I’m 33, yo (Year in Review 2011)

Here’s the questionnaire I usually do for New Year’s but just didn’t feel like doing it this year. I figured it works for birthdays too?

I think I’m totally ok with turning a year older for the first time since turning 29.

1. What did you this year that you’d never done before?

Hmmm…tough one right out of the gate. It was a rough year. I had a miscarriage, battled depression, found out I have a zillion awesome Internet besties and then I got pregnant again. And unfortunately, anything new I did outside of that sphere has just plain escaped my memory. I’m hoping for a much better, more memorable year.

OH! And I took a glass blowing class. Which was such hard work, but also so amazing. I haven’t challenged myself like that in years. It’s a lot of taxing, physical work, so I will have to put it on hold for a bit, but will likely continue later.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t remember what I resolved to do last year. We were trying to get pregnant last January, so I suppose having a baby was tops on that list. Also, getting more involved in preschool, which I did. We kept up with dentist appointments, which is a big deal for us. I think I also semi-resolved to lose weight, but stayed pretty much the same. I didn’t make resolutions this year, I think I’m giving them up. They tend to put a lot of undue pressure on people. I say just try to do your best and be at your best 365 days a year.

3. Did anyone close to you die?

Not anyone else this year. Thank goodness, I don’t know if I could have handled it. A lot of people I know experienced a loss though, and I want to let them all know I’m very sorry and I hope they’re healing.

4. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

A happy, healthy baby. More money in savings. A trip to see family members in the Midwest that I haven’t seen in a while. A better sense of purpose.

5. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The miscarriage, obviously. And Thanksgiving and Christmas. They were both so wonderful this year, and gave me a much-needed something else to focus on.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Honestly? Just surviving. There were a lot of days I truly thought I wouldn’t. I’m proud of myself for finding the strength to pick up and move forward. I moved slowly, but I moved forward.

7. What was your biggest failure?

Losing myself. I just didn’t know who I was going to be or what I was going to do. I really let it all go. Now I’m trying to figure it all out again. I have just changed so much. Which really isn’t a failure in and of itself, but the way I just let things fall apart is. I’m thankful for the love and support I had from family and friends to hold it together in the small ways I still could.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Depression. Which is a beast. And it’s real, very, very real. Don’t ever belittle someone for it, we all fight our own battles and you have no idea how hard someone else has it.

9. What was the best thing you bought?

My iPad. God, I love that thing, haha.

10. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, preschool tuition, food, travel.

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The holidays. As I said, they were such a bright light in my (at the time) very dark world. It was so uplifting to see family, and celebrate. Also, our trip to Hawaii. We always have such an amazing time.

12. What song will always remind you of 2011?

I have no idea. I don’t really listen to popular music. Probably something by Fitz and the Tantrums, they are my new ob-sesh.

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

b) thinner or fatter?

c) richer or poorer?

a) I am as happy as I was last year at this time, but a little more muted. I was still pregnant on my birthday last year, and I was completely blissed out. I am really very happy again this year, just a little more cautiously. Which I really wish I wasn’t, but I can’t help it.

b) About the same. But about to get fatter!

c) Same. We’re working on paying off my student loans, and working on saving. We’re not rich, just comfortable. And I’m ok with that.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Living in the moment. I was so fixated on my future and getting pregnant again, I missed out on a lot. I even knew back then that I was missing out, and still couldn’t get myself to focus on the time at hand. One of these days I hope the clouds clear away and I can remember more of 2011.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Beating myself up. I was pretty vocal about my pregnancy from just 7 weeks, and I was really hard on myself for that. I think I just felt humiliated. And I don’t enjoy pity, which I kind of felt from people (but now I don’t think they pitied me, they just felt bad and wanted to help). I also spent a lot of time wondering why I should be so sad, when other women have had it a lot worse than me. But the truth is, we all have to grieve until the pain is gone, no matter how “big” or how “small” our sadness is.

