Thursday, September 28, 2017

HPV, crafts, babysitting.

Untitled

Jeremy's still out of town.  I can do the single parent thing - but man, it's not easy.  I woke up Vince early and he left the house in a mini-crisis all concerned about a few tests and deadlines at the end of this week.  Gave him a quick pep talk and walked him through assessing the past exams and thinking of a reasonable plan of action without totally flipping either of us out - hard to do at 6:40 am.  Then I took Edda to get both the HPV booster and her flu shot.  After I dropped her off at school and got in a quick run around the neighborhood, I sat down at work at the late hour of 11 am.  Ack, not a great week for being super productive in a steady, even way.  I always say - next week will be quieter and then it never is.  I'm always waiting for the quiet week.  Which is always next week.  Why did we get the HPV vaccine for Edda even though she will never be sexually active?  Because I'm extra pro-vaccine.  God, in the past couple of weeks, various anti-vax people have made a comeback in my life.  I guess I should be glad they don't believe the world is flat (which is a real conversation one of my good friends has had with her siblings.  Seriously, there are people who really believe the world is flat.  It's a conspiracy! they say (according to various youtube videos).  OMG, we are doomed in all the ways we are doomed.)

******

In crafty news, I've been making handmade birthday cards for the loves in my life as I remember them.  Look!  Violet got my owl birthday card.  She's turning 10.  And you get stickers too.

Untitled

I laid out the flowers on my quilt via random number generator.  I like it.  Now to hand sew each of the flowers to the backing.

Untitled

******

Vince facetiming my dad to do some Chinese studying.  The teacher this year is demanding, Vince likes her, but she has high standards.  It's probably his hardest class.

Untitled

Vince started babysitting this week.  I can't believe that my child is taking care of other people's children.  He worked two nights this week and fed the three-year old dinner and did the whole bath and bedtime routine.  He got paid!  So excited.

Untitled

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Quilting.

Untitled

I decided to sign up for a ten-week beginning quilting class which meets Wed afternoon at the local quilt shop down the freeway a few exits.  Today was the first class.  I'm deep into my third quilt, this is a good hobby for me - I've tried a bunch of other ones: knitting, drawing, music.  This one suits my personality somehow - the rate at which you can make progress on a quilt, the different fabrics, the cost, the machine & tools, the usefulness of the end result.  I hope to quilt for a long time, but before I press on (ha ha <- quilt joke) I thought I should learn the basic techniques from an actual teacher.  Annette, our teacher, has been teaching this class for ten years.  I should learn a lot.

Untitled

Today we learned about color selection and how to square up and cut fabric.

Untitled

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sam, Ruth, dentist.

Untitled

I'm behind!  On Saturday, Vince and I went to Sam's house in Chevy Chase for a housewarming.

*******

That night, Ruth came over and we had blackened salmon.

Untitled

******

Monday night, we had Kate, Grafton, & Ben over for dinner - Vince was out, he was in Philly on a school trip.

******

Jeremy's in LA for the week.  I took Vince to the dentist where they now have an electronic form to sign in.  Everything looks good!  Vince got to sit in the space room, he hadn't done that in a long, long time.

Untitled

Monday, September 25, 2017

Job, Philly & beer.

I just realized that I passed the 10 year mark on my job.   I'm grateful for my job that allows me to care/provide for my family with minimal stress.

******

Edda and I took the day off last Friday and drove to Philly to the Children's Hospital there.  When Edda was first diagnosed with Rett, we made biyearly? semiannually? trips to Rutgers to have Edda's history taken and a physical done so that Edda would be part of a database of Rett patients to track their progress as they age.  It was an NIH funded longitudinal study. This helps researchers have a good baseline to work with if/when they start having treatments for Rett.  At first, they were incredibly helpful, the first one we went to was the first time I'd seen another Rett girl.  I remember just being incredibly overcome with the gratitude that we weren't totally alone, but that it also sucked so bad that we were all there together at the same time with all our hearts broken.  It was held over a weekend, and they would try to fit 15-20 families in on each day.  Then we got busy and the weekend trips were long and we were all getting more used to the idea of Edda being Edda and then the funding ran out and we stopped going.  Recently, they got more funding to continue the study and I got a very nice letter that asked if some older girls could come back (because the older the girls are, the more likely they are to drop out) and if they could, it would be a great thing 1) because: science & data and 2) they would more likely get more funding later if they had better participation now.

