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Taking one day at a time...

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  • Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    The Smell Of Fall...

    I absolutely can't wait to start decorating for Halloween! Heh.
    Now that Jack and Liv are a little bit older, we can have lots of fun decorating the house for all the upcoming holidays. It's going to be so much fun around here. They can actually get into the spirit with me. And it all starts with some roasted pumpkin seeds. I wonder if they'll like them. Oh, I absolutely can't wait!

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Eamus Catuli...

    This isn't my dog, but she looks just like my dog. AND she's wearing a Cubs shirt. That's good enough for me to post it! My Sister comes in on Wednesday morning from Kansas, just to go to the playoff game at Wrigley Field with my niece Blondie. It's going to be one helluva game.
    Go Cubs!

    Sunday, September 28, 2008

    A Complete 180...

    For whatever reason, Jack has done a complete 180. I don't know why, but I'm most certainly not taking it for granted. He has become this pleasant little man I come home to each day. He's saying "please," and "thank you," giving lots of hugs and kisses, and has just become this happy little guy I never knew could exist.

    Jack and Liv had playgroup at our park on Friday and a gymnastics class on Saturday at the same place. These are classes they'll be taking until December. They were wonderful each time. Perhaps it's maturity, I don't know. I just know that my son has become the complete opposite of what he was this past summer. Granted, this summer was rough on all of us, especially with my miscarriage. However, Jack has bloomed into this pleasant little guy who finally gets it, whatever "it" is.

    Livie is becoming much more bossy, though. She seems to be taking up the slack where Jack left off. That's okay, though. It's age-appropriate for her. And she's a tough cookie, which I admire. I don't have any idea where she gets it. *Snicker*

    I don't know what's happened to my son, but I like it. His tantrums and mood swings are few and far between. He's communicative; he's eating and sleeping well; he follows directions well; and he's happy. That's all I want, right?

    Whatever it is, I hope it lasts. And I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this in the meantime.

    Saturday, September 27, 2008

    My Mom Has Something To Say...

    It’s impossible to imagine how much $85 billion really is. That much money given to the ordinary people could do so much good. But we’ll probably end up paying the bankers who made such stupid decisions.

    After you read the following, just imagine what you could do with $297,500 after taxes (for every adult over 18). Eatmisery and Hubby would get $595,000 after taxes? Orphie’s household with 5 adults would get $1,487,500 after taxes. Dad, your Brother, and I would get $892,500 after taxes.

    Read the following e-mail I received entitled “Do the math”.

    I'm against the $85 BILLION bailout of AIG. Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a "We Deserve It" dividend. To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bona fide U.S. citizens, aged 18+.

    Our population is about 301 million counting every man, woman and child. So, 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up. Now, divide 200 million, 18+ adults into $85 billion - that equals $425,000.00 each! Yes, my plan is to give that $425,000 to every adult as a "We Deserve It" dividend.

    Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So, let's assume a tax rate of 30%. Everyone would pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25.5 billion right back to Uncle Sam! It also means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife would have $595,000.00!

    What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00?

    Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
    Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads.
    Put away money for college – it'll really be there.
    Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
    Buy a new car – create jobs .
    Invest in the market – capital drives growth.
    Pay for your parent's medical insurance – health care improves.
    Enable deadbeat parents to come clean – or else.
    Remember this is for every adult U.S. citizen, 18 and older (including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehmann Brothers and every other company that is cutting back) and of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

    If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it! Instead of trickling out a puny $1,000.00 "economic incentive".

    If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U.S. citizen!

    As for AIG – liquidate it.

    Sell off its parts.
    Let American General go back to being American General.
    Sell off the real estate.
    Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.
    We deserve the money and AIG doesn't. Sure it's a crazy idea, but can you imagine the coast-to-coast block party?!

    How do you spell Economic Boom? W-e D-e-s-e-r-v-e I-t d-i-v-i-d-e-n-d! I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion "We Deserve It" dividend more than do the 'geniuses' at AIG or in Washington, D.C..

    And remember, my plan only really costs $59.5 billion because $25.5 billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam. Good idea? I think so.

    Yeah, I wouldn't mess with my Mom, if I were you. When she's pissed, your best bet is to hide. George Bush, I'm talking to you.