16. How did you spend Christmas?

At home, sitting around a fire in our PJs, watching Bowie play with his new Hot Wheels track and tons of new cars. It was a simple one, but perfect.

17. What was your favorite TV program?

This year I started watching Mad Men from the beginning on Netflix and I am COMPLETELY OBSESSED. I love that show to bits. And guess what? Season 5 starts tonight. Happy birthday to me.

18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old are you?

I’m 33 this year. Over 30, but not 35 yet, haha.

Here’s to the next year of my life!

Five For Friday

These always feel like cheater posts, but people seem to enjoy them. And, it’s Friday, what do you expect?

1. Bowie went to the dentist on Wednesday. He always does so great there. But, that’s not the point of my story. When checking out, we scheduled his next appointment for 6 months from now. The woman asked, “How’s September 21st?” And, I about had a mini heart attack. I managed to babble out the words, “Ummm, I’m having a baby that week.” At which the whole desk staff at the dental office when nuts. So, we made an appointment for early October instead, and as we were leaving she said, “Next time we see you, you will be a big brother!” And I was all, “HOLY CRAP.” Ok, it’s starting to get REAL up in here.

2. When I was pregnant with Bowie, I couldn’t get enough sweets. Which is pretty uncharacteristic for me normally. I would inhale a whole box of those mini brownies from Whole Foods in one sitting. It was terrible. This time around, I do crave sweets. And I don’t know if it’s just less of a craving, or if I’m better at limiting myself this time, or if I’m just too distracted this time to drop everything and eat my weight in chocolate chip cookies. But, I’ve been pretty good about not going overboard with the sugar. So, yay me! We’ll see how long this lasts though.

3. Today Bowie’s preschool will have their Spring parade and egg hunt. Last year, that day was a month later, in April, as they have it near the Easter holiday. That day last year was the day I found out we’d lost the baby. And we had to plaster on smiles and fight through tears while we were there celebrating with the kids. And since my husband came with to school that day, a couple of people I had told about the baby came up to congratulate him, and it was just so…awkward. And painful. And on that day, I literally thought I’d never be happy again. So, to be where I am now during the celebration this year is particularly poignant for me. It’s a sort of threshold that I’m glad to be moving through. Of course, the actual day is still a month away, and I think that day will be hard, but I will get through. I wish I could go back and tell myself that day last year, yes, you will be happy again. And give myself a hug, I was in dire need of hugs back then (not that I wasn’t getting them, but sometimes there just can’t be enough of something, ya know?). If a woman tells you she’s miscarried, don’t say a word, just give her a hug.

4. On a lighter note, I’ve found something to do with Bowie’s Twitter account that I’ve left stagnant for a long time. I used to post cutesy baby stuff, but then there was less of that as he became a running, screaming, bouncing Tasmanian devil. So, I finally figured it out: he’s going around saying some of the funniest stuff these days, and what’s a good 21st century blogging mom going to do with all of that? Publish it on the Internet of course. Enjoy.

5. Sunday is by birthday. Which a month ago I truthfully just shrugged about. Now, as it edges closer and closer, I do care. Why do we women do this to ourselves? Birthdays are going to come and go, year after year, and getting older is inevitable. And really, I should be celebrating that I’m 33. Still in my 30s. Still young. Having fun. The kiddo(s) still little. Things are good. Ok 33, buh-ring it.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Newest Family Member

Auntie got Bowie a fish for his birthday. A real, live, eating, swimming, pooping fish. Which is super fun, truthfully. I grew up with lots of fish around, and had been wanting to get him one for a while now.

We tried to get a really cool, fun name stuck in kiddo’s mind, but nothing took. Not Miguel, Ricardo, Lightning McQueen, The Situation, nothing.

