Christmas 2003 was a little rocky. Pat was no longer working for Huntsman (department had been downsized) as he was in the middle of his 60-day termination notice. It did not look like they were going to have a different job for him in the New Year but he was available for any openings. Also Pat caught the bad flu going around and was running a high temperature of 102şF Christmas morning. After filling him with enough Tylenol and Advil to make the fever an acceptable range, the family headed to the Williams homestead to celebrate Christmas. With potential financial problems in 2004, our Secret Santas were doomed. Mike got AOL 9.0 over and over again…1000 Free Hours each. Heather was revisited from gifts of Christmas past that were left behind in her own closet. After the gift giving is over at the Williams Household some 4 hours later, we load up the car and head to Yorba Linda to celebrate Christmas with the McDevitt family. This year we actually gave real gifts to the grandparents and it was not the promise of a new grandchild as Tricia said she was taking 2004 off. Our family did our gifts on the 26th because we just ran out of time on the 25th and the kids did not pester us to open the gifts under the tree. Maybe they just thought it was part of the decorations.
The New Year, of course started with a party at Mike’s house where Karaoke still remains the highlights. Every year needs to be rung in with bad off-key singing. Face it with 3 small kids we have no other place to go. We are glad to still be invited. Pat still tapes all the bowl games like a mad man and runs around on the 1ST monopolizing all the family TVs and VCRs that he can find. January 12TH is Pat’s official last day with Huntsman and so he is spending time working on his resume and working with Headhunters. He stops by Tricia’s work on January 13TH as she is now the official breadwinner of the family. So she took the jobless one to lunch. That afternoon, he calls Huntsman to see if they have an interview scheduled for him and they inform him to come in the next day as they have a new job for him. Only one day of vacation, but it did relieve the stress in Tricia’s mind. With that official termination on the 12TH, Pat was still given a severance package that paid him 6-months salary for “not working” then started back to work on the 14TH. Talk about hitting a small lottery. January is the month we celebrate Georgia Williams’ birthday, Jakob Williams’ birthday, Joseph Williams’ birthday, and Grandma McDevitt’s birthday. We find our weekends traveling from one party to the next. In the middle of all this Sarah starts rolling over, eating solids, and getting her teeth. Our baby is going up so fast.
Super Bowl Sunday is now in February and we spend it at Damian’s House. Rebecca brings us a little luck and wins the first quarter pool. It is always good to teach your children the finer points of gambling at such a young age. Sarah went in for her 6-month appointment and is 26.5 inches in length and weighs 15.5lbs. They say she needs to eat more but the doctor does not realize that she doesn’t stop eating. Tricia keeps telling the doctor it is the result of those twisted McDevitt genes. Kathy MacDonald comes over and we have our Christmas in February.
Pat gets the best gift for Valentine’s Day, Tricia with no voice. Tricia had come down with a little cold that left her literally speechless. Yes it was quiet and good times at the McDevitt Household. This month our good friend Marjan got married, which also meant a visit for Nicole Samuels. Kathy MacDonald was nice enough to watch the 3 kids for us, so we could escape for the wedding and reception. We did not want to miss out on the Persian food.
In March, a group of us went to see David Spade at the IMPROV. Note to all, the warm up act was the best part of the evening and Mr. Spade should stick to television because his standup pretty much blew. When you don’t go to the comedy club as much as you use to things can change…Like the location of the club. The former site is now a Bally’s Fitness Center. We went to that location because it was always there during our college years, some 10 years ago. We did get to the correct location in time to see the show. The family made a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona to see Kathy, Jeff, Tom, Priscilla and families. Actually there was a sports show in Phoenix and Pat allowed Tricia to visit with her family so we would have somewhere to stay. Jeff and Kathy took us to a Coyote Hockey game and to the renaissance fair. Pat had his birthday but bought his own present while at the sport’s show: a signed 16”x20” photo of Super Bowl I & II MVP Bart Starr. While in Arizona Tricia had a crazy dream that when she comes home from Arizona that she’s pregnant. Priscilla and Kathy give her a look like if you are pregnant then you are crazy. This comes from Priscilla with three girls and Kathy with 6 kids. Sure enough we get home and Tricia starts counting the days and realizes that she is a little late. Just another example of how women suck at math. A pregnancy test shows that number 4 is now on the way. Three under 3 years old was bad, but 4 under 4 is just crazy insane. At least Sarah is starting to crawl at the end of this month. Maybe this was her way of squeezing out as much attention as possible before she gets replaced later in the year. Pat informed his Mom by going to his dad’s gravesite on his dad’s birthday March 21ST and leaving a note for his mother to find when she would visit later in the day.
