Monday, March 30, 2009

Jeremy and a rusty iguana.

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Jeremy got a rusty old bike for free from our next-door neighbor. He's having a fun time trying to rehabilitate the whole thing. I think it's going to end up being my bike, perhaps replacing the trusty BMX bike that I've been riding. I love my BMX bike, I look so ridiculous riding it to the Metro - I get a lot of perverse pleasure from it.

Jeremy's been trying to find a better bike for me, but I would not agree to spending a lot of money on a new bike that might get stolen from the bike racks. I think a rusty bike (it's a Giant Iguana) is a good compromise.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Becoming Unitarian.

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After more than a year of attending services, I finally joined our local Unitarian church.


Here's what Unitarians believe:


  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

    Unitarian joke:

    It is show-and-tell day at school, and all the children are requested to bring in an item which illustrates their religious beliefs. David stands up and says "This is a star of David and I am a Jew". Dorothy stands up and says "This is a crucifix and I am a Catholic". Jimmy stands up and says "This is a casserole and I am a Unitarian".

    Famous UUs:


    Frank Lloyd Wright
    John Adam
    John Quincy Adams
    Abigail Adams
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Alexander Graham Bell
    Samuel Morse
    Charles Darwin
    Linus Pauling
    Isaac Newton




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  • Saturday, March 28, 2009

    Chick-fil-A.

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    After Vince's weekly ballet class, we usually go to the Chick-fil-A down the block for lunch. We order 2 kiddy meals - one for him (6 piece nuggets) and one for me (2 chicken strips). He gets one of the toys and we save the other for Edda. I don't often spend time with only one child at a time, so I really like that we have this ritual. It also helps that Chick-fil-A is quite yummy - yummier than McDonald's.

    Work.

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    We are still biking to the Metro - through rain, snow, fog and darkness. I guess we are dedicated bikers. I'm excited that the stimulus package included an increase in my transit benefits. I'll be able to lower my commuting costs to zero! So my only expense is 2.5 hours of my time. Still a big thing, but at least it's costing me nothing in terms of moola.

    Yesterday was a big (work) day for both Jeremy and me. I finished up my quarter with production goals intact. Jeremy went to the White House and did a little speech to various environmental groups and was all dressed up handsomely. He managed to integrate some cute alliteration and metaphors into his speech which he is rather proud of.

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    Back aches and plugged ears.

    My ear has been plugged up for about 10 days now from a lingering head cold. Everywhere I go, I have to ask people to repeat themselves. "Eh? What did you say?"

    Jeremy torqued his back two weeks ago (from what else? Getting Edda out of the car) and has been downing Motrin ever since. He told me last night that whenever he sees anything he wants on the floor, he gets all flustered thinking about how he's going to manage to pick it up.

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Edda is 5.

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    Vincent and Edda sleep in the same room on two twin beds shoved next to each other.

    Last night was the eve of Edda's birthday - the lights were off, Edda was snoring contentedly on her twin bed. Vincent was snuggled on top of the crack between the two beds (something he has been doing for the past few months to be closer to Edda) and I was on second twin bed.

    Vince and I were chatting. Vince told me that maybe (for Edda's birthday) in the middle of the night, fairies would come and (unlike doctors who would need to cut Edda's head open) wave their magic wands over her head and fix the parts that were wrong with Edda's brain.

    I asked him if he believed in fairies. He said not really. I told him if fairies fixed Edda's brain, then she might run around and steal his toys and yell at him to be quiet and maybe be an annoying sister sometimes. Vince thought about it for a moment and said that that would be all right with him.

    Happy Birthday, Edda

    Happy Birthday to You - Edda :) & Love Always

    from Grandpa Noel & Grandmom Rena (Washougal, WA)

    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    San Francisco

    After driving for a week, we are at Elko, Nevada. We will arrive at SF Friday afternoon. Along the way on route 80, we visited almost all outlet malls and several casinos. Mom won ~$40 somewhere in Iowa.

    We plan to have a nice dinner with Donald and our friends Friday night. Saturday, hiking with Donald is in our schedule - I need exercise more. Saturday night, we are going to have a Bay Area college classmate mini-reunion. A lot of our classmates settle in the Bay Area. In addition, it is good that they are still pretty close to each other. Very glad to see them again. Last time, when we were with them, was during our niece's (Andrea) wedding several years ago.

    Of course, to be with Donald for a while is also worth the trip. While we will be in Washougal, WA, we will make our house there more livable. May be buying some furniture and make it a fully equipped place to live.

    Take a break there and relax.

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Lexapro.

    I went back on Lexapro today. It's kind of a relief. I try not to hop on the medication bandwagon too quickly because I always say to myself that my depression will resolve itself in the next few days and it usually does, but now it's been a few months of consistently feeling bad and swirling the same useless crap around in my head. A few weeks of not taking care of myself (like not brushing my teeth at night) and falling asleep at 8:30 pm fully clothed is not a good sign. Crying at work and at parties is not a good sign. Anyhoo - I hope to be a bit more cheerful soon.

    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    Uncle Louis' Cats

    Yesterday, Rena & I visited Uncle Louis at his place in Rockford, IL

    He has been feeding a lot of cats around his house. Look at this picture and one can tell how many cats are there by counting bowls sitting on the deck.

    Quite a sight! :)

    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    Quiet Saturday night.

