Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mommy Failure???

After watching Rockstar INXS (I'm quite bummed because they kicked TY off...he would have been awesome for the band), I've spent the remainder of my evening perusing Nanny sites on the web. And although there's a huge relief to think about someone coming into the home a couple days a week to watch the kids, part of me feels like a complete failure. There are a ton of single moms out there who have so much more on their plate. There are plenty of stay-at-home moms who love what they do and have the perfect house, forever with a smile on her face. So why can't I just embrace the fact that I can afford to stay at home and be with my children. Why does it seem so overwhelming to me? Let me try to break this down.

1. I have a husband who works way too many hours a week, often leaving the house before the kids wake up, and not coming home until after they're in bed. The days when he does get home early, he's on call, so I can't plan any appointments because there's no guarantee he'll be around.

2. I have NO family to rely on in this state. I can't just drop off the kids at grandma's and get my haircut or go grocery shopping, etc.

3. My husband is VERY picky with babysitters...and of the 4 years we've been here, only one has been completely trusted with our kids....and she already has a full-time job, is not always available, and must travel from Lino Lakes to get here.

4. I am taking a grad class at the Univ. of Minnesota. The workload always seems pretty high to me. This time I'll have to go into a school a little bit, which means I have no care for my kids.

5. My neighbor, who I used to rely on for care if I needed to go to the doctors or something, is no longer available because she'll be doing ABA therapy with her autistic son every day of the week.

6. I have VERY active children. And a simple task like going to the grocery store seems monumental as I'm trying to balance a 1 year old in one arm (who now tries to get out of my arms so he can walk in the aisles and pull stuff off shelves), while pushing a full cart with my other arm. Not sure even how this could work when the baby comes in December.

7. Due to my husband's call schedule, Saturdays often seem just like any other week day, with all childcare/household responsibilties still on me.

As I read through this list, I guess it seems justified that I could use a little help watching the kids, so I could have some time to go to the store, make drs appts, do hw. But I still get all tense about it...thinking that other mom's do it, why can't I? My mom raised us 600 miles away from her family. And the money paid for a part-time nanny when I'm a stay-at-home mom, seems ridiculous. "Mother's Helpers" they're called to make the mom feel better about the whole deal. Still makes me feel like a failure.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Whistle While You Work

This morning, as I was serving my sons breakfast, Cameron suggested that I should whistle while I give them their pancakes.

"What?" I asked him.

"Like on the TV commercial."

Boy does he have a lot to learn. Next thing he'll be asking for is pancakes you make on the stove, not the frozen kind I serve that you pop in the toaster.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Activity Director

I find that one of the hardest parts (for me at least) of being a Stay At Home Mom is the "staying at home" part. I'm not very good at this at all. The house gets to be a mess, I tend to let my kids watch too much TV, I find myself being very bored. That's why Cameron has been doing a lot of Mini-camps all summer, to keep him busy, and to give me a break (although I still have Max, but he naps sometimes). But these past few weeks, he isn't involved in anything, so the entertainment factor has been on my shoulders. I almost panicked last week, as I realized that I would have to figure out something to do each day. I know, it sounds ridiculous that I feel this way, but I just do. So by Friday, my son wakes up and immediately says, "Where are we going today?" Why might he say this? Well, because last Monday I took him to Lake Calhoun, Tuesday to Just Jump, Bike riding to a park and soccer practice, Wedensday to the Arboretum, Thursday my savior baby sitter was able to come, so she watched him in the morning, and took him with her to a waterpark in the afternoon, and so when Friday rolled around, of course he would ask me where we're going. So Friday we went to Eagle's Nest to meet a friend, Saturday to his soccer game and to the State Fair and Sunday to the rides at Woodbury Days. It's exhausting to me just thinking about it, but like I said, I haven't quite figured out how to stay home. So I'm a bit nervous to think about this winter, when I have no choice with the 2 little ones but to stay home. But until then, I have 2 more weeks before Cameron starts school, so I better figure out a few more things we can do around here.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ha Ha

Max has discovered the joy of laughter. Whenever he sees something he wants, he makes a beeline to it, laughing the whole way. Whenever he hears someone else laughing, he laughs, too, as if he actually understands the joke. Sounds fun....except he also laughs when I tell him to stop splashing in the tub (and he proceeds to splash as he's laughing); he laughs when I take his finger out of his nose, (and he places it right back where it was); he laughs after I pick up his food he throws on the floor (and continues to throw more); he laughs when I tell him not to walk into the street (as he turns to go right back into it). As a matter a fact, he seems to laugh whenever I tell him no, then continues with behavior, giggling the entire time

