Saturday, September 29, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

We just received some awful and shocking news. My uncle (Mom's only brother) took his own life last night. Please pray for our family. We are devasted and completely shocked.

Though I received this news just minutes ago, I have learned that when someone close to your life dies, it's hard - we all know that - but when the life was taken on purpose by that person them self, the grieving is unlike a "normal" death. Not only do we feel the pain of his death but also the pain of what he did. You want to ask them "why" but you know it's too late. It's a shocking and sharp feeling that leaves you feeling numb.

He had a family, though very broken. Pray specifically for his 3 teenage sons. They need Jesus and especially so now. Your prayers are appreciated.

A Question on Ministry ::Reviewed::

Thank you to all of you that commented on my previous post concerning balancing our ministries as mothers with ministeries to other people. I appreciated each thought and word of encouragement shared and saved every one of your comments. Please feel free to continue sharing thoughts in the comment box.

I was reminded again recently at how refreshing it is to view issues in life through other's perspectives. And by each of the comments that were shared, I found myself renewed with a freshened vigor to continue my quest towards godly motherhood and to view that as my ministry today.

I was challenged to rethink my perspective on priorities and I have come away with a renewed hope and joy. The result of this entire discussion has multiplied in more than one blessing and I can joyfully say that "there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus."

The previous post "A Question on Ministry" has been modified here. What is your perspective on how a busy fulltime mom of young children should venture into the opportunities of ministering outside her home? Feel free to share.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

On Motherhood and Zapping Wires

Fully realizing the desolate plight I depicted about myself in the last post, let me just say that sometimes 5 hours of sleep gives good reason to grab a cup of coffee and sit on blog spot to do something there other than one of the trillion things on my To-Do list.

That's why I'm here today.

About that list though, I did actually give myself the opportunity to cross something off! (I hear cheers from everywhere! Thank you, thank you, thank you folks! Oh, not a standing ovation....! [dabs eyes in appreciation]... ) Yes, you did hear right; something is finished on my list: The Bathroom.

Right now I really should be installing curtain rods in the livingroom but something about that drill in the drill box is telling me that it won't be an easy job. Especially since my husband won't be home for another 7 hours and it's already 3 in the afternoon. Can you say long day?

Long day indeed but I'm making the best of it. The guinea pig's cage is clean, sparkling clean I might add. The laundry is almost half-way done and boy, does that feel good. (The done part of the half way laundry is really making the difference in my outlook on laundry today.) The house is actually clean and picked up and looks like children don't live here. The kitchen is semi-in order which is actually a good thing for me since this kitchen seems to have a magnetic force that attracts magnets of clutter. The kitchen floor is (you better sit down before I say this) swept AND mopped. Wow. I won't have to mop for another 2 months now. The baby is sleeping. The oldest is sleeping. The girl is wide awake.

Yes, the girl. She is my trouble today. Although her brother helped her out a few times in enabling more trouble to produce from her sweet and angelic nature. After turning on the hose outside (an off limits action), he created enough reaction between water and dirt to cause a generous amount of mud to which his clean and well mannered sister became tempted by. Lets just say it was time for a bath. The kind of bath where you run bath water twice.

Because of the difficulty it's been to teach my son not to play with water when he's outside, I was running out of creative punishments that really hit home to his energized 3 year old heart. But, today he is learning on his own. The reason we don't jump off the arm of the couch onto the cushions of the couch is because our sister might be sitting there and her teeth just don't feel too good when you hit them at such a high speed.

So, I'll admit that I was glad to hear that some where in the process of playing in the mud he created, he had inflicted upon himself the sting from low voltage phone wires. This punishment was doubly applied since 1) he wasn't supposed to play with the hose and 2) he wasn't supposed to touch the wires. We all know that if we touch electric looking wires, we will most likely get zapped to some extent. We all also know that if we don't touch those wires, we amazingly won't get zapped. Before you think we have live wires within reach of our children, let me assure you its worse than that. We also teach our children to play on hot stoves and chase mean dogs. Okay, I'm kidding.

These wires I'm talking about are those tiny wires installed by the phone company that most normal people have behind a small, discreet box connected to outside of their house. You probably don't even know where it is unless you have phone trouble or if your kids take the box off and play in the mud with it. And then the dog chews on it or the screw gets lost or something happens to cause the box to somehow just not fit right anymore. So it falls off everytime the sun sets or the earth makes a turn on it's axle.

