Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Handy Mommy

It seems like recently a lot of stuff in our house has needed maintenance.  One of those projects was my water heater.  The main part of our house has a full size propane water heater, but the addition has a bathroom and it has it's own mini-electric water heater.  A couple of months ago the water started getting really abnormally hot.  Then it went cold.  I called the tech support line and they said it was probably the lower thermostat, but also recommended that since we live in AZ where there is hard water that we think about replacing the heating elements.  I went ahead and ordered the thermostat and elements.  Dustin went in and replaced the thermostat and the upper element.  He attempted to drain the tank to replace the lower element, but the drain faucet would not flow to empty the tank.  Also when he tried to pull the element out, with water gushing behind it, it appeared to bend out where it would not clear the hole.  We decided to just put it back together and leave well enough alone since the upper element that we  replaced was not too badly corroded. 

It still seemed to be flaky about temperature, and I noticed the lower element dripping, so I decided to attempt to drain it by allowing the water to pour out from behind the lower element.  It took forever since it is a 50 gallon tank and I had to use a baking pan to bail it out.  I had to use a bunch of towels to catch the water that I missed in the pan. Once I finally got it drained we got a better look at the element. It was VERY corroded and did fork out, which the replacement one did not.   I took a channel locks pliers and squeezed the element together and it bended easily.  I had to continue crimping it to get it out.  When it finally cleared the hole it was so corroded that the metal had disappeared in several places and the wires were exposed.  The corrosion must have caused it to fork out.

From the hole of the lower element we could look in and the whole bottom of the tank was full of calcium deposit flakes which is why the drain faucet would not flow.  It's crazy how hard the water is here.  If I had to go back I would have definitely invested in a water softener for this house when we bought it. 

Early Learning Center

Today was Austin's first day at the Kaibab Early Learning Center.  They said he did great and had fun.  When I left he was so into playing that he didn't even notice. 

The teachers were surprised because they had tacos for lunch and Austin really ate the chips and salsa.  He does seem to love foods that are mildly spicy, and devours the chips and salsa at our local Mexican restaurant.  When we were in Colorado we went to a Mexican restaurant and the salsa there was too hot though and he was not happy about it one bit. 

The potty training this weekend went about like I expected.  He doesn't seem too interested in going on the potty or toilet and doesn't mind the wet/dirty under pants.  I bought the Elmo potty training video on Itunes and we watched that and it seemed to increase his interest a little.  We will keep at it and hope he comes around.  Until then I see lot of laundry in my future!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New beginnings

So if you followed me over here, or if you are new I would like to welcome you!  You may be wondering about the name of my new blog, it's not this:

It's from when I was a kid and learned my name I would run my first name, Sarah, and middle name, Ann, together into Sarann.  Of course people associated it with Saran wrap and eventually my big brother started calling me Sarap.  So the title is Sarann-Rap since it is a rap (Slang . to talk or discuss, especially freely, openly, or volubly; chat. ) about my life.

Anyway, I wanted to strip off my full name from the previous blog and lay off all the visuals of my sweet pea, so I thought the name was fitting since I give a transparent (open; frank; candid:) view of my life in this blog.  And don't worry, I will still post pictures of my family, I just won't be deorating the sidebars up with all the visuals. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Wow, I totally set myself up to fall apart today. 

Today was Austin's last day at Nanny's Daycare.  He started going there back when he was 9 and a half months old.  They have been great to him and all of our friends' kids go there.  Until last Monday it was the only licensed daycare in our vicinity for 60+ miles, so it was an obvious choice for us.  The problem was I had to drive 7 miles north to drop him off, 7 miles back, literally passing my house and then to work which is 14 miles west of town.  So all that times 2 every day and my commute was an hour and a half over 56 miles. 

Last Monday my employer finally opened their child care facility which is called the Kaibab Tribal Learning Center (TLC).  Instead of just a daycare it is a learning environment for 2-5 year olds.  Since it is only 3 miles from my office, switching him there is going to save us time (50 minutes) and money ($4.50 in gas).  It was a tough decision because there was no bad blood with Nanny's, but it just makes sense to switch him.

