Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jacob's Birthday Week '09

It's hard to believe Jacob turned 13 this past week. Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that he was as tiny as Gavin. Now he is a teenager and gearing up for 7th grade.

Jacob's birthday week was a lot of fun...for all of us.

Last Monday Jacob and Brie piled in the truck with Granma Gina, Erin and Darbi and headed to St. Pete. On Tuesday, for Erin's 15th birthday, they hit the road again and went to Aunt Rachel's in Orlando. After dinner at the Bob Marley restaurant (Erin loves Bob Marley), they were off to the Fun Spot where they drove go-carts and played games. Wednesday morning, for Jacob's big 13, Rachel took everyone to Islands of Adventure. Jacob said the Hulk was much faster than he remembered from last time. They all said the park was awesome, but hot. God bless you Gina and Rachel for taking the kids!! They ate dinner at the Nascar Cafe on City Walk. Jacob said he felt right at home.

TD, Maks, Gavin and I left Tally around 1:00pm and made our trip south to St. Pete (we had Grissom and Connor, too). Gavin was so good on the ride down, sleeping most of the trip. We only stopped once so he could eat and stretch. When we got to St. Pete we had Italian for dinner with TD's dad and took a walk around "Coffee Pot" by the Vinoy Park. Maks was excited about the Sheephead fish and the Manatee we saw during our walk along the bay. It was a nice night.

The gang got home from Orlando around 10:00 pm. Jacob opened presents and we all talked about the past 3 days. Rachel and Mr. Dana opened presents too - their birthday were the 2nd and 13th.

Thursday morning we packed up and got ready to go camping at Ft. Desoto. Gavin and I visited Aunt Julie for the first time and he really enjoyed himself. Julie has a family home child care so there was lots of fun things for Gavin to do at her house. Grissom and Connor went for grooming/haircuts and came home so clean and cute on Thursday afternoon. We love Furry Friends in St. Pete. Thursday evening we had a nice cookout at the camp. One of my dearest and oldest friends, Jennifer, and her two girls, drove up from Sarasota to eat with us. It was really special to see them after all these years. Granma Gina, Renee and Aunt Rachel brought Sonny's coleslaw, baked beans and macaroni salad to go with the burgers, dogs and chicken. Dinner was yummy. The kids played at the playground and Jacob and Maks ran around popping off their cap guns. I slept so good Thursday night in the cold camper! It was so much better than our past tent camping. Gavin enjoyed his first night at the campground.

Friday morning we went to the Ft. Desoto Pier to meet Heather, Josh and Presley. Presley is such a sweet baby girl and cute as can be (8 days younger than Gavin)! TD was so happy to finally get to meet her. Grandma Poucher, Curt and Polk came to see us as well. It was kind of rainy. We went down to the water for a bit... TD taught Jacob how to throw his new cast net and Brie ran back and forth from the pier to the water feeding this old seagull/tern some baitfish the boys were trapping in their nets. She swore the bird couldn't fly. It was really cute. We all went back to the camper and Gavin and Presley got to play with each other. They stared at one another, blew bubbles, and cried together. Gavin got Presley going. She is so sweet - she never cries. Gavin was so cute sticking his tongue out at Presely.

Around 2:00 pm it was time to get ready to go to the Trop for the Rays baseball game!! We were so excited. Gavin's 1st BB game!! 1st Rays game! Rays game for Jacob and Maks!!
Joe, TD's good friend from childhood, met us at gate 4 around 4:00 pm. We entered through the home plate club, box and season ticket holders gate. (TD's friend works for the Rays club house) Joe took us right down to the field! We stood on the players batter box and watched the Rays take batting, pitching and fielding practice. The players all look so much bigger in person. It was awesome. Jacob, Brie and Maks got their baseballs signed by Evan Longoria and David Price and by Kevin Millar from the Blue Jays. I missed them because I was changing a poopy diaper...but that is my luck. Standing waiting for 2 hours and miss the two coolest players because I'm changing a diaper. That's ok, TD had Gavin's baseball signed! Joe came out and took Jacob by himself into the club house. He got to see the players lounge, where the players have their lockers, where they work out, Maddon's office, the tennis ball batting cage, the storage room (where Joe let Jacob pick a hat) and the sewing room. Jacob said Aybar was taking batting practice in the tennis cage at 170 MPH! Crazy, right? Jacob was so excited and happy. He said it was his best birthday present ever. Joe also gave us the best seats - right behind home plate, about 20 rows up and he hooked the kids up with t-shirts and bobble heads. Thank you so much, Joe!! That night Mr. and Mrs. Yodis had Happy Birthday Jacob put up on the big titron board. (Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Yodis)It was a really exciting night for Jacob, he felt really special. We visited the Rays tank to feed and touch the sting rays and shopped in the big store. Gavin, Maks, Brie, Pops, TD and I had a great night too!! Wish the Rays would of won, but we did take the series 2 out of 3.

