Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Battling the toilets

It's not a pretty job - but somebody's gotta do it. And when hubby's not home, that somebody is me. I think our new toilets have a conspiracy to clog up right as they know my husband is gone for the day. That or my kids are trying to drive me crazy.

My first battle came the first week we moved in. It was between the master bath and me (although Carson was the main reason why it was clogged.) They don't call it master for nothing. This toilet proved to be king of all clogs. Normally I am fairly gifted at using a plunger. My dad taught me well. And I'm not afraid to tackle the job. Bodily fluids don't scare me much. But this job was going to take more than my muscle to get it out. I attempted to "snake" it out, but it would only go so far and then it would get stuck. I'm not sure if it was getting stuck on the pipes or the thing that was causing the clog. I left a message for Jason hoping he could give me any tips to get the toilet working again and figured I'd give my dad a ring in the meantime. His brilliant solution was to put hot soapy (dish detergent, such as Dawn) water in the toilet and let it sit for a bit. I kept at it plunging every half hour or so trying to let the soap do the work. Finally after all day of sitting - literally 9 - 5 - I was able to plunge for the last time and the water went down. Yes! Success!

I thought my toilet troubles were over. Not so fast there plunger queen. The next week the boys bathroom toilet becomes clogged. This time it was either Carson or Luke, neither of which would fess up to feeding miles of toilet paper into the toilet. I fished out what I could which probably equaled 32 pounds of soggy mess. And I went at it again with the plunger. Either I am getting weak or these are some stubborn unrelenting toilets. I resorted straight to the hot soapy water. I wasn't about to wresting with the snake again. This time it only took half a day 9 - 1 and I was again able to get whatever the clog was down and had a happy working toilet.

Then today the last and final toilet that wanted to fight me decides to clog up. This one was all to blame on Luke. I couldn't see any obstruction, but he was the last one in there using it before it decided not to flush. First up, plunge-a-thon 2008 - not working, but I got a good sweat out of it, or maybe that's because I forgot to turn the air conditioning on. Last resort, hot soapy water to the rescue - ta-da baby! Like I said, my dad's a brilliant man. It worked within 10 minutes.

Although I never figured out for sure what the clog was, I am pretty sure it was from too much paper being used. I'm never buying thick toilet paper again. It may be nice and cushion-y for the job at hand, but it sure is a pain in the rear to dislodge it from the toilet.

So moral of the story here - if you ever get a clogged toilet - call my dad. And it won't hurt to have a bucket of hot soapy water ready.

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's always something

When we first moved to Ohio I told the kids to be careful especially on the stairs and outside on the play set because if they got hurt I didn't know where the hospital was. Then Taylor pointed out the fact that the gym I went to was attached to the hospital.

That was a "duh" moment.

Lucky for me we have yet to have an emergency (except the Luke-episode from the other week) that warranted us having to take a trip to the ER. That is up until today.

Taylor's friend Jacob came back to Ohio to stay with us for the week. The boys went outside to ride scooters and check out the neighborhood and the adjoining neighborhood that has a golf course and pool. Today is garbage day and the boys came upon the truck. Instead of patiently waiting for it or going around it on the sidewalk, they thought they would pass it between the curb and the truck.

First off - not smart. Instead of letting his friend go first they passed at the same time, next to each other. Secondly, what happened to the manners and common sense I taught my son? This caused Jacob to hit his ankle on the side of Taylor's new electric scooter we got him for his birthday. Jacob was on the Razor scooter closest to the curb, so when he hit the other scooter he flipped off and hit a storm drain, or something to that extent.

Luckily a neighbor was in his garage and heard the commotion. He came over to help Jacob. He was so nice to clean out the gash in his ankle and patch him up with a bandage. Taylor calls me on his cell phone and says, "Mom, I think you need to come pick us up." And here I am thinking the worst and am ready for him to add, "at the police station." But luckily he told me the story. I figured the boys were okay and decided to drive over there to make sure.

