Saturday, January 29, 2011

Can it really be TRUE????

My firefighter is most assuredly working hard downtown at Engine 2!  And I don't bug him during the day unless someone is dying - then I would probably call E38 and have them relay the message for me.  ;)  Instead I am basking in my own glory.  He will have to wait until after his nap tomorrow to enjoy the radiant glow I am currently emitting.

Drumroll, please.............


Now for some, this may be a, "eh, whatever" moment, but you must understand something.  With the exception of about a 6 month hiatus between potty training B and D joining our family, we have been with diapers and or Pull-ups since the world was worried about Y2K destroying our entire infrastructure!  At first, they were so cute and so nicely stacked on the changing table.  I couldn't believe how small they were, until I had to buy preemie diapers because the newborn size was swallowing my baby.  They were so tiny and cute.  Then there was the wipes warmer and the little changing table holder doodad.  It was all so new-mommy-ish, I am a bit embarrassed in hindsight.  I loved the diapers, the powder, the cute little bag.  

But NOW, it is time for diapers to GO!!

Potty training our oldest was an interesting time period.  The first round was right before we bought our house, moved and had a baby 2 weeks later.  TOO much for a 2 1/2 year old.  Second  round was a mixed bag - N would be dry all day at school (he went to K3 half day at a school for just the kindergarten crew) and the whole afternoon at the sitter's.  Once he got home, he just peed.  Behind the recliner in the family room, along the fence when our neighbors were having their friends over for a bonfire, in his Pull-up - you name it, he probably peed there.

Our next was EASY - put him in undies and DONE in a matter or days.  I thought to myself, "See, this is my experienced mommy insight at work."  HA!  The potty training gods became aware of my foolish thoughts and gave me D. 

Girls - supposed to be easier to potty train, right.  And D was -  for a week or so.  I thought (Foolishly  to myself again) - "HA!  I will be done with her and only have one in diapers before she is 3!"  Wouldn't that have been nice!  Then she started going poop in the potty.  It splashed her butt and she FREAKED out!  Refused to poop - in a Pull-up or otherwise.  Here is where the gods of potty training punished me for my arrogance.  SHE DID NOT POOP FOR WEEKS.  Went to the doc, put her on a stool softener, laxative - you name it, we did it.  We ended up spending 5 days at Children's Hospital.  That stubborn girl refused to poop after THREE DAYS of GO-LITELY through an NG tube - you know that horrible stuff they give you before a colonoscopy.  SHE REFUSED TO POOP!  So we spent days - walking around the 8th floor in our sunglasses, with our purse - making everyone ooooohh and ahhhh over us, every hour.  She basked in the glory of her cuteness, but did not POOP!!!!  She had an oversized ball (think somewhere between a softball and playground ball)  of poop in her colon and it became so  messy and painful, that it took 4 of us to change her or hold her down when she could begin to go.  She was a few months away from 3 and not comfortable pooping the potty until nearly 4. 

With O - I learned my lesson and went humbly into her potty training.  No agenda, no rushing, no arrogance.  Just a goal of before the next school year - more than enough time, with a summer for comfort.  So, we have been potty training since Thanksgiving.  She is great for me and N.  Refused to go for Daddy, Grandpa, our sitter, just N and Mommy.  Finally our sitter has a come to Jesus meeting with her and the sat in the bathroom, and sat and sat  some more.  Until she finally PEED IN THE POTTY!  So, since we have been back from Christmas break, she has been dry for Brenda.  Daddy, is another story.  So, I decided to go with what worked - you would think after potty training FIVE kids in the last 12 years (including our nephew) I would know what works.  Into undies we go.  No more Pull-ups except when sleeping.  And we have been dry for four days.  

Here's to hoping this is for real.  I am not SAYING she is potty trained, just hoping.  Oh powerful gods of potty training, please know that I learned my lesson and will not be arrogant in my daughter's success.  Just quietly glad to be done - maybe.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Empty Cradles

It breaks my heart and infuriates me all at the same time.  And I am feeling guilty.  Feeling like I dropped the ball.

