Lauren Wellbank

One mom and her struggle to survive until bedtime


Month: August 2016

Everything Is About To Change

I was pulling up to my parent’s street when I saw it.

It was a sign.

No literally, it was a sign.  It said, “Moving Sale, this Saturday” and it was hanging right in front of their street.  I fought the urge to burst into tears.  I fought it valiantly but, whatever.  I wiped one lone tear away with the back of my hand.

My parents are moving away.  It’s kind of the reason for all of this other stuff.  In the hustle and bustle of everything else that has been going on I keep forgetting that point.

My parents are moving away.

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Fauxmas 2013 making rouladen. If you don’t know what it is, you’re missing out.

When I think about it, I’ve never lived more than 10 minutes away.  In 2002 when I first moved out on my own I was still kind of right around the corner (well, there were like 15 corners between us).  When I bought my first house a year later, I was even more right around the corner (this time there were only like, five corners between us).

Even now when I make my morning trek from my house to their house to spend the day with my grandmother I often think about how we are only about a song and a half on the radio away from one another.  Two songs if I hit one of the five red lights that separate us.

Once they move out, there will be dozens of songs between us, and probably a hundred or more red lights.  I won’t be able to just hop in my car and run over to check out kittens in the back yard.  I won’t be able to call and say that my toilet isn’t working and for the love of god send help!!!!

What if I need them?

Alright, what I need is to get a grip.  You’re a grown ass woman, Lauren.  Get it together. 

In the next few days everything is going to start to change.  Our lives are going to turn upside down and then right side up again.  We’ll move from our house into my parent’s house.  My parents will move into their new place up north.  My long suffering grandmother will watch it all from her favorite spot on the couch.  And hopefully my daughter will be sitting next to her, quiet and not at all underfoot as we try and move one entire house out and another entire house in, in just a few short days.

Wishful thinking, I know.

Approximately seven days left under this roof.

***The blog is on hiatus during the move.  Unless something exceptionally hilarious or noteworthy happens between now and then I don’t expect to poke my head out from under the pile of boxes until mid-September.

So, be sure to follow me on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/lakewidotnet), because I’m certain that I’ll have time to post mocking pictures of how many comic books my husband has or my collection of wine glasses.  Seriously, WHY ARE THERE SO MANY WINE GLASSES?!

Or Twitter (https://twitter.com/Lakewidotnet) if I can ever figure out how to say something in less than 140 characters, which is highly unlikely because girlfriend likes characters.

Or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/lakewi), where let’s be real, you should already be following me anyway.

Until next time!

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Christmas 2010, our family looks nothing like this anymore.

All Toddlers Are Part Goblin and Other Facts

I was on the floor when it happened. My daughter had been running around the living room, cackling like a lunatic. We were playing a game that consisted of her bringing out toys and piling them up on my chest while I laid on the floor. If the sounds she was making were any indication, it was the greatest moment of her life. Even I was having fun because all that was required of me was laying on the floor. Actually, I may have been enjoying it more than she was.

Exhibit A

Oh this?  It’s my murdering stick.  

Then it happened. She came running up out of nowhere and jumped directly onto my throat with all the force her thirty pound frame could muster.

It knocked the wind out of me and for a split second I thought she may have actually done some real damage. I rolled onto my side, coughing and gasping for air as she let out another peel of that manic laughter and ran away, presumably get more stuffed animals so that we could continue our game.

 

After I recovered and was sure that I wasn’t going to die, I had an epiphany. Everyone always jokes that toddlers are like little suicidal drunk people. What nobody ever says is that sometimes they take a break from trying to kill themselves to try and kill you instead. Then I thought of all the other things that, despite the hundreds of articles I have read on the topic, nobody ever mentioned about toddlers.

