Sunday, March 28, 2010

I'm here :-)

I haven't blogged in a while - it's been a fairly busy couple of days. Friday morning, my mother called just as I was getting ready to rush Jess out the door. Marc and I have one car, and for the most part, he does the driving to and from school, but on Friday, he'd had an early meeting and had carpooled in, so I was in charge of the commute to school. She wanted to go shopping to buy Sam and Jess their Easter outfits, so I told her that I'd meet her down at her house. We spent the whole day shopping, bought the girl a beautiful black and white dress and Sam a new dress shirt and belt (he has reluctantly taken the belt off strictly for sleep and put it back on immediately upon waking up). Then we drove home and I started trying to clean. It didn't go well. I'm so tired and sore and the kids were fighting and when Marc offered to take us all out to dinner, I jumped at it.

The weekend was crazy busy, as per usual. Saturday, I met Becky and Trish at the mall for a while, bought the sweetest little coming home outfit for the baby and a little sun hat for her. I started really contracting hard at the mall, actually considered whether or not I was going into early labor. But then I sat for a while, chugged some water and it seemed to calm down. I've been having contractions off and on ever since, whenever I'm up doing too much. Saturday night, we had Lilli and Sarah spend the night, and it was so cute, all four kids played together SO well. It was another late night - I don't think either of my kids fell asleep before 10:00, and with Jess, you can so completely tell.

Jess just doesn't function well on no sleep. She's pretty impervious to most things that bug other kids, she can be hungry and still friendly and cheerful, she's not bothered by being too hot or too cold, she doesn't even complain if she has to pee and we can't get to a potty right away - but lack of sleep morphs her into psycho daughter - she just gets brutal. And we've been dealing with a lot of that this weekend, the poor kid is in her bedroom crying herself to sleep after informing me that she'd so much rather Daddy was here than me because she likes him the best. I would have stayed in there and snuggled her to sleep, and would honestly rather be doing that than blogging, but nope - she had to take it that one extra step and get all mean.

Jessie's complicated - there are always so many layers to whatever is going on with her. She's so very smart and her mind is always making connections. I struggle with her sometimes, because it seems as though she goes out of her way to make her life more difficult than it has to be. I mean, I guess we all do that, right? But take tonight, for example. She had to go to bed, she's exhausted, she knows it, I know it. She knows that I'm not going to let her get out of bed, why not just make it easier on both of us, snuggle up and let me sing you off to sleep? That makes so much more sense to me, but instead she went with fighting and getting mean, so that I told her that she could just go to bed by herself then, and shut the door and walked away. Now she's in there crying (actually, I think she's asleep now) and I'm out here feeling guilty and like a mean mother. Even though I know I did what was actually best for her, what she needs is sleep. It might not be what makes her happy, but it's what's best. Sigh...

In other news... went to a really crappy family party today, where I overheard comments of a derogatory nature directed at my son and my parenting skills, so I'm in a pretty lousy state of mind. Let me state officially and for the record that I'm one of "those" mothers. I pick my battles. I fight the fights that are worth fighting, not the ones that don't matter. Sam has three older sisters. I have a lot of girl socks. He also likes to take his socks off and shove them deep inside the couch (why, I don't know), but I'm frequently in the position of having a thousand socks for Jess and three for Sam. I keep all the socks in a box, and every now and again I match them. Today, we were getting dressed and I told him to go grab some socks. Sam's big on independence, nothing makes him happier than doing it (whatever it seems to be) by himself. And he picked himself out two socks - one was polka dotted and one had little pink hearts on it, put them both on himself, and then put on his shoes. And I didn't care. They weren't boy socks, they didn't match - but he was very proud of himself, and they covered his feet.

But when certain members of my family noticed his socks, there were comments made. It didn't help matters in their eyes that he also had his fingers painted. This reflected badly, to them, not just on him but also on me. But (again) the kid's got three older sisters. And it was spa night. And he wanted to play and they wanted to paint, and I don't mind if they paint his nails. I'm not worried about his gender identity - if anything, this kid is overdosing on testosterone, he spends most of his leisure time fighting bad guys and wrestling with his Daddy. But it infuriated me that people would make fun of him - and I'm vowing never, never to go to another family function unless my sister or Marc is in attendence. I didn't have any allies there, and it was a really, really crappy afternoon.

