Friday, December 20, 2013

A Woman in her Thirties Drops the Ball

To know me is to know I am not a sentimental person, particularly when it comes to stuff. I don't get attached to things, not even when it comes to my kids.  Toys, clothes, books, you name it-- I have no desire to keep huge boxes full of old things to reminisce with someday (that's what this blog is for!).  Stuff is just... stuff.  And less is more, at least to me.

There are exceptions, of course.  My wedding dress.  Anna's Burberry swim suit:

Aaron's premie outfit he came from home from the hospital in:

But for the most part, I don't get attached.  So on Wednesday, when we came home from Anna's Christmas show:

(Can you spot my sweet girl singing Jingle Bells?)

And I took out the ornament with her handprint on it that she had made in class for 'Daddy and Me', I had to take a moment to think to myself, Gee, I really should be careful with this.  So we can save it.  Because that's what other moms...


Normally, I would be able to keep a level head about this.  It's an ornament.  No big deal.  But something about this moment, combined with a ridiculous about of sleep I've gotten lately, combined with Christmas chaos and state of my hair, and I just could not keep it together, people.  I just couldn't do it.

And you know what Anna said, when she saw it and saw me bawling my eyes out?

'It's okay, Momma.  It happens.  I make you another one.'

And thus, at the height of the Christmas season, a woman in her thirties is reminded that she's been right all along.  Stuff really is just stuff.   Tis the season to keep perspective.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Woman in her Thirties in a Constant State of...

Two weeks, no post.  I know, you're beside yourself with anxiety waiting to see what I've been up to.  Well, here are a couple things:

The Book

You know that moment, the one right before you're about to do something really scary, and the barf just sort of sits in your gut and swirls around, and your hands sweat and you get really dizzy and you wish a hole would just open up in the ground so you could fall right into it and disappear forever?

Yeah... it's like that all the time right now.  A constant state of barf.  Good barf, but barf just the same.

The Kids

You know those moments, when your kids are going through any type of transition, or they get sick, or they get a bonk, or they just don't feel like being your sweet little angels, and you feel like if you don't get to yoga immediately that you might spontaneously combust?

It's like that all the time right now.  Chaos.  Good chaos, but chaos just the same.

And I'm doing that thing where I look at other women in their thirties, ones with more on their plate than I have, and think HOW DO THEY HAVE IT SO MUCH MORE TOGETHER THAN I DO?  Which is a yucky, yucky question to have at the forefront of your mind at any time.

So on top of the book, and on top of the kids, and on top of all the crazy holiday craziness, I'm also trying to do that thing, that thing where I stop and stand in the moment, appreciate it for all it is...

...and give thanks.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Woman in her Thirties Turns Three

Dear (Princess) Anna,

Well, you have done it.  You are three.

How about a quick walk down memory lane:
Nov, 2010

Nov, 2011

Nov, 2012

 Nov, 2013

Do you see what's happened here? In the blink of an eye, you've become a little girl.  And what a little girl you have turned out to be.

You, Anna, love your princesses. You love school.  You love singing, dancing, and chocolate.  You love Little Einsteins and Dora (and how) and Play Doh and music class.  You love your friends.  You love leaves, books, helicopters....

... okay, there is little in life you don't love.  It is in your nature to love, and I love that about you.  

If I could describe you in one word right now, I would say this:  you are compassionate.  Not always a word associated with a three year old, but that's what you are.  You are kind and caring, but most kids are.  It's more than that.  Your happiness is directly associated with the people around you.  

If your brother cries while at the doctor's office you say, 'Tell the doctor to stop, Momma!  He don't like that!'

If I raise my voice to you about when it's time to go to bed (sleep being the perpetual saga in this house), your first words are, 'Momma!  I want to make you feel happy every every day!'

If I ask you how your day at school was, your first response is always something like, 'Finley felt sad today' or 'Jack pushed Nathan, and he cry.'  You feel deeply for others.

And that, my girl, is an important skill in life.  Never.  Lose.  That.

Now, don't get it in your head that there is no room for improvement.  I've already mentioned the sleep thing, which is... well, let's just say that Momma is tired.  Very very tired.  She would like to blame that on her 16 month old, but alas, you are a stinker when it comes to sleep.

You come by it honestly... but still.

And food.  You are the pickiest eater I've ever known, myself included.  Milk, cheese, yogurt, waffles, eggs.... yeah, that's about it.  Food is the #2 perpetual saga in this house, and my greatest cause for anxiety around 5:00pm every single day.

