Archive | January 2013

Sick baby

I noticed that Julianna was getting warm last night.  I have to confess, one of my major parenting fails is an inability to take my child’s temperature.  Thermometers just don’t seem to last in my house, I don’t know why.  And even when I can find one, it always reads some implausible temp – like 97.3 when the child is clearly burning up with fever.  So while I can tell you with some certainty that she was definitely running a temp, I can’t tell you how high it was.  Suffice it to say that it was a fever.

Sam, my second child, is prone to fever.  He’ll run one more often than the girls combined, not that he seems to get sick more often, just that if he’s going to get sick, there’s going to be a fever.  But my girls tend not to have them.  In fact, other than Jessie’s tendency towards ear infections as an infant/small toddler, none of my kids tend to get sick all that often.  Garden variety colds, rarely serious enough to require a trip to the doctor, and even less often, throwing up.  But Julie, this morning, was definitely sick.

She was super clingy, in a way that made me realize how UN-clingy she is most of the time.  She and I are home alone during the day, and often times, we’re doing our own thing.  I’m cooking or cleaning or puttering around the house, and she’s building blocks, going thru her siblings’ things while they aren’t here to yell at her (always a favorite activity) or coloring, watching television, etc.  She’s busy during the day, not much for just sitting and cuddling anymore.  But today – all she wanted was me.  And other than the fever, she didn’t really seem all that sick.  No runny nose, no coughing, no fussing.  She wasn’t complaining at all, she was just sitting with me.  She’s still little enough so that we can sit together on the chair, I curl my legs up underneath me and she fits perfectly in the little spot next to me.  And we sat and hung out all morning.  I finished a book and started another – and she watched a ridiculous amount of Disney and Noggin television shows.  Nursed a lot – which she’s really cut down on up until this point.  We’re down to just nursing for bed and naps – but this morning, she seemed to want to nurse a lot.  She pushed away the toast I offered and refused the offer of cereal or anything else.

Then she asked for leftover shepherd’s pie.  Which was a huge mistake.  Because the first bite was immediately followed by her vomiting all over me.  She was horrified, and sobbing and I was covered in puke and completely taken by surprise.  I cleaned her and myself up, and then we resumed our sitting.  Nursing.  Napping.  She brightened up briefly when her brother came home from school, but once he left for boy scouts, she immediately asked to lay down again.  I snuggled her up again, smoothing back her curls and feeling her hot, hot skin.  Thank goodness she’s still nursing, because I know she’s not dehydrated, and she can definitely keep that down.

But I’m extra grateful today because I’m at home with her.  There was nothing else I needed to do today – everything could wait.  Because my baby was sick, and the only thing she wanted was me.  To sit beside me, not doing anything other than being together.  Those days are rare, and she’s my little baby.  It’s been a while since we could just sit and be.  Granted, it’s a lot more fun when she’s not feverish and feeling crappy, but there was a beauty to it today that I couldn’t help recognizing.  Being a stay at home parent isn’t always fun and easy, often (like most things) it can be monotonous and it feels like shoveling in the middle of a snowstorm, hard work that immediately negated by the fact that you have to do it all over again.  But today – today, I accomplished something in a way that nobody else could have.  If I wasn’t there, and her dad was, or her grandmother or any of the other adults in her life was, they could have cared for her, but it wouldn’t have been as easy for them.  Because Julie just wanted exactly what she had, me there, sitting beside, kissing her forehead and rubbing her back.

I’m sure if this sickness makes the rounds thru the house, and I’m spending day after day with a sick kid and cleaning vomit up for weeks on end (which happened notably last spring), I won’t be as philosophical and grateful.  But just for today, I’m glad for the small blessings that we get, even in the midst of vomit and upset bellies – when I can make a feverish girl smile and feel better with just a kiss and a snuggle.

Bat Mitzvah

I get weekly emails from my synagogue, and, a few weeks ago, I noticed that there was a little paragraph tucked in between notices from the Sisterhood and requests for coat donations. A bar/bat mitzvah meeting for parents of kids fourth thru sixth grade. It took me a minute, but I realized quickly that it meant me. My daughter is in fourth grade. It’s actually time to start thinking about her bat mitzvah.

Wasn’t it a week ago that I was pregnant with her and couldn’t fathom how she’d be able to have any kind of clear religious identity with a Jewish father and me? I agonized over it, who would she be? Wouldn’t she feel torn between her Jewish father and my own cobbled together, doesn’t really follow any organized religion but still incredibly spiritual belief system? She was the springboard for me to learn about Judaism in the first place – I couldn’t have a child self identifying as something that I didn’t understand. And it feels like it was just the other day that I realized that she was self identifying as Jewish the way she considered herself Irish. But because I hadn’t converted and hadn’t had her converted, according to our Conservative synagogue, technically, she wasn’t Jewish.

