27 June 2011

Where Do I Begin?

I guess I'll start my story on Thursday. No, no, I'll just jump in on Saturday and do a little flashback action on you later.

So, Saturday night I put the boys in bed around 8:00. I went upstairs and started working on Deacon's birthday cupcakes. I turned the oven on, started mixing up the batter (in the blue pitcher since my mixing bowls were already packed), and getting the paper cups all ready and what's it. A few minutes into mixing the batter, I started to smell something funny. It took a few minutes for me to realize it was something burning. It had almost a flowery-ness to it so I was very confused as to what could have spilled into the oven that would be making that smell as it burned. I opened the oven door to check it out and was shocked to see FLAMES you guys, BIG BURNING HOT FLAMES dancing around the inside of my oven!

I slammed the door shut and stood there frozen for a few seconds as many thoughts raced through my head. Is this going to cause the whole house to burn down? Should I evacuate the children right now? How long will it take for the smoke alar- never mind. What was in there? What do I do first? AHHHH!!

Once I finished this inner monologue I leaped into action. I found my baking soda, tore the top off of the box, opened the oven and dumped the entire box of baking soda on the flames. Fortunately, it worked. Unfortunately I got freaked out (again) by the size of the flames leaping out of my oven and so I dumped too quickly and missed a spot with started burning again. So, I shut the door again and watched to see what it was going to do. Eventually it burned itself out so I started opening all of the doors and windows. I stood on a chair by the fire alarm, and tried to fan the smoke away from it with Deacon's super hero cape (it was the first thing I grabbed).

By the way, our alarm goes DING DING DING DING and then a woman's voice calmly says "Fire." DING DING DING DING Fire. DING DING DING DING Fire. Interesting, no?

Anyhoo...so, once the fire was out, and the smoke had mostly cleared out, and the alarm was done alarming everyone, I looked around my house and saw that it was COVERED in soot and ash. And not just the kitchen. Oh no friends, the soot got EVERYWHERE. It was all over the dining room table and benches, it was all over the couch, it was on the desks, even in the fridge (the call is coming from INSIDE the house!).

Not sure what to do next, I realized my biggest concern (once I realized our lives were no longer in jeopardy) was Deacon's birthday cupcakes. Obviously my oven was out of commission now, so I called Amity to see if she would pick up the batter and the cupcake papers (I had the foresight to cover the cupcake papers with a towel once the fire started - go figure) and baked the cupcakes for me. When I told her what happened she so graciously volunteered to come over and help me clean up. I accepted her offer, and I am SO happy I did.

While I waited for Amity to get here, I called Sara to tell her the story because I figured she'd still be up as she's in California, and she's a supermom, so I thought she might have a useful tip or two of what to do next. As I was talking to her, I looked inside the oven again to see what it was that had caused these MASSIVE FLAMES to shoot out of my oven.

I'm so embarrassed. You see, on Thursday I emptied out the big freezer we have in our basement so I could unplug it to defrost it before the movers came. In order to make sure I had enough room in the freezer upstairs, I took out the bucket that's supposed to catch the ice the ice maker makes. Another aside: I say "supposed" because the ice maker doesn't actually make ice. It makes noise like it's making ice and goes through the process, but it doesn't make ice so the ice bucket doesn't really catch ice. So I took this bucket out so I could put stuff under the ice maker. Not having any place to put the bucket right away, I put it in the oven figuring I'd move it later once I was finished with my current task. /sigh /facepalm /shakes head Yeah.

So, I never took the bucket out, I turned the oven on, and the thing caught on FIRE. In an attempt to see what it was I pulled the rack in was on out about an inch. Sara suggested I let the plastic cool all the way and see if would just separate itself from the metal and just pop off. She's the science teacher, so it sounded good to me. Amity then showed up (it was about 8:30 by now) and she and I got to work dusting and wiping and cleaning up the joint. As we cleaned I realized that, while I had the wherewithal to cover the cupcake cups, I did NOT think to cover the actual batter, and so the batter was ruined as it got a good bit of ash in it.

It took us a good 2 hours to clean up the whole house. At one point, as Amity was cleaning the fridge (both inside and out), the ice maker made it's ice making noise. I explained to her then how annoying it was that it does that and how I've been trying to figure out how to make it stop as I'll soon be sleeping in the living room and I don't want to hear that going off every 20 minutes all night long. With the most serious voice and face ever, Amity said, "You could just set it on fire." Ka-blam!ty!

After we had most of the house cleaned, we decided to try getting the cooking rack out of the oven. You see, when I started to pull it out while it was hot, then decided to let it cool per Sara's suggestion, I didn't think to put it all the way back in and let it cool in a place that prevented me from being able to close the oven door all the way. Sigh. And just in case you're wondering, the plastic did separate itself from the metal in some places. But in other places, it melted around the rack and into itself, making a super plastic when it cooled.