My house is in shambles, having four kids rocking and rolling here all weekend will do that, and finally both my kids are asleep. And if I was a good mother, I'd be vaulting into action, weilding my broom and my vacuum and picking up and straightening and making everything neat and pretty. But let's be honest, I'm going to heat up my hidden stash of chinese food and watch Grey's Anatomy, which I recorded three or four days ago and haven't gotten around to watching :-)

Here's hoping for a better tomorrow...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Springtime :-)

I love the warmer weather. There are aspects of winter I like, I enjoy bundling up in a blanket, sipping cocoa and reading. I love Christmas and candles and birthdays, and all of that is winter related for me. I like big rocking blizzards, when the wind howls and we can just burrow in and stay home for days on end. I like no school days. But mostly - I don't like being cold, I don't like having to wear shoes constantly or drag coats around with us all the time. I'm always happier when I can just pull on some cut offs and sandals and spend the day outside. Or inside with the windows open :-)

Today, it's gorgeous out - in the sixties, bright and sunshiney and I'm delighted with myself. Sara came over with Jordyn, and I had Harrison and Sam today and we all walked to Elm Park. The kids all ran around and played and jumped and yelled and it was great. My laundry is drying out on on the line, and I'm busy planning out Easter and Passover celebrations :-) Harrison and Jordyn are both napping, and Sam is, of course, still up and rocking and rolling. I miss his afternoon nap... he just asked if I'd make him a cup of coffee, I told him we were out, and then he asked me to brew a fresh pot. I think it's possible he spends too much time alone with me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


At Sam's last physical, he had his vaccinations. I'm almost always the one who does physicals, and the shots - I don't like them, it's not fun to see my children get them, but I"m okay with it. I can hold them down and while I might tear up, I'm nowhere near as fragile about it as I was today. I put off getting his lead test done, but getting bloodwork done on the same day at the shots just seemed mean. But it turns out that I need the results in order to get him registered for preschool, so today while I was at Jessie's physical, I figured I'd just get Sam's bloodwork done at the same time.

It was AWFUL. He started screaming "I DON'T WANT BLOODWORK" while we were waiting for Jessie's camp physical form to get filled out and just kept going, begging me not to make him do it. He's not stupid, and his mother is 35 weeks pregnant - he's seen a lot of bloodwork because he comes with me to all of my appts. And even though I'm very calm and don't freak out about needles, he knows that it's still a needle going into your skin. He screamed the whole way down in the elevator, and while we were waiting in the waiting room. It was a crowded little waiting room and I could not stop him from just screaming non-stop. "I DON'T WANT BLOODWORK! PLEASE MOMMY, NO BLOODWORK! I DON'T WANT BLOODWORK!" His poor little face, the tears were pouring down his cheeks and his eyes were huge and terrified. They finally took us in, there were two techs, they muscled me down into the chair, locked my legs around him (and he's not fitting all that well due to enormous belly) and I held one arm while they jammed the needle into the other one. (You understand that I'm exaggerating slightly, they were actually very fast and efficient and I'm relatively sure that they didn't actually jam the needle in - but it was hard to tell because at this point I was crying as hard as he was).

It was the worst experience ever - rivaling his x-ray at two weeks old, when he cried so hard he vomited all over the table. He's kicking me with those super hard shoes, I'm contracting all over the place, crying because my poor son was just so scared and I was making him do it anyway - Jessie was hiding in the waiting room, with her hands clamped over his ears... total trauma. Even afterwards - he screamed for at least another twenty minutes - jumping up and down, screaming "I DON'T WANT BLOODWORK!" I had to go back upstairs to check out in the doctor's office, and begged them for a room, where I nursed my little boy (who's been weaned for months) just to try and calm the hysteria, because he was still screaming. I'm wrecked, exhausted, emotional and feel so incredibly emotionally fragile. It was just awful. I'm never doing bloodwork again. Shots, shots I can do, bloodwork - no way. Never again. That's so completely Marc's job from here on out.

In other news - Jess is a paragon of health - still tall and skinny, 49lbs, and 48 and three quarter inches.

Am going to go sit quietly in the living room and cry it all out, I really can't handle that kind of thing at this point. Too emotional, too pregnant, and way too tired to do that kind of emotional trauma.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Holy moly - I'm huge

I'm still somewhat baffled by how LARGE my stomach has gotten in the past couple of days. In the past week, it's like all of a sudden, the baby is just putting on all kinds of weight and growing like a madwoman. And I waddle. I'm still convinced that I'm going to be pregnant forever, it feels like this whole pregnancy has just crawled by... I've still got about six weeks left, by any conservative estimate. Although - I'm all about fast forwarding and rounding up - so I'm also half way thinking that since I'll be 35 weeks on Friday, I can start claiming that I'm 35 weeks now - I mean, I'm in that week, right? And since Sam came eight days early (which is, as you all know well over a week early) this one should come even earlier (why I think this, I don't know, but am clinging to it because it makes me feel better), which means that she could come as early as 37 or at the absolute latest, 38 weeks. So I've got less than a month, right? In fact, according to my creative math - it could be as soon as three weeks. Right??

In other news... we're struggling again with my little drama queen. Mornings have suddenly become absolute disasters - this kid just flat out doesn't like going to school. We had started the sticker routine in January, giving her one for each day that she didn't freak out and scream like a lunatic at the prospect of heading out the door - and it worked so well that we stopped doing it (on the theory that maybe it had served it's purpose and we didn't want to be stickering her when she was sixteen). But then she just fell back into utter misery every morning and it culminated into a knock down fit last Thursday that resulted in the loss of Rebecca Rubin for three days. We've been doing the stickers ever since, and it's working. I guess. I still don't like that she hates going to school - I talked to her teacher again, just to confirm that there isn't anything going on at school that I'm missing. But nope - she's doing great, academically and socially. Is well liked, interacts with the other kids, seems perfectly content and is exceeding expectations academically. I'm not sure where to go with this - she seems awfully young to have to trudge off every day to a "job" that she hates, but I really don't know that homeschooling is the right option either.

