Lauren Wellbank

One mom and her struggle to survive until bedtime


How millennials are ruining Thanksgiving

The holidays are upon us

Dearest millennial host,

It’s me, your 19 pound turkey, dropping in with a very important message about Thanksgiving. I know a written letter seems a little formal, especially since you are about to be wrist deep inside of me, but it’s pretty hard to get your attention any other way.
For example, do you remember the other day when you thought you heard a noise coming from your trunk while you were on your way home from the grocery store? Well, that was me trying to get your attention.

Continue reading

Twas the night before cold and flu season

My “cold and flu season” decorations are finally up.

Twas the night before cold and flu season…

Twas the night before [insert thing I was looking forward to doing here], when all through the house, not a child was sleeping, not even with their favorite stuffed mouse;

Their outfits for tomorrow had been laid out with care, in the hope it would speed up our morning routine if we prepared.

Instead I found children piled high in our bed, sniffling, and sneezing as we held damp towels to their heads

I should have realized it yesterday, when my youngest went down easily for her nap, my carefully planned schedule was about to go to crap. Continue reading

I’m another year older

Look at the Tigger hat, look at it!

1994 maybe?

I’m grateful to wake up another year older today. I know it’s an experience denied so many.

After being serenaded by my kids, and eating a wonderful breakfast cooked by my amazing husband, I answered the age old question, “Do you feel any different?”

The short answer, no. Continue reading

Hello, I’m the failed wife

A letter of thanks from the formerly failed wife.

When I initially wrote this piece for Huffington Post about my whirlwind journey from wife to ex-wife, I didn’t really expect much to come of it. Honestly, I assumed a few people would read it out of morbid curiosity and then never give it a second thought. Fortunately, I’m very used to being wrong.

Since the piece went live Friday morning I have been receiving emails and private messages from people who have experienced similar “failures.” It’s been unbelievable, and I promise I am going to respond to each and every email, message, and comment that I have received as soon as I can think of something more eloquent to say than, “Oh my god, thank you.”

Our Friday the 13th cake topper

Eight years ago, when all of this happened I felt lower than I ever thought was possible. I was sad and hurt and angry – so angry – that I thought there would never be an “after” for me. No, I wasn’t going to feel better after some time had passed. I wouldn’t look back on the experience afterwards and gain some sort of insight that I didn’t have before. My pain would only lengthen with time, it wouldn’t lessen. It would remain tethered to my heart, like a balloon on a string, and it would follow me into every relationship and experiences for the rest of my life. I would always be under its shadow, and it would always taint everything in my life.

Continue reading

Fireworks and Summer Reading Lists

The Fourth of July is finally upon us. I can tell thanks to the sweet, subtle sounds of shit exploding outside my house. The relentless ballistics begin around supper and continue until well after I’ve passed out for the night #merica.

Don’t judge my collection

The familiar percussion, while equally obnoxious and annoying when you have two sleeping toddlers, serve as a reminder that summer is already half over. And to that I say, yaaaaaay. Continue reading

My other soulmate

Shit on technology and social media all you want, but I swear it saved my life.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. It didn’t quite save my life, but it did save my relationship with my best friend. And really, that’s kinda the same thing. It all started in 2006, when my childhood BFF found me on MySpace.

We had lost touch when my mother and I moved from Florida to Pennsylvania in the mid 90’s. Those were simpler times, back before email and text messaging.

The two of us exchanged handwritten letters and care packages. We caught up over the phone when both of our single mother’s had room in their budgets for long distance calls, which was not often.

I left Florida, and Bethany, the summer before high school started. The transition from middle school to high school is hard enough, even when you’re not hundreds of miles away from the best best friend you have ever known. But we were teenagers, and things were happening. Our lives were changing and we needed to change along with them. And adapt. Before long the letters slowed down, the calls dried up, and I made one final visit back to Florida. It was the last time I saw Bethany.

At least, I thought it would be the last time. But life changed again, the world changed again, and we changed right along with it. Social media became a thing. And again, shit on it all you want but that day I received a notification that I had a connection request on Myspace, my life changed… again. We picked right back up where we left off.

We didn’t see each other for another few years. It was in 2010 when she flew in the night before I was to marry my now ex-husband. We stayed up so late that night, giggling under the covers in my old room at my parent’s house. My mom eventually had to come into the room and tell us it was time for bed.

It was like we had traveled through time. We were suddenly back in the duplex my mom and I shared in Florida when I was growing up. Everything seemed right with the world now that I had my oldest friend back by my side. That next day she sat with the rest of my family and friends, and cried tears of joy right along with my mom.

We had successfully rekindled our friendship after almost a decade of lost contact. And thanks to technology, it was nearly effortless to maintain now.

We could text, exchange emails, and like photos of eachother on Facebook. I loved her Halloween costumes, she made fun of my cats. And we could let each other know immediately, even when years had passed since the last time we were face-to-face.

When I got divorced she was there for me whenever I needed to talk, even all those miles away.

When I started dating again she stalked my boyfriend on Facebook (RIP MySpace).

