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Taking one day at a time...

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  • DO SOMETHING GOOD
  • Saturday, June 30, 2007

    Me? Dublin?...

    You Belong in Dublin

    Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
    You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

    Friday, June 29, 2007

    More Pictures Than I Know What To Do With...

    I took exactly five hundred pictures on this trip. This is just a teeny tiny fraction of what was on my camera. Heh...
    Remember last year? Livie sure has come a long way.

    Livie loves eating at restaurants. She's going to be an expensive date when she gets older. I can tell.

    Jack and Liv fell asleep on the ride home, but only for a little while. It was better than not sleeping at all.

    Jack loves to be a ham for the camera. He was loving his vacation.

    Java is as tired as a dog can get. Her days were packed with "work."


    Jack loves the water. Surprisingly, it was very warm for being that far north.

    Couldn't you just kiss those cheeks forever? Go on. Kiss your monitor. You know you want to.


    Now that's a happy boy!

    She's walking with a mission. She's going to grab my camera, but not before she faceplants on the carpet.

    His smile can light up a room.

    Yeah, this was a great trip. We'll have a lot of good memories. Sigh...

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    We Have Arrived...

    Well, I'm back! There's no need to roll out the red carpet. Heh...

    The kids had a lot of fun and we're all beat. We came home shortly before 3pm today and were settled back in our nest rather quickly. Before I knew it, every single toy the kids have was strewn willy-nilly around the house. It felt good to be back.

    All tick checks came out clean. Not one of us (not even the dog) brought a tick home, nor did any of us get one while we were at our Walden.

    Pictures will follow, you know. So, be prepared for an onslaught of photos.

    We did so many things. We took the kids to an indoor water park, a wildlife park, to dinner a couple times (and they behaved!), to the beach, around town, etc. The weather was the best it's ever been when we've gone to the Northwoods. We couldn't have asked for a better time.

    Jack had his moments, but he's two years old. He's full of moments, whether we're home or away. He also was the most talkative he's ever been. He was having conversations with us (mostly trying to convince us to let him have his way) and stringing together sentences like crazy. Livie walked like an old pro and continued to do so once we got home. She also was less scared of people while we were on our vacation. She would smile at them, instead of covering her ears and crying. Java enjoyed her trips to the water and has slept since we came back.

    Hubby and I had such a good time that we would've stayed longer if he didn't have to work on Monday. All in all, it was a wonderful vacation. I'm glad to be back home, though.

    I missed ya! And I missed my own pillow, too! Heh...

    Friday, June 22, 2007

    See Ya Next Thursday...

    Last year, I posted these pictures and these pictures when we came back from our vacation. I'll have to compare them with this year's pictures when I take them. I can't wait to use my new camera there!

    If you're really bored, you can check out my posts from June 23rd and June 24th of 2005, when we were on vacation with Jack, who was four and a half months old. There are some cool pictures in those posts, particularly of Hubby and his dangerous side. You could read the recap I wrote on June 22nd of the vacation that year, where it notes Jack's head injury.

    Other than that, I'm already packed (efficiently, I might add) and ready to go. And my dilemma is solved. Jack pooped all day long yesterday, so he'll be a happy kid for our trip. And Livie will be happy, too, because Jack won't be crabby. We all win!

    We will be on our way to the Northwoods in a matter of hours. I'll be back to blogging next Thursday evening. Have a great week!

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Cross Your Fingers...

    ...and hope that my son Jack finally decides to go poop. He's a real bear when he holds it in. He hasn't gone since Sunday.

    We're leaving for our vacation on Friday, which means he better go poop today or I'm going to go crazy!

    I'll try to leave a sunnier post up before we leave. Heh...

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007

    Exposure...

    I just got my ass kicked by a two-year-old.

    I took Jack and Liv to a playgroup not far from the house today. It was nice, but I felt like we were the oddballs. All the other mothers knew each other and their kids were totally well-behaved.

    Mine? Different story. Perhaps I was dreaming when I thought it was going to be easy to take both kids to this playgroup...together. What the hell was I thinking? Jack interacted with the other children just fine, but he didn't want to do any of the activities that were set up for all of them. I had to run around after him every minute of those sixty minutes we were there. And he kept telling the other children and mothers "not to touch the light." Incessantly.

