Friday, January 25, 2019

Mug, Cardi B, chicken feet.

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My favorite mug (actually, the house's favorite mug - Jeremy might use it more often than I do because he drinks coffee) has developed a tiny leak.  It's so tiny that it took me a few days and some very scientific tests to determine there is a small crack.  I am not generally a sentimental person for physical things, but this mug is important to me and so it makes me sad.

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When Jeremy was gone in Seattle, Vince and I did not fight.  Not one single time.  It was close to finals week and I didn't mention them at all.  Not one single time.  We might have actually had a nice time together.  I quite pleased with myself because I can be annoying to be around, but I give most of the credit to Vince, who (unlike me when I get in certain stubborn moods regarding school work), is a kind, forgiving, fun loving, non-grudge holding person.

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I was enjoying Cardi B's instagram statement of the gov't shutdown: here.  And then at last Sunday night dinner Jane mentioned that she loved Cardi B and I remembered that the keynote speaker at my nursing graduation in 2017 ended her speech with references to Cardi B and so I thought I'd get with the program and follow her on Instagram for a little bit.  Then I was laughing at her video last night: here. And then Jeremy, Vince and I were doing our nightly thing about exchanging interesting videos we'd found on the internet that day and I showed them Cardi B's video and then I said - so many "mother fuckers!" And then I asked Vince if he had ever heard me say the words "mother fucker" before and he said - "no I don't think I've ever heard you say mother fucker.  Have you ever heard me say mother fucker before?" And then I replied - "no I don't think I've ever heard you say mother fucker before either." And then Jeremy hurriedly chimed in - please, please, no more!  I like keeping our conversations free from vulgarities.  And so we stopped.

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Jeremy wants to tell you mother fuckers that he upgraded to the Tron bike on Zwift this week.  Go Jeremy!

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Jeremy in high school with his high school girlfriend.  This particular girlfriend is way cooler than me.  She is now married to a fire fighter.  I told Jeremy that if he had married her, he'd be a fire fighter now and wouldn't that be a different life...

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Parents made us chicken feet tonight.

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Anniversary trip.

I thought that I'd have to cancel this trip because of the enormous snow storm that blanketed much of the United States this weekend, but somehow, by some miracle, it managed to miss the entire 95 corridor from DC to NYC.  And anyways, when I was complaining earlier in the week that I wasn't sure I could make it to NYC in the car on Friday to Jeremy - he was like - I don't know how we can possibly cancel because my flight is going into NYC from Seattle, so you'd have to come up and get me anyways. 

This MLK weekend seems to be the weekend that we travel - we've managed a weekend away this same weekend for 3 years in a row.  This is a tradition that Jeremy is not very eager to continue as it is always cold and frigid, but, to me, it's nice because everything is cheap and our child care seems to be more available.  We'll see what happens next year.

I've also decided that if I never pay to see another man-made tourist attraction ever again, I think I might be OK with that.  I just want to travel to see friends and eat and chat.  I picked Jeremy up from JKF and we made our way to Brooklyn (Williamsburg) where we saw Lael & Vikram.  We had drinks at the top of a building in Brooklyn with amazing views.  Then we went to a Mexican restaurant that opened up on the ground floor of their apartment building and they seemed to be having some trouble gaining momentum for their business - Lael wanted to support them, which we were happy to do.

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We stayed at a hotel called "pod" - my one step up from a youth hostel.  The room is so small that the toilet is also where the shower is and the room is just as big as the bed, but it was comfortable, new, quiet and at $79 - a steal.

In the morning, we went shopping and walked around to get pastries and made it to another part of Brooklyn to see Livia & Randy and their new-ish baby Clark.  We listened to Randy play jazz and Clark entertained all of us.

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We left Brooklyn at 2:30 ish and made it to Alan & Hai's at Port Jeff a little after 5 pm.  We celebrated Alan's birthday (which was the day before) and we thought it was his 50th when we bought the cake & candles, but it was really his 51st.  So we had to ditch the 0 candle and replace it with a regular straight candle.  Matt was there too! 

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We had beef fondue where you put chunks of beef in boiling oil at the table.

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mary Oliver

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

- m.o.

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I was pulling out of the driveway on Wed with Vince when I said - hey! You wrote your name in the snow across the street.  And he said - I didn't do that.  Huh, I replied, that's strange.

