Thursday, December 4, 2014

hedgehogs

So here’s the thing. When you have a baby you have to deal with all this super gross stuff. Like the baby is really, really cute, but simultaneously the baby is capable of Great Evil. Particularly Great Evil in the diaper area. And as a rule for my life, I prefer not to speak about, think about, or deal with this particular kind of Evil in any capacity. Like weird bathroom humor – not my style. I find it irritating. And yet here I am, thrust into this world where I must analyze and deal with and strategize about the Great Evil on a daily basis. It’s jarring. And sometimes the Evil is so very Great that I am stunned about how to deal with it, and later, at the end of my day, I realize that battling the Great Evil was the most adrenaline-inducing event of my day. That’s a strange idea to get my head wrapped around, although let’s be real, heads do not, by nature, wrap around anything.

So back to this thing we are here to talk about. (Or, more pompously: “So back to this thing about which we are here to talk.”) I will call it “hedgehog,” because if there’s one thing I gathered from Harry Potter, it’s that the most evil things should not be called by their true names. Also, ew.

A few people have asked me, “Have you had a very public hedgehog incident yet?” To which I say, “No! We have had no issues whatsoever! She’s an awesome baby.”

Do you know what the Bible says? The Bible says that pride comes before a fall, or a hedgehog, loosely translated.



A week ago, Baby and I were at dinner with some friends. Baby had on a turkey hat and was being really, really adorable. My sweet, precious friends were oooh-ing and ahhh-ing and doing all the things great friends do when you bring your pride and joy baby around. But here’s something else you should know about these sweet, precious friends. These exact friends and I have texted many, many times in absolute bewilderment about moms posting things on Facebook or whatever about hedgehogs. We were like EWWWWWWWWW, moms! Stop it! When I told them I was pregnant, I also told them that they should under no circumstances allow me to get like that. And on one hand I still agree with us, and on the other hand, here I sit, writing about hedgehogs, because here’s the thing my old self needs to know – sometimes hedgehogs are TERRIFYING and OVERWHELMING and you just NEED OTHER PEOPLE TO KNOW WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH. Like yesterday, Baby had a bath and then a very inconvenient post-bath hedgehog. So she had another bath, and then suddenly there she is, bathing with more hegdehogs! So there were three baths before 10 a.m., and I interrupted my husband in the middle of a meeting because I NEEDED HIM TO KNOW WHAT I HAD ENDURED. So I kind of get it. The sharing, I mean. And yet, ew. Mixed emotions. Whatever. The point is, we had it coming. You can’t just judge other peoples’ babies’ hedgehogs and not risk enduring a VERY PUBLIC, VERY EPIC hedgehog yourself. Because do you know what the Bible says? It says judge not lest you be judged, or loosely translated, judge not the hedgehogs of others lest you be dealt with a very severe hedgehog yourself.

So baby is sitting there, knowing she’s cute and totally working it, and I hear this little hedgehog bark, or whatever it is that hedgehogs do. I’m smiley and being responsible mom and say, “Oops, guys! Looks like we have a hedgehog over here. Gonna take her to the hedgehog room real quick.” My cool friends are like, “No prob, dude! Hope it’s not a badly behaved hedgehog!” And I kind of check the baby, and I confirm, “Nope! It’s no big deal! Only well behaved hedgehogs allowed at Huey’s!” Huey’s is the restaurant where we were eating, a restaurant coincidentally only filled at the moment with young twenty-somethings being loud and youth-like and flirting with one another and making us barf, a.k.a. clearly being people who are never, ever around babies or their hedgehogs. The perfect audience, one might say.

I lift little turkey-headed baby out of the high chair, and then my friends are like “OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH,” and I’m like, “What?” And then I remember what hedgehogs do – they run. I mean, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG. I see speedy little hedgehogs EVERYWHERE. Like EVERY. WHERE. Hedgehogged baby legs. Hedgehogged high chair. Hedgehogged FLOOR. Hedgehogged mother hands. (Should I be doubling the “g” when I spell “hedgehogged”?) The whole place is crawling with hedgehogs. Hedgehog infestation to the max. Here is what happens next:

FRIEND 1: WHAT DO WE DO?

ME: UM UM UM UM I don’t know!

FRIEND 2: EW EW LIKE EW EW

FRIEND 3: HERE ARE NAPKINS!!!!

ME: [holds napkins to baby posterior and shuffles awkwardly to hedgehog room praying we do not leave a trail of hedgehog while smiling oddly at young twenty-somethings kind of like “careful careful with all that flirting!”]

In Bathroom:

ME: UM UM UM UM [begins to employ Code Brown Hedgehog Extraction Procedures] I HAVE BEEN TRAINING FOR THIS FOR EIGHT MONTHS! THIS IS MY OLYMPICS

BABY: Smile. Smile. Look how cute I am!

ME: HELLO THIS IS NO TIME FOR BEING CUTE YOU HAVE HEDGEHOGGED EVERYWHERE THIS IS NOT A DRILL

Friends 1 and 2 enter the hedgehog room, while Friend 3 must sit alone with the young twenty-somethings. Bless her.

FRIEND 1: Good news! The waitress gave us Clorox!

ME: Yikes. That is humiliating. And yet it is the only true hedgehog killer.

FRIEND 2: Can I help?

ME: No, no, I must endure this alone. I created this monster, and I am solely responsible for hedgehog infiltration. How does it look out there?

FRIEND 2: Super gross.

FRIEND 1: Is that a normal color for a hedgehog?

ME: Yes, but I had to google it.

BABY: I remain completely unaffected by this series of events.

FRIEND 2: You should just throw those pjs out.

ME: Totes.

We go back and face the music.

FRIEND 2: I do not want my salad anymore.

FRIEND 1: I am very glad I already finished my French fries.

FRIEND 3: We will tell this at her rehearsal dinner.

ME: I will blog about it.

Later, at the table, I tip my waitress. But then I scribble the number out and double it. Later in the car, I feel guilty. I should have tripled it. Because, I mean, yikes. She did not deserve that.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

He Is Good

I threw out the pink monkey pajamas. They’re cute, and she only wore them once. But they make me remember that night, and I do not want to remember.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable,” said C.S. Lewis. And I love Adelaide. I don’t even think I have the words to express how much, but I probably don’t need to, because you probably love someone that much, too. It’s a gripping, scary kind of love, the kind that’s stitched into your DNA and becomes a part of who you are. The kind that makes you nervous because you know that if it was ripped away, the damage would be cell-level, completely devastating.

She went to sleep at ten o’clock, but two hours later, we heard a noise. It was quiet, but somehow it made us both jerk out of bed. 

