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MARCH 2004
(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)


March 1, 2004

Boudreaux and Grendel are now getting along beautifully.  They've figured out a way to play together, and actually shared a stick to chew on today.  :-)  One thing that has us puzzled, though, is that all of Grendel's toys have disappeared.  She obviously has a stash somewhere, but we can't find it!  It's become a little more urgent, since Alex's three stuff animals that he sleeps with have also disappeared. 

What a good big brother!


March 2, 2004

Well, I guess I was a little quick to judge our new little girl.  I spent the afternoon in search of Grendel's stash of goodies, absolutely determined to find it.  I even went so far as to crawl under our shed and look down a huge gopher tortoise tunnel to see if she hid her stuff in there!  I was absolutely baffled - no stash anywhere!  I finally started tearing the house apart, and lo and behold, there is a 2-inch gap between our bed and the table next to it - just enough for a bunch of dog toys to fall into!  And Alex's stuff animals:  he and his friend had been playing with them in the play room and they had fallen behind the toy box.  Mystery solved!

The boys and I are on our own for a few days while Mark's on a business trip.  After Alex's guitar lesson, we met up with Becca and her boys (John's working late) and had dinner together.  The boys were angels during dinner, and ran themselves ragged afterwards playing tag while Becca and I talked.  What a nice evening!


March 3, 2004

We got Grendel a new crate today, and the boys had a blast with it!  We were so pleased that she seems to really like her crate and will go into it on her own when she needs a break.  Mark and I are looking forward to a restful night's sleep, too!

Wait a minute - what's wrong with this picture?


March 5, 2004

Mark and I went to a trade show for the pool and spa industry and he introduced me to all of my clients.  As funny as that sounds, Mark had already established the clients when I took over, and I've only spoken with them on the phone, so this was a big day, business-wise, for me.  I'm still having trouble accepting the fact that I'm running my own business!


March 6, 2004

What a big day we've had!!!  This morning was opening day for Patrick's t-ball league, so we had to be there at the crack of dawn for team pictures, and his first game.  He played great!  Since it was opening day, they only played one inning (everybody gets to bat, and there are no outs).  Patrick played first base.  Alex hasn't been feeling well, so Mark stayed home with him and commanded that I take tons of video (like I wouldn't!).  Here's a clip of one of his outs at first, and him batting.

Breaking in his hat OMG!  The entire team is sitting still!

Warming up Hmmmm - what am I supposed to do again?

The whole team at "baseball ready" (a/k/a a small miracle!)

After lunch, the boys had a party at the music studio, then we went for a quick dinner, and back to the studio for their first real recital.  (Patrick's last performance was at the music party before students only.)  Of course, we took more video and of course, I'm going to torture you with it.  You have to keep in mind that Alex has only had five lessons.  He played Happy Birthday, rather tentatively, so you have to turn the volume up.  Patrick played his song, Ode to Joy, like an old pro!

       
Alex:  Happy Birthday        Patrick:  Ode to Joy

My goodness, he reminds me of his Uncle David! Right at home

We had one more little piece of excitement this evening.  We were across the street visiting with the neighbors and the kids were in the hot tub.  Somehow, Alex managed to break his tooth - one of his six permanent teeth.  :-(  Looks like we'll find out just how good our dental insurance is!


March 7, 2004

Well, I could do with a little less excitement this weekend.  Alex was playing at a neighbor's house when I got a call from the mom, Sherry.  Alex had fallen playing basketball and his broken tooth basically shredded his upper lip.  Poor Sherry thought he had broken his tooth at her house and felt awful to tell me it had happened!  Alex is also still not feeling quite up to par, so he's really had a rough day.  He's been coughing for a few weeks now - when will this pollen go away?!


March 8, 2004

We managed to get into the dentist this afternoon (miracle of miracles).  He put several layers of sealer on Alex's tooth, which softened the edges and made it look a bit more normal.  Once his mouth and lip heal up, he'll bond the tooth and it'll be good as new.  Whew!


March 9, 2004

Alex woke up feeling lousy this morning.  His cough had worsened last night, and he's complaining of nausea.  I finally broke down and took him to the doctor, fully expecting to be told it's his allergies (that's been the diagnosis the last two times I've taken him in).  Well, well, well.  Was I ever wrong!  Turns out he has strep throat and is wheezing!  Yes, this is Alex we're talking about!  The doctor suspects the strep has traveled down into his lungs which is causing the cough and wheezing.  I'm such a BAD Mommy!!!  Heaven knows how long he's had it and how many other kids he's shared it with.  (It would have helped if he'd have complained of a sore throat just once.)  So he's home from school today and tomorrow.  Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

This afternoon was "pet day" in Patrick's class, so I brought a couple of the snakes to share.  They were a huge hit with both teachers and students alike!  Unfortunately, I was too busy keeping track of reptiles to take any pictures.


March 10, 2004

Mark and I tag-teamed between working and kid care today.  It's a miracle either of us got anything done!  I had a closing, then a recording in Tavares, so Mark had to pinch hit with the kids for most of the day.  I'm forever thankful for our work situations!

I took some video of the dogs romping this afternoon.  Here's a quick clip of Grendel running circles around Boudreaux!


March 11, 2004

Alex was back at school today - woohoo!  Of course, I was right there with him doing room mom stuff.  LOL  The kids are wild today, since Spring Break starts tomorrow.


March 13, 2004

Mark and the boys started building a fort for the back yard out of some old fence pieces.

