Day 4- Sick Day and Pantheon

Robert woke up coughing and I’m pretty sure had a temperature Wednesday morning. He had been coughing a bit since we got to Rome, but the coughing fits were getting worse and he was obviously worn out.


Chris called up his old co-worker Cascone, who lives in Rome, and asked him for advice. He got all of Robert’s symptoms and sent a text with what to say and ask for at the pharmacy. He was very kind and said to call him when we got there and he could talk to them if we needed him to. I just showed them the texts and they got me all set up with pain reliever and cough medicine for a “fatty” cough, which is their word for a wet cough. That just sounds so much grosser to me. I was a little concerned about what to do if he got worse or if it turned out to be an ear infection. We had train tickets to Venice the next day and would be flying on Saturday. Thankfully a day of rest did the trick.

Chris stayed with him in the hotel room while Clara and I ventured out on our own and it turned out to be a gorgeous day. Our first stop was the Trevi Fountain to see it when with the water flowing.




If you turn your back to the fountain and throw a coin over your shoulder, you are sure to return to Rome. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch her in time and she didn’t turn her back. I guess only time will tell if it counted or not. Around 3000 euro are thrown into the Trevi Fountain every day and given to the needy.


From there it was a short walk to the Pantheon.



One of the missions in Robert’s book was to take a picture trying to wrap your arms around one of the columns of the Pantheon, so Clara took care of that for him.


We then started walking toward the Piazza Navona, stopping in at a tea shop on the way since it was around lunchtime. They had sandwiches, but we didn’t really see anything on the menu that we wanted, so I just let Clara choose a pastry. The waiter showed her into the next room to choose from an assortment inside of a case, so I didn’t see what she picked. He brought out a huge piece of cake and I just had to shake my head since that’s not exactly what I meant.  She also got a massive cup of cocoa that was so rich she couldn’t even finish. When we got the bill, I tried to contain my surprise when I saw that she chose a 9 euro piece of cake! She got a raised eyebrow and a “Seriously, Clara?” once the waiter was out of earshot.

And then she somehow talked me into gelato when we got to the Piazza Navona.



We then walked over to the Castel San’t Angelo. I really wanted to take the kids here. Neither Chris nor I have been and it looks really cool, but we decided to skip it. It just felt weird doing stuff without the guys.





You can see St. Peter’s from Castel San’t Angelo and it was a quick walk to get there. I wanted Clara to see it in the daylight.




We were feeling guilty about leaving the boys all day, so we headed back to the hotel via the subway and bus and got back around 2:00. We grabbed take away pizza to eat on the walk back from the bus stop. I took a picture of Clara on this steep subway escalator. It was sooooo long. This was about halfway up already. I saw a video from a few weeks before our trip where one of Rome’s subway escalators malfunctioned. It was completely full when it sped up crazy fast, several steps collapsed and people were just piling up at the bottom. I believe someone’s foot had to be amputated. That’s all I could think about every time we stepped on one. Go watch the video; it’s crazy.


So Robert was feeling a bit better when we returned. He and Chris had left the hotel to find some lunch and Robert tried the hotdog and french fry pizza. Crazy enough, he wasn’t a fan. We just laid around that afternoon and then I went back out for another piece of pizza. We had dinner reservations at 8:00 with Cascone at a restaurant near the Piazza Navona that had been set for weeks. His daughter was also sick, so his wife wouldn’t be joining us and I decided Robert should not go out either since it would be a late night, so Chris and Clara kept the dinner date and it was just the three of them. I was bummed that we had to miss it, but glad Chris was able to catch up with his old friend.

Chris and Clara took a bus to the Trevi Fountain and then walked to the Pantheon and on to Piazza Navona, so Clara got to experience Rome by night.


As for me and Robert, we just laid around watching tv. As I was finishing up my shower and getting dressed, I could hear him having a coughing fit. I saw that he couldn’t control it and was about to toss his cookies. I didn’t get there in time and the first bit landed on our bed (lovely). I tried to get him to hurry to the toilet, picked him up from behind and there was another splat on the carpet by the bed. I had barely gotten him over the threshold of the bathroom and onto the tile when the rest of it came up. It was a lot. Seriously. Just would not stop coming. The poor guy felt so bad and when it finally passed and I was cleaning up, he just kept saying over and over how sorry he was. And then he was famished, but it was late and I didn’t want to take him out in the cold and the hotel only serves breakfast and has no vending machine. So I gave him a few cookies and convinced him he could wait til morning.

