February 2018

I was glad to plan to go to Disney Tuesday, but only if the seal held! We got busy doing school and I started washing laundry like a madwoman to fill up the mid. When it was full I turned off the washer and let it sit as it was, and then checked that the toilet had water halfway up the bowl. It did. Then I timed it for an hour, and no leaks! Thank God! I was praying so hard! I can’t believe I fixed it! I’m probably still gonna check it every once in a while just to make sure. I started the washer again and we went on with our day.

After lunch we headed out to Epcot. I wasn’t able to get many fast passes, but we had Sorin and Finding Nemo. For Sorin we got great seats, the bottom of the middle; almost no distortion there. Afterward I asked about the walking tour of The Land; it was so interesting the other day I figured I would enjoy that. But they charge you for the tour. I’ve already paid enough, I think. And I especially wouldn’t want to pay another $25 for Jack to come. Finding Nemo was a little kid’s ride, calm and relaxing. In the after-area there were aquariums and a tiny playground along with the usual gift shop.

We also rode Mission Space since the wait time was low, and I shopped a bit more than usual. We hit up Club Cool and I tasted some of the other Cokes since the low carb diet is no more. I liked all the ones I tried, they were all sweet and fruity. At one point Max went to Test Track while Jack and I went to the playground, where I read Reacher and Jack asked adults to play tag. That kid!

We ran to the grocery store on our way home to get milk for the morning. I also wanted to drop off Jack’s old glasses in the donation bin. We walked right there and I told Jack to put his old glasses in the bin. He reached right up and almost had his new ones in there before I could grab them! Crazy kid!

Today I was looking forward to some relaxing since I got groceries last night, but then Tj told me the pipe for the shower came in on Monday, so Jack and I walked to the office to get it at recess.

Of course they didn’t send what we ordered. I don’t get why this is such a big ordeal to replace, but it is! I chatted with Tj for a bit, took some pictures (with my awesome new camera) and sent them…the new part doesn’t work. He sent me a link to print out a return address and I got that packaged up. He also found a plumbing place in Orlando for me, so after the boys got back from the playground I left them home while I drove up there. I stopped at a nearby UPS store to drop off the other pipe. I walked in this new store with a big “We’re Open Now” sign and saw no one. I called out a couple of times, and finally some dude walked inside and said he was sorry but they were closed just for today. Poop. The drive to the plumbing store was 30 minutes. I walked in and showed the guy the old pipes, one was the right diameter but not the right length, could they help me? Of course not. But fortunately there was a plumber there who offered to fix me up. He walked me around the store and picked up a few things that would work, we just have to get a hacksaw to cut them down to size. I double checked that the glue we had would work with what he was getting, and then told him back all the steps involved in getting us set up. Then I took a picture of what we needed to do and thanked him profusely. I’d rather have parts made to fit, but for $4 I’ll buy this in case we don’t find another place.

On the way home I searched for another UPS store, but didn’t realize until I was close that it was the same stinking store! Ugh. I got home with enough time to read a bit before making salad for supper before church. When we pulled into the church parking lot Max remembered that it was parents’ night in his class, so Jack and I joined him there. It was a cute class, and the Esther video they played before the lesson was beautiful! Patricia from my Sunday School was there, so she sat by me and we chatted a bit.

Well, today started out normally enough. Get the boys going on school, make a meal plan with what’s left in the fridge, wash sheets, clean Tj’s cups and leave them to really dry. There was some back and forth about going to Disney or not. I had figured these next 2 weeks we’d go every available day, which for us is 4 days each week. We don’t go on Sat/Sun because of the higher attendence, and we skip Wednesday for church and to run errands. Of course halfway through school Max said he didn’t want to go. I pondered that while we continued school, and figured if these next 2 weeks we just went 3 days that would be fine, too. Then as we were finishing school he waffles back to wanting to go. I wanted to go, so that settled it. After lunch when I was cleaning up and getting ready to leave Jack mentioned water by the door. There was a pool about as big as my fist there. I looked around a bit and tried to figure out where it came from, and sadly realized that it ran the length of the kitchen counter…all the way from the bathroom!! The toilet is leaking! Ugh!!!! There was water pooled behind the toilet to the wall, and then it seeped through the wall and had run to the front of the bus. I guess we aren’t going to Disney!

