Saturday, January 31, 2009

Disorganization.

I did not know until this past Wednesday that the Super Bowl is this Sunday. I live in a sports vacuum here - no ESPN, no (I don't even know any other source of sports news). I didn't know who was playing in the Super Bowl until yesterday, when I found out that one of the teams is the Pittsburg Steelers because of this NY Times article. Apparently, Steeler's fans love a certain bright yellow towel called the "Terrible Towel" - they wave it around at games, they take it with them to the Great Wall of China and the top of Mt. Everest - perhaps they take it with them on their honeymoons. These people are crazy! It's just a yellow towel.

However, according to the NY Times article, the proceeds of the towel go to a school which serves close to 1000 disabled children and adults in Pennsylvania and since it's inception has raised over $2.5 million dollars for the school. So I bought myself a couple of towels and now I'm a Steelers fan. What can I say? I'm easily bought. I also have no idea who the other team is. Maybe they are vaccinating kids in Africa with their hot dog proceeds. That would make it harder for me to decide who to root for.

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Here's a photo of Ruby on the couch at 9 am! 9 am! It used to be she never, never was allowed on the couch. Then she figured out that she could sleep on the couch when we weren't at home. Then she figured out that she could sleep on the couch when we were upstairs asleep. Now, since she turned 8 and leapfrogged over Jeremy as the senior member of the household, all heck has broken loose and she's sleeping on the couch whenever she feels like it...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Edda's mouthing.

Edda's mouthing is very intense. She mouths all the time. ALL THE TIME. It doesn't drive her crazy as much as it drives me crazy!



The first year that Edda mouthed, we used arm splints, but for the past few years we have given up on using them because:

1. Edda does the famous kung-fu moves to whip that arm brace off.

2. It restricts her arm movement too much. After we used it for a year, we noticed that Edda's right arm was losing muscle mass compared to that of her non-splinted left arm.



So we've let her mouth for YEARS now, so wet, so chapped, so gross! We've tried mittens and socks - all hard for me to put on and easy for Edda to take off. Finally, this week (I don't know why I didn't think about this before), I put Edda's hand in a small, soft fleece drawstring bag. Easy to put on and easy to cinch down - cuts down on the slobber and Edda's face looks better - there is still some chapping because there is still a little mouthing of the other hand and a little chewing on the fleece bag, but it's much, much better than before.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ikea dinner.

Tonight we had Swedish meatballs for dinner via IKEA.

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No pictures mom!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 3 - no school.

As I went to bed last night, I could hear the ping, ping, ping of frozen rain/sleet against the window of the bedroom. This morning, I put on my boots and navigated my way across icy sidewalks to get to the bus stop because there was no way that I would make it to the Metro in one piece on my trusty BMX bike.

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The kids, of course, had a third day in a row of no school. Obama made fun of DC today - apparently Chicago schools haven't been closed due to weather since 1999.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weather.

Jeremy just got home from 2 days in Indiana. He attended a conference at Purdue. Go Boilermakers! (Had to look that one up.)

We've been keeping warm at home. Vince and Edda had a scheduled day off of school on Monday and today (Tuesday), the snow was coming down, so a snow day today. I trudged off to work both days, leaving Yvonne at home to watch the kids. After both Jeremy and I came home, we went out to play in the snow, kind of. We don't have proper boots for Edda, so we put her feet into some old rain boots which I think were a little too small. Not an ideal situation.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Farting.

Vince recorded a fart sound on one of Edda's talkers and has been sneaking up on all unsuspecting parties and making them fart. What is with little boys and farting sounds?

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Friday, January 23, 2009

The weekend has started..

My favorite part of the inauguration was when the quartet that played, "Air and Simple Gifts". Of course, I found out today that they lip-synced, but that's besides the point.

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,

'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

I want to be in the place just right, in the valley of love and delight. Where is it?


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration day.

