The visa is secured, the money is exchanged, the Imodium is packed. New wallet, new fanny pack, & new haircut. He learned how to use a credit card & debit card all around town. We watched all the orientation videos & downloaded texting apps which aren’t blocked. All I’m hoping is that someone will pick him up at the Guangzhou airport at the appointed time/location. Vince is like – what do I do at customs? I’m going through that myself, right? I have nothing to declare, right? Yeah, sweetie, you have nothing to declare. He seems mostly excited and not nervous. Kelly, his violin teacher, told him not to follow any strangers and I’m like, he’s gotta follow some strangers or else he’ll be stuck in the middle of a Chinese airport. Then Vince suggested an amendment – I’ll only follow strangers if they happen to have the right T-shirt. Go on your adventure-y adventure Vincie, but come back to me soon.
I’ve been in a funk for the past few days where everything is irritating for no reason. I think I’ve been in the house too long, or the house is never empty with just me in it, or I’m not busy enough or just everything is actually very annoying. Edda is doing so well (how can I really be annoyed when everything is going great!?), tolerating all the outings I can manage to take her out on including renewing my drivers license (I can still drive without my glasses even though I always wear my glasses) and my Goodwill drop off of bags and bags of decluttering. The house is always bursting with crap. Annoying crap.
Thank you sherah, for your lovely gifts.
We were just thinking about the Green Mesquite where Ruby swallowed a whole rib in one big gulp back pre-Vince&Edda.
Damn, I miss that dog. Vince will have to go to the GM someday. <3
So much cooking from Vince in the house. There were steamed dumplings on Friday night with wrappers made from scratch and pork that was ground at home.
On Sat, Nat was caring for Edda during the day and Vince convinced her to make HOMEMADE DONUTS together.
Jeremy and I came home from our separate outings at the same time to find:
The donuts were excellent. Saturday was Maxi’s made up 7th birthday (made up only because we don’t know her real birthday) and she celebrated herself by stealing and eating the 7 remaining leftover donuts that were sitting on top of the dining room table. I wonder if she actually gets up 100% on the table to eat all this stuff? She also ate a whole pepperoni pizza on Thursday to warm up for the donuts on Saturday. She is a slightly terrible dog.
And I got my first quilt back from the long arm quilting place!
Jeremy is obsessed with biking now (as I’ve mentioned before). He blames the election. It’s fine, but it creates more of a scheduling headache now that he wants to ride everyday. We are such different people when it comes to working out. I like to work hard, but I’ll stop working hard if I know I’m about to hurt myself. Jeremy, on the other hand, will just ramp up his workouts until he gets injured. Right now he’s trying to learn to do an easy ride which seems incredibly difficult for him to do. He’s a little self conscious because now his has all his riding buddies who track all their training online (who manage to ride 50-80 miles on a working day.. how is that possible?) and he doesn’t want to throw an easy day in there.
Last night we were talking about other differences in our personalities – mainly my fondness for being a generalist and Jeremy’s tendencies to being a specialist. I like to start many things and quickly can become pretty good and there are flashes of being very good at it, but I feel like I never reach the level of complete mastery. I never like the details of anything that I do and I feel like I’m forever banished to the competent entry-level position, always one of 10,000 cogs (literally). (I’ll tell you now these are the things I’m thinking of starting just this week: writing a novel, learning the violin, rock climbing- all exciting to me, but I’ll never be Hemmingway, Midori or Honnold which in my deepest of deep disappoints me terribly even though I know it’s OK not to be that much of an expert.) Jeremy, on the other hand, feels like he’s an expert in a field that no one is interested in anymore and that his expertise has kind of limited him in what he can do and that how can he start over now that he’s built up this reputation and experience? He insists to me that you only need 3-5 years to become an expert (to try and encourage me to become an expert), I don’t quite believe that. And I tell him, it’s so much fun to start stuff! Anyways, and it all goes on. We’ll see what the future brings.
Vince hosted a sleepover last night which started like this:
and ended like this:
Summer is in full swing for Vince, staying up late, getting up late & eating Hot Pockets and playing lots of video games. We asked for two things from this sleepover: 1. don’t be too loud at night & 2. please fall asleep upstairs in your bedroom. Neither of these things happened. I can sleep through anything, but Jeremy had to get up to yell at them at 10:30 pm and then Eliana had to call them (after trying to text sleeping me) to be quiet at midnight (though she was nice about it and didn’t say shut up, rather, she asked – so when do you guys think you’ll go to sleep?). This morning, when Jeremy, Edda and I came downstairs at 5:45 am, all the boys were sleeping in the sofa pit (it’s a long story why we arranged the couches facing each other so we have a huge sofa crib), so we just started making coffee and Edda started watching Blue’s Clues while trying to sit on a couch with a sleeping boy on it.
