Monday, December 28, 2009

Get a Parenting Award!

My friend, who I love dearly has created this website...

And I love it. And I think you may as well. And I'd encourage you to go create yourself a parenting excellence award, whatever it may be for.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Don't Make Mommy Mad

I just read this. It's a New York Times article about how we shouldn't yell at our children. I read and it and I thought "well, duh." We know this. The only time yelling is really acceptable behavior is at sporting events (except golf, because apparently those people need absolute silence to be able to hit a ball that is sitting perfectly still). People yell because they've lost all ability to fix a situation. They don't usually plan to yell. We're already not allowed to spank, now we're being castigated for yelling? This is why I usually don't read parenting stuff. It makes me want to scream.

Go ahead, read the article. Do you see a portion in it anywhere with clear-cut, no-fail instructions on what to do when this is the scene ? -

Mommy: Sarah, go put your shoes on we have to leave now.
Mommy: Sarah, please put your shoes on, we're going to be late.
[Sarah pulls a toy off her playroom shelf]
Mommy. Sarah. Go. Put. Your Shoes on. Now.
[Sarah relocates, but not toward her shoes]
Mommy: Sarah. Shoes. Now.

Let me tell you something, Mr. Child Rearing Ahole, the other option I've embraced, when trying not to yell, is to scoop up the non compliant 3-year-old and her shoes and place all of them in the car myself. This generates as much wailing (yes, wailing, as if she'd had boiling water thrown on her) as yelling at her does. Either way, the 3-year-old still isn't the one putting on her shoes and we're still late. So fix that, jerkface holier-than-thou parenting expert. I SAID FIX IT!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Feeding the Masses

It's finally time to go home. Road trip after the family vacation. We're at my in-law's, where I'm packing lunches. Ham and swiss sandwiches for me and the Gingerbread Man. Jelly sandwich for Samuel.

"Will, do you want a ham sandwich or peanut butter and jelly?"

"Just bread."

"Ham in a bag to go with that?"



So I pack up two ham and swiss sandwiches and one jelly sandwich, then put the jelly knife in the sink, the ham and cheese away, the bread back.

And forget to pack anything for Will.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Today was Ben's 4th day of elementary school. He has done fairly well but has experienced some anxieties, particularly about the bus routine. Just to throw some wood on that fire, I was not at the bus stop this afternoon so the bus continued on without dropping him off. (It is protocol-PRAISE GOD-that kindergartners can't be dropped off unsupervised.) I wasn't there because the bus arrived 15 minutes earlier than it had been the previous days and I wasn't home on time.

From my pedicure.


Discuss among yourselves.

PS. Ben is fine. I accosted the bus at the neighborhood across the street by running out in front of it and waving my arms like a chick in an action movie. I think I should earn an extra kid-humiliation point for that. The bus driver and Ben never even realized he didn't get off at his stop. I'm thinking that's probably not a good thing...but who am I to throw stones?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Morning Do-over

Each morning, the high school bus goes by at 7:00 am, notifying us that time is passing. The alarm goes off at 7:50 (hey, we both are working at our computers until midnight--cut us a little slack for our late arising), we get Samuel up, dressed, breakfasted, packed, and out the door for his bus at 8:35.

Except on Thursday. We missed the significance of the high school bus (I was dreaming that I was dancing at the inaugural ball with President Obama--really), and the alarm didn't go off. When the Gingerbread Man sat straight up in bed and asked, "What day is it?" I tore myself away from my ball gown and fox trot to consider the day of the week.

"Thursday!" I shout triumphantly.

"It's 8:30!"


I ran to deal with lunch and breakfast issues, the Gingerbread Man ran to get Samuel dressed.

In five minutes flat, he was out the door, gagging only a little bit on the piece of bread we shoved into him.

Feeling guilty the rest of the day, we promised ourselves we wouldn't do that to him again.

Until Friday. When the high school bus went by and I was dreaming about rock-climbing...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The phone message

"Hey, Heather, it's Fred. I just saw Lauren walk herself...well, not by herself, actually...she's with these twin boys* that look about her age, but you know," he laughs nervously,"without an adult. And they were crossing the street. I asked her where she was going and she said that one of them had to go potty so they were heading home," another nervous laugh, "so probably by the time you get this, she'll already by home. Hope everything's to you soon. Bye-bye."

*Karen's not-twin son, ages 8 and 10.

ETA: another friend's son, age 4, was returned earlier in the day by an Orthodox Jewish mom who didn't speak to him (because, she explained, she didn't want to make him talk to a stranger), and made the boy lead her to our house despite his protests that he and Karen's eldest boy were playing Manhunt.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Safe Spot to Sit

Aunt Jo Jo is going to pick the girls up from school today. They've known this all week, but when they see the carseats in the entryway they get really excited because they know with certainty it's an Aunt Jo Jo pick-up day.

