Sunday, May 22, 2005


After trampling barbie to death, the giraffe ended his own life. The note said, "I am NOT barbie's PONY!!!" Leta, clearly upset, stated, "I had no idea...we thought they were so happy!" Posted by Hello

A couple of weeks ago, Mina started to draw apples, as pictured here. Now she draws "Thomas", apples, pears, smileys, spiders, and today she wrote the letter H. She said "H" and then "Momma draw H." Oh, she was also asking us to draw enemies, and I don't know where that came from. I think she meant friends, like friends of Thomas.  Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

I promise it's worth reading...no, really!

So, things have been hard. Really, really hard. I don't really have the energy to rehash everything, but let's just say that during the last year we have watched Mina's bright, happy, friendly and energetic personality deteriorate. It happened slowly, which makes it tricky to notice, but anyway... anyway... All of our energy over the last month has been spent on dealing with this. ALL of it. Reading, talking, searching, thinking... several weeks ago, Mina went gluten free/casein free, and ever since then, every day it's like my Mina is back more and more. She is bright, smiling, chatty...it's like she was put under a spell and is coming back to life now. I can't believe it. I say that all the time and it's true, I just can't believe it.

Mina is sick this week with a cold/cough. We also had a doctor appointment on Monday to let the pediatritian know what's happening and we had a ton of bloodwork done. We had to go back on Wednesday because the Thyroid test came back a little low, but it's fine. The doctor has faith in the diet, which is really good to hear. It wouldn't have made a difference, but it's good to hear that a doctor is acknowledging that diet might have anything to do with anything.

This morning Mina was a bit crabby because of the cough and runny nose, but she ate her eggs like a good girl and so did Leta. Leta eats anything. After breakfast Jana called to say she was going to stop by this park near my house with Kal, so we decided to throw some clothes on and go over there. When we go to parks I feel so overprotective. I see other kids Mina's age climbing around and going on slides and their parents are doing their own thing. I am constantly making sure Mina isn't walking off a ledge or going down a slide face first, even though she is so cautious I doubt she would do any of those things. I am trying to back off a bit.

We came home and ate chicken soup and coconut macaroons for lunch, and since it was so nice, we went to the zoo. On the way to the zoo I was thinking about how cool it is to have stuff to do with the kids that doesn't cost anything. Do you know how many great parks there are here? Parks, bookstores, downtown, Willy St., various kid friendly coffee shops, the zoo...in the summer there are always people outside playing music everywhere you turn.

Mina was so happy to see the bears. She correctly identified a polar bear and a black bear! She is fascinated with birds and loved the ostrich, geese, and flamingo... The sea lions were being very silly and making her giggle. It was a great trip. Leta was even into it!

On the way home from the zoo my day peaked when I had a moment of absolute clarity. The kids were passing out in the back seat and I was listening to a really great mix cd that was obviously put together with great care by a really great friend. A Rachael Sage song was playing. I thought to myself, you know, look at this day. Look at these trees. Look at these cherubs in my back seat. I love my life. It's pretty good. Sometimes, even a lot of time, it's hard, but things come together. They come together, break apart, come together, break apart...at that moment, suddenly, I felt like...like I understood, the universe, everything, nothing, it's all the same, and it's beautiful. And no, I haven't been eating anything funny. Suddenly, I wasn't afraid. I felt like a part of it all, and in that sense, at ease. Not worried, just happy.

It's funny how these things often happen while I'm driving.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Update on Shannon from mom.

I thought this was interesting...

"I asked him about the bridge project and he said it is as far as it will go, as the project manager was accused of witchcraft (JUJU) and was beaten almost to death. He said it's a common occurance in Africa...There is this thing called the wondering casket and if someone dies and they think that witchcraft was involved, they take the casket all over the village until the casket indicates the house of the supposed witch, kind of like a ouiji board.

"He also said that he has infections on his legs...their diet is mainly corn cakes and vegetables, he weights 140ish, so must be thin."

Oops...I'm still here, really!

I've just been either busy or feeling quiet lately. My Chemistry class is finally over...YEAH!!! I haven't recieved my report card yet but I'm sure I'll let you all know how I did. *gulp*

Mother's Day weekend was a lot of fun. My dear husband was mister responsible parent all weekend so I was able to have some girly bonding fun with the family...maybe a little TOO much fun...but every now and then one simply has to indulge!

This week I was all antsy because normally I have class three days per week and am dressed and out the door with the girls at 7am. I found myself asking Mina and Leta what we should do, and while they are really creative they aren't the best at making these decisions yet. My brilliant idea was to go to the bookstore. Barnes & Noble has a Thomas the Tank Engine setup and Mina is totally obsessed with Thomas. She talks about Thomas constantly and tries to draw him. We have never even seen the show. I tried to find out when it's on, but apparently, it isn't on around here. Maybe we could Netflix a DVD. Anyway, I am going to go broke if we keep going there, because we were there twice this week and I have bought two train cars (they're wooden and they stick together with magnets!!! But they aren't exactly cheap...) a book full of fun things to do with preschoolers, a really excellent book called Nobody Nowhere, and iced mocha...I'm not usually much of a spender but I get weak in the bookstore.