“Something is not right,” said Ms. Clavel. A line from Madeline, one of my favorite books, and a movie I’ve watched with Adelaide three or four times. “She loves it!” I always say. But she’s only six months old, so really, I’m the one that loves it. I love that movie, and I love to hold her and watch that movie.

The noise was terrible. Hushed. 

She was choking. She did not look like herself.

We act quickly and desperately, but once she’s past one choking fit, there’s another. And another. “Something is not right.”

My mind is being weird, and it shouts good things at me, the love things, the vulnerable things. “We watch Madeline together! That’s our thing! And Dancing with the Stars! And singing the yodel song from Sound of Music. And talking to the dogs. And playing dress-up.” Each one feels like a knife, and it’s ripping at my DNA.

Luke calls 911, and soon there are sirens. It’s weird to hear sirens and know they are for you. It happened one other time, my junior year of high school. I got out of bed, another Ms. Clavel moment, “Something is not right.” And mom was running out the door in her purple bathrobe. She had to get to my grandparents’ house. They lived a half a mile away. A few minutes later, I heard sirens, and I knew. My granddaddy died that day.

For years afterwards, I dropped everything and prayed the second I heard those sirens because I remembered what it felt like to know that everyone else was going to school or work or Starbucks and thinking about grocery runs or homework, and that you would give just about anything to be worried about that stuff or to be on Facebook or waiting in a long line at the bank. Sirens mean this is somebody’s dark day.

Now the sirens are for Baby. She’s so sweet, wide-eyed and snuggly between choking spells. Even though she's so pale, she’s really cute, and all the paramedics think so. I cry, and they tell me it’s okay.

They put my baby in her car seat, on a gurney, in the ambulance. I ride with her, and Luke follows behind. I look out the back window every so often and smile at his truck through my tears so that he knows that she’s okay, just in case he’s looking at me. 

At the ER, there are tests and medicine and an x-ray and a particularly sad battle with a needle and a chubby baby foot.

“Her chubbiness is working against her!” the nurse says, and we kind of giggle. I hold her after that battle with the needle, and she is so cuddly, and I drink the moment in. I can tell she’s happy that I’m her mom and that I’m holding her. And that feels nice.

Then a cry—a weird one. And she tenses up in a way I don’t recognize. Something is not right.

I look at Luke, and he confirms: “She’s turning blue!”

Soon there’s a rush, and everyone is in the room, frantic and blurry.

I’m out in the hallway even though I don’t remember walking out there. And it’s kind of hard to breathe because I know every inch of that baby, and I don’t see a part of her that I recognize. 

And the prayers become more fervent than ever.

For whatever reason, maybe the oxygen, maybe the antibiotics kicking in, maybe the machine gun prayers that Luke and I were firing off, Adelaide goes back to normal. But the episode was scary and confusing, so they send us to a children’s hospital, so she can be watched carefully. I’m relieved because I know that the fear will find a bigger way to attack me when we’re at home. 

That’s when I realize it—the terrible night we’ve been enduring, the one I’ve been praying we can crumble up into a tiny ball and toss into a deep hole and cover with five billion tons of soil and a forest of redwood trees to be forgotten forever, this night is only the beginning of the struggle. Because even though I suddenly felt an unspoken confirmation that she would be okay after tonight, there was another confirmation: The fears I’ve struggled with since I found out I was (finally) pregnant are not ridiculous. They are completely legitimate. 



Eventually they just call it ALTE—an apparent life-threatening event. There’s not much rhyme or reason to it, and we left with more questions than answers. But one thing I knew: Something can happen to Adelaide. Someday, something might happen. We both know it, and on the drive home, we are mean to each other, and we fight. Our nerves are shot.


Something I wrote two days before the soft choke jerked us out of bed:

“What do you do when the world is so sad? When there are babies going to heaven and babies that are sick and then other times when it’s just a normal day, but my baby won’t stop crying and the sound grips at my heart and won’t let go? Sometimes you desperately want her to sleep, but then you remember there’s another girl just your age, and she sat with her baby in the NICU and held him until Jesus took him home. How is that possible?

I have heard it asked many times, and my heart echoes it occasionally: How could a good God allow bad things?”

I once heard my husband say it the wrong way on accident: How could a bad God allow good things? And that question intrigued us, and it still intrigues me. 

How could a bad God allow all the Adelaide-ing and Madeline-ing and Sound of Music yodeling? Her laugh is getting so big, so genuine, and she laughs at the weirdest things. Like if you talk while you’re yawning. She just discovered the water in the bathtub, and I watch the video I took of her splashing over and over after she goes to sleep because I miss her. I took a picture of her in a chicken costume, and it is the best thing you will ever see. 

I can’t imagine why a bad God would allow that.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

When we have the opportunity to love, we open ourselves up to the opportunity for loss. The bitter and the sweet are hopelessly entangled, but in both we see glimpses of God. A God whose goodness I struggle to fully realize sometimes, but my inadequacy does not diminish his goodness.

My inadequacy DOES NOT diminish his goodness.

I do not want my story to involve pain, but if it does, I will preach to myself: He is good. 
I do not want to remember that night, but when I do, I will preach to myself: He is good. 

He is good, and he does not let us shed tears in vain:

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

If I were writing this on paper instead of a laptop, the paper would crinkle and the ink would smudge, every word soaked in tears that I know my God has seen. Even though there’s something so insignificant about a new mom sitting on her computer on a clothes-covered couch, He remembers me. I look up, and I see my husband’s hand on the screen of the baby monitor. He’s checking to make sure she’s okay because he worries too, even though he doesn’t show it, and he loves her so much. A bad God would not allow a father to love a little girl like that, and he certainly wouldn’t let a faithless person like me look up just in time to see it. He is good. He is so very good.



To those who have lost babies, particularly recently, we remember you, and we remember your sweet babies. Their precious lives and your deep love for them are beautiful, and for that we are grateful.

Friday, September 12, 2014

muffins


Lying on a blanket with Adelaide a month or so ago, I stick my feet up in the air, showing her my toes, tickling hers, hoping she’ll make the connection. She can’t find her feet, but I can find mine, and I realize two things: 1) There is a time in our lives when we do not yet realize we have feet (what other secrets is the universe hiding from us?), and 2) I have chocolate on my left foot.

How does one get chocolate on her left foot? I do not know exactly how, but I know who, and her name is Muffin.

The muffins were Grammy’s, and then they were Mom’s, and now they are mine. Mom made them on Saturday mornings. They were hot, and I would watch the butter melt. This is the taste of Saturday.

Now I have my own house, and I have them on hand not just Saturdays, but all days. Tonight they lured me out of bed.

“We are your muffins,” they beckoned. “Come visit with us.”

They are my muffins.

Last week, Husband says, “You have chocolate on your face.”

“I made muffins,” I say.

“Where are they?” says he.

