Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Mina is sick. Everyone got this cold, but of course, Mina is getting worse while everyone else gets better. She has the grossest, wettest, junkiest cough that she tries to suppress--only coughing a little and then breathing the junk right back in. I can hear it and it's maddening. At least she isn't running around on her tip-toes yelling MOM MOM MOM every two seconds, like last winter. She also has a fever (101.8 at the highest). She hardly slept last night (nor did anyone) and so she is looking pretty sickly today. She stayed home from school today and if things aren't better tomorrow, she'll have to spend her birthday home from school.

So, we're watching cartoons and I've got a giant pot of really boring homemade chicken soup on the pot. And I mean BORING. Chicken thighs, water, carrots, salt, cook four hours. Puree the carrots. Easy to digest.

She doesn't laugh when I tickle her anymore. She just says, "Ah, don't do that," and gives me the stink-eye.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mina, on jazz

"It sounds like babies just banging around on a bunch of instruments while someone is trying to play the horn."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Look at that whippersnapper!

Oh Jason. Back in those days every time I saw you it was clear you'd had 25 cups of coffee and stayed up all night on the computer. You were always excited about something, and I'm happy that you're still like that today even though you're a very old man. ;)

Happy birthday to the cutest bus boy Country Kitchen has ever known. May your socks keep your feet warm and may you enjoy your ginger candy. Can I get you a blanket? The paper? How about a nice cup of tea?

xoxoxoxo--are you getting tired? Okay. More x's and o's later.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Illustration Friday - "Packed"

I wasn't sure what I was going to do for "Packed" until last night when Laura, Laima and I shared the contents of our purses.

The sad thing is... That isn't even all of it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

In which I have a hard time posting things in the proper order

I got this seascape at a garage sale this morning after dropping Mina off. I don't normally go for seascapes but I thought this one was nice and in good condition.

I also got this leather portfolio which retails for hundreds more than what I paid for it.

I colored my hair "Starry Night". It's sort of a blue black but you can't see that in the picture.

This is a peek at a drawing I worked on last night, thanks to my new friend who is in vet school.

Another peek.

The painting looks nice next to the portfolio, doesn't it? ;)

The back of the painting. Just in case there are any wealthy Geoffrey I. Lilley collectors out there.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gonna go back in tiiiiime

I like to have something to watch when I know I'm going to be folding a lot of laundry. Tonight it's Back...To The Future! What a great movie. If you haven't seen it in a while I suggest netflixing it.

It's been kind of a rocky week so far and I don't really feel like writing about it now, but maybe when it's over I will. Suffice to say that kids on the spectrum, while they make the world a better place, they certainly make things infinitely more complicated.

Did I press start on the dryer? It's too quiet. Oh dear lord...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Little Hoarse

Leta is totally getting laryngitis. It's kind of hilarious. Please don't hate me for saying so. It's just that she's a very loud child. I think it's from whatever virus she has but her tendency to be extremely amped up is sealing the deal. Glorious quiet! Ask me how I feel about it later tonight when the croupiness (yes, that's the technical term for it) makes her throw up again.

I don't want the kids to be sick but if they must, being more quiet is a bit of silver lining.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Barking daughter

Leta is up with a cough. A barking kind of cough. It made her throw up. She started crying and asked me to call school because she doesn't want to throw up at school. She has a fever of at least 101.5 but she couldn't quite keep it in her mouth. WHAT DOES IT MEAN, Dr. Internet?

Two things that happened. Okay, three.

1. My friend who is expecting mentioned that she was going to Perkins for dinner last week.

Normally, whenever I see a Perkins commercial, I get this horrible pain in my stomach just thinking about it. However, after hearing an actual person say they were going to Perkins, I was suddenly struck with the irrepressible urge to eat a Teriyaki Chicken Breadbowl Salad. I fought it for days, but the thought just got louder and louder in my head.

Finally on Friday I convinced my friend Laura to meet me at Perkins for lunch. Yes. The seed that was planted last week was finally reaching fruition. As I opened my menu I remember thinking, "Well, I don't really need THIS..." But I flipped through it anyway, and...

