Hurricanes and Dishwashers…

Hurricane Sandy is in the process of hurling herself towards us.  We spent the weekend preparing for the incoming storm by doing the usual things…stocking up on water and food, taking inventory of our candles and flashlights.  Daddy even made a little space in the basement just in case of a worst case scenario.  Even still, we’re not really worried.  I’ve lived here for 8 years now and at least once a year we prepare for a storm like this and as of yet, we’ve never really had an issue.  For that I’m very thankful.  I’d rather be prepared and have nothing happen than vice versa. Besides, putting away the summer furniture, empty planters and outside toys needs to be done anyway.

In between storm preparations and emergency broadcast calls, and well, other various weekend tasks, we have decided to get a dishwasher.  It’s been almost 5 years since we moved in to this house and we haven’t had a dishwasher during that time.  Yup, that’s right, we’ve been washing by hand the whole time.  My hands have paid the price too.  I have been dealing with excruciating eczema on my hands for the past two years.  They blister and itch so bad that I have to scratch them even though the blisters burst and my fingers bleed.  Then they dry out and crack and bleed some more.  Washing dishes makes them worse and with the winter coming up we just need to finally get a dishwasher.

You would think it would be easy to just choose a dishwasher but it’s not.  I went online and did all the research.  I only looked at ones that have excellent multiple ratings and narrowed it down.  Then compared the selected ones…etc.  Eventually I found the one I really liked but noticed it said not returnable, which was a little alarming because what if it doesn’t fit?  After an email and some IM chats with Home Depot it turns out it probably wouldn’t fit.  Most built in dishwashers measure 24 inches wide and at least 34 inches high.  Our spot is 23 and 7/8 inches wide and 33 and 7/8 inches high.  Actually, I kind of lied, we do have a dishwasher, it just doesn’t work but that means a dishwasher can actually fit the space.  So I had to start my search all over again, but it’s a bit confusing because they have various height measurements for the dishwashers…there’s the cutout height, the minimum height, the maximum height and the assembled height and of course, they’re all different.

Soooo….after a weekend of research, we’re back where we started.  No dishwasher!

We will have to talk to someone after the storm.  We might not have power anyway, so at least we’re really skilled at washing dishes by hand!

The Wedding…

This weekend we had the honour of attending my brother-in-law’s wedding.

It was beautiful!  I cried.

The bride was absolutely gorgeous and elegant.

The wedding had a strong Scottish theme to it, all the men in the wedding party wore kilts.

  

The wedding took place outside and the weather was perfect.  As the couple were saying their vows, sunbeams were bursting through the brightly coloured New England foliage shining down on them.  It couldn’t have been more perfect for two of the nicest people!

One of the very unique ceremonial things they did was presenting the Bride with a Sash of the Family Tartan.

The groom draped and pinned it on her.  It represents the bride being accepted and becoming part of the grooms family.

I really thought that was a nice touch!

Of course, like at every wedding there was a little complication before the ceremony started.  In this case it was a matter of an inappropriate statue right in the center of where the ceremony was to take place.  No one wanted the statue’s naughty bits hanging over the couple’s shoulders in all the pictures.

  

Thankfully, there were some very creative, kilted groomsmen to save the day and I have to say they did a marvelous job of covering things up.

The reception was also very beautiful and a lot of fun.  The food was great (I especially enjoyed the Mudslide cupcakes!), the location had character and company was awesome!  We had a wonderful time meeting people from the bride’s life.

  

We even sat with a couple who live in the little town where we stopped to have lunch on our way home from Disney!  That was really a coincidence.

There’s just something about weddings that creates an atmosphere of romance and the effect was not lost on Daddy and I.  It was a wonderful and much needed evening out together.  To top it all off, we were able to spend the night at the hotel while Nana J watched our little clan for us.  We were able to sleep a whole night without any nighttime or morning interruptions!  Anyone with kids understands the value of that!  It was a real treat, one that we realize is so necessary to do every once in a while.  We love our children and we love spending as much time as we possibly can with them but every once in a while we need a weekend just to ourselves.  It’s too easy to get caught up in our own daily lives and sometimes we need that little break to focus on us as a couple and not just us as parents.

 

This Weekend…

This past weekend started off pretty bad.

 I didn’t feel very well Saturday and spent most of the day in bed sleeping.

I ended up having to miss my Little Professors soccer game…not something I like to do.

Thankfully Daddy kept the kids occupied, in between taking apart the lawn mower, so that I could rest – he’s so good like that!

Yes, the lawn still hasn’t been cut…I’m pretty sure the neighbours will be showing up at our door with torches and pitch forks!

Maybe they can just torch the lawn and be done with it! 

Today I woke up feeling just as yucky as I had the day before but I had to tackle my weekend project.

Since getting back from Canada the laundry had piled up and was out of control, so between that and switching out the summer clothes with the winter ones, I spent another day in the house.

The closest I got to fresh air was having the windows open.

The breeze was beautiful and refreshing and I think it actually helped me feel better but not nearly as much as the mother-daughter mud masks courtesy of the Princess.

We sat together on my bed and smeared Chocolate Mud Masks on each other’s face.  She was actually quite good at it and only got it in my eyes once!

