This challenge is bigger than me. I was completely swamped to the point of drowning in kids visiting the office on Thursday of this week. But let me back my story up.
My elementary school has a few cases of strep. And when I say a few, I mean 25. So, maybe few is not the right word. Tons? Lots? Incredible amount? Quarantine was mentioned? Remember, there are only 200 kids in my school.
Now, here is the question. How did this happen? I am diligent about keeping my office clean and sparkly. So, after many hand washing classes, shaking my fist at overuse of hand sanitizer, and preaching sneezing/coughing into their arms, I still have 25 known cases of strep?? Huh? I decided to do a little investigating.
Problem 1: Kids are disgusting little critters
Problem 2: even if the nurse calls home and STRONGLY recommends a trip to the doctor for their kids swollen tonsils, red throat, headache, stomach ache, and - in most cases – fever, since there are so many cases of strep in the school, the parent decides that one more day of “just waiting” will be a better choice.
Problem 3: water fountains. Raise your hand if you think these are disgusting.
Problem 4: cleaning. It is not being done by ANYONE – not custodial, not teachers. This is where being a CSI would be beneficial.
Here is my conversation with custodial staff:
Me: So, what do you clean the water fountains with?
Me: No – I mean CLEAN it with. To make it CLEAN (obviously he didn't get what I meant)
Me: No – I mean, at night, after all the kids have left, and you are cleaning and DISINFECTING the water fountains
Me: I see. I don't think that is doing the job. I think we may need to do something else.
I proceed to tell him what we have going on.
Custodian: Yeah, the kids put their mouths all over the metal piece of the water fountain.
Here is a conversation with a few teachers:
Me: are you cleaning anything in your room?
Teacher: no – I think custodial is doing that
Me: um, no. That would be a logical choice, but no.
Teacher: so – nothing is clean?
Me: uh, no. So, let's concentrate on the sinks
Me: I am with you.
Thursday I also made a cheerful REMINDER announcement over the intercom (that thing is REALLY fun) about washing our hands, sneezing/coughing into our arms, not sharing utensils, forks, spoons, (anything) with others, and NEVER EVER putting our mouths on the metal of the water fountain, I received over 50 lovely, sick/trying to be sick children in my office. Did I mention anything in my announcement about coming to see me? No. I seriously saw ¾ of my most “hysterical” teacher's classroom. It was a truly AWESOME day. Truly.
So, with a heavy sigh, on Thursday, letters went home to all of my parents to tell them about what is going on in school. Although, most of them already knew because I have been sending letters home from individual classrooms that had been affected when this party started.
But, if you think my teachers are, well, hysterical – the parents are.........more so. I am thinking about taking a vacation starting immediately.
As for good stuff on Thursday – this was Cainan's first day in underwear at daycare and it was a success! He didn't have a single accident. I was a bit worried because we do have to sit him on the potty quite often during the day, but he did great. Thank goodness! I think we have purchased our LAST box of diapers!!! Whoo hoo!!
Arlington also had soccer Thursday night. She did great. She even scored two goals! This is much more her sport than basketball. Less coordination – more running. Right up her alley.
Friday started off well. Besides the two new cases of strep throat (that I am just going to pretend I didn't hear about – just kidding) the day was going well. Then at 11am, things went downhill. I got a call from the daycare – Arlington had a fever. 101. And a sore throat. And a stomach ache. And a headache. And the chills. Should I go on? Mat has already been gone a whole week, so I had to leave work to get her. That was a huge deal because I didn't have coverage. AND my principal was taking a personal day. Great. But my staff was great and pulled it together and covered me. My nursing supervisor has her own school, but is only 5 minutes away, so she could go if there was an emergency. So I left. Arlington was a mess when I got to her. She was pretty much asleep. So we came home and rested on the couch. I took her to the doctor because it is a Friday and knowing her by Saturday morning she would have something contagious. They did a rapid strep test and it was negative. I was so happy. But the doctor wasn't convinced, so they did another test to send away to the lab that we will hear about early next week if it is positive. The fever didn't break the whole day and she did have “stomach problems” later in the evening that were not fun for anyone. Poor girl. She was pretty miserable. The doctor told me she had seen about 30 kids in the office that day for sore throat and some were positive for strep, but a lot were not. So I am hopeful. Although if it WAS bacterial, the antibiotic would make her feel better faster. The doctor told us she could run the fever for up to 1 ½ weeks – that is what she has been seeing with the virus lately. UGH!
This morning Arlington woke up still having a fever of 101. She laid on the couch the majority of the morning, but then started to feel better around lunch time. Hopefully the worst of it is over. She seemed to have more energy today. She isn't eating much, but is eating something, so that is progress.
I finished the pillows for the girl's beds today. Here is what they look like:
Here are Finley's pillows
Here are Arlington's pillows
Now if I could just get myself motivated to finish Arlington's quilt, I would be in good shape. I am going to work on it every day this week – I am really close to being done. I just need to focus on one project which is kind of unheard of for me.
We also hung our new ceiling fan in our bedroom. Let there be light!! It looks really good. Mat isn't sold on it, but I love it. Once our new window treatments are in next week, it will really look good. All that will be left will be to replace the less than stellar carpet that the old owners let their dogs do whatever on. It is truly disgusting and no amount of washing is going to make it satisfactory. Its days are numbered.I forgot to mention (I think) in my last post that Cainan's Certificate of Citizenship (COC) FINALLY came. It has only been a year and a half since we submitted it. In Florida standards (since that is where we submitted it in 2007) that isn't that long. So sad. Anyway, I got really worried about it last year when we moved (in May 2008) and when I called and spoke to the COC office, they assured me that it would be sent to my new address. So I kind of forgot about it. Until we past the year mark last fall. I called again, and it was approved, and would be mailed out soon. Then with the rush of the holidays, again- I forgot about it. Nice, right? So about a week or so ago, I thought about it again – tried to call. The number that I had no longer works. Of course not. It IS Florida. I called the national number – they couldn't help me. So I was afraid the $600 form that we filed in 2007 for our boy to “officially” become a citizen of the United States was lost and we were going to have to start over. As I was fretting- it showed up!!! How cool (and great) was that? We are relieved. So, even thought Cainan has been in the United States for almost 2 years, he just became an official United States Citizen. I took his picture for proof:I realized I have mentioned Finley in this post! Don't worry – she is healthy, well, and still
Before I end my post, I wanted to share this little saying I saw in my favorite house wares catalog – Pottery Barn: (I know, who would have thought they could be inspirational?)
Into each day put equal parts of faith, patientce, courage, work, hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest, prayer, meditation, and one well elected SOLUTION. Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, A dash of fun, A Pinch of folly, A Sprinkle of play, And a cupful of good humor.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I will talk to you Tuesday.