Wednesday, September 30, 2015

70% Off Materials for the Walk Way

See, the materials (4"x4"x12') are perfect for the walkway rails and they are 70% off.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I am suffering from some sort of weird allergy thing.  During the day, my ears are clogged, I can't hear anything and I can feel the congestion behind my Eustachian tubes.  I feel kind of lousy.  And then, magically, at 4:30 pm, it clears up and I feel great.  I'm suppose to be a morning person and not a night person!


Vince went to Court of Honor tonight and he didn't want to go because he thought he wouldn't get any badges, but he did get a few.  The coveted one was the Ironman award for working an insane number of hours for the fair.



And Donald's generosity is shared again when I gave Keyla my old iPhone 5.  That iPhone 5, Donald gave to me when he upgraded.  Keyla was absolutely thrilled.  Now we joke that Keyla has a better phone than Jeremy or Vince.  Both the boys love their Androids.  And, truth be told, I would have an Android as well if it weren't for Donald.  I wouldn't pay the extra premium for an Apple.


Walk Way Along the Addition

Mom started a new project - walkway along the addition.  This time, we decided to built it on the cheap.  All the materials are left-over(s) or defected ones which are 70% off the marked price.  This wood is always painted with a purple strip.  But after cutting and choosing, it is as good as a new one, especially with a piece only 36" (standard walkway width) long.  

When defected material runs out, I will stop building and waiting for the those materials show up in the store again.

For safety, I curtained off this area with a red tape (3rd picture) to remind Mom that this is an area with un-even surface (picture two) which may pose tripping hazard.

Monday, September 28, 2015

25th high school reunion.


I went to my high school 25th reunion on Saturday night.  I saw many old friends, a ton who are still local and I'm embarrased to say that I haven't seen them since the last reunion.  Lana drove me and we arrived right on time - early birds.  I was thinking about the previous reunions that I'd gone to, the 10th and the 20th, but this one was the funnest of them all.  I think I'm more relaxed these days or maybe I just drank more this time or something.  I'm willing to talk to anyone about anything.  So I talked about gestational pregnancies, tiger parenting, summer camps, autism, vineyards, parents, running for political office and then lots of goofy stuff.

Abe flew in from California for the reunion and he brought his whole family and he really wanted to meet Jeremy and the kids, so we invited him over to Sunday night dinner.


The kids seemed to get along - there was a lot of wrestling and later, we did set up a small fire on the deck to burn stuff.


We also had Leah and Avery staying at the house, so they were there too at Sunday night dinner where we talked a lot about gluten.


And my great acheivement of the week:  I fixed the dryer by myself!  Sunday morning, we were both exhausted and had already apologized in advance to each other for any lack-of-sleep snappish behavior, when Jeremy lamented that he was out of clothes and did I think I could fix the dryer that morning because he didn't think he had any more clothes he could wear to work.  He was at the point of wanting to string up a zig-zag clothes line up and down our stairwell.  I suggested we just keep buying new underwear which I think is a classic solution.   For the repair, I get extra points beacuse I didn't have to buy anything new.  Just the internets and a star shaped screwdriver that I already own.


Sunday, September 27, 2015


On Saturday, I went on a toddler date with my favorite toddler, Bert.   We spent a lot of time on this sqeaky teeter-totter.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Every nice thing.


I was at the hospital all day yesterday with the tiniest of babies and I came home at 6pm.  The kids had been fed dinner, Vince was gone.  I helped Keyla clean up all the dishes and chatted with her about babies and families and high school reunions. I was tired, I'd been up late the night before reminiscing with Jeremy and something about clinical wipes me out. I think it's because I'm in a new section of the hospital each week, I meet new people and then, all day, I feel like I'm in their way and I can't even be a smidge helpful because don't even know where the water dispensers/alcohol wipes/diaper creams are.  About 7:30pm, I shuttle Edda upstairs into my room and sit down at my work desk to login to see how a few things went for the day and I find the above package at my work station.  Confused, I looked at it a bit more carefully.  A full minute passes before I realize that my little brother has given me a phone!  He gives me expensive gifts on ordinary days.  You know, I don't care much about possessions, they don't occupy very much of my thoughts, I don't ever really covet any particular thing.  But these surprises warm my heart, that my brother thinks of things that I consider so luxurious and frivolous and gets them for me.  He knows in a million years, I would never, never buy these things for myself.  He's also spending his weekend in Portland helping the parents set up a new Mac workstation and prepping them to get their smartphones over Thanksgiving.  My mom is learning to text.  A nice guy, my brother.


