The $2,000 Bunk Beds – Part Four

So, where were we? Oh yeah there was an electrical burning odor in the air, and the light was on but not turning off. What a great place to be! Sigh.

With militaristic precision, I called for my wife to flip the circuit breaker back to off. Knowing what I must do, I asked her to keep the kids out of the room while I ran to my favorite store, Lowes. About 5 minutes, and $5 later, I was walking out with a new light switch in hand.

Asking Kati to, yet again, corral the kids and ensure that the circuit was still off, I got to work. When the power is off, light switches and outlets are quick and easy tasks. This one was no different. I set the switch to the on position and put it into the wall. 

So we found ourselves facing, yet again, another moment of truth. With the kids in the living room anxiously awaiting the outcome I stood in the room. Glaring at the light I asked my beloved to flip the circuit. In a flash, the light came on and was bright! I walked over to the wall, confidently out stretch my hand, and flip the light switch. This time there was an exclamation for my wife as it was a pop at the circuit breaker and she informed me that the panel was now buzzing. Hearkening back to what my dad told me when I was eight, I knew what I had to do. 

Sometimes it takes me a little longer to realize that I am beat.

Begrudgingly I called Woodfin, a local electrician and HVAC company here in Richmond Virginia. They’ve done a lot of work for us in the past, and I’ve always been awesome with what they do. Thanks to the busy time of year, we were told they would be about a week before somebody come out. I explained that I have three children ages 5 and under, 1/3 of my house was without power, and the electrical panel has a horrible buzzing sound whenever power was running through it. Someone was there within an hour.

Electrician that came told me that he has seen it all, and this is actually pretty common here in Richmond. Between the houses built in the 70’s, a bunch of “fixes” and “upgrades” done between the 80’s and 90’s, and just general “craftsmanship”, having electrical issues is pretty common. He diagnosed that there was a long-standing problem with the circuit breaker. Apparently, I don’t know why, but installing a new light pushed the old circuit breaker beyond its breaking point. He helped sort out spaghetti monster like nest that I found when I remove the ceiling fan, it only contained one always live wire. In order to make sure that our house did not burn down he put in a couple of temporary replacement breakers. He also helped me make sure that everything was in working order before he left.

Woodfin descended upon my home two weeks later.

So after 2 weeks, over $2,000 later (beds $500, light $30, new switch and cover $5, replacing the entire electrical panel and breakers $1800), my kids now have an amazing bunk bed without a ceiling fan and light switch that works. I hope that this journey has brought some humor to you, in hindsight it has for me. I think the most important thing that you, my dear readers, can take from the story is the fact that you should always know what you can and cannot do. You need to know who you can call when you reach a point that help is needed. Most importantly, always over budget every single project.

This is my haphazard attempt at giving you guys part four, I had a really good one written the other day. If you look at the post from yesterday you can understand why I’m more than a little frustrated. As a father I’ve always come to expect the unexpected. This little project proved to be no different. I hope that never changes. Even through frustration and angst, it’s still so damn fun to be a dad.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

The Long Update, part 4, the nightmare fades

A few hours later Kati was finally ready to move from labor and deliver to postpartum.  On the way we stopped by the NICU to see beautiful Zoey.  Lindsey filled us in on how things were going, on what test had been run, what had been ordered, and that all in all, little precious Zoey was regulating her own temperature, never needed breathing assistance, APGAR  scores were amazing, and so far, things were going well.  With tears in our eyes and hearts overflowing we made our way to the recovery room, collapsing in tears when the door closed behind us.  The room seemed empty without our little one there.

The next two days are a bit of a daze, between lactation consultants, specialists, surgeons, doctors, fellows, residents, chiefs and a plethora of others constantly coming in to talk to us.  We made as many trips as we could to the NICU to see our little one, to hold her, to kiss her, to love on her and the lot.  Every time, Lindsey filled us in on what was new, what was being talked about, what had been done, and what some of the results were.  Piece by piece, every test came back to say that internally our little one was awesome. 

So, as I write this, it is the end of Zoey’s third day.  Kati has been discharged and is sleeping on the couch next to me and we have ‘moved in’ to Zoey’s NICU room.  This is our first real night of finally being able to sleep in the same room as our little one.  Kati is sleeping like a champ, and I think Zoey is happy that we are here (she keeps fussing just so I have to stop typing, go to her, she grabs my pinky and makes all sorts of amazing noises and just looks at me in the dark.  If I move to leave too soon, she fusses… and I have to move back to where she can see me…. Yeah…. I love this little girl.

Unlocked Doors – part 4 – Honor

Honor means to have a high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank. This can be the hardest or easiest part of being a man. Having a deep sense of honor for your family falls hand in hand with your own sacrifice and dedication. The reason that this can be one of the hardest things to have as a man is that it is so terribly implicit with the other two, that if you were to try to focus just on honor, you would be fighting an uphill battle. However, by doing all that you can to be there, to be a good father, to be a good husband is the most predominate way that you can show the elevated level of worth that you have for your family.