Thursday, January 31, 2008

Found object: plastic shot glass so good for keeping graham crackers.

A Ridiculous Parent

OK, this time it's not me. If you would like to read a long post about a parent who let's their 21yr old child be a (blankety blank blank blank), well read HERE on my personal blog. Today. This lady would get 10 WME points from me if she posted here...........and a dunce cap.

The Panty Debate

Seeing as my husband and I are totally stumped on why our daughter is still peeing her pants during the day, and she's almost 5yrs old.......................

She gets panties; she pees in panties...............all over my home, beds (again, she's awake) belongings, brothers/sisters belongings, carpet, etc. Amazing she never pees on the linoleum or hardwoods. Never even once. She gets diapers; she holds it in like a camel.

We feel she has a defiant streak and is aiming her anger at us thru peeing all over the house. We put a pullup on her and she thinks it's a convenient portable potty. So we then put her in diapers and she holds in the pee, yes, like a camel.

To test the defiance/oppositional theory:
We are trying an experiment today. I'm putting her in panties and sending her off to ECEAP preschool. This is her second day of school. Yesterday she stayed dry there in diapers, and took her diaper on/off to use the toilet there. If she pees her pants today, we'll know it's just too hard to stay dry for now & continue with diapers. If she stays dry, well, she's a turd for intentionally peeing all over my house. I'll write in tonight with the update.

I'm trying to be creative here, and inspire her to use the toilet.

Okay, I just figured out the first difference...

Karen said she'd be interested to know if there were differences between WMs in Canada and you folks to the south...

I just had one smack me across the face. It was when I was reading up on Zero Nutrition Thursday (BTW, I'm right on track having had a Nutrigrain bar and a row of Fudgee-os, and two diet Cokes so far today) and Paige said she'd had her maternity leave paperwork approved. I thought it was a typo, but she did actually write nine weeks, right?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Maternity leave in Canada is 52 weeks of government subsidized leave after which your employer MUST offer you your job back. Now, it's not really enough to live on, but I didn't go back to work until Bruiser was 13 months. Because that's just how it works.

The down side - you have lots of time to figure out that you're not cut out for full time parenting, and if you dare to want to go back early, you must just be a horrible person... who doesn't find fulfillment in dragging babies to StoryTime at the library...

But, there you go... I thought she said nine months. I was wrong. Small reality check.


I have not needed to send my daughter out into the cold again, but I do have a lovely story for you.
I was recently awoken at about 3 a.m. by a small child letting out blood-curdling screams from her bedroom. I jump, run across the hall and find her sitting a the edge of her bed screaming "My sock came off!" I'm not a whole lot of fun in the middle of the night when I have been awoken from a dead sleep. I shoved some new socks on her feet (ones with better elastic) and told Ruthie that she was never, ever, ever to wake me up for something that ridiculous again. She was only to wake me up for emergencies, real, real emergencies. Fast forward three days. It is Benny's day to get up with the children. I arrive downstairs in time for him to take a shower and find Ruthie shirtless in the living room, where she announces "I throwed up on my shirt." Benny clarifies that her pajama shirt was covered in vomit when she got out of bed. I go up to her room to see what the story is and it ids evident by the several well-spaced pools of vomit that Ruthie has thrown up several times during the night but didn't come get me, likely out of fear, and the fact that she didn't know that vomiting was considered an emergency. Oops.

Freeze-Out Week, cont.

Lars? Walking to the bus with one arm in his jacket, backpack slung over the other arm, clutching his shoes to his chest. I think this balances the nice, healthy breakfast he had on Zero Nutrition Thursday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Getting My Priorities Straight

Chris and I are doing the dailies - that is, we're playing the boys' Webkinz to get all the daily events when he happily shouts, "Snowflake!"

"Have you noticed there are fewer of them now? They used to come by every two minutes but the timing is changed - now it's every six."

He looks at me with an odd mix of horror and pride. "You didn't recognize labor either time you were in it but you've timed the Webkinz Winterfest Snowflakes?"

I look at him steadily and then cringe a little. I didn't recognize labor. Either time. Hmmm. But that was YEARS ago! Like nine of them. Old news. Webkinz Winterfest is on RIGHT NOW (Arte at Rare Item Hour, anyone?), and I'm here to tell you, those snowflakes are definitely slower than they were.

more on Harry Houdini

OK, the Harry Houdini (clickable) story below is probably my worst story. If it's not WME material, I'm wondering if I suck enough to be over here? Just kidding.

Turn about is fair play?

"Lindsay, do you want me to spray you in the face?"

Before Lindsay answers, I palm the bottle of Method spray cleaner. "Lauren, do you want to be sprayed in the face?"

Lauren, looking terrified, ""

"Then don't threaten your sister." I squeeze the trigger, which engulfs her in a fine mist of grapefruit scent. "You have time-out."

Crying and wet, she takes her place on the stairs.

Well trained kids?!

So - it's almost quiet time today and CleverMonkey decides he wants to play with the dogs. Fine.
And his brother wants to watch. Fine. And I can hear them on the other side of the baby gate as I fold laundry without having it unfolded as I go.

"Go get it! Good! Now, bring it here! Good! Give! Give bone!" and so on...

and I look over the gate to discover the dogs lying there looking a little bewildered as my almost four year old teaches my 18 month old to fetch.

I did not laugh out loud. But I think I might have given myself a hernia.

The Harry Houdini Debacle

My kids make me so proud.
This past summer (June 2007), our oldest child, a son, was newly 12yrs old. In our state that is the legal minimum babysitting age/age you can leave your child home alone. So, the first time I went to the grocery story during summer break leaves me with this great story that makes us sound like white trash. Trailer trash. They make me proud.

