Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Last weekend we got the sad news about Jason's step-mom, Debra.

Debra K. Samsa, (Hagstrom, aka Pintar), found peace on Saturday morning, January 23, 2010, at the age of 53.

My heart goes out to the family. Words just can't express the heartache when I think about Jason's dad and step-sister Sonia, and so, so many other people who are missing her right now.

Right now I am taking a small break from the support role to say a few personal words about her.

I would like to say how much and how obvious it was that she loved the kids. Her face lit up when she was around the grandkids and when she talked about her third-grade class, and all the fun projects they did or that she was excited to do. She always kept me company at family gatherings and I felt like the sarcastic brunettes in the corner, united through marriage to Samsa men, like it was a very exclusive club. ;) It was always a comfort that she seemed to want to sit with me!

Deb, you're beautiful and thanks for all the wonderful things you did in your life. You made a difference to so many and the world was a better place because of you. You are missed!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm working on another hat

Pictures soon.

So far it's the comfiest, coziest one I've made!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy National Delurking Day!

Now show yourself, reader!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Breaking the silence

Bits of tid.

1. For the last week our dinners have included gluten. Mina is pretty thrilled about this and tells me every night how yummy our dinner is. I love this.

2. This morning was the big annual IEP meeting and I think it went rather well. This is where you get together with a bunch of people (Social worker, classroom teacher, sp. ed. teacher, physical therapist and occupational therapist were there this morning) and write up the goals for the next school year. It's a pretty big deal. I was 45 minutes early this morning! I have a disease, truly. But I got to sit in the teacher's lounge, drinking soda and coffee and eating candy. Teachers know how to live, man.

3. The physical therapist told me that after she got a perm Mina asked, "Why does your hair look like a blob?" Thankfully the PT has a sense of humor! She also told her she thinks PT is fun. The PT asked, "Did you tell your mom that?" and she replied, "My mom doesn't have to know everything." !!! Indeed.

4. This morning Leta asked for eggs for breakfast. I made the eggs and she hugged me and thanked me for them. I should make eggs every morning. Better yet, Jason should make eggs for Leta when he makes his eggs! :D


Monday, January 04, 2010

So I decided to make a hat

...out of a fleece blanket I got from one of those discount carts at Woodman's and some lace from a shirt that was damaged.

To my family: Sorry I have still not mopped the floor. ;)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Give Me Strength...

Sometimes, when I have been listening to screaming for too long, I just don't know what to do, and I feel like everything is impossible, that there is no answer, that it will never end, and that if you asked me what one plus one was, not only could I not do the math but I wouldn't be able to understand your words at all. It's the most horrible sensory overload. I can't escape it. I can't close my eyes or plug my ears and I can't even leave. We're all stuck here, to listen to the screaming, at the mercy of a seven year old child's mood.

It is slightly stressful...

Mina, you are hilarious and brilliant, but oh my, you are a handful!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I got my Christmas wish, and my grandma is out of the hospital and back on the computer where she belongs! Hi grandma!

I was going to do a "Year in review", but since it's the end of the first decade of the second millennium I thought I'd do the decade in review...

I broke out of relationship jail.
I cried at my mom's wedding.
My brother graduated from MIAD and we all stayed at the Knickerbacker in Milwaukee.
I was homeless for a month and a half or so... (aka stayed with friends)
I moved into Virginia Village where I paid $425/mo. for a one bedroom apartment with fake wood paneling and an odor, but it was MINE! And it was glorious.
I quit my job at Plexus.

I got my first computer, a hand-me-down from my mom which was a hand-me-down from my grandma.
I got a job as a "copy girl" at an accounting firm.
I got a job as a cake decorator.
I got a job as a barista.
I broke up with my boyfriend and moved in with Sarah, Jamison and their baby, Chloe.
I turned 21 and drank a LOT.
I started dating this guy, Jason, and we drank a lot together.
I quit decorating cake.
I babysat Chloe.
I went to school.
I fell in love.
I went camping for the first time in Washington state and British Columbia.

I got married to that Jason guy. :)
Eventually I even moved in with him...
I was pregnant and it's kind of a blur, but I remember that I couldn't eat chicken, eggs, garlic, tomatoes... There was plenty of all-day sickness... And I wanted to eat mustard and toothpaste pretty much all the time.
I had baby Mina and felt like I woke up from what I thought I knew as life to discover something much more intense. I cried in my rocking chair in the wee hours of the morning because I almost couldn't handle how much I LOVED her.

Jason got a job in Madison and we moved our little family to a flat in a hip neighborhood.
We ate lots of grilled meat.
We moved to a townhouse. Shortly after that, the house two doors down from our flat exploded. Shortly after that, a small plane crashed near our new neighborhood!
Jason and I stood up in my brother's wedding at Devil's Lake.
We got pregnant with Leta.
Mina turned ONE.
I took a French class and my prof. was also expecting her second child around the same time.

Mon frere and his new bride joined the Peace Corps and moved to Zambia.
I spoke broken French in a ridiculous accent to baby Mina and made her laugh a lot.
Leta was born!
I saw my dad for the first time in many years!
Mina had her first trip to the ER for her first set of stitches. We were completely freaked out by the hole in her face and the gushing blood.
Mina turned TWO.
We visited my grandparents in Florida.

I aced my chemistry class.
Leta turned ONE!
We attended Jason's 10 year HS reunion.
Jason diagnosed me with Obsessive-Compulsive Furniture Rearranging Disorder (OCFRD)
Mina had lots of doctor appointments and tests. She had to stop eating wheat. She had terrible eczema. She was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified and put on the waiting list for her medicaid slot in order to get funding for therapy. She was on the waiting list for one year.
Mina turned THREE.
Mina had her second trip to the ER for stitches in her face.

Leta turned TWO!
Shannon and Laney returned from Zambia!
Mina turned FOUR.
Mina started working with the Wisconsin Early Autism Project.
We bought our house. My grandma warned, "New house, new baby..." I told her that was CRAZY TALK...

We celebrated five years of marriage.
We got pregnant with Cullen!
Leta turned THREE.
I spent lots of time vomiting until I started taking Zofran, the modern miracle.
I celebrated Cullen's second trimester with two trips to the ER and I got to see LOTS of pictures of him.
We visited my family in Florida.
We bought a MINIVAN.
Mina started preschool.
Mina turned FIVE.
Cullen was born!

I started running.
Leta turned FOUR.
My brother gave me the Panama hat and kicked off "The Panama Hat Years".
Leta started preschool.
Mina started Kindergarten.
Mina "graduated" from therapy, turned six, had a tooth pulled.
Cullen turned ONE!
I had a wee nervous breakdown and started using a light box and taking Wellbutrin...
Mina got glasses.

Boy oh boy. This year was... I'm not sure I'm ready to reflect on this year, actually! Let's just say it started horribly and with lots of elbow grease it really turned around and I am so grateful for my husband and family.
I decorated some cakes, too. ;)


2010, I think, is going to be a great year. I'm going to devote time every day to creativity. I don't want to let another day slip by where the only thing I did was clean something that's going to be dirty again tomorrow. I'd also like to continue trying to tell people how much they mean to me more instead of just thinking that someday I should.

This year, I am going to savor the sound of Cullen's little feet running away from me, and the way he giggles impishly when he turns out the light and closes the door when I'm trying to hang up his clothes. I'm going to be generous with love. I'm going to ask for help when I need it. I'm going to talk about the things I'm thinking about.