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Taking one day at a time...

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  • DO SOMETHING GOOD
  • Friday, April 30, 2010

    The Size Of A Woman's Ass...

    There is a new study about women and how they feel about their asses; the results were pretty interesting:

    30% of women think their ass is too fat............
    10% of women think their ass is too skinny.........

    The remaining 60% say they don't care, they love him, he's a good man and they wouldn't trade him for the world.

    Heh.

    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    One Flaw In Women...

    Women have strengths that amaze men...

    They bear hardships and they carry burdens,but they hold happiness, love and joy.
    They smile when they want to scream.
    They sing when they want to cry.
    They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.

    They fight for what they believe in.
    They stand up to injustice.
    They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.

    They go without so their family can have.
    They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
    They love unconditionally.
    They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards.

    They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding.
    Their hearts break when a friend dies.
    They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.

    They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.
    Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
    They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you.
    The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.

    They bring joy, hope and love.
    They have compassion and ideas.
    They give moral support to their family and friends.
    Women have vital things to say and everything to give.

    HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN, IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    He Is My Brother...

    He is strong, yet gentle.
    He can fix anything, except a broken heart.
    His smile can light up a room.
    He is my brother.

    His sense of humor is an acquired taste.
    His greatest skill is seeing things by their parts and how they make up a whole.
    His laughter is devilish.
    He is my brother.

    His biggest fans are my kids.
    He makes the world a better place.
    He will stop at nothing to get you anything you need.
    He is my brother.

    He can cook, clean, and decorate.
    He can build an engine, rewire the electricity in a house, and design one-of-a-kind woodwork.
    He can anticipate anyone's needs.
    He is my brother.

    He has come a long way, for which I couldn't be prouder.
    He has made up for his flaws one-hundred-fold.
    He has become one of my closest friends.
    He is my brother.

    He can soothe a baby (or two), wrestle with an active boy, and play princess.
    He can handle a sensory meltdown, wipe away tears of frustration, and entertain a baby (or two).
    He can network with the best of them.
    He is my brother.

    He is shy underneath his tough exterior.
    His edges are rough to all who don't know him.
    His face shows the lines of wisdom, love, and hard work.
    He is my brother.

    He can give you the benefit of the doubt.
    He will move mountains to make your dreams and visions happen.
    He loves you with every fiber of his being.
    He is my brother. And I love him for all that he is to our family.

    Happy Birthday, Greg! You are the glue that holds us all together and we love you!

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Discount School Supply...

    I have discovered a company that I've fallen in love with. It's called Discount School Supply. As a teacher, this is to me what Lowe's is to a carpenter. I could look through that catalog or browse the website all day long. It's scary to think about how much money I could spend there.

    Of course, this just adds to the list of stores I could fork over a paycheck to at any given moment. Target, Borders, American Science and Surplus, the Vitamin Shoppe, Home Depot...just to name a few. Heh.

    What are YOUR favorite places to spend outrageous amounts of money in?

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Deforestation...

    Save the trees, people! Think of the dogs! Heh.

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    Out Of The Mouth Of Liv...

    My four-year-old daughter says some interesting things sometimes. Like...

    *Oh, Mommy. This is no time to panic.

    *I don't think so. It's too...busy. (In response to an outfit I picked out for her to wear)

    *So, what's going on, Mommy? (As she crosses her legs, leaning back on her elbows, acting cosmopolitan)

    *Papa spanked Leia today because she was crying. (He most certainly did NOT.)

    *Jack did it. (He most certainly did NOT. She pretty much blames him for everything.)

    *I think Papa's going to splatter all over the bathroom again. (He most certainly DID.)

    *Um, can you excuse me, Mommy? I'm trying to go poo. (With the door open)

    *It looks like popcorn! It's popcorn poo! (She said that about the poo mentioned above.)

    *I need to go feed Daisy (one of her babies). She's mega fussy.

    *I'm making a list for the grocery. I need tampons.

