Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Events

This weekend was an eventful one. Saturday the kids and I had plans to go to my friend, Drea's, house for her daughter's 4th birthday party. We left the house around noon. Kimi's birthday party was a Princess Theme. There was a giant castle moon bounce for all the kids to play in along with price crowns and princess tiara's with each child's name on it for them to color and decorate. Drea had necklaces, rings and wands for the girls and foam swords and knights helmets for the boys to play with.

Kimi's daddy, Ronnie, cooked hot dogs and hamburgers for all the party guests. Jessi ate 2 hot dogs, a couple cookies, a lollipop or two and a piece of birthday cake to tide her over. John was having too much fun with the big kids playing swords to be interested in eating anything. Tabytha got in on the action, too. John and Tabytha also enjoyed playing in the moon bounce.

I spent most of my time chasing after Jessi and keeping her from grabbing food off of other people's plates while John and Tabytha were playing with all the children at the party. The weather was great. The forecast, earlier in the week was calling for rain showers during the day, but the rain didn't come. It was cool, sunny and breezy. Great outdoor birthday party weather.

After all the fun at Kimi's birthday party the kids and I packed up and went to Bowie to meet up with another friend of mine, Holly, and her family for a 'family game night' at her church. We all got there around the same time and I FINALLY got to meet her new baby, Charlotte (who's only 4 weeks old). Inside the church auditorium different 'game' stations were set up. All of the stations were geared towards children. There was golf, bowling, bean bag toss, ring toss . . . and many more fun things to do. John, Jessi and Tabytha all took off to play at the different game stations.

At first I was a bit overwhelmed with all the activities they had set up and wondered how I'd keep all 3 kids corralled to play all the different games, but after about 20 minutes I kind of just let them go and play the games they wanted to play. Although, I did keep more of an eye on Jessi then I did on Tabby or John.

The church also offered a cookout dinner for everyone who attended. Hot dogs and hamburgers with snack bags of chips, apples and lemonade. We sat and Tabytha ate a hot dog and an apple, John ate about 1/4 of his apple, but wasn't interested in his hot dog. He wanted to keep playing, so off he went to play some more. After the kids were done with their food, Tabytha took Holly's oldest daughter, Emma, to go play so Holly and I could sit and relax.

The kids and I didn't stay the whole time because of the long ride home. I went around collecting the kids and said goodbye to Holly and baby Charlotte (I couldn't find Joe or Emma to say goodbye to). On our way out the kids were given goodie bags for participating in the family game night.

It was such a fun day. We got home around 7:30pm. Just in time for the kids to get ready for bed. We actually came home to a straightened up house. While we were away Charlie took it upon himself to do the dishes, straighten up the living room and wash his own clothes (and that included folding them and putting them away! Be still my heart!)

Sunday came and I felt awful. My head was stuffed up, my throat hurt and I had a bad headache. I wasn't up for going to church. So I bummed around waiting for the Tylenol to kick in and drank some hot tea to soothe my soar throat. The kids and I hung around inside for the morning while Charlie and his buddy, Harold, were in the garage working on a side job Charlie's doing. The house was pretty chilly so instead of turing the heat on to the whole house I thought I'd just use one of the electric space heaters we have in the living room, since that's where the kids and I were.

Around noon I straightened up the toys that the kids weren't playing with anymore and did some vacuuming. Well, I guess the vacuum and space heater being plugged into the same outlet was too much for it. It tripped the breaker and the power went out in the living room. I unplugged the vacuum and space heater and went back to the laundry room to flip the breaker back on. Power was back on.

About an hour later the power in the living room went out. Again. This time I wasn't vacuuming. I wasn't sure what could have tripped the breaker. I went back flip it back on, but it wasn't tripped. It was still in the 'on' position. Strange. No power in the living room, and the breaker wasn't tripped. So, I flipped it off, waited a few seconds and flipped it back on. Still no power. I turned it off again and this time waited for a few minutes. During this time I went out to the garage to let Charlie know the power in the living room was out and I'd already tried resetting the breaker.

He wasn't happy. He was in the middle of doing some body work on the car he was working on and didn't really feel like dealing with this. Understandably so. He finished up doing what he was doing and while he was doing that I fixed him lunch. He came in to eat and stayed inside to see if he could figure out how to get the power back on in the living room. He tried the breaker (even though I'd done it several times myself with no luck, but you know men.) He called our neighbor to ask for his advice and tried whatever he said, again, with no luck. He finally decided it could POSSIBLY be the breaker switch itself. Reluctantly, Charlie got in the car and drove to Home Depot to get a new breaker switch. When he got home it took the old out and replaced it with the new. He flipped the switch and. . .

Still NO Power!

He tried flipping the switch again. Nothing. He came back into the living room and looked at the outlet where the heater was plugged in thinking maybe the problem was with that. He replaced the outlet and tried the switch again.




