Having a really nice morning, all things considered. It was my first weekend off in about six months, and it was lovely. We were able to switch Jess to the Saturday dance class, so I took her first thing in the morning, and it happened to be on the one day of the year that parents are able to observe the class. This is my all time favorite – I cry every year, the sight of my gorgeous girl all dressed up in a leotard and dancing around the room with fifteen other little ballerinas… she’s so exactly what I always wanted in a little girl. I wish I could have sent a snapshot of that moment back to myself in my twenties, when I wanted a little girl so badly.

We’ve been having a bit of hard time with Jess lately – lots and lots of tears. Like, enough to drown in, really. And it’s so hard to deal with, because it’s not temper tantrums, it’s just crying all the time. She seems so sad and unhappy, and I can’t figure out how to fix it, let alone make her happy enough to smile instead of sob. The only explanation I can come up with (big surprise here) is that it’s entirely my fault. I must be neglecting her, Sam gets more attention, he demands more just because of his age, and when she’s not crying, I leave her alone. She plays happily in her room with her figurines or colors or reads – and while I think I do a good job of paying attention to her, I must be dropping the ball at least enough to make her feel like crying. When I looked at the world from her perspective, Sam must drive her out of her mind. He’s big enough now to know that he wants to be with Jessie, in her room, touching all of her toys, all the time, but nowhere near old enough to actually play on the same level with her. He can stomp on her toys, but that’s as advanced as he’s going to get. And while it delights him, it infuriates her.

So Marc and I are going overboard on really paying attention to her. Picking her up, talking to her, lots of affection, etc. And it seems to be making a difference. I’m going to go with it for a while, if it means carrying her around for a bit, or having her back in bed with us for a few months, so be it. She’s such a joy – and it’s so hard when she’s crying, that it’s worth a little back-sliding on the independence front. She’s not even five yet – she’s got the rest of her life to be a big girl, right?

Sammy is making leaps and bounds – he’s so much more social and interactive now. He’s smiling at strangers, actually playing with Becky yesterday at Target. He’s babbling more and more, still not really any distinguishable words really, but he’s a lot more vocal. He’s just started talking with his hands too – he’ll spread his arms wide to express confusion (which is so funny – and he does it all the time, making me understand again how baffling the world must be to him). He’s really starting to taper off nursing too – he’s still nursing like a mad man, don’t get me wrong, but he’s started falling asleep sometimes without it, and going for longer and longer stretches, both at night and during the day without it. Maybe he might wean before he’s five….

In a crabby mood this morning – for a whole bunch of reasons. Mainly, I’m hormonal, my house is still a disaster from the weekend and I’m facing a week with no car because it’s getting fixed. Mainly I’m just so aggravated about the house being such a mess. I fail to understand why it is that the kids feel compelled to trash it when I’m not here… what is that? Is it just the freedom to fling stuff around? Shouldn’t it start to kick in, that the rules are to pick up after yourself? I’m baffled and really, today, kind of pissed off about it. I feel like Cinderella – which is just never a good feeling.

The cleaning is pretty constant, as a stay at home mom. I mean, it literally doesn’t ever stop and if I pause for a while, take an hour or so off, then the mess gets worse. But for the most part, I keep up with it during the week, and I’m used to the mess generated by my cherubs. The weekend mess is something else entirely, and I resent the hell out of it.

Moving on… at least I’m home now for good, so I can keep control of everyone on the weekends. Snowing is fierce today, and Sam and I went out to shovel with Marc this morning. We couldn’t stay outside indefinitely, and the temper tantrum that child threw was one of his best ever. He rivals his sister when it comes to intensity and sincerity of the fury and rage… he screamed and threw himself on the floor, picked himself up, yelled at me again and collapsed over and over again, until he finally crawled up into my lap and nursed to sleep. At 10:00, which is so NOT his nap time, so the rest of the day will be all messed up.

On the upside, Miss Jess slept all night in her own bed for the first time in well over a week. We went wedding dress shopping with Becky yesterday – found a gorgeous dress for her. Now I just have to find a sitter for the cherubs, figure out what I’m doing for her shower and try really hard to make sure that she and Aimee don’t kill each other before May 17.

Day Two of the new schedule… I got Jess to bed last night before seven o’clock and Sam and I sat up and watched a movie together. The poor boy is teething hard, two of his canine teeth are in the process of cutting thru and he’s just miserable with it. I finally got him to drift off to sleep around 9:30 and he started coughing. He kept going, coughing every few minutes until I started to recognize the signs. I picked him up and moved him off the bed just before he threw up all over everything. Well, all over me and the fan next to the bed and the floor, but NOT all over the bed, thank God. Nothing worse than baby vomit all over the bed, especially when Daddy’s not there to do clean up. Both my kids are pukers, for better or worse, and Marc and I have the routine down pat. I do my best to keep the puke confined to me and off the blankets, and once we strip the kid, I take over comforting and soothing back to sleep and Marc does the clean up.

It’s lonely, with no Marc here at night. I get the kids fed, teeth brushed, story read and down to sleep so much earlier, which is great for them, but that does mean that I’m all alone once they’re out. When Marc does finally get home, I pounce on him, so grateful for adult companionship.

Mom just left, she came out and visited for a couple of hours. Sammy just glared at her, mostly. He’s so suspicious of her, for some reason. I keep hoping that he’ll warm up and be himself around people, friendly, funny, laughing – but for the most part, he seems to keep that side of himself hidden around everyone other than us. He stays quiet and watchful… Jessie was pretty chipper though, sat on Mom’s lap and told her stuff. I love watching my mother and my daughter interact- it’s just such a cool feeling. I think they look so much alike, and the nice thing is that I think that they are both so beautiful, so it boosts up my self-esteem, because I know that I look like them as well.

And believe me, that self esteem could use a boost after bathing suit shopping on Saturday. I got back in the car and cried afterwards – I think I’m pretty normal, pretty content with my body and my appearance, but ten minutes in the Target dressing room and I’m ready to kill myself…

I’m at work today, I work on Saturdays at a doctor’s office, answering the phones for urgent care. I have been working here for the past six months, but have reluctantly (on some levels, anyway) given my notice. It’s just too hard on everyone else for me to be gone all day on Saturdays. Marc’s home with all four of the kids, sometimes five, if we have Glennys. And Sammy is still so little. Even though he’s a year and a half tomorrow, I still feel like he’s such a baby – and he’s so reliant on me. When it’s time for a nap, he nurses to sleep. Without me there, when it’s time for a nap, he just starts screaming and goes until he passes out from exhaustion. Which sucks for everyone, Sam included. So I understand why I needed to quit, and am even looking forward to being at home full time again. But there’s a part of me that’s bumming – I loved working. Saturdays were my days off. I loved being a grown up, leaving my hair down instead of pulled into a sloppy bun, wearing mascara and lip gloss, talking to other adults, not having to break up fights or get drinks or do the dishes, etc.

But, onward and upward, I guess. Marc got a second job instead -he’ll be working four nights a week at the YMCA, but on the upside, he was never home during the week anyway and we get a free membership, which is great. And we’ll have the weekends together to hang out as a family. It does mean that I’m home by myself with the kids for the majority of the week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.

I’m so excited – got me my very own blog. I’ve been doing daily e-mails for everyone, but now I can just refer people to the blog :-). Spent all day making shabbat dinner, and am now no longer in the mood to celebrate. I did manage to talk Jess into cleaning up her bedroom by convincing her that it had to be pretty for shabbat, and I have lulled Sam into quiet by putting on Little Einsteins. He’s into the music. He’s also discovered how much fun it is to play with the controls for the stove, hence, the quarantine in the living room.