    *I think it's time for us to have a little talk. (While she certainly got my attention with that one, she only wanted to ask me how my day was going. Thank goodness!)

    *Don't forget to dry off your boobs, Mommy. (She said it through the bathroom door as I stepped out of the shower)

    *When I grow up, I want to be a doctor. You can start calling me Dr. Miss Liv now.

    That's Livie in a nutshell, folks. Create the monster...live with the beast! I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world!

    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    The Sniffing Dog...

    A man had just settled into his seat next to the window on the plane when another man sat down in the aisle seat and put his black Labrador retriever in the middle seat next to the man.

    The first man looked very quizzically at the dog and asked why the dog was allowed on the plane. The second man explained that he was a DEA agent and that the dog was a 'sniffing dog'. "His name is Sniffer and he's the best there is. I'll show you once we get airborne, when I put him to work."

    The plane took off, and once it has leveled out, the agent said, "Watch this. He told Sniffer to "search". Sniffer jumped down, walked along the aisle, and finally sat very purposefully next to a woman for several seconds. Sniffer then returned to his seat and put one paw on the agent's arm. The agent said, "Good boy", and he turned to the man and said, "That woman is in possession of marijuana, so I'm making a note of her seat number and the authorities will apprehend her when we land.

    "Say, that's pretty neat," replied the first man.

    Once again, the agent sent Sniffer to search the aisles. The Lab sniffed about, sat down beside a man for a few seconds, returned to its seat, and this time he placed two paws on the agent's arm. The agent said, "That man is carrying cocaine, so again, I'm making a note of his seat number for the police."

    "I like it!" said his seat mate.

    The agent then told Sniffer to "search" again. Sniffer walked up and down the aisles for a little while, sat down for a moment, and then came racing back to the agent, jumped into the middle seat and proceeded to poop all over the place.

    The first man was really grossed out by this behavior and couldn't figure out how or why a well-trained dog would behave like that, so he asked the agent "What's going on?"

    The agent nervously replied, "He just found a bomb."

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    How To Read Bar Codes...

    The whole world is afraid of China-made "black hearted goods." Can you differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China?

    If the first 3 digits of the barcode are 690, 691, or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA. If the first 3 digits of the barcode are 471, it is Made in Taiwan.

    This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves.

    Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products "MADE IN CHINA," so they don't show from which country it is made.

    However, you may now refer to the barcode...

    Remember, if the first 3 digits are:

    690-692 ... then it is MADE IN CHINA
    00 - 09 ... USA & CANADA
    30 - 37 ... FRANCE
    40 - 44 ... GERMANY
    47 ... Taiwan
    49 ... JAPAN
    50 ... UK

    BUY USA & CANADIAN MADE by watching for "0" at the beginning of the number.

    We need every boost we can get!

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Common Sense?...

    Yesterday was Report Card Day where I work. I had a whopping 6 parents come see me about their child's grades. In fact, I saw more of my former students than I saw parents of my current students!

    This is nothing new. It's always like this and that's sad.

    I realize that speaking with your child's teachers isn't mandatory, but doesn't common sense tell you to do it anyway, whether their grades are good or not? As a parent, I make it a point to talk to my children's teachers, almost daily, because I see them everyday when I bring them to their classrooms. The most important people in that school know exactly who I am because I make it a point to be known. And even on their report card days, I make sure that I speak with all of them. Isn't that what you're supposed to do?

    I'm certainly not a helicopter parent, but I do make myself visible and heard. I am my children's biggest fan and advocate. How could I not be?

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Sweet Peas...


    Well, Liesl and Leia love their sweet peas. Not too long ago, we purchased a Beaba Babycook. It's an amazing little appliance that steams fresh foods and purees them, all in minutes. Yes, we're making our own babyfood this time around. With two babies, it's saving us money in the long run. Plus, we know exactly what we're putting into their bodies.

    The first real food, other than rice cereal, that we decided to try with them was sweet peas. The first day, they were not impressed. After that, though, they decided that they LOVED sweet peas. They eat like little pigs!

