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Taking one day at a time...

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  • Saturday, December 31, 2011

    My 2012 Dead Pool List...

    The moment you've all been waiting for...

    These are my picks:

    1. Aretha Franklin
    2. Robin Gibb
    3. Brooke Mueller
    4. Jerry Lewis
    5. Willie Mays
    6. Penny Marshall
    7. Zsa Zsa Gabor
    8. Joe Paterno
    9. Cardinal George
    10. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Good luck!

    Submit Your List...

    As in yesterday's post, you can submit your 2012 Dead Pool List in the comments section of THIS post no later than 11:59pm tonight. I have my Dead Pool List for 2012 slated to be posted at 11:59pm tonight. You can come back at that time to view it.

    You can also email me your list and I'll put it in the comments, so we have a record of it and know where to find it later.

    Have a Happy New Year's Eve and make it a safe one! I will most definitely be asleep long before the apple drops in Times Square. We're real party animals over here. Heh.

    Friday, December 30, 2011

    A Friendly Reminder...



    For those of you who are playing, your Dead Pool List for 2012 is due to me by 11:59pm on December 31, 2011 (tomorrow night). Email them to me or post them in the comments section of this post. It's going to be a fun year!

    I'm just sayin'.

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    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Loving Every Minute Of It...

    I'm having so much fun here at home and it's only my first week off from work! It's really nice to be with my kids all day, cook dinner, clean whatever whenever, etc. I get to see all the cute things Liesl and Leia do that I miss when I'm at work. Jack and Liv are old enough to occupy themselves and they have a lot of toys they can get lost in, but they still come down the stairs to check and see if I really am off from work; it thrills them that I'm here. Heh. Liesl and Leia are absolutely delighted to have me 100% of the time. They're pulling out all sorts of cool tricks from their arsenals.

    What a wonderful way to spend my Winter Break!

    I don't know who's going to have a tougher time when I go back to work on January 9th...me or the kids. It might be a tie. Sigh.

    Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    Another New Beginning...

    Well, in a few days it'll be 2012. This year went by quickly for me. Liesl and Leia got bigger and came into their own personalities. Jack matured with leaps and bounds. Liv seemed to have grown a foot in height. All good things.

    A new year will be starting and it leaves me thinking about what I want to accomplish in it. I'm sure there will be bumps in the road, like there are in every year. We'll do our best to navigate around them or burn right through them like we always do. The main thing I want is for all of us to be healthy.

    So, as we embark on yet another new beginning, I'm considering all the things that I want for our lives this coming year. Health is the main one. Health, happiness, harmony, and a little fortune can't hurt.

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Silver Lining...

    I feel like crap. My throat is so sore. It started the night before Christmas Eve. Ugh. At least I have two weeks off from work to get better and I don't have to use any sick days. Heh.

    Other than that, we're all recovering from the holiday hullaballoo. It's nice to be home, in my jammies all day long, playing with my kids. It makes me want to count the days until spring break and summer vacation. Heh. 'Cuz that's how I roll.

    I guess I better start working on my Dead Pool List for 2012. I don't even think anyone I picked for this year died...yet. It figures. My luck is shitty lately, but at least I'm "enjoying" it in the comforts of my own home. Gah.

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    Hearing A Pin Drop...

    Christmas is always like a wedding. You wait and wait until it gets here and the suspense builds each day as it gets closer. Then, in the blink of an eye, it's over.

    All the toys are put away in their rightful places; the house does not look like a toy store threw up in it; the dog is taking breaks from chewing her Christmas rawhide bone; and everyone is in their own corner of the house, playing with their own toys. There's no drama. Amazing.

    Laundry is getting done; leftovers are in abundance, but not for long; and all of us are on vacation from school and work. Grocery shopping is on the agenda and that's pretty much it around here.

    It's nice to be able to have a jammie day. No work. No school. Just all of us...having fun relaxing; no pressure, no demands, no stress. It just might possibly be what one can call "heaven on earth." Heh.

    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    Santa...

    Santa came last night and brought all of the kids such cool presents! I can't wait to see their eyes light up when they see what they got. We left plenty for Santa to snack on and reindeer food for Rudolph and his troop. I think it'll be a successful night for Santa.

    I probably won't see my kids much for a while. They'll be so busy playing with their new toys; they won't have time for Mom. Heh.

    Have a Merry Christmas, friends. Make it a safe one!

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    Celebrating...

    Today we'll be having our Christmas Eve dinner at our house with my side of the family. I wish my Sister were here, but she's busy doing the same thing with her family in Kansas. We'll be together in spirit, for sure.

