Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Flashing and Flooding

Kay, um, so, no.  We're not in our house yet.  I mentioned the flood we had in our house.  Ben keeps correcting me when I say "flood."  He says it's a "leak."  I tell him that leaks don't cause $10,000 in damage. 

When we turned on the main water line, the faucet in the kitchen was leaking, so we turned the valve off to that, but everything else seemed great, so we left it on.  When we came back the next night to do some cleaning, I went downstairs to make sure I had put lightbulbs in all of the fixtures (the previous owners took all of the lightbulbs with them when they left.  I literally had to replace 40 lightbulbs), the fixture in the bedroom downstairs wasn't working.  And then I heard dripping water.  I walked in, trying to find the source, and I found it.  The light fixture was dripping. 

I alerted Ben, and he undid the fixture.  It was filled with water.  Like a bathtub.  Then he felt the ceiling.  It was like a sponge.  "Kar," he said, I think we've had a leak somewhere."  He cut a line in the ceiling, and water came pouring out, like Niagara Falls.  Splash.  All over the cheesy linoleum floor. The sopping ceiling was peeling away.
We called a cleaning and restoration company, and they sent a plumber, who figured out that the problem was a broken part in the dishwasher.  They set up all of this fancy equipment to dry everything out, upstairs and down:
 This metal thing is a de-humidifier:
It took a week and a half to dry everything out.  Fans blowing for an entire 10 days.  The de-humidifier taking water out of the air and emptying it into a bucket.  It's fascinating, really.  The entire ceiling had to be torn down.  Ben took advantage of the bare ceiling to quickly install some can lights in the basement bedroom.  Part of the wall had to be torn out.  And we just found out that the linoleum on the floor is ruined, too, so we have to put some carpet in there now.  Which I'm good with.  Bedrooms should be soft.  Or, if they're hard, they should be cool hard.  Like hardwood with a big fluffy rug on it.  Amiright?

Here is the kitchen after the drying:
We found out that there are TWO subfloors, and then circa 1979 linoleum, and then laminate flooring.  Four layers in the kitchen.

The restoration dudes are over there right now, putting a new second layer of subfloor in, and then new laminate.  They're using some laminate that Ben had bought a couple of months ago.  He had wanted to replace all of the living spaces upstairs with this dark laminate, so he went ahead and tore up everything else in the living spaces upstairs so he can install it.  We can't live in the house yet anyway, so he might as well get it done while the restoration guys are doing their thing.

 We found some sa-weet cat pee stains everywhere. 
We could really smell it when Ben pulled the carpet up.  He rolled it up and put it in his truck.  It was still sitting in his truck on Sunday when we came home from our new ward, and we saw a cat in the truck bed, enjoying the pee smell and possibly contributing to it.  It was funny.

We could see where the original builders had painted the railing that lines the stairwell:
And more pee stains.

Something a little disturbing - the floor makes a little hill right here:
But it's not bouncy.  It's as solid as a rock.  And the restoration guys checked the basement and can't see any problems.  They recommended to just screw the subfloor to the joists a little bit more to flatten it out.

Our home warranty people are being super-special and not covering the cost for a new dishwasher, so we had to get a new one:
The water softener and water heater also won't work.  And our washer and dryer are gas-powered, and this house isn't hooked up to any gas - all electric.

So we've bought five appliances in the past week.  And are still haggling with the warranty insurance people.

Oh, and Ben installed new light fixtures in the kitchen:
Kay, now for flashing trauma.  When Ben pulled up the carpet in the living room, he found some rotten wood around the fireplace hearth:
Upon examination, he realized that there hadn't been any flashing installed on any of the crevices of the roof.  Like, ever.  So 34 years of weather has dripped and soaked into the wood surrounding the chimney, rotting it.  See?  No flashing:
And the rotten wood extends to the outside of the chimney, too:
So Ben put new flashing around the chimney, and now the restoration guys have to replace all of the rotten wood. Which means they have to demolish the hearth to get back there.  Which means the hearth tile will be demolished.  Which means that new tiles on the hearth won't match the tiles on the front of the fireplace.  Which means that Ben demolished all of the tiles yesterday:
Ben posted this picture on facebook yesterday, with this caption:  "Ever see that movie 'the money pit'? I loved that movie till now. It's amazing the damage an unflashed chimney can do! My only worry is that Karlenn might sleep with some guy with nasty long blonde hair."

