needed it.  It's what got me in my sleep-deprived fog to take you and your sister to the park, where she went up the slides:

And you were content to lay there, looking up at the sky:

I had one of those rare, peaceful moments where I get to look past the current battle of logistics and be thankful I get to watch you, both of you, take part in your world.  It is so easy for a woman in her thirties with two young children to forget to recognize just how incredible that is.  Here's to approaching month three with with open eyes...

And smiles.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Woman in her Thirties Hearts Doctors

As I said a few weeks ago, part of the Aaron coming-into-the-world drama involved a two day stay in the NICU. His heart rate was dipping a little too low for comfort.  It was definitely stressful to see my newborn baby all hooked up to machinery...

... but the Oxycodone helped.

Anyway, after being discharged from the NICU, L and I were given two tasks.  One was to get an EKG ourselves to make sure we didn't have any heart conditions that might be genetic.  We both passed.  The next was to schedule an appointment with an pediatric cardiologist to follow up with Aaron between four and six weeks.

Friday, at five weeks and one day, we had our appointment.  Keep in mind that my little boy now weighs OVER NINE POUNDS and I am feeling pretty good in terms of keeping him alive and stuff.  I also have a wonderful cousin who happens to be a pediatric cardiologist herself, and she set my mind at ease when I told her about what was going on by telling me that babies often outgrow these types of things.  So I strolled into the doctor's office prepared to be told that all was well.

Here's how it went down:

Dr P., while listening to Aaron's heart:  'Yeah.  I hear something.'

Me:  'What?'

Dr. P is silent, still listening.  'Hmph.'  Gestures to first year med student at his side.  'Listen to this, do you hear it?'

Me, sweat beginning to form under armpits:  'What?'

Med Student:  'Yes, I hear it.'

Me, feeling my lunch churn.  'WHAT?'

Dr. P, while gathering his papers and heading out of the room.  'I'm going to go get him scheduled for an echocardiogram today. Probably some type of hole in his heart, but blah blah blah...'

Honestly, I didn't hear the rest.  My legs were about to give out on me.  A. HOLE. IN. HIS. HEART??? As Super Grover would say.... 'Habba-WHA?'

Thankfully, when Dr. P left the room he also left his first year med student behind, who happened to be sweet and very smart.  When I told him I was about to pass out right there in the middle of the room, he told us that a small hole in the heart is fairly common and not cause for alarm.  If he had not explained that to me, I might still be a puddle on the floor of that doctor's office.

When Dr. P came back into the room, he told us Aaron was ready for his echocardiogram.  I'd finally swallowed the boulder in my throat and regained my woman-in-her-thirties voice:

Me:  'So it's going to be okay, right?  Even if it is a...hole in his heart?'

Dr. P looked at me strangely, like I'd just asked him if it was okay to order a Coke versus a Pepsi.  'Sure', he said.  'It's like having a freckle on your skin.  No big deal.'


Long story short, A-Rod doesn't have a hole in his heart at all.  He has Patent Ductus Arteriosus, which sounds really scary but actually is no big whoop.  It will probably fix itself in a year, and if it doesn't the procedure to fix it is quick and easy.

I have always said that if I had been born smarter, I would want to be a doctor.  I'm guessing that a woman in her thirties who can't remember how to add fractions probably doesn't belong in a white coat.  However, considering all the doctor visits over the last year or so, I do know one thing:  Doctors are awesome, but they don't know everything.  No one does.

What matters is that Aaron is all set to resume his Jedi training:

And a woman in her thirties breathes another sigh of relief.