Monday, May 25, 2009

Don't Spend Too Much Money Hunny....

......those were Dale's last words to me as he went back to work from his lunch break and as I was heading out the door to go to Lakeshore, a local teacher supply store. I *HEART* THAT PLACE and could spend hours there and LOTS of $$$. Since I am long term subbing in a classroom I have decided to change out a few bulletin boards. Many of you would say, "Why would you waste the time, effort, and money when there is only two and half weeks left?" Well, the answer is, "I AM SICK OF LOOKING AT THE SAME BULLETIN BOARDS!!" That might seem a bit dramatic for you but wait till you hear the whole story.

The teacher I am subbing for was Andrew's second AND third grade teacher (gotta love combos and then she just couldn't stand to give him up for his third grade year). Andrew is now in the 4th grade and, I kid you not, SHE HAS THE SAME BOARDS UP FROM HIS SECOND GRADE YEAR, maybe even longer!! That means for three years now the same things have been on the wall, minus a few changes in the kids writing, but not much.

She is a great teacher, but when it comes to room environment she doesn't grade well in my book. I have wanted the opportunity for three years now to rescue her but didn't feel it was appropriate when I was just the room mom. And, I never felt like I had enough time when I was just subbing a day here and there for her. But now? YIPEEE!!! I even asked her before I would accept the long term job, "if I accept the job does that mean I can anything I want with the classroom?" To which she replied, "You can do anything you want, whenever you want. My classroom is always your classroom."

So with her permission and Dale's warning that I am only making sub pay and not to spend my entire paycheck in one place, I loaded up Aiden and made my way to paradise Lakeshore. We practically had the place to ourselves since I am sure not too many teachers are thinking about their classrooms on this fine Memorial Day, let alone redecorating them when there is only a few days left in the school year. Aiden wasn't super cooperative since I wasn't sensitive to his nap time, but we managed to make it out of there with the paper, borders, and other misc things I NEED. I was even able to get Alexis and Andrew's summer workbooks, which I am sure they will be super jazzed to see when they get back from the pool with their Nana. Gotta keep those minds fresh, even during the summer months.

Here's to hoping that Dale will be in a mood to watch the kiddos or at least join me in the classroom this afternoon to get the groundwork laid for the boards I have envisioned in my head. I would love for the students to walk in tomorrow and have their first change of scenery all year long. And maybe, just maybe, I will remember to take my camera and take some pictures so I can share them with you since I know you all live for pictures of classroom bulletin boards.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Catch Up, Digest Version

Life has gotten even busier in the past week and a half. I have started subbing long-term at the kids school in a 3rd grade class till the end of the school year. This has made for long days of working, still trying to be the fundraiser coordinator, and of course being mom and wife. I am looking forward to a break come June 11th.

The kids started swim lessons two weeks ago and have made great progress in the past 4 lessons. They both went into it with a pretty big fear of the water and not much experience when it comes to swimming. Alexis can't stand even the water at bath time. The one thing she does love is cute swimsuits.
She likes her teacher Rachel, but also likes to pull out the puppy dog eyes to get out of doing things outside her comfort zone. Not the most graceful swimmer YET, but getting there. We are going to sign up for another session in hopes of getting even better.
Andrew is the main reason we signed up for the lessons to begin with. He really wants a pool party for his birthday (which is this coming Wed.), but yet he doesn't know how to swim. Not a good combination. He tends to panic and starts making himself sick to his stomach. We were off to a rough start with clinging to the wall, but as of his fourth lesson he was already swimming off on his own. All smiles (and chattering teeth in the shade).
Clinging to his teacher.

Besides the obvious first of swim lessons, Aiden also had a first this past week. He had his first dentist appointment. I was disappointed that I could not be there since I had to teach. So, Dale treaded off to the dentist alone with my questions running in the back of his mind. Aiden was very cooperative and even allowed them to take an x-ray of his upper teeth. They are crazy looking from what Dale could see, but that is to be expected. The dentist thinks he has a tooth coming in the cleft area, which I have thought for a while now, but it is struggling to come through the scar tissue. If that continues then they will have to slit his gumline to help it work it's way through. Hoping it doesn't come to that.
One of the main questions I had for the dentist was, "How do I get Aiden comfortable with us brushing his teeth?" He fights us just to stick our fingers in his mouth to check the number of teeth he has. Well, that question was never asked. Before Dale could ask the dentist had already said, "Wow, you guys are doing a great job keeping Aiden's teeth cleaned!" To which Dale did not want to respond with, "we have never been able to brush them, what should we do?" So, he just left alone and let him believe that we are doing everything right. UGH!!! Any suggestions and brushing teeth?

