The Kozel Family

The Kozel Family

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August Fun

You are fearless.  We went to the Grange Fair yesterday, and you rode every ride you could.   You're finally tall enough to get on the "big kid" rides by yourself, and you loved them!  You also loved a Swedish Fish flavored icee, a hot dog, some cheese fries, and an entire stick of cotton candy.  (This was after your favorite Waffle Shop breakfast--a strawberry Belgian waffle.)   We looked at the goats and cows, and you were very excited to see the chickens.   We even saw a chicken with "furry feet"--it's lower legs were covered with dark, fluffy feathers.

You were a great baby throughout our Grange trip.  You basically just hung out in your front carrier and checked out the scene.  You also took a couple of naps.  Last night and tonight as I was trying to dress you for bed you kept flipping over from your back to your belly.  I  think it surprised you as much as it surprised me!  You aren't really a fan of tummy time, but the first time you turned over you looked up at me with a HUGE toothless grin.  I think you knew you had done it yourself.  You were naked, as I had just given you a bath, and Wyatt came in and laughed and laughed.  He just loves watching you grow and change.  Today, I got a video of him making you giggle.  Seeing you two interact like that is one of the most precious gifts I've been given.

Besides going to the Grange and the Waffle Shop, we've also welcomed babies Oliver James Long and Leonardo Ajit Poehner into the world!   Oliver was born yesterday and Leo came today.  I can't wait to see you both grow up with these new little friends.  It's been a busy two days for everyone, I guess! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our Beach Adventure

We've been busy, busy, busy, so it's been difficult to find the time to post here, but I HAVE to document our beach trip before I forget all of the details.

First, our master plan: 
     Drive to Dillsburg on Friday afternoon to see Mrs. Wilson.   Drive on to Baltimore, eat dinner with Rachel, Seth, and a few friends.  Be in bed by about 9:30pm.  Wake up at 4am Saturday, put you two in the car asleep, and truck on to the beach.  Lily, you HATE your car seat and if you are awake, you're screaming.  Hence, the early start.  Your dad and I figured we'd be there a little bit early, since the beach house didn't open until 3pm, but a trip to Walmart and a little lunch would fill in that time.   Perfect plan, right?