Sam is also doing great with the potty training. The only hitch is that he'll only go at home. Won't use the potty when we're out. I mean, he's great at holding it - he's never had an accident when we're out either, but still it concerns me that he won't go at the library or at a restaurant. He claims he's nervous - and when we prompt him to go, it's just makes him mad. But he's reliably dry at home, and is even waking up dry some mornings, so once we get over this little hurdle, I think we'll be good to go.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What is it with little boys and nudity?

Jess liked to be naked too, I guess, but not like this. She didn't have much modesty - but liked clothes on her body. Sam literally would prefer to spend all his time sans clothing. We went thru a two week period when he was just naked all the time, and now I can mostly get clothes on him (because I told him dressing himself was one of his chores - and he understands from Jessica that you have to do your chores), but there are days when he just whips off his jammies and stays naked all day. Perfectly content, and looks confused when I suggest that perhaps a pair of underwear or maybe a t-shirt would not be out of the question.

Part of it is just the penis, I think. He flat out loves that thing. It's got an identity, and apparently requires a lot of what he calls fresh air and play time. (There's going to come a time when he's old enough to read and curious enough to go back far enough in this blog to find this post and will kill me - but I'm okay with that).

Anyway - I'm home today, being lazy. It's overcast and chilly today, raining off and on - so I can't use my pretty new stroller. And I'm just so... out of it. I've got a list of my own chores to do, and absolutely no desire to do any of it. Sink full of dishes, floors that need to be vacuumed, laundry to be folded, and all I want to do is curl up and read. So much for nesting...

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I'm struggling with time constraints. Specifically, trying to balance out the demands of family versus having a life of your own. Actually, what I'm struggling with is trying to understand my beloved husband's struggle. I've worked out my own struggle. For well or ill, I value family demands over my own. My children are only little a finite amount of time. They're only tiny and nursing exclusively for six months, where I am the only source of food. So for at least the first six months, I don't really go anywhere without toting a little one with me. And even after that... their physical need for me might be lessened by the introduction of fruits and veggies and diluted juice, but in Sam's case, at least, his emotional need for me was still just as high, so I didn't really leave him. Jess was certainly easier, she was more comfortable with other people, so I'd go out occasionally without her, but for the most part, I stick around my kids. Now that they're older, I can drop them off with friends, leave them home with Marc and spend time doing my own thing, but my first priority is generally to spend time together as a family. Which is to say, if Marc's not working and at home, that's where I want to be.

I'm good at saying no. Nope, sorry, I can't make that meeting. No, I'm sorry, I can't be there, I've got other responsibilities at home that take priority. I tend to, if anything, to spend too much time at home, I have trouble sometimes separating my identity as Mommy with my identity as Melissa. It's obviously complicated because I'm a stay at home mom, I don't have co-workers that see me just as an adult. I'm in charge of my kids 24/7. It hasn't always been without sacrifice - I've lost friends and am nowhere near as close to my family and friends as I once was, but I figured out early on that if I didn't put my kids first, nobody else would. And they deserved that level of committment.

My husband, who I love so very much - lives a very different life than I do. He's got a full time job and is not home from about eight thirty to six thirty Monday thru Friday. He's got diabetes and his health is dependent on regular workouts, so he's at the gym one to two nights a week. He's become super involved with the synagogue we attend, and has been at meetings several nights a week. And he's got a little group of friends that try to get together a couple of times a month to play dungeons and dragons.

All of this means that frequently the kids and I don't see him for what feels like days on end. And I don't get that. I don't understand how that's a livable situation for him - I'd be miserable in that type of lifestyle. It's hard not to resent it as well - because when he's not here, I'm here by myself, and it's frustrating to be the one doing all the housework and childcare - I'd so much rather have him here with me. I'm sore and pregnant and emotional, which doesn't create a situation where I'm super patient and loving and self-sacrificing. Most of the time, I'm bitchy and grumpy and unhappy and resentful - it's not a far walk from being mad that he's never here to hurt because he must not want to be here - I mean, he's making the choice to do something else. Other than work, which he has to do and working out, which with a diabetes diagnosis, is also not negotiable, but at some point, he has to think to himself, I'd rather go to the gym than go home and go for a run with the kids. I'd rather attend this meeting than stay home and eat dinner with the wife and kids. Which probably isn't the way he's looking at it, but again - pregnant, super emotional and resentful - that's how I see it. Which, as you can imagine, does not make for a happy family. Especially because my kids are super attuned to my mood, and when I'm unhappy, they don't know quite what to do, and resort to screaming and yelling at each other to get me to focus on them and not on my own issues.

