Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What was I Doing When I Ate Pavement?

Isn't this a gorgeous playground? This is where we come every weekend so that Ethan can play and ride his bike. Notice the shade. Each piece of this playground was donated from members of the community. It's called Be an Angel Playground.

Ethan often gets stuck right before he gets going. I guess the peddle is hard to move from up there. Notice the track turf surrounding the playground. I love walking on this kind of..bounce.. It makes me feel athletic again....I'm not sure why.

Joey is kind enough to get off of his bike to give Ethan a little push to get him going. See that helmet? It's state law. Make your kids wear helmets! Head injuries are horrible. Again..look at that beautiful turf ground.

Isn't this a great picture? I love when they ride together. Ethan will look to the side and veer off of the asphalt. Oh wait...he must get that from me.

And this my friends is what I was doing when I looked off...and veered off the pavement. I was watching 2 of my boys bonding. See, if Joey wasn't pushing him right there, I would be the one doing it. Thank God for big brothers.

My ankle is healing nicely and so is my leg. My camera is OK but my best lens got a piece broken off. It's OK though, still usable. So there you go....I injure myself just to bring you shots of the boys bonding. I'd say that's over and beyond the call of duty, dontcha think?



Monday, July 28, 2008

Just Call me Hop Along...or Not

Well yesterday proved to be eventful. Not quite what I pictured for a nice Sunday afternoon, but eventful anyway.

We spend quite a bit of time during the weekend at a really nice playground down the road from us. The ground on the playground is a track turf, so it's a little bouncy if the kids fall. Above the playground, much of it is covered to keep the sun off of everyone. Surrounding the playground is a nice asphalt track that kids ride their bikes on and parents walk while kiddos are playing.

Yesterday (as we do at least twice a weekend) we went to the park so that Ethan could ride his bike on the track. It's much safer there than in our busy neighborhood, so he rides to his hearts content.

I was busy taking pictures of Ethan and Joey riding their bikes and not paying much attention to anything else. Let me stop right here to mention that I had a bad feeling about taking my nice expensive camera on the walk with me for some reason. I kept envisioning it dropping to the ground and breaking.

The track is raised about 5-6 inches above the ground and I must have been walking on the edge. All of a sudden (in slow motion I might add) I slip off the side, twisting my ankle as I go down, and hit the ground face first. My camera (of course) slipped out of my hand and hit the ground.

I laid there for a good 5 minutes in severe pain. I couldn't move my ankle and Jerry was trying to see if I could move at all. I looked at my right leg and saw huge scrapes on my knee and shin. My right elbow was busted up too. After about 10 minutes, Jerry was able to help me get to a table that was close by. By then I was severely nauseated. Ethan was freaking out so I was doing my best to act as if nothing was wrong. He was so sweet! We finally got him to agree to ride his bike one more time around the park while I elevated my ankle to see if it would keep hurting.

Jerry helped me stand up to see if I could walk to the truck (a LONG way away) and I just couldn't. Ethan came over and informed us that it was time to go home. They all walked to the truck and I stayed where I was. There is no where for vehicles to drive in the park so Jerry had to cut through our soccer field and ride the fence line to come and get me. He was able to get the truck right up to where I was and help me in. Ethan was telling me that it would be OK and that I just needed to breathe! LOL He was actually being very helpful and adorable. He was really worried.

We got home and cleaned up my battle wounds. Fast forward to today....I spent all day (of my planned vacation day) laid up in bed. I can get around a little better today, it still hurts to walk on my ankle but I can hobble around. My ankle is about the size of a knee cap now so the swelling is going down. I go back to work tomorrow, so that should be interesting! Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Growing Up

Reality hit me a little hard today as my baby boy visited his new classroom. What does that mean? It means that he's about to start pre-school curriculum, PRE-SCHOOL! He already can count to 20 in Spanish- they have Spanish every day, takes computer class 3 times a week, has Opus music once a week, gymnastics once a week, and a special art class once a week. He's been on a basic pre-school track since he was 2, but now it's going to be the real thing.

He was slated to move up mid-August when school starts but plans changed this week. His current teacher turned in her notice and that meant he was getting a new lead teacher. Rather than getting him used to a new teacher only to move classes, we thought it best to go ahead and move him.

What will he be learning? Phonics-based reading, basic math, how to tie his shoes, his address and phone number, how to write the alphabet, and how to write his name. That just scratches the surface. All of this will be incorporated with regular fun things, water park once a week, 4 field trips a month, picnics 3-4 times a week, computer class, Spanish, Art, gymnastics, Opus music, etc.

It's just hard to believe that he's already "there". He's so darned excited to be going to a big boy class now but it's so bitter sweet. I seriously understand now what it means when someone says "They just grow up so fast". We are just really lucky to have found such a great place for him to go- he really loves it there.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

....And Then Boo was Four!

Boo's birthday party was this weekend (the 20th). Eunice and Barry had his party at the Galveston Railroad Museum. We had pizza, cake, and ice cream in a passenger car; and then we went on a train ride!!! Happy Birthday Barry Chas Steding! We simply adore you! You can click to enlarge

I think he was hanging on Barry...that, or he's part monkey..

My favorite family besides my own!
I'm not sure why Eunice was holding his head! LOL
How sweet is this?

I love this picture:


Clearly this shirt is too small for him...I see that
3 of my boys (Jake 14 yrs-left and Joey 11yrs-right)

Ethan just discovered a pink flamingo
Now we must ride it...

This is the train we rode

See the scratch on the tip of his nose? Joey did it while they were wrestling around...and we heard about it for 6000 hours!