Before going to the store, I told all the boys what the deal was. Rules, boundaries, phone numbers, instructions, whatnot. I thought by the time the oldest child is 12, they would be able to handle themselves for two hours while I hit the Safeway. At the time, the boys were 12, 10.5, & 8.5yrs old. We had not met our daughters yet, so they were not in the picture (thank God).

And they had been to the library the week before and checked out a Harry Houdini magic trick book. It went downhill from there.

I naively went to the grocery store. It was bliss. No phone calls, and no bratty kids with me. As I'm driving into our neighborhood with a big grin on my face and feeling so relaxed and accomplished, I come to our house and see horror. A lady in her 60's that I've never seen before is yelling in my yard, and running around my yard. Did I mention this lady in her sixties was in a swimsuit? That was the first horror. Secondly my next door neighbor is standing out on her deck looking at my home. This can't be good.

As I pull into the driveway, my 12yr old comes out of the garage waiving his arms around as he's screaming incoherently. I get out of the car, tell him to be quiet, and holler to the two ladies that I'm home and have it covered. The swimsuit goddess tells me "I heard blood curdling screaming all the way at my home. It didn't stop, so I came over. You're kids were running thru the garage, yard, beating each other up and screaming. Now I only see one kid, but there has still been blood curdling screaming coming from inside." Did I mention she lives A BLOCK AWAY AND HEARD THIS NOISE? I'm about ready to die at this point. She went home. I hollered over to the next door neighbor and she said she was standing there listening to the screaming.

Personally, I think if it was that bad, they should have just called the police. That probably would have straightened the kids out and scared them (as they should be by that point for behaving so badly).

I went inside the house with the 12yr old, and no one else is to be found. He said "I couldn't control him. I couldn't get him to stay in the house. I couldn't get him to go to his room.........." I finally told him to shut up and said "where are your brothers?" He wouldn't tell me. Within a second I heard the screaming, followed it, and found our 10yr old locked outside of our house, on the upstairs deck. He had been screaming from there. I let him in.

I drug the story out of them. It all started so innocently (not) with the 12yr old stating he wanted to tie up the 10yr old with rope to a chair, to see if he could escape like Harry Houdini. That just can't ever be good. Well, the 10yr old couldn't get himself out of the rope (of course), and the 12yr old wouldn't take the rope off. I'm still wondering how they were so ingenious to find rope, yet they don't have enough brains to figure out how to stay at home alone while behaving. Anyway, The 12yr old finally ripped off the rope as roughly as possible, leaving rope burns on the 10yr old, and leaving him in pain. So the 10yr old tried to beat up the 12yr old. They are the same size. So the screaming started at that point, followed by chasing each other and beating each other up all thru the house and front yard. Which finalized in the 12yr old locking the 10yr old outside of the house on the deck. Which led to the blood curdling screaming.

And where was the 8yr old during all this? Just trying to fly under the radar. He hid so he could stay out of it and remain uninjured. He's the smart one. Actually he's the one with Aspergers, yet he still has enough wherewithal to stay out of serious trouble. Unlike his older brothers.

At this point I decided they would never stay at home alone again. I drug them everywhere with my that summer, making it as unpleasant as possible for them. Ie.....long trips, car trips on hot days, etc. My goal was to show them that it will be so much more pleasant for them to just behave and have the privilege of staying home alone for a couple hours here and there.

I never left them home alone ever for the remainder of summer vacation.

They make me so proud.

In November my husband and I wanted to start going to a twice monthly Sunday evening group at church. I told the boys I could pay the babysitter at church to watch them there with the 2yr olds, or they could stay at home and behave. They chose to stay at home and behave. Haven't had a problem since.

Other than the fact that my neighbors think we are white trash with psycho children. Ah, it's all in a day at my house.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Introducing - my crazy family

Apparently, my life is crazy enough that I qualify. *snort*

I'm an elementary school teacher in urban Canada. One would think that managing 25 of someone else's kids all day would give me some quality skills for my own two munchkins, but you'd be mistaken.

I have two boys, CleverMonkey aged 3.5 and Bruiser aged 18months. My husband and I work split shifts - I work mornings, he works afternoons and evenings and some weekends. We have two large neurotic dogs and a gerbil.

My eldest is very articulate and the world's biggest extrovert. He's the strange kid who walks up to you in the mall, takes your hand and says "We're going to WalMart my mom says WalMart is terrible but I think it's a lot of fun and there's a McDonald's in WalMart and they sell Thomas trains do you like Thomas trains my favourite train is Murdoch because he's so fast..."

My youngest is the bizarre combination of completely fearless and not walking yet. Example, I left him for thirty seconds to put a diaper in the garbage and found that he'd made a giant pyramid of Little People building and was sitting on the windowsill pointing out the birds and looking very pleased with himself. Still don't know how he did it...

I love my children. I adore my children. Both my pregnancies were high risk and I value those children as the true blessings they are. I would sell them to the circus at least two days out of every week. And I'm sure that there will be lots of stories coming out of my house. Looking forward to sharing.


This happened last week but with my weekend away and all I forgot to post.

I had a lingering cold and was feeling particularly run down. I decided that we all must nap. Helen is no problem...she naps anyway. Ruthie is another story. She probably needs a nap, but resists in every possible way. So I desperately explained to her that Mommy was sick and needed to sleep, but I couldn't sleep if she was awake (though I later found out DH did just that while I was away) so she really needed to sleep that day. She protested at first, but then agreed. I reinforced the importance of her staying in her room and put her to bed. I left my dolor open so that I could hear her if she tried to make a break for it. It was quiet and soon I had dozed off. I don't know how long I was sleeping when I awoke to this feeling that someone was in my room. I turned my head and saw Ruthie standing at my night stand, reaching for something. She wasn't facing me, so she didn't realize I was awake. I yelled "Hey. What are you doing in here?" A startled Ruthie jumped, screamed and ran back to her room crying. I heard her, and briefly contemplated going in to comfort her. But I didn't. I went back to sleep.

