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Taking one day at a time...

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  • Saturday, April 30, 2011

    Warming Up...

    Finally, we have some warm weather we can enjoy today! It'll be in the mid-70's today and we plan on being outside with the kids all day, unless it rains. We've had so much rain lately, too. I'm hoping we don't have to deal with rain until the kids are all in bed.

    I need to make sure I take some great pictures of the kids. I need to send some to my sister and replace the pictures in my house with more current ones of my little army.

    I'm so glad it's Saturday. I just wish the weekends lasted longer. It won't be much longer, though, before I'm home for the summer. It's going to be a busy one for us. Yay!

    That's it for today. I don't have too much to say. In the words of Livie, "Blah, blah, blah." Gotta love her.

    Friday, April 29, 2011

    In My Next Life...

    I think in my next life, I'm going to be a storm chaser, chasing tornadoes around Tornado Alley. There is something so insane and alluring about it. Watching the latest footage of all these tornadoes has sparked a deathly curiousity in me. It is such a dangerous profession, so risky, so forbidden almost. And it doesn't pay much at all. It makes me wonder what these people are thinking when they take off after Mother Nature's fury. It's got to be exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Talk about an adrenaline rush!

    Whenever I can catch an episode of tornado chasers on the Weather Channel, I love to watch it. I can totally see myself doing that. I don't have the guts to do it in this life, plus I have way too many responsibilities. In my next life, though, I'm going to be one of them.

    And if I can't be one of them, then I'll be the tornado they're chasing. Now THAT would be fun!

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    We Love Birthdays!...

    Today is my Brother's birthday! It's also my Mother-in-Law's birthday! Yay! I like how two very important people in my life have the same birthday. I am grateful for having both of them in my life and my children's lives. They are essential figures in our family. I can only hope that everyone has people like them in their lives. They are more than just family to us all; they each hold a part of our hearts.

    Happy Birthday!

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Keeping Each Other In Check...

    This picture totally reminds me of Leia chasing Liesl all over the house, except without the mad face. The girls are forever tackling each other these days. Leia thinks it's funny to play rough. Liesl is amused by it, most of the time, but when she's fed up with it, she sure lets the whole world know. Sometimes, though, it's the other way around when Leia takes one of Liesl's toys; Liesl gets pretty upset about it and if she can't catch Leia, she throws a fit. Both girls have become very, very good at throwing tantrums. They're perfecting that skill, actually.

    Oh, the joys of having twins! They're keeping me young while making me feel old at the same time.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Hurry Up & Stop...

    There's so much to write about. I don't know where to begin, so I'll bullet the main things.

    *Liv's teacher was so impressed with how seriously she took her spring break project. She sent home a really big glass jar for Liv to keep adding to her project because Liv had so much fun doing it. Liv had made an, "I Can Do It," jar that we kept filling every day with lots of things she knows how to do. Now she has an even BIGGER jar to fill and I'm sure she'll keep it up. It made her feel so proud of herself.

    *Liv also shared her "Naked Egg" science project that we did over the break. She explained what was needed (a ziploc bag, one egg, and vinegar), why and how the vinegar eats off the egg's shell, and how long it took. She loved doing the science project. It wasn't something she had to do for school; it was just something I thought she'd have some fun doing and she sure did. She was dying to show it to her friends, too. She explained the whole process to her teachers, who were quite impressed that she knew that vinegar is a mild acid. Heh.

    *Jack had a great first day back at school after spring break. His annual review for his IEP is next week. We look forward to participating. My plan is to transfer him back to our home school (same as Liv's school) this summer so that he can attend there in the fall. While his current school is okay (nothing can ever compare to his awesome home school), he was really only there because his home school didn't have the services he needed (small class size Kindergarten). I'll be glad when they both go to the same school. Less running around and no waiting for the bus to pick him up and drop him off. I'm hoping for great things in his future.

    *Leia is teaching Liesl how to be grouchy and throw tantrums. Liesl has the best teacher for it. Gah!

    *Everyone pitched in and got my mother-in-law a Nook Color for her birthday. I can't wait to show her all the things she can do with it!

    *We've reserved our weeks for vacation, making sure they don't interfere with my classes, Jack's Day Camp, or Liv's gymnastics. It wasn't easy.

