Friday, December 12, 2008


I just read this hilarious little post on Daring Young Mom .  I thought about sharing my rant there, but that didn't seem in the spirit of things, so I'm getting on my soap box over here where I belong.

I work really hard not to buy foods with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and trans fats.  Tortillas are the hardest thing to find.  Even if they have 0% trans fats per serving there may still be partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list.  I just checked Mission's web site (search for "trans fat" on that page and you'll find several informative sections) and they claim that they have stopped using these, but the stores I shop at aren't stocking the new product.

Lately I've given up looking at the regular grocery stores to see if the companies have finally come around (although I'm glad that Mission has realized it was a bad idea) and just buy our tortillas at Trader Joe's.  They have packages of 10 tortillas for less than $2 that freeze beautifully.  And -- drum roll, please -- no freaky ingredients!

Thank you, Trader Jose!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 -- technology meets charity on a personal level

You may notice there's a new widget on my blog. I now have a Giving Page on of my very own. I'm not doing this as part of a challenge (although they kind of forced me to join one, weird), I just want to try to pitch in and send some attention to teachers that I think deserve some help for their cool projects.

If you aren't familiar with how works let me explain. Teachers post proposals with the help of the people and you go search through them and find ones that you want to donate to. You are donating whatever amount you want to a specific teacher's project. You can sort and filter based on all sorts of things. I chose to focus on Special Needs classrooms that are serving preschool age kids. Once I had put a few of those on my page I got excited and added some more where the total needed is less than $100. That means that your $25 or $50 or $100 (or $5 if you're in a boat like mine) could complete the funding of this proposal and get the materials needed into those kids' hands. So please, take a minute and see if there is something that inspires you. Use my page as a starting off point or just go to and search on your own.

I had heard of this website linking donors directly with teachers last year during their Bloggers Challenge. It fell out of my head until I saw an ad on YouData tonight. Go, YouData!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Dear President-Elect Obama,

Dear President-Elect Obama,
Originally uploaded by KYouell.

This is my contribution to the Message For Obama pool on Flickr. You can search for the tag "messageforobama" to see more.

Here is what the text says:

"She's 18 months old and typical. He's 3 years old, has Down syndrome and a heart defect that may require more medical intervention.

"I want her to be happy, healthy and independent. I want him to be happy, healthy and independent.

"I don't want her to have to take care of him when we are gone. To accomplish our goals we need *your* support.

"Please support Early Intervention Programs, Inclusion Programs, and help us get health care we can actually afford to use."

Here is the rest of the message I wrote:

Some of us believe that abortion should not be illegal, yet we wouldn't dream of having one ourselves.

Some of us do the best we can, make a decent living and then get blindsided with medical bills and a situation that is hard to dig our way out of.

Even if I won the lottery and money was never an object for me ever again, I couldn't buy inclusion in our community for my son. That requires the participation of the community in welcoming him in.

Don't forget that some of the people that cannot (yet) speak for themselves are not babies that the anti-choice people are trying to speak for, but they are babies that are here, have loving families, and *still* need the help of society.

It's nice to finally feel good about the outcome of an election. Thank you for the hope you have kindled in my heart. Wednesday, 11/5/2008, felt like Christmas morning did when I was small. Magical!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Intro to YouData

Way back when I learned about sk*rt from OMSH (you know, Heather, who commented once that she promises never to make me drink any Kool-Aid). Sk*rt eventually became Kirtsy, Heather became an editor, and I just don't go there often. I do get their emails every week or so and I certainly pay attention to contests. Especially contests where they are giving away a free laptop (it's over -- I didn't win). I was curious about this whole YouData thing and went to their site to learn more.

Well, the first thing you need to do is fill out some surveys about yourself. I'm a sucker for surveys. Just love giving people my opinion about things. So I signed right up and proceded to survey away. That took no time at all and then I could go look at some ads. Just some cute little banner ads in their ad viewer on the website. Boom, I had earned 25-cents. Not much, but more than I usually bring home. (Why, oh why, don't I get paid for each poopy diaper I change???) So, since it was a lot easier than changing a diaper and they promised to put a shiny quarter in my PayPal account, I was having fun. I clicked thru each banner to the respective advertisers' websites to earn some more change, 15-cents here, 17-cents there. The next thing I knew I had learned about and seen some scary (as in eww, I don't want to dust that) Halloween figurines and some crazy expensive baby furniture. Random surfing could have produced the same results. Pretty soon the kids needed me so I got off the computer.