So back to my emotional meltdown, today was his last day at Nanny's.  Before I dropped him off I stopped at the store and got two vases of flowers for the Nanny's and cookies for the kids.  I dropped him off with no problem.  When I was driving there to pick him up I was listening to the country music station and they played that Tim McGraw song "If you're reading this" in honor of Memorial Day.  I knew that I should have turned the channel because that song tears at my heart strings.  I left it though and of course got all emotional and teared up.  I finally hit the dial and turned the station and tried to compose myself.  When I got in the daycare though they were going on and on about how they will miss Austin and if we ever need them again to let them know.  Then Austin's little 4 year old girlfriend Mer looked at me and said in her most serious and grown up voice "Sarah, why are you taking Austin to another daycare?"  It broke my heart and the tears started flowing, I totally lost it.  I felt like such a sap for crying like that.  I think had I not listened to that song I would have been ok, but since I was already on the emotional roller coaster I set myself up for the plunge.

I hope that we are making the right decision in moving him to the TLC.  Part of the move involves attempting to potty train him.  The TLC does not have a diapering area set up, but the Director said he would take Austin and work on potty training him.  We are going to give it a go at home this weekend to get him ready.  We have not tried until now because I felt like at Nanny's they were always so busy with 16 kids and I feared that they would not have the time to devote to working with him, so it was easier to leave him in diapers rather then set him up for frustration.  So far at the TLC they have two other kids, one of which went to Nanny's with Austin, to share three teachers, so Austin will definitely have one-on-one attention there.

Aloha Friday

Aloha Friday is the day that they take it easy over at An Island Life and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too.   So I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and head over to An Island Life to link up. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

My question is:

Do you use cruise control?

I am a cruise control addict and hate to get behind someone who is what I call a yo-yo driver.  You know, one second their flying and the next poking along at snail speed and back and forth.  It always seems like they go fast when you can pass, then slow down in no passing zones.  I don't get road rage though, I just try to pass as soon as I safely can. I always use cruise control and even will sometimes use it in town when there is not a lot of traffic.  I like maximizing my speed and keeping it in check so I don't get a ticket.

I thought about this question because I live in a highly popular area for tourists and this is the time of year you know they are here because I am always getting stuck behind them as they admire the red rock cliffs.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ladies night

A week or so ago Dustin and I were watching TV and saw a commercial for the new movie "Bridesmaids".  I said it looked good and he suggested I get a few of the ladies from the area together and go watch it.  It's not super easy to catch a movie here, we have a one screen theater that shows movies that are 3-4 weeks old in town, and the next nearest theater is 60+ miles away.  I gave it some thought and since he offered I put together an invite for some of the ladies I know here. 

I had one, Carragh, respond back right away and she was way excited.  She is a mom of one of Austin's daycare buddies, and I've seen her a few times, but definitely didn't know her real well.  The response from there was luke-warm.  A lot of people had other plans, and even eventually Carragh said she would rather drive over in her own car so she could do some other errands.  Finally on Friday my good friend Molly, who's husband works with Dustin and her kids also go to daycare with Austin, called and said she was up for it, but had been hesitant to commit because her family had a bug all week.  So we decided that we would go over, do some shopping, then meet Carragh for dinner and the movie.

It was so fun!  I love Molly and we had a blast chatting for the 60+ mile drive over.  We found some great stuff when we went shopping.  We talked about where to go for dinner and she had never eaten at Texas Roadhouse, so we decided to see if Carragh was up for that, which she was and we had a great dinner there.  The waiter actually gave us the week night deal where you can get a whole meal for $7.99 because we were in just under the time of rapture, LOL, I mean 6:00pm.  You can't beat a steak meal for $8!  We each ordered a sirloin and each ordered it medium-rare.  When my steak came out I cut a piece and it was totally brown.  I cut a second piece and it was equally over-cooked.  The other ladies steaks were cooked perfectly.  I am usually not one to complain, but it was really over done, to the point of total disappointment, so I showed the waiter who apologized and took it back and brought me another one that was perfect.  When it came time for the check he totally comped the dinner part so all I had to pay for was my oh-so-delicious strawberry margarita! 

