Monday, December 31, 2007

Lars, Age 7, Runaway

By his own declaration, Lars is RUNNING AWAY. The following reasons were cited (at the top of his lungs):

1. He does not want to write thank-you notes for his Christmas or birthday presents.

2. It is NOT FAIR that he can't play x-box for six hours at a stretch.

3. I bought him new pants and made him take off his favorite black pants (which are really blue and short enough to almost show his knees) this morning IN THE HALL.

4. He had to use a NAPKIN at BREAKFAST.

5. Ross NEVER has to use a NAPKIN. EVER. At BREAKFAST. He NEVER does.

6. Lars does not want to go to school today. (Winter break is still on until Wednesday...)

So far, Lars has made it as far as his room, presumably to pack. Since Chris just handed me the power cord for the kids' computer, I know he's not up there playing games with the sound off. I'm sort of hoping he'll sneak into my room to watch TV with the sound off - he hides under the covers and usually gets warm and falls asleep when he does, and something tells me a nap is exactly what he needs about now.

Friday, December 28, 2007

One more click

My worst mama post is over at my own place today. I'm too lazy to repost it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hey, whatever keeps her entertained

So Sarah chews a bit on the cord of a powerful electric appliance, which is indeed plugged in...at least I know where she is.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Worst Mama Haiku

Three shopping days left
Two cubs utterly giftless
One mum unravels

When Mama is just too sick and tired

The toddler can pretty much get away with anything, including playing with a plastic bag, eating whole grapes, and lying about stealing them out of the grocery bags still sitting on the kitchen floor.


Lindsay at 19 months

I translate a bit in the beginning, my voice sounds a bit hoarse - I'm just over the stomach flu. You get some pan shots of the state of my living room after ignoring benignly neglecting her for about an hour. In the end of the video, she's saying, "Mine. My grapes. Yummy." I particularly like how she retrieves the grape stem out of her mouth and puts it back into the bag...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We DID It!

So, despite all of my neurotic worry about drinking (before knowledge of the wee alien inhabiting my uterus), over-doing it and not resting until I was forced to do so by the evil toxemia and despite, even, my anxiety and worry about delivering my baby at 37 weeks, 4 days (a full 15 days ahead of my original due date, and two full days ahead of my nicely planned, scheduled c-section date...), he is here and he is PERFECT!

Thanks to my sister, Ashley, for posting a quick announcement of Zane's arrival and one of his first pictures...proud auntie, indeed! Following is a shot of Baby Zane with his equally proud Pops, just about 10 minutes after delivery.

I'll be posting more about him in the days to come, but I wanted to at least check in and let you know my bid for WME is in FULL effect.

To wit, immediately after delivery, I thought of MYSELF first (and the nasty magnesium sulfate coursing through my bloodstream...) instead of nourishing my child at the breast. The poor dear was forced to swallow Enfamil from a syringe until his mother could 1. keep her eyes open for longer than 3 minutes at a stretch; and 2. not shake violently from the medication; and 3. not vomit violently from the mag drip. Even more, the temperature in the room was cranked down to 50 degrees (I'm not exaggerating...) because Mama was sweating. Nasty, nasty medication, that magnesium sulfate.

Then, the next day, I spilled ice cold Gatorade on the poor lad's head while attempting to coax latch-on while holding an icy beverage. Greeeeaaaattt job, Paige. That happened while my night nurse was at my bedside...I'm surprised they let me walk out of the hospital on Saturday with my sweet little boy.

PG and I BOTH should earn points for the drive home...while we properly installed the infant seat in the proper position in the back seat, we both sat in the front seat, giddily holding hands and congratulating ourselves on a job well done. Until we parked at the pharmacy to pick up my pain meds. Poor Baby Zane was slumped in his seat, head completely lolled to one side, with ice-cold hands from the AC vent directly overhead. I thought poor PG would burst into tears. He admitted to being "scared." I shrugged it off with a "we'll do better next time." And we have. ;)

If you want to see more pictures, follow this link. PG did a really great job of telling the story of Zane's arrival.

I've got my nerve

During this weekend's Bakefest 07, as I've come to call it, I had a lot of help from Kate. Because the items we were baking were to be gifts I spent a great deal of time washing and re-washing Kate's hands and admonishing her not to touch various bits of dough or ingredients. It's a tricky balance, trying to make Baking With Mommy fun while trying to prevent the spread of spit-borne pathogens to ones friends. The shiny sheen of snot upon the cherubic faces of my little darlings had me wiping, washing, rubbing in hand sanitizer and trying to block out thoughts of the grossness all weekend. The skin on my hands is cracked and chapped from my obsessive compulsive behavior.

Where was I? Oh yes. So we're standing there over the bowl of my fabulous new mixer and I'm having Kate dump chocolate chips into the chocolate chip cookie dough. This, I've explained, is the most important part of the process because otherwise the chocolate chip cookies would just be...cookies. I also explained that when you open a new bag of delightfully chunky Ghiradelli chocolate chips you must taste one to be sure they are of the quality you expect for the cookies you're baking. I gave her one. She popped it in her mouth. We continued on. I looked from the bowl of dough back up at her just in time to see her about to push the tongue-moistened chip from her mouth into the dough.

Horrified, I yelled at her. "Kate! What are you doing?!? JUST WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" She sucked the chip back in and looked all shocked and doe-eyed at me. The lower lip began to tremble but I wasn't done. She got quite a talking to about actually spitting into the very dough I'd just explained she should not touch, ending with "...and just what were you thinking spitting out a chocolate chip? Is something wrong with you?" She silently climbed down the steps of the little ladder next to the counter. I heard her go up the stairs and find her daddy. Then I heard her say "Daddy, mommy broke my heart!"

Monday, December 17, 2007

But These Ones Are My Favorite

Clothes are suddenly to short and tight on Lars again. Pants we had to cuff in September are up over his ankles and shirts that should skim his hip barely reach his waist. This unfortunate situation allowed me to glimpse an extra hole in his undies tonight as I sent him up for pajamas.

When instructed to toss that pair of undies rather than put them in the hamper, he reached down to identify the offending garment and immediately wailed, "But these ones are my FAVORITES!" How does a boy who sometimes forgets foundation garments even HAVE favorites?

Divine Intervention

Today, while I was standing on a chair trying to wedge our angel onto the top of our tree, Ben attempted to cut his sister's hair with hedge clippers. I looked down just in time to prevent him from putting an emergency room sized gash in her head. I am starting to believe that God has a assigned those two their own personal guardian Angel, or surely one of them would be dead by now.

Ben received a spanking for this incident. There was no question in his or my mind about whether or not he knew he was not supposed to touch the hedge clippers, and some things, like objects of potential dismemberment, need a strong hands-off reminder.

Author's Note: Hedge Clippers = Pruning Shears. I used the wrong word! They were NOT electric and they were inside my home to prune the top of the tree for the Angel. :-(

Conversations from our home this weekend:

Allison-Mom, my black pants smell really bad.
Me-Your concert is in an hour, why are you telling me this now?
Allison-I can't wear them like this, they smell.
Me-Well try not to inhale.

***********************
Me-Ben, Please put baby Jesus back in the manger.
Ben-But I love baby Jesus.
Me-I know Ben, But you might break him.
Ben-Wide Eyed - Break baby Jesus?
Me-Yes, Ben, you know that's not the real baby Jesus, it's just a decoration.
Ben-Oh. The real baby Jesus is tougher?
Me-Yes Ben. Much tougher.

