Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello August!

Monday, first day of August. Can it be? Celebrated with a trip to the lake and karate...what else is new?

On Tuesday, after Jason finished speech, my mom and I packed up the boys (and what seemed like enough gear for a week) and head to Atlantic City for an overnight trip. I hadn't been feeling well for a couple weeks due to my Crohn's (which had acted up, landing me back on Cipro and Flagyl antibiotics...consequently leaving me with no appetite). Anyway, I thought now that the severe heat had passed I could tolerate a day at the beach. The boys loved our hotel room at Bally's, especially the view. We got to see a blimp go right by!

We got changed into our bathing suits and head right to the beach. Luckily the boardwalk was a little closer to the ocean here, so my mom was able to park her scooter and join us in the sand. The boys had a blast playing in the water, mostly searchign for and watching coquina (small clams like this) dig into the sand.

After heading back to the room for baths and a clothing change we walked a distance on the boardwalk to The French Quarter at Showboat for a buffet dinner. What is always a treat turned out to not be so much fun for me. I still could barely eat and felt sick the entire time. The boys ate their fare share too...until Jason's belly started hurting. Poor guy.

After dinner we rode some rides. Tyler was having a blast but poor Jason's belly continued to hurt (I think I blame dairy) and he was quite tired. I was feeling pretty weak and nauseous too, so we decided to call in quits and head back to the hotel. We stopped at the dollar store for some snacks when Jason had blowout diahrea...good times. However we got back to the room, cleaned him up, and both boys went to bed fairly well (Jason in his pack and play). I was still feeling pretty sick and went to bed pretty early myself.

Wednesday, after a fairly restful night in the hotel, I woke up feeling dizzy, weak, and nauseous. My pain wasn't horrendous but felt so out of it that i readily agreed to go to the hospital. After calling my doctor my mom did most of the packing and we checked out of the hotel. I got to visit the new Virtua Hospital in Voorhees, which from what I remember, was very nice. The pretty much immediately ran blood work and hooked me up to IV fluids. I had to give a stool and urine sample (fun stuff) and basically napped for a couple hours. My blood sample came back showing typical irregularities that would be common with Crohn's disease, and due to the fact that I wasn't having significant pain, they discharged me with instructions to follow up with GI. Honestly I felt 75% better just having sat in the peace and quiet of the hospital (as sad as that sounds) but I think the fluids were what really helped. Apparently I was quite dehydrated.

Meanwhile my mom had brought the boys home. I realized, about an hour before the appointment time, that Jason was due at the pediatrician's for an appointment due to his tummy issues. So my mom opted to bring him. She left with a script for a GI appointment as well as the PT evaluation the neurologist had recommended.

Thursday Jason's OT helped me out by entertaining both boys during Jason's session. I was still pretty out of it. After some recovery time, my parents helped me take the boys to Bob Meyer park for some pizza and playtime before Tyler had to go to karate.

Friday Jason had a make-up speech session. That night, when the rest of Medford Lakes was at beach 1 for "Mardi Gras" I enjoyed a relaxing evening at beach 3 with the boys. Jason got to hang out with his duck friend while Tyler repeatedly jumped off the dock.

On Saturday we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather (at the moment) and Bob and I took the boys miniature golfing in Maple Shade. It was Jason's first time and I believe the first time for Tyler since the night before Jason was born. Tyler really enjoyed it and took it fairly seriously. Jason, as expected, was more interested in placing the balls through tunnels and chutes and such. It's safe to say that golf is not his sport. And the sun wore him out quickly, but he had fun.

After our miniature golfing experience Jason and I needed to cool off, so we all head back to Bob's to relax a bit. The boys had fun playing with matchbox cars and wrestling men that Bob had had stored away in his attic from when his son was little. They played a bit in the baby pool (proving to be too small for Ty), played a little soccer, and to my disgust, searched for locust (or perhaps cicada) moltings/carcasses. I don't know...they found it interesting.

Saturday night was the big night that everyone in Medford Lakes waits for. The annual canoe carnival...80th canoe carnival, to be exact. We normally watch the carnival from parties at people's houses who live on the lake. This year Jim had settlement and moved off canoe carnival lake just a week before canoe carnival, so we were left without a carnival viewing home. So my mom bought us tickets for the lake and she and Chris went earlier in the day to set up our chairs. The weather was very iffy, but my parents, myself, the boys, and bob went to the beach, expecting to be fighting major crowds. Either the weather or some other factor kept the crowds very low this year (that's not to say there weren't crowds though). We had a bit of rain, but the canoe carnival went on. Unfortunately there was apparently enough wind to give them a lot of trouble. We watched a few floats crash into the docks and have to be towed back out into the lake to complete their trek around the lake (making them therefore inelligible to win the competition). However the boys had a blast, weather was cool, and it was a nice night.

