Friday, February 27, 2009

The joys of taking Samilicous to the doctor

There are certain similiarities to my children. As much as I think they are so different in some ways, they are mirror images in others. Like baths - Jessie used to scream so much that she gave herself hives, and Sam's the grubbiest kid I've ever met because he'll literally cry so hard, he pukes when I give him a bath. And the doctor - oh, the doctors... Jess had ear infections all the time when she was little. And she HATED going to the doctor's. And Sam is following right along in step behind her. He refused to get on the scale, so I had to get on the scale first holding him and then drop him on the floor and get on without him to get an accurate weight. Then the time came to take his temp - and he clamped his little arm down and wasn't going to let the nurse stick that thing into his armpit. I had to pry it up (and he's scary strong for a two year old) and the poor nurse shoved it in. Meanwhile, he's got a fever, and is screaming - so he's all sweaty (and grubby - see the beginning of the paragraph). Finally, we finish the preliminaries, and I latch him on (one of those instances when I'm actually glad he's still nursing because it's an instant calm down for him). The doctor came in, he screamed thru the entire exam - fighting and struggling to get away. When it was finally over (he's got a wicked cough/cold, but nothing else, thank goodness), he stood up and said emphatically "Wet's get outta dis pwace!"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For what it's worth

Jessica Mary danced off to school this morning, happy as could be.

In other news, my vacuum has broken. I'm heart sore and in mourning. I loved that appliance, second only to the coffee pot.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rough morning

There's very little that's harder for me to deal with than my child's unhappiness. That's not completely true, there's lots that would be harder - but this morning, I had to ship my little girl out the door kicking and screaming to go to school and know that I will spend the rest of the day feeling guilty and worried about her. Jess seems to be thriving at school, has friends, children who come to greet her when we walk into the school yard, her teacher raves about her - so I know that she's not going there and being victimized by horrible six year old bullies, I know that she's not struggling academically and not measuring up. I know all of these things in my head, but in my heart, I'm scared that I'm wrong. Scared that there's something about school - something that I can't possibly know because I'M NOT THERE, and she's dealing with it (whatever this phantom problem is) all by herself, and that's why she's crying. That's why she left this morning with tears on her cheeks and misery in her eyes.

Although it probably had more to do with the fact that I got her ready about ten minutes before Marc was ready, so she had time to get involved in a game with her little brother, and just didn't want to leave it. But what if that wasn't the case? What if it's the horrible six year old bully? What if, what if, what if?

It's mornings like this when I really regret not homeschooling.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy, happy, happy, happy

(on a side note, I've used this title before - which I think is kind of a nice sign of how I feel about my life :-)

I'm all sunshine and lollipops today - Samilicious is still soundly sleeping, and Miss Jess danced off to school with a smile on her face. We had a busy weekend, Jess and I both got hair cuts, and I'm still loving mine, and loving Jessie's as well. Marc and I have been at each other's throats for most of the weekend, which is blessedly rare, but have patched things up rather well, I think. We fought about the way the house looked when I came home on Saturday (why, oh why would they destroy my house? Why?) and his work out schedule (which will forever be a source of conflict for us). For me, marriage is all about choice. When it's hard. And sometimes it is. You (or at least I) have to consciously CHOOSE to not stay mad. To remember why you love him, to remember that his overall goal is good, and while he might screw up royally in the execution of it, his desire is not to make you miserable. And the nice thing about Marc is that while he might not ever be able to be the first one to make that overture to end a fight (his theory is that if you ignore it, maybe it'll go away), he's always receptive (and relieved) when I do it.

Moving right along... today - today is MY DAY. This is the day I've been clinging to, all last week, when I was drowning in children. I babysit during the day, but that's different, I love my babies (toddlers), it's when I've got four school age girls running around that I want to rip my hair out. And last week, I had more than my fill of whining and crying and yelling and 'it's my turn on the computer' and 'she won't share with me' and just the general nastiness that three sisters and one Glennys can get up to when they're stuck together for too long. But today - ah, today... I'm going to relax, unwind, chill out, watch all kinds of television, read a lot - Sam took unbelievably crappy naps on both Saturday and Sunday, which is why he's still asleep, and I'm so excited about just being me today.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just a complaining post

I went out yesterday with my mother and my daughter and my favorite cousin - and had a LOVELY day. Really - got my hair cut, got a couple of new shirts, bought Jess a webkinz, got Jessie's hair cut (she looks gorgeous), then Marc met me down at my mother's house, she made a big dinner for everyone, it was delightful - right up until I came home. To find... just this huge, disgusting mess. And I'm mad and upset and all those negative things, thinking hostile thoughts towards husbands and step children, and angered that I must pay for any fun time out of the house by having to spend the entire next day cleaning up after people too lazy and apathetic to make any effort to do it themselves.

