Meet Josie. Resident pug.  Well she was the resident pug until yesterday when her parents picked her up.

I have been in a bit of a funk this past week.  I can’t really pin it on anything in particular, which frustrates me to no end.  Then I just want to try and fix it.  Do I need more exercise?  Do I need to eat less sugar?  Do I need to be doing more?  Do I need to be doing less?  I think about these things.  And then I go eat a box of Girl Scout cookies.

Biology lab.

It has been a long time since I’ve done any sort of science experiment with animals. I did once at MIT where all I had to do was draw blood from a rabbit’s ear. I couldn’t do it that well and the rabbits were pissed and I was not a happy researcher. I pretty much closed the books on doing any sort of animal research.

It usually takes a lot of money and trouble to keep animals for research which is why I was completely caught off guard when we did metabolic / oxygen consumption rates of gerbils at my local community college.

Here’s our gerbil. We named him Pip.


We put him in three different environments – room temperature, warm and cold environments to see how much oxygen Pip uses in these three situations. Poor Pip! So cold. Brrrr.


Discovering Engineering Family Day.

This weekend we went to the Building Museum downtown to learn all about engineering. It was a great opportunity to get everyone out of the house.

Vince is making a catapult with duct tape. The first step to learning to be an engineer is to know how to use duct tape.


Edda enjoyed walking around the rather large room:


We posed with an honest-to-goodness astronaut – but now I’ve forgotten his name!



Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer in the last post. It has been somewhat of an emotional struggle since the beginning of the year. Our newest au pair, who started in January, decided that our house is not the place for her, so our child care situation has been thrown into a tizzy once she leaves the house this week. We try to provide a nice working environment, but somehow it did not work out this time.

We have also not really resolved Edda’s low platelet issues – the hematologist suspected that Trileptal was the culprit, but the neurologist indicated that Trileptal was specifically designed to reduce, if not, eliminate the blood count side effects of the older types of these drugs. So the neuro does not think the platelets is due to the meds and actually, the blood work supports the neuro because it seems to show Edda is metabolizing the drug just fine. Anyways, we still are going to do a fast ramp down on the Trileptal, see if we lose seizure control (which I am always curious about) and redo the blood work to see if the platelet level goes back to normal. In the background of all this, one wonders if a low platelet level is something to worry about or if it is something that we shouldn’t really even worry about.

Of course, as soon as our childcare becomes non-existent, Jeremy starts his traveling for work again. He worked from home last week to make Edda’s IEP and neurologist appointment and I listened to him make 4 hour long conference calls in a row. This upcoming trip for Jeremy is so tightly packed (scheduled down to the hour) that he is really spending a lot of time on logistics to make it all work out smoothly. One of his innovations is the bluetooth earpiece. He even made a little house for it out of an old Altoids box and a kitchen sponge.


Week of Edda.

I went to Edda’s Valentine’s day party at her school. She is mainstreamed into her 2nd grade class for these little activities and so they needed a few more people to help out to get the ratio up to 1:1. Sometimes, I think this low level mainstreaming is a little silly, Edda’s not in the room enough to know the kids in the class and they don’t really know her. I find it all a little bit depressing? pointless? sad? I think maybe all three. Anyways, whatever, I do it.


We also had Edda’s IEP meeting which went well. We decided long ago not be confrontational with the school system and as a result, we have teachers and therapists who are willing to do practically anything we suggest for Edda. We just don’t have very many good ideas of what can be done – especially with speech therapy. We have not found eye gaze to be very consistent, nor have we seen in Edda a tremendous desire to communicate. Of course, I want her to tell me what she wants, but maybe she doesn’t even know what she wants herself.


Chili mac and the Super Bowl!


There is no Super Bowl without some chili dogs / mac&cheese / chili mac / Frito Pie and an ice cream cake shaped like a football!  Go football, rah rah rah!  So here’s Edda, being a good sport and watching the coin toss with the grown ups.


What are all the other kids doing? Are they participating in the awesome-ness called Super Bowl Sunday? No. Are they laughing at the funny commercials? No. They are all staring into their own computer screens editing their own dance videos or playing Minecraft.  Oh, they are also eating some leftover Halloween candy.