Hopeful Thoughts

Losing the Baby Weight: Weighing In

I began my commitment to seriously working to lose the weight on July 26th. Tomorrow will mark one month since I began my journey, so I thought it would be appropriate to “weigh in” today and report my progress.

I’ve done OK at maintaining my work out goals. However, I hit a bump in the road when I injured myself. I’m pretty sure that I pulled some kind of muscle in my knee as a result of poor form. To other mom’s out there, form is important, and it’s hard to keep it when a toddler is floating around your workout space! G is REALLY curious about the blue lights on the heart rate monitors I wear for the PS3 game I work out with. He’s ALWAYS underfoot. He plucks the resistance bands, sits on my back while I do push ups, reaches for my hand weights, insists on being picked up while I do squats… I think he enjoys watching, but it’s easier if I can do it well before his nap time or while he’s asleep.

Anyway, I had to sit out for a week as a result of the pain. I started back Monday, and things seem to be healed. I’m really enjoying the program and it’s nice to be able to keep to a routine that I can do indoors with this INSANE summer we are having here in TX.

Now, drum roll, please! In the last month, I have lost TEN pounds!!!!!! I can officially say this because even at my heaviest time of day, the weight loss is clear! I’m so excited!!!

I think I only have another 5 pounds to go to be where I was when I got pregnant. I can’t find where I wrote that down at the moment. 🙁 I have another 15 pounds to go to make it to my goal weight. Yup, I gotta keep going. When I got pregnant with G, I’d just returned from almost three weeks in Argentina. Three weeks of eating empanadas, the best ice cream EVER, and polishing off an entire batch of brownies (or whatever chocolate treat we decided to make) with my three moth post-partum friend and her husband was NOT the best way to prepare for pregnancy weight gain!!

I’m finding it pretty easy to stick to the program. It helps SOOO much to have those extra points for nursing. I wish I’d focused earlier when he was nursing more often. The weight would have flown off! But, here are a few stats to illustrate my eating habits.

Week 1: Used 19 extra points (G’s birthday cupcakes) Had one or two extra points remaining on 3 days.

Week 2: Used 7 extra points (dinner at Chuy’s). Had 2-7 points remaining on all other days

Week 3: Used 12 extra points (ate out twice that weekend) Only 3 days with remaining points

Week 4: Used 5 extra points (Uncle Julio’s!) 6 days with remaining points, all but one day 3 or more

A New Resolution

It’s taken me a lot longer than I had planned to shed my baby weight. Everyone assured me that if I kept nursing I would be surprised when it slowly but surely melted off. Well, Grayson turned one year old on the 29th of July, and I still was nearly 20 pounds heavier than when I got pregnant, and the same weight I was two months after his birth. I knew something had to change.

So, I determined to change and boldly announced to all my Facebook friends (might as well have been the world) that I was going on a points based eating system (you know the one, but the old version, because that’s what I’ve used before) and committing to exercise. I knew that by telling everyone, I would have to stick to it. Sure enough, I’ve had a bunch of people asking me how it’s going.

I’ve made it through two full weeks so far. Most days, I have an overage of points at the end of the day, and I’m not starving. I’ve barely had to delve into my extra weekly points allowance. I’m in a weird place when it comes to the points allowance. As a nursing mom, I get 10 extra points per day. However, G is getting some solid food, so I’m wondering if I even need all of those points. I’m seeing some small weight loss, and feeling better, but I bet if I started using all of my allowed points, I’d be stuck.

The question I am faced with is whether or not to drop my daily points value. As it stands now, it’s pretty easy to stick with it. I know that if it becomes too hard, then I am less likely to stick with it. However, it’s all just a numbers game. I can’t decide if I’m better off using the higher daily points total and not dipping into my extra, or dropping my daily points and using the extra. It seems I’d probably end up using the same number of points either way.

Not to mention the fact that, as G weans, I WILL have to drop my consumption to keep losing weight. I’m inclined to leave well enough alone for a few more weeks, giving me time to learn the “secrets” of this program, so that, hopefully, when I do get less, I’ll know better what to eat to keep hunger at bay.

