Jul 31, 2008

Fun with PSP


Lookie what I made tonight! :)

Jul 29, 2008

SAHM's have unique duties

My special project this week is to teach myself how to become a plumber. We have three toilets in this house... the one in our bathroom is fine, the guest bathroom has a tendency to run and plug easily and the basement bathroom is leaking, but I don't know where from. Last night I sealed the water connection with some teflon tape and let it sit all night with the water on (it had been off for weeks to avoid water leaks) and this morning I found a puddle under the toilet again.

Since I do not have $300+ to have a plumber out, I have decided it is time to teach myself. I figured the easiest source would be a book from the library... however to my surprise, the most information I found in the easiest to understand format was actually on YouTube! So I watched about an hour of videos on the subject and the one said to put tuperwear under any of the possible areas for leaks and wait, and voila, the one on the left of the tank was wet, since I just fixed the water connection I checked it first, and it was still dry.... so I flushed over and over again and I finally found a drip... not the seal under the toilet, but the left tank bolt! YAY!!

This video pretty much held my hand through removal and replacement of these bolts, down to reminding me to take the bolts with me to Home Depot.

I originally overlooked the bolts because I never saw them drip, they always felt dry to the touch and I was almost about to pull the whole damn thing up and replace the seal, which would have been a HUGE project and pretty close to out of my league.

The next toilet, I know the problem with it, the seal is bad and needs replaced, however I have done nothing about it since it is a Mansfield toilet and requires specific parts from a dealer, and you cannot get these from Home Depot *grumble grumble* and I have not had the time to make a special trip yet all the way up north, for this kit. Guess where I will be headed today??

*** Update ***

I am a master plumber. LOL

Not only did I fix the basement toilet by replacing the main seal between the tank & the bowl, but I also replaced the bolts and voila, no leak!

I also replaced a seal in the guest bathroom upstairs, moved the water level lower so it would quit leaking, and used an auger to clear the S bend.

Auger - $39
Valve Washer - $2.25
Bolt Set & Sponge Washer Set - $5
The ability to hold this over my husband's head that I am handier than he is - Priceless.

Jul 27, 2008

I need a vacation!

I am finally back from my 3 week long vacation in Spokane and I totally need a vacation! The short version

  • 3 weeks away from home

  • 4 kids- ages 12, 10, 3, and 1 month

  • Just me, Bobby did not come

  • 3400 miles driven total

  • Four 12 hour days of driving

Every year I try to send Austin & Christopher to see my parents, either by flying them up to Washington alone, or by flying or driving with them. Last year we flew them up first, then Bobby, Matthew and I drove up together and then the five of us drove back together. The trip from Colorado to Washington is about 1200 miles each way.

This year Bobby did not have enough vacation time and it was even more important for me to go because my dad is having some health issues and because I wanted my family to meet Sophia. I knew it would not be easy to drive that far with a 4 week old and a 3 year old, but they were actually very good. My van has a DVD player in the back and all the jacks necessary to hook up a game system, so the three boys brought their Gamecube and kept themselves entertained while the baby slept through most of the drive. We made a point to stop once or twice a day at parks along the way to get the kids out of the car. In Billings the hotel we stayed at had a pool with a water slide and the five of us unwound in the pool, which was heavenly after the long drive.

My dad looked amazing, we don't know what is causing his health problems, but he has to be on oxygen and we are all pretty bummed about that because my dad leads such an active lifestyle and the oxygen pretty much keeps him tied down. My dad is a non-smoker, and the doctors had no answers to why he is having breathing problems, despite spending a week in the ICU.

While we were there we visited with Bobby's nieces and nephew who we met last year for the first time. To make a long story short, Bobby and his brother had a falling out. We have always liked ex-SIL, but lost contact with her when we moved away. I met her back in 1997 when she introduced us to her oldest daughter, R., despite her husband's (Bobby's brother) wishes. I found BIL on myspace, contacted his girlfriend who gave me his ex-wife's number, and we have been in frequent contact since.

Here is a picture of her youngest daughter with my youngest daughter. Click to see a larger image.

And here is a picture of her three and my four.

