Thursday, November 29, 2007


The following events really happened. In my head, that is. I had a dream last night the featured my blogger friend, Matt-Man, of Bag Wine Ruminations. Sorry, Matt-Man, it wasn't that kind of dream. It was a normal, er, weird one.

I was sitting down at a table in a restaurant. My stepsister walked in and we chatted for a minute. Her husband was due to arrive in a few minutes with their baby. Next, Matt-Man walked in and sat down. It was odd to see these two people together, as they have only one thing in common - me. (My dream brain worked on it and figured out we must have been in Seattle, and the reason Matt-Man was in town was to visit Allie, and he'd driven up to meet me, too.) So, I introduce my stepsister to Matt-Man, and my sister walks in and sits down. More introductions. Next to show at the bizarro family dinner? My grandmother. Who died in 2000. Hmm. For some reason, this works in the dream, but I'm not concerned about the fact that my grandmother died seven years ago, but that she'll start asking Matt-Man about his earring and ask questions about how I know him and find out about my blog. That doesn't have a chance to happen, though, because an attractive Asian couple sits down at the other end of the table. I have no idea who either of them is, but the rest of the table seems to know them. The lady puts a bottle of medication on the table and announces that she won't be able to drink with dinner because of her medication, for her brain hemorrhaging. At that point, I wake up.

I have no idea what any of that means, other than I don't want my deceased grandmother reading my blog. So, B'er (yeah, it's our strange family name for her, pronounced Bee-uh), please respect my privacy! Unless you want to start your own blog. In that case, I'll add you to the list on the side there, and we can be blog-buddies.

Actually, I had dinner at my BFF's house yesterday, and we were talking about blogs, including her brother's, which I read. He had a weird post about mind reading. We also talked about these dolls BFF is into. I can't really make fun, since I have a gazillion (yes, literally!) Fisher Price Little People toys. BFF was telling me about the different face molds available for these dolls, and how lots of people liked to get the Asian face mold with blue eyes, which I thought was weird, but that's probably why the Asian couple showed up in the dream. But they had brown eyes, not blue.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Autism Ups and Downs

Yesterday morning, Hutton came and crawled into bed with me and Hubby when it was still dark out. I didn't really mind, though I knew I wouldn't get much sleep, as Hutton tends to wriggle and talk if he comes up to snuggle. A little while later, I heard Harrison coming upstairs. Hutton sat up in bed, and said, "Harrison's awake! Hutton's going to go play with Harrison!" And he did just that.

Now, apart from the use of third person, much like Sesame Street's Elmo, this was an amazing sentence to hear from Hutton. These longer sentences (and even ones using the first person - I!- are becoming much more common, and I love to hear them. I feel great, thinking, "Wow, maybe we're finally getting...there."

There - the magical place. Where is there? Is it full recovery? Or is it halfway to recovery? Just a little bit better? I don't know. Just being on the road to recovery might be enough.

Or so I thought.

This morning, as I put Hutton on the bus to school, the bus driver said, "Hutton's been having a rough time at school. The teachers thought it might be from the Thanksgiving excitement, or switching schedules around. But he had a tough day yesterday, too." I felt my upbeat attitude sinking into a pit in my chest, as I muttered, "Yeah, it never ends."

I got off the bus and headed home to get Harrison, who had stayed home to finish breakfast with Hubby. I thought about the possibility of homeschooling Hutton. Would it help? He wouldn't have the peer interaction of school, but he and Harrison play well together, and Hutton loves to have playdates with friends. I figured that wasn't really an option, as I'd probably just go crazy trying to homeschool my children. I can't even function normally on days they go to school.

A few minutes later, as Harrison and I drove down the street to run errands, we saw a big yellow school bus turning the corner. "There's Hutton's bus!" Harrison called out.

"No, that's not Hutton's bus. He rides on the short bus," I said, watching the bus of elementary school kids round the corner, looking at the little faces looking back at me. Will Hutton ever get off the short bus? Get to ride the big bus? Are we even on the same road the big bus runs on?

UP-Date (emphasis on UP)

Hutton's teacher just called. I felt my heart stop, wondering what horrible thing had happened at school. Then she said, "Hutton has had a great day at school, and he earned enough checks to call you!" Back story: At his parent-teacher conference two weeks ago, I gave Hutton's teachers the token sheet we use for his home therapy. If he earns enough checks on his chart for good behaviors like sitting quietly when asked, following instructions, etc., he gets to work for something of his choice. At home, he likes to call people on the phone as his reward. So, he earned his checks at school and wanted to call me! I told him I was glad he was having a good day at school and earning checks, and then Harrison said hi to Hutton as well. We're back to the up/positive position on the Autism meter. Let's hope it continues!


