Saturday, December 31, 2016

All, NYE party, hot dogs.

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I said in my last blog post that I want nothing more than what I have.  That is true.  But I also want to have all the things I don't have - more time, more ambition, more experiences, more friends, more family, more travel, more creating, more learning, more strength, more patience, more money, more drive, more influence, more love & more work.  Hahahaha.  It's a little terrible.  Oh well.  Hopefully I'll get all of next year to work on that.  Someday I'll open that multi-million dollar medical device company (something with adhesives, they are cool) and then I'll have to shut down this blog.  Or I probably won't and this blog will continue.
  
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Vince is hosting our NYE party.  We plan on being asleep at midnight.

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Starting the party right with hot dogs and popcorn and holiday crackers.  xoxo, see you all on the other side.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Bryson, flurry, The Eagle Huntress.

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I'm content as the year draws to a close.  I'm well fed, I'm warm, I have my family around me.  I need nothing more.  Vince had Bryson over for a sleepover last night.  Each night this week, I ask him to not go to bed too late and each night he says, yes mom! and each night I wonder exactly how late is not too late.

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I got Edda this rotating laser light show for Christmas and set it up last night.  I also fixed the master bath toilet last night (it hadn't been flushing well for years) - this was a Christmas gift to myself, a toilet that works well.

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This morning, we saw a few moments of furious snow flurry-ing.

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We dropped Edda off at daycare (am I suppose to still call it that?  I think I should call it camp.) and took the boys out to lunch in Bethesda and saw the documentary "The Eagle Huntress".

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Then, finally, Friday night dinner at my parents' house where Edda had a fantastic time.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Apple peeler, wheelchair, meatballs.


This apple peeler was the big hit of the Christmas haul.  Jeremy's even using it even though when he first saw it, he said - you guys can use that crazy contraption, I still have my knife.

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Edda's "free" wheelchair came today.  Every year, we enter a lottery for $2000 of funding from the state of MD.  It used to be that you'd have to stand in a certain line at 6 am on a particular summer Wed. so you'd be one of the first couple hundred people to get the $, but they changed it to a mail in lottery.  We get the money about 2/3 of the time?  It's not such bad odds, but every year we win it, the paperwork gets harder and harder to fill out.  It used to be just submitting receipts, but this year, they wanted tax forms from the companies that we'd order from, or if it was summer camp, it had to be a certain time not overlapping the school provided summer camp.  If you wanted to use it for therapy, you had to get letters from doctors and therapists and the American Medical Association that it wasn't some whack therapy.  If you wanted to use it for childcare, your childcare provider had to be some sort of approved person.  It's a mess.

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Honestly, the easiest thing to get was a back up wheelchair because the brakes of the old one breaks all the time, but I had to jump through some hoops that showed that our insurance wouldn't cover it.  Our insurance does cover wheelchairs, but only once every 5 years and I think we are somehow in the middle of the cycle.  Blah.  So boring.  It was $2200, so we had to pay $200 for our free wheelchair.  We got orange!  No one else is going to have an orange wheelchair.

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Edda is clearly thrilled.

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Vince made spaghetti and meatballs tonight for dinner.  He's having fun this week.  Lots friends, hosting lots of sleepovers.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Elf, Sul bing, rowing.

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I went to Virginia today to celebrate Vickey and Karuna's birthdays which are tomorrow and yesterday respectively.  We went to the Famous Toastery which did have very nice toast.  I had a tuna melt.

Bert had gotten a "melting" elf for Christmas which we set up on the table and watched as he turned into a little blob.

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Then we went to an odd Asian-inspired ice cream shaved ice place called Sul Bing.

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And we ordered these desserts which are made from shaved frozen milk as a base and one had mango and strawberry and the other had roasted soybean powder and baked beans.  We did eat most of it, but it was odd.  We said it was good, but maybe not good enough to go again...  It's also expensive.  It was almost $20 for these two desserts.

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This evening, Jeremy made his famous Peruvian chicken for Rachael, who came all the way to Rockville from DC.

