Tuesday, February 22, 2011

laughing is more important than my pride

2 drivers lisences ago I had the cutest picture ever. I don't know how it happened.
I was painting all day, broke away from the job just long enough to get in and out of the DMV. (I'm even wearing painter bibs in the photo)

the time after that did not go so well. I looked like a man. a man from 1974. a DEAD man from 1974.So, when I lost it I didn't feel all that sad about it.

I've been carrying around my old one (the cute one) and making up excuses for not going to get a new photo.

But today was the day. today defeat the DMV camera ,and finally be victorious against their bad lighting and wonky lens.

My plan? makeup. and lots of it.

what have I learned from this experience? two things.

A) the DMV camera will never be defeated because it has satan on it's side.
B) never EVER wear eyeliner under my eyes again (unless it is halloween)

WHO IS THAT PERSON!? please God, tell me it's not ME. How is one eye that much different in size and shape? why is my face so HUGE? did I gain 30 pounds while I was standing in line? why is my face orange? why do I look angry?

this photo is destroying any self esteem I had left

But hopefully YOU enjoy it. Hopefully YOUR license is even worse and we can all have a good laugh. because laughing is good. right?

go ahead. laugh it up fuzzball.

this photo was taken right after I got home.
suck it DMV! I'm on to you and your evil ways

Sunday, February 20, 2011

monkeys in a blizzard

all three are on my bed playing
(why does it always have to be OUR bed??)
I hear Violet crying " my hello kitty! my hello kitty!"
I walk in, ask which one is taunting her with her hello kitty?
(no one confesses)

"ok guys! I mean it! where is the hello kitty!?"
Ivan stands smirking with this pants pulled up suspiciously too high

"Ivan?..is hello kitty..IN your pants?"
*giggling* he shakes his leg and hello kitty falls down onto his foot.


the boys come in from playing in the snow and are watching the snow falling out the window talking
Violet overhears them and suddenly declares " Mom! there's a WIZARD outside!! (she means Lizard) I'm GARED OB WIZARDS!"

quick explanation of what a BLIZZARD is calmed that furrowed brow right down.

Ivan- " OH! I fink I just swallowed my burp!"

why do they only partially cut english muffins? is it some sort of life-lesson?

for some reason they always feel like a novelty to me. like " wait! we have ENGLISH MUFFINS!?? Oooooooooooooooooh!!!!"
I just don't understand why they want to trick me. You THINK they are cut, and you try to pry them apart, and it's all going fine until- OHhhhhhhhhhhhhh nuts. you rip the last bit and then you have one side that is too fat and the other side that looks like cookie monster took a big chomp out of it. you would think that i would learn and just make sure that middle part is cut with a knife before I start prying them apart. But I don't learn lessons very well. Ask my 3rd grade teacher. She got really frustrated with me and yelled a lot. Also she never worse skirts like the pretty teachers, only SLACKS and sweater vests and she had a very flat butt.(so the slacks were not very flattering) Also her eyes BULGED out of her head ( probably from all that yelling) and she should have swallowed more (lots of saliva build-up going on)
um..yes. anyway, she was mean. so I quit school. 3rd-grade drop-out. it got ugly...tried selling crackers with peanut butter and marshmallows on them from a stand outside our house...couldn't make ends meet. ended up on the street......
9 is a hard age...really hard.

but what's really bothering me? what was that damn teacher's last name??? did I block it out?? for the love of --

Lemke? I'm pretty sure it was Lemke. anyone else remember bug-eyes with the screamy voice from friendship learning center? lemke right?

*apologies to anyone that knows her in REAL life. i'm sure she's a very VERY VERY nice person who does NOT eat children for breakfast.

" yelling in pants" would make a great band name. don't you think?

"the man can't win" 1-28-11

jesse hugs me (good)
he squishes my belly fat with his hands (bad)

I wail " stop it! oh!! stop! I know! I know! I'm a fat person now! " *more wailing* " are you going to reject me because I'm fat?!"
Jesse: " I haven't rejected you YET have I?"
Me: "OHHHHHHHHhhhhhhh NOooooo!!! that just means you DO think I'm fat!"
Jesse: " *groan* I need to stop talking to women"

"free advice" written 1-17-11

knives are sharp.

you're welcome!
oh don't worry..it's only a "flesh wound" which makes completely no sense to me- don't all wounds involve the flesh? unless you're talking about emotional wounds, but if I said that, jesse would quote homer simpson “Marge, why are you crying? You’re not in any physical pain, the only kind of pain a man can understand."

as I was saying.. "flesh" . that word gives me the shivers. as does " weepy" because you immediately think of a " weepy would" or perhaps even " oozy" which is even more sick.

I'm sorry I just put all that in your brain, but if I can help one person..just one! it's all worth it.

to redeem myself, I will leave you with one GOOD word:



"indecisive" 1-4-11

standing in the grocery store trying to pick out icecream.

I stare at the ben & jerrys for about 5 minutes straight which drives jesse insane. he wants me to buy the 2-for-$5 stuff that is on sale. but it's not good and I know it.
I KNOW I like "karamel sutra", but I feel obligated to try something new..just in case.........
so I go back and forth....and back..and forth... until I realize that my husband is now singing along to Wilson Phillips being piped into the grocery store overhead. totally knows all the words and is singing in a high falsetto voice. I told him I'd give him five bucks if he belted it out loud enough for others to hear him. But he was too chicken. however NOT too chicken to drop some nuts that I could not help caressing in the produce section (so shiny and smooth!) and then give a giant kick to one sailing it across the store.
I pretending I wasn't with him.

PS I got a different flavor and regretted it.

