Friday, January 30, 2009

toddler for sale

He's really cute - dimples all over the place, affectionate (particularly if you have breasts and are willing to share), well versed in conversation (in that he never, ever stops talking), gifted in home repair (he has googles and isn't afraid to use them, storms around the house, be-goggled and with a tool box in each hand and removed a wheel from the vacuum cleaner earlier) - and an amazing athletic ability - examples (just today) include fencing (I stab you in the EYE, Daddy!), diving (headfirst off the couch, almost breaking his neck, but as he explained patiently to me "I jumping in da water, Mama"), and football (he's currently winging it around the living room and tackling what I can only assume are imaginary opponents)

The magic of a dad

Let me start off by saying that I love my vacuum cleaner like I love my coffee pot. Sure, I could live without them, but they add such joy, make everything so much easier. I have two small children, with an additional two (or three) here during the week, and another two (or three) here on the weekends. As you can imagine, I need my vacuum cleaner (and my coffee, but that's another story) every single day, sometimes twice. And yesterday, inexplicably, it just stopped sucking. It still turned on, still tried, but there was no suction.

Jess woke up this morning, sick and coughing and with a fever. I told her she could stay home and gave her some tylenol, which meant that twenty minutes later, she was up rocking and rolling and ready to face the day. She and Sam were playing on the computer, and I mentioned to Marc that my vacuum cleaner wasn't working. He took off his coat, because he was halfway out the door, and came back in. He sat down, took apart the machine, used a bent coat hanger, a hammer, screw driver, scissors and who knows what else, and ten minutes later - I had a fully functioning vacuum cleaner. Like magic.

I don't know if it's that I grew up without a dad, and with a mechanically challenged mother (although gifted in so many, many things - she would not have been able to magically fix an applicance) - but I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Comparable to the time he rewired the dryer. And I said to the kids "Daddy just fixed the vacuum cleaner!" with such joy and gratitude in my voice, and they ... didn't care. So what? Of course Daddy fixed the vacuum cleaner, that's what Daddy does. It wasn't the same for them.

Every now and again, it strikes me how much I missed out by not having a dad. And today was a little bit different - not having a guy to fix the vacuum cleaner as a kid meant that I'm awed and impressed when my husband can do it now. Today I realized how much my kids gained by having Marc for a dad. It's not magic, it's just Daddy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Jessica just got her very first phone call from a friend. And...yes, I got a little teary-eyed. Such a big girl thing, a phone call that wasn't because I was talking to the kid's mom, or it was Grammy who wanted to say hi - an actual phone call from a school friend. Of course, neither girl could think of anything to say, so the call only lasted for a few minutes, but it was still amazing to me.

Does it ever get old? As far as I can tell, kids just never stop with the "firsts." There is so much attention paid to the first smile, first step, first word,... but the firsts that Jess is experiencing are just as mind blowing for me. First shower by herself, first book read by herself, first day of school, first shower by herself, first phone call, first time she changed a diaper, first time she poured a drink... it's one of the best parts of parenting - watching your kids achieve these things that will one day be so common place, so mundane - but right now - just amazing...

Much, much misery

Poor Sam - he's not doing well. He's got a yucky cold. And I say yucky because he gets those gross colds, with snot every where and so much congestion that it's hard to understand what he's saying. Jess has never really gotten colds like that, she's my ear infection girl... but poor Sam. And it's just making him miserably unhappy. The only thing that appears to bring him any real joy is chasing Jess with his hammer and hitting her. Which is unfortunate for him, because Jessie has displayed a marked dislike for this activity.

Which means he falls back to his end all, be all - the magic OOBIE. First, let me just state officially for the record that this was not the name that I chose. I think Jess came up with it - and Sam just inherited it. And at almost thirty months, I'm tired of nursing. Tired of having it be the fix it for every situation, tired of wearing clothes that I can easily nurse in, tired, tired, tired of it. Weaning is not going well - there's a lot of him chasing me around the house, crying and begging for it. Sam was a great nurser from the beginning - he latched on immediately, and without it, I don't think I would have survived the first six months of his life. Between colic and reflux - I think he learned early that the only thing that made life bearable was easy and immediate access to my breasts - and has never really moved on from that belief.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yet another snow day

