Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tax Time

I really need to go through the photos on my camera.  I had my baby shower this weekend and it was awesome!  But instead of sorting through those during the evening, I've been trying to get through our taxes.  I realized that we will be able to use medical deductions this year since we can easily meet the minimum requirement.  I did not organize all our medical receipts throughout the year like I have in the past, so things are moving quite slowly.  Travis had his hernia surgery and some dental work done.  Top that off with the fact that we can claim insurance premiums.  I had no idea!  Very exciting.  I prefer the years when we get a refund over the years we have to pay.  Blech.

Anywho, I hope to get to the photos sooner than later.  I would like to mention here how proud of Aiden I am when it comes to potty training.  He just jumped right into it, no problems.  He wears underwear all day now.  We put him in night time Pull-ups when he sleeps so he feels like a big kid and not a baby still wearing diapers. It's going GREAT.  I couldn't be more ecstatic.  I just hope there is no regression in this area when Mila is born!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Restroom Adventures

I have learned to dread bathrooms as of late.  Between being pregnant and going through potty training with Aiden, it's been a real ordeal. 

Bathroom obstacle #1: Air freshner.  My sense of smell is insanely sensitive.  Whatever that crap is that they spray in public restrooms is HORRID.  I walk into the bathroom at work, or Target, or the zoo, or whatever restaurant and instantly gag.  Have you seen those gel air freshners before?  They look like a yogurt container with the foil top peeled back, but they're filled with brightly colored goo instead.  I want to take them all and throw 'em out the window. 

Bathroom obstacle #2.0: Automatic flushing toilets.  I know this is getting personal (it's been known to happen on this blog before), but now that I have a big belly, wiping has gotten a little awkward.  I generally have to lean to the right a bit to get business taken care of, which sets off the toilet to flush.  While I'm still sitting on it.  GROSS.  Happens every time though and every toilet in my work building has these automatic toilets.

Bathroom obstacle #2.1: Automatic flushing toilets and Aiden.  Aiden is just learning to use normal size toilets.  First, I'd like you to picture a but half the size of yours.  Maybe smaller.  Then imagine that on an adult toilet.  It doesn't take much for him to fall in.  To help him out, I try to hold him up by the arm pits while he focuses on keeping his pee in the toilet.  We haven't quite graduated to peeing standing up yet.  Not sure how we would do that at an adult-sized toilet anyway.  Anyhoo, when I'm done holding him up, I take a step back to ask him if he's done.  When I remove my presence from holding him up, that sets off the automatic flush.  Scares Aiden a little.  I try to blow it off to show him it's no big deal.  Again, picture a giant tiled bathroom filled with echoing sounds of other people peeing, flushing, washing their hands and using the hand dryer.  It's a little scary, I'm sure.  Getting him to use a public restroom is worse than getting teeth pulled.

I used to love automatic toilets.  Not so much at the moment.  It used to be nice that I could avoid touching the toilet handle.  Harumph.

I think what's making these bathroom ordeals so much worse is how frequently I'm in there.  I pee, minimum, every two hours.  I usually get up one to three times throughout the night, depending on when I go to bed and how hard and long I'm sleeping.  Add to that Aiden's need to use the restroom and I'm starting to think I should look into buying stock in bathroom fixtures.  It helps that my dad and Travis are around when we're at a lot of these public places to take turns with me lately. 

Just one of the things I won't miss about pregnancy...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mug Shots

Get excited.  Here are photos of my photos.

The left mug is Travis' (obviously) and the right one is mine.  I use it every time I have coffee now!  Love it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Day at the Zoo

This past weekend was a three-day weekend for me because of President's Day.  It worked out perfectly with my dad being in town and staying at our house for the week.  (He's staying the next two weeks at Ariel's.)

We had beautiful sunny skies on Sunday so we headed to the Houston Zoo.  It was so much fun with Aiden this year.  He loved it!

Daddy went for a swim with piranhas.

Green iguana

Gpa is so helpful

Aiden saw these guys and wanted to go pet them.  Travis said he did too, but that they weren't allowed to.  Aiden then said he wanted to ride them.  Travis said he did too, but again, they weren't allowed to.  They don't get to do anything fun.

