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.

Friday, December 30, 2005

No rest for the weary.

I wonder how sleep deprived one must be before he/she snaps? I think I'm testing that limit, with no end in sight.

Last night was the worst yet. Between 11:00 and 2:30, Max was up at least 4 times. He has a really bad cold and is getting over an ear infection (he needs tubes, but that's another post), and lately he just hasn't been sleeping well. Last night, despite tries to get him to sleep next to us in our bed, or on his little fold-out couch next to our bed, Max just wouldn't calm down. I ended up sleeping with him on the couch in our family room for a few hours...until about 3:30, when Cameron pranced down the stairs to wake me up to tell me that he had gum stuck in his hair (and it was smeared all over his face).

"WHAT?!?" I whispered loudly, as Max was snoozing on my chest.
"I have gum stuck in my hair," Cameron whined.
"How did that happen?" I asked.
"I don't know," he whimpered.

I put Max to bed while Cameron waited for me in the kitchen.

"Now why were you chewing gum in bed?" I demanded to know.
"Because I was hungry," Cameron replied.
And before I could get really mad at him, he added the sweetest, gentlest most sincere, "Soooorrrryyyy."

Luckily I actually knew where some scissors were and I cut the gum out of his hair, scrubbed it off his face (not an easy task), and took the gum infested sheets and pillowcase off his bed.

Just as I was finishing with him and ambling back to my room with my eyes barely open, Ella started crying. And so began her "up and down" routine for the rest of the morning.

Somehow I managed to make it through Cameron's "playdate" this morning. (A mom and 3 of her kids came over). Right now the two youngest are snoozing, so I'm going to try to do the same. Good night....or good afternoon.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

cute couture

Blogging is harder now. Mainly because I seem to be holding or nursing Ella all the time, which means I only have one hand to type. And I don' t have the patience to type that way.

Anyhow, I bought my first of probably many frivolous outfits for my little girl. When I used to shop for clothes for the boys I always said to myself that it was a good thing I didn't have a girl, because I'd go crazy in Gymboree buying such cute clothes and accessories. Well, now I have my little girl.

The other day I saw this lady in Kowalski's (a fancy schmancy grocery store around here..complete with an Aveda store and Salon in the middle of the building), who was holding a baby wearing the cutest outfit...a pink sweater with footed pants that had pink and orange stripes with a matching stocking cap. So darling, that I actually asked her where she bought it (and I rarely talk to strangers). Baby Gap she told me.

So a couple days later when I was taking my niece to the mall to get her iPod fixed
(another story in itself), we were standing in line for a Caribou coffee, and I looked around the premises and what did I see? A Baby Gap of course! I gave Chelsea my coffee order and money and made a beeline to the store. Since I didn't have my older monsters with me, I figured this would be one of my few chances to shop. And right in the back was the pink and orange striped outfit...and it was on sale!!!!! The entire purchase was almost 40 dollars...more than I'd normally spend on baby clothes...but I just had to do it!

Then yesterday when I was taking my niece to the airport, I was without my older monsters again, so I decided to take a few moments to myself and browse through the stores I never normally get to go into. I came across this story called Fly Baby that had the cutest clothes I had ever seen. My buying impulses perked up as I thought about how darling Ella would look in the fuzzy fuschia sweater and black velvet pants. As I walked in the store, sales people swarmed me, noticing I had a baby (who happened to be wearing the Gap outfit mentioned above). The must of seen the gleam in my eyes as I looked through the clothes, because they seemed ready to collect their commission.

Now I'm a little Ga-ga over girls clothes....but I'm not ridiculously stupid and over the top. Taking one look at the price tags on the most adorable clothes I'd ever seen, and suddenly they didn't seem so cute anymore. There was no way I was going to pay $98 for a baby outfit...something she'd wear for a few months. NO WAY!!!

I know I haven't gotten much sleep lately, and my judgement may be somewhat impaired, but I haven't completely lost all of my senses.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Jennifer Aniston and I can sulk together

One of the worst parts about being pregnant (for me anyhow) is the weight gain. And that's the worst part about not being pregnant anymore...losing the weight. However, I was pretty fortunate this time, in that I didn't gain too much weight. Which means that I have a lot less to lose. As a matter of fact, a mere 2 1/2 weeks after delivering Ella, today, I was able to squeeze into a pair of pants that I purchased 2 months after my pregnancy with Max.

So I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Until I see the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith, where I get to stare at Angelina Jolie for 2 hours. That's enough to shoot my hightened self-esteem back to square one.....or maybe even further than that. Damn she's perfect.

Friday, December 23, 2005

sleepy eyes

I wonder if one can be allergic to a lack of sleep. My eyes have been very itchy lately. Well, actually, it's my eye lids. Right along the edge of them, top and bottom, they seem to be red and all day long I find myself rubbing and scratching them. One has to be very careful when scratching the edges of your eyelids...one false move and you can scratch your eyeball instead.

