Fabio, melancholy, almost home.

Let’s start this post with Vince’s senior picture. We texted this to my parents and even my mother fell over laughing while we were Facetiming. Vince said jokingly, even my grandmother is mocking me! I love this photo. Like really love it. A mix of Maui from Moana (I hate the chicken character – does anyone else on the internet feel like they are making fun of disabled people/chickens? No, not a peep. Intellectually disabled people are the last kind of people you can still make fun of apparently.) and Fabio.

I am melancholy this week, I think it’s mostly that Jeremy isn’t here and I haven’t had much time to myself. I’ve been hanging out with Edda during the days which is fine, but doesn’t lend itself to a lot of work which is helpful for not sitting around and brooding. Historically, I love this time of year, I love the start of school, but no one else around here loves school as much as I love school and this is Vince’s last year of regular school so that makes me sentimental and nostalgic. And I can also get a little teary thinking about Edda. It’s been so many years since we’ve started special schools for her that I think I should be over it. And mostly I’m over it and hold onto happiness for Edda because she’s doing great, but you know. One wishes it was different for her.

We had one trip to the mall to buy some clothes for Vince.

And tried on eyeglasses. Vince did not choose these eyeglasses. I think these are perfect for Jeremy tho.

It was a beautiful week, Edda and I spent a lot of it outside doing yard work. I mulched a bunch of areas I hadn’t touched in two years. I avoided the area which seemed to harbor a family of bees. I’ll tackle that when the temperature drops.

I gave Edda the sassy Dora haircut this morning. I offered it to Vince as well, but he turned me down.

Jeremy’s photos also automatically upload to our shared google photos. He’s not home yet, but here are some photos. I mostly don’t know what is going on in these photos. The theme is corn. bike. dogs. This is a business trip! Where are the photos of powerpoint slides? or travel delays? or roller/spinner luggage? ha ha.

Dog, SUX.

I’m back from two days from the hospital – tired and worn out and facing the last week of summer with a distinct lack of childcare during normal business hours. On the way home yesterday, Jeremy texted to me this photo of this completely adorable dog that showed up at the house. I was like – OMG! This is a sign from the gods that this is our new dog. As if a little poofy dog with a flower pinned to her ear is clearly un-owned and un-wanted. The dog was claimed and returned and we are still only a one-dog family.

Not our dog.

I had a patient who had some bowel surgery and had been in the hospital for a while and I was discharging them. When one has bowel surgery, afterwards, you start out not eating anything, then advance to clear liquids (jello, broth), then go to full liquids (cream of wheat?) and then to GI soft and finally to regular food. I was discharging this person to go home as they were nicely progressing up the meal hierarchy and as I walked into the room, they said – I just had the most amazing poop of my life. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve pooped well? Forever. Literally forever. I wasn’t pooping well for ages before the surgery and now it’s been like 4 a days since the surgery. Can I tell you all about my poop? I said- it’s pretty much my job to listen to the status of your pooping, go on right ahead. And happily they proceeded to tell me, in great detail, all about it. Ha ha, that was nice. Don’t take good bowel function for granted. I keep thinking that the hospital work would get easier, but it’s not true. As you know more, there is actually more to do. Because once you know enough, you call the docs to fix wrong orders or to suggest courses of action or you see potential problems down the road and can see ways to prevent those problems.

I got home on Monday night and found Jeremy packing for his trip to Sioux City. He asked me if I’d be willing to give him a ride at 5 am in case he couldn’t get a Lyft. I said sure, but as the conversation continued, it became clear that he was anxious about the whole check-in procedure because he’s bringing his bike. Through careful internet research, he’s found a way to check a bike in as regular luggage which is about $30. But if they check it in as a bike it’s $150. He was willing to pay $30 and unwilling to pay $150, but if he took a Lyft and they were going to charge him $150, he’d be stuck at the airport with his bike and a Lyft ride to go home. I said, don’t worry about it, just check it for $150, it’ll still be cheaper than a bike rental. He said – I’ll just feel stupid paying $150. So then I offered to drive him to the airport to solve this problem. [He is generally anxious about this trip for various reasons, so I didn’t want this stupid bike check-in to take up any extra anxiety points in his life.] [[This is such a boring story.]] Then we told Vince that we were going to leave a sleeping Edda with (a sleeping) him for a few hours in the morning and that if he needed to flee the house, to please remember to bring Edda with him because we would not be home. Vince said OK, I’ll bring Edda outside and set her down next to the tree in the front yard. And then I told him to help Edda before helping Maxi and then Jeremy said that Max can take care of herself, just keep the door open.

With his bike. Whoops, I mean luggage to be checked.
Sioux city gets to be SUX.
My love note from J as he boards.

Subject SAT, Taylor, ramen.