So far, I have learned a few staples to help me stay on my points target. Fiber and Protein seem to be the keys to feeling less hungry. Here are a few ways I’ve packed them in.

Smoothies are great for both fiber and protein, and you get a good dose of dairy. I’ve even learned that a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach blends right in without ruining the flavor. You wouldn’t even notice if it didn’t turn the smoothie a lovely shade of green! In an attempt to pack more punch into my smoothies, I tried adding protein powder. I experimented with it a couple of times, but it seems to mess up the flavor. Especially if you use soy powder. Soy powder is NASTY!!! However, I mixed some vanilla flavor whey protein powder into a glass of milk this morning and it was pretty tasty!

A good nutrition bar is also a lifesaver. I’ve learned to keep one in my purse in case the munchies hit. Most are 3-4 points and contain lots of protein and fiber. I like the Luna bars (just not the protein ones) and I recently discovered Odwalla bars.

Sandwich Thins and Bagel Thins are also great. Choosing the whole wheat versions give a big dose of fiber and makes for one tasty little sandwich. Whole grains in general stick with you longer and are lower in points. One sandwich thin (top and bottom) is a single point, but two slices of white bread rack up four! I also choose Miracle Whip over Mayo, although today I discovered the olive oil version of mayo. Pretty tasty and just 1 point per tablespoon! I was excited!

For exercise, I’ve been using EA Active 2 for the PS3. It’s a great circuit trainer with lots of variety. I haven’t been bored yet and it’s totally kicking my butt. In fact, I have to take a breather for a couple of days because I think I hurt myself. Most likely because it’s difficult to watch your form when a 12MO is dancing in your workout space and climbing on your back when you try to do push ups!

I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits of my choices, and excited to learn more about eating well.

A Year in Review

Come Friday morning when I wake up, the little guy that snuggles next to me each night will be a full blown one-year-old. As I consider how quickly the time has flown, I’m also blessed to reflect on what has transpired in the last year of our lives.

July 29, 2010 at 5:40 in the morning, after nearly 24 hours at Inanna, Grayson emerged into our lives with my little sister and my best friend standing by. In the days and weeks that followed, we were showered with love from visitors. We hosted my entire immediate family…(Mom, Dad, sister, 2 nieces, nephew), with the exception of my brother in law, but including my parents dog. Ryan’s sweet mother was waiting patiently in her car, already in town, for the moment’s notice to come and see her new grandson. To top it off, several families in our amazing little church brought us meals.

We settled into a little routine and in September, I started my little tutoring business. This kept me busy four afternoons a week, but it was a great way to be home with Grayson. Thanks to Hawley, Gus, Allison, Joey, Kaycee, Nathan, Emily, and Kim for helping make that possible by watching my little guy. The business is flourishing and I love being able to work with the kids in this way.

Ryan has continued to enjoy his job as a game programmer, though his official title is “Senior Software Engineer”. He started in September of 2009 at Bonfire Studios (while I was in Argentina). In October of 2010, Bonfire was bought out by Zynga, providing more stability to his position.

Just before Grayson was born, we closed on our house. We’ve experienced lots of ups and downs during Grayson’s lifetime, though we are so glad to be in a house with the little guy around. In September, we were able to put our home buyers’ credit to work and pay for a complete replacement of our HVAC. Then, we turned around and spent whatever rebate we got from that overhaul on a brand new water heater when the old one exploded in December. The joys of an old house! Our AC unit was 35 years old, the furnace dated almost as old as the house, and the water heater was over 20 years old. Recently we’ve had the roof patched from wind damage, and replaced a belt on the tenant’s dryer. I think we need the kitchen drains worked on next.

We have been able to get some work done improving the house in addition to all the repairs. Grayson’s room got a fresh coat of Viking blue paint, thanks to the help of his Grandma, and it’s looking better and better as we add to it. This spring, we hired a crew to do a major overhaul on the yard. Trees were trimmed and brush was cleared and the result is impressive. Next on the list is an exterior paint job, scheduled to take place in the next few weeks, and landscaping with new sod in the fall.

