Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mucking Through Germ-Ville

Don't come in my house unless you want to take home a nasty virus. The littles have been terribly sick.

Gracie ran a fever up over 104 for days. She was puking and not eating or drinking. She was pale and her eyes sunken. She lost her happy spark. Plus she had a deep chest cough. And a double ear infection. She was so weak she couldn't walk, I've been carrying her from bed to the couch and back again.

Libby is a snotball. She just has snot and mucus flowing like a river from her little bitty nose. She also has the deep chest cough and some of her feedings shoot right back out. Her fever has not peaked over 103, but she's still a little hot potato. She has a double ear infection too.

Both of them are miserable and have big sad eyes.

We've been to the pediatrician and on the phone with her a number of times this week. Gracie got a shot of antibiotics in her leg. Her first experience with antibiotics! She got chest xrays and blood drawn. Turns out she does not have pneumonia or anything horrible, just the ear infection and dehydration from whatever virus she got. No medicine except Motrin for her fever. She got to stay home until she threw up one more time and then it was off to the hospital for an IV or two. Luckily, she drank some juice and it finally stayed down.

We went to the doctor twice this week, plus the lab and the Imaging Center for xrays. The doc was calling every couple of hours on Thursday, and a couple of times on Friday. I don't know why she didn't just admit Gracie to the hospital and get all her tests and things done all in one place and give her some IV fluids. That seems like it would have made more sense, even though I hate the thought of my little girl in being in the hospital.

Libby also gets Motrin for her fever. And she got Amoxicillin for her ear infection and Ambuterol for her wheezy chest. This is her first round of antibiotics too. She is hydrated so wasn't in as much danger as Gracie. She hates her medicine too! Just hates it! She also hates the kleenex. In trying to fight off the kleenex, she snorts to get it away and in doing so she actually blows her nose! She might be the only 4 month old who can blow her nose! I'm proud of her!

At the clinic, the girls weighed in at 32 lbs and 16lbs 7 oz, respectively.

Gracie is starting to be herself again. Yesterday she had a little bit of chicken broth for lunch. It stayed down! After another nap, she wanted to eat. She requested all sorts of things, drank juice and her fever was down! That antibiotic injection must have really kicked in, because she ate and then she played! She laughed and smiled too! Last night she slept well and this morning she's eating and playing some more. She is still pale and she lost 2 pounds this past week, but her eyes look so much better. She looks like she's getting her health back and we are so thrilled! I missed her!

Libby is still sick. She didn't come down with the icky stuff when Gracie did so I suppose she's got a few days left of battling the crud. I hope her meds keep her from getting too bad. Even though she has a snot nose and one eye crusted shut, she still has happy smiles for us. What a great baby!

In the meantime, I missed an entire week of college. All I've done all week long is snuggle. And I've been the target of kisses, coughs, snot, sneezes, tears, puke, poop, piddle, mucus, and every other germ infested yuck that the little ones could share. And I'm a tad-bit sleep deprived. Once these bullets all penetrate through my super-mom cape, I should have enough germs to keep me sick for a year.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Skipping School

College has been in session for one week now, and I'm already playing hookie!

I first started skipping school back in the 70s. I was in kindergarten and recognized the opportunity to cut class. My mom drove me a few blocks to Kindergarten and dropped me off, then she drove a few more blocks to drop my 2nd grade sister off at the Catholic School before she went back home. I imagine she ran an errand or two if needed. By the time mom went full circle, I beat her home.

After a few spankings for coming home again - wasn't I the brilliant 5 yr old? Skip school and run straight home for a whooping. Anyway, after a few of those episodes, I learned how to skip school properly. I went to the park! Oh yeah, recess on my terms!

Now I'm in college and I'm still skipping school. Nobody spanks my hiney for it anymore which just makes it that much more enjoyable!

Gracie is sick so I am staying home to be her snuggle buddy. She has a fever that refuses to be conquered by Motrin or Tylenol. She's just a lump on the couch too, no energy. Not eating much, drinking juice a bit. Puking up the m&ms daddy gave her (without telling me which really freaked me out when she hurled all over me), and her diapers are not fun to deal with either. The fever is what's really bugging me though. She's very rarely sick, so this has been hard to see my little firecracker down and out.

