Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ok so it's been a while.

I apparently suck at this!

It was a fun summer.

Jack celebrated his 4th birthday at the park with a small party. He had a great day and everyone enjoyed the Spongebob cake!

Jack LOVED his new bike!

In July we went up to Kentucky for a family reunion. Josh got the time off at school to come with us. As we were getting off the exit to Gainesville the check engine light went on in the Jeep and the thermostat went into the red. I freaked! We were only 90 minutes into the trip and we've got a check engine light! We pulled over into a gas station and let it cool off. All the fluid levels were good and once it was sufficiently cooled we went and picked up Josh and got ourselves to a Jeep dealership. It turned out that our radiator (original to the Jeep and therefore 11 years old) was shot. We ended up replacing it, the hoses and thermostat. We told them to take their time we'd pick it up on the way home and rented a car. After our 3 hour detour we were back on the road in time to hit Atlanta at rush hour! In a thunderstorm! We finally got to our hotel (Convention Center Marriott, Chattanooga) around 9 so we didn't have any time to play in the pool or anything. That was kind of a bummer but Jack was happy that the hotel had a glass elevator and an escalator. He still talks about the "Red Hotel". The next day was uneventful and we rolled into Louisville around 2 o'clock. We had a great time at the reunion and at the Louisville Zoo the next day. We even got to meet the Miller family of Parr8's Family fame. A good time was had by all!
Griffin, Emmy and Jack sharing a wagon ride.

The boys at the pool.

The hotel in L-ville was neat. It had 2 pools which the kids loved. It was also central to just about everything we wanted to do. On the way home we stayed in Chattanooga again but this time we were at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. What a fun place! We got to ride on a trolley and eat dinner in a real train car! There was also a model train museum we went to. Jack loved climbing on the old locomotive.

Jack doing his bell ringer duty.

Jack "driving" the train.

Ed and Rocio came down with Brando and Ben in August. We had a good time going to the beach with them and Jack and Ben got in some cousin time. Jack enjoyed having someone his age to play with. As always, their visit was far too short!
Brando and Rocio enjoying the day.

Jack and Ben and their private beach.

With all that going on the rest of the summer was uneventful by comparison! Jack started Pre-K and immediately got sick and missed a week of school! The poor guy had a nasty bug that he passed on to Daddy. He's a good sharer.
Jack on his first day of Pre-K.

Yesterday he fell off the slide at school. He wasn't using his left arm at all so we took him to urgent care. His x-rays were clear and they gave him a sling so he could rest his arm a bit. If he's still not able to use the arm by Monday we'll take him to his pediatrician's office to get him looked at. At the rate I'm going I'll update this blog on his arm some time in March!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Our super-duper camping adventure!

Rain and all!

First a few observations:

We saw people in massive RVs "camping" in the same place we were. The folks next to us had a small rapid set pool, golf carts, plasma tv, Dale JR flag a'flyin' and a VERY loud stereo. Seriously, if you're bringing your living room with you it ain't camping, people. Golf carts? It would kill you to walk? Jack had no problem walking the park and he's only 3! Lazy jerks. These same jerks had roughly 600 small yappy dogs that they didn't have on leashes. We got to listen to them yell at the dogs to come back 100 times a day. Next time we'll be camping in the primitive sites. No RVs allowed. No water, no electricity. We can use the campground showers and fill our water containers as we need to but it'll be more peaceful. I'm thinking of going back soon if we can get our tent issues resolved. (see below)

I got a kick out of the people with the wooden signs with their name on them. Some even had a PVC flag pole with the Stars and Stripes flying for the holiday weekend.

Not many things suck more than fire ants:

We had 2 nests in our site. We set about pouring boiling water down the nests and that seemed to keep them in their place. We managed to keep Jack away but John and I wound up with a few bites on our ankles. Probably payback for the boiling water we kept pouring down the nest.

Beth's mad driving skillz:

My previously unscathed jeep got a little scathed this weekend. I backed into a tree and put a little ding in the back bumper and somehow managed to wedge the post making our camp website (Thank you, Jack) number between the tire and the front bumper. So much for creative parking!

