Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Leda's Daddy is a year older today

Brock W. Yates, Jr

Happy Birthday, Daddy!
We Love You!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend Recap

(Warning: this post may be a bit disjointed. I'm tired and I don't feel like making it flow properly, so take it as it is! At least you got a warning! hehe)

I have recovered from my near-death experience on Thursday night, if anyone was wondering!

Only to end up with a fever and the aches on Friday afternoon. A call to the doctor had me picking up another round of antibiotics, just in case the bug I have intended to do more harm, and since I am still recovering from pneumonia, that was/is a distinct possibility.

I'm really getting tired of feeling crappy all the time!

Saturday morning I got to sleep a bit late (8:30am is considered late now - sigh!) and after Brock and I got cleaned up (read, took showers), we loaded Leda into the car and Brock got into the truck and off our little caravan when to Ikea. It's like church for us! The Holy Grail of furniture and other domestic goodies stores. Mecca!

We were going to buy Leda a big girl bed. We walked the whole store, finally found the beds (they've remodeled a bit, so everything is a little moved around) and we looked for the perfect one. We have really wanted to get this one for Leda as soon as we saw it a few years ago, but of course as a loft bed, not exactly something we thought would be a good idea at this time - then, we saw it - and it is REVERSIBLE! What a novel idea! And, it appeared to be in stock! And Leda loved it! So we picked out a mattress and we headed down to the self-serve bins to grab our bed.


Now, I am a bit irritable these days (comes from being sick and/or not feeling 100% for over a month now), so I start freaking out that there's no sign mentioning they are sold out, there was no mention of it on the showroom floor, etc. I find someone to help and he looks it up - yep, out of stock. Then, THEN, I am told, it's not just out of stock, it's discontinued - there will be a new color (the sides are blue) and they expect sometime in August, but don't know exactly when.

So, we leave Ikea empty handed, and my weekend is ruined. (okay, I am prone to exaggerate when I am irritable).

We got home and I decided I needed to shop AND ACTUALLY BUY SOMETHING! So off to Target I go to buy a few twin size mattress protectors, sheets and comforter for the bed WE DO NOT HAVE YET! While I was at it, I bought the new Big&Rich CD, an attachment for my iPod so it will play in the car (SO COOL!) and the new Harry Potter book.

This is a warning to all of you who read Harry Potter and know me - I have yet to read book 6 - I went a whole two years not knowing what happened in book 6 until we went to Portland (I won't name names, but yes, someone told me something very important that happens in the book - TWO YEARS I went without knowing what happened in book six - I am one who checks all the spoiler sites for my favorite shows but I am not the same about books! I must not know what happens in a book or it ruins it for me. So, please, no one tell me what happens in book 7, unless you know for sure that I have read it! (You know who you are!)

I checked out my new iPod gadget when I arrived home and Brock was watching the TV show about the One Lap (if you get CMT (Country Music Television) and you are so inclined, it's the show called Born Country about the "Real Cannonball.") and Steve pulls in the drive and my cousin Elizabeth calls both at the same time! Steve was delivering Kohler donuts in a nice canvas Kohler tote bag that they purchased for me while they were down the shore! And Elizabeth called because she was channel surfing and came across Brock on TV! Pretty darn funny!

Sunday morning I woke up late again (8:30 - I really have a hard time calling that late!) and to a yucky morning - it was raining and thundering and just plain gross. It was a good day to stay in the house and just veg out. So, while Leda played, I made the decision to start reading book 6 of the Harry Potter series! Of course, the reason I hadn't read it by now was because when I attempted to two years ago, I realized that I couldn't remember what happened in book 5 since it had been so long ago that I had read the first 5 books. So I put it down and picked up 5. I started reading, and realized, I didn't remember what happened in 4 (are you catching my drift?) It was about that time that the 4th movie was about to come out or had come out, so I decided, I would watch the first 4 movies, read 5 and THEN read 6.

I never did get around to seeing 4, and I own the DVD of the movie!

Anyway, I cheated. I read the last few chapters of book 5 and started book 6 today.

For the past couple of months, I've been making dinner on Sunday nights (okay, in the past several months, I've made dinner on a few Sundays) and I decided that this week we needed to use some of the basil in the garden. Yeah, remember my garden? I planted basil from seed toward the end of spring? This is what it looks like (and this is after I pulled about 2 cups full to make the pesto I made tonight which, by the way, was pretty darn good - maybe could have used a little more salt, pepper and a wee bit more garlic)

Sweet Basil

The rest of the garden is also thriving! The two cherry tomato plants we planted are just over growing the pepper plants. I guess we will plant things a bit further a part next year and use the same organic fertilizer we did this year! WOW! Yes, that bush in the corner is TWO cherry tomato plants! The rest of the bushy part around it are several varieties of peppers.

Garden, 2007

Leda mentioned birthday cake today (every so often she talks about birthday cake, ever since I made her one from scratch for her 2nd birthday) and since Brock's birthday is this week, I decided I would try making an angel food cake from scratch. Believe it or not, it turned out really good! And Leda LOVED it! Of course, we had to bribe her into eating her dinner (or some of her dinner) before she could have some birthday cake!