Libby, the little scholar, and I are staying home to snuggle Gracie and give her Motrin every now and again. Libby likes to help Gracie take a bath and cool that fever with some fun bubbles. And while we wait for the icky germs to go away, we'll be watching Mama Mia for the billionth time.

As much as I love snuggling my girl, I sure wish I didn't have to skip school for her today. Wish she felt great instead! I'm just waiting for Libby to come down with it too. I expect her to be a little hot potato every time I touch her. So far, she's dodging the bullet, but I'm sure it'll hit her too. Hard to avoid.

*Edit and Update: My mother called to inform me that she never actually spanked me. She only had to threaten to spank me! She did make me go to bed after I beat her home. She also reminded me that I got caught skipping school in my high school years. Guess I just never learn! Both of the littles are sick now. Fevers, puking, snot, coughing, big sad eyes... so I'm skipping school again today! I'm also losing my mind.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mommy is Back in School

Let the insanity begin! I started my very last semester this week. I have 15 weeks of classes, one week of final exams and then I am DONE! I decided to go ahead and participate in the whole cap and gown froohaha. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to, but I've had a lot of encouragement to walk with the graduates since I will be one of them.

The first week back was stressful and overwhelming.

I have three classes: History and Commentary of Literary Theory II, Sacred Texts, and Infant and Child Psychology. The two literature classes fill up the last two requirements of my literature degree and the psychology class completes an upper level general education requirement.

The Theory and Sacred Texts classes are both only offered once. So, I had to take them on the days and times offered, no choice. Theory is in the mornings and Sacred Texts is in the evening. Nothing like spreading them out!

To complete the general ed requirement, I could choose from a few classes. My choices were: Family & Marriage at 9am, Infant and Child Psychology at 1pm, or Youth & Society online. Online? Yeah! I want that one! But, it filled within the first hour of registration and I missed it.

I filled out a waitlist form back in November. No response. So, I filled out another one in December. No response. I emailed the instructor. No response. I emailed the secretary for the Sociology Department. No response. I emailed her again. She responded with "fill out a waitlist form and email the instructor". Rats! I did that already! I called. Nothing. I went to the Department offices, nobody there. I emailed the instructor again. Nothing. With all this unresponsiveness, I was starting to think I wouldn't be able to crash the online class.

I decided to try both the 9am and the 1pm classes and decide from there which one I would keep and which one I would drop.

My first day of class, I knew I had to get there early. Parking would be awful! It really was awful! I didn't get to the building until 9:40! Well, that decision was easy, I'll be dropping the 9am class. Traffic was a bear and parking was worse! With getting the kids to school and babysitters and fighting my way through the crawling parking lot they call "the freeway" I don't see me ever getting to a 9am class on time.

The 1pm psych class seems like it will be pretty easy. But I'd rather take the online class to minimize the time Libby has to be at a sitter. So, I went back to the Sociolgy Department and asked again. This trip wasn't wasted! The secretary emailed the instructor and next thing you know I got an email with permission to join the class! I had to register with a super secret permission number and I was in!

First thing I did was check out the syllabus. Whoa! What is this? There is a required Community Service Project? Spend 40 hours tutoring in and after school program in a school that is an hour away from my house? 4 hours a week for 10 weeks done in 2 hour increments? That is called Being There Twice a Week! What kind of online class require a commute and 40 hours of actual being there? What part of ONLINE did I not understand? Well, all that begging and hassle to get in and it was for nothing!

I think I'd be better off staying on campus and taking the Psychology class where I don't have to add two more commutes to my week. I'm disappointed that the online class was not really online. I think I'll drop it and email the instructor and the head of the Sociology Department explaining that the term "Online" was extremely misleading. Not that a big email whine-fest will help, but it'll make me feel better. I'm glad I didn't drop the psych class before I looked at the syllabus for the online class! Then I would be stuck!

