Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Let there be Light!

Sal finished framing the basement, and the electricians were here yesterday and today. In addition to installing can lights, switches, and outlets in the basement, we had some projects completed upstairs as well.

I wanted an outlet added underneath the window in the girls' room. There are two outlets in their room, but they are hidden on the wall beside their beds. With the new outlet, we'll be able to plug in an alarm clock and a humidifier.

The electricians also switched out the horrible ceiling fan in Seth's room with a much nicer model. The original one was too small for the room, loud, and a little wobbly too, when on high. The new one is much better fit and silent. He loves it.

Something I've been wanting for awhile was a fancier light in our master bath, ie powder room. The cheap square fan and light was just an eyesore. It did the job, but I wanted something a little more girly. I don't love the medallion, but it was all Lowe's had in this size so I went with it. A medallion was necessary because the opening for the fan was bigger than what we needed for the new light. It is what it is.

The electricians added a motion light in our linen closet. We haven't had a light in there since about the second week we were in the house because I snapped off the pull chain to the light bulb. It's so nice, and bright too. When you open the door, the light comes on and shuts off a few seconds after the door closes. Very exciting.

We are one step closer to having a garbage disposal in our kitchen too. An outlet was added under the sink so that it's able to be plugged in. Who remodels a kitchen in 2007 and doesn't add a disposal? Our sellers. Ugh.

It wasn't cheap at $2400, but I feel like we're making progress on making this house our own.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Anthony's Baptism

Today was Anthony's Baptism at Immaculate Conception church in Washington, PA. We arrived around 1:15 and the Baptism began at 1:30. The deacon who performed the sacrament did a really nice job.

My sister had asked my mom to do a reading and for Sarah and Emmy to read the Responsorial Psalm. They practiced hard all day Saturday and on the way to the Baptism. They got up and took turns just like they were used to doing at St. Ursula's. They read flawlessly and without hesitation, even with big words like stouthearted, contemplate, and refuge. Those were words that had given them trouble when we were rehearsing.

As his godmother, I got to hold Anthony for the actual baptism, and he barely fussed. He did spit up on me in appreciation, but with three of my own, this didn't even phase me. The girls found it gross however.

Afterwards we went to Adam's Pine Creek Buffet, and I successfully avoided the dessert table, in keeping with my Lenten sacrifice. I love their chicken parmesan there, but have no idea what makes it so good. Probably nothing that's healthy for you. We made it back home in time to see Sal off to Steubenville for a band concert and practice. Seth and the girls were beat and went to bed early.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

99th Birthday

Grandma passed away on February 1, 2015, but she would have been 99 today. I've been replaying 37 years of memories in my mind all day. Everyone needs a grandma in their corner, and I was lucky enough to have two.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

My Lenten Journey

February 28, Fat Tuesday: In my most ambitious sacrifice over the past Lenten seasons of my adult life, I have decided to give up junk food/sweets/sugary drinks. Admittedly, I'm still about 30lbs overweight and my motivation has been lacking lately. With shorts and tank top season just around the corner, I'm hoping Lent is the swift kick I need to get back on track. My goal is to lose 10lbs, but I'm not sure that is realistic in 40 days. I'm just going to see how this goes.

March 1, Ash Wednesday: I worked from home today and it was amazing to me the number of times I felt like going to the cupboard for a cookie. I wasn't even craving the cookie, I just wanted to eat. There was a lull in the action and I wanted to fill it with food. I made it through the day without falling off the wagon. I ate more carbs, crackers, than I would have liked, but no junk food.

March 2: I didn't define what junk food is exactly, but when I think of junk food I primarily think of sweets. I'm debating on whether or not chips and popcorn are in fact, junk food. I'm going to avoid tortilla chips for Lent because even though they aren't sweets, they are addictive and I can't stop at just one or even just one handful. I've never been a fan of potato chips so those are easy to avoid. Sal makes the best homemade popcorn, but I am able to control how much I eat. Last night he made it and I only had a couple pieces. It's not low cal with all the salt and butter, and since I didn't have a strong desire for it, I skipped it.

March 3: I gave up sugary drinks and at the time was primarily focused on Kool-Aid and pop. I drink a dessert-like coffee three mornings a week and I do plan to keep that. While I definitely need to increase the amount of water I drink, I need a kool-aid/pop alternative. I'm going to google or otherwise find a low calorie fruit juice to substitute. Sal suggested cranberry juice since it does have added health benefits of staving off UTIs, but I don't often get UTIs so I'm not sure that's justifiable. I can also try just adding lemon juice to my water to change it up as well.

March 4: A couple times I've reached for the Little Bites muffins when Seth has asked for them because in the past he would have two from the package, and I would have two. So far, I've caught myself though and haven't slipped. I did drink, what I think is too much, Juicy Juice today, but I needed something besides water. I'm going to allow myself alternatives to water on Saturdays only.

