Wednesday, September 30, 2009

They've taken over my computer....

The kids and I discovered awhile back that the San Diego Zoo's website features zoo animals that you can watch in REAL TIME. Any time of day, you can log on to their site and watch the Mama panda interacting with her baby, you can see the polar bears eating breakfast or swimming, you can watch the elephants eating and taking baths and then, of course, there's the apes who you can watch swing from tree to tree....or pick bugs off each other's backs (yum).

So this is what happens usually first thing in the morning, as I try to check my e-mail real quick and maybe read a couple blogs....

"Don't mind me, Mommy....I'm just gonna lay here and pout until you let me use your computer"


"We're both just gonna sit here and wait. Does that bother you?"


And next thing I know, they've completely taken over my computer.....



I must admit, though, that watching the animals in real time throughout the day is pretty cool. And it does keep the kids preoccupied when I need to use the phone or cook a meal.

But I didn't expect that I'd lose all computer privileges upon discovering this site. The tables have turned. I'm now begging them for computer time..."Come on, guys...you've been on the computer for awhile...Mommy needs to check her e-mail". They just look at me, laugh and then they go back to watching the elephants or whatever animals they were looking at.

Well, I guess it could be worse....they could be watching Yo Gabba Gabba repeatedly like they used to do, to the point where I have to lock myself in the laundry room so I don't have to hear it anymore.

If you want to check out the site, click HERE. You'll see the panda cam. If you want to see the other animals, just go up to "live cams and video" and make your choice. If you're looking for something to keep the kids occupied for a little while or you just love watching animals, check it out....



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Monday, September 28, 2009

"My cat thinks I'm God"...and other wierd google searches

I absolutely LOVE doing posts like this. The things people google which ultimately sends them to my blog provides hours of entertainment for me. I'll share some of the latest ones with you....

1) my cat thinks i'm god - Yeah, of course he does, because otherwise, who would feed him? Get over yourself.

2) child proofed my house but they still get in - I know, I know....it's like Children of the Corn all over again.

3) vomiting solid brown blobs - Well, see now.....this is what happens when you binge on Hershey's kisses without chewing them first. You gotta slow down and savor them. Stuffing 100 of these babies in your mouth in a period of 5 minutes will always, always, always result in a pukefest. What did you expect?

4) how to conceive twins - have sex twice in one night....works every time

5) why do kids play with their poop - the answer is really pretty simple...because they can.

6) having 2 sets of multiples what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - I'll certainly toast to that....and by the way, call me sometime. Sounds like we should be drinking buddies

7) what to do while you wait for God to answer your prayers - uh...how about coming over to my house and either mowing the lawn or doing the laundry? I think that's what God would want you to do while you wait for Him to get back to you...to help others in need....don't you think?

8) can you eat large zucchini - Sure, you can. But I've found other uses for it, such as time-outs (oh, trust me...doing a time-out while holding up a 3-lb zucchini is punishment enough)


Or you could use it as a weapon, as demonstrated by this 6-lb zucchini...you know, to protect you just in case that deranged psycho killer leaps out of your nightmares and into your bedroom in the middle of the night and tries to go all Freddie Krueger on you....you don't want to be the featured story on Dateline, do you? Can't you just hear that creepy yet captivating reporter Keith Morrison now...."So what REALLY happened in that dark bedroom in the house on Village Court that night? And WHY were there pieces of zucchini splattered all over the walls? Was this a crime of passion or just two people who simply disagreed on what to plant in their garden? Stay tuned as we discover what really happened in The Case of the Abnormally Large Zucchini...."


Large zucchinis also make great door stops.....who knew?


9) a sense of humor counts - Very true....especially if your husband insists that you watch "Jackass 2 - The Movie" with him

10) boy has a tantrum because mother does not buy him a game - Oh no, someone call Dr Phil....a boy had a tantrum because his mom wouldn't buy him something...oh, the horror...what's this world coming to?

11) treaments for "not wanting to grow up" - since I'm assuming a woman googled this, if you've already tried "marriage" and "fatherhood" and you've had no luck, I'd say run for the hills while you still can. Does the name "Jon Gosselin" mean anything to you?