Easter is April 11TH, so on the Saturday before we head to Damian’s church for the annual Easter egg hunt. To answer Lisa Williams question from last year when we had 2 small children and we were pregnant with Sarah; “Can you be any more Catholic”. Evidently the answer is yes as we now have 3 small children and are pregnant...Again. Damian made breakfast for the family and we dyed eggs afterwards. Rebecca found it necessary to play in Foxy’s dog cage. Pictures are available. Easter started with brunch at the Yorba Linda McDevitt household then the egg/money hunt. Nick, Rebecca, and Sarah made out with $28.10 and assorted candy. Not a bad day. Then it’s onto the Williams’ household for more food and Trivia. Boys win again because the boys ALWAYS win.
May is the month we find a small leak in the house and it is causing our Pergo floor to buckle near the front door way. Pat thought the water came from the bathroom when Rebecca flooded the area. No, that floor was impenetrable. Who ever put that one in did a great job. Oh yeah, that was Pat. We called in plumbers to fix the leak, but it also left lots of holes in the drywall trying to find it first. Pat ends up ripping out the damaged Pergo with the intent to replace it. Our Pergo is outdated and it is no longer made. The new Pergo is longer and skinnier then the Pergo that we used. So Pat decided to tile. Sarah is the big help with tiling; she kept removing the spacers shortly after Pat puts them in. Pat’s mom takes pity on us and watched the kids for the day so we can get some tiling done and Tricia can get Rebecca’s 2ND party planned.
Mary Williams and Tricia planned a joint Rebecca birthday party/Jakob first Holy Communion party on May 1ST at Mary’s house. Tia Maria (our babysitter) came and brought Coreena and Samantha. She is such a big part of our kids’ life that it was wonderful to see her at the family function. May 4TH, while at work, Tricia called a radio station to win a contest. Obviously it was another tough day at work. Surprise, she was the correct caller to play “Say it and Win” on Star 98.7 FM. The game involves saying the radio station name as many times in 10 seconds as you can. This is where Tricia’s main talent of talking fast finally pays off. Tricia said it 18 times for a total winnings of $1,800. She told Pat the money was going to put grass in their front yard even though the dirt patches have been nicely groomed for the last 4 years.
May 16TH was Jessica Hughes’ First Holy Communion, followed by a swimming party out in Apple Valley, CA. All was going well until we lost track of who was watching the Jacuzzi. Rebecca was playing back and forth from the Jacuzzi to the wading steps of the main pool where 5 adults were sitting. (The areas are only 2 feet apart). Tricia looked over in the Jacuzzi and saw Rebecca floating at the top of the water. Tricia jumped in and grabbed her out but she didn’t start breathing immediately. Tricia’s friend Cheryl helped turn Rebecca on her side and Tricia hit her in the back at that point Rebecca immediately started coughing up water. Christine had already called 911 and paramedics arrived shortly afterwards. Rebecca was in a bit of shock as was Tricia and was taken to the emergency room for observation. Pat got the other kids settled with Christine and Emery before following the ambulance to the hospital. He was directed to the back of the Emergency room in a hallway where Rebecca greeted him with a huge smile and “Daddy”. Things were going to be okay. We are very blessed that there was nothing wrong with her and she came through without any problems. If you don’t believe in guardian angels, it is time to start. Maybe it might have been Grandpa McDevitt taking care of his baby girl. If that’s the case…Thanks!