Milwaukee - known for Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, beer and brats,  and an infant mortality rate that rivals 3rd world and developing nations.  Many of the babies are born early (often due to lack of proper prenatal care), many are born to impoverished families, some had parents who decided to drink and share a bed with them and they all leave us far too soon.  And in most cases their loss can be prevented.

Now, when I first began this crusade, I ended up being lambasted by those touting the long lasting bonds that have been formed because of co-sleeping.  It is always a choice - it is not a law.  I personally am NOT on that bandwagon.  My children slept in their own bed from day 1.  Partially because I was following the recommendations of the medical community and partially because I wanted to be sure my kids could sleep without me - in their own beds.  I also know there are safety measures that can be put in place to reduce the risks for those who choose to co-sleep - co-sleepers for the side of the bed that allow mom easy access, but still give baby their own space; bassinets, pack-n-plays, etc.  BUT - in most of these cases that Milwaukee has seen - it ends up that there are things that COULD HAVE BEEN DONE.  Google "Milwaukee Infant Deaths"  and you will be surprised (and sickened) at the results.  It is even making news in France.

Parents/caregivers SHOULD NEVER share a bed if there are over tired, sick and taking meds that cause drowsiness, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Comforters and pillows, other children - more no-nos.  The Milwaukee Fire Department has a pack and play on their trucks and engines for any calls they go to and notice there is a baby, but no crib.  St. Joseph's hospital has a program where you can literally walk in with your baby and they will give you a pack n play.  There are several organizations working with mothers who cannot afford the cribs to allow them a safe sleeping environment for their babies.  They just have to ask.

Here is where I dropped the ball.  Last year, I started a blog, Twitter and Facebook page called Pleasant Dreams, Sleep Tight.  The whole purpose was education and community involvement.  Then the summer came and all the kids were home, the MFD  Class of 07-26-2010 hit us full force, the boys and started at a new school and then I started working to acclimate to fire life and it totally slipped my mind - until we started losing more babies

I have lost sleep, I have had guilt hit me like you would not believe.  My husband feels I am being silly, what could I do - go house to house checking for cribs?  And in all reality, I do have to take care of my family first.  But, what if I used some of those sleepless nights and kept up with the mission I had started?  What if one of these moms happened across one of the pages? What if? What if? What if?

So, my Crusade is back on.  If one baby is know the spiel.  No more empty cradles, no more lives cut short when their death could have been prevented.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Here Is Where I Wish I had More Followers

Halsey and her gaggle o' fraggles
Ariel is on the right
I don't often worry too much about who reads what.  This is more a tool for me to make my way into this fireworld with my sanity intact.  I have met some great people because of it.  But now I am asking for your help.  If you could send this out to your circle of friends and family, I would be so thrilled. 

Ariel as a pug, with me as the Cat-teacher.
I graduated from a high school for the performing arts, where I was a music major and was lucky enough to spend a few years teaching (history) there as a grown up.  I LOVED my kids there!  They are different kind of kid, even though I am the first to say kids are kids are kids.  I am where I need to be for my family, but these are the times I miss that world.  Some of those kids became as close to my own as they could possibly, without actually being mine.  Ariel is one of those.
Sometimes I could not get rid of my girls even when class was over.  I look so thrilled.
One of my girls from a few years back - I think she was from the class of  '09 is a finalist in an animation submission contest.  She sent me a quick note on Facebook - "Psssst. Halsey :D..."  with a link to the contest page -nothing else.  So here I am, pandering for votes for my girl.  

She even has my earrings in here-  Gosh, was I really this grumpy?

Please take a look at this link and vote for Ariel Rivas - she is the second submitted piece down.  She is very talented and very creative - with ideas POURING out of her head.  And if you feel so inclined to pass on the link to your circle of influence to vote for my girl, I would so appreciate that as well.  

Please click here and vote for Ariel Rivas.  I would appreciate and so would this starving artist!

When Ariel decided I was no longer a can, but a golden.
So glad she got the Jersey right!!

And as always - GO PACK GO!!

