Monday, January 16, 2017

Wood glue, eagles, Usual suspects.

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Inspired by success at Sat night's party, Edda and I continued to go out and check out wood glue and epoxies at Home Depot on Sunday morning.  Edda and I need to go out more.  I think this is the first time that I've taken her and her new wheelchair out on an outing since we got it.  Just this morning Jeremy and I were trying to figure out a new hobby that would involve the two grownups and Edda to encourage us to go adventuring.  Jeremy & I both have things we like doing on our own that we can't see combining very well, we need to find something to do together with Edda.  I think it should involve something quirky, but I'm not sure what it should be.

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I saw an eagle's nest on Sunday's run at the C&O.

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The boys got back at noon.  I tried to get Jeremy to take ownership of an UnderArmor jacket that I bought Vince on super sale that he hasn't worn once this season.  Jeremy wore it to Sunday night dinner, but he didn't like it.  Edda's in the front seat for the first time.  She seems unimpressed.

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Mom & Dad are in South Africa eating lots of food.  We are all excited to be getting texts from them. xoxo.

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I went out with 3/5 of the usual suspects last night.  The usual suspects at our usual restaurant.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Introvert, Debbie, Russian New Year.

All my life, I've believed that I'm an introvert.  I like time to myself, I feel that need time to myself everyday or else I get grouchy.   I usually credit Vince (all his friends/playdates/sleepovers), Jeremy (his desire to host parties and cook for a lot of people) and Edda (all her many caregivers coming/going from the house everyday) for helping me not be a hermit.  I don't mind spending a whole weekend at home puttering around, talking to no one. And I could have done it this weekend too with both Jeremy and Vince gone, but I didn't.  I made plans with friends and I had a really nice time - a nicer time than I think I would have just hanging out by myself. Maybe I'm not really an introvert?  It's hard for me to tell anymore.

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I had childcare through lunch, just enough time to fit in a run (at the gym b/c it was cold/rainy.  So crowded!  I hardly ever go to the gym at 10:30am on a Sat.  Lots of people getting tours of the gym, it's the new year.) and a leisurely late lunch at Matchbox with Debbie.  A quick stop to Ulta where we talked about skin care, wrinkles and plastic surgery.  Then we came home, relieved Kitachi (who had taken Edda out to lunch at Denny's with her mom!  so sweet!) and hung out another few hours.

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Then Edda and I went to a Russian Orthodox New Year's party.

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I planned on staying only 90 minutes, but I ended up staying almost three hours and had a great time meeting and chatting with people.  Who am I?  I have no idea.

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I didn't try either the herring or the fish eggs.

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Nor did I do a single vodka shot.  Maybe the chatting was easy for me tonight because everyone else was doing vodka shots.  But I swear, I was mainly talking to the other teetotaling folks.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Washing machine, Gunpowder falls, girls weekend.

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Loves, I'm behaving like a toddler.  I'm complaining about stuff, but I'm not exactly sure what I want instead.  I want it ALL!  Everything my way!  What way is that?  I'm not quite sure, just not this present way.  I could give you an example, but it's too embarrassing really.  Movers came today and moved our spare washing machine from the basement (everyone has a spare, right?) to the 2nd floor and moved both the broken washing machine and the enormous desk from the 2nd floor landing to the first floor.  I know you guys are transfixed by my washing machine saga, but really, it's the only thing that is going on here (besides the fact that every 5 minutes something is revealed about the state of the changing US govt that makes me want to crawl under the covers and take a 4 year-long nap).  Our spare washing machine predates the birth of our children and was one of the first large purchases we made as a married couple in Austin, TX.  Still works great!  I've run 2 loads through it already.

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The lights on the front foyer lighting fixture burned out and I replaced them with LED special small bulbs.  They are not the right "home" light spectrum.  Our front foyer now has the feeling of a hospital surgical suite.  Very bright, very white, very sterile.  No one noticed for weeks that the lights had burned out, but now that they are replaced, everyone is like - woah!  what happened!!?!

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Maybe I'm in a blue mood because Vince and Jeremy are headed out on a camping trip with the scouts all weekend.  This is a special leadership campout and now that Vince is in "leadership" he gets to go.  They are headed to Gunpowder Falls, north of Baltimore to heated cabins - so not too crazy of a winter outdoor getaway.  I gave Vince some snacks.  He brought Cards Against Humanity.

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Note: enormous desk and broken washing machine in the garage.