My husband says I'm having an allergic reaction to something. But I haven't changed my soap or make up or anything like that. So I think my lack of sleep is causing these itchy eyes. My husband says to take Benedryl...like I need something to make me drowsy!!!!

I keep thinking that each night, maybe it will get better. Maybe I'll get a little more sleep than the previous night. But it seems the opposite. Last night, starting at about 2 AM, I was up with ALL the kids at different times. Once with a screaming 1 1/2 year old who is having ear trouble. Twice with a 4 year old who can't seem to control his bladder at night. And a handful of times with my 2 week old who would rather sleep in mommy's arms than in her crib.

At about 6:30, I decided a stretch of sleep just wasn't going to happen.

Time to start the coffee.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The weight of 3

A few people have told me that going from 1 kid to 2 kids is hard, but going from 2 to 3 is easy.

Well, they lied!!!! Or maybe it's because my #2 and #3 child are only 17 months apart. Or maybe because they don't have a #2 child like my #2 child.

Anyone who who has been around my family knows that Max is a handful. Cameron was, too, at his age, but eventually he stopped destroying everything, crying about everything, putting everything in the toilet, and he turned out to be a pretty smart kid. This horrible phase lasted from about 1 to about 2 1/2.

Max is now just starting this phase. Mornings are especially hard. Luckily, Cameron can hold his own. But as I'm trying to nurse Ella, Max is standing in his highchair, throwing his bowl of cereal, or pulling off each arm of his coat, just as I put it on, or insisting that I hold him when I need to get Ella into her carseat, or dumping out his box of legos that I just cleaned up, or pulling out the puzzles and emptying them all over the family room, or throwing (and breaking) the Christmas ornaments that he pulled off the tree. So I figure I have a year of this.

Thank goodness Ella has been a very calm baby...not crying that much, sleeping a lot, being pretty complacent. My first two always wanted to be held, always wanted to be nursed, always wanted my attention.

Max is pretty good with Ella most of the time. He loves to just run over to her, put his head against hers, and then run off and do whatever destructive thing he had in mind. But he just had to have his "Ella-fix" first.

The other day, however, he insisted I hold him, as I was also needing to hold Ella. So I had her in one arm, and Max on the other hip. Cameron, realizing that I had no hands left for him, but still wanting in on the action, got a really big grin on his face. "Hey Mommy! Can I get on your back?"

I just had to laugh, and politely tell him no. But the image still remains, as sometimes the "weight" of all 3 of them can get pretty heavy. . Exhausting and tiring are my little munchkins, but they each have their moments that make it all worth it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Precious Parts

Friday, December 16, 2005

Sleeping Beauty

Last night, Ella slept from 11:30 until 5:00!!! And Max didn't wake up either! Let's hope we all have sweet dreams again tonight.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


A huge thank you to everyone for their well wishes with Ella. She's such a doll. Most of the day she sleeps, but she's just starting to wake up a little more.

I would post some pictures, however, when I went to see how many more pictures I had left, I noticed that for the past week, I've been taking pictures with NO FILM!!!

Can you tell how much sleep I've been getting?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Our little princess

Ella Helene Ashford
Born December 6th, 2005
9:26 PM
7 lbs. 11 oz.
20 in.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I know some of you are looking at this blog just to see pictures of Ella, but here's the problem. I can't find my digital camera. What a time to lose it!!! I really hope it hasn't found the fate of Max's trashcan hands.

But here are some kid updates:

Ella is a little jaundiced. Took her to the pediatrician today, and when taking blood for her bilirubin, she slept through the whole ordeal! Have to keep her in sunlight and bring her back on Monday. I knew there was a reason I didn't purchase drapes for our big family room windows yet.

Max is starting to try to say some words. He doesn't say Mama and Dada yet, but he does say a pretty clear version of "Spongebob!" Guess we know where we stand!

While in the hospital, Cameron came up to me smiling and said, "Mommy, are you having another baby?" "No, Cameron, what makes you say that?" "Well, you still have a big belly, so I thought you were going to have another baby." Thanks Cam, I really needed to hear that!!!!

I have film to take to the hour photo store tomorrow. So check back for pictures. Thanks for everyone who has sent well wishes!!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Birthing Fairytale

Once Upon a Time on Dec. 5th, there was a woman who was 38 weeks pregnant. She had just turned in her last assignment for her grad class, her kids were in bed, her husband was moonlighting at a hospital, and she was settling down for a much needed nights’ rest. However, at 1 AM, she woke up feeling very sick. From that time until 6 AM, she was wide awake with very unpleasant diarrhea and vomiting. (not a good start to the fairy tale).

In the morning on Dec. 6th, when her kids finally woke up and her husband arrived home, sensing her exhaustion, her “knight in shining armor” kindly cancelled his morning patients so she could get some rest. A few hours later, needing some milk for the little ones, she ventured out, feeling weak, but needing some fresh air. While at the local grocery store, she was feeling lower abdominal pains. After arriving home, she expressed her concern to her husband, who told her that the baby had probably moved down, and they might be contractions.