When I got there Jacob was physically upset so I knew he was in pain. There was a bit of an exaggeration about "all the blood I lost!" and "I could see my bone!" The man said it looked like he should get a few stitches so we head off to the ER - which I now know where it is.

He hobbled in there and they get us a room right away. The nurse brings all 4 boys popsicles which I thought was very nice, even if it was before lunch time and she didn't bother asking if it was okay with me. It kept them busy and messy. They examine the cut and determine it isn't that bad and it would only require one stitch and we'd be on our way.

Jacob was a trooper. He endured the harsh cleansing with iodine (which the boys thought was pee), the nasty numbing shot, and the doctor who could take a lesson in gentleness when performing a stitch.

Luke decided he needed to use the bathroom which was attached to the room. While in there I hear an alarm going off. Not to my surprise, Luke pulled the emergency rope. A few minutes later a nurse comes in and I apologize for the false alarm. He was cool about it and said, "Hey, at least we know it works!"

We're back at home and Jacob survived. Now he'll always have a scar to remember Taylor by.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Birthday blues

To celebrate Taylor’s birthday I had planned on taking the boys out for breakfast at I.H.O.P. then we were going to meet up with some friends at a ‘sprayground’ and after that we were going to see a movie. Instead, what did I do all day? I cleaned up puke, wiped butts, and disinfected the heck out of my house. Sounds like fun, huh?

Carson woke up with a tummy ache and it turned into a full day of morning vomiting which then turned into a full afternoon of violent-force diarrhea. Sorry for the descriptiveness. I am almost out of disinfectant wipes, so hopefully bodily fluids will remain self contained to the appropriate locations – i.e. directly in the toilet!

I felt so sorry for the little guy. He’s normally so full of energy and orneriness, but all he’s done (besides puke and crap) is lie around, sleep and drink water and Gatorade. He really didn’t have a fever, so I don’t know what type of bug he had. I think it may be food poisoning, but it’s hard to tell. The rest of us are okay so far.

The day before, I took the kids out to eat at Baker’s Square for lunch. For dessert, Carson had a piece of pumpkin pie. That may have been the culprit, so I called the restaurant to see if anyone else had called in, but they had no reports. My other guess is that he caught something from the new gym I joined this past week. Kids spread germs so easily, you just never know.

Needless to say, I’ve got some making up to do. This weekend we are going back home to visit and have a family birthday party for Taylor at my mom and dad’s house. I am so excited to go back; I just wish it was for a longer period of time. I think Carson is feeling the “honeymoon” of the new house fading. During his sickness he said he wanted to go back to our house. I told him we were in our house and he said, “No – the one without the stairs.” He wanted the comfort of our old house and that just broke my heart.

I hope the days ahead are sick-free days for Carson and that no one else catches this stomach bug. We’ll try not to bring it back home with us either.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Taylor!

Today is my oldest son's birthday. He's now 11. I remember being that age - how can he have gotten here already? A soon-to-be 5th grader. Scary how fast the time goes.

This boy of ours has been so fun to watch grow up. He's always been mature for each stage of life he's been through. I love his quirky sense of humor and his genuine smile.

I love the way his eyes light up and the way he tosses his shaggy haircut that makes him look so stunning. I love his kindness, politeness and the respect he has for others (maybe not his brothers so much, but that's normal). I love how organized and neat he is with his room. He's definitely part of me.

I look forward to watching him grow and mature into a teen. The future holds so much for him - I want to embrace every moment and enjoy it with him.

Love you always Taylor-bug-a-boo. Happy birthday!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The nose saga

A few months ago I wrote a post about my kids and their noses. Today I get to add to the ongoing saga of the fascinating crevice.

Luke is the culprit today.

The morning started as usual. I prepared my coffee and sat in front of the computer to check my email. I had about 45 minutes before I was going to leave the house and take a group cycling class at the gym. Luke and Taylor were awake, but it was still peaceful since Carson was still asleep. The peacefulness was shattered when I heard Luke crying in the kitchen.