Just in case you schadenfreudists are down, thinking everything is going too well, don't worry. The gods of small appliances are still fighting me. The microwave repairman is due sometime between 1 and 5 today, and charges $79 off the bat, and that's before he figures out what's wrong with the microwave. (You know, the microwave that is the top part of our microwave/convection oven combo, that can't be cheaply replaced, though we did buy a cheap microwave to fill in until our built-in one is repaired.) And...and...the appliance ill that cuts me to the core...SIRIUS is acting up. Sirius, the espresso machine, has started pumping out coffee-colored water in place of coffee the past two days. I've cleaned the machine, tried new beans, made about ten cups of brown hot water, and searched online for advice, but am at a loss. I really don't need to spend more money having my espresso machine repaired. Sigh. At least I got some mochas this morning doing my secret shopping.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Trendy Name?

I named my beautiful son, Hutton, after my late grandmother. Hutton was her middle name, as well as her father's (my great-grandfather's) middle name. I liked the name because it was classic yet not too old-fashioned, nor was it a popular name, that would be very common among classmates.

Sometimes people will mishear it as Hunter or Hunton (or maybe they think we named him, "Huntin'?" How's that for a good Southern redneck name?!), but that's OK.

Today, I happened to see an advertisement email from Land's End, the mail order catalog, and opened it to see if there were any good Christmas gifts. I saw this:

Check out the top right corner. Yeah, we've got a bag just like that in Hutton's closet, a gift from my mother-in-law a few years ago! Come to think of it, the stocking in the middle is also one we own, with Hutton's name written on it. Hmm....

Monday, November 19, 2007

Turning the Corner

OK, I've officially turned the corner. The bad crap is officially over. I refuse to let anything else break in my home, and when it does, I will NOT get upset.

Yesterday afternoon, after we returned home from getting new tires on my car, as well as a new, working microwave to use until our old one is repaired (we wouldn't bother spending the money to repair it, except our microwave and convection oven are one combined unit, built-in in our kitchen, so replacing the whole thing would be too expensive!), one of our garage doors broke. Now, the garage door opener broke last month, and Hubby replaced it with two new ones (the previous owners of our home had rigged the garage doors so they were hooked together and used one opener, but Hubby returned it to a normal state - two doors, no connection, two openers) and everything was going well. Then, the spring on the door broke. So, after an afternoon spent spending money we don't have to spend to replace broken stuff, Hubby went to Home Depot to buy a new garage door spring. As he was fixing the door, I checked in on him, and he suddenly started throwing an adult tantrum. Yeah, I do that myself, so I can't blame him. He'd dropped a bolt, and it bounced off the toolbox, and disappeared into the pit of our garage. Was it under the plastic shelving unit, hiding in some pine needles and dog hair dust bunnies? Or did it bounce over under that pile of muddy shoes? Who knows! Hubby announced he was finished fixing broken shit that weekend, and stormed upstairs to play Halo. Fine with me. I was tired of fixing shit, too! I left my car, with the purty new tires, parked outside, and cleaned up the garage a bit.

This morning everything went well. The boys were up early and dressed themselves. We got Harrison dropped off at school, then Hutton accompanied me to get some coffee. We went to Value Village looking for a cheap bookshelf, which they didn't have, but they did have a very cool sandbox for $20, so we bought that. It's a combination sand/water table with a cover, and it has legs and a drain. Hutton was very excited to have a sandbox just like his friend Amy's. Then, we went to the grocery store and got a nice little turkey and some other Thanksgiving grub. I'm over my Thanksgiving funk, too, and I'm actually excited to make cranberry sauce, stuffing and sweet potatoes on Thursday. We'll cook the turkey in our grill, like we did last year, and I'm sure it will turn out well!

This afternoon, Harrison pooped on the potty. Yippee! I'm going to go make rice crispy treats now.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Still in the Midst of My Existential Crisis

Well, it's mostly the day to day crap -- literal and figurative -- still getting me down.

Yesterday was actually pretty good. I got my tires all inflated without blowing myself up. Hutton had a school conference that didn't go too badly. I didn't find the missing lug nut key from my car, though. It wasn't in my car or in the parking lot of Fred Meyer on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning when I checked. Hubby came home from his trip last night in time to see the boys before bedtime.

