Thursday, August 12

Joe's 3rd birthday

So, I can't post any more about our saga with the move and such without taking some time to comment on Joseph's birthday. First of all, I cannot believe that our little boy turned 3 this year. I feel like it was just the other day that we had moved into our house in Olney, MD and a few days later, we were driving up 95 North to Christiana hospital and little Joe was born at about 9 am on August 3, 2007! A whole lot has happened since then, including 2 moves to 2 different states and 2 more little boys! What a whirlwind! What a blessing he has been to our lives! He is getting to be such a little man and loves to help his Daddy fix things and of course, always loves to be my sous chef in the kitchen. He speaks very well for his age and is always asking "what is that word?" as in "what does that word mean?" It is pretty cute. We are also entering a bit of a whiny stage as well which we did not have before. Constant reminders for 'No whining' can be heard throughout the day. Ugh. It gets tiring sometimes.

Joe loves to roar like a dinosaur!

Back to the, since we were going to be in the middle of a move and would not be able to have a family party, we decided to have a party during 'The Gathering' which is a long weekend vacation that a bunch of families do every other year together. Since we were the organizers this year, we figured it would be ok. Dinosaurs are quite popular right now and Joe agreed that it would be a good theme so I started looking for ideas. I ordered some cute dinosaur masks from OTC (Oriental Trading Co.) and bought a bunch of stuff from Michael's too. We started off with a dinosaur egg hunt outside, then Jeremy found a basin to put the eggs in so they could hatch. After that, the kids decorated their goody bags with dinosaur foam stickers and dinosaur stamps and they got their masks. After lunch of bronto-burgers and sweet potato fries, we had the main event! Yummy chocolate cupcakes! I actually made vegan cupcakes since one of the little girls is allergic to dairy and the kids never even noticed. They gobbled up the treats like crazy. I think the most fun was seeing Joe when he saw the huge blow up dinosaur we had for them to play with. After the party, we spent the afternoon at a Minor League baseball game. At the end, the kids got to run around the bases and they had a blast. All in all, it was a fun day I think.

Joe found his hidden dinosaur egg!
Tom is a little unsure what to do with his egg....
Did it hatch yet?

Eating bronto burgers at lunch

Watch out for T Rex!!

Running around the bases at the ball game

Wednesday, August 11

The Cross Country Journey

For organizing purposes and because I happen to think it is really funny (Ken just thinks I am weird), I divided the family into teams based on Army jargon. Alpha team consists of Joe and Tom, Bravo team was William and myself, and Charlie Team was Ken and Chris (his brother). While Alpha team whooped it up at Deep Creek Lake, Bravo team stayed in Olney with Mamama. Charlie team headed down to Charlotte after dropping us off so they could rest, pack up the minivan and Porsche and hook up the trailer. Charlie team had some difficulty with the "Conostoga wagon" that Ken and his dad had rigged up and had to make some repairs early on, right outside of Charlotte. Once repaired, the boys and the wagon made it to Meridian, MS which took about 10 hours. The following day was the worst--11 hours driving time and 670 miles through the rest of Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Lots of dead armadillos, flat land and oil rigs were the main scenery along the drive. By the time they reached Abilene, they were both sick of driving through Texas and ready to be done. The final day took about 8 or 9 hours and they made it to El Paso with the Conostoga wagon in pieces but everything it was carrying was (mostly) alive and protected. Don't worry, Navi (the cat) rode in the front seat of the minivan with Ken next to the turtles who were in a bucket. Navi was a little worse for the wear by the end of the trip but she too made it ok. The plants on the trailer,however, did not fare so well and many had all their leaves ripped off and the tomato totally succumbed. The boys were able to get our key from the realtor and unloaded all the stuff into our NEW HOUSE!! All I can say is, Thank Goodness neither the kids or I were on that trip!!!! Here are some pix that Ken sent me on the drive.

Somewhere in East Texas

First view of the Mountains in West Texas, about 3 hrs from El Paso

Saturday, August 7

The move stop Ocean City for Jeri's wedding

We finally reached Ocean City, showered got dressed and made it to Jeri and Ronnie's reception (2 hours late....pretty bad, even for me!) I blame the traffic this time, not my "Uruguayan time" usual culprit. The reception was awesome and we saw a bunch of the old swim crowd there. Ken entertained Jesse and everyone with his old favorite, "the Corona bottle story." If you don't know it, just ask Ken the next time you see him. Next morning, we had breakfast with Jessica and Matt then headed back to Olney. Once we reached Olney, Ken and Chris loaded up the minivan and started the next leg of the trip---Charlotte, NC! William and I stayed in Olney and would meet them there in a few days.
Jeri and Ronnie

We finally made it!! An evening alone...what a new concept!

the swimming gang out on the balcony

Friday, August 6

The Great Moving Adventure begins

The packers arrived at our house bright and early on Tuesday, Aug 3 (Joe's be addressed in another post). Our neighbor was kind enough to take them for the morning leaving Ken and I to supervise the packing and start the cleaning of the house. Aunt Ann also came over to help out! After some crazy dealings with the moving company including: finding out our move would take FOUR days instead of three, being told our stuff would arrive on Aug 23 instead of 13 (which we promptly fixed) and our belongings not fitting on the truck they sent, everything was finally loaded on the truck/s and the house clean by Friday afternoon. We brought the boys over to say goodbye to the house then headed to Ann's to pack up for the first leg of our journey.

Unfortunately, a snafu occurred when Ken rolled his ankle and we ended up at the CMC Emergency Room. He sprained his ankle pretty badly it turns out and got crutches and a boot. So started our journey. Since it was 8 pm by the time we loaded, we got about 3 hours up the road and stopped for a quick snooze. We finally arrived in Olney at Mamama's at around 1130 am, unloaded bags and kids and reloaded for Ocean City. Joe and Tom were going to Deep Creek and we were headed off to Jeri and Ronnie's wedding. The boys were exchanged
without a hitch. On the other hand, we sat in 5 hours of Bay Bridge traffic. YUCKERS!!

To be continued.......