Oh, and for a soccer update....my plan last week worked, as Cameron scored 3 goals!!!!! Unfortunately, the other parents on our team must not have drilled their kids throughout the week, as those 3 goals were the only ones his team (consisting of 2 other boys) scored. The other team, however, scored at least a dozen. But considering the fact that one of Cameron's teammates literally spent more time looking for butterflies than seeking out the soccer ball, it's a wonder the other team didn't score more. Too bad I can't enlist him in my soccer boot camp.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

New clothes

Today I spent a ton of money at Motherhood.....mostly for summer-type clothes I'm only going to wear for a month. And although I have clothes from last year that would work just fine, I just HAD to buy more. After all, I come home from a somewhat difficult day at the arboretum with my two lovlies (the oldest one decided to have an almost hour-long meltdown), and my husband is actually home, wearing a NEW shirt.

"Oh, when did you go shopping?" I ask him.
He replied quite nonchalantly, "I stopped on my way home from work."
"UmmHmm," I respond, seething inside...I never get to stop anywhere on my way home from work.

I had been thinking for over a week that my regular pants were impossible to squeeze into, my maternity pants from last year kept falling down, thus I had worn the same pants for the past 3 days. I NEEDED to go shopping for a couple pairs of pants, but it's IMPOSSIBLE to shop with the boys...especially Max. So a simple comment like, "Oh, I stopped at the store on the way home from work" had my blood boiling.

So I did what any woman would do who needed to regain her sanity. Even though he was oncall, I told my husband I had to go shopping. He tried to fight it, but knew if I stuck around, I would just be miserable and find something to argue or cry about (it had been an exhausting week already with the kids). "Just make sure you have your cell phone on," he relented.

Later, as I was trying on these ridiculous maternity pants that are supposed to go BELOW your belly (and thus, I must pull them up every 5 seconds so they don't go BELOW my ass), my husband called, telling me to take my time...take some time to myself....get my hair done....get a manicure, etc. (of course he doesn't quite get the concept of making an APPOINTMENT, and therefore his last requests were obsolete). But I did take my time, and spent almost $300 on maternity clothes that I won't be wearing after this year. At least I'll have some nice ones to pass along.

And I was in a MUCH better mood when I returned home. Nothing like a little shopping spree alone to alter ones mood for the better.

Here's a picture of the boys today....before all the crying began.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Domestically Challenged

Just a few pictures to show off my marvelous decorating skills!!!! My husband keeps asking me when I'm going to decorate, as if it's supposed to be some innate womanly talent. Painting, I can do. Purchase furniture, I can do. But fill up the space with all those wonderful knick-knacky type things, I have no clue! Guess I won't be trying out for any Martha Stewart Apprentice show anytime soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Soccer Mom

Cameron had his first soccer game this weekend. He's #1, in the grey shorts in the pictures above. Because there weren't enough coaches, he ended up on the kindergarten team instead of the preschool team. So he's with some kids who are almost 2 years older than him. But he hustled and played hard.

Comic relief came when halftime was ending. Cameron came over to us for some water, and when the whistle blew for him to return, my husband did that "sports-male-bonding-thing" that I just don't get, hitting my son on the bottom as he ran toward the field. Cameron immediately stopped, turned around and said quite adamantly, "Hey, quit hitting my butt! Do you want me to hit your butt?" Then he trotted to his spot on the field, recounting to his teammate what his father had just done to him.

They don't "keep score" but of course we parents did. Cameron's team won by one goal (not sure the total score), but all of their goals were scored by teammate Connor. He was their offensive and defensive star.

The competitive nature in me was taking mental notes during the game, and my plan is to teach Cameron how to be more like Connor...yikes. This morning I showed him some video footage of Connor breaking away and almost scoring a goal. Maybe tomorrow we'll get out into the backyard and practice.....do some running drills, get him faster. Am I pathetic or what?

I know I shouldn't complain, but their coach is pretty lame. She's nice and all, but doesn't quite have what it takes yet to command attention from a group of kids. She didn't even meet with them after the game to debrief! The other coach had all his kids seated, and he was talking to them about good sportsmanship, etc. My husband made Cameron sit down with that team to listen to their coach! Our coach was only concerned about handing out order forms for optional sweatshirts (which are 46 BUCKS!!!!!).

