Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Science Experiment

The children and I were having a discussion about pretzels.

Leta said that when she was younger, I told her that cheese and pretzels tasted good together.

I laughed and asked Leta if she wanted some cheese to go with her pretzels. Of course she did.

Mina asked me if I really said that to Leta when she was younger.

I told her it was probable because I think pretzels are good with pretty much everything, even ice cream.

Mina hypothesized that the salt from the pretzels would make the ice cream melt faster.

We have two scoops of yucky sugar-free ice cream, one on each plate. The one on the left has a pinch of salt sprinkled on top. The one on the right does not.

After ten minutes, both have started to melt on the bottom. The one on the left has a melted appearance on top as well, whereas the one on the right still looks freshly scooped. The "puddle" circumference is about the same.

Possible problem with this experiment is the lack of precise measurement. I think the salted scoop was slightly larger than the unsalted scoop.

I'll let you know the final results.

EDITED TO ADD:
Both scoops melted about the same. It's possible that the salt made the bigger scoop melt just fast enough to be the same as the smaller scoop. Further testing is needed.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School @ High Noon Saloon


See the rest of my sharpie sketches here.

See some of the "Art class without the class" in action!

I could not convince anyone to brave this with me today, but by golly, I grabbed my sketchpad and the nearest sharpie and went solo. I was an hour or so late, a mistake I won't make again because I didn't get a good place to sit. I was really far away and could hardly see what was going on onstage.

Still, it was a fun way to get away and get some sketching practice. And on a Sunday afternoon, no less!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I wrote more in my sketchbook

BUT, I'm too lazy to post it.

I made a list of things I wanted to ask google during this dark, disconnected time: black specks baby poop, baby oatmeal allergy, wind running rosacea, bum genius laundry tabs, madison wi drug drop off, county codes weather radio.

GLUTEN FREE BREAD! I finally tried the gluten-free bread from Whole Foods and it was AWESOME. I made grilled cheese (white cheddar cranberry) and tomato sandwiches. It was sweet, yeasty and delicious like a French country loaf. It's the only GF bread I've had that hasn't tasted weird.

Anyway. I have to go check on my facebook scrabble game.

Not again!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hard times tonight.


I'm so glad that's over.

That was close!

Thankfully, because of my horoscope, I carefully dodged all conflict. I'm sure that, had I not been warned, the night would have gone much differently. ;)

Today I am fabulous.

It's Friday! It's visitor day. Hopefully we don't have to hang out in the basement at all. The weather is supposed to possibly be severe. I have strawberries, coffee and scones, so how bad could it be?

Wow, I started this an hour and a half ago and then forgot all about it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Scared Monkey!

My monkey horoscope for today:

Hilary,
Fateful encounters which are not altogether pleasant are indicated. If you are in an established intimate relationship, it is apt to be rough sailing right now. Ultimatums, bringing up past pain and unresolved issues, jealousy, or unusual neediness or possessiveness may all be part of the scenario, and what makes all of this quite stressful is that most of it is not blatant but subtle and insidious.

YIKES. I'm hoping that this warning will help me to avoid any trouble.

These facebook horoscopes are TOTALLY REAL.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've been busy

wearing my cranky pants. Sorry to all who have had to deal with it. I'm taking a lot of deep breaths just... getting the kids in the car. Little every day things. I need to run more, I think. Sorry to Jason. I hope you still know that I love you immensely even though the look on my face and the tone of my voice is nothing but RAWR.

Mom desperately seeking approval at local hippy baby store would like everyone to know that she is totally cool with her son's preference for pink. She couldn't wait to mention that she bought him a doll. When he threw a mega tantrum she very loudly insisted, "YOU NEED TO NURSE DON'T YOU! POOR BABY!" and he was being a total shit. I got a kick out of this display. She received a medal for being a progressive mom. No she didn't. You fail at impressing the progressive moms!

See, I don't have anything nice to say. I should close the laptop and back away slowly.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm in trouble.

I've noticed a disturbing trend in Leta's play scenarios.

The mom always dies. Then some other species comes in and says, "Don't worry, I can take care of you."

