Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer Slowdown?.

The last two days of weather around here really have me thinking about Fall! I'm very sad to see Summer coming to an end (why can't Winter fly by this fast??) On the upside, life without an air conditioner has been quite pleasant and I can't complain about that at all!

We've got one week until school starts around here. I will have a first grader this year...the first year for a full day of school and a 3 day a week preschooler. We've opted to keep Olivia home this year, so it will be Me, Chloe and Livi three days a week for a half day which will  be so wonderful. I'm looking forward to spending time with my littlest girls...well, more time anyway!

Tomorrow night the girls will start their new bedtime routine, which basically just pushes up bedtime by 30 minutes to an hour and I am looking forward to that because it will mean an extra half hour to an hour to just relax and unwind with the hubs (and the dog, and Chloe).

I have been contemplating the new schedule changes for the last week now and trying to get a handle on the activities that will be added to our weeks this year.  I need to amp myself up for the busy-ness. I don't know why I'm fretting about it! I guess it's because we had such a low key Summer...The only thing we had to do was visit the farm every other week on Wednesday and grocery shop on Monday. The only commitment I had was to attend book club once a month...

But now, we've decided to keep Jordan and Ava in dance, and Olivia will start this year. Jordan will continue with Daisies and I've committed to being a co-leader of her troop.  My Faith Sharing/ Bible Study group will start to meet again.  I'm going to be a cafeteria volunteer.  I'm contemplating putting the three older girls into Good Shepherd...

I don't know, when I write it down, it doesn't seem like TOO much. But I'm still fretting about it. I want to make sitting down to dinner as a family a priority--as it has been. My girls are still so young and I always said that I wasn't going to get them involved in a ton of stuff.  At the same time I want to expose them to lots of new experiences and social situations to help with their well roundedness.

In other news, Ava and Olivia had their yearly check up at the Cleft Craniofacial Center at Children's and while everything is looking great with Olivia there is some concern over some of Ava's speech issues. We need to schedule some testing for her to make sure her palate is working correctly...the results of the tests will likely indicate that she needs another corrective surgery...I really don't want to open that can of worms but it may need to be done.  I guess I'm fretting about that too!  I would hate to schedule something like that during the school year, so hopefully it's something that we can deal with next summer if we have too...

I still have some back to school shopping to do...shoes for the girls, a new outfit or two for Ava...Also need to schedule some hair appointments. Not to mention, house hunting (and packing and moving eventually!)

Yes, I just used my blog to remind me of all that needs to be done....and I'm longing for an endless Summer!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Feeling hot. Hot. HOT!

*pant*  Our AC went out right before vacation. We had it charged and headed to Myrtle Beach. Jim turned the unit off while we were away. Came home to a hot, stuffy house. Turned on the AC. It wasn't working again. Tech came out, and filled it up again...3 days later we were warm again. Obviously we have a bad leak somewhere. We need a new unit.

Luckily (maybe), we have a home warranty since our home is on the market and we are able to get it fixed and just pay a reasonable deductable.   BUT there is so much red-tape and runaround that as I sit here sweating like a pig, I wonder if it is worth it.

Jim went and got fans. They are basically just blowing around the warm air, but I found that if I aim the fan directly at me and spray myself with a water bottle it gives me just enough time to fall asleep before the water evaporates! The AC probably won't be fixed/replaced until the end of next week. 

How spoiled are we though? I'm not sure if we will make it. Jim was pricing window units yesterday which I am trying to prevent him from wasting our money on...I mean we can make it a week! I made it my entire childhood without whole house air conditioning. Of course, this is the 9th hottest summer in the history of our city...OF COURSE!

I tried to convince him to put up a tent and sleep outside, but we don't have a tent big enough for our family, and our yard probably isn't big enough for a tent that's big enough for our family! It would be fun though. I remember doing that when I was a kid. My parents had a HUGE tent that they would set up in the beginning of the summer to air out and check for leaks (we camped a lot when I was young) and we would sleep out there (and play in it all day).  Instead of my kids having that memory, they'll say 20 years from now, remember when the AC went out and we slept in our underwear in front of the fan, and mom sprayed herself with a water bottle and was really cranky for a whole week?  Good times.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vacation—take two!