"kid-logic " written 12-10-10

snuggling with Ivan in bed:
Ivan: " you have to close your eyes. if you peek your eyes open...you can't paint tomorrow"
me: " *GASP* can I have another chance??"
Ivan: " sure"
Ivan this morning upon finding a dime on the floor:
Ivan: " here mom, take it for good luck today. if you find a quarter on the floor..it means you get to paint ALL DAY. *smiling* uh-huh. it's good luck. and that's REAL"
Violet on the potty:
violet: " mommy! wash my bottom!" " sanks for washing my bottom mommy! yoor a good helper! *mwah*"
Violet finding a crack in her plate:
Violet: " see! it's boken! uncle jonny can fix it"

Nighttime with violet:
4am, Violet wakes up crying, I go in her room and she says
violet: " I go peepee!"
me: " you want a new diaper on?"
violet: "huh" (uh-huh)
I lift her out from under the tent on her crib and lay her on the floor
she lays with her hands covering her eyes
violet: " can't look at the dark"
me: "it's ok violet"
violet: " i wanna watch sumping else" ( that's what she says when she wants to watch tv. she's so used to walking in the room and seeing robots or pokemon or something that she is now in the habit of saying " I want to watch something else" right away)
me: " no honey. it's not time to watch tv, it's still night time"
Violet (still with hands on her face) " I want to go in my bed whi' my banket and my meee-ilk"
I put her back in her bed and cover her with the triangle blanket- it can ONLY be the triangle blanket, not other blanket can touch her- unless triangle blanket is in the wash, then she will settle for kitty-blanket. But ONLY if the triangle is not available. And if it is, then kitty blanket is not allowed to get in on the action. I must make sure the blanket covers her feet...
and she says something about flowers...
I say " what do you want with flowers?"
violet : " I want my mee'illlk in my boddoh (bottle) with the flowers on it"
anything else? a massage maybe?

crying again.
violet:" mommmeee! I wan a 'nuggle-wuggle you in yoo bed. in YOO BED" *wailing*

I bring her in our bed where she keeps on kissing me over and over...but then.....she sees dad. who is just snoring like a monster. (scary)! switch her to the other side away from him and only half-sleep to make sure she doesn't fall out. I put her back in her bed, but it doesn't last and she's back in ours shortly.
this morning I wake up at 5:30 to help Ivan turn on cartoons & get him a snack.
When I sneak back to bed I see Jesse laying way over on his side almost falling out of bed. and Violet's head in his armpit and her legs spread eagle so that she's taking up most of my side. how can a 2 year old take up that much space?
I situate her and dont sleep yet because the alarm is going to go off at 6:30 and wake her.
Instead, at 6:29 I poke jesse with my toes until he wakes up . he sneaks out and I lay there listening to little violet softly snoring by my face. I almost doze off, but at 7 she wakes up and joins the boys. we see dad off to work and make toast.


Ivan's letter to a soldier in iraq 12-8-10

Dear Soldier,
How are you doing in Iraq? I hope you like this letter. What is your favorite holiday?
Do you have kids? I hope you can be with your family next Merry Christmas.
What is your favorite color? Thank you for keeping me safe
Love, Ivan

"those that inspire" written 11-21-10

when i was a teenager i went to visit a good friend. he knew i wished to be an artist, but lacked the confidence. he immediately thought of a family friend who was an artist, and brought me to meet him. his name was joe develasco. he showed me his work, and i immediately became unable to complete one intelligible sentence. to say i was blown away is an understatement. his work was incredible . this man was an artist for real. he actually "made a living" at being an artist. he supported his entire family on his artwork. why did this matter so much to me? because it told me that being an artist could be seen by the world as something valid. somehow i had gotten it into my head early on that art was a hobby only , and in life you need do what is practical. what can get you a living, what can bring home the money to support yourself. and you probably won't enjoy it. in fact, you should expect not to. it wasn't that someone told me i couldn't do it. it was everywhere. you don't get anywhere being " just an artist"
Joe DeVelasco was just an artist. and what he did, what he created, was important. real. valid.
he was so good, and I was so dumb, but he still treated me like an equal. he asked me what medium I worked with. I told him watercolors. the truth was, watercolors was what I could afford to use. they can last a long time, and an occasional pad of paper can stretch if you savor it. he asked me about my style..he cared. a lot. and I didn't have anything to say. i had no formal training. i had no idea what to say to him at all. i just gawked.
Joe illustrated " the singer trilogy" series by Calvin Miller. He gave me a copy and signed it.
it has always sat in a place of honor on my book shelf. this artist inspired me more than i can ever really explain.
he encouraged me. that encouragement lay dormant for many years , but a series of heartbreaking events pushed me hard enough that i finally faced that dream, and decided that it was important enough that i was not going to stand in my own way. it had nothing to do with making money or fame..( I'll never have either of those things) it had to do with feeling like it was important enough that it was ok for me to pursue it. someone said " this is important to you, therefore it is valid" such a simple thing really, but had such an impact on me. it's not important to anyone but me. but it's really really important to me. being an artist is who I am.
i have thought about Joe many times over the years. but was always too shy to get back in touch with him.

recently i found out that joe passed away many years ago . it was strange. i felt a sense of loss, even though i had only met him once, and the loss had taken place so long ago without me even knowing it

oh how important i think it is to be someone that inspires.