I forgot to mention, on Sunday or Monday night, he and I went down to the lobby where they have a tea and coffee service and pastries. He wanted some tea, so I had just poured us two cups. He took a bite of a croissant that was filled with Nutella and immediately felt sick. We’re just discovering that he’s got a nut allergy, so I could tell right away he was about to throw up. I rushed him back upstairs and sat a minute with him. I thought it had passed, so I went back down to drink my tea real quick and clean up our mess since we just up and ran without saying anything. I told Chris but I guess he didn’t hear me. Apparently Robert finally puked it up right after I left (into the sink mind you) and Chris thought I was in the bathroom with him the whole time. Oops. Poor guy wasn’t feeling the love from us that night.

Next Up–April

This is like Christmas in June. I’m spoiling y’all!

Justin’s birthday party was the day after Robert got his ear infection diagnosis. He actually felt ok, but he kept having those coughing fits, so we decided he probably shouldn’t be hacking all over the party guests and we’d be almost an hour away from home if he did. Chris stayed home with him while Clara and I headed up to Spring. The newest Decarlo is the spitting image of his big brother. Clara helped keep him corralled for Danielle since he didn’t want to miss out on any of the action.



Here’s a comparison pic. Travis is a year older here. Awww, weren’t they cute?


It was a good thing Robert didn’t come. Before I got home, Chris called and said he was having a coughing fit and couldn’t catch his breath. He had thrown up everywhere and just could not get it under control. It wasn’t a productive cough at all. I got him into the bathroom and started the steam. I gave him a cough suppressant but he just threw it right back up. I ended up getting a syringe and giving him just a tiny bit when it slowed and he could catch his breath and then waited a minute before giving him more. It took about 20 minutes, but it stayed down.

I felt so bad for him. It was getting really late and he just wanted to sleep, but it still wasn’t slowing much. In between coughs he asked me “Am I going to die?” :( Poor guy. If he hadn’t stopped soon after, we probably would have taken him in, but the cough eventually started to subside and he was able to get a good night’s sleep. He was back to school on Monday, but fell asleep on the bus ride home. He got in trouble at school and fell asleep early on the couch the first half of the week. It really wiped him out.

I took on another project and cleaned the shower tile with an acidic cleaner that eats away all of the hard water deposits, leaving it smooth as glass, as well as re-caulked. It was not as easy a task as I had envisioned. (Is it ever?) There was crumbling grout behind a lot of the caulk, so not only did that make it harder to remove, but then I had to remove the loose grout as well. In the end though, I’m happy with the lovely bright white.




Chris has made friends with a man at church that is a car aficionado and he told him how much Robert loves cars, so one night after church, he let Robert sit in his cool car. I don’t know what it is. BMW something or other, maybe?



We went to Temple for Easter weekend.





Saturday night before bed, the Easter bunny’s assistants had convened to discuss the gameplan for distributing each of their batches of eggs on Sunday. It was decided to wait until after church to hide eggs outside while lunch was being prepared. Well, during the night, an impostor entered the home and left eggs all over the house. Neither of the bunny’s true assistants said anything but both were wondering, “What the heck? Didn’t we just talk about this?” The reason I know this was an impostor is because the eggs contained Hot Tamales (which the kids hate, but which look a lot like red Mike and Ike’s that were intermingled in the eggs) and also Jelly Belly beanboozled flavored jelly beans. I didn’t realize this until I got what I believe to be a mouthful of dog food flavored jelly bean. Linda found eggs hidden in random places for days after we left, including in her purse.


I just took a picture of a worksheet Robert brought home one day because I’m pretty sure I didn’t learn the term “oviparous” or “non-oviparous” in first grade. In fact, I think I learned the two new words that day.


The kids had their field days at the end of the month. Clara and other RDR members got to help with the two sessions for the younger grades, so she enjoyed missing almost two full days of class between her own field day and the other two sessions. She was “working” the hula hoop station during this session. And that’s the only picture I took because I was busy helping pass out snacks the rest of the time.


Robert fell off of his bike about five times over the course of a few days. He got back up pretty quickly with minimal tears each time, even this time when he hit his lip and almost busted it.

