Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Well, I sure won't let THAT happen again...

We've had a lot of experiences lately that seem like we're supposed to be learning appreciation. We had the 4 months of living far away from Daddy to make us appreciate our time together. We had 7 months in a smallish apartment to make us appreciate having a backyard and playroom. We had a few incredibly hot days in the summer without air conditioning to make us appreciate air conditioning and the not as hot days that don't need air conditioning.

And here's our latest - we had about 68 hours (nearly 3 full days) without our gas on to make us appreciate having a furnace and hot running water!

I sound like a flake that forgot to pay the bills so the gas was turned off. And it doesn't sound much better when I say that we never got a bill - it was turned off because we never put it in our name. But here's the thing - a few days after we bought the house the water was turned off (on one of the days I came to paint). I found the water company on Google and called them, and they came to turn it on the next day. I asked what other companies I needed to call, and the nice lady gave me the name and number of the electric company and the garbage company. That was it. I never got any information about a gas company, and assumed there wasn't one. Yes, we have a gas fireplace, but we assumed that it must be covered in one of our other bills or something (in Eagle Mountain all our bills were in one, so it wasn't a foolish assumption).

So Tuesday, 10/27, over a month after we bought the house, we came home from Parent Teacher conferences to find a thing over our doorknob saying they had turned off the gas. I immediately called to have it turned back on! After several minutes of giving her way too much information (really, why do they need our driver's licences and social security numbers?!?), she told me that they could come back on Friday to turn it back on. I asked what we had that used gas, and she told me fireplace, furnace, and hot water heat.

I started to panic! Three days without a furnace or hot water in October when it gets dang near freezing at night? What am I supposed to do?!? I started trying to figure out if I needed to head back up to Kent, if we should stay in a hotel, what we would do with Molly if we did stay in a hotel, etc. And the lady on the phone is still trying to talk to me about making sure someone would be at the house on Friday. At this point I'm crying and saying things like "I don't know, we might have to be in a hotel, it's going to be cold!" Really, nobody can come out until Friday? Nope. It's not as easy as turning it off, they have to come in and inspect the water heater & furnace, so it requires a longer appointment. She also made it sound like they'd done us this huge favor by leaving it on for over a month from the 9/16 date the previous owners had it canceled on. Except that we weren't living here yet, and had the apartment until 10/1 if we'd needed it. And it wasn't so cold then. So nope, not a favor. It sure would've been nice if they'd bothered to send us some a notice that they were going to turn it off or something...

The heat issue was resolved remarkably easily. I called the Relief Society president, and she was over a short while later with about 5 space heaters and a sleeping bag. We didn't end up needing the sleeping bag because the space heaters were so effective. The first night we had 1 in each of the 3 bedrooms. And I was up at 4 am to turn ours off because we were sweltering! The second night we had 1 in both kids' rooms, and had 1 in our room until bedtime but didn't need it on after that. Last night we discovered that we really only needed 1 on, set out in the hallway, to heat all 3 bedrooms!

The hot water was not so easy to solve. Dan took a shower Tuesday night with the last of the hot water, and then we went old fashioned. I heated water on the stove (Thank goodness we don't have a gas stove!) to give the kids a bath in a big bucket (smaller than the tub so it wouldn't take so much water), which they thought was really exciting! I heated water to rinse dishes to put in the dishwasher, then used paper plates & bowls once the dishwasher was full. I just didn't do laundry (so I have LOTS to do now!). And I ended up taking a bath in the bucket Wednesday and Thursday as well. I didn't fit as well, and I certainly didn't think it was exciting, but I felt reasonably clean afterward.

I've spent quite a bit of time feeling frustrated by this. It was stupid that we didn't look harder into if we needed to sign up for gas. But they shouldn't have just shut it off without letting us know! We didn't know who they were, or that they even existed. They knew that gas had been used in the last month since the previous owners left, so somebody must be living here. And they came to our house (during one of the rare times I wasn't here...I wonder if it would've been different if I had been home...) and saw a poopy diaper sitting by the front door. So they knowingly turned off the heat & hot water at a house where a young child lives when it gets really cold! How is that right? The most frustrating thing is that there is nothing we can do about it! If we don't want to keep using space heaters & heating our water on the stove (and believe me, I do not) we need to use their company. They have no reason to provide good customer service because we will be their customers regardless! Oh, and the long visit to turn it back on that we had to wait three days for? It took about 10 minutes. Seriously, he came sometime after I sent a text at 10:54, and was gone before 11:07. Really, nobody could spare TEN MINUTES sometime Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday so that my family could have warm water? Ridiculous!