Without the box on anymore, it looks like we have a live bomb attached to the outside of our house. Not sure when the bomb will go off but with the way Janae is acting in her room today, I have to wonder if it went off and is projecting itself on my sweet, quiet, calm little girl. This tangle of wires is right outside her window.

Ironically enough, it's amazing our phone even works anymore -- or our internet for that matter. The entire contraption gets as much rain as our rain gauge and the only drawback we've had from it (besides the boy getting a little tingle on his finger today) is sometimes phone conversations will be a bit garbled up if we make or receive a call during a rain shower. If you ever wonder if it's raining at my house, just call and see if the connection is clear. That's more predictable than the weather alerts online.

Back to what I was saying about who was my trouble today, since putting the kids down for naps almost two hours ago, I have spent untold trips to Janae's room and back again. That 2 hours is longer than her normal naptime is. And she doesn't seem to get it that she must go to sleep before she can get out of her bed. "I'm happy now" she keeps saying when I tuck her back in. Ugh. Everytime I go back, there's something else on the floor, something else missing from the wall and another piece of creative evidence that she was out of her bed. I've changed her diaper twice and covered her up a million times. Besides sitting on her until she falls asleep, I'm not sure what to do since she just won't go to sleep. One thing I have never done is let my children get up by themselves if they haven't slept during naptime. I'm really not sure what she thinks she'll get out of this. Maybe she's hoping for the impossible... "Oh here Janae, you got out of your bed and are such a darling girl! Would you like to walk to the park and eat some candy?" I don't think so.

I am amazed at the amount of wisdom that is required when you live with little people like I do and call yourself Mom. Wow. I never thought it would be this hard. I've learned that it's hard to be a mom but it's even harder to be a good mom. I think Janae is just making me be a good mom today.

I had someone say to me once that I should reconsider my priorities. I agree 100%. My ultimate goal is to have my priorities straight. But for some odd reason, there is a great confusion on what priorities should be first. Are there other needy people that I should make an effort to help out? YES! But, my priorities are mixed up if I make it a point to be available to other needs at the same times that my children need my attention in a special way. Not that I don't desire to help other people but if I run off and pick up another burden not meant for me to carry, who is going to carry my load? Will someone be as willing to care for my children as I was to care for another need? The thing with raising a family is that when you are the mom, YOU are the care provider. YOU know what is needed there. You won't walk into church and find a sign-up sheet with your family's needs on it:

Train Landon
Discipline Janae
Care for Alex
Love Landon, Janae and Alex

Nope. These are the silent callings of motherhood on me. These are heavy burdens that everyone else sees as pleasant little people, not desperate impressionable souls. These are my little people. My mission fields and my treasure chests. What I put in them will be saved for all eternity. I fulfil each of those callings and I carry out the task in style, not in duty.

As I step back into my day today and resume The List and not the irrational temptation to take up solo jogging this afternoon, I am endeavoring to remember that at the top of my list is a 4 letter word that can never be crossed off: KIDS. But, not only are they kids; they are also MY kids. (so that's why they live here... I get it now!)

So, I am mothering with style today! (But, please come home soon hubby...)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Down With the Deer Landon Style

"Bang, bang, bang.... Mom, I'm shooting at you!" Landon called across the room. I quickly redirected him the ways of hunter safety and told him in simple words, "We don't shoot people, we only shoot animals."

"Oh. Aminals?" He clarifies.

"Yes, animals. You can shoot things like... um..." (I was trying to think of a good animal to shoot).

"SHEEP!" He interrupts my thinking. So, I agree with him; sheep are good to shoot. I mean, we count them in our sleep only to get an idea of how many there are to shoot the next day.

As Landon goes on his hunt, he eventually ended back up in the kitchen with me.

"Hey Mom," he says. "I'm shooting sheep and bears and moots!" he declares excitedly.

"Moots?" I asked him, "What's a moots?"

"Um... a moots is small.... really REALLY small... and it's an aminal... um.... its a moots," he finished with as if the name alone gave the definition. But, then he went on while deep in thought, "A moots pees really REALLY hard on deers and a moots poops on them too," he stated very matter-of-factly, as if this was a good character trait of an animal.

