Friday, August 28, 2009

What we did on the last day of our summer vacation

I'm disappointed that it's raining today since it's our last real chance to get out to the pool. We had a membership at the Marsh Creek pool this year and definitely got our money's worth out of that - we went as often as we could and both boy's swimming skills have improved - with two sets of swim lessons for Josh and two private lessons for Dima. They've both got a healthy respect for the water but still think of it as fun just because they spent a lot of time goofing around with the lifeguards and jumping into the water again and again and again. So far we've had a big breakfast, played our new Cranuim Cariboo game and went out for a walk in the rain. As we were out there in rain jackets and crocs it really started to pour and Josh was unhappy and going "we're wet, we're wet" Once I pointed out that the pool also makes us all wet he was better about it but still not as thrilled to be out there as Dima was. He was fascinated by the water flowing down the street, down the storm drains and down the driveways.

We went to Josh's open house at school and when we got into the room he flew directly to the toys and played and played there - there was a kid who's also into NASCAR so Josh'll have someone to talk to about that stuff. There are several kids in his class that were in the same school as Josh last year but were across the hall. It's nice to have kids there that he'll know. With his outgoing personality I don't think he'd have trouble going into any new situation but I think it can't hurt to have kids there that he knows. When it was his turn to say hi to the teacher she asked if she should call him Joshua and he said yes - I then told her Josh was okay and that when I was filling in his info sheet for her and asked him what he wanted to be called he said Mr. Josh Hockey Player!! I must say the teacher seemed very attentive when the kids were talking with her and seemed nice. The kids also go to practice getting on and off a school bus... oh, goody!!! He was skipping around the hallways - I can only imagine how excited he'll be during the school days!

Dima got a letter from his teacher as well as a video that the class made last year at the end of the year it's a to be continued mystery about their class pet being missing ... cute.

This week we've gone out caching a little - got eaten alive by mosquitoes at one of the caches (Josh took a car and Dima got an American flag from the cache) and promptly got back outta there once we found it. We also discovered St. Peter's Village - a really neat little town set up in the woods with a huge boulder field behind the "town" and a stream. We found a cache there and spent some time hiking around and actually went back there yesterday to take Dima's therapist to see the place and show him the cache since he was intrigued by us telling him about geocaching. Since we found some cool loot in the caches the kids - especially Josh- keep asking when we're going out caching again could have gone today if the weather had cooperated.

St. Peter's Village

Hard to believe that next week we're already back to school routine. Time just flies!!

Monday, August 24, 2009


A few familiar faces in these videos.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lots and lots of blood...

How ironic is it that just a few weeks ago I sat poolside with a friend talking about her kid’s various injuries knocking on wood and thinking about how lucky I was to not have had to deal with that stuff … then…

Not even two hours after he got home from his vacation (see Nana’s guest – post) Dima and I took a nice walk and he went into the back yard while I came in through the garage. When I first saw him running toward the house screaming I was thinking – what now??? He can be dramatic at times… but this wasn’t just drama, there was lots and lots of blood dripping down his right arm and on the grass and on his shoes and on our floor. So I grabbed him and made him stick it under the kitchen faucet to wash it off while he was screaming about all the blood - by now I could see a gap in the flesh inside and below his knuckle as I grabbed gauze from our first aid kit (good idea to keep it in the kitchen pantry) and a clean towel and wrapped it around the finger I was hoping that MAYBE it wasn’t as bad as it looked at first and I sat him down and held his hand above his head to get it out of his sight and to try to stop the bleeding. I knew Chris was on his way home and I don’t know how long it took for him to get there but it seemed like a long time as I was just waiting and still holding out hope that I’d look at it again and it would be better than I first thought. No such luck. Once Chris got here I was spelling out h-o-s-p-i-t-a-l and s-t-i-t-c-h-e-s so Dima wouldn’t freak to get the severity of the situation across. Once Chris came out and said the word stitches Dima did freak out– he’d heard from someone at school that they really hurt and was really scared at that point. Chris said that maybe they’d be able to give him a cool butterfly bandaid instead. So we piled into the car me in the back with Dima– Josh was still with my parents, just as well so we didn’t have to deal with him trying to look at the cut and stuff. During the ride I noticed that when we weren’t saying much Dima started to cry so there’s me sitting there trying to keep Dima’s mind elsewhere so I found a golf score card in Chris’s car and showed the map of the course and asked again and again for details of his trip to the shore.