I’d been meaning to mop the bus, and now’s the perfect time. Ugh. I told Max to run outside and shut off the water (there’s no shut-off valve at the toilet) and I got my headset and called Tj. Of course I have a new phone and had to set up my headset to call him. When he answered he was eating lunch so I gave him a quick rundown of the shituation (heh). He told me how to fix it: unhook the water from the back of the toilet, turn the toilet upside down, place the seal, turn it back over and hook it all up again. That was our latest plan. But when I hung up and did that it didn’t work. The seal is basically the same size as the toilet pipe. I stretched it a tiny bit to fit and called Tj to see if he thought that would work and he said he’d been watching toilet videos with lunch (yum!) and that wasn’t gonna do it. There’s no way to keep the seal on while flipping the toilet. So I told Max how he would have to help me in a few minutes. While he waited he pulled all the rugs and stuff outside and and laid them in the sun to dry. I flipped the toilet right side up again and dried everything off. I went ahead and put the seal and the toilet into place, and had a surprisingly easy time of lining up the bolts. It’s always been a struggle when I’m holding the toilet and Tj’s trying to position it as I slowly lower it. I laid down on the floor and tipped the toilet up a little to see the seal underneath, and as far as I could see everything was aligned correctly. I tried to do the same in the back, but there’s not enough room for me to get my head down there and far enough away to focus. I picked up the toilet and saw that the seal was pushed a bit toward the front, but I still felt good about it, so I realigned it, and put the toilet back on and bolted it down. Max ran outside with a walkie talkie and turned the water on…no leaks! I filled the bowl and checked again, still good! I’m really praying I fixed it. I think the reason why it leaked today when it hadn’t leaked overnight is that the mid was completely full, and it sat there with the water level over the seal, and the seal wasn’t seated properly. The last and biggest test will be to fill the mid and let it sit there again to see if it leaks.

I told Max I did it all myself, and sent both boys to the playground with popsicles while I stripped the bus floor of everything and mopped. I mopped that sucker 4 times, and cleaned both toilets top to bottom. The boys were back by this time so I sat outside and read. I ended up reading a whole Reacher in one day!!

We really look like the Clampets today, all the rugs are outside hanging over various parts of the picnic table, Max’s legos are all over the table too. Jack is filthy and playing in a bucket of water. The shoe shelf is outside, it was sitting in a little water so it needed to dry out before I brought it back inside. And last night when Tj made us hamburgers outside he burned his hand on the grill, and flipped the whole thing up in the air, so there are still bits of hamburger all over the concrete. Whatever. I sat and read for probably an hour before I felt like bringing it all back inside. I stripped Jack partially on the doorstep and sent him to my bathroom to shower while Max and I set up the rest of the house and I made supper.

We watched MASH and then got in our beds at the usual time. I read Reacher and planned on sewing a loop on my pj pants, but I fell asleep several times. I finally put the book down and turned on a show and sewed. Of course when I finished the show and then finished my book I wasn’t sleepy! Ornery!

We did school Saturday since we took Thursday off. The internet has been slow for 3 full days, but fortunately it’s back to normal today. Tj’s finishing up my phone and I’m helping Jack along in school.

Jack has been taking fish oil on the Nemecheck protocol since Jan 27, but we ran out a few days ago, and it was time to up his dosage. I bought capsules, but they’re on the big side and I didn’t know if he could or would take them. Tj suggested we try to get Jack to chew them up a little…I don’t think he’d have much trouble with the taste honestly. So the other day Tj gave it to him; he chewed it once or twice and swallowed it. The next day I thought he might not have even chewed it. And the following day and every day since I’m sure he’s just swallowing it! Awesome!

I don’t think the protocol is really doing anything for him development wise. It may be repairing his gut or brain, but we’re not seeing any outward signs of it. I may continue it since the oil is sold at Wal-mart, and the fish oil and inulin aren’t that expensive…I don’t know. We were already seeing such growth in the form of full sentences and new topics he talks about before we started this protocol. We’ll see.

After school we went to Abracadabra for an ice cream lunch. Tj also ordered us some hot wings. They were fine but not great. Both boys brought socks and jumped in the castles. Afterward we went to 2 WM’s to find some tennis for Max. I finally found some white no-show socks for me. But when we got home Max said (not for the first time) that he didn’t want any of his no-show socks, so I took his! Heh.