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Here's the snow that is falling after my shift tonight.  I made it 6 months at the hospital.  o.m.g. 

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Logistics & vacation.

Jeremy is in Seattle and I'm at the hospital on Wed & Thurs.  In order to pull this little miracle off, I'm asking Ning to do a favor and pinch hit for two days in the morning during her maternity leave and then Kitachi will do the afternoons into the early evenings.  I'm hoping for no snow days (there might be snow on Thurs) - but if there is snow on Thurs - Vince said he'd take care of Edda, though he said he could do everything (feeding, TV watching, making sure she stays away from fire) except the diapering.  Ning volunteered to backup on Thursday to partner with Vince so it'll be the two of them as she'll have a 2.5 month old at the same time to mind.  She's OK with the diapering I think, lol.  Anyways, Edda doesn't like pooping mid-day, so I don't mind Vince leaving her in an ever increasingly wet diaper during the day.  It would only be one day.  Do you know my new year's resolution?  To control my time again.  This is generally ridiculous.  It is a lesson in shift work though - the general impossibility of combining it with any sort of regular childcare.  I also invested in some microwave, easy dinners for Vince and Kitachi and Edda as I won't be home until late.  They'll be OK.  Mostly. 

Two more shifts until I head to NYC for the weekend - to celebrate our 20th anniversary only 5 months late.  We might get snowed out there too, we have to wait for the weekend forecast. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Snow, weekend, posse, Seattle.

Jeremy is off to Seattle for a week.  We are snowed in Monday morning (kids are off) - we got about 10 inches in Rockville, way, way, way above the 2-4 inches predicted when I left for work on Saturday morning.  I was working both weekend days. I finally got assigned a "regular" weekend - every other, which makes it a little bit easier scheduling, but still not perfect.  Jeremy - thank goodness - put our snow tires on the minivan earlier this week.  Whatever money we spent on them years ago was worth every penny as I navigated 495 and 270 on Sunday night which were plowed, but the accumulation was really fast so I was driving in 2-4 inches of slush and ice.  Both the house and the hospital are right off the freeway, so as long as I hovered around 25-30 mph, I thought I would be fine.  As Jeremy noted - going at that speed on a slippery road, the chance of having an accident is high, but the chance of death is relatively low as everyone is going slowly and in the same direction and if you do by chance hit each other, everyone will just keep sliding.

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The hospital is strange on a snowy weekend.  There are nurses sleeping in rooms.  I packed a bag in case I wanted to spend the night on Saturday. The staff gets a little punchy.  All the "regular" patients seemingly have gone home - no scheduled surgeries and anyone who could cobble together a discharge skedaddled out of there before it really started snowing on Sat afternoon. This meant that for most of the weekend, I felt like it was me and my posse of misplaced souls.  We are not an urban hospital - so our misplaced souls are different from the downtown misplaced souls, but still.  Now that I'm assigned to a weekend, I have the coworkers I'll spend most of my shifts with.  Basically, it's the half the staff that I spend the weekends with and usually see during the week because no one wants to work the Friday or Monday before or after their assigned weekend.  I like my coworkers, it was fun this weekend.  Nothing pulls a team together more than being snowed in together.  Once you really get to know each other, it's nothing to step into another patient's room to help with admission paperwork or to hang a bag of antibiotics or check on a beeping IV when you are having a lull and you know that they are swamped when they've done the same for you.  I think I've hit a turning point here at the six month mark.   I know I'm going to miss it when I have to leave.  And I will have to leave.

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I want to thank Jeremy who got up early Sunday (45 minutes earlier than me - so that's 5 am) to shovel the driveway so I could get to work on time and to also pack a nice lunch for me.  He and Vince also shoveled during the day so I could make it back into the driveway at the end of the day. Jeremy also spent much of the weekend working - prepping for the summer scout trip and also prepping for his meetings this week in Seattle. 

But they did manage some snow fun:



Friday, January 11, 2019

ihop & snow.


My parents are escaping the cold tomorrow on a cruise, so they wanted to take us out to dinner tonight before they left.  But Vince hosts a Magic gathering on Friday nights at our house - so my dad said - invite the whole crew to dinner.  We were going to try to go to Matchbox, but they didn't have a reservation, then I suggested the new Shake Shack at Cabin John, but Jeremy thought it would be too crowded and then nowhere for anyone to sit and then Vince suggested the IHOP.  So my parents hosted a big party on Friday night at the local IHOP.