ARG! We didn't know what else to do. I called my dad and told him what was going on and everything we'd done so far and asked if he could think of anything else we could try. He said that without being there to look at it all himself he really couldn't think of anything else we could try. I thanked him for trying to help and we hung up. We were at a loss. Charlie and I didn't want to call an electrician because we really couldn't afford it. My mom actually suggested going to all the outlets in the house that had a reset button on them and resetting them and seeing if that worked. Well. There's only 2 outlets in the house that do that. In the back bathroom and the outlet by the front door outside. I reset the one in the bathroom, but the one outside wouldn't reset.

Charlie thought maybe that was the problem and called my dad to ask him about it. My mom answered the phone. Charlie asked for dad and mom said he was on his way over. What?!?! Mom said that dad couldn't put our power outage out of his mind, so he decided to come over and see if he could help Charlie.

Charlie said he was surprised, but in a way, I wasn't. That's how my dad is. If someone has a problem with something and he can't fix/figure it out in a phone call, he'll find the answer himself and call back or go to the person's house to help out.

While dad was on his way to our house he got into a minor fender bender at the bay bridge toll booth. He was in line to pay his toll and the big pickup truck in front of him had an EZ-Pass. When the truck's pass triggered the toll booth the light came up yellow so the guy backed up to ask the person in the toll booth why the light was yellow. (it meant the balance on his EZ-Pass funds were low, but he was fine to continue through) Well, when he backed up to talk to the toll booth person he neglected to put his truck back into drive. When he finished talking to the toll booth person he stomped on his accelerator (forgetting he was still in Reverse) and plowed into dad's car. His trailer hitch punched a whole in the bumper below the passenger side head light and the bumper of his truck buckled the hood of dads car. Dad and the guy exchanged insurance info and dad was back on his way.

When he arrived, he and Charlie got to work trying to find the source of the problem before the sun went down. I took the kids outside to keep out of the way. Sometime during the search for the outage source our neighbor, Nick, called saying he missed a call from Charlie. I told him my dad was here helping out, but he was welcome to come and offer up any suggestions he may have.

Charlie, Dad and Nick searched and discussed and searched and checked the breaker box for quite awhile. The guys focused on the wall with the outside outlet in it, since that outlet couldn't be reset. They decided to look at the wiring behind the light switch by the front door and discovered that's where the "common wires" were. Nick touched something and got shocked. In him getting shocked something in the wiring case sparked and all three of them had an "Aha!" moment and finally located the problem. They fixed it and tried the breaker switch again and there was Power!!!!!

Nick was fine and everyone was happy it was fixed and have the lights on again. I thanked Nick and my dad for all their help and offered them both something to eat before they went back to their homes. (Both declined the offer). The power was back on just in time to get the kids ready for bed. I got them all ready and tucked them all in and Charlie and I sat down in our living room enjoying the restored power and our 'after the kids go to bed' snacks and a little TV.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Little Chefs

My son is not quite 3 yet and is slowly trying to be more independent or 'help' me when I'm doing something for him. I think it's great. When I fill up his sippy cup he likes to 'help' pour the drink and put the top on all by himself. He's still not fully potty trained yet, so if I need to change him, he'll get a pull up out of the diaper container and grab the wipes and bring them to me. When he's all cleaned up, he throws the dirty pull up away.

Yesterday I decided I'd make pancakes for dinner. I rarely have time in the morning to cook breakfast, so I make 'breakfast' for dinner occasionally. Everyone enjoys it.

While I was in the kitchen making up the pancake batter the kids were in the living room playing together. John seems to have inherited my picky eater habits and doesn't eat much. But I've noticed if he picks out what he wants to eat, he's more inclined to eat it.

Just before I was ready to pour the batter into the pan to cook the pancakes I thought the John might want to 'help' and in helping may want to actually eat his food! I called John into the kitchen and asked if he wanted to make pancakes with mommy. He got so excited. I got a chair from the kitchen table for him to stand on and he got up and stood at the stove with me. I poured the batter into 2 circles in the pan. When the pancake batter began to bubble on top it was time to flip.

I stood behind John and helped him hold the spatula, scoop under the pancake in the pan and flip it over. Then, we did it again for the other pancake in the pan. He LOVED it! He pointed to one pancake and said "John food?". I said "yes". He pointed to the other and said "Baby food?". I smiled and said "Yes". When the pancakes were cooked on both sides I helped him slide the spatula under each pancake and place one on his plate and the other on Jessi's plate. I cut up the pancakes and John helped pour the syrup on his pancake and was in a rush to get to the table to eat.

While John and Jessi were eating Tabytha had her turn. I poured the batter into the pan. She waited for the bubbles and flipped the pancakes (without my assistance). She had a blast helping make the pancakes, too. When John was done with his pancake he asked for more. He brought the chair back over to the stove and we poured more batter into the pan and he flipped the pancakes again.

The kids all enjoyed their dinner. When Charlie came home from work John wanted another pancake and got to show his daddy how he flips his pancake. After he was finished I realized John ate 3 entire pancakes! I can't remember the last time he ate that much food in one meal.