Maybe I'm just remembering it wrong, but I think Jess has had more snow days this year than I had in total for the 12 years I was in public school. It's crazy... is the weather that much worse now? Or do people just care that much more about their kids not being out in this? I'm home today with just my two cherubs, and it's lovely. I'm hoping that they let Marc out early at work so he can come and play with Sam. Marc's been going to the gym so much lately that Sam's going thru Daddy withdrawal, he's taken to whacking Jessie with a foam sword and screaming "I the BATMAN!" It's really cute, if you aren't Jess - and I can understand where she'd be a little frustrated by it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cold medicine

We've been fighting off colds here. We're a pretty healthy family, and rarely get hard core sick, but this cold has been hanging out for a while... poor Sam has had a mild case of the sniffles for about a week and a half, and I think mine has been hanging on at least that long. Jessica stayed home from school yesterday with a yucky cough, but seemed much better today. I took some cold medicine last night, and find that it still makes me floaty and kind of... off. I haven't taken any in years, preferring just to suffer thru the symptoms then to feel as though I'm orbiting just slightly off the ground - but the sinus headache was making me insane. With little kids, it's just not feasible to crawl into bed for hours and sleep off a migraine. So I took the stuff that Marc picked up for me, and have actually started to enjoy the sensation of being just a little bit removed from everything. I'm sitting here at the desk, and feeling as though I'm just floating a little bit. It's lovely. Odd, but lovely...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thirty Five

My birthday was yesterday. Thirty five is a big year. A take stock kind of year. A figure out where you've been, and where you want to go sort of year. And there were several moments yesterday when I was achingly aware of how blessed and fortunate I am. I was laying in bed, Marc had brought me breakfast, and Sam was lying next to me nursing. And I realized that this is (hopefully) the last birthday I'll spend nursing this boy. And he was so sweet and affectionate and loving, it was beautiful, one of those moments you know that you'll remember. When Jessie decided to dress up because I was wearing a skirt, and I taught her how to put on perfume, and she did it with such concentration, and I thought to myself, for the rest of her life, everytime she puts on perfume, it'll have a little piece of me there. Then again, last night, after Marc and I buckled the two of them into the car, and passed each other to get into our our own seats. He paused, kissed me, and wished me a happy birthday again - and it was that moment, with the two kids sobbing in their car seats, and freezing cold, that I was just so happy and amazed and grateful at all that I have. All that I always wanted, and so much potential, so much wealth of love and dreams and hopes for the future... I'm a pretty lucky girl, all things considered. I kind of feel bad for all you people who aren't me :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yucky cold

Sore throat, achy, just feeling bad... like all I want to do is curl up somewhere quiet and sleep and read, and have chicken soup brought to me all day long. And that's just not going to happen. Especially because Sam feels pretty much the same way, so he's requiring a lot more attention.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bread baking

I found a new bread recipe, and Sam and I mixed up the dough this morning, it's rising at this very moment. Jordyn and Sam are playing together in the other room, seem to be liking each other for the moment. These two have been together since Jordyn was ten weeks old, and they are like a little old married couple, alternately hating and loving each other.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunshine and lollipops

All is well in my world today - kids are happy and relatively healthy. Sam is coming down with a slight cold, I suspect, he was congested this morning, but seems fine now. I just spent the past three hours cleaning - and am happy to report that the house is not spotless, but clean enough for my standards. Admittedly, those are low, but the laundry and dishes are done, beds made, floors vacuumed, and kids fed. Now for naptime :-)

Had an interesting couple of days - with major fights with my mother and my sister. There's a sense, among various family members, that I am unhappy or stifled or living my life for my kids and my husband. It was really disconcerting, trying to argue that you are in fact happy, and can't quite figure out why everyone thinks I'm not. I literally had to check with people - do you think I'm happy? Because the arguments that I wasn't, that I was just PRETENDING to be happy, were so vehement.

But if nothing else, I did a lot of introspective thought, and have come to the conclusion that I am happy. Yes, there are conflicts in my life, I have issues with my husband and time he spends at the gym, sometimes dealing with my husband's ex makes me insane, and there's the usual stress of having two children under six... but I'm still happier than I've ever been (and that's saying a lot, because I have had a pretty exceptional life, in terms of happiness). I'm in love with my husband, confident and secure in my marriage, I LOVE being a SAHM, I love spending all day with my kids, listening to them talk, teaching them about the world, baking cookies and folding their clothes. I really like the concept of building a family and feel as though this is what I'm meant to do. This, right here, this is what I love... Jessie, with her curls falling out of a braid, and serious brown eyes, working on her homework, Sam, with his dimples and earnest little soul, playing with his working guys, soup bubbling on the stove... how could anyone possibly think I'm unhappy?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is two and a half too young for a coffee habit?

