Saturday, January 20, 2018

Interviews, Philly, sleepover.

Well, I didn't get the Childr*n's job which I guess is just as well, but ack!  I want to be wanted!  And I turned down the U of MD job before they had a chance to offer it to me.  So, I'm onto the fourth round of thinking about what to do.  I still do want a job that doesn't impact the family bit too much for too long, we'll see.  I asked Vince what he thought about me working nights - if he'd be alright with less support from me and maybe I'd need more support from him (I just signed him up for driving lessons with the thinking that I'll need him to pick Edda up every once in a while when we are in a bind) - and he said, don't worry about me, but I'm sure you are going to be grouchy all the time. Out of the mouth of babes.  All this tells me is that I'm way better at finding engineering jobs than I am at finding nursing jobs.  Engineering jobs - I bat 1000 once I get to the interview.  Nursing jobs - I bat a big fat zero once I get to the interview. 

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Jeremy's in Philly this weekend visiting Vidya.  We are trying to go every few weeks.

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He took my engagement ring to see our jeweler who is in Philly.  A tiny diamond has fallen out, we are hoping to get it replaced with a ruby for Ruby.  Our jeweler is Jeremy's college friend Caleb who went and became a jeweler after he finished school.  We get all our jewelry from him!  lol.  Pretty much just the engagement ring and wedding rings - and one extra ring when we had more money and fewer children. 

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He took his bike, hoping to bike around a bit.   I'm not sure if he's going to feel like he'll be able to leave Vidya alone for long (to either bike or get the ring fixed).

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Jeremy left Friday am and will be back Sunday PM.  Friday PM found me driving Vince and Calvin to see Ben in Woodbine.  Thank you Soojung for hosting a sleepover and having so much good food!  I don't know what I was thinking, but all day I imagined taking the boys and dropping them off and turning around and going home and eating with just me and Edda, but as I was driving there, I was like - I could have my own sleepover and hang out with Soojung all night!  I didn't hang out all night, we chatted until almost 10 and then Edda was getting impatient and wanted to head home.

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The boys are so big, we've been friends for a long time now.

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The Rett siblings.  I wouldn't have guessed that they get along pretty well after all these years.  Hopefully they can lean against each other as we all get older. 

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Finals, shutdown, interviews.

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Vince is in the final week of the 2nd marking period.  There are 2 marking periods per semester and the high schools only send the semester grades to colleges.  If you get an "A" in the first marking period and "B" in the second marking period, you end up with an "A" for the semester.  So Vince's motivation to study on a few of his final exams is very low.  Vince is very pragmatic about work - why do extra work that clearly you don't have to do?  Honestly, I could come up with only the following platitudes: You should always do your best.  There is just the satisfaction of mastery of the material.  And isn't it just fun to get the A?  Obviously, I did not pass down the love of getting the "A" for no good reason.  There is also the issue of actually gathering the materials for studying for the final.  All semester, the US Govt teacher has handed out hard copies of the chapters of the book.  Vince loathes to save them in any sort of binder or special stack or anything.  This sort of thing drives me up the wall, but I hold my tongue every day.  Every day.  This is the most difficult part of parenting - keeping my big, fat mouth shut.  But what the hell do I know about organization?  He found every one of his chapters somewhere (except for one) and started studying.

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Snow day on Wed - school was cancelled.  MCPS got into a little kerfuffle here.  They first announced a 2 hour delay and then an hour after that announcement, they cancelled school. Speaking of cancellation, I thought that I would work through any government shutdown because my office is self-funded and we support ourselves with our own fees that we charge.  The last time the govt shut down, we got an email a few days prior to the possibility saying that we'd stay open using our operational reserves.  But today I got an email saying that if the govt shuts down tomorrow, we won't be able to log in because we haven't yet gotten the special dispensation to use the operational reserves and there really is no way to know if we'll be able to get it.