    *I'm looking forward to getting our pool. I never had a big pool as a kid and it's something I think our whole family will enjoy. Yay!

    *I will go back to my gyne for a follow-up on the benign breast cysts in three months, just as a precaution. Hooray for having an excellent doctor!

    *My students are having some fun designing Power Points of their poetry. It's our culminating activity that celebrates National Poetry Month (April). I can't wait to see them present them!

    *Hubby is back to the daily grind of juggling the schedules of the whole family while I'm at work. In eight weeks, I'll be home for the summer. This school year just can't end fast enough!

    And that is all, for now. Am I busy enough yet?

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Time To Make The Donuts Again...

    Today's my first day back at work and the kids' first day back at school after Spring Break. Ugh. It was hard trying to wake up this morning. I was so used to not having to set the alarm.

    We had a great staycation, though. We spent a lot of quality time together doing fun things. It was great to have that. Now, though, we have to go back to our "normal" routine, which isn't going to be so easy. There are only eight weeks of school left, so it should be a breeze for all of us, I hope.

    By the time the school year is over, we'll have to start adjusting to another routine. I love change. Change is good.

    Now, it's time to sail into the end of the school year at full speed. It's been a helluva year and, like my kids, I'm ready for summer.

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Overdosing On Peeps...

    Have a Happy Easter!

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Heaven Has Another Angel...

    She wasn't sick for long, but the cancer was too aggressive for her to fight. She did, however, put up one helluva fight and worked until the very end, even while she went through chemotherapy. I wrote about her a couple of weeks ago.

    I lost a dear friend to cancer the very day I found out that I didn't have the possibility of cancer in my breast. I can't help but think that she may have had a say in those results. Babs was an angel walking around earth disguised as a human being. We'd had our differences in the past, but we always figured out a way to agree to disagree. I respected her.

    Barbara was a gem. She was all piss and vinegar and she knew how to teach her special ed students well. She was outspoken, captivating, and highly intelligent on so many levels. She was an expert gardener, too; I have seeds of cinnamon basil that she'd given me. I grew them last year and then harvested the seeds from the abundance of what grew in my yard. I will plant those every year in honor of her. She'd taught in several countries and worked a classroom like no one I've ever seen. She was an incredible woman the world will truly miss. She affected many lives for the better.

    Babs told me Jack was my next biggest project with his piano playing after she saw the video of him playing. She told me that he would be doing great things with his life and with music. I can't help but think she was able to foresee things as she was on the edge of death.

    I'm truly going to miss her. I've never met anyone like her and no one will ever fill her shoes. I can't believe she's gone, but I'm so glad she doesn't have to suffer anymore. She lived a full life and we should all hope to leave this world being able to say that.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Peace Of Mind...

    Last week, I discovered a lump in my left breast. I called my gyne right away and got an appointment to see him this past Tuesday. He didn't seem to think it was anything to worry about, but he ordered a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound for it. Yesterday, I had the two tests and was pleased to find out that the cysts (I only felt one, but there are actually three) are completely benign. The staff at the Women's Imaging Center in the hospital were so wonderful to me. I've never been treated better. My mammogram was completely painless and nothing like what I'd read about; I had no pain or discomfort whatsoever.

    It goes with the territory, though. After nursing four children, these fluid-filled cysts are bound to happen and especially at my age. They also may come and go with my menstrual cycle. I didn't tell anyone about it, not even my husband. I only told him that I needed to go for the tests and he pretty much pried it out of me. I didn't want to worry anyone because everyone in my family is so busy worrying about everyone else's health issues. I didn't want my concerns to become everyone else's concerns, so I didn't say anything. If there was something to be concerned about, however, I most definitely would've told them. I had to make sure there was no reason for concern before I opened my mouth about it.

    The last ten days were hell for me because I was worried and the Internet does not help. Every site you go to with questions winds up giving you horror stories for answers. I'm glad I got the answers I needed by going to the doc and getting the tests done right away, no matter how apprehensive I was about it.

    I have peace of mind now, and that's a very powerful thing.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Interesting Fact About Me...

