Sunday, October 23, 2016
I went orienteering today. Such a gorgeous day to be in the woods. I do want to do trail running, but I'm nervous to go on my own - with orienteering, you are in the woods, mainly on your own, but you pass someone about once every 3 minutes and if you don't check back in - then they go out looking for you. Six miles in under this tree canopy.
I cut Edda's hair today out on the porch. I did a pretty good job!. You'll have to see it when I post photos later on this week. Edda's tripped twice this week. Once trying to get over a laptop computer cord and once because she stepped on a dog chew bone. It's no good. She's been so good at balance for years now, to have it happen twice in a weekend is worrisome. She usually has some weird peripheral vision capabilities, where even though she's looking straight ahead, she's able to scan the floor for tripping obstacles. Usually she's great at stepping over stuff or moving out of the way. I know, we should be better at picking up shoes and dog bones, but sometimes you miss stuff.
Sunday night dinner. Lasagne!
Saturday, October 22, 2016
I'm enjoying improving my Scrabble game. Now I know at least 2 words that have q without u.
Jeremy set up his new bike trainer in the living room (for a bit of time, it's not permanently there or anything). He spent a bit of time connecting all the trainer to the bike computer to Strava.
Vince is moving his gaming system to his room. This is a big step in our household, I'm afraid I won't see Vince anymore - that he'll retreat to his room for most of the day/night. But he was getting so loud in the dining room, yelling with his invisible, online friends sometimes using expletives which, generally speaking, we don't use in daily conversation - though I don't mind him using those words with his friends as long as it's out of our hearing. I think Vince made and extra effort to come downstairs and hang out with me and Edda this afternoon to prove to me that he wouldn't disappear for hours and hours.
Edda and I stayed in our PJs a long time today and watched....wait for it...
Whenever you move a desk, this is what you find on the floor:
I fixed Edda's wheelchair foot buckle. On my to-do list for at least 2 months. Took me 20 minutes to do. This is the story of my life...
We are trying to start a Sat night tradition of Sat night dinner where we invite people to the house for a quick, simple dinner. Sometimes we don't get to chat with people we want to chat with. Jeremy made jambalaya. Vince made apple crumble.
Owen, Vince's pal came over. We orginally had envisioned Owen's parents to come over, but they had other plans, that didn't work out so instead we invited Alice, Mike and Sophie over.
Vince and Sophie played hide and seek. Mike and I took Sophie's play-doh and separated out the colors.
To this: (to which Mike asked me, so you are a little type-A huh? mmmm...maybe).
Friday, October 21, 2016
Third shot of the HPV vaccine this morning at the pediatrician. Vince got to miss Chinese class, he was excited about this and he doesn't mind getting shots so much these days. Begone cervical, oral pharynx, and other various nether region cancers! Hopefully Vince's generation will see very low numbers of these.
We had to wait a few minutes for the nurse to come in and he took the time to make fun of my shoes. He asked how much money I spent on them and I told him ($70 on super sale, a great deal for Danskos) and he was horrified. You can buy 2 pairs of Vans for that price! Your shoes look like ugly carpeting he tells me.
He thinks he mistakenly washed his hair with lotion instead of shampoo last night. Hence the weird, standing up hair. I asked how he could possibly mistake one for the other and he said that he was asleep while he was taking the shower.
I tried to make challah today (it's Friday - time for challah, right?) from Jen's grandmother's recipe.
There is a variable amount of flour based on the "feel" of the dough. I didn't know what I was feeling for and I think I added too little. They came out flat. But I still ate half of one warm out of the oven with butter and extra salt.
We ate dinner out with mom and dad. We had no cash for a cash only place...thanks mom for buying us dinner.
Jeremy's cookie competition was today. He lost to white chocolate chunk & cherry. Jeremy did really want to use cherry in his cookies, but we all told him noooooooo - use the chocolate based cookie. So he will not be defending his title - which is just as well. When he won last year, there were so many cookies for so long in the house that we all gained a few pounds just going through the contenders.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Here we are at 7 am. Max and Ruby are angling for Jeremy's apple core. Jeremy's sick, I let him sleep in because I'm slightly less sick than he is. Edda's ready to go (mostly healthy), she goes into the community two days a week. Usually it's to the grocery store or to the library, but today it was to the movies and a pizza party for lunch. We've been hearing intermittent sneezes from Vince in the evening today, but he insists that he feels good and not getting sick.