Giraffes in the African section


Aiden passed out on the ride home.  It was 2 pm by this point, so we decided to stop at a nursery on the way back.  Travis stayed in the car with Aiden while my dad and I went in to pick the brains of a few plant buffs.  Unfortunately, Aiden proceeded to wake up with an intense need to go potty.  He ended up having diarrhea in his Pull-up because the line was too long for the public restroom.  Poor guy was pretty upset about his accident, not to mention feeling crappy because of the diarrhea.  I think we kept him up too long and he ate too much crap (hot dog and popcorn) at the zoo.  I think we've raised Aiden to have an uppity colon.  Anything less than organic yogurt or hummus is not good enough for The Uppity Colon.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Third Trimester

I am 28 weeks today - the first day of my third trimester.

Ahhhhhhh!  This pregnancy is flying by SO quickly.  We have done nothing to prepare for the new arrival.  I am super looking forward to my baby shower this weekend (courtesy of my friends Alexa and Linsey).  I think it will help soothe my qualms a bit.  Plus, after that we'll have a better idea of what we have left to buy.

Our baby shower for Aiden was co-ed.  It was fun because Travis got to be a part of the whole baby thing for our first child.  This time around, we're doing a ladies-only party.  That means we can ooh and ahh over all the baby girl stuff without a guy constantly rolling his eyes at us.  YAY!!! 

I've started to have some mild nausea again, which is really freaking me out.  It hasn't really been bad enough to require medicating.  It's totally not worth the side-effects of the Zofran (Constipation City).  I did take one on Sunday because we had a day planned at the zoo.  I didn't want it to get in my way.  I regretted making that choice on Tuesday.  I should have prepared by drinking a liter of prune juice.  Hindsight.

I had my OB appointment yesterday (I start going every two weeks from here on out) and my doctor said, "Gain more weight!" again.  I've gained 11 lbs thus far.  I'm supposed to gain 20-25 the entire pregnancy and I still have three months left.  I'm not too worried.  I feel like I eat constantly, otherwise I might worry more.  I'm always hungry.  Plus, I have a sweet tooth like no other.  I eat dessert after lunch AND dinner, which I rarely did before.  I don't go overboard with each meal, but a cookie and a bowl of ice cream added to my daily regimen seems like it should be having more of an effect on my weight. 

I'm convinced my lack of severe weight gain is due to the fact that I never sit down.  I am constantly moving.  I don't usually lay down until between 9 and 10 at night.  I am on my feet all day at work.  Then when I get home, I'm making dinner, doing dishes, or some other form of cleaning around the house.  It never ends.  Whereas when I was pregnant with Aiden, I came home from a job that was a little more sedentary than this one and I would take a nap.  After nap time, we would have a late dinner.  During which I would sit for the entire meal.  Meals these days require getting up from the table a minimum of three times.  There's always something.  My how things have changed.

I have been debating about how I am going to handle my maternity leave.  Aiden's daycare is by my work, 15 miles south of our house.  Travis' work is 15 miles north of our house.  There is no way he could bring Aiden to daycare in the morning for me.  It seems like such a waste to drive to the island twice a day to bring Aiden to daycare, then go back home with Mila.  Not to mention the whole I-can't-drive-for-2-weeks-after-having-the-baby thing.  After a three-day weekend of being exhausted from this pregnancy and having Aiden at home with me, I came to this conclusion:

I am going to keep Aiden at home with me for the first two weeks while I can't drive.  We will get 50% off per week at the daycare, so that will help us out financially.  Plus, that's when I expect the most family to be in town to help with him.  Then starting that third week, I will bring him to daycare 3-4 days per week.  I don't plan to have him there as long as he is during a normal work week.  Unless that's how it works out with Mila's schedule, I suppose.  I also don't want Aiden to become unaccustomed to his daycare schedule.  It helps him to get there and play with his friends, run and play.  We'll see.  It's going to be rough, that's for sure. 


I just came across this post from 28 weeks with Aiden.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Brush With the Law

I know I've mentioned it before: Aiden has been waking up really early lately.  I'm going to make an effort to get him back in bed this weekend instead of letting him stay up the first time he comes into our room.  It's worth a try.  Saturday, he woke up at 5:30 and laid in bed with us for an hour before Travis made him go back to his room.  He was wide awake, so he did lots of tossing and turning and talking.  Then he came out of his room again a little after 7.  We let him lay in our bed and watch cartoons until 8.  I was wide awake by that point.  I just wasn't ready to get up and move yet.  My grumbling tummy and Aiden's antsiness forced me out. 

We ate breakfast and I got ready.  Travis got up later and went straight out to the garage to do some work.  Then he headed out to buy new boots for work.  He got back at lunch time and ate with us.  Then I hopped in the car to go grocery shopping while Aiden took his nap. 