I'm going to try to be nice and just be happy my son got on a team. Besides, I don't have time to complain, I have make my plan for soccer bootcamp tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Tornado Alley

Today it seemed like my house was hit by a tornado over and over again. Of course, it wasn't a real tornado, just Max. As I was trying to clean up the breakfast dishes, he found my pile of newspapers and decided to "read" them all, tossing them around when he was finished. Then when I was collecting laundry, he managed to take my accumulating pile and toss each piece down the basement stairs. Then when I was cleaning up all the lunch he threw all over the floor (a common mealtime occurence), he went into a drawer and took out all the plastic bowls and cups I stored there. When Cameron and I tried to play a "catching fish" game, Max took all our fish and tossed them to the floor, and then managed to grab the pile of photos I just had developed and flung them amongst all the fish. I finally decided to get him out of the house for a walk. When I was upstairs changing, he managed to pull all the clothes out of the suitcase (which I hadn't unpacked from last weekend), and then proceeded to pull all clothes out of my bottom drawer.

During our walk, my husband came home to this tornado torn house (although I had cleaned up much of it, along with the toys spread all over, I just couldn't get it all....and I just wanted to get out of the house before any more disasters occurred.) I'm sure as he glanced around our house he figured that I must have sat on the couch all day watching soaps and eating bon-bons while Max wreaked havoc on our home.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Why white people go to the beach

Conversation between my 4 year old son and myself this morning.

"Mom, do you know what I want for breakfast?" Cameron asked grinning, as if it was some secret that every morning this week he would ask me for the same thing.

"I know what you want....waffles," I responded playing along with his game.

"Hey!" he responded quite surprised. "How did you know that? Because you know everything, like daddy?"

"No, I don't know everything, and neither does your daddy."

"Yes he does, because he's dark,"Cameron responded quite matter-of-factly.

"What?" I ask, thinking I heard him wrong.

"If you're dark, you know everything."

"What are you talking about?" I continued, still not quite believeing what he said.

"You know, like if your skin is dark, like daddy's, you know everything."

"Oh, really? And who told you that?" I inquired, knowing the answer.

"Daddy," he responded with a grin.

(When confronted with this, my husband absolutely denies it. Claims he has told that he knows everything, but not because his skin is dark).

If Cameron's logic rings true, I better make my way to the tanning bed!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I have to admit, despite being a Reading/Writing teacher, I'm also a TV buff (and reality TV at that). The summer has been pretty lame when it comes to nighttime entertainment on the tube. But if you haven't checked in yet, you MUST watch Rockstar INXS. The talent is amazing! They're down to the final 8, so they're all great, and the judges aren't rude and crass like on that other musical show (which I refuse to watch).

My favorite is JORDIS, who happens to be from St. Paul. You must listen to her version of Knocking on Heaven's Door at http://rockstar.msn.com/videos. INXS assigned the contestants songs this time.

You also MUST check out Marty's rendition of Brittney Spears "Hit Me Baby One More Time." Quite sinister!

The performance show is on Tuesday nights at 9:00 CENTRAL time and the results show is on Wednesday at 8:00 CENTRAL.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Wedding Bliss

Been out of town again.....New Jersey again. When you live far far away from all relatives, you get used to flying a lot. Even though it's no piece of cake with the kiddies, we make do, and they did fairly well on the plane. Cameron likes to look through the SkyMall catalog and point out everything that he wants. "Will you buy me this, mommy?" he asks as he points to some motorized contraption that will help you swim underwater. "No," I reply. "Why not?" "Because you don't need it." "But I want it!" At least he knows the difference between a want and a need.

We went to one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever attended. The bride, my cousin, is so sweet and seemed to giggle through the entire ceremony. It was fun watching her up there in the spotlight. She looked so happy. Here she is with her dad, walking down the aisle.

The bridesmaids dresses were gorgeous....as my cousin Kristin is demonstrating here.

And amongst all the class of the affair, there were definitely moments of more "crass" making it all the more fun......like when the best man's toast described an ancient marriage tradition of getting a "little head" and the bride entering the reception hall backwards, shaking her booty to the song, "Baby Got Back!" Lots of laughs!!!!!

Overall, it was a fun affair. And I'm sure Jill and Jamie are enjoying their time in Antigua right now. Once they get back, it will be all work, as they both will return to the elementary school where they first met. I just love teacher love stories.

