An infrequent account of life as I see it...

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Wednesday, December 31, 2003


The highlight of this year came on February 23, 2003. That would have been the day our second son, Joshua Kyle, was born. The low point of this year came on June 10, 2003. That would have been the day that the above mentioned second son had open heart surgery. And then we hit another high point -- the same day as the low point. Joshua made it through the surgery and had no complications.

As you can tell from the above, we have much to be thankful for this past year. While turbulent, everyone *knock on wood -- or rather POUND on wood* is doing well, and in good health. Money isn't so great, but then, when is it ever? The medical bills and the lack of income from me because of Joshua would kind of lend itself to the ever-present lack of money problem!

My blog has been silent for weeks now, and I figure it's time you all found out why. On Thursday, December 18th, I surprised Peter with his first Hanukkah gift. Yes, I know, Hanukkah didn't begin until Friday, December 19th, but that's okay. You see, Peter's friend Jason was coming in from TN -- and I had to go pick him up at the airport in Jacksonville.

For weeks, Jason and I had been planning this. I totally lied to Peter that night, and I said Patti and I were going to an alzheimer's meeting (Patti's mother that I watch has alzheimer's and the meeting WAS the 19th -- we just didn't go). But, I took Josh. That should have been Peter's first clue something wasn't right, but no, he didn't catch on. So onward to Florida Patti and I went. Jason got in on time, thank G-d, and we began the drive back. Now, we live on the third floor and by the time I get up with the baby and anything else I'm carrying, I usually just knock on the door to have Peter help, instead of using my key. So Patti and I are following Jason upstairs, and Jason knocks. Now, Jason is convinced Peter knows something is up and won't be so surprised. He could not have been more wrong. Peter opened the door and just stared. He didn't even invite Jason in. He just stared, totally speechless. It was priceless -- I'm so angry I didn't have a camera! He was stunned, and pleased, and then really confused. I don't know how pleased he was that we had tricked him -- but he enjoyed Jason's visit.

For Hanukkah Peter got me a ton of kitchen appliances. A convection oven, a new blender, food processor, and hand blender. And a griddle. He also got me ClayWorks -- a series I love -- but this was special. It was ClayWorks JUDAICA. It's all so beautiful and I love it!

Joshua got so much that he got too overwhelmed and ignored almost all of it. In fact, all he really cared about was getting as much paper in his hands as he could -- Joshua loves to eat paper. If we were lucky he would tear a strip of paper off and then go on his own way. He got lots of toys and a menorah. Everyone in our family has their own menorah, so Joshua got his for his very first Hanukkah.

Andy got every freaking thing under the sun. Seriously. He got EVERYTHING. He had over 60 gifts. No wonder we don't have any money. But for real, Andy had a great Hanukkah and enjoyed everything. He's such a sweet little guy and didn't complain about what he *didn't* get (not that there was anything ...), and he didn't complain when he couldn't open it all at once.

We also celebrated Christmas downstairs with our neighbors, Patti, Danny and Grandma Zoli. Joshua LOVES ham and sweet potato and mashed potato globs, so we discovered, and Andy HATES all of the above. Andy did enjoy the rolls and fruit however. We exchanged lots of gifts with them and had lots of fun. Patti gave Joshua a motorcycle toy and he adores it. Unfortunately, he doesn't want help getting on it and can't do it by himself. Oh well, he'll figure it out.

And that brings us to our vacation. You see, we went to Orlando last Friday. It was supposed to be a family reunion of sorts to celebrate Peter's grandmother turning 85 in January and his grandmother's sister turning 90 in March. Unfortunately for her, Peter's grandmother (Helen), fell and broke her hip on Friday morning. So the plans went to hell. Peter drove his mother, Claudia, to Miami for Helen's surgery Saturday AM, while I stayed in Orlando with the boys to entertain and keep everyone together for the weekend. It was horrid. I had no car, and everyone was late. The hotel was called a "resort" and was all-inclusive. Why this sounded like a good idea to Peter's aunt when she booked this place, I cannot begin to fathom. It was like Club Med for white trash and other unsavory groups. The indoor heated pool was outside, gated in, and right in front of MY room, of course. The food was awful, hospital food is better. And they actually served leftovers on Saturday night. Ugh. I couldn't believe it. On Saturday I took the boys to Disney (without Peter -- still in Miami), and had a semi-good time. It was so crowded we only got to go on four rides. And we waited in line for over 3 hours. But Andy enjoyed it, is begging to go back, and I loved seeing it again. I hadn't been since I was SIX. Josh really couldn't have cared less but did enjoy the rides!

But the weekend got worse. You see, Friday night Andy got sick. REALLY sick. He has chronic sinus infections/problems and was running a fever and coughing so hard I thought he was going to start spotting blood. Peter was in Miami, I had no medicine and no way to get any. All relatives were in bar getting drunk off their asses and couldn't be reached. Front desk had closed. So I had a miserable night with Andy and Josh -- Andy kept waking up coughing, Josh ket waking up because of said coughing, and I basically stayed awake. In the morning he was fine though (and then we went to Disney).

This week when we got home, Andy went to the doctor. Same crap as always -- and he's on medicine and we're told he really does need his tonsils out or he'll keep getting sick every damned winter. And today Joshua went to the doctor because HE is coughing and running a fever. He's just got a cold and the start of an ear infection -- and for the ear he's on Amoxil.

Despite how terrible the vacation was, despite how terrible money is, despite how many BAD things happened this year, I just can't seem to be depressed. Because for every bad thing, there's at least one good. And all I can think about is how happy and (generally) healthy my babies are. I love my husband, we're happy together, and to me I couldn't ask for more. Okay, well, I could, but that ruins my happily ever after fairy tale type line!

So, Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year to you all -- and may 2004 be the year all your dreams come true.