    It was here that I saw how different Jack is from other kids. He marches to the beat of his own drum. I won't go so far as to say that the difference is significant. I'm just acutely aware of how much he doesn't know how to join the group. He needs a lot of practice in social situations. He doesn't know what to do around them.

    Yesterday, he was totally different at that playgroup. He was amazingly well-behaved and industrious. Today, he was the exact opposite. It also didn't help that he's been holding back his poop again, so that made him cranky. Livie was fine. She followed other kids' cues on what to do. Jack had to be the center of attention. Livie ate her snack and sipped her juice box politely. Jack wanted to throw the crackers when he was done. And eat the glue stick. And he kissed another little boy on the lips.

    It seems to me that Jack is more of a leader and Livie is more of a follower. They certainly exhibit those characterisitics. At times, Jack would do something different than the group and other kids would follow. Livie liked to watch the other kids play and she interacted well with them. Jack, on the other hand, wanted to eat the Play-Doh.

    I am beat, to say the least. We will go back to this playgroup after we come home from our vacation. I am determined to give Jack as much exposure to other kids as I possibly can, even if it means we're the oddballs. It's my goal this summer. And I bet I can lose ten pounds in the process!

    Clever...

    These ads are pretty clever, if you ask me.
    Benjamin Moore paint

    Mr. Clean on a New York street

    Kinko's
    (SIDENOTE: I may have a second post up later on today. I'm taking both kids to a playgroup in the morning, so I may have something to post about it. I guess it all depends on if they take their regularly scheduled naps. Heh...)

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Today's Second Post Is Titled, "You're Fired!"...

    I fired Jack's developmental therapist today. She didn't show up for our appointment yesterday (for the umpteenth time) and didn't even call us, either. I informed EI that the only thing she's consistent with is being inconsistent. So, she's history.

    Jack met with Playgroup #1 and had a F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S time! He is SOOOOOO going to thrive there. He not only talked, he also shared, took turns, and cleaned up his messes. (Who IS this boy?) In fact, we liked it so much and he absolutely loved the developmental therapist who runs it, so guess who's going to be his new DT! She will be coming to our home for his appointments! I've already made the arrangements for her visits and notified EI, so this is going to be great for Jack!

    He also has his speech therapy scheduled to (finally) begin when we come back from our vacation. She's very flexible with her scheduling, too. Yay!

    I could get all of his therapies (DT, OT, ST, and the playgroup) with this particular place. However, I'm going to stick it out with the OT and ST that we currently have for the time being. Jack will be evaluated again in about another month or so, to see how far he's come since his first evaluation. There's always the possibility he won't need any of it anymore. We'll see.

    Tomorrow is Playgroup #2 for both Jack and Livie this time. It should be a very interesting experience. I'm so excited!

    Tempus Fugit...

    I can't believe how fast the time flies. It seems like just last week when I gave birth to my son, and just yesterday when I gave birth to my daughter. Where does the time go?

    Jack is stringing sentences together at breakneck speed lately. We're actually able to have full conversations now. And everyday, he's got a new sentence to tell me.

    Livie must've practiced walking 90% of the day yesterday. She was really in the mood to go, go, go! She took about twenty steps in the dining room yesterday afternoon and was so proud of herself. Even Jack looked at her and smiled when he saw her walk. And then he said, "She did it!" And I didn't say it first.

    I have a feeling this summer is going to go by very fast for me. Before I know it, I'll be back at work in the fall. So, for now, I'm going to savor each and every minute (smiles, achievements, picky eating, and tantrums, alike) because the innocence of their childhood does not last long enough.

    It won't be long before I'm yearning for these times all over again.

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    That Girl Has Rad Moves...

    Livie seems to be walking better every day. And she appears to enjoy practicing this new skill she's acquired. Amen! She shakes her butt when she hears music, too. It's the cutest thing I've ever seen. And she keeps perfect timing, too. Both kids are musical; they have great rhythm.

    We went to a graduation party this past Saturday and everyone remarked on Jack's speaking ability. They told him how nice it was to hear his voice and they really were able to understand what he said. Some people even asked me when he started to talk so well.

    And inside, I was doing a little happy dance because we've all worked so hard getting Jack to speak...no thanks to EI, who still haven't given him his speech services. Ha! (Yeah, they're waiting to make sure the billing info is correct, etc. It's all about the Almighty Dollar, not the kid.)

