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Taking one day at a time...

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  • Thursday, September 30, 2010


    It looks like the Vick's VapoRub on all the kids' feet seemed to do the trick the other night. They all slept soundly, no one coughed, and we all got a good night's sleep. So I did it again last night. It can't hurt, right?

    Jack's been doing better at school lately and I help him with his homework every day when I get home from work. He comes home with lots of projects that he's completed and writes his name using upper and lower case letters now. Yay! He still has his moments at school, but he's getting better. I'm happy about that. Liv has a family collage due today and we printed out some lovely pictures of our family. She glued her little heart out yesterday. The collage turned out beautifully. She is very proud, as am I.

    The weekend just can't come fast enough. I need some serious snuggle time with these kids of mine. There's so much to do. We need to decorate for Halloween this weekend. The babies turn ONE on Monday; I just can't believe how fast this past year has gone by. I'm actually very sad that the babies are getting so big so fast. Sigh. If I think about it too much, I cry.
    I need this weekend to go by really slowly. I'm just not ready for Monday. My babies CAN'T possibly be turning ONE! They JUST got here! WTF?!

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    The Petri Dish That Is My House...

    Last night, I put Vick's VapoRub on all the kids' feet at night and covered their feet with socks. It's supposed to keep them from coughing at night and help them sleep soundly. It has worked on Jack and Liv in the past, so there's no reason why it shouldn't work again. I even put it on the babies' feet, too. I know the babies aren't really supposed to get it, but I wasn't putting it on their chest. I put it only on the bottoms of their feet, with the hope that it would ease their discomfort and congestion.

    Let's hope this bad cold retreats soon. My house is a petri dish right now. Ugh. It's only the start of the fourth week of school, but all four of my kids are on their second cold already. This is not fun at all.

    Monday night, every single one of my kids was awake at one point or another throughout the night. Hubby and I got very little, if any, solid sleep. It was a chain effect of one waking up another, who would wake up another, and then another. Until finally we were all up together and not happy about it at all.

    I hate the beginning of the school year for this reason. Sickness invades this house and takes forever to go away because we keep passing it back and forth to each other. The days are getting chillier and I can't just open up all the windows when I have two sick babies. It's a neverending cycle.

    Let's hope it's over soon. I can't take much more of this lack of sleep, all the while trying to function effectively at work. Bleh.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010


    I am working my ass off lately. So many baseline tests to give; soo much data to collect; so much analyzing to do; all of which, will help me tailor my classroom instruction. It is, however, so tedious and consuming.

    I love a good deadline, though. And I work really well under pressure. So, I guess this fits my style.

    I just wish my style knew how to relax sometimes. All this number crunching is making me nuts. I'm allergic to numbers. Gah!

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    Curve Ball...

    I dread taking Jack places sometimes. I never know if he's going to have a meltdown or be overwhelmed by all the sensory input or just whine until I want to poke my ears out with knitting needles. Autism is a lovely thing, isn't it? Anyone with a kid on the spectrum understands what I mean. Don't get me wrong. Jack has very, very good days, but he also has bad days. And when he has bad days, they're very, very, very bad. And those bad days usually happen in clusters. During those clusters, it's hard on all of us, especially Jack. It's not easy being the parent of a kid on the spectrum, but I can guarantee it's even worse to be the kid ON the spectrum.

    Jack and Liv were invited to a friend's birthday party at a place called, "Go Bananas." It's like a Chuck E. Cheese-type of place. Jack has had a string of bad days lately and I really didn't want to take him at all. I figured I'd be chained to his side, trying to avoid the inevitable meltdowns and sensory irritations, which would all embarrass Livie and myself. It's not easy being Jack's sister, you know. She takes a beating, literally and figuratively. She's tough, but she's also very sensitive and she longs to have a "normal" life sometimes. She tells me so, which breaks my heart.

    I woke up yesterday morning really wanting it to be a good day. I wasn't sure what the day would bring. Jack is not an easy boy and we walk on tiptoes throughout the day, hoping he doesn't get agitated sometimes. It's no way to live, but it's the only way that keeps our sanity. We just want him to be happy. School's been rough for him lately and his string of bad days just kept getting worse. I so wanted yesterday to be a good day for him.