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I have been interviewing for nursing jobs.  I tried for six months to get a part time day job and just wasn't having much luck.  The goal, was, and still is, to supplement my regular day job with a side gig of nursing (about 10-20 hours a week).  I applied for all these varied things - hospice, prison RN, long term care facilities.  I did get a few leads/interviews, but I closed on none of them because I was asking for a thing that doesn't exist or exists rarely.  Sometimes I'd get, we really like you, you seem like a good fit, let's see if we can make part time days work.  Never did it work out. You must understand, as a newly graduated nurse, I've not given injections, I've not started IVs, I've not been able to give blood transfusions, not put in an NG tube or Foleys etc, etc, etc.  I learned about them all and I've seen all of them done, but I haven't actually any skills.  I'm pretty useless as a nurse.  Both Mary Ann, my pediatric nurse friend, and Christine, my cousin-in-law-in-law who has worked in oncology & hospice, both said you have to start in a hospital on rotating shifts (meaning half days/half nights).  People!  If I stay up until 11, it's like a big party.  I did not like this when I slowly came around to realizing this and I still don't like the idea very much, but what the heck.  Be curious & be open to life's adventures.  Right?  Maybe it would/could be fabulous.  OK, so over Xmas break, I decided that if I was going to work at night and lose sleep & time with my family and give up all my hobbies, I was going to go to work at a big academic hospital.  In the past two weeks, I've interviewed at Childr*n's on their heart & kidney floor and at the Univers*ty of MD medical center in Baltimore on their medical telemetry floor.  The interview at Childr*n's just about killed me.  This is a floor full of kids who need heart & kidney transplants.  I spent three hours on the floor shadowing a nurse and then an hour with interviewing with management.  There is absolutely nothing more emotionally devastating like joking around with a kid who needs a new heart and making up a little "game" of having him guess his blood pressure as you take it and then looking into the eyes of the parent.  All of my suppressed grief about Edda just bubbles back up to the surface.  There is also a particular type of nurse who is a hospital pediatric nurse - the pediatric nurse has always wanted to work with kids, he/she tends to be young and hasn't been married or had kids yet.   I've never felt so out of place interviewing at any job (I felt old.)  Today's I was in Baltimore on a typical med/surg floor. This floor is more my style.  A little quieter, nurses are more diverse, some patients are on telemetry.  You get all the admits from the ER and since you are in downtown Baltimore, you'll see more IV drug users, people detoxing, a lot of mental illness.  But there's lots of cardiac/pulmonary stuff, sepsis, GI distress. You'll get everything.  But it's far from the house.  I'll continue to look around.  I hope something will reveal itself to me.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Congestion pricing, cookies, collard greens.

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I spent some time today listening to Jeremy's ideas about congestion pricing with autonomous vehicles.  In order for me to do this, sometimes I have to consciously tell myself that I want to be a kind person and the person I want to be the kindest to is my husband.  And in order to be super kind to him, I need to spend 20 minutes talking to him about congestion pricing and walking through the calculations that he's done on an Excel spreadsheet and ask engaging questions even though the whole thing is seems crazy to me since how can you possibly predict what will happen with autonomous vehicles, lanes which don't exist yet and what people will pay to share a ride or have their own ride?  He's really excited about congestion pricing.  He's spending his weekends making spreadsheets.

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Jeremy took me out to lunch.  And then he took me shopping for pants.  We went to the Levi's store at the newly built outlet mall a bit north of us.  He got skinny pants for five dollars.  His first pair of pants with stretch in them and also a tapered into the ankle cut.  Sexy.

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I made some M&M cookies. They tasted OK, but they could have been better.  But I made a poor judgement call and used whole wheat flour.  No good.  But they mostly got eaten.

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Kappa came into town today so we moved Sunday night dinner to today (Monday, MLK day).  Vince made ribs, collard greens and brussel sprouts to go with my whole wheat M&M cookies.

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Kappa is staying in the guest room which has all of Jeremy's biking equipment.  Jeremy showed him all of his indoor computer / biking. 

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Biking, interview, ramen, ribs.

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A quiet weekend planned for us.  Yesterday, it reached a high of 70 at Dulles.  Right now it's 25 on it's way down to 15.  Jeremy went biking outside today for the first time since the day after Christmas.  On that day, he got a flat and it was bitterly cold and I had to go rescue him.  Today, there was no rescuing involved.  I worked a few hours today, trying to get some comp time saved up.  I'm a little afraid that I'm going to have to work full time as a nurse for a year (this is Plan B.  Plan A was part time) so I'm trying to figure it out with the primary job & the secondary job.

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Vince had a busy day.  He had a scout planning meeting at 8:30 am for their big winter campout and then I picked him up from that to take him to an interview with the scouts for a summer position at one of their local sleep-away camps.  We got there early and sat in the car waiting for the appointed time.

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I spent the 30 minutes or so in the car waiting with Vince trying to wipe off all the marker he had on his forearms, palms and nails.  I started in with some spit on my finger, but Vince recoiled at that but then I remembered that I had Edda's wipes in her backpack.  (You can see some of the green marker on his palm).  Edda and I decided that we were going to wait in the car while Vince went in to interview.  He was gone for about 20 minutes.  When he came back, he was pretty exuberant - they asked him all straightforward questions, the toughest one was - What will you do with a troublemaker?  I asked if all the other interviewees had their parents there.  He said the waiting room was super awkward and, yes, everyone else had their parents in the room.  Whoops.  I asked if he asked how much the pay was, I asked if he asked what the scheduling was (days off?).  He said he has no idea about any of that and didn't ask anything, he didn't care, it was going to be super cool and he'd do it even if they paid him only a dollar.

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To celebrate his first real interview, I took him and Edda out to lunch.  He wanted sushi/ramen.  We went to Maki on the Rockville Pike.  We've tried coming here before, but the wait was too long.  I was not optimistic.  But we got seated quickly and it was very, very good.  Highly recommended.  Vince is so good with Edda, helping me manuver her into and out of the car.  Walking her from the car into the restaurant and then helping me get her into her wheelchair.

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Jeremy is trying to sous-vide some ribs for Sunday night dinner (which this week is Monday night dinner).

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Mother, New Fortune, broken computer.

