Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just a reminder...

Austin's B-day
Friday 9/8 5:30

Pizza & cake
No presents please.
Please RSVP so I can get a head count.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I know, I know...I've been quiet. There just isn't too much going on. We are trying to enjoy the last week before nursery school starts for Austin & Ben and before Jeff resumes classes at HVCC. Connor doesn't start his classes until Oct 1. Then in Sept we have a neighboorhood picnic, Austin's b-day party, the Dunaj's are visiting and we have a trip planned to Six Flags in NJ. It's going to be busy around here!

Here are some pictures. The first two are of the sky coaster that Eric, Kelli and I did at the Great Escape. See us fly. The last picture my MIL took of the twins. We just aren't sure what Ben is doing. Maybe he's pretending to be MC Hammer??

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Last one...I promise

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

As expected, swelling has gone down some and the amount of bruising has increased.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It just wouldn't be life if there wasn't one glitch after another....

Jeff called me about lunch time yesterday to tell me he hurt himself at work. He was trying to change a part out on his machine and fell. Let's see if I can explain the scenario. He stands on a wooden platform. There is a guarded chip conveying at about thigh height and then the machine is above waist height behind that. In order to put a new part on the machine, he needs to stand on the chip conveyor. Well as he was climbing back down, is left pant leg got caught on the guard for the chip conveyor. The guard was already broken and at an odd angle. Well, as his left pant leg got caught, he lost his balance. His right foot got caught under the machine and he fell backwards, wedging the chip guard behind his right knee with his toe still under the machine. Once he finally got up, he went to the clinic. There were some abrasions and a little bruising. The dr cleaned it and put a dressing on it and sent him back to work. Jeff's supervisor gave him the option of taking the afternoon off or staying and sitting at work. He chose to stay, but by 1 he was in a lot of pain so he headed home. I got home at 3 and told him he was going to Urgent Care. Even though we both felt it was just a deep tissue injury, because it occurred at work I figured it should be recorded as Worker's Comp, just in case. After two hours and a bunch of x-rays, they confirmed it was just tissue and sent him home with Codeine and 2 days off work.

He is of course mad because Safety hasn't fixed the machine even though it's been broken for months. I pointed out that just like a truck driver needs to inspect his truck before driving, he should inspect his machines...I don't think that's what he wanted to hear. Oh well.

Needless to say, Jeff is hurting more today than yesterday and he will probably hurt still more tomorrow. Here are some lovely pics. The first was taken yesterday afternoon. The second was taken last night. It looks even worse this morning, but I didn't get a chance to take another photo.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Just talked to a guy from the laminate place. We figured out what happened and he's going to order a new one. I guess they don't make these themselves. Not sure what their purpose is...and why I can't buy directly from them, but have to buy from Lowe's. Anyway...we'll be getting a 30" bullnose front and flat capped back. They can only order the double bullnose in 27", 30" or 36" widths. Anything else they have to cut and flat cap.

So, flat cap it is. I really liked how the double bullnose looked too :(
Whose idea was it to do this kitchen anyway?!?!?

Oh, yeah mine. What was I thinking!!! If you remember, it started with the microwave/convection combo dying. Now mind you, the convection part never worked since we moved into the house, but I liked the IDEA of having the option to bake in the micro also. Of course micro/conv combos aren't easy to find and they aren't cheap. It's not liek you can walk into Walmart or Target and buy one. So we hunted through appliance stores. Then I decided if we are going to buy a new micro combo, we might as well get an oven too. And while we're at it, let's get a larger one, since I can't even fit a standard cookie sheet in the one I have. Well buying bigger appliances, meant a new cabinet. We priced those and found they were REALLY expensive so Jeff figured he would make one. And then he suggested lowering the oven and raising the microwave to create more counter space...not a bad idea since we are severly lacking in counter space. Well this meant we needed new counters. They finally arrived on Monday so that meant we better get started. I figured since we were doing things over, the kitchen could use a new coat of paint. It hadn't been painted since we moved in 7 years ago. So, last Monday we began spackling and preparing the kitchen. It took all week, but we got the ceiling repaired and painted and the walls and molding painted.

On Friday Jeff and I decided to put in the small counter near the door. We removed the old one and we find a hole in the sheetrock and some dead bees. This reminded us that a few years back we could hear bees in the wall. We had called in an exterminator who took care of the problem. Little did we know that they had eaten through the sheetrock though. So we caulked the holes, and filled a gap under the windowsill while we were at it. We let it cure and then placed the new counter in place. Problem number 1 arose. The back splashes were about an inch shorter on the new counters. So the crack under the window sill that Jeff had just filled with caulk was completely visible. Off to Lowe's we go for a piece of molding to cover it. While we were at Lowe's I saw these really cool sinks made of black stone. However, they only had double sinks. So I figured oh well. We went home, painted and installed the molding and got our first counter in place. It looked GREAT!