Run Like the Wind

Well, last night brought on another tantrum from Ruthie at bedtime. I maintained my cool for significantly longer than my husband, and he got all pissed off when I told him to just leave her and go downstairs. At that point, he was mad, she was maniacal. Let them both cool off and see what happens. So I got Helen ready for bed while Ruthie is screaming at maximum volume again. She kept busting in wailing while I was trying to read poor little Helen her bedtime story. I finally locked her out and she beat on the door and screamed until I was done with her sister. I emerged from Helen's room and told Ruthie I would help her when she stopped. I then deposited her in her room and the screaming escalated (and just when I thought it couldn't get any louder). Helen, who always goes to sleep without a problem, began crying. I saw red and realized that letting Ruthie scream it out on her own wasn't going to work if Helen was going to sleep. So we ran. That's right. I brought her downstairs, jammed her boots on her feet, got her coat and hat on, brought her outside and let her run. She's only three, so I couldn't let her run, in the dark, unsupervised. so I ran with her. i held her hand and informed her that we we'd stop running when her screaming stopped. We got less than a quarter mile form the house when she stopped. We turned aorund, I let go of her hand and let her follow me as I walked at a pretty brisk pace back to the house. She went in, got off her coat, her hat and her boots without a word, and went to bed. No story. She began to cry again when I left her room and I told her that we'd get all of her stuff back on and go run again if she wasn't quiet. She stopped. I didn't hear from her again until morning. DH told me that bordered on child abuse. I reminded him that he is a runner and runs for his mental health just as much as for his physical health, and perhaps that running cleared her little brain of whatever was making her so hysterical. And I ran right there with her. So think of it as quality time with mom instead.

Freeze-Out Week at WME *

The boys played hockey Sunday morning (7:15am, oh Lordy) to win 2-1 after an exciting game! We came home to a second breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and fruit before drifting in to a bit of Sunday afternoon stupor around 10am. At noon, we regrouped and decided that Chris and the kids would come to my hockey game later, an away game but not very far from where we live. We agreed on the time we would leave and then went back to assorted fun.

Thirty minutes before our set departure, I called half-hour and reminded everyone to be ready (bathroom, shoes, jackets, book for the car, etc.) to go at 3:15pm. Fifteen minutes later, Lars was sitting in front of his computer, wearing his shoes, parka and hat, determined to play his game until the last possible second. Ross was exactly where he had been and when I offered a gentle reminder to get ready, he said, "Oh, I'm not going. I'll call Ryan and go to his house."

"No, you may not invite yourself over to a friend's house. Get your shoes and coat, we're leaving in thirteen minutes." Ross turned off the xBox and stood up, which seemed like a good sign until his face went purple and he burst into shouts.

"I'M NOT GOING AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME GO," he raged. He stormed around, mainly for his own benefit as Chris and Lars were playing computer games and I was packing my things, for the next ten minutes. At the two-minutes-to-go mark, Lars went to the bathroom and Chris brought my things out to the car. I collected Ross, still writhing, hooking him under one leg and the opposing arm, grabbing his jacket off the chair as we headed to the door. I carried him out to the car, dumped him in, and shut the door. [Begin full-scale temper tantrum here. Not pretty.]

Chris headed back toward the house, intending to get boots for Ross but I called him off. "But we're going to an ICE rink," Chris said, "His feet will be cold!"

"Oh, I hope so! I put his jacket in there with him and we'll carry him from the car to the bleachers. He can stick his feet in my shoes while I'm on the ice, for warmth, but he'll just have to stay wherever we put him - they'll be too big for him to walk around in." Chris got into the car somewhat reluctantly and off we went.

Ross fussed the whole way to the rink, about 40 minutes. Lars endured the ride with his hands over his ears. When we got there, Ross was carried in and deposited in a seat at the away end, near where my team would sit. Lars got to come to the dressing room to get my shoes and to be adored by my teammates, who are mostly all moms and suckers for adorable blond boys who won their Mites game that morning. When Lars went away with my shoes, I got more than a few strange looks, so I explained why Ross was shoeless in the stands. Oooooh - you've never seen more snickering moms!

We skated hard for a shut-out win, 2-0. I got the first goal on a gorgeous breakaway, stealing the puck in the neutral zone and managing to keep it with me long enough to stun the goalie so I could wedge it into the net. My fans (all three of them, I might add) went wild!

In the car on the way home, I wondered aloud how many times the boys would be caught under-prepared before they would figure out that Chris and I mean business and that we will get our way? Ross piped up, "Well, it's happened to me TWO times already and I STILL haven't learned!"

* For more frozen toes, be sure to check Emmay's post!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pissed Off

For the thing I'm pissed off about. My husband called me a "blankety blank".

This is because our 4yr old daughter peed her pants this morning before her nap, she didn't ask for a dry pullup (big health no-no to sit in pee all day), we discovered she had a full pullup a few minutes ago, and she burst into tears telling me she wanted a hug. I told her "pee in pants is wet and smelly. I'll be happy to hug you when you are dry and smell good. Feel free to go take a bath or shower to clean up." I got that idea from several other bloggers who have adopted older children, going thru the "wetting" experience.

So, what does my husband do? He says "Blankety Blank. You are a blankety blank". Swell. AND he scoops up the 4yr old (she's almost 5) and hugs and smothers her in affection. I never said I wouldn't hug her. I gave her a natural consequence for her actions. My husband already thinks it's consequence enough to be in pullups and diapers. I think she needs a gentle reality check, in several aspects of natural consequences, if they apply to the situation. I told my husband "there are lots of consequences to say, being an alcoholic." It's just so. I'm not trying to punish her, but open her eyes to the consequences of her actions.

