Thursday, September 30, 2010

Goodbye September, hello October.

I managed (in an odd way) to cause a neighbor (who I'm friends with) who was dressed up for work to tumble into a huge puddle (it has been pouring rain all day) and get completely soaked in front of the morning elementary school drop off crowd.

The dryer broke on Monday. It spun, but did not heat. We managed to install a spare (yes, don't ask why we have a spare dryer, but we do). Jeremy and I moved the spare dryer up 2 flights of stairs late Monday night. Today the washer broke. I told everyone not to get their clothes dirty.

I had a handyman come in for the past two days to install cabinets in the basement. Turns out, we did not get the right size cabinets. A days work must be undone and redone.

The largest picture window in the house is leaking. We thought it was because the window was installed incorrectly (a lot of things in the house are not installed that well). Turns out that there is a hole in the roof. Yes, a hole that is just pouring water into our walls. A tree hit our roof and made a hole in the roof and even broke some 2x4s from the mega storm this summer. We just never noticed the hole in the roof because you can't see the damage from the ground.

I asked the handyman who was installing the cabinets to find a tarp to put on the roof (because it's pouring rain) to cover the hole. While driving to Home Depot, he drove over a nail which caused him to have a flat tire.

The power went out for 2 hours this afternoon.

I went to Edda's school where as soon as I said hello to her, she fell asleep.

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Ahhhh, life. This is just how it goes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Good-ness.

Edda has been slowly outgrowing her wheelchair. Knobby knees point out in all directions. A nice lady stopped us while we were shopping at Target and asked if we'd like her daughter's old wheelchair. We said sure! And she dropped it off at our house. Purple-y goodness.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Camping with the scouts.

Shhh... we didn't actually sleep outside. We were a little wimpy and headed home to our warm soft beds after the s'mores.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hugs all around.

Thanks to Vince for snapping this photo:

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This is not a particularly interesting photo of Edda eating breakfast, it's just interesting to me because if I didn't know that mouth in the corner belonged to me, I would have sworn it was my mother's mouth.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Hold on baby -

Edda has been having some success with improving her gripping skills in OT this year. We still have very little hand use, no finger feeding, no sippy cup holding, no pointing, poking. Edda's best gripping position has always been this:

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Edda has slowly improved her grip time to more than 2 minutes, which was pretty much unthinkable a year ago. We all love Deb, our OT:

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Happiness after a workout:

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Practicing turkey.

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We are hosting Thanksgiving this year. Jeremy and Vince are determined to practice for Thanksgiving, most importantly, trying to perfect the gravy (which we have never been able to do in the past because you only usually get one shot and then it's all over and we usually don't get it to thicken just right). So Jeremy declared that we are going to roast a turkey (or part of a turkey) every week until Thanksgiving. I usually eat turkey only once a year, it is strange to eat it on a Monday night in the middle of September, but whatever makes you happy sweetie!

Eliana asked what a turkey was (apparently turkey consumption is not high in Columbia). Vince asked if she remembered that big black bird outside the house eating the dead road kill squirrel a few months ago. I told him that was a turkey VULTURE and not the turkey we were eating. Vince said, yeah, I know, but it's like almost the same.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Learning to swim.

Vince is an adequate swimmer. However, he is easily distracted and excitable and when he is swimming he has sometimes found himself in deeper water than he'd like to be in and a little panic sets (for him and me) in which leads to some flailing (him) which is not completely reassuring (me). Sometimes I wish he was a little bit more cautious and concerned with self-preservation, but we can't all be fearful, otherwise we'd all be stuck in our houses picking our teeth.

So swim lessons, again and hopefully not forever, we are not trying to make the swim team, we are just trying not to drown. An admirable goal, I think.

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That hair is driving me crazy. But he won't let me touch it. And I promised myself when I had kids I wouldn't mess with their hair. At least he should use a swim cap to keep it out of his eyes, but I forgot to pack it.

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Lessons in the exact same pool I learned to swim in. Ahhh, nostalgia.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

My sins and regrets.