    I couldn't stand the thought of leaving him behind, having him miss out on the much-needed social interaction practice, even if we had to leave early because of his discomfort. So, I took him to the birthday party. And I waited...and waited...and waited for the inevitable meltdown, the embarrassment, the funny looks we get when we go out in public and people realize that Jack sings a tune different from everyone else's. I waited for the screaming, the irritation, the lashing out at Livie and at me. I counted how many minutes it would take for us to have to leave because he "didn't feel well."

    It never happened. There were no meltdowns, no lashing out, no sensory overload, no embarrassment, no awkwardness at all. He was just a "normal" boy enjoying a birthday party at a noisy place packed full of kids. He ate his pizza nicely without me having to cut it up because he's so picky; he drank his pop (first time he was ever allowed to have a whole cup of Pepsi) without spilling; he was patient and ate his cake like it was his favorite. He was, for lack of a better word, "normal." And Livie was happy; Jack was happy; and I was happy.

    He and Livie rode a little roller coaster and a BIG roller coaster in the place. They were fearless together. And they were happy. And it was much needed. Sometimes we forget that the autism doesn't have to rule the household. That sometimes, it's just great to be a kid without any tethers. That the autism is just one part of him, but certainly not the whole. I saw that, after a very difficult week with him, he really DOES have it in him to self-regulate and be calm. Maybe he was so nervous that it backfired and he became calm. He just went with the flow. He and Livie were inseparable, but played with their friends, too. I was so proud of them that they each got a present when they got home. I'd planned it that way anyway. I wanted them to know that I caught them both being good and I rewarded them.

    We were there for two-and-a-half hours, which was a miracle because we're never anywhere for more than an hour or hour-and-a-half, TOPS. It was an amazing time for all of us. The kids got goodie bags, won prizes, got on roller coasters, played games, ate and drank, and were the happiest I've ever seen them. And they never fought with each other. Wow! By the time we left, my face was hurting so badly because of all the smiling I'd done. Every time Jack and Liv smiled, so did I. It was nonstop smiling and my face still hurts today. I can't remember the last time I was so happy. I can't remember the last time we ALL were so happy.

    I worried for nothing and was thrown a curve ball by Jack. And it was the best curve ball I've ever seen. I won't dare be greedy and ask for more, but I'll be pleasantly surprised when they come because I know they can and they will. I just have to let them come.

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    What In The...

    For a minute, I thought something was wrong with me. And then I remembered that I'd eaten asparagus.

    Ya gotta love that asparagus pee. Yeesh.

    That is all.

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Autumn Foods...

    I am jonesing for some fall comfort foods. I found a recipe for Butternut Squash Penne and it sounds sooooooo good. It gets me thinking about all the wonderful crock pot recipes I have and all the cool weather foods I like...

    Split Pea Soup
    Clam Chowder
    Garlic Mashed Potatoes
    Any kind of casserole, pretty much
    Cranberry Pork Tenderloin
    Spinach and Lentil Soup
    Chicken Stew
    Lazy Golubki
    Pumpkin Bisque
    Baked Beans

    What are your favorite foods for this time of year? Give me some ideas. The cooler weather here is making me think about all the dinners I can make if my husband would just embrace crock pot cooking. Sigh.

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Too Soon?...

    Ugh. I am mentally and emotionally drained lately. A lot of it has to do with work. I can't get into it here. Just know that my heart is broken.

    And I'm wondering if it's too early in the school year to take a sick day. Sigh. I really do feel sick, after all. It's just a different kind of sick.


    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Sweet Like A Lollipop...

    I can't help but laugh every time I see that Dex commercial with this song in it. I even hacked into my father's Facebook account to update his status to say that he thinks this song rocks! I wonder what his friends thought of that. Heh.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Almost There... all four kids are in one picture. And almost the dog, too. Now, if only I could get ALL of them to look at the camera and smile...
    Two out of four looking at the camera isn't bad. Three out of four actually smiling is good, too. Okay, kids. Let's try this again. Yeesh.
    This could take a while, folks.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Say "Cheese!"...

    Here are Liesl and Leia practicing their standing in their playpen. You can really tell here just how much they don't look alike.

    And, of course, I'm STILL trying to get all four kids in one picture again. I've done it before; I can do it again. I just need to have my camera in the right place at the right time, in addition to having all four kids cooperate. So difficult!

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    All About The Mischief...