Around one o’clock, she was on her own, trying to keep two very restless children upstairs, while painters were in the main part of the “castle” fixing previous mistakes. While trying to keep her kids in front of the electronic babysitter (the older one was content, the younger one walked through every room emptying several drawers), she continued to ignore the pain.

However, at about 3:00, the pain seemed more regular…about every 5 minutes or so. She called her husband, who told her to wait around for awhile; they could just be Braxton-Hicks contractions. A friend was taking her oldest child to an indoor park, so she waited around for her before deciding to go anywhere. At about 4:00, again, she called her husband, and told him that she was going to the hospital. He still had patients to see and said he’d meet her there.

So between contractions, which were getting stronger, she packed up some things quickly, tried to feed something to her littlest one, and off to the hospital they went. Along the way she talked to her “official” OB-GYN, and asked her to make sure the anesthesiologist was at the hospital, because she was going to need that epidural, now feeling strong contractions every 3 minutes. At this time, it was almost 5:00.

While in her hospital room, she was attached to a bunch of equipment, while her little son ran wild in the room. Her understanding nurse turned all the cabinets around on wheels to prevent him from taking everything out of the drawers. After taking all she could and discovering her husband would not be there for over an hour, she offered her little one to the nurses, who took the munchkin around the hospital, feeding him and keeping him entertained.

After a couple hours, the pain doctor finally came and injected needles into her back. The experience was not pleasant, but considering the alternative, it was bearable. The thought of going all night with those contractions would have ruined this fairytale. With the pain gone, her husband arrived, and corralled the littlest one. But our mom was only about 3 centimeters dilated. The next lovely nurse finally broke her water around 8:15. Because he came directly from work, her husband decided to go home and get the video camera, even though he was warned by his wife that during her last delivery, once her water was broken, things went fast.

As usual, the wife was correct, and while her husband was at home (about 25 minutes away), her nurse told her that she was complete. She called her husband, who told her not to push until he got there. Her official OB-GYN then arrived, ready for the action.

Finally after her husband came back, settled the sleeping little one, and figured out the video camera and tape, our main character starting pushing. But she just had to push just one round and did nothing else. The uterus did the rest, sliding out the little princess at 9:26 PM. Ella Helene Ashford joined this story weighing 7lbs. 11oz., 20 inches long, sporting a hefty head of black hair. With no tearing or stitches this time, Mom felt incredibly well.

And so Melvin, Cari, Cameron, Max and Ella Ashford lived happily ever after……..

(Pictures will be posted later).

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

IT's time again???

It's almost 4:oo on Tuesday. I think I'm having real contractions this time. I'm off to the hospital. Will keep you posted!!!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Mother of the year award

Max was sick last night. At about 3 AM, I hear him screaming. I let him scream for a while, hoping he'd drift back to sleep, but the scream became more high-pitched. When I finally decided to get him, I found vomit all over his bed. Nice big chunks!

Then he proceeded to vomit 7 more times between 3 and 6AM. Luckily, he gave me a little indication by tossing his pacifier out of his mouth just before spewing! I managed at least to get him onto the hardwood, and even into the bathroom a couple times.

Cameron also woke up in the morning, early. After I tried to send him back to bed a couple times, he started to tell me that his stomach hurt. Trying to deal with Max's vomit, I told him to tell his Daddy, who told him that he'd feel better. Gaining no attention from either of us, he continued to tell me that his stomach hurt, and brought up some tears...requesting to watch TV. I finally allowed him to turn on the tube, but also scolded him for making up stories about his stomach hurting.

At around 7 AM, Melvin woke up and took over so that I could get some sleep. About 15 minutes into my slumber, I was awokened by his screaming for my help.

Cameron had vomited his berry juice all over our cream carpet.

Guess he wanted us to know that he was NOT making up stories for attention. Later I took his temperature, which read over 100 degrees.

Yet another vote for the Mother of the Year Award!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Let it snow....outside.

This is what happens when you give your kids a box of styrofoam packing "snow" to play with in the familyroom while you attempt to clean up the kitchen. Soon they both discover that the "s" shapes can be broken down into smaller pieces, which proceed to stick to everything and tracks all over the house. Took almost an hour to clean this up, and I'm still finding "snow" around the house.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Things not to say

Attention Husbands!!!!

When looking at pictures from about 8 years ago, there are certain things that you just shouldn't say to your wife....especially one that is 9 months pregnant and not feeling all that great about herself in this state.

1. "Wow! Look how skinny you were!"

2. "I mean, you just look really different."

3. "Look at me, I haven't changed at all. I don't look any older."

And apologizing after the tears start rolling and insisting that you meant that she looks better now, does nothing to undo the damage that was already done. Because in actuality, she was probably thinking the same thing, and your voicing it aloud just made her thoughts a reality.