Friday, June 23, 2017

Biking, easy days, expert.

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Jeremy is obsessed with biking now (as I've mentioned before).  He blames the election.  It's fine, but it creates more of a scheduling headache now that he wants to ride everyday.  We are such different people when it comes to working out.  I like to work hard, but I'll stop working hard if I know I'm about to hurt myself.   Jeremy, on the other hand, will just ramp up his workouts until he gets injured.  Right now he's trying to learn to do an easy ride which seems incredibly difficult for him to do.  He's a little self conscious because now his has all his riding buddies who track all their training online (who manage to ride 50-80 miles on a working day.. how is that possible?) and he doesn't want to throw an easy day in there.

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Last night we were talking about other differences in our personalities - mainly my fondness for being a generalist and Jeremy's tendencies to being a specialist.  I like to start many things and quickly can become pretty good and there are flashes of being very good at it, but I feel like I never reach the level of complete mastery.  I never like the details of anything that I do and I feel like I'm forever banished to the competent entry-level position, always one of 10,000 cogs (literally).  (I'll tell you now these are the things I'm thinking of starting just this week:  writing a novel, learning the violin, rock climbing- all exciting to me, but I'll never be Hemmingway, Midori or Honnold which in my deepest of deep disappoints me terribly even though I know it's OK not to be that much of an expert.)  Jeremy, on the other hand, feels like he's an expert in a field that no one is interested in anymore and that his expertise has kind of limited him in what he can do and that how can he start over now that he's built up this reputation and experience?  He insists to me that you only need 3-5 years to become an expert (to try and encourage me to become an expert),  I don't quite believe that. And I tell him, it's so much fun to start stuff! Anyways, and it all goes on.  We'll see what the future brings.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sleepover, sofa pit, blueberry picking!

Vince hosted a sleepover last night which started like this:

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and ended like this:

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Summer is in full swing for Vince, staying up late, getting up late & eating Hot Pockets and playing lots of video games.  We asked for two things from this sleepover: 1.  don't be too loud at night & 2. please fall asleep upstairs in your bedroom.  Neither of these things happened.  I can sleep through anything, but Jeremy had to get up to yell at them at 10:30 pm and then Eliana had to call them (after trying to text sleeping me) to be quiet at midnight (though she was nice about it and didn't say shut up, rather, she asked - so when do you guys think you'll go to sleep?).  This morning, when Jeremy, Edda and I came downstairs at 5:45 am, all the boys were sleeping in the sofa pit (it's a long story why we arranged the couches facing each other so we have a huge sofa crib), so we just started making coffee and Edda started watching Blue's Clues while trying to sit on a couch with a sleeping boy on it.

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Eliana took Edda blueberry picking today!

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

One month post op, before & after.

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Today was Edda's follow up with the surgeon - 1 month post op.  OK, not quite a month, but pretty close.  The doctor was pleased with her progress; impressed that she's able to walk well and the X-rays look great.  Just a few things to remember: mainly prophylactic antibiotics before teeth cleaning for two years.  She's cleared for camp activities - horseback riding, swimming, walking, all OK.  I asked if he does feet as well and he said, sure, let's take a look at them now. We had him look at her splayed out foot and he wasn't worried about it as long as we braced it (which we are doing already) and he said he'd be happy to track it as we come for back for spinal appointments in the future.  He actually said we could go to a smaller foot brace and that it "didn't look too bad" to him.  It feels good to have this behind us!

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To recap.  Before:

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After:

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day, Eliana, knives.

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Father's Day was a bit of a dud.  We all woke up on the wrong side of the bed and were arguing before 10am.  Not good.  It's one of those days that starts off poorly and no matter how much you try to rescue the day (joke? cookie? hugs? outing?), you always fall back into a funk.  Even though most of the day was trying, we managed to get ourselves to Sunday night dinner where there was much laughter, even though it was a tough week for the Martins all around.  We went to bed, ready to be more cheerful on Monday.  Looking back on it, I think that it was a sign that I needed to go back to work after three weeks of caring for Edda.  

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Eliana is staying the week to take care of Edda during the days this week, which means that I'm easing back into work.