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Maxi loves some loving.  Rachael borrowed our rowing machine and three champagne glasses.  She was a rower in college and wanted to see if the erg fits in her living room and hear how much noise it made and to see if she can get back into it.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Coverall, La La Land.

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Even though Jeremy is off of work this week and I'm working half days and Edda has half time camp in the afternoon and we are being (generally) lazy, scheduling remains a complex puzzle each day.

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I bought a pair of work coveralls for my dad for Christmas, but when he tried it on, it was too small.  Then my mom tried it on and declared that she wanted it.  So I regifted it to her.  Then yesterday, she decided that she didn't need/want it anymore and gave it to Jeremy.  He put them on today to move tires around the garage.  It must be some kind of record - regifted twice and it was only one day after Xmas.

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We went to see La La Land this afternoon.  It opens with a scene where people are singing and dancing in a traffic jam in LA.




Monday, December 26, 2016

Nat, Christmas concert, Dara's a DJ.

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Nat and her family performed a Christmas concert this afternoon at the house.  A musical family, it was really sweet to hear them all perform together.  There was voice, piano, guitar and Dara even did some DJ mixing.

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After the concert, everyone was curious to see how the mixing table worked, especially my dad.

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We rearranged the house again, this time focused on the Christmas tree and the space in front of it to make a concert hall-type seating arrangement.

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A little reception afterwards with pie, tea and pastries.

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All the performers and attendees!  Merry Christmas & Happy Boxing Day!

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

iBuds, McMuffin, rib roast.

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Merry Christmas to you all!  We had a lovely day and I hope you did too.  Vince started out today by opening Uncle Donald's gift of the newly released Apple Bluetooth earbuds.  AirPods? iBuds?  I forget.  Donald always gets us the coolest stuff, these are sold out until February and are so losable!  I hope Vince tries extra hard to not misplace them.  Donald and I FaceTimed today and Donald thinks Vince'll lose them in about 14 days.   Apple will sell you a singleton if you lose one of them, which is not the policy of Tiffany's which I found out from a friend a few months ago.  Tiffany's will not sell you a single earring that you lost on your trip to the beach, you gotta buy a brand new pair.

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Jeremy made a homemade egg McMuffin sandwich for Dad's real birthday breakfast.


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Then after the gift opening roulette of random Amazon boxes (which after Donald's gift of the iBuds, was somewhat less exciting, but still fun in the way going to the neighborhood park is still familiarly entertaining and satisfying even after a few days at Disney (examples of neighborhood park Xmas gifts: socks.  lots of people got socks.  and calendars.  there was at least one calendar), Jeremy and I took turns exerting ourselves outside in the beautiful weather (running for me, biking for him) and then we turned to the prep of the evening meal.

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Nat and her family are here from Thailand and they joined us for dinner.

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The roasts came out well.

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And Nat made this beautiful domed cake.  Delicious!

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Amazon, rib roast, Dad's birthday.

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Quiet day today in anticipation of tomorrow.  I didn't wrap any gifts (I'll say it was because I didn't want to waste any paper and not because I wanted to spend the day reading and cleaning and napping) and we did just move the pile of Amazon packages from the bottom of the staircase to the bottom of the tree.  Ten days ago, we stopped opening any packages that came to the house because you couldn't tell if it was a Christmas gift or just something we ordered that we needed and I didn't want Vince or Jeremy to accidentally open any of their own gifts.  But since I didn't get around to wrapping anything, now (I know), there are household items that are in the pile - windshield wipers, coffee beans, drinking straws, fiber pills and who knows what else.  I'm kind of excited about this gift opening tomorrow.  A mystery all around, you won't even know if the box you are opening is for you!  A double surprise!

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Jeremy prepping his rib roast:

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Caught Vince playing air guitar to Queen:

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And we went out this evening to celebrate Dad's 75th birthday.  We went to the all-you-can-eat Brazilian place where we certainly ate all that we could eat.  We facetimed Donald while we were sitting at the table and shared the birthday cheesecake.  Happy Birthday, Dad!  You are the best.

