Monday, October 25, 2010

Car Update

I didn't think it was going to turn out this way, but looks like we will be living with no car. Ben just got the call from the auto place that the car is dead. It needs a whole new engine which would cost more than what we paid for the car 2.5 years ago. Ben is trying to figure out how to get the car from the auto place to the junkyard so we can at least get money from it to cover the towing cost from last night. I am not sure how to even function without a car, but if anybody has suggestions let us know. How do you get groceries, pick up the kids from school if something happens, get to appointments and so on? I am going to look into cancelling Zak's class at the Y and Ben's volleyball at the Y since we won't be getting there anytime soon. Might also have to look into cancelling our membership.

I really wish tax time was closer...then we could get some sort of junk car to at least get around in. Another issue is that any car we do get our hands on needs to be big enough for us to all fit with the 2 car seats and of course automatic because I have failed at driving or attempting to drive stick shift cars several times.

Trying to remain positive...going to play with the boys and try to not think about it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Saturday morning we took the boys to have their hair cut. We took them to a new place which was all sports related so the boys loved it. They both did well for the haircuts. I like Ryder's end product, but not Zak's as much (different people cut their hair). Not sure if we will go back there or not.

Then we walked around Toys R Us for a bit looking at things for Madelyn and to get ideas for Christmas. We made a fun dinner which was scary face sloppy joes. It is a biscuit with sloppy joes & corn on top then a piece of cheese cut like a face. The boys loved it, but I could have done without the corn. After dinner we went for a walk around the community.

The earlier bedtime seems to be paying off. Saturday night they were in bed by 7:30pm and asleep by 8pm. Then they slept until about 7am this morning. Hopefully this will continue!

This morning the 4 of us went to the YMCA. The boys went to the childcare room while Ben & I worked out for an hour. Then we took the boys into the gym and played basketball for a while. We made a quick trip to the grocery and came home to watch football. Ryder took a nap in their bedroom and Zak laid on the couch for a nap with Robin.

After the Redskins game ended Ben took Zak to his mom's house for a sleepover because Ryder has an appointment at Kennedy Krieger in the morning. While he was gone Ryder and I did an art project and made dinner.

And now on to the title of the post...

While I was talking to Ben on the phone when he was on his way home from his mom's house bad luck struck. He said he had to go because the car was breaking down on 95! Eventually he called me back to say the car was on the side of 95 and not working. It started making a bad noise and driving oddly and then just stopped. The service engine light and others were on so it is not a dead battery. So I searched online and found a local towing company who seemed to be cheaper than others we found and called them. Ben called his mom to come pick him up. The towing company took the car to an auto shop in Joppa. Laura dropped Ben and Zak off at home and then Ben took his work truck to the auto shop to meet the towing guy with our car. He filled out the information for the key drop box. We won't know anything until tomorrow and they open at 9am.

So Zak is not having a sleepover and we will not be going to Ryder's appointment...or anywhere...hence the stranded title. I am upset about missing the appointment because we had already had to cancel and reschedule once. We have put a good amount of money into this car already, but we have no way of getting a new used car so we have no choice. I am praying that it is something that can be fixed without a high cost because we can't afford anything at the moment so starting a car payment is completely out of the question. I am hoping we are not left without a car because I have no clue how we would function....

So early bedtime tonight did not happen. Everybody is on edge and cranky. Hoping to get the boys asleep soon so I can get in the shower and try to calm down.....

Friday, October 22, 2010

YMCA Halloween Party

This evening we went to the YMCA for their family Halloween party. The boys were extremely excited to be able to wear their costumes. We have had them for a little while and let the boys try them on, but other than that they have been off-limits until Halloween so they didn't get messed up. We knew the boys would have fun because the theme for the whole party was Toy Story!

Here are a few pictures from when we got home. The boys are showing off the scarecrow they got to make using old baby clothes, a stocking, and hay. They had more fun jumping in the hay pile than making the scarecrow so I ended up doing most of it.

Yes, they wore their Buzz & Woody pjs under the costumes
When we first got there the boys decorated a white paper bag to be their treat bag. After each game they got to pick a treat and put it in their bags. They had games set up in the gym and activity room. The pictures in this post are horrible quality because I used my cell phone and any movement makes really bad pictures along with the fact that the activity room had no lights because there was glow in the dark stuff in there...