Just depressing.

Anyway - so I'm cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning today. Picking up Barbie shoes and clothes, throwing away crayons (I have adopted the "toss it out if it's on the floor" theory in regards to art supplies) and folding things. I crawled into Sam's bed last night with Jess in the middle of the night (Sam having spent the night in my bed) and it was filled with dirt and crumbs and CRAP that I had to clean off the bed before I could even put my poor tired girl in there (she wet the bed - my fault, I was too cold to get up and take her to the potty in the middle of the night). I'm filled with hostility and resentment and not feeling particularly warm and fuzzy.

But my hair looks FABULOUS.

Friday, February 20, 2009

oh so very tired

Not too much going on these days... it's February vacation here, so I've been drowning in children. Today I've got Lilli, Sarah, Jessie and Sam and for the moment, they are all playing together quietly in Jessica's bedroom. I don't expect this to last. But actually, when it's just the four of them, it's relatively easy - they break up into two groups (usually Lilli/Jess and Sarah/Sam).

We're still working on the diabetes thing. I know that it's so much better than it could be - it could have been something awful, diabetes is chronic, but controllable. But still, I was thinking last night of just how crappy it really is. Marc has been dealing with it for a solid week now, and it struck me of how sad and unfair it is that for the rest of his life, he'll have to make himself bleed every morning and eat no more at a single meal than what I would consider a good meal for my six year old daughter. He's fighting off a cold as well, which just makes it all seem that much more crappy.

But all in all, things really are going well. Other than the diabetes and the head colds that Sam and Marc have, everyone is healthy and happy. Well, Jess seems to be spending a lot of her time miserable and mad, but I think she's just in touch with her inner drama queen. Intellectually, I know that she's not crying all the time, but sometimes it feels that way. I'm chipper as can be. Really. Although if Sarah keeps yelling I might lose my mind today.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy 7th Anniversary

Here's a link to last year's anniversary post. It's all still true - he's still my best friend and I still can't quite believe I got as lucky as I did.

When I was younger, the qualities that I always said I wanted to find in a guy was that he be smart and nice. Good looking, sure, tall, yep, absolutely - but what really turned me on was intelligence and kindness. Marc is literally the smartest and nicest man I've ever met.

Happy Anniversary, honey - I still love you the best!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Diabetes and Valentines Day

And Jessica's "friend" party and my first girl day in a long time... VERY busy couple of days here...

Thursday night, Marc went to the doctor's. He came home early and I, of course, assumed he'd been laid off. His company has been in the process of shaking things up, and when I heard the car pull up and watched him get out and trudge upstairs, I assumed the worst. Which is a really bad habit of mine in many ways, but on the other hand, I'm frequently so relieved when whatever I'm assuming is happening, isn't, that's it's not too bad. Anyway... so he came home sick, and actually made a doctor's appointment for that night in Urgent Care. Four hours later, I get a phone call from him, and he told me that he's been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Marc's adopted - so we have no idea about his medical history. He's really young for this - and while he's definitely carrying more weight than he should be, he's in fantastic shape, working out all the time and he eats healthier than anyone I know. So it was a huge thing - and I think we both freaked out at first. We went to the doctor's together Friday morning and have been diligently working on getting the sugar number down (well, he's been working - the man is eating a ridiculous amount of celery). He's not on insulin, and so far, the sugar has decreased from over four hundred to about 230 something - so he's making lots of progress there.

