March 21, 2011

My Daughters, The Girls Who Party All Night

At 1:30 in the morning,  Harper began to cry.  She was calling for Sara.  Sara, however, was dealing with this:

As a result, I got out of bed (who likes sleeping anyway), grabbed a pacifier and went into Harper's room.  I found this:

Well, not that exactly because it was much darker and she was wearing something else, but you get the idea.  I popped the pacifier into her mouth and went to make my escape.  She lifted her head and saw me trying to make my exit.  She began to cry.

I reached in to the crib and rubbed her back, stroked her hair, and she put her head back down.  Every time I stopped, she would sit up again.

I put a stuffed animal on the floor and lay down, stretching my arm into the crib to play with her hair.  I have no idea how much time had passed by the time I was able to army-crawl out the door and back into bed, but it didn't matter.

No matter how bad today is, I will be able to lift myself back up by remembering how I was able to soothe my daughter in the middle of the night.

Does someone want to pay me to be a stay-at-home dad?

March 17, 2011

My Daughters, The Girls with One Parent and a Butler

My wife is amazing.

I cannot express this as eloquently, nor as often, as she deserves, so I will simply keep restating it throughout this entry, using differing adjective and modifiers.  While the placement may seem to indicate the contrary, I assure you that there is no sarcasm meant at all.  She is so amazing that I can't even put it into words.

My wife is incredible.

She is currently a stay-at-home mom, taking care of our rambunctious and precious genetic bundles cleverly disguised as poop-machines.  Her endless patience, which was forged in the fires of my incompetence as a husband and human being, is serving her well.  She is tired, but happy.  I come home from work, exhausted, frustrated and disenfranchised and I am often greeting by smelly bundles of stickiness.  (See my earlier post for how I feel about this.)

My wife is astonishing.

I am, as I've said before in this post, as well as in others, an incompetent buffoon.  I want to help, but I rarely see what I can do.  If directed, I perform (I think) admirably, but without direction, I often find myself in the way, trailing behind my wife like a lost puppy, waiting for someone to throw a stick for me.

I try.  I really do.  Occasionally, I look around the house and wonder what I can straighten, or clean, or put away, or vacuum, but not as often as I should and certainly not with the same thorough eye that would get me my own show on BBC or Style Network.

What I do know to do automatically, is to either distract Harper, or hold Brynn, which need seems more immediate to relieve my wife.  Castle Sara is usually besieged by the united barbarian hordes of Infantium and Toddleria.  The defenses of the castle have held strong throughout the day, but the parapets are weakening and the longbowmen are running low on arrows. Reinforcements from the west, lead by the self-deprecating knight, Justin the Sometimes-Useful, arrive just in time to sweep off the invaders with their soiled smallclothes. (Clearly, I've been reading too much Ken Follett).

Harper, however, seems to think that, in spite of the overwhelming mountain of evidence to the contrary, her mother is going to ignore her, forget about her, or sell her to science to be used for medical experiments.  As a result of this, it is increasingly difficult to give Sara couple of moments of peace.  When I sweep Harper away, she starts to cry.  I haven't been able to give her a bath that lasts longer than it take to lather and her hair and giver a cursory rinse because the screams of "MAMA" echo painfully in our small bathroom.  When Sara is feeding Brynn, Harper NEEDS to be climbing up to sit with them and my taking her away to play with her only makes her more upset.  Lat week, when I tried to put Harper to bed after her bath, she laid in my arms, screamed at the top of her lungs and kicks her legs.  For 10 minutes.  Finally, Sara came in and traded out with me,putting her to bed in less than 3 minutes.

It sure was nice of me to sit and listen to all that screaming so that Sara wouldn't have to.  What a considerate guy I am...

My wife is a wonderful wife and mother and I am amazed by her on a daily basis.

With things going poorly at work (made even worse and more foreboding by news of last nights school board meeting), teachers being the punching bag of the country lately, the impending increase in cost of daycare, and the apparent failure of my latest plan to get in shape (not giving up yet though...) the fact that my daughter, whom I love with all of my heart has been thoroughly rejecting me whenever Sara is in the house, is almost more than I can bear.  My mood has been horrendous lately and I've been taking it out on the wrong people (not that there are any people on whom it would be appropriate to take it out.)