Sometimes, things just kinda grow on ya!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Some perks of a firefighter's schedule

J has been off of work for the last 5 days.  In order to make sure no OT is earned unnecessarily, they have PO days (Personal Off days) to balance out the hours.  J happened to get one at the end of this past cycle and one first thing into the next.  That means he only has to work today.  His last shift was the 14th and his next after this will be next Wednesday the 26th.  That made life SO nice yesterday.

Being a teacher,  I have conferences 3 times a year - midway through each term.  Yesterday and tonight are conferences for second term.  Yesterday was also our youngest's birthday.  I was not happy with the idea of not being able to spend her birthday with her.  It is important to me that they have their special dinner (of their choice) and a cake on the actual day of their birthday.  J told me not to worry - she's too little to care about the calendar.  'Tis true, but still...  We always have a party for family, but the day should be remembered as well.  So, when J came down to pick up the boys (they were grateful not to have to hang out here all night) he brought McD's (her choice :D ) and a little birthday cake.  He kept my silly little traditions going, even when I had to work.  What a sweetie!

And that is why I love my fireman!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Probably the biggest game of my life

I am a sports nut - my Twitter is all sports, all day; I listen to Sports Talk Radio to and from school on my hour commute; Sundays - don't talk to me, I am watching football.  And normally by this point in the season, I am still aware and involved, but my countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring training has begun.(26 days)  Not this year.  This year it is all Packers, all day.  To add the cherry on top of my football sundae - the NFC Championship game is Packers vs. Bears.  This is it - probably more exciting than the Superbowl will be on the 2nd.  I do not recall any season in years where the Packers AND the Bears have both been so strong.  It has been any other combination of strengths and weakness, but not this year.  Both teams have proven their worth, in spite of injuries and adversities.   The last time these two teams met was mere days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Milwaukee Sentinel's Article.

Now, I have been known to trash talk a little - or maybe A LOTTLE (yes - it is a word in my vocabulary).  I have a friend - Bear fan, poor gal - in Germany.  She stays up to watch the games on AFN and the banter back and forth on Facebook is amazing.  We have been like this since day one of training camp.  I teach 7 miles north of the Illinois border.  I would say a good 25-30% of my kids are from the land down under.  The banter in my classes has been unreal.  It has been so much fun.  My stats are more impressive than your stats. We have the SuperBowl Shuffle.  Lombardi Trophy - says it all.  Just back and forth.  My whiteboard has been vandalized with a horrible orange C repeatedly. My door has been plastered with Bears Stickers.  I received a sympathy card from the band director after our loss to the Lions.  I coulod go on and on.  But - it will end soon - for one side or the other.  It has been a fun ride, but someone is going home.  We cannot be co-NFC Champions.  Monday, all of this banter will come to an end. One way or the other.  We will probably never see this again in our lifetimes.  There will always be more match-ups for Green Bay and Chicago for the NFC North Championship - but this is for all the marbles.  We will probably not see it again.
Mind you, we (being the 6th seeded wild card) are 3 point favorites at the HOME FIELD of the NFC North Champions - I'm just sayin'...  Okay, trash talking aside - for now.  With that being sad, I leave you with one final thought.

Really??? NOBODY could stop?

I live 2 counties away from where I teach.  My husband has residency requirements - having to live in the city.  No big deal, really.  When we taught for MPS we had to live in the city as well.  But, now that I teach in a private school in Kenosha, it is a bit of a bigger deal.  We live as far out - NW - in the city as you can get w/o leaving the city - closer to Menomonee Falls than most of the rest of the city.  And now I teach 7 miles north of the Illinois border.
My family is not too thrilled with this idea.  Having to travel and hour each way is enough in and of itself.  But when you add snow to the equation - it can be scary.  Most of my drive is interstate, which, for the most part is always pretty clean.  It is the country roads that I take to get from the I to the school that can be treacherous.  We got about 5 inches down here last night, which isn't that much, but enough to make it messy.  As we came across our first stoplight (I don't know the cross roads down here.) on 142 - about 3 miles off the expressway, I noticed a car in the ditch with the interior lights on.   I pulled over, told the kids to stay put, and went to make sure the driver was okay.  I got her to open the door, she told me a car in front of her swerved at the curve she panicked trying to avoid him, ending up in the ditch  and found she could not get a signal, so I called 911.  I know, having family in the emergency field, that the operators hate it when you don't know where you are.  I told her we were on 142 and the next major road was Green Bay, we were just east of the previous set of lights and just west of the bridge.  I thought that was pretty good for someone from Milwaukee on the country roads in Kenosha county.  "Ma'am, if you are before the bridge you are quite a ways away from Green Bay Road. "  Sorry - next time I'll ask my Garmin for a distance check.  (1.1 miles)   No one else had called in the accident.  I was the first.