The more research I've done, the less panicked I am about it. It's going to mean a pretty major change in the way he looks at food, and the way I cook and the way we feed the kids - but Marc's always been really disciplined and focused when it comes to doing things he knows he has to - so I know he'll put the work and the effort into it. And mostly, what I feel is just relief. Thank God, if he had to get something - if one of us had to get something - it was this. Because you can live a LONG healthy life with this. It's entirely in his control, he just has to do the work with diet and exercise, and I know that he can, and more importantly, he will do it. But I worry about him - this diagnosis has thrown him for a loop in a lot of ways, and I hate to see him struggling with it. I know he'll be fine, I know that he'll handle it better than anyone - but I still hate the thought of him feeling vulnerable and scared.

Saturday was Valentines Day - and at some point, when I'm struggling for a post topic - I'll write the story of the first couple of months that Marc and I were together. We met on Valentine's Day - and meeting him changed it from my least favorite day of the year (really, a whole day to make me feel like crap for being single is excessive) to my all time favorite. Our wedding anniversary is in October, but we never really do anything for that - it's Valentine's Day that's our day - seven years. I'm very proud - and happy to report that I like him just as much today as I did when we met. I love him, of course, but he's legitimately my buddy - he's my go-to guy, the person I most want to be with. And I'm very happy that he's still my best friend.

We had Jessie's friend party on Saturday as well - and that went exceedingly well, I think. It was at a magic shop - and the magician did a forty five minute show (that I missed entirely because Sam planted his little heels and insisted "My not going in dere!" and ended up nursing to sleep. But I had a lovely little mommy type conversation with a friend of mine (who was also out nursing her boy - granted he's about eighteen months younger than Sam) so all in all, it was a good day for me.

I went out today. By myself. For several hours. And it was delightful. I listened to the radio with the music up exceedingly high, bought several lovely little things, including a toy for Jess, one for Sam, some beef jerky for Marc, slippers and a new bag for me. And met Becky and my mother for lunch and a movie. I feel like an actual person instead of just Mommy. It was again, delightful. I have to do that more often :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Turns out fairies didn't steal the lunchbox

Or if they did, they returned it pretty quickly.

I lost Jessie's lunchbox this morning. Looked everywhere, it was gone. This happens a lot to me. I lose all kinds of stuff, shoes, hair brushes, cups of coffee, keys, wallets, etc. You name it, I've probably put it somewhere safe and subsequently, can't locate it at all. This drives my poor husband insane, since he never loses anything. Ever.

I've made my peace with it. The losing stuff, I mean. I just blithely assume that tiny fairies have snuck in and taken whatever I've lost. They almost always return it (except for a can of baked beans that I swear to God I had in the cabinet, but it was gone when I went to use it - that's never come back). I can tear the house apart looking for something (and have, on numerous occasions because I never seem to lose something unless I really really need it) and it's just simply... gone. Then a couple of hours (or days, sometimes weeks) later, there it is.

The lunchbox was next to the computer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Sam is walking around my living room, with goggles on, blue jeans, dinosaur t-shirt, and Jessie's purple belt on, wearing a pair of blue flowered socks as his 'gahbage glubs' (garbage gloves), carrying a little toy frying pan, and picking up various toys, muttering to himself "come here gahbage, gahbage, I wooking for you." Every now and again, he yells for me to say "Dis going well, Mama."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You know how some mornings, you just can't do it?

Just can't get motivated? No matter how much coffee you drink, no matter how many favorite shirts you put on, how high you pull up the ponytail? I'm exhausted - and there's no real reason. Other than the fact that I've decided against going to bed at a normal hour - it used to be that Marc stayed up later to bring Jess to the potty, and I'd go to bed around nine thirty or ten. But he's been bailing out lately, so I'm sitting up to take her to the bathroom (which totally isn't working, as I'm washing her bedding for the second morning in a row). The weather is still crappy - all icy and overcast, so that's not helping... and Sam is so grubby that I HAVE to toss him in the tub. And you know that's not going to go well... Why does the child hate baths so much? What's up with that?

Jess danced off to school happily enough - she's so cute. I feel guilty, she got so many new toys for her birthday, I didn't realize how much she did NOT play with her old toys. She must have somehow outgrown figurines and dollhouses when I wasn't paying attention - because now that she's got a thousand Barbies, she's back to playing in her room by herself for hours. She's reading too - she still needs me to sit beside her and help her sound out the words, but she's doing 90% of it herself.

