Monday, December 29, 2008

If ever I deserve points, it's now.

Last week, Will was getting ready for bed, or rather NOT getting ready for bed when he should have. I told him to go to the bathroom multiple times, and finally I went downstairs to avoid some serious mama-meltdown. Surreptitiously snarfing chocolate (the vice of choice in the Ginger bread house), I heard a loud SLAM then a whole lot of screaming from the upstairs bathroom. I ran up there and Will was screaming, crying, slapping his private parts.

Yes. You guessed it. The toilet seat fell on his you-know-what.

Full of the milk of human kindness, I said something along the lines of, "If you hadn't been fooling around and if you had gone to the bathroom when I first asked you that wouldn't have happened." Logic notwithstanding. Whatever. Obviously I hadn't consumed enough chocolate and was still thoroughly annoyed.

Well, two days later, he said, "My bottom [that's what we call everything--front and back] is all different colors." I looked and sure enough, the tip was colorfully bruised. Ow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hockey Stink

Hockey is a stinky sport. Anyone who has been to a hockey rink can confirm this - just getting near the rink can sometimes make your eyes water. The solution to hockey stink is simple (clean and air your gear after every use) but requires dedication - slack off even a little and your stuff will stink fast. Since I have a particularly sensitive nose, we are champions of the fight against hockey stink. Our gear is aired and/or washed after every use and, while this causes a LOT of hockey laundry, it's worth it for the stunned looks when people realize how NICE we smell on the ice (I always find this amusing - we smell like fabric softener).

In addition to the gear, we're rigorous about washing the people who play. If you don't shower at the rink, you shower immediately upon getting home. This was a little contentious at first since they're on the ice 4-6 times each week and the boys couldn't believe I was serious about wanting them to shower so often...but it's become habit and my boys are regularly clean.

Chris has been commenting that the kids need haircuts for a few days and as I was busy being horrified by their party hair at dinner with his parents tonight, I realized they haven't had practice since Monday (holiday break) they haven't had showers since Monday. I whispered this to Chris, who vehemently denied that it'd been five days since they approached soap but he had to retract his denial because every shower he could think of had happened in relation to hockey. We exchanged furtive looks and poured his parents more wine. I swear they will get showers tomorrow! I also swear that one (or both) of them will vigorously shake his head and say, "I don't need to shower - I didn't have hockey today!"

7 Years and still lying

Andrew had a stuffed Dalmatian that he was very attached to at age 3. He named it "Dalmatian", and took it everywhere! We even had to take it with us when we went to the Eire County Fair. The ECF is one of the largest fairs in the country (or so they claim) and is a hoot. We took the wagon instead of the stroller for Lucas (then age 18 months or so) thinking it would be easier to drag around (it wasn't). We tried to convince Andrew to leave Dalmatian in the car so he would be safe, but he just had to come along. At some point he got too heavy and took a seat in the wagon with Lucas. In the miles of walking and dragging Lucas took the liberty to ease his boredom and tossed Dalmatian out. We did not discover his absence until we got to the car. I was not going back in to try and find him. Andrew had yet to notice so we drove away. I knew where the stuffed animal had be purchased and planned to stop on our way home and buy a replacement, hoping Andrew would not notice and start screaming before then. When I got to the store, they had the right stuffed dogs, just no more Dalmatians. Shear desperation made me purchase the black lab instead. I climb back in the car, bag in hand and hear Andrew say, "Hey, where's Dalmatian?" "Here he is honey," quickly removing the tags and handing the black lab to him. "Hey, what happened to his spots?" "Um, he was in the sun so long his spots grew together!"
I am still surprised that even at age 10, he has yet to figure out what a whopping lie that was, is. He mentioned it at dinner Christmas Eve, my husband and I exchanged looks, but continued to let it slide. Oh, one day this will catch up with me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Truth be told, kid, I feel the same way...

On the evening of the Winter Solstice we give the girls one combined gift that in some way represents Earth and all its wonderful goodies. This year we gave them this very cool globe, which I'm pleased to say they find fascinating. Usually it's a one-gift night, but this year we were lucky enough to have my siblings-in-law, Chris and Sonya (better known as Aunt So-So), with us. My brother Steve and sister-in-law Joy (better known as Aunt Jo Jo) joined us for dinner as well.

Because Chris and Sonya were only passing through we figured we would let the girls open their Christmas gifts from them while they were there to see Kate and Sarah's smiling faces. It was nearly Kid Bedtime by the time we managed to gather in front of the tree to watch the girls rip open their presents. To Kate's delight, she received her very own copy of Mulan. "Oh, let's go watch it right now!" she said. We told her, no, that it was bedtime but she could watch it the next evening. This was unacceptable to Kate. "Pleeeeeease, just a little bit of it?!?" We held firm that it was time to go upstairs (Sarah was already laying on her blanket on the floor while insisting she wasn't tired.) Still Kate begged. Finally Uncle Steve said "No Kate, we're not watching Mulan. We're all going to watch porn." flatly, dismissively. Kate began the full-on whine, almost cry, wailing "I don't wanna watch porn!" and I realized for at least the 100th time that having a bunch of brothers isn't nearly as corrupting as having a bunch of uncles. I can't wait until she tells her teacher her uncle makes her watch porn. I plan to have hot coffee and scones at the ready for the nice social worker...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mama needs earplugs.

Lauren woke up cranky today. At noon I put her down for a nap, rocked Oliver to sleep, and tried to get a short nap of my own.

When I checked on her a while ago, I found she had discovered the Vick's lotion in the drawer, and covered herself and her bunny and her pillow with it. Thank the fates it was the lotion and not the greasy gel stuff. I managed to keep calm. When I said "what did you do?" she replied, "I dirty! Need a bath now? No more nap, take a bath now."

Two hours later, she is STILL awake. She managed to wake her brother, and when I went in her room to get a clean diaper for him, I found that she had torn one of her books. To shreds. Mama got mad and yelled, and threatened to take all her books away (because, you know, great moms take their kids' books away).

Now she is standing at her baby gate wailing "I neeeeeed you mommy! Want you to sing to me now! I need you to hoooooooold me!"

I think if I continue to ignore her, she'll eventually take a nap. Right?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another one for Santa

Got into Mama's makeup while Mama was in the kitchen doing dishes.

ETA: Oh, the pink? Indelible lipstick. Seriously, that stuff doesn't budge. Sometimes I apply it and then put gloss over it for 3 days, and I shower every day. Chez Stoll doesn't have cold cream, so after soap failed, I tried olive oil, which got most of it off, but not all...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December's Mine...Maybe More

Yesterday I picked the boys up at school and proceeded on my way to the gym to workout. I generally bring snacks for the kids when I do this because we do not go home first but I forgot the snacks yesterday. Fortunately I had not eaten all of my lunch and snacks from the day. I still had a pear and a ziploc container of pre-shelled pistachios. Since the kids like both I told them to share the snack and please be kinda quick but not too quick because they are eating nuts. Here is the rest of the conversation:

Me: Please eat only one nut at a time. And make sure you chew.

Kyle: Because you do not want us to choke and die?

Me: Yes.

Kyle: Why? I think you want us to die.

Me: WHAT??? Why in the world would you even think something like that?

Kyle: (Very matter of fact) Because you do not like us.

*Sigh* He is but 5. Can you tell how well things have been going in my house?

Me: I may not always like the things you do or the way you act, but I will always love you. And I would never want you to die.

Kyle: Ok.

Seriously. Where do they get this stuff?


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm telling the Big Guy

"What did you do wrong?"

"I eated a marker."

"I have to take your picture..." and post it on my blog "...and send it to Santa. He isn't going to like it."

"Okay." She said stoically, and posed for the mug shot.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When They Don't Even Have To Say, "Mama, I Don't Feel Good"

On Saturday, Ross played hockey without his usual flair. Another parent commented that he looked sick but I shrugged it off as Ross just being in a funk. Sunday dawned after we did. Chris got Ross out of bed for the early game, stuffed a little breakfast into him and was headed for the car when Ross said he had a headache. I suggested some Tylenol, which was taken, and off they went. Ross delivered another game that was off his usual playing style and sank into the couch when he got home, still in a funk.

