Sunday, May 31, 2015

Deck Extension to Reach the Back Door of Our Addition

After working several 10-hour days, finally the back door of our addition becomes accessible from our back yard. This time, we use premium wood (cedar) for decking.  The old stairway was removed and put back to the new location.  The connecting walk way is complete except one 2 x 2 wood in the middle.  The main deck, only three 12 footers adjacent to the wall were installed.  Tomorrow, whole deck, except its superstructure should be complete.

After, the addition has easy access and work on wiring and plumbing can move forward.

Girls weekend.


Edda and I went to Five Guys on Saturday.  I ordered the junior cheeseburger with tomato, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, mayo and mustard.  Edda's was plain.  We shared a huge pile of fries.


Edda is very dainty, wanted to eat her burger with a knife and fork.  Cut into pie-shaped wedge pieces.


Then we concluded our exciting outing by heading to the local grocery store.   Girlfriend, don't zone out on me.  We got stuff to do!  No napping on the job.


Scenes from a reunion.




Climbing with Alan.


Friday, May 29, 2015



Boys have gone to Jeremy's 25th Haverford reunion for the weekend.  Has it really been 25 years?Yes, it has.  The next 25 years will go quickly as well, I'm sure.  Jeremy is trying to set a good example for me.  I did not go to my 20th reunion last year, so Jeremy's hoping I'll go in four years to my 25th.  Maybe then it will be time to see all the new buildings and get reaquainted with some old classmates.   Or maybe not.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Eye exam.


Shall we continue to float down the vein of medical updates?  Two months ago, I took Vince to have his eyes checked for glasses and his eyes measured high for pressure.  What does that mean?  Oh, just early blindness - no biggie.  Or it could be nothing!  Some people just run high forever.  So the doc suggested we come in two months later to have his eyes remeasured.  Yesterday (which is two months later) we made it in to have the pressure remeasured, everything is OK - smack dab in the middle of the range.  So then I ask, do I come in again in two months?  Nah - bring him back in a year.   Hmmm...  how do I know that yesterday's measurements were any more accurate than the ones two months ago?   I'm spinning myself in a medical conundrum circle.  At least Vince got many compliments for the t-shirt.


Edda's Lyme-bullseye-rash is dissipating under the spell of antibiotics.  A relief.


What else is going on?  NOTHING.  Absolutely nothing.  Just turn around, nothing interesting here to see.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Seems like we are all in a funk. Doris is in a funk. I'm in a funk. It's no bueno. Work is dragging for me these days. Clients can be pretty demanding beyond any sort of reasonable measure. It's not very motivating for me. That's all I gotta say about that.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015



Edda has Lyme.  We saw this bug bite about a week ago and it's morphed into the "classic, textbook" (<- doctor-quote) bullseye rash.  No need to do any bloodwork, the bullseye is good enough to make the diagnosis.  (I might have to take a photo of that <- doctor quote #2 (because it's so "classic, textbook"))  I was assured that a three week course of antibiotics should clear it right up, but I must admit I cried about this last night before I saw the doctor today.  Just the thought of chronic Lyme piled on top of Rett Syndrome was just momentarily too much for me.  Why Edda (really, why me?)? I ask the universe.  Of course, the universe replies in a calm voice, why not?  I got the $5.25 dollar antibiotic prescription, gave the first dose and hopefully in three weeks, I can forget about the stupid tick I never saw.  

Anyways, in the middle of my little meltdown last night, I really, really wanted a cookie.  One of those oversized, undercooked gourmet cookies that one finds in overpriced bakeries.  (There is a good reason I make every effort to not have cookies in the house.)  Jeremy, the kindest of the kind, was at a meeting today which had the precise cookies I had wanted last night and got a bunch of extras which did not go the hips of his co-workers, rather he brought them home to me and my own hips and they were even more delicious than I imagined because not only were they the exact cookie that I had wanted the night before during my moment of crisis, but they were FREE which made them infinitely more tasty in my own worried mind.

Mom, Dad, do not call and wake me up.  We can talk later.  Everything is FINE.

Sunday, May 24, 2015



We hosted Sunday night dinner.  Jeremy made his wonderful Peruvian chicken with the spicy green sauce.  I made dessert and managed to slice my thumb.  I had just sharpened the knife and I was peeling some apples and the knife cleaning sliced off the very tip of my thumb.  It didn't bleed very much, but I'm quickly learning that the tip of your thumb is used in many very important daily living activities.