dear, Joe DeVelasco
thank you
from the bottom of my heart

and thanks Gordie, for knowing I needed to meet him

"Ivan (6) answers questions about mom" written 9-12-10

What is something mom always says to you? : stop
What makes mom happy? : when I asked Ivan this, Violet ran up to me jumping up and down saying " OH! OH! ME! ME! ME!" . correct answer :)
What makes mom sad?: saying " hate"
What does your mom do that makes you laugh?:tickle
What did your mom like to do when she was a child? : played with Herbert (my bear)
How old is your mom? : I don't want to guess. thats too hard
How tall is your mom? : *growl* I don't know that either!
What is her favorite thing to do? : look on your computer
What does your mom do when you're not around? : play with Vi
If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? : just helping
What is your mom really good at? : painting
What is your mom not very good at? : throwing
What does your mom do for her job? : painting
What is your mom's favorite food? : spaghetti (no)
What makes you proud of your mom? : when I do good at school
If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?: I don't even want to talk about that- just go to the next one
What do you and your mom do together? : go for walks
How are you and your mom the same? : I color and you write- that's the same
How are you and your mom different? : I'm little and you're big
How do you know your mom loves you? : because I do good things and sometimes I do bad
What does your mom like most about your dad?: he takes care of your babies
where is your mom's favorite place to go? : Malachi wants me to be quiet now, so thats all.

"top 5 weirdest things found in our bed" written 9-8-10

a rolling pin
a stop sign
soy sauce packets

I was going to say that people with kids probably can't identify with this... But I could be wrong

"words actually do matter" written 8-25-10

friends, I love you..and I know it's not intentional..but how long will it be until people stop using the word " retarded" as an insult?
I mean..REALLY?! it's still socially acceptable to call someone a retard?
I can't even tell you how angry and sad this makes me.
do we walk around laughing and saying " ohh hahah you're acting like a handicapped person" as if being handicapped is a choice?
Once I actually witnessed someone go a step further and tell someone they were acting autistic. it was meant as an insult, in a casual joking manner. If the comment had been directed at me I would have spoke up. But I bit my lip. Hard.
I have decided to address it whenever I hear it from now on.
so please, just stop it.
stop it stop it stop it stop it.

thanks <3

"this is not important and will not change your life" written 8-3-10

project runway has started and I finally watched the first episode last night. My least favorite is when they spend all this time on the people and give you this lame attempt at back-stories that never even matter anyway. I don't care! I just want to see the clothes! I don't care about the PEOPLE. sheesh.

jesse is already in bed at this point , so I gracefully bound into bed like a dainty gazelle...

ok not really. I dive into bed like a monster is after me or under the bed and WILL grab my ankles if I linger ... Like when your dad pretends to be a shark and chases you up the stairs and you are running for your life and you LEAP into bed squealing in terror.
didn't you all play " sharky-boy" when you were little? no? REALLY? ..that's so strange.
In my memory " sharky-boy" was a game we played often, begging dad " come ON dad! SHARK-EE-BOY! SHARK-EE-BOY!" until he'd give in. But you know how memories are..it could be that we only played it a few time over a very short period and for some reason I've just built it up in my head .
well, the point is that if sharkyboy were chasing you you would have a hard time lightly hopping into bed too.
I guess this is the part where I wake Jesse up.
Maybe it wasn't sharkyboy, maybe it was that 1/2 can of original pepsi I had at 5:00? (I'm just like your gramma!)
Now we're both awake and Jesse discovers that Malachi has once again messed with the ceiling fan and it's going in the wrong direction. And of course this is crucial to the sleep-process. So he stops the fan with his hand and we find one of the blades is loose and it's been dislodged all wonky-like and now the thing won't turn at all. ..
so then there are lights on and screwdrivers being found and more standing on the bed and laughing and then he drops the flashlight on my face barely missing my nose- etc etc
ok now it's midnight.
and we're finally back in bed but we're both wide awake.

and then Violet..and then Ivan..and then Malachi- who is the funniest because he just came downstairs, commandeered my water bottle, gulped down it's entire contents like he's been in the desert for 3 days and then walks back upstairs to bed without another sound.

the rest of the night is tossing and turning like someone slipped us both some chocolate covered espresso beans (gosh I love those)

so lets all just wake up at 6am and drink allotta coffee! OK! hurrah!

have a lovely day!

PS I swatted and killed FIVE mosquitoes in my bathroom this morning. WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?

" I just have a few questions" written july 15 2010

hey lady with the white doggie: how come you're always wearing an apron when you walk your dog?

person wearing the most gigantic tye-dye shirt ever made: Why? was it a gift?

little girl at the waterpark: who taught you to wrinkle up your nose & roll your eyes when you see a kid acting differently then you?
what's your phone number? I want to have a chat with your mommy

girl at the checkout: good call on the side-ponytail today, but I can still see the hickey on your neck. have you been nervous about it all day?

mr dermatologist: I can tell you're not listening and don't care. however, if I had to look at people's skin all day long I'd look gray and deflated too.
do you you hate your job?

pharmacist: I said it's not problem to come back tomorrow, because you are very cheerful and it's not your fault. the truth is it is a big problem to come back tomorrow.
it's kind of a huge pain in the butt actually. Will you just bring it to my house for me instead?

eczema: what the cuss ARE you?? and does it have anything to do with an alien invasion?

"going swimming" written july 14 2010

Malachi isn't very socially aware most of the time . splashing, pushing or bumping people...playing with other people's toys without thinking..
last time we went swimming he saw someone's wagon and started pushing it full blast into the water. I ran to stop him, the mom said " oh it's ok"
but I wanted to explain to Malachi , so I went after him, he was then afraid he was in trouble, so started saying " I'm outta here! I gotta run away" (" fight or flight") I caught up to him, grabbed him and told him everything was fine and he was not in trouble, thankfully he calmed down. I told him he had to apologize. and he did! the mom was really nice about it
My sister walked up to me and said " that lady was really not mad at all, and I explained that Malachi is autistic"

and I paused for a moment.. . what did I feel? relief?

