Thursday, July 31, 2008

playing catch up

Tuesday we had TaiKwon Do class for Ezra; we've been rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays - this time I took Jesse to Ezra's class. There's an observation room where parents sit, I usually bring a book or laptop with me to work, but if I forget then I chum it up with the other TKD parents. Jesse had a blast, he gave high fives to everyone and was talking up a storm (some was completely gibberish) - two times he snuck over to the door that enters the room Ezra was in and he yelled for his brother. I think he didn't quite get it that this class was Ezra's special class... no fits, just curiosity.

Wednesday I threw my brain out the window - I forgot about Jesse's class!!!! I felt TERRIBLE when I looked on MS Outlook (my other brain) and realized that I had missed it. I have been so pre-occupied w/ getting things together for our trip, getting end of month work finished for the two companies I work for, getting appointments out of the way (haircut, doctor, etc). So... to make up for that, I decided we should meet Jonathon for lunch. We headed that way and when we were minutes away from where we were supposed to meet I called him to make sure he was leaving work so we'd meet on time; and he was walking out the door. Then he realized that he had a flat tire!!! What else would we have expected? That's how we roll. The boys and I ended up grabbing junk lunch to go and took it home to eat.

Finally, today we get back to the Honda dealership and get my skylight shade installed on the Element. We spent only 1 hour there today, the boys had fun. I took lots of pictures, I was tooling around with settings on the camera again... I was bored - the TV was on Noggin and Jack's Big Music Show... we came home after and I began packing a little for our 4 day vacation. Clothes are all ready to go - now just the other goodies to pack. :)

Sweet hugs... they hugged alot and I took alot of pictures, this one is my fav.

Jesse meets no strangers, he also evidently likes his women 'older'.... random kids hanging out.

So we leave Saturday; I'll have the laptop w/me of course (camera, photos - upload) - hopefully I can journal about our trip some. This is Jesse's first time to the beach! Yay!

Monday, July 28, 2008

how it goes

So - I procrastinated.... for 1 year. A year ago I bought this nifty skylight shade for our Honda Element skylight (they don't call it a sunroof...they're weird like that) but I never had it installed. The skylight is right over the kids heads in the back seat and it gets pretty toasty back there if we're not parked in the garage. I figured now was a great time to get it installed, since we're going to be at the beach - where it's hot... right? Wrong! The part, a genuine Honda part, didn't come w/ instructions (we didn't attempt this at home); I called the dealer I work for and asked about installing it, and they said I should have received a template w/ it and if I didn't then they'd rather me take it to the Honda dealer to have it installed... they DO have to drill holes in my headliner! So, we did that - made an appt. with the local Honda dealer, a close friend of mine works there and she assured me it'd be around 45 min. They have a nifty kids room (see photos below) and we took a snack, and 2 hours later I found out that they didn't have a template!! They insisted my part should have included a template... but the box clearly says on the side "Instructions not included, see dealer for instructions or contact customer service" (it's not really a DIY type of job).... STORY OF MY LIFE! After 2 hours waiting (the kids were TERRIFIC!) we left, they were to call us when they figured out what to do (assuring - wondering about drilling holes in the headliner and roof - that can rust and leak... ha). I called American Honda myself, and they couldn't find a template to order!! HA! I just rolled my eyes, totally my luck (anyone who knows me is laughing HARD).