Jeremy biked to DC for Barack's big day. It was cold, exciting and a long ride. He estimates that it was about 30 miles back and forth. We spent the day at our cousin's house eating sandwiches and bagels and watching the inauguration on a 42 inch HDTV. I have never spent time in front of such a grand TV, it's almost like being there (except not so cold).

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I have been preoccupied this weekend thinking about being Edda's mom. We have started drawing up our wills and also all this extra focus of Edda starting kindergarten has thrown me for an emotional loop which I do not like being in. I spoke with a friend last week who has a disabled son and we talked about whether it was possible to be happy if your child has a long-term disability. She is not so sure if it is possible, I told her that I needed to believe that it was possible, otherwise, what is the point of it all? The pursuit of happiness - that's what I'm doing.

Maybe in response to that conversation, I was a little determined this weekend to take Edda to see a little more of the world. She spends so much time at home, there is so much more to do! That's why we did the crazy ice skating thing. I had no idea how it would work out - would Edda yell her head off? would she fall to the ground immediately and break an ankle? - she did neither. We went around twice.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ice skating.

We took the kids ice skating today - our town has a fake ice rink. It isn't made of ice, it's made of white plastic. It's less slippery than real ice.

We biked to town.

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Vince loved it.

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Edda was not thrilled, but neither did she complain (too much).

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Put on your party shoes.

We held our own inaugural ball! We did invite the Obamas - but did not hear back from them, perhaps they were booked tonight.

Jeremy cooked a meal based on all the places associated with Obama. Hawaii, Indonesia, Kansas, Kenya, Indonesia, and Hyde Park!

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Obama dessert:

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And we boogied down to the wee hours of the morning - well until 8 pm.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inauguration weekend.

We are luxuriating in a 4 day weekend here in DC. I was thinking about going to work next Monday and Tuesday - but the traffic around here is already getting a little unpredictable, and I've had just about enough of work - so we are staying put and trying to keep warm.

Kiki is down here enjoying the festivities (since it's so cold, it means that we are watching a lot of videos). Here we are watching, "Annie Get Your Gun". Had no idea that Judy Garland was originally suppose to be Annie and that "There's No Business Like Show Business" was from this musical.

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Vince went to an indoor climbing gym for a birthday party. I thought I had never been to this climbing gym, but as soon as walked in, I had this flashback to high school. I looked at their brochure an they've been in business since 1990, so it must have meant that I went the summer of my senior year.

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On the constipation front, I think we've had a breakthrough. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Took the day off work.

1. Saw Vince and Edda off to school.

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2. Both Jeremy and I went to an informational meeting set up by the staff at Edda's school about kindergarden placement for kids with special needs. Spent a lot of time talking about the mysterious "codes". I think that to get services throught the public school system, one needs to get a "code" assigned to your child - so you might be mad if you wanted a "code" and didn't get one, but everyone in Edda's school is clearly getting a "code" so I'm not sure why there was so much time spent on it.

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3. We ate lunch at a place that serves:

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4. Went to the dentist. No cavities, but I could improve my flossing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thoughts.

It's the middle of the week and again, I'm struggling to find something to talk about on the blog. My good blog fodder (at least pictorially) comes from our weekend antics. If I took photos of what happens to me during the week, it would be just endless photos of strangers on the Metro and then endless stacks of papers and a computer screen at work.

Some things I'm thinking about this week:

1. Au pairs are generally contracted to work in the US for one year, but they can renew their contract for an extra year. Things have been going so well with Yvonne, that we asked if she wanted to stay another year. For various reasons, I was optimistic that she'd stay another year, but just last week, she told me after seriously thinking about it for a while, that even thought she loves America, she needs to go back home. So we are in the process of finding another au pair - targeted arrival of mid-May.

2. My new year's resolution is to wear more jewelry. I found a stash of mine in a plastic baggie over the weekend and I've organized it into ice cube trays (earrings) and a small plastic bin (bracelets and necklaces).

