Time Out for Labels!

Saved By A Label! from TimeOutDad on Vimeo.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to put my name and my cell phone number on my flash keys? WHY? I had a few students leave their flash drives in the computer, and I had no way of knowing who left them in the lab. That’s when I decided to use my label machine and put small sticker labels with my name and cell number on them. So, yesterday, I was saved by one of my labels? I must have reached for my apartment keys, and in the process, one of my flash keys fell on the floor, right by the entrance. Luckily, someone picked it up, and gave it to the security desk. As I was on my way to my in-laws for dinner, I received a phone call. I didn’t recognize the number on caller ID, but thank goodness I answered. So much of my semester’s work was on it. I had it saved in other places, but this had some of the final drafts. Another lesson? NEVER use your flash key for primary storage. Too many things can go wrong with them! 😉

Time Out for Wedding RingLessNess…


On Thanksgiving night, Shien realized that her rings were gone, her wedding band and her engagement ring.  At first, we thought she might find it at work the following Monday. No luck. She thinks she might have either taken them off when she was putting hand lotion on or she might have lost them while cooking, when she had to constantly put on and take off gloves while cooking. She couldn’t recall at all,  because of her lack of sleep due to schoolwork. This was her second wedding band and her engagement ring was from Tiffany. She said the first thing her co-workers said was that her husband must be SO mad. Nah… I just felt sad when she said she missed them. 🙁

Diamonds AREN'T forever... 😉

I just read this online article called, “What do Do if You Lose Your Wedding Ring,” It said, “If polled on what are people’s most treasured possessions, very high on the list would most certainly be their wedding rings. A symbol of love and commitment, wedding rings are often never removed and worn from the
moment the “I Do’s,” are said until death or divorce.” I never thought of them as a symbol of our marriage or love or what not. I always felt it was a symbol that the rest of society expects from us; so come time when I needed to get a ring ten years ago, I decided she deserved the “best.” So, I got her a ring from Tiffany. It had small rubies (which I think aren’t even PC anymore) and small diamonds on it. Shien was never into big stones. Lucky me! 😉 In fact, when we do get a replacement ring, she said she wants it to be stoneless. I’m working on getting her a ring that can be worn as a necklace. Having a jeweler working on it. She (Marie-Lise) has made a few things for Shien already in the past few years, so let’s hope for the best. 😉

If anything is to be a symbol of our love and commitment, I would say it’s Malachy! Rings can be replaced. He is priceless! 🙂

Time Out for a Chopstick!

The Mighty Chopstick!

Who would have thought one chopstick could inflict so much damage.  I’m tempted to call it, “CHOPSTICKGATE!”  So, it started out as a fun night for me and Malachy.  Shien had evening class, so Malachy and I ordered Chinese food from Ming’s.  Everything tasted yummy.  After dinner, I had Malachy work on his homework while I did the dishes.  Towards the end of my dishwashing, I noticed that the drain was getting clogged.  The water simply wasn’t going down the drain.  In fact, some water seemed to be coming back up from the drain, and it was dark and not smelling so nice.  What I did next started the avalanche of events that was to unfold.  I took a chopstick and thought I could try to unclog the drain with it.  No harm, right?  A few seconds later, I heard a sound and noticed water coming out of the cabinet, below the sink!

Chopstick + SInk Drain Pipe = DISASTER!!!

I opened the cabinet and saw water gushing out from the pipe!  The chopsitck pierced a hole in the pipe!!!  I immediately found a vase under the sink to catch some of the water.  PANIC!  I then used my thumb to plug the hole.  I yelled out for Malachy’s help, as I tried to think of more things to use to catch the water.  More vases, metal bowls, pots, ai ya!  I told him to hurry up and get me a towel from the bathroom.  He asked which one.  I’m like, “Get MINE!”  He ran and brought over his towel.  I was like, “NO, GET MINE!”  I didn’t want to use his towel to wipe this yucky water up.  He finally got my towel.  I was left wiping one-handed since I was still plugging the hole with the thumb of my other hand.