The truth is, when going into a social situation there is a part of me that wants nothing more than to gather everyone around and say " ok people! listen up! my son is autistic, so cut us some slack!"
Partly because it's easier when people understand, they are more willing to extend grace and more willing to help. But it would also be for me, because it is hard to be constantly judged on my parenting, or see the faces people make when they are watching Malachi behave in a way that is not typical or " normal" in their eyes. It's hard not to let all those people's opinions affect me when I really need to just focus on my family.
Some people even have their children wear t-shirts- announcing to the world that they are autistic and everyone should expect a certain level of " behavior"

I think there is a fine line between informing people, and making excuses . How do we educate people without laying down blanket apologies and expecting people to accept any and all behavior?
why are we extending these " explanations" ? to inform? or to make ourselves feel better?
how can we do it better? how do we know when and who to ask for help?

I . don't. know.

I don't want anyone to have to adjust or accompany us, I hate to be the "problem" but, when people do go out of their way , it doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated

4th of july: thanks Steev for knowing staying in your yard would be easier for me

thanks Sarah for offering to put away the sparklers

thanks lady with the wagon at the pool

we're doing the best we can

"free advice!" written july 12 2010

catchy title huh? I thought so. because everyone wants advice, and if it's FREE advice- it's even better.

ok guys here is the deal, women are actually not all that complicated. And really we are not trying to confuse you (usually)
so, in the spirit of helping out my fellow man, I am going to give you some totally free honest advice.
You can use this advice in your relationship with your special lady with my blessing.

1. if your wife/girlfriend has recently put on some weight. you are allowed to think she is fat. However you are NOT allowed to SAY it. and you are especially not allowed to say it while LAUGHING and then smack her on the behind

2. if your lovely wife/gf has made you a meal. Do not exclaim " I wish this was ___ instead!" and make *that* face.

3. we don't think farts are funny. pretty much ever.
and when I say " ever" I mean. ... E.VER.

4.REAL REASONS FOR GETTING MARRIED: to have someone to kill spiders (or other scary bugs) Open jars. Reach things on the high shelf. "Check what that noise was" while wielding a bat- no matter what time of night it is. Warm up the bed in the winter time. And should you ever (heaven forbid) find yourself face to face with a garbage can of maggots- you will need to take care of this with no help from us. and pretty much any time there is something gross or scary that makes us start a sentence with " you need to take care of that"

if you decide to not carry through with any of the above items, we can not guarantee your spot will remain secure.

"IOU" written July 12 2010

How come chicken broth is called " stock" ? who made that up ? it doesn't even make any sense
is it because it's golden? stocks= gold= money...? yes?

well I've been making my own stock lately because I finally manned-up and started roasting whole chickens like a real grownup
But I get really grossed out handling raw chicken , especially when it's a whole chicken..it feels too much like a real live..thing..like picking up someone's pet doggie
or a bunny rabbit or something. It just creeps me right out. And then the other day I took one out of the package and there were still some feathers on it!
listen! if I'm going to prepare meat, I don't want to be reminded that it was once alive. I want to be in complete denial of that fact.

well if you're buying a nice organic chicken it just makes way more sense to throw a bunch of onions, celery and carrots in there and then save the broth instead of buying canned mystery stuff that will most likely kill me slowly. Plus it saves money.

so, suddenly I find myself with a plethora of broth adding up. I've been measuring it and freezing it in 2 cup portions so that when I have a recipe that calls for stock I am all set

and I was wondering..since I am all stocked on stock..and not so much in the dollar department..
can I just pay you in stock?

"in case you were wondering, they don't remember" written july 4 2010

Ivan: mom, how did your tummy get SO FAT!?
me: because you were in there and you stretched it all out!
Ivan: ohhh yeah! haha
me:and you and Malachi, and Violet were wiggling and kicking around in there
Ivan:yeah..and we wanted to come out!
Ivan:what does it look like in your tummy?
me:I don't know, you're the one who was is there! don't you remember?
what do you THINK it looked like in there?
Ivan: I . DON'T . KNOW!! I don't want to talk about it!!

nina's public humiliation service announcement 5-20-10

on my walk this morning I passed a man on the sidewalk,and he felt compelled to explain that the reason he is not walking faster is because he's 82, and he's on his third mile.

ladies and gentlemen, I am getting my ass kicked by a man in his 80's who wears black dress socks with his sneakers.
message received. roger.roger.

I promptly added two more miles to my loop .
While attempting to jog I was breathing so hard Violet actually" shushed" me from the stroller.

old men and toddlers are now making fun of me.

thank you. enjoy your day. I will probably fall down some stairs later for your enjoyment.

"inspiration" written may 11 2010

I did indeed just give Violet the "good paints". didn't change her clothes first. let her ruin a shirt and use up two of my brand new canvases while we just
turned the music up loud
with paint still on both our hands we put down our brushes and danced.

Use the good paints.
make a mess.
Hit " repeat"
dance barefoot

If you have to feel it, you might as well
Feel it all.

"tradition " written May 9th 2010

every year I climb through the ditch
scratch up my arms and legs as I reach on tiptoe to steal the lilacs from great gramma's tree.
they smell better than all the rest.