“They are on my face and on my foot and in my heart.” (They are also on the leopard couch pillow.)

My muffins make me poetic.

Haiku:
Chocolate muffins
Perfect with a glass of milk
You are my dream food

Limerick:
Muffin calls my name
Taunts me like a game
This sleepy head
Is out of bed
Could I be insane?

Adelaide has an exersaucer, and she is content in this exersaucer for one minute less than it takes to make my muffins. I frantically scoop that batter into the foil tins and say, “Hold on, baby girl! Hold on!” Eventually I have to choose between my muffins and my baby, and don’t worry, I always pick the baby. But now I outsmart my baby and pre-make part of the muffin mix ahead of time, so I can have my baby cakes and eat muffins, too. Someday I will make them for her on Saturday mornings, and she will watch the butter melt, and she will know life is good. She already smacks her lips when she sees them, but she can’t have them because muffins are not typically recommended for 5 month olds. “Maybe at 6 months?” Husband says. He likes the muffins, too. “Sweet lamb,” I say gently, “it’s a good thing you’re so pretty.”

The muffins live on my counter, clothed in gleaming silver wrapping. They are beautiful, and they are mine. Sometimes they turn out kind of weird, but I never care. They are my muffins, and I love them even when they are having an off day. And Adelaide and pretty pretty Husband, I love you when you are being kind of weird and having an off day.

These muffins are made with gluten and redemption. Because even if the house is a mess, when there are muffins on the counter, the muffins remind me that I am domesticated and successful and productive and poetic and hungry. And that I love my messy house and my Grammy/Mom/Me muffin recipe and this baby that asks to be held in the middle of it all.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

pepper fetus

"Entertain me, peasants."
Oh I know, I’ll write about my BABY. But you know, that’s my job now, this baby, and so at the end of the day, that’s the thing I talk about. And you need to know that I have had some WEIRD jobs, one of which required my attendance at a function so sketchy it necessitated that my then 17-year-old brother accompany me and pretend he was an architect named Tim, which is weird because now he’s an architect named Phil. And then I tried to quit that job twice but was ignored both times, so I kept going to work. 

But this mothering the baby job, this is the oddest of the jobs. This baby is really alert and really royal and really insistent that she be entertained by her peasant mother. But then she’s like, “UGH MOM YOU ALREADY TOLD THAT JOKE GET SOME NEW MATERIAL,” and then I’m scrambling to do something NEW! FUN! ENTERTAINING! before she throws tomatoes at me or has me hauled off to the dungeon. Now I daily find myself in some odd singing and jig dancing situations that obviously I have been sharing with everyone because of that share-embarrassing-things-compulsion that forced me to start this dumb blog in the first place.

Last week I ended up standing on top of a ledge, looking out a window, swaying, and singing about spaghetti covered in cheese and the meatball that was lost when somebody sneezed and how it rolled off the table and onto the floor and then that poor meatball rolled out the door, and then I was like WHYYYYY is this a song??? And then later, when I was bouncing on the bed and singing about down by the bay where the watermelons grow and how back to our home, we cannot go because if we do, our mother will say, “Have you ever seen a whale with a polka dot tail down by the bay?” and then I was like WHOSE MOTHER WOULD EVER SAY THAT?? and WHO IS WRITING THESE WEIRD SONGS?? and also WHALES WITH POLKA DOT TAILS NEATO! 

I don’t know why I know these weird songs, but I suppose I’m glad that I do because they are coming in handy with the demands of my new job and my very demanding bald baby boss.

Last week while Her Majesty Baby was crying, Husband cut a pepper in half, and there was a weird little growth inside the pepper. Husband says, “What is this?” And I say, “It’s a pepper fetus.” And Queen Madam Baby stopped crying because she thought that was funny. Then Husband says, “Should I eat it?” and I said “NO! We do not eat fetuses.” And then Royal Highness Baby thought that was funny. So then I said, “It’s a pepper fetus, please don’t eat us!” And it was working, this pepper fetus talk, and Lady Baby was pleased. So then I invented a little jig and chanted, “It’s a pepper fetus, please don’t eat us!” I did this about ten times and then Husband chimed in, dancing and chanting, “It's a pepper fetus, please don’t eat us!” This goes on for several minutes until we are like, “It’s a pepper fetus, please don’t eat us OH NO WHAT IS HAPPENING WHY ARE WE WEIRD,” and then I’m like, “I think I am going to be less judge-y about the lyrics to the sneezing spaghetti song.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

hermit the frog

Well outside world, it was lovely knowing you and walking around in your sunshine and driving to your Chick-Fil-As and then eating the Chick-Fil-A and then being sad that the Chick-Fil-A was all gone. But now I must become a hermit and watch Law and Order: SVU marathons for the rest of my sad life because I am being held hostage in my own home. The front door is being swarmed by giant moths that I am certain are plotting to eat my baby. When I open the front door even a smidge, a few zoom in and eventually die underneath the lamp in the front room, but before that they smack their strange little bodies back and forth in the lamp shade to torment me.

The back door is not an option for me. The darling dogs have been tossing around a dead mole on the back porch, and they cackle in delight. The mole is all rigor mortis (I do a weird hand motion every time I use this term, so you will have to picture me with one bug eye and my hands in frozen claw position), and the dogs are having the time of their lives. SICK FIENDS! Last year they sinisterly captured a mole, bit off each of his feet, and then hid them around the house for me to find unexpectedly. I had approximately 87 heart attacks and had to leave the house for like five days. When I eventually gathered the courage the vacuum those feet up, it made my hands feel funny. Sometimes I get that feeling in my hands, and I know that somewhere in the world another mole has died. I am worried I need therapy, and I am worried my dogs will grow up to be serial killers. 

If that weren’t enough, the back door is being guarded by the fattest, slimiest, spottiest, nastiest slug that has ever lived. He is leopard print, and coincidentally he is quite nearly the size of a leopard. His name is Khloe, and he eats babies. He lives by the dog food, he talks like Samuel L. Jackson, and I think he’s wearing sunglasses. I can hear him smacking his giant slug lips from here because he knows my baby is delicious and he knows I know it and he is taunting me. My only consolation is that it would take him 47 years to even get to my baby, and surely I could muster up the courage to pour salt on him before that?

On another note, would it surprise you to know that I name many many things after members of the Kardashian family?

Adelaide guards the mole-killers while Khloe lurks outside.

I can possibly get out of the house via the door in the carport, but the covered light in there has turned into a fly graveyard, and it is very ominous. When I go out there, I hear creepy Pretty Little Liars background music playing, so I keep my head down and run to the car quickly before they can all fall out on my head and ruin my life forever. WHERE IS MY HUSBAND AND WHY HASN’T HE CLEANED THOSE FLIES OUT OF THE LIGHT. I mean, this was one of my top reasons for getting married, so that I would not ever ever under any circumstances have to clean flies out of a light.

