Comments from the Peanut Gallery

Taking one day at a time...

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  • Sunday, January 31, 2010

    So This Is It...

    Today is my last day of maternity leave...for the rest of my life. I go back to work tomorrow...swinging. And everyone gets to adjust to a new routine. We'll get through it, I'm sure. It just isn't going to be easy.

    I'll have to drop the kids off at school before I go to work, so they need to get their butts in gear early. I'll even have to wake up before them to get ready for work so it's not a madhouse so early in the morning. That's going to be the hard part. Managing the morning routine and making it to work on time is going to be rough for a little while, until I have an airtight system in place.

    I'm not looking forward to this at all. So, today I'm going to enjoy it because it's only going to last a matter of hours now. I wish I had a winning lottery ticket...

    Gah!

    Saturday, January 30, 2010

    Doldrums...

    Hubby and I are sad for two completely different reasons. Yesterday was his last day at work; he'll be a stay-at-home Dad now. Yesterday was my last day of being a stay-at-home Mom; I go back to work on Monday after a five-month maternity leave.

    While I'm so glad that he'll be home with the kids, I'm also sad that I have to leave the babies. It's going to be a very hard adjustment for all of us. Jack and Liv have to get used to a "new sheriff in town." And the babies are going to have to get used to Mommy being gone eight hours a day. Hubby is going to have to get used to juggling all four kids' needs, which isn't as easy as I've made it look; it was my job during my maternity leave while he was working and it's what I was born to do.

    Hubby has left his old life to start a new one, in a way. And I am going back to what I did before the babies came. Plus, it's the last time I'm ever on maternity leave. It's bittersweet for both of us.

    On top of it all, I have a cold; a toothache; I just turned 38 yesterday (which hit me like a ton of bricks and I didn't think it would be a big deal, but it is to me); and I have to prepare (mentally) for going back to work and leaving my kids.

    Doldrums...that's what it is right now. And it's no fun.

    Friday, January 29, 2010

    Getting Grayer By The Minute...

    Today is my 38th birthday. I'm not sure how I feel about it. In fact, I don't really have any time to think about it. I have four young children (all under 5) to take care of, so I can't really spend any time fretting over being 38. Although, now that I've just written that, I'm starting to hyperventilate.
    Yeesh.

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    Pegged...

    I took this quiz on Facebook yesterday and it pegged me, which is not an easy thing to do. I figured I'd post the results here because I'm so shocked at how accurate it was (except I'm not a fan of turquoise). And also because my birthday happens to be tomorrow. Heh.

    What does your birthday say about you?

    Result: Progressive, Cautious & Independent


    Even though you are great with groups of people, it takes a bit when it comes to making close friends. Deeply sensitive and cautious, closeness means vulnerability to you, and this is not something to be taken lightly. Your direct, no-nonsense approach in combination with their strong values can make it challenging to get to know the inner person. Yet those who are able to do so will discover a friendship that lasts through the years. You will go the distance for a loved one to the point of self-sacrifice if necessary. You look for creativity, intellect, and honesty in your friends. When it comes to family, the expectations are no less. Although dedicated to a sense of duty to relatives, you aren’t one for developing close bonds unless the same qualities you expect in your friendships are there.

    Favorable Colors: Turquoise
    Key Body Part: Ankles, Circulatory System
    Lucky Gem: Turquoise
    Strengths: Progressive, original, humanitarian, independent.
    Weaknesses: Runs from emotional expression, uncompromising, temperamental, aloof. Charismatic marks: Good looks, beautiful eyes, angular faces, thin build.
    Likes: Fun with friends, fighting for causes, helping others, intellectual conversation, a good listener.
    Dislikes: Limitations, being lonely, broken promises, dull or boring situations, people who disagree with them.
    Best environment: Any gathering of people to exchange ideas.

    Wow. I mean, wow!

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    Silently Screaming...

    I don't know what's come over me, but I have tackled major projects this last week. It's that whole "nonpregnant nesting" that I wrote about in yesterday's post. I just can't seem to stop! Every night, I think about what I need to get done the next day. And I know what timeframe I have to work with because the twins nap from 11am-2pm (give or take a half hour). So, I'm getting shitloads of stuff done.