DSC01888

 They opened up a bunch of new intake sites and we got to go to Philly.  So off we went, this time to CHOP in Philly. Now, I hate driving.  I hate driving long distances and I hate being late.  It all makes me anxious and unhappy.  But I did it.  And we had the two hour appointment, told them all about Edda and caught up on the (many) clinical trials and asked about (CRISPR - it's well funded and exciting and we'll see.) and then they suggested I go eat at Federal Donut which would take me across the UPenn campus, but seeing that it was already 1pm and we were starving, we ate at the Au Bon Pain across the street and called it a day and headed back.

Untitled

******

I saw the school of nursing.

Untitled

******

I came home and had a beer.

Untitled 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rosh Hashanah, homecoming, happy Edda.

Untitled

The kids had off school today for Rosh Hashanah.  They usually get Yom Kippur off too, but not this year!  With the school year starting late (after Labor Day), they had to eliminate some holidays and I guess Rosh Hashanah was the one they decided to keep.  Vince went to a sleepover at a friend's house last night and came back home mid-morning.  Edda had Adriana's company most of the day today, allowing me to get a full day's work done.  Jeremy went to work.  Like he always goes to work.

******

Hmmmm,  I'm trying to think of something interesting to say today and I have nothing.  I asked Vince if he was going to homecoming this year and he said no.  Jeremy's new glasses are still not fitting his large head very well, he might have to return them.  I made some progress on my quilt after Adriana left in the afternoon.  Edda is very, very happy today.

Untitled

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Home, home depot, AP classes.

Untitled


Jeremy's back from NYC today.  He took the train down this morning and headed into work.  We went to Home Depot tonight for life-sized angry bird catapult parts.

******

Going back to Vince's schedule - Vickey noted that Vince, as a sophomore, is taking AP US Gov and that when we were teenagers, no one took that until their senior year.  There has been some sort of grade inflation/acceleration going on in the 30 years since I've been in high school.  In Vince's grade, there are *8* classes of AP US Gov.  If you estimate the total class size of about 500 and the US Gov class size as 30-35, then it seems like about half of the kids in the grade are taking this sophomore AP class.  Maybe I'm mistaken and the 8 classes are spread out among the sophomores, juniors & seniors.  Still, it's a lot of classes.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

back to school, holes, night

Untitled

Vince & Edda's back to school nights are done.  Great teams at both schools, I'm always impressed.  The teachers are excellent, seemed determined to make it all fun & rigorous at the same time.  Edda is reading Holes this year and Vince is reading Night and Odyssey.  I'm having a tough time getting through any pleasure reading this year, maybe I should read what the kids are reading.  I think they've kind of given up on having the kids read at home and then come to class prepared.  For both Vince and Edda, they are going to do a lot of the reading in class.  Earlier this week Vince declared reading to be so boring - the same thing page after page after page.  You haven't found the right book yet, I suggested.  Though really I think the internet has destroyed all patience for long-form reading.  I can't even read long form stuff anymore and I think it's because my mind is now accustomed to clicking on quick bits on the web.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Lael, Ben.

Untitled

Jeremy's in NYC for a couple of nights.  He has an all-day thing tomorrow and wanted to figure out a way to get there and back without spending any nights there, but it's just impossible to do that and make the meeting, so he left during the afternoon today and is coming back on Wed.  He had dinner with Lael, who happens to have a birthday next week.  I think they are eating rice pudding right now. I'm a little, uh, jelly.  I'd like some rice pudding right now.

Untitled

******

Here, Ben is staying the night with us.  He's lives in Charm City, but is commuting to Bethesda.  We are helping him out a bit by cutting out a couple of commutes.

Untitled

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bette, nag, fridge.

Untitled

Bette feels much better after her sinus surgery last Thurs.  It was wonderful to see her up and about and doing all the regular Bette things.

******

Jeremy managed to come home from the scout trip last night instead of today at noon.  He took one look at the cleaned garage, the reupholstered couch and the repotted plants and concluded that I was not busy enough asked if maybe I should start looking for a nursing gig.  Wasn't that the plan?  It's true when I am not as busy, I start, not only cleaning the house, but also I start messing more with Jeremy and Vince.  I start nagging.  It's not a good thing, I know.  I should really freak the boys out and do a deep fridge clean.

Untitled

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A whole weekend, couch cover, angry birds.

