Wednesday, June 30, 2010

is that sewage on my head?

It's always something.

Monday night, Pat and I were cleaning up from dinner (isn't he wonderful?) and yelled out, "there's water dripping down the wall!"

I ran up stairs knowing full well that the water was coming from the girls' bathroom that is directly above the kitchen. There was water every where. It hadn't gotten to the point where it was spilling out of the doorway into the hall, but the entire area around the toilet and tub was about 1/2 to 3/4 inches deep in water. It didn't appear as though the toilet was overflowing from the bowl, but it was running and the tank was empty. I pulled up the float to stop the flow of water, while I looked below for the shut off valve.

Once the water was turned off, I called for the girls to get me towels & lots of them. After cleaning that mess up, I went back down to the kitchen to see how bad the damage was. As soon as I entered the room I saw the tell-tale wet spot on the ceiling. It wasn't huge, but it certainly was there. Pat was emptying out the cabinets above the stove as it seemed water was seeping in. Water was dripping out of the corners of the soffits above the cabinets as well. While cleaning some of this up, I realized the carpet in the threshold between the kitchen and the dining room was wet. I grabbed a towel to soak it up and headed downstairs to see how bad it may have gotten.

As soon as I turned the corner at the bottom of the stairs, I was greeted by a large puddle of water on the floor. I yelled up to Pat that we had a situation. I had Sarah bring me a few buckets and I began moving things out of the way. The water was coming down in a steady drip, but not a major stream. It appeared that the water was running along the sewage pipe from upstairs. As I'm placing buckets strategically on the floor, I get hit with numerous large drips. Pat asks me, "is that sewage, or clean water?"

We get a few more towels and mop up the mess. Meanwhile, the girls were getting madder and madder. Right before the water started flowing from the ceiling, the girls were getting ready to head to the pool for the swim team ice cream social and raft night. They were beginning to realize that they were not going to be able to go. I am sure they will remember this for the rest of their lives as the night the toilet ruined their whole existence!

The water was all cleaned up and the kids finally put to bed while Pat and I pondered what on earth we were supposed to do next. We speculated on the cause of the problem (busted wax seal under toilet, cracked pipe, broken toilet, clogged toilet) and then do we try and repair it ourselves, do we make a homeowners claim, or not? So much to decide. Pat goes to get himself a bowl of ice cream to help him think and realized the water spot on the ceiling has grown and brought a couple of friends to the party. The initial spot has now started to bubble. He grabed a knife and poked a hole and then the small drip we had, became a steady stream of water for about 5 minutes (I might be exaggerating-and I think I tweeted that it was 10 minutes- but it sure felt like it).

Yesterday morning, we contacted the insurance company. They suggested we call a restoration service to have the water damage cleaned up and informed Pat that the policy doesn't cover the actual plumbing repair. While I went to work, Pat got busy making phone calls. I came home to 7 industrial fans and 3 dehumidifiers set up in the house. Insulation along the pipes had gotten soaked, the wet carpet was worse than we thought and actually might need to be removed. The area rugs we had in the basement have been taken away to be cleaned. The plumber was on his way and the insurance adjuster is set to come out on Friday.

We were just debating getting estimates for finishing the basement. Thankfully, it is not finished, the damage would have been SO much worse.

I took these with my BlackBerry, so they aren't the best quality. Sorry!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

heart attack

Last week and part of this week, the big girls are attending Camp Daddy. I have to work and didn't want the girls to miss out on morning swim practices. I didn't want a repeat of last year's pre-team experience for Megan. Pat was off on Mon & Tuesday and then was scheduled to work evenings the rest of the week. IT was perfect. I didn't have to pay for camp, the kids didn't miss out on swim practice & they got quality time with Daddy! Win-Win-draw!

The girls had dentist appointments on Thursday. Pat was not thrilled to have to take them, but knew there was really no option. I always hate taking the girls because at some point I'm going to get a lecture about how they need to brush better, no fruit snacks, etc. The last few times we've gone, Megan has ended up with a few cavities. I, think I have come to dread her appointments more than she does. I can't think of anything I would rather do less than go with her to get a cavity filled.

After their appointment, Sarah called me at work to let me know that she had 5 cavities and Megan had 3. My mouth dropped and I couldn't even muster a sound. I knew that their brushing wasn't the greatest, but I had not anticipated this. Part of me was in disbelief and I think I finally muttered a "you're kidding, right?" I still can't remember what Sarah's response was, I just sat there at my desk trying to get my mind to grasp hold of what she had just told me. Finally, I heard Pat's voice on the other end of the line. He chuckled, "I told Sarah there was no way you'd fall for that."

Evidently, Sarah is following in her father's footsteps. He is always trying to shock me and get me to believe his outrageous stories. Both girls had a perfect visit to the dentist with NO cavities and little chastising by the dentist. Go figure!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I hate being left out of the loop.

Can't go into any more details than that. Just suffice it to say, it bothers me greatly.

I also hate being the one who is always thinking of others. For once, why can't I just do things for me and my family.

I guess it just goes to who I am, the very fiber of my being.

I am a pleaser. I don't like controversy and confrontation. I will go out of my way to avoid conflict. I want everyone to like me, and if they don't, I need to find out why.

I should feel happy that I've been left out of the loop on this occassion, as it does make things easier. But Damn! Did you forget about me, did you think I wouldn't care, did you think it was right?

I need to let it go.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Yesterday morning, I woke a little later than my usual time and headed out to drive myself to the surgical center by 6:45. My surgery to remove my gall bladder, a cholecystectomy, was scheduled for 7:45 and I needed to be there an hour earlier. In order to get the girls off to school and daycare, we decided that I would drive myself and then Pat would come later so that he could drive me home. We would leave a car there and pick it up later.