Either this is the most tragic thing Leta can dream up and so she always uses it for dramatic purposes, or...

*gulp*

Friday, April 18, 2008

A friendship is born

Cullen and Morella!














Leta goes to the dentist

This morning we made a community outing of it--that is, one of Mina's therapists, Mina, Cullen, Leta and I piled into the van and went on a field trip to the dentist.

When I checked in at the front desk I explained that Mina had an appointment in a couple of weeks and I wondered if we could all go in and see the equipment and everything. They were happy to have us as long as we could all fit.

Leta wasn't so sure about that big chair and it took a couple of minutes before she would climb in. The hygienist put the bib on her and told her that even her mom and dad had to wear a bib at the dentist. Then she showed her some dark sunglasses and asked if Leta wanted to wear them, which of course, she did. She explained that the light was super bright and the sunglasses would make her more comfortable. So far, so good. When Leta was all set with her bib and sunglasses, it was time to adjust the chair. "Now we're going to move up... Now we're going to lay back so I can see in your mouth..." Leta nervously gripped the arms of the chair.

She showed Leta the special mirror she used to see in her mouth, and in the other hand she had the scraper but she didn't really draw attention to that. She just sort of snuck it in and said, "I'm just scratching off some sugar bugs that are on your teeth!" Leta was making little fists but she did such a good job keeping her mouth open. She was happy to choose chocolate flavored tooth polish, and seemed to like that part.

The dentist came in and he counted her teeth (20), and after flossing, she was all done! She got a new Cinderella toothbrush and some Spongebob toothpaste, and was allowed to choose a toy out of a drawer. She picked a ring, despite Mina's insistence that the rings were all full of lead and totally dangerous. Leta really wanted the ring and said, "But she said I could have anything I want and I want the ring!"

I was so proud of her, and she was proud of herself. She kept showing off her clean teeth all day.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Five things about today. (revised)

1. Mina has been tested and confirmed REALLY READY for Kindergarten. She demonstrated awesome math skills and made us proud. I got to tour the school and I'm actually a little tiny bit excited about it all. (and terrified)

2. At the WEAP team meeting I got to see some good "interview" skills, and I had a good time building a log cabin with Lincoln Logs.

3. Cullen had his six month well child checkup today. He's 18+ lbs (hasn't gained much since last time but is in the 75th percentile for height and weight which is great)... He cried for the beginning and end of the visit, but was perfectly happy while the doctor was seeing him. I guess Cullen hates nurses. Who can blame him? They give out shots! He desperately needed to nurse when we got home so we're skipping the sweet potatoes today in favor of lots of boob time. Poor little guy. Good news though! Our doctor is staying with the clinic. Yay! No changes!

4. Jason is making dinner! Hooray! It smells AWESOME.

5. It was risotto and it was totally caloric comfort food but oh, it was delicious. Leta kept saying things like, "I'm going to eat it all, because I love, it, Daddy," I love how she tells us when she loves something.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Gorgeous Crown

Yesterday I got my porcelain crown. Apparently, it is beautiful, but to me it just looks like a tooth. I guess that's why it's so beautiful.

Anyway, it only took a few minutes and today my mouth feels tip top. Hooray! I really like my dentist. I'm feeling pretty lucky lately with the various health care professionals I encounter.

In other tooth news, Cullen is definitely rocking a tooth on the bottom. I can see it juuuust coming through. There's that last layer of skin to bust through I think. He's been slightly fussier than usual. He's also been eating a lot and I feel like I don't have enough to offer. He gnashes his gums and makes this angry boy face which I'm sure he thinks is totally impressive. Then with his massive paws he grabs whatever is near and growls while he squeezes it to death. "Cullen MAD! Cullen SMASH! GRRRRRR!"

LOVE it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

GG is right, of course

The rule is if you feel bad anywhere below the neck, you shouldn't exercise. Something like that anyway. But I didn't know any of that before I went out and tried my shoes... I got through TWO eight minute runs and then 5 minutes. It's an improvement. I'll get there. The shoes were everything I hoped they would be. No more uncomfortable right foot. Everything seemed a little less awful.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I am in love!

with my new running shoes (sorry Jason). I have yet to try running in them (save that short jaunt around the store) but let me tell you, they are Like Buttah. I want to take my old shoes out back and shoot them.

