Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Shoe

It reminds me of Robert Crumb.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kid Milestones

Mina was stung by a wasp for the first time today. Twice, actually. From what she told me, it landed on her eye and she swatted it away. She was stung on the hand and on the arm, but luckily her eye was spared. Her reaction was what anyone would expect, I suppose: Running around the yard like a chicken with it's head cut off, only not really because she was screaming bloody murder, "I GOT STUNG I GOT STUNG BY A WAAAASP AND I THINK THEY ARE BAD AND I DON'T EVER WANT TO GO OUTSIDE AGAIN!" etc.

We all went inside, I got her two cold washclothes--one for each sting, some benadryl, and after we were done with the cold washclothes I put hydrocortisone on her. Her finger looked like it was swelling pretty fast but seemed to improve quickly.

I was worried when one of her therapists showed up with diet Coke and Mentos for an outdoor science experiment, because Mina was pretty shaken by the whole ordeal and kept saying she didn't want to go outside anymore. The idea of a coke fountain was too enticing to pass up though and she said with a sly little smile, "I want to see the fountain." Plus, don't Mentos pretty much make everything okay? Of course they do.

Anyway... She survived her first wasp sting. And her first Coke fountain. It was better than fireworks.

A Monkey Wearing Clothes

This one was fun to do. There are just so many ways you could go with it... I decided "Blanche" here needed accessories.

Mermaid for Madam

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Free Drawings on Request--Now Until 8/13/2008

From now until August 13th I will draw anything (within reason, I mean, my grandma reads this!) and post it here for free. After that, I will continue to draw anything after receiving your tiny two dollar donation--see the "request-a-sketch" Paypal button on the right. If, by any chance, you would like to buy the drawing to have and hold and hang on your wall, you may email me privately and we can discuss a price.

Now... Let's have some fun!

Kitty, Mobile, Doll

Unfortunately a shadow got into each of these images... Oops. Next time will be better, I promise. I like how the kitty turned out but the other two are... Anyway, the orange was a special request. It was easy enough to comply and still be within my time constraints. I didn't actually set a timer though so it's possible that each drawing took 2-3 minutes rather than 30 seconds. Oh well!

What's Pushin' Against Ya?

My friend Kelly said that one time, and I almost died laughing.

Heavens to betsy! I have three drawing requests. You can comment anywhere in here at anytime to make your requests or email s a b o n a i @ g m a i l . c o m and you will see the beautiful 30 second sharpie drawing here, maybe even the same day! Tell your friends who are bored at work to join in the fun. It won't cost you a thing (for now). Unless you want to buy the drawing. ;)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Note to self...don't forget to obsess about:

bedwetting. --->>>>vasopressin.<<<<--- gluten sensitivity. autism spectrum disorders. eczema.
must... sleep...

Friday, July 25, 2008

The things we do for love!

My darling husband was talking excitedly last night about how I should sell two dollar drawings that I do in, like, 30 seconds of anything you want. Something like that. He shared this with me and said, "WOMAN! You are creative, make us some damn money!" No, he didn't say that exactly...

Anyway, adoring fans, what do you want me to draw for you? I have a fresh sharpie RIGHT HERE.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's so gruesome about Thursday?

Cornstarch and water. Mina's into doing science experiments right now, so at the end of today's team meeting was some fun with gluey yuck. Everyone was doing it and I was backing away slowly having sensory flashbacks of papier mache newspaper strips between my fingers. It felt like that part in A Clockwork Orange when Alex is singing, "Singin in the Rain" and the old man is freaking out... It is one of those things that makes my spine squirmy. Swiping the cold sludge off of the paper. I'd like to erase it from my brain!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nine Month Well Child Checkup

This morning I brought my strapping young lad in to see Dr. Awesome for his nine month visit. I didn't get much sleep last night because Cullen was being such a cry-baby. *rimshot* So obviously that was one of the topics of discussion at the office today...

I barely remember that he was 21 point something pounds. I don't know how many inches long or what the circumference of his head was. I don't know what percentile this puts him in. He has been looking sort of long and lean to me... Anyway, I always think I am going to ask for these things printed out for me but it slipped my mind again! This has happened so many times... Usually they show me the growth curve and go more in depth with this stuff but this time it was not discussed at all. Now I don't know what to write in the baby book...

Dr. Awesome said at this point, because I have been weak and breastfed him during these nighttime crying spells, his little tummy is expecting that midnight snack and when I try not to give it to him he gets FURIOUS. It's a vicious cycle... Anyway... No more nighttime snacking! I'm also starting to wonder if he is wanting to cut down to one nap per day. Boo. I wish there were five naps, for all the children! Okay, okay... Not REALLY...