3. Edda, at 46 (!) pounds is getting really hard to get in and out of the car. Actually, getting out is not so bad (you kind of lift from her armpits and drag at the same time), the getting in is harder, you have to curl her body and lift her so she clears the car seat and then tuck her tushy into the crook of the car seat. So getting in means that there is a moment that she's 100% airborne and 46 pounds is a lot to keep off the ground. We are looking at purchasing a minivan with a seat that swivels out. We spent a recent car ride thinking of vanity plates for the new minivan and so far "MINIVAN" is the front runner.

4. Jeremy is attending an MIT alumni lecture tonight. Tonight's topic "Energy Supply: Use It or Lose It". I read in today's NYTimes that MIT is no longer teaching 8.01 in 26-100. (For non MIT folks, that translates into "no longer teaching freshman physics in the large lecture hall.)

5. Edda's IEP meeting/placement is coming up soon. 'Nuff said.

6. Jeremy is planning on biking into DC for the inauguration. Someone is going to drop him off at the C & O canal and he's going to bike the 10-15 miles into town. Apparently, he's reserved a space at the "valet biking" service downtown. All the bike blogs are saying that the city will be so car-free that it will be a bicyclist's heaven! I think I'm going to watch it on TV. Maybe.

7. We got the first real heating bill of the winter a few weeks ago. Just about fainted - we've been spending about $20 a day on our electric/gas bill. I can't write the full number down, it gives me the willies, you can figure it out. We are zoned for heating and cooling, meaning that the upstairs bedrooms are separate from the downstairs. The main expense was coming from heating the upstairs rooms at night. In response, we bought a room heater for the kids and then dropped the nighttime temperature in the house to 50F which is so cold, you don't want to get out of bed at 2 am to pee. Now every morning when I wake up and walk into the kids' room, it's like a little slice of (warm) heaven. Jeremy and I talked about maybe we should move into the kids room during the winter. (If you are coming to visit, don't worry, we'll turn the heat up just for you!)

8. O.A.R. went to my high school! Donald do you know them? I know, I know, they've been around for YEARS, but I just learned about them about 7 days ago.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dinner.

Jeremy made three dinners for us on Friday night - swirly spaghetti for Edda, long spaghetti for Vincent and chili and corn muffins for us.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pancakes!

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I'm excited that Apple iTunes is getting rid of DRM. I think being able to copy music from one computer to another without it being complicated in addition to my recent obsession with Beyonce, I just might have to re-enter the music listening world. (Also, it's good to hear that Steve Jobs is not dying.)

I haven't been listening consistently to music for about a decade now, I had not heard of Maroon 5 until a friend at work mentioned she was going to the concert and I asked if it was at a local club and she gave me this strange look - um, they are playing at the Verizon Center (capacity = 20,000 Maroon 5 crazy fans). Oops.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Constipation!

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OK, it's been... a week since I've talked about poop? I just have to bring it up again! So we went out and bought the above items for Edda. (I should have added pureed prunes to this list, but I forgot to buy it). I wanted to say that she has a huge bowl of oatmeal with raisins for breakfast and usually has a piece of fruit with every meal, so I'm a little bit flummoxed by this constipation.

So ever since that last painful poop, we've replaced all her liquids with the plum juice on the very left of the photo. They call it "plum smart", on their website, they claim it's "clinically proven to regulate your digestion". After 3 or 4 days of this, it hasn't worked well. Tonight, Edda struggled on the potty again. I have to say the bright side of this is that the pooping training is going well. If you only gotta poop every three days and it's like giving birth, it's pretty easy to make it to the potty on time. I guess we are moving onto the fiber supplements.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dentist!

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Edda went to the dentist on Monday.

Vince went to the dentist today.

Edda did pretty well. I sat on the chair and Edda sat on top of me. I wrapped my legs around her legs, held her hands with my left hand and her head with my right hand. I was expecting the worst, but she did great. I really love our dentist, calm and reassuring and not at all rushed or worried about examining Edda. Everything looked good visually and for the past 2 appointments, we've left it at that.