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    How Good Are Your Eyes?...

    Can you see the baby? Look very closely. It has to do with the tree. Once you see it, you'll always see it. Isn't that cool?

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Yo Gabba Gabba...

    My kids absolutely love Yo Gabba Gabba. To tell you the truth, I really dig it, too. I just love how it's not like all the other shows on Noggin. My kids are totally mesmerized by it. The show has some very cool, educational segments on it:

    "Cool Tricks" - taught my kids how to hang small and large spoons on the ends of their noses.
    "Biz's Beat" - taught my kids how to make beatbox sounds into a microphone.
    "Dancey Dance" - has my kids following simple dance moves to music.

    The show also has catchy songs that encourage kids to try new foods, look both ways before crossing the street, the importance of being nice to everyone, etc. It really is a great show, especially if you like the fact that it's completely different from all the other shows. It's not a cartoon, so perhaps that's why I dig it. It kind of reminds me of The Electric Company, which I grew up on back in the day when TV was still pretty wholesome.

    In between segments, they have little kids showing off their cool dance moves. Yesterday, a little girl named Phoenix came on and said, "My name is Phoenix and I like to dance." Of course, my kids love to dance, so they were imitating Phoenix's moves. The next thing I heard was Livie yelling, "My name is Penis and I like to dance! My name is Penis and I like to dance!" At that point, Jack just kind of looked at her and smirked. And, yeah, I did correct her, but it sure was funny to hear.

    I still love Yo Gabba Gabba. I hope it's around forever.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Great Teachers Are Born...

    I believe that there are certain people in this world who are meant to be teachers. It is their calling. I believe that great teachers are born, not made. My boss and I disagree on this issue.

    I don't believe that someone can all of a sudden wake up from the career they chose and become a teacher. I don't believe that a person can go from a completely different career into teaching. Some people may believe that is possible, but I don't. I believe great teachers are born that way, not made.

    I've always known I wanted to teach. I've always known I wanted to teach English. When I was little, even before I could write letters and numbers, my friends and I would play "school." I was always the teacher. When they'd turn in their "work," I always passed it back with the necessary "corrections" to be made. Even as I got older, we'd pass notes in class and I would never answer them. I would correct their grammar and punctuation instead. Yeah, I was a real hit at parties. Heh.

    I honestly believe that there is a special group of people out there called teachers. Who else do you know that can take thirty different personalities with numerous different individual issues (in and out of the classroom; physical, emotional, and mental) and turn it into a learning environment successfully?

    I don't think teaching is for everyone. And I resent it when I see people coming into the profession thinking it's "easy" work just because we get our summers off. Let me tell you, teachers deserve those summers off.

    I have a student teacher who is a former therapist. She's slightly younger than I am. She's very sweet, soft-spoken, and nice. I'll repeat that. She's very sweet, soft-spoken, and nice. Put that kind of nature into a room teeming with hormonal, emotional adolescents of differing ability levels and what do you get? Yeah, not very effective. She's a nice lady, but I don't feel that teaching is her true calling. Yesterday, after a particularly difficult time managing the classroom behavior, I asked her if this is what she really wants to do. She said she wasn't sure anymore.

    Like I said, teaching isn't for everyone. I am a firm believer that great teachers are born, not made in college. I wish everyone else felt the same way. You either know or you don't. It's simply not a profession you can just "fake it" in.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Wordsmith, I Am...

    Your result for The Commonly Confused Words Test...

    English Genius

    You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 100% Expert!

    You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

    Take The Commonly Confused Words Test at HelloQuizzy

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    The Way They Think...

    If their artwork is any indication of how they think, then these two pictures say a lot to me. And I'm not surprised.

    This is Jack's painting. He loves getting his hands into the paint and smearing it all over the paper (and lifting up his shirt to smear it all over his belly). Jack will use a paint brush, but he would much rather use his hands. And he uses the colors that speak to him the most. He can usually last about ten to fifteen minutes doing this activity.

    This is Livie's painting. She likes to make smooth, deliberate strokes. She doesn't like to get messy with the paint, either. She takes her time, uses all the colors, and prefers to dab the paint on her "canvas." She determines when she is finished and you can't make her finish a moment sooner. If that means she's painting for thirty minutes, then that's her call to make.