I was exhausted.  I haven't been sleeping well lately and I've been getting up early every single day with Aiden.  The thought of trudging through a grocery store was highly unappealing.  I was on the verge of tears the whole time.  Pregnancy hormones.

When I was in the check out lane, I heard the bag boy ask the woman in front of me if she needed help out to her car.  I decided right there that I would be taking him up on his offer.  He was such a nice kid and I was so appreciative of his help.  It actually cheered me up a bit and gave me the energy to get home.  I'm sure the Snickers bar I downed helped a little.

When I was about half a mile from my exit, I noticed a cop had pulled someone over on the side of the Interstate.  There were tons of cops out for Mardi Gras weekend, so it wasn't an unusual sight.  I pulled into the middle lane to give them some space.  As I was passing, I realized there was another cop car sitting in front of the pulled over vehicle without its lights on.  I wondered what he was doing when he started to drive.  I sped up so I could get in front of him and pull back into the right lane to get off at my exit.  As I pulled into the exit lane, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw he had his lights on right behind me.  I wasn't sure if the lights were meant for me, or if he was taking off to get someone else so I just got off at my exit.  He followed me.

I pulled over on the feeder, but he used his loud speaker to tell me to pull into the gas station so we'd be off the road.  I was wondering what he had pulled me over for because he started pulling onto the road BEFORE I'd passed him and I know I wasn't speeding.  My car is new, but I started to wonder if I had a light out somewhere. 

The male cop walked up to my open window and I asked him what was wrong.  Turns out, he was angry at me for getting in his way when he was preparing to pull someone else over.  He said, "If you see an emergency vehicle with his lights on, you are supposed to get out of the way."

"I know!  I'm so sorry! I got over into the middle lane when I saw you guys there, but pulled back into the right lane after I passed you.  I didn't even see your lights until they were in my rear view mirror.  I'm so sorry!"

"Well, give me your license and insurance."

I handed everything over.  As I was leaning over to get my insurance out of the glove box I realized there was another cop standing at my window watching everything I did.  I'm sure it was to make sure I didn't whip a pistol out of that glove box.  Startled me, nonetheless.

"Do you have any warrants out for your arrest?"

"No!  Nothing that I know of!"

One time in college I got pulled over and found out my license was suspended.  I had no idea.  So even though there is no reason I can think of that I would have a warrant for, you never know.

They walked back to the cruiser to run my license.  In the meantime, I started crying.  Couldn't stop.  I was trying to get it to stop when the passenger cop got out of the vehicle to come up to my window.  I don't know why I was crying.  If I got a ticket, it's not the end of the world.  Problem with me being pregnant, is that once I start crying, I can't stop.  It's rather annoying.

This other cop walks up to my window and explains they are just giving me a warning.  Then he notices I'm crying.  His speech picks up speed a little and he says again that it's just a warning, there will be no fines, it won't go on my record, etc, etc.  I still couldn't stop.  And I can't talk without sounding like a blubbering fool, but I had to speak.  All I could spit out was that "I'm pregnant".  Ha. 

Poor guy.  I'm sure I thoroughly freaked him out.  I only felt bad for him because he wasn't the a-hole that angrily pulled me over for something that wasn't obvious to me. 

I couldn't stop crying before I got home.  By this point I was only a few blocks from my house.  I was annoyed to see my dad and Travis sitting out on the patio.  If I hadn't been balling my eyes out, I would have appreciated their quick help.  But seeing as I was red-eyed and embarassed, I wasn't in the mood to talk just yet.  I sat in the car trying to calm down.  Travis came up and freaked out, wondering what was wrong with me.  (Recall my inability to speak while crying?)  He thought I'd been in an accident or something.  Then when I said I got pulled over, he assumed I got a ticket.  He told me it was okay, we'd be fine.  I told him I just got a warning.  He and my dad chuckled with each other at that point. 

Travis knows how I am about crying during pregnancy, so he left me to recoop in the driver's seat while they brought the groceries in the house.  I finally stopped the steady flow and walked inside.  I started tearing up frequently while explaining to them exactly what happened.  It's all so silly.  I can't wait for these hormones to leave me alone.  It's so inconvenient.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday Dry Day

Aiden went pretty much an entire day without any accidents yesterday!  We haven't begun working on diaperless nap and bed times.  Frankly, I don't even know where to begin with that.  But!  For the rest of the day, he did great!  I was particularly impressed because he had the added distraction of Gpa to overcome.  Sometimes when he gets distracted by life, he forgets to use the potty.  Apparently he's getting better at that!

