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Scattered Sundays

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Oh boy, it’s been a whirlwind of a week! I’m very thankful to work at home. Between how often Bennett gets sick, and all the workers that need to be let into the house, I surely would have been fired by a traditional company by now.

“Sarah, we know you’re a hard worker, and you somehow always manage to get your work done, but it says here that you missed approximately 165 days in the last month. I’m not even sure how that math works, but you’ve been gone A LOT”.

If you missed the latest drama, last week I mentioned that our contractor went to start laying my dad’s new flooring. The plan had been to join the new flooring with the old flooring that hadn’t been removed. Aaaaaaaand, he found mildew on the cork underside of the planks. Blast.

This week found a Dry Box pod being delivered to our driveway. After moving everything in my dad’s apartment three times (which was also housing our shelves, books, and toys from our part of the basement), I refused to play “move the crap” hopscotch again.

Servpro came back out on Friday to move everything into the pod. Not only do I never want to move anything else ever again, but insurance is covering it. Great, done and done.

a picture of a baby sitting on a toilet.
One benefit of having to pack things was finding this photo of my mom, AKA little lady Bennett.

The Servpro pack-out started a day of extreme highs and EXTREME lows. I’m ready to be done with this. I’m ready to not make more decisions and not juggle everything.

HIGH – they came out Friday morning to start packing and said my move was the most organized they had seen in years. I asked them to put it in writing. They laughed and didn’t realize I was serious.

HIGH – since the pack-out was so fast (thanks to my organizing!), they got authorization to start the floor demo THAT day. We would have had to wait until this coming week. Who-hoo!

Before they could start the demo, they had to take moisture readings of the flooring. I’m not a water damage expert (yet), but they explained that readings 16% and lower indicated that things were “dry”.

Almost all of the remaining flooring was 16% or lower. This was an issue because it’s hard to explain to insurance why they were ripping up “dry” flooring. I explained that it’s been drying since November 2nd and it doesn’t surprise me that it’s reading as dry, but damnit, I SMELL MOLD.

They wanted to remove only a weird section of the flooring that was reading at 17% but then leave the rest due to “dry” readings. They were so nice but definitely lower on the org chart and didn’t want to get in trouble.

I finally got our insurance adjustor on speaker phone and had him 1) tell them to take ALL the flooring 2) tell them he was calling their supervisor to authorize it so that they wouldn’t get in trouble. Excellent, let’s get this show on the road, I thought! <—–foreshadowing, my friends. Foreshadowing.

I had helped them move things during the pack-out and I had been cleaning as they went, but for the demo, I was working in our part of the basement so I was nearby if they had questions. I sat down at my laptop and it wasn’t 5 minutes before I hear “um, Sarah, we found why you keep smelling mold”.

EXTREME LOW – My friends, you’ll never believe this. There is a small slow leak under my dad’s sink or dishwasher. The floor in front of it was wet and gross but dry enough to not visually buckle. The Servpro people and I were buds by then and I asked them if it ever got exhausting only ever telling people bad news. They said it did.

a floor with water damage.

This hadn’t been part of the flooring they were initially authorized to remove. If I hadn’t pushed for insurance to approve it, this never would have been found. I guess that is the silver lining of this poop-colored rainbow.

A few things: 1) the flooring goes allllllll the way under my dad’s base cabinets and giant pantry cabinets. 2) these cabinets were custom-made to be higher to accommodate my dad’s height 3) these cabinets were not cheap 4) who the hell knows where this leak is, how to fix it, and how long it will take to order new cabinets.

Servpro will be coming back out this coming week to walk through the process of removing the base cabinets and identifying the leak. Y’all, I’m TIRED. I’m tired of the drama, the back and forth, and the goalpost constantly being moved. I’ve been dealing with this since November 2nd and I want to be done.

My dad’s health and physical demands of having ADA-accessible lodging for a 6’8 ft human are a lot different than most people. It’s really hard to pivot and figure it out when you can’t actually physically pivot (ha!).

Life is more complicated when your living space has to be customized. In order to roll with the punches, you have to be able to roll.

We’ll figure it out, we always do. But I was already near the breaking point of my being in charge of other people’s crap. Two weeks ago we thought this project would be done in days. Then it moved to 5-6 weeks with the moldy flooring. And now…?

I hereby turn in my resignation for being an adult. I’m done. Everyone else can just figure it out. I give up.

a kitty cat birthday card.

It hasn’t all been mold and drama, though it absolutely felt like that! Last Sunday was Bennett’s “family” birthday party and it was so much fun. It’s been almost four years since I have had that many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends in my house.

Bennett had a great time and loved the cake that he designed and that I tried to implement. I have been low on effs to give, so I decided to serve Costco pizza for this party. It was a hit and there were hardly any leftovers. New tradition made.

a black and white cake with a kitty cake topper.
After the party, I removed that cake topper from the stick to save for next year.

It was also the first gathering with little cousins and some friends that the kids could just be off on their own. There are many milestones in a parent’s life when things shift and life gets just a little bit easier.

