Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our weekend...

We rarely ever have a relaxing weekend. Some people relax when the weekend comes. We run around like a chicken with our heads cut off trying to do a ton of errands.

Saturday is usually errand day so we can at least relax on Sunday. Most Saturdays entail basketball game (that ends next week), going to the library to get new movies and books, going to the dry cleaner to get Joe's suits and shirts and grocery shopping. Sometimes we have other odds and ends to do - like this weekend we had to take Joe's car in to get it's state inspection which is required on all Texas vehicles. Last weekend Joe got new tires put on his car.

The fun thing we did this weekend was I researched getting a new washing machine to replace our existing one. On Friday the washer started making clunking noises and would not spin well in high spin. It would suddenly clunk and stop in mid-spin. We knew it's been on the way to it's death bed and we've had it fixed three times now. The belt system on the GE washer we have right now is AWFUL. On Lowe's website the exact same washer we have was rated as one star by three other people with the same issues.

So I went in looking for a washer and found this one. It's a Samsung - in blue - and both the washer and dryer were normally $899 and they were on sale for $699 so we saved $200 a piece. The ratings on this washer and dryer set are very high. The only issue is that they are sold out in the warehouse, they were out at this lowes and it will probably be about 8 or so days before they get them in and deliver them. I hope my washer holds up that long. I'm a very happy girl. I can't wait to get them installed and break them in!!

This weekend was BEAUTIFUL starting on Friday! Friday and Saturday we hit mid 70s! Today we started out close to 70 but then it cooled off all afternoon. All weekend long we had the windows open.

One of the bad things about living in Texas is when it warms up, the bugs start to move. We have had a nest of ants in an exterior wall and they found a way into the house and were all over my window sills in the living room. As soon as they hit the floor board they instantly died because we have an exterminator come quarterly and he sprayed the baseboard with chemicals so they didn't make it far.

To take care of the nest I took matters into my own hands since the exterminators aren't open on the weekends. We went to Kroger and I bought Raid Double Control Ant Bait traps and combat liquid ant bait traps. They seemed to like both but seemed to like the Raid version better. I let them eat to their hearts content and today I woke up and there was maybe 10 ants, at the MOST, hobbling around and haven't seen any since. We are going to keep them out for a few more weeks to see if we have any more (eggs hatching, etc) and if not then Joe needs to patch the cracks in the sills where they were getting in from the wall. At least we finally figured out how they were coming in. Ants don't bother me. In a weird way they are actually very interesting to watch. I don't like roaches at all. I'll take ants any day over roaches or spiders!

Justin spiked another low-grade fever today when he got up from his nap. Not sure why he did but maybe this flu really kicked his butt. I gave him some motrin and he seemed totally fine the rest of the day. I made sure to NOT skip his tamiflu dose like I accidentally did this morning.

Oh, that's another interesting thing - the flu has hit our town so hard that when I went to get the tamiflu filled for Justin at CVS on Saturday they told me every walgreens and cvs in town were completely sold out. The only pharmacy that they knew of that had the prescription was Kroger (the one we shop at coincidentally) so we had to get Justin's Tamiflu script filled there. Can you believe there are so many flu cases that they have a shortage of tamiflu? Crazy!!

Tuesday we register Justin for TK (5 days pre-k for five year olds, which is really like a private kindergarten) at Stacy's Studio. We went with Stacy's because that is where Joey went and we really like the family feel about it. In addition, my friend Vicki's son is going to be in the same class as Justin so both boys will already know someone. I already have the deposit ready to go to pay for his spot for next year.

Yesterday the weather was so nice that Justin and I went for a walk after our naps. Joe and Joey were still napping and didn't want to wake so Justin and I snuck out of the house.

We walked down the street, onto the golf course and all the way past the third hole and all the way back to our house. We were gone walking for an hour. Justin barely complained he was tired until near the end. We walked past a sign for the name of a neighborhood and he named off almost every single letter in it. I was so proud of him. Justin impresses me every day. He can recognize almost all of his letters and knows the sounds of most of them. We had a lot of nice bonding time where we talked about falling stars, how it would hurt if a falling star fell on you and what a suv is. It was wonderful outside and we had a wonderful time enjoying the weather and each other. It was just Justin and I!