I’m going to get in trouble for posting this next picture. We’ve decided to finish out one of our attics. It already has a full size door going into it, so we’re adding flooring and insulation and it will have an area for storage, as well as a space for Chris to spread out his hobbies. We had worked on it over the course of a month, and as he was laying down the second to last piece of plywood, he stood up fast and hit his head hard on the rafter above, falling off the plywood, one leg in the garage. We just added it to the quote the drywall/painter guy gave us, so no biggie. :)


The science lab teacher had asked me several months back if I would help chaperone the 5th grade field trip to the Museum of Natural Science. The district changed chaperone rules this year and official chaperones must ride the bus with the group. I don’t want to re-live all the gory details, but suffice it to say, I was traumatized for a week. Some of the kids were awful, even after getting a huge lecture before leaving the school. We were late getting off (b/c of lecture) and then hit traffic, so we got to the museum an hour late, having missed our scheduled IMAX movie. Everything had to be re-arranged and we never did really get things under control. It was awful. One boy got in trouble and ended up having to sit on the bus with the principal the entire time. In the end, we watched a different IMAX about the Galapagos and the kids did calm down and enjoy that thankfully, so I was able to calm down and breathe for almost an hour. I think a lot of them had never seen a 3D movie. We also watched a film in the planetarium. We only had a short amount of time between the two, so we had to scrap the initial plans of splitting into groups and ended up just winding our way through the dinosaur exhibit quickly in one long line of 130 kids and then had to eat lunch out front quickly before getting back on the buses. No pictures because I was trying not to flip out on kids the entire time. :)

Rewinding– January

I haven’t taken many pictures this year, so it’s difficult for me to remember what all we’ve done. We rang in the new year with Chris still down with an infection after getting hit hard by the cedar during our post-Christmas camping trip at Inks Lake. We had planned on spending the evening with the Decarlos, but instead, we laid low. I think I remember the kids and I went up the next afternoon to join the Decarlos for lunch after church, but my memory is terrible! If I didn’t take pictures, I can’t remember! He still wasn’t 100% by the next weekend, so I flew solo to my cousin Brent’s wedding outside of La Grange. It was an outdoor wedding and reception and it was freezing cold, so we didn’t want him to have a relapse. I’m glad I went by myself because the kids would have been miserable and complained the entire time. I got to see my aunts and uncles and a few cousins I hadn’t seen in a while, so that was nice.

The following weekend, Chris and I attended a marriage retreat put on by our church at a resort on Lake Conroe. We met Dan and Linda for dinner in College Station so they could take the kids for the weekend. It was a long weekend, so they got an extra day with them.

Near the end of the month, Chris traveled to Rome for a couple of weeks for work. While he was away, the kids had math/science night at school. A local high school robotics team brought their remote controlled ball throwing robots to show the kids. They would scoop them up and then throw them back to the kids. They loved it. They also had a scientist doing cool experiments for the kids and a discovery dome from the museum. The line was really long though, so we never got to see inside of it.



Robert made a house out of Dots and toothpicks. The goal was to build a structure that could withstand being blown down by the Big Bad Wolf.



And they also got to build with these huge legos. Robert made a couch. Clara made Pandora’s Box, because of course she did. Still loves her Greek mythology. These legos were a bit of a pain for me though. The math/science instructional coach was in charge of the event and she was really overwhelmed as the event got closer. I was helping her out making copies, cutting, things like that. She was going to be borrowing these from another school in the district, but the school is clear across town and she was panicking trying to figure out when and how she was going to get them in time. I offered to drive the 30 minutes to get them, loaded them up myself and then unloaded at the school. These things filled up the entire back of the land rover! There is no way she would’ve been able to get them all in her car. Several weeks later I saw they were still in her office, so I took them back for her too :)



That Saturday night around 9:00 p.m., I was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t really accomplished anything, so I said, “I’m going to clean one room in the house from top to bottom so I’ll feel accomplished.” Yes, that’s all it takes for me to feel productive. Fast forward fifteen minutes and somehow this happened.


I decided to keep it a secret until he got home 😉 That would be thermafoil laminate that covers all of the cabinets in our house. It’s peeling in lots of places where you grab to open the doors and drawers since there are no knobs. I had been doing some online research to see if it would be possible to repaint them. They’re mdf, but are in fine condition. New cabinetry would have been such a huge waste, not to mention massively expensive, but they definitely needed a facelift after 18 years. I knew I wanted to experiment on the bathroom cabinets before undertaking the kitchen, but I just hadn’t been able to convince myself to start peeling. I just needed to be left unsupervised for a bit to get the ball rolling. It peels right off and there’s not even any glue to remove except for a bit on the edges.