************************
Allison-Mom, I signed up to bring chicken wings to our party on Thursday.
Me-Chicken Wings?!?!
Allison-tentatively Yes
Me-Allie, we have discussed this.
Allison-Mom, They said they already had all the paper products they needed.

************************
Me-BEN STOP! I told you that present was for Gramma. What are you doooing?
Ben-Sheepishly- She needs help unwapping it.

************************
Me-Look Brandon, here's your Michael Vick ornament from last year- giggling.
Brandon-Oh great, we're hanging convicts on our tree now.

************************
Me-Ben, please, put that ornament back on the tree.
Me-Clara, don't touch!
Me-Ben, stop playing with the ornaments.
Ben-Cwara's taking off the ornments!
Me-Clara, no!
Ben-She's breaking it!! That's mine!
Me-BEN & CLARA GET AWAY FROM THE TREE. Can't you just watch TV?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Little

Ross' term of Being Bigger lasted approximately 17 days but I have photographic evidence to show that he was, in fact, bigger than Lars. On this day, or one just like it, Ross gave Lars his nickname, "Little". It was given matter-of-factly, "Oh, he's just Little," but I suspect Ross may have been working with some inside information - he's always appreciated irony:


Nine months later, Lars hadn't quite caught up in the height or hair departments but he was already ahead on weight:


By the time Lars was two and Ross was four, it was all over:

Lars is turning seven and we still call him "Little." As time goes on, it just gets funnier!

Eeeeew

Poor little Helen has a nasty ear infection. I was warned by the ped. to expect it to burst and drain. Yum. It's been four days and it hasn't so I'm hoping we're safe. We are not, however, safe from the side effects of Augmentin. I am quite grateful it is not my potty trained three year old who is on it, as that might make for lots of accidents and really gross messes. However, I keep forgetting to check the diaper clad diarrhea prone toddler more frequently than usual. Yesterday we had a Polar Express party in the a.m. I ha errand to do first, and time got away form me. i thought about it once or twice a the party, but she was in her p.j.s and I was loathe to do all the undressing in the middle of the party. So I didn't. I waited til we got home, and it had been 6 hours at that point. Needless to say, her diaper had leaked, her onesie was covered in diarrhea, and the poor baby had a rash. Rash was better by evening good thing because I did the same thing today.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

In the Spirit of Celebration - Part 7

Oh shoot... I must join the fun!

Todd - 7lbs, 6ozs, 18 1/2 inches - June 16, 2005(we think the nurse messed up the length...he is actually a few days old as somehow all of my newborn in the hospital shots of him have magically disappeared...2nd kids always have it so rough!)



Kyle - 7lbs, 15ozs, 21 inches - September 3, 2003 (I just love this shot, he was just under 2 days old and alert as all get out)

In the spirit of celebration - Part 6

Just a reminder...mine were early and weighed 2 lbs. 12 oz. and 3 lbs. 11 oz....don't look like typical newborns. But if you ask me, they were just as beautiful!

Amelia (Ruthie) the day she was born:

The firs time I held her...she was about 40 hours old:


And when she was about two days old:

And Anya (Helen) in the delivery room:


Anya and me before they took her to he NICU (I hadn't been able to hold Amelia before they took her away, so this was an amazing moment for me.)

And when she was about a day old:

And Now Introducing...



Peter Zane Biagi Leboutillier aka Ziggy (will be called Zane)

I am only going to post one pic of the new little one. I will let Paige fill ya'll in on "the birth story" and let her share her favorite shots. BTW, she TOTALLY deserves those 10 points! Hurray new mama!

In the Spirit of Celebration, Part 5

Here's my inaugural run with technology.
Alas, neither of them are from their actual birth days. (Remember, I'm still functioning with those disposal cameras you buy at Rite Aid.)

The picture of Samuel is maybe the day after--at least we were still in the hospital. But I can't size it. He was much bigger in real life. 8 lbs 8 1/2 oz.

I snagged the picture of Will out of his scrapbook and scanned it.


In the Spirit of Celebration - Part 4

I was hesitant to do this because I don't have digital birth pictures of Brandon & Allie and no scanner to make them that way. So I am posting these pictures with the disclaimer that my other two children were just as beautiful on their birth days.


Benjamin Shane 5-15-04 I love this picture of him. He looks so sad and wise.

Brandon holding Ben for the first time



Clara Elizabeth 7-16-06. with Allie & Shane

One Day old.
(Okay, so I went nuts with the pictures, but I felt the need to have all my kiddos represented.)

In the Spirit of Celebration, Part 3

Ross Christopher, 2.February 1999
(photo is from 4.Feb 99 - there are no pictures from the actual day Ross was born...)

Lars Raymond, 30.December 2000

In the spirit of celebration, cont....

This is fun! Way to go, Paige - I can't wait to meet Ziggy!


Katherine Louise Drueke, June 12, 2004

Sarah Olivia Drueke, July 26, 2006

In the spirit of celebration

...and hoping for more baby pictures, here are my two the day they were born:

Lauren Elisabeth - September 10, 2002: 4 lbs, 3 oz, 16 inches at 37 weeks

Lindsay Alexandra - May 21, 2006 - 6 lbs, 9 oz, 18 inches, at 37 weeks

We Have A New Mama!

Paige delivered a healthy, beautiful baby boy last night (December 12) at 9:13pm. He weighed in at 7lbs 3ounces and measured 19 inches long. She is now an official W.M.E.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

As addict is born (Round 3)

This evening I stole a few moments of computer time while waiting for the water to boil for pasta the blue box crap. My Google Reader count has reached above 100 in recent days because of the pressures involved with "celebrating" the Christmas season with four children. But that's a complaint for another blog.

As I was reading, I felt a familiar tug and looked down to find Clara pulling up on the keyboard tray. Her mouth was ringed with a mysterious crusty brown substance. Flashing back to recent incidents my heart started beating double-time. But, before I could even begin to initiate a search she lifted a white salt-shaker like cylinder to her mouth and took a swig. "Cinnamon-Sugar" the label said on the shaker. I had left the pantry door open and Clara was doing shots of cinnamon-sugar from the spice rack in the door.

It's too bad she didn't reach for something like ginger or curry. She would have been cured of her spice rack fascination for good. But no, with an uncanny aptitude for sensing out sweets, she found the one bottle that will that will, no doubt, keep me chasing her out of the pantry for years to come.

Mmmmm - mmmm!

While everyone else (except Joy, of course) is busy being a paragon of Good Motherhood, I got out of the city earlier than expected and brought Chris a dozen Krispy Kremes today. We just ate seven of them (oink oink), right in front of the children, and we didn't share a single bite. What's better? I seamlessly deflected all 243 of their requests, saying they'd have to ask their father - the donuts are his - and Chris effortlessly changed the subject each time...we never actually gave them an answer! The more donuts we ate, the more bewildered the kids looked as no donuts headed their way. They didn't whine at all, either, which makes me think they haven't a clue what just happened here. All in all, VERY satisfying!

The First Day of Christmas

"On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me......" a BABY! This Friday is the first day of Christmas (at least in the 12-day countdown), and my baby will be born sometime between 3:15pm and 3:30pm if all goes as planned and my scheduled c-section is not bumped...

