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, November 30, 2005

Sensing a loss

I think Max senses that his time of being "the baby" is almost up, for he has been VERY clingly lately...day and night.

When we go out to eat, after putzing around with his food in his high chair for a few minutes, he stands up and insists on sitting on my lap. Since I my big belly blocks most of my lap, and we usually sit in booths where my belly button practically kisses the table, having Max sit square on my lap is most uncomfortable, if not almost impossible. But he persists.

Last night he was up THREE times!!!!! Unfortunately, he has no intention of laying down in bed with us. But he will snuggle with me on the couch. So with bottle in one hand, pacifier in the other, he somehow uses my stomach as a pillow to go back to sleep. But this takes some time for him to find a comfortable spot. And at 1:30, 3:00 and 5:00 in the morning, I fail to experience the comfort of bonding with my "baby."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Mommy's little helper

Cameron can be quite the "little mom" sometimes. Most of the time this has been a blessing. We worried about how he would react to having a new brother, but he was overwhelmingly excited about it. And except for this weekend when he was crabby, and Max accidently scratched him and Cameron responded with a couple punches to Max's stomach, he's usually quite caring and giving and an altogether great big brother.

Today when we picked Max up from his "classroom," there was a little stuffed lamb glitter-type "craft" in his cubby.
"Look at what Max made, Mommy!" Cameron exclaimed. "I didn't know he could do projects."
"Yes, Cameron, his teachers help him do some art now," I responded knowing that Max probably did nothing but watch his teacher make the lamb.
"And look, I think he was trying to make his name with the glitter. This looks like an M!" Cameron continued with great excitement.
"Oh, do you think so?"
"Yeah! I'm so proud of him!"

When we arrived home, after helping Max get out of his carseat, Cameron and Max went upstairs to put his new craft in his room. I was busy bringing groceries in from the car. When I was done, Cameron insisted I follow him.

Up the stairs I went to where he was leading me. On one wall, my husband has carefully placed blue tape on top of every "nail-pop" that the builder needs to come fix. Some are quite low, and I figured they'd never last a couple hours, but Max has seemed to ignore them for the past week...until today.

"Mommy. Max was looking at this tape, and I didn't want him to play with it, so I took all the tape that was low and made it higher so he couldn't reach." Almost all of my husband's taping was altered so that the nailpops were no longer marked.

What a little helper I have!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thankful for my boys

After dinner, there wasn't much to do around here. I think this was the first Thanksgiving I haven't been around a lot of family...whether in NJ or Detroit. But it was nice to just relax and spend time with the boys and my husband. After our "turkey naps," we hung out, ate popcorn and watched Madagascar. Max spent most of the movie trying to steal Cameron's popcorn. Being the wonderful big brother, Cameron willingly gave it up.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A day to be thankful.

I'm pretty good at noting how monstrous my kids can be, but I have to say, I do not exaggerate.

However, today, I must confess, was a good day.

While the kids were in school, I had my hair cut and highlighted (now I'm ready to deliver). I had a conference with Cameron's teacher who proceeded to tell me how helpful he is and how he listens so well at school (glad he does this somewhere). Plus, I only had to get up 3 times during the conference to stop Max from destroying items hanging on the wall. When we arrived home, Cameron couldn't wait to sit down with me so I could read him his new books from the "book order," and Max just played nicely with his toys.

Melvin was home in the afternoon, and actually did not get called in to the hospital until nighttime. He got to spend time with Cameron while Max and I took a nap.

I actually felt so energized, I decided that instead of the 4 of us going to a restaurant tomorrow, I'd actually try to throw together some semblance of a meal...so off to the grocery store I went (kid free) and had a relaxing shopping trip amongst all the congested aisles.

Even tonight, after we made it through dinner, Max and Cameron played nicely together in their playroom, while I cleaned up. Then later, Cameron and I colored, while Max attempted to do the same, and only tried to eat the crayons twice.

So tonight, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I have to say Thank you Lord for today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Just another day

No consistent contractions today.....no baby on the way, yet....I heard the "I told you so" from my husband....sigh.

But the excitement of my day:

I had an appt with my OB/GYN at 6:30 this evening. I had to drag out both boys, who were incredibly tired from a long day of playing. Of course they both fall alseep on the way there. I finally managed to wake my 4 year old up, and as he stands, he starts crying. "I'm all wet, Mommy!" The boy fell asleep and wet his pants!

Of course I don't have a change of clothes for him. So I'm carrying Max, who's trying to wiggle out of my arms, while also pulling along a screaming 4 year old, with pee covering the entire back of his pants, down to his ankles! All this in cold weather!