Last but not least, his TOOTH! She thinks it is a permanent tooth! She wants him to go to the dentist and have them X-ray it! Oh Cullen. I keep trying to google this and I'm not having any luck. Is it that rare? Tell me, oh internet, tell me this has happened to someone else!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sharing the love

Thanks to Amy for raving about THIS AWESOME RECIPE and inspiring me to try it.

I made it last night and, despite all the tofu and brussels sprouts skepticism, this recipe gets five stars from some of the toughest critics around. While complex yet mild flavors had a party in my mouth I found myself thinking, "Why isn't EVERYTHING caramelized?!"...

This may be the beginning of a new cooking phase for me. Watch out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Catching Up

As usual, I'm going to ease into the week with some tidbits.

My step-brother, Zach, came to visit on Friday and spent the night. We went to Cafe Montmartre for drinks and were a bit disappointed with the pizza we ordered. It's a shame. I always thought they had such great food. I guess the chef must have had the night off. :P

On Saturday we ate at Monty's Blue Plate Diner. It was challenging with all the children. First it was too loud for Mina. Then she was too cold. Then she didn't like her food. This child!!! My food was awesome. I ordered the feta dill burger with criss cut fries and a chocolate shake. For the rest of the day I was in such a food coma...

We went to the park after a while and I tried out what Mina's occupational therapist told me to do, which is to have her touch something with her foot while swinging. You know, like my hand or a ball, when she swings forward. And folks, all of a sudden, Mina discovered that yes, she really CAN swing by herself! She really CAN get higher just by pumping her legs and leaning back and forward! Suddenly she was going on and on about how happy she was. She was so chatty and mature for the rest of the day--she wanted to do EVERYTHING herself.

I had planned on going to a friend's housewarming party Saturday night, but a couple of things prevented this from happening: I was REALLY tired. AND... Jason was doing an engagement shoot in Two Rivers and didn't get home until 11:45 anyway. It wouldn't have mattered because I went to bed at 10:30 after fighting the nods on the couch for an hour.

Yesterday was Sunday, and it wasn't so bad. The girls were pretty entertained looking at National Geographic magazines for much of the day. Mina and I went to the park again and she was really talkative again. She told me that she really wanted to put her shoes on the right feet when she goes to the park so that other kids didn't think she didn't know how to put her shoes on...

Later on when Leta was hysterical about having slept through our trip to the park, Mina brought her a blanket, stating that when she cries she likes to wrap up in a blanket. Then she brought Leta a stuffed animal, stating that she also likes to squeeze a stuffed animal and it makes her feel better. Then she told me that when she cries it makes her feel sick, and when she drinks water it helps her to be able to stop crying. Leta didn't want any water though.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I am finally about to nurse pain free. My bite wound has healed, after nursing 2:1 favoring the non-injured side, unlatching him myself before he's done, and making sure he's being supported properly so there's no drag (which I think was the main problem). Anyway... On to happier times!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bad, Mean Baby!

Where in the heck did I get the cockamamie idea to use a nipple shield? Cullen just wants to bite the $%&#! out of that thing. And shield from the pain it does NOT, my friends.

I met a couple of neighbors tonight, thanks to Leta. We were all outside throwing water balloons when a nice looking couple holding a baby walked by. Leta's "POTENTIAL FRIEND ALERT" went off and she stopped what she was doing and yelled, "WHAT IS HER NAME?" Of course then we all had to introduce ourselves and engage in small talk. I joked about our utter lack of yardworking prowess and he said they hired a professional to do theirs. Sigh. We should have gotten a condo. :P

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Wednesday Randomness

Leta didn't wake me up this morning so I let her use my Rembrandt pastels.

One nice thing about extremely hot days is that it's easy to make sun tea!

I think these flowers are lovely. Do you know what they are?

I finally got a picture of Cullen's crazy tooth. Do you see how wide and jagged it is?

About ten times per day I can be seen wearing pink gloves.

I took a picture of the chicken salad before it was mixed so you could try to make it yourself. Then I took a picture after it was plated just because.

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee?

I'm dying to know how Laura's coffee turned out this morning.

I want to try this tonight. I'm thinking it should be simple enough with the French press.

I'll be sure to let you all know what I think tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Something I do without fail every single day pour myself a glass of water and then leave it on the kitchen counter. This wouldn't happen if we would get a water cooler next to the couch like I keep requesting. Oh well, I probably need the exercise. (Walking to the kitchen=exercise???)

Watching babies develop skills

has to be one of the most exciting things. If it's your own baby, that is, or a baby you take care of, or a grand-baby...