    Vince and Jeremy are out watching a high school musical called "The Baker's Wife". That (little) boy likes singing and dancing. Someday soon we'll have to take him to a real Broadway show. I've never been to an actual show on Broadway, it might be kind of cool. Edda and I are soon going to go to bed with a nice book and some hot tea, I think I'll spend some time massaging her hands and feet and tickling her tummy.

    I made my way to Edda's ballet class today. I haven't gone in a few months because the last time I went, I ended up crying. I've been making Jeremy take Edda to the lessons.

    For the past few months, Jeremy's been reporting that he no longer has to calm Edda down and that he actually sits with the rest of the parents on the sidelines of the studio. Apparently, Edda has been actually enjoying ballet instead of crying and yelling 15 minutes into the whole thing. Jeremy's been telling me for weeks that I should take her myself one weekend to see how much more tolerant she is of the whole ballet thing. I told him that I thought Edda was saving one disastrous class up just for me and that no way was I going to go by myself. (Yes, I know, I'm behaving like a four-year old. What can I say?)

    Anyhow, we left Vince with the neighbors for a few hours this afternoon and trundled off to ballet class. Edda did pretty good!

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    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    The Environment Report: News Story

    Jeremy was on NPR tonight! He's all famous now, go to the bottom of the story and click on the audio clip... To bad that Growth Energy - they are the group Jeremy's disagreeing with - is headed up by Wesley Clark who is a little more famous than Jeremy (right now at least).

    The Environment Report: News Story

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    I have been sulking.

    I have not been my usual chipper self. If there is anything that I could change about myself, it would be that I'd like to get rid of my depressive tendencies. I tend to focus on something that I perceive to be wrong with my life and then blow it all out of proportion so that I becomes the center of my attention for weeks. Of course, my focus these days is usually on Rett Syndrome and what a crappy thing it is, but I remember that even before I had kids, I would get the same feeling about something totally different - like maybe that I didn't have a boyfriend or my job sucked or that everyone was having fun except for me... Then I wallow in self-pity and I feel sorry for myself. This takes up a lot of my time. Time when I could be off going on a hike and feeling the sun on my face. It doesn't make much sense, but it's a big part of me.

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    Still suffering.

    Jeremy is still a little on edge with the hives. He's balancing different drugs and the different side effects, the steroids keep him hyper, agitated, awake and although the swelling of the hives do go down with the steriods, the itch factor shoots way up. Then, he's also taking some prescription strength antihistamines which may make him sleepy or anxious depending on which ones they are. Anyways, he's a little strange to talk to - a little more chatty and scatterbrained. I'm hoping to get back the regular Jeremy soon - I guess it'll be about 4-5 more days of this.

    Of course, today is Vince's actual birthday and since we've spoken about it (too) many times in the past week already, I will gloss over today's celebrations, and say that it's my 7th anniversary of becoming a parent. So HOORAY for me for making it this far - 7 years and I have not yet shaved all the hair off my head, even though I have threatened to do so many, many times. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and still have no freakin' idea where it's going to lead. May we all make it through in one piece and in good health.

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    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Chuck.

    It has been a beautiful weekend and also kind of a difficult weekend for us. It was beautiful outside this whole weekend, in the high 60s and just lovely. Considering just a week ago, I was writing about the snow day, it's a little like a miracle.

    Jeremy has been suffering from a bad case of hives this weekend. He always gets hives after a routine cold/flu and often times it is worse than the original illness. I promised not to post photos of this bout of hive-y-ness, but his whole face was bloated enough for him to look like another person (I was thinking Mike Ditka). He spent much of the weekend in bed downing Benedryl trying to avoid the trip to the urgent care place which we (actually he and my parents - who were trying to convince him to go to the ER instead of the urgent care place) ended up going to this morning at 10 am. A prescription of prednisone later, he is deflating nicely but still very itchy.

    Vince's birthday party part deux (aka, the school friends party) was at Mr. Cheese's house Saturday at lunch. He (Vince, not Mr. Cheese) could not have been more excited. It was a little trying for me, my wingman - Jeremy was already very swollen and feeling lousy - so I was trying to fly solo. I hate flying solo at Mr. Cheese's.

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    Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    Obama Administration's Housing Rescue Plan

    Rena & I both are out of our jobs. As a consequence, our monthly mortgage payment is certainly above 31% our monthly gross income. Therefore, I have filled out the request to see whether Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns our mortgage loan.

    HOPE, IT IS!

    If it is, we are qualified and ready to apply. If we get any relief out of our (everyone's) 75 billions in each payment, we will certainly contribute to his administration's Stimulus Plan in a big way.

    Note: Lenders must agree to reduce the loan payments to 38 percent of a borrower's monthly income. After that, the government and lender split the cost of bringing the payment down to 31 percent

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Snow.

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    Yes, it snowed. The kids got a snow day. I got to work only 45 minutes late, not to shabby!

    Sunday, March 1, 2009

    Cupcakes.

    I'm watching Celebrity Apprentice right now. Clint Black is playing on behalf of the International Rett Syndrome Foundation. The first challenge is to make cupcakes and sell them on the streets of NYC. It's a classic boys vs. girl team - and the boys do not look good. Hold on, they just put on a tease that the girls' cupcakes fall while cooking in the oven! Horrors!

    Tonight we had a family party to celebrate Vince's 7th birthday.

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    We did a cookie stack instead of a cake because my neighbor just started a small business out of her house where she makes these beautiful cookies:

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