He went pee right before bed last night, but I guess he didn't finish.  He came out of his room about 5 minutes after we turned out the lights saying he was pee-pee.  Meaning he'd gone in his diaper.  We had to explain to him that if he needed to go potty during bedtime, he could get up to go.  We'll have to work on that one.

I am ECSTATIC that we have about three months to go without purchasing lots of diapers.  That ALSO means when Mila comes, we won't be buying diapers for two.  PHEW.  Now if only I could get a raise, we might actually be able to afford this baby!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mid-Night Arrival

Gpa is here!  He got in at 1:15 this morning.  Travis went out to greet him and Callaway and to help him carry in bags.  We sat and talked until 2 so he could take it down a few notches before heading to bed.  As tired as I always am after a long drive like that, it's amazing how difficult it is to immediately fall asleep.  I usually feel buzzed and a little like a zombie.  I have to relearn how to talk and walk.  Plus I'm usually visiting family so I get excited to see them. 

While we were chatting, I ate a chocolate chip pumpkin cookie.  I woke up hungry.  Insanity.  I guess I was so excited to see my dad that I had trouble falling asleep at 2.  Needless to say, I'm a little tired today.  I would have liked to meet him for lunch, but I was too busy around lunch time today.  Instead, he is going to meet us at Aiden's daycare so we can pick him up together.  Then we'll go home for dinner.  I bought the ingredients to make grouper, rice and corn on the cob.  I think that might be a strange combination, but I can't really tell.  I was just excited about the corn on the cob.  I'm also interested to see if Aiden likes it.

Seeing Callaway was so funny.  He has lost a lot of weight since we had him last.  I think it's because he gets way more exercise with my dad.  When we had Callaway, he sat at home alone for the majority of the day, then laid at our feet for the evening.  With that lack of exercise, he was still at normal weight.  Once my dad got him, he started bringing him to job sites every day AND taking him for a walk every night.  Callaway has lots of energy, so he has easily kept up.  We are making an appointment for him to see our vet here again.  Hopefully the vet is not concerned.

I had a small reminder of what life with Callaway was like.  The moment my alarm went off this morning, he was in the bedroom pacing next to the bed.  I suppose that's a good thing, because then I don't fall back asleep after I hit snooze.  Then he followed me everywhere.  I almost forgot he would need to be let out first thing, but he sat by the door and made me remember.  I had to stand outside with him because we still have not put the gate up we bought last September and I don't know what Callaway would do now that he has become accustomed to spending a good portion of the day on a leash.  He did fine.  The only reason Callaway ever ran away in the past was because he was being harassed by a pellet gun two doors down.  Of course we haven't seen from the Creeper with a Pellet Gun since Callaway left, which leads me to wonder if he was purposely harassing our dog.

Anyhoo, I can't wait to get home and hang out!  Longest Day Ever.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Belated Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone had a good day of love.  Or as the radio DJ called it, Singles Awareness Day.  Mine was a little more stressful than I would have liked, but there's nothing I can complain about.  I had enough time at work to take a coffee break (I actually got decaf).  When I picked Aiden up from daycare, he had a Valentine's goodie bag.  We sat in the car and went through all his fun stuff.  His favorite "candy" was the Valentine's fruit snacks, shaped like hearts, and his favorite card was from his best friend with Captain America on the front.

When we got home, I spoiled Aiden and let him watch TV until dinner was ready. I knew it would be later than normal and I didn't want him to badger me constantly. He watched an hour and a half of Kung Fu Panda, which has quickly become his new favorite show. The last couple minutes are usually the beginning of Spongebob Squarepants and he has started to show interest in that series. I set it to record a few shows last night, so it looks like Spongebob may be in my near future. I'm so not looking forward to that. I feel like that character has the most grating laugh EVER. Yaaaayyyy.
Travis came home with a dozen white roses mixed with lilies and chocolate covered strawberries for me and a Transformer for Aiden. I got Travis a heart-shaped box of Reese's chocolates and two cards - one from Aiden and one from me. We cooked dinner together while Aiden sat glued to the TV. I made a baked potato casserole that I just found the recipe for. Potatoes have been simply amazing since I've been pregnant, so I thought it was delicious. Travis cooked fillet Mignon under the broiler since he didn't feel like messing with the grill. We also had a side of asparagus and Caesar salad. Aiden only ate steak and salad. He flat out refused to try the potatoes. Such a weird kid. What kid doesn't like potatoes?! Well, unless it's the fried kind, of course.