    Inside, though, I'm screaming because I know the end is near. My maternity leave is almost over; I go back to work on Monday. So, I'm trying to get all kinds of stuff done before I don't have this kind of time left. I'm going insane! I know my aim for this week was to just enjoy all the kids while I'm still home. I actually AM enjoying them, but I'm also finding ways to do what I need to do.

    I'm amazing myself.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Nonpregnant Nesting...

    What am I going to do today? There are so many things I could do with regards to cleaning, organizing, etc. I just don't know where I want to begin and if I'll have enough time between feedings and the babies' naps to start any new projects. I got a lot done yesterday. I guess I'm just trying to get everything organized and neat for Hubby when he takes over the household while I'm at work next week. I want it to be as easy as possible for him, so I'm trying to make the house user-friendly. Does that make sense? It's like nesting without being pregnant.

    I spent a lot of time organizing my kitchen yesterday and was quite successful. I even made a chicken tortilla soup in my crock pot that was to-die-for. I even froze a couple containers of it so I can take it for lunch a couple times once I go back to work. I'm thinking about making a pound cake today. I absolutely love pound cake, but have never made one. It's something to try.

    I may tackle the closet in our spare bedroom, but the kids are always in there and I don't know if I'll be able to do anything if they're on top of me while I'm trying to organize it. Who knows? Maybe they can help, but we all know how that works out.

    Whatever I do today, I'm sure it'll be constructive. My days are numbered as a Stay-at-Home Mom. I need to get things done while I can and time is short now. Routines and systems are in place for all the kids, so I can concentrate on getting this house in order for when I'm back at work next week.

    I've said it before, going to work will be like a vacation compared to what I do here at home on a daily basis.

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Fred...



    A cop stops a Harley for traveling faster than the posted speed limit, so
    he asks the biker his name.

    "Fred," he replies.

    "Fred what?" the officer asks.

    "Just Fred," the man responds.

    The officer is in a good mood and thinks he might just give the biker a
    break and, write him out a warning instead of a ticket. The officer then
    presses him for the last name.

    The man tells him that he used to have a last name but lost it. The
    officer thinks that he has a nut case on his hands but plays along with it. "Tell
    me, Fred, how did you lose your last name?"

    The biker replies, "It's a long story, so stay with me. I was born Fred
    Dingaling. I know -- a funny last name. The kids used to tease me all
    the time, so I stayed to myself, studied hard and got good grades. When I got
    older, I realized that I wanted to be a doctor. I went through college,
    medical school, internship, residency, and finally got my degree, so I was
    Fred Dingaling, MD. After a while I got bored being a doctor, so I
    decided to go back to school.. Dentistry was my dream! Got all the way through
    school, got my degree, so then I was Fred Dingaling, MD, DDS. Got bored
    doing dentistry, so I started fooling around with my assistant and she
    gave me VD, so now I was Fred Dingaling, MD, DDS, with VD. Well, the ADA
    found out about the VD, so they took away my DDS. Then I was Fred Dingaling,
    MD, with VD.. Then the AMA found out about the ADA taking away my MD because
    of the VD, so they took away my MD leaving me as Fred Dingaling with VD.
    Then the VD took away my Dingaling, so now I am Just Fred."

    The officer walked away in tears, laughing.

    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    My Last Week...

    Well, it's my last week on maternity leave. I don't have any grand plans in mind. I just want to enjoy my time home with all the kids before I have to go back to work on February 1st. I just want to enjoy how little the babies are right now, not thinking of the things I'll miss when I go back to work. I want to nurse when they need it and enjoy the big kids before my time is up.

    It's bittersweet, really. There's so much I'm going to miss out on, but I'll be home for the summer in mid-June and won't have to go back until September. That's the beauty of my career...teachers get to enjoy their families during the off-season. It's the perfect career for someone like me, with a large family.

    Five years ago, I never would've thought I'd have four children under five right now. Jack will be five in a couple weeks; Liv will be four in a couple months; and the babies will be about four months old when I go back to work. Time sure has flown by quickly.

    It's the last time I'll ever be on maternity leave. This is my last hurrah. So, rather than make big plans for lots of cool things to do this last week, I'm going to sit back and relax, letting my kids point me in the direction we need to go.

