Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tired of Sickness

As usual, there's never a dull moment around here. Darren spent the weekend in bed with what I am sure was the flu, and Zoe is on her third ear infection since January 29th. The poor thing is so congested that she's having a hard time taking her bottle. She's eating baby food peaches now, so she's getting something, at least. Hopefully she'll start feeling better soon. I just feel so helpless, since there aren't any decongestants I can give her, and I can't tell her everything will be okay.

We broke down and bought a video game system this weekend. We've resisted, but always thought the Wii was kind of cool. I found out Thursday that Target would have some on Sunday, and since Zoe woke me up at 6:00 that morning, I went and got Zach up and we went and sat outside of Target at 7:00. We were 9th in line, and there were 50 systems for sale. It was very organized; we all received cards with numbers on them, and when the store opened, the security guard walked us in line to the electronics department to purchase them.

I also bought Guitar Hero III on Sunday, which Darren and I are enjoying immensely. I am surprised at how well I am doing, but haven't had much opportunity to play the last couple of days. I bought Dance Dance Revolution as well, because I've always wanted it, but haven't taken it out since Sunday. Let's hope we don't regret this purchase!

Friday, February 22, 2008


I don't know what I would do if I had to work any more days this week. It's been a rough one, and I only worked three days! Since I last wrote, Tuesday night I graded papers until midnight. When I returned to school Wednesday, my floors had been waxed over the long weekend, and I had to rearrange my classroom. Thank God my subs and students are fairly organized, so the papers weren't everywhere. Darren stayed home with Zachary on Wednesday, and now he is getting sick. Sick husbands are the worst! I tried to get him a doctor's appointment, but since it's been so long since he's gone to the doctor, he's not an established patient anywhere, and would get a crappy appointment time, i.e. during work. Now he says he's going to stay in bed all weekend. Wish I got to do that when I am sick...

Yesterday was fairly uneventful, but last night was hellish. I fell asleep with Zachary in his bed at 9:30, and Darren woke me up sometime later to get in our bed. The dear cat had left some turds on our bed, so Darren pulled the sheet off. I hate the blanket touching me, and didn't sleep well. Zoe decided she was hungry at 2:00, and I fed her and passed back out. I woke up a few minutes later when she threw up all over me. I guess it wasn't okay to not burp her! So, then I had to change clothes, and since my side of the bed was wet, I took her downstairs with the intention of her sleeping in her swing, and me sleeping on the couch. She decided it was time to be awake and happy, and would not go back to sleep. I finally gave up on sleep and went to play on the computer. She started crying, and Darren came downstairs wearing a pair of flipflops. Since I had gone to bed earlier than he did, we decided that I was going to be the one who had the honor of taking Zoe for a car ride. At this point, I was envisioning her on the porch or in the cage with the dog, and me going back to sleep...

I drove around for about 15 minutes, she passed out, and I went home. I left Zoe in her car seat and just put her in our room, where she slept until 6:00.

I was in a foul mood all day at work, and feeling so tired that i could cry at any moment. The kids took it easy on me, and I ended up getting a back massage and my hair styled during my last class. All I could think of was coming home and lying on the couch. Unfortunately, I have a six-year-old who is whining about going to play at a friend's house. Maybe someone will call, or I can bribe him with candy to stay upstairs!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I spoke too soon...

We were rocking and rolling yesterday, getting all sorts of laundry and housework done. Zoe had a 1:30 doctor's appointment yesterday, so I had to stop and get ready for that around 12:30. We arrived at the doctor's office, and suddenly Zach's coughing got worse. Since he was there with me, I asked if they would look at him, as well. The doctor checked him out, and it turns out that he has bronchitis! I feel like a bad mother for not taking him sooner, but he never told me that he felt bad. He's been coughing for a few weeks, though. So, the doctor put him on breathing treatments and Zithromax for three days.

We did get some good news at the doctor: Zoe was finally able to get her shots. She weighs 16 pounds, 2 ounces now, and got 5 shots plus an oral vaccine. She was not too happy about the multiple sticks, but got over it pretty quickly.