The movie was awesome!  We laughed and laughed.  I had heard it called an anti-chick flick so I wondered if it would be too raunchy, but it was the right amount of hilarious and still had a huge underlying love story for my sappy heart.  It was so nice to get out on the town and share fun times with other girls!

Another funny bit to this, I posted about how I enjoyed it on Facebook and one girl that I invited to go, but had other plans posted a response of "Your next movie should be Water For Elephants. It was SO good. Haven't read the book yet, but I'm sure it won't disappoint either."  Yeah right Miss Single with No Kids, like I just run out and watch movies at my leisure. This is seriously the second movie I have been to in a theater since Austin was born.  It's funny how you don't understand the complexities of scheduling these types of outings as a parent until you have kids.  And I guess for a lot of people it's not so challenging to get to a theater, and some people have family support locally to watch the kids more often, but we don't, this was a really rare and special event for me.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to have that freedom of spontaneity, but I really do love my life and would not change anything.  And thank goodness for Netflix, right?

In the end the three of us decided we should try to do it again every other month.  We shall see if we can pull it off again, but at least I have the fun memories to cherish.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh the crazy weather!

So as I mentioned in a previous post, I planted part of my garden last weekend.  I was watching the weather closely Monday-Wednesday as the forecast was predicting that the low each night would drop lower.  After Wednesday there was supposed to be a warming trend.  Every night I was watching my outside weather gauge and we never got below 41.  I wake up this morning and Dustin tells me "it frosted last night."  Sure enough I looked at the minimum on my weather gauge and it got down to 33 last night.  I went out to inspect my little seedlings and sure enough they had that glossy opaque look of frost death.  Luckily I still had the Burpee Aqua Shields around the two tomato plants that I planted back in April and they look fabulous.  So I'm out $14 and will have to re-do all that work.  I'm not sure if I should re-plant this weekend, or wait another week since there is a chance of rain all weekend.  I AM READY FOR SUMMER!

On a happier note since the California strawberries are in season now and readily available I bought a bunch the other day and made them into strawberry jam yesterday.  They were so fresh and perfectly ripe and the batch came out to the perfect consistency, and it is the prettiest deep pink color.  Last year I made some and did not read the directions through carefully and added the sugar at the wrong time in the process.  That batch turned out runny. But when I invert the jars I made yesterday it stays in place.  And I had a little leftover that would not fit into the jars I had prepared so I put it in a container in the fridge and had a PB&J for lunch and it was SO GOOD!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Behind again!

Oh man, since it is spring I have a million things going so it's a struggle to sit down and write! Here is an update post:
  • I got part of my garden in and all of the irrigation system back up and working.  I planted more tomatoes, peppers including bell, jalapeno, banana, and Anaheim chiles, and every year I like to try something new that I have never planted before so this year it's eggplant.  I still need to get into my seeds and get that stuff planted, but at least it's a start.  Of course now there is a storm moving through and it is threatening to get down to freezing at night, it figures!  We typically never have storms this time of year, it's usually very dry here until the monsoon comes in June/July, but this is an odd weather year.
  • We had a great weekend!  Saturday we went to two parties, we are such socialites these days.  The first was a mid morning birthday party for one of Austin's buddies who turned two.  Austin had a great time and had a lot of fun.  For a while Austin used to be a little stand-off-ish with other kids and would be a little mean, but now he's moved on from that phase and seems to enjoy playing with other kids.  That evening we went to a going away BBQ for one of Dustin's co-workers.  There were a ton of people there and the food was wonderful.  It was potluck, so you never know how that will turn out, but man the food was good.  I think I ate three plates and still had dessert.  Ok, just to clarify I did share my three plates with Austin, and he ate a ton too, so I'm not a total piggy.  My favorite was someone brought a pasta salad, but instead of just the usual vegetable additions it had shrimp and avocado in with rotini pasta and other veggies.  YUM!
  • Dustin heard back from the last job he applied for.  They had 12 highly qualified candidates, six of which were at the same grade as him.  Dustin got his promotion about 2.5 years ago, and since the other five have likely been at that grade for longer it is hard to compete.  BUT on an exciting note, just yesterday a new job came open in one of our desired towns, so I hope the other 10 candidates who did not get the other job don't jump over and apply for this new job too. The bonus, if we get this new job, we will live a mere 25 miles from Brandi @ Life of a New Mommy, who is a great friend from college and mom to Marlee who is four days younger than Austin and had so much fun playing together when they came to visit in March.  My mom would be about 5 hours away and Dustin's parents would be about 14.5 hours, so much, much closer than they are now.  So cross your fingers for us, and if you pray please offer one up for us.  We are really longing to be closer to family.
  • We got our concert tickets to go and see Soundgarden in Colorado at Red Rocks Amphitheater.  It's in July and I am ecstatic to get to go home again so soon.  We are definitely going to pre-order our tonneau cover for the truck so we can have it installed on that trip.  Dustin may also look at rims and wheels while we are there.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Austin at 27 months