We tried breaking it, we tried pulling it, I unscrewed the heating element from the back of the oven wall. I should say, it's an electric oven and the main problem was that in one spot the plastic had melted in a ring around the heating element and I couldn't pry it free. So I thought if I could get the whole thing out? But nothing was working. At a loss Amity suggested turning the oven back on to see if the plastic would heat up and melt again. Not really wanting to take the chance of setting my entire kitchen on fire again, but liking where her head was at, I decided to get a lighter out and just set the one portion on fire (again).

A few minutes later and presto! the rack was out. And I was filthy.

Once we had that finished and everything cleaned up, Amity left to run to Walmart for some thing (cake batter being one of them now). I then spent even more of my evening sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and showering. By the time it was all said and done 3 1/2 hours were spent on the oven fire. At 11:30 I was SO done and ready for bed, but I still had to get things ready for Deacon's birthday, so it was midnight before I was finally able to literally fall into bed. It was quite the night.

Oh, and if you're wondering what Josh's response was to all of this when I told him about it on Sunday? He said, "Well. I'm really sorry this happened to you. But at the same time, I'm really sorry I missed it because I bet that was something to see." And oh, how we all did laugh.

Four Never Looked Like So Much Fun

I know I don't usually post on Sundays, but today was Deacon's birthday, and I wanted to make sure I got it up before our movers come tomorrow. Plus, I have a second post I want to write about an event that occured last night, again, before the movers come tomorrow, just in case the computer is one of the first things they decide to pack up. You never know. But first, today!

Today, my sweet, silly, shy guy Deacon turned 4. Judging by the smile that was plastered to his face for most of the day, I'd say he had a good one. I mean, it started with presents, so really, how could it be bad?

After he opened all of his gifts, they boys played with all of the gifts. Then there was breakfast and more playing. The next "big" surprise for Deacon was when we were leaving for church. Last night I had taken out his car seat and replaced it with a booster seat (mostly because I need the car seat to be packed by the movers). He. was. thrilled. But not only did I put his big boy booster seat in there, but I also found his sunglasses (as well as Zeke's sunglasses) last night while I was cleaning the car out a little bit. So, as soon as I got into the garage with Finn, both boys were chattering at me at about 100 mph. So exhausting, but so sweet all the same.

So, we went to church, had lunch, took naps, yadda yadda, all like normal. After naps, we had cupcakes! A friend and her son stopped by (mostly to return a movie she borrowed, but also to have cupcakes), as well as Amity and her oldest 2 boys, and the baby (of course). Unfortunately, Amity was late so my friend and her son didn't get to sing with us, but they did take a cupcake home with them. Also, since Amity's 2 boys were here, we went ahead and sang without her. But I think having Stephan and Wyatt here, meant a lot to Deacon. Zeke certainly thought it was cool.

After cupcakes the Amity and boys left, we had dinner, played a little, and watched "Peapunzel" (as Deacon calls it). Well, the boys watched the movie, I started moving all of the things I DON'T want the movers to move into the pantry. After the movie, the boys helped me pack a little and then it was off to bed, tired, but very, very happy.

Happy birthday Sweet Deacon. I really can't wait to see what 4 brings. It's going to be a big year for you. But I know you'll handle it with aplomb. I love you little man.

23 June 2011

It's the Big Yellow Box, That Everyone Knows

I caught Zeke doing this, way back in December of 2006:

I caught Deacon doing this, back in April of 2008:

I caught Finn doing this, last month (May of 2011):

21 June 2011

Look At Him Go!

First, let me apologize for it being such a slow month here on ye olde blogge. With my mom visiting, and getting ready for the movers to come (now that we have dates), and currently with me being sick (it's just a head cold, nothing too serious but enough to make me feel crummy) it's just been a crazy month. Also, we haven't really been doing much here. We go to parks and play outside when the weather's nice:

and we play inside when the weather's not nice:

All of that is just to say that besides being busy doing nothing, there really hasn't been much to blog about. I have been boxing up some of our stuff that has boxes (certain plates, coffee pot, etc) and moving all of the stuff that the movers are taking out of the pantry so I can now put the things I don't want the movers to take in there, with a big sign that'll read MOVERS STAY OUT! or something. I'm still working on the actual wording. I tell you what though, I think I'll be pretty happy when the movers have come and gone and there is a lot less stuff for Finn to mess with. It's exhausting trying to keep him out of things - especially since that whole "just distract them with something else" thing doesn't work on him.

And speaking of Finn, he has been doing something exciting that I've finally gotten around to taking a video of to share with you here:

That's right, Finn is walking! He's getting fast too. He started taking steps on his own while my mom was here at the beginning of the month, and slowly but surely he is getting the hang of it. Part of me wished he had waited a little longer because the thought of having to chase 3 walkers around airports makes me tired, but at the same time, I'm happy he's doing it now because he can walk at the airports instead of crawl all over those gross floors. Either way, it's going to be an interesting time.

And before I go, can someone else who uses blogger help me with something? I went to change the boys pictures on my sidebar the other day and they keep posting HUGE and I have NO idea how to resize them (either in blogger or on my computer in general) so that they are their normal size again. I feel like blogger changed some things lately and I don't like it. And to those of you who used to use blogger but switched, where did you go?

