Christmas 2002 was a treat with Nick finally getting the idea about presents and Rebecca playing and eating the paper.  We went to Mass at St. Irenaeus before spending the morning at the Williams homestead giving out presents one at a time…4 hours later.  We escaped to Grandma McDevitt’s where Steve and his family had come out to spend Christmas with us from Washington, D. C.  We surprised our parents with a framed announcements of a new arrival featuring a stork coming in July 2003.  We did not sign the present but it wasn’t difficult to figure out which family was in the reproducing mode.  Mary Williams was shocked to find out that Tricia had managed to keep it a secret for 2 weeks. 

            We ended the year with New Year’s Eve at Mike and Sheila’s.  Family, Friends, and Food what more could you ask for?  Oh Yeah…Karaoke.  Yes, once again we pulled out the golden microphone and sang for the torture of others.  Tricia felt special that Kim Williams wanted her on Kim’s singing team.  Singing loud and never off key delivers a big score.  By the way Mike lost all the games this year, makes him the worst performer in a really bad group of crooners.

            January 1st means College Bowl games...The Holy Day of Obligation for sports nuts.  Pat gets up early and dashes to his Mom’s to set tapes while also leaving two others set with timers at our house.  We have no idea what we will do with these tapes, but Pat says if needs to change them to DVD the machine could run 24/7 for a year and the conversion would still not be completed.  January also finds Pat sick and refusing to go to the doctor until it becomes serious and he can’t play hockey.  Tricia drags Pat to the clinic to find out he had walking pneumonia.  Jakob Williams turned 7 on the 25th with a skating party and cake at Grandma Williams.  We just went for cake, fearful of what damage Nick could do at the skating ring.  We also celebrated Pat’s mom birthday, with dinner at her house.  What a deal, we got dinner and cake while only bringing the kids and gifts. 

            February 1st finds Tricia in traffic school for a speeding ticket she got in November (No crying out of that one).  It is her first ticket and she got it literally right across the street from the Maria’s.  This is also the day the Space Shuttle crashed on re-entry.  Pat had to take a couple of trips to San Jose for work this month.  Back from the first trip he decides that the Palm tree in the front yard must go to make room for a minivan when the 3rd child arrives.  Pat used rope and the Honda Civic to pull the tree out of the ground.  Then uses the car to help pull the tree up a makeshift ramp and into the dumpster.  Tricia wanted the tree removed when we moved in 5 years ago when it was only a sapling. 

            Pat took Rebecca to a card show and left Tricia with Jake and Nick (That sounds like a fair trade).  Rebecca got her picture taken with Terry Bradshaw and others.  Jake and Nick got to go McDonalds and play in their fun room in exchange. 

            February 12th was what Tricia likes to call the day from H_ L _.  First, Pat leaves for San Jose and will not be back until the 14th.  Tricia takes Rebecca for her 9-month check up (weight 19lbs 14oz) and they pull a blood sample to check for anemia.  Guess what she’s anemic.  When Tricia got to work a coworker lets her know that Ty Dorsey, 1-year-old son of our good friend Karen, had passed away from a heart attack.   This was a huge blow since he just celebrated his first Birthday to end to a very difficult year.  His father was immediately recalled from the National Guard from Egypt.  Then Tricia’s OB calls and informs her that her results of the alpha feta protein test came back positive for possible genetic birth defects.  Further testing was required to confirm any problems.  To end the day, the cats and dogs were in the house because of the rain and managed to trash the house.

            As always God is watching over us to helps us get over these kind of days.  Rebecca went back to the doctor and was put on iron supplements for a month.  The Ultrasound for the baby looks great and there is nothing wrong with it.  False positive tests SUCK.  Those Jerks still wanted to due an amniocentesis because I think they get some kind of a state kickback because they were selling this procedure to us like a used car salesman.  I guess they enjoy sticking expectant mothers with large needles.  Finally, one of the Antech Diagnostics’ Sales representatives (Carol Syrois) gave Tricia a free round trip ticket with Southwest Airlines to attend Ty’s funeral.  Tricia went to Oklahoma on the 14th (after making sure Pat came back from San Jose in time to pick up the kids) and stayed until the 19th.  Friends of Karen picked her up at the airport and she stayed with the Cowell’s.  She made it in time to go to the funeral and was able to stay for a few days to help out Karen.


