Saturday, May 31, 2008

For the blood is the life!

This morning was my appointment with Red Cross. It was a piece of cake. I have nice veins and keep myself well hydrated. I was done in six minutes. I felt fine afterwards.

What wasn't fine, though, was the way I kept stuffing myself all day. She told me to eat plenty of good food, so I didn't try to stop myself at all. I went home and ate cottage cheese with tomatoes and chives, chips, an apple, and an egg salad sandwich on a croissant... and then another egg salad croissant...

THEN as I was becoming one with the couch, Rahel called and wanted to have lunch. Well, I decided I could use a cup of coffee... So we went to Cool Beans, and Rahel talked me into getting some dessert. So I ate that at breakneck pace, stuffing myself into a food coma, when Mina and Leta said they were hungry. I took that as a sign that I should order the Sir Isaac Turkey sandwich so that Mina could eat the potato chips and Leta could eat *most* of the sandwich while I took a taste... Except I ate HALF of the sandwich. I could barely put together a sentence after that. My iced chai redeye did NOTHING to help.

Can you believe I came home and made dinner after that? I was going to just make dinner and not eat, but I uh... forgot! It was some kind of crazy chicken pineapple pepper broccoli stir fry. I certainly didn't need it, nor did I need the cookie after that.

That's not the end! Those croissants and that egg salad were staring me down. I knew they would be no good tomorrow. That's just one of those things you need to eat when it's fresh. So... You see, I had no choice! So you would think I wouldn't have had to eat those nachos while watching Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The cherry on top was that I dropped my nachos and spilled greasy chip crumbs all over the couch. Jason asked, bewildered, "How did that happen? How could you drop the nachos?" and I just looked down at my mess saying, "I... I donated blood..."

Anyway, other than the ten lbs of food I ate and the nacho dropping humiliation, it was a cinch. Hey, two posts in a row detailing food consumption. I promise to end this nonsense right now.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What is Cullen Eating?

Suddenly at 7 months old Cullen started to look skinny, so I thought I should probably feed him more (brilliant, no?) instead of just a taste here and there.

This morning he had yogurt for the first time. He made a sour face at first, but seemed to like it after that. Actually, every time I tried to put the spoon in his mouth, he opened wide and then turned his head to look at Leta. I kept telling her to stop being so damn beautiful and fascinating but she really can't help it.

I gave him a couple of tastes of my bagel at lunch time. Who doesn't love bagels? He was all over that action.

For dinner he ate some chicken and apple dinner (pureed baby food), and while we were eating our dinner, he ate some avocado, cheese, and dirty rice. He wolfed down his applesauce but was really more excited about OUR dinner. I have a couple of more jars of baby food and I don't plan on buying more when we finish it. He seems to do just fine eating whatever we're eating.

He is really energetic today just like a superbaby. I think it's the food. The boy loves to eat.

Of course, this is all in addition to his regular nursing schedule. It doesn't really replace anything.

Guess what, reader! You'll never get those 45 seconds of your life back. Sorry! Maybe you could tell me what you ate today, and then we'd be even.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


~separate bedrooms for the girls
~an office
~more patience
~this is lame.

The girls had toothpaste and soap all over the sink tonight. Okay, I realize that sounds kind of normal, but I mean, they emptied half a tube of toothpaste. And folks, this is not the first time.

Right now they are laying in bed giggling loudly about poop and butts.

*breathe breathe breathe breathe*

I know this will all be really funny tomorrow. I just wish Jason were here and I could inhale his pheromones and be instantly calmed.

I should just turn the TV on loud. Oh, another great idea from Mina: Let's sing happy birthday! The girls start singing Happy Birthday at the top of their lungs

I GET the whole split level thing. I really do. I didn't before, but now, I do.

I think I had more interesting stuff to write about tonight, but as you can see, my thinking has been clouded by high blood pressure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday Blues

I don't know why, I'm just really weepy today. It's laaaame.

The girls were pretty mellow, aside from Leta hitting Mina with a toy golf club and the drama that followed.