Mom & Dad Have a Visitor

Mom and I have a visitor - Donald.  He is teaching Mom how to use his donated Apple machine.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Dog walking in the moonlight.


I can no longer tell what day of the week it is.  The kids have off random days for holidays I don't celebrate.  Jeremy is traveling tomorrow morning and through the weekend.  I work my job all days of the week and do schoolwork most days of the week too.

As we head into this weekend, here's what we have on tap:  Jeremy - traveling to Cambridge, giving a talk on Saturday, coming back late Sat night.  Doris - working in the NICU tomorrow & putting in a couple of hours regular work and closing out the end of the fiscal year by 9/30.  High school reunion on Saturday night!  Vince - he's going camping Friday night into Sunday with the scouts, he needs to bring his bike.  Edda - new childcare provider coming over on Saturday to work some hours, hopefully it will be a regular thing. We have guests for the weekend too (we warned them we'd be a little scarce), which means Edda's sleeping in our room.  And we are hosting Sunday night dinner at the house.  I was getting a little nervous about the whole weekend, it's a little busy.  And my ambitous, Type-A clinical group has been texting like crazy all day for a project that is due 10/9!  

Then at 4:30 pm today, our dryer broke.  We have a backup dryer (everyone needs one of those) and it turns out that it's broken too.  We are unable to do laundry.



Maybe I should just switch to indoor line drying.  I'm not going to be able to get to the dryer until Tuesday at the earliest.  Sigh.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Flu shot.


The kids had the day off of school because of Yom Kippur.  I took them to get their flu shots.  lThe pope is also in town today.  Everyone was told to work from home.  Jeremy did have to go downtown, but he reported that all the trains were empty and DC was quiet.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sundry items.


I think I am the recipient of a food donation.

I spend some time filling out forms for Edda.  I do not go around thinking that I'm extra-super-competent or anything, but for form filling-out, I think I'm smarter than the average bear.  But these Medicaid / waiver / funding forms are not helpful.  Who is the vendor?  Who is the provider?  What are the eligibility dates? Can I ask for reimbursement or only future payment?  I'm befuddled.

Anyways, I went to a meeting to learn about how to fill out a form (which should be self-explanatory).  The meeting was from 3-6 on a Monday (who, besides a person with an extremely flexible job, can go to a Monday meeting from 3-6?)  I met with an unhelpful person, who, when I asked what I should put down as the "vendor" or "provider" looked at me and said, well, you tell me! Lady, if I knew what to put down, I would not have shuffled my schedule around to come to this meeting.

They were starting to clear the chairs, there weren't many people left. I finally met with a more helpful person who guided me (like a 2nd grader) to fill out three lines on the form and I was pleased and thanked her profusely.   Even though I got help with the form, I'm still not betting on it going through the first time.  As I'm thanking her, she asks with a bright smile, would you please fill out a form to get a food basket?  I said slowly - uh, sure!  So I filled out a form and I gave it back to her and then I was about to duck out of the meeting.  But then she tracked me down and said, wait!  your food basket!  I said that I really didn't need the food basket.  She insisted.  She said that it would really be helpful for her if I took the food basket.  So I took it.  Inside: peanut butter, jelly, tuna, Cheerios, rice and some can of beans.  And this is how I ended up being a food donation recipient.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Upstate NY and C-sections.


Farmer's markets and hikes in the woods.



We got into Bard after midnight on Friday night because we left DC at 6:30pm.  Why did we leave so late?  Because I had clinical all day on Friday.  It was a fabulous day at the hospital.  I scrubbed into the operating room for two c-sections.  Not only interesting because I've never scrubbed into an OR before, but also because a c-section is the only surgery I've had myself.  So now I can count myself: twice on the table, twice at the table's end.

All I can say is that I needed to sit down for a few minutes after the first one.  Not because I was on the verge of fainting, but because it was amazing, crazy, interesting, bloody, and then after all that - you miraculously had another person in the room!  I did not know how much tugging, pulling and yanking happens in a surgical suite.  I did not know how much fluid just flew around the operating table.  I did not know the surgeon stuck his/her whole hand/wrist inside a person's insides.  The surgery staff was very nice to me, I got to put in Foleys for both surgeries (my first sterile procedure), and I got to see a bunch of anatomy - appendix, large intestine, small intestine, ovary, fallopian tube. Yipes!  It's all there, just like in the book.