March 5: My weight has gone up. How is this possible? My only guess is that in lieu of junk food I've been snacking on carbs more frequently. We also had chicken and noodles for dinner last night, which I think was a mistake. Carbs are such a nightmare to me. On a positive note, I was able to avoid the dessert table at Anthony's Baptism luncheon today. That's a win. I'll count my weigh-ins on Tuesdays as my official number for the week.

March 6: I was down about a pound from my weight on Saturday. Tomorrow I will get my official weight for the week. The cafeteria was serving BBQ ham today at lunch. I ordered mine without a bun with a side of cole slaw. I only ate half the cole slaw since I know that's not the best option. We're having leftover chicken and noodles for dinner tonite. This is probably a mistake.

March 7: I weighed myself this morning and was down 1.4 pounds. A little less than I had hoped, but actually more than I had expected. Today was the first day I had actual cravings for sweets, but I just ignored them and so far I've kept them at bay. I need to run to the grocery store for dinner and I'm planning on picking up strawberries that I can eat as a bedtime snack. It has to be better than the string cheese I had last night.

March 8: I had a couple fried cheese sticks at lunch, along with a slice of pizza and granola bars, and I could kick myself for it. However, it's not junk food so I'm still on track, as far as my Lenten commitment goes.

March 9: Trying to recover from yesterday by making better choices. So far so good.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

"No, this is Cindy"

There are adventures and there are misadventures. Last night was a misadventure; so much so that I couldn't even begin to find the humor in it until this morning, and even now it's not that funny.

Seth and I were hanging out upstairs in the living room when I heard what sounded like a waterfall below is in the basement. Sal was down there working on bracing some of the walls he had framed. I chose to ignore what I had heard, until Sal came upstairs and told me we needed to call an emergency plumber.

I asked what happened. 

He informed me that in the process of trying to stand the wall up, it became wedged in the water main piping and ultimately snapped the pipe. I ran downstairs to check it out. I tried turning the valve off without success and assumed that it had broken before the shut-off valve meaning there was no way to stop it. While Sal held the pipes together with his bare hands, I called plumbers and the township to have the water shut off at the street.

It took several phone calls to find an emergency plumber, and at one point Sal was fighting the water in the corner, Seth was crying loudly, and I was trying to hear the answering service on the other end of the line. She answered and what I heard was, "Mississippi." I replied, "Mississippi??" She laughed and said very slowly and clearly, "No. This is Cindy." Then as she was asking for our information she kept giggling at various intervals. Needless to say it, it made me laugh a little too, and quite honestly, none of this was funny to me.

After I had everyone lined up, I went back downstairs, put on a pair of gloves, and decided to try the valve again. It miraculously turned and shut off the water.

I called the township back to cancel their guy, and we waited for the plumber.

We probably could have waited until morning, but it makes me nervous to have a baby in the house and no water. To me, the peace of mind is worth the added expense, although I was very unhappy about this unexpected bill.

Sal lost a couple of boxes of books thanks to water spraying everywhere, but the damage to my things was minimal. Incidentally, I had suggested he move those things to the attic to store rather than having them in proximity to the main and hot water heater and my advice feel on deaf ears. Right or wrong, I feel no remorse.

To the tune of $428 our problem was fixed. Sometimes I love seeing a day end.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Summer Vacation

Sal and I had a trip to the Grand Canyon and Arizona as a whole planned, but when we priced airfare it was ridiculously expensive (around $430pp r/t). With a mortgage and daycare that is expensive as some peoples' mortgages, we just can't swing it. So, we started looking at other options.

We can fly roundtrip to Ft. Lauderdale for less than $800 total. This is a no-brainer. Let the planning begin.

Summer flight deals haven't been released yet though, so we could end up somewhere else completely.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Birthday Party

Today was Seth's second birthday party. We invited Grandma and Pop-Pop, Auntie Em, William, and Anthony, and Aunt Kathy and Uncle Ron.

Although we didn't, who would have thought it would be gorgeous enough to grill outside. Temps in the high 60s added to the party atmosphere.

I ordered Seth's bus cake from Lisa O'Connor, the same lady who made his first birthday cake last year. I decorated the table with a black table cloth and used yellow duct tape to create yellow "lines" to mimic a highway. The girls were quite impressed.

Seth's favorite gift, I think, was an activity bus from Aunt Kathy and Uncle Ron, but he also received a bus puzzle (from Auntie Em), and a fire truck (from Grandma and Pop-Pop). Sarah and Emmy also gave him gifts; a palm size bus and firetruck (bottom right pic), and puffs, respectively. He loved everything.

It was a seriously fun party.