In the meantime, our daughter is crying profusely into my husband's chest because I won't hug her (since she hasn't bathed yet). I told her "Well, how about if I wet my pants, and ask you to come sit on my wet lap and give me a hug? How would that be?" She screams "NOT GOOD!" Well, there you have it. I told her I feel the same way, but I'm more than happy to hug her when she's cleaned up. Mainly I worry that she has the naive view that this can continue with willy nilly consequences (pullups and diapers), and she thinks the rest of the world is fine with this behavior. I feel it's my job to open her eyes. We have told her countless times that if she pees her pants in kindergarten, kids will make fun of her. We haven't told her this to be mean, but to give her a glimpse of social consequences to her actions. Already she's at the point now where people at church don't want to deal with her in the preschool class. Sigh................Makes me feel warm and fuzzy, but that's another story entirely.

So what do you think? Think I'm a blankety blank for being straight up with her, telling her I would be more than happy to hug her after a bath and clean clothes? Please weigh in. And I really don't think I should be called names...................

The dentist

This post isn't going to earn me any points, but I thought I'd do an informal poll.

I took Lauren to the dentist today. He is a pediatric dentist. I'd like to tell you I know him well, but the truth is managed care doesn't really permit knowing your doctor. Lauren has been seeing him since she turned 3.

This visit when the hygienist came to get Lauren, I grabbed my purse and started to get Lindsay. She stopped me. "Uh, I'll just be taking Lauren back by herself."

"No." I said.

"Why," she said, her face very close to mine. "Do you have some problem with that?"

"No." I replied. "But I need to ask Lauren..."

She interrupted me and kneeled to talk to Lauren, her face very close to Lauren's. "Don't you want to give your mom a break?" She asked. Lauren didn't reply, and looked a little alarmed. "You're big enough to come back by yourself...and if you need your mom, I will come back and get her."

"Okay." Lauren said.

"My name is Julie." She said, as they walked through the door together.

I was so anxious the entire time I was there. Now, I am an awkward person. I don't do chit-chat well. But I really felt in that moment I failed Lauren because I allowed myself to be managed by this woman whose motives I didn't understand. About twenty minutes later, she popped her head out to let me know Lauren was fine and watching Snoopy. A half hour later, I was called in to speak with the dentist who chastised me for allowing Lauren to brush her own teeth, and told me I'd have to bring her in to have a cavity filled.

I was too flummoxed by the cavity, dealing with the copay and making another appointment (they only had 3 appointments, 2 of them I couldn't take because Lauren is out of town for a week, and all of the appointments were during school...they were unwilling to discuss an appointment farther than 3 weeks out) to really say anything to the dentist, but I felt like it just wasn't right that I couldn't go in with Lauren - after all, I accompany her for every doctor's appointment, every other specialist we've ever seen...and I think it would've been OK if Lauren said, "Gee, Mom, I really want to go by myself."

Am I overreacting?

Baby it's cold outside

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was away for the weekend. I might add that I was away sans children or husband. Woot! I got back later yesterday afternoon. And I reluctantly agree to give the girls a bath. Benny says I can reconnect with them. Yeah, while I'm unpacking my bags and they're drowning. I hate giving baths which is why he normally does it. But, I tell him I will if he just gets them up and into the tub while I finish unpacking the car. I finish and head upstairs where I am greeted by Ruthie, whio is creaming because she can't get her undershirt off. Ruthie is completely capable of getting her undershirt off. She just refuses to listen to us while we try to instruct her, and instead chooses to erupt in to total fits of hysteria and a maniacal screaming. I calmly try to remind her how to get off her shirt. She just screams. I eventually take her and place he in her room, which is mere feet from the bathroom. She continues to scream and opens her door. I close her door. She opens it, screaming. I lock it. She opens it screaming. After a few round of this game, I am totally through with her screaming. I drag her downstairs, put a coat on over her undershirt and send her outside to the porch, shoeless, in the 30 degree cold. (She did have socks on.) I plop her onto the porch step and tell her she can come back in when she is done screaming. I close the door. (Oops, I forgot to turn on the porch light.) She attempts to open the front door, so I lock it. She screams. And screams. I stood right there and listenedd to her, while little Helen ployed in hate tub upstairs, unsupervised. I finally opened the door, and she stopped, came in, and didn't give me another minute of trouble all night.

The Kindness of Strangers

I got to go away this weekend, and didn't get to post his before I left, but I damn near got my child killed last week. It all started when I decided to take the children to the state museum to meet some friends and their kids. We usually bring the strollers, do a few laps on the concourse below to get some exercise, then bring the kids to the discovery area to play. Finally, we head up and have lunch. The nice thing about going with other moms is that we all kind of watch out for each other's kids. Or really, they keep an eye on mine cause I'm easily distracted. But seeing as they also have their own kids to watch, I shouldn't really rely on that. Case in point: today, we had finished lunch and were packing up to leave. The museum is part of the Empire state Plaza, complete with several office buildings, visitors' areas, etc. It's a busy place. As I was attempting to make sure all of my Tupperware containers were back in the bag and ready to go, my friend drags Helen over and tells me that she wandered around the corner and down the hall and some complete stranger got up from eating her lunch to bring her back. Oops. Thank you, kind lady.
Then we got to our van. At this point, the moms have all gone their seperate ways and it's just me and the girls. I instruct Ruthie to get out of teh stroller as I search in vain for the sippy cup that Helen is screaming for. It is past naptime and she is exhausted an unable to understand that mommy left the sippy cup in the museum and is not going back to get it, and perhaps if Helen had not run away and had to be rescued by a stranger, Mommy would have remembered it. I launched a final search of the diaper bag and lunch bag, searching for the cup, when I hear a woman's voice. I poke my head out of the van and realize I don't se Ruthie. Before I can register the thought that someone might be trying to kidnap my child, this very kind woman appears on the sdiewallk with Ruthie and tells me that she wandered into the VERY BUSY street. The woman experessed concern because the cars go very fast down thee street and a little girl might easily get run over. She is so right. I thank her and watch the cars whiz by as I strap Ruthie into her seat. Thank you, kind lady #2.
Where would my poor kids be without the kindness of strangers?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

On Valentines Day

This Valentines Day there's just one thing I want
And I promise I'll tell you, once I say what it's NOT.
So Babies and Daddy please stop right here
And listen to all that I DON'T want this year.