Untitled

Edda says good morning.  Even though I've dropped the approximately 10-15 (and for a few weeks in there, more than 25) hours a week I used to spend on nursing school, I still feel busy all the time.  It's amazing to me how work just expands to fill the space.  It makes me wonder how much I could really stuff into a week.  Maybe I could open a medical device company after Vince leaves for college.  I always want stuff a lot into a week, but, you know, it's nice this way too.  These are the things that I've been able to add on:  The constant rushing feeling is gone.  The house is cleaner and more picked up.  I'm sleeping until 6:15 am instead of 5:30 am.  I used to be able to get up at 5:30 am without an alarm.  Now I need an alarm at 6 am.  I'm able to socialize without looking at my watch every 15 minutes (leisurely weekday lunches & hosting/cooking dinners).  I have whole weekends where I need to do neither school work nor work work.  It's a bit amazing to me, a beautiful fall weekend in which I have nothing to do!  I could watch TV!  (I did watch TV for a long time today - mostly the British Baking Show).  It's a tricky balance though, without a whole lot to do, I can fall into a mild depression.

******

I spent 90 minutes today replacing the covers on our IKEA couches.  I don't mind that they are encrusted with food most of the time (because my standards are just that low), it just that when I have people over and I invite them to sit on the couch, I look at it through their eyes and cringe a bit inside.

Untitled

It's not that hard to switch out the couch covers, it's a little tricker by myself, but not too bad.  Now the old covers have to go to the dry cleaners which may cost as much as the couch itself.

Untitled

******

Then I spent three hours mowing & edging the lawn and cleaning up the garage so I would have room to make a life-size Angry Birds slingshot.

Untitled

This is my inspiration:



I might have made mine a little too big.  Hmmm.  I don't think it'll fit in the van. (It's not done yet).

Untitled

Friday, September 15, 2017

Caving, biking, baking.

Untitled

Vince and Jeremy are gone - off to go caving somewhere far away with the scouts.  Jeremy volunteered to drive as they seemed to be short of drivers, but there ended up being eight adults going, so maybe he didn't have to go?  Who knows. They are gone!  Jeremy is not going caving, he brought his bike and planned a 70 mile route near the cave and he'll explore there.

Untitled

Edda and I have exciting plans for the weekend.  Let's see if it pans out, or if I just end up watching The Great British Baking Show all weekend.

Untitled

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meat, meet, 45!

Untitled

We get our meat delivered frozen from the same place that delivers our milk.  Early every Thursday morning, they leave the delivery in a cooler we leave on the front porch.  Jeremy isn't sure what happened, but last week's meat order was forgotten in the cooler (somehow the milk and eggs got taken into the house, though).  So when he opened the cooler this morning to get the week's milk delivery, he got a noseful of rotten meat.  Maybe not the best way to start the morning.

******

We went downtown to meet Tony & Natasha's new baby, Sara.  Two weeks old!  I forget how small they are at the very beginning.

Untitled

DSC00094

*******

As soon as I got home, I had to take Vince out to Giant to buy groceries for the scout campout this weekend.  As usual, it was a terrible concoction of sugary cereal, mac and cheese, beef jerky and 10,000 snack items.

Untitled

******

Today is my birthday.  It's a big one - I'm 45.  My parents called me late at night (8:15 pm) and laughed and asked me how old I was and when I said 45!, they told me that in 10 years, I can join the AARP.  I laughed and said, well me being 45 makes you guys how old?  We celebrated last night because tonight Jeremy had a meeting downtown and I had Edda's back to school night to go to, so we weren't going to be together.

Jeremy made me a delicious dinner with all the things I love, including a beet salad.  He bought the strawberry & cream cake I like from Whole Foods.  He got blue cheese & pretzel bread.

Untitled

I got a pin cushion for my pins & needles.  It's filled with emery to keep the needles clean and sharp.

Untitled

I know I tell you that I like things that are at the $8 price point, but don't think I'm not drawn to expensive stuff like everyone else.  Every time I find myself at a high end mall,  I've walked into the Lululemon store and touched the running gear and looked at the prices and then walked out.  Jeremy was determined to buy some stuff at Lululemon for me for my birthday, but then all his female co workers told him he couldn't possibly patronize Lululemon because they fat-shame people and instead directed him to Athleta (a store that he had never heard of).  So I got a new running bra from Athleta and it's, by far, the nicest bra I have. My boobs totally didn't move at all during the whole run this morning.

To get all touchy-feely, I'm keenly aware that, at 45, I'm (most likely) past the halfway point of my life.   I'm working hard to release the bad energy and to harness the good energy and enjoy the ride. I've been given so, so very much, I try to repay it back everyday.  I strive to be grateful at the start of each day where I get to try again. Thank you all for being part of my life, I hope I'm doing good by you.

Untitled

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Violin, Kelly, last lesson.

