Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Step by Step

No, this isn't a clip of the popular New Kids on the Block hit, although I was tempted to include that.  We were finally able to get a little video of her walking tonight.  We hid the camera, thus the bad angle and low sound.  Although the sound is mostly just us encouraging her.

Monday, August 30, 2010

All the kings horses and all the kings men....

The great mystery water saga has finally come to an end. The house is starting to look normal again. At least as normal as it can look with one really messy person (me) and a toddler who thinks the more spread out her toys are, the better.

On Saturday, we went into town and bought the replacement carpet pad. After Caroline went to sleep that evening, T put the carpet back in place. It's not a professional job, but it works for now. We will eventually put down wood floors... it's just not in the budget right now. I would imagine that will occur after we get our next tax refund.

As we put each piece back into the office, it got a thorough cleaning, which was sorely needed. I haven't gone through all the junk that was piled up in there. That will take time. But the large furniture pieces are back in place, including the computer.

We did some rearranging and it makes the floor space seem a lot larger. So as long as we keep from putting stuff on the floor to stash it out of the way, it will stay nice.

I guess it's a happy ending for something that started out as so disastrous last week. We didn't lose anything, which was unbelievable considering the amount of water in there. But it was a wake up call for us.

The plan is to install water sensors on all our major appliances that will alert us to a leak. Considering this is our second leaky pipe in this house, it seems like a small investment to save a lot of headaches. We will also be turning off the water when we leave the house for a trip longer than overnight.

So let's just hope this is the end of our house-induced cleaning.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Um, whose idea was this?

What was I thinking? Only 15 things for the next month? I must have been under the influence of something. I certainly wasn't in my right mind.

So I've got my picks made. I'll have nice pictures before we start this wacky idea on Wednesday.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


No, I'm not talking about myself.  I'm happy not to spill something on my shirt.  I'm talking about my very particular little girl.  She has always known exactly what she likes.

Her latest love affair?  Well, it's shoes.  And T weeps at the thought of this problem as she gets older.  I know it sounds completely crazy, but the kid loves her sandals.  I often referred to her as Shoeless Joe.  It doesn't help that her feet are so stinking small.  We've inherited tons of shoes, but most of them don't fit yet.
So with some of her birthday money, I bought her this pair of shoes at Target in June.  They were on sale, so I didn't feel too bad if she decided to only wear them once.  We wore them a couple of times, but they always came flying off in a fit.

Then she moved to the Bumble Bee room.  They get to spend time outside... and she loves to be outside like her Daddy.  But like her Momma, she's not intersted in actually touching the nature.  So she keeps her shoes on all day.  And I can't believe these shoes have held up to a month of the torture that is Bumble Bee room.  That's part of the reason I'm showing you a stock picture of the shoes... Caroline's are now very dirty.

So while most kids have thick, chunky, easy to walk in shoes, my daughter has thong sandals with decroative butterflies.  The real kicker?  She cries when I take them off!!  Whenever she sees them, she tries to put them on her feet.   She just loves her shoes!

I couldn't wear sandals with something between my toes until last year.... apparently Caroline is tougher than her Momma!

Friday, August 27, 2010

15:30 - Can you do it?

When we were looking at houses in Oklahoma, the one we wound up purchasing (I say that like we wrote one big check... the one we wound up committing the next 30 years of our paychecks to) stood head and shoulders above our 2nd choice.  Why?  The kitchen and the master bedroom closet.

If you know me, you know I've got a lot of stuff.  Over the years, I've gone through periods of getting rid of stuff.  But it always tends to reaccumulate.  This is particularly true of clothes.  The issue is that I have such a wide range of sizes hanging in my closet that I could be a clothing store.

Last summer, Leslie and I went through and weeded out all the stuff that if I ever could fit in again, would be completely out of date.  That did get through a lot of stuff.  But knowing that I do tend to lean toward classic pieces, it still left a lot of stuff hanging in my closet.