            March was a welcome relief after the previous month.  We went to Marywood for Ash Wednesday mass and were able see many SEARCH friends we had not seen in awhile.  March 14th is Pat’s birthday and Tricia got him the gift to top all gifts…tickets to the NCAA basketball tournament at the Arrowhead Pond.  Even though he tapes this tournament every year, this is the first time he has gone to a game.  The match ups were fantastic: Duke vs. Kansas & Arizona vs. Notre Dame.  This is the month Nick left the babysitter’s house for “school”.  Maria (our babysitter) was having construction done on her house and someone left the side gate open.  Nick and Vivian left the house to go in search of the swing sets at the local elementary school (about 4 houses down).  A city worker saw them and took the 2 kids to the school.  When Nick is involved, cops are called.  Tricia had to go down and get the kids.  Maria decided that until construction was completed she would feel more comfortable with the kids going to a different sitter.  She introduced us to Sonja.  So Nick and Rebecca started going to Sonja’s at the end of the month.  The furnace breaks and Tricia’s paranoia sets in when the Gas Company representative said to be aware about possible carbon monoxide poisoning with the old units.  Pat decides it is time to get a new furnace since the original house one is only 36 years old.

            Jakob Williams got to stay with us for the week while his mom was lollygagging at science camp with her 6th grade class.  Trying to drop Jake off at school, the kids at the sitters then go to work makes for a long day.  Running late one day (7:30 AM) Tricia asked Jake how long before school, he replied 3 hours.  When he was told 3 hours was like going to church 3 times he amended his comment to half an hour.  In all, it is probably closer to 10 minutes.

            April finds Rebecca still anemic and the iron is not helping. The doctor wants to do more blood work and wants to know if anemia runs in the family.  I know it is not on the Williams’ side and Pat assures me that it is not on the McDevitt side.  So we have more blood drawn for hemoglobin electrophoresis to see what is going in her little body.  The blood work looks okay so they want a stool sample to see if she is losing blood in her fecal matter (Tricia wrote this part).  Rebecca gets some quality time with mom at Antech before she does her diaper deed.  The stool shows no sign of blood but the Doctor is still wondering where the anemia is coming from.  More results come later.                    

            In the mean time there is another SEARCH weekend so we are watching Jake…again (Shocking).  He has his own room at our house.  We call it the guest room but Jakob calls it his room.  Our friend Alexis is making the weekend so we manage to get the family up to Marywood by 6 AM for Mañanitas and then back for Closura at 6 PM.  Three kids (counting Jake) and Tricia 5-months pregnant, the Lord was definitely with us to get there on time.   We made time to go see Les Miserables playing at the Orange County Performing Arts Center with Mary, Heather, Ben, Lisa Williams, Joe, and some friends from Antech.  Heather, who had seen the movie, convinces Mary that the intermission is the end of the play (Of course she fell for it).  We did make Mary stay to see the end of it. 

            Easter weekend found us all over Orange County.  Easter Saturday was spent in Irvine at Damien’s Parish for the annual Easter Egg Hunt where Rebecca proves you can enjoy chocolate candy without removing the protective foil.  Lisa Williams greets Tricia with the comment “Can you be anymore Catholic?”.  This is in reference to the 2 kids under 2-years old and being 6-months pregnant.  After the Hunt, it’s off to the Bowling Alley for Chris Williams’ 10th Birthday Party.  Pat spent most of the time chasing Nick down the bowling lanes.   Easter Sunday started at church with Grandma Williams in Santa Ana, then out Yorba Linda for an egg hunt and brunch with the McDevitts, and back to Santa Ana for dinner with the Williams.   While at Pat’s mom house, Tricia was telling her about Rebecca’s anemia (We’re back to this again).  Joan (Pat’s mom) said she is anemic and has been all her life and Pat’s sister Mary is also anemic.  Never trust Pat to get all of the medical information.  The genetic anomalies are best denied.  Pat also started playing Hockey and Softball this month.  That means twice a week he leaves in the morning abandoning the wife and children until the late into the evening.  Tricia just tells Nick and Rebecca that’s “stranger”, aka Dad. 

