Jeremy’s still out of town. I can do the single parent thing – but man, it’s not easy. I woke up Vince early and he left the house in a mini-crisis all concerned about a few tests and deadlines at the end of this week. Gave him a quick pep talk and walked him through assessing the past exams and thinking of a reasonable plan of action without totally flipping either of us out – hard to do at 6:40 am. Then I took Edda to get both the HPV booster and her flu shot. After I dropped her off at school and got in a quick run around the neighborhood, I sat down at work at the late hour of 11 am. Ack, not a great week for being super productive in a steady, even way. I always say – next week will be quieter and then it never is. I’m always waiting for the quiet week. Which is always next week. Why did we get the HPV vaccine for Edda even though she will never be sexually active? Because I’m extra pro-vaccine. God, in the past couple of weeks, various anti-vax people have made a comeback in my life. I guess I should be glad they don’t believe the world is flat (which is a real conversation one of my good friends has had with her siblings. Seriously, there are people who really believe the world is flat. It’s a conspiracy! they say (according to various youtube videos). OMG, we are doomed in all the ways we are doomed.)
In crafty news, I’ve been making handmade birthday cards for the loves in my life as I remember them. Look! Violet got my owl birthday card. She’s turning 10. And you get stickers too.
I laid out the flowers on my quilt via random number generator. I like it. Now to hand sew each of the flowers to the backing.
Vince facetiming my dad to do some Chinese studying. The teacher this year is demanding, Vince likes her, but she has high standards. It’s probably his hardest class.
Vince started babysitting this week. I can’t believe that my child is taking care of other people’s children. He worked two nights this week and fed the three-year old dinner and did the whole bath and bedtime routine. He got paid! So excited.
I decided to sign up for a ten-week beginning quilting class which meets Wed afternoon at the local quilt shop down the freeway a few exits. Today was the first class. I’m deep into my third quilt, this is a good hobby for me – I’ve tried a bunch of other ones: knitting, drawing, music. This one suits my personality somehow – the rate at which you can make progress on a quilt, the different fabrics, the cost, the machine & tools, the usefulness of the end result. I hope to quilt for a long time, but before I press on (ha ha <- quilt joke) I thought I should learn the basic techniques from an actual teacher. Annette, our teacher, has been teaching this class for ten years. I should learn a lot.
Today we learned about color selection and how to square up and cut fabric.
I’m behind! On Saturday, Vince and I went to Sam’s house in Chevy Chase for a housewarming.
That night, Ruth came over and we had blackened salmon.
Monday night, we had Kate, Grafton, & Ben over for dinner – Vince was out, he was in Philly on a school trip.
Jeremy’s in LA for the week. I took Vince to the dentist where they now have an electronic form to sign in. Everything looks good! Vince got to sit in the space room, he hadn’t done that in a long, long time.
I just realized that I passed the 10 year mark on my job. I’m grateful for my job that allows me to care/provide for my family with minimal stress.
Edda and I took the day off last Friday and drove to Philly to the Children’s Hospital there. When Edda was first diagnosed with Rett, we made biyearly? semiannually? trips to Rutgers to have Edda’s history taken and a physical done so that Edda would be part of a database of Rett patients to track their progress as they age. It was an NIH funded longitudinal study. This helps researchers have a good baseline to work with if/when they start having treatments for Rett. At first, they were incredibly helpful, the first one we went to was the first time I’d seen another Rett girl. I remember just being incredibly overcome with the gratitude that we weren’t totally alone, but that it also sucked so bad that we were all there together at the same time with all our hearts broken. It was held over a weekend, and they would try to fit 15-20 families in on each day. Then we got busy and the weekend trips were long and we were all getting more used to the idea of Edda being Edda and then the funding ran out and we stopped going. Recently, they got more funding to continue the study and I got a very nice letter that asked if some older girls could come back (because the older the girls are, the more likely they are to drop out) and if they could, it would be a great thing 1) because: science & data and 2) they would more likely get more funding later if they had better participation now.
They opened up a bunch of new intake sites and we got to go to Philly. So off we went, this time to CHOP in Philly. Now, I hate driving. I hate driving long distances and I hate being late. It all makes me anxious and unhappy. But I did it. And we had the two hour appointment, told them all about Edda and caught up on the (many) clinical trials and asked about (CRISPR – it’s well funded and exciting and we’ll see.) and then they suggested I go eat at Federal Donut which would take me across the UPenn campus, but seeing that it was already 1pm and we were starving, we ate at the Au Bon Pain across the street and called it a day and headed back.
The kids had off school today for Rosh Hashanah. They usually get Yom Kippur off too, but not this year! With the school year starting late (after Labor Day), they had to eliminate some holidays and I guess Rosh Hashanah was the one they decided to keep. Vince went to a sleepover at a friend’s house last night and came back home mid-morning. Edda had Adriana’s company most of the day today, allowing me to get a full day’s work done. Jeremy went to work. Like he always goes to work.