When I came home, high on the excitement of new shoes, I went over the moon when I found a package from my grandparents. Adorable. Origami hats for Cullen for Boys Day (Japan), among other things. I HAVE to write to them this week.

Oven Cleaning Power of Dawn

A few days ago I came up with the clever idea of cooking corn tortillas in the oven... with a pad of butter on each one... on a pizza pan... with holes in it... Well, as you might guess, and as I failed to guess, the butter dripped all over the oven.

Of course I forgot all about it, until last night when I wanted to make "roasty tasty" (roasted vegetables) and I opened the preheated oven and smoke came pouring out. Woops!

Wisely, though, I wrote on my dry erase refrigerator board, "CLEAN OVEN!" and knowing that I would probably forget, Jason reminded me today. Actually, he said something like, "If there's butter in the oven and you use the self cleaner--" and I said, "I'm not using the self cleaner," and he said, "Oh, okay".

You see, my neighbor had a bit of a mishap when he tried to clean a greasy mess with the self cleaning feature which you can read about here, and now I'm more scared than ever to use that feature of the oven. I've also been scared to clean the oven the old fashioned way, with elbow grease, and equally afraid of commercial oven cleaners. The result is that our ovens never get cleaned. This wasn't really a problem in my other life because I never cooked and I moved every year. I'm pretty sure Jason cleaned the oven at our last two apartments.

Anyway, our oven isn't too bad, except for the butter.

I decided to try getting it with Dawn and a wet rag, because I know from my cake decorating days that Dawn is magical at cutting grease. And do you know what? It worked. It was a cinch. I was sure to rinse several times, and yes it still has a healthy "seasoning" all around but this is an oven's natural state. The charred chunks of grime and the butter all came off with ease. Hooray for Dawn and easy oven cleaning! It only took five minutes!

Good Morning, Monday!

This is going to be a busy week so I thought maybe I'd do my writing first thing, so I don't forget.

Weather n stuff: This week is supposed to be NICE! (50-70) I'm excited to go out for many runs even though I have some sort of chest cold and my shoes suck. Maybe I'll look for new shoes today. I had a dream about running and my ill-fitting shoes and this morning my feet hurt.

Children: Cullen starts sweet potatoes today! I'm excited, can you tell? What I'm not excited about is the idea that his poopy diaper may happen while I'm out and about... He woke up an hour later than usual today! What a good boy.
Mina was all better but now she sounds phlegmy again. I have had to tell her to cough several times already. So I guess maybe she wasn't all better. She is having a rough morning so far. She totally got up on the wrong side of the bed. Started flipping out about the sun, not wanting any of the breakfast choices, putting underwear on, not wanting Leta to take her picture...
Leta is still coughing and sniffly.

Now I have to get everyone dressed and make the beds. I hope everyone is having a spedoinkle day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Autism and Empathy

I think you should all read this. That is all. Carry on...

Sick Date Night

Jason and I have both caught the illz but that didn't stop us from going on our date. We were only gone for about an hour and a half, but that was enough.

I was wearing my sexiest pink cardigan, rust orange pants and clogs. Oh, and oversized mens suit coat. You see, my mirror broke and so it isn't there to talk me out of wearing stupid ensembles out of the house. Oh well. I was sick, what do you want?

We tried going to Takumi, but there was a 45 minute wait and nowhere to sit and have a drink. Instead we went to Ginza and were seated right away at the sushi bar.

I had a chocolate martini, Jason's miso soup, three pieces of tamago, a godzilla roll, and a vegetable tempura roll. It was a lot of food. Jason ordered the sushi dinner, which was six pieces and a roll or something like that. I'm not sure what but I know there was squid and octopus and stuff like that.

We were home around 9, which was nice because we sat around in our pajamas watching Boston Legal (current show we are catching up on via Netflix).

Even though we were sick, it was really nice to get out of the house with Jason. I wish we could go on more dates! Maybe on Saturday nights instead, because on Friday nights Jason always needs a nap. I'm going to need a younger boyfriend pretty soon. ;)

Milestones. Mostly about poop!