Just to give you an idea, these are photos of some of the floats that were featured this year. These are not my photos, but stolen from the Medford Lakes facebook page....

On Sunday, after playing outside a little while with Alex, Alex's dad invited Tyler to join their family for a little fishing expedition at the local footbridge. I did check in on him a couple times. No luck with fish but we saw a HUGE snapper turtle (I believe that was the kind). I can assure you that I will NEVER put even my foot in the water there after having seen that sucker!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

final week of camp

On Monday I had decided to go gluten free after some recent setbacks with my Crohn's disease. I had started new meds over the weekend but I knew something in my diet needed to change, and had read numerous places that a gluten-free diet can sometimes help. I spent some more time in Shoprite monday perusing the aisles for gluten-free crap (after having done so at Trader Joe's the night before). Very intimidating.

After camp my friend Melinda and I had tickets to bring the kids to the Riversharks game. Weather forecast was very iffy, but ultimately we decided to take our chances. We invited Tyler's friend Alex since we had an extra ticket, as he had never been to a baseball game. We drove to Melinda's house, picked her and Scarlett up, and head over to the stadium. By the time we got there it was raining lightly, but the kids got to play in the play area for awhile. It started raining more so we got in life for our free meals (Kids Eat Free night). We watched the rain get heavier and heavier and they decided on a rain delay. We let the kids splash around in puddles and go on the carousel before calling it quits and heading home. Poor Alex never saw a bit of baseball on his first baseball game! Luckily they eventually cancelled the game and we'll be able to use our ticket stubs for a future game.

On Tuesday my parents brought my grandparents to the hospital for my grandfather's surgery. The surgeon ultimately decided that the procedure was too risky and he was released. They will later do the operation via two separate procedures.

Wednesday brought us to the lake for a little playtime.

That afternoon Tyler had hopefully his last every counseling appointment. He "graduated". LOL.

On Thursday Tyler came home from his last day of camp with an award. The counselors make up a little award for each camper. Tyler's award was "cutest". LOL.

That afternoon Connor came over for a playdate for a while before the boys and myself met the family over at Jim's new house for some pizza and unpacking. There I decided the gluten-free diet was sucking the life out of me, caved and ate pizza, and immediately felt better. Later learned that apparently you can have withdrawal from gluten and experience symptoms similar to an alcoholic stopping drinking. Awesome. Gluten is my alcohol.

Friday Tyler had his camp closing ceremony. He got his perfect attendance award and he won the first grade boys art award, along with his friend Connor. He got to paint the first color on his shield this year. The boys did a lovely dance routine to "Staying Alive". Pretty comical.

My mom, who is "friends" with Resorts Casino on facebook, managed to win us free tickets to the Great American Circus for Friday, so we decided to head down to Atlantic City after camp. My brother Chris joined us and we ate a late lunch early dinner at Johnny Rocket's on the boardwalk before hitting the beach. It was our first ocean trip of the year. Jason spent much of it being fearful of the water, meanwhile Tyler was busy jumping waves. Eventually Jason spent some time running back and forth up the beach from the waves, all in fun. He did let some water touch him and then finally sat at the edge with Tyler for a minute. Baby steps.

We made our way to the big top to get our seats for the circus. Apparently there was no need to rush because it was empty. Literally. We got our choice from the front row "VIP" seating and waited for a long time for the circus to start. Sadly, just before the show, we counted only 28 people in the whole tent, including the 5 of us! It was a great show though and the boys loved it. I could have benefited from some anxiety meds before the show because some of the stuff had me on the edge of my seat...tightrope walking, bow and arrow shooting, etc.

On Saturday we were supposed to attend a Riversharks Clinic, but it was still really hot and we would have had to skip a friend's party, so ultimately we decided to go to the party instead. It was a roller skating party for Gianna, so I wasn't sure how Jason would react. We walked in and he immediately started crying that the lights hurt his eyes. I wasn't feeling positive but put on my best happy-attitude face and reminded him that we couldn't keep crying if we wanted to stay for cake. Imagine my surprise when he ended up requesting to get roller skates and spend a good portion of the party "roller skating". I use that term loosely because he just held my hands and walked really slow, but he did it and was so proud of himself. Tyler shockingly was even slower because he insisted on doing it completely by himself. They both had a blast at Gianna's "princess pirate" party!

Three hours late I managed to make it to my friend Tracy's baby shower. I missed most of everything but was very thankful to see Tracy and Alex before they head back to Chicago to await the arrival of their baby boy.

I got home just in time to drop Tyler off at his friend Gavin's house for a sleepover party. He had a blast. And come home very cranky!

On Sunday afternoon my cousin Kristen invited us to her new gorgeous (and huge!!) home to celebrate her daughter Annika's 8th birthday. The boys had a blast playing with their second cousins and it was nice seeing everyone. We even got a picture of all of my grandparents great-grandchildren.