Jessica

well now…

I hadn’t planned on working from home today, but that’s how things ended up today. I had a routine annual checkup scheduled this morning, and it ended up getting pushed back about an hour – it had been a busy night for my midwife practice. After that, the idea of about 45 minutes on the Metro just didn’t sound appealing (not to mention having to take it back to the end of the line then drive half an hour home). So it was back to the home office to work sans children for the day (which was nice and productive).

That meant of course, that I could pick Bridget up from the bus stop in the afternoon. Her bus is routinely on the late side (seemingly only when I pick her up) but today it was really late. So there we were, me and a grandmother and baby brother of another kindergartener on the bus. While we were waiting this dude comes ambling down the street past us, then back to us. Then he says something nonsensical and slightly offensive regarding the baby. And I tell him to go on his way. He keeps talking to me. Telling me I look like a man (which is possibly accurate), and I tell him again he needs to go on his way. And then he throws a few explitives asks me my name and comes towards me – I had to push him away and tell him to leave once again (pretty firmly). The grandmother has the baby in her arms and has put a little distance between us (as I would have). It’s clear that he’s pretty drunk. Finally he leaves and crosses the street. Only to yell more explitives at another bus (not the kiddo’s) and then goes up on the side deck of another house (where I know he doesn’t live). So for only the second time in my life, I called the police. Then texted Brendan to get himself to the bus stop, too. And the bus came right after and we all went home.

I was pretty calm until we got inside. I found myself thinking that maybe I should have been nicer to the guy. Which is a little unbelievable. Clearly being firm and the call to the police was the way to go.  

By the time they came to talk to me, quite a bit of time had passed so I doubt they will actually talk to the guy – whoever he is. I’m fairly certain I’ve never seen him before in my life, but you’d better believe I will avoid him should I ever see him again.

Of course having the police come and knock on the door was just about the most exciting thing that has ever happened for the kids. Johnny kept asking when they were coming back (I’m hoping never).

beachy

joomplu:38912

 

Last weekend we took a little 3 day trip to the Outer Banks. It was super-nice weather the first day so we dug in the sand and collected shells on the beach in the morning, took a little walk in the dunes at Jockey’s Ridge after that and played on the playground. Because the next day was full of rain. So we took a ride to the aquarium and around the island a little bit. And yes, we all went a little bit insane. Even a trip to the junk store for coloring books and souvenirs and another trip for frozen yogurt didn’t totally solve the problem. Still, we survived and it was all-in-all a pretty good trip. 

babies!

A big fat congratulations to my brother and his lovely wife on the arrival of their son this morning! 

He was a bit on the early side, but everyone is doing well. Can’t wait to meet the little guy.

class

class

I spent Thursday and Friday of last week in a class learning all about some regression methods using STATA. It’s funny how fast old behaviors and tendencies from my school going days came back. For example, I was annoyed at the people who asked questions about simple algebra; I did a lot of nodding; and some doodling in my notes.

After I got settled in, I did find that I enjoyed being back in the classroom. Class was a bit long: 8:30 – 4:30 and my brain tended to shut off at about 2:00 or so. But I hated taking Metro instead of the commuter bus. I did not like coming home as late as I did. (And I am sure that Brendan was not fond of me coming home as late as I did!)

I think I will stick to short bursts of official formal learning and teaching myself. I’m just glad I can still hack it in a Statistics course. 

updated

jpkspell

It may have gone un-noticed, but Brendan updated our entire site to the newest, shiniest version of Joomla. Personally, my favorite part was when he stayed up late working on a small database thing and not quite figuring it out and when we woke up in the morning, I took care of it in about 15 minutes. It was however, but one small piece of the update. I don’t want to minimize it, he worked hard and it looks great and should be easier to use (though it will take a bit of getting used to on my part). 

Yay Brendan!

In other news, Johnny has been spelling his name verbally for a while now but lately he’s taken to rummaging through his magnetic letters and pulling out the ones he wants. He had been getting the letters right, but not in the right order, until this week. When he did the above the other day, he came running up to Brendan and I in the other room and exclaimed “I spelled my name all by myself!” We were all very proud. 

checking in

I’m just taking a moment to reflect on how my resolutions for this year are going.

First up: less screen time. This one is the hardest. It’s not going as well as I had hoped, but I am not watching Top Chef  or Project Runway Allstars so that’s improvement – nothing new picked up. I do find that I am reading more (number 1b) and being more crazy with the kids (1a) so there is less screen-looking, but I don’t feel like it’s quite enough.

