Saturday, January 07, 2006

The attic and the diapers

Okay, it's been a couple days since this happened, but I've been busy and haven't blogged it yet.

First a quick health update: Roger is still unable to walk although he's working on it. His fever comes and goes still but he's mostly fever free now. Mitchell came home from a lock-in this morning with a sore throat. The older 3 kids went to a lock-in for our youth group last night and I was worried about them staying up all night with sickness floating around us, but how could I say no? They even suggested I should pick them up early this morning so they could be home in time to milk. But so far Stephen has stayed healthy. We could use continued prayers.

Okay, the story. I have a little thing about heights. I'm fine until I look down and then I get this queasy stomach and light head. I've avoided going in the attic for years. I'm not sure I've been in an attic since I was 10 yrs old. But after breakfast a couple days ago the phone rang. It was an odd ring and there was only static on the other end. It continued to do this over and over every minute or so. We called the phone company and an automated recording said we had to check at the box first. So I got dressed and took a screwdriver and phone outside. Bad news. There was a dial tone out there, but not in the house (just that crazy ringing and static). So the problem was on our end and Roger couldn't fix it.

I had to go up in the attic and follow the line to find where it was messed up. My brother-in-law, Fred, had told me over the phone (my cell of course) that it sounded like it was grounded somewhere and I would have to find it. He said it was usually caused by rodents, usually squirrels. Well, we have not seen any squirrels here, but we've caught several mice now. So up to the attic I went. It was not fun. Thankfully, Stephen went with me and did most of the crawling around up there. We checked everything at the two ends and just had the middle to check left. We had to find Roger's little headlight thingy first though. He couldn't tell us where it was, nor could he just walk to it. So we searched, found it, and checked the line in the middle of the attic. Nothing. Then I started re-checking the connecting points where lines were joined together. I noticed a place where there were 3 cords connected and couldn't explain more than two. I checked with Roger and found one went to a dead jack that was completely disconnected. The other end of that wire was dangling outside! I knew that had to be it. So we disconnected the 3 and removed the dead line. Sure enough, the line was fine after that!

Okay, to some of you that may sound like no big deal, but *I* figured it out and Stephen and I fixed it. We actually did it! And in the attic no less! I was very proud of myself.

Another exciting thing for me was some math I did this week. I've been using cloth diapers to try to save money. Then I would get frustrated with how behind I got on laundry. Well, our water bill came and it was pretty high. I'm giving God the credit here because I'd been praying about how busy I am and overwhelmed I often feel and He had reminded me of the lilies of the field and how they don't have to work hard and yet He provides for them, but I couldn't figure out what I could give up and asked Him to show me. So I think He planted the thought in my head to do the math. So I did. I calculated how much it is costing us to wash diapers per week and then figured out how much it costs us to buy a week's worth of diapers at the store. It varies some depending on how often I change diapers and how often I'd be washing the cloth ones. But it came out to a savings of just under $1 per week. Yet I'm spending at least an extra 30 minutes washing diapers. I could sew more and have more to offer on if I had that 30 minutes! And I LIKE to sew, but I don't like washing diapers. So I'm back to disposable and it feels so good! Sam may not think so, but if he doesn't like it he can start using the potty. He can talk enough to ask to go, but he hasn't had a success yet. That's okay, he's not quite 18 mos old yet (not till Tuesday). I'm just glad to not have to touch those wet smelly things anymore. There's something about the smell of Pampers that reminds me of when I first had my first baby. It's a pleasant memory for me. Not like the ammonia smell in the diaper pail. PLUS, Sam kept hiding things in the diaper pail. I was washing the last load of diapers when I found his missing shoe! And all those cloth diapers can now get packed up and stored in the far barn. It'll be nice to have the drawer space back! Sorry if I'm disappointing all of my organic, all-natural friends. I still think cloth is good for baby, but it wasn't good for me. And I'll re-do the math when I have two in diapers. Hmm. Maybe I should rush that potty training. . .


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