To my HORROR...

There were NO BREADBOWL SALADS. OH PERKINS HOW COULD YE?!!! I sat there, stunned, flipping through the menu for MINUTES on end, unable to consider anything else.

It never crossed my mind that they might not have a menu item from over a decade ago.

I was going to order it anyway, and then I pictured the waitress saying, "OMG, is that like that thing from the '90's? Ahahahaha!" And then I would have taken off my shoe and bludgeoned her with it.

2. My mom is here for the weekend--something we've been planning for a while. And I mean planning. Meals, activities... We'd just fed the kids and all piled into the minivan, and were going to head to the Willy Street Fair where we were going to stuff our faces with delicious hippy street food. I turned the key.


I must have tried it fifty times. I sat there, stunned again. Blinking hard. Rubbing my eyes. Pressing buttons. Turning things in the off position.

No problem. I'll just grab the jumper cables.

I look in the back and...

No jumper cables! I remembered putting them in the back of--ahh, yep, it was the Saab. I tried the neighbors but no answer. After discussing it with the dealer (hoping that there was some magic button I didn't know about that would fix it all) I was able to call for emergency roadside assistance. Forty minutes later they were there to jump my car and everything was fine. My battery must have been drained from leaving lights on. I don't have to pay for roadside assistance because I have a KIA.

We were able to continue with our plans... Only about an hour and a half after we'd originally planned, and you know how I like being on time. You don't really. But anyway I just... I like things to happen when they are supposed to happen, damn it! Disappointment is not easy to deal with.

It reminds me of this one time a hundred years ago when I was at the video store.

They FINALLY had three movies I'd been wanting to rent FOREVER. I was so excited as I waited in line, getting closer and closer, holding my five dollar bill in my sweaty little hand. When I got to the counter the dude said, "That'll be $7.50," and my eyes got all big. I looked at my five dollars, and at him, and back to my five dollars, and back to him.

"But... I ONLY HAVE FIVE DOLLARS!" I yelled too loud but I couldn't QUITE control it.

"But... It's $7.50..."

I looked at my money again, then him, then the movies, then my money, "BUT I ONLY HAVE FIVE DOLLARS!" I repeated, sweat beading up on my forehead. After a long staredown, he sighed heavily and allowed me to pay five dollars for three new releases. Actually that was ten years ago, not a hundred, but you know, close enough. What a loon!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Check out this amazing artist, Vesna Jovanovic.

Her artwork is on display here--check it out in person if you're in the Madison, WI area.

No blisters

Not much to write home about.

The sky is blue, the trees are green, and my heart's as full as a baked potato.

Let me tell you something about HIPAA Portability Rights. Ugh... No. Too boring. I'll try again later when Cullen isn't throwing blocks at the laptop. Until then, have a shpedoinkle day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So I voluntarily laid down and had a stranger tickle my feet with a laser. Yuck. I didn't like it. Do you know why? IT HURT! I feel that the bottoms of my feet are my most vulnerable spot. Well, that's how I feel right now, anyway.

Next time I will definitely get numbed. I guess I was thinking that the shot was probably worse than the laser. But I was wrong and I had to get a shot anyway of Candida.

The doctor said it felt like being snapped with a rubber band. I'm sorry, but it stung like 1,000 bitches. It stung, it burned, it was no rubber band, my friends. There were a couple of times when it felt like nothing, so maybe that is the case all the time for other people who don't have supernerves in their feet.

Now, though, it's just a dull sort of sting. They don't look any different except that it almost looked like there was a bruise forming near one of them. I guess they will probably blister and then that will hurt. She seemed to emphasize the pain during recovery as being not fun. I'll keep you all posted.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Illustration Friday Meme

Illustration Friday is a weekly illustration challenge. A topic is posted every Friday and then participants have all week to come up with their own interpretation.

This week's challenge is "Island".

This was the last blank page in my moleskine.


