Monday, April 30, 2012

Traveling Jeremy.

Jeremy is in Orlando this week attending some sort of work conference. He booked his travel too late to get a room at the hotel where the conference is being held, so instead of staying at the super duper resort, he is staying 5 minutes away at something like the Motel 6 for something like a quarter of the price of staying at the super duper resort. He is probably the only person in Orlando who has zero interest in visiting the Disney complex. I hope at least he brought his swim trunks, maybe he can swim in the pool (although who knows if the Motel 6 has any pools to speak of).

As luck would have it, Se Hyun, Edda and I are all sick. Nose blowing, sniffling and just feeling lousy and crummy. Although generally not lousy or crummy enough to not go to school or work. So Edda trudges off to school and the staff sends me continuous updates on her borderline fever temp.  I'm not sure if they want me to pick her up, but as there is no clear directive, I leave her at school because, well, we are all sick here at home too. I trudged off to work today (a whole 10 feet from my warm and comfy bed) and although I make it a policy not to be in my pajamas, I ended up donning my pink-stripy ones at 5 pm and called it a day.  I usually work until 6:15 pm or so - but today I just wanted to make some chicken soup to make us all feel better.

After the chicken soup, Vince and I slog through homework together.  He has been having some problems with completion of work at school as well as not reading the instructions carefully through and therefore getting the questions wrong that he would have been able to figure out if he carefully read what they were asking of him.  He is not a natural homework doer and I'm not a natural homework-doer-enforcer, but we have hit a pretty nice rhythm.  I would love to delegate the homework monitoring to someone else and I have tried, but in the end, no one cares as much as I do.

I've tried to reduce the amount of eye-rolling and exasperated sighs from both him and me to a minimum - it's still a few times each session, but overall, we are OK with each other. The thing that amazes me about Vince is his inability to hold a grudge. He can be mad at you so much with gnashing of teeth and pouting of lip and then five minutes later he will be hugging you so hard and laughing and all is forgiven. He is a bigger person than me in that respect.

Isn't this the cutest thing?

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dallas.

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I was in Dallas this weekend to attend a friend's wedding. (Above is a picture of the breads we were searved at Breadwinners, a place that we went on Sat morning before the wedding. Yummy!) I had a fantastic time, but now I am sick, sick, sick. I left Friday morning and as luck would have it, Edda was sent home from school for being ill at about the same time I had gotten myself to the airport. I got a few nervous texts from Jeremy who deftly arranged pick ups for the kiddos at the appropriate times and he managed to also put a very productive day in himself. I was a little worried he would have to step out of work early, but he was fine.

I felt a little guilty leaving him this weekend with the kids, I have been traveling a bit on the weekends (I had gone to Boston only a few weekends ago) and sometimes it looks like I am gallivanting across the US and leaving Jeremy on a moments notice to toil at home with the kids and having no fun at all. Anyways, I hope he know how much I appreciate his help and that if he ever wanted to travel on the weekend, I would be game for it all.  Someday we will travel together without the kids, I'm not sure when it will happen, but I hoping soon.

Going to weddings always makes me happy because being married makes me very happy. Getting married to Jeremy is the best thing I have ever done in my life. He makes me who I am today and always supports me 100%.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ice cream!

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It's so cold and wet today, I can't believe that we were all enjoying ice cream outside just a few days ago.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Boys getting dirty.

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Vince spent a lot of time outside this weekend. It's nice that we have a neighborhood full of children who run around and knock on each other's doors without me actually having to plan a play date. There is a little "creek" in the back of our house where this weekend the boys pretended they were Navajos (with war paint).

I soon as I saw him covered in dirt at the end of the day, I sent him upstairs to take a bath. He wanted to use Edda's new shower - he got clean and used up 2 bottles of shampoo to get there.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hooters.

Ruby had minor surgery on her elbow to remove a benign growth and a skin tag. After I spent the (too much) money to do it and witnessed how annoyed Ruby is at me for making her wear her neck brace, I think I'm going to think pretty hard about the next time I opt for surgery for any of my pets.

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This is a new kind of "cone of shame" which isn't actually a cone, it's nicer! It's just a ring of plastic around Ruby's neck so she can't bend it too far and straps that go under her armpits so it doesn't slide up over her head. She can still eat and drink and sleep in it, which is a bonus over the old cone design. I did notice that Ruby could reach the very edge of the bandage, so the vet recommended a T-shirt to cover her arms. I grabbed an old Hooters shirt and Ruby has been just incredibly mortified. She would rather hold her pee for 24 hours than go in the front yard with her whole get-up on.

One might ask, why does Doris own a Hooters T-shirt? Does she like going to Hooters enough to actually purchase a shirt from such a wonderful establishment? Actually, I not only own one T-shirt, I actually own 2 T-shirts and a cap (which, unfortunately, Vince wore to school last week without me noticing until another mom pointed it out to me about how funny it was that I allowed my son to wear a Hooters hat to school. I think I have to add a point to the "bad mom" column for that.)

Friday, April 20, 2012

New bath setup.

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So our bath chair that we bought just a year ago has been decommissioned. It still works fine, it's just that Edda slips off the chair and it's hard to keep her on the seat while it's raising up. I've tried a belt, but it digs into her tummy so much so that it looks like I've applied a tourniquet to her midsection. Because using the bath chair with Edda still involved a lot of bending and reaching, I was the only person to bathe Edda. Jeremy is not really very flexible, he can't touch his toes and hates to bend down to pick up something off the floor and hates squatting (which I find extremely comfortable).