This weekend, Vince and I participated in the tashlikh ritual which is part of the Jewish new year. You take a piece of bread, which symbolizes last year's regrets or sins:

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And cast them into a flowing body of water, which symbolizes asking for forgiveness from past sins - hope that God will overlook our failings during the past year and grant us favor in the year to come.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Keeping busy.

I have been working hard at keeping busy this weekend. I made three cakes from scratch this weekend - I used almost 2 pounds of butter and who knows how many egg whites.

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In times of need, one always can turn to homemade food.

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Jeremy shared his kitchen space with me this weekend - I'm not the cook in the relationship, I do not spend loads of time making goodies for the family. While I was making cake, he was grinding meat for burgers. Vince likes a slice of raw onion on his burger - weird.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

One day at a time.

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Edda (in her jogging stroller), me and Ruby ran to the dog park this morning. A whole half mile there and a whole half mile back. Trot, trot, trot. We are the slowest runners this side of the Mississippi. Trot, trot, trot. My goal (as always) is to run 20 minutes everyday and (as always) to eat healthier.

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I usually go to the dog park by myself and leave the other human family members at home (because at the early hour in the morning, Jeremy remains under caffeinated and the kids are usually in their underwear), but I thought today that Edda might like wandering around the field and seeing all the doggies. I have been feeling a little bit down about how much time Edda spends at home. I have to re-resolve to bring her out and about more. Edda enjoyed it a lot more than I thought she would. A lot of the doggies came up to Edda and licked her hands and said hello.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Luray caverns.

(Still blogging about last weekend.)

The morning started off cloudy:

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After breakfast, we tromped 0.8 miles to the top of Stony Man mountain - 1 hour uphill, 15 minutes back down to the car.

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After our night at the Skyland resort, we drove to Luray Caverns. I remember going as a child - but I didn't remember much else. I went up to the ticket counter and I asked how long the tour was, if there was a wait, if the tour was ADA accessible and finally I asked if it would be alright if we sat with Ruby outside on the front walkway (I was thinking we'd take turns taking the tour, or maybe only half of us would go into the caverns) - it was now well into the 70s, no longer cloudy, and not a spot of shade in the parking lot, so Ruby could not be left in the car. Turns out, the tour was kind of accessible, self guided and they had a spot for Ruby away from the crowds at the employees only area. Pretty cool!

Edda's stroller going down the lift:

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The caverns:

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Butterflies.

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At the park, there was such an interesting mix of people. There were families doing the car/short hike thing. There were the motorcycle riders with the black leather chaps and jackets and loud, loud engines. There were the bicyclists who had the colorful spandex and expensive bikes. There were the Appalachian Trail thru-hikers who hadn't showered in weeks.

We ate a lunch of burgers and soda, then tried to make it to Jeremy's trail:

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We didn't make it very far:

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The trail was a little bit too rugged for Edda's jogging stroller - downhill wasn't too bad:

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Uphill was harder:

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Skyland resort!

Jeremy's birthday and my birthday are a week apart and toss in our wedding anniversary a few weeks ago and we have a maelstrom of dates that need celebrating. I always want to do something low-key (aka, peck-on-the-cheek and a quick squeeze of the hand) and I think Jeremy likes something a little more exciting (which is anything else). Every year, I think my method of celebration wins out and I think Jeremy ends up feeling a little disappointed. This year, we got our act together a few months ago and decided that we'd spend the weekend between our birthdays at the Skyland Resort - a hotel in the middle of Shenandoah National Park. It turned out to be one of the best birthday gifts ever.

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It was the most beautiful weekend ever. We got to bring Ruby too!

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Jeremy and Edda are planning out some hikes. We knew Ruby could be in the park while on a 6-foot-leash, but we didn't realize that Ruby was not allowed on the most popular hikes. Turns out the most popular hikes are generally the easiest and shortest hikes also known as the perfect Edda hikes. We decided that we needed Ruby to be certified as a service dog so she could go on the easy hikes with Edda. Hmmm...