What a boring post... I'm in a boring mood... but I'm on the third cup of coffee, and who knows? It could suddenly get much better.

Sam's favorite song just came on the Disney Channel. That's what I mean - it was so cute - he screamed "MY SONG!" and is now in there warbling "We break it, We Fix It." Now I'm having a good day :-)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jessica Mary Carruth Cohen

I'm a bit late in my birthday post for my girl - but it was a busy weekend. Six years (and two days) ago, my little girl was born. I have two cherubs, and love them both (and in about six months - you'll have to read thru Sam's love letter). But six years (and two days) ago, I became a mom, and met the person who'd change my life forever.

From the first second I saw her, there was such an instant bond and almost desperate need in me for her. I knew that my happiness, my survival, in a real sense, was suddenly dependent on this other person. I had a bit of a snag with my blood pressure after the C-section when Jess was born. I had gone into labor, and things were clicking along perfectly well, until I hit nine centimeters. Then everything stopped, and after a couple of hours, they decided to do a c-section. The surgery went great, and all was well... Marc brought her over to see me afterwards, and she was so amazingly beautiful. Her face was perfect, her eyes were huge and wise, and it was the most incredible feeling. Disbelief, awe - all of that, but mostly, I think I was still a bit surprised that it had actually happened - you know how you reach that point where you just think you're going to stay pregnant forever?

It was after the surgery when I realized how motherhood was going to change me. I had been brought back into my room, and was shaking from the medication. Shaking so much that I couldn't hold her. And I couldn't stop the shaking... and was so upset that I couldn't have my baby that I closed my eyes... and from what I've been told, I blacked out, my blood pressure bottomed out and it became a crisis situation. From my perspective... everything went black and hopeless and fuzzy... until Marc brought me my baby. He held her close to me for the first time, and I looked - really looked - at her - and then, only then, was I okay. I looked into her eyes and saw her, really saw her, and she saw me for the first time - and it was okay. It was more than okay - it was the most incredible feeling I'd ever had. Without her, I had a hard time remembering why I was here. Without her, when I couldn't hold her, when I couldn't stop shaking, it was easier to just give up and sink into oblivion.

She's amazing to me. Constantly. Six years later, I still lose time, just watching her sleep or eat, or read or play. Everything about her is a miracle to me - this much loved, so wanted child. She's the epitome of what Marc and I could achieve together - a living representation of our relationship - and so much more. She's her own person, with likes and dislikes and quirks and habits and thought processes that I still struggle to understand. She's brilliant and funny and so sweet. And while there are many things in my life that have changed from six years (and two days ago) - one of the constants is that I don't know what I'd do without her. I can't imagine being happy, or being at all, really, without her in my life.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Getting ready

I have so much to do right now - and have a hormone induced migraine - and feel as though my best option is to curl up under a quilt, snuggle and nurse Sam to sleep and doze for a couple of hours. I'm having Marc's whole family over tomorrow for Jessie's "family" birthday party. Granted, various family members on my side are coming as well, but I'm not as concerned about the house being pretty for them. They love me and think I'm fabulous already - and toys all over the place isn't likely to change that. Not that Marc's family isn't lovely - because most of them really are - but still, there's a lot more pressure when they are coming.

So tomorrow - I'm going to get up, sing happy birthday, give my girl cupcakes for breakfast with a candle in it, shower her, dress her in a gorgeous dress and ship her off for Hebrew School. Then I'll do the dishes, and the laundry, sweep the floors, mop the floors, reorganize the toys, bake two cakes, frost them, set up decorations, feed everyone lunch and then put on my hostess hat and be cheerful and merry. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I hate migraines.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Go in your room until you are done

I don't know what I'm doing with Jess half the time. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but really, I am never completely certain on what the best way to deal with her tantrums would be. I've done just about everything at one time or another. I've tried indulging her, holding her and sympathizing. I've tried punishing her, putting her in time out every time she has a temper tantrum. I've tried ignoring it, just letting her cry and paying no attention whatsoever. I've tried reward charts, a sticker earned for every time she stopped herself mid-fit and pulled it together.

