Sunday, November 25, 2012

independence is overrated

We were all painting when Malachi got up to get a drink. He accidentally poured himself a glass of flavored creamer , thinking it was eggnog and proceeded to chug it. He then threw up. Which made Ivan run away to avoid sympathetic puking, and violet hid and cried because she has a phobia of vomit . this is why independence is overrated. You want a drink? Ask mommy. I will get if for you. Violet is saying (in a small sad voice) " mom. Malachi grossed me out" We are now done with craft time.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

today I ran for the #3.

this is for the 3 minutes that i could barely run the first time i tried. for how hard mile 3 is and for leaving it behind and for every 3 miles after that. for 3 positive pregnancy tests and for 3 times my belly stretched to hold them. for the 3 pairs of glasses that are on their way in the mail for my eyes that refuse to see what my heart knows is there. for the 3 miles ember endicott wants to walk in the woods . for falling in love 3 times more than most people get to. for the 3rd chorus. for getting in the car every day at 3:00 to pick up my 3 children and for the 3 minute walk to the car that feels so long when they are all watching . for 3 minute showers with the door open. for his pain and for the pills he takes 3 times a day. for the 3rd day in a row of 16 hour shifts. for my 3rd grade glasses. for 3 pants sizes. for 3 mittens and 3 kittens. for the 3 time-outs. for 3 different bedtime stories. for the 3 paintings that meant nothing and for the 3 that meant everything. for 3 years of being known. and for you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

write that down!

Nov 1st 2012 : At one point today I had to go out to the van to get something ( and leave the kids alone in the house for a minute) Violet stuck her head out the door after me and said in a frantic voice " MOM! Am I in charge??!!" oct 31 2012: Violet: " mom , do you think Gumball ( the tv show "the amazing world of ") is kind of in-prope-piate ( inappropriate) ?" oct 27 2012: " I want more hours in the day!" - Malachi oct 25 2012: searching everywhere for Violet's hat when she informs me " well mom, hats can't walk or run or hide..all they can do is sit on the floor" oct 21 2012: " I care about people's feelwings" - violet (4yrs old) oct 21 2012: Violet just brought me a tiny something on her finger saying " see that mom?" she had me pick it up and examine it before telling me " that was in my eye when I sleeped " ohhhhhh.. Thank you for handing me your eye-sleep little darling ;) oct 17 2012 Jesse: "is this what having kids is like?! I thought they were just going to be cute and small!" Me: " I know. Me too. False advertising " oct 17 2012 : Violet: " do people call frogs 'feminine'?" Me: " do you mean 'amphibian' ?" Violet: "yeah. Feminine. " Oct 16 2012:Violet just drew a picture of me ( huge) and Jesse ( small) and she told me it is a picture of me as a mom and daddy when he was a baby . A psych would have a field day with this drawing. oct 15 2012: Ivan: "Malachi! You only have ONE friend??!!!" Malachi: " yeah.. But I'm thinking about getting another one" oct 12 2012: Ivan is writing a story ( similar to Lord Of The Rings) and he made Malachi into a wizard in the story :) Malachi is totally THRILLED and keeps asking questions like " will I be in the end of the story? Awesome!" oct 10 2012: Violet : " mom, do seahorses have bones?" " what does it look like inside your heart? Pink squishy stuff?" " is Malachi quiet because he feels nervous?" oct 9 2012: Violet: "if someone squeezed a whole cow it would get flat . Right?" Tara Endicott: " if you were a super hero you would be " super-feeler" and you would be the WORST super hero EVER" Nina Schmidt: " and my cryptonite would be- EVERYTHING" oct 5 2012: I looked deep into Ivan's eyes and said " just so you know, mom knows when you're faking". we had a moment of sober understanding and that was all that needed to be said on that subject. he's coloring at the table and the Big & Small siblings are at school. Sometimes you just need a day to regroup in quiet. I'm ok with that. oct 4 2012: 6:30am: " mom.. I accidentally wet the bed. I'm really really sorry!!! ... It was your bed " ~ Ivan Nov 25 2012: Sometimes Jesse emails me from work : J:You're skin is white like a noodle. I am not like a noodle. My skin is red. Me: is this a love poem? J: haiku of love. Nov 24 2012 : Ivan has The Cold the worst so far. It's because he's the worst at blowing his nose. Just sniffs and sniffs and sniffs... Ugh . I feel ragey over it BLOW IT OUT KID!!! jUST BLOW THE SNOT OUT!!!! They should make a greeting card that says : " congrats !! Your kid finally learned to blow his nose!! " I would buy that card. Violet(4 yrs old): " what number are you now mom?" Me: "35" Violet: " whoa! That's a big number" Me: " it really is , isn't it"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