Spoke with Donald today about the merits of Uber vs Lyft.  Jeremy, while he was in LA last week, used Uber for the first time and was quite pleased and impressed.  But somehow we are not suppose to use Uber because the CEO is a jerk?  I haven't looked it up yet, I'll do it soon...


Edda and I napped in the middle of the day.  Really, I want to nap, and I use Edda as my excuse.  Mmmmmm.... nap.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Going somewhere


It's a beautiful holiday weekend, could not have ordered up a better looking day than today.  Edda and I spent the day with all the windows wide open reading, watching movies and making an apple cake.  I'm hoping that turned out OK, I'll try it after I finish this entry.  No vanilla ice cream on hand, so it'll be missing something.

We went to Dulles Airport this afternoon and we were stuck waiting a couple of hours, so I bought this book I was recommended called "The Martian" which starts with the line - I'm pretty much fucked.  I think I made it through a third of the novel while I was waiting around.  Fast, easy read, but be warned, it's nerdy.  Matt Damon (dreamy) is starring in the movie version.

I actually love waiting at airports.  The perfect intersection of order/chaos and boredom/endless possibilities.  Where do you want to go today?


Flowers & Construction Work

Look at the rhododendron flowers at our door steps.  Really pretty.  Pictures 2 and 3 show the installation of the 9 vertical posts of our new deck.  All other woody beams are just temporarily in nature. They will be removed once the concrete at the bottom of the posts dries up.  The new deck will be connected to the old one on the left (picture 3) and stairway will be on the right against the wall of new addition. I also fixed the right fence and fence door (picture 4).  Picture 5 is the two-screen fences erected on the side ready for clematis.  One on the left (or front) is in full bloom.  The middle and right ones need time to grow :) 

Friday, May 22, 2015

It goes on.


I found myself squeezed between Vince and Edda early this morning.  I went over to Edda's room at 5 am when she got up (as she usually does) and snuggled up next to her and within a few minutes, Vince came over too and took up whatever space was left on the bed.  It's nice to have a sleepy child tucked under each armpit to somewhat erase whatever bad feelings I had leftover last night from feeling generally inept at parenthood.

Jeremy's coworker has a newborn and at some pause in reimagining the energy consumption of the industrialized world, he asked around when do babies sleep through the night?  Jeremy kept his mouth shut - no one wants to hear - well maybe never?   Just the night before the question, Edda was up at 11:30 pm (30 minutes), 2 am (15 minutes) and 5 am - for good.  <- This is no longer the usual case, in her defense, she was slightly sick (as we all are this week).  The usual case is a straight shot from 9 pm - 5 am which to me is an awesome amount and is totally a full night's sleep for the Edamame - but I'm not really sure it counts as "sleeping through the night" with the 5 am wake up call.

Vince was up early (he, in typical teenage fashion, is generally a late sleeper) because he knew he had a friend coming over at 6:10 am to pick him up to go to school to go to Hershey Park to perform with the school orchestra.  So the kids go, play and then go crazy on chocolate for the remaining hours of the day.  Vince has been dreaming of a particular roller coaster for days.


He gets back at midnight, crashes at a friend's house and then is suppose to be up at 5:30 am to go rappelling and caving.  It's just craziness (but luckily, I'm not chaperoning any of this).


So the boys are out at the beginning of this Memorial Day weekend.  Me and Edda for at least the first little part.  What are we going to do?  I have this idea that we'll go see Pitch Perfect #2, but I suspect that we will just hang out around the house and make some chocolate frosting.  Look! I'm going to get a peony this year!   Very excited.


Thursday, May 21, 2015



Back to the old, big camera.  Let's try that for a little while.

Vince and I have been arguing.  Over what?  Well, just about anything.  Pasta? Socks? Ibuprofen?  All topics I used to think would have no amount of conflict in them, but somehow we find a way.  I'm a low-conflict kind of girl, so this constant arguing and then making up like 45 minutes later only to continue it all over again 6 hours later is not a mud pile I'm used to playing in.  Tonight, after the last make-up of the day (hopefully, I'm not asleep just yet so there might be room for one final round of the cycle), we hugged, apologized, laughed and acknowledged that this was going to last at least another five years and that we were in it for the long haul.


