Donut, shoulder.

Noah et al made these wonderful donuts for us on Mother’s Day. They were delicious. They delivered them after I had eaten a lamb dinner and the subsequent pineapple upside down cake, but I managed to eat my sugary ring!

At Sunday night dinner, Jeremy asked the table in general, would one of you please tell Doris to go to PT for her shoulder? She won’t listen to me, it works much better if one of you tells her to go. My shoulder has been injured since January – making it hard to hang IV bags, lift patients, pull on/off shirts, do chaturangas in yoga. It’s not bad! Really. It’s almost better. But who – Christine, Colleen, Seth all chimed in about their frozen/broken shoulders and how PT helped them. So I made six (!) appointments. They wouldn’t let me make just one. I made six. So I’m going today.

Mother’s Day.

I’m not the most natural of mothers. If I had to have a list of identifiers, the word “mom” would not be the first. But granted, I have issues with identity struggling with labels such as “Asian” or “female” because so often now, when I read things about the motherhood, Asian or female experience, I often don’t quite agree. I have my own wonderful and personal experiences which don’t often fit neatly or align with these stories that I read. Anyways, Mother’s Day is two days past which is, I guess, enough time to say thank you to my children. They are my greatest teachers and my loveliest loves. I am lucky to have you in my life. I always try to think about how you want to be mothered and blend it with how I want to mother and to try to err on the side of giving you both the freedom to be your own selves. Because, I think, you can only learn really by doing and trying and figuring it out yourself. And you both show me the way in my own life, to be the best I can be, to honor and show up for the people I love and care about. I try! I fail! But I try again. As Steve sings on Blue’s Clues and has been out family motto since circa 2005 – if something goes wrong, don’t give up, just go on! (We have literally watched this particular Blue’s Clues video every day since the fall of 2005. One of our favorites.)

Vince FaceTimed on Mother’s Day and gave me a card via Instagram stories. He missed his second vaccine appointment last Friday by oversleeping and was profoundly regretful and apologetic (I might have done the slap face emoji as I was trying to text encouragingly but not too desperately when I was noticing his little tracking icon unmoving in his dorm past the appointment time) because we all talked about it on Thursday and had booked a zipcar and everything, but he did make it to the rescheduled Monday appointment. Really, a wonderful (and perhaps the best) mother’s day gift. I’m glad I am his favorite mom, he is, of course, my favorite son. I always hope I’m doing right by you, Vincie. Lots of love and hugs and can’t wait until you are home. <3

Edda (and Jeremy) got me a pair of sound cancelling headphones (earbuds) which I will use to drown out the sound of my treadmill as I run. I’m looking forward to that because I think I can turn down the music when the background sound is cancelled, thereby saving my hearing a bit. The first thing my new headphones did was to do a hearing test to optimize my sound profile.

Breaking quarantine.

With everyone vaccinated, we finally really broke quarantine and invited our families over for Mother’s Day weekend. We touched, hugged, kissed, shared food and laughed a lot. I am so grateful for this.

My parents were the first ones over on Saturday night. My mom asked to have lamb for dinner and Jeremy obliged.

My mom also asked for a pair of gardening boots. I bought three different pairs for her to try on and she picked the ones with the vegetable print on the shaft of the boot.

We belatedly celebrates everyone’s birthday with this crazy candle and I made a pineapple upside down cake which is one of my mom’s favorite. We started planning for my parents’ 80th birthdays later this year.

On Sunday night, we hosted the DC Martin’s first Sunday night dinner since last March. Jeremy made Peruvian chicken with his special green sauce. We also made a lot of chocolate chip cookies.

Mother’s day, Bette’s birthday all together again. At both occasions, we sang happy birthday, there still was the blowing out of candles, we did it all!

Maxi was so excited about the whole thing, running from person to person with enthusiasm and surprise. She was so excited that she had a little hyperventilating episode with a pee accident on my yoga mat (she hasn’t peed in the house the entire pandemic! – Hmmm, did I remember to take her out last night? I might have not. So maybe it was entirely my fault).