            Our tax refund check was burning a hole in Pat’s pocket so our house received new carpet upstairs in the 3 bedrooms.  The kids and Tricia spent the day with Kathy Odell MacDonald so we would not be in the way.  

            May starts right off with Rebecca’s Birthday.  She turned one on the 1ST and still will not walk, but takes a few steps here and there.  For her birthday we had a cake in which she tried to put the candle out with her fingers…Twice (Yes we know, we are bad parents).  Her party was on the 3RD (Sesame Street theme) and it started raining the day before did not seem to stop.  Pat put a tarp over the backyard patio for added coverage and the rain finally stopped.  The expected bouncy was a no show.  Every party needs a piñata but Ra Ra was more interested in riding the horse than hitting it.  The head came off when Nick hit it.  Needless to say there was more candy stuffed into it than any group of kids could eat in one sitting.  The piñata had not been down 10 minutes before the kids were masterminding trades for the good toys and candy.

            For Nick this is potty training month.  He is actually very good and will only use the big toilet.  We found out that he was potty training when he would be dropped off at the sitter’s in diapers and returning home without them.  Finally, we wised up and bought him some underwear (which he didn’t wear initially) and only put him in a diaper at night.

            May 9th Pat helped his friend John Fix move.  John was moving to Carson, Nevada and Pat’s job was to keep John’s 2 kids fed and entertained in the car. 

Pat got the comfortable back seat between Thomas (1 ½) and Michael (4 months).  He stayed over the weekend and flew back on Sunday.  While Pat was gone, Rebecca started to go down the stairs by herself on her belly.  Tricia believes Pat was hindering her progress, or maybe with daddy gone it was 2 on 1 and she had to learn to fend for herself.

            On May 21ST Pat called Tricia at work and told her to get home early and have the kids ready to go out.  What would cause such urgency?  The Stanley Cup was in town since the Mighty Ducks were in the playoffs, and fans had the opportunity to have their picture taken with the Cup…Hockey’s Holy Grail.  So off we go and wait 2 hours to have our photo taken with the Cup.  Tricia is still not sure if it was worth the effort (Grounds for Divorce in Canada) but the kids enjoyed the McNuggets and fries that constituted dinner that night.

            Memorial day weekend was the time to buy the new minivan.  After weeks of checking Internet price quotes and comparing different vans on the web, we decided to go with the Honda Odyssey.  All of the haggling was done online.  We dropped the kids off at Pat’s mom’s house, while we went to fill out the paperwork and pickup the van.  Tricia highly recommends using the Internet for your next motor vehicle purchase (Commercial plug).  P.S. Thank you Mike for turning Tricia onto  After the minivan was purchased the rest of the weekend flew by with the annual BBQ at the Williams’ Homestead. 

            We will make a small note that we took Nick and Rebecca out to breakfast with Mary and Jakob for probably the last time as a family for a long time.  Mary wanted the server to pack up the food and we would take it to go, but we stayed and left a lasting impression at the IHOP, mostly Nick.  He is not called the Evil Bubba for noithing.      