We saw the front toilet was leaking last night, so today I found one of the extra seals we already had and he replaced it. I think this time I had a better hold on the toilet, though the whole operation is crazy. The bathroom is so small that Tj loosens the toilet, I straddle his head as he lays on the floor facing the toilet, I lift the toilet, he does what he needs and then I lower it while we both try to align the bolts with the holes. He suggested that if it still leaks I ask someone around here for help replacing the seal next time. When I reminded him how I stand he realized that wasn’t a great option :-)

Sunday was a normal Sunday. There were a couple of cars in the Willie’s parking lot after church so we pulled in to check it out. We saw a worker come out and talk to someone and they drove away. A few minutes later a car came by and dropped 2 workers off. I pulled around to where they were and asked if they were open today and they said yes, they open at noon. Then one of them looked at her watch and chuckled and said well, maybe 12:30. It was 12:15. I wanted to wait since we were already there and workers were there and they were about to open, but Tj was fed up with them. I don’t really blame him, but we were sooooo close! We went to the wings place and Tj called it our tradition to go there after Willie’s fails. I may or may not go to Willie’s when Tj’s gone to work.

After lunch Jack and I took a nap while Max and Tj played computer games. When we got up the boys went to the playground and Tj and I got him ready for work. This is the first time in a long time we washed his work clothes in our bus washer, he usually washes them in Memphis since they come out of the dryer less wrinkled there. Here they’re full of wrinkles. When the washer was done I shook out each pant and shirt and hung them to dry. After a short while, while they were still damp, I used our new steamer to steam the wrinkles out. The steamer works fine. It’s a travel one, though, so I have to refill it every 3 minutes or so. It did most of his work shirt with 1 tank, so that was good.

After he was all packed up we re-leveled the bus. We’re parked on grass here, and after so long we settle. The block we put under the front driver support is completely even with the ground now. We don’t get rain often, but we got a lot a while back and I’m sure that helped push the bus lower into the ground. Tj pulled up all the supports and I added 3 blocks under each front support. Hopefully this will last us another month until we leave. I can’t believe we only have another month here!!

Having a kid with communication and understanding problems is always so tricky. Obviously. I spend so much time with Jack, and I have these ideas of what he can and can’t do, but because he can’t tell me accurately what he can or can’t do I have to assume certain things. And we all know he’s hard headed…no matter what fun thing we’re doing, if we’re not at a playground then he’s asking for a playground. Even if we’re leaving the playground we’ve been at for 2 hours. Same with a restaurant. If we’re leaving one he asks for one. And asks and asks and asks. I’ve seen him write certain things before, or answer certain questions correctly before, but if he’s not in the mood when I ask him to answer or write them again he just won’t do it. He’ll just sit and stare blankly at me, or he’ll arch his back in anger. So, basically, he’s just like every 3 or 5 year old kid. He’s just trapped in a 10 year old body. I try to cut him slack where he needs it, but I also try to make him do things I (think I) know he’s perfectly capable of. And then sometimes things happen which make me think I don’t know as much as I think I know about him. Twice in the last week a song has played and he’s ‘sung’ it, but without any discernable words, just sounds. “I Just Need You” was playing the other day and it took him saying the same thing at least 3 times for me to realize that he thought he was saying exactly what the radio was saying. If he still can’t accurately hear what’s going on around him how do I ever expect him to function in our world? And those are words he knows, and knows the meaning of. Ugh. Maybe I’m too hard on him? Or maybe he’s playing me? Or maybe we’re just both human and doing the best we can. I love this boy. At least there’s no maybe about that!

Today was a regular school day. I got Jack settled in school and then I started working on my fruit pizza. With Jack I’ve started either listing a time he gets a break to go jump or when we’ll leave on an errand, or I’ve listed the school things he has to do sprinkling ‘jump’ in there for his benefit.

I haven’t made a fruit pizza in years. I saw one a few weeks ago at Publix and I’ve been wanting one ever since. It was good, but I’m sure I can make mine better. I cooked the sugar cookie base, and when it was finished I sprinkled a lot of chocolate chips on it and put it back in the oven to melt. I spread them all over to keep the cookie from getting soggy with the cream cheese mixture that comes next. We bought strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, oranges and kiwi at Aldi. I put all those on top, and warmed orange marmalade over that. It was wonderful! The boys had eaten breakfast so this was their second breakfast.

