Wednesday, October 01, 2014

This Is a Little Embarrassing...

It has been so long since I posted here that I don't even know where to begin. I attribute this fact to many small reasons that, taken as a whole, have been a little overwhelming.

Parenting two children is not the same as parenting one child, and while I see other parents at the grocery store/library/park whose children are very close in age, part of me thinks, "Gosh, she must be tired all the time, and so sick of changing diapers for two little ones, and worn out from pushing the double stroller," while the other part of me thinks, "It was pretty smart of them to have their kids so close together," because returning to the mindset of parenting a baby when my son was already 4 years old was its own type of challenge.

. . . But that baby is 2 years old now, and that 4-year-old is now 6. When did that happen?

I've also been working third shift for over three years now, and I have recently realized the toll that this shift is taking: on my mood, on my body, on my family, on my self-esteem. When I step outside of myself, on the ragged edge of frustration after working five nights in a row, when all I want to do is sit down on the couch and turn on the television to watch my first non-children's programming in nearly a week instead of reading my kids another book before bed (because isn't seven enough?), the rational and sentimental part of me says, "Read the book. It takes less than five minutes, and in a few years they won't even want you to do it." And so I do it. I read the extra book, which often becomes two extra books, and then I'm too tired to go back downstairs because I've worked 50 hours in the past fives nights, and I feel like I have succeeded as a parent but failed at taking care of myself.

Parenting is incredibly rewarding yet, paradoxically, almost completely thankless. And I have come to realize that my career is this way, too. I love working in the laboratory, especially in the hospital setting, because it is interesting and challenging and I know that I am helping doctors and nurses better understand their patients' diseases and conditions. But it is an often thankless job that I do, and working overnight means that there are no managers or supervisors to witness the hard work that I and my coworkers do, the extra miles we go, the nights that we go to lunch one, two, or even three hours late because we are searching a newborn baby's spinal fluid for signs of meningitis, or testing a pregnant woman's blood to determine if her unborn child is bleeding inside of her womb, or thawing plasma four units at a time to try help the surgeon prevent a victim of multiple gunshot wounds from bleeding out.

I feel like I have somehow become lost in the past few days. It has been a series of small catastrophes, their sum being much, much greater than their parts. I can handle losing my phone and then getting it back with a damaged screen. I can handle my daughter unfolding an entire basket of laundry while I brush my teeth. I can handle an argument with my husband about our budget. I can handle being the focus of a nurse's wrath. What I am having trouble handling right now, though, is that these things keep coming, another wave upon the shore every few minutes.

I wish I could blame it on a full moon.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter Wonder

Somehow, Harry got his hands on the camera this morning. I was running errands while Kevin played with the kids, eating Eggo waffles in the family room. I used the camera a little later to take pictures of the kids outside, and when I transferred the pictures I realized that Harry had taken about a dozen pictures of our Christmas tree, as well as four pictures of Harper's butt. 

We had our first significant snowfall about two weeks ago, but it was bitter cold. I was only letting Harry outside for 10 minutes at a time, and Harper was trapped inside completely, so here are our first pictures of playing in the snow this season.

Monday, September 02, 2013


It seems like I am always playing catch-up since becoming a mother of two, so I guess it's only fitting that my post about Harper's first birthday is three days late.

We had a big family party, and got to visit with people we don't see often enough. Harper refused to nap but remained charming. Harry helped open all of her presents and blew out her candle. We are now hip deep in adorable dresses and V Tech toys and balloons and leftovers, which I'm pretty sure is how one measures success when it comes to first birthday parties.

Our little family, getting ready for cake.

Getting appropriately messy with her frosting.

The doll that we gave her, on a cute little chair from Great Grandma.

In the yard with Harry:
I think this picture captures what it is like to have an older brother.
Here's hoping for many, many more birthdays like this one. . .

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Step by Step

Harper took her first steps today. I could go on about how big she is, how fast she is growing up, et cetera, et cetera, but that would just make me sad. It's bittersweet to think about that: how this is the last time I will watch one of my children walk for the first time. . .

But Harper walked today! So let's just focus on the "sweet" part, okay?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stumbled Upon

I stumbled upon a website today after reading a story on Slate about a town being buried by a desert. The site is called Atlas Obscura, and I had a really hard time tearing myself away from it. It bills itself as "your guide to the world's hidden wonders." You can click the "random place" button to be surprised, or search by location or keyword.

Abandoned amusement parks,  an elementary school inside a cavern, a museum devoted to beach glass . . . if my children hadn't needed lunch, I would probably have spent an hour losing myself in these pictures.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fathers: Fixers of All Things

We whipped up some sugar cookies with a Father's Day theme this weekend, in honor of all the dads in our family who are, or aspire to be, handy. My husband is willing to tackle almost any project, and is remarkably competent, even though he is not always completely patient. I have watched or helped him tackle any number of projects, from drywall finishing and ceiling fan installation to painting and tree trimming, not to mention all of the child-inspired projects, like the most recent Resurrection of the Baby Gate (decommissioned in 2011 when Harry turned 3 and now out of retirement for a scooting and crawling Harper).

This is definitely my new sugar cookie recipe. It's from Food Network, specifically Good Eats with Alton Brown, and it's not too sweet and holds its shape beautifully. Other recipes have resulted in hammers that looked more like, well, nothing in particular. The kids and I ate a few while Kevin was at work, then shared a few more with Kevin, and packaged the rest up for my dad, who will have to wait until he's back from his drive along Route 66 before he can try one.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 14, 2013

She's a Cookie Monster

My girl has been killing with her want-a-cookie routine. It goes like this:

Harper: (holds out drooled-upon, soggy, half-eaten cookie in my direction, smiling as above.)

Me: Oh, thank you, Harper, I would love a bite of your cookie. (opens mouth and leans towards cookie.)

Harper: (snatches cookie back.) Mwa ha ha ha ha!