Well, I let the water heat up for 2 hours to make sure I wouldn't run out, then took a wonderfully warm shower. It feels SO GOOD to be so clean! It's been about a decade since I last went camping, and I think that was the last time a shower felt so refreshing. Aaaaaah. Now to wash about 5 loads of laundry. :-P

Monday, October 26, 2009

a Smith cousin!

My poor kids haven't had any Smith cousins until last month. Between me being the oldest of my siblings, me getting married at 18, and me insisting on having a baby shortly after turning 20, I had almost 7 years head start! Nadine finally had baby Brady last month, and we got to meet him over the weekend!

If you would've asked me before we went which of my kids would be the most interested in the baby, I would've said Katy. She loves her doll babies, and she's constantly yelling "Look, a baby!" whenever she sees one. My next thought would be David, since he's been known to fawn over babies (especially Katy when she was new). And I would've been wrong. Ryan liked the baby far and away more than the other two!

Ryan liked to hold Brady. He liked to touch Brady. He hovered around whoever was holding him. He'd go play for a few minutes, then come back to see him some more. It was really, really cute!

My parents wanted a picture of their four grandkids together. At first Brady was sad, so he got to have his pacifier for the picture. Here we have David putting it in his mouth. You can't really see it in the shrunk down picture, but I like the sweet expression on his face as he cares for his baby cousin. And of course Ryan is concerned as well.

We took lots and lots of pictures (I love digital cameras so we can do that!), and this is the best I got. I bet my dad got a better one once I stopped trying to take my own and started jumping around like a crazy lady to get the kids to smile.

And then...we were done having our pictures taken. Clearly. I like Katy's face here, she looks so sneaky or something!

This has nothing to do with the cousin, but it's from the trip to Grandma & Grandpa's house. Ryan & Katy helped Grandpa harvest some bean seeds to use next year. They both really actually helped! Grandpa is so good at letting the kids participate in fun projects!

Keep scrolling down, I did 4 posts today! Someday I'll be more organized and post more regularly...

Katy's bad habit

Katy doesn't like to go to sleep. But she is such a good girl that she doesn't come out of her room. So, instead, she finds ways to occupy her time until she crashes from exhaustion. She always takes a few books to bed. Usually it's only 4 or 5. I try to make her only take 2 or 3, but she often gets out and gets a couple more. Last night, about an hour after her bedtime, I discovered this:

I think I counted 32 books as I unearthed her pillow. Silly, naughty Goo!

She also likes to have lots of stuffed animals in her bed. She usually has Big Puppy, Puppy, Lovey, Pretty Bear, and Bald Eagle. And maybe a baby or two. After I took the 30+ books away from her, she decided to see if she could get away with filling her bed with stuffed animals instead. When we checked on her later, this is what we found:

There are about 14 stuffed animals and babies other than her usual 5 or 6, so 20ish total! Oh, and a few new books. She's got several animals jammed underneath her, making her sleep at quite the angle. How is she comfortable?

I guess maybe all books & animals need to go somewhere else if she can't stop bringing them all to bed!

Maybe he'll learn his lesson?

What happens when you try to bite your brother on the leg?

He kicks you! And because your face is so close to his leg (because you're trying to bite it), he connects!

Ryan was not punished. I suppose he should have been, at least a little bit. But if it teaches David not to bite (He's going to be SEVEN next month! He should be LONG past the biting phase!), I'm very, very grateful!!!

Follow-up to Ryan's sickness

So, as can be expected, Ryan's disease made its way through the other Morrill children. Although Katy was NOT the next one to get it as I had predicted. David got up a little after midnight almost 4 days after Ryan had become sick, and threw up all over the bathroom floor. I guess the bathroom floor is better than all over his bed, but I sure wasn't happy about cleaning it up in the middle of the night. So he stayed home from school the next day (the only day Ryan got to go to school that week with his funny MTh-some-W schedule, so I didn't get any girls only days that week!), only to be totally fine and energetic all day.

