Friday, November 30, 2012

Studying, studying.

Up early to study muscles. Wishing I had one more day to nail it all down, but I'm doing what I can.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Studying anatomy.

This is Maxi's best friend in the 'hood - Toby. Toby is French - a Bouvier des Fandres and is always up for romping!

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I'm working hard and studying for my anatomy test tomorrow - all about muscle groups - been looking at a lot of cadaver youtube videos (which always makes me want to throw up into my mouth a little). I realized a few weeks ago that I could start nursing school in the fall of 2013 which is sooner than I thought possible, so I'm trying to pull together my application in the next month which on top of working/the holidays/and the ever growing pile of laundry, seems a little like doing magic tricks.

Of course, I have been procrastinating and yearning to go to this magic show in NYC:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Procrastination.

I am still listening non-stop to Christmas music during the day. Are my spirits lifted? I think so. I'm almost enjoying gift shopping and it's even nicer that I can shop while sitting in my house and therefore procrastinate on the 10,000 other things I should be doing like working, cleaning or studying.

I have declared unilateral command of the gift purchasing this year. As Jeremy doesn't like to buy gifts until the 22nd, so I decided that I was going to buy all the gifts this year early (like this week) and not even bring Jeremy into it all until later. Of course, it ends up that I bought Vince something that Jeremy already owns. But whatever, that's what Vince is getting. So there.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Very exciting Thanksgiving.

Jeremy cut the turkey in half!  What is happening?

There is no true Thanksgiving without a marital argument. Jeremy and I always partake of this annual tradition by getting mad at each other on Thanksgiving morning, mere hours before folks descended to our house. Of course, the argument was over cranberry sauce, and as we are having this argument we are kind of laughing at each other saying that this is the start of our annual holiday argument. It has resolved by now, thank goodness.

Other than our little tiff, Thanksgiving was wonderful. Reinforced our impression that it is Edda's favorite holiday. I've never seen her so happy eating so much food and she went to bed with the largest smile I've seen in a while. We are so lucky she eats so well and grows so well, really a huge blessing.

Donald introduced all of us to his girlfriend Annie and with Annie came her sister, Judy and Judy's funny and kind boyfriend, Yancy. Oh yes, and their Rhodesian ridge back puppy!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Long noodles

I have been reading with interest the reviews of Andrew Solomon's book, Far from the Tree. The book is about "horizontal" children - children that are so different from their parents that instead of a vertical passing of similar characteristics, they are horizontal from their parents and live in a world completely different from what their parents are used to. I suppose I count Edda as my own horizontal child. He interviewed many, many families with horizontal children and the book has been getting favorable reviews. I will read it when I get a chance to - probably in a few years knowing the rate at which I read books. When it does get to the top of my list, I'm hoping that I will find it more interesting than the Noonday Demon, which also had a very personal topic, but I found not very interesting to read.

I am really a Scrooge for the holidays, I'm trying to be in a better mood by listening to the Pandora Christmas channel all day. Thanksgiving was lovely, lots of food which started with long noodles on the 21st for my mother's birthday.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vincent loves to have fun.

Yesterday, Vince and I limped through an hour-long violin practice session. It really should have been 30 minutes, I don't have the time everyday to sit there for an hour negotiating with him the merits of counting or bowing. Tears on one side, exasperation on the other side. I have been slowly ramping up my expectations of Vince, with schoolwork and chores and violin practicing. It is not fun for either of us. Vince loves having fun and doing stuff that he has to do is not fun.

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Here he is with a pal, testing out different flavors of smelly pencils.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday season

I forget every year that I am the Scrooge every year. Jeremy privately pulled Vince aside last night and told him to give me some slack because I don't like Christmas and that I get grouchy this time of year. Every year, I try to be cheerful and often fail. Yes, there are many things that I am thankful for, but at the end of the year, I always think about the people I miss, the relationships that are not perfect, the goals that I haven't met, etc. etc.

Should I start a gratitude journal? Maybe - we'll see.

OK, so I have a gratitude. After years of not falling, Edda fell twice flat backwards in the past few days - once on Saturday (in front of a house full of guests) and once yesterday at school. I am grateful that Edda seems fine, although the spot where she always hits is permanently hairless. I am grateful that she had her helmet on for one of the falls, and I am grateful that I can go and afford to buy another stronger helmet if I think I need to. (OK - this grateful entry is still a little scrooge-like. i can't help it.)

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankfulness

Even though I am looking forward to the holidays - I'm still am a little melancholy.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Donations for Emma -

In case any of my thirteen blog readers would like to donate some funds to Emma's family, here is the info:

There has been a fund set up at BB&T bank in memory of precious Emma, to assist Beth and Sean with funeral costs and medical bills. If you want to donate, you can make a check payable to "The Emma Claire Reilly Memorial Fund" and mail to the BB&T bank branch in Mt. Airy.

The address is:
BB&T 443 E. Ridgeville Blvd. Mount Airy, MD 21771

If you would prefer to donate via Paypal instead, please login into your account and send money to the following email address: emmareillymemorialfund@hotmail.com. After denoting your amount, please click the tab "Personal" and click on "Gift." This way, Paypal will not deduct any fees from the money.