And now on to BIG and EXCITING news (yes swiming and dentist are exciting, but.....)
I have been working feverishly to raise almost $18,000 for our 4th graders to go to Catalina Science Camp next year. It has been crazy and TONS of work to say the least. As of last Monday we were $6,201 away from our goal with the deadline approaching fast. We had only a few more fundraisers up our sleeve and I was starting to panic. We had our Fun Run on Friday, at which we were able to raise $1,650!!! I was shocked at the amount. I thought we might get about $500 but could not find the words when the money just kept pouring in. The kids had a lot of fun running and were super excited to have Bernie, the mascot of the local minor baseball team, running with them.

Though Alexis wasn't there for the Fun Run part of it, she was at the sitters, Bernie stuck around after school and Alexis got to take her picture with him. She could not stop talking about how he kissed her (little creepy to me) and was super excited to know that she will get to see him again at Thursday night's game that Mentone Elementary will be going to (of course to raise funds for Science Camp).

BUT, the biggest news is..... ::drum roll please:: I got a phone call early on Friday morning that an anonymous donor would be sending in a check either later that day or on Tuesday. My smile could not get bigger as the day went on. When the check showed up at the office right before I was walking out the door, I was shocked it was actually happening and could not contain my excitment. The check ::drum roll again please:: was for the amount of FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!! That put us clearly above our goal and ensures that the kiddos will be going to Science Camp in Oct of 2009.
It has been A LOT of hard work but well worth it all in the end. I would be making that same statement even if we didn't make the finish line. Thank you to everyone here for being my encouraging cheerleaders.
And now, I rest. That is until Tuesday when it is time to go back to work.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Self-Proclaimed Old Man

I am now officially married to a self-proclaimed old man. An old man that I actually got a good smile from when posing for a picture with his cake. We celebrated his birthday with the kids on Friday since we would be going out on Saturday night with some friends for dinner. Celebrations included homemade mini-pizzas, cake with lemon filling, and a movie; just the way daddy likes it, surrounded by his family.

On Saturday, Dale's actually birthday, we spent a very leisure morning making breakfast (something Dale rarely gets to do since he leaves the house at 4 or 5 a.m. every morning), laid around and watched cartoons, and then got ready to go out and do some shopping after lunch and Aiden's nap. We took daddy to Kohl's for a shopping spree. A couple pairs of pants, a few shirts, and some new perfume. Oh wait, that last one was a late Mother's Day present for me.
After coming back home from our excursion to Kohl's we relaxed and took a nap hurried up and cleaned up the house and finished some laundry to get ready for the babysitter to come over. Around 5, Jennifer came over and got the last minute instructions for the kiddos (being the obsessive complusive mom that I am, I had already typed up a full page of instructions for the evening). After big hugs from Andrew and Alexis, and trying to avoid an Aiden meltdown, we slipped out the door and got on our way to the restaurant we would be meeting our friends at. We had gotten a call earlier in the day that one of the couples would not be able to join us since the wife was not feeling well (we really missed you guys and hope we can get together in the near future). So, we made our way to Tokyo Wako to meet up with Greg and Jen.
Dale is a huge fan of Japanese cuisine (not the veggies of course), and was excited to give this new place a try. Our favorite Japanese restaurant, Yamazatos had closed recently, and Dale was going through withdraws. This place was good, but nothing ever compares with the food and chef Arturo from Yamazatos.
When it came time for ice cream, the waitresses brought out a Samurai Warrior costume for Dale to put on, a candle in the YUMMY green tea ice cream, sang a Japanese version of happy birthday, and even took a picture of the four of us to remember Dale's special 40th birthday celebration.

