Anyway... Here we go. Florida 2013
We left in this. Can't see anything? Nope, neither could I. As a result of the storm, which my mom didn't want to wait out, we were quite behind in our travels and I didn't get to see my friend Becca in NC that night. We found a lovely hotel room in VA, though. Nice breakfast. Since it was Bike Week in Daytona we traveled down with a lot of bikers. The kids thought that was awesome. (We didn't see any in this snow, though.) Once we got to the PA border there was not a flake of snow to be seen.
Once in FL, we watched tile man replace the kitchen tile at my mom's house. We had to stay off for 24 hrs. You should have seen us (okay, it was just me) hopping across the countertops, dangling by the fridge, and trying to figure out how to get dinner. Glad that boy of mine didn't employ the camera.
Later that week we went to LEGOLand. (Mary went to SeaWorld with my sister, Roberta. All her pictures are still with Roberta.)
They had "driving school"there. Only for the kids, 6-12, no parents allowed. Joseph was in heaven, though he said he wished his car would have gone a little faster. This is not that car.
My mom, braving a boat driven by Joseph. He actually thought this was too hard and much preferred the cars.
The Star Wars area was pretty cool. All the movies, and many a scene I knew. : ) This is Lil'Nathan's favorite picture of the day... and believe me, he had many to choose from.
This little R2D2 made all the whistles, clicks, and whirs of the movie version.
I took a great photo of Elisabeth with this shark, but it is on my mom's phone. You'll just have to look at the one of Joseph, instead.
I love this photo. It looks like Einstein is using Nathan for a straw.
This is not from LEGOLand.
And judging by her lack of sunburn, I'd guess it was right before we left.
See, Mary did go with us. She's on "baby duty" at Brian and Audrey's. We spent a wonderful week at their home, playing, eating, and playing some more. Thanks to that trip, the kids got to play with cousins, go kayaking several times, ride a pony, taste cotton candy (generally disapproved), camp in the backyard, go to the zoo, go swimming, watch a movie, ... and I know there's lots more. Of course, that is also where the sickness that hit everyone of us started....
This is Aunt Audree (known as "Big Aunt Audree so the kids don't confuse her with Nathan's youngest sister, Audrey), my grandmother's older sister. She turned 90 this past November. This is the least stressed out photo of her and Elisabeth.
After a week with Brian and Audrey and two trips to the zoo, we still hadn't had enough. So a few days after our return to my mom's house, we went back down. This time my mom, Roberta, and Stacy and her kids came, too. Beautiful day and not nearly so crowded as we'd feared, it being school vacation week for all of Central Florida. Roberta bought the kids food for feeding the birds in the aviary. On mom's camera is a photo of Charlie looking very nervous, right before a bird climbed on his head. After that he was DONE! Joseph, however, rather enjoyed himself.
Mary, Katie, and Charlie. All together we had 10 kids. And we didn't lose any of them. Highlight of their day--tortoise racing. They also got to feed the giraffes and we saw the 2 baby giraffes (3 weeks old) running and playing. Don't know how they don't fall over, those are some pretty funny looking animals.
Mary really loved being with Katie. At first I think she was a little wary of hanging out with a 6 yr old... just like Joseph, but this 6 yr old thought she was great. And this 6 yr old had a fun mom. Aunt Stacy gave her 2 sleepovers, with movies, and wii, and a manicure, and McDonald's. Oh, yeah, fun times.
Sickness. Oh, were we sick. It started at Brian and Audrey's with Joseph. He just threw up. We assumed it was the sun. By morning he seemed better, so no one thought any more about it. But that night Elijah threw up. The next night was Charlie. Then we went back to my mom's and we were fine. But Emily was sick and then Brian was sick. The day after we came back to go to the zoo, I got sick. I didn't throw up, was just killer nauseous and unable to eat all day. (My mom accused me of being pregnant.) The next day Stacy called to say Katie was sick, and when I went to tell Mary, I found her throwing up in the bathroom. Later that day Lil'Nathan started. Then Roberta came home and was clearly afflicted likewise. (And it was Charlie's birthday. So.... for his party it was was just him, me, and my mom. Joseph, feeling rotten but not too sick, watched from the couch.) I called Audrey and she said she was like unto dead. Oops. My mom got hit with it on the following day (I demanded an apology for her pregnancy crack--she gave it, "fine, you're not pregnant, now get out of my way before I throw up on you.") So that was Thursday. Friday was quiet... until mid after noon, when I saw this....
Temp: 103.8. Yikes. I gave him a cool bath and made some phone calls. Roberta's friend's husband and his dad came over to give the poor little guy a blessing. The fever was down by the time they got there, but it came back later that night and he had a decent fever all day the next day. Mary was at Stacy's and Stacy called to say Mary had a fever, too. The next day Mary stayed home with my mom and we went back to Brian and Audrey's, this time with Daddy, who had flown in that morning. By Sunday everyone was whole and healthy again. Yay!
Until Tuesday. Then Daddy got sick. But he kept driving, making frequent stops and chewing ginger all the way from NC to MA. Poor Daddy.
And that was March for us. (Sorry, I don't remember the rest of Feb, but really, it's so long ago at this point, do you really even care?)
And now we are in April. Our car insurance has gone up, our phone bill is due, I had a birthday (Mary said, "really? that's getting pretty old!") Elisabeth waited for April (and Daddy) and pushed through 3 teeth in 4 days; she'd been working on them for about 8 weeks. The kids are back on their school schedule and we started a chore chart. I gave them most of the tasks that took up so much of my day, like rinsing dishes after each meal, sweeping the floor, folding laundry, and helping clean the bathroom. Works great for me, in fact I told Joseph he had to vacuum the living on Thursday and he responded, "You're just sitting up here like a bum while we do all the work." Ahhh, nice to have a bit of role reversal.
And that's all for now. I hope to have some exciting news to share next time, but for now it's only conjecture, so I'll wait. (No, I'm not pregnant.)