Today Joey and Justin were listening to a song and Joey said, 'Justin, you know what this song is?' and without a beat Justin says, 'AWESOME!'  I think Joey meant what the name of it was and we found Justin's response to be very comical!

Do you remember my post about loving the weather channel music? I've been trying to find the music for the channel comcast has called Weatherscan. There was a smooth jazz album played on repeat and I wanted it - especially a song called Beach Frolic by Trammel Starks. Guess what? I finally found Trammel on facebook and asked him very nicely if he was still making the cds for the weatherscan music and he said he was and would put them in the mail for me and I sent him paypal payment for them. He then added me to facebook. He's a very, very nice person. I now have the music cds and can play the music to my heart's content! I'm missing cd 2 because of a printing issue with the cd but the issue has been fixed and cd 2 is on it's way. CD 2 has beach frolic on it! CD three has great music on it.

Last night I played cd three and Joe said that he really liked the cd because it reminded him of Milford (where we lived in Michigan). More specifically when we would hang out together in the same room when I used to play on the computer and he would sort baseball cards, with weatherscan on in the background!

Do you know how happy I am to have gotten these cds in my hands? I have been searching for a way to get them for TWO YEARS!! Yes it's borderline obsessive but my hunt for them ended happy! Joe laughed at me when I got them and hugged them. Yes, it's that important!! It's the memories associated with these songs that mean so much to me!

As I write this I'm doing a load of laundry that is trying to go on high speed. It's CLUNK clunk CLLLLUUUNNNK and Joe sends me a text from upstairs saying, 'Wow that sounds awful!' That is how bad our washing machine sounds! He can hear it from upstairs over the television! Thank goodness the new ones will be here soon!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The flu hits again...

Something this morning tipped me off that Justin was sick. I don't remember exactly what it was, and it could have been when he said his eyes were 'red'. Joey complained his eyes 'were on fire' when he had the flu on Tuesday. I saw Justin's cheeks were bright red and I took his temp and it was about 99.8. Not quite high enough to make me give him motrin, but enough to keep him home from daycare.

A trip to the doctor at 11am confirmed he also had a case of the flu and his fever was now at 102.5. They gave him some medicine to bring it down and sent us home with another tamiflu prescription.

This is my cold baby in the doctor's office - covered in both of our jackets.

He didn't even want to sit up for his exam :(

By this evening he's doing better but getting tamiflu down him has been a challenge. He's been spitting it out. It's about as hard as trying to pill a cat! 

So send us some get well vibes!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My poor kiddo

Joey woke today before 6am and I told both Justin and Joey to go back to sleep. It was way to early to get up and sent both of them back to bed.

At 7:15 I got up to get Joey ready for school and found he was already up. He told me his 'eyes burned'. I felt his head and he was burning up. Took his temp and it was 101.3. Took mine and it was 100.1.

He just curled up on the couch and didn't move. By 9am his temp went up to 103.1. Time to break out the motrin. I gave him some and about 30 minutes later he didn't look so miserable.

After an 11am trip to the doctor it was confirmed Joey had the flu. Before you ask, no he didn't have the flu shot. On that note his doctor said about 1/2 the cases she had the patients DID have the flu for some they were still getting the flu anyhow with the shot.

He ate a few cookies (the only thing he wanted today), took his medicine and then laid down for a nap. He woke up puking and then puked down the hallway and managed to find me. Poor kiddo! I had to strip the bed, strip him down and put him in the shower. He obviously felt a lot better in the shower because he stayed in there a long time. When he came out he had the chills and turned blue. It scared the hell out of me. He's fine, but his fever spiked at that time again and he needed to get dressed and get under the blankets again. I had to give him more motrin. My poor kiddo just had it rough today!

Justin, on the other hand, had a wonderful day with daddy after he got home from school. Joe took him to the park down the street and I guess he's been practicing the monkey bars because Joe said he got on them and swung to the other side like a monkey - trying to show off to a little girl that was at the park! Ha! I love it when we spend a little extra time with our little man. I never want him to feel like we favor Joey over him. Joey does all the sports and a lot of the homework because he's older. We try to do things for Justin like the park, or one on one time and we've gotten him his own homework to work on (he asks for it and gets mad when we forget!) He wants to be just like his big brother and gets mad when his brother gets to do homework and he doesn't! We work on letters, sounds and cutting and tracing. He's such a sweetie.