Fishy’s name is Fishy. And this is NOT because he just keeps pointing at it and saying “fishy!” This is because one day when I was saying to him, “Is his name Ricardo? Can you say Ricardo? I think Ricardo is a nice name!” Bowie turned to me and said, “NO MAMA, his name is Fishy!”

Okay then.

THREE

I sit here in front of these posts every year, because this is what a mommy blogger DOES, by golly. Then I go to write a letter to little man, and all I can think is, “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you…”

But, let’s get serious here people, HE IS THREE. I remember being equally stunned upon realizing that he was 1 week old. And that he was one year old. And when he started preschool. And when is time going to just stop moving forward already?!?!?!?!?

Dear Bowie,

Well, bug, much to our chagrin, you’re 3 now and still not potty trained yet. Which I’m learning to deal with. Everyone keeps telling me, “He’ll get it when he gets it.” But, if I have to clean poo out of tiny underpants any more…I might just lose my proverbial marbles.

But I do so adore talking with you. You have developed conversational skills like talking in full sentences, having feelings and opinions and answering questions. Even though our conversations go something like this: “Mama, look! It’s Lighting McQueen!!! Wow, what a cool toy. Is he your favorite toy? Yeah, he go SO FAST! And look, he is all red! Sure is! What number is he? Ummmm….7.” I still love talking to you. (Psst, and I always will.)

You’re also remembering things, totally random things, completely on your own without any prompting from me. For instance, the time the police man on the horse was outside the swim school. He was letting kids pet the horse, and you were a little shy, so mama petted him for you. You insisted you would do it “next time”. Next week when we went to swim school, that was all a distant memory for me, but you asked, “Mama, when is the horsie coming?”

And can we discuss the movie Cars? Because I don’t want to forget this hilarious and adorable part of your life. You have nothing short of a complete obsession with this movie. You were already in love with cars, especially race cars, before you saw the movie so it really was a natural fit. But, we watch that movie no less than 4 times a week, often more. And I don’t turn it on because I want you out of my hair for 117 minutes, but because I know the sheer pleasure and joy you get from watching it, even for the 57th time. Cars 2 debuts in theaters this summer. I think I have chosen what will be your first movie theater movie. And I can’t wait to see the look on your face.

It’s been an eventful year, to say the least. What, with all the growth spurts and picky eating and tantrums and potty training and starting preschool. We also moved to a new house since you turned 2, and you took to it like a champ. I think you wanted the extra space as much as we did. We decided to make you a big brother this year, and though we have hit a big bump in the road, that’s still our intention. There’s no telling what this next year will bring for you, but I know you’ll be the awesomest big brother that ever was.

Here’s to another year of your sweet little voice saying, “I love you mama!” because I know those moments will be fewer and farther between all too soon. Here’s to another year of my kisses making all your boo boos better. Here’s to another year of snuggling in your bed with you to help you fall asleep. And here’s to a lifetime of the special bond we have as mother and son. I love you, little man, have a very happy third birthday.

Love,

Mama

Oh yeah, I had a birthday.

Totally forgot to put together the requisite birthday post this time around. It came and went in a giant whirlwind. And now I am 32. *SIGH*

It was a fantastic day, though. My husband surprised me with taking the day off, sent me off with my sister-in-law for a mani-pedi and then surprised me again with dinner reservations at a fun place with an ocean view. It was a nice, fun and relaxing day.

It was also a day filled with phone calls and texts and the zillion emails you get, courtesy of Facebook broadcasting that it’s Your Day! Your Special Day! (Kids in the Hall fans?)

Thanks to all, you guys made what I thought would be a pretty boring birthday into one of the best I’ve ever had.

And, fun fact: my little robotic flower that my husband made for me when we were a brand new couple on my 22nd birthday is now 10 years old. WOW time goes fast.

Two

Yesterday my baby boy turned two. All I can say lately is, “WOW. TWO. WOW.”

We returned yesterday evening from another whirlwind family visit in Wisconsin, and we drove past the hospital he was born in. It does not feel like two whole years have passed!