    So much to do before the festivities begin. And Santa comes tonight! Wow!

    The benefit of having four young children very close in age is that Christmas takes on a whole new meaning and watching it unfold through the eyes of each of them is pure magic.

    Have a safe Christmas Eve, folks!

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Taking A Break...

    It's my last day of work before winter break. It's also Jack and Liv's last day of school. We'll all be off for two whole weeks!

    It's going to be very busy for the next few days. After the holiday is over, it's jammie days for us...every single day, if we can.

    I sooooooo need the break and so do the kids. It'll be a nice change of pace, even though we'll be sick of each other in a week. Heh.

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    What I Really Want For Christmas...

    I know it sounds cliche, but I just want everyone I love to be healthy. Seriously. The holidays are stressful enough; add in a few illnesses and it just puts everything into perspective.

    I just want health...for me, my children, my family, etc. I just want everyone to be...fine.

    Is that so much to ask? Really?

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Stick A Fork In Me...

    I'm done. I'm sooooo done. Holiday treats have all been made in the last few days. This includes four batches of reindeer chow and six hundred assorted pretzel treats. Christmas cards were made, stuffed, addressed, stamped, and sent out last night. The beef tenderloin for Christmas Eve was also ordered from our butcher. Hubby cleaned every surface in the house yesterday, as well, with hospital-grade disinfectant and laundered all the bedding in the house. This is how we roll.

    Other than that, I'm feeling quite done now. I just need to get through the next three days at work and our two-week winter break begins. It'll be the longest three days of my life. We all sooooo need the break. I need some serious jammie days.

    Is it Friday yet? Sigh.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    I Need A Nap...

    What I've done in the last two days:

    *I made two batches of Reindeer Chow (I'll also be making two more batches after I get home from work today.)
    *I made six hundred pretzel treats (pretzel-pecan-Rolo turtles and pretzel-Hershey Kiss-M&M treats).
    *Four loads of laundry on Sunday
    *Last night, I looked through the hundreds of pictures I took of the kids in the last week or so to find The One for our holiday cards, which I ordered and were ready an hour later.
    *Worked a full day on very tired and achy feet

    What I'm going to do today:

    *Put in a full day at work.
    *Come home and make two more batches of Reindeer Chow.
    *Get the twins into bed while Hubby and Jack go see Livie sing in her Holiday Show.
    *Stuff the envelopes, put on the address and return labels, and mail these damned holiday cards once and for all.
    *Start working on my Dead Pool List for 2012
    *Pack up all the goodies I've made; labels will get put on later.
    *Collapse into a heap of exhaustion, but not before I put my ankle braces on. My feet, unfortunately, are twice my chronological age.

    What's on YOUR list of things to do today?

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Cutting It Close...



    Jack, Leia, Liv, and Liesl


    It's not a bad picture. I don't like how it cropped, but it'll do, I suppose. Now, I need to get this made into a card, stuff all the envelopes, put stamps on, seal the bastards, print address labels, print return address labels, and mail them all before Christmas. I have never waited this late to send out our cards. Gah!


    It almost doesn't seem worth it this year. I baked a massive amount of treats yesterday and did a ridiculous amount of laundry. The kids' teachers will receive their presents today. I'm completely exhausted right now. This whole Christmas card thing just might not happen this year. I'm still on a fence about it. So much pressure.


    If I do find the energy to do it, the picture above will be "The One."

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    Burning Daylight...

    OMG. Six days until our Christmas Eve dinner and seven days until Santa comes to our home. I can't believe it's already upon us!

    The kids still have school this week and I have work. Yes, all week long. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to budget my time between wrapping, baking, doing Xmas cards (which is still up in the air right now), and working. Nevermind spending time with my kids, duh. By the time next weekend comes, I'm going to be completely pooped.

    Nevertheless, I have a lot to do today. Baking treats is the major one, next to laundry, of course. There is A LOT of laundry to be done today. Hubby will be grocery shopping and finishing the last of the Christmas shopping in a little while. Hopefully, the kids will help me make goodies for gifts. I handmade all of their teachers' and aides' presents last weekend; there were twelve, to be exact.

    So much to be done, so little time left. I do not burn the midnight oil anymore; therefore, I have learned how to use every last bit of my waking hours wisely. Here's to another chaotic day!

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Girly, Little, & Tiny...