I don't want bright flowers to tickle my nose
Or soft fuzzy slippers to warm up my toes.
I don't want chocolates wrapped with string
Or perfume, or lace or a new diamond ring.

I don't want a kitten all soft and purry
Or a new cuddly teddy bear, big, brown and furry.
I don't want dinner or dancing, or a night on the town
Or pajamas with hearts or a "Best Mama" crown.

I don't even want Valentines scribbled in crayon
Or tissue bouquets made by your tiny hands.
It's all lovely, my dears, and the thoughts are the BEST
But I DONT want a bit of it, nor all of the rest.

What I want is unusual as far as gifts go.
You can't put it in a box or wrap it up with a bow.
What I want can't be found at a store on a shelf.
What I want for Valentines Day is...


One day all ALONE from morning to night
Without wiping chins or refereeing a fight.
No Daddy, no kids, no pets and no noise
And please make it somewhere without any toys.

I want to read a whole book from beginning to end
And sleep til I wake-up, and then sleep again!
I want to take a long bath without one knock at the door
And eat a meal warm, without crumbs on the floor.

I want to hear SILENCE to read, write, and pray
And to only brush my teeth at the end of the day.
And when I drift off to sleep I'll thank God for each one of you
And the day you gave me ALONE, with nothing to do.

This silly representation of a real life fantasy of mine, is part of the Monday Mission which was to write a post in the form of a children's story or poem. For more Monday Mission participants, or to link your own, visit Painted Maypole.

Cross posted from my own blog.


Our 4yr old was adopted in September. She has continually had peeing/pooping issues and problems. I had to wait four months to get her into Childrens Hospital to see a Urologist. Diagnosis? Enuresis/Encopresis. They think the Encopresis (constipation & poo accidents) is causing the enuresis (wetting) because all her constipated poo is pressing on her bladder, spine, and nerves. So, we have to clear up the constipation with meds, and this will help greatly. After almost a week, she figured out something in the food/water must be making her poop. She Tuesday & Wednesday she resorted to projectile vomiting at will. Not fun. And she hadn't pooped in days. To make a really long story short (cause it's already on my personal blog) let's just get to the end of the story where the ER gave her an enema, after a five hour wait. She held in the enema. Talk about control! She was shaking and holding onto the enema. gross. My husband put her on a commode and told her she had to poo before we went home. Luckily she listened.

She's been pretty pissed that going poo once or more times a day is a requirement. By the way, she's developmentally delayed, so often it's tough to communicate with her regarding anything she's not interested in. So we have to inspire her, quite often, to do the appropriate thing.

Now that she's been pissed off about having to poo (because I have threatened to give her an enema myself if she doesn't poo once day). Yesterday afternoon she went out to the dining room, pulled down her pants & pullup, sat on the dining room chair, and peed. I mean, she peed a truckload, making a puddle on the chair and the floor. Asking her "why"? She said, "I don't know". We made her clean it up and sit in her room for five minutes.

I feel like a failure as a parent, seeing as I can't convince an almost 5yr old that normal people poop everyday. And they keep their panties dry.

Admin post

Hi there Mamas!

I see Karen has made quite a showing this month. I have to admit I have my fingers crossed to see Lars in his footie pajamas getting on the school bus...

I've been guilty of being a bad blog author both here and on my personal blog. At the risk of penalization, it has had mostly to do with a staggering amount of PTO work, but also Lauren asked if we could start going to church every Sunday, and getting involved with that has taken a lot of time in the past couple of weeks. I'm going to resolve to post here once a week even if it costs me points (Thanks, Ginger), and 5 days on my personal blog.

I'm hoping this might spur some of you funny, marvelous friends to commit to a once-a-week post also...or even once-every-two-weeks if your schedule is particularly hectic.

Thanks, Mamas!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

And the Answer Is...

Chris took the boys to the party. I was all for making them hand over the present and explain why they had to leave but Chris had been the most frustrated by the morning antics, so he took point with regard to the party. He would clearly not do well on Worst Daddy Ever!

When they got home I nabbed both, sat them down and quietly explained how frustrated Chris and I have been lately. I told them that Chris and I feel like we must do all the work - even though Lars holds the dishes and silverware, Chris or I must stand over him and herd him through the task, plate by plate. Ross brushes his teeth only while being stared at. Neither one of them get dressed in the morning without the aid of a parental drill sargent. I heaved a sad sigh and said how Chris and I are just so, so, tired of it. We want to be the cool parents - the family who has fun together, going to interesting places and doing exciting things but we can't - our coolness is entirely squashed by our children.

