Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cullen! And Me!

I went to the doctor's office twice today. This morning was Cullen's fifteen month well child check.

He is a little over 25lbs. That puts him in the 75th percentile for weight and he's in the 95th percentile for height.

He has a heart murmur. He had one when he was born but it went away. So anyway I guess we just keep an eye on that for the 18 month... Dr. Dude thinks it'll probably go away but if it's sticking around they might want to do an EKG...

He has some fluid in the ears but again, just keeping an eye on that too...

All in all though he is a perfect bundle of mischief. :D

I went in later by myself for a "Is Hilary going to jump???" checkup. Apparently there were limited exam rooms today and some kind of computer problem... Anyway my appointment was at 4:30 but I waited for about 25 minutes in the waiting... hallway. The waiting room is closed off because of a pipe bursting. I didn't get out of there until maybe 6:20. It was supposed to be a 15 minute appointment but guess what! It was nearly an hour and a half instead. Because I'm a pain in the ass, that's why!

Got a new prescription because the old one was for 150mg and I've been taking 300mg of Wellbutrin.



Getting away from the children, getting away with husband.

Dr. Dude was shocked to learn that I have spent a total of FIVE nights away from the kids since Mina was born. The first one was when I was in the hospital having Leta. The second was... An anniversary. The third was for Chelsea and Paul's eloping party, the fourth another anniversary, and the fifth when Cullen was born.

Talking. Writing. Talking. TALKING, HILARY. DOOOO IT

And stop feeling guilty.

He asked if I wanted to talk to a counselor and I said NOOOOOOOOOO! Are you crazy fool?! Those people are the devil! And he said I probably knew all their tricks by now or something along those lines.

Also I will be getting my iron, vit. D, thyroid... and some other thing checked. I've forgotten already.

And I'm tired so I'm going to say good night now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mama Bear

Today when I picked up Mina from school and all three of us were walking on the sidewalk (Cullen was being carried) in front of school, chatting about the day in that slow, careful way that is so like getting a squirrel to eat from your hand, it happened.

I knew it was only a matter of time. I see big kids running around, being rough, not watching where they are going all the time.

Today I saw them coming but couldn't prevent a collision in time. Two big kids plowed right over Mina, knocking her to the ground hard, and without stopping were headed for the bus. Mina was still on the ground and I was yelling after them.

"HEY! Get back here and apologize!" They came back over and said "sorrysorry" and were turning around again. "Ask her if she's okay!" I ordered. "What's the matter with you? You should be looking out for the little kids!" More apologies, and then I let them go...

It was weird how easy it was to yell at kids I didn't know. They seemed like good kids, just being thoughtless and in a hurry to get to the bus, but I'm sick of these kids not looking where they're going. I'm always afraid they'll knock ME over while I'm holding Cullen.

Plus, they made Mina cry. They didn't see that and I'm kind of glad... But I did, and it felt terrible.

Monday, January 26, 2009

First Dr. Sketchy's of the New Year

Yesterday I went with my spiffy friend Laima to Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School at the High Noon Saloon. We got a table right in front! The last time I went I sat far away at the end of the bar... Those sketches were... Not Great.

The sketches in the first series were done in one minute.

Two minutes...

Five minutes...

And the winner of the left-handed drawing contest:

I won a new sketchbook. Yay!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mina schools me on music

We were listening to Squirrel Nut Zippers in the car today. The girls love them and laugh and make comments through all the songs.

Today Mina said, "Her voice sounds like muffins."

Leta, laughing, agreed, "Yeah, muffins!"

"It does not! Muffins don't HAVE a sound! How can her voice sound like a baked good?!" My ignorance is so embarrassing.

Mina explained, "Well it's kind of like cake..."

"What does CAKE sound like?!"

Mina sang "Laaaaa" in sort of a Louis Armstrong trumpety kind of way.

"OH... Right..."

"Cake is too big though, her voice sounds more like muffins." Of course. It's good that she's so patient with me.

I wish we could do what they do in Katroo.

This is a nice picture of Laura and a terrible picture of me. But it's Laura's birthday, so...

I love this picture of Laura. She's a Fresca thug.

One time I decorated a birthday cake that Laima made for Laura's birthday. The cake was delicious despite it's hideous pink-ness...

Here's a picture I painted of Laura that I didn't like much at the time. Now I kind of like it.

