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Taking one day at a time...

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  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012

    The Origins Of Leap Year...

    The Gregorian calendar now serves as a standard calendar throughout the world.

    A leap year occurs every four years to help synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, or the length of time it takes the earth to complete its orbit about the sun, which is about 365ΒΌ days.

    Here's the origin of the Leap Year:

    The Gregorian calendar is closely based on the Julian calendar, which was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BC. The Julian calendar featured a 12-month, 365-day year, with an intercalary day inserted every fourth year at the end of February to make an average year of 365.25 days. But because the length of the solar year is actually 365.242216 days, the Julian year was too long by .0078 days (11 minutes 14 seconds).

    This may not seem like a lot, but over the course of centuries it added up, until in the 16th century, the vernal equinox was falling around March 11th instead of March 21st. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII adjusted the calendar by moving the date ahead by 11days and by instituting the exception to the rule for leap years. This new rule, whereby a century year is a leap year only if divisible by 400, is the sole feature that distinguishes the Gregorian calendar from the Julian calendar.

    Following the Gregorian reform, the average length of the year was 365.2425 days, an even closer approximation to the solar year. At this rate, it will take more than 3,000 years for the Gregorian calendar to gain one extra day in error.

    I hope you learned something today!

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012


    Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals,
    kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several members did not approve of her extra-curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

    She made a mistake, however, when she accused Frank, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon. She emphatically told Frank (and several others) that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing!

    Frank, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn't explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.

    Later that evening, Frank quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's house, walked home,... and left it there all night.

    (You gotta love Frank!)

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    What I'm Really Thinking About When You Talk...

    If you think for one minute that I'm not doing this when we talk, then you really don't know me. I can't help it. I don't do it on purpose; it's instinctual for me. It's like an opera singer trying to sing's impossible for me to not correct what you say; I just do it in my head to save you the embarrassment. Heh.

    Then again, you probably know I do this and you do your part to purposely drive me nuts. If you do that without even having to think about it, you're a true genius.

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    To Cut Or Not To Cut...

    Liv's got Kindergarten Graduation Picture Day coming up this Thursday. I don't know whether I should attempt to cut her bangs or not. I don't want to regret it and make her look ridiculous; however, she really needs them trimmed. And I'm running out of time to decide.

    That is my dilemma right now. Frankly, I'm grateful that's the biggest problem I have right now.

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Love Times Four...

    Leia, Jack, Liesl, Liv...

    These are my children and I love them with my whole heart. My life is great because they're in it.

    (Sidenote: Those are stickers on Liv's face that she put on to make it look like she has whiskers. She wanted to look like Hello Kitty. Heh.)

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Turning Over A New Leaf...

    For two days in a row, Jack has eaten his lunch at school. I don't know what's going on, but I like it. Jack usually eats nothing all day long and then comes home and eats. For some reason, he decided that he was going to eat his sandwich at lunch now. It took me a while, but I finally figured out why.

    He has two loose teeth, one on top and one on the bottom. By eating lunch, he's hoping he'll lose one of those loose teeth. That's fine by me, if that's what's motivating him. :)

    On Wednesday, I packed a half sandwich for him and he ate it. On Thursday, I got ballsy and made him a whole sandwich, just to see if he'd eat it. Lo and behold, he did and was so excited to tell me he ate his lunch when I came home from work. I couldn't be happier and more relieved that he's now decided to eat lunch at school. Wednesday was the first time he ever did that this school year.

    I'm guessing he'll do it again today, so I'm packing a full sandwich again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I probably won't need to. Today is another bowling field trip for him (they go bowling every two weeks and practice their math skills at the bowling alley all while they learn how to bowl), so he'll no doubt be hungry when they get back to school.

    And the Tooth Fairy will be making another visit to our home soon. That tooth on the bottom is very, very loose now. When Jack was a baby, he got eight teeth at once...literally. I have a feeling he's going to look like a scarecrow soon if all these teeth fall out at the same rate they came in. Heh.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    A Word I Am No Stranger To...

    Yep. That pretty much sums up how I feel today. Any fucking questions?

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Killing Time...

    One day, while killing time before dinner and trying to keep my little natives from being restless, I stumbled upon this video on YouTube. Thinking it was just a harmless Oswald cartoon, I played it for the kids. Now they ask for it every day! It's not exactly the nicest thing in the world, but they sure get a kick out of Jack Nicholson's famous, "Here's Johnny," scene from "The Shining," being thrown in the video. Thank goodness they don't know what that movie's about.