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One of our shameful secrets is that we do almost no volunteering for scouts even though we both know that it is a huge time commitment from a handful of scout leaders and Vince loves scouts.  So Jeremy volunteered to drive this time as they are always begging for parents to drive to the campouts.  One of the reasons that we don't volunteer a lot is that it's boring for us grownups.  The bulk of the campout is "boy led" so that grown ups stand far away from the boys and will let the boys sometimes go all "Lord of the Flies" as boys sometimes are wont to do.  I haven't heard too many stories recently - which is a good thing.  But it means that there is a lot of standing around and killing time waiting for the campout to end so everyone can re-pile into the van and drive home.  We contemplated doing two round trips, one tonight and one Sunday morning, but we ixnayed it.  Anyways, he packed his bike and is hoping to meet up with a Baltimore friend while the boys are eating mayonnaise and ketchup sandwiches tomorrow or whatever else the scouts decided to bring for food.

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My parents are gone for a couple weeks on travel, so it's only me and Edda for the weekend.  And Maxi (bottom right of photo - trying to steal my omelette dinner).

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Edda and I are going to go to bed so early! so early! tonight.  After I rub a ton of lotion on her face.

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I'm indulging myself - watching a movie during dinner.  Making myself some tater tots for dessert.  Yummy!

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sleep, London, math cheer.

I did not sleep soundly last night.  I woke up suddenly at 2 am and couldn't fall back asleep.  I read a little in the dark, I probably did doze off, but I kept seeing the clock hourly - 3 am, 4am, 5am and finally 6am.  I think I had a nightmare, I remember remembering it at 2pm this afternoon, but I don't now recall what I was scared about.  I don't often sleep poorly like this, usually when I don't get enough sleep it's because I'm up too late.  Vince was trying to tell me the other day all of our parental quirks - the main one being that we go to sleep so early!  So early!  I'd love, in theory, to be in bed at 9pm with lights out at 10pm, but this almost never happens.  It usually is shifted 30 minutes - so I'm generally asleep by 10:30 pm.  Vince told me that his friends all have bedtimes at 11pm and all their parents go to bed at midnight.  I told Vince that he has no bedtime - it's just that his electronic curfew is at 9pm.  He could stay up until midnight if he wanted to (reading a paper book, making art, thinking about life) - he laughed at me.  I told him I could stay up until midnight every night, but that I'd be markedly meaner which I was this morning in my exhausted state.  Sorry everyone!  I'll be better tomorrow.  I resisted the 20 minute power nap today I desperately wanted so I'm hoping to sleep soundly tonight.

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Jeremy's been sleeping better (at least from the peaceful snoring I heard last night) - it is usually he that sleeps poorly not me.  This morning I found him on a virtual bike ride/race/workout with some virtual friends in London.

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Vince is learning sin/cos/tan.

I'll leave you with this math cheer:

e to the u, du/dx
e to the x dx
cosine, secant, tangent, sine,
3.14159
integral, radical, u dv,
slipstick, slide rule, MIT!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New pump, fixing attempt, utter failure.

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The new washing machine pump came today.  Glorious!  I was very excited to fix our washer for the low price of $89.65. I found a lot of stuff behind the washing machine.  Lots of coins, some tools, a lot of pens.

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Here it is, the pump.  This was my ticket to two more years of clean clothes bliss.

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Took off the back panel.

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Removed the old pump.  Cleaned all the gross parts I could see (with the help of Jeremy).

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And fail.  This is after the machine has gone through the "drain" cycle.  Still full of water.  Ahhahhhaha!  Three hours of work?  I'm so bummed.  So bummed.  I like it when things I try to fix actually get fixed.  Now to get a new washing machine.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Scouts, freezing cold, chicken sandwiches.

Vince went to scouts, it's freezing cold outside, but will be 65 degrees on Thursday.  We had chicken sandwiches for dinner.  Good night!  See you on the other side.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Morning duty, washer flood, yo deadass.

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I had Edda duty this morning (Jeremy usually handles the mornings) and the video monitor works great.  I can clearly see Edda asleep at 6:15 in the morning when she is totally suppose to be awake and starting to eat breakfast.

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Jeremy had an early morning meeting and left the house soon after he woke at 5:50 am.  He had a presentation he had to make today that he's been fretting about, but when he came home tonight, he said it went just fine.

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This desk has been sitting on our upstairs landing for years, I'm determined to get it off this week.  It hasn't moved because I think I can get it magically moved for $35 dollars, but that's not going to happen and I finally booked movers today.