I helped her out of her car - in 4 inch heels, with snow up to my knees - I am freezing in my class as we speak - and waited until the  trooper came.  But here is what blows my mind - NO ONE STOPPED!  Not even the guy who caused this whole mess.  My husband will have my head when he finds out I did, alone, with the boys in the car.  BUT - what if it was me?  I would want to know that someone gave a damn about their fellow person and stopped to be sure we were okay.  I would want someone to call for help if my phone was not working.  I would want someone to care.

The woman was physically okay, but visibly shook up.  Her husband was on the way.  But, felt better when someone was there with her.  You could see the relief on her face.  No idea what her name is, her little black Kia will be fine once the tow truck comes and she will be okay.  No harm, no foul?  Sorry - someone should have stopped before I did.  She should not have had to wait for me to get there.

Be safe in whatever weather you have.  Help your neighbor just because they need it.  Happy Tuesday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday night alone

and look what I do.  Search YouTube!  Sad really, but the kids are in bed, the K9 units are sleeping at my feet and my kids at work have gotten me hooked on Michael Israel's work.  He is awesome, but this has been my favorite so far.  Thoughts??

Michael Israel's Hero


This could be a fun weekend

I am so glad that Friday is upon us.  I have a stack of papers that need to be graded and entered into my gradebook by Monday - 7:30 AM.  I will definitely have to schedule time for that, but the rest of crazy weekend is looking great.  I need some steam blowing off activities.  Tomorrow, after I clean my house, drop my boys off by my brother and my girls off by my dad, J and I are going to our first social gathering with E2 Blue shift.  This is my first time to put a face with the names.  I have met many of them on our various treks downtown - but mainly as they are backing in the truck after grocery shopping, running down to the weight room, heading off to do whatever it is that firefighters do during the day.  They are all kind of a blue blur in my mind.  If they came up to me on the street and said, "Hey, aren't you Halsey's wife?", I would think I had a stalker on my hands.  I am looking forward to figuring out who is who from the firehouse tales I hear every three days.  That and getting to be a grown up instead of Momma or Mrs. Halsey.  Will be nice to see that gal again!  ;)

Tomorrow is also the Packer game.  I am a rabid Packer fan.  I have had my shots, so although I will bite if provoked, you won't get lock-jaw!  So, Jeff has already prepared his crew for the fact that I turn into a guy during the game.  We have not gone to any of our usual Packer games this season - topic for  another day, as we seem to have drifted from some of our closest friends through this transition.  It has been Me, keeping the kids quiet so Daddy can sleep, attempting to keep me quiet so Daddy can sleep or just Me watching alone.  Not my ideal way to spend my NFL time, but c'est la vie, such is life in the big city.  I am so excited to not have to debate calls with myself, be the only set of eyes to look for fouls or trash talk with myself.  (Although I do have an on-going rivalry with an equally rabid Bear fan from La Crosse, whose family is currently stationed in Germany, to help with some of my football isolation.)  I am a guy in drag during football season.  And this year, I am SO glad to not have my countdown to Pitchers and Catcher reporting going, yet.  :)  I will tell you my ideal scenario - after tomorrow night, not that I am superstitious or anything.

Hard to believe this was 2 years ago.  Liv weighed under 14 pounds for her 1 year check up.
Her outfit in this pic is a 6 month set and she was DROWNING in it.