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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sushi and Awards, anyone?

One of my favorite foods is sushi. I could seriously eat it at every single meal for the rest of my life and die a happy woman. My problem is that Tim doesn't like sushi.....or any type of seafood, for that matter. Thankfully, Bella and Cole enjoy seafood....they have become my sushi buddies.

But sushi can be expensive when eating it at a restaurant so we don't get to indulge in our favorite food very often. That is....until I read a post on Buckaroo Mama's blog, on how to make sushi at home! I honestly had no idea it was so easy to make!!

As soon as I read her post, I immediately commented on her blog that I was going to try making sushi with the kids! We went out the next day and got the ingredients for California rolls: imitation crab, sushi rice, Japanese rice vinegar, cucumbers and Nori (seaweed wraps) - we left out the avocado because none of us care for it). You'll also need a sushi mat to roll the sushi. Because I didn't take pictures as we made our sushi, click right HERE to go directly to her post where she gives directions step by step.

The kids helped me put all the ingredients on the seaweed and helped me roll them up. It was SOOOO yummy!!! Here's what our sushi looked like....



We made sushi 3 times last week! It's THAT good!

When I started my blog, it was mainly a way for me to keep in touch with family and friends while I was pregnant with Garrett and Landon. Then, over time, it morphed into what it is today....a place for me to record the kids' milestones, funny and interesting events that have happened, and some of my thoughts about the experiences I've had in my life. I never imagined I'd meet as many wonderful bloggers as I have....it's like its own little community. You start out reading these blogs and, before you know it, you feel like you've known them all your life....you really start to care about what's going on in their lives. And I'm so grateful for those who follow my blog and for the wonderful comments they leave for me!! You all rock!

This past week, I've received some awards....so exciting! Each one put a smile on my face and I truly appreciate the recognition!

Jen at TwinHappy Jen held the First Annual Twinny Awards contest and I won the Best Twin Comedy Blog award for funniest blog!!! How awesome is that! Not only is Jen the mother of twins but she's also the author of a children's book, Two Snowflakes. She's also the host of Twin Tuesday on Twitter. Thank you, Jen and thank you to the other bloggers who voted for me!


I was given this award by ShortMama at Family of Shorts ! Her blog is fantastic and I'm not just saying that because I'm a "short mama" too! She also has a wonderful cooking blog that you must check out. There's a recipe for fudge that she recently posted and it had me drooling!! Thank you, Short Mama!!



I was given this award by Amy at Keeping up with the Schultz Family. I've been reading Amy's blog for awhile now and I love her stories! She has an adorable daughter...and Amy's mom is the kind of grandmother I wish my kids had! Thank you, Amy!

I was given this award by Vicki at Frugal Moms Knows Best. She has the most amazing ideas on how to stretch a dollar and we all need tips like that with the economy being the way it is these days. She also gives wonderful Mommy tips, which help to make our lives a little easier. Thank you, Vicki!



This award was given to me by Halle at Housecapated. She shares awesome home improvement tips, as well as fun craft ideas. You have to check out her post where she revamped her living room....it's beautiful! Thank you, Halle!

Please stop by the above-mentioned blogs and check them out! I think you'll be happy you did!! And since I have a hard time making any kind of decision, I'm passing these awards on to anyone who follows my blog! I hope it makes your day, like it did mine!



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Friday, September 25, 2009

You don't mess with Mama's hair....

As a mother, I've learned a lot of things. One of the lessons I've learned along the way is that when the house is quiet....a little too quiet....that the kids are usually up to no good.

For instance, take yesterday....the boys were playing nicely with their legos. But where was Bella? Nowhere to be seen...or so it seemed. I scanned the family room and the kitchen once again. That's when I noticed her.....




As I approached her quietly, I grabbed my camera off the kitchen counter (where it's always conveniently located, of course) and started snapping pictures. I mean, really.....does she NOT look like she's trying to hide something?

Right about now was when she suddenly noticed me standing behind her....and in her little hands were her favorite Barbie doll and a pair of scissors. Why was I not surprised?



Barbie's got a new 'do. Does it look familiar at all?



Thanks to Bella, Barbie went all Kate Gosselin on us....they could be sisters, right?



