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November 2-3, 2002

We have absolutely the most wonderful friends and family.  Last weekend we started the completely overwhelming job of painting the outside of our house.  Since it's outside, we figured we'd just give the kids a couple of paint brushes and we could all get some work done.  They both got about two strokes into it and decided it was boring and started asking what "we" could do next.  Our neighbors saw what was happening and took the kids off our hands for most of the afternoon.

This weekend the kids went over to the River to visit with Mark's parents and my mom came over to the house and we did a marathon painting spree.  We got soooo much work done!  At this rate, it'll be done in no time! 

The kids had a terrific visit.  Mark's parents came over Saturday morning and watched Alex's t-ball game and then they drove back over and went fishing and saw a mommy manatee with twin babies!  The kids also came back home with brand new digital Hot Wheels watches.  Patch is hilarious.  On our way to dinner, he told us the time every single minute! 

Thanks Everyone!

We made fall wreaths "Before".  We were amazed at how much paint came off when we pressure washed.  Look to the left of the window.

November 5, 2002

Patch went to the doctor for another follow-up appointment for this latest sinus infection.  He's healthy!!!!!  I can't remember the last time I heard the doctor say that!  (Of course, when he's not sick, we don't see the doctor.  LOL)  Since he's doing well and it's the end of the fall allergy season, we're going to take a stab at weaning him off of some meds.  Wish us luck - I'm so excited!

Alex stayed home from school today with another friendly neighborhood virus.  I know he was truly feeling lousy when he stayed home today, of all days.  Mark has volunteered to be a "Super Scientist" at the school, which means that he and two other parents go into the classrooms and do experiments for the kids.  Today was the day Mark did Super Scientist in Alex's class, and poor Alex had to miss it!  Since Alex missed it at school, Mark did it again at home for him.

Mark is talking about different shapes and then demonstrating how liquid can take on the shape of its container.

November 7, 2002

Alex's class went on a field trip today to the local fire station and police station.  Of course, I went along as chaperone (and photographer!).

Alex and his best buddies waiting to go into the police station My brilliant child answering questions

This better be his ONLY visit to a holding cell! Ahhhhh.  Young love!

Walking through the rescue truck Howdy Ma'am!

Cutie Patootie! What a terrific bunch!

November 8, 2002

Patch got his first bee sting today at the bus stop - right on top of his toe.  He cried hard for about 30 minutes, then it was completely forgotten.  Whew!

Bumming out while icing his toe What a pose!  This is how he was playing on the computer today!

November 9, 2002

I thought that I needed my Palm Pilot to keep track of my busy schedule. What I really use it for is to keep track of my children's social calendars!  This morning Alex had a t-ball game.  Then we were off to Chuck E. Cheese's for a lunch-time birthday party for Alex's classmate.  Then we were off to A Kids Gym for one of Patch's classmate's birthdays.  AND there's one more birthday party tomorrow! 

On the floor at Chuck E. Cheese's (ewwwwwwww) Alex and his friend didn't realize that that camera they were roughhousing in front of was broadcast throughout the place!  They were nailed!

Roll me! Patch LOVED the trampoline!

He's part monkey

November 10, 2002

We met Becca and John and their boys for dinner tonight.  There's nothing like hearing the chorus of "Miss Susan!" from her kids to make my day!

Cute story:  Mark ordered a beer at dinner.  It was happy hour, so they brought him two.  After the first one, he mumbled to me, "These are some big-a** beers!"  As I was giving him "the look" for using that language (mumbled or not), Alex said, "I think Daddy's had too much beer!" 

Group hug We've added way too many men to the world!

Wow!  Do they look like brothers or what! Alex was helping Nathan with the word search

November 11, 2002

I had the tarp for the tent hung over the swing set to dry.  It was irresistible to the kids!

November 12, 2002

While I was in the shower, Patch decided he wanted a banana, and this is how I found him.

My little climber!

November 14, 2002

They always say that the Lord works in mysterious ways.  I've been waiting for inspiration to strike to get me to mop the floors (my absolutely least favorite chore).  The boys were making Lego race cars and Alex asked if they could put water on the floor to make the "track" more difficult.  Voila!  Inspiration.  I let them slip to their hearts' content, and they helped me mop afterward!

Slicking up the track Let's add some to the car for good measure

Very proud of their new game

November 15, 2002

Poor Patch has had a pretty rough day.  He woke up with a lot of asthma symptoms, and home treatments didn't help, so we were off to the doctor - again.  We switched his maintenance medication a few weeks ago, and I guess it wasn't working as well as we thought.  So we went back a little, switched a little, same ole same ole.  Two steps forward, three steps back.  And he's back on oral steroids to try to get things under control.  Have I mentioned lately how much I despise asthma? 

Alex's class has a class pet named Benjamin Bear.  It was finally Alex's weekend to get to take him home!!!  He's supposed to be a guest in our house and participate in our activities when possible.  Then Alex has to write in Benjamin's journal about his weekend.

Alex and Benjamin

November 16, 2002

What a night.  Last night was the closest we've ever come to taking Patch to the hospital.  He coughed his little heart out most of the night.  After a few conversations with the nurse, we opted to stay home.  Of course, by morning when we could go to the doctor, he was doing much better, and has had a little better day today.