    That's okay. Hard work pays off and all of us who have worked with Jack have a lot to be proud of.

    We've got a busy week. Jack's DT is Monday afternoon; playgroup #1 is Tuesday morning; playgroup #2 (both kids go) is Wednesday morning; Jack's OT is Thursday morning; and we leave for vacation on Friday (hopefully, unless Hubby gets called to work. Gah!). We'll be back next Thursday.

    Yeesh. I need a vacation.

    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    We Love You, Papa!...

    ...and we will greet you like this when you come home from work every single day until we're old and gray.
    Happy Father's Day, Papa!

    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    All Done...


    Yesterday was the last day of the school year and I won't have to go back to work until the end of August.

    Let the party begin!

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Big Brother...

    There is a new website available to the public that contains your valuable personal information. You are able to search driver's license information by state and pull up a picture of individual's license including birthdates, addresses, etc. We all know that identity theft is on the rise. However, you do have the option of removing your information from the website. Click on the link below to see if you are listed, and click the option "REMOVE FROM DATABASE."

    Click here...

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Planning...

    I am officially enrolled in Graduate school. I begin my studies in mid-July. Yikes!

    After work today, I will attend an end-of-the-school-year gathering with my colleagues. I even managed to convince my boss to pay for everyone's drinks and food. I'm good. Hubby is on Daddy Duty, all day long, and he'll probably have to put the kids to bed, as well. Mama's goin' out.

    We'll be going away to the Northwoods on vacation starting on June 22nd and we'll be back on June 28th. It's just the break I need before I start my Master's.

    Tomorrow at 2:45pm, I start my summer vacation and won't have to be back at work until the end of August. I have a summer loaded with plans for the kids, so I'm hoping it doesn't go by too fast.

    I'm tired just from thinking about so much. Can I take a nap now?

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Never A Dull Moment...

    It's hard to take a picture of Jack and Liv while they're still because they're always moving!

    Will someone please tell Livie to stop hanging on the oven door? She thinks it's funny when I tell her.

    "Are you talking to me, Mom?"

    Jack and Liv...fourteen months apart and only three pounds difference.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    How Do Ya Like Me NOW?...

    Not too long ago, I wrote a post about a girl in my homeroom who'd gotten an enormous hickey on her neck and I informed her mother of it. Two commenters from that post, one of whom remained "Anonymous," thought I'd overstepped my bounds by informing the mother in person of her daughter's hickey. Not only had the mother been grateful, she and I had remained in close contact for the remainder of the school year.

    Well, yesterday was graduation day. The girl's mother gave me one long-stemmed red rose with a touching card, a big hug, and a thank you for caring so much about her daughter. And the girl? She said that no other teacher ever cared that much about her before. And she didn't want to leave me. I believe this girl will be fine in the future. I think she learned a valuable life lesson.

    What did I learn from all of this? Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

    Take THAT, naysayers!

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    I'm A Ray Of Sunshine...

    You Are 77% Misanthropic

    Here's the truth: Most people suck. You are just lucky enough to know it.
    You're not ready to go live alone in a cave - but you're getting there.

    Sunday, June 10, 2007

    I Don't Do Suburbs...

    Hubby was working, so Jack, Livie, and I went to their cousin's graduation party in the suburbs yesterday. There were a lot of people there, too. The kids had a lot of fun being, well, kids.

    On the way there, Livie got the clever idea to stick her fingers down her throat and puke all over her dress on purpose...ten minutes after we left the house. Ugh. She also bit me at the party and drew blood...on the top of my thigh, nonetheless, which isn't easy.

    On the way home, I got lost and wound up much farther away from home than I cared to be. Of course, this time Jack barfed...catastrophically caked in kaleidoscopic vomit (the only thing he would eat at the party were the multicolored goldfish crackers) for a half hour until we made it home. What was supposed to be a forty minute ride home, turned out to be and hour and fifteen minutes. I don't know how I missed my turn, but I did and wound up going a half hour out of my way. Jack might've been carsick. He also got a bit of a sunburn, too. And on top of that, he didn't have a nap, so he was beat. When we finally made it home, I had to whisk Jack off into the tub, much to his dismay. Then both kids fell asleep instantly. Once I knew they were down for the night, I cleaned the hell out of Jack's carseat. I don't even know if I did a good enough job. I just know my car will never smell the same, especially after two toddlers puke in it on the same day.

