Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sick Sick Sick

There is a nasty cold going around school, and it has now hit all the members of our household as well. Evan got it first, he passed it to Jeff, Jeff passed it Charlie, and Charlie passed it to me. Charlie's asthma has really been affected by the whole thing. He was coughing and wheezing all evening. I can handle diarhea, vomitting, you name it, but when they have problems breathing, it scares the crap out of me. It's especially hard because I have asthma too and I know how scary it is, and that's as an adult. I can't imagine what it's like for Charlie, who doesn't understand. It has made for an exhausting first weekend in the school year. I am hoping things are better next week.

School was crazy this week. I have my most challenging class ever. Maybe I am just spoiled from last year, when I had a GREAT room. I know that eventually these kiddos will get whipped into shape too, but the 1 million dollar question this year is....Do I have the energy to get them that way?

Friday, August 18, 2006

I am finished with my first marathon week of school. It is always a tough week of trying to get things ready for the first week with kids while at the same time attending meetings and inservices. I think I have things ready to go. We had Open House last night from 5-7:00, and I got the chance to meet my new families and kiddos. I have 7 returning families (families where I have had other siblings in past classes) which is so nice. You form such close relationship during the year, it is hard to send them off to the next grade, so I love the chance to reconnect with kids and parents. My class seems to be packed with really nice kids this year, so I am excited to work with them. There have been some pretty stressful situations at work in other areas in the four days we have been back, so that has been more than frustrating, but hopefully as the school year gets off the ground we will be able to overcome these things.

Charlie popped out tooth number 8 this week at daycare, so I am hoping that had something to do with his not sleeping or eating while he was at school. Maybe next week as they settle into more of a regular routine, things will get better. Yesterday I was able to leave for a bit in the afternoon between work and Open House, so I took the kids to my parents house. When we got there, Charlie gobbled down 6 ounces and then crashed for 2 hours. It's almost like he waits to be at home so he can relax and eat and sleep.

Evan spent the week in After School Care, where he was completely disgusted. He was bummed about waking up early, the new teacher there, and about a new problem we are dealing with. A bully. Ugh...I have had so much training in this area as a teacher (a whole inservice on Tuesday in fact) since this is such a huge problem in schools, but it is completely different when it is your own kid. I forget everything I am supposed to say, and I want to go grab this kid and protect Evan from him. The other tough thing is that this bully is the child of a close friend. Such an akward situation!!! It has made him dread going in to school in the mornings. We did have some good news this week though. After searching all summer, I have FINALLY found a doctor who is willing to work with Evan, and who is on our insurance plan. Hallelujah! I am hopefully we can get some answers and treatment this year.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

MAJORLY Stressed Out

I went back to work on Monday, and I have been miserable ever since. There are some really ridiculously stressful situations happening at school that I wish I could write about (but don't want to end up like dooce so I won't) that are making me dread going in every in. Daycare for Charlie has also been really hard. He has really only been there for about 7 weeks prior to this, and it was at a point in his development when he wasn't super cognizant of what was going on, and he definitely hadn't gone into the whole stranger anxiety thing yet. This time it's a whole new story. His teacher Miss Mary is new to school, but she is doing an outstanding job. She is a natural with infants, and I can tell she is already in love with Charlie, which is exactly what you want in your child's caregiver. He seems to really enjoy her as well, as he goes to her willingly when we get there in the morning. Every time I pop in, she has been holding him, or playing with him, and my mom reports that she thinks the sun rises and sets on him. However, he won't eat while he's there, taking at the most 2 ounces at a time, and he won't sleep for more than a 30 minute stretch about twice a day. He is used to taking a 2 hour nap in the morning, and then again in the late afternoon. So, by the time I get him, he is ravenous and extremely cranky. It is a mad dash to get home, because he can barely stand the 20 minute car ride because he is so hungry. I am insanely missing him during the day, and I wish our time at home was filled with playtime and cuddles but it ends up being more damage control. I have tried visiting him during the day, which is something I love being able to do at school, but I think it just makes it worse for him because he screams when I leave, which then makes me burst into tears. I am so emotional about everything right now anyway, that I have cried at least once every night this week. I have also had tons of work to do at home every night, so I feel like I don't ever get a break or god forbid relaxation time because I am constantly taking care of the kids, at work, or doing work at home. I hate this. I am terrifed of Sam, because I have absolutely no idea how I am going to cope when he is born. Jeff is at work most days until 7:30 or 8:00, so I really feel like I am on my own with things. Is this worth it? I am making myself crazy, the kids crazy, and I don't have the time or energy to complete everything I need to do for everybody. I really feel over my head.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Exhausting Weekend