why numbers don't matter

you know that person who says " I love to exercise! it gives me endorphins!" ? yeah. that's the person I imagine punching while I'm on the treadmill. I hate exercising. But I DO like to kick ass, and since I can't go about kicking random people's asses I kick my own. I'm most competitive with myself I guess. Which sort of makes me sound like I have multiple personalities ... for those of you give-er-uppers. for those of you who said " Oh I don't have the body for running" or " I have exercise-induced asthma" or " I would rather sit here"... here's a story for you. I was always the chubby one in the family. At age 9 I found out I had a hypo-thyroid. Meaning, my thyroid was sooo sleeeeeeepy *yawn* it could not be bothered.... so there's the chubby sibling syndrome..and then the thyroid..and then when I turned 21 - KABLAMO! hospitalization for acute pancreatitis. Triglycerides were 5,600. (the goal for trigs is 150) 5 days in ICU, two weeks in the hospital, 8 weeks of carrying around a backpack with an IV in my chest . No food or anything to drink for 8 weeks. not even a glass of water in 7 weeks. after countless diets and drugs and supplements and misery...we just kind of settled in to the fact that I was irreversibly screwed up.(physically! I mean PHYSICALLY!) even the drs were kind of like " got nothin' " at that time I was counseled to start exercising 1 hour a day (didn't happen) But this wasn't supposed to be a post about my pancreas, so forget about that for now. 2-3 years ago I was between 180-185 pounds. *gasp* A lady is not supposed to tell her weight! ok that's fine. I'm not a lady then. Because this is important- if you knew me 3 years ago you would not have guessed I weighed that much. It sounds really huge right? (this is one reason why numbers don't matter) so about 3 years ago I started running. I hated it. I am now up to running 2-5 miles 3x a week, pretty consistently for the past 2 years. 2 years ago I was wearing size 12 jeans. Yesterday I zipped up a size 8. EIGHT!!! a single digit!!! but here's the kicker- the scale still says 175. THIS my friends is why numbers suck. why you should not give them your time or your feelings. screw the numbers. my jeans ZIPPED UP. Did this change in 6 months? nope. it took me literally 2 years of sweating my ass off to drop a couple pants sizes and almost no weight loss (according to the scale) the happy news is, I no longer try to be in someone else's body (that's creepy) I am 5'3. I'm curvy. My belly grew three babies. My legs are muscular and can kick your ass. I can wear my clothes without feeling strangled. and My triglycerides have been 150 for over a year. Which is important. Because I need to be around for my kids, and I'm pretty sure the excuse of " it's too HARD!" would not stand up for them. it's hard. do it anyway. and ignore the numbers.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

what love looks like

Over dinner Ivan asked Malachi why he flaps his hands. Malachi didn't answer, or couldn't? I whispered to Ivan that it was part of his autism .. Ivan nodded .. We Asked Chi again why he did it.. Did it feel better? Again he chose not to answer the why - Ivan quietly said " maybe he just doesn't like talking about his feelings" . He said it gently with a knowing look. I said he could be right.. Tonight as they were watching a cartoon I watched Ivan jumping and swinging his arms next to his big brother . That's what love looks like. Love doesn't say " come over here and be like me" love goes right where you are and stands next to you.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Red Sweatshirt

i was wearing it the day i met that one boy... i was wearing it the day that boy proposed.. and i was wearing it that day when that boy called off the wedding. those are just THREE of the massive life-changing events that happened while that damn red sweatshirt was in circulation. you'd think i'd just throw it away. but i didn't. i haven't thought about it in years and years..i didn't think about where it went or why i stopped wearing it today it showed up. it just ..showed up. you know when you can feel a storm coming? ......................