Wow. I was speechless. I was having a sudden vision of these rodent-size creatures that ran around the forest jumping on a deer's back with an intense fury while, well, doing what Landon says they do to deer.

And since "deers" are scarier to Landon than the bogey man is, I'm surprised he would have the desire to shoot an "aminal" that sounds to me like it is as against the deers as Landon is. Who would've thought a moots could be so detestable though. And where does this kid come up with this stuff?!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On Running Backwards and Slimy Noodles

I finally figured out my problem. Yes, problem. You see, the Good Lord has blessed me with 24 hours in my day just like He's blessed the rest of you in the same way. But, with me, He also blessed me with 3 time stealer's... i.e. children. As if that wasn't enough to be blessed with, He gave me 8 loads of laundry to do. And then He required of me to do justly and be merciful to my family and feed this flock 3 times a day. With the food comes the fun of dirty dishes. Usually about that time, the precious baby is screaming because his swing is causing him to feel lonely. And as I walk to the swing to get the precious screaming lonely baby, I step on a slimy noodle and track the noodle all the way to the baby swing.

So, not only do I have 3 darling children, 8 loads of laundry, 3 meals to attend to, 3 kitchen cleaning sessions a day and 1 precious baby to comfort, I now have 1 sticky smeared noodle to pick out of the carpet.

You do the math:

That leaves me with 5 hours left over. I usually use those 5 to sleep. If I'm lucky.

The other day Toby found a hastily scrawled 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper that I had sitting on the buffet. "What's this?" He asked, reading down the sloppy list. I pleaded with him to treat the parchment like a sacred scroll because That Paper was My List. I took precious time out of my 24 hours to design that list. And I look at that list every few days just to see what else I could add to it. It's usually, "Clean noodles out of carpet" or some other monotonous thing. I'm thinking about putting "Change baby's diaper" on there just so I could actually cross something off.

I always thought 24 hours was a lot of hours. Until I had 3 kids. It seems like once my feet hit the floor in the morning, everything starts going backwards. My daily motto is "running 90 mph backwards." I call this frustrating; my husband calls it talent. He claims he doesn't know anyone that can run 90 mph backwards. "Well, hi my name is Courtney, I'm your wife and I can run 90 mph backwards."

Just recently, I spent all of one entire Saturday cleaning, sweeping, mopping and organizing the basement. You read that right, all day. In the huge process there were a few highlights. Such as me finding a snake skin behind the dryer, me killing giant crickets and fast spiders that hid under heavy bins and boxes and me saving an entire freezer from defrosting when I found it had come unplugged. On the way to church the next morning, Toby was complementing my successes. You know, doing what the Proverbs 31 woman gets when she finishes a job... "her works shall praise her." In our case, my works give their voice to Toby and I might add he does a fine job of encouraging me in this way.

I hate to admit this but lately, my unfortunate habit has been to occasionally moan to my dear husband about not being able to get anything done. When I worked so productively in the basement I think he was either praising me or else saying "I told you so" since he always counteracts each, "I can't get anything done" with "You'll get it all done." I seem to have a practice of complaining every night about my inability to actually accomplish something so maybe it's not as occasionally, as I like to think it is.

I mean, seriously, I can't even just sit and eat a meal without getting distracted in some way or another. I asked someone once what it was like to actually sit down at the table and stay there until the meal was done. I think if I did that, I'd feel like a child feels when their mom says, "you sit in that chair and stay there." I'd feel grounded.

Back to the Praising Works conversation we were having the morning after my big day... "I know Honey, it's great isn't it?" I said to him, both of us enjoying our clean basement. Then I went on, "But, I still could only cross maybe one thing off The List though." As if that wasn't discouraging enough, I then remembered that only half of the basement was actually considered done so therefore, I couldn't even cross "basement" off. I should've written "Half of basement" when I made The List. Or even, "Plan to clean all of basement."

So, back to my problem. I have 24 hours to get done what is seeming to take me several weeks to get done. Sometimes I look at The List and wonder if maybe I should just not sleep at night so that I could actually accomplish something without a baby screaming, kids falling off the steps, a child spraying water all over the bathroom floor, answering a toddler's deep theological questions ("Does God make you die?") or stepping on a wet noodle.

