Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Donald (A Few Days Later)







Donald's birthday will be on this week during weekday. Therefore, yesterday, Mom and I drove up to San Francisco to celebrate his birthday together. We met at the Stanford Mall to have lunch together. Mom bought him a birthday cake, balloon, flowers, etc. at various local stores (with big help from our new GPS) and I bought a 1976 CD for him with all the popular songs on it in a store at San Luis Obispo.
Afterward, they went together and Mom bought this sexy & pricey sun glass. Mom is in style in big time :)
We had fun together and were back to our hotel around 6:00 PM - doing laundary.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy birthday Edda!

Had a birthday party at school to celebrate Edda's 6th birthday. Happy Birthday sweetie!

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Fashion from Last Week


By request, I have posted. but here's my update.


The last couple of months seem to have been drama filled. Of my friends i count: 1 possible divorce. 4 break ups. Of the breakups: One guy commitment-phobe, another guy, ex issues, one girl moved, one girl turns gay. 1 friend got rejected by a girl. Another girl too shy to tell boy that she likes him. 1 friend finally get together with someone after a long search - she's really happy. :)


For me. I've been trying to get out and date. I've had a couple adventures there, and they are continuing along. I won't say too much in the public forum. but it's definitely been keeping me busy;


This photo is from a happy hour in the city that I went to last week. Had a great ribeye steak dinner there too. :) yum

Happy Birthday, Edda

from Grandmom Rena and Grandpa Noel :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Clarification..

Hey guys, I started this blog a long time ago for me, my parents and my brother to kind of play around with and we all have posting privileges (hint, hint Donald), so I just wanted to clarify that the occasional political posts with no pictures (like the last post) are usually posted by my dad (Noel) and the vast majority of other posts generally with photos of the family and free of political content (although not always completely free) are by me (Doris). I know it's confusing and I don't know a good way of making it clear (you have to look at the top of the post to see who is talking) because I post 98% of the time and I also think my dad enjoys having the blog audience and you know, he's a nice guy and how many 69 year old dads blog? Anyhow, of course, I'm clarifying because my position on health care differs from my dad and most other political issues (although we may agree on gay marriage and abortion, I'm not sure, but I'll go out on a limb and say that we agree on those two issues), maybe I should just say that we have different ideas on most non-social, more fiscally centered policies. I also don't have hugely strong foreign policy stances and I know that my dad does, so I can't say if we would agree or not agree in that arena.

Actually, this little clarification is kind of interesting in light of the fact that Edda's 6th birthday is tomorrow. The fact that my dad and I disagree on many things and that we are both a little stubborn has made our relationship a little trying sometimes (ha!). Really nothing hugely serious, but you know, kind of the standard teenage daughter/dad argument thing that just kind of spills over to young adulthood.

Anyways, once Edda came along and with her, her Rett Syndrome diagnosis, there was almost no one more dedicated to Edda's happiness and well being than my father. When he's around, he finds her favorite cheese balls, makes her laugh and is willing to babysit her at night so Jeremy and I can sleep in on a Sunday morning. It has been really heartwarming for me see. So my dad, even though I disagree with him on a lot of stuff and we can still argue, we are much, much closer with each other than we were before Edda was born which has been a fabulous side product of a crappy genetic diagnosis. Although, I have to admit, I still sometimes have to leave the dining room table when he really gets going at a dinner party.

Monday, March 22, 2010

We Made History Last Night

We together made history last night by passing Obamacare legislation.

Philosophically, I just don't like to see government steps out of her bonds as a regulator, overseer and a public policy shaker and/or maker to become an operator on any kind of business - running Wall Street, running GM, running distribution of bail-out money, etc. And under a tag-along to this bill, the government will soon open the "BANK of DEPARTMENT of EDUCATION" about student loans in the future - loan directly to students. A bank, a monopoly bank, inside the Department of Education?

Hopefully, this piece of monumental legislation will bring in all the benefits that were advertized and promized to the American people. But, looking at our Nation's balance sheets, one should wonder where all this money is coming from. We, as a nation, are promising beyond our means many folds more. Our balance sheet is tilting to the RED exponentially faster.