May 22ND Mary Williams turned 30 with a big surprise party at Heather and Ben’s house. The highlight of the evening was the DVD Mike put together of Mary’s life. Trust me if you did not see it, you should see if you can get a copy on eBay. Did you know that Mary is now more likely to be blown up by a terrorist then to find a date? We also celebrated Heather Marie’s birthday with a surprise party at Tsunami, the local sushi bar. Tricia had to keep both secrets at once. We are still not sure how she did it. May ended with Pat finally finishing the tile, which looks fabulous, and the Memorial weekend BBQ at the Williams’ homestead.
The first weekend in June Pat went to another sports show and leaves the pregnant Tricia home with 3 kids. While in the backyard Nick slipped and hit his head on a concrete step and starts bleeding profusely. Yes, another trip to the emergency room. Tricia try’s to call Pat on his cell but the phone just rings. Evidently Pat left it in the car so it would not disturb his shopping. Top it all off, the head wound was a bleeder but did not require any stitches. The next weekend we finally put the grass in our front yard, which happens to be Super Bowl turf. Our neighbors are still sending Thank You cards. Nick asked “Daddy why are they covering up my dirt.” That is why Pat loves his son best. Well Nick still has enough dirt in the backyard to keep him happy. Our ten-year anniversary was June 18TH and we decided to go to the restaurant Bobby McGee’s, which is the restaurant we went to the night Pat proposed way back in October 1992. In a touching moment Pat went down on one knee to ask Tricia if she would do it all again. Pat had taken his great grandmother ring setting (whose diamond is in Tricia’s engagement ring) and put in a sapphire in it to give to Tricia. Tricia, not knowing about the ring, puts her hands out to hug Pat and she knocks the ring out of his hand and it rolls across the room. Yes, another romantic moment destroyed by Tricia’s lack of coordination.
The 19TH was Damian and Lisa’s 15th wedding anniversary, which they celebrated by having a big 50’s themed party at the Orange County Mining Co. They even hired babysitters so that we could be designated drivers at the event. We had a great time at the party. Especially since nobody got sick in our car but David Flindt came close.
Mary Williams signed up our family for swimming lessons. Nick was in Tiny Tots and Tricia and Rebecca were in Mommy and Me. Mary even watched Sarah for us during the class and was teaching her how to walk. Sarah accomplishes that faster then the other two when she is 11 months old. Both the kids enjoyed the swimming times but when either one of them was done for the session, they left the pool.
July starts off with the Keelson block party during the 4TH of July holiday. Jeff and Kathy Olson come out bringing with them tons of food including steak and crab legs. Wow we were eating well. Jeff also brought out a firework display that was a duplicate of the city of Prescott’s finale. Something went wrong it was set off and instead of lasting 10-12 minutes it took about 4 with everything going off at the same time. It was still very impressive, scary but impressive. Nick found a neighbors scooter and was going up and down the block. He did not have a problem that the scooter was pink and had all the Disney princesses on it. He was man enough to over come that. Grandma McDevitt saw how much fun he had with it and bought him manly Spiderman scooter to play with at home.
July 11TH Grandma Peggy passes away and the Williams family heads to South Carolina. Tricia is unable to go due to her pregnancy and covering for work. So she talks to the family and sends her regards. Of course this is the week that both Nick and Rebecca also come down with high fevers and the flu adding to stress of the week. Tricia has her ultrasound that week and we find out we are having another girl. This makes Pat rethink his decision that 4 kids is enough and that we may have to try for 5 to get that extra boy.
Peyton had his birthday party and celebrated with a pool party. Aunt Mary bought Nick and Rebecca Spiderman inner tubes to play in the pool. Nick had so much fun he did not want to leave and cried when we put in the car. He was asleep before we made it down the street. Swimming takes a lot out of the child. July ends with Sarah turning 1 and we have a party at our house. Kathy MacDonald taking pity on a pregnant woman comes over with her cleaning lady and helps give the house the once over before the party. Mary Williams came over early to help make sandwiches and of course Mary and Mom McDevitt brought chicken, brownies, and heart attack potatoes. Sarah is so excited about the party that she is asleep on the floor when everyone arrives. So dad and uncle Mike tie balloons to her arms and legs as she sleeps.
