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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

iLess Confused

I finally sorta figured out my iPod. Who knew Apple had a help function on its site explaining exactly how to operate it (although I’d still rather have a paper manual).

The first song I downloaded…..from my middle school idol…….”Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper, of course…along with a few other songs of hers.

Then I added some uplifting Kirk Franklin from a CD that I lost years ago.

And then…I hit the jackpot. Somehow I came across a page that showcased songs under the title “Running through the 90s.” Since I’m downloading music mostly to distract me during my marathon training, I thought this would be perfect. I found a whole bunch of songs from my college and post college years.

Now when I pass by people as I run, I wonder what they might be listening to. Because I’m sure they have no idea that I’m running to the beat of Naughty by Nature’s “O.P.P,” House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” or Limp Bizkit’s “Nookie.”

Now if only I could figure out how to turn this damn thing off....oh yeah, and put my "bad" songs in different folders so that when my 6 year old sons uses my iPod, he's not singing, Bel Biv DeVoe's "Poison" in the shower...or the Violent Femmes "Add It Up" on the playground.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sleeping Beauties

My day began at 4 AM, as Max apparently thought that was a great time to watch TV….and then he proceeded to scream for Macaroni and Cheese at least 100 times (which I refused to give him).

My day ended soaking wet, as Cameron and I were caught out in a downpour during his track meet.

But in between, I was able to take Max and Ella for a bike ride, which put them right to sleep.

In between, it was mostly all good.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Birthday Suit

Yesterday, Ella woke to Max's screams of, "Mommy! I see a rabbit!" (There was one hanging out in our backyard).

Cameron quickly scrambled to get her out of her crib. When he arrived in her room, he yelled down to me, "Mommy! Ella wet her bed!"

This was surprising to me, since she didn't wake up at night for milk, and I put her to bed with a dry diaper. But then Cameron continued...

"And she's also naked!"

At some point last night, that little girl unzipped her sleeper, took it all the way off, and removed her diaper entirely.
She ambled down the stairs in the nude, with giant grin across her face.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Hour...before church

This morning, the kids were playing what Max called "Eating Time!" and what Cameron referred to as "Restaurant." When taking my order, Max screamed, "What you want to drink Mommy? Want a margarita?"
"Um, do you have anything else?" I responded, taken aback by their beverage choice for me.
"NO! We just have MARGARITAS!" Max yelled.
"Okay then, I'll have one."
"What kind?" Cameron asked.
"What do you mean what kind?"
"Well, do you want a rock margarita?"

It was then that I realized that my husband and I might want to start ordering our margaritas on the rocks a little more discreetly.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Summertime Art

As Ella chomps on chalk, Max works on his masterpiece.

"Mom! Look. Come see! I made a unicorn!"

"Oh yes, I see. What a great unicorn you made!"

"Um, actually, it's a lobster."

"Oh, of course. Those two are easy to confuse. What a great lobster!"

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I really need to get back into the classroom.

If I don't, I'll never find anyone to help me figure this darn thing out.

A middle school teacher perk...free labor. Extra credit anyone?

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Ladies and Gentelmen...she's done it!!!!

Apparently after my last post about her not walking, Ella decided that she was tired of me introducing her to people as my 17 ½ month old daughter...who still doesn’t walk. That afternoon, she just starting putting one foot in front of the other, as if she had been doing it for weeks.

This is what I imagine her saying in her head: Fine, you win, alright? I can walk. See? What’s the big deal, anyhow? But hey, now that you know I can do this, don’t expect me to let you pick me up. And I don’t care if it’s in a crowded parking lot. And don’t even think I’m going to hold your hand when crossing the street either. And those stairs…yeah, I’ll show you that I can walk down those as well. Are you happy now?

I predict that within a few days, she’ll be running.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Stubbornly mobile

17 1/2 months....and she still doesn't walk.

At the church nursery, they finally gave up waiting for her and decided to move her to the walkers room. She's apparently too bored (and too much work I'm sure) for the infant room.
She doesn't walk...but what she DOES is...