It was a good weekend. Even though I wasn't too happy on Saturday morning, and Leda's not in a big girl bed yet, it turned out to be a pretty good weekend. We'll try again sometime next month to get Leda into her big girl bed. At least she's stopped screaming bloody murder every night when we put her down! Next weekend we head up to the Thousand Islands for a long weekend with Grandpa and Nana and the Lillys who are visiting! We can't wait. Leda has asked a few times this afternoon, after I mentioned we would be going to see them this weekend, when she would see Sarah and Scotty! I think she's looking forward to seeing her cousins!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The reason I don't ride the Ferris Wheel

Because no matter what, I will ALWAYS get stuck at the top - EVERY SINGLE TIME!

I am TERRIFIED of heights. I love to look out from the observatory deck of tall buildings, but I don't look down and I don't get too close to the glass windows - that's just asking for me to pass out!

I don't do open decks (the CN Tower in Toronto - viewed the views from INSIDE the darn thing, you think you are gonna get me to go outside where death is looming??? No freakin' way!), I don't climb ladders, my knees get weak just watching other people do things like lean right up against a window 100 stories up.

Empire State building - yes, I went outside, but I didn't look down much and I didn't lean over the sides (of course, there's lots of safety measures to keep one from jumping off, which works JUST fine for me!) And, besides, my mother went out onto the observatory deck of the Empire State building and she's worse than I am about heights!

I don't do Ferris Wheels. The only few times I ever did (in my misguided youth) I ALWAYS got stuck at the top. I'm good on roller coasters - they keep moving. Oh, and there was that one time I got talked into doing Free Fall at Great Adventure - I never said I was smart in my youth (and you won't catch me doing it a second time, so I did learn something)! On a Ferris Wheel, there is an excellent chance you will be stuck at the top of the darn thing as they are loading and/or unloading which means you are sitting in a little bucket that swings back and fourth with no possibility of GETTING OFF THE DARN THING if it breaks!

And, if you are in that death bucket with ME, you are DEFINITELY at the top of the darn Ferris Wheel.

Tonight, Brock headed off to a race track for some schmoozing with some car magazine for One Lap and Dave was off doing some Jeep thing, so Annie and I took Danny and Leda off to the Kimberton fair by ourselves. Now, the last fair in Phoenixville, the Dogwood festival, Dave and Brock took the kids up in the Ferris Wheel and Leda loved it. So, the only thing I heard from the time we got there was that she and Danny wanted to go on the Ferris Wheel!

I sucked it up, I thought, what the heck, it's for the kids, right? And it has been probably about 20 years or so since I was on a Ferris Wheel and it's not like it's the REALLY tall one down the shore, right?

We got on, I was fine. They moved us forward to load the next set of cars, I wasn't as fine as I had been. Then we started moving for the ride (good, dodged the get-stuck-at-the-top-while-they-load bullet. Okay, not too bad, it's okay, the scenery is beautiful, the countryside is all laid out for us to take in. The moon is almost full and the ride is creating a breeze that is cooling in the humid air.

Then, tragedy strikes...we STOP. Not at the bottom, not on the sides, but AT THE FREAKIN' TOP OF THE RIDE! And, due to the almost sudden stop, the death bucket is ROCKING! Oh, and then Danny wants to get up and look over the sides!

"Just keep swimmin', Just keep swimmin'"

(and, yes, I did keep singing that. Until I needed to distract Danny from looking over the sides by making him sing the ABCs and Twinkle Star with me! I'm not proud!)

The ride starts to move again, but I seem to have miscalculated how many buckets would get us down from the top to a much more manageable height, because when we stop again, we are just on the OTHER SIDE OF THE VERY TOP OF THE FERRIS WHEEL!

(I think this is where the ABC's may have been sung again - I don't remember clearly, my life was too busy flashing before my eyes.)

Leda will probably never ride the Ferris Wheel again! Brock thinks that as long as we act as though something isn't scary, she will be fine with it....I think I pretty much ruined that for her on the Ferris Wheel - the kid barely moved, but how could she, I pretty much had a death grip on her the entire time! Although, she did have a big grin on her face the entire time, so maybe this was payback for something I did to her in her short life - if so, I am in BIG trouble!

We did make it off the ride in one piece (barely!) and I have vowed that THAT was my last trip on a Ferris Wheel. I promptly called Brock on the cell phone and informed him that he owes me big time for that one!

And THAT is the reason I will NEVER AGAIN ride a Ferris Wheel!

Monday, July 23, 2007

How to cram a weeks worth of fun and activities into one weekend

Don't sleep much! ;-)

What a weekend we had! Summary: The Police in Hershey on Friday night, sitting on the Jersey Beach Saturday and Sunday!

Friday afternoon, Brock and I headed over to pick Leda up from daycare around 3:30 or so and got to Dave and Annie's at 4pm, where Leda would be spending the evening with Danny and the babysitters while us parental units went to the Police concert. We hit the road by 4:15, leaving a screaming Leda to plan our demise when she grows up enough to put the plan into place!

The ride to Hershey should have taken about an hour and a half, but we did hit just a bit of traffic about 10 miles from the venue - rush hour traffic and all. We were parked in the lot by about 6pm and proceeded to load up our cups for the short walk to the location that the rest of our group (there were 12 of us who made the concert) were already ensconced and in full tailgating mode! We hung out, enjoyed the beautiful weather (80s with low humidity and a nice breeze, BEAUTIFUL) and the ambiance! Being that most of the crowd was 30+, the tailgating was perfect - not too rowdy, but lots of fun!

