Yesterday would have been my grandmother’s 89th birthday. We would have celebrated with her favorite dinner (shrimp Alfredo, which she liked the best when my father was the one making it). There would have been cake, or maybe milkshakes, depending on her mood.
A girl and her horse
There would have been laughter, and some grumblings about how she couldn’t believe she was still here, and that she hadn’t yet given up the ghost– a phrase she was growing fond of over the past two years.
Pregnancy, for some it’s a time of glowing and eager anticipation, for others it’s a time of great discomfort and fear, but for almost everyone it’s a time of struggle.
And I’m just talking about the dads here… ba-dum-tss.
The struggle is real
It can be hard to watch the woman that you love the most going through something that you feel like you can’t help with. I mean, I can only assume, it looks like my husband is having a hard time here.
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
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
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
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.
My entire life I have heard of The Curse of the Second Child. It’s like The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb, but with less carnage and more apathy. At least, that’s my take…
I can remember overhearing parents talk about it when I was a child, myself. Then, as I grew older and my friends became parents, I would hear them joke about it.
The second child just isn’t as big of a deal as the first… they’d say.
Don’t mind so-and-so, she just has second kid problems…
The theory was that you had already spent all of your excitement/energy on the first kid, so when the second one rolls around it’s just not that big of a deal. Continue reading
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.
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.
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
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.