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, May 31, 2006

Thank goodness help was on the way

Yesterday was one of those days when I thought to myself, "Why in the hell did I chose to be a Stay At Home Mom?...It's not doing me or my kids any good." Nothing incredible happened...I just literally spent the day picking up after everyone, and the house was still not right when we all went to sleep. My patience was non-existent and the "fun" you're supposed to have with your kids consisted of more angry screams and tantrums than laughs....from both kids and adults.

But today I had a break with our "nanny" Sara here. I caught up on some e-mails, ran 8 miles, created some dinners at Super Suppers and went grocery shopping....alone. I felt more complete, more like a person. I felt more like a good Mom when I hung out with my kids for 4 hours before she came (they woke up at 6 AM), and less like a Maid. I was able to juggle 3 kids at a track meet in the evening without feeling the anger fester over whenever Max would scream No and run away from me because he, too, wanted to run the races on the track.

Today I had a break...and now I can face tomorrow with a bit more energy and happiness than yesterday.

If you can afford the help....put down your pride and get it!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A simple photo

My 3 darlings were hanging out on the couch this morning so I really wanted to get a picture. Except of course, Max didn't want to cooperate.

At first he refused to take out his pacifier and look at the camera.

Then he decided to try to kick Cameron in the face.

And then he tried to feed Ella his foot.

I finally gave up.

But later, he was all smiles for the camera, showing off his makeup artistry with the lipstick that he found.

Monday, May 29, 2006

A "green" thumb?

I'm not much of a gardener. I once had an argument with my husband during which I absolutely insisted that annual flowers meant that they returned every year. Obviously I lost.

When we first moved to Minnesota we purchased a house that had a lot of flower beds. That first summer there were so many perennials making their way out of the ground, I didn't know what to do. They ended up being a tangled mess, and I couldn't tell what were actual flowers and what were weeds. When my friend Lanette came to visit, we ended up pulling up most of what was there, and I started over the next year. Throughout our four years living there, I picked up a few tips here and there....like how to split Day Lillies so that they don't take over an area, whether to cut back old flowers or let them reseed the area, and the importance of following the tabs on new plants....like you shouldn't plant full-sun flowers under large oak trees.

Last year, we moved to a brand new house, where we had our landscape designed from scratch...except for what the company labeled as "perennial beds." Little did I know, that actually meant that the area would be filled with a lot of dirt so that the homeowners could use their own creativity and money to develop a personal flower garden. I managed to purchase a mix of perennials and annuals to fill the space. And it looked nice....last year.

However, now that the nice weather has finally made its way up North here (in the 90s this weekend), my perennials that I planted last year have resurfaced. The problem is, I have no idea what I had planted, nor where they should be growing. So as I clean up the area, I'm stuck playing this guessing game, trying to figure what I'm supposed to pull out and what should remain to grow and flourish.

Although I don't know their names, these I know for sure are flowers that survived the Minnesota winter.

Because there are some equally spaced matching ones and because of their purposeful locations, I'm pretty sure these are flowers, but until I see some colorful petals, I remain doubtful.

This one I was sure was a flower, until I noticed that there were no others like it. But I remain hopeful, and will at least give it a chance to blossom before it meets its ultimate doom.

My husband said it doesn't matter how big this one is, or the fact that it's growing in an appropriate location, this is definitely a weed and needs to go.

Hopefully my garden will progress nicely, and I'll be able to post some more pictures throughout the summer. I say hopefully, because Max finds it quite amusing to walk by my garden and pick whatever is in his line of vision.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A nice meal

Today, Max sat through an entire breakfast at our Sunday brunch place without throwing anything, dumping out his drink or ending up in someone else's lap to sample all of their goodies.

He and Cameron played head butt through out half the meal, but at least they did it from their own seats.

I'm not sure what lesson they learned this week at Children's Church, but I hope they teach it every week.

A small, but significant victory.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Come on baby! Ignore my boogers, take out that pacifier and give me a kiss!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Stage Mom

This picture depicting a child's beauty pageant was in our local paper. I'm not sure what was more disturbing--the picture of the "unhappy" girl or her mother's quote stating, "I enjoy doing this with her; I enjoy doing all the little dress-up and picking out her outfits. If she wins in a category, she not only won, but I won, too. It's like she's my finished product."