Fast forward to Saturday. Karen and Bill took the kids to the Catskill Game Farm so we could work. We got another counter removed and realized we needed to head back to Lowe's. That got me thinking about the sink again. I really liked the look and the idea of a black stone sink. Not only would it look cool, but I figured it's would never really look dirty! So we head home to await the in-laws. We got the second counter placed. Problem 2 arose, but we were expecting this one. On the counter above the oven, the wall is not straight. It bows out near the door. Jeff thought he would notch out the wall, but I have since nixed this idea and we are going to order some extra laminate and make a filler strip. Meanwhile, Cheryl and I decided to go look other places for a sink. We head to the local Kitchen and Bath place. They had exactly what I was looking for, BUT it would take a week. I didn't want to wait...and the salesman was a we left. Then it was off to Home Depot. BINGO, we found a sink!! Of course then I got to thinking about how the faucet we had wouldn't work with the new sink. We looked at the faucets there and I didn't like any, so we headed to Lowe's. I decided to stop off at Petsmart (since it's in the same plaza) and buy Karat a new bed. Problem 3 then arose. My key wouldn't turn in the ignition of the minivan...see this is why I drive the truck...the van doesn't like me!! So Cheryl and I keep trying, but no luck. I check to make sure the wheels aren't turned, I make sure the steering wheel isn't locked and then I make sure the van is in park...still nothing. So I call Jeff and interrupt progress at home so he can come rescue us. Then we head to Lowe's and find a faucet (on clearance!) and of course Jeff needs ANOTHER tool to cut the counters.

Finally we head home...expecting to make great progress. It's already 3 and the kids will be home around dinner time. While Cheryl and I were gone, Jeff and his dad removed the sink, cooktop and the last counter. Of course I didn't come off easily or in one piece. So Jeff opens the packing for the new counter...and PROBLEM 4 rears it's ugly head. And it's UGLY! See, we originally wanted a 31" wide, double bullnosed counter. The salesperson at Lowe's told us it couldn't be done. So we ended up ordering a 30" wide bullnose front, flat capped back counter. The reason we ordered an inch smaller was because then the counter would be flush with the wall. I am always concerned with flat capped that if you hit it wrong, or catch on the corner that it will delaminate. ANYWAY...I digress. So we ordered a 30" bullnose front, flat capped back counter. What do we get but a 30" DOUBLE BULLNOSED counter. So much for the fact 'they can't be made'. So now, the counter isn't wide enough. Along the back of the counter (on the sun room side) there is no overhang and it looks horrible. So BACK to Lowe's we go. (I think we are up to about 20 visits in the week). We talk to a nice lady at customer service who assures us it will be fixed, but that we need to talk to someone in kitchens. The salewoman we worked with was off so we talked to another lady. We explain the problem. She'll need to talk to the laminate place, but of course they are closed on the weekends. She tells us she will let us know on Monday, but that she is sure they can make a new one. The problem is it takes about 4 weeks to get a counter normally. I can't go 4 weeks without a counter and the old counter is in pieces. So we ask if we can cut up the incorrect counter untila new one could be made. She says we would need to wait until MONDAY when she talks to the manufacturer. I explain that I won't wait because we have no water and no cooktop and 3 BABIES (okay, so they are really toddlers, but...). So she calls the operations manager and explains the situation. He FINALLY agrees that we can cut the counter, but that we will need to give it back to the manufacturer when they deliver the new counter. He is hoping that Lowe's can re-sell it. This is fine by me, but I remind him that it will have HOLES in it from where the sink and cooktop are installed. Truly, what are the chances they'll find someone with the EXACT same counter set up as us...well, that's his problem. So by now I am realizing that the kids can't come home because we have no water and no way to make them any food and there are construction materials everywhere. Karen graciously agrees to keep them and Jeff and I head home to install the mis-cut counter. By 10pm we give up for the night. The counter is cut, but the sink and cooktop are not yet installed.

So we are showered and all ready to climb in bed and a MOUSE runs across our bedroom floor. I scream and the cat goes into attack mode, Jeff is frantically looking for something to catch it in and the dog is just oblivious. 30 minutes later, our bedroom is torn apart and the mouse is finally caught. Another day is over....

Sunday arrives...Jeff and I are worn out. We get the sink and cooktop installed. While reading through the manual for my sink I come across this interesting tidbit. Now this is a stone sink. It's made of 80% granite. And the manual says to dry it out after every use. I stood there in stunned silence. It's a sink...what do you mean I have to dry it out?!?! And it's made of stone. Does Mother Nature whip out a towel after the rain to dry off all the stones....NO, so why in the world should I have to? I see this as something I will probably never do.

So, to take a break, we decide to go out for a little bit. Jeff and I in conversation complain about our mattress. We've been complaining for a few months now that we are waking up all aching from it. So I suggest we go to Huck Finns, just to see what they have. Well, this just to see turned into buying. Then we realize the truck isn't big enough, so home we go...Jeff will have to go back with the mini-van. I get left at home to put all the knick knacks and curtains back in place. Jeff gets home about 2 hours later with what looks like 3 beds stacked atop the van. Now the bed was really comfortable...and a Sterns and Foster at a great price. And, Jeff HAD to have a S&F mattress because they are the best. And they truly are, he used to sell them, BUT, we didn't stop to think that it was sitting directly on the floor for a's really thick. We manage to get the thing in the house and place it on the bed frame. I drop into uncotrolled, hysterical laughter when I realize the bed is now about 34" high. I can barely get into it without jumping and it's taller than the twins....oh and did I mention, the sheets we have WON'T FIT IT!!!