Sunday - which is why I need a clean house - is the big day for 2 of my muppets.  N will be 11 on the 25th and O will be 3 on the 19th.  We celebrate them together for the sake of our families.  They do get their own cakes.  And luckily N has been okay sharing is day with his baby sister.  I will be so happy to have my family together for the day.  Mind you -we are not the Cleavers and some days I wish to never have a family gathering with them ever again.  This year, we did not have Christmas with that side due to schedules and travel time, so I am looking forward to seeing everyone.  Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.

So, now that the baby is already in bed, I should be off to round up the other three stooges.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Okay...after a bit of sleep

I am not near as grumpy as I was yesterday.

Just so you don't think I just forgot to get up on the right side of my bed, I DID have a reason for being a cranky cat.

The night before I tried to be a good girl and go to bed early.  I had the lights out by 9:30pm - unheard of for me. I figured I would simply wake up when J called for the night.  I dozed off to slumber land, with amazing ease.  Around 10:45pm, my 12 year old golden, Willow, woke me up. She has very bad cataracts and does move around well in the dark - I assumed she needed some to help her find the kitchen to get a drink.  I got her into the kitchen and she headed straight to the back door - she needed to go out.  Now, in the light of day, I am so glad that she woke me up, I would have been much more upset in the morning had she not.  Nonetheless, it took me out of my bed.  She goes out and decides she wants to play in the snow.  Ordinarily, I would be thrilled that she felt up to playing - BUT I WANTED TO GO BACK TO BED.  I wore her out by tossing some snowballs for her - in my PJs and back to the bedroom we went.

The clock is reminding me that I need to get everyone up and out the door for school and I am now WIDE awake!  I decide to read until J calls to tell me how his day was.  Suddenly it is 11:45pm and I am guessing that there will be no call tonight.  Who knows why.  Why fight the droopy eyes, I let myself drift off.
At 1:50 AM - I hear a weird beep, realizing that it was the carbon monoxide detector losing power. Which only means one thing, either someone has unplugged it or the power is out.  I open my eyes only to find no ambient light - only darkness.  No streetlights, no clock face, no fish tank light from the family room - just dark.  UGH!!!!  
Now what?  I grab my phone, use my handy dandy flashlight app and head to the dining room to see if it is the whole neighborhood or just our lucky quadrant.  NOPE - all dark.  I wait for about half an hour and decide to set an alarm to wake myself up at 4:30am.  The whole time I am "sleeping", I am so paranoid that I won't hear the alarm that I can't sleep.  Finally again, I start to drift away.  Until 3:37am when my clock flashes on for brief moment - followed by the beep of the CO detector and the whoosh of the fish tanks.  And off again.  It is on again for about 30 seconds at 4:37am, giving me false hope that I would have power to get the kids ready for school.  

My flashlight app is my best friend.  I got 4 kids up, fed (cold Pop Tarts - it works), dressed (although not in complete uniform - the dryer doesn't work without electricity - B had khaki pants, instead of navy, and N had no vest) and out the door my 5:50am - just to have the lights come on as I locked the back door - figures!

So, yes, thank you for noticing, I am Supermom - just a grumpy supermom yesterday! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Women LOVE a man in uniform

My husband is stationed downtown.  Because of this, he has not had as much excitement as some of his classmates in more residential houses.  The guys on his shift keep telling him to wait until summer.  Things definitely pick up.  There are 2 stations downtown  - E1 and E2.  E1 has Water Street - you can tell what their calls would be.  E2 has Marquette University - wait, still the same kind of calls.  Most of Jeff's calls have been for homeless, the jail, the mission, etc.  But Saturday night it was all about the women.

My firefighter survived his first firehouse prank totally unscathed (lemonade made with the water from lunch's hot dogs - ewwww), thanks to his captain, and it just got more exciting from there.  Around 9:30pm there was a ring of the bell.  The door is answered and there is no time for formalities - in barge 15 women, with no invitation - just entitlement.  They are all "feeling no pain" and looking for a certain firefighter.  After some discussion it turns out this firefighter is the ex-husband to one of the belles of the ball and he is stationed at Engine 1.  Right church, wrong pew. I think it was probably good that poor firefighter was down the road a ways. There were girls on poles and in bunker pants.  I don't think the guys knew what hit them.  After they finally rounded them up and shooed them out, the night continued with call after call.  Being downtown, there is a bit of a bar scene. ;)  While checking out one of the daily "car fires" (cars parked over steam vents), they caught up with the Red Bull girls, who wanted rides on the engine.  FUNNY stories.  There were quite a few other alcohol related calls as the night progressed, with I am certain more tales to go with them.

