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January 1, 2002

Happy New Year!!!

We worked on getting the house back to normal and took down all of the Christmas decorations today.  I put some empty boxes in the garage, and the boys spent all afternoon playing in their "boats."  I was busy gathering up decorations from the front yard, and every time I walked into the garage, they had added something new to their boats.  First it was old paint cans for engines, then wood for the rudder, and a bat for the exhaust, and stadium cushions for their seats.  It was adorable!

Forget the Christmas presents, just give them the boxes!

He's in the middle of a race! Don't rock the boat!

January 2, 2002

We had yucky, rainy weather today, and a bunch of restless kids, so Becca and I packed them all up and headed out to the Orlando Science Center.  What an awesome place!  It has so much for the kids!

Trust me - this is the only moment when all 5 were still at the same time! Nathan, Alex and Patch going off into space

Petting a VERY large burmese python This rope is attached to a lever with a VW Beetle on the other end.

Learning about gears

January 3, 2002

I had to go downtown to my office today.  As we walked into the building Patch blurted out, "Are we going up in the elegator?"  The security guard burst out laughing!

Other than that, we took it pretty easy today.  Patch had kind of a rough day, and threw up twice, once from coughing, and once seemed like the old reflux days.  Ugh!  What next?

Modern day kid - a Palm Pilot and his bankie Bedtime story with Daddy

January 4, 2002

Mark had an early softball game tonight, so we braved the cold and went to watch.

The poor kids could hardly move!

January 6, 2002

We got some "friendly" rain this morning (i.e., no lightening), so the Splusher Club got into full swing!

This afternoon Becca brought over her boys, who are staying the night and all day tomorrow with us because Becca is having surgery tomorrow.  (Good luck, Becca!)

Splushers of the world unite!

I got cuddles galore from Nathan and Andrew! Community pear (Carter, Nathan and Patch)

January 7, 2002

Wow.  What a night I had last night!  Andrew decided he was NOT going to sleep without his mommy, so he and I were up most of the night.  When I wasn't up with him, I was up with Patch!  Aside from that, all 5 boys had a wonderful day playing very nicely together.  I couldn't have asked for better children to have for the day!  Andrew was very fussy and had a pretty bad cough, and when he woke up from his nap he had a fever.  So poor John (Becca's husband) had to get Becca home from the hospital, go get her prescriptions filled and bring them back to her, come across town to get their boys from me, and then haul all of them back across town to take Andrew to the doctor.  Good thing, though, because he ended up having two ear infections!  No wonder he had such a bad night!

After I spent a few minutes recovering, the boys made a special cookie for Alex to take to school tomorrow for snack.

Patch was enjoying being in the driver's seat playing Clifford. By the time they were done, you could hardly see there was a cookie under all the sprinkles!

January 8, 2002

Patch had yet another doctor's appointment today.  It seems the Orapred he had last week to get his wheezing under control has aggravated his reflux, so now we're back to dealing with that, as well as the asthma.  Ugh!  At least that explains him waking up every two hours.  He wasn't wheezing today, so we can now start trying to work on maintenance medicines for the asthma, and have started him on Flovent.  Let's hope this keeps that nasty wheezing at bay.

We decided to make our own bread today for dinner.  The boys love watching all of the different stages it goes through.


January 10, 2002

Woo hoo!  Patch slept through the night last night!  Doing the H a P p Y    D a N c E ! ! !  (Now, cross your fingers for tonight!)

I watched Andrew this afternoon, and we played outside with Jacob and Clara.  Apparently, it takes 4 people to pump up our little air powered car!

Community effort!

January 12, 2002

Can you believe Carter and Nathan are 3 years old today!  We had an absolute blast at their birthday party at Gym Time!

Unfortunately, as we were getting out of the van for the party, the automatic sliding door closed on Alex's finger.  It looked pretty nasty and he was really upset, but some ice and a band-aid, and just too much excitement to ignore, made the pain go away in due time.

He's almost too big for the ball pit This sure seems like a  baby roller coaster for someone like Patch!

Yes, Becca did make the cakes all by herself

January 13, 2002

Mark put some of that sibling rivalry to use in a tug-of-war!  And it was so pretty outside that the neighbors all had a picnic at the pond up the street.