    While both paintings are a joy for me to see, I can truly see the difference between my kids. By looking at each painting, I can definitely see their personalities come through. Can you?

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    You Knew This Would Be Posted...

    The rest of the teams can go suck it!

    Saturday, September 20, 2008

    That Lovely Time Of Year...

    Yep, it's that time of year again. I've got my first raging cold of the new school year. My head is pounding; my face feels like someone is standing on it due to all the sinus pressure; my body is trying to reject me, basically.

    With the new school year already three weeks underway, I should've known this was coming. Germs. Germs. Germs. They're all over the place in any school. And lucky me, I get to bring them home to my own kids. Jack's a boogery mess right now and Livie has an extra evil diaper rash from having wicked diarrhea. Yeah, it's a whole lot of fun around here.

    I actually wound up going home from work early yesterday. I just couldn't take the pounding in my head any longer nor could I stand the congestion. And after putting the kids to bed, I took my final exam for my graduate class.

    I've learned that life doesn't stop because you're sick or sad. I just wish I could slow down the clock so I could get more sleep. No matter how much sleep I get, it never feels like it's enough.

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart...

    I have to admit it. I'm still grieving. For the second time since my miscarriage in July, I've gotten my period. I'd be a fool to think I was okay with this.

    No, I'm not okay about it. I'm not supposed to be getting my period right now, goddammit! I'm supposed to be pregnant. In my 21st week. More than halfway through. And I'm not. And I'm really not okay with this. This whole experience has left me wounded beyond what I ever thought I could survive. I thought I'd had some shitty life experiences before this, but nothing even comes close to this. There simply isn't any pain larger than losing your own child. The mere thought makes me physically sick.

    I didn't just lose my baby. I couldn't even miscarry him/her naturally. I needed medical assistance after carrying my dead baby for over a month. I didn't even know he/she had died, but I knew something wasn't right. And before my surgery, I had the lovely experience of signing my own child's death certificate and filling out a form about funeral arrangements. Explain to me, exactly how am I supposed to get over this? I think I missed that part of birthing class. Yeah, they don't tell you about things like that.

    It's like half my heart died when I lost my baby. And the remaining half has been struggling to make ends meet, emotionally, for the rest of my family who need and depend on me. Does that make sense? And every time I get my period, I remember that I'm not supposed to be getting it and I'm still supposed to be pregnant. And that gnawing ache, that hollow feeling, comes back full force and I'm not okay at all.

    Don't say it gets easier. I know me; nothing about this will ever be easy for me. Not next year. Not in twenty years. Not ever. Don't say I should be grateful that my body can even carry a child, since I have two healthy and beautiful ones already. I also know that my body can lose one. And just because I have two children already does not mean that this third one was any less important to me. I made them all.

    I am not just a mother. I'm a mother who lost a child I never even got to hold. And I'm never going to be okay with that.

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    In The News...

    I've been reading the news lately and I have some opinions.

    1. It looks like it runs in the family. Dumbasses.

    2. I have known people with children who have sworn that this works. Now NIMH is going to cancel a study that could've shown just how much these kids could benefit from chelation therapy. When it comes to governmental "studies," nothing surprises me anymore. The higher-ups are nothing buy high-paid idiots.

    3. I can't believe this guy is talking about how he was betrayed! What about the underage girl you raped, you fucktard?

    4. Don't you think this number is a little excessive? When does he have time for all of them?

    5. I wonder just how much money one of these researchers makes in a year?

    6. This guy needs some serious help.

    7. Dentists are a scary group of individuals, whether they're like these guys or not. Think about it for a second. All I can think about is Rick Moranis in "Little Shop of Horrors" right now. Ack!

    8. Clever or not?

    9. It won't be long before someone takes a torch to this.

    10. This may be The Year. Everyone else can go to hell. No one has waited longer than we have. All the other teams can go suck it!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    That Warm, Runny Feeling Inside...

    I have a 2004 Honda CRV with just a touch over 14,000 miles on it. I bought it new with zero miles on it four years ago when I was pregnant with Jack.

    It is now paid off. And I'm absolutely gushing about it.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    He Scares Me...

