Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday's Big Drama

Alex woke up Friday morning with a little crusty stuff in the corner of his left eye. I cleaned it up, thinking that he had probably gotten soap or shampoo in it last night during his bath, or maybe he had a little abrasion. An hour or so later, I noticed that there was more purulent (pus-like) discharge. It got progressively worse as the day wore on. Pete had come home around 2 to meet with a plumber that our home warranty company sent out to check a leak in the water heater, and Alex who was in his bed to take a nap heard Pete and jumped up demanding to see Daddy. Pete and I decided that we should call the doctor's office for an appointment. Pete took Alex in to see Dr. McGonnell, who has recently joined Forest Lane Pediatrics. The doctor said that he has Bacterial Conjunctivitis, and prescribed an antibiotic drop that we have to instill in both of Alex's eyes three times per day for the next five days. I told Alex to tell anyone who asks him what's wrong with his eye that Teagan punched his lights out. He giggled and told me, "that's funny".

As if the last couple of days haven't been stressful enough, around 9 o'clock this evening I was washing a load of darks and I decided to put the denim shorts that I had been wearing all day in with the wash and change into my pajamas. However you want to describe it: fortuitously, unwittingly, carelessly .... whatever, I left my phone in the pocket. Sadly, the Motorola Razr doesn't come with its own flotation device, and it drowned. If only it had been packaged with an airplane seat cushion, it might have stood a chance, but then I guess it wouldn't be one of the thinnest phones on the market. Needless to say, I'm phoneless, at least for a few days until the replacement that Pete quickly and graciously ordered me arrives.

Thursday's Big Drama

Thursday, Alex was begging to go to McDonald's for lunch. I talked him into going to the mall where he could have a kid's meal from Chick Fil A, and then go to the play area. I felt that he deserved a special reward, because he was doing so well on his potty training. So, around one, we headed out to the mall. On the way, Alex fell asleep, so I decided that I would just turn around and go home, scoop him out of the car and put him in his bed so that he could take a decent nap.

Highway 183 in the East bound direction is usually pretty light in the afternoon, but at one point, traffic became congested and slowed to a stop. I stopped, but the person behind me didn't. Fortunately, I had stopped with enough room that the impact didn't push me into the truck that was in front of me, so the accident was contained to just me and the person who hit me. And, no one in either vehicle was injured. I immediately pulled off to the shoulder, called 911 and requested police back-up. I got out of my car and walked over to the other car and took a pic of the license plate with my cell phone, tried to call Pete's cell, and work and got no answer, got a pen and paper from my car and proceeded to ask the driver of the other car for a driver's license and insurance card so that I could take down their info only to quickly become aware of the fact that they did not speak English. I verified this by asking, "Hablas Ingles?" to which she replied, "No". I stood around waiting for the police, and called 911 again to make sure that they were indeed on their way. It took them more than 10 minutes to get there ... good thing nobody was bleeding! When the officer got there, he asked what had happened and I told him that they rear-ended me, and explained to him that they evidently didn't speak English and asked him if he spoke Spanish, which unfortunately, he didn't. He did, however, know the Spanish word for "insurance card" to which they replied that they had none. I gave the officer my driver's license and proof of insurance, and stood around trying to calm Teagan down while he and the other officer who showed up a bit later to help him out filled out paperwork. Here's the kicker: The girl was driving a car that didn't belong to her, without insurance, and without a driver's license. Satisfyingly, she was ticketed for all the aforementioned violations and I believe "failure to yield", too. However, we are left to sort out getting my car fixed (we have comprehensive coverage, but there's a $250 uninsured motorist deductible) and our insurance company has to try to track down these people (the driver and the owner of the vehicle) and try to make them pay up. And, unfortunately Bedford hasn't yet jumped on the bandwagon of north Texas cities that instantly impound uninsured vehicles that are involved in an accident.

My RANT #1: We spend over $1400 per year on car insurance, and we have clean driving records, obey traffic laws, don't get tickets, are in that 30+ married group that supposedly has to pay less for insurance, and drive modest vehicles. If we cough up that kinda capital, so should everyone else. Yet part of the reason that car insurance premiums in north Texas are so high is because it's common knowledge that an overwhelming portion of the population is going to get insurance for the one month that they must to have it to renew their registration, and then drop it. If they even bother to go as far as getting it and registering their vehicle. My solution: Make the penalty for getting caught driving without insurance so severe that everyone pays for it for fear of the alternative. I say, shoot the uninsured on the spot! (*wink*) We don't need their kind of trash on our streets, or drinking what little water we have left, either, for that matter!