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On Wed night, we went to Dara's mom's service.  She passed away at the beginning of the year.  We got there a little bit late, but just in time to hear Dara speak about his mother.  It was a very moving service, with monks doing Buddhist chants.  At some moments, many of the people gathered around would join in on the chanting and you could kind of feel like resonant energy deep in your body.  <3

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Tonight, we went to New Fortune restaurant with the other 24 host families for the kids coming in late January from my mom's high school in Shanghai.  We ended up sitting with 3 or 4 teachers from RM who are hosting the teachers of the Chinese students in their homes.  They served an entire 10 course banquet.  From cold jellyfish all the way down to the final noodle dish and then oranges.  I haven't had a Chinese banquet in a long, long time.

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My parents got to meet Vince's Chinese teacher - Mrs. Poo (though the kids call her by her maiden name - Wang Lao Shi).  My dad was especially interested because he's Vince's #1 tutor.  Vince's sping break trip to China got cancelled, not enough students signed up (I think they need 24 <- that's a lot).

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Vince's MacBook's screen got damaged.  He insists that he didn't step on it, drop it, sit on it, or throw it.  We took it to this place called (charmingly) uBreakiFix - it's going to be almost $500 to fix it.  Jeremy tried to figure out if he could fix it himself, but the parts that you could buy online to fix it yourself got really close to $400.  So then it's only an extra $100 for the labor.  I think they have to pretty much replace the lid/screen of the laptop.  Oh - Jeremy just clarified, the will just replace the glass part - Vince gets to keep his stickers on the laptop case.

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Early dismissal.

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Look who came early from school today.  Some freezing rain was forecasted for this afternoon, so they sent all the kids home at noon.  Vince watched Edda this afternoon while I worked b/c I told the afternoon caregiver to not come to the house to be safe & warm at her home.  "Watched" meant that Vince had her snuggled in his bed all afternoon watching Parks and Rec. Vince says she loves Parks and Rec.  I'm not so sure.  Vince alternates between wanting snow days and not wanting snow days.  He doesn't want to go to school because it's work and he often moans to me at home because it's so boring.  Ahh, the seesaw of life.  Work on one end, bored on the other.  I guess Disneyland is at the fulcrum.

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Charlottesville - a weekend away.

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We had arranged for a weekend away (just the two of us) months ago for this weekend.  It's hard to be spontaneous - sometimes I think it's just that we are no fun, but I try!  I try!  We had planned for a cross country skiing trip in West Virginia and we were worried over Christmas that there wouldn't be enough snow (there was no snow on the webcams when we logged into them over Christmas) but as the week started out bitterly cold here - we didn't want to go cross country skiing in the mountains where it was predicted to be low of -9 and high of 0.  So we hastily switched gears and went to Charlottesville instead. 

We first stopped off at a quilt shop in town (Cottonwood Quilts).

Checked into our cute little hotel on campus - Oakhurst Inn.

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Walked the 1.5 miles to a pie shop - The Pie Chest.

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Then went to see the Star Wars movie.  Jeremy ordered the darkest beer, I ordered the lightest.

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The Star Wars movie was fun, then we had dinner at the Citizen Burger Bar and walked home.  Chilly.

The next morning, we went to a spin class where - OMG - that is one weird, hard, sweaty, dark workout.  I think I'm in shape, but I'm not in shape for all these movements out of the seat of the bike and my crotch really hurt and my bootie pants were too short because they are for running and not for biking. 

Then breakfast at the Oakhurst Cafe.

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Then we went to Monticello because we forgot that we were there in the summer of 2011, but didn't realize it until we were pulling into the parking lot.  (I tried to look it up on the blog, but I spelled Monticello wrong.)  In my defense, now that I look back on the blog, Vince must have been a total PITA and I remember none of the tour.  Or my memory is just that bad.

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Lunch at a soup place - Revolutionary Soup

Back to the hotel for a nap and some quilting/reading

We took the free trolley from our hotel to downtown.

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Dinner at Lampo - a fancy pizza joint.

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Then we went to an Elvis/David Bowie birthday party tribute concert to benefit the UVA cancer center at the Southern Cafe Music Hall

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Then today, we booked it back to Bethesda - we saw The Post there about the publication of the Pentagon Papers and then had lunch at SweetGreen.

It was so so so cold.  We wore long underwear the whole time.  We left at noon on Friday.  Adriana picked up Edda from aftercare at about 5:30 pm on Friday and stayed with Edda until 5pm on Sunday.  Vince was home and he took care of Maxi.  Mom & Dad came by to feed Edda, Vince and Adriana on Friday night.  On Sat, Edda and Adriana went to the movies (Ferdinand) and we had made an enchilada that they could reheat on Sat night.  Vince had a scout obligation on Sat night and we had arranged rides for him.  Jeremy and I talked a lot about work.  Jeremy's thinking about autonomous vehicles and thinking about various different models that he wants to run - it can be kind of like the phase transition modeling he did as a graduate student.  Weird that polymers and traffic can behave the same?  Maybe.  I'm ruminating about nursing jobs - my original plan isn't working out so well...  I might have to go to plan B.