We took trips and shared girl’s weekends together. We talked about our hopes and dreams of becoming professional writers.

In 2014 she was there for my baby shower. And in 2015 she was by my side during my wedding.

These days we talk more than ever. Thanks to SnapChat and Facebook messenger we are in near constant contact. We exchange pictures of our frustrated faces at the end of a long day.

She sends me videos of her goats and chickens from her mountain in Tennessee. I send videos of my daughter taking her first steps or the squeaky yet hilarious messages from my toddler up here in Pennsylvania.

It’s like we’re still in the same town. Back when we were two awkward and ridiculous teenagers, being raised by our mothers who seemed to have some sort of joint custody arrangement with one another. Each of us spending a week at one house, than a week at the other. She was my best friend, my sister, and my soulmate. I don’t know how I made it all those years in between without her, but thanks to technology, I’ll never have to do it again.

<3

Happy birthday to my baby who isn’t a baby anymore

The birthday girl

Happy first birthday, little one.

I can hardly believe it’s already been a year. This time has somehow managed to both fly by, and drag on forever. The first year is always hard. You arrive a frail helpless baby who needs me for absolutely everything, and you grow into this waddling, laughing force of nature with a voice and strength that surprises me.

That laugh, the way that it wrinkles your whole face. Your cheeks are still plump and full and I hope that never changes. I also hope you never tire of me kissing them because I don’t think that I ever will. Continue reading

Kids ruin things, but it’s okay

Becoming a parent is a life altering event. You go from being in charge of just you, to having this whole other human being that relies on you for everything. They also somehow quadruple your laundry load.

It’s intense. And it colors everything in your world. Suddenly you find yourself wearing these parenting glasses that change the way you view everything. It’s like Predator vision, only everything is in primary colors and has soft rounded edges because holy shit everything is a death trap.

The Wellbanks before we were both Wellbanks

It’s great, because kids are awesome and great (and I’m just going to keep saying great over and over again because I have a three-year-old and it’s great Great. Great. Great.) Continue reading

Not My Ghostbusters, How The Thing Ruined My Childhood

The Thing (2011) Review

The Thing

Burn it!

Review by Kenny Wellbank

October 15th 2011

The Thing stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, and a bunch of dudes that can speak Norwegian, oh and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who is cool.

The Thing failed me. Mistake number one, it’s a prequel to the original Thing, and they didn’t make that clear enough. Everyone thought it was a remake. Mistake number two, all the CGI instead of practical effects.

I don’t even know that I can finish this review. The Thing (1982) was a gem from my youth and The Thing (2011) has ruined my childhood.

2.5 out of 5

The Thing (1982) Review

The Thing

Yeah, fuck you too!

Review by Ken Wellbank

June 26 1982

The Thing stars Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, and a bunch of other dudes.

What is this schlock? The Thing (1982) is a remake of the movie The Thing from Another World, and it spits in the face of one of the best movies of my youth. Directed by shock and gore pusher, John Carpenter, The Thing is a gross and violent movie that will make you squirm in your seat when you’re not nodding off from boredom.

Instead of making a nonsensical story that relies on grisly death scenes and horrifying body destruction, maybe focus on good storytelling and character development, and try not to ruin any more childhoods!

I wish I could write more but I don’t want to give this movie any more thought and tarnish my memories of The Thing From Another World.

Yeah

The Thing From Another World (1951) Review

The Thing OG

An intellectual carrot. The mind boggles.

Review by Kenneth Wellbank

April 7th 1951

The Thing From Another Planet stars a woman and some dead guys that talked like old time radio hosts.

I don’t have much to say. This movie is a adaption of the novel, Who Goes There? By John W. Campbell, Jr. They missed the point of the book. They made a mockery of the book. This is just another example of movies looking to focus more on violence and scares to drum up money from hardworking families. Disgusting. Who Goes There? was a favorite from when I was child, and I can say with all confidence this movie ruined my childhood, and it will ruin yours as well.

Uh-huh

Who Goes There? Book Review

The Thing the Book

That’s not a logical argument. I know it isn’t. The thing isn’t Earth-logic anyway.

Review by K.A. Wellbank

August 22nd 1938

Who Goes There? Was written by John W. Campbell, JR.

This is a good book. Short. Most sentences were easy to understand. Good for children.

Yarp

This house has gone zero days without me freaking out over something that doesn’t matter

I messed up today.

I yelled at my kids this morning because I was frustrated over ten thousand stupid things but also not really one thing in particular at all. Raised my voice because I was trying to get the baby down for a nap while the toddler played her toy pots and pans like drums. What I really needed to be doing was the million other things that were waiting for me. But instead I was stuck in a loop of getting the baby almost down and having her awoken by her sister. Rinse and repeat.

Caffeinated and hoping for the best

This morning I even found myself pissed  off at the baby, whose only crime is that she is in full blown separation anxiety/cling mode. Her chunky cheeks jiggled as she began to cry when I tried to sneak off to the bathroom alone. Continue reading

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