Monday, August 29, 2011


Sorry to tell such a long, rambling story about our hot water and then leave you hanging on the ending.  The ending was actually very anti-climactic:  The plumber came that afternoon, and within a few minutes, he was back upstairs.  He had lit the pilot light and really had no explanation for why we couldn't get it to stay lit that morning, other than we had really strong winds overnight and into the early morning.  The best part?  He didn't charge us!!

Remember this post?  I went to Hobby Lobby that weekend to look for supplies.  However, by the time I found a frame I liked ($34 at 50% off), a "J" letter, two different kinds of spray paint, and some ribbon, the cost would have been just as much as buying something new, so I decided to pass.  I would really like to get some new fall decorations this year, so I'll save my money for that.  It's a cute project, though, and something to keep in mind should I ever find a cheap frame. 

And finally, a nail polish update.  (I'll bet Frank just stopped reading.) This is Essie's "Chinchilly," one of their new fall colors. 
Love it!  Dark nail polish sometimes looks a little goth on me because I'm so fair, but this is a nice steely-grey color that's just perfect for fall!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hot Water and Hot Tempers

***Warning- Rant Ahead***

Some of you might already know that last Thursday, the pilot light on our water heater went out.  We (and when I say "we," I really mean Frank, because I'm too nervous to mess with it) couldn't get it re-lit, so we called the plumber. 

The good news?  The plumber said it was likely the thermocouple, and that's a cheap fix. 

The bad news?  Our water heater is an American, and this particular part had a class-action suit against it, so we had to order the conversion kit directly from the company... and wait three more days.  (It's now Saturday.)

So we heat stock pots of water on the stove for baths, and I put off most of the laundry until Tuesday, when the part is scheduled to arrive.  It's annoying, but it's only a few days, right? 

On Tuesday, I was thrilled to call the plumber to tell him that the part had arrived.  The plumber installs the new part late Tuesday afternoon and- yay!- we have hot water!  If only this were the end of the story.

This morning, Frank took a suspiciously lukewarm shower, and when we went down to inspect the water heater, sure enough, the pilot light was out.  I called the plumber who said that American ships a defective part about 50% of the time!  He instructed me to call the company, explain the situation, ask for a new part, and also ask for a labor code that he can use so that we don't have to pay for the installation. 

When I call American, they said not only would they not send the new part for free, or pay for the installation, they would only re-ship the part if the plumber came back to troubleshoot.  Their reasoning was that they couldn't be sure it was really their part that was the problem.  This option left me paying for a service call, a part, and an installation fee, which I ever-so-nicely explained to them would NOT be happening. 

Fast forward three more phone calls to the plumber, one more call to the company, and a phone call to Frank,who also called the company, and that brings us up to now.  American still refuses to take responsibility for the part and now alleges it must have been faulty installation by the plumber.  The plumber is coming back out today to troubleshoot, and says that if it was their error, we will not be charged.  If they determine that it is the part, they will call the company and continue to push for them to pay the installation costs.  The owner of the plumbing company has also made a separate contact to American this morning about their customer service and shifting of blame, and I'm waiting to hear the outcome of that call. 

The best case scenario is that we are out another $100 and without hot water for a few more days.  Worse case scenario?  I won't even jinx us by typing it....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fun Deals

Fun deals to pass along today...

The first is 25 FREE business cards at Minted.  You will have to pay the $7.95 shipping, but the cards are a $30 value and the designs are so cute!  They also market them as "mommy cards," but you could use them however you like.  After years of having business cards, I couldn't resist this offer!  An example of the design I chose is below.  Can't wait for them to arrive!

The second fun tidbit I wanted to share is that Traditional Homes is sponsoring a Family Room makeover, designed by Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors.  I've followed her blog for a while now and her designs are so sophisticated yet comfortable. 

Even though I *cough* just did a little work to the family room, I would looove to win this makeover!!  However, being the nice person I am, I thought I would let you know how to enter, too.  You can go to, choose a login, and enter every day until October 9.  The only caveat is that if Erika comes to your house, you MUST invite me over to meet her!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to School

Hearing locusts in the middle of the afternoon?  Check.  Having an urge to buy new jeans and tennis shoes?  Check.  Inhaling that hot, ripe smell from the tasseling cornfields?  Check.  Then sneezing my head off?  Check.  Watching the school bus roll past my house at 6:15 am this morning on a practice run?  Check. 