My RANT #2: If you're going to move to the United States, learn to speak the language. I would never gather together a gaggle of my friends and relatives, move to Russia illegally, and expect the people who were already there to learn English so that they could talk to me. Yet, in Texas that's exactly what happens when you look around and suddenly realize that Caucasian, English-speakers are in the minority. I know that we have really good Mexican food here, but I don't think it's a fair trade. I know that there are a lot of business owners who enjoy paying $2.50/hour under the table, but they should have to be accountable, too. Don't get me started on immigration reform!

Alex's Progress

After the stress of so many "failures" on Monday, I took Tuesday off from potty training. I know it was probably confusing to Alex, but I had to have a sanity break.
We resumed training on Wednesday, and Alex had four successful potties, and three accidents. I made a stupid mistake by putting him down for his nap with his training pants covered with plastic pants, and he peed on everything in his bed. So, Wednesday turned out to be a heavy laundry day! He really has no control over what happens while he's sleeping, so I've decided to let it slide if he pees in his pants while he's asleep. Note to self: Make Alex wear a pull-up for sleeping!

Thursday was great! Alex had one minor accident when he peed a tiny bit in his pants while rushing to get to the potty where he was able to finish up his pee pee (or woo woo, which he's taken to calling it). He didn't even wet while he was asleep. What fabulous progress! (be sure to read future posts for more info on Thursday)

Today, Alex was able to make all his pee pee's in the potty, but for whatever reason made a poo poo in his pants this morning. That's really unusual in my opinion, because to this point, he had been able to make his poo in the toilet every time. I cleaned him up, and he was basically back on track for the rest of the day. (be sure to read future posts for more info on Friday)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Go Pee Pee in the Potty

We've started seriously potty training with Alex. Sunday morning, I got him out of bed and took him straight to the toilet. He sat on it off and on for three and a half hours and didn't pee in the toilet or his pants. Around 11:30, I made him a bath, and as soon as he got in the water, he let it fly. I think Pete and I were both feeling frustrated and defeated by at this point. We fed him lunch and put him down for his nap, and resumed training after he woke up. Last night he had his first success. He told Pete that he needed to go, and went to the toilet and peed in the potty. We danced and cheered and had a celebration. This morning, I got him out of bed, and straight to the toilet, again. As if repeating yesterday, he refused to pee. I let him off the toilet and put a pull-up on him. We've convinced him that he can't let the spaceships printed on the front of the pull-up disappear (that's what happens when he pees in them). I asked him about half a dozen times if he needed to go pee pee, and reminded him what to say to tell me that he needs to go, yet the first time I left the room, he proceeded to wet in his pants. I scolded him and made him do nine practice runs of going to the toilet. At the end of the practice runs, I told him that he should try to sit on the potty and go, and then I left the bathroom to tend to Teagan. While I was out of the room, he made a poo poo and a pee pee in the toilet. This time, he even managed to point his "pokey" down and pee in the toilet. Once again, we had a big celebration, and I let Alex call Pete and tell him of the success. As his special reward, I took him to Chuck E Cheese for lunch, and before we left the house, I made him sit on the potty and try to make a pee pee. He put about three drops into the toilet and told me that he was done, so I went over with him the instructions for letting me know when he needed to go. After we got to the restaurant, before Pete could even get there to meet us, I asked Alex if he needed to go pee pee, and he said yes, so I took him to the toilet. To my dismay, he had already peed in his pants. He fell asleep on the drive home, so when he wakes, I suppose we'll start all over again. I think that I'm going to have to stay home-bound for about two weeks straight to accomplish anything.
I guess you win some and you lose some.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Grape Juice