    It really scares me that this guy could be our next President. What scares me more than that? Two words: Sarah Palin.

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Call Me Nuts...

    I'm going to take the kids to Galena (the other side of the state) over Columbus Day weekend...without Hubby. Of course, my Mom and my niece Blondie will be with me in the car. And my Sister and her whole family will be staying at the same hotel as us, too. It'll be a nice family outing for everyone.

    I don't know what Hubby will do without all of us around. It's only a weekend, but it's something we haven't done since we were single and childless....vacation apart. My guess is that he'll do a whole lot of cleaning.

    I'm looking forward to it, though. Even if the car ride drives me insane, it's a nice change of pace. Plus, I think we all need a break.

    And the casino is only minutes away from us. Can you already smell the trouble? Heh.

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Water, Water Everywhere...

    About five inches of rain has dropped here in Chicago in the last 24 hours. We seem to be collecting it in our basement, which Hubby spent all day cleaning up and "babysitting" (on his birthday, nonetheless). Yay, right?

    Dinner last night was awesome. It was a long time coming, too. If we could do that once a month, that would be great, but it's not possible. So, I guess it'll happen again in three years, since that was the last time Hubby and I went out together alone for dinner other than last night. Heh.

    Miraculously, the central air unit decided to work today. I don't know why, but I'm not taking it for granted. The humidity is 75% here, so we're glad that the AC decided to be nice to us. Now, I don't know if we should replace it just yet. I just don't want it to burn out until this monsoon is over.

    Yeah, five inches of rain since yesterday. And this isn't even Hurricane Ike stuff yet. That comes on Tuesday. This is the storm that came from Kansas City. Fun, I tell ya.

    Knowing Chicago weather, it'll be snowing in less than a month. At least we can't collect snow in our basement, and we sure as hell won't need the AC then. Yeesh.

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    My Guys...

    Jack has had a string of very good days this week. He hasn't had too many notable tantrums this week at all. I don't even remember if he had any. What's that tell you? I don't know what's going on, but I'm liking it. He's been very focused on some of his interactive toys and seems to like learning from them a whole lot. He's not eating much, but he's been calm, which is rare around here. It's almost as if he's made peace with his demons.

    I'm hoping that once I hit "publish post," this doesn't change. Do you think he could be, dare I say it, maturing?

    Today is Hubby's birthday. My Mom and Brother are going to watch Jack and Liv while we go out to dinner...with each other...alone. I think the last time we went on a "date" was when I found out I was pregnant with Livie. Yeah...go ahead...take a look at Livie's birthday ticker at the top of this page and do the counting. I know, I know. Shame on us. Life just gets in the way sometimes. When we get back home, we'll have birthday cake and the kids can pass out in their beds after their sugar highs.

    The kids have made him cards and artwork. And I got him a theater chair, which he found and bought himself and then told me about. Yeah, that's how we shop around here. Get what you want; it all comes out of the same account anyway.

    So, here's to a great weekend with a plate full of gigantic crab legs and a couple of dirty martinis with my name on them.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    Tough Love vs. Spanking - A Good Argument...

    Most of America 's populace think it improper to spank children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have one of 'those moments.'

    One that I found effective is for me to just take the child for a car ride and talk.

    Some say it's the vibration from the car, others say it's the time away from any distractions such as TV, Video Games, Computer, IPod, etc.

    Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together.

    I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique.

    Heh. I'm just kidding; that's not my kid, but this is a good one, isn't it?

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    1,000 Words...

    Jack and Liv think there's nothing better than a cherry popsicle on a hot summer day.

    Of course, they HAVE to sit on the same stool, back to back, nonetheless.

    She adores her brother. It's not always easy being his little sister and she has learned how to be very, very strong. She's all yin and he's all yang.
    I guess it seemed like a comfortable place to rest his hand while he contemplated world domination.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    A Slight Imperfection...

    Somehow, someway, Jack chipped his front right tooth yesterday while I was at work. It's a tiny chip, but I noticed it, nonetheless. Hubby says he doesn't know how that happened. He was home with him all day yesterday and Jack didn't fall or seem to be upset about it.

    It's tiny. It really is, but he's my boy. And it makes me sad.