I'd wait until he's officially 6 months, but I didn't want to forget some of these details.

Today is Cullen's last day of the carrots trial. He has started pooping at a predictable time every day, as I have been feeding him the carrots at between 3:30 and 4 every day. He LOVES them. After the first bite, that is. He always makes a face for the first bite. Then after the second bite, he grabs my hand and the spoon and just tries to shove it in his mouth.

The diapers are always shocking. I know I'm supposed to be all nonchalant about poop, but I just can't help saying, "OH my lord, CULLEN, you didn't WARN ME about this! Yuck, yuck, yuck..." and he laughs and tries to grab at his junk, then kicks his little feet until one of his socks inevitably squishes into his poo. If I can really get this down to a science, I might sit him on the potty around pooptime just so I don't have to wash this stuff. Or maybe I'll get that liner stuff...

Cullen loves his sisters. He really seems to interact with them in a way that just isn't possible between a baby and an adult. Leta is really "in your face" with him--grabbing him, squeeling, yakking it up, making him say things. Mina has recently taken to him as well, but in a different way. She watches him quietly, smiling. She lets him grab her face, pull her hair. He gets really chatty during these times and it makes her laugh.

Cullen has been saying DADA yesterday and today. Sigh. There, he just said it again. And he's looking right at Jason. I think Leta's first word was Mama, and Mina's first word was PRETTY. That's funny.

There's this face he makes when he's playing with something and really concentrating. It's kind of like the "oooo" face, because he sticks out his UPPER lip so it makes a funny point.

Cullen's hair is so fuzzy. I rubbed apricot baby oil on it and it's STILL fuzzy. He also has red looking eyebrows.

He's getting very mischievous. You can see it in his eyes. T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Cat with the Blood

I had an enormous black cat who was really vicious but also really loving and needy. I miss him. He gave great hugs.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sick Day

So I thought I would dig around for something old to post and I came across some old paint doodles.




TOO MUCH BREAD

So after all that pizza and soda and the fry bread Laura brought over, I've completely undone all my hard work. According to the scale, that is. It's also been rainy and gloomy, and I just feel bleh.

After stuffing myself with fry bread yesterday I decided it was an excellent time to go for a run. It was also day 1 of the "run eight minutes, walk two minutes, repeat four times" program. Yeah... Um... I did the first eight minutes with surprising ease. Then after two minutes of walking it was hard to get going again. I did about four more minutes and had to stop. I had a terrible side-ache and my right hip and knee were all stiff and awful feeling.

I was running on the other side of the street more this time. I don't know if that's what put me in such pain but I do think I need to alternate more--even though you are SUPPOSED to run on the left side. The road is made in such a way that always running on the same side will put one foot lower than the other, and I thought maybe that was messing me up. I wish I had a nice path to walk to, then I would not have this problem.

For the rest of the night my hip and knee were really angry. I did a couple of exercises, I have no idea if they are good for this sort of thing, but I'm happy to report that I am not in pain today.

Except that I have a really bad sore throat. Jason does, too. Tomorrow is supposed to be date night and I don't know if it's going to happen.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Kids today

We decided to set up a flickr account for Leta's pictures. I was able to get some descriptions from her, but she got bored quickly. I'm going to have to bribe her for more, I think. What is going on up there, Leta?

That's all I've got for you today. I'm tired.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Back to the grind?

Actually, I was thinking about taking a vacation day today.

...

After seeing all of Leta's birthday pictures I have decided that the outfit I had on yesterday should go in the garbage. What was I thinking? I thought I was looking pretty good until I saw the photographs. I hate that I'm writing this. Stop.

Phew. Okay. Moving on...

Cullen is in rough shape today. He's blowing amazing snot bubbles and has been doing the cough-gag-vomit thing. The vomit is full of snot so it has the consistency of egg whites and it makes ME gag. Isn't that lovely? I should write horror fiction. "it jiggled on the washcloth and clung onto the plastic toy. Paralyzed, Hilary's eyes widened as the glistening goo spewed forth once more..." I'm not sure the world could handle it.