Hmmmm, I’m trying to think of something interesting to say today and I have nothing. I asked Vince if he was going to homecoming this year and he said no. Jeremy’s new glasses are still not fitting his large head very well, he might have to return them. I made some progress on my quilt after Adriana left in the afternoon. Edda is very, very happy today.
Jeremy’s back from NYC today. He took the train down this morning and headed into work. We went to Home Depot tonight for life-sized angry bird catapult parts.
Going back to Vince’s schedule – Vickey noted that Vince, as a sophomore, is taking AP US Gov and that when we were teenagers, no one took that until their senior year. There has been some sort of grade inflation/acceleration going on in the 30 years since I’ve been in high school. In Vince’s grade, there are *8* classes of AP US Gov. If you estimate the total class size of about 500 and the US Gov class size as 30-35, then it seems like about half of the kids in the grade are taking this sophomore AP class. Maybe I’m mistaken and the 8 classes are spread out among the sophomores, juniors & seniors. Still, it’s a lot of classes.
Vince & Edda’s back to school nights are done. Great teams at both schools, I’m always impressed. The teachers are excellent, seemed determined to make it all fun & rigorous at the same time. Edda is reading Holes this year and Vince is reading Night and Odyssey. I’m having a tough time getting through any pleasure reading this year, maybe I should read what the kids are reading. I think they’ve kind of given up on having the kids read at home and then come to class prepared. For both Vince and Edda, they are going to do a lot of the reading in class. Earlier this week Vince declared reading to be so boring – the same thing page after page after page. You haven’t found the right book yet, I suggested. Though really I think the internet has destroyed all patience for long-form reading. I can’t even read long form stuff anymore and I think it’s because my mind is now accustomed to clicking on quick bits on the web.
Jeremy’s in NYC for a couple of nights. He has an all-day thing tomorrow and wanted to figure out a way to get there and back without spending any nights there, but it’s just impossible to do that and make the meeting, so he left during the afternoon today and is coming back on Wed. He had dinner with Lael, who happens to have a birthday next week. I think they are eating rice pudding right now. I’m a little, uh, jelly. I’d like some rice pudding right now.
Here, Ben is staying the night with us. He’s lives in Charm City, but is commuting to Bethesda. We are helping him out a bit by cutting out a couple of commutes.
Bette feels much better after her sinus surgery last Thurs. It was wonderful to see her up and about and doing all the regular Bette things.
Jeremy managed to come home from the scout trip last night instead of today at noon. He took one look at the cleaned garage, the reupholstered couch and the repotted plants and concluded that I was not busy enough asked if maybe I should start looking for a nursing gig. Wasn’t that the plan? It’s true when I am not as busy, I start, not only cleaning the house, but also I start messing more with Jeremy and Vince. I start nagging. It’s not a good thing, I know. I should really freak the boys out and do a deep fridge clean.
Edda says good morning. Even though I’ve dropped the approximately 10-15 (and for a few weeks in there, more than 25) hours a week I used to spend on nursing school, I still feel busy all the time. It’s amazing to me how work just expands to fill the space. It makes me wonder how much I could really stuff into a week. Maybe I could open a medical device company after Vince leaves for college. I always want stuff a lot into a week, but, you know, it’s nice this way too. These are the things that I’ve been able to add on: The constant rushing feeling is gone. The house is cleaner and more picked up. I’m sleeping until 6:15 am instead of 5:30 am. I used to be able to get up at 5:30 am without an alarm. Now I need an alarm at 6 am. I’m able to socialize without looking at my watch every 15 minutes (leisurely weekday lunches & hosting/cooking dinners). I have whole weekends where I need to do neither school work nor work work. It’s a bit amazing to me, a beautiful fall weekend in which I have nothing to do! I could watch TV! (I did watch TV for a long time today – mostly the British Baking Show). It’s a tricky balance though, without a whole lot to do, I can fall into a mild depression.
I spent 90 minutes today replacing the covers on our IKEA couches. I don’t mind that they are encrusted with food most of the time (because my standards are just that low), it just that when I have people over and I invite them to sit on the couch, I look at it through their eyes and cringe a bit inside.
It’s not that hard to switch out the couch covers, it’s a little tricker by myself, but not too bad. Now the old covers have to go to the dry cleaners which may cost as much as the couch itself.
Then I spent three hours mowing & edging the lawn and cleaning up the garage so I would have room to make a life-size Angry Birds slingshot.
This is my inspiration:
I might have made mine a little too big. Hmmm. I don’t think it’ll fit in the van. (It’s not done yet).