Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mmmmm.

Back after a bit of a break blogging...

Today I hung out with LInz in Oakland, where we visited The Cheese Board Coop which is own by the same folks that do The Arizmendi Bakery that a bunch of us used to frequent in the Sunset District back in the day.

So I loaded up on all my favorites - Brioche Knots, Wolverines. Yum. The other nice thing is that this bakery if a bunch cheaper than the bakery by my house. So I was able to get a whole lot more stuff. I'm muching on a Wolverine right now.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

At least the weather was beautiful.

This morning I did the longest run of my 5K training program - an hour of running, just about 6 miles. I am very fond of my running group. We are kind of a quiet bunch, but without them, I'd give up after the first mile and today I ran 6 miles, no problem.

This afternoon, to take advantage of the beautiful weather, we went apple picking.

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There was a corn maze.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Missing all the fun.

While I was at work today, Jeremy and the kids made sugar cookies, went to the park and considered looking for red wiggler worms for our compost bin in horse manure at the neighborhood stable.

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The kids are kicking butt these days. Edda is slowly getting potty trained. We did try a year ago, but now I think she really gets it. We are aiming for timed potty breaks where every 2 hours or so we put her potty. She's still wearing her diapers, but she's pooping in the potty pretty reliably. She's also slowly, slowly learning to feed herself again. She really lost all her self feeding skills, but we are on an upswing, she got a grape in her mouth the other day and as a bonus did it in front of her OT. And we swear she's trying to say some words. Go Edda! Vince is learning to read and write new words everyday. Today he wrote "I see a dog" on the fridge whiteboard. Crazy, the kids are getting big!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jeremy's cooking.

Jeremy is doing an amazing job with the housework and kid scheduling. Especially with the cooking. Every night a new ethnic dish. Every morning, sandwiches for me and the kids. Look at what he made Edda for lunch today, omelet with red peppers, tomatoes and rosemary.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reading.

After the homework is done and the teeth are brushed, Jeremy reads the Phantom Tollbooth out loud. I've never read the story before. We have some friends who named their child after the main character (Milo) because they loved the book so much. (Also that crazy New Yorker cartoonist is the illustrator.)

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A peek from near my office building.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Building roads.

They are starting construction on the sidewalk between the house and the library. Finally! We'll be able to walk to the library without crossing the street twice. They are doing a reasonably good job at saving as many mature trees as they can.

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Fall is my favorite time of year. I know all the leaves are dying, but I just love the beginning of the school year and the crispness of the fall air.

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Vince has about 10 minutes of homework every night from both his schools. Here he is working on some Chinese homework.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Relaxed weekend.

Edda at breakfast.

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We finally installed the safety gates at the top of the stairs so we don't have to leave Edda trapped in her room if no one else is upstairs.

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Ripped up newspaper for our new worm composting system. Now we only have to get the worms...

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Vincent on his way to Chinese school. Note not only his green sunglasses, but a whole bag of moon cakes. It's not only Yom Kippur, it's also Moon Festival time.

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Vince striking a pose (with his teacher) during Chinese school. He's explaining to his class in a hilarious mix of English and Chinese all the members of our family.

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Moon cakes all around.

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Sunday night dinner!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kid trade off.

Tonight Jeremy wanted to go to a Haverford beer night, so he met me at the train station and we switched kids and cars. The kids were already fed and burped. I just needed to sit Vince through 4 pages of homework. Normally, it's one page a night - handed out on Monday and due Friday, but we lost his homework and we had to get a new copy.

I'm really enjoying my job so far, there is a lot to learn and understand. I started with a bunch of people from all different stages in life, there are moms, young just married people, folks over 50, kids just out of school and sleeping on slowly deflating air mattresses. Also people from anywhere and everywhere. It's fun.

The commute goes pretty quickly and I made it to the gym the second day in a row. I'm a little angst-ridden about my camera, I want to bring it everywhere, but it's pretty big and I'm not sure what I want to take photos of during my day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The gym.

I joined the gym at work today. It's a really nice gym, at least 5-6 aerobics classes a day and so many machines that there is no waiting time even at lunch. I ran a 5K on a treadmill today - a little under 34 minutes. Tomorrow, if the beautiful weather holds up, I'm going to try running along the Potomac.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Onward.

On the way to work, I knit for about 45 minutes and I listened to the iPod for about 5 minutes. Jeremy said that I should take his noise canceling headphones and use them, but I just felt foolish with all these wires swirling around my shirt. I did not find it compelling. On the way home, I had the company of a coworker and we chatted almost the whole commute.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Defender of the constitution.

