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Taking one day at a time...

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  • Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    What A Ride!...

    Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Yesterday's Pains...

    My neck is killing me. I woke up yesterday morning from the pain. I think I slept on it funny because when I woke up, I wasn't in a position that is normal for me. Advil barely touched the pain. And, frankly, I'm no better today, either. Gah!

    Jack finally broke down and went poo at school. He usually waits until he gets home to go, but he just couldn't hold it, so he went at school. Unfortunately, he didn't wipe himself well enough and he wound up with a sore butt. His poor little taint was an angry red. It's kind of funny to hear him say the word, "taint." At least he knows what it is now. Heh.

    Leia was a bear yesterday evening. I'm sure it's gastrointestinal issues. She had her dose of raisins today, just in case she's gets a belly ache from her hard turds. Poor baby. At the rate she's going, we'll never be able to take a holiday picture because she's always so fussy.

    Liv is a big ball of sass. Enough said. She can inflict pain on our ears, at times, simply because she's so LOUD when she's snarky. If she were quieter about it, it might be tolerable.

    Liesl is no pain at all...ever. She's as pleasant and docile and charming and sweet as ever. She makes up for her sisters.

    Yesterday was just one big pain after another. I'm hoping today is a better day. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to eat some Advil for breakfast.

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Look At Mom...

    I'm still trying to take that holiday picture of my four kids. I must've taken over a hundred pictures yesterday and there always seemed to be ONE kid who was just not cooperating. It's extremely hard to get all four kids to look straight into the camera and smile. I took a sweet picture with my phone a few days ago and I posted it here a few days back. I like that picture because it's so unrehearsed and genuine. Hubby doesn't like it because Liesl's eyes aren't open. He prefers a different picture that I took at the end of this summer. I'd rather do a new one.

    I'm totally fine with finding two separate pictures (one of Jack and Liv; one of Liesl and Leia) and putting them on our holiday card. It's doable and I have the pictures already. It's just not the same as getting all four in one frame. Sigh.

    I'm going to keep working on that. It'll happen when I least expect it, I'm sure.

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Because He Said So...

    We are sooooooooo resting today. We've been very busy since Thursday with nothing but wonderful family gatherings. However, today we will rest and we really, really need it.

    Last night when we got home, Jack asked me what tomorrow was. I told him that it was Sunday. He didn't even bat an eyelash before he instructed me that we would be staying home. I let him know I had no problem with that at all. Jack declared today an official Jammie Day. Smart kid.

    It's been so busy that we're all happy to have a day to just be and do nothing. I don't even plan on doing laundry or baking. We're just going to retreat to our own caves and chill out all day long. The next four weeks until Christmas Break are full, five-day weeks of work and school for us. It's going to be a rough month ahead.

    So, if you'll excuse me now, I'm going to lie down on my bed, turn on the Roku box, and watch some holiday movies with all of my kids. It's going to be a good day.

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    It Works...

    I live a chaotic life. Many people don't understand it and plenty would never be able to handle it. I love it, though. It is never, ever dull.

    I have four children between the ages of two and six years old. They all have different personalities and temperaments. Add two adults and a dog to the mix and you've got a recipe for excitement!

    Hubby is a Stay-at-Home-Dad and I work full-time as a teacher. It's an ideal situation, really. We're both very good at what we do. I get home early every day and when I do, Hubby gets his relief "pitcher." We've worked out a great system that is beneficial to all of us and we're able to live on my income solely. Sure, we've made sacrifices, but it beats having one of our paychecks go straight to daycare/aftercare for four children. That's ridiculous! Hubby is great at what he does, day in and day out. No one could ever do what he does. And as soon as I get into my car to come home, I take my Teacher Hat off and put on my Mommy Hat and I gear up for the demands of four children while I "decompress" on the way home. My day is nonstop, but it's always good.

    Some may think my life is overwhelming; at times, it can be. The pros always outweigh the cons, though. Some days are really great; some days are good; some days are ones we'd all like to do over. Isn't that how anyone's days can be? We're no different than anyone else; there are just more of us in this house.