Gorgeous day today, the summer heat/humidity was getting me down, but today! today! all the windows were opened in the house. A delight! Jeremy drove Vince to an SAT subject test location (far-ish away) and planned on biking home, leaving Vince the car to drive home when he was done. It’s nerve wracking getting there early and on time and Vince is still not comfortable enough to go on the highway by himself, but on the way home, Vince took the side roads (two lane country roads) and had the windows open and music blasting. Classic.

My husband looking ridiculous.

Edda and I spent the morning together in our pajamas listening to the new Taylor Swift album and folding laundry. I’m constantly sweating these days. I wake up, I need a shower. I have lunch, I need a shower. I’m about to go to bed, I need yet another shower. I used to have PJs that I would wear all week, but now I could literally change them every three hours and that would be OK. Taylor did good. I like the new album.

Edda watching TV waiting for me to get her day started.
Scenes from a bike ride.

We went to ramen for lunch to celebrate. We talked about Jeremy’s upcoming trip to Nebraska. (It’s actually Nebraska and Iowa. Both!) (It doesn’t matter where he goes on business, Jeremy (while he is actually away) has to tell me that it is very important and that he is getting a tremendous amount of work/networking/saving-the-world done even if none of it is true and he is basically sitting around drinking beer with colleagues from DC in Nebraska because of scheduling/out-of-their control snafus. Only after he gets home can he actually tell me what really happened.) I said to Jeremy that I’m going to totally call him crying next week. And he says – I know, you are going to call crying asking why you have to do all the things and why I have to travel all the time and that you and Vince are fighting. And then we look over at Vince and Vince says – why are you looking at me? I actually have to do the fighting with mom. And then we all look at Edda and tell her that she’s in charge and has to referee all next week.

Ramen to celebrate.

Grouchy & passports.

I’m still out of sorts. I often feel great at night and optimistic that the next day will be fantastic, but each day I’m tired, need a nap and can’t concentrate. I was extra grouchy today, but I warned everyone that I was grouchy so then everyone was teasing me about being grumpy and then they even sent Edda (with a nudge on her backside aiming her in my direction) with the directive to – go and annoy your already annoyed mom.

Vince driving me to the auto repair shop to pick up the van.

Passport renewal today at the post office for the kids. I was a little nervous because for about two months there, I was the only one able to flee this country as a moments notice. I would have to leave everyone here and just save myself.

Edda loves applying for passports.

Ice cream, peanut butter, colonoscopy.

On the last day of the fair (Saturday) we ditched our whole idea of taking Edda there and getting the annual corn dog, the turkey leg and the ice cream. It was hot, we decided the food at the fair was too expensive and Jeremy was mostly grumbling about the quality of the ice cream at the fair, so instead we went to our favorite ice cream place Carmen’s just 200m from our door. I had to insist that they make the ice cream smaller than their regular small but that I would pay for a small, no problem. Sometimes this is surprisingly hard to do. The fair ended well with the parking lot almost to full capacity, the line out to the Rockville Pike, but they never had to close the gate – they always let people in. That is some good parking skillz.

Edda and ice cream.

Jeremy wanted you to know that he ordered a case of peanut butter. He is thinking of replacing dairy in his diet with peanut butter.

OMG. A whole case.

On Sunday, there was a picnic to celebrate the end of the fair. We had to stay longer than we wanted to because both Vince and I had to take a swim test to go on next year’s spring break trip back to the Florida Keys with the scouts. By then, Vince will be 18 and he will be one of the adults on the trip.

Edda picnicking.

Jeremy volunteered to flip the burgers and no one else was really interested in it, so he did it the whole time. He went early, but texted me to bring the meat thermometer. He wanted all the burgers to be heated up to 160 degrees which is well done. He doesn’t trust premade, frozen burger patties. He likes to grind the meat himself. He wanted to make sure to kill off everything that could possibly be killed off.

Jeremy looking out for everyone.

On Sunday, I went for a run and out of nowhere a bee came and stung me on my forearm. I’ve spent the past two days with my entire arm swollen and I’ve been grumpy and sleepy and itchy.

Bee sting swelling.

With swollen arm, I had to repair the toilet three times this weekend. First the replacing the flush mechanism. Then it was leaking at the water supply connection (enough so that the tenants downstairs came rushing upstairs to say that we were leaking into their kitchen) and then after I thought I had fixed all the leaks, the tenants came up again on Sunday night to say that it was still leaking. So I turned off the water and replaced the wax ring on Monday morning. Then today, I still heard the phantom flush I was trying to fix by replacing the flush mechanism originally.

This toilet is killing me.

Colonoscopy on Monday for Jeremy. Bowel prep started on Sunday night. Bowels look excellent, GI doc complimented him on both his bowels and his prep. Jeremy got to joke with all the nurses about how I try to practice IVs on him. His CRNA was also an engineer who taught at Irvine.

Post op.