Laura looks like a supermodel from the 60's here at the craft show we did together at High Noon Saloon. We didn't sell too much but we sure traded a lot. It was fun to sit around drinking beer together on a Sunday afternoon.

This is a really nice picture of a kaleidoscope pointing at a plant. And Laura. And a car.

Happy Birthday, Laura, and here's to good times yet to come.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mina Goes to the Pediatric Ophthalmologist

This morning was hard. There was a lot of crying for no sane reason. I yelled, and you'll be shocked to know that it did no good.

We finally went to this appointment. I knew there would be trouble when I had to explain things that I really hate to explain in front of Mina, who I know hates listening to people talk about her. Things like PDD-NOS and sensory issues... I knew the eye drops would be trouble but I thought, I don't know, they work with kids and SURELY there are other autistic kids who need glasses, right? They probably have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves.

The first part of the eye exam was done by the Fellow and she was okay, and then we spoke briefly with the big cheese who was like a professor out of a book or something... With a crazy beard and quirky mannerisms and way of speaking... Mina liked him. But then this nurse came in to do the drops.

I explained for the third time that she hadn't done the dilation before because the first time she wouldn't cooperate and there wasn't enough help. The second time she was being referred and the optometrist knew she would have it done again and there was no sense in doing it twice. I talked and talked to Mina about it, and still, when the time came, she covered her eyes and let out a little cry. Right away the nurse was taking deep breaths and saying, "OH Jesus" in this mean spirited dramatic way. She kept trying to convince Mina to let her put the drops in. After about ten minutes of this I'd had enough and said, "She's never going to 'let' you. I was told you would be able to help restrain her. Let's just get this over with."

Mina sat in my lap curled up with her eyes covered and I tried to pull her back and hold her arms but she was thrashing around and the nurse slammed threw up her arms (again with the drama) and said, "That's it, we're DONE." I stared at her in disbelief and she went out. She came back in with the Fellow, who was able to calmly help me hold Mina and told me how to wrap my legs around Mina's, and she was able to put the eyedrops in Mina's eyes while Mina screamed at the top of her lungs, "PLEASE DON'T PUT THAT IN MY EYES I WANT TO GO HOME MAMA PLEASE PLEASE DON'T DO THIS TO ME!!!" etc and she was SO upset. I'm sure it was really terrifying. Being restrained and having stuff put in your eye... Ugh. Meanwhile nurse is still yelling "Jesus... Oh my god. Jesus!" and is having a freaking meltdown of her own. They smiled and said sorry to me and how it must be so hard, and, pardon me, readers, but I just wanted to tell this nurse to FUCK OFF. Whew, but I didn't. I was told to go out to the waiting room for forty minutes.

They were walking away when I felt it...

The hot knot in my throat, the tears welling up. Mina was still sobbing, crumpled in my lap, yelling about her burning eyes. I squeezed her hard and carried her and our jackets and my purse into the waiting area where we both just cuddled quietly for a while. I asked her if she wanted to watch the movie that was playing, and she said no. I asked if she wanted me to read Junie B Jones, and she said no. She said she just wanted to be held. Eventually we looked at some magazines together and she giggled a little about seeing fuzzy and kept asking how big her pupils were.

Finally it was time to go back and the doctor examined her eyes and came up with the prescription. He explained the "lazy eye" and that her particular kind would likely respond to glasses but they want to track the progress closely because they might want to patch the good eye if her vision isn't improving. I asked why he didn't want to patch right away and he just said it might not be necessary, and asked if I had any other questions.

I can't even remember what I was going to say but I started to say something about her glasses and he said, "WHAT?! She has glasses? Wha--why didn't you TELL ME that to start with?!" (I DID tell the Fellow and wrote about it in the paperwork they make you fill out) and all I could think to say was, "I was told they were really just guessing with the prescription..." and he continued to be flabbergasted that I didn't save them all a huge hassle by bringing in the glasses. "Why didn't you BRING them? Did you FORGET? Did you not think we would NEED them?" and I just sat there dumbly with my mouth open as tears welled up. I could. not. believe. I was being scolded. After all the crappiness I already had to deal with that day... What did he want me to say? "I didn't bring them because I'M AN IDIOT."

I've never done this whole glasses thing.