Yes, universal health care is important. But, I have seen a lot of people eating to death, smoking to death, drinking to death and/or doping to death. I don't think it is my responsibility to foot their medical bills. But, I still can see, as a part of kinder and gentler society, one needs to help on their kids' medical bill. After all, kids have no mean to be responsible themselves. They are vernerable but, absolutely, not the adults.

To be a fair society, one can only ask about equal chance, equal opportunity and equal starting point at the gate with leveled playing fields. To ask for equal results and un-equal wealth re-distribution isn't the way to go. Just look across the ocean, there is a reflection upon all of us. China is becoming more capitalistic (more prosperous) while the USA is slipping into more socialism (encouraging laziness and with less incentive to hard working.) And everyone knows, even with all its pitfalls, capitalism has served us well. It is the driving force that make all of us very different from other people and be very proud of ourselves.

Rare early morning post.

It's 6:20 am. Very unusual time for me to be updating, but it's just me and Edda awake right now. I was a little too cocky about Vince's puking illness, as soon as I said that no one else had gotten it, I went down pretty hard Saturday night and Jeremy went down pretty hard last night, unfortunately right after a generous meal at McDonald's. Sigh. At least it's quick, I was only out of commission for about 12 hours and I suspect as soon as Jeremy wakes up, he will be mostly fine. So the big mystery is weather Edda is going to follow. She seems OK this morning, but it comes on fast and furious, we'll see.

On Sunday, while Jeremy was preoccupied, I took Edda to her first non-family, non-Vince associated, non-Doris-knowing-the-mother, non-special-needs birthday party. I have to put a lot of qualifications on it because Edda does get to go to a lot of parties, but not the sort of parties that just get invitations that get stuck in a backpack. It was from a kid in Edda's typical class and at first I thought that the mom had invited every single kid from the class (Edda is on the class list, tucked into the last spot, completely out of alphabetical order) and had no idea that Edda was special needs, but no, the mom knew Edda from volunteering at the Valentine's day party (which, of course, I didn't have time to make) in her son's classroom and helped her make a Valentine's magnet that I now have stuck to my filing cabinet in my home office.

So we went and had a nice time. I met the hosting mom and also a few other mothers and kids that knew Edda. It was really sweet. And it was at this incredible bouncing place called Bounce U, which Edda loved and I found exhausting. It's hard to haul around fifty pounds of child and bounce together. But we did and had a lot of fun.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Emy is in town...

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Emy is visiting for the weekend. Hooray! We trundled downtown to the Mall to see the Natural History Museum. The Metro was single tracking which made it incredibly frustrating.

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There were 2 demonstrations on the Mall yesterday, one anti-health care bill and one bring-the-troops home. We saw people carrying signs for both on the Metro and we also saw something like 100 port-a-potties lining the mall, but we actually couldn't see the actual rallies. I think there were only 1000 people at each one so I think they were easy to miss.

Jeremy spent the day at a high school science fair as a volunteer judge. We discussed the difficulty of judging a summer's worth of research at NIH against someone who spent 3 weekends at home with stuff from Home Depot.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Crocus.

Vince felt much, much better today. On his way home from school, he picked some crocuses for me. I asked them if he picked them out of someone's garden and he told me not to worry because "no one lives in the house". Hmmmm...

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Jeremy dressed up today. He wore what I consider his wedding/funeral shoes. He bought a pair of very nice black leather shoes for our wedding and I told him that I thought he would not wear them again until he died and then he would be buried in them. This was when we were employed in the Silicon Valley and having an ironed shirt was super fancy, I did not think that he'd ever have a job where he'd get to wear those fancy shoes again. He's worn them many times since the wedding, but I still refer to them as the wedding/funeral shoes.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vince is sick.

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Puked six times last night; four times into the toilet, twice onto the floor. Jeremy and I are both a little stressed about goings-on at work and really are tired. Neither of us got up in the middle of the night to clean up puke. We waited until morning to strip the beds and clean the floor. I'm glad Ruby didn't eat the puke (it has happened before). Poor Vince. Stayed home today and had some Sprite.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jeremy's Mii.

