Saturday, April 28, 2018

Enchiladas, Vince cares for Edda, biking & orienteering.

Hi loves, it's Saturday night and I'm sitting in a hotel room by myself in Northampton, MA.  (Both fantastic! and kind of lonely!) We are executing the plan, but the plan is a little crazy.  I'm knee-deep in the part of the plan where you feel like maybe you shouldn't have undertaken the plan, but now it's mostly over so there is no choice but to keep going and hope for the best.  Spirits are flagging, stress is mounting, but we are on the third lap of a mile race.  Let's keep going.

Friday morning: I woke up at Bard, Vince woke up in Troy, NY and Jeremy and Edda woke up in Rockville.  Julia had spent the night at our house.  (Debbie, my birthday party friend, had taken Maxi home with her on Wed. night).  Jeremy packed up the car with three bikes, a wheelchair, bedrails and various other items and headed up to Bard - stopping in New Jersey at lunch to drop Julia off at her brother's house.  They got to Bard around 3 pm.

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I did sleep in on Friday and I found a quilt shop in Red Hook (who knew?  I've only been going to Red Hook my whole entire married life and never knew there was a fabric store) and spent the afternoon grocery shopping and making bean enchiladas to accompany Katherine's delicious tomatillo  soup.  I usually fry the corn tortillas, but this time I did not and it turned out just fine.

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Vince and Josh arrived from RPI at about 5pm and then we had a lively dinner.

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Edda fell asleep on the couch next to Vince and Emy.

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Saturday: Today was a big day for our family, it was the first day that we have ever asked Vince to take care of Edda for a long stretch of time.  Kiki and Kappa were going to be around, but it was Vince's job to dress and feed Edda from about 7 am - 4 pm.  I didn't really like asking Vince to do this for us, we had looked into taking someone or hiring someone at Bard, but it just turned out this way.

Saturday morning, Jeremy got up early and left at 6 am for his bike race (ride?) about 2 hours north of Bard.  As we fell asleep last night, I had to tape his bell's palsied eye shut because when he's in a relaxed state, the eye wants to open.  I woke up at six and I wanted to leave at 7 to go to an orienteering meet about 2 hours east of Bard.

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Edda was awake at 7am in an upstairs bedroom.

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Vince was asleep in the downstairs living room at 7 am.  I had to push Vince awake at 7 to ask him to help me carry Edda downstairs because I can't do it by myself anymore.

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We got Edda downstairs and sitting on the potty and I reminded Vince that she needed breakfast and a change of clothes.  I told him where her diapers were and then I left.  I drove two hours to the orienteering meet - I ran around the woods for a couple of hours (I came in last! Last!  Someday I won't be last.  It took me 2.5 hours.  The winner took 47 minutes to finish the course.  I hope this means I have a lot of room to improve.)  The woods had no cell service, so it was only after I got down from the mountain that I got this photo from Vince showcasing his care of Edda.  It's ever so slightly awkward, but she's dressed!  And outside sunbathing with Pip.  They did end up seeing a movie.

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Here are my views from my run/walk/getting lost adventure.  It really was a beautiful day, I was worried about my bum hamstring, but really, I was not limited by my physical capabilities, I was limited by my inability to navigate properly.

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Then I spent the rest of the afternoon at Smith College.  So fancy!  I pull into the main campus drive and I see a huge lake with people canoeing.  Jeremy asked me if I saw any swans - I did not.  I went to the Smith botanical gardens and the Smith art museum and sat in front of a Picasso.  I walked to the super cute downtown and bought pastries at the very adorable independent bakeries.  What if I had gone to Smith?  I would be a very different person. 

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Rensselaer, RPI, Josh.

Jeremy's Bell's Palsy is fine!  No need to worry about him.  It's not that bad.  (He wanted me to put this in the blog post today).

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Vince and I left early Thurs morning to head to Troy, NY.  I had arranged for us to attend the 1 pm tour at RPI, and I was trying to figure out what time we should leave DC to get us there at 12:30pm.  It's hard to use Google Maps in this situation because I feel like it doesn't compensate for hitting rush hour traffic in Philly or NYC or whatever.  I thought we should leave at 5 am to have time for breakfast & lunch, but we had a fight at 10 pm the night before about Vince's driving skillz (he had driven us to the gas station to fill up the tank and (I thought) had taken a turn with not enough space between him and next oncoming car) which resulted in him locking himself in the car outside the house and sulking and me cajoling him to get out of the car to pack.  Not a good scene.