I'm afraid of the iPod. Everyone I've talked to about the long commute has told me to get an iPod and listen to podcasts. I just think of it as one more thing to charge and keep track of. I had my knitting plan, I was going to knit on the train. That was feasible on the way down - I got a seat - no problem. On the way back, it was SRO, so I couldn't do anything. Jeremy even spent some time today downloading knitting podcasts for me. I guess I'll have to try it tomorrow.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Practicing getting up at 5 am.

Did I mention that my commute is 90 minutes each way? I know it's kind of crazy, but I'm assured that in 2 years, I should be able to work from home. That's what I'm counting on as I have committed myself to getting up at 5 am for the next 2 years. So today, I practiced getting up at 5 am by volunteering to be a course marshal for the local half marathon.

This was my intersection, these are my cones, that's my police dude. We blocked traffic at this intersection (mile 7.5) for about one hour and 15 minutes. I got to wear an orange vest and wave a red flag. Groovy. I've never volunteered for a race before, it's really organized. I showed up at 6 am, got directions to my intersection and got a detailed sheet with cone placement diagrams and a timing schedule. We got the cones out 1 minute before the first runner and the cones were stowed right after the last runner and 30 seconds later a truck appeared to take the cones (and my orange vest) away.

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Vince wailed again at having to go to Chinese school. We tried to bribe him with a trip to McDonalds and ice cream afterwards. Did not make it any less painful.

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Edda had a great time at Sunday night dinner, I don't know what was up, but she giggled all night up until 9pm when she finally fell asleep.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

New camera.

The new camera I got for my birthday actually has fewer megapixels than the point and shoot camera I've been using for the past 2 years, but it has many, many more buttons and more controls. I know this means I have more control over how I take pictures, but it also means that I am much more likely to take bad pictures. I think we took about 300 photos today, mostly of Edda and the dog and only after I downloaded them all to the computer did I realize I overexposed 90% of them. Oh well, there is much to learn.

One of my favorite features is that I can hold the shutter button down and it will just keep taking 2.5 pictures a second.

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It was beautiful weather here, 70 and windy. We took out kite out for a spin. Spent 15 minutes flying and 30 minutes untangling string.

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I also went to 2 Rett Syndrome events today. One was a kick off meeting for the stroll-a-thon in Fairfax, VA on October 21 and another was a dinner/gala/silent auction/casino where I learned how to play craps - kind of. It's been a long day.

Grandfather Mountain, NC and Condos




Today, Mom and Dad went up to the Grandfather Mountain (bottom picture). It was very cold and windy up there but the scenery was magnificent. The road is well paved but with a lot of sharp turns. At nearby mountain top, someone built a high rise condos up there (top picture). Really very ugly and a lot of people didn't like it at all. Therefore, NC State passed a law banning all future similar buildings.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy 35th birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me! I'm getting to be a pretty big number, it's a little scary. Jeremy made a blueberry crunch coffeecake for me last night and ran out early this morning for vanilla ice cream, so we celebrated at 7:30 am right before the kids left for school. I got a new camera - funded by my parents, my in-laws and Jeremy. Thanks for the gift, I hope it repays itself in some nice pictures here on the blog.

Once the kids were off safely (Vince had to run to catch the bus, it's been coming early for a few days now), Jeremy and I walked on the C&O canal and talked about how our leisurely life is coming to an end. My commute is 90 minutes each way, I'm going to be away from the house a lot starting Monday. Jeremy is still freaking me out by asking each day, "so tell me again, when does Vince's bus come?"

He made me arroz con pollo for dinner.

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Happy Birthday Doris & Jeremy


Happy Birthday to both of you from Mom and Dad.
We were at Kitty Hawk, NC, Wright Brothers Museum. Top of the sand dune is the place for testing their gliders to figure out the correct control design before putting the engine on. At the right of the picture on the ground level is the actual testing site. Hangers are just in front of us.




Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rosh hashanah

Today we celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Some of the other Jewish holidays have a dark undertone which I don't find very festive, but the new year is just full of good wishes for the upcoming year. Jeremy is half Jewish through his father's side, so that makes him a non-Jew because one's Jewishness is claimed through the maternal line. But I take what I can get, I count the kids as 1/4 Jew, so we celebrated in our own way.

This kids had no school today because of Rosh Hashanah. There is a large Jewish population here - I grew up attending a number of bar mitzvahs. I wonder why we don't get Chinese New Year off - certainly there are the same number of Chinese as Jews here. Oh well, what do I know?