So a few days ago I wrote a nice long post about our recent vacation to Myrtle beach…I spent an hour or more on it..I did it online and like a dummy, I never saved it or pasted it to the clipboard or anything and the darn thing timed out on me and I lost the WHOLE thing!  Then I was too tired to recreate it and have been dreading it since, but finally thought I’d give it another go, touching on the highlights—which is probably better anyway!

The twelve hour trip in the car with the four girls was dreaded, but Jim was smart enough to think ahead and on the way home from work on the day we left he stopped at Best Buy and bought a dual DVD for the van.  THE BEST PURCHASE!! It made the trip down so easy. We did stop half way through for the night, but we drove a good 7-8 hours and only had to stop once. The girls never once said they had to go to the bathroom (they were too occupied to think about it) and only one time in the  beginning of the trip did Jordan say “Are we there yet?” I think she was just excited.  My only regret is that we didn’t take more movies, cause they got kind of bored on the way back since they had to repeat them.

Vacation was wonderful!  Very relaxing and fun. It was so nice to have Jim with us for the whole week. My parents came and stayed with us and were built-in babysitters for the week!  And my sister, BIL, Nephew and Niece got a place of their own so they were down there too! It was lots of sun, and sand…lot’s of sand—in hair, on clothes, in the pages of my book, in crooks and crevices…

We played on the beach!

We saw a rainbow!


We practiced our “gymnastics”!


We posed for family pictures!


We cooled off in a fun fountain!


We ate out a lot!—I GAINED 6.6 pounds in two weeks…ugh, we won’t even go there. One of the restaurants claimed to have “The Best Seafood” and it was nothing but a cheesy, greasy, buttery, fried fest…I guess that’s good seafood in the South?!?!  We had better luck at the chains---a crab boil from Joe’s Crab Shack hit the spot…we had some good ribs from Sticky Fingers and Jim and I had a wonderful early anniversary dinner at the Bonefish Grill.  We also had a yummy Italian lunch at Luigi’s and visited the “Pittsburgh Bar” –Oscar’s (I THINK that’s what it’s called).

But here’s some crazy stuff:

On Monday we were sitting on the beach—Jim was back in the condo with the baby…My sister and I decided to stroll down to the shore and splash around with the kids for awhile. Angie found a spot to sit with Mallory (my niece) where the waves lapped up and made a nice little pool for the baby to splash in. Jordan joined them. I took Ava and Isaac (my nephew) and waded into the water. We weren’t far from shore—the waves were crashing at knee level on me and were, at most, hitting Ava’s chest.  I was looking back at my sister, enjoying the water, Surreally, I remember every detail of the next moments and have since played them out in slow motion with not a drop of water out of place. I turned back slowly to the horizon just as a wave hit my knee. I cast my eyes onto the water in front of me, a ripple of glistening glass between the waves.  It was very clear, the sun was above and was lighting up the ocean floor. Mind you, we were in less than 2 feet of water.  At the exact moment that I lowered my eyes, I saw it. A gray shadow swimming stealthily parallel to the shore.  It was as long as Ava—3 feet maybe?  About 8 inches in diameter, if I had to take a guess. As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what it was.  I’ve watched enough Discovery Channel to know. I’ve watched them swim at the zoo. I know the shape…It was a SHARK!!! I can’t even believe it now, but it was there. I could have bent down and touched it, if I was so inclined.  Instead, I quickly turned on a dime and hurried back to shore amidst protests from my nephew.  When Angie saw me, she knew something was up, I guess my face had drained…I was afraid to say what I saw, and I didn’t want the kids to hear but I whispered to Angie what I had seen.  I don’t know what the chances are of seeing a shark at the  beach. Dear readers, has it happened to you?!? Granted it was a small guy, but still, It could take a good hunk from a thigh or something!

Every time I got in the water I kept seeing it…but not “it”…I kept replaying it in my mind. Always watching the water to see if I could recreate the moment..the way the waved crashed, how the sun was shining, WAS it just a shadow?…NO. I couldn’t recreate it, because it was probably once in a lifetime for me.  My brush with a shark in the ocean waters.  EEEEK! 

And that was vacation in a BIG nutshell!  Can’t wait until next year!!!


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