Thursday, June 21, 2018

Outlet shopping, Dave & Busters, Baseball game, Lenhoksin.

Untitled

On Tuesday, Jeremy showed the boys his biking closet and his virtual biking world.  After breakfast, I took the boys to the Clarksburg Outlets a little north of us to shop for running shoes and flip flops.

Untitled

I hung out a bit at the Disney store where I seriously thought about buying these pants.

Untitled

After the outlet stores, we sent Ben downtown on his own to have some solitary museum time.  We took the kids to Dave & Buster's for an afternoon of arcading.  This was the only game that I played - a skiiing one.

IMG_20180619_174807

We all reconvened at Nationals Park to see part of the Beltway series (Nationals vs Orioles).  It's a little confusing to me, I guess I'm a Nationals fan now.  When I was growing up, there was no DC team so we rooted for the Orioles.  It was an exciting game - Nationals won 9-7.  The weather was perfect.  It just felt like summer.  Cousins came also! 

IMG_20180619_203717

Hats were bought.

IMG_20180619_221903_1

IMG_20180619_222138

On Wed, I spent the whole day (!) driving Vince to his summertime gig.  He's a counselor at Lenhoksin, a camp at Goshen Boy Scout Camp.  He has his very own tent with a cot and mattress.  It took me all day even though the campsite is only 3.25 hours away because 1. we needed to stop at Dick's to buy fishing line and a fishing license 2. we needed to stop at Target to buy gum and bic lighters (I told him I did not want any late night calls about non-good-judgement use of said lighters) and 3. I got very few instructions on how to find people at camp and our cell service doesn't work at the campsite so it took some time finding and asking people to make calls, to figure out the phone numbers, etc. and 4. there was an hour's worth of delay on the way home because of accidents and it was raining heavily and I'm a nervous driver.   Vince was a little nervous, I could see it ramp up as we got closer to the campsite.  I was nervous because they seem very disorganized, but I was less nervous as I left because the two other counselors I met had been there 8 summers and 5 summers respectively.  I feel like anyplace that has people coming back summer after summer is fine.  Regarding cell service, we have T-mobile because we are cheap.  It works well in urban areas, but does drop out in the forests.  I think Vince is a little disappointed to be out of cell range.  It's especially hard because the Verizon people all have service.  Hmmm, I think we might try to get him a new sim card for the summer.  He'll be gone until the end of July.  5.5 weeks.  I'm practicing letting him go.  He practicing being on his own. 

Untitled

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ben, Felix & Ruben.

Jeremy came home Friday night, in time for all of us to have dinner together (spaghetti).  Then Saturday morning, we went our separate ways.  Edda & I went to see the Incredibles II and the boys went downtown to see the Museum of American History. 

Untitled

Edda's caregiver, Arietni, arrived at noon and I headed downtown to meet the boys at Shake Shack. 

MVIMG_20180616_132927

Then we went to the spy museum where Ruben worked with the enigma machine to crack some codes.

Untitled

Then we headed to Silver Spring to join Colleen's 50th birthday party.

Untitled

Sunday morning, we went to the climbing gym and had lunch at the bubble tea place.  Then the boys went to town center where they got soaking wet on the splash pad.

MVIMG_20180617_115637

We hosted Sunday night dinner, which was unusually hilarious with discussion about conjoined twins, pooping etiquette and fish pedicures.

Untitled

Monday morning, our crooked tree got cut down.  We were going to leave it where it was because it had fallen in such a way that it had wedged itself between the forked trunk of an adjacent tree.  It didn't seem like it was going to go anywhere.  But a neighbor complained (don't know who it was), and we got cited by the city.  So we took it down.

IMG_20180618_084939

It fell because it was infested with termites and was pretty hollow at the base of the trunk. 

IMG_20180618_093207

Monday, the boys went to the Air & Space museum in Virginia.  The boys are really great museum goers, especially Felix.

IMG_20180618_122620

We went to Tyson's for conveyor belt sushi.

IMG_20180618_142829

And looked at the Lego store.

IMG_20180618_145954

******

I'm now hanging out with Molly at the PICU at Children's.  In some cosmic clusterf*ck, 2/5th of the Usual Suspect's daughters are in PICUs.  Send good vibes our way.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Last day of school, zip-lining.

Last day of school for my kids.  One child went to school, one child played hooky.   I said goodbye to Edda's middle school bus driver, Susan & her aide, Miriam in the early morning.  Thank you for getting Edda to school safely all these years.