The concert started at 7:30pm with an opening act (Fiction Plane - Sting's son's band) and there were a lot of people who tailgated a little longer than 7:30, thus missing most of the act. We were heading into the stadium while they were playing, and there was a brief panic as I heard the lead singer's voice (Sting's son) and it seemed to sound an AWFUL lot like Sting, and thought that we missed the beginning of the Police's set! Then I realized it wasn't a Police song, so panic ended. But wow, does the kid sound an awful lot like his dad!

The concert was awesome! This was my first time seeing the Police and it was just awesome. It's amazing how great they sounded, like they never broke up! The whole place was just jumping all night long. It was awesome!

Pictures from my cell phone - yes, that would be Sting on the monitors.
The Police, Hershey, PA, July 20, 2007

The Police, Hershey, PA, July 20, 2007
And yes, I do realize that the pictures suck, oh well, at least I was there!

They played for just under two hours, with two encores. I could have gone for another half an hour or so, but the concert was still pretty darn awesome!

We were heading back to the car by 11pm (give or take a few minutes) and that's when the "fun" began! Sitting in a car with basically nowhere to go for at least an hour and a half. I have to say that Hershey as a venue has a beautiful view and the music sounded freaking awesome. I always worry a bit with outdoor stadiums, you just can't be sure that the sound is going to be good. It was EXCELLENT. What left little to be desired was the traffic control afterwards (if you can call that traffic control!) It pretty much was a free-for-all, meaning that it sucked trying to get out of the parking lot!

We were finally out of the parking lot by 12:30 and sitting in another traffic jam for another 15-20 minutes until we were well on our way home. We were picking Leda up by 2:15am, had her in bed by 2:30 and we hit the sheets by 3am.

Brock, as usual, was up at the crack of dawn, woke me up at 7, we packed the car, woke the kid up at 7:30 and on our way to the beach 10 minutes later! We were at the Durham's place in Avalon by 10 minutes to 10! The Kohler donuts had barely enough time to cool off! By 11:30am we were on the beach enjoying the BEAUTIFUL weather. The kids were loving the water and the sand (seems to me there was a lot of sand-loving between the two of them!).

Fathers and Daughters in the Ocean

Paige and Leda

Paige and Leda

Leda is just lovin' the beach. She was having a blast running down to the water (not too far though) and loved to grab some water in her bucket and run screaming and laughing from the rest of the waves! Definitely our kid! She held on to Daddy pretty good the first day, but warmed up to the waves before we headed back to the house for a late lunch and some napping!

All of us caught some good zzzz's in the cool ocean breeze. By 5pm we were hanging out and having fun, well rested and relaxed. We were planning on burgers and dogs for dinner and expecting the Shiers down at any time (Steve, Kate and the girls, Suzy and Jane).

We ended up having dinner a little before the Shiers arrived, as they got a pretty late start. The evening was full of hanging out with good friends and the girls all having lots of fun with one another. And Duff had fun with Bruster, the Shier's new beagle puppy. Until Duff got tired of the "kid"!

The Shiers headed back to their house by 9:30 and Leda and Paige were in bed by 9:30-10pm with the parental units not far behind.

Sunday morning Brock and Leda were up early and I wasn't too far behind them - I mean, come on, it's Sunday down the beach, that means it's my yearly trip to Kohler's for the best donuts ANYWHERE! I was out the door and parked in FRONT of Kohlers by 7:30 - third person there! See, the idea is to be there early enough that you practically get the donuts home still warm out of the oven. But that means that 50 to 100 other people are going to try and be there early too, to get that all too important "ticket" to get served as close to 8am (door opening time) as possible. This was the best I've ever done - I was on the patio!

I had my Ipod going and reading my book and by 8am, was standing so close to the door I could smell the donuts baking. To my surprise, and delight, the two men who had arrived before me were gentlemen and allowed me through the door first. I was second (SECOND) to be served - a personal best! (two kids got themselves right up against the door for opening and were first served)

So, back to the house by 8:10 with warm donuts. We had a little breakfast and by 10:30 we were ready and waiting for the Shiers to head down to the beach for a few hours. By 11:30, we were on the beach once again. It was a beautiful day yet again, with a bit more of a wind, so blowing sand was a bit of a problem, but still, could NOT beat the weather!

Brock and Leda


By 2 or so, the girls had enough of the beach (okay, the parents were ready for the kids to take a little nap) and we were heading back to the house. Naps were had by half of the household while some reading and watching a little TV was had by the rest.

The Shiers headed back over to the house for a Shrimp Alfredo pasta night and we had another evening of hanging out with great friends. Brock and Leda and I had to head home before too long and we said our good nights and headed away from the beach (I HATE leaving the beach - it TOTALLY SUCKS!) and toward home. We were home by 11pm.

We did have a child who did not once all weekend cry or scream about going to bed, but she did spend naps and Saturday night sleeping in a big girl bed. Brock and I made a decision this past weekend and will be going out to Ikea to purchase Leda a big girl bed this coming weekend. Especially since tonight she has been in bed for 50 minutes and for 49 and a half of those minutes she's been screaming and crying!

It was a great weekend! We did a lot in the short amount of time we had! I think sometimes, those are the best weekends of all!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Went to the fair and rode the rides!

(yes, I changed colors again - dude, it's July, it's hot, green is out!)

Last night we went to the Malvern Fair (haven't been in YEARS! Actually, make that DECADES!) with the Durhams and met up with the Baurs (Maureen, John and their little three year old Sydney) and Karen to hang out and let the kids ride some rides. Leda LOVES to ride the rides! She didn't get to ride the roller coaster though, because Mommy didn't want to ride it and apparently neither did Daddy, but Leda REALLY wanted to ride it! I'm just not ready to let her get on rides like that by herself. (by roller coaster, I mean one of those kiddie rides, but still!)