    My brother took this picture of Liesl and Leia while he was babysitting two weeks ago. Leia is
    all about moving around and she likes to try to get out of her playpen sometimes. She's not in there often, but when she is, she wants out. Liesl, however, is all about the mischief. Just one look at that impish grin makes me wonder what she's thinking when she smiles for the camera.

    Oh, yeah. We definitely have our hands full over here. Heh.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Whiz Kid...

    This is Leia, sneaking a chance to play at Jack's Thomas the Train laptop. You can't see it too well here, but she IS sitting on the little chair that goes with the table she's at. Seconds before this picture was taken, she'd actually had her hand on the mouse. Amazing!
    And just yesterday, she accomplished a MAJOR feat. Leia can blow her nose now. She's not even one year old yet! This baby is, by far, our fussiest EVER, but she is also making huge developmental leaps right now.
    An update on her twin, Liesl, is forthcoming. She, too, is just as bright as her sister.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010


    Weekends are precious around here. I don't have to get up to go to work; Livie doesn't have to get ready to go to school; Hubby can take his time in the shower; Jack can be in his jammies for as long as he wants; there's no mad morning rush. I get to enjoy my kids for longer than five hours a day, morning and evening combined. And I actually get to see Liesl when she wakes up. It's heavenly.

    I wish the weekends were longer, though. Don't we all? Mondays can't be far enough away. Sigh.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Who Takes Care Of Mama?...

    I'm so glad it's Friday. It's been a helluva week at work and I'm so beat up.

    I wear many hats. When my day starts at 5:30am, it doesn't end...ever. I'm on duty 24/7, partially as a teacher, mostly as a Mother. Whatever way I look at it, I'm always ON. Sometimes, I get exhausted by all the demands placed on me between work and home.

    It's not easy to be me. I can make it look easy, but it is most definitely NOT. I have four children; two are in different schools, one of whom is special needs (did I even say that correctly?); and twin infants skating on the edge of toddlerhood. My brain is scrambled trying to organize everyone else's brains. It's tough, but it is what it is. My day doesn't end because the kids fall asleep; at any given moment, one of them can wake up, which usually happens daily (or should I say, nightly?).

    This week has broken my balls. I am as exhausted as I've ever been and that's saying a lot. I'm running on fumes just to get by and I don't like it. I feel like I'm falling apart, or will at any moment. I need the weekend to recharge so I can be my best at whatever I'm doing. Is it June yet?

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Family Updates...

    *Leia is trying to climb out of her playpen and is the fussiest baby we have ever had. Seriously.

    *Liesl stood in her crib for the first time yesterday and she is possibly the best and easiest baby we've ever had. If she had been born first, we would've thought parenthood was too easy.

    *Jack is testing his boundaries at school now. Enough said.

    *Liv enjoys playdates at other people's houses, without us, now. She's such a big girl now.

    *I went to Liv's open house at her school yesterday evening. I found out that my ex-fiance's nephew is in her class, which means he lives close to us. Talk about an awkward moment of silence. What does one do when it's possible the two kids might actually become friends? It's quite a small world.

    *I have Jack's open house at his school tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing how the other half lives. Nothing will surprise me.

    *I've had two great nights of sleep followed by two very good hair days. I just jinxed it. Yep.

    On that note, that is all, my friends. Is it Friday yet? Or June? Life sure is hectic these days. With four kids, every day is bound to be like that. Heh.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Dinner Time...

    This is what happens at our house during dinner time when Leia and Liesl have raised hell all day long. And, no, we don't drug them! We get to eat in peace and quiet...IF we eat quickly enough. Cat naps don't last long in our house.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    The Preschool Plague...

    I guess I should be calling it something else now, since Jack is in Kindergarten and Liv is the only one in Preschool now. Whatever I call it, it has infected this entire house. And no one is getting much sleep because of it, unless you count the dog. At least SHE sleeps and isn't sick. Other than that, everyone has a touch of this bug, in one way or another.

    I guess I don't have it as bad as all the kids and Hubby. Perhaps it's because I have to go to work and maybe I'm just not paying much attention to being sick. I figured it was my allergies. It's not the same for everyone, I guess. Plus, I don't really have any time to be sick. It'll hit me hard when everyone else is better. Isn't that what always happens to Mama?