    Hubby will be a stay-at-home Dad when I go back to work, so the kids will be in great hands, with someone who loves them as much as I do. And I'll only be gone eight hours max each day, including travel time. Not bad. I'll pump twice a day at work and leave booby juice for the girls. It's not a bad situation.

    I just have to prepare for a new routine now. It won't be easy, but as always, things find a way of working out. Sometimes you just have to sit back and let it all happen because you can't control everything. My God...did I just write that?

    The ride was good, but it's time to get off now. Sigh...

    Saturday, January 23, 2010

    Can Cold Water Clean Dishes?...

    This is for all the germ conscious folks that worry about using cold water to clean.

    John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Saskatchewan.

    After spending a great evening chatting the night away, the next morning John's grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.

    However, John noticed a film-like substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking,
    "Are these plates clean?"

    His grandfather replied, "They're as clean as cold water can get em. Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!"

    For lunch the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates, as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, "Are you sure these plates are clean?"

    Without looking up the old man said, "I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!"

    Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass.

    John yelled and said, "Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car."

    Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted, "Coldwater, go lay down now, yah hear me!"

    Meet Coldwater!


    Heh.

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Body Scanners...

    If the U.S. is going to install body scanners in all the airports, they better be prepared for what they might see. Ugh.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    How To Be Prepared...

    This was sent to me by a good friend. it pertains to what is going on concerning Juval Aviv, who was the Israeli Agent upon whom the movie 'Munich' was based. He was Golda Meir's bodyguard, and she appointed him to track down and bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who took the Israeli athletes hostage and killed them during the Munich Olympic Games.

    In a lecture in New York City he shared information that EVERY American needs to know -- but that our government has not yet shared with us.

    He predicted the London subway bombing on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News stating publicly that it would happen within a week. At the time, O'Reilly laughed, and mocked him saying that in a week he wanted him back on the show. Unfortunately, within a week the terrorist attack had occurred.

    Juval Aviv gave intelligence (via what he had gathered in Israel and the Middle East) to the Bush Administration about 9/11, a month before it occurred. His report specifically said they would use planes as bombs and target high profile buildings and monuments. Congress has since hired him as a security consultant.

    Now for his future predictions. He predicts the next terrorist attack on the U.S. will occur within the next few months.

    Forget hijacking airplanes, because he says terrorists will NEVER try and hijack a plane again as they know the people onboard will never go down quietly again. Aviv believes our airport security is a joke -- that we have been reactionary rather than proactive in developing strategies that are truly effective.

    For example:

    1) Our airport technology is outdated. We look for metal, and the new explosives are made of plastic.

    2) He talked about how some idiot tried to light his shoe on fire. Because of that, now everyone has to take off their shoes. A group of idiots tried to bring aboard liquid explosives. Now we can't bring liquids on board. He says he's waiting for some suicidal maniac to pour liquid explosive on his underwear; at which point, security will have us all traveling naked!

    Every strategy we have is reactionary.

    3) We only focus on security when people are heading to the gates.

    Aviv says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times on the front end of the airport when/where people are checking in. It would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom or get a drink, and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved. In Israel, security checks bags BEFORE people can even ENTER the airport.

    Aviv says the next terrorist attack here in America is imminent and will involve suicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places where large groups of people congregate. (i.e., Disneyland, Las Vegas casinos, big cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and that it will also include shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, etc., as well as, rural America this time. The interlands (Wyoming, Montana, etc.).

    The attack will be characterized by simultaneous detonations around the country (terrorists like big impact), involving at least 5-8 cities, including rural areas.

    Aviv says terrorists won't need to use suicide bombers in many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.

    Aviv says all of the above is well known in intelligence circles, but that our U. S. Government does not want to 'alarm American citizens' with the facts. The world is quickly going to become 'a different place', and issues like 'global warming' and political correctness will become totally irrelevant.

    On an encouraging note, he says that Americans don't have to be concerned about being nuked. Aviv says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons. They like to use suicide as a front-line approach. It's cheap, it's easy, it's effective; and they have an infinite abundance of young militants more than willing to 'meet their destiny'.

