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November 1, 2005

The workers started hanging the drywall yesterday, and Mark and I have been discussing moving into a hotel when the dust gets to be too much.  I've covered virtually everything in sight with huge sheets of plastic, which is making day-to-day living tricky, but there is enough dust on the plastic that I'm glad it's there.  They haven't done any sanding yet, although it got pretty messy when they scraped the popcorn off the old ceilings, but so far, so good.  Everything is starting to look like it belongs and I can finally envision the final product!

November 2, 2005

This morning the workers told me they were going to spray the texture on the walls and ceilings this afternoon - the final drywall step.  I came home from a closing just as they were cleaning up.  As I walked into the house to check it out, I immediately started hacking and wheezing up a storm - the fumes were awful!!!  Patch hasn't had a hint of asthma lately, and he also asked for his inhaler after he got home.  Mark is attending a convention here in town this week and he had a hotel room near the convention center, so we decided to head down there for tonight.  It was farther away from home than I would have liked with school in the morning, but we made it into an adventure.  The boys had a swim before bed, and I had already emailed their teachers telling them to expect the boys late in the morning.

November 3, 2005

We had a great night at the hotel last night, but Alex woke up this morning with a belly ache.  I had a closing scheduled this afternoon so this really didn't fit into my plans!  I just know it was a case of nerves, but with him looking like he might throw up at any moment, I decided I couldn't kicked him out the door at school.  I managed to pawn my closing off on someone else and kept him at home.  He refused any lunch and laid around on the couch for several hours, so I have no doubt he felt lousy, but I also wasn't surprised when he perked up in the afternoon.  This happens with him a lot when he has an unexpected big schedule change (he is SO much like his Momma!).  It just overwhelms him.  On the upside, however, I really needed the time at home to start cleaning up the dust and residue that has settled all over EVERYTHING in the house!  Yuck!

Being that Alex was back to normal by dinnertime, and that I was a single mom tonight with Patrick's feelings and expectations to consider, we all went to the school's Family Skate Night this evening.  As always, it was a blast.  The kids are much better on their skates now so I didn't have to brave the wheels myself this time.  But that doesn't mean they didn't have their share of bumps and bruises - perhaps more than their share.  Their knees and elbows had some new contours and colors to them by bedtime!  I felt like a nurse after their baths - 7 band aids and 2 ace bandages later, though, they were patched back up and ready for bed. 

That's Alex in the blue shirt playing Red Light Green Light Alex in the third grade race

Patch skating along Patch joking around on the floor (of course!)

November 5, 2005

Things have been crazy lately with all of the workers coming and going, and the kids are showing the strain.  Patch has been begging Mark to take him fishing, which he hasn't done in ages, and I think it's more a plea for some Daddy time.  Mark happily obliged, and while they didn't bring home dinner, they had a great time. 

Patch sitting in the "Daddy Recliner" watching Alex's football game Grendel hung out at the pond with Mark and Patch while they fished

A boy and his daddy Hoping for the big one

November 6, 2005

Boo was in a very cuddly mood today!

Daddy's arm makes a nice pillow

November 7, 2005

The carpenter was here all day building shelves in our new closet.  He has this compressor for the nail gun that suddenly kicks on and off, I suppose to keep the pressure up, and it's LOUD.  Between the nail gun itself, and the compressor suddenly blaring, the dogs and I are all about to have nervous breakdowns.  The poor guy is a dog person, and keeps trying to make friends with Boudreaux, but he'll have nothing to do with him as long as he keeps bringing those power tools in the house!

November 8, 2005

This has not been the best day.  The carpenter is here again today (I believe he's scheduled to be here all week), and the closet looks AWESOME.  That's the good part.  Of course, that compressor and nail gun were doing their thing all day.  Boudreaux and Grendel want nothing else but to get away from the noise and the workers, and managed to escape the back yard and went frolicking in the pond.  They made their way back into the back yard and came tearing through the doggie door, thrilled with themselves, soaking wet and covered with mud.  As if that wasn't bad enough, Boudreaux had a vet appointment in a half an hour which I obviously had to reschedule for later in the day.  While I was outside giving Boo a bath, Grendel was inside - still muddy, mind you - rolling around in our bed.  Let me tell you, that little mongrel is lucky to be alive!!  Once I got them clean, I spent the next few hours cleaning everything in the house they touched.  Grrrrrrrrr.