Earlier this week I got some sad news about the unexpected passing of someone amazing. I've thought many times about posting about it, but I couldn't sort out my feelings enough to do it. I couldn't even sort them out enough to participate in the collaborative memorial project. I'm sorry, Patrick.

Dear Patrick,

You were bouncy and bright and witty... You shared smiles, great food, and zany ideas with everyone in your life. There were countless occasions when you turned my gloomy days around as a teenager, and I always wished I could really be one of those best friends of yours, but I was so shy. I would just listen to you talk and be happy to be there.

I'll always remember when I called you to ask you how to make bread. My friends and I were very bored 7th graders. We had nothing to do. We kept joking about baking some bread to pass the time. One day Shannon said, "I think Patrick knows how to make bread," and I called you. I think most people would have been weirded out by this. It was something like, "Hi, this is Hilary, Shannon's sister. My friends and I want to bake bread and Shannon thought you might know how to do that.*giggle*" and you said, "Well, how many hours do you have?" and proceeded to explain the process and we decided that it was a little too much work for us.

I was always a little embarrassed about that because you must have thought I was this dumb kid... But you made such an effort to be friendly and complimented me often on whatever I was wearing, so you can't have been terribly annoyed...

Anyway, you were a really good friend of many of my really good friends, and to my mom and my brother, and I guess that's going to have to be good enough now. I didn't want to bring the kids to your memorial service today, but I am thinking about you, and your family. Thank you for being such a bright light in the world for the time that you were here.


Okay. It's time to get dressed. I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Friday, September 12, 2008

emotional vomit.

Don't you hate it when you think you're fine and the tears just keep sneaking around the corner and spooking you? It's kind of like when you're trying not to be sick--trying to hold back is what makes the vomit so projectile.

Maybe it's allergies. ;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tidbits #8763421

-I love the crisp mornings we've been having.

-Cullen slept all night last night! I feel like a normal person today! I probably don't even need this second cup of coffee! The real difference will be felt around 7:30pm tonight when I still have some patience left in my bucket. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself though...

-Michael Jackson is in the CD player in the van right now. I keep thinking I want to post about some of his song lyrics but I can't quite get it organized. I wonder about Michael Jackson a lot. What is his level of education? Does he face adversity in his day to day life? Does he hear the words of the world? What is his reality? At what point did he decide being a man wasn't for him?

-A pack of kids darted out in front (behind?) my van at Leta's school today while I was backing out. I swear I looked and they weren't there. Then, suddenly, they were. There was mom, tight lipped and avoiding eye contact as she carried a box of treats, and all the kids, and the pastor looking on. I suck. For what it's worth, I was proceeding at a snail's pace as I always do in parking lots JUST IN CASE there is a child I am unable to see. And no I didn't hit anyone. I just felt like a total asshole.

-I just realized I sent in the yellow carbon copy of the sign in sheet and not the white top sheet to WEAP. I hope Mina's TXs still get paid!

I'm done with my coffee. I hope you enjoyed tidbits, reader. Have a happy hump-day!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I'm getting nervous about the laser surgery I'm having on the plantar warts on my feet next week. I was okay before I decided to read about it on the internet.

My doctor said the Mayo Clinic site usually has pretty reliable information. This is what they had to say about it. "Doctors can use several types of lasers to eliminate stubborn warts. But laser surgery is expensive and painful and may take longer to heal than do other treatments."

WebMD goes into more detail about it here. I got a little stomach ache when I read that. I'm starting to have pain flashbacks to having my warts treated with Dr. Tougas. And that was just the acid! Well, it was his "special acid cocktail". It felt fine when he put it on, but he'd wrap my feet in this ribbon tape and eight hours later I'd be at work crying from the pain and have to go home.

I feel a little like chickening out but I really want to say goodbye to these behemoths.

I forgot to have some COFFEE. That's my problem.

I somehow forgot to post this part of my journal. I used to kind of like the Cure just a little teeny tiny bit.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dane County Farmer's Market

The Dane County Farmer's Market on the Square happens every Saturday from 6am-2pm. It's the largest farmer's market in the country where everything is grown/made locally by the vendor you see behind the table.

