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 If you haven’t, don’t worry, it’s an outdated term with several different interpretations that the average person would have no call to know.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.
I’m sitting on the toilet, pretending to eat a fake carrot as my toddler stands less than an inch from my bent knees begging me to keep going.
“Eat more, mommy.” She says, and pushes the carrot back to my face. Again I make the “om nom nom” noise and pretend to nibble on the tip. “It’s ice-cream!” She yells, reminding me that I can’t even eat a fake carrot correctly, because now it’s been transformed into a fake ice-cream cone. Get it together, mommy, her face says. Parenting is kind of your job. Continue reading
Every year since we first began dating, my husband and I have thrown a St. Patrick’s Day party. The tradition began as “kegs and eggs”, which was basically just an excuse for some serious day drinking. Over the years, as all of our friends began having children, it evolved into something a little more family friendly.
By the time we had our first child our annual green and orange clad shit show had morphed into something different. It had become part wild party and part daycare, complete with an arts and crafts table.
We served champagne and juice boxes, we catered to everyone. Continue reading
When I became pregnant with my first daughter I was a consumer of information. I googled, I read books, I asked every woman that I laid eyes on, that had birthed a child, all of my many questions.
I felt buoyed by the satisfaction of having knowledge. Every ache or pain got googled or a call to the OB to make sure it was within the range of normal. I checked and cross checked every item that I ate. I even made the special no egg cookie dough when my craving got to be so bad that I thought I would die without it (it was garbage, by the way… spend the money, buy the good stuff). Continue reading
When people find out that you’re having a baby, they want nothing more than to share all of their pearls of wisdom with you. From your mother, to the lady standing next to you in the cereal aisle at the grocery store.
A photo from our maternity shoot with our first. Taken by the talented Maria Kalitina.
Some of it will be good, some of it will be bad, and some of it will be downright dangerous (no, weirdo at the gas station, I am not putting a little whiskey into my baby’s bottle to help her sleep… although I am not opposed to putting a little whiskey into me for, well, I don’t need a reason). Continue reading
We were standing in line at the Starbucks inside of our local Target. I had just returned with two cup holders to attach to our shopping cart (for real, whoever came up with that idea, brilliant).
I attached them to our cart while loudly debating which drink I was going to order. I read the calorie and caffeine count of each of them to my husband, something I only care about during pregnancy, and finally made a decision. The man with the patience of a saint listened to all of it without comment before finally speaking up. Continue reading
Being pregnant is a wonderful, amazing, miracle of an experience. You get to create this life inside of you, and then feel it grow and develop. Eventually you baby grows to become a tiny person that you will grow to love more than you ever thought was humanly possible. Plus, there is nothing quite as wonderful as new baby snuggles.
She yelled “It’s moving!” when she felt something, but the joke was on her because it was just gas.
Pregnancy may be a wonderful, amazing, miracle, but it’s also the most goddamn exhausting experience of your life. Continue reading