Sunday, April 22, 2018

Back home & logistics.

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Jeremy came home mid-morning.  I wasn't expecting him until noon, but he came back at about 10:30 am. 

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We held a family meeting in Edda's room.  Serious matters were discussed. 

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Morning, Christmas, Romaine.

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The boys were sleeping in tents outside last night somewhere along the Appalachian Trail.  I wanted to go to bed early, but I didn't manage to do that, I was too engrossed in Cheer Squad on Netflix.  I'm only interested in the cheerleading part where they toss someone high in the air or execute a new tumbling routine. I'm not at all interested in who these girls want to date, where they go to school, whether they want to do massage therapy or coach cheer.  I wish I learned how to do a back handspring when I was younger.  I've done many front handsprings, but not recently!

Lately, I've been having trouble gaining momentum on Saturday mornings.  Usually I have some Edda-care on Saturdays from noon - 5 pm.  This means I should be able to do 4-5 hours of work that I can do with Edda around (laundry, taxes, bills) before our caregiver arrives.  But oftentimes, I find myself having done nothing but feed and shower Edda and lounge around in my pajamas.

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This morning was a little out of the ordinary in a good way. I fed Edda breakfast quickly and got her showered in record time.  I spent the rest of the morning with her in her room working on my next quilt.  I've gotten some Christmas themed fabrics from Gina, Vickey's mom, and I'm trying to figure out how to make a quilt out of it that doesn't seem Christmas-y at all.  I love the challenge of getting random fabrics and trying to make something beautiful from them.  That out of scraps and challenging fabric can emerge a beautiful piece of art (which is useful too).

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Here's my first block:

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Worked on this block today:

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I've been listening to Stephen King's book On Writing while I've been quilting.  Listening to writing books makes me feel self conscious about all the writing on this blog.  I usually write the blog very quickly, at night right before I fall asleep.  Most nights I don't even proof it.  I know it's riddled with spelling errors, mismatched subject verb tenses, cliches, too many extra words, the same word used three times in two consecutive sentences and terrible dialog punctuation.   I feel like I could write well if I actually paid attention to it and budgeted more than 20 minutes to blog.  But I don't think it's going to happen.  It's just going to be this way forever.  We use the blog all the time to figure out when various things happened or to clarify memories which can only happen when I try to blog most days...

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Vince came home early from the scout hiking trip because the play (that we saw last week) is still running this weekend and he wanted to go to the cast party after closing night (which is tonight).  So he got a ride home from the trail with another kid who is in the same situation.  But Jeremy is an actual leader of the hiking trip which is why he isn't home tonight, he is still out there on the trail sleeping in a tent on the ground.  They hiked 10 miles today.

I dropped Vince off at the play and Edda and I headed to my favorite burger place, the Habit Burger.  I had had a burger for lunch, so I ordered myself a chicken caesar salad and as I was waiting for the order to be ready, I had the following exchange with my Rett mom pals (I'm in blue):


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So I threw away my caesar salad.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Philly, hamstring, camping.

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I spent Thursday driving up to Philly to see Vidya who moved home about a month ago.  I had been seeing him in downtown Philly where he was in physical rehab getting all his PT, OT and SLT and that drive was 2 hours door to door.  I vaguely remembered their house to be "45 min" away from the city, but somehow in my head I decided that it couldn't possibly be 45 min directly north of the city, but it was.  Instead of the regular 4 hour round trip, it was 6 hours round trip which is fine, but unexpected when I got into the car, turned on the ignition and set google maps to their address and went - oh crap!  I'm going to be an hour late.  I stayed about 6 hours (ratio of car driving to visit = 1) and it was nice to see everyone back at home and to see his daughter Akshara since I hadn't seen her in a very long time.  We talked all things smencils (smelly pencils). 