I'm not sure how to resolve this - especially because it's not really a situation I have any control over. I can only control what I do. How I feel (and with hormones all over the damn place - I don't have much control at all at this point) and how I react. I suppose I just need to accept it for what it is - he just doesn't look at it the same way that I do. And just because he perceives it differently doesn't mean that he's wrong. Maybe it's biological? Maybe he's really not capable of focusing on family the way that I can. In the same way that he's not capable of getting pregnant and nursing. Maybe biologically, he's not capable of attaching the same way, having the same sense of responsibility and obligation. This doesn't mean he doesn't love the kids as much as I do, just that he's not as involved with their health and survival on the same level that I am. In the same way that he was able to go back to work after each one was born without feeling as though he was being ripped in half. Even now, seven years later, I know that the first day I left Jessie with a sitter and went back to work was one of the worst days of my life. I know that Marc loves the kids as much as I do, that they matter to him as much as they matter to me - but there's something different there that I'm struggling to understand.

Certainly, most people who know him would argue that he's a phenominal father. Involved, focused, attentive. He works so hard at a job that he hates to provide for them. He derives enormous pleasure from spending time with them, he delights in their accomplishments, never complains about the drudgery of parenting, is happiest when they are with them. He's a far better father than any other I can think of. He snuggles and talks and spends as much time with him as he feels he can. I know a lot of his friends think he's the pinnacle of what a husband and father should be. And most days I agree. I know that he's a great husband, I know he loves me, I know he loves his kids. I just wish he was around more. Having a great husband and father for your children isn't much comfort when it feels like you're the only adult in the house all the time.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My name is Melissa and I really don't like water

I just don't. I don't think it tastes very good. But it turns out that when I don't drink enough, bad things happen. Not that I haven't figured that out before (having been rushed to the hospital after passing out at the beach when I was 11 weeks pregnant with Jess, having been admitted with both Sam and this pregnancy for dehydration issues...) but specifically now, it turns out that when I don't drink enough, I start contracting like mad. So when you see me, just politely hand me the bottle of water because left to my own devices, I'm going to "forget" to drink and suffer the consequences.

Bought a brand new double jogging stroller today. It was expensive, so I panicked a little - major purchases always freak me out, but it's really the only thing that I have bought new for the baby - and we REALLY needed one. Marc can take the kids jogging with him when he runs, I could even embark on a new fitness routine post-baby (this is highly unlikely, but not outside the realm of possibility). I can put Sam and Harrison in there, strap the baby onto my chest and head out to the library or the park... it's got kid and parent cup holders, plus lots of storage for library books, trips to the grocery store, etc. Plus, it's super easy to push, so I'm very excited about it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

These kind of hurt...

I'm actually contracting and it's not entirely pleasant. I know I've been complaining throughout the entire pregnancy, but since it's my blog, I'm just going to keep going... I've been noticing more and more these contractions - and they hurt. I've never had contractions like this - I always just got back labor, so this is completely unfamiliar to me - and it strikes me that I'm looking at another six weeks of this. I know that I'm not in ACTUAL labor, it's too early and again - I've never gone into labor without back pain. But what if it actually IS labor? What if I'm just going to have her super early?

But it's not, I mean, they aren't coming in any kind of order, they aren't even truly painful, just a little bit. And sometimes they last for a long time and sometimes they just sort of happen quick and stop right away. The whole top of my uterus is tight and painful and I'm ill amused.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

34 week appt

All is well in babyland. I've only gained ten pounds so far, which I mention just for the sake of mentioning it. I have no real control over it, because I've been eating a lot and exercising next to not at all, so have no idea why I'm not gaining weight. But I'm not complaining - less to lose afterwards :-). The baby is measuring great, moving all the time. Lots of braxton hicks contractions, lots of round ligament pain and my midwife is mildly sympathetic, but basically this is just what happens when it's my uterus and it's the third baby. The other two babies - I had NOTHING until I actually went into labor, but this one is going to make my life utter hell until she finally appears. My theory is that the pregnancy is insane so that the baby will be all laid back and relaxed and cool. Instead of the crazy psycho baby that Sam was (seriously screamed unless I was holding him until he was six or seven months old), and the intense lovable drama queen that my girl is to this day.

Am exhausted - Jess had a rough night's sleep last night. Usually, she's a great sleeper, once she's out, she's out and I don't hear from her until the next morning, but last night, she just couldn't stay asleep. And usually I just let her crawl into bed with me and she goes back to sleep, but I'm so big now that sleeping in general is tough, and sleeping with a seven year old snuggled up to me is impossible. So I eventually took her back to her bed and laid there with her for a while, and then snuck back into mine, only to have her pop back into my bed three or four hours later.

Sam's already out for the night - Wednesdays are tough because of all the running (doctor's appts and dance class) and I'm just letting Jess finish watching Wizards of Waverly Place before we snuggle down with Chapter 10 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban :-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I've resigned myself to being pregnant a LITTLE longer

And it's even a good thing, because Sam is STILL sick. He's much, much better, but still has a runny nose and really bad cough in the middle of the night. And I wouldn't want to expose the baby to that. So it's good that she's safe in utero for a little bit longer. Say another week or so :-). Rationally, I get that a little more lung development would be a good thing, and bigger babies nurse better, sleep longer, have fewer health issues, I get all that. Rationally. But emotionally? The sheer fact that I've got another six weeks to go if she goes full term just blows my freaking mind. Seriously? SIX MORE WEEKS? Crazy.