    I hate the suburbs and I avoid them at all costs. They bring nothing but stress to my life. I can navigate better in my ginormous city than I can in the suburbs where none of the streets or their directions make any sense to me. I can pretty much guarantee that if you live in the suburbs, or even on the south side of the city, you'll never see me. I'm a creature of habit and I like to stay close to what I'm familiar with. Long road trips across the country? I'm all for it because it's my choice and I'm curious. Forty miles away in the suburbs? I'll never go. I know it might not make sense to you, but it does to me.

    It was a looooooooong day.

    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    One More Week...

    Yep...that's all I have left until work is out for the summer. Go ahead...make a face at me.

    I absolutely can't wait to be able to stay home all summer long. I know I'll still be getting up early just to get a shower in for the day before Hubby leaves for work. I cannot start any day without a shower. If I don't have one, it's as bad as if I hadn't had any coffee or hadn't used Q-tips in my ears. The rest of the world is dead to me if that happens.

    So, I'm just going to be happy that all my student records are completed and turned in, my desk is empty, my important shit is locked away, etc. The end of the school year has already happened for me. We only have students for two days next week; two days are for professional development; and next Friday is when we hand out report cards for one hour. Then, it's all done. It's times like this that make me glad that I'm anal retentive and disturbingly organized.

    And I get to be Mommy all summer long. It's going to be quite a busy summer. We're going on vacation (to the Northwoods) in two weeks. Jack will be having his DT on Mondays (unless she cancels and makes it for another day, thus making subsequent appointments a week from said day), playgroup #1 (found by EI) on Tuesdays, playgroup #2 (that I found for him) on Wednesdays at a park not too far from our home (with Livie, too), OT on Thursdays, and hopefully ST on Fridays. This is going to be one chaotic schedule that we'll all, no doubt, adjust to well.

    Jack's EI coordinator found a speech therapist for him (ST) and he should begin that soon. Yeah, they've been telling me that for months now. I don't know whether or not to believe it. If it's true, I hope she can make it on Fridays. I don't want to overload any of his days. He's just a little guy, you know. And I decided that all of these therapies can't hurt him, so I'm going to let them all continue coming until he gets re-evaluated in September (at which point, they'll probably say he's all caught up). Hubby and I really don't feel he needs any of it. We really think he was just taking his time with his words. Now, he doesn't stop talking. Six months of therapies can't hurt him, so I didn't cancel our EI arrangements. The Mommy Guilt part of me thinks that if I were to deny him EI services and something really was wrong, I'd never be able to live with myself. So, there.

    With all the playgroups, therapies, and my Graduate work, it's going to be one helluva summer for us.

    Somehow, some way...I hope to get a nap in each day. I wonder what the odds are of that actually happening. Heh...

    Friday, June 08, 2007

    The Smarter Sex...

    A woman and a man are involved in a car accident on a snowy, cold, Monday morning. Both of their cars are totally demolished but amazingly neither of them are hurt.

    God works in mysterious ways.

    After they crawl out of their cars, the woman says, "So you're a man. That's interesting. I'm a woman. Wow, just look at our cars! There's nothing left, but we're unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace for the rest of our days".

    Flattered, the man replies, "Oh yes, I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God!"

    The woman continues, "And look at this, here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune." Then she hands the bottle to the man.

    The man nods his head in agreement, opens it and drinks half the bottle and then hands it back to the woman. The woman takes the bottle and immediately
    puts the cap back on, and hands it back to the man.

    The man asks, "Aren't you having any?"

    The woman replies, "No. I think I'll just wait for the police..."


    MORAL OF THE STORY:
    Women are clever, evil bitches.
    Don't mess with them.

    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    Just Two Days Shy...

    ...of her 14-month birthday, Livie took her first independent steps! Twice!

    Yesterday evening, Livie decided to take her first real unassisted steps. And both Hubby and I were there to see it! It happened the same way with Jack when he took his first steps; Hubby and I were lucky enough to both be home at the same time to see it.

    She waddled three steps to get to something on the bed in the spare room. She also waddled two or three steps just to get to me while we were in the dining room. I gotta tell ya, that's a great feeling! And I don't even think it registered in her head that she did it. She might've thought that one of us still had her hand.

