Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pets.

I forgot to mention that Little, our developmentally delayed frog, left this world earlier this month and went to the (non-Bisphenol-A contaminated) pond in the sky. Vince was heartbroken and didn't want to just flush him down the toilet, so he's in the freezer right now awaiting a spring burial.

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It took me a few weeks to clean out the tank and welcome new inhabitants into the aquarium. And they have new digs - the Parthenon. We got four goldfish and there is one that you can already tell in this photo is almost about to join Little in the great big pond in the sky and his corporeal remains are now in the freezer (in the same baggie) as Little.

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Maxi has been a great big thorn in my ass. She has a dominate streak that needed to be squelched and we started last week when I regained the alpha position in the household. I am not naturally an alpha, so when it became clear that I needed to be alpha or else Maxi would end up running the house, I had to change my whole personality. Just ask Vince and Jeremy, I was yelling at them for a few days to SIT! STAY! It was not very much fun for any of us. I wanted the submissive puppy, the submissive one! Not the one with a Napoleon complex, because Maxi at 40 lbs is the smallest one of us all.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Husband working from home.

Jeremy worked from home on Thursday. He comes with me on my morning run.

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We take the doggies with us. They wait patiently for Sharon, the school crossing guard, who always has treats.

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And we work and work and work. (And I eat cake. See blue plate under on my desk.)

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week in review.

I work on a two-week cycle called a biweek. Every two weeks, a computer system does its batch job and calculates how many patents I have processed and sees if I have met my quota for the biweek. My job is a monotonous mountain of paperwork, but I can not tell you how much pleasure I get from starting over with a clean slate at the beginning of each biweek.

At the start of each biweek, I give myself a pep talk and tell myself, this is the biweek where for TWO weeks, everything will run smoothly according to plan and nothing out of the ordinary will happen. This has not happened for many, many biweeks.

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Edda has been sick all week. I know she will miss school tomorrow as she still is trying to shake off her fever today (day 4 of the fever). She is chipper now, but earlier in the week, she has been hovering at the 104 F fever mark, which is scary, but it is how Edda typically gets sick. We took her to the doctor and checked for ear/throat issues - I really wish Edda could tell me if her ear or throat hurt or if she has a UTI. It's, unfortunately, always a big mystery. I want to buy my own ear light thing-y and my own strep tests so I can run them myself at home.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dim sum.

Edda is still running a pretty high fever today - I'm hoping it breaks tonight, but it's been a struggle to keep her happy all day. I'm typing this in the dark, listening to Edda breathe, Ruby snore and hoping that Vince falls asleep before 8:30, which is not happening.

Six hours before she became feverish, we were at dim sum with the rolling carts! I know that this isn't particularly exciting for those living in NYC, SF or LA, but I consider finding the rolling cart dim sum in DC to be a super exciting event! My friend, V. has been on the lookout for the carts for months now and I hadn't been able to find any dim sum carts anywhere in the DC area. But I finally located the elusive dim sum and we ended up gorging ourselves silly.

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And it was fabulous, I haven't had it in years. It was fabulous except for the dessert, which generally is awful. Chinese people are good at preparing meat, not so good at preparing sweets. We tried this rather patriotic jello type dish. We decided it tasted like suntan lotion.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day!

Edda became feverish last night and she still doesn't feel well today. I've spent the afternoon by her side, feeding her syringe-fuls of water to keep her hydrated and watching old episodes of Gray's Anatomy which before this week, I had never seen a single episode.

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2010 ...

2010 was over. However, 2010 was a most-traveled year for us , distance-wise. We were in Shanghai for over a month, in Hong Kong for less than 40 days and in Egypt for 10 days. While in Shanghai and Hong Kong, we took numerous side trips. It was fun. We also climbed the famous Huang Shan (Yellow Mountains) together.

Hopefully, our travel will pick up, or at least on the same level, for several more years to come. For instance, this Spring, we decide to drive all the way to the west in late March or early April. And we will be back in Fall, in October by driving also. I believe it will be our 5th and 6th times to drive across the country.

