“Momma”

As a mom, moments of sheer joy are often coupled with many more moments of exhaustion, frustration, and insanity. There are so many times when it’s nearly impossible not to just mutter to yourself “WTF is happening here?!”

I’ve had my fair share of those days. Far more than I even feel capable of handling, but we’ve survived. With the help of some well-placed bribes, lots of tears, and more chicken nuggets than I’ll ever admit to… ain’t nobody got time for gourmet. Our lives as parents have been utterly ridiculous. Ridiculously happy, ridiculously sad, ridiculously horrifying (like that one time my kid picked up and ate dog poop, because I needed tested on how quickly I could wash feces from a baby’s mouth before vomiting all over us… Neat).

Last night, despite the fact that I was up until 3am with R, because she decided that perfecting her version of a lion’s roar was far more important than sleep, I was overcome with happiness.

I’ll be the first to admit that I feel like I’ve missed out on some bonding moments with R. She was a colicky baby, and often, tending to her needs while she screamed at us was a 24 hour job. It left very little time for genuinely happy cuddles or enjoyable playtime. Pair that with a jealous toddler sister, and she didn’t get the time I had dedicated to L. Call it Second Child Syndrome, I suppose… But she was a tough baby to keep happy, with good reason. Who wants to put up with anyone’s crap when they don’t feel good? I don’t even want to look at another human if I have so much as a runny nose.

 

But last night, as we sat at a family celebration, something changed. She looked at me, and clearly said “momma”. Twice. TWICE!

Naturally, I flipped my lid (reining it in as much as I could because people were there and I don’t know how to feel feelings with witnesses present). I was ecstatic. She quickly brought me back down from my mommy high by trying to remove my eyeball from it’s socket with just her fingernails. But she can’t take it back now, no matter how hard she tries. It’s out there, for dear old mom to remember until I’m 97.

There are no words to describe the feelings you go through when your baby experiences a “first” in front of you. It’s like an emotion stroke. Or being choked to death with happiness. My pride was threatening my life.

I couldn’t even miss the sleep I was losing at 3am when she wanted a bottle and to babble at me. I instantly went from mombie to human person with feelings. If you’ve ever seen Warm Bodies, that’s a pretty accurate depiction of me in the middle of the night last night.

 

Fast-forward to this morning, when I woke up to “Momma! Momma! Mom-Mom-Momma!” Heart explodes. Happiness overload. Too many feels. It wasn’t just a fluke. She knows the word. She’s officially saying it. She likes me, she really likes me.

 

Long story short, these moments are definitely making up for all those disgusting diaper changes. But I’d be cool if those could just stop anyway. Just don’t grow up too fast, Shortstack.

 

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Rain, rain, go away.

As I sit here, rain falling without end just outside the window, L is currently tearing the house apart, nail by nail. R won’t stop crying, just endlessly fussing, no matter what I do, or how many brightly colored babywearing devices I whip out in a fury of frustration. I’m dead from the neck up, with no amount of intravenous coffee to cure the scenario. Rainy days can suck it.

 

Just yesterday, we got some good news about R’s health, so we spent the whole day out in the world, celebrating the fact that for the foreseeable future, we have no worries. We took the girls to lunch at a fun Italian place built in an old abandoned warehouse. Lots of things to look at, lots of fun to be had. Then we spent the day wandering around aimlessly, just enjoying that it was nice enough in this gloomy month to have our coats off.

Today is a different story. We woke up to gray. Just gray. Rain. Nastiness. Right then, I knew. Today would be a disaster. Today would be a day I counted down until B walked in the door at 3:30. The girls are stir crazy, after only 15 minutes of being awake. Because you see, any normal day, we would have jumped from our beds with no regard toward the fact that there were things to be done or food to be eaten. We’d immediately launch ourselves out the front door, to enjoy the blissfulness that is February in balmy, sunny Ohio. We’d romp in the snow, rain, sleet, ice, until our fingers fell off with frostbite and we needed hypothermia blankets. So the 15 minutes of calm that I enjoyed makes perfect sense. Because clearly this is already impeding our day.

You see, when toddlers are confined to any less than 173 acres of running space, vertical space becomes premium. They begin to climb the walls, swing from the ceiling fans, scale the chimney. When babies see toddlers using the refrigerator as their own personal Mt Everest, they tend to cheer them on, in the form of vicious shrieks and ear drum-rattling wails. Then, cooperatively, they decide that mom needs to be a part of this. In the form of crying in the corner as they close in on me, while I’m thinking back on times when life wasn’t about the poop v chocolate debate. PS, it’s almost always poop. Knowledge is power, y’all.

The day is bleak.

As a reward for spending our day out yesterday, our dog has decided to spread his lunch of litter-covered cat poop across our living room. The cat, who fully appreciates her private matters being spewed across the house, is being especially happy. And by happy, I mean she’s violently hissing at the dog with every move he makes.

 

All in all, it’s been a delightfully wonderful dark, rainy, disgusting day. And it’s only 1:00. Which is an appropriate time for wine, right? Fine… more coffee it is.

Life as we know it.

Sitting at home, watching the kids tumble around the living room, while I silently sit in my computer chair, wishing away the mess that is my house and pretending I showered today, I thought maybe it’d be a great idea to blog about this life. Why, I can’t tell you. We don’t live a particularly exciting life, I’m not mother of the year, there really isn’t a reason that anyone would care. Yet, here I am.

 

Let me start by giving you the rundown of our motley crew. There’s me, the frumpy looking mom you’ve seen in Target with a days-old ponytail & dirty yoga pants, struggling with a toddler who has a pretty effective left hook. There’s my husband, let’s just call him B, who works more than he should so that I may have the luxury of being trapped in a house with rugrats looking like a hobo (I truly am appreciative, I swear). My 2.5 year old, L, is rambunctious. That’s being kind. She’s a tornado. And a bully. She enjoys all things Tangled and Frozen, pulling cat tails, and pointing out the blatantly obvious comings and goings of our life. There’s R, my nearly 7 month old. She’s a ball of grump, wrapped in chub. She enjoys precisely nothing, other than the tears of her parents as we weep at her distaste with life in general and the antics of her sister.

 

We’re not exactly a mainstream family. In fact, at times, we’re downright crunchy. If you don’t know what that means, it means we’re essentially the dirty hippies your parents warned you to stay away from. We co-sleep. By that, I mean we no-sleep. Because not a single (adult) person in our house is getting any sleep. We cloth diaper, because ya know, we thoroughly enjoy poop. We often eat organic, though who knows if that really means anything. Also, and here’s the one you’ll likely really cringe at, with R, we had a planned home birth. With a midwife. Not in a hospital. With my two year old present in the next room.

We practice a slew of other AP (attachment parenting, look it up) principles, but I wouldn’t really say that we identify with attachment parenting on the whole. In fact, I yell. Often. I lose my cool on the daily. Hell, I treat time outs as a mini two-minute vacation. I just don’t think we’re cut out for attachment parenting. We just fumble along, hoping we’re doing alright.

 

So that’s us. I’ll attach a picture of us from this past fall, looking like the straight-up dorks we are. You can clearly see how much both children love us for the enriching experience that is family photos. Enjoy.

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