We had plans to go to Abracadabra for ice cream for lunch, but that didn’t work out so Tj suggested we do that tomorrow. After an hour or so the boys finished school, so I made us lunch around 2pm. I ate lightly because Tj and I are going to Ciprico’s for supper! Years ago we got a babysitter and went there and I had the best steak of my life! Of Tj’s too, I think. I hope tonight won’t disappoint, but I’m trying to be realistic, too.

Jack and I took a nap, until Grandmom called to chat! Tj just about has my phone set up, but I took it to read a bit before my nap and hadn’t fixed that setting. It’s fixed now! Jack didn’t go back to sleep so I sent him out with Tj and Max. I read and read. It was lovely. 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave Tj looked up at the clock and remembered our reservation! He hurried and took a shower and I got ready myself. I left Max with meats and cheeses for supper, and directions to also vacuum before we got home.

Tj and I headed directly to the Grand Floridian. We got there a few minutes early so we looked in shops a bit. I saw some of the cutest monorail socks the other day, but didn’t see them here. Tj’s looking for a sticker of a cartoon Storm Trooper with a phaser and a word cloud that says ‘Pew Pew’!! So cute! We saw a pin, but he wants a sticker.

When it was time we checked in at Citrico’s. Our waiter Matt was really nice, and was training a guy named Sam. I’d forgotten to take my medicine which gets stirred into a glass of water and I think that Tj was a little embarrassed that I’d do that in the restaurant, but I did. Of course as soon as I’d mixed it but not drunk it Matt and Sam came by to explain the whole menu!! We were already looking at the pork belly but didn’t tell them that. When Matt went to describe it he said it was his favorite appetizer, so we ordered that. I drank my medicine as soon as they walked away, but that whole thing made me chuckle. The pork belly was good, but not awesome. It was enough for each of us to get about 2 bites. Our steaks, though, were all that I wanted them to be! They were just as buttery as I’d been dreaming of. I definitely think it has to do with what you buy as much as how you cook it. The steaks were on a bed of mashed potatoes, and there was a wonderful sauce over the top. The sauce was awesome, but it didn’t overtake the steak flavor at all. I asked for mixed veggies instead of the carrots so I got foraged mushrooms which were heavenly! None of their desserts interested us, so we decided to go to Abracadabra. We told Matt that, and I started describing how wonderful that place was. After Tj and I gushed about it a bit Sam said he’d been there. We laughed and asked why he’d never told Matt about it and he said because Matt didn’t have kids. Heh.

We walked around the shops a little more, and then I saw a soap with a mustache and thought of Amy. We went inside to find a soap for Jennifer and saw so many good smelling things. I decided on a bar of solid moisturizer, and then Tj said I should get a grab bag, so he picked out one for me. Fun! Inside was oatmeal honey lotion, bath salts, solid perfume and my favorite soap, watermelon! While we were waiting for the monorail back to the parking lot the fireworks started. We watched some from the monorail, and then got off at the Magic Kingdom and stood there to watch the rest. We rode the ferry back to TTC, and the tram to the truck. Tj went back and forth on ice cream now, but we finally decided to skip it tonight. Supper was small, but it was very filling!

When we got home a little after 9 Jack was in Max’s Lego seat and Max was playing Minecraft. We weren’t going to make Max go to bed yet, but he started packing up when we walked in the door, so we let that happen. Jack was awake, but not really. We helped him to bed and got in bed ourselves. We watched the last 2 episodes of ‘This is Us’ tonight. I really like that show, and I’m glad Tj’s willing to watch it with me.

This morning Jack said he wanted a long sleeve shirt and long sleeve pants. Heh.

We were gonna do school today like a normal day, but our internet was slow all day yesterday. Monarch worked fine sporadically, so Max got his work done, but it wasn’t great. Today looked like it would be the same. And my new phone’s coming in this afternoon around 4. If we go to Disney after school like normal I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get it! So we decided to make today our Saturday. We ate breakfast and headed out.

Now I know why we don’t go to Disney early; There were tons of people! The people next to us parked so close Tj had to ask them to move so I could get out of the truck! I realized after we were on the tram that we might want some sunscreen, but it was too late. We haven’t gotten sunburned at all here, and we’ve been outside a lot…guess we’ll see! I also realized I’d forgotten my birthday pin, so we went right to a shop and got me a new pin.

