I’ve been taking the time to hang out with Jeremy during dinner-making hour(s). I can tell that I’m doing it because 1.) I’m less productive at work and 2.) I’m more productive at making things like onion, cheese and tomato pies (I’ve made two already this week). And mostly 3.) Jeremy is happier. We talk about whatever he wants to talk about. A lot of work stuff. A lot of bicycle stuff. Last night he sold his first used bicycle item on a Facebook used bike stuff group. So we talked about venmo vs paypal and what price he should sell it at. It was a $100 bike saddle that he sold to someone from DC for $50 – I think he could have gotten more, but I was the one who suggested the $50 price point. I hate people who think they should get $90 on a used thing when they paid $100.

While I was making my onion, cheese and tomato pie, I got a call from the minute clinic reminding Vince of his 6:30pm TB read time. I rushed upstairs at 6:20 to wake him up (!!?!) for him to go. I got all irritated that I needed to remember this stuff for him – but Jeremy asked if I had promised that I would do it and I did promise that I would do it, but kind of in my head, I promised as backup against – you know, such things like an alarm clock. I should have set an alarm for myself to remind him, but I did not. I let go of my irritation pretty quickly. Anyways, he did get his TB site read – negative! But later I asked if he submitted the paperwork to the health dept at Davis and he said – oh no! I forgot! And we go on. I haven’t been paying attention to any of Vince’s registration or paperwork deadlines at college. It’s up to him, I think he had to go all the way to the general registration window to sign up for all his classes. I think there were 3-4 windows of increasingly broad student population access. So he read up on some of his professors. The reviews track very closely to the grades the students got in the class so Vince can’t quite tell how he will feel. He just knows that the calc teacher does not curve the tests. Yikes.

This week I feel like no way will Vince be in California in late September. He has friends who are moving in five days to college, packing up. We’ll see.

Dump, tomato pie, TB test.

Edda went with us this weekend to Goodwill and the dump. You see our old toilet back there? I got to throw it into a big dumpster where it smashed into a million pieces. An inglorious end to a decade of service in our house. The house is lighter and just 1/2 a minivan less stuff. We still have too much stuff in the house. Jeremy spent the weekend decompressing and not touching his work. He’s still managing some back pain which originated with lifting a toilet and Edda (not at the same time) and was probably aggravated with poor sleep and stress from his job. So Jeremy cleaned the kitchen, replaced light bulbs, organized the garage. I tried to pay attention to him. But I did work at home a lot this weekend.

My mom dropped off a lot of her summer tomatoes. I made them into a tomato pie last night. It was ok, but I think it will be more delicious when reheated.

Vince is starting to register for classes. He accidentally missed his first window for registration (which I guess means now that all the classes at good times and/or popular professors were taken and then he groaned and thought it meant that he had to take 8 am classes). Being eligible for registration meant that he had to update his immunization records and which also meant that he had to get a TB test. Which meant that he stood in front of me all frustrated asking me how to get all these records and how to make an appt for a TB test. So I walked him through everything. Told him how to make an appt at the minute clinic for the TB test. How to use an insurance card. How to make sure he was available for a reading in two days to see about the test. How to make sure he got the right paperwork. He groaned and said – this is hard! All this paperwork. And I laughed. Dude, this is stuff they don’t teach you in school.

Teeth, eagle, college.

We had an appointment at UMD dental clinic on Friday morning. The appointment was at 7:30 am, so we were out of the house by 6 am. I was prepared to go to the downtown Baltimore clinic, but Jeremy said that the office was in the suburbs of Baltimore and not downtown. Anyways, it turned out that we saw a very nice pediatric dentist who said that 1) Edda has beautiful teeth and 2) that she did think the jaw was broken and referred us to an oral surgeon who takes care of all the special needs kids from the clinic. This oral surgeon is not in the same clinic as the UMD dental clinic. Edda actually did great at the appointment – not too much squirming. One the way home, Jeremy thought that maybe we should cancel the early August appointment at the Children’s clinic because we would receive no more information on Edda’s teeth. I countered that we should keep the Children’s appointment because even though we would receive no extra information, I just wanted that referral in the Children’s network in case the UMD oral surgeon thing didn’t work out. I already called out of the hospital shift I was suppose to work during the Children’s appointment and that appointment took approx 3-4 hours on the phone to get. I do not want to waste that opportunity.