I can't wait to hear the hubby's work stories once the Lakefront activities and Summerfest events are upon us.    I can only imagine!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Guard Dog? Pfffffffttt!

I woke up a little confused this morning.  There was the pitter patter of little feet across the family room floor, the thumping of Bear's tail and a subtle stream of daylight  coming through my window.  Yes, I said DAYLIGHT!  I cannot tell you the last time I woke up and the sun was shining.  The first time I usually notice the sun is when I have to close my shades in my classroom because it is drowning out the PowerPoint on my whiteboard in class.  I NEVER wake up to it.  Especially not when J is working.

Now, you might think that I am up worrying all night and wringing my hands in fear.  Nope.  Simply not the case.  I do stay up later when J is working, mainly because I am waiting for his call, but also because I do find it harder to fall asleep without him.  It is a much easier task if I am already tired.  Sounds normal, why can't I sleep if it is not for fear of a hi-rise building collapsing on my firefighter as it goes down in flames. (Mainly because I know he would not be IN there if it was structurally unsound.)  I have one word for you - BEAR!
 Bear loves working with kids - at school, at home or in the neighborhood.  But, in his DNA, he is a GUARD DOG!!

No, I am serious - stop laughing.  Just ask him - Bear is a Guard Dog.  Great Pyrenees are an ancient breed - bred to protect the flock and the shepherd.  Bear takes his heritage very seriously - especially when Jeff is working.  There are barks about every 15 minutes on average - as he takes off running to go investigate.   Just as he comes back and settles in, and begin to drift off, there must be another sound down the street that he feels he must investigate.  This goes on all night and 4 am comes really quickly.  By the time my Period D comes, I am dying!  

But last night - no alarm barks, no arguments with Willow when she just wants to sleep, no wake up calls - just sleep.  So you can see why I was confused when I woke up at 6:57 AM.  I honestly looked to see where he was, thinking perhaps I left him outside last night (Oh, my poor neighbors had that been true.)  Bear slept.  He was the biggest help he could have possibly been, simply by doing nothing.

And  now I await my firefighter and the doughnut party he is bringing home for the kids.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Fire Family

I have this as my current profile picture for my Facebook page.  I love Facebook.  I have reconnected with long lost friends and found some friends that are as close as sisters to me if though they are stationed half way around the world.  But, and everyone has one, it opens up a whole new world of criticism.  Today, after changing my picture from a sketch of "me" drawn by one of my former students to the Fire Wife icon, two people lectured me.  I was told that I was "losing (my) identity" in my husband's career.  Another "friend" told me they she was "disappointed" in me because she thought I was a stronger woman than this.  I was a bit taken aback by the comments.  How does this change my value as a woman?  If anything it increases it.  My identity is not that of my husband's career, but is sure as heck has become a big part of it.  

I have been "writing" this post in my head since this morning.  Thinking of what to say and how I could make these people understand.  I debated on whether  to post the link to this posting on their wall or send it to them privately.  Then while I am making dinner - as the dog is helping himself to the veggies, the baby needs me to take her potty, my boys are fighting over cleaning their room and I have dispatch playing on the background of my laptop - it comes to me.  Nothing I can say or write or demonstrate will make them understand.  My husband is not half a world away, he is only 20 minutes away.  But every three days, our routine is interrupted.  The holidays were a perfect example - I need say nothing more.  When a spouse is deployed it is hard, but you establish a routine without them.  We are still figuring out how to do that with every day and a half being interrupted.  I have literally sat down with a calendar for the next two months and counted off BLUE shifts in order to figure things out.  My kids draw heroic pictures of their daddy when he is gone.  The dogs flock to him when he comes home.  And as much as I would love to have help me with the crazy kids or the tire that needs to be changed or the attitude adjustment that needs to be made with one of the boys, when Daddy comes home - it is still just me.  He needs to sleep and I still am a single mom until he gets that nap in.  How do you get people to understand that?