I didn’t think she’d really remember the mikvah, she was only five or six, but I remember it so vividly. The mikvah with two small water phobic children is not an experience I’ll ever forget.  While I’m sure that there is enormous emotional and religious significance for most converts, going to the mikvah, for me, was incredibly challenging, strictly in a “I have to dunk my kids three times and they have to go completely under without being held” kind of way.  We were living a completely Jewish life, we were Jewish, this was made it official.  Kind of like getting married – by the time we got around to doing it, we had already joined our lives together in such a real sense.  I didn’t feel any more married after the wedding ceremony, and I didn’t feel any more Jewish after the conversion.

But suddenly – we’re here.  A bat mitzvah.  And I have a feeling that it’s going to be a lot more significant that the mikveh was.

And the more I thought about it, the more emotional I got. Which isn’t surprising, I cry at pretty much every milestone. Dance recitals, preschool graduations, her first real report card. But a bat mitzvah seems like it’s so important. Not only because she’s the first in my husband’s family, of her generation, to read from the Torah. Not only because my family will come, of course they’ll come, but won’t have the foggiest idea what we’ll be doing. But also because the bat mitzvah has so much meaning attached to it. It’s coming right when I’m starting to realize that this baby girl, this tiny little baby of mine isn’t always going to be mine. She’s her own person – and that’s terrifying and wonderful and, yeah, I’m welling up with tears as I’m writing. I’m going to be in so much trouble with this…

That’s what the bat mitzvah is – it’s a public acknowledgement that we’re Jewish, and that Jessica is Jewish. That she’s responsible for herself now, that she’s going to take ownership of her own religious identity in a way that I’ve been worrying about since before she was born. I’ve spent more than ten years now, thinking about her spiritual identity.  Worrying about how she’ll blend two very different traditions into her life.  What will her religious identity be? She’s Jewish, yes, but not only Jewish. She’s inherited a rich family tradition dating back thousands of years. She’s also the product of my side of the family, a family filled with people who have no strong tie to any organized religion but a very strong and heartfelt connection to God.

She’s all intellectual questioning, rules and ritual on the one hand, and on the other, she’s got a sincere and absolute relationship with God that, as far as I can see, she’s never doubted. She loves the ritual and traditions of Judaism, she dances around the synagogue like she’s grown up there, because she has.  But she’s got a “Believe in Magic” sign above her bed, and a conviction that fairies do exist.  She blends both of us, the Jewish side from her father, and the spiritual intensity from me. She’s got an extra dash of drama and wonder and intensity that’s all her own. And it makes me cry. I’m not sure if I’m crying because I’m grieving the loss of the little girl who’s growing up so fast, or if I’m crying because I’m so incredibly proud of the woman she’ll be.

When she was born, my husband picked out her Hebrew name. It means “beautiful celebration.” That’s what she’s always been for us, a celebration of love and life and so much joy. And on her bat mitzvah, she’ll stand in front of our friends and family, and she’ll read from the Torah. She’ll be exactly who she is. And that’s amazing to me.

Independence

When Jessie first started school, I was very hands off about homework.  She started getting it in first grade, which seemed ridiculous to me, but my assumption was that I wasn’t supposed to help with her homework.  If she asked for assistance, sure, I’d help out, but hand holding and correcting?  Nope, I didn’t think I was supposed to do that.  