Today I had a classmate tell me she wanted to be a surgeon.  I was momentarily confused because how do you become a surgeon from a nurse?  But it makes sense, because this is a BS degree, this is the bachelor's degree she'd use to get into medical school.  So useful to have a nursing degree and 2 years hospital experience and then head to med school!  I told her that I had to live vicariously through her - I think now I'm too old to be a surgeon.   She laughed and said that that wasn't true.  But it's true.  I'm too old.  Just like I'm too old to become a gymnast or really learn another language.  It will have to wait for another lifetime.  After watching the c-sections, I think perhaps surgeons should start training when they are 4 years old, like a truly exceptional violin player, the hand skills are probably best imprinted in a person's muscles/tendons and brain/reflexes even before they can spell episiostomy.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Weekend away.

We spent two nights away from the kids this weekend.  We don't do this very often.  We have a lot of childcare during the week, but on weekends, we are more reluctant to call on our childcare providers to take care of Edda.  It's a tangle of issues and emotions.  On the weekends, Jeremy likes to cook and I like to nap - it's very economical to stay in the house.  We take turns doing our own things on the weekends, which is fine.  But someone is always home because Edda is always home.  Vince is often out, doing his own thing, sending texts every few hours updating us on his location (I should just install a homing device on his phone and be done with the texting) or else he's in his room doing teenage boy things that, well, are best left for mothers to not know.  We end up working a lot on the weekends.

Anyways, we made it a little mini-goal - a part of our marriage performance-improvement-plan - to get out of the house more together.  So for our first trip, we made it to Jeremy's parent's house in the Hudson Valley.  The weekend was anchored on Emy's work performance near Bard, an art installation having to do with sound.


Emy and company performed a John Cage piece which involved "playing" leaves, rocks, sticks, pods and a cactus in a prescribed, yet (I think) somehow random manner for about 45 minutes.   The plants were played near the microphones and then the sounds were heard through radios scattered along the path and woods nearby.  I found out a few years ago that I have something called ASMR where I feel a little tingly thing-y in the back of my skull when I hear quiet, repetivitive sounds.  Actually, I've always known I've had this sensation ever since I was a child, but I didn't know anyone else had it and I didn't know it was called AMSR.  Now ASMR is a "thing" - lots of videos on youtube - I spend time listening to it to calm down when I'm anxious or to relax enough to sleep.   So a live performance of quiet, repetitive sounds was completly engrossing and relaxing for me.  That is was a beautiful day in the woods also a big bonus.


There were also other sound installations, like this one, full of old tape decks playing modulated sounds on AM frequency.


We had a nice lunch there as well.  I had a speck sandwich.  What is speck?  I think it's a fancy word for ham.



With all the major inspections done, and before I put the tile floor and tile for the bath, I think it is time for the contractors to do the insulation and drywall next year.  But not yet, the addition needs to have heating capability first with or without cooling.

I thought a separate portable unit will do.  But, according to the city inspector(s), it requires a fixed equipment.  So, we look into ductless heating and cooling system, the equipment, which consists a air handling unit mounted on the interior wall, a condensing unit out site and pipes connecting two together, costs ~US$1,000.00.  But, with complete installation, it raises the price to ~US$4,000.00. Pretty pricing.  we don't think we are going to spend this amount of money just for that.

To buy the equipment and install yourselves isn't hard, but it needs a lot of additional installation and testing equipment which  we don't have.

Therefore, yesterday, I studied our existing one with capability of 86,000 BTUh which is more than enough to heat (no cooling for the house yet) the increased total area of ~2,800 ft.ft (2,346 ft.ft + 400 ft.ft).  As a matter of fact, it will only use up 78% of the total capacity.

Okay, but the existing duct needs to be extended to the addition underneath the floor.  Too bad, I have to visit CRAWL SPACE again :(

For coming Winter, mom and I are trimming the trees, tidy the yard and put up more fences to fend off deer at back of the our yard.  The deer here are pretty friendly with people.  They never runs away from us, just staring us with curiosity - too bad too.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Catch up


I've spent a lot of time at the DMV this week for naught.  We are in a bit of a bind and want to get Keyla a driver's license soon.  We were able to make an appointment for the road-test seven weeks out, but it's a little long for us to wait.  We tried our luck to walk-in on Tues. - getting there at 8am, which I thought was early enough for an 8:30 am opening time.  We were 5th in line, but it turns out we were in the completely wrong line.  By the time we found the right line, we were 25th.  They took about 5 people on Tuesday morning.

