I would post pictures, but unfortunately, my camera took a tumble when we were apple picking in September and I just got around to replacing it.  I’ve figured out how to snap pics but haven’t figured out how to download yet.  But I have some cute pictures, and will post them soon :-).

Last year, we bought Sam a Batman costume and he flat out refused to wear it on Halloween.  So, logically, I told people that he was dressed as Bruce Wayne, in that he clearly WAS Batman, had the suit and everything but was pretending to just be a boy.  This year, he decided he wanted to be a SWAT team guy – so we bought that costume.  Crunch time came, and he was good with wearing it – but wanted nobody to be able to see it.  (sigh…) So we put the costume on, and then put a sweatshirt on over it, and when questioned, we said he was an UNDERCOVER SWAT team guy.  He had the bulletproof vest on under his clothes.  Maybe next year, he’ll actually dress up and show people :-).

Jessica went thru several different incarnations – she was a rock star for a while, then decided to be a princess, a cheerleader and ended up at the last minute going with the fairy option.  We were stuck for a wand – and my brilliant girl grabbed a wooden spoon and her apron and claimed she was a kitchen fairy.  She’d spin around, point at the air and holler “BOOM – dishes done!”  I was so proud.  Granted – you couldn’t tell what she was – because she was dressed in leggings and a purple shirt, with a little frilly purple skirt on under the apron, but she was so pleased with herself.

Julianna was just Julie.  I was going to try and trick or treat with her this year – and still think she would have been okay.  I have a sling, and a big cozy blanket – but we were going with Marc’s cousins and his aunt took one look at me and said “You aren’t planning on taking the baby out in this cold, are you?” and I quickly agreed that no, of course, it’s far too cold out there for this girl, and spent the night hanging inside, nibbling candy, nursing and cooing at Julie with all of Marc’s aunts :-). 

I try, I really do.  And mostly, I’m pretty good at it.  I think I’m patient with my kids, for the most part.  I think I’m endlessly patient with lots of other situations.  And I adore my husband more than anything in the whole wide world – but I’m so ready to move in.  I just want to MOVE.  Let’s just pack a bag and move in right NOW.  We’ll come back and get our stuff next weekend, when it’s not Halloween and we can sucker people into helping – but the fact that the house is furnished (our landlord is leaving beds for everyone, plus a furnished living room and we’ve got the dining room table over there too) makes me feel like we could just spend a day or two moving our misc not heavy stuff over and be so happy. 

Julianna Ruth is finally cutting her first tooth.  I say finally because she’s been teething hard for several weeks now – drool EVERYWHERE, fussy, awake a lot at night, etc.  She’s only cutting one though – both Jess and Sam always seemed to get teeth in pairs, but it’s just the bottom left one coming in right now :-).  So, so proud of her. 

So excited about moving.  I love moving.  I really do.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m kind of lazy, so I don’t enjoy all the work that goes along with it, but I like being in a new place, new neighborhood, etc.  I found a great table on the internet, someone in Webster (which isn’t too far away) was selling an eight seater dining room table for only $150 – and she’s even delivering it this morning to the new house.  Our current table seats six, which isn’t even enough for just our family when Lilli and Sarah are over, let alone big enough when we have guests over.   I freecycled the stuff we’re getting rid of (like a queen bed, and a microwave), and found someone who had a bunch of bubblewrap for wrapping dishes.  My mother brought over a bunch of boxes all ready, and I’ve got some more to pick up this weekend over at a friends house.  Now I just have to pack them 🙂

As of this morning – we’ll have the living room furnished, the dining room table, and we’ve already got beds there for all of us.  SO tempting just to start living there… but we have to pack up over here and get it all moved  out – so we’re really looking at probably the first weekend in November as the official move in date.  Marc wants to get the girls’ bedroom painted, and get better lighting down in the basement before we move in. 

All is well here – I love having Marc home, it’s so much easier, contemplating this move, with him home to assist.  I know he’ll have to go back to work, and I’m dreading it – especially because Sam is so loving having all this Daddy time.   The only problem, honestly, is that with two parents at home, the kid is getting really used to having his every need met, and has developed a tendency to just start screaming when he doesn’t get his way.  Sam isn’t really prone to temper tantrums, not the way that Jessie was (I think Jess has trouble sometimes channelling all of her emotions – she’s always been really intense, and we’ve struggled with temper tantrums since she was a toddler) – so I’m confident that we’ll be able to get thru this stage quickly.  It’s just a matter of being consistent and not caving when he starts fussing.  Not fun, but doable. 