Did I tell you about the other day when TWO different spiders in TWO different locations lowered themselves down right above my head?! Two in one day?! What does this mean?! THEY HAVE SO MANY LEGS. WHY DO THEY HAVE SO MANY LEGS. Husband knocked one of them down rather than killing it, and he was flesh colored (FLESH COLORED!!!!), so we couldn't find him because our floor is kind of beige. I think I might have eaten him in my sleep because I was once told that we eat eight spiders in our sleep over the course of one lifetime. Whoever told me that, you are terrible. I am considering giving up sleeping in addition to becoming a hermit.

So that’s it. Obviously I’ll be homeschooling Adelaide, and I’ll have to make up the science stuff since I’m not very good at that, and we will eat cabbage water like they do in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (except with no cabbage because I do not have any), and Adelaide will either end up like Brendan Fraser in that movie I hate or like Nell in that other movie I hate, and someday there will be a better movie that is all about our lives or at least we will get to be on TLC.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

gentleness

Can we all agree that Faith Hill’s song “A Baby Changes Everything” is really annoying? Part of me sort of likes singing it dramatically alone in the car during Christmastime, but the other part of me wants to saw my ears off. Which would be great because then I would not have to hear “Christmas Shoes” either, and I am not kidding, that song is the bane of my existence. My very long list of problems with it is best left to another blog post. I only bring up Christmas songs in July because “A Baby Changes Everything” is quite likely the truest statement in the world. I catch myself saying it nearly every day, and then inevitably the song gets stuck in my head, and there I go again, cursing Faith Hill.

But it’s true. Wanting a baby and then having that baby has changed things for me. And when I say that, I don’t mean that I know more than people who aren’t mothers. That’s an annoying sentiment, and I hope I never come across that superior. What I mean is that I am realizing things that non-mother me could never quite grasp. I heard Adelaide’s heartbeat for the first when I was eight weeks pregnant, and I cried and cried. Her person-ness! It floored me. When she was born, it was the same thought—wow, this person! Now I often realize the other heartbeats around me. Beating hearts I often hurt or overlook. Every bit as wonderful as my Adelaide. I am so aware of Adelaide’s value, so aware that she is fearfully and wonderfully made, so in awe of the way she reflects her Creator, that I am seeing you differently. 

Friends, you are so very precious. You are so very miraculous. You are so very wanted. You are so very beautiful.

And the more I see you—precious, miraculous, wanted, beautiful friends—and the more I listen, the more I realize: We are carrying around such burdens. Oppressive, scary gargoyles that bring fear and worry and threaten to crush us.

Since we’ve had Adelaide, I have been stunned by the number of brave people who were strong enough to trust a new mom/idiot/head case with their fears and their worries. Why did I not see you before? Who am I still not seeing? The burdens are gargantuan. The hurt are walking among us, looking okay on the outside and Instagramming like a champ yet crumbling within.

Let’s be gentle with one another.

Because one of us just found out that she’s unexpectedly expecting. She’s terrified. Pregnancy has made her more vulnerable than she thought possible.

Because one of us has been trying to have a baby, but it’s not happening. She feels forgotten. She battles tears at unexpected moments, and her husband doesn’t quite understand. They’re in it together, but more often than not there’s loneliness in that struggle.

One of us just spent another night up with a crying baby, desperate to figure out what that sweet child needs and how she can provide it. She feels physically exhausted but it’s the mental battle that weighs the most. The still darkness of night is not a reprieve but a chasm between her and the rest of the world. She feels helpless. Alone.

One of us can’t sleep because every noise, every thought, every Facebook post is an opportunity to fear one of the many things that can threaten her child’s safety. The responsibility of caring for that sweet child nearly smothers her sometimes. (This is me. I cry about it in the shower. Dear Lord please protect my girl.)

One of us feels overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood. She reached out for answers and was met with judgment. She wanted to feel support from others that are in her shoes, but now she’s more lost than ever. She worries she’s the only one who doesn’t know what she’s doing.

One of us has made it through some tough roads with her kids. She started out afraid and vulnerable, but she desperately wants to leave that girl in the past. Now she comes on strong—a little too quick to give advice. A little too quick to make another mother feel small. A little too harsh. She clings to thinking in absolutes because it makes motherhood less scary. But even with the walls, she’s scared.

One of us can’t bear the sight of a newborn baby because the sting of her miscarriage is still so real. Yes, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, the name of the Lord be praised,” but the hurt—it remains, sharp as a knife.

One of us feels weighed down by the daily humdrum of motherhood. She makes a hundred tiny sacrifices and attends to a hundred tiny needs day in and day out. Still, there’s not much to tell and there’s not much to show for it. It feels insignificant.

One of us has a past and carries around the weight of it every day, convinced that God won’t forgive. Or that he can't forgive. Or that she's not worth forgiving. (But she is, and He can, and He does.)

We are battling scary things. We are hurting big hurts.

I didn’t see you before, but I do now. And you’re wonderful.

All I know is this: 
We are usually kind when we know others need it. But be better than I have been--be kind even when we're not sure that others need it. The wounded walk among us, beating hearts that have unspeakable value. Let's be gentle with one another.

Monday, July 14, 2014

susan

I passive aggressively have not been grocery shopping so that we’ll be forced to eat out, but Husband caught me, and like the submissive and gentle lamb that I am, I went to the grocery store, and then I cooked. Afterwards I bragged about it for an hour and ran a victory lap around the house screaming “COOL RUNNINGSSSSS” while I made Husband play “We Are the Champions” on his phone. But now my visions of Olympic Gold have fizzled because I have to clean the kitchen, and I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. Also a man ran up behind me and hit me in the knee, and I crumbled to the ground in my white ice skating costume and cried because I might miss the Olympic trials. But really very nearly 2% of this paragraph is true, and you should know that I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries.

Because blog posts need pictures right? Also I used a filter for no reason.



Besides Tonya Harding, the main problem is that I bought all these vegetables, and I can’t remember where I’m supposed to put them. So far tonight, I’ve googled “where to store avocados” and “where to store onions” and “where to store peppers” and I assume you’re catching on and that I don’t need to continue. I already forgot the google answers, so everything is just on the counter and I’m ignoring it and writing a meaningless blog post that is making both you and me a little more stupid. It’s just that I get these big bursts of LAZY and feel I have no choice but to sit on top of the laundry I’m supposed to fold. When will that baby develop more fine motor skills anyway because I could use a little help. (And that sentence started as a question and ended as a statement. And if you think I’m going to change it that means you have a few reading comprehension issues because the theme of this post is LAZY.)

