Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The aftermath of hurricane Sandy

Because we prepared so thoroughly, Sandy did no damage to the house and no damage to us other than the fact that we were trapped inside the house for days. We filled all our bottles with water, we had non-perishable foods available (Halloween candy), we gassed up all the cars, unplugged all the electronics, and charged up everything we could. I think we could have all gone back to school/work on Tues - but no one did.

Poor Maxi was the most stir-crazy - she really could run for miles and miles everyday and she did not get a good run in for 3 days. By last night, she was so ramped up, she couldn't even settle to fall asleep.

Sunday night, we still had dinner with the family. We had breakfast for dinner to celebrate Seth's 50th birthday!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

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Waiting, waiting for Hurricane Sandy to hit our neck of the woods. Right now it's raining steadily, but no wind. We have incredibly high trees surrounding our house, so we aren't worried about flooding, we are worried about trees falling on our house. Planning on sleeping in the basement tonight.

We are all home, no school, no work (meaning we don't go to work, but as long as the power is on, we are suppose to work) so hunkering down.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Skeleton

At no time has my aging been more apparent than this semester when I'm taking Anatomy and Physiology at the local community college. I have an exam tomorrow on the skeletal system and I'm trying to stuff a million things in my brain about the bones in the body (you will not believe how many landmarks or features on bones that have names like Medial Malleolus). It's a class that is straight memorization and in my early twenties - I know I could have gotten a 100% on this type of test, but with work/kids/house/friends and then this class plus my 40 year old brain which is a little slower on the memory uptake - I think I'll be right on the frustrating B+ level which I'm trying to reconcile myself with as being OK.

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I thought that all the skeletons in class were plastic, but this one is from a real, deceased guy.

Studying yesterday with furry study partners:

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Epic bike ride.

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The weather in the DC area has just been wonderful - the foliage is bursting with color and I'm always trying to remind myself to go outside whenever I have a few free moments. On Sunday, while Edda and I were taking apart the fireplace, Vince and Jeremy went with the Cub Scouts on a 20 mile ride on the C&O canal - past Leesburg and White's Ferry. For some reason, they were slow going with lots of breaks (maybe the fact they had many small children), they didn't get back home until well after dark.

Edda and I were getting a bit worried about the boys, but they got back OK after enjoying a dinner at McDonald's which Vince has been hankering for for months and were tucked into bed for good night's sleep.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Recovering from a terrible haircut.

I can't believe we paid someone to give Edda a haircut that makes her look a little like a Romulan. So this weekend, even though it's not quite completely grown out yet, I took a pair of scissors to her head in a desperate attempt to make it more Dora-like.

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Better, huh? (Please ignore food-stained shirt on Edda. I was cutting her damn hair! Who needs a clean shirt for a hair cut?)

I am a little at a loss about what to do with Edda these days - her mood is back to normal - but she really resists doing anything else besides watching TV and if you ask me what else she is interested in besides watching TV, I would have to give you a big - well, I dunno. I have these various ideas, swimming, adaptive soccer, etc, but frankly, it requires so much effort from me! And I'm inherently lazy and Edda is almost 80 pounds and is much, much harder to handle than when she was 40 lbs.

So then I had a different idea - that Edda needed to be busy with me! So this weekend, we took apart the basement fireplace to show that - indeed, there is no insulation in the shaft which is why it it pouring in cold air every winter.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Last game of the season.

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Beautiful fall weekend! Vince played his last soccer game - he had a great time on this low-key team. Wanted to play, wanted to be there - such a nice thing. It did not hurt that he was on a winning team and that he had a friend and made friends on this team. He left trying to convince everyone to sign up for basketball which is the winter sport we are doing.

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I was strangely possessed to make a cake from a box - I haven't made a box cake in a long time, I think I just wanted to see how it turned out. Of course, homemade is better, but this cake sufficed for the post-game party.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Reaching goals.

I started getting all Asian-mom on Vince with his violin practicing exactly a month ago and although I have yet to hit him or yell at him, he has practiced triumphantly (and begrudgingly) for 30 days in a row. There have been tears and there have been bribes, but I think we made a lot of progress in the past 30 days - mainly to learn that there are some things that are hard and not fun and if you work at them, you will get better. We are well on our way to Carnegie Hall (just kidding - I'm just hoping to make it to the next recital).

Although the bribe for making it 30 days was a video game for the Wii, we decided to go out yesterday to celebrate by having dinner at the bubble tea place down the street.