            June’s big of events for Tricia and Pat involved time to go to the movies.  Cheryl Flindt watched the kids one night and we saw X2 the new X-men movie.  First Pat could not get over the rise in ticket prices since the last time we went to the movies.  I mean you give the guy a $20 and expect more than $1 in change for 2 tickets.  The worse part was when the girl asked Pat if he had his student ID on him to get the discount, (and he wasn’t even wearing the muscle pants).  Tis the season for weddings.  Pat’s brother Greg and his fiancée Tracey were getting married in Las Vegas on June 14th.  So we took the minivan on a road trip and went to Vegas with the kids.  This was the first time Tricia had been there since the Excalibur was being built (1992).  On our first night there, Greg’s son Peyton came to play with Nick and Rebecca.  We put them in the tub and let them splash to their heart’s content.  Nothing says Vegas like a water fight.  Peyton even got to spend the night with his cousins.  The room had 2 full beds with instead of a king, so Tricia (8 months pregnant) was in one bed with Nick and Peyton and Pat had the other bed to himself.  Ra Ra got the playpen.  Nick and Rebecca loved the pool at Caesar’s Palace.  Rebecca is definitely the fish of the family. Steve and his family came to Vegas as well as Christine and Emery with their kids Jacob and Jessie.  Then Pat stayed up the second night with Shawn Kraft, Greg and Tracey playing paigong until 4 AM.  He surprised all his friends when he had 2 beers that night (There is photographic proof).  Sunday morning we had brunch with the whole family then headed for home.  Steve, Kim and family drove to Southern California to spend a few days with grandma and the cousins before flying home to Virginia.         

June 18th was our 9th wedding anniversary.  What do you do for your 9-year anniversary when you have a 2 year old, a 1 year old, and one on the way?  You stay home!!! We did go out to the movies and had Mary watch the kids.  Tricia went more for the air conditioning than the entertainment factor. 

With the baby almost here Pat spent most of this month working on the bonus room.  He scrapped the ceiling to remove the “popcorn”, sanded it down, and primed it with Kilz paint.  The room color was going to be blue and Pat went and bought a shade of blue in a semi gloss finish.  Tricia likes to call it Blockbuster blue since it is the color of the awning in front of most Blockbuster movie stores.   Pat painted a square on the wall with his choice of blue to show it off to Tricia (Pat still insists that Tricia selected this color in her hormonal state).  Tricia could not believe how bright it was.  So she went her sister Heather to Home-Depot for a better shade of blue.  This is more of a grayish blue; while Pat hates it and calls it “Prison Gray” Tricia loves it. 

Tricia also could not take the suspense any more: Boy or Girl.  At one of her doctor’s visits, Dr. Wan performed an ultrasound to make sure the baby is in position for birth.  The doctor gave Tricia the impression he could tell the sex of the baby, and she broke.  She had to find out, especially since we only had a boy’s name picked out.  Well, the doctor said you better start thinking up a girl’s name.  At least this made it easier sorting through all of the baby clothes that needed to be washed. 

July 4th came with the annual block party on Keelson Avenue.  No volleyball for Tricia this year…again (like she’s any good).  Tom and Priscilla came down from Arizona with Miranda and Isabella, as did Kathy and Jeff Olson with family.  It was fun to hang out and have some one else help watch the kids.  The 3 Prego’s, Tricia, Priscilla, Jennifer, took time to compare belly sizes as they are due, July, August, September respectively (Okay Jennifer jumped the gun and Priscilla waited until September).  Yes, it is a big competition to have the youngest grandchild.  Tricia is ready to relinquish the honor to Tom and Priscilla again, but Pat still maintains the title on the McDevitt side. 

            Shortly after the 4th Rebecca decided that she had enough of this crawling business and started walking.  She walks like a drunk but it is an improvement over the spider crawl.  We are now weeks away from the baby joining our mad house.  Time to drop the kids off with Kathy Odell and do some last minute shopping.  Since we have a baby sitter we take advantage and go to the movies again.  This is impressive since we had not been to the movies in over 6 months prior to June and now have been out 3 times.  June 21st marked Tricia’s first day off work, which also means no air conditioning.  So off to movies she goes, first with Mom and Mary to see Pirates of the Caribbean then with Heather and Mom to see Seabiscut.  Pat never gets this type of vacation.

            Also some time this month Pat spent time trying to convince his friends and family to donate $1,000 so Pat could run for governor.  Needless to say it didn’t pan out.

