ballon in a hurricane.

they say not to use walkers.  i have always deemed this slightly crazy, i mean i understand the stair danger.  and i understand lazy parents that use them as baby sitters.  but we don’t fall into either category so i always used one every now and then.  some circumstances call for it.

like today, today was a gorgeous late spring day.  we all piled outside, lincoln running around throwing balls and playing with his water table.  dad grilling.  stella was in the walker so that she could be a part of it all.  and there she was, wearing a yellow and white polka dotted romper and nibbling on animal crackers, when lincoln decided to jump up on the edge of the walker, tipping it over.  she goes down.  i heard screams and walked outside to matt and my mom trying to quickly pick her up and dust her off.  it’s not the first time she’s been dusted off.

at the ripe age of 7 months she has been hit in the head with numerous basketballs and footballs, been kicked, hit, pinched, hit in the nose with books, and who knows what else i don’t witness.  one time i heard her scream and suddenly lincoln ran out of the bedroom and came up and hugged me (a preliminary “i’m sorry”) i never did figure out what happened.

it’s not that we don’t watch out for her, or attempt to protect her.  we do.  i am actually more protective of her.  but lincoln is a force to be reckoned with.  he means no harm.  he couldn’t love stella more.  he spends the majority of his time taking care of her.  bringing her toys, bringing her food.  he actually supplied her with the animal crackers she was eating before he flipped the walker.  he spends a lot of time hugging her.  she’s his ‘ball’.

when lincoln walks into a room things start to fly.  noise levels are raised.  things start moving so fast life becomes a blur.  that is lincoln.  a fast, loud, blur.  and stella is usually sitting somewhere, tracking the blur with her big thoughtful eyes.  she often holds her hands in a mediative pose, thumb and finger touching in an ‘O’ shape.  her lips are pressed together and she is staring.  thinking, watching, waiting.  every now and then she will burst into laughter, usually at some antic of lincoln’s.  he tends to stop moving long enough to make her smile or laugh and then continues on.  and she stops laughing and sits again.  waiting for his next pause.

lincoln has been compared to a tidal wave, a force of nature.  he blows through life like a hurricane, picking up speed as he goes, sucking everyone in.  and stella sits.  and floats.  forever the balloon in his hurricane. bobbing along, occasionally getting hit by debris, and waiting for the eye of the hurricane.  waiting for the moment when he stops moving long enough to grab her, and laugh.

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i and love and you.

i’m not going to lie, this whole mom thing isn’t always a bucket of roses.  it’s really aggravating a majority of the time.  and maybe that sounds bad but anyone that disagrees is lying.  or just doesn’t remember correctly.  i rarely get sleep (two straight hours is amazing, four is like a vacation), i get screamed at A LOT, i get kicked, stepped on, puked on, peed on, haven’t taken a solo shower in who knows how long. 

so why do people do it? why do people continue to have children, let alone multiple children in the same family?  because no matter how hard it is, how absolutely crappy it can be, just when you think you are at your breaking point they do something to remind you  just how wonderful parenthood can be. 

it has been quite the week.  stella didn’t sleep, lincoln’s goal this week was to spit whatever food he got his hands on all over the house.  i found smashed grapes EVERYWHERE.  and crackers.  crackers, one bite out of each all over the house.  yesterday was particularly hard.  stella was crying all day.  so overtired, so cranky.  she cried all the way home.  lincoln literally dragged his feet off the stroller all the way home, jumping on and off the stroller.  he fell twice and wore a hole in his shoes.  i ended up having to half carry him home while pushing the stoller with stella screaming and on no sleep.  it was rough, maybe i am weak but i wanted to sit down and cry.  we get home and stella keeps screaming.  and screaming. and screaming.  i skip bath and we go straight to bed.  she still screams.  finally she’s asleep.  i make lincoln his favorite dinner, oatmeal with honey.  he takes a bite and spits it all over the floor.  sticky honey.  then he steps in it and rubs it deeper into the wood.   i watch him in disbelief.  today couldn’t get much worse. 

i head to bed with him.   we run the gament of bath, pjs, book.  i am feeling beat up, worn down, lost.  and so tired.  i mentally convince myself that tonight stella will sleep.  and tomorrow will be a good day, a fun day, a happy day.  i hug lincoln tight, trying to convince myself through his hug.  i whisper, “i love you, tomorrow will be a good day. ”  he smiles.  and the boy who doesn’t talk, who says only ‘ball’ and ‘bike’, hugs me back and says, “i wuv woo.” 

yep, it’s worth every moment.  even the really really hard ones.  because nothing can be as bad as that was good.  oh yeah, and last night, stella slept.

chinese water torture.

i once read that the chinese had a punishment where they would strap a person down and drip drops of water in their face over and over again.  it isn’t a painful procedure, but meant to make someone go insane.  this has become my nightly routine. 

for the past four days stella has been up ALL NIGHT LONG.  saturday night she was up all night, at one point even somehow undressed herself and then proceeded to scream because she was naked.  i wouldn’t mind if she just laid in her crib and babbled.  but she isn’t content doing that, she must have an audience.  so about every 15 min she screams.  sometimes every 8.  close enough together so that i don’t fall back asleep, but far enough apart that i start hoping i might be able to.  she should grow up to be a communist leader.  her ability to break down someone’s mental stability is amazing. 

