Good news on so many fronts...
First off ... THANK YOU SO MUCH to all the kind people that went searching for "bunny" on Elizabeth's behalf. I obviously am challenged when it comes to finding something on the internet because I dedicated a lot of effort to this quest. I cannot believe how many stuffed animal bunnies there are. Some of the websites that I found would have 10+ pages dedicated to stuffed bunnies. And yet none of them were our "bunny". It probably would have helped if I'd known "bunny" went by the name of "Squeakles." I haven't been able to read his name tag for close to a year, so my attempts were futile. All of my searches included the key words: "Baby Boyds, Bunny, Pink, Squeak." From all of the hugely helpful responses to my post last night - and my girlfriend Lorie - who called me from work this morning to tell me that she found "bunny" in Europe ... I am letting out a huge sigh of relief. "Bunny" has indeed been sighted and I am buying enough to add a few extras in Elizabeth's crib ... and last us a few years - should something ever happen to the original "bunny". Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Second off ... I had picked up yet another nasty bug while I was in Palm Springs last week, which landed me in bed all weekend with a temperature of 102. After my learnings last month when I was sick ... I was not going to delay going to the doctor. I dragged myself there yesterday and he told me that in addition to the third case of the flu I've apparently picked up this year, I have conjunctivitis (aka: pink eye) in both eyes. Fabulous. The good news in all this is I feel better today. The even better news is that the stringent efforts I have made to wash my hands and cover them in Purell before touching the babies ... is paying off. THANKFULLY, there is no sign that any one in this household (other than me) will be afflicted by this virus. I can see a trend though ... I go on a business trip => I get sick. I called my boss this morning and told him I'm literally "bugging" out of the other two meetings I have scheduled for this year.
Third off ... our washing machine has been fixed. For the barget basement price of $206.34. Considering the cost of the washer, brand new was $367.00 - I had a bit of sticker shock. I looked back through our paperwork and determined that because the 1-year extended warranty would have cost us $100.00 - I figured we'd take our chances that something wasn't going to go wrong. Why pay 1/3 of the total cost to insure it for a year? I don't regret our decision to forego the warranty ... even though this repair did cost us $100.00 beyond what it would of had we'd had it. Oh well. If we had bought the warranty - chances are, it never would have broken down in the first place. Isn't that how that typically works?
Anyway. The repairman showed up at our house this morning at 8:15. He followed me in to the kitchen, where I was in the midst of feeding the kids breakfast. Elizabeth was in the process of rubbing jelly all through her hair - William was smearing maple syrup on his shirt - and Carolyn was wearing her bowl of oatmeal on her head, upside down - of course. Just a typical day. The repairman just shook his head and told me that he had an 18-month old at home, who was no neater of an eater than our three. That was good to know. I was afraid I was failing our kids in the manner department.
Within two minutes, the repairman had made a diagnosis. Our water pump broke. Apparently, there is a little gap between a washing machine tub and the "innards" of the appliance. He said that often what happens is that a small item will get pushed up and through that "gap" and get trapped in the water pump. I gave him a puzzled look and asked "Small item?" He told me "Yep ... like a baby sock. You wouldn't happen to be missing any baby socks - - would you?" AH HA! I showed him a basket of 10 baby socks that had lost their mate. I don't know where I thought these baby socks had scampered off to ... but I figured eventually they'd show up. He informed me that the chances were great those baby socks had been gobbled up by the water pump and what are ultimately, contributed to the water pumps demise.
The repairman gave me a valuable tid-bit of advice, which I feel compelled to share. Wash all of your small items (i.e. baby socks and baby wash cloths) in a mesh laundry bag. He told me that the NUMBER ONE part that breaks in a washing machine (in a home with small children) is the water pump, for the exact reason our water pump failed us. I really liked this guy ... not only did he fix the water pump in less than 5 minutes (making me question a possible career move to that of an appliance repair person) - but he gave me a brand new mesh laundry bag to prevent another baby sock from being consumed by our water pump.
There you have it. My day is off to a good start - and it's not even noon. My quest(s) for today have been met. I've found "bunny" with the help of my friends near and far ... I'm on the mend (hopefully this time it sticks) ... and I have a fully functional washing machine. Now, I just have to go wash the 8 piles of laundry (and one jelly covered "bunny") that have accumulated since Sunday. This will be fun, our kids LOVE helping with the laundry. They are absolute pros at pulling everything out of the basket, putting as many of the clothes on their head and around their shoulders as they can muster, and then climbing in the basket, on top of one another. The best part is they get to enjoy a ride around the room (courtesy of yours truly) and we work cooperatively together as a team folding each item. OK ... who am I kidding? It takes me five times as long to fold one basket of laundry ... but it is well worth the extra effort!