Monday, January 30, 2006

Jane's New Skill

All the other kids have tried to emulate her, but nobody has been able to. So what did your kids learn at (home)school today?


Just a quick post to let you all know that the cleanout plug did it's job and the sink is draining now. I can do the dishes again! Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles!

We had a homeschool group Ladies Night Out today, much of fun was had by all. Good food too!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Plugged Sink from Hell

Thursday night, our sink got plugged. No biggie, right, we have had that before. So I first ran the garbage disposal, which usually fixes the problem. Hmmm, still a few inches of standing water, guess it didn't work this time.

Out came the plunger, the solver of many problems. Started plunging and plunging and plunging, expecting the resolution of the plug at any time.

I plunged.

And I plunged.

And I plunged some more.

Dh plunged. And he plunged. And he plunged some more.

I cursed.

But the sink still was plugged.

The husband said 'No problem, I'll just use a snake'. So the snake came out, the solver of all problems. He snaked, and he snaked, and he snaked some more. Some crap came out, but obviously not enough, because the sink still was plugged. I cursed.

Hubbie doesn't like to use those chemicals to unplug the sink, but I told him that God wouldn't have given them to us if he didn't want us to use them. I ignored hubbie and went to the supermarket to get four BIG bottles of unplugging chemicals.

It said to use 1/5 of a bottle, so I poured the whole bottle down the drain. If 1/5 is good, than 5/5 is five times as good, right? We let it sit, expecting it to work its magic. It didn't. I cursed. I plunged, figuring that that would solve it. It didn't.

I poured another bottle down the drain and waited for the magic. I invented some new swear words. The sink was still plugged. I plunged some more. The sink still was plugged.

Four bottles after the start of this exercise, and almost a day later, the sink still was plugged. I cursed, and called my hubby to tell him to figure out a plumber who would be willing to come on Friday afternoon. He conveniently didn't pick up the phone. I was driving around, chauffeuring kids, so I didn't want to deal with the whole plumber mess. Neither did I want to pay the excorbitant amount he would charge for fixing our problem.

By now, not only did the sink not drain, but the garbage disposal had started leaking, to add insult to injury.

Friday night, hubbie once again got out the snake and got out more crap. Sink still was plugged.

The counters were overflowing with dirty dishes. We had a hard time adding any more dirty dishes to the precariously balanced, and dirty stacks. Usually I just do them by hand when the dishwasher is broken, but this sink made both dishwasher and hand washing unavailable.

We looked at each other and despaired. I decided to just move out and have the new owner of the house deal with the mess. Hubbie didn't agree.

He showed me the 'cleanout plug' in the basement, which I had NO idea about, and rather wouldn't have known about at all. He hoped that opening this and cleaning out crap from there might solve the problem. The cleanout plug turned out to be located over about seven years worth of basement dumpings. You know the 'Hmmm, don't know what I'll do with this, for now I'll just put it in the basement' stacks.

Our whole night was spent carrying those stacks and stacks of boxes, and shoes, and dead mice to other locations in the basement. I didn't even check whether there were cleanout plugs over those new locations.

By now it was 2am and we both didn't feel like dealing with the plug. So we relaxed, ate chocolate, played go, and went to bed. The sink still wasn't draining, the dishes still hadn't been washed.

This morning, hubbie went downstairs and opened the plug. He did not wear a rain jacket, which had been recommended in the websites he had been surfing. Luckily, not too much water came out. But lots of crap did, snake did a great job. He is still working at it.

Just in case, I am surfing real estate websites today.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Winter Fun

Nobody felt like being indoors for today's homeschool club, so we decided to go sledding and skating. Much fun was had by all, and half of the kids were whining when it was time to leave 'We don't want to leave yet!! When can we go skating again?
  • One missing scarf;
  • Two pairs of our own skates out of the at least seven pairs we own. One day I will clean out the basement, I swear;
  • Three pairs of skates rented to make up for the ones lost in our black hole basement;
  • Four girls skating on the ice, falling, and giggling;
  • Five sleds zooming down the big hills;
  • Six tired kids, who will go to sleep early tonight (I can hope, right?)
  • Seven hot chocolates to warm up after skating and sledding;
  • Eight friends joining us;
  • Nine wet snow clothes/ pants on the hallway floor;
  • Ten minutes of driving around to actually find the location where we had the winterfun.
The kids keep asking me whether I am sure whether our own pond can't be used for skating??? (It's about eight square feet if that big.)