Pin the tail on the horse
Cowboy croquet
Ryder was jumping up & down because he did so good
Toy Story hop scotch
Roller Rodeo
Cowboy pictures
Toy Story story time
Buzz bowling
Green alien golf
At the end of the night they had a costume parade. All of the kids lined up and walked around the hallways, through the workout room and into the gym. There were a few other Buzz and Woody costumes, but some other really neat ones as well. The boys did great walking in the parade and held hands the whole time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zak's YMCA Class

Today was the last day of Zak's 8-week YMCA class. The class was called mixed sports. The sports they played included soccer, basketball, and t-ball. Today they did a bunch of fun games that are part of the class called Gym Games. Zak loved all of the activities they did today so I ended up signing him up for the next 8-week session for that class. He will go Thursday mornings from 10-11am for the Gym Games class starting next week.

The first thing they did was a relay race with an obstacle course. They had to sit on a scooter and go through cones, then hop through some hula hoops, put a bean bag in the box, spin around 3 times, and race through a tunnel.

At the end of the class all of the kids received a certificate along with a shirt.

The kids loved all of the activities which involved using the parachute! Here they lifted it above their heads and got under it...

Here Zak and one of the other boys sat in the middle. Then the rest of the kids/coaches wrapped them up in the parachute. Once done they pulled hard and it spun the two in the middle, pretty cool.

They played What Time Is It Mr.Fox...

This game they had to collect as many balls as possible. They also played it where the coach would call out a color and the kids had to only get that color ball.

They also played some bean bag toss games as well as other games with the bean bags which required the kids to know colors. I think this class will be great for Zak because they are short, educational, and active games!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Getting Fit

On Friday Ben went to work which the boys were not happy about at all. I took them to Super WalMart to look at Halloween stuff and crafts to try and get their mind off the fact that Ben was at work. Ben got home from work around 4:30pm or so. Tim got to our house around 5:45pm which is when Ben & I headed out for dinner. Tim stayed home with the boys while Ben & I went to The Melting Pot for a nice dinner. That is "our place" since that is where we had our first date, our wedding reception, and most birthday & anniversary celebrations. We got home around 9:30pm. Tim spent the night at our house on Friday night.

Saturday morning the boys were awake at their normal 6am time. They went into the playroom to wake up Saba (aka Tim). Once everyone was awake and dressed we made a family trip to WalMart. Ben and I needed to get locks to use at the YMCA. We said good-bye to Tim because he was going to see Dani and then head back to NH. We stopped at the grocery store to buy some WIC stuff and then stayed home for the rest of the day.

This morning I made my weekly trip to the grocery store to buy food for the week. Our dinners for this week include:

Hot Dogs with Mac & Cheese
Hamburger Helper
Breakfast for Dinner
Scary Face Sloppy Joes

Ben had his 1-hour consultation with a fitness instructor at YMCA from 10-11am and I went from 12-1pm. The YMCA has a computer system called FitLinxx. You log in to the system with a pin number and it stores all of your workout information. It keeps track of the seat positions for the machines, weights used, number of reps, time spent on the cardio machines, time spent in classes and so much more. This 1-hour consultation is used to set up your FitLinxx program. The instructor sets up a workout routine for you depending on what your goal is and what your level of fitness is starting out. We went through all of the machines and programmed in our information for each one. I am really looking forward to getting into a routine of working out a certain number of days every week. They have a childcare room that the boys can be at for 1.5 hours per day. Ben and I will eventually get a schedule worked out so we can both get to the gym as well as have some family time in the open gym with the boys.

Tonight Ben made chocolate covered bananas for dessert. The boys enjoyed eating them!

Then Ben decided to cut his hair. I convinced him not to shave the boys' heads because I like them having slightly longer hair on the top. I played with their hair and discovered they need haircuts soon....

The boys are going to stay up to watch a few minutes of the Redskins game as long as they behave long enough. Tomorrow I am planning to take the boys to the daycare room at the YMCA and get in a workout.

