Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving was a blast.

Thanksgiving was wonderful.  I missed my own family (my parents are in China, my brother decided to do other *more exciting* things), but the Martins are good cooks and good fun.  We ate a lot and talked a lot and went to see the Muppets after the turkey dinner!  I have to admit we had never taken Edda to see a full-length feature film in the theater.  I was worried that she would be too loud, but frankly the movie soundtrack was so loud to begin with that it really wasn't a problem.  She really loved it and (although the movie was a little slow at times) we loved it that she loved it so much.

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Here's her favorite clip :)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Achilles

Jeremy went camping this past weekend. He does not often take leave of us on the weekend, but this was something special. He brought Ruby (but not Maxi who cannot be trusted to come when called) and had a great time. Ruby had a wonderful time tromping through the leaves along the wooded trail, she ate all the discarded apple cores from the boys, got petted by a whole Boy Scout troop and slept at the foot of a sleeping bag.

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Jeremy's been worried about his Achilles heel and how painful it has been just walking around the neighborhood (the picture below shows him icing it after a neighborhood walk). He was worried that maybe he wouldn't be able to hike in the woods, but for whatever reason, his heel didn't bother him that day.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Hippotherapy -

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I never went through a horse phase when I was growing up. So when I took Edda to hippotherapy this past weekend, I thought I would say hello to some of the horses to see if I could conjure up some sort of affection for these enormous animals.

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I think I still don't like horses.  They are very large.  They look at me suspiciously.  They wonder why I didn't bring them a carrot.  I don't really like horses, but I do love horse accessories - all the leather saddles and the boots and this little guy holding a lantern!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy 70th Birthday to Mom

















Happy 70th Birthday to Mom. Yesterday (Sunday), a day before her birthday, we got up at our regular hours and took a walk along the beach just across our apartment. Afternoon, we went to the the market to buy roses and several ingredients for her birthday cake. In the evening, we made her birthday cake together. At night, we chatted a lot, while reflecting upon on our life, our encounters and endless memories - both bad and good.

In fact, in our life, we are pretty lucky to have Doris and Donald came along, plus Jeremy, Vincent and Edda. Furthermore, both of us are pretty healthy and "don't need a lot medical attentions" which is a Blessing. Only one thing, that we would do differently, is to spend more time with our kids. I believe we did our best at that time but probably more should be better and sweeter. Anyway, so far, we are blessed to enjoy our birthdays together - a pair, not just one person.

Tonight, after work and alone, we are going to have dinner together. Of course, both of us look forward to dating again :) Only this time, we know each other for 46 years and have married for 41+ years.

picture 1: Mom with a stick and a home-made fishing boat
picture 2: Mom, roses and her home-made birthday cake

Not the only turkey.


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Edda was a turkey in the school play last week.  I mentioned this to a good friend of mine and she said that she hoped that Edda wasn't THE turkey in the play.  Frankly, it hadn't really crossed my mind that Edda might be the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving feast because a few days before the play,  Edda's teacher and I were discussing the odds of Edda even being awake for the play and perhaps if Edda was sound asleep at 10 am (which is her regular morning nap time) then maybe she would sit out the play.  Anyways, I was relieved to see the following photos from the school, Edda wide awake - off to the side (of course) -  being a turkey with a thousand other 2nd grade turkeys.  Now you might be wondering what sort of weird Thanksgiving day play offers up a hundred turkeys?  Maybe the turkeys are holding a rebellion for a national holiday centered around putting their own necks on the line?  No.  Apparently it was a debate on whether the national bird should be a turkey or a bald eagle.  (Bald eagles not seen in photo and probably on the other side of the stage). 

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Muck and mire.

Well. Things don't often go as planned and unfortunately, the drilling rigs were supposed to be done on Tuesday - but today is Friday and they are still here in the backyard.  I have a lovely photo of the work on Monday, nice leaf covered backyard with the sluice from bedrock/water mixture coming from the bore hole.  Since Monday, it had rained and various problems have cropped up - including city permitting issues as well as hitting the aquifer - which has basically turned the backyard into a huge wrestling mud pit.  I actually do not know the details and I'm trying not to worry about the whole thing because I think we are past the point of no return.  We are going to run those loops 250 ft into the ground, by golly, come hell or high water.  Oh, I guess the high water is already here.