    Now, we just have to practice it some more so she gains the confidence she needs to do it without thinking. Wow! Even Jack was proud of her!

    This just means one thing...she'll probably sleep horribly for the next few nights. Heh...

    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    Are You Going?...

    BlogHer '07 logo

    I don't know if I'll be going to this. I just wanted to see if any of you were.

    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Only In America...

    1. Only in America... can a pizza get to your house
    faster than an ambulance.

    2. Only in America... are there handicap parking
    places in front of a skating rink.

    3. Only in America... do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

    4. Only in America... do people order double cheese
    burgers, large fries, and a diet Coke.

    5. Only in America... do banks leave both doors to the
    vault open and then chain the pens to the counters.

    6. Only in America... do we leave cars worth thousands
    of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in
    the garage.

    7. Only in America... do we use answering machines to
    screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't
    miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in
    the first place.

    8. Only in America... do we buy hot dogs in packages
    of ten and buns in packages of eight.

    9. Only in America... do we use the word 'politics' to
    describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning
    'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.

    10. Only in America... do they have drive-up ATM
    machines with Braille lettering.

    Monday, June 04, 2007

    Should I Be Concerned?...

    My son loves his Elmo doll. While he was resting in the spare bedroom, I told him to be careful not to let Elmo fall off the bed. Two seconds after I walked out of the room, I heard Elmo hit the floor. I walked back into the room and saw Jack leaning over the edge of the bed, telling Elmo not to cry.

    From that moment on, Jack kept throwing Elmo on the floor and would stand next to him telling him not to cry. This must've happened several dozen times, even though I told him not to do that because he could "hurt" Elmo. I seriously don't know where he would have learned this kind of behavior. He isn't being malicious, though. He seems genuinely concerned about Elmo's well-being. I don't think he's making the connection between his actions and Elmo's "feelings" yet.

    He only picked up Elmo to hug him once after a "fall." Other than that, he would just keep picking him up and throwing him. Poor Elmo.

    However, when Elmo went pee pee on the potty today, Jack flushed the toilet and told Elmo he was a good boy. He also gave Elmo a bedtime bottle, too.

    He does love his Elmo doll, but it freaks me out a bit that he "hurts" him, as well. Is it to spite me because I ask him to treat Elmo nicely? I don't even know. I'm just glad the kid is talking now. And I'm glad he doesn't treat Livie the way he treats Elmo. When she cries, he comes running and tells her not to fall (after the fact, of course). And then he tells her to feel better, that it's okay. Sometimes, however, he laughs when she cries and I don't like that at all.

    Maybe he knows the Elmo doll isn't a real person. Or maybe he's just being two years old. Sigh...

    Sunday, June 03, 2007

    Right Now...

    -somebody is thinking of you.
    -somebody is caring about you.
    -somebody misses you.
    -somebody wants to talk to you.
    -somebody wants to be with you.
    -somebody hopes you aren't in trouble.
    -somebody is thankful for the support you have provided.
    -somebody wants to hold your hand.
    -somebody hopes everything turns out all right.
    -somebody wants you to be happy.
    -somebody wants you to find him/her.
    -somebody is celebrating your successes.
    -somebody wants to give you a gift.
    -somebody thinks that you ARE a gift.
    -somebody loves you.
    -somebody admires your strength.
    -somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
    -somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.

    Be happy today and have a great Sunday!

    Saturday, June 02, 2007

    The Air Force Test...

    This will drive you nuts! Have fun!

    The object of the game is to move the red block around
    without getting hit by the blue blocks or touching the black walls.

    If you can go longer than 18 seconds you are phenomenal. It's been said that the US Air Force uses this for fighter pilots. They are expected to go for at least 2 minutes.

    Give it a try, but be careful...it is addictive!!

    Air Force Test

    Friday, June 01, 2007

    Taking That Leap...

    I attended a meeting after work today and I have officially applied for a Master's degree program (in Curriculum and Instruction). If I'm accepted, which I'm sure I will be, I'll be starting this July and be completed by next December. I've already completed three of the five requirements and only have to send them my college transcripts and pay the technology fee now. That's it.

    The timing is good; the price is right; the location is key; the reason is perfect. And I'd like to do it all before I have another baby.

    How's THAT for birth control?