Let me make this very clear...my children will NEVER be my finished product...

Nope, I'll be working on them for the rest of my life....and we have quite a bit of work to do.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bad Words

Cameron had a friend over today....a little boy whose mother is British, so he takes on many of her speech habits. It's very cute to hear a little boy sound so proper.

I overheard him and Cameron talking. Not sure what prompted the initial topic, but here's how the conversation progressed:

"Oh yeah, well one time I heard my dad say a really bad word," Cameron whispered. My ears perked up and I thought of a blog I read recently from Savvy Mom, whose son said the F-word at daycare.

"What did he say?" Ben asked with eager anticipation.

Cameron responded very quietly, as if he himself would be in trouble for saying such a word. "I heard him say 'stupid'"

"Oh no!" Ben replied. "Why did he say that?"

"I don't remember, but it was really bad."

And yet on the way home, they tried to out do each other's made-up stories....all of which dealt with someone ending up in the toilet and people not knowing they were in there, and then someone coming along and pooped on them, and then the person kept saying Oh no! Oh no! But the poop plopped right on his head.....etc. etc.

As the boys cracked up at each other's stories, between giggles they would ask me, "Wasn't that funny?"

It took all of my strength to stop myself from telling them that No, their stories weren't funny, they were STUPID!!!!!

I certainly didn't want Ben going home telling his Mom that Cameron's Dad AND Mom say really bad words.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Destruction--in detail

After a week filled with a forgotten mother's day, a funeral, traveling with the kids, and a birthday party with 22 guests, the only thing I wanted to do last night was curl up with a glass of wine and watch the season finale of Desperate Housewives.

I didn't think I was asking for much. And neither did Ella, as she dutifully went to sleep around 7 o'clock. The boys, on the other hand, didn't understand the necessity of my request.

Max now has a toddler bed in Cameron's room...well, now it's "their" room, so that we can move Ella into Max's room, and into a full-size crib. Max, however, didn't see the need to stay in his bed, and Cameron felt it necessary to inform me everytime Max slithered out of his new bed. Most of my TV viewing time involved yelling at the two boys as they congregated at the top of the stairs, then tromping up the stairs myself to help them find their beds again.

At one point during my upstairs trek, I walked by the powder room and noticed an outhouse-like odor. Cameron often forgets to flush the toilet, so I thought that was the issue. But the toilet bowl was clean. I searched around the small closet-like room and peeked into the trashcan. I could not believe what I saw. In there was a puddle of urine! I immediately marched into the boys' room and questioned Cameron. He denied doing it, and I continued to tell him to stop lying to me. Then he tried to tell me that he thought he saw Max doing it, exposing his own guilt even more. Feeling my blood boil and my temper skyrocketing, I went outside where Melvin was working on the lawn and asked him to deal with it, because I really just couldn't.

Cameron's explanation for what he did:
The lying: "I didn't want to get in trouble."
The peeing: "I got confused."
I hope he doesn't continue to have these brain leaks as a five year old.

He quickly went to sleep after that.

My husband suggested that I finish my show in the basement so that Max wouldn't be distracted by the sound of the TV. I made my way downstairs and finished the season finale on the big screen, in peace.....

....Until I returned upstairs, only to find Max sitting at my laptop, picking apart the keyboard...again.

I almost cried I felt so defeated. I was able to fix many of the needed keys....except for the one I use most often....the space bar. Instead of a bar, I now have to search with my thumb for a millimeter wide rubber stub in order to activate the space function. VERY annoying.

Tonight I've been playing the same "get in bed" routine with Max. I hope he falls asleep before SuperNanny comes on. Either she can give me some pointers, or else I'll just feel better that someone has kids MUCH worse than my own.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

More destruction

I'm so angry at my little male munchkins right now, I can't even write about it. Really, I almost literally can't. So many more of my keyboard keys have gone missing tonight (including the space bar), that it's merely impossible to write anything with any kind of detail or depth. I'll try on another computer tomorrow. Sigh.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Finally Five

Today Cameron turned five.