I love you VERY much Dale, and thank God daily that you are MY husband. I could never ask for a better man for me and for the kiddos. I hope you know through not only our words but also our actions how much we love and appreciate you!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

One More Night

Tonight I will go to sleep for the last time with a 39 year old. Tomorrow I will wake up next to a 40 year old. And, I will love him just the same. More than anyone in the world!!!! Happy early birthday hunny!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Check This Out!!

Yesterday's newspaper interview netted us a pretty big article in the local paper. (click on the link to take a look, you might recognize some of the names that quoted in the article) I am really hoping that this will increase our sales at the rummage sale this weekend and praying that some of the local businesses will see the article and pledge a donation. We already had one local dentist (my kiddos' dentist) call the school and ask how short we are of our goal. I highly doubt he will be donating $9,000 but any donation would be helpful. I will keep you posted as things progress.

On other news: I have accepted a long-term 3rd grade sub job (as if my plate wasn't full enough already) that starts tomorrow and will go to the end of the school year, which is June 11th. They are a great class and know me well since I have subbed for this teacher numerous times this year. The challenging is going to be trying to juggle my PTO duties, 4th grade fundraising coordinator positions, MOM, WIFE, and now full time teacher for the next 4 weeks. My goal is to not only accomplish all of that but to also make sure my kid still have clean underwear each day. That is a challenge.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Fundraising Fun Chaos

Fundraising is still in full swing and we are quickly approaching our deadline of June 1st. I had the local newspaper contact me today to give her more details and some quotes for the article she is working on. I am REALLY hoping that this will give us the publicity we need to get some corporate donations. I am to call her back after Andrew gets home from school so she can get a quote from him as well.

When she asked me what types of things we had already done I started rattling them all off to her: Spare Change Campaign, Online Magazine sales, Rubios Restaurant, See's Candy, Gold Canyon Candles, 2 movie nights, Race to Catalina, Orange Show Speedway race tickets, Ultimate Carpet Care discount, Big Cheese restaurant, Uncle Howie's restaurant night, school t-shirts, letters to local businesses/corporations, and of course the daily popsicle and student store sales. Things to come: Rummage sale, Fun Run, 66ers minor league baseball game, and continued popsicle and student store sales. Makes me tired all over again just thinking about all that we have done to raise the money.

Now if only I had had a third hand to take pictures of all these events so they could include something with their article. The only thing I am worried about with this article is the fact that they want to include a contact number if people want more information. It can't really be the school number since the office staff has shown a lack of enthusiasm for helping us out, so that leaves my number to be publicized. If it generates the remainder of the money we need then I guess it will be worth it have the phone ringing off the hook. Wish us luck. Nineteen more days to go.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For Mother's Day I Got.....

A NEW CROCK POT!! As of 5:00 last night I would have never been asking for a new crock pot because I had perfectly functioning one that I love to use at least 2-3 times a week. But then this happened....

and I HAD to get a new one right away. Dale was getting dinner started and the crock pot was too close to the stove and started to melt from the heat off the pan. At first I thought it was just going to be a cosmetic thing but quickly found out the entire unit was no longer functioning. So, off to Target we went to replace my beloved crock pot.

For those of you that have never gotten into crock pot cooking, I encourage you to check out the following blog. I have found LOTS of wonderful recipes to try out on my family and many more I hope to try in the near future. If you check out the side bar of the crock pot lady's blog you can find links to all the different recipes she has featured. She even gives a verdict at the end as to whether is was a good one or what she might do to change it in the future to make it better. And, as an added bonus, she cooks gluten free for her family. So, if that is an issue for you (FAITH!!), she has the solution.

My next recipe to try: Taco Soup or Taco Dip or Enchiladas (can you tell I am craving Mexican food today). And of course there is always the much loved Chicken and Dumplings in the crock pot (not Mexican, but VERY yummy!!)


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Spoke Too Soon

Alexis is not out of the woods like I had first thought. Today she got up and desperately wanted to go to preschool. The doctor at urgent care said she felt she could go with no problems. Well, she barely made it off to school without whining the entire time and only eating a few bites of cereal. She did fine according to her teacher but showed her true colors when I picked her up.