From Left to right is Austin -12, B. - 9, and Matthew - 3
Christopher - 10, A. - 6, R. - 11, and Sophie - 5 weeks.

In addition to spending time with my parents and his family, we also got to go to Faragut National Park in Idaho for a family reunion. My mom and her sisters and their families get together once a year for a long weekend campout. Since my dad could not stay the night and I did not want to camp with a baby, we drove back and forth each day (1 hour drive each way). My sister kept Austin and Christopher with her so they were able to stay the night. Matthew loved playing in the dirt as you can see.

It was so nice to spend the weekend with my sisters, Aunts and uncles, cousins, and all their kids. My oldest sister made me the nicest gifts ever, she is so talented. She scrapbooked a little brag book, and hand painted Sophia's name on wooden letters, she also got her the most darling little outfit. All three were in Sophie's colors, pink and brown, which I did not know were also my sister's colors. I need to take and share some pictures, the scrapbook has got to be about the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen, I wish I had an ounce of her talent.

We also spent a lot of time up at their cabin in Priest Lake Idaho. The older boys stayed a little over a week up there with my parents, where the little ones and I drove back and forth a couple times (2 hour drive) since the cabin is unsafe with exposed electrical and a loft without rails. They are building it themselves, so they are waiting for inspections and such, and with my dad's health issues, they did not expect the process to take so long. Since they are only a couple miles from the lake, we spent almost all our time at the lake. Click on the pictures below to see larger images.

Time flew by so fast, I only got to spend a couple hours with my best friend of 28 years, and my best friend of 14 years.

My mom started the potty for penny campaign with Matthew, and now he is almost potty trained, I am so proud! He is now peeing in the potty with maybe one or two accidents a day, and rarely needs reminding. Even more shocking is that he is pooping in the potty, something we could not get him to do when we almost had him trained a few months ago!

Leaving was bittersweet, I was so homesick and missed Bobby so much, but I did not want to leave either. I had such a wonderful time with my parents, and the boys were ready to leave me forever and live with their grandparents forever. My 11 year anniversary is tomorrow, and school starts in 2 weeks, so it was necessary to return. On the drive home, I did get some amazing pictures of Sophie, you can't tell in the pictures, but her eyes almost looked violet in the light.

She was so good in the car, she only cried when she wanted to nurse. The rest of the time she either slept or just looked around contently, or smiling at her brothers.

Jul 2, 2008

Rename that Tagline!!

Well, now that my family is complete with my 3 perfect boys and my new baby girl, my tagline of my blog "Coexisting in a house full of boys" no longer fully fitting, however I would love the input of my readers as to a catchy, funny, or accurate tagline for my blog.

I have not decided what to do yet about a prize, since most days I cannot even remember if I ate breakfast, but it will be valued at $0, and probably made in paint shop pro. Something like a button to advertise your coolness in tagline design. :D

So, use the comment section, or email me directly at sumnerrain at hotmail dot com with your ideas. Post as many ideas as you want and I will blog about my favorite top 5 and maybe even allow you to pick your favorite by voting.

Can't argue

I was telling Bobby how Matthew is counting to five now, Bobby asked him to count for him and he said no, so Bobby held up one finger and asked Matthew "what's this?" Matthew looks at him and replies "up?" and just stares at him like "duh dad, how silly are you?" LOL Bobby and I cracked up because he's right, Bobby was pointing up, you cannot argue with his logic!

What started this conversation is that I got a puzzle rack at the consignment store for Matthew, it came with 5 wooden puzzles. Matthew and I were counting and identifying numbers with his number puzzle. Between the 5 new puzzles and the 6 old puzzles, Matthew only has one empty slot left! Spoiled kiddo.

Jul 1, 2008

Sheepy baby

I just got this beautiful sheepskin that my beautiful girl is just adoring at this online store that I just adore, you may have noticed their link on the side, but they are an awesome source for baby, mom, breastfeeding and cloth diapering needs. Please check out the Nurtured Family store. Their prices, discounts, & shipping policy is very impressive.



And of course I had to share these pictures of my adorable little boy, Matthew:



Isn't he a cutie???