Kids are back in School, YAY!

It’s been a while since I updated the webpage.  I blame it on Facebook.  Okay, It’s my fault, but my family and friends actually see those updates.  So, what did we do all summer?

  • We’ll start with Branden’s Little League disasterous season.  First the good news, Branden’s team wasn’t the Yankees or the Red Sox…  He was a Padre, which is a perfectly acceptable team.  The bad news is that they didn’t win a single game.  They came close and made a game of it a couple of times but no wins.  Branden held up okay, there were definitely days when he did not want to play, but he always did his best.
  • We finally got a handle on Bailey’s skin problems.  A dermatologist at Irvine Medical Center confirmed a diagnosis of dyshidrotic excema and prescribed a very strong steroid ointment for treatment.  On our own, through use of the “Elimination Diet” we discovered that Wheat Gluten was a trigger for the breakouts resulting in huge water blisters.  The guidelines said that you should add one food back that you expect may be causing the issue (or whatever the patient misses the most).  Symptoms should occur in the first 3 days.  What do you know?  3 days went by and blisters came up after we added bread.  We immediately stopped any Wheat product and they went away.
  • We took a day trip to Catalina Island and had lots of fun driving around in a golf cart.  I showed the kids my old haunts and told some stories (Just the benign ones.)  We had lunch at the boat docks, fish and chips.  The kids loved the boat ride and the seas were very calm.  We were greeted by Chris Saldaña at the mole.  I also spotted Marco’s boat pulling in with his catch, a 207lb swordfish.  We were only able to talk for a few minutes since our boat was boarding shortly and he was busy weighing and selling his fish.
  • We took the kids to Sea World and had a great time.  We hit all the shows, the Pets show, the Sealion show, the Dolphin show and Shamu.  The ride, Atlantis, was shut down right when we wanted to ride so we missed that.  Bailey’s favorite thing was touching the Bat Rays.
  • Stacy and I went for a long weekend to Morro Bay, without the kids, for our 16th anniversary.  We stayed at the Anderson Inn and our balcony was right over the water.  We visited Hearst Castle.  We wandered around Morro Bay and shopped.  We also went kayaking on our last day there.  We spent a lot of time just relaxing in the room.
  • I had a business trip to Mountain View, CA and had enough time on Sunday to drive with coworkers to Santa Cruz and have dinner and sit on the beach for a while.
  • I started building a room in the garage, an office for Stacy and I so we can reclaim the family room.  We’re almost done too!  Just paint and carpet left to do before moving in.
  • We incinerated two Tri-Tips during the summer, damaging the barbecue beyond inexpensive repair.  So we went barbecue shopping and decided to buy one that doesn’t cook with direct flame, but by radiant heat.  It cooks really well and is easier to clean.  The burners never get grease on them and there’s only a U shaped pan (the one that radiates all the heat) to clean out.  The grease from the first Tri-Tip did flare up and catch fire, but a little water put out the flames, no damage to the Tri-Tip and putting the meat over part that wasn’t lit solved that issue.
  • We had some friends over for a barbecue and get together and had a great time.
  • Stacy was able to take the kids to the beach with another family a number of times during the summer.  I was only able to make it once.
  • Stacy’s Dad and Juanita visited and we went wine tasting.  We had such a good time and actually found some wine we liked.  Stacy and I went back to South Coast Winery for lunch on our actual anniversary and bought a case of that wine 🙂
  • We went to 2 Angels games, one early in the season, we lost.  One just today, we won!!!
  • We were also able to visit a couple of times this summer with family and once, even Wendy made it all the way from Boston!

Well, I think we’re all caught up.  It was a busy summer with lots of fun stuff going on.  July started off very HOT but then we were surprised with a very mild 6 weeks or so.  Of course now it’s really HOT again and we’re glad we saved some of our tax return for the electric bill which topped out at over $700.00 for the July bill!!!  I HATE Southern California Edison’s tiered billing!  They need to take into consideration the excessive heat and the need for cooling when they baseline months.  It is counter intuitive to any other costing.  If I were to purchase anything else in bulk it would cost me less per unit.  Electricity is the only thing that costs more!  Okay, enough of my price gouging rant.