We headed from the doctor to the grocery store, so we could get Zach's prescriptions and some food for our empty fridge. That took forever, and Zach seemed to be feeling worse and worse while we were in the store. Zoe was cooing and happy, so at least I didn't have two cranky kids to deal with. A bonus from the store is that we came home with $15 worth of shrimp that I didn't pick out. I have no idea if I paid for them or not, because the register tape jammed and I didn't get a receipt. By the time I figured out that we had the shrimp, we were all too tired to go back to the store. Plus, that sounded like something yummy for dinner. I won't touch raw seafood, but I will eat some of it if it is cooked for me.

All evening, Zoe was cranky and wouldn't let me put her down, and Zach complained about feeling bad. Darren cooked dinner, which took forever, because I had a phone call from our health insurance company about my asthma. I had to talk to two different people, and the whole call took 39 minutes. I should know better than to answer the phone during dinner time! Once we finally sat down to eat, it was delicious. We gave Zach a breathing treatment and Darren put him to bed.

Zach woke up crying during the night, and tried to get in our bed a couple of times. He complained that his stomach hurt, and coughed so much I don't know if he slept very much. At 4:30, I woke up to him crying again, and I found him in the bathroom with vomit all over the place. At that point, I decided that he and I were staying home today, and crawled in his bed to snuggle with him. Darren woke me up at 6:00, and I put in a substitute request and kissed today's pay goodbye. Darren took Zoe to her babysitter and Zach and I went back to sleep until 10:30.

We've been lounging around today, watching TV. I need to get some work done, because I am so far behind in my grading. I am hoping that my friend will bring me the papers from the last two days, and I can get them all done so I don't have to scramble tomorrow. We'll see...

Monday, February 18, 2008

We Survived!

I never thought last week would end. I spent Monday working on sub plans, making copies, and writing lesson plans for this coming week so I could have my copies back in time. That night, we packed for our whirlwind trip to Louisiana. Tuesday, I left work at noon, picked up Zoe and Zachary, dropped Zach off at home, took Zoe to the doctor, where we were told that she still had an ear infection and couldn't get her shots, then went home to pick up the boys. We loaded up and left the house around 2:30. We hit road construction on I-10 in both Texas and Louisiana, and had to travel some back roads for a while. We met Mom and Dad at Dean-o's in Lafayette for some yummy dinner (I had a delicious muffaletta) then headed to their house. Darren and I dropped off Zoe's latest prescription and were told that it wouldn't be ready until 10:30 that night, so we got some coffee at CC's then went back to the house to watch American Idol. We went back and picked up Zoe's medicine, then crashed for the night.

Wednesday, we packed our things and left Mom and Dad's bright and early. We stopped for breakfast on the way to Jeanerette. Of course, we hit road construction on highway 90 outside of New Iberia, so were late to the funeral home. It was a long day of sitting around, but it was nice to visit with Darren's family members. Both his parents were there, and his uncle David, who raised him, came by for a couple of hours. I wish they would have gotten to see our kids, but they stayed with Mom and Dad for the day. I didn't think a funeral was the place to take them. Anyway, things got moving around 1:30, we had Mass at 2:00, and the burial was over a few minutes past 3:00. We all headed to Darren's brother Patrick's house to eat and change clothes, and Mom and Dad met us there with the kids. Our plan was to be on the road no later than 5:00, which would have put us home at 9:00. Zach was having so much fun with his cousins that we hated to leave, so we didn't leave until after 6:00. It was a long trip home, with Zoe crying and Zach whining. I ended up in the back seat between the two kids, and once I got Zoe to sleep, Zach fell asleep on me. I dozed, but kept waking up to check on Darren. We got home at 10:54, then had to unpack and get ready for school and work on Thursday.

Valentine's Day at school was nice. I got a lot of cards and candy from the kids, and even a loaf of home-baked bread. We all came home and were too tired to go out to eat, so we ordered from our favorite Japanese place for dinner. I started packing for the weekend, we watched some TV, and called it a day.