Jason started teaching Mina how to play chess, and I have to admit I had all sorts of anxiety about how it would go. My heart melted a bit as I watched how patient he was and how thoughtful his technique was, and I think Mina started warming up to it. So she knows the object of the game, how many squares there are, that white goes on the right, all about ranks and files, how to play with a king and how to play with pawns. Then he let her pick which one she wanted to learn about next time, and she of course picked the knight. Usually when Mina is playing a game she really loses interest quickly and starts sort of acting up like a bored kid in class. She really seemed... what am I trying to say... like she was cautiously interested? Reluctant but coming around?

My hair is flat and straight all of a sudden, and my skin is terrible. There must be something hormonal happening. Does anyone know if there's a big hormonal shift around 7 months postpartum? Before you get any ideas, you should know that I can't possibly be pregnant. We have the letter from our doctor to prove it. ;)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cullen at 7 months

*Goes to bed between 7 and 7:30pm
*Is cutting two top teeth
*Has started waving to self
*Likes it when I share my food with him (awesome)
*Getting a -little- better at sitting up

*Loves it when his sisters play with him
*Loves to growl like a big cat
*Is getting skinny!
*Thinks his mama is the funniest person alive. :D

I don't like severe weather!!!

And it looks like there is plenty headed our way. Our weather radio has gone off a couple of times tonight. We're waiting as a severe storm approaches. We're under a tornado watch.

And guess what else

My nose is mad at me for drinking. It is bright red, swollen, tingling, and erupting with pustules. Hot, right? I'm going to abstain from alcohol until my birthday celebration in hopes that by the time I have to see anyone I will look amazing. It would help if I ditched the coffee, too, but let's face it... That is never going to happen.

I can't believe I hadn't written since Wednesday. Wow.

Cross your fingers and hope that the storms swerve around Madison...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

106, 107, 108...

I can hear Mina counting. She should be sleeping, of course. I remember laying in my futon when we lived on Summer Street in Appleton and I must have been around six years old. It was during the time when the play room became Shannon's very own bedroom. I kept getting up and going over to his room, whispering, "Shannon! I counted to three hundred!" Then a minute later, "Shannon! I counted to four hundred!" and Shannon, who was listening to the radio quietly, rolled his eyes and told me to tell him if I counted to a thousand. I recall being soooo thrilled about what I perceived as a challenge and excited when I DID IT. I ran into Shannon's room and told him the good news, and he groaned and told me to go to sleep. God, typical annoying little sister!

Anyway... Every time Mina gets up and uses the bathroom she sings the ABCs when she washes her hands, and now the counting...

Oh, I have been meaning to jot down this gem, too...

Lately Leta keeps talking about swimming at GG and Grandma's hotel, and when we stayed in a hotel in the Dells... Except, instead of "hotel" she says, "ho and tell". Oh my god. It's the funniest ever. It cracks me up. It's like "Show and tell," only it's "Ho and tell"! Come on down to the Ho and Tell! Stay for an hour, stay for the night, tell your friends... I keep telling her that it's HOTEL, and she just goes on with what she was saying unflinching... "So yeah when we were at the hotel I falleded off of the bed when I was sleeping and I cried".

Sometimes talking about the kids later is a lot more fun than actually being around them. Wow, that sounds just awful. I should try to enjoy them more. So much of the time I am super cranky and mean, and they are saying these extremely funny things to me except they are both talking at the same time, and Cullen is crying, and I'm trying to make dinner, and well, that's when I think I would really like to go for a run RIGHT NOW.

Parenthood! I do like the rollercoaster.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happiness is...

Plantar wart update

I have been covering my warts with duct tape every day and have not had any success. At first they seemed irritated and the skin turned white, some chunks of one of my warts even came off with the tape, but now it's like they have gotten used to the tape and are not impressed. THEY JUST WILL NOT DIE. I'll keep trying I guess, but I might need *gulp* medical intervention down the road. I haven't had much luck with that either though, in the past. Maybe I'll have more luck with these fancy-pants Madison doctors than I had with Dr. Tougas in Appleton...