But, when you're running 90 mph backwards, it's nice to get a little bit of a break once in awhile. One of the things I've learned about my full 24 hours is that slimy noodles can always wait until morning.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Word Verification

I know how annoying Word Verification is so I will do my readers a favor and disable it. I hope the spammers don't get wind of this though. There is something freaky about going to your email inbox and finding 134 posts from commenters on your blog. Wow! I'm famous, is your first reaction. And then you find out it was some computer generated automated system that did that.

Word Verification keeps a blogger from having that despair.

But, then I hate it when I read a blog, go to comment and find I have to type in those "characters." Is that a 'g' or a '9' I'll wonder, and then hit enter and wait and then have to retype those 6 characters because I can't tell my numbers from my letters.

Now that I've disabled the annoyance for you readers, maybe that'll encourage some more comments on my blog?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's Game Day...

And I hate football. Okay, I know hate is a strong word so in other words, I detest and dislike and despise football. I mean really, what is so exciting about somebody catching or throwing a ball?

I live in “Husker” territory. For you college football fans, you know I’m not referring to somebody that works with corn but rather to the UNL football team. Today in the city of Lincoln, just a stone’s throw away from my doorstep is the game of the year being played. And what am I hoping? That “our” beloved team loses. My apologies to any Husker fans that may stumble on my blog. If you like the Huskers, you can put that on your blog. I dislike the Huskers and I’m putting that on my blog.

I found out recently from a friend that lives in Lincoln that he was really worried about the Huskers winning. Why? Vandalizing mobs break out when their team wins a victory. Weird way to celebrate, I know. It makes no sense to me either. And he lives in the heart of Lincoln. He was specifically worried about his 12 passenger van getting tipped over.

Today as I shopped and cruised around town, I was reminded again that today was Game Day by the see of red I saw everywhere. Husker Red. Everyone is wearing red; how dumb, I mused to myself.

Imagine my horror when I suddenly realized I happened to be wearing a red jacket today too. Totally Husker red. WHAT was I thinking this morning when I got dressed? You can tell I definitely didn't wake up with the game on my mind.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Sleeping Baby Dance

Do not expect this to work everytime. Your baby has to be just enough awake and just enough tired to comply with this formula. And even then this isn't a guarantee.

A side note before you continue --> The fact that your baby’s need fluctuate so much during the period of the dance, is in no way a reflection of your desperation. Your baby just wants variety. If you ate the same thing 6-8 times a day, you’d want some kind of change circulating somewhere in your life style. That’s how your baby feels. So that’s why he goes from being starving to neglected (and so forth and so on) in such a short time.

Here is my tried and true formula:

First, you feed the starving infant.
Then you diaper the neglected infant.
Then you try to feed the famished infant yet again.
Then you burp the painful infant.
Then you lay upon your chest the attention deprived infant.
Then you position upright the non-finicky infant.
Then you plop in the swing the swing longing infant.
Then you wrap in a snug blanket the cold infant.
Then you place a pacifier in the mouth of the suck induced infant.
Then you again change the diaper on the well fed infant.

Then you lose the pacifier and break the heart of your demanding infant.
Then you try another blanket on your needy infant.
Then you walk the restless infant.
Then you rock the unrestful infant.
Then you bounce the unrestfuller infant.
Then you walk, rock and bounce the unrestfullest infant.

And about the time you think you might need to look up on the internet again how to put infant to sleep, he suddenly, with no warning at all, leaves the land of the wakeful and heads right straight to dream land. Just like that, he’s gone.

He goes so fast you are concerned of his oxygen levels. So, you quickly shove a finger by his nose to check for adequate air. You count breath movements. You monitor his heart beats. You examine skin color and evaluate body temperature. And just to be sure, you gently shake him to check for reflexes.

You are pleased with your results and enjoy the wonderful fact that your child is actually sleeping! The only thing left is for you to head to bed yourself. Or so you think.

Unbeknown to you, the infant is playing possum. If you don’t believe me, put him in his bed and watch what happens. Then you repeat steps 1 through 17 above.

Enjoy your night!

Kid Klips

We Match!