    I think we'll try sweet potatoes next. I, myself, LOVE sweet potatoes and I hope my babies love them just as much as I do.

    Gosh, it's been so long since Jack and Liv were first starting solids. I'd forgotten how exciting this is! I can't wait to try everything with our new appliance, but I have to be patient. They can't eat everything right away.

    I just have to remember these moments when I feed them the foods we make for them. The time goes by so quickly that I have to make sure I etch these memories into my brain. It'll never happen again. Sigh...

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Doing The Right Thing...

    Sometimes, doing the right thing is not always the easiest thing to do. And sometimes, you wonder whether you really are doing the right thing.

    That is all.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Stitch & Bitch...

    I had to take Jack to the ER yesterday at around 4:30pm. He'd hit his head (between his eyebrow and his temple) on the edge of a dresser and it was far too deep to just put a bandage on. He wound up with two stitches. It could've been worse and I'm glad it wasn't.

    Suffice it to say that I am exhausted from the ordeal. Jack has SPD, so everything he feels, he feels a thousand times more than most people. This includes, but is not limited to, fear.

    He has a very high tolerance for pain, though. In fact, sometimes it's as if he doesn't feel pain at all. That's the strange thing about SPD. Fear, however, is a totally different ball game for him. His anxiety hits the roof, his senses go into overdrive, and all he can do is scream. And turn purple. And fall to the ground. And shake. He can't help it. Nevertheless, it was the quickest ER visit I've ever had. They had us in and out in two hours, which is unheard of. Then again, it was Jack.

    I hope he never gets stitches again. This was one of the hardest things I've ever been through with him. If you have a kid like Jack, then you can understand. I don't ever want him to go through that again. My poor boy...

    On the plus side, he did kick the arrogant snarky nurse square in her gut...really hard...with both feet. She deserved it, after all. Heh. She wasn't very nice to him. He's only been to the ER twice in his lifetime; both experiences have sucked ass.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Working Mother Guilt...

    I am a working Mother. I have four children under the age of five; Jack is five, Liv is four, and Liesl and Leia are six months old now. At times, I get that Working Mother Guilt. It's not, by any means, fun. I have to work, though. I'm supporting a family of six (not including the dog) while my husband stays home with the kids to cut childcare costs out completely. And, believe, me...it's totally worth it.

    The kids have one of us, constantly home. I am grateful for that. Sometimes, though, I wish it was me. I love my job and I have great health care through it. We couldn't have the things we have if I didn't work. It's just hard to leave in the morning, knowing that I'm missing out on things with the kids, and especially the babies.

    My job allows me to work shorter hours than most. I'm a teacher. I leave at 7:30am and I'm home no later than 3:30pm, including travel time. It's not a bad gig. I get to spend time with Jack and Liv before I take them to school in the mornings, making it a point to start their day off on the right foot. If I'm lucky, one of the babies (usually Leia) will be awake, as well. That's a bonus for me. When I get home, Jack and Liv go outside to play with Hubby so that I can spend some alone time with the twins, nursing and playing, and feeding them rice cereal, which they love now. We all eat dinner together because Hubby is always cooking something.

    I shouldn't complain. The house is always clean; all the kids have all their needs met by Hubby while I'm at work; laundry is done every day. What more could I ask for? I even get summers off to spend quality time with my family and go on vacations.

    I guess I just feel guilty sometimes, as if I should be home with my children because I'm their Mother. Hubby does a damn good job with everything while I'm at work. There's a little part of me that is jealous of that, though. His job as a Stay-At-Home Dad is by no means easy, any more than my job of teaching eighth-graders English is.

    I just can't help but feel like I'm missing out on something important. I feel lucky that at least one of us is constantly home with the kids. I can't even imagine both of us working, barely seeing our children, and handing over one of our paychecks each week for childcare. That's insane!

    I have it good, so I'm not complaining. It's just that, every once in a while, the guilt sneaks up on me when I least expect it. I am human, after all.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Grabbing Some Fresh Air...