Saturday morning the boys went fishing out in the boat with Nick and Josh.

Brie and I headed to the beach. Brie and I got the baby tent up, sat in the water, watched a family/pod of dolphins and dug for seashells. 30 mins later, Brie and I took the tent down, packed up and headed back to the camper. Gavin loved sitting in the water, but wanted nothing to do with the tent and his bouncey. It was too hot for me to sit under the tent holding him. So my morning at the beach that I had been longing for was cut really short by a very unhappy little one. Someone needs to invent SPF for under 6 months. Of course Gavin fell right asleep when we put him in his car seat and headed back to the camper! Little stinker. I called Gina to come get us and we had lunch and did some shopping. Later, Gina and Brie sewed. Gavin and I were waititng to see Daddy and the boys and to go to Grandma Poucher's for G to meet Cousin Britni, Nick, and Ashley for the first time.

The boys had a great time fishing. Maks and Jacob loved watching Josh throw the big cast net for bait. They caught a mangrove snapper, trout and a mackrel. Josh hooked up to the biggest barracuda that the boys have ever seen and it torpedoed out of the water nearly 6 feet! It broke the line on the rocks under the Skyway bridge, but the boys haven't stopped talking about it. They caught the usual catfish and ladyfish too! They said it only rained a little bit and even though they didn't catch a shark, none of them came home with a skirt! :)

Birthday dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Poucher's was wonderful as usual. I love it. I love seeing and visiting everyone. Nothing beats family and food. Uncle Randy even came by in the fire truck! Gavin and Presley played some more and the babies got lots of sugar from all the fam. Jacob, Erin and Mr. Dana (Pops) opened presents and we (I) ate chocolate cake, vanilla cake and lemon meringue pie and I am happy to say, no, Gavin did not have a tummy ache later, lol.

Sunday we decided not to go home. It just didn't make sense to drive back to Tallahassee Sunday afternoon and then get back in the car Monday to go to Gainesville for Jacob's MRI.

Sunday we packed the camper and Brie went shopping with Darbi and Erin. Aunt Julie and Uncle Randy came and got the camper. Thank you so much for letting us use it - it was so nice having our own potty, shower, kitchen, AC and beds. I never knew what I was missing tent camping all these years. I understand why Becky and Todd love theirs!!

TD, Maks, Jacob, Gavin and I went and had lunch at PJ's on St. Pete Beach. It was delicious as always. Grouper and Gator Bites!! TD and I went back to Julie's to clean the camper and the boys walked to the park to play wall ball. Later we went to the Vinoy Park. We had a nice walk and the boys threw their cast nets. I enjoyed wading out into the water. I learned how to throw the cast net. Jacob was a good teacher. I didn't get any fish though. Jacob and Maks caught several bait fish and a few purple and yellow stripped fish. Gavin sat on the park bench with Granma Gina and Daddy. That night we had a mini Thanksgiving for dinner. Gina cooked turkey, potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes and rolls. My belly was in heaven. After dinner I visited with BJ and Tim and the boys swam with the girls. Needless to say I slept like a rock Sunday night!!

Monday morning - it was time to head to Gainesville to University of Florida Shands for Jacob's MRI. We visited Grandma and Grandpa Poucher, Julie, Heather, Josh, Presley, Pops and Granma Gina. It was hard saying good bye and hard to go home after such a wonderful trip, but it was time.
Thank you to everyone who made Jacob's birthday week so special. I love you all so much and I feel so lucky to be part of such a wonderful family and have such great friends.

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