cold coffee.

around 5:30am I hear Jack playing with the toys in his crib.  “Toot! Toot!  This is the ABC train!”  I try to mentally will him back to sleep, or to play with a quieter toy so that he doesn’t wake up Lincoln.  Doesn’t work.

Lincoln comes in.  “Jack woke me up.”

I try to mentally will both of them to go back to bed.  Then Stella wanders in.  “I want some mow milllk.”  I lay there.  She shoves the cup closer and closer to my nose until it’s wedged under my cheek.  I still lay there a bit longer willing them away.  It doesn’t work.

Once up it’s diapers for Jack, diapers for Stella.  shut off music.  Lincoln feeds and lets Toonces out (taking care of her is his job and he takes it very serious).  I start the series of waffles.  Trader Joes frozen waffles are what get me through.  It’s all I can do to put them in the toaster and press down.  Most days it seems like anything more would actually kill me.  I wish they’d stop wanting to eat every. single. morning.

Once drinks and food are dispersed I start my coffee.  as soon as it’s ready someone needs something.  or a fight breaks out.  once that is solved I sit down and try to relax for a second and take a sip.  another fight.  more milk is needed.  or juice, really, they want the opposite of whatever I’ve just poured into the cup.  I usually just walk away.  there are only so many games a mama can play.

attempt three at a sip of coffee.  someone wants me to come look at a train.  or a dinosaur. or to listen to them roar.  or to watch them walk.  or to look at a bird out the window.  birds out the window are miraculous EVERYDAY.  they never get old.  for some reason they are amazed EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. a bird flies by. “I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT!  ANOTHER ONE!!!!”

attempt 41 at a sip of coffee.  someone stinks.  I let that fly, but then Stella pulls out the Ace in the Sleeve.  “I want to sit on the potty!”  no she doesn’t.  she wants to go in there and get her pjs off and then convince me to give her a bubble bath.  it works.  while distracted with Stella in the bathroom, Jack climbs onto the table in the dining room and flings my coffee to the ground, takes a few photos of himself with the laptop computer and pulls up an email account I haven’t used in ages.  I clean all that up and make a new cup.

Lincoln wants to blow bubbles, I agree and hand him bubbles and tell him to go outside.  Stella’s in the bath, Lincoln’s blowing bubbles, Jack is…..somewhere.  I sit down and again attempt to take a sip of coffee.

“I’m ready to get ouuuuuut.”  Stella’s done.  Suddenly Lincoln appears, apparently the bubbles are broken.  He needs help, I have to come outside RIGHT NOW.  Stella is yelling.  Jack is still quiet and has now hit the ‘too quiet’ mark.  I go find him first.  I find him in Stella’s room licking her cds and shoving doll house pieces into the cd player while at the same time standing on the rocking chair and rocking back and forth.  (not kidding.)  I take him down and shut her door.  He screams.  Stella is yelling louder about needing a “towrell” so I go give her one.  I suggest getting dressed or perhaps brushing her hair and she screams and runs.

I sit back down.  Please, just one little tiny sip of coffee….Suddenly Lincoln is by my side.  oh yeah, the bubbles are broken.  I grab my lukewarm coffee and everyone heads outside.  I try to explain that the bubbles aren’t broken but no one listens.  They all appear happy and content so I go back inside with my cup.  I sit down.  a fight breaks out.

I set my cold coffee down and start to get ready for work.  It’s not even 8am.

throwing up butterflies.

We were sick all weekend.  It was brutal.  Three kiddos with a stomach virus at the same time.  Lincoln puking in the bathroom, Stella simultaneously puking all over her bedroom.  Jack literally crapping out his pirate pajamas.  Matt and I could barely keep up.  At one point we just looked at each and shook our heads.  Lincoln and Stella both were up sick, throwing up every 30 min or so until 3 am.  Absolutely no sleep for either of us.  and then I got sick at 5am.

Lincoln, in a moment of pure beauty among the horrid brutal, mentioned that he couldn’t see the butterflies.  His exact words were, “I just don’t see the butterflies when I get sick.”  In an attempt to teach Lincoln to run to the potty when he felt sick, Matt had told him that he would feel ‘butterflies’ in his tummy right before he got sick.  In his lovely and magical 3 year old mind he thought there would be actual butterflies in his stomach.  And wondered why they weren’t coming up.  He, however, never questioned WHY there would be butterflies in his stomach.  I guess that’s the true beauty of the 3 year old mind.

Somehow Matt made it out alive, never being taken down.  Jack rebounded the fastest (was the first to go down) so Saturday was mainly a day of laying around, rehydrating, attempting to keep liquids down, and barely surviving.  I was in bed from 10am-7pm.  That hasn’t happened since 2007.

Laying around is hard for me.  For some reason I’m programmed to be productive.  I.  Must.  Be.  Doing.  Something.  So the worst part for me was waking up from my foggy, bacteria induced haze and realizing that more hours had gone by where I wasn’t able to even move my legs.  It was brutal.  I work 40 hours a week with my kiddos in tow and live and dream for my Saturdays.  I love being able to fix the house up, get all the cleaning done, take a million pictures, discover things with the kids, bake, and play, and read.  I don’t like laying around.  But that’s what we did.   At one point when Matt brought me in more ice water I said, “It’s crazy, there are so many good movies on!”  He laughed and said, “It’s Saturday and it’s cable.  Welcome to the way the other half lives.”  I won’t lie, there was a small piece of me that LOVED laying in bed and watching back to back chick flicks.

Now that Monday is approaching I kinda feel like the weekend didn’t even happen.  That I went from Friday to Monday without any of that bliss that pulls us through.  The house is still a mess.  The laundry is still piled on the washer (27 loads later after pukefest 2012).  No snacks baked or prepared for the week.  No crazy wonderful fun.  Just laying there.  Surviving.  (barely).

But today the kids ran around with Matt, chasing bubbles and building train cities.  Fixing old remote control cars and racing them through castle houses.  There were squeals and dog piling, and movies.  Lincoln fought bed, not because he wasn’t tired but because he didn’t want the day to end.  A day of nothing but laying around.

It was a brutal weekend.  Painful most of the time.  But sometimes there is a beauty wrapped up so tight in the brutal that it’s almost too hard to see.  There were moments through the weekend where the beauty poked through.

Lincoln standing at the toilet in his monster pajamas, Matt’s hand on his back.  A true moment of a father supporting a son.

Lincoln coming up to me in bed and gently touching my face and asking, “you okay?  you feeling better?”  Forever our thoughtful child, always concerned about others.

Matt and I working as a team, even in the mad chaos, knowing that We Got This.

Sometimes you can’t see the beauty in life, sometimes you can just barely barely feel it.  But it’s there.  Just like the butterflies that fly around in your tummy….right before you vomit them all up.