But Brock did take Leda on the Big Slide several times and she LOVED that! And we had to pay twice for the moon bounce, as we couldn't get her to get out after the first time! We ate pizza and french fries and watched all the teenagers mill about! Then, as we were leaving, Leda got to play the "duck" game - you know, you pay your money, pick up a rubber duck from the revolving pond and what ever the mark is on the bottom, that's the prize you win? Remember when those games cost $0.25? 2 bucks now! Leda won a little froggie and a little duckie, both of whom she took to bed last night.

We had a blast and when we headed home, I was really hoping this was the night the child went to bed without the screaming and crying. No deal! Although, she was pretty tired out, so there wasn't so much screaming as moaning and crying. For a half hour. Would love to know when this is gonna stop! Starting to wonder if we are going to pay extra to the babysitter on Friday night for having to deal with all the screaming and crying!

Anyway, it is pretty neat that our kid loves to ride the rides! She doesn't seem to have much fear of anything (except that cookie monster thing, which is just plain weird!). So we are looking forward to the Kimberton Fair next week!

Monday, July 16, 2007


The past week has been interesting!

Coming back from vacation always is interesting, but coming back from a vacation AND a major illness is on a level all it's own!

The antibiotics that the doctor prescribed me have kicked whatever virus-or-bacteria-that-ruined-my-vacation's butt, but I was informed that it could take up to a month to fully recover from a bout of pneumonia. What sucks is, that means I have to suffer through the most annoying of all symptoms, the coughing. What helps is, the doctor prescribed me good cough medicine for nighttime and some good stuff to get me through the day! And, I got refills!

The only other "symptoms" I have from the pneumonia is walking around the house, up and down stairs, exerting myself just a little bit gets me tired! Walking out to the mail box and back gets me winded. I feel like I have a three-pack-a-day habit, and I haven't had a cigarette in over three years!

In any case, I appear to be getting better. Which is good, since we are scheduled to go to the Police concert this Friday in Hershey. My sister and brother-in-law saw them in Tampa Bay last Wednesday and said it was awesome! I am really looking forward to it. I just hope I can hang all night long! Not that I plan on drinking a lot, but I would like to be able to get up out of my seat and dance once in a while!

The past week back from vacation has brought us sleeping issues...not for Brock and I so much, but for Leda. Leda has fought us tooth-n-nail when going to bed every night since last Monday night. Not exactly sure what the issue is, we assume that she is not happy about sleeping in her OWN bed now that she had spent a whole week sleeping in a King-size bed with Mommy and Daddy. And here I thought she would want to convert her crib to a big-girl bed - no, she wants MY bed! At least that is what we originally thought, now we just aren't sure if it's that or the terrible two's rearing it's really ugly head!

So we are going through the cry-it-out (CIO) process again. It sucks though, Leda is much more vocal, the screaming is blood-curdling at times, and the temper-tantrums are ridiculous! Monday night we had THREE HOURS of screaming and crying - of course, that was mostly our fault because we kept going into her room. The rest of the week, it last about an hour each bedtime! Which is just crazy. There isn't anything wrong with her, she just doesn't want to sleep in her crib. Each time she was asked what was wrong on Monday night, she had a boo-boo on her knee (it was kissed, but nothing there), on her foot (again, kissed, but nothing there), on her elbow (same!), on her fingers (ditto!). At one point, she told me she was scared, I asked her of what, she replied, "the cookie monster." She pointed to one of her stuffed bears as the "cookie monster" culprit and he is now sitting in my office. Where she got the idea that she should be afraid of the cookie monster, I haven't a clue. She doesn't really watch Sesame Street a lot!

Over the weekend she refused to take naps! You can imagine we didn't have a very cooperative child during the daylight hours! We lost count of the time-outs. This evening, as we waited for dinner, I watched her put a diaper on her baby doll, then put her in "bed" and then scream at her to "go to bed NOW!" over and over again. Okay, yes, in frustration, I think one or both of us may have sternly told her to "go to bed NOW!" once or twice during the past week, but not two inches from her face and not at the top of our lungs and not over and over again. The kid is just a drama queen in training!

We were hoping it was just a phase, but as I write, the child is in her room right now, after being bathed, teeth brushed, hair dried, read to and binky-fied, screaming her head off. I wonder how much money this is going to cost me in her therapy.

We also had a bit of a scare with Duff. On Thursday, Brock noticed that his eye was not looking good, that he had some discharge coming from it, so he made an vet appointment for him for Friday evening. The vet took a look at his eye and told us he had a scratch or ulcer on his cornea and that we needed to keep an eye on it and put some drops in his eye several times throughout the weekend and bring him in on Tues. If the eye didn't appear to be getting any better or got worse, we were to call the vet immediately.

Well, that was a little scary. So we took Duff home and started putting the drops in his eye and attempted to keep him from scratching it! By Sunday morning, Brock had gone off to work and I had to take over putting the drops in his eye (I get very squeamish about eye stuff!) I found that his eye was so swollen on Sunday morning that I could barely get it open to put the drop in. I conferred with Brock who told me he had the same problem, so called the vet and ended up with an 'emergency' visit at 9:30am. The vet was shocked when he looked in Duff's eye - he ended up pulling out about an inch to an inch and a half long piece of grass seed pod out of my dog's eye! Something he said was under the third eyelid and probably got worked free enough because of the drops that he finally saw it because he didn't see it on Friday night! Duff's eye was almost immediately better. Thank goodness we got that out of his eye! He's a TON better now!