    Universal Life Church  ULC

    I am a non-denominational ordained minister. Betcha didn't know that one. Heh.

    A couple months ago, I became one through the Universal Life Church online. I can marry you, baptize you, and do anything else a "man" of the cloth would do (except molest you).

    What interesting fact about yourself do YOU want to share? I dare you.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Chunky Monkey Legs...

    Healthy babies!

    At yesterday's doctor appointment, Liesl measured at a whopping 32" and 24lbs8oz. Leia weighed in at 23lbs10oz. and is 30.5" tall. Again, as usual, their measurements are right on par with each other. Liesl has always been the bigger of the two, but Leia is quite the bruiser.

    Leia screamed and cried the whole time she was in the doctor's office; Liesl was as charming as she could ever be. Usually, it's the other way around in different situations. Both of them got two shots (a 4-in-1 that included the DTP and others, and their last Hep A). I postponed their MMR until they are 2 years old and the doc didn't give me a hard time about it. Thank goodness! After having one kid on the autism spectrum whose symptoms just happened to manifest immediately after the MMR, who can blame me for postponing it? The doc doesn't believe there's a correlation between the vaccine and autism, but I do. I've lived it.

    Liesl and Leia were walking around the waiting room before we got in the exam room and I stepped back to think... This was actually the first doctor visit where both girls were walking on their own. It was quite a teary moment for me, as I realized that they will actually be two years old in less than six months. Didn't I just give birth to these girls? How can they be getting so big so fast? Yeesh. I don't ever remember it going this fast with the other two kids.

    Their next visit is in six months. By then, I'll really feel old. They are the last of my offspring, after all.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Mr. Doctor...

    Liv went for her 5yo physical yesterday. She has grown so much in the last year. Actually, compared with Jack, the two of them are both tall and skinny kids. A year ago, Liv was 37lbs. and 41" tall. Yesterday, we found out that she's 41.5lbs. and 44" tall now. That kid grew like a weed in the last year. And since Hubby took her to the doctor, she did not sass him one bit. A couple weeks ago, I took Liv and Jack in because their ears hurt and the doc discovered they had ear infections. An ear infection most definitely did not stop Liv from sassing the doctor then, telling him that SHE is going to be a doctor, calling him "Mr. Doctor;" accusing him of eating his lunch in that exam room at that stainless steel table in there; telling him exactly what she thinks he eats for lunch (a ham sandwich, a bowl of blueberries, a cupcake, and a juice box, to be exact). Oh, yeah. That kid's a riot. The doctor had told me his wished there was a vaccine for silliness; I told him beer would do the trick, but not for her...for us. Hubby can take her to the doctor all he wants; she seems to prefer him to take her, telling me that he's much better at it than I am. Whatever. That's Liv for ya. I'm just glad she didn't pull that "Mr. Doctor" shit with her father there. I remember at Jack's 6yo physical a couple months ago, he'd gained five pounds in one year! He and Liv are pretty close in weight now, with her being a half-pound heavier, unless he's miraculously gained a pound in the last two months. He's still at least an inch taller than Liv right now. By looking at the two of them together, you'd think they were twins! Liesl and Leia will go in for their 18mo. physicals this morning. This past January, Liesl was 31.5" tall and weighed 22lbs.10oz. Leia was 30" tall and weighed 22lbs.6oz. They were within 4oz. of each other. Even when they were born, Liesl was the taller and heavier of the two. Leia has always been my little runt, but she has a much more fierce personality. Leia is my bear and Liesl is my sweetheart. They couldn't be more opposite. I'm looking forward to seeing how much they've grown in the last three months. Also, I'm going to be extra pleased to let their doc know that they are walking very well now and there won't be any need for PT. Thank goodness! As for their MMR that I postponed in January, I'm still going to postpone it until they are both 2yo. It's what my gut is telling me to do and I know better than to not follow my instincts. I can't believe my children are so big now and I'm really glad that I've always blogged about their doctor visits and milestones. It makes trying to remember all of their ages at those milestones much easier because I can just look it up on here.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    The Vault...

    I have a vault inside my head where I keep some secrets locked away. There is not one single person that knows everything about me or everything I know. I like it that way. There are some things you just know you'll take to your grave. Some of those secrets may be your own; some may belong to others. My vault is pretty secure; even I forget the combination sometimes.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Looking Ahead...

