Update February 25, 2023



Saturday was a bit of a drain. I was supposed to have worked from 7pm Friday till 9am Saturday, but a coworker called in and I worked till 11:30am instead. So, immediately upon getting home, I played D&D for 4 hours, while watching IL4 at the same time, which is fun, but not relaxing. At 7, I was back at work for another 14 hour shift.


Sunday I got off work at 9, ran an errand, went to a bookstore to buy Aaron his birthday gift, and interviewed a babysitter. It was family day, and we let Aaron choose what to do, since it was his birthday. He chose to watch Locke & Key. IL4 fell asleep, and when he woke, he had developed a nasty case of viral pink eye, so we stopped watching mid-episode, and I took him to bed.


Monday was a pain. IL4’s pink eye turned out to be bacterial. All the kids were home for President’s Day, and D13 had a therapy appointment. I let M10 sit with IL4 for a few minutes while I dropped D13 off, and again when I picked her up. I figured Aaron was downstairs working, so it would be ok – and it was.

Luckily, the nurses have a standing-order prescription for pink eye, and all I had to do was call them up and tell them he had bacterial pink eye.

At about 5, IL4 crashed and I sat in bed with him till 10 because said he was scared of the pain. He felt a little better when I agreed to put a bandaid on his forehead, though.


Tuesday IL4’s eyes were looking a bit better, so we knew the drops were working. I mostly relaxed at home with IL4, but I also had a fun visit with an inmate pen pal. We were expecting a big snowstorm over the next couple of days, so we were hunkering down for that.


Wednesday was the beginning of the snowpacalypse. It was a really unimpressive snowpacalypse, though. When IL4 awakened covered in a rash, I was easily able to haul him off to Urgent Care without shoveling my car out.

At UC, he was diagnosed with an ear infection and “strep with rash,” which they didn’t actually test him for. He was freaking out as if the doctor had some nefarious plans for him, and wouldn’t let the test kit near himself. The doctor decided she was “certain” it was strep based on the rash and appearance of the throat, and that he needed to be on antibiotics for the ear infection anyway.

I wonder if that was the same doctor who gave me antibiotics two weeks ago for strep because she was certain it was strep, then the strep test came back negative? Regardless, I am super convinced that the diagnosis was correct this time.


Thursday was fairly uneventful for a snow storm day. We got 18 inches of snow, and the kids were home from school. IL4 was feeling a lot better. In the evening, we played D&D.


Friday I was feeling sick again – well, I guess I’ve been feeling tired all week (I’m obviously fighting off an infection, and should probably get tested for strep this weekend.) IL4 threw a temper tantrum before speech therapy, making us 10 minutes late. M10 went with his mom for the weekend. D13 loved her first rehearsal for the middle school play.

Weight Loss – still plateaued at 20lbs.

Reading to IL4

  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by mo willems
  • A Stone Sat Still, by Brendan Wenzel
  • Bad Kitty Gets a Bath, by Nick Bruel
  • Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea!, By Ben Clanton
  • Knight Owl, by Christopher Denise
  • The Good Egg, by Jory John

M10 reading

  • Fuzz, by Mary Roach


  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Michigan Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Virginia Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Pennsylvania
  • 1 letter Maine Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter France

Media Partaken In

Season 2, episodes 1 – 4
4 – 6.5 hours in (COMPLETE)
Episode 25
5.5 – 6.25 hours in
Lecture 26 – 27
Lecture 28
11.75 – 10.5 hours behind
34 – 33.75 hours left
Episodes 1 – 2


A Mother’s Reckoning, by Sue Klebold

In this tragic memoir, Sue Klebold tells about her grief journey in the aftermath of her son shooting teens in the Columbine school shooting. It’s not an apology – and it shouldn’t be. It’s a recognition that she’s a mother too, that she lost her son, too. But when I say it like that, it makes it sound like she’s begging you to recognize that. She’s not. She’s just trying to explain that perhaps if she had been aware of suicide risks, she may have prevented her son’s involvement in the shooting, but that she (like many moms of suicidal teens) was blindsided by inexperience. This book is a plea for other moms to recognize the signs and help their kids.

Spoilers abound below.

These questions are adapted from Susan Bauer’s Well-Educated Mind, Chapter 6.

✏️Who was the author? (Woman or man or other? Race and ethnicity? Important occupation?)

Sue Klebold considered herself as a mother – a “normal” mother in extraordinary circumstances. She is white, and middle class.

✏️What are the central events?

The most important event is when her son, Dylan Klebold, joined Eric Harris in slaughtering teenagers, and a teacher, at Columbine High School. Everything else was explanation of how she was a normal mother with what appeared to be a normal son (before), and she was a normal mother recovering from a heartbreaking tragedy afterwards.

✏️Who is the most important person, or people, in the writer’s life?