            July 30th, Tricia and Pat drop the kids off at the sitters and head to the hospital so Tricia can be induced.  We arrive at 8:30 AM but the hospital staff was expecting us at 6:30 AM.  No matter, Tricia gets hooked to an IV and away we go.  At 10 AM Tricia is 2-cm dilated and it looks like we will have this baby by the afternoon.  At 10:30 AM Tricia gets the epidural (Who ever started this deserves the Nobel Prize) and things look to be progressing.  The monitor shows strong contractions every 2 minutes. At 2 PM the nurse checks and Tricia is at…Ta Da…. 2-cm.  Not looking so good for the home team.  So the Potosin is increased and at 5:30 PM Dr. Wan comes to check and Tricia is at…2-cm.  He breaks her water and says we should start seeing some movement soon.  The night nurse comes on at 7 PM she checks and say it with me, Tricia is at “2-CM”.  At 10 PM the nurse checks and we are holding strong at 2-cm (People don’t flat line this long).  The nurse is concerned and says that if things don’t change in an hour she is going to call the doctor for a possible C-Section.  Tricia tells her that after her water breaks she gets 24 hours before a C-section is mandatory.  Tricia then explains that she has done this before when she goes from 2-cm to 10-cm very shortly with the baby coming right after that.  The nurse agrees and leaves.   About midnight Tricia starts to feel some pain and the nurse checks and she is at 6cm and has her roll on her side to get the epidural to even out.  5 minutes later Tricia is telling the nurse that she needs to push because the baby is coming.  The nurse checks and yes we have made it to 10-cm, but now there is no doctor.  Pat has Tricia pinned on her side and will not let her push.  The nurses will not let her push, and she yelling for someone to help her (in between obscenities) and let her push.  The anesthesiologist gives her some more drugs, so she is not screaming so loud and scaring the other mothers and staff, but she is still demanding to push.  Then a light bulb goes on, she remembers episodes of a Baby Story from TLC where they let women push while on their side.  So Tricia pulls her leg up and starts to push only to have the nurse put an end to that rather quickly and that bastard Pat holds her down even more.  Nurses delivered Nick in 2000, but this group wanted nothing to do with catching a kid without the doctor present.

            Finally, Dr. Wan showed up around 12:25 AM and lets Tricia push.  At 12:34 AM Sarah Victoria Noel McDevitt made her grand entrance.  She has a head full of hair, weighed 8lbs 12oz, and was 20.5 inches long and has BLUE eyes.  Tricia was so happy to have the little one here and apologizes to the nurses and her friend Julie for the yelling.  Tricia’s friend Julie Qualls was there to witness the entire event.  Julie may not be having kids any time soon but was thoroughly impressed on how Pat dealt with Tricia during the ordeal. 

Evie and Joan & Mary McDevitt came to visit at the hospital and it felt as if everyone else called.  We were able to go home on the 1ST of August and took a trip by Grandma Williams so she could see little Sarah.  We then spent time with Mary and Jakob who just got back from visiting his father in Sacramento.  Nicholas and Rebecca are not sure of what to make of the little one, though Rebecca keeps crawling into her old car seat with the new baby still in it. 

On August 9th Mary Williams calls us to invite us to go swimming at Mom’s house and hang out.  That sounded so good that she then calls Damien and Mike over.  Next thing you know, a BBQ breaks out at the parent house to show off Sarah.  Where are mom and Dad you might ask?  Dad is in South Carolina and Mom is in Arizona.  Feels just like throwing a high school party when the folks are gone. 

Sarah’s 2-week doctor appointment coincided with Rebecca’s 15-month appointment so Grandma Williams came to help out.  Tricia held onto Rebecca who was none to pleased to have her head measured and kept lowering it to the table.  Rebecca weighed 21 lbs and Sarah was up to 9 lbs 2oz and 23 inches long.  The eyes are still blue to Pat’s dismay.  The next day was the Antech picnic so we loaded the van with the double stroller and kids.  Pat won the test tube water relay contest and the prize was target gift card for $50.00.  That meant he would finally break down and buy a replacement razor as his broke the day Sarah was born.  He has been walking around in the “grunge” look for the last 2 weeks (That’s Bad, Not Good).