Even though the smell made me want to throw up and the mask made my already flushed face an irritated, bright red, it was wonderful spending time with my little girl.  She thought the idea of putting mud on our face to make it look good was just too funny and I could see a light bulb go off in her head…”If mud makes our skin better there should be mud BATHS!”

I told her there were…and that was the most delightful news she’d heard in a long time.  I promised my sweet girl that one day I will take her to a spa so she can have a mud bath and she giggled with excitement.

I love her so much!

A little later as Daddy and I were getting the Milk Monkey ready for bed, the three of us had a really good game of Pee-Ka-Boo.

  

It’s a game he’s really good at…he gets right into it with the expected hiding of the eyes and then the big “Boo”.

He’s just so stink’n cute I could eat him!

As for the Professor, he’s spent Saturday checking on me…buying me flowers and doing a lot of reading.

He’s been into a new book series called Andrew Lost.  He’s really enjoying them, so much so, he sat in the basket part of the buggy at the store the other day so he could continue to read while we shopped.  He even stays up late at night with a flashlight!

He totally takes after his Mummy!!

And now, while I write this, Daddy is doing the thing he’s been looking forward to most this weekend…

watching the season premier of the Walking Dead!

  I can hear the zombies all the way from downstairs!!

Yikes…too scary for me!!!

So that’s our weekend…

What did you do?

The Neighbors…

Every once in a while one of the fat television networks come out with something deliciously original.  Something refreshing that doesn’t fit the typical formats of the routine shows of today.  You know, there’s the typical medical shows where the doctors treat patients with shocking or overly emotional issues all the while carrying on inappropriate relationships with each other and dealing with their own outrageous situations.  Or the detective shows, where the main characters are so exceptionally intelligent that they manage to solve every single crime within the hour.  Not to be outdone by the train wreck trash that we politely label “reality tv” though I’m pretty sure it’s not a reality that is shared with 98% of the human race.  Dare I even mention Honey Boo Boo!  Then there’s the edgy comedies that are based loosely on typical american lives and mask political agendas with humor.  Not that I’m complaining about any of them, I have many favorites in each one of those categories.

Out of all the new shows this season, the funniest one goes to The Neighbors on ABC.  At first even I, a lover of corny syfy shows, found the concept to be a little over the top.  Everybody knows aliens are scary and threatening, not funny!

For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it’s about a group of aliens who buy up a gated community and settle there after naming themselves after profession atheletes like Larry Bird and Dick Butkus.  After living on earth for ten years, one of the alien couples decide to move away from the group selling their home to the Weavers, a human family from New Jersey.  From there the families try to relate to each other as their relationships grow.  They begin to bond while dealing with the unknown and misunderstood behaviors of neighbors from a different race.

The pilot was a little shaky as most are, but it was still funny.  It was entertaining enough to make me watch it again the following week.  The second episode was out right funny…at times I actually laughed out loud.  Tonight’s show was even more hilarious.  Daddy and I laughed through the whole show.  I have to attribute a lot of those laughs to Jackie Joyner-Kersee played by Toks Olagundoye, the main female alien and Debbie Weaver, played by Jami Gertz, the female human.  Both women are great comedic actors.  If you can over look the awkward alien concept, the simple plots and just enjoy the plain, silly humor, then you might want to check this show out.  Maybe you already have.

The only bad thing about the show is my total enjoyment of it because that’s pretty much a death wish for any show!

The Plane Crash…

Last night I had a dream that I was on a plane.

It was a flight to raise money for a charity and I was with a childhood friend and her husband.

As we took off it was quickly evident we were going to crash as we started descending toward a deep, blue river.

I remember looking out the small window and thinking the scenery was so lush and beautiful.

I was in awe of the beauty the earth held, even during such a disastrous moment.

The whole time I whispered “Thank you Lord”, something I do in real life during the especially trying moments.

The ones where I have little control over, the moments where there is little time to form a complex sentence.

Some may call it a crutch but for me my trust in God empowers me, giving me the courage I need for the tough times.

Apparently, it even permeates my dreams.

As the plane descended to the river I was thankful it remained intact as we sliced through the cold liquid.  The water folding over the plane swallowing it whole.

Instead of panic, I was thankful the plane remained dry inside even though we were about 60 feet below the surface.

The plane eventually skidded to a halt ensnaring us in a tangle of steel from a sunken iron bridge.

I looked over to my childhood friend, gripping her hand and told her I loved her.  Of course she was strong, like she is in real life, she reassured me we’d be rescued and would see our children soon.

I knew I had to remain thankful for each small victory and not allow the overwhelming circumstance to let fear overcome me.

I was peaceful.

I woke up to complete clarity and I thought about my dream.

My first thought was to call my friend at a decent hour and warn her not to board a plane but that was the dark, middle of the night talking.

I’m not an Avionics Engineer.  I don’t know if it’s even possible for a plane to remain under water without the water seeping in.  I remained awake for quite a while trying to think of a way out of the situation in my dream.

In the end I knew forming a plan was completely unnecessary because I was safe in bed with the warmth of my little baby next to me, his sweet breath moist on my skin.

