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, January 31, 2007



That’s the number of times Max screamed READ DORA BOOK to me this evening. This was after I had already offered to read it to him, but he chose something else to do instead. And no matter how I responded to his vociferous demand…kindly, angrily, with an explanation, or no response at all….he continually would just scream, “Read Dora Book!”

It was 9 o’clock, an hour past his bedtime…an hour into MY time. Ella was sleeping in the adjoining room; Cameron somehow fell asleep on the bunk above all the noise. Max didn’t want to go to sleep, so he was using one of his stall tactics. But I was not giving in.

I give in all day long, because I just can’t take the screaming. My nerves just tremble every time he starts in on one of his earsplitting, repetitive demands. And even when I try not to give in as he yells his breakfast request of “FRUIT SNACKS” to me for the 47th time, then Cameron even starts whining, “Mom, can you please just give him what he wants so he’ll stop!”

But tonight, I had enough. I wasn’t feeling well, I was extremely tired, and I still had my Bible study to complete for my mom’s group the next day. I was not giving in to his continued loquacious request. Not this time. He has the determination of his father. He knows what he wants, and he won’t stop until he gets it. But I was not giving in.

So his dad did. And his Dora book was read to him. And now all is peaceful in our household….until the next “battle of the wills” tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Maybe he's growing

Oh my little Max. Although he has been refusing to eat dinner lately, he has no problem munching all morning and afternoon.

Today he had a big bowl of Little Einstein’s cereal, a banana, two cheese sticks, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and while I was checking my e-mail in the basement, he found a roll that he decided to devour.

All BEFORE 9:30 AM!

I fear what my grocery bills will be like when he’s a teenager.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A little fishy

Fish Update.........

They're all dead.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Human Bean Bag

All these nice reclining chairs in our movie room.....but apparently none are as comfortable as daddy!

Friday, January 26, 2007


I’ve had glasses since I was in first grade. Not just any old glasses, but coke bottles! And although I’m farsighted and supposed to wear my specs all the time, despite the fact that I can now afford to shed the big bucks for special lenses that are thinner, my prescription is so strong, my eyes are still magnified through the lenses. I hate it. So I put them on when I absolutely must…when trying to read, when driving at night, when my eyes just need a rest. But rarely will you see me talking to you with them on. I’m too self-conscious and feel like the whole time we’re talking you’re thinking about how geeky my glasses are.

Today this happened:

I won’t get into the details of exactly how, because I don’t really know. I can just tell you that Ella was trying to grab at them, so I put them in my coat pocket, and at some point, they snapped.

I needed new ones anyhow, because I went to the doctors in the fall when I was having trouble reading even with my glasses on, and as I feared, my prescription needed to be even stronger. But the thought of having to wear even thicker more magnifying lenses caused me to procrastinate in purchasing new specs.

But now I have no choice.

Despite the fact that I went to Lens Crafters, my lenses require a special order out of their lab, and instead of getting them “in about an hour” mine will come in about 10 to 14 days.

I do hope they come even earlier, because they can’t possibly look nerdier than this:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Yesterday evening, the kids and I took a trip to Target so that Cameron could use some of his "credit cards" from Christmas. He chose two Star Wars Lego ships that would require major assembly. I explained to him when we arrived home that it would be too late to put even one of the ships together, as it was almost bedtime. He was not at all happy about this because the next day he was assigned to be the leader in class, and if you’re the leader, you get to bring something to show to the class. No matter how hard I tried to convince him to bring in the drum we brought him from the Bahamas, he wouldn’t budge and insisted that he wanted to bring his new toy….put together!

I told him that if he woke up tomorrow morning, did everything he was supposed to do without a fuss and was all ready for school, if he had extra time, we could work on putting the Star Wars ship together. He felt this was a doable option.

The next morning, Cameron came into my room, completely dressed, teeth brushed, bed made, all ready to work on his new toy……at 2:OO AM!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Don't Be Jealous

Everyone should go away, at least once a year, without their kids.

So this morning, when Cameron was crying because no one would play Lego StarWars with him, and Ella was throwing a fit everytime I put her down, and Max insisted on having oatmeal when we had none in the house, and then got into some party candy when I wasn’t looking and then cried because he wanted canned spaghetti, not what I had heated up from the fridge, then WANTED exactly what he told me that he did NOT like, then insisted on having some peanut butter and jelly…my five days away with just my husband certainly made this morning bearable….even enjoyable....

….at least for today.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hairstyle Compliments of Sara

Pretty pigtails????
Or Devious Devil Horns????

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How about we NOT read tonight

revious night but he can’t find, Max begins pulling several books out of the bins that I had just organized. He finally finds the bin that has the TV show books and pulls out every single Dora book he can find. “Read this one!” he yells. “Read Dora!” he says. At the same time, Cameron finds his books and insists that I read his book first. “No, read DORA!” Max continues screaming. As I finally convince Cameron that he’ll have to wait until I’m done with Max’s book, Cameron starts whining and complaining that Max always gets his way, and it’s not fair that he never gets to read his book first

Then I sit on Max’s bed, and both Max and Cameron try to sit on my lap. But not only are they both crushing my legs and I struggle to read the book around their big heads, but they push and shove each other trying to get closer to the middle than the other one. Finally, I can’t take it anymore, and I allow Max to sit in my lap as I read his book, and Cameron just sits next to me, complaining once again that it’s not fair. If by chance Ella is not in her crib yet, then she joins us on Max’s bed and starts screaming, trying to push Max off me so she can sit comfortably in my lap, alone.

