You know, I've always feared Kyle going to school the most. I've considered him our most challenging child and have been glad that he is a November baby so that he gets that extra year before starting school. But as it turns out, Alec is proving to be quite a challenge himself. He is very bright and does really well academically, but lately his behavior has TANKED.
A few weeks ago, his teacher came out to the van to talk to me when I was picking the boys up. Apparently, he had been acting out in class and was taking the pencils off the teacher's desk and pulling out the erasers. That explained the pocketfuls of erasers I was finding while doing laundry. I had just assumed they were from his own pencils and kept forgetting to ask him about it. So he was grounded that weekend and I made him buy his teacher some new pencils with his own money, as well as write her an apology note.
The next week went fine. No bad reports. But then the following week a note came home. Once again, Alec was misbehaving in class, not listening to the teacher, and had written on his desk with his pencil. UGH!!! Once again he was punished at home and I sent a note to his teacher expressing our disappointment and our intention to do whatever we can to help correct this problem. I have my degree in elementary education, you know, and went through student teaching, so I am NOT one of "those" parents. Really. It is VERY important to me for our children to be well-behaved. This is just not acceptable to me.
So things were going along fine again. Until yesterday. Shaun had called from work to tell me he might not be able to pick up the boys from school because he was stuck at a robbery call and was waiting for their evidence technician to get there. He said he would call me by 2:30 to let me know one way or the other. I didn't look forward to having to get Lauren up from her nap, but if I had to go, I had to go. He called me back to tell me I'd have to go get them, then called back again a minute later to say the guy had gotten there and he could get them after all. Great! On Tuesdays and Thursdays they are having soccer after school, which Joey sometimes stays for. But, any children not participating have to be supervised, so we have to be there for Alec if Joey is staying. I thought Shaun would be able to get there by 3:15 (when all children have to be picked up).
As it turned out, he didn't get there until about 3:25, and by then it was too late. Alec did a doozie and got himself into some real trouble after school. One of the little girls ran up to Shaun and told him that Alec had gone pee and everyone had seen his "stuff". (Well, everyone who was around, including girls.) AAAHHHHH!!!!! If I had just picked them up instead, the whole incident probably could have been avoided. What are we going to do with this kid??? Awhile back, there was another incident in the bathroom when he showed his butt to one of his classmates in the bathroom. I SWEAR we don't encourage or permit this type of behavior. We really don't. I am so embarrassed at this point and wonder what the school and other parents are starting to think of us.
Shaun thinks he has an idea about what happened. Yesterday was a nice day and the kids were playing out after school as they often do. Somehow, Alec and the other kids he was playing with had gotten some kind of ceramic cups which they were using to carry water up onto the hill to pour out and make a "river." When the school secretary (and parent) saw what they were up to, she took the cups away. Shaun thinks that perhaps peeing was Alec's way of making his own "water". Either way, it was wrong and it was bad. Today he has detention.
What else can we do? I mean, we talk to him about these incidents, tell him it's wrong, and give him a punishment. Then he goes back to school and does something else stupid. Shaun wondered if perhaps he was egged on by other students. It's possible, as we know kids do that all the time, but Alec never assigns any blame to anyone else. Shaun said, "Well, Alec's not really that type of kid." But he is. He tattles on his brothers ALL the time. Unless somehow it's different when it's other kids? I wouldn't think so.
The only other thing I can think of to do is to start doing a sticker chart with Alec. For each day that he is good at school and we don't get any bad reports, he'll earn a sticker. If he gets one for every day that week, he will earn a reward. What do you think? Any suggestions for rewards? It has to be something appealing, but not costly, since it will be a weekly thing. One reward might be a trip to McDonald's. What other kinds of things could we do? Seriously, I need help here. If ever I needed some comments, it's now. Things can't continue this way. He's going to end up kicked out and I'm gonna have to homeschool him. HELP!!!
However, this peeing business has now gone to another level. He keeps peeing right by the sliding glass doors that go out to our deck. I don't even know how many times he's done it. And he does it stealthily because there have been times, like yesterday, that I didn't notice it until it was kind of dried. He gets it all on the vertical blinds hanging there and it's just plain gross. Shaun put him in his kennel for most of yesterday afternoon and finally let him up in the evening. Turns out that was the wrong thing to do because he wasn't up here long before Shaun discovered he had peed by the door yet again.