Tj headed straight to get a DAS for Avatar, while I took Jack to the bathroom. Then we all met up at It’s Tough to be a Bug. While we were waiting for Tj we caught the tail end of a show that was awesome…tons of parrots and Macaws were flying overhead! At one point a couple flew about 2′ above us and squawked so loud…it was super startling! They were all so brilliantly colored…I sure wouldn’t mind seeing that again!. It’s Tough to be a Bug was more interactive than I expected, but it’s not like I really knew what to expect. At one point there were supposedly wasps flying around, and a ‘stinger’ came out of the back of our seats and stung us! And then another time we felt bugs moving on our seats! It was a fun show, but I think I’d enjoy it more the 2nd time.

Then we went to the dinosaur ride. I could do without that again. It was taking us back to dinosaur time to retrieve something (I missed that part of the video), but it was mostly in the dark, jerking us around. It was fine but I wasn’t impressed. From there we walked near a playground, so Tj and Jack went to play. Max wore my red Converse this morning (Tj says we need to buy him some tennis shoes to wear at Disney), and by now they were rubbing a blister on his heel. We stood outside and he put a bandaid on. After a few minutes I gave him a second bandaid to put on, and I rubbed chapstick around the area that was also red. Tj lost sight of Jack in the playground for a minute, so Max and I went into the playground to help him keep watch and to figure out our next stop. After a bit Max and I just switched shoes…the ones I was wearing (my Sketchers) are soooo comfortable! He loved those, but that sure did make me laugh. We wear the same size shoes and the same size shirts right now. I’ve traded shirts with him a few times. I don’t guess this will last very long, though.

Our last fast pass was for Primeveal Whirl, which was such a retro ‘roller coaster’. It was fine, but a bit jerky. I’m glad we did it but I don’t feel the need to do it again.

Around this time I realized there were some animals around this park (duh!), so we decided to go look at them till we were hungry for lunch. We saw some monkeys, vultures and kangaroos. And then we got hungry enough. We’d laughingly discussed the $75 sampler platter at one of the restaurants here, but Disney hasn’t been known for it’s great food. We ended up getting cheeseburger meals with included brownies. The burger patties were good! And I liked the brownie toppings, but Tj ate 2 bites of his brownie and gave it to Jack.

After lunch we went to Avatar, and we enjoyed that ride today as much as the first time! Then we headed home. On the way Tj got notification that my phone was in so we went to the office to get it and the case for it. And there were other packages for me…presents from Amy and Jennifer!!! What awesome friends!! A hiking book (that Amy’s BIL or cousin-in-law had a hand in making), pens and a sketch book! Super sweet!

We went back to the house and the boys got right into their swimsuits. We left Tj getting my new phone ready and we walked to the pool. Jack wore his ‘new’ flip flops, so it took us a while. Heh. The boys had a good time swimming, but it was funny towards the end. Jack has no idea of personal space, or not taking other people’s stuff, or strangers, or anything like that. So he had a pool noodle that belonged to another kid, a 3.5yo named Brayden. That kid pulled the noodle and told Jack ‘That’s my pool noodle’ and Jack just repeated it back to him, and they repeated this a couple of times before I realized what was going on and told Jack to give him back his noodle. The little boy was mad! (Understandably so.) Then he started hitting Jack on the back with the noodle! It cracked me up. I knew it wasn’t hurting Jack, and Jack was oblivious. I told him ‘Don’t hit Jack, I know that’s your pool noodle, and Jack won’t take it again’. He stopped, but he never stopped glaring at Jack!

About that time Jack said he was finished swimming! I don’t think he’s ever been finished before, he’s just quit when we made him. Tj took him to the bathroom and then I walked him home while Tj stayed behind with Max. Tj was trying to see if the internet speed was any better there than at the bus, but it wasn’t. Jack and I visited with Bill and Lucy for a bit. They’re going to visit their son who’s having knee replacement surgery so we’ll get their paper and take care of their parsley while they’re gone. I also got the time and place of the 2 big garage sales happening these next few weekends.

On the way home I ‘booped’ Jack on the hiney with the pool noodle, and said ‘boop’. Jack said, ‘Don’t call me boop’!!!!!! What an understanding of language!! I asked him what he wanted me to call him, and he said poop! I couldn’t believe the back and forth we had. One day this boy will really talk. And then I’ll cry.

Tj came home and the boys showered. Jack got a little sun, so Tj put some lotion on him after his shower. That kid is wiped out! I made grilled cheese sandwiches for their supper while Tj continued to work on my phone. Now he’s gone to find better wifi and the boys are in bed. I hope he comes home soon!