After I’m done with Max’s book, we head up to the top bunk to read Cameron’s selection. However, Max sees no reason whatsoever why he must give up his place in my lap. So he starts screaming and crying. I set him beside me to allow Cameron to take his proper place, while Max continues to scream and cry and wedge his way in between Cameron and me. I try ignoring him, reasoning with him, getting angry with him, but his screaming persists. He is so loud, Melvin has come up several times asking what is wrong with him. Really, the way he carries on, you’d think he fell head first on the concrete sidewalk. Cameron refuses to give up his spot, nor should he have to, so I just begin reading. And while trying to read loud enough so Cameron can hear me over Max’s cries without waking up Ella in the adjoining room, I am also trying to guard Max from stumbling off the top bunk as he continues with his tantrum.

As a reading teacher, I know the importance of reading aloud to your children, but something's gotta give here.

See why I REALLY need this kid-free vacation!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

They didn't look right on my boys!

There are many, many reasons why I love having a little girl. One of my favorites.....


Friday, January 12, 2007

It couldn't last forever

With the mild temperatures hovering in our area (well, 30 degrees is considered mild for this time of year in Minnesota), I thought that global warming really did exist. But then today happened.

It was so frigid this morning, that after walking a few feet from the car to his music class, Max came through the door squinting and announced to the whole class, “My eyes are cold!”

Temperatures are in single digits with wind chills below zero. BRRRRRRRRRR!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

At last

Now that our passports have finally arrived in the mail today, I feel I can officially announce that this time next week, my husband and I will be basking in the warmth of the Bahamas with NO KIDS!

We will be celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary, and this will be the first time we've ever been away from our kids for more than one night.

We so need this!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A true fish tale

After our wine party last Friday night, Melvin and I took turns sleeping Saturday morning and early afternoon, as the kids laid low and kept themselves preoccupied most of the morning without too much arguing. To reward them, we decided we’d get out of the house and go somewhere.

My husband asked my son what he wanted to do. After going through a long list of ideas that almost any other kid would jump at, and explaining to Cameron that "Going to Florida" was not an option for that day, my husband asked him if he wanted to get a fish. Cameron’s eyes lit up and he practically started jumping on our bed with excitement. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” he squealed.

This was not something we had discussed before. But I figured a goldfish or two in a little bowl wouldn’t hurt.

Little did I know that they’d come home with this!

At first I wasn’t thrilled with the purchase, but it’s actually kind of fun to look at and see the excitement of the kids when they feed the fish....as long as I don't have to clean it.

On the first day back to school after the weekend, Cameron told me that he wrote in his journal, “The fish pooped in the fishtank.” He just thought this was the funniest thing in the world. He also named the two black Molly’s “Brother” and “Sister.” He’s really going to think it funny when those two have babies!

So much to learn

Last night Sara and I were talking about going to a purse knock-off store.

Cameron said, “Mommy, you don’t need a purse. You already have one.”

“Yes, I know Cameron, but I want another one.”

“But that’s a waste of money. If you already have one, then you don’t need another one. That’s wasting money.”

Sara and I tried to explain to him several different ways why we would want more than one purse. But he continued to tell us we were wasting money.

I feel sorry for his future wife. He’ll probably try to limit her shoe purchases as well! Oh that boy has so much to learn!

Monday, January 08, 2007

New blood in the mix

There's a new baby in my family....no, not mine...my brother's!

I've been waiting in inpatient anticipation for months to find out what they were having. As Ella outgrew each of her adorable outfits, I packed them away, eager to send them on to her little cousin. Surely such cute clothes must stay in the family!

On Wednesday, January third, Gwen went into labor, and made a few trips to the hospital...then back home...then back to the hospital...then back home...then finally they kept her. And after 43 hours of labor, Gwen and Scott had a baby BOY!

August Fulton Spitz, 7lbs. 9oz. at 8:44 pm on Thursday, January 4th.

So now what am I supposed to do with all my delectable dresses and pretty pink attire?

Despite the fact that Ella will be surrounded by yet another boy on the Spitz/Zbikowski side of the family, I am still so incredibly thrilled and excited about this new little addition!!!! I am done providing grandchildren, so it's someone else's turn to bring new blood into this world.

Unfortuantely, my brother lives all the way in Indiana, so I don't know how much contact with this little booger I'll have, but already my brother has called twice asking questions about baby stuff. He's not actually calling for me, but for the medical advice of my husband...but I'll take whatever I can get.

Due to reasons I can't get into here, I've been strictly forbidden from posting pictures of my new nephew online. But I did show Cameron a picture that was e-mailed to me, and I asked him to draw a picture that I could put on my blog.

