Lauren Wellbank

One mom and her struggle to survive until bedtime


Tag: Change (page 1 of 2)

Shit changes fast around here

Shit changes fast around here, and as soon as I’m used to the current state of things, it changes again.

I’m still in survival mode.  I say still because I think I shifted into it somewhere around my sixth month of pregnancy, maybe somewhere around my second round of strep throat?  The “baby” is now almost seven months. It’s been a while.  Maybe it’s not even really survival mode when you’re coming up on the one year mark.  Maybe this is just my life now.  

I’m okay with it.  Because between the old life and the new, the moves and the changes, we’re all managing to survive.  And that’s good enough for me.

Stuff, stuff everywhere…

Today marks two weeks since we moved into our new house.  All the rooms are still piled high with boxes.  We arrange and then rearrange while we try and figure out where to put all of these toys.  Every time I think I’m making progress I find another box, jam packed with more brightly colored crap. I am inclined to think that Pandora’s Box was just full of mismatched doll outfits and random Lego pieces. Continue reading

The second labor may be faster, but everything else is a lie

During your first pregnancy, everyone wants to give you advice.  People are bursting at the seams to share their tried and true parenting hacks with you.  They will tell you that you absolutely-without-a-doubt must breastfeed, or give formula, or co-sleep, or sleep train immediately, or whatever the parenting trend is at the time.

When you’re carrying your second child, the wellspring of advice dries up.  People either sympathize with you, or whisper cautionary tales.

One additional person triples the wash load

They’ll tell you about everything sibling rivalries, and how the work doesn’t just double, it increases exponentially, “One is like one, but two is like twenty.” Continue reading

Moving on, the hunt for a new home

They say the most stressful things the average person experiences in life are death, moving, and beginning a new job.  Actually, they say that all of those things are pretty much interchangeable on the stress-o-meter (a word that I just made up but like to assume measures stress in wine bottles consumed).  I don’t know who they are, but they’re right.  Those things are very stressful.  But what about when you are going through all three of them at the same time?  And, you also have a new baby?  Where does that register on the old stress-o-meter?

Imagine knowing you are packing up to leave the last place your loved one lived.  Or beginning a new career at 35.  How about touring house after house while holding onto a sticky toddler with one arm and cradling a newborn with the other… stress-ful. Continue reading

8 thoughts every mom has while breastfeeding

#boobthenoob

Being a new mom is hard. You’re tired, full of raging hormones, and you may or may not be so sleep deprived that you’re nearing a mental breakdown.

And that’s after spending the past 40 weeks being tired, full of hormones, and sleep deprived.

Being a new mom is hard… wait, I think I said that already… Continue reading

To my mom on Mother’s Day, thank you

Becoming a mother has been one of the most rewarding (awful), magical (terrifying), and amazing things that has ever happened to me.  I cannot even begin to fully explain the range of emotions that it fills me with every single day.

It also gives me a whole new appreciation for my own mother.  I see things so much differently now.  It’s as though I’ve moved across the street.  The view is still familiar– I know this house, and these neighbors, but I see them in an entirely different way.  Continue reading

This is two, and it’s hard AF

I’m sitting in the driver’s seat.   My two year old is in the back in her car seat, losing her ever loving mind because her shoe came off.

Actually, her shoe didn’t come off, she took it off.  Then she threw it onto the floor.  Now she’s filled with the burning rage of a thousand suns because she only has one shoe on.  She can’t reach the one on the floor to put it back on and she can’t remove the second one and throw it as well.

I’m parked here because I’m meeting a stranger to pick up Girl Scout cookies, well the why isn’t as important as the fact that I’m stuck here for at least ten more minutes.  My daughter, who is now screaming for me to drive away, doesn’t care why we’re here.  She just wants us to go.

Continue reading

Life after death, our new normal

There is a reason why people clean when they grieve.  I think part of it is a need to be doing something mundane and normal.  Part of it also has to do with wanting to be in control of something, anything, when everything else seems so profoundly out of your control.

The honorary hospice nurse

These thoughts are knocking around in my head as I spend two hours walking through my kitchen rearranging flowers and food and wiping down every surface I can reach despite the size of my ever growing belly.

I wipe, I rearrange, I cry.

That’s been my routine since I woke up today, in this, the first day in my new normal.

 

Continue reading

To my daughter on her final days as an only child

We’re snuggled up on the couch together as I write this.  Your head resting on my shoulder, your arms intertwined with mine.

You fell down earlier while running through the hallway.  I was busy pulling your old bassinet out of the bottom of your closet, as you ran up and down the hallway, yelling with glee.  When I reached you, big wet tears were already rolling down your cheeks and you were clutching your knee.