    This is my least favorite time of year and it has nothing to do with the weather. This is the fourth quarter of the school year and it d......r......a......g......s! It's actually the shortest quarter of the year, but it's the one that goes by the slowest.

    The kids are antsy; who can blame them? The teachers are antsy; who can blame them? The weather is getting warmer rather quickly this year and the classrooms are a hot mess. The physical environment is borderline unmanageable. Combine the weather, the building temperature, and the end-of-the-school-year-fever, and you've got yourself a big problem. It's times like these when I wish I was still on maternity leave. Gah.

    Anyway, it's the weekend and I'm going to enjoy my two-day respite from the sweatbox a.k.a. work. I have to grab the fresh air while I can because it's so unbelievably hot and stuffy in my classroom.

    *Inhaling deeply*

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    It's Only April...

    Well, it's that time of year again when hundreds of thousands of people put their AC's on because it's 85 degrees when they get home from work.

    And then the power goes out for multiple neighborhoods.

    Yep, that's what happened to us yesterday evening. And I bet there will be more where that came from throughout the course of summer.

    If this is happening now, in April, what's going to happen in August? Yeesh.

    Just take a hot shower, people. When you get out, it feels so much cooler. There's no need for AC in April! This is Chicago. You know the weather will change in the blink of an eye. Sigh...

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    It Must Be The Heat...


    Wow! We're having some great weather here the past few days! Sunny, warm, summer-like...

    It makes me want to be lazy, sitting around with a fruity drink in my hand, wearing sunglasses and sunblock. Unfortunately, I have to work. So, I'll just drink my water, have some fun with my students and the parts of speech, and forget about the sunglasses and sunblock for now. There will be plenty of time for all of that when school is out for the summer after June 18th!

    Only a little over nine weeks left! Gah!

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    The Ten Best Foods For Your Baby...

    BabyCenter came out with a list of the ten best foods for your baby. I found it particularly interesting because we're starting solids with Liesl and Leia. Most of these foods are foods that I like, so it's no big deal to have them in the house. Now I can have a good excuse to run out and buy some of my own favorite foods. I have people to share them with! Heh.

    Squash (Although I don't eat a lot of squash, I do like it; it's just hard to make it when I'm the only one who eats it.)
    Squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, is naturally sweet, and has a pleasing, creamy texture.

    Serving idea: Sprinkle parmesan cheese and a little chili seasoning on half a squash, roast it, and scoop out a serving for your baby, suggests pediatrician Susanna Block, owner of World Baby Foods, an ethnic baby food line. "Cooked squash with a little cilantro, mild chiles, and garbanzo beans are another great combination," she says.

    Lentils
    (I love, love, love lentils. They're so easy to work with.)
    Crammed with protein and fiber, lentils pack a powerful nutritional punch. They're also one of the cheapest healthy foods you can buy.

    Serving idea: Combine cooked lentils with mixed vegetables, rice, and seasonings of your choice. "Try basil and oregano," suggests dietitian Karin Hosenfeld of North Dallas Nutrition. "Or toss in a bay leaf, which works really well with lentils." (Remove the bay leaf before serving.)

    Dark green leafy vegetables
    (I am a big fan of collard greens, but no one else in the house likes them. Maybe I can go out and get some now and try them with the twins.)
    Leafy greens boast high amounts of iron and folate. While spinach is perhaps the best known of this group, there are many other varieties, including kale, chard, and collard greens.

    Serving idea: Steam and puree a batch of greens, then mix with iron-fortified cereal to give your baby a double dose of iron. Experiment with the proportions to see what your baby likes; Hosenfeld suggests starting with two parts veggie to one part cereal.

    Broccoli
    Brimming with folate, fiber, and calcium, broccoli is also known for its cancer-fighting properties, says dietitian Kate Geagan, author of Go Green, Get Lean. And thanks to its sulfur compounds, it has a unique flavor that can help expand your baby's tastes.

    Serving idea: Steam pieces until soft, then chill. "Steaming takes the bite out of broccoli," says Hosenfeld. "And chilled broccoli is sometimes better accepted by babies. It can also be soothing during teething."