Because I had set the alarm for 5 am, my body inexplicably (of course) got up at 4 am and couldn't go back to sleep.  I went to go get some cash and then decided that I couldn't possibly wake Vince up at 5 am after the fight and I wanted to let him sleep.  Jeremy came down at 5:45 (regular wake up time for the grownups in the house) and shooed us both out of the house and told us to take the route through Harrisburg (which I did).

Vince got into the car and went promptly back to sleep.  I was completely underslept and I really hate driving long distances, so after an hour, I had to nudge Vince awake as we pulled into a McDonald's to get breakfast and Coke (for me) and ask him to please keep me company and talk to me because otherwise I wouldn't be alert enough to drive well.  Vince was cheerful about it and we talked for a long, long time about rap, school, future plans, friends, etc.  Mostly about rap.  I listened to a lot of rap songs.

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We got to RPI only ten minutes late (we had to abandon lunch) and did the info session/tour.  Lots of women on this tour (as was true of all the other tech school tours that we've done), though the ratio is still 70/30. This school is a thumbs up from Vince.  The tour guide was a ChemE junior from Boston.  RPI did emphasize to the parents at the info session that they had a great ROI with starting salaries about 60-70K and that their new IT major had 100 job placement with starting salaries of 120K.  OMG, is IT a major now?  It doesn't feel quite right, but I guess it's fine.  IT is no joke, but is it a "field of study"?  Maybe this is how chemists felt when chemical engineering was first offered as a major.  This school feels more reasonably obtainable (though still ambitious) in their admissions requirements, I will not go into stories I have from neighbors/friends with kids with 4.0 & 1560 SAT that have gotten rejected from scores of schools that I would have considered safety schools in in my day.  I do not want Vince's heart to be set on a single, very impossible to get into school.

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We met up with Josh, Vince's god brother who is a graduating senior this year.  He took us to his rock climbing wall.  We climbed around - Josh really loves climbing (he learned to climb in Yosemite a few years ago - talk about an intro to rock climbing) and helps run this club/facility.  I think I'm going to climb rocks!  Vince is spending the night with Josh, I drove down to Bard to see Bob and Katherine.  I had a lovely dinner with them and then hung out with Emy and Seth in Tivoli and then went back to Bard where I slept well.  A familiar bed & surroundings, totally quiet countryside, exhausted driver, no children/husband, and no morning alarm.   Wonderful.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Debbie, birthday, Julia.

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Dinner birthday party for Debbie.  A milestone birthday & I think her husband, Dennis had fun too.

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Julia's in town and staying with us for a couple of nights and she joined in the festivities.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

American flag, growing out bangs, steriods.

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Vince has a friend who wears an American flag fanny pack every day to school and Vince accidentally ripped off one of the straps.  (How?  I do not know.) Vince promised to repair it and brought it home.  A quick whirrrr on the sewing machine and follow through with some needle and red thread and it was as good as new.

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Edda came home with her hair in a tizzy.  It's in the intermediate state of "growing out bangs".  I'm afraid I might cave and bring back her Dora haircut, this is just too untidy.

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Jeremy's Bell's palsy is back for the 2nd time -  this time on the opposite side of his face.  I got a lot texted photos of his face today.

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He felt it come on at breakfast, but didn't quite realize it was BP and made it all the way into work. He called me before he called the doctor and wondered if he should even see the doctor because he really didn't want to take the course of meds.  I urged him to go (because I'm totally freaked out that he's having a stroke) and get the meds filled and if he didn't want to take them, that's fine.  I just didn't want it to be 10pm and everything getting worse and him wishing that he had the meds on hand.  The last time we realized it was BP too late for the course of antivirals and steroids, but this time he got his prescription filled less than 6 hours from the onset of symptoms. It's hard for him to eat because he can't move his food around well in his mouth, but the main concern for him is his inability to blink.  His big bike race is on Saturday and it will be a pain to have an eye that is stuck open getting dried out and dirt in it.  The only way to lubricate it is to consciously close both eyes together or to put in eye drops which may be hard to do in the middle of a bike race.  On the other hand, he did decide to take the course of the meds, so he'll be on steroids for the bike ride.  Maybe that'll compensate for the eye drop rest stop breaks.

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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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