Since it’s mdf, I made sure to use an oil based primer and I used cabinet paint to get good, even coverage. I wanted to do it right, so I removed doors, sanded the boxes, primed and painted the insides, the boxes, drawers, everything. By the time Chris got home, I wasn’t anywhere near being finished. Oopsie. May have been a bigger (and dustier) job than I anticipated.


Here are some before and afters. You’ll notice a big grease or cleaner spot that had eaten through the top layer of the cabinet floor there in the corner, but now it looks good as new!



And there were lots of spots where the paint had peeled and the previous owner had done a poor touch up job. I bought knobs so hopefully that will keep from damaging the paint job as much. The cabinet paint includes some type of urethane or acrylic or something that is supposed to help prevent chipping. I put 2-3 coats of primer and 3-4 coats of paint on all of the doors and boxes. It took for-ever! It looks so nice though. I just hope it holds up. It’s been four months now, and so far, so good.



Here is the inside of one of the drawers with a bunch of chipped spots. After painting everything, I put heavy duty shelf liner down to hopefully keep things looking nice and new for a long time to come.



While I was knee deep in my impromptu home improvement project trying desperately to get it done before Chris got home, I had stopped in the drive-thru at Chick fil one afternoon when my mom called to tell me my Aunt June had passed away :( She had been sick for some time and had been in and out of the hospital, but it was still a shock. As soon as I hung up with my mom, warning lights on my dashboard started flashing, there was beeping, my ac went haywire and my suspension was making weird noises. Tire pressure, seatbelt, overheating lights, everything was going crazy. I pulled into a spot to gather my thoughts. I didn’t know what was going on so I quickly turned it off. Went to turn it back on and it wouldn’t turn over. I skyped Chris in Rome to ask him what I should do. He called his co-worker Scott to come rescue me :) In his nice work clothes. Long story short, we eventually got it home (barely), it sat in the driveway until Chris got home while I drove the Jeep.

Chris came home to a half finished project, we were a one car family for a week while Chris tried to figure out what might be wrong with the land rover. I was taking him to work one morning in the Jeep when he said the brakes felt really squishy. We stopped at the auto parts store and he added some brake fluid. That leaked all out onto the ground below :( We pulled into a brake shop a block or so down the street and were officially car-less. Chris called his co-worker Vance to come pick us up and take me home. Got it back that evening and got the land rover in to the shop the next day. I think we shelled out about 2k that weekend on car repairs. :(

Happy New Year!

As is usually the case, New Year’s Eve rolled around and we hadn’t made any plans. So kids and movies it is! We tried to trick them with the Netflix New Years countdown so we could go to sleep early, but Clara’s too quick for those kind of shenanigans now. Darn. So I chilled a bottle of sparking cider (that I had in the pantry from last year when it didn’t get used) and we took a few obligatory pictures sometime around midnight.



Max’s 15th NYE celebration!




Robert’s face cracks me up in the next one. They were both so excited about drinking “champagne” from fancy glasses. They both were taken aback a bit by how “spicy” it was. Clara and I just took a few sips, but Robert had no problem gulping his down after having to force down the first couple of sips. Hmmmm. Should I be worried?



And then out of nowhere, he came down with this mystery rash the next day. I thought maybe it was an allergic reaction, but the next day it had spread to his torso and arms. I guess it could have been fifth’s disease given the slapped cheeks appearance, but he didn’t have a fever beforehand. Unless that’s what his fever was from before Christmas, but I didn’t think the rash could take 2+ weeks to appear. Who knows. It was gone with no other symptoms four or five days later.



All Clear!

Chris went back to work for a few hours yesterday. He wanted to go back all day, but I convinced him not to overdo it. He has a tendency to do that :) He went in for his Christmas party at lunch time and came home a few hours later. His back is on fire right now from all the laying around he did, so I’m guessing he won’t make it a full day today either.

This was Robert yesterday, day five of fever. His hooded frog blanket was his constant companion as he trudged from his bed to the couch each day this week. I had to confiscate it several times to run it through the wash. One of the times was because he coughed so much he threw up on it.

I have to say, Robert has proven to be the most wonderful sick patient. He didn’t complain, didn’t whine, didn’t cry, nothing. At times I would take his temperature and it was around 103 and I couldn’t believe it because he was talking or walking around or singing even. He was of course lethargic; you could tell he didn’t feel good, but I was amazed at how easy he was. He continually told me thank you and reiterated how much he loved me through coughs and sniffles. He’s a good kid :)


And today he finally woke fever-free and it’s stayed gone so far. Yay! He went with me this morning to take Clara to school. It was the first time since Saturday morning that he’s left the house. I also realized it was the first time since last Thursday night that Max had been home alone. Of course it’s raining all day today so Robert can’t get his pent up energy out just yet.