honestly, i am not only going crazy because of the lack of sleep but also because i can’t figure out what’s wrong.  is she overtired? hungry? teething? constipated?  suddenly self aware? overtired, maybe.  hungry, doesn’t appear to be so.  teething? don’t see anything and tylenol didn’t help her sleep.  constipated? nope.  i am at a loss, and losing this battle of wills quickly.  while she can nap during the day i cannot.  the worst part is that she is overly cranky through out the day, probably due to the lack of sleep, so our nights are rough and then the days are filled with screaming.  it’s been rough to say the least.  not to mention that it’s tax time and i have been doing our taxes on little to no sleep.  let’s hope we get a friendly auditor.

we will end it with this- she better do one of three things in the next day or so:

1) sleep

2) grow a tooth

3) move out

this old house.

there’s always a quilt in the middle of the floor.  toys scattered around.  no matter how many times a day i sweep and mop, cheerios litter the floor and peanut butter stains the coffee table and the couch.  the house always seems in complete disarray even though i constantly seem to be picking things up, wiping things off, and putting things away.  nothing is where it should be.  sippy cups full of overpriced organic whole milk are found sitting behind the toilet (what?! i don’t even want to know).  rubber footballs are found in the tupperware drawer.  the tupperware is found on the deck. 

i am a person who thrives on cleaniness and order.  when i walk through the house and step in baby vomit, smash cereal into the wood, or see lincoln find a piece of toast under the bed and eat it, life feels heavy.   it’s probably the hardest part for me.  i could go without sleep and listen to the screams if i came home to my marble countertops shining every evening.  if the wood floors glistened and the bathroom tile was spotless i could endure almost anything. 

it’s the piles of baby clothes in the bathroom and the scraps of food that fell off them stuck in the rug or the constant wet spots on the bathroom floor from the dripping baby tub that make me sigh and shake my head.    i know it seems like an easy fix.  pick up.  get a routine.  dry the floor with a towel.  i do pick up.  we have more routines than an olympic ice skater.  but i have an un-picker-upper following closely behind knocking over whatever i straighten.  i gather up the recycle-ables and throw them in the bin, i barely walk out of the room before i see lincoln taking the cans out one by one and lining them up next to the computer.  i shake my head and keep walking.  i grab a towel to dry the bathroom floor and mid swipe hear stella scream.  i go to investigate and find the towel a day later under a pile of mini people clothes.  i pop the bathroom rug into the dryer to suck out the food particles (particles that seem to just constantly fall from the babies, they get food stuck in the craziest places.  how in earth do you get cheerios in your crack when you wear a diaper, a onsie, tights, and pants?) and as i stare in glee at it’s freshness, lincoln slides into the bathroom and drops a cereal bar on the floor, then trips and his knee lands on top of it breaking it into a million sticky crumbly pieces.  whatever.  i’ll clean next week.

a clean house used to be all i had.  i spent hours pouring over color swatches and magazine clippings.  finding the perfect angle of the chairs.  crazy, i know, but as i stated earlier the aesthetic experience of my home made me happy.  i don’t have a clean house anymore.  i have toast under the bed, dripped milk from sippy cups EVERYWHERE and piles of laundry.  i step over toys and into day old peanut butter.  but i also have little feet pattering around.  i have a crazy blond, curly-haired boy that lights up the room.  i  have peels of laughter.  i have the naked bodies that shed all dirty clothes dancing around, food falling from them as they tap dance and squirm around the house. 

 my house isn’t very pretty anymore, but my home is beautiful.  and it’s worth having peanut butter in your toes.

sick babies.

i really don’t even know where to begin.  death, funerals, vacation, sick babies, taxes, bills, and on top of all that it’s still raining.  it’s been quite the month.  oh yeah, the store moved too.

lincoln and stella are sick.  no temperatures so nothing serious but i still feel horrid for them.  lincoln keeps pointing to his nose and going, “oowww…”  i put chicken broth in his sippy cup and he gave me a dirty look.  he laid on the couch all day with a bottle of warm honey water (thought it would soothe his throat).  anyone that knows lincoln knows that if he stops moving for an instant something is wrong.  let alone laying down all day long. 

poor stella is the happiest sick baby ever.  she lays on the ground grinning and beaming at anyone that walks by while yellowish green snot oozes from her nose.  she is also a bit unsettled though and you can tell she isn’t quite comfortable no matter what.  i covered both of them in baby vicks vapor rub and shoved all of us in the shower, dumped half a bottle of johnson’s baby vapor bubble bath in the bath tub and turned the shower on.  they baked in the minty steam until i saw crazy snot colors coming from their noses.  then comes the bulb.  which, oddly enough, both of them seem to really enjoy.  lincoln even trys to do it himself (astoundingly he even squeezes it just right, so perceptive that one).  and also trys to do it to me.  i like the bulb because it feels like the one thing i can DO.  i can suck the snot out, i can see my progress.  I KNOW i am making them feel better. 

then i cover them both again in baby vicks, massage it on their backs and chest and necks and put on their comfy-iest pjs and wrap them up tight and start the patting.   they go to sleep surprisingly easy (well, stella does) but they don’t stay asleep.  they are both restless.  just when i think they are down i hear lincoln moaning in his sleep.  i go in and pat him again.  take his temperature again.  93.5.  seems low.  i take mine. 94.  guess we are cold-blooded.  he feels hot so i take a blanket off (i had three on them, intent on sweating the infection out of them).  he stops moaning. 

this is a cold.  not the flu, not the chicken pox, not really anything serious.  i can’t imagine parents that are sitting in hospital waiting rooms. can’t imagine the worry and agony they are going through.    what’s their bulb?  dear God please never let  me know.