Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Showers, Laundry, Potty Training, and more!

Well, our hot water problem is pretty much solved.  Mitch purchased a tankless water heater that, with rebates, will cost about the same amount as a tank would have.  The installation was a lot harder, though.  Mitch took the day off school on Friday to work on it.  The vent for the old heater was only 2", so he widened it to 3".  He also ran a second vent.  The longest pipe he could buy was 10', but he needed 15 or something like that.  It meant he would have to cut a hole in the ceiling so he could put a support for where he pieced the pipes together.  Instead, he and Micah spent some time driving around to some larger places (not your Menards-type store) and finally found a couple pipes that were long enough.  He had to pay twice as much for the pipes, but the extra $30 was worth not having to patch our ceiling (sheetrock, tape, mud, texture, paint), don't ya think??  The gas and water pipes had to be completely rerouted also.  He got help from a friend and from his dad for those.  When the propane torch came out for soldering, I got a little uneasy.  :)  Mitch and Paul enjoy playing with fire too much!!  There are a few little things that Mitch needs to finish up before the project is completely done.  The immediate need is relieved, though, we have hot water!

This tankless system is supposed to be good for large families and it is supposed to save us money.  However I have found one problem:  my showers will likely be longer than they ever were, because I'm not going to run out of hot water nor worry about the person showering after me.  :)  The savings we have will go to our increased water bill to be sure.  LOL  All I know is that on Sunday morning I was 5th in line for a shower.  When I got in, Zeke was already in the shower downstairs.  I noted that I didn't have much water pressure.  When he kicked his shower off, my pressure was up to a level that was more acceptable.  I had perfectly warm water for as long as I lingered in the shower.  On a different Sunday I could have expected a lukewarm or cold shower at best.

Getting back to laundry was another issue.  When Paul and Mitch were inspecting the space between the ceiling and the subfloor above, Paul noticed that our dryer vent was disconnected part of the way back.  Our ceiling had a lot of lint on it--yikes!  So Mitch had to repair the dryer vent before I could be hooked back up for laundry.  Even though my friends helped me get my laundry done last week, it felt like we had twice as much laundry this week.  I still can't figure that out.  The one who never changes his underwear actually had one pair in the wash, as well as 2 pair of jeans, 2 shirts (one shirt is the same shirt he wears to church every Sunday), and a couple pair of socks.  Should I be worried??  =S  Just look at this crazy pile of laundry!  There are still two more loads in the wash.  Insane!!  Micah helped me a lot with folding, though.

Tirzah has insisted on potty training.  I have been hesitant because I have so many other things going on and I can't focus enough.  But when she pulls off her dirty diaper, we all start running. 

I started a few months ago just teaching her the basics, to prepare for a more fast-paced training in the future.  I would have her sit on the potty to practice.  I would talk to her about all the words (wet/dry/poopy, potty, diaper, etc), so she understood the language.  I had other kids help her go potty, and if she peed they would each get an M&M.  I had her wear undies a couple times here and there, but I wasn't ready to make the switch to wearing underwear for any extended period of time, nor did I really expect her to stay dry at all in them.  I just wanted her to be used to the "feel" of it, before we were ready to start. 

That's when the stripping began.  She got so used to it that she would often strip out of her diapers.   I wasn't sure how to proceed--like I said, I wasn't ready to give her some good focused attention!  She was so proud of herself for being able to get dressed by herself, that I would often walk into her room and find clothes all over the place where she had been trying on different things (such a girl!!). 

In the past week she has gotten so much more consistent with going and we have had her in underwear more than in diapers.  She is doing amazing!!  Both yesterday and the day before she only had 3 "accidents".  Two times were just before needing to go poop--she peed a small amount in underwear and ran to the bathroom to finish.  The third time was while playing outside--that's always a hard one to figure out.  (Even some of my bigger boys have recently been trying to pee outside--NOT cool with me, here in the middle of the city.)  This is SO much better than training Malachi.   

(And I think my dad will agree that in this picture she looks an awful lot like me.  It's the angle.  Hehe.)

Obadiah has been smiling.  He is also packing on some weight.  I haven't been able to catch a smile on camera yet, though.  We didn't use cloth diapers last week since the hot water was out (I couldn't wash them properly).  This week we are back at it, and I think he doesn't like them.  He was a crabby patty yesterday every time he was wet/dirty.  :\

My basement is still a disaster.  We have to get the carpet laid back down before we can get it put back together.  I admit that I'm really anxious for that to happen.  I still feel so overwhelmed by the "to do" list that I've been carrying around in my mind.  At the same time I am excited and joyful.  Each day has its own accomplishments.

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