    I am grateful for every single one of my children and the joys they bring me each day. I am lucky to have a full house with such amazing kids that keep my heart and soul young. They can be challenging and demanding, but they are always the reason I wake up every morning. I'll never take that for granted.

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    Medicine For My Soul...

    Little by little, I'm getting our holiday decorations put up. I can't go hog wild, though, because Liesl and Leia are so curious about what the heck I'm doing to the house. They are two years old, after all, so they have brains that are working overtime, plotting world domination.

    I put up lights inside the house, around the windows. I'm wondering how long it will be before the little ones mess with them. So far, Liesl keeps trying to blow them out, as if they were birthday candles. It's kinda cute watching her do it. Leia is just fascinated by it all. Both girls are going to shit in their pants when they see the Christmas tree go up and get decorated. I'm looking forward to that very much. It's the first "conscious" Christmas the girls will experience. They couldn't possibly remember last year's holiday because they were still so little, not even walking yet. This year, they'll actually appreciate all the hullaballoo. Jack and Liv love decorating. They give me the orders and I do all the work.

    I'm really excited this holiday season! All four of my kids are full of joy, wonder, and awe. Just watching them sing and dance to holiday music is all the medicine my heart and soul will ever need.

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Gobble, Gobble...

    Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone! And don't do gross things to birds in your kitchen!

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Just An Idea...

    I can't believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Wasn't I just dreading the beginning of the school year because I'd miss my kids so much after our wonderful summer together? Yeesh. It seems as if the older I get, the faster time flies right past me. Bleh.

    I've been toying with the idea of having a professional portrait taken of the kids for our holiday cards. It's expensive, though. And since we just plunked down almost two grand to fix one of our cars, it's not like I can just make an appointment for a sitting. I guess I'll just take the picture myself; I have an awesome camera, after all. They don't usually turn out too bad. I just wish I could get a professional portrait one of these days. I don't know how people afford to do it regularly just to mark milestones. That can be so costly. Maybe I'm just looking at the wrong places, but Target seemed awfully expensive to me.

    I guess I should get on that photo sometime soon. I'm sure by the time I take a decent picture (that will no doubt take eighty photos to get) the kids will look different once the cards get mailed. It never fails. They grow up so fast, even faster as I age. Sigh...

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Most Days Are Good...

    Yep, some days it sure feels like that. Most days are good, but some days are just tough. I wouldn't trade any of those days for anything in the world, though. I love my children.

    I think the look on the woman's face in the picture is funny. She has that just-discovered-crystal-meth look goin' on, but her teeth aren't missing...yet. Heh.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Snips & Snails...

    I knew the day was coming. I just didn't know when it would happen. Everyone has done it before, even if our parents disapprove at the time. It's one of those inevitable childhood incidents that most of us have school pictures to prove for our adventures.

    Yes, Jack finally cut his own hair. He's always been pretty good with scissors. He's careful and meticulous with his cutting and always cleans up his mess immediately. Unfortunately, he decided to take that craftsmanship to his own head. It doesn't look that bad, but he has two bald spots on top that are pretty obvious. Luckily, he got a haircut recently. Had he done this prior to his haircut, it would've looked ridiculously obvious and I would've had to give him a baldy sour myself.

    Livie did the same thing a few weeks ago and got grounded from the scissors for a week. I'm just glad he didn't cut Liesl or Leia's hair. That really would've given me the gun-in-my-mouth blues.

    And just think...I have two more kids who will no doubt do the same thing someday. The fun just never ends around here. Heh.

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    The Butterfly...

    I often think of this and smile because it makes so much sense to me. At times, I think it was written with me in mind. Heh.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Apps On The Brain...

    Well, I got my iPhone 4S yesterday and there's no turning back. I've already put a dozen autism apps on it for Jack and some sight words flashcards. I'm still looking through all the apps. It feels like I didn't sleep at all last night. I think I dreamt about apps.

    I've got apps on the brain. It looks like I'm going to be a very, very busy bee if I wasn't busy before. Yeesh. I've got to get the hang of this phone now and I won't rest until I do. It's my nature.