We were up front where we keep the shoe basket (thank-you Lady E) that is now overflowing with footwear attempting to find a left and right shoe for each kid when they spied the carseats. "Aunt Jo Jo is coming!" they sang out and began piling all the stuff they thought they should have this afternoon in the seats so Aunt Jo Jo would know to bring it with her.

Having found shoes and, as usual, running awfully late, I headed back to the kitchen to shove some food in the mouths of the children before rushing them out the door with smudged little faces. As I cut Kate's waffle into the specified "lots and lots of pieces" Sarah was calling to me from the front room. "I said a lot of pieces" Kate was saying as I yelled "Sarah, I can't hear you if you want to talk to me you need to come in here!"

Sarah continued to yell some unintelligible stuff that was gaining in a tone of urgency. "SARAH. I cannot hear you! Come in here." I called to her, putting cereal in the requested purple bowl with green rim and the new spoon not the old one for the kid who wouldn't come to the kitchen. The clock glared at me judgementally. I finished up a few more tasks while Sarah continued to yell at me.

"Mommy! I need your help!" she yelled. Finally, irritated, I gave up and stomped up front to snatch her up and plop her in her seat at the table. That's when I realized she'd buckled herself into her carseat and could not get the latches undone again. Then I laughed. "Hold on a second" I said as she wriggled and looked at me pleadingly. I ran and got my phone.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I can honestly say that, as a couple, The Man and I's disagreements only get to the yelling/crying point about once a year. Today was that day. Cause nothing says "Happy 5th Birthday, Kid!" like the sound of your parents screaming and slamming doors.

Sorry, Boo. We suck.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just for the Record...

I hate Mother's Day. I hate the people who brag about what their children made them for breakfast. I hate the expectations. I hate the cranky children.

I have it pretty good every other day of the year. Personally, I'd like to send fire ants to the founder of the "holiday."

Cranky children? Cranky mama.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What's Wrong with this Picture?

Photo taken December 12, 2008: Zane's one-year birthday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

In case you were worried, I'm still alive and kickin worst mama butt...

The Weekids are now 2 and 4 and for whatever reason that feels infinitely less intimidating than last spring when they were a mere 1 and 3. For one, Clara is walking this spring (running and hopping in fact) which gives me a new found sense of freedom. We are taking more outings. Initiating more playdates. Even taking mini-trips to see relatives. And so it was that, just last week, I found myself cheerfully sharing with The Man my newfound sense of parental confidence in my ability to take them places without turning into a frazzled, shrieking banshee.

So, Thursday night Ben had soccer practice. Allie and Brandon had practices/lessons of their own and were unable to help with Clara so I brought her along. She has her own pink soccer ball and chair and snacks and was playing happily. I was keeping her blonde head in the corner of my eye while chatting with the other soccer moms and intermittently yelling at Ben to pay attention gently encouraging Ben to stay focused. Then, suddenly, another mother came up to me and said

"Isn't that you little girl over there?"

Sure enough...the blonde head I had been keeping in the corner of my eye belonged to another child completely. Clara was easily fifty yards away in the middle of a soccer game in progress in another part of the park, obliviously kicking her neon pink soccer ball. Play had stopped completely and the parents of the playing teams were looking around baffled at whom the child could belong to. It was in short, a stellar parenting moment. The looks I received from the parents of the playing teams (and even some on our team) as I sprinted to collect her clearly solidified my worst mama ever status. Forever.

So let me stop now to remind us all of a cardinal parenting rule that I had forgotten: One should never, ever, use the words "parental" and "confidence" in the same sentence. If for some reason you have cause to think those words, keep them quietly to yourself. Because, for the record, crow tastes like poo.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bath time!

Me: [Attempting to get the troops excited to head to the tub] OK, who in here needs a bath tonight?
Sarah: Me! I do! I'm stinky.
Kate: Oh goody we never get to take a bath!

oh dear.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Will Not Survive His Being Ten

awful smell! dead mouse?
elusive - can't quite nail down
bothering my nose

child walks by. that smell!
what?!? same socks worn for six days?

focus on the good
this explains spares in suitcase
don't wring grimy neck!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Zero Nutrition Friday

What Oliver (1) and Lauren (2 and 1/2) have eaten today:

breakfast: dry kix cereal

lunch: strawberry banana yogurt, a slice of cheese, and cheese puffs

late snack/early supper: apple juice, more cheese puffs, and fruit loops

Mother Teresa I Aint

Kate and Sarah, though frequently delightful, were horrible last night. We got off to a cute start this morning so I was excited. The cuteness faded oh-so quickly and the girls wore down the last of my already somewhat lacking patience until I found myself yelling. I don't yell much but I mean, what else do you to with a kid who, when told to do something repeatedly just stands there staring at you? So, "Kate please go put your shoes on." escalated to "SHOES ON NOW!", I'm not proud to say.