Ruby and Max wait for the school bus.
Ahhh, there it is.
It is early Xmas around here. Jeremy got himself a bike trainer with his fun fund funds and I got him (for Xmas) his bike computer. I know it's only October - but what can I say?
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
We are all slowly catching Edda's cold, though Edda's fine and going to school. Jeremy's ill now, he went to work this morning, but headed back to the house at lunch to alternate between napping and working. I think I'm next, I've got a running nose/congestion and Vince mentioned today that he thinks he's getting sick too. Here's Jeremy - asleep at 8:30 pm.
No more politics on this blog - but I will post this from Donald's Facebook feed. Funny.
Vince (pictured below during spirit week dressing up for movie theme day - which for freshmen was "Western") took the PSATs today (really, it's the PPPSATs). The real PSATs (still the fake SATs) are in 11th grade - the one to prep you for the real SATs in 12th grade and if you rank high enough on the 11th grade PSATs, you get the National Merit Finalist stuff. But to prep for the PSATs, they start in 9th grade with the PPPSATs and then in 10th grade with the PPSATs (does this make any sense? I'm sorry, I'm not feeling well.). The whole school took the morning to take these exams and then in the afternoon, they got to pick activities to do - Magic club, Engineering class, singing class, etc. Vince was nervous (I think) even though he said he wasn't nervous. He wanted to make sure that I knew that if he did badly, that it didn't mean anything - which is what I think the counselors tell the whole school. Anyways, I assured him that he could do most of the math stuff (they may have some trig stuff he hasn't gotten to yet). Turns out, he thought he got most of the stuff he got to correct, he just ran out of time to do all the questions. Of course, in prep for this exam day, he got no homework yesterday and no homework tonight. lol.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Mom took Ruby for a dog walk around the block last night. We inspected all the new concrete sidewalks and driveways they installed on the street.
Edda slept pretty well last night and since she lasted through the night without Motrin, so she went to school today. You can still hear a little rasp in her throat, but she's generally OK. We were a little off-kilter this morning as we all slept until 6:45 am which is only 20 min before Vince needs to leave on his bike and 30 min before Edda's bus comes. Whoops.
Went downtown tonight to see Lucky who is recovering from a recent heart attack. Lucky is such a nice guy, he helped me prep for my meeting with Van Hollen to ask for an earmark for Rett Syndrome research back in 2008. I didn't think I could just call up my congressman and set up a meeting, but I did and met with him and he said he would and I got some $ for Rett research. So I'm forever indebted to Lucky for helping me out.
Beautiful night here in DC!
Monday, October 17, 2016
I needed a selfie today. I gave myself a single attempt and this is what I got. I think I look a bit cross-eyed in this photo, I tried to follow all the guidelines for a good selfie: natural light, non-distracting background, phone up high, chin down low.
Vince and dad are mad props studying for Chinese, I think they spent 90 minutes at it today. I had to cancel violin lesson to get in the cram session (sorry, Bob). Big final (?) tomorrow. It's not a final as there are no more finals in MCPS, they just call it some other thing that is a three letter acronym like RPQ or QAI? Something with Q in it for quarterly, but it just means a "final".
Edda did stay home from school today - thanks Jeremy for covering, I got back just in time to cover Jeremy's conference call. I think she'll be off to school tomorrow. But as she's sick, she gets a pass on wearing the brace... <3
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Edda spent Saturday with Kitachi while I put some more hours in at work and Jeremy went on a bike ride. Kitachi brought her home at about 2:30pm after lunch at Denny's where Edda had, unfortunately, pooped in her pants. Edda hasn't really had a bowel movement "while traveling" in a million years, she's 95% BM potty trained. It was a big mess (took both me and Kitachi working with Edda to clean her all up) and I attributed it to the full glass of milk that Edda enjoyed at the breakfast that day. Edda usually doesn't get a full glass of dairy, maybe that's why her stomach was upset.
But then Saturday night, Edda had a tough time falling asleep - she was still awake at midnight. I thought it might be because she's about to get her period (? - of course, I'm terrible at tracking my own cycle (because I don't have one thanks to Mirena), let alone Edda's cycle) so I thought she wasn't happy because of cramps, we gave her a Motrin at midnight and she seemed to sleep through the night.