I like the countryside of Colorado a lot. Too bad, can't have a small cottage there. It is just not too economical, too far away from anything and our driving range is decreasing daily :), almost stop nightly on unfamiliar routes. Besides, for us, easy-access to medical care is becoming more and more a necessity than ever before. When I was young, I was always dreaming of living in a remote picturistic countryside when getting old. My dream at that time, evidently, didn't factor in that my old body sometimes needs all kinds of attention :)

On the way out to the west, this time, I would like to visit my siblings along the way, one in Chicago, one in Dallas, one in NM, and several in LA. Before, going to WA, of course, we would like to stop by in SF to see Donald.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Growing up.

I'm beginning to understand why there are so many mommy blogs of kids who are pre-school age and not so many once the kids get older. Things that are happening in the house are complicated to explain and stretch out for days/weeks at a time and pretty much just involves us talking/arguing/discussing things that need to be addressed/done in the next 5 minutes/scheduled (or we are just yelling at Maxi, the puppy). It's not very photogenic, nor is it really interesting to anyone else outside the family unit. Trust me, I've explained some of the things to friends at work and sometimes I get a shrug, sometimes I get a yawn, and sometimes I get the response, "I have no idea what you are talking about." Hmmm...

I'm not sure where this blog is going, but I'm still trying...

We got an energy audit done on the house because we were concerned about our high heating bills. It's sponsored by Pepco and was only $100 (and is probably going to reveal thousands of dollars of possible improvements to the house to recoup probably less than 10% of our heating bill for 3 months out of the year...)

They come and put this thing on your door, make sure all the windows are closed and suck air out of the house to see how leaky your house is. Pretty cool.

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Jeremy and I also went out on a date to learn Adult, Child and Infant CPR. It was a 6 hour class taught by the Red Cross and I really had a nice time relearning CPR. I think the last time I was certified was in 1992 when I was training to be and actually passed the test to become an EMT.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

We failed at actually putting together Valentines for Vince's class. I didn't realize when I help Vince choose the Mr. Potato(e) Head ones that each one required a whole mess of stickers on them...

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They did not get done.

I told Vince to just bring a bag of lollipops. "How will they know the lollipops are from me?", he asked. I told him that he was out of time and that he would just have to announce it to the whole class. He said OK.

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Maybe next year.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hippotherapy.

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Edda's horse experience has shifted from hippotherapy to therapeutic riding simply because a certified OT is not overseeing her session anymore. Which is mainly a plus for us as the session is cheaper and seems not a lot different from before. I prefer make it even lower key by calling them Edda's horseback riding lessons. It's something we do for fun (or at least Edda and Jeremy do for fun, as I rarely go to the lessons).

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I asked Jeremy if he remembered the name of the horse, and alas, he did not, so I might have to name this horse in the photo myself. Hmmm. It might help if I could figure out if the horse was a boy or girl.

Here's Edda taking full advantage of the rocking motion of the horse by falling asleep sitting up. Woo hoo!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Babysitting.

It has been a veritable comedy of errors all week. No need to go into everything, but at least the car didn't end up in a ditch or anything. Ha ha ;)

Ruby and Maxi have a doggie pal, Boba, who lives in the neighborhood. Boba used to be an only child until 4 months ago, Boba got a human little brother. Ever since then, Boba has had to learn to make do with fewer walks and not as much cuddle time. Sigh. The life of a big brother is hard.

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Anyways last weekend, I got to babysit Boba (and his 4 month old baby brother) and I have to say that it was the easiest babysitting gig ever. I just put the baby in the crib at 6:30 and he slept peacefully for hours! Hours! So young and already so well behaved.

I spent the time untangling yarn that Maxi had gotten into.

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And I relished the peace and absolute quiet in the house.

And I got these amazing Georgetown cupcakes in return! Oh, so good, especially the Oreo mint one. Just amazing.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vince ear infection.

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Vince has an ear infection - I think one of the first ones ever. Our doctor's appointment was yesterday at 11 and we drive by a KFC on the way there and he asked if we could eat at KFC for lunch on the way back. He has a fondness for KFC which stems from his formative years in Singapore where KFC is the dominate fast food restaurant because Asians prefer chicken over beef (aka McDonald's).

