Sunday, June 30, 2013

Off to camp!


Vince is off to Boy Scout camp.  He is such a big kid now.  He picked out his own sunglasses at Target.  I think that maybe it ruins the whole "rugged, outdoorsman" image? 



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ruby doobie.


Ruby had a play date today.  She stopped and smelled the drainpipe.


I'm happy and exhausted, I can't wait for my microbiology class to be over simply because it's taking up so much of my time and energy.   But I'm also having a lot of fun doing it.  Here's a sample of my oral flora growing in a test tube, the yellower it is, the more bacteria in your mouth:


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Looking forward to the 4th of July!

Last summer I completely booked (some may say overbooked) Vince's summer - every week, there was camp or a trip or something or other and by the end of August, he was so unhappy that he never got a chance to hang out with his pals. So this summer, he's only really booked the month of July and there is a lot of down time and family activities in June and August. Last night he took advantage of his week of total unstructured time and went over to a pal's house for a sleepover, I think they must have gone to bed at 3 am because they didn't get up until 11 am. I came home from class at 3:30 just in time to watch them make hash browns by smashing tater tots in a waffle iron. I think they learned how to do that on youtube. Sigh. I need my own summer break!!



Ready To Leave Washington DC

Well, tomorrow I am flying back to Portland, OR. and to enjoy the cool summer weather at Washogal, WA there.  After spent about 20 days here in Washington DC, the deer fence has been remodeled, the outside of future bedroom basement egress window has been tidied up, the yard looks nice, the basement is all cleaned up (after 8 trips to the dump site to get rid of all papers, boxes and card boards), of course, the messy car paint on Rena's Honda CRV has been removed carefully.

But, the first problem was the weather was hot, the upstairs AC didn't work and car AC was barely functioning.  It was hot, hot, without AC and with more heat.  The second was with all this dusts, weeds, my allergy was coming back strong.  Evidently, I survived and felt good now.  Can't wait to see Rena there.

Monday, June 24, 2013

First day of camp.


Edda started her first day of camp today.  We had such a heartbreaking experience last summer because of Edda's miserable mood, I'm hoping that this summer will be better.  We went to orientation on Sunday so Edda's one-on-one could meet her.  I'm crossing my fingers this summer goes well. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Trees in my path.

I went for a run by myself this morning and made it only 0.75 miles before I called it quits. I rarely do that, my heart and mind just weren't into it today. Maxi, my trusty doggie coach, was still eager to keep going; that dog lives to run. So to make up for the lack of distance, I gave her more interesting sniffing territory - I went home through the woods behind the house.


Driving along the streets, aside from the few tarps nailed to roofs, you can hardly tell that a tornado went through our neighborhood. However, through the back trails of the neighborhood, the destruction is still pretty evident. I wonder if they are going to clean up the trails, or if they are technically unmaintained trails worn deep by many children and dog walkers.


Saturday, June 22, 2013


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Friday, June 21, 2013

Back to civilization.


Boys got back from hiking the AT trail.  They went 20 miles, covered half of the total distance across Maryland.  The weather could not have been any better and they had a great time.  Of course, I only get to see the pictures and hear the stories.  The plan was 5 miles the first day, 10 miles the 2nd day and then 5 miles on the third day.  On the AT, you must camp at designated camp sites which are 5 miles apart.    According to them, five miles is too short and ten miles is too long.  I think they would have been happy with 8 miles between campsites.  They cooked and hiked and talked and set up camp.




Thursday, June 20, 2013



Edda (who has been happy and laughing for months and months now) seems to me to be sliding, just ever so slightly into grumpiness. She's sitting on the toilet now because she seems happier while sitting on the poopster without the need to actually poop; she somehow just like the little bathroom. Oh! I just hear her laughing, it makes me happy that she's laughing. I'm a little petrified that she's going to be as pissed as she was last summer at camp. Of course, I'm anticipating feeling so bad for her, but I'm also anticipating how badly I'll feel for the poor one-on-one counselor who was not really thinking that they would have to be with an inconsolable Edda like for 8 hours a day when they signed up. Jeremy isn't here, otherwise, he'd tell me that I have no idea what's going to happen this summer, so why not start by thinking that it going to be a fantastic summer! It's just not who I am.

I got a few texts from Jeremy and Vince from the trail. They walked 10 miles today. They are pretty exhausted and Vince slightly twisted his ankle and Jeremy's dad fell and scraped his knee. But they made it to the campsite and are getting ready to settle down for the night. I thought I would have been more emotional about it - mainly that Edda and I should both be out there hiking with the rest of them, but I think I'm so busy this week and Edda is so grumpy this week, I'm actually happy that we aren't out there hiking. I know I will feel differently at a different time, but right now, I'm baking bread and feeling good about it all.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Three generations of Martin men.

Headed out into the wilderness for 3 days and 2 nights. (Notice in the first picture, the guy standing next to his smooshed car from the tornado last week, it's the one with the tarp over it.)


They put their food in a bear proof container.  They brought water filters.  They got their space-age freeze dried lasagne.  And they have each other and good weather! 