Shaun has been talking to other K-9 guys to see what we should do about this. It is quite obvious that Rex is mad at Shaun for not taking him to work anymore, and that is the most likely cause for this behavior. In fact, sometimes Shaun has to have ME let Rex out because he won't go out and pee for him! We also believe he is bored. Be that as it may, we cannot allow him to continue peeing in our house. Wood floors or not, he can cause damage, and it's just not right anyway. I'd leave him out most of the time, but he barks a lot when he is outside, and I don't want him to be a disturbance to everyone else. Besides, it doesn't seem to matter how long he is out beforehand, he still pees in the house.
Another issue is that the yard is not fenced. Our plan was to do that this spring. In the meantime, Rex has to be on a chain. I don't know whether it would make a difference for him if he could run around the yard or not. Shaun's not sure he wants to put out the money to get the electric fence if Rex is going to continue the behavior anyway. I am also concerned about him biting someone. While Rex has never even made a move toward the kids or someone who comes in the house, I think it may be different in the yard. Last week, the neighbor boys were out in their yard playing. I could hear Rex barking at them and yelled at him to shut up. Then more barking. So, I finally went down to let him in and our neighbor was out there retrieving the boys' ball. She said they were afraid to come in our yard and get it. I don't blame them! He's a big German Shepherd with a big mouth! Anyway, she didn't think he would bother her, so she came to get the ball. As I was coming out to get Rex in, I saw him chase after her as she went back into their yard and he did not look very friendly to me. That worried me. And most of the yards around here have an electric fence, if they have any fence at all. It's typical for the kids to run freely through the yards around here when they are out to play, so that is a definite concern.
We love Rex, but the fact of the matter is, he's a working dog. It reminds me of the greyhound we adopted some years back. I had heard such great things about greyhounds, and they are known as "potato chip dogs" because most people can't have just one. So, we made the decision to rescue Ricky. Most greyhounds are on the track for about 18 months - 2 years, at most. Ricky, however, was on the track for FIVE. He was just not very friendly, not much like a pet at all. Sometimes he would even dart away when I reached out to pet him. We believe he was on the track for too long before we got him and just couldn't adapt to family life. (He may have even been abused, who knows.) I think it's kind of the same with Rex, although he's considerably friendlier. We think he may just not be happy here now that he's not working anymore. It's not uncommon for retired K-9's. And, it's no life for him if we have to keep him kenneled all the time.
So, Shaun will be talking to some of the guys he knows about the situation and we will have to decide what to do. Rex is a good dog, and he should be happy. We just don't know if that will be with us.
So last night I looked up sinus infection symptoms to see if these seemingly strange things could be related to a sinus infection. Sure enough! There are different types of sinus infections and the symptoms for a maxillary sinus infection include pain in the upper teeth and redness along the cheekbone. When I woke up this morning, my cheek was still red. I know I hadn't touched it all night, so Shaun was wrong. Plus, I called my mom this morning to ask her about it because she actually just got diagnosed with a sinus infection a few days ago and she said that yes, pain in the teeth is definitely a symptom. She doesn't have it, but the nurse practitioner asked her if she did. I've been taking some Tylenol sinus stuff, plus some extra Tylenol for the pain. It helps some.
I told Shaun last night that if it wasn't any better today, I was going to go to Urgent Care so I can get checked out and see about getting on an antibiotic. He is opposed to it because he hates antibiotics (even more than I thought, apparently), but I told him that I am not going to just keep going on like this with 4 kids to take care of. This SUCKS!!! I have a new found sympathy for those who get these things all the time. I can't even remember the last time I've taken an antibiotic for anything. Sometimes I think you just really do need one. So, when he gets home with the boys this afternoon, I'm heading down there.
Joey goes to a tiny private Catholic school. As such, it has made inviting kids for his birthday parties easy because their class is so small that they are all friends, and we don't have to pick and choose among 30 kids who we will invite. No hurt feelings. Joey has been fortunate enough to be going through school with an exceptional group of boys. They are all friends, they all get along very well, and they are all just genuinely good kids.