The house is such a blessing. We’ve hosted two baby showers here this year, as the size and layout of our living and kitchen areas works great for big crowds. We still have great tenants in the apartment, who plan to stay for awhile. Not to mention the amazing neighbors in the houses on either side.

And speaking of babies, in Grayson’s first year, we’ve welcomed 3 new babies into our church, two new babies into the neighborhood (one right next door), and are anticipating 5 more over the next 8 months in our little church. Add to that my high school BFF, and we are just bursting with excitement over the babies!

In March, we were finally able to trade in my old car for something more safe and appropriate for mommy stuff. Goodbye rusty white 1999 Camry, hello shiny graphite grey 2011 Outback.

We live pretty far from my side of the family, but thanks to Ryan’s great job and my tutoring income, they haven’t seemed so far away this first year of parenthood. We traveled to my parents’ house for Christmas, I was able to visit my sister in MI over spring break, my mom came for a two-week visit in April, and G and I were able to meet my sister and her kids in NC in June. We’ve been blessed with 3 or 4 visits from Grandma (she’s a great babysitter) and made a couple of road trips to see her in Austin as well.

In December, our dear friends, the Rambows, returned form their stint in Argentina. We were blessed to have them back in our lives for 6 months before they left earlier this month for New Jersey. Emily kept Grayson some for me during tutoring and we are so grateful that he was able to play with their little girl.

I could go on and on about the things that have happened over the last year, but it would take forever. Of course, it would have been easier if I’d blogged all along than to try to cram it into one post anyway! Suffice it to say that it’s been an eventful time, but we are grateful for all we’ve been blessed with.

It's a Busy Life We Lead

The days pass quickly with our current routine of waking up, eating breakfast, running errands, napping, lunch, napping, time with friends, my tutoring business, and more napping. The naps are short, so the mommy time is pretty limited. Before you know it, four months has passed in between blog posts.

Grayson is growing like a weed. In just a little over a week, he will turn a year old. I simply cannot believe how fast the time has passed. It seems like yesterday that we left the birthing center, yet it feels like he’s been a part of our lives for years. He has won our hearts forever.

He’s growing up way too fast.


Do you remember your first car?

Mine was a 16 year old Toyota Corona (yes, a Corona) station wagon with a manual transmission and a matt grey repainting job that my father had done in our carport one year. (He hung plastic all around the exterior sides of the carport and we had to use the front door for weeks! ) Most kids would have scoffed at having to settle for this, but I was thrilled to have something to drive at all. I also really liked the power of the stick shift, even in an old car! It got me to school, home from practices, to my piano lessons, football games, and even back and forth to my summer job at Camp Don Lee a couple of times. So many fun high school memories!

However, it was OLD, and I was heading off to college. My parents wanted me to have something more reliable, so they bought a used 1980-something Mazda 626 from some church friends. It was Champagne with burgandy interior. It was a good little car, and it got me back and forth to school for the first two years, but it wasn’t really anything special. The summer before my Junior year, I let a camp friend borrow it to go to the doctor, and he rear-ended a little old lady. It was never the same after that. Far from the reliable car that my parents had hoped I’d be able to drive back and forth to college an hour and a half away.

But then, out of nowhere, my dad got a call from a man he’d known since before I was born. He was getting rid of his 1986 (I think) Chevy Cavalier and wanted to give it to me! There’s a sweet story behind why he did it…a sort of pay it forward kind of thing. There are lots of stories I could tell about that car and how many times it left me on the side of the road. There’s also a silly story about how I got engaged, but all for another day! I wish this man could have lived to see how that car impacted my life!

I graduated form college in 2000, and had driven 3 different cars over the 6 years since I got my license. So many memories! But none of these cars meant as much to me as the one I got in April of 2001.

I had my first job. I was on my own. A real grown up with my own life and my own bills. I decided that I was going to buy myself a car. My aunt works for a pre-owned dealership, and she tracked down a gently used 1996 Camry. I saved my money, I lined up my financing, and I bought my first car! 36 months, 7.25% interest, and just over $7000 financed. I was so excited! My parents had always owned REALLY old klunkers that dad kept running by spending his weekends doing constant tune ups. My 5 year old car was the newest, nicest thing I’d ever driven.