Monday was a very hectic day around our house: I had scheduled dentist appointments for Pete and myself with a dentist that is conveniently located just across the street from Pete's office. Pete took off Monday so that we would both be able to go in for our exams and cleanings. Pete hadn't been to the dentist in several years, and I hadn't seen one since January of 2002 when I had my braces removed, so we were both hurting for a check-up. I had noticed a dark spot on one of my bicuspids several months ago, but I put off going to the dentist until after the insurance plan year started over in July because having Teagan drained our flexible spending. Pete's appointment was at 8 in the morning, and he made it back home around 9:45 with the news that he needed to have a special cleaning, a filling and a wisdom tooth removed. Luckily they were able to make him an appointment for all that at 2 in the afternoon Monday. I figured that I was in for equally as bad news as I proceeded to my appointment at 11 in the morning. To my amazement, I found out that I was in pretty good shape. Two of my existing fillings (I only have 3) were cracked and needed replacement, and the dark spot that I had noticed was just a stain that can probably be blamed on my orthodontist having ground away some enamel between several of my teeth to make space.
I dropped Pete off Monday afternoon, and he had all his work done. Unlike the removal of my wisdom teeth, his was done with local anesthetic and he didn't seem to have a terrible amount of pain as a result. I have to go back Thursday morning to have my fillings replaced.
After Pete was done, the kids and I went and picked him up at his office (he had walked across the street to show off his tooth to his colleagues) and then ran by Tom Thumb on the way home. During the shopping trip to Tom Thumb, we picked up a couple of bottles of juice, as Pete's not allowed to have soda for several days following the extraction. One of the bottles of juice was Welch's purple grape juice. After bringing the groceries in to the house, I stopped to feed Teagan who was screaming with hunger. While I was feeding Teagan, and Pete was helping put things in their place, Alex somehow managed to swipe the bottle of grape juice and proceeded to go dashing from the kitchen into the living room where he stumbled, the bottle of juice slipped from his hands, the lid burst off and spilled more than a liter of grape juice onto the carpet. Our formerly off-white carpet, to be exact. When I saw the bottle fall and start pouring, it was almost as if my life was flashing before my eyes. I know now that it wasn't my life, but rather the life of the carpet, and the dream of going on a cruise in 2008, that I was envisioning. I thought for sure that the stain would never come out, and that we'd end up having to spend thousands of dollars to replace the carpet (in leiu of saving for a cruise).
Pete and I sent Alex to his room, (we both somehow managed to maintain complete control and not beat Alex, or even spank him for that matter) and set out trying to clean up the mess. Online, I looked up methods of removing grape juice or red wine from carpet. Most of the techniques tell you to blot with this, then blot with that, then blot with this and that again. The method that I decided to try said to first use white wine or club soda to blot the stain with. We didn't have club soda, so I got out a bottle of Biltmore Estate Chenin Blanc, and proceeded to use it as cleaning fluid. I really think the best method should actually say, "To clean grape juice out of carpet, first drink a bottle of white wine, then you'll feel much better, and the stain won't matter so much." After the wine, we applied a dilute solution of ammonia in water. I'm not sure if it helped either, but it did make the stain change from purple to a bluish-gray color. Then more wine, followed by an attempt to soak up all the liquid in the carpet. I left it alone for awhile, then came back to it later in the evening with a bottle of the two-part Spray-N-Wash. I was out of Resolve carpet cleaner, but I remembered that the ingredients in the Spray-N-Wash were the same as the Resolve, so I gave it a shot along with a good deal of elbow grease and scrubbing. I was finally able to make the carpet closely resemble how it began, and after a follow up with Spot Shot on Wednesday afternoon, I think I have the stain as close to eliminated as possible.
As a result, purple grape juice is forever banned in our house, and I think that I'm going to rent a rug doctor this weekend or call Kiwi or Stanley Steemer to clean the rest of the carpet. Since I spent so much time scrubbing that stain, it's the cleanest spot in the house! Oh, and Pete and I drank the rest of the wine. It was really good, sweet and light, and because I don't usually drink, one glass still makes me giggle.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Teagan's New Word

Today Teagan started saying, "Da da da da da". I think Pete's pretty excited about her new word. I'm glad that it didn't take her as long to add the second parent as it did Alex. He started out saying, "Da da da" and didn't say "Ma ma ma ma" for quite a long time. I think Teagan's only really been saying, "Ma ma ma ma" for three or four weeks now.

Share and Share Alike

We've tried to reinforce to Alex the importance of sharing with his friends and Teagan. So, there was no hesitation in his decision to share his cold with her. Now she's feeling a bit under-the-weather as well, though I've tried to head her symptoms off at the pass by beginning the medicine as soon as I noticed her acting like she was becoming ill. Now we have two sickly munchkins, but Alex is making strides toward wellness. They are, however, keeping me on my toes.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Difficulty Sleeping

Yesterday (Monday 8/7/6), we went over to Dallas to Celebration Restaurant and met up with Brigette and Jason. Alex has a great time when we get together with them, though he still seems a bit confused and occasionally calls Jason, "Aunt Brigette".