I tried to get Malachy to get me some bowls, after opening another cabinet, but there were ceramic bowls on top of the aluminum bowls.  Last thing I needed was for Malachy to break a bunch of bowls, so I ordered him to go back and finish his homework, after I thanked him for helping. 😉

It was crazy!  I reached out for more bowls, while knocking over bowls that I had already filled with water.  At the same time, I was trying to get everything out from underneath the sink.  What a mess!  After all the water finally emptied from the sink, I had 3 or 4 bowls and a pot filled with water.  I got a bucket, poured all the water into it, and flushed that down the toilet.  Then, I grabbed 3 or 4 more towels and wiped everything down underneath the sink, while emptying all the stuff that was down there.

The broken pipe removed.
The broken pipe.

It was getting later, so I needed to shower Malachy and get him ready for bed.  Before that, I checked online to see all the Home Depot hours, and I thought I might have to rent a car after Shien got home.  I then had a better idea.  I called my dad and asked if he could help me out by coming into the city and bringing me some tools and then driving with me to Home Depot to get some supplies.  Thank God he was available! 🙂

Malachy was really cooperative the whole time.  He finished his homework on his own.  I explained to him how I would have to go to Home Depot in order to fix the damage that I had caused.  He wanted to go, too, but knew he had to rest up for his trip to the circus with Mom the next day.  I let him play a while longer, as I gathered my tools and removed the broken pipe.  It was pretty nasty inside the pipe.  I think there was an old chopstick in there, but it was almost unrecognizable since it was so decomposed.  I took the pipe to the bathroom sink to clean it out.  I used the plunger that I had in the bathroom to make sure the gunk didn’t clog the bathroom sink.  Another mistake!  Malachy called out from the living room that he could hear more leaking water!  Believe it or not, the bathroom pipes were somehow connected to the kitchen pipes!  For the past few nights, the bathroom drain was a bit clogged, so I had used a mini-plunger to unclog it.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that, by using the plunger in the bathroom sink, I was actually clogging the kitchen pipes!

Anyways, when I went to check out the kitchen, it was GROSS!  When I plunged the bathroom sink, I pushed all this water and nasty stuff out of the kitchen pipe!  Another mini-flood.  The kitchen pipe was exposed because I took out the broken pipe and never covered it!  AI YA!  More towels, more wiping, and a nasty smell, similar to that of bad eggs. (nitrogen?)  🙁

My dad arrived after I had cleaned things up as best I could, throwing the soaked dirty towels into the bath tub and trying to clean them.  I also had to wipe down the kitchen cabinet underneath the sink with paper towels and cleaning solution.  I was able to then read to Malachy and get him ready for bed, while we waited for Shien to get back home.

When Shien got home, my dad and I said goodnight to Malachy and I told him I would tell him all about Home Depot the following day.  We got to Home Depot around 10 ‘ish.  I LOVE Home Depot and any hardware store for that matter.  We got a pipe, a pipe cutter (recommended by a worker), a plunger, some toxic drain cleaner that didn’t harm pipes, and some new kitchen mats since the other ones got soaked from the flooding.

After Home Depot, my dad dropped me off, and I told him I’d be fine.  NOPE!  I was able to cut the pipe, but when I was installing it, I noticed the other pipe (the elbow) was cracked at the seam!  Well, it was past midnight, so all the Home Depots were now closed.  They used to be opened 24 hours, but no longer.  So, I did some laundry, washing all the dirty stinky towels.  I tried plugging the drain in the kitchen, while trying to unclog the bathroom drain with the heavy duty drain opener.  I had Shien look up the chemical, because it said it didn’t damage pipes yet claimed to cut grease and disintegrate hair!  Plus, it was supposed to be toxic and could cause burning of the skin!  Turn out it contains potassium hydroxide.  It’s not an acid, so it must be a base.  Anyways,  I poured it in, prayed that it wouldn’t come out of the kitchen, and waited a half hour.  I turned the water on SLOWLY.  First Shien said she heard some dripping from the kitchen.  I stopped.  Tried a little again, and then, all of a sudden, I thought I heard the drain clear in the bathroom and the kitchen!  IT WORKED!  I turned on the water a little higher.  Shien said she didn’t hear anything in the kitchen.  Full Blast.  Nada!  The bathroom sink hasn’t drained so good in years!  😉