I didn't think about it until a few days later when I got an email from PayPal saying that I've received $3. Huh? Sure enough it's from YouData. Well, thank you! So I instantly go back and view more ads and listen to the happy little ka-ching sound. I am loving YouData.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Polycarbonate vs. Polypropylene

I just heard through some mamas that I trust that it's a bad idea to put food storage containers in the dishwasher, as the heat can cause yucky chemicals to leach out. Eww. So, thinks I, I will get some glass storage for our leftovers. Haha! Thwarted the plastics industry. And lo and behold we have a Chefs Catalog just sitting around begging me to have a reason to look through it. So this morning I do.

They have 1 (count 'em -- one) listing for glass storage. And they have "poly" lids. Poly-what lids, I ask? A quick flip through the rest of the catalog shows that they have other storage that is polycarbonate (one of the options for that is stainless-steel containers but they still have the polycarbonate lids), and some cutting boards that are made from polypropylene. So I then asked myself what's the difference between polycarbonate and polypropylene, and are either one of them safe?

A quick read of the Wikipedia pages for both made me sure that polycarbonate was not something I wanted near our food. The polypropylene page wasn't so clear so I kept looking. I found a site called Safe Mama that has a tag for the listings about polypropylene. It looks to me like polypropylene is not a hazardous choice to be near our food. I still think I'm going to opt for the Anchor Hocking sets that have glass lids and leave all the plastic behind. I found that they have 3 sizes on along with a ton of other items like cookie jars and chalkboard jars (how cool!) when I searched the site for "anchor hocking storage." I saw the same 3 pieces sold as a set at my local grocery store so I'm going to compare the price before I buy, but this is what I'm going with.

Oh, one other thing I learned on those Wikipedia pages. Polycarbonate has a plastics identification code of 7 and polypropylene is a 5. Just so you can look at what you have in your cupboard and not wonder what it is. As long as there is a number inside of a triangle made of arrows, you can be sure of what you've got. There's even a Wikipedia page with a chart listing all of the codes and linking back to the pages for individual types of plastics.

Enjoy! And keep your food safe.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A reason not to Homeschool?

I've been daydreaming about homeschooling my kids since before I got pregnant. Now that The Biscuit is in preschool and hating it -- I have to stay with him the whole time or he's just a panic attack in the corner -- I'm fighting myself not to pull him.

Now I run across this story and it makes me think that what I should be doing is getting him out of the house every day at school time, even though school is only twice a week. Once he gets that this is the routine I know he'll be ok, but 2 days a week is not enough of a routine that he's going to grasp it quickly. Then we have breaks because I needed to go on a trip and we came home and got sick and it really makes less sense to him. I think that he thinks that school is over. Whew, got through that. Sorry, little dude. Not *even* the case. And I don't need you regressing when you are 25. Not that I blame the parents in the story. In their case I think I would have made the exact same choices. But it sure makes me wonder what I'm setting him up for if I don't get him up and outta here every single day.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Election Gas

Has anyone else noticed that as the election gets closer gas prices are coming down? I'm suspicious! Damn oil profiteers and their war and cronies and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I swear I'd have a stroke if I didn't have a blog to dump some of this frustration on.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Free Starbucks? Sign me up!

Thank you, Heather, for pointing me at this cute Lego photo of MommyKnows'. I had no idea that Legos came in those colors; they are still choking hazards for my kids. The super cool part is that the photo has a link to MommyKnows' blog and that has an post where she is giving away $10 Starbucks gift cards. Woot! Doubling my entry by telling you about it. Go comment and get in the drawing.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Buddy Walk!!!

It's this weekend in our part of the world. Come join us!

Sponsor me!

Join our team (Biscuit Patrol)!

Learn more about the local group your dollars will be supporting!

Find a Buddy Walk in your area!

Get off your duff and walk a mile with us!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our Visitor

One of the highlights of our trip was waking up to a voice mail message on my cell phone from the alarm company. One of our motion detectors had gone off. I called them back and told them we were in California and asked could they tell me any more? Just that the police had been called and we were safe to assume that the police had found nothing since the police had not called the alarm company back. Yeah, right. So we called the police dept and got basically the same answer. The officer had found nothing. Had he looked in the backyard? Oh, of course, they always do that. Uh-huh.