The truth is that I wear the same stuff over and over again.  Don't we all?  So in an attempt to be more pulled together and not getting dressed in the dark just grabbing whatever's on top of the pile, I'm participating in the 15:30 challenge. 

The background and details are chronicled here and here.  This is not my idea and I do not take credit for it.  But it did get me thinking.  So here are the rules and the adjustments for erratic September weather (as is apt to occur in Oklahoma) as taken from the first link.

1. Select 15 items from your closet: These can include shirts, trousers, jeans, cardigans, dresses, etc — in short, clothing. Make your final selections by August 30th. Each Wednesday, check the forecast for the next 7 days and adjust as needed, but ONLY in response to the weather. In other words, if the temperature drops from today’s near-100 high to something more appropriate for September (say, highs in the 70s) you can trade a tank top for a long sleeved tee. But you cannot trade one tank top for another just because you’re bored. That’s a no.

2. Use unlimited accessories: Remix your outfits relying on all of your jewelry, shoes, scarves, outerwear (blazers/suit jackets do not equal outerwear!), and belts.

3. Captain Obvious: your pajamas and lounge-at-home clothing do not count, undergarments do not count, gym clothes do not count. I’m going to add my weekend pre-shower wardrobe of shorts and tees that are fit only for housework to this category; I’m also lumping my running clothes in here, for — as Felicia says — obvious reasons.  (Nicole edit: I'm not including my chosen sporting team gear for football, since that's what is typically worn around the house on Saturdays in Smithville.)

4. Make the COMMIT LIST: Document your list on your blog, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, loose-leaf paper, etc. Feel free to snap photographs of the items, list them — get creative! This is your commit list, and you can’t stray from it. Stain on shirt? DEAL WITH IT. Cat ripped your pants? Get a SEWING KIT. If you amend based on the weather, update your list. Keep the total to 15 pieces, and stick with those pieces for at least a week; only change them out if the temperature soars or drops dramatically. As it hopefully will in September.

5. Keep a diary: Document your outfits each day, whether it be via an “outfit of the day” photo or a log of what you’ve worn and how you’ve mixed it up.

6. Ask for help!: Call your friends, pen a blog. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for help on creative ideas on keeping your wardrobe fresh!

I would add one last thing: don’t be afraid to make your own rules. If you only want to do this for work, or only for the weekend, then do it; the idea is to get you to think smarter about what’s in your closet and how you can wear it, and to give you a break from the slog of getting dressed.
So that's the deal.  Since I practically wear the same thing every day, I'm not sure this will be such a stretch for me.  But it may encourage me to put together things that I didn't think about.  So I'll pick my 15 things this weekend and have pictures on Monday. 

Comment if you'd like to join me in this challenge (or don't... although I'd prefer a comment).  It should be fun!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It ends

Ok, so it's not completely over... but the water has stopped flowing in Smithville!  Plumber came yesterday.  T pointed to the spot in the wall.  Thirty minutes and $79.25 later the leak was fixed.

Now we just have to put the house back together.... for now, we are just replacing carpet pad.  We were able to dry out the carpet quickly enough that it's not moldy.  And while it is stained, the filing cabinets are going right back in the same place, so it will be covered for now.

Eventually, we will replace the carpet.  I'm thinking we'll do wood floors.  But that's a project for another weekend.

So we'll add the cost of the carpet pad into our total and I would imagine we are getting out of the little fiasco for just a couple hundred bucks... far less that I was envisioning when I was thinking we might have to cancel the Disney trip!

Smith luck makes me ask, "What's next?"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's getting better

Last night, I got home and vacuumed up the mini-lake in the office. The mystery source of water was still flowing. It wasn't any worse and the rate of water flow didn't seem to be increasing. That was a positive thing, right? I was trying to be positive.