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The long car ride did nothing for my legs. I've been nursing a hurt left hamstring since January which is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but is a literal pain in the ass.  Since then, sometimes I can run fine and it's just a little whisper of soreness, sometimes I run worse.  This is a running worse week and I kept putting off and putting off the workout for the week and then my hamstring ached and bothered me through the whole car trip on Thursday.  I was not optimistic.  But on Friday, it was a beautiful day, I had time to go to the canal to run the workout and I woke up with my leg feeling pretty good (though I couldn't quite decide if I'm coming down with a cold), I thought it would be a good run.  But, it was - as Vince says - mediocre in terms of meeting the workout parameters that Paul had written because my hamstring was still not cooperating after a long warm up and I couldn't turn over my legs enough (I blame the car ride for that), but it was excellent because it was gorgeous on the canal, I'm not quite sure I've ever seen it more beautiful.  I am more partial to fall running, but this spring running is also quite fine.   I ran into (haha. not literally) into bird watchers staring into treetops and I stopped and looked in the direction that everyone was staring at and I could not see anything.  Nothing.  So then I scooted over to one of them and asked what they were looking at and he said - oh! we are looking at (insert bird name here that I've forgotten) flitting around this area, they are far away, but up close they are quite striking.  And then he proceeded to sing their song for me and said that he was looking for the male.  I'm not sure I've ever had anyone sing a birdsong to me before.

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Now it's Friday night.  The boys are off hiking the AT and left the house right around 6pm.   In some weird turn of events, Vince is coming home on Saturday night to go to a party, but Jeremy is staying on the trail and sleeping on the cold ground in a tent.  Jeremy was like - how come I'm the old guy and I'm the one not sleeping in my bed?  Edda's watching Nemo.  I'm watching Cheer Squad on Netflix. 

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Working from home, errands, time with Vince.

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Jeremy worked from home today to get both of our cars serviced.  It's nice having him at home.  I often start work right as we get up out of bed, but I'll take a couple of hours off mid-day to go get some exercise and run all the errands that need running.  I tend to "hide" all the household stuff from Jeremy because of my flexible schedule.  Today I was headed out to mail off the checks to RSRT from Edda's birthday party fundraiser and I asked Jeremy if he needed anything from the grocery store and he said  - oh yeah, some fruit, and then can you drop of an Amazon return at the UPS store and maybe pick up the dry cleaning too?  And then he looked at me and reconsidered and said - oh, please don't worry about it, I can run my own errands.  But I was in a good mood and said, oh no worries, I'll do it, they are all right next to each other.  I'm not always so pleasant about taking on these assignments when Jeremy asks (there is something about being asked to do them makes one resist doing them), but most days Jeremy isn't home and then I run all those anyways, it's just easier and quicker mid-day.  But it's a fine balance because if Jeremy isn't appreciative enough of the hidden errand running, then I start to resent that I do it and then I hold my resentment in and then usually flip out over some small request. When I'm flipping out, I totally forget that he had, in the past, spent the whole day shuttling cars around to the repair shop.   How do you explain to young folks who are getting married that married life is a lot about errand distribution & acknowledgement? 

I feel like spring can be the busiest time of the year.  This past weekend was the 5th time that Vince has gone orienteering with me.  He is pretty good at the navigation and I think he thinks it is fun.  He's gotten good enough to join the middle school & high school training team that hold practice monthly and he went to his first training session and gamely went on workouts with kids who are on the national team.  I will tell you I've been taking him because it's a combination of hoping he gets more exercise, getting a sport onto college applications and, finally, an excuse to spend all of Sunday with me.  It's so much fun to have this time with him one-on-one, we have all this time in the car, we have lunch together afterwards and it's fun.  I want to hold him tight to me and never let him go and protect him always, but I can tell he will be super ready to go out on his own in a few years and that makes me a whole whirl of emotions. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Home, play, bald.

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I picked up Edda from after school camp on Friday afternoon and settled her onto the couch where she seemed to relax happily into the weekend.  I arranged for Ning to care for her in the evening so Jeremy and I could go together to Vince's spring play.  There were two murder mystery plays: The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard & Murder in Black and White.