Sunday, June 24, 2012

regarding the potatoes

once when i was little we were sitting around the dinner table, mom had made something that you'd put ketchup on (I don't remember what)and there were also some fried potatoes on my plate and without thinking i poured ketchup on them. I started to cry because i hadn't meant to do it, I didn't eat ketchup on my potatoes and i thought i had ruined my dinner AND wasted food. my dad quickly took my portion declaring that he actually liked ketchup on his potatoes so he didn't mind at all. I cried a lot, because i was grateful, but i was also not sure if he really DID like ketchup, or if he was just sacrificing on my behalf. I felt guilty all through dinner and then some. Dear 7 year old self, dad really does like ketchup on fried potatoes so you didn't have to worry. love, me.

Friday, June 22, 2012

way to go joe

my driver's ed instructor was named Joe. somehow he managed to make everyone like him a lot. we all felt like we were the exception to all the other kids he taught. he was funny. he and his wife had 14 kids. and on the day we were to learn how to change a tire it rained so we never learned. i still can't change a tire. way to go Joe.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


today, at a school playground i watched 5 boys bully another boy. they were all between 12 and 13 years old. the victim was riding his bike in circles on the pavement of the playground and the other boys gathered near to shout insults at him. the boy just kept riding his bike, ignoring them. But the insults got worse and the boys got braver and braver...kicking at his tires trying to knock him off, yelling at him..gesturing.. it was like watching wild kingdom and the boy on the bike was a gazelle and the other boys were lions circling around him..closer...and closer finally i thought they were actually backing off, but to my horror they were spreading out and hiding in wait for him . I started to become really concerned that they were actually going to physically attack this kid. when he got near enough to me I called him over and said " are they bothering you?" and this kid, 12 years old couldn't even look me in the eye because he was about to cry, he just nodded. I told him he needed to tell his parents about this. that they needed to know WHO these kids were.I also suggested that if he's outnumbered and there are no adults he needed to get out of there (in the future) he nodded...unable to look at me or answer me.. so heartbreaking. " bullies are liars. people who say mean things act that way because they feel bad about themselves. don't listen to them. don't believe it. it's not true." I said. is that true? ARE bullies miserable? maybe they actually love themselves. maybe they have crazy amounts of confidence and they love being them. how would i know? but it seemed like the right thing to say at the time. i kept one eye on the bullies as they waited for their next chance at him, and one eye on my own kids. the last straw was when I saw them crouched down behind a hill getting ready to pounce. I walked straight at them - they saw me coming and started to walk away. I yelled after them " YOU GUYS NEED TO GO HOME. NOW! GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE I CALL EVERY ONE OF YOUR PARENTS! I MEAN IT!" " ok ok.." i heard them muttering as they started to walk away. they didn't leave. they just waited at a safe distance. When I started to leave with my kids they were walking back over. I intercepted them on the sidewalk and looked right at Big Bully #1's pimpled face. " Listen" I said - " you don't treat a friend like that-" friend?" the kid scoffed . "- friend or ANY person " I continued " one day someone's going to treat you like a piece of shit and you will remember this day. you hear me? don't do it. don't start bullying now. Be better than that. DO BETTER" the kids were trying to pretend they hadn't done anything and I said " i. heard. you. I heard ALL of you. " they left. I have no idea what I should have done. Probably not have said " shit" to a group of 12 year olds. I just couldn't stand it. You hope all that bully talk at school and all the public service announcements are an exaggeration. You think it doesn't REALLY happen. And then you see this. right in front of an adult. 5 against 1. it's every mommy's worst nightmare. kids are so cruel. how do they become that way? we got in the car and my kids were just staring at me with big eyes. I said " we stand up for kids when they are being bullied. ALWAYS. The end!"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