I walked in and he continued crying and said that his nose hurt. One of the kitchen drawers was open and I thought that maybe he hit his nose on it, but he said he didn't. Then he began to sneeze. I asked him if he had put anything up his nose, but he said no. I attempted to look up there, but I couldn't see a thing. The only flashlight I could find was pointless to use since the light was so dull. I had Luke try to blow his nose really hard in hopes that if anything was up there, it might get propelled out.

It wasn't happening. And when I would wipe his nose, or have him try to blow, he would cry even more and say that it still hurt.

I figured it would be best for someone more qualified than myself and my lame flashlight to look up there and see if anything was stuck. I found a pediatrician close by and they said they could get us in in an hour.

I get Luke and myself cleaned up, and we head out for the appointment. When we walk in, Luke announces to the receptionist that he is there to get his nose taken off. And he was all business about it too. I think most kids would panic even at the sound of it, but Luke was prepared. He's a tough and brave boy.

The doctor peeked up there with a very bright scope and sure enough, there was something up there besides boogies. She said it looked yellowish and that she may be able to pull it out. If not, we'd have to go to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist. I think to myself, yellow, oh crap, we had popcorn the other night and I bet that little stinker put a kernel up his nose. Which then reminded me of the story my dad told me in which my aunt did the same thing when she was younger. Why does this kind of stuff have to run in the family?

Doctor had Luke lay down on the examination table and she went to work. A few tries later it loosened. She had Luke blow a few times and out came the mysterious item covered in snot. She said luckily they were able to get it out, otherwise if it had stayed up there much longer, it could have caused an infection and been very smelly. What a delightful thought.

So, any guesses as to what it really was? Here's a picture of the actual item. (You know I had to keep it to document this, didn't you?)

Turns out, it was one of those squishy rubber-like pads that you find on the inside of cabinets and drawers which soften the closing of the door. Maybe Luke saw it as a puzzle piece that fit just perfectly up his cute little nose. We may never understand why.

But one thing is for sure - Boys will be boys.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Things you all wanted to know about me.

Have you ever really thought about the way you do certain things and wonder if other people do them the same way as you, or am I just a freak?

Don't answer that.

I came up with a list of things that I am curious about and listed my answers, but I would love for you to chime in and let me know what your replies would be. Either list it in the comment section or make a post of your own and link back to me.

1) How do you eat cottage cheese? Plain? Fruit? Ketchup? Sugar?
I personally love to add sugar on top of mine. Learned it from my mom when I was a kid and it's stuck with me. It grosses out my husband.

2) When you eat a banana do you completely peel it first or peel as you go? And do you eat it plain or with "toppings"?
I like to cut my banana in a bowl and add peanut butter and honey to it. So yummy and healthy.

3) If you recycle (which you should!) do you rinse and flatten the containers?
I do my best

4) When putting on socks, which foot do you start with?
I think I would have to say my right foot, actually now that I think about it maybe it's my left. Who knows?

5) How do you take your coffee?
I love it with lots of cream and sugar and by that time I am not sure you can really call it coffee. Dunkin Donuts coffee is my all-time favorite.

6) Do you generally sleep on your side, back or stomach?
I start off on my back and end up on my side.

7) Are you offended when someone flashes their high beam headlights ("brights") at you or do you take it as a warning that there's a police officer ahead or that your "brights" are on?
I like to think people have good intentions are are forewarning me of a speed trap, but then I remember hearing about an urban legend involving gang initiation, so I try not to flash anyone just to be on the safe side.

8) If you see any type of change, whether it be a penny or a nickel, do you pick it up?
If my kids are with me I will have them pick it up, but if I am alone and it's only a penny I will usually leave it.

9) When at a track, which way do you go, clockwise or counterclockwise? Why do some people go the opposite direction?
I say clockwise is correct and get irritated when I see people going the opposite direction when everyone else is going in the right direction. I think they just want attention.

