Mom came over this afternoon and took the boys to
Target to buy school supplies for the children in Iraq. I was proud of
them for understanding the need, although it didn't keep them from spending
some of their allowance on themselves while they were at it. LOL
June 2, 2005
I've been dealing with fluid in my ears on and off
for a couple of months now, and for the past month it has been getting worse
and worse. It's been driving me nuts, and keeping me from feeling a part
of things going on around me. My doctor has given me antibiotics and
steroids, with no improvement, so today I went to the ENT. The first
step was a hearing test, which showed mild hearing loss in my left ear and
moderate hearing loss in the right. Well, no wonder I haven't felt a
part of things. The doctor said the moderate hearing loss justified
putting a tube in my ear. After dealing with this for so long, I was
eager to have it done, and God love him, he did it right then. I have to
admit, it wasn't fun, but five minutes later, I could hear! It's
fabulous! When I left and started up my car, the book on tape I was
listening to came blaring from the speakers. I guess I had the volume up
a bit! I had the most wonderful evening just chatting with my boys -
something I don't feel like I've done in awhile. Life is good.
June 4, 2005
Alex came down with a fever and sore throat yesterday
and is just miserable. We're supposed to be leaving tomorrow for Georgia
for a week with Mark's family, but it looks like we might have to postpone it a
day or two. I've had several closings the last couple of days, so actually
I wouldn't mind an extra day to get everything in order before we go.
June 5, 2005
I almost can't believe it, but Alex woke up this
morning feeling just fine. He felt so awful when he went to bed last night
I was convinced he was in for another rough day. So now everybody is
excited to leave today. Ack!! So much to do! I had
laundry to do, packing, last-minute shopping, and cleaning, since we have lots
of wonderful people coming over to take care of all of the critters while we're
gone. We managed to get on the road at about 4:00. Between the DVD
player and the Game Boys, the boys were fine on the road, although Patrick came
across a bungee cord that kept him occupied for a half an hour. We made it
to Sea Island in good time to a warm welcome by Joe and Mary Ellen, KC and Stacy
with Preston and Danielle, and Jay and Stacey with Cameron, Chase and Kate.
After a nice visit, we all collapsed into bed!
June 6, 2005
This place is amazing! We've rented two
gorgeous, and huge, houses a few houses down the street from each other.
Both houses have pools, and at the end of the street is the beach. With
the house comes the use of the beach club, with it's two pools with life guards
and diving board, more beach access, shuffleboard, a spa, meals served to you
right at the pool, and tons of other stuff we probably never got around to
Mark and the boys went to the beach with KC and Stacy
and their kids and had a blast boogie boarding. All of the kids decorated
visors with their names and played games. And we ended the day with ice
cream cones. Ahhhhhhh.
June 7, 2005
Mike and Mary Beth arrived today with their brood,
Heather, Ashley, Julia and Ryan. We had all eleven grandchildren together.
I think Alex was getting tired of having to play with the little kids, and was
very happy to have Heather, a fellow eight-year-old, to play with. Stacy
and I were slotted to make lasagna and baked ziti for dinner tonight.
I was late getting back from the store with the dinner supplies. Stacy had
taken a break, and I was completely frazzled and don't even know how to make
ziti. Mary Beth came to the rescue and took over in the kitchen, and
shortly after, we were having a feast. Another fabulous day!
June 8, 2005
John arrived today with his friend, Martha, and the
clan is all together! The kids did arts and crafts, played with bubbles,
and there was dancing in the kitchen. After dinner, we sang and had cake
for all of the June birthdays. I'm not going to list them all, for fear
that I'll forget someone! Ryan celebrated his first birthday, so was the
center of attention, of course. His big sister, Heather, sat next to him
and when we all sang Happy Birthday, he got overwhelmed and wanted Heather to
hold him. It was so sweet. He got over it when he had his very own
June 9, 2005
The big boys went off to play golf and a bunch of us
girls took the kids to the big pools at the beach club. Alex headed
straight for the diving board, which he had discovered a few days ago. He
was doing all kinds of wild antics, when Patch came up and said he'd like to try
jumping off. He did great, although he looked a little surprised at how
far down he went into the water. You can imagine my shock when, on only
his fourth trip to the diving board, he did a flip! I guess he saw Alex
doing them and decided he could too. Thank God he was right!
This afternoon we all got cleaned up for the wedding
rehearsal and dinner afterwards. It was a BLAST! The dinner was on
Rainbow Island, a small island with a screened dining room and a fabulous
buffet. There was a playground for the kids, live music and instructors
teaching shag dancing. Patrick really got into the dancing, and had me
dancing with him for most of the evening.