    Blueberries
    The deep, brilliant blue of these berries comes from flavonoids called anthocyanins, which are good for your baby's eyes, brain, and even urinary tract, says Stephen Gass, co-author of Mix and Mash: Adventures in the Kitchen for Baby and You.

    Serving Idea: Gass suggests this easy blueberry soup: Combine 1 cup of blueberries with one-quarter cup of water in a bowl, microwave for one minute, and let cool. Then swirl some plain yogurt on top.

    Avocados
    (I could seriously eat avocados every single day. It's one of my favorite foods. I even make homemade guacamole every week.)
    "Avocados are a rich source of unsaturated fats," says nutritionist Leanne Cooper, author of What Do I Feed My Baby: A Step-by-Step Guide to Solids. "In fact, the fat composition is somewhat similar to that of breast milk." Concerned about your baby eating fatty food? Don't be. "Unsaturated fat is the good kind of fat, and babies need it for brain development," says pediatrician Ari Brown, co-author of Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year.

    Serving idea: Try combining mashed avocado with other foods, such as cream cheese, apples, or canned fish, suggests Cooper. And when it's playgroup time, ditch the crackers and take an avocado along instead. "Avocados can travel in your bag at room temperature and you can offer them in slivers or spread on toast fingers while you sip coffee with your friends," she says.

    Meat
    Many of us don't think of meat as a typical baby food, but it's one of Brown's top choices. "Meat is a great source of zinc and iron," she explains.

    Serving idea: Cook stew! "Stew is the ideal baby food – easy to make, easy to chew, and endless in its variety," says Matthew Amster-Burton, author of Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater. Experiment with adding different veggies and seasonings, such as ginger and parsley. And the best part? Tough, cheap meats (like chuck) work best, says Amster-Burton, whose own family dines on stew almost weekly. Just be sure to cook the stew long enough for the meat to turn soft and scrumptious.

    Prunes
    Prunes have lots of fiber and can help relieve constipation – which, notes Brown, your baby may experience after you introduce solids.

    Serving idea: Puree prunes and serve them straight or mixed with other foods, such as cereal or applesauce, for a naturally sweet treat. If your baby is badly constipated, Brown advises adding a teaspoon or two of prune juice to formula or expressed breast milk.

    Garbanzo beans
    (Hummus is a staple in our house.)
    Like lentils and other beans, garbanzos are rich in protein and fiber, says Geagan. They're also inexpensive and versatile.

    Serving idea: Try hummus. You can find it in many grocery stores, or make your own by pureeing cooked garbanzo beans with garlic, lemon, olive oil, and tahini. You can also make a delectable finger food by sautéing or roasting the beans. "I have a 19-month-old daughter who loves chickpeas sautéed in a pan with seasonings and left out for her to munch," says mom Christina DeLuca.

    Mandarin oranges
    High in vitamin C and antioxidants, mandarin oranges are a supreme finger food. "Babies really love the flavor," says Hosenfeld.

    Serving idea: This is a particularly easy one to prepare – just cut the segments into bite-size pieces and serve. You can buy mandarin oranges fresh or canned, but make sure the canned version is packed in water, not syrup, which contains added sugar.

    What about you? What were your kids' favorite first foods?

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Growing Like Weeds...

    Yesterday, we took all three girls in for their check-ups. Jack came along for the ride and was a complete angel the entire time! After all the girls got their vaccines, Jack felt bad because he didn't get a shot, too. So, we got McDonald's on the way home, or as Jack calls it, "Old McDonald's." Heh.

    The twins are within an ounce of each other. ONE OUNCE! Liesl is 15lbs., 11oz. and Leia is 15lbs., 10oz. Their head sizes are exactly the same (16") and Liesl is one whole inch taller (25.5")than Leia (24.5").

    Liv is tipping the scales at 37lbs., which is just under 4lbs. more than her 3-year check-up. She also happens to be 41" tall, which is 4" more than last year. She has skyrocketed in growth since last year!