Today is an early release day for Clara, as well as Polar Express Day. They’re having a sing-along in the gym, watching Polar Express and will have hot cocoa. Clara was terribly excited and I’m so glad she was well enough to be there for it. Today is a bit sad too though. Her friend Addison is moving out of state and leaves Christmas day. She’s temporarily living in the med center right now, so today is probably the last time Clara will see her. It’s always hard to say good-bye to friends.


One Down, Two to Go!

Clara has been fever free all day, so she’s back to school tomorrow. Yahoo! Robert was fever free this morning, but then it came back, so no school for him. Boo! Chris feels terrible and shows no signs of improvement. I actually think he might have the flu. Their strep results haven’t come back yet.

I’ve been medicating, hydrating, sanitizing, feeding, cleaning and dishwashing like crazy. Since I was at Clara’s school all last week while Robert was in school, I was planning to finish up all of my Christmas preparations and gift buying this week while Robert was in school. So I got everyone fed, medicated and set up with kleenex, drinks, blankets and movies and then high-tailed it out of here for a couple of hours yesterday and today and got most everything I needed to done. I really didn’t want to wait in case I’m down for the count soon. My throat was feeling scratchy last night so I was sure I was going to be sick today, but I’m sooooo thankful that I’ve felt fine.

Clara’s First Choir Performace

Clara had her choir tour during the school day on Tuesday. To say Clara was excited about her first choir performance would be an understatement. They got to perform at a hospital and two assisted living facilities and then have lunch at Double Dave’s. Dan and Linda went to her first performance at a hospital right by our house. Linda was able to get some great photos and video. I’m glad she did because I was working at Santa’s Workshop at Clara’s school all week and wasn’t able to attend. Santa’s Workshop is a little shop the PTA sets up for the kids to choose Christmas gifts for their family. It was crazy busy! And it doesn’t help that the youngest have no concept of money and cost. They’d come in with $3.00 and want to buy gifts for 10 people. Oy. It definitely stretched my patience.

Anyway, Chris went to her third performance because it was near his work. He said she was so distracted and turned the wrong direction most of the time, playing with her hat, etc. He said it was a little embarrassing how badly she was acting. Ha! Looks like Grandma and Grandpa saw a bit of that show too.





So I was helping out at Clara’s school all week while Robert was at school. Thursday was Clara’s school’s Christmas program. I was up at the school from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm, leaving only long enough to go get Robert from school. I got Clara when school let out and she was acting a little whiney. Not too bad, just not real happy about me asking her to help out with different things. The event was only a couple of hours away and there was still a lot to do that had to wait until school let out. I had Chris come get the kids when he got off work and he was going to get them dressed and back up to the school for the program at 6:00. He got them at 5:15 and then called 15 minutes later to let me know Clara was running a fever :(

Here Robert was helping out on Thursday. He had pajama day at school and I didn’t bother changing him. We had to move our entire Santa’s Workshop from a classroom and set it up in the cafeteria. Robert got to carry part of a raffle prize.


So I didn’t get to see her perform with the choir or her grade. And she was supposed to play the triangle with the 3rd grade. They also didn’t get to sit on Santa’s lap, which was going to be the only time this year because I am not standing in line at the mall. They’ll be writing letters instead. The one nice thing was that the president didn’t have to come find someone to give me a break during the two and  a half hour event. Wait, that was good for her, not so much for me :) It’s so sad the lack of volunteers we have. We have to get high schoolers to come help and a credit union sends volunteers for us because we don’t have enough parents willing to help. There were probably a couple of thousand people that came through the doors that night and a total of about 6-7 PTA volunteers. Those same 6-7 people did all the set up, volunteering at the event and clean up. So all that to say, if you have a kid in school and can, volunteer. They need you!

I got Clara in to the clinic first thing Friday. I thought maybe she had an ear infection because she winced in pain a couple of weeks ago when I tried to flush her ears. Well, the wax was too hard and completely covering her eardrum, so she couldn’t tell if there was an infection. Her rapid strep test came back negative but was sent off to the lab, so we were on our way. We got the call last night that the strep test came back positive, so she started on antibiotics last night.