We went a few times when Mina was small and decided it was too difficult to navigate with little ones, and if you're just there for a few vegetables it's easier to go to any number of vegetable stands around the city any day of the week.

This is more festive than your average farmer's market, though. In addition to the foods including baked goods (chocolate croissants! cheese bread!), fruits, vegetables, honey, preserves, cheeses (squeaky cheese curds--a Wisconsin must-have!), sausages, herbs, etc., there are flower vendors, arts and crafts, and some of the best street musicians around.

All of this takes place on the Capitol Square so if you need to use the facilities you can check out the grand interior of the Capitol building while you're at it.

This morning we decided to make a community outing of it with all the kids and a girl who works with Mina. It was perfect because it involved being outside, dealing with a crowd, and using a public restroom.

I parked in the Capitol ramp which set me back $1.70 and found a spot close to the elevator on the 5th level. As we approached the square we could smell kettle corn and the amazing flowers everyone seemed to be walking around with, and there was music in the air. At first, a banjo--god I love banjos! As that faded, the bagpipes took their place... Then, a band that sounded a bit like Squirrel Nut Zippers with some very strange looking instruments that looked like they were fashioned out of junk from someone's shed. Add to that a couple of young violinists raising money for music in schools, many young UW garb wearing guitar players doing the usual popular songs raising money for... college! That must be it.

We bought green beans, red potatoes and corn on the cob for dinner. Then we had to sit down for a snack of squeaky garlic cheese curds, which made us very thirsty so we had to get strawberry banana and mango smoothies. Refreshing!

We were back at home by 11:15am. Not a bad way to spend Saturday morning! I don't think the girls even missed their cartoons.

Friday, September 05, 2008

It is done.

My eldest daughter survived her first week of public school. She seems so much older this week.
*shakes it off*

To celebrate Jason and I watched Superbad and finished off the beer. I really didn't expect to laugh so hard at this movie, but I admit, I even went into Silent Laugh mode at one point. I couldn't catch my breath. It was so bad. But it was so hilarious. Thank you, unexpected laughing fits.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

The rain... Sometimes it gives me the blues.

Name that movie!

It's been raining all day. Cullen told me he preferred to stay in his pajamas during rainy days, and I thought he had the right idea. Of course I'm dressed like a "professional" because I couldn't pass up the chance to wear long sleeves and pants with cowboy boots. Okay maybe not totally professional. ;)

In other news! Mina's teacher told me she is doing really well. The only thing is that she seems to have the urge to make noise when they are supposed to be quiet. I will talk about this at the next team meeting as well as at OT to see if anyone has any bright ideas. I would assume this is pretty common, at least for AS kids... Anyway, I'm pretty proud of her for doing so well. We got her lunchbox back today. We had to go inside to get her umbrella and went looking for the lunchbox. It was in the lost and found. Mina says she left it on the table because she didn't know she had to put it in her locker, but now she knows.

It was really hard to carry Cullen and an umbrella with a purse on my shoulder in the rain waiting... Luckily Leta can hold her own. I think I'm going to need some kind of tarp to go over the stroller in inclement weather.

Eventually I will stop writing about school every day. I promise.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mina, Leta, and Cullen.


I was worried about today because when all the kids in Mina's line started going in the door, it was hard to tell what was happening, with the scores of parents still in line... So when I noticed that her class was half in the door I tried to convince Mina to "follow the girl with the pink Hello Kitty backpack", but she couldn't see it and then it was too late and panic was beginning to set in. I tried to get her to go through the door and find her room anyway, but as one might imagine, she was not about to do that. Luckily the principal swooped in to rescue as I was unbuckling Cullen from the stroller ready to march Mina in myself. She said, "Mina, can I bring you inside today?" in the most gentle, calming voice, it was as if Aslan the lion was there to protect us and bring us peace.