Now that Charlie was home Tabytha got to show him what a good cook she was and made his pancakes for him. While he was eating his pancakes, I had cut up some scrapple and Tabytha cooked it up. She felt so grown up being able to cook. She did a great job and listened to all my instructions.

Tonight Tabytha's gonna help me cook dinner again. Tonight is garlic roasted whole chicken legs and baked potatoes. With her help I know it'll be delicious.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Febreeze Fresh

I like to start my day off with news in the morning. Then, after Tabytha gets on her bus for school, I'll put on PBS for John and Jessi. TV is mostly just backround noise that they glance up at now and again while they're pulling all their toys out of their toy boxes and playing in the living room.

While Sesame Street was on this morning, John and Jessi were both sitting on the couch. Seemingly captivated by Elmo and his friends. So, I took the opportunity to get the few dishes in the sink washed up.

When I was just about finished I started to smell something. It was a good smell so it didn't register that the kids could be up to something. (won't make THAT mistake again!). I finished drying off my hands and I hear something. At first I thought maybe John was in the bathroom with the faucet running. As I round the corner to come into the living room I see Jessi sitting on the couch, where she was when I went into the kitchen to do dishes. And then I see John. Standing my the side table by the front door with an aerosol Febreeze can in his hand and a puddle of febreeze on the side table.

I was actually relieved. It looked like that was the only spot he sprayed the febreeze. I asked him to give me the can and I put it out of reach. John said "Eye, Eye" and pointing to his eyes. I asked if he got some spray on his face and he said he did. I took him into the bathroom and cleaned his face off with a washcloth and he seemed fine.

The whole time I was focusing on John and the febreeze puddle on the side table that I didn't take the time to look at Jessi. When I was done cleaning John and the side table I looked up to see Jessi. She normally has straight hair with a hint of curl at the bottom when it's dry. When her hair is wet it's actually very curly. Well. Her hair was super curly and for a nanosecond I wondered why her hair looked wet.

Then it hit me.

She was SOAKED . . . in FEBREEZE!!!! I picked her up at arms length and took her to the bathroom, striped her down and hosed her off. I scrubbed and scrubbed the poor kid. I HOPE I got it all cleaned off of her, but I can't tell.

My living room is saturated in the smell of "Carnival Cruise" febreeze. The smell is so thick I can actually taste it. I opened all the windows to help air it out. But I think this smell is staying around for next week or so.

(These are the moments I think to myself "I hope you have kids JUST LIKE YOU when you grow up").

Rarely a dull moment here at my Zoo.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter & Egg Hunts

The week leading up to Easter was filled with lots of Easter Egg hunts for Tabytha and a couple for John, too. Tabytha's first Easter Egg hunt was at her grandparents house the weekend before Easter. She brought home lots of treats and goodies.

In the middle of the week there was a nighttime Easter Egg Hunt at Tabytha's school. Kids were told to bring their own flashlight for the hunt. Charlie got home from work early that night (well, early for him, around 7:15pm) which gave him time to eat dinner and shower before taking Tabytha to her school for the 8:30pm egg hunt. Charlie said the egg hunt wasn't all that great and kids were rude and pushed Tabytha around. She said it was true, but she still had a good time.

The day before Easter I took Tabytha and John to the church we attend in Dover for and egg hunt. This was Tabytha's 3rd hunt and John's 1st. They divided the kids up by grade/age. Tabytha went with her group of 1st-3rd graders and I stayed with John in the 0-3yr old group. The groups were lead out to their area of the egg hunt and let loose. John had a blast! He saw all the eggs on the ground and started running. He gathered up eggs and put them in his basket and when our area was 'cleaned out' we went looking for Tabytha.

We found her and John couldn't wait to show her all the plastic eggs he found. She found a lot of eggs herself and said she had a lot of fun. We all went back into the auditorium of the church and emptied the eggs into the baskets and gave the plastic eggs back to the church to be used again for next year's egg hunt.

There was a few people doing face painting so we waited in line and Tabytha got her face painted. She asked for 2 hearts (one red and one green) but it unfortunately looked like 2 blobs on her cheek. After all the fun at church we stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things and then came home to show daddy all the bounty from the egg hunt.

Easter Sunday we woke up, got dressed and headed over the bridge to celebrate Jesus resurrection at our home church with my parents and sisters. My sister, Bethany, stayed in the nursery with John and Jessi while Charlie, Tabytha and I sat in the sanctuary with my mom, dad and youngest sister, Hannah. I enjoyed the service and my dad played the bagpipes to end the service.

We all went back to my mom and dad's to enjoy the feast my mom prepared. She made a ham, roasted chicken, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, homemade dinner rolls and stuffing. YUMMY! After lunch I laid Jessi down for a nap and went outside with Bethany and Charlie to scatter more eggs around the yard for Hannah, Tabytha and John to 'hunt'.

John, Tabytha and Hannah ran around and scooped up all the eggs into their baskets and we all enjoyed the day together. The rest of the afternoon mom, dad, Charlie and I sat around talking while the kids all played. It was very relaxing.