Friday, August 26, 2016

kindness.

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Edda had such a nice week with Eliana.  It's tough to think of fun things to do with Edda, my ideas are always eating hamburgers and the walking the shopping mall, but Eliana came up with a whole week's worth of fun activities.  They went to a pottery painting place.  They went to botanical gardens.

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They went to the specialty aquarium shop here in Rockville.  There was a movie outing.  Edda loves Eliana very much.

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And they found an aviation museum with a story time and craft hour.  They were out and about everyday this week.  Vince was stuck a lot at home, doing homework - he was like how come Edda gets to do all the fun stuff?  I was like - dude, you got to do a lot of fun stuff all summer.  It's now time to work.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

and so it begins.

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The last week of summer.   The week before Vince starts high school.  He's scrambling a bit to finish the summer packets - English, math and Chinese.   Of course, I printed them out at the beginning of summer hoping that he'd get a few pages done here and there, but it didn't happen.  Vince had a really fun and busy summer.

I took him on a lunch date this week to go clothes/backpack and school supply shopping.  Here he is looking like his father.

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He tried out Jeremy's messenger bag.

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Today was a half day orientation day in prep for the first day on Monday.  Vince tried out his new bike route to school.  We live within a 2 mile radius of school, so there is no bus service...

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Vince wanted me to make sure to let you know, these are not first day photos!  Vince went through all his classes and met his teachers and found out which friends were in each of his classes.  Also, only about a quarter of the kids use lockers.  If you want a locker, you gotta bring your own lock.  I think they don't use textbooks anymore as everything is online and in Google Classroom, so no need to store them during the day.  But where do you put your winter coat?  Oh yeah, I forgot that no one wears winter jackets.

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This evening, we went to a freshman/family BBQ where all the clubs were trying to get new members.  I think Vince got this Chinese yoyo from the juggling club.

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Can I join a club?  The debate team?  I would be very poor at debate.  I like to say - OK, you win.

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The robotics team:

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This is Vince's group of friends.  I know some of them, but I don't know a lot of them.  It seemed to much to ask them to turn around for a posed photo, so you only get a photo of Vince peeling away from them as we headed home.  I bumped into a few parents at the BBQ.  We talked about how our babies were no longer babies.  (Though I did say hello to a parent who is bringing up the rear with a 1 week old at the ripe old age of 42!) We talked about how clearly we remember high school, how much of it was about your friends and figuring crap out about who you were and who your friends were and what you liked to do and and how little of it was about your parents.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

sticker shock.

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My dad (surprise!) came back into town today, so to celebrate, I promised to buy him a nice steak.  We rarely eat beef in the house (although we eat plenty outside the house (hamburgers, I'm looking at you)) - so it was kind of a shock how much steak cost.  I mean, I wanted to celebrate, but I didn't want to go crazy.  So I picked the one on sale (of course).  I didn't even notice the "happy cow rating" when I bought it, but Jeremy did while he was cooking it and informed me that the cow was rather lowly rated in happiness points.  Oh well.  I acknowledge the two sides that torment each other in my body - the side that wants to better the world and the side that remains a cheapskate.  

I bought two enormous steaks - one for my dad and one for the rest of us to share.  Just a bit of salt and pepper.

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Preparing the grill.

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Dad picking out which one is his.  It was delicious!  Ruby and Max agree too!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Catastrophe

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We had a major peanut butter incident here at the house today.  The whole kitchen got coated with a lot of peanut butter.  The dogs had a good time.  Don't worry, everyone is fine.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

today.

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Of course, after I wrote about not needing an alarm, I overslept today.  Is it possible to oversleep on a Sunday?  Yes.  I wanted to get out by 6 am for my weekend long(ish) run so I'd get back home in plenty of time so Jeremy could start his bike ride to meet a friend at a specified time.  I did not get up until 6:38 am, which put me out the front door at 6:45am - still not yet quite awake.

After coming home and trading off with Jeremy, I loaded up the van with Edda, Vince and me and dropped Vince off at fair takedown.  The fair is over.  Vince is very happy that he worked all hours - a true Ironman.  We both concurred that the boys (the oldest ones) that ran the fair this year did an excellent job.  In past years, I'd sometimes show up and not work at all for the 6 hour shift.  I'd just be sitting in the adult tent, just doing adult things.  But this year, someone reminded the boys that the parents take off work for the fair, so this year, I really worked a lot of time in the lot.  Felt less useless, less like I was wasting my time.  Anyways,  I thought I'd have four hours between drop off and pick up at fair takedown, but I looked around and there didn't seem to be four hours of work to be done - so instead of heading to Frederick, MD with Edda to try a new interesting restaurant serving "exploded potatoes", we went to the nearby Panera to wait the 90 minutes the boys were pulling in signs.