While noticing his sister's pink outfit and my poison ivy infected leg, Landon made a keen observation.

"Mom," he said. "Janae's clothes match your poison ivy."


"Patty cake patty cake, baker's man...." Landon seemed to have the song down real well. Until the end, "Put it in the oven for 'bacon' and me."

Showers For Boys; Baths For Girls

After learning how to take a shower by himself recentely, Landon was boasting of his achievements one morning. Janae joined in and started talking about taking a shower herself. Not to be outdone by his sister, Landon told her, "No Janae; girls are for baths."

Laying Down The Law

Falling off the fence, toppling off the swing set, slipping off the swing, getting chewed on by the puppy, tripping and falling, etc. these are all very valid reasons for concern. But, I've had it with the crying. If there's one thing I hate, it's kids crying endlessly outside.

So, today I've laid the law down. Every time somebody cries outside they have to come in the house for 5 minutes. The timer is my best friend today.

As soon as I hear the crying, I evacuate the kid from the back yard and into the house. I hate sharing a screaming kid with the neighbors and feel it is my neighborly duty to not share such annoyances. The kid comes in and I survey their damage, cleanse their wounds and/or prosecute any sibling at fault with them. Being a mom in this situation means you're the investigator, news reporter, doctor, lawyer and cop all at once. Then, I make the child aware that because they were crying outside, they have to stay in the house for 5 minutes. At this point, we ceremoniously set the timer and I go back to what I was doing before the accident took place. The kid usually stands at the door quietly, looking out the window wishing they were outside.

I got to thinking as I watched my kids play out in the yard this morning. They have hardly any care or concern for their own safety and seem to enjoy the opportunity to cry every time they get hurt. Unfortunately, they seem to make up scenes so that they can fall or topple just to cry. The crying is worth the pain. By instigating some law and order out in our back yard, I'm hoping to help my kids realize that when they're careful, they usually don't get hurt, they don't cry and ultimately, they don't have to come in the house for 5 minutes of their precious day.

I mean really, climbing the fence is not exactly what a 3 year old should accomplish in his day. Of course he's going to get hurt. Flinging herself wildly on to the swing in a moment of playful frenzy, is perhaps a little risky for a 2 year old. We all know she'll get hurt. Or, letting the playful and hyper puppy out of her kennel is possibly not the wisest thing to do either. It's as if they walk around in the yard going, "hmmm, there's the dog, she has teeth, I want to get bit." And then they go open the kennel. Duh. And then I here wails and screams of the puppy mauling the kids. If you jump in the lions den, don't be surprised if you get bit just a little.

So, yes, call mean and cruel by making my kids come in from the great out doors for a whole 5 minutes but I really have to teach them somehow that there are consequences for unthinking behaviour.

Plus, I am really tired of having to share my screaming and bawling kids with the whole neighborhood. And I'm sure the neighbors are too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Proof that Naps ARE Necessary

The frantic mad dash that happens around here at nap time is enough to make anyone tired. Except my kiddos. They seem to get hyped and energized by the ordeal and add to the mad brigade as much as they can. At this point, it suddenly dawns on me why naps are so important for kids. Especially my kids.

It usually starts with the baby. I hold his noon feeding off as long as possible so I can put him to sleep after the older kids. I like him to lay down LAST. About the time lunch time is over, he starts fussing for his meal. After a couple squeaks, he's in a full-fledged holler and the whole house takes shape for a catastrophe. Until this point, all was peaceful. But, Alex has officially sounded the alarm that nap time has come.

Then the next step towards total chaos is Janae either insists on going to bed now or else her attitude shows that she actually needs to go to bed five minutes ago. The only problem is that lately, she just starts crying for no reason when we prepare for bed. And she'll keep up the wailing for quite some time. So, now we have the baby squalling and Janae joining in. Who's next?

Well, Landon. Although he's not a crying kid, he does have antics of his own that can be just as debilitating for his character. He's also the first kid I like to lay down because he sleeps the longest. Does he like to lay down first? No. It starts with me telling him to go potty. He insists he just went potty yesterday. I tell him to go and make sure there's no pee left. He reminds me again he got rid of all his pee yesterday. By now, I'm laying down the law and enforcing a trip to the bathroom. He complies, pees like a race horse and then heads outside. I stop him on the thresh hold and tell him to go wash his hands in the bathroom. Thrilled with the chance to play with water, he gladly "washes" his hands.

