Took the day off work.

1. Saw Vince and Edda off to school.


2. Both Jeremy and I went to an informational meeting set up by the staff at Edda’s school about kindergarden placement for kids with special needs. Spent a lot of time talking about the mysterious “codes”. I think that to get services throught the public school system, one needs to get a “code” assigned to your child – so you might be mad if you wanted a “code” and didn’t get one, but everyone in Edda’s school is clearly getting a “code” so I’m not sure why there was so much time spent on it.


3. We ate lunch at a place that serves:


4. Went to the dentist. No cavities, but I could improve my flossing.


It’s the middle of the week and again, I’m struggling to find something to talk about on the blog. My good blog fodder (at least pictorially) comes from our weekend antics. If I took photos of what happens to me during the week, it would be just endless photos of strangers on the Metro and then endless stacks of papers and a computer screen at work.

Some things I’m thinking about this week:

1. Au pairs are generally contracted to work in the US for one year, but they can renew their contract for an extra year. Things have been going so well with Yvonne, that we asked if she wanted to stay another year. For various reasons, I was optimistic that she’d stay another year, but just last week, she told me after seriously thinking about it for a while, that even thought she loves America, she needs to go back home. So we are in the process of finding another au pair – targeted arrival of mid-May.

2. My new year’s resolution is to wear more jewelry. I found a stash of mine in a plastic baggie over the weekend and I’ve organized it into ice cube trays (earrings) and a small plastic bin (bracelets and necklaces).

3. Edda, at 46 (!) pounds is getting really hard to get in and out of the car. Actually, getting out is not so bad (you kind of lift from her armpits and drag at the same time), the getting in is harder, you have to curl her body and lift her so she clears the car seat and then tuck her tushy into the crook of the car seat. So getting in means that there is a moment that she’s 100% airborne and 46 pounds is a lot to keep off the ground. We are looking at purchasing a minivan with a seat that swivels out. We spent a recent car ride thinking of vanity plates for the new minivan and so far “MINIVAN” is the front runner.

4. Jeremy is attending an MIT alumni lecture tonight. Tonight’s topic “Energy Supply: Use It or Lose It”. I read in today’s NYTimes that MIT is no longer teaching 8.01 in 26-100. (For non MIT folks, that translates into “no longer teaching freshman physics in the large lecture hall.)

5. Edda’s IEP meeting/placement is coming up soon. ‘Nuff said.

6. Jeremy is planning on biking into DC for the inauguration. Someone is going to drop him off at the C & O canal and he’s going to bike the 10-15 miles into town. Apparently, he’s reserved a space at the “valet biking” service downtown. All the bike blogs are saying that the city will be so car-free that it will be a bicyclist’s heaven! I think I’m going to watch it on TV. Maybe.

7. We got the first real heating bill of the winter a few weeks ago. Just about fainted – we’ve been spending about $20 a day on our electric/gas bill. I can’t write the full number down, it gives me the willies, you can figure it out. We are zoned for heating and cooling, meaning that the upstairs bedrooms are separate from the downstairs. The main expense was coming from heating the upstairs rooms at night. In response, we bought a room heater for the kids and then dropped the nighttime temperature in the house to 50F which is so cold, you don’t want to get out of bed at 2 am to pee. Now every morning when I wake up and walk into the kids’ room, it’s like a little slice of (warm) heaven. Jeremy and I talked about maybe we should move into the kids room during the winter. (If you are coming to visit, don’t worry, we’ll turn the heat up just for you!)

8. O.A.R. went to my high school! Donald do you know them? I know, I know, they’ve been around for YEARS, but I just learned about them about 7 days ago.



I’m excited that Apple iTunes is getting rid of DRM. I think being able to copy music from one computer to another without it being complicated in addition to my recent obsession with Beyonce, I just might have to re-enter the music listening world. (Also, it’s good to hear that Steve Jobs is not dying.)

I haven’t been listening consistently to music for about a decade now, I had not heard of Maroon 5 until a friend at work mentioned she was going to the concert and I asked if it was at a local club and she gave me this strange look – um, they are playing at the Verizon Center (capacity = 20,000 Maroon 5 crazy fans). Oops.