Burnin' rubber!  (okay, plastic!) Now, this is life

January 14, 2002

So much for that gorgeous weather yesterday!  We've had yucky, cold, rainy weather all day, so we had to escape to Chuck E Cheese for lunch with Grandma.  Alex definitely got the hang of curling up on the couch on a day like this, and spent the afternoon watching TV and doing his puzzle.  (OK, Mommy had to work, so I parked him there, and Patch in my room watching a video, but I didn't hear any complaints!)

Get me outta here! I made it in!

Boring! His Brant genes are strong!

January 15, 2002

I worked at the Winter Wonderland event at school today.  The perks are that I get to see my kids' faces as they explore "snow."  (Okay, Florida's version of snow, anyway.)  There was a tub of ice to stick your hands in, they made "icicle" necklaces out of beads, had toboggan rides (on wheels), went ice skating (in their socks on a tarp covered in corn starch), played in all different varieties of Florida snow (packing peanuts, corn starch, and shaving cream), went in a snow blowing machine, and made snowmen snacks out of marshmallows.  While it didn't compare to the snow up in Michigan, it was an absolute blast!

Alex and Andrew on a toboggan ride Playing in shaving cream "snow" (this got a LOT messier later on!)
In the snow blower

Patch making snow angles on the ice skating rink
He was head-to-toe white!  (And yes, I know he needs a haircut!)
Patch in the snow blower

January 16, 2002

Alex's class is having a busy week.  Yesterday was Winter Wonderland and today they all brought in ice sculptures.  Everybody brought in an odd-shaped containers filled with ice, and they tried to estimate how long each one would take to melt, and discovered that they melted faster outside in the sun and stuff like that.  Alex decided to make ice in the race car cake pan we used for his birthday.  I don't really have any nice pictures from today (just a tub filled with a bunch of ice!), but I thought you might enjoy hearing what they did at school.

January 17, 2002

Alex's class had a pajama party today at school!  The kids were all so cute in their jammies and carrying their favorite cuddly toys.

This is what the classroom looked like at pick-up time Daddy plays "tickle turtle" with the kids

January 18, 2002

Poor Becca had another surgery this week to try to repair her C-section incision that's been causing her pain, so I have her beautiful boys today.  This time, Andrew was feeling well, and he likes me, he really likes me!  We had a great time playing!

Alex had a rough morning, though.  He's been complaining of regular headaches for several weeks, so I finally took him to the doctor.  He had to have blood drawn, and he showed just how strong really he is during that!  The blood work was normal, and his symptoms don't really fit nicely into an easy diagnosis, so the doctor has ordered a CT scan.  That's scheduled for January 29, so we'll see where we go from there.

Brownies and Dragon Tales.  Does it get any better? Mom walked Andrew to sleep for his nap.  I'm not sure which one of them was more content.

January 19, 2002

We had a wonderful lunch at Race Rock with my Aunt Annette and Mom.  We had a great visit, and can't wait until we see Annette again.

Patch has been so cute today.  They have this song in school that they sing to the music to "Twinkle, twinkle, little star."  It goes like this:

Thank you, thank you, God above
For the world and for your love
Thank you God for making me
Thank you for my family
Thank you, thank you, God above
For the world and for your love

Well, Patch has gotten the song stuck in his head and has been walking around singing it all day, but here's how it's been coming out:

Thank you, thank you, God above
Up above the world so high
Q R S, T U V
Thank you for my family
Thank you, thank you, God above
For the world and for your love

I guess he got a little confused!

And Mark claims he goes here for the kids! They were "popping" each other's cheeks

Best buddies He's gonna need a chiropractor after this one!

January 20, 2002

Mark's parents came for a visit today.  We had a fabulous visit, and topped the day off with dinner at Macaroni Grill.  The boys were good as gold and the food was outstanding!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Nana's helping cut out monster trucks! Talking football!

January 22, 2002

Well, we've done some fun stuff these last couple of days, but I keep forgetting to take pictures!  I guess that means we were having too much fun!

Yesterday the four of us went for a little hike in the woods at the back of our subdivision.  We also discovered that Alex's finger that was shut in the van door has gotten infected.  I swear that kid is going to walk around one day with a broken leg and not tell us it hurts!

Today after school we went to the strawberry patch and picked tons and tons of beautiful berries, and had strawberry pie for desert tonight.  Yum!