Friday, we sent Zach to school, and Darren worked from home. I woke up early and finished packing, then went to the doctor for my thyroid check. I went home and loaded up the car, then we left for the airport. We picked Zach up on the way, and Darren dropped us off at the terminal. I felt like one of the Beverly Hillbillies going through security; we had three bags, a stroller, and a baby to get through there. The most fun was holding Zoe while trying to fold her stroller and get it on the conveyor belt. I was so happy that Mom and Dad met us at security.

I was so worried that Zoe was going to cry for the whole plane ride, but she ate and fell asleep. It was pretty uneventful. Natalie picked us up in Columbia, and we went and got dinner from Birds on a Wire, my favorite place there. I have been trying to figure out how to make their barbecue sauce for years. It's yellow and sweet, and would be good on anything! Friday night, Natalie, Mom and I went to Target, then we all crashed.

Saturday, we woke up and the boys left to go and get Natalie's nursery furniture. Mom, Natalie, Zoe and I started getting ready for the shower, and Kevin's mom and aunt arrived early. I gave them Zoe so I could get dressed, then we all headed to the lady's house who was giving the shower. There was a nice turn-out and lots of good food, and Natalie got all sorts of fun baby things. That afternoon, we went home and played with a lot of her new things, then made another trip to Target. We went and ate pizza that night, then sat around talking.

Yesterday, we all woke up and started packing. We went out to brunch and I had pimiento cheese for the first time. I think I liked the fried pita chips that we dipped in in the best! We went back to the house and left for the airport around 3:00. We got through security in just enough time to stop and buy a bottle of water for bottles before boarding the plane. This flight wasn't as uneventful. Zoe screamed on take-off and landing; I think her ears hurt. She did sleep for most of the flight, snuggled in my arms. I even snoozed a little bit. Zachary slept most of the way, as well. We said goodbye to Mom and Dad at the airport, and Darren picked us up at baggage. We went and ate Mexican, came home and unpacked a little, watched some TV, and went to bed.

Today, I am trying to clean up and get ready for the week, but I've spent way too much time on here already. Zach is watching the Daytona 500 that we recorded yesterday, while wearing his Jeff Gordon Halloween costume. Zoe is going to the doctor again today for her shots (3rd time's the charm!) and I have papers to grade. Let's hope this week is boring compared to last week!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Going Crazy

I knew this was going to be a crazy week. We have our big TAKS (state testing) kick-off at school tomorrow. The kids go to an assembly in the morning where this year's theme (Night at the Museum) is revealed. The administrators film a presentation every year, and it's a lot of fun. They introduce the annual contest among the learning communities where the kids take weekly quizzes to earn prizes based on the quiz scores. In the afternoon, the kids go to the gym and watch the movie related to this year's theme while the teachers get some much-needed time off. Progress reports go home Tuesday, so I am going to use the time to enter grades. We're going to have shortened class periods between the two events, and I plan to teach the kids how to edit the rough draft of their research papers.

Tuesday, we have a bus evacuation drill in the morning (because I ride a school bus so often) and we give out progress reports in each class. I'm also reviewing for a test. Wednesday, I am giving a test, and Zoe has a 4:00 appointment at the doctor for her 4-month shots. Thursday is Valentine's Day, and we'll go out to dinner as a family. I am taking Friday off to go to South Carolina, and we'll return Sunday. I am so glad next Monday is a holiday! I'll need it by then.

Well, we have a change of plans. Darren's aunt in Louisiana died, so we are going to leave sometime Tuesday afternoon to head to Lafayette. We'll spend the night with Mom and Dad, the funeral is Wednesday, and we'll drive back afterward. So, I now to get to take 2 1/2 unpaid days off this week. Ouch. C'est la vie...

Saturday, February 09, 2008


This past week has been a little better, work-wise. I think the dreary weather this time of year really gets to me. The short days and gray skies put me in a bad mood. That, and the fact that we are in the middle of a project at school that I dislike teaching just makes me feel like there is a cloud of doom hanging over my head.