I'm so happy, because now when I scold him saying, "Cameron, you're five. You should not be __________ (fill in the blank with anything from throwing a tantrum for something silly to falling off his chair for no reason at all), he might actually respond with some resemblence of shame...instead of an expression of glee followed by the phrase, "I'm five today? You mean today is my birthday?" To which I'd have to respond that no, he's still four and it's not his birthday, but he's really close to five, which is why I say that. And then of course the point of my rebuke is completely lost.

But today he was all smiles. (This is where my vegan, animal-activist brother needs to stop reading).

We took him fishing at a trout farm ( I warned you Scott...spare me the lecture, please), where he was so excited to get to use a new fishing pole his grandaddy in Detroit bought him. He actually caught 5 fish...2 all by himself. And they weren't too huge (as we had to pay by the pound), but we did end up with a very tasty dinner. He catches fish like I do....wants nothing to do with the worm, and nothing to do with the fish once it's pulled out of the water. He even did some screaming with fear as the fish flopped all around. Melvin has a similar video of me doing the exact same thing several years back.

Cameron also is quite excited to be five because he really pays attention to the ages that are on the boxes of toys. This morning he said to me. "Yes! Now that I'm five, I can actually transform my "5 year old" transformer that I got for Christmas." Kids are funny.

Tomorrow is the actual party. The theme he chose? All of them. He has a Robots movie cake, race car cookies, Yoda napkins, Spiderman plates, SpongeBob hats, Madagascar stickers and generic Happy Birthday goodie bags. It's his day. It's what he wanted. I hope he enjoys it all.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Survival of the Fittest

As we finally landed in Detroit, one of the flight attendants leaned over to me and said, “Your kids are wonderful. So well-behaved.”

“Oh thank you,” I said nonchalantly, as if this is a daily occurrence. And I looked over at Max, who was looked so angelic, so sweet, and was truly so well-behaved, as he slept for the entire 2nd flight.

Obviously, I survived.

With Ella in the Baby Bjorn, Max in a carseat that converts to a stroller (or walking by my side..or “pushing” the stroller, or running ahead, or lagging behind), Cameron walking with us, pulling his back pack, and one more backpack containing all the necessities (like two portable DVD players so there’s no arguing), we made it. We also had a lot of help from the prayers of friends, the kindness of strangers and of course the Lord above, who granted me the strength and patience I didn’t know I had (especially during a longer than expected layover in Chicago, when I was in the middle of changing Ella’s diaper, and Max decided he was bored with throwing Cameron’s drawings around and decided to take off through the terminal).

Who was NOT helpful was American Airlines. They win the “Family Unfriendly” Award. Not only did they refuse to grant me a pass for my babysitter Sara to come back to the gate with me (when other airlines have freely offered when I had just 2 munchkins), they also booked us on seats not even in the same row, and then tried to say they couldn’t change them there…I had to wait until I was in Chicago. After pressing the issue further, the lady at the ticket counter finally did change our seats so we could be together, but she still refused to offer us a pass for Sara. Telling her I was traveling for a funeral didn’t work, shedding the tears in frustration didn’t work. All she did was print off a copy of their policy for me, and sent me on my way. They also tried to tell me the one suitcase I was checking was overweight by 3 pounds, and I would have to pay an extra $25 dollars per their policy. I simply handed the lady my credit card, and she looked at me in disbelief that I would pay such an amount, “Don’t you want to take a few things out and put them in other bags so you don’t have to pay this?” Losing my patience I said quite tersely, “Now how am I supposed to do that? I have only one suitcase Where am I supposed to put the stuff? In my backpacks? Which are already too full and too heavy? Plus I have my 3 kids. So now what do you suggest I do?” Realizing how her airline continued to screw me over, she finally just put a “heavy” tag on the bag and didn’t charge me anything.

Luckily the man checking IDs at Security had a little more common sense, and he even commented that he couldn’t believe they didn’t provide us with a pass. Realizing we were no threat to national security, he at least let Sara past his “post” to help us load everything into the x-ray machine, but she couldn’t join us on the other side. Luckily, a nice lady offered to help hold Ella while I reorganized everything in order to head to the plane.

And even at the gate, American Airlines did nothing to accommodate families. They did not offer any kind of preboarding for “those traveling with small children.” Incidentally, my kids, my backpack, the carseat, bumped, banged and sometimes slammed into everyone and everything around us as we tried to get it all settled in our row on an overly crowded plane. The flight attendants were no help on my first flight, but were helpful on the others.