Today is back to the crap. Hubby double-checked for the missing lug nut key. (My car wheels have a "special" anti-theft lug nut, which needs a special tool to remove it. You know, because my tires are always getting stolen when I'm running errands in the 'burbs. Anyway, the special tool got lost in the hubbub of my tire change the other day. It's possible the man who helped me change it put it in his pocket, or left it on the curb, etc. Who knows.) It's gone though, and Hubby was nice enough to point out when I asked if he had any luck finding it, "No, but I'm sure it will only cost $200 to replace it." Yes, Hubby, I always need to feel worse about my screw-ups.

So, he left to go get a new tool from the car dealership, and asked me to call for service to our microwave while he was gone. I just did that. They'll be out Tuesday, Nov. 27th sometime between 1 and 5, and will charge us $79.99 for the service call, not including what it costs to actually fix the microwave. Did I mention how much I love cooking the old-fashioned way? No? Wait, I don't like cooking the old-fashioned way. I don't like cooking at all, in fact. I just miss being able to heat up my coffee without running the risk of shattering my favorite mugs, or being able to get Hutton's special nitrate/nitrite free hotdogs cooked that much faster at lunch time. I don't feel like cooking for Thanksgiving as it is. This just cements it for me. I don't enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving with just immediate family. It doesn't feel like a real holiday to me unless there are other guests in the house. I love my kids and Hubby (sometimes), but don't really want to bust my butt all day making a meal that only two of us will possibly enjoy.


Hutton slid on the bathroom rug yesterday and hit his eye on the corner of the bathroom vanity, and now has a cut and partial black eye. At least that happened after his school conference, and since he doesn't have school next week, hopefully it will be healed before he goes back. Hopeful, yeah, that's me. Full of optimism and cheer.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Life Is Shit

Well, you'd think that after Tuesday's sad post, I'd be thinking, "Life is beautiful. I must live life to its fullest, enjoy every moment I've been given." Nu-uh. I'm doing some self-centered dwelling on my own problems.

Today started with my car getting a flat tire. Luckily, I was able to drive to the parking lot of a store nearby. I attempted to change the tire. The lug nuts wouldn't budge, even when I was standing, then jumping up and down on the lug wrench. Of course, my cell phone wasn't in my car, so I got Hutton, who didn't have school today, out of the car and went in the store to try to call Hubby. I only had a quarter, and the pay phone cost fifty cents. I had a calling card, so tried that. No go. Apparently the calling card was expired. Got change for a dollar, and called again. Voice mail. Went back to the car, and danced on the lug wrench again. Nothing. Back to phone, left message for Hubby with the number of the pay phone at the store. A man saw me and had seen my issue outside, and asked if he could help. Yes, please!

He got the lug nuts loosened, by standing on the wrench himself, and apparently the extra 50 pounds or so did the trick. He even got the fancy anti-theft lug nut off, and the car jacked up. The tire wouldn't come off. I turned the steering wheel a few times, trying to straighten the wheel, and the car fell off the jack. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the falling car apparently loosened the tire enough that it was able to come off. The nice man changed my tire for me, and I got the flat tire and tools thrown back in the car and thanked him profusely, then drove home. Left another message for Hubby that someone helped change my tire, and asked where I should get a new tire, as my old one had a hole on the side and wasn't repairable. I picked up Harrison, and Hubby called back. He was on his way to the airport, and sorry he missed my call. I'd forgotten about his overnight business trip. He told me the full size spare would be fine until this weekend, just to fill it with air.

I went home again to use our air compressor to add air to the spare tire. I then scared the crap out of myself when the air compressor stopped, and I pulled a random lever, and it suddenly blasted a bunch of air out and started again. I decided not to fill the other three tires, since I couldn't decipher the PSI information inside the gas tank and I'd already caused my heart to stop once with the air compressor already. I didn't want to blow myself up, leaving the boys and pets without food until Friday night, when Hubby comes home. I put the jack and other tools back in the trunk, but realized the special anti-theft lug nut removal tool was missing. Great.

I went upstairs to do some online research on tire PSI and where to find a replacement lug nut tool, when I heard Harrison crying downstairs. I went downstairs to find Harrison standing in his room, pantsless, with a circle of liquid poop around him. Much like the air compressor, steam blasted out of my ears at that point. I picked up Harrison and deposited him in the bathtub, where I sprayed him off, then told him to stay put while I surveyed the damage. Apparently, Harrison had made it to the bathroom, took off his pants, but still managed to poop in his underwear. Then, instead of finishing on the potty, he ran to his room, trying to hold everything in while he got some new underwear. Guess that didn't work. I deduced this from the trail of poop from the bathroom.