Everybody getting ready
Playing on the island before dinner
Hanging out after dinner
All of the grandchildren lined up by age: Ryan,
Kate, Danielle, Julia (hiding behind Danielle and Chase), Chase, Preston,
Cameron, Ashley, Patrick, Heather and Alex
June 10, 2005
Jay and Stacey's
Since the boys went golfing yesterday, the girls had
a day at the spa before the wedding. Once we'd been pampered, it was time
to get everyone spruced up for the big event. The setting was beautiful on
the beach, and it was just overcast and breezy enough to keep everyone
comfortable. Cameron and Chase came down the aisle with Stacey.
Cameron gave Stacey away, and Chase was ring bearer. Heather and Ashley
were beautiful flower girls. Chase was adorable. During the
ceremony, the musicians sang a song. Apparently Chase didn't care for it -
he had one ear laying down on the ring pillow and his hand over the other ear!
He then sat up and put his fingers in his ears! As Jay and Stacey were
walking away as husband and wife, Cameron rushed to catch up, then Chase
realized what was going on, and went running after them. It was very
After the ceremony, we went to a room at the beach
house for the reception. The food and music were fabulous, and once again,
Patrick danced the night away. I couldn't keep up with him, so he just
kept dancing by himself. By the end of the evening, he was break dancing
and doing jumps - the boy just can't stay right-side-up for long! It was
definitely an evening of family and we all had a special, fun time laughing and
June 11, 2005
It's been such a fabulous week, but alas, it's time
to say goodbye and head back home. As we were loading the last few things
into the car, it started to rain - good timing, as we'd had perfect weather all
week. We ended up driving through the edges of Tropical Storm Arlene.
We passed six accidents heading in the other direction on the interstate.
Yikes. We got home to some very happy doggies, and a week of mail and over
300 emails. But it's still great to be home! I thought about doing
this web update today, but when I uploaded the pictures from the camera, there
were 160! I guess this'll take a little longer than I thought!
June 13, 2005
So much for needing to recover from the big vacation.
Everybody is already stir crazy, so we went to the bowling alley with Anthony
and his mom. She invited the boys over to swim for the afternoon so I was
able to get a bunch of stuff done - finally!
June 14, 2005
I woke up to "Mom, what are we gonna do today?"
Oh boy. With Daddy's birthday and Father's Day fast approaching, we agreed
to do some shopping, with a break at the mall to see Madagascar. We're
gonna make it through this summer bit by bit.
While we were on vacation, Alex was running quite far
on the beach without much effort and Mark noticed he runs like a long-distance
runner. Sunday he bought him a sports watch with a stop watch on it, and
tonight they went for their first run together. They did the "little loop"
through the neighborhood, which is 1.4 miles. Alex came in the door
boasting that he didn't stop running once, and checked his stopwatch - just over
11 minutes! Wow!
June 15, 2005
Becca and I were planning to hook up at the Science
Center today, but when she got there, it was packed with summer camps and field
trips. She called me and we agreed to go bowling instead. After we
got home, a couple of neighbor kids came over and they went berserk with my
camera. The results were pretty funny!
June 16, 2005
Happy Birthday, Daddy!!!
We had a quiet day at home today, then Daddy went
to his softball game. We joined him after the game at the sports bar
that sponsors his team and had dinner with all of his buddies. We went
home to cake and gifts.
June 17, 2005
Mark and I sent the kids over to Justin's house
while he and I went and made the final decisions on the bathrooms. Since
Mark had softball last night, we were planning to go out for his birthday
dinner tonight. When we picked up the boys, Alex was being belligerent
and kept saying he didn't feel like going out. Rather than spoiling
Mark's dinner, we agreed that he and Patrick could have some one-on-one and go
out to eat alone. Meanwhile, I was ticked at Alex and left him on the
couch while I went in my room to read. Mark and Patch came back home
saying what a wonderful time they'd had. Mark went to sit next to Alex
and said he felt warm - he had a 101 degree fever. I guess he really
didn't feel like going out!
June 18, 2005
Mark was out pressure washing the sidewalks today
and somehow wrenched his back. I answered a knock at the door and there
he was, bent over and asking for me to help him inside. The poor guy was
on his back for the rest of the day. Becca and I were supposed to have a
girls night out tonight, and God love him, Mark insisted that we still go out.
We ended up cutting our evening short because Emily wouldn't cooperate at the
movie theater, so I was able to hear about the evening when I got home.
He said that the boys were extremely good and helped him out wherever they
could. It's nice to say they'll come through when you need them to!