He did end up getting three stitches even though he tried his best to control the situation – not letting them wash it saying things like: “I’m going to lose all my blood and die”, “can you put the shot in the other hand?” - nice try…, “can I just get the bandaid?”- uh… no. The doctor did say that his behavior wasn’t too bad. I must say he was brave and actually watched the stitches as they went in. The doctor was great and once we all stopped using the word STITCHES Dima was good about going along with it all. We ended up breaking the steps down – I didn’t want to lie to him and just told him that it would be like getting a regular shot at the regular doctor and he was better then and watched the bubble form under his skin and laughed about it when he got the anesthetic. Once it was numb it was all down hill from there. He actually agreed that the bubbles the peroxide made were neat. He should being proud of himself because he handled most of it pretty well. He’s definitely proud that he’s got his first stitches. ( I’m hoping first… and last…) It wasn’t until we were on the way home that we noticed the blood all over his red shirt! Whew!!

guest written by Nana


Monday, August 10

Mama brought Dima to Quakertown to begin his third mini vacation of the summer. After dinner Dima and Nana packed some things for the trip to Ocean City

Oh Joy !!!!!! Nana found a strand of red, white and blue lights at a local gift shop. The other strand that Dima found at the CVS went home with him and so now he has a new set. Guess what he did after packing and what he used to decorate his room for sleeping???? You guessed it ---- lights.

Tuesday August 11

Dima helped Pop Pop to pack the car and at 11:30 Dima, Pop Pop and Nana left Quakertown for the trip to Ocean City. The portable DVD player kept Dima occupied and the trip was back roads, nice scenery and we all arrived safe and sound to a room with 2 double beds, a micro, small fridge and a shower. It was a very old motel but clean and very close to the boards and beach. After a lunch of cheese and tomato sandwiches with grapes for dessert we all headed for the beach. Dima was in his element – he swam, dug in the sand, swam and dug in the sand. We stayed on the beach until after 6 the best time of the day. On the way back to the room we stopped on the boards for pizza. We all showered - - - with the water running from hot to cold and back again. Then we walked up to the boards, one and a half blocks. We scoped out the place. Dima looked things over and decided what he would like to do when we return another night. Pop Pop was too tired from the ride and swimming with Dima to ride on the amusements so we just assessed the situation. That was OK with Dima. He wanted cotton candy so we bought a bag and he ate some and saved the rest for another day. Back to the room and p.j’s and a short video ,prayers and to bed. No problem falling asleep while Pop Pop watched the news.

Wednesday, August 12

Dima got up around 8:15 went to the bathroom and back to bed until Pop Pop go up a little later. Breakfast of cereal and fruit When Nana got up she told Dima to get ready for the beach so he dressed himself and got his sun block applied by Nana and off he and Pop Pop went- - -stopping at a shop to buy a wave board. Nana cleaned up the breakfast things and got the bag of treats etc ready for the beach and then joined them. It was about 10:15 when they left for the beach and they swam, dug in the sand, rode the board, swam ,dug in the sand, rode the board until the rains came about 4:00. A quick run back to the motel - showers and then around the corner for the early bird special. Dima – steamed clams and some of Nana’s clam chowder and Pop Pop’s French fries and rice pudding for dessert. We sat outside under a canopy with zippered sides and so the clouds and rain were a distraction instead of a problem. After a nice dinner we walked back to the motel (about 100 yards) under our umbrella, due to the heavy rain, and we sat on the covered second floor deck while Dima filled his bucket with the rain water and dumped it into the potted planters. This kept him busy for a long time. PJ’s and a movie since the boards were rained out. Again no problem with falling asleep