Mary Williams watches Nicholas and Rebecca as Tricia and Pat take Sarah to her first movie: Pirates of the Caribbean.  Like a good Williams’ Sarah sleeps through it.

On August 26th Jennifer Lamar has her bundle of joy.  Kim, being the good aunt, is calling all the relatives to let us know that Jennifer had the baby.  One thing she leaves out until the end of the conversation is the baby’s name: Hailey Marie.  I guess Tyler was too manly and had to be changed.  Up until that day we thought she was having a boy and what a surprise when baby came out a girl.   Damien made some Kung Po Chicken and invited the family over to see Hailey on the 29th.  Williams’ can’t turn down free food and a chance to hold a baby.  We now just refer to Damien as Grandpa (Aren’t you only 37 years old)

August 30th was the crazy moving day.  Our refrigerator was on the blink and we were going to buy a new one.  Then we heard Ben (Heather’s man) was buying new refrigerator and giving away his old one.  Great we would take that one.  Problem: we no longer know anyone with a pick-up truck so had to rent a moving van to get the refrigerator and bring it from Ben’s house to our house.  Since we had a moving truck, Mary, that freeloader, was going to buy a bed set from Sam’s Club by our house and use the truck to get it to her house.  The only catch is we have the truck only until noon. 

Tricia drops Pat off at the rental place at 8:30 AM but he doesn’t get the truck until 9 AM, and the clock starts.  Pat gets the truck but first must go by Joe’s house to get the refrigerator dolly and pickups Mary on the way.  Mary and Pat get to Ben’s house to get the refrigerator (no parking) finally get it in the truck and head to our house in Cypress.  It is about 10:30 AM and they drop off the refrigerator and head to the Sam’s Club in Long Beach about 15 minutes away.  So far we are ahead of schedule.   They get to Sam’s and nothing is right.  Mary applies for the credit card, which could have been done the week before, so she has to get in line first.  They try to ring her up at the register and she says she is going to apply for the Sam’s credit.  Off to a different line but the furniture will be pulled up in 5 minutes.  Five minutes my A__.  Five minutes turns into 30 minutes, but here’s the kicker: they can’t get the boxes (7 of them) through the front door.  It is almost noon when the furniture is moved through a side opening and into the truck.       Pat needs to take the truck to Mary’s house to unload the furniture then get it back to the rental place.  They obviously did not do this in 5 minutes but did get the truck back by 12:30 PM.  They guy was going to charge extra until Pat points out they were 30 minutes late getting us the truck.  Don’t try to squeeze extra money out of him.  To top it all off, Pat’s sister Christine told us we can have her refrigerator as she is moving to Apple Valley and is getting a new one in a couple of weeks.  That gave us 2 weeks to play musical refrigerators and figure out how to get the one from Corona to our house and get Ben’s old refrigerator (just moved to our house) to Joe’s house.  Bring on any Challenge. 

September starts off with a toned down Labor Day event at the motherhouse.  September also marks time that Maria’s house is now Nick proof and the kids start back on the 2nd.  Rebecca can finally hold onto the swing and have daddy push her.  She was getting jealous of Nick always on the swings.  Now daddy has to sit between both swings to push each kid.  Tricia took Sarah to the walk in clinic for what looked like pink eye.  Waited for an hour in the waiting room and another hour in the exam room for the doctor to confirm it.  Now please pay up $15. 

Ariana Grace Maylana Williams was born to Tom and Priscilla Williams on Septermber 11th.  We still haven’t heard birth weight etc.  Tom and Priscilla now have 2 under one-year and the princess Miranda (Someone should fix that Boy)

September 13th, Pat helps Christine and Emery pack up their belongings and move to Apple Valley.  Then Pat borrows Emery’s truck to take the refrigerator to our house.  He picks up David Flindt on the way to help unload it, and then load Ben’s refrigerator and take it to Joe’s house.  Returning the refrigerator Dolly at the same time.  Then to Yorba Linda to pack up Christine’s bed set and then up to Apple Valley.  It was a nice day for a drive, or two, or three. 