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Maxi, fat cats, dressy cocktail party.

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We had Friday night dinner with my parents last night.  I'm not quite sure how Maxi knows that it's Friday, but when she senses that we are about to pack up the minivan, she bolts to the door and then claims her seat in the minivan and refuses to budge.  My mom always feeds Max a full dinner of all the courses that she serves us.

Jeremy took a long bike ride today and showed my dad his route this morning.  Vince and I showed my dad GIFs of fat cats.

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Edda enjoyed dinner.

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This is the most modest ice cream bar ever.

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Then we got dressy for a neighborhood holiday party.

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Perfect, green, button.

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I'm looking for the perfect green button.  I didn't find it today.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Loin, working from home, staycation.

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I didn't take any photos today - so you get a photo of Max at Bard a few weekends ago.  I left a pork tenderloin defrosting on the kitchen counter the other day and in the middle of the afternoon, I found the loin, still in its plastic casing, in the middle of the living room floor.  Maxi had pulled it off the counter and had managed to chew a hole in the loin packaging and had started to gnaw on the raw meat.  But then she decided she didn't like it and left it on the floor.  What kind of crazy dog doesn't like raw meat?  I rinsed it off and let it finish defrosting a little further in from the edge of the kitchen counter.  Jeremy came home later and  made it into Chinese stir-fry.  I didn't tell him the story until after we'd finished eating dinner.

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Jeremy worked from home today.  He's home until after the new year.  I do love having him at home; especially now that he can use the guest room as his home office.  It means that he's near, but not super near (like 3 feet away).

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Vince had a tough week at school.  A test (or 2!) in every subject and papers galore.  He made it through and is now eager for the final pep rally tomorrow afternoon and then a week where I don't pester him too much about schoolwork.

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Edda does have some camp next week in the afternoons.  Jermey has the whole week off.  I haven't taken any vacation days, but I think maybe I should?  I'm not sure what to do when we have a staycation.   We tend to err on the side of too much winging-it and not enough planning and then we end up slightly grumpy at each other.  How much work can I reasonably get done and how much time do I want to spend just hanging out?  A delicate balance that I need to figure out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cats, fish, snake.

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Vince got his first paying gig!  This holiday break, he's taking care of three cats for a week: feeding, watering and scooping cat litter.   He's also feeding a pinch of food to some fish (I hope they don't die).  They have a snake too, but they'll feed him before they leave, so he (the snake) won't need to eat the during the week.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Faucet, Scout Guide, Hug 'n Roll.

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I spent some time this morning replacing Nat's shower faucet.  The shower diverter had been malfunctioning for a month (!) and they were taking makeshift showers with a bucket.  Anyways, with the holidays coming, I needed to fix this right away.  They had only one shower faucet model in stock that I could use at (my favorite store) Home Depot and, although it works perfectly now, there is this 1/4 inch space from the shower wall to the faucet edge which is driving me bonkers.  To really fix it, I either need to special order the right length faucet and wait for it to come in (which would take a while - a week?) or I could have (today) shortened the pipe a bit.  But this would have taken another 90 min and would have involved a butane torch and another trip to Home Depot, so I let it be. Other things needed to get done today, and frankly, the shower works!  Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  Sometimes.

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Vince got elected to a leadership position tonight at scouts.  It is called "Guide" which, according to Vince, is the easiest leadership position that one can have.  This is exciting because he thought, when I dropped him off at the election meeting tonight, that he wasn't going to be able to have any position at all which he was kind of resigned to - it's hard to tell what he really wants because he hides behind various statements about various things being "lame" even though I think he really wants to do them.

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Edda is messing with me, as usual.  She was sound asleep and then 15 minutes later, here she is:

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Then 15 minutes later, she asleep again only after I have both my arms and my legs trapped under her body.  Had to implement Ross's hug 'n roll.  Good night all!  See you on the other side.

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