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.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Calgon...take me away!

It's 10 PM. Ella and Cameron have been asleep for two hours.

I'm trying to take this last opportunity to finish my grad work so I can actually graduate on the 10th of May.

My middle monster is still awake.

He's in the bathroom, making a lot of noise, and I hear the water running.

I ignore it.

Becasue if he's in there, that means he's not out here...and I can do my work...
without him forcing my chair next to his,
without him trying to sit on my lap as I type around him and his big head, stopping him from touching my screen,
without hearing his Barney "computer" echoing in my ear,
without having to find him more food,
without having to explain to him why he cannot have juice
without having to answer all his questions of what I'm doing.

Finally he comes out.

"Mommy, come see. Look what I did!" he exclaims grabbing my hand, escorting me away from my computer to see his accomplishment.

Bubbles are flowing over the powderoom sink.

"Look Mommy! I made a bubble bath in the sink! Let's find a duck to put in the bubble bath I made in the sink!"

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

You're awesome...thanks mom!!!!!

My friend Andrea, who has had the strength of an oak while her husband has been away in Iraq for over a year (he was supposed to be home by now, but Bush had other plans), asked me how she can teach her kids to be more appreciative.

Me…she asked me….

The one whose son says, while we’re hanging out at MGM Studios in Florida, “I don’t want to go to this park. I want to go to a different park.”

Me…she asked me…

The one whose son cries because his father will not play Lego Star Wars with him, although he spent almost the entire weekend with him, going bike riding, fishing, having dinner, going for a walk, hanging out at a park, etc.

Me…she asked me…

The one whose son said to her after she brought us dinner from Boston Market, “Thanks for dinner, but next time, can you bring Tinucci’s?” (a local restaurant where we often get takeout chicken).

Me…she asked me…..WRONG PERSON to ask!!!!!!

Anyone have any ideas?

How do you teach your kids to appreciate what they have and what we do for them?
(Young kids that is….teenagers are just a lost cause.)

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Friday, April 27, 2007


Just another rough day at kindergarten!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Venn Diagram

I used to think that Cameron and Max were just alike. They looked alike a birth, they were both very active and rather determined babies.

But now I see them as very, very different.

When Cameron was a baby, he only wanted me. But now he only wants his dad.
When Max was a baby, he was drawn to his daddy, but now he prefers me.

Cameron goes to sleep 2 minutes after I tuck him in.
It takes Max 2 hours before he’s snoozing.

Cameron is a very, very picky eater.
Max will eat anything you put in front of him.

Cameron refuses to take any kind of medicine…except for bubble gum flavored Motrin, but NOTHING else.
Max will slurp down anything…and ask for more.

Cameron, as a toddler, was very independent. He insisted on dressing himself, putting on his own shoes, zipping up his jacket, clicking and unclicking himself in his carseat.
Max insists I do everything for him.

Cameron was very concerned about pleasing me. If I said to him, “That does not make me happy.” He’d correct the behavior and say, “Now are you happy?”
Max could care less whether I’m happy, sad, laughing, crying. It doesn’t change his behavior.

Cameron used to bolt in stores. I’d look down and he’d be in the next aisle, or hiding within the clothes racks. He thought it was so funny.
Max likes to stick close by.

When I used to ask Cameron who was in charge, he’d respond with, “You” and do as I asked.
When I ask Max who is in charge, he responds with, “Me” and continues doing as he pleases.

The epitome of their differences occurred this morning. I actually decided to get up and take a shower…wash my hair even…before the kids got up. Just as I was pouring on the shampoo both boys came into the bathroom.

Cameron was smiling and happy, “Good morning Mommy!” he said cheerfully.
Max on the other hand had nothing but a scowl on his face. He stared at me for a moment, then marched to the shower door, opened it and said, “Get out the shower mommy!” “Excuse me?” I responded in disbelief (once again)at his tone. “Get out the shower now!” he continued. “Max, shut the door! It's cold. And water is getting on the floor!” “No, you get out the shower!” he screamed in this very demanding voice. Then I had to listen to his screaming rants for the rest of my shower. When I finally did step out, he latched onto me, hugging me and wouldn’t let go!

I wonder where Ella will fall into this behavior spectrum.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nice and soft

Every week my husband and I have a “date night” planned. However, with his schedule and other activities, we seem to average going out together about once every two weeks. Usually we just do dinner and a movie, but he always complains that we should do something different. So this time I planned something different alright…but I wouldn’t tell him what because I feared his reaction.

All he knew was that it was around the corner from our house. I had to make an appointment for it. He could wear whatever he wanted, but I suggested shorts. And he knew that I was afraid he wasn’t going to like it.

His guesses were:
Swimming, Going to the gym, Painting pottery, Going to the gas station???