10) Before loading a dishwasher, do you first rinse and remove stuck on food?
Absolutely. I see my dishwasher as more of a sanitizer. I would never be able to put a dish or utensil in it if it's covered with food. Eew!

11) When taking a shower do you wash your body, hair or face first or do you first shave?
I always wash my hair first, then my body and last my face. Once that's all taken care of I shave.

12) What type of gum do you prefer? Spearmint, peppermint, cinnamon, of fruit flavored?
I love spearmint and gag with peppermint. Cinnamon comes in a close second, but they all have to be sugar free or it leaves a gross after-taste in my mouth.

That's all I have for you at the moment. I am sure I will come up with more - lucky you!

Now you know more about me and it's your turn to tell me more about you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The things that come out of their mouths.

Today is another installment of funny and quirky things my kids say that make me laugh. I hope they make you laugh as well.


When giving Luke a time out for putting rocks down the sewer drain I asked him what reason he thought he got a time out. He replied, "For putting rocks down the drain." I said that is right and asked him why he shouldn't do that. He replied, "Because there's monsters down there."


Luke's word for kitchen is "chitch-chin"


Out of the blue Carson came up to me and asked, "Mom, did I ever have chicken fox?"


Whenever Luke has to go to the bathroom he announces that his pee-pee hurts. We're not really sure why he says this. While we were driving in the car one day, Luke beings to say that phrase, but switched it and said, "My pee-pee's starving."


I was getting dried off after a shower and attempting to cover myself, but Luke was being very observant at that moment. He asked, "Mom, where'd your pee-pee go?"

And another embarrassing body story was when Carson pointed at my chest and asked, "Why are those fat?"


I have mentioned before that I can make really strange noises with my stomach usually only when I'm hungry. Well, it was one of those moments and I had the kids listen and feel my belly as I made the noise. It basically grossed them out and made them laugh, but Carson asked, "Mom, do you have another baby in there?" To which I replied, "Absolutely NOT!"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - "Frog" Crossing

What caption would you give this picture?

For more Wordless Wednesday participants click here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Come on in and I'll show you around.

I personally want to thank each one of you who left such wonderful comments for me. I truly appreciate your sincere kindness. It warmed my heart and made me realize what a support system this whole blog thing can be.

This last week has been a lot smoother. My parents came to visit this past weekend and we had a great time enjoying their company. It's funny how you can take for granted the close relationships you have with family and friends when they live so close to you. Once you move away, the time spent with your family has such greater meaning and impact. It's like that one saying that you don't really know what you have until it's gone. Even though it's not literally gone it's still different in a whole new sense.

It seems I have some requests for pictures of our new home, and I would hate to disappoint anyone. Are you ready for the tour? Let's get started.

Welcome to our new Ohio home.

Let's move outside and see some of the beautiful plants that I have yet to kill. My thumbs are not green. Give me some clippers and I can shape you a nice shrub, but flowers and I don't do very well together. I will try my best though. And can anyone tell me what this first purplish plant is? It smells really good.I hope you enjoyed the tour and pictures.

And last this is where you will find my children most of the time. They say it's the best part of our new house. Hours have been spent on this wonderful addition to our home. What a way to make a mom happy.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Now what?

Well, here we are in our new residence in the state of Ohio. A week ago today we moved in and have been busting our butts all week, but we are all unpacked. All that's left is putting pictures up on the walls. Hopefully that will make it feel more like home. Because even though it's where we live, it's just a house. A beautiful one at that, but just a house that's waiting for us to fill it with memories. We've filled it with the loads of stuff we have, but it still feels empty to me. I am sure it doesn't help that this the first moment I have had alone, all to myself. Jason is at work, the 2 younger boys are napping (as is the dog), and Taylor is on his way back home to stay and visit with the grandparents. This is when the sadness hits. The loneliness is felt in my heart. I miss the connections I had back at home with my family and friends. I miss the comfort and security of my home. I try to stay strong and be positive, but deep down I miss home. I know I need to give it time and I will adjust. Right now it's just kinda hard for me. I could use all the encouraging comments you might have.