Then I said to Bella, "You do realize her hair will NOT grow back, right?" and she nodded her head. And with that, I walked away....

She followed me and asked, "You're not gonna take the scissors away from me?" and I said, "Nope...their YOUR Barbies...I've told you before that if you cut their hair off, I will not buy you any new Barbies to replace them with...simple as that".

Then she asked me, "Well, do you like her haircut?" and I answered, "Yes, Bella....I like her haircut. It's uh....well...it's uh....a very popular style right now, oddly enough". She smiled and said, "Good....then I can cut your hair next...." and I saw that gleam of mischief in her eyes.

I said, "Hand me the scissors" and she pulled away from me. I repeated, "Hand me the scissors NOW". She began to whine, "But you said....". I answered, "I know what I said....cut Barbie's hair all you want but you are NOT messing with MY hair".

She gave me an angry look and said, "You can't change the rules". I said, "Oh yes I can....just another thing I've learned along the way. I can change the rules any time I want to, especially when my scissor-happy daughter threatens to cut my hair next". As she began to say, "Why...." I interrupted her and said, "I'm the Mom, that's why....now give me the scissors. All bets are off, baby girl".

Note to self: Make sure every pair of scissors in the house are locked up in the tool chest in the garage.

* ETA: She has cut her hair on several occasions....and also 2 of her brother's hair. I was relieved that she had only cut Barbie's hair this time....but when it came to MY hair....that's when I draw the line!!




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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

11 things I won't be volunteering for at Girl Scouts....

I'm so not a PTA-Room Parent-Den Mother-Girl Scout kinda mom. I'll just put that out there right now. However, I do realize that my children will want to be involved in activities that will require participation on my part. With that said, I do want them to have a well-rounded amount of good experiences in extra-curricular activities.

So, of course, I wasn't surprised when Bella said she wanted to join the Girl Scouts....or Daisies actually, based on her age. Two of my friends have their daughters in the troop and Bella was excited about being in the same troop as they are. Okay, Helene....grin and bear it....just grin and bear it.

At Bella's first meeting, the troop leader handed me a stack of papers and said, "Please fill these out and then just turn them back into me when you're done. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer". Girl Scout troop leader say what??!! As I looked over the paperwork, I felt like I was about to sell my soul to the devil. They were looking for volunteers in almost every area....seriously, there was one paper that had a list of 27 things to volunteer for and I could really only see myself doing maybe 3 of those things.

Here are a few that I did NOT check off, for obvious reasons....

1) Archery: Bow + Arrow + Me = Someone ending up in the emergency room. And do people even still DO archery....wouldn't teaching them karate be a little more useful? Just sayin'

2) Camping: Uh....no. Trust me, the Girl Scouts will not learn anything from me if I take them camping, other than how to let a campfire get so out of control to where an entire forest could possibly be destroyed OR how to learn (the hard way, of course, or there is no lesson in it) that adorable black bears are not friendly. Worst case scenario...."Oooops, I didn't realize those berries weren't edible....well, just puke them up and you'll be fine".

5) Cooking for groups: I can barely cook edible food for my family....trust me, those kids don't want cooking lessons from me and they most certainly do not want to eat anything I've cooked.

6) Crafts: I'm so not crafty. Sneaky, yes...shrewd, a little bit....crafty, that would be a big NO.

7) Hiking: I actually don't mind hiking but I seem to always forget to bring the essentials......like the time I took the kids hiking through that beautiful waterfall in Lake Tahoe. Everyone stared at me as my kids complained about being hungry, thirsty and sunburnt. In my defense, though, I didn't realize we were actually gonna hike up and down almost the entire waterfall so I didn't think to bring anything with me. Oh and we were all wearing sandals, not water shoes....HUGE mistake! I don't recall earning any merit badges that day.

8) Drama: I think perhaps an episode of 90210 would suffice as a lesson in drama....yes? The girls could learn how to steal each other's boyfriends, how to wreck their parent's cars while intoxicated and they'd learn about the consequences of having unprotected sex. Oh, wait...maybe they mean drama as in "acting lessons"...ya think?

