Monday, March 31, 2014


Trying to introduce Tanner to Ruby.  Tanner lives next door.  We are hoping that they become friends and not frenemies.  I count the play date as a success.  Not much growling, no hurt feelings and no pee spots on the carpet...

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Owen and his mom hung out with us today.  We were planning on taking the boys on a photoshoot outdoors, but it was SNOWING!  Snowing!  It's suppose to be spring!  Instead we geeked out on Photoshop and took some indoor shots.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


On one of the evenings when Vince was off camping, Dara (Nat's boyfriend) came over for dinner. He's a civil engineer, working on building road and bridges in the DC area. Jeremy and Dara talked a lot about traffic.

Also, during that dinner, Jeremy said that there were no pictures of me on the blog, so he grabbed the camera and took these photos.  My own family is so well documented except for me, they will just have to image me taking all the photos when they look through the photos on the blog.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Working out.

These are Jeremy's new workout shoes.  He tries to keep his exercise routine each day to under 15 minutes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Outdoor education

Vince is spending the next two nights camping out with his 6th grade class. MCPS used to have outdoor ed last a full week.   I remember going on this trip myself 30 years ago. It was a lot of fun when I went, but those poor teachers who had to spend a week managing hundreds of pre-teens. Thirty years ago, I'm sure it wasn't SNOWING when we went.  What a crazy winter.  Every 5 minutes, it's snowing.  I'm hoping this is the LAST snowstorm of 2014!  It's almost April...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Edda's birthday.

Today is Edda's actual birthday. If you'd like to make a contribution on behalf of Edda, here's the Rett organization that we like: Rett Syndrome Research Trust. They send 97 cents of every dollar raised to a science lab somewhere in the world full of pipettes, mice, electrophoresis gels and DNA polymerase.  I used to really hope for a cure for Rett Syndrome, but lately I've been happy just thinking I'm raising money to fund a poor gradute student's stipend to further research about the brain. I used to be a poor science graduate student! I loved that I had a stipend so I could spend it on burritos at Baja Fresh! Not that I wouldn't send a box of chocolates every day for the rest of my life to the graduate student who figured out how to fix Edda's brain.

 Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of the pancake breakfast:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Edda's pancake breakfast.

Ten thousand people at the house. OK, really more like 140 people at the house. Our 2nd annual birthday pancake breakfast was a huge success. So many people came to the house to celebrate Edda's tenth birthday. It was overwheming and beautiful and touching and a perfect way to celebrate Edda's birthday. I can't believe Edda is 10. She was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome 8 years ago and I thought I would never be happy again. But here we are, not so many years later and we are just motoring along, doing all the crazy stuff we are doing and having a lot of fun.  

Our family did not implode like I thought it might. We did not stop having fun together like I thought we might. There have been so many sad birthdays with just us sitting around our little table trying to celebrate Edda's birthday without feeling too sorry for ourselves (I'm sure I can look back on this blog and find the photos I posted of those times, but I'm not going to). But sitting in the middle of that party yesterday, I was just so happy and grateful that we turned what had been such a traditionally hard day for us into something that just made my heart burst with joy and happiness.

My mom cooked 25 pounds of bacon.

Jeremy made 500 pancakes.

Turned our house into a cafeteria.

All the grandparents came.

A beautiful tiered birthday cake and tiara.

And Warren, the pizza guy, and his sidekick, Harry, made it the best party ever!

Rett Syndrome, you can kiss my ass.

Happy Birthday, Edda

Happy Birthday, Edda, from Grand Mom and Pa, rena & noel.

While waiting my flight back to Oak Ridge, TN & sitting at a small round table, having my dinner with chicken salad at the National Airport of Washington DC, there are a lot of things taking off and coming back down through my mind.  When gradually settling down, I wish Edda has a wonderful birthday.

I guess I know Edda better than she knows me.  But, it may be not. Who really knows?  It is hard to say in which way it really is.

This morning, Rena went shopping for Edda dresses at Macy's.  And she is not too sure about her sizes. Next time, I definitively will take Edda shopping with Rena.  So, we will make sure the dresses will fit and also enjoy her companionship.


Thursday, March 20, 2014


Running around trying to tie up loose ends for Edda's birthday party on Saturday. One of my errands involved going to the pizza place and having the lunch special - two slices of spinach pizza & a Diet Coke for $5.29. This is Warren. He's the main cook at the pizza place. He'll be at Edda's party on Saturday.  Be there or be square.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quiet week? Maybe? OK quiet hour.