Robert started running a slight fever yesterday and Chris’ throat started hurting last night. They both got worse overnight so both went to the clinic this morning. Both rapid tests came back negative, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be getting antibiotics in two to three days when their results come back positive :( Looks like Robert will be missing his Christmas program and class party this week. Clara should have been able to go back to school tomorrow after 24 hours on the antibiotic, but she’s still running a fever a little over 100, so maybe by Wednesday. I’m just hoping that Chris is on the upswing before I get hit here in a day or two. I’m keeping optimistic :) Hopefully this bug will be well on it’s way out before Christmas.


Sorry I haven’t updated in a while. I’ve been sick three times in the last month. I never get sick. The last time I was sick enough to go to the doctor was for a sinus infection six years ago. I get the occasional cold, but they are usually pretty minor. So, I got a sinus infection about a week after we got back from Pecos that knocked me out for two days. I could barely get myself off the couch. And of course, Chris was on a business trip those two days. The kids managed to survive on a box of crackers and juice boxes for the most part. At about 11:00 p.m. the first night I was in tears begging them to please just go to bed. Clara was such a good big sister. She got Robert dressed for bed and then he fell asleep while she was reading him a story.

Thankfully I started feeling better right about the time Chris got back the second night around 7:00 and I kicked it into high gear because Dan and Linda were coming for their first visit to our new house the next day. The place was trashed but I managed to make it halfway presentable before they arrived. They took us to see Planes and we mostly hung around the house the rest of the time because I was still recovering and it was sweltering outside.

Both kids ran a fever the Saturday before school started but were fine the next morning. Robert did end up coming down with a cold and really bad cough not long after, so he was on breathing treatments for a week or so. Chris got sick after that I think and ended up back in the clinic because he wanted to be well for a car race he was working the next weekend. He took over the nebulizer once Robert was done and got some steroids so he was better in time for his four day race weekend in College Station. The day before he left, I came down with a massive sore throat with no other symptoms. I couldn’t do anything I was in so much pain. I was just curled up in a ball on the couch. It hurt to talk, yawn and eat. I was not looking forward to being on my own with the kids while sick again, but I woke the next morning greatly improved. I was just super tired. So again, I spent several days completely exhausted while I recovered.

And then last week, I got sick again! I had a head cold for several days that started on Wednesday. I’ve taken two naps a day since it started. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t take a morning nap and I finally felt like myself again by the afternoon. This morning we were able to ride our bikes to school after taking almost a week off. Clara is sneezing like crazy and completely stopped up and has a runny nose, but I’m hoping it’s just allergies and we can keep it from turning into an infection. Aside from all the coughing, nose blowing, and sleeping we’re doing around here, not much else has been going on. Most every weekend has been recovery time for one or more of us.

Clara is doing well in school. She loves her teacher and has made friends. I love the school because they actually communicate with parents. What a concept. I mean, I knew Clara’s old school was really lacking in how much they communicated, but I didn’t have anything to compare it with. I now see just how sorely lacking they were. I received more information in the first two weeks of school here than I did in two years at Clara’s old school. And I’m not even exaggerating. They never told us anything. The website was never updated, no newsletter, nothing. The line to sign up for PTA was so long on Meet the Teacher night that I didn’t bother standing in it since Robert was being a toot and I signed up later. At her old school, the one meeting I went to had about four parents, the principal and one teacher representative present. So I’m loving her new school year so far.

We walked to school the first week. The afternoons were brutal. Brutal I tell you. I took this picture right after we got home one day. It doesn’t do justice to just how sweaty we were. You’ll notice the bottom half of my shirt is soaked.

So I started bringing umbrellas for shade and I picked up this baby at the store and all was well. You’ll notice little brother is not too happy about sharing his squirting fan. Robert is loving walking and riding to school because he gets to bring along a snack to keep him occupied. Clara’s new school starts and ends later than her old one, so the timing has been perfect for Robert to get a nice nap right before going to pick her up which makes for a more pleasant outing.

After that first week, we started riding our bikes. Those first few days my thighs were on fire! All told, between drop off and pick up, I’m riding 3.5 miles pulling a trailer with Robert. That’s up from, um, about 0.0 the week before. It’s been good for all of us I think. We’re getting much needed exercise, I’ve met a couple of other moms that ride and walk their kids to school, and I think it’s good for the kids (and myself) to learn to handle a little discomfort. I’ll admit it’s not been fun to walk home in 100 degree heat, but it sure has made me more grateful for the vehicles I have when I need them and I sure have learned to appreciate the blessing of an a/c  more. We’re getting use out of a trail system that I’m very grateful to have and it’s a nice relaxing start to the school day. I just think it’s so much nicer than dealing with all of the traffic and the car rider line. I highly suggest you try walking your kids to school if you’re close enough.