Cameron knew where we were going, and he was just giddy knowing that I was taking his daddy someplace, and he didn’t even know where it was and probably wouldn’t want to do it. I had to threaten everything of interest to him so that he wouldn’t tell his father who was trying to pry it out of him.

So where did we go?

To get manicures and pedicures! When we pulled up to the strip mall, and he finally guessed that we were going into Mia's Nails, he just sat down on the curb and started laughing…telling me “Ha. Ha. That was funny one. Jokes over, let’s go now.”

But I insisted that we go. With all the handwashing he does all day, his hands feel almost like sandpaper…and they’ve been really bad lately. Plus, I knew he’d really like the pedicure.

Anxious as he was, he humored me and went along with my idea….and except for how much it tickled when they scraped all the dead skin off his feet…he actually enjoyed it, and claimed it was one of our better date nights.

When we arrived home, Sara told us that at bedtime, Cameron told her to tell me to make sure I come upstairs to let him know what color daddy got his nails painted!

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Just Do It.

Washington D.C.
October 28th

Registration begins May 9th, and fills up very quickly...within a couple days if not sooner.

Consider joining us!


Monday, April 23, 2007

Get up on those feet!

Last night Ella took a couple steps for Melvin. Today she did a few for Sara. Finally. She's only almost 17 months old!

I hope she learns to walk consistently really soon because currently she has been doing this half crawl/half scoot which requires that she drag one knee on the ground while she pushes off with her other foot.

Already, since we've been outside the past couple days, she has put holes through 2 pairs of jeans by dragging her knee on the sidewalk...one pair she only wore twice! If I was crafty I'd buy cute little patches to cover up those holes, or create cut-offs and hem the ends with lace.

But that would require something like some thread, a needle, a sewing machine...none of which I own. Or it might take just take an iron for some patches...I think I have one of those somewhere.

Better yet, she just needs to walk.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

So I've been meaning to ask...

Ever since I’ve known my husband, when saying grace before dinner he prays, “We thank Thee heavenly Father, for the food we’re about to receive, for the nourishment of our bodies. Amen.”

So Cameron has been hearing this prayer for almost six years now. But today, when we were finished praying, he said in all seriousness,

“Daddy, who is the nurse in our bodies?” as if he'd been pondering it all these years, trying to figure out who he/she was, and finally decided to just ask us.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

A small request

A small request:

If you see a two year old sprinting away without an adult, and he is running through a parking lot next to a very busy street, please, STOP HIM! Even if you don't know him, or you actually see the mother trying to catch up with him while carrying a one year old, take a moment to catch that child.

Thankfully nothing happened to Max as I was turning in my rental car keys at the Toyota dealership where my van was being serviced, and Max decided to take off to find a pine cone without me knowing. But once Cameron alerted me, and I caught a glimpse of his tiny rear sprinting into the parking lot, I also saw that there were 2 people...men who just stood there watching him...who LET him run right by them into harm's way.

Now I am well aware that my child is my responsibilty and I should have had him under my control and not depend on everyone else around me to take care of him. I know that. But I just know if I saw someone's kid in danger, I would stop to help. Not too much to ask is it?

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Supernanny Commentary

My nanny is very kind and agreeable. Her responses to my constant stupidity usually include something like, “That’s okay.” Or a pleasant “Oh, I don’t care.” Or just a smile and an “Oh no!”

But this I’m sure this isn’t how she really feels. I’m sure that in actuality what she’s really thinking is:

“Ugh. I folded these clothes and put the laundry basket in her room a week ago, and yet still they sit there not put away. Does this woman do anything on her own?”

“She is going to the store again? How much money can one person spend at Target each week?”

“I don’t know why she always complains about having trouble putting him to bed. He lays there just fine for me.”

“Um. I’ve been out of town for 5 days. Do you think this woman could do a load of the kids’ laundry for once in her spoiled life?”

“Really now. Look at those kids. Holes in their pants, Ella’s hair not even touched, peanut butter stuck all over their face. They look like they live on the street!”

“Is she giving in to him again? Really, how does she expect him to listen to her if she can’t handle a few minutes of screaming and gives in to her child’s whining demands?”

“Is she serious? She actually wants me to sit in this van? Does she see this food that has been strewn all over the floor for weeks now? Does she even smell the odor eminating from the sippy cups of milk stuck under the seats? I’m embarrassed even to open the door of this vehicle.”

And then today, after she left my house to meet her friend at the gym, I’m sure this is what she had to say:

“Oh my goodness. Today, I was her chauffer and had to pick her up from the church where she has her Thursday morning Bible study because she had her car in the shop about 5 minutes away. We travel about 25 minutes all the way up to her driveway, and she suddenly realizes at that moment that she left her garage door opener in her car at the dealership. Since she loses everything and can’t find her house key, the only way for her to get in the house is with the garage door opener. So we had to go all the way back where we just came from so we could gain access to the house. And then when we finally made it to the house, oh my, you should have seen what it looked like. Breakfast dishes with spilled cereal still out on the table, dinner dishes and food from last night in the sink and on the counter, the trash overflowing, papers everywhere, kids clothes thrown all over their roomss, a complete and total mess. Ridiculous. Just ridiculous.”