I know I need to exercise, and that will make me feel better, but I can't figure out when that would happen. I get up at 6:00 during the week in order to be ready to leave the house at 7:30, work until 4:15, pick up the kids and get home around 5:00, then work on homework, take care of Zoe, take care of dinner until at least 7:00. Darren gets home sometime between 6:30 and 7:00, and we spend time together as a family until about 8:30, when he starts getting Zach ready for bed. Zach goes to bed at 9:00, and I make lunches, make sure the diaper bag and Zach's backpack is packed, pick out an outfit for Zoe and me for the next day, take a bath, straighten up, and try to get Zoe to sleep. She usually goes to sleep around 10:30, when I can get in bed and read until I pass out. There's usually a nighttime feeding, so my sleep is not uninterrupted. I am just not sure when I could fit in working out. If I didn't have that pesky job...I still send money to the YMCA every month, but can't find the time to go with my money. We have been trying to take family bike rides on the weekend, but I know that is not enough to do me any good. I think I am going to join Weight Watchers online again. It worked for me after I had Zach, so I am sure it can work again. I guess that means I will have to start cooking more, and not serving frozen prepared food for dinner.

I am finally feeling better, but I am worried about Zoe. She's been extra cranky, and still sounds congested. We are flying to South Carolina on Friday, and it could be rough if she still has an ear infection. She's going back to the doctor on Wednesday for her shots, so hopefully they'll check her out.

I am looking forward to next weekend, and visiting Natalie. The kids and I are going with my parents, and we are going to be attending a baby shower for Natalie on Saturday. I haven't seen her house since the weekend they moved in, and she is going to get her nursery furniture while we are there. We get to eat at my favorite restaurant in Columbia, Birds on a Wire. I can't wait! I only hope that Zoe's first plane ride is uneventful. I should start packing now; all of the baby stuff that I have to take is overwhelming to me right now. I am taking Friday off work, sending Zach to school, and going to the doctor Friday morning. I'll pick Zach up after attendance, and we are going to leave for the airport very early because of parking and riding the shuttle to the terminal. It should be quite the adventure to get the kids and their stuff there on time!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Zoe's Baptism

We baptized Zoe on January 20th at Sts. Simon and Jude here in The Woodlands. She wore a dress that my grandmother made for my cousin over 30 years ago, and my sister also wore it. It was neat that she could carry on the tradition! She also wore two medals that my mom wore for her baptism. Zoe's Godparents are Sean and Jamie, Darren's brother and his wife. Sean was out of town, so my dad stood in for him. We had some other friends and family join us for the ceremony, then we went back to our house for cake. If I would have felt better, I would have enjoyed it so much more!

As preparation for baptism, we had to attend classes for two weeks at the church. We are not regular church-goers, but we (me) felt that it was important to baptize her. The classes were frustrating; they were taught by the deacon who baptized Zoe, and he wasn't incredibly familiar with the curriculum. Also, we had two mothers in the class who didn't have the best manners. They would question each other when they commented, tell the deacon we needed to move the class along, yet take the time to talk about what good people they were and tell stories about themselves. I held my tongue, though I didn't want to. With any luck, we'll never see them again.

It's Carnival Time

I still cannot believe that Mardi Gras is next week, and that we won't be anywhere it is celebrated. It is just a normal workday for me. After nearly 8 years, it's less painful, but still an experience that I'd like to share with my kids. I haven't pulled out the CDs of Mardi Gras music this year, and have only had king cake once. Since it's so early this year, it's hard to get in the mood. We contemplated going to Lafayette this weekend and catching some parades, but the thought of loading up the kids, and all of their required equipment, after working all day, and driving four hours just doesn't sound appealing. Growing up, it was my second favorite holiday, after Halloween. It was so much fun to go to all of the parades, yell at the riders on the floats, catch tons of beads, then go home and sort them into different colors. I have garbage cans full of beads in my attic, I guess in case there ever is an emergency.

