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MARCH 2002
(Click on a picture to enlarge)

March 1, 2002

It was a perfect day for kite flying!

Alex did this completely on his own! "I'M DOING IT!"

You can build up quite an appetite kite flying.  Notice two-fisted Alex!

March 2, 2002

What a big day we had - It was opening day at the ball park!

Alex's t-ball team had their very first game today.  They were all so excited - one kid slept in his new uniform!  Alex made absolutely certain we didn't sleep too late and miss his game.  :-) 

I took an obnoxious amount of pictures, but somehow managed to pare them down to just a few.

Before the first game they had team pictures.
The Oakland A's at their very best!

Alex pretty much had that grin on his face all day!
After he scored his first run ever!

They don't keep score or track of wins/losses.  For opening day, they just made sure that every player on each team got to hit the ball.
Both teams congratulating each other after the game

Opening Day is a very big deal, and there was all kinds of entertainment, including, or course, the "big bouncy thing!"
There was fun to be had by all! Up and over . . . .

In the afternoon, the boys helped Mark change the oil in the car.
The blind leading the blind?

And to end our insane day, the boys picked out a book:  "Everyone Poops."  They had an absolute field day "reading" it to each other.

March 5, 2002

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a few days.  I've had a nasty cold that has turned into bronchitis.  I went and got a bushel basket of medicine from the doctor today, so hopefully things will be improving soon.

I have an enormous milestone to report - actually, I think it's two milestones.  Yesterday Alex was being goofy and laughing with his mouth open wide - and there, plain as day, were the corners of two new molars way in the back - his 6-year molars!  My baby is getting his permanent teeth!  AND, tonight when he was brushing his teeth, he said his front teeth hurt.  Upon further investigation we discovered he has THREE loose teeth!  Pretty soon he'll be whistling Dixie!

Totally engrossed in Clifford

March 6, 2002

Wow.  I didn't think it was possible to feel worse than I did yesterday, but I do.  Thank God Mom could come again today and take care of the kids, because I've spent all day in bed.  After Mom left, the neighbors watched the kids outside until Mark got home.  I did manage to haul myself outside for a picture of our little racers.  

It's the Erskine Speed Demons!

March 7, 2002

I actually felt a little better this morning, and even ventured out of the house for an eye doctor appointment.  However, by the afternoon, I had developed the worst headache of my life.  I think the kids could tell something was really wrong this time, because they were little angels and took care of themselves all afternoon.  By 4:00 I couldn't stand it any more, so I called the doctor and he agreed to see me on his dinner break.  We never found out what caused the headache and nausea, but he gave me two more shots (I got one on Tuesday already - I'm a pin cushion!) and sent me home to bed.  

Alex made this ant headband at school today.  Apparently he wore it all day!  

Quick!  Get the bug spray!

March 8, 2002

Today was the official first day of Spring Break.  God, give me strength to get through next week!

Praise the Lord - my headache appears to be in remission!  And I'm feeling a little upswing in the breathing department as well.  I'm still completely wiped out, but at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

A rare moment of cooperation instead of competition

March 9, 2002

Okay all you Northerners - Eat your heart out!  We had our first water day of the year!

And on a personal note - I'm still moving very slowly, but actually made it through the day without a nap.  Life is good!

A couple of cute stories:

#1:  Alex's Siamese fighting fish, Baxter, hasn't really been himself for the last couple of weeks - laying on the bottom and not interested in eating.  So we asked the lady at the pet store about it, and she mentioned that he's about at the end of his life span.  So Mark and I have talked to Alex about it, and he's seemed okay with the whole thing.  Well, today he wanted to do some drawing.  He asked me to draw a picture of Baxter that he could color.  I did, and he colored it in just like Baxter.  Then he asked me how to spell "Bye."  So he wrote "Bye" on it, and cut it out and said he wanted to keep it so he'll always remember Baxter.  (Keep in mind, the fish hasn't even died yet!)  He was never upset or quiet or anything - just something he wanted to do.

#2:  Patch came up to me today and handed me his bankie, and he said, "Here's my bankie, Mommy, to help your cold."  Awwwwwwwwwww.

Alex and Jacob army crawling through the tunnel of water Redefining uses for a hammock stand in Jacob's back yard

March 10, 2002

We had a wonderful visit with KC, Stacy and Preston today.  Alex and Patch taught Preston how to do Monster Truck Madness.  Just look at that racing face!

Go, go, Speed Racer! Trouble just loved having a little one in the house again

March 11, 2002

It's a gorgeous day today, so we decided to set up the tent and camp out in the back yard.  We had a fire in the chiminea and roasted marshmallows, and as I type this, the three boys are all asleep out there.  They were so excited that at 6:15 tonight when we were setting up the tent, they were both standing there with their bankies and stuffed animals, all ready to go to bed!  You never saw two kids so eager to cooperate with the bedtime routine.  We came back in the house after marshmallows to do meds and milk and teeth and all that.  The minute we walked in the door, Patch starting in with "I'm ready for my milk" - and he still had an hour to go before his normal bedtime.  Teeth?  I don't think the toothbrushes actually touched any teeth, they went so fast!