As a family we have decreed, that only one entity of the family is allowed to be sick/hurt at a time. Too much drama!

Hopefully this week gets better. Like I mentioned, we are looking forward to the concert on Friday and we are thinking of heading to the shore for Saturday and Sunday (Leda keeps asking if she can "go to the beach?" We keep telling her this weekend she can!) We'll see if we can figure out a way to get the kid to go to sleep better by then!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Yates' 2007 Family Vacation, Part IV

Read Part I
Read Part II
Read Part III

(You will be happy to note, that this is the last installment in the Yates' 2007 Family Vacation Saga!)

So after the ER visit on Monday night, we head back to the house and pack me into bed and I am looking forward to maybe feeling better in the next day or so. I end up waking up on Tuesday morning at something like 5AM coughing like crazy until about 8AM. I cough so bad, I end up throwing up. And, I feel feverish and yucky and for someone who loves the beach, this SUCKS!

Aunt Claire blows bubbles for Leda

Brock and Leda spend the day with the kids and the rest of the family. I spend most of the morning sleeping on and off. In the afternoon, I feel good enough to move to the couch so I can at least join the rest of the family, and they are all getting ready to move on out! The boys are going crabbing, the girls are going shopping. I am staying home!

Leda went with Aunt Claire and Aunt Joan and Sarah shopping and apparently had an awesome time. She came home with some goodies - new hats, a new Dora doll, some aquadoodle pages. She apparently did very cute things, like in the Coach store, she grabbed a little bag, threw it over her shoulder and pushed her stroller around the store like a little lady!

Tuesday evening I hit the sheets early when Leda went to bed. I woke up on Wednesday, Fourth of July, with a repeat of Tuesday morning! Felt terrible. The plan was to head over to Neskowin for the annual Fourth of July Parade through the village, but I wasn't sure I could go. I was in pretty bad shape. I pushed through it though and did make the trip down to see the parade. Leda had a blast - she's got the idea about the candy that the parade participants throw. We usually don't go after the candy, we let the other kids go after it, and only grab a few pieces for Leda. At one point, there was a piece of candy, just out of our reach. Leda twisted her way out of Brock's arms, walked over to the piece of candy, picked it up and back into Brock's arms. She looked so proud of herself!

Back to the beach house to prepare for the afternoon barbecue. I stayed out of the kitchen due to being sick - didn't want to get that into the food! I think I took a nap with Leda and in the afternoon, and I totally missed getting a good shot of one of the bald eagles that live around the beach, but Claire got a good one, see blow up below! I felt okay enough to head down to the beach to watch the kids boogie board in the surf and Leda run around in the water and sand. I spent much of it sitting down, but at least I made it to the beach!

Eagle Up Close

Leda and Daddy


I even had a half a hamburger for dinner! And headed down to the beach for the bonfire and fireworks, but it got a bit chilly down there for me and Leda was getting pretty tired, so I headed up to the house, put Leda down for bed and watched the fireworks from the dinning room with Aunt Joan and her friends.


Scott, Leda and Sarah

Kingsley Family

Thursday morning was our day to be packed up and out the door by 8:30 so we could head back to Portland to catch a plane home. It was travel day and I felt as bad as the previous two days! The antibiotics course I was taking had run out the day before, and I didn't seem to be getting any better. Depending on how I felt on Friday when I woke up at home, the plan was to maybe see my doctor and see how I felt to head up to Wyoming, NY for the East Coast Reception for the Wedding of the Century to be held at Brock's dad's house.

Traveling sucked! I felt horrible. At least Brock was willing to take on the kid and I slept (as much as one can sleep on a plane) on and off for most of the flights home. Leda, again, was the perfect child, until about the last hour of the last flight - as were coming into Philadelphia, she was not happy about staying in her car seat. She was tired, she really hadn't had a nap during the day. She fussed and cried for about 20 minutes and then she fell asleep for the last half hour of the flight!

We ended up getting home around 1am in the morning. Friday morning brought no relief from the coughing and other stuff and I felt bad. We made an appointment with my Dr's office with the one doc that could see me, that being the only doc at the office I couldn't stand! He diagnosed me with pneumonia, had me go get a chest x-ray, gave me another round of antibiotics and sent me home.

We decided not to go to NY for the weekend, so we missed the party at Brock's dad's house, and all the relatives we don't get to see very often. Brock and Leda headed over to the Durhams for a little swim and some dinner while I slept away my pneumonia. By Sunday, I was starting to feel a little better. By the end of this week, I just have the cough to contend with and low energy - I get winded pretty quickly if I have to walk far - I feel like a person with a three-pack-a-day habit! That sucks, since I quit three years ago!

Hopefully I will be fully recovered next week. We have the Police concert next Friday! I am looking forward to that!

So, that ends the sad story of how I lost 10lbs on my summer vacation. I don't recommend the diet! It sucks! I hope the next vacation we go on I get to participate in!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Yates' 2007 Family Vacation, Part III

Read Part I
Read Part II

The Wedding of the Century had happened Friday night but the festivities continue on Saturday with a Champagne Brunch on the Sternwheeler Colombia Gorge and later, a barbecue at the home of the Bride and Groom.