But now I think it's just that she's sick. She didn't want to eat lunch today and then we lay her on the couch where she watched TV without moving for most of the afternoon. She seemed a little warm to the touch even though her ear temps hovered around normal. Anyways, I think she might stay home from school tomorrow, which means Jeremy's home because I have to go to clinical.
We went to Sunday night dinner (Jeremy not only biked on Sat with the bike group, but he's also gotten into the habit of biking to Sunday night dinner) where Jane introduced me to her tame squirrel, Albert. She feeds him raw almonds. He's a very smart squirrel she says because she was worried that Albert would become dependent on her almonds and then maybe she wouldn't be able to feed him anymore and he would die, but he's burying about half of the almonds in the ground. Saving for a rainy day when Jane goes off to college.
Cookie tryouts continue into Sunday night dinner. The (by far) clear winner is the white chocolate chunks in the chocolate cookie. Even though it's the clear winner, Jeremy doesn't want to make them because he thinks it's the too obvious choice.
Edda's sleeping at Sunday night dinner. <3
Saturday, October 15, 2016
We went out to dinner with my cousins (?) to a restaurant that my mom picked out. It has a buffet with all-you-can-eat crab. My mom was thrilled about this and ate only the crab even though there was Italian / Chinese / Japanese and french fries at the buffet. My mom knows how to enjoy herself. Maybe Vince and Edda get their happiness abilities from her? I certainly know that their joie de vivre did not come from either of us sticks-in-the-mud parents. Oddly enough, I think there is a Chinese tourist hub for visiting DC is located in Gaithersburg (the most diverse city in the US), because we've met up with traveling friends from Asia at hotels in Gaithersburg and there seemed to be a busload of Chinese tourists queuing up at this suburban buffet place.
Vince invited his pal Bryson to dinner with us and then they had a sleepover where they promised me they wouldn't go to be too late. This is how I found them in the morning.
Jeremy went on a bike ride with his new bike group and found the one that had the right pace. The first week was too fast, the 2nd week was too slow. This one was Goldilocks. Though they were the least friendly of the three groups. You can't have everything.
Then Jeremy too me out to lunch where we discussed the merits of different bike trainers.
It is cookie competition season at UCS. This round is white chocolate. Jeremy made three batches of cookies in 90 min. We invited Ruth and David over to sample to cookies. Now it's 10:30 pm and Edda is still awake! Go to sleep Edda, we need to sleep too. xo
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Our front walk has been suffering for a few years now. The stones separated as the ground settled and created this space between the bottom step and the front walkway. Then about a year ago, one of the stones fell off of its substrate. The front walkway slopes downward from the driveway, so that spot where the gap is always collected water and ice (also! green mildew? mold? it's in a shady spot) and it wasn't doing so well. Our front step looked like the above for a long time.
For me, there are brave things and braver things. I have no problem moving the family to Taiwan or trying to go to school while working or going to a party/movies/restaurant by myself. But I have some courage problem with home repairs. I falter and I hesitate. It has something to do with not wanting to spend the money, worried I won't find a reputable contractor and also maybe also thinking I'll regret the final outcome. So it takes me a lot of effort to manage home repairs that require other people.
This is not helped by my dynamics with Jeremy. Usually I want to make a decision, while Jeremy likes to keep his options open which is great because Jeremy thinks of all possible scenarios (not just the KISS one that I came up with) and then I (we?) decide on something. But with home repair, Jeremy likes thinking about all the possible types of walkways (stone, pavers, accommodating ramps, pitch and curve) and because he likes talking about all these things, I get nervous about what we should do and then I do nothing. And then we leave the gap in the stone walkway for over a year and invite a family of chipmunks to move in. (Alvin! Simon! Theodore!)
But finally someone made a decision for us. They are ripping out all the sidewalks, curbs and driveway pitches on our street to make them ADA compliant (and I will tell you that this is fantastic, not only for folks like Edda (which there are few), but also for moms with baby strollers (you were a baby once and you liked being walked) and older folks with walkers (with luck, you will be one of these too).
We asked the contractor to do our front walkway for us. No pavers, no fancy stone, no patterns. Just plain concrete.
They jackhammered the very nice and expensive & poorly installed stonework.
They scooted the rubble away.
They put in the forms.
Poured the new concrete. We made it higher and flatter and flush against the first step, so we lost a step which is good because fewer steps = slightly more accessible.