BTSN.

Back to school night! We had no Edda-care, so she came with us. Our beloved three-teacher team who have been together for 4 years. Edda’s here for 13th grade…

This is what Edda thought about it.

Summer is over.

Summer is over. Vince left for California early Tuesday morning. Bob and Katherine left late morning (taking Pip, with Elka looking forlornly out the door as they left). Tianpei left for Rutgers early Wed morning. And now we are just ourselves again.

Vince got to California (smoothly through the air travel and connections), all upset because of the stress of moving in. But it got straightened out in the end (after a bunch of phone calls which threw me for a loop and left me anxious and unable to sleep) and he’ll move in today. He’s having meals with his roommates parents and driving their cars(!). They (with the kind parent) had to pick up a moving van from a neighboring town and they didn’t want to leave the car at the moving truck place and it turns out no one else has their driver’s license except Vince and so it was he who drove an enormous Highlander across town back to Davis. He was like – omg! – I have never focused so hard on driving in my life. Full concentration – as is appropriate for driving someone else’s car for the first time.

To cap off the end of summer, I went stand up paddle-boarding at Black Hills regional park. I have a nurse friend who goes all the time and was trying to convince me to go. I didn’t really need convincing, it’s just that I don’t have a SUP. She managed to borrow one for me, and we had a great time on the lake. The weather was perfect. It was a little bit windy, which makes for a paddling workout, but I don’t shy away from the workout. My tender right shoulder, which has been giving me trouble (at times incredibly painful) for almost 2 years now, was quiet and held up to the paddling. Normally, I wouldn’t do this again and again, but my friend goes all the time and I would go with her. We spent the afternoon looking at SUP online – I’m afraid I’ll buy one and never use it. But this lake is 20 minutes from the house.

Jeremy went on a beautiful bike ride.

First day of school!

Jeremy went downtown last night to see his boss (who works in California) and is in town for a few days. There was a happy hour from 4-6 pm and it wasn’t a great time as Jeremy’s parents, Vince, Tianpei and Edda’s first day of school were all overlapping at that time. But Jeremy hasn’t seen his boss (who he likes very much) in three years and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. So he headed downtown in the late afternoon. It was exactly the same time that 1) I discovered that Edda’s aftercare doesn’t start until next week because the bus depot called and said – ummm, do you have a kid who goes to this aftercare? and I was like ummm, yeah…, and they were like, she’s back at the school because the aftercare is closed and 2) Vince wanted all the administrative help with filling out onboarding documentation for a job that he should have probably done 2.5 weeks ago and because of all this extra socializing, we are both under-slept and snippy. He’s like mom – what’s my SSN? And I’m like (a little uppity)- you should know your SSN. And then he sighs a big sigh and rolls his eyes and says – these forms make me want to die.

So I pick up Edda at 4pm (!) at school, in a sopping wet diaper because of the extra long bus ride (diaper/pants/wheelchair seat/shirt all wet). And then I came home and helped Vince find his SSN and get Edda into new clothes and wash the wheelchair seat and then Jeremy came home (I did not bother to text him any of this information because there was nothing to be done) and then we had Korean take-out and went to bed early-ish and woke up and everything is better. I took Vince to National at 6:30 am and he gave me a big hug and told me adulting is hard (the forms and various move-in things (like figuring out rent and how to get three people to pay with one check… are still not yet finished)) and that we’ll see each other soon.

On the drive home I thought, I’m a lucky bastard. So so lucky. I love my family and love that there are apartments and jobs to start, an aftercare to go to, a husband who will celebrate with me with leftover cake and family to make my house full. Even though it drives me crazy at the exact same time.

Weekend update.

A packed weekend! Now I need some time off, lol. I was semi-determined to do one family outing with Vince home and on Friday, we went to the African American museum downtown. This museum is free, but you needed a timed ticket entry which can be hard to get, so before Vince got home about a month ago, I reserved tickets for 12:30 pm. To make it as painless as possible, we had lunch at home, drove downtown, paid for parking at the nearest parking lot, walked only 3 blocks in the hot August sun and enjoyed the museum for just-enough-time, which means that we left without seeing everything, but wanting to see more. And then we got expensive ice cream and went home. Hahaha. I enjoyed the museum and I hope to see the rest of it later.

Here we are enjoying ice cream. Jeremy has been working hard on his Asian squat. This is a man who, a few years ago, could not touch his toes and now he’ll squat to eat ice cream like a proper old Chinese man. Now all he has to do is take off his clothes and wear only his undershirt and boxers and some cheap sandals and the transformation will be complete.