For the past couple of months, I've been using the "Go in your room until you are done." It's not a punishment, it's not ignoring it, it's just drawing a line in the sand that if she needs to cry and rage and scream, that's okay, but it's not okay to make everyone else deal with it. She can come out whenever she's ready, and at least some of the time, she'll calm down enough to forget about it and start playing with her dollhouse. Sometimes she comes out and we can talk about whatever's bothering her calmly without tears, and more often than not, she comes out crying just a little bit less intensely and gets sent back in there.

She's an intense kid - everything is real and huge and worthy of utter intense focus for her. I think sometimes my job, with Jess, is to teach her to deal with her emotions, to be able to control them, not to just let herself go in the flood of drama that's always right there for her to tap into. You know what I mean? She lets herself be so influenced by circumstances, and I've thought, from the time that she was an infant, that she makes life so difficult for herself sometimes, just by letting herself get so upset by things. I wish I could teach her to shrug it off, to have a smile on her face, because if she could do that, she would have an easier time making the circumstances of her life suit her better. Just smile, ask for help instead of collapsing into tears and whining.

But even though I wish she could make things easier for herself sometimes, she's so magical about the way she thinks. She's brilliant and kind and so amazingly herself - mostly, I'm just grateful to have the opportunity to be her mother. She's so much more than I ever hoped for in a daughter.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You know that feeling?

That sense of just utter exhaustion, when you feel as though it would be such a blissful relief to melt down into a nice, soft clean bed with no toddlers in it? When you can feel it in your shoulders and in your lungs and your legs and in your poor tired brain, that's so ready to just relax and not hear "MOMMY!" over and over and over again...

I'm so there.

Marc's lost over thirty pounds - which is wonderful. Really, great. I mean, he put on so much weight with me when I was pregnant with Jess, and it's fabulous that he's devoted and dedicated and putting so much time and effort and committed to it. But... there are nights when I'm so completely ready for another adult, someone to distract Sam, just long enough for me to put Jess to bed by herself. And then keep him busy and happy for another hour or so - just long enough for me to collapse with a good book and nobody pulling on me or asking for a drink or complaining that Sam's sitting on her, or Jessie won't play with him (probably because he won't stop sitting on her).

I don't mean to complain. Really, I don't. I'm just tired and wishing it was an hour or two from now. The kids will drift off to sleep easily enough tonight, I'm sure. Jess had her first day back to school in several days, and Sam took a shorter nap today than usual. I just need enough energy and sunshine to get thru until then.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sick, sick, and more sick

Walking pneumonia is no joke. I finally took Jess into the pediatrician, after considerable thought and stress. Although it seems as though I haul the kids into the doctors all the time, I always sort of agonize over it. Is she really sick enough to go? Really? Should I wait? And it doesn't help that Marc is consistently explaining that I'm over-reacting, and wasting the co-pay, she's fine, it's a cold, it'll go away on it's own. He actually said to me yesterday that if she was coughing up blood, then it would be a good idea to go. Once I realized (again) that his criteria was a little... what's the word??... INSANE (if she's coughing up blood, I'm going to the ER), I made the appointment. And lo and behold, it's walking pnemonia. Which, according to WebMD, may last for up to a month. She's not contagious, and as long as I keep her drugged up with tylenol cold, she's bouncing around and cheerful as can be. But when she first wakes up, she's just so sick, coughing and miserable, and I've kept her home from school for the past two days. I tell her that she's staying home, give her some tylenol, and within a half hour, she's singing and dancing about... the only hitch is that it only lasts three or four hours and then she crashes again, whimpering and coughing and seeming so much younger than her almost six years. We repeat the cycle (tylenol with three chocolate chips to get rid of the taste, half hour recovery) and she's dancing again :-)

Meanwhile - it's a Monday, and I'm in a glorious mood. Had a fantabulous weekend, excepting the walking pneumonia diagnosis. Saturday was relaxing and peaceful, spent the whole time with just Jess because Sam was having a play date with his best friend Glennys and Marc was out and about picking up medication and getting the car inspected and ferrying Lilli to and from dance class. Sunday was lovely as well, excepting some forced time with Marc's ex's family at Lilli's award presentation at the Worcester Art Museum. But the game was fun, the food was great, and I slept exceedingly well last night.