Thursday August 13

Up again at 8ish and the same routine as Wednesday. The weather was cloudy but no rain. When Nana joined them at the beach they were on the boards watching a parade honoring the 100th birthday of Ocean City and the annual baby Parade. We saw a few Mummers, politicians in cars, caught some candy and Papa will be thrilled that we saw SALLY STARR riding in one of the convertibles. :0) I thought she had gone to “Cartoon Jockey Heaven” years ago

There must have been 75 baby floats ---- one from Quakertown, Allentown, Pottstown and Downingtown

It was fun and Dima chose to stay and watch after which back to the beach to swim, dig, ride his board ,swim, dig and ride the board. The sun peaked out from time to time. We got a hot dog and sat on the boards to eat our lunch. We stayed on the beach until after 6 watching several kites being flown high over head and also the para-sails. Again back to the room, showers and a close by restaurant where Dima got his own clam chowder, roll and you guessed it ;0) steamed clams and two of Nana’s coconut shrimp. No dessert since he bought funnel cake for lunch and was saving it for his treat. We continued on to the boards, a half block away, and he chose to play games instead of rides. Lot’s of neat games for him in the arcade – skeet ball, bowling, a water thingy ( his favorite why are you surprised???? ) and then one ride on the merry go round. We stopped for the fudge on our way home. He found 75 cents in the machines and so that made him very happy!!! We have started a jar of quarters for next trip!! Bedtime again was fine.

Friday, August 14

Same morning routine After breakfast Nana packed and Pop Pop and Dima packed the car. We then drove to Egg Harbor,( about 25 minutes and on our way home,) to visit our former next door neighbors Theresa and son Kevin. They have a lovely apartment and we sat and chatted and then had some lunch. Dima’s behavior was outstanding. He was quiet while Theresa and Kevin told us some stories about their trip to CA and then Dima told a story and helped Theresa to set the table, serve the food and then clean up. He did get his toy bag and played on the floor for a while. He was a perfect gentleman and Nana and Pop Pop were very proud of him. On the road at 1:30 and again the back roads and the DVD player kept Dima occupied. Dima and Pop Pop emptied the car and then watered all of the plants and brought in veggies from the garden. We had tuna melts for dinner and then a movie and then to bed.

Saturday August 15 Fer- Augusto

In Italy on August 15 EVERYONE heads to the beach for the last two weeks of August. The “camp fire girls” had little or no business) In the Philadelphia region it was a custom to dip in the Atlantic since the priests would bless the waters and dedicate the ocean to the Blessed Mother. We ALWAYS went down - even if for just the day

Dima got up around 7:30 but did not get out of his room until Pop Pop went to him about 8:00. They had breakfast together and watched some TV. Nana got up at 9:00 and started laundry and cleaned up the kitchen. The boys went to the beer store and the Post Office and returned in time to get a hat, sun block and all headed to Bob White Farm to pick peaches. BUMMER ….. the peaches are not ripe so we picked “yellow early apples”

. We got 2 bushel baskets and bought some peaches from their stand We then went home, dropped off the loot, had some lunch and then Pop Pop and Dima went to Lowe’s and Giant. Nana continued with the laundry and cut up one bushel of apples and cooked them.

Pop Pop and Dima bought a fire pit at Lowe’s and then to Giant to get pie crusts and some other things. When they returned Nana continued to stir the apples while the boys put together the pit “seasoned it” by starting a fire and letting it simmer.

Dinner at 6:30 --- hot dogs cooked over the fire - by chef Dima baked beans and fresh corn on the cob bought by Pop Pop and Dima on their travels this day. We ate outside and had a picnic. Lot’s of fun.

After dinner Dima helped Nana to “smoosh” the apples through the press and to make the apple sauce and then he and Pop Pop sat by the fire pit until Nana joined them. All had a beverage, watched the sun set, bats come out and enjoy the fire. The gnats chased them in at 8:15 so a shower and the Penguins short TiVo and to bed at 9 ish. Prayers and ready for Sunday.

