Vows.

Weddings are magical. And not just in a fairytale, Cinderella way. It’s pretty amazing how quickly you forget the time and stress and money that goes into planning what is arguably the most important event of your life (no pressure) and the tensions that surround the union of two different, albeit wonderful, families once the beginning notes of Canon in D Major echo through the centuries old church. Can’t we bottle that magic?

We watched Josh’s younger brother and his bride wed this past weekend. I’m not an overly emotional person but weddings turn me into a ball of weepy mush. While most turn and watch the bride as she makes her way down the aisle, I watch the groom. It’s an honor to be privilege to witness such a private moment – the groom seeing and receiving his bride for the first time. It’s a face that beams with love, pride, honor and excitement. An intimate moment for everyone to see – if only they are looking.

Josh had the honor of serving as best man and we spent the long drive to Baltimore discussing the speech he was to deliver at the reception. You see, Josh doesn’t take responsibilities like this lightly. So this conversation was lengthy. He quickly decided he didn’t want to take this as an opportunity to roast his little brother but instead to impart some useful knowledge from the trenches. How do you begin to condense eight years of hard lessons into two minutes or less?

“…For better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health…”

We’ve had our betters and worses but much more of the life that is made up in the middle. Not much of the richer but our share of poorer courtesy of those student loans from that small, private liberal arts college degree that I’m clearly putting to good use. And the sickness and health.

I don’t remember many specific emotions from our wedding except utter embarrassment after I nearly passed out. But I distinctly remember exchanging the “in sickness and in health” in our vows. I looked at my new husband, baby-faced and tuxedoed and had the distinct realization that someday we were going to face sickness. Heartbreaking, devastating sickness – cancer, heart attacks, accidents.

I never considered that sickness would sometimes be a quiet force that hung around the corners of marriage. At times it would encompass much more and would become the theme to our marriage, swallowing up any ‘betters’ and any ‘richers’ that may have been. We honored those vows while sitting together on the closet floor of our first apartment while I sobbed through a year’s worth of panic attacks, most certain my world was ending. I remembered those words while laying side by side and watching the sunbeams journey across the bedspread while I waited to miscarry our third child. And in the the mid-night half-smiles as we tag team to clean up after a child vomits yet again – I clean the child, he cleans the bed.

And there is the health. It’s easy to spot the sickness but sometimes the health needs to be sought. Diagnosis and feelings don’t determine health. It’s quality of life. And boy, we have a life of quality and some good substance. Health is in our two amazingly stubborn ninja princesses who will undoubtedly change the world. Health in the answers and healing. Health in the laughter that bubbles uncontrollably at the most inopportune times.

I wish we could get married again with a new appreciation for our vows, for everything they say and everything left unsaid between the words. image-2

I don’t want to.

We’re on day three of pink eye.

“But,” you say, “it’s not contagious after 24 hours of antibiotic eye drops!”

Ah, yes. Assuming it doesn’t spread from child-to-child or eye-to-eye.

Any mother with a common sense than I would treat both eyes even if only one eye appeared infected. Apparently I’m lacking common sense and good judgement because those drops are expensive and getting them in the eye is a feat of strength and will. So I only treated Blair’s right eye. And today we have a left eye that’s nice and red.

I LOVE BEING A MOTHER.

Really, I do.

I’m just feeling selfish today.

I’m so, so tired of being stuck at home. The girls are climbing the walls and getting into every sort of mischief imaginable. Blair’s new favorite play spot in the bathroom closet (hello, razor blades and mouth wash) and Emery is playing dress up with the dog.

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Thanks for taking one for the team, Lu.

I haven’t had a run since last week. It’s not an excuse for my short temper but, goodness. I just want 30 minutes to run with my headphones blaring and no one crying. Except me. But it’s really hard to cry and run at the same time. I don’t know how they make it look so easy in the movies.

I don’t want to pick up another toy. I don’t want to wash another dish. I don’t want to fold another sheet. I don’t want to, I don’t want to, I don’t want to.

I wish I could throw a tantrum like my daughters.

But instead, I hold my breath and my tongue. And start by brushing my teeth..

One more day. It’ll be over soon.

Assuming I don’t end up with pink eyes.

Either way, I’ll do all those things that need to be done because someone needs to do it.

There are 100 other things I could do to pass the time and make the day enjoyable.

Instead I sit here having a pity party and scratching Emery’s back with my foot. And she’s enjoying it.

So there’s always that.

The worst sickness, ever.

I don’t know how this happened.

Emery has been on “spring break” (why do preschoolers need spring break?!) since last Monday. And yet yesterday, the girl developed a rip-roaring case of double pink eye.

We haven’t even had enough excitement to warrant such a miserable illness.

There were no bounce houses or playgrounds or tea parties or even shopping cart handles handled.

But apparently this pesky conjunctivitis can arise from the rather non-eventful gathering with friends for an early Easter celebration. Or the overwhelmingly cheerful and plastic Easter egg hunt with strangers. Or the crowded preschooler room at church on Easter morning.

Pink eye is the worst.

She doesn’t feel sick. She doesn’t act sick. But she’s contagious.

And so we’re homebound.

Have you ever tried giving a 40 pound, strong-willed child eye drops that burn like the dickens? It’s amazing. Twice a day. But without it, she’ll continue to be contagious. And homebound.

And because it’s so contagious, there’s a good chance the pink eye will be working it’s merry little way on to Blair, next.

Which means we will be homebound, again.

I thought spring break was about relaxation and fruity drinks with little paper umbrellas.

Unless anyone has a fruity drink to spare. I’ll take it off your hands.