Thank God I know the nurses at the doctors, and one of them helped me find a pediatrics nightgown for Cameron. And don't you know, this little boy had the nerve to say to me, "I don't want to wear that mommy. I look silly. I don't like to wear things that make me look silly." My response wasn't too pleasant, as I tried to knot the ties so his butt wouldn't show, while also attempting to keep Max out of the toilet.

To think that in a matter of weeks (or days), I'll have another one in the mix.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Is It time?

Monday Night 11:18 PM.

I'm having steadier contractions now. Every 5 minutes or so...but nothing painful.

I told my husband, who doesn't seem at all concerned. As a matter of fact, he's upstairs in bed snoring right now.

We'll see. I certainly don't want to hear the "I told you so" from him if the hospital tells me I'm in false labor.

But Lord help him....if I go too long and they say I can't have an epidural...I'm not sure what I'll do to him...but it won't be pretty!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday Morning: 7 AM.

Okay...so as usual...my husband was right. My contractions became less regular and less intense. I was up constantly all night worrying about it. (And Max was up at 3 and 4 "worrying" also).

Some of you might be thinking that this is my 3rd child, and I should know by now. But my other births were induced. With Cameron my water broke a week early, I went to the hospital, I didn't progress, so they gave me an epidural, THEN pitosin (I'm sure the spelling is wrong). I felt not one single contraction with that delivery. With Max, out of convenience (my doctor was going out of town and my sister was coming into town to help out), I had a scheduled induction. This time I felt contractions, but again, it was with the pitosin.

So I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to feel exactly. I just know that when my sister had my niece, she did not know she was contracting. When she finally got to the hospital, she was too far along for an epidural. I heard her screaming so loud, I left the hospital. I can't take that kind of pain.

I guess I'll just go through my normal day and see what happens. I'm picking up one of Cameron's friends to take the boys to an indoor play place. Then hopefully we can all go home and take a long afternoon nap. At least Max and I will need it.

Unmanageable Mane

My husband was feeling my stomach last night as we were watching Desperate Housewives.
"You're contracting...do you feel that?"
"Yeah, I feel that all the time."
He laughed and said, "Cari, you're not going to make it to the 13th."
That was my original goal...the day after my grad class was over..so I wouldn't miss any..and my grade wouldn't be penalized.

But now, my new goal is to make it past this Wednesday. Why this day? Well, because I have a hair appointment. I need a highlight so bad...my roots are quite pathetic...and my ends are split into total frizz. It would be most upseting if I didn't get my hair done before I deliver. Because once the baby comes, it will probably be another couple months before I'd be able to have someone watch her so I could go to my appointment.

I can't imagine looking at myself in the mirror for another 2 months with hair as bad as mine. It's enough to incite Post-Pardum depression.

And on a different note....Max was up last night at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30. Is he trying to prepare me for my nights with Ella?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

santa suit anyone???

I need more costume help. Yes, I know it's almost December and Haloween is over. However, it's not a Halloween costume I'm in search of, but rather a Christmas one.

This weekend I went to Babies R Us to try to do some baby shopping. However, I had Max with me, so basically I got nothing done. But I did find 2 really cute Santa outfits....one for Ella, and one for Max. They're very cute, would be perfect for a picture, not very practical, but I just had to buy them.

My dilemma is that now Cameron wants a Santa suit, also. I figured this would happen, but they didn't have it in his size. I've never seen a Santa suit past size 2T in the stores.

So if you happen to come across one...Size 5 would be preferable, but 4T would do, please purchase it and let me know..or at least let me know where I can buy it.

You'd make a 4 year old very happy (and his mom).

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sometimes the TV is just cleaner.

Cameron has been watching WAY TOO MUCH TV lately. I'm just so tired, that when I'm napping, I let him do it. And when I'm doing homework, I let him watch it. And in the morning when he wakes up before the rest of us, he's on the floor in our room, eyes glued to the set.

I try to tell myself that it's okay...as long as I throw in a reading lesson from one of his books, or we do some math pages from one of his workbooks. But in reality, it's still too much.

So yesterday I turned off the TV, pushed all my work aside, and made both boys go down into their supernice playroom to actually play with their toys. I went upstairs briefly to put on something to eat, when Cameron came bounding up the stairs.

"Mom, you've got to come down. I'm going to do a show!"
"What kind of show?" I asked.
"A drum show!"

Cameron doesn't have a drumset, so I was interested to see his creativity in making one. When I entered their playroom, I gasped in disbelief as I viewed 7 bins of toys spread all over the ground.