    Blackberry just lost two more customers.

    Friday, November 18, 2011


    Hubby got me a 4S iPhone for Christmas. Currently, I have a Blackberry that I've had for years. I really like the full keyboard on it and I'm not sure how I'll get used to using an iPhone. I'm by no means ungrateful; I'm just not good with this kind of change. I was comfortable and now I'm going to be out of my comfort zone.

    Lots of people love their iPhones. It's something I'm definitely going to have to get used to using. I'm sure that after a while I'll probably love it. I'm just really going to miss my Blackberry. She was good to me.

    What's the big deal about iPhones anyway? Why does everyone seem to have them? I'm just curious about what I'm going to be throwing myself into. Soooooo nervous. It's change, after all.

    Thursday, November 17, 2011


    I went to pick up the kids' report cards yesterday and was very happy with their progress. Both of them had very good reports. Jack is doing a phenomenal job (so much so that we need to revisit and rewrite his IEP goals in all areas to reflect his current strengths/weaknesses and get rid of his behavior plan because he doesn't have any behavior issues anymore!) and Liv is adjusting very well to kindergarten. Both of them have done an incredible job!

    I am so happy with how everything has turned out, so far. Everything said was positive, upbeat, and wonderful. I couldn't be more pleased.

    Excuse me while I gush...and gloat (a little). Heh.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    In Twenty Years...

    Something to definitely live by...

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011


    I am thankful for...

    ...a husband who cooks, does laundry, and cleans the house
    ...healthy, happy, smart, good looking children
    ...a career I love
    ...a supportive family, near and far
    ...a mother-in-law I adore health
    ...the ability to support my family financially water
    ...warm comforters and soft sheets coffee every morning car
    ...the peace in my heart
    ...a boss who knows what she's doing Nook Color
    ...the love of my children five senses devoted and lovable Labrador
    ...indoor plumbing

    This list could go on forever because there is so much to be thankful for each day. What are YOU thankful for?

    Monday, November 14, 2011


    Yesterday, Hubby cooked a big breakfast of pancakes and bacon. It tends to make the house stink like bacon forever if we don't ventilate it. Unfortunately, the storm windows were on, so he had to open up one of the windows in the living room, minus a screen. Much to my dismay, two yellow jackets entered the house and what started as a lovely Sunday turned into a chaotic day.

    Jack had noticed the first yellow jacket in the kitchen as it zoomed at my face and he was NOT happy about it. It wound up high in the skylight in our kitchen. I knew it went there because Liesl kept telling me there was a bug in the sky. The second yellow jacket was trapped between the blinds and the big picture window in our living room. So, what's a mother to do with four screaming kids between 2-6 years old while Hubby is out running errands?

    Naturally, I locked all of us in our bedroom, turned on the Roku box, and all of us chilled on my king size bed, not wanting to let the yellow jackets into the room. I knew we were safe there. I was equipped with sippy cups, diapers, wipes, and the phones; it's all we needed. I called Hubby on his cell phone and left a message, but I'd inadvertently called my OWN cell phone and left said message. The kids were going apeshit, the dog was getting stir crazy, and I had to pee. It was a disaster. The kids were kept busy with episodes of their favorite shows, but by the time it was all over, I was Yo-Gabba-Gabba-ed out. The doorbell rang, but I didn't want to answer it. The next thing I know, my brother is on the phone telling me he's at my front door wondering where the hell everyone is. I braved the stinging yellow jackets and ran to the front door, ducking and weaving. I let him in, telling him we had yellow jackets in the house. Minutes later, Hubby came home and I informed him of what's been going on. He's mad that I didn't keep our bedroom door open so that the invaders could go in there and be let out the door. Grrrrrrrrr.

    My brother killed the yellow jacket in the living room, but the one that was in the kitchen skylight was never found. I slept fitfully last night, wondering if I was going to become that monster's next meal. Even Liesl keeps looking at the skylight in the kitchen and shouting, "Bug!" It's killing me, really.