    In my lifetime, I have loved some very gentle pitbulls who were always great with my children. I think when this breed is placed into the right person's care, they can become wonderful members of the family. Pitbulls have a bad reputation, but it's only due to their reckless owners who abuse these beautiful dogs. If only there was a way to screen these people and follow these dogs throughout their lives, just to make sure they were taken care of properly...

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    The Lunch Experiment...

    As I posted yesterday, Liv decided to try two days' worth of school lunch from her cafeteria. She described the pizza on Wednesday as "doughy." The verdict today? Well...

    Liv opted out of the roast turkey with gravy because she said it looked "disgusting." She wanted to try it so badly, but when she saw what it looked like, she took a pass and had the PBJ instead. My dumb ass paid $2.25 for her to eat PBJ yesterday from her school's cafeteria, but I had to let her learn the "hard" way. Grrrrr.

    She and I both learned important lessons. She learned to appreciate the lunches I make for her and will only eat the school lunch on pizza day now. I, on the other hand, have learned that I will ONLY pay for her to eat lunch at the school's cafeteria ONE day a week. Any more than that and I might as well just burn the money.

    I explained to Liv that she shouldn't describe the food as "disgusting" in front of her classmates because some of those kids aren't as fortunate as her and it's the only food they get. They actually rely on those meals and get them for free. She seemed to understand it, which was good, and she will appreciate what I pack for her now.

    A lesson in sensitivity is always a good one. She's only five, but she's always been compassionate.

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    My Little Food Critic...

    Yesterday, I let Liv eat from the cafeteria at her school. She'd been begging me for a couple weeks, but I always make her lunch so I know exactly what she's eating. Plus, I work in a public school; I know what they serve and it's not always appetizing. We don't qualify for free or reduced lunch because of my income, so I have to pay full price if she wants to eat the cafeteria food. Since it's $2.25, it's more economical for us if she brings her lunch each day.

    I broke down and paid the fee so she could eat pizza yesterday. She was unbelievably thrilled and ate the whole piece! However, she described it as, "doughy." Now, she wants to eat their food again today. It's roast turkey with gravy, her choice of sweet potato or spinach, and her choice of fresh fruit or a fruit cup. I paid for it already, so let's see how much she likes it today. I paid for two days because she just couldn't make up her mind about which food she wanted to eat, so I let her try both. Let's see what she has to say about the turkey. Heh.

    I told her she could eat the cafeteria food one day a week and it'll be like a treat for her. She's cool with that deal. Her lunch wasn't all rainbows and unicorns, though.

    The thing that pissed me off the most was that one of her classmates kept fucking around with her lunch tray and he spilled her milk on purpose. The adults who were supervising knew the kid did it on purpose and didn't let her get another milk. So she ate her "doughy" pizza without anything to drink because the adults around her didn't want to get her a replacement, even though it was the boy's fault. Bastards. Mark my words, it will be the LAST time that ever happens to her. I'll make sure of it.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Cutting Down The List...

    Well, our holiday shopping is almost completed. Hubby went out with a list the other day and knocked off most of the gifts on it. What we couldn't find, we ordered. There are only a couple things left to get and those won't be hard to do.

    Now, onto the holiday baking, which isn't really going to be baking this year. I'm making simple things that don't require slaving over the mixer for hours and baking into the wee hours of the morning. While I love the smell of kolacky cookies in this house, I just don't have the energy to do that this year. Shit...I haven't even sent out holiday photo cards yet. The latter may or may not get done. We'll see. We've got a lot going on over here.

    That is all for now. Have a happy Wednesday!

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Is That All?...

    Nine more work days left until Winter Break. I think I can do it.
    Sigh.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Manila, Not Managua...

    My Sister posted this picture of our family on Facebook the other day. I probably wasn't even two years old in this photo. My husband says I looked like a little Filipino kid right off the boat from Managua. I corrected him gently by letting him know my grandfather came here from Manila.

    It gets me thinking. My children are such a huge mixture of ethnicities. That's probably why they're so beautiful. Heh. I've been doing research on our family tree and have found that my Gram's mother was Polish and Austrian, yet she departed for the U.S. from the Netherlands. We did not know they were Austrian at all. I'm still in the beginning stages of gathering information about the ancestors whose names I know. It's very intriguing, to say the least. There's a lot of research to do and it's so much fun, but time-consuming and you never know if you're right unless you dig even deeper.

    My children have German, Polish, Austrian, Filipino, Norwegian, British, Irish, Hungarian (my husband says his father's family was Hungarian of Austrian descent; the boundaries were sketcky during the war), and I-don't-know-what-else in their blood. It's amazing how significant physical features of each nationality can be seen in each of my children sometimes. I figure that one day all people will look the same and there will be no such thing as a nationality. We will all blend someday.