Alex is still feeling under-the-weather, and for the past couple of nights has experienced confusional arousals, which are an interruption in his normal sleep patterns similar to night terrors. He's not actually awake, though he sits up and calls for Mommie and Daddy and has tears streaming down his cheeks. He also speaks a lot of gibberish during the episodes and seems as if he's in distress even though he's not. It's difficult to watch, but experts suggest that you not try to wake the child or cuddle them, because they're actually in a stage of sleep between sleep cycles and disturbing them can actually prolong the episode. Alex has had these before, and they generally last about ten minutes, as did the first one last night. Pete said that there was a second episode, but it occurred after I went to bed, and he reported that it only lasted a couple of minutes. I'm anxious for Alex to start feeling better, as I'm certain that the sleep problems are triggered by his illness.

Teagan is still into her habits of getting up three or four times per night, which is wearing me out. When Alex was this age, if I heard him wake up in the night, I would wait 15 or 20 minutes before getting up to check on him so that I would know for sure if he was really awake, or if he was just at a wakeful moment in his sleep. I find myself getting up immediately with Teagan because of concerns that her crying will wake Alex, and if he gets up in the middle of the night, then we have two children up and crying and Pete would have to get up, too. Which would mean that not only is my night's rest getting sacrificed, but Pete's as well, and he has to get up and go to work in the morning. I on the other hand, just work 24 hours a day. (*wink*)

Alex goes swinging
Teagan goes swinging
What happened to Baby Geico?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Wiggledancing 2006

We had a marvelous time at the Wiggles Concert today!! Though Alex wasn't feeling his best, he quickly warmed up and started dancing in the aisles. We brought along signs reading, "You're the man, Sam Moran" and "We love Ben" which Murray Wiggle (the red wiggle) spotted in the audience and read aloud. We also brought a bunch of red roses for Alex to give to Dorothy the Dinosaur and a rawhide bone for Wags the Dog. During the show they send cast members into the audience to collect the roses and bones, and Alex got to hand his roses off to dancer Ryan, and his bone to Donovan (the guy who's the drummer in several numbers). During about the third song, I spotted Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who was seated a couple of rows in front of us in the next section over. He made a cameo appearance in the "Sailing Around the World" number running across the stage and waving the Texas state flag. After the concert concluded, Alex and Pete had their pic made with him.

Here's where you can view all the pics that we took:

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Alex's Birthday and the Busy Week That Ensued

Wow! What a whirlwind! Alex's birthday party was last Saturday. He had a big party at McDonald's where he was joined by all his little friends, followed by a big party at home with quite a few family members to share in the celebration. As Uncle Scott put it, "Alex got a rake" which is true both literally and figuratively. He did indeed get a toy rake to play in his new sandbox with, but he also received so many gifts. I have seen other children with more toys, but I always swore mine would not be among them, yet he has clearly joined their ranks. We are quite thankful for all his presents, and he is delighted with each and every one ... even the ones he throws at Teagan.

On Sunday, Alex's actual birthday, Pete and I took him (and Teagan)to Chuck E. Cheese where he had a great time playing video games, ski ball, and all sorts of other things.

Monday we took Alex to see the Doctor for his two year check-up. He did have to get one immunization, the second in the Hep A series, but I brought along some Kissables as a treat after the shot, so there wasn't too much crying. He weighs about 31 pounds, and I think that the doctor said he was 36.5" tall. I was excited when they told us that his language skills were advanced for his age.

Friday, I noticed that Alex seemed to have a barking cough and stridor, which is sort of like a wheeze only it occurs when you breath in rather than when you breath out. So I figured that he was working on another case of the Croup, and we gave him some cough and cold medicine before he went to bed. We called the doctor this morning (Saturday) and Pete took him in. It's just as I suspected, but now that he's two, they're more liberal in what drugs they're willing to prescribe, so Pete came home with some cough medicine that's stronger than the OTC stuff I had on hand. We decided to go ahead with our planned excursion to IKEA in Frisco, which didn't go as smoothly as hoped, but at least we've now ventured to the land of Swiss Ambrosia. I think we'll go back some time when Alex is feeling better. When he's potty trained, we can let him play in their supervised play area.

Sunday is the big Wiggles concert, so there should be an exciting post about our fun times there.