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You know, people are still really nice most of the time.  So many people held doors open for me and Edda.  A guy practically ran over to us to help move chairs from the table to find a space for Edda.  I'm doing my Edda pouty face for you.

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This is the cobblestone muffin.  It was OK.  I think Edda liked it more than I did.

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Facetimed with my mom today.  They'll be back in DC in a few weeks.  Very nice.

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Sunday night dinner.  Topics:  politics, haircuts, Papa Johns pizza, the spread of STDs at retirement homes, Meryl Streep, rhythmic gymnastics & Gene's 80th birthday!  We are going to celebrate with a lot of whiskey...

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

today.

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I'm going to bed too late.  With the Olympics & Vince's late night schedule, I get a little rush of adrenaline at 10/10:30 pm, then I can't sleep until 11:30pm/midnight.  I can't wait for school to start. I cut Edda's hair today, her back to school cut.  I'm still upset about her hair loss (teenage angst never really goes away), but Jeremy reminds me that Edda doesn't care and it's all about how she feels and not how we feel.  ok ok ok.  I did a poor job on the haircut because I'm flummoxed, but it's dangerous to try to correct mistakes, then you might err on the too short side which I think is worse than being crooked.

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Jeremy's new seat - very pleased, road an hour to break it in a check the positioning.

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He showed me all the tools that he got...  like a little kid again.

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****

Nat gave us a few slices of her many layered cake.  Earl grey flavored - yummy.

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I spent a couple of hours today replacing Nat and Dara's leaking faucet.  The old one (after I disconnected it a little):

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The new non-leaking one..

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Friday, August 19, 2016

today.

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I've heard that if you can get up without an alarm you are getting enough sleep.  We haven't set an alarm in years, but I think I could use an extra hour of sleep every night.  Mmmm.  That sounds delicious.  But maybe Edda's our alarm, so the not setting an alarm is moot - although she's really random, you go to sleep not knowing quite exactly when you'll get up.  Even though we never set an alarm and we both are usually ready to go at 6 am, it doesn't mean that we don't procrastinate starting the day.  Look - the sun is up, Jeremy's awake but not quite ready to face the day, instead reading random stuff on his phone.

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Vince is still at the fair.  Jeremy worked the noon-10pm shift, putting the adult hour contribution from the Lee/Martin household at 40, five hours over the required contribution level.  Jeremy is a nicer person than I am and indulged the kids' request to go to Popeye's for dinner.

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*******

Since the boys were out, the girls went to the mall.  Montgomery Mall is where I tried to maximize the fun while minimizing the cost.  I have a loose goal of visiting all the kiosks at the food court and not just go to my favorites (cheesesteak one and chik-fil-a).  So I tried the Thai place and ordered the smallest meal which was plenty for Edda and me to share.  This place tries to maximize the serving size and in doing so has minimized the quality of ingredients.  It could have been so good.  I'd pay as much as I did pay for half of the amount of food if it was twice as tasty.  ($7).  I even spent 50 cents upgrading the starch from rice to pad thai.

We ran into a camp counselor (who I did not recognize) at the mall.  This happens sometimes at Montgomery Mall - a random teenaged girl will come running up to Edda and say "Hi Edda!" and give her a hug or a big smile and proceed to explain to me who she is and how she knows Edda.  It's nice for Edda to bump into people she knows and I don't know at the mall.  Like we are somehow normal in our capabilities of having friends.  I don't often bump into friends at Montgomery Mall, probably demographics.

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*******

Then we went to the yogurt place where Edda and I split a tart yogurt with fruit.

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Mmmmmm....

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

thank you.

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Jeremy spent all weekend texting Donald about exactly what sort of bike seat to get.  If Donald had a bazillion dollars, he'd open a bike store and just have all the bike parts he could get his hands on.  He'd have road bikes, mountain bikes, triathlon bikes, cargo bikes, electrical bikes - actually, I think Donald wouldn't have all those bikes, but put Donald and Jeremy as co-owners of a bike shop and it'd be crazy town.  There's be a wheelchair accessible / cargo bike next to a carbon fiber racing bike. When I text Donald about random stuff, I don't get any texts back.  Not even a LOL or a smiley emoji.  When Jeremy texts Donald about bike parts, Donald texts back right away.  