    Today is a jammie day for me. I love days like that. I actually got to sleep late yesterday; getting up at 7:30am was a real treat! I'm hoping this spring break starts off on the right foot. Although, Jack and Liesl don't seem to be feeling to well. Go figure. Jack and Liv just got off their antibiotics a couple days ago, but Jack seems sick again. Poor guy has the wiggly poos, which doesn't happen too often. And Liesl is a boogery mess again. At first, I thought it was just allergies for Jack and Liesl. Now, I'm not so sure. Whatever it is that is going around, I hope the rest of us don't get it. That would NOT be how I'd like to spend my spring break. Hubby is taking Liv for her 5yo physical tomorrow morning. I'm taking Liesl and Leia for their 18mos physical on Tuesday morning, then to a yearly gyne appointment for myself in the afternoon. That's the extent of must-do's I have for this week. The rest of the week is wherever the wind takes us. I'm hoping it's a good week for everyone I love. Have a great Sunday!

    Saturday, April 16, 2011


    OMG. It's never felt so good to be on spring break. It felt like to took forever to get here. Yeesh. I know most school systems have already had their spring break, many weeks ago. Well, now we're having ours. It's about time. I'm going to have several jammie days, make brownies, relieve Hubby of his daily kid duties some of the time, maybe clean out a few closets, and try to sleep late a few days. That's my plan. I don't need to worry about any lesson planning because the next month of lessons is already done. I don't fuck around. I didn't want to come home with homework to do, so I made sure I wouldn't have any. Shit...once we come back from spring break, there are only eight weeks of school left. WTF?! I could've used this respite weeks ago, but I'll take it. Better late than never. Now, I just need to sit back and enjoy it. And, believe me, I am.

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Is It Time Yet?...

    Okay, folks. I'm chomping at the bit here. At 2:45pm, I will officially FINALLY be on spring break. This has got to be the latest spring break I've ever had in 17 years of teaching. WTF?! At least, next year they've made if for the BEGINNING of April and not as late as this year. It's taken a long time to get here. I almost can't believe it's finally time to get a week off. Of course, when we go back we'll only have another eight weeks of school left. It's almost pointless to have a spring break at all, but I'll still take it. The countdown to the end of the school year will begin soon. I absolutely can't wait. It's been a very long year.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Clawing My Way Out...

    Yep. This is how I feel today. I'm just clawing my way out of myself. It might not make sense to you, but it does to me. Some days are like that, I guess.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Hump Day...

    It's Hump Day and I couldn't be happier. Spring break is almost here! Next week will probably fly by quickly, like it always does, so I'm going to make a mental note to savor every minute of it. Before I know it, summer will be here and that starts a whole other type of chaos. I'm taking a couple of classes this summer. Jack will be in day camp every day for six hours. Liv will be in gymnastics once a week and we're going to get a REAL swimming pool for our yard, which will probably wind up taking up the bulk of her week. There are vacations to plan, around my coursework, of course. There are closets to be cleaned, bedrooms to be switched, etc. It's going to be nuts around here in no time. So, I'm going to enjoy the calm before the storm. And I'm going to make sure there is plenty of emergency chocolate stashed all over the house. I'm going to need it.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Hurry Up & Slow Down...

    I've been putting together a laundry list of things I need to do next week during our spring break. And the list just keeps getting longer. Sigh. What I'd really like to do is wake up late everyday, stay in my jammies, go slow, and play with my kids all day long. Why I feel compelled to do house stuff is beyond me. I just want to enjoy my little break. The school year will be over in no time, about two months, and I'll have all summer to do stuff. Right now, however, I just want to get through this week, which is no small task when you're a teacher. Everyone is clawing at the walls, looking forward to spring break. And let me tell is much-needed. Hurry up, Week! Go by quickly!