Our holidays revolved around the firehouse.  Where Daddy would be, when would we see him, how we could still have him involved in opening presents.  It was all centered around the firehouse.  The entire family revolves around that firehouse.  Appointments are scheduled around J's shift, school conferences, family gatherings - I even made alternate plans for tomorrow's Packer game, so J could sleep - EVERYTHING revolves around his work schedule.  So, tell me how I do not take on the identity of a Fire Wife.  My kids are proud of their Daddy - Desiree is going to be a firegirl just like her daddy (just ask her, she'll tell you!).  I am proud of my husband.  When everyone else is running away from the fire, he is running in - to save their stuff, their dog and their lives.  When there is an issue with a homeless person downtown and everyone else is trying to avoid them, my husband is trying to help them.  When an inmate at the jail has a seizure and the rest of the world is judging him - deciding if it is real or not - my husband is simply trying to make sure he is safe and his needs are tended to.  When an elderly woman's blood pressure has spiked and needs transport, he is making sure she is comfortable and informed of what is happening.  He is a public servant and a hero.

Don't judge me because I am now calling myself a Fire Wife.  I does not define me.  I am the sum of all of my parts and that happens to be one of my parts.  Was it in my plans?  No, absolutely not.  But, then again, neither was marriage and children and look at me now.  We don't know where life will take us.  I am enjoying the ride.  Just like the roller coasters - there are moments when I feel like I am going to puke and just want off.  There are also those moments of pure exhilaration that remind you why you got on this ride in the first place.

I am a proud Fire Wife, take me or leave me.

Who needs TV - I live with the Muppets.

As parents, we all know that life with kids, especially four of them, is never boring and rarely quiet.  Imagine living with Muppets.

Bet you didn't know my kids were Muppets - yup it is indeed the truth.  They are not regular kids - they are caricatures - not REAL kids.  I am just amazed at how distinct their personalities are.  Let me introduce you...

Our oldest is known as Noah, but really he is Waldorf.  One of the cranky old men from the Muppet Show.  You know, one of the dynamic duo, the Siskel and Ebert of the Henson world.  They sit in the balcony and make their opinions well known for all to hear.  That is Noah.  He is uber-smart - sometimes to point of scary, but very critical of others and has been a cranky old man since probably the second grade.  Even is younger brother has gotten in on he action.  His nickname for Noah is CNH.  Not because he is sweet like the sugar, but rather because it stands for Cranky Noah Harrington.  (PS - pay attention to the portion with Miss Piggy - she'll come up later.)

Brennan is our next Muppet.  He is a keep everyone happy, go with the flow and laugh as much as possible kind of kid.  He has been in glasses since 5 and so he even looks the part.  Brennan is definitely Scooter.  He is always on the go, always trying to get things to go his way (and often successful) always trying to organize events and always the one who seems to catch it from the other Muppets when things are not QUITE the way they believe they should be.

Desiree - what can I say about Desiree.  Who else could Desi be but Miss Piggy?  Des has been singled out since she was a baby - she was a Gerber baby.  She even figured out at such an early age, that people were talking about her and if she tilted her head, they would oo and aah  even more. <GAG>  She is a princess, and the world treats her as such.  If she does not get her way....let's just say, I hope you can hold your own!

And then there is Little Livy.  Do not let her age or size fool you.  She may be the size of an average 12-18 month old child, but she is not one to be bullied.  Being the youngest of four, Olivia has learned that you need to fight for your position.  She makes up her mind and no one will be able to tell her that she cannot do something.  Size will not stop her.  Liv also has a bit of a, umm, what you could call a wild side to her.  She is a rough and tumble kinda gal and sometimes hard to understand.  She becomes a different creature when she is hungry or thirsty, a bit of an Animal, I guess you could say, when food is not readily available.  If nothing else- she will steal her sister's food while the diva has her moments!

Well, there you have it - our Muppets.  Hopefully they bring a smile to your face as they do mine.   Happy Saturday!

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