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Edda was a little confused by the bubbles.

Last night, Edda was in a good, vocal mood, and I tried to ask her to say "mom". I think she was trying - I tried really hard to turn in my head the sounds she was making into the word "mom" but I couldn't hear it. No matter - she kept chattering and eventually fell asleep in my arms.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Be good.

I try hard to find meaning in the routine things I do everyday. That in the face of hard, difficult days, that one can put one foot in front of the other and proceed forward - that the forward motion might not seem to be very much, but at least it is something. Sometimes it can seem like the days are all the same, that all efforts are futile and that there is no point to it all - but I know that is not true. Be good to each other.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When I first started working from home (3 years ago now), I started cooking dinner so that the family would be ready to eat the within 15 minutes of Jeremy walking in the door. I'm not the natural cook in the house, everything I learned, I learned from watching Jeremy cook. I tend to wander over into fish stick territory - easy prep, easy cleanup (especially if you line the cookie sheet with tin foil). Anyways I was cooking, cooking and cooking three years ago and I asked Jeremy if he was pleased that he got to eat as soon as he walked in the door. Jeremy replied that although he did enjoy my food, as far as he was concerned, cooking was something that *he* loved doing, so I was really doing him no favor by cooking every night because I was depriving him of something that he really enjoyed.

So then I got a little huffy and I stopped cooking dinners. For like 2.5 years. If I needed to cook dinners, I would make my world famous fish sticks and tater tots. It got so bad that Vince was concerned whenever Jeremy went on a business trip that I would be unable to feed the family. I can't believe our little petty argument went on for 2.5 years - I am not usually one to hold a grudge, but apparently I can do it for years. Jeremy likes rotating favorites and I like making new recipes and cooking it only once, so without me cooking, Jeremy thought we were only eating like 4 kinds of dinners on the weeknights - it was getting a little boring.

So now I cook 2-3 nights a week - last night I made a vegetarian meal (at least for the grown ups) - spinach, beets, potatoes, carrots, pecans, goat cheese and a fried egg. Yummy!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

I haven't run for a few days because the inside of my ankle has been feeling weird. Weird meaning that it hurts. And it's a little swollen. It's nice that you can google "pain inside ankle" and just self-diagnose yourself as having posterior tibial tendonitis and feel good about yourself that you didn't need to go to some fancy doctor who would have told you just to stop running. So I've decided to take a few days off and maybe eyeball my new running shoes as the culprit and leave it at that. It just turns out that my running partner is not feeling well today - so luckily I didn't have to be the only one bailing out of this morning's run.

It was a lovely weekend - on Saturday, Jeremy spent the day in Virginia and Vince spent the day in southern Md and it was just me and Miss Edda all day. We spent part of the day with some of our friends with Rett Syndrome at the Blue Sky Girls event in College Park, MD.

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We were a small but mighty group!

We ducked out a little bit early, Edda was starting to be unhappy with it all and I wanted to spend the day just the two of us together.

Our first stop was IKEA where we enjoyed the famous meatballs. And then we walked around the whole market place - Edda joyfully yelling "Bah!" and me window shopping at all the awesomeness that I wanted but did not need.

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Second stop was at Target and the third stop was home. Once I got home, I had all the good intentions of studying parts of the skull, but really I lay down on the couch, put the book next to me, Boba sat on my chest and I fell asleep for a few hours. Edda watched TV and periodically sat on my head. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Neurology friday

We went to Edda's neurologist on Friday. He's recently taken a job with Children's as the Medical Director of pediatric neurology which started on Sept 1. So, more than a month ago, when we were in the midst of Edda's crazy, unhappy moods, we made the earliest appointment we could which was on Friday because he wasn't seeing patients for the first 6 weeks of his new job.

Of course, over the span of the last months or so, Edda's moods have swung back to being more and more herself. Usually chipper, predictably pissed at waiting in line or going on a walk in the park. So we walked into the neuro appointment basically clueless about what to say about Edda.

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We brought Dr. Difazio back up to speed with Edda's summer and then he said we did everything that we could and got ready to pack up. We congratulated him on his new job and he ask (because I was wearing the T-shirt) if I had run the local half marathon this year - he's also a runner - and I laughed and said that I had just volunteered this year.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Busted!