five minutes in cleveland

i can't imagine flying ever NOT feeling like I'm in a sci-fi movie. it just shouldn't actually be possible in real life . And airports are super weird. -side note- in case you're wondering free wifi is a thing of the past, so don't count on it. I kept trying to get on and checking random addresses that popped up..i finally gave up after I saw one called " the clapp". I know it's just an address, but I just couldn't bring myself to willingly choose The Clapp. It's also fun to people-watch. there are some serious weirdos at the airport. I saw one man wearing a velvet top hat. I told tara about it,assuming he was amish , but she said no way- God would never allow velvet, it's too extravagant. Extravagance= sin. And she said it with such confidence that I believe her. I borrowed a book from my sister to keep me distracted from the fact that I was about to shoot through the sky in a metal tube- and hopefully- not die in a ball of fire. I almost brought Shakespeare but opted for a comedian instead. it worked- however it worked tooo well and I busted out laughing out loud twice. No one thought it was funny. I never know the etiquette for airplanes when you're flying alone. Someone will no doubt come and sit next to you - and then what? part of me is hoping " please talk to me! I'm flying alone!" and as soon as they do I think " please don't talk to me! I'm flying alone!" it's tricky. So a woman sits next to me and she talks to me- out of obligation. Asks me where I'm going and then doesn't say a word after that. Instead she opened a giant chocolate lolipop and ate it. I think this is a strange choice for an airplane snack food. first of all, I didn't think anyone actually ate those. I thought they were just some " cute" thing some people handed out at their wedding but you didn't actually EAT Them. then again, I have very high chocolate standards. so she ate it. and I tried really hard not to look at her legs. They were orange. like - crayon-orange. it was very disturbing. I was hoping it was fake-tanner but I think she just actually really was THAT sun-damaged. I kept looking from her legs (orange) to mine (white) then I started thinking about oompah-loompahs and that's a slippery slope. You know another bad airplane snack? BURRITOS. Someone actually brought a burrito on the plane. it was a very small plane, so in about 15 seconds the plane smelled exactly like the kitchen in taco bell. NOT good when you have a nervous stomach. Also not good for nervous stomach is when the plane is about the size of a matchbox car. When we started our decent the plane turned on it's side. I'm talking literally. My face was almost pressed against the window as I prayed that I would not throw up. Then we landed in cleveland ohio. I didn't really want to go to ohio but they have this weird thing where if you choose the flight that will take you to where you actually want to go they will charge you an insane amount. But if you choose a random state that you have actually no desire to go to they will cut you a break. So suddenly I'm in Ohio- well - as " in" it as you can be when you land and then take off again for someplace else. all I could think of was the boy who I had my first kiss with. He was from Ohio. He was really nice. He used to write me lots and lots of letters..until one day they stopped abruptly when his dad started working for the CIA and they had to move in the dead of night and cut off all contact with friends and family. (At least that is the only reasonable explanation I have every been able to come up with). Well Hello ! and Goodbye! Ohio! I almost threw up in you! but I toughed it out.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Everything about this landscape changes, seemingly on a daily basis. I do not know it. No map can ever trace me back .. Save for the feeling of my tongue against the smooth cloud of the back of my bottom lip- where I am eight years old.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


every year I hope someone will send me a giant bouquet of paint brushes .

but they never do.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"the shared palette" exhibit

fast forward two years..
we're still painting! and Malachi has his first ever art exhibit! " the shared palette" is an exhibit featuring parents & their children's artwork. our art center here in town (The Windhover) is hosting this unique exhibit through March 9th 2012. This friday night (2-17-12) from 5-8 Malachi and I will be there during fond du lac's "tour the town" art walk.
I hope we get to see you there!

