Saturday, March 19, 2011

man's best friend

when i was four i wanted a dog.

instead, my parents gave me a brother.

at the time, you can imagine my disappointment. a puppy is instant fun and this new baby in my life did nothing but distract my parent's attention away from me.

after a miscarriage in between timothy and myself, my parents had conceded to the idea of having only one child. just me. i was to be the star of the show and my life was pretty good. four and a half years of solo time, was just enough for me to independent, free thinking and maybe, a little spoiled. my life was all mapped out and i liked it. i spent all week playing with my mom and on saturday mornings my daddy and i would leave the house so mom could have some time to her self. this usually involved sleeping in, but that is an entirely different blog. those saturday mornings with my daddy were THE best. we had the same routine, the same ritual every week. that, too, is another blog. so imagine my surprise when this new bundle of joy came home to live in MY house. we lived in a little two bedroom house and i so vividly remember being down right furious that they were going to make me share a room with this BOY. after all, my room was pink! with flowers! and not that big! all of my things were moved to the basement to make room for HIS things. a bassinet, his swing, his changing table. this was MY room!

slowly, it sunk into my thick skull, that he was not going any where. i was just going to have to get used to him being around. and so i did and in doing so discovered that hey! this life might not be so bad after all. when mom was holding him, it left her hands less free to reprimand or catch me. i became an even freer, more independent spirit. i ran amok with the neighborhood kids and my best friend, brian. suddenly, life was pretty good again.

the in between then and now of sibling life escapes me. it seems as if tim has always been around and those first four and a half alone years never happened. he is like an appendage. i don't really remember too many fights between us over the years, although when we did fight, we certainly made it count. he's generally a mellow dude, but when you hit the hot button, the fuse becomes short and fast. like the time he got so pissed at me and pushed me through a glass storm door on the farm! i did NOT see that coming. naturally, we lied and said we threw a ball through the door, but i suspect our parents have always known differently.

despite the large age gap between us, i have always been protective of him. no one else was going to kill him, because i was going to. i am certain he feels like he has two mothers and i might be just a tad bit overbearing from time to time. fortunately, most of the time he lets it slide and over the last decade and a half we have become the very best of friends. there is a very comforting thing about having a sibling, a person who walked down the same road that you did. who remembers that vacation in orlando when dad was so angry with all those brazilian kids. who remembers getting up at the crack of dawn to feed bottle calves and how they would suck so hard the bottle would separate and you would end up with calf formula all over you before school. who remembers that time it snowed on his late october birthday. who knows exactly what kinda mood our mother is in by the tone of her voice. yes, its good to have that kind of person in your life.

tim and i have gotten so close over the years, randy used to be intimidated by the two of us. to this day, he refuses to play any team game opposite us. he now gets "us" a little bit more and understands that we need to spend time together, in fact, he encourages it. now the two of them are like two peas in a pod and sometimes i am the lone forgotten guy. its okay by me, i am happy to share my little brother. (most of the time!)

we try to have a monthly date/outing and tonight we celebrated my survival of hell week with pagliais pizza. it was a staple for both of us while we were in maryville and its always so nice to have the thirty minute drive to catch up. the beautiful thing about having him as my brother, is not only did my parents give me a sibling, but they gave me a friend. although sometimes i don't like to hear what comes out of his mouth, he always speaks the truth to me and tells it like it is. (i happily return the favor, for the record.) tonight's conversation involved humility, forgiveness and sucking it up. not to mention some really whacked out dreams he has been having, but again, another blog or maybe he should take that up with a therapist? i can't steam roll my brother into thinking what i want him to think, he knows when i am bluffing and calls me on it. it nice to be able to be that raw and humble with another human being.

i hope the two of you, soon to be three, will take advantage of the "gifts" we have given you. there will always be times you don't like each other, but i hope you always love each other. within the three of you is the same dna, the same past, the same possibility. i always am in awe that there is no person on this earth as much like me as tim. how incredibly cool is that? having a solid relationship doesn't just happen by proxy, you will have to work at it, nurture it, foster it! but if you do, i promise it can be the most rewarding and soul satisfying relationship. besides, who else is going to always agree with you how crazy your father and i are?

i'm 34 years old and that dog i so desperately wanted would be long gone by now. instead of that dog, they gave me a best friend and i am so, so grateful.