15 June 2011

We Have Dates

Since I know most of you have been wondering what's going on here and when are we leaving, and all that jazz, I thought I'd let you all know what we know, now that we FINALLY know it. You see, for the longest time we were waiting for the movers to schedule our move. Once the movers scheduled the move, Josh could get tickets for the boys and me to fly to NJ. Once Josh got our tickets, I could then get his tickets from NJ to Alaska, so he could fly back with us.

Seems simple enough, right? Well, from here, the army decided that the only way to get on the mover's list of people who want moving is to use a website they set up. Since it's a military website it doesn't work real well, and it took us 3 tries (1 by me, 2 by Josh) to get us into the system. A week went by and neither one of us heard from them, so Josh called the office up here, only to find out that there are two forms he needs to sign and either fax and/or scan and email back before they'll look at the dates we requested - and NO WHERE on the site did it say this NEEDED to be done. Sigh. But he got it all taken care of and the movers will be here to collect our stuff on the 27th and 28th of this month. (That means blog posts will be shorter and done from my phone since they'll be taking my computer then, just so you're all aware of what's to come here.)

Once those dates were set in stone, oh, quick rabbit trail: they originally wanted to pack us on the 23rd and 24th (Thursday and Friday) then leave my house in boxes for the weekend, and come back on that Monday and Tuesday to load everything on the trucks. Yeah. Thankfully, the guy from the moving company came and did a walk-through and when I asked him if he would be willing to leave the beds together over the weekend and leave out a box for the linens he was shocked that they were planning the move to take 4 days and assured me it could be done in 2, so now they're just coming that Monday and Tuesday. Whew!

Now, once those dates were set in stone, Josh called SATO and got tickets for the boys and me to fly back to New Jersey. We leave the 15th of July and land in Newark on the 16th. Please don't read this as an invitation to start calling and trying to show up on the 16th. (Not that any of you would, of course. Lols.) We'll need at least a day to recover from travelling all night and to get things figured out there. But it is very exciting to finally know when we'll be back on the east coast.

Once our tickets were booked and confirmed and set in stone, I called the airline we're flying on and got Josh's tickets. Can I just say, that God is good? Not only did I manage to get Josh on the same exact flights as us, but I was able to get him seats right next to us! Like, we had seats A, B, C, and D (let's say) on one flight, and Josh is now in seat E. I was so excited that it worked out because I was seriously worried that he'd be in row 6 and we'd be in row 37 and I'd lose my mind. I also, got the cat his "ticket" for the cargo section of the flights so Peavey is all set to make the long flight back to NJ as well.

And since the army is sending Josh to NJ from Alabama (and rightly so, I guess, since he's technically not stationed here anymore) I got Josh a round trip ticket from Newark to Anchorage, and so he'll be back here on the 7th of July. Whoo-hoo! And yes, for those of you doing the math, that means we'll be here for 3 weeks with no stuff - but I have a plan, so it's all good. Two of those weeks, we'll still have no Josh, but he'll be here for the last week to help with shipping my car and doing a final house cleaning and clearing and all that jazz (and restoring my sanity a little after spending 2 weeks in a mostly empty house with 3 balls of non-stop energy).

And now that a post that I had planned on only being a few short sentences of dates has turned into a long-winded story about moving and tickets and nonsense, I'm going to get going. I wonder though, I wonder if they'll keep the stuff I have in diaper boxes in the diaper boxes, just tape them closed, put a number sticker on them and throw them into the crate?

13 June 2011

I'm Ba-ack!

Hey everyone! SO sorry for my absence. As I mentioned in my last post, my mom was here visiting (for a week and a half) and so I decided not to blog while she was here. I used her time here as a little bit of a rest time for me. But she left last Wednesday, and now I'm here to write about her visit, because really, we did have a lovely time.

The day after my mom got here we it was Memorial Day so we just hung out and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. The following day, Tuesday, we went to the zoo (which I've already blogged about HERE). Then it started raining. And raining, and raining. It rained for pretty much the rest of her visit. So, we pretty much hung out the rest of the time.

Wednesday we still had lunch at McDs. Friday we went to storytime at the library. Saturday my friend Marci turned 50, so we went to her birthday bash for a bit. Sunday was church. The rest of the time was spent hanging around the house. I sure do know how to show guests a good time. The second Monday she was here it wasn't raining so we went to the playground at the school by us. But the Wednesday she left it was nice again so we went to the park for lunch.

Even though we really didn't do much while Grammy was here, we did have a really nice time. It was nice for me to have someone else around to have adult conversation with, and to have some help with the kids. Not to mention, someone else to read them books over and over and over again. It was nice having someone else to chase the boys around the playground so I could sit and chat with my friends a little. Someone else to help with the dishes and the picking up. Someone to watch "Better Off Ted" with (which, is hilarious, by the way). Too bad Grammy had to leave before we finished it - I should have started watching it earlier in her visit. We are so happy she came to visit, and we can't wait until we're in NJ and closer to family for awhile.