In August Ben Tibollo has family visiting from Buffalo, NY. Heather plans a family dinner and we have Kim babysitting. The smart people (and you know who you are) declined dessert at the restaurant and met up at Cold Stones for some ice cream. The really smart ones actually stayed and enjoyed the ice cream. What is it with the Williams’ boys who get Cold Stoned or Cold Stone themselves? Search of Orange County had a bonfire at the local beach and we took the kids for their first ocean experience. Nick enjoyed himself the most throwing sand at the in coming waves. Sarah hated the feeling of being surrounded by sand because it was hard to walk on. Tricia was just excited to have Smores. We made Jakob cook/burn the marshmallows for us so we did not have to leave our chairs.
The next weekend, August 18TH, we had a group of 21 go see the production of the Producers at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. It was a great evening and even had a couple of the guys come and watch including Pat. Chris Lee our college friend finally got married to a wonderful young lady Theresa. Amazingly the world did not end and Theresa is not one of those mail-order brides. Go table #16. Pat’s mom pitched in and watched the kids. Christine came to help since Mary McDevitt was in the hospital with complications with her ankle and our kids would run all over Grandma McDevitt. Jacob Hughes had his birthday this month and celebrated with a pool party back at Christine’s in Apple Valley. No problems this time even though Christine is still apprehensive with the young ones. Both Nick and Rebecca jumped off the diving board into the deep end either wearing a life jacket or a Spiderman inner tube with mom and dad close by. Steve, Kim, and all of their kids visited from Virginia and that made the party extra special.
September begins with Labor Day and labor is what we got, or at least Pat did. Mary Williams wanted to have tile installed on her front patio, her kitchen and entranceway. When the estimate came back at $3,500 Tricia volunteered Pat for the job. Pat went with Mary to pick out the tile and then spent every weekend installing it. Mary told him it needed it to be done by her Halloween party on October 23RD, 7 weeks away. That was sure generous of her. At 7 months pregnant, Tricia made Pat take Nick with him so that she only had to watch the girls. Mary complained that Nick hindered Pat’s progress, but Tricia assured her that where Pat went Nick went too, especially since Mary was rarely there when Pat was there. Pat said that Nick did more than work than Mary plus we got to see “Scorpion King” 20-30 times.
Pat celebrated Tricia’s birthday by going to Mojave, CA for work. He was gone Sept. 14-16. Tricia sent Pat off with a copy of The Da Vinci Code and said enjoy. Tricia’s friend Karen Dorsey, who resides in Oklahoma, came to Irvine to work that week. She came over and made Tricia dinner for her birthday. That is a way better deal then Pat could offer. At least Karen can cook.
Tricia’s work had their annual picnic and Pat won the test tube race for the second year in a row. The Starbuck’s gift card was given to Karen Dorsey because neither Tricia nor Pat drinks coffee. Mary threw Brandy Lia-Dang a baby shower for baby Ethan due to arrive Nov. 8. Tricia helped by making shower chicken for the event and even won one of the prizes. We also made it down to St. Martin De-Porres Oktoberfest. Pat’s mom bought ride tickets for the kids and Nick enjoyed the big slide the best. So much that Nick would climb back up the slide the wrong way just to come down again. Rebecca enjoyed playing the games and winning a big balloon. Sarah mainly stayed in the stroller.
October is Tricia’s last month at work before the new baby comes and she is trying to get everything caught up at work and organized before she leaves. This is not easy with weekly doctors visits and little energy. In the middle of the month she starts having contractions and Pat is so nervous one night that he calls Mary Williams to be ready for a call to come over in the middle of the night. But that was not to be the day since this baby was going to term.
