Plumber Please

We have had an interesting set up going on in our house for the last several days. Last Friday 26 day old chicks arrived via US mail...14 of them were dead. We're expecting replacements tomorrow. We set up our bathroom as a brooder for the survivors, thinking it would be easier for the first several days to take care of them inside to monitor them closely. Last time we had chicks, we put them in an old wash tub downstairs, and Benjamin washed them with liquid laundry detergent, suffocating them. We had one survivor then...a little bantam rooster who is still running around the yard today. These current chicks are all hens, so hopefully we'll have abundant eggs in about 4 months or so.

We chose our bathroom because we could lock our bedroom door and keep curiousity out of there most of the day. That worked pretty well until the main bathroom had to be taken out of commission. We've been experiencing some toilet issues. Well, how could we avoid it when you consider that 7 people are flushing frequently, and quite honestly, I'm sure things go down that are NOT supposed to! The toilet wouldn't flush without being plunged EVERY time, so Tim took it apart to fix it, with intentions of stopping the next day to pick up the parts that he needed to put it back together. Not a big deal, we'd just lock that bathroom for a day and the kids could use ours...we'd (I'd) just have to keep a closer eye on the chicks. When Tim returned home, he had forgotten to stop for parts, so we'd have to wait another day. During the one day of no main bathroom, the upstairs bathroom overflowed, my bathroom floor was covered with chicken feed, toilet paper, the toilet didn't get flushed, of course there was poop and pee outside of the toilet, because that is an ongoing issue in our home, and because every stop to the toilet meant checking on the chicks, there was straw, chicken feed and water scattered all over the counter as well.
It's been one day and it feels like a week! One more day won't be horrible I guess. Well, at the end of day two, the toilet was put back together, but still wouldn't flush, so it had to be taken apart again...that little bead was still in there, and despite the fact that we pulled half an apple and a roll of clorox wipes out of the drain, we still needed to try to get that bead out. That was a challenge. We ultimately had the toilet outside trying to force water through it, reaching our hands down as far as possible to the nearly unreachable hole as big as a dime that the bead was stuck in. We finally managed to break the bead (it was glass) and dislodge it--I think! Soooo, day three found the door still locked as another new wax ring was needed. It is now back in working order! We've moved the chicks out to the coop, so we have our bathroom back too. What an important room!
Despite the fact that we have, and did have working bathrooms in the house, we're still dealing with bowel and bladder issues. Monday night, both ben and Mattie wet their beds...they've been doing really well--probably because we've been doing a better job of taking them potty at midnight. The last four days in a row, Mattie has pooped her pants...more than once a day. Benjamin has pooped on the floor twice this week too. I honestly have no idea what to do to prevent this from happening with Joe! I don't want him to go through this too. If I knew the cause, it would probably be easier to find a solution!

Joe is starting to talk quite a bit right now. He's very good at saying "unt uh", or "no", but he's also added "hot dog", graham cracker, thank you, night night, cookie and drink, chicken, Jakob, Jon and let's eat to his vocabulary. The rest of his communication is a shrill shriek, unless he's mad at which point it is simply screaming! He is also in that really helpful phase where everything gets picked up and put where it belongs, and he's willing to be a little gopher. He still loves to be held, and on occasion still likes to cuddle. He hasn't nursed for almost a week, and he seems to be doing pretty well having given that up, but he would still prefer it as his primary method of comfort. He is certainly a joy everyday when he starts his day with a huge smile to say goodmorning before his hungry, impatient meltdown. He is such a cutie pie. He has discovered half a dozen new expressions which unless captured on video, can't come close to being adequately described.

Jakob has a major "shiner" on his left eye. He looks as if he got in a fight, because the day after he got stitches, he fell and hit his face on the other side! He was hit right at the outside end of his left eyebrow with a golf ball, which provided a clean cut requiring only two stitches, but has left him with quite a visual reminder, as his eyelid is swollen and weighing down, partially closing his eye. He's proud of his record number of Urgent care visits for sutures! This is number 5! As always, our childrens' guardian angels are working overtime! The stitches can get wet, so swimming is still ok, which is the silver lining of this cloud. He had a back to school swimming party last night, and I think he was excited to be reunited with all of his buddies.

Mattie had a kindergarten kickoff at the Children's Museum last night too, so she's beginning to get even more excited about starting school. Poor Joshua and Jonathan! They just have to go back to school without a big pre-welcome party. :(

On a pregnancy note, my progesterone level is up from 13 to 22, but still not high enough to discontinue the injections. Still feeling pretty good, although for the first time really in all of my pregnancies, a little nausea...so far solved by eating things that are NOT conducive to avoiding rapid weight gain! Hopefully this is VERY temporary! I'm trying some different vitamins to see if they are the culprit.

We learned today that Shannon and Matt lost their baby. Rylan John was born on Sunday at 16 weeks gestation due to an undiscovered infection that Shannon had. We were deeply saddened, as she lost Rylan's twin at about 4 weeks or so. What a challenge. What a reason to pray in thanksgiving for 7 healthy pregnancies so far! The Clark family is in our prayers, especially tonight as they buried their baby.

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