Then, I told them about the revolution. Chris and I have realized that we're doing too much! We have to send the kids to school and they have to be dressed appropriately for the weather. Dinosaur footy pajamas are warm enough for January, are very modest, and there's no rule that says one may not wear them to school. If they doesn't bother to get dressed on a school day, they'll go to the bus in his PJ's. If they don't brush their teeth twice per day, we won't bother to schedule cleanings with the dentist (they LOVE our dentist). Her work twice a year is not enough to keep their teeth healthy and there's no reason for me to pay all that money if they're just going to let their teeth rot anyway. Chris and I will make sure the kids know the schedule and are alerted with plenty of time to get their things done but the actual doing is now up to them! Chris and I feel better already, with all that grumpiness about having to chase the kids around off our chests.

So, we're already 16 hours into the new regime and I'm sure you'd like to know how it's going! Here's a little play-by-play:

7:30pm - Mama delivers The Talk. Shockingly, children actually listen.
7:42pm - Children are sent to get ready for bed.
7:52pm - Children are in PJ's, teeth are brushed; they get tucked in. Not bad!
8:20pm - They think we don't know they are still up, playing. We snicker about the 5:00am hockey wake-up they're headed for and let them dig their own grave.

5:00am - Daddy wakes children, who are unhappy about having to get up. Daddy points to clothes they should put on, announces that breakfast is downstairs.
5:20am - Kids are mostly dressed, Lars has eaten a breakfast selected from things that were set out. Mama fields a special breakfast request from Ross, tells him he should choose from what's out, gets her own breakfast from the table.
5:30am - Car is packed. Lars is mostly ready, including having brushed his teeth. Ross is still grudging his way through breakfast.
5:32am - Ross wedges his feet into shoes, is handed a pile of clothes he should be wearing already and is sent to the car. "IT'S COLD," he shivers! "Yup," I say.
9:50am - Hockey has been played, bags are in the basement. Kids are told to hang their gear and put the laundry into a basket. Lars is reminded about his friend's birthday party this afternoon and told that he needs to be ready at 12:30 or he won't be able to go.
10:30am - Kids still in basement, playing. Hockey gear still in bags. Chris is enjoying a nap.
10:40am - Ross came up for a snack. I sent him back down until his hockey things are taken care of.
10:50am - Lars came up for a snack. I sent him back down, too.
11:01am - I'm going to make myself some lunch, since I need to head out in a bit for my own hockey game. It's looking like Chris won't need to take Lars to the party this afternoon, as the kids are never going to hang their hockey stuff, so they won't be able to come up out of the basement!

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Question for the Panel

Both boys were grounded from electronic toys for having abused the privilege (one is supposed to get ready for school in the morning - not hide out under the covers playing Pokémon). Ross is additionally grounded in total for having "forgotten" to bring his homework home twice in as many weeks.

When the kids are grounded, we offer them the chance to shorten their sentence with good behavior. Motivated by several incentives, including a new Webkinz (thanks, WW!) and a birthday party, Lars had worked off his grounding as of Wednesday. Ross was not as industrious but was on the path toward being able to go to the party...and then this morning happened.

Lars got dressed and ate his breakfast, then went upstairs for a double whammy, swiping Chris' DS (If it's not mine, I will not touch it!*) and playing Pokémon under the covers instead of brushing his teeth. Ross was discovered downstairs, dressed and working on a school activity that he spent the last two days saying he couldn't remember what he was supposed to do with and that it wasn't important, anyhow. For their actions, Lars is grounded from the electronics and Ross is generally grounded. Again.

The birthday party is an arcade party and is this afternoon. Do I call the birthday child's mother to say the kids can't come and bring the gift later or do I take the boys to the party to deliver the gift and let them explain to their friend why they can't stay to play? Lars could, technically, go to the party - he just couldn't play any of the nice electronic arcade games...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Conversations On A Saturday Morning

"Go sit in time out until you feel like doing your homework."

"But, Mama! I'll never feel like doing my homework!"

"Then I guess you're going to be in time out for quite a while."


"Blow your nose."

"Whyyyyyy do I allllways have to blow my nose?"

"Because yellow snot slugs on their way to your chin are totally gross."


"Go back to the bathroom and wash your hands with soap."

"But I'm going outside."

"I don't care if you're going to stick your hands in cow poop. You wash your hands with soap after you use the bathroom."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Worst. Day. Ever

Well, if it wasn't the worst, it was close. I've been sick all week AGAIN, Helen has been sick. Ruthie hasn't been sick, but I'd be very surprised if she wasn't getting sick, based on her horrific behavior today. I won't bore you with the minutiae of my day I'll just recount some of the more fun moments.
Ruthie decided, five minutes before we needed to leave for th gym (yeah, why was I going to the gym when I'm sick...mostly because the thought of spending ALL DAY in the house with my children was too much to bear.) that she needed to change into pair of ugly pants that did not match her shirt. They are pants I don;t like for anything but hanging around the house. But I didn't have the energy to wrangle her into the ones I picked out because I was too busy telling her how hideous her outfit was. At the risk of losing any points I may have been awarded for that, I felt awful and apologized to her later, telling her how beautiful she looked today. Thank God she believed me.
Helen fell off the kitchen chair as I was loading the car for the gym. I had so had it with theatrics and crying at that point that I merely picked her up off her back, where she was laying in a pile of Cheerios and Raisin Bran, placed her in a chair without saying anything and walked away from my crying toddler, and out the door. Fortunately, I realized later she was not hurt.
After the gym, we went to Target to pick up a few things. I let Helen walk into the store. Usually she is in a cart. The plan was to find a cart they could both sit in. I don't know if she fell or threw herself on the floor, but there she was, laying on the floor in the middle of the entrance, screaming, while the automatic door kept opening and closing. She flung herself onto her back and I left her there, to get a cart, while Ruthie screamed, "Mommy, look where she is, she's on the floor," and other patrons stepped over her to get in. I got many a dirty look from the elderly couples shuffling in, but the cart guy thought it was hilarious.
After we got home from Target, I realized what a bad idea it was to have gone to the gym, as I ha d used up nearly every ounce of energy on the x-bike. This left me no choice but to force Ruthie to take a nap. This was made much easier by the temper tantrum she threw just after lunch. I carried her to her room to let her scream. She emerged into the hallway. I put her back and locked her in. When she realized she was locked in, she worked herself into a total frenzy that eventually led to a nice 2 hour nap. But sleep did not come before I made my way in to her room and informed her that children in my house didn't act this way, and if she wanted to throw fits of this nature she could pack her bags and move in with another family. Since she's not quite four, she can't reach her suitcase at the top of the closet, so she shut up and settled down.