I took Edda to the PT for her slightly disordered feet.  We ordered her some chipmunks. Not the little, brown furry types - just little foot orthotics that will go into her shoe which are called chipmunks.  The PT recommended that we not order the taller AFOs because even though it might straighten out her ankle, she's lose mobility and muscle mass in her calf because there would be too much support.  I used to think only in terms of progress forward for Edda.  Lately, I'm just hoping we don't go backwards.  I want her to keep walking!  Keep walking Edda.  We are so lucky to be able to walk, it's always a good day to be standing on our own two feet.  Forget about stairs, forget about jumping.  Let's just put one foot in front of the other and move through the day.


In college, when I was working in an organic chemistry lab surrounded on all sides by carcinogenic solvents, I remembered dispensing acetone from a squirt bottle.  Me and my lab mates would spell out our names on the floor with the acetone and then set the whole thing ablaze with a bunsen burner striker.  Now I use the same squirt bottle to give Edda water as she's falling asleep, it's perfect, just the right amount of squeeze, just the right amount of liquid - it feels so familiar in my hand, the muscle memory.  I just spent 20 minutes tonight slowly feeding her 16 oz of water as she had just climbed over the ledge into a restful sleep and I could feel her body relax against mine.  I don't think she gets more than 8 oz of fluid a day these days, it takes a long time to hydrate her.  No one else really likes doing this little nighttime task - it's a little tricky, she is drinking while she is asleep and I don't do it all the time.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Goings on.

Jeremy went to PT this morning in the hopes of loosening a tight IT band and he found out that the office had moved locations because someone had driven their car from the parking lot through a plate glass window and into the main treatment area.  Luckily, the only severe casualties were some treadmills and resistance bands and bosu balls.

It's been tough for Vince to shake this cold of his (going on a couple of weeks now), he's still coughing and I'm trying to get him to rest more to get rid of it before a big Memorial Day weekend for him which involves: chocolate, violin, roller coasters, 5 am wake up, caves and not a single vegetable.

Edda also suffers from this mysterious malady - coughing and hard to put to bed. She's moaning against my elbow as I type this at past 9 pm.  Too late to be up little girl!  Go to (*&^ to bed!

We all share in each other's germs, I feel a tickle in the back of my throat that I'm hoping to overcome by my willpower, more sleep and intentional visualization (<- just kidding!  not doing that last bit!).  I don't know what Jeremy is going to do, he's starting to feel sick too, but he's headed to LA for business tomorrow - no rest for him.

I have no photos today, I'm unhappy with my recent all iPhone photo blogging.  Photography is not satisfying with an iPhone for me.  I guess I should pick up my huge camera again, but I don't really think that's the right direction either...

So this is the photo that you get.   A peek into my texting relationship with Vince...


Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Edda enjoyed going to OT today, as you can see from the little video above.  There were four of us in the room, Deb (who is mom to a 30 yo), me (mom to a 11 year old), Keyla (who is 23 years old) and Edda who is 11 years old.  We all had a fabulous discussion about Taylor Swift.  (But first we had a heated discuss about bunions, so it goes both ways.) Who knew Deb was a Taylor Swift fan?!?  She was the one who was like - have you seen the new Bad Blood video, Doris?  You must see it.  Keyla nods enthusiastically.  Edda smiles.  I'm always the last to know.  Well, here you go.  I know none of the famous people in this video.  The new Taylor Swift video:

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend wrap up.


I ran for an hour on the Wootton track early Sunday morning.  It was very humid.  Summer is my
least favorite running season.  I'll take super cold over humid any day.



Vince hosted a sleepover on Saturday night.  I do enjoy having him host sleepovers at this age - as I told a friend, all I have to do is throw a pizza into the room and they are good to go.  Jeremy made a nice stack of pancakes for them in the am.



Edda had field day today at her school.  We were invited to have lunch with them after they played around with water hoses.  It was soooo hot.  We met a bunch of Edda's buddies and had "slow-melt" ice popsicles.  What weird polymer/emulsion/colloid did they put into popsicles to make the melt slower?  Ahh, just gelatin according to the internet.


Saturday, May 16, 2015


Ahh, weekends with nothing scheduled.  A total luxury.  This is what I did today: laundry, bills, eat leftovers and make cupcakes for no reason.  I didn't even really finish the laundry, nor did I finish paying all the bills.  But I did eat a lot of leftovers and I made all the cupcakes.


A few weeks ago, Jeremy bought this automatic frosting dispenser.