"reach for the stars" by Malachi & Nina Schmidt

Sunday, February 5, 2012

2-4-12 Malachi is starting to understand how autism affects his life

Malachi does this thing where he slides his mattress over so he can sleep between it and the wall in like a crack space. I get it- it's a sensory thing where he wants to feel pressed in to relax. ..but it always bums me out because he ends up pushing the mattress off the bunk bed and it's either half hanging off the bed OR totally on the floor the next day and I have to try to shove it back on the bunk and then you know how you always bang your head when you are making up the lower bed of a bunk bed?
so I get cranky about it- and he knows it.
So last night he preemptively explains his sleeping arrangement before I can complain saying
" listen! I like to sleep differently! everyone's different! it's because of my Autism!"
Of course he can't pronounce that word so every time he brings it up it takes me about 5 times before I know what the heck he's trying to say.
Eventually I say " your AUTISM?!" and he says " YES!!! THAT'S why I like to sleep differently!"
He seems totally annoyed by my ignorance and says " DON'T YOU KNOW ABOUT AUTISM?!"
I say " yes- i know about autism. I knew about that a long time ago actually.."
he's already covering his head up in his blanket cocoon and is obviously really sleepy
I say " you know- I don't mind that you have Autism"
from somewhere under the blanket he mumbles " Yes I know"
then I say " ..I think you're a cool kid"
" yes! I know! can't you see I need to sleep? I need my rest!!"


Thursday, February 2, 2012


don't have children.

can you believe i just said that? my kids are my LIFE! they bring me endless endless joy and love and just incredible wonderful magicalness .. my kids bring me purpose and in many ways I'm indebted to them. I owe my kids more than they will ever owe me. I happily spend all my days repaying them for everything they have brought into my life.
Malachi in particular has helped me to become myself in more ways than almost anyone else in my life. Malachi made me brave.

I would not take back one. single. second.

and even with all that...
I say - don't do it. just don't . If you are lucky enough to find that one person whom your soul loves in this world. Hold on to that person. have a life with them and hold on tight and just stay together and brave this life.

And if you absolutely must have a small wonderful baby..oh please...go rescue one from somewhere where it is not wanted.

I know this sounds negative and horrible even..but no one tells you the truth about having children.
it's terrifying.
things go wrong.
they get sick. Not like sniffles- but really sick. Like terrifying you'd rip out your own organs to trade places with them kind of sick.
you try to protect them and you never truly can

today I talked to malachi's teacher about middle school...and adulthood...the phrase " group home" was uttered.
I lay awake at night and wonder who will take care of him. What happens if we die before him?

I know no one can predict anything. I understand that things will somehow work out. I know that he has a purpose in life and he's brought so much to everyone that knows him. I know all these things
I'm not asking advice
I'm not asking for someone to make me feel better

I'm just telling you
I'm terrified
and my heart is constantly breaking.

I don't know how to keep them all safe. And no one understands.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Thursday, January 12, 2012

an example of what being a mommy is

if you are ever unsure about where you rank- let me remind you- last. yes. last. you are last on the list.
you can eat your dinner cold when everyone else is done. you do not get to sleep when you want or shower with the door shut. you can not buy a new outfit because you have to buy second winter coats for rambunctious boys who break their zippers only halfway through the winter. you can not have an apple because all the good food goes to them. if you are sick, throwing up,or have a severed still have to make dinner. and lunch. and breakfast. you are the ONLY one that knows where the other shoe is. what homework is due or how to tuck the blankets in "the right way"
and even though you haven't had a check up in two years, you have to push your appointment back another two months because you have to take a sick kid in to the dr instead. Yes. you can only go to the dr if everyone else , in the entire world, is healthy.

and even with all that- you actually smile and welcome it with open arms . Even when you have a sore neck for months at a time for having to sleep on 6 inches of bed because your 3 year old is on one side, the 7 year old on the other and a cat at your feet-
even then- you wake up in the night because a tiny hand is stroking your cheek and groggily whispering " I love you momma" and you are so happy that she woke you up so you didn't miss it

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

check out this momma's blog

wow do I relate to this statement!
..going to bookmark her blog..

"I have read stories of parents of autistic children "mourning the child they never had." While I never personally experienced that specific issue -- I've never expected A. to be anything than what she is, I never felt like I "lost" anything by having her, and I think she's pretty downright amazing, honestly -- but I think I might be suffering from something similar. I think I'm mourning the mother I never was."