I was wrong.  Which her second grade teacher helpfully pointed out – oh no, Mrs. Cohen, you’re supposed to be correcting the homework and double checking it and overseeing the whole process.  Which is fine, I’m more than happy to help her, she’s my daughter.  And since every other parent apparently already got the memo on how parents are supposed to supervise (to an unhealthy degree, I believe) all homework and take home projects (don’t even get me started on how Jessie’s handmade valentines looked ridiculous compared with her classmates – because hers were done by a six year old and the rest of the class had serious adult assistance), I didn’t want her to be left behind.  So, okay, I’ll help.  I’ll be INVOLVED with homework.
But we quickly fell into this whole routine whereupon I nag her, she procrastinates and complains, and eventually, after a while, sometimes taking time out for a sobbing fit about how much we really, really hate homework, we manage to get it done.  And on the upside, I’m learning all kinds of things that I’d managed to forget, about how rocks form, and how to reduce fractions and how to correctly form letters in cursive (turns out I do most of it wrong).  But homework sucks – to be blunt.  I feel like most of the time, there’s far too much of it, it’s just busy work that adds an unnecessary imposition onto her already limited free time, and gives us something to fight over.  
Yesterday afternoon, she was hanging in her bedroom, watching television (yes, I know, a television in her bedroom – I agree, horrendous idea, but if I’d had a playroom, I’d have put it in there, and with five kids here on the weekend, a toddler who naps in the bedroom (thus rendering one tv unusable) and a husband who firmly believes that he is morally obligated to watch whatever football game might be on without interruption – having a tv that I can send cherubs to go watch occasionally is a lifesaver). I went in, sat on the bed and began the homework battle.  Then I stopped, paused… “hey, how about if I don’t nag you at all and you just assume total responsibility for your own stuff?”  
AND SHE DID.  Happily.  Packed her own bag, even.  Which is another issue, frequently, Jessie would get done with her homework, throw down her pencil and run as far away from me as she could get, so I’d always be trying to repack her folder and make sure nothing got left on the table or thrown away.  But she not only did all her homework (coming out twice to ask for help briefly) but then she packed it all neatly, and then asked if she could please pack her own lunchbox as well.  
I think I’m really going to like having a ten year old.  She’s still a few weeks away, but thus far, I’m loving it :-)

Being a writer

I was always going to be a writer.  My two favorite literary characters growing up were Jo from Little Women and Emily from the Emily trilogy by L.M. Montgomery.  I kept a diary from the time I was in second or third grade, and just kept writing.  By the time I hit high school, I had settled into an identity of being a bookworm (twenty years later, I can’t tell you how many people have told me their main memory of me in school was that I would walk thru the halls reading) – and I was really good at writing.  I had perfected the essay, English was the one class that came ridiculously easy to me, and I was more comfortable with a pen in my hands than I was at any other time.

But… I never really pursued it.   I went to Emerson College, and studied creative writing, and loved it.  But the love wasn’t enough to overcome the misery that came with being away from home, I hated the city, hated the commute and just wanted to start my life.  So I didn’t stay in college, I moved home, started working full time, and moved out soon after to share an apartment with my cousin.  I found working to be fun – I liked all of the different jobs that I had.  I worked for a while doing retail and moved over into administrative positions and stayed there.  I was good at it – and while I kept writing, I thought of it as just a thing I did.  I was everyone’s first call to write a resume.  I kept reading – I was (and am) always reading, and kept gravitating to books about authors.

Then I met Marc and soon after had Jessica.  This, really, this felt like a calling.  I was delighted when my boss laid me off a couple of months after she was born.  I collected unemployment until it ran out and then settled into stay at home motherhood.  I loved it.  I love it.   I haven’t worked full time since just after Jessie was born.  I went back part time, to an entry level receptionist position when she was a toddler and quit after Sam was born and never looked back.

I’ve been incredibly fulfilled by motherhood.  I’m not sure why, I know not every mother is.  Not every mother loves being home.  A lot of parents get bored and are better parents when they have another job – a job outside of the home.  But I loved it.  I threw myself into it – I, of course, read every book I could find on parenting and child care and spent probably way too much time pondering my children.  But I think I’m good at it – I’ve got good kids.   And there were definitely times when it wasn’t easy, but I don’t regret a minute of staying home with them.  With being that available for them.

But… they get older.  Jessie will be ten in a few weeks (I keep repeating it to myself because the thought that I have a child who’s actually a whole decade old is freaking me out) and Sam is six and a half.  Sam, in particular, was a kid who demanded an enormous amount of intensive, one on one attention.  That’s lessened a lot over the past year.  And Julie – my angel girl Julie, she’s going to be three in a few months.  She’s potty trained, talking, she’s ready for preschool.  I’m rapidly reaching the point where keeping her home, where not enrolling her in preschool would be actually holding her back from developing.

So I’ve got some time.  And I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with it.  I’ll end up getting a part time job, I’m sure.  And I’ll probably love it, because I like working.  But I wonder sometimes… if maybe it’s time to put a little time into my own dreams.  To not defer them the way I did when I was 19, and decided that I should drop out of college and then I was working because I had to support myself.   I could write.  I do write.  I write now, not only for this blog, but on MassMoms and on InterfaithFamily.com, and I’ve had a couple of blogs on blogher.   I wonder if I could do it, is there an audience out there that would read my stuff.