"hammer time!" written march 19 2010

Oh ..Hammer ....One day I had to email Malachi's teacher a note about him falling on the ice, and in the subject line I wrote " ice-ice-baby". She wrote back and said " haha- nice subject line, good memories" That's how I know she's cool.
! -Steve, Scott, Audrey , Becky-! Remember- we even saw Hammer in concert?! At cornerstone! Oh man...
He was Christian-Hammer by then, so he was yelling " say JEEEESUS!! (JESUS!)"
I just remember laughing really hard.......

i don't have a watch. And I don't carry a cell phone, so when I'm out walking with Violet in the stroller I need to know what time it is so I know when to pick up Ivan from school.
I can't stand wearing a watch though. Makes me feel claustrophobic. So I was trying to find one of those little key chain watches, but haven't had any luck. I mentioned it to my mom and she (of course) had a watch still in the package from like- 1990? A "Simpsons" watch. It's huge. It looks like a toy. And when you push one of the buttons it says " are we there yet?NO! Are we there yet? NO!" . Oh man...I love the simpsons... It's too big to even put on my wrist so I hang it on my stroller. I can't even believe the thing still works. However I can't seem to figure out how to change the time on it. But I figured out it was 1 hour and 13 minutes fast. So every time I had to check what time it was I had to do math. I hate math.
Thank goodness the time changed so now I only have to remember that it is 13 minutes fast. Still...MATH.

I have a problem with numbers. And therefore - clocks. I remember being really embarrassed by my inability to tell time. I mean- I understand the concept, I do, but it would just take me a long time to register the numbers, so I can't just glance at a clock. I swear I have number-dyslexia. EmilyAnne- didn't you find a REAL name for that once?
I swear. It's real. But I didn't know how to explain that to my mom and she just thought I was stupid for not knowing how to tell time and she was determined to teach me.
Once she bought me a watch for Christmas. It was really cool. The face was HUGE and it had piano keys instead of numbers. The only thing harder for me to figure out than the actual clock face is one that doesn't have numbers on it. So then I had to first IMAGINE the numbers, and then try to picture the time in my head. No teenager wants to have to look at her clock for 2 full minutes before answering someone's " what time is it?" because you just get flustered and red in the face and want to die.
I tried to tell my mom that I was not going to wear it. I mean- there is the claustrophobic factor (choking the life out of my wrist!) and then the whole..numbers... Part.
The thing is, if my parents pick out a gift, they are really convinced they picked out something awesome, so even if you try to gently tell them it's not something you're gonna use...like..EVER. They just won't take it back. They talk you into it.
So that stupid piano watch just sat in it's box for like 10 years making me feel guilty and stupid . No one got rid of it.
That explains why my mom kept a giant plastic simpsons watch from 1990.

So basically I never know for sure what time is it. So when I ask, please. Do not say " ten after!"

Or -remember the Philly girls- Audrey? What did they say? " ten-of" ? Or something like that? What does that even mean?! If I lived in Philly I would definitely never know what time it was. I'd miss everything.

"strange bedfellows" written march 19 2010

For some reason Violet decided she needed to read books at 1am last night.
I tried to convince her otherwise. ...but finally decided- one quick pictorial through " all about me" would not kill me. (ha!)
MY interpretation of " once" is not the same as hers. She was happily pointing at pictures and laughing ....and then I said - ok! Time to go back to bed! And she went from patting me lovingly on the shoulder, kissing me and saying " hiiii momma!" to demon-screaming-voice in 2 seconds flat.
She threw the most insane fit. I was dumbfounded. She cried so hard and so loud that Ivan woke up and walked Down the stairs all confused and miserable. Poor kid.
I let him crawl in bed with us and he said " why is Violet crying??" and I said " It's ok Ivan, she just doesn't want to go to sleep, but she'll stop" . He said miserably " But she CAN'T STOP!" . Ohhh poor sad Ivan.
Of course I had to let him sleep with us then, which means that about 20 times a night I will wake up with his foot on my face, or my neck....I have just never seen a kid move that much in his sleep. And why is it always feet by my face? Does he do it on purpose??
I figured Vi would just give up , she'd see I wasn't coming back in and she'd give up.
Yeah right.
That stinker screamed and yelled for... I don't know how long...(approximately 500 days I think) I finally had to get her up and let her sit on the chair in the pitch black living room to convince her it was indeed- NIGHT. She kept telling me " I sad!" in a pathetic voice. I said " yeah. I know. I'm sad too. I want to sleep"
There is something about a kid screaming and yelling at 2 am that actually makes you want to spank them. - (Please don't call social services! We don't spank our kids. I'm against it. Ask Jesse.) I did NOT spank her, I'm just saying, that when you're being woken from a sleep the first thing you think is " I want to spank your butt" . It's not just Violet either- When Jesse's snoring wakes me up I consider spanking HIM. That man can bring a snore that invades my dreams.
I was dreaming the other night and I just kept hearing this jolting honking noise in my dream and it was making me NUTS and I woke up and realized- it was Jesse. Snoring. Something like the sound of a bad deer call.
Have you ever heard a deer call? Imagine waking up with that next to your head. You'd spank him too.
I didn't spank him. But I DID kick and shove him until his rolled onto his side and stopped the weird honking/growling combo that was happening.
He also does this weird thing that whenever I get up he immediately senses I'm gone and rolls onto my side of the bed. I'm convinced this is intentional because even if I'm up for 20 seconds- BOOM! He's there.
Oh, and last night his big toenail scratched me in the leg. For Pete's sake Jesse! Cut your nails! Use a nail file! I feel like I'm sleeping with a dalmatian.