She was tired, whining, and just had no energy to even walk. She fell asleep any time she stood still long enough. She came straight home at the end of the day and asked to go lay down. That was at 3:30 (see the stuff below to fill in the blanks from 10:30-3:30) and she had to be forced awake for dinner and fluids. She ate one bite of chicken and some rice and then asked to go back to sleep. She is there now and I am baffled as to what I should do, if anything.

I called her pediatrician and they said to let her sleep off whatever she has, but to force fluids and make sure she is going pee at least once every 8 hours. We currently have an appointment for Friday morning but will go earlier if she seems to take a worse turn.


I called at 10 this morning to cancel Aiden's sacral dimple u/s that was scheduled for a 10:30 check-in, 11:00 appointment. She really didn't want to have to cancel it so she told me that they would make an exception and allow his sibling to come with him. I really didn't want to have to go but I made the mad dash getting things ready and picking up Alexis from preschool. By the time I made it to Loma Linda, we were running late and I had to park in the last row of the parking lot and hussle in to register Aiden. (Remember I am carrying Aiden and letting Alexis ride in the stroller since she has no energy). We finally got called back around 11:45, where the tech said, "so, we are doing an u/s on his kidneys today.?." WHAT? No, not his kidneys, his sacral dimple. "Oh, well then I better go consult with the doctor and see what we should do." 10 minutes later they have come to the conclusion that he needs his sacral dimple u/s and not his kidneys but then discuss that they never do them on babies older then 4 months old. FOUR MONTHS? He is fourTEEN months old. So, they agree to do it but don't sound very promising. At this point I just want to go home and crawl into bed with my kiddos.

Aiden was as cooperative as a fourteen month old can be when being held down and a wand with goop being rubbed up and down his back and into places goop should never go. They said his doctor should have the results by Monday, but if their past is any indicator of future behavior, I expect to have to nag them to death to find out what the results are.

As far as his fever - he has been fine all day long and only seems to have a runny nose and some discharge from his ear. I am going to keep an eye on that ear and start drops at the first sign of infection.


Andrew has his final band performance tomorrow night. He hasn't been practicing as much as I think he should be, but has a pretty good handle on the songs they are playing. Dale is looking forward to being able to watch this performance since tomorrow is his day off. I am looking forward to getting some good pictures and hopefully some video of it as well.


The next few days are going to be super busy and I am tired just thinking about all that has to be done. More fundraiser stuff at school. I am just praying I keep my sanity through it all. As Dale says, all training for becoming PTO president next year. Not so sure I could do that job and stay sane but something needs to change at our school.

I promise the next post will have pictures. I have just lost my love of picture taking in the past month and I REALLY need to get it back because I am missing milestones in the kids life. Not sure where the passion went, but I want it back. :(

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

One Down, How Many More To Go?

Well, Alexis is officially out of the woods and will return to school tomorrow. She has been fever free since yesterday at noon but I decided to have her stay home today so she could get her energy level back up. She has been eating and drinking like crazy and driving me crazy, so life is back to normal for her.

Aiden on the other hand has taken his place in line and decided he should be next for this whole crazy viral bug. The magic number for him seems to be 102.8 as well. He started with it last evening and struggled all night long. Today has pretty much been sleeping, forced waking to eat and/or drink and then more sleeping. I am really staying on top of the liquids so we don't end up with another urgent care visit and IV fluids.

Now praying that Dale, Andrew, and I will be able to avoid the bug and the line can end here.

On other news: Aiden is scheduled for his lumbar u/s tomorrow for his sacral dimple. They aren't worried about it but would like a baseline image just in case there are issues in the future. Well, today I got a call for confirmation of his appointment tomorrow with a 10:30 check in. We went over the time, location, and co-pay and then she dropped the bomb: "Oh, due to the recent swine flu, no siblings will be allowed to come to the appointment. There are administrators at the door stopping all non-essential persons from entering the hospital." Well, that throws a major monkey wrench in the whole day. I specifically asked when I made the appointment if siblings could come along because it is impossible for me to get a sitter on a Wed. I know she didn't plan the whole swine flu thing, but what am I suppose to do now? She said I could come to the appointment and try to get in but she was 95% sure they would turn me away. Do I even bother wasting my time or just cancel and wait for another day? Wed. is the only day they do pediatric u/s so rescheduling really isn't an option. Or at least not an option till this whole swine flu thing is over.
Other, other news: Today marks the one month anniversary since my brother's passing. It is so hard to believe that he has now been gone a full month. It is hard to believe that he is even gone at all. I miss my emails to and from him, I miss the cell phone pictures of his latest going ons, but mostly I miss hearing his voice on the phone. He always made me laugh when things were tough and could lighten the mood at just the right time. He is greatly missed!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Third Time's a Charm