Next: make more. I’ve got some works in-progress. Some other ideas working in the back of my head, and have gotten some really great emails recently. January has been pretty good in this regard. Perhaps I’ll get myself to another Needlework group at the library or to the embroidery shop for a stitch night this month. Here’s hoping

As for eating right and exercising, I haven’t gained any significant weight so it’s going just fine. Though exercising isn’t exactly happening…

I have not been brave with my correspondence. Nor have I cut the snark completely. But it’s only 24 days in to the year. Can’t have everything!

***

I’ve been spending some time in my own head. Thinking. My latest read is MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (http://mwfseekingbff.com/) and it’s got me considering the state of my current friendships and so forth. Perhaps more on that to come. We’ll see. I am not feeling particularly brave today. 

new equipment

For Christmas this year, Brendan got me a Diana F+ lens and adapter for my Nikon. It’s a little bit tricky, but I’m trying to get the hang of it. I apparently tend to over-expose, so it’ll take a bit more work. Still, it’s nice to have something soft and different than usual.

soaking it up

This weekend it was ridiculously warm – in the 60s – and knowing that it wasn’t likely to last (being that it’s January), so we hopped in the car and took the back roads to Harper’s Ferry.

 

We attempted to take some photos of the kids together, but that’s easier said than done. We didn’t get too much hiking in, we saw some trains, had lunch, climbed the hill up some steps to get a view of the river, walked down and over the bridge across to the Maryland side and attempted a little walk, but it just wasn’t working (with the kids) so we went back across, had ice cream, walked a bit more and headed back home. 

Before we came home, we stopped off at a “nanobrewery” called Corcoran Brewing Co. that was about a mile and a half off the main road. Just hanging out next to some residences is this little place. There was quite a little crowd — they are only open Saturdays — there was a fundraiser happening for the Dropkick Murphy’s charity. So there was lots of music and Irish dancing going on while we had our tastings. It was quite enjoyable.

(And a few days later, it snowed, of course)

 

resolutions

I am not normally one for formal resolutions at the start of the year, but if the Mayans are right and this is in fact our last year of existence, here goes nothing.

1. Less screen time. The internet isn’t going anywhere and I’m not going to miss anything that important. (Right?) And missing out on a show or two isn’t going to ruin me*. 

1a. More kid time. And hopefully less me agonizing over things getting completed the right way, and just letting them do a dang project. (Really, you have no idea how hard it is sometimes to just keep my hands off.)

1b. Read more books. I used to. I can again.

2. Make more. Ideas are great and all, but having them go nowhere isn’t accomplishing much of anything.  

3. Keep up with the eating right and sort of exercising. I haven’t really blogged about it at all, but I’ve lost over 30 pounds since this spring and have been dabbling in running. Winter running and I aren’t really getting along, but brisk dog walking should do for a while. 

4. Maintain correspondence with more than just two friends. I love emails (and real mail) and by golly, the best way to get either is to hand it out. 

5. Biting my tongue. Enough with the snark. 

And that’s where I’ll leave it. Let’s not go crazy here. 

 

 

_________________________

*Except Downton Abbey – I had to add that one. But promise to drop something else so it balances out.

new years eve = nostalgia

German pop songs

After we got the basement completed, we were able to rearrange furniture in such a way that our turntable now has a place in the living room. Among Brendan’s 45 collection is a set of 80s singles that includes Nena, Men Without Hats, DEVO and Weird Al. And then there are the Motown singles. It’s awesome. Our LP collection is a bit of a mish-mash including records I saved from my Dad’s purge several years ago, Beatles albums I purchased at thrift stores and other miscellany. Powering the turntable is my old stereo from college. Which also gives us a place to play actual CDs and TAPES! I think I have more nostalgia for tapes these days than I do for my records. 

My dad had this one tape titled – 90 Minutes of Good Music. It was a mix compiled of tracks he had taped from records including Jimmy Buffet, James Taylor, CCNY and others. At one point I had it in my possession but since it was one of his favorites, I had to give it back. I did though, in 1998, make a copy of what were my favorites of his favorites. And today, I found it! I don’t know if Dad still has his copy of the tape (probably not) and I don’t recall exactly what all was on it anyway. But at least part of it survives. 

There’s also a pile of CD mixes that have been just sitting on the shelf. Since our cars both have a hook in for the iPod, we rarely use them anymore. It’s like a little time warp, really. What songs was I obsessed with in 2002, 2003, 2004? 

april 2002 mix

I’m dorkily excited about all of it. Of course, there’s no way that we’ll be getting out the entire CD collection again (it has all been digitized afterall), but I like the idea of curating a little selection. 

Disclaimer.

Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

And just so everyone is clear, what we say here is not endorsed by either of our employers.