I snapped this pic of Clara and Travis after lunch a couple of weeks ago. I tried to get a picture of all of the kids, but there wasn’t much cooperation going on.

Oh, and one last update. The kids had dental appointments with a new dentist a couple of weeks back. The dentist referred us to an orthodontist for a consultation about Clara’s extra front tooth and her two teeth that are ankylosed (these baby teeth are shorter because they never fully erupted). It’s hard to explain, so you can google it if you’d like :)  We know there is an extra permanent front tooth as well and both the extra teeth and the ankylosed teeth can cause spacing problems as she starts loosing teeth, hence the reason for the ortho consult. We may have a lot of tooth pulling in our near future :(

It was Robert’s first visit and he did very well. Much better than I though he would. We didn’t do a cleaning, but he was very cooperative and let the dentist take a good look. He has a crossbite, but she said it could correct itself as he gets older.

Bia and Myrt Myrt Visit

My mom and Myrt Myrt came for their yearly visit this past week. They got here around 4:00 on Monday. Each year we try to take them somewhere to eat that they haven’t been before but it’s getting harder to do that because they’re getting most everything we have in Midland/Odessa now. They hadn’t been to Freebirds before though, so Freebirds it was.

My mom wanted to get each of the kids something and I told her Clara has been wanting Kit’s dog Grace to go with her dog Pepper she got for Christmas. She loves that dog. We’re not too far from the American Girl store, so that’s what we did on Tuesday. I don’t have to tell you, Clara loved the store. Of course once she saw everything on display, suddenly she wasn’t so sure she wanted Grace. She eventually decided to get Julie’s pet rabbit, Nutmeg. Since we won’t buy her any more dolls, she’s decided she wants to save her money to buy Julie. Nutmeg and Pepper are getting along very well. He’s been very gentle with his new friend and even lets Nutmeg ride in his pet carrier with him.

Bia wanted to get Clara a few new school clothes, so we did that while we were at the mall. Bia and Myrt Myrt have a bit of an obsession with Cheesecake Factory and since they don’t have one of those in Midland yet, they go every chance they can get. What do you know, it was right next to the American Girl store. So we got a piece of cheesecake in lieu of lunch since we had a late breakfast. Then Bia took the kids on a train ride around the mall and then Robert played on the indoor playground for a while. This one was a huge castle.


We got the kids home for naps while Bia and Myrt did a little more shopping. We had a quick sandwich for dinner and then the girls got all dressed up and headed downtown to see Wicked at the Hobby Center. After I introduced my mom and Myrt to the joy of musical theater last year when we saw The Lion King, I was so excited when I saw Wicked would be here during their trip this year. Since Chris and I saw it in London, I knew it would be ok for Clara. There is one small part that I wish wasn’t in there, but other than that, it’s completely family friendly. I think there was more inappropriateness in Beauty and the Beast with the french maid character and Lumiere and that’s a Disney show.

I digress. It’s been very rainy here this week so I wanted to make sure and be at the theater in plenty of time in case of bad weather and evening traffic. So we made sure to leave the house a little earlier than I had planned. We got there in plenty of time and found our seats. I thought they had opened the doors a little earlier than usual because the theater was almost full and it was still half an hour until curtain. Then the lights went down and the announcer said to turn off cell phones and the music started. I couldn’t believe it. It started at 7:30, not 8:00 like I thought!! (weekday shows start at 7:30, weekends at 8:00) Why do I keep doing this? At least this time we made it in the nick of time. Most of the time, I miss whatever it is I had scheduled, like trains and airplanes.

Clara took Nutmeg to the show because she thought a rabbit would be quieter than a husky dog. Everyone loved it. I have the soundtrack so we’d been listening to it leading up to the show. Clara loved that she knew the songs. I had discussed some of the story with her beforehand so she would understand what was going on. She had lots of questions and the show is filled with great things to discuss with kids. (Just the show; don’t read the book to kids. I understand it’s highly inappropriate for kids.)