Monday, June 17, 2013


Edda and I found ourselves inadvertently at an Italian restaurant on the side of Hwy 95 in Virginia on Saturday afternoon.  It's really a long story why Edda and I found ourselves alone and so far from home.  I don't like to drive and this trip just made me never want to leave the 2 square miles around my house.  There are a lot of people within 2 square miles of the house and a grocery store there is really no reason I ever have to leave.  We had a very leisurely lunch which included a nice slice of tiramisu which I think may be the most perfect dessert on the face of the earth. I don't often just hang out with Edda at restaurants - we don't really have that much to say to each other, but we both usually enjoy the food and the company. I'm always a little happily surprised at servers that we meet all the time with Edda in tow. Here she is, a large girl at kind of an upscale eating establishment, kind of flailing her hands around and catching the tablecloth with her arms and the waitress is totally helpful and understanding and acted like she dealt with this everyday.  I want to be kind and understanding all the time, but I know I often fall short of that.  I'm trying to forgive myself for my lapses in behavior.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Feeling lucky!

Vince got promoted from 5th grade on Thursday night.  I guess since the tornado only went down our street and didn't down trees in the whole vicinity and since the high school still had power, they decided to go on with the ceremony.  Vince had a great year, here are his teachers, I give them a lot of credit in educating my son, especially Mr. Thanos who had to deal with Vince's inability to spell. 


Vince sang a solo in the musical portion of the program.  And the best part was when they showed baby pictures of the kids and everyone tried to guess who they were before their name popped up on the screen.  I know so many of the boys (none of the girls yet - although I'm sure that will change in a few years) and it was so wonderful to see them as babies.  I just want to snuggle with them all ten years ago and smell that baby smell! 


Friday, June 14, 2013

Blackout dinner.


Did I mention that Jeremy's been gone all week? I'm exhausted, I've been working, taking midterms for two classes, and trying to manage the last week of school for the kids. And (!) I've been running by myself which is terrible. Because Jeremy's been gone, I haven't been able to run at 5:45 am with my running buddy because she needs to be on her commute at about 7 am, so I go running at 7 or so and it's so much less fun without a friend.

 It's Friday, I'm ready for bed. After the tornado last night, we went to Vince's promotion ceremony which made me cry in a good way. And then we headed back to the house. The weather was cool and dry, the storm had driven out much of the stickiness of the day.  We lit some candles and had leftover spaghetti and some watermelon. I forget how nice quiet (real quiet) can be. We also played with my camera a little.





So we had a tornado go through our neighborhood last night. It was a really little one, so it didn't get much national airplay and it seems to not have damaged the adjacent neighborhoods too much, pretty much just my street and the street next to ours. We are very lucky, no one hurt and no property damage for us, but I think that really, it's only a matter of time before something comes down on our roof.  Here's some of the damage:



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Feeding my father.


My dad is in town without my mother. That means, if left to his own devices, he would eat a bagel every night for dinner. So he comes over every night where he tries to convince me to order takeout. I try and resist because I have a whole week of dinners planned.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Quite a week.

Jeremy testified in front of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. He prepped all weekend and both Monday and Tuesday night. He looked good baby! My favorite question that he got asked was, "Do you eat turkey?" because he was on the same panel as the President of the National Turkey Federation.  Here's a screen shot I got of him during the live stream.  Looking good right?


I, on the other hand, have been really swamped with taking Microbiology and Human Growth and Development and trying to do my day job at the same time.  Both of my classes are compressed into a quick 4-5 week summer session, I just have to grit my teeth and try to just muscle it through the next few weeks.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Childcare -

Nat is here from Thailand to help us out with our childcare needs for a year.  We hire au pairs to be Edda's childcare (Vince is now too old to need a babysitter, heck, I think next year he could be a babysitter himself!) - I depend on my au pairs a lot to allow me to keep the schedule that I keep which is not insanely busy, but having flexible child care allows me to have some time for myself and basically not go totally insane.  We pay a lot for child care, but it allows me not to be too resentful of Edda's disability because I'm not always "on call" for her needs. 


Every year, the au pair agency requires the host family to attend an au pair meeting.  Usually they try and make it fun, I've been to a pizza fundraiser, a shopping spree/tea, and I forget what else.  This time, I went to downtown Bethesda for some sort of kid fair, face painting, balloons, and arts and crafts.  My kids are getting too old for such things, we were surrounded by a bunch of toddlers, but that didn't stop us from having fun.


We got a bunch of balloons, ate a bunch of pizza and ice cream.  Heard toddlers crying about not having a balloon and gave all our balloons away.  A good day.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cardboard city.

I do all my non-grocery shopping online. Clothes, exercise machines, diapers, greeting cards, gardening plants, and even prescription eyeglasses, I order all this online. I find that it's faster and cheaper and I don't ever have to step foot in a shopping mall ever and no salesman need to approach me asking if I need any help. For the past year, I've saved all my cardboard boxes in the basement. Jeremy often looks at the pile and sighs. I've been saving it because once a year, the high school kids at the church raise $ and awareness for homelessness by building some shelters out of cardboard boxes and spend the night camping out in them.

Today was the big day, the day Jeremy has been waiting for. The day that all the cardboard boxes leave the house.   Apparently this is why I bought a minivan.  To move a years worth of cardboard boxes around town. I'm hoping I get a photo of the cardboard house they are going to build out of these boxes.