I seriously despise this computer - can't get the photo upright.

I was stuffed by the time we got done eating. For dessert, even though it was really late, we gave Aiden a cupcake. Actually, I only gave him half because I was concerned he would have trouble falling asleep. We didn't get him to bed until 9 pm. Needless to say, this morning was a little rough. But we had a good time gorging ourselves on delicious food.

Teasing Daddy with his icing.

Half a cupcake, strawberries and his Valentine's cup from daycare.

After Aiden was in bed (we let him go to sleep with his new Transformer), Travis and I ate a little dessert.  I bought turtle brownies with ice cream.  I had a serving and a strawberry, but Travis didn't have room for all that.  He found room for a strawberry and a Reese's. 

My sweet tooth this pregnancy is OUT OF CONTROL.  All I want is sugar.  I can't get enough cookies.  I go through an insane amount of Monster Trail Mix from Target.  It comes with chocolate in it, but I add MORE dark chocolate chips because it's not enough for me.  I constantly crave sweet coffee, so I've started drinking some decaf so I can have more than one cup a day.  The coffee is not so good for my constant Braxton-Hicks contractions.  It's a diuretic, plus drinking coffee means I'm not drinking water in it's place. 

I can't wait for a contraction-less day.  Travis asked if I thought that was possible.  I said, "Yes, when I'm done being pregnant."  Even then it will be a while because there's that week after you have the baby where the uterus contracts back to normal size.  Plus, I'm thinking about getting Mirena after I have Mila which is known to cause serious cramping.  Sorry if that's too much information for some of you.

If there were uterus strength contests, I bet I'd win. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012

I'm sure it's probably a combination of things, but I can tell this pregnancy is really draining me.  I have little desire to get on here regular and word-vomit my thoughts like I usually do.  I know there are other factors, like being busy at work and taking care of Aiden at the end of the day (which I did not have last pregnancy).  I guess it all adds up. 

In addition to blogging, I've also failed on the photo front.  I bring my camera along to events with the intention of snapping some shots, but then never get it out.  This weekend was the start of Mardi Gras.  Travis and I celebrated with his old boss in Galveston.  They have a large family that sort of took us in when Travis started working for them.  I really like all those people.  They are so friendly and absolutely great with Aiden.  Part of the appeal to being with them is there's usually someone else playing with Aiden, even if there aren't other kids around. 

We headed down to the island at 10 in the morning so we could hang out a bit before the noon parade.  We brought some sides and enjoyed all the grilled food.  Actually, now that I think about it, I didn't eat any of the grilled food.  HA!  One of the girls made some fabulous gumbo (chicken, sausage AND shrimp) from scratch and Travis' ex-boss made chili.  Ugh, it was awesome.  Aiden partook in a hot dog or two. 

The parade itself was really fun.  I felt like I spent more time protecting Aiden from flying objects than I did catching them, but it was still enjoyable.  The worse part of the day was how cold it was.  When I woke up Saturday it was 39 degrees at our house.  It was in the 40's by the time the parade started, but coupled with the wind off the Gulf that is SUPER cold for us (we were right on the Seawall).  I think I was more exhausted by all the shivering I did.  

Bead man

Aiden got tons of beads and hung out with a girl that he used to go to daycare with.  She is such a cutie.  I don't think they recognized each other though.  After the parade we ate lunch and then left for Ariel's.  I didn't get Aiden down for his nap until 3 pm, which is really late for him.  He was out immediately.  I thought about taking a nap myself, but ended up resting on the couch and chatting with Ariel the entire time.  It was the least I could do after she gave me a pint of cookie dough ice cream.  Amazing stuff, ice cream. 

The down side to hanging out with lots of people who love Aiden are all the opportunities to eat chocolate and various goodies.  Aiden spent a good portion of the afternoon complaining about his tummy hurting.  I force-fed him some rice and crackers, hoping it would help placate his belly.  Thankfully there was no diarrhea or vomiting. 