Libby came with me to my classes this week. She didn't care much for Sacred Texts. She was right, it was really boring. My pen and paper attended that class while Libby and I hung out outside. She did well in the other classes though. She won't be able to attend class very often because she'd much rather be the center of attention rather than the quiet baby in the desk in the back.

I will take her to the Theory and Psych classes again this week but she's going to have to stay home for the evening class. That will be a 5 hour stretch of time without mommy. I'm nervous! Even though Daddy has never spent more than half an hour with her, he seems to think he can handle it. I don't think I'll attend for the entire class session. Maybe half. Or maybe I'll set up the webcam and watch from my laptop in class. Libby should be able to start going to the babysitter in February. I guess I'll skip a class every day to make her time with the sitter as minimal as possible. I'm not sure how this is going to work. If she would take a bottle I would feel better about leaving her.

By the way, in the next 15 weeks I will be reading 13 books. None of them will be light or entertaining. But, I'll be so much smarter in a few months!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mom-Taxi Going out of Business

It's all the rage these days, businesses closing down. Especially the services.

Even though I drive the mom-taxi for a pretty sweet rate, I'm retiring my special service; my passengers pay with mutterings of "thanks mom, don't be late picking me up again."

My husband is getting Lexie her own car! Next week, Lexie will be the proud owner of a 1996 Olds Cutlass Cierra. It's a hand-me-down from her Great Aunt Gertrude who passed away a year and a half ago. It'll have an engine, 4 wheels and get her where she needs to go. Without me!

Currently, I drive her to school. Then I go pick her up. Drive her to work. Go pick her up. She needs more hair color. Come'on, let's go. Wants to go to her friend's house. Here we go again. And I'm always toting two kids in carseats with me wherever we go too.

She is going to pay her own insurance (we'll bail her out on that when she can't), pay for her own gas and oil changes (we'll give her tanks of gas as "presents"), and she's going to get her own car smog checked and licensed (I'm sure I'll be there for that part too).

Giving up the mom-taxi means heading up a new venture: Mom's Used Car Lot. Instead of driving everyone everywhere, I'll be checking their tires, nagging at them to get their oil changed, how are your wipers?, do the tail lights all work?, clean that car out!, and putting new license plate tags on every year. We are going to have 2 cars, my mini-van, the truck and two motorcycles out front. I think I should put a sign out front "Honest Mom's Used Cars". See if I can get a dealer's special on license plates and insurance!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Waz Yer Name?

As Gracie says..... Waz yer name? She points to herself, then says, "Name is Gwacie Schu Fawkah!"

Me: Shoe. Mock. Errrrrr.
Gracie: Fawk. ahhhh
Me: Shoe. Mock. Errrr
Gracie: Fawk. ah.
Me: Shoe.
Gracie. Shoe.
Me: Mock.
Gracie: Fawk.
Me: Mock.
Gracie: Fawk.
Me: Mock.
Gracie: Fawk.
Me: errrr
Gracie: ahhh
Me: [Sigh] Shumacher
Gracie: Fawkah
Me: Gracie Shumacher
Gracie: Gwacie Fawkah!

Why did I marry a German man?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rubbin' it in!

This is a photo I took last month of our snow. It's gone now. This week we're expecting temps in the 70s. Yippee!

My sister recently wrote in her blog about her winter day out shopping, and one of my bloggity friends, Michelle, wrote about her snow, and another bloggity gal wrote about snowblowing... Lots of snow in the blogs lately! Not to be left out, I wanted to blog about our weather too.

Here are some snapshots of us dealing with the January weather. Try not to turn green with envy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Shakin' at Shakey's!

No, I didn't forget about my blog. I've just been busy. 2009 is already whipping right along!

Yesterday was my little brother's 30th birthday! Happy Birthday, Little Bro. He doesn't know I have a blog, so he'll never read that, but I hope he had a good one.

The mom-taxi is now a full time job. Soon to become full time plus overtime. I have to drive Lexie to school. Pick her up. Drive her to work. Pick her up. All while dragging the littles along. You know how when you are getting ready to go somewhere with two littles someone has to poop their diaper? Imagine that four times a day! Welcome to my world.