Mary had her 6th annual Halloween party on October 23, so Pat finished the tile the weekend before. Mary and Nick contributed in their usual ways, they watched. Mary’s party was a blast. Tricia recycled her 50’s poodle skirt she wore to Damian’s and Lisa anniversary party and Pat put on face paint and horns. Rebecca kissed his ouwees (horns) while Nick asked if they are going to get better. Pat carved 4 pumpkins for the event. That was just the start of Pat’s pumpkin carving duties during the last week
Halloween weekend arrived and we took Pat’s mom and the kids to a pumpkin patch to find the perfect overpriced pumpkin. While there Pat took Rebecca to the petting zoo while mom let Nick play on one of the bouncies. Sarah had a good time eating the candy. Pat took all three children trick or treating with the girls in the stroller and Nick leading the way on his scooter. He wore the skeleton costume Kathy McDonald made for him 2 years ago. Since the costume is a black sweat suit with glow in the dark green bones he thinks he is the hulk. As this is the only time he will wear pants we do not say anything to the contrary. Rebecca was dressed as an angel while Sarah was in a devil outfit.
November 1st is Tricia’s first day of vacation. In reality it means she can go to work for a couple of hours everyday and finish a few projects without the phone ringing. Election day comes and Pat is trying to leave work to make it to the polls. While checking his Internet accounts he realizes someone has been accessing his email, eBay, and paypal accounts. There are withdrawals of over $600.00 from our account. Evidently when tiling at Mary’s house, Pat used Mary’s computer but someone had already hacked in and put spyware on her system. This enabled the crooks to view all keystrokes on her computer, like passwords. Both Mary and Pat had identity theft. Pat filed a complaint with the Garden Grove Police department but the problem is so new that the police are not sure whose jurisdiction it was. Pat located shipping addresses of the fraudulent transactions and was able to cancel some ahead of delivery. The bank was notified of these unauthorized transactions but could not stop them. All electronic transfers are completed without human intervention. Passwords had to be changed and the checking account had to be closed. While Paypal eventually refunded our money, it was not done in an efficient manner. Nearly a month later, Pat got everything settled. He was lucky to catch it so quickly. It’s frustrating to know these people are getting away with the crime with little stopping them. Even after handing over printouts detailing the unauthorized transactions, with names and addresses of the thieves, no progress has been made by the police to even write the initial complaint into an official police report for their investigators.
Tricia sees Dr. Wan on Monday November 8TH and plans to be induced on November 10TH so the baby can be born on 11/11. Fountain Valley Hospital is too full on November 10TH so the plan is to come in on 11TH. Then Dr. Wan has a conflict in his schedule so it is changed again, now to November 12TH. (So much for having the 11/11 birthday). At 5:30 AM on the morning of the 12TH the hospital calls and says they are still too full and they will call us and let us know when they have a room available. Our understanding was that this could take all day or run into Saturday the 13TH. So at 8 AM the hospital says come on down. Now we are in a rush finishing packing for the hospital and getting the kids to day care. We get to the hospital around 10 AM and Tricia starts the induction process by 11 AM. It is the start of a long day. This is the day that we find out the Scott Peterson verdict so all the nurses come into Tricia’s room at 1 PM to hear the guilty verdict on the news. Typical day, no progress for 12 hours. This has happened the same way for the 1ST three. When it gets past 12 midnight, the fun begins quickly.
At 12:40 AM, Tricia starts to feel pressure and the nurse checks to see that she has finally moved from 1cm to 2-3cm. The Nurse says rest it will take awhile. Tricia told the nurse that she will call her back in 10 minutes. Ten minutes later the nurse checks Tricia and she is now at 4cm and the nurse decides to put in a call to Dr. Wan. Tricia gets moved to the delivery room. Pat decides to move excess items to the car and calls Mary Williams to come for the delivery. By 1AM, Tricia is ready to push and the nurse keeps saying wait for the doctor. Just like when Sarah was born, Tricia was told not to push and Pat was right there to stop her when she tried. It is amazing how much cursing and swearing comes out of her during these moments. Dr. Wan shows up about 1:25 AM and Tricia can finally push. Well you don’t have to tell her twice! Alexandra Melissa Danielle was born 11-13-04 at 1:34 AM (only 7 minutes of pushing) and was a healthy 8 lbs, 8 oz and 21˝ inches long. Mary could not believe how much Tricia cursed at Pat or how calm Pat was when Tricia’s head was spinning around. Tricia reasoned that he did this to her and it was well warranted. We left the Hospital November 14TH (Grandma Williams birthday) to pick up the other angels and head home. Grandma and Grandpa Williams were never so happy to see us! Mary conveniently sprained her ankle badly during a soccer game and thus could not help us with the kids.