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It has a nice atmosphere, perfect for the occasion.

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Jeremy put snow tires on the van this week.  It's suppose to start snowing tomorrow afternoon and into the day on Sunday.  I'm suppose to be working both Sat and Sun at the hospital so I packed a small overnight (an extra pair of scrubs, some PJs, my own blankets and pillows and earplugs) bag in case I got snowed in on Saturday night.  I'm hoping because I packed the bag, I won't have to stay.  Both our house and the hospital are feet from the major freeways, so hopefully everything will stay clear.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Update.

I had a fantastic two shifts on Tuesday and Wed.  Shifts where I felt competent in navigating various snafus when they came up.  Where all the medications were verified and sent up from pharmacy on time and all my IV accesses were there when I needed them. Where I had my favorite charge nurse and my favorite tech both days and I felt supported from above and below.  Where I felt like I was actually taking care of my patients and in many ways, they were taking care of me too. I like being friends with people for 12 hours at a time.  Lots of things happened - I wish I could write about them, but I can't.  Lots of stories, I like being there to listen to them.  I had that feeling of being good at my job at the right time.  I came home all excited instead of exhausted.  Good days. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Doris and Jeremy get married.



Our wedding video.  I can't really bear to watch the whole thing, mostly because I don't want to see myself on video, so I will leave it to you to watch if you want.  So young!  1998, so I was just about to turn 26 and Jeremy was about to turn 30.  We did not hire a videographer.  A friend (Ding of Litian & Ding) found out and was horrified and did what he could.  I recently got it digitized, it was living on an old VHS tape.  There you go - you are looking at the best decision I've ever made in my life.  Everything else pales in comparison.



Sunday, January 6, 2019

Grouchy.

So grouchy today!  I have no idea why - just enjoying a good grump-fest.  To remedy this situation, I ate breakfast and I went outside for a few hours.  By myself.  Don't get in my way today, I'll snap at you.

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It is much easier to orienteer when you are out of shape enough to not be really running very much and then you are reduced to walking speed where you can take your time to read the map and your brain is not deprived to necessary oxygen to think about what the map is telling you.  I saw some guy use his iPhone compass to navigate.  I guess that is fine?  Its not really cheating, it's just surprising. 

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Sunday night dinner at Eric's house.

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Vince did not go to Sunday night dinner, but when we came home he wanted to teach us how to play Magic.

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Christmas is over.

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Holiday decorations came down today.  Let the new year begin!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Cancelled, Suburban, Magic the Gathering.

I got cancelled from my shift today - I did not have the same thrilled feeling that I had the last time I got cancelled, mainly because I had invested some emotional energy into prepping for today, so to not do it meant that I had wasted that energy on nothing. 

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I did many things in lieu of my shift.  Ning, Noah and I went on a walk in the neighborhood and chatted with some pals who were out and about.  Then I went for a mid-day run.  I also put in a few hours of work.  Then, I went to visit Bette at Suburban Hospital, she had back surgery yesterday and I was worried about her given the report I heard from Gene yesterday, but when I walked into the room, she had already made her way to the bathroom and back and seemed in good spirits.  I wasn't there more than 15-20 minutes before the rest of the crew showed up - Christine, Eric, Jane and Gene.  So we partied for an hour or so watching PT come in and take Bette for a walk and chatted.  No photos of Bette since maybe it's no fair to take photos of people in hospital gowns?  I dunno.

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Came home to find Vince prepping for tonight's Magic the Gathering gathering.  I helped him sleeve some cards.

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Then to my parents' house for Friday night dinner.  <3

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Insta-pot, updates.

I'm trying to understand how to use the insta-pot.  I made a perfectly edible dinner, but it wasn't what I imagined it would be.

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Working my nursing gig - there are so many Sunday nights and also so many Friday nights.  I always hate that Sunday night before work feeling and always love Friday afternoon feelings, but it feels like now I have those feelings two or three times a week and it's a roller coaster of emotions.