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Jeremy gave Vince his own traveling knife set to celebrate the successful completion of ninth grade.  Vince wanted to take his own knives to the scout campouts.  They both managed to cut themselves on the new knives this weekend.  Vince lets it out to the air, Jeremy uses a finger condom.  Someone does dishes, the other person does not.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Camping and ribs.

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Vince went camping this weekend.  He's really taken to cooking for his group of six.  No longer is he packing cup of soup for dinner and pop tarts for breakfast (OK maybe there are still poptarts).  This weekend he bought ribs, precooked them on Friday afternoon and then is planning on searing them and seasoning them at the campsite.  I think he may have also gotten potatoes and corn.  There are still hiccups in the whole process, the most notable one being that we originally bought the ribs on Wed night with the rest of the groceries for the weekend, just squeaking in under the $90 budget.  Then somehow, the ribs did not get refrigerated and we did not discover this until 2pm Friday.  Vince held the 2-day-old-warm ribs in his hands and said, well, they are in this airtight plastic package, maybe they'll be OK?  I looked at him - really?  Do you really want all the boys to get food poisoning?  So we went out and bought another round of ribs for the campout which, of course, blew past the budget, but we subsidized the duplicate meat purchase.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Last day of school.

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And when I turned my head to look behind me, I saw immediately behind me the last day of school whizzing past me in a blur.  Vince went to school today with nothing more than his phone.  He forgot his copy of To Kill A Mockingbird in his backpack.  In order to not incur any fines, he asked me to bring it in when I picked him up with Edda just before lunch.  We went to Tysons where we had conveyor belt sushi and I mulled over whether or not to eat the Pikachu shaped dessert (very yellow).

Is this where I get all sentimental about the kids growing up?   Maybe.  My kids!  So much fun/work. Keep on going!  Let's go!  There's lots more to see/do in the world.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hands, shopping, middle aged.

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Edda has acquired a new skill since the surgery.  When she's walking around (and I'm hovering near her), she'll reach out and grab my hand and hold onto it tightly.  I can't remember the last time this happened, probably in her babyhood before she lost the use of her hands.  It's a surprising thing to feel her fingers grip tightly onto my fingers.  She can not modulate the pressure of her grip or change the orientation of her fingers or do any other regular hand-y things, but no matter.  I'll take it!  Did somehow straightening her spine make something wake up in her hands?   Or was the whole thing so painful that she relearned how to hold onto my hand just enough to tell me to never, ever, do that spinal fusion thing to me again?  I don't know.

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Bihan missed her bus today.  She went all the way downtown to catch it and showed up 10 min after the bus left.  So she headed back to Rockville to camp out here another night and since I was determined to take Edda on an outing, we went to lunch and then went shopping.

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It's nice to go shopping with an enthusiastic shopper, I often forget how women shop for clothes.  

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The saleslady asked - is that your daughter (referring to Bihan - not Edda) and I paused because I'm not sure how to describe my relationship with Bihan.  No, I said, she's my friend.  I'm totally middle aged - I've been mistaken as a mother to a person in their early twenties.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ashbery, Coca Cola chicken, goodbye to school!

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Karin's book on John Ashbery arrived after a long pre-order.  Exciting!  Edda & I are going to read it together.

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Jeremy is thanking me for managing Edda's recovery by getting me Rainier cherries.  We made almost it three weeks before we have our predictable argument - the one where I get all resentful doing the thing I agreed to do.  Lol.  D - Don't worry!  I'll take care of everything!  J - You sure?  I can take some time off.  D - Nah, it'll be fine.  No worries.  And then in the middle of it all, I get all miffed that I'm taking care of everything.  How often can we have this argument which is totally my fault?  10,000 times over 10,000 different situations.

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Bihan made dinner for us on Tues night.

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Including this famous Chinese dish - Coca Cola chicken wings?  Delicious!

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We visited Mr. Twigg's class to say thank you and goodbye before school lets out for the summer.  Edda missed the last three weeks of school and I didn't want to end the school year without checking in with her teachers and aides.  We showed off our renewed walking skills and everyone looked at her enormously long scar and we gave hugs all around.

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Then Edda went to Target with me.  A day of outings, working our way back to normal.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Brisket, short days, BWI.