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I'm struggling again with the washing machine.  It's not draining well, I recleaned the pump housing, a cleaned out the drainage tube and caused a minor flood in the laundry room.  Finally, this afternoon I ordered a pump (fully returnable - splurged on 2 day shipping) which will come on Wed and if I can fix it - hooray!  And if I can't, it'll be moved down the stairs at the same time as the desk.

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Jeremy was suppose to end his day with a bunch of afternoon & evening meetings, but he managed to come home for dinner.  He wanted me to roast a turkey breast with carrots and potatoes, which made for kind of a fancy festive dinner - unusual for a Monday night.

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I was inadvertently cool today.  Note the below text exchange between me and Vince:

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The "b" there is a slip of the finger, a typo.  When Vince got in the car, he told me that he laughed so hard at my text and Snapchatted it and showed it to all of his pals.  I shrugged and smiled.  All afternoon, I thought I had called him a "bitch" as in "Yo, what's up bitch!?" which is a usage I am familiar with.  But at dinnertime conversation, it was revealed that this is a new "b" usage which is more like "bro" or "bee-yotch" and has a friendlier connotation, and is somehow affiliated with Timberland boots.  (Adriana, who is in her late 20s and at tonight's turkey dinner, is also familiar with this usage.)  So in my text, my usage is correct in the teenage vernacular which sent Vince and his pals into (as reported to me) fits of laughter.  And the correct response (which Vince's friend did exclaim to me into the air at the time the text was shown to said friend) to that text should be "Yo, deadass!"

So now you know

What's poppin', b?

Yo, deadass. (Actually I'm still confused.  Is that "Yo deadass!" or "Yo, deadass!"?  Dunno.)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Snow, haircut, sleepover.

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On Friday night, the DC area got about an inch of snow.  This was an odd storm because it was worse the more south you were.  Here in Rockville, Vince lamented that he wished it had happened the day before because then there would have been a two hour delay.  I went with Maxi for a run on Saturday morning in the snow because I thought she'd like it.  Usually I don't take her because she's a pain in the ass to run with because she sniffs too much and takes too long to decide where to poop and it drives me crazy.  But on Saturday, I managed to zen that crap out and revel in Maxi's fun in the snow.

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I had to give Edda a haircut right after I ran because that was the only time this weekend that I'd have a block of time.  I usually cut her hair in the garage, but it was super cold all weekend, so I cut it in the house which led to a huge mess on the floor in the bathroom.

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The washer is dying.  Vince helped me resurrect it after the haircut, but I think it's not long for this world.

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Kitachi arrived in time to help me even out Edda's haircut and give her a shower and blowout.  I think the bangs are a bit short, but overall no complaints.

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Then I went to Thu's sleepover birthday party.  I was amused at the invitation so even though most people went home to their own beds to sleep, I was one of the handful of folks who slept over.  I saw some friends who I rarely see and it was nice to catch up.  I know Thu loves stationary, so I got her some Japanese highlighters that are very popular with the bullet journaling crowd.  A some moment late at night, we all pulled out our to-do lists - our own bullet journals to compare notes on how to prepare notes.

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Dentist, South Africa, turkey.

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I went to the dentist today.  I adore my hygienist, Peggy who doesn't use ultrasonic teeth cleaning.  Rather, she picks and scrapes all of my plaque buildup with the little metal scraping tools.  I find this very relaxing somehow and I look forward to my dental cleanings.  I deferred the X-rays, as usual.

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The last Friday night dinner at my parents' for a couple of weeks.  They are headed to South Africa for vacation in the middle of next week.

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Dad feeding Maxi turkey.

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Vince feeding Maxi turkey.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Crime & Punishment, video monitor, bullet journal.

I joined a pretentious book group at the beginning of the year.  We are reading Madame Bovary - which I'm enjoying and pretty sure I'll finish in the next few days.  But right now, I'm in my lull.  My little break in which I feel like I'm luxuriating in 10,000 extra hours.  In Feb, they want to read Crime & Punishment.  Am I really going to read that book?  Whatever.  I guess so.  Here goes nothing.

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I bought a video monitor for Edda today.  There are some situations in which I am the only grownup in the house and I need to be upstairs (usually working on school/work/finances/laundry) and she can happily be watching TV in her own room for hours, but she gets stuck in certain positions on furniture and then I have to tend to her for a moment to extricate her.  The sound monitor isn't enough to alert me to her being stuck somewhere because she is crafty and often won't cry out when she's stuck.  When I'm alone with Edda, I hate being on a different floor than her.  But if I'm on the 2nd floor, she can't really roam our room because it's a mess and a tripping hazard and doesn't have all of her TV shows arranged just so. Though I'm paranoid that someday, a door will inadvertently be left open and she'll tumble down the stairs.