Photo by Darian Green

And then there were four

After I soothed your tears away you asked to get into your bassinet.  You’ve been too big for it for so long now, but you were still desperate to get back into it.  Instead I rocked you, and cooed at you, and told you about the days when you used to fit into it.  Pretending to suck your thumb with your eyes half closed you smiled, laughed, and said, “I a baby.”  Continue reading

Pregnancy and the horse latitudes, what the last weeks and sailing have in common

Have you ever heard the phrase horse latitudes before?  If you haven’t, don’t worry, it’s an outdated term with several different interpretations that the average person would have no call to know. The origins of the saying have absolutely no baring on what I’m about to tell you.  That is, other than to briefly explain what it is so that you can better understand where I’m at right now.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my

The horse latitudes is an old sailing phrase that indicated that a ship had reached a location with calm waters and no crosswinds.  Of course, this was prior to the days of two and four stroke engines.  Are you impressed that I know that terminology, because you should be?  With no prevailing winds, large ships would find themselves stalled out in the middle of the ocean.  Supplies would begin to run short and sailors would start to panic.

The inhumane (and insane) fix for this often began with water rationing.  The animals on board, specifically the horses, would bear the brunt of this solution.  When the ships remained moored in the middle of the sea they would begin unloading their least precious cargo, the horses. This would both lighten their load and reduce the use of their finite resources.

Continue reading

Thirty-Five is the New Thirty-Five

On the 19th I will turn 35, making these my last few dying days in my early thirties.  I thought I’d approach this day with sadness at the loss of my blush of youth, regret for the things that I didn’t do with my life (still haven’t written that Great American Novel, have I?), and dread because now I’m staring down the barrel of 40 (40??!?  How did that happen?!).

That didn’t end up being the case.  Instead, I am spending these last few days making demands (after all, 35 is a big birthday and deserves all the fuss that my close friends and family can muster), and enjoying any extra attention that I can get.

Guys, I’m going to be 35 and my life is pretty awesome.  Granted, I’m not running through the house singing while tiny cartoon birds change my toddler’s diaper (good god how I wish), but this life is better than any life I could have imagined in my twenties.

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When you turn 35, you get excited about getting new dish towels as gifts (thanks, mom!)

Plus, at 35 when people ask you what you want for your birthday, you actually get it.  That’s probably because you are no longer asking for things like a trip to Cabo or a new car (not that I ever asked for those things).  My big wish this year was a writing workshop (thanks hubby) and a fancy bottle of salad dressing from a winery in the Finger Lakes that my parents visited last year (thanks parents).  Literally, all of my wildest dreams are coming true.

***Oh, and I keep telling anyone that will listen how awesome an edible arrangement would be.  Seriously people, one with the pineapples cut to look like flowers… maybe some chocolate covered strawberries… I mean, come on, I’m almost 40.***

This is a much different approach than the one I took five years ago.  The Lauren of my 20’s was a completely different beast.  I am a few years older than my husband and on my 30th birthday I declared that I would spend the next few birthdays aging backwards until my husband and I were the same age, and then we could proceed forward together, as equals (because that’s how aging works).  I think I stuck with it for two years.  By then the reality of being in my 30’s had sunk in and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Actually, it was way better than I ever could have imagined.

Gone were many of the insecurities, struggles, and trials of my twenties.  Financially, I was secure.  I had put my time in as a bastion of light in the dark recesses of the mortgage industry.  Most of what had happened in the early 2000’s had started to rebuild and I had found stability in my corner of the market.  And things worked out perfectly for me to be able to leave said mortgage industry and stay home and wipe butts full time.

Gone are the days of wondering how my ass looks in my jeans or what size dress I’m wearing.  My body is what it is.  Sure, I happen to think I look terrific (thanks mainly to awesome genes and a non-sedentary lifestyle).  I am also not far enough removed from my teen years to remember how I felt about my looks back then.  When I look back at old pictures, I realize that I was perfect.  Same goes for every other period of life.  In the moment, there was so much I wished was different, but when I look back I wish that I still looked the way I did then, as opposed to how I look now.  I assume that trend will continue for the rest of my life.  So I’m going to go ahead and embrace how I look now and save myself the regret in five years when I think, “If only I looked as young, well rested, and fit as I did at 35.  Youth is wasted on the young, waaaaah.”

Obviously, I assume that I won’t embrace 40 with the same devil may care attitude that I have for turning 35.

And I love, and am loved, without insecurity.  My husband and I have a solid foundation that I no longer question (except, you know, when we move because that shit is for the birds).  I don’t have to worry if I’ll ever find love, if I’ll die alone, how many cats I can reasonably have before I begin the descent into madness, I know the answers to all of those things now (six, six is the maximum number of cats that I can handle at one time).

And now I’m wondering what the next five years will bring, and what the years beyond will bring.  Will I continue to feel the same way about my life that I do about wine, that it’s better with food it gets better with age?  Will I continue to embrace my flabby backside as much as my crow’s feet?

Who knows?

Who cares?

Another perk of being closer to 40 than to 30, you just don’t give a shit.

So, happy almost birthday to me.  And here’s hoping that I still feel this way in the harsh light of Thursday morning.  When I’m sure to wake up with a few new grays, a cake hangover, and tiny fingers feeling around inside of my ear canal.

35 is the new 35, because screw every other age. 

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