"bandaids" written march 14th 2010

I'm convinced there is a direct connection between how responsible someone is and if they keep band aids in the house.
I mean, seriously. It doesn't matter how old you are, at some point, you are going to need a band aid. Responsible people are prepared.
The thing is, whenever I'm in the store and I happen to notice the band aids, I think " man! band aids are expensive! I'm not buying those now". Of course I'm never actually bleeding while I'm passing the band aid aisle , if only..THAT would be motivation. But nope, that has never actually happened, so I just keep on being unprepared. Maybe it's like- positive thinking? if I don't THINK I'll need a band aid I won't? yeah..you're right. I'm just not very responsible.

speaking of bleeding fingers. Today I paid Malachi fifty cents to vacuum out the van. Scratch that- I TOLD him I'd pay him fifty cents and then he did a pretty lousy job and I sorta forgot to pay him. Ohhh don't feel sorry for him, he LIKES vacuuming . And he'll remind me about the fifty cents later.(probably) But the point is- it was beeeautiful outside today! it was positively spring. springrific and it made me glad down to my very toes. OH! but that wasn't the point either- I had to move some things out of the van before he could vacuum (I really hate the way that word is spelled) and I was moving some glass for a picture frame and cut my finger and then was dripping blood everywhere. *note- buy band aids to keep in van* . Don't most people keep frames and glass in their vans? shoot that really doesn't sound safe now that I think it through . . .
so it's spring now. there's no going back. I mean- the weather might try to scare me with more snow sometime soon ,but I've already "gone there" in my heart and in my mind and so now there it is. I can't go back.

"Valentine's Day: an excuse for companies like hallmark to make money & people who buy into it are suckers? *OR* Hurray for love!" V-Day 2010

I've heard the argument that you shouldn't be doing it because "society" or companies trying to make money say you SHOULD , that isn't authentic.
and I agree totally.
And... I think it's the " cool" answer.

But then, there's the other part of me that thinks, oh COME ON people! do you really have to find another reason to hate a holiday? REALLY?

If I'm completely honest with myself, I like the idea of many people all collectively doing something on the same day for a reason big enough like LOVE. I guess I'm a big stupid sap for saying that. SO WHAT.

My kids cut out hearts and then give them to other kids smiling and thinking about friendship. We hang up a heart mobile and it reminds us to think about what does love mean?
we bring our spouse some flowers or write them a card reminding them that I still choose to love you.
we shape cookies into hearts and then frost them with pink icing and hand them to each other thinking " see! I made it for YOU"
we use it as an excuse to wear pink and red from head to foot (because that is fun and you know it)
what's wrong with that?
or do we all just need to PROVE - yet again- that we're superior to all that silly frivolous nonsense
and refuse to " follow the crowd"

awww knock it off already and eat a cookie and be nice to another human being
because it's all about the love baby.

"confession #104" written nov 26 2009

dear, man who came to the gift wrap booth when I was 16,

I'm sorry that I did such an amazingly terrible job wrapping your gifts.
...you remember?..you had three gifts for three different women..they were all the same matching lingerie set, but in different colors. I remember very clearly. and really...I did such a lousy job I can't even believe you paid for it! I'm sorry about that. ....kind of.

"the one about the animals in the floor" written Nov 25th 2009

I had a dream that I was going to plant a tomato plant in my hard wood floor. I took a spoon and dug into the wood. I cut a little round hole near the front door. when I looked inside I was horrified to find that there was a whole other level in between the floor and the basement floor. When I looked down I saw three very large cats roaming around and what looked like a manger full of eggs, they were in some sort of liquid and they were small and there were many of them. I also saw a pile of baby mice, and a white spotted mink crawling by.
I felt so panicked about all this animals that were living down there. I immediately started thinking we had to move and how would we ever do that??? and now I had this hole and they saw me and wanted to come up so was trying to cover the hole ...

And then someone was hanging blue cupboards on the wall and some of them had my artwork on them and we were trying to decide where to put them and I kept trying to keep people from stepping in the hole in the floor

"the dentist" written nov 16 2009

N - don't joke about showing horror movies to our kids . Malachi is from the BIBLE, *NOT* children of the corn

J-" YOU can tell people it's from the Bible , I'LL tell people it's from children of the corn"

N-" you shouldn't have told the dentist about the Nitrous oxide ...when you were a teenager...
...and you probably shouldn't have told the dental assistant that you make more money than she does working at a prison. People don't like to hear that

J-" I wouldn't be me if I didn't say something inappropriate"

N-" well it's my job to tell you about it when you do it"

"lavender sheep and green antelope" written oct 29 2009

If you were wondering why they painted the house black- well now I know. They have this tree in front that in the fall turns this insanely vibrant red and with that charcoal house as a back round *slurp* Mmmm it's just tremendous.
More people should really paint their houses colors based on the nature around them.
The rain made the leaves even MORE colorful today. As if that is even possible. Seriously. I'm supposed to get through the day with THAT outside my window? I don't know if I should laugh or cry.
Walking in the rain this morning I looked down and the grass and the wet leaves were glowing. GLOWING and the backs of all the red ones are the most heavenly lavender color colour col-lure...lure....lure...............
If it hadn't been so cold and miserably drippy I might not have come back inside. I might not have come back at all. I'd just be wandering the streets exclaiming to the heavens and jamming leaves into my pockets.
I collect more leaves them my kids do when we go for walks. I can't stop. Where should I put them? No where. It's too late already, all you have is these two eyeballs and they don't have a long memory so you try to drink it up but it's panic because it's going to fall away the second you turn your head.
Remember laying on the ground and really FEELING it beneath your body? Feeling how joined you were to it? And then imagining the ground tipping in all directions and how that would feel.....
What was that one dream? About the sheep and the grass and the sinking world..that was a good one. But they weren't sheep, they were some other lavender animal.
Lets move somewhere were it is autumn forever. Shall we? Can we? Would it be morally wrong to move away from everyone you love simply for the autumn? It might be necessary at some point. For my fragile sanity

"funnier when it's not you" written oct 20 2009

Wife- ...the Dr asked if he took after you, because he's so solid ..I said , yeah, you were always very muscular

Husband- yeah but you gave our kids the big legs

Wife- me? *I* gave them big legs?