I’m not there yet

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-tate/change-of-life_b_2443691.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

The link above is to a post on starting a new chapter. On moving from growing a family to raising one. To saying goodbye to the part of your life when you’re having babies. And while I thought, have thought, for a while now, that we’re probably done with that chapter – I realized after reading this blog post that I still don’t know for certain.

Three kids is perfect. Five kids (including my stepdaughters) is also perfect. I always planned on three kids, I have my two glorious girls and my boy that I adore. My life is hectic and busy, and sometimes (often) I’m overwhelmed and sure I’m screwing all three of them up in different ways. I’ve got a daughter on the cusp of adolescence, a son who’s still struggling to stand on his own without me there, and a baby who’s really not a baby at all anymore. Is this it? I thought so – but after reading that blog post again, and getting all teary eyed for the second time, I’m not so sure.

I’m very, very close to having a ten year old, a six year old and a two year old. If I wait another six months, another year, I’d have my perfect three to four year age difference between kids. Another baby right now – no. I know that’s not what I want. But no more baby EVER? I don’t know. What she was describing was so sad to me – “Never again will I dart furtively down an aisle in a drugstore toward the pregnancy tests, never again will I carry the thrilling secret that a new baby is coming, never again will I usher a new life into the world, hear my newborns’ strident cries or rub their tiny backs.” I don’t know that I’m ready for that. I’m not ready to say never again.

I’m willing to go with probably not. I’m almost forty. My husband will be forty four this summer. And where would I put a baby? Am I ready to sign up for another couple of years of my body not being mine? I’ve been nursing or pregnant for almost seven years straight now. If I get pregnant within the next year – that’d easily bump that up to a full decade (because really, I don’t see Julianna weaning before she turns three in the spring – but that’s a whole other blog post…)

In the end, I know that this decision may end up being out of my hands. By not deciding, my body my decide for me. I think I’ve got a while before I lose the ability to bear a child, and certainly, pregnancies come with more risks the older you get. Julianna’s pregnancy was utter misery – my liver stopped working right, I ITCHED everywhere, and I’m pretty sure they induced because I was flirting with pre-eclampsia, my blood pressure was sky high and I was on bed rest at the very end. And I’ve learned that raising kids just gets harder. The problems get more difficult and the solutions so much harder to find. 


I might be perfectly happy with my two glorious girls and my boy that I adore. I already have so much to be grateful for – and maybe it’d tempting fate to ask for more. But I don’t know that the day is ever going to come when I can say for sure and for certain that I’m absolutely, completely done. That I know that I’m never going to have another baby. For me, for us, I think we really want to keep that door open. Yeah, it’s close to shut, and it might drift that way – but I don’t think either one of us wants to be the one to slam the door on the possibility of another baby.

Grandparents

I loved my grandfather. I loved my grandmother as well, but my grandfather was special. He and I were kindred spirits, and I have these amazing memories of times we spent, just the two of us, at museums or hiking or stargazing at the golf course. We were the only readers in the family, and he bought me a subscription to National Geographic magazine because he wasn’t at all impressed that I was spending so much time reading Sweet Valley High books. He taught me to play chess, he taught me about politics and history and I still think of him every day, even though he passed away a few years ago. 

Marc was very close with his grandfather as well, spending time over there after school and on vacations. In fact, when we were thinking of a name for our son, it made perfect sense to name him after both of our grandfathers, Samuel and Earl. He was also very close with his maternal grandmother (which is where we got the Anna of Julianna). He still talks about her, and she died before I met Marc. 

Our own kids are blessed to have both sets of grandparents living locally. Marc’s parents live in Worcester and my parents are just out in Clinton. And while they see their grandparents all the time, I don’t get the sense that there is as tight a bond as I’d like. I’m not sure why. But I think it has to do with alone time. We see them all the time, as a family. They come here for dinner, we go there for the afternoon. Get together for ice cream or to go to hockey game, go shopping or out for lunch. But it’s always as a family. 

The kids are getting older now – but for a very long time, I always had a little one. A little one that was nursing, specifically, and cried hysterically when I left. Sam was an extremely attached baby/toddler, and leaving him anywhere was next to impossible.  As a result, I didn’t often leave. So while my older daughter Jessie has a closer bond with both sets of grandparents, Sam and Julie’s exposure to them has always been with either Marc or I there. What I never really thought about was that having a parent there, in a real sense, was a buffer that kept them from really bonding to them individually. 