Katie likes to say that when kids learn to pump their legs on a swing, you unlock the next phase of parenting. But I’ll add that when kids can be alone while taking a bath, and when they can play at a party without parental hovering are my two favorite milestones.

a pillow of a cat and kid.
This turned out so much creepier than we expected. Jack and I are already planning on how to use this to freak Troy out.

Growing up, we always had a “family” party and a “friend’s party” for our birthdays. Two separate parties for two separate groups. My mom’s parents and sister, and my dad’s brother lived two hours from us, so I think this was a way to make sure we saw each other at least twice a year.

Not to mention your friend don’t annoy your older relatives, and your older relatives don’t bore the snot out of your friends. It is a little bit more work to have two parties, but it’s how I grew up and something we’ve tried to do for the boys.

Bennett’s “friend” party was yesterday at a small private indoor pool. It’s a teeny pool, but one that is shallow (great for the little kids) and very warm. It’s also DIRT CHEAP to rent for a party. I think they set the prices in 1965 and never updated them.

And because the pool is so tiny, there isn’t any space to safely serve food, so I didn’t even have to provide snacks! I made cupcakes and handed them out in to-go containers in the parking lot. And Bennett gave out some goodie bags as his friends left. You’ll never guess what the theme of the party was. 🙂

a bunch of cat goodie bags and a kid.

Overall I’m not a huge fan of single-use kitchen items. But, this week I caved and finally bought this meat masher thing, and I’m officially in love. I’ve always used a pastry cutter when cooking ground meat, and while it works great (and is free), I have a new skillet that can’t have metal utensils used on it.

I used the meat masher thing (official name, obvs) on Wednesday while making Instant Pot Tortellini Soup and it worked so fantastically. Mobility issues are always at the forefront of my mind, and I think this would be really helpful for anyone who has arthritis or limited use of their hands.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Long-time reader, Myra, left this five-star review on our tutorial for homemade brown sugar {Pin this}:

So I was all set to make my favorite baked oatmeal recipe. I gathered all my ingredients..oh no! Brown sugar was not in the pantry. You rescued me and my baked oatmeal. I went old school with a whisk and had gorgeous brown sugar in less than 5 minutes. Thank you!

homemade brown sugar in a glass bowl with a spoon

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Sheetpan Chicken ThighsWith fresh herbs and a delicious garlic lemon marinade, these Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs and potatoes make an amazing weeknight dinner. Your favorite flavors come together in a tasty one-pan dish. {Pin this recipe}

a grey speckled dish with a roasted chicken thigh and potatoes topped with fresh parsley.

Pesto RiceThis Pesto Rice is a fast weeknight side dish that the whole family will love! Made on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot, this tasty rice dish is great for meal prep. {Pin this recipe}

a white bowl of pesto rice with a fork, parsley, and tomatoes.

Confessions – everyone’s favorite silly post of the month.

A woman with a finger up to her mouth saying "shhhhh"

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! Oh, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  2. Garlic Butter Rice – I can’t think of a week that goes by in this house without at least one batch of this comfort food being made. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Cookies – I’m a big fan of this recipe and you’re going to love it! {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls – unlike the ones from our childhood, these are not filled with lava and regret. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Air Fryer Chicken Quesadilla – a speedy and delicious lunch, dinner, or snack. {Pin this recipe}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: Instant Pot Potato Soup and veggies.

Tuesday:: Testing out a new recipe and we’ll have veggies on the side.

Wednesday:: Troy is making dinner and we’ll be excited to eat it!

Thursday:: Take out to support a local small business and my sanity.

Friday:: Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs and lots of veggies. I will double the recipe and freeze half of them uncooked for future fast dinners.

Saturday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Sunday:: TBD, depends on what we have leftover in the fridge.

What are you having this week?

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12 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. So sorry about your basement woes. And to hold not one, but two parties in a week’s time . . . you are Wonder Woman! Fingers crossed for a better week ahead.

    BTW, I love my meat masher as well. You can get one for almost double the price on Pampered Chef, the Mix ‘N Chop. Huh . . .

    Lastly, the child-parent milestone I loved and long-awaited was the day when my child’s crying did not occur EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That was huge!

  2. You, my friend, are a rock. That’s a lot of crap and a lot of stuff to deal with. I’m sorry! Glad it hasn’t all been bad—love Bennett’s party decor. Pizza parties forever. 

  3. We actually meal planned for this week!!
    Baked chicken and veggies, tacos (ground turkey), pork roast in the crockpot with potatoes and carrots, tacos with the leftover pork, and burgers!! I even have all the meats thawing in the fridge already!

    I am so sorry that the basement just keeps getting worse! I’m sending virtual chocolate your way! 

  4. I’m famous! Thank you for sharing my review. I will never buy brown sugar again! I know you are going to get that gold star for solar energy next year. While you are waiting here is one from me !⭐️ Bennet and his cat obsession cracks me up! I am happy he had a nice birthday.

  5. That pillow is Creepy!

  6. Ugh – on the whole basement never ending saga. That sounds beyond annoying. Doesn’t matter that it technically is a first world problem… still an annoying problem. Adulting is overrated in my humble opinion. 

    Kitty parties look adorable and fun. Love the creepy pillow – a little too alive, lol. 

    Hang in there!!