Also, on the way home, Jeremy commented that the 1.5 hour conversation we had back/forth from the Baltimore dentist was the longest conversation we’ve had in a long time. It was a nice conversation – mostly about Jeremy’s work. Jeremy can’t talk about his work before bed (which is my most natural long talking time with him) because he’ll just be unable to sleep. The other time I tend to want to talk to him is right when we get up – but I’m much more of a hop out of bed to full speed right away person than he is. Jeremy need a couple of hours to settle into the day. He really wants to chat while making dinner from 5-6 pm. But I feel like I need to keep working during that time. Anyways, I’m working a bit too much to take care of Jeremy’s talking needs. I’m going to reduce my hours at the hospital even more in a few weeks. So I’ve gone from working 2 jobs at the beginning of the pandemic, to 1.79 jobs, to now 1.6 jobs, and then I’ll soon be at 1.3 jobs. Then I think I can stick in the hour of conversation about Jeremy’s work at dinner time. I can forget, I get a lot of conversation at the hospital and generally have no extra need for it at home and I don’t work through problems by talking, but Jeremy literally hasn’t been out of the house except for grocery shopping since the shutdown and his work can be a touchy thing to talk about with other people who don’t know the whole lowdown. And he for sure works things out in his head by talking to another person.

Vince became an Eagle Scout last night. We’ll technically, he has to be approved by national now before he is an Eagle, but the last commitment that he had to do is done. We were very lucky to have a ceremony with one of his best friends, Sam. It was so nice to see his family and chat with them.

The ceremony was indoors which I was slightly not very happy with, but the boys got it done. Vince was nervous about it – there is a Board of Review with scout leaders that he doesn’t know, and it can be a formal thing – kind of like a nice dissertation presentation. Everything is suppose to be done by one’s 18th birthday – but even before the pandemic, you got a 3 month grace period to hand in the paperwork and have the board of review. And then after the pandemic, you got another 3 months. So Sam’s fake “18th” birthday was going to be on Sunday, so this board needed to happen now and thankfully, Vince tagged along. I think technically, he had a few months more than Sam, but I hated dragging things ooouuuuttt so long since now all the logistics are extra complicated due to COVID.

Not only did we have to call in like 3 extra troop leaders from other troops, but we had to have character witnesses, so Nat and Dara came to join us.

I got to talk to Kate for a bit about Sam and his college stuff. I’m not sure if this is true because we don’t talk that much, but I feel like Kate and I are kind of on the same wavelength about things. Sam is going to ASU in about 4 weeks which is having a mix of online and in person classes. They are making it so that if you want to do it all online, you can, but the premise is that in person classes are available. And Kate suspects that if the prof doesn’t want to be in-person, then it goes to completely online. She’s still sending him – saying that it would tak a lot to convince him not to go, though she mentioned that he’s only heard from 1 out of 3 suitemates and all the Facebook moms are saying no way, no how are they sending their kids. I somehow can’t find the Davis mom Facebook group so I don’t have any feeling about what the parents are thinking – though I suspect it’s much the same as the ASU mom group. Vince’s deal seems to be that 100% of his classes are going to be online, but he still preferentially wants to move to Davis. I’m pretty sure Davis will be happy to take our housing/dining money – though maybe the only students on campus will be the people who are homeless or have no internet at home or have visa problems. On the one hand, I get it. He wants to move out and do his own thing. On the other hand, I’m worried that the online classes will get hard and then there won’t be people around and that he’ll be lonely and struggling. I told him – you know, you’ll go there and there won’t be classes, there won’t be any college sanctioned gatherings, no clubs, no sports – no nothing. Absolutely nothing to join – it will take a lot of initiative to figure out someone to hang out with. It’ll basically be your own apartment and online classes you are suppose to go to in a college town that will be mostly empty. He said that he knew that and that I shouldn’t worry – he’d figure something out. Anyways, that’s how it’s looks today. As far as his antibody testing – it’s in computer/internet hell. When I log into look for the results, LabCorp tells me that he’s not authenticated and that we need to send in copies of his IDs and wait three business days. Well three business days are gone, the account is still locked out and now I think some weird internet thief has a copy of his ID. Anyways, we know nothing. Jeremy says it might be bad if he stays here and does the online thing. He means bad for me. Mostly because I won’t be able to help myself meddling in first year ChemE classes and it will drive me crazy because Vince is fine with school – he just doesn’t do it the way I do it, which, of course, is the only right way. He does it the crazy way. And if he stays home, I have to look at stuff like a shaving cream mohawk when really, this is much better for a peer audience.

Mustache, maggots, finally an appointment.