As our trip continued we realized that the zone that had gone off was the one that is incorrectly labeled as a motion sensor and is really a door or window -- we couldn't remember which. Great.

So when we arrived home my husband walked all through the house and all around the house and found nothing. Ok, must have been nothing.

About 6 hours later (I think), after having been out in the mud room numerous times to tend to laundry, guess what flew from the mud room into the kitchen? A bat. That's right, a frickin' bat! We finally convinced it to go back to the mud room where we could shut it off from the rest of the house. Then my husband went around and opened the back door and eventually convinced it that outside was better than inside.

Good times. At least when the alarm went off it wasn't a false alarm. At least no one got bit. My advice is to not leave unscreened doors and windows open when packing a car at night for a trip. Or to get screens. I know I really want them now.

So I took this little trip...

to Sacramento. I went to a conference and my family communed with our extended families and their pets.

I got very little sleep starting with driving all night to get there. During the conference I either had a late night at workshops/meetings or stayed up late to get in some kid and hubby time. Then we drove straight back overnight. I'm barely awake and doing things.

In fact, I was just going to read 2 blogs and then get that load of clothes in the washer going as the presoak has had plenty long to do its job. What should I find but that Kathryn at Daring Young Mom has actually mentioned *me* in her post about laundry. So now that I've given her some linky love back, I'm off to throw some more clothes in with some Charlie's Soap (love, love, love, love). Then a nap.

Hahahahaha! Moms don't get to nap. :-(

PS -- Before I could hit post both kids were slipping on the Pergo floor. Why would that be? Could it be the spit and chewed up Goldfish cracker paste that must have appeared while I was typing? I can let you know that the Charlie's Soap All-Purpose cleaner (diluted 10:1) got that mess up with no problems. Other than me being disgusted, I mean.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not Really a Formula Recall

I got an update that infant formula made in China may have excessive amounts of melamine. Yeah, the stuff they make bowls out of. We aren't supposed to worry because no formulas made in China have been approved for sale in the U.S. I thought it was interesting for this sentence:

Melamine artificially increases the protein profile of milk and can cause kidney diseases.

Whoa. Satisfies some of my curiosity about why Chinese products keep having these bizarre things in them.

HABA recall (old news)

I'm just getting caught up on my news from the gov't. We've been given several HABA toys as gifts. Ooh, they're wood! Ooh, they're from Germany, not China! Yet they are still subject to recalls. Just in case you are like me and think that you had found a "safe" brand of toy. Sigh.

CPSC HABA recall info with pictures.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sewing Project -- kids' pants

I found this through Balancing Everything. It is a super easy way to make kids' pants out of t-shirts. Now I know what I'm going to do with all those t-shirts I bothered to pack and move up here even though I don't wear them. Hallelujah, I don't have to wonder whether to spend the Carter's Store gift certificate on day clothes or pjs!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Busy, busy, hard, hard.

That about sums up my life right now. I have 9 tabs open in Chrome (Google's new browser that I'm trying out) of things I need to do or write about. I also have a text file with the urls of 6 more. I think that I'll just go with a bullet list for now.

  • I'm going to vote for Obama. Even though Gov. Sarah Palin also has a son with Down syndrome, I am not changing my support just for that. There's a lot more to a person than how many copies of his 21st chromosome her son has. Obama gives me hope, and I enjoy voting *for* someone instead of strategically trying to make my vote count. Blah.
  • I'm not going to see Tropic Thunder, but then I probably wasn't going to anyway. But now I won't Netflix it.
  • The Biscuit started preschool and he doesn't like it. Part of me really wants to say, "Fine we are homeschooling!" but I know we need to give it more than 2 days.
  • The Buddy Walk is coming up! Go to and put in your ZIP code to find one near you. Then go to it. We are in your community, don't pretend we aren't. This isn't a fund-raiser like Race for the Cure and others like that because we aren't trying to find a cure for Down syndrome. This is an awareness-raiser and funds stay local to help families in your community. Please, please, please go. Another more detailed post coming on this.
  • Little Miss Cupcake had her first "poo art" as in playing with the contents of a blow-out diaper. I won't be making peas 2 nights in a row again for awhile. She likes them too much.
  • Today I pulled out some clothes that I was saving for her next growth spurt and put her in a dress that was mine when I was little. Totally cool! So I'll probably do a post -- with photos! -- about that.
Now, off to bed with me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I just counted and preschool starts in 3 weeks.