I'm still freaking out a little about the whole birth thing. No way around it, she's going to come out in some horribly painful sort of way. I'm still planning on a VBAC, and there's no reason to assume that it won't work, except that, having had one C-section before that wasn't planned, I can't not include it in my list of things that might happen. Not that I'd really mind another C-section, I don't have my heart set on natural childbirth, I'm pretty open to whatever. I'm really going to try and go with no epidural this time, though, because Sam's labor was just so crappy, and I think the epidural just hindered the pushing and did nothing for the back labor (i.e. leg and hip cramps), so I still got all the pain, plus it numbed the need to push as well.

In other news - SPRING IS HERE!!! I woke up this morning to actual blue skies and sunshine. Am going to take the boys (Sam and Harrison) out for a walk this morning :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I've calmed down...

The previous post probably made me sound vaguely suicidal, so I thought I'd post another update, just to reassure the three people who read this that I'm not, in fact, miserable and depressed. And give a little shout out and thank God for my cousin Becky and aunt Aimee, who spent the past four hours with me at the mall, letting me complain and moan and vent so that when I finally came home, I could walk in the house and greet my family with a smile.

I'm a good mother. I know that. I love my kids and really honestly do my level best to raise them right. To teach them morals and self discipline and kindness and magic and love and laughter. And if we all yell a lot at each other - well, at least they'll never feel as though they couldn't truly express how they feel. If nothing else, we express. And they're lucky to have me - I'm always up for a hug, I'm always good for a story, I'm pretty laid back about most things, and I always let them crawl into bed with me in the middle of the night. I'm even a half way decent cook. Kind of.

And just because they fight - this doesn't mean that they truly hate each other. They love each other with as much passion as they detest each other, and I should take comfort in that. Put them in an unfamiliar setting and they become each other's best friend. Even today - by the time they were done screaming at each other, they were begging to sit next to each other, and most upset that Marc had separated them into two different rooms.

This has been a miserable pregnancy. There. I've said it. I wanted to get pregnant, and can't wait to see my baby girl. I remember feeling magical in the beginning and then it all got lost under the nausea, the vomiting, the itching, the sciatic pain, the braxton hicks contractions, the hormonal surges and now just the sheer exhaustion of being so big and bulky and awkward and not feeling like myself. I always wanted to be one of those women who said that they LOVED being pregnant, but the truth is that I love it a little and mostly just like the baby at the end of it. I love that I can get pregnant easily and love that I only had the one miscarriage. I never lose sight of how lucky I am to be able to get and sustain a pregnancy. But really - this pregnancy has been just crappy most of the time. It's hard on me, it's hard on the kids and it's hard on Marc. I know it's worth it - I know that this is such a wanted and loved baby - but man, if I could fast forward to after delivey, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I can't wait to be me again. I can't wait to bounce up out of bed, be able to spend the whole day out walking and playing with the kids, to be able to bend down and pick up stuff off the floor. I can't wait to stop crying - I feel like I've cried more in the past couple of months than in the two years prior. I just want to have my baby and be me, not pregnant, again.

But - since that's not going to happen for another six weeks or so... I've got to chill out and relax a little more. All this stress is not good for the baby - who, if prenatal influence has any effect at all on her, could come out raging furious. I need to cultivate an air of peace. Of contentment. I have much, much to be happy about. I have beautiful, brilliant children. I have an adorable apartment in a nice neighborhood, close to parks and the library. I have a husband who loves me, loves me, loves me. I have a healthy pregnancy with a baby who's growing right on target and everything ready and waiting for her when she arrives. I have a mother who's fabulous, aunts and cousins and sisters and friends who want all the best for me. I'm am the picture of serenity and calm. I just need to somehow maintain that until this baby comes out.

Why I'm pretty sure I'm a crappy mother

I have good intentions. Intentions that are so good, it's seems foolish to have to state it officially for the record. I love my kids - so much. Jessie, with all her passion and her drama and her sweetness, and Sam with all his strength and intensity and affection. They're so beautiful and deserve perfect parenting. And instead... they get me. And I'm pretty sure that I'm screwing them up. I think that I'm too hard on Jessie, expecting too much of someone who is, after all, only seven years old. I think I let Sam get away with too much, tolerate bad behavior in him because it's easier than fighting it all the time.

I'm a yeller. I come from a long line of people who yell and holler, and have absolutely passed the tendency onto them. And we all feed off of each other's emotions, so Sam starts yelling at Jessie - for no real reason that I can discern, who starts wailing and screaming because she's mad at Sam, I try to get them to stop but after a half hour or so of constant screaming and fighting, will end up screaming back at them, and then sobbing because I'm obviously terrible at this whole parenting thing, am raising children who can't communicate without screaming at each other and will grow up with miserable memories of their childhood and a crappy relationship with each other and with me.