So I was able to swirl the cupcake frosting.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Keyla & Edda


We've been introducing Keyla to the inner workings of the Lee-Martin household.  Fascinating all-around, I'm sure.  Because of the transition, I'm introducing her to Edda's team - her school and her therapists.  I'm not often at Edda's school nor do I go regularly to Edda's therapy sessions, so it's nice to catch up with these folks that I often email, but hardly ever see.  The above photo is with Amy, our local au pair coordinator, who is now a good friend of mine because she has seen me through many, many au pair adventures which started in 2008.

I took the opportunity today at Edda's OT to make an appointment with the PT in the office.  Edda's feet are flaring out because of her constant pacing and her feet now can't be placed in the proper angle from her ankle.  If you know 2nd position in ballet, that's how her feet are stuck.  There is some deformity in her ankle bones, so I need to get someone to look at them and make sure that it doesn't get worse.  More worrisome, but probably something that we can do less for, is the appearance of scoliosis in her spine.  I can really see it now, it's worse now than it was even 6 months ago, and it's more marked when she's awake and doing her repetitive hand motion.  Perhaps it's worsening because her body is trying to grow taller as she heads into puberty.  I think the PT will be able to address the feet, but the back, I think I might have to head to Children's to see an orthopedist.  This is my summer goal for Edda.  To make it to the ortho's office and have a baseline x-ray taken, get AFOs for her feet.  Maybe a brace for her back.


U Street, Washougal, WA

Rena and I like the quiet atmosphere of this small town with clean air and fresh water.  But, there is a problem.  I believe people here are basically nice but process fewer real contacts with outside world. Once a while, one will encounter something from strangers that is not too pleasant.  I guess this type of encounter is all over the world, nothing special here.  The next big town, Vancouver (WA), is much better in that respect.

After cleaning up our yard to get rid of those construction debris, we have erected three big screen wooden fences for Mom to grow flowers and veggies.  I also made the front fence more durable after the construction workers knocked them down to make room for earth removing machine.  I guess next project is to expand our deck with an easy-to-clean chicken coop attached underneath.  The deck will make special room for the clematis and rhododendron already there.

After deck is complete, electric wiring will be the next, then plumbing.  Insulation and dry wall will be contracted out.

We kind fall into our routines - swimming twice a week; alternating our dinner cooking and dish washing every other week; having senior coffee at McDonald's and looking for a job :)

Btw, I like this place especially its soil - it can grow almost everything beautifully.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Vince - sick.


Vince has been sick this past week.  I took him to school on Tuesday and we got a call from the nurse within the hour of drop off that he wasn't feeling well.  The school policy is usually that if you don't have a fever, they send you back to class after a short respite in the nurse's office.  But the nurse knew that Vince isn't typically a frequent flyer, so she called us (or actually, he called us).

It's this an "adult" kind of sickness all of us slog through.  He feels pretty good when the Motrin is working, but when it wears off, he gets a little feverish and feels pretty crappy.  So he's been going to school under the auspices of medication.  I can't decide if going to school is the right thing.  When he's under the spell of Motrin, he's totally himself, but when it wears off, he's totally not.  So should I keep him home and have him be all happy-go-lucky all day?  Dunno.  I wonder if he's contagious. That is another issue.

Also, Vince and I text a lot.  It's been interesting. We've even apologized to each other after a particularly bad fight.  If you have time and want to delight him, text him!



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Back to work.


It's great to be back at work without school obligations looming over me.

Jeremy took me out for date night tonight.  I think I look espeically frumpy in this particular get up, especially standing next to Jeremy in his well fitting suit.


Jeremy took me to a book signing party at work - not entirely the most romantic date, but there was free wine and food.  And his co-workers are always very nice and welcoming and love to talk about the renewable fuel standard.   I get to practice my small talk skills between bites of shrimp or brie.


We did manage to cut down the mantles, so they ended up looking just regular.  Jeremy bought the mantles on the internet and, essentially, they were un-returnable.  If we weren't able to cut off the extra 20 inches, we would have had to write it off as a sunk-cost which would have pained me to no end.  But we didn't have to and they look fine.


The huge German chest got moved into our bedroom.  Our bedroom is now the land of the unwanted yet wanted furniture.  Any furniture that we like and don't want to throw out is now in our room.  It looks like a mish-mash college dorm room now.  Overflowing and uncordinated.

It's late!  Good night!