So, this morning at 8:00 a.m. I got on the phone with Alexis' pediatric nurse to see what my next step should be. Her temp continued to be a yo-yo all night long and showed no signs of bottoming out and staying there. After a quick run-down of her symptoms and an attempt to make her go pee, it was determined that she needed to be seen ASAP for dehydratation since she hadn't gone since the day before. Who would need to go potty if you hadn't drank more then 8 ounces in 48 hours?

I was then transferred to the urgent care department to get her registered and was told that she had priority registration due to her symptoms. It was then a mad dash to get our things together, dress two kids (one who had just been layed down for his morning nap), and throw a baby bag together with no idea how long we would be gone for.

When we arrived the waiting room was already filling up quickly. Aiden was in hyper mode since he had missed his nap and Alexis was lethargic and needing to be carried everywhere. She had to check out the plumbing in the bathroom even though she still didn't go, and Aiden decided that was the perfect time to have a stink bomb diaper.

We were called into the triage nurse about 20 minutes later and then sent back out to wait for another 15 minutes before being called back to a room. It was determined shortly after the doctor came in the room that she would be needing an IV for dehydration. I instantly wanted to panic because I knew the scene we were about to witness was not going to be pretty and I had a 14 month old tagging along. Alexis is phobic of needles and blood. Not just scared of them, PHOBIC. I tried to explain this to the nurses by spelling things out, literally spelling, but they just didn't seem to get the severity of it till we were in the midst of a major melt down.

We were transferred to the infusion room and the nurse did her best to explain to Alexis what would happen step by step. She put a blue 'rubber band' around her upper arm to give it a huge bear hug while she felt her arm. We had one nurse holding down her legs, I was holding her arm and had my other arm across her chest, while the second nurse was holding her hand and trying to place the IV. Then the chaos began!! Alexis knew what was going to happen next and even got a glimpse of the needle. She began to flip out and scream, "I don't want to die, I don't want to die!!" "I want to go home, and I want to do it N-O-W!"

Aiden at this point started to flip out himself but I was pretty wrapped up in holding Alexis down, so a third nurse came in to assist and noticed him screaming and rescued him from his stroller. She waltzed out of the room before I even knew what was happening. He stayed out of the room till things calmed down and had the opportunity to work on the computer while the woman was doing payroll. Sure hope all the nurses get what they earned, he loves the delete key here at home.

The first attempt yielded us just a few blood samples before the vein gave out. The second IV was a failed attempt from the get go. And, then finally, the third time was a charm. Each time was as traumatic as the first and took about 15 minutes to get her to stop hyperventilating after each attempt. Her arm was then strapped to a board to keep her from bending and messing up the IV sight. Of course all I had was my cell phone for a bad picture.
She was given two bags of IV fluid, an antibiotic just in case, and an amount of nausea medicine. They showed her an unused IV to explain to her that there was a straw in her vein drinking the water since her mouth was tired. She did a great job and took a short nap while the fluids dripped rapidly into her system. Her blood work came back showing no infection, she had no elevated temps (isn't that always the case when we finally take the kids to the doctor's), and so we were sent home, 3 1/2 hours later.

Since being sent home she has slept some more, drank a little, eaten some soup, and still not going pee. If she is not drastically better by tomorrow then we will have to return back to square one and have her rehydrated and re-evaluated. PLEASE pray that she makes a turn around tonight so life can get back to normal.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Yo-Yo Fever

Alexis' fever was holding steady at 102.8 for the longest time and now, it is a yo-yo. She woke up this morning and it was still pretty elevated. She had no desire to eat or drink and of course fought me again taking some Tylenol. At 8:30 I called the urgent care preregistration line to get an appointed time so I could hopefully avoid hours of waiting. Knowing Dale was coming home early, I got a time of 1:00. And then we waited at home to see what the day would hold.