    Monday, April 11, 2011


    What an unbelievable weekend! So much fun! We had Liv's 5th birthday party on Saturday and then we went to their friend's birthday party on Sunday at an inflatables place. I've never seen so many bouncy houses in one place. All four kids had a blast! Mama and Papa are very tired, however, and understandably so. Heh. I have to work late today, too. In fact, Monday through Thursday are the days I'm doing my afterschool program and I won't get home until 5pm, give or take a few minutes. While that's not really "working late" to some of you, it is to me, especially since I usually get home at 3:30pm. So, it's going to be a long week for me. Next week, however, is our spring break. It's about time, right? You've probably already had yours, like most school systems I know. I, for one, couldn't be happier about it. It's been a long time coming. This week will be long, though, because everyone's jonesing to leave for some respite. It is much needed for everyone, students and teachers, alike. Have a great week!

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    One Very Busy Weekend...

    We had a great birthday party for Liv yesterday. Today, we have a birthday party to go to for one of the kids' friends, who also came to Liv's party yesterday. It's at a popular inflatables place not too far from us. It's going to be C-R-A-Z-Y! I know how Jack gets with inflatables. Heh. It exhausts the bejeezus out of him. The babies are going to LOVE it and so will Liv. We're going to have a blast. It's for less than two hours, so I think it's doable with all four kids. It should be very interesting and a whole lot of fun! What a busy weekend it has been! I'll be so glad to get into bed early tonight. No joke.

    Saturday, April 09, 2011

    A Perfect Day...

    Today is Liv's 5th birthday party! Lots of fun will be had. Food will be consumed and fun will be on the agenda. The weather is going to be wonderful. She's sporting her first manicure and pedicure, courtesy of her cousin Stefi (my niece Blondie), which she is so happy about. Livie looks absolutely unbelievably happy. Jack and I woke her up yesterday morning, singing "Happy Birthday" to her. She yawned and stretched and said, "This is the best morning ever!" That made my day. And Leia told her, "Happy Birthday," which is awesome! It's going to be yet another great day around here.

    I can't ask for a better day! Yay!

    Friday, April 08, 2011

    Happy 5th Birthday, Liv!

    I can't believe Livie is five years old today. We're going to have a wonderful birthday weekend. I decorated the house last night while she was asleep, so she could wake up surprised by it all. It's going to be a magical day for her!

    Happy Birthday, my sweet Liv! We are so lucky you are in our lives.

    Thursday, April 07, 2011

    Winning & Losing...

    I've decided to take on six extra hours of after school work a week (2:45-4:15pm). It's going to be money in the bank, which is something we could use. Of course, it's bittersweet. Everything comes with a price. Four days a week, I'm hoping the latest I get home is 5pm, not my usual 3:30pm. Leia goes to bed at 6pm and so does Jack. Liesl goes to bed at 7pm and Liv follows her at 7:30pm. I'll see my kids less, which sucks. And by the time I get home, Hubby will be a worn out nub of a human being. He's not too happy about the extra hours I'm working, even though it means money in the bank. He thinks he'll go nuts being home with the kids longer than usual; he looks forward to the relief of me being there and I can't say I blame him. I think he'll be fine, though. It's an adjustment we all have to make and it's not forever. It's just for now, but it's easy for me to say that since I'm not the one who stays home with the kids. We win and we lose. While money is important, the extra hours are only until the first week of June and then it's over. This is temporary and it will only suck for a little while. Plus, it'll give us a little extra padding in the bank account. It'll cover my tuition this summer and a car payment or two, or it could be one mortgage payment and a car payment. Either way, it keeps us from dipping into our savings. Sometimes, you just have to make sacrifices for the greater good. I keep telling myself that, but I don't know if I believe it yet. I want to do the extra hours because I know what it means for us as a family. I just wish I didn't have to shortchange my kids on time with me, even if it is only for a short while. Damned if I do; damned if I don't.

    Wednesday, April 06, 2011

    Mow Start & Face Tobin...

    He calls them Mow Start & Face Tobin. We know what he means. He can sing them in perfect pitch and play a couple of their songs on the piano, self-taught. Sometimes it's just single-note melodies; sometimes it's actual chords. He just turned six years old. Ask him to sing some Schubert and he will. Ask him to identify who the composer is and he can tell you it's Bach. How many six-year-olds do YOU know that can do that? Mow Start & Face Tobin. We know he's talking about Mozart and Beethoven. And we watch with amazement when he plays Dvorak. That's my son. HFA isn't always a bad thing; with it comes great gifts and great struggles. I like to concentrate on the gifts or else the struggles can be overwhelming. I know that Jack is perfect just the way he is and he picked me to be his Mom. I couldn't be more grateful for what he's taught me, so far. And I know I have much, much more to learn. What a wonderful journey it can be!