Untitled

Once Edda was in school, we (me, Ben, Vince, Felix and Ruben) went to Sandy Spring Adventure Park which is a aerial obstacle course/zip lining adventure.  It was an absolutely beautiful day, I didn't want to spend it inside at the mall or Dave & Busters (Vince's suggestions).  I love the adventure park but I so rarely get a chance to do it.  I'm always, always looking for a reason to go.  It's a splurge, so I feel like I have to have a special occasion, I never want to do it by myself and it's hard to schedule because Edda can't participate.  I loved the outing today, the boys are just the right age for it, they have the right fearlessness for it and it was fun all around.  We started at 10 am and I thought we'd last only until noon, but we kept going until our passes expired at 2 pm.

Untitled

Untitled

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Ice cream, wheelchair, swedes.

Vince got free ice cream today.

Untitled

Edda got new orthotics and kicks.

Untitled

She also got a new wheelchair.

Untitled

And we picked up some Swedes from Dulles.

Untitled

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lobbying, Edda's 8th grade graduation.

We dropped Kiki off at the Metro early in the morning so she could make her way to her 11 am flight.  She had a nice day lobbying in DC, I told her I was glad someone was lobbying because I have no time to lobby and that she was welcome to come lobby as much as she wants to.

Untitled

******

Today was Edda's 8th grade graduation.  I invited Ning (Edda's morning caregiver) and Adriana (Edda's M & T night caregiver) to come celebrate because Jeremy's out of town and I needed support.  Adriana also brought her beau to the celebration.  I was quite touched that these folks came, though I still missed having Jeremy with me.  Vince initially resisted coming today, but he proposed a deal.  He wanted a boxed sushi lunch he could take to school in exchange for attending.  I said - sold!  He also, after some cajoling, agreed to accompany Edda onto the stage to help her get her awards and diploma.  It was a mixed morning regarding my feelings.  I didn't realize that this was a special needs graduation, I thought it was the entire 8th grade graduation (the school must have hundreds of typical 8th graders).  On the one hand, the special needs graduation was kind of lovely, they spent five minutes talking about each student and giving awards and everyone cheered for each kid.  This would have not been possible at a typical graduation with hundreds of students.  On the other hand, I was fully expecting a total 8th grade graduation with the special needs kids tucked into the procession.  Would that have been better?  I dunno.  I'm also trying to decide if the wording of the speeches at the beginning and the end of the ceremony changed ever so slightly from a typical graduation or if the words aren't really different but they take on different shades of meaning when presented in this situation.  What does it mean that they are now ready to have a "successful high school experience"?

Untitled

Edda was quite charming on stage, though she was skeptical of the photographing afterwards.  I'm forever grateful for Mr. Twigg who taught Edda all three years at Cabin John.

Untitled

Untitled

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Monday, June 11, 2018

Interview, morning routine, Kiki.

Untitled

I had yet another job interview this morning from 7 - noon.  I no longer understand my ability or, I guess, lack of ability to get hired.  I think I give a good interview and I make people feel comfortable and I know all the answers to all the general interview questions to where I have a manager (usually) sitting in front of me at the end of the interview asking when I can start and telling me that I'll hear from HR (actually, these days it's talent acquisition) and then never hearing from them again.  Honestly, the general consensus that turnover is high in hospitals and nurses are in short supply just makes me feel bad.  Getting a nursing job will complicate my life in 10,000 ways, maybe this is the world telling me that this is not the right path.  Unlike most other job interviews, nursing interviews always start at shift change which means I have to be on the floor at 6:45 am.  This presented a logistical problem for me as Jeremy is out of town and the kids are not at school yet.  Christine perceptively asked at Sunday dinner last night - so who's going to look after Edda?  Here was the plan that we executed:  I wanted to leave the house at 6 am, I woke Vince up as I was leaving, he sprung up out of bed (We wished each other good luck.  He had a big day at school today - a lot of final presentations.) and was awake when our morning caregiver arrived at 6:30 am.  I told Vince that, if for whatever reason, the morning caregiver couldn't come or was late or whatever, to do his best to get Edda onto her bus at 7:30 am and be a little late for school.  Vince gave me a thumbs up.  Everything went smoothly, I thought.  I got no texts, I got no calls.  Then when Vince and I reconnected later in the afternoon, he said that he woke up and made sure that Ning had gotten Edda downstairs and prepped for school. And then he accidentally fell asleep and woke up at 8 am and then was 45 minutes late for school himself.