And yet, she still comes back. Thank goodness!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Just like Dora

The other day, Ella was tossing all of the contents of her diaper bag around the laundry room. Cameron came into the kitchen and said, "Mom, Ella really likes exploring your backpack."

I guess that's one way of putting it.

Lately, she has also been found "exploring".....

an entire package of diaper wipes,

her brother's dinner plate,

the contents of the pantry,

a new box of tissues and her brothers' desk drawers,
and a new roll of toilet paper.

If she keeps this up, my little Ella may be exploring my room at the mental hospital in the near future.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Unfine lines

Note to husbands:

I don’t care how many dozens of bottles of products your wife has sitting in her bathroom drawers designed to counteract the effects of aging on her skin. If you’re shopping, and she tells you to get a particular kind of soap, do NOT pick up the age-defying variety and say, “Don’t you want this one instead?”

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

The silent type

Last week, when my husband was helping Max get out of his carseat, Max announced, "Excuse me" for what appeared to be no clear reason.
"Why did you say 'excuse me' Max?" Melvin asked.
Max's response: "Cause I burped out my butt."

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Leaving one zoo to visit another

Today did not start out to be a very good day. Ella woke up at 5:30 AM, and was not going back to sleep. Despite going to bed past 10 o’clock, Max joined Ella in my bed at around 6:15 AM. All my attempts at trying to get them back to a slumber were futile.

A little while later Cameron joined them down at the breakfast table. It was 7:30 AM. I had 2 hours before I had to leave to meet my friend at the zoo with her two little ones. I had plenty of time…so I thought.

At about 8 AM, after throwing her banana all over the floor, I realized that Ella was tired. She went right to sleep on the floor of my bedroom, as I took a shower. By the time I was all ready and even accidentally took a little 15 minute nap myself, it was 9:10. I had 20 minutes to get Ella up and dressed, the bags packed, lunches made, coffee brewed, shoes found, boys pottied, and everyone in the car. At about 9:30 I called my friend to tell her that we were going to be late, and to expect me around 10:30.

I managed to get Ella all together with little struggle. But getting the boys into the car was a different story. First they fought over the bathroom. We have FIVE bathrooms in our house, why they must fight over who uses the one off the kitchen is ridiculous. But Cameron won, and he proceeded to sit on the toilet for OVER 20 minutes. I knew we were going to be even later than I had anticipated.

While Max was waiting for Cameron, he found a box to play in. He kept screaming for help! I told him to get out of the box and get his shoes on. He told me that he wanted me to close the box…over and over again. I proceeded to ignore him as I continued to yell to Cameron that if he hadn’t pooped after 20 minutes, then he obviously didn’t have to go. To which he yelled to me, “Why are you yelling at me? It’s not my fault my poop isn’t coming out!”

Tired of being ignored, Max got quiet, then I heard a loud huff, and he yelled to me quite determined, “You close this box or I not gonna come to the zoo!” Startled at his demand and his tone, I responded with, “Excuse me?” And without even a blink, he stared into my eyes unwavering and repeated with even more force, “You..close..this..box..or..I..not..gonna..come..to..the..zoo!” At that point, if I had had a roll of packaging tape, I would have sealed that box tight and shipped him off to one of his grandmas. But I didn’t have one, so instead I picked him up, placed him in his carseat, and tried to block out his wailing for the next 20 minutes on the way to the zoo.

We didn’t arrive until 11:00..an hour late. Thank goodness for cellphones.

The zoo trip went relatively smoothly considering I had all 3 kids with me and half of Minnesota decided to come out on this sunny 60 degree day to see the farm babies. (I lost Max a couple times, but that might have been somewhat intentional. ) We all had long naps when we arrived home…and then the dinner/nighttime time disaster started. But it’s too late to write about all that, and if I’m going to successfully get through another morning with my sanity still somewhat in tact while my husband is out of town, I’m going to need all the rest I can get.
(pictures taken by my very patient friend Andrea)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007


Sometimes the resemblance is just a little too scary.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It's all grape

Apparently “blended” wines are all the rage now. These are wines that are made from different grapes and then blended together. The wine I’m drinking right now is called Ten Mile, and is actually a mix of 10 different wines.

Who knew that years ago, before I became a red wine lover, when I would mix Cabernet Sauvignon with Grape Kool-aid that I was actually ahead of my time.

Think I could market this “blend” today?