In sum, it was a really long weekend...and the kitchen isn't done. I can't wait til we get the new counter and have to start over! Below are some pictures. On a side note, the mattress was darn comfortable last night!

Click pictures to enlarge...
This is the kitchen in process. On the left is the long counter with the old counter top. On the right is the oven cabinet that Jeff built. He still needs to build the microwave cabinet, which will be even with the bottom of the other hanging cabinets.

Below is the long counter awaiting the new counter top.

Below is the 'finished' product. New counter, black stone sink and new faucet. And the counter that had the bees behind it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kitchen makeover is progressing SLOWLY. Lots of spackling and painting to be done before the new counters can go in. I will hopefully have pictures of the completed project on Monday.

Cindy was taking pictures of the boys last night. L to R- Connor, Austin, Ben

Connor's hair looks really 'bushy'- not sure what's up with that?!?

Ben, Austin, Connor on the big blue dog

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Connor update- his pipecolic acid levels also came back high. Jeff is taking him to be re-tested on Friday AM. I believe all these levels are related to liver function...not positive though. Anyone else have a clue?? It'll take 3-4 weeks for results before they will even begin to discuss what these could mean. We'll keep you posted.
Just a quick post.

It was a busy weekend in the Smith house. We had Autumn and Summer Saturday night and since Jeff & Nay had Emma & Evan we all had a pizza party...7 kids and lots of pizza making. Then for breakfast Carli and Allison came over...7 kids and LOTS of french toast. It was fun though!

The new counter tops arrived yesterday so Jeff and I have lots of prepping to do. We need to clean the walls, spackle and paint before we can install them.

And Aunt Karen & Uncle Bill aare being wonderful and taking the kids to the Catskill Game Farm so we can get the counters done Saturday!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Austin's 4th B-day

Mark your calendar
Friday Sept. 8th

pizza and cake

Cindy, Andy & baby Jessa will be here
RSVP (or leave a comment) please so I don't have too much pizza
all are welcome!
Connor update- he's doing great. We are getting a lot more vocalization from him. Also, I talked ot the genetics counselor yesterday. His chromosome stuidies came back Fragile X!!! His organic acid studies came back okay, but his amino acid studies had some abnormalities...specifically his lactate and pyruvate (and their ratio) was high. They are waiting on one more test result before they formulate a plan. First they will do a re-test. If they are still high then we will start looking into metabolic causes...whether it is diet related or something else.

I'll keep you all posted!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Many more pics going onto Kodak Gallery...if you want the link, let me know.
What a week! We spent the first part preparing to go camping, while Jeff was trying to finish his final project for school. It was all worth it though.

We left Friday mid day and camped with Jeff (aka yolk lentil spatula spank) and Nay (aka Where praytell might your keys be) and Ken (fire master), Mindy & Kaya. It was a great weekend...perfect mosquitos!

We got to Luzerne around 2pm to find Jeff and Nay trying to dry out from the previous night's rain. The sites are very wooded, not allowing for much sun. Jeff and I set up at the site next door, then he prepped the lantern. Jeff Layton was 'bright enough' to ask if Jeff was going to put new lentil's on the lantern...yeah, those would be MANTLES not lentils! Hence, part of his name. Nay earned her name by not once, but TWICE asking Jeff where his keys were...even though we were listening to his car stereo!

Ken, Mindy and Kaya arrived around 7:30 and the camping trip got under way. As I said the weather was perfect! It was a nice relaxing kids to mind (well Kaya's ten, so it wasn't too much work), no clocks. We really did NOTHING. Wish we could do it more often! Here are some pictures.

Jeff, Nay, Ken, Mindy & Kaya's site
Below is the site Jeff and I stayed on

Below is the dinner Jeff and I cooked on Saturday night...chicken, pork and fried potatos...YUM! Jeff and Jeff even did the dishes...well no dishes, but all the pans and utensils, afterwards! What a treat!!

Below is our fire Saturday night. Ken is the fire master!

This would be the hammock that I spent my whole weekend in. It was nice and relaxing....hence my name Princess Penelope Bananahammock.

Packing to head home :(

Austin, Ben & Connor were VERY happy to have Mommy & Daddy home. Thank you everyone for watching our kids so we could enjoy a weekend away!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Wouldn't let me post the pictures yesterday...I'll try this again.

Austin & Ben on the trucks
Austin & Gramma Sandey on the roller coaster

Ben & Connor in the water fountains
The boys on the boats...the stupid worker took their seatbelts off and was going to let them climb out themselves!!!

Austin & Matthew on the trucks at Hoffman's