So, how's your brunch? :P

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Party Animal

Now that I'm out of my food coma I'm ready to write about Leta's birthday party.

-twelve minutes later-

Uhhhhh... Oh yeah. It was great! I'm getting the hang of this. I had too much to eat and got a little drunk, but sometimes the hostess needs to loosen up a little, right?

This morning started out rough. I was all wound up and the children were not cooperating. While en route to a time out, Mina grabbed onto my mirror and pulled it off of the wall, breaking it. It really shook me up. It shook her up too. It shook us all up. I love that mirror. I've had it since I was a little girl.

Things turned around though, and they were terrific during the party.

We have an obscene amount of Glass Nickel pizza, soda, beer and other goods left over. I really, really, really can not consume it all myself and I don't want to throw it away. What is a girl to do?

...

Leta has been taking some great photos. I'm going to upload them tonight and will probably post some of my favorites.

...

Yesterday was so warm, I was actually too warm when I went out for my run. How am I going to survive the summer? If I can't handle 60 degree weather... Also, I've noticed another problem. Well, you know how I was saying my right foot blah blah blah? I've realized there is something wrong with the whole right side of my body when I'm running. It's like the left side is on track and straight, and the right side is all twisting funny. Could this be from always running on the left side of the street, or is there something very wrong with me? I'm going to experiment with this. I'll be sure to let you know. (Every time I say that... it is the last you ever hear about it.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Waiting for a pot to boil

Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy. Busy busy, busy!

That's all.

P.S. I hate the word 'busy'

Friday, April 04, 2008

Give me strength

If I make it through this one without getting sick it will be a miracle. I hate being coughed on. I'm considering fashioning bandit-style masks for the kids to wear because they are not always super awesome about covering their coughs. I'm hoping that Cullen isn't getting it, but he's a little off... Last night he wouldn't go to sleep for a long time, then he was up at 3am, and I could hear him coughing and choking in there this morning before I got him up at 6. Leta was getting out of bed all night, getting water, needing medicine, needing more vapor rub, needing her blankets fixed, wanting to sleep in my bed... Finally I got up and said we could sleep on the couch together, but she slept on the futon and I slept on the couch. I'm pretty sure she didn't really sleep because it seemed like every five minutes she was asking if she could eat breakfast yet. Her fever seems better today. That was going to be my cue to call the doctor--if she still had a high fever.

Yesterday I went for a run. I hadn't gone in 8 days and Jason asked if I quit running. He also said he noticed I was feeling down. It was time to pick myself up by the bootstraps and get out there. What a glorious day! The temperature was perfect, 49 degrees, and there was no wind. I reached my goal, and I felt great after that.

One thing though... My right foot gets swollen and prickly every time I run. I loosened my shoe laces on that shoe and it didn't help. I'm not sure what that's all about. I think I might need different shoes. That one just never feels quite right.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Today is fired

I'm feeling drained. The deacon from Mina's preschool stopped by last night unexpectedly, and then I got into a rather stressful conversation with the young pastor today about why we haven't come to church. It's not that he was trying to stress me out or anything, and I'm sure it would have just been easier if I'd come up with some crazy lie but instead I just... I don't know... I don't know what happened. Now he knows my entire history. Hooray.

Then I went grocery shopping, which just isn't as fun as it used to be. It took an hour and then at the checkout I realized I forgot my wallet at home. ARGH! This has actually happened to me before. It's been a few years, but it still sucks. I had to drive home, get my wallet, drive back...

Obviously when I got home I had to eat half of a bar of chocolate and a pastry. I mean, it was that, or pills. Just kidding. Kind of.

My jaw hurts.

And I'm a sinner.

And I forget things.

Boo.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It wasn't bad.

the worst part was just getting the shots. And not being able to swallow. They were like, "You can swallow," and I was like, "NO, I really can't." Oh well.

Edited to add: All of the feeling has returned, and my gums aren't very happy. The dentist warned me that it would hurt and that I should take 600mg ibuprofen as soon as I get home, and I did, but it still hurts. It's not TOO bad, though.