Jessie is having some issues at school.  She’s still doing well, when she’s tested, she’s scoring in the “high above average” for reading and “above average” for math, but she’s still reversing numbers and letters.  It’s still developmental (which, as far as I can tell, means that I shouldn’t worry about it), but I do.  It’s having a detrimental effect on her self-esteem, she feels like she’s not as smart because she keeps getting papers back with corrections all over them.  I’m meeting with her teacher tomorrow, and hopefully things will improve.  There’s nothing in the world harder than watching your child struggle and I think I hate this stage way more than Jess does. 

Julianna is a heartbeat away from just taking off.  She’s sitting up mostly on her own, still topples occasionally, but she’s also standing up on her own (well, holding on with just her hands).  She seems to be light years faster at this than my other two, but I remember Sam was climbing everything in the world by the time he was seven months or so, and she’ll be six months at the end of this week.  She’s just so pretty and so sweet.  Such a good natured baby – she loves everyone and everything. 

I love having five kids.  Or three.  Depending on the day.  Today, I happened to have five.  We picked up all three girls from school and brought them back home for an hour and a half before they had to get dropped off for Hebrew School.  And they’re all so cute together!  Sammy put on his new Halloween costume (a SWAT guy thing – consisting of a black full bodysuit and a hat with SWAT embroidered on it), and was busy protecting us from the bad guys lurking behind the couch, Sarah played with Julianna and Jessie and Lilli worked on homework together. 

My kids are so lucky to have each other…

I feel like I should title this “Moving – Part 1” because I’m certain that there will be many more posts on this topic before I’m all settled in.  I have a tiny apartment, in theory, there shouldn’t be all that much to pack.  But in reality, I’ve got tons.  Just flat out tons of crap to move.  There’s very little I’m really attached to, in fact, I’d love to just toss it all and start all over again.  The new house has a furnished living room and beds for everyone already in it – so there’s a part of me that’s just wishing that I could rent a huge dumpster and toss the contents of this apartment into it. 

The problem, as I see it, is that I have natural hording tendencies (that are born more out of laziness – it’s easier to shove it into a closet than figure out how to get rid of it), and have passed them down to my children.  Both Jess and Sam hate getting rid of things, but Sam is by far the worst.  In fact, if I manage to convince Jess that it’s okay to get rid of something, I then have to smuggle it out of the house before Sam catches on that we’re getting rid of something. 

But I’m working slowly towards cleaning out everything – moving only that which I actually want/use to the new house.  I’ve cleaned out three closets so far, and assembled nine bags of clothes to go to Goodwill.  For some reason, I saved every single coat either of my older two children have worn, and some that they never wore.  I saved every last stitch of clothes that Sam has ever worn (I’m better at clearing out Jessie’s old clothes, saving my favorites for Julianna and passing the rest along to Jordyn).  I went thru my dresser, and was ruthless.  If it was maternity and/or something I haven’t worn in the past three years, I got rid of it.  Mostly. 

Kids are doing well – Jess is adjusting to second grade, it’s a lot harder than first.  She’s a really bright girl, which I think worked against her, she coasted thru kindergarten and first grade, and this teacher is really making sure that Jessie works up to her full potential.  Even though she’s got a really full schedule, she seems to adjusting to it very well.  I, on the other hand, still miss her like mad when she’s gone. 

Sam is home, and I still wonder if that’s the right thing.  Sending him to preschool didn’t feel right either, but I’m really hoping that this extra year home makes it easier for kindergarten and not harder.  He’s so very stubborn, and he really, really doesn’t like new things.  New routines, new places, new people… I wonder if pushing him this year would be a good idea.  I’m hoping that the old “attachment parenting” theory works – if I meet his needs for security now then he’ll be all brave and bold and head off to the world of academia happily. 