I'm petrified.

It has nothing to do with me going on a job interview in the morning. Ack! Look at the time! To bed with me already.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mobile blogging

Looking for a claim token

Ignore that. Just setting up my phone so I can post from it if I want.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ooh, Carriers Too!

There's a second give-away. Go enter. Now. Go!

Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)

Free BumGenius Starter Kit!!!

Yes, I mean those 3 exclamation marks. I want this kit so bad I could spit! So here's my blog entry promoting the contest so that I can get an extra entry. Crossing my fingers for me and my kids' bums!

Go check it out!

Win a Bum Genius 3.0 Starter Kit from Nature's Child - Wholesome Goods for Mothers and Babies

Monday, July 07, 2008

Rex Kwon Do

Next week: Knife training!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Diaper Saga

Haven't had much to say lately, but our dramas do continue. The Biscuit gave us a sign yesterday that he might be ready to start potty training: he pooped in his diaper then removed it, running around the play area with poop still hanging from his cute little butt. I have now determined that the sleeping bag we use as a giant floor cushion in that room does in fact fit in our washer and that the little flimsy drying rack I have can hold the weight of about 1/3 of said sleeping bag (the rest of it laying over the deck railing). Thankfully, (HA!) it was 101 degrees yesterday so the sleeping bag dried pretty fast.

On a side note, I'm now kicking myself that we rented a house with no a/c. I remember thinking that it was no big deal because it's freaking Oregon and since it's an older house there are all sorts of windows that we can open to get a breeze from whatever direction it is coming. Which *would* work great if a good half of the windows weren't painted shut! [kick, kick!]

We have been having a problem with The Biscuit's diapers leaking overnight so switched to a nighttime pull-up. Yeah, just because Kimberly-Clark says that it's just for nighttime doesn't mean it's strong enough to take him and all his milk drinking. I've gone ahead and ordered a custom-made $50 diaper for him through Tallulah Baby. That is a fully-loaded for nighttime, with some special adjustments for his particular body shape, diaper and a cover (and shipping). I'm looking forward to it!

We are using gDiapers with The Cupcake almost all of the time now. I'm going to invest in some prefolds (unbleached India prefolds if I can find them for a good price) to use as inserts in them instead of the gDiaper flushables that we are buying now. The next step is some BumGenius diapers which should fit both kids so that even when The Biscuit is fully potty-trained they will still work on The Cupcake. Trying hard here to make a wise investment, before taking reselling them on eBay into consideration. Somewhere in there we get to buy cloth wipes too. From what I've heard (and experienced with the gDiapers) it's extra yukky to try to separate those non-flushable baby wipes from what you are flushing and washing. I'm not ready to switch to the flushable toddler wipes yet, so I think we are just going to go ahead and go the cloth route. From what I hear flannel receiving blankets make great ones when cut down and the edges are serged, so that will be my first serger project. Just as soon as I get some power to my sewing area. Ah, old houses.

Oh, and for the people who are curious about diapers piling up and smelling, I can say that I am already over-caught up with laundry like never before. Basically I have the opposite problem in that I am usually wanting to wash diapers and scouring the house for things to wash with them. I've never been more on top of the laundry than I have since we started using the gDiapers for The Cupcake. So I really do think that's a fear, not an actual issue. Maybe it's left over from diaper service days, when you kept the diapers for someone else to pick up and wash?

Updated to add links. Doh!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I sent my husband an email and then realized it should be a blog post.

I joined a Yahoo group for unschoolers pretty soon after we moved. Not that I know what that means, but I wanted to learn. I'm one of those weird products of public school that loves learning. Go figure!

Anyway, a blog that I had been avoiding because I knew I would get hooked on it sucked me into its web today. Jessica, formerly Very Mom and Kerflop, has a new blog about her homeschooling/unschooling adventure called Balancing Everything.

None of the posts are long. These two I found especially fascinating since I am someone who also wants to take the plunge.