T got home from his quick out of town trip about the same time I got home with the Doodle. After we changed clothes and got her dinner ready, he started doing some more investigating. This time he went a little more in depth than on Sunday.

Upon further investigation in the hot water heater closet, he heard a dripping sound. So he opened up some drywall and pulled out the insulation and found the puddle of water that was flowing into the office (right on the other side of the wall).

He mopped up what he could and wanted to see if he could figure out a better idea of where the drip was coming from. After dinner, he went back and pulled out more insulation. Apparently once, he pulled the insulation away from the actual leak, he could hear the spraying water. I could hear it when I walked into the garage.

The insulation matted up against the pipe had kept it from spraying everywhere and was causing the drip. So I emptied the coat closet that shared the back wall of the hot water heater closet. Upon doing so, I could see signs that the leak was right there. The wall wasn't wet, but the baseboard was pulled away a little and the wall was hot.

Looking more closely, you can tell that they've had to go through it before to work on the hot water heater. Why didn't they just put an access panel there instead of redoing the drywall? That doesn't make any sense to me. Once we're done, it WILL be an access panel.

Anyway, we turned the water off last night once we were ready for bed. This morning we woke up to a dry office! Can I get an AMEN? Woot!

The plumber is coming at 2 today. He'll fix the pipe... and we'll go back to living normal lives instead of vacuuming up a lake of water from the office every 2 hours. And no, we won't leave the drywall open for 2 years like the last time we had a leaky pipe. This weekend is now declared "home improvement weekend". Yippee for us.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It is worse

Yeah... it's a leak.  This isn't Smith Luck... it's just BAD LUCK!  Given all my plumbing knowledge, I declare this a leak.  If you can't tell by the picture, that is standing water, not just a damp foundation.  Making calls to the plumber today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It could have been worse

I know I've talked about Smith Luck. It's not something I believed in until I became a Smith... but it DOES exist. It could be considered just bad luck, but it's more than that. It's weird luck. If it's a 1 in a million chance, it will happen.

Our office is our dumping ground for junk. The junk room used to be the guest room, but once the baby arrived, people wanted to visit... so we had to clean that out. And yes, it's cleaned out for those of you who've visited and thought it was a little junky.... it IS clean (considering its past). Anyway.... so the office is where we quickly stash stuff out of the living room and close the door.

It's right off the living room and to your immediate right when you come in the front door. It's where we house all of our computer equipment, plus other office things like filing cabinets and bookshelves, etc. So imagine our horror when T walked in there last night to get his computer and stepped into a puddle of water.

He immediately thought AC or hot water heater.... so he took off to check those, while I started pulling stuff out of the way and sopping it the top layers of water. It was strange because none of the walls were wet or the baseboards. Nothing was looking warped, etc.

We checked all our mechanical systems and found nothing. We put our ear to the floor and heard no running water. We walked out the front door to see if we could see if we could see anything from the outside. And then it hit me... we've been watering the flowers right by the front door. Overwatering to be exact... but watering none the less.

So our best guess is that in the process of our over-watering last week, we managed to soak the foundation too, which was getting directly hit with the sprinkler. And it just managed to seep up through the foundation into our office.

It has obviously been going on a while because the office smells... and the filing cabinets rusted onto the carpet. We hadn't watered since Thursday or Friday and it wasn't wet then when we stashed sutff into the office to "clean" the living room before our friends arrived.

We dug out our wet/dry vac from the garage. It was a wedding gift still in the box. Those are one of those things that you don't need often, but when you do, you do. So T vaccummed up tons of water... at least 4 gallons.

It was still smelling, so we made the decision to pull up and get rid of the carpet pad which was just completely soaking wet. So we (and I use "we" very loosely) pulled up the carpet and carpet pad. On a good note, there was no crack in the foundation and we definitely couldn't hear running water.

Also, there was no construction debris under the carpet, which made me happy. You never know what's down there!!

So we have office stuff all over the house and an exposed foundation in the office. For now, we are waiting for it to dry out. After that, then we'll decide what we are going to do.