Ultimately, it was not easy. But we did it.

And we did it all….drug free!!!! (I medicated myself later that evening).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Supermom may have met her kryptonite.

Tomorrow we're going on an "adventure." I'm about to do what I've said to my husband several times would be absolutely impossible.

Tomorrow, I'm flying with my 3 kids...all...by...myself. Yes, you heard correctly, I will be traveling with my almost 5 year old, 22 month old and 5 month old. AND, we're switching planes in Chicago.

We leave at 10:30 in the morning and arrive in Detroit at 4:00 pm.

It has been nice knowing all of you.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A child's perspective

Cameron made a Mother's Day Scrapbook for me at school. Here's what it said:

Best things about Mom...She drives me places.
(I wish I was appreciated for more than my taxiing abilities...but I guess it's good to know he's grateful).

What Mom thinks is fun... Reading books with me!
(This is true, although I do wish he willingly would want to read with me for more reasons than just to prolong his bedtime.)

Mom likes to wear...Dresses
(Oh yes, because I ALWAYS dress up to take him to school, to buy groceries, to run around the park. He must be mistaking me for some Stepford Wife.)

Things Mom likes best...Flowers
(I do like flowers...preferably not the dandelions he's been bringing me. But to say I like flowers best? That's stretching it. What I like best is an uninterrupted night's sleep, a nice glass of wine, a relaxing day on a Caribbean Island with my husband, cooperative children)

Mom always says..."Maybe later."
(I'm sure some therapist will highlight the implications of this later in his life).

Being a Mom means...they love you!
(With all my heart, mind and soul)

Happy Mother's Day to all those brave, loving, dedicated mother's of this world.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I can give more, but these 3 will do

1. Physically resisting being put in his car seat with all of his might and all of his lung power.

2. Hitting Ella on the head repeatedly with his juice-filled sippy cup, causing her to scream for a good 10 minutes before she calmed down.

3. Spending the past 3 1/2 hours climbing out of his crib or off his "couch bed" and out of his room.

Just three good reasons why SuperNanny may need to make a visit to the Twin Cities.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Night time feedings

The Bottles of our Houshold
(the middle one is mine)

Today...was good.

Today I was able to try to take a nap without putting my oldest child in front of the TV to keep him preoccupied.

Today I was able to shop for a gift at Creative Kidstuff without having to make sure my munchkins weren’t opening any boxes or throwing any toys. Nor did I have to pry them from the store kicking and screaming.

Today I was able to make a long overdue phone call to my friend to discuss important airline and hotel reservations for the Nike Women's Marathon in October without having to continually ask her to repeat what she said as I tended to high pitched screeches and drawn out cries.

Today I was able to match the socks that had been piling up for weeks without the “help” of some unnamed children, which would result in me giving up and putting the pile away for another time.

Today, instead of getting the brush off once again because my hands were too full with household or kiddy duties, Cameron got to work on making his own picture book, writing out some words and completing a puzzle.

Today I was able to make a decent dinner, complete with a vegetable, for my husband, without having to balance tending to hot food on the stove with one hand and a little munchkin trying to grab at such food in the other hand.

Today I was able to take my oldest son to track practice, where it was unseasonably windy and cold, without having to drag my other two little ones ,who already have ridiculously runny noses, out into such weather.

Considering all of my previous posts, how was I able to do all this you might ask?

After putzing around about the idea for too long, we finally brought in reinforcements.

Our babysitter Sara is now working for us 2 days a week, and once the boys are done with "school" at the end of May, she’ll be coming here 3 days. Next to my other mother, she is the BEST. She sees what needs to be done and she does it, not waiting around for requests of help from me. The kids love her, especially Max.

Maybe I won't be making a trip to the looney bin after all.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sane moments...no more.