Now Cees is over at a friend's house, and we have one of the girls friends over. We call it The Kids Shuffle, it always happens after homeschool club.

Yes, fun day, even if there were quite some stressful moments for mommy. It's amazing how good Sylvia is at pouring hot chocolate down her clothes...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My Morning

Joining in with Chris and Carmen in describing a morning in a large family household.

My morning technically started at midnight, when six out of seven kids still were awake. So nice to be blessed with The Amazing Non Sleeping KidsTM.

I didn't keep track of times, but there were at least three fights to be mediated, there was a volleyball match going on and it took two trips to convince them that volleyball should not be played at 1am in their bedrooms and there were various assorted whinings and complaints.

At 2am, Erik (5yo) had fallen asleep in Cees's bed, so I happily picked him up to carry him to his own. He woke up! And totally fell apart. There was no way he could ever go to sleep all by himself (Kate (6yo) was in the same room, but she didn't count). He was majorly panicking, so I ended up grabbing a go problems book and doing some studying to calm him down. Finally he did fall asleep, so I sneaked out, only to hear new wailing start behind me. He was not asleep yet...

Decided to take sleeping baby Sylvia (18mo) from my husband's arms and send him upstairs, since he had been saying he wanted to go to bed anyways. Blessed silence!
After about 20 minutes I went up, where the three of them (daddy, Kate, and Erik) were snuggled together and all sleeping. Added Sylvia to that mixture and had my arms free!

Finally I got my mommy time, my sanity time, my time all by myself. The only time I seem to be able to get that is after 2am.

Went to bed at 3:20am, so didn't get up as early as Chris or Carmen, my wakeup time was closer to 8am. I did kick my hubby out of bed to shovel the driveway though, while I performed the important task of nursing the baby while reading a book ('The Time Traveller's Wife', not sure yet what I think of it, only started it last night).

Kate woke up too and wanted to study Japanese, so she went down to the computer to start the language program. Had to give various assistance, so reluctantly got out of bed to get dressed, dress the baby for the 5th time (she is in her clothes obsession phase) and help Kate with the Japanese.

Erik was kind of awake, I did make the round to the other kids room to tell them 'Time to get up!!!!!!!!!!' but didn't even get the grunts that Carmen got. I did that at least 6 more times or so before they actually got out of bed. Not to mention that one of them still is asleep because his sleep schedule is all messed up, and almost being a teenager refuses to take the medication which would help him sleep.

Breakfast chaos, kids telling me which bowl they wanted to use but which wasn't clean yet, or telling me that they were going to eat some bread now. Over and over. Sylvia used the potty quite a few times, but didn't need the marshmallows Chris's toddler did. Instead, she found the marshmallows all on her own and started eating them, I made sure they weren't bad before I let her eat more. Lots of screaming when the marshmallows were put out of her reach.

I ended up doing some dishes by hand too, not because the dishwasher hadn't run, but because there was no way to fit all the dishes in last night, and both hubby and me were too lazy to start a new load at 2am. Still haven't done so, guess I need to do that soon.

Decided that I didn't have to make bread today, since I had made a supermarket run yesterday, and cheated by getting some bread, so that the four loaves I baked yesterday would last longer. I make bread at least one out of two days, if not more often. Four loaves at a time, which evaporate fast.

Tons of fights about the computer 'He ALWAYS gets the computer and I NEVER get it!'. More fights about the computer. Kate who wanted to play the board game Charcasonne, but couldn't find a good place to do so with Sylvia running around.

In between all that, I grabbed some honey roasted peanuts and made tea, which was my breakfast. Just made myself a fried egg, but technically that would be lunch already. The tea was one of those pots which got made, and ignored for a few hours. Reheated it in the microwave. Then an hour later or so, found it all cooled off again.