View from our hotel room

The view from the room was beautiful, but I woke up Saturday morning feeling BAD! The coughing is keeping me awake, it's getting worse (it gags me it is so bad and coughing fits last for a half hour or more). I have the chills and I am in a terry cloth robe under all the covers on the bed. I decided, since the only place I would have to sleep would be the car since we had to check out of the hotel, to "Cowboy Up", get dressed, throw some makeup on and go to the champagne brunch, which, by the way, would have the last bit of alcohol I would have until, well, still haven't had any!

We got to the boat dock and got a quick tour of the reception building that has a small cafe and a gift shop. Daniel's company really did a great job putting money into the venture to spruce up the building and the boat.

Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge

We got the traditional Group Photo before we boarded the ship and when we were seated and all guests were aboard, the buffet was open and the ship set sail down river a bit (due to some traffic at the dam). After we ate, we went up top and enjoyed the beautiful weather (barely a cloud in the sky) and the beautiful vistas of the Columbia. Captain Misty gave a great tour of the Columbia pointing out lots of interesting sites.

Bridge of the Gods

I highly recommend, if you are in the Northwest/Portland area, take a trip up the Columbia to Cascade Locks and have a meal/ride on the Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge. It is well worth it. For that matter, if you are in Portland, make sure to have dinner on the Portland Spirit. It is definitely worth it (and I don't just say that because we are part owners!)

Columbia River

By the end of the cruise, I felt pretty tired and bad! I was just not feeling good. We were heading back to the hotel in Portland (the Paramount - very nice, I highly recommend!) and really weren't sure where to fill the scripts I had from the good next-door neighbor ER doc, so Aunt Joan and Uncle Wayne offered to take the scripts and get them filled and bring them to the party at Daniel's.

We got back to Portland and checked into the hotel for a nap and then we all headed over to Daniels at around 6pm. We mingled (well, I actually sat and relaxed as much as possible. I was feeling pretty bad - although, I did get my scripts and started my course of antibiotics!)

The Yates Family

We decided to leave early around 8ish due to my health and Grandpa and Nana were to fly home in the morning. So we headed back to the hotel and I spent the entire night tossing and turning and coughing and just plain miserable. So I stayed in bed on Sunday morning while Brock and Leda had breakfast with Grandpa and Nana and drove them off to the airport to catch their plane home.

When Brock and Leda came back to the hotel, I had attempted to get us packed and ready to go because were heading down to the Beach - Neskowin on the Oregon Coast

We programmed Neskowin into the GPS and off we went. Leda slept pretty much the entire way down, and I tried to sleep a little. When we got down to the beach we unpacked and Brock, Leda and I took Finnie the dog for a walk on the beach. Leda LOVES the beach. The Lillys arrived near dinner time and around the time they arrived, Brock, Leda, Sarah, Scotty and I took a walk on the beach.


Scott, Sarah, Leda and Brock walk the beach

We had Maggie's Sister Linda and her boyfriend John join us for dinner and actually brought the fish! And then cooked it! It was delicious and Leda LOVED dinner, especially the Trader Joe Wild Rice that Aunt Joan served! It was a nice evening, and I finally took Leda to bed around 9 or 10. I was extremely tired and Leda needed to get a little sleep too!

On Monday, I felt pretty bad in the morning. The mornings were the worst as the coughing would keep me away throughout the night, but around 5 or so in the morning the coughing would start and basically not stop for hours. Even with the antibiotics and the inhaler, I just didn't seem to be getting any better. I was able to rally around lunch time and did make it out to the beach for a short walk. I ended up having to sit for most of the time Brock and the kids were exploring the beach. I knew I wasn't feeling too good when I just couldn't find the energy to bend over and pick up interesting things off the beach! I also noticed that as of Monday, I really wasn't eating much - I just had no interested in food. I did munch a little to keep myself from being too hungry, but not the amounts of food that I could (beach food is SO PLENTIFUL and SO GOOD!)

Leda on the beach

Monday evening, just before Dinner, Claire and Joan told me I should start taking some over the counter drugs to keep my symptoms (the coughing, etc.) from being such a bother. So I took some really great cough medicine and some Drixoral (which turned out to be really old!) In about a half hour, I was just wiped out and could barely stay away, so I went to bed without dinner.

My husband came in around 8 or 9 and told me that they had been discussing my sickness with a nurse friend and he was sent in to take my temperature, which turned out to be around 100 degrees, and I was sent off to the ER with Brock because the worry was I had developed pneumonia. I spent the least amount of time in an ER I think I EVER spent (or ever will). I was seen pretty quickly and the PA and DR who saw me concluded that I had either a pretty nasty virus or bacteria that took hold of me, but my lungs sounded fine. So, I was given some Tylenol with Codeine cough syrup and a script for some drugs to help with the coughing during the day and sent on my way!

To be continued!
Read Part IV

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Yates' 2007 Family Vacation, Part II

Read Part I

So, we wake up on Friday morning (at the ungodly hour of 6:30? Does this child not know that we are on the other side of the country, on vacation, and need to sleep another two or three hours??) and we head down around 8:30 to meet Grandpa and Nana for breakfast. We got lucky, Uncle Daniel joined us for breakfast! (He had to stay at the hotel Thursday night - you know, can't see the bride the day of the wedding, before the wedding, etc?)

