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APRIL 2008
(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The county inspectors came today to inspect the pool so far.  Well - bad news.  Apparently one of the inspections should have been done before the cement was poured, so now the inspector can't confirm that the rebar was put in properly.  Work has come to a dead stop until this gets resolved. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

We went out to eat tonight, and then all of us went to the gym for Patrick's private lesson afterward.  Scott had tried to cancel his lesson, but we weren't home so didn't get the message, so one of the other coaches did his lesson.  Scott pretty much focuses on the different equipment, but this coach focused on floor, and had Patrick doing three back handsprings in a row!  Click on the picture to watch.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The kids have been home all week for Spring Break, and we've done nothing exciting, so I took a day off and took them to Disney's Animal Kingdom.  We did a WHOLE lot of walking and waiting in line, but had a blast anyway.  :-)  The three big things there are the safari, Expedition Everest, and the Congo water ride.  As soon as we entered the park, we were told that Patrick had to take the wheels out of his Heelies.  However, we didn't have the tool with us to remove the wheels.  So Patrick walked around on his toes so he didn't roll, which was getting mighty uncomfortable.  We went back to guest services, and we were able to pry the wheels out with some scissors, and then we were able to really get going.  We waited in line for an HOUR to go on the safari ride, but it was really cool.  We saw tons of African animals, and a very cute playful elephant.  We had gotten Fast Pass tickets to Everest, which give you a specific time window to return and avoid the line.  Our window was fast closing and we hadn't eaten lunch, so we grabbed some churros and hustled to Everest.  WOW!  It's an AWESOME roller coaster!  It was more of a classic - no loopdy loops or topsy turveys.  Just a great coaster.  However, it does have one section where you go backwards in the dark, which sort of gave my stomach something to think about.  We liked it so much, we went straight back to the Fast Pass machine to get tickets to go again.  As I got our tickets, a man asked me if we could trade Fast Passes because his window was about to close and his family hadn't joined him yet from another ride.  Woohoo - here we go again!  However, the second time around, my stomach really didn't like it.  No worries - I kept it under control, but boy howdy, we definitely needed a break after that!  LOL

By this point, Alex was about at the end of his energy.  This was his first full-day activity, and a doozy at that, since he'd been sick.  Fortunately, there was a bird show right about then, so we relaxed and were entertained by awesome birds while we ate ice cream.  They had some of the larger birds fly over the crowd, and Patrick actually was brushed by an owl's wing on the way by.  It was very cool!

After that, we were ready for the water ride, and got cooled off and thoroughly soaked!  We hit the Rainforest Cafe for a late lunch/early dinner, and realized that we were pretty much done.  The boys picked out their souvenirs.  Alex got a baby Yedi, which is basically a snowball with a face on it.  Patrick got an awesome expedition hat.  It was a great day.  We drove straight to the River from Animal Kingdom, since the make-up of the fishing clinic is tomorrow morning.

Patrick's friend the owl Gettin' up close and personal with a hippo

I got rhythm! Patch and me making some noise

Looking for wildlife Posing in front of the Tree of Life

Alex rested with his baby Yedi in the car.  LOL

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The kids had a great time at the fishing clinic, and spent the rest of the day honing their craft.  :-)  I don't think anybody actually caught anything, but nobody caught each other, either.  It was a beautiful day, and Mark grilled hot dogs and then Mark and Patrick took the kayak and we met up at the ice cream parlor for dessert.  Alex was pretty wiped out and wanted to go home, so he and I were going to head out tonight, but on the way back from ice cream, Heather talked him into staying.  We played a huge game of poker after dinner and the kids went crazy on the Wii. 

Ryan with his new fishing pole and a manatee hat! The Fishing Finsters!

Mike and his Mimine It's Parker the Frog!

Gee - I wonder why Patrick picked out his hat at Animal Kingdom.  :-) Practicing casting - with no hooks, of course

Ashley, Heather and Patrick fishing off the pier My little fisherman

Ashley trying her luck Heather and Ryan - too sweet

Trying to win their millions

Monday, April 7, 2008

Alex was supposed to go back to school today, after nine weeks!  But wouldn't you know, he stayed home SICK today!  Arrrrrrrrrgh!  When we go to the River, Alex will often have some kind of reaction that makes his eyes puffy and painful.  Well, it hadn't cleared up last night, and he woke up with bloodshot, puffy eyes and a sore throat.  He was in tears, saying he didn't want to go back for his first day of school with his eyes like this.  Well, what's another day, after nine weeks? 

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

BOTH THE BOYS ARE IN SCHOOL!!!!!!  I'm doing the H a P p Y   D a N c E ! ! !