    In short, it's a spoof video, which I didn't know at the time I'd first played it. Now, the kids get such a kick out of it. Who woulda thunk it? You have to watch it to understand why I nearly piss myself every time I see it. The kids don't have any idea why I find it so funny and Hubby is always yelling at me to shut it off when he hears it. Heh.

    The things that amuse my children...

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012


    Yesterday, as sick as I was feeling, I managed to paint Liesl and Leia's toes for the very first time. They wanted pink piggies, so they got 'em.

    They are sooooo officially not babies anymore. Sigh.

    Monday, February 20, 2012


    I spent 22 hours either sleeping or lying down yesterday. Most of those hours were spent sleeping. I think I slept for 18 hours straight, which is a miracle for me.

    Still, though, I don't feel any better. My whole body aches and the headache is unreal. I can't eat anything at all. I haven't eaten a thing since lunch on Saturday. I just can't.

    I'm hoping this ends soon.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012


    It looks like The Plague that everyone in my house has gotten has finally hit me. Wonderful.

    That's all for posting today. You don't really want to know any of the details. Bleh.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Social Media Explained...

    I got this picture from Pinterest. Yeah, this pretty much sums up all the social media sites in a nutshell. And, Dad, G+ means Google+. Heh.

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Sick Of Sickness...

    Wow. It's been a helluva week.

    Everyone in this house has had the stomach flu, except for me. Thankfully, the kids' flu was only a 24-hour bug and they bounced back quickly. I've got an upper and lower respiratory virus wreaking havoc on my system. Fun times over here, I tell ya.

    I went on a field trip with Jack and his class this past Wednesday, but I want to save that for another post. It was magical!

    Right now, I just want to feel better. I'm glad we're not cleaning up copious amounts of vomit anymore. That was not fun at all. Heh.

    I'm glad it's a three-day weekend. Maybe I can recuperate now.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Not My Java...

    I have a Chocolate Labrador named Java. She could never do this! She's too tired to do it because she's raising four children. Heh.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    What I Do...

    This makes me want to watch "Dead Poet's Society" again for the umpteenth time. It's a rejuvenating film for teachers, except for the ending, of course. Heh.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Poor Viola...

    Happy Valentines Day!

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    So Much Fun!...

    Jack had a wonderful time at his birthday party yesterday. In fact, all of our kids behaved well that we weren't sure they were even ours. Heh.

    Everyone had a great time. The food was good. The company was great. The kids shared their toys, laughed a lot, and took breaks together from the hullaballoo. It turned out much better than I could've ever imagined. Yay!

    Today, I'll take Jack for his 7-year check-up at 1pm. I'm looking forward to seeing how much he's grown since the last time he saw his doc. Jack rarely gets so sick that he has to go to the doctor, so he really only sees him once a year, unless he's really, really ill.

    Other than that, there's nothing on our agenda today. Relax, eat, relax, see the doctor, come home, veg out, eat dinner, relax some more, go to bed. It's going to be a good day today.

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    A Good Kind Of Exhaustion...

    Today is Jack's birthday party. It's going to be wonderful, chaotic, fun, frenetic, and memorable. Hubby went all out on Jack's cake, so I can't wait to see it. There will be a lot of people here later, nine children as well. Four of those kids are mine, heh.

    When it's all over, I'm going to collapse into a heap of exhaustion, but it will be so worth it. You only turn seven once, right? We're going to have a great time!

    As long as we can anticipate Jack's needs and thwart the meltdowns from overstimulation before they happen, all will be well. He can retreat to his room and chill out if it gets to be too much for him. Jack knows how to self-regulate enough to know when he needs to take a break from it all.
    That's why it's great that he has his own bedroom. And everyone who knows him well also knows when he needs his space and we all respect that. He's come such a long way and we're so proud of him.

    We're going to have a great time! I can't wait!

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Something To Remember...

    I live by this. Such wise words.

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    My Dad...

    Happy 71st Birthday to my Dad!

    We hope your day is wonderful!

    Thursday, February 09, 2012

    Psychiatrists vs. Bartenders...

    How about a joke for today?

    Ever since I was a child, I've always had a fear of someone being under my bed at night. So, I went to a shrink and told him, "I've got problems. Every time I go to bed I think there's somebody under it. I'm scared. I think I'm going crazy."