When I rounded the corner toward the front of the house from the kitchen I once again noted that Kate was not putting her shoes on. Last I'd seen her she was headed up the stairs after I'd yelled at her not to go back upstairs. That was the last straw. What was she even doing up there when we were so obviously on our way out the door?!? I stood at the foot of the stairs and cut loose with my most thunderous yell that I typically reserve for the dog when I catch her in some ruinous act. "KATE! GET DOWN HERE NOW" I bellowed. Silence. I stared up at the stairs, preparing to drop all the stuff I was holding and go rain holy terror upon that child. I took a step back and as I turned to lay down my burden I saw a tiny, pale 4-year-old standing quietly behind me. Shoes on. "Oops" I said. She remained silent and wide-eyed.

As I unbuckled Sarah's carseat at daycare I said to her "I'm sorry I yelled at you earlier." In fact, I'd made Sarah cry. She nodded her acceptance of my apology. When I got around to Kate's side of the car, before I could utter a word she said "Are you going to say you're sorry for yelling at me? You were scary!"

I'd like to say I felt guilty all the way to work for upsetting my kids, but I didn't. Instead, I felt delighted to finally know I can evoke fear in those two seemingly impervious gremlins. I was sorry for losing my patience with them, but I can't promise I won't do it again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I once...

I thought I would start this thread after I found myself doing something that I would never have even considered doing before I was a mom. Feel free to comment or start your own.

I once...

...moistened dry wipes with my own saliva to clean my daughter's poop.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cold Heart, Cold Bath

Last Wednesday my boys had a baby sitter while my husband and I were out. Since this is a regular occurrence the boys know the routine when we are gone. I, of course, reiterated the necessary things to be done while we were gone (mostly for the benefit of the girls who were watching my boys).

1. Take a bath.
2. Brush your teeth.
3. Put on underwear and pj's.

After you are ready for bed you can watch some tv or read some books.

Being a school night with the boys having to get up the next day at 6:30am and us not generally getting home until 8pm, it is important to have this stuff done so they can get in bed as soon as we get home.

We get home and absolutely nothing has been accomplished (since they were playing soccer, Grrrrrr.....

So, I tell the boys to get in the bath, and "I mean now." The bath water did not have enough time to warm up. You would have thought I was killing the boys with all the screaming and howling that was going on. To make it so much worse, I insisted that they sit down in the tub while bathing and dumped LOTS of water over their heads to make sure I got all the shampoo out of their hair...he he. Oh well, guess next time you will take your bath when I tell you or I will be hauled away by DCF after the neighbors complain.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Really Gross

So, if you are at all squemish or have a weak stomach please read no further...

I did warn you...

My kiddos share a room and a bed. Sharing the bed was not necessarily my idea but they keep sharing the bed. We have full over full bunk beds. Plenty of room for one kid in each bed. There are many benefits to them sharing a bed however, there are some definite drawbacks.

One drawback is when one has an accident and I cannot change the sheets quick enough. Please see my first post in November for more on that subject.

I have just discovered another drawback...even more icky. My little one apparently caught a stomach bug and vomited twice in the bed. The one he shares with his brother.

Little one comes in to our room, dads side of bed, wanting to get in bed with us. Little one says, I'm wet. I somewhat hear this conversation but do not really pay attention as little one is talking to dad. Little did I realize that he is wet with gross...

Dad removes pjs and tucks the little one in bed with us. I get a vauge icky vomit smell but again...barely register it.

Guess where my older son was still sleeping? In the bed with vomit...never even crossed my mind to remove my older child from the vomit bed.


This is the national beverage of Brazil. It's called a Caipirinha (pronounced [kaj.pi.'ɾĩ.ɲɐ]). I got that pronunciation guide from Wikipedia. I think it's harder to read than the word itself. Anyway, doesn't it look tasty and refreshing? We hit our beloved neighborhood cantina, Mezcalito's, the other night with our friend Cindy. The girls were turning on the cute for their guest.

Before our meal we munched on chips with their wonderful homemade salsa (I like the green one especially) and had a few drinks. Jeremiah and Cindy enjoyed caipirinhas while I went for a beer. As we chatted and munched and sipped Sarah cozied up on Cindy's lap. Kate danced. She has the heart of a dancer, you know. Distracted by all the fun, no one can really say exactly how long Sarah sucked on the straw of Cindy's beverage before any one of the 3 adults noticed. We didn't notice any immediate effects, but I will remember this event when we start seeing the results of her standardized tests...