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, February 28, 2007

Toilet Talk

I didn’t want to write about this too soon, for fear that I would jinx it…but I think we’re almost there….so I feel okay about proclaiming that Max is almost potty trained!

The journey has not been hard, just interesting. I’ve been putting him on the toilet for a few months. And he would pee no problem. But he would never poop. Insisting that it hurt. And even when I “caught” him in the act and put him on the toilet, he would stop immediately and wait until his diaper was back on.

Finally one day, knowing he had to poop, I just let him walk around the kitchen with no pants or diaper, until he couldn’t wait any longer and had no choice but to go in the toilet (well, I guess his other choice was to go on the floor, but he knew better). And he did it! And he finally realized that it didn’t hurt!

So I just put the underwear on him. And unless he’s going to sleep, or we’re going someplace where there’s no toilet, in which cases we use pull-ups, then he’s sporting his Diego undies! (He would probably prefer pink Dora ones, but we won't go there).

Here are some toilet talk tidbits from the past two weeks:

As he was sitting on the toilet, not able to go: “Mommy, it’s not working!”

The first few times he climbed up on the toilet to pee, he ended up peeing straight out of the toilet, so I always had to remind him to hold his penis down. One time I was using the bathroom, and he said to me, “Mommy, don’t forget to push your penis down!” To which I had to chuckle that I didn’t have a penis. He responded yelling, “Let me see! Let me see!” A couple days later he was changing the diaper of one of Ella’s dolls and I heard him say to her, “You don’t have a penis!”

One day he was on the toilet for a while. I asked him, “Max? How many poopies do you have?” He took this as a literal question and his response was to slide off the toilet and start counting.

One time he was looking at his poop and said, “Ew, that one looks like a snake. And the other one looks like broccoli!”

Although I am thrilled about being able to do away with the diaper expense, there is one little snaffu in our excitement. Max has figured out how to use his toilet training as a bedtime stalling technique. Last night, after I thought he was in bed sound asleep, I discovered him standing at the top of the stairs, completely naked. "Mommy! I did potty. I need a new pull-up." About 20 minutes later, he came out the exact same way. And about 15 minutes after that he came out again (except still clothed this time), proclaiming his need to use the potty again.

That little boy will do anything to avoid sleep!

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Then and Now

April 12th, 2006

I have come to the conclusion that I could probably just take all my old blogs about Max's previous shannigans and simply copy and paste them as new posts...simply replacing his name with Ella's.

February 25th, 2007

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Selective Slumber

My husband will lie for hours in bed, flipping through the channels, watching movies, eating cereal, claiming that he’s not tired and just can’t sleep.

And yet, in the middle of the day, while the kids are causing commotion all around him, he has no trouble sneaking in a snooze. Not even stirring when Cameron decides it would be really funny to stack every cushion, pillow, blanket, toy, etc. on top of him.

He slept like this for 2 hours.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Forget the light bulb....

The wet vac is one amazing invention.

So far in the past 2 days….

I’ve used my Hoover Agility Steam Vac to suck up Ella’s vomit that was spewed pretty heavily in one area of our family room carpet.

Then while I had it out I decided to utilize it on some spots I’ve been eyeing for quite some time...that I’m sure Max created since he sometimes thinks he’s a Catholic priest, “blessing” all of us with his sippy cup filled with grape kool-aid.

And my third use of the weekend….have you ever seen those commercials when someone drops a full glass of red wine on a white carpet and it splashes EVERYWHERE? Well, that’s exactly what one of my son’s friends did in Cameron’s bedroom…replacing the glass of red wine with a bottle of red Gatorade (that I didn’t know he had up there), which was dropped from the top bunk.

“Mom, Eddie says that kind of juice stains,” Cameron informed me.
“Yeah, it does!” Eddie chimed in a little too happily. “And it will last for a loooong time. But if you invite me over again, I’ll bring some stuff that can clean it up.”

I decided not to wait for his next visit and broke out the wet vac. In 15 minutes, the red was gone.

If you have kids…you MUST invest in one of these things.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Needing to Edit

Okay, I know in my last post I wrote about how I adore everything about little girls.....well, I lied.

I don't adore cleaning up vomit at midnight, or being up most of the night worried that she's going to dehydrate or concerned that her fever won't go down, or dealing with green diarrhea filled diapers.

Boy or girl...there's nothing cute about any of that.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sugar and Spice and everything Salty

(Note to my boys: I love and adore you too, but this one is just about the little ladies. )

I love little girls. They have these smiles that light up an entire room. Their giddy laughs are so delightful to hear. When they’re angry, I can’t help but chuckle at their furious faces. When they throw tantrums, I actually think it’s kind of funny. This goes for my own little Ella, and all the other little girls I encounter often. From infancy on up, little girls are just adorable to me….