Each bin was poised upside down in a circle, as Cameron stood in the middle and proceeded to pound on them, starting his "drum show."

When he was done, I put Max down for a nap, we proceeded to clean up the mess, and the plopped in front of the good old TV set.

Friday, November 18, 2005


It has been a hard week. I have some grad work final projects I haven't had time for. The baby is coming, and the only thing I have done is sorting through clothes, discovering that I need a major baby shopping trip. I had to drag both boys through traffic and subzero windchills so that I could go to my weekly Drs appt...where they had to do an internal exam with both crabby boys in the room! Because of work, Melvin has not been home before 8 PM anyday this week to help me with the monsters. And yesterday I discovered that Max has yet another fever...which means he won't go to school today, taking away more of my time to do my grad work...stressing me out even more.

But last night there was a glimpse of peace....as both boys fell asleep on my lap. Not at the same time. Actually, Max was really mad at one point that Cameron was sitting on my lap, and he kept trying to push off his 4 year old brother (future problems with Ella?). I had to somehow make room on my lap for Cam, Max and my big belly! Eventually we made it to the couch, where Max fell asleep on me as we watched Survivor. He's obviously sick, because he NEVER sits and falls asleep on me. Then after I put him to bed, Cameron found his way to my lap, and within 5 minutes I felt his body go limp with slumber.

Melvin is not on call this weekend, so I'm hoping for some time to work, time to shop, and maybe even some time to sleep.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Recognizing my stress, a dear friend from my "Mom's Spiritual Spa" group from church came over and helped me sort through baby clothes.

This is what we discovered. Basically, I can't use anything from Max and Cameron because for one, they're too boyish. However, mostly it's because all the sizes don't coordinate with the seaons for my new baby. Max and Cameron were born in the summer...so their 3-6 month clothes are shorts and T-shirts. Anyone who is in Minnesota right now, experiencing these frigid temps, knows that unless we take a trip to the Caribbean, Ella won't need shorts in the 3-6 months size.

So we were able to keep a bunch of onsies, and some PJs...that's about it.

Carla's recommendation for what I need: PINK.
My summation for what I need: EVERYTHING.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The end is near

One more month to go....we hope. Although part of me just wants to get this baby out, nothing is ready, Max has more growing up to do, and we all just need to be patient. However, Melvin told me that statistically, women who have had at least 2 babies already usually deliver around 38 weeks.

Although everyone keeps telling me how small I look (which is great because I was HUGE with my other 2 pregnancies), I just feel big. I'm not sure how much more this baby is going to grow in 4 weeks, but I don' think I have anymore room.

Right now I'm just plain tired all the time. That's nothing too new for me, except now coffee is not even working, making it very hard for me to do any of my grad work. Tonight I'm resorting to one of my old high school tricks. I'm going to do my reading in the bathtub. It' s harder to fall asleep in water.....but not impossible.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I've fallen....but I got up!!!!

I fell today. Not a big deal. It was blustery cold..only 42 degrees, but the wind was blowing so hard it felt much colder. So Cameron and I were running through the parking lot after church, holding hands, trying to get to the warm car. Somehow our feet got tangled up together and we both went down. I didn't fall on my stomach or anything, just scraped up my leg pretty badly. Cameron was fine, too, except he wasn't too happy that his Veggie Tales coloring page blew away.

This incident reminded me of my last pregnancy when I fell at the bottom of the stairs. Only 3 weeks left until my due date and I broke my foot. Putting on shoes is hard enough when you're 8 months pregnant...so putting on "the boot" to support my broken foot was torture!

I'll certainly continue to count my blessings!!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Somethings are Easier

I often talk about how Max is a little more of a handful than Cameron. Mainly because he doesn't ever sit.....doesn't like to watch any TV...and thinks it's great fun to empty out any cabinet or drawer he can get his hands on.

However, I must admit, somethings are easier. For example, taking medicine. Both boys have had several ear infections as babies. But giving Cameron medicine was the worst (and still often is). We would have to hold him down, force it into his mouth, and only pray that he didn't vomit it back up (which he often did). It got to the point where the doctor would just give him a shot of antibiotic so we knew it was getting in him. Cameron didn't like it, but it suited me just fine. Max on the other hand usually takes his medicine willingly. He even likes to chew on the dropper when I'm done. No problem there.

Yesterday, I took the boys to get their haircut. This would be Max's first time. I was very nervous, first of all, because he would have to sit in a chair...and we know he doesn't like to sit. But secondly I was nervous because it took over 2 years before Cameron was okay about getting his haircut. I would have to hold him, as he kicked and screamed, snotting all over me, trying to grab the scissors away from the hairstylist as she snuck in snips here and there. It was ALWAYS a disaster. I feared the same fate with Max. Luckily, Max didn't react this way. He sat in the chair by himself. Although he whined a little, and I had to hold his hands the entire time, he was quite good.

