Saturday, March 24

the tale of the clogged toilet

Our downstairs toilet hasn't been working right for about a month. (This is the only toilet on the main level of the house so you can imagine how annoyed I've been.) The toilet would flush but sometimes the water would go down really slowly while other times it would go down at a normal rate, but always after it had flushed the toilet paper would float back up.

Of course we tried plunging, which didn't seem to do much, but finally one day I realized that there was probably a toy stuck in the toilet that we couldn't see, most likely put there by the smallest child. Jeremy tried putting his hand down there but it was too big so he couldn't tell. Naturally, we turned to our older two and said, "Who's willing to stick their hand in the toilet for us?" Surprisingly, neither of them volunteered. We tried and tried, but neither of them would budge. Then I remembered that Tyler was saving up his money for something and he was shy $2 of his goal, so I said, "Tyler, if you stick your hand down that toilet I'll give you $2." He thought about that and worked it out in his mind and whimpered a bit about it but finally got the courage up to stick his hand in the toilet.

And was there a toy in there?


I was beginning to think that I would be out the cost of a plumber AND the $2 we paid Tyler to put his hand in the toilet. Jeremy tried a snake, more plunging, and anything else he could think of.

Then today, Saturday, Jeremy's day to get things done, I came downstairs to find him working on the toilet. After a little research and a few other failed attempts, he tore the whole toilet apart in attempt to fix it. A bit later he called me, "Lisa, come see this." When I enter the bathroom Jeremy hands me a flashlight and motions towards the base of the toilet, which is now laying upside down on the bathroom floor. I peeked through the S-curve and there, lodged in the toilet is a Lightning McQueen pencil. A full size pencil too, not some sharpened down stub.

So we called in Ryan and said, "Ryan, did you put this pencil down in the toilet?"
He looked at it with recognition in his eyes and said, "yeah".

So we said again, "You put this pencil in here?"
This time he was smart enough to shake his head in denial, but no one believes him.

I'm not sure how a straight pencil managed to go down a curved pipe, but it explains why the toilet paper was always floating back up when the water would go down. So if you ever have a similar toilet situation and a small child in your home, check for a pencil first.

Thursday, March 15

8 (or 9) things

The other night I sat down to blog but my heart just wasn't in it. My heart (and time) is stretched in a lot of different directions these days and it doesn't seem to have much leftover for this old blog of mine. So then my would-be post turned into a tirade about how it seems like I don't have enough time to do everything that I need to, but I never posted it because I ran out of time to finish it. See how life is these days?

However, it's good I didn't post it because I'm over that now. But I am going to try a little reverse psychology on myself. And this is it:

Once upon a time I blogged often. Once upon a time my blog was semi-entertaining. Once upon a time I wrote about things my kids did that I want to remember. But life changes, and that time has passed. So I'm releasing myself from feeling guilty if I haven't blogged in awhile. If I don't get around to it, oh well.


(My hope is that now that I've made this less of an obligation, I'll want to blog more...)

Now onto important business.

1. It's been about 5 weeks since I closed my facebook account and I don't miss it. I do miss keeping up on some people's news, but most of it I don't actually miss. And I have been spending less time on the computer, which was part of the reason I did it.

2. Ryan is obsessed with trucks. Monster trucks, more specifically. And I'm not using the word "obsessed" lightly. It's the first word out of his mouth in the morning, the last word out of his mouth before sleep at night, and it's 90% of the words said in between too. And he's generally carrying one in his hand. If I ever want him to sit still all I have to do is find videos of monster trucks on YouTube.

3. What did parents do before YouTube?

4. Tyler may make me pull all my hair out before he starts kindergarten in the fall, which would be quite the feat because I have a lot of hair on my head. I love the kid (really really really love him), but he's going through a "phase". It's a tough phase. But there are a few times when I still see the sweet Tyler come out and that's how I know we'll get through this rough patch. Plus sometimes in the afternoons I lay down on his bed with him to try and get him to sleep (but I'm the only one that ever actually falls asleep), and it's the highlight of my day. A few weeks ago Jeremy and I were able to take Tyler and Jeremy's brother Trent to a BYU basketball game. Tyler had fun for the first 30 minutes, then he played games on my phone because he was bored.

5. What did parents do before Angry Birds on their cell phones?

6. Alexis has spent the last few weeks building a leprechaun trap with some of the neighbors, and it's massive. They took several old boxes and taped them all together and have been decorating it, making furniture for it, etc. I think she'll be pretty disappointed when she doesn't catch a leprechaun, but I guess it'll build character. Although rumor has it that his hat might fall off and get left in the trap, so hopefully that'll be enough for her.

7. Jeremy's cousin is working on a really cool Eagle Scout project. He's set up a benefit concert to raise funds for the U of U Burn Center, and Jon Schmidt is performing. So if you are interested in attending, check it out here.

8. Also, I've been "off" sugar for about a week and a half, and I'm trying to go for another 3 weeks, or longer. I've always wondered what people meant when they said they were going off sugar, and I'm still figuring it out for me, but basically I don't eat desserts and candy that are made with processed white sugar, or anything containing high fructose corn syrup. The third day was the hardest, and tonight was a little challenging because someone brought us sugar cookies (which are my favorite), but I've managed to resist. And I have noticed a difference in my energy levels, which is part of the reason I'm doing it.