Even when they discover they can stick their finger up their nose and lick it…over and over again…as Ella has been doing lately. There’s just something darling about such an otherwise disgusting action when a little girl in pink with pigtails perched on her head is doing it.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Must've been a very bright moon.

Max has developed fear. He no longer climbs to the top of the indoor playscapes. He adamantly declined to go down any waterslides at Wisconsin Dells. He even refused to walk down the deck stairs to play in the backyard today (it was actually above freezing here in MN).

Last night, he attempted to join me in the family room after his bedtime…again. But I had work to do and refused his offers to sit next to me to read a book, play on his Barney computer and just sit on my lap.

His last attempt to stall his bedtime involved his new found fear. “Mommy! I’m scared!” he yelled down to me. “Max, go to bed!” I hollered back up to his room, tired of climbing stairs for the 5th time to return him to his bed. “But Mommy, it’s dark!” he persisted. The hallway light was on but I went upstairs to check on him anyhow.

Only to find a boy lying in his bed….with sunglasses on!

Of course it was dark! I ended up putting his bathroom light on as well, and made him take off his sunglasses, but later I found him sound asleep, with his darkened specs back on.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

My nighttime buddy

When Max comes down the stairs looking like this, asking so nicely, not whining or crying, just very politely, if he could sit with me while I watch TV, I know that I should just send him back up to his room. But he’s so cute, I just can’t resist.

So last night I let him join me in my Sunday night guilty pleasure, and I can now only hope his little 2 ½ year old mind was not able to actually process anything that he witnessed on Desperate Housewives. I should have put him up to bed after that, but he didn’t want to leave my side.

As I was gathering laundry from the dryer, he said, “I help you Mommy!” so sweet and cheerful.
“No Max, you need to go back to bed,” I said with little conviction.
“No Mommy, I HELP you!” he responded paying no mind to my request.
So I let him “help” me, because folding clothes with a 2 ½ year old is just so much more fun than folding them alone. First he folded all the socks individually. Then I had to inform him that he needed to fold them in pairs. I’ve never seen anyone get so excited to match socks!

After folding 2 baskets of laundry, we snuggled together watching Brothers and Sisters. There was a scene where Calista Flockhart was leaning in to kiss Rob Lowe. Max started grinning, and said with the cutest little sing-song voice, “Mooooooommy! They’re kiiiiiiising.” Then he sat next to me making kissing noises for a few minutes before he finally leaned over and gave me a peck on the cheek.

My little boy is turning into quite the charmer.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

We're okay.

On the rare occassion that I go away for the weekend, I feel guilty leaving my husband with all the kids. However, I don't believe he feels the same.

Take for instance yesterday morning....he called not to see how I was doing..not to see how it was going with the kids...not to see if how I was coping....

...but rather, knowing how freezing it is in Minnesota, he called to inform me that he was walking around Panama City Beach...without a coat.

That's just cruel.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

GET UP!!!!!

When my husband hasn’t gotten much sleep, but finally is snoozing, and I must wake him up…for a call from the hospital or for his morning alarm, he can be pretty…well...illogical. Sometimes it’s quite funny, but sometimes he has an attitude that is just nasty. In his defense, he usually has absolutely no idea what he’s saying.

Take this morning for instance. I think he didn’t go to bed until way after midnight….which is normal for him. At about 4:45, Ella was screaming. So I ended up giving her milk and falling back to sleep with her on the couch in the family room. By the time we woke up again, it was around 5:30. I placed her back in her bed, and headed to my room. I check the alarm, and realized that my husband had set it for 6:00 AM.

This made absolutely no sense to me, because he had a plane to catch to Panama City Beach, Florida at 7 AM. So I nudged my snoring husband and tried to wake him up.
“Melvin, don’t you want to get up? You set the alarm for 6 o’clock, but your plane leaves at 7.”
“Yes, I know,” he said, but immediately the snoring resumed.
“No Melvin. You have to get up. There is now way you can wake up at 6 and still make the 7 o’clock flight.”
“I’ll make it!” he said, rather annoyed that I was bothering him.
“No you won’t Melvin,” I persisted. “There is no way you can get up, get a shower, drive to the airport, park, get through security and get to the plane in time.”
“Yes I can!” he responded, even more upset than before. “I’ll make it!” he said, downright rude.

Now here’s where I have a choice to make. I can either A…get terribly irritated back with him and just turn over and go back to sleep. I tried to wake him up, he was rude to , me, his loss. Plus, if I did this, I wouldn’t be all alone with my 3 munchkins all weekend. Or I can B….realize that he’s really not awake and if he had any clue what was really going on, he would have leaped from the bed, probably forgone the shower and headed directly to the airport.

I take things very personally, so it was hard not to get angry, but I didn’t, and just persisted. Eventually he woke up……

But he still missed his 7 o’clock plane.

However, he made flew standby on a 10 o’clock flight.