    "Just put yourself in my hands for one year," said the shrink. "Come talk to me three times a week and we should be able to get rid of those fears."

    "How much do you charge?"

    "Eighty dollars per visit," replied the doctor.

    "I'll sleep on it," I said.

    Six months later the doctor met me on the street. "Why didn't you come to see me about those fears you were having?" he asked.

    "Well, Eighty bucks a visit three times a week for a year is an awful lot of money! A bartender cured me for $10. I was so happy to have saved all that money that I went and bought me a new pickup!"

    "Is that so?!" With a bit of an attitude he said, "And how, may I ask, did a bartender cure you?"

    "He told me to cut the legs off the bed! Ain't nobody under there now!"

    Wednesday, February 08, 2012

    Seven Beautiful Years...

    Happy 7th Birthday, Jack!

    I can't believe you're already seven years old. I don't know where the time went. Seven years ago, you made me a Mother. I thought I knew everything already...and then I became a Mom. I may have known a lot before I had you, but it is nothing compared to what I know now.

    You were my first baby. You are my only son. You have taught me so much about love, parenting, and the importance of flexibility. Without you, my world wouldn't be as colorful as it is today. I learned how to anticipate your needs, appreciate your quirks, and grow with you as you grow, too.

    Over the course of seven years, you have learned how to do so many things. Right now, you read, you play the piano, you are tech savvy. I can't believe I was graced with such a wonderful kid. You humble me, make me proud, and your eyes bore a hole into my soul. You see right through me.

    I am grateful for every day I am with you because each day is important. I love you with all of my heart, all of my soul, and every fiber of my being. You are an amazing child and you will do amazing things with your life when you're an adult. I just have that feeling.

    Today is your day, guy. Today is my day, too. It's the anniversary of the day I got the most important job of my life. We're taking this journey together and I couldn't be happier about it. I know you are, too!

    Happy 7th Birthday, Jack! You melt me.

    Tuesday, February 07, 2012

    The Hunger Moon Is Approaching...

    This was in the newspaper the other day and I shared it with Liv. Since she's been working on a solar system unit at school, I showed her all the names full moons also go by throughout the year. She was fascinated. Of course, I have my work cut out for me now. I have several names of moons whose origins I have to look up. She's tickled pink (pun intended) that the full moon that occurs two days before her birthday this year is also called a Pink Moon. That's Livie for ya!

    Monday, February 06, 2012

    3-2-1 Cake...

    These individual little cakes are amazing and ready to eat in one minute! They are perfect
    for whenever you feel like a treat without all the fat and calories that cakes can have. Genius idea!

    1 box Angel Food Cake Mix
    1 box Cake Mix - Any Flavor
    2 Tbsp Water
    Makes 1 serving.

    In a ziploc bag, combine the two cake mixes together and mix well. For each individual cake serving, take out 3 Tablespoons of the cake mix combination and mix it with 2 Tablespoons of water in a small microwave-safe container. Microwave on high for 1 minute, and you have
    your own instant individual little cake!

    KEEP remaining cake mixture stored in the ziploc bag and use whenever you feel like a treat! You can top each cake with a dollop of fat free whipped topping and/or some fresh fruit.

    Helpful Tips:
    This recipe is called 3, 2, 1 Cake because all you need to remember is
    "3 tablespoons mix, 2 tablespoons water, 1 minute in the microwave!"
    TRY various flavors of cake mix like carrot, red velvet, pineapple, lemon, orange, etc. Just remember that one of the mixes has to be the angel food mix; the other is your choice.
    The flavor possibilities are endless!

    The best thing is, you open both cake mixes into a gallon storage bag, one that 'zip locks' or 'self-seals', or a container that seals tightly, shake the two cake mixes to blend and then make the recipe. Storage of mix is simple, put it on a shelf. No need to refrigerate, since the mix is dry. Always remember, that one of the cake mixes MUST be Angel Food. The other can be any flavor. The Angel Food is the cake mix that has the egg whites in it. So, if, anyone is allergic to egg whites, DO NOT serve this recipe.

    This recipe was sent to me in an email from my mother-in-law. I just might have to try this! The only thing I would add to it is that cake mixes tend to have expiration dates. It's probably best to get two cakes mixes that have the same date or close to the same date. I know they have expiration dates because mold can build up and actually kill you if you ingest it. Hence, the expiration dates in the first place!