Anyway, after school she came running out with a big smile on her face. She didn't get her lunch box back, but she also didn't get a time out, didn't get in trouble, didn't cry... She DID go to the bathroom, eat her lunch (except the applesauce because she ran out of time), she yelled for the teacher a couple of times when she didn't know where she was which was maybe a little goofy but she didn't get upset, so that's good news. I hope tomorrow is even better. Mina has music class tomorrow! Fun!


When I went into Leta's class to pick her up today she was standing with another little girl. This little girl was also wearing a pink skirt and a headband, and the two of them were giggling together. I knew it had to be the one she played dress up with every day and shared the spot on the rug... The friend was giggling and said to Leta, "You're so funny," and Leta said, "You're funny, too..." and they giggled some more. Leta introduced me to her and then told her she also has a sister who is five. I asked her name: Emma. So, there you have it. Leta and Emma. BFFs. Adorable.


My baby boy is getting more teeth. This means more neosporin in places I wish I didn't have to put neosporin. Today I "expressed" on the particularly ouchie side and instead fed it to Cullen in bottles. So that's pretty interesting and fun to read about right? Umm...

Cullen is responding to NO. I tell him NO when he pulls up on the entertainment center and wants to bang whatever toy he has on the stereo. He expects me to tell him, and when I do he stops right away as if he's happy to hear it. Today I decided to tell him NO when he grabs faces. I will continue to avoid saying NO to everything but it's nice that he knows what it means anyway.

Yesterday I realized that Cullen will pick food up and eat it if it is just one piece of food and if his mouth is empty. So I have to wait for him to chew and swallow before I can put the next piece of food on his tray. Whatever. It's an improvement!


Well, that's about all I have time for tonight. I'm on my second beer, I have to fold clothes and diapers and clean up the kitchen from dinner yet, as usual!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Quickly because I'm tired... Mina's first day

1. They lined up in a different area than what we were originally told.

2. When I met Mina at the door she almost started crying because she had to go potty. Apparently they went to the bathroom as a group twice, and she went the first time but not the second time. She didn't think she was allowed to ask to go to the bathroom again. This probably isn't the case but I'll have to make sure.

3. Mina cried after lunch because she was afraid she would get lost. I am guessing this is probably when

4. She misplaced her lunchbox. I think I wrote her name inside so hopefully she will get it back. I hope she remembers to ask her teacher about it.

5. She didn't get to play during playtime because she was taking a time out. She was taking a time out because she was making a clicking noise with her tongue. Evidently this was upsetting. We've discussed it a few times but I'm not convinced that Mina feels she was in the wrong at all.

She seems to want to go back, so it must have been okay.

She was chatty, mature and even tempered for the rest of the day. She had a 3.5 hour therapy shift this afternoon/evening but it's not as bad as it sounds. They did arts and crafts which is like heaven for Mina, fit in some programs, took a 30 minute dinner break, had sibling play, and started getting ready for bath/bed. She did not seem overtired/overworked at all. She really seems to prefer being on a tight schedule. Having so much free time just makes her irritable. I'm sure there will be times when she doesn't want to do anything.

Anyway. It's time to start the dishwasher and go to bed so we can start again tomorrow.

Monday, September 01, 2008

I get bored with an idea pretty easily.

I wanted to do the meme where you post a picture of the space in which you do your blogging. I took this picture but then decided I was too lazy to figure out linking to the blah blah blahzzzzzz... SO anyway I'll just post this picture of my little mess. This is where the magic happens, folks. ;)

I was going to do the meme about who would play my family if my life were a movie. I didn't get very far though. I thought maybe Simon Pegg would play Jason.

...Or maybe Ewan McGregor, because Hot Damn!

I can see Helena Bonham Carter playing Yours Truly. That's as far as I got. I spent a lot of time looking for images of Daniel Day Lewis or that dude from Law and Order SVU or Perry Farrell for my brother, but I just couldn't find any fitting enough. So I quit.

That's about it for this Labor Day weekend! Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow is the dawning of a new era, new schedules and packing lunches and running around... And now Cullen is awake and it's time for us to get ready for a rendezvous at a park with a friend. I hope everyone had a great weekend and got every last bit of summeryness out of their systems. See you on the other side.