I was taken back to get ready for surgery and given gown and fashionable no-slip socks to wear. They started my IV and I waited for the Dr to finish his first operation of the day (I can't imagine how early I would have had to be there for that one). I met with the doctor and physician's assistant as well as the anesthesiologist and answered the same questions over and over (any allergies, what am I having done, any previous surgeries, etc). When that was done they walked me back to the operating room, strapped my arms down and the last thing I remember is taking a few deep breaths of the anesthesia.

The next think I know I am waking up in recovery a little freaked out. The few times I been under general anesthesia, I wake up either too giddy, or upset. This was an upset one and it really freaked me out. They moved me to a chair to sit and I was beyond thirsty. The rest of the time I was there is pretty much a blur. Pat joined me, but I really don't remember much of what was said to me during that time. I changed into my clothes and was wheeled out to the car to go home. I really feel as though they rushed me out and I could have used a little more time to sit and get my bearings.

I came home and slept and vegged out much of the rest of the day. The kids were anxious to see me when they came home from school. All three rushed up the stairs to check on me and see my wounds. Poor Emma wanted only to give me big hugs and lay on top of me. I felt so bad having to push her away. She is too young to understand. Bedtime for her was the worst, I think. She was ok with Pat reading her stories, but once she was in her crib, she kept calling out for me. I went in once and hugged her from outside the crib, but could not pick her up. Pat finally got her down, but she was not happy. Tonight might be even worse.

Today has been somewhat better, but the meds don't seem to be doing much to relieve the pain. I just get foggy and light headed. The doctor has called in a new prescription for me and hopefully, that will be better.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

pondering my navel

Tomorrow morning I will undergo a laparoscopic procedure to remove my gall bladder-through my belly button. I am not looking forward to this procedure, but will be happy to not have to deal with the pain waking me up in the middle of the night.

A few months ago (Palm Sunday, to be exact) I had horrendous stomach pain that hit me on the drive home from a wonderful evening at my parents house. I was up most of the night with the most uncomfortable stomach pain I had ever had before. I couldn't get comfortable, I felt nauseous, but not like I would throw up. I don't often have stomach issues, so it was concerning. At some point in the night, the pain subsided and I fell asleep. The next day there was no pain and things were fine.

Easter Sunday, a week later, at my in laws in Pittsburgh, I felt the same pain, but it was so much worse. I didn't sleep much and it was awful. In the morning I was describing the pain to my Father-in-law and he thought it sounded like my gall bladder. I started Googling and began reading and it seemed to me that he was right.

From that point, I started watching the fat content in the food I was eating and tried to do a little experimentation with my diet. For a while I was OK, but then out of the blue I would have an attach even when I consumed very little fat. I finally got in to the Dr's office and she ordered an ultrasound as well as blood work to determine what in fact was going on.

The only ultrasound's I have ever had, prior to this, was for my babies. Let me tell you, this was no where near as fun! Instead of looking at tiny toes and fluttering heartbeats, I was trying to see if there were stones in my gall bladder. The technician also checked out my pancreas, kidneys, and liver. I did a lot of rolling onto my side and taking deep breaths and holding it while she shoved the device into my ribs. So.Not.Fun! Plus I didn't get any cute little pictures to take home with me.

The result was a chronically inflamed gall bladder with lots of stones that needs to come out. The surgeon agreed with my Dr. and surgery was scheduled.

So, here I sit, waiting to go in at 6:45 tomorrow morning for surgery. Since my diagnosis, I've had a few more attacks, including one on mother's day, and a horrendous one a few weeks ago that I likened to labor pains, just 6 inches higher up in my abdomen. I really don't want surgery, but I also don't want to have this pain anymore.

I'm not too nervous, but I wonder if I should be. It is general anesthesia, and there is always a risk. I made sure I tucked my babies in with lots of hugs and kisses tonight, but I'm sure all will go well.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


When we bought this house 4 years ago, we were a little disappointed to be leaving our brand new fridge behind for all old appliances. It didn't take long for the washer and dryer to die. We replaced them with the larger, more efficient front loaders.

About a year later, we noticed the dishes were coming out of the dishwasher almost as dirty as they went in. We hit the sales at Sears and purchased a stainless steel dishwasher with hidden controls. I loved the look and figured that we would slowly replace all the appliances to match.

In December 2008, I came home to find water on the floor in the kitchen. The 14+ year old fridge was dying. Since we were about to leave for the Christmas holidays, I was rushed to find a replacement ASAP. The last thing I wanted was to come home from a trip to find a fridge of spoiled food and a warped wood floor in the kitchen. So, I found a stainless model that matched pretty well with the dishwasher.

This spring, a few of the burners on the stove finally died and the oven didn't seem to be regulating the temperature well. After a few dozen burnt cookies, we realized we had to bite the bullet again and purchase yet another appliance. Once again, we headed to Sears and I picked out an awesome stove with 5 burners and a warming drawer and convection oven. I had been monitoring prices and managed to get it at the cheapest I've seen before, or since. In order to complete the set, we also purchased the matching micro hood.

I was thrilled to finally have matching appliances for the first time EVER. No more white fridge, black dishwasher and cream stove!

We had the stove installed-you know what with the pesky gas line and everything. But we figured we could handle a microwave! after discovering that the range hood was hardwired into the electrical system and the micro hood required an outlet, we put it on hold. One of Pat's co-workers was solicited to help install the thing, but one thing after another kept getting in the way. I was about to give up hope. The gigantic box sat on the floor of the dining room for 3 months.

Today, after a shitty day dealing with emotional issues, abuse, and thoughts of suicide (not mine, but a student's) I came home to this-

It is so beautiful.

And my husband is so wonderful for getting it done, finally!