    He also says the next level of terrorists, over which America should be most concerned, will not be coming from abroad. But will be, instead, 'homegrown', having attended and been educated in our own schools and universities right here in the U.S. He says to look for 'students' who frequently travel back and forth to the Middle East. These young terrorists will be most dangerous because they will know our language and will fully understand the habits of Americans; but that we Americans won't know/understand a thing about them.

    Aviv says that, as a people, Americans are unaware and uneducated about the terrorist threats we will inevitably face. America still has only a handful of Arabic and Farsi speaking people in our intelligence networks, and Aviv says it is critical that we change that fact SOON.

    So, what can America do to protect itself? From an intelligence perspective, Aviv says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for intelligence. We need to, instead, follow Israel's, Ireland's and England's hands-on examples of human intelligence, both from an infiltration perspective as well as to pay attention to, and trust 'aware' citizens to help. We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens; however, our U. S. government continues to treat us, its citizens, 'like babies'. Our government thinks we 'can't handle the truth' and are concerned that we'll panic if we understand the realities of terrorism. Aviv says this is a deadly mistake.

    Aviv recently created/executed a security test for our Congress, by placing an empty briefcase in five well-traveled spots in five major cities. The results? Not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out. In fact, in Chicago, someone tried to steal the briefcase!

    In comparison, Aviv says that citizens of Israel are so well 'trained' that an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds by citizen(s) who know to publicly shout, 'Unattended Bag!' The area would be quickly & calmly cleared by the citizens themselves.

    Unfortunately, America hasn't been yet 'hurt enough' by terrorism for their government to fully understand the need to educate its citizens or for the government to understand that it's their citizens who are, inevitably, the best first-line of defense against terrorism.

    Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children here in America who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, who were 'lost' without parents being able to pick them up, and about our schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until parents could get there. (In New York City, this was days, in some cases!)

    He stresses the importance of having a plan, that's agreed upon within your family, of how to respond in the event of a terrorist emergency. He urges parents to contact their children's schools and demand that the schools too, develop plans of actions, just as they do in Israel.

    Does your family know what to do if you can't contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency? He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow.

    Aviv says that the U. S. government has in force a plan, that in the event of another terrorist attack, EVERYONE's ability to use cell phones, blackberries, etc., will immediately be cut-off, as this is the preferred communication source used by terrorists and is often the way that their bombs are detonated.

    How will you communicate with your loved ones in the event you cannot speak to each other? You need to have a plan.

    If you understand, and believe what you have just read, then you must feel compelled to send this to every concerned parent, guardian, grandparents, uncles, aunts, whomever. Don't stop there. In addition to sharing this via e-mail, contact and discuss this information with whomever it makes sense to. Make contingency plans with those you care about. Better that you have plans in place, and never have to use them, then to have no plans in place, and find you needed them.

    If you choose not to share this, or not to have a plan in place, and nothing ever occurs -- good for you! However, in the event something does happen, and even moreso, if it directly affects your loved ones, then this e-mail will haunt you forever.

    Telling yourself after the fact, "I should have sent this to so and so, but deleted it as so much trash from old Bill Jones, plus, I just didn't believe it", will not change anything. You were alerted, had the chance to do something, and instead of erring on the side of caution, you chose to disregard, if nothing else, a sensible, valuable warning.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Bedtime Antics...

    Upon hearing some noises upstairs the other night, I figured Jack had gotten out of his own bed again and was playing with his stuffed animals. So, I went upstairs to remind him to go to sleep. However, he wasn't in his bed. I patted it down and couldn't find him. I knew, though, exactly where he was.

    Me: Jack, you can't sleep UNDER your bed. You have to sleep ON TOP of your bed.

    Jack: I can't sleep under my bed.

    Me: No, you can't. You have to sleep ON TOP of your bed. If you sleep UNDER it, you could get hurt and we don't want you to get hurt.

    Jack: I have to sleep on top of my bed. I can't go under. I can't get hurt.

    Me: That's right. You can't go UNDER it to sleep. You have to sleep ON TOP of it.

    Jack: I can't sleep under Livie's bed either, Mom.

    Me: That's right. You can't sleep UNDER Livie's bed, either, Jack.

    Jack: I have to sleep on top of my own bed, Mom.