By 10:00 her fever started to drastically decline and her mood drastically increase. A step in the right direction. She was asking for something to drink and wanted crackers (it was a start). She then asked to play on the computer - glimpses of the old Alexis started cracking through. At 12:00 when Dale got home her temp had been in the 'normal range' for over 2 hours. So, we decided to cancel the priority urgent care appointment and let it continue to run it's course, thinking the worst was behind us.

We then ventured out to do some much needed quick shopping. She didn't want to walk, saying her legs were weak, and I could understand why since she hadn't eaten much more then 3 crackers in 48 hours. By the time we were winding down she was a down right whining mess.

When we entered the house I immediately took her temp again because she had the return of her rosy cheeks. Once again it was elevated, at 101.9. She wanted nothing more then to head straight to her bed. She slept for the next 4 hourse straight and then came out to the living room long enough to get a few sips of her drink, have her temp taken (back down to 99.6), and then back to bed.

So, no school for her tomorrow, though she will have to tag along for my fundraising duties in the afternoon. Hoping her yo-yo temperature will find the bottom and stay there. And there might be an urgent care priority appointment in the cards for tomorrow. Crossing fingers and saying my prayers that no one else catches this bug.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

102.8 and Holding Steady

Starting yesterday afternoon, Alexis started complaining of not feeling good. She was achy, coughing, and just tired. She ended up falling asleep before dinner on the living room floor. A major thing for a girl who NEVER naps. We woke her up when dinner was ready and had her sit at the table. She sat there silent (also unusual) and occasionally asked to go to bed. So after about five minutes and absolutely no eating going on (another clue something wasn't right since this girl can eat), she headed toward the room. She was asleep within minutes and was not heard from again until morning.

She was my first one up this morning and seemed to be in good spirits. But, very quickly started showing signs of not feeling well. She would play for a few moments and then ask to go back to bed. She would sleep for 45 mins and then come play again.

Each time I took her temp it was holding steady around 100.5 but as the day progressed she slowly started climbing. It has now been hanging out at 102.8, even after a few doses of Tylenol.

She is refusing to eat or drink anything, even when offered her favorite foods. What she did try didn't taste right she said.

Finally after several naps, a steady fever, no eating or drinking, I decided to call nurse advice. They asked their typical questions, getting her history and vital signs, and then proceeded to tell me to monitor her till Monday unless the fever went as high as 104 or if she stopped urinating or crying tears.

So, we continue to be on fever and dehydration watch. Please pray that she will make a turn around soon so we can avoid urgent care where there are tons of germs flying around.

**On unrelated news: There is a confirmed case of the Swine Flu at the Middle School my best friend's daughter goes to. The same school that older siblings of our Elementary would go to. They are closing down for the whole week to do their thing. I have a feeling we haven't seen the worse yet when it comes to school closures.

Still Alive and Fundraising Update

I feel like I had fallen off the face of the earth the past week. Now that the chaos of fundraising has taken a back seat for a few days (yes mer days of peace before the next one begins), I have been trying to catch up on LOADS of laundry, MOUNDS of dishes, and a PLETHORA of emails that have been neglected the past week. I am happy to report that we raised $1,287 on Thursday night's Race to Catalina event and it was a HUGE hit with everyone. Add that amount to the $476 raised selling Big Stick popsicles, water and chips after school this week and $700 on school t-shirt sales and we have upped our earnings to $8,157.63. Remember we have to earn $17,000, so we have $8,842.37 still to raise by June 1st at 4:00 p.m.

Next on the agenda of fundraisings is a rummage sale, pancake breakfast, car wash, movie night, letter writing campaign (read, begging and pleading for donations), a jog-a-thon and continued selling of popsicles and stuff every day after school. (Anyone have any big money making suggestions??) Hopefully some parents will start getting out their checkbooks and just pay for their child out of their own pockets, or at least step up and help out.

And, somewhere in between all of that in the next 30 days I have a hubby turning 40 and a son turning 10. And sadly, I am sure there will continue to be LOADS of laundry, MOUNDS of dishes, and a PLETHORA of emails that will be neglected.