    All in all, my three girls are healthy and thriving. I couldn't ask for more. Hopefully, none of them have any adverse reactions to their shots. We turned down the second H1N1 for Liv and the first H1N1's for the twins. I don't like too much poison floating around in their systems at one time. Liv had gotten three shots and the twins had gotten two, plus one oral each. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all is well and continues to be.

    It's not easy bringing four kids to the doctor. Poor Jack was just coming along for the outing. He watched intently as Livie got her shots; she only cried a little, which Jack found mildly amusing. Leia hated her shots to the nth degree, turning dark purple when she cried. Have you ever seen a baby look like an eggplant? Um, yeah...that's Leia. Liesl was fine for one and only cried a tiny bit for the second one. By the time we left, our nerves were fried.

    Everyone's healthy. That's all that counts. For this, I am very grateful. Just keep your fingers crossed that any reactions to the shots are mild, if any. I know they need their vaccines, but I hate them like you wouldn't believe. After what Jack went through after his first MMR, I just can't shake that fear. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

    *Fingers crossed*

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Reality Sinking In...

    She must've breastfed four children, like me. Gah!
    I'm not complaining, though. The twins are six months old and they still love to nurse. The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the physical negatives on my part. My "girls" aren't as high as they used to be, but at least my belly button isn't directly between them...yet. Heh.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Yawwwwnnnnn...

    Yesterday was Liv's birthday party. We all had an absolutely wonderful time! She was so happy and so gracious the whole time. We all went to bed and were completely wiped out at the end of the evening.

    Today, we relaxed, putzed around the house, just enjoying each other's company.

    It was the perfect end to an amazing weekend!

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Something Fun...

    Click on this link, Do I Need an Umbrella?, and put in your zip code. It will let you know if it is going to be rainy or not. It also lets you know what the temperature and sky condition is. Of course, you could always just turn on the news to get the same information, but this is a little more amusing.

    Just for fun, I typed in random five-digit numbers and it would tell me if it was an invalid zip code. It's pretty accurate with the weather, too.

    My goodness, who thinks up these things? And where do they get the time?

    It was a few minutes of mindless fun for me to kill time. Perhaps you'll do the same, too.

    Friday, April 09, 2010

    How To Be A Gracious Bitch...

    Jennifer's wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement - not even her parent's nasty divorce. Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear, and would be the best-dressed mother-of-the-bride ever!

    A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father's new, young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother! Jennifer asked her father's new young wife to exchange it, but she refused. ''Absolutely not! I look like a million bucks in this dress, and I'm wearing it,'' she replied.

    Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, ''Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day.''

    A few days later, they went shopping, and did find another gorgeous dress for her mother. When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, ''Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it."

    Her mother just smiled and replied, ''Of course I do, dear. I’m wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.''

    (NOW I ASK YOU - IS THERE A WOMAN OUT THERE, ANYWHERE, WHO WOULDN'T ENJOY THIS STORY?)

    Women are like phones: they like to be held, talked to, and touched often. But push the wrong button and your ass is disconnected!

    Thursday, April 08, 2010

    Anything But Ordinary...


    Today is Liv's fourth birthday. It's hard to believe that four years have passed since she made her way into my arms and my heart.

    Liv is anything but ordinary. She has moxie. That girl can enter a room and command it at any given time. At a mere four years old, she is a star wherever she goes. Teachers love her; kids love her; babies adore her. She has style, flair, and is as independent as they get. She's always been independent. In fact, I don't remember a time (other than infancy) when she was dependent on anyone. She has always forged her own path, regardless of what the masses were doing or what they were telling her to do. Realistically, she's been like that since she was a toddler. She even had her own particular way of crawling, which wasn't really crawling at all, but a form of scooting along the floor with one leg in front of the other. And no one could make her walk. When she was ready, she did it on her own timetable, completely of her own free will.