Oh yeah, our dishwasher door is cracked, from a few weeks back. I ordered a spare part and replaced that, so it runs, but it still needs a new liner. Plus, our microwave stopped working this past weekend. These are both lovely GE appliances from our kitchen remodel seven years ago. (My Dad worked for GE in the 70s, doing something with industrial batteries. I have it in my head that his working with toxic materials in the 70s is part of the reason he got cancer and died at age 58.) Bad things seems to happen in cycles for me. Can this cycle please end now? My theme song always returns to this one.
hich brings me to another song I heard today, shortly before my tire went flat. I was thinking about this song as I drove to get Harrison with the spare tire on. I don't know if I believe in reincarnation or not, but I think I must have been a child molester, murderer or rapist in a past life. Maybe all three. That's the only way to account for the really crappy spells in life. In my next life I'd like to be a happy bunny rabbit, or a butterfly, or something nice like that. Of course, I'd probably be eaten by a predator right off the bat. Siiiiiggghhhh. Serenity now! Back to PSI research. And perhaps another trip to the Fred Meyer parking lot to see if I can find the lug nut tool attachment.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Goodbye, Carmen

My blog friend, Carmen, of Good Times and Boxed Whine, passed away last month from complications of scleroderma. She was on a list for a lung transplant, and dreaming of a second chance at life, without needing to cart around an oxygen tank. She was only 34 years old, the age I am now, feeling young and somewhat invincible until I thought, "Hmm, I haven't read Carmen's blog in a while. Think I'll head over and see how she's doing."

As I read the blog posts at the end of October, I started to cry and said aloud, "I'm so sorry Carmen! I miss you!" I felt so sad for Carmen and her family, and guilty for being a bad blog friend and not having visited her blog recently.

Carmen leaves behind a husband and son, Dominic. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and go over to read some of Carmen's blog and see what a wonderful, positive, thoughtful person she was. The song that plays as you enter, Time of Your Life, is very fitting.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sink Your Teeth into This

The latest happening:

Hutton lost his first tooth today! We were driving around this afternoon, and he was eating a chewy granola bar in the car, and started to complain about his tooth being broken. When we stopped, I looked at it, and realized it was loose. Hutton wasn't too happy about it, even though I explained about the Tooth Fairy (yeah, I did all that crazy nonsense!).

We called my mom to share the news, and she shared some news of her own. Apparently, my cousin and his wife are getting divorced. Cousin's wife took the two kids (2 and 4 months) with her out of town with her for the weekend, and when she came back, asked Cousin why he'd changed the sheets on the bed. Answer: Because I had someone here when you were gone. Asshole of the Year Award goes to my cousin! Well, I really don't know much about their relationship, but I think having an affair, or even a meaningless fling, when you have a four month old son is craptacular.

When we got home, Hutton was still wiggling the tooth, and it popped out right after I got the extreme close-up shot. Then, I took the blurry second shot. Now I have to figure out what to have the Tooth Fairy put under the pillow. Dental floss perhaps? Just kidding, though I do have some on my desk from my visit to the dentist last week.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Slogging Along

This week, the focus has been on trying to update the website my mother and cousin had me set up for my late uncle's artwork, Shades of Zade. The past year it has been languishing, as the current webhost has horrific customer service, and I couldn't get the site updated. Never, never, never use Name2Host. They truly suck donkey balls. Metaphorically, of course. I switched to HostMonster, for hosting at least, and they are awesome! Today, out of the blue, a real, live, human person called me to confirm the switch and see if I had any questions. Wow! I need to figure out how to switch the domain to them, as well, because they've been so amazingly easy to use. I mean, I found the information and got the site switched over and working in less than a day. And that's on Laura Work Time, meaning 20 minutes here and there in the afternoon, in between playing with the boys, feeding them, trying to get our computer printer to work so I could print out something for Hutton's school, etc.

I still have some snags on the site to work out, as I made it several years ago on FrontPage, which is now pretty outdated, and I can't get some things working right, as I forgot what very little I ever knew about HTML within a year of making the site. My main issue is to get the domain away from Sucktastic Servers, er, Name2Host, but they conveniently enough do not return emails or phone calls. I tried to transfer the domain last year, and it didn't go through. This year, I started a month in advance, and so far, Name2Host has not responded to any of my requests. I think their modus operandi is, "Don't ever engage in customer contact after signing them into Domain ownership. That way, when the domain is up for re-enrollment, they can't transfer it away because there's no way to do it without us. They'll have to re-enroll, rather than letting the domain run out and be charged a lot more to get it back." Sigh. Yes, Name2Host, you truly outdo yourself in douchbaggery. I'm going to write my fifth email today asking for the EPP authorization code so I can transfer the domain. Yeah, I'm sure this one will be answered.