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Edda is a combination of the bookends of a person's life.  Part toddler, part old fogey.  I spent most of the day within 2 feet of Edda, working on her walking, spotting her tipsiness, judging when she is tired.  I fed her leftover brisket from dinner last night, warmed in the microwave.  I eat my half of the brisket, right from the microwave, as hot as I can manage without burning the roof of my mouth and spread her half out on another plate to cool quickly and to make it easier to cut into bite sized pieces.  Her skin is smooth and clear, her incision so cleanly healing, her head is still small and heart shaped I can encircle her whole face in my hands and look at her face to see traces of me and Jeremy in it.  Yet, she has the posture of an old lady.  Now artificially straightened, there are still angles that look not quite right, her neck jutting awkwardly forward, a stiffness that should have come from age, but now come from metal suspension bridges tying her vertebrae together.

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My to-do list is very short these days and I try to hold onto each day.  When I'm very busy, I imagine that when I have non-busy days, that they will somehow last longer than busy days; an afternoon that lasts a week, a lunch that lasts three hours.  But this does not happen, the day passes quickly even when there is nothing to do but follow someone around the house making sure she doesn't tire and fall.

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I dropped of my parents at BWI to send them back to the West Coast.  I couldn't have managed Jeremy's business trip without them.  When they showed up, Edda was still taking Q8h oxycodone and not pleased with her situation.  Now that they've gone, Edda's able to walk on her own around the house without pain.  It was a good recovery week.


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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Pajamas, concert, walking Edda.

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I wore my pajamas all weekend.  Like even outside the house - like to yoga class, to lunches out, to Sunday night dinner.  I like to wear my pajamas all the time ever since I got these "joggers" as Vince calls them (not sweatpants).

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Kitachi helped us out on Saturday, we gave Edda a quick shower in the morning and set her up for lunch.

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And my parents and Vince and I went to a concert with Kelly & Bihan.  (I might not have worn my pajamas to this event).

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Edda is progressing well (ignore her pissed off face in this photo).  Today, I put her on her own workout regimen to get her back to full Edda capabilities.  She's been off of her feet for two weeks, so I gotta get her used to walking on her own for hours at a time which she wants to do, but I think isn't strong enough to do yet.  So all day it was 25 min rest, 5 min walking with minimal assistance from about 9 am to dinner time.

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We even made it out of the house for the first time since the surgery - where else? but to Sunday night dinner.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Recovery, debit card, socks.

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I think we are past the worst part of Edda's home recovery.  She doesn't really need pain meds anymore, though you can tell her leg muscles are weak and she's still trying to adjust to her new body's balancing points.  Before, her body was all tense with trying to manage the pain, but now her sleep is sound and deep.  Last night at 10:30 pm, after sleeping 80% of the day, Edda was awake taunting me and laughing softly at her movie video playing in her bedroom.  I took that as a sign she was well enough to be out of bed most of the day.  No more lazy days in bed in a painkiller stupor.  Today, she spent the whole morning in her wheelchair.  Then after lunch, we walked six houses down the block and then a nice nap in the afternoon and then a few more hours in her chair in the evening.  Hopefully, she won't be up at 10:30pm.  It is incredible to me how much sleep I'm able to absorb this week as well.   I'm napping a lot with Edda and still able to fall asleep at night without a problem.   Maxi (you see her on the couch in the above photo?) has taken to sleeping in Edda's room.  Maxi is looking out for Edda and I'm touched.

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A big step today for Vince towards becoming an independent adult; he got his first debit card.  His weekly allowance (which is $15 because he's 15 years old, Edda gets $13 a week) auto deposits into the account every Tuesday.  He has the bank's app loaded onto his phone.  He used his card to promptly to buy some stuff online and it immediately showed the transaction on his app.  He is very, very excited.  I had to do this because of his upcoming trip to China, but also really because it's time to learn that even though $300 seems like an endless supply of money, it can go very, very quickly.  This evening, he's like, I want to spend allll my money.  But I know I shouldn't.  Yeah, that's how it pretty much goes your whole life.  I told Jeremy about this in a phone conversation last night and he said, so we are giving up overseeing all his purchases?  Uh, yeah, I guess he can go buy all the weird crap he wants until his money runs out.