Anthony and Alex getting hammering instructions Playing bey blades in the unfinished fort


March 14, 2004

Mark and the boys finished the fort today - well, finished is up for debate.  Mark is calling it a "work in progress."  LOL  Let's just say it's usable now, and the boys are thrilled!  Anthony, our neighbor and Alex and Patrick's best buddy, helped with everything so it's really turned into a fort for friends to play in.  The very first thing the kids did was decide there should be a password, one that the adults don't know!  They moved a small table out there, got a Rubbermaid box to put their books in, and drew pictures to hang on the walls.  It's so heartwarming to see them creating a place that's all their own (without any technology involved!).

Welcome to the Ritz!


March 15, 2004

Patrick has been a whiny mess for several days now - driving Mark and me NUTS!  I've asked him a hundred times if he's feeling all right, asking specifically about every part of his body I can think of.  He keeps swearing he feels fine.  Mark and I finally decided today to take him to the doctor anyway.  I swear my kids are way too strange - he has strep too!  All the while, he is still adamant that his throat doesn't hurt - "until Dr. Ann stuck that thing in my throat!"  Maybe we'll get our happy Patch back soon!

Alex and his new girl


March 16, 2004

Spring Break + Rainy Day =
So off to the mall we went.  The boys spent their allowance and then we killed time at the arcade.

Poor Patch couldn't reach with his hand or his legs! Patch made his shopping bag into a backpack


March 17, 2004

Mom and I took the boys to the zoo today.  It was a beautiful day and we had a blast!  The highlight of the day was the giraffe exhibit.  We were walking along this elevated boardwalk watching the giraffes, when we turned and saw a huge giraffe's head poking over the rail into the people!!!!  Turns out they sell food for the people to feed to the giraffes.  Alex and Patrick warily approached "Boris", and suddenly he stuck his very long tongue towards Alex.  Alex about jumped out of his skin!  We bought some food and the boys giggled their heads off while they fed him.  It was incredible!

We also took a kayak tour along the narrow river that contains some of the animals.  There were six kayaks in our group, and Patch and I were in one and Mom and Alex were in another.  I asked Alex how it went, and he said it was fine, except Grandma kept slowing him down.  Smarty pants!

Climbing stegosaurus bones Unearthing dinosaur bones

Meeting Boris Patch was bursting with giggles!


March 18, 2004

We had a fun Spring Break day at Universal Studios!  Universal has an awesome water slide that gets you just wet enough to cool you off.  We rode Jimmy Neutron, Shrek, and ET to name a few.  On the way out, we had dinner at a Nascar restaurant.  What a great day!

Alex shooting out of the water slide Patrick laughing all the way

He's growing up way too fast! Great - now they're both at an age where I can't get a decent smile!

At the Nascar restaurant


March 21, 2004

The kids were going stir crazy today, so Becca and I met up at the bowling alley for some good old-fashioned fun.  It was another beautiful day, so we went to a park after bowling to run off some energy!

What form!

Ants on a log My two monkeys

My favorite picture in a very long time!  :-)


March 24, 2004

We've had gorgeous weather lately, and I just love hearing the sounds of children playing out in the yard.

Patch was getting a different perspective on things. Mark and the boys made their own pizzas tonight.


March 25, 2004

They can run circles around each other! Alex got comfortable while practicing


March 26, 2004

The fort has now turned into a clubhouse, complete with club meetings and activities.  Alex declared that today there would be a club party, and that it would be a Bey Blade party.  Last night we called a couple of his friends and he invited them over after school.  When everybody got here, he told me what he wanted for snack (lucky for him I had everything!), and picked out a music CD.  It was really cute, and they had a blast!

The big Bey Blade battle The Club (minus one who couldn't make it)


March 27, 2004

What a whirlwind day!  Patrick had a make-up piano lesson at 9:30, Alex had his first football game at 10:00, Patrick had a t-ball game at 12:00, I had a closing at 2:00, and then we went to the River for the night!  Whew!

Alex's game was awesome!  The poor kids got their butts whooped, but they only have three experienced players on their team.  I took a ton of video, and managed to get a clip of him making a tackle (okay, pulling the flag).  The pictures and video are hard to follow with so much action all the time, but it was exciting to watch!  (Click on the football for the video.)

Alex is in the bright blue shorts and green shirt     

Today was Grendel's first road trip, and we learned something very important about her:  she gets car sick.  And sick, and sick, and sick. . . . .  Fortunately, the vet says we can give her Dramamine for the return drive, so hopefully things will improve!   KC and Stacy are at the River, too, and we've had a wonderful day visiting. 

Notice Alex's arm around Nana's shoulder.  Awwwwww. Special moments

Patrick teaching Preston about PDA games


March 28, 2004

Alex took his first solo boating trip in the paddle boat today.  He looked so big riding away on his own!  Grendel also went swimming in the river for the first time (to our knowledge, anyway).  She's still very skittish, and did NOT like being carried into the water.  She followed Boudreaux towards the steps, and tried to climb on top of him in the water!  She fared much better on the drive home, although we should have waited just a bit longer for the Dramamine to kick in.  Thank goodness for my carpet cleaner!

Mr. Independence Trying to catch dinner

Wet dogs always want to play!

Daddy, hold me! Boudreaux, give me a ride!


March 31, 2004

We received the very sad news that my Grandma died this morning.  Even though we've been expecting this for some time, it's hard.  I was explaining to Patrick this morning why I was so sad, and he said the sweetest thing.  "Mommy, you can feel better knowing that your Grandma is up in Heaven with God and isn't sick anymore."  How'd I get so lucky?

Alex as a baby with his Great Grandma