On Saturday, we had Eliana keep Edda company at home and we went out with Vince and his friends to play Pokemon Go. It was the finale of the 2022 Go Fest (don’t ask) and we bought tickets to the “event” and went to downtown Rockville where we bought the kids lunch and had way more fun than I thought we would. Pokemon Go is a game where you walk around to various landmarks and work together to catch Pokemon. So we walked around and caught Pokemon together. Some of these kids we’ve known since they were in 1st or 2nd grade and now they are grown up and we converted our names from Mr and Mrs Martin to Jeremy and Doris and we played together. It honestly was the first time it was neither kid-driven (like a scout camp out) or adult-driven (visiting a long-lost family member). We all wanted to be together to do this weird thing and had a lot of fun.

Town center was filled with people playing the event. I think if you didn’t know it was going on, you wouldn’t notice, but once you knew, you saw lots of people walking around and staring at their phones with portable chargers (which both Jeremy and I had, lol). We did this for three hours (!) until our Edda-care ran out. We had more stamina for this than the museum, for sure.

Jeremy and Gunvir trying to catch Pokemon.

Elka came along and thought it was the weirdest walk ever. We went in circles and paused for long periods of time for no reason she could tell.

Sunday morning, I was out early to do a trail run as marathon training continues. It is a struggle to do the summer long runs, I have done them on the treadmill which can be incredibly monotonous but gloriously climate controlled, I’ve done them starting too late in the morning and had to abandon the effort when it got too hot/sunny. This trail run was a lot of fun, 100% shaded the whole way so even at 10 am, I felt fine. Happy. I would not mind training in the summer under the tree canopy. But you’d have to let go of running for a particular pace, I’d just do it by effort. Though last night Jeremy suggested I start further north on the C&O to get good shade to do some long runs with a particular pace in mind.

Jeremy’s parents flew in from New Mexico on Saturday night and they went out Sunday for a short walk and to pick up peaches.

Sunday night dinner was enormous, lots of people in town – 18 people together.

This morning was the first day of school for Edda (we are a little under prepared for this), and our 24th wedding anniversary, which we celebrated after we put Edda on the bus. A piece of left over cake from Sunday night dinner that is very similar to our wedding cake and a wish for another 24 years!

Edda’s teachers texted us that Edda arrived at school deeply asleep. Oh well. We are all sleepy this morning!

Bears, utilities, guitar.

I love having Vince at home. He makes everything more fun. Of course, there are mothering things I’m working on – mostly to let him go and be his own person. But he makes it easy for me, he’s a low maintenance kid.

At dinner a few nights ago, Vince was talking about how he saw a bear at Woodley Gardens Park. I said – there are no bears in Rockville! (I was wrong about that.). I insisted that he mistook a black Honda Civic for a bear. And then we wondered if there were grizzly bears in Maryland. And then I said – all bears are brown. and then I paused and said – except for the black bears. And then Vince looked at me and said – mom! what about polar bears? And then Tienpei said – well, there are also panda bears. And then, embarrassed, I was like – is a panda bear really a bear? (Yes. it is.). OK. So in my defense, I was thinking there of all the hypothetical bears in Rockville – those are all brown (except for the black ones).

Then yesterday, Vince came upstairs and said – I got an email from our landlord, I need my share of first and last month’s rent. And I said cool, how much? and he figured that out. And then I asked – so are utilities included? And he said – yeah, I think so. And then he asked, the landlord wants us to call PG&E to set up an account. What’s that about? And then I laughed and said – OK utilities are not included.

Last night, it was just the four of us at dinner, which is kind of a rare occasion, so I asked if I could open my gift for my 1/2 century birthday. It’s a little early, but I wouldn’t be able to open it on my birthday, and I only wanted to open it with the just four of us hanging around. I thought for a long time about what I wanted, I feel like this is my first milestone birthday – all the other ones were not a big deal for me. For a long time, I thought I wanted jewelry and looked at Caleb’s jewelry website for a necklace or something (but it’s a little too extravagant and I have all the jewelry I want, really). And then I thought I wanted an electric bike (but that got weird because it’s something I think that Jeremy would enjoy getting for me more than I would enjoy using it myself). But then I decided I wanted an electric guitar and amp. I manage to get about 2-3 hours of practice on my free acoustic guitar or ukulele a week – I could tell that the free one would be hard to learn on, the action is high and the strings are hard on my fingers. And everyone was excited to get the guitar for me (that so cool, mom! – V.) and it’s appropriately middle-age-crisis-y enough. I have a blue guitar and an orange amp now. We all had fun playing together. I’m coming after you, Red Hot Chili Peppers. hahaha.

I kind of love my hair now. More black than grey, but for sure enough grey to be middle aged. I’d like it to stop now though. It’s grey enough. lol.

Shoe, teeth, accident (everyone is OK!)

The shoe destruction continues unabated. Though Elka hasn’t had a pee accident in the house for a few days now. She has transferred her mischievousness to chewing things.

The dogs play well together. Don’t let this photo fool you, there is no true viscousness in Elka. When they play battle, Elka will let Pip be alpha and roll Elka onto her back and nip at Elka’s neck and ears. And then Elka will flip over and pull back her lips and bare her teeth in mock ferociousness. They will miss each other when they part ways in about a week.