I've been living pretty painlessly with them for a long time, but now that I'm running, they are bothering me more. Worse than that is the fact that Leta also has one on her foot. I've been doing the duct tape on her, too, but she has a hard time keeping the tape on.

Sorry for the TMI. I don't really have a concept of TMI after three pregnancies, and I like to hear about gross stuff like this.

Damn you, frost!

My tomato plants did not make it. *Cry*

I grew them from seeds! I was so happy that they all came up. There were almost TOO many tomato plants. I was going to give some to the neighbors, give some to friends... After I planted them in the garden a rabbit got in and munched on about half of them, but I had planted lots of them so it was still okay. However, The recent overnight frost seems to have done them in.

Lesson learned: Next year have stuff to cover the plant babies, and pay attention to frost advisories.

The good news is that the plants at Jung's look much heartier than my babies did, and are actually pretty cheap.

Next year maybe I'll just not start my own seedlings. It's just too heartbreaking.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday night chez Samsa

Jason: What kind of tea do you want? Green Chai?
Hilary: Don't we have anything black?
Jason: Black Chai?
Hilary: Sure, I'll have some Blai... Why is it so fun to combine words?
Jason: Because you're childish and immature.
Hilary: Someone's gotta be.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Body Hangups

I'm not big on my legs. Here's why.

1. stretch marks
2. no muscles
3. knobby knees
4. pale skin that gets splotchy when I run

I guess I would be sad if they were gone though. I better check my attitude. Okay, done being a whiny girl.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cranberry Cheddar

is my new weakness. It is modestly priced and found at Whole Foods. Seriously, five dollars for a HUGE wedge of this stuff. It is aged and melts in my mouth like ice cream.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's good to have goals

Hey peeps. Did you know you could schedule your blood donation online? That makes it more fun, doesn't it? I have to admit I have only donated blood once, about ten years ago. That's all going to change, my friends. I scheduled an appointment and am well on my way to becoming a better person.

I was on the phone today and Leta was bugging me like she always does (once per month when I actually use the phone). She asked me who I was talking to and I said, "Santa Claus". I feel kind of bad about lying but hey, I'm donating blood so it should all even out. ;)

Mina's head is looking better. The bruise on her forehead is a vertical stripe.

We went to the park today. Mina started asking this other little girl some questions, like how old she was and her name and that sort of thing, when Leta totally bulldozed Mina's big efforts at friendly conversation with 500 of her own questions and then, "Come on, let's go on the slide! Come on let's be princesses! Oh now we're driving! We're best friends! I'll read you a story! You be the mom, no I'll be the mom, let's pretend I don't have a sister or a brother!" Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly like that, but it was close. Then, the rest of the time, Mina wouldn't talk to or play with anyone, but instead chose solitary activities. When I talked to her about it later she said she was shy. Then she said she preferred to play alone because she didn't want to do anything anyone else wants her to do. I have to say... She plays alone so nicely. When Leta takes a nap, it's so nice and peaceful. Mina just draws pictures, builds houses and towers, practices writing. But when Leta wakes up, suddenly they are both competing for my attention.

Mina's eczema is getting bad on her hands. I think it might be the soap at school. Her hands are red, swollen, the skin is thick, dry and looks like old man skin or something. It's time to start using the triamcinolone ointment again.

Exciting, n'est-ce pas?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ma vie avec Mina

Mina got a new bump on her head tonight. This poor girl's head has been through so much trauma! The girls were outside playing with the neighbor and I was in the middle of putting Cullen's pajamas on. I heard the door slide open and Mina crying loudly. I heard Jason ask her what happened and her not responding and walking to find me.

Oh god.

She's got a blue stripe down her forehead and it's so swollen. I put Cullen in his crib (Jason finished the job) and got a cold washcloth. We tried to find out what happened for a while after that. We knew that she was swinging. Then we knew that the girls were hiding. Then we knew that she'd had her eyes closed. We kept... GINGERLY... asking about what the other girls were doing.

Eventually I went outside with Mina. I asked her if she knew what she hit her head on and she said yes after I assured her she wasn't in trouble and she agreed to show me. It was the wood on the side of the swing set--she was hanging her head way to the side and smacked it down swing. Ouch!