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On Thursday, we went to Edda's school to meet with a psychologist/teacher/team to discuss how to "classify" Edda's disability.  Edda is doing great at her school, this week she went to see the symphony at the Strathmore with all the 2nd graders and enjoyed it and she also was a turkey in the school play on Wed. Basically there were two classification categories to be picking from (as Edda is not blind or deaf or whatever other categories there are) - autism or intellectual disability.  We requested to have her classified under both categories to basically try and encompass more services for Edda going into the future.  I thought we could get it all done at that meeting, but apparently, she has to be assessed and the team has to write up reports and do all this extra stuff to figure out that she is really OK to be in both categories.   Seems like extra work to me, but what do I know.  Nothing (both about psychology and drilling 250 ft into the ground).

I do handle a lot of the school meetings and appointments for the kids, but for these kinds of meetings (which I have done alone before) I asked Jeremy to try and make room in his crazy busy schedule to come home and attend with me.  Even though I know all the teachers and staff want the best for Edda, it is always so hard to hear what Edda can't do.  And she can't do a lot.  And I know there is a lot she can do - most importantly love us and be loved by us - but in many ways what she cannot do always weighs heavily on my mind.  It's always heart wrenching and, you know, I want to cry and really , I want Edda without Rett Syndrome and no amount of school intervention is going to make that come true.  Anyways, thank you to Jeremy for being there for me.

Finally, we returned the eye gaze machine to the rep - I'm glad that we got to trial it for a month.  It really allowed us to see if we would really use it on a day to day basis and the resounding answer is no.  It really is cumbersome to use, it takes up a lot of room on the dining room table and crashes all the time.  Edda did not enjoy using it, we did not enjoy using it, and the teachers did not enjoy using it.  I think it is - by far - the easiest way for Edda to access choices and maybe if it gets cheaper or smaller in the future (think iPad or Kindle small) then we'll pick it up again - otherwise we are letting it go for now.


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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Scouting for food.

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Scouting for food is one of my favorite scouting activites.  Combine a beautiful fall morning with a morning walk and collecting food for the food pantry and doing it all with friends make my heart sing. Poor Ruby got voted to ride in the wagon while being pulled by a bunch of nine year olds. She was not excited.

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Edda had a great time walking with the boys.  Or at least starting the walk - the boys rapidly outpaced her. but she really loved being outside in the sunshine - lots of smiles and laughing.  It reminded me and Jeremy that we need to take more outdoor walks with Edda even though it can be a pain to get us all up and outside and actually walking.

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Donuts and hot chocolate for everyone.

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Boys with their papas.  And the butts of our two doggies.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our little environmental dream.

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So we are fullfilling a little dream of ours (OK, maybe really Jeremy's).  We are installing a geothermal heating system in our back yard.  I don't want to go into the lengthy years-long decision process for installing a new system because really, if the old (well, actually relatively new) system was sized correctly and installed correctly, maybe we wouldn't be doing this, but here we are - enjoying large earth moving equipment in our backyard.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monday afternoon.

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I got to spend a few hours on Monday afternoon with Caroline and her mom, Marta. It was so nice to go to our local park and spend a few hours swinging back and forth in the bucket swing with the fall leaves all around us. Caroline reminded me so much of Edda when Edda was small, I called her Edda at some point in the afternoon when I was cuddling her in my arms.



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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mac mini.

If you know us, we are a die-hard PC family. Jeremy worked for years at AMD which supplies chips to only PC makers and I feel like Apple has advertised it's way into people's hearts, making them spend more $ than they need to on computer equipment. I don't like it that Apple feels a little cult-like and the long lines that form outside an Apple store on the day something is released just makes me uncomfortable to think that there is nothing better to do than to wait in the cold and dark for a little shiny object.

Anyways, all this doesn't mean we aren't immune to the allure (we did buy an Apple TV for Edda, which was one of the best birthday gifts ever for her), especially when you have a little brother who always happens to be an early Apple adopter. Donald surprised us with his old MacMini when he upgraded, which Jeremy promptly added to our little electronic family, Lifehackering it into a little space underneath the kitchen cabinets. As cosmic computer karma would have it, that same night the MacMini came on board, one of our PC laptops died. Sigh.
 

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween.

Halloween was a success (of course). How could is not be a success? Actually, at the dinner table last night, we were trying to think of costumes which would top the bacon/egg combo and we don't really have any good ideas. Jeremy told me that I need to revel in my success as costume-maker and not immediately worry about what I have to do to next year. I took only one photo of the trick-or-treat mayhem - we had the dogs with us and ran into many neighbors which meant that I had to be on the lookout for poop/other dogs/Vince running away with his pals/Edda not being too cold or unhappy. Anyways, my one photo has both the bacon and egg (and chef and a wizard friend) framed in the light of a doorway. Not too shabby.

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Our annual sort - KitKat is the clear winner. Jeremy's favorite, SweetTarts, had a poor showing.

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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...