Husband- yeah, because you have big legs

Wife- oh and you DON'T have big legs?

Husband- no , I do, but mine are long, and yours are (hand gesture) short

Wife - so I have SHORT FAT legs huh?

Husband- no no no- not FAT- muscular. I said muscular

Wife- no you didn't. You said "big"

Husband- big doesn't mean FAT.

Wife- well it's not good.

Husband- well you yourself say you have big legs! You say that when you work out they just get bigger and you hate that- because they are muscular- not fat. I didn't say fat

Wife- "big" is the same thing- you know what? Just stop talking.


Just for the record, when I have self esteem issues there is less naked time. I'm just saying

Husband - great.

Some time later.......

Wife- ouch! Ouch! Man! I jammed my wrist..ow...

Husband- huh? When? Just now?

Wife- yes! I just fell down the stairs! Didn't you hear that?

Husband- you just fell down the stairs right now?

Wife- yes! Didn't you hear me?

Husband- well I heard SOMETHING, but it didn't sound like a human- it sounded *LIGHT*

Wife- ha! Nice try ...ass

"C" written sept 1st 2009

I had a dream about a movie about three men backpacking to the edge of the tallest cliff to scatter ashes of a friend. The lead actor is David Arquette and his hair is dyed an unnatural orange
They were so high up they were stepping on the tops of the trees and the very pointy peaks of mountains and cliffs. They know going in that they will die in this effort, that they won't ever come home and they will die by falling far far far far
I know I'm going to wake up falling and I do

What does it mean?

A) I'm afraid of heights
B) David Arquette is washed up
C) when people are dead they are dead

Explanation of C

My mother in law has been dead for 2 years. I don't even like to SAY that really. "dead" she's dead.
I still occasionally say to Jesse " I'm going to tell your mom" or " your mom would be on my side"
(it's ok this is a friendly joke) He seems to be more aware that she is gone than I am.
Recently the uncles have called to discuss the fact that she still does not have a headstone where she is buried. Disgrace. So it has been worked out and one is finally purchased and will be laid to rest in the grass where she is NOT.

That's the thing. She's not there. So who is the stone for? I'm not against having the stone, I'm just asking the question because sometimes I think our traditions are so strange.

Malachi talks about death a lot. Spontaneously quietly weeping and asking God to make sure that no people die...
It's hard to explain to him. What comfort can I give him? "death is not scary..gramma Cheryl died and that just means she lives with God now instead of here and she is safe and happy and not sick and she is ..happy..."
Of course no matter what you believe the TRUTH is death IS scary and we don't' know what is going on after that exactly and we are all scared and sad about it and no one wants it to happen and I fight to never think about these scary things.
So I guess we all just do these things because we don't know what to do. We want to prove we remember her we want to prove she is worth remembering? I'm not sure why stones do that...I know I'll probably never go to see that stone , but I'll think of her when my kids have their first day of school and I'll think of her when the flowers bloom and when I have a gardening question and when I want to squeal on my husband and every time I bake a cake - how she'd swear to me it was the best tasting cake she'd ever had in her entire life, even though it wasn't true- and every time someone that was her friend sees Violet and says " oh my..she looks like Cheryl"
and I love that whenever I think of her I imagine her laughing
I don't need a stone

"pat yourself on the back" written aug 29 2009

Dear lady who offered to help me in target,I'm so sorry about the deer-in-the-headlights-stare I gave you. I just have never had a stranger actually ask me if they could help me before, I didn't know how to respond. even though I didn't take you up on your offer, I want you to know it still counts as your good deed for the day.

did I miss national-wear-your-pajamas-all-day Day today?? DID I??? I sure hope not... it can't be a coincidence that I saw THREE- count 'em- three people wearing full-on pjs at the store this afternoon. Not kidding.TWO of them actually had slippers on. SLIPPERS! and that dude with the really long hair had on plaid jammy bottoms AND slippers. did anyone else see him? and I wasn't even in wal-mart!!countless others were wearing "lounge-wear" the kind of stuff you COULD sleep in, OR go out in public and no one would be the wiser (otherwise known as " homeschooler-during-the-day-clothes") I didn't know whether to scold them or give them a high-five.

a horse trailer just drove by. I wonder if I ever actually explained to my parents that it wasn't that I just didn't WANT to help put the horses in the trailer, or give them a bath, the truth is- I was actually effing terrified to be a part of those two chores. As much as I loved our horses I was sincerely scared out of my mind that they were going to kill me at some point. I wonder why I never said " but I'm SCARED" ?

I wonder how you get the job of naming and designing wine labels? I am fascinated by them . I think they are great (SOME of them are great anyway). I don't drink wine- I want to- but my pancreas doesn't

yesterday I totally held it together through a major crisis (major in my world) and I was kind of proud. I reeeally kept my cool. About an hour after everyone was nice and calmed down I tried to open the craft drawer with the tempera paints inside, it was stuck, so I kicked it as hard as I could and smashed the whole drawer into pieces and broke my big toenail off. one kick. that drawer fricken deserved it. bastard. But really I did a good thing because now it's really easy to get the paints out, seeing as there is not front on the drawer anymore. EFFICIENT!

I really like this movie Mr Mgorium's Wonder Emporium..even though it makes me think about death and then I cry a little...The only problem is that Malachi is now convinced all the toys are secretly magic, and when we go into target he bounces the super balls as hard as he can and we have to flee the aisle

this espresso truffle coffee was seriously the best thing I could have done with my last $3.38. I don't

"synesthesia " written Aug 28th 2009


you may have heard me talk about this before...how I see numbers or letters in specific colors, giving items a sex - spoons are girls, forks are boys...butterknives are...hermaphrodites. And it's all funny and whatever...

