Thursday, September 29, 2011

The squeaky wheel

Upon returning home from Oklahoma in August, I needed to do some laundry. We had done a lot of it before we left because we don't really like traveling with loads of dirty laundry, and we don't have a lot of clothes. But, I wanted to wash blankets and pillow pets after being in the car for many ours and knowing/not knowing what may have been spilled on them. I ran a load, but something was different when I got things out of the washer. They were covered in little rubber flecks. The floor was also covered in water! Paul checks it out and calls Whirlpool to make a repair appointment. We haven't had the washer for more than nine months, so we knew it was still under warranty. This was on Sunday night, and the earliest appointment they have was Tuesday morning between 9 and noon. I was really worried that it was something I had done. I know that I do a lot of laundry. I was trying to figure out if I loaded it too much, or something had gotten caught in there that shouldn't have been washed...I worried until Tuesday morning. The repair man came, and said that there were little holes in the "bellow", the rubber portion that seals the front-loading washer. He assured me that he had the part in the truck and would be back in a few minutes. Forty-five minutes later he comes in and tells me that he doesn't have the part and that he put an order out for it. It would take 10-14 days. I just kinda looked at him for a minute, trying to figure out how we were going to survive 10-14 days without a washer. I'm sure my face showed a little shock because he soon said that if I called the costumer service line they can usually get it in a little faster. After he left, I called Paul and had him call the costumer service line because he's better at getting information out of people and getting them to do things. I am known as the "push-over". So, he calls back and says that the woman he spoke to said she would try to get it there in a few days. Thursday comes around and my dear, sweet, good neighbor allowed me to do a load of pajamas and kids' clothes at her house while we had a play-date. She was/is a life-saver! I got home, got the kids down for a nap, and was lying on the couch for a minute when Paul calls to tell me that the part for the washer was back-ordered until October! I couldn't believe it. There was no way I was going to mooch off my very gracious friends for two more months! I know they would have let me, but laundry is a big deal for a big families! I could easily do a load a day, and I have little mess makers. So, I looked up the number for the Whirlpool head quarters. I was going to be a squeaky wheel by-golly! I hadn't even had the washer for a year and it was falling apart. There must be something wrong with the part if other people are needing it 'cause it's back-ordered to October! I called, and tried not to get upset with the service person on the other line. I knew it was not his fault and I told him that I just needed somebody to listen to my issue and get me to someone who could do something about it. After talking for a few minutes, the poor guy felt pretty bad for me. Four kids under 3, potty-trained/training twins, newborn spit up, just got home from a long trip to a broken washer...he was very nice. He got in contact with a few more parts' dealers and said that he would do all that he could to get me the part. A few days past, a few loads of laundry we done at friends' homes, and a few more phone calls were made to Whirlpool. I finally told the man on the line (a new guy) that if I didn't get my part in a few days, he was either going to send me a new machine to replace this one with an extended warranty, pay me hourly for the  inconvenience of going to laundromat, or get my part here as fast as he could. He was not as nice as the other guy. However, ten minutes after I got off the phone with hm, FedEx came and delivered a part. The repair man came back the next morning and fixed the machine (he wasn't as nice the second time around either). A week later another replacement part came. Sometimes, it's okay to be a squeaky wheel. I don't like doing it, but the functionality of my home was at stake. I am very grateful for modern conveniences...especially the smell of fabric softener, Tide and dryer sheets.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yes, I'm THAT mother