I laughed pretty hard. :)

Otherwise, I might have cried.

So Ben's thinking he wants to do something really modern and fun there, like corrugated metal or something. 

I just want to move into my new house...

While Ben was flashing (haha, that's funny to say), I worked outside on the south side of the house.  I took that horrible black gardening paper out of one area and removed the random rocks:

I think later I'm going to use the rocks to make a little pathway.  Like in the spring.

And I planted the random bush I had found in the front yard.  I don't know what it is, but we'll see how it does in the south sun.
It has a brother that I need to plant today.

So...yeah.  Good times.  It will look fantastic when we're done, but sometimes I get so frustrated that I can't talk about it.  One day, I turned off my phone, because I was tired of talking about it.  It was just making me more and more bummed out the more people asked about it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shall we add more to my plate?

Well, it's official.  My son and I are going to deliver "payps."
Dude, have you ever seen Newsies?  It's fab.  Christian Bale, pre-Batman-rant-at-his-family.  "Santa Fe, my old friend..."  When I taught school, my good friend who taught history always showed this movie.  And introduced a whole new group of girls to pubescent crushes on Jake Kelly and David Jacobs.  Oh, I had a big thing for David Jacobs.  But not for Racetrack Higgins.  He was too short for me.

So.  Dylan needs braces.  We can't afford them.  It's been driving me crazy.  And then it hit me - a newspaper route!  Dylan and I can do a newspaper route and save money for his braces!  It won't get spent on groceries or dishwashers that keep on breaking down over and over again.  Just for him.

I asked him if he might want to do it.  He actually totally jumped on board.  He wants braces just as badly as I want them for him.  And he is a morning person.  Big time.  Me, not so much.  Ben thinks I can't do this.  But I told him that, when there is a serious commitment, I can get up early.  I got up at like 4:30 every morning to get ready and to commute to my teaching job for four years.  Because it was my job.  It was my commitment.  If I'm like, "I'm going to get up early and work out," if I haven't planned to meet a workout buddy or whatever, I push snooze and go back to sleep.

And yes, this is going to make me even more tired.  And yes, I'm doing a lot of stuff right now.  But my poor son needs braces, and dang it, we're going to get him some.

We meet with the Payp People during Thanksgiving to make our arrangements.  9 cents per paper delivered, baby.  Rich, baby, rich, rich!!  Haha!  It might take us awhile to save up...  But we'll get there.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Millie vs. Me

Yeah, I've been gone for awhile.  Nope, it's not because we finally moved into our new house.  Um, because there was a flood in our basement.  Long story short - we turned on the water, and the only problem seemed to be a leaky faucet in the kitchen.  We turned the valve to the faucet off, thinking, kay, we'll fix that.  Left the main water valve on.  24 hours later, the floor under the kitchen/above Sadie's future bedroom was like a huge bathtub.  A dishwasher part wasn't working, and water leaked from it.  Her ceiling was as wet as a sponge.  We had to take the ceiling down, and it was like Niagara Falls when it came down.

So yeah, we can't move in until that damage is repaired.

Sigh.  Houses are not meant to sit alone for 2 1/2 years.  We've been cleaning at the new house a lot, and I've been on the phone basically constantly for the past four days arranging appliance guys and flood repair guys and insurance crap.  I still haven't packed one dang thing to move yet.

A few weeks ago, my sisters and mom and I had a pedicure night.  We watched one of our all-time favorite movies - Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  We have every single word memorized.  That's not an exaggeration.  We watched it a LOT.  Except we always fast-forwarded through Millie's two solos, "When You're in Love" and "Wonderful Day."  Booooor-ing!  We wanted to watch the action.  The barn-raising dance, the stealing of the girls, all that stuff.  Lex used to make us pretend to steal her.  We'd throw a blanket over her head, throw her over our shoulder, and run.

It was really, really fun to watch it again after all these years.  We still said every word out loud. We still sang every word to every song.  We still thought "Wonderful Day" and "When You're in Love" were boring.  And I wouldn't touch anyone else's toes.  I have issues with other peoples' feet.  I just did my own little pedicure.