The last nine months have been quite an adventure. As my doctor said two weeks ago, "you were so well-behaved for your entire pregnancy..." But, the last three weeks have been extremely challenging. I feel like my body is betraying me: high blood pressure readings on 11/14; ordered to bed rest for toxemia on 11/27; admitted to the hospital just one week later for even-higher-spiking blood pressure; released from the hospital after 30 hours, with an appointment to return this Friday at 1:00pm for a 3:00pm visit to the OB/OR.

I can't wait to meet this kid who looks so precious and beautiful in all of the sonogram pictures...who sleeps when I sleep and kicks when he hears his Pop talking or laughing...or kicks just to reassure his Mama that he is happy and healthy while lying upside down, facing backward and breathing water.

Next time I post here, I'll be a full-fledged member of the club. I'm sure I'll be able to really start racking up WMPs then...

Failing miserably

My fellow WMEs, I have failed you. My own husband has promised to call me out right here in my own venue so I have decided to go ahead and confess rather than be shamed by my main squeeze. (Again)

Saturday morning I got the girls dressed and was bringing them downstairs for breakfast. I couldn't see yet (maybe I will get that laser surgery...) and had not had any coffee. Holding the ever-squirmy Sarah in my arms and the hand of Kate with my free hand as we began our descent to the kitchen I said to them both "Come on little ladies, mommy needs to make some coffee!" Kate responded...and here's where I really went astray dear friends, "Coffee...cake?"

A pause. And then, without thinking I said "OK, I'll make you some coffee cake". WAIT! It gets worse. I then proceeded to make coffee cake, after getting them some dry cereal as an appetizer and before I even made coffee. Yes! Before I made coffee! Jeremiah shuffled out to the kitchen, paused to take in the scene and then made the coffee himself while I merrily mixed together the tasty ingredients of the strudel for the coffee cake.

In my defense...a very good mama would certainly have been more concerned for the nutrition of the breakfast she fed her children, would she not? Throw me a bone here, people! I believe I've been infected by the spirit of Christmas. I need help.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Round 2

This is post 2 in my series on worst mothering by lack of proper supervision.

A Picture Book:

See Ben's feet. See Clara's feet.
Sweet Baby Feet.


See Ben & Clara listening to Boney M Christmas on YouTube.
Smart Ben & Clara.


See Ben & Clara standing on a rolling chair.


See Clara struggle not to fall as Mama takes pictures.


See Clara cry when Mama finally removes her from death trap Boney M.

Poor Clara.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

For Lisa

Comment to Joy's post Really? Antifreeze?, Lisa asked:

This post has made me nostalgic for Mr. Yuck stickers. Do they still make those? I want to get some and put them on everything I feed to Kate & Sarah. I am easily amused.


Why, yes! You can order Mr Yuk stickers and a variety of other poison prevention materials from the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. If you send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below, they will even send you a sheet for free:

Free Mr. Yuk Stickers
Pittsburgh Poison Center
3705 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213



Because that made me a little nostalgic, I bring you "We're NOT Candy!"

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Really? Antifreeze?

It has come to my attention that most of my worst mothering points come from neglecting to supervise my children properly. I am starting a series of posts on this. Maybe it will help me to change my errant ways. Here's round one from yesterday's adventures:

When we bought my house, there were really only two things I wanted that I didn't get. But they were both biggies. A big back yard for the kids and an open floor plan: i.e. I wanted to be able to see the kids in the living room while I was in the kitchen. Even before the births of Ben and Clara, I somehow knew this would be important. I should have stuck to my guns.

Last night I was making dinner and Ben and Clara were gated in. Gated in means they are contained to the living room and the kitchen, but if you are in one room you can not see into the other. If Clara is not hanging on my feet while I cook I normally only do the occasional covert peeking to see why she is so quiet. If she sees me, immediate whining will commence and making dinner with a whining monkey attached to your leg is particularly unpleasant.

Ben came in the kitchen talking about a mess. I only half way processed it. I was frying bacon - the pork kind people! - and didn't want him near the stove.

"Ben, Go back in the living room. I'll be in, in a minute."

Well a minute must have passed because soon Ben was back at my grease splattering side.

"Mommy. Cwara's pwaying in the water." he said obviously irritated.

"Ben, step back from the stove" I barked. And then thought. Water? What water? Initially thinking someone must have had an "accident." Sighing. Very. Loudly. I took the bacon off the heat, and went into the living room.

And there was Clara sitting on the brick hearth. A pool of liquid and the shattered remains of a small glass snow globe scattered around her. Allison's snow globe. Previously located on a high, thought to be unreachable, shelf. We had obviously underestimated Ben's tenacity and ingenuity. Again.

Apparently tired of splashing in the water, (which I found out through research is not water at all but likely oil or antifreeze) she was gleefully putting pieces of glass in her mouth.

Kinda puts the whole unacceptable levels of lead in Dora in perspective, doesn't it?

***************
By the way, I would like the record to show I only got two pieces of glass in my foot sprinting across the room to remove the shards of antifreeze covered glass from my daughter's mouth. But I would like to warn you that yelling: "No! No! No! No! No! Clara, Damnit, No!" at your 16 month old is likely to scare the crap out of them,

And you can just give up on frying your full-fat bacon in peace after that.

Confession to my children

When I was but a wee footy-pajama-wearing child I would lie awake after bedtime, listening to the murmurs of the wakeful adults at the other end of the house. I was certain they were having so much fun and I was missing it.

Now I know that my own children can hear the noises of our voices wafting up the stairs as they try to drift off to sleep at an hour that, for us grown-ups, is just dinner time. I must tell you my dears - after you go to bed we eat ice cream and watch cartoons and cuss. YES the very same ice cream I looked you right in the eye and told you we don't have. Oh, how we laugh together! We even laugh about how we're doing stuff you love that we've denied you while you're upstairs sleeping. We do! I know this probably angers you. But rest assured little loves, in 30 years, you'll do the same thing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Excuse Me, WHAT Did You Just Say?

"Idiot!" There's a pause and some storming around in the hall, "Stupid a$.$!"

"TIME OUT. STAIRS. NOW." I do some storming of my own in the hall. In fact, I storm right past the offender now sulking on the stairs and into the kitchen, where I pump a little Method hand soap (non-toxic) onto one finger and storm back to the time out spot. "OPEN."

He mewls and squirms, covers his mouth with both hands. I glare and curl my lip, hold out my soap finger. He tries to melt into the stairs; cries, "I'll never say it again! I won't!"

"I KNOW YOU WON'T. OPEN." Reluctantly, he does. I smear a bit of soap on his tongue and he instantly begins to emulate a poisoned cartoon character with a series of still-life poses altering between grabbing his neck and arched back, wide splayed arms with jazz fingers.

A few minutes later, when I'm sure he's had full value out of the soap, I let him out of time out. As he stands, I offer, "...and, so you know, it's 'DUMBa$.$'." Would somebody please pass me the soap?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

One man's trash...

This morning hubby was kind enough to let me sleep in again. (He got up yesterday with Helen, the human rooster, but I've been nursing a head cold that he gave me, so maybe he felt guilty. It was very nice of him either way.) I made my way downstairs around 8 a.m. and plopped down on the couch with Benny and Ruthie. Little Helen was wandering around the kitchen. A little while later she came toddling in with something in her hand. She was ceremoniously bringing it to her mouth and licking it. Curious, I leaned forward and looked a bit closer. Looked like a bagel...and cream cheese.
"Did you give her a bagel for breakfast?" I ask Benny.
Silence.
"She's eating a bagel, did you give that to her?"
A bewildered look comes across Benny's face.
"Uh, no. I gave Ruthie a bagel, but she threw it in the trash. That must be where she got that from."
I turn to the baby. "Did you take that out of the trash?"
"Trash" she replies with a big cream cheesy grin.
I shrug. Benny shrugs, And Helen enjoys the rest of her bagel.
On a whim, later, I peek in the trash can and sure enough, Ruthie's bagel is gone.