Oh, one more picture.....one of myself, my niece and my sister.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Stood Up

My son was stood up yesterday. The first time. Last week I had written about the boy from sports camp whom I invited to our house for lunch. Met with the mom, exchanged numbers, set up a date and time (all things I dreaded since I had never met the mom before). Cameron woke up in the morning all excited for Graham to come over. He even made him something (not sure what it is....see picture), to give to him when he came. And I even did some domestic work...vacuumed, windexed Max's prints off the patio windows, made a tomato mozzarella salad and a complicated dessert. We sat outside to make sure they wouldn't miss our house. We waited....and waited...and waited. No one ever showed up, not even a phone call. After 30 minutes of waiting, I called the mom, only to receive an answering message. I left a kindly message, asking maybe if they forgot, and would they like to reschedule, etc. But it's now the next day, and I still haven't received a phone call. The saddest part is that Cameron keeps asking me if today Graham will come over. I tried to make it up to him by going to a park yesterday, and to Edina's Edinborough Park with some neighbor boys today. But he still asks when Graham is coming. I called once and left a message. The balls in their court now, right? I do know where they live, and I practically drive by their house everyday...should we drive by and stalk them? Or would that seem too desperate for friends?

On a totally different note, Max is oblivious to it all. As you can tell by the picture, the Papa John's Pizza we had for dinner tonight didn't seem to be enough for him. He wanted the sock for dessert!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my brother, Scott. I THINK he's 29 today. Apparently I can't call him until 9PM so as to not use his cell minutes. He lives in Indianapolis. Maybe I see him once a year. He's really into biking, and is the only full-time bike messenger in the city. He's also a Vegan and works at an Anarchy book store called Paper Matches. Amazing how 2 people who grew up in the same household can lead very different lives. But we get along, and I live him! The pictures above are when he was a youngen and really into Bon Jovi and a recent one I found online.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Marching Out

Today I drove an hour to St. Francis to pick up 2 friends of Cameron's from his former preschool. I used to teach with their mom, and they've spent the night a couple times before. They're good kids...but boys will be boys.

I had this great idea to take them to go see March of the Penguins. It got such great reviews (although I must admit that I didn't actually read the reviews, just saw the star rating), so I figured it would be a great afternoon outing that would kill a couple hours and allow me to eat movie theatre popcorn in the process. Silly me.

I knew the movie was a documentary, but I figured it would be some cutesy kind....where they follow some penguin, give him a cute name and showing him doing all sorts of funny stunts, entertaining for a few preschoolers. WRONG!!!! Instead of watching March of the Penguins, I watched Max (who finally started walking a few days ago) waddle around the theatre (which was pretty full with mostly adults), Cameron drop his M&M's all over the floor then proceed to pick them up and eat them, Walker continually kick the seat in front of him, and Preston bob up and down in his chair, with all of them continually leaving their seat to come tell me something the other was doing. I had to leave for a few minutes to change Max's diaper (I was pissed because there was NO changing table in the bathroom, which I personally think is a crime), and when I returned to the theatre, as soon as I walked in the door, I heard my boys talking quite loudly (and they were all the way in the front). Needless to say, we didn't last, and I quickly had 4 of my own "penguins" marching out the door.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

New Skill

Jealous that my blogger friends were able to post updated pictures of fun things they were doing, I FINALLY sat down and figured out how to use the digital camera my mom bought me 2 years ago. Here's my attempt at posting a picture of Cameron taken tonight in his room...note the "Pickle Green" background.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Kid Update and other

Last night a babysitter actually came over, and my husband and I went to the movies (and he only got called out once!). We went to see Must Love Dogs, and eventhough I told my husband otherwise, I must admit that it was pretty lame. It got better by the end, but there was just something odd about the whole movie. It got mixed reviews, so I figured it might be good. My husband said I'm not allowed to pick the next movie.

When we came home, the kids were already in bed (yeah!), so we decided to watch one of our Netflix movies while putting together porch furniture (well, my husband put it together, I just held a piece of wood everynow and then). We saw Guess Who, with Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher. And despite horrible reviews, my husband and I LOVED it. We were cracking up through the whole movie!!!! Not sure if it's because we're an interracial couple and can relate, but it was hilarious and I highly recommend it!

But now to the real point of my blog....my kid update.

Had an ultrasound yesterday....21 weeks. They still say it's a girl!!!! All is normal. Above is a picture. I find ultrasound pics to be somewhat creepy, especially the angle of this one. The head is to the left, and the baby is looking directly at you. See if you can figure it out.