    I would probably date the ziploc bag with two dates: the expiration dates of the cake mixes and the date you put them in the bag. I would also suggest that if you're not going to use this mixture within two weeks, you should probably throw it out. Cake mixes are not expensive, so if you don't get around to eating one serving of these per day, it's not a big deal to get rid of it.

    Sunday, February 05, 2012


    Why is it that doing taxes is so...taxing? I hate doing them, but they must get done. And, being the control freak that I am, only I can do them. And I do them begrudgingly every year. It makes no sense, but it is what it is. And it's exhausting.

    It takes me days to do our taxes because I can't do it all in one day. I get too nervous. Bleh. And I want to puke. Heh.

    I started doing them on Friday night. I'm hoping to be done sometime today. If not, I won't sweat it. I don't know if I hate numbers because I'm an English teacher or if I'm an English teacher because I hate numbers. I've always been allergic to math, so it's quite ironic that I do our taxes each year.


    Saturday, February 04, 2012

    13 Years...

    Hubby and I were married in Maui thirteen years ago today

    and each day I love him more and more.

    Happy Anniversary to us! Yay!

    Friday, February 03, 2012

    The Week That Just Wouldn't End...

    It's a good idea I kept Liv home yesterday. She was sick for most of the day, but was finally able to keep some food down in the afternoon and evening. Poor thing tried to eat during the day, but just could not keep anything down. She slept a lot, rested, and felt much better once she was able to actually keep food in her tummy. When I came home from work, her eyes looked better to me. At dinner, she ate chicken broth, ginger ale, and crackers. Her spirit started coming back once she was able to eat again.

    She and Jack have the day off, so Hubby has all four kids home with him today. I'm going to work later than usual because I'm meeting with Jack's teacher to touch base. She asked me to be the school's team leader for the annual Walk for Autism. When I find out what that role will entail, I'll let her know if I'm going to accept it. Being the team's leader would be kind of cool, but I have many priorities and commitments aside from that already. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew and I don't want anything to suffer. No matter what I do, I'm still going to do the Walk with his school. I'd do just about anything for kids on the autism spectrum.

    I'll be so glad once the weekend gets here. This has felt like a very long week.

    Thursday, February 02, 2012

    One Kid Down...

    Liv came home from school yesterday at 11am. She wasn't feeling very well at all, so the school called and asked Hubby to come get her. Liesl and Leia went with and were soooooo excited to be at SCHOOL! They just watched the little kids walk in their single file lines, were overjoyed at the low, kid-friendly drinking fountains, and didn't know what to make of the rows and rows of lockers. The bright colors of the walls and the fun kid work hanging up in the hallways nearly knocked them over. They officially LOVE school, even though they haven't even enrolled in preschool yet. But I digress.

    Liv came home and wound up puking several times. She's got some kind of stomach virus, so she may or may not go to school today. It depends how she feels. She didn't puke much up because she'd barely eaten anything. A mini bagel with peanut butter was all she had at breakfast and she didn't even touch her lunch, except for her juice box. By the time she came home, the juice box had come up. When I got home from work, she was sound asleep in her bed. She even slept through dinner.

    After dinner, she woke up and was feeling very punky. She took a shower, put on her jammies, and rested on the couch only to puke again before she could make it to the bathroom. Poor baby! I hope she feels better today. It's not time for her to get up yet, but we'll play it by ear today. She's got tomorrow off from school anyway, so maybe taking today off to get better isn't such a bad idea. She rarely gets sick, but when she's a doozy.

    One kid down, three more kids to go. Who will get it next?

    Wednesday, February 01, 2012

    February Already?...

    Wow! It's February already. Shit. The school year is half over and I find myself asking where all the time went. Before I know it, Jack will be in second grade and Liv will be in first grade. WTF?!

    *Three more until our 13th wedding anniversary... We 've known each other for 20 years and dated for five or six before we got married, so technically we've been together for half our lives. Surreal.

    *Seven more days until my boy turns 7 years old... I have learned so much being his Mom and I'm grateful for all of it.

    Hubby says he's getting me a combination birthday/anniversary present. I have no idea what he's getting me, but the only thing I can think of that I really need is love, happiness, and health. You can never get enough of those. Maybe he's secretly getting a vasectomy. Heh.