Joey told me today, 'Mom, why did I have to get sick? I WANT to go to school!" I hope his love of school continues as he gets older.

This January has been much milder in temperature than last year. We've been in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Last year in January here was very cold. It's been nice to have mild temperatures. It seems that when it's nice outside my mood is happier. When it's cold outside, I get a little bitter. Can you imagine my attitude when I lived in Michigan during the winter time? I LIVED for the days I could open a window and air out my house!

So Joe and I have a deal. We want to run a 10k in May. If we do, we promised ourselves a nice trip to San Antonio. We've never been that far south of Dallas so this would be a fun trip we've been wanting to take. So Joe just joined Cooper where I work out and he loves it and we've been running together a few times a week working ourselves up to running a 10k. I've done a 5k a few years ago but Joe and I decided to up our goal to prove to ourselves we can do it. So watch for updates!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quirks.... everyone has them....

I'll admit it, I have my fair share of weird quirks.

Take for instance my obsession with finding a song - not just any song - it was the song they played on an ENDLESS loop on the weatherscan channel for comcast cable. I finally found out that Trammel Starks created the music for The Weather Channel and the weather channel cds do NOT have this music on it. I'm working on figuring out if I can buy his cds. Beach Frolic is my absolute favorite from the weatherscan channel and the best I can do is to play it on endless loop on a website called Endless YouTube (linked above).

When I used to get up in the middle of the night to feed my babies, I would rock on my recliner and put on the tv. I didn't want anything too distracting so I'd put on weatherscan and fell in love with this song particularly. The music was calming so the baby would be lulled back to sleep and I could imagine I was still in a semi comatose state.

Another quirk of mine is my love of the weather channel. My preference would be a weather channel like weatherscan that comcast had which had no commercials and looped the weather over and over. The weather channel has commercials and too much talking. Since it's all I have (because we have dish) I live with it and watch it often. I love to know the weather back in Michigan, here and where my friends live. I don't know why but I'm obsessed at knowing the weather going on all the time. My friends even come to me and ask what it's going to be like because I follow it like a hawk.

So now you know about my weather obsession quirk...onto the next quirk...

Music. I am completely obsessed with Phil Collin's music. Then add in George Michael and all the bands and singers from the 80s and I'm in heaven. During the day while I work I listen to my own station on Pandora I created called Phil Collins Radio - which has music from the 80s, 90s and now. Music is able to take me back to a place in time that I thought was lost in my memory. I can hear a song and remember a distinct memory associated with it (much like the weatherscan music above).

Saying all that you would think I've a pretty a person that learns from audio - but in fact I'm more of both - I need both seeing, hearing and DOING to learn. I'm one of those people that like to be shown but learns best if you just let me do it myself.

Other quirks - I like ice in my milk.

I like ice in my coffee and prefer it cold.

I won't drink near anything unless it's ice cold or has ice in it.

There are others. I'll make sure to share them if I can think of them.

Oh and one last thing - the weirdest thing I've ever eaten is a Wendy's chocolate milk shake with fries. I've seen posts online about how good it is and thought, it sounds nasty but I need to know what the hype is about. DAMN is it ever good. Something about the sweet of the ice cream and the salt of the fry! YUMMO.

The other day Justin said to me, "Mom, yes is the same as no." I said to him, "That's not true. If I said NO you can not run into traffic, that does not mean yes." He says to me, "Whatever". I found his response to me to be more comical than disrespectful. In fact, it was such an odd thing for him to say that I sent an email to myself about what he said so I'd remember it.

Must be a southern thing but Joey always says, 'Yes Ma'am' after I ask him to do something. I'm just so not used to it!

The kid's newest obsession is Club Penguin. They love this website, they love the puffles (these little puffy creatures) and have four stuffed ones here in the house and it is all they do for fun. They have since taken over MY pc and their own laptop and I'm lucky to use it before they go to bed. I can be thankful that all this computer time is getting them more proficient at using the computer and I know Joey has been forced to read a few things so it's improving his reading.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The boys...