This one talks about her LDS-based reasons for homeschooling. While I am not of that religious persuasion I still think it is worth reading for parents whose children fall under the category of Special Education. Don't forget that "gifted and talented" students are part of Special Ed (at least that's what they called us in the 70's and 80's).

There is a post that gave me a new perspective on public school, mostly because that was not my experience. And that may very well be because I was part of the whole Gifted thing. Huh, just dawned on me that I was not mainstreamed for English and Math from second grade on.

Two more posts reminded me of me. One of my laziness and the other of how I'm trying so hard not to post things that will let scary people do bad things to us.

Then she gets to the hopeful part and the beginning of a plan.

Proof they are learning!

There's more, but not much as of yet. But I'm really inspired. And that's why I wanted to share. Now go read!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Early Mother's Day to the Congresswoman from Washington State

Here is this year's message and, just because it touched my heart, here is last year's introduction of her son, Cole. He's really grown!

Of to go cry more, because it's so good that this caucus exists and because I wish my son was talking that much.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Glow In The Woods

I've pondered what to write other than, "Go read. Bear witness. Say their children's names. Learn how to be a help instead of making them feel invisible." Really that should be enough. You should go. But instead I've been pondering why it is so important to me. Why do I feel so drawn to this group?

Two things came to me this afternoon:
  1. My dad's aunt and uncle, who raised him and his brother, had a son of their own who died of SIDS. As the story goes, one Easter morning they got up and the baby was blue.
  2. My mom's mom either had one or two babies before my eldest uncle (depends on who is telling the story). As it is there is an 18-year gap between the oldest and the youngest of my aunts/uncles. If the first baby had lived there would have been 20 years.
So the loss that draws me to these women's stories is not just the grieving for the perfect son that I thought we had for 2 days, but there is also a desire to understand these two women that were such a big part of my life.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What are you doing for Mother's Day?

I have decided that for my Mother's Day I would like to join Standing Women. Go check out their story and see if there will be a group standing in a park that you would like to join.

Update: I found the page about the original book this idea is based on. The author also has a blog, but it seems to stop in 2007 and doesn't have any updates about the 2008 event.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Jim Never Asks for Seconds at Home"

I know. Stupid line from Airplane taken from stupider instant coffee ads in my childhood. But I was so happy that my husband boyfriend* wants me to make more bread! I tried it once and it turned out very delicious. When he asked me to bake some again this line popped into my head.

Sadly, it's taken me about 24 hours to find the recipe again. I knew that it was from a link in a comment on Daring Young Mom. I knew that there were 3 pages of comments on the site that actually had the recipe. And I knew that I had combed those for necessary changes and had made a text file with the original recipe (which made 2 loaves) and the changes from the comments. Then I had a second text file with my 1 loaf version. How hard could it be to find a text file?

Well it turns out that the recipe (and so my file name) is "Outrageously Easy Big Bread" so all my searching under "bread" and "easy" yielded nothing. I gave up and started searching through DYM's archives. At least we haven't been in this house long and I knew I'd made the bread here. Luckily she tagged it "food" and it was in the third post I read! Yahoo!

I know this wasn't that interesting, but I don't want to lose the recipe again. So I shall share it with you. First the credits:

Daring Young Mom's post
The comment by Slawebb
The link that Slawebb included in her comment

And here is my version for only 1 loaf (advice and comments in parenthesis are from the original link):


1 packet of yeast
2 T warm water
1 C hot water
1.5 T sugar
0.5 t salt
1.5 C flour
2T + 2t vegetable or corn oil
1.5 C flour


Note: This recipe works best if all ingredients are set out, ready to go, in advance.

Pour warm water into a small ceramic bowl and add the yeast, but DO NOT STIR. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, pour hot water over the sugar and salt, then stir with a wooden spoon to completely dissolve. Combine 1.5 cups flour with the water mixture. Pour the oil on top of the dough mixture then add the yeast mixture on top of that, but DO NOT STIR. Top with the remaining 1.5 cups of flour and mix well. (I begin mixing with the wooden spoon but I very quickly have to move into squishing the dough with my hands.) At this point, the dough should be pliant and moist, but not gooey. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set aside to rise for at least 45 minutes. (I've left it for almost two hours.)

