Monday, July 31, 2017

Teenager, pick-up, sick.

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This is a nice photo of Edda's pissed-off teenager face.  I'm doing camp pick up this week.

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I'm sick.  Did I catch Edda's little cold from last week?  Maybe I picked it up from somewhere else.   I couldn't quite tell if it was a cold or allergies yesterday, but I can tell today.  I'm glad erred on the side of caution and didn't go see Molly (Edda's Rett sister) in the hospital yesterday - last Friday, she had her spinal fusion by the same surgeon who did Edda's back.  No need to bring little cold germs into the PICU.  Of course, I'm well enough to work, so I'm working.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Jeremy's home, spray painting, banana bread.

Jeremy's home!  He wanted me to embed his route into the blog.  He did make it the 500 miles in a week, though I think he's done with this kind of biking event.  It would have been more fun if he went with a friend.



I went to a dumpling bar in Kentlands with Debbie for lunch.

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Before lunch, I worked on house stuff - like repainting our house numbers.

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Spray paint is incredible - this is when the paint is dry!  The seven looks like it came right off of a factory floor, so even and shiny!  Did you see how faded it was in the photo above?

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Before the spray painting, we had to go to the Home Depot to buy the spray paint.  I paused in front of the roses because I thought I could add to the front yard now that I've tamed it for the next 4 days.

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It took me many evenings this week and a little today.

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But I cleared out the side jungle and used up the eight mulch bags that I ordered in April from the high school (they sell them every year as a fundraiser).

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And I baked a banana bread.  Vickey sent me a fancy recipe that makes you cook the bananas first to release the banana juice and then boil down the juice to concentrate it and then add the concentrated banana juice back into the bananas.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Dresden plate, mushrooms, foul mood.

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I'm quilting a lot, making these Dresden plates (flowers).  I like to make them as Edda falls asleep at night.  I enjoy the quilting more when I'm using it to procrastinate from something else I should be doing.  So I'm enjoying quilting less now that I have a lot of free time.  Does that make any sense?

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I did cook dinner tonight, I'm attaching these photos of proof.  I can cook!  I can.  But I'm so much less good than the boys.  I'm better than Edda, but that seems unfair as she can't hold anything in her hands.  Sometimes I lament that at almost every evening meal, there is a "guest" - meaning one of Edda's caregivers or sometimes we'll have houseguests or Vince's friends or my parents or Jeremy's family.  Can't we ever have a dinner just us?  When there is someone else at the table, I do feel compelled to present a proper dinner with place settings and doling of served food from a common dish when my nature might be to make a sandwich and eat it over the sink and to give Edda some oatmeal and fruit because I'm tired and lazy.  (Vince was out watching the emoji movie - he reports back that it's terrible!  Don't go see it.).   I did have the eating over the sink feeling tonight, but Adriana was here and so I made a simple salad and scrambled eggs with a mushroom, spinach, cheese and bacon crumble topping and toasted a bagel and buttered it.  It was a semi-proper dinner (Jeremy, I think, frowns on breakfast being served as dinner, but I'm an all-day breakfast kind of girl) accompanied by a long, meaningful conversation and Edda laughing the whole time.  It was better than eating over the sink and watching youtube videos.  Why do I think that would be more relaxing and enjoyable?

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I have been in a foul mood all week, but I can feel it lifting.  I should know this by now, but wrestling with a bad mood never makes it release any faster.  I usually just have to wait.  Jeremy'll be home in less than 24 hours, I have some weekend plans which involve getting out of the house and talking to people.  I think that'll be good for me.  I also uploaded all of Vince's China photos onto flickr.  I'm hoping to get him to post a blog about it soon.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Slightly sick Edda, Yin & Andy, D & D.

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(Eliana, early morning)

Thank you Eliana & Adriana for helping with the am & pm Edda-care this week.  And thank you camp for taking care of the middle.  Edda was a raspy voiced last night when I got home and was sneezy and snotty.  Predictably, Edda squirmed and couldn't settle down to her usual steady sleeping schedule so I crawled in next to her and spent most of last night sleeping with her.  She never seemed warm to the touch.  With some guilt and conflicting feelings, I sent Edda to camp today slightly under the weather with dose of Motrin and a steady hope for the best (on a wing and a prayer).  Aurora said Edda was extra sleepy today, but they didn't scurry to the camp nurse, she just kept the day easy and relaxed and hopefully slightly removed from the other kids.  Adriana said Edda seemed much less congested this evening.

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(Adriana, early evening).

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My work group.

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I went to lunch with Andy and Yin (and Vickey and Karuna who I've been hanging out the whole time).  Andy and Yin are outside of the chemical arts, but they are often at work online at 6 am when I sometimes have procedural questions.  And, you know, I don't just want to hang out with chemical engineers, I want some diversity in my relationships.

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Vickey said I should get me some Warby Parker glasses.  You like these that Vickey has?

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I came home to Vince hosting his first D&D party.  All the other kids live on the other side of town within a block of each other, so Vince doesn't usually host, but this time, no one else could host, so all the kids trekked to our side of town.  They were very loud.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

This American Life, work, pasta.