Several hours later, I noticed that Ross was still on the couch, in pretty much the same position, without the TV on. We were blithely cleaning around him (it was reclaim the house from construction weekend) and he was just lolling there. I pointed out at least three times that it would have been nice to have his help but was too busy myself to urge him through tasks, so took the easier option and merely complained a bit.

At 1pm, Chris started cleaning the pumpkin we bought but never carved. He got it chunked and spread in the oven (seeds too, yum) and then, at 2pm, he took Lars to a birthday party. Ross was still on the couch.

Around 2:30pm, I took a break from reclaiming the dining room to deal with scraping and pureeing the pumpkin. At 4pm, Chris and Lars returned from the party. I was alternately cursing the huge pumpkin and our ancient food processor.
Ross was still on the couch.

Chris was shocked that Ross was still on the couch. He seemed to think we should DO something, so the next time Ross woke up, I coaxed him into pajamas and left him on the couch. Why fight it?

Lars and Chris had eaten pizza at the party and Ross wasn't making any indications that he was hungry for dinner, so I made a little pumpkin soup for myself (Chris had some, too - it was good!) and had it with some cranberry goat cheese and crackers. Somewhere in the middle of my meal, Ross started puking. I glanced at the clock: 7pm. Well, I thought, there goes school tomorrow. At least I got the dining room back...

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Dog ate my homework

Lucas is in third grade and has a new list of spelling words that he brings home every Friday. We were good the first few weeks and made sure to help him practice. However, after several weeks of 100's we lazily slipped into merely posting the list on the fridge. This past Friday, I got even lazier and had Lucas post the list on the fridge. He didn't put it where I usually do - near the door handle - but much lower and more in the middle. I didn't see any problem with this and left it there (more laziness really). We went to a charming birthday party on Sun for about 3 hours. While we were gone, the dog decided to show her displeasure at to how much we were gone that day (church etc) and decided that Lucas' spelling words deserved to be reduced to shreds. Maybe Molly has a thing for spelling in general, because she used to steal the magnet letters off the fridge and eat those too. I told Lucas to be sure to tell his teach that his dog truly ate his homework and he needed another copy of the list (which we are sure to be too lazy to help him study anyway - maybe the dog will help!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

This mama needs a refresher course

Over November, Lindsay was doing her potty thing for pretty much anyone else but me. We have stepped up the stakes with the promise of Elmo panties. Today, after pooping in her diaper, Lindsay asked to have the Elmo panties. After making a pee-pee on the Big Potty, she got her wish.

"You can wear them until we have to go out to the grocery store."

Of course, I forgot she was wearing panties. We didn't even use the potty before we left.

So of course, as I am struggling to bag my own groceries and reload them into the front of the cart (because Lindsay has to sit in the back of the cart) and pay the cashier, Lindsay announces, "I made a poop on Elmo."

Oh no.

The diaper bag with the wipes in it that has been in the car overnight (in 30 degree weather) is in the car. It does not have a change of clothes in it.

I do the only thing I can do. I leave the store. I buckle my soiled child into her carseat. I drive home.

As it turns out, she is just wet. She is still wet, eating her lunch while I blog it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Because it was just too natural not to do so

This little person...
...did this. Mama found a keepsake ornament with her name on it, broken in the pile of rubble underneath the tree. So, Mama fixed it......and it is missing an arm. This delighted Mama because now, every year when Lindsay hangs her cute little bell with her name on it, she can be reminded about how she pulled the tree down trying to play with a Cookie Monster ornament. Probably when she is married and has kids of her own, Mama will send this ornament with a note: "Remember the year you wrecked the tree, dear?"

Which she won't actually remember.

But I guarantee you, she will be damn sick of hearing about it.

How it All Started

5 years ago and still going strong...

I had no idea my husband was using our 4 month old son to pander money from the nice, lovely tourists visiting Key West...I was shopping...

And although you may not be able to tell, we introduced Kyle to his very first sex shop ever...the whole family was in on it. Auntie Paige and Uncle PG took this fabulous picutre. Went very well with the 1 year subscription to Playboy he received from his auntie and uncle.

Kyle also got to visit many bars from Marathon to Key West. All because he is lucky enough to be born to us. And because he is lucky enough to be dragged all around Key West on New Years Eve.

Our parenting prowess has not diminished at all over the years. Unfortunately I have been out of town all week and cannot for the life of me remember any tales even though there are many. So, for my very last post for the 30 days of posting thing...I will leave you all with the above.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hello From Abaco!

I don't have much time...these international internet connection rates are expensive. Even so, ladies, I refuse to let you down! PG, Zane and I are enjoying a lovely Thanksgiving week in the Abacos (northernmost island chain in the Bahamas) with PG's dad and stepmom. We left our cares, worries and stress at home; but our bad parenting skills earned a passport stamp along with Zane.

In our first four days of sun and fun, Zane has tumbled off a bed (a bed located in an upstairs loft, where he was supposed to be napping while I took a nice, long, hot shower...); smacked his nose on the bedside table; and has been allowed - and even encouraged! - to crawl with abandon along un-barricaded docks, gathering splinters in his feet and legs; and has visited so many bars...oh, so many bars...a fine, fine display of parenting, indeed.

But today promises to be the piece de resistance. Today is the day for the annual Florida - Florida State showdown (or, smackdown, as it should be today...) In our divided house, the agreement is that Zane will wear a onesie with the colors and emblems of the home team, and another garment with the colors and emblems of the visiting team. That means he has to wear an FSU onesie today, with a Gator hat. Anyone who knows me well, will understand that dressing him in a garnet & gold FSU onesie amounts to torturing my child. So, that's just great. He'll be a crawling, babbling identity crisis, watching the biggest game of the year in a bar, overlooking the ocean with two parents who have been swizzled.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ruining creatures of all species

This is a bit of a rule-breaker here, since usually we only discuss our human children on this blog, but we did technically adopt our dog and we do take responsibility for her behavior and I feel I've wrecked the lives of Kate & Sarah enough as reported here that I've earned mention of a pet and I was a terrible, terrible puppy mama tonight.

Lola's cousins from Virginia, Jake & Ramona, are visiting this weekend. They're very sweet. Jake and I have hit it off, which I'm told is unusual for Jake; he's usually not a real people doggie. I think we must be kindred spirits. Anyway, we never really know how Lola is going to treat her guests so we're always on edge when dogs come to visit. She is often, I'm ashamed to admit, a very rude hostess. Especially when it involves food or her favorite stuffed toy, the squeaky carrot. To our surprise, after an initial tussle to establish her alphaness, she's been very good.

This evening while we were all sitting around the dining room table a fracas welled up. There was growling, a bark, a yelp and the already elderly and gimpy Ramona (still puppy soft, how does she keep her hair so stunning at her advanced age?) wound up thrust into the sideboard, yelping and limping. I leaped from my seat and roundly scolded Lola. A quick swat under the chin and a stern "Bad girl!" preceded a doggy time out away from all the humans.

When Lola was released from her penalty box she rushed to me for a reassuring snuggle and I noticed at that moment that she was bleeding directly above her eye. As best we could determine, she'd taken a solid kick to the face and nearly lost an eye. And I'd punished her. Worst. Doggy Mama. Ever.

(OK the bloody spot is hard to see here - it's just above her left eye there see? No? Well it's terrible. She's resting with her head above her heart so she won't bleed out.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions, Old and New

Thanksgiving is the first holiday that Chris and I hosted together. We cooked at his apartment in New Jersey - the first time either of us had roasted a turkey - and his parents drove down from Buffalo with a dining table, saving us from serving on the floor. (Several years later, we enjoyed a holiday dinner on the floor in their new house and determined that you could drink more wine as there was no danger of falling off your chair but, retrospectively, I'm still glad we had a table for our first Thanksgiving. I'm sure Amy Vanderbilt would recommend that falling off chairs drunk in front of your in-laws be saved until you are at least engaged...)

