[This is my fourth installment of my Vacation Series of blog posts. For Day One, click here; for Day Two, click here; for Day Three, click here. FYI, Day Four was Tuesday, July 19th.]

Today’s A New Day

Well, though our anniversary was a total bust, today, Brad and I sorted through our differences.  Turns out, we’re both old (who knew?).  It’s kind of like the Wii Fit Age: you input all your data, it’s does a series of tests, and then it spits out an age like “64”.  Then (if you’re me), you scream at the TV and throw the Wii remote down in disgust.  But deep down inside, you wonder “Is my body age a reflection of my physical state?  Really?”  

It is.  I am putting my body to the test this week, with stairs (our condo is on the second & third story) and swimming and walking and carrying.  Brad did the same, when he went fishing and stood out in the sweltering heat, with sun reflecting off the water, for about 8 hours yesterday.  And then only caught a few fish.  Even with all the sunscreen, he looks like a lobster.  I’m not sunburned yet, but we’re spending a lot of time in the pool, and with all the kids around, I’m always lifting someone over a gate or taking someone up and down stairs and now my lower back is killing me and I can’t even sit in a chair for the pain.  In fact, I’m writing this, lying on my bed on my stomach.  Anything to relieve my lower back.

(This is just a side note, but Brad calls “Muscle Relaxers” “Muscle Relaxants”.  It really bothers me, but no matter how many times I correct him, he still makes the same mistake.  That’s why, when he offered me some of his a while ago, I turned him down, just on principle.  I refuse to take a drug that is not called by its proper name.  I guess you could call me a drug snob.  Or maybe it’s a language snob.  Either way, I think it’s probably true.)

Anyway, after just a few days down here, Brad and I are both in pretty bad shape.  We are taking loads of Advil and trying to pretend we aren’t in pain, but everything hurts.  I would like to say I regret not doing something to prepare for this week, like exercising, but I don’t.  Because what’s the point of putting yourself through all the agony of exercising in preparation of a week of agony???  I mean, why not put THAT off as long as possible?  It’s kind of like that joke: I don’t run unless something is chasing me and I don’t jump out of airplanes unless they’re on fire.

What I DO regret, however, is lifting my 50something pound six-year-old over the baby gate on the stairs multiple times yesterday and today.  I wouldn’t have done it at all, except the child can only get over the gate one direction.  Then when he wants to come back over it, he can’t quite reach.  

Well, in other news, the fisher-people (trying to be politically correct since my niece was with them) caught a lot of fish today, one of which was a flounder that my niece caught, that managed to flop back into the water after we photographed it and weren’t paying attention anymore.  I suspect he’s been searching for his son and after making it this far to the Gulf of Mexico (or, as Samuel says, the Gulp of Mexico), he was NOT going to give up!  Swim, flounder, swim!  Wow, sounds like the premise of a great movie!

So yesterday, the group with the fishing guide caught their limit by 10:30.  The other boat (that Brad was on) fished all day and came home with a couple of fish each.  But all told, it was enough to make for a good fish fry.  (Or so they tell me.  I had a club sandwich.  I don’t eat fish.  It’s against my religion…or something like that.  Or maybe I just don’t like the way they taste.)  Today was pretty much the same story – the boat with the guide caught their limit early.  Just so happened that Peter (and Brad) were on the boat with the guide!  Yay for my boys!

Peter posing with their tremendous catch! That's my brother in the weird hat, and my niece, Sadie, standing next to him.

Proud daddy! Peter told me after I took this picture that he wasn't making a face at the fish - he just really needed to pee!

I’m still missing Snickers.  I have considered calling a couple of times to check on her but what are they going to say?  “No, actually, she’s been calling your name since Saturday and refuses to eat in your absence.” I picture her romping and playing with her new doggie friends, not even remembering who I am when we get there on Saturday to pick her up.

To fill up my lonely heart, I’ve been spending as much time as I can with my parents’ dog, Daisy.  She’s a real sweetheart, but I guess that’s why she doesn’t do much to make me miss Snickers any less.  Now if she was biting me and jumping on me and barking a lot, that would be a different story.  But she’s about the calmest dog I’ve ever seen, and so sweet.  Even with all these people around and all the chaos, we barely notice she’s here.  Even my mom started saying “Where’s Daisy?” earlier today – and she was just on the other side of the room, begging scraps from the table.

Sweetest dog EVER!!!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being with Will and Meredith’s two little boys, Trey and Garrett.  With a whole week together, I can have some one-on-one time with them.  I absolutely love watching Garrett toddling around the place, climbing up on the couch or the stairs, trying to get up in the chair or fireplace hearth – always moving.  I am moved to tears frequently as I think of the doctor who was required to offer Meredith the option of aborting him when they learned he had Spina Bifida.  And when I recall his birth, and the surgery he had almost immediately after – I can’t believe he is the same little boy we see jumping and laughing and playing.  I mean, Will & Meredith made friends with another couple through the course of their pregnancies whose little girl had the exact same surgery the day after Garrett’s – and died.  And the prognosis for Garrett was grim.  He would probably never walk, would likely have brain damage from the swelling around his brain.  Instead, they take him to the surgeon’s office and other doctor’s offices and everyone is amazed.  He is bending over to pick up toys, practically running around the place and all the testing shows he is ahead of the curve when it comes to his other development (mental development).  Of course, this could change at any point in his lifetime.  But today, we are all amazed at how well he’s doing.

Garrett jumping on the couch with a nervous Aunt Bethany holding his hand

William Duane Beever III; aka Trey

Everyone is amazed at Matthew, as well.  He has been blowing everyone away with his kindness and attention to others. I love seeing him so happy, which I think is a direct result of the boundaries we have put in place this summer – that and making him and the other boys tow the mark where chores are concerned.

Well, nothing is helping my back. I’m not sure what to do at this point, but probably a call to the doctor would not be in vain.