Meanwhile, The Baby is crying loudly, Janae is crying louder and I'm trying to get both to quiet down. And the bathroom sink is running water. Lots of water.

I get Baby Alex calmed down, send Janae to her room until she stops crying and tell Landon to shut the water off, dry his hands and go to his bed and wait for me. Then, he says he has to go potty. Then he asks for a drink after he gets up from his nap. Then he decides he doesn't want to go to bed and runs through the house wailing at the top of his lungs and landing on the livingroom floor in a tearful heap. Now he's crying. I think his younger siblings are a bad influence on him.

Now all three kids are crying, thanks to nap time. I thought nap time was supposed to be peaceful?

Long story short, Landon gets tucked in bed, Janae gets rational and dries her tears and gets in bed happily (the attitude change is sudden) and I snatch up my sweet little baby and cuddle in my own bed with him. He's squealing with delight and gasping happily in anticipation of getting fed.

The Baby just gets latched on after his heightened expectancy and I hear a door open.

Ugh. No wonder why her attitude change had been sudden: Janae just got the bright idea that's she'd extend the Laying Down For Naps time a little longer and stop with the tears then start later with the Getting Out Of Bed.

So, I get up, ignore the weeping baby and attend to a Janae that decided she would be happy now and not cry. Okay, that's great but you still need a nap, I tell her. She's put back in bed, totally heartbroken that she has to stay there.

Alex who's now dozing gets a good portion of his feeding when I suddenly hear Janae wandering around her room singing, "Trust and Obey." What a fitting song, I muse as I detach myself from The Baby, fully waking him up and attend to Janae's disobedience.

I resume the feeding with the baby and soon hear more sounds coming from Janae. I regrettably leave Alex again go to Janae's room in time to find her streaking around the room naked because she says she peed.

Finally, several trips later, I looked into Janae's room after all was quiet and found her eerily sleeping in her bed with her eyes half open. Obviously, she was so tired she didn't even give herself time to shut her eyes before she went to sleep.

And this ends Day Number 1,976 of nap time at our house. Though the most exhausting part of our day, it definitely is worth it when the house is actually quiet for a good length of time. And stays quiet until Janae gets up. She's always the last one down and the first one up.

How I love naptime! It's my own little oasis in the desert of a long day. It's my own little island in the middle of the ocean of a busy day. Now for a little of my own nap time before little feet plop out of beds and head back out to the great and wonderful sleepless world of wake time!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Somebody Has A Birthday!

My dear brother Zack has a birthday today! Go here to get more details.

Happy Birthday Zack-Man!

Measuring Success

I couldn't figure out why I felt a measure of success today considering I was getting next to nothing done. The laundry sat unwashed, undried, unfolded and unputaway. The house was a mess. Beds weren't made. The kitchen was a wreck. The baby was fussy. Lunch was late. And then I remembered why I felt successful: my dishwasher had been unloaded and reloaded!

Never mind that it did take close to 4 hours to get done. But, no wonder I felt accomplished when it was finally finished.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What To Do With A To-Do List

As if to play a part in an ongoing brigade of change and decay going on around here, our van has turned a gear and decided to add itself to our growing list of things to fix. The thing with that list though is the only thing that ever changes on it, is the addition of more items. Unfortunately, that list seems to not have a "cross off" feature on it.

Well, at least it feels like it somedays.

First it was the basement. When it rained, the rain gauge outside was the exact same as the rain gauge in our basement. Funny, huh? So we got smart and made sure all our storage items were in rubber maid bins or on top of rubbermaid bins. Fix the leak, I can hear you say but really, why go to the bother as long as you store nothing in card board?

So, my husband got smart. He researched leaky basements. And he found the perfect remedy: a a paint-like texture that once applied to the walls turns into a rubber-like substance which results in a complete water proof barrier. We could drop our house in the middle of a massive swimming pool and not get a drop of water inside. Sweet stuff.

I'm sure this stuff will do the trick eventually. The reviews were incredibly promising. Funny thing is that it just doesn't seem to work no matter how long we store it in buckets down in the basement. State-of-the-art repair man, that hubby is. (Actually, he really is when he has a little of that thing called "time." Ever heard of it? We sure haven't lately.)