And of course, like Chris, I am leaving out a thousand small details like the baby playing with the garbage, Kate throwing toys, Sylvia kicking Erik in the face, feeding the birds, putting away some laundry, baby emptying a full roll of toilet paper during one of her potty trips, wanting to start a load of laundry, but never getting to actually do it, even if I was at the washer twenty times at least.

I think the hardest thing about a large family for me is the constant interruptions. I never seem to be able to follow a train of thought for more than five seconds before there is a mini crisis needing my attention, or a kid who wants to tell me something. I have to say that this is small compared to the joy and happiness I feel at the good moments though, when they all are playing together, or following their own interests, or just are perfect. Yes, our house is chaos, but it is happy chaos.

Still need my 2am sanity time though :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Save the Dragons!

Today I overheard a conversation.
Cees 'We are going to save the dragon and kill the princess'
Tim 'Yeah?'
Cees 'The dragon is an endangered species and the princess is going to use him in her demonic rituals'.

Only at our house...

Monday, January 23, 2006

New England Weather

Gotta love our winters. Where I was still hiking in a t-shirt and got too warm on Saturday, today it is snowing, and snowing, and snowing. Oh well, at least I don't have any pressing commitments, just aikido tonight. I still can't roll. Especially not with a big wooden sword in my hands. There sure is a learning curve, and I am at the bottom of it!

Saturday, I hiked into the woods behind our neighborhood to hide a new cache. Sunday morning, when the whole world was still asleep, two geocaching friends got up to drive an hour to the cache. They were first to find at 6:30am. Such devotion! I was asleep in my bed, somehow I am not much of a morning person. I can stay up till 3am playing go though, that is kind of morning too, right?

Yesterday, we went to Borders, where Sylvia peed a bit in her pants. Luckily she was alert enough to immediately take off her boots and her pants, so that she wasn't walking around in wet clothes. Yes, this was in the middle of Borders... Imagine me carrying a half naked baby to the car, to get a new pair of pants. Imagine all the stares we were getting.

Today, I'll just have to stay home and study go since I can't anywhere. Too bad :)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I Wish You Never Even Had Been a SPERM!!!!

This was after 'I wish you never even had been born' and 'I wish I had a nicer mama' turned out not to be powerful enough... Kate was very upset with me, I don't even remember over what, but she wishes I never even had been a sperm!

Today was Erik's birthday. We picked up his cake at the grocery store (yes, I know, some people do actually bake cakes at home) where he had one of his 'going limp and lifeless looking on the floor' temper tantrums. People kept coming over to me to ask whether he was ok. Sometimes I think the loud temper tantrums would be easier for people to understand :p

And why is it that the moment we need to leave the house, every one either has to eat, has lost their books, or discovers that all their snow gear is still soaking wet from yesterday's sledding... ?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lesson Learned

Thou shalt not eat tea bags.

For they are crunchy and yucky when they open up in your mouth.

Sylvia is one experience richer :)

Go club today, always fun. Sylvia had one accident, did fine otherwise, even pooped in the toilet. For the last 9 months or so, she usually managed to have a very dirty diaper during go club, this is so much nicer!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Root Canal


I still HATE dentists.


And I got my period today, very crampy and messy.


But the good thing is that someone sent me a new teapot thingy and a bunch of green teas as a gift. I came home from the dentist, feeling sorry for myself, and there was the package. So nice!

The other good thing is that Sylvia's vocabulary has increased with an important word 'go book'. A few days ago, early in the morning, she woke up and got out of bed. A few minutes later, she found a go book (somehow there are a few scattered around my bed room) and brought it over to me. She handed it to me, telling me 'Go Book!' So cute!

She is saying her own name too 'Dyl-vi-ah, dyl-vi-ah' :)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Acute Pulpititis

Yes, sounds horrible, doesn't it? It is. Have been having bad bad bad tooth aches since this weekend. Saw the dentist on Tuesday, and now am on pain killers and antibiotics till my root canal on Monday...

Did I ever mention how I hate dentists?