Partially, I think that is because we are still total noob parents, and Bowie reminds us every day. After all the poop blow outs, all the public tantrums, all the sugar crashes, all the day trips with no diapers, we are still making mistakes daily. But my mom says that never stops. So I feel better. I think.

Bowie, what can I say about you at age two? You are a CHATTERBOX. You walk around all day long, trying out your new words, your new phrases, and some of that gibberish you’ve always been saying. When mama lets you park your tuckus in front of the TV, you’re really enjoying Sesame Street, Yo Gabba Gabba, Dinosaur Train, Curious George, Thomas the Tank Engine and, oddly, Super Readers.

But if you had to pick just one, I’m positive it would be Thomas. You love trains and planes and bikes and cars and basically anything else with wheels. Also, dinosaurs, balls, rocks, mud, hammers, you are ALL BOY ALL THE TIME. Which I am learning to love.

Your picky eating habits are on their way out the door. (Well, now I’ve jinxed it.) Lately you’ve been enjoying some new things, and even eat what we do for dinner occasionally. I have to get out of the habit of making two different things for meals before you figure out that you have me completely wrapped around your little finger.

Your sleeping habits leave something to be desired, as I have been chronicling here lately. But, mommy and daddy still have a few tricks up their sleeves, and things are improving. It could have a lot to do with the whole cutting of the two year molars, and the fact that I haven’t, for almost two months now, been able to find a decent disposable diaper, and you often wake up soaked in your own pee pee. Sorry about that.

This is a fun age. I would say that I wish you could stay this age, but I have said that a lot in the past, and it always turns out that the next stage is always even more fun. I’m looking forward to watching you grow up day by day.

Happy second birthday, sweet pea! Here’s to a whole bunch more!

Love,

Mommy

Year 31

Today, I turn 31. Not a big deal, I suppose. Last year was really the big year.

But, thinking of myself ten years ago makes me laugh. 21. Who knew the mixed up little beer-guzzling band bunny I was back then would turn out to be the wife and mother I am today? My 21 year old self would be so bored with me. Just goes to show people DO change, they change all the time!

For fun, I dug up some journal entries from year 21, like I did last year (which you can’t see because we’re still cleaning up from the data loss, but I hope to have that post back up very soon).

This is a good one: “The next day [after my birthday] I watched C’s plane until I couldn’t see it anymore and I felt like dying. This long distance thing is really getting to me. I have to go to UWEC next year because I signed a lease, but so help me God, if I don’t graduate in a year, I’m quitting school, moving to Indiana and getting a full time job”.

Hahahahahahahahaha. Oh my. All that for a boy who never respected me and bowed to kiss his parents’ feet when they told him I was ruining his college career (hello, I was in the same relationship, and my grades were fine!). I ended up breaking up with him the following fall and going to school for 3 ½ more years. And thank God. I have a degree that I actually like using. And Indiana? INDIANA? What was I thinking?! No disrespect to anyone who lives in Indiana, it’s just…not for me. I can’t believe just 10 years ago, I thought the sun rose and set in his stupid steel toed boots (that he wore for no reason, he didn’t even have a job at McDonald’s back then).

This one is fun. Written while I was reading Bridget Jones’s Diary, can you tell? “Calls from boyfriend: 3, with one more promised later. Fingers smashed in car door: 3. Hours of sleep last night: 4. Classes attended: 1 of 3. Hours of sleep after class: 2. Diet Cokes: 3. Level of gladness that I skipped class: infinite.”

Four hours of sleep?! I’d never make it on that nowadays. Four calls in one day from the boyfriend? I didn’t have that kind of time back then, did I? And 2 classes skipped in one day? Good lord, no wonder it took me 6 years to get a Bachelor’s degree. Sheesh, girl! But, I guess now at age 31, I’m no worse for the wear, right?

P.S. I have the same birthday as my good friend N. Happy birthday hon!