We had a nice weekend, but it started off scary – Vince went to Shenandoah with friends and they got into a car accident on the way there. Everyone is OK, no one got hurt (in either car) – but the car is totaled. You know, your heart kind of stops when you get that text from your kid… yikes. They were actually taking two cars, so after the car was dealt with (the parents of the driver went out there to eyeball everything/everyone and arrange for the car to be towed), they consolidated into one car and kept the camping trip going. Vince reported that the camping trip was a lot of fun (except for the car totalling part).

Hang time.

I got to hang out with Vince for a few hours yesterday ;). Sometimes, it’s hard to do that with his sleep schedule and his friend schedule. We had dinner together as a family and then we went to REI to buy him a new duffle bag to replace the LLBean one he flew home with that we bought in 2005 to move to Singapore and has been on many, many flights since then. He hadn’t really seen Pike and Rose before, so that was fun. A nice summer evening with all of us and it was packed. Restaurants were full and the atmosphere engaging. Jeremy, unbelievably, made us walk all around to play pokemon go and defeat gyms and find pokemon we don’t have. That was fun. We went to a cute Japanese snack store and bought some asian snacks including weird flavored KitKats. Then we came home and watched another 20 minutes of Everything, Everywhere All at Once.

Elka and the fair.

I took Elka to the vet yesterday to check for a UTI. Elka is still not 100% housebroken. She needs to be taken out every couple of hours, even though she’s capable of holding pee all night long. I looked into the archives of the blog and noted that I did the same for Maxi. haha. Maxi was a slow housebreaker too. So Elka (of course) has no UTI, but she has both an eye infection and an ear infection! So the vet had a few suggestions many of which we are doing and one that we are not – which is to teach Elka to ring a bell to ask to go out. I’ve never trained a dog to do this, but I ordered the bell and some spray cheese. We’ll see how it goes. While I was out with Elka, Pip missed me and brought my slipper to Jeremy in his office where he was working and when he took it from his mouth, Pip went to retrieve the other one. Awww… I think pip likes me.

Vince went to work at the fair yesterday for old times sake. A bunch of his good friends (his age) are working and the weather is so beautiful. I was happy that he decided to do this.

Anticipation, glasses, bolts.

I’m trying to work on enjoying anticipation more. I tend to not get excited about things that are going to happen in the future because I’m a pessimist and think exciting things are mostly going to fall through, so why get excited about them beforehand? But I think if I can decouple the anticipation from the outcome of the event, it might be worth working on. I think I can get a lot of joy from thinking about a future happy event and not be too disappointed if it doesn’t come about.

Elka continues her destructive streak. She ate Vince’s glasses last night. Glasses! I bought him two pairs in the spring and now both are gone. The first on he sat on – probably 4 weeks from when he got them. And now this one is eaten. We laughed and Jeremy said something about how lucky we are to be able to afford new glasses/shoes/remote controls that the puppy destroys and we don’t get particularly angry. I countered with a reply that said – oh, I didn’t think the lifetime of the glasses were going to be long anyways and I budgeted for that lifespan and spent only $40 on each pair and I intend to do the same again this fall. I’m just astonished that Elka finds glasses appealing to chew, they aren’t particularly chewy or stinky. But just now, Jeremy pulled some nail clippers and a bolt from her mouth. Perhaps this is a commentary on how I keep house. 😉

Samoyeds and Vince.

Well, it was just craziness yesterday. Eliana is minding Edda for most of the day, but was worried about being away from her three dogs for so long, so we encouraged her to bring all the samoyeds to the house. As soon as she brought the dogs in, Jeremy pulled into the driveway with Vince from the airport – so much sensory overload for everyone involved! There was pooping in the house, there was barking and wrestling in the house. It was crazy and fun! omg.

I look at this photo and can see the old crazy Chinese grandmother in me. My clothes are oversized and really only appropriate for being in the house, but somehow I wear them in public. My arms are akimbo and I’m slightly hunched surveying the scene. My glasses are not fashionable and I’m not only wearing something to hold my hair back, but I’m also inexplicably wearing a headlamp (note that it is daylight outside and well lit in the house) – wtf? I’m a crazy person.

And Vince is home and I’m happy he’s with us. My only request is that he try to have dinner with us most night. I immediately took him to the dentist and they said his wisdom teeth need to come out. But not this time, maybe next time. Then he slept the rest of the day because he didn’t sleep at all on the flight. I can’t believe it, I’ve been on flights (non-red-eye), where as soon as I slip into the seat, I fall asleep. I miss the takeoff, the snacks, the crying babies, the movies, the turbulence, and I only wake up when we are pulling up to the gate at the destination. He’s encouraging us to watch movie – his choice is Everything Everywhere All at Once – which we are doing, in our traditional manner, 20 minutes at a time! So us old people can have lights out at 10 pm. haha.