Nurses week, thank you Catherine.

Happy nurses week! Nursing is my <3. I’m so happy that I found it and it found me. I have never, never ever worked so hard in my life – even before the pandemic. I’ve had many, many shifts where I wanted to sit down on the floor and cry. I have cried (not in front of the patients) where someone has found me in the med room and said – I’ll help you, we’ll make it through the shift. I’ve met so many people that I would have never had the chance to meet and to see all kinds of crazy. I reminds me that I’m part of a community and that we are all crazy together. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. It’s easy to tell a nurse your dark secrets, I’ve listened to many and offered only what I could, usually a tissue of a squeeze of the hand. My patients sometimes (very infrequently) ask about mine. And depending on what is happening, I’ll tell them. I’m am so proud of myself for working through the pandemic. That I took care of covid patients and was brave (and terrified those early months) and that my family supported me tremendously through that time. I will be content if over the course of my lucky and fortunate life if that is the bravest thing I ever will do.

Edda was on TV! Catherine, the best buddies president, is the most amazing person. So committed to disability rights and to her friends at school. She’s been advocating for full ADA accessibility in all MCPS schools (including Edda’s which was my old high school which hasn’t been renovated for a long time). One of the things we missed the most about in-person school this year was being with Catherine and her energy and enthusiasm.

Packing.

I was in a grumpy mood yesterday. It was raining most of the day. I used to think that rain didn’t affect my mood, but I don’t really think that anymore. I was also really tired. But I helped Megan pack her apartment for a few hours. My shoulder ached which added to my grumpiness. I came home mid-afternoon and took a deep nap for about an hour.

Front yard feeder.

We have a bird feeder in the front yard which is entertaining us throughout the day with our various avian friend (both of our offices face the front yard). Yesterday we set up a squirrel feeding station where the squirrel has to jump and suction cup him/her/themselves to the ear of corn while it swings around. Based on the Amazon review, the placement is critical for maximum squirrel antics. Will keep you posted.

Getting out.

Argh. I had a hard shift yesterday, but I’ve had a bunch of good shifts in a row, so I was owed a subpar one. I’m off two weeks now, I’m hoping my shoulder gets better. I need to lay off lifting patients for a bit.

Jeremy had a virtual, indoor bike race on Sunday that turned out subpar as well. Jeremy has been taking training and biking very seriously for a few months now and I was surprised at how disappointed he was in his results. Honestly, I’ve never seen him so competitive, driven and singularly focused. He’s going to be fully vaccinated by the end of this week and he’s going to try to rejoin some of the biking groups around the area for training, etc. He tells me that they are regrouping with the caveat – if you are vaccinated, you are welcome to join in on the group rides. Jeremy has been great this whole pandemic, helping me and the family through it all – patiently listening to all my woes and tears and has offered nothing but encouragement, but he has been the most socially isolated, holed away in his home office and home gym and it’s time to bring it back. We had take out on Sunday after his ride.

Wills. Gah.