******

Look who is in town!  Kiki.  I picked her up from the Rockville Metro at 8:45pm.  She has been up since 3 am, we made her do our evening ritual of watching a couple of youtube videos - corgis and cooking. 

Untitled

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Weeds, chemistry, woods.

Edda's morning plait:

Untitled

******

Vince and I tackled my parents' weed patch.  Got cited by the HOA this past week.

Untitled

I'm not sure it looks better.

Untitled

Vince's final grades care coming in for the spring term.  I will tell you what gave me an Asian mom heart attack this term, the thing that I had to step completely away from and enforce peace and tranquility upon myself.  The spring term is made up of two quarters, the general set up is that if you get two adjacent grades in either quarter, you get the higher grade.  Hence A going to B is an A for the semester and B going to A is also an A.    The quarter grades do not go to colleges, only the semester grades.  My personality would be to work hard the first half of the semester, ensure the A and then you don't have to worry about the 2nd half of the semester.  Vince does not have my personality.  He's a little more cowboy which just kills me.  He says he wants to be a chemical engineer (which I have kind of felt both pleased because he thinks what his parents do is kinda cool, and also kind of horrified because chemical engineers tend to live near big factories full of vats of chemicals that smell bad.  I think he has talent in creative writing (well, he needs some help with spelling and capitalization and grammar (as do I)), but am I going to push the writerly life? uhhh, no, I don't think so).  Anyways, this year he took his first chemistry course.  Cool!  Easy! is what I heard from him.  Fine, I love chemistry.  Avogadro's number, the beauty of the periodic table, acid/bases, etc.  All fun things.  So he heads into the final big exam of the first quarter in spring semester.  He tells me he has a solid A - like a 92 or something (I have long, long abandoned checking his grades electronically, I philosophically believe it's his own deal.  But really, it would just drive me crazy to check every day - I know myself.) and that he knows everything on the review packet.  He comes home from the exam - smiles and says it was easy peazy and I congratulate him and promptly forget about it.  I mean, it's chemistry.  It should be easy for him.  Two days later, he comes to me and tells me he failed the exam, thus plunging his grade into the mid 80s - a B. (Privately I'm baffled, at the height of my academic capabilities I could, to within +/- three points, predict how well I did on an exam as I was doing the exam.  Ask any earnest, diligent student and they will tell you how a 96 feels different than a 92 feels different than an 88 - (though I never knew what an 18 felt like until I took statistical mechanics at C*lt*ch with Jeremy as my TA.  awkward.  we were not yet in love then, I didn't even speak to him (although clearly evidenced from the 18, I should have gone to office hours) Regarding that era, Jeremy always fondly remembers how beautiful my handwriting was on the problem sets.  He never mentions the how well I did on the problem sets, lol.).  How can Vince possibly not differentiate the feeling between doing well on an exam and failing an exam?)  I'm like - dude, if a test is worth 20% of the grade, that's a lot!  A lot!  If you want to go to a good ChemE program, you can not possibly get a B in the intro to chemistry course.  It might not have been my finest parenting moment.  So, to get the A in the semester, he needed to get an A the 2nd half.  Fast forward to the 75% point in the semester, he gets a C on the mid-quarter exam, (also with the same attitude, super easy, I know all the stuff, I got the review packet, etc.)  I stand there like - OMG, he's going to get a B in chemistry.  The subject in which both parents have advanced degrees from very reputable colleges and have spent a lifetime studying and working on. The subject in which he says he wants to major in.   Everyday I look at things that talk chemical structures/formulas, hydrophobicity, catalysts, acid numbers.  Everyday I refer to the periodic table (well, in my head, I don't actually look at the periodic table very much anymore because it is almost like the fingerprints on my fingers). This is when I decide to let it go - I actually had to decide to physically leave the room if I was about to say anything about chemistry class.  I let him take care of it - no yelling, checking, freaking out or demands from me.  No frantic tutoring about how to do logs to find the pH of a solution. This was supremely not easy for me - I did freak out a lot to Jeremy who told me not to freak out (insert long discussions about how he got Cs in chemistry in high school and now he's like the super expert on biofuels with nice shiny degrees, to affirmative action (both gender and race), to white/asian privilege, to my own very mixed feelings about how hard I worked in high school/college and had 100% focus on grades, to discussions about what the most important things are to accomplish as a parent - what is our role exactly?, to honestly can we afford $70K a year anyways?)  What's the worst that can happen from getting a B in chemistry?  Really, not much, I guess.  (one would think that having a child like Edda would promptly relieve me of demanding any As from any of my other children, but somehow this isn't true (you know when babies are thought of in the ether as mystical, cute amorphous blobs of people and and one gets asked do you want a boy or a girl? and the right answer is it doesn't matter as long as it's healthy?  yeah, that and one that gets and A in chemistry, lol.) - maybe the exact opposite is true. So he rides into the big final exam yesterday, with, I swear, an 89 in the class.  I can not believe that this is going to have to come down to the last exam on the last day.   But to his credit, he pulled it off, got 100 on the final exam - pulled it up to an A.  He woke up this morning, a Saturday, and walked into my bedroom told me about it after seeing the grade posted online and I gave him a high five.  He walked back to his room.  I sighed a long sigh.