Here's a photo of Edda and Emma at a picnic in 2010 - you guys know Edda - Emma is sitting on her mama's lap (look for the mama in the blue skirt)

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Jim Thorpe

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Ruby has the best spot in the house during story reading time. I love that Jeremy reads to Vince because I don't really like reading aloud. I also like that we also tend to pick kind of obscure books - no Harry Potter or Lightning Thief here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sadness and happiness.

Emma, a friend of Edda's and mine, passed away from complications due to Rett Syndrome this past weekend. Just a few hours before Emma passed away, I was having dinner with her mom and a bunch of other "Rett" moms, scarfing down margaritas and sweet potato french fries and laughing/commiserating/complaining as all girl-fests are apt to turn into. This week, we are all heartbroken.

Overlapping with this intense sorrow over the end of a life, there is also great happiness as life begins anew for Bert - my newest friend on the planet Earth. It seems impossible that I hold both feelings in my hand this week.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Woods.

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I was lucky enough to take a walk mid-day yesterday with the doggies. I like to go tromping through the small patch of woods near our house. Nothing makes me feel a little better than being outside. Maxi likes it too.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Veteran's day

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The kids are having half days at school yesterday and today to fit in parent teacher conferences. I think this means that there will be no full weeks of school in the month of November - we lost two days to Hurricane Sandy, two days to the election, 2 half days for parent/teacher conferences and next week will be Thanksgiving.

Edda's teacher this year is so upbeat, so energetic, so on top of everything - it makes me kind of want to cry with relief. And also after such a moody summer with Edda, it's good to hear that she is awake and happy and participating in her own way. The teacher's big challenge this year is to do the Alternative-MSA for Edda. MSA is the standard testing that all the kids in the county have to take to determine their skill levels in reading and writing - I think it is given every year from 3-8th grade (I know!  Overkill - even for the typical kids.)  She is to be tested on grade level material - modified especially for her. I can't decide if it is a complete waste of time that the test is modified so much that it is meaningless or if it is a good thing for Edda and her classmates. With Edda's enthusiastic teacher and her can-do attitude, I can only see the upside for Edda and her amigos.

Vince is doing just fine - writing is still a big weakness, not doing more than the bare minimum is also a weakness, but he's interested in reading, in participating, and eager to be at school. All good things. And last night, he learned some first aid at the den meeting at cub scouts. They had some pictures of people with frostbite and somehow the photo ended up in front of him and at some point, he was so freaked out that he had to find me in the parents section to snuggle. I flipped the photo over.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mom Will Be Back, Tomorrow

Today, Mom went to my office to look around and meet my office people.  Tomorrow, early in the morning, I am going to take Mom to the San Jose Airport for her to fly back to Washington DC.

I will stay my San Jose apartment alone for a while.  Mom has already stocked-up a lot of food for me in the refrigerator.  The food will last for a long time, I am sure.

Life at San Jose is as usual, except my old Windstar of 1996 is always acting up.  Hopefully, it will last at least for 6 more months, may be longer I hope.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

All about love.

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Love holds us all together - everyday! xoxo

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another blog post.

It's the beginning of the long Veteran's Day weekend - Vince is out with his scout troop and I'm about to step into the shower with Edda. Edda hasn't had a shower in a few days and her hair is getting a little greasy. I never understand when fashion magazines tout the advantages of unwashed hair. I wish I could bathe Edda every day - I could have our sitters help us out, but the accessible bathroom is the master bath and I work our bedroom so it is a little awkward to have the sitter in our own private space and also while I am working. I would do it in the evening, but then Edda gets grumpy and it just seems easier to just ease her into bed without tormenting her with a shower. Anyways, it just means that she's a little bit under bathed. Not too terrible I suppose.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Well this is just crap.

Edda went to a regular 3rd grade classroom for the Halloween party. Her teacher asked if I could come in during to party to help out and dutifully I go every year to help out even though it makes me sad and then a little sadder.

Usually Edda falls asleep:

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Then I go rogue with the crafts, (this was suppose to be a scary ghost):

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Even though I go and I know it makes me all unhappy, I had a wonderful time with Edda's teachers and aides, we've been there for years and know everyone there pretty well and it is with open hearts that we laugh and cry together.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween hate and love.

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So many things in life - I both love and hate. For example - running, laundry, my job and ice cream. I also both love and hate Halloween. I love that it's in the fall and it involves being crafty. I love that there are no gifts to be bought and that the whole neighborhood comes out to meet each other. I hate that it so starkly highlights how Edda really is missing out on so many things.

Last year, Edda and Vince were bacon and eggs and I didn't really think I could top that this year, especially since Vince really, really wanted to be a bar of chocolate (which I thought was pretty lame). Edda I knew I wanted her to be Waldo from "Where's Waldo?" and I ordered items from eBay over the past month for her. I kept procrastinating and delaying my starting efforts on Vince's costume until the last possible moment. I think it all turned out very well - Vince and Edda both got a lot of great comments on their costumes.

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