Jason and I have perfect vision.

I don't know.

I fail at ophthalmology visits.

Anyway. I managed to not cry until I got out to the car and then I couldn't hold it in anymore. I sat there and just SOBBED! Mina was on her way back to her seat and she turned around and said, quietly, "Mom? ... Why are you crying?" I felt so terrible about all of it. God it just sucked.

Then we went home and Jason asked how it went, and I cried again! Man. I didn't even cry the two times we had Mina in the ER with her head split open. :P

Also, I have had a kink in my neck for three days and it just keeps getting worse.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Soon she'll be cooking for ME

Just now, while I was in the powder room powdering my nose, Leta moved a chair into the kitchen, got out a bowl, peeled a banana, sliced it, and put whipped cream on it.

I could not be more proud.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I am finished with week one of the one hundred push-ups challenge.

Ladies and gentlemen, today I did 46 push-ups.

8+10+7+7+14=be afraid!

Cullen is really clingy and screamy today. He is only happy after he has JUST been nursed. He pushes away the sippy cups and throws the food on the floor. His teeth are really hurting, I think. He's getting four of them.

I'm trying to take down Christmas stuff and catch up around here but he's not letting me.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I've been writing, I really have

Just... not here. :D

Yesterday we were so excited about the above 0 degrees F temp we celebrated by leaving the house! We went to the grocery store. I voluntarily brought all three to the grocery store on a day when I could have left them home with Jason. It was that kind of crazy. I think Cullen liked it the most because he HATES getting bundled up. He hates wearing a hat. He hates wearing mittens. He hates having his jacket zipped up all the way. He hates wearing snowpants. He hates having a huge scarf wrapped around his face. "But Cullen, you will hate frostbite even more!" For some reason that baby just doesn't listen to reason.

Today I was even MORE brave because I drove up to Appleton with all three, without Jason. I'm lucky that no one had to stop and use the bathroom! We had to take baby stuff up to my stepsister who is having a baby any day. On the way there I was listening to Radiohead and getting very lost in my thoughts. I was sort of telling the story of the last ten years of my life in my head. I do that sometimes. It is engrossing. For me. ;)

Leta and Cullen had passed out, but Mina kept asking me questions. Actually she was making statements and then saying, "Right, mom?" and I would sort of go, "Uh-huh... yeah..." in a dreamy way (very dangerous!!!)... Then she asked, "You can't see me very well, right mom?"

"Sure I can. I can see you in my mirror," and then I looked in the rear-view mirror.

I stared in disbelief at the red war-paint like stripes on her cheeks.

"Mina, what is on your cheeks?!"

"Let's talk about that later," Mina tried out a new technique for evading questioning.

"No, we will talk NOW. Is that marker?" I thought it might help if she only had to answer yes or no.

"Nooo... Don't worry about it, mom," Mina tried out another one, a favorite of mine.

"MINA. TELL ME RIGHT NOW." I meant business!

"I didn't want to tell you that I had a bloody nose and I didn't know what to do so I wiped it on my cheeks..."

Well, I had to laugh a little... I told her that she should have told me and I would have just given her a tissue and it was no big deal.

I should have taken a picture.

They really make life so interesting, don't they?

Friday, January 16, 2009

I did 33 push ups today.

6+8+6+6+7. Ninety seconds in between.

Look out, Governator!

Today is going to be a better day. It's another cold weather day with schools canceled. We will be forced out of the house shortly to follow my love to the shop and give him a ride to work. It seems Margot is in need of a brake job. I hope it doesn't cost a fortune... *crosses fingers*

I was very surprised this morning to find that I was a top contender in David McMahon's Post of the Day with "Fine Tuning". You know, some posts you put a bit more time and effort into, like if you're telling a story you really enjoy or you really want to make sure you're conveying exactly the right feeling or something... But I haven't felt like making that sort of effort in the last month or so (hmm perhaps that is why readership is down). What I mean is that usually you have a pretty good idea if you may have written something that stands apart from the average quick stream of consciousness word spew. Well anyway, David, glad you are still encouraging excellence in others even if I don't really feel worthy. ;)

Now to get dressed!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I did 20 push ups

two sets of six and two sets of four, 60 seconds between sets. Tomorrow will be a few more. I'm going to be so ripped, you won't be able to tell if I'm a man or a woman.