I hope he’s enjoying the peace and solitude and warmth of the Gulf coast. Because my kids spent dinner screaming “fatty head” and other names at each other because they thought it was funny. And, it’s below zero….again.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

My Valentines

My Valentine’s Day was very lovely.

Cameron came bounding in our room at 4:30 AM jubilantly announcing, “Happy Valentines Day Mommy and Daddy!” as he handed me a robot he made at school the previous day.

Max gave me an “art project” he made with Sara; a bunch of hearts glued onto a page. He was so proud of his work.

Melvin surprised me with new PJs (says he’s tired of me wearing his all the time), and daisies (which is what he used to pick and bring to me when we were camp counselors), and a nice card. We also went out, had some drinks, played some Golden Tee Golf and ate at a wine bar and café in Minneapolis.

And Ella? With a face like this...need I anything else?

Yesterday, I felt very loved.

Oh yeah, and when Sara was watching the kids, she took my minivan to get washed. That actually may be the best present of all!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Pain times 3

Going to the doctors is always such an event. Between illnesses, check-ups and just stopping in to see Daddy, we’re there a lot more than most people. But the problem is, mention the word Doctor, and Cameron’s first words between whines and the beginning of instant sobs is, “But I don’t want a shot!” As soon as we walk into the waiting room, Max exclaims loud enough so that the entire room can hear him, “I don’t want doctor to look in my ears!” And Ella is starting to get it as well, as she starts to cry when the exam room door is closed.

Today I had to take them all to get their flu shots. I’ve always avoided them before, not because I felt bad for my kids, or out of concern for so many vaccinnes, but really, I avoided them for my own sanity. I just couldn’t bear physically having to pin my kids down so they could have a needle jammed into their skin. As a mother, my kids look to me for protection, so to make them feel pain, well, just doesn't seem right. Makes it seem like they won't trust me anymore....or love me. Okay, I know they'll love me, but still, it's disturbing to think about. So it was out of my own selfishness that we always seemed to avoid the yearly warnings for children to receive flu shots.

But this year we had 3 kids in Minnesota die from the flu. And that is scary. So when Melvin insisted I take the kids in for their shots, I relented without a fight. I can do one time, I told myself. I can make it seem like we’re going there for something routine and sneak in the shot. Hopefully they’ll forget yet another negative experience at the doctor’s before their next visit. Hopefully they'll forgive me.

So they all got the shot. Max screamed merely because I was holding him down, but didn’t even flinch when he received the shot. Ella cried, but was over it very quickly. Cameron on the other hand was a physical battle. And he was REALLY MAD at me afterwards. I don't think I should be expecting a valentine from him tomorrow. But it was done and over with….so I thought.

Did you know that kids who have never had the flu shot before must go back in a month for a 2nd shot!

Melvin’s taking them next time…I just can’t do it again.

No Atkins diet here.

What is it about my kids and bread? We're not even French!

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Our new Dells condo

This weekend we took a trip to Wisconsin Dells. For those of you not from the Upper Midwest, it’s sorta the Disney World around here. Just 3 ½ hour from the Twin Cities and also from Chicago. The town is one giant waterpark…with hotels more like resorts, offering both indoor and outdoor waterslides, wavepools, etc. In the summertime there’s even more to do with a river, small amusement parks, etc. It’s very touristy, with the class of Niagara Falls. I’m not sure if there is one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if on some corner there’s a Ripley’s Believe it or Not, or some Madame’s Wax Museum.

Before we left for this trip, Melvin asked me, “Are you ready for a relaxing weekend?”

“Relaxing weekend? We are taking our 3 kids, none of whom can actually swim, to a waterpark. I think you better lower your standards," was my response.

Actually, it turned out to be pretty fun. At The Chula Vista Resort, the kids splashed around in the water, too scared for any water slides, but loving the hot tub. There was a small arcade they enjoyed, and we stayed in a really nice studio, complete with a Jacuzzi tub and stone fireplace.

The weekend was pretty uneventful…..except for when Max sorta took off past our room without me knowing when he and Cameron were sprinting down the hallway. I found him about 7 minutes later, 2 stories up (he ran past our room, up the stairs), IN a room 3 doors down. (The cleaners had all the rooms propped open with the latch, so even though he tried to close the door, it remained open an inch). I kept yelling his name, and every so often I’d hear a faint “What?” until I finally found him. He was laughing and giggling at me. “I was hiding Mommy! I was hiding!”


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Future Grocery Store Worker???

When you have kids, sometimes you need to put things up, away and out of reach of those little hands. For some people it might be some valuable family heirlooms. For others it might be the sharp knife set. In my house, it’s……


If Max finds a bag, he feels it’s his duty to fill it. And he fills it with whatever he can find. It might be some puzzle pieces, his legos, or some other toys. Or maybe some stuffed animals and books. Sometimes in these bags I might find a bracelet of mine, the contents of my wallet, or my keys. If it’s in reach, he thinks it’s fair game as a bag filler.

