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 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


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!


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.
"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.