    She sparkles and shines. She's forceful and opinionated. She can be downright domineering. She can be graceful and gentle. She's compassionate about others' feelings. She will see someone hurt or upset and she will quickly rush to comfort them. She has a soft side underneath her rough edges. She's loud and bold, but she can sing softly and put a baby at ease with her voice or just her presence alone.

    She is so creative. She works hard on projects at home and at school. She puts blood, sweat, and tears into everything she does. She visualizes what she wants and she makes it happen. She has an active imagination, throwing herself into a world of make-believe where everyone is a princess and dreams come true. She writes books (yes, books) with happy endings, draws pictures that are so well-crafted that anyone looking at it knows exactly what it is. She's very talented. She tells elaborate stories that include all the important elements of a narrative. Her vocabulary is vast, articulate, and well beyond her age.

    She can push your buttons, but knows when to back off. She's competitive, lively, and warm. She has a heart made out of gold and dances to the music she creates in her own head, writing lyrics as she goes. I've never known anyone like her, adult or child. And yet, she is a part of me and all that I am. I made her hands inside my own body. There is a part of me that lives inside of her.
    Liv is pure magic. She is spirited and has an incredible work ethic. She's messy, but there's a method to her madness. She knows where everything is at, even if it looks like it's a holy mess. She has a system for everything.
    Even though she is just four years old, her soul is much older than that. One look into her gray eyes and you can see that. I firmly believe that she was put in my life to teach me something. And every single day I learn something from her, because of her, and with her.
    She is my first-born daughter, my middle child, my twin. She's a chip off the old block, so to speak. I love her for who she is and what she's done for our family. Jack would've been lost without her. It is partially because of her that he has come so far in his battles with sensory processing disorder. She is his best friend, his partner in crime, and his hero.

    Liv is someone you always want on your side. She's a strong personality. She was a fighter since the day she was born at 36 weeks gestation, a mere 5lbs., 5oz. She never saw the inside of the NICU because she was such a champion. She and I survived a placental abruption, which resulted in her emergency delivery. We did it together. I remember being terrified that they would take her away and whisk her off into the NICU, where I would have to "visit" her. Instead, she nursed like a trooper, gained weight from the get-go, and slept in my room with me the whole time we were in the hospital. In fact, she slept in my bed with me, cradled in my arms each night. She never left my side; I think she knew I needed her as much as she needed me at the time. Four days later, we went home together. She was my miracle. We were both very lucky to have survived.

    "Liv" means "life" in Norwegian. Her name speaks volumes about the kind of person she is. Liv is life. And if I know her as well as I think I do, she's going to do something very important and very meaningful with her life. It will be on her terms, though, and no one else's. She is Liv, after all. And you can't break her spirit because she was born with that.

    Liv is anything but ordinary. She would never have it any other way.
    Happy Birthday, Liv! You are so very loved!

    Wednesday, April 07, 2010

    Modern Medicine...

    My Dad had angioplasty for the second time in one year yesterday. The first time they did it last year, he had two stents put in. Yesterday, they had to put five more stents in. So now, he has a total of seven stents in his heart that are keeping everything opened up in there so that the blood can flow again. One of the areas he had a stent put in had 95% blockage. Basically, he was a walking heart attack waiting to happen. He had chest pains from time to time, but didn't tell anyone. That's not a good choice.

    I am amazed at what modern medicine can do these days. I wish this could've been around thirty years ago or so. My grandfather and aunt (both on my father's side) would've been able to see all my babies and the world would be a better place with them in it right now.

    Heart disease runs in my family. I'm sure my Dad's situation is a combination of several things: portion control, heredity, and diet. He knows that he comes from a family of bad tickers. He'll have to go to cardiac rehab again and be placed on a restricted diet, from which he cannot stray.

    I can't believe the wonders of modern medicine. Thirty years ago, he could've died because they didn't have the ability to conduct procedures that would let him know what was going on inside his heart. Today, he's going home.

    Wow. Just wow.

    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    These Boots Are Made For Walking...

