Austin: Menace To Society


A week ago Austin bit Emily on the arm when she fell on his back. Since this is obviously as sensitive area for Austin since he had back surgery, his instincts took over and he ended up leaving one puncture on the inside of Emily’s arm. We would have thought nothing of it, but the wound started to show signs of being infected. So, we decided to take her to the doctor so we could get some antibiotics. Unfortunately, when a dog bites someone, they have to report it to the county and they did and we got a visit from animal control. Since it was our dog biting someone in our family, Austin had to be “quarantined” inside our own house for a week. This was a pretty simple punishment since he spends 99.9% of his time inside our house anyway. Today the county called us back and said that the quarantine had been lifted and Austin was a “free dog”.

Also today was Emily and Isabelle’s Preschool Christmas Program. We were treated to the likes of “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. For Isabelle, this was her first performance. She was a little shy, but she did well during “Jingle Bells”. Emily is an old pro and sang really well. After the singing, we all had milk and cookies to eat and Santa came out and visited, giving all the girls and boys presents. Both Emily and Isabelle received books about Christmas.

Over in Abby’s First Grade class, it was dress up like a fairy tale character day. Over the weekend we bought some red felt and Jennifer made a cape and hood so that she could be Little Red Riding Hood. She had a basket and put some plastic food in there to complete the outfit.

Playing Catch-Up

Sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve blogged on Frenchville. Jennifer started poking me last night to get back on the wagon and start it up again. Let’s see what’s been going on since I wrote last…

Abby and Emily had their first day of school. Jennifer has been loving having Mondays and Wednesdays off without any of the kids. Of coarse, she didn’t get this past Monday off because Emily was up until 1:30 in the morning throwing up everywhere. I had to give her a bath twice because she didn’t quite make it to the bathroom.

Austin returned from his surgery in pretty good shape. He still has trouble getting around sometimes. When he tries to run he ends up sliding around on the hardwood floors because he can’t get any traction with his back feet. It’s sad and funny at the same time.

Jennifer and I have been watching the series Heroes on HD-DVD through Netflix. It’s been a great series. We have been watching at least an episode a night trying to finish it out before the new television series starts up.

Anyway, that’s a quick blog entry. Hopefully I will get back into this so you all out there can read up on what the French family is up to.

Meeting the Teachers

This morning was Open House at Abby’s school so that you could meet the teacher or teachers in Abby’s case. So, I took the morning off from work and we headed up there. Abby is in a larger class (around 30 kids), but there’s two teachers. We met both of them and they seemed really nice. The little girl next door who is starting kindergarten is actually right next door to Abby’s class, so Abby can help direct her to the right classroom on the first day.

We received word that Austin is still recovering. He has feeling back in both legs, but one is weaker than the other. They are going to keep him through to Monday so that he can recover some more.

Today’s picture is the beach that we visited on our trip to Fort Clinch.

Poor Austin

When we got up this morning, Austin had gotten worse. He now couldn’t move his hind legs at all. For all practical purposes, he was paralyzed. After calling the Vet, Jennifer took him back in. It turns out it was a slipped disc in his back. He needed immediate surgery in order to fix it or it would get progressively worse until he couldn’t use his hind legs at all. Jennifer took him to another vet office that specialized in canine neurosurgery. Talking to the doctor, she said that the surgery has a 90% success rate. They took a CAT scan of the area and took him immediately into surgery. Afterward, she called us at home and told us that the surgery went well and that the problem was exactly what they thought it was. They are going to keep him tomorrow and he might be able to come home on Saturday. Otherwise, he would have to wait and come home on Monday. We all wish Austin a speedy recovery.

Today’s picture is from Isabelle’s first day of school.

Isabelle’s First Day of School

Today was Isabelle’s first day of school. She started 2 year-old pre-school and she will be going Mondays and Wednesdays. I’m not sure why they started  her a week before Abby and Emily start school, so Jennifer said it was kind of weird around the house having the two older girls, but the younger one was off to school. Her teacher said that she did good and that they learned the song “Wheels on the Bus”. If you sing it to her she gets this big smile on her face and rotates her arms around in a circle. It’s pretty amusing. In today’s picture she’s carrying her lunch kit getting ready to leave for school.

On sadder note, Austin injured himself yesterday going down our stairs. He was in pain all last night and Jennifer took him to the Vet today. They are not sure what it is, but he seems to have pulled something in his leg. They were thinking it was a slipped disc in his back, but the x-rays they took didn’t show anything. So, we are giving him pain pills and we are going to see if it gets any better. He looks pretty pathetic because he really can’t walk anywhere. He sits in his bed with this sad look on his face.