Other than that, I'm looking for a pet/house sitter to come out for the holidays to watch the brood. I figured that would be cheaper and easier than taking them all to a kennel. Plus, I don't think Sally will be very excited to go to a kennel ever again after last year., when she ended up with a herniated disk in her neck. Sure, it could have happened anywhere, but it happened at a kennel, so after paying the $700 for the kennel, we had to pay $4500 for vet bills. Ahh. Good times. Hopefully this year, we won't have pet bills that cost more than our holiday travels.

We're going to go to Nashville again for Christmas, and probably drive to Charlotte to meet our new niece, and down to Pensacola to visit Hubby's family. I'm already dreading it a bit, but I'd be bummed if we didn't visit family over the holidays. As it is, this week has felt very lonely, as Hutton's ABA therapist #1 is on maternity leave, and #2 went on vacation and will be gone next week. The week following is Thanksgiving, when Hutton is out of school the whole week, but it's too expensive to travel two months in a row, so we'll stay here. I miss my dad at these times, as he and my stepmother used to come up here for Thanksgiving, and I like spending holidays with family, but this year it will just be me, Hubby, and the boys again. I think I'm getting the winter blahs already. The fact that it's gray and almost dark at 4:00 might have something to do with it.

Oh, Hutton and Harrison decided to fix the lights. We have some old, crappy track lights in our office that have been burned out for a long time. The boys stacked up some plastic storage boxes in a very precarious way, and have their tool kit out. It's very cute. At least until the plastic boxes crash to the ground.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Hutton just asked to watch "Baby Beef Oven" on DBD. I translated to, "Oh, you want to watch Baby Beethoven? I'll get it down for you!" All of the many, many kiddie DVDs are stored on top of the hutch over my desk. The boys try to climb on my desk to reach them occasionally, which occasionally results in a nice water cleaning of my desk and keyboard, when the glass of water that's usually on my desk gets knocked over. Guess I should move the DVDs down to their level? They can actually put them in the player and are pretty good when they handle them, though we have two DVD cleaners on hand for the inevitable fingerprints and scratches.

Let's see. Hutton also asked this morning for me to get up so we could eat "breastfast." Yeah, he still calls it that, even though I weaned him when he was one.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

We Survived Satan's Day of Play!

Hutton in the top half of his costume, or a pirate on casual Friday
Playing bingo at school
Halloween still life with gluten, corn and dairy free rice crispy treats
Cheeky little monkey Harrison
Halloween has come and gone, and we're all here and mostly OK! The title of my post is in reference to a book my BFF shared with me (quite sarcastically mind you!) entitled, "Mommy, Why Don't We Celebrate Halloween? BFF had bought a bunch of Halloween books on ebay, and this little gem was included. I found the book quite amusing, yet horrifying, in that some Christians actually believe Halloween is a devil worship festival and not a fun cultural fall fest handed down by those of Celtic/Irish descent. Well, bring on the pagan ritual, I say!

The Halloween Party Dillemma -- see this post if you don't know what I'm talking about! I found a babysitter on Craigslist (note, the party was thankfully before this sad, sad story happened. Way to make it even harder for people to find babysitters, you crazy douchbag!). I had waited until the last minute, of course, as I think I was secretly trying to undermine myself finding a sitter. But, a week or so before, I started looking, and had about six people say no, so I did look! And it paid off - Sierra was wonderful with Hutton. At the party, there were some kids' activities set up downstairs, and a movie playing upstairs, but Hutton preferred mostly to play hide and seek - going between the same two spots with Sierra following after a few moments. I got to have two drinks and wear a stupid costume. Fun. Afterwards, though the party was fun, it wasn't all that exciting. I only knew a few people there, and after all the turmoil and second-guessing I went through, I don't know if it was really worth it! But I did get to focus some energy on costume-making, which is always fun. Here I am as Dora on Saturday night. I made Hubby dress as the man with the yellow hat from Curious George. And then, since I didn't get a chance to take his picture Saturday, I wore his costume last night for trick-or-treating. So, here I am in drag. Well, sort of. The pants from the costume are actually women's pants, as are the boots. You can't tell, but they're high heel boots ("Sexy boots!" as my BFF said) that a real man in a yellow hat wouldn't be caught dead in. Actually, the man with the yellow hat may prefer to wear women's boots in the comfort of his apartment, or house in the country, and I don't judge him for that. He does live with a monkey, after all!

Halloween Pictures - Uncostumed

Some post trick or treating pictures, or what I like to call, "Sugar High"Crazy Eyes 1
Crazy Eyes 2
Harrison putting Crazy Eyes Glasses on Curious George, while Hutton blows Harrison's hair with light-up ghost fan
Earlier in the day, when Harrison preps for Crazy Hair Day at school.

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