In the years since, we've hosted many more equally memorable Thanksgivings like the year we cooked two turkeys because we reversed the fraction when figuring out how many pounds of turkey you should prepare per person, the stellar-planning year I crossed a state line to shop in an all-night grocery on Wednesday night, and the year we closed on our first house and moved into a new state the day before hosting (with good china!) for eight. Wait - scratch that last one - that was Easter.

Recently, we've been cycling Thanksgiving with Fraukow and Chris' parents so we get to host once every three years. This arrangement has already provided some good memories, like the time Fraukow and I poured hot cranberry sauce from the stove into her beautiful crystal serving bowl, which instantly cracked and soaked her newly renovated green & white kitchen in bright red cranberry (which never stains or anything).

This year was supposed to be our turn to host and the fates aligned - the CO for our new kitchen arrived yesterday! We are, however, not hosting. Nor are we bound for anyone's house - sadly, Fraukow's going to have to bring about the demise of her good dishes and nice decorating without me.

We are headed for a hockey tournament in Hershey, PA, where we will spend three days with about 100 kids from our own hockey club, a thousand or so other hockey players and their associated families. If last year's Rochester Rumble experience is anything to go by, we'll have a lot of fun! There will, however, be quite a bit of between-games time that has to get filled with activities or the kids will take it upon themselves to terrorize the hotel and rinks. I'd thought of a few possibly suitable activities but nothing that seemed cool enough to interest the kids for very long...and then Michelle Mitchell of Scribbit posted the perfect idea:

How to Escape from Duct Tape from Michelle Mitchell at Scribbit on Vimeo.

Did you see how Michelle's kids clamored to try? I'm betting I can get most of the team taped up before they figure out that getting out is not as easy as it looks! Chris thinks the other parents will not be pleased but I think they'll all come around. Drinks, anyone?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Last night I was up playing on the computer until 1:00AM. So when Ben was standing beside my bed at his typical 6:45AM I was not a happy camper. The sleep deprivation was completely my fault but still, I was grumpy. So when Allison rolled upstairs around 10:00AM I offered to pay her 6 bucks (a weeks allowance) to babysit Ben and Clara so I could go back to sleep. She happily complied and I took a two hour nap. Maybe not points worthy, but pretty much awesome.

It's a Zero Nutrition Morning

This morning it was cold and rainy, so I stayed in bed for ten extra minutes, which meant that when I finally got Matthew out of bed, he had approximately twelve minutes to get ready for school. I dug out some clean clothes for him from the laundry basket where they were waiting patiently to be folded and put away (someday). I even packed his backpack for him, because I'm such a nice mom.

Now, eating a bowl of cereal typically takes him at LEAST ten minutes. We now have 4 1/2 minutes left till he needs to be outside waiting for the bus. What's a mom to do?

Chocolate chip cookies, of course.

I rationalize this with the reminder that if he'd have eaten breakfast at school, he'd have gotten a pop-tart. Cookie...poptart...same difference.

However, I did stand outside in the freezing rain with him so I could quiz him on his spelling words while we waited for the bus. (Okay, I was standing outside in the rain to walk the dog, but let's just pretend it's because I'm a good mom.)

(I just realized that he did not brush his teeth. *sigh*)

Second Hand Christmas

A month or two ago I found myself driving through an affluent (i.e. crazy big houses) community in the midst of their community wide garage sale. I am not much into garage sales with all the bargaining and picking through things. People are always so cheery and chatty and I find myself compelled to buy something rather than face that awkward moment of walking away empty handed and conveying that their stuff really is all junk. Which, lets face it, is usually the case.

Which is not to say that I am opposed to putting my own garbage out there for people to pick through and belittle. But that's different. It's humiliation for cash and it's usually going towards a very worthy cause. Like a night at a hotel without my children.

Anyway, all this is to say that I wasn't looking to shop that day but I spotted a couple of Ben sized bikes at one house so I stopped. Ben doesn't have a bike and we were debating whether to purchase him one for Christmas because we weren't sure how much use it would get. There were two bikes, the nicer of which did not have training wheels. The other one did so I asked the man to switch them and he said if I bought one he would throw in the other. So I did. Two bikes for $9. Score! Then a few houses down I saw another brand new Princess Bike. I purchased that one for Clara for $6 and voila, bikes for the Weekids for Christmas for $15. I could feel my adrenaline pumping. A plan was forming.

The next day I sent my husband an instant message (because that's how we talk to each other in this house) that I would be purchasing all the Weekids Christmas gifts used to save us money and the environment. I think he may have done a jig. Since then I have been on a quest. I purchased Ben a used Leapster, case and 6 games for $50 on Ebay. I was so proud of myself I told everyone. Including the woman next to me in toy isle who wanted to know if I could help her decide between a Leapster 2 and Didj for her kid for Christmas. I explained to her that I could not because my kid was getting the old Leapster..."Because, oh my goodness, I got it and a case and 6 games on Ebay for $50." She looked at me strangely, backed away and started in on another woman. Obviously just jealous of my shopping savvy.

Anyway, I have done very well on my mission to have a second hand Christmas. While I did purchase a couple new things, even Brandon's new blackberry like cell-phone thing is pre-owned. Most shopping has been done through ebay, with one repeat of the late night covert Craigs list pick-up. The pièce de résistance of this whole thing is Clara's big gift. Every time she goes down to the basement she plays with the Fisher Price dollhouse Allie received when she was two - 10 years ago. The thing is colored with marker and has TWO peices of furniture and one ratty mama doll. But she loves it. So I went on ebay and for $20 ordered a huge lot of furniture (the same ten year old furniture we once had. In fact it could be ours. I'm not sure what happened to it) and dolls and am cleaning the thing up and giving it to her for Christmas. THat's right folks, I am giving Clara the same dollhouse for her 2-year-old Christmas as I gave Allie for hers. The exact same dollhouse, the one Clara already plays with when she gets to go down stairs. And you know what, I think that's awesome. She's gonna love it.

Next year I just may give her Allie's old kitchen.

By the way Worst Mamas, in case any of you missed it, I am giving away a personalized superhero cape at my place. Deadline for entering is tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fail: pick up from school

I decided when I put Lin down for a nap today, that I would lay down for a little while too. After 3 hours of sorting cans last night and 2 hours of sorting clothes this morning, I was feeling pretty bushed. I set my alarm for 2:35 PM (pick up is at 3 PM).

I only hit snooze once. I glanced at Lindsay, motionless on her bed.

I thought, if I leave right at 3:00 PM, maybe I won't have to wait in line and then I can be back in 10 minutes before Lindsay wakes up. Because, you know, Mamas, there ain't nothing worse than the woken-up-out-of-sound-sleep tantrum.

I started reading about something on the Internet, and before I knew it the clock read 3:10 PM. Oh no! I rushed out of the house and drove over to the school to be the last car through the pick up line (but, hey! no waiting!) and made it home by 3:20 PM as Lindsay called downstairs, "Hi, Mama! I woke up by myself!"

Yeah. Maybe all that helping people is starting to karmically pay off?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Salty Language

I am asking forgiveness for posting a day early, but I know I will not have time tomorrow.

Lucas confessed to me the other day while waiting for his big brother to get out of school, that he found it hard not to say bad words sometimes. I managed not to snort and say "DUH!". Instead I said, " Mommy has a hard time with that too. Let's make a deal. Every time you catch me using a bad word, you say, 'You owe me a quarter!' and I will do the same for you." Lucas giggled and agreed.

"Who do you think will end up with more money?"

"Definitely me Mommy!"(more giggling from both of us).

A few quiet pondering moments pass, "Mom, can I still say 'Crap'?"

A few more pondering moments pass, "Yeah, but try not to say it in school. Okay?"

At least I won't be broke in a week!