Friday, November 30, 2007

No more monkies jumpin on the bed

I've been waiting for this to happen.


You see, we regularly allow the kids to jump on our bed. We throw them on the bed. We pick them up and bounce them up and down while they laugh and laugh and then we throw them into the pillows and they laugh some more and beg us to "jump me again!" And so it goes. I have pictures around here somewhere, I'll have to add them later.


The other day I was not allowing Sarah to jump on the bed, but she was up there while I folded some clothes and Kate ran circles around us on the floor. Sarah was in a merry state, giggling and rolling around. I was watching her. She's a great climber and gets herself up and down from spots Kate was never good with at her age. But then...just as I've always worried...she got herself at the furthest most spot on the bed away from me. She fell backwards onto the throw pillow on top of the regular pillows. She teetered for a moment and I watched, panicked, too far away to get to her fast enough, as she fell off the extra-tall bed. Just to make things better, she hit her head on the bedside table before finally landing on the floor.

I've seen babies fall in alarming ways often enough now to know there's always a pause for absorption before the screaming commences. "Did she fall down?" Kate asked in that moment. Then Sarah screamed. The worst part of this sort of thing is that she clearly knew it was all my fault. I rushed to her. Picked her up, checking for blood (none) or bumps (miraculously, none) and hugged her. She rejected me outright, instead throwing herself into the arms of her concerned daddy. That was probably a good 30 points off her verbal SAT score, right there.

And the winner is:

Karen of Reason Enough. It was close competition this month, with all the authors posting points to the big board. Congratulations, Karen, you have the distinction of being this month's Worst Mama. This makes Karen's second win in a row, tying her with Joy for 2 wins. I'm sure she's done her sons, husband, and mom proud.
Thanks to all the blog authors for a successful NaBloPoMo. We did it! Thirty days, and a whopping 59 posts.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How's that dinner?

Yesterday was my birthday. Last year, I spent the day in the doctor's office and then the pharmacy, getting a prescription for antibiotics to kill my bronchitis. Yay. This year, it's not as bad, but I have a nasty head cold. I don't expect much for my birthday. No big fanfare, but it's a good excuse to eat out. P.F. Chang's opened here about a month or so ago, and we've been waiting to go yesterday. I was not going to let my illness prevent me from my long-awaited meal. However, there was he small issue of Helen's head cold, and Ruthie's diarrhea. I briefly entertained the thought of picking up take-out from there, and even more briefly, the thought of staying home completely. But nope. I wanted my dinner and I wanted it there, even f the likelihood of me being able to taste it was slim. So., after naps, and a huge bout of diarrhea for poor Ruthie (and resulting rash because she was sleeping and had a pull-up on when last bout occurred), I dressed them up, combed Helen's booger-encrusted hair into some cute little pigtails (to detract from the mask of snot on her face), and off we went. The last thing I wanted was Ruthie having an accident at the restaurant, what with the diarrhea and all, so while Benny and I ate our lettuce wraps, calamari, crispy honey chicken and shrimp with lobster sauce, Ruthie enjoyed a nice steaming bowl of white rice. I'm pretty sure she liked it.

The Dentist Will Give Him A New Toothbrush Next Week

"Stop messing around! Your toothbrush just fell on the nasty a$~ bathroom floor!"

(shock; suppressed giggle), "MAMA! You said a BAD word."

(motherglare; guilty feeling in stomach), "BRUSH your TEETH."

Surprisingly, he obeys. He's about half done when I realize he's using the toothbrush that was just on the offensive floor. Oh well. Someone in his class may have sent home head lice this week, why not capitulate with a little hoof & mouth disease potential?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Star----ving!

My sis told me to post this...I will of course have DCF knocking down my door. Kyle was being a particulary bad little snot this day. He would not eat his dinner and was in general being uncooperative. So, he got sent to his room with door locked and the following video is the result (which of course my husband videoed and we posted to you tube):

Superwoman

I am having another rough parenting morning. I vented about that at my own place though. But then my best friend sent me this, to lift me up. And I love it. For when you really do feel like your best just isn't as good as you thought it would be.



Thanks Miss.

Wino kid

Epiphany and Lindsay, Thanksgiving 2007

Come on, you knew this was coming. What else would a Worst Mama do?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lest You be mistaken...

...by the warm fuzzy nature of my last post, let me disabuse you of any notion that I am not still in the running for Worst Mother Ever. Picture me at church tonight teaching the teenage girls. Picture me there with my children because the Ginger Bread Man is teaching a night class. Picture my children being watched by another woman while I teach. Picture my children running wild in the hallway, jumping on each other after the event is done and I'm setting up a time for a meeting. Hear the loud cries of my six-year old--cries of pain. Hear him saying, "Mommy, Will bit me!" See my face as I peer at Samuel's back, under his shirt to see skin sticking up where it shouldn't be, blood drawn, skin indented by teeth marks. Hear the sound of harsh words as I yell at my three-year old, then the sound of two sharp whacks on his bottom. Feel his shame. Feel my shame.

Queen for a day...

Will goes to a co-op preschool, which means there is a lot of parent involvement. Parents are assigned days to come be the helping parent. Today was my day. That would have been fine, but the teacher was gone for a workshop, so I got to be the teacher, with two other parents being the helping parents. Me! In charge of 12 three-year olds! Hah!

The daughter of the other helping parent was having issues. Potty issues, separation issues. Issues. ISSUES, even, if you catch my drift. So I found myself intervening, just because I was an adult who was not the Mom. I grabbed her hand and went to the corner of the room that has cushions, stuffed animals, pillows, and a quilt. It's never used, probably because the teacher just cuddles sad children, rather than sending them to a corner. Me, I might send them to a corner, but that's why I'm not the teacher. :)

Anyway, I pulled Mairead over there, and for some reason, she came. So did Will. Then Elizabeth, Mollie, and Andrew. I think Abby was there too. And Hannah. Squished together in this little corner in between the wall and the cupboard. Everyone on my lap. And I told them a story about a rabbit named Silas who discovered an enormous carrot--so big that he couldn't eat it all by himself, so when Henry the mouse came along, Silas was so thankful to have a friend to help him eat it....blah, blah, blah.

By the time I finished my ridiculous story, it was time for potty and clean up, then snack.

Who knew I (a Worst Mama Ever) would be the queen of the three-year old crowd?

Contrition

Brandon missed the bus this morning. It comes around 6:20. I know it's early, but I am ruthlessly unsympathetic when it comes to having to drive him to school. Probably because it happens every couple weeks. And because when I am awake at that time in the morning I observe him almost miss it daily. And because I have to make the decision whether to wake the Weekids to take them with us on our drive or risk trying to get back before they start crying and rattling their cages. Or - as was the case today - waking their father while wandering the house looking for me.

Mornings are not my finest hour. And many days I have driven Brandon to school while giving him an earful of lecture on the way. Lately, in an effort to rant less, I have been driving him to school in silence, trying to let his consequence of grounding that afternoon stand for itself.