"i don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. it makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at."

maya angelou

Thursday, March 17, 2011

lucky enough

its st patrick's day and it couldn't have come a moment sooner! for this is the day, our luck has really turned around! everyone was up and at 'em today and feeling quite well. the sun was shining and it was a whopping 76 degrees. beautiful! we had to do the mundane task of going to the grocery store, since the two of you go through about $40 a week in produce, the bulk of it rotted during our hell week and had to be replaced. we were down to bare bones. 

however boring this task is, it felt so good to do something "normal!" to get up and shower, put on clothes- real clothes, and go out amongst the living. we all wore green, though i had to borrow a hair clip from vivian. seems the only green in my wardrobe is bearcat green and the majority of it is better suited for football weather. after grocery shopping we finished up lunch with green popsicles! daddy managed to find the perfect toddler sized popsicles last week, solidifying my idea that HE should do all the grocery shopping. he shops by the "i'd rather be looking at it, than looking for it" mentality and we always end up with many multiples of an item i request. he covers all his basis, i will give him that. we spent the better part of the next hour walking through the yard, checking out all the signs of life. there are daffodils, tulips, day lilies and herbs quietly waking throughout the yard. it was so refreshing and also concerning- we have so much work in front of us this spring. our huge yard has a life of its own and tends to get away from us. 

i just looked at the above picture and giggled to myself. jack is ready for warmer weather, all of his pants look like he is ready for a flood! then there is little 17 month old vivian, still wearing her size 12 month jeans. i picked her up this morning after remarking how "big" she is getting. i squeezed on you more than you like and thought to myself you seem so big, and yet, you will never again be as small as you are today. such a bittersweet thought. every day your words become clearer, more distinct and grow in numbers. you are running and jumping now! like a real big girl- i can hardly believe it. the nicest thing about the two of you being so sick last week was that you both let me hold you and rock you. the majority of the time you are moving too fast to sit still and neither of you have ever been big snugglers. (i secretly hope that the surprise guest is a momma's baby!) 

we ended our evening with stir fry, full of green broccoli, sugar snap peas and peppers. jack loved it for the first time in three years and i couldn't be happier! you even asked for it as a bed time snack? so weird? we also made a quick trip to baskin-robbins for a trio of green themed ice cream. jack and i had a good time eating it, but i don't think we enjoyed it quite as much vivi did! she had it all over! 

irish eyes were smilin' today and it was indeed, a good day. it seems only fitting this march 17th that i leave you with an irish blessing:

may you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, 
laughter to cheer, those you love near you, 
and all your heart might desire. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

oh mercy!

i have little energy left for blogging tonight, its been one hell of a week. jack continued to melt on me during the latter part of last week, to the point i knew we needed some help. luckily for us, the good dr kinder called from her emergency room in st louis and talked me off the ledge and into driving him to children's mercy in kansas city. we got there about 11 and didn't make it home until the next morning. what a long night! but he was a real trooper, only cried when the big, huge orderly held him down to put the iv in. once his "straw" was in, he was golden and so proud of it! we watched the movie, cars,  until the wee hours of morning and he didn't fall asleep until a quarter til 5.

we got home as the sun was coming up and i almost felt optimistic. a liter of fluids and sugar water, i was hopeful for the turn around. you woke up starving and thirsty; but quickly resumed the puking and diarrhea. blah. once again, you spent the entire day in bed. this was day four of you not leaving my bed, which is the opposite of your normal disposition. grandma and grandpa rushed over friday afternoon so they could see you. i think it was a deja vu moment for them, so many times they hovered over a little dark headed, fair complected, sick boy. 

saturday morning, we awoke to vivian crying downstairs. she was sitting in her high chair puking all over herself. try as we might, we were unable to avoid little sister getting this nasty bug too. she has been maintaining better than jack did; she is drinking fluids and munching on a cracker here and there. 