What actually happened:
     The drive to Dillsburg and visit with Mrs. Wilson was wonderful.  She loved seeing you two.  The drive to Baltimore was fine--Lily was a bit cranky but otherwise ok.   We had a great dinner with Rachel, Seth, and some Baltimore friends.  Both of you went to bed around 9:30pm.  Daddy and I went to bed at about 10pm.  I was on the pull-out sofa with Wyatt, Lily was in a bassinet nearby, and Daddy was laying on couch cushions off the foot of the bed.
      As Daddy and I were trying to fall asleep, Lily started sucking her fingers loudly, incessantly.  Wyatt began to snore and started doing some sort of weird sleep apnea thing where he would hold his breath and then gasp for air.  Needless to say, I found it a bit difficult to sleep.  It really didn't matter, however, because at 10:30ish we received a phone call from Nona.
     Nona was keeping our 12 year old dog at her house and was planning on dropping her off at Mikey's house the next morning before heading to the beach.  Nona had called to inform us that Bailey suddenly couldn't move her back legs, one of her front legs was curled under and useless, and she was shaking uncontrollably.  She couldn't find a vet hospital anywhere around Uniontown to take Bailey and she wasn't sure what we wanted her to do.  Daddy and I got on the computer and found that the only place that could see dogs in the middle of the night was in Fairmont, which was 40 miles away.  Nona and Lisa had to pick up Bailey to out her in the back of the van.   They drove all the way to Fairmont.  Once they had arrived at the animal hospital, Nona ran in and asked some of the workers there to help get Bailey out of the van.  They brought out a stretcher so they could roll her into the building.  When Nona opened the back door of the van, Bailey jumped out and trotted right into the hospital, where the vet announced that there was nothing wrong with her!  So, Nona and Lisa take Bailey back to Uniontown.  By now it is approximately 12:30am.
     Meanwhile, Daddy and I are WIDE awake in Baltimore.  We had a quick conference and figured that it would be silly to wait around for three more hours and then leave, so we decided to leave right then.  I fed Lily while Daddy got Wyatt into the car and then we were off.  Sandbridge Beach, here we come!
      We spent the first half hour of our trip driving aimlessly around the neighborhoods of Baltimore, looking for an open gas station.  We finally found one in what I am guessing was not the best area of town.  The man behind the bulletproof glass was very nice, though, as he rang up Daddy's Mountain Dew.  After that side trip, we finally got on a main road and were headed for the beach!   After a short while we got to a fork in the road.   The GPS said to go right.  Daddy said we usually went left.  We went right, which unfortunately led us straight through the middle of Washington, D.C.  By this time, Wyatt, you had woken up and were asking to watch movies.  I said that 2am was NOT a good time to watch movies and that you needed to sleep.  Instead of sleeping, however, you got a tour of downtown D.C.  We showed you the capitol building, the Washington monument, and even the Pentagon before you conked out again.  We also saw many other things that I won't go into.  Let's just say that in some parts of town I was sitting straight up, willing the traffic lights to change to green as quickly as possible.  There we were at 2:30 in the morning, in a minivan with a turtle topper and out-of-state plates, just itching for trouble.  Finally we were though D.C. and Daddy and I both heaved big sighs of relief that we and our turtle topper had survived the trip.    
     About the time we got back onto the interstate our check engine light went on.  Daddy diagnosed the problem to be a broken speed sensor.  This meant that sometimes the speedometer would bob crazily around and every so often the van wouldn't be able to shift out of second gear.  When that would happen, we would have to pull over, turn off the car, and turn it back on again.  Lovely. 
     Except for that, things went pretty well for the rest of the trip into Sandbridge (mostly because we ignored the GPS).  It was only as we were driving past Norfolk that we began to see the cracks in our flawless plan.  We were scheduled to reach our destination at 5:30am.   5:30am.  5:30am with a nine-week old baby, an enthusiastic five and a half year old, two adults running on no sleep, a van jam-packed full of stuff, and no home until 3pm.   We began to panic just a bit.  We decided to call around to local hotels to see if we could get a room.  Every place we called was pretty expensive and would only allow us to stay until 11am.  We figured that by the time we got there, got food, and dealt with two fairly well-rested children we would only have about 3 hours to relax in the hotel before having to pack back up for check-out.  Not worth it.  We plowed on to Sandbridge.
     Right as we arrived into town Lily woke up hungry.  Daddy pulled over into what I think was a parking lot of an orthodontist and I began feeding her.  Wyatt then woke up and announced that he REALLY had to go to the bathroom and was very hungry.  I stopped feeding Lily (she was not happy about that) and we drove a screaming baby and an uncomfortable child to the nearest Wawa gas station.   I continued to feed Lily there while Daddy took Wyatt into the store.  When the boys came back to the van, I had the great idea to go have a nice breakfast at a waffle shop or a Denny's or someplace like that.  We were all excited to sit down and relax and eat a great meal.  As Daddy started driving, I looked up breakfast places on the GPS.  Nothing.  Running on no sleep, I had an epiphany:  If we could make it to Walmart, everything would be okay.   Daddy seemed in on the new plan, so we headed there. 
      Lo and behold, right beside the Walmart was a McDonald's.  Not my idea of a great breakfast, but at that point we really didn't care. Wyatt, you loved the McDonald's because they had a playplace there.  You were climbing all over the equipment as I was contemplating the pros and cons of lying down on the floor for a nap. We sent Daddy to the Walmart to get a cooler, some drinks, and a few snacks.  Revised new plan:  Go to the beach and camp out until 3pm.  Daddy returned with our meager supplies and we left for the ocean.  By this point I was so tired I was feeling ill and a little teary. My only thoughts were: "Get to the beach, get to the beach..."  Not even two minutes into our trip, Wyatt announced that he has to go number two.   Conversation as follows:
"Why didn't you go at McDonalds?"
"I didn't have to go then!"
"Buddy, that was two minutes ago!" 
     So, we pulled off again at a gas station. I was now officially running on crazy.  We finally made it to the beach at about 7:30am.  Poor Daddy had to unpack almost the entire van to get our swimmy stuff out, as we had it scattered in almost every suitcase.  We lay on the beach for about 5 hours in mid-90 degree heat, got little lunch, and (Hallelujah!) got into the beach house at 3pm.  A few naps and an early bedtime did the trick and Daddy and I were as good as new.  
      The rest of the week was great.  Lily, you really didn't want to have anything to do with anyone else but me, so we spent a lot of quality time together.  Wyatt, you had a great time playing with your cousins.  We had a fairly uneventful trip home, leaving at 11:30pm Friday night so you two could sleep the whole way, which you did.  :) 
      Wyatt:  When we got home to PA, I asked you what your favorite parts of the beach trip were.  You said, "Playing in the pool, getting up at midnight to go to the beach, and getting up at midnight to go back home."  You are the only kid I know that ranks the drive as a top beach activity!

What a ride!



Monday, August 1, 2011

Sportsman and Giggling

      Since you were about two, you've had "an imagination friend" named Sportsman.  I don't know where you ever got that name--at that time you usually named things for what they were. (Examples:  "Froggy" for a frog, "Bally" for a get the picture.)  But Sportsman arrived one afternoon out of the blue.  We talked about him a lot and invited him to stay for lunch.  As quickly as he came, he left.  I thought he was just a one time occurrence, but several weeks later Sportsman came back.   You were standing in the TV room, opening and closing your hand in a very odd way.  I asked you what you were doing, and you explained that you were clipping Sportsman's fingernails!
     Sportsman has made several appearances since then, but he never stays for long.  He seems to spend most of his time visiting his grandmother.  Just two days ago he came for an impromptu stay in our spare bedroom.  After spending most of yesterday upstairs, he joined you on the couch to watch part of a Spongebob Squarepants movie.  I guess Spongebob is one of Sportsman's favorites, too.
     Sportsman has the uncanny ability to change sizes and ages to fit your needs.   He's been your age, a baby, and an adult.  Yesterday he was your age but just a little bit shorter than you.   I wonder what he'll be like next time he visits us!

     So, this morning you were hanging out in your MamaRoo baby seat while I was sorting some papers and I heard you getting fussy.  I went over and sat down in front of you, and was rewarded with a huge smile.  I decided to play peek-a-boo with you since you were obviously in a better mood.  About the third time I peeked, you LAUGHED.  Now, we're not talking a huge gaffaw, but I distinctly heard a giggle come out of that little mouth of yours!  It was great.  You just keep getting better and better!   Now, if only you'd realize that, yes, you will ALWAYS gag if you put your entire hand in your mouth...maybe a few hundred more tries will do the trick.  What a goofball.

You people make me smile.  :)  I love you.

On a side note:  Your dad and his baseball team, the Orioles, won their game last night!  He caught and pitched and hit an "over the fence" home run.   Go Daddy!