    Me: That's correct. Good night, Jack. Sleep ON TOP of your own bed.

    Jack: Okay. Good night, Mom.

    Me: Good night, Jack. I love you.

    Jack: I love you, too, Mom.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............................

    It makes me think...how many times has he slept UNDER his bed and I never knew. Yikes! His blankets were under the bed the other morning and I couldn't figure out why. Now, folks, I know. The boy likes to sleep on the cold floor underneath his bed. Apparently, he's worked through his claustrophobia all on his own. Ugh. I guess I gotta dust under there more often, huh?

    Sensory processing disorder...ya gotta love it.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    MILF Alert...

    I got THE most fabulous haircut yesterday that I've EVER gotten my entire life! I look HOTTT!
    Of course, by the time I actually get around to posting a picture of it, it'll probably be all grown out. Sigh...

    At least I'll look fresh when I go back to work in two weeks...I mean, thirteen days. Boy, did that maternity leave fly by fast or what?!

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    C'Mon...You Envy Me...

    In a nutshell, I have:

    *One 95lb. dog who barks incessantly every time I let her out in the yard and is constantly eating food off the kids' plates when they walk out of the room (the reason she's 95lbs.)

    *One 3.5yo daughter who challenges everything I do or say, is smarter than the average kid her age (seriously, you have no idea), and is described by her teacher as being a "take charge kind of kid"

    *One almost 5yo son with sensory processing disorder who is louder than bombs, constantly seeks tactile and proprioceptive input, and has developed a penchant for yelling at the top of his lungs when the babies are sleeping

    *Two 3mo old twin daughters who tag team me with breastfeeding at all hours of the day

    *One husband who is also a soon-to-be Stay-at-Home Dad

    I have a great life. It's not without its bumps and bruises, but it's home to me. Five years ago, my house was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. There were candles lit, no clutter, and I ate take-out as often as I pleased. Now, it's full, loud, and we get take-out once a week, usually. It's chaotic, but loving, as well. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

    It would be nice, however, if the girl wasn't so sassy (I don't know where she gets that!), the boy weren't so quirky, the dog didn't bark at the wind, the babies ate on a schedule, and Hubby weren't getting laid off. Of course, then it would be quite boring and we'd end up handing over one of our paychecks to pay someone to watch our kids so we could work. So, I'll stick with what I've got.

    The dog can bark all she wants; the girl can continue to develop her leadership skills; the boy can become the next Bill Gates/Andy Kaufman/Jim Carrey/Robin Williams/Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; the twins can continue to get fat; and Hubby can endure it all while I go to work everyday. Heh.

    I'm just living the dream, folks.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Why The Ice Cream Man Got Fired...

    I believe this is part of the Japanese KANAMARA MATSURI (Festival of the Steel Phallus) a.k.a. Penis Festival. It's actually a celebration of fertility. Mark your calendar for the first Sunday in April, my friends.

    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    With A Heavy Heart...

    My friend is gone and my heart is very heavy right now. He passed away yesterday at around 3pm. Such a devastating loss to everyone who knew him.

    Peace, Tim. You meant the world to me. I hope you knew that.

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Observations On Growing Older...

    ~Your kids are becoming you...and you don't like them
    ...but your grandchildren are perfect!

    ~Going out is good.
    Coming home is better!

    ~When people say you look "Great"...
    they add "for your age!"

    ~When you needed the discount you paid full price.
    Now you get discounts on everything ....
    movies, hotels, flights, but you're too tired to use them.

    ~You forget names ... but it's OK
    because other people forgot
    they even knew you!!!

    ~The 5 pounds you wanted to lose
    is now 15 and you have a better chance
    of losing your keys than the 15 pounds.

    ~You realize you're never going
    to be really good at anything .... especially golf.

    ~Your husband is counting on you
    to remember things you don't remember.

    ~The things you used to care to do,
    you no longer care to do,
    but you really do care that you
    don't care to do them anymore.

    ~Your husband sleeps better on a lounge chair
    with the TV blaring than he does in bed.
    It's called his "pre-sleep".

    ~Remember when your mother said
    "Wear clean underwear in case you GET in an accident"?
    Now you bring clean underwear in case you HAVE an accident!