We tried again today, this time Jeremy dropping Keyla off at first light - about 6:45 am.  She was 6th in line and wanted to stay to see if she would get lucky.  I came at 8:15 am and at 8:30 am, the DMV guy came out and said, no walk-ins today, they are all booked with appointments.  I asked the person first in line what time they came, 3am!  3am, people.  Keyla said the 2nd person in line came at 5 am.

We might be waiting until the late October appointment.



On Wed, I had my fake patient postpartum assessment exam.  I looked on the syllabus and I freaked out because I thought I had to really do a real postpartum exam (without underwear) on a real person/fake patient.  But the person was wearing Spanx underwear.  So it was a fake postpartum exam.  I don't have a problem doing an exam on a real patient, it's what they are there for, they are expecting it.  But doing one on an actor is just weird.  Weird.



Kristina is helping us out with the Austim Waiver.  After 8 years on the waiting list, Edda is now on this waiver which provides us with Medicaid as a secondary insurance and lots of services which we are learning how to access.  I already have lots of stories about Medicaid.  The most recent one is this:  our pediatrician (who does take Medicaid, a rarity around here) will take private insurance for the flu shot, but not Medicaid.  Hmmmm....


My Mole Life Is Over

Boy, am I glad that my mole life is over - I don't have to work in the crawl space of our new addition. Today, the inspector even said to me with a weird smile that I must spend a lot of time working in the crawl space under the floor :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Passed the Plumbing Inspection

After struggling several times, the whole water, vent and drain system of our new addition was ready for inspection yesterday.  The inspector came this morning and he signed off this item. Great!

But, before insulation and dry wall, the inspector indicated that we need to have a fixed A/C system, either tie to the old one or getting a new separate one.  I guess a separate one is more convenient and cost effective.  But, it has to wait for the next year.

By the way, I am going to connect the new water, vent and drain to the old existing one this afternoon.  And, I believe, for this year, I am done with the addition.  I will start working on our yard and ready to leave for the winter.

Stay tune on our new addition next year.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A bit of a crappy day.

Yeah, I had a less than optimal day.  But I'm going to wear my new PJs to bed and it'll be better tomorrow.


Happy Birthday, Doris

From Mom & Dad

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Peanut butter cups.


Vince made homemade peanut butter cups for my birthday.  My birthday is tomorrow, but we celebrated a bit tonight at Sunday night dinner.  I'm an old, old woman.  And nothing makes me feel older than when I meet a new person and they ask - "how old are your kids?" and I say "11 and 13"!!! ?##$%$*&  When did that happen?  I'm sorry mom - that you have to say your kids are 39 and 43. But wait until next year until you have to say your kids are 40 and 44!  Ha ha ha.  Oh, time waits for no one.


Driving to Sunday night dinner, we listen to spotify with Vince DJing.  We rotate song choices, Vince choosing pop songs now.  Jeremy and I choosing songs from when we were in high school and college.  Because Jeremy and I are offset 4 years, our songs don't quite overlap.  Edda fell asleep - not interested in 80s, 90s or 10s music.


Drain / Vent Pipe Leaks

Right now, under full water pressure by flooding the whole drain/vent system from the roof top, I have three leaks. Two are under the floor,  One is at the vault ceiling.

Yesterday, I decided to completely replace two of them - one section of three adjacent long bend elbows and one section of a tee.  For the tee, this was my third attempt.

The other, I think I will do a quick fix now and then do a complete fix afterward when there is no more testing water inside.

Although Mom is teasing me on the leaks, she is really quite sympathetic I think :)  And, of course, they are more projects already lining up for me:)

Saturday, September 12, 2015



Jeremy is anxious these days as he's trying to pull together a report he's been working on for over two years.  This weekend, I made a special effort not to work too much this weekend (because I work upstairs on my work computer) so he can spend all day working on his stuff (upstairs) without Edda hitting his head every 15 minutes (because he usually works downstairs with Edda).

I took Edda to Montgomery Mall to watch a movie.  I wanted to see either Trainwreck or Mission Impossible - Jeremy advised me to see Mission Impossible because it was louder and would mask any sound Edda would make during the movie.  I think she liked it.  I liked it because I got to squeeze in my one summer blockbuster.  Tom Cruise didn't disappoint, he's still looking good into his 50s.  But the climax of the movie involved this very quiet underwater scene where Tom Cruise is trying to exchange out two pieces of yellow plastic while running out of oxygen and Edda decided to just yell at that point.  I tried putting my hand over her mouth, but she just licked my hand and then kept yelling.  So we took off.  I will never know if Tom Cruise lives or drowns.