Julianna – holy moly, that child is growing so fast.  She’s already standing up, supporting herself by leaning on the table.  She’s a heartbeat away from sitting up on her own.  Cooing and giggling and such a good baby.  She’s not doing great with solids, still has a tendency to throw up whatever I give her, but she’s such an accomplished nurser that I don’t worry too much about it.  She’s on the young side for solids anyway – she won’t be six months until the end of the month. 

On Saturdays, Marc takes the four oldest kids to Hebrew School.  Julianna is still too little, and there’s literally nowhere, with the exception of the front lobby, where I can sit and nurse her.  I’m as big a fan of nursing in public as there is, but I still feel vaguely uncomfortable whipping out my boob in front of teenage boys and little old men.  And there seems to be a lot of both of those two at the synagogue.  So Saturdays have become this quiet little island in time when it’s just me and my baby girl – and I adore them. 

Yesterday, Jess was home sick with a cough.  I had a migraine, Julie had a slightly runny nose, Sam had a fever and Marc is still hacking and coughing.  None of us were hard core sick, but all of us were a little bit.  So we spent the whole day at home.  I live in this teeny, tiny apartment.  It’s mainly just two rooms that have a big sliding door between them, my bedroom, Jessie’s tiny bedroom and an itty bitty kitchen and bathroom. 

What I love most about this apartment is also what drives me crazy – the complete and utter lack of space.  Whatever we do, we’re right on top of each other.  But on the upside – it’s sometimes absolutely perfect.  We spent the whole day together, with no distractions and it was delightful.  Jess and Sam got into a couple little squabbles, but mostly, it was just really nice.  I love that my little family gets along so well.  There really is this unique chemistry when we’re all together. 

The family I came from isn’t quite as blissful, and I treasure this peace and tranquility so much more because of that.  Long hours, reading together, watching movies and cuddling – I hope that we’re always as happy together as we are right now.  I know that they’ll grow up, and spending a lazy afternoon bumming around the living room won’t always be enough for them – but right now, it’s perfect 🙂

Hmmm – where to begin?  First, let me just state for the record that I’m now fighting for computer time with not just Marc, but also with Jessie and Sam, so forgive me if the blog posts are becoming a little less frequent :-).  Strangely, while I’m convinced that one television set is more than sufficient for our little family – I can see the argument for an additional computer. 

Everyone in my little family has some sort of cold.  Even my tiny Julianna is now sniffling and congested (which makes nursing a bit more complicated).  Jess woke up this morning, claiming she didn’t feel good and wanted to stay home.  I sent her anyway, and Sam and Marc are both still sick, coughing and sneezing.  I, however, am a paragon of health, and I suspect that it’s due in no small measure to the mere fact that I don’t have time to get sick – there are too many other things I have to do.

Marc climbed Mt. Wachusett earlier this weekend with the four oldest kids.  I attempted it, but realized early on that I not only really didn’t like hiking, but that Julianna would be much happier cuddled up the car, nursing.  So I waved goodbye, trekked back down the mountain solo and then sat in the car for a couple of hours.  Proving once again that it’s always a good idea to bring a book, and with the sunshine heating up the car, a gentle breeze teasing the leaves – it was really the perfect way to spend an afternoon, with a sleeping baby at my breast, a bag of cookies and bottle of water and a really good book.  Marc has been working out like a madman ever since Julie was born and it totally paid off, because my oldest stepdaughter, Lilli, injured her foot up there, and Marc hiked all the way down the mountain with her on his back, piggyback style, and one hand holding Sam’s hand so he didn’t stumble.  Imagine hiking all the way down a MOUNTAIN with a good sized eleven year old on your back and only one hand available to hitch her up.   Very impressed.

And… we’re moving.  When we moved to this apartment, three and half years ago, we had one kid and one baby.  It’s tiny – adorable, yes, but TINY.  Jessie’s bedroom is really small and Sam and Julie are both in our bedroom.  We have obviously outgrown it, but we loved it here.  It’s a tiny little dead end street, surrounded by trees… but we’re moving.  One of Marc’s uncle’s brothers is moving to FL and looking to rent his house and offered it to us.  It’s a fantastic opportunity, same rent as what we’re paying now, and we’ll have a three bedroom house.  I’m beyond thrilled.  We’re going to shoot for getting in there by November 15, but realistically, we won’t do it until December 1.