Vince worked lights, as usual, and took this photo of us seated from his perch up high and texted it to Jeremy.  Jeremy took one look at it and wondered if he was going bald.  I said it was just the light and that he wasn't going bald, it was just very, very grey hair.  Then Jeremy made me take a photo of the back of his head to prove he wasn't going bald. 

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I did not understand the Tom Stoppard play.  I mean, I kind of got it, but I had to read the wikipedia entry afterwards to understand some of the minor points.  Vince came down at intermission to say hello. 

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Here's the lighting crew!  Somehow Vince is in a sleeping bag?!?

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Taxes, Poor Jeremy, Colony Club.

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Jeremy came back from California exhausted and ill.  He caught a cold at the tail end of his trip and has spent the week dragging himself into this time zone, fighting his cold and facing a full plate of stuff at work including socializing in the evenings (remember, he hasn't been in the office since we left for Pittsburgh for spring break - longer than 2 weeks).  This morning, we woke to the alarm, turned on the light and then Jeremy said in a terribly hoarse voice - I feel terrible, this is not the morning to feel terrible because today I have to do a presentation with people who might disagree and that will require diplomacy and tact.  I'm not sure I can be diplomatic feeling this terrible.  Poor guy.  I'm trying to avoid his cold and I've been procrastinating on taxes.  If you look at my to-do list, it looks like the above for about a week.

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On Wed, I had an event I wanted to attend downtown and Jeremy was putting in an appearance at a happy hour after work and therefore, we crossed paths at Dupont Circle and had a Shake Shack dinner and I headed deeper downtown and Jeremy headed home to bed.

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I went to the Colony Club which is near Columbia Heights where Thu and her brother were doing a combo poetry reading & band performance.  I had a really great time, I don't know what I'm doing to deserve these invitations, but they delight me to no end.  It's like a whole 'nuther life - a literary, artistic life.  I took a Lyft from Shake Shack to the club because I was running late, but to go home, I walked the half mile to the Columbia Heights metro.  That's also something that I like to re-experience, walking downtown at night, I used to do that all the time!  Well, when I was in college. 

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Today, I spent a couple of hours with Edda at her orthotist figuring out new bracing for her errant foot.  I actually refused the new daytime braces and we are going to get different ones.

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She got a new tensioner to wear at night to prevent her toe from pointing too much. 

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Jeremy's back, weight, let it go.

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Jeremy arrived back home last night, he took the shuttle from the BWI airport to Shady Grove metro where I picked him up.  He's been working diligently to get down to racing weight (150 lbs) for his biking season (though he came home and ate a bunch of ice cream as noted above).  Honestly, I was a little shocked how thin he was when he was striding through the parking lot towards the minivan pulling his wheeled luggage behind him.  I think this is the thinnest he's been since I've known him and he was quite thin in 1994-95 when we first met.  I was worried that he was getting too thin and we talked about it as we were falling asleep last night - looking up weights of professional cyclists (of course, all much lighter than him) and also looking up BMI for his height.  According to the BMI charts, for him to still be totally within the normal range for his height but at the low end, he could be 129 lbs which is just unimaginable to either of us.  That's pretty much what I weigh right now, but I'm 8 inches shorter than he is.  I'm actually at the high end of the BMI range for my height. For me to be in the middle of the BMI range for my height, I'd have to drop about 15-20 pounds which would land me at 110-112 pound which is so, so, so light for me.  I wasn't even that light at the height of my grief about Edda's diagnosis where I basically stopped eating for a good while there.  I looked fantastic (I did get compliments at that weight), but I felt terrible.  Oh so terrible.

