Monday, November 30, 2009

Meatballs?

We were hosting Sunday night dinner yesterday. It required many meatballs.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

No, not a Mac.

Things on the internet/media/wireless communication front are going crazy around here. Cell phone plans are changing, internet services are changing, we changed our land line service, it's kind of a mess around here. But the biggest news is that two of our three computers are slowly dying and this morning, the one that we've had for four years finally would not boot up anymore. So we went out and bought a new laptop today and for the first time EVER, we bought a computer with an Intel chip, Jeremy's old employer's main competition. We did not get a Mac! I'm a PC!

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Disney World.

After we disembarked from the cruise, we split up into two groups. Because we thought that Edda could only manage one day at Disney World and because we had only one car (my parents drove in from MD) which seated only four; Edda, Jeremy, Mom and Dad headed towards our hotel in the car (with a stop at Cape Canaveral) and Donald, Vince and I headed to the Magic Kingdom via shuttle bus for an extra day at the park.

But by the time we got to the Magic Kingdom, it was pouring rain and Vince had had one of the worst meltdowns I had seen in a long, long time. So we ditched the idea of going to the Magic Kingdom and hung out eating chicken tenders at a hotel restaurant, rode the monorail and ended up taking naps in the hotel room.

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The next day, all seven of us headed out together to the Magic Kingdom for our one day at the park. I know lots of people spend 5-7 days at the park, but really, we were already operating on Disney overload - so only one day it was. We stayed in a Disney hotel, but it wasn't one of the closest ones - so we made this elaborate plan in which some of us would go back to the hotel because we were sure Edda would tire out after a few hours. But Edda lasted in the park from 10 am to 7 pm. She went on almost all the rides with us. We had a great, relaxing (!) day at the park.

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The highlight of the day was the trio of turkey legs that everyone feasted on. This was how we celebrated Thanksgiving!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Disney cruise!

We are back from Florida! We had a great time on our Disney vacation. Never in our lives have we ever considered doing anything Disney, but somehow in the last 3 months or so, a set of circumstances coalesced into a perfect storm and we found ourselves in a fantasy world for about 5 days this Thanksgiving week! For the first 3 days, we were on the Disney Wonder which set sail for island owned by the Disney corporation in the Bahamas called the Castaway Cay.

Edda was a touch feverish on the day the cruise was suppose to leave. We were not optimistic about traveling with a sick child in a confined space. But she recovered rapidly, and after a good night's sleep on the boat, she was fine.

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Vince partying at the launch.

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Edda meeting Mickey.

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My parents - encouraging both gambling (BINGO) and drinking! Wow!

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Edda at sunrise:

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Special needs beach wheelchair. Disney did live up to its incredible reputation for taking care of special needs kids. We saw lots of wheelchairs and lots of accommodations!

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Jeremy avoiding the sun with a polo shirt and a black rain umbrella. Yeah. He's not a beach guy - but he's a good sport.

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The weather was beautiful.

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Feeding the stingrays.

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Part 2 tomorrow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Disco.

Vince's school held a disco tonight. It was awesome, sooo much better than last year mainly because the DJ was really good. Since we've switched the radios over from NPR to Hot 99.5, even I knew most of the songs.

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I took the both the kids over as Jeremy's been out of town for the past few days and wasn't due back home until 8 or 9ish, but he managed to show up in a jacket and tie pretty much straight from the airport and dance the YMCA with me in my baggy pants and over sized sweatshirt.

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Edda was a good sport, she wasn't super excited to be there - too loud and too late (she likes bed time to begin at 7:15ish), but we managed to stay until the last song at 8:20pm.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Working from home.

Tomorrow is my first official working from home day. I almost can't believe that I actually made it this far. I've never kept a paid job for longer than 18 months and so this is a triumph of sorts for me - I've lasted 2 years on the job with no intention of quitting anytime soon. The office could use a little help with neatness - or at least with cable management.

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On Monday, I had a "practice" work-at-home day. I had a very sweet officemate who was there in the morning and then had to run off to some meeting downtown.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

IKEA.

Since I have about 6 or 7 linear feet of paper files associated with my job, I had to go to IKEA this weekend to buy some filing cabinets. Edda came with me because we both love IKEA. She was so patient - I think this has been her biggest milestone this year - a huge improvement in patience and just calmness about approaching new things and new situations. This wasn't true 18 months ago.