September 15th, Tricia turned 32 and Pat forgot for a few hours.  He remembered when Jakob called to sing Happy Birthday to Tricia before work.  Pat kept wondering why is Jake calling so early and then it dawned on him.  Quick grab your present for her and hand it to her, unwrapped of course with no card.  Pat went back to San Jose for work for 2 days to work with a demanding client who wanted him to stay 3 whole days.  Pat’s take on the trip, it could have been settled with a phone conversation.

September 19th Jakob Williams was spending the night…again.  Where is that mother of his?  Pat was not yet home from work but nothing to fear, the girls were in the house watching TV and Nick and Jake were playing the backyard.  Tricia was just relaxing when she heard Nick start screaming and Jake run in and say Nick got hit with the stick.  What had happened is that Jake threw up a ball and was going to hit it with the stick when Nick decided he wanted the stick.  Jakob swings, stick meets Nick’s face, pain ensues.  Nick got 2 black eyes and a trip to the emergency room that night.  No stick for you.  We had to wait 45 minutes until Pat got home to take him, because Tricia was not going to take 4 kids to the waiting room.  Although the bridge of the nose was pretty swollen, the doctor was certain nothing was broken and Nick was already acting like himself by jumping off the back of the couch repeatedly.  Let’s take a picture of Nick in his injured state with his attacker.  Is it bad to laugh at your children’s misguided adventures? (Yes, again we are bad parents)

The next day we went to Julie Flindt’s house for a BBQ as she invited the family over for lunch.  Jeanne develops a plan to stagger the arrival times at Julie’s and told all of us different times to arrive.  This is the first time we got to see her place and it was really clean before our kids got there. 

On September 22nd, Tricia’s vacation ends and she had to return to work.  Sarah now joined Nick and Rebecca at Maria’s.  It is wonderful to have someone like Maria to take care of our kids.  Tricia now goes through “ER” rerun withdrawal.  The end of September we take Sarah for her 2-month appointment and she is 12 lbs, 23.5 inches long and growing like a weed.  The doctor had to give her 5 shots and she was not a happy camper.

Dad went in for an angiogram at the beginning of October and they had to put a stint in one artery but the rest were clear.  Kathy had Kristen drive her out to California so she could be on hand.  Dad came through with flying colors and was very anxious to leave the next morning. 

Sarah was baptized October 5th at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Yorba Linda.  It was a small family ceremony with Father John Cunningham presiding and godparents Greg McDevitt and Christine Hughes.  This is the third baptism that Father JC has done for us in the last 3 years.  It gets to the point for the homily he just says, “Remember what I said last time and we can proceed.”  Grandma Joan and Aunt Mary McDevitt hosted a lovely reception at their house.  They got everything together and all we had to do was bring Sarah.  Of course we had to take 2 separate cars so Pat would not miss his Sunday night Hockey game.  (Yes, they won)

Nolan and Delaney MacDonald came over and spent the night while David and Kathy went to a concert.  The kids were dropped off from a Limo so the night just had to go downhill from there.  They are great kids and kept a good eye on Nick and Rebecca so Tricia could cook dinner.  They were surprised that a homemade dinner did not have to come in a prepackaged box. 

Mary hosted her 3rd annual Halloween party and really went all out with the decorations.  Tricia invited Arnel and Mac from work and they came and brought their own mix of drinks.  Tricia, Mary and Heather all shared one those shots and all wound up getting sick.  Tricia in the grass, Mary in her bed room and Heather in Ben’s car.  It was a proud moment for the Williams’ girls.  Arnel has been band from bringing drinks again.  Mary is still bitter to this day.  The next day we loaded up the 2 strollers and went down to the pumpkin patch to get Sarah’s first pumpkin.  Nick and Rebecca fed the goats, petted the rabbits, chased the birds and picked out a pumpkin for Sarah.  Every year Pat carves a pumpkin for each of the kids and one for Grandma Williams.  Tricia picks out the pattern from the book and Pat gets to do the “fun” work.  This year one pumpkin was so hard Pat used a Drill and the Dremmel to carve the pumpkin.  That was one he saved for last but also lasted a week. 