The three most important people in Sue Klebold’s life during the scope of this story were her husband Thomas and her sons Dylan and Byron.

✏️What is the theme that ties the narrative together?

The overarching theme is one of recovery from a tragedy. However, there are a few underlying themes. The most important is that depression can impact anyone’s child, and that care should be taken to watch for the signs and be empathetic to their needs to help prevent suicide or other tragedy.

✏️Where is the life’s turning point?

I would say the obvious turning point is when the Columbine shooting occurs. But there was a second, more subtle turn when Sue realized that Dylan didn’t just shoot a bunch of kids – he committed suicide and didn’t care if he killed others while doing it. (As opposed to Eric, who seems to have murdered kids, but didn’t care if he died doing it.) Until she realized Dylan’s was foremost a suicide (which she read in a scholarly article about the shooting), she was viewing it simply as murder and couldn’t reconcile the son she knew with the son that killed so many.

✏️For what does the writer apologize? In apologizing, how does the writer justify?

Well, the major thing to apologize for is obvious – her son killed a bunch of teenagers . In the story, Sue Klebold talks about writing a sort of apology/sympathy card to the victims and their families, but I don’t think the purpose of this book was to apologize. She did sound apologetic at times, but the purpose was to talk about tragedy and recovery and suicide awareness.

As for justification, I’m not sure she mentioned one, except for “he seemed perfectly normal, I didn’t allow guns in the house, and I gave him love.”

✏️What is the model – the ideal – for the author’s life?

I’m not sure. Perhaps the ideal would have been if she’d had suicide awareness before these events, perhaps her son’s involvement in the shooting could have been prevented.

✏️What is the end of life (the place where the writer has arrived, found closure, discovered rest)?

The end of this chapter of Sue Klebold’s life is that she now understands that it’s not her fault, and that, with the information she had, she shouldn’t blame herself for not seeing signs of depression in Dylan. But she wants other mothers to be aware of the signs of suicide.

✏️Is the author writing for herself or a group? What parts of the writer’s experience does she assume to be universal? Which does she view as unique to herself? Am I part of the group that would be expected to closely identify with the author’s story? Does it ring true for me? What parts of the story resonate and which do not?

I guess you could say Sue Klebold was representing herself only when she wrote, since the situation she was describing was pretty unique to only a very small number of people (thankfully). Though I think at some level she’s also writing as a mother to a mother. She assumes that her love of her son and the desire for him to be successful and happy is pretty universal. What she views as unique about her situation is rather obvious – not very many moms see their kids turn into murderers.

Yes, I am a mother, and the story of love and forgiveness she gives her son definitely resonates with me.

✏️What are the three moments or timeframes of the story? (When it happened, when it was written, when it was read.) What was the author’s reason for writing? Was the writer at a high or low point at the time of writing? How has the biography changed in the years since its publication?

The Columbine shooting was April 20, 1999, and her book was published 17 years later in 2016. I read it in 2023. I don’t believe there’s been much change between 2023 and 2016, but between 1999 and 2016, many school shootings have occurred. Americans have grown tired of the shootings and would like a fresh source of opinions on how to stop the alarming trend.

The author chose then to write the book because she had reached a step in her grieving process when she felt it would be helpful to reach out to other mothers and make sure they are aware of the risks of depression. I believe she was at a high point in her grief.

✏️Where does the author’s judgement lie? What, or whom, does the author judge? Is this criticism valid? Who do I deem responsible for successes and failures of the author?

I don’t recall the author judging anyone, even her son. Not even the people who judged her harshly.

✏️What have I brought away from this story? What did I hope to get?

I got exactly what I wanted out of this book. I learned a little of what it felt like to be judged by so many people for a tragedy that wasn’t her fault.

Update February 19, 2023



Saturday came and went without event. Well, except that M10 took a math test to get into an accelerated program. He is 90% certain he got over 75%, though I’m guessing that’s not going to get him into the program. I probably should have helped him study alegebra beforehand.


Sunday, I went to church with Todd, then to a parent  meeting for M10’s musical production he’s in.


Monday I had 3 doctor appointments – 2 for myself and one for M10. M10 gained about half an inch in height, but still has not gained weight. In my bariatric appointment, I found out that I would be on my weight loss med for the rest of my life. That was oddly reassuring, since I was afraid I was going to gain all the weight back as soon as I went off the med. D13 auditioned for the middle school play. She thinks she did pretty well. M10 finished off the day with a Cub Scout meeting.


Tuesday was Valentine’s Day. Aaron took the day off, and we hung out and relaxed together all day. We binge-watched Lockwood & Co. Then we went out to dinner. It was delightful. D13 also told me that she picked me as her hero to write about in Spanish class. I was quite surprised and flattered. 😊


Wednesday was fun. I started by going mall walking at the Mall of America with dad and IL4. The kiddo was well-behaved for the first round, but then saw Nickelodeon Universe (the amusement park) and just HAD to go running through it. We had to drag him kicking and screaming before we managed to bribe him with ice cream.