So Jeremy went out and spent less than $100 to buy a bath chair and a hose adapter for the master bath shower and voila! Now Jeremy can help Edda stay clean.

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I feel a little stupid because I spent like 3-4 times as much money on this bath chair which we used for just a year when I kind of knew we would have to go to the shower thing anyways. I just really didn't want to give up on baths for Edda. I love baths and prefer them over showers, and I think Edda does to, although yesterday when Jeremy was showering her, she was full of laughter and happiness.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Marble Slab.

Every month there is an "eat out night" for Vince's school and last night it was at our local ice cream place. Edda and I stayed at home - mainly because I'm trying to watch my girly figure - and the rest of the gang went out to indulge. Most of the time, we don't go to these eat out nights because they are mid-week and I'd rather eat at home, but this time, the school had "guest star" scoopers and Vince's teacher told his class that she was going to be there from 6pm till closing. I love his teacher very much and as an added bonus she has the most beautiful teacher handwriting. Thank you Ms. K for teaching Vince about unit conversions.

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Se Hyun is settling into the groove of things, she's been here two weeks now and we can all breath a little easier. In Korea, they have neither a dryer nor a dishwasher. Missing a dishwasher I can understand, but I would totally miss my dryer (even though I know it takes up a big chunk of our energy consumption).

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Plant lab.

I was amused by my biology class this term when I started, but I've become more busy as the term has progressed and my time to devote to this class shrunk to zero. It is all stuff I learned in high school, but I still do have to study as the phases of mitosis are not tucked into the readily accessible parts of my brain.

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Last Monday, we did a plant lab.  Very exciting!  (not.)

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Will Be Back in June

I plan to come back to USA permanently in June of this year. Here, at Haiyang, Shandong, China, I have stayed just over a year and I think it is time to be back home and to be with Rena.

Already, I have packed something to be shipped back to USA. And the rest, I will ship them to Chong Ming Island just in case Rena would stay there as a visitor.

I am debating whether should pay a visit to my home town, Xiamen, before leaving. But, probably not this time. May be, I can visit that place together again with Rena in August or September of this year.

Weather-wise, Haiyang is a nice place to be in Summer. In Winter, isn't that bad either. Other than that, construction is everywhere just to get ready for the 2012 Asian Beach Games. Therefore, rows of virtually empty apartment blocks everywhere too. Don't understand where is the construction money coming from and don't quite comprehend where and/or when the people will occupy all these apartments.

Haiyang is a small town in China. But, I have already witnessed two worse traffic accidents in my life. One victim was burned into charcoal on the road and still burning. The other, his head was split into half almost. Gruesome beyond descriptions indeed! One can imagine how bad their driving habits are. Driving here is an art indeed. Parking is impossible too.



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Parenting by threats.

Vince and I (with a bunch of his other cub scout pals) volunteered this weekend to do some weeding at the church where the pack has all of its meetings. Earlier this week, I had assumed that Jeremy would go with Vince, and I would stay at home with Edda where we would both enjoy the afternoon reading the Sunday Times and watching Dora, but Jeremy said that he needed to go grocery shopping and that I was on the hook for the yard work as he had done it the past two years running. It's not that I mind the weeding so much, it's just that I find keeping Vince on task to be extremely exasperating. He is stubborn and does not like to do things like "work". 

First, take a look at our enemy for the afternoon: common English ivy. For a person who thinks ivy growing on a brick wall kind of makes it beautiful (and more distinguished a la Harvard until it becomes overgrown and then it just turns the structure into something haunted by ghosts), it's a little strange to all of sudden call it a weed. But this is what I weeded for two hours:

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Of course, after 15 minutes, I find Vince under a tree, feigning exhausting and being the only cub scout not cleaning up (I know that this is not true, but it makes me feel better to think this). I let it go on for another 30 minutes or so, this moaning on the grass - he even got another pal to moan with him.

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Finally, I got fed up and told him that if he didn't work for the next hour, that for the next week, he would not have access to anything with a power switch and then he perked right up and worked the whole time. He worked almost happily. He actually told me to stop taking photos and help out bagging the ivy.

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So these are my first iPhone photos. A little unsatisfying picture-quality-wise, but very convienent.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hello!

If you noticed in our Easter photo - there is a young Korean girl standing in the background (appropriately holding up bunny ear fingers!). Se Hyun arrived from Korea on Friday to be our new caregiver and I flew home from Nashville to pick her up. Because the rest of the clan did not get home until Sunday, I had the distinct pleasure of a hosting a very grown-up introduction to DC. We met up with my friend Vickey downtown and ate at the Shake Shack and saw the Botanic Gardens on the most beautiful spring day of the year!

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I even pinched the Washington Monument on the steps of the Capitol Building. I have gained a tad bit of weight since I moved my office next to the fridge during our time without childcare. I see it most in my double chin - but maybe it's always been there - but now that SeHyun is here, I can move my computer back upstairs, where it is far from the kitchen, but dangerously close to the bed. At least naps don't make me pudgy.

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Happy Easter!

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Back from vacation!

Well - at least I am back from vacation - I flew home today from Nashville, but the rest of the pack is still motoring down south. We went to Georgia and Tennessee on this road trip and I did none of the planning, but I did partake of all the fun. I slept a lot in the van, I did nothing on my to-do list and I think I've almost recharged all of my batteries.

The first night - we stopped in a Comfort Inn (our favorite motel chain). This particular one checked into had a heated indoor pool. Edda says AWESOME to that.

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