Look! He's talking while he's bowling!

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Monday, March 15, 2010

The house is falling apart.

Ever since we moved into the house, we've noticed that some of the finish work in the house is a little slap dash. These are things that I figure, oh no problem, I'll just watch some youtube videos and go to Home Depot and fix it myself.

Like the waterlogged grout in the master shower:

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Or the missing grout in the laundry room:

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But then a soap holder in a shower fell off and revealed an ominous hole behind it. There shouldn't have been a hole behind the soap holder! And they didn't use the water resistant drywall! Did they not use any water resistant drywall in all the bathrooms of the house?!? Are all the bathrooms going to crumble because of terrible tile work?

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This was a little too much to handle and we needed the bathoom without the soap holder to be back in service really, really quickly, so I had to call someone in. It was pretty much the best money I have ever spent. Took him 4 hours to do an awesome job and fix all the grout work that was broken. In the master shower he lifted off the tile and found a whole well of goopy crap that has not dried in the three years since the tile was set.

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Our handyman was super nice, super competent and very reasonably priced. In other words, a gem! Jeremy actually pointed out the drywall patching job that I did on the living room ceiling after the plumber fixed the broken pipe and I was so embarrassed. It's like showing a professional baker a cake you made from a Betty Crocker mix and then frosted it yourself.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lessons learned from knitting.

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I'm back on the knitting bandwagon. I've finished 3 projects since the beginning of February and in order to fit this habit into my day, I've dropped my other habit of reading books for pleasure. I'm trying to combine the two by checking out these weird recorded books from the library called Playaways and listening to them while I knit. They have a preloaded book on them and so you just provide your own earphones and hit PLAY! Since I don't use an iPod, I thought this would be a good way to read and knit at the same time. Unfortunately, I think that hearing is my least sensitive way of gathering information. I am very good at not listening to anything. Just ask Jeremy. This afternoon, I fell asleep "listening" to Prep, the person who was reading is sooo soothing. I don't know if this knit/reading thing is going to work out too well.

I've also come to the conclusion that with knitting, the more money I spend on the yarn, the better the final project turns out to be. It's crazy, if you want to buy beautiful yarn to knit an adult sized sweater, you could easily spend $200 or more. So now, I'm going to buy nice yarn and keep the projects small so I don't need to use too much of it. For example, this is sized for a one-year old. Now I just have to find a one-year old who wants to wear it. This yarn was given to me by a mom of one of Vince's pals, she runs Three Irish Girls!

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Grumpy!

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I'm very grumpy this morning. Along with the time change, we have just managed to survive Vince's 8th year-old birthday extravaganza yesterday - which was loud and raucous and made me glad that I don't have 12 children (Dodecatuplets?). We hosted a bunch of boys in the house for 2.5 hours, there was some crying, wrestling, TV watching, pizza eating, dancing and a lot of yelling. The photos are all crap, but there isn't much photo time when you are trying to keep the kids under control and to not destroy the house.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Catching up with the week.

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On Thursday, I went to visit Edda at her school. I had no real reason to visit her school except that I always want to know about her day and since she can't really tell me how her day was, I just want to go and be part of it.

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I don't go shopping for Edda's clothes, which is just as well because I have no taste. It's all Jeremy, my mom, Jeremy's mom and Donald picking out her clothes and then Eliana rockin' with the dressing choices. Here's Edda showing off this season's turquoise and skinny jeans and sparkles.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Getting into mischief.

So yesterday, I went into the office, planning on staying a little late to have fried fish and knit with my pals, when Jeremy calls me and asks if I have a minute to talk...

Jeremy was working from home yesterday and at about 4:30 in the afternoon he's on a conference call. Eliana's downstairs taking care of Edda. Vince, as usual, is running back and forth between the neighbor's house and playing with kids outside and inside.