Setting up "camp" Roughing it?

March 12, 2002

The boys and I went to Lego Land at Downtown Disney today.  They were so cute walking hand-in-hand!

March 13, 2002

We had a wonderful visit with Karen and her boys, Justin and Tyler, today at Wekiwa Springs State Park.  They just moved back to town last week after living in Brooksville for a couple of years.  We're so excited that they're back in town!

Our little wild men Checking out the fish in the springs

Tyler, Patch, Alex and Justin.  Can you believe Justin is only 4 months older than Alex?!

March 14, 2002

We're definitely staying busy during Spring Break!  Today Mom and I took the kids to the Science Center.

Climbing the story tree Alex showing off his PVC creation

March 15, 2002

We did all kinds of St. Patrick's Day stuff today.   Patrick is so excited that "his" day is almost here!  Alex has finally gotten mature enough to realize he shouldn't be jealous that there isn't a St. Alex's Day.

Troy and Christy (Alex's Godparents) and their daughter, Lexie (Mark's Goddaughter) were in town today so we joined them for dinner near the airport and had a wonderful visit.  Too bad I forgot to bring my camera, because the three kids were all very cute.  The boys and I also went to a spot where a lot of people park to watch the planes land.  There were a few planes that looked like they were going to land right on top of us!  The kids thought it was great! 

So here's an example of the conversations I sometimes have with my little Einstein:

Alex:      Mom, how far up is space?
Mom:     I'm not sure.
Alex:      But we're already in space, so how can we GO into
Mom:     We're not in space, honey.  We're on the earth.
Alex:      But if the earth is in space, and we're on the earth, then
              we're in space.  So why do they say someone goes into

I swear I don't stand a chance!

Making a poster for our front door

March 15, 2002

Mark and I have been playing around with our new (ish) video camera and have a clip of Alex's first tee ball hit.  He had his first real game today, but my pictures all turned out to be of chain link fence (gotta work on that next time!).  This picture is from opening day two weeks ago.  Click on the picture to see the video from that game.

03-16-01-old.jpg (70698 bytes)

March 18, 2002

We've had a pretty big day.  This morning we planted our veggie garden, and then took Alex to get his teeth cleaned.  We saw a different hygienist this time, and she was absolutely wonderful with the kids.  She confirmed his three loose upper teeth, and also pointed out a loose lower tooth I hadn't noticed!  He had x-rays this time, and she gave him an extra copy of his front teeth that showed the permanent teeth above the baby teeth for him to take to school to share.  They're both in love with "Mr. Thirsty" (the straw that sucks the water out of your mouth) and have been grinning for everyone all day. 

She made it all such a positive experience that she even got Patch in the chair and he got his first teeth cleaning!  And would you believe, I didn't bring my camera!   (sob, sob)

Patch got a new helmet!

March 19, 2002

The kids had a big day at school today.  Both classes had an Easter egg hunt, and Patrick's class also celebrated the last supper by having a special lunch.  Since I couldn't be at two places at once, I didn't get any pictures of Patrick's egg hunt, but I did make it afterwards to his lunch.  It may seem like these events happened a little early, but the school doesn't have parties during Holy Week.

Alex and his best buddy, Andrew, helping each other hunt for eggs Alex and Ms. Sheryl (his teacher) checking out his stash

Our little ham! Patch reading to Lydia, his classmate, after lunch

March 20, 2002

Alex had a science experiment to do for school today.  He had to make a contraption to protect an egg from breaking when dropped.  He came up with his very own idea to put it in between two plastic plant pots and cushion it with grass, and then wrap straws around it for added cushioning.  We'll see how it holds up tomorrow!

Picking grass to cushion his egg The final product

March 22, 2002

We had to upgrade our operating system in order to accommodate my office's new system, and in the process I've temporarily (I hope!) lost the ability to upload my pictures from my camera.  I'm still snapping away like a mad woman, and hopefully in the next day or two I'll be able to share more pictures.  In the meantime, I do have some cute things to share:

#1:  The other day we were out front with all of the neighbors like usual, when I told my kids that it was time to go in.  Patrick said, very politely, "I'd rather not," just like a little adult!

#2:  Yesterday I was watching Alex's friend, Andrew.  I was busy in the kitchen making all of the fixin's for tacos while they were at the table eating their snack.  They were discussing tacos, and Andrew said he loves Taco Bell tacos.  He asked Alex if he liked Taco Bell tacos, and Alex replied, "Yes, but not as much as my mom's."  (What a kid!)

#3:  The egg didn't break!