It's back-to-school time! 

Even though I'm not sending anyone back to school this year, I still wanted something seasonal for the kitchen.  I thought this was pretty cute!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Randoms

Yesterday, Jacob did not take a nap at all.  He went down and babbled for half an hour, and then he started to get MAD.  I went in after 15 minutes of screaming.  Of course, he was tired, so he was super-crabby the rest of the afternoon.  The worst part of this situation was that my allergies were horrible yesterday, and I'd taken a Benadryl, timing it to kick in during his nap.  Benadryl knocks.  me.  out.  cold.  So Jacob was howling, and I was so tired I was dizzy.  We were not a good pair yesterday.

I'm kind of getting excited for fall, only because I want to wear my boots again.  After about a week of cool weather, I'll be ready for spring again, though.

My closet shelf broke last week and I have not yet made any effort to repair it.  By "broke," I mean that the "L" bracket and anchor pulled out of the wall, and the whole shelf slides forward.  I had a suitcase filled with some winter clothes on the shelf, but I don't think that should have caused it to pull away from the wall.  So every time I go into the closet, I look at it, like I expect that it has somehow magically been fixed, but I haven't called anyone to repair it.  It's such a dinky job, I think I'll have a hard time finding someone to come out and do it.

We did, however, successfully program the keyless entry to the garage door last night!  Woo-hoo! 

I also cut back the lilac bushes today for the second time as many months.

As of this week, Jacob and I are now the proud owners of library cards!  We had a playdate at the library, anyway, so it was great timing.  He checked out a Curious George book, and he LOVES it.  It's going to be kind of sad when he realizes that it has to go back to the library.

The time for the Sept class session to start is rapidly approaching, and I still don't have a class.  I was really hoping for more consistent work from this university, so I'm not very happy.  I've applied to another university, and I've made it to the credentialing process there. By having my name in at both places, I'm hoping for a more reliable income.  I should know in another month or so if there is a class for me to teach at the second university, so fingers crossed...

Frank and I are hoping to go canoeing tomorrow if it doesn't rain.  One of our first few dates was a day-long canoe trip, and both of us really enjoyed it... probably because we were kissy-kissy all the way down the river!  I knew it was a good sign when, at the end of the day, I was tired and dirty and I still liked him.  :) 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Jacob is constantly asking to drive our cars.  He makes driving motions with his hands and asks, "Car?  Car?"  So we go to the garage and let him sit behind the wheel of our parked cars.  Since he asks to do this 74,000 times a day, the request gets old, and we'll tell him no. 

When Frank's parents were here this past weekend, Jacob found himself in the sweet spot of not having his requests turned down.  Grandma and Grandpa may have spent more time outside than they actually did in the house!

He was in heaven, can you tell?!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Family Room Reveal

Are you ready for the big family room reveal?  I unfortunately forgot to take "before" pictures, but here is what the room looks like now:

I've been super-excited about the pillows during this process.  It was my intention to get some fancy-pants pillows, but then I realized, I have a toddler who chews on fabric like a little moth, so that probably wasn't a smart plan.  I did fall in love with this Imperial Trellis fabric design, and kept my eye out for pillows made from a knock-off of that fabric.  Believe it or not, I found this little guy at Target!

Next, I was obsessed with this zebra pillow from Ballard Designs, but I was not a fan of the $85 price tag (and I wanted 2 pillows!)  The pillows below came from.... are you ready?.... Wal-Mart (!!) and they were $11 each!   

Now, I understand there are probably some quality differences between an $85 pillow and an $11 pillow, but for my purposes, I'm cool with a cheap pillow if I like the design.

I won't say the room is "finished" because I like to change things around and there are still a few things I would like to add, but as far as the "big stuff" goes, it's finished for now. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Morning in the Life

I'm pretty sure Jacob and I had a different point of view of our morning yesterday.  Although I have to guess on his thoughts, the events were actually true.