It DEFINITELY could have been a lot worse. But how does this happen from watering plants? As a rule, we don't water... I guess we learned our lesson! Aside from the stained carpet and moldy carpet pad, we didn't lose anything. With all our computer equipment in that room, it could have been very bad.

We needed to clean out the office anyway... apparently the house was ready for it before we were.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our little firecracker

We are finally making our way to pictures from 4th of July!  We had a great time at Stephanie, Nick and Mason's house.  It did rain, but we tried not to let that dampen our spirits.  It was quite fun to see all the adults sitting in the garage with the phones out all comparing weather maps telling each other when it was going to stop raining.  And no, I didn't get a picture.  I was too busy looking at my map.

Where were the kids while we were watching the radar?  They were playing in the rain... well, that kids that can walk (which is everyone but Caroline) were playing in the rain.

I managed to conquer my battle with cake pops that plagued me as I was prepping for Caroline's party.  In retrospect, I should have attempted those BEFORE the week of the party.  It might have made for much less stress.  But that's just not the way I do things sometimes.

The rain cleared as the afternoon wore on and we fired up the grill.  We brought green onion sausage, which is a special treat for us since we have to have it imported.  Yes, imported to Oklahoma... if you ever want to know what we need, it's Manda's green onion sausage.  You just can't buy pork sausage up here... but that's another post for another day.

Caroline didn't flinch at firecrackers, which surprised me.  But she was not fond of the big booms of the large, pretty fireworks.  Those made her try and climb up T's neck like a cat.  We didn't make it through the whole night.  We tried to put her to sleep, but the noise kept waking her up.  So we left mid-show and she was asleep before we even made it to the road.

We got home to two dogs who wanted to crawl under the bed and stay there for two weeks.  If you're not familiar with our area during this holiday, please reference this post.  It was a rough night for me.

In case you forget....

July 4, 2009
Why weren't they feeding this baby?  I believe I used the term "freakishly long" to describe her.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Party like a Bumble Bee

Friday was Caroline's first school party. They were celebrating the end if summer. On Monday, all the older kids will move up to the next class.

So naturally, I made plans to be there. I had no idea what to expect since this was our first school party.

I got there a little early and finally went in as they were waking from naptime. And the party commenced.

So what did we do? The kids had their afternoon snack and I sat next to Caroline while she ate. Wild and crazy, huh?

12 Month Pictures

I posted pictures from Caroline's party but I neglected to post her 1 year portraits.  Once again, the photos were taken by our friend Nick.  We went to Nick & Stephanie's for Memorial Day and before we enjoyed the backyard fun in the sun, we took a few pictures.

I had bought this dress for Easter but she didn't wear it.  So I'm glad that we got some wear out of it... even if only for these pictures.

After we moved outside, she became much more relaxed and started getting giggly.  And no, there was no wind-machine... that's just part of the fun of Oklahoma.

The pictures on the slide are my favorite.  All of them...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Louisiana Part 2

Here are so more pictures of us out and about in Baton Rouge.  I know... I'm not a just dump a bunch of pictures into a post kind of person.  I like words... and to over-explain... and throw in a ton of random facts and side stories... but not today... It's just straight up pictures of Caroline with family.

Caroline Frances with Maw Maw Fran(ces)
I think they have both have the same expression on their face!

Caroline and some random crazy-haired person... oh wait.. it's me... thus the look on her face.

Caroline and Aunt Carolyn
I don't know if Aunt Carolyn has people call her Caroline, but Caroline has people call her Carolyn all the time.  I'm ok with it. 

Caroline and Paw Paw
I'm pretty sure this was early in the morning.. thus the hair.  Caroline's hair, this is... I think Dad quit having morning hair problems in 1992.

Caroline and Big
They were laughing about something.  I hope it wasn't my hair.  It was scary that whole entire trip!