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As Jeremy's talking on the phone, he notices from the 2nd story window that there appears to be a small fire in the backyard. He doesn't see anyone around it and it's near the huge pile of leaves and bushes and brambles that we have in the backyard so he goes downstairs (while still on the call) and grabs the kitchen fire extinguisher and heads out to the backyard. As he's headed out, he can see that it really is a fire, tells the guy on the call that he's gotta go and heads out to put out the fire.

When he gets there, he finds Vince and a few pals, kind of huddled around under a bush and yeah, trying manage their little fire. The fire they decided to build to make some s'mores! Right next to a pile of leaves, because, hey what burns better than some dried leaves!!! They basically had taken matches from the kitchen and headed outside to start the fire (oh, they also had a half full bag of mini marshmallows). Jeremy estimated that the charred ground was about 12-18 inches in diameter. We were very lucky that Jeremy just happened to look out the window when he did, otherwise, I shudder to think what would have happened if the fire had spread more than it did.

Vince was grounded today and got a stern talking to about fire safety. And we have to find a better hiding place for the matches. And we need to get a new fire extinguisher because the old one now is totally used up.

It is noted that when I tell this story to pals, all the boys or parents of boys all say, oh yeah, I remember when I or my kids did that. Actually, Jeremy was laughing a little when he called me at work because he clearly remembers almost setting their living room on fire when he was Vince's age. And all the girls and parents of only girls were like, oh that's funny, that never happened at our house... Ha! This has been a crazy week already, throw in a little (or big) fire drama and now I'm basically completely toasted.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What a crazy week.

Busy week! But it's been so beautiful outside, I hardly can complain.

Green things coming up out of the ground:

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I'm still trying to knit, I have a few flesh and blood knitting friends and we actually are going to sit around and knit together. It's more fun to knit when you have a (few) knitting friends.

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And I bought a half-dead orchid at Lowe's for just five dollars. I'm hoping it blooms someday.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

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It's Vince's eighth birthday today. We had a low-key celebration today, mainly bacon for breakfast and a Coke for dinner, an oh yeah, Legos out the wa-zooo. Do we know how to party or what? We had a family celebration last weekend and a friends celebration schedule this coming weekend, so don't fret that he only got bacon and a Coke. The friends celebration is making me a little nervous as it's at the house and we have zero activities planned except for the pizza, cake and armored-tank pinata (don't ask).

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There is such a huge emotional build up towards the actual birthday DAY for Vince that today, there was so much extra DRAMA. At some point today, Vince was in the kitchen wailing, "It's my birthday today, why is everybody treating me so badly?!" ARGHHHHHH!!!!

Vince also had the pleasure of going to the dentist today, he loves the dentist so much, he considered it a special birthday treat. The hygienist told me gently that I should not allow my son to have Kool-aid for breakfast (which he did along with the bacon and had the tell-tale red mustache, I was totally busted at the dentist.)

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Our own childcare...

Often, in our travels around the world (or neighborhood), there are events or trips that we go on where they advertise "free childcare!" - it ranges from PTA meetings to the Disney cruise. It's pretty much impossible to take advantage of these pre-arranged child care options for Edda as it's hard to just drop her off with someone who hasn't met Edda before and also has 8-10 other kids to look after.

Jeremy and I went to a potluck at church on Saturday night, and of course, there was free childcare. I asked to put Edda on the list, I haven't done this before and normally I would ask Eliana to watch Edda at home on Saturday night, but it was Eliana's birthday and also the church is always, always telling me that they can handle Edda (which I know they want to be able to do).. Anyhoo, we show up and there are like 40 kids packed with very little intersitial space between them and a few adult babysitters who seemed already overwhelmed (only 25 kids had signed up for the child care). I don't want to be like, OMG, they totally weren't prepared for Edda, because everyone was very nice about it all and they were already SO MANY KIDS.

So we took Edda with us to dinner and Edda had a nice time. Edda is pretty low maintenance these days at dinner, she'll eat and watch TV and be pretty easy to manage until it creeps close to 8:30ish when she's ready for bed. Vince, of course, had a great time elbow deep with the other kiddos.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Quick recovery.