Last week my siblings and I yelled at a lazy susan like, “SUSAN!!!!!!!!!! PASS THE SALT!!!!! SUSAN!!!! YOU ARE SO LAZY!!! SUSAN!!!!” and we thought we were hilarious. But you know I still think it’s funny and really very therapeutic.

In conclusion, here sits Susan, atop a pile of laundry, ignoring a pile of dishes in the sink, and writing meaningless dribble for no apparent reason.

The end.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

clean freak

What is this stuff for? I do not know.

Oh lookie here, baby stops fussing when I run the vacuum cleaner. She likes the hum of it. She’s a weirdo. An adorable little weirdo, and I love her to bits. She loves me, too, I think, but this I know: She loves the vacuum. This is God’s way of saying, I’M SERIOUS CAROLINE, CLEAN YOUR HOUSE. Because I am very passive about the whole thing. Like, bleh, I have a baby, so people say I don’t have to clean! And sometimes that advice is spot on, and sometimes I know I’m milking it. Because I complain about cleaning a lot for a person who owns machines that do all the hard work. Like washing dishes. I despise it. First I have to put them in the dishwasher (BLECH! Such effort required) and then later, I have to take them out. (This is the worst part). And sometimes I just CANNOT do that last part, so I just leave them there until I can’t remember if they're clean or dirty. GOOD NEWS guys, they make a dishwasher magnet for that now, so that bums like me do not forget! Unless you forget to flip over the magnet. Which I guarantee I will do if I purchase that magnet. So I won’t. Unless it’s on sale somewhere. Or exceptionally cute. Probably with the right polka dots I will buy a few of them.

I feel bad for the dishwasher actually. What a thankless job. We should not even discuss the time when I came close to demanding that my husband buy me a Roomba. Like, yes, I know the vacuum cleaner is doing all the actual dirt-sucking, but I have to WALK IT AROUND everywhere, and sometimes the automatic cord thing gets tangled, and I cannot deal. Here, Amazon, take $600 and give me a machine that can walk itself around. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO EMPTY IT EVERY DAY. I will never remember this. Forget it Amazon, you trickster. Call me when there’s a machine that walks itself around my house to pick up dirt and can ALSO walk itself to the trash can and empty itself. CALL ME THEN. No, no, nevermind, call me when the machine can do all that AND move the clothes from the washer to the dryer because THAT, that moving of the clothes, that is true suffering.


Maybe if I wait long enough maybe my baby will grow up, and I’ll be forced to teach her responsibility by giving her chores to do. Yes, because see it’s not a passive aggressive way to get out of doing these things myself. It’s PARENTING. Good parents like me know that what kids today need is a hard day’s work! To learn some good old fashioned responsibility and develop a work ethic! Otherwise we’ll be left with a bunch of lazy bums who depend on their iPhones to do their work for them. I mean, KIDS TODAY.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

fu(oo)tbol(all) 101

Because Princess owns about 17 pairs of Nike shorts, played at least 5 years of recreational basketball at her church, and once won a golf trophy, she is well-versed in anything “sporty.” Since the World Cup is going on, Princess thought many of her constituents could use a refresher on two very confusing sports, futbol and football.

The first thing you need to do is accept that nothing with these sports makes any sense. Once you’ve accepted this fact, you’ll need to know the difference between futbol and football. Futbol is also called soccer, and you kick the ball with your giant spiky FUT. Football is just called football, like it doesn’t have any other secret names, but the thing is that even though the name says so, you DON’T kick the ball with your foot, except for one guy, and he’s not as big as the other guys and people yell at him a lot because he only has one job to do, and sometimes he ruins the game for everyone. That’s sad.

In futbol, which we’ll just call soccer because it’s less confusing, you CANNOT touch the ball with your hands except one guy. He’s a GOALIE and he’s bigger than everyone and he’s got ONE JOB TO DO (keep the ball from getting in the goal), except sometimes he ruins everything for everyone. They also make him wear a different shirt than everyone else, and it’s really sad. But Princess' brother tells her that he's usually yelling at everyone else like "I AM YOUR LEADER STOP MAKING ME LOOK BAD YOU PEASANTS," so that's cool.

In soccer the guys work together to kick the ball all the way to the other team’s goalie, but it’s really depressing because sometimes one of the other guys will kick the ball ALLLLL the way back to where it was originally, and the guys are like “UGH we just did all that work for nothing.” It’s pretty inefficient, but basically that’s what happens back and forth for forever until finally the striped shirt guys are like “you guys are done come get some juice boxes and orange slices!” and the guys are like “FINALLY these long socks are so itchy!”

In football it’s kind of the same except so much slower that you will probably get really bored. You’ll need to go to the concession stand about fifteen times because these games last about four hours even though the clock says 20 minutes or something. Princess usually just eats hotdogs and cheers when everyone around her cheers. (But this backfires if you didn’t realize that your seats are in the enemy section. Then you may get a mean look from your husband who just realized he has the worst wife ever. Or something.)

Anyway it’s like snail soccer except, again, DON’T USE YOUR FEET UNLESS YOU’RE THAT ONE GUY. (You do not want to be that guy.) Everyone gets in a line and hunches over, and then one guy will throw the ball under his legs to the quarterback. The quarterback is the boss and he yells out some codes and probably has a really hot girlfriend. Then the quarterback will hold the ball for a second and look around. Sometimes he’ll run and everyone is like “whoa whoa whoa” and sometimes he’ll throw it, but then the guy who he’s throwing it to needs to LOOK OUT because he is about to get jumped on by some really giant dudes. If the guy drops the ball, it’s called a FUMBLE and then whoever jumps on the ball first wins and gets to keep it. (But not forever because then the game would be over, and to be clear, the game is NEVER OVER.) If he catches it, he can run until the big dudes jump on him, and then they line up again and yell more codes. The goal is to get past those yellow lines that only show up on TV until they get all the way to the end of the field, and then the other team does that whole thing going the other way. This goes on forever until you die, and then it’s only half time, but GOOD NEWS there is a show with sparkly baton girls and tuba players.

So that’s pretty much it. If you have any questions regarding football, futbol, or general sporty-ness, Princess is your girl.

P.S. Read another super informative post about sports here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

the presentation game

When I was pregnant and was asked me what kind of a person I was praying Adelaide would be, I didn’t quite know how to answer. I hadn’t even thought about it. In fact, her “person-ness” was lost on me completely—I was too busy praying that she was actually a real baby and not a psychosomatic issue. Even during the PUSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH part of labor, I was like, “Nope. No way we’ll get a baby out of this deal.” I was convinced it was just a really weird workout that would inevitably NOT result in six-packs abs, which is what I’ve learned to expect from workouts and why I almost always come up with something better to do.

