Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Decade and Counting

Kai is 10 years old! He’s a whole decade! His actual birthday was on a Wednesday, which is a BAD day for celebrating anything. We are way too busy. However, he had an early release day so Roan and I took him out to lunch at Chili’s. We even had a Chocolate Molten Mountain for dessert. I also took him to Barnes and Noble (at his request) where he bought a couple books.

His party had to wait until after Boston. We just had the party Friday night. He invited a couple friends over. He opened his presents first,

then we went to see the movie ‘Nim’s Island’. They enjoyed it. Afterwards, we went home for cake and ice cream.

The boys stayed for a sleepover. The theme for this party was Star Wars. Both of my boys are WAY into Star Wars these days. Saturday morning, they all beat up a Darth Vader Head piƱata with light sabers!


(P.S. I just got back from the gym and I must say I had a hard time staying motivated due to the news channel reporting on VA Tornadoes, PA Church burning, L.A. Night club burning, 3 shark attacks in 3 days on the same beach in FL, a ‘smiley face’ serial killer, a daughter held captive by her father for 2 decades, a death from deliberately tainted Chinese supplied heparin and another school shooting. Can somebody change the channel please?)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back from Boston

Well, he finally did it! Dean ran the Boston Marathon! We left Friday afternoon and drove to Raleigh to deliver Roan to my parent’s house. We spent the night with Jerry and Andrea then got up at 4:15 am to catch a 7am flight out of Raleigh/Durham airport. We had a short layover in D.C. then went on to Manchester, NH.

Our first evening in Boston was interesting to say the least. Navigating Boston is, um, complicated. We managed to find a parking garage near the convention center and went to the expo where Dean checked in, got his bib number, and bought his Boston Marathon jacket!

Later we needed to meet some friends at a restaurant in the North End. We were wisely directed to take the train because there is no parking in the North End, but we did not take the advise. We did not want to add hours to the parking garage. We misunderstood the charge. We thought we would be paying $20 for parking, but it was $34! We had only been there for 3 ½ hours! This was crazy! Plus, if we had stayed the rest of the time, it would have stayed $34, but it was too late by the time we knew this. We spent an hour trying to get 2 miles away because of navigating the one-way streets. We were all over the place, going in circles, etc. This is a map showing our route. It was actually worse than this, we just couldn't remember everything, but this gives you an idea:

This was very NOT fun. Of course, when we finally got there, there was no parking, so we ended up in another parking garage. This time it was only $11. We walked to the restaurant and had a nice time with Dean’s friend. By this time it was about 11pm and we still had to drive an hour and 10 minutes to Dean’s cousin’s house where we were staying for a couple nights. We were so tired (remember-up since 4am) that it was a miserable hour of driving, but we finally made it. Sorry, this sounds like a depressing start to a much anticipated trip (and it was) but it got better!

The next morning we were going to attend the Women’s Olympic Trials but due to the late night and Dean’s impending Marathon we decided to sleep in. We drove back into Boston. This time we decided to park in the Boston Common’s parking garage. It was somewhat central to what we wanted to do. And we were excited to see that on weekends and holidays, it was only $11 for the whole day! We walked through the commons taking our time.

We had lunch at a great little Irish Pub,

and then went back to the Expo for a little while. When we were done, we walked back to the car down beautiful Commonwealth

then went back ‘home’ for dinner with Dean’s cousin Kathleen and her husband.

The next day dawned, Marathon day! I was apprehensive about navigating Boston all by myself, but by this time we pretty much had it down. I dropped Dean off in Hopkinton, where he took a school bus to the starting line. (to hear Dean’s own accounts of race day, check out his blog at ZerotoBoston) I drove on in to Boston, parked at the Commons, then made my way to the finish line (stopping first to take a picture of the place of inspiration for the TV show 'Cheers').

I found a spot right on the rail, and parked myself there for the next 3 ½ hours. I was within sight of the finish line. Cool. I saw the male and female winners and I saw Lance Armstrong pass by. It was all very exciting. Boston was crawling with people, very festive. After I saw Dean finish,

I headed toward our agreed upon meeting point. Boy, we did a lot of walking! Because of the course, roads were closed and it was a very round about way of getting where we need to go. It took me an hour of walking to get there! I met up with Dean and we ate a late lunch at a seafood restaurant. Dean did a great job, he finished right when he said he would. Way to go, Dean! You did it!!!We walked back to the car, so Dean could change into some clean clothes, then took the train back to the North End. (yeah, we wised up) We went to see Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church.
Then we stopped at Mike’s Pastries which we had heard were awesome from more than one source. And they were! We made our way back to the car then left Boston for the last time and drove an hour to our hotel right next to the airport. Another early morning, we had to catch a 6am flight this time. The silly thing is, this time our layover was in Atlanta, GA! Then back up to Raleigh. My parents and Roan picked us up. Roan was VERY glad to see us! We all had lunch together (Andrea joined us, too), where we caught up on Roan’s weekend. He went to a Passover dinner with my parents and helped out a lot. He did a great job and impressed everybody. Dad took him fishing and he caught seven fish!
We said our goodbyes and headed home to Columbia. We picked up Kai and Alyssa from their friends’ houses and went home, happily reunited.

Roan Quote: Roan helped Grandpa and Grammy at the Passover dinner. He helped count out five quarters for each person. When he was finished, the lady he helped gave him the left over quarters. He was so exited about this; he kept counting them and showing everybody his quarters. He was so cute, people kept giving him more. At one point, someone told him they didn’t have anymore quarters. He said, “That’s OK, I’ll take dollars, too!”

Monday, April 28, 2008

Roan's Bath-time Fun

Remember this song from Sesame Street?

One of these things is not like the others,

One of these things just doesn't belong,

Can you tell which thing is not like the others

By the time I finish my song?

Monday, April 14, 2008

We're Going to Boston!

Wow! I guess I need to blog, huh? It’s been a while! Sorry! The week following Easter was Spring Break. We didn’t do much. We stayed home, saw a movie, went to Chuck E. Cheese, etc.

I entered another photo contest last month, but didn’t place. A little disappointing, but not unexpected. I did however win a small online photo contest at Lil’ Davis Designs, a scrapbooking website. The prize is $100 worth of Lil’ Davis product. So, that’s cool! Here is the pic that won:

This weekend, Dean and I will be going to Boston! Yay! He finally qualified for the Boston Marathon and we are flying up together. Lord willing! We originally had airline tickets with Skybus, but they went belly up recently along with 4 other airlines! Dean spent HOURS trying to find last minute tickets that we could afford, so please pray that we get to Boston and back without anymore fiascoes! Thanks! While we are gone, we will be parceling out our kids with other families. This was kind of hard because we will be gone for 2 school days, so we had to find families that 1) we trust with our kids, 2) have kids our kids age, 3) go to the same school, and 4)are willing/able to do it! We managed with Kai and Alyssa, but not Roan, so we are going to drive to Raleigh and leave him with my parents then fly out from the Raleigh/Durham airport. Please pray for our safety and the safety of our children while we are away. My next post will probably not be until after we get back.

Roan Quote: I picked Roan up from preschool the other day and he was acting disgruntled. I asked him if he had a good day, and he said yes (with a heavy sigh). I asked him what was wrong and he said he didn’t want to tell me. I said OK and left it at that. Less than a minute later he said, “OK, I’ll tell you.” Then preceded to tell me that 2 little girls in his class keep wanting to sit by him ALL the time and they say he’s their boyfriend. Then he said, “And I just can’t TAKE it!”