Yes, pregnancy hormones are probably playing a factor in this, and yes, lack of sleep because I'm up three or four times a night to pee, and yes, the aches and pains and general misery of being 33 weeks pregnancy is also probably affecting the drama of it all. But clear all that away, and it still leaves the undeniable fact that for about forty five minutes this morning, my seven year old, my three year old and I screamed at each other. And I blame myself entirely for it.

It started out well, I got up bright and early, made coffee, did the dishes, started the laundry, made pancakes for the kids. It all started out so well that I think it made it worse when they just... lost it. Screaming and screaming and stomping and screaming.

And they're fine now. They've decided they love each other once again, are happily playing together. We had a nice little family meeting, and everything is calm and peaceful once again. But I'm still pretty sure I'm a crappy parent. And wish, for their sake, that I knew what the hell I was doing when it came to raising them, because seriously, I really want for them to be calm, content adults who love each other and me. And I'm really afraid that I'm screwing them up royally.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Sam got up this morning and went into the bathroom by himself. Pooped in the big boy potty, and attempted to clean it up (failing miserably, but the attempt counts for a lot in my book) and then traisped in to sit down and have coffee with Marc and I. When did he get so big? All of a sudden, he's this boy - he's not a baby anymore and there's no pretending otherwise. He likes to do everything by himself, pick out his own clothes, get himself dressed, put on his own socks and shoes. Granted, nothing matches, and sometimes he puts two socks on one foot and none on the other, and the shoes are almost never on the right feet - but he's so supremely confident that he's capable of doing all of this. And when he isn't, and has to face that he might need a little help - I have to be VERY careful to not offend his ego. Marc can't even look at him, Sam's got so much pride and it's like he needs Marc to think of him as capable and strong, so anything that makes him look like a baby or less than competent makes him want Daddy very far away.

In other news - everyone is definitely getting better. Jess is off to school today - she's got a raging case of hives, but that's not unusual, especially when her body is fighting off a virus. Sam's cough is mostly just in the morning, and his fever is gone. 33 weeks pregnant tomorrow - so I figure max of seven weeks left to go.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

All is well in my world

Kids are still sick, Sam's fever is gone, and it's morphed into just a yucky, yucky cold. He seems happier, his voice is still scratchy and he's got a runny nose and a cough, but we're definitely getting better. Jess seemed better yesterday, but threw up all over her bed last night, so she's home again today. She's been bouncing around the house all day, so we're going to dance class this afternoon and she's definitely going back to school tomorrow. So far, Marc and I are both fine - I almost never get sick when the kids are, but Marc's prone to coming down with whatever they've got, so send some positive immunity vibes his way.

(Baby just gave a ginormous kick - apparently, she'd like to be included in the update ;-)

The pregnancy is whipping right along. I'm just saying that, it's actually crawling by - in fact, it doesn't feel like time is moving at all, as far as that's concerned. I'm going to be thirty something weeks pregnant for the rest of my life, I'm pretty sure. I've got all the usual aches and pains and complaints, and as usual, the only perk is that she's really, really active. In fact, one of my favorite activities is to lay on my bed by myself and watch her roll around. It's freaky :-) I'm also starting to panic, just a little, about labor. There's no way out of it, I'm going to have to have her at some point, and really, really didn't enjoy the last labor. Love my Samilicious and seeing him was magical and perfect - but leading up to it was horrible. In fact, it was probably some of the worst hours of my life - and to be perfectly honest, I'm terrified of doing it again.

Spring is definitely on it's way in - it's been beautiful outside for the past several days. Of course, I've been quarantined with the kids, so most of my appreciating of it has been done from the window, but it still counts. I can't see the buds on the trees yet, but we're supposed to get a ton of rain soon and hopefully that'll green everything up.

I'm planning on taking the afternoon off every weekend. Either Saturday or Sunday, just disappearing for a while. Even if it's just to the library or to get a decaf latte and sit in the car and read by myself. I'm working with Marc and the kids to make sure that my leaving doesn't result in Armageddon the way it has the past couple of weekends, but I think we'll be okay. They don't need to keep the house perfect, just not destroy it. My standards are appallingly low, I feel, which is why I don't see why this is such an issue. But we'll see how it goes this weekend. It's occurring to me that I've only got about six or seven more weeks when I can do this without having to haul an infant with me, so I might as well enjoy it now.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sick kids

I haven't blogged in a bit, but I've been pretty busy. Saturday was an okay day - I went out for a while by myself, leaving Marc home alone with all four children. Which, in retrospect, was a terrible idea, because while I had a lovely afternoon, bopping to the library and hanging out in the nice, warm sunshine reading - they were home here destroying the house, grounding play doh into the rug, throwing toys around with reckless abandon and in general, just having an absolute free for all. Marc's great with the kids, and they always have fun with him, but he's not good at instilling any self control or discipline. As long as they're not bleeding, he's sure whatever they're doing is fine. They'll be happy and fed and content, but whenever I leave him alone with them, I pay for it with hours of cleaning and yelling and fighting when I get home. Bitter, much? Yeah, maybe just a tad...