5pm - I get a phone call, they ordered one overnight... hopefully we'll get it installed before we leave. It's not life/death situation - I just find it absolutely insane that nothing that I 'plan' goes as 'planned.
Examples: in 2005 husband/stress test - I planned that he'd be told that they were concerned over nothing or something simple... but instead he had a heart attack during the stress test (after NO other symptoms of heart disease!).... on the flip side of planning... things that I don't plan keep happening too.... like our little miracle of Jesse - unplanned pregnancy 4 months after his triple bypass surgery (ha - cardio)... then I 'planned' a spectacular birth -HAHAHA - and after 20+ long hours of labor and a true attempt of delivery the way I wanted to do it... Jesse was born after we rushed into the O.R. for a c-section. (note - not exactly what I planned) Then there's the really mundane things that would take me days to list that happen literally daily. I've resigned myself to begin planning as if it's Bizarro Opposite World... maybe then it'll go as planned at least once in a while.
Right now - I'm planning our trip, packing, and getting ready for our first family vacation to the beach since Jesse was born. There's been alot going on that's prevented us from doing that. Until the past 2 years we'd been going every year on my birthday. We're going to do that this year! I can't wait!! I'd have to bet that I'm more excited then the kids.
Moral of todays long winded blog... procrastination will bite you in your BUTT!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Airplanes and Boys

We visited Carolina's Aviation Museum this afternoon, Ezra had been with school in the past, and we'd taken him once before Jesse came along. Jesse LOVES airplanes, so we thought he'd love it, and now that Ezra's a little older - he's more interested in the educational aspect on the history of these old war fighter planes!
Ezra is learning about the Boeing KC-97L, the world's first major aerial tanker. Our tour guide for this aircraft (cockpit only). There were ALOT of controls, and Ezra asked ALOT of questions! Jesse wasn't a fan of the cockpit - so Ezra and I came back to get more info. Ezra was learning how the airplane would go into autopilot.

Below: Sikorsky Aircraft 1966 HH-3E Jolly Green Giant - Vietnam War Helicopter
Combat Search & Rescue Helicopter. I could not get over the size of this beast!

I'm pretty sure that this is a F-14 - but not 100%.... dad - you'd know... so let me know! I took the picture, because it's not everyday your toddler touches a weapon on a fighter jet. (even though it's an empty shell - it was a bit weird)

Ezra in a cockpit they had for kids to play in.

Jesse tends to turn beet red after playing outdoors - this is not because of sun exposure, more from his body temp. heating up from being active. Ezra has this happen too if he's playing aggressively. As we were leaving everyone was super concerned our toddler was sunburned. It takes too long to explain - so we just nod and say thanks for their concerns. This picture doesn't do his little red face justice, but his tongue sticking out is too cute not to share... I plan to contact the ped. one more time just to feel assured this is normal for some children!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


We've had some pretty bad storms around our house lately... I say 'around' because they're literally surrounding us. Wednesday morning we had a heavy flash flood type rain for about 30 min that filled the baby pool 1/2 way full; there was lots of close lightening. We ended up skipping Jesse's toddler class, where Ezra sits in the lobby is surrounded by large windows from ceiling to about 1 foot from the floor - that kind of didn't set well with me so we decided to hang out at home. Below are clouds from Tuesday nights storms, we never received rain - but it sure looked bad!

These are clouds from Wednesday night - the sky was lit with weird colors.

Here's some pics from the boys at the pool today!

My tomatoes are puny, but they're still growing even though it's been 98 degrees w/o rain for several days in a row!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

catching up

I've been catching up from being w/o a computer, and now I'm trying to get ahead so we can go to the beach. We have a sweet little villa reserved at Folly Beach, and I can't wait! In the meantime... I found us a new camera, it's not a DSLR but it'll do and I'm figuring it out little by little. I bought it from a local photographer, it's only 6 months old and I got a steal of a deal on it! Our camera was 5 years old, nothing really wrong with it - just wanted to upgrade. I haven't figured it all out yet, but I have been snapping a few test photos here and there. The person who I bought it from showed me a few nifty tricks on a point and shoot that allows better clarity... and then she set it back to factory settings (go figure) while she was showing me all of the options. I guess she had some kind of idea that I was paying close attention? HA. So, now I'm trying to duplicate the settings she had so that I can have the same great crisp clear pictures she took while we were there!
The boys are great, it's been humid/hot and gross, so we've been staying cool indoors. We plan to go to the beach, Old Salem, and a few other exibits before Ezra goes back to school. He'll be a 5th grader!