    ~You used to say,
    "I hope my kids GET married ...
    Now, "I hope they STAY married!"

    ~You miss the days when everything worked
    with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch..

    ~When GOOGLE, ipod, email, modem ...
    were unheard of, and a mouse was something
    that made you climb on a table.

    ~You used to use more 4 letter words ....
    "what?"..."when?" ???

    ~Now that you can afford
    expensive jewelry, it's not safe to wear it anywhere.

    ~Your husband has a night out with the guys
    but he's home by 9:00 P.M. ...next week it will be 8:30 P.M.

    ~You read 100 pages into a book before you realize you've read it.

    ~Notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless"?!!!

    ~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.

    ~Everybody whispers.

    ~Now that your husband has retired ....
    you'd give anything if he'd find a job!

    ~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet ....
    2 of which you will never wear.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Signs To Remember...

    Sign over a Gynecologist's Office:

    "Dr. Jones, at your cervix."

    **************************

    In a Podiatrist's office:

    "Time wounds all heels."

    **************************

    On a Septic Tank Truck:

    Yesterday's Meals on Wheels

    **************************

    At a Proctologist's door:

    "To expedite your visit, please back in."

    **************************

    On a Plumber's truck:

    "We repair what your husband fixed."

    **************************

    On another Plumber's truck:

    " Don 't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber."

    **************************

    On a Church's Bill board:

    "7 days without God makes one weak."

    **************************

    At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee :

    "Invite us to your next blowout."

    **************************

    At a Towing company:

    "We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows."

    **************************

    On an Electrician's truck:

    "Let us remove your shorts."

    **************************

    In a Nonsmoking Area:

    "If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."

    **************************

    On a Maternity Room door:

    "Push. Push. Push."

    **************************

    At an Optometrist's Office:

    "If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

    **************************

    On a Taxidermist's window:

    "We really know our stuff."

    **************************

    On a Fence:

    "Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!"

    **************************

    At a Car Dealership:

    "The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment."

    **************************

    Outside a Muffler Shop:

    "No appointment necessary. We hear you coming."

    **************************

    In a Veterinarian's waiting room:

    "Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"

    **************************

    At the Electric Company

    "We would be delighted if you send in your payment.

    However, if you don't, you will be."

    ************** ************

    In a Restaurant window:

    "Don't stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up."

    **************************

    In the front yard of a Funeral Home:

    "Drive carefully. We'll wait."

    **************************

    At a Propane Filling Station:

    "Thank heaven for little grills."

    **************************

    And don't forget the sign at a

    CHICAGO RADIATOR SHOP:

    "Best place in town to take a leak."

    **********************

    Sign on the back of another

    Septic Tank Truck:
    "Caution - This Truck is full of Political Promises"

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Do You Know What SPD Is Like?...

    Not all of these things apply to my son Jack, but many do. If you've never heard of Sensory Processing Disorder, the picture above can give you a bit of an idea. There are many other aspects of the disorder; this is just a taste. Believe me, it's no picnic. Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., OTR is a great read, if you want to know more about it.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Proving That I Am Certifiably Insane...

    Call me crazy, but the whole newborn period we went through with the twins was a breeze compared to having the singletons. When Jack was born, our whole life changed. It was not an easy transition at all, going from just us to three of us. Adding Liv to the mix a year later while having Jack still in diapers was not easy at all, but it wasn't as hard as having the first one. Three years later, Liesl and Leia are born and...well, I guess we knew what we were doing by then. Or I'm completely nuts thinking this has been easy. Don't get me wrong. ALL the kids have their fussy periods every single day, but for some reason the adjustment to twins wasn't as bone-jarring as I thought it would be.

    Even breastfeeding them has been a breeze. TWO babies! Where the hell have my brains gone that I think and believe that this has been easy at all?!

    Okay, so it's not easy, but systems and routines are in play which make all the transitions more manageable. Maybe that's the key...systems and routines. It certainly wasn't easy the first few weeks they were home, but we had a lot of family support and help. Once I was on my own, I was able to establish routines for getting the kids up and ready for school, nursing the babies, naptimes, all the while being able to keep a clean house and the kids fed. I thrive on time management and have a knack for getting things done in small amounts of time. You'll never see a full laundry basket in my house because I'm nuts about getting it done. I hate when laundry piles up.