Travis' old boss and Aiden

After the evening parade, my co-worker and her boyfriend came over and sat with us by the fire.  Travis had met them already a couple weeks ago when we went out for dinner together.  That was a funny night because we ended up runing into our boss and his wife (also our co-worker) at the same restaurant.  Ha.  All in all, we had a good time.  Aiden and I were exhausted by the end of the night and Travis had perhaps one drink too many.  Thankfully we had zero plans for Sunday, so that turned into a recovery day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nikki's Nutshell is 4 Years Old

This is blog post #1078.  I've had this blog running since January 17, 2008.  It's crazy to think how much has changed in the past four years.  Hurricane Ike, had a son, got rid of a dog and a cat, now brewing a daughter.  INSANE. 

Speaking of brewing, tomorrow I will have 100 days left until my due date.  Woh.  And we haven't done a single thing to prepare for this baby!  Not that there is much to do, since we still have everything from when Aiden was a newborn.  It just feels like I should do something.  It would help if we had more money.  Hmmm...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Photo Mugs

A received a coupon via email for Shutterfly and decided to get photo mugs for Travis and I.  I got Travis a World's Greatest Dad mug.  It has a bunch of pictures of the two of them together on it.  For mine, I had three photos put on the mug: One of Aiden from the hospital, one when he was 1 and one when he had just turned 2. 

I spent a good hour putting those together and then realized that I'm going to have to do this again in a year so that we have stuff with Mila on them.  I looked at our photo wall and realized I need to make time to get family photos done when she's a month old and again later.  I've heard lots of people complain about how the second child in the family didn't get as much documentation as the first child did.  I always felt bad for them and made a sort of promise to myself to not short-change the second (or possibly third) child. 

Problem is, now that I'm here I can see how things like this can easily fall through the cracks.  When I was pregnant with Aiden, I had all the free time in the world to dawdle over the pregnancy.  This time, I feel like it is flying by so fast.  I have been making an effort to record details about this pregnancy, but not near as much as I did with Aiden.  I have a feeling this will only become more so when we HAVE Mila.  That won't stop me from trying though. 

After spending an hour or two looking through photos of Aiden when he was first born I went to bed and had my first dream about Mila!  I dreamt that my mom was so excited to have her that she took her to my aunt's house to show her off for the night.  At the end of the night, Travis and I came to pick her up.  My mom brought her out to our car.  I was sitting in the back seat.  I rolled the window down and my mom handed me the Mila bundle through the window.  Then Travis drove off with me holding her.  I looked down and she looked exactly like Aiden did. 

It was a very serene dream.  I forgot how vivid dreams can be during pregnancy.  So much so that I am able to remember them for days or weeks even.  Thankfully none have been nightmares.

We got our mugs in the mail at the end of last week.  I had originally planned on bringing my mug to work.  I could show off pictures of my kid and ensure that no one would walk off with it.  It's hard to explain why someone else would have a picture of my son in his PJ's riding his horse-on-a-stick.  But then the thought of losing the mug or breaking it at work freaked me out.  I think I'm going to keep at home for a little while.  This way I can make sure to enjoy the mug for a bit before risking losing it. 

I used to think people who had pictures of their family on stuff were weird.  Now I'm one of those weirdos.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Travis' Least Favorite Trade

Monday night I was rinsing off the dishes from dinner and the sink backed up.  I was worried I had put too much in the disposal.  Sadly, there was no clog in the pea-trap under the sink.  Travis closed it back up and we gave Draino a try.  The water drained away, but when we started running water again it filled back up.  Travis tried Draino a second time, just for good measure.  Same results. 

He called our neighbor-friend and asked to borrow his 6-foot plumbing snake.  He was able to get most of the reel out without finding a clog.  He hit a barrier, but it turned out to be a 90-degree turn in the pipe.  While Travis was down there taking a look at what the plumbing does, he noticed a large puddle centered under the house.  He asked me to run the kitchen sink while he sat near the puddle.  Sure enough, water started spewing out of a pipe that was not capped off. 

Travis said it is always really wet in that spot whenever he goes down there.  He's rewired 90% of the house thus far, which requires crawling under the house.  Suddenly we were wondering if that pipe has been open and spitting out grey water for the entire length of time we've owned the house.  The pipe looks like it used to drain something from the bathroom.  Since everything functions nicely in the rest of the house, Travis determined that it was a pipe that should have been removed whenever the previous owners replumbed the house.  Instead, they left it open-ended, letting water drain out when the pipe backs up.  Since there is not a plethera of chopped up food from the disposal rotting under the house, we know that some of the water IS making it out the main pipe.