    Jack is a royal mess. When he gets sick, it's like the sky has fallen for him. He's completely out of sorts. Liv just sleeps. Leia and Liesl are boogery messes and they hate getting their noses wiped. Oddly enough, though, they don't really mind the booger sucker. Liesl sleeps much better than Leia when they're sick. Leia still thinks it's playtime from 2am-4:30am, even when she's sick. It's driving us mad!

    And Hubby has to take care of all these sick kids while I'm at work, which is not an easy task, especially because he is sick, too.

    The School Plague is alive and kicking in this house. I wish it didn't make itself so welcome here. All we really want to is sleep, for a change. That would be nice. Gah!

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    My Right Hand...

    He's my right hand.
    He's the one who sacrificed his own career to stay home and care for our four children while I'm at work.
    He cleans, he cooks, he does laundry, he does the landscaping,...basically, he does everything.
    He even makes homemade babyfood.
    He kisses boo-boos, he mends garments, and he makes sure the cars are kept on a maintenance schedule.
    He washes the dog, he vacuums nearly every day, and he keeps the house in tip-top order when I'm gone.
    He is an amazing father to our four children.
    He anticipates everyone's needs.
    He is my husband.

    And he's always going to make sure I remember that he's younger (by 7.5 months, big deal) than I am!

    I love you, Hubby! Happy Birthday!

    Sunday, September 12, 2010


    Leia Belle with her curly blonde mop of hair and her ocean blue eyes

    Liesl Marion with her straight dark hair and lupine gray eyes
    I can't believe my beauties are going to be one year old in less than a month. Oh, how I love my baby girls so much!

    Saturday, September 11, 2010


    The other day, one of the babies had an explosive shit. I don't remember which baby did it because, frankly, the days blend around here. Well, while Hubby was changing her, some of the poop got on his hand. I had to laugh because he absolutely hates when that happens, due to his germophobia. Quickly, he changed her diaper, threw it out, and all was well again.

    Later on in the day, as he was smoothing out his beard and his mustache, he couldn't figure out why he kept smelling poo everywhere he went. Every single room smelled like shit. It wasn't until he realized that he had forgotten to wash his hands, that the smell was coming from his beard! Having forgotten to clean the poop off his hand from the earlier diaper change, and after all the obsessive, frequent smoothing out of his beard and mustache with his fingers, he'd actually wound up inadvertently wiping the poo all over his face.

    For a germophobe, that is pure hell. Heh. When he told me the story, I told him that this was totally blogable. He did NOT like that I was going to let the world know about his little poo mishap. I'm sorry, Dear. It's just TOO funny for me to keep to myself.

    I wonder how many other men have done this. I bet most of them would never admit it. I, on the other hand, think it's hysterical! It gives the word, "shitfaced," a totally new meaning for me. Heh. I'm in trouble now and I don't care.

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Could It Be?...

    It's finally here! It's Friday! I thought it would never come!

    Enough said. Heh.

    Thursday, September 09, 2010


    I'm still getting my bearings since going back to work. I feel pulled in so many directions lately. Home. Kids. Work. I'm trying to keep everyone's heads, plus my own, from exploding since all of our routines have changed. And with change, brings behavior everyone. It's the normal ebb and flow that a new routine brings.

    It's not easy, but we're doing it, one day at a time. If I think too far ahead, I just get overwhelmed. So, today I will focus on TODAY. Tomorrow is a whole other animal.

    Is it Friday yet?

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010

    First Day...

    In a nutshell, Liv threw a fit at school because one of her friends was playing a game by herself and didn't want to play with her at that very moment. So, Liv took a basket of poker chips and dumped them all over the floor. When her teacher came to let her know she needed to pick them up, Liv gave her the cold shoulder and got sassy with Hubby. It was not pretty. And just as quickly as it came, her tornado ended and she was happy again. Such is the life of a four-year-old.

    Jack's first day was great, according to his Kindergarten teacher, who I emailed. She replied quickly, too, which is nice. She even gave us her direct line to call her in the classroom. I'm surprised he had a great day because he's in a very cramped classroom, which two teachers are sharing, and all of their belongings are packed and stacked around. They're waiting for the new building to be completed so they can move there. The Pre-K and Kindergarteners will be moving to the new facility. The classroom, however, is hell. Jack, my little genius, is in a room with kids who flap their hands, wear diapers, and rock. Some kids are giants compared to him; some are a real mess. It's hard for me to understand why he's in the same room as kids who are on the extreme end of the spectrum. This boy navigates around websites, spells words, can master computer programs/games, and is very verbal; he's just socially behind, but certainly not cognitively. I don't get it.