This morning though, I wasn't awake already. I had suffered through fitful night of sleep and finally fallen into blessed oblivion somewhere around 4:00AM. So when Brandon woke me up at 6:30, I wasn't happy. I think I may have snarled at him. Throwing on a wool sweater, I started the lecturing before I had even slammed my mug into the coffee maker.

"Really?!" I snapped. "Again? How many times are you going to let this happen before you change your routine to reflect the time the bus actually comes? I can't count how many times I have watched you run out the door after it!."

And Brandon did the worst thing he could possibly have done at this point. He argued. About how it wasn't his fault. About how he only missed the bus by one minute. About how the bus had been early. If he had shown contrition, or even remained quiet, things may have went differently. But, as it was, I started yelling, my voice rising with every word until I was screeching like an enraged banshee. About how he never takes responsibility for his actions. About how nothing is Ever His Fault!

The ride to the school was thick with our anger. It took almost 40 minutes to get there and as I started worrying about Ben getting out of bed, I would make bitter, sarcastic quips about how much I was enjoying the traffic, or how Ben was probably reeking havoc at home. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I was overreacting, I was just being mean, but I couldn't seem to let go. And then, as he got out of the car, I begrudgingly wished him a good day and good luck on his test. It sounds ridiculous even now as I type it.

On the twenty minute ride home, my rage started to subside. And I looked back in a kind of detached horror, and wondered who this person was. How I, who never yell - not at my husband, not at strangers on the road - can occasionally become this angry, spewing person to my children. This unrecognizable parent, that I never wanted to be.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'll probably catch more flack from Ginger

...but it's hard to have a list of wrongs after a 4-day weekend with their oft-traveling Daddy. If I described how we put up the Christmas tree and lights - 2 strands of colored bulbs, and a strand of icicles - on the front of our house, I'd probably lose some points. I have to admit it was almost like a Mommy vacation, being able to go to the gym 2 days (it was closed on Thanksgiving), slept in 2 days, and had a turkey dinner (and 3 days of leftovers) that couldn't be beat.

I could tell you I'm bringing infectious Lindsay to the gym with me today, but I have the sense that you're pretty underwhelmed with my toting of my sick kid, even if it's just for personal fitness.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oh Well.

Can't really be a bad mama when I have only seen my children for 2 days in the past week. Shoot. And here I am missing out on traumatizing the little ones. Oh well. There is always next week.

What you'll do for that elusive mall picture with Santa Claus

Lindsay and Lauren with Santa, November 2007
  • You'll expose a mall full of people, including mall Santa, to a contagious, virus-shedding toddler.
  • You'll bring your miserable, sick toddler to the mall.
  • You'll force her to sit on Santa some strange guy's lap.
  • You'll make the sisters wear complementary colors.
  • You'll make them wear brown because in 15 years they'll look back at these and say, "Chocolate and celery?! Seriously, Mom, you have such awful taste."
  • You'll stand behind the photographer and make her take 3 shots because your toddler is freaking out to be in a stranger's lap while making funny faces at your toddler to get her to stop crying.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Can't Wait to Meet This Kid

I got nothin', mamas. I've been the model of gestational mama-hood since my last post. Not a single bad meal, no missed vitamins, plenty of rest, no overdoing it, no cheating on the food log, and no elevated sugar levels. There are no points for me this go-around, but I'm pretty happy about that. It's about time I did something right in this pregnancy.

Showering Solo

[This was supposed to go up on Thanksgiving Thursday but we were out of town and I completely forgot. Thanks to Epiphany for the saving NaBloPoMo post!]

We are almost to the part of life where I'll be able to say, "Time to get ready for bed," and both boys will be able to get through the requirements unassisted. Almost.

Sent up together, they get distracted and while they dabble in many of the getting ready tasks, they fail to complete any portion of the process. Sent up individually, they can each get through the routine with only minor mishap.

Ross managed to get himself ready, shower and all, in record time. He was rewarded with time to play x-box before bed.

Inspired, Lars rushed upstairs to show that he, too, could produce a clean boy in pajamas without any help. At first all went well. Normal noises came from above. Footfalls moving from one room to the next, water running in the tub (none, thankfully, into the back hall), water shutting off.

After a while, we noticed there wasn't any more noise. The bathroom door was closed, which is somewhat unusual, but the scene behind the door was normal...or was it?

Pile of dirty clothes, pile of towels, pile of pajamas. No boy. No boy? It would explain all the silence...and then we looked more closely at the pile of towels.

Lars had covered himself completely and fallen asleep on the bathmat. Sound asleep. He hadn't made it into his pajamas, either. I would have left him there - he seemed fine - but his father prevailed and we moved him into his bed.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pumpkin Pie

It was naptime. Kate requested to have her "nap" with me. I hadn't been planning on taking a nap, but the thought of snuggling up with my favorite 3-year-old was pretty persuasive. So, we bedded down on the daybed in the office. Kate's idea of napping consists of wiggling non-stop while recounting the events of her life to date. And then declaring that she has to use the potty. I've long-since learned it's unwise to call her bluff on that one. When we returned from the potty, I was feeling desperate to get her to settle down for just a short time. So I took the easy way out. "If you'll lie down and be completely still and quiet for 20 minutes, you can have a piece of pumpkin pie". The deal was made.

When we got up (admittedly, closer to 15 minutes later) she had forgotten about the pie because she wanted to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the real one, not the live action movie). This DVD is only allowed at Christmastime and today that officially commenced. Once the Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes, twice, she remembered there was supposed to be pie. When she asked if she could have a piece of pumpkin pie Jeremiah said "you may have some pie after you eat your lunch". Silence. Jeremiah stalked off to warm up Thanksgiving leftovers for both girls. Kate remained silent.

Eventually Kate, who had wandered into the kitchen, returned to the living room where I was sitting. She was frowning. "Daddy tricked my pumpkin pie!" she told me. Even after he'd been called out, daddy still made her eat lunch first. I'd like to cede any points I may have earned today to Jeremiah.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all from us Worst Mamas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Humiliating my children for the fun of it!

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=9567014957

Wednesday Morning Adventures

The kids are out of school today. Which meant, for some incomprehensible reason, I decided to schedule Allison a check-up at 9:00 this morning. Well okay, the reason was not exactly incomprehensible, the reason is named Ms. Snyder and is one of the administrators at Allison's school. We have had 3 conversations in the last 3 months about Allison not being current on her immunizations. This past time she left me a very stern message that her school's medical records were being audited and there would be severe consequences if Allison's paperwork was not in order. I think the consequences were actually for her, not for Allie, but okay, whatever, I made the appointment.

And let me just say, you haven't lived until you have taken two toddlers and an additional stray child (I kinda forgot about the appointment and let Allie have a friend spend the night) to the doctor's office for your eleven-yr-old's physical.

My entourage and I arrived and I sent them all, but Clara, to the well waiting room while I signed us in. Allison was carrying a big stuffed dog, named "Teddy" with her because she knew 4 shots were eminent. Clara managed to throw a container of cups and a miniature Christmas tree on the floor while I was conversing cheerily with the receptionist. I quickly put everything back on the counter and hurried to the waiting room to join the other children.

We waited only moments, and when they called Allison's name I instructed everyone to follow me down the hall. Mataia (Allie's friend) shuffled her feet and said,

"I think I am going to wait here. I don't want Allison to feel embarrassed."

Oh. Riiight. It's a Phy-si-cal.

"Good thinking Mataia." Being the type of mother who never takes her children for physicals unless the school calls 3 times, I had forgotten about the fact that they would be making her remove her clothing. Which means I hadn't prepared her for that fact either.