The next morning, Robert woke up with a gunky eye. Yay for indoor play places! Bia and Myrt left that morning for the next stop on their Texas tour and the kids and I headed back up to the old house after they left. We had our house painted last Saturday. The painters finished in one day and Chris walked through the house and paid the guy. Chris pointed out the trim in a couple of rooms that didn’t look finished. The guy assured him it just wasn’t dry yet. Well, when we went to the house after church on Sunday, lo and behold, the trim still looked just as bad. So Chris let the guy know he was going to need to come back and finish the job and he got really defensive. It was pretty clear it wasn’t going to be easy to get him back out. We were hoping to put the house on the market as soon as it was painted. Soooo, all that to say, I spent about 3-4 hours finishing up the painting on Wednesday. All three bedrooms needed a coat on the ceiling trim and two bedrooms also needed a coat around door frames and outlets. I had to get the ladder out for our bedroom because the ceilings are so tall. I also went ahead and painted our downstairs closet since it was covered in marks and screw holes.


When we first got to the house, Robert had a big goop of green in his eye. I just wanted to get the house finished, so I put off making an appointment for him. He would come find me every little while because his eye was dripping. One time he came to me and there was a green blob the size of a lima bean hanging out of his eye. Gag. I’m sparing you the picture. So I called and made him an appointment for the next morning. Which meant I had to drive back up to The Woodlands.

We didn’t get home until 8:00, but I completely finished everything that needed to be done at the old house and it’s ready to list! So we went back up Thursday morning for Robert’s appointment. Turns out he has a severe case of pink eye and the infection had moved into his eyelid. So he’s on an oral antibiotic and an eye drop. The doctor said if he woke on Friday and it was worse that he might need to be on IV antibiotics. Yikes! Thankfully after a couple doses of antibiotics, he was looking much better. This picture was Thursday night after a couple of doses.


Clara woke up last Friday with a headache. I wasn’t sure if it was caused by her allergies or not, so I gave her some Tylenol and also Zyrtec just in case it was allergies. Recently she’s been complaining of headaches out of the blue. She’ll be fine and then, boom, crying because her head hurts. I noticed they tend to happen when she steps outside, so I’m assuming they are allergy related.

Anyway, we were on our way out the door for school when I noticed her cheeks looked flushed. Sure enough, she was running a fever. I had to put a call into Robert’s teacher that I wouldn’t be able to stay and help at his Christmas party that morning. I did take him to school that day, but I don’t have pictures from his party. We were planning to do our annual Gingerbread House Building party on Saturday, so when she woke Saturday morning still feverish, we had to cancel the party.

She started to feel better later that day, her fever went away and she woke fever free on Sunday feeling great, so we went ahead and went to church. The kids were singing Away in a Manger during services and Santa would be at church after Sunday school. Clara felt great all day and didn’t act sick at all. That afternoon we worked on her poster for a presentation that she was supposed to give at school on Tuesday. She was so excited about the assignment.

Monday she got ready for school and we were walking out the door when I noticed she just looked a little “off”. Yep. Fever was back. It never got very high. It was between 99 and 100.5 most of the time and I never gave her anything for it because she just wasn’t feeling all that bad. I went ahead and made her a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday since she would be missing 3 days of school at this point. She was very upset that she wouldn’t be there for the presentations at school.

Tuesday she woke up fever free feeling good again, but she was acting a little puny after a few hours. She has an ear infection in one ear and the doctor had to pull wax out of both ears. The infection-free ear had a lot of wax so she had to have it flushed out again. Poor girl was crying and didn’t want to let go of me. She did fine the last couple of times she had it done, but I think being sick put her over the line this time. The doctor wanted her to stay home from school today. I was really bummed because today was her class Christmas party :( I think I may have been more upset than her about missing it, but she was pretty disappointed too. I just remember that being one of the most fun days of school and I hate that she had to miss it.

Turns out, even if he had allowed her go back today, she would have missed because, you guessed it, she woke with a fever again this morning. Not only that, but it’s been higher today than it has been all week and she feels worse. Her doctor is not in the office today, but I do have a call in and hopefully will get her back in tomorrow if she’s not feeling better. So now she also has to miss the last day of school before the Christmas break. That’s five days of school she’ll miss for a little ear infection. And her ears don’t even hurt.

Here’s a recap: Robert was on breathing treatments for close to three weeks because of a cough. As soon as that ended, Chris got sick on Clara’s birthday. He would wake feeling ok and then end up leaving work early because he would start going downhill. He stayed home last Thursday in an effort to get all the way better. Clara woke sick the next day, Chris had a flat that same morning, then the shooting happened, and Chris’ computer died so he ended up having to spend most of his Saturday up at work, replacing the hard drive, and our party was canceled. So we’ve been kinda bummed out over here lately.