It's probably not that fun for total strangers to read about on the internet.

Cullen's been doing the army crawl for a little while, but just now, today, he started doing the telltale up on hands and knees, fully elevated, rocking as though revving his engine...

Life is about to get all kinds of crazy. I hope it helps me lose weight!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Ten

1. We went to Appleton this weekend and visited with family. It was great to see them, but it was a difficult weekend because the kids were on my nerves and I did not sleep well, because the kids, and being sleep deprived made me cranky and unable to tolerate the kids, and around and around and around.

2. I made a box of activity suggestions to be drawn from when the kids do a good job with things they have a hard time with. For example if Leta doesn't wake me up in the morning she will get to pick something. If Mina doesn't get out of bed and bother us tonight she will get to pick something. So far it's been working out well. What happens when I run out of ideas?

3. Leta got bit by a mosquito on her eyelid and it swelled pretty close to shut. She's been taking Benadryl. It's looking a lot better tonight.

4. I know House MD is kind of ridiculous but I still like it.

5. I'm kind of regretting making this a list of ten.

6. Friday night I watched my friend Laima make blueberry jam. Well, I watched the end of the process. Canning is kind of neat.

7. Jason rode his bike to Fitchburg today and he broke it. Thankfully it will be fixed for free.

8. The kids are up. Damn it. So much for my brilliant Box o Fun idea.

9. I'm ready for something new. What's it going to be? Do you want to interest me in anything new?

10. Cullen has injured me in a way that makes me think about buying formula--or at least nipple shields. Yeah... Nipple shields...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Because Laura asked for it

It's always pretty much the same when I do this. Shorter crazy snakes. Just getting it off my neck. Unless I shave it all, which I haven't done in years. ;)

Mina's having a bad week. And she doesn't want to SEE Leta. She freaks if Leta is around at all. Unless they are playing together. Leta, of course, wants to chase Mina around because it's fun to make Mina scream. Double fun if it wakes up Cullen and HE starts screaming!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Yummy note to self, and to you, my darlings

New, exciting gluten-free recipes up the wah-zoo, thank you very much, Amy! She's right--the photos are great. I'm a total sucker for good quality food photos.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

About my brain (AKA "does anyone else...")

When I hear phrases I like they ring in my head for days, even weeks.

Last week when I cut my finger my friend was telling me to try Band-Aid's Liquid Bandage. I told her I had New Skin and I hated it, and she said, "New skin stings like a thousand bitches," and I just about fell off of the couch laughing. And then again, for the next hundred times I thought about it. It keeps making me laugh. Stings like a thousand bitches? Oh my god. Does it get better than that? I hear it over and over and it isn't anywhere near getting old.

Take a moment

to view this short, sweet film:
Historia de un Letrero
Special thanks to my sister-in-law, Laney, for sharing.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mommy, why do you look angry?

That's what Leta asked me this morning while I was staring blankly at the carpet, unfocusing...zoning...

I'm just trying to stay awake enough to drink my coffee. I've been unusually tired lately. Normally I can function well on six hours of sleep and am not a napper, but the last several mornings I have been dozing on the couch well after the children are up and at 'em. I wonder if I'm fighting something off.

It's Monday, glorious Monday! Everything can go back to normal now. Yes, I've become a creature who needs much of my day to be very predictable. I take comfort in drinking my coffee with the internet every morning. In a few minutes, I throw in a load of laundry and get the diapers out of the dryer. Then I'll fold diapers, unload the dishwasher, and at some point Mina will need breakfast and to get dressed. While she eats breakfast I prepare her room for therapy by folding up the futons and making sure everything is arranged properly. Cullen will start fussing and then around 9 he will take a nap. Then therapy starts, Jason will be working and I can get dressed.

For now I think a second cup is needed to get through the morning...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sometimes I just don't know what I'm doing

It was hard being mom today. Long weekends are hard. I can't believe we have another day of weekend yet. Good God, what will tomorrow be like?

I tried to break it up. I went grocery shopping this morning. Jason made lunch. When Cullen took his nap in the afternoon we put on our swimsuits and played with the hose in the yard. Kids think this is really fun. I mean it's almost as good as having a pool, really. :P After that, though, it all went to hell.

I don't want to go into it but suffice to say that I did plenty of yelling and really, it doesn't do any good. It's just us, being mad, throwing our very own form of tantrum, and it doesn't make the kids behave. Either they are totally unphased or they are totally traumatized. I have got to stop resorting to this. I just felt like I was going to completely freak out because I couldn't get through to my daughter. I started crying. I made dinner and cried. When dinner was done, I gave Mina a hug, told her I loved her, and that was the most responsive she'd been all afternoon. She melted in my arms. I asked her if she could be good and eat dinner, she said yes, and she was. So what? I am supposed to hug her when she does something wrong? I just don't know. But it is the only thing she responds to.