There’s one thing helping me keep my sanity when the following happens:

I’m on the phone trying to hear the joys of my friend’s new baby, and my son (can you guess which one?) is tossing his plate and strawberries all over the kitchen. Frustrated, I pick him up and put him in front of the TV, so I can actually listen to my friend in peace. But before I can get the Tubbies on the tube, the doorbell rings. I leave the room, phone in hand, Max on the couch and Ella on her playmat. Still on the phone, shuffling Cameron through the door, I hear Ella screaming. Not her usual I want some attention screaming, but a high-pitched-I’m-in-pain scream. When I rush into the family room, I find Max on the floor with a big grin on his face hitting Ella on the head over and over and over again. I excuse myself from the phone for a minute, throw him in front of the TV in my bedroom and run to console Ella, as Cameron is whining for some food because he’s “STARVING.” (said with a long drawn out whine).

Now my entire day does not consist entirely of moments like the above…they’re just sprinkled throughout.

On the same day, we all decide to go for a walk. Cameron, however, wants to ride his bike, so Max, also, wants to ride his “bike” (a plastic big wheel type vehicle). We get down a fairly long hill from our house and Cameron takes off along the trails…without ever looking back. I couldn’t chase him because I had Ella in the double stroller and Max on his bike. There are too many retaining ponds in our neighborhood “arboretum” to walk away from Max for even a moment (and he has no fear of running into streets). Eventually, Cameron made his way back to us, but Ella was tired of lying in the stroller, so she started screaming. Walking her didn’t help, so I went ahead and picked her up into one arm, and pushed the stroller with the other, while Max rode in front of me. But as soon as he turned around and saw that I was holding Ella, he got off his bike and ran to me, clinging to my legs, chanting “Uh peas! Uh peas!” (Up please). As I tried to ignore him, the chants became cries and screams. Usually, I can easily hold Ella in one arm and Max in the other. However, I could NOT hold both of them AND push the stroller, AND push Max’s bike up to the house. Max was not giving in, and I just stood there in a slight panic. I could see my house, but I just couldn’t physically get there. Eventually, Cameron came back around and crashed into the stroller. I convinced him to run Max’s bike back up to the house then come back down to retrieve his own bike. While he was doing that, I put Ella in the front seat of the stroller, and Max voluntarily crawled into the back seat. Ella quickly dozed off, but Max remained quite awake while I wheeled the stroller around looking for the cell phone I thought I had dropped.

The one thing that keeps me sane through all this is knowing that at 7 PM, Max will be in bed, and at 8 PM, Cameron will be snoozing and then Ella soon after that. There’s just an amazing peace that comes over our house during those evening hours when the kids are asleep and I can actually try to get a few things done (or get nothing done at all as I veg out in front of HGTV).

This is what USED to help me hold onto my sanity. I must emphasize the past tense because last night, I spent most of the evening returning Max to his room after he repeatedly leapt from his crib again, and again, and again, and again and again..until 10 PM, when I finally gave him another bottle and he finally succumbed to his fatigue.

I think the local loony bin already has my spot reserved.

My thoughts on a great woman

(Minnie Ella with mini Ella)

Yesterday my husband’s grandmother had a stroke. We thought she was stable, but at about 3:00 in the morning, we received the dreaded phone call that she had passed away.

Mrs. Minnie Ella Porties was a remarkable woman. Whenever we visited Detroit, she was always a bright shining light, filled with God’s love and always ministering about His goodness. Grandma Minnie had been in and out of the hospital with asthma issues ever since I’ve known my husband. She had been confined to a wheel chair and on oxygen for the past few years now. And yet, no matter how sickly she may have seemed with her shallow breathing, she was always smiling…always positive. There were times when we visited when I wondered if that would be the last time we’d see her, but she NEVER gave up hope, and always talked about what she was going to do, and where she was going to travel, when she started feeling better.

Even when Grandma wasn’t feeling well, she was always thinking of others and looking for ways to make them feel special. She had a card ministry, and with literally hundreds of relatives to account for, it was no small feat, but she made each of them feel important when they received their stickered birthday or anniversary card.

When was last saw her, she seemed to be feeling very well, and looked incredible. She was celebrating her 50th Wedding anniversary and looked just beautiful as the blushing bride.

Her death was unexpected and incredibly sad. But it gives me comfort to know that this truly Godly woman is up with our Lord, shining down and watching over all of us. And I think about how maybe she and my grandmother, who just passed away last fall, will sit down and have tea together sometime.

Monday, May 08, 2006

New Skills

Max has learned to climb out of his crib.