    We're supposed to be getting one heck of a storm here over the next 48 hours or so. Hail and damaging winds...thunder and lightning...blah, blah, blah. To me, this signals that spring is most definitely here and I should just go ahead and put away those winter boots. Believe it or not, I still have my winter boots by my back door. I just can't help but think that I'll jinx it and we'll get snow if I put them away for the season.

    Technically, it IS spring. However, I've seen plenty of snow in Aprils past. I'm not going to jinx it this time. Although, it IS 80 degrees out today. I really should put those winter boots away, right?

    Or I could just leave them there until it snows next winter. Heh.

    Monday, April 05, 2010

    Time To Make The Donuts...

    Well, it's back to work for me today. My spring break was so wonderful! It was the best spring break I've ever had. We had lots of fun, lots of sun, lots of outside time, lots of naps for the babies. Everything went swimmingly well.

    Jack and Liv are excited to get back to school today. Hubby can get the babies back into their regular routine now that I'm back at work. All is well.

    It's going to be about ten more weeks until I'm home for the summer. It'll be a loooooong ten weeks, for sure. On that note, I think it's time for me to make the donuts now. Sigh...

    P.S. Go on over to my sister's blog and wish her a very happy birthday today! She's 37 for the tenth time! Happy Birthday, Sue!

    Sunday, April 04, 2010

    I Just Can't Help Myself...

    I know I've posted this picture before, but I'm a sucker for a Labrador.
    Happy Easter, Everyone!

    Saturday, April 03, 2010

    Raising Twins...


    I have entered Leia and Liesl in a Cutest Twins contest on the Raising Twins website. You can view it and post comments on their picture and story here:

    http://www.raising-twins.com/leia-and-liesldouble-the-love-cutest-twins.html
    Let's win this, babies!

    Friday, April 02, 2010

    Busy, Busy, Busy...

    Yesterday was a fabulous day! I know these posts are all starting to sound the same this week. Every single day of my spring break has been wonderful. The kids have been great; the weather has been unbelievably warm; we've had lots of things to do. I just can't stand that it's going to end and I'll be back at work on Monday. Of course, then I only have about ten or so weeks left until I'm off for the entire summer, so I won't complain too much right now.

    Today, the kids and I will be getting haircuts. It'll be a playdate, too, because the lady who cuts our hair comes to our home and is bringing two of her kids and our former nanny's daughter, too. We'll have a noisy houseful! It'll be fun!

    In the afternoon, Livie has her very first ballet class! Since it's at our park, we'll probably just walk all the kids over there and Hubby, the babies, and Jack can hang out on the playground until Livie's class is done; it's only an hour long. I'll go in with her and stay with her, taking lots of pictures, too.

    Oh, this has been the best spring break I've ever had. It's been warm, very busy, and full of lots of good food and much love. I can only think that this summer will be even better with all of us together. What a great week it's been!

    Thursday, April 01, 2010

    Glorious...

    Last night, I'd finally taken a look at myself in the mirror and realized the unbelievable...I'D ACTUALLY GOTTEN SOME SUN! I knew Jack and Liv got some color. I could tell just by looking at them, but wasn't sure if I was just seeing pink because they were running around flying kites outside. We'd been outside so much yesterday, there's no way we didn't get color. The top of Hubby's head is actually sunburned!

    Oh, I am loving this spring break! We have spent so much time outside with the weather being amazing. The babies have been napping like crazy, so when they do, we all just head outside and do stuff. We even washed both of our cars yesterday, which is no small project if it's done right. And an old friend, Wanda (who was actually Jack's former developmental therapist and has become like family to us), came by to see all the kids. We had dinner together and it was a wonderful time.

    Today, we'll finally get around to coloring the Easter eggs in the morning, while it's still somewhat cool outside. We'll also head to the park with all four kids; maybe the babies will nap then. The fresh air is doing great things for all of us!

    Ahhhh...the windows are open and the breeze is airing out the whole house. I don't feeling like cleaning that office closet if the weather is going to be so...glorious! Spring cleaning can definitely wait until it's raining. Heh.