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It's nice to have Jeremy back for many reasons, but it's just helpful for it to not just be me and Vince interacting in the house.  With Jeremy gone, I begin to focus too much on Vince and I get attached to having things done certain ways and I can't let go that easily.  It could be as simple as getting frustrated at him for misplacing a piece of clothing or a homework assignment or him answering my questions in a curt manner.  (As a side note, Jeremy thinks I need to go back to school just so I have my own gig again and stop paying so much attention to the boys (J & V) - I do see some valid points in Jeremy's plan.)  I mentioned this to Vince and he said, well, what about Edda?  She's here the whole time and part of the deal, no?  I said that Edda was on a much higher plane than the rest of us, probably always floating at the self-actualization level while the rest of us (ok, me or I or whatever pronoun I should use) tumble up and down Maslow's hierarchy and behave badly.  So I will try to let it go, let it go.  Sigh.  As another side note, Edda finally likes Frozen.  It took a long time, though she likes the beginning more than the end because she's seen the beginning more often.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Pt Reyes, Edda orienteering, cheeze balls & sushi.

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Sorry folks, small photos today and too tired to resize them.  Jeremy went hiking today near Pt Reyes and went to look for some cheese at the Cowgirl Creamery.  He said they didn't have ice cream which I find hard to believe.  Creamery = ice cream, right?  Anyways, he's home tomorrow, so I don't have Sunday night blues.

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I had no childcare today, so I took both Edda and Vince orienteering.  Vince went off on his own, but Edda & I tried out the approx 1 mile long beginner course. 

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No elevation gain & through clear, open fields, you could practically see the next control from the one you were at which was perfect, perfect for the two of us.  Edda did great.  I might even say that she loved it.  She did laugh in the middle of it all as we needed to cross some leafy areas and she did not complain during our hour-long outing.  About 8 minutes after Edda and I were done and enjoying the cheese balls they had set out at the snack table, Vince came in from his course and we went out for sushi lunch.

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Edda!  Orienteer-er!  Completer of an athletic event with someone recording a time!

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Breakfast, pug, sentences.

It's almost 7 pm on Saturday night.  I'm with Edda in her bedroom thinking about breakfast foods for dinner (cereal? oatmeal? eggs? maybe a leftover birthday pancake?).  Vince is in his bedroom fast asleep.  He went to a sleepover last night and then got up very early to go to some science convention downtown so I suspect that he is low on sleep.  I hope he sleeps on through until morning...we will see.

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Jeremy called early this morning concerned about my Friday afternoon blues, but it's not bad.  I see that some of his photos have loaded onto Flickr and so I can tell you some the things he did in California this week.  He rode to the top of some hill with a rented commuter bike which was his biking workout.

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And he traded affectionate kisses with Linus the pug.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday night blues, Debbie, donut.

I'm headed into the weekend without Jeremy, so I have a weird case of the Friday afternoon blues which almost never - like never ever happens.  I like to keep the blog relatively light & cheery with a small dose of reality.  But reality is hard & I rely on Jeremy to hear all the stories I collect during the day and have him help prop me up a little.  Everything at the house is generally well, but lately everytime I bump into someone, I hear a story of a heartfelt struggle and I can only send a hug and a heart emoji (💕) and tell them I wish it wasn't happening to them. 

And the weather is totally f-ing with regulating my place in time.  It's 70 degrees right now, but sometime tomorrow it's suppose to be 28? 

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I met up with Debbie for lunch today, a highlight of the week!  We went to Inferno - this pizza place right near her house that has been getting great reviews and Debbie hadn't been yet.  They usually have only dinner hours (and Jeremy and I have gone there on a date), but I noticed that they had a two hour window for Friday lunch - the only day they served lunch - so I scheduled lunch to be then.

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I walked in fully expecting to eat pizza, but it turns out that they serve only 2 things for Friday lunch.  An amazing fried chicken sandwich with slaw and special sauce for $8.

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And a few kinds of donuts.  That's it.  There was a line out the door the whole time we were sitting down and eating.  This donut was so light that it was like a daydreamed thought covered in sugar/cinnamon/cardamom. 

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Oatmeal, shoes, vet.