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I caught my mother matching together mismatched socks.  lol.  None of our socks match.  They almost match, but never do.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Women in STEM, Vince cooking, Edda & Vince snuggling.

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Vickey and Karuna came by on Wed and brought us so much lunch!  The gorgeous bundt/pound cake was only one of six? seven? delicious dishes.  I felt very spoiled (and full).  Originally lunch was scheduled to be on Thurs, but Vickey is my CNN/C-span maven/junkie and asked for a reschedule to accommodate the historic testimony.  I, of course, complied because I get all my world news from two sources: The New York Times and Vickey.  Sometimes after dinner, Jeremy'll ask me to repeat "Vickey's version" of an incident and he'll nod his head, yeah that's about right.  Jeremy is also, of course, a political news junkie, but he rarely sees anything on video, it's all print or audio.  Vickey fills me in on the visual stuff because she's got the TV turned to the news channel all day.  A side note: my friends are totally twinning in their stripy shirts.  A side note two: for at least ten minutes during the visit, we discussed polymer molecular weights and their distribution and at what point does it matter to the properties of the bulk material.  Women in STEM: we do talk about polymer science during a purely social event.

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My parents are here and goofy.

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Vince is cooking a lot.  He cooked the steak dinner last night.  He also made homemade chicken nuggets tonight.

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Vince was home from school today because the seniors had graduation today and all the teachers went downtown for the ceremony.  I worked a couple of hours today and here's how the kids spent the morning.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Resting & recuperation.

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I wonder how long I'll enjoy taking care of Edda?  When the kids were infants and I was home with them all day - nursing, cleaning, diapering, laundering - I went bonkers.  Literally medication-worthy bonkers.  Now I could lie in bed all day with Edda feeding her oatmeal, monitoring her poops, giving her pain meds and resting - happy and lazy.  I think there is a huge difference this time around.  First, I have a job to go back to once this convalescence is done -  when the kids were babies I was really unemployed which meant that I was a full-time stay-at-home-mom and this was something I never thought I'd be which made me itchy.  Second, I have so, so much help now.  For example, today, my parents watched Edda in the morning and fed her breakfast which allowed me to get Vince off to school and go out for a run.  Then in the afternoon, Adriana came and helped me maneuver Edda into the shower where we washed her hair for the first time in 10 days and took off her big bandage.  This was a big production, Edda's still in pain during the transitions from standing to sitting especially.  I don't like moving her myself without someone else's help.  While we were showering, mom and dad downstairs were making dinner.  Maybe I should have gotten more help when the kids were infants.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Oxy, enema -> poop.

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We are about 4-5 doses of running out of Oxycodone.  Do you think I can just call and ask for a refill?  Or do you think that they gave me enough to last how long the pain usually lasts?  The fact that it's a controlled/addictive substance gives me pause.  Will the person on the other end of the phone refuse the refill?  I'm not sure why this makes me nervous to ask.  Anyways, Edda's getting stronger everyday, maybe we won't need anything past the 4-5 doses.  But I'm a person who likes to fill a take when it gets to 3/4 empty even though you can go another 150 miles, so it makes me nervous we've gone through more than half the med without backup.

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Adriana is a rock star and she's been encouraging Edda to walk to get her bowels moving.  And when we couldn't get any results from her distended belly from our constitutional around the kitchen, Adriana and I gave Edda an enema and we were rewarded with a lot of 💩💩  - the whole process involved KY Jelly, rubber gloves, 4 diapers, a full change of bed sheets and then a much more comfortable and sleepy Edda.  Even though Jeremy is in California, we have a house full of helpers to cook, help Edda up and down the stairs, give enemas, lift wheelchairs, study Chinese and give carpool rides.

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Vincent wuz here

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Laugh, clean, bike.

Edda laughed for a moment today!



Mom and Dad are here helping out.  Edda loves my mom's cooking.

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Vince, me and Bihan spent a good deal of time this morning cleaning out Vince's room.

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On the other coast, Jeremy and Donald went biking.

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California has such beautiful biking places, Jeremy laments.  Did he rent some fancy road bike?  Maybe.

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Now he's with Ben and MaryAnn!

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