I was 100% enthusiastic about the quarantine beard until about a week ago when I decided it was like (as the song says) kissing Santa Claus. We momentarily contemplated dying the beard blue for a day before having him shave it off, but we didn’t do it because 1) we are lazy. 2) maybe his skin would turn blue and that would be awkward on Zoom calls to have a blue chin. He paused mid-shear to take a quick photo with just the ‘stache. He tweaked his back last weekend helping me lift the toilet into place when I was replacing it and then further tweaked it yesterday lifting Edda from an awkward position off the floor. He’s been in pain most of the day. No fun.

In an act of true love, I cleaned out our garbage can which was infested with maggots. This involved taking all the garbage bags out of the can, rebagging all the bags, spraying down the can whilst maggots swarmed all around, placing all the garbage back into the can, waiting for the garbage collectors to come take the garbage and recleaning the now empty trash can (with still some maggot-y maggots hanging out). This kind of thing (which disgusts Jeremy) does not bother me. Jeremy took on the making of the complex doctor appointments for Edda. Our pediatric dentist was having a hard time finding a good referral, so we got a lead to the Children’s dental department. Our ortho, who we love and did Edda’s scoliosis surgery, said that he’d be happy to consult in. On Monday, Jeremy called the appointment line and couldn’t even get in the queue to make the appointment, he called 6-7 times and the appointment line would hang up on him. Tuesday, he called and the recorded message said they only take appointments on MWF from 8:30 to 3:30. On Wed he called and waited on hold for 90 minutes and they said all the appointments for July were full, but they would start taking appointments for August starting on Friday. On Friday he called right at 8:30 and got an appointment for August 5th. Then our peds dentist also came through and got us a referral to the University of MD, so we also made an appointment there. I’d take maggot cleaning over 90 minute hold time any day.

Birthday, ziti, bike trainer.

We celebrated Kitachi’s birthday yesterday with baked ziti and Georgetown cupcakes. Thank goodness for Kitachi who is Edda’s buddy! Kitachi, who never requests specific dinners (even though we always ask), does like pasta, so I asked Jeremy to make some pasta for her. He said there was no way he could make lasagna, so I proposed baked ziti. We all loved the baked ziti (which does taste exactly like lasagne) and then after dinner, Jeremy said that he was completely converted over to baked ziti because it was so much easier to assemble than lasagna. As for the cupcakes, I ordered them yesterday (only in chocolate flavors – K’s favorite) even though I know Edda (who also loves chocolate) makes a complete mess of herself eating chocolate. No vanilla for Edda because we are just that crazy around here. I convinced Vince to go to Bethesda to pick them up. He went there and was confused and thought they were closed, but really, they had just turned off their front lights and were working in the back only fulfilling pre-orders for pickup and delivery. He semi-complained that it took him an hour to get the cupcakes and I said that it was a nice thing to do for K and really, what else is there to do?

Jeremy upgraded his indoor bike trainer this week to some fancy thing I have no idea about, but I stand there and look at it and nod and say wow! super impressive! He had put over 5,000 (10,000? who can keep track?) miles on the old trainer which gallantly done its duty. He gave me his old trainer and now I have the world’s most slapped together peloton bike set up. I have a hand-me-down trainer with a whole US-road-trip’s worth of miles on it. I have my bike which our neighbor gave us after it failed to sell at their garage sale after it had sat out in the rain for months and I have an old phone that Jeremy repurposed to control the trainer. I have a 30 day free trial for the peloton app and now I’m good to go.

Antibody testing, updates.

Regarding antibody tests, here’s my worthless opinion – 1) assume that antibody testing is not very accurate and 2) no one has any idea how long antibodies last or how much protection they can give you. If you go in with that mentality, I think the test can give you some information. If you are negative, you are almost surely negative. If you are positive – you should think – OK, this result is 50/50 accurate and even if it is right, then you think – huh, this might go away at any time. Basically, it gives you the most information if you are negative. If it’s positive, I’d retest in 6 weeks and keep wearing the mask (of course, you should always wear a mask no matter what), but I’d feel a bit better that maybe I have some extra protection for a little while. Now, if you tested positive for an active COVID infection and then three weeks later, tested positive for antibodies, that is a pretty sure positive antibody situation. But then you should keep restesting for antibodies to see if they fade away. HAHAHAHA. Crappy testing crappy testing. We have no idea.

Jeremy: got a grant that he’s been waiting for since Feb. We celebrated by ordering food which turned out to be not very good.

Doris: ?

Vince: met with his college advisor yesterday, picked out some classes – English, Chem, Math and some intro to ChemE class (1 unit) and freshman seminar (1). California closed down again yesterday and Jeremy told me that Yolo county’s (where Vince’s school is located) ICU beds are completely full. Hmmm.

Edda: Started summer school yesterday. And we are making some progress on her teeth.

Maxi: Inadvertently ate a dollop of wasabi from our takeout dinner and then promptly puked all over the carpet.