This one was special because I worked hard to get it. I was the one responsible to make the payments and set up the insurance. It was a right of passage for me. I was a successful adult because I could buy a car.

I would drive this car halfway across the country twice to visit my future husband. It would take me back and forth to my teaching job for nearly 8 years. It would take me to pre-natal visits, and my baby to check-ups and play dates with friends.

My pretty “new to me” car, didn’t stay that way. The dash lights quit working over 8 years ago , so I had to learn to monitor my speed by feel or the light of my cell phone. The interior lights soon followed in failure. The plate around my stereo controls wasn’t properly attached after installing an after-market CD player. The CD player itself hasn’t worked for the last 8 years. We noticed nearly 4 years ago that the car made clicking noises when turning and found out that the CV joints on all four wheels were going bad and could give out any day, leaving me stranded. The brakes were repaired last summer, but I was told a couple of weeks ago that they need work again. I can’t even remember how long it’s been since my wiper fluid system worked. The timing belt needs replacing. The paint is chipping off and the car is beginning to rust. There’s a giant dent in the front passenger side that smashed the headlight. Finally, I can’t forget how hard it’s been to go to any drive though because the driver’s side window gets stuck every time I power it down.

It’s basically falling apart and unsafe.

So we decided that we needed to replace it. It’s taken us awhile to save up the money to buy something newer, but this weekend, we did it. And in doing so, we traded in the Camry for a tiny $500. The car that meant so much to me turned out to be worth so little. It made me a little sad to say goodbye, but we’re happy to be providing a safer vehicle for our family.

Some Thoughts for Today

It’s beautiful out today. I’m so glad I was texted by a dear friend this morning to go for a walk to our town square where we had lunch outdoors at a local Mexican restaurant. Grayson loves walks, and he loves his stroller.

After returning home, there were a couple of happenings worth noting.

I have officially ordered G’s new car seat. We’ve had a love-hate relationship with his infant carrier. The convenience of leaving him in the car seat while he’s sleeping has been a plus, but it’s gotten SO HEAVY that G’s little 5 foot tall Mommy simply can’t take it any more! We settled on the Britax Marathon 70 in Onyx. Should be here before the end of the week!

I also ordered a new Baby K’tan carrier. I LOVE my old one, but the more I use it, the more I realize the sizing is wrong. So, I posted the Small one on Craigslist last night for $40. (They run $55-$65 new).

Just as I was ready to take G next door to the sitter for tutoring, I realized he had pooped! So, I was finally able to try out my newly installed diaper sprayer. It works GREAT! I am going to have to get a little help adjusting the connection between the hose and the spray wand, as I ended up with a puddle in the floor. Otherwise, it is the PERFECT tool for the job. It was so easy to use and it cleaned all the solids out of the diaper without splashing into my face or the floor.

Adjusting to life as parents takes time!

Which is why it’s been another 6 weeks since I last posted! Grayson is 12 weeks old today! As I write this, he is hanging out in his baby gym, swatting at the hanging rattles, wriggling around enough to rotate his position relative to the square he’s resting on, and “talking” up a storm! So many changes in such a short amount of time. I can’t believe how quickly it’s flying by!

LIfe with a baby is amazing, but challenging. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but there are times when I feel torn between loving on my little man, the house work that needs to get done, and the things that I would like to do. SInce I run a tutoring business out of my home, I really do HAVE to keep things picked up since it would be unprofessional not to. The laundry must get done so we have clean diapers and clothes that don’t reek of spit up. I’d love to just sit and snuggle with my little man all day long, but I find myself looking for every opportunity to put him down so I can get the housework done.

Thank God that we are blessed with a pretty happy baby. Of course he has his cranky times of day when he needs a nap, but, for the most part, he’s easy going. As he gets older, he is able to entertain himself for a bit longer and I am able to get things done in less time, giving me more time to hang out with him! I’m also finding time to do some of the things I want to do…like getting back into crochet and knitting just in time to get the Christmas presents made!

