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About Me

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Reisterstown, MD, United States
A practicing attorney who is trying to find the time to develop a small business designing, making and selling handmade jewelry.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Visit

We arrived in Baltimore at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday night after stopping at Subway for a leisurely dinner and a bit of time out of the car.  It took us awhile to get everyone settled and off to bed.  Thursday morning, I started off with a visit to the emergency room to get my knee checked out.  I returned with a large brace and crutches.  Not the best outfit for enjoying a visit from your grand kids but we made do.  The rest of Thursday was a lazy day.  We played with toys and generally had a great time enjoying the kids.

Friday after lunch, Kara and I, and the kids headed to Reisterstown Regional Park and the playground.  However, when we tried to start the van, surprise, surprise, it wouldn't start.  Marty gave us a jump and we were off.  The boys swung while Sophie played on the slides, climbing wall and other miscellaneous park structures.  I just tried to keep up with them on my crutches.  The weather was ridiculously hot and humid.  For some reason, Sophie didn't seem to enjoy the park as much as she normally does.  I guess it could have been the dog poop (at least I hope it was dog poop) that was all over one of the play sets.  As attitudes began to take a nose dive, we went back to the car to head for home.  As you might guess, the van wouldn't start so we called Marty to come and give us a jump.  Back home for naps and a lovely evening.  The boys kept to their 7:30 bedtime but Sophie was up until well after 9:00.  We were having a great time!

Saturday we planned to go to the National Zoo but while we were getting ready, Kara pointed out to us that the shower in one of the upstairs bedrooms was not draining.  It turned out that the toilets and tubs in 2 of the upstairs bathrooms were stopped up.  Shortly thereafter, we noticed that water was dripping out of the pot lights in our entry hall.  Hmmm, not good.  Also, not conducive
to a trip to the zoo.  We postponed the zoo trip and called a plumber.  When we hadn't heard back in a couple of hours, we called again.  The dispatcher told us that the plumber had been paged but didn't respond and that they would page him again.  So we waited.  And we waited.  Finally at about 3:30 p.m. we called the plumber back.  The plumber told us that he still was not answering his page and basically said that we should call someone else.  So, we did.  That person told us that he would be here in a couple of hours.  About 15 minutes later he called back and said that he was stuck on a job and he didn't really know when he would be free.  Therefore, we should probably call someone else and he gave us a name and number.  So...we called the third plumber.  He told us that he would be here as soon as he could.  He arrived at about 7:30 just as the kids were going to bed.  He made an ungodly amount of noise and charged us $425.00.  Although he was loud and expensive, he did manage to unstop the tubs and toilets.  The kids went to bed and we discussed going to the Baltimore zoo on Sunday afternoon but decided to decide in the morning.

During the day Saturday while we were waiting for the plumber, we set up the slip n slide for the kids to play in the water.  Sophie was very reluctant in the beginning and made both her mom and dad walk through the water with her.

She eventually got comfortable and had a swell time playing in the water.

Sunday morning I made my favorite coffee cake for breakfast and we went into town to look at a couple of houses.  Sophie liked both of them and when we left the second one, Sophie insisted that she wanted us to have it.  As we were walking to the car, she said "Gramma is never going to get a house because she keeps leaving them."  I think she thought that if we wanted it, we could just move in right then.  She is a funny girl.

We headed to lunch at Red Robin to discuss whether or not we wanted to go to the Baltimore Zoo.  We had a lovely lunch and decided that since it was wicked hot (95) and humid, we wouldn't subject the twins to being out in the heat.  I wasn't thrilled with the idea of spending the afternoon in the heat either.

We returned to my house and Sophie played in the slip n slide all afternoon.  We also drew on the patio with multicolored chalk.  The boys climbed up and down the outdoor steps and drove Kara and Drew crazy!  It isn't easy corralling those 2 boys.

Sunday night after the boys were in bed (they scream whenever Kara is out of sight), Marty and I babysat so Drew and Kara could have a break from chasing the kids all weekend.  They went to a wonderful little restaurant and enjoyed desert and some peace and quiet.  Sophie and I played for an hour or so and then she headed off to bed.  She was the perfect granddaughter.  She was exhausted and it took her only about 5 minutes to fall asleep.

In spite of the problems we had with my fall, the trip, the plumbing, etc., it turned out to be a wonderful weekend spent with those I love.  I cannot verbalize how much it means to me to have them around and to share their lives.    I have been blessed with great kids who have married wonderful people and produced amazing kids.  Life is good!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nightmare Road Trip a la Uhl

Last Sunday evening, I flew to Cincinnati.  The trip started off perfectly when my Sunday morning flight was canceled because of hurricane Irene.  Hurricane Irene was a category I when she hit us and really just caused aggravation.  Of course, we lost our electricity.  We lose our electricity when we have clear blue skies and calm winds so we expected that.  Since we have well water, when the electricity goes out, we don't have water or flushing toilets, etc.  The electricity went out Saturday morning at about 2:45.  It didn't return until Tuesday evening around 7:00 p.m.  Thankfully, I was gone much of that time and Marty had to deal with it by himself.

I arrived in Cincinnati on Sunday evening and had a wonderful few days enjoying my grandkids.  Marty arrived in Cincinnati on Tuesday evening, prepared to drive back to Baltimore with me, Kara and the 3 grandkids (1, 1, and 3 years old).  Wow, I've never seen so much laundry!  I think Kara washed every piece of clothing they own.  When we finally went to bed Tuesday night (me much earlier than anyone else), every one was exhausted.

Wednesday morning dawned bright and early.  Today was the day we were driving from Cincinnati to Baltimore.  We began to load the car.  Of course, we had a small wrinkle in the plan to leave first thing in the morning.  First, we couldn't find the pack and play.  We did finally find it but meanwhile James was playing in the kitchen cabinets.  Not usually a problem but he left a wire cooling rack on the floor.  I was walking through the kitchen and you can probably guess the rest.  I didn't see the rack and stepped on it with my left foot.  Next thing I knew, I was on the floor after hearing a loud pop from the area of my right knee.  Wrinkle number 2...Grandma could hardly walk.

We finally got grandma off the kitchen floor and managed to get the van loaded and we all climbed in.  Wrinkle number 3...the van wouldn't start.  We jumped the van and got it going.  The issue was a dead or dying battery so we had to leave the van running every time we stopped.  We stopped for lunch and left the van running in the Wendy's parking lot.  And for dinner, it was Subway with the car running in the parking lot.  We did get a few funny looks but we always get them anyway, Especially when the twins are with us.

Here are the mandatory pictures of all of us in the van:

Sorry that you only get to see James head but his car seat is rear facing and I was taking the pics from the front seat.

The trip, which should have taken us 8 hours, took 11 1/2 hours.  Sophie and Owen were real troopers!  James had a few issues and was fussy for basically the entire trip.  Overall though once we got the car moving, we did fine.

Oh, did I forget to mention that both James and Owen are in a "I ONLY want my momma" phase so every time Kara went into a bathroom or even walked to the other side of the car, we had uncontrollable screaming.   Poor Kara must be exhausted.  And, no one can help her.

Like I said, we finally made it and all is well.  I'll tell you about our visit in my next post.