    I know he'll have a ridiculous amount of injuries in his lifetime. I just wanted him to be "perfect" for a little bit longer. Knock on wood, we haven't had any serious incidents with the kids yet. It surprises me, given that Jack is so physical.

    I know it's just a tiny chip on his tooth, but it's the front one. And I see it every time he smiles. He may not care or notice, but I do. And it makes me sad.

    He's still a baby to me.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2008

    Fun Times...

    My niece, Blondie, came over and babysat Jack and Liv while I went to the doctor on Saturday. They had a lot of fun.
    Livie had her toes painted red by Cousin Blondie.
    And so did Java.
    Fun times, I tell ya.

    Monday, September 08, 2008

    Don't You Wish You Had One Of These?...

    Last night, after I'd put Livie's jammies on her, it was Jack's turn. While I was getting him ready for bed, Livie went into the living room and cleaned up all the toys that were all over. When I got done with Jack, I went into the living room to find that the toys had already been picked up and put away by her.

    I went into the spare room and asked her if she'd cleaned everything up for me. She responded, "Yes, I did, Mama." I thanked her for doing that for me and told her I appreciated all her help. Her response killed me.

    She said, "It's myyyyyy pleasure."

    Livie is two years and five months old today and Jack is three years and seven months old today. It's a very good thing that I had him first, otherwise I would've been spoiled, thinking all kids were like her. She's my reward for his high-maintenance temperament.

    Have I mentioned that she already goes into the fridge to fix her own snacks? She grabs the turkey and some cheese, puts it in a bowl, puts it all away neatly, closes the drawer and the door, and then sits down to eat. She eats fruits, veggies, all kinds of meats; basically anything that isn't nailed down. She has the most well-balanced diet I've ever seen. She even has household chores, which she gladly does.

    Talking to Livie is like talking to a miniature adult. She even knows how and when to use "good" and "well" in her sentences. "Please" and "thank you" are not foreign to her, but a part of her daily life.

    I don't know how she's learned all of this, but I sure am glad that she's so independent. It makes parenting her high-need brother so much easier. And I will never take her for granted, ever.

    Sunday, September 07, 2008

    Vital Rehabilitation...

    I was reading yesterday's paper and saw some very sad news. The place where Jack and Livie went for Jack's developmental playgroup last year, Vital Rehabilitation, burned down Friday morning. His former developmental therapist just happened to be there with a patient and a physical therapist in the pool when the fire broke out. They had to leave with just their bathing suits. It happened at about 8:30am, just before the place filled up with children for playgroup.

    And now it's ashes.

    It saddens me because I know how important this place was for so many people and their families. We were one of those families for a year and it became a vital part of Jack's immense progress. It's no wonder they call it Vital Rehabilitation. But, sadly, it's gone now.

    All the toys, the amazing sensory rooms, the ball pits, the children's artwork...all gone. No one was injured and classes will now have to take place in the park down the street, weather permitting, until they find a place to rent.

    I speak with Jack's former developmental therapist, Wanda, quite often, whether it's on the phone or through emails. She's even visited just to see the kids and touch base. She's a part of our family, so it hurts me to see that such a wonderful facility has been destroyed by fire.

    She's determined to keep helping the children she works with, no matter what. She's an amazing woman and she worked wonders with my son. Right now, they're looking for toy donations to use with their children. They primarily work with kids under three years of age. I think we're going to have to unload some of our goods because we have so much and they literally have nothing right now.

    I know how important this facility was to so many children and their families. And if you could donate any toys to help them, please send me an email at so we can arrange a way for me to get them there. I don't know what else to do but to help them in any way I can.

    I have to pay them back for what they did for our family. We never would've come this far if it weren't for Wanda Bryant and Vital Rehabilitation.

    Saturday, September 06, 2008

    Completely Fucked...

    So, not only did we replace our furnace this year, but now our central air is officially dead. It'll be $1,300 for a new unit outside. And with Thursday's 24-hour rain, we got seepage in the front part of our basement. And also...we noticed water coming up through the grout of dozens of ceramic tiles in one area of our basement and the sump pump is shot. And we wanted to replace the windows, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen now.