So Saturday night sucked. Really bad.

Sunday wasn't much better, because Sam came down with a major fever and chest cold. Just burning up and so sick. He's getting better, but is definitely still sick. Then Jess got up this morning and started puking. She only threw up that one time, but is also developing hives - so it's a virus. I've got one kid, feverish and with a bad cough and the other one puking. I'm also having braxton hicks contractions off and on, my hips are killing me and I'm so tired from two straight nights of being up with sick kids, in addition to getting up to pee every couple of hours.

Guess this isn't a very happy blog post.

In other news... I'm getting a lot done around the house, in terms of getting ready for the baby. I've got the portacrib/bassinette all set up, her clothes all sort of organized (if you define organized very loosely) and am trying to decide between a regular stroller, a jogging stroller and a double jogging stroller. Spring is sort of here, it's been considerably warmer, and I'm clinging to that - because in the spring, that's when my baby comes.

I keep thinking that everything will be so much better when the baby comes. And part of it is that I want the baby for her sake, but a big part of it is that I won't be pregnant any more. I won't be sore and tired and itchy and irritable. I won't be nauseated off and on, I'll be me again. I'll be able to walk for a long time, take the kids out and about, be able to stay up past Jessie's bedtime. I'll be able to be the mother that I'm supposed to be, instead of this crabby, moaning, achy one that they've had to put up for the past seven months. I like to be active, I like to have them outside, I like to be sunshiney delighted, baking with them, and painting and working on fun projects. I'm a really good mom, when I'm not pregnant. Most of this pregnancy has been devoted to just me trying to survive it, and the closer I get to the end of it, the more I look forward to being me again.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Potty training, education and nesting...

Sam's officially potty trained - at least at home, and I'd say about 50% of the time when we go out, he stays dry. He's still in a pull up at night, and has some serious reservations about using anyone else's potty, or going potty when there are other people here who might comment on it. But all in all, he's pretty much good to go. So very proud, and he's such a big, grown up boy. When Marc and I were first talking about having another baby, Marc was hesitant because Sam still seemed so little - but in the past seven months, he's given up the afternoon nap, potty trained himself and weaned. I had hoped... but he's just blown me away with how quickly he suddenly grew up. He's nowhere near a baby any more. And it seems right and good, that he's grown this much and is such a big boy - but there's a part of me that's crying on the inside because my baby is gone.

Jess is doing well at school - she's been slacking off a bit on homework, she actually got her homework sent home to be re-done today after she got about a third of it wrong. She's reading more and more, and maybe I'm so excited about that and losing sight of having to get her to pay more attention to what she's doing. She doesn't like homework (who does?) and I think that she's just finishing it to say that it's done and not actually working at it.

And getting ready for baby... I moved Sam's clothes to the other dresser (which makes sense really only if you're at my house), which frees up the bigger dresser for her clothes. I've got a lot already, some new, some hand-me-downs from Jess and some hand-me-downs from my neighbor's twins. Today, I set up a really cool portacrib with a bassinette attachment that I found on craigslist. I'm rearranging things to make more space for her - not just the portacrib, but finding space for the swing, the rocking chair, all the baby stuff that you need.

In a lot of ways, this is my most anticipated baby - because I've got both Jess and Sam waiting with baited breath to see her. But it's definitely the one baby I've spent the least amount of money prepping for. And most of that is that I've been there already. Twice. So I know that there's no point in getting a crib - Jessie barely used hers and Sam never used his. I know that baby equipment is better when it's used, because that way you can save your money for take out when you can't possibly muster up the energy to cook. I know that buying a couple of outfits is fun because they are so incredibly cute, but hand-me-downs are perfect for babies because they grow so fast. I know I don't need a baby monitor - I don't actually put my baby down long enough to need it. I know I need a lot of burp cloths and bibs, and those are still on the list to get.

I just can't wait for her. I'm obsessing over labor, trying to guess when it'll happen, trying to work out where the kids will go, looking forward to that first time I nurse her, the first time she falls asleep in my arms. I'm waiting to see Sam's face when he sees her for the first time, and Jessie's when she picks her up in her arms. I'm eager to see Marc holding his baby girl, probably his last baby. He's such a great dad, and he loves, loves, loves babies. I just want to hold her. I'd so much rather have her be here than still be pregnant. I know she's not ready, and I'm not asking for a preemie - I just want to have my baby and not be pregnant any more.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm not a good wife

I try to be. And if good intentions counted, I'd be all set. Good intentions - and I do really, really love him. But it struck me a few minutes ago, as I sat and tried to decompress after two solid hours of the kids fighting and yelling and complaining and cleaning and all sorts of the joys that come from having two kids at home, stuck inside a small apartment, and an overtired, pregnant, sore mommy - that it used to be that a stay at home mom and wife would get all dressed up for her husband, make sure the children were bathed and clean and pretty and she had a martini waiting for her husband when he walked thru the door. My poor husband gets clobbered the second he comes in, with the two kids screaming with joy and tackling him before he puts down his lunch bag. And a weary wife, who's honestly so grateful for the reprieve - another adult here to take over and give her a break. And that's not right - I should be all cheerful and friendly and delighted to see him, just because he's who he is - and he's wonderful. I shouldn't just throw the kids at him and then go lay down for a while.