OK, it’s been… a week since I’ve talked about poop? I just have to bring it up again! So we went out and bought the above items for Edda. (I should have added pureed prunes to this list, but I forgot to buy it). I wanted to say that she has a huge bowl of oatmeal with raisins for breakfast and usually has a piece of fruit with every meal, so I’m a little bit flummoxed by this constipation.

So ever since that last painful poop, we’ve replaced all her liquids with the plum juice on the very left of the photo. They call it “plum smart”, on their website, they claim it’s “clinically proven to regulate your digestion”. After 3 or 4 days of this, it hasn’t worked well. Tonight, Edda struggled on the potty again. I have to say the bright side of this is that the pooping training is going well. If you only gotta poop every three days and it’s like giving birth, it’s pretty easy to make it to the potty on time. I guess we are moving onto the fiber supplements.



Edda went to the dentist on Monday.

Vince went to the dentist today.

Edda did pretty well. I sat on the chair and Edda sat on top of me. I wrapped my legs around her legs, held her hands with my left hand and her head with my right hand. I was expecting the worst, but she did great. I really love our dentist, calm and reassuring and not at all rushed or worried about examining Edda. Everything looked good visually and for the past 2 appointments, we’ve left it at that.

Edda has never had X-rays done, but the dentist thought it was important and that we should give it a shot and we were all game, including Edda who cooperated with all six images. Turns out, she does have cavities on two adjoining back molars, one of which is pretty bad and almost at her nerve. We have work on some paperwork, but it looks like a trip to the hospital to put her under to do all this dental work. It makes me nervous, as general anesthesia is a good way to be freaked out, but I’m glad we can take our time for this, rather than wait a year or two until the whole molar is rotten and causing intense pain and scheduling emergency dental work. Sigh.

Also, I thought we were doing pretty well, brushing her teeth every night, but the dentist suggested that we add flossing to the routine. Yikes!

Vince loves the dentist. This kid is a little odd. Who the heck loves to go to the dentist? Jeremy came home early and took him today. Thank goodness, he has no cavities, which was much, much better than the 8 we found a year ago. Perhaps it’s because every spot which could have a cavity has already been filled by polymeric goop.


Before I close out the Christmas updates, I wanted to thank Jeremy for staying home all week with the kids while I worked between Christmas and New Year’s. Since I’m working so much these days, he’s been the more hands-on parent for the past year. It’s kind of nice to switch parenting roles, it gives us a balanced perspective on both being at work and being at home and what is totally annoying in each situation.

Anyways, over the week while he and the kids were stuck at home, he kept his sanity by doing this side project – Jeremy is really getting in touch with his inner engineer. What you are admiring is a set of lights for the bike – comprised of a lead acid battery, car brake lights and those garden lights which are the up-lights on trees at night.






Jeremy is much better than I am about dressing Edda up in cute outfits. Yesterday, in celebration of an outing to a friend’s house, Jeremy dug up this outfit which has french poodles riding Vespas on it! You pretty much can’t get cuter than that! I dressed Edda today, she’s wearing sweatpants and a ratty old hand me down sweater. (Not worth even showing you in a photo).

Nittany Lions.

My mother gave my brother a hoodie sweatshirt for Xmas that she bought from TJMaxx or Marshall’s that had the logo of Penn State on it – the Nittany Lions. I asked my brother if I could have the sweatshirt because he’s too hip for sweatshirts and I needed one and I wore it to work today.

I was asking the only other person in the office a patent question, when he looked at me and said, “Penn State is going to get waxed tonight”. Since I have no affiliation with Penn State and I don’t follow sports, I answered “huh”? and he pointed at my sweatshirt. And then I had to explain that my mom bought it for Xmas from TJMaxx because it was a NIKE sweatshirt and nothing to do with the Nittany Lions.

On the way home from work, I spend a millisecond wondering what sport the Nittany Lions were going to lose at tonight. I decided it was basketball.

Turns out they lost the Rose Bowl tonight. (Yes! I know that the Rose Bowl is football!) I have no idea what is going on in the world.