Knead the dough if you want. Flatten it into roughly an oval/rounded rectangular shape, about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness; then roll the dough lengthwise and place on an ungreased, but very BIG, cookie sheet. Cover the dough with a moist towel and set aside to rise again for another 45 minutes (or longer).

After the dough has risen the second time, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for exactly 23 minutes. If you can keep everyone from digging in right away, allow to cool for about 15 minutes and then enjoy.


*He's decided that it was more fun to be boyfriend/girlfriend.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

He is ours and that is that.

I was getting caught up on Sweet|Salty Kate and that led my brain to this:

I get comments like "How do you do it?" and I wonder that these people think I had a choice. The Biscuit is who we got. He is ours and that is that. Then I run across a woman who is adopting a boy with Down syndrome because his bio parents decided to only take home the typical twin from the hospital. It makes me wonder what that NICU nurse who mentioned there are waiting lists of people that want to adopt a baby with Down syndrome was really trying to say; was she offering me a choice?

(Edited to fix a spelling error.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ok, I admit it, I suck at this blogging thing. I have plenty to say when I read posts on someone else's blog, but then not much left when it comes to here.

And as I go to bed with the children -- literally in our big bed with the two of them -- there isn't that coveted mommy time at the computer after they are sleeping. I'm struggling with how on earth to get The Cupcake to sleep by herself after 9pm instead of on or by me or my husband. Honestly I thought I would be having a problem getting a pacifier away from her at age 3, not getting *me* away from her at 11 months old. Every once in awhile I can roll away from her, put a sleeping Biscuit in his bed and then go see what my guy is up to, but it's rare. I usually fall asleep with them and just get back into whatever side of the bed she has left me after I put him down. It's sad. She's quite the bed-hog and I miss my hubby.

Which is all kind of beside the point because I thought of something to say today. I have a pet peeve language-wise. People breathe in and out, their breath is what they breathe in and out. Use the "e" for the verb, people! And clothes are what we wear. The plural of cloth is cloths. I know it's not following the "add 'es' when the word ends in 'th'" rule, but that's because "clothes" is already a word. Please!

It reminds me of this xkcd comic, except that I've been annoyed with Freecycle and Craigslist, not the whole internet. I've been on them looking for a free or almost-free dryer that is electric. Modifying this rental house for our gas dryer is not going to work. And I can't keep hauling everything to the laundromat as that is too expensive in both time and money. Ack. Whine.

Off to make grilled cheese! Ever tried it with a slice of tomato? Mmm. Excellent. Better than with ham. Even better still is with both ham and tomato!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We made it!

We're no longer without phone, at this point only have dial-up internet on a shared computer, but we are here. We got snow that stuck for a bit Sunday night/Monday morning. (Photos are on DropShots; email me if you need more instructions than that.) We found a leak with the sink the first day we were here that turned out to need a plumber. Lucky for us our landlord seems to have called a good one: his name is Bob and he owns the company, he came out himself on a Saturday call with an apprentice, and they both wore booties over their shoes when they were in the house. All very good signs. He found that the disposal was old to the point of uselessness, wired in wrong and didn't have a trap in the drain. This was how we learned that traps are not just a way to retrieve things that drop down the drain but also so that sewer gas can't come in. The fix we are left with means that things are to code, but we have no disposal -- but also no leaks. He is getting us a bid for running a gas line for our dryer, but has concerns that the line isn't big enough. The example he gave my husband was that if we turn on the dryer while cooking dinner the stove may turn off. Whee! But to my mind not that different from waiting to run the dishwasher because someone is in the shower. He's going to get back to us with an estimate. We are both glad that we got to see his work on the landlord's dime before we incur any costs with the dryer line.

Other fun things we've found about the house: one phone jack and it's in the playroom, no insulation in the crawl space so the floors are freezing, the little electric zone heaters (Hubby calls them in-wall hair dryers) make the electric meter spin like a whirling dervish.

At this point our priorities are to get coverings on the windows so that our heat will stop pouring out, a rug for the kids' playroom so it can be used without us practically bundling up in coats, and all the boxes unpacked and outta here. We are going to get a mattress for The Biscuit and put it on the floor and move The Cupcake from our bed where she spends most nights (and some daytime meals/naps). He has been falling asleep on his own in our bed or on the floor instead of the elongated ritual he needed to fall asleep before. Thank goodness, because he's so heavy now.