    I'm just wondering how long it can survive in my house and where I'll find it once it dies. Ugh. I really hate those things and so do my kids. I don't care if they're outside because they won't bother you unless you bother them first. In the house, however, it's a different story because they will panic and attack you even if you're not in their way. What a Sunday!

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Love In Black & White...

    Leia Belle - 2 years old

    Liv Addison - 5 years old

    Jack Gregory - 6 years old

    Liesl Marion - 2 years old

    I am so lucky they picked me to be their Mom. Even rough days are good days for the simple fact that they're all in my life. I never take it for granted. Take a look at all of their eyes; I made those eyes inside my own body. Every time I look at them, I am humbled that I was given the honor of being their Mother. It's the most rewarding hat I've ever worn.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Broken Down There...

    The Duggars are mentally ill if they think that having their 20th child is "God's plan." The picture above was taken a while ago; they've added five more kids since then and there's one more on the way.

    I don't give a shit if they are religious people who feel that having all of these children is what God wants for them. Michelle Duggar cannot possibly spend quality one-on-one time with ALL of her kids EVERY single day. There aren't enough hours in the day! Having a sibling care for their younger siblings is not anything like a mother's care, nor is it fair to the siblings.

    There is no reasonable explanation for having 20 children other than there being some degree of mental illness. Just because you CAN reproduce, doesn't mean you SHOULD. With all of the complications from her last pregnancy, you'd think they would've used some common sense. Twenty children is excessive, no matter how good of a mother you are. It's just plain ridiculous.

    With any luck, "God" will make this her last pregnancy. At some point, the body just can't do it anymore. While I'm not wishing her ill, I wonder why her OB/GYN hasn't had a serious talk with her about what birthing 20 kids will do to her body and the risks involved. She's not young anymore and her last child (who was born very, very premature) has serious developmental issues. It could happen again. Then again, she is delusional thinking that whatever happens is because "God" wanted it to happen.

    Someone get this woman a good psychiatrist. She clearly has some serious issues going on. And while you're at it, call DCFS. This has GOT to be considered child abuse.

    Friday, November 11, 2011


    It's important to recognize our veterans whether they are alive or not. Many people have given their lives for our country, served with great pride, and some are still deployed overseas. Take a moment to recognize that today, whether it's with a prayer, putting up your flag, or writing a blog post. Without their contribution, we'd have no defense as a country.

    My grandfather served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He loved his country enough to do it. I feel it's important to recognize and remember those who served and continue to serve in the armed forces. It's the least I can do.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Food For Thought...

    This spoke to me and I couldn't agree more. It's funny how you read something and wish you'd known that before all those years of therapy. Heh.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2011

    Gearing Up...

    I'm gearing up for the craziness of the holiday season. It seems that right after Halloween, things get nuts. There's shopping to be done, gifts to wrap, baking to be done, presents for teachers to be made, etc. From the start of November until the holiday season is over, it's absolutely chaotic. Throw four kids between 2-6yo and it's even MORE frenetic. Heh.

    Oh, the joys of the season! I'm waiting to see how soon the holiday music starts playing on the radio. And the snow. Yeesh, the Chicago snow. Supposedly, this winter is predicted to be just as bad or worse than last year. I think I'm secretly praying for another wicked record-breaking blizzard. Then again, any snow days for the school system would have to be made up at the end of the school year. Not so much fun, after all, when I think about it rationally.

    Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, but the holiday music and spirit are already singing in my heart. After all, I have four lovely miracles to be thankful for each day.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2011

    Time Well Spent...

    I attended a parent workshop last night at my daughter's school. It was called, "Managing Friendships and Feelings." It was geared toward parents who want to help their kids in preschool and kindergarten with articulating their feelings about what's happening around them. Lots of times, kids will say they aren't friends anymore when what they really mean is, "You won't do what I want to do, so I don't want to play with you." Or the kids will get upset when they see their friend playing with someone else (at that age, they always think they only have ONE friend and don't realize they can have more). I went to the workshop because Liv has been experiencing these kinds of frustrations lately.