daddy and i are tired and now we both have a little touch of this bug. poor randy has had to be responsible for the cleaning of the v & d; its all i can do to be on the same level of the house when this stuff is going on. being pregnant with two super sick kids is just plain not right! what torture! thankfully, daddy doesn't mind and has brought home all of the hospital grade disinfectants from hillyard. 

tomorrow has got to be better. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

mama said. . .

its been much too long since my last blog, but life has been "rough" to say the very least the last few weeks. i almost don't know where to begin to catch you up to speed on our life as of late. i kept thinking in the bath tub i needed to make a new post but where to start? the only thing that kept running through my head was this song "mama said there'd be days like this" by the shirelles. it basically repeats that lyric throughout and talks about having tough days, times that don't go your way. as it played through my head, i thought, i will be damned if my mama ever said anything about this kind of day. . .

*the day when, on top of all the other pregnancy b.s. you some how manage to fracture your wrist and it hurts so badly that you are willing to call your doctor at his home, on a sunday morning, crying so hard he has to look at caller i.d. to find out who in the hell he is talking to.
*the day when you can't wait to take your children to school so you can go to the doctor's office and get hooked up to an iv for fluids and a shot that will make the nausea subside, if only temporarily.
*the day that you get that shot and become a ravenous pig, catching up on not eating for three days. this would be the day i inhaled half a box of raspberry zingers and ate dinner twice.
*the day that you are just sure your entire family is going to fall apart if your own mama doesn't come and save you all. so you call her, again, bawling to the point of hysteria begging her to come to your rescue.
*the day that you think its all getting better and the baby's cough just isn't quite sounding right, so you take her to the doctor only to discover she has bronchitis.
*the day that your parents leave to go on a sunny vacation and you are happy for them, for they, too, endured days like "this" but you are also secretly angry with them for leaving you.
*the day that is monday, and come monday, it will be alright, only to watch your 3 year old melt as the day progresses and you know what is in store for you. the flushed cheeks, bad attitude, lack of appetite. then he asks you to leave an event with his friends so he can go home and go to bed. not good.
*the day that turns into the night that you know is going to be long and brutal. the high fever followed by the gagging noise. then the non-stop vomiting. followed by the non-stop diarrhea. the constant pajama changes. the constant toilet and bathroom cleaning. the sleepless night.
*the day that follows the never ending night, which wakes you with the sounds of the OTHER child. the one that isn't sick, doesn't care that you got little, if any sleep the night before. this day is full of laundry, rocking, vomit, explosive stools and headaches.
*the day that is all about a nasty little stomach virus that sets our world a' spinning. already feeling nauseous mixed with the odors that come from a stomach bug don't bide well for a cohesive relationship. i never anticipated the poop all over the wall, or that i would react to it in such a violet way that we would have to close the door and go to another bathroom, leaving the mess for daddy to clean up.
*and finally the day you think its all going to be better only to go to the doctor and discover on top of the stomach virus, we are in the beginning of pneumonia.

kids, i love you both dearly and i think i am one of those fortunate moms that has the ability to appreciate even the most mundane of moments with you; but these last few weeks have sucked. no one told me there would be days like THIS! i am fully aware that i am not the first mother to endure these moments but holding on to that knowledge is simply not enough catalyst to make me see the sunny side in all of this. i keep searching for quotes that might be inspiring- that which does not kill us makes us stronger- is doing nothing for me now.

the highlights of this debacle have included yet another amazing showing by your father, who has helped me out in our hours of need! thank God i married a glorified janitor and we have access to free germicides and hospital grade disinfectants. he has really risen to the occasion. and i suppose its been nice to be able to snuggle and rock with not-so-baby jack these past few days, although he smells really awful and i wish we could cuddle under different circumstances. however, that about wraps it up. we have missed functions, work and school. everyone has cried. no one is sleeping.

this too, shall pass, they say and it can't pass quick enough.

no, my mama never said anything about days like these.