Catty the lovey

Catty the purple, tailless cat, was a gift for big sis. She is knit, though. And Lindsay lays claim in our house to all things knit. The problem is that knit things can only withstand so much love, and the way Lindsay loves these things is to insert her left thumb into the weave so that she can suck on it while she twirls the rest of it around her index finger. This has resulted in all but the tightest knits coming unraveled. Lindsay has destroyed about 3 blankets at this point. The holes in the knit get bigger until they are strangulation risks.
Catty now has a hole in her chest and her stuffing keeps falling out, but because I can't knit, I just keep shoving the stuffing back in her and handing her back. I told Lindsay today that she can't take the stuffing out of Catty because then I will have to throw her away. Lindsay erupted into tears."But I love my Catty..."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hush...I Cant Hear the TV

I generally try to get to the gym 3 days a week to workout and then do a video at home one additional night. I am not sure why I continue to try and workout at home...with the boys here. There is only so much candy and tv you bribe them with before they actually do really get hungry.

Tonight I decided to try something a little different.

I typically give them cups to get something to drink and a snack. They can then get something more out of the fridge. However, even with all this built in protection I still get lots of interruptions. With me generally telling them to go away and leave me alone. Which apparently only causes a boomarang effect. I tell them to leave they come right back.

In order to minimize the whining and complaining I generally get for 50 mins of my 60 min workout I told the boys (3 &5) half way through to go get a bath by themselves with no actually eyes on supervision. They actually did it. Managed to get the next 25 mins with uninterupted exercise...then with only 5 lousy mins left to go my little one comes in all naked and wet and cold (shivering actually). Asking me to help get his underwear and pjs on. Really? I only have 5 mins left.

My response...

You can dress yourself or wait until I am done. Now hush so I can hear the TV.

Not going to let the team down

I don't know. Do you have President's Choice food where you are? Because my children would not have eaten for the last two days except for the President's Choice.

Somehow, the magic elves have emptied my pantry, as in, no tuna, no pasta, no eggs, no rice... how did that happen? And why, oh why, is there *nothing* written on the shopping list? *sigh*

Anyhow, after they rejected frozen waffles and cereal as dinner options... we went all carnivore, all the time. President's Choice frozen pre-cooked meatballs. Just nuke and serve. With ketchup, of course, because every meal needs a vegetable.

Just don't ask me what I'm serving for daycare "healthy, litterless, nut-free, trans-fat-free" lunch tomorrow. It might be breakfast cereal. Wonder how that'll go over?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Might Lose Points for This One

Unless you count the fact that we have not bathed our son since Wednesday, both PG and I have been model parents all week. That must be a new record for us. Despite all the goings-on in our household - a two-day trip to Tallahassee for Mama's work; long hours in a car; sleeping in a pack 'n play in an unfamiliar environment; only three days of school; a wild Friday night with Hayden's parents; and planning for a week-long Thanksgiving trip to Hope Town - we have managed to keep Zane on a pretty even keel all week. No splashing in diarrhea, no futile imploring Mama for food and no un-comforted crying jags. We're tired, and we're bound to slip. This stellar-parenting streak cannot last. Rest assured you will be the first to hear of it when we do!

Friday, November 21, 2008


I committed so many horrible acts of bad parenting this week it seems I should be able to recall them all here for you. I know there was some lack of hygiene (Sarah currently smells bad but we put her to bed that way anyway). And I sent Kate to bed when she was claiming to be starving (she hadn't eaten her dinner, you don't eat dinner, you find yourself hungry at bedtime, life's hard.) I accidentally left Sarah's favorite pacifier, with which she still sleeps, in the car that we just dropped off at the shop and just now I sat here listening to Kate whine "I want my mommy" over and over until she got sick of it and quit. In my defense, I'd tried several times to give her a kiss goodnight and she wouldn't let me. Those are the ones that stick out, but it seems like there were so many more.

I'd love to regale you with tales of my ineptitude but right now, on this, the last workday of my week, I am so tired that I don't care that Sarah stinks or that Kate is upset. I don't even care that I'm contemplating going directly to bed at 9:30 on a Friday night instead of yucking it up at some local pub (sometimes I get nostalgic). This parenting business is exhausting. Come to think of it...I think I might stink a little. I don't care about that, either. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The smelly kid at school.

This has been a busy week for us. I didn't realize just how busy until I got my son up for school today.

"Time to get in the shower."
"Aww, mom, do I have to? I'm not dirty."

I think back to the last shower he wasn't yesterday. It wasn't Wednesday. I don't think it was Tuesday.

"You haven't showered since MONDAY. If you don't take a shower this morning, you'll be the smelliest kid in the third grade."

He continued to complain for a while, and I considered allowing him to be a social outcast for the day. He did eventually shower, but I doubt he brushed his teeth.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Going To Bed Games

The boys have hockey practice almost every night this year, so they get home at or after bedtime and they're pumped full of adrenaline. Our routine is for them to take a shower and get into PJs before coming down for snack of what we hope will be nourishing and calming (milk, banana, turkey, cheese...). Most nights, it takes at least half an hour before they're in bed and it isn't all that unusual for them to be up an hour or - give me strength - two before we finally manage to get them down for the night.

One recent evening found me sending prayers for strength to every God and passed ancestor I could think of. Finally, after umpteen zillion attempts to calm the boys down, I stormed upstairs, switched on their bedroom light and snapped, "Ross! Vacuum the upstairs! NOW. Lars, clean your bathroom sink. GO."

They leaped into action, Ross jubilant about not having to go to bed, Lars ecstatic because he got the shorter task. Boy was he mad when I snapped, "TOILET NEXT," as soon as he'd polished the sink! The tub also got a wipedown and Ross had made it to the downstairs hall with his vacuum before they both began to protest wildly. I calmly informed them that if they were awake enough to be such pests, they were awake enough to contribute to the household and then sat back to enjoy the show.

Lars instantly put his cleaning things away and washed his hands, all the while saying, "I'm really tired, Mama! I skated TWO practices and I really need my sleep." Ross staged a big yawn and asked how much more he had to do before he would be allowed to go to sleep. I struggled not to smile.

Four minutes later, both were snuggled into bed. The upstairs looked neat, the downstairs looked as if an attempt had been made, and I didn't hear a peep from either boy until morning.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Say Cheese!

Thanks so much to Jen for letting me off the hook on posting today. I've been frantically trying to take and put together my Christmas Card order at Tiny Prints before the sale ends today. Here's a preview of how it went.

And lest you think that this is the result of hours of photographic torture, this is the very first shot. It was it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

And I guess it's worth noting that Brandon has strictly forbidden me to post pictures or mention him on my blog. Which is why he has been something of a ghost in my writings lately. But for some reason, I kind of liked this picture of Brandon all annoyed at his bratty sister so I figured I'd rebel. Besides, if I was Brandon I would use the argument that this isn't technically my blog. So there.

Why I qualify to be a Worst Mama Ever

1. I allowed my husband and his friends to coach my firstborn in saying "boobies" on command. I might have even giggled at the performance.

2. My youngest has eaten dog poop. (I know...ewww...I'm still traumatized)

3. My children watch entirely too much tv because I spend entirely too much time online.

4. I have been known to strap my two-year-old in her high chair with candy to keep her quiet so that I can take an uninterrupted shower.

5. I let my oldest avoid cleaning his room until we almost had to shovel a path to his bed.

6. There are grody crumbs under the high chair padding that have been there for...well...too long.

Hi, I'm Jen from Surviving Life, and I'm the newest WME. I'm mom to Matthew (8), Lauren (2), and Oliver (9 months), and I've been a Worst Mama since my oldest first yelled "I hate you!" and slammed his bedroom door - I believe he was two at the time.

I'm a full time college student right now...just over a year from now I'll be officially licensed to mold young minds, which is a pretty scary thought. For now, I stay home with the two little ones during the day, try to keep the house clean(ish), and spend massive amounts of time online goofing off when I should be studying. I also work as an online tutor in the evenings, whenever I can stay awake past 9pm.

I tend to blog sporadically, but I think I have enough Worst Mama moments that you'll see me around here fairly frequently.

Finally, because I can't resist, here are my kids:

Lauren, who is two, never stops moving, and usually makes faces at the camera.

Matthew, 8, the morning after staying up late and overloading on sugar for Halloween.