9) Foreign Language: I know SOME Spanish..."hola, adios, buenos noches" and I can count to 10. But I would imagine that's not pretty helpful when you need to ask someone where the bathroom is or if you need to scream "HELP, FIRE". Thank goodness choking has its own universal sign which is understood world-wide. Guess I should've paid more attention in 10th grade Spanish instead of hiding in the back of the room, writing love notes to my boyfriend.....while he was writing love notes to someone else. Go ahead and break out the violin now...

10) Lifeguarding: Uh, wouldn't that require me to wear a bathing suit? I don't think I'd be able to rescue a drowning person while I'm trying to make sure my boobs stay where they're supposed to and, all the while, trying to make sure my ass doesn't jiggle too much when I run. Baywatch?? Not even close.

11) Dance and music: Seriously....the Girl Scouts would NOT want me even attempting to teach dance and music. Although I do still know every single word to "Baby Got Back" but I would imagine that's not something that Girl Scount Council would want the girls learning.

So what were the 3 things I did volunteer for??

1) Helping at troop meetings
2) Helping to make necessary phone calls
3) Helping to set up community service outings

Hey, at least it's something, right? If the Girl Scout Council were to see #1-10 above, I think they'd strongly agree that the above 3 are very wise choices of how to spend my volunteer time.

** I want to thank everyone who came by yesterday on my SITS day!! You all sure know how to make a girl feel special!! I'll be catching up with everyone very soon!!



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Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome SITStas!!

Today is my lucky day....I'm the featured blogger on SITS (The Secret is in the Sauce). If you don't know about this site, you must check it out! It's a wonderful way to connect with other bloggers!

So I want to extend a warm welcome to the SITStas who are visiting my blog for the first time....and to those of you who are return visitors, welcome back!!

Find a cozy place to sit, grab a warm muffin smothered in butter and a cup of coffee (loaded with caffeine, of course) and relax for awhile, while I fill you in on the necessary details.

My husband, Tim, and I have been married for over 7 years and we have 2 sets of twins. Yes, I said 2 sets of twins. Go ahead and push your eyeballs back into their sockets....I'll wait. Here's the last family picture we took, which was back in November 2008....and based on that disastrous experience, we probably will not do another family portrait until....hmmmm, well....at least the year 2015.



Cole and Bella, our 1st set of twins) are 4 years old (about to turn 5 next month). They just started kindergarten this year and I thought I was going to sob a river of tears on their first day! Everyone tells you that their childhood goes by quickly....believe it. Cole and Bella are energetic, imaginative, mischievous and hysterically funny. And while they drive me nuts about 85% of the time, I feel so blessed to be their mother.



Garrett and Landon, our 2nd set of twins, are 2 years old. They are boys in every sense of the word....they love all things muddy, smelly, disgusting and dirty. But they are the sweetest, most precious little boys with personalities that are bigger than they are.



Some of you may be wondering how we ended up with 2 sets of twins....most people are curious, when they see us out and about. Probably the most strangest way someone has asked about our situation, after we had our 2nd set, was, "Did you need help to get pregnant?" I'm assuming the person meant "medical intervention" but I answered, "Uh, well, my husband helped for about 5 minutes". Have I mentioned that I tend to be sarcastic at times? Okay, if I'm gonna be honest, I'm sarcastic most of the time.

The short version is that we finally conceived Cole and Bella on our 3rd IVF cycle. Garrett and Landon were born 2 years later, spontaneously and much to our surprise. I was the girl who was told by every doctor she saw, "You only have a 1-3% chance of conceiving a take-home baby". That just goes to show you that doctors don't know everything and that God does, indeed, have a sense of humor. I'm living proof of that, as my blog title says.

In my former life, I was a Program Director for a private foster family agency. I enjoyed what I did and the most rewarding part of it all was when a child's story would have a happy ending, whether it was adoption, reunification with a birth parent or living with a foster family who treated the child as if they were their own.

After I had our 1st set of twins, I decided to stay home with them. When people ask me when I plan on returning to work, I just stare at them for a few seconds and then I say, "Returning to work? I never STOPPED working!!" Being a SAHM is definitely the most difficult, most challenging "job" I've ever had. At the same time, I couldn't imagine doing anything else as rewarding. I have a lot of respect and admiration for moms who work outside the home....motherhood is an amazing juggling act.