Then 5 1/2 days later Katy came down with a fever, and woke up from her nap really cuddly and cranky. We had to go meet Daddy at the transit center at 6:15ish so he could jump his car, then we were all going to go get a new car battery and some fast food for dinner (since I'd been holding Katy all evening instead of cooking!). Katy didn't want to, and you know there's a problem when a 2 year old doesn't want french fries! So I took her inside when we dropped off Daddy's car, and, while we were still trying to figure out what to do, she threw up in a bowl I happened to have grabbed just in case. We got her all cleaned off and comfortable, then she immediately fell asleep on me. After holding her for a while, I took her up to her bed on the off chance she was asleep for the night. I was sure she'd throw up all over her bed at some point in the night. I put a towel down under her, and got prepared for the cleaning I would need to do. Carpet cleaner, more towels, a clean pillow, and a sippy cup of water, standing ready!

I even put a bowl in her bed on the teeny tiny chance she would throw up in it the next time she was sick. She held it in her sleep, poor thing.

She woke me up one time in the night to get a drink of water, and that was it! All my preparations for nothing!

So, all in all, it was a pretty wimpy tummy bug. Dan & I had a couple days of feeling a bit off, and we think that was the grown up version. I am very grateful that it was such a light illness and I didn't have to clean up too much barf!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Poor sick Rynan

I woke up yesterday to Dan telling me he thinks a kid is throwing up.

I love how his instinct is to wake me up rather than go to the child.

So I stumble out to the loft to find Ryan sitting next to the toilet. He made it! No mess to clean up! In my sleepy stupor I was unsure of what to do with him. It was 6:30, so not quite time to be up yet. He sleeps on the top bunk, so I didn't want to send him back to his bed - less likely he'd make it the next time, and harder to clean up if he didn't. I ended up bringing him to bed with us. Which didn't work. He kept making weird noises that kept setting off my mommy-radar that he was going to be sick again (even though it was hours before he was). After a little while Dan decided to just take Ryan downstairs.

I guess that makes up for waking me up in the first place!

When I woke up a couple hours later Ryan was just sitting on the couch whimpering. As soon as I sat by him and started rubbing his back he calmed down. He had asked for Daddy to stay home from church with him, but it quickly became apparent that he needed me there, too. That, coupled with the fear of the other children spreading the disease (since you are contagious before you have symptoms, and they had clearly been exposed), meant we all stayed home together all day.

Ryan spent most of the day asleep. He'd wake up, start watching a show, then frequently be asleep before it was over. I would guess he took at least 6-8 different "naps" yesterday. And he still went to bed before 9 and slept all night. Poor tired little guy! Oh, and he only threw up 4 times, spread out over the day, which isn't too bad for a kid with a tummy bug!

Ryan was such a good patient. Any time we asked him how he felt he'd say "good." He didn't complain at all. I asking if he wanted anything - sprite, back scratch, etc. - and he almost always said no. Really, as far as a day with a sick kid goes, it was pretty much ideal.

Today he seems a lot more normal, just a little subdued, and still doesn't have much of an appetite. He only took some nibbles of his peanut butter sandwich at lunch, which is a big change from his usual 2 full sandwiches! He's been watching TV or playing on the computer all of the day, not wanting to play at all (he normally doesn't need prompting to turn off the TV to go play). I'm glad I kept him home from school. Too bad he doesn't have class again until Thursday though!

Now we get to play the "who barfs next" game. Katy drank out of Ryan's sippy cup in his bed yesterday, so my bet is on her. And she doesn't know to go to the toilet or a bowl like Ryan does. That's not going to be fun. Guess I better make sure I know where the carpet cleaner is!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

oh, what a day...

You know, it's been a tough couple weeks, really. We closed on the house 16 days ago. I started packing a bit before that, then continued to pack while painting at the house 8 out of the next 10 days. We got the big moving truck last Saturday and moved what we thought was almost all of our stuff. We came back later for what we thought was almost the rest. Then I've taken a car load full about 6 other times. So now I've been working on unpacking at the house while cleaning the apartment. We had to turn the keys in today. I went over 3 times yesterday at a couple hours each time, and still wasn't quite done. So here's how today went...