Oliver, my youngest, eating leaves. Yes, I ran for the camera before I fished the leaves out of his mouth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tooth Fairy Steals Money

So whenever one of my boys looses a tooth, my first thought is, "Crap, do I have any singles in my wallet?" This time, Lucas lost a tooth and I knew I didn't have any singles, or have 4 quaters to fake it with. How do I get change for a $10 bill at 8pm on a Tuesday night when my husband isn't home? I didn't get change. I took a single from Lucas' wallet, praying that in the morning he wouldn't count his money and notice he was a dollar short. (He didn't!) It's amazing how quickly I get over the guilt!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Better late than?

Our toilet broke. That was the highlight of my week.

And while the plumber was there, talking about how children don't get to play with power tools these days... Clever Monkey noted his opening and started asking about the acetalyne torch.

Could he *touch* it?
Could he *help*?

As he nudged closer and closer to the fire, I said the first thing that came to mind...

"Don't touch the torch... playing with fire is the reason you don't have a big sister anymore..."

And the plumber burst out laughing. And said "Lady, you are very, very, bad.... I love it. The next time my grandkid tries something like that, I'm totally stealing that line."

Anybody but Mama

You see that little one not smiling. Not wearing a shirt. That's the one.

After this lovely family portrait, I twittered and checked my Facebook page while Lauren and Lin went upstairs. Lindsay can undress herself these days, so I asked Lauren to help her put on her pull up and her jammies and to call me when they had both done so and brushed teeth.

In the middle of an IM conversation with another Worst Mama, I heard, "Mama, come quick! Linds pooped on the potty!"

And she did. I finished cleaning her up and tucked her into bed. I retold the story via IM, "I wonder what Lauren said to make her use the potty," I wondered.

My husband had one of his rare working weekends. Although it's hard when he travels 3 of 5 days during the week, the sheer exhaustion of doing the single mom thing on the weekend is staggering. With everything going on, I needed a lot of help this weekend...and I have great friends.

Karen and Lars arrived on Saturday morning with coffee and cocoa to keep an eye on the girls while I was at class. When I came home from the lecture, Karen gave me the Mama briefing, which included, "Oh, and Lindsay pooped on the potty."

"Really? What did you say to her?"

"Well, Lauren had just used the potty and I asked Lin if she had to go also, and she did."

I puzzled over that. Karen and Lars had to run off to a hockey game and the girls and I were working the church bazaar, collecting and selling gently used toys for the thrift shop. About an hour in, Jessie arrived. Lindsay ran to her.

"Ewww, girlfriend, you are STINKY." She set her down. "Do you want me to change her?"

While balancing a big box of toys to sell and two little hands, I'd opted to leave the diaper bag in the car. "Um...I left the diaper in the car..."

"Oh, it's fine. I'll take her home with me," Jessie lives about a block from church. "Jack is having a playdate, so it'll just be one more."

Jessie returned with Lindsay about 2 hours later. "Oh, she used the potty at my house..." She said casually.


"Yep. She said, 'I have to make a pee-pee' and then did."


Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Refuse To Be The Weakest Link

Darn it all...I got nothing. No story of terror or doom worthy enough for w.m.e. post. However, I refuse to be the one caught not posting...

The worst I got is my oldest son in currently on his way back from Miami after getting Nascarified today. With all the other stringy hair, one tooth, trailer park living lovelies who always seem to be only people media can find in Florida to interview after some natural disaster. I am positive my 5 year old will be all sunshine and rainbows tomorrow at 6:30am after finally getting to bed at oh say 11pm. Awesome.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Just when I started to fret that I had nothing to report from this week, IT happened. To properly tell the story, I have to rewind to Monday.

On Monday, I awakened with a lingering and worsening three-day sore throat accompanied by the grossest of gastrointestinal flu-like symptoms. At 2:30am. During the four-day vigil that followed, we took great pains to ensure that Zane would not contract the nastiness.

All was well until Wednesday when a call from daycare disturbed my drug-induced coma. Miss Bonnie called to let me know that Zane had "two nasty diapers" and that we should keep an eye on him at home. Awesome. When Zane got home his hiney exploded two more times, and we started 24-hours-of-Pedialyte. Double Awesome.

By Thursday, things were looking better for everyone: Mama was returning from the dead, and Zane was well enough to go to daycare (equipped with two Pedialyte bottles, bananas and rice cereal). Our fortunes continued to improve through Friday, when things seemed to be back to normal - in every sense. THAT'S when it happened.

PG and I were regrouping and chatting in the office after feeding Zane his supper. Zane was crawling around on the floor amusing himself with anything he could find. He was laughing, smiling, and...splashing his hands in a puddle of something wet. It took me a full minute to realize that Zane was not playing slip 'n slide in a pool of drool...he was frolicking in an explosion of, yep, you guessed it...

Horrified that our son had been crawling in a spot of his own mess, and clapping his hands together, and bringing them dangerously close to his face, we sprang into action. PG took the kid to the sink in the laundry room while I drew a bath and mopped the floor with disinfectant. Nothing to see here, DCF. He might have been playing in a mess, but at least it was his mess.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Taken Down by Song Therapy

I want to begin by stating that I am fully aware that when a child has been traumatized sometimes the best way to find out what's doing the hurting is by getting said child to produce a work of art. I have great respect for the professionals who are able to tease out the gruesome details of a horrible event from a silenced kid who really needs to begin to heal. That said, though, there is always something nearly comic to me when this type of event is depicted on television, such as in Law & Order. The worried cop or assistant DA watches unseen from through the "secret window" while the therapist gently coaxes the victim to doodle. Then, the therapist shows the results to the camera and it's an unholy cartoony interpretation of blood and guts and OH MY GOD the softball coach did it!!!

Back to real life. At Kate & Sarah's daycare they sing "Where is Thumbkin" a lot. You know, that little song to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?" in which we sing the name of each digit on our hand. "Where is Thumbkin where is thumbkin [produce your thumb] Here I am! Here I am!..." Any time the subject of someone or something's location comes up both Kate and Sarah set it to that tune. My favorite was when we were taking pictures of all the Obama supporters in our immediate area and they started singing "where's Obama? where's Obama?" and Jeremiah and I responded "we don't know! we don't know! Possibly Ohio or maybe Virginia...Flor-i-da. Flor-i-da" Good stuff.

The other day I was having my usual hard time getting the little rugrats from the bed to the bathroom to the closet to the car to daycare in what I considered a timely manner. As I hustled them out the door they both objected "it's cooooooold!" It was what I would describe as crisp, but would be nearly 70 by midday. "Oh, just get in the car, I'll turn on the heat!" Of course, daycare is 2 miles from our house at most, we generally arrive there well before the engine warms up enough to produce real heat. They whined and complained the whole way there while I gripped the wheel and clenched my teeth, eyeing the clock. When we arrived I leapt from the car and pulled each kid out. Holding Sarah in one arm and Kate by the hand I hustled down the sidewalk toward the building. That's when Sarah began to belt out "Where's my sweater? Where's my sweater?" and Kate cadenced back "I don't know! I don't know! Mommy it's so cold out! Mommy it's so cold out! We are cold. We are cold" while all their teachers looked on.

It's not that I allowed them to be cold for 7 minutes that bugs me so much. It's that I got caught.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Boys are TOO Stinkin' Cute!

Just a shamlessly proud Mom, sharing a photo of the two most gorgeous people she knows!

Homework - A Survival Story

This year, the most challenging thing Ross faces is his homework. It's not that the assignments are tough - it's that he forgets to bring the papers home or, when he does bring them home, he forgets to put the completed work in his knapsack to bring back to school. Ross sees how absolutely senseless it is to DO the homework and still take a zero because he left it at home but it doesn't seem to inspire in him a need to put the assignments right into his backpack when he's finished them.

To encourage Ross to remember all aspects of his homework, we've derived an incentive program - if he does his homework, he can play video games. If he fails to do or turn in his homework, he forfeits video games that week. Since he's recently taken to playing a game online with his friends, losing video games hits especially hard when he has to tell his friends on the phone that he will not be logging in that night.

On one such sorrowful evening, Ross hung up the phone and turned his woe into anger. "You know," he declared, "You are the ONLY mother who makes up rules like this! NONE of my friends have to do their homework before they play video games!"

"Oh, really?" I looked at him doubtfully.

"REALLY," he spat.