First that little monster tried to tell me "No" because it wouldn't be fair that people will think that I drew the picture, when really he did it. I assured him that I would give him full credit for his artistic abilities. I ask him to draw a picture of his new cousin, and this is what he comes up with:
In caes you can't make out this minimalist masterpiece, allow me to interpret. At the bottom is a drawing of me taking a picture of Cameron, holding baby Auggie (the smallest figure in the center). To the left is our house, and to the right is the kids' playset.

Cameron may be advanced in math and reading, but in art....he's all remedial!

(And maybe after seeing this drawing, my brother will allow me to post at least one picture of his adorable little guy).

Saturday, January 06, 2007

"Born to be Wild"

Take a few friends (well, over 20).

Add a little wine tasting (okay, a lot of wine tasting)

Throw in some karoke.

And you end up with one fun party!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It WAS positve

This morning, as I was making Cameron’s daily PB & J for school, Max started handing me things to add to his lunch. First he gave me the juice box, “This for Cameron’s lunch?” he asked, as he put it in the Superman lunchbag. Then he found a bag of animal crackers and again asked, “This for Cameron’s lunch?” then added it to the bag. He also tried to add some chocolate pudding, but I stopped him at that. At my request he found some napkins and a plastic spoon to include as well. Next, he took the lunch bag and insisted on putting it in Cameron’s backpack all by himself. What a helpful little bug he was.

A few minutes later, I found him sitting at the kitchen table, taking dry Cinnamon Toast Crunch out of his cereal bowl, breaking it up with his fingers and adding it to another bowl he had just retrieved. “Max? What are you doing?” I asked. “I make for Ella,” he responded. Ella was sleeping in today, but I guess he figured she’d be up soon and needed some breakfast.

When it was time for Cameron to catch the bus, Ella was still in her crib sleeping, and Max was busy watching Diego, so I quietly stepped out with Cameron to walk him across the street where the bus comes in the morning. As I was returning home, I was thinking how helpful Max was being this morning, and how I would have to write a very positive blog about him today.

But then…….when I reached the side door where Cameron and I originally snuck out, I turned the knob, but it wouldn’t open. The dead bolt was locked! I didn’t have my keys with me. I knocked for a few minutes, but Max didn’t come to the door.

Then I walked around to the front door, and rang the doorbell. After a few rings, Max came trotting to the door, smiling at me through the side windows. I yelled at him to open the door, but he couldn’t get the lock turned all the way. I motioned him to go to the side door, the one he had originally locked in the first place. He just smiled at me and said, “I go play!”

Eventually he came to the side door, and although he had no problem locking the door, he couldn’t get it unlocked. My last resort was the garage. I pointed to the door connecting the garage and the house. Thankfully, it was open. And as I mentioned in a previous blog when Max escaped, he’s tall enough to reach the automatic garage door button. It took a few minutes of my yelling at him to push the garage button and NOT play in the garage, but he finally managed to do it, and I was able to get back into the house.

I really wanted to write only good things....but he gave me no choice

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

1st workout since the marathon

After 2 1/2 months of doing basically no form of organized exercise, I took part in a Boot Camp class at the Y today.

Let's just say, I won't be joining the army anytime soon.

But there were some 70 year old women in there who could hold their own and might want to consider enlisting.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A shitty start.....literally

Ella woke up at 5:00, but after some milk, she promptly went back to sleep.

Cameron woke up 6:00, but I made him lie down with us, and he quickly went back to sleep as well.

At 8:00, I heard screaming and crying from Max’s room. I reluctantly made my way to his room, where I found a little 2 year old boy standing by his bed, soaking wet! His diaper had unlatched during the night and his entire bottom half, all the way down to his socks, was drenched in pee.

I immediately undressed him and put him in the tub.

While Max was playing with his new Dora bath toys, Ella woke up. I brought her downstairs to have some breakfast because I didn’t want her jumping in the tub with him. I knew Max was fine in the tub because I could hear him splashing and singing all the way down in the kitchen.

In the meantime, Cameron woke up again. I asked him to check on Max in the tub.

“MOM! MOM! Come here!!!!” Cameron screamed from their bathroom.

I took Ella out of her high chair and placed her in the family room, then I ran up the stairs.

What I found was Max in a tub of water….that he had pooped in! Not a couple little terds, but some large logs, sitting on the bottom of the tub!

I grabbed him and brought him into my bathroom, while also waking up Melvin to go downstairs to make sure Ella was okay. However, Ella was no longer where I left her.

Apparently, she also was interested in all the commotion going on upstairs, and when we were dealing with Max in my bathroom, Ella had snuck up to the boys’ bathroom. I found her standing right next to the shit-filled bathtub, laughing…with her hands and arms all wet! She had been splashing in that nasty water.

What a mess!

Thankfully, the rest of the day went much better. With snow on the ground, but the air rather mild, I took all three kids outside, and they sledded down our side hill. Max and Cameron had a blast, but Ella wasn’t so thrilled.

I do hope my initial introduction to the new year is not an indication of how we will fare the rest of 2007.