Vince and I have been trying to work together on college stuff and senior year stuff. It’s not easy. I can be discouraging and judgemental and he has a lot of feelings that he can’t quite use his words to describe. I try to remember what it was like to be that age. To have such strong feelings about things but confused what those feelings were and how to articulate them. I try to remember to not fix everything for him. He’s learning things about scheduling, managing conflicting events and priorities. How to turn people down, how to maintain a deadline when you are counting on other people.

Earth Treks, toilet, Kindle

I am a member of two gyms: the Rockville pool’s gym and Earth Trek’s gym. How on earth did I become a member of two gyms, I will never know. Apparently I like going to gyms where the main focus is not the gym, where the gym is an afterthought and tacked onto a little side room off of the main attraction. I hardly ever go swimming at the pool (thought I have swimsuits) and I rarely go climbing at the climbing gym (though I have climbing shoes). I’ve been going more frequently to the Earth Trek’s gym in the past year, but I have been, in the past, more loyal to the pool’s gym. I love the pool’s gym because a lot of neighbors go to that gym and it’s filled with 70-year-olds getting their workout in. I love Earth Trek’s gym because it’s filled with girls who can do like 5 pull ups in a row. I can be a strange gym goer, I like to nod hello to people, but not actually talk to them. I’ve recently been taking Edda to Earth Treks. There is a table right in front of the glass walled gym that I can set her up at and she happily watches TV while I do whatever it is I want to do and mostly keep an eye on her – though these days, she does quite well on her own. I do wonder, since I’m essentially in another room, if people walk by Edda and look around for a family member, but they seem to not care. Also, the handicapped parking spot is never, ever taken and is not only the closest spot to the front door, but it’s the only shaded spot in the whole lot, so bringing Edda is an outing for her and generally a net-benefit for me.

Edda the gym observer

I did some plumbing work today. Our main toilet was having phantom flushes, so I had to replace the main plunger-thingy.

No more water wasting.

I’m trying to read more. Experimenting with the kindle and borrowed library books. I’m starting easy by reading children’s books. Wolf Hollow first, now Graceling which is quite good. I’ve been following Jeremy’s example of falling asleep because I’m having trouble sleeping and winding down at night the kindle’s screen is gently lit (softer than my phone) and not connected to the internet, we can turn off all the lights in the bedroom and quietly read and fall asleep as we are reading. I even prop the Kindle up on a stuffed animal, so I don’t even have to hold it up as I’m reading. Granted, in the morning, we have to go hunting for the kindles (and the stuffed bear, but it’s not bad.

Kindle in hand

Fair, good bye party

And the fair continues. Vince took the day off yesterday and went shopping with girls at Montgomery Mall (and bought some shirts) and then drove to the fair at about 4pm to work the evening shift. He’s still managing the operations well (at least from what I hear). A low drama year from a low drama kid. I’m scheduled to work this afternoon. And then Jeremy will work the last shift tomorrow, thus bringing our summertime fair adventure for over half a decade to a close. We’ll celebrate by taking Edda to the fair a little before Jeremy’s shift starts and eating: a corn dog, ice cream, grilled cheese and a turkey leg. And I will look at the chickens which are my favorite farm animal. So many different colors and so delicious! Both the eggs and the meat. We almost did not join this troop because of the fair commitment – each family has to put in 35 hours of adult hours which is a lot (how did we do it last year with my working at the hospital full time? I think Jeremy did them all…) – but it took only a year for Vince to fall in love with the fair. I will say that we are in much less love with the fair, but sometimes the love can be reflected from the person who loves it.

The fair at night.

I stopped by the hospital to say goodbye to Audrea on her last shift -one of the most senior members of the nursing staff. Eleven years, which in nursing is forever! Most people stay only a couple of years. She’s the one wearing the little hat and taking a call from our boss who is on vacation, but called in to wish her good luck as a new nurse practitioner.

Delicious potluck!
Harry – one of my favorite techs and Becca – she started the same time I did.

Fair, fair and more fair.

Jeremy bought a whole bushel of peaches and they are not ripening deliciously enough for him, but they are ripe enough for me. (Asians like their peaches in the fridge and not ripe. Childhood summer for me is a cold, crunchy peach.) So I’ve been eating five a day because no one else is eating them. I think I’m ever so slightly allergic to them because my tongue is swelling and itchy. Huh. That sounds worse than it is. Don’t worry! I’m not worried about my airway.

I spent most of the day at the fair and mid-afternoon I did feel a little bit woozy standing out there in the middle of the hot parking lot. That also sounds bad. I was worried about heat stroke for about 3 minutes at 3:30pm, but then I felt much better after immediately drinking a liter of ice cold water. My job involves a lot of standing waving a flag and also driving a golf cart around in circles.

Golf cart selfie.
Golf cart mirror selfie.

Here’s Vince holding a “meeting” where he is discussing parking status with Ed, I guess the head of fair logistics? I will have to ask Vince when he gets home. I hear the lot holds 1400 cars. Monster truck night tonight!