I have a long list of blog topics that I hope to get around to in the next few weeks. In the meantime, here are some pictures of my little man from the weeks since I last posted.

Grandma got lots of smiles when she came to visit at 7 weeks.

A 7 week old Grayson enjoying his bath.

This is how an 8 week old hangs out at the coffee shop.

A shot taken on the day he turned 2 months old.

This is how Grayson listens to the sermon. It's OK for a 9 week old, but we'll expect better in a year or so!

This is one sleepy 9 week old boy!

We LOVE our ducky towel! Thanks Miss Lynette!

I think this is my favorite photo so far. He is SOOO cute! He's 10 weeks here.

I was amazed at how long he let these stay on his face. I actually took them off before he ever complained because they are just too big!

The "Magic" stroller that Grandma gave us. It's magic because he'll almost always go to sleep!

Just before the eyes close for a nap. So sweet!

Grayson's first time in the high chair. Almost 12 weeks. This is now one of his favorite places to be!

This is how Grayson watched volleyball. I can't believe he fell asleep with all that noise!

First time in the Bumbo seat. I think this will be a new favorite!

And then there were three...

At 3:30 in the morning on July 28, 2010, I got up to go to the bathroom, as is normal for most pregnant women. The difference this time? When I got back in the bed, I felt the spill of a gush of water. “Crap!” I thought, “he’s not due for another week and my sister won’t be here for two more days!!”

I knew the process had begun, though, and there was no changing the course of events. My life was about to change forever!

I leaned over and woke up my husband, told him what happened, and then called the midwife on call for my birthing center. She told me to go back to bed and come in to the center at 9 AM when it opened. “Great! I get to go back to bed!” I called my mom to let her know what happened, and then crawled back into the bed. But, there was no more sleep. I laid there for a couple of hours before giving up on sleep and going to do some laundry.

I called my sister about 6:00 AM to let her know what was going on. She was waiting for her ride to the airport so she and her kids could go to my parents’ house. The original plan was for her to spend two nights with my folks, and then come here on Friday. Over the course of the next 2 hours, between my mom and I, we were able to find her a flight into DFW for that night, landing at 9 PM. I was so relieved that she was coming, even though I didn’t know if she would arrive before or after the baby.

I tried to sleep again at 7, but mom called again almost immediately after my head hit the pillow. I couldn’t get off the phone again before I walked out the door to head to the birthing center.

We arrived at the birthing center just after 9:00 AM, where I was examined. The exam revealed that there were essentially no other signs of labor and I’d only experienced a partial rupture of the waters. I felt crampy, but I wasn’t having “waves” of individual contractions like I expected. I was told to walk and pump in 30 minute intervals to try to get contractions to start.

By 3:30 in the afternoon, 12 hours after my water broke, I wasn’t even dilated to a 2, though I was slightly effaced. My midwife began mentioning the “H” word (hospital). She was concerned that I was going to need pitocin to get contractions going stronger since I didn’t seem to be progressing. They were also concerned about the possibility of infection.

At 5:30, I wasn’t any further along. The midwife decided to break the rest of my water in hopes of jump starting labor, but she was really talking hospital at this point. We set back to walking and pumping, only I was instructed to do squats every time I had a contraction.

As the evening progressed, I could tell my contractions were getting stronger, but not fast enough for my midwife. She was still really concerned about the length of time that had passed. I told her my sister was on her way and asked that I be allowed to wait until she arrived before transferring. She consented, and agreed to stick it out with me as long as I wanted.

The sun set, and things were still moving slow. The midwife realized how tired I was, and mentioned that I would be able to rest at the hospital. I was exhausted, and the idea of rest was so appealing. My husband and I both really wanted to avoid the hospital, but there came a point that we felt we were just postponing the inevitable. We began to ask questions about what we could expect to happen at the hospital. Even so, something told me it was all going to be OK once my sister arrived.

It must have been around 9 PM when it was suggested that my sister meet us at the hospital. I knew how many people were praying for us. I’d been posting updates on Facebook and seen all the responses that were coming in from church friends and family. Regardless of what happened, I wasn’t ready to give up yet, so I told the midwife that I didn’t want to go anywhere until my sister arrived at the birthing center.