This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if he just filled up one bag. But he fills up ANY and EVERY bag he can find. Whether it be a shopping bag, a tote bag, a gift bag, or even a Ziploc bag.

His favorite bag seems to be my Tiffany bag (the one I received from the Nike Women’s Marathon), which I’d rather him not touch since it’s probably the only one I’ll ever have in my possession. But no matter where I put it, he always seems to find it!

Ella likes bags, too. But the only thing she likes to put in them is……


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

You can't make me!

Ella is 14 months today. Sometimes I am so amazed at how grown up she is getting....like when she sits in her booster seat at the counter next to the boys And then other times, she just doesn't fit my schema of what a 14 month old should be doing....mainly because she's not walking. The boys walked at 10 1/2 months and 13 months, so the fact that Ella is not baffles me. She doesn't hesitate to stand in her high chair, or cruise around the couch. But when I hold her two hands for her to walk, she bounces up and down, throws a fit, and insists on getting down on her hands and knees to travel. She's showing NO signs of walking anytime soon. But I guess like the boys, she'll do things when SHE wants to do them.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Punk rocker

Cameron has curly hair….which I love. I basically don’t have to do anything to it, and it looks fine….one less thing we have to worry about in the morning.

However, Cameron wants straight hair. He wants hair that he can “do” and brush and mess around with in the morning. He used to rub his head along the carpet, trying to straighten out his curls. And if we cut it short enough, it does appear straight.

But that is no longer good enough for Cameron. Recently, he has decided that he wants a MOHAWK! I have no idea where he got this idea from, but at the end of the summer he begged for one. But there was no way I was going to send him to kindergarten with a Mohawk. And then there were school pictures, and then the holidays. And now that all of that is over, he continues to ask for one every time we go to the Kid’s Hair.

Personally, I have no problem with it now. I’d rather him get it out of his system now than when he’s a teenager and demands one! However, his father believes otherwise. The other night Cameron again asked why he couldn’t have a Mohawk. Melvin responded that doctors don’t have Mohawks. My mumbled response was that he’s five, not a doctor. But Cameron’s very clear and loud response was, “How are you going to tell me what my job is going to be? Your dad didn’t tell you what you had to be, did he?” He was quite emphatic with his statement, all big eyed and serious. Melvin just laughed, yet still denied the Mohawk request.

So instead of actually having a Mohawk cut, Cameron and I have tried to “make” a Mohawk using various brushes, gels, hairsprays, etc. Our last attempt involved using a product called “hair glue.” It worked as well as it could on hair like Cameron’s, but it seriously defied gravity on his friend Ben’s hair.

It didn’t do anything to Max’s head, which has tighter curls than Cameron, except make his curls hard as rocks…which only caused him to scream, “I want a mohawk!” over and over no matter how many times I explained to him that his hair was too short and too curly for such a do. I didn’t give in this time….I couldn’t!

I was hoping that this little adventure into creating our Mohawks would at least settle Cameron’s craving for a real one at least for now. But we walk into the kindergarten room at church today and who does he see, a boy with a freshly shaved Mohawk. ”Look at him!” Cameron said with the utmost excitement.

Great, I thought to myself…and so the hair battle continues.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Maybe I should just tattoo IDIOT to my forehead.

Some of you might recall all of my unfortunate incidences with my digital cameras.

And a couple months ago I spilled an entire cup of coffee on my laptop, destroying it.

A couple weeks ago I lost my credit card. It wasn’t stolen, no one tried to use it. I just lost it somewhere.

A couple days before our Bahamas trip I lost my driver’s license. I found it the day before in a bag that I had already searched 2 times.

This past month I kept forgetting to pay my nanny Sara. After 2 full weeks of not paying her, she finally notified me of my negligence.

Last week, as you recall, I broke my glasses.

And the next day I lost my keys…well, Ella “lost” them for me. Actually, I knew that she had them, and I chose not to take them away from her because they were keeping her happy. I finally found them a couple days later when I decided to finally clean up their toyroom.

This past week (okay, this is really every week) anytime I sent something via e-mail, I have to submit it at least twice because I ALWAYS forget the attachment I am trying to send.

Then yesterday, while at my mom’s group, I lost my keys again. This made no sense, because I was only in a couple areas, but they were nowhere to be found. I searched all 4 bags I was toting, checked in every room where I had ventured, and looked through all the toys the kids were playing with. Thankfully, my nanny Sara had a spare key from the previous day, and she was able to save me once again and drop it off , because I was just stuck. When I got home, I had a message on my machine letting me know that someone found my keys in a trashcan.

And these are only the idiotic things I can actually remember. Can you imagine all the others that fill up my days!!!!

There has got to be some kind of pill I can take for this!