I think I spent about 2 hours in the store - walking first to the showroom floor, then down to the warehouse, then back up to the showroom because I forgot what I really wanted, then back to the warehouse and then after I bought the filing cabinets, I had to go once more through the store because I forgot to pick up drawer pulls for the fronts. We were quite a sight, wheelchair in front and massive flat cart in back, or if that wasn't working out too well, flat cart in front and wheelchair in back. Edda is way too big for her current stroller/wheelchair, I'll get to a new wheelchair next year, along with the eye exams and finding a new neurologist.

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Of course, after seeing the store 17 times, Edda fell asleep. Which is really what I wanted to do, but it's not good mixing driving and napping.

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I also discovered that IKEA sells uncrustables! Uncrustables have an interesting patent history - check out the link if you are interested.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Raingutter regatta.

Tonight was Raingutter Regatta. Vince needed to put together a little balsa wood boat from a kit. The kids then power the boats via lung power. We made two critical mistakes. 1. We used washable paint. Which did wash off somewhat in the water. 2. We glued some critical pieces (like the rudder) on at the last minute and they did not stick on very well.

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Vince did not win. He didn't even beat another boat. He was sad and sulked. He learned about losing.

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The peanut gallery has come back. My dad immediately went to work thinking about how to build a better boat.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Working from home.

I've been in training this past week to learn how to work from home. I told a friend about my "working at home" training and she asked - so what are they going to do? Teach you how to use the internet? Ha ha. Well kind of. There are things like figuring out how to answer my work phone through the computer rather than a real phone - how to web cam with colleagues and how to maintain good work habits.

Then on Friday - you had a choice of picking up the computer from the warehouse at noonish or having them FedEx it to arrive at home on Saturday. I chose the delivery because I'm still trying to move my office without actually driving to the office and spent Friday afternoon working in a hotel-ling office about 3 doors down from my old office. My office mate had already obliterated any sign of me occupying any space in my old office. Someone had already snagged my old office chair.

So the dual screens and the printer arrived yesterday. The office paid for FedEx overnight Saturday delivery and the screens were both so poorly packed that even though they both work - they were damaged in the process - cracked frames, damaged screens and warped stands. Pretty amazing.

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Edda was impressed. She was like - wow! two screens for me? You shouldn't have!

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Parent teacher conference.

We went to the kids' parent teacher conferences yesterday - both kids are doing well and enjoying school, they both like their teachers (we like the teachers too) and are having fun. It would be nice if they were in the same school (Vince asks quite often when Edda is going to go to his school), but they are not. At least not for now.

I think that since Edda is so severely disabled, I have been very much an easy going mom regarding Vince and his schoolwork. You know, Vince has so many things he can do like walking, talking, and feeding himself and it looks like he will be able to be employed when he is of the appropriate age so, really, I haven't stressed out too much about the reams of schoolwork which come home each week.

If I had two typical kids, I'm sure I would know exactly which classrooms are the accelerated classrooms, which are the teachers to avoid, which kids are popular etc, etc... - all things that moms gossip and talk about. But I don't know any of these things - I'm keeping myself out of the loop.

Also, I haven't really been on the ball and fully prepping him on spelling words (MS Word spell check helps me out a lot), handwriting (who writes by hand anymore anyways?) and math drills. I actually didn't understand that we were supposed to do these things with Vince, so the last few tests have been less than stellar. So at Vince's meeting, his teacher carefully explained, spelling tests every other Friday and math quiz every Weds. and like the clueless mom that I am, I'm like, ohhhh! So that's why you send home the yellow folder full of flash cards.

Jeremy spent some time cleaning the garage:

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Balance.

Here are some short videos that RSRT and Hope for Hannah have put together to raise awareness for Rett Syndrome. I'm not a natural optimist - yet as some sort of self-preservation mechanism, I have a little unspoken mantra - It's OK. Edda's OK. We're OK. Everything is OK. And the thing is, it's true. We are OK. But watching these little videos is hard - because, well, you know, Rett Syndrome is a pretty big downer.

Anyhow, here's a shout out to my little brother - you didn't donate yet this year - go to the side bar and pick out your favorite Rett charity and donate this year! It's all tax deductible. :P



Sunday, November 8, 2009

Love the library.

The library is a weekly stop for us, usually it's only one of the adults to do a quick dash in to check out some books for all four of us and then a quick dash out. However, this Saturday, everyone went to the library. Edda had fun going up and down the stacks - we are always on the look for stories with a rhyme or rhythm for her. Vince is on an Encyclopedia Brown kick. Jeremy's reading about the Brooklyn Bridge, I'm into murder mysteries.