Today so far we have had two bad tantrums and no naps. I'm making tea and hoping it gives me strength to get through the afternoon without jumping off any buildings. Wheee!

Mina: Leta keeps interrupting me, mom! You should interrupt HER so she will see how it feels!

Me: Leta needs our help. We can remind her not to interrupt in a nice way. We can say, "Leta, you're interrupting..."

Mina: But Leta is TOO FAST!

Me: ...right, you have to say it AFTER she does it.

Mina: If it's AFTER then I have to say, "Leta, you interrupted."

Me: ...

Mina: You have to say, "Leta, you interruptED," Mom.

Me: Absolutely. That's correct. Go eat your lunch now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fine tuning

Cullen is going from walking to running. He kind of runs with his legs straight though--it reminds me of Forrest Gump.

He has also been growing all four cuspids. I think this might have something to do with all the meltdowns he is having. Even so, he still brings me immense joy and I love rubbing his head on my cheek and smelling his hair, even when he is filthy and just smells like boy. What can I say, I am addicted to smelling the spicy brains of men in my life. heehee!

I've decided to do the one hundred push ups challenge. Who is with me? Right now I can do about ten. With my knees on the ground. :/ This website claims if I follow the program even I will be able to do one hundred push ups. We'll see!

In other news, I'm still not feeling any less anemic. I've been eating meat and pairing it and my iron supplements with vitamin C rich foods... I still get this really tired feeling in all of my muscles, and you know, general fatigue, feeling cold all the time, hair falling out (much more than usual), stuff like that. Maybe I need more folate and B12 (reading Mayo Clinic page on anemia)...

Maybe I should mention it at my next appointment with Dr. Dude (in two weeks).

One more thing.

So often we are scolding the kids for running in the house. Mina runs back and forth a lot, bumping into/jumping on things. I know that she needs this sort of input but it's still not something we like done in our kind of small house.

Yesterday after dinner, and after dessert, and right after I told Mina she was going to have her bath, she started running back and forth. Just as I was getting ready to raise my voice, I saw her expression. It was one of complete and utter joy. Running back and forth, over and over, and just BEAMING with uncontainable, unabashed solid gold happiness. How many of us feel that way very often? So often she is pensive, anxious, bothered by things around her. I couldn't take this moment of joy away from her. I very nearly wept about it.

I wish I could remember to not sweat the small stuff when it comes to the kids. I feel like we are constantly yelling at them, and most of the time it is really for nit-picky things. And all of the time, we really don't need to YELL.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I just had my mind blown

Mina: The only thing we really know is whatever we're thinking at the time.

Me: Uhhhh...
(Crickets chirping)

Mina: Mom.

Me: Ummm...

Mina: Right mom.

Me: I... don't...

(head explodes)

Happy International Blog Delurking Day (or week or something)

I heard it was today, so leave a comment and let me know who is reading! You'll feel so much better after you're OUT. Don't be shy!

Not much else worth writing about today, I'm afraid. Meltdowns here last night and this morning left me feeling a little broken (do I ever stop being so emo?!) so I'm drinking some orange juice and going to my support group (emailing a friend) and wondering if I took the tie off of my sweater and sewed a large button or two on it, if it would be acceptable for public viewing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy belated birthday to Aleda

I'm so bad at birthdays (and Christmas and anniversaries and just showing thoughtfulness in general). My friends know this about me, I think, and so I was going to completely shock Aleda by sending her a package. I ran into a couple of problems though. I don't have her current address. Before Christmas would have been a good time to get it, but um... since I failed at cards this year... Yeah. Anyway, also I just totally missed it. I saw it coming up, and I said, "Oh there it is, two weeks away," and then "Oh there it is, ten days away," and then "Oh it's coming up in just one week!" and then all of a sudden it was already over with!

Anyway, internet, meet Aleda. She was my BFF in high school. She showed me such kindness when all I could do was growl and spew venomous words. She was gentle and sweet and funny and just like my very own Weetzie Bat. She played with my hair and called me a vamp, a ruthless heartbreaker, mysterious, all the things that made my frown curl into a smirk when nothing else would. When I ranted about things she'd say, "Oh Hilary I love listening to your rants!" Yeah she was special like that. Did she know that I envied her eyebrows or her cute, lighthearted ways? Everyone was in love with her. She was so like a fairy. Childlike and mischevious and beautiful and dangerous, rolled into a girl whose letters always spilled pink glitter and feathers and flower petals all over the kitchen table.

