Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This is why we have AAA

We had an unplanned dinner out the other night. We were going to have dinner at home after running a couple errands, but when 7pm found us at a car repair place across the street from a McDonald's after waiting an hour for a towtruck, we had dinner there instead. A towtruck? Yes, we had to have the Acura towed after it overheated. (It was classic: we were driving down the road getting more and more concerned about the awful engine noises. When we stopped at a red light, the engine died and white steam billowed out from under the hood.)

Why did it overheat? We now know that the radiator wasn't quite up to snuff and a couple fans needed to be replaced (not to mention a faulty temperature gauge), but the precipitating event was letting it idle for an hour while we swept crud out of our new house before the flooring went in. The boys were asleep in the back seat, so we left the car running with the a/c on, which is our modus operandi when visiting the house since the boys usually fall asleep on the way there. The difference is that we're usually in the Escape, which has never had a problem idling for an hour.

Why were we in the Acura, then? Well, that's the car that had the carseats in it when we decided to go to the house. I had gone to a MOPS Steering Team meeting the night before and didn't want to take the Acura, so I moved the carseats over so C could take the boys to the grocery store while I was at my meeting. Why couldn't C have taken the boys in the Escape and I take the Acura? The driver's door window mechanism on the Acura had broken, so the window was stuck down. C had bought the part needed but hadn't had a chance to get it fixed before my meeting and I didn't feel comfortable parking a car with a window down in the church parking lot at night because it's in the middle of downtown and there have been unsavory characters lurking in the area. (Side note: C fixed the window all by himself (with a little help from YouTube) on Sunday morning, saving us $$!)

And that is how we found ourselves at a car repair place across the street from McDonald's on Sunday evening. After shuffling the car to another place (the first one didn't really do the type of repairs we needed), we learned that we had melted the radiator, but the engine was okay. (Which is really good, because replacing the engine would have cost us as much as we paid for the car originally!! Which, if you think about it, means we got an excellent deal on the car.) So it's now Wednesday and we've been a one car family for a few days again. The car should be fixed by this evening, and it really shouldn't need any more work beyond general maintenance for another couple years.

(So I wrote most of this post while one boy was hanging on my leg and the other one was picking on his brother. Fun!)

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chocolate Chip, of course

I made cookies today. I was rummaging through our cupboards and not finding anything for a little between-meals pick-me-up, wait, let me qualify that: nothing containing chocolate, and since Daniel was still napping, I thought I'd try to get a batch of cookies in the oven before he woke up. Not only did I get the cookies in, but I got the kitchen cleaned up and the cookies back out before I heard a peep from the bedroom. That little boy took a 3 hour nap after lunch! Those three hours are the only reason I was sane when C came home from work. It was so bad this morning that I sent an email to him at 11:43am that simply read "today sucks. that is all." I wrote it on my phone during lunch while holding D with one arm because I couldn't stand his fussing any longer, snatching bites of my sandwich with the other hand in between telling Zachary that he needed to stop whining and if he would just let me finish my lunch I would be able to take care of his pressing need to pick up the tomato he had dropped on the floor for the umpteenth time. This wonderful lunch followed a morning that had gone much the same way. Which is why, at 11:43, I had only just gotten out of pj's, the laundry had not progressed, the kitchen was still a mess from the night before, the cat box reeked, and the floor was covered in toys. But then D went down for a nap that lasted three hours and by the time C came home, all my chores were done and I even had a plate of cookies waiting for him. Amazing how much I can accomplish when one child is sleeping! The other one (the older one) is pretty good at entertaining himself as long as I'm busy doing something (read: if I sit down, he's all over me, hence the reason I don't blog much.)

But back to the cookies. Since we only have one cookie sheet, I couldn't bake up all the dough at once. We probably don't need them all baked up anyway, but I didn't cut the recipe down, so after putting a few in the oven, I had a lot of dough left over. What to do? I froze it. I portioned it out, rolled it into balls, and froze it on parchment paper. Once frozen, I transferred the balls to a ziploc freezer bag and voilĂ ! do-it-yourself break-n-bake cookie dough! I feel very clever ;-) (Gotta give credit where it's due: I had a little help from the The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook for the recipe, freezing instructions, and revised baking instructions. Love that book.)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

There's a Fungus Among Us

(I have been meaning to get on here and tell you about this, but every time I've sat down at the computer in the last five days, I find myself doing 20 other things that are more important and then I run out of time to blog! But this time I remembered to blog first.)

We were on vacation in California for two weeks. The kitties were taken care of during that time, so all's well on that front. However, I did leave a few dirty diapers in each of the diaper pails (because, let's face it, that's life). The couple in the 'messies' pail were fine ("fine" being relative, I suppose), but I noticed some fuzzy stuff growing in the 'wets' pail. When I dumped the contents into the washer, I discovered not only white fuzzy stuff, but pink stuff too, and a mushroom that was 8 inches long. Raise your hand if you're grossed out, but a little fascinated too... Who would've thought a mushroom would grow on urine soaked diapers?? Normally I like to take a picture of these sorts of things, but it didn't happen this time (mostly because I wanted to get the crud washed right away. Do you know how small fungus spores are and how quickly they can spread?).

I have no idea how the fungus got in the pail. Any thoughts?

We don't have any two week trips planned for any time soon, but I may need to do something a little different next time I have to leave diapers in the pail like that!

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