But then again... your pickiness is just a small piece of your greater personality.  You are cautious by nature, always have been.  New things are a little intimidating for you.  Now that you're three, I feel like I know you better now, know what you will like and not like.  I find myself in the constant angst of a parent who wants to push their child, but not too hard.  Encourage without nagging.  Suggest without harping.

And then I remind myself that you. are. THREE.

You don't have time for a balanced meal or a nice long nap.  There is a world out there to discover.

And I am blessed with the awesome task of helping you navigate through it.  Even on the ear infection days, or the flu days, or the 'I don't WANNA take my nappy' days, seeing the world through your eyes makes everything more beautiful.  

So happy birthday, my beautiful girl.  It is a gift to be a mom, and it is a joy to be yours.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Woman in her Thirties Goes Full Princess

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have myself a princess. 

A tutu wearing...

Magic wand waving...

Every day is dress-up day...


I have done nothing to encourage this behavior.  All of Anna's princess gear has been handed down.  She has never seen a Disney princess movie (except The Little Mermaid, which she says is 'too scary').  I don't even buy princess books, because seriously, have you read those stories?  Ridiculous.


I also believe that our children, in all their adorableness, present themselves to us for who they are.  I might not be a princess, but my baby...

She is.  

So I knew that, for her third birthday, she would have a princess party. (A 'Belle' party, more specifically.  Anna's new favorite color is yellow, so she loves that yellow dress.)  

I really struggle with the birthday party thing.  The excess, the gifts, the cost, the time, the planning... all of it is really overwhelming to me, and I don't do well with overwhelming.  So this year, I decided on just a handful of friends, which helped to take away some of the anxiety.

And then I read a post on The Larson Lingo about how she hired a princess to come read to her kids on their birthdays.  And I thought, ummm... Anna would PEE HER PANTS if I did something like that.  

So I looked it up.

And discovered a princess who would come to my house and do face painting, story time, a fashion show, arts and crafts, cupcakes, and gift bags.


If you love throwing parties, this might not be the gig for you. I mean, seriously.  The princess did everything.  But for me, it was perfect.  I don't like throwing parties, but I sure do love going to them.  And for the first time in my throwing-my-kid-a-birthday-party experience, I actually got to enjoy it.

Anna was in complete awe watching her walk to the front door.

Meeting Belle for the first time.

Choosing her colors for face paint...

...which she decided she wanted on her hands.

Posing with Belle.  (Yes, all the men at the party had crushes on her.)

Riveted by story time.  (Anna got to hold the rose from the Beauty and the Beast story.)

Dancing while Belle sang.

Even Buddy liked it.  For a minute.  

Belle unlocking her trunk of princess accessories for the fashion show. 

All dressed up with her besties.

Belle helped Anna make a crown during arts and crafts.

Singing Happy Birthday. I cried.

We said goodbye to Belle, cleaned up for about thirty minutes, and the party was over. Anna had only a few gifts to open since we didn't invite a ton of people, which was great.  

Success, all around.  Thank you, Mel, for the idea!  And thank you, Belle, for making this woman in her thirties a happy Mom.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Woman in her Thirties and the Little Things

I love November for all the people who post daily on social media about all they're grateful for.  I think it's fantastic.  To date, I've never seen a post where someone says, 'I'm grateful for my flashy sports car' or 'I'm thankful for that grudge I've been holding for fifteen years'.  It's always about family, friends, love, support, and all the things we should acknowledge this time of year.

I do lots of grateful-speak on this blog, so I won't go into my big list.  (Spoiler alert:  my kids are number one.) But I do want to take the time this week to acknowledge the little things.  For the very little things that end up becoming big things, a woman in her thirties give thanks.

1.  M&Ms

It's been a challenging couple of weeks.  Both Anna and Aaron were diagnosed with walking pneumonia and ear infections, which was no fun.  But what made it 100x worse was the fact that my sweet little princess REFUSES TO TAKE MEDICINE.

In the end, it was these shoes and a packet of M&Ms that did the trick.  We are better now, thank God. Whatever it takes, people.

2.  How Halloween is Over

Blargh, Halloween.  I guess it's fun and stuff, and I'm so glad Anna was well enough to visit a couple houses for trick-or-treating, but jeez.  From the riDONKulous amount of candy (which I indulged far too much in) to the costumes to the decorations that scared my little princess, I was DONE with Halloween on November 1.  Even if this guy wasn't.

3.  Fall in P-Ville

It was a beautiful Fall here.  I say 'was' because... well... we're moving into some cold territory this week.  But we loved collecting leaves this year and playing outside all afternoon.  Magic.

4.  Dancing

Anna loves her little dance class, and I just assumed she would be the dancer of the family:

But in the last couple of weeks, Aaron has learned to dance.  It just doesn't get any better than this: