Thursday, June 30, 2016

Date night.

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We went out last night with Lael and Rachel - two of Jeremy's coworkers.    I don't know either of these women very well (though I know them better now), but somehow Jeremy feels a bit self-conscious asking young, single women out for dinner on a Wed night without including me on the invite list.  It was one of the most fun date nights we've had in a while.  It was a kind of a true date because often our dates are grocery shopping, (but I know, it's not really a true date because we had two other people there) - rare for us.  First happy hour at a bar, then dinner at another restaurant and finally dessert at a third.  The night was beautiful.  We didn't talk about work - which is amazing because I was outnumbered 3-1 - clean energy policy did not make an appearance at the table.  We talked about - quilts, moving to NYC, fast casual restaurants (CAVA), marriage (whether one, at particular moments, will inevitably regret ever getting married to one's particular partner), chocolate chip cookies, hoppy beers, vacations, pit bulls, Etsy stores, government-issued credit cards, Beyonce concerts and cats.  We hung around their neighborhood - Columbia Heights, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood with the only Target in DC.  I haven't felt so hip in a long time.  Here we are riding the bus home.  Bus riding is not really hip.  Although Jeremy is trying to make it hip.  Also, because summer camp is the source of all lice and I'm getting email about lice, the only thing I can think about when I look at the photo is the lice jumping from one head to another.  And also that I have a huge wrinkle on the inside of my eye, when did that happen? - the exact opposite of crow's feet.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lunch and awards!

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Went to lunch with Vickey and Karuna today - at the Dumpling Queen.  We did order dumplings.  Although since Karuna doesn't eat pork (which is what dumpling are usually made of), we ordered chicken.  The food was excellent, especially the scallion pancakes which I ate 5 slices of.  I would have stopped at 4 because we were going to go for ice cream afterwards, but Vickey told me that we wouldn't go for ice cream, so I ate the 5th and then - what happens?!!? - we go out for ice cream.  I got the kiddy size - and really, I should have eaten only 4 pancakes.  What the hell am I even saying?  I should have only eaten 2 pancakes and had the small sized ice cream.

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Vince leveled up in scouts tonight -to First Class.  I did do the thing that I like to do which is to hand sew on the patches to a new shirt instead of using the iron on glue stuff.   It lends itself to my slight OCD qualities.  Vince both likes getting merit badges and resists obtaining them.  Does one love the things that you hate?  And also hate the things that you love?  Maybe.

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There is a bit of throwback in the scout troop - such things as a mother's ribbon with pins and the insistence on chivalry.   Note the dad standing next to me did not put on the mother's ribbon.   Why not?  It should be the all-inclusive-any-sort-of-guiding-adult-figure (AIASOGAF) ribbon, right?  Anyways, Vince pinned me and I got the mother's ribbon and now Vince is qualified to be in leadership positions which means he gets to boss other kids around at the fair.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Camp.

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Edda's first day of camp.  It's the first year Edda's going to the all-special needs section at Camp JCC (ages 12-21).  More hugs to parents and their kiddos at drop-off this morning, little squeezes of the hands that are not so small anymore (kids) and hugs to parents (who, like us, are more wrinkled).  We are lucky, lucky to be able to send Edda to camp.  I forgot to pack towels for Edda, so I'll need to switch to the bigger backpack.

I'm learning how to do Edda's hair.  I'm still trying to just do two plaits down each side, tight and neat.  Kayla taught me the first trick, to wet the hair, which I do.  But I still need practice and I need to watch some more youtube videos.  But this hair came home pretty much intact.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Weekend is the end.

The lovely bride and groom.  That dress!  Gorgeous.

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Eliana came to help with Edda during the wedding.  This is a little new territory for us, asking for help during parties (though we have done it before).  We always want Edda to come to parties, but it often means that one of us is always looking after Edda (which, really, is fine), but Edda can be unpredictable and may want to leave or make a lot of noise (during recitals/wedding vows) which, without someone extra - means that we have to skedaddle early and abandon the idea of attending the gathering.  Anyways, Eliana was great - kept an eye on Edda and was ready to wheel her slightly away from the wedding vow vowing if she started to yell and then walked her home at 8:40 pm which was great - it meant that Edda got to enjoy the whole night.  And as we hugged Kate good-night an hour later, she mentioned that she was extra happy that Edda could join in on the fun.  The bluegrass music, the chocolate mousse tarts and the company.

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*****

Edda starts camp tomorrow!  We ran into the Berlins, and many, many other friends that we've gotten to know over the past decade.  We met her counselor and tried to, in 25 minutes, introduce her to everything you need to know to take care of Edda.  I'm always nervous, but it's always good.

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Ruby, determined to visit the JCC camp (well, really, family dinner that would come right after orientation at camp JCC), jumped up into the passenger seat of the car and refused to move.  She jumped into a waist high seat!?!!  She's like 105 years old in human years.

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I had to go back inside to get my purse and I though Jeremy would tell Ruby to go to the back while I was inside, but instead, Vince and Jeremy set up the third row seat for me and let Ruby ride shotgun.  Sigh.  Ruby - queen of the house.

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Wedding!

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We got invited to the coolest wedding ever which was held yesterday at the little traffic circle about 8 houses from our house.  I will credit the invitation all to Vince who is very good friends with the bride's son, Sam.  Vince got an invitation to be at rehearsal dinner and meet all the bride's (Michigan) and groom's (India) families.  When we went to the wedding, all we had to say was, oh, we are Vince's parents and they were like - oh we know Vince!  And there it was.  Kate, the bride, is the coolest mom on the block and if there was ever a neighborhood moms group I wish I was part of, her's would be it.  The moms of her group are hilarious, irreverent and coordinated baking a pink, sparkly penis cake for the bachelorette party. But alas, I'm not part of the group but I'm happy to have spent a lovely summer evening in the company of them.

As an aside, all fantastic parties should start at 4 pm and end at 10 pm and be 8 houses from our house.  This allows both Jeremy and I to drink all the way to true tipsiness, but stop before getting sloshed and also also allows us to go to bed a Quaker midnight.

A second aside, no matter how fantastic a party experience I'm having, I always, always have to kind of leave the crowd for a moment to get a bit of alone time.  So in one of my alone times, I found myself on the front porch with a lone package of elegant cigarettes and a lighter and an ashtray.  I thought for a good 5 minutes about whether tonight would be the night to try my first cigarette.  I even pulled one out of the package and held it aloft.  (I found one in the packaged that was burned ever so slightly - I think one of the children might have tried it and hastily tucked it back into the package).  But I did not.  Another time.  And then later the tattoo.  These things should go in order and there is no need to rush anything.

This is Vince with Ivan - new haircut, a bow tie and the two boys have matching all blue Vans.

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But look:

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A secret:

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Surprise!

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Test.

https://goo.gl/photos/tMwCYnVhHZFGSuVZ9

Should I move from flickr to google?  Testing...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Haircut / Maxi's birthday

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Vince got a summer haircut today.  He wouldn't let me take a straight photo of it, so you'll have to wait a few days to get a really good look.  I haven't seen his full face for a long time.

It's Maxi's birthday today (she's 6) - she's a middle aged dog now.  She and Ruby weren't suppose to overlap by so much - but we are pleased both are still here.

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Vince got her a long rope toy.  We have short rope toys, but Maxi's mouth (and teeth) always end up too close to your hand.

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Nothing is more pleasing to us middle-aged folks as getting the bulk shipment of generic fiber pills from Amazon.  Life is good again.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

The week!

We've had a series of thunderstorms roll through the past few days.  On Tuesday, I forgot Ruby out on the back porch (I let her out when it was sunny (she asked) and closed the door behind her to not waste the AC) and then the poor doggie stayed outside during a torrential downpour complete with thunder and lightening (tornado warnings had been issued).  When I finally remembered, I found her curled into the corner of the deck with the most protection, but it was still not very much protection.  Poor Ruby, it took her a good six hours to relax from that traumatic experience.

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Ruth came into town for a quick visit.  It always good to see Ruth and chat - it might not seem like we have much in common, but somehow we find good things to talk about.  I'll have to go to LA to swim with her in the LA Athletic Club's pool.

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We are in the week between school and camp for Edda so we asked Eliana (Edda's 2nd au pair who now lives in Virginia) if she'd come for the week and work so we can work.  Since she lives about an hour away, she's moved in for the week to work during the days and she's out in the evenings with friends that she still has in the area and hasn't seen in a while.  How is it that one lives an hour away from pals and it's just impossible to see them?  Happens to the best of us.   It's been nice to have Eliana back in the house.  Eliana really has an intuition when it comes to Edda - I swear it's a little like a mind connection.  Eliana was the au pair that really potty trained (#2) Edda which was and is fantastic.

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Eliana's been taking Edda on little outings, to a farm, Brookside gardens and to see Finding Dory.

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As I am a tomboy and never went through any type of makeup/dress/high heel phase, I've been washing Edda with Ivory soap and various cheap shampoo I buy in bulk.  Eliana was a bit horrified to learn this and asked if she could buy some toiletries for Edda.  So now our shower has a pink razor, body wash, shaving gel, shampoo and matching conditioner and a puffy thing to lather it all up with.  Edda has never been so hygienic or good smelling ever!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Father's Day.

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We had Father's Day brunch at a place called Jane's in the Village - I was all excited about the complimentary cocktails served with brunch, but was sadly disappointed that NY law prevents serving alcohol on Sundays until noon.  Our server said it wrecks havoc on the wait line on Sunday with people showing up at 11 for a noon spot and it confuses people...  I gave Dad a black leather belt.  I guessed the size - he immediately took off his old belt (which was really falling apart) and promptly put on the new belt.  Then I realized I had given Jeremy the same black belt a few years ago for Father's day (which he was wearing as well).

Then we went to the Met (only the outside, we are too impatient for the inside) where this photo shows just how short I am.

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The kids and their papa...

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Instead of going to see Hamilton (an impossibility really, though the couple next to us at brunch were lucky enough to see it the night before...), we just tried to get some photos with him in Central Park.

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Hanging at a park bench.

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We saw the King and I at Lincoln Center.

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During the show, Jeremy and Edda went to Sprinkles.  Wow, look at the size of that ice cream.  There was also - supposedly - a cupcake ATM at this site.

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After we all got back in the evening, we ordered out for pizza and bought some beer and watched the Cavs vs the Warriors.  The family was pretty evenly split for who they were rooting for...  Only the true fans stayed up for the whole thing - Donald (Cavs) and Jeremy (Warriors).

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Then in the morning - we were outta there and back home to the suburbs - did a lot in a few days, thank you mom & dad!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Saturday.

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Saturday morning, we took cabs from midtown to Brooklyn.  Jeremy spent a lot of time a bunch of time this weekend figuring out accessible taxis.  He'd read somewhere that almost all of the taxis were wheelchair accessible and was keen to try out one of these new taxis.  However, the first one that he took was an old-style accessible van - not the right one.

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We had the cabs drop us off at the start of the Brooklyn bridged and we hiked our way back to Manhattan.

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After making it across the Brooklyn bridge, we found ice cream.

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And ate it in the shade.

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We had to book it to Battery Park for our ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty, which took us straight past the 9/11 memorial, so we stopped by to look at the waterfalls.

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We made it to the ferry terminal where Jeremy did his best to look like a tourist.

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It really was a gorgeous day - I asked Dad if he'd been to the statue before and he said yeah - about 20 years ago.  And I asked if he went before he had kids and he said, oh yeah, before kids - and I said you gotta revise that timeline in your head now to 45 years ago.

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We had tickets only to the pedestal because we weren't early enough (months ago) to get tickets to the crown.  But the pedestal was still approx 250 steps.  Vince and Donald on their morning stair workout.  Donald, I believe, Strava-ed it.

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Jeremy and Edda took the elevator and did more scenic photography.

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We had to ease Edda out of her wheelchair at the actual pedestal to show her the Manhattan skyline.

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Then we rested and went out to a fancy steak dinner.  I have no photos of the dinner because it was dark in the restaurant.  It's odd going out to dinner with my brother who now knows something about wine - I'm used to no one knowing about wine.  Vince was impressed with the uncorking and the swirling and the tasting that Donald did.

Then we headed to Times Square.

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While we were checking out the new Finding Dory display at the Disney store and just hangin'....

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It turns out Dad had a fainting episode somewhere else in the store.  We didn't know it had happened and we sent Vince to find my parents to gather and go get some more ice cream - Vince came back and said - oh, Gong Gong passed out, so he's resting and he said to keep going on without them.   Hmmmm, that didn't sound so good, so we all gathered to find this:

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I took these photos after we were pretty sure that Dad (because he was non-stop joking with all the firemen in the classic way my dad jokes) was OK and that the fainting was caused by the extra glasses of wine, the broken AC in the Disney store, all the extra walking and being out past his bedtime.  The fire department called an ambulance where they checked all his vitals and did some physical assessments and gave him a choice of being transported to the hospital or to be released.  He wanted to be released, so we got him and eased him into a cab back to the hotel.  NYC's finest - they did a good job, thank you.

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Eventful day - but everyone made it through, thank goodness.  Edda even was able to snag a Finding Dory towel from Uncle Donald before Dad fainted.

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