I do attempt to do good wife things - I want for him to be happy. I do his laundry, and make sure he has a nice hot supper waiting for him. I clean the house, sort of, well, I try, but it's hard with Sam constantly taking the couch apart to make a fort and Jessie's art projects all over the place. And mostly, the dinner is cold by the time he gets around to eating it - but hey, that's what we have a microwave for, right?

So, Marc, if you're reading this (and I know you are), please know that I have the very best of intentions - and I do love you more than anything. I'm sorry you don't get a martini and freshly scrubbed kids and a smiling wife. But even though your kids have dirty faces, they're truly delighted to have you home. And even though I haven't brushed my hair since yesterday, and I've got stuff from Sammy's lunch all over my shirt, and I'm so tired I could cry - I am happy to see you - just for you. But please drive faster on your way home - because I also REALLY need a break.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I've got it - I figured out her name

Julianna Ruth.

Middle names are really important to me - it's not just a throwaway thing. I like for them to have meaning and depth. Jessica is named Jessica Mary after my mother, and Sam is Samuel Earl after my grandfather. But Julianna's first name is already after someone (Marc's cousin and grandmother) and I COULD NOT think of a middle name. Not one that had any meaning for me, I could come up with some that sounded okay - but nothing that I loved. Nothing that seemed right. To the point where I was really thinking that Julianna Chocolate Chip sounded better than anything else I could come up with - because I do really like chocolate chips.

This morning, I woke up and decided that I HAD to find a middle name. It's time. So I googled (I LOVE to google) one syllable girls names and Ruth was about half way down on the list and the instant I saw it, I just knew. That's her name.

When I was first pregnant with my baby girl, one of the things I worried about a lot was the fact that Marc was Jewish and I wasn't. I had a really strong sense of spirituality and I knew that Marc felt just as strongly about his Judaism, and I was so concerned about where Jess would fit into the mix. How could she be one or the other? If she was Jewish, then she wouldn't look at the world the way that I did - and if she wasn't Jewish, how would Marc feel? How could I put that weight on a baby? And Marc knew exactly what to say and exactly how to reassure me that what we had together was so much more important that what separated us. He quotes the speech that Ruth made to Naomi, and it reassured me so much, and still does. It's our Bible quote, the way other couples have special songs.

But Ruth said,
“Do not press me to leave you
or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
Where you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people and your God my God.
Where you die, I will die
There I will be buried.
May the Lord do thus and so to me
And more as well
If even death parts me from you!”’

That's her name. Julianna Ruth. It's so perfect that I could cry.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I'm just worn out

All the time. It's been a rough couple of days, big emotional battles all over the place, the kids have been at each other's throats most of the time, I feel like I'm pushing a giant rock uphill and no sooner do I reach the top, then it all rolls down hill - at least as far as cleaning goes. I've got sixteen thousand projects that need to be completed before the baby comes, and no desire to do any of it.

Three is a lot harder than two - at least as far as Samilicious is concerned. He's still deliciously Sammy - full of affection and love and sweetness, but there's a lot of anger and frustration and general brattiness, especially where his older sister is concerned. He's grown up so fast in the past couple of months, giving up the afternoon nap, giving up nursing and then potty training - and sometimes I wonder if it all was just too much too fast. Even though he did it all on his own, because I LOVED the afternoon nap, certainly would have kept nursing (although I was thrilled when he weaned) and I never expected him to potty train on his own. I feel like I've spent most of today trying to get him to stop being wretched and stop bothering his sister (who's no angel, but really, Sam's mostly to blame for their battles today).

Jessie has been super emotional as of late as well. Prone to tears and hysteria at the drop of a hat, which is normal for my girl, but it just seems as though I have significantly less patience these days for it. She ended up staying home from school today - mainly because of just massive miscommunication between Marc and I. He thought I wanted to keep her home (and I also think he was just so frustrated trying to deal with her that he was happy to leave her here and head off to work). So she's home today, perfectly healthy, and has spent most of the day fighting with her brother.

There are a lot of perks to being me right now. Still pregnant, which, while frustrating and tiring - it's still pretty magical, when I can remember to be grateful for it and not just aggravated because I can't move around as easily as I used to. I've got two happy (well... I guess it's relative), healthy kids. My husband loves me. I have food in the house, and my car is running well. It's even March 1 - which is almost spring by any meaure, right? There's lots to smile about - I just can't muster up the energy to do any of it. It's taking all I have to stagger thru the day, get clean clothes in the dresser, dinner on the table and the floors semi, sort of clean.