"I think you've got that wrong. I'm willing to bet that other mothers DO make their kids have homework done before they get to play games. Have you asked the other moms?" Ross paused, thinking of what to say next so I held out the phone. "Why don't you call and talk to someone else's mother about it?"

Ross glared at me, grabbed his jacket and stormed out shouting, "I'm going to live somewhere else! Where I don't have to do my homework!" I shut the door behind him, wondering if there was enough time before dinner for him to figure out there are no places like that.

Chris heard the stomping and the door and came in asking where Ross had gone. "To live with parents who won't make him do his homework before he plays World of Warcraft," I said.

"There are parents like that," Chris asked?

"Apparently there are," I said.

"You know it's raining?"

"Yep," I nodded, "He won't get far."

Sure enough, Ross appeared again about ten minutes later - a little soggy. "Can I still have dinner?"

"Of course you can! If your homework is done before we sit down. You have about ten minutes," I said and turned to do something that wouldn't let him see my face. He stomped a bit but got his papers and a pencil. "Couldn't find a better place to live?"

He shot me a look, "Nobody was home." Then he finished his homework and pointedly put it into his knapsack before we all sat down to dinner.

When we'd cleared the meal, I asked if Ross was going to see if the other family was home, so he could move. He rolled his eyes, "Mama! My homework is DONE now."

I sighed, "You know you still can't play Warcraft this week, right? You didn't do your homework when you were supposed to?"

He gave a frustrated grunt, "I KNOW."

I caught his eyes, "Want to do something together or would you rather storm upstairs and be alone?"

He grinned, "Can we play a game? I could run away tomorrow..."

"As long as your homework is done before you go."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Oh go put on a sweater.",

We recently had some family over to spend the night for Halloween. Now, we hardly ever have overnight guests and I was in a frenzy trying to get my notoriously (yes, it really is notorious) messy home under control. Cleaning bathrooms. Taking a shovel to the guest room in the basement, which hadn't been used in six months and had since become the kids dumping ground. Changing sheets. Mopping floors. Biting the heads off anyone who dared sit down. You know, the usual stuff.

The morning of Halloween Shane popped his head in the kitchen and said "I forgot to call someone about the heat pump." I was in the middle of mopping and just game him an annoyed stare, trying to comprehend why he was telling me this. "It's too late now to get someone out here in time" he stated.

I kept staring at him blankly. "What does that mean?" I asked irritably"

"There won't be any heat in the basement when your brother comes..." he responded just as irritably.

No heat...

Oh my goodness, I had forgotten. The heat in the basement broke at the end of last year. The basement where Brandon and Allison's bedrooms are. The nights the preceding week had been in the upper 30s. Lower 40s at best. The heat upstairs (where my bedroom is) had been running for weeks. When Brandon and Allison had grumbled about how it was freezing down stairs they were being literal. It was actually freezing.

And, I had just told them to put on a sweatshirt. Awesome. At least now I know why Allie had been drinking hot chocolate by the gallon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ding! Ding! Ding! Round Two!

Yes, dear reader, less than an hour later and we have round two of "I hate Mommy! Mommy's a witch!"--all because there was fighting over the peanut butter jar and the jelly jar and I said no Thomas the Tank show. I'm so mean.

Straight From the Horse's Mouth

Last night, dear reader, you would have found your Tuesday correspondent fretting. "What antics have my children been up to? What anecdotes can I relate?" she questioned. All had been quiet on the home front. All was peaceful. All was calm. All was bright. Round yon Mama gathered happy children watching Rin-Tin-Tin.

And then.

This morning.

Well. All was no longer peaceful, calm, or bright.

I made the mistake of suggesting a list of fun things that my children could do whilst they were out of school today (three cheers for veterans!). The list is as follows (having absolutely nothing to do with veterans):

1. Run around the house five times.
2. Make slinky walk down the stairs.
3. Color a picture.
4. Do homework.
5. Read a book.
6. Play a game.
7. Play with a toy you haven't played with in over a week.
8. Look at toys in a toy catalog.

I know. Really painful. The list produced a fit that led to my son running up to his room, screaming, "Mommy's the worst mommy in my life!"

And that, my friends, is straight from the horse's mouth.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Too much on Mama's plate

This Mama is overscheduled. This seems to be my mantra these days.

Public school has made me a frustrated parent. It probably makes me more frustrated that I put in as many volunteer hours on the PTO that feel unappreciated and occasionally make me feel I am trying to wade through molasses to accomplish even the simplest task. Where I pushed Lauren to learn her letters because her daycare seemed to think letter recognition by age 3 was required, I really haven't made any attempt to teach Lindsay anything that doesn't make my life easier. Being able to distinguish pink from yellow and demand the yellow socks so that we don't have a 20 minute tantrum makes my life easier. Being able to communicate that she wants her sandwich cut into 4 pieces makes my life easier.

But silly me, I assumed because I haven't been teaching these things that she isn't learning them.

Last week's swimming lesson, she pointed out that the number 10 was written on the edge of the pool (the side is marked with the number of feet in 5 foot increments along the length of the pool for swimming evaluations). She also pointed out the numbers 15 and 20. I was genuinely relieved that she did not recognize the number 25.

Yesterday, during church, she was sitting on a friend's lap. On each page of the book was a letter written in upper and lowercase along with illustrations of objects that began with the letter.

"Look, Meena. That is the letter B," she pointed to the uppercase letter, "and the letter b," she pointed to the lowercase letter. "Ball. Bat. Bell." She turned the page. "There is the letter G, and the letter g. That is a girl, a gorrilla and a grape."

I leaned over a bit farther, hoping to see that it's a copy of a book we already own and maybe this is the result that school game that Lauren keeps talking about playing with her sister. It wasn't a book we own. Damn.

I mean, shoot.

On top of it all, I'm probably going to Hell for thinking Damn in church.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

All Except for the Laughing....

I've been a good mama...really...I have. The kiddos are sleeping on clean, non smelly, non pee encrusted sheets and they have actual kid toothpaste again. This of course after two additional trips to the store without remembering and finally having to go back to the store for a third time. Is it so bad that the kiddos were using my adult whitening toothpaste? At least they know how to spit. Swallowing of toothpaste was minimal and their teeth are a very pretty shade of white.

Now for the laughing. It was not something I did. My husband is the bad daddy today. He is the one who pushed our older son in the pool. After many, many, many lectures about not pushing other people in the pool, my hubby decides it would be really funny to push Kyle in. We live in Florida. We are used to Florida weather. We are used to Florida warm water. Our pool does not qualify. The water is probably 65 degrees.

Kyle was not amused.

At all.

He screamed.

And cried.

I laughed.

I did not bring him a towel. I did not comfort him. I did not give the stern lecture about how we do not push people in the pool and that daddy was not nice for pushing him in the pool.

I laughed.

Ha ha ha.

It's been a long weekend. Yesterday, Bruiser only got changed out of pajamas around 4:30pm when I noticed that he was totally soaked. Then again, that might have been from me making him do dishes (he's two, it was a messy job). It was sometime after that when I finally connected that sad & clingy behaviour with the substantial fever. Duh.