  1. Toddlers are gross. Their feet that were once cute and oh-so-kissable, now resemble those of a runner after a race. They smell, they are sweaty, and there is toe jam. This does not bother them in the least and they will still try and put their toes in their mouth.
  2. They put everything in their mouths. I know that’s not exactly news, it’s basically Toddler 101. So I did expect it, but I expected toys, my cell phone, and the like. What I didn’t expect was that by everything, they meant ev-ery-thing. A tuft of cat hair that blew out from under the couch, into the mouth it goes. A fistful of sand from the water table, in the mouth. A loose bottle cap from the ground, mouth!
  3. You do a lot of yelling. And I don’t mean that you’re constantly correcting them (although real talk, you are always correcting them), I mean the volume of your voice becomes naturally higher. Maybe it’s because you are compensating for the amount of noise a toddler produces. Maybe it’s because nobody ever listens to you. Maybe it’s just because you have lost all control of your life.
  4. They are strong. Like, Lenny in Of Mice and Men, strong. Strong enough to yank their shit covered leg out of your hands and flail it around so it gets poop on everything you love and hold dear. Strong enough to make you work up a sweat while trying to pry something from their sticky death grip. Strong enough to make you question how effective a sleeper hold would be. I kid, I kid… kind of.
  5. There is a high probability that you will be on the receiving end of a head-butt that breaks your nose, cracks a tooth, or just completely knocks you unconscious. There is no shame in admitting a toddler kicked your ass. It happens (cracked tooth, checking in).
  6. You will alternate between absolute boredom and balls-to-the-wall mayhem from minute to minute. I feel like I spend all of my time mere feet from my daughter; watching her play, or reading her the same damn book over and over and over, bored to death. That is until I am spending all of my time chasing her from room to room yelling, “No” or trying to catch her after she has taken off running with something that she shouldn’t have. And how did she get that thing she shouldn’t have when I was previously just a few feet away? NO GOD DAMN CLUE. Which brings me to…
  7. I firmly believe that toddlers possess some sort of goblin magic. One minute my daughter will be sitting quietly on the couch watching TV, the next she’s got something that she shouldn’t have. And by shouldn’t have I mean, we don’t even own that particular toy, I have no idea where it came from, and did she just pull it out of the couch cushions? Magic. Nobody talks about it, but it’s real.
  8. There will be times that they do something wrong, and as a parent it will be your job to correct them, but instead you will be focused on making sure that they can’t see you laughing. Because some of the shit they do, while wrong, is freaking funny.
  9. Nobody is more self-absorbed than a toddler. Oh, this entire group of people that are sitting down and quietly talking in the living room? They would much rather be sitting in shocked silence as you stand in the middle of the room shrieking at the top of your lungs while lifting up your shirt and pointing at your belly button.
  10. You may find yourself simultaneously afraid that another child is going to injure your toddler, and afraid that your toddler is going to injure another child. They are simultaneously the bull in the China shop and the China shop.
  11. There may be times that you get irrationally angry at other children for the way they are interacting with your child. Maybe you want to punch the little boy at the playground in the head because he’s being shitty to your kid. Maybe it’s your kid that’s being shitty and you kind of wish someone would punch them in the head.
  12. It gets easier. Syke. That has not been my experience.

It does change though, almost daily. So far this has been my favorite part. This wild, unpredictable, toddler stage has been my parenting sweet spot. I won’t get too comfortable though. It’s when I let my guard down that things start to change. It’s also when she senses weakness and is most likely to pounce, and deliver that final fatal blow.

Adventures in Landlording – The Things We Leave Behind

It’s getting real.  The boxes are getting packed.  There are empty nails sticking out the wall, slightly darker paint showing where picture frames once hung.  The home turning back into what it was when I first walked into it eleven years ago, just a house.

So much has happened in the past eleven years.  I go back and forth between thinking that it all seemed like a lifetime ago, but also, just last week.

This is the place where my husband and I fell in love.  Where we lived together for the first time.  In the living room where he asked me to marry him.  In the kitchen where I came running out to him as he was making dinner with that first positive pregnancy test in my hands.  In our daughter’s room where we brought her after we came home from the hospital (but where we were never able to convince her to sleep).

Where we took pictures every month for a year, documenting all the changes she went through in those first twelve months.

There is a dent in the ceiling from where one of our friends shot a cork upon opening a bottle of champagne after he proposed to his girlfriend.

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Another tradition in our house, cups with slanderous things written about Belsky on them.

Where we began the tradition of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Party that changed and grew from a drunken bacchanalia to a mostly family friendly event.

There is a patch of counter top that mysteriously broke off after a particularly wild party at our house (pre-daughter, natch).

The fire pit that is no longer, that we gathered around in support of one another when a friend suddenly passed away.

Where I brought home cat after cat after cat.

All of these things that made our house our home will cease to exist in a few more weeks.  Of course, when I confided this in my husband he very reassuringly, reasonably, and annoyingly told me that those things don’t just disappear once we do.  They will always have happened here and no matter what we are doing with this house, whether it be continuing to keep it as a rental or returning here at some point.  Nothing changes that.

I must add that my husband is a good man for putting up with me, my flair for the dramatic, and my public outing of his antics at almost every turn.  Also, for agreeing to pack up everything we own to embark on this mini adventure, obviously.

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The wreath I made for our shed door back when we drank that much beer in just one weekend.

Also, I need to remember that all of those things don’t just stay here.  They come with me, with us.  Just like the unreasonable amount of cat paraphernalia, countless comic books, and stuffed animals.  It all comes with us, and it will all come with us wherever we end up after that, and after that, and for the love of god no more after thats.