Jeremy's been out of town in SF for the last week from Monday to Monday. Now he's off to Deleware today. So I stop shooting photos and the blog gets neglected. Ummm, let's see what happened? I managed to make it to the mid-way point of this semester of nursing school. This week is spring break, although it's not very spring-like with 10 inches of snow dumped on the ground on Monday night. That resulted in the 10th day of school being cancelled this year. I've done a bunch of clinical days where I go into nursing rehab facilities where I practice a bunch of vital signs and help patients transfer in and out of their beds. Vince and Edda are doing well. Edda went sledding on Monday, I need to find the video of that and post it here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Oak Ridge, TN

After staying in a hotel for a month, it was time to move out to an apartment.  My apartment at Oak Ridge is a pretty new one, about 2 years old.  It is bad because the high voltage power lines are just in front.  It is good because it locates on the same street as my office is and  it is on lake shores.

In my hotel stay, I collected a lot of tissues, bottle water and toilet papers (picture 1).  They can probably last for a while.  The washer and dryer room are inside my bath (picture 2).  And bed is same as at home or at hotel.  One night on real bed is okay.  But, for several nights, I prefer to sleep on the floor.  It makes my back better.  The breakfast place of the apartment is turning into a dining and the place for working (picture 3).  The table and four chairs were bought from "Big Lot" which is one of Mom's favorites.  The light fixtuer is from Walmart.  And the new black-&-white printer (I don't like pictures and color in general.  I prefer text and black & white) is from Staples. On the kitchen counter top is a picture of  Mom and myself which I have carried to everywhere I work, for a long time.  It once was on my office desk in China also.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Violin lessons

Vince's violin lesson with Ms. Kelly. His bow self destructed yesterday because he never relaxes the hair on the bow. All the hair started to just spontaneously fall out.  I wonder if this was some attempt to avoid practicing for a few days.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Denise (au pair #3) skyped today to wish Vince a happy birthday. Edda was so happy to see her! Smiles all around. Denise might come to visit later this year. Very excited!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pulse of Rockville politics.

Saturday night, we went to the annual fellowship dinner at UU. I do like the congregation and I usually go by myself about once a month.  Sometimes I feel really connected to the service. Other times it feels slightly goofy. It's only a couple blocks from the house and the people who go are politically active in the community and we like having our finger on the pulse of progressive politics in suburban MD.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Who are these men/boys?

Look at the shoes of these 11/12 year old boys! For reference, my running shoes are the pink ones on the upper right. The shoes smell bad (except for mine - mine smell like flowers blooming). The boys also smell bad even when they are not wearing any of the bad smelling shoes.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Vince's birthday party in progress..

Where does 12 years disappear to? Twelve years ago, I was huge and 7 days past my due date - willing with all my power for Vince to come out of me. He didn't show up until 2 days later. Now he's closer to leaving home than to the date of his birth.  I just want to keep this time forever!  My kids are not little anymore, but they aren't grown-ups yet either.  They still want me to snuggle with them and tuck them in at night.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ice cream cake.

Vince's birthday party extravaganza is happening tomorrow so we picked up an ice cream cake for him on our date tonight. How did Vince get to be 12? Everything is happening too quickly...

So for the party, a handful of boys are going to walk home from school. Jeremy and I have to be in different parts of town and we are going to do our best to beat the boys to the front door. We'll have backup at the house, but I'm a little nervous to leave the backup defenseless for too long against the onset of a bunch of sugared up preteen boys.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Back to school.

Everyone went back to school and work today. Hopefully winter is really, really over now (even though there is still 4-5 inches of snow on our front lawn). I had to drive into Alexandria today to swap out my work computer. I tried to time the trip so I'd miss rush hour traffic, but on the way home, there was a huge accident where they had to close down both the inner and outer loop of the beltway for at least 15 minutes. So it took me more than two hours to get home.

I gotta go give Edda a shower and put her to bed...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Snow day again.

Snow day again today. This is getting boring. The dogs are waiting for tidbits from Edda. Vince is doing a pupilary assessment on Ruby with my penlight.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Guess what?

Surprise!  It's snowing! Again! Kids are out of school. Just as well I guess - Edda is under the weather and spent the weekend basically covered in snot.  She's still a little raspy today, but overall, much better.

Somehow in anticipation of being snowed in today, yesterday we ate dinner at 4:30pm and by 6:30pm we were pretty much asleep in front of the TV trying to watch a documentary about the Sphinx.  We did end up watching a bit of the Oscars - googling all the famous people that we don't know because we hardly ever see movies anymore.