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.

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