Boo has had a cough for a few months now so I took him in today to get it checked out.  We've been going to that vet forever, and when the vet came into the room, she said, "It's the million-dollar dog!"  No doubt his vet bills have paid more than a few boat payments at her house.  LOL  We discussed his cough, then she squatted down next to him to listen to his heart.  When she was done, she wrapped her arms around him and told me he has a heart murmur.  :-(  They took a chest x-ray and his heart is not enlarged, but his lungs are wet, hence the cough.  She's given him Lasix and a blood pressure medicine, and said it looks like we've discovered it very early and as long as the Lasix works to help the cough, he should be okay for a good while yet. 

November 10, 2005

The painters have been here yesterday and today, and the place is really looking awesome!  The shelves in the closet are done and now that the walls are painted, they look like they've been there forever.  Of course, the carpenter is still here finishing up little details here and there - with that darned nail gun.  Between him and the painters coming and going, the dogs are about to lose their minds.  They're ridiculously attached to my legs - even to the point that Boo will follow me back and forth across the kitchen as I empty the dishwasher, and I even have a canine escort to the bathroom.  I must admit, my nerves are about as frayed as the dogs' are.  However, by the end of this week, the main parts of the house will be done and all that is left is the bathroom.  It still has a few weeks to go, but we're finally going to have a closet.  I thought living without a second bathroom would be hard, but having no master closet is about to kill me!

Anthony called just before dinnertime to see if the boys could play, so his mom and I decided to hit the mall food court for dinner and let the kids play in the arcade.  There is a bungee/trampoline in the mall that the kids begged to do.  Patrick immediately started doing back flips on it, and quickly figured out he could do double front and back flips.  He was grinning and laughing his head off and had us in stitches just watching him.  I didn't really expect to have a big photo op eating dinner at the mall, so I didn't bring my camera.  Ah well - I'm sure there will be more opportunities!  

November 12, 2005

Mark and I had to divide and conquer today.  Mark went to Alex's last football game of the season, while Mom and I went to Patrick's gymnastics Fun Meet. 

Alex had a great game, and I'm almost ashamed to say, Mark got much better football pictures than I've ever taken.  They received their trophies after the game and the team played on the playground together for awhile.

Alex carrying the ball Avoiding having his flag pulled

Getting his trophy The Colts

Patrick's Fun Meet was just that - fun.  The non-team members and preschoolers have been working on simple routines which they performed this morning.  Patch did wonderfully!  He was so keyed up he bounced his way from event to event - it was classic Patrick!  At the end, each athlete received a medal and a goodie bag.  Patrick was one of only a few boys in a sea of girls in leotards.  When they received their medals, the girls all did the little gymnastics curtsy, where they flash both arms straight up.  Patrick was the only boy who put up just one arm like the men do.

Our closet is finally done!  I can't wait to load it up!  We still need the light installed and carpet, but with all of these shelves, who needs to put anything on the floor anyway?  :-)

Storage everywhere!!! Hmmmm - I think I need to go clothes shopping

November 15, 2005

Becca and I have really been enjoying our girls-only lunches.  Emily is as cute as can be and the waitresses are always stopping to play with her.  As I like to say, after five boys between us, we finally got a girl!

Me and my girl!

November 18-20, 2005

We had a fabulous camping trip this weekend in our new camper!!  Anthony's and Justin's families joined us at a gorgeous new campground.  We brought our dogs and Anthony brought Sparky and they were surprisingly good.   We arrived Friday evening and had to figure out how to set up the new camper in the dark which was an adventure in itself.  We couldn't figure out how to set up the supports for the beds.  We had jury-rigged makeshift supports to get us through the night, when Sam and Carrie arrived with their camper, which fortunately is the same kind as ours, and Sam quickly educated us.  Friday night was really cold, and Grendel had a rough time getting comfortable or warm and she kept going from bed to bed.  She usually sleeps in her crate at home, and I'll bet she was having trouble feeling secure, since she was already a nervous wreck from the drive.  At about 2:00 a.m., she settled into the crook of my arm, heaved a heavy sigh, and didn't move for the rest of the night.  It was very sweet (and warm!).  Saturday, the boys rode bikes and scooters and played football, and some of us went for short canoe rides.  Sam and Mark took the boys and the dogs geocaching and hiking.  We had big group meals for dinner Saturday and breakfast Sunday, and of course, campfires and s'mores.  Saturday night it started to rain, which was no problem because our new camper doesn't leak!  We hung out inside and played cards snug as bugs.  :-)

Boo and Alex cuddled up all night long.