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We also got Edda's access pass to the National Parks. It means that Edda (and her guests) have a lifetime, free admission to all the National Parks because of her disability.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Long weeks.

I have started working more at work (as opposed to working in the study in the master bedroom) these past few weeks. Now that I've been working from home for almost a year, the initial sheen has worn off and I've been finding that I slowly go stir-crazy if I don't leave the house for weeks on end. I do have a lot of people that I call throughout the day for advice or consultation on pressing patent issues, but somehow it's not the same as meeting face-to-face (or going out to lunch with co-workers). There are many, many people at my work who work from home, but I think that I'm the one teleworker who shows up the most at the office. I do not have my own office at work anymore, I gave it up when I signed up to work from home, but there are at least 4 or 5 "hotel" offices on my old floor at work - so I feel very much at home. I do schlep files back and forth, but my favorite "hotel" office has my own mug and my own portable radio that I've tucked into a drawer of the desk.

I usually take the Metro into work, like I did today:

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But on Tuesday, I drove into work because I wanted to have dinner with some pals in Vienna, VA. This is what it looked like on the way to the restaurant (495/66 interchange, stop-and-go 4 mile backup - fun):

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I love the Metro - because of the Metro, I don't think of DC as a place full of gridlock and terrible traffic because I don't often find myself in traffic jams.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Edda at church.

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I took Edda to church this past Sunday. I don't usually take Edda with me because I'm usually in the nursery taking care of toddlers or I want to sit in the service without worrying about Edda being loud and boisterous. This Sunday, as it was so beautiful outside, and Edda hadn't yet left the house since Friday afternoon, I decided that Edda would come with me and Vince and we walked in the beautiful weather.

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Edda did start the service by sleeping. But she soon woke up and started saying "Ba! Ba!". I clamped my hand over her mouth hoping that she'd quiet down, but to no avail. Then she started licking the inside of my hand. Classic Edda.

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We ended up in the crying room which I don't like. I like siting in the sanctuary with the candles and the people around me. Oh well. I did get to meet a really cute 5 month old in the crying room.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Listening in.

We haven't gone hiking along the Blair Witch trail in a long time.


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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

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Happy birthday sweetie! (Ask him about his avocado lemon pie!)

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Night time ukulele.

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I have been wanting to film some video of Jeremy and his rapidly improving ukulele skills, but he's a little shy, so nothing yet. Maybe in the near future, there will be a uke video that will go viral and we will all be famous and quit our day jobs. Ha! I am looking at the photo above, a little chagrined that I let Edda mouth her hand a little too much, which has resulted in a little wound on the side of her face and also thinking that it would be nice to have a camera which would take non-noisy photos at high ISO, but it is not something I have high on my priority list now. Last night, Edda was even awake for the jam session and joined in.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Camping again -

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As I think we are committed (both in senses of the word) to camp again with the scouts this year, we finally bought a tent (hooray Labor Day sale at REI). We had originally thought we needed a 2-room 8-person tent and supply it with two inflatable queen sized mattresses, but somehow, based on the stuff on sale that we saw, we ended up with at 1-room, 5-person tent. Apparently we enjoy stuff on sale for half price more than we love having two rooms while camping. I think we might be able to fit one inflatable queen sized mattress in this tent, we will inevitably argue about who gets to sleep on said inflatable mattress, as all four of us cannot fit on a single mattress. However, we did not find the inflatable mattress on sale at REI, so it is not purchased yet, I assume that maybe we will all be sleeping again on the hard ground on the next trip.

As soon as it arrived, we went camping on the deck. Edda inaugurated it with her afternoon 15 minute nap.

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Ruby checked out the luxurious accommodations:

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Vince finished up the camp out with an outdoor picnic in the back yard. Vince had gone earlier in the day with Jeremy grocery shopping and managed to persuade Jeremy that instead of just the traditional berry and fruit flavored yogurt, that we needed to branch out into foreign territory such as French Vanilla and Orange Creme. And it is one of those flavors that Vince is eating in this photo.

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