Note the long-suffering look he's displaying, as I read him "Who Loves Tonka Trucks" for the tenth time in a row. Note the slightly crazed look I'm sporting. And we've got another two days before Daddy comes home. Wish us luck!

ps - Clever Monkey isn't in this photo, because he's in time out, where he's spent most of the last three days, for shouting at me.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Stellar Saturday Single-Parenting

It's a good thing the coffee table was there to save Zane's face. Oh, and yeah, those are crusty snot boogies in his right nostril; I gave up trying to keep his nose clean today. And his tray table is devoid of snacks. Sorry, baby, Mama had to check the score of the Alabama-LSU game. PG is back home now after an overnight trip for work. Zane is thrilled. But, then again, PG is the one who forgot to feed him breakfast yesterday.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Black Friday

The morning was off to a good start. I'd worked out. Kate got herself up and pleasantly ate breakfast then headed to the TV room for Pee Wee's Big Adventure (again) while I showered. Ah, Friday. Aunt Jo Jo will be picking the girls up from daycare and they're going to have an overnight at their house so we can all hang out together in the lovely yard with the big outdoor fireplace.
Then it all went I managed to get Sarah up and dressed, hair sweetly pulled into pigtails. Then I moved on to Kate, who wasn't moving away from the TV. I'd asked if she wanted a dress or pants and she said a dress. So I came in with dress in hand. Wrong dress. There was screaming. I refused to go fish out a different dress and told her she could put that one on, or wear jeans. She opted for jeans. I got the jeans (why was I not sending her upstairs her own self? We were running late...) Then she didn't want the jeans. I said "tough" and started to force her into them. She flailed and screamed and cried. I told her if she didn't stop behaving so poorly there'd be no sleep over at Uncle Steve's and Aunt Jo Jo's. She wept "I want the dress! I want the dress!" On and on this went until I let her have the dress, but told her if she didn't shape up and apologize for her behavior I was keeping the promise to cancel her sleepover. Then she kicked her sister.
While I was brushing the numerous knots from her hair Sarah declared she wanted me to do her hair. "I already did your hair! It looks gorgeous." I said. Sarah's solution to this problem was to pull her pigtails out. We were now running very late.

Kate was still intractably refusing to apologize for her various slights against me (and now Sarah, too) while we rode in the car to school. "Last chance!" I said. Silence. I pretended to call Joy. "Hi" I said, into my phone that had dialed no one "Kate has decided she doesn't want to see you today. She would rather go home from school and directly to bed, so, no need to pick her up as planned. You can still get Sarah, though." Then I pretended to hang up. Still silence from the back seat.
It wasn't until we arrived at school (she refused to speak to me, and walked as far behind me as possible on the way in) and one of her teachers told said "all you have to do is say you're sorry and you can still have your sleepover? Hello, no brainer!" that she saw fit to apologize. I thought I had another 9 years before this stuff started. I am exhausted, and remain unrepentant regarding lying about calling Aunt Jo Jo. I'd do it again. I wonder where Kate gets her stubbornness?

Not speaking to mommy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

No Bedtime on Election Night

To celebrate the election coverage (or very possibly because I am sick of crafting nutritious meals in the toaster oven), we ordered Chinese food for dinner on Tuesday. The idea in my head involved us all sprawled in front of the TV, spearing food directly from the little paper containers that we'd pass around (think college) while we watched the poll information roll in. Luckily, reality struck before I mentioned that out loud so the kids were not disappointed when we ate around the dining table, as usual and cleanup only involved stripping one boy of his sauce-covered shirt and wiping floor & chair instead of steam cleaning a rug and upholstery.

After dinner, the kids got into their pj's and we all settled in to watch the districts report. I honestly thought the kids would lose interest in a few minutes and we'd have them in bed by 8:30pm but they were interested in the results and asking questions left and right, so we let them stay up. Every so often, they'd get rowdy or off topic and I'd come out with, "It's bedtime, unless you're watching the elections," and they'd settle right back down. By 9:30, they were still involved but Lars was drooping and he was out cold by 9:38. We tried shaking him awake but once Lars is down, it's over and, since Lars was sprawled across the arm of the chair between Chris and his beer, Chris took Lars upstairs to get him out of the way.

Meanwhile...completely nonplussed by the holographic reporters (aren't they all over Star Trek? What's the big deal?), Ross had become enthralled by the CNN 'Projection' segments. Every time the intro came up, he'd sit a bit straighter and shush us. He had the presentation graphics all figured out and as the night wore on, he'd inform us if he thought the green bar noting the percentage of districts reporting was far enough along to make the data beside it worth discussing. He asked why the votes were only being counted for McCain and Obama - what about all the other candidates on the presidential line? (In the school elections, Ross voted for Ralph Nader, because he was last of ten candidates on our ballot and Ross felt sorry for him.) We started explaining the relative futility of third-party candidates in our political system but, thankfully, another 'Projection' spot came up and we were shushed.

At 10:15, Ross figured out that California would close at 11pm and declared that he was going to stay up for it. He made the declaration in a slightly menacing voice, as if I might be about to suggest he go to bed, but I'd already decided to let him stay up as long as he wanted. This election, whichever way it fell, would be an historic first and he might remember watching it happen - might have a sense of his life spanning an important moment in history. Also? Sending my kid in blisteringly overtired for one of the mere seven (7!!) school days he will have this month seemed like a fitting form of quiet protest.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Alright, already.

I know, I know, it's late. I'm had a bit of trouble getting my post up today. I should have set it to auto-post earlier in the week. It's just been crazy day and even as I type this, Clara is attempting to scale me like the rock climbing wall at the mall. Except this wall is not very rock-like, more like a marshmallow wall. A marshmallow wall that keeps screaming out inappropriate things like "Clara, OW, let go. That's my nipple!" After which Ben hops around the house saying "Nipple, nipple, nipple. We all have a nipple."


I was planning on going back and posting some of the ridiculous costumes I tortured my children in as babies. I have pictures of all of them but Clara (poor neglected 4th child?) screaming their heads off as ducks or ladybugs or bumblebees or whatever. But I can't seem to locate them on the computer and the scanner is downstairs and once I post this I have to head to Walgreens to work on pictures for my choir parents. Because that's what I really want to be doing at 8:30 on a Wednesday night.

Here are two pictures of my kids from Halloween. In both these pictures the kids were ill about something concerning their costume.

So I guess I didn't stop torturing them as babies. And if you read my personal blog, you will see that these are not even new pictures. I posted them there last week. I was just too tired for original content. Which I guess not only makes me the WME, but also the worst NaBloPoMo participating WME too.

Just a reminder...

Today is Joy's day to post.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Refusal

Call me a party pooper. Call me a spoil sport. But you'll see no pictures of my kids at Halloween. I didn't take many. Son #1 was not happy that day, and son #2 has decided that a smile is some weird facial expression involving the lips getting sucked in and the eyes bugging out and the cheeks flapping over.

But beyond the photographic trials of the day, I've decided to put the kibosh on Halloween next year. I don't like where it's going. Too many Halloween socials where there are 7-year olds dressed as axe murderers with vivid fake blood oozing out of everywhere; too many skulls and zombies; too much horror.

And when my 7-year old dressed like a clown gets shown the most disparaging disdain from a third-grade girl dressed like a hooker, then enough is enough. No more Halloween socials, because apparently, the parents of these kids have no sense.

Sure, we'll still carve jack o'lanterns. Sure, we'll still roast the pumpkin seeds. Sure, we'll still decorate the house in orange and black paper chains, candles, leaves and acorns. Sure, we'll even still go trick or treating in my neighborhood. But that's it.

Worst. Mama. Ever. Yeah, that's me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

From Halloweens past

Alright, this is going to be a cute post, but you'll also get an idea of how I've thrown in the parenting towel...Exhibit 1: Halloween 2002. Six week old Lauren with Seamus. Just ignore the man behind the curtain. Note that there are 2 bottles of wine and several cans of cat food in the frame.

Exhibit 2: October 2003. This isn't even a Halloween picture. I think Lauren may be nipping at the cider...
Exhibit 3: Halloween 2004. We had just moved in to Chez Stoll, you can tell by the lack of stuff. Lauren loved this costume and wore it for weeks before and after Halloween. Her shoes also have elephants on them. Yes, it is rather like I clone my children.

Exhibit 4: Halloween 2005. This one was purchased by my mom. Also a favorite that got worn for weeks and weeks.

Exhibit 5a: Halloween 2006. Lauren's Pre-K party. If not for Karen, there'd be no costume - I was pretty much flat out with trying to deal with public school and an infant. This was beautifully handmade by Momo. It is both adorable and toasty warm.

Exhibit 5b: Halloween 2006. Lindsay, perched in her Snugli, dressed up as Tigger. She refused to wear the hood, so mostly she just looked like she usually looked, but in an orange fleece instead of a pink one.

Exhibit 6: Halloween 2007. And here it starts to fall apart as Lauren dresses as Blue for the second year in a row. This year, Lindsay fits into the Green Puppy costume that Momo made for Lars. I tried to paint noses on them. Fail. They are both crying in this picture.