Weepy, antibody, chicken.

Vincie is weepy this week. Feeling bad and in a funk. I try to gently offer grown-up suggestions that I know he will ignore and that I would have ignored from my own parents. Such suggestions like getting back on a regular 24 hour sleep-wake cycle. Going outside for a walk everyday even if you don’t feel like it. Figure out something to work on or a goal to focus on. He kind of looks at me like I’m crazy. We all cycle in/out of moods in the house…

We are still struggling with finding the right person to look at Edda’s teeth. We have many leads, but no one wants to have a look and actually help us. One person doesn’t do emergent issues, first appointment is in late Sept. Other people don’t have hospital privileges. Other people don’t have a multidisciplinary team to help us (dental / oral / endo / ortho / maxillofacial / hospital) . I had to give Jeremy some of the follow up tasks, because I just couldn’t bring myself to check them off my list because I felt so bad. Jeremy did the calling and the emailing and I entered the weekend feeling less terrible than I did during the week and feeling like we did what we could to move forward for Edda during the week. Our pediatric dentist (bless her heart) is also working her leads trying to find the right place for us. But medical stuff is slow these days. Edda, for her part, is still eating mostly well. And in good-ish spirits. She’s still having seizures (2x this week upon waking) at we are at 75% of full-dose of the Keppra. I have a sinking feeling that we are not going to get good control of this. Maybe the seizures are milder than they would have been? Hard to say. I can see her personality dulling, but I knew that was the tradeoff. But she still laughs many times during the day.

Jeremy’s work is stressful in ways that are both obvious to anyone that has been paying any attention to workplace turmoil and also un-speak-about-able. I got free antibody testing at my work on Friday. Results were available in 3 hours! I was impressed about the turn around, I guess they are doing it in house – I wasn’t expecting that they would have that capacity. I’m negative for antibodies – which is a bummer I guess since it would have been nice to have had it and still be alive. My friend was like – I guess that PPE stuff works! I calculated I’ve taken care of about 50 COVID patients, many who were coughing. So I guess that’s good. Next up for antibody testing is Vincent who was actually sick the entire week of March 9th. He’s getting tested next Wed. UCDavis sent out an email saying they would have singles and doubles in the dorms. I want to know before we decide on the dorms – though I think we’ll put him down for a single no matter what. He’s so far from home, I want him to be able to quarantine on his own if he needs to at a moment’s notice.

My parents sent over dinner on Thursday night – including a chicken treat for Maxi.

CITR, teeth, parties.

Vince is on a reading kick. I’m kind of impressed? Vince doesn’t really read. When books were assigned in high school, he listened to the audiobook (which is still way better than Cliff Notes and/or the movie version). I think Vince has a slight undiagnosed case of dyslexia (same as his dad), so reading is a little harder for him and so he avoids it. But now he’s gone through 1984, Catcher In the Rye, Lord of the Flies, I think he’s going to read the Hobbit next. He’s capable of finishing books that he doesn’t like (CITR) which I think is a very grown up thing to do. Being a grown up is just a series of doing things you mostly don’t feel like doing at the moment you are doing it, but are pleased that it’s done in the end. I told him he needed to add some POC authors in there and that there was no way he should leave them out now and suggested some…and maybe some women too?! At least add Jane Eyre or Emma or Pride and Prejudice! He groaned.

Edda’s teeth injury appears to be more complicated than we originally thought. Maybe she broke her jaw at the point where her teeth meet her jaw and therefore, she didn’t pull out her teeth, she broke her face. We are working through finding the right team to get this fixed. She seems in good spirits – still eating well and pooping well. Generally happy, but more woozy being on seizure meds. This is us at the endodontist on Monday. Now we have to involve ortho or someone at a hospital.

I took the news of her teeth badly. It’s not fun to have the word “trauma” refer to your daughter’s face. We went back home and I sat at my desk and got that heavy, sad feeling that the world is conspiring against me (and Edda). I could not concentrate, so Jeremy took me out on a date to Whole Foods. I want to say that this was our standard date pre-pandemic anyways. We haven’t gone on a grocery shopping date in a long time. I don’t think I’ve been to Whole Foods since the pandemic started. Jeremy likes it better when I go because they won’t bag if you bring your own bags and, honestly, we were overflowing with paper bags, that we just had to go back to reusable bags and it’s easier to unload the grocery cart and then simultaneously bag with two people.

My nursing unit! There was a party to celebrate someone retiring after something like 27 years. Jeremy asked, you guys are having parties? Isn’t that not allowed now? I sighed. (I didn’t go to the party).