Sunday, August 16

We got up as usual around 8:00 had some cereal dressed and left for the 10:30 Mass. We sat up front int he third pew in front of the singer and Dima was exceptionally well behaved. He read a “God” book from time to time and then just watched the priest, the singer and was very quiet. After Mass our pastor gives candy to the children. They get to pick one piece from his basket. Dima got a caramel. We then went to John’s Diner where he wanted to order clams but settled for strawberry covered pancakes. Then we went to Giant to buy marshmallows for the evening camp fire.

After he changed to “work” clothes he watered all of the potted plants, dead headed all of Nana’s plants and helped Pop Pop to get ready for the evening camp fire.They cut up a lot of small wood and Dima gathered it all and put it in the wheel barrow.

He came in the house to cool off just in time to help Nana make the filling for the apple pies. He read the recipes and learned the measurements. The anticipation of the camp fire got him a little antsy so he sat in the lr in Pop Pop’s chair and watched a Penguins movie until time to light the fire.

Again he cooked hot dogs on the bbq fork and we had more corn on the cob and toasted marshmallows for dessert.

Bath read the rest of the God book and a short movie, brush teeth, prayers and to bed

Monday August 17

The usual morning routine then off to pick up Shannon and proceed to the “Y” for a few hours of swimming. Pop Pop did his laps, Shannon swam around on her “noodle” and Dima went down the slide and was swimming with his head under water and doing very well. Nana got in the water also and to use a Dima phrase “it was refreshing!!”

After we took Shannon home we went back to Zipp Rd, Pop Pop and Nana had some lunch, packed Dima’s things into the car and then we left for McDonald’s to fulfill Dima’s lunch request.

On our way home we stopped at the Shrine of Padre Pio and just happened to see a monk there. He hugged Dima gave him a Padre Blessing and gave him a kiss. Then we lit a candle and said some prayers.

Dima was glad to be home and to see Mama again. He spent a while telling her all about his vacation.

Nana and Pop Pop returned home to a quiet house but will miss their little buddy.

The End

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What I did on my summer vacation: pool and hot air balloon

My parents brought Dima back from his mini vacation yesterday and we all went to the pool in the evening. Josh isn't allowed to sit on the lifeguard stands with his buddies anymore ( I was kind of surprised that they let him do it in the first place) He still talks to the guards as he's jumping into the pool again and again and again and the woman who runs the place came out to swim with him the other day and showed him different ways to jump and now he's got even more ways to keep himself going while we're there. This year he has no problem with jumping into the "deep" section - the deepest the whole pool gets is 5'6" - and he did it once without me or an off duty guard near him and got a time out for it and hasn't done that since. Whenever we go Dima has to go directly to the splash park and Josh and I start out in the two foot section and walk in - he dives after his dive sticks or a hair band or asks other kids if the can join their games of catch til I make my way in and we go to the four foot section to him to jump in and swim to me. He knows he can't stand there and was afraid to go there last year but has lost that fear.

After we got back from the pool and I was rinsed off Dima seemed especially emotional - crying hysterically because a bee was stuck outside in a spider web - with me telling him to go get a stick to set it free, him doing it and them realizing that DOING is better than crying. Thinking back on it he also had a crying jag while we were at the pool - Josh picked up a bucket he brought along and then Dima decided he wanted it back - again ASK him for it instead of blubbering and you'll get it back when he's done. Is this crying attention getting stuff? is it his meds? avoiding confronting Josh to get the bucket back? He did also mention that he missed my parents could it be related to that?

Any way our visit to the pool ended with each boy getting their special thing Josh got to do the "ammouncement" that the pool was closed. He goes around here saying it since he's heard his buds saying it each night we're there at closing and we'd mentioned that to the guards so since there was only one other family still there he got to do the "The time is now 6:45 and the pool is closed, please exit the pool using the nearest ladder or stairs, the doors, including the bathrooms will be locked in fifteen minutes. Have a good evening" I tried to get Chris on the phone quickly enough to get him to hear it but I wasn't close enough to a speaker for him to hear it.

Then as we got to the end of the road that the park is on we saw a hot air balloon just about to take flight so we pulled over and watched that. Dima was really happy then.