It's been a while since I did an update about what Austin is up to so this is a summary of what he is doing:

  • He is conversing now and using words to relay his message.  He still only uses 3-4 words at a time.
  • He can count, sort of.  He has got 1-3 down pretty good because somewhere he learned to say "1,2,3 Go" before throwing a ball.  The rest of the numbers are hit or miss, but he does pretty good.
  • He is attempting some letters, but not really in the order of the alphabet.
  • He loves to play games on the computer and can work the touchpad mouse all on his own.  He's been clicking the mouse for some time, but within the last few days started moving the cursor with the touchpad.  We love the games on Disney Jr.'s website because they have a lot of counting, colors, shapes, and letters.  He will come up and say "Me Mow" which is asking to play Mickey Mouse Clubhouse games on the computer.
  • He loves to be outdoors and we are loving having the daylight to take him out after dinner.  He sleeps so much better when he has a lot of time outdoors.
  • He has decided that he is too big for the booster seat at the dinner table.  He kept messing around during dinner and was getting to the point of throwing a tantrum when we would put him in the booster.  Tonight I set his plate at a big chair and let him go and he got in the seat and ate the meal.
  • He is wearing 3T shirts and jammies and 2T pants.  Size 7.5-8 shoes.  I have been debating getting him 3T shorts for the summer, but haven't decided if I think they will fall off of him.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

So spoiled!

I am so spoiled loved!  My boys took great care of Mommy this weekend.  Saturday we went all the way (80 miles) to St. George so I could go to the spa and get a pedicure.  I am 32 years old and proud to say that I have now had a professional pedicure for the very first time!  It was fabulous, my feet were so pampered.  I now have grape juice colored sparkling toe nails, so pretty that I had to buy new sandals to show them off.  Ok, honestly I have ugly feet, but they are the prettiest they have ever been.  We also had lunch at Red Lobster where I dined on crab legs, my all time favorite food!  We did some shopping and grabbed caramel frappes on the way home, so delish!

Today we went to church, got groceries and then hung out at home.  It was such a nice weekend and I feel very loved! 

At church this morning I fell in love with one of the passages in the first reading from Acts:
"You will fill me with joy in your presence"
I have been thinking a lot about that and how true that is for me since we live in the middle of no where and far from friends and family.  When I am reunited with friends and family I am completely and totally filled with joy.  It also seems like such a compliment, to give someone joy by being there with them, it seems like a goal worth striving for. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

20 Years and Counting

Today is the 20th anniversary of my sorority at Colorado State University.  The Nu Chapter of Sigma Alpha was founded May 4, 1991.  That was the purpose of my trip last week to Colorado, we gathered in Fort Collins to celebrate on Sunday with a picnic.  Other than being super cold, it was a great time.  Our alumni are spread across the country from Alaska to the east coast, so we did not have a huge turn out, but those who were there had a great time.

Colorado 038

Colorado 012

Grilled rib eyes, yum!

Colorado 020

The raffle, my real life sister won the quilt I made.  We raised over $100 for our founding sister’s van ramp. 

Easter photos

I know I’m a little late on getting out the Easter photos, but I was busy finishing up that quilt. It was a great Easter.  We went to a friends house for a brunch and Easter egg hunt.  The kids had a blast playing together and the grown ups munched on yummy food while sipping mimosas, yum!