Alex woke up this morning rearing to go and actually left for the bus ten minutes early to see his friends.  Now maybe we can start to fall into a new "normal" life.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mark called me at work at about 10:30 this morning and said the school just called and said Alex isn't supposed to be at school and we had to come pick him up.  WHAT?!  Mark went to the school and managed to get it all worked out, but poor Alex didn't know which way to jump.  It turns out that the Home/Hospital Bound program is actually a "school", so when we enrolled him in that program, we actually withdrew him from his real school.  Mark was able to re-enroll him right there so Alex is back in class.  WHAT NEXT?!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Patrick's class has been studying the Middle Ages, and today they had a field trip to Medieval Times.  I was supposed to have chaperoned, but I've already used up more than half of my personal days at work, so Mark went instead.  Of course, they had a blast and Patrick was in heaven, with all of the swords and shields and horses!  Mark took some pictures on his phone and emailed them to me at work throughout the day, which made my day! 

Goofy kid!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Alex had an AWESOME football game.  He's gotten his stamina back and it shows!

Getting a knuckle bump from the receiver of his touchdown pass Now THAT'S a happy kid!

Patch and Mark on the coachs' side

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Well, we made it seven whole school days with both kids in school. Patch woke up this morning with a sore throat, and by the time he'd finished breakfast he was miserable. Mark had meetings today and Mom is down visiting Aunt Lois, so Patch was on his own. I was already planning to leave work early for a doctor's appointment so I left a couple of hours earlier so he would only have to be alone for the morning. Wouldn't ya know, Mark got home an hour after I did. Ah well, I was able to get some stuff done at the house anyway.

By the way, the work on the pool is still at a dead standstill while the powers that be fight over who should do what to fix the problem. Grrrrrrr.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Alex's turn - he stayed home today with the sore throat.  Eight days in a row in school - that's probably a record for him this year! 

Founders Day, the huge annual event at the school, was tonight, so Patrick and I went while Mark stayed home with Alex.  It was SOOOO strange to be there just as a regular parent, and not on the committee.  It was actually kinda nice!  Patch and I had such a nice time exploring all of the baskets and putting our tickets in for the silent auction drawing.  We hung out with Justin's family for the drawing - and won nothing.  This certainly isn't the first year we haven't won, but you would have thought it was the end of the world for Patrick.  He OBVIOUSLY is still not feeling well, because he turned into a royal, grumpy, angry pain. 

We've been telling Alex for three years now that he can join Pop Warner, the tackle football league, when he was in middle school.  Well, here we are.  Tomorrow morning at 8:00 is the registration for the fall season.  We've heard horror stories about how long the line is, and that there are very few new spots open (since once you're in, you're in), and the waiting list goes on forever, so Alex and I were planning to go at 6:00 tomorrow morning.  I was pretty nervous about trying to find the right place in the dark, so after we got the kids to bed, Mark drove out there (at the high school) to scope it out for me.  He called me at about 10:30 and said there is already a line, and asked me to bring him a sleeping bag so he can get in line.  Holy cow!  So I packed him up some stuff and took it out there.  Indeed, he was about 8th in line, and there were already more people after him.  Insane!!!  What an awesome Dad!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alex and I woke up this morning at 6:30 and went to relieve Mark at 7:00.  Alex was hilarious.  I only woke him up about 20 minutes before he usually wakes up on his own, but he kept making little comments like, "I feel like I'm at a sleepover where everybody stays up too late and wakes up too early."  As we walked to the car, he said, "I feel like we're going to the airport early for a trip."

When we got to the school, Mark wasted no time trading spaces with us and heading home.  By the time we got there, the line was almost to the end of the building.  As we were all chatting, one of the dads asked a coach how many spots were available on the team that Alex will be on.  The coach said SIX!  So even after Mark stayed the night, we still weren't sure Alex would be in!  It turned out that he most likely did make it, but we still don't know absolutely for sure.  We went through all of the sign-up stuff, met the coaches, paid a fortune, and bought a t-shirt, and throughout the entire process, Alex had a face-splitting grin from ear to ear!

This afternoon was Alex's last flag game of the season, which sort of seamed like an appropriate transition.  He got yet another trophy (all of the players get one every season) and then we spent a nice quiet afternoon trying to recuperate!

That's a lot of people with an hour yet to go.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's a good thing we're between football seasons, because Alex hurt his arm yesterday playing football in the front yard.  He's milking it for everything it's worth, wearing an ace bandage to school and whining whenever he gets the chance.  I'll bet if he had a football game to go to, it would miraculously get better!

My monkey Sure - his arm is killing him, but he can still ride his scooter!