    Last week, one girl told her that she's not her friend anymore and a boy in class told Liv he doesn't want to play with her anymore because she's not a boy. I gave Liv suggestions about what to do with the girl (ask her why you're not friends anymore, apologize if she tells you that you hurt her feelings, etc.). The girl didn't respond to Liv, so I simply told her to find a different friend, which she did and all is well now. As for the boy, I told her there really wasn't anything she could do about being a girl and that kid will eventually want to play with her again in the future when he figures out how cool girls really are. Heh.

    The workshop helped me understand how to help Liv deal with her intense feelings when it comes to friendships at school. Last week, she didn't want to go to school anymore and it was because of these conflicts, but she just couldn't articulate that to me. I figured it out after a series of questions. It was helpful to see other suggestions at the workshop. I met a lot of parents whose children are also experiencing the same things as my own.

    I will attend another one of their workshops when they offer them and I also offered suggestions on other topics they could cover. I must say it was time well spent.

    Monday, November 07, 2011

    Keeping Busy...

    My kids have three-day school weeks for three weeks in a row. Hubby's going to be worn out by the end of the month. This week, Thursday is a professional development day/end of the first quarter and Friday is Veterans Day; I work Monday through Thursday, but only have students three days. Next week, report card day is Wednesday and Friday is a staff development day; I work all week, but only have students for three of those days. The following week, everyone is off on Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving weekend is going to be very, very busy.

    I can't believe the kids have six days off this month! It's crazy! Poor Hubby's going to be having a few "busy" weeks this month. It won't be anything earplugs can't cure for him, though. Heh.

    Sunday, November 06, 2011

    Finn's Baby Song...

    It's driving my husband absolutely nuts, but I simply cannot stop singing this song! It's so catchy!

    I'm a buff baby that can dance like a man
    I can shake-ah my fanny, I can shake-ah my can
    I'm a tough tooting baby I can punch-o your buns, punch-o your buns, I can punch on your buns
    If you're an evil witch I will punch you for fun!

    Saturday, November 05, 2011


    Everything we experience becomes part of our journey. I've always known that, but I've been thinking about it more and more lately. We all have our separate journeys, but our families also have their own journey as a group. And if I think about it too much, I get sad because I know I won't live forever because my steps here on earth are limited.

    The future is always uncertain and you never know if you'll be here tomorrow. I guess I'm thinking about it because I've heard of a few deaths this past week, unnecessary ones that didn't have to happen. A car accident killed one of our former and one of our current students. He was 15 and his little sister was only in second grade, just a little older than my son Jack. I didn't know either of them personally, but it affected me as a mother, especially since their mother was the only survivor and she's still in critical condition. I can't imagine how she will cope with the loss of her entire family if she even survives her injuries. I know that I would rather die than live without my children and husband. Plus, the fact that children died really gets to me; I don't understand why their journey was cut short. It doesn't make any sense to me. They didn't get enough steps.

    I am reminded to enjoy every part of my journey with my family. We each are making our ways in this world, whether we're two years old or thirty-nine, autistic or neurotypical, male or female, leaders or followers. Our steps on this earth are limited and we need to love each other like there's no tomorrow and live without any regrets. Whether your journey is smooth or rough, you need to embrace it for what it is because you learn something from it every day and it makes you a better person. Right now, I'm going to hug my kids and my husband a little harder and a little longer and tell them I love them.

    I suggest you do the same because your days are numbered, too, and you don't want to leave suddenly without anyone you love ever doubting you loved them. Take some time to show it and mean it. Seriously.

    Friday, November 04, 2011

    Mature Ladies...

    A mature (over 70) lady gets pulled over for speeding...

    Older Woman: Is there a problem, Officer?
    Officer: Ma'am, you were speeding.

    Older Woman: Oh, I see.
    Officer: Can I see your license please?

    Older Woman: I'd give it to you but I don't have one.
    Officer: Don't have one?

    Older Woman: Lost it, 4 years ago for drunk driving.
    Officer: I see...Can I see your vehicle registration papers please.