All five boys were able to attend. I had talked to my mom and my dad and was able to unload the other 3 kids for the night. My dad took Alec and my mom took Kyle and Lauren because she had also gotten them tickets to a Disney show at the arena near her house on Saturday. (Kyle was NOT happy about that because my mom didn't come to pick them up until after all of the boys had gotten here and he was hanging out with them downstairs.) So the boys spent most of the evening in the basement playing video games and having Nerf gun wars. Shaun even got in on the action later that night. They had a BLAST! There was no fighting, nothing got broken, there just really weren't any problems. This house is GREAT for having kids over. With all the wood floors I didn't have to fuss over them wearing their shoes and the basement is a great place to play while keeping the noise muffled from upstairs. We couldn't have done it in our old house. In fact, the one slumber party Joey did have while we were living there, we hosted out at my dad's! We made them all go to bed around 11:30 and I think Shaun only had to stick his head in once to quiet them down. I'd say they were pretty much all asleep by midnight.
Well, there was one little thing. I awoke to the boys talking and giggling that morning. I looked around, realizing it was STILL DARK. So I looked at the clock and it wasn't even 6:00 yet! Um, NO. So I sent Shaun to tell them to be quiet, there was NO way I was letting them get up before the roosters, and I was fairly certain they wouldn't listen to me. I don't know if any of them went back to sleep, but they were quiet, so it was okay, and we were able to go back to sleep. It was around 8:00 when we heard them plotting to come in and attack us with their Nerf guns. Shaun got up and foiled their plot. No, that would not have been a good thing to do!
It was a good party. And it was good for me to be reminded of why we send our kids to that school, why we made the move to be closer even though Shaun would be so much farther from work, why I am so thankful for my mom who helps us do it by contributing to tuition. I couldn't say a bad thing about any of those boys and we look forward to having them back....one at a time ;) These days, it is so very important for our children to have friends that help them be good people, and so very hard to do. Here is a picture of Joe with his posse. I had to get one of all of them together because it looks like two of them will be leaving us in the next few months :(
Left to right: Anthony, Nick, Kienan, Joey, Alex, and Atanasio
Blogger Buster to help me before, and it is so easy to follow that I thought surely I could make this happen. WRONG! I followed these instructions exactly several times over and it just is not working. In fact, I am having a similar problem to the one I had when I moved my Entrecard widget from the left sidebar to the right. When I would put the HTML for the widget into the box and apply it to my blog, Blogger automatically changed the code. The only way I finally got it to work was to delete all my other widgets, add the Entrecard widget back in, then replace all the other ones. The same thing is happening when I do the code for the sidebars. When I preview the blog and see that it hasn't worked, I go back into the HTML and see that the order has been changed automatically. I am NOT knowledgable about CSS or HTML, so I don't know what the problem is here. A friend of mine designed the template, so I don't know if it's something particular with the template that is keeping it from working or what.
Some commented on that site that it worked in Firefox but not Internet Explorer. I almost always use Internet Explorer because I prefer it, but I checked it in Firefox as well and it didn't work there either. Not to mention that it obviously CAN work in IE because that's what I usually use and I see blogs with sidebars that go all the way down using that browser.
You see, when I get my mind set to doing something, it's VERY hard to get me to stop trying. I don't give up on figuring things out easily. The thing is, this can clearly be done because I see it on other blogs. It just figures that everything I want to do has to be so complicated! Is there anyone that might be able to help me with this? PLEASE?!?!
Carter's is currently having a 50% off sale and the coupon is good from February 18-25. Before we moved, we only lived about 10 minutes away from a mall that has a bunch of outlet stores and I was always pleased when I happened upon one of Carter's 50% off sales. You can get some adorable little sets for around $10. I have always been a fan of their pajamas, too, and usually pick up a bunch when they are on sale somewhere. I have pairs that have made it through 3 boys, so that's saying something about the quality! Since Lauren has almost nothing for this spring and summer, I am definitely going to go out there and take advantage of the sale and coupon, even though we're farther away now.