Anywho, I've been thinking about Millie lately - how much energy that girl has.  And yes, she is a fictional character, but I KNOW that women back in the 1800s worked their buttocks flesh off.  ("Buttocks flesh" is my favorite phrase.  I gleaned it from yoga.  I have a yoga teacher who refers to your butt as your "buttocks flesh.")  They didn't have electric ovens or mixers or dishwashers.  They didn't have running water.  I seriously, seriously don't know how they managed to cook and clean back then.  I think I would have thrown myself into the nearest river.

So Millie marries Adam and they get up to Adam's farm.  And then she realizes that he neglected to mention that he had six single brothers who live in his house that she now has to cook and clean for.  Seven dirty, sloppy guys.
So they head out to thresh wheat or whatever, and Millie just stares around her at this total disgusting hovel, totally defeated and unbelieving. 

But then she puts her stuff down, rolls up her sleeves, and starts cleaning the mess.  In the next scene, she's ringing the dinner bell, and she's made this huge, enormous meal for all of these men.  Which means she had to make a LOT of food.  After she cleaned this nasty kitchen for probably hours.

And then!  The men act like hogs - grabbing stuff, not saying grace, not using utensils, and she gets so mad that she pushes the table over and stomps off to her room.  But then the next morning, she has gotten up way before these guys (which is saying something, since they're farmers), made this enormous meal for them again, and washed all of their clothes.

I'm often surrounded by total filth. My kids are...well, slobs.  I've tried off and on through the years to do a job chart, but it's like...mentally, I have a hard time with that.  Because then I have to help the kids do the chores, which takes twice as long.  And I know that it's the principle of the thing, and that you're teaching them to work, and I really, really believe in that.  It's how I grew up.  We worked our buttocks flesh off!  And it was so good for us!  All of us, as adults, are really hard workers now, and I really think it's because we learned to work as kids. 

But to make a chart and then enforce it and then help the kids do it...I just...don't have the energy.  I think it's part of this depression thing.  Or because I have thyroid disease.  Or because I have low testosterone.  All I know is that I'm really, really tired all the time.  And have a hard time getting motivated.  And I get EXTREMELY overwhelmed.  So I go to bed.  Is my living room a mess of crayons and blankets and My Little Ponies?  I go to bed.  Do I have three days' worth of dishes waiting to be washed?  I go to bed. 

And I feel really bad about it.  And really embarrassed about it.  What is wrong with me?  Where did all of my energy go??  When I was a teenager and young adult, I was overflowing with energy.  And now I hardly have enough energy to feed my kids, keep them clean, make sure their homework is getting done, and keep their clothes clean.  I feel like I'm barely treading water.

Honestly, I need to repent, because I often break the commandment that says, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor."  Because when I see women who have all this energy, I get really, really, really jealous.  And super-sad.  I am not nearly up to par.  And I really want to be.

My mood is really great.  Exactly where it needs to be.  My meds are doing their job.  I feel like I can be acted upon without freaking out, but I don't feel like I'm acting to get things done.  Does that make sense?  I can handle if my kids are screaming now.  I don't flip out and hide in my room.  I can handle if my daughters' future bedroom gets horribly damaged from a flood.  I didn't sob for three hours when it happened.  I can handle that I spend most of my days on the phone trying to get our lives in order for this move.  But can I pack one single, solitary box?  No.  Can I paint a wall?  No.  Can I clean the bathroom?  No.  And that really bugs me.

I need to Millie Up.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The ADHD Series

I thought it might be interesting for those of you who don't have ADHD kids to see what life is like with one. 

I have Dylan take his pills first thing in the morning.  If I don't watch him actually ingest the pills, he will get distracted and forget all about them.  He'll leave them on the counter or drop them on the floor, and not even notice.  Once he's actually taken his pills, it takes about half an hour for them to start working.  That half an hour is a toughie. 

Then, at night, his pills wear off at about 7 p.m. or so.  Those next two hours are also toughies.  When Dylan has an activity at night, I'll give him an extra pill so that he's not obnoxious, for example, when he has scouts at 7.  One evening, I forgot to give him the extra pill, and one of his new scout leaders came up to me and was like, "I saw on Dylan's paperwork that he has ADHD."

"Yeah, he does; and I'm so sorry - I forgot to give him an extra pill so he wouldn't be obnoxious for you tonight."

"Well, have you ever heard of essential oils?  DoTerra?"

"Uh, yeah."

"I am a salesperson for DoTerra.  These oils are amazing.  You just put them on...wherever the problem is...and the results are fantastic!!"