College starts soon. The 20th. I'm taking three classes: Sacred Texts, History of Literary Commentary & Theory II, and the third class is still up in the air right now. I need an upper level DD general ed course, which I've already taken and aced. Sigh. The joys of transferring from 4 previous colleges in 3 other states plus California. I tried to get into an online course, but it filled within the first hour that registration opened and I missed out. So, I signed up for two other courses as possible substitutes for the online course, and I will decide which works best in my schedule. So far, I've decided neither works best. I filled out a waitlist form and I emailed the professor of the online course. I'm getting nowhere fast. In the meantime, I have to choose between the two classes that I am registered in and drop one.

My schedule stinks. I have one literature class at 10am - 11:45am and the other literature class from 5:30pm - 8:45pm. Nothing like spreading it out over one long day! Add the hour long commute, and it's a long day. I'm thinking of going twice, head to campus in the morning, attend my class or classes if I can't get in the online course, and then head home. Pick up the kids from their sitters, drop them at home. Then head back to campus. I'm not sure how else to do it. Two trips to San Marcos in one day?

Somehow I'm going to have to juggle my class schedule with my taxi schedule. Hmmmm...

I'm having babysitter issues. This just makes college much more fun! The sitter I have been taking Gracie to, where she recently got a snazzy new haircut, is so upset over the haircut incident that she might not watch Gracie anymore. I can't get ahold of her and she isn't returning my calls. Great. Now I need part-time temporary daycare for my not-potty-trained yet 2 yr old. I dare ya to find that!

For the baby, I arranged for her to go to my daughter's friend. This sitter just had a baby this week and she's 17 yrs old. But, she doesn't work, doesn't go to school, she's available! And she has all the baby stuff: Swing, bouncy seat, high chair, exersaucer, changing table, pack n play, etc. She's available and she's all set up. And she said she'd do it. Again, with the part time temporary stuff, add the word infant and no daycare will come near me. But, now that this girl has her own baby, she is feeling a little overwhelmed and not so sure about watching one more. Ay ay ay.

Neither sitter wants to watch both. I know, it's kinda crazy, but that's fine. Crazy I can deal with. But, lack of babysitters is something that is going to send me over the edge! Anyone out there need a nanny job? It's part-time and temporary! But they are soooooooo cute!

We had a 5.0 earthquake the other day, later downgraded to a 4.5. Not sure how an earthquake gets "downgraded" but there you have it. Even the earthquakes are suffering in this economy. There was a big jolt and then a shake and rumble. I got scared! I was holding Libby, so I leaned over her so nothing would fall on her; nothing fell, but that's what I did. The whole house shook and I looked up and swore it was swaying. Keith was teaching and he said he spread his arms out wide to keep his balance. He was only 5 miles from the epicenter and our house is 40 miles away. Katie said she didn't feel it. Lexie felt it! She was at work at Shakey's Pizza and just got her ten minute break, so she grabbed a soda and sat down and that's when it hit. Right when she sat, so she wasn't sure at first if she was just so tired from working that it felt like an earthquake or if she really felt one. She said people didn't seem to react. So she looked around and the hanging lights were swaying. Lexie said "We were shakin' at Shakey's!"

Not to be overlooked, my oldest is nursing a broken heart. Well, not really broken... what do you call it? Disconnected. Her boyfriend left on Monday for boot camp. Eight weeks of no cell phone, myspace, email, texts, or old fashioned getting together at Starbucks. She misses him terribly. It really hit me, look at this generation of kids. They are in constant connection with their peers. Constant! The girls sleep with their phones!

Boot camping boyfriend gave Katie a promise ring before he left. They are engaged to be engaged! Committed without the official commitment. Promised. Awwww, sweet!

Baby is teething, toddler is bouncing off the walls 24/7, teen #1 is a puddle of tears, teen #2 is busy doing a lot of nothing and yet... off she goes. And she needs a ride.

That's the down and dirty update, come back in a few hours and I'll finish the post when I don't have two kids and a doll in my lap!

I finished my post! Took me 2 full days! You can read it now...