We hope you all had a great summer too!

March 2008 Update

So, what, we’re already going on 3 months of 2009?  January flew by without much of a fuss.  February was a big birthday month for us; Kevin, myself, Hannah, Joel, Aunt Joan and Aric all have birthdays in Feb.  We had a collective party, but mostly for Joel, at the Riverside Railroad Park where they have some hobbiests who have small ride on trains where the kids (adults too) can ride for free or Donation.

Stacy and I took a weekend off, away from the kids, and went to Big Bear to just be away together.  We had a wonderful and relaxing time.  In fact we had too much fun to bother taking pictures so, sorry, we don’t have any.

Bailey, we have discovered through the allergy elimination diet, is allergic to something in Albertsons Wheat Bread (We’re thinking, and almost sure it’s Wheat Gluten).  The good news is we found something, YAY!  The bad news is that there may be more and we have to first give Bailey steroids to get rid of the blisters, and then let the steroids dissapate before resuming the elimination diet.  In a few weeks we can start adding things one at a time (no wheat gluten though).  Then if all goes well and everything except wheat gluten is back in his diet, we can give him some for a couple of days to confirm that is indeed the problem.

Branden is playing Little League again this year, and is on the Majors Padres team for the Wildomar Little League.  There are 3 Majors teams in this league and they have to play teams from two other leagues.  The Padres are 0-2 so far with sadly lobsided losses.  We’re all hoping for improvement 😆

I signed up for a Facebook account and have gotten touch with quite a few long lost friends, some from Avalon Schools and some from Irvine, as well as some we haven’t lost touch with.  I’m enjoying seeing news from these people on a daily basis.

Happy March all.  Spring is nearly here and soon it’ll be hotter than we like, but between then and now we should enjoy the great weather.

I’m dreaming of a White almost Christmas

DSC00264Hello all and Merry Christmas.  We’re always hoping for a White Christmas but never actually expect one.

Unfortunately, this time we got one a week ahead of time.  We were returning from a Doctors appointment for Bailey and the rain was falling on our drive home over Ortega Highway.  Traffic was creeping up the hill which usually indicates an accident.  This time was no exception, but the cause of the accident was rare on this stretch of highway.

Usually, an accident is cleared within an hour so we decided to wait it out.  You see, to turn around and take the long way becomes a 3 hour tour.  So, waiting for an hour is almost always the better choice.  Now, I’ve driven this road every work day for 8 years+ now and I’ve never had to wait because of SNOW!!!

About 5:30 pm I noticed that the rain had turned to a mixture of Snow and Rain.  The snow wasn’t sticking to the road yet, and I was only a mile or so away from the top, elevation 2666 feet, so my elevation was around 2300 feet.  Amazing what a few hundred feet will do.  So, we kept waiting because occasionally the cars would move forward 10 car lengths or so.  Then as the snow kept piling up in the oncoming lane, it became dangerous to try and turn around and we were stuck.

Around 7:00 pm we noticed that some of the branches of the old oak trees lining the road were bending way down over the road, and a couple actually broke off and fell onto the roadway.  Now, Branden and I started looking up to see what was above us…  Yikes!

About 8:00 pm a pick up truck with a snow plow blade cleared the oncoming lane and I took the chance to turn around.  We got Stacy turned around too (She was following in her Jeep).  When we got to Antonio Pkwy, we found that the CHP had blocked East Bound traffic (Would have been nice if they told people that they anticipated a full closure around 6 when it was pretty obvious to them that they weren’t going to get it clear.  I was able to get on the CHP website from my cell phone and saw that multiple vehicles had spun out and were stuck, blocking the entire road.  Even the tow trucks couldn’t get there.Bailey in Ortega Snow

We stopped at Denny’s for dinner and took the long way around 9:00 pm.  Got home around 10:40 pm.  The road was still closed on my way to work and eventually opened at 9:40 am.  It was an interesting adventure for us and the kids.  At least we had cell phone coverage and were able to talk to each other 🙂

Here’s a picture of Bailey standing in the snow the next day at the top of Ortega.

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