Besides being a mom and a wife, I enjoy reading (in all my spare time, right?), writing (I'm hoping to get published someday!!), traveling, drinking an occasional glass of wine and, in desperate and stressful moments, I have been known to lock myself in the laundry room while pigging out on a jar of Marshmallow Fluff. I'm trying desperately to teach myself how to bake and decorate cakes, which is going somewhat well...I think. And I have a wicked sense of humor....my belief is that life is too short to be serious all the time. You gotta laugh at the little things....or you just might go insane (in my world, anyway).

I had a hard time choosing just 3 blog posts to share with you all so I'll list the ones below that I did pick, but if you have some time and want to do more poking around here, go check out the "favorite posts" in my left sidebar. While you're over there, why not check out the "awesome blogs" on my blogroll....if you're looking for some excellent new reads, definitely check those out!

Memo to the Bosses (a letter I wrote to my kids, with the hopes of renogiating my parental contract)

What He Says vs What I Hear (all about the simple misunderstandings between husbands and wives)

Oh, Why Didn't Anyone Ever Tell Me? (the brutal truth about motherhood that no one ever tells you)

If you're new to my blog, I hope you'll come back and visit again. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!



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Around the Blogosphere in 5 days!!

Recently, I was asked to join a wonderful new group of women bloggers called Moxie Media (you may have noticed the button on my right sidebar). The group was started by 5 amazing mommy bloggers whose goal it was to work in connection with other women bloggers....women with "moxie" (courage, guts, energy, know-how, skill, initiative)....to help promote companies we believe in, while keeping content on our blogs fun and important to us.

In order to draw attention to the creation of the network, today kicks off the beginning of what will be an exciting and fun-filled event hosted by the leaders of Moxie Media throughout this week....Around the Blogosphere in 5 days!

Have you ever wanted to travel to Oregon but you just haven't been able to make the trip happen? Have you dreamed of touring New England but time just hasn't allowed for it? Are you curious about what life is like in Texas? Well, now's your chance to go on a virtual vacation.....

Follow Moxie Mona's (Moxie Media's mascot) virtual journey as she travels around the U.S. "visiting" the sites of approximately 65 blogs, in an effort to unite women with moxie while teaching us a bit about what's happening in their neck of the woods. Starting today and continuing through Friday, Mona will visit eight to ten different states a day. Talk about a whirlwind of a journey, right?!

To follow Mona and read all about her exciting adventures, click on any of the hosting links below, where you will find a complete list of participants, along with the dates that they will be posting:

Better in Bulk

Mama's Losin' It

Mayhem & Moxie

Scary Mommy

Seven Clown Circus

Starting on Tuesday, you are invited to participate in daily writing carnivals (memes) hosted by the leaders of Moxie Media. Linking your blog on these sites (listed above) when you participate will be a great opportunity to get your blog a little extra traffic and it's also a fun way to connect with other bloggers. To find out more details about the carnivals (dates, topics, etc), be sure to visit the links of the hosts (again, listed above)!

Have fun and wishing you happy traveling!!!

* Some of the information here was "borrowed" from Better in Bulk!!



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Saturday, September 19, 2009

An 11-yr old published author? Now that's talent!

One of my biggest fears when I was pregnant with Garrett and Landon (our 2nd set of twins) was how to explain everything to Cole and Bella (our 1st set of twins). They were only 22 months old and while they were somewhat verbal, I'm not sure how much they truly understood about the situation.

Some of the things we did to help prepare them for Garrett and Landon's arrival were:

1) Buying each of them their own set of twin baby dolls to care for.
2) Letting them listen to the babies' heartbeats almost every night on the doppler I had borrowed from a friend.
3) Allowing them to come to some appointments with us to actually SEE the ultrasound as it was happening. They absolutely loved watching the babies' little hearts fluttering and they'd get a kick out of seeing the babies moving around.