******

Untitled

This was the last woods orienteering of the season, Vince didn't go last week - he promised to go this week.  I know he doesn't want to do this, but he indulges me.  I had to arrange for Kitachi to come and care for Edda.  Initially, I was going to take Edda and have her do the beginner course with me, but the beginner course had some stairs in it and I didn't think Edda & I could manage that.  And, it was pouring, pouring rain which I can't subject Edda to.  Vince and I were going to do different courses - him an easier one, me a harder one.  But it was almost a mile of hiking to the start of both courses on a trail that had turned, in the downpour, into a minor river and he was flagging.  Complaining about not feeling well, of his back hurting, etc.  Saying that he just wanted to go back to the car and wait there for me.  I urged him to start his course, that I would help him find his first control.  We walked around for 20 minutes and couldn't find it.  It was slippery, still raining and his heart/head wasn't in it.  It was clear then to me that no one was going to complete any course and that we should just try to keep the mood light and the outing happy.  We had different maps, but we decided to stick together and use the maps in an overlapping manner to try and find a hodge-podge of controls, all out of order, but in the order that we might stumble on them.  We at many points asked each other - you're navigating, right?  I have no idea where we are and then the other person would say - no, I'm not navigating.  I thought you were navigating.  And then we'd stop and look at each other and then try to look at the map and figure out where we were.

Untitled

******

Jeremy, on the other coast, is enjoying absolutely perfect weather on a bike ride up Mt. Diablo.

Untitled

Friday, June 8, 2018

Luggage, bubble tea, graveyard party.

Untitled

We used to own two pieces of rolling luggage, one from Land's End and one from LL Bean.  The Land's End one broke down the last trip we took (the zipper pulled out of its track) and so I told Jeremy to go spend some time and buy a new one.  I suggested the hip Away luggage (suggested by Lifehacker), but he picked TravelPro, the ones flight attendants use.  While he was packing this morning, he was using the LLBean one and getting all frustrated that all his stuff wouldn't fit into the rolling suitcase and I asked - you aren't going to use the new one?  So he pulled the new one out (dorky as it is) and managed to stuff all of his gear into the the TravelPro one (there is extensive compression strapping going on in there).  He is not a light packer.  Of course he would fit all his stuff into this new rolling bag because he looks exactly like the guy on the attached tag.  We don't compromise on anything here in the Lee-Martin household.  It's only the best in here. 

Untitled

I asked if he needed a ride to the Metro - given that that carry on bag must weigh at least 40 pounds.  He said - it's the last day of bike-to-work month, I gotta at least try to bike to the metro.  So I watched him bungee cord his luggage to his commuter bike and didn't hear from him again.  I guess he made it to work.

Untitled

******

I went to see Vickey today in Fairfax.  This was the day we decided to see On Chesil Beach the movie before it exited the theaters. It was a delightful afternoon which started with lunch and ended with bubble tea and ice cream. 

Untitled

Untitled

******

I came home and then picked up Edda from aftercare.  I fed her some dinner and tucked her into bed and ducked out of the house for about an hour (asking Vince to "watch" over Edda basically meaning if the house caught on fire, please haul her out of the house) to go to a housewarming party at the Rockville cemetery.  I recently ran into some nursing friends at the climbing gym and they are renting the caretakers house at the cemetery.  I couldn't resist going and seeing them and checking the place out.  Lots of climbers at the party, talking about crimp strength. 

Untitled

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Trip, cupping, scraps of cloth.