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Easy Art...

    Next summer, I'd like to try this with my kids. I saw this on Pinterest and it's so simple. With the intense heat of our summers, this should be a breeze to do. You just glue the crayons to the board or canvas and sit it upright in the sun. After a while, depending on how hot it is, you have your own piece of wall art. Too easy!


    Leave it to me to be thinking about summer when it's so damned cold outside right now. I guess that tells you where my mind is...summer vacation. Heh.

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Down Time...

    I am excited for next week. I have some cool projects to do with my students and I'm a bit psyched about it. I'm such a nerd.

    It was a long week for me, physically and mentally. I'm glad relief is in sight. Don't ask me to elaborate any more than that. Just know that it was a very hard week.

    I'm glad it's the weekend. I need some down time with my family.

    Friday, December 09, 2011

    Friday Funny...

    If I were that teacher, I would've shit in my pants if one of my students turned this in to me. If I were that mother, however, I'd be mortified. Heh.

    Thursday, December 08, 2011

    A New Recipe...

    I made these last night. They are soooooo unbelievably good! They're like Rice Krispie treats, but using Oreos instead. You MUST try this! Three simple ingredients and you never even have to turn the oven on.

    I'll definitely make these again!

    Wednesday, December 07, 2011

    Something Good From The Vatican?...

    Here is an amazing bit of technology that you would never see in person, as you would NEVER be alone in the room. It is ALWAYS VERY CROWDED and, of course, you can't see Michelangelo's artwork as close up as you can here. This is especially spectacular if you have a large high-definition screen! Too many details to view on a phone.

    TO VIEW EVERY PART OF THE MICHELANGELO'S MASTERPIECE, JUST CLICK AND DRAG YOUR ARROW IN THE DIRECTION YOU WISH TO SEE. MOVE THE MOUSE AROUND AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. YOU CAN ZOOM IN AND BACK OUT WITH THE BOXES ON THE LEFT.

    In the lower left, click on the plus (+) to move closer, on the minus (-) to move away. Choir is thrown in free. MOVE THE ARROW AND YOU WILL SEE EVERY PART OF THE CHAPEL.
    This virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel is incredible, apparently done by Villanova at the request of the Vatican. Go on and click the link below. It's incredibly beautiful.

    The Sistine Chapel

    Tuesday, December 06, 2011

    They Know Me...

    Doesn't this explain Motherhood so well? It's amazing how many cool things I can find here.

    Monday, December 05, 2011

    Random Thoughts...

    *I have the Griswolds living across the street from me. They literally put up so much lighted Christmas stuff that it's an embarrassment to the neighborhood, really. I'm glad we're not that family.

    *I'm so glad I don't do any of the holiday shopping. I have no patience for crowds or people who don't know the unspoken parking rules during the holidays. Hubby is much better than I am at all of that.

    *The hawk has come, yet again, this winter. He comes every year and feasts off the neighborhood pigeons. Since the lady across the alley feeds those pigeons she thinks are her pets, that hawk has a lot of meals this time of year. Judging by the amount of feathers in my backyard this morning, I would say that hawk had his Thanksgiving meal just a bit later than normal.

    *I've decided to pare down on the holiday baking. I simply don't have the time. Frankly, I don't know how I did it the past two years while having four small children running around. I must've been sniffing glue back then. Now that the twins are two years old, they get into everything and make life quite exciting. I've found simpler recipes that require less time and ingredients and I'm vowing not to go crazy with it this year. My time is better spent elsewhere (i.e. with my kids, enjoying the wonders of the season, etc.). Besides, no one will be upset about it; they all thought I was nuts doing all that baking before. Heh.

    *I'll be lucky if I get holiday cards out at all this year. It's a bitch getting a picture of all four kids. I have pictures of two at a time that I can choose and send a holiday card collage out. It's just harder to get motivated about it this year. Liv is sick; Jack is now sick; life is more chaotic than usual right now. A picture is the last thing from my mind right now.

    *Three more full weeks of work and the kids and I will be off for two weeks during our winter break. It's hard to believe how fast this school year is going. It makes me feel old. Time just doesn't seem to ever stand still like it did when I was a kid.

    *Yesterday, I had a jammie day and made chocolate chip cookies with my kids. It was the best day ever. I wish every day could be like that.

    *If I was independently wealthy, I'd homeschool my kids and we'd go everywhere. School could be so much fun at home. Kids are totally different animals when they're learning at their own pace while doing things they like to do the most. Wishful thinking...