101 (Well, 2) uses for a coffee press:

In trying to get Jack to take a nap we just decided to leave him in the tent. This was a bad idea. He got into John's shampoo bottle and smeared it all over his head. We used the coffee press like a pitcher and got the shampoo rinsed out for the most part.

The trip:

The first day was pretty much dedicated to getting settled. We got to the park around 1, got checked in and set up our stuff. The goal was to get it set up before the rain started. We made it. We did the tent first then our screen house over the picnic table. All the comforts of home (minus the plasma tv, pool, 600 yappy dogs, golf carts and loud stereo.) Anyway, we got the camp set up and were putting the finishing touches on things just as it started to sprinkle. Once we were done we decided since it wasn't raining all that hard we'd go for a walk. Jack was delighted with the idea of walking in the rain. We went up to the little restaurant/camp store and got some ice cream and went home again. After dinner we took a drive around the park to scout out the different hiking trails. At one point we saw a wild hog run across the road and into the bushes on the other side. We figured out where we wanted to hike first and went back to camp, made popcorn, had showers and set about the task of trying to get Jack to go to sleep. He was pretty wound up and it wasn't easy. John ended up riding him around a little in the car to get him to relax. While John was riding Jack around I could swear I could hear light sabers every few minutes. I thought maybe it was the ceiling fans in the bathrooms or maybe some kids playing but it was getting late and it was dark and otherwise pretty quiet. I had to use the bathroom so I got up and as I was walking to the bathrooms I saw that some people further down had one of the Star Wars movies playing on the side of their screen house! It was like a drive in movie over there. I was relieved to know I wasn't hearing things.

The next morning we were up early compared to our neighbors and were dressed and on the hiking trails before a lot of folks were even awake. We hiked 2 of the trails. The first was the Cypress Swamp trail.
It's a board walk that goes through a swamp. There's lots of cypress trees and if you're lucky you'll see an alligator. We didn't see one though. We did see some really cool spider webs and a woodpecker. The whole boardwalk was very shady and it was a cool place on a warm day. Later on the boardwalk got pretty narrow. We saw some pretty neat cypress knees too.

The other trail was the Ancient Hammock trail. This trail had some of the biggest oak trees I've ever seen. By now Jack was getting pretty tired and John wound up carrying him much of the way. We same some giant grasshoppers, loads of lizards and places where the wild hogs had been rooting in the dirt. We also saw tracks.

After the hike we had a futile attempt at getting Jack to go to sleep. We got in the car and went into town (Sebring, Florida) to get some more ice and some corn for dinner. We drove all the way around the big lake and he was awake the whole time. We came back to camp and had lunch, went to the playground for a little while and still he wouldn't lay down so we decided to rent a couple bikes. We knew he'd konk out if we put him in a bicycle child carrier. We were right. John's bike had some serious drive train issues and kept slipping so we only rode around for a half hour or so but Jack slept most of the way. With Jack re-energized, we went back to the little restaurant/store and had another ice cream. While we were inside it started to rain a little bit. Then it started to rain harder. After we finished our ice cream we went across to the little CCC museum they have and walked around it for a while until the rain let up a bit. It was sprinkling when we headed back to camp and a downpour by the time we got there. We were all soaked to the skin and decided to take refuge in the tent. I went to the jeep and got our dry towels and some dry clothes for everyone. Then we saw that the rainfly was leaking. Our bed was getting dripped on and everything in the tent was getting pretty wet. We figured we could tough it out if it only rained for an hour or so and when it stopped after about an hour we went out to start supper. Just and John got the fire going and we started cooking hot dogs over it the rain started again. We had a short meeting and decided to pack it up and clean everything up at home. We had the car packed in an hour and were on our way at about 8:30. We got home last night around 10 and got some showers and hit the sack. Everything is covered in sand and a mulchy mix of dead organic matter, pine needles and bark. It was a great trip. I wish we could have had another day to check out the trails but we'll go back.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Funky Flutime Pharmacy Phun!