I would not have known that Vince had an ear infection if he didn't moan and complain about how much his ear hurt. I wonder how many of Edda's ear infections I have missed because I couldn't tell what was wrong. Probably a handful. :(

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jeremy's head shot.

Jeremy needed a head shot for something or other, so I snapped some photos of him. He pulled out all his weird glasses and suits and ties. I like the photos of him looking down and away - but those aren't the ones that he's going to use.

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I don't know when he decided to get these glasses - I think they are lab glasses and explosion proof.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

A quiet weekend.

It's been a quiet weekend here, most everyone has a version of the cold Edda had last week - and so we are trying to go to sleep early and drink lots of fluids. Jeremy turned the heat up in the house so we are all toasty and hopefully we'll all be asleep before the end of the third quarter for the Super Bowl.

Of course, even though we are all a little sick, we still need to get food, so here we are at Trader Joe's picking up supplies for the week -

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I always think I need another plant, but I resist and tell myself that I don't need an extra thing to take care of in the house:

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Although I am curious about this jasmine plant:

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Friday, February 4, 2011

old skool.

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Jeremy is doing a presentation in which he makes and analogy about how far telecommunications has come in the past 50 years vs the innovation of the car engine. While we were at my parents' house celebrating Chinese New Year, he borrowed an old rotary phone from my parents to use as a prop in his presentation - I think it's the one I used to call all my girlfriends in high school. I think most people in the late 90s had moved on to those press-button princess phones, but my family, we are old skool.

We still have a land line going to the house, although I'm not sure I should call it a land line as it is an internet phone. I was totally sure that the rotary phone would not work on the house line, because I figured if you are with it enough to set up an internet phone line, I figured they would know you probably would have upgraded from the rotary phone.

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But lo and behold! Jeremy called our cell phone from the rotary phone no problem. He asked how the sound quality was, I told him he sounded like he was from 1985.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy new year!

Happy Chinese New Year. It's the year of the Rabbit!

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Be sure to set off some fireworks!

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our Experience in Egypt just 3 Weeks Ago

Rena & I were in Egypt for 10 days just 3 weeks ago. We are not surprise at all that the current government is in trouble and the ordinary Egyptians are demanding to have a better government installed asap.

Therefore, I don't quite understand that,with all our seasoned State Department fellows, we (the USA) can pursue such policies of ignoring what have been going-on daily in Egyptian streets, especially for their commoners.

It didn't take us long to figure out that the status quo there was unsustainable. Public services which government should provide, were very rare and awfully inadequate. Something has to give ...

Look at this National Museum, where the protests are raging nearby, it houses many priceless treasures. It was indeed in bad shape. All the exhibits inside are pretty disorganized. The front desk and security screening are jokes. Even the rest rooms are not free. Windows can't be closed properly, etc, etc. I would say, it is in the same bad shape as our Martin Luther King Memorial in Atlanta several years ago.

We could tell a lot of Egyptians didn't like Americans at all. For instance, Rena and I had a very bad experience with a hotel clerk once he discovered that we had American Passport. Based on what was going-on daily in his country three weeks ago and before, I was quite understandable. Even with that, I was furious.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Good friends -

Vince has been both lucky and unlucky in friends. He's been lucky as he's had a bunch of really nice best friends in kindergarten, first and second grades. He's been unlucky because his best friends have a habit of moving away. Luckily for us, his best pal from second grade moved only 45 minutes away from us, so we get to get together every few months or so.

I found out at Vince and D's last sleepover that D's mom is a huge snowboarding fan and that she's been having trouble convincing D to go out on the slopes. So we coordinated schedules and all headed out to White Tail Ski Resort last Saturday.

Playing DS on the way up to the resort:

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Falling in our rental gear:

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Getting ready for our first ski lesson which turned into a mini-fiasco, a bit of crying and wanting to go home:

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But we lived through it! Vince got 3-4 runs down the bunny slope without too much trouble, but his stopping technique has a bit to be desired. I went down the bunny slope with him and was impressed with myself - I haven't been skiing in over 15 years, but I managed to turn and stop. Of course, the next day I could barely move. Ugh.