June 19, 2005
I was finishing up the pressure washing today and
Patrick came out to keep me company. We were having fun splashing around
in the puddles and mud it created and he asked if he could help. I
didn't think twice about him being barefoot, since we'd been playing in the
water, but he ended up pressure washing his foot. He started screaming
horribly and when I got him inside, the top of his left foot had a gash across
his entire foot. I'm still stunned it could do that much damage!
And, yes, I'm the worst Mommy in the world. :-(
June 20, 2005
Today turned out to be quite the circus at our
house. Each of the boys had a friend from school over to play for the
day. On top of that, I woke up to four construction workers ringing my
doorbell ready to work on the house. Fortunately, all of the kids got
along great. So I had two extra kids, two men in the back yard jack
hammering away the old concrete slab, two men in the front of the house
hammering and drilling and banging replacing the two big windows, and two dogs
stuck to me like glue scared out of their minds! (Come to think of it,
that's a whole lotta guys with just little ole me!) Did I mention it was
a particularly LOUD circus?
After dinner, Patrick and I rode bikes while Alex
ran the loop in the neighborhood. Poor Patrick kept having minor little
accidents that were frustrating the heck out of him. The most notable is
when he had an itch on his head and tried to scratch it through the holes in
the top of his helmet. He ended up getting his fingers stuck in the
holes, which caused him to fall off his bike and he got hit in the chest by
his handle bar. It really took a lot for me to act sympathetic while
desperately holding back hysterical laughter!
June 21, 2005
Mom came over today to stay with the boys while I
went to a closing. We then went and had a wonderful meal with her and Dad
for a belated Father's Day dinner. I have to say, the kids were good
as gold at the restaurant, and Patrick had a great time chatting with Grandpa
June 22, 2005
Patrick loves to work on his muscles!
June 23, 2005
I think it's time to get more proactive with our
summer. The boys are about to kill each other, if I don't beat them to
it. They were supposed to go play at a friend's house today while I ran
a bunch of errands and then go for my follow-up with the ENT. When we
got to his house, though, the boys were bickering so badly I ended up taking
Alex with me. I had really been looking forward to a little time to
myself, but Alex and I had a nice time together. He went to the doctor
with me, and the doctor went on and on about how good he was. The doctor
put a scope in my nose to look at my throat, and let Alex look through the
scope at my vocal chords. He thought that was really cool. I
thought it was a bit weird, from my perspective!
June 24, 2005
I did some web surfing last night looking for fun
activities and came across a rock climbing center, so we checked it out today.
It was awesome! Of course, the boys took to it instantly. There
were two types of climbing: bouldering and top roping. Bouldering
involves climbing a lower wall, but you sometimes have to climb the underside
of an outcropping. You don't need safety equipment because you're not
far up and there are cushions and mats to land on. Top roping is for the
tall vertical walls and involves having a harness attached to a rope that goes
through a sort of pulley at the top of the wall and then down to another
person who "belays" for you - keeps your rope taught and keeps you from
falling. I was the belayer for the boys. Patrick loved
bouldering - especially when he got to the top and dropped himself down onto
the cushions. Alex didn't care for the bouldering, but was determined to
master the top roping walls. They had to take turns top roping because I
could only belay for one at a time. While belaying isn't particularly
demanding or difficult, I did it nonstop, while the boys got breaks between
turns. I think we're all going to be pretty sore tomorrow!
On one of the more difficult walls, one of the knobby
thingies (I'm sure that's a technical term) was quite large and particularly
difficult to maneuver - it didn't have any indentations to grip. The boys
dubbed it the "great green gob" and every time one of them would encounter it,
the other one would start singing the song, "Great green gobs of greasy grimy
gopher guts . . . ." It was hilarious!
With me belaying, I obviously couldn't take
pictures, so the boys took pictures for me between turns. They did
June 25, 2005
Things have been pretty quiet
around here, since we've been stuck inside trying to stay out of the rain.
In between rain showers, Mark and I have been working in the back, painting
the new ceiling on the porch and laying new sprinkler pipes to go around the
new concrete. Ugh!
June 29, 2005
The boys were supposed to spend
the night at Anthony's tonight, but at the last minute, Alex decided he didn't
want to go. Patrick happily went anyway, and Alex and I had a nice quiet
evening together (Mark is on a business trip). It was really nice to get
some one-on-one time.
June 30, 2005
Alex and I hooked up with Anthony
and Patrick at the bowling alley this afternoon. Patrick was
adorable. The minute he saw me he ran full-tilt and jumped into my
arms with a huge bear hug. Then he chattered non-stop about everything
he and Anthony had done. It hadn't occurred to me until then that this
is the first time he's had a sleepover without Alex. He was thrilled,
and also exhausted! They'd stayed up until midnight and woke up before
7:00. Bedtime will be easy tonight!