Jesse visited the dermatologist for a minor skin irritation, and we're glad to know it's no biggie! It's superficial and will go away on it's own, and that's wonderful news!! Seems Jesse inherited fair skin.... so he's our little tomato toddler when he's been outdoors for a little while. He's also prone to skin irritations, contact dermatitis, and other little funky stuff that can all be fixed with the right amount of Aquaphor and sunscreen... good to know! The pediatric dermatologist was great with him and was impressed with how Jesse sat and let them poke and prod at him! After that was done, he excused himself from my lap to go play with the exam table up/down pedals. HA!

Before I figured out how to lock the frame and focus....

Jonathon handed his new iPhone over to the boys so they could call their cousins in Texas...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday's Stuff

Each Tues/Thurs Ezra goes to TaiKwon Do class - he has his choice in days - I really can't say enough about Mr. Kempka and his entire staff of instructors, they're so terrific at getting kids (specifically timid Ezra) to open up and have a great attitude toward learning the art and sport of TaiKwon Do. Today Ezra was sparring (to make the motions of attack and defense with the arms and fists, esp. as a part of training) it's interesting to see them put on gear and actually forcefully attack or be attacked and then defend themselves. He's getting pretty good at this!

On another note... I'm extremely grateful for having been taught the Heimlich Maneuver years ago by the Red Cross. Tonight, while Ezra and Jonathon were at TKD, it was just Jesse and I. Jesse wanted some more cantaloupe so I sliced him up some - in toddler size bites, but even so the worst possible situation occurred. I sat down with him, he got a piece of it and walked over to get his cup off of the coffee table, as he turned to look at me his eyes were huge and he was scared and could not get any air in when breathing. He quickly began turning very dark red/purple in the face from gasping and struggling for air, he was making some pretty scary noises. I did the Heimlich on him for about 45 seconds very aggressively, and finally the piece of cantaloupe that was lodged in his throat popped out; it was a moment of no thinking and just doing. Afterwards, he continued to gag and somewhat choke for several minutes, but he was clearly turning back to his normal color and getting air in, unlike before. He was such a trooper, I really was very forceful on him after the first few tries not working and worried that I hurt him....Jonathon and Ezra came home and I excused myself to cry. I'm no superhero, and things like this do scare me, if they didn't I wouldn't feel human. I don't know what came over me to just react and handle things w/o freaking out during the actual situation, but after Jonathon came home I just needed to go and get it out of my system - adrenaline was gone, and mommy heart settled in. Had I not known how to do the Heimlich - what would have happened? I could sit and dwell on that, but gosh I'm so thankful he's fine. He was there not breathing and was choking in all aspects of the word and in looking at his little face he had both confusion and trust that I'd fix him in his eyes. For 20 minutes afterwards he just held onto me tightly and quietly. I just can't seem to get to sleep tonight, and I'll admit to walking into his room several times to look at him sleeping peacefully and being 100% grateful that he's alright...

Monday, July 14, 2008

the boyz

after fresh haircuts... (and a little blue gel for Ezra)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Today we went to the lakefront for a bit, then stopped by our favorite Chinese restaurant for some takeout...

BOTH boys got the same thing in their fortune cookies. Unbelievable - and right on the money.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What the ???

We were out and about today, and as we got in the car to leave the parking lot I literally almost pee'd myself. Not sure why I'd actually lose all logic and think that the darn thing could have actually been alive, but there's something funky about a mounted deer head sitting in the passenger seat of a car. For a split second, my logic escaped me and I gasped as if the blame thing were alive.... sitting there next to me... in a car. Have a laugh - I sure did.

The picture doesn't nearly do the moment justice.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

a break

An important decision, more time for things like this.... means less of the stress about when I'll get caught up on work.