The other day Justin was sitting next to me playing Leap World on the pc and he was doing so well with the game he was playing. The game had something to do with 'What is heavier' and 'What was lighter' as it compared numerous objects. I asked Justin, 'How did you get so smart?' He replied, 'Mom, I eat my green beans!'

We got Justin a new leapster this week. We had a few of the original leapsters and just were not pleased with them as they shut themselves off a lot. I finally splurged and got him a leapster 2 and he loves it. As a part of getting the leapster 2 you get access to the only game Leap World which the kids really like. You do challenges and earn points to build rooms of a house. Justin recently took a liking to the game Letters On the Loose where it tells you each letter, what sound it makes and then he has to trace it. Joey also loved this game and it really helped him learn his letters and how to write them! He likes the leapster now more than the ds since the ds games we have are really geared towards older children in my opinion.

Joey and I are working with his soccer coach so he can learn phonics and use it to help him read easier. It just happens she had her son learn them at the school he went to last year and he's in the first grade reading on a fourth grade level so now we are having her work with Joey. So we'll see how that works out.

Say some prayers for my sweet Grandpa - my dad's dad. He has been in a nursing home for a few years now with Alzheimer's but I guess he's in the hospital and not doing well. He's 84. I have the best memories of him. I probably had the only grandpa that would constantly talk about sex and hooking up with other women right in front of grandma. Grandma would either smack him or say something to the effect of Rubbish. Hearing them talk Polish was always neat. I remember on the day of my wedding Grandpa was talking about sex with my bridesmaids and they looked at me like - WTF? I told them, he's just like that. It really never phased me. He was funny and was always telling jokes. I am praying he recovers but from what I read it doesn't look good :(

This week was a good week for me. I have recently done a series of migrations at work of moving customers off one system to another and was recently recognized at work which was very rewarding. I received a $50 gift card and I decided to use it to take the family out to eat at our favorite restaurant La Hacienda Ranch. It's Tex-Mex and great food. The entire parking lot was packed. There wasn't a spot left. We had to circle it three times before we found a spot and then used call ahead and still had to wait 25 minutes to be seated. Of course it was worth the wait because the food was great. The kids were wonderful. Joey did a word search, which he has learned to do and really likes lately. Justin played his leapster. Both kids were so well behaved that it was wonderful.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

It's been a few days since I've blogged. I've wanted to but I normally blog in the evening and I've been wanting to spend that time with Joe because he has been working so much. Last week he hit his all time high - 87 hours. Isn't that ridiculous? These past few weeks have been very tiring for me. I've been the one who does the pickup and drop off of the kids at school, all the laundry, housework, dishes, meals, laundry, errands, shopping and the list goes on. Needless to say, I've been exhausted and blogging hasn't been high on my priority list.

This last week when the boys got up in the morning it was very cold. I had the boys get dressed and Joey undressed from the bottom down and curled up in fetal position and would not move. I told him numerous times if he got dressed he would not be cold. Of course mom is always right but he wouldn't listen to me so he sat there wasting time when he should have been getting dressed and getting his breakfast before school. Finally after he sat there complaining of the cold for about 5 minutes I told him he had until I got dressed and came out of my room to get dressed or he wasn't getting breakfast. When I walked out he was no where to be found. I finally yelled, 'Joseph where are YOU!!!' He whimpered from behind the couch, sulking. I was so angry. I told him we had 10 minutes left before we had to leave and if he wanted to sulk then so be it - he wasn't getting breakfast. So he angrily stomped over to make himself breakfast. He SHOVED a cookbook out of his way and started crying about how everything is always in his way when he wants to make breakfast. I went over to calm him down before had had a bad day at school and asked for a hug. He would NOT give me a hug. He wouldn't let me touch him. He was MAD AT MOM.

That was the first time for me that I can remember that he totally blew off mom. I admit I was angry and hurt too. I wanted to take out my anger on him by yelling but I didn't. I went ahead and got Justin ready for school and finished getting Joey's stuff ready and by the time we were ready to leave he wanted a hug and kiss. He had obviously calmed down. I still admit, even a week later I was hurt he blew me off when he was angry. Mom always fixes things and at that point in time, he needed to fix things himself. It made me realize that he's getting older and more responsible and he's owning his own emotions and reactions that come from them. My boy is getting older...