I wanted you guys to know about a This American Life episode on Rockville.  Access it here.

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I commuted the 1.5 hours each way from home to work today.  Bicycle, subway, walking.  There is a two day team building training that's going on and so people flew in from all over the country to do this exercise.  I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen since I started working from home in 2009.  I met people in my group whose voices I've heard but never met.  We did the standard personality Myers-Briggs testing (Guess what everyone in my group is?  An SJ.  We are completely dependable, reliable, hardworking and detail oriented.  So boring.) and a scavenger hunt (why do these things always involve a scavenger hunt?).  Vickey and Karuna were there.  A long day, out of the house for just about 12 hours.

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Yesterday, I asked Vince to make dinner tonight and he asked me to shop for shrimp and heavy cream which I did at Giant last night.  I thought he was going to make some sort of alfredo, but it wasn't quite that, it was lighter than an alfredo sauce.  It really was the best thing he's made yet and it was ready as soon as I walked into the house.  And he made up the recipe in his own head without consulting the internets beginning with marinating the shrimp in a mixture for two hours.  He did use four sources of fat: butter, olive oil, heavy cream and cheese.  Delicious.  omg.

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Jeremy's having a good time.  He sends photos to me each day.

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Closing in on the 500 miles for the week, getting tireder and tireder.  He asks if he should go easy one day in order to go faster the next day.  I told him I wasn't entirely sure if going easy on an 80 mile day was really possible.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Lots of dishwashing.

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OMG.  Vince makes a lot of dishes.  Jeremy usually takes care of all the dishwashing.  I like to remain ignorant of dishwashing, but not this week.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

66, bored, flower bed.

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Jeremy rode 66 miles today.  Here he is with the rest of his people.  I'm surprised he's getting cell service up at the Finger Lakes.  But he's able to send some photos...

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Vince was up at 1 am last night which confused Max to no end.  Max got up and went downstairs and tried to figure out if it was mealtime even though it was completely dark outside.  There might have been some barking which woke Edda.  Now that Edda has the bed rails, I'll usually let her put herself back to sleep if she wakes up in the middle of the night, but last night I could hear Vince go into the room and check up on her.  Vince was home less than 24 hours before declaring that he was bored.  All of his friends are out of town!  I suggested pulling out some summer math packets, but he declared he wasn't that bored.

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Edda got a haircut from me today.  Clearly thrilled.

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Then we went to Baja Fresh where we got our new Totoro washcloth dirty with rice and beans and carnitas baja burrito.

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Nat said hi to Vince and they went through all the China and Japan photos on Vince's phone.

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While they were inside chatting about photos, I cleaned out one of our front beds.  I hate doing these things, but I feel I must reframe that feeling somehow.  I'm constantly reframing crap - I don't hate this, I actually like it!  Or, I should like it because I get to do it.  Or I like it because I can do it. I know, it makes no sense, but I can't go around hating everything which is my natural tendency.  Nat took a look at the cleaned up bed and asked if I bought new plants.  I lol-ed and said, oh, the plants were always there, I just took out all the weeds.

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Next stop:  The side jungle.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Vince is home, Jeremy is not home, blog = 15 years old.

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Loves, Vince is home!  <3  He's asleep upstairs now, working off the jet lag.  This is the longest and the furthest he's been away from me, I feel like it's readying me for when he does leave the house which will be both terrific and terrible at the same time.  He tells lots of stories about the food and the people he met, but I know it will never be enough information for me.  I want to know about it all!  Donald, on the last night in Japan, took him to an extravagant sushi dinner - probably the best sushi he will ever have in his life.  Conveyor belt sushi at Tyson's Corner will never be the same again.

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Vince was pretty late coming off the plane; we waited an hour near baggage claim as people streamed out.  (People like the 4 wheel luggage now and no longer the 2 wheeled luggage).  Very sweet watching people reunite.

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The plan was to drive two cars to the airport and have Jeremy leave from there, but it turned out the time savings was negligible.  So we just took the van and came home and Jeremy made himself a PB & J sandwich and headed up to the Finger Lakes area for his biking tour.  It's going to be a tricky week, work-wise.  I have some training I have to attend in person for a few days this week, we have the childcare lined up, hopefully it'll go smoothly.

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This week marks the 15th anniversary of the blog.  I never thought I'd keep it this long.  No one keeps personal blogs anymore, everyone is mostly on Instagram or Snapchat.  I like the longer form though, it makes me happy somehow.  I used to more freely give out the blog address because it was mostly about the kids, but these days, I don't give it out unless people really seem interested and I made it a little harder to google, but, really, not by much.  It just seems like too much information to give to someone you just met.  Here's to another 15!  That'll take me to almost 60.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Home from Japan, off to bike, Dresden plate.