Anyway, what I mean is I’M A PILLAR OF FAITH. Feel free to be inspired. My paranoia and overexposure to weird TLC shows did such a number that the luxury of praying about and dreaming about the person she would become—it was foreign. But then I knew.

I want her to be the kind of girl that lets people relax.

In college I met a girl who let me relax. I’d spent my whole life lamenting and taming the craziness that is my hair. But I met her—this girl with huge, frizzy hair, and honestly, she looked awesome. I’d never seen anyone cooler. She shopped at Anthropologie (I didn’t even know what that was at the time), had tons of friends, and was nice to everyone. She was awesome, and her hair was awesome.

So after that, when I felt the urge to rage against my “lion’s mane,” I decided against it. I decided, this giant hair—this is okay. This is pretty. This is me. 

That was a really cool thing she did, showing me how to be okay with myself. We need to do that for one another. We need to give each other a break. 

Girls need girls who don’t wear makeup every once in a while.

Girls need girls who don’t obsessively diet.

Girls need girls who don’t agonize over missing a workout. 

Girls need girls who laugh in the dressing room on that day when NOTHING FITS (the worst!!!) and say, “Forget this. Let’s look at shoes.” 

Girls need girls who don’t talk calories at the dinner table.

Girls need girls who don’t Instagram every early morning bike ride and trip to the farmer’s market.

Girls need girls who don’t untag the ugly pictures on Facebook.

Girls need girls who wear the wrong outfit sometimes and just own it. (“Haha! I showed up in my prom dress and y’all have on Nike shorts. I’m so weird! Let’s order an appetizer.”)

Girls need girls who can take a compliment—and mean it.

Girls need girls who can give a compliment—and mean it.

Girls need girls who can apologize for the right things (“I’m so sorry I hurt your feelings!”), but don’t apologize for the wrong things (“Sorry that my shirt is all wrinkled!”)

I want Adelaide to be that girl. We really need a girl like that.

The thing is, if I want Adelaide to be that girl, I have to teach her, and that’s easier said than done. I have been patting myself of the back for not untagging myself in this picture my sister lovingly posted on Facebook. I KNOW, it's the least flattering picture ever and not even my fave Instagram filter (Valencia) could save it. But that dumb yellow towel is on my head for about a fourth of my day sometimes, and, Lord help me, I should like even THAT Caroline and not take her too seriously.



Once when I was pregnant and fresh off of an Instagram binge, I put my phone down and wanted to cry. I was feeling the pressure—pressure to make sure Adelaide had cute stuff, an awesome nursery, the best of things. It was a weird new insecurity—like my fear of not wearing the right outfit was projecting itself onto my baby. The whole feeling was totally stupid and annoying. But we have to deal with the dumb sides of ourselves, too. So I put a mental stake in the ground. (Hence the bad Facebook picture.) I decided to make it my goal to be the kind of mom that shows my daughter in word and deed that I MATTER and that SHE MATTERS and that we can DO THINGS THAT MATTER even when we have a giant yellow towel on our head or we ate too many rolls at dinner (I CANNOT STOP EATING THE ROLLS) or find ourselves carrying around a few extra pounds (ROLLS!!!) or accidentally say the wrong thing.

Kinda like that time during sorority recruitment when they had me talk to this girl we really wanted to join our sorority, and I suddenly found myself telling her allllllll about how I shed everywhere (I TOLD YOU, THIS HAIR, IT IS CRAZY) and how it made my roommate grouchy and how she spent hours on her hands and knees swirling it out of our hot pink carpet, and then that girl CUT US the next day and everyone was like “OH NO! WE WANTED HER! WHAT HAPPENED?” and I avoided eye contact with everyone. KINDA LIKE THAT.

Anyway, we’ll take all the help we can get. Will you invite us over when your house is messy? Because then we’ll know it’s okay when our house is messy. Will you talk to us about things that you’re struggling with and not just the things that are going well? Because then we’ll relax and little and share what’s been hard for us, too. (Like not asking for more rolls at dinner. And other stuff that is less stupid.)



P.S. I’ve written about this before, but I keep coming back to it. I think I’m done now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

motherhood, three months in

I slip into the next room to grab something, and I overhear Adelaide babbling to herself. “Blah blah blah” she says, all kinds of baby nonsense. And I say (aloud, to no one), “Listen to that crazy baby in there talking to herself.” And Adelaide leaps out of her lamb Rock ‘n Play and shouts “HYPOCRISY” with jazz hands and a box step. And I’m like, “Wowzers, this is so my baby.” 

That’s kind of what motherhood is like as far as I can tell. A little piece of you blabbing about nothing yet all the while making you realize so much about yourself. Too much about yourself. It’s kind of like how I thought I was this agreeable person, and then I got married, and God went, “HA!” Or how I thought I was so patient, and then I became an eighth grade teacher. Also hilarious. And now I’m a mother. A mother to a brilliant baby, a wise little babbling Yoda. And in the name of full disclosure, I spelled wise with a “z” on my first try of that little fragment that would’ve cost a student of mine two points on a paper. So yeah, HYPOCRISY, and also I’m a little dumb. But that’s hardly my fault.

Babies take your brains. Did you know that? They are squishy little aliens that poop themselves silly and take every bit of intelligence you once thought you had. When I was pregnant, I couldn’t remember how to unlock the door to my house, so I had to stand very still at the front door until I remembered. That was humbling, and I should have realized then that it was only the beginning of the foolishness. Because while Adelaide learns to reach for things and dominate tummy time and kick her little legs when she hears music and stick out her lower lip to manipulate me into doing whatever she wants (“okay fine you can have a pony”), I can’t remember if today is Wednesday or Thursday, but nope, it’s Tuesday, and I’ve missed The Bachelorette again. DANG IT, ANDI, I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR LOVE LIFE even though it will inevitably irritate me and I’ll get all high and mighty and swear off the “trash TV” once again, but this time I mean it, forever. HA! God chuckles.

Adelaide, who refused to be the only girl at camp without a pair of Nike shorts.





I took that baby girl to camp with us last week, and MAN did she yuk it up. (Again, full disclosure, I have no idea what that phrase means but I’ve been really wanting to use it.) This girl was smiling and giggling and cooing at everyone, and just gobbling up the attention like her dad eats peanut butter. (STRAIGHT FROM THE JAR Y’ALL WITH A HUGE SPOON.) Whose child is this that loves attention? Certainly not her mother’s, although I do seem to recall my nine-months pregnant self performing for my sister a strange dance to “I Live for the Applause” by Lady Gaga. OKAY FINE SHE’S JUST LIKE ME. And her dad. Talk about two people who love to talk and have people listen. She’s doomed.