    It certainly was a lot easier adjusting to the new babies than I thought it would be. It wasn't as hard as the first time around. I remember when I brought Liv home, I was scared to death to be alone with both kids, thinking I couldn't handle it. I wasn't alone with them for two months. Someone was always with me. Now, leave me alone with four kids and I can handle it. I just pick my battles and tend to the neediest ones first, be it the babies or the preschoolers. The preschoolers drive me bananas, but they're doing what preschoolers do...testing me. It's their job to test their limits, so I'm not surprised when all hell breaks loose shortly before bedtime. That's what they do. And you can't get mad at babies for fussing. That's their job, too.

    Is my house noisy? Hell yeah. Is it messy? Not really. Am I organized? You bet. Am I crazy? Maybe a little OCD. However, we've managed well and I have no complaints.

    Call me crazy, but this time around was easier than I expected it would be, even the recovery from my third C-section. The rough spots were not as rough as I expected they would be.

    I must be nuts. Ask me how it's going once the twins start teething. Heh. Maybe I'll be completely gray by then. And in a straitjacket.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    It's Not Over Yet...

    Today, I'm going to reinstate myself back for my teaching duties to begin on February 1st. I don't want to, but I have to.

    My maternity leave is not over yet, but I have to allow for the paperwork to clear, etc. So, I have to do it today. These past five months have been flying by so fast. The girls are three months old now and will almost be four months old when I go back to work. At that time, Hubby will be staying home with the kids...indefinitely. Yes, we'll be making him a Stay-At-Home-Dad.

    I will be dropping Jack and Liv off at school in the mornings and Hubby will take the babies with to pick them up every day. And I will be getting home at 3:30pm, so it's not a bad deal. I still get to make money, see and play with my kids, and keep breastfeeding (since I'll be pumping twice a day when I get back to work). Plus, it'll be like a vacation to me, since I bust my tail around here daily.

    I don't want to go back, but I don't have a choice. It's bittersweet, really. I'll miss all my children terribly, but they'll be with their Papa, who loves them as much as I do. That's the plan.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Mr. Schultz, My Mentor...

    Just the other night, I received word that my friend, Tim Schultz, was gravely ill. He was my mentor at the first CPS school that I ever worked at. He had fallen down backwards on the stairs on October 18th, carrying his usual heavy bookbag, and his health spiraled out of control after that. Prior to his fall, he was a healthy man in his mid-sixties, active and vibrant.

    Somewhere between the hospital and the rehab facility he was being transported to, he developed sepsis, a fungal infection, pseudomonas, and meningitis. His feeding tube had fallen out and he couldn't tell anyone it happened. By the time they'd noticed, he was already crashing. Now, it appears that his health is deteriorating very quickly and he may not even make it through the night. However, he's been off of life support for the last nine days, but his heart and spirit are very strong. He seems to want to fight for his life, despite the brain damage he may have.

    I am deeply saddened, mostly because he is such a good man and a warm spirit, and that this could've been prevented if he'd received adequate care immediately. I am hoping he knows how many hundreds of lives he touched (students and teachers, alike) by his mere presence alone. He is someone I will never, ever forget and I wish him a peaceful transition, even though it's way too soon and not the kind of exit I would've hoped for him. My heart wants to believe he'll make it through this, but the odds are stacked against him now.

    If you choose to leave this world, I will miss you, Tim, more than you'll ever know. I hope to see you on the veranda again someday.

    Saturday, January 09, 2010

    So...

    With 9.5 inches of snow on the ground yesterday, our snowblower broke. Gratefully, Hubby went out and got the replacement part and was able to install it (in between select swear words) with his Dad's help. Now, our property is nicely equipped with paths for walking. Yay!

    Now, it's supposed to get bitterly cold out there, as well. When I say bitter, I mean really, really, really bitter. So, today we're going to stay home where it's nice and toasty and the kids are going to drive me insane until bedtime. Heh.

    I'll just keep looking at their pictures from yesterday's post...to remember that even when they make me crazy, I still love the hell out of them.