Patrick got to play with Kori today while Alex was at school.  They were sharing and taking turns and playing so nicely together that we didn't realize that Patrick was actually driving the Jeep.  This picture was taken moments before Patrick drove the Jeep right into the back bumper of Greg's truck, wedging the front part of the Jeep under the bumper with Kori's arm stuck between the Jeep and the truck!  She turned out to be okay, but what a scary moment - especially for poor Kori!  And we learned that Patch does not yet share Alex's driving abilities!

Fred and Wilma

March 23, 2002

Our neighbor, Mary, had a 1970's party to celebrate her 30th birthday.  Everybody dressed in 1970's attire and her house was completely decked out with 1970's paraphernalia, complete with a disco ball spinning from the ceiling, a fog machine and 1970's album covers hanging on the walls.  I need to get some pictures from some other people before I can put together something of interest, since my  judgment was a little impaired and my pictures were of the "You had to be there" variety.  But here's a taste!

Sonja, Dave and Mark.  Mark's "cigarette" is actually an asparagus!

Patch had kind of a rough day today and spent most of his time on the couch

Okay - here are the party pictures.  We have such wonderful neighbors, and I'm so excited to finally have pictures of them, even if they don't exactly look like themselves!

It's too bad a lot of their accessories had come off by this point.  Mary had huge bejeweled glasses and Travis had a big dollar sign necklace and ring!
Our host and hostess, Mary and Travis (also Jacob and Clara's parents)

Mark's "cigarette" is actually an asparagus! Mark and Sonja outside by the fire
Mark, Sonja and Dave

Looking a little too normal and not enough 70's   :-)
Beth and James (Kate (our babysitter), Jennifer, Alex and Abbie's parents)

Peace, baby
Rob and Elizabeth (Ben and Jordan's parents)

Very much NOT looking themselves!
Greg and Karon (Kori's parents)

Girl Power!
Me, Beth and Karon

Showing our true colors Look closely at the shoes!
The fog machine made these tough to see, but the first one is the only picture of Mark and me together, and the second one is - well, just too good to pass up!

March 24, 2002

We had a really nice visit with Nana and Papa today. They were passing through town on their way home from visiting Mike down in West Palm Beach, and delivered a baseball quilt Nana made for Patrick's bed.  He went to be so easily tonight with this "new bed from Nana!"

Mark has been working out at the Home and Garden Show as the Volunteer Coordinator since Wednesday so we haven't seen much of him.  The kids and I went down to the show today to see where Daddy's been and check things out.  We rode a shuttle bus from the parking lot.  It was Patrick's first ride on a bus.  I thought it was Alex's first, too, but he was quick to point out that he was an old veteran at this, having ridden a shuttle bus to a football game once.

On the way home, a Billy Joel song came on the radio.  It's called "Movin' Out" and it's about how sometimes the sacrifices to move up in the world are too great. ("It seems like such a waste of time, If that's what it's all about, If that's movin' up, then I'm movin' out.)  Alex asked what the song was about, so I explained it a little.  I went on to explain to him that when I was pregnant with him, we had to make a choice of whether I should stay home with him or keep working, and why we chose for me to stay home.  And then a year ago we had to make a similar choice with Daddy's job.  He made more money before, but he didn't get to see us as much and wasn't very happy with what he was doing.  So we decided we could do without some things in order for him to do what he does now.  Alex thought for a minute, and said, "So I guess the two most important things are food and being happy."    It's amazing what a child's few simple words can do for your perspective.

First bus ride

March 25, 2002

We had a nice quiet day around the house today.  Mark got a ton of beautiful plants from the Home and Garden Show (they're donated by local businesses, so the volunteers get to take them home at the end of the show) so I was outside arranging them.  The dogs were looking so nice just hanging out in the yard enjoying the scenery.

Our alert guard dogs?

March 26, 2002

Alex had an excellent suggestion at dinner tonight - roasting marshmallows for s'mores for dessert!

We're die-hards: roasting marshmallows when it's 80 degrees outside

March 27, 2002

Alex came up to me today and said, "Mommy, come and see the labyrinth I just made."  The kid actually used the word "labyrinth" correctly in everyday conversation!

Boy genius

March 30, 2002

An artist at work Patrick directing

Alex's first "solo" run - albeit only for a few yards Daddy's little helper

March 31, 2002



We had our "Annual Erskine Easter Picnic and Water Balloon Fight" today.  It was absolutely wonderful!

He came!

The master egg finder hard at work The junior master egg finder hard at work

Greg stocking up his ammo Arming the troops

Karon's adorable rabbit cake I'm shamelessly showing off my creations here!

All lined up for the big race
Travis and Greg are trying to relive their childhood!  You can't see it here, but Greg is on Kori's Barbi bike - now that's an image to behold!

On your mark, get set, GO!

Just kicking back
Taking a little break  (No, we didn't let him actually drive like that!)