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I seriously thought about quitting my nursing gig at the 6 month mark over the holidays which would have meant at the end of January.  Actually I was dreaming and feeling happy that I would have my old life back.  Jeremy and I had long discussions late in the year about what the nursing meant for the family, how much time I was spending with him (less), how much time I was spending with Vince (less), how our social calendar has evaporated and how I'm only cursorily paying attention to bills (see above),  the house (clutter is a-cluttering), the dog (whimpering and peeing in carpeted rooms).  I also had some discussions with Vince about how much time I was spending with him - whether he wanted/needed me around more.  Thoughts about how logistically it has been hard with Edda's care since Ning is on maternity leave and our three caregivers' schedules.  And I'm tired.  I miss talking with my husband. I miss talking with Vickey, I miss our book club, I miss working out every day, I miss feeling relaxed, I miss orienteering weekly, I miss scheduling leisurely weekday lunches with friends.  I think I'm screwing up a bit parentally - I think I'm not doing Vince justice his junior year.  I want to say, that even with these long discussions, both Vince and Jeremy are supportive of this year's experiment (though neither of them wants to hear my hospital stories and Vince is like - I'm never, ever growing up to do anything where I have to spend any time in any hospital).  My parents are also, surprisingly and strangely, supportive.  My dad especially is like - you need at least a year to see enough patients to know what to do. I didn't quite expect that from him.

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Jeremy is like - you sure you want to quit the nursing gig?  The govt could be shut down for a long time and then that'd be our only source of income from you.  (We have a few weeks funding because we are self-funded, so we are still chugging along like normal, but not for very much longer.)

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I don't hate the nursing gig.  I actually kind of like it.  Actually, if you catch me in the right mood, you might just get me to tell you that I love it.  I like it in the same way I like a hard track workout.  You kind of really don't want to go when you are warm under the covers and during it, you are like, argh this is totally killing me - I cannot possibly do this for one moment longer and then you keep doing it, and then when you are done for the day, you feel fantastic.  So if I think about it that way, it's OK.

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I spoke with my boss (a kind man who people do follow around to work for) to try to work two days a week instead of three and he said that he had no part time positions open.  I told him I was constantly overwhelmed and he said that he thought that I set my standards "too high".  He said that I was doing fine - no complaints from the other nurses who hand off to me in the morning or that I give report to in the afternoon, and no complaints from the patients.  He said he would have heard about it by now.  So just keep going, it'll be fine.  I didn't know that those were my metrics.  (I thought my metrics were more closely tied to documentation or any of the 10,000 sheets of paper which need to be printed/filled out for each little thing, which I fail at constantly.)

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I liked this article from the NYTimes about the woman who got the gig to travel around the world to 52 places in a year.  I am comparing it to my year of bedside nursing.  Ever since we figured out Edda's limitations, we have traveled a bunch - I don't want to say we never travel, but sometimes I look at other families who are able to travel with ease to National Parks or places with stairs or whatever and sigh a little bit.  I've always said that since we don't travel as easily, I'll bring the world to me and certainly we've done that with all the hosting of our au pairs and I do think of working in the hospital as bringing the world to me.  My coworkers are diverse, my patients are diverse - I get to see a slice of the world I would normally not see.  The first lesson from the NYTime's traveler that a year is short.  And it's true, a year is short, and I'm almost halfway done with my year.  After a year, I can stop.  Or maybe I'll keep going.  We'll see how I feel.  I guess I'm going to keep going for now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Gus, turkey, free quarter pounder.

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Gus (and Lana) came over and we tested Max's ability to tolerate another dog in the house.    We started by having the two of them meet outside on a walk.  Max, the 4th child of the Lee-Martin household, really got the short end of the stick in terms of outings/dog parks/etc.  So Max is a little undersocialized and can be a little aggressive meeting other dogs for the first time.  But she did pretty well this holiday season on the crowded C&O canal and she did really well with Gus.  But I think it helped that Gus is 11 weeks old and under four pounds so maybe Max did not feel threatened.  The puppy attracted other fans, Sophie heard there was a puppy next door and came by to hug Gus.

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My mom managed to figure out that Safeway, instead of charging 39 cents a pound, was charging 39 cents per turkey and snagged three before Safeway figured it out.  So we had Thanksgiving again tonight.  And I suspect we'll have Thanksgiving a few more nights as well.

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We taught my dad how to download the McDonald's app on his phone and figure out what the daily deals are.  His trips to McDonald's will never be the same again.

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