My sister’s flight was delayed an hour and then they were stuck in traffic, but I stuck to my plan and waited for her to get there. She finally arrived after 11:00 PM. A check by the midwife revealed that I was dilated to a 4. Still a long way from 10, but certainly progress in the right direction. She was still talking hospital and even mentioned that a c-section was a possibility. The baby was face up when he should have been face down. After chatting it over with my sister and husband, we all decided that we wanted to stay. The midwife consented, but only if I agreed to an IV for antibiotics. Of course I would agree to that! I was going to be allowed to stay!

We weren’t out of the weeds yet. A deadline was set. If I wasn’t to a point where it was apparent that a baby was coming soon by 3:30, I was going to the hospital, no more negotiations.

The details of the next 4 hours are fuzzy. I was so tired that I slept between most contractions, and even through some of them (the mild ones). I fell asleep sitting up on several occasions! The contractions continued to get more painful. Because of the baby’s position, they radiated around my middle and down through my thighs. Not fun! My midwife patiently observed and waited. I could tell she was convinced that I was going to be headed to the hospital.

My 3:30 deadline arrived and I was checked. My midwife’s analysis? “Hope, you’ve made a liar out of me! You’re dilated to a 9!!” I knew she was thrilled to be able to tell me this, and I was thrilled to hear it! We discussed the tub, but I was told that wasn’t going to be an option because of the face up position of the baby. However, I was allowed to take a hot shower. The water felt so good on my aching body! It was so relaxing that I felt my contractions seem to wane and become less intense. This concerned me, but I didn’t mention it. About 10 minutes later, I leaned over on the seat to cope with one of the contractions that did come and I felt a strange sensation that I could only identify as a need to push.

“I think I need to push!” I called to those outside. I was whisked out of the shower and back into the birth room. After nearly 2 hours of pushing and an episiotomy, Grayson Parker was born at 5:50 in the morning on July 29, 2010. 7 pounds and 2 ounces, 21 inches long, with a dimple!!!

Praise God! We did it! No hospital, no pitocin, no pain meds, no c-section.

I’m not going to look down on anyone that has those things as part of their delivery. They are not bad. For me, however, it was important that I have my baby naturally. I’m only 5 feet tall, and I’ve heard negative comments all my life about things I wouldn’t be able to do because of my small build. I have to short friends and both of them had complications with delivery. I think I felt deep down that I had something to prove for the short people! 🙂

It was an experience that I will cherish and I am so thankful that everything fell into place. I give God the glory that it did, because, without His divine intervention, I would have been just another medicated hospital delivery.

Singing Praises

It never ceases to amaze me how our God answers prayers and provides for our needs. He does things in ways we would never expect and could never imagine on our own. Often, just when we can’t see any options, He provides in unexpected ways.

Recently, I’ve been very frustrated with my “job options”. When I quit teaching a year ago, the plan was to begin tutoring out of my home in order to bring in a little extra income to support what Ryan was making working full time. This seemed like an easy goal, so I built a web site, made flyers, printed up business cards, and even paid for an ad in the local homeschool association parent newsletter. Over the first summer, I had one student, and didn’t get another until November when two kids came twice each. I finally landed a consistent student in January who stuck with me through the end of the school year, but my one kid for this summer fell through.

When things seemed bleak back in November, I took advantage of another opportunity and began selling Premier Designs jewelry at home shows. I’ve done direct sales before, and this seemed like a great way to make a little extra cash and maybe even meet parents who needed a tutor for their kids. I enjoy the jewelry parties, but my heart is in education. I want to work with kids, and it was really bumming me out that Hope4Math couldn’t seem to get off the ground.

Rewind to the spring of 2008. I was teaching Geometry for the first time ever (something I was a bit apprehensive about doing, but wound up loving!) There was a young lady in one of my classes who REALLY struggled. She struggled so much that her mom hired a tutor. When she continued to struggle, the tutor called me directly to touch base and see if we could work together on a plan to help her succeed.