Okay, okay, I get it, you shouldn't be giving a two year old his own cup of coffee. BUT in my defense, it made him stop screaming and crying (literally sobbing, repeating over and over - "please mama, please, me have oobies now, please!").

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just a Tuesday

I love Tuesdays. Still. There's nothing special about today, but it's a very peaceful, relaxed sort of day. Lots of laundry and cleaning, as per usual, and it's cold and yucky outside. I miss spring, and bouncing out and over to the park, stopping for a bagel to feed to the ducks, pushing the boys on the swings and checking out the squirrels. Warm weather will come again, won't it?

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Jessie had her very first big girl sleepover last night. She's been sleeping over people's houses since she was about a year old, although it's always been either my sister Mandi, my cousin Becky, my friend Annie's, or my mother's. Once, she slept at Marc's parent's house. But last night was a big girl sleepover at her friend Julia's house. I didn't think she'd do it. I packed her bag, knowing that she'd be coming home with me. But she didn't. She stayed... and it was significantly more of an issue for me than it was for her. We got the phone call around nine thirty to come and get her, and Marc (who earned SO MANY GOOD DADDY POINTS last night) drove across Worcester in snow storm to get her, only to hear "Daddy, I changed my mind, I don't want to go home." So he came back home, and I heard him come up the stairs, and got ready to pull my tired girl into bed with me, grateful to have her home... only to hear that she was staying.

It really, really does go so quickly. When I look at her, I still see an infant, most of the time. Or my toddler girl... and suddenly, she's got this whole life of her own, and while I think I'm doing a fairly good job of letting her go, it's SO hard. I want to keep her with me, my tiny little angel girl, and she's so big... I'm so not ready to have her grow up.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I'm already dreading my goal of heading out every damn day. It's wicked cold out there... and quite honestly, I'm not in the mood to trek out into the wild blue yonder. But trek I shall, because it's good for me and good for Sam.

Had another fight with Marc last night over time spent at the gym. It's so frustrating to me - and I can't get him to understand that. I feel like we're constantly at odds when it comes to this issue, and to a certain sense, I've come to terms with that. We're just never going to agree on it. He's forever going to think that he's not spending enough time working out, and I'm always going to think that he's not spending enough time at home.

But there's another level to it now - and it's starting to bug me. I'm feeling like I'm the only parent. The only hum-drum, every day, go to bed, here's your breakfast, let me pack your lunch, stop bugging your sister, if you whine one more time, you're going to bed parent. Marc's the fun one. The sit on the carpet, come let me cuddle you, play fight on the bed parent.

To a certain extent, it's just a function of having one stay at home parent and one full time working parent. But the amount of time that Marc has been spending at the gym has added to it - because his time is so limited, I can understand him wanting to make his time with the kids fun for them, but by doing that, I feel like I'm shouldering 100% of the unfun parts of parenting.

I just want him more involved. I'd like him to tell Jess to set the table once in a while - but he's never here for dinner anymore. I'd like him to change a diaper, assume responsibility for baths, read the bedtime stories once in a while. Not all the time. I mean, of course, it's my job to do the majority of the household stuff - we ironed out cleaning responsibilities a long time ago, and I'm not complaining about that. But this is childcare that I'm talking about - and I'm tired of being alone. I'm just lonely... I didn't want to do this by myself. I want a buddy, another adult, someone else to break up the fights, kiss the booboos, get the drinks. Not all the time, but not just one night a week either. The weekends are so crazy with all four kids here, and it feels more like just crowd control most of the time, not parenting, it's during the week that I miss him and want him here with me. I'd like for him to want to be here. The kids go to bed, and I'm sitting here by myself, and I'm wondering why it doesn't feel like my husband actually wants to spend time with me. I was just reading a blog about someone's daily schedule, and she was writing about how she and her husband split up nighttime chores, she makes dinner, cleans it up, he gives the kids a bath, plays with them, then they put them to bed, and then have some time alone. They read, watch television, have some sort of nighttime treat, hot cocoa or tea... and it sounded so very lovely. I don't know why I can't have that. I can make my own cocoa, and read and watch television solo - but it's not the same.