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Couldn't Get Away with Piping & Obamaconics @ Work
















We just couldn't get away from piping. At home, the bathroom for guests has only one sink. We decided long time back that probably we need another one. Therefore, we installed a new one today. It is on the left and what are underneath it. In order to make installation easier, we tapped the water and drain from the bath of our master bedroom. They have only a wall in between. One can see what are underneath the Master bedroom sink after we hooked the other one up. It works and that is good.
We also found a new pedestrian tunnel underneath Highway 14 and connecting downtown Washougal to a popular fishing hole on the Louis & Clark Trail. It costs about 2.1 millions and it is half-done. I guess it is Obamaconics at work.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Scouting for food!

Today, Vince, Ruby and I participated in Scouting for Food. The cub scouts tie grocery bags to the front doors in a neighborhood and next week, we go around picking up the bags, hopefully full of food for needy families. It took us about an hour to distribute all the bags this morning.

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Started out well, full of enthusiasm and energy.

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The grumps settle in the last 15 minutes or so...

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Finished up with 3 powdered donuts in the tummy, on the lips and on the shirt.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Moving my office, one milkcrate at a time.

There really is nothing like going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark to put one into a good funk. Grrr. I do not like being in the darkness a lot. I came home today in not a great mood - I was thinking about Edda (which is what I always do when I feel funky), it seemed to me that she wasn't high-five-ing as much these days and with the extra rigidity that is settling into her arms, I was all concerned about her having lost this one cute little thing that she could do. I know in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't a huge loss, it just seemed so sad that another line of communication or back and forth interaction between us was being closed off. Who doesn't like a good high five? Anyways, I was also grumpy that it seemed we had lost Edda's DVD collection with her top 10 favorites and I was going to have to go around scrounging for used ones on eBay or something so we won't be bored to tears watching Finding Nemo 17,000 times.

As soon as I got home, I grumbled these complaints to Jeremy - he said that Edda high-5ed him at breakfast this morning and that she still does it just fine - that she doesn't do it for me because I just sit there and say hi-5 Edda! without adequate reason for her to do it. Vince heard my complaint about the DVDs and said, "I know where they are, they are under the couch!" (Perhaps Vince has known this for more than 36 hours, who knows, big mystery...). Jeremy looked me squarely in the eye and said, "The real reason you are grumpy is that you are going to work from home soon..." I protested and said that that wasn't true. It certainly isn't really what I'm thinking about, but I sure am finding reasons to be a little grumpy.

For whatever reason (well, really because I like to suffer and I hate to drive), I'm moving my office files and random supplies home a little every day this whole month. In this load, I've got an amaryllis plant, some post it notes and a chemistry reference book.

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This is going on?

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/11/05/1632204/Computer-Failure-Causes-Gridlock-In-MD-County

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekend outing.

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We went to the Udvar-Hazy Center this weekend.

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1. I can't believe how much I look like my mother.

2. I can't believe that we sent people to space and then they came back all safe and sound before most people in America had color TV. Those people were CRAZY (both the people who went to space and the people who watched TV in black and white).

3. The centerpiece of the museum is the SR-71 Blackbird. I had never heard of the Blackbird before, but Jeremy spent some time telling me about it - fastest plane ever (can outrun all missiles), the pilot and copilot needed to wear spacesuits, and most time behind enemy lines spying. While we were eating lunch at McDonald's, I told him I was kind of surprised that he knew anything about the Blackbird because he's really never expressed interest in military equipment. I said it must be just that he's a boy. He said that the Blackbird is one of the most famous planes there ever was and that knowing something about it wasn't that impressive and that he just picked it up reading the newspaper or some other mundane source of information. However, at work today, Jeremy polled his coworkers (all leafy-green environmental type folks - pretty likely group not to know so much about spy planes), all the boys knew of the Blackbird, none of the girls. There you go. So if you are a girl and know about the Blackbird - speak now or forever hold your peace. Ha ha.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Digging.

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Jeremy spent a good part of the afternoon digging a large piece of black plastic from out under part of our yard. It was probably left there when they were building the house and then accidentally buried it with a load of dirt. We could see a few square feet of the plastic that wasn't buried - but we didn't know how large it really was.

About a year ago, I started to try and dig this piece of plastic out, but I couldn't see the end of it, so I gave up. Jeremy is much more determined than I am. He is also going to be very sore tomorrow.


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Kouign-amann, pancake practice, bacon.

Ohhhh, I love these Kouign-amann.  It's like a croissant covered in a crunchy sugar coating. I'm eating poorly these days, snackin...