But, riding even higher on our to-do list was the perpetual problems going on in our one and only precious bathroom. Talk about turn-of-the-century accomodations. Only, this was at least a century behind in function and performance.

For starters, the faucet leaked. No, not the drain; the faucet. We came up with an excellent solution. By positioning a container to collect dripping water under the sink, we aspired to repair the situation by just dealing with it in a very cost effective manner. The container would fill with water and then be poured out and then be put back under the leaky faucet. Great idea, I'm sure but we never were able to figure out where to put the container. The drips were inconsistent and sporadic and seemed to drop wherever the container wasn't.

At this point we realized why there was a hastily written handnote duct taped to the bathroom sink when we bought this house last spring: DO NOT USE SINK. (Tip ---> if your real estate company offers free plumbing inspections, accept them at any cost. Really.)

As if the leaky faucet wasn't bad enough, the drain volunteered its membership on our to-do list. It just completely quit working. If you couldn't remember if you had brushed your teeth that morning, you had at least until bedtime to check the bathroom sink for frothy toothpaste. Add shaving results and shaving cream to the frothy water and top it off with sudsy soap and by the end of the day you had quite the chemical reaction going on in the sink.

Yet, above all, the most inconvenient part of our bathroom was the shower. The faucet part where the water comes out was loose and rickety. If you pulled on it at all, you could see the pipe behind it. The stopper that you pull up on in order to activate the shower had completely malfunctioned. So, you technically couldn't take a shower but you also couldn't take a bath either because the plug for the drain was like a bath timer: you only had minutes to enjoy a full tub and suddenly, your dreamy bath soak turned into a shallow drought.

Embarking on a new career, my so-not-a-plumber-husband assured me he could fix it all. What man doesn't wish to rescue a damsel in distress, especially if that distressing damsel happens to be his wife?

So, that's when he got the bright idea about the container under the sink that fixed the leaky faucet. As for the anti-drain drain, he bravely picked it and pulled globs of slimy hair out. (what a hero!) And when it came to the malfunctioning shower, he turned to his roots (carpentry) and brought in a small load of wood. Yes, wood. With the skill of a brain surgeon, he strategically crammed several pieces of wood shims up into the faucet resulting in a permanent shower setting in our bath tub. This setting worked but the water pressure was pretty low because half of the water came out the faucet through the shim dam and the other half sprayed haphazardly out of the shower head. It took a whole hot water heater full to fully rinse your hair.

I'm not married to a plumber. And in case you didn't catch that I'll repeat: I'm not married to a plumber. Toby can fix about anything but that anything doesn't include plumbing or cars.

And just yesterday he informed me that the van's transmission is going out. But, I can't entirely believe him because just a few months ago he assumed something tragic had happened with our outdoor spigot of the home we were selling. So, for once he called the plumber. (Smart thinking.) Only problem was that the spigot had no problem: it merely needed the shut-off valve turned to on. That's why for him to conclude out of the clear blue that the van needs a new transmission, I'll not hold my breath until a real mechanic looks at it. Who knows? If the van is anything like the shut-off valve at our old house, the van could just need the oil changed.

Sweetly enough though, while we took our latest trip to visit my folks, Toby arranged for a plumber to come and totally repair our bathroom in our absence. I knew nothing of the arrangement either. I was more than just a little surprised and elated when we came home and found a modern bathroom in place of the previously dilapidated accommodations.

As a double feature, we not only get to enjoy our new bathroom but we also get to experience the thrill of crossing something off The List. Unfortunately, those slots on our List have already filled up and overflowed but at least we can enjoy a good shower in the mean time.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What I Belong To

So, I have a blog. Yeah, who doesn't these days? The only thing with my blog is that I have it; it doesn't have me.

And that's not an entirely bad thing when I already belong to this:
(insert picture of the hardworking man)

And this.
(insert picture of the rugged and adventerous young man)

And this.
(insert picture of child who continually lives life on the edge)

And this.
(insert picture of that baby who smiles well on camera but screams well off camera)

The lack of posts can be explained by the above or can be summed up in this:
(insert picture of super mom power)