Shane kept running after Patch on his skateboard It's freezing!

All ready for the canoe Hunting minnows

November 21, 2005

I came home this afternoon and Mark and Patrick were completely engrossed in the battery science kit.  Mark was having the time of his life, and Patch explained all about battery circuitry like he was an expert.

You attach the thingamajig to the whatsits . . . .

November 23, 2005

Can you believe I'm 30-something years old (yes, I can still say that for a little bit longer) and I've never hosted Thanksgiving dinner?  I've never even cooked a turkey!  So this year I'm taking the plunge.  As always, things have been crazy and I haven't gotten to the grocery store.  Last night Mom called saying I might need to start thawing the turkey.  Turkey?  Thaw?  But I still have 2 days, right?  So there I was at Publix and 9:00 last night, and the only turkeys left were 8 pounds or 22 pounds.  Well, I couldn't run the risk of running out of turkey at my first Thanksgiving dinner, so here I am with this 22-pound frozen-solid monster.  I've spent all day changing the water in the sink trying to thaw it, while cleaning like a mad-woman and dodging electricians working on the bathroom.

Meanwhile, Becca called this morning on her way to the grocery store to pick up her turkey.  I mentioned the thawing issue, and she asked why I got a frozen one anyway.  WELL!  Who would have thought that you could buy a turkey that wasn't frozen!  Ah well, live and learn!

November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, Mark did a wonderful job of hosting Thanksgiving today.  You see, everything was going beautifully this morning - the turkey had thawed and was in the oven on time and I was doing some last-minute cleaning when I started feeling ill.  Just before Mom, Dad and Aunt Lois arrived, I was in our room sick as a dog and certain I would never eat again.  Poor Mark was suddenly stuck with preparing everything in between taking care of me.  I was sick for a couple of hours, then slept for a couple more.  When I woke up, I was feeling completely fine.  It was the strangest thing.  The table was beautifully set and dinner was ready to be served.  Truly, I didn't plan on getting sick, but on the other hand, I couldn't have timed it better!  LOL  We had a terrific feast and I dabbled out a few Christmas carols on the piano afterwards.  Turned out to be a perfect day after all!

Dad and Aunt Lois carving the beast Dig in!

November 25-26, 2005

We spent the rest of the long weekend at the River with Mark's family.  Mike and Marybeth were there with the girls and Ryan, and KC and Stacy were there with Preston and Danielle.  Ashley, Julia and Danielle were ALL girl, with their fancy dress-up clothes and makeup and nail polish.  They had a kit with washable makeup and nail polish, which is a good thing, because when we discovered them dolling themselves up in Joe and Mary Ellen's bedroom, Danielle had painted her toes bright red.  Not just her toe nails, but her entire toes!

Preston and Patch were inseparable all weekend, with their noses in the Game Boy or outside playing football with KC and Alex.  I went through all of my catalogs and am just about done with my Christmas shopping.  :-)

Alex was cuddling with Boo on the way to the River Danielle and Preston were watching Alex on the Game Boy

Patch picked himself a banana for a snack We didn't bring Grendel's crate, so she slept in our suitcase instead

November 27, 2005

The boys finally got to do the wish bone.

Make a wish!

November 28, 2005

Patrick's class went to a Butterfly Exhibit and of course, I chaperoned.  He has such a wonderful class it was a breeze!  We learned about the different plants butterflies need, then went into the exhibit and learned which butterflies are which, but the best part was the room where you put Gatorade on your finger and the butterflies come up and land on you to eat it.

Patrick asking yet another question Getting his Gatorade

OK, the butterfly is pretty, but I could just get lost in those eyes of his! Enjoying a private moment with a butterfly