Afterwards, I was feeling a little sorry for myself because sometimes I just get that way about missing the ends of movies when a few girls rushed over and said hi to Edda.  These were a bunch of girls from Edda's elementary school who were hanging out at the mall.  They asked why Edda wasn't going to their middle school (we asked the same question, trust me).  I introduced myself and asked how 6th grade was going.  Then we said our good byes and have funs.  After feeling momentarily happy at the interaction,  I promptly then felt slightly more sorry for myself.


Jeremy took us all out to Wegmans, where they are having a hatch chili festival this weekend.


Vince loves chili!  Anything spicy...


Friday, September 11, 2015

End of summer.


To celebrate the last day of summer (for me!), I went to Bethesda to see a movie.  By myself!  Jeremy couldn't make it.  It was date night, but he had a meeting downtown to go to so I took myself out on a date.  And now it really is the end of summer, I think even the weather has cooperated...


Classes started today.  I'm doing an OB rotation.  I didn't get to do much today, but it's going to be a great clinical.  Shady Grove is a baby factory: there are 48 postpartum recovery rooms and a NICU.  Next week, I'm on the rotation to scrub into the OR and see a c-section.  Our clinical instructor knows everyone on the floor or has taught a lot of the nurses on the floor.  I'm more and more curious to try and figure out what kind of nurse I want to be.  I can already tell that I'm not really suited in labor and delivery (it's too popular of a choice and as soon as something is popular, I like to run the other direction, and it's too happy and I didn't go into nursing for happy) or the NICU. Gah, when I walked into the NICU with all the tiny incubators and bili lights, I could feel that old tingly feeling of having my milk let down and then I wanted to cry.  It's not the place for me either.  Tiny babies all wrapped up with tubes everywhere that you could hold in the palm of your hand.


Jeremy, Edda and I spent our Friday night stuffing evelopes for a candidate who is running for Rockville council.  He lives in College Gardens which is the next neighborhood over from us and the neighborhood I grew up in.  I don't have many friends now in College Gardens because the elementary schools are different in the different neighborhoods, so it was a wonderful pleasure to go into a house which feels so familiar even though I've never been in this particular house because it was the same model as a house that a friend must have had...


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pictures in Crawl Space

With an extra added step, Mom came down to the crawl space with me.  She took these pictures.

Black pipe is the drain and vent.  Red tube is for hot water and the white one is for cold water.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Leak in the Main Section (Larger Section) of the Drain Piping System in Our Addition

Today, I climbed up to the roof again to inject water into the main section of new drain piping system of our addition.  The water was injected through the vent opening.

There was leak at a tee way up in the vault ceiling.  Everything else was fine including all drain piping underneath the floor - very lucky and, of course, good work too.  I am getting tired of working in the crawl space.  Some place is less than 2 1/2 feet height.

I replaced the whole tee and it should work fine.  I will concentrate on the leak at an elbow of that small section.  Hopefully, I can fix it without replacing all three elbows adjacently clustered together.

Note:  Tomorrow, I will invite Rena to come down to the crawl space to look our piping system (drain and cold/hot water lines too) underneath.  It will be the first time that Mom is down under.  Oh, while working in the crawl space, I noticed that I have companions (mouse), we already caught three of them using CHEESE as bait.  We even caught two together using just one spring trap.  I don't know how (?).



I spent the morning at the DMV where I watched this old printer in action.  I like the DMV for practicing mindfulness.  Long pointless lines, appointments that are missed by two hours, inexplicable rules and a mass of smelly people.  Did I expect any differently when I woke up and knew I had to spend hours in a hard chair in a terribly lit room with no money to buy Cheetos from the vending machine?  No.


My first OB clinical on Friday.  My clinical instructor has emailed us 17 times with different assignments, patient interviews, test dates, care plans and medication lists.  She insisted that we needed to work over Labor Day weekend.  I find it very difficult to concentrate on these assigments because my first class isn't until next Monday, so school has not "in my mind" started for me yet.  I do not like going to the hospital before I've started the class for which the hospital part is attached to.  Friday is 9/11 and it's going to be a slow day in the delivery room because no one chooses to induce or have a c-section on 9/11.

Last Piece of Work for U Street, This Year

It will take a day or two to finish all the plumbing rough-in work for our new addition.  Yesterday, I inserted several test caps (a small plastic disk to seal off pipe) for drainage on each open-end of our piping system which includes two tie-in(s) to our existing piping system.  After all piping are ready, I am going to fill the whole system with water from the roof top vent opening until it overflows. Hopefully, there is no leak and, then, I will request for inspection.