Yesterday we had a cold front come through Dallas. We had our first snow/ice of the season. We ended up with about 2-3 inches and ice. They closed schools today because some roads were really bad. I told Joey this morning that school was cancelled and he told me he was upset. I asked why, thinking he was going to say he missed his friends since we didn't see them over the weekend. He told me, "Mom, I want to learn." Wow, I guess he must really like his school and his teacher if he is mad he isn't going to learn today. I promised him we'd work on his time or his counting coins book.

About lunch today Justin worked on his cutting and Joey worked on counting coins. I was impressed. He got all of them correct.

This past Friday I had a project at work where I was in charge of moving customers from one platform to another and it started at 6pm on Friday and goes all night and ended about 9am. I was so exhausted. I had the kids because Joe was working again so I tried to take a nap while the boys entertained themselves. I then had to wake up because Joey had a basketball game. When we got home both boys laid down for a nap without a complaint and Joe got home about 5pm. Joey was still sleeping and did not want to wake up. The only thing that got him up from his nap was the mention of going to Chuck e Cheese.

Earlier that morning we gave Joey his birthday gift from us - a mp3 player loaded with his favorite songs. He was so happy he and Justin listened to their music and danced around the house. I was very happy that went over well.

He got $50 from his Grandma Norma and Grandma Char and told me he wanted to give Justin $10.00 of it. He's such a sweet and caring brother!

We went to Toys R Us and Justin got a few monster trucks with his money and Joey got a pokeball and a few beyblades.

Afterwards we went to Chuck E Cheeses and got about 80 tokens for the kids to blow. We were there about an hour and decided to get McDonalds after and not their pizza. The boys had fun. Joe and I thought it was quite crowded, and a lot of the games didn't work. We found a few games that gave a lot of tickets for each coin and took coins quickly so we could leave.

We cashed in the tickets and then got their dinner and took them to the drop in daycare so we could have alone time.

We went to on the border for food and drinks and reconnected. It was a nice dinner and was nice to see Joe since he's been working a lot lately. I can honestly say it was nice to just relax and not feel rushed.

So Saturday I was recovering from working all night Friday and with Joe working and taking Joey out for his birthday we lost our errand day. We planned to run errands on Sunday except it was freezing rain first thing in the morning and then turned to snow so with the roads being so bad we never did our errands. Sigh. We still have to do those.

Last night I filled up my camera card and went to pull the pictures off them and my camera card was corrupted. I was devastated!! I couldn't even open the folder to view what was in it. The folder name changed to this really weird character string and said it was unreadable.

I download and paid for a photo recovery program called eIMAGE Recovery and it worked - it saved all my 230 photos from Christmas, to Joey's birthday to yesterday's snow day. I was SO RELIEVED. I almost passed out when I realized the photos were corrupted. I would highly recommend that program. It was worth the $29 I paid! I'll follow up this post with a few new photos from Christmas, etc.

Our yucky snow day

When it started it was sleet

Justin and the start of the snowman.

Joe building the snowman.

Joey getting hit with a snowball.

Our Snow Day

Joe, loved the snow in his goatee.

Justin with his snowball.

Justin and his snowman.

The family and their snowman.

Snow day continued

Joey with his snowball.

Closeup of Justin

Closeup again

A big snowball that Justin claims Joey threw at him!

More snow day pics



Joe texting a friend :)


Taking down the Christmas tree

It seemed ironic we were taking down the Christmas stuff on 1/8 when it was starting to snow - the first snow of the season.
The boys were dancing.

Their new music player!

Justin has all the moves!

Joey loving on the cat!

Basketball Game

Joey is still learning basketball and is a bit timid but he has great defense skills. Now we just have to work on offense and shooting!
Joey sitting out until it's his turn.

Going after the ball. He's right behind his guy with the red wristband! Good job Joey!

Chuck E Cheeses for Joey's birthday

Feeding tickets!

80 tokens netted 277 tickets!

Chuck E Cheeses for Joey's birthday

The boys

Joe likes skeeball

Justin on a ride

Both boys on the ride.

Dziekan Christmas

The tree.

I love this one of the boys. You can see how good of friends they are.

Joey opening.

Joe opening.

Dziekan Christmas

Joey is so expressive. He loves his stuffed animal!

The four of us!

My mom loves the ceramic knife we got her.

I love my new camera backpack!