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Given my luxury of time, I spend it thinking about how to be more productive and the cool thing these days to do is a bullet journal.  I've been keeping a paper calendar/to-do list ever since I was 14, so I think I'm pretty good at it, but Instagram proves me wrong.  Look at this crazy insanity of to-do lists (these thing are not mine!!!):

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I'll show you mine.  I think I get stuff done.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Blogs, wheelchair, writer.

For almost 15 years, I've kept this blog.  In the beginning, there were slews of other blogs to follow, many which revealed more than I reveal on this blog (though this blog does reveal a lot of stuff) and I loved, loved, loved them all.  I'm a sucker for personal, memoir, emotional stories.  Most of them were about motherhood, which was fine because I was learning to be a mother, it's what I was interested was.  Then Facebook became a thing and then the blogs slowly died off, one by one and I was/am a lonely blogger.  All the blogs turned into "Five tips for a fabulous birthday" or "How to potty train your kid in 3 days".  I felt like I was the last person holding a personal blog for the past 8 years.  But this week, I found them!  I FOUND THEM.  Tiny, intimate, long form blogs written by smart women - scientists, doctors, professors, mothers, wives where they comment on each other blogs in thoughtful and serious ways.  Talking about work struggles, marriage struggles, financial struggles, parenting struggles.  I'm no longer alone.  I'm not yet sure I get to reveal myself to them, I'm much less anonymous then they are, but I'll lurk for a while and then decide.

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I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things which means figuring out how to repair Edda's old wheelchair so we'll have a back up wheelchair.

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Vince is still confusing me.  Does he know the math?  Yes.  Is he acing all his exams?  No.  It is a sign that I will never fully understand even the things I think I understand.  If you asked me, waaaaay back in 1998, when I agreed to forever link my life to my husband's at the Caltech campus where we had met in a graduate level fluid dynamics class that neither of my future children would be able to slam dunk an algebra test in their sleep, I would have said that you were crazy.  Crazy.  It's just how the universe fucks with you, no?  Anyways, after 8 or 12 weeks of painstakingly going over his homework nightly, I'll just tell you that Vince is a writer.  He's a creative writer.  Once you get past the spelling/capitalization mistakes, his stories are good.  You can tell that he's thinking about character development, word choice, imagery, a cohesive theme.  He's making interesting sentences, he's thinking of plot.  He doesn't like it though, he's firmly in the math/science camp which I'm OK with because, you know, I'm practical.  Can you really make a living being a creative writer?  Much harder than being an engineer.  I'm gently asking him to read more fiction, but he resists.  I tell him his talent is as a writer, he's like - I'm not going to be an author or anything - why bother?

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hole in sweatshirt, bike, grilled cheese.

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Back to the grind, it was pouring rain here most of the day, so it wasn't the best day ever weather-wise to haul ourselves out of bed earlier than usual.  During break, Edda was up every day (her usual) at 5, 5:30 am.  The grown-ups took turns getting up at 5, 5:30 am or luxuriously sleeping in until 7:30 (one day I slept in until 8 am (glorious!), but that turned around and bit me in the ass when I couldn't fall asleep the next night).  Vince often didn't come out of his room until noon.

Here's Vince 5 minutes after he woke up and 5 minutes before getting into a car.  He came looking for me to sew a small hole in his sweatshirt.  I'm like, huh?  You gotta leave in 5 minutes and I'm in the middle of my most productive time at work (6:30 am - 8:30 am), you just gotta leave me alone.  And you've had that sweatshirt hole for at least a month.

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Jeremy sent Edda off to school in the new orange wheelchair and then did a bike workout in which he watched a video of some other person riding a bike (I found this odd).

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Gong-gong came by in the afternoon for Chinese lessons and he ate some of my pepper-jack cheese and didn't ask me at all to buy outdated electronic equipment from Amazon.  (True story:  In the past week, I've ordered Dad a corded phone & a 1.44 MB floppy disk reader).

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Gong gong also ordered Max around and gave her some treats.

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Edda had a nice day today, all smiles and laughs when she came home.  Jeremy made all grilled cheese sandwiches for us for dinner tonight.

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