After the train ride

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Beach Bums a la Galveston

Last weekend we took a trip to the beach because well, we enjoy subjecting ourselves to the hottest part of the day in Texas. Actually, there was a pretty nice breeze blowing and the water was a cool 85 degrees. Hey, I know that sounds hot to many of you but when the heat index is pushing 110, you take what you can get. It's interesting Jake and Joey have no tolerance for Texas heat. They are used to mild temperatures in NJ. I guess us Texas natives are just used to the oppressive heat. You can click to enlarge. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Oh No She Didn't!"

So have you ever had one of those moments when you are watching someones most embarrassing moment of their lives and you think "Wow, I'm really glad I'm not him/her!"? Have you ever been the him/her that people are referring to in their thoughts as they are mentally cringing as they are watching the worst possible moment play out before them?

That was me once...long ago while I was young and oh so naive. Yes, naive...because I had never been subject to the "Wow, I'm really glad I'm not her". Ahh, I remember those be naive again...sigh.

OK, sorry...I digress.

Well, I never intended to make this public but last night as I was remembering this moment (and cringing the whole while), I decided I was going to blog about it. Next I will tell you about my friend and her unnatural fear of frogs; but tonight I will take you along with me while I re-live my horror.

Back in 2001 I up and decided to move to NC to work at Duke. The weekend before I left, I went to Huntsville, TX (which is about 2 hours from where I live- give or take) to go party with my best friend Tiff. There was a club there called Shenanigans that had a 2 clubs within. There was a Country side and then there was the "club" club side, that had all of the dance music.

Tiff and I were on the Country side that woeful night that I had my moment...We were dancing and having a blast, without a care in the world. Oh yes, those were the days. Now, the neat thing about this club was that it had a shadow box that people could dance in. It was lit from inside; and while you were dancing, the people on the outside only saw your shadow. What a neat little concept, right? I thought so too.

Kid Rock has a song called "Cowboy" that the DJ decided to play at just the right time. My 20 something self decided that I needed to dance the song away in the shadow box. Tiff didn't see it that way at all, and decided to stay on the dance floor. All by my lonesome I went. Right into the shadow box. Never would my life be the same. So, there I was- dancing to "Cowboy" and thinking I was all that. I did some neat little things in with my arms that I was sure was making me look so cool to the people outside of the shadow box. Out of the blue- the song stopped. There was no warning, it just quit cold turkey. I stopped dancing too, curious as to why the music would stop mid-song. Something must be wrong with the CD, yes, that was it! All of a sudden, the DJ comes over the mic and I hear "What the F is that in the shadow box!?" It took a moment for it to register that he was actually talking about me... I was still by then and he continued "It looks like a blob or the abominable snowman!" Now right here I need to interject to say that even though Huntsville is a college town, it's out in the country. Because of that, there are not many clubs around so this place was packed. Packed I say! People start laughing. Rolling actually. I was totally mortified, and could feel my cheeks burning. See, the DJ didn't just start the music up again, he went on and on and on. Tempting me to step outside of the shadow box so that everyone could see the form that was inside. What went on for a few minutes felt like a lifetime.

Apparently, the closer you get to the front of the wall of the shadow box, the more it distorts your form. I must have been really close! Now, the DJ finally had mercy on my soul and started the music back. At this point, there was no way that I was leaving that shadow box, so I just stayed...praying that Tiff would come get me. She didn't. Finally a group of about 5 people climbed in and I remember a girl saying to me "OH MY GOD! I bet you are so embarrassed!" Little did she know, I was beyond embarrassed. But, about 5 minutes later I got my chance to leave that prison. I left in the middle of their group as they were getting out. See, that way no one knew who it was that was the blob during "Cowboy". I was able to save face. Until I saw my friend Tiff, sitting in the corner...laughing until tears were coming out of her eyes. She informed me that there was no way she was going in there after that, I was on my own...that's why she didn't come save me.

That has been about 7 years and I must say--I still blush when I remember.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jake, Busted Pipes, and General Ramblings

Yowser! This week has been beyond hectic. I would like to preface this post by apologizing for not updating sooner, but my wireless has been out. My wonderful husband fixed it for me today after trouble shooting for several days. So Jake got in this past Thursday and Ethan waited by the door for him, just like he did for Joey. He has been so thrilled to have them here. We are going Thursday evening to get the boys pictures done, so I will get those posted once we do. I also have some summer school pictures of Ethan, we just have to get them scanned.

Now, lemme just tell you about our weekend...yeah...our weekend. Friday was nice, we decided instead of going to the big Houston Party "Freedom Over Texas", that we would pop fireworks at home. It turned out to be a wild success, and we even had some neighbors cheering for us! They sure do make some amazing fireworks theses days!! They makes boxes that you can light and they launch firework after firework that actually looks professional. Ethan wasn't totally sure about the noise, but as long as he covered his ears, he was fine.

Saturday morning we woke up to a lake in our front yard! A pipe broke up against the front of the house that just happened to be in my flower bed!!!! Jerry had to did part of it up (about 3 feet down) to find the pipe and then spent most of the day trying to fix it himself. After 4 trips to Lowes and Ace Hardware, we both decided that this was beyond his "Mr. Fix-it" powers and we had to call a plumber. We spent most of the day Saturday with no water, we turned it back on long enough to take quick showers and such. The plumbers came out on Sunday morning and broke the news that the pipe was not fixable and had to be totally replaced. They bypassed the pipe and created a new one. This entailed digging up almost half of my (very large) flower bed and digging up under our cement walk way. Oh, and they had to break into the wall of my garage to reach the other end of the pipe. Finally at around 6:30 that evening, we got water!!! I will tell you this...I will never take running water for granted again! Yeck! Anyway, below you will see some pics of Jake arriving, hanging out back, and pics from the 4th. You can click them to enlarge. Enjoy. Oh- and I've added some new links to my blog roll on the right hand side. There are some really good blogs on there, you should check them out!