I know it seems like a no brainer that when you have a kid on the autism spectrum you will have communication challenges, but Mina and I usually communicate so well, so when we have a day like today and nothing is getting through, I feel like we're both failing at something that normally we can manage.

Anyway, I felt like a failure for a little while today, and wanted to smoke, drink and cry. BUT! I got over it. Mina and I started over, and Jason, my angel, my all, my other self, he smelled so good, he scratched my back and rubbed my sore muscles and brought me cold beer. :D

Oh, I almost forgot, I was also mad at my hair today, so I hacked it off. Just a couple inches. I'm sure I look like a lunatic.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Little bits of religion

There are certain processes--rituals, if you will--that I really like. It may not be the way other people do things. It may not be the easiest or most logical way to get something done. It might seem like extra work and effort to others. But I LIKE it.

I don't do things the way I do them because I am a hard worker (it's entirely possible that I'm the laziest person on the planet), a clean freak (ha.ha.Ha.HAHAHA), full of self-loathing (not usually, anyway), a glutton for punishment (only for things that are fried in butter), because I think it's the RIGHT way and that everyone should do it the way I do (I honestly don't feel that way about most of what I do) but because I genuinely like doing it that way.

1. The load of new clothes
When I get something new, whether it's from a store or from a friend, it goes into the laundry right away. This isn't because I think it's really dirty (though sometimes new things are too starchy, and sometimes old things have cat hair that gets in my eyes and makes them swell up). I get immense pleasure from pulling the freshly laundered clothes out of the dryer, all nice and fluffy, and then sitting down with my basket pulling things out and folding them, one by one, until I get to the NEW item and I hold it up, and smile, and it's then that I know whether I made the right choice. Look at how my new item looks in a basket full of my other stuff. Look at how it looks folded in a pile with my other stuff. Look at it on the hanger in my closet. I don't know. I just like it. Bonus if I have THREE WHOLE BAGS of new stuff from my bff's clothing exchange party!

2. The shower
I used to think showering was kind of a (necessary-ish) waste of time. Now it's one of the only places I can be alone with my thoughts. I have made the showering ritual longer and more complex and no longer mind keeping up with the shaving because... it's ME time.

3. Last dash around the house
During the last two hours or so before Jason comes home from work I like to go around the house tidying up, tying up loose ends, taking care of obvious eyesores... A lot of this is just lining things up, straightening edges of things, sweeping under the table and that sort of thing. While I'm doing this I sort of repeatedly imagine just walking into a room, and whatever the first messy thing I see is, I do my best to take care of it, as long as it is something that can be done quickly. The kids are usually undoing things as fast as I can do them, and that is when I have them bring all of their junk into their room and make them stay there, if it's clear that they aren't going to be terribly helpful. I do this because it is so nice to come home to a moderately un-messified house and not a house that looks like a tornado ripped through. I try to make sure Jason doesn't have to come home to a disaster area too often. I realize that he probably just sees all the stuff I didn't do because that's how his brain works. That's okay, see, because the secret is that it isn't actually for him, it's just something I really enjoy. It makes me smile to stand back and see how I've managed to put the house back together again, and think if someone stopped by, it would be okay. When Jason is home for a couple of days, and I don't do the "last dash", the house suffers. That's the other thing--I hate to clean around other people. That's another story altogether.

There are plenty of other things, like the way I take walks, routes I like to take while driving, the act of hand writing a letter...

I could go on and on but I'm afraid this is getting incredibly boring. I'd like to hear about little rituals other people have.

First things first!

I want to give a shout out to my friend Kelly, who recently started a blog. This guy was one of the only other people I knew, back in the day, who filled as many notebooks as I did. I'm so glad you're writing again, Kelly!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

More pictures of my beautiful body

Obviously I have nothing to say this week. I have had a mild headache all week, severe at times. For now you will have to deal with the pictures I took this morning. It looks shiny because of the New Skin. I think the shininess makes it look worse, but really, I think it's better. I think.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

On the mend

My mom brought me some antibiotic ointment and yummy Indian food. It started feeling better immediately when I put the stuff on. I'm still not sure if I can convince the flap to reattach but I will try my best. Mostly I just want to avoid infection.

Today I'm wearing a tattered blue/violet slip/dress I got over the weekend. I'm feeling very old school. If only I had a Panama hat to complete this look...