I had all these ideals before I had a baby, like “I won’t be that girl who talks about/posts pictures of her baby incessantly” and “I won’t be that mom that thinks her baby is better than the other babies,” but that lasted about zero seconds because I saw that baby for the first time and I knew two things:
  1. I am obsessed with this baby.
  2. This baby is superior to all other babies.
In conclusion, it is inevitable that I will become the stage mom everyone hates, and let’s all pray to God that I do not turn this baby into the big brat that I am just now realizing that I am. 

The end.

P.S. Help?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

the God who sees me

Well, two weeks ago, I had a baby. And the entire thing makes me giddy, and I take one thousand pictures of her a day. Sometimes I post a picture or two (or five…) of her, and I absolutely love being able to share that sweet face. But every time I do, I hear a little soft whisper. It reminds me that even though everyone loves a picture of a soft, squishy baby, it’s a hard thing to see sometimes. Because for some people, that tiny little bundle feels like a slap in the face, a reminder of the thing that hasn’t happened, the thing you’ve prayed for, but the prayers feel like they smack into the ceiling and refuse to go any higher.

My husband and I had a hard time getting pregnant. It wasn’t the years-long struggle that other people have endured—dear God, please comfort those precious couples—but it was hard for us. There were tears and doctor’s appointments and tests and medicine, and then there was the month that the medicine didn’t work. They said, “Well, we’ll have to try something else.” And again I felt my heart drop to my feet. Because trying to have a baby isn’t the kind of endeavor where you progress. It’s pass/fail every month, and sometimes the fail stings a lot more deeply than you think. Because this is your family you are fighting for, and even when you don’t know your family yet, you still have that deep desire to hold them close. So when you see other people announcing a pregnancy or posting pictures of a perfect sleeping newborn, you feel slighted. Sad. Sometimes angry.

But that was the month—the month where the medicine didn’t work—I found out I was pregnant. Cautiously and fearfully, I walked outside and called the doctor’s office. Can I trust this test? Am I allowed to be excited? The nurse said, “Congratulations!” and I cried in the middle of the street. And then these words leapt into my mind, “You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). God had seen my tears, and he knew my hurt. I wondered why I ever questioned it. Perspective is easy once the prayer is answered, I realized. Lord, strengthen my faith.

The doctor said, “Well I can’t explain it, but the proof is in the pudding.” But I realized that I could explain it. It’s so like God to give me a baby the one month that science said it was impossible. He likes to do things we can't explain. He likes to remind us that life is in his hands, not ours. We call it “birth control” and subconsciously develop the belief that having children is up to us, but it’s not.

And that’s when God really began to work in my heart. My entire pregnancy I battled more fear than I ever had in my entire life. Would God give me this baby just to take her away? At one point while singing at church, after hearing multiple prayer requests for women who had endured miscarriages—God, please wrap your arms around those dear women; heal their wounded hearts!—the fear overwhelmed me, and I had to let the microphone fall to my side and let the tears fall. It wasn’t the time to sing. It was the time to be held. And God held me with lyrics I still sing to myself in moments of hopelessness:

“There’s no life apart from you.” 
(“Lay Me Down” by Chris Tomlin)

“I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of Angel’s Armies
Is always by my side” 
(“Whom Shall I Fear” by Chris Tomlin)

“All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship” 
(“Desert Song” by Hillsong United)


I had to sing these lyrics to myself through every scary moment—the fifteen days she was overdue where I worried my body was failing her (“You are not normal,” a voice whispered), the week of contractions where I worried if she was okay (“God will take her away,” it whispered), the days I battled infection when she was a week old (“You can’t provide what she needs,” I heard). I had to cling with everything I had to Isaiah 26:3, which says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Caroline, focus on HIM, and you can have peace.

The lesson is this:

God is the CREATOR and SUSTAINER of life. 
No breath is without his permission, 
No heartbeat without his blessing. 
Life is in His hands.

He knows what’s ahead, 
He knows what’s behind, 
and He provides.

There’s a verse that people always use to celebrate the birth of a child: “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:27). It’s a beautiful verse that is dear to my heart because it’s my story. But the next verse is the one I walk in when I’m afraid: “Now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:28).

Adelaide belongs to God more than she will ever belong to me. She is his more than she will ever be mine. I can trust God with her because he loves her more dearly that I can ever imagine. She is his masterpiece—as if I could ever take credit for something so wonderful. (Seriously, she’s really cute.)

I wrestle with fear all the time, just like those days when we were struggling to conceive. The illusion of control is a hard pill to swallow. I have to give my family back to God over and over again. So this is my mantra: “Now I give Adelaide to the Lord. For her whole life she will be given over to the Lord.”

I can trust God with Adelaide. I can trust God with my family. And for the times when I fall short, I thank God for 2 Timothy 2:13: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

Sweet friend,
Wherever you are in your life, you can trust God.
He knows where you’re going, and he knows where you’ve been.
He hears you, he sees your tears.
You are seen.


A video about our story was shown at our church this past Sunday, and the way a few people responded made me realize the value in being honest about the hard things we go through, and I felt like I needed to write this blog post. You can watch the video here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

40 weeks

Even though neither Princess nor her counterpart has ever been accused of being “punctual,” they still expected their daughter to magically develop this trait, especially since they have learned from society that placing unrealistic expectations on your child is the norm. Nevertheless, she is showing NO signs of hurrying, and doctor wouldn't be surprised if she was a “42-weeker,” a.k.a. a tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race, Adelaide, but it also annoys people. JK, girlfriend, we are totes not annoyed, but isn't it fun to pretend to be annoyed with a baby who is guaranteed to be cuddly and cute and make her mother cry big fat tears of joy?

Anyways, Princess’ household is just sitting around waiting on the little lady, and it brings out strange things in people. Princess has kept herself together pretty well throughout the pregnancy, but as soon as she hit 40 weeks yesterday, the tables turned on her. She entered what is known medically as the “hot mess” stage of pregnancy. Random nausea, poor hand-eye coordination (which she lacks in the first place), excessive ice crunching, and unexplained sinus issues have left her with one perpetually tearing eye, the inability to hold on to anything for longer than 5 seconds (including thoughts), and the compulsion to stay indoors so as to not scare small children since this would not be good for her almost-new-mom self esteem. Husband has been all like “I am your birthing partner” and “we are in this together” and “I feel what you feel” and “it’s our nausea” (Arrested Development) and “we need a nap” but then he’s also like “the doctor says you’re doing great so I don’t know why you’re walking so slow.” The dogs have been like “WE PERCEIVE IMMINENT CHANGE AND FEEL THE NEED TO BARF ON THINGS” and also “LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME WHY AREN’T YOU LOOKING I WILL BARK UNTIL YOU DO” and finally “WHY DOES THIS BABY TOY NOT BELONG TO US.” 
Gold dotty things waiting to greet Adelaide
Earlier this week, Princess was like “CLEAN EVERYTHING” and she probably doesn't need to explain how that snowballed into buying a new rug which now needs to be returned. Then Princess and Husband tried to set up the Pack and Play, and guess what, that entire instruction manual makes you feel like you are setting up an infant death trap, and the whole thing was so unsettling that they just went to bed. Later Sister and Princess tried for 45 minutes to put together the car seat, which Princess had gutted so as to be a good mom and wash/disinfect it piece by piece (DO NOT DO THIS), but then when they went to have the car seat inspected, the sweet ladies were totally bamboozled at how Princess and INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER Sister could have screwed something up so badly. Sister was like “well I could only find the instructions in Spanish,” and they were like “el Diablo,” and Princess was like “Do you set up Pack and Plays, too?” and they were like “Adios, chicas.” No bueno.