Started the day with pancakes. (Not a Jewish tradition, just a Kappa tradition.)

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Then we went to the river for a morning hike. Apparently throwing pebbles into running water symbolizes casting away ones sins. Jeremy, Vince and I threw many stones trying to skip them across the surface of the water. Edda threw one tiny stone.

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Then you are suppose to eat apples dipped in honey - this symbolizes a sweet new year. Vince wanted to change it to apples dipped in peanut butter. I wonder if this mean we are in for a nutty new year?

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cooking your way out of a funk.

We feel much better today. I walked a little bit outside in the beautiful weather. Jeremy spent all afternoon chopping, dicing, mixing, boiling and spicing making the most fabulous Indian dinner - all vegetarian to boot! The dishes included aloo gobi, a cauliflower dish much mentioned in the highly entertaining movie Bend it Like Beckham. In the film, the mom wants her daughter to give up playing soccer and learn to make aloo gobi like a proper Indian woman.

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I am wrapping up my duties as a stay-at-home mom because as of Monday I join the masses in the morning commute. I just have a few more of Edda's therapy sessions that I can personally attend. I really enjoy watching Edda's relationship with her therapists grow as well as my own fondness for people who are dedicated (and patient) in finding the best in Edda and nurturing her skills and talents.

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Yes, she's not thrilled about the tape on her hands, but she can push it, especially on the linoleum.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Grrr...

We've got the grumps. Bah humbug! Come back tomorrow.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's come down to this.

While I as in California a few weeks ago, Edda managed to get a huge bruise on her left temple that had all her therapists and teachers inquiring after her well being. From the evidence, we think that Edda tried to climb the bottom step of the stairs and missed and then fell backwards onto the brick fireplace. Poor thing, it's just about faded now, three weeks afterwards.

I don't know if becuase of that bruise or of general nervousness, the folks at Edda's school want her to wear a helmet during gym. I did look at a number of special needs helmets, but we are settling with Vince's old bike helmet. It's free and it fits.

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So we ride the short bus and wear a helmet. It's quite a combination!

We are also making the house even more attractive and worthy of Architectural Digest. Duct tape, the new rage in interior design.

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

What a crazy Sunday.

When I moved back to DC, I had no idea that the city had acquired a new baseball team, nor did I know that a brand new annex to the Air and Space Museum was built next to Dulles Airport. I have no intention of ever going to see a Nats (gnats) games, but today we did go to see the Air and Space museum which is named after the major donor. Also, the Annex has fabulous parking, much like the parking lot at Target, so the distance from our car to the air conditioned hanger was about 100 steps.

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The trip went really well until I proposed a trip to the gift shop where Vince insisted on buying the most complex and piece intensive box of plastic crap when I was really only willing to buy him a small tiny plastic replica of the space shuttle for 4 dollars. This resulted in a 45 minute drive full of tears and unhappiness.

Well did we drive straight home? No, of course not. We headed into that special torture for half-Chinese kids everywhere. The dreaded Sunday afternoon Chinese school. We showed up at Wootton "just to inquire", but it turned out that classes started in 20 minutes and, what the heck, we'll just pile on a completely unexpected Chinese immersion after a 45 minute teary eyed meltdown.

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He didn't like it much. I think he could hang on by his fingernails if he is in a good mood. God, I barely could hang on to the parent instruction part of the class today and all the homework is in Chinese, I'm going to have to fax it to someone who actually reads Chinese to help out.

This was followed by the weekly sunday night Martin dinner.

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Domestic day.

I cleaned, Jeremy connected the ethernet in the house, Vince went over to the next door neighbors, Edda watched her videos.

We did manage to go to the park this morning. Vince is trying to shove a third "person" onto the swing.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Happy 39th birthday Jeremy!

A lovely tweed jacket and tie from his parents.

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I contributed to the celebration with balloons and a pie.

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Somehow the balloons ended up out of reach. Hmmm, I wonder who was responsible for that?

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Earlier in the day, I stopped by Edda's school to meet her teacher and her classmates. I was impressed and happy. Here's Edda trying to make a choice. They want her to wear a helmet for gym class so they can feel a little more secure and let her explore a little more freely. What do you think? Pretty ugly, huh? I want to find something cute.

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I went to the Quince Orchard/Wootton season opener tonight just in time to see some poor mother's child being wheeled off the field into a waiting ambulance. Yikes!

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Observations.

White hairs are starting to emerge.

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I have nothing to say about Edda except for the fact that she is a super cutie.

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I don't know what happened, but Jeremy and I are both tired and hoping to be in bed by 9 pm tonight.