Today was supposed to be Alex's last t-ball game of the season, but they were rained out.  We decided to meet at a pizza place instead for an end-of-season party - sort of.  They're planning to have a make-up game on Tuesday night.

Of course, Benjamin Bear joined us. Video games certainly make up for a rained out day.

November 18, 2002

Patch's breathing really hasn't improved much at all, and today he woke up complaining rather vehemently about ear pain ("When can I go to the doctor, Mommy?")  The poor little guy is in pretty bad shape - he has an ear infection and "walking" pneumonia (my understanding is that we caught it early, hence the "walking", but I could be wrong).  Anyway, we're trying to get him in to see a pulmonologist.

Anybody who knows Patch at all knows it's next to impossible to get the kid to have a nice quiet day (coupled with asthma meds that make him bounce off the wall!).  Here's my attempt at a quiet activity.

Mommy the art teacher Happy Turkey Day!

November 19, 2002

After having not slept more than a few hours at a time for five days, I could hardly face another day of trying to keep Patch entertained while also keeping him quiet and inside.  So we went out to see the new Santa Clause 2 movie.  He actually sat still for two hours! 

Meanwhile, I've been having a hard time getting Patrick in to see a pulmonologist anytime soon.  I called the pediatrician to see if she can speed things along, and she wanted to get a chest x-ray first to see where we stand.  So then we were off to get his "picture taken."  Fortunately, Mom was available to go with me, since we were gone for four hours!  It is amazing how "well" Patch can appear when he's so sick - he was doing cartwheels  in the waiting room!  The worst part is it may take two days to get the report.

Waiting while mommy did the paperwork You can't keep a good kid down!

November 21, 2002

Jacob and Clara came over today for some nice quiet building play.  They made quite a car track!

It's a whole Hot Wheels village!

November 22, 2002

Alex's class had their Thanksgiving program today.  They were absolutely adorable doing their little skit and singing songs.  They had a Thanksgiving feast afterwards.

Alex is the Indian in the back row Little Indian boys

We had yet another appointment with the pediatrician today.  Patch's lungs sound much better, but his ear infection is worse and his sinuses are a mess ("Bob, my node is stuffy"  - translation:  Mom, my nose is stuffy).  Alex was an awesome big brother tonight and played tic-tac-toe with Patch while he did his nebulizer.

Alex came up with this idea himself when Patch pitched a fit at the thought of nebbing.

November 23, 2002

Cute story:  Patch fell down and hit his head on the tile.  I heard him start to cry, then Alex said, "Hey!  Did you hurt the tile?"  Patch burst into laughter!

I have to give Mom a great big public THANK YOU for all of her help.  She's been here probably more days than not these last few weeks helping with kids, doctor's appointments and painting.  We couldn't have gotten through the last few weeks without her!

November 24, 2002

The weather has turned quite cold this weekend, apparently too cold to paint, as the painting Mark and Mom did yesterday sort of bled down the house.    So Mark and I took care of a bunch of little projects around the house instead of getting in our last day of painting before Thanksgiving.  The boys did manage to fit in some football, though!

Cuddling and watching football

November 26, 2002

Uncle David and Aunt Kat arrived tonight!  The boys were soooooooo excited, and Patch even had drawn her a picture.  Awwwwwww.

Alex was reading his bedtime story to Kat Trouble and David were like long lost pals

November 27, 2002

We all went go-karting today!  What a blast!  And then we had a nice family dinner at our house, followed by a fire in the chiminea and of course, Lego building.

First was the little cars
At the starting line Here they come!

Alex and David are neck and neck!

 Alex is waaaaay too comfortable in that driver's seat!Patch kept trying to play bumper cars

Then the adults got in the fast cars!
Ha!  Cut him off!  Pedal to the metal, baby!

Taking my victory lap with the checkered flag!

And of course, Legos before bed

November 28, 2002


We had a fabulous feast at Mom and Dad's house!  Unfortunately, though, tonight is a sad night of goodbyes.  David, Kat and I all leave for the airport in the middle of the night tonight.  They leave to visit Kat's family and I'm heading up to Virginia to visit with Dallison and be a part of their daughter, Kendall's, christening.  She's my new goddaughter!  And Mark and the boys will be heading off to the River.

David got caught raiding the turkey The Bradley clan (sans photographer, of course)

Dad assumed the "post turkey dinner" position Kat read the boys their bedtime story one last time

November 30, 2002

I've had the best couple of days!  Yesterday I flew up to Washington, D.C. to visit with Dallison and her family.  We haven't seen each other in 3 1/2 years!  She has two absolutely beautiful children, Quinton who is Patch's age, and then Kendall, who is 5 months.  Kendall is my new goddaughter!  Her christening was today, and she was incredible.  She sat and watched everything, and didn't flinch when the water was poured.  I'm so blessed to be a part of her life.

Richard (godfather), Kevin (father), Dallison (mother) and me getting Kendall dressed in her christening gown.

Getting set up During the service.  Isn't she precious?