The following Saturday, the 20th,we celebrated Nick’s 4th birthday with a pizza party at the house with a Spiderman bouncy. Grandpa Williams made a HUGE salad and Grandma McDevitt made the chicken, brownies, cookies, and potatoes. Everyone ate well. Nick officially turned 4 years old on the 23rd and came upstairs to tell Mommy he did not want to grow up. You know the age 4 comes with so many responsibilities. Nick was moved to another car seat in the van to make way for Alexandra. Nick also was moved to another bedroom during the shifting of beds due to the new arrival. He was looking forward to being 5 because turning 4 was draining.
Thanksgiving came with a visit to the Williams Homestead by Jeff and Kathy who brought tons of shrimp and goodies to add to the meal. Mary made fresh crescent rolls that we stole right out of the oven. But most important event of that day was the fact that the girls WON in trivia. (Think Blind Squirrel finding 1 acorn in its life) So much for the boys winning streak. The women brought in the secret weapons…the Italians.
Friday morning arrived with Tricia and Pat getting up early and taking both cars to the Williams Homestead for babysitters so they could do “Black Friday” shopping. Rachel watched the kids while Pat went to Fry’s Electronics and Tricia and Kathy went to Target. Pat was done by 7 AM while Tricia shopped until mid-afternoon. The Williams spent Saturday at the swap meet, followed by a surprise birthday party for Rachel Olson at Mary’s house. It is always fun to rip apart a Sponge Bob pińata. Sunday was time for family pictures at JC Penny. Try dealing with the holiday rush with 4 squirming kids just to get 1 acceptable photo. At least it was better this year than in 2003 where both Nick and Rebecca were uncooperative.
The first weekend of December was when Pat had to take our boxer Dakota to be put down. She had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and could no longer get around. She was a great part of our family and will be missed. This had developed in November but the doctors prescribed some steroids to help. Wow, did those drugs have a dramatic affect. For three additional weeks, the family had time to enjoy the dog. Sarah especially enjoyed Dakota since she always treated the sleeping dog as speed bump/playmate. December 5TH, Alexandra was baptized with Mike Williams and Mary McDevitt as the godparents. Father Steve Correz presided over the event, as Father John Cunningham had come down ill. Grandpa Williams came dressed as Santa Claus per Tricia’s request and we got great pictures of him with baby Alex. December 11TH was Jessica Hughes’ 9th birthday, which was celebrated at a Pizza Parlor in Victorville. Nick and Rebecca especially loved hanging on uncle Greg. Uncle Emery took care of Baby Alex, so Tricia and Pat got a break.
Sarah had corrective surgery for her umbilical hernia on the 13th. She did fantastic. The elephant trunk/third arm that was protruding from her abdomen was now gone. Tricia took Grandpa Williams around so he could play Santa at the local schools. Tricia says it is the closest thing to being with a famous movie star when the kids follow him around and people want to take their picture with him. Pat had his work party and won the I,Robot Roomba automatic floor vacuum in a raffle. We will let you know next year how that worked out. The cats do not look to enthusiastic.
As the year comes to a close we are looking forward to Mary’s white elephant party, finish the shopping and spending time with family and friends for the holidays. Looking over this past year we see how blessed we are and how fortunate to have so many people enriching our lives. It’s good to know that guardian angels are watching out for us. The Year 2005 promises to be an exciting (and hopefully pregnancy free) year. Thank all of you for blessing our lives and may you all have a Happy and Peaceful New Year.
Nicholas (4), Rebecca (2), Sarah (1) and Alexandra (0)
Pets: Barkley, Spunky and Cleo