Aleda, wherever you are, I hope you had a fabulous birthday. I miss you, crazy girl.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Illustration Friday - "contained"

Mina was kind enough to help me with this by copying my facial expression. Thanks Mina!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

That's hilarious!

Sometimes when I get a phrase, line, whatever on loop in my head I start imagining Tracy Morgan saying it. Then not only am I going around repeating things, I'm laughing hysterically because of course, Tracy Morgan is hilarious.

Maybe I need to get out more!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hiya kids!

Last night was terrible and today was very low functioning. Neat, huh?

Sleep is the glue that holds me together, folks.

My temper is hot and my thoughts are grim but I have made a real resolution. So often I have felt spread too thin and unable to do anything well. This applies to housework, art, every aspect of life.

I'm going to stop trying to keep up with EVERYTHING all at once, and the things I do... I want to do exceptionally well.

That is all.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back to School!

I was really dreading the first day of school after Winter Break. Mina had been sleeping in later and later, and it was so easy to get used to not having to go out in the cold every morning. I was worried about how she would do going in to school, parting with us, and just getting ready is really hard sometimes.

I thought my morning would be full of rushing and panicking and yelling and meltdowns.

I was wrong!

First of all, Cullen slept through the night last night and I am really thankful for that.
Mina and Leta slept in the same bed last night, and while they were up late talking and laughing and being silly sisters, they didn't bother us for anything. They got up together, took a little while to get dressed but probably not as long as it does on average, had breakfast and were all ready to go at the right time! WOW.

It's too bad the sidewalks on the way to school were covered with slippery black ice. It took us about 20 minutes to get from where I parked into the building. All of Mina's class was already sitting on the rug in the classroom and I figured she would probably cling to me and yell "Mama!!!" when I was trying to leave, but she didn't! Instead she started putting her stuff away, turned around and looked me in the eye and said, "Leave". I was sure I mis-heard her so I asked her to repeat what she said, and again she told me to leave! I could not have been more proud.

Unfortunately right now she's expecting different rules today about what she can eat after school. She always finishes her lunch when she gets home before she is allowed to eat anything else. ALWAYS. But always doesn't matter with her. She wants something really yummy that she likes.

And then just like that she asks me about how many storms there are in the world.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Ulcerative Colitis and the Appendix

My husband started complaining of some tenderness in the appendix area about a week and a half ago. Like the loving, supportive, empathetic wife that I am I told him to stop being so negative and that he was just being crazy. Every time he has mentioned it I have sighed heavily and rolled my eyes. I think it's because it's one of those things every hypochondriac complains about and I'm not saying Jason is a hypochondriac, but he has definitely been on edge ever since the whole UC immunosuppressants etc thing.

Anyway, again tonight he made a face and touched the lower right quadrant of his belly, saying, "This is where it is bothering me."

I decided to put an end to all this nonsense and do some reading about the appendix. After reading some arguments about the immune function of the appendix I got to thinking. Maybe Jason's appendix is somehow to blame for his autoimmune disease. It doesn't seem that far fetched to me, I guess, that there could be some inflammation there since it's right next to his inflamed colon. Okay, stop laughing at me. So then I ask google about it, and google tells me that having had an appendectomy appears to protect one from developing Ulcerative Colitis.

Now Desperate Housewives is on so I will just say... Now you know: I am a mean wife and I know nothing about medicine.

Edit: Okay. I'm back. So the question is, what about after a person already has UC? And, more importantly, when should we really be worried? Jason told his GI doc's nurse about it and she said something along the lines of "keep an eye on it". I don't know what that means. I'm thinking maybe the primary care doc should know about this pain. And apparently all of the internet.

Sorry Jason. Maybe I'll delete this.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Still wearing my sweater.

So I guess 2009 isn't all that different from 2008 so far. I have a couple of things I want to do this year.

1. Eat well
2. have a million dollar idea

Easy, right?

How about
3. Develop skills in some area

4. Contribute something somehow

For now I might just go outside and shovel some snow.

but I am so cold

Edited to add: Mina just said, "You're pregnant in that picture, right?" ughhhh!!!!