Childcare starts tomorrow again!

So Nat told me that she’d be ready to work tomorrow (it’s almost 10 pm and I haven’t seen her yet, but I’m counting on a late arriving airplane) – I’m so happy that we will have childcare again tomorrow. The whole plan of making due without childcare hinged on the fact that Edda needed to not get sick. But today, the last childcare-free day, I had a couldn’t-miss-first-day-of-lab class from noon to two and Jeremy was at work in DC doing the last emergency things on his massive project due today when ten minutes before noon, I got a call from Edda’s school nurse saying that she was running a fever of 100.1. My parents had just left for Florida on Saturday – I felt like I had no choice but to call Edda’s teacher and basically ask a huge favor and ask her to keep sick Edda for the afternoon. Poor Edda. Poor Edda’s teacher. I feel like a heel. Ahhh, mother’s guilt. Nothing like it really.


Success! Congratulating himself with a beer (Penn Quarter Porter) and the State of the Union


My scrubs for lab class. Learning how to assess a patient and properly document it.


This past year or so, Donald and I (after decades of not really talking to each other very much, not that we dislike each other or anything, it’s just that we never really made the effort) have started Facetime-ing pretty much every weekend. (Although I’m switching to an non-Apple phone in April, so we’ll have to figure out something else then…) This past weekend, he called at 4pm EST and told me he was just getting up in CA. I had already been up almost 12 hours.  Of course, the great pleasure of talking every week is that you actually get somewhere in the conversation – you don’t have to spend time on the beginning pleasantries. 

I always thought that Donald and I had similar thought processes, but apparently, he’s much more wants-to-know-how-things-work driven than I am.  For example, I don’t really care how a car works, but if I had to, I could figure out how to take it apart and fix it and put it back together.  Donald likes to know how a car works in order, let’s say, to drive stick shift better.  I think I give myself more credit than I should about being handy, mainly because I’ve married into kind of a non-handy family.  Which reminds me that I need to fix the kitchen sink soon.

Edda’s IEP meeting

We had Edda’s IEP meeting today where we set goals for her for next year. I really love all the people who work with Edda, they really do a lot with her and expose her to so much stuff that we really aren’t able to do here at home. It’s hard to go to these meetings sometimes. It’s been a long time since Edda’s diagnosis, so I’ve been to a lot of these meetings and even though everyone is very professional and very nice and encouraging and we know all these people because Edda’s been at the same school since kindergarden, it can be disheartening to hear that she’s working on going up and down stairs, that she’s trying to master picking from a field of three choices or trying to group objects with similar patterns. And even though she’s working on all this stuff, it’s hard to really know if she really knows.

Anyways, all the teachers really enjoy having Edda in the classroom and they are all enthusiastically trying to figure out ways to bring the best out of Edda, so I figure it’s all good. A few years ago, I felt that I was attending these meeting by myself – without Jeremy. These meetings are scheduled months in advanced and maybe Jeremy just happened to go on a last-minute business trip or something and I was loathe to reschedule them because like 9 people from all over the county need to be there – those solo meetings can be tough for me. But now, Jeremy really makes it a priority to come to these meetings, he’s the optimist, so usually he can keep my spirits up.


My big goal for the weekend? Folding laundry. I’m pretty good at the washer/dryer part. But the folding part – that I’m really bad at.

Snowed in!

It’s been kind of a long week here in Rockville. The main thing is that Nat, our au pair, is on vacation all this week and half of next week (lucky girl, she’s in Istanbul) – so we are without childcare for seven working days. I’d like to think that in a “normal” week, we’d be able to handle it all without too much trouble – just squeeze out a lot of down time, but this particular week has been challenging.  First, the kids had scheduled days off on Monday and Tuesday, but today school was cancelled because of the snow (so three days in a row without school) and tomorrow the kids have a 2 hour delay.   Again, I think it would be OK to be without childcare for a “normal” week (who am I kidding, is there ever a normal week?) but Jeremy’s on some big deadline due next Tuesday so he’s working all the time and I start up my spring semester of nursing school tomorrow.  It’s one big time-scheduling mess.  Every once in a while, I think that we could do without childcare and save a ton of $, but then I don’t have childcare for a week or a month or two months (oh, that was terrible) and then I remember that childcare is worth every penny and protects my sanity.

MLK day.

Enthralled and encouraged by my studio shots right before Christmas, I borrowed all the camera equipment again to do some studio shots of three kiddos – a 15 month old, a 2.5 year old and a 4 year old. It did not go entirely as planned and I forget that spending hours and hours with toddlers and trying to convince them to do something you want them to do when they clearly have other goals in mind is just plain exhausting. I think I took over 500 photos and although some of them are amusing, our main goal of getting one beautiful shot of the three grand kids for grandma might have not been achieved. Oh well – at least I tried and I got to spend time with good friends I don’t see often enough.


Garage Attic, Stairway & Drain Pipe

The special hand-made stairway to our garage attic at its 5/8 height is almost complete (picture 1).  The only work left out is the supports for the stairway on its right (against the wall).  To support it properly, I need to find out the vertical stud locations inside the wall.  To this end, I used the drill on the wall to see whether it hits any stud.  After several trials, I felt that I hit something.  I thought it was a plastic electrical box. Suddenly, there was water on the garage floor, a lot of. Immediately, I knew I hit the water drain line somewhere inside the wall.

To learn more about what is really inside.  I cut open a ~ L-shape opening.  Of course, there was a drilled hole on the white plastic drain pipe (picture 2) as well as two studs.

To fix the leak, I used a half-inch-height section of the identical pipe (the only left-over pipe I have.)  I cut out an 90 degree section to form a 270 degree ring with enough spring clamping force when attached to the damaged pipe.  After gluing it (picture 3, purple color is from the primer liquid) and it works fine – no leaks.

Tomorrow, I am going to finish the entire stairway to conclude the Phase I work.  The attic floor & the reinforcement of the vertical drop beams attached to the garage ceiling will then be completed in next Winter.