(you can't tell on the video, Ezra is the loud one in the pool, ha)

Monday, July 7, 2008

gut roll

I just got my computer up and running, and I'm working on getting it back to where I need it to be for work, in the meantime, I saw this video on a TV show we watch and almost pee'd myself laughing. I'm guessing his dad's a preacher.... hmmm, can't remember me or my brothers ever doing this. It was worth sharing. ((especially you dad))

Sunday, July 6, 2008

off to the mooovies

We took the kids to see Wall-E; this is Jesse's first visit the the theater! He did so great, I was pleasantly surprised. I put too much thought into it, and don't give him enough credit. He sat for all but 10 minutes of the entire movie, including credits (which is complete overkill if you ask me). The movie was my first theater movie in over 2 years. I don't get much out of going and spending $5-$8 on a movie that eventually I can rent for 1.00!! HA! Jonathon likes to go to new releases w/ his dad because it's so much more interesting (according to him) to view the graphics and special effects on the big screen.

The kids really liked the movie, we went for the matinee, and I was pleasantly surprised that Jesse got in free! Ezra was excited because they have blue slushies! I was glad to have yummy popcorn, that's my favorite part of going!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today's my dad's 64th birthday! Happy Birthday dad!!! We spent the morning with dad, Denise, and Haleigh at dad's house, took him a little birthday gift and just hung out. I haven't seen Haleigh since Christmas, so it was nice to see her! We talk weekly on the phone, but it's so much more fun to spend time together in person!! We had fun hanging out with dad for the morning of his birthday. Something that came to me was that dad and I share something on our birthdays that can only be described as bitter sweet. How we can turn another year older on our birthday and celebrate having had a great year only to wake up the very next day to remember and mourn the loss of someone we loved and held close to our hearts. My grandpa died 1 day after my dad's 41st birthday, not even 1 day... he held on until just after midnight, making sure with all his might that he didn't pass away on his son's birthday. How ironic is it that now I have that same bittersweet chain of events to occur on my own birthday. I'll turn 32 this year, and one day later it will be 1 year that I've spent w/o my brother. I don't think I'll miss him any more on the anniversary of his death, as I'm sure is the same with my dad - but it becomes even more fresh in our minds and hearts to think that a year, or in dad's case, 23 years, have gone by without being able to celebrate the gift of another year lived with our loved ones. Both grandpa and my brother Mike would say "don't be sad on your birthday because of me"... dad had a fun day planned w/ Haleigh as his special guest for his birthday and I plan to be sitting beach front on mine!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th

This morning we went to our regular place for relaxing, at the lakefront. We love it there, it's a haul, but when we go we make a trip of it and get our favorite Chinese food and run any errands in that direction that we can. We spent the better part of the morning hanging out by the water. Surprisingly it was not at all crowded!

Jesse decided to skip nap today, mostly because we threw him completely off schedule! Oh well, he survived just fine and without a grumpy attitude too! We had Jonathon's parents over for a cookout and had lots of fun hanging out. During dinner it started storming pretty good, pouring down rain and pretty much putting a stop to any plans we had of venturing out for fireworks w/ the kids. We can see them from our house, the town nearby and the speedway do pretty large shows each year, so we were able to watch those with a great view. We had to wait on our little grocery store sparklers... maybe tomorrow!

Some brave people in our neighborhood bought the 'big show' fireworks, so we were blessed with hearing that until around midnight. Thank goodness for tact, eh? I mean, we only live in a neighborhood where houses are spaced 20-30 feet apart at best.... sometimes I wonder what people are thinking. That makes me sound like a stick in the mud I suppose, and that's fine - I just know that it sounded like a cannon going off in my house every time they launched a pretty sparkly firework creation into the nearby sky.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

on hold

I've been on hold more in the past 2 days then I can ever remember. On hold w/ tech support, on hold with Best Buy, Circuit City, and several other office stores... I bet I've spent 2-3 total hours today on hold.