I got up at 7:50, took Ryan downstairs to work on his homework (since I had forgotten to do it with him in the craziness of everything, and it's due on Thursdays since he doesn't have school on Fridays!) and told David to get dressed. Ryan was really good at staying focused on his homework, but sure took his time about it. At one point I sent him upstairs to get dressed. Periodically I yelled at David to get dressed, but his medication apparently hadn't kicked in yet. Katy fluttered around, eating breakfast, then starting to get dressed but ended up running around with just a shirt on. Around 8:40 I started really getting anxious to get a move on since the bus came the last two days (the only days they've ridden it besides Monday when we got on at the wrong stop) at 8:58. David was still in jammies. Finally I convinced him to get dressed, only to have him put on shorts when it's chilly outside, so I had to send him back up for pants. Ryan, who was still finishing up his homework, was also wearing shorts and needed to go change. I also finally got Katy to lay down and get her diaper and pants on.

So at this point I thought it was about 8:53 and we had a couple minutes. David had his shoes and jacket on with his hair combed, and was starting on a piece of toast. I was tying Ryan's shoes. And I heard the bus drive by! So everyone ran out the door, Ryan with only one of his shoes double-knotted, both boys eating toast since they hadn't gotten around to cereal, and me without shoes on. They ran while I hurried behind them and yelled at them to hurry, so they got on before I made it to the stop. I found half a piece of toast on the sidewalk. Katy wanted it, and since I was sure it was Ryan's I let her have it.

I felt bad about the whole experience and was sure Ryan would be upset about not finishing his toast and being hurried onto the bus, so Katy and I got ready to drive to the school to bring him a granola bar and a hug. I had to take a few things out of the car that I'd shoved in last night on my latest apartment run, then put Katy in and drove to the school. Apparently it takes a while for the buses to unload, because I was standing around waiting for my poor sad little guy for quite a few minutes. Finally I saw him, happily walking backwards to his classroom. He was fine. And they had let him finish his toast! He told me David was allowed to, too. I just talked to David and found out that he had left his on the sidewalk, so Katy didn't eat a stranger's toast like I thought it might've been at that point.

Seeing Ryan looking happy and fine took some stress off at that point. We drove back home so I could unload the rest of the stuff in the car, so we could go load it up again at the apartment. Katy entertained herself with this while I did that:

One of the unfun things about moving is how mixed up and disorganized everything gets. Somehow the bouncy chair ended up in the living room instead of in the garage with all the other maybe-we-won't-need-this-again things. At least she got some use out of it! But how does she know it's for a baby?

So then we drove to the apartment. And spent 5 hours cleaning! I thought I had about 2 hours left. I did have a few setbacks (like the oven cleaner not spraying so I had to run to the store for some), but still, I was scrubbing for most of that time. Katy was an angel. I rarely had to do anything for her. At one point I did park the car in the garage for the first and only time (and found out that the car barely fits, so I wouldn't have wanted to ever, even if it hadn't been full of junk) and let her watch Little Einsteins (with the door to the apartment propped open & the car off) for an hour while I worked in the kitchen (I especially didn't want her around for the oven cleaning). Other than that she just nicely entertained herself. Poor thing didn't get a nap, though, so we're very sad now.

The sucky thing about all this cleaning is that we don't live there to enjoy the resulting clean house. Here's my post cleaning kitchen. Admire & appreciate.

So Katy & I made it home less than an hour before the boys did. I finally got a shower, called Heritage Green to tell them to not deposit the check I just gave them since we spent all our money on the down payment, and ate a peach. The food & shower did a lot to help me feel better, as well at the apartment complex being flexible with our payment.

Then we got the boys from the bus stop. And David pulled out a paper for me. He got written up for the first time yesterday for basically having a hard time keeping his hands to himself. And he tried to turn it in today like this:

Um, David, did your dad really sign this? Nope. We have our first forgery attempt. Okay, it's kind of funny. And it will be really funny to look back on. But right now I just don't know what to do about him. Do they have boarding schools for kids with ADHD?

So, I'm really tired and worn out. And there is so much to do! And I can't even skip making dinner and eat out, for two reasons. One, we're poor now. Two, we've eaten out 5 times in the last 5 days and our tummies are starting to feel the effects. So, off to make some spaghetti I guess. And try to work up some energy to clean the house, now, too!