It's not just about the kids missing out on time with Marc, it's about me. And I didn't realize that until right now.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Plan

I'm just NEVER GOING TO SIT DOWN AGAIN. I've got to start the weaning process - it's making me nuts. Sam is just nursing, nursing, nursing, 24/7. Every single time I sit down somewhere in the living room or at the dining room table, he runs over and tries to get me to nurse him. In fact, he just noticed that I'm sitting here and came and stood at my leg for a few minutes, hoping. My goal is to get him down to just before nap and bed, and also to put him back in his own bed. I think he'll sleep thru the night if I'm not there to nurse him.

Other resolutions for the year...

1 - To get outside, at least for a bit, every single day. I manage this really well in the spring, summer and fall - but go inside once the leaves change and don't emerge until the temp reaches above fifty. This isn't exactly accurate, but close. So (starting tomorrow ;-), I'm going to go outside, at least for a bit every day. This will be a good exercise for Sam as well - he's an outside boy, left to his own devices, so this will be encouraging him in his natural tendencies.

2 - Continuing on a resolution from last year (that I met, pretty consistently) - if one of the kids asks me to sit down and read to them, I do it. Immediately, or as soon as possible thereafter. There's really nothing I'm doing that can't afford to wait until I finish reading. If my goal is to raise kids that read as much as I do, then I have to encourage the habit now.

3 - Smile more often - even when I'm not in the mood. Especially when I'm not in the mood. When I'm upset, everything is off, the kids are fussy and clingy and unhappy, and it isn't good for Marc and I either. I'm the stay at home mom - my mood affects everyone else.

4 - And continuing on that theme - not let myself get as affected by Jessica's moods. When she's upset, I'm going to make every effort to maintain some distance from it. She needs help learning control, and I don't do her any favors by indulging in a huge screaming battle with her, just because it's what she wants to do. By me staying calm and unaffected by it, then she'll maybe take the cue and calm down herself.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bored, bored, bored

I've got cabin fever, I think. I'm sick of being inside, sick of going outside only to rush back into someplace warm. I don't like winter. The only perk is my birthday - I like cake :-)

Kids have been good today. That's not entirely true, Sam has been a disaster. He's taken to nursing, or demanding to nurse, or begging to nurse, every single time I sit down in the living room. He's almost two and a half. I'm really done with it - but feel as though I'm sort of stuck. It makes him so happy, and fixes everything and to be honest, makes my life so much simpler - to just refuse to do it would be really difficult. More difficult that continuing to nurse him? I don't know... it's not as easy to decide one way or another...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Who loves Harry Potter???

I do, I do! I started them on Saturday and I'm mostly done with Book 4. These are FABULOUS.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Here's to 2009

As I'm sitting here thinking back on 2008 - I'm glad we've moved on. In so many ways, it was a great year - but it was one of the hardest ones, financially, that we've had in a long time. So I'm optimistic that 2009 will that much better for us. Here's a list of my favorite parts of 2008

1 - Bertucci's birthday trip. Marc, Jess, Sam and I all went out to dinner and spent a couple of hours window shopping at the mall to celebrate my birthday. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it was one of the best nights of the year. We bought foam swords that are still among Sam's favorite toys, got Jessie the first in a long succession of headbands for her pretty curls, and Marc bought my pretty necklace/ring combo. Also Beck and Greg were there, and that always makes it better.

2 - Sam started talking. A lot. A whole new aspect of his personality opened up, and I'm delighted by it. His mind is fascinating, the way he processes info is just so awesome, so funny and oh-my-God brilliant, I love it.

3 - Jessie started school. Big girl school, for the very first time. And grew up in ways that I'm still struggling to catch up with. She's doing so well, exceeding all my expectations, I'm so incredibly proud of the person she's becoming. Not just academically, although that's great, but socially. I love watching it.

4 - Marc and I are as strong today as we were in the beginning. Stronger. I still love him, he still turns me on, and now there's the added bonus of longevity and consistency. I can't imagine doign this without him.