What a day. Q-Tips freak out over the flu enough but add all the preposterous pandemic paranoia and it heightens to a whole new level. I must have explained that Theraflu and Tamaflu are two very different things. We're out of useless face masks, we're out of hand sanitizer gel, no you can't get Tamaflu or Relenza unless you're really sick. Top that off with it being the first Monday of the month and us having an intern in today that had never set foot behind a pharmacy counter and things were going to be freaky anyway. Then we got the call. A girl I work with wanted to know if she should stay home if her mother has a suspected case of swine flu. Her mom is waiting on test results from the CDC. Sooooo...she wasn't allowed come to work because she might be about to get sick herself.

I'm pretty tired.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We're taking Jack to dinner tomorrow night in Spain.

A few months ago, when John was driving Jack home after school, Jack started asking him to take him to Spain. John didn't know what Jack was talking about and tried to get more information from the kid but they both got frustrated. Then one day we were picking up some takeout Chinese food at the place in town and Jack got all excited that Daddy finally brought him to...Spain! I have no idea why so don't ask me to explain it. We're getting dinner there tomorrow night, Jack loves Spanish food.

Josh is doing well at school and should be finished with the high school portion of the curriculum in a couple months. We sent him a cell phone and he's busy running up our mobile bill as I type this. He called today and asked for me to send him some running shoes. He's trying out for the track team. He was also made a Corporal in the Pre Law Enforcement program. He's going to go on a ride along with the Sheriff's department soon. It's great that things are looking up for him.

We're all looking forward to our camping trip at Highlands Hammock State Park next month. Stay tuned for pictures of that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ten Reasons Why Jack Can't Go to Sleep

1. I have to go potty.
2. I'm still hungry.
3. I want a drink of water.
4. There's a monster in the closet.
5. I wanna rock.
6. I want to go to Spain. (Which is what he calls the local Chinese take out place.)
7. My bed is itchy.
8. I want Old DD. (The blanket we keep at preschool for him.)
9. Tiger is noisy. (Tiger is his stuffed lion.)
10. I'm too busy right now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day

Ahhh, Valentine's Day. The one day of the year when the shallow amongst us clamber for more bling and hold our loved ones close to our wallets. Ahhh, it just smacks of love and devotion. Sigh...

Ok, so I'm not exactly a hopeless romantic. I don't think I need a special day to make John feel special. With a little help from the ladies he works with this year's Valentine's Day gift was one to remember!

John's coworker Pattie sent me an IM last week wanting an idea to prank him. He was on vacation last week so they had time to put everything together without him being around and she wanted to take advantage of it. I made a few suggestions that she liked and then suggested they put a big sign on it that said "Happy Valentine's Day Love, Beth" on it. Pattie worked all week at getting the materials together and they wrapped his desk in cellophane and jello'd his coffee cup. They threw a few Valentine's decorations here and there and viola!

John's Valentine's Day gift:
The little cups all over the place are full of those little heart shaped candies. They did a great job. I probably would have done more, I have a propensity toward excess, but they did a good job considering he's going to get even with them some time.

He was pretty surprised. I'm sure he thought last year's singing telegram was a one time thing. Maybe we have the makings of a tradition here. He'll be on guard next year though.

...should have wrapped up his chair too.

There's always room for jello!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Josh found out his Job Corps date today!

We hadn't heard anything in the month or so since he had his interview up in Tampa so we suggested he call his counselor yesterday. I guess that call woke everyone up because he got a call from the Job Corps center in Gainesville and he leaves on February 24th!

He talked to the counselor for a while today. He found out that while he has a career path in mind he will shadow a student in 3 different career paths before he makes his decision. My money is still on Law Enforcement. It's all the kid has talked about since he was 3 years old.

Anyway, the morning of Febuary 24th we'll pack up Josh's stuff and drive the 140 miles to Gainesville and drop him off. I'm interested to see the campus. I don't think we'll be able to stay long but that's okay. He's looking forward to taking his first steps away from home and we've very proud of him for making this decision and doing all the hard work he had to do to get into the program. Way to go Josh!