Still, the dream felt so real and I couldn’t help but compare it to my every day life.

So often I feel like I’m crashing towards the earth only to be engulfed by waves of life trying to drown me.

Sometimes stress may take over temporarily but overall I am winning.

I’m thankful for the little victories.

“Thank you Lord” remains on my lips.

We are home, we are safe.  My mother is good.

I have a lot of work to catch up on,

we have a lot of things that need to get done,

but we are good.

Thank you Lord!

Unplanned Trip to Canada

This is where we are right now. We are halfway to Canada. I had planned to paint the kitchen and do some yard work this weekend but obviously those plans have changed.

As it turns out, a loved one needed our help so we quickly packed some stuff, made some arrangements and loaded the kids in the car.

The kids were super excited to drop everything and go see their grandparents. It’s something they ask to do often but of course it never happens. Both the Princess and the Professor were very helpful in getting ready to go.

I’ve never packed so quickly before. I’m not great at packing under the best of circumstances but I managed to do a fairly good job for everyone but myself. For some reason I only packed my summer clothes – no jacket or sweater and only my flip flops. Not very smart. I have no idea how that happened when I was able to pack warm clothes for everyone else. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

As you’ve probably noticed I’m being extremely vague about who we are going to see and what’s going on. I’m respecting their privacy for now because this all came on so sudden and I have no idea how they would feel about me blogging about the situation. I’m guessing this person would rather I didn’t. I ask anyone who knows anything not to leave a comment with any specific details.

Everything is ok, however we always welcome any prayers. If I get the ok, I’ll add more details another time.

Sent from my iPhone

What Would Chuck Think?

When it rains it pours!

It’s not my favourite sayings…

it’s a little too cliche for me, however I can’t think of a better one to describe our recent events.

It all started with my sewing machine.  Right before we left for Disney, actually a couple hours before, I was trying to sew something.  The stitches kept dropping and it was very frustrating.  I had a vague memory of the kids knocking over my machine and having it fall to the ground.  I tried turning it on and it worked so I had thought “No problem, disaster averted” but apparently that was incorrect.  I figured I would  put it away and we’d deal with it when we got back from vacation.

Little did I know, Daddy had the same idea with the lawn mower.  Apparently the pull cord had frayed and he decided to set it aside until we got back.  At the moment we are living in a jungle, or at least it feels that way.

I’m sure our neighbors love us at the moment!

Then there’s the computer…

A couple days ago, when Daddy was working from home one of the kids knocked his laptop over and it went crashing to the ground.  The fall shattered his LED screen making it useless until it gets fixed.  Thankfully, he was able to borrow the Professor’s laptop.  Today we brought the broken laptop over to the Geek Squad to get an estimate.  We had already looked up the price for a new LED screen and it was around $90 so we figured it couldn’t be too much more with labor added on.  The Geek Squad quoted us $350 – $400!  I realize they need to be paid for their time but seriously?  $200 – $300 to replace a screen?  I just had major work done on my laptop and the Dell service guy had it done within an hour.

Shame, shame Geek Squad!!  Daddy and I drove away wondering what Chuck Bartowski would think of their ridiculously high prices!  You wouldn’t see the Nerd Herd trying to get away with that.

To top it all off today was the day my hair dryer decided to quit.  I guess it just seemed fitting.

We’re certainly not going to let a few breakdowns get in our way!

We replaced the hair dryer and Daddy’s going to fix his own laptop and the mower.  It’s great having someone so handy around.

As for the sewing machine….I guess I’m just going to have to save up for a new one.

It’ll be rough having to sew on a brand new, fancy sewing machine…

But I’m willing to take one for the team!

On Our Way Home…

This morning as I was packing up the trailer I found this little guy in our bathtub! I was reaching for the shampoo to pack it away for the drive when the frog jumped right in front of me.

I was surprisingly calm about it. Probably because he was so tiny – or she…I’m not really up on my frog anatomy. Also, I knew if I didn’t act fast we’d be chasing a tiny frog throughout the trailer rather than checking out on time. The bathroom door is about 6 inches off the floor, plenty of room for a frog to slip under.

I quickly grabbed a towel and gently placed it in top of our unwanted guest and then called for Daddy. My calm bravery only went so far.

Of course Daddy was our hero and saved us from the frog or rather saved the nickel sized frog from us. More specifically from the Princess who wanted to see it, hold it and I’m pretty sure squeeze it. If she was younger she probably would have eaten it too.

Sent from my iPhone

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue

Last night we went to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue and it was definitely a night to remember.

The food was delicious, the show was hilarious and the whole dinner was really loud which was great

because it drowned out the Milk Monkey’s shrieks.  I was able to relax!

We ate, we laughed, we sang along.

The Little Professor was completely captivated by the performance.

He was laughing so hard that he was cracking up the cast members.  They got a real kick out of his enjoyment.

When it came time to pick some people in the audience, one of the female performers made a beeline straight to our Professor.

He played the Texas Ranger and did a fabulous job!

 

He even got a kiss on the cheek from the blond girl which he promptly wiped off…eliciting laughter from the audience.

Thankfully I had my iphone with me and managed to record it all….