**edited: Oh, those sweet sisters share everything, don’t they? I now have TWO kiddos with pink eye. I wrote this before Blair was woken by an older sister who has no concept of playing quietly before dawn. Thankfully I can manage to pin down her body by myself to administer drops while her sister cries waiting her turn. Ah, the joys! Cheers to another two days at home!**

Good people.

I’m easily jaded.

Cynical, even.

In the past year or so, I’ve become rather leery of people. This was probably exacerbated when someone broke into my car last May while I was picking up E from our neighborhood mom’s morning out program. It took a previously colored view of the world and made it downright angry. So became easy for me to form a natural inclination of distrust towards strangers.

Yesterday, I fought my way through a fog of snot and sinus pressure and managed to get E to preschool and survived a Target run for more tissues. I loaded an unhappy B back in the car and decided a second cup of coffee was crucial to everyone’s survival. We zipped down the highway towards my BFF, Dunkin’ Donuts. They know me by my drive-thru order – a hot coconut coffee with cream and sugar and two glazed munchkins.

Today’s line was longer than usual and B was not happy. We managed the wait with lots of songs, nose blowings and phone calls to Yaya on speaker. When it came our time to pay, the kind girl at the window informed me that order had been taken care of.

Someone paid for my coffee.

Did they know I had a wicked headache? Could they hear my screaming child through two sets of closed windows? Did they see me leading the choir on three renditions of “Old McDonald”?

It was just $2.45. It’s not the cost. Someone thought to do something nice for me. Someone they didn’t know. Someone they’ll never know.

It’s the gesture.

Maybe there are still good people out there who aren’t just looking out for themselves.

I want to be one of them.

Do something nice for someone today, okay?

An open apology.

I’d like to take a minute to apologize to a few people -scratch that – a lot of people who’ve had the unfortunate luck of coming into contact with us over the past few days. It’s been rough, to say the least.

  • Apologies to the friends I have ignored this week and the playdates I’ve had to cancel courtesy of the coxsackie virus visiting our house for the THIRD time. Ulcers on my children and myself make me a bad, mad, miserable friend.
  • Apologies to the kind nurse at the pediatrician’s office with whom I was snappy on Wednesday when I needed an appointment for B between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. so I could pick E up from preschool on time.  You were very accommodating.
  • Apologies to the shoppers yesterday at our local Kroger who witnessed an impressively loud and spit-filled tantrum by my very large 3 year old. All because I wouldn’t buy myself flowers. Oh, the irony.
  • Apologies to the wonderful babysitters who graciously watched my cranky, cabin-fevered children this morning so I wouldn’t lose my cool due to the incessant whining, crying and fighting.
  • Apologies to all those who witnessed me losing my cool at the city’s best bakery after I waited 30 minutes for a sandwich order that never made its way to the kitchen. Of course, they compensated me with a free cupcake and cappuccino upgrade so I shouldn’t begrudge. But I of am. Sorry.
  • Apologies to the wonderful staff and patrons of Fleet Feet, the Color Vibe workers and the other racers who had to endure my screaming children at today’s Color Vibe race packet pick up. Additional apologies to the sweet, angel of a woman who tried to hold the door open for me and I instead rammed her little cheerful legs with my toddler-laden stroller/Weapon of Anger.
  • Apologies to my husband who didn’t get to enjoy any of the aforementioned cupcake. That’s what happens when you stay at work two hours late and I have to do packet pickup alone with two cranky children.

Wine, anyone? Correction – another glass of wine, anyone?

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For Granted.

I tend to get wrapped up in the big, show-stealing moments in life that I usually fail to recognize the wonderful comfort in the predictable and easy. I shouldn’t go through life this way because the easy is few and far between and it isn’t until the easy becomes not so easy that I recognize its value.

E has always been a pretty healthy kiddo but whatever illness she has contracted has her down for the count. After two days of high fevers and a cough that is too legit to quit, I broke down and called her pediatrician for an appointment. We were graced with a parting gift in the form of a brand spanking new nebulizer and a script for some heavy-duty, codeine-laced cough syrup.

For real?

Ugh.

This is supposed to be my healthy child.

We had our first breathing treatment at the office and it did not go well, to say the least.

And the worst part?

Knowing that whatever virus that has hit her so hard will probably set its sights on B and me next.

Ugh.

I’m cooking up a storm in preparation for additional sick bodies. Tonight’s dinner was the world’s most expensive chicken and rice soup with chicken breasts from the co-op. Then, I got in a quick 2 mile run in case this thumping my head and tickle in my throat are indicators of what is around the corner for me.

And then I waited an hour to pick up the medicine for E’s nebulizer. An hour. At dinner time. In sweaty clothes.

A girl with her nebulizer. She decorated it herself.

Fortunately, this evening’s breathing treatment went smoother than this morning’s. Thanks to Bubble Guppies on Momma’s phone and a strong snuggle from Daddy.

I’m not taking the good for granted. This life is too hard and filled with too many struggles to not appreciate a bit of ease. And I’m grateful.

Rest.

Life keeps happening. And at breakneck speed. Appointments, activities, running, chores.

We go, go, go and started to feel like Sundays had become a catch-all for everything that was procrastinated the previous six days.

So we’ve been making an effort to keep Sunday as our day of rest.

One sure way to make this happen?

Sickness.

I’d rather have a Sunday filled with church, crepes and catnaps.

Instead?

The Little Mermaid and snuggles.

It’s not all so bad.

My foot needed a break from the pavement and J needed an excuse to spend the day smoking a boston butt on the grill.

We just need E’s fever to be cleared by tomorrow. So we can resume our usual insanity.

Happy Sunday. Promises of a real post soon.