I’m not sure how the conversation lead to this point, but the tutor, we’ll call her “Kay”, and I hit it off over the phone and I let her know of my future goal of quitting full time teaching and pursuing a tutoring business of my own. We ended up meeting for lunch and she shared her knowledge. We kept up communication during the rest of the year, and the following fall, I received a phone call from her. She and her husband were expecting another baby, and she was hoping I would be able to sub for some of her tutoring sessions after the baby came.

I started working for her in January of 2009 two afternoons a week. Kay eventually took back most of her students, but I remained on one day a week from that point on. During that time, I’ve learned about her business and met most of her students. We’ve become friends as we’ve shared her new baby, both of our husbands being laid off, and my own coming bundle.

What does this have to do with God and His provision?

Kay’s husband lost his job before Christmas this year, and just this month received a job offer in another state. To make a long story short, I’ve been asked to essentially take over the business that she has spent the last several years building.

I’ll be going from one student to a full load almost overnight.

God is awesome!

Staying Cool at 35 Weeks

I knew being pregnant in the summer wasn’t going to exactly be “fun”. I expected to be hot and uncomfortable. I didn’t expect to be unable to be cool in my own home.

At 35 weeks pregnant, I’ve gained 28 pounds and am finding it much harder to assume comfortable positions around the watermelon that now resides where my stomach once was. Add to that the fact that our air conditioner hasn’t been functioning for nearly 2 weeks, and it’s pretty hard to take.

We knew the AC unit was old when we bought the place. However, it WAS cooling the house. At least it was until we woke up on June 21, the morning after the big party, to a house nearing 85 degrees at 8:30 in the morning and we heard a grinding noise coming from the unit. NOT cool! We shut it off, since it wasn’t working.

So, we called our Warranty company to send out an AC repair guy. Due to busy schedules, no one could come out until Tuesday. On Tuesday, the brilliant man who came out told us that there was absolutely nothing wrong, that it was just old. He claimed we needed a new unit. We turned the unit back on and left it running and grinding, however, so we could at least cool the air a bit.

Unhappy with this diagnosis, we called the AC company and asked that they send us another guy. This guy came on Wednesday. This time, the unit was cleaned, inspected, and we were told we needed a new fan motor, which couldn’t be replaced because the unit was so old they didn’t make the bracket needed to install it. He also tried to sell us a new unit, naming a price that he obviously pulled out of thin air. He claimed the warranty would cover part of the cost, but he didn’t tell us which part. These guys left, we still had no cool air, and later that night, the unit completely quit running altogether. Ryan even resorted to going to Wal-mart at midnight to purchase a small window unit which he finished installing in our bedroom at 3AM.

We again contacted the warranty company and asked that they send us a different AC company, because we felt the prior company wasn’t being honest with us about prices. We were finally assigned another company last Friday afternoon, but were unable to contact them until Monday. When I called this guy, I was told that he no longer worked with our Warranty company. He listed several other companies that he would be happy to do work for, but not ours. Needless to say, our confidence in the resolution of the situation was wearing thin.

The call was re-dispatched at least twice more, but it wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that we finally got another AC guy out to the house to look at the problem. This guy didn’t really tell us anything different, but it’s what he didn’t tell us that made us a bit more confident. He didn’t give us any estimates until he could talk to the Warranty company to see what they were willing to do. At last! Someone who seemed trustworthy!

However, our problems were still a long way from being solved. As I write this, it is Friday, a full 11 days since we first called the Warranty company with our complaint. We are waiting on them to decided what to do. They asked for a copy of our inspection report, which we’ve sent. However, no feedback has been given. Since this weekend is July 4th and many people will be off work on Monday, we can’t expect anything to be done until Tuesday at the earliest.

In the meantime, we’re spending lots of time in the bedroom and not even able to enjoy the rest of our house. I tried to cook once, which only resulted in my nearly having heat stroke with the additional heat from the over.

I’m trying to enjoy the cooler weather God has provided though the rains over the last week. I’m grateful for the break from the 100 degree days. However, I will be much happier when this whole situation is resolved.