Eliana took Edda blueberry picking today!
Today was Edda’s follow up with the surgeon – 1 month post op. OK, not quite a month, but pretty close. The doctor was pleased with her progress; impressed that she’s able to walk well and the X-rays look great. Just a few things to remember: mainly prophylactic antibiotics before teeth cleaning for two years. She’s cleared for camp activities – horseback riding, swimming, walking, all OK. I asked if he does feet as well and he said, sure, let’s take a look at them now. We had him look at her splayed out foot and he wasn’t worried about it as long as we braced it (which we are doing already) and he said he’d be happy to track it as we come for back for spinal appointments in the future. He actually said we could go to a smaller foot brace and that it “didn’t look too bad” to him. It feels good to have this behind us!
To recap. Before:
Father’s Day was a bit of a dud. We all woke up on the wrong side of the bed and were arguing before 10am. Not good. It’s one of those days that starts off poorly and no matter how much you try to rescue the day (joke? cookie? hugs? outing?), you always fall back into a funk. Even though most of the day was trying, we managed to get ourselves to Sunday night dinner where there was much laughter, even though it was a tough week for the Martins all around. We went to bed, ready to be more cheerful on Monday. Looking back on it, I think that it was a sign that I needed to go back to work after three weeks of caring for Edda.
Eliana is staying the week to take care of Edda during the days this week, which means that I’m easing back into work.
Jeremy gave Vince his own traveling knife set to celebrate the successful completion of ninth grade. Vince wanted to take his own knives to the scout campouts. They both managed to cut themselves on the new knives this weekend. Vince lets it out to the air, Jeremy uses a finger condom. Someone does dishes, the other person does not.
Vince went camping this weekend. He’s really taken to cooking for his group of six. No longer is he packing cup of soup for dinner and pop tarts for breakfast (OK maybe there are still poptarts). This weekend he bought ribs, precooked them on Friday afternoon and then is planning on searing them and seasoning them at the campsite. I think he may have also gotten potatoes and corn. There are still hiccups in the whole process, the most notable one being that we originally bought the ribs on Wed night with the rest of the groceries for the weekend, just squeaking in under the $90 budget. Then somehow, the ribs did not get refrigerated and we did not discover this until 2pm Friday. Vince held the 2-day-old-warm ribs in his hands and said, well, they are in this airtight plastic package, maybe they’ll be OK? I looked at him – really? Do you really want all the boys to get food poisoning? So we went out and bought another round of ribs for the campout which, of course, blew past the budget, but we subsidized the duplicate meat purchase.
And when I turned my head to look behind me, I saw immediately behind me the last day of school whizzing past me in a blur. Vince went to school today with nothing more than his phone. He forgot his copy of To Kill A Mockingbird in his backpack. In order to not incur any fines, he asked me to bring it in when I picked him up with Edda just before lunch. We went to Tysons where we had conveyor belt sushi and I mulled over whether or not to eat the Pikachu shaped dessert (very yellow).
Is this where I get all sentimental about the kids growing up? Maybe. My kids! So much fun/work. Keep on going! Let’s go! There’s lots more to see/do in the world.
Edda has acquired a new skill since the surgery. When she’s walking around (and I’m hovering near her), she’ll reach out and grab my hand and hold onto it tightly. I can’t remember the last time this happened, probably in her babyhood before she lost the use of her hands. It’s a surprising thing to feel her fingers grip tightly onto my fingers. She can not modulate the pressure of her grip or change the orientation of her fingers or do any other regular hand-y things, but no matter. I’ll take it! Did somehow straightening her spine make something wake up in her hands? Or was the whole thing so painful that she relearned how to hold onto my hand just enough to tell me to never, ever, do that spinal fusion thing to me again? I don’t know.
Bihan missed her bus today. She went all the way downtown to catch it and showed up 10 min after the bus left. So she headed back to Rockville to camp out here another night and since I was determined to take Edda on an outing, we went to lunch and then went shopping.
It’s nice to go shopping with an enthusiastic shopper, I often forget how women shop for clothes.
The saleslady asked – is that your daughter (referring to Bihan – not Edda) and I paused because I’m not sure how to describe my relationship with Bihan. No, I said, she’s my friend. I’m totally middle aged – I’ve been mistaken as a mother to a person in their early twenties.