After breakfast, we headed back up to our room, packed up again and loaded up the bellboy's cart to check out and head on up to our next hotel near the Cascade Locks on the Columbia river, where the wedding was going to be held on Thunder Island with the reception held in the Pavilion. We stayed at the Skamania Lodge on the Washington State side of the Columbia. Let me tell you, this place is beautiful. It's near the Bridge of the Gods (we actually had to cross the Bridge of the Gods to get to WA state) and the sites are just beautiful. We had a River view room which was just beautiful, even with the clouds - oh, did I mention, it rained on and off all day on Friday! Yep, Wedding day! But, come on, we WERE in Portland!

Our view from our hotel room!

Anyway, we had a bit of lunch at the Lodge and then we all went and had a good nap before we had to get up and start getting dressed for the Wedding. Yes, we could have gone sightseeing, we could have gone to the Bonneville Dam and seen the fish ladders and hatcheries to see where the salmon and steelhead start and end their lives on the Columbia. What we did, was sleep - I mean, we had traveled long and hard to get here! Well, what Brock and Leda did was sleep, I apparently couldn't sleep. I was a bit annoyed with the cough, which was getting a little more 'productive'. It didn't seem to be kept at bay much by the cough medicine. And, I was taking some Benedryl to dry everything up a bit, so I think that was keeping me awake.

After a nice nap and doing my nails, we got up and got all spiffed up in our Wedding best. Leda looked so cute in her dress! We bought a white sweater for her to wear due to the fact that it was just a little chillier than a late June night on the East Coast! Aunt Claire and Uncle Bobby and Sarah and Scott stopped by our hotel to get changed and we all headed over to Cascade Locks and Thunder Island for the Wedding of the Century!

Leda in her Wedding outfit

The weather, as I mentioned, was overcast, but not raining at the time we got to Thunder Island. We walked over the footbridge to the Island and were greeted by the handsome Groom. We headed over to the ceremony spot which looked out over the Columbia river to the mountains on the other side of the river. It was beautiful, regardless of the weather. We were all seated and the ceremony started. Maggie was beautiful in her ivory dress. The two looked incredibly happy! The Ceremony was short and sweet (and humorous, due to Dan messing up the vows a little!). It did rain just a little bit (a drop here, a drop there) but didn't dampen any spirits at the wedding! After they were pronounced Husband and Wife, the Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge (operated by the Portland Spirit!) blew its horns in congratulations! We milled about a bit as we were served champagne for the walk back across the foot bridge and to the Pavilion for the reception.


Pronounced Husband and Wife

Leda and the candle
(this candle was lit in memory for Leda's Grandmother Sally, Brock, Daniel and Claire's Mother)

The Yates and The Lillys

First, we took a few pictures with the view! Second, we were also expected to be in some of the family poses for the professional photos. After we had performed our duties, we started out to walk across the bridge. Maggie and Dan had wishing stones for all of us to through into the river with our best wishes for their wedding. Then, onto the Reception!

The reception was fun. The food was good, the dancing was fun, the mingling with friends and family was great.

The Bride and her New Neices and Nephew!
(Yes, we gave Leda her binky during the reception - she was really good, but was starting to get a little tired, so we gave it to her - yes, we are paying for it now - will get into that later on in the saga!)

Sarah, Claire and Leda

The Wedding Cake

The Happy Couple

Leda and Scott Dance the Night Away!

Sometime around 10:30-11:00, Brock, Leda and I and Grandpa and Nana headed home to rest our danced off feet! I spent the night coughing a lot, even with a few drinks in me! ;-) By morning, the chills had set in, and I knew that things were not looking good in my favor when it came to whatever I had. I really wasn't sure if I was going to make the brunch sailing of the Columbia Gorge (the next party in this Wedding of the Century). Stay tuned for Part III!

For more Wedding Pictures Click here!

Read Part III

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Yates' 2007 Family Vacation, Part I

(To ensure that there is no "century"* in this story, I am splitting it into parts)
(*private inside family joke)

The good news: I lost 10 lbs while on vacation
The bad news: I had to endure pneumonia the entire time (well, most of the time)!

Oh it's a long sorted story, ready?

We were so efficient in packing our bags and stuff that by Wednesday evening, we had nothing better to do than to head off to Brock's favorite Japanese Steak House, Liki, for dinner. First, we stopped over at the good next door neighbor ER Doc and asked him to take a look at me, as I had started coughing on Monday and it was getting to be annoying. Good ER Doc took a look and said I may just have a little virus, the cough was really the only symptom, no noise in my chest and my throat looked fine. He prescribed me a cough medicine with codeine to be filled before we left and some other scripts to fill IF, while on vacation, I got worse.

Off to the Airport we went at 4:45am in the morning - unbelievably, Leda was so excited and so happy to go anywhere with us at 4:45 in the morning. Anyway, parked the car, got in the van to take us to the departure gate and WOW, did we hit traffic. AT THE AIRPORT! All the gates were just jammed and the traffic going through the departure area was just as jammed. We got to our gate and due to having checked in the night before, all we needed to do was get into the line to check our bags with the Skycap. Now, when I say line, I mean LINE - we waited approximately 30 minutes to check our bags! And there were lines EVERYWHERE, so we weren't alone. Turns out, the bad weather we had had the night before canceled some flights and thus, the airport was crazy. Little did we know!

So, we get our bags checked and head for Security so we can get through and get some bottled water and some milk for Leda and leisurely make it toward our gate for our airplane. I mean we had 40 minutes to spare! So upstairs we go and we are directed to the line to the left. Okay, so we go toward the line to the left. And we go. And we walk, and we keep going and soon I am freaking out - the line for security was longer than ANY LINE I HAVE EVER SEEN! It goes all the way back to the parking garages! That's a long way at the Phila. Airport! I am freaking, there is no way we are making our flight.