Untitled

Well, today was Vince's last violin lesson (sorry Kappa!).  I didn't tell Kelly in advance that we had decided to end violin - I wanted us to do it in person and together.  Vince walked in and handed her a dozen roses and a box of chocolates and declared - this is my last lesson (and shed a few tears...)!  It's been a long time since Vince has put in regular practice sessions and I know I've been dragging this on because I love Kelly and - who knows - I wanted an excuse to see her every once in a while?  Kelly was not surprised & did not try to convince him to keep going, rather she commented how we had lasted so long.

Untitled

We found Vince's first violin notebook and it indicated that 9/9/2010 was his first lesson!  Almost exactly 7 years with Ms. Kelly.  The end of an era.  Vince didn't play any violin at his last lesson, rather we looked at Kelly's new 5-string electric violin and chatted about school and friends and what we were planning on doing in the coming year.

Untitled

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cub scouts, power meter, cheese snacks.

Untitled

Vince went to host a cub scout meeting tonight as part of the recruiting season.  The cub scout troop that Vince belonged to in elementary school (which is the one he went to tonight) has a choice of two boy scout troops in very close proximity and in recent years, the other boy scout troop has been attracting more rising 6th graders.  Our scout troop is losing steam a bit.  When we were choosing five years ago, we also almost went with the other troop as well even though, historically, the cub scout troop does feed into Vince's boy scout troop.  Our boy scout troop is a little motley, it's fiercely boy-led which inevitably lends itself to disorganization and miscommunication and lots of thrown cheese balls and the parking at the fair sounds terrible when you first hear about it (What?!  Grown ups have to work 40 hours too?! During August when everyone goes on vacation and it's super hot? We can not possibly do that.).  But now I love our little troop and the fair and I don't mind working the 20 hours I need to work.  Vince did a good job tonight, like the pied piper, he had a couple of kids following him out the door wanting him not to leave.  As for why we didn't pick the other troop, we went with this troop because Vince's whole cohort went together.  They are such good friends (really, the best of friends) that we were just going to go where everyone else went.

******

Jeremy finally got his birthday power meter in the mail today.

Untitled

So excited! (Who was more excited?  Jeremy about the bike stuff or Vince with the Supreme shirts?  It's hard to say.)  And he got a free birthday ice cream cone at Ben and Jerry's.  I could never take up biking for the following reasons: 1.) I brake on all the downhills because I'm scared of going fast, 2.) I am scared of cars, 3.) there is just so much stuff to buy and it's all not $8 which is my preferred price point.

Untitled

******

This is going to be painful.  For the both of us.

Untitled

******

Date night at Giant.  Looking over the cheese snacks.

Untitled

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Nat, Ning, Maxi.

Untitled

We had brunch at the house with Nat and Dara and their friends Ning & Brian.  N & D bought a house in the neighborhood and are planning on moving out of our basement apartment within the month and we are hoping that Ning & Brian will be our new tenants.  Nat made us this delicious pastry for our birthdays.

Untitled

Almond cream filling!

Untitled

******

Lately, Maxi has been giving me some forlorn looks.  Anytime we make an extra to-do packing up the car (Jeremy's bike ride yesterday, a picnic with a cooler, going on a road trip), Maxi runs to the car/van in the garage and leaps into the car and asks - can I come? can I come?  And the answer is always, always no.  Then I realized that she must be so bored, always in the house, hardly ever leaving the neighborhood.  She's the 4th child, really no time for dog parks, no time for doggie play dates, she just sits on our bed, stinky-fying our pillows.  So today, I decided to take her orienteering - it was the first meet of the season. I wasn't sure how she would manage, there are lots of dogs at check in and check out and Maxi is not really good with meeting other dogs.  And would she be able to manage the terrain without getting tangled in the leash and would she run as fast as I wanted to run?  (I have not been taking her running around the neighborhood on my runs, I ask her, but she doesn't ever seem excited to go - I consider her to be out of shape for a dog, she just runs to her food bowl.)

Untitled

Max did great: over logs, through undergrowth of the forest, up and down hills, over streams.  (I did less well performance-wise, not Maxi's fault, she didn't slow me down, only my own navigation did that.) I did this thing called a Score-O which is timed and I needed to get back to the start within a 75 minute window or penalties apply and I realized a little too late that the time was closing in on me and I had to book it back on an open trail and I asked Max to keep up with me for a good while and she did, surprising me.  She did growl at dogs which is unfortunate, but, I think, manageable.  She might be my new orienteering partner.

Untitled