Pat took Nick and Rebecca Trick or Treating this year.  Nick went as Spiderman and had to be talked into getting into his costume.  He just wanted to where his T-shirt and shorts to go out.  Pat convinced him to wear the costume and then he could carry the flashlight.  Rebecca had no qualms getting into her witch costume and climbed in the stroller and was ready to go.  Rebecca did not like the full monster masks that dad wears.  She stood there and cried like she was about to be eaten, so no mask for daddy this year.  Sarah dressed like a pumpkin stayed home with mom and passed out candy.  They were only gone a half an hour and managed to eat some part of every candy in their bag.  Ra Ra definitely knew that when strangers offer a bowl of candy, you grab it.  Nick many times just looked at what was being offered.

November comes with Pat’s work giving him 2 months notice of until termination.  That means he will technically have a job until January 12, 2004 but he better start looking for new employment now.  He is supposed to come in and help clean up the lab but other than that he is soon to be on “vacation”.  Poor Heather and Mike we pulled their names for Christmas and looks like they will be getting a month free of AOL 9.0 or any left over lab supplies.  

On a happier note Grandma Williams had her Birthday and the family went to Tsunami’s in Huntington Beach.  It is a Japanese restaurant where the chefs cook in front of you and throw food at you to catch in your mouth.  (Mary was the best, Mike sucked).  Then to Ben’s house for cake and ice cream.  I think this is the last time the family will be invited to Ben’s.  First Damien and Mike start stealing his cookware and then Pat starts eyeing his sports memorabilia.   That never happens at our house.

On the 23rd Nick turned 3.  Hurray we no longer have 3 kids under 3 years of age.  We had a “Finding Nemo” themed party with a Dinosaur piñata (red of course).   The kids took all the plastic balls in the backyard and put them in the moon bounce and the fort for a war, that just fizzled out.  Also Rebecca learned to climb up the ladder and go down the slide just for the occasion.   Pat’s work also called and wanted him to start working Thanksgiving week, but he doesn’t have a permanent position.

Thanksgiving meant Williams house in the morning with about 6 deep fried turkeys, roast beef, ham and more starches than you can imagine.  Then off to the McDevitt’s in the evening for a real sit down turkey dinner (and not on the floor either).  Since Tricia left before trivia started at the Williams’ household, Mary kept calling her on the cell phone for answers.  The girls made a great come back and finally won this year! 

Of course the day after Thanksgiving is shopping.  Kathy, Tricia, Mary, Heather, and Jeannie left the house by 5:15 AM to start at Kohls and work our way through the stores about Orange County.  Mom slept in this year.  We did more shopping by noon then most people do all year.  Tricia got home at 5:30 PM and verified that the kids are still alive.  Pat who has been feeling poorly all week really looks bad (More than usual).  Saturday he goes to the walk-in clinic to find out he has the bad flu going around.  Only time will heal, which is what we did not want to hear. 

December we have the ornament exchange at Knott’s Chicken Dinner and Sarah goes with Tricia so it is only 2 on 1 at home with Daddy.  We also went to Tricia’s work party with Damien watching the kids for us (Finally, payback).  This is the time to go and view Christmas lights with the kids.  Mary hosted a white elephant gift exchange.  Jeanne lost (Blues Clues Piñata), Heather won (Something useful), and Joe brought the best gifts.  Julie Flindt definitely had the best plan: Pack as many useless items into one gift, Genius.

As the last few weeks of December are upon us, we are trying to finish getting ready for Christmas, finish shopping, finish getting the tree up, and finish our first Christmas letter.   We realize in the hectic and busy year we are blessed with love and support from our family and friends.  Thank you for helping make our memories.


Love The McDevitts

                                    Pat, Tricia, Nicholas, Rebecca, and Sarah