After all these work, my thought on my degree of difficulties are: 1) no prior working experience; no accumulative tribal knowledge.  2) no appropriate professional tools ready for use.  Some of them are pretty expensive and there is no point to buy a tool just use once or even several times.  And the tools that I have are just for amateurs.  They don't last long and not too effective too.  3) bad estimated on material takeoff. and lastly 4) no extra spare parts available - spent a lot of time just to chase down a single material part.

This will be our last piece of our scheduled work on new addition.  And it is a very valuable experience for me, personally and for Rena too, I think.  Will wait until next year to do the rest, mostly by contractors.  Mom also can't wait for me to do some yard work for her, such as trim the trees, haul more dirt, make the walk-way prettier, etc.  Also, without my daily work on addition, Mom would like me to do the dishes everyday :)

Anyway, I guess it is time to winding down all this physical activities this year and ready to take a trip to visit Korea, China and Hong Kong next month in October.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Back to school night.


We went to Edda's back to school night tonight.  It's a strange experience, we know so many parents at Vince's school and we know no parents at Edda's school.  It's fine.  I'm OK with that.    Special ed teachers usually have only 5-10 kids in their class and since their students often are hard to find sitters for,  we are always the only parents that show up.  Oh, that's not true, I remember one year, another parent showed up.  Anyways, I feel for the special ed teacher - they have to get all dressed up to go to back to school night and often they find themselves with an empty room.  We go to hang out with Edda's teacher.  

Special needs education is a funny thing.  Edda is being taught the common core 2.0 curriculum. This means that she's suppose to read the Outsiders this year and also dissect a frog.  OK, she's not going to really read the Outsiders and dissect a frog, but they certainly are trying their best.  Instead of spending 4 weeks to read the Outsiders, they are going to spend 12 weeks and go chapter-by-chapter and talk about character development, setting, themes.  This is for a class that is mostly non-verbal. Is this a good thing?  I can't decide.  I think I should go read the Outsiders - I've never read it before, maybe I'll read it out loud to Edda as she falls asleep.  I hope she forgives me for having to listen to the same story twice.

Edda is also in art class.  As we introduced ourselves to the teacher, we apologized to her because Edda hates art.  I think she doesn't mind looking at art (one of her happiest days I remember was at the Met. Museum of Art), but making art just pisses her off...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Jeremy is 47.


Happy birthday to Jeremy! The whole nation took off work to celebrate, which was very considerate of everyone.  Alas, we both spent the day working.  I'm not sure you can see it in the photo above, but we both have three monitors going at once.  The only real way to get anything done.

Vince and Edda enjoyed the last bit of summer.  This tub is getting too small for the two of them.  But somehow they manage to fit an hours worth of fun in there.  Vince is figuring stuff out this year.  He's not been an organized, disciplined student.  Papers everywhere, not clipped in a binder.  Assignments lost and forgotten. Terrible spelling.  I kind of despaired.  I tried to not yell.  I always want to yell, but I try not to, but I often fail at trying not to yell.  Then I have to apologize because I almost always fail at not yelling because something else (not related to the state of his binder) is stressing me out.  But I can see he's working it out.  Papers are starting to be organized.  There are a bunch of assignments due this week and we briefly talked about them on Friday and he worked a little each day this weekend and says they are all done.  I know, it's only the first week, but it's nice watching him learn to do this stuff.  It's also nice that he still wants to hang out with his little sister in a tub of water in the front yard on a day off.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

Jeremy and I got into an argument earlier this week about the state of our garden.  Technically speaking, we do divvy up the chores in the opposite traditional gendered way where I do a lot of the yard / house stuff and Jeremy does all the kitchen / cooking stuff.  But I think a neutral party would say that he does a better job at his stuff than I do at my stuff.  I try!  I try!  But the yard just keeps growing.  You leave it alone and it morphs into a beast with tentacles and then I bow down in defeat until winter comes.  Then I feel triumph and relief.  I bring this up only because we were invited to our next-door-neighbor's kid's 1st birthday party and the way between the two houses looked like:


If I won a bazillion dollars in the lottery, the very first thing I would do would be to hire a gardener.

A one-year-old's birthday party is not really our demographic anymore, but Vince still seemed to enjoy the ball pit.


Edda napped in our folding chair and then woke up to wipe the sleep out of her eyes.


Here's the birthday boy and a beautiful picture of his mother's tattoo which I am fond of.  I don't love many tattoos, but hers somehow I feel the slightest pull in my heart towards - California poppies.