We've been worrying obsessively about Mina's well being. That's why I don't really feel "chatty". Things have relaxed a little bit. I think everything's going to be fine. They seem to be headed in the direction of fine, and hopefully they continue on that path. I feel this fierce mother bear-ness lately and will fight to the death to ensure that things are fine!!! ;)

Shannon and Laney are in Kitwe for the weekend. They have to go fairly often for training purposes, meetings, stuff like that, and they get to check emails, stay in hotels with TV, drink beer, have fun, take showers. It must feel incredible each time. Though they have certainly fixed up their hut and made it a home, it's still just that: a hut, in a village without running water or electricity. They had two dogs but one of them died. The dogs are good for scaring away snakes.

Now I guess I should go figure out what's for dinner. I am so not in the mood to make anything.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Bon Week-end!

Friday my friend Laura asked me if I was going to see the free Violent Femmes show. "WHAT?!" I asked. I had no idea! Apparently everyone on livejournal had been talking about it but no one I happened to be friends with. She said she would baby-sit if Jason and I wanted to go, so immediately I called Jason at work and plans were made...however, when the time drew near, Jason just wasn't feeling up to snuff, so I called up Laura and said, "listen here, see...you're goin' with me and there ain't no way around it, dig?" Well, who could argue with that?

We parked near the capital and walked down State St. I must say, it's so exhilarating sometimes, walking outside in the evening, free of strollers, diaper bags, thoughts of wether I brought enough snacks... Anyway, we got to Union terrace and some band was playing...I thought they were sort of Dave Matthew's-esque, sort of typical for that crowd of college kids. Laura attained two large paper cups of Pabst Blue Ribbon and passed out a "beer glove" to keep the fingers warm. We walked around a bit, trying to find a good people-watching perch, and when we were heading down the PBR home stretch Laura suggested we go to Chipotle to split a burrito. "Excellent idea, as usual!" (That Laura is always BURSTING with excellent ideas)...I was thrilled to learn that they had margaritas...we decided to split one of those, too. (FYI--it was disgusting.) When we got back to the show, the Violent Femmes were just about ready to play. We walked around again until we found a good spot where we could lean against a ledge.

I have a few things to say about the show. 1: I was immediately turned off by the pre-song banter. It was obviously geared towards college kids who love to party and sleep around and all that sort of thing, and everyone cheered stupidly... 2: they were seated the entire time. I realize they're not kids anymore, but...but... 3: I really like them, but I really hate their fans. Of course they played "blister in the sun" and all the big hits from that album and OF COURSE this girl behind us was singing along at the top of her lungs. Laura even got a picture of her but she probably deleted it...I'll have to see about that because it would be kind of fun to post. (Jason, acting as my conscience, tells me "don't post pictures of other people.")

We went inside to powder our noses and noticed a sign, "Karaoke 9pm Union South" and immediately found ourselves stepping onto the bus. Everyone on the bus was on the phone. Laura nonchalantly reached into her purse and started dialing. BUZZ BUZZ...BUZZ BUZZ... "Hello?" "Hey, it's Laura. What are you doing?" this charade went on for another minute.

Union South was like...I don't know...hufflepuff tower or something. People on computers, people doing home work. We came across a room where kids in jeans and sneakers were ballroom dancing, mixed with a couple of older people. Laura noticed a refreshments table and we had to go in. After downing a dixie cup of cold water, Laura wanted to dance. "NONONONONONONONONO!NOOOOOOO!!!!! Aw, alRIGHT..." it was a disaster but the good Union South people are used to seeing awkwardness and did no pointing or laughing.

We exited swiftly and found the Karaoke downstairs, by the bowling and pool tables. A sweet handful of people were there, singing nervously at first and then belting out tunes. It was precious...but I couldn't bring myself to participate. If I had, though, I would have sang "Piano Man".

We took the bus back and walked back down State St. to the car, and decided to finish off the night at Denny's with decaf coffee and maybe even a brownie.

When we were heading home, Laura commented, "That was Good, Clean Fun." and I asked, "Do you want to go to a strip club and snort some cocaine?" "It's just going to be nice to go to bed sober after a night out, you know?"

That night I had a dream that Laura, Tim, Jason and I were renting a big house in the student ghetto with several other girls, and the girls were eating all of our food. We, the two couples, conspired against them while sitting on filthy old couches in an upstairs living room, ashing into a giant glass ashtray, drinking mountain dew, and watching german movies. Crazy.