A potty training update...or lack thereof. On Saturday afternoon we had yet another poop incident all over the boys' bedroom. This sent Ben over the edge! He told the boys they would no longer wear diapers starting Sunday morning. So this morning both boys put on underwear when they got up. By 11am Ryder was on his 4th pair of underwear so we decided he was going back in diapers. It was obvious he just doesn't have complete control over his bladder yet. It could have to do with his low muscle tone. He wouldn't even know he was peeing at first and then would get all freaked out by it. Zak did better. He made it in 1 pair of underwear until about 1:15pm. I got home from the YMCA and asked where Zak was. Apparently he had just gone upstairs as I was coming in the house. We were making him stay downstairs and not in his playroom until he pooped on the potty (he was told this) because he would usually hide in the playroom to poop in his underwear. So I called upstairs and told him to come downstairs and he hesitated. As he came down I realized he had pooped in his underwear. After that we told him he was not allowed in his playroom the rest of the day. He then made it the rest of the day in his second pair of underwear. We did have to remind him to use the potty, but he took a short nap and woke up dry. Then this evening he came upstairs with his pants & underwear around his ankles and said he had peed in the potty downstairs! Progress, I am really hoping we can keep this up and that he will start to go on his own, tell us when he needs to go and poop on the potty finally. I plan to remain with the same rule that he can't go in the playroom until he poops on the potty (maybe he will be allowed to go play in there if I go too, not sure yet) in the hopes of him not trying to hide and poop in his underwear. I have been told if I can get him to poop on the potty once it will get better and better, let's hope.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Busy Days

The last few days have been crazy around here. We had some new stuff installed in the house along with a visit from Saba (aka Tim, aka Ben's father) from NH. Ben took off from work on Wednesday and Thursday because of the chaos going on.

Tim spent the night on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning we all put Ryder on the bus. Ben and I took Zak to his YMCA class (Ben had not gotten to go to his class at all). While there I filled out the paperwork to join the YMCA for 6 months with the grant we were offered through their financial aid department. After Zak's class we headed home to get Ryder off the bus. The boys and Ben played football and soccer with Tim while I went to get Chinese food for lunch.

The boys enjoyed having some egg drop soup in their straw bowls
Wednesday afternoon Ben and his father went to play 9 holes of golf so once the workers left I pulled out the finger paints for the boys. They had a blast! Tim spent the night on Wednesday night as well.

As for the install and new stuff in the house...we had a new outdoor AC unit, furnace, and water heater put in. Our AC unit has been failing all summer, the water heater was about to burst and the furnace should have died a while ago so it was time. We got a few estimates from various places and went with a company named Level Heating and Air Conditioning. They work in Harford, Cecil, and Baltimore counties and they were wonderful so anybody in those areas who needs this work done should check them out.

Our old stuff
New furnace & water heater
New outdoor AC unit
During our estimates we discovered that the exhaust from the water heater & furnace (gas) were against code. This meant the exhaust would have to be re-done which was an added cost as well as an issue to figure out a plan for. One of the various reasons we went with this company is because they had the best plan for fixing the exhaust issue. They had to run all new exhaust pipes from the basement, up through the living room closet, above the kitchen ceiling, and then out the side of the house.

Living room closet with exhaust pipes
Holes in the ceiling of kitchen needed to put the pipes in
The install took 2 days, but we are very happy with the outcome along with the whole process. We have some paperwork to send in various places in order to get some rebates. We will also be getting the federal rebate with our taxes in April next year. There are some holes that need to be patched, but we also have a few holes in the bedroom (from work done on plumbing) along with another hole in the kitchen from the day we moved and the big leak. Ben is probably going to look into hiring somebody to do the holes in the ceilings since that is a lot of work.

This morning Ryder went to school. Zak, Ben, and I ran a few errands and then got home in time for Ryder to get off the bus. Once the workers were all gone this afternoon we went and picked up the dogs from Rich & Laura. Once we got home I made a trip to the dollar store and grocery store. Ginnie and Tim both came over for dinner tonight and then played with the boys for a while. They played with their target ball set and had fun throwing balls at each other and everyone else.

Tomorrow Ben is going back to work. I know the boys will be very upset when they see him leave tomorrow morning since they have had him home for the last 2 days. But the good thing is he will be off for the weekend so it is only one day back to work. I think the plan is for Tim to spend the night tomorrow night as well and then head back to NH sometime on Saturday.