The Biscuit is having a serious bout of "I used to be an only child"-itis. I think it's the stress of the very slow packing job combined with being on the road again combined with being in a new place. Lots of the rules are different (needing to keep clothing on because it's cold comes to mind first) and I think it will just take time to adapt.

Which reminds me, we have to figure out how to get him services and find a play group. More to-dos and phone calls. Guess I better get off line and get to work.

Edited to correct a typo.

Friday, January 18, 2008

On the Road, Day 2

This is short as The Cupcake is sleeping on me so I'm typing with one hand.

We got into R-town last night a little later than we wanted. We were in our room at the Hampton Inn at 7pm. We went out to Chevy's for dinner (so that The Biscuit could have a quesadilla) and were back in the room by 9pm. Our tv died promptly at 9:05pm. We survived, but since our tv was packed on the truck long before we were on the road, we were looking forward to a little entertainment.

True to form, we got up at about 8:30am, but still were rushing to get out by our 11am check out time. Both kids were kind enough to have their poopy diapers there in the room instead of in their car seats. We headed out and got gas, bought milk, got pan-handled, ate at In 'n Out Burger, then finally hit the road. About 2 miles later I realized that I hadn't put my wedding ring back on after my shower. Thank goodness that "My Biscuit's Daddy" got us walkie-talkies so I could tell him to pull off of I-5. I called the hotel and they went to the room and found it for me. So back we went.

When you add that morning to The Cupcake getting her two upper front teeth and screaming with what turned out to be jealousy as we went through the the highest mountain pass on I-5 (Google it if you must) because The Biscuit had a snack cup of O's and she didn't, you can see why we ended up stopping in M-ville again instead of pressing on to E-town or R-burg. We learned our lesson though and we are staying at the recently remodeled Hampton Inn instead of the (totally yucky) Shilo Inn that we stayed at on our last trip. Tonight we had Dairy Queen for dinner in our room. We're exhausted, but the tv works so we are waiting to watch Bill Maher on HBO at 11pm.

We should be in the new house tomorrow night!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Still Packing

We are all sneezing and have runny noses and coughs. I think we are all allergic to this house that we are packing up. That's right, we've been home since the 21st of December and we are STILL PACKING. Never move out of state in the winter with small children.

That's all I have time for.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

3 Gifts was Enough for Jesus

I took a moment this morning to read some OMSH about Christmas gifts and how less is more. As I read and nodded my head "YES!" I came across this in a comment by Amber:

...each child gets pajamas from the pajama fairy on Christmas eve, then on Christmas day they get three gifts (the rationalization is that three was enough for Jesus so it's enough for us) from santa/mom and dad. As we've had more kids they now trade names so they'll get one more gift from a sibling.

Oh, yes! That sounds like the best plan ever! It would be so nice if those pj's were made by me. And it would certainly be easy to make sure that 3 gifts per kid were handmade in America. I am officially stealing that plan.

But what to do about the grandparents? This year, thanks to the move, our wish list was "don't get us anything because we don't want any more than we already have to pack." My mom and step-dad gave us money (very unexpected and very helpful with the move!), but my mother-in-law can. not. stop. She actually said it was a small Christmas this year, but there was yet another sweatshirt from her for each of us. I don't think that she knows she's gotten us one every year for as long as I can remember. While it's true we are moving to a colder place, we are also moving to a place without a hall closet. I'm not sure if I can leave them here with the other charity donations because when she finds out it's going to hurt her feelings. I think all the coats may come with us to go to a charity up there where it's colder. And she did get us gift certificates, but had to also buy clothes and books and stuffed animals for the kids. Mind you, we are talking about a 2.5 yo that could care less about unwrapping things and hates stuffed animals, he was happy to sit by the fire and hang out with us, and an 8mo who has no idea what's up with "stuff". But back to Amber who has the best idea for over-indulging grandparents:

Grandparents still spoil- but this year especially we’ve asked them for cold weather clothes that the girls need- or passes to the zoo or the children’s museum. We don’t need more stuff that could be recalled in a month.

THAT last sentence would get my mother-in-law's attention. And the fact that these are activities where the kids would get out would grab my mom's attention. Finally, a solution that should work. At least if I can get up the guts to tell them that for anything that comes into the house something else has to go out AND make them understand that the something that goes out might be something from them that still fits or functions just fine.