Osh Kosh B'Gosh is having a similar sale for 40 - 60% off plus a $10 off coupon for any purchase of $50 or more, good for February 19-25. I don't have an Osh Kosh store near me, but if you do, you may want to check that out as well. I can forward the emails with the coupons to anyone and have sent them to several friends. If you're not one of those I've already sent them to and would like to have them, you can leave a comment with your email and I would be happy to forward them along to you. Or, if you'd rather, you can email me at winger0024(at)sbcglobal(dot)net. Click on the images to find a store location near you. Happy shopping!
I've recently signed up with a number of interet survey sites as kind of an experiment. Supposedly some people make a pretty decent income doing these things. So I thought, "What the hay?" So far, I'm not seeing it. For one thing, most of them give you a sign-up bonus of about $5. Sweet, right? Pfffft. I got to thinking about it the other day and, after a couple of weeks, if it weren't for those sign-up bonuses, I'd only have a few dollars in each account. And usually they have a minimum to cash out, $20-$30 on average. HA! It'll take me several months to get that. Half the time, I don't even qualify for the survey, so I get squat. On two of the sites, they offer daily surveys for 50 cents each. I haven't even been able to get the surveys to load on either site for days! Me thinks I'm wasting my time.
So anyway, I guess as a result of all this signing-up I've been doing, I got a call on my cell the other night on the way to Joey's birthday dinner. I'd won a $500 internet shopping spree! WHAT?!?! GET OUT!!! Yeah, it gets better. Now, in addition to this shopping spree, they wanted to give me not one, but FIVE magazines, all FREE! No way. All I had to do was pay shipping and handling. Hmmm. You know there is always a catch, right? Bingo! That still didn't sound half bad. After all, someone just has to mention shopping and I get all goofy. In fact, I almost did the deal. After I got off the phone, I managed to get out that little calculator in my brain. Shipping = $1.99 per week. The magazine subscriptions were for 60 months (I originally thought she said 16.). 60 months times about $8.00 per month and what do you get? That's right, approximately $480. So, I had to spend $480 to get $500. WHAAAT? Don't worry, I got out of it. Sometimes I'm a little slower on the uptake than I'd like to admit.
I also get these email offers just like that. Tonight one came in for a $500 JC Penney gift card. Read that TEENY TINY little print and all you have to do is complete 25 different offers that require you to purhase a bunch of stuff you don't even need or want for more than the stupid gift card is worth. How is that a good deal?!?!
And so I realized that this blogging thing was supposed to be fun. And I'll just post whatever, whenever, probably often later when the kids are all in bed. And sometimes people will read it ;) And sometimes they won't. And sometimes they'll comment. And sometimes they won't. And maybe I'll still get to do a giveaway here and there. (Great for my readers, you'll have a real good shot at winning!) And I'm a mom. That's the job God gave me, and it's a pretty important one indeed. And I got to thinking about whether God would care if I had a popular internet blog. Go ahead, giggle. I did!
So we met them at church this morning and halfway through the sermon, Alec said that his stomach hurt. Great. So I took him downstairs. He said he thought he didn't have enough breakfast. Now, for those that don't know, I am convinced even without official diagnosis that Alec is hypoglycemic. (Actually, I think at least 3 of the kids are.) I won't go into his long history that leads me to this conclusion, but it suffices to say that because of his issues, these stomach bugs can turn into a vicious cycle for him. If he doesn't eat well the night before, he will throw up the next morning. He had to be hospitalized overnight once a couple of years ago, and I had to take him to Urgent Care this last time he was sick. (Although, mom said he ate good last night.) So thinking perhaps his blood sugar was low, I gave him some orange juice. We went back to Mass. A couple of minutes later he was complaining again. Back downstairs we went, and this time I just planned to stay rather than have to keep going in and out of church or risk him puking in there.
While downstairs, he did a poo. (Sorry!) So I thought maybe that was what had made him uncomfortable. He said he was feeling better. At his age, I would think he could communicate this stuff pretty well, but I have been fooled more than once. So on the way home he starts moaning and complaining again, and I could tell by that all too familiar face he was making that I needed to get off the highway, and QUICK. After I got him out of the van and he stood there for a minute, he tried to tell me that he thought he'd be okay. I told him no, he'd better produce something before we got back in that van! LOL! Sure enough, he puked. Thank God I was able to get him out. I don't even want to think about it if I hadn't! So I thought we'd be able to make it home before he might get sick again. Nope. This time I couldn't get off the road quick enough and some of it ended up in the van. (Thank goodness he mostly emptied out the first time!) UGH! Somebody PLEASE remind me to put a barf bucket in the van. Man, I HATE puke!!!