    Friday, January 08, 2010

    My Kids...

    The world is Livie's stage...and, yes, this is how she dresses when she's at home...she's as creative as they come...

    Liesl and Leia...adorable, as usual...my beautiful twin girls...3 months old now...

    Jack, my skinny boy, who's outgrowing his picky eating habits and just NOW starting to eat and grow again...

    Livie, again, on stage for all the world to see...those killer eyes are going to break some hearts one day...
    I love them all with my whole heart. Sigh...

    Thursday, January 07, 2010

    That Was Fast...

    Okay, so I'm not crabby anymore. And I have two good reasons...Liesl and Leia.

    Yesterday, we took Liesl and Leia to their perinatal clinic appointment. This is something new our hospital does for preemies. They checked their developmental milestones, etc. to see if they're on track, especially since they were born a month early.

    I was shocked, to say the least, when they weighed the girls. Liesl is now 11lbs., 8oz. and Leia is now 11lbs., 3oz! At birth, Liesl weighed more than Leia, but was quickly passed up by her. Now, it appears that Liesl has caught up with and surpassed Leia's weight in the last few weeks. All this time, I kept calling Leia "the fat one," only to have Liesl be the bigger of the two, after all. She's even taller!

    Twin development never ceases to amaze me. What amazes me more is that, at birth, Liv was 5lbs., 5oz. At two months old, she was already 11lbs., 4oz. And she was born at 36 weeks, just like the twins.

    My girls...they sure reaped some huge benefits from Mama milk! Woohoo! Let's hear it for growing babies!

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010

    Insert Scowl Here...

    I'm crabby. The babies are fussy and the preschoolers just don't feel like listening anymore. And I have my period. Gah!

    Need I say anymore?

    I need a nap. I need a shower that lasts longer than 12 minutes. And I need a little peace in my life right now.

    Is it wrong to want a little peace and quiet every now and then? Quiet? What's that? Ugh. I need to go back to bed, but that just isn't going to happen.

    Like I said, I'm crabby. You can return to your regularly scheduled program now.

    Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    Ahhh...Silence, Sort Of...

    Jack and Liv had their first day back at school yesterday after Winter Break. I was soooooooo happy to send them. I think they actually got bored being at home and they just couldn't understand why they were on "vacation," but weren't going anywhere. Ugh.

    With boredom came rambunctiousness and I was more than happy to have a quiet morning with just the twins. I felt recharged.

    Of course, you know as well as I do that by the end of the week, Jack and Liv will probably come home with colds. You just gotta love those preschool germs! Bleh...

    Monday, January 04, 2010

    Three Months Old...

    My twins, Liesl and Leia, are three months old today. It's hard to believe that so much time has gone by since their NICU days. Three months ago, I'd gone into labor at 36 weeks exactly and had given birth to two beautiful girls at 5:12am and 5:13am. The following two weeks in the NICU were hell, but it's all water under the bridge, especially when I look into their beautiful eyes and see how far they've come.

    Three months old...I am in awe of the little miracles I created. Tiny hands, tiny feet, softest lips in the world, eyes that speak volumes to me...

    My girls...three months old and keeping me humble all the time. I am so glad they picked me to be their Mom.

    Sunday, January 03, 2010

    Taking It All Down...

    Today, we're taking down Christmas. I am so done looking at all of this stuff. Presents were put away Christmas Day. The decorations? Well, that takes a little while. So, all morning we're going to be putting everything back to where it was before the holidays threw up around the house.

    It's just as much fun putting it away as it is putting it all up. Woohoo!

    Saturday, January 02, 2010

    Quinoa...

    I've been looking for new recipes to make with quinoa. It's an interesting grain to experiment with. Of course, I have to actually go out and FIND quinoa before I can make anything with it. I've had it before and love the nutty texture and think it might be something my son would actually like.

    Any ideas?

    This is my half-hearted attempt to become a little crunchier in 2010. If I stop shaving my legs and underarms, you know I've gone batshit crazy crunchy. Heh. And there's nothing wrong with that, people.

    Quinoa. Help me hunt for it and recipes for it, too.

    Friday, January 01, 2010

    Welcome, 2010!...


    I hope it's a wonderful year for everyone! Happy New Year!