Well, I've heard people talk about how people on the autism spectrum are often synesthetes, and I wondered, how will I know if Malachi thinks this way? I wonder if he does what I do?

Today I gave him an alphabet to color. I dumped out some old broken dingy crayons and put the sheet in front of him.
He said " A's are red". Well that didn't surprise me...most people identify A as red, A is for Apple...
Then he said " B is green" ....." C is blue- LIGHT blue" he went on to identify each one and THEN look for the right crayon. He even tested all the reds on the corner of the page before picking which one would be the right red for " w" He said " F is yellow...G is yellow too..." he was VERY specific (much more specific than how I view them in my head)

This might not seem all that significant..after all, it's just a way some people think, no big deal..
But it's HUGE to me because it gives me insight into how Malachi might think about things. Of course I have no idea to what degree or intensity he experiences this, but even so, just knowing that there is that element going on could mean a whole lot more about how he *sees* and experiences the world around him.

"all I need is.." written august 12 2009

target 1pm. mid icee order I realize A) I have nor brushed my teeth today and B) I haven't eaten anything but coffee and a fig newton.
how many pairs of shoes does a kindergartner and a 2nd grader need ? answer- 4 (each)
regular shoes, gym shoes (all the velcro pairs get picked up immediately by a giant swarm of desperate mothers) rain boots and winter boots. YES rain boots are necessary. Because teachers do not care if your child walks in a puddle and has wet feet all day long. Ok ok..maybe they *care* but there is nothing that will really be done about it, so yes. rain boots.
so lets see..YES I need the stupid velcro shoes - NOT on sale because of all the swarming - and YES I need toilet paper..and YES I need the icees because otherwise we can't get shoes and YES I need those silly capsules that dissolve in water and turn into foam dinosaurs that no one will actually play with afterward and YES I need those stretchy headbands in the dollar section. yes. but that's IT. seriously. now that is IT I am putting my foot down.

solution to forgetting to eat? a piece of string cheese & more coffee (cold) we're good to go!

I wish paint stores delivered. seriously..I could use a couple gallons. that's all. like 3. no 4 . Four gallons of paint and that's IT. and that's all I need. and maybe a new brush. that's all. and a sewing machine. but that is all- and two curtain rods. That's it! that's all I need! and then we are allll set and ready to go.

"will you hold my head so I can sleep?" written the day my son was diagnosed - officially- with Autism

"will you hold my head so I can sleep ? "

generally big things happen when you don't see them coming. You start out your day like any other day until suddenly...
but some days you realize it as it is happening. Those are the weird days. The day that right upon waking you say " after today everything will be different forever"

the morning of your wedding day...the day you sign for your first house...the day you have your first baby....
you know that you are living a moment that will forever change you ...putting a mark in you that helps create a part of your actual being.
Typically these are happy momentous days , because, lets face it, we don't schedule in "bad" days, we don't carve out a few hours for some hurtful experience . not often anyway.

when you find yourself there it feels like an out of body experience. Like you're watching it happen to someone else, and your emotions aren't present, you're just reading something out of a book that is happening to someone else as you calmly turn a page, or mark your spot to get a drink of water

Had one of those today. For better or for worse. Saw it coming all morning
...knew that we'd get in the car, drive, and a few hours later come home ...different

it makes no sense. I knew why we were there, I knew what we would hear (probably)

and it really doesn't matter. I shouldn't matter. it won't matter.

nothing will change. everything will change.

i'd like 2 cheeseburgers, a medium fry MY SON HAS AUTISM and a small lemonade

and so it echoes in my head the one question I dared to ask that had the hardest answer

" and what would YOU do if you were told your child was autistic?"

" first,
I would cry. "

but I didn't cry.
I didn't cry
I don't cry
I won't cry
I am not crying

and don't think i didn't notice all the flags at half mass while we drove home

it's ok honey, i'll hold your head so you can sleep

may 17th 2010 (I am 33)

I have not learned my lessons
In thrirty three years I have not learned ...

to casually pass green fields in spring without shrieking with insane joy at the sight. I want to roll myself up in a it like a giant blanket.

I haven't learned to stop collecting leaves in the fall while I"m walking. I know I have no where to put them all but I pick them up anyway. I feel it is extremely important to find the very best one every time, but every one is the very best and I almost want to cry about it

I haven't learned how to say what I want. Or what I need when I'm supposed to say it

I haven't learned how to pass up a donut.

I haven't learned how to not be in love with love

I haven't learned to stop believing in magic. I tried. I tried really really hard. But I realize now, I still want to believe,as much as I hate to admit it.

I haven't learned how to tolerate chalk.

I haven't learned how to properly accept a compliment

I haven't learned how to not cry at the wrong time with the wrong person

I haven't learned how to focus on one thing at a time

I haven't learned how to be a good wife , or a good mom

I haven't learned how to be organized

I haven't learned how to make all the things I want to do happen

I haven't learned how to accept the way I look

I haven't learned to swim properly

I haven't learned how to cook tofu

I haven't learned how to stop being afraid

I haven't learned how to be me ,
and me, at the same time.

friday, june 25th 2010

crayons scattered across the hardwood floors
babies in bathtubs
dreams in my head
dirt on my feet
paint under my finger nails
unsaid words swirling
down down down the drain
with the bath water

i've noticed

light little raindrops on my hand
are the same blush petal pink of the high notes on the piano