So I must concede, SOME things are easier.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Max is 16 months old today. Yesterday I got his "report card" from his daycare. He earned all double pluses (behavior observed frequently) and one huge N (behavior not observed). His only deficit.....recognizable words. Max still does not say words...not even Mama or Dada. He can scream, he can point, dance, run, walk up and down stairs, but he hasn' t used a single word yet.

HOWEVER, I was watching TV, and I discovered the solution. Tomorrow, I MUST go out and buy this Leapfrog toy for babies, because according to the mother/child interaction on the commercial, when the baby pushes the "M" button, he'll turn to his mom with a great big smile and say "Mama!"

I wonder if there's a guarantee?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

drool drool everywhere

Max is getting 3 teeth in right now. Can you tell by how much he's putting in his mouth? There's constantly drool running down his chin. Along with the steady stream of boogers draining from his nose, his face is a sopping mess. I almost want to tape some tissues on his face in order to keep up with the liquid mess!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Just keep thinking Dec. 13th

Yesterday I started to feel different. My uterus seemed harder and I kept feeling a lot of little insignificant pains. Not contractions, just silly pains in all different places. Bending over to pick something up was never very comfortable before, but starting yesterday, it seemed almost impossible. This feeling continues today. I find myself doing the pregnancy "waddle" and walking just seems too overwhelming. Melvin said I'm just having Braxton Hicks contractions....pretty normal...no I'm not going into labor...blah...blah...blah.

But I just want to note, that I feel different. Probably a sign from God that I better get things in order. I did manage to buy a bassinet type thing this weekend for our bedroom. But I still haven't purchased a double stroller (can't seem to find one that will fit our carseat from before), I haven't purchased any winter newborn clothes, I haven't organized or made space for any of Ella's things. And quite frankly, I'm not even sure when I'm going to do all this.

I hope it's just a sign, because in reality, we haven't made any plans for if the baby comes early. Our plan now is that my mom is flying out the week the baby is due, and Melvin is taking off work the week after that. Then my sister comes out for a week. But if Ella is early, we have no idea who will watch the kids when I go to the hospital, how I'll finish out my grad class, who'll take care of the boys after I deliver, etc. I'm in that denial mode....like if we don't talk about it, then it won't happen. We're just counting on December 13th or beyond. My grad class will be done, my mom will be here, things will be purchased and organized (I hope).

Let's all say our prayers!!!!!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

At least someone can fit in my swimsuit

Today I left the house for 5 minutes to pull my car into the garage (we have men working in my house, and they were blocking my driveway earlier). Literally, I was gone for FIVE MINUTES.

During that time, Max had proceeded to pull the clothes out of 4 of my dresser drawers, and he and Cameron managed to dress themselves in my clothes.

Five minutes...and disaster struck!!!!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Money Sense

Out of the blue, Cameron told me today that there were 3 ways you could get money.

1. You could go to a restaurant and you can get money there (we had just read a book where someone wanted to get a tip, but the boy had no money. So the girl chased him with a pot...Cameron thought this was hilarious).

2. You can be a doctor and help people, and you can get money that way.

3. Or you can clean someone's house and get money.

I laughed and told him that you can get money doing any kind of job, not just the ones he mentioned.

Immediately he responded by saying, "But my job is to help you change Max's diaper, and I don't get money."

Ooops...maybe not any job...or maybe I should be giving him some money. It's not too fun to hold Max's hands above his head while I attempt to change his stinking diaper as he wriggles all around trying to get free.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Catholic school in New Jersey will suspend students if they keep a personal blog...at school or at home. Says it's protecting them from sexual predators.

I'm almost speechless.

Here's the article

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's my duty

The kids' toys were strewn all over the family room. Dinner and lunch dishes scattered throughout the kitchen. Two loads of laundry waited to be folded, and many more sat in a pile waiting to be loaded into the washer. The receipts I've been collecting for weeks sat in a pile, needing to be entered into Quicken. My journal articles for my class remained unread, and my Bible study on friendships was untouched.

And yet, I ignored all of the above because Commander in Chief was on. And although I don't necessarily feel drawn to the storylines like I do Desperate Housewives or Boston Legal, I feel it is my duty as a woman to watch this show that is centered around a female president. Maybe someday I won't have to watch a dramatization to see her...maybe I'll just have to turn on the 5:00 news. Wouldn't that be great.