So, today I bought some pipes and some more plumbing tape.  I came home and thought it shouldn’t be so bad.  IT WAS.  The pipe I bought was more flimsy than the Home Depot one, so as I tried to cut it, it was crushing and denting the pipe all over.  I wound up cutting it too short.  Now what?  I ran out to another hardware store nearby.  This time, I paid an extra dollar for them to cut it.  I couldn’t afford to ruin another pipe!  They used a hacksaw and a grinder, which worked so much better than my 20 dollar recommended tool.  I ran home, and after a while, IT WAS FIXED! 🙂  We ran some water through it, and no leaks!  Shien cheered.  😉  Later on, when she was out, I full blasted it again, and there were two leaks.  After some more tweaking, all the leaks were fixed.  I also unclogged the kitchen sink and the bathtub with the heavy duty drain opener!  WHAT A SAGA!  Shien did point out that perhaps it was better that my chopstick broke the pipe it just giving way down the line, which could have been even more disastrous.  True.

FIXED! I hope...

Time Out for X-Rays…


Last Sunday, we had guests over, so Malachy decided it would be fun to start jumping off the couch.  You can say he was excited.  And, when you have guests over sometimes, you’ll let your child get away with more things, and Malachy being Malachy, must have picked up on that.  Anyways, of course, I told him to stop and that he would get hurt if he didn’t stop.  Did he stop?  Nope.  Did he get hurt?  Yup.
When he got hurt, it was an “I told you so moment.”  Didn’t help.  He winced, he whined, and I didn’t think of much.  He usually is able to shake things off, and this time, he kept saying his foot hurt.  We tried an ice pack.  He was tearing here and there and obviously in some pain and discomfort.  Since he was able to walk and periodically forgot about the pain, I figured he was fine.  Shien was more worried.  She said there are so many little bones in our feet.  She also heard stories from friends, whose children hurt their foot and didn’t even know it was broken.  THAT started getting me worried.

Throughout the night, he would bring up the pain in his foot.  After shower, he limped.  I just prayed he would wake up and everything would be okay.  When he was asleep, I even got a flashlight out to examine his foot.  Not much swelling and no discoloration.  When he got up, he said it still hurt, and he was still limping.  Ai ya.  We decided he would be okay going to school.  It wasn’t like he was in constant pain, and I wasn’t sure how much of it was just drama.  I called the doctor later in the day to see if Shien made an appointment.  She did.  I had a meeting after school, so I met them at the doctor’s.  The doctor thought he was fine, but recommended he get X-Rays just to make sure.  That would alleviate our worries, too.  Luckily, the X-Ray Imaging Center was right around the corner from the doctor’s.  This is one of the great benefits/conveniences of living in the city. 🙂  Malachy was great about it.  He had to lie down, and they put those heavy lead jackets on him.  Then they wedged his foot with these foam wedges and the technician asked him not to move his foot, while we had to quickly exit the room, while they took the x-ray.  The first time, he moved, but after that, x-ray after x-ray, he was very good about it.  The doctor took a look at the x-rays and proclaimed him fine.  WHEW!!!  🙂

All these years, the only X-Rays I’ve had were for my teeth!  It’s crazy how one thing can just turn your life upside down.  We were SO grateful.  Nothing broken, but it could have so easily been another scenario.  It could have played out VERY differently…

I also thought about how lucky we were to have insurance.  What if we weren’t insured?  I thought about all the parents out there with no insurance, and how they wouldn’t have that luxury of going to the doctor’s and getting their children immediate medical attention.  How stressful and painful that must be for those parents and children.  Our worries were alleviated pretty quickly.  We were so fortunate.  The pain went away for Malachy after a couple of days.  The memories will last a lifetime.