8:00- Mom- Hunt for "S" key from computer keyboard that Jacob plucked off the day before.

8:00- Jacob- Hahaha!  She'll never find that key!  I hid it in the bottom desk drawer... oh... she found it.  Darn.

8:20- Mom- Begin cleaning upstairs bathrooms

8:20- Jacob- Why did mom bring me upstairs to watch her clean bathrooms?  This is stupid.  I hate the smell of that cleaning stuff.  Ooooh, look, the potty.. 

8:30- Mom- Yell at Jacob for trying to play in toilet.  Close door to master toilet area.

8:30- Jacob- Why can't I play in the potty?!  I guess I'll have to play in the closet.

8:40- Mom- Remove Jacob from closet, since he's dragging shoes all over the bedroom.  Pick up shoes. Close door to closet  Return to cleaning bathroom.

8:40- Jacob- Waaahh!  I was making the room look nice with all the shoes.  Now I'll just go downstairs.

9:00- Mom- Oh, crap.  Why is it so quiet?

9:00- Jacob- Oh, cool.  I can sit on the window seat in the kitchen and take this grill-thingy off the window. I'm sure they didn't want it on there, anyway. That was fun.  Now I'm going to bring my cars onto window seat. 

9:00- Mom- Figure out how to put the grill back on the window.  It fits, but it doesn't really stay.  What did he do to it?

9:15- Mom- What to give Jacob for a snack?  Applesauce and a cracker... sounds great.

9:15- Jacob- Applesauce and a cracker?  Where's my Cookie?!  I want a cookie!  Cookie!  Now! 

9:30- Mom- Did not give in to demands for a cookie, but did agree to some iced tea in a sippy cup.  Finish cleaning bathrooms.  Turn on Sesame Street.

9:30- Jacob-  I love Sesame Street!  This is the one where they show Oscar the Grouch's mom!  She looks/acts like my mom!

9:45- Mom- Bathrooms finished and laundry started.  Try not to take it personally that Jacob is saying "Mom" every time Oscar the Grouch's mom comes on the screen.

10:00- Mom- Storytime.  Read 4,126,343 books.

10:00- Jacob- Storytime.  I love storytime, but she never reads enough books!

10:15- Mom- Switch laundry from washing machine to dryer and start a new load.

10:15- Jacob- Take wet towels and run down the hall.  Refuse to return them to the dryer. Oh, look, while I'm at the top of the stairs, I might as well throw some cars down the stairs.  What a great game!

10:15- Mom- Gather wet towels; put in dryer.  Ignore the car-throwing. Go downstairs and start dishwasher.

10:15- Jacob- Hahaha!  I put a pen in that dishwasher!  I wonder what will happen!

10:30- Mom- Get out paper and crayons for drawing. 

10:30- Jacob- Drawing is fun, but eating the crayons is more fun.  Oh, nooo, she's writing the alphabet again.  Next thing you know, she'll be singing.

10:45- Mom- (sings alphabet song, gets about halfway before being stopped by Jacob vigorously shaking his head, "no")

11:00- Mom- Goes upstairs to switch laundry.

11:00- Jacob- Climbs onto barstools and then onto the island.  Awesome!  There is all kinds of stuff up here to play with. 

11:15- Mom- Freaks out seeing Jacob standing on the island.  He's never done that before!  Tries to interest Jacob in some cars while unloading the dishwasher. 

11:15- Jacob- Cars!  Cars are awesome!  But... mom is unloading the dishwasher, and maybe I should help her.  I know!  I'll put all my little cars in the dishwasher while it's open!  I can also take some of this clean silverware into the other room.  I'm such a good helper.

11:30- Mom- Why is there a pen in the dishwasher?  Huh, it still works.  Fishes little cars out of the dishwasher. Retrieves spoons from family room.

11:30- Mom- It's lunch time.  What can I fix that he will eat...Where did he go, anyway?

11:30- Jacob- Why can't I just have cookies for lunch?  I'm going to hide behind the couch and see if mom can find me...

The rest of our day was pretty much like the morning.  Can you see why I'm ready for bed by 9pm?!