Much family drama going on – not on my part, thank God. But my brother, sister, neieces and nephews and mother seem to be hell bent on self destructing. And I’m used to the drama, the emotions, the trauma of it all – I grew up with it. But I’m so grateful that I don’t have it now. I’m enormously proud of the fact that my family, Marc, Jess, Sam and I have this peaceful existence. Sure, Marc and I bicker sometimes, we have a couple of on-going conflicts, but overall, he’s my best friend, my partner in the truest sense of the word. And I know that I’m that for him. And my kids are happy, loved, secure.

Mom, Jessie, Becky and I all went out for the day yesterday. Becky’s not technically a birthday girl, but we like her so we brought her along with us :-). It was lovely – I really enjoyed spending the day out and about with my girl. I’m so very proud of her, she’s so exactly what I’d always wanted in a daughter, and it was so nice to be able to really focus on her.

I love having two kids, and definitely want to have at least one more, but there’s something magical about having one on one time with them. Every time we walked, her hand was automatically in mine, and I was very aware of being with my daughter.

It was also lovely to come home and have my Sammy come running for me. I missed him – he’s with me so consistently that not having him feels strange and weird, like I accidentally left my arm at home.

Marc and I bickered all night, not an overly pleasant happy marriage night. He was just bugging me and from his response, I wasn’t making him smile either. We have little in common when it comes to television – which I’ve accepted. Marc still hasn’t come to terms with it, and periodically attempts to force me to appreciate television that he finds so valuable and meaningful. It’s for my own good, I suppose he thinks, I think he’s being stubborn and mean. I don’t insist on him watching E True Hollywood Story or Grey’s Anatomy, although I find them fascinating… I fail to understand why he thinks it’s a personality flaw that he can correct – the fact that I don’t like, nor do I intend to subject myself to, Major Payne.

I do, I do! Especially when I’ve got food in the house and just my kids and my husband at home. The snow has been falling since early this morning and it’s so cozy and comfortable in here, I’m making challah from a new recipe, four strands this time, and am very excited about it. Both my kids are vacationed-out, I think. Jess has been doing so much better, in terms of the tantrums, she’s really started to phase them out, but today she’s morphed into Scary Jessie at least four different times. Sam is okay – he was cranky yesterday.

Which actually, now that I think about it, is so surprising. I used to think of him as so moody and emotional, but I think it’s because I’m still holding onto that image of him as an infant, colicy and with reflux, nursing 24/7, sleeping for no more than 20 minutes at a time, and crying, just crying forever. But now that he’s a big boy, he’s the most even tempered, sunshiny, happy kid. He’s very earnest and solemn at times, and he has the greatest belly laugh (and nobody can make him laugh harder than Jess). But the occasions when he’s legitimately cranky or miserable are few and far between.

Marc took him outside shoveling earlier, there’s nothing this boy likes more than doing man things with Daddy. Using tools, putting stuff together, shoveling snow, etc. Jess and Glennys got all bundled up and went outside too.

Tomorrow, Jess, Mom and I are all going out for our special birthday celebration. Poor Jess, she doesn’t get much one on one time with me, I can count on one hand the number of times that we’ve done something solo since Sam has been born. Sammy gets a lot more quality Mommy time now that she’s at school, but Jess has been neglected shamefully. I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow with my girl 🙂

Because I have no extra kids on Fridays, and one of mine is usually gone all day at preschool, Fridays are my weekends. It’s like Saturday and Sunday combined into one glorious day where the only one I have to take care of takes a three hour nap and doesn’t talk. I have my two today, plus Lilli, Sarah, Glennys, Harrison and Julia. Which is about five kids more than I’m really up for – but so far, so good. I’m behaving much like a drill sargeant, quelling uprisings and running and yelling with an evil glare and admonishments to sit down on the couch.

I’ve got two boys asleep in their respective sleeping spots and the door shut. Sarah and Jessica are playing quietly in Jessie’s bedroom and Lilli, Glennys and Julia are in the living room with Dr. Suess on television. Marc’s going to the gym tonight, so I’m all by my lonesome – which sounds FABULOUS to me right now. Lisa should pick up the girls and Joy will pick up the other two between five and six, which will leave me with just Glennys for dinner. Annie thinks she’ll be here around six thirty, which means that if I try really hard, I can probably get my cherubs asleep by 7:30 or so.

Last night was wonderful – Marc played “fight on the bed” with the two kids, and for the first time, Sammy actually participated. And then when they were done, Jessie curled into her Daddy’s arms and Sam came and got me to come and lay down with them. I nursed my boy down to sleep, Marc told Jess a story and then I sang a lullaby (my version of ‘hush little jessie’) and they were sound asleep and so sweet together that I left them in my bed. This was a decision that I bitterly regretted all night long, because it just ended up with me sleeping on a tiny little sliver of bed 🙂

Not that there’s anything wrong, exactly, I’m just low on patience and the kids are driving me nuts. Everyone is whiny and fussy and bored and more than happy to complain and moan and groan. Including me.

