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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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