    Tuesday, April 05, 2011


    Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister, Susan! How's THIS for a birthday cake?!

    We love you!

    Monday, April 04, 2011

    April Showers...

    ...bring the smell of wet dog in the house. Don't laugh; it's one of my favorite smells. Ahhhh, the weather is finally starting to warm up around here. It was seventy degrees when I put the kids to bed at 7:30pm last night. Of course, with this kind of weather we get pounded by rain. It's all good, though. We could use the rain. I'm just happy that we can go outside to play, go for walks, and get some fresh air in the house. We'll be airing out the winter germs 24/7 in no time. Spring is finally here! Yay!

    Sunday, April 03, 2011

    Beating The Deadline...

    One year, five months, two weeks, and five days...that's how long it took Leia to take her first independent steps. One year, five months, three weeks, and five days...that's how long it took Liesl to take her first independent steps. They started walking independently just one week within each other. Now, they're both unstoppable. And this is where the REAL fun begins. I'm just glad we won't have to schedule any physical therapy for either one of them. If they weren't walking by eighteen months, we would've had to go through physical therapy with them. Man, they sure know how to cut it close, don't they? I figured they'd be a little behind on gross motor skills, being twins born one month early and all. Fourteen days and sixteen days in the the NICU with feeding issues, it wasn't a surprise to me when they weren't walking at a year old. They sure did come close to the deadline, though. Yeesh. I wonder if this is in any way indicative of future events. Ha, these girls will be almost late to their own weddings, I bet. Heh. I'm just glad we can put that worry to rest. They're both walking before turning eighteen months old (which happens to be tomorrow). I'm definitely counting my blessings.

    Saturday, April 02, 2011


    I saw a friend of mine yesterday. I've worked with her for several years. She doesn't look good. She's an older woman who's spunky and spry; she looks like a cross between Sally Field and Charo, a beautiful woman who's taught in and out of the country. She's a gem in a classroom, teaches special education students, is a class act. She works her ass off and her students jump several grade levels in comprehension because of her every year. She's all piss and vinegar and I like that about her. She looks ill...more than ill. She looks like she's in the end stages of cancer. I've seen that look before and it's happened very quickly for her, just over the course of a few months. It makes me sad because she's a great lady. I knew it must be cancer when she started wearing a wig earlier in the school year. I suppose she wanted everyone to get used to seeing her new hairstyle before she even really needed it. She didn't say anything, but we all know. You can't mistake that look for anything other than what it is. A few weeks ago, I showed her the video of Jack playing the piano. She took a lot of joy in seeing it. She's lost her sparkle, though. She's lost a significant amount of weight and can't possibly weigh more than 80 pounds now. Her brown eyes are almost black now and she's quite addled, especially when on painkillers. Yesterday was the only day I've ever seen her heavily medicated. However, this woman had her daughter bring her to work at the end of the day just so she could put more grades in her gradebook and finalize her grades for the quarter. I don't know where she gets her strength, but she certainly has it. She smiled a big smile at me as I left work and I had such an ache in my heart about it. She's a tough cookie and we should all be so lucky to be so brave. I couldn't help feeling that it would be one of the last times I'd see her. I don't know why and I hope I'm very wrong. While we didn't always see eye to eye on everything, but we certainly forged a friendship despite our differences. I hope she can beat whatever demons her poor little body is battling. She has certainly made me reflect on the importance of embracing each day as a gift. I certainly hope she knows how many lives she has touched for the better. Mine is one of them.

    Friday, April 01, 2011

    Cinquains Of My Children...

    JackAlign Center

    quirky, affectionate

    jumping, singing, smiling

    oldest child of the family



    creative, confident

    talking, performing, dancing

    typical middle child



    fair-haired, strong

    climbing, walking, crying

    first twin born



    calm, beautiful

    toddling, sleeping, eating

    My Little Gaufrette