"Yeah, I've heard good things."

"Like for Dylan, you could completely take him off his medication if you gave him the oils he needed."

"Is that so?"

"Yeah!  I mean, these oils, like, CURE Multiple Sclerosis!!  So all you'd have to do with Dylan is put some calming oil...wherever the problem is... and he'd be basically cured."

"Um, well, my friend is going to have a DoTerra party and wants me to come, so I've kind of already committed to that."

"Oh.  Well, if that doesn't work out, let me know.  We could really make a difference in Dylan's life with essential oils."

Now let me just tell you - I do think that essential oils can help people.  I totally believe in that.  But this guy was BUGGING.  He was using his position as Dylan's leader to sell me stuff.  And then he was making these crazy claims, like that the oils can CURE Multiple Sclerosis.  Dude, I know a lady with MS who uses DoTerra oils, and I haven't seen her cured.  As far as I've heard, there is no cure.  Lastly, he didn't even know where to put these on Dylan!  Does he have access to Dylan's brain?  Is there a little hole you can pour the oil in?  No.  I mean, if he had done some research and it shows that if you put it at the base of the cranium, or on the wrists or something, then cool.  But he had no idea where to put this stuff!!  BUGGED. 

I'm not saying that I'm against DoTerra oils. And I wasn't lying about my friend having a DoTerra party.  She is, soon, and if there is an oil that might help Dylie, and it's not too expensive, you bet I'll get it.  Another DoTerra lady at this women's expo my friend and I went to told me that they have these oils that help with plantar fasciitis.  Sign me UP.  So I'm not saying that I'm closed-minded about it.   I'm just saying I'm against uninformed people who try to take advantage of their church callings to sell me stuff.

Um, random tangent.

Kay, so I decided to take some videos to kind of show you what our mornings are like.  They're really short - about 20 seconds each.  But they'll give you an idea of what we deal with every morning.  And I'm not complaining about it.  I've made my peace with Dylan's condition.  It is what it is.   I just thought it would be informative for those of you who don't have ADHD kids.  Or those of you that think you might have ADHD kids. This is what ADHD looks like.

Sorry about this last one.  I temporarily forgot that you don't hold the video vertically like you would if you wanted to take a vertical picture.  You'll have to tilt your head to the side:
Mornings are not my strongest suit. :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Pot Class

Oh, how I love calling it that.  And wiggling my eyebrows suggestively when I call it that.

Nope, my class wasn't on marijuana.  It was a free class sponsored by a local nursery that shows you how to decorate your porch pots for the holidays.
Sorry about the poor quality of some of these photos - I forgot my nice camera, so I used my Barbie phone, whose picture-taking capability is shoddy at best.  Also, the light was behind the displays.

Um, and no, I don't have any porch pots as of yet, but...I aspire to have them someday. 
Kay, so you have your porch pots.  They're all empty of flora, because it's too butt-cold to grow anything right now.  They just have soil in 'em.  You will want to use metal pots, plastic pots (you can spray-paint them if you don't like their color), baskets, or wood.  She says to steer clear of ceramic, terra cotta, or cement pots - they tend to crumble or crack in the cold weather outside.  If you've had those kinds outside in the summer, bring them into your garage for the winter.  The soil that's already in your pot - use a brick to pack the soil down a bit.  The soil will act as that floral arranging foam stuff does.
You start with the middle of the pot with your "thriller."  There are three elements you put in your pot - your thriller, your filler, and your spiller.  The thriller is really tall.  It can be spray-painted (or plain) long twigs, an old tall birdhouse, some ironey yard decorating thing...  Something tall.  Right in the center.  The gal that did the demonstration was just using twigs she snapped off her trees at her house.
Then you use evergreen branches (real ones) as your filler.  No, they don't turn brown and die through the winter, surprisingly.  She says it stays humid and cold enough that they will stay green even if you've snipped them to put in your pot.  She would get three to four different kinds of evergreen to use as her filler, sticking them into the dirt and arranging them.

Once you've chosen your evergreens, you can choose some other fun elements to put in as your filler.  Spray-painted pine cones, fake lotus pods that you can buy at a craft store, yarrow you've picked from a ditch bank and spray-painted, etc.  She would pick the fun elements based on the colors of her evergreens.  Like, those evergreens that have those weird looking blue-ish berry things on them - she would make her fun elements blueish.  In her in-class demonstration, she had some evergreen branches with yellow-tinged needles, so she did a golden theme.