But just lately, things have gotten easier. Sam has become a lot more relaxed about going to visit people without one of us there, and Julie – well, Julie has always been pretty cheerful about hanging with people other than her parents. And I’ve really noticed that as they get older, they enjoy their grandparents so much more. They light up at the prospect of going to see their Grammy and Dzidia (polish for grandfather), and dinners at Safta (hebrew for grandmother) and Papa’s house have become cause for celebration as well. 

One of my birthday resolutions (I always make resolutions at the end of the month at my birthday instead of the beginning) is going to be to really encourage those relationships. My kids are blessed with really wonderful grandparents that love and adore them. But they need time to nurture those relationships, time to build the same kind of memories that their dad and I have of special times spent with our grandparents. And in order to do that, we have to get out of the way. Let them be together, just the two of them, without having a parent to be in the middle. 

Paper towels

Marc’s job has grown to include nights.  Not all the time, but mostly, at night, he’s not home until nine or even  later (all this week, he’s been working until midnight).  So I’ve had to develop my own new routines for putting all three kids to bed.  Since they’re all different ages, with different sleep needs – I put them to bed one at a time.

Sam is my boy who requires the most nighttime sleep.  So I make sure to get him asleep by eight thirty at the latest.  Lately, he’s been reading to me at night before bed.  After dinner, I clean up and putter around, trying to find lunch boxes and make sure homework is in the right folder and backpack.  Sam and Julie usually play together in the living room, while Jessie does…  stuff.  She’s usually busy in her bedroom, rearranging her treasures, or curled up on my bed, watching television.  The two little ones play so well together most of the time, they get a little (okay, a lot) loud at times, but mostly they get along and can really play together on the same level.

Then I’ll holler that it’s time to get ready for bed, and Sam always bops into his jammies and brushes his teeth, gets a cup of water.  Then he’ll come and sit with me, sometimes Julie will come and listen to him read as well.  His reading skills are improving so much – sometimes he struggles with trying to guess what the word is based on the picture, and I’m always surprised that he doesn’t just LOOK at the word before blurting something out there, but he’s getting better every night.   And the best part is that it’s all self directed – he WANTS to read to me each night and I love it.

After reading, we switch it up.  This is the time when Sam and I go lay down and snuggle, chat about the day, watch Iron Chef together while he drifts off to sleep.  Jessie takes over with Julie – they get ready for bed together, sometimes they’ll brush their teeth together, and sometimes she’ll sit and read with her.  It’s wonderful – Jessie is such a great big sister to Julie.  She dotes on her, taking care of her and Julie loves every minute of it.  Julie loves Sam like a playmate, he’s her go-to sibling for playing – but Jessie really is like a second mother to her.  And the time when I’m alone, hanging with Sam, is the time when they really get to spend together.

Once Sam’s asleep, I’ll usually fix Julie her “second supper” because she normally skips the first one.  She got into the habit of waiting to eat with Marc at night, and more often than not, she’ll just play with dinner while the rest of us eat and then she’ll eat with Yaya when he comes home.   Only lately, he’s not coming home until so late – so I try and get her to eat a little something while I’m putting Jessie down, or I’ll eat with her after both the older two are asleep.  Jessie doesn’t require a lot, in terms of putting her to bed.   A quick snuggle, a little chat, and usually several reminders that she needs to actually close her eyes to go to sleep…

Ah – to my original point.  While I was putting Jessie to bed, Julie was in the living room.  I had put on a show for her (her current favorites are Team Umizoomi and Dora/Diego) and when I came out of the bedroom, she was sitting in her little rocking chair, completely absorbed in ripping off paper towels off the roll.  One at a time, it was one of those rolls that has the little six inch long strips, so you can take as much or as little as you’d like.  Apparently, Julie wanted a lot of little pieces.  I looked at her, and she looked at me, and I asked what she was doing.  She blithely answered (as though it should have been obvious because it brought her enormous satisfaction) “I ripping dem.”  So now I’ve got paper towels all over the floor, because, honestly, it didn’t hurt anyone, and stopping her would have really bothered her.  Pick your battles, as they say, and now if you need a paper towel at my house – no worries, I’ve got a bunch pre-ripped waiting for you.

Cleaning

I went out today.  Not for long, just for lunch and shopping with my mother in law and Julianna, but when I came back, Jules went down for a nap.  Marc went to pick up the kids from school while I was putting her down, and when they got back, Jessie and I sauntered down the street to return her boots at Payless and get the right size.