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Ning had some delays coming home from her trip back home, so I'm manning the mornings for a little bit this week.  Edda decided to sneeze as soon as I put a spoonful of oatmeal in her mouth.  Hmmm,

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I finally bought Edda a replacement pair of shoes that should fit her orthotics.  She's getting a new set of orthotics next week, but I thought I would replace the shoes now.  I thought I ordered wider,  but they are harder to shove the ankle braces in, hopefully they will stretch out in a few weeks to be more accomodating.

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Vince took one look at her geriatric looking shoes and suggested I go out and buy her Nike Air Monarchs (?).  He said her shoe game needed to be on and he was sure Monarchs came in extra extra wide.  Recently Vince has acquired so many shoes I had to get him his own personal shoe rack.

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I took the third child to her well visit checkup.  Maxi went to the vet today.  Look at all the doggies/kitties who had an appointment today:

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Maxi, my sweet but nervous dog, did great.  All up to date on shots and looking good.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Delicate, California, Annual Checkup

Vince walks into my bedroom/office where I'm already working (though in my pajamas) at 7am and says - are you listening to Demi Lovato?  I said - oh no!  It's the new Taylor Swift song.  He groans.  Then Jeremy walks in and putters around for a little while and says - you listening to that on repeat?  I said - yeah, I'm going to listen to it all day!  It's not her best work, but at heart I'm a swiftie.  And I love that blue fringe-y dress.





Jeremy left for California tonight for a week.  This is a business trip that is spanning a full weekend which is unusual for him, but he's trying to meet up with some friends/family that need meeting up with.  Last night, even though he was going to be gone for a week, I was in a chipper mood.  This was unusual enough for him to note - I can be grumpy before a business trip because I resent having to do all the things, whatever those things are. It inevitably involves poop and something like a water heater disaster.  Generally, it's all fine, so I'm trying to haul that behavior out back and bury it in the ground.  I'm 23.2% successful at that.

Edda had her annual check up today.  Everything looks good (except for the Rett Syndrome - but we already knew that).   I got to speak to both the doctor and her teacher (when I drove her to her school) about high school!  Ack.  Not ready yet.  I still want to grab my kids, pick them up and tuck them under my arm and run around like crazy.

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Monday, April 2, 2018

Easing into the work week.

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Today was the last day of spring break.  The house still was out of sorts when I woke up this morning, but by evening all the furniture had been moved back to its regular place.  I worked a bit today, it was the end of the quarter, I just tidied up a few things and spent most of the day taking Vince for a regular checkup and dental checkup.  All the laundry got done - with help from Jeremy who worked from home today.  He has enough clean underwear to get him through his business trip to CA this week.

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Vince is here playing games at the dentist.  My big goals for the next few weeks are 1. taxes 2. thank you cards for Edda's birthday party.  Edda got to go to afternoon camp from noon-4pm today. 

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Roses, quilting, Nat & Dara.

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Edda had gotten two bouquets of roses for her birthday at her pancake breakfast and sometime during the week while we were away, I thought I should have given them to someone who could see them everyday because I thought by the time we got back, they would be wilted.  But they were still quite happy when we walked into the house and we are enjoying them now.

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I have my fourth finished quilt - this one I did the edging myself which saved about $100 dollars on the quilting costs.

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I rather like this one, though I didn't think that I did when I was putting it together.  This was not a pattern I chose myself, this is a pattern for the intro to quilting class I did last fall.  For the backing, I used all the scrap fabric I had from the front of the quilt.

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I spent a lot of time this weekend quilting.  Jeremy went out on long bike rides both days.  Edda and I hung out in her room.  She was happily watching TV, I was quilting and listening to audiobooks.  I find the combination of the audiobooks & quilting very satisfying and relaxing. 

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Maxi kept us company quite a bit and I kept the laundry cycle going all weekend.  There is a lot of laundry after vacation.  This was the scene from my quilting corner.

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Nat & Dara surprised us on Easter morning!  With gifts from Japan...thank you!  We should have been showered, but we were not. 

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