Crawl up onto the kitchen table and pour out entire bowls of cereal onto the floor.

Climb up on the barstools at the kitchen island and come with in seconds of pouring my cup of coffee on my laptop.

And finally...well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

But I'm not tired!

At 3 AM this morning, Max was screaming because he wanted me to cut his fingernails.

It’s 7AM now, and he hasn’t gone back to sleep yet.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007


These past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind.

First I had to finish my grad school project. Which involved reading some novels, completing some reviews and writing up descriptions of different websites and blogs pertaining to Adolescent Literature and teaching.

Then I had to get everything ready for our trip to San Diego.

The day after returning from California I had to deal with graduation stuff.

Next I had my own graduation party to prepare for...involving dozens of people.

And then I had to complete the final newsletter for my church’s Mom’s Spiritual Spa.

Then I had Cameron’s birthday party last night.

Now I can finally sit and just….breathe!!!! Well, I guess I should be doing everything I’ve neglected…like the laundry, cleaning my bedroom, changing all the sheets, cleaning out my car, weeding the garden and planting flowers, sending thank you cards, making phone calls, planning meals, organizing closets, RSVPing for end of year activities, etc, etc.. and ETC.

But instead, I’ll just sit here and sip some wine…and breathe!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day Gifts

From Cameron: He made me a book at school illustrating the lyrics to Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World." But he didn’t just hand me the book; he actually sang each page to me. And then I got to listen to a tape of his whole class singing the song. It was very sweet. Here is one page of a picture of him and me.

From Ella: Well, she didn’t scream, and yank my hair, and pull out her own pigtails and flail herself all around as much as she usually does lately when she doesn’t get her way.

From Melvin: He was on call Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night he had zero hours of sleep since he was busy making “mothers” all night. But he insisted on cooking breakfast, which was really sweet considering how tired he was. And the smoke alarm only went off 4 times.

From Max: In between his yells, screams and complete moodiness, he has been fixated on picking me flowers from the yard. He often brings me in a handful of dandelions, or some other weed popping up in the grass. So it wasn’t any surprise that on Mother’s Day, he offered me the same gift. “Here’s some flowers for you Mommy!” Except instead of a fistful of weeds, he joyfully gave me a handful of the only real flowers that had bloomed in my garden out back.
Unfortunately Melvin was at the hospital most of the weekend (doing eight deliveries!). But I did get to spend some time with my mom before bringing her to the airport. And the kids played nicely out back with some neighbors, drenching each other with water guns. We still had food from the party on Friday, so I didn’t have to actually cook anything. And I was able to end my night with a glass of wine (okay a couple glasses) and some Desperate Housewives. All in all, a pretty good day.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

I could only laugh when my husband brought this home.

Maybe I'm being a bit presumptuous here...

but I don't think the cake decorator from Cub Foods had the proper training for his job.



We moved to Minnesota when Cameron was just 5 weeks old.

A couple months later I started my journey into grad school.

Six years and 2 more kids later, I finally completed the 30 credits for my Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction in English Education from the University of Minnesota.

We had a party last night called my “Finally! fiesta”

Several people were asking me the question of the night: “So what are you going to do now?”

And I don’t think my standard answer of “I don’t know” portrayed any kind of intelligence.

Here are the things I have in mind:

Take another class. My advisor wants me to take his class on some new technologies which involve a bunch of stuff (great vocab for an English teacher) that I don’t really get since I’m no longer around teenagers on a daily basis…things like creating podcasts, wikipedia, etc.

I could just be a mom…and continue with doing all the daily chores that I abhore around the house…(the chores I abhore…not my kids…love them…but not their messes!). I could actually try to teach my 2 littlest ones their letters and sounds and plan some real learning activities besides watching Backyardigans, Dora, and Wonder Pets.