I know I mentioned this about a month or so ago, but he had only actually used his newly acquired skill once or twice. Last night, and today, he discovered the freedom that comes with knowing how to escape. Twice last night, he came down after he was supposed to be asleep. It's quite cute the grin on his face as he slowly steps down the stairs waiting to see our reaction. Last night, it was cute.

Today, after the 10th time of immediately returning him to his crib, there was NOTHING cute about it.


On a positive note, we would like to announce that Cameron can now officially ride his bike WITHOUT his training wheels!

He had been asking us since last year if we could take them off. Seeing how lopsided he was when he rode his bike, I was not about to have the extra support removed. But Saturday Melvin took them off. They practiced a little then, with some success.

And then Sunday and today he rode his two-wheeler like a pro. The only thing is, because his bike is a little big he can't start by himself. I'm hoping by the end of the week he'll have that all figured out.

Cameron is VERY excited about his new ability...almost as excited as his is about his birthday. He even asked if we could put the baby trailer on the back of his bike so he could pull Max and Ella.....Um, I don't think so!!!!

A reason

I am absolutely convinced that God created the "toddler years" in order to promote population control.

Friday, May 05, 2006

My crazy kids

Max has always been a stubborn little booger. When he was a baby, he refused to eat his rice cereal…not the plain kind, not the apple flavored kind, not the banana flavored kind. Sometimes, I could mix it with his applesauce and he’d eat it, but the mix was probably 5 parts fruit to one part cereal. Any more than that, and he wouldn’t eat it.

So today, when I fed Ella some plain boring rice cereal for the very first time, guess who insists on having some of his own? He even went into the drawer, retrieved a bowl and spoon and continued to shove it in my face until I shared Ella’s food with him.

“Fine, you can have some,” I relented, pouring some of the drippy substance into his bowl, “but you’re not going to like it.”

And of course he proves me wrong, finishes his serving and then demands more.


I’ve stated in a previous post that Max likes to throw things over the banister. Before it was stuffed animals. Today it was books.

I marched up the stairs, got down on his level, looked directly in his eyes (as learned from SuperNanny) and before I could say anything, he pointed his own finger and blurted out, “Bad Boy! Bad Boy!” with a big smile. This is what he says all the time now whenever he does something wrong. It’s so hard not to laugh.


Ella turns over now.

The problem is, once she turns over, she has nothing to do, since she can’t crawl yet. So she turns, and then screams. We turn her back, and immediately, she turns to her belly again…then screams. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


Today, on Cinco de Mayo, my husband was on call. Since we couldn’t go out and “celebrate” I asked him to at least make me a margarita at home.

He obliged and promised to make a “masterpiece” of a margarita. He added all the ingredients into the shaker and started shaking, and shaking, and shaking, bragging about his concoction. Then suddenly, the shaker slipped from his hands and margarita mix flew everywhere!

After hearing my husband’s yell, Cameron came bounding down the steps and asked what happened. After hearing what Melvin did, he said with authority, “Daddy, if you’re going to spill your drink, maybe you should start using a sippy cup!”


It's cold and dreary today, 45 degrees, and I want to be back in Florida with the temp in the high 80s. Here are a few more pics from our trip, including ones with our Godson Carlos and my mom...along with my husband and kids. None of me...because I'm the one behind the camera...where I like to remain.

(Carlos, send me your e-mail address so I can send you all the pics.)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

How many more days until May 20th?

The obsession continues.

Yesterday, when I was nursing Ella and had Max trying to wedge his way between the baby and I so that I could read him a "No David" book for the 5th time in a row, Cameron insisted that I had to find some candles for him.

"Why do you need candles right now? And what do you need them for?" I asked him.

"My birthday," he plainly stated with an air of irritation, as if I had asked a ridiculous question. "I have to make sure we have enough for my cake."

Like I said before, it is going to be a LONG month.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cute, but almost extinct

When you move to a completely different part of the country, you discover more differences than just accents. Today a screening of the new movie A Prairie Home Companion is taking place in St. Paul where it was filmed. A bunch of big stars are here (Glenn Close, Lilly Tomlin, Lindsey Lohan). During the press junket, one of the stars was asked about the difference of living in Minnesota and where ever he lives (prob NY or LA). He said that here, no one uses their horns. You could sit through 3 green lights, and no one would beep at you. Thus the term "Minnesota Nice."

