Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fun with the Alleys

Josh and Jaime have been visiting for a few days, and we've been having a blast! We went swimming, played at the Durham Science Museum, and had a water fight.










And of course, we did a lot of this...


Kentucky in July



We took our annual trip to Kentucky in July. It was as hot as usual. Which is to say, as hot as North Carolina. If we were smart vacationers, we would go someplace cool in the summer.

One way to beat the heat in Kentucky is to take a hike through Mammoth Cave, so my mom got us all tickets. I was not thrilled at first (I grew up in cave country; I have been in a lot of caves.), but it turned out to be really fun. We took the historic tour, which led through some narrow, stooped, winding passages. Kellie, Alex, and Michael had to duck for half of the tour, and the Fat Man's Misery was a squeeze for anyone over the age of 12.

We spent the Fourth in Tennessee with Michael's family, where the boys enjoyed the annual Blowing Things Up celebration while I went on an eight mile run. (Kellie and I are training for a half marathon in August.)

Orange Belts

Eli and Rylan earned their orange belts in tae kwon do in June.




Monday, July 11, 2016

DC Trip 2016

In lieu of a big trip this year, we are going to paint and freshen up the basement area (family room plus all three boys' rooms), so we only took a couple of small trips this year.

The first trip was to DC so the boys (just Cole and Eli because Rylan was with my parents in Kentucky) could revisit some places they haven't seen since they were little. We started off at Gravelly Park on a Saturday night to catch up with my friend Leigh from high school. Cool park and fun to see her!

Miriam met us at the hotel room late that night, and on Sunday, we trekked into DC to see the monuments. Between the heat and the walking, Cole and Eli were not the most pleasant travelling companions, but peace was restored with lunch and a quick nap (me!) at my aunt and uncle's house in Virginia. My Grandma Alley was staying at my aunt and uncle's house for a few days, so we planned our DC trip so we'd be able to see her. At 92(?) years old, she's still as upbeat and amazing as ever.




On Monday, we went to the zoo - I think the first zoo the boys have been to while old enough to remember it. When we lived in DC, we went to both the Smithsonian zoo and the Philadelphia zoo many times, but that was 8 1/2 years ago. Surprisingly, Cole and Eli both really got into the zoo and wouldn't let us skip a single animal until we'd been there for HOURS and HOURS and they were ready to go.



Miriam was leaving us from the zoo, so the boys and I took the metro back to the hotel. This was a feat considering that I haven't taken the metro in the aforementioned 8 1/2 years. Plus, half of the blue line is closed down for construction. But we're still alive!

Our last day was spent at some of the museums followed by a quick stop at Ikea on the way home. A trip to DC is not complete without a stop at Ikea!

Rylan's Appendicitis

In March, I got a call from Rylan's school saying he wasn't feeling well. Michael picked him up from school, set him up with treats and games on the couch, and worked from home the rest of the afternoon. When I got home around 5 or 6, Rylan was writhing on the couch in pain. I asked him where it hurt, he pointed to his right side, and I said, "Michael, I think he needs to go to the emergency room. I think it's appendicitis."

I took him to Rex because it was the nearest hospital, but it turned out that they didn't have a children's surgeon on staff and that I would have to take him to Wake. They told me it would be faster if I took him myself rather than waiting for an ambulance, but because of legal paperwork mumbo jumbo, it took another full hour after that before they released us. Plus, they took out his IV, and it had to be replaced at Wake. So frustrating!

Once we got to Wake, though, things moved pretty quickly, and everyone was treating it like an emergency. Michael arrived at Wake about the time we got there. I had called him from Rex and asked him to come give Rylan a blessing and stay to give me moral support. I was pretty emotional and just needed someone to hold my hand.

Rylan and I had to stay one more day at the hospital, but all went well. Thank goodness for wonderful surgeons and nurses.

In a lot of pain here prior to surgery, but grinning and bearing it.
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