    And don't even get me started on the school bus situation. The bus company STILL has Jack listed as being picked up at 7:45am, even though his session doesn't even start until noon. Fucking incompetence! And it's a blame game between the school and the bus company. Ridiculous. He IS, however, on the bus to come home now, which he will board at 2:45pm. Amen. This week will be a little rough, as the whole school system adjusts to a new school year.

    I'm frazzled. And I have my own classes to deal with, as well. My classes are good ones. My homeroom is a talkative bunch and my honors class is such a joy. Both groups are good kids. It's the first day, though. And the honeymoon period lasts about two weeks, so we'll see where we're at in two weeks. Heh.

    I just want Jack and Livie to have a great, productive school year. And I want to get Jack the hell out of that classroom and school after this year is over. He needs to go back to his previous school, where everything was rainbows and unicorns...and kids didn't have to practically sit on each other's laps. Plus, the last thing I want him doing is imitating his classmates and bringing home new habits he doesn't have, such as flapping, pissing himself, and grunting. I'd take him out tomorrow, but his previous school doesn't have a kindergarten special education program, so they can't service all of his needs. He's at the next closest place that does. I'll know more when I go to the Open House on the 16th. I'll know what I need to know once I walk in and see it for myself.

    God help me.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2010


    Today is Jack's first day of Kindergarten at a new school, apart from Livie, and he'll go there on a school bus.

    My nerves are rattling. I'm so anxious about his first day being a good one. I won't be there to see him off because I'll be at work. It is this that pains me the most. I'm doing a good job not letting him see just how apprehensive I am about all of this. I hope he adjusts well in the next couple of weeks.

    My little guy...going to school without me...I just want to cry. I'm scared for him. I'm hoping he surprises me, like he always does, and has more fun than I could imagine. Fingers crossed.

    Monday, September 06, 2010

    Pain And No Pain...

    I am pleased to say that the warm olive oil I put in Jack's ear Saturday night was successful! I was able to clean out a lot of the stuff that leaked out while he was sleeping. (I didn't do it while he was sleeping, as strange as the previous sentence sounded.) Jack even slept till after 9am Sunday morning, which is a rarity around here. I never heard him get up Saturday night and neither did Hubby. It was probably the best sleep he's had in a week! And he never complained about any pain at all Sunday. I'm so happy about that. No pain for him...finally!

    Yesterday, I cleaned all my crystal, my cobalt blue glassware, and all my pretties. I was able to consolidate two of my china cabinets into one larger one. My brother and Hubby put one of the china cabinets in the alley and one of them in the basement for Hubby to use for his memorabilia. My Mom gave me her old china cabinet, which is beautiful, and it held all my pretty stuff without a problem. My Dad and my brother loaded their cars with the "new" china cabinet and brought it over so I could put it in our living room. Oh, is it gorgeous! I feel so accomplished from getting so much done. My feet, on the other hand, are killing me and I'm wearing ankle braces on both feet. The pain is incredible. Better me than Jack.

    Nevertheless, I can sit in my living room and look at all my beautiful stuff now. I was able to get so much organizing and purging done. I can't believe I did it all in one day! Of course, I'm beat tired now, but it was so, so worth it. Thank goodness I've got the day off today. I need to recover.

    Sunday, September 05, 2010

    What Did You Say?...

    Jack's been battling ear pain for the last five days. He would tell me that his neck hurts, then he would tell me that his right ear hurts. He went to the doctor on Friday, got a bunch of wax taken out, but nothing else was wrong with it. The wax kept building up and as it did so, it would pull the hair in his ear while it hardened, making it very painful for him. His throat looked fine, too. I'm thinking he has terrible allergies this time of year, so maybe the pressure from his sinuses is also contributing to the ear pain.

    Yesterday morning, he had quite a bit of blood in his ear that looked like it was recent; not fresh and bright, but recent. I opened a fresh bottle of nasal saline and put some on a Q-Tip. I gently cleaned out the blood that I could see. I'm guessing that it was from the wax/hair that was pulled out from it, since there was no perforation in the ear drum at all. I've been giving him Tylenol and Motrin for the pain. I also tried a few drops of warm olive oil in his ear, hoping it will loosen up any other wax inside there. At the very least, maybe the oil will loosen the hairs from whatever wax is leftover.