So we were walking the kids to school - Boba, Ruby, Vince, friend and me. Minding our own business. Pooping:

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and picking up the poop:

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Just your regular morning routine. After Vince and pal were dropped off, I went behind the school to the tennis courts where I meet up with a few other doggie comrades. There we were - chatting about the crap that we always chat about - while the doggies enjoy their time running around chasing balls. After we were there a few minutes, the Rockville police comes by and tells us (very nicely and kind of apologetically) that even though we were in the tennis courts, we were still breaking the city's off-leash law. So I got a written citation and Ruby and Boba and I are all semi-criminals now. I guess I need to find a private yard to hang out in. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Running with friends.

It was a really busy weekend - usually I don't like packing so many things in a weekend (really one needs some time to watch bad TV and eat cookies), but somehow the schedule just worked out that way. So, in addition to celebrating turning 40 and having my in-laws in town, I also managed to squeeze in a 10K run on Sunday morning just before the rain started pouring. Originally, I signed up for this because I thought I would be training for the Disney princess half-marathon in Feb with (at least) two local Rett mom friends, but I'm just not that into it in so many ways the least of which is that I don't really want to run for more than two hours in a row.

This 10K I ran in just slightly over an hour which is way better than I thought I would do - it was flat and fast and I had a pal to chat with the whole time.

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I'm so pleased I've been running 4-5 a week for months now, it's really been such an accomplishment for me :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sick Edda -

Edda found herself with a 38.5 C fever today - so it has been a day of Motrin, cuddles and TV. No school, no occupational therapy - just pacing the well worn carpet in front of the TV with frequent breaks to sit on the couch and just lounge in pajamas all day.  She was happy and smiling when the Motrin was in effect, but when it wore off, she looked a worn out and tired.  Still, she ate well and was in good spirits.

I'm glad she was well enough to spend the weekend happy and unsick with Jeremy's parents. They were in town to see us over the long Columbus Day weekend - and we had a weekend packed of movie going, concert hearing and restaurant eating. And, I suppose unfortunately for Vince, a weekend of music practicing.

I have recently jump started Vince's violin practice schedule (gotta whip out my best Asian mom impression) and we have been making good progress. Bob brought his cello to complete our little trio - Vince on violin, me on piano and Bob on cello.  Below is a snapshot of Vince, Bob and Kelly (Vince's violin teacher) playing a trio at his lesson on Sunday.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

We are 40!

A few years ago, my best friends from high school, who I generally had lost touch with, and I started getting together and traveling once a year. This year, we all turned 40, and we traveled around to see each other to celebrate, this weekend was one of celebration and lots of eating. We tried to recreate a photo of us in the high school yearbook.

1990:

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today!

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rainbows, unicorns and cotton candy.

Ah, look at the glory of a nice picture taken by a real camera! We love Boba so much - he is scheduled to head home in the middle of October and we will be so sad when he leaves. He is 20 pounds and lets me hold him like a nursing baby. He sleeps on Vince's pillow at night. He runs into walls because he is blind.

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I know I said no more instagram photos, but it's not true. I am a hypocrite.

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After a tough, tough summer with Edda's moods, we have now had a few weeks where Edda is happy and excited to be out and about,  I hope this mood never goes away. This weekend I took her Vince's soccer game and it was fine. Almost relaxing. I was beginning to doubt myself that I could take Edda on my own into the outside world, but there I was on a beautiful day with my beautiful daughter just hanging out.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pouring rain!

I almost can't believe it, but I have been a diligent runner since the beginning of summer - I've found an early morning running partner, I've found a running club, I've found race friends. It doesn't mean that I don't run on my own, one of the best parts of running is that it is cheap and fast, you leave your house and you are back home at the end of the workout - no scheduled class to make, no drive to the gym - this week, I'm doing early morning runs by myself and Maxi - rocking out to my electronica music and wearing my reflective safely patrol gear.

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Maxi is usually a very good running partner, eager and persistent and excited. All the motivation I need to head out in the dark and cold. Yesterday provided an extra challenge - pouring rain. I though I saw a break in the rain when I headed out, but by the time I hit the half mile mark, I was soaked through and Maxi was looking very, very sad and not going very fast. So I took a shortcut and headed home. As soon as Maxi discovered that we were headed home, she practically broke out in a sprint.

Hours later, it was still pouring - Vince convinced me to walk to school. That did not work out so well :(

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Monday, October 1, 2012

DSLR back on-line.

Thank goodness for nice picture quality. No more instagram photos. Whew. (Well OK, maybe there will be a few more, but I'm going to try and go back to the DSLR.)

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