Jeremy is having, uh, issues with his old bike seat and wanted to find a more comfortable one.  And, of course, there is the cool seat - British, leather, molds to your butt as you ride it - but it's kind of pricey.  The one that's the same shape but totally not cool is half the price.  After texting Donald all weekend and then telling me how he just couldn't possibly justify spending the extra $ on the cool seat, Jeremy ordered the half-price seat.

But what happened the exact same day that the half-price seat gets delivered?  The cool hipster leather seat gets delivered - a surprise from Donald.  Oh,  Jeremy was so happy that he got such a nice gift and also finally admitted to himself how much he wanted the cool seat.  Sometimes you just want the cool thing for no other reason than to have the cool thing.  Thank you Donald.  You are a very nice brother/in-law.

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Brooks - started making stuff out of leather in 1866.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

today.

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Jeremy worked from home today as he was scheduled to work the fair from noon until 10 pm.  Just as well as the Metro is pretty much shut down from the Twinbrook station to Shady Grove so it's just a mess getting back and forth downtown during rush hour.

The boys in uniform standing in front of pigs.

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Someone told me fair attendance is the lowest its been in 25 years.  Combination of the heat and the thunderstorms.  Here's the evening one rolling in.  Both Jeremy and Vince got soaked all the way to their underwear.  At least they got to come home early.

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Edda and I went to Five Guys.  Oof.  I ate too much.  At least I skipped the planned ice cream after.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

the week.

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This is a hard year for the boy scouts and the parking they are doing at the MoCo fair.  The days have been well over 100F, the nights are filled with thunderstorms.  Vince comes home late and wants to vent about the day.  This is his 4th year we park at the fair and we both realized that we aren't the new scouts nor the new parents. Vince gets to be responsible for some of the first years (entering 6th graders who seem so tiny to me). Then he gets up at 7:30 am and does it all again.  Did I tell you he was doing all shifts everyday?  That's 8:30 am to 10 pm for two weekends and a week in the middle.  It's called doing the Ironman.

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We have two weeks between camp and the start of school.  Eliana came in from VA to stay with us to cover some hours.  This week, her usual after school program is in session from 12-4pm and Eliana fills in the other hours.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

so much sun.

I did spend the weekend at the fair.  In the hot sun and I worked a lot - from noon until 10pm.  I probably worked a half hour shift every 1.5 hours.  When I was out in the sun for 30 minutes waving a flag around, I'd easily drink a liter of water.  I got sunburned on my chest where I wore a V-neck and forgot to sunscreen. When I was out of the sun, I slept and chatted.  Below is command central "Baker"  where the boys dispatch people via walkie talkies.



A storm rolled in at 7:30 and the kids were pulled out of the field into the cars.  The grown ups were suppose to take over all the kid positions too.  I was a little wary of that, standing in the middle of a parking lot with lightening strikes happening.  So after I helped batten down the hatches, I went into the car with my carpool boys.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Why are we outside?

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It used to be that whenever we'd have a little flush of money (tax return, an unexpected reimbursement, etc...), I'd tell Jeremy - OK!  We have some extra $, go spend it on something.  And Jeremy, being the careful consumer that he is, would spend a few weeks thinking of the fun thing and then by the time he'd decide what he wanted, the extra $ would have disappeared into the ether- used to pay for a broken cell phone or a new water heater.  This would not do.  So we established our little "fun funds" where money gets set aside weekly for all four of us.  Kids get their ages in dollars, we get $25 dollars a week.  

While it's fun having, it's also fun wanting something for a long time and knowing that you'll get it when your "fun fund" reaches whatever amount that you are going to need.  You spend that time deciding what exactly your going to get - which model, what color, what accessories.  Jeremy waited a long time to buy his new bike, which he's been riding all around town.  60-70 miles on the weekends in prep for a 100 mile ride/race in early September.  

This is the first time he got a flat during a ride:

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A gnarly stick:

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Of course, after the initial expenditure on the bike, there are other things to think about getting.  Biking is crazy with the extra accessories - seats, clothing, computers, things to ride inside in the winter, clippy shoes - I don't even know what else.

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101 degrees out this weekend.

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Is it terrible that we use Edda's fun fund on her "medical" expenses?  I've used it to buy her a TV.  But I think I might have used it to buy her new wheels on her wheelchair.

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Jeremy changing out tires of another sort.

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Boo ya!

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