On the upside, there’s only another five hours or so until I can start putting everyone down to bed. And with any luck, Annie will pick up Glennys, and maybe even Jessica, and Sam can take a nice long nap. Wednesdays are harder because Jordyn needs to nap in my bedroom, which is also where Sam naps. But I can’t put Sam in there with Jordyn because she’s such a light sleeper. And with Jess in the mood she’s in, asking her to stay quiet and not bug me while I’m trying to get Sam to sleep was like asking the ocean to stay put. Simply impossible – and kind of silly to even comtemplate it. So Sam napped for about forty five minutes and is going to be a fussy pain in the neck until about four or so, when he’ll finally go back down, thus ensuring that he’ll be up until 9:30 or 10:00 tonight.

God, I need more coffee. It’s afternoons like this that make me realize that were it not for the afternoon caffeine fix, I’d kill one of them.

There was a really cute moment earlier, Glennys and Jess actually allowed Sam to play with them, and they gave him a little pink purse, and were playing baby. Jess was the baby and Glennys was the Mommy, Sam was the Daddy trailing behind them carrying the purse. And he was so confused about what he was doing, but so damn proud of being a big boy, able to play with the big girls. It was so sweet…

I know I already posted today – but I had to brag about this wicked pretty cookies I just made. For me, baking is always sort of hit or miss, I can do everything exactly right and still have them turn out weird. But this time – they are everything you’d ever want in a cookies. Mostly round, golden brown, perfectly plumped up. I’m so proud 🙂

I can see now why my mother always used to dread vacations… because kids get bored really easily. Things are going well here though – I’ve got hordes of children here. Glennys is here all week, Lilli and Sarah are here on Tuesdays and Thursdays and if Mandi is still talking to me, then I’ll have Bella on Wednesday and Friday. I’ve got Sammy’s check-up on Friday as well. Marc has been home sick for the past two days – he’s got a wicked head cold. Fortunately, I don’t get sick very often at all, and neither do my kids. Jess and Sam have gone basically all winter without catching anything. Sam tends towards a yucky nose, and Jessie’s eye has been a little drippy, but nothing that would have warranted a trip to the doctor’s, or even staying home from school.

Everything is good at home these days – Mandi and I had a ginormous fight on Sunday, but it was one of those situations where I felt as though I came out victorious, in my own little head. She wanted me to meet her with her camera, and felt the best way to achieve said goal was to bully me into it. I refused to go, just because I wasn’t going to reward her sucky behavior by doing what she wanted me to do. In the end, Marc ended up doing it, but that was okay with me. As long as she understood that I wasn’t doing it. I don’t know that she got the point at all, but my mother, who had called to tell me that she was siding with her, understood me and I felt so much better after yelling at her. It’s hard to express without sounding like a self-congratulating bore, but I really do feel as though I’ve reached a point in my life where I value my own happiness and that of my husband and children more than anyone else’s. And while it may seem to be sort of obvious – it’s also incredibly liberating.

Four girls here today – and that’s about three too many for my girl at the moment. She just got her little head stuck in a folding chair, and I had to go and ease her head out. She’s holding Lilli entirely responsible, and doesn’t want to play with any of them. Ever again. I know this will last about twenty more minutes, or about as long as Hi-5 is on. I settled her down with a bowl of salad, a sippie cup of water and the remotes :-). Marc and Sam are asleep – again.

Survived my girl’s first slumber party – it went better than I had anticipated. Due to supreme sibling stupidity, eighty percent of my neices weren’t allowed to attend, but Bella was here, we also had Lilli and Sarah and Julia here overnight, and everyone was asleep by 10:00 and slept thru the night with no problems at all. Well, except for Jess, she came into bed with me around three in the morning. We had cake and pizza and tons of chips and water… and Jessie has so many new toys, the kids have been playing pretty consistently. The other huge hit was the two cheap pallettes of make-up that I bought at the dollar store. I let them do makeovers, and gave them a wipie container so wipe off and re-do. They’ve all been really good, but I’m definitely ready for everyone to go home.

Unfortunately, nobody’s going home. We’ve got Lilli and Sarah until suppertime, and Julia and Bella haven’t been picked up yet. No idea when that’s going to happen… Marc and Sam are both sleeping. And I wish with all my heart that I was too 🙂

Six years ago today was the first day of the rest of my life. I had gotten the e-mail on a Tuesday night, and it was smart and engaging and funny. So I agreed to dinner on Thursday. Valentine’s Day. Having been thru a number of blind internet dates, I knew to keep my expectations low, and told my friends that I’d meet them for drinks afterwards. Only once I got to the restaurant, I just didn’t want to not be with him. Ever. We had dinner, then went back to his house. And he kissed me for the first time between the kitchen and the living room, mid-way thru my tour. And when I finally went home, it was like everything had changed. It was magical and wonderful and so sweet and I loved every minute of it. Falling in love was like nothing I’d ever imagined. We could talk for hours, not only was I incredibly attracted to him, but I loved being with him.