Anyway, she’ll be here when she gets here, and Princess and Husband will be ECSTATIC, and dogs will probably be irritated. Wahoo!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

rage-eating bagels

Today in between rage-eating bagels, Princess realized something. (Note: This sentence can be read in two ways—“rage-eating” being an adjective that describes the bagels or “rage-eating” being a verb. Princess means the latter but kind of wants to draw a picture of the former. Okay fine, she’ll do it. And oops she accidentally wrote "donuts" instead of "bagels," and she apologizes for this accidental discrimination of hole-y foods.)








Anyway, between rage-eating (v.) BAGELS (not donuts), Princess realized that she is SO MAD. First of all, she wants to punch the weather in the face. Big dumb stupid weather needs a PUNCH IN THE FACE. Because the series of almost not-quite snow days has made Princess’ teacher heart ice cold. Second of all, Princess’ baby REFUSES TO LET HER SLEEP. She’s a busy little thing, and she insists on practicing Jazzercise every night from 11 to midnight, and she follows this with kickboxing from midnight to 1 a.m. Princess is like, “Mmmmkay Baby, let’s just chill out on the fitness because I need to log in all the hours I can before your infancy,” and Baby is like “UGH MOM YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME” and Princess is like “I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND ENGLISH SO I CAN LECTURE YOU ON TALKING BACK,” and Baby is like “Whoa girl for real you need some sleep because you just hallucinated a convo with your unborn child and invented an attitude problem,” and Princess is like, “Well okay, you’ve got a point,” and Husband is like, “Will you two pipe down I’m trying to sleep,” and then Princess and Baby are like, “MIND YOUR BUSINESS.”

So the lack of a snow day and the lack of sleep are creating crabbiness that Princess did not bargain for, and it was certainly unfair to the bagels. This happened today:

Princess: Stomps into teacher workroom, crams bagel down throat, says “THIS SUCKS I AM SLEEPY” to confused coworkers, and stomps back to classroom as the next class piles in.
Students: Hello, teacher!
Princess: No, no, no. I can’t do this. I need another bagel.
Princess: Stomps into teacher workroom, crams bagel down throat, says “I’M NOT KIDDING I AM SLEEPY WHERE’S THE SNOW I NEED BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE,” and stomps back to classroom where the children await.
Students: Hello, teacher!
Princess: Marcel! Come here!
Marcel: Yes, teacher?
Princess: Marcel, look. I just crammed two bagels down my throat out of rage. I need you to do something very serious. Can you handle it?
Marcel: Yes, teacher.
Princess: Marcel, I am not kidding you. Here I have in my hand $1.25. I need you to take this down to the Coke machine downstairs, and I need you to return with a Dr. Pepper. This is not a drill, and if you come back with a Diet Dr. Pepper or any other substance, you will ruin everything. Do you understand?
Marcel: Yes, teacher. I can do it.
Princess: Thank you, Marcel. I believe in you.

Once Princess had a few sips of the Dr. Pepper, the rage subsided somewhat, and she taught the children with her usual cheer. But weary confusion accompanied the cheer that replaced the rage, and Princess found herself having conversations like this:

Princess: The main thing people always seem to remember about Poe is that he married his 13-year-old cousin when he was 28. But that’s a bummer because it’s better to remember his writing.
Students: HE MARRIED HIS COUSIN?!?!
Princess: Yes. Oops. I always forget that it’s better to not mention that because then you tune everything else out.
Students: HE MARRIED HIS COUSIN?!?!
Student 1: Was she hot?
Princess: Does it matter?
Student 1: Yes.
Princess: Yikes.
Student 1: I have a hot cousin.
Princess: Hmmm. Let’s move on.
Student 1: But she lives in Michigan.
Princess: That doesn’t make it better.
Students: HE MARRIED HIS COUSIN?!?!
Princess: I’m sleepy.

Then she had this conversation:

Student 2: Teacher, will you be mad if your baby comes out black?
Princess: I think I will probably be confused.
Student 2: Why?
Princess: Because I’m not black and neither is my husband.
Student 2: So would your husband be mad?
Princess: I mean, I think he’d probably be mad at me.
Student 2: Yeah but it could be like really, really, really recessive. Like a long time ago, someone in his family was black.
Princess: Hm. I don’t know. I don’t teach science. Let’s talk about Poe.
Student 2: Didn’t he marry his cousin?
Princess: Yes. He also wrote short stories occasionally.
Student 2: Okay, well, I think your husband seems like a reasonable human being. I don’t think he’ll be mad at you.
Princess: This conversation is so odd. I hope it ends soon.

And then there was this conversation:

Princess: The story takes place beneath the narrator's Palazzo, which is an Italian word that means mansion. That's easy to remember because it looks like what word in English?
Student 3: PIZZA!
Princess: No. Like...no.
Student 3: Yeah, PIZZA!
Princess: No. I mean... I have asked this question of every class for the last four years, and kids always, always say "palace."
Student 3: I think pizza.
Princess: K.

And then this one:

Princess: The story begins during the Carnival celebration. Carnival is kind of like Mardi Gras. It's a big celebration where people tend to go a little berserk before they have to give up meat for Lent. It's easy to remember this because Carnival comes from two root words, "Carn" and "Val." "Val" means "farewell," and what word does "Carn" remind you of?
Student 4: CORN!!
Princess: No. Like...no.
Student 4: Yeah, CORN!
Princess: No. I mean... I have asked this question of every class for the last four years, and kids always, always say "carnivore."
Student 4: Yeah, but what about corn, as in corn beef? Like saying farewell to corn beef?
Princess: I need a bagel.

Then after school, Princess found herself taking a picture with a lampshade on her head in public, and then later she finally took a much needed nap that was kind of ruined because D2: Mighty Ducks was on in the background and Princess had weird hockey dreams and because UGH THAT TEAM FROM ICELAND. And this is what it’s like to be Princess and 37 weeks pregnant. The end.