Lastly is your spiller.  This can be more evergreens that you arrange to kind of spill over the pot, or it can be a big dangly bow, some big jingle bells or hanging ornaments, etc.

As soon as I have time (seriously don't know when that will happen, since I'm moving and all), I'm going to procure some pots and do this thing.  I have a cute little porch in my new place to use, and I'm excited.  I'll post a pic when I do it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We've Gots the Keys!!

Well, let me amend that statement.  With HUD, they let you in the house, then take the keys away and destroy them.  It's up to you to change the locks.  So at 6:30 last night, Ben and our realtor went to the new house, the realtor let Ben in, and Ben, using the worst flashlight I've ever seen (my cell phone screen emits more light than this thing), put a new doorknob and deadbolt into the front door.  He decided to put the other handles on the other doors later. :)

I went this morning to plant some bulbs, so I actually WENT INSIDE THE HOUSE ON MY OWN, without a realtor, and took pictures of the front room for you, like I promised.

This is what it looks like from the front door if you look left:
Here's what it looks like from the dining room:
(With the stuff from the doorknob assembly all over the floor.)  These are south windows.

The west window:
 Looking at the entry way and one of the south windows (and Ben's mess):
Here's how the front of our house looks right now - I planted the rest of the shrubs we inherited, plus moved around some existing stuff:
 I was trying to figure out where to plant my bulbs, and I thought briefly of this area:

But I'd have to rake the leaves, take out all of that cheesy lava rock, dig out the woody remains of some bush or tree that had been there, and plant.  So I decided to plant my bulbs by my shrubs and ignore the lava rock area for now.

I brought my haul...
...but it's freakin' freezing out there, so I only planted three groupings.  Allium, daffodils, and one kind of tulip.  Maybe tomorrow it will be warmer and I can finish up.

As far as moving date, we're still not sure.  We just got the water turned on, and the utilities will be turned on today, so now we just have to get the leaky faucet in the kitchen fixed and sweep, mop, and vacuum before we can move in.  I'm thinking  maybe a few days?

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Painted House

Have you ever read that book?  A Painted House by John Grisham?  It's really beautifully written.  I'm not normally a huge John Grisham fan, but he departed from his normal lawyer/political intrigue stuff and wrote an amazing historical novel with symbolism and theme and all kinds of classic elements.  It's a really great read.

Anyways, I get to bore you with another house update.  I think I know that the peeling paint on our house was really, really bothering my dad, but I had been told by oodles of people that you can't paint once it starts freezing at night.  And it's been freezing at night for, like, a few weeks.  And Ben and I were planning on painting it in the spring June when it actually stops freezing.  We were thinking dark, rich cocoa browns, deep barn reds, and tans.  So why paint now when we're going to paint in 7 months?  But Dad just kept saying over and over again how crappy that peeling paint looked.  He said he wanted to check out our options.  I told him to knock himself out.

So he went to Home Depot to ask the Paint Dude (I think that's his official job description that he will forever put on his resume - "I was Paint Dude at Home Depot...") about the possibility of painting.  The Paint Dude said that there was a special kind of paint that could hold up if it dipped to freezing the night after it was painted.  But here's the clincher - you have to apply the paint in 50+ degrees, and it has to stay at 50+ degrees for at least four hours while it dries.  If it doesn't, the paint will peel off when it freezes.

This was a dicey situation.  But Saturday promised to be warm, so Ben and Dad got the paint and rented a paint spray gun thingey.

We had scraped the peeling paint the day before.  My cute dad:
The day before they painted, when we scraped, was BUTT COLD.  I was perma-cold the rest of the night.  Here's a glimpse of the scraped house.  I could have sworn I took more of these pre-paint pictures...
While Mom and I went to a Pot Class (more on that later - and no, it has nothing to do with marijuana) and Ben watched the kids, my dad taped newspaper to the windows, etc.  Then, when Ben was awailable, as his cute Chinese interpreter used to always say, he went over and they painted that house.

Here are some "after" pictures:

They only painted the parts that had been scraped, but it's such a good match, right?  You can't tell where the old paint ends and the new one begins.  It's a good patch-up just to last through the winter.
Kay, so this piece of wood that is warped in the following picture will have to be totally replaced in the spring.  But for now, it just got sanded a bit and painted:
 Look at that cute butt.
The boys did a great job.  And then I went over after they were done and planted a bunch more shrubs and moved some existing shrubs.  More on that later, as well.