On Friday afternoon, Edda fell asleep at 4:30pm and was down for the night. Pretty unusual for her, but I'm sure it was her body resting after the bout of whatever was upsetting her stomach.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Edda's sick.

I came home after a fabulous day at work only to find that our little Edamame is sick! Poor thing, puking until her stomach was empty and running a little bit of a fever. She missed dinner, hung out in a sleeping bag on the doggie bed on the floor. Slept with her last night just to make sure she wouldn't gag on her own puke.

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This morning, Edda and I are watching Curious George and Finding Nemo together. I have some knitting and the internets. I'm good. Edda's good too, working on keeping some Sprite in her tummy and a dose of Motrin down. Eliana should be back this afternoon so I can go back to work, she's off trying to get a MD drivers license and is dealing with that especially infuriating bureaucracy that is the DMV.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spirit Week.

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Both of the kid's schools have "spirit week" this week. It's been PJ day, wacky hair day, dress like your parent day, wacky sock day and wacky hat day ALL WEEK. It's hard enough to keep the kids clean and dressed each day, but throw something wacky into it and I get all flummoxed. Although I'm usually only responsible for remembering that it is spirit week and not to confuse the days - god forbid you send Edda in PJs on wacky sock day. Since I'm usually already working on patents when the kids are getting dressed, Eliana and Jeremy are responsible for the execution of the wacky plan.

It's been kind of a roller coaster ride at both of our jobs this week. Everyday we come home and tell each other of the WACKY things happening at work. I have to go into the office tomorrow, maybe I should wear some wacky socks under my plain old work pants.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Joining the Costco.

It's Tuesday - date night. We went to Costco - finally (folks at work made fun of me for going to Costco on date night, yes, I acknowledge it's a little lame). After years of not going to Costco, we finally joined tonight and paid the membership fee, our big reason is that we all need to get our eyes checked and Consumer Reports said that Costo was the best place to get glasses and you can also get your eyes checked there. Anyways, I figured this is our one year experiment with Costco.

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Jeremy treated me to a "Chicken Bake" - chicken, bacon and ceasar dressing all wrapped in a breaded dough.

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Costco is both fascinating and disgusting to me at the same time. I mean, it's awesome to be able to buy 24 packs of gum for 8 dollars, but it's so totally disgusting to think about buying 3 pounds of cream cheese for the 12 bagels we just bought. (We didn't buy the cream cheese). How would we fit the cream cheese into the fridge? I don't doubt that we could eat the cream cheese, it's just that to see its total volume all at one time and imagine it passing from my lips straight to the cellulite on my thighs is a bit more graphic than I want it to be.

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Costco reminds me so much of Taiwan, which I know is a really strange association. When Vince was less than a year old, we moved with a bunch of American families to Taiwan and lived about 90 minutes from Taipei; this was for Jeremy's job. All the wives would get together in a van and make a pilgrimage to the Costco in Taipei. In our small town, there was only the local Taiwanese food, so the only way you could get Kraft mac and cheese was a 90 minute drive to Costco in Taipei. Those were good times.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Searching for meaning.

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When Edda was first diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, I had a few pals tell me that it just wasn't fair and that I didn't deserve to have a child with such a serious disability. I don't often think of it in that way; for me, I've always understood that random mutations in DNA happen all the time and sometimes they result in someone who is stronger/swifter/smarter and sometimes it just doesn't work out that well at all. So I always figured that Edda having Rett Syndrome is just the randomness of the universe.

But it doesn't mean that I don't try to find a more spiritual meaning in raising a child like Edda. Of course, Edda and her disability have taught me to become more understanding and patient. But my secret belief of why Edda is the way she is, is that somehow, somewhere I'm suppose to meet a person that will change my life. How will the person change my life? In what way? I dunno. That is the big mystery to me. I've met so many wonderful people via Edda and I continue to do so everyday.

On Saturday night, I met a group of local mothers who each have a daughter with Rett. We ditched the husbands and the kids, met up at a local grill and had a few maragritas (I got carded! Woo hoo, Asian genes at work!) and talked and talked and there was still more left to say. It was really, really wonderful.