So Ben, Clara, Allison, Teddy and I proceeded down the hall where they instructed her to pee in a cup, explaining first how to cleanse her vaginal area. A look of serious concern started forming in Allison's eyes as she listened, and I knew she hadn't processed a thing she said. I pulled her quietly aside and repeated the nurses' instructions. I then explained to her, as gently as possible, that she would be having a complete physical and would have to remove her clothes when we got to the room. Allie is a very private person and tears welled up in her eyes at the thought of this.

She blurted out, "Well does HE have to come?" Looking pointedly at 3-yr-old Ben hopping up and down the hall.

"Um, no, I guess not." I said. I thought for a moment and walked Ben down the hall to the waiting room. "Mataia, would you mind watching Ben during Allison's appointment? Allie doesn't want him in the room."

"Uhhh, Okay" Mataia answered hesitantly.

"But Mom. I wanna stay wif you." Ben started whining.

After several moments of convincing both Ben and the Mataia - who was clearly getting much more than she bargained for on this visit - that I would be right down the hall.
"And could they please just sit and watch Charlie Brown Christmas on the Television for goodness sake!" Clara and I escaped to find Allie, now in exam room 8.

I found Allie staring in mortification at a paper gown they had given her to put on over her undergarments. I exhaled deeply, and calmed her down - again.

And for the most part we made it through the rest of the appointment without incident. Clara was a squirming bundle of mischief deprived unhappiness the entire time and there were some embarrassing - for Allison - discussions on breast budding, periods, and hygiene. But even the shots were considerably better than Allison had feared.

As we were preparing to leave, the doctor stopped and asked conversationally to whining Clara "Ohh. Poor baby. What happened to your lip?"

"Huh?" was my articulate remark as I looked at Clara. Sure enough, she had a big fat busted lip. When did that happen? I didn't even notice.

"Um, She fell" I mumbled as I hurried down the hall to collect Ben and Mataia-the-really-good-sport, from the waiting room.

Then...I took the whole pack of them out to breakfast.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Penis Week

Monday

Lars got slammed into a whiteboard and went down to the school nurse complaining that his head, elbow, and penis hurt. The nurse was able to find bumps on his head and elbow but she isn't allowed to look at "the other area" (apparently she's not allowed to say "penis" out loud, either?) and wanted to be sure I knew about the accident so we could check him out at home. She gave Lars ice for all three injuries and then sent him back to class. By the time he got home, the whole incident was far from his thoughts - so much so that he didn't even mention it until we were finishing dinner. "Oh," he cried, "I hurt myself when I got slammed into the whiteboard! Mama, look!" The command was issued with enthusiasm as he dropped his drawers and presented himself for a checkup, right there at the dining table, while I still had my fork in my hand. It was an interesting way to end the meal, that's for sure.

Tuesday

The boys improvised a brothers' duet while they got ready for bed. Ross sang loudly from the tub, with hiphop flair. "My butt is rubb-bber! Oh! My butt is rubb-bber!"

Lars stood in the bathroom doorway, gyrating purposefully while singing, "I wave my penis at you-OO! I wave my penis at you-OO!" with a particular lack of rhythm and tone which clearly indicate he is his father's son.

What does a mother - specifically a Worst one - do when she finds her children performing acts last seen in the '80s on West 43rd? She tells Ross that he'd better aim to land on the rubber butt if he's going to fall while dancing in the tub and Lars that he really should be all the way in the bathroom if he's going to wave his penis around.

Wednesday...Anyone want to hazard a guess about what's in store for the rest of the week?

The other side of things

While the rest of you are being paragons of nurturing maternal grace, I am doing the sixth load of wet blankets, sheets, pjs, and various stuffed animals from yet another night-time accident and while I'm doing it, I'm NOT contemplating how adorable my children are. (Yes, that's an elbow nudge to you, Epiphany! And BTW, my children push each other down the stairs all the time.)

On top of that, consider an upcoming trip to the in-laws for T-day and all the laundry that encompasses, AND a deadline for a 20-page workshop submission, AND a request for a completely revised manuscript (80 pages worth to be doubled) AND a sick child home from school, AND a sick child at school, and you have one ugly mama.

My children don't dare talk to me today.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's very hard

...to be a Worst Mama when your kids are unbelievably cute in the morning. We're sitting here having breakfast together before Lauren gets on her school bus, and Lindsay peeked around her sippy cup to say, "I see you..." to Lauren.

On Friday, I made the mistake of trying to complete a quick supermarket/wine run before dinner at 5 PM. First of all, the local supermarket is dirty, unorganized, and has a small staff. They lock their carts, except for the child-geared ones. I'd walked over with Lindsay under one arm and Lauren holding my pinky finger so that I could put them in one to discover that each one had destroyed safety belts. So I have to somehow get a quarter out of my wallet in my purse while holding on to Lauren, whose trying to climb the cart, and Lindsay whose trying to wiggle down.

In the middle of everyone's before dinner run, and mind you, I live in a very Orthodox area where they're trying to get everything done before sun down, the staff is stocking every aisle with boxes closing the end caps. When you get to the bottom of the aisle, you must turn around and walk back up it. If not, there's a dolly in the middle of the aisle you'd have to move to pass, which would be one thing if you weren't trying to keep at least one child from getting run over by rushing customers and the other in the shopping cart.

There was one line open, and no baggers. I had asked Lauren to sit on the bench facing the check out, when the moment she sat down a creepy man sat next to her, chatting with my cashier. So I asked her to get up and stand by me, which she did after much cajoling since I'd just told her to sit.

We get into the car and drive across the street to the pharmacy, which is where you buy alcohol here. I snapped, "Don't ask me for anything because you're not getting anything," to Lauren on the way in. Waiting in line behind a dozen or so people, and was next in line when the manager told the cashier her line was too long.

We got home, I let the kids out of the car. "Go help your sister get inside," I instructed, struggling with 3 bags of groceries and wine. As I got into the house, they were moving like molasses. "Time out!" I declared, anxious to at least put away my groceries in peace.

When I checked on Lauren, she was sitting on the second stair "in time out". Lindsay, who wasn't, was seated next to her. Cute, I thought, and returned to putting away groceries. They were apparently sliding up the stairs, stair by stair. When they reached 3/4 of the way up, Lauren tried to block Lindsay from sitting, and she fell down the stairs. It was loud. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thud. Scared cry.

I yelled, "Go to your room," and realized I was reacting out of fear. Lindsay was fine, just a little bruised and quite surprised. Once she calmed down, I called Lauren a sobbing back.

"I'm sorry I yelled. I was scared. I know it was an accident." I said. "Your sister is fine, see?"

Lauren settled with her runny nose buried in my shoulder. I rubbed her back, and Lindsay patted her back. "I fell down the stairs once," she sobbed. "It really hurt my head."

"I know, and you were worried your sister was hurt."

"Mmm hmm."

"She is OK, but we shouldn't play on the stairs anymore."

"Ok, Mommy."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Have Nothing

Apparently I have been quite the good mom this week. It helps that I dropped my kids with my mother on Friday and she has had them ever since. So, working on a shorter week, I have nothing. The only truly evil thing I have done (which in fact is more of being a bad daycare mommie than a wme) is send Kyle to school all week with a nasty cold. Including fever. Which I conveniently did not tell anyone at school, most especially his teacher. I just kept giving him Tylenol and hoped it kept his fever at bay all day. No calls, must have worked. Of course I did experience a brief (very brief) moment of guilt when three days later Kyle's teacher was in school sick with a cold....oh well!