    Sunday, December 04, 2011

    Here We Go Again...

    It never fails. As soon as everyone is feeling just fine and no one is sick, we get hit with another round of school viruses. Jack has been running a fever on and off since Friday night. Liv has a yeast infection or some type of fungal infection down there; we're hoping the Nystatin works quickly. It's pretty bad. I'm waiting to see how long it takes Liesl and Leia to get sick, too. I know it won't be long. As long as no one gets Liv's problem, all will be well.

    And we'll just keep passing Jack's virus back and forth for months. Here we go again.

    Saturday, December 03, 2011

    Moving...

    This photograph is of the Tectonic Plate Gap Between Europe and North America; I found it here. Everything about this photograph just freaks me out! For one thing, I'm terrified of large bodies of water that would require me to swim for my life if I were far from land. Another thing, the whole tectonic plate gap thing is absolutely surreal to me. The mere thought that the top layer of the earth is constantly moving just gives me the chills. I thought I'd share this photo with you because it's so...moving. *Pun partially intended*

    Friday, December 02, 2011

    A Day To Remember...

    Yesterday was a very busy day. I was able to spend some quality Mama time with Liesl and Leia in the morning and it was wonderful. Of course, Leia didn't wake up until 11:30am! What a stinker! Nevertheless, it's rare that I ever get to spend time with the twins by myself. They are such a delightful duo.


    I actually took the day off to go to Jack's IEP meeting and we rewrote the whole thing. It was wonderful to be a part of it and work with people who love Jack as much as I do. It felt like these people were family, a tight-knit group of people all working together for something good. What a great experience! Jack was delighted to see me and didn't mind coming home with me, instead of taking the school bus. The first thing he said when he saw me was, "I love you, Mom!" Melted my heart.


    Afterward, I had to take Liv to the doctor. She has a raging yeast infection in her lady area. When I say it's red, I mean angry red with lots of red dots all over her thighs and butt. Poor thing couldn't stop itching and it just started the other day. It literally got a thousand times worse overnight. I don't know how that kid is able to walk. She's got Nystatin ointment now, but it's incredibly difficult for her, emotionally and physically. She's having a tough time right now. I'm almost tempted to keep her home from school and take another day off from work just to snuggle with her. I'll play it by ear. Most likely, I'll send her to school so she can get her mind off of it. She won't itch while she's there.



    In between Jack's IEP meeting and Liv's doctor appointment, we decided to put our Christmas tree up. We hadn't intended on doing it yet, but it was a great idea to kill time. Jack and Liv decorated the whole thing, except for the ornaments that are at the top and the back of the tree; I did that part. The rest was them, though. They did a great job and were so excited about it, especially because it came as a complete surprise! Liesl and Leia didn't care much until it was done.


    While Liv and I were at the drugstore, waiting to pick up her medicine, she actually picked out a Christmas present for Jack. She got him a Cars bowling set, keeping in mind how much he loves bowling. Imagine that! That girl has a heart of gold.


    It's officially Christmas in the House of Eatmisery! Can you see the dog bone on our tree? I may have taken the day off from work, but I was busier than I've been in a very long time. If I had started my Christmas baking (like I'd contemplated), I would've called this day "epic." Heh. Still, it was very full and lovely and everybody needed Mama time. Nothing but love.

    Thursday, December 01, 2011

    Revisions...

    Today, I'm taking the day off from work. I have a meeting with Jack's teacher and therapists at his school at around noon. We're getting together to rewrite his IEP goals and ditch his behavior plan. Since Jack is the "good boy" in class this year, he really has no need for a behavior plan anymore. Yay! Rewriting his goals also makes sense because last year's behaviors are no longer present, making some of those goals unnecessary. Plus, he's changed a lot in six months, so he's mastered many of his goals and can handle more rigorous ones now.

    I'm looking forward to the meeting. Jack has a great team in his corner at school; they know what they're doing and they're very proactive. I'm so pleased to be a part of this process, especially since I know all of us have Jack's best interests in mind. The IEP is a living, breathing document that isn't just supposed to go into a filing cabinet and never looked at; it's a document that is supposed to be used and be useful in mapping out his educational future. I'm glad the team feels this way, too. Never before have I felt that Jack is in the best place possible until now. I really feel like I'm part of a system that truly works. Some schools aren't like that, though, and I'm so glad Jack doesn't have a lazy teacher. She knows what he can do and what he struggles with and she wants the same thing I do...Jack to be successful and challenged, but not overwhelmed.

    I'm hoping it's a good day.