Friday, April 25, 2008

It paid off!  We found out today that Alex is on the Pop Warner football team!  Woohoo!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Alex has a big science project to do, and he chose the Mentos in Coke trick, but with a scientific twist.   He is taking five different kinds of sodas to see which one shoots fizz out of the bottle the highest.  Since the Mentos react with CO2, then whichever soda shoots the highest has the most CO2.  We set up a "lab" in the front yard and had a blast doing the actual experimenting.

Patrick had a birds eye view Dad was Alex's trusty lab assistant

Dropping in the Mentos . . . . . . and watch it fizz!

Recording his results They were having a little too much fun!

And the winner is  .. . . Diet Coke! Mentos and soda - Yumm!

As long as I was in the yard with a camera, I got some shots of our four-legged children.

Boo was just enjoying the shade Grendel checking on Boudreaux

Monday, April 28, 2008

After many, many phone calls, emails, incorrect "fixes" and MUCH frustration, Mark finally got the correct documentation to satisfy the county and the building inspector gave us the green light to move on with the pool.  WOOHOO!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mark is helping with another pool which is being built near his Mom's house, so he went over yesterday to help work on that pool, of course, with the expectation that our pool will be worked on this week as well.  He'll be there a couple of days, and is getting a nice visit with his mom as a bonus.  :-)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mom is helping me juggle kids and work.  She called me at work after school to tell me that Alex is complaining that his arm still hurts.  Well, his arm looks perfectly fine, and I told her that it's nothing new and I think he's fine.  However, she said he was practically in tears, and that perhaps I should have it looked at.  Well, fine - in my spare time, right?  I made an appointment for tomorrow morning.  My boss is going on a 3-day business trip tomorrow, so I didn't think he would care two hoots that I'll be leaving in the morning.  Well, good thing I mentioned it to him anyway, because he's leaving mid-morning, and will indeed be in the office, in full-blown I-gotta-get-everything-done-before-I-leave-town mode.  Fortunately, I could move the appointment to a bit later, and if Mom gets him from school and meets me at the doctor, I just might be able to cover being a secretary and a mommy.  Argh!

Mark is due home tomorrow, with people in tow to help with the pool - and my house is filthy!  Thanks to Mom, we were able to get the house picked up and semi presentable.  Alex made himself a grilled cheese, and Patrick wanted to make one for himself, too.  Mom very patiently showed him how to do it (thank God, because by that point, I was completely OUT of patience).  He cooked one side of his sandwich a little too much, and when I asked him about it, he said, "But I burnt it all by myself!"  Mom is staying the night tonight, so I can get off to work on time.  I truly don't know what I'd do without her!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I barely got out of the office in time to meet Mom and Alex at the pediatrician's office, but I did make it.  I was truly thinking this was going to be a 5-minute visit where she says he'll be fine and just take it easy.  WELL!  You can imagine my surprise when she sent us to the orthopaedist!  And I'm sure you can imagine my SHOCK when his arm turned out to be BROKEN!  And imagine my HORROR when he said it's a fraction away from his growth plate at his elbow.  He got a hand-to-armpit cast in - can you guess - Colts blue.  :-)  Fortunately, since it's already had more than a week (!) to heal, and it's not a through-and-through fracture, he'll only need to be in the cast for two weeks, and then a splint after that.

By this time, it's 3:00 and I thought I'd be back in the office well before lunch.  The orthopaedist's office is a half a block from the office, so I just brought Alex to the office with me so I could wrap things up.  Turns out Derrick's appointment today canceled and he was in the office, so he and Alex finally got to meet - and he could see the "hard" evidence (nyuk nyuk) of Alex's broken arm, which hopefully softened the blow of me not returning to the office for half the day.

We got home just in time for me to drop Alex off and pick Patrick up so he could have a trial gymnastics class at a gym across town that is well known for it's great boys program.  In the car, Patrick asked if Alex had a sling for his arm.  I said yes, but he doesn't want to wear it.  Patrick proved my point when he lifted something up from the back seat and said, "This sling?"  Alex didn't even make it 2 hours in the sling!

Anyway, back to the gym.  Patrick is at a point in gymnastics where he's sort of outgrown his gym.  It's a small gym and they don't have any boys equipment, so most of his training has focused on the floor and bars.  He's also only one of two boys there.  I thought that maybe if he saw a big gym with male gymnasts and equipment, he'd want to make that change.  The class he tried today really pointed out a problem with his training.  While he's well advanced on the floor (and blew away the other kids in the class), he's never touched a pommel horse and the other equipment.  (All the more reason to get him into a boys program, in my opinion.)  He was frustrated, though, and on the way home told me he really just wants to keep things the way they are.  Well, geeze, he's just 9 years old.  I guess we can do that.  :-)