At least she doesn't need stitches this time. It's going to be a black eye, I'm sure. She can see fine, hear, remember, she doesn't have a headache or anything. I'm going to check on her before I go to bed tonight but she seems fine.

P.S. I had a great mother's day. :D

MDW part III

Osteria di Lucca was not good at all. What WAS good was spending time with my mom and grandma. We sat around talking until we were the last ones in there, and then went to their hotel bar and talked some more. I hope they know how valuable these weekends are to me. I love those after dinner stories and the bonding that goes on. That's good stuff!

Mother's Day Weekend, part II


It wasn't as delicious as I thought it would be. I ordered this crab cake eggs benedict and I asked for my eggs over medium and they were practically raw. Just don't like eggs with a gooey white. I know that's how they are supposed to be, but I don't like it. Also, I shouldn't have done crab cakes two days in a row.

I wasn't impressed with the gluten free choices.

It's less chaotic than Monty's, and cleaner, but I'll stick to this side of town for my breakfast burrito next time.

Mother's Day Weekend, part I

Cloud 9 Grille

Stardust Cosmo = good
crab cakes = small but good
dinner rolls = crusty, chewy, yummy
chicken salad = awesome
banana in phyllo dough w/ cinnamon ice cream = so awesome
booth upstairs overlooking sun setting over Madison = perfect
service = friendly, funny waitress

Grandma Char said her scallops were the best she'd ever had, so if you like scallops you should definitely go get some from Cloud 9 Grille.

Also, the bathrooms are nice.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

For the record...

these are plantar warts, not *cough-cough-google-ads* some OTHER kind...

Warts and all

The duct tape seems to be working well and I've started taping it down with even more tape! TAAAAPEY TAAAAAPE. Durable cloth tape. I love cloth tape, it's like a sticky ribbon.

Once upon a time I worked at a place called Plexus - Electronic Assembly Corp. I started out as a temp and did a lot of "pre-stuff", which is what comes before the "stuffing line" where all the through hole components are placed and then soldered blah blah blah. Anyway, it sounds so stupid but it was seriously GREAT FUN. This is mostly thanks to the fact that much of the time I got paired up with my friend Melissa and we had to put this crazy orange kapton tape on all the gold parts of the GE Ultrasound circuit boards. I don't know what it is about working with orange tape for eight to ten hours but things would get downright ridiculous. I'm sure everyone thought we were on drugs. I recall giggling uncontrollably, saying, "Just give it a little taaapey tape... A little tape-tape-taperoo..."

...anyway, for some reason, still today, tape makes me laugh. The word tape, the idea of tape, I don't know, it's just funny.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

For Laura

From the Meriter "Your baby this week" thing:

Your baby is becoming aware of comings and goings of the people he loves, and knows who is familiar. Over the next few months, he may start to be uncomfortable with strangers and get upset when you separate from him. Expect that leaving him at childcare or with a sitter may make him unhappy during this phase. Alert friends and family (especially grandparents) that they may need to interact with your baby more gradually than before. They shouldn't feel hurt if he refuses to be held by anyone except Mom, your partner, or his regular babysitter for a while. This stage, like all others, will pass.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Duct Tape Wart Removal

I just wanted to mention that I'm attempting to kill the warts I've had for 10 years with duct tape. I've tried everything including regular trips to the podiatrist and nothing can kill these beasts. I've been unsuccessful with anything that is supposed to stick to the bottom of a foot because... I guess I have sweaty feet. :( God I am so gross it's embarrassing. But look! I'm sharing it with all of you anyway. Hooray!

So far (2 days in) they feel a bit irritated and the skin is turning white. I'll keep you informed.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Accomplished Slacker

Slacker because I didn't do my writing group assignment like I said I was going to.

Accomplished because I did Actual Yard Work today! Bright and early I went to a local gardening store and bought some new mulch and a few bags of mushroom compost. I got to work pulling grass and weeds, spreading the new mulch around, and trimming the grass around all the edges.