All that seemed adequate enough....but part of me still worried about how they would react when they realized that the babies were real little human beings, with whom they would need to share us with. So I went on a search for books that may help explain things better but there simply were none available. The books I did find explained how to prepare children for the birth of ONE child but not twins. And there certainly were no books available from a child's perspective.

The reason I felt it was so important to prepare them for a twin arrival was for the obvious reason that two babies would require much more of my attention than just one baby would (attempting to breastfeed and/or pump for 2 babies, having 2 more babies in diapers....). Not only was I worried about how I was going to juggle it all, but I was also worried about how they would feel, as I tried to make time for each of them.

In the end, it all worked out....somehow. But having a book to explain it all, at the time, would have been nice.

That's why I was so excited when Dave Morris, from New Year Publishing, recently contacted me and told me about his talented 11-year old daughter, Paris, who has written several books on the topic. He offered to send me some of her books to review. Her first book, I'm Having Twins, is told from her perspective, based on her own experience when she was 3 years old as her family was preparing for the arrival of twins. She went on to write 2 more books called My Twins are Coming Home and My Twins' First Birthday. Soon, she will be adding more books to the series.

I received I'm Having Twins and My Twins are Coming Home to review. The kids helped me open the package and they were instantly enamored with the bright colors of the cover page's illustration. We read both books right away and they loved them. They especially liked that it had been written by another child....someone close in age to them who truly understood what it was like to become an older sibling to twins. They could relate to her and they said as much, "Mommy, she's just like us....she has twins too" and "Her twins were in the hospital too, like our twins were". The books each came with a sticker....a cartoon picture of Paris.

Paris' books are best sellers on Amazon's site and she has been featured in several magazines. This is one amazing little girl, who has found a way to help other children ease into the role of "big brother" or "big sister" of twins.

These books would be valuable to any family that is expecting twins. They would make great gifts for future big brothers or sisters!

If you'd like to order Paris' books, they are available online at the following sites:
Double Up Books (a wonderful bookstore specializing in twins, triplets and more....owned by a mom of twins!!)

Amazon

Barnes and Noble



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Thursday, September 17, 2009

If you give a Mom a moment....

....she'll understand that there will always be challenges on any given day, like when her kids decided to COLOR the oranges instead of EATING them....


like when she stupidly thought attempting to potty train her 2-yr old twins would go well....


and it turned into "Mission Impossible" when the 2 yr olds watched the pee run down their legs, as they'd say "Uh-oh, Mommy".....


like when her family room was taken over by Barbie and all of Barbie's perky-breasted, small-waisted, ever-so-cheerful and beautifully groomed friends.


like when she burnt her hand on the HOT oven rack because she thought she could multi-task....you know, turn her head for just a second to yell at the kids to stop fighting....AGAIN....as she pulled a gourmet meal out of the oven, which she had lovingly prepared for her family. What??!! Bagel bites aren't considered a gourmet meal in your home? Puh-lease....who are you trying to fool?


like the one morning she was extremely giddy because there was JUST BARELY ENOUGH orange juice left for her to guzzle down. But before she could take even the smallest sip, she was called away for only a couple minutes to change a poopy diaper (of course) and as she hurried to return to her nice, chilled glass of OJ, this is what she found.....a fly in the OJ...."isn't it ironic?"


If you give a Mom a moment, she would eventually realize that there would be reasons for her to smile, like when all the kids climbed on top of the bunk bed and no one was injured or pushed off "accidentally"....


like when, at soccer practice, her daughter asked the coach if she could tell her mom something real quick....and that something was a whispered "I love you, Mommy" in her Mommy's ear along with a wet, sweaty kiss on the cheek.


like the huge smile on her son's face when she presented him with the "practice run" dinosaur cake she had made just for him


and, lastly, when she announced to her husband that she had gotten her money's worth when she bought a Halloween decoration at Target that could be left up ALL YEAR ROUND.


That's what happens when you give a Mom a moment....she'll use that time to reflect on what went down during the week and she'll smile as she recalls both the good times and the bad times.

And then she'll take another moment to thank God for the 4 little blessings in her life because she couldn't imagine her life any other way.

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.....be sure to stop by her blog and check it out (after you leave a comment here, of course....because you were going to leave a comment, right? RIGHT?!)



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I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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