The worst part for me is that I feel worse than useless.  An absentee father/husband isn't expected to do anything to help.  The wife/mother already knows that she's not getting any assistance.  I should be doing more, but Harper won't let me.  She simply will not come to me when Sara is around.

I think even that it a cop-out for my own laziness.  See?  There I go feeling sorry for myself, when I should be helping my wife.

I know I usually try to keep this blog happy and upbeat, but this is a topic that I've been thinking about almost constantly and I needed to get it down.

In any event, as I may have mentioned before, I am amazed by my wife and I hope that I can become even half the parent that she is.

Pictures.  More later when I'm somewhere that I can upload them.

Apparently, we REALLY need a jungle gym.  Garage Sale season, here we come!

March 5, 2011

My Daughters, The Sisters

Oh, dear readers, I pray that you will forgive me for my lack of updates.  I fall upon your mercy, with statements most humble and self-deprecating.  I promise that I shall reward your diligence with a short post (maybe) and multiple pictures (for sure).

The last two weeks have been a tornado, except instead of houses, corn and evil schoolmarms on bicycles, the flying debris has been diapers, onesies and evil schoolmarms.  Well, not schoolmarms, just school teachers.  I have had a very difficult two weeks at work, of which I would love to tell you, but recent trends in educational theory make me think that might not be a good idea.  Suffice to say, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the type of teacher I want to be and how can I achieve those goals.

In any event, all of this has been almost entirely overshadowed by the newest addition to our happy little family.  Ms. Brynn Elizabeth Aion has been just amazing.

Last November, after Harper was born, a coworker of mine, who happens to have 4 children under the age of 6, told me that after a few months, another friend would have a baby and suddenly Harper would look HUGE!  I am here to tell you that my little (oldest) daughter, overnight, grew into a Godzilla-style giant.

We only slowly noticed how big she was getting.  "Hmm...her legs seem to extend beyond the chair when I'm giving her her bed-time bottle."  "Hmm...She seems to be able to reach things on the table without climbing."  "Hmm...She seems to be able to dust the top of the ceiling fan without the step ladder."

After a day of holding Brynn (all 6 pounds and 18 inches of her) in the hospital and around the house, I admit that I temporarily considered  putting H on a diet.  The problem with this plan is that I would have to chop of all of her limbs, including her head.  Sara assures me that this is a terrible idea as it would hake it very difficult to dress and feed her without those appendages (diapers simply don't stay on without legs to wrap them around.)

H suddenly looks and feels huge.  It's possible to pick up a newborn without noticing the additional weight.  Harper, however, now weighs 22 pounds, which is not much, but is like carrying 4 of her sister.  Her hands and feet are starting to fill out too, so she doesn't look nearly as skinny as she used to.

I know she's still very small as far as children go, but with Brynn around, she just seems like a big girl.

It makes me frustrated that she's not speaking in full, grammatically correct sentences expressing her beliefs either in favor of, or against the establishment of a national religion.  Perhaps she knows that particular topic is too polarizing and she is simply choosing to not start a moral discussion that may divide the family...

Clever girl...

Luckily for everyone, Harper is very taken with Brynn.  When the elder sister sees the younger, she smiles hugely and looks to us for approval.  We're still working on teaching her not drag her sister around the house by a blanket and not to hand her toys with sharp edges.  They are, however, very cute together.

A friend of ours came over this week and took excellent pictures of the girls and I think we're going to use some to make postcards and all sorts of other things so that people can display the beauty of our family in their houses.

Here are a few for you to enjoy while I think about what to post in the next entry.

This happens very frequently.  It's cuter than I can handle.

This session was exhausting.  I'll just wait here until you're ready for me.

P.S.  I'm still taking suggestions for what to call the blog.  It doesn't seem fair to have to be Adventures in Harper-Space anymore.  I may go back to Adventures in Parenting, or to something new like Happily Afloat in a Sea of Estrogen.  As always, I'm looking for topics to discuss so I'll take suggestions for those as well as any questions you may have.

P.P.S.  I love when people share the link to the blog with their friends and family.  The more people who read, the better feedback I can get and the better I can make the blog.  Please do share the blog anyway you can, including facebook, e-mail, your own blog, or taking out an ad in your local paper.

P.P.P.S.  If you want to make a comment on this new format, and don't see the list of comments, you need to click on the blog title and then go to the bottom of the post.  I'm going to see if I can fix this...



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