Exhibit 7: Halloween 2008. You'll note Lindsay is wearing the same costume from exhibit 4, although it was my intention to put her in the one Lauren wore in exhibit 3. My mother purchased 3 costumes - two bride costumes (one for each) and a black kitty costume for Lindsay. Lauren wore the bride costume to school, but had her heart set on trick or treating in a handed down chicken costume that the babysitter from the Y gave me. It was at least a size too big. We kept having to hike up the fleecy pants because they puddled around her ankles.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Eeeewwww...I smell pee

Is the first sentence out of my 5 year old sons mouth this evening as he got into bed.


It does.

You should not have accidents in bed.

And, even better the sheets have been soiled since, oh I dont know...Thursdayish.

And, and I am not washing them tonight nor do I have a spare set to put on the bed. I could have put them in the top bunk of the full-on-full bunk beds they have...but oh that would make me a "good" mom. Besides I do still have a fear of my 3 year old rolling off the top bunk and donking his head on the wood floor...then I would have to get up and all and miss sleep.

Even better...I have been told now for like a week that the kids are out of toothpaste. Yep, you guessed it. They are still out of toothpaste and I am not going to the store tonight to get it.

Time change - you're doin it rong.

For those of you not in places that use Daylight Savings Time, yesterday evening was the switch. The media happily crow "Get an extra hour of sleep!"

For various irresponsible (and completely irrelevant) reasons, Round the Bend rolled into bed last night at 2:40am. "Not so bad," I thought - it's only 1:40... I can manage.

Apparently, nobody notified the children. At 6:30 normal time (5:30 new time... less than three hours after I went to sleep) Clever Monkey had his bedroom light on and was singing in full voice, while keeping the beat on the wall with his heels. I stomped. I growled. I was completely nude. I made it perfectly clear that his wake up time was 7am, which was almost 90 minutes away.

My message was not heard. I am very bleary. There has been a lot of shouting in my house today. And a lot of time out. Also PBS (Parenting By SesameStreet). The next time I believe that changing the number on the clock will reset my children's internal clocks - kick me. Hard.

It was not a good day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Hallowe'en Edition

"Aw, folks, come onnnnnn, ANOTHER photo?? What is the matter with you people? Don't you know it's time to go trick-or-treating? I want to go now! See all my peeps? They're already OUT THERE, hauling in all the best candy! Come on! Let's go! Another photo? No! I won't smile. No! No! Nooooooooooooooooo! I want CANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDY!"
Zane - 10-1/2 months.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Admin post

If you all agree to do the Nablopomo thang, here's our schedule from last year:

Ashley posts Sundays (confirmed)
Epiphany posts Mondays (confirmed)
Ginger posts Tuesdays (confirmed)
Joy posts Wednesdays (confirmed)
Karen posts Thursdays (confirmed)
Lisa posts Fridays
Paige posts Saturdays (confirmed)

Since the weekends are the hardest days, I'd propose that Marianne and Round the Bend (confirmed) help out Ashley and Paige. Frauke pairs up with Ginger for Tuesdays, which leaves Joy, Karen, Lisa and me on our own with four days apiece; and Karen with Turkey Day (confirmed)...

YO, YO, YO Mamas!

Are we doing NaBloPoMo again? If we divide it up like last year, it may work...what say you gals??

Monday, October 13, 2008

Playing NEAR Poop is For Amateurs!

I didn't want to have to share this tidbit with anyone, but once I saw the poop posts going up I figured I had better weigh in. There might be a WA&UE point in here somewhere but I believe respect for decency begins at home and besides, they had to deal with the aftermath.

We allowed this sweet little angel of a child (doesn't she look normal?) and her sister to hang out with their aunt and uncle a few weeks back while we did something grown-up, like run a series of errands that would take 2 full days if we brought them along. It was a beautiful late-summer/early autumn afternoon and Kate & Sarah were running around in my brother and sister-in-law's yard with the neighbor kids. As sometimes happens during these impromptu playdates, Kate ended up full-on nude. She's a bit of an exhibitionist. At some point during all the fun, Kate decided she needed to use the potty. I suppose, for my mind went blank and I stopped listening early into the telling of it, she decided she was having too much fun with all the kids to take the take the time to trek into the house and to the bathroom, so she opted to poop in the yard like the dogs do. I mean, like the dogs doo. It was all too convenient not even having undies to pull down.

I don't know what became of my child's own clothes, which I swear we went to the trouble of putting on her before abandoning her to the wilds of Third Avenue, but Kate came home wearing a dress belonging to one of her buddies whose mother was embarrassed enough for me in my absence to put it on her. I don't know what became of the poop, though I suspect it ended up scooped up in much the same fashion as the dogs'. I do know Kate's Aunt Jo Jo photographed it to submit into evidence or for posterity. For some reason, I can't seem to find the photo anywhere...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To bed without dinner...(Updated)

Brandon babysat the Weekids during the 2.5 hour long recital we attended for Allison this afternoon. He had strict, easy instructions. Feed them lunch (chicken nuggets from the freezer) and put them down for a nap. Then you are off the hook unless they wake up. I discovered later (through my mommy superpowers of deduction) that he instead let them watch a movie and then decided it was too late to feed them lunch because they were already supposed to be in bed. So he put them down unfed. Unfortunately my superpowers were working a bit slow and I didn't deduct this until about 7:00 tonight when we were fixing dinner.

It suddenly became apparent that the reason Clara was a complete basket case was because she was hungry.

So, I did what seemed logical and Brandon was forbidden to eat any dinner tonight so he could see what it felt like to go to bed hungry. So he promptly stomped downstairs and went to bed. At 7:00PM. So then I was a big old grump at dinner alternating between being angry at Brandon and feeling sorry for him. The Man keeps reminding me that no one ever died from missing a meal and The Weekids and Brandon will all be just fine.

Update: Brandon was up much earlier than usual this morning to eat some breakfast. The WME in me just couldn't resist asking him why he was so hungry. Grin. Object lesson declared a success.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Joining Joy in Playing Near Poop

Joy should lose a Worst Mama point for amusing her WeeKids with an actual backhoe at work in their own backyard. If she'd let her kids play in the raw sewage first, she might have taken the month...but no, she's left it open for the rest of us.

Driving the kids to practice this week, I tuned in sharply to their conversation when Ross said something about showing a friend the poop in the woods. "Excuse me, WHAT poop in the woods? Deer poop?"

"No, Mama, poop from people. There's a lot of it by a big pipe."

I try unsuccessfully to process this information gracefully. "Did you tell Daddy you found poop in the woods?"

"He wasn't home. You were home, but I knew you'd think it was gross so I didn't want to gross you out."

"So, instead, you showed another kid?"

"No, I showed all the kids! It was that gross!"

When we got back to the house, Chris traipsed into the woods with the kids. He reappeared a few minutes later, already on the phone with our township. An inspector appeared a few minutes after that and the kids dutifully took him into the woods so he could also see the pipe with poop. Maybe twenty minutes later, a township crew appeared with a collection tanker and the mess was quickly cleaned up. The manhole cover, found beside the open pipe, is going to be welded in place next week. So, after next Tuesday or so, my kids are going to have to go to someone else's yard (hopefully not Joy's!) to see raw sewage up close.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"The Safest Place for Z is on the Floor..."

Zane is 9-1/2 months old now, and he's mobile. Well, sort of mobile. Mobile enough that PG declared the floor "the safest place for Z." I may be a slacker mama, but I'm keen on keeping my precious one safe. I don't want him to, you know, go tumbling off our bed in his quest to practice his mad skillz; so, the floor it is.
Yesterday I dutifully placed Z on the floor in the dressing area of our bathroom while I took a shower. It's harwood floor with a few area rugs - a wonderful combination for crawling practice. Plus, I put a few bath books and bath toys on the floor to entertain him. With all of those delightful and colorful objects at his fingertips, what did he choose to play with? Yep, you guessed it! The (thankfully unopened and encased-in-plastic) package of disposable razors stowed in a basket under my vanity. I guess the floor is the safest place AFTER the home has been child-proofed.