    Older Woman: I can't do that.
    Officer: Why not?

    Older Woman: I stole this car.
    Officer: Stole it?

    Older Woman: Yes, and I killed and hacked up the owner.
    Officer: You what?

    Older Woman: His body parts are in plastic bags in the trunk if you want to see.

    The Officer looks at the woman and slowly backs away to his car and calls for back up. Within minutes 5 police cars circle the car. A senior officer slowly approaches the car, clasping his half drawn gun.

    Officer 2: Ma'am, could you step out of your vehicle please! The woman steps out of her vehicle.
    Older woman: Is there a problem sir?

    Officer 2: One of my officers told me that you have stolen this car and murdered the owner.
    Older Woman: Murdered the owner?

    Officer 2: Yes, could you please open the trunk of your car, please.

    The woman opens the trunk, revealing nothing but an empty trunk.

    Officer 2: Is this your car, ma'am?
    Older Woman: Yes, here are the registration papers.

    The officer is quite stunned.

    Officer 2: One of my officers claims that you do not have a driving license.

    The woman digs into her handbag and pulls out a clutch purse and hands it to the officer. The officer examines the license. He looks quite puzzled.

    Officer 2: Thank you ma'am, one of my officers told me you didn't have a license, that you stole this car, and that you murdered and hacked up the owner.
    Older Woman: Bet the liar told you I was speeding, too.

    The moral of the story: Don't Mess With Mature Ladies.

    Thursday, November 03, 2011

    Pictures From Halloween...

    Liv was a very confident Super Girl. Jack was Darth Vader and he had the breathing down pat.

    Liesl and Leia were the most delicious cupcakes ever.

    It was pretty much impossible to get all four kids into one picture. We had a lot of fun going trick or treating and we have sooooo much candy to show for it. I keep looking at these pictures and thinking about how different my kids are going to look next Halloween. They grow up so fast!

    Wednesday, November 02, 2011

    I Don't Wanna...

    November already. Before I know it it's the end of January and I'm 40 years old. Yep, I'm having a hard time with that one. I won't lie. I don't want to be 40. I want to be young. I used to think that 40 was so old when I was in my early twenties. Now, I'm on the cusp of it and I don't want to be there. It just means I'm old, halfway to dead, one foot in the grave.

    Don't say age is just a number or that 40 is way better than 30. Those are lies and something people only say when they want to make you feel better. Forty is going to suck. Midlife crisis time. The descent into oblivion. The absolute pits. The bowels of uncool.

    From now until January 29th, I'm going to be a complete mess. You won't be able to tell just by looking at me, but a part of me is dying with every day I approach best part. Oh, the horror!

    Relax, I'm not going nuts. I'm just being a bit dramatic. I'm just not having an easy time with approaching my 40th birthday. I suppose you can tell already. Sigh...

    Tuesday, November 01, 2011

    Candy Is Overrated...

    Holy. Crap. I cannot believe how much candy four kids can come home with on Halloween! You would not believe how much candy Jack, Liv, Liesl, and Leia got yesterday. We didn't even go to that many houses, but they sure gave them a lot. Perhaps it's because they're all so cute. Yeah, that would do it.

    They all said, "please," and "thank you." It was wonderful to have such polite kids. They made me proud because they were all so well-behaved. Jack and Liv are really fast, though. They were several houses ahead of Hubby, the babies, and me. It was crazy! I don't remember them being that fast before. Either I'm getting old or their legs are getting longer. Okay, maybe it's both. I think their favorite part was ringing all those doorbells. Heh.

    My favorite part of the night was watching how much fun they were all having...together. When we got home, Liv graciously passed out candy to other kids who came to our house. It's a rule; if you want to GET candy, you also have to GIVE candy. No one ever questions that in our house. You just do it.

    All in all, Halloween was a wonderful experience for all four of our kids. They had fun; we had fun; and we have a shitload of candy to show for it. It was completely ironic that Jack and Liv only wanted to eat Goldfish crackers and pretzels when they got home. Candy is completely overrated. Heh.