Then, my friend Liz came over and we went to Olive Garden with IL4, then to a bookstore, where I bought too many books for IL4.

Later D13 and M10 went to Willy Wonka rehearsal and I went to work.


Thursday was also fantastic. After taking D13 to an appointment, she rushed back to school for call-backs for the middle school play. Afterwards, Aaron and I went to a comedy club to see Steven Ho. Most people know him as the YouTuber/TickTocker stevioe (the “Tips from the ER” guy). He wasn’t as fantastic in person as he is online. Just not very practiced, is all…the flow was a bit halting instead of a fluid string of jokes like most stand up comedians. He probably just needs more practice.

At the show, there was a disruptive, drunk-AF woman who we’ll call “Mara” (mainly because she told the comedians that was her name). She made it abundantly clear (and not in any roundabout manner) that she wanted to get laid by a comedian that night – it didn’t matter which one, but she had a preference for the famous one. She eventually got kicked out when she attempted unsuccessfully to get on stage.

At one point, she said her job was to “wipe buttholes for a living,” and when people seemed confused, she clarified that she “works with old people.” People who, hands down, deserve better than her, I’d say.

Regardless of being seated way too close to Mara, I enjoyed the show.


Friday was busy. After two appointments for IL4 (Well-Child & speech therapy), M10 had a therapy appointment. It went so well! Usually he is not very responsive, but this time he really sat down with us and puzzled out what might be the reason he’s been acting out at school. I was so proud of him, I offered to take him to play laser tag again.

Reading to IL4

  • Don’t Feed the Coos, by Jonathan Stutzman & Heather Fox
  • Didi Dodo Future Spy: Robo-Dodi Rumble, by Tom Angleberger & Jared Chapman
  • Didi Dodo: Double-O Dodo, by Tom Angleberger & Jared Chapman
  • Llama Rocks the Cradle of Chaos, by Jonathan Stutzman & Heather Fox
  • Peppa’s Valentine’s Day, by Courtney Carbone

M10 reading

  • To Be a King, by Kathryn Lasky
  • Fuzz, by Mary Roach

D13 reading

  • Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, by Dusti Bowling
  • Dungeon Academy No Humans Allowed, by Madeline Roux & Tim Probert


  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Virginia Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Michigan Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter England
  • 1 letter Wisconsin

Week’s Photos

I’m told that this is too many cranial accessories
IL4 took a pretty good picture of me reading

Media Partaken In

Pg 50 – 75
Pg 100 – 128
Season 3 episode 7 – 8
2.25 – 4 hours in
4.25 – 5.5 hours in
34.5 – 34 hours left
Lecture 26 – 27
Lecture 25
Episode 20 – 24
Episodes 1 – 4
Stephen Ho (stevioe)


Didi Dodo Future Spy series by Tom Angleberger & Jared Chapman

In this spin-off series from Inspector Flytrap, Koko Dodo teams up with Didi Dodo to solve three mysteries. The books are cute, funny and enjoyable to both myself and my 4-year-old, to whom I read these.

In this installment, Koko’s super secret fudge recipe has been stolen right before the cookie contest. Will Didi be able to find it before the contest is judged?

In the second installment, a giant robot dodo is trying to put Koko out of business.

In the final installment of the Didi Dodo books, the Queen is kidnapped. Didi and Koko go undercover to look for her.

Don’t Feed the Coos, by Jonathan Stutzman & Heather Fox

By the same author as “Llama Destroys the World,” “Don’t Feed the Coos” is about a girl that accidentally encourages a bunch of pigeons to follow her around endlessly. It’s a book of few words, so it’s also good for younger kids than my 4 year old, but my son wants me to read this book over and over. It’s cute, and attention to details in the pictures pays off. I missed some stuff on the first couple of readings.

When Stars are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed

This is the true story of Omar and his brother Hassan, who grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya after leaving Somalia. They were desperately hoping their mom would find them, but managed to pull it off with a foster mom and a school.

It is important to get stories like this out to kids so they are less likely to form preconceived notions about refugees based on the current political climate. It was well-written and enjoyable.

This is a graphic novel for kids which I listened to adapted to audiobook. It was well read and interesting despite not having the pictures.

Poo-Dunit A Forest Floor Mystery, by Katlyn Aronson & Stephanie Laberis

When Mouse discovers a gigantic poo outside her home, she wants to know who has offended her. She asks around, but everyone claims that their poo looks different than the poo in question. Until she discovers the offender.

This is an adorable poo story. It even has a bit at the end talking about what good things poo can be used for, and pictures of several types of poo meant to be matched to each animal’s description of their own poo. I used it to help my 4 year old feel better about pooping.