To make up for my total lack of a true wme moment I am posting an old pic of my now 4 year old son Kyle when he was somewhere between 9 to 12 mos old. He was "eating" all by himself for the first time. Can't quite remember if he was upset because we tried to help him get the food in his mouth or if we were not helping him get the food in his mouth.....All in all this pic makes me laugh.


Another one for Paige

How much of my list was accomplished when Lindsay was born (and mind you I already had a great deal of the baby stuff from Lauren:

  1. crib and changing table assembled and installed, with the crib mattress on its side, no linens on either
  2. beautiful crib linens installed in crib
  3. new hardware affixed to family heirloomempty chest of drawers formerly belonging to Lauren
  4. chest of drawers placed in room
  5. a box of baby clothes - some new, some used, all unlaundered - in closet
  6. half-painted room
  7. dust bunnies bears in corners
  8. enormous wasted space at top of closet
  9. diapers and wipes in boxes under crib, none stocked in gingham lined wicker baskets
  10. all none of the kid laundry washed (own no Dreft)
The nursery was unfinished when I had Lindsay a month early, Alec had to call our handyman to come and finish it in 2 days, and when my mom and my grandma came down the day I left the hospital, I pleaded with them to launder all of the baby clothes, linens, and help me wash down the swing, playpen, and bouncy seat so that I had somewhere to put the baby besides on my person.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Agony

The kids are in the back of the car, whining about their oh-so-tragic lives. My eyes are rolled to the roof, ears pinned to my head with the effort of trying not to hear them. I don't really feel like being crabby but they MUST STOP WHINING or my head will explode and splattered brains are really hard to clean off leather seats. I decide to tackle the problem at hand with very bad singing and burst into a rendition of 'Agony' from Into The Woods. Chris joins in immediately and I'm grateful - he's a HUGE help in the very bad singing arena. We gleefully sing the chorus at the top of our lungs, breaking into two different notes where actual singers would be in harmony. As our final notes die, Ross groans, "UGH! MY PARENTS!" and I feel perfectly content.

With Progress Comes Consequence


Progress:

  1. crib and changing table assembled and installed
  2. beautiful crib linens installed in crib
  3. new hardware affixed to family heirloom chest of drawers
  4. chest of drawers installed into "finished" closet
  5. bronze curtain rod installed above closet
  6. tab top drapery panels arranged on bronze curtain rod
  7. bronze tie-back hooks installed on molding at either side of closet
  8. shelving installed in enormous wasted space at top of closet
  9. canvas storage bins installed on upper shelves in closet
  10. all kid laundry washed (in Dreft!), dried, carefully folded and lovingly stowed in nursery

Consequences:

  1. swollen feet
  2. serious fatigue
  3. a seemingly endless List of Things To Do Before Baby Arrives

Could somebody please stop the hamster wheel? I want to rest for a while, and maybe put up my feet!

Friday, November 16, 2007

It Makes A (Grand)Mother Proud

Chris (general service announcement): Saturday's game starts at 7:00am.

Ross (with sincere conviction and tone exactly matching his mother and her mother -yes, you, grandmoo! - before her): Crap!

Chris (amused (ok, well not very amused but it will be funny later (at least to his wife)) to see his wife and mother-in-law rendered before him in the form of an eight-year-old boy) glares at Ross, eyebrows raised.

Ross (meekly, exactly matching tone of his mother after she utters same expletive in presence of children): Sorry.

Car seats

I arrived at daycare at the usual time, excited to see my sweet girls after a day of enduring boring adults. But what is this? There's not one spot in the parking lot available! Annoyed, I parked down the hill in what is certainly an illegal spot. I trudged up the hill and wondered why on earth there were a bunch of pylons blocking the best spots in the lot. When I got inside and made it down the hall to Kate's room her teacher asked if I'd be having my car seats checked.

Oh. That.

According to all the signs in the pediatrician's office and all over the internet 80% of the car seats in this country are installed incorrectly. There are metal catches in the car just for the car seats. The car seats have straps with hooks on them so you can latch them onto those catches. So, how are so many of us doing it wrong? Eighty percent? To me that says there's something wrong with the product. I've read that car seats don't actually make our children much safer - the main thing is keeping them in the back seat versus the front. To me this obsessive checking and re-checking of our installation skills is just one more way to fill parents with paralyzing fear. So, I said to my child's teacher "No. I will not be having them check my car seats". Raised eyebrow from her. Shrug from me. "What if they're in the wrong size seats?" she politely asked. "They're not." She let out a little sigh and nodded, officially giving up on me and, I presume, writing me off as a horrible parent. The girls and I headed back down the hill, right past the nice firefighters who were telling the vast majority of parents who aren't horrible people, how to correctly put the hooks in the catches. I placed my children their deadly car seats, buckled them in, kissed them each, and drove home.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Scavenging

Because I have so much free time on my hands, what with the kids taking care of themselves and all, I signed up for an online scavenger hunt. It was a challenge on one of the message boards I frequent and it involves taking digital pictures and posting them, with your screenname included to prohibit cheating. Asdie form the general neglect of my children that this requires on my part as I wrack my brains for creative ways to get a picture of a crackhead, it also involved my children in the following situations:
  • crackhouse - we were required to find a pic of a crackhouse. Sadly, I know just where one is. I used to work across the street from it, in a rehab, ironically, and the rehab clients all knew it was a crackhouse. So I drove my kids to the 'hood and parked on a side street outside a crackhouse to get a picture. "Tell Daddy what we did today?' "Daddy, we went to a crackhouse." I can see OCFS at my doorstep already. This trip also required a photo of a ghetto so I pulled off to another side street to get a picture of the ghetto. Nothing like a field trip to the 'hood. I looked for a pimp when I was there, but coudn't find one at 10 a.m., so I improvised on that picture and dressed Ruthie's Ken doll up like one. I think that photo was disqualified
  • traffic lights - I had to get a green traffic light, a yellow one, and a red one. Now the other team wisely parked somewhere and waited for the light to change to the appropriate colors. Not me. I drove around with elbows on the steering wheel, a camera in one hand and a paper with my screenname in the other, trying to navigate traffic and frame my pics. The yellow light, in particular, was a bitch. But I got it.
  • churches - I dressed my children at 7 a.m. on a non-school day, and packed them in the car in 35 degree weather so we could go get a picture of a mosque and a Seventh Day Adventist Church.
  • pregnant dog - A pregnant dog. If only I'd known a breeder. But alas, I do not, so I went in search of that twisted toy that's a dog with removable puppies in her belly. Apparently that one isn't sold in stores anymore. But I did stumble upon a dog costume on clearance for 80 cents, so I did this to Helen:

My team won.