On the Crapper

Why is it my 11yr old son seems to always need to take a crap when I tell him it's time to do a job? Today all three boys were doing their chores. My 11yr old was then missing, so I asked the other kids where he was. The bathroom. I barged in on him, told him to get up and do his chores. Told him if he has to crap really bad, well, he'll just have to work quickly, then poop. Sheesh.
Am I a bad mom for assuming he's trying to get out of chores?

A brisk walk

I only put shoes, socks, and mittens on once. If they get thrown, they get put in the diaper bag. You should've seen the looks I got this morning walking back from the grocery store in 40 degree weather...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not Faking

After lunch, a call comes in from the school nurse. Lars has a headache he describes as "large" and it hasn't been alleviated by the soothing pictures or waterfall music the nurse has been applying. I talk to him on the phone. "Hey there, Little, you don't feel good?"

His small voice responds, "No. I have a headache. A large one." He sounds more sad than in pain, so I ask him if something happened that hurt his head but he says no, it was just all the noise at lunch. Suspecting there might be more psychological than physical pain, I ask if he thinks he'll be ok to skate practice tonight. He hesitates, "I, ...I don't know. I think I can skate." I remind him that if he comes home from school sick, he can't go to practice and he decides to give the afternoon at school another try.

A couple of hours pass. The small worry that I'd been harboring for Lars since the call is gone when the phone rings again. Lars is really sick. So sick that he can't be put on the school bus; can we come get him? Chris heads to the school and returns with a limp boy who has no interest in standing up, let alone skating. Calibrated Mama lips determine he has a little fever so we get him some Tylenol and bundle him into blankets on the couch. I wonder how awful he was feeling when I coaxed him into staying at school after lunch?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Member Intro......It's Too Hard to Live at My House

Hello everyone! I just stumbled upon this wonderful blog (er...sarcasm mill?), and I LOVE it!

I was asked to write in an intro about myself. Well, how much time do we have? I tend to be long winded, so I'll attempt to keep this short. I have been married over 15 years and have five children. Three biological sons ages 12, 11, & 9, two adopted daughters ages 4 & 2. I enjoy crafts, adoption and parenting books, websites, education, cooking, cycling, our church, friends, and a good laugh. I'm currently on a mission to lose the last 40 pounds of about 100 pounds that were too many. Privacy is important to me, so I post under an anonymous name. I won't be posting pics of my family, but I will post humorous photos I come across.

After my husband and I were both raised in entirely dysfunctional homes with none of our parents being any sort of mentor/role model, we decided to blindly jump into the world of marriage and parenting. We got engaged after three dates, married 6 months later. What fun! We survived the first few years of marriage. We are still alive after my one time only "batter fried fish" entree for dinner that nearly killed us both. And a five alarm dish of enchiladas.

We always wanted a large family, the term "large" still being debated. When I was in high school, a desire for adoption began to run thick thru my blood and deep in my heart. When my husband asked me to marry him, I asked him about a day later if we could adopt. He said basically, "well, since we haven't had sex, we don't even know if we have infertility issues. So, back to that sex topic, can we discuss that?.............." He has two adopted siblings and has always been open to adoption. He grew up seeing the positives, heartache, issues, joys, and the recipe of an adoptive family.

Moving along, we had three bio boys in three years. The third pregnancy left me on bed rest for seven months, followed by a birth that left me with a surprise hysterectomy and menopause. My first thought? Now we can adopt!!! My husband was rolling his eyes since we had three very young boys, our third being born deaf (has since been repaired). To make life even more interesting, our 12yr old son has ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), and our 9yr old son has Aspergers. Since we needed more drama around here than that, we decided to adopt a little girl from Russia.

To make a really long adoption story short, we went all the way to Far East Russia to adopt a precious little 3yr old girl. We were never able to bring her home due to our adoption agency operating illegally. We have since sued them and the FBI is prosecuting them. We regrouped, found a new adoption agency, and adopted two girls practically out of our backyard in our home state. The girls are in our home on an adoption placement, adoption soon to be finalized in a couple months.

Living in my home is a new adventure every day. To sum it up, our 4yr old daughter says "It's just too hard to live here. I have to make my bed, clean my room, get dressed, and I have to tell the truth, and I have to keep my undies dry." She states this matter of fact at least once a week. Our clean cut, healthy, positive, nurturing home is so foreign to her that it really is work for her to be a family member. So apparently it's just too hard to live here, huh? One time she beat up her younger sister here. My husband walked in on them and yelled at the 4yr old as he picked her up off her 2yr old sister. She immediately said "Time for us (the girls) to move!" She was ready to pack her bags and be gone. We explained that everyone makes mistakes, and you don't move just because you make a mistake.

For my WorstMamaEver story to add this time........
Yesterday we weren't going anywhere. I let my 2yr old wear a wool plaid jumper dress, black turtle neck, leopard print pants, hot pink socks, black church mary janes, and a big smile. My husband thought she looked like a Lady of the Evening, but ya know what? I thought she looked so happy that I didn't care what she was wearing. Heck, we are in our own home for heavens sake. Of course I would make sure she looks normal heading out to the grocery store, church, whatnot.