None of this is remarkable, except that when I came home… my house looked as though a bomb had gone off.  It was clean, really clean, as of last night just before bedtime.  But there was an hour or so this morning where Julie was playing wily-nily in the living room and then an hour or so while Jessie and I were out and about, with Marc here and the Boy playing.  And the house… my good God – it was just stupendously messy.  Dishes everywhere, army guys and dollhouse furniture battling out for supremacy in the living room.  Laundry scattered around the house, dishwasher not loaded, laundry not folded…

I’m at a loss.  I should be cleaning, I’m just too tired to attempt much more than basic upkeep.  So the dishwasher is going, the washer and dryer are both running and that’s as good as it’s going to get until tomorrow.   If I ever want to feel essential, and the kids/husband aren’t enough to make me feel loved and needed, I’ll just take a day off and let the house fall apart – because apparently, I perform such a necessary task of CONSTANTLY PICKING UP CRAP that when I stop or take a few hours off to go shopping, all hell breaks loose.  I’ll be playing catch up for days…

Marc is working nights this week, and I’m a sad and lonely girl without him here.  Julie is a sad and lonely girl, and Sam asked sadly if Daddy had no work tonight, knowing that he did and just hoping for another answer.   Jessie is actually just really happy that there’s a new episode of Bunheads that I recorded for her, but I’m sure she’s missing her dad as well.  We got all her homework finished earlier and now all that’s left is for me to nag her into the shower, get her hair brushed afterwards, Sam and Julie need jammies and Sam needs to read to me,  Julie skipped dinner again (she’s got a habit of skipping dinner when I feed the other kids and eating later on when Marc gets home – sadly, he won’t be home tonight until well after midnight…), so I need to try and shove a little food into her before bed.

Nothing really earth shattering going on here today – just a normal sort of Tuesday.  Harrison was here for a playdate and Joy and I had coffee and caught up while the boys played and Jessie avoided doing her homework.  Julie sat mostly on my lap, nursing off and on.  Tomorrow is religious school for Jessie, although I’m seriously considering keeping her home to hard core study, study, study for her unit test in math.   Aimee will be here for dinner tomorrow night, she’s heading down to NY on Thursday on the bus, and it’s easier to catch the one in Worcester – so at least I’ll have a little adult companionship tomorrow night.

New Year’s Eve

I don’t really do New Year’s Eve.  It feels redundant to me, with Rosh Hashana as the Jewish New Year, and my birthday in January, I’ve already got the holiday covered.  So having another day to celebrate another beginning of the same year… I’m okay with skipping it.   That being said, I do have children who believe wholeheartedly in New Year’s Eve.   Complete with take-out, a desperate attempt to stay up late enough to see the ball drop, and a rocking dance party.  All of which we did last night.   We rented Shrek Forever, I think it was called.  The last Shrek movie, and everyone sat and watched it.  Even Julie – and she’s not great with movies.  But this one made sense to her, because the “Yaya was so sad.”  She immediately got that Shrek was a dad who had lost his wife and his three kids (his Mama, G, Boy, and Baby).    After the movie, the kids danced for a while.  They danced to every song on the credits, and then we switched to the New Year’s show, and they danced to that.  By 10:00, I was done, exhausted and could see that they were too.  I took Julie off to bed, and then came in and got Sam.  Sam was so cute, he said to me “I’ll just pretend the ball just dropped – YAY!” as he got into bed.  Then I shut off all the lights, set the auto shut off on on the cable box for a few minutes after midnight and told Jessie and Glennys they were on their own.

So we’re up, rocking migraine and kids still bouncing off the wall.   Glennys is going home today, and my kids are going to miss her incredibly.  Jessie has already broken down sobbing three times over the fact that she was going home, and Sam and Julie… it’s going to be ugly.  As much as they love having her come down, they hate having her leave.

I don’t generally post recipes here, mainly because I really don’t like to cook, and it’s so ridiculously easy to get recipes on line, it seems silly to put them here.  But I found a couple of recipes this week and my kids LOVE them.  One is for finnish pancakes.  You take half a stick of butter, stick it in a pie plate, and melt the butter in a four hundred degree oven.  While the butter is melting, mix together two thirds of a cup of milk, two thirds of a cup of flour, a teaspoon of cinnamon and suguar, and three eggs.  Dump it in the pan when the butter is melted and bake for 20 minutes.  After twenty minutes, pull it out and sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar on it, and then bake for another five minutes or so.  It’s awesome.  I also had my mother dig out her cinnamon bun recipe, and that’s kind of awesome as well.  So I baked a lot this week, made chocolate chip cookies, lots of bread, and four batches of finnish pancakes.