Then I realized that I was four days late. I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I still remember the shock, the joy, the terror – and I admit it, the sadness that this magical relationship was going to get really complicated really fast. I was so scared to tell him, so scared to ruin this perfect little place that we were at, in terms of a relationship. I called and asked him to come to me, figuring that I’d need to be on home turf for this conversation. My friends/roommate were supportive and left me alone at home that night. And when he came in, I wanted to cry. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and blurted out “I’m pregnant.” He didn’t skip a beat, just said “thank God, I thought it was something awful.” He told me he loved me, that we’d make it work, we were having a baby!

I knew he couldn’t really love me, knew he was just barely divorced, had only known me for a few weeks. Knew he had to be mostly crazy, but that was okay. I was having a baby, and for a while that was all that mattered. We charged on ahead, I took prenatals and drank lots of water. When I started spotting, it was at Passover. I was meeting his parents for the first time, and can still remember how awful it was to see the blood. The bleeding got heavier and we went in for an ultrasound. The doctors told us that we had lost one twin, but there was still one left, to go home, be careful and pray. When he held me in the exam room, I realized for the first time that we had done this together. It was the first time that I really felt as though this was ours. And when I lost the second twin, I lost a big part of myself. Suddenly, the whole world was darker and more dangerous, and the only place I felt safe, the only place where I felt whole was with him. When he told me that we’d try again, we’d get thru it and we’d be better than okay, we’d be great – I clung to it, and to him, as though it were a liferaft.

I don’t know if I would have survived that, the loss of my first pregnancy, without him. When everything was at it’s worst, the fact that he was at my side, never wavering, never hesitating, just so completely there made everything okay. Not great, at first, but managable. And when I got pregnant again, even though everyone said we were crazy, I knew that we were doing exactly what we needed to do. Jessica’s pregnancy was rough at first, I was still grieving so much, and still learning how to be in a relationship, how to trust, how to really rely on him. But when I held that beautiful girl and saw her daddy cradle her in her arms, I fell in love all over again.

It’s been six years, and I still don’t know how I got so lucky. There’s so much that I’m so grateful for, he’s simply the smartest, kindest man I’ve ever met. He’s an amazing father, not just to my Jessie but my little Sammy – who worships at the alter of Daddy in a way that I don’t think his daughters did. He’s my first call, no matter what, the person I most want to be with, the one I trust with everything. I never imagined being this intimate with anyone, not just physically, but emotionally. I know him completely, I know he’s always scrupulously honest with me. I know that he loves me more than I ever thought possible. And I know that I’m so completely, madly, unendingly in love with him. He’s made all my dreams come true.

Happy Anniversary Marc – I love you so much more than I can ever express, and am forever grateful to a world that created you. My life is everything I always wanted it to be, and you made it that way. I can only hope to give you as much joy, satifaction and utter contentment as you’ve brought to me.

And other lessons learned from being at home… That should be the title of a book I write after the kids are grown up. Yesterday, I made my girl some hot cocoa and put in a strawberry marshmellow (or mallow?? neither looks right). She, as per usual, didn’t finish it, and rather than dump it in the sink, where I anticipated that we’d have trouble getting it down the drain, I poured it into the toilet. A while later, Jessie came out of the bathroom all upset – said she couldn’t get the pink marshmellow to go away, she kept flushing and flushing but it kept popping back up to the top of the water ;-). It did eventually go down, but it bobbed in my potty for most of the afternoon.

Kind of a quiet boring day today. It’s so cold and yucky outside, and I’m still kind of groggy from the past couple of nights with Jess. Now that Sam’s sleeping thru the night, Jessie has decided to start getting up again. Are they conspiring against me? Her new nighttime ritual is to wake up around 1:00 or 2:00, come to bed with me, which is fine, I’m a good mom, I love my children… but then she wiggles and moans and twists for an hour or so until finally I tell her that she can either lay still and go to sleep or she has to get out. At which point, she gets up crying, and storms out into the living room or bedroom and cries because “Mommy frew me out of bed for NO REASON.” Eventually Marc gets up (because I flat out refuse to go pacify her) and he yells at her to go to bed. Then she’s crawl back into my bed, chastened and still with that hitching breath, trying to choke back the tears, and snuggle into my back, because at this point, she’s woken up Sam and I’m laying on my side, nursing him back to sleep, and we’ll all eventually go back to sleep. It takes a LONG time, and I’m exhausted.

Sam’s asleep on the bed, and Harrison and Jessie are watching Hi-5. Again. I have the show memorized. And am not happy about it…