Edda has never had X-rays done, but the dentist thought it was important and that we should give it a shot and we were all game, including Edda who cooperated with all six images. Turns out, she does have cavities on two adjoining back molars, one of which is pretty bad and almost at her nerve. We have work on some paperwork, but it looks like a trip to the hospital to put her under to do all this dental work. It makes me nervous, as general anesthesia is a good way to be freaked out, but I'm glad we can take our time for this, rather than wait a year or two until the whole molar is rotten and causing intense pain and scheduling emergency dental work. Sigh.

Also, I thought we were doing pretty well, brushing her teeth every night, but the dentist suggested that we add flossing to the routine. Yikes!

Vince loves the dentist. This kid is a little odd. Who the heck loves to go to the dentist? Jeremy came home early and took him today. Thank goodness, he has no cavities, which was much, much better than the 8 we found a year ago. Perhaps it's because every spot which could have a cavity has already been filled by polymeric goop.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tinkering.

Before I close out the Christmas updates, I wanted to thank Jeremy for staying home all week with the kids while I worked between Christmas and New Year's. Since I'm working so much these days, he's been the more hands-on parent for the past year. It's kind of nice to switch parenting roles, it gives us a balanced perspective on both being at work and being at home and what is totally annoying in each situation.

Anyways, over the week while he and the kids were stuck at home, he kept his sanity by doing this side project - Jeremy is really getting in touch with his inner engineer. What you are admiring is a set of lights for the bike - comprised of a lead acid battery, car brake lights and those garden lights which are the up-lights on trees at night.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cuteness.

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Jeremy is much better than I am about dressing Edda up in cute outfits. Yesterday, in celebration of an outing to a friend's house, Jeremy dug up this outfit which has french poodles riding Vespas on it! You pretty much can't get cuter than that! I dressed Edda today, she's wearing sweatpants and a ratty old hand me down sweater. (Not worth even showing you in a photo).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Nittany Lions.

My mother gave my brother a hoodie sweatshirt for Xmas that she bought from TJMaxx or Marshall's that had the logo of Penn State on it - the Nittany Lions. I asked my brother if I could have the sweatshirt because he's too hip for sweatshirts and I needed one and I wore it to work today.

I was asking the only other person in the office a patent question, when he looked at me and said, "Penn State is going to get waxed tonight". Since I have no affiliation with Penn State and I don't follow sports, I answered "huh"? and he pointed at my sweatshirt. And then I had to explain that my mom bought it for Xmas from TJMaxx because it was a NIKE sweatshirt and nothing to do with the Nittany Lions.

On the way home from work, I spend a millisecond wondering what sport the Nittany Lions were going to lose at tonight. I decided it was basketball.

Turns out they lost the Rose Bowl tonight. (Yes! I know that the Rose Bowl is football!) I have no idea what is going on in the world.

Workin'

Happy 2009!

I needed to work this whole week, including today - New Year's Day. This is what my commute looked like at 8 am:

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Yeah, pretty empty.

On a completely different topic, Edda's been a little bit constipated the past week or so, poor girl has not been eating well for a few days and when she had a poop today, it hurt so much she cried.

Up until now, we've been managing the constipation by giving her at least one orange a day, sometimes we manage to get her to eat three oranges a day. This seemed to have served us well for years, whenever we noticed Edda heading over to the more constipated side, we'd be sure to give her an extra serving of oranges over the next day or two and she'd go back to normal.

Now it seems even with the oranges (we've been giving her Clementines - maybe they aren't big enough? or not fiber-y enough?), she's having a rough time. We do have an emergency bottle of Miralax in the cupboard, but I've never used it - I'm hesitant to try it if there is a gentler way of approaching this problem. Jeremy thinks we should add a spoonful of Metamucil to her drinks (which I understand from the Wiki page has psyllium seed husks as the active ingredient). Any ideas?