I'm not my best self these days.  I want to stay in bed.  I did stay in bed for a few moments today. Jeremy is leaving tomorrow for California for his work planning retreat for 8 days and I'm sulking the 48 hours before he leaves. It's going to be a doozy of a week here in Rockville and I'm upset that I'm going to do what I'm going to do for a week on my own and I'm also upset at myself for being upset because it's just regular stuff.  No one is sick, no one is in crisis.  I just have like graduations, dr appointments, interviews, family visiting, airport pickups, etc. etc.  It'll be fine.  It'll be fine. Can I talk myself into saying that it's going to be super fun? It's going to be super fun!  You can do it Doris! 

Untitled

******

I went to my 2nd acupuncture appointment today which included the cupping session which I'm totally skeptical about.   I'm actually skeptical about the whole thing, but whatever.  I'm just going.  I had a different acupuncturist today than last time, so all the cups went in different places.  This time I had cupping on my back and because it came out so dark, the practitioner said I had the most toxins there.  It's a little funny explaining my problem to her.  She's like - OK your hamstring hurts, what can't you do?  I told her the my hamstring can do like 99% of all the things hamstrings need to do, I just can't run 100-400 meters as fast as I can and I can't run 4-5 miles at a time at an elevated sustained speed which is what I want to do.  She kind of looked at me and said, well maybe you should stop doing that.  Then I tried to explain to her that sometimes when one runs pretty fast (especially through the woods), you can get a certain feeling like you are an animal.  You know how you see a deer run gracefully through the forest and they can do it so quickly and effortlessly?  You can feel that way too and it's fun.  Then she asked if running was my job and I said that it was not and that when I said "running fast", I only meant fast for me since I run slower than your average high school cross country runner.  Then she asked if I was training for anything and I said not really.  And then she seemed totally confused and left it at that.

Untitled

I showed Vince my back when he got home from school (he said - woah!) and I asked him to take a photo of my back because I couldn't see the cupping marks and I was curious to see where the toxins had left my body - he took the photo and then he thought it would be a good idea to make a smiley face on my back.  That's no instagram filter, that is Sharpie on skin.

Untitled

******

Once people know I quilt, I get little piles of scraps of fabric.  I got a whole bunch from a person who runs Edda's aftercare program.  She gave me a whole set of matched fabric!  I have an idea for it.

Untitled

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Run, climb, bike & read.

Untitled

Such a beautiful week for running!  I'm not running well these days, but I couldn't resist yesterday morning.  I found this fallen baby bird on the sidewalk.  :( I passed my elementary school setting up for field day.  I remember my own field days on the same field almost 40 years ago now. :)

Untitled

******

To make up for the fact that I'm not running much, I joined the local rock climbing gym and I'm learning how to boulder.  My instruction comes from 1. the beginner class given at the gym and 2. youtube videos.   I go a few times a week and my hands end up all chalk-y and sore.  I'm learning that the trick to climbing is to expend as little energy as possible (especially your arms).  Use your legs!  And to only use your big toes which are squashed into a shoe that is 3 sizes smaller than one's regular street shoe size. I still expend a lot of energy on even the simplest of routes.  Then I have to rest.  I probably should take off my rings, but I'm scared if I take them off then I will promptly lose them.  (you see the missing diamond chip that I got from weightlifting).  The climbing gym is intimidating to me.  It's not something I walk into and say - these are my people!  And it sort of violates one of my tenents of exercise - the cheap tenent, the monthly fee is higher than I want to pay.

Untitled

******

Vickey and I finished the 2nd book of our two person book club.  We had a fantastic time discussing this book - V loved it, I was a little indifferent towards it, but the discussion afterwards was fun & lively.  Its a book about an unconsummated wedding night. The language was lovely, the plot - meh (though V loves more character development books).  We are hoping to see the movie in the theater before it exits (it's doing really badly, it opened two weeks ago and probably won't make it through the weekend...). 

Untitled

******

Graduation parties a few days ago, now to the other end.  Attended a baby shower today.  I gave the most practical, most un-cute, most nurse-like gift - the in-ear baby thermometer.  lol.

Untitled

******

This is how Jeremy fits in 1000 miles in a month:  he gets up at 5 am and leaves the house at 5:20 am while I'm still sleeping and then rides 60 miles to work getting in at 9:30 am at work.  I barely notice.  Sometimes he leaves early from work and comes home 20-30 minutes after the regular time.  I notice this more, but it's not so bad.  Here's the sunrise from his ride today.

IMG_20180606_062145