And, luckily, we got the four hours of 50+ degrees before it dipped down to freezing.  And the paint has held up really well.  Phew.

Friday, November 8, 2013

We want...a shrubbery! [A dramatic chord]

What movie??

Kay, so yesterday was "warm" - meaning in the low fifties - so my sweet Mom and I went to my soon-to-be house (No, it STILL hasn't closed.  We sign the papers at the title company today, but we don't "take ownership" until Tuesday.  I have no idea why.) and planned to plant my six shrubs.

Um, we only ended up planting one.

First of all, there was this black gardening paper stuff tacked down everywhere:

 The paper was tacked down with these huge rusty thingeys:
The paper had been down so long that there was a new layer of dirt on top of it, and a teeny bit of bark, and grass and weeds that had grown on top of it.  I'm anti gardening paper stuff anyways - I want to be able to get to my weeds and plants and stuff - so we pulled it up.

We've been trying to figure out what we already have in the garden.  I'm pretty sure these are peonies:
I can tell because the remaining leaves have been munched on, and I can also tell because of the leftover tops after the blooms have died.  So I get to battle leaf-munching insects over in this house, too.

It's a good thing we pulled the paper up, because we had noooo idea there was a dripline in the garden:
We saw this major-looking pipe attached to them, but we still have only found three or so sprinkler heads on the lawn. And the heads are all close to the gardening edges.  Could it be that there is just a sprinkler system around the gardening areas, but not on the lawn???  We just can't figure it out.
We planted this nine bark bush - the biggest one - where there is a corner and no window.  Nine barks can get pretty tall, and we don't want to cover the view from the windows:
It took FORRRRREEEEEVER.  (What movie?)  There were soooooooooo many rocks.  I mean, it was like rock layer above rock layer above rock layer.  And the root ball on the nine bark was kind of wide, so we had to dig deep and wide.  I felt like one of those dudes in that book, Holes.  I love that book. I love that movie.  Shia LaBeouf, my favorite, is in it.  With a fro.

I found these crazy bushes all over the place:
They seem kind of viney, yet woody, and they stay low on the ground.  From what I can tell, one bush spawned two or three others nearby.  I trimmed them back, and since they are low-growers, I'm transplanting one of them underneath a window to provide some symmetry in the garden.

I met two more neighbor ladies.  The across-the-street neighbor seems very shy.  The next-door-neighbor, mother to The Other 8-year-old Sadie, is actually a girl I went to high school with!!  Small world!  She's really nice, and it will be great to have her as a neighbor.  And the lady on the other side of us brought out some toy cars for Micah and Gage to play with, since they were being...themselves.  (Difficult.)

I go over again this afternoon, this time to scrape paint chips, sand them, and paint those areas in the same color that's already on the siding.  Um, even though the house isn't officially mine yet.  I feel like a trespasser.  Don't tell anyone, okay?  Ben and I really want to completely change the color of the house, but with winter coming on, and freezing temperatures at night, we are just out of time.  My dad was really interested in fixing the peeling areas, and some guy at Home Depot has a kind of paint that you can paint and will stay, even if the temps drop to freezing.  So I guess that's what we're doing until we can do something major down the road.

Can I tell you how excited I am to have such a neat breezeway and front porch?  It reminds me a lot of the houses of my friends in San Diego.  My mom and I are going to a local nursery to attend a seminar on how to make your porch pots holidayish tomorrow morning.  It should be fun.  For when I actually own a porch pot, or several.

Well, off I go to tend to two kids who I think are playing sick to stay home from school.  Little stinkers.  They're really good actors.  And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to...Dylan!!  Best Supporting Actor goes to....Micah!! 

Dylan:  Wow, I'm so honored.  It took so much work to fool my mom, but I really tried to make my breathing seem labored and did a lot of frowning and a bit of fake crying.  I'm here to say that dreams do come true.  Thank you!!

Micah:  I decided to go a different route today and pretend to have nausea.  I lay still on the couch for a good hour this morning to show Mom how truly sick I was.  But now I'm jumping on the couch and drawing.  I'm excited to hoard this trophy away under my bed!  Thank you!!
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