    WTF? We need to refinance to do all this stuff, but the rates are nowhere near as low as we got our original mortgage for. I'm absolutely frazzled about all of this.

    We paid a lot money for our house, which we bought five years ago, because we didn't need to do anything to it. Now, we're swamped with serious issues and no money to do anything about it. Yeesh.

    I need a vacation.

    Friday, September 05, 2008

    One Down, Thirty-Nine To Go...

    Thirty-nine. That's how many weeks are left in the school year. I have a feeling it's going to be a very long one.

    My homeroom...hardest group to quiet down; some have serious issues, but they're exactly what I would've expected them to be...hormonal eighth-graders. The honors class...they're talkative, too, but they know when to get down to business and they usually do very well. My homeroom kicks my ass every day, challenging my patience and making me aware of my own buttons. I'm comforted in knowing that they're the same for everyone else, too. The honors class has a lot of really sharp kids in it. They love to learn.

    Both groups are like night and day. It's like having a Jack Class and a Liv Class. One class makes me nuts and the other class allows me to breathe. Both classes are full of great kids; some just need more direction than others.

    It's life. Every day is a test for me in more ways than one. .

    Thursday, September 04, 2008

    Art Imitating Life...

    Um, yeah. You won't see MY kids drawing a picture like that about ME. In fact, if I went to Vegas to be a showgirl, they would pay me to keep my clothes ON!

    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    Dog Days Of Summer...

    My central air conditioning has taken a shit. This is not good, considering yesterday was a whopping 98 degrees here in Chicago! And since I don't have the money to buy a new outside unit (anyone got $1,200 to spare?), we're just going to hope this is the last of the 90-degree days.

    Believe it or not, the rest of the week is supposed to be in the 70's. I'd hate to try to scrounge up the money only to not use it until next year. Plus, I know we'll have the money then.

    This is just not good at all. I hate the heat; I hate to sweat; and there's nothing worse than sweaty, crabby kids and a sweaty, crabby Mama. Even the dog can't stand it!


    Tuesday, September 02, 2008

    I Don't Do Camping...

    If there's one thing I've never been able to do, it's camping. By camping, I mean roughing it in a tent, living off the fat o' the land (catching what you eat), with no indoor plumbing (hot water, toilet, and shower facilities). I don't know how people do it, but I know I don't like it and nothing will ever make me like it.
    If, however, camping means a cabin in the woods with everything I have here at home, then you can count me in. Call me weak, but I'm just not one of those people who can go days without a shower. I just don't have it in me.
    Now, it's your turn. What can't you do?

    Monday, September 01, 2008

    It's In The Blood...

    Last night, Livie cried and cried because I wouldn't let her sleep with her new tennis racquet (yes, it's a real one for a young kid). After I explained to her that tomorrow (today) it would be exactly where she left it before she went to bed, she resigned herself to going to sleep without it. She wasn't happy about it, but she trusted me with her most prized possession.

    Now, this may be premature and all, but I think we're onto something here. Livie is a natural-born tennis player. She really can hit the ball, even volley it. It's no surprise to me, though, since Hubby put himself through college on a full tennis scholarship. And the fact that not long ago, she picked up the racquet and instinctively knew what to do with it. My Mother works in the tennis industry for a VIP and she knows talent when she sees it. We're all floored at what Livie can do with a racquet at her age.

    Tennis is in her blood. It really is and to see her hit a ball well at just over two-years-old is amazing.

    Jack also has his own talents. He has an amazing musical ear and he's very mechanical, too. That's no surprise, either, because my Mother's a musician (she's a pianist and can play other instruments, as well) and my Brother is an electrician, a carpenter, and a certified auto mechanic. Jack instinctively knows what to do with tools when you give them to him. He's forever curious about how things work, what makes them do what they do, and how he can fix them. Since he's also musically inclined, I may put him in music lessons next year, probably piano. He enjoys working with his hands and being able to produce something with them.

    There was a study done not too long ago that followed preschoolers throughout the years until they became adults. It was no surprise that the things they were interested in as preschoolers were the same things they chose to do for their careers. I strongly believe that you can see your child's talents at a very early age and you can help them cultivate those talents. The sooner you recognize them, the sooner you can help.