Max had his 1 year check-up today. I love holding my child down while they force needles into his legs. Cameron somehow found it funny. He doesn't quite know that his time for shots is coming in a couple weeks. Not sure he'll be laughing then. Anyhow, Max's stats...height, 30 inches (50th percentile) , Weight 22 1/2 pounds (50th percentile), Head 48 (90th percentile). He has a big head already...like his dad!

Cameron is just finishing up his week long mini-sports camp, where he played soccer, t-ball, and basketball. He'll actually be on a soccer team this fall. Yikes, I will literally be a soccer mom now.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

2 more

Here are 2 more pics to choose from.


Max had portraits done the other day. Now I must decide which ones to get. I must say, it's a tough decision, as he's just so darn cute (his saving grace at times!). So help me out. I'll post a bunch, and you let me know which ones I should get!!!!

Making Friends

My four year old son is in this mini-sports camp this week. At first he was apprehensive when we pulled up to the park.

"But where's my preschool?" he asked.
"I told you, this is not at your school, but here in Woodbury."
"But where are all my friends?" he whimpered.
Feeling a little bad, but not about to abandon this camp that I paid over $80 for I cheerily said, "You'll make new friends!"

After a little hesitation, he sat down with the other kids and listened as the coaches explained what they'd be doing this week.

Yesterday, at the end of the 2nd day of camp, my son apparently took my advice seriously and decided to make some new friends.

"Mom, can we have Dominic come to our house to play?"
"Um, sure, we'll see," I replied.

So here's my dilema. How do I do this? I guess I'll have to invite the mom and boy over sometime for lunch or something. (I REFUSE to use the word "playdate." Something about it completely irritates me). I'm quite apprehensive. I'm NOT great at small talk, and I've found through the years that I have to have more in common with someone than just being a stay at home mom to make a connection. I've been to too many "mom things" where I just didn't feel right. All that middle school angst setting back in. (Now if the mom was a teacher, I could talk to her for hours!).

I didn't really think that when I told my son he'd have to make new friends, I'd have to make them too!!!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Yesterday I finally received my Harry Potter CDs. Yes, I know I'm a little behind, and most of the young world has already completed the novel, but I had to wait. When the book came out, I was at my parents in New Jersey, and my husband, who was back here in Minnesota, insisted that I wait until I got back home so we could "read" it together! This is one of the few things we actually have in common...the coveted Harry Potter.

Our love for HP began several years ago when he was in residency and doing a month long fellowship in Houston (we lived in NJ at the time). To save money, we drove out to Houston together, while I flew back and at the end of the month, I few back out and we drove back to NJ together. During that drive back, I started to tell him all about the first HP, and he insisted I read it to him while he was at the wheel. This was great, a real bonding moment. Except when he was driving, I was supposed to be SLEEPING! I'd get to the end of a chapter and he'd insist that I read more. So for our next road trip, we bought the tapes. LOVE THEM!!!! The reader is absolutely amazing!!!! We've been hooked on the audio version ever since.

We have no road trips planned, but we're still going to somehow listen together. We attempted it last night...but I was exhausted and he had had NO sleep the night before when he was on call, so we didn't manage to get through the first chapter. But we'll try again tonight. Thursday is our "date night" this week. Maybe we'll just drive around the cities listening to HP. Sounds good to me!

Monday, August 01, 2005


As evidence to how undomestic I truly am, let me recount what happened to me yesterday. By some miracle, eventhough my husband was on call, he agreed to watch the kids at home while I went grocery shopping (actually, he and Max slept while Cameron watched TV the whole time).

So I was somewhat free (barring any deliveries or other medical emergencies), to peacefully browse through the aisles to carefully choose our food for the week. Usually it's a huge rush as I try to carry Max (who refuses to sit in the cart), and push the heavy load of groceries. (Don't even get me started on what check-out is like, as I attempt to bag my own groceries with Max in my arms). In the store for about an hour, a little voice inside my head was nagging at me to check my purse. I finally stopped and dug through my little green bag only to discover that I had left my wallet in my backpack (diaperbag) at home. I had no way to pay for all those groceries. So I did what I had to do. I found a little nook, pulled my cart into it, and bolted out the door. I sped all the way home, going through several yellow lights, dashing through my front door 15 minutes from the time I left the store. I told no one I was home (Cameron was too mesmerized by the TV to notice I had even walked in), grabbed my wallet, and darted back out to my minivan. The whole ride back I was praying that no one had touched my cart. Luckily, as I dashed back into the store 30 minutes later, I found my full cart, right where I had left it, with the frozen items already defrosting. What a relief.

My neighbor keeps telling me I need to do Simon Delivers. I think I just might try it.