Oh Happy Day

Benny is out of town on a business trip. I am taking a sickening pleasure in the fact that his overnight away coincides with Zero Nutrition Thursday!! I have huge plans to eat nothing good, and, in preparation, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I feared you might deduct any of my pre-earned points because they were homemade cookies, but Ruthie really wanted the snowman ones that you don't even have to slice before you bake. You open the package, move the cookie dough and bake. We made that kind recently, which we don't ever do, and when I told her we were making the homemade kind, she cried. I'm sorry honey, but Mommy needed something to do to avoid cleaning.
It's starting...the bad language that occasionally slips from my mouth when I'm not looking, is being repeated on a more regular basis by my child. But I must say she's chosen the less offensive ones to repeat. Ones I can easily blame on someone else, or someone else's kid, for that matter. She has recently been caught, and on more than one occasion, telling her little sister to shut up. I have to remind her that shut up isn't a nice word and that Mommy shouldn't say it either. (I'm waiting for her to tell me not to say it the next time I do, but it's usually only used when she is in the middle of screaming fit and she can't be bothered correcting me.) This weekend she shocked my friends. We were having a little playdate at our house, two friends and their little boys, both preschoolers as well. We were sitting a the kitchen table snacking on mini-donuts, mini-muffins, bagels (not mini), when Ruthie lets loose with "Don't piss me off." I heard it loud and clear but hoped the others did not. My one friend says "She couldn't have said what I think she said, could she?" I nodded, "Yeah, she could." I never did bother to find out who was pissing her off.

I Didn't Even Hear You Go Upstairs

The time I usually spend reading to the boys before bed was spent watching them brush their teeth, since they couldn't be bothered to do it without me staring at them even though Chris and I must have reminded them five times each tonight. I'm annoyed while tucking them in - do they realize they're going to be too grownup to want me to read to them before bed soon? As I turn out the light, Ross pipes up, "Mama, you said you would read more of the hockey book."

"And you said you'd brushed your teeth," I replied. "It feels pretty bad when your expectations aren't met, doesn't it?" Silence from the beds - neither one of them can think of a good rebuttal. "Maybe tomorrow you guys will actually brush your teeth and I'll have time to read instead of using the time to watch you brush them?" I finish tucking in and go downstairs.

A minute or so later, I hear movement upstairs. Chris doesn't hear anything but I go into the back hall to investigate anyhow and hear laughter upstairs. Ross is telling an action story to Lars, who keeps saying gleefully, "You didn't hit my stitches! Still didn't hit them! That was my eyebrow! You're not hitting my stitches! Not then either! ...."

I get to their room and snap on the light, "Maybe you need some light for better aim?"

Both boys startle! Lars leaps up and begins climbing down to his own bunk. Ross cries, "Lars came up here and I didn't want him and he wouldn't get..."

"No, Ross, Lars came up there on your invitation and you were having a great time telling him a story and you should stop speaking now, because you have NO idea how long I've been standing here." Silence ensues. "Now, we'll try this once more. If I come up again, there will be spankings. I love you...go to sleep!"

Downstairs again, I flop into a chair next to Chris and recap my recent adventure. He looks at me with a tiny bit of awe and says, "I didn't even hear you go upstairs!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sandcastles anyone?

I wasn't even going to post today. I am feeling grumpy and not particularly like writing witty anecdotes. Epiphany swooped in last night, or this morning - or whatever you call 2:40AM - and let me off the hook, and I was going to use the free pass.

But then I saw that Paige, who last I heard hasn't even birthed a child yet, is beating us all at worst mothering gig. And since I am definitely in a "I'm the worst mama, damn it" kind of mood, I changed my mind.

Kidding. Sort of kidding.

It's been a yucky kind of week. I know it's only Wednesday, but the week so far has been like 3 freakin Mondays in a row. The kids have been terrors and I seem to be completely overwhelmed with actually completing tasks that everyone else seems to manage without difficulty. Like keeping the home from looking like an episode of Clean Sweep, or grocery shopping, or feeding my children. And I know that this is only going to get worse with the quickly approaching major Holiday-which-will-not-be-named-because-even-hearing-the-word-stresses-me-out.

So yesterday morning I sent the weekids outside to play in the sandbox while I attempted to scrub my kitchen, knowing full well that I was buying kitchen cleaning time with time cleaning sand out of crevices later that day. The back wall of our home is almost all windows that look out on the deck where we keep the sandbox. I could see the children easily from the kitchen.

So after a bit of scrubbing I walked over to the windows to admire the view of my two youngest offspring playing so happily together. It's really a rare thing in this house for anyone to be playing happily with anyone else. Sad but true. And just more proof of my WME status. As I am standing there starting to get a warm fuzzy, I notice that Ben keeps bending over and putting his face near the sand and bobbing back up again. He then digs in the sand for a minute, and repeats the process.

I look closer and realize He. Is. Spitting! Spitting in the sand and then making tiny spit-sand patties.

Oh...Groooss.

I ran to the back door to tell him to cease immediately, but stopped with my hand on the knob. If I walk out on the deck Clara will see me. If Clara sees me she will immediately start crying and trailing behind me tugging at my pants leg. (She's been doing this for days now.) My kid free cleaning time will officially be over.

So I head back to the kitchen and finish my chore, making a point to keep my glances in the direction of the deck brief and unfocused.

And made a mental note to quit putting my feet in the sand when I go outside to read.

From the mouths of toddlers

I've loaded the girls into the car to head to main street to refill a prescription with papers in hand, drop off dry cleaning, make an ATM deposit, purchase stamps, and put a bag of used clothes into the donation bins. A friend of mine called as I finished buckling in Lindsay. Since I had just handed her several crackers, I figured I had a few minutes to chat as she ate them and Lauren played with her Leapster (yes, video games aren't great developmentally particularly for a kid who already watches too much television, but it is a Car Only Toy and it has the miraculous effect of producing silence in my car). I miscalculated the conversation length, and when I got into the car, Lindsay was fussing. As I pulled the car out of the driveway, she formed a single word letting me know her agita.

"Drinky."

"Oh, I'm sorry, Linds. I'll give you your drink after we park, honey."

She wailed loudly. You are not understanding me, woman. "Drinky, Mama."

"Ok, sweetie. Lauren, is Lindsay's drink in the back seat?"

"Nope."

"Darn, it must be in the trunk in her diaper bag," I replied, saying a silent prayer that I'd left it in there earlier when we went to the gym.

Lindsay put her hands up to her face, sobbing.

"I'll get it for you as soon as we stop."

Lindsay cried loudly. In the middle of a great sob, she shouted, "I want my drinky, Mama!"

I bit my lip to hold back a chuckle. I'd made her so angry, she uttered her first sentence. "In a moment, Lindsay. Mama's driving."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Naked boys and wet washclothes

This morning at 4:45, I was awoken by a loud shouting coming from my three-year old. With the maternal instinct muscle that has gotten sooo much exercise over the past six years, I turned into an Olympic athlete, pole-vaulter and sprinter all in one, as I leapt out of bed and was at my son's side in a split-second.

Holding him close to comfort him, I discovered the hard way that he had an accident and his pajamas were soaked almost to his armpits. I stripped him down, leaving him naked while I went to get a wet wash cloth to clean him up. That wouldn't get me any WME points if the motivation was pure; however, my motivation was entirely selfish. I'd just barely gotten the eczema on his backside cleared up and I didn't want to go through another couple of weeks of applying hydrocortisone and Eucerin daily.

He followed me into the bathroom. Still naked. Then he said he wanted to get cleaned in his bedroom. So back we went, Will shivering all the way. I cleaned him up and got new pajamas for him. A few minutes rocking him,and I think I'm home-free. I get back to bed and then realize that I had been holding him close BEFORE I discovered he had an accident. Sigh.

Just a note: I didn't have the opportunity to do the WME trick of throwing down the towel, because my husband changed the sheets while I was wandering around with a naked boy and a wet washcloth.

Monday, November 12, 2007

WME Theme Song

"Mom's Overature" by Anita Renfroe should totally be our theme song.