Darren and I lived in New Orleans one year, on the Metairie parade route, and had a blast at all the parades. We've been to the Orpheus ball twice, and have also been to a gay ball in Lafayette. Growing up, I was always so jealous of the kids who were in the krewes. They got to dress up in elaborate costumes, participate in the balls, and ride in the parade. We didn't have enough money for that kind of thing, though I went to school with all of the rich kids. I'm over it now, though.

Besides not going to Mardi Gras, nothing too terribly exciting has happened here in the past week. We discovered that Zoe's fussiness was due to a double ear infection. I took her for her 4-month check-up Tuesday, and she couldn't have her shots due to the 100.6 fever that she had. I'm glad we went; I don't know if we would have caught it so soon. Zoe now weighs 15 pounds, 7 ounces, and is 25 3/4 inches long. She is very into doing things with her tongue right now; she sticks it out, and also blows raspberries. It's really cute! She is cooing like crazy, and laughs a lot. I love this age! She's not rolling over yet, which is fine with me. She also gets excited when she sees one of us, and loves to watch her big brother perform.

Zachary is doing great as well. We finally solved his homework issues this week. It was taking forever to get him to sit at the table and finish his homework. He'd take multiple bathroom breaks, need a drink or snack, roll around on the floor under the table, and run upstairs to play in the middle of homework. Let me tell you, that is not what Mommy is prepared to deal with after teaching all day, and while trying to take care of the baby, cook dinner, or just relax. We finally figured out that setting a timer and rewarding him for finishing assignments quickly works. He's earning stars in his homework folder for these things, and when he gets 50, we'll buy him a Leapster game. He's very into music right now, listening to his Jonas Brothers CD constantly and singing along. Of course, lining up cars is still a favorite pastime.

Darren and I don't seem to get a whole lot of time to talk anymore. He gets home, we eat dinner, then sit down and watch TV. He gets Zach ready for bed, reads to him, and lies down with him. I take care of Zoe in the evening, then she and I go to bed while Darren continues to watch TV. Exciting, we are not! We do have a babysitter tomorrow night so that he and I can go and see his friend's band. I'm looking forward to it. I miss having conversations with Darren about things other than kids and design. He wants to talk politics, and I have no interest in it whatsoever.

As far as me, this time of year makes me feel so blah. We're in the middle of a huge project in school that I hate, but the parents love, so I have to grin and bear it. I think that's why I hate this time of year so much. I have to teach kids how to do research, outline, and write a research paper, in the span of 10 weeks. Then, I have to make sure they don't lose their information in the middle of the project, and that they keep up. I care way too much for my own good, calling and e-mailing parents, and spending excessive amounts of time re-teaching the project. If only I didn't care so much...

I went back to the doctor Wednesday, after being concerned about the bubbling in my chest when I exhale. It turns out that I have a sinus infection that settled in my chest and caused bronchitis. I now have an inhaler, antibiotics, and steroid pills to take. We're all worried about me on the steroids; the last time I took them, I became a crazy person. I was angry all of the time, and would scream at Darren. I am hoping if I recognize it this time, it won't be so bad. Ask Darren next week if we're still married!

We are planning to start remodeling our downstairs bathroom this weekend, and I can't wait! We've lived here for four years, and haven't done a major project beside the nursery in at least two years. My half bath is not representative of my taste in any way, and I am embarrassed when guests go to use it. We are planning to rip down the wallpaper and paint, (probably texture), rip out the peel and stick tiles and put ceramic tile, replace the light fixture and countertop, and I guess put knobs on the vanity. There really isn't room for more than one person in the room at a time, so I am not sure how we are going to both work on it. I guess we'll tag team, with me spending most of the time taking care of Zoe and doing laundry. I can't wait to see how it turns out! We got an escrow refund check this week, so I think we may finally have our living room, entry, and upstairs and downstairs hallways painted. Maybe the woodwork, too. It seems like every time we get money for this, one of the cars finds out and suddenly needs repairs equaling the money that we get. Coincidence or not?

Have a great weekend!