After lunch I finished up with the mulch and then started working the garden which was a LOT of work just to prepare the bed. The girls helped by running around with sticks and playing tag. Last year we grew some mint and it went a little crazy even though it was in a pot. The roots spread through the bottom of the pot and wrapped their tentacles around the whole garden. NO MINT in the garden ever! Mint stays in a pot, on the deck or something. Nowhere where it could possibly spread.

I'm convinced that yard work is what good, decent families do on Sundays in nice weather. While driving around random neighborhoods eating fast food I have noticed this. ;)

Of course I had SPF 70 sunblock on so I won't be getting a nice sexy glow from all the work.

Now us good decent people sit on our laptops while we watch TV and occasionally fold laundry. Ahh, Sunday nights.

Road Trip!

Yesterday morning at 8:45am Drill Sergeant Hilary had all the kids ready for a big day.

I drove up to Appleton to drop the girls off at Grandma's for the day, then with Cullen, drove to Steven's Point to hang out with a friend who recently had a baby. It was great to see her and her boy! I discovered that Cullen loves animals.

Anyway, there were two big challenges: Going to the bathroom and driving without sparkling conversation. We stopped at Bleumke's in Rosendale to go to the bathroom. Since Cullen isn't in his infant carrier anymore I had to carry him. And I had to go to the bathroom. In a gas station. With pants that button. And two other kids. I managed to laugh my way through it with plenty of "Umm, boy oh boy... This is... Hmm... How do I..."

I feel pretty accomplished having done this and remained totally un-cranky.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Mina Goes to the Dentist

Mina had her first ever dentist appointment today. I know they say you should take them as soon as they have teeth, but I was all freaked out about how she would handle it if she didn't understand what was going on.

Everything was fine! She got to wear the sunglasses just like Leta, and she impressed everyone with her lovely teeth--particularly the teeth in back. Apparently this is where most kids have trouble. Mina always brushes the back teeth and misses the ones in front. :P

Of course she picked out her holiest jeans to wear because today isn't a preschool day and those are her favorite(s?). We talked about throwing them away today, or turning them into shorts.


Now I need to figure out:
1)meals for Mother's Day weekend
2)what's going on around town that weekend

I need tea. That is what I need. Wow, this is so unprofessional. I can't believe I get paid to write this. Oh, that's right, I don't. :P

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Where is the love?

Top ten states visiting this blog:

10. California (San Francisco, Mountain View, Monterey, Monterey Park, L.A.)
9. New Jersey (Jersey City, Trenton, Elwood)
8. Illinois (East Moline, Chicago, Harwood Heights, Oak Park, Wood Dale)
7. Texas (Houston, Alief)
6. Minnesota (Minneapolis, St. Paul, Champlain)
5. Georgia (Roswell, Woodstock, North Metro, Marietta, Adel)
4. Colorado (Ft. Collins, Arvada, Broomfield, Westminster, Loveland, Boulder)
3. New York (Brooklyn, Long Island City, Sunnyside)
2. Massachusetts (Sharon, Wayland, Sherborn, Millis, Somerville) xoxo to you, Massachusetts, for all the visits :)

and #1 is of course Wisconsin (Madison, Fall River, Janesville, Delafield, Appleton, Green Bay, Siren)

Globally, most of the love is of course coming from the U.S., with Canada coming in second, then the U.K., Australia, Ireland, Serbia and Montenegro, Mexico, Brazil, and Austria.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for reading. Come again. Feel free to leave a comment telling me how you got here.

Bad Mom.

Cullen has his first sunburn. He is already on his way to having rosacea. Boooo. It's on his nose and cheeks. I won't lie, it is kind of adorable, the extra pink on his face. Poor kiddo.

We had a free afternoon yesterday so I took the kids to the zoo after lunch and walked around for probably an hour and a half. We made a pit stop at home after that, and then went to the park. I just didn't even think about putting sunblock on anyone. I mean. It was only a little sunny, and kind of chilly... Now I'm remembering the words of the doctor, "Of course you'll have to use SPF a billion on him"...

*Hangs head in shame*