I've been struggling with something for a few months..okay, maybe a little longer than that. My son bites. I don't want to label him as the "biter" because I don't think it tells the whole story of what happens sometimes. Here's a little background before I get into any of the stories. Ewan has two older sisters that love to tease him. They love to take his toys because he always seems to pick the toy that they wish they would have grabbed. They also like to hug him and get in his face. This has been the way it has been since day one. He also can't communicate as well as they can, and for a little while they were bigger than him. Not true anymore, he is right between them. For a while, his only line of defense when Mom was not there to intervene was to bite. It got them moving away from him very quickly, and he got his toy back. I didn't know what to do with this little guy and his biting. We had countless Family Home Evenings on our bodies and how we need to be nice to other people's bodies and not bite or hit. We had the twins saying, "No, Ewan. Teeth are for eating. We don't bite," if he bit them. Sometimes it happens, but often times they come to me in tears with teeth marks on their hands or arms from him biting them. I'd ask them what happened. Between tears and wailing, they admit that they had taken his toy (it's nice when they're honest). So, instead of just punishing the reactor for reacting, the "toy-stealer" sat on the couch as well.  It's not always them doing something, but a lot of the time it is. I tried putting him "time-out", but I am awful at that! And, he seems to kinda like it because he is by himself and no one is bothering him. Then it happened...Nursery! It was somewhat of a difficult Sunday for everyone. Paul had just gotten called into Elders' Quorum, Elin was still very little, the girls were being potty-trained, and I was teaching our very rambunctious Primary class of six 6 year old boys by myself. I'm sitting in Primary when I hear Ewan crying, and one of the primary teachers brings him to me. "He bit four kids. He can't come back. You might want to talk to him about it," she says as she hands me a very sad little boy. Talk to him about it? Do you know how many times I have talked to my 19 month old about biting? I took him out in the hall and we "talked". He was very sad, and probably didn't quite understand what was going on, but he knew he was in trouble. I rocked him, and we once again, went over why teeth are for eating, biting hurts, and how we love him, but he really can't do that anymore. I was praying in my head to know what to do and how to make this right. Four kids?! A thought comes to mind, not my own, "Take him back in, have him see the owey, have him give a hug and a kiss and say 'Sorry'." So, we walk the 8 miles back to Nursery to "make it right". I'm getting a little emotional just typing my story. I ask the leaders who he bit, and they point to the little girls. Only three were present, because the boy was crying and was taken to his mother. I sit down with him next to the little girls, they're all older than him and ask them where their oweies are. I show Ewan, and he understands that it's owey because he says, "Oooh, owey" and points to it. I have him give a hug and kiss and say "Sorry". Now, it's time to find the mom with the crying child. Not hard to find, because he's still crying. We repeat our new ritual. I felt like things were made right. I tried to do my best. I asked the head Nursery leader what happened. She told me that it wasn't just Ewan, but that he had a toy that everyone seemed to want. It wasn't the first time, and it wasn't the last time. I don't know if the mothers of the children my son bit really understand what it's like to have a child who bites. I came home in tears, and have come home in tears a few Sundays because of this. I have made it an effort of fervent prayer. I have talked to him countless times. We sit and rock in his room when he bites one of the twins and we talk about oweies. We then go back to play and give hugs and kisses. He's getting to the point where we don't have to go in the room. I just have to show him the owey and he gives a hug and a kiss and says Sorry. I don't know what else to do but wait 'til he's big enough to understand a little more. He really is a sweet little boy. He loves to give hugs and kisses. He adores Elin, and worries when she cries. He likes to cuddle and sing songs, and read books. What else to do but wait, and hope that those other mothers know that I am doing my best?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I've been pretty bad at blogging. It's not that I'm busy, most stay-at-home moms understand that we're not really "busy" in the sense that we do a lot. We're busy in the sense that we're doing a lot. I can usually be found holding a baby (keeping her from being tugged on, kissed, sat on and "loved" a little too much), picking up toys, filling the dish washer, throwing clothes in the laundry, and ushering kids to the bathroom. While I was doing the dishes after dinner Paul asked me if I ever got tired of washing the same dishes, mopping the same floor, wiping the same table, and folding the same laundry. I just kinda looked at him, not really finding an adequate response. I guess, if I ever get tired of the same stuff, I can always hire out my services...and wash someone else's. Anyway, back to the post. We have been without a TV since the end of June. One morning after I came back from running, I went to turn a show on for the kids while I showered during Elin's morning nap. She doesn't nurse well if I smell all sweaty and stuff, so I shower while she's asleep and let the kids watch Little Einsteins or Backyardigans ( I <3 Backyardigans!). The TV wouldn't turn on. We were having problems with it turning on for a few weeks. It took a few minutes to "warm-up". Paul said he would look at it, and we had been talking about getting a new TV for a while, but I would only get a new one if I could have it mounted so little fingers couldn't get to the buttons and screen. That is why the TV went out. It had been pushed on and off way too many times. It had to be wiped down way too many times to get rid of sticky fingers. It had been tapped and pushed way too many times any cartoon character asked, "Where is the red balloon?" or "Can you find the green pinata?" Yeah, way too many times! Paul discovered the lamp went out, and thought that he could fix it. We put it in the front bedroom that we don't use yet. But, after I left the front bedroom's door unlocked one day and came back after going to the restroom to find the kids jumping on the screen, we chose to get rid of it. I defend myself by saying, "When would he have actually found the time to fix it?" So, we have been without a TV. We've always had our desktop computer hooked up to our TV so that we can stream Netflix,, hgtv, foodnetwork, and espn. Now we have the monitor hooked up so that we can do all those things. Our children crowed the small computer screen to watch shows and movies. It's pretty hilarious and takes us back to the first few months we were married, living in Oklahoma City without a TV, a bed, a dining room table, and a couch. We would watch episodes of Lost on my computer in the evenings after work while laying on our air mattress. Why haven't we gotten another TV, you might ask? Well, if you know Paul and me you'd know that we don't like to spend money, unless it's on groceries and cinder blocks for the trampoline hole that is now complete. Whenever we have made a large purchase of any type, it has taken a months to actually get it. Paul does research for months while I rationalize why we still don't need it. We've even downgraded our Netflix package to just instant because what's the point of having the blueray package when you can't watch the bluerays or normal dvds anyway? However, I think I am coming to the point of not being able to rationalize it anymore. For one, the speakers on the computer aren't very good. And two, sometimes I would like to actually see how Austin and Uniquea get out of the jungle while being chased by Pablo, Tasha, and Tyrone. Who wouldn't? And, we can't really have family movie night when half of the family can't see or hear anything. I've been okay with it for a while, but if Paul comes home and suggests we move Ewan to our bed and we use the air mattress until we decide to buy a king size...I may have to make a large purchase on my own. Or, could rationalize the air mattress for a while if it means that Elin is in the crib and sleeping through the night, and Ewan has his own bed...
We miss this!