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Vince is boarding his flight in Japan right now!  He'll be home in the morning.  I did a terrible thing and I bought him all his favorite processed food items - hot pockets, kraft mac & cheese, chicken tenders and (gasp!) ramen.  Jeremy is leaving right after Vince arrives to go on his week long bike trip; we are driving two cars to the airport so Jeremy can leave straightaway from the arrivals gate area & baggage claim.  I have photos of all the bike prep, but I'm too lazy right now to upload.  Edda is having a great summer, Aurora, her counselor at camp, is awesome and will be Edda's one-on-one next session as well.  I haven't seen Edda so happy during summer in a long time.  I made a Dresden plate for my next quilt!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

131K, insurance, despacito.

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Edda's hospital bill came in for her spinal fusion.  Submitted charges, almost $131,000.  Our plan paid most of the negotiated rate of $72,000.  We owe $350.  We did get a separate statement from our surgeon - almost $20K which we owe about $2000, but I'm hoping Edda's Medicaid will kick in there and cover that.  At $131K, it was well over $1000 an hour at the hospital.

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This is the song of the summer for me.  Sexy!  I'm going to have to learn to do a dance to this.  Good night!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Vince, Donald, Japan.

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I love my brother very much.  We weren't super close as kids (four years apart meant that we were never really in school together), but as grown ups we talk a lot more.  We try to talk at least once a week, usually at 10 or 11 am EST on Saturday or Sunday.  I credit this all to Donald who, a few years ago,  decided that he was going to call every week and followed through.

Donald, single cool dude, lives in the Mission in SF and does all the hipster things.  Nice fancy dry-clean-only clothes, trips to Napa, cool bikes, knows all the places to eat in SF, waits in line for Apple products (I can't believe he still does this.)  And he has lots of friends that he travels with, all hipster-y people with standards!  Standards!

So it makes me so happy to think of Donald and Vince as travelling companions because Vince can be a lot of fun and doesn't really have any standards.  I mean, of course, Vince knows all the hipster things, but he's bringing Donald down to his goofy teenage shenanigans.  Like wearing an Asian rice hat in the Kyoto train station or randomly throwing pottery in kimonos..?

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They've been playing Pokemon go in zen gardens across Japan.

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Last night, they went to dinner in a restaurant filled with Japanese businessmen all smoking cigarettes.  There was no English menu, so they ordered randomly and ate all the delicious things.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Grocery store, BBQ, Eliana.

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Grocery store date tonight.

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Eliana's here, managing Edda's morning routine.  She's staying here at night and doing the 6-9 am pre-camp shift which really helps us out a lot.  After she drops Edda off at camp, she heads back to VA to work her afternoon gig.  Work & house stuff goes so much more smoothly.

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

pH, dairy, date night.

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It's been a weekend full of lab values and medication names.  I'm hunkered down in Edda's room and I moved my sewing machine off of my craft table and replaced it with a calculator, laptop and lots of scratch paper.  Edda is here with me watching TV.  Maxi is also here on the couch.  We are a study-cram team!  I wish I had a bag of chips to eat.  It's also almost 3pm and we are all still in our pajamas.

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Vince called this morning from Japan.  He's with Donald in their little hotel room in Tokyo and everything is well.  He had a great time in China.  He longs for dairy.  Of the camp participants, a few people are staying in Guilin to continue the program, one person is going to Beijing, two people are headed home and Vince headed to Tokyo. He can really do it: he can go through foreign airports & customs, haggle with vendors in another language, budget some money, be friends with girls, figure out how to get cold medicine in a different country & live with another family.

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Jeremy did take me out on a date last night.  We rarely go out on Saturday nights because I'm loathe to ask Edda's helpers to work weekend nights because they are all young and I feel like those nights belong to them.  When we do go out, we'll usually go out on Tues, Wed or Thursday, but lately we haven't been even going out those nights because usually something has happened during the week that makes the designated "date night" seem like too much trouble or, more likely, we'd both just rather have dinner at home with the kids.

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But this weekend, Adriana volunteered (or strongly suggested she wanted to work on Sat night) and we took her up on it.  There was never a crystallized moment in the past decade or so that I suddenly realized that I would be giving up going out on Saturday nights with my husband (I do often go out on Sat nights with girlfriends) for much of my adult life, so I never had the chance to really mourn it, and also, it's such a small thing - a little luxury even that how could one feel badly about not having when there are bigger and sadder things to fret about giving up? But yesterday's date was so much fun.  I can't decide if it was funner because I so rarely get to do it, so if I could do it more often, it would lose its fun-ness quickly or if it was fun because it was just so much fun and I could do it every weekend for the rest of my life.  The movie (The Big Sick) was great (highly recommended!  go see it!) , the dinner was cheap and quick at Chopt and Jeremy told me all about biking and the bag he covets from some German company that he showed me at REI.  But besides hanging out with Jeremy, I re-remembered how fun a weekend summer night outside in a bustling downtown can be, women wearing tank tops and flowing dresses, music & dining outside, a full theatre with a recently opened movie full of laughter, the sun setting after a hot day, the temperature and humidity having done their work in the early morning and mid day now easing into a comfortable chair and relaxing a bit, a bit of sangria, just enough to loosen anxieties and worries (one glass for me) and that's it.  Fun.

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And finally, of course, ice cream.

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