So now I just wait and hope and pray that this one doesn't make its rounds. Joey is supposed to be having his birthday slumber party on Friday and I'd hate for it to get spoiled with yet anoher round of sickies. With Alec, you can't always be sure of the cause. He hasn't gotten sick since we've been home and he's been begging to go downstairs to watch the other boys play video games. On the other hand, when he's gotten into one of those vicious cycles before, he went hours without getting sick and I'd think he was better only to have him get sick all over again. Unfortunately, I don't have any Pedialyte or Gatorade on hand because, dummy me, thought we'd done our pukes for the season. So, to try to make sure I keep his blood sugar up, I looked up a recipe for homemade electrolyte solution. Tastes just like the expensive kinds you buy that expires like 48 hours after you open the darn stuff. Here's the recipe:
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoons sugar
1 packet Sugar-Free Kool-Aid
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute
The Kool-Aid and salt substitute are optional, but I used Kool-Aid because the stuff isn't so good anyway and thought it would make it more palatable. Just thought I'd share with my fellow moms and dads, but I sure hope you don't need it!
And now, my baby is 10!
Happy 10th Birthday, Joey!!! We love you so much!!!
So perhaps I need to re-evaluate my internet usage (which I already know is too much) and start focusing on the important things and the people in my real life who actually pay attention to what I have to say. I'm sure to get more valuable things done with that time, too. Things I end up feeling guilty about when I spend time posting something on my blog that probably no one will read. Posts like this one.
Yeah, the rug didn't go, either. It was from another room in our old house.
And this is the top of one of our mangled end tables (the other one is in our bedroom because, well, we need furniture in there, too!). For some reason, a couple of our children decided that was a good place to bang toys. BOTH of our end tables ended up looking like this:
After hunting high and low, we found a new set that both Shaun and I agreed on. We are loving it because it's a reclining sofa. Because of the awkward space in our living room, having an ottoman or coffee table would be too crowded, and I have desperately been wanting something to put my feet up on. So, we decided a reclining sofa was the way to go. It was hard finding something that had both comfort and style, but I think we did good:
We're waiting on the matching recliner, which will take several more weeks to come in. Of course, now I am anxious to get the paneling off the walls and get them painted! It's really going to brighten it up in there and make it feel more modern. I will probably also change the rug, and we are planning to get rid of the TV armoire and get something less bulky. So, it's a work in progress, but I am SO happy with my....er....our new furniture!
Shaun is planning to get an electric fence for the back yard. I wonder if we could get it for our living room, too? ;)
I love my Joe. Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls is having a Valentine's giveaway from Buzybunny's Creations! I just had to blog about this giveaway because Julia, the crafter of Buzybunny's Creations, is right here in St. Louis! I love that I can blog about a local mom. She appears regularly on a local show called "Show Me St. Louis". Unfortunately, I haven't been watching for quite some time, so I have not seen her on the show before. I may have to tune in and check it out! Anyway, one lucky reader will win one of Julia's adorable glass pendants, so head on over to the giveaway at Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls and enter for your chance to win! I've chosen "The Wedding Singer" pendant as my favorite. LOVE the movie, and the necklace is so me:
Lauren has become quite the ham for the camera. I was taking some pictures of her in her Christmas dress and got quite a giggle when I looked back at the pictures and saw I captured this pose!
So I am already up way too late, but I was moving some things around on my blog and when I moved my Entrecard widget from the left to the right side, it would NOT show up. When I reloaded the page and checked the code, it would be different from the code given on the Entrecard site. I'd fix it, save it, and reload the page and still nothing. Tried moving it to the top of the sidebar, still nothing. I tried putting it back on the left side and that worked! Then it showed up on the right side, too. So then I thought I'd try to trick my page and delete the one on the left side. So far so good....until I reloaded the page again, then it disappeared again. AHHH!!!! I did notice, though, that the code is different now when I checked it just like when I tried to put it on the other side, but it still shows up. Does anyone have any idea why I can't get it to show up in my right sidebar? Why would that be? That's where I want it, darnit! What the H???