    My poor boy. Let's hope the pain subsides by Tuesday so he can have a great first day at school.

    Saturday, September 04, 2010

    Work & More Work...

    I had such a great summer that I actually forgot how hard it was to WORK and come home and WORK. Planning and preparing for the school year has been hard these last three days. We have a new lesson plan format that is pretty intense. It took me two days to do a week's worth of lessons. Normally, with the previous format, I could squeeze out a month of lesson planning in just a day because it was a format we'd been using for years; it became second nature to me. Now, I found that it took me a lot longer than it used to. Once I find my groove, though, there will be no stopping me. Heh. Change is not a bad thing at all.

    Burning my brains at work and then coming home to the children to mediate, console, cuddle, feed, bathe, etc. It's exhausting! I forgot what it was like to be a full-time working Mother.

    I'm so glad it's a three-day weekend! I'm beat and I haven't even met my students yet! Yikes! It's going to be just fine, I think. It's always rough the first two weeks. Coming home is always nice. I just have to remember to put my Mommy Hat on when I get in the car to come home.

    Friday, September 03, 2010

    Fried Day...

    No pun intended with the title of this post. No, really. My brain is seriously fried from thinking so much over the past three days. I have so much lesson planning to do, so much collaboration, so much creating. My brain is seriously the consistency of a fried egg today. It is Fried Day, after all. Duh.

    On that note, I need to go plan some quality lessons for my students folks. I don't remember it ever being painful for my head, though. Yikes! At least my brain is getting some good exercise, right? Heh.

    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    My Internal Alarm Works, After All...

    Oddly enough, yesterday I woke up instantly at 5:26am, four minutes before my alarm was supposed to ring. I guess my internal alarm was working. I didn't wake up any of the kids, either. That was a good way to start the day. The worst possible thing that could've happened was if my alarm rang and woke up all four kids. Hubby would've been really pissed and I would've been rushing around trying to make everyone happy just so I could take a shower and get ready for work and not be late. Well, that didn't happen, so I was pleased with how my day started.

    Jack, of course, woke up right after I did. He's my painfully early riser. Heh. Like me, he's quite a morning person. Livie woke up at 6:30am, but I'm surprised she didn't sleep later than that. I guess we're all getting into a new routine because school starts next week. Leia got up at 7am, even though she was up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, just messing around in her crib. At least she wasn't fussing. That would've been a problem. Liesl was the only one I didn't see before I left for work. She's my late sleeper.

    My first day back at work wasn't painful, but it wasn't painless, either. I missed my kids...a lot. And I'm going to continue to miss them every single day. I guess that's part of Motherhood; separation hurts at any age. Hubby takes great care of them when I'm at work, so I'm fortunate.

    Today is a new day. I'm hoping it's a good one. I have so much preparation and work to do. Ugh. I miss my summer vacation.

    *Sniff, sniff, sigh*

    Wednesday, September 01, 2010

    Time To Make The Donuts...

    Alas, I am going back to work in a few short hours, after the most glorious summer of my entire life. My body may be at work, but my heart will be at home. Always.

    I'm just not into it this year...not yet, at least.

    I miss all four of my kids already and I haven't even left the house yet. It's going to be a long day. I'll leave at 7:30am and I'll get home at 3:30pm. I'm glad I get home early enough where I'll actually be able to spend time with all the kids before they go to bed. I'm lucky to have a husband who sacrificed his own career to be a stay-at-home Dad. I'm sad about the things I'll miss out on with the babies while I'm at work. I'm sad that I won't get to see Jack off to the school bus next week for his first day at a new school.

    I don't want to go. I have to make money, which keeps the roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, health insurance, and food in the fridge. If I never had to work ever again, I wouldn't. I would totally give my advanced degree up just to stay home with my kids and my husband. Oh, to win the lottery would be a blessing, but I have a better chance of dying in a plane crash or getting kicked in the head by a donkey.

    It's always hard going back to work after summer vacation. When I didn't have kids, it was no big deal. Now that I'm a Mother, it hurts and stings like you wouldn't believe. Sure, I'll probably fall right back into the swing of things and establish a new routine quickly. It doesn't matter, though. My kids are always, always on my mind.