Daddy feeding our other two children

January 23, 2002

We transformed our shaggy pets back into children today.  The only trick was to pick the correct two dependents for the haircuts.  Fortunately, we didn't accidentally pick a dog instead of a kid under all that hair!


January 24, 2002

I went to check on Alex in bed tonight, and I flashed back five years!

Note each arm is on an animal Touchdown!

Artists at work.


January 25, 2002

We had a two-for-one special at the pediatrician today.  Patrick just needed his flu shot booster - and he didn't even cry!  I was so proud of him. And he did so well that Alex actually wanted to "try it!"  Go figure - the first time in a year Alex has been to the doctor and NOT needed a shot, he was ready for one!

And Alex got his finger looked at, and was diagnosed with a nail bed infection and given a prescription for antibiotics.  He will lose his nail, but we already knew that part.  Whew - no biggie!

Afterwards, Mark met us at Burger King for lunch, and the kids went to town in the play land.

Tumbling out of the tubes Millenium play lands have computer stations!

January 27, 2002

We had a nice uneventful weekend day today.

Patrick asked Alex to read him this book, and Alex said yes! What a lazy goalie!

January 28, 2002

Mom and I took the boys to the Brevard Zoo today.  They had a bunch of awesome kid stuff, even though they didn't seem to have that many animals!

Say a little prayer for Alex - he's having his CT scan tomorrow morning.

One of the many critters for climbing on Patch didn't quite "get" what I was asking him to do!

They absolutely loved petting the deer, but she kept trying to eat their shirts!

January 29, 2002

Alex had his CT scan this morning.  He did incredibly well and cooperated with everyone.  When I came in to see him after he woke up, he had put on a brave front - a front only his Mommy could see through.  He was very ready for some Mommy hugs at that point! He made it abundantly clear that he was ready for the IV to come out so he could go home, so that's what we did, and it was all over! He was fine the rest of the day, but occasionally told me he was still tired because I had woken him up too early this morning.  I guess having been under anesthesia today had nothing to do with it. :-)

Unfortunately, we have to wait until Thursday for the results. 

(Sorry - I completely forgot to take pictures today!)

January 30, 2002

Boy, oh boy, did we ever have a busy day!  Becca was admitted to the hospital yesterday with a high fever, and they can't seem to identify the source.  So after dropping Alex off at school, Patch and I drove out and picked up her kids for the day.  We had a play date at the park already planned with the boys' teacher from last year (Ms. Debbie), so between Mom and me, we carted all five boys over to the park.  Alex got to spend the rest of the day with Grandma and Grandpa while I carted the other four back out by Becca's house so the twins could go to a doctor's appointment, then it was off to Chic-fil-A for dinner.  Then back home for baths and jammies, since John was picking them up right about bedtime.  While it was an action-packed day, those poor kids spent way too much time strapped into their car seats today!

On the road again . . .

January 31, 2002

We've had another busy day with little bodies everywhere!  I had John and Becca's kids again, since Becca is still in the hospital.

Things started off with Patch coughing his head off, and consequently throwing up, so not only did he not go to school, but I also had to fit in an appointment at the doctor.  He was coughing so badly I was afraid he might need to go back on the Orapred again.  But she said he's just got a head cold, and while it's causing an asthma flare, it's not bad enough to do more than we already are.

We also got the results of Alex's CT scan while we were there - it was clear!!!!  Thank God!  Of course, now we are still left with the question of what's causing his headaches, but at least we can rest easier knowing what it isn't.

We are now officially on the countdown for how long it takes for a five-year-old's fingernail to grown back - it finally came off today.  We've made this into a little science experiment and are taking bets as to how long it's going to take to grow back.  Alex thinks it will take 10 years.  We would love to add your guesses to our chart!  The winner will be awarded with a great big Alex hug!  (I know this may seem a little crude or disgusting to most of you, but believe me, in our house, this has been a VERY big deal!)

But perhaps the biggest news of all is that the Finster family will finally have a bona-fide, blood-related GIRL in the family!  That's right - K.C. and Stacy just found out that they're having a girl!  Congratulations, guys!  You broke the spell!

Waiting "patiently" at the pediatrician's office Alex was the BEST with all of the Liebman boys today!

Ready for #3, Mark?  (NOT!)