Hey everyone! John, Norm and I are home from the beach and are excited to be hanging out with Brian, Zoe and Pauli.
We had a WONDERFUL time at the beach. It was so great to see my family. All together I think there were about 50 members of my extended family in Oak Island, NC for the week. Crazy, huh? In our house, there were 8 adults and 8 children. John had SO much fun with his cousins--especially the three older ones, Michael, Lizzie and Joe. In fact, he had so much fun with his cousins that by the end of the week, he was a crazy, wild man. Yes, quiet little John was a crazy, wild man.
Michael, my sister Cat, John and Lizzie
John wasn't too keen on the sand at first. I think because of his OMA and balance issues, the sand made him nervous, but he got much more comfortable with it as the week went on. John also got more comfortable with the ocean and by the end of the week would stand or sit in the surf and go in the ocean with me. My mom had brought a few life jackets and John chose to wear one most of the time we were on the beach. It was pretty cute.
Michael, Joe, my brother John, and John
We were in a new house this year (about 8 houses down from our old house). It was much roomier and we really enjoyed it. It was actually big enough for all 8 adults to sit comfortably together to eat a meal which was very exciting. The house also had a wonderful enclosed outside shower that was enjoyed by adults and children alike. There is nothing better than a nice warm shower with the ocean breeze blowing across your feet. Very cool! It was a crazy time as we had 8 children under 5 years old in our house, but it all went much more smoothly than expected.
Shelley brought her cousin Tara to help with the triplets (9 months old now) and she was great fun and a great help. Tara also introduced me to these really great purses and bags. They are all custom made and I had so much fun playing with all the beautiful fabrics.
Me, Cat, Shelley and Tara
Madeline, Reed and Mary
My mom and sister were the champions of the week. They did the majority of the cooking and organizing and made the trip so relaxing for the rest of us. They were also really wonderful about taking John down to the beach while I was at the house nursing Norm and getting ready for the beach. I did manage to cook dinner one night ( a delicious and easy lasagna recipe my friend Leslie gave me.) If anyone needs an easy recipe, let me know! My brother was also really wonderful with his ability and willingness to entertain the four older children.
This was my first time flying alone with two children and it went remarkably well. Norm slept most of the time and only fussed on one of the four flights. We used the great nursing cover Kristin gave me and were able to comfortably nurse in the airport and on the plane. John was a champion traveler despite the fact that both days we had early flights so he had to be up by 5AM. He enjoyed playing with stickers and looking at books on the plane. Having a supply of fruit snacks and granola bars also helped. John loved that we went "up high" in the air and quickly became a pro at buckling his own seat belt. There were a couple unhappy moments, but they went by quickly. On our last and longest flight (from Charlotte, NC to Dallas), we sat next to a really nice gentleman who currently lives in DC, but is originally from Kenya. He was so impressed with John and Norm that he wrote John a note about how proud he was of his behavior on the flight. I thought that was so nice. I'm going to put it away in his treasure box.
Norm modeling the t-shirt we all got for the family beach week
While we were gone, Brian traveled to Connecticut to do some work at the pilot plant. He also got all kinds of free Chic-Fil-A cow stuff at work as Dr. Pepper is sponsoring a Chic-Fil-A Cow Appreciation Day. Brian thought it was a bit silly, but knew that John loved farm animals. John has had lots of fun running around with his cow hat on and mooing.
Only bad bit of news is that Pauli is still not doing well. She continues to use the bathroom both in the apartment and in the hallway outside our apartment. They've been painting the hallways so I'm sure that hasn't helped her comfort level. Anyway, we are still trying the medication, but so far all it seems to have done is make her more lethargic. It's very sad! Hopefully, we can get Pauli happy soon.
It ought to be a challenging week as Brian has to be out of town tonight through Wednesday. It will be hard to be without him, especially after I've been spoilt by a week with my family where everyone helped out with Norm and John when needed and especially with Pauli's issues. Hopefully I'll be able to get Pauli and Zoe out often enough with John and Norm. It's going to be hard since Brian's been carrying Pauli down the stairs most times since she refuses to walk down them. Hmm... Wish me luck!
I'll be computerless until Brian returns. Look forward to blogging again then. Hope you all are doing well and having a great summer! Only 3 more weeks until I'm in my new house! Can't wait.