I am pooped! This is my last weekend before school starts, and I had wanted to take it easy and relax, maybe get in a Christi/Alyssa fix. Instead, my parents left for a weekend in Kansas City to help my Aunt Connie move into her new house. They deposited my brother Ben on my doorstep along with their dog Tekla. (Creighton was supposed to watch the dog but canceled on them at the last minute). Tekla is 13 years old and in the last stages of heart failure. Within 45 minutes of being here on Friday night, she peed 6 times on the carpet, and pooped all over the kids' toyroom, hitting several toys along the way. She continued to work her magic overnight, pooping and peeing ALL OVER Evan's bed, and bedroom. I spent all morning cleaning up after her. I felt bad, but I deposited her to my parent's porch with lots of water and food, and her bed. I know the heat isn't good for her, but between Charlie and Tekla, I was completely surrounded with bodily secretions. I also had to go to Wal-Mart (NOT Target!!!) to purchase all of Charlie's daycare supplies for Monday. Then I had to come home and label everything and pack it up. I feel like I am taking him to college to live in a dorm with all of the stuff we have to bring. Don't even ask me how we're getting into the building on Monday between my teaching stuff, his stuff, and the kids. I hyperventilate when I think about doing this with Charlie AND Sam. Tomorrow won't be much sister is coming over so that we can turn her tomatoes from her garden into ketchup and spaghetti sauce and then can it. I am excited to spend time with her, since I never get too (which is a WHOLE other story) but it still means I can't sit down. I am tired just thinking about it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Crap Has Officially Been Scared Out of Me

I took Charlie to a Target photography studio today to have his 6 month photographs taken. The girl set up an infant positioner under the satin fabric on a table, since I told her he wasn't that great at sitting up himself yet. I put Charlie on top. As the girl stood in front of him with her hand on his knee and worked on getting him in focus on the digital screen, she asked me to shut the door to the studio so that he would stop looking at what was going on outside. I stepped away to shut the door, figuring he was okay because she was holding on to him. All of a sudden I heard her scream, "NOOOOO!" I turned around just in time to see Charlie mid-tumble from the table, and his head slam on the floor. The stupid photographer had stepped away from him. She had semi caught him by the back of the overalls, but not enough to stop his head from hitting. I cannot describe the level of fear that took over my entire body. I actually shoved the girl out of the way to get to my baby. This was not a thought out action, I just did it out of instinct. Charlie was so stunned and terrified, that it took him a few seconds to get his breath back in order to cry. I whisked him out of there, and called the doctor who told me what to watch for in case of concussion. He is going in tomorrow for an ear check, so they will be able to double check then. As soon as I was sure he was okay enough for me to take my eyes off of him long enough to drive home, I strapped him into his car seat. Evan and I both burst into tears at the same time when we sat down in our seats. We were both just horrified. Luckily, Charlie seems to be just fine, but from here on out, I am a loyal Wal-mart shopper.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Heavy Sleepers

There was a VERY loud thunderstorm last night...I swear that for some reason storms are bigger and louder at our new house. There was a HUGE clap of thunder at about 4:00 in the know the kind where the storm is so close that the lightening and thunder are about simultaneous? I jolted up into a sitting position with my heart racing. I was sure the kids would be freaked out, so I went to check them. They were both sound asleep and didn't look like they had even flinched! Why can't I sleep like that?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Random Thoughts

Not much in the way of big events happening around here...but some random things are flying around my head....

I switched Charlie into a "big boy" car seat today. Now that he is a hulking 23 pounds, it is just killing me to carry him around in his infant car seat/carrier. I was avoiding doing this, because he isn't the greatest at sitting up yet, especially if something catches his attention. He just makes a dive for it, and assumes that I will catch him. I love it that he trusts me that much, but this can be scary in a grocery cart. Plus, with his long limbs he has just plain outgrown his carrier. It is pretty cute to see him sitting up and looking around in the big boy seat.