I could get a teaching job….but I will only do part time at the moment. And then I’d fear that I’d spend too much of my time with my kids too stressed out worrying about how I was going to get all my school work done. Because when you’re a good teacher, your work day NEVER ends at 4 PM like so many non-teachers think. Plus, it’s actually quite hard to find a part time job for a middle school teacher. And, despite my certification, I have little interest in teaching high school. Furthermore, despite the benefits of my advanced degree, too many school districts have too many budget restraints that won't let them hire anyone with a Masters or beyond.

I could try to be a consultant. That’s what I think I want to do. That way I could answer my calling and feel like I’m really doing something, while also having the flexibility to be with my kids as I/they need. My plan is to take this next year, figure out how to create a business as a consultant, and get it all together to implement the following year. There are so many charter schools in Minnesota…many who can’t afford departement heads who are needed to create effective and inspiring curriculum…that I feel this could really work. But my problem is I’m not much of an extrovert. Although I do feel confident in my teaching abilities and I have the passion for middle school students, I’d really be stepping out of my “comfort zone” to do something like this. And this is S-C-A-R-Y!

Plus, if I don’t so something, how am I supposed to justify having Sara four days a week who helps me out so much with the housework and my 3 munchkins. We have NO intention of letting her go…but I feel I need some sort of “job” or “school” to justify her help without feeling like a completely spoiled housewife!!!!

But I am so grateful to my husband for his support both emotionally and financially, and I need realize that I am so blessed that I do have so many choices. But if you were around my kiddos lately,…who ignore everything I say, or who whine and cry for everything, or who reach for anyone else who is near as soon as she sees me approach her, you’d understand that I need SOMETHING else to help me feel like I’m contributing something positive to society.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007


I guess I should've warned Cameron that some of the walls in the San Diego condo that we rented were made entirely of glass. That little boy was so excited when we walked in, he thought he was going out on the deck and ran right into a glass wall, knocking himself down! I wish I had a video camera running.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Uncover girls

I wonder how many calories I burn just staring at the covers of my free Fitness Magazine just wishing my body was like these women?

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

At least it's not supposed to rain.

My husband has a conference in San Diego, so we're heading there for a few days.

When I checked weatherchannel.com on Monday to confirm for me that the temperature in Southern California was going to be much warmer than the temperature in Minnesota...like at least 80 degrees...nice beach weather....I was incredibly disappointed...with forcast in the lower 60s there!

Now, each time I go on the computer, I think really sunny thoughts when I check the weather, believing that if I do this, the temperature will go up a degree or two.

And so far, it has worked!

Maybe, just maybe, we'll at least reach mid 7os..closer to Minnesota temperatures...by the time we actually get there.

No matter what the temperature, we'll still have fun. I mean come on....look at this kid. How can it not be fun with him to entertain us?

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Since I had very little sleep last night and the house was an incredible mess because my only priority was finishing my grad work, I decided to forgo my usual daily outing with the kids in order to stay here and get thing cleaned up.

Get things cleaned up…with a 1 and 2 year old around. Obviously with so little sleep, my brain was not working properly.

At one point in the day I decided to actually get a shower…and wash my hair even. Afterwards, I checked on the two munchkins who were in the basement playing nicely and thought it would be okay if I took a few minutes to dry my drippy locks. They were playing nicely.

After I was done trying to make myself look like I had more than 4 ½ hours of sleep, I crept down to the basement and listened to the two playing. I didn’t actually see them because I didn’t want them to notice me and thus demand my complete attention….because I had stuff to do, of course. I didn’t hear any screaming, and only some delightful squeals, so I decided to venture back upstairs to do the breakfast clean-up and get some sort of lunch together. After all, they were playing nicely!

A few minutes later, Ella made her way upstairs looking for me.

It was then, when I saw green smeared all over her nose and hands, that I discovered they were playing nicely alright……with GREEN PAINT!!!!

I REALLY need to stick to my usual plan of just leaving the house whenever possible.

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Now What?

A 1:30 AM this morning, I turned in my last grad school assignment.

It's exciting and kinda sad at the same time.