Lots of things went on hold with the laptop pooping out. I realize that this is inevitable for me, because I work from home, it's part of what I depend on to get things done. If I did NOT work from home, I'd probably use a beat up old desktop unit for emailing, and blogging.

What else is on hold? Making reservations for the beach... I'm a dingbat, and saved every contact # for the 4 places we looked into for renting.... so I really hope those people (by email) don't think I'm a rude person for not replying to their offers!!! We found some great villa rentals in the Sullivans/Seabrook Island area of SC, near Isle of Palms (where we went 4 years ago and LOVED) and it's 20 min from Charleston! Oh well, it's not the end of the world, I just don't like the idea that I asked for info, they sent it and I'm not able to call to confirm or decline. Hopefully one of them will send me an email soon, and I can call from that!! I'm SO ready for the beach!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

change in plans

I got up at 6am as usual, had coffee, checked emails, began working ... worked for about 1 hour then Jesse was up around 715am as usual. We did our normal snuggle routine and then Jonathon was leaving for work. Laptop on the kitchen table, as usual, waiting on an email from one of my employers. Jesse likes to drive with Jonathon, they usually back out of the driveway and then back in (Jesse steers the car) and then I get Jesse and off Jonathon goes to work.... after all of that we came back in, I sat down to finalize an email and my laptop was FRIED! Nothing would work!!

So - change of plans for the day. No working for me! Mind you, it's month end closing (for June of course), payroll cut off for one of my employers (I participate in making this happen for around 50 people) and I'm already backed up 2 days for the other employer because of their software failure! Fun day ahead! Too bad this iMac we have will not work with all of the programs I have to use for both companies!!

I ran out to Best Buy to see if I can find more 'memory' for my laptop - that is the first troubleshooting idea...they didn't have it in stock, so we went to Circuit City and it was on sale! Yipee - I love sales, especially when I'm not sure that it will fix the problem anyhow! Did it? Nope!! The other problem it "could" be according to the manufacturers series of beeps that the laptop makes when I power it on... bad video card. Which in this case is built onto the motherboard, and it's not cost effective to replace it. So, I must order a new laptop. I'm so bummed, all of my info (including many many videos that I haven't had time to send to smugmug), email contacts, saved emails, etc. are on my hard drive... I HOPE all of that can be salvaged!

Fortunately my employer of 8 years has offered 1/2 of the cost toward a new one. Thank heavens for them!! I do depend on a computer for work, not play - so it's a bit inconvenient for both of my employers. Thankfully, I received a back up laptop today from one of them! I'm going to be working my fingers to the bone during any down time at home for the entire holiday weekend. Yipee!

I hauled the kids back and forth all morning trying to get a solution to being out of work... I had to make the day enjoyable for all, I treated us (me and kids) to 'junk lunch' and we hungout in the back yard w/ the sprinklers and the little mini-pool we have. Waterguns were in use.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

almost like Christmas...

Why is getting carpet cleaned so satisfying? For me it's almost like Christmas, it's fresh, clean and it makes me feel good inside! I am weird, I realize this. Two years ago I hired Stanley Steamer, and I was put off that they actually hooked something up in my toilet... YUCK. They said it was for draining, but there's no getting around the psychological imprint that left on me. Toilet water + my carpet. GROSS. So I searched for a less gross way to clean this time, and found these people. They're a family owned business and they're SUPER! I'm so pleased! It's green cleaning; no chemicals, 100% organic, it's pet, child and allergy friendly. The neatest part is it was dry when they were done, they use this powder like sponge stuff to clean with. Our carpet looked brand new when they left, and I was able to get a small bucket of the sponge cleaner for small spills/spots, it should last some time. They will refill it for free everytime I have them here to clean carpets. So as silly as it may be - I took before/after photos - will upload them later and send a link to our photo sharing site. I'm serious about clean floors - so I was super happy!