So yeah, I will take all those memories with us and although they may no longer live within the walls of this house (where hopefully someone new will be making wonderful memories) they will just have to live within us and the stories we will tell our daughter (and hopefully, like five more kids) until she grows bored of them.

Godspeed house, I hope you get to see as many great things happen to our tenants as you saw happen for us.

Also, try not to burn down or have any pipes burst or get termites or anything.  You’re our retirement plan now.

Approximately 21 days left under this roof.

Harry Potter and the 34 Year Old Fan

There’s a new Harry Potter book!  There’s a new Harry Potter book!  There’s a new Harry Potter book!!!!!!

20160731_121732Okay, I have to catch my breath because just thinking about jumping up and down and yelling that at the top of my lungs has me winded.  For real.  I am after all, significantly older than I was the last time I donned my robes, drew a lightning bolt on my forehead, and stood in line at midnight to pick up the book so that I could race home to start reading* it.

Jesus, was I really only 26 the last time that happened?

Jesus, was I really 26 and still dressing up in wizard robes and waiting in line for hours to buy a book about kids and magic?

And, real talk, that wasn’t even the last time that I put on my robes.  I’ve worn them for countless Halloweens, costume parties, birthday parties, Saturday night movie marathons, etc… since then because… well because I’m an adult and I can do whatever I want… no matter how silly my mother thinks it is.

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My grandmother being an unbelievably good sport, as always.  Taken at my 29 3/4 birthday party.

Now, I’m sure there are people out there that don’t share my excitement for the new book for a plethora of reasons (the phrase “cash grab” has been thrown around House Wellbank a lot this week).  There are also people who feel like the series should have ended where it ended.  I’m sure there are also Voldemort sympathizers that don’t want to hear any more about the boy who lived.

Also, and no spoilers here, but it’s not really a book as much is it is a hard cover copy of the script for the play.  Forewarned is forearmed.

Of course there are probably people that aren’t excited because they just don’t know who this Harry Potter person is.  To you few I say, congratulations on coming out of the coma.  You’ve missed a lot in the past, well, almost twenty years.  The internet really became a lot bigger than I think most of us imagined it would be.  Ross and Rachel ended up together.  Bellbottoms came back and went away again.  Um, Pokemon is still huge but now you play it on your phone.  Oh, cell phones, they are super small and basically run the world… oh, Donald Trump is running for president.  Yes, that Donald Trump.  No, I’m not kidding.  Yeah, you missed a lot.

Back to Harry Potter and the Eighth Book That Isn’t Really the Eighth Book But Should Instead Be Called a Companion to the Series.  It was a quick read.  I even managed to finish it in about twenty-four hours (a feat that I managed due to the early to bed and early to rise mentality of my toddler yesterday, whose story would have been called Harry Potter and the Daughter That Just Won’t Freaking Sleep).

I liked it a whole lot more before my husband and I started talking about it.  He has no plans to read it so I was able to just barf all my thoughts and the entire plot all over him while he sat there eating some potato chips.  By the time I finished recapping the entire book (screen play) I was feeling a little less favorable.  Harry Potter and the Plot Devices That I Totally Saw Coming.

That’s not to say that I regret buying the book (I don’t), or that I regret reading it (I regret NOTHING), I just think it was missing something.  Maybe that’s because I’m still bitter that my owl never came (Harry Potter and the 34 Year Old That is Still Upset About Being a Muggle).

I’m hopeful that they make it into a movie.  Or that JK Rowling sits down and fleshes it out into an actual story.  Or that they make a legit eighth book about Harry Potter that covered the time jump at the end of the seventh book.  I would read the crap out of Harry Potter and the Adjustable Rate Mortgage.

Oh, and it is worth mentioning, if you have a Harry Potter hangover and are looking for a little hair of the dog, I suggest reading the Dresden Files by James Butcher.  It’s about a detective in Chicago solving supernatural crimes and fighting the big bad.  And he’s, you guessed it, a wizard named Harry.

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Yeah, that’s the Sorting Hat on our Christmas tree

*And this reading would happen straight through the night, and all of the next day, only stopping to pee and eat.  Back when I could just explain to anyone that wanted my attention that I was in the middle of reading and would have to get back to them later.  Unlike now when I try and read and then end up covered in the entire crew from The Peanuts comics and have a little face keep leaning over my lap, blocking my view, saying, “Bok?  Bok? BOK?!?!” (Book?  Book?  BOOK?!?!).  Yeah kid, I know it’s a book.  This is me, trying to read said book.  Remember this next time you are trying to get through the Monster at the End of This Book.

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