One of my big goals this year was to pull together wills/estate planning for Jeremy and me. I wanted things in place when Edda turns 18 next year. I feel my mortality so strongly lately, with Vince a legal adult and me fast approaching 50. Also, in a weird coincidence (or not depending on how you look at it), many of my personal contemporaries are staring down their own mortality through a more concrete and less philosophical lens – cancer, stroke, heart attacks are making their rounds through my circle of friends. If I am lucky enough to make it to old age, I will have to watch many of my love loves leave me. And if I’m unlucky and I don’t make it old age, my love loves will have to watch me leave them. Anyways, back to wills/estates. We are in this weird transitional place where Vince is an adult and Edda needs care her whole life. Vince has said many times in the past – it’s ok, I’ll take care of Edda, she’ll live with me. And of course, my heart goes a pitter patter when I hear this, but I do not want to place this burden on Vince. He has his own life and maybe his wife (or he himself) will want to live on a rocky mountain top studying slow growing moss and its implication for limb regeneration. What can you do then? You can’t float a wheelchair up a rocky mountain outpost. It’s also a weird time because even though Vince is legally a grown up, he still needs help setting up bank accounts, understanding interest payments on credit cards, how to make a doctor’s appointment and fill the subsequent prescription, how to rent a storage space and what’s the deal with taxes? Not very much help, but still, there is a first time for everything. I’ve made peace with a future with me gone and Edda living in a group home or something. Of course, I want Edda to live with me and Jeremy for a long time. Of course, if we can’t manage Edda, I want Edda to live at “home” with caring love loves. But if she can’t have that, I’m mostly OK with Edda living in a group home/nursing home place. Even though I know how bad these places can be in 10,000 ways. I see it everyday at the hospital. Even if everyone in these places are trying trying, I know how hard those nurses/techs are stretched because they are not staffed that well because I know I’m often not staffed that well and then I can’t properly get to all my patients. I’ve been in a weird mood where I call my friends and say – you don’t have to take care of Edda, but please visit the place and make sure she is clean and fed. Make sure you try to find the best place and help Vince, he’s going to need help finding the best place. Gah! OK. So we are trying to look at the estate for the next 10 years for Edda and Vince to transition into grown ups. It’s not only the special needs trust establishment, but also I think we are going to start paying folks for help with care management and trust management. All these things I did not know about three months ago.

Deer, mask, rollerblade wheels.

I was walking down the street for a quick Maxi poop walk when I passed a neighbor who was working in her garden. She asked how I was and I said – fine. and then she laughed and said – well, that doesn’t sound like a very enthusiastic fine! And I laughed too and said – I am really fine, we are all fine, I just wish the pandemic was over. And then we did a quick catch up which included her telling me some other neighbor had caught covid a couple weeks ago and, while not needing to go to the hospital, did have a doozy of disease course. ugh. She teaches at a local, hoity-toity private high school and she tells me that the masks do work – that she’s had about 5-10 kids test positive this year (weekly testing at said hoity-toity private school) and they were all diagnosed them asymptomatically (though days later, a bunch of them felt sicker) and none of the other kids in the class got sick. I asked – so those positive kids, do they know how they got covid? Yeah, pretty much, she replied. The private schools have moved to 100% in person way faster than the public schools, they’ve been in session at least 50% of the time since September, but she said – there is always at least one kid in each class who decided to stay virtual which, I imagine, is somehow extra frustrating.

God damn it, the deer found my bird feeder. They empty it out pretty fast. I gotta hang it up high, but I’m short, so that’s an issue. I did make a video of me trying to shoo the deer away – essentially yelling to a large mammal – get off my lawn, but I’m going to spare you that video.

I am a bad mail opener, so I open about a month’s worth of mail at once and this month I found the annual report/brochure of my hospital which showcases my quilting teacher’s mask! Gina made about 200 masks at the beginning of the pandemic and I gave them out to all the nurses at the hospital. Since I was floating everyday, I gave them out on all different units random different days. So I have no idea who the lady wearing Gina’s mask is!

Here’s my version, not ironed.

After more than a year of working at home, Jeremy finally ordered himself a proper office chair. We’d been hoping to find discounted expensive office chairs from some place because everyone is giving up their offices and probably needed to liquidate their office furniture, but we failed at this task. Jeremy’s tush has been hurting for various reasons (probably from the biking, not from the office sitting) so he needed a nice chair. As for me, I’m still sitting on and old wooden dining room chair that has no matching friends anywhere in the house.

Apparently for office chairs on rugs, you are suppose to replace the factory wheels with rollerblading wheels? I’m slowly wrapping my head around the fact that Jeremy will always be working from home. That I will never really regularly have the house to myself.

Cows, vaccines everywhere.

Finally, after almost 11 years, I bought Maxi a new collar. The old one was nasty. Cows. We got cows. Look how grey my Max is. When did she become a senior dog? She’ll be 11 this year.

This is the week where vaccine appointments are all over the place. Last week, it was all booked all the time. Now you can walk in anytime and get your arm jabbed. Almost everyone I know has gotten vaccinated. The few people I know who are holdouts are either surprisingly surprising or completely unsurprising.