The next day, Travis stopped and bought a clean-out valve and a diamond-tipped saw blade.  When he got home, he cut that extra pipe off where it meets the main drain.  He then proceeded to put the snake in from there.  He was unable to find a clog there either.  But at one point, he yelled for me to bring him a wire.  He saw something red and solid floating in the pipe and needed something smaller to fish out the round chunk.  By the time I was able to find the wire and bring it down to him, the chunk had already drained away and disappeared.  Travis had me run every single sink and tub in the house and everything ran smoothly, including the kitchen sink.

We thought the fiasco was over, but we were wrong.  Last night, the kitchen sink clogged again.  Travis tried Draino again.  Five minutes later, the water all drained from the sink.  We tried running the water and it didn't clog again.  We're thinking that chunk is getting stuck in the line periodically.  I don't know what the best thing to do would be aside from getting a plumber.  But plumbers cost money and we don't have that. 

Last night Travis tried a new drain opener (potassium hydroxide).  Problem is the clog comes and goes so there's no way to know if it worked unless the clog come back.  No clog yet, so we'll see!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bodily Functions

Sunday night after Aiden went to Chuck E Cheese was a little rough.  He woke up at 1:30 vomiting.  I woke when I heard him crying and heard the (unfortunately) familiar sound of wretching.  I ran in as quickly as I could.  There was vomit all over his pillow and Mr. Lion.  Travis eventually woke up while I was holding the trash can in case there was more to come.  He eventually stopped spitting and we began clean up. 

The last time he was sick we threw away two pillows.  I didn't know what to do with them.  I was sure they'd be ruined in a wash so I didn't even mess with it.  After that, I had several people tell me you can wash your pillows in the washing machine.  I don't know what would happen with feather pillows, but since these were just stuffing I gave it a try.  It came out perfectly!  Perhaps a little more fluffy even.  We weren't able to do this wash immediately, so we just grabbed another pillow and put new sheets on the bed. 

Another thing I learned from last time: place a towel in the spray zone to expedite clean up.  It may not contain the liquid, but it gets the chunks (sorry to those with a sensitive stomach).  So!  Thirty minutes later when the next wave hit, clean up was much quicker.  He also seems to be grasping the concept of puking in the trash can.  YAY.

Thankfully, the rest of the night went without further adventures.  I assumed Aiden had too much excitement to contain and had to release some of the pressure during the night.  It's happened before.  He throws up dinner in the middle of the night and that's the last of the illness.  So the next morning we got ready for work and daycare like normal.  Well, mostly normal.  I was exhausted from getting to bed at 10:30, waking up when Travis got home at 11:30, waking up to take care of Aiden at 1:30 and again at 2:00.  We were in the car and had just hit the island when Aiden started saying he needed to go potty.  I told him we would be to daycare soon.  A moment later he had gone pasty white and was gagging/coughing. 

I started having flashbacks to That One Time When Aiden Showered the Back Seat of My Car.  I pulled over as fast as I could and pulled him out to the grass.  Thankfully he hadn't eaten or drank anything yet that morning (which should have been a sign of what was to come), so it was just a little bile spit up.  After he'd had a moment to recover, I brought him to Ariel's.  He threw up bile again when we first walked in.  During the chaos, I had a sudden urge to do a #2 and used their downstairs bathroom.  The door was locked, which was a little strange.  I found the keys, unlocked the door and did my business.  OF COURSE it turned out the toilet was out of commission.  When I tried to flush, nothing happened.

I went up to knock on Ariel's bedroom door. 

"Ariel?  Sorry to wake you, but I have some problems.  Can you help me?"

She comes out the door all morning-time-groggified.

"Aiden's vomiting.  I can't take him into daycare.  Would you mind watching him for a couple hours while I run into work?"

"Ya sure.  No problem.  Don't even worry about it."

"Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.  Also, I used your toilet downstairs."

"Oh no big deal.  It has a leak so we turned off the water.  Just turn the water back on and you can flush it."

PHEW.  I run downstairs and do as she recommends.  I was mortified to find I had clogged their toilet.  Ugh. 

I walk out sheepishly, thankful it's Ariel who got up and not Robert, "Do you have a plunger?  Sorry."

"Actually no.  I have no idea where it went."

GREAT.  I promised her I would take care of it, but it has to wait until I get back from work. 

"Do you mind if my deuce hangs out while I run into work?  Sorry to drop off a vomiting toddler and a clogged toilet first thing on a Monday morning."

She watched him while I ran into work to take care of a few pertinent items.  After work I stopped at CVS to buy a plunger.  I decided on my walk into the store that this purchase was more embarassing to me than getting condoms or tampons.  I couldn't find the plungers anywhere and decided to brave asking for help.  The only person I could find was the cashier.  I asked if she knew where plungers were.