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spring Break Visitors

We have lovely visitors this week. Melvin’s cousins Terrence and Shalynne from the Detroit area are here for the week. They drove in on Saturday and return Friday.

With 2 older boys around (ages 9 and 11), Cameron is in his glory! Instant friends. Max and Ella are enjoying them as well. And for me, it has been wonderful, having extra hands and extra “entertainment” around for my kids.

On Sunday, we attended church and went out to breakfast. On Monday we did the required Mall of America trip. Today we’re going to the Water Park of America. And tomorrow we’re heading to a Timberwolves game.

But I’m sure of all these “scheduled” activities, their spontaneous games of tag in the backyard, the bike ride around the neighborhood, the paper airplane flights down the stairs, and their fun with “googly” eyes is what they’ll remember the most.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Ella

If I'm going to go through all the trouble of making sure my family is color coordinated for Easter, (including a last minute exchange at The Children's Place last night at 7 PM to get Ella a blue dress), you'd think I'd at least get a picture of all of us in our matching blue outfits.

But no, I don't.

Instead, the only picture I manage to snap before we all changed into our "play clothes" was this one of Ella, who had already managed to pull out her adorable blue bow adorned pig tails.

Oh well, maybe next year.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Some spring chickens

As I am now in my mid thirties, with three children, I see new signs of physical aging popping up every day. It’s depressing. So anytime someone actually thinks I’m much younger is welcomed……except for yesterday.

My friend Shawn and I needed a dinner out. I had just survived a week with a teenager visiting and had an Easter party at my house with over a dozen kids. I was exhausted, but I needed an hour or two just to get away. My friend’s husband had been working non-stop all week, and with a 1 and 2 year old to look after and clean up after and entertain all while trying to sell their house, well, she needed a break. Actually, we needed more than just a break, we needed a drink.

We chose Mexican because we wanted some good margaritas. I had heard of this locally owned place that served some good food and some good drink. Perfect for our little dinner outing. When the waitress took our drink order, she actually carded us. We giggled. “You’re too kind,” my friend said. I just laughed, as it’s quite evident with my "fine lines" and grey hairs and overall haggard look that there’s no way I could be in my 20s, let alone under 21!

The thing is, the waitress, who was probably in her late 30s early 40s was not trying to complement us. She really wanted to see our IDs. Maybe it was because it was little dark in the restaurant, or maybe she had poor eye sight. But she told us that we looked really young. I showed her mine, still laughing. But my friend Shawn could not find hers. It was in her backpack/diaper bag, with the sitters, at home. The waitress told her she couldn’t serve her. As Shawn was shuffling through her wallet, she flashed her pictures of her 2 kids, and told her she was 38 years old. But still, the waitress would not serve her.

We still had a good dinner and great conversation. But looking “so young” sure was a bummer.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sin City

Our nanny Sara is leaving for Vegas for a few days. We are very sad that she's leaving...especially me! But with my three munchkins, she needs the break. She could probably use a month break. I just hope she doesn't come back married. Then we'll really be in trouble.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Why people don't live in Minnesota

It's April.

It's Spring Break.


I am not happy.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Today I went to the Mall of America with my 16 year old niece who is visiting from New Jersey.

I’ve developed the following conclusion:

If I walk into a store, and there is a table that looks to me like it’s displaying underwear, but in actually it’s displaying shorts…then I need to just turn right around and find another store to shop in.

I felt VERY old (and fat) today.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dinner Delight

This evening, while I was taking Max into the bathroom at Red Lobster, a lady passed us and commented, "Oh your kids are so happy." I chuckled a thanks. She obviously didn't hear all the screaming and crying going on in the car.

But sometime during the dinner, they crossed the line. The line that separates the adorable behavoir from the disturbing kind. The line that delineates when the people smile at my children's silly antics....and when they frown in disappointment. The line that's drawn between when people are happy to be entertained by my kids' smiles....and when they longed to be moved to a different side of the room.

I'm not sure what it was that caused the crossover. Maybe it was Max dancing in the middle of the restaurant. Or maybe it was Max changing several chairs. Or maybe it was Max spilling his full cup of chocolate milk on the group. Or maybe it was Ella screaming at the top of her lungs because Cameron refused to give her any of his apple sauce. Or maybe it was Ella swiping her food everywhere. Or maybe it was Max playing "the flute" with his straw and singing, "I play the flute...deet..deet..deet...deet..deet" (from Dora), or maybe it was Cameron responding by playing the "cymbals" with his hands. Or maybe it was Max and Ella seeing who could "fake" laugh the loudest. Or maybe it was Max doing Indian warcries with his hand and mouth. Or maybe it was Ella copying those warcries.

Who knows, most likely, it was all of the above. But all I know is that as I was walking out, people who normally smile at my kids' brown big eyes and curly tops were just scowling at us.

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