I have a personal blog called SpecialNeedsKids (clickable) if any of you would like to read more of my adventures. Please let me know if you are aware of any kids special needs blogs that may be of interest.

I look forward to getting to know you all, laughing with you at the highlights and lowlights of your day, and encouraging each other. Best wishes everyone!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why you little...!

OK, so it's not what it looks like.  Nevertheless, I thought it deserved mention.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm so mature.

This morning Brandon had a basketball game at 10:00AM. At about 9:15 he was flopping around the house in his uniform looking for something, and obviously irritated. Against my better judgement, and stupidly in support of his passive aggressive fit, I asked him what he needed. "My Georgia Hoodie", I put it in the laundry and didn't get it back."

"No", I said, "That's not true, I washed it, folded it, and gave it back to you. It's probably in your landfill, ahem, room downstairs."

"No" he grumbled at me, "I looked, and I know where I put it. And you never gave it back to me. And it's not here."

"Brandon", I replied, my voice raising. "I am not in the habit of throwing your clothes out onto the street. If you put it in the laundry and haven't gotten it back clean, it will be in the laundry. I did not lose your shirt. If it's not in the laundry, it's in your room, or you left it somewhere"

Brandon snapped right back at me, "Well that's what usually happens when I can't find my clothes. I put them in the wash and never see them again".

I think it's possible steam actually came out of my ears. Brandon loses his clothes all the time.
He leaves them at friends houses, at school, in people's cars, at Basketball practice, you name it. It is a constant source of irritation for me how many of the clothes I buy him disappear. And for him to take no responsibility and blame all these lost clothes on me, made me downright irate. Granted my laundry skills are not the best, but I don't think even I can make the dryer eat a mens XL UGA Hoodie.

Well I yelled, and he wisely said nothing and walked out the door slamming it on the way out.

This is what he will find when he gets home.

Because parental grace is beyond me at this point.

Updated-The Man says this is mean and I shouldn't call our kids names, even perfectly harmless ones like twit. I think what he really means is we shouldn't put them in print to come back and haunt us at a later date. :)

Friday, January 11, 2008


I got home late from the city yesterday, arriving in time to help get the kids through showers and into bed after hockey practice. When the kids were down, I ate dinner in the living room and watched a hockey game with Chris. Imagine my surprise when I found this note beside my place at breakfast this morning, after the kids had already left for school!

Chris grimly filled me in. There had been a food fight and yes, the letter of apology had been written and signed before they left for hockey last night.

When Ross came home, I made a point of looking at the note until he became visibly uncomfortable. "Do you want to tell me about what happened," I asked?

There was a pause, then Ross slowly replied, "Nnnno. Since you asked, no, I don't really want to tell you about it." And he walked off with the cautious gait of a boy who fully expects something horrible to happen. He got to the door of the room and risked a look back to meet my gaze. Finding me exactly where I'd been, he wasn't sure if he should be worried or relieved.

"You're right, I did ask. I'll respect your answer, if you'll promise me this will NOT happen again."

"It's a deal," he said with a little cringe, then a small grin. I have to admit, I felt a bit of baby's first food fight!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wordless Tuesday??

Okay, I had every intention of posting this last week for worldess Wednesday, but I forgot. I beleive it needs no further explanation.

Get it out of the way early

I think this merits mention in this forum. Sorry for being too lazy to post it twice. Please see link.


27 Days and we haven't broken him yet! Here are some new photos to prove it. The Z-man seems to have decided life outside the womb is A-OK and we think he is pretty cool, too.

Napping with my newborn son.

Baby Z with his Pappi (my mother, Ashley's too)

Gifts from the WMEs - Thank you Ladies! Love to you all! xo

After the first bath - he looks like a contestant on Dance Fever

Best. Christmas. EVER.

Honey, look what Santa brought!!!

Baby Zane with his Granny LeB (Phil's mother)

My family.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sheer Terror

So, my worst mama ever moment this Christmas season came when Santa made a visit to my parent-in-laws house prior to the big day to see all the kids at the house. Todd (he is 2 and a half) was terrified of Santa. I mean full on screaming fit...great...Giving in to the pressure from the in-laws I tried to get Todd in the pic with Santa and the other kids...I should have known better...and to sacrifice the mental stability of my 2 year old! Oh boy! You can see for yourselves from the following pics. (I promised myself I would not traumatize my children like this...however IT IS Christmas and so what if I tell my children a big, scary man half hidden with a beard is okay for getting up close and personal..forget that whole stranger danger is Christmas)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Parenting over my head

I hadn't declared December's tie between Joy and Paige, at 10 points each. Congrats, ladies!

Tonight, we went to Target to buy Lindsay her own pair of pink cowboy boots and a soccer ball because she keeps taking Lauren's. In the car, Lauren recounted how she's being pushed by a bully in the bus line.

"Did you tell the para?"

"Yeah. She said, 'Stop pushing' and he kept pushing anyway."

"So what happened next?"

"I pushed him back."


"Well, he spread his legs so he didn't fall down."

"Hmm. Well, I think there are two possible approaches for this."


"You could use your Danger Voice and say 'Stop pushing me! You're hurting me!'."

"I'm only supposed to use my Danger Voice if a stranger is hurting me."

"Do you think it's better that someone you know hurts you versus someone you don't know? If someone is hurting you, you use your Danger Voice."


"Or, another approach would be not to stand near him in line."


"Because I could go talk to the principal, or call his mother, but I think you can handle this yourself."

"Ok. Mom, can we go to church?"

Uhhh? "Sure."


"Did you want to go Sunday? We can go to the church Jack goes to..."

"Well, I always like to see Jack, but do we have to go on Sunday?"

"That's when church usually is..."

"Alright then. Sunday."

"Ok, honey."