Take Me Out to the Camp Ground

Well, I was pissed a few weeks ago when we got a ton of money back from the government for our taxes. You’re probably re-reading the last sentence. Yes, I’m pissed. I don’t want my money at the end of the year. I want it in my pay check every week. I have my W4 set to the maximum number of deductions, but EA continues to take too much out of my check and gives it to the government as a interest free loan. The best tax year would be when you don’t owe anything and you don’t get anything back (in my opinion).

Anyway, since the money was burning a hole in our bank account, we decided to do something with it: we bought a pop-up camper. We’ve wanted one for some time. Just the thought of being able to go away for the weekend and drive it up and boom, we are camping is quite appealing. Jennifer found a couple on craigslist and we out and looked at them this weekend. We found one that was barely used and we bought it.

We were under the mistaken idea that we were going to be able to store it in the garage. We spend an hour Saturday night trying to roll it up the driveway just to find out that it doesn’t fit by one inch. We had to shut the garage about half way down. Jennifer is going to start looking into places where we can store it this week.

Today I took my annual trip to see the Astros play a Spring Training game in Kissimmee. The difference this year: I took Emily along. She had a great time. We bought her a kid’s Spring Training shirt and a hat with a pink Astros star. We sat right in front of the bull pin where the pitchers warm up. When Roy Oswalt, the lead off pitcher was done warming up, the catcher tossed Emily the ball. Of course, when we got home the ball became a chew toy for Austin, which upset Emily quite a bit. She wanted me to get a new one and I told her that wasn’t possible. Oh well, we had a good time and I’m looking forward to taking her again next year.

Disney Camping 2006, Day 1

The girls have Fall Break this week, so we are spending it at Disney World camping out at Fort Wilderness. This is going to be the last year the girls have Fall Break. Too many people complained about the kids going to school too early in the year (July 31st this year) so they are doing away with it. Also, I don’t have my computer with me. I set it up so I can post Frenchville entries from my Treo mobile phone. So, I will have to post pictures later and forgive any mis-spellings.

We left the house around 9:30 and dropped Austin off at the kennel. He wasn’t too happy once he realized where he was going. He probably thought he was going camping with us. Poor Austin. It only takes about an hour to get down to Disney World from our house.

Once we got there it turns out we were placed almost in the same spot as last year. We set up the tent and situated our camp site by dragging everything out of the truck.

We rented a golf cart and then headed down to a beach area on the lake at Fort Wilderness. We were greeted by some hungry ducks and a “No Swimming” sign. How can you have a beach area with no swimming? So, we headed down to the pool instead. Isabelle was vary funny sticking her head in the water and then coming up laughing.

After swimming we took the bus over to Downtown Disney for some shopping and dinner. This was our first visit to that area and I have to say we weren’t impressed. It looked like any other part of Disney, nothing all that special. Universal Studio’s City Walk is much much better. We ate at the Rainforest Cafe, which is aptly named because it’s pretty much eating in the middle of a rain forest. However, I’ve never been in a rain forest with over-priced sub-par food.

We headed back to camp and tried to get the girls to calm down enough to go to sleep. It wasn’t easy and took almost an hour of threats before there was silence.

Texas Trip 2006, Day 1

Now that Head Coach is done, we’ve moved our annual trip back to Texas to the summer instead of around Christmas, like it usually is. Currently, we are in “the most inconsiderate town in America“, Mobile, Alabama. This time it hasn’t been as bad. I think the key is not to travel on the weekend. There’s a lot less activity on a weekday.

The drive wasn’t all that fun. Isabelle just doesn’t understand what is going on. She’s cranky and it’s hard for her to fall asleep in her car seat. Abby asks every few minutes if “we are there yet” and Emily isn’t much better with “We at Poppies?” The best one on the trip was Austin. He just sat under Emily and got hit on top of the head with plastic horses, cups, and shoes.

For dinner we tried out the Chuck E. Cheese which was down the street. We went a little on the early side and missed the crowd. Once again, I think it helped traveling on a weekday. Today’s picture is Emily standing in front of Chuck E. Cheese taken with my mobile phone.

A Party for Emily

Today MaMaw and PaPaw brought Austin with them from Lindale to Shreveport and we had a small party for Emily since her birthday is tomorrow. We are going to have a bigger party for her next Saturday with her friends from school. She got a lot of cool presents of which Abby helped her open every single one.

Later in the afternoon, Jennifer and I went by to see Jill’s apartment up the street from my parents. She has a pretty big apartment. A lot of familiar furniture was there, apparently some hand-me-downs from my parents. She had it decorated real nice and it seemed to be pretty comfortable. We wanted to make sure and saw it before we left Shreveport.