When I first moved to Minnesota almost 5 years ago, I couldn' t believe that stores accepted checks. I went to dinner with about 15 ladies one night, and to pay for the bill, everyone wrote an individual check. No IDs were checked, no Driver's License numbers recorded, just a signed check was accepted....I felt sorry for the waitress who had to reconcile her total at the end of her shift. One time my husband was at McDonald's and someone wrote a check for just a few bucks...at McDonalds! There are places here that would accept checks, but NOT credit cards. The complete opposite of where we moved from.

However, in the last year or so, more and more places are coming to their senses and realizing that not everyone is so "Minnesota Nice" and trustful, and checks are more of a hassle than anything else.

And that's too bad, because I just ordered these new stylin checks. I love them so much I wish I could write a check for EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

changing my mind

Last night I took the boys to Club Just Jump for Family Fun Night. It's an indoor place with a bunch of inflatables to jump on and slide down. Cameron had his birthday party there last year. As I was standing there holding Ella and watching the two boys, I was thinking how it would just be much easier to just have the party here again. I ran this idea by Cameron who just kindly said, "No, I want my party at my house." I tried to convince him otherwise, but he wouldn't change his mind.

Today I had some friends from my Bible study over to play and have lunch. Three of the kids who came over are Cameron's age and will be invited to the party. There were some other little ones there also, closer to Max's age. And all of their mom's were there.

I enjoyed having everyone over and loved the company, but just came to the conclusion that having TWENTY 4, 5 & 6 year olds at my house...WITHOUT their parents there just is NOT going to happen.

As soon as they left, I called Just Jump to see if they had any openings for Saturday, the 20th. They don't. But they do on Sunday, and earlier that week.

No negotiations...Cameron WILL be having his party at Club Just Jump again.

Monday, May 01, 2006

just the best

In addition to my previous post, tonight was the greatest sign that Max is growing up. After I sang this little 15 second tune I sing to him every night just before I lay him down in his crib, unprompted, Max looked at me and said, "Love you" then gave me a hug and a kiss. My heart was burning with happiness, and I almost didn't want to put him to bed.


1 1/2 going on 16

Besides by the calendar(21 1/2 months), I can really tell that Max is getting older. Part of it is because he's talking a lot more now, and part of it is because he has a shorter haircut that makes him look older. But mostly, I can tell that he's approaching two because of all the things he now insists on doing (or trying to do) by himself.

No more sharing for Max. If we have a drink, he must have a drink...his own. And he'll carry it around, not giving it up for anything...so don't even try to pry it from his hands or even put a lid on it.

He will now sit through at least half of the Teletubbies without me needing to sit with him. He even sings some of the opening song.

On any playstructure, he will do all the big kid activities...climb the highest ropes, slide down the longest slides, jump on the biggest inflatables. Sometimes his brother "coaxes" him along (re: pushes him down the slide). But he does it all with a smile, and usually heads back for more.

When in Florida, he finally let us put in his earplugs and discovered the pool. He walked right out toward the deeper end, and hated that we would not let go of him in water over his head. Copying his brother, he jumped right in the pool, and no matter how much water he swallowed, he climbed out and jumped in some more. At a roller skating party yesterday, we asked for the smallest pair of skates, and Max willingly allowed me to put them on. He "skated" with some help from me...although he was constantly getting angry that I wouldn't let go of him. He was banging up my ankles pretty badly with the skate wheels, so this first attempt at skating was short lived. But he had fun.

I do however have to draw the line with his latest "big boy" activity. Today, I sent the boys out to the car while I got Ella settled in her carseat, poured myself some coffee, used the bathroom, packed the diaper bag...the usual last minute things I can't seem to be able to do unless the boys are out in the car and not nipping at my heels. Today I wasn't sure where my keys were, but as I was getting Ella settled into her place in the minivan, Max popped his head up from my driver's seat and greeted me with a huge grin and some clapping. When I looked to see what he was cheering himself for, I discovered this:

He even had the right key!

I'm glad he's getting older...and no one wants these terrible tantrum years to pass more quickly than I do. But I can certainly wait...a long time...before the day comes when he officially gets behind the wheel.