All about Me

This story is all about me.  Yes, that’s right, me.  Jessica.  I am seven years old.  I live on Avalon Place, but not for long.  I’m moving to a new house soon.  I have two big sisters.  And a little one too.  And a little brother.  My biggest sister’s name is Lilli.  She is eleven.  I have a baby sister, she is five months old.  And I have another older sister.  Her name is Sarah, she is nine.  My brother is four.  My dad is forty one and my mom is thirty six.  I like to read and play on the computer.  My favorite website is Y8.com.  I climbed Mt. Wachusett on October 10, 2010.  I had a blast going up, but it wasn’t so fun going down.  I have an American Girl doll, she’s Rebecca Rubin.  And she’s Jewish, just like my dad’s side.  But my mom’s side is witches.  Me and my family have a blast together.

Everything with Julianna is bittersweet for me.  Because I know, on some level, that she’s my last little baby.  I love having babies, and if Marc and I were younger, I think I’d have seventeen of them.  I’m 36 and Marc is 40, and if we wait until Julianna is three (which is really the age difference that I like the best), then I’m looking at a pregnancy at 40.  Julie’s pregnancy was really tough, and I don’t know that I want to do it again.   I know that it’s early days still, and at this point with both Jessie and Sam, I wasn’t anywhere near ready to even consider when I’d want another.  The difference was that I always wanted three kids – that was my magic number, so more and more, I think that Julianna is probably my last little baby.  I’m not saying absolutely – and Marc would have more in a heartbeat – so maybe I’ll change my mind, but I don’t think so.

So everything with Julie is tinged with this little bit of wistfulness.  She was laying on the couch, I was changing her diaper.  Which is one of my favorite times with Julie – because she LOVES being naked.  She chews on her toes and rolls around and smiles and giggles at me.  I was leaning over her, holding her head and kissing her sweet perfect little face, over and over again.  And I commented to Marc that it all goes by so fast, and she’s the only one of my kids that I can just snuggle and kiss for as long as I want to now.  Because let’s face it, while Jess and Sam are totally affectionate and loving, they won’t let me just lean over them, holding their little faces and kissing the hell out of their cheeks.  Sam piped up that he would, so he came over and let me hold his face and kiss him.  I kept kissing his little forehead and cheeks until he finally protested… because he’s too big for that.  He just is.  It changes.  I snuggled Jess to sleep last night, with her trying to push her extra icy feet onto my legs and we giggled and laughed and played… so it’s not like it doesn’t move into something as fun, it’s not that I lose that affection and love and tenderness – but it’s different. 

So I wallow in this stage with Julie – I hold her thru every nap, and walk around my house cooking dinner, doing laundry and getting drinks for the kids with one hand because she’s on my hip 24/7.  Because I’ve learned that it doesn’t last forever – and the day is going to come all too soon when she wiggles away from my kisses.  And on that day – I’m going to be grateful for every single second that I spent kissing her for as long as I could 🙂

With Jessica’s new schedule – I’ve had to work hard at finding time with her.  Not just for she and I, but also to make a concerted effort to give her time alone with her daddy and with Julianna.  She gets a lot of time with Sam, just by virtue of the fact that he likes to be in her face all the time, but I know that she misses the time alone with her baby sister.  I’ve taken over driving her to school every morning and at least once a week, she and I head out to the library.  We wander for books, talk about things that went on that day, what my childhood was like, how it’s different and how it’s the same as her own life. 

I find it fascinating – so much of motherhood is just responding to various needs.  With a breastfeeding five month old and a four year old and a seven year old, much of my time is taken up in just caring for them.  I’ve always got dishes to do, I’ve always got laundry that needs to be washed and always got a load or two waiting to be folded.  And my kids are great, legitimately.  I genuinely enjoy hanging out with them – but Jess is morphing into not being just my baby girl, not just my little girl, but a person in her own right.  And I love it – she’s smart and gorgeous and kind and loving.  She’s just absolutely mind-blowingly exactly who I always wanted her to be – and I can’t possibly express how incredibly proud I am of her, and how incredibly grateful I am for her in my life.