"PLUNGERS????  Hey LaQuisha!  Do we have any PLUNGERS?!"

Mortification.  Pure mortification.

LaQuisha's response, "PLUNGERS?  Nah I think we're out!  I'll go check.  The PLUNGERS are on aisle 5."

She comes back a few minutes later.  No plunger.

"There weren't any PLUNGERS on aisle 5.  Let's call in back and see if they have any there."

Nope.  No plungers there either.  I felt like personally walking up to every customer and the store and explaining that I was the one with a toilet clogged with poo at home.  Me!  It was me!  In case you weren't sure after all this yelling about PLUNGERS!! 

Thank goodness the Dollar General down the street had some.  Of course that cashier wanted to have a conversation about how cool it was that it came in a combo pack with a scrub brush, maybe she should grab one too?

Plunger and frozen pizzas in hand, I returned.  Ariel mentioned she didn't have anything to eat for lunch and it was the least I could do.  When I got back to Ariel's, they said he had eaten some dry cereal and hadn't thrown up at all.  Figures.  Although I was happy he had stopped.  I took care of my mess and left with Aiden, hoping Ariel and Robert didn't learn to dread my surprise visits. 

Aiden was lethargic for the majority of the day, but he didn't throw up anymore.  We had chicken noodle soup (in the shape of Cars), he took a long nap and then we watched TV for the remainder of the day.  It was nice to rest a little, although I was unable to take a nap.  My body seems confused on how it needs sleep. 

The saga of our crazy days continues tomorrow... hopefully... if I have time to write again...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Weekend Away From Home

This past weekend we babysat Blair and Skylar.  Alexa was out of town for a funeral and Chris got called out on a last-minute flight (he's a pilot).  We went up Saturday afternoon, stayed the night, then spent Sunday there.  Thankfully, all the kids went down for bedtime easily Saturday night.  Aiden was a little scared sleeping in the guest bedroom by himself, so Travis and I laid with him for about 15 minutes.  After that, he basically kicked us out of the bed.  He has never been able to sleep in the same bed with us.  Once he was comfortable in that dark room, he was done with us.  Travis and I left and he must have fallen asleep nicely on his own.

Aiden woke up at 1:30 in the morning thinking it was time to get up.  I got him to go back to bed and he didn't get up again until 6.  That's still earlier than I would like.  He's gotten in the habit of waking up before the sun is up.  It's terribly annoying.  We let him lay in bed with us until 6:45 when the Ramby's woke up.

We went downstairs and ate breakfast.  Afterwards, Blair pointed out that the hamster was missing from her cage.  GREAT.  Our friends ask us for a favor and we lose their pet.  Alexa has told me about the hamster's escapades in the past, so I knew the best way to catch her: set the cage on the ground and let her come home when she's ready.  Unfortunately, the hamster wouldn't come out while the kids were running around.  We had no idea where she was at.

That morning we walked to the playground near their house.  We weren't there for very long before we realized we needed to get back home for Skylar's nap time.  The boys went down right before Skylar woke up, so we got a good taste of what life with two kids is like.  HA.

We had made previous plans for Aiden to go hang out with Ariel and Robert that afternoon.  It was the first time they had offered to take him out somewhere.  They babysit him from time to time, but it's always at their house.  They didn't decided what they were going to do until they were picking him up.  Since they were running late, they decided to take him to Chuck E Cheese where they could play AND get dinner.  It was his first time there and I think he had a great time.  They said he was really skittish about partaking in the fun at first, but after a while he warmed up to the idea.

They sent tons of photos and videos.  Alexa is talking about having Blair's birthday party there this year.  If that's the case, it will be so much fun to be the ones to take Aiden next time.  We have seen several commercials for Chuck E Cheese since then and Aiden recognizes it.  He still plays with the toy frogs and Chuck E Cheese whistle he bought with his winning tickets and he put a bunch of Chuck stickers on his potty.  I'm so glad he got to spend the evening with his Auntie Ariel and Uncle Robert.

I cleaned the house while Aiden was away. Travis stayed with the Ramby kids until Chris got home around 10:30 that night.  We got lucky and the hamster was found asleep in her bed soon after the kids went down for the night.  The full schedule doesn't stop there, but I'll save the rest for later.  For now, I'm off to bed (I actually wrote this post last night)...  Zzzzzzz....