I hate this week of summer. It is my very last week of summer vacation. I always feel so blah this week. Not just because it is my last week of freedom, but because for me summer is a magical snipit of time for me to spend with my children. It passes so quickly, and it makes me sad to think that so much will change for the kids by the time the next summer rolls around. Evan will be a grown up 8 year old next summer! His childhood is just speeding along...I wish I could slow things down. I know we have precious little time before I become his embarrassing mother that he doesn't want to be seen with. It's interesting for me to think how regulated my life has always been by this schedule of school and summers. Most adults leave this eb and flow of freedom behind, but my world continues to be regulated by it.

I took Trudy in for her shots today...our vet told me that she has three boys at home too, and that for that reason, her dogs will always be females. I totally agree with her. Sometimes Trudy will curl up on the couch with me after "we" have put the kids to bed (she follows me through this routine nightly, checking to make sure each one is in their rightful place-sometimes I think she thinks they are her children too) and she will look up at me with those big brown eyes and sigh like she is saying "what a day we've had!" I know I always want a dog in my life like this, and it will always be a girl. Sometimes, and I know this is crazy, I feel like it is me and Trudy against the world.

We are supposed to get up to 5 inches of rain tonight! I am looking forward to curling up with a good book tonight. There is nothing better than reading on a rainy night, curled up with your dog.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Samuel John Kleffman! We have FINALLY decided on a name for our third little boy, which is such a relief to me. It really helps me to bond with the baby. My sister suggested looking on the Social Securty website where they list the 1000 most popular names in the US. Out of those 1000, we could only agree on one...Hayden. We just didn't like it better than Sam though, which has been the front runner since the day we had our ultrasound. I love that John is his middle name, after both of his grandpas. only around 18 weeks (yikes!) we will be able to see Sam's face.

Friday, August 04, 2006


The boys and I took a trip to midtown yesterday to visit the final days of the Rod Kush's store closing sale. We have needed a matress for our guest room since we moved in, but I couldn't see paying full price for one, and this seemed the perfect opportunity. As soon as we walked into the store, we were approached by a salesman (actually there were a crowd of them waiting to descend on any customer and he happened to run the fastest). It was apparent after looking at him for 3 seconds that Rod Kush has hired members of the mofia to liquidate his inventory. The man, who was extremely Italian, had oiled and slicked back hair. He was wearing a silk shirt with the first three buttons open, slacks, and leather pointed shoes. He had on a thick gold chain necklance, and had a box of Marlboro reds tucked into the waistband of his pants! As he swaggered towards us, he said (insert major mafia accent) "How 'ya doin' today? What can we getcha?" Charlie, who doesn't even cry when he has a double ear infection, is cutting three teeth and is constipated all at the same time, took one look at this smarmy man and let loose with his I am COMPLETELY terrified cry which he usually reserves for the likes of the evil vacuum. Evan looked at me questioningly like, "Who IS this man?" I love that my children are completely great judges of character.

At any rate, we did get a completely good deal on a Serta mattress so our guest room is complete. If anyone would like to spend some time with the Kleffmans, the inn is now open!!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thank GOODNESS for Christi!!!

I have spent the past two days working like a madwoman in my classroom. My mom could only watch the boys for two days, so I only had two days to get everything set up. Normally, I just take Evan with me and he hangs out while I work, but it is impossible to get anything done with Charlie around. When I got there on Tuesday I was HORRIFIED. We bought a new reading series this year, which means lots of incoming boxes. Some very clever person delivered all of the reading boxes as well as supply boxes for the year to the middle of THE PREGNANT LADY'S CLASSROOM. Aargh! There were no less than 27 boxes sitting in the middle of my classroom floor. I couldn't just ignore them since they were smack dab in the middle of the room. To make matters worse, the air conditioning wasn't working. The outside temp was around 97, so it was sweltering. Just what I needed. I stuck it out though, and got a lot done. Wednesday was so much better! The air had kicked on, praise the lord, and the awesome Christi rocked my world by bringing lunch up and helping me for several hours. I think this is the only way I got done. Evan was insanely jealous that I got to see Christi and he didn't. He was seriously offended that he didn't get to hang out with one of his favorite people, and I got quite a disgusted look when found out. I am so relieved to have this major chore done. It's always an undertaking, but I have been so worried about it this year with the kids. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. I made a lot of changes to set up and boards. I have to keep it new and interesting so I don't get stuck in a rut!

When I went to pick up the kids from my Mom's house, she told me that she thought I looked full term already! YIKES! I have 19 weeks to go. What will I look like in December? Maybe the Michelin Man? The Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man? Scarier yet, who am I going to have to give birth to, Paul Bunyan?

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