Turns out they were calling out flight times - if your flight was 7:10 or sooner, follow me, the guy says. So we follow him (along with the 10s of other people who were in the same boat as us) and we are directed to the line to the right of security. Which turns out to be JUST AS LONG AS THE ONE THEY JUST PULLED US OUT OF!

Unbelievably, we did make it through security by 7:10, ran to our gate and the plane had been held (we were not the only one's in that line for our flight, there were about 10 people behind us as well). So we got on the flight and got settled and all along, our child was the most well behaved child ever!

Leda watching Dora on a Plane!

So finally, we take off for Salt Lake City, our short 1 hour layover before heading to Portland. Leda was perfectly happy to wear her headphones and watch her DVDs (until the batteries died - but I had my laptop for back up!) and was very well behaved on the long flight. In Salt Lake, we had a chance to sit and relax before our next flight. We had brought Leda's car seat for the airplane, but also because we needed it for the car in Portland, and Delta had told me that it was required. In Salt Lake City, the attendants told us we could check it. So we did - bad move!

Anyway, onto the plane we go. We get settled, we start to taxi out to the runway and then, the pilot tells us that there is something wrong with the plane, they are working on getting it to work, and if they can't on the tarmac, they will have to go back to the gate. Can our trip get any worse? We end up having to go back to the gate, maintenance has to come onto the plane and fix the little monitor in front of the pilot which is required by law (the pilot was really great, he kept us REALLY informed as to what was going on). Eventually, about an hour or so after we were supposed to leave, we get under way!

Leda was good, but she was all over the place. She didn't want to sit still in her seat. Thus, wrong idea to check the car seat - no more checking the car seat!

So we get to Portland and Uncle Bobby and Sarah and Scotty pick us up and take us to our hotel. We get checked in and Leda and I are going to attempt a nap (since she fell asleep for all of about 20 minutes on the plane) and Brock's off to the Kingsleys to help prepare for the Rehearsal party later that evening.

Leda did not want to nap at all. So, I sat her in front of the TV with a bowl full of Oreo cookies (yeah, I expect that Worst Mother Ever award on my front doorstep any day now!) and I jumped in the shower. Well, at least it was a clear stall because the Oreo cookies lasted about as long enough as I could lather the shampoo into my hair and the child was sharing the bathroom with me. So, while I showered and tried to keep an eye on the kid at the same time, Leda tried to give her Baby Diego a bath!

Aunt Claire and Sarah picked us up to take us up to Aunt Joan and Uncle Wayne's for the Rehearsal dinner for the Wedding of the Century (oh my, there IS a century in this story after all!) and we had lots of fun meeting everyone and seeing Grandpa and playing with Scotty and Sarah and feeding Finnegan (Finnie), the dog, crackers.

Leda and Finnigan

When Grandpa arrived, Leda ran yelling, "Poppa, Poppa" and threw herself at his legs and grabbed on for dear life. It was the cutest thing ever. Brock Sr. was moved, we could all tell! Leda was just so happy to see her Grandpa! (unfortunately, I didn't get a shot of that and apparently Claire didn't either (I checked her photos!)

Dan and Maggie arrived and mingled among the family and friends at the party. I got to speak with some of Dan's fraternity brother's wives. We all got to meet Maggie's family - well most of them. It appears that we got the heck out of Dodge at the right time Thursday morning because EVERYTHING started to shut down. Three of Maggie's siblings didn't make the trip due to canceled flights and Aunt Stacy and Uncle Todd didn't make it due to a canceled flight. Apparently the weather on the East Coast that Thursday wasn't at all cooperating with the Wedding of the Century plans on the West Coast!

Other than my cough that I was trying to keep at bay with the cough syrup, I felt fine on Thursday night. We did leave the party a bit early (around nine) because we were all pretty tired (technically that was Midnight our time!) We weren't sure how Leda was going to handle sleeping between us in a King size bed, but she did just fine! She did curl up to one or the other of us all night, so we had our little heat box! Besides we all had to get lots of sleep to prepare for the next night's Wedding of the Century! ;-)

More in the next installment. I'm tired, need to go rest! Oh, it gets better, believe me!

Read Part II

Monday, July 2, 2007

Vacation? Great. Being Sick? Sucks!

Will probably do a more extensive update of our busy, busy wedding weekend later, when I HOPEFULLY feel better.

We are down the beach now, it's beautiful here. I've been sick for pretty much the entire trip so far. Saturday I believe I was sporting a wonderful fever and that traveled on into Sunday. I am on the antibiotics that my good doctor neighbor prescribed for me before I left, in case of such a thing happening. I'm just worn out from all the coughing - which doesn't stop at all during the night - I have taken to sleeping upright as much as I can so I can at least get a hour or two in between coughing fits.

Leda's been wonderful. She flew beautifully. She's been sleeping between Brock and I in a king size all weekend and that is going pretty well - she kicks us once in a while, but she's sleeping through my coughing fits!

Have started to feel better today, although am now losing my voice, probably due to the coughing! Hopefully I will feel even better tomorrow - maybe I can even enjoy a walk on the beach without having to sit down - it wears me out!

I promise, as I feel better, maybe even tonight, I will recap the wedding of the century and post some spectacular pictures of the great north west!

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