Sometimes it's been sourdough. Sometimes it's been a sandwich loaf. Sometimes it's been a whole-wheat, hearty-grain kind of thing.
Sometimes he bakes it in the oven.
Other times...he uses our trusty bread machine so he can just throw ingredients in before going to bed, set the timer, and then wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread.
Well, a few weeks ago, he went to set up the bread machine to make a loaf of fresh bread while we slept but...he couldn't find the paddle for the bread machine. He and I tore the kitchen apart looking for it and it wasn't anywhere.
So I hypothesized that we had washed it and set it to dry on the counter, but it had gotten knocked into the recycling bin (which we keep by the kitchen counter), and then had been indiscriminately carted to the outside recycling bin with all the other recycling, which in turn was collected by the big recycling truck and...in a word, that paddle was gone.
With no other sort of bread in the house, we decided that we could have sacrament with...the pumpkin bread Rachel had baked earlier in the day. Not the maple-glazed loaf she'd made for the rest of the family, with real sugar and flour, but the keto-style pumpkin bread she'd made for me, with almond flour and substitute sweetener.
The kids were all very surprised when we took the sacrament that week!
When we asked them if anyone had seen the paddle to the bread machine they all swore up and down that they hadn't and then tore the kitchen apart with us while we looked for it again.
"I hypothesize," Rachel began...and then shared the same hypothesis I had shared with Andrew the night before, which made us laugh. Especially since we'd both used the words "I hypothesize" to begin our theory. But really it's the only logical explanation.
So I hunted around to see if I could find a replacement paddle to order, since that—in theory—would be significantly cheaper than buying a new bread machine (which we use regularly, mind you).
Unfortunately, Andrew and I are getting old.
Not terribly old yet, but definitely older, which really shouldn't come as a shock to anybody. But it turns out that a bread machine from our newly-wed years is considered so old that...no one stocks replacement parts for it anymore. I did, however, find an off-brand paddle on Amazon that some reviews said fit their machine (while other reviews said it did not), so we thought for $10 we'd try our luck on that.
We fell into the does-not-fit category.
So we returned it and begrudgingly bought another bread machine, which looks so new-fangled we hardly know what to do with it (though Andrew figured it out just fine and we've already enjoyed a loaf of bread baked with it (and by we I mean "everyone but me," though I got to enjoy the smell, so that's something, I suppose)).
Even though we work hard to maintain our house, it's usually in a state of chaos. It's just...hard...to stay on top of everyone and all the stuff they have and use. So there's always just stuff everywhere.
Like, you know when the kids come inside from playing outside and they all strip off their coats and shoes and leave them in the middle of the entryway? That's annoying when you have a kid or two, sure. But when you have five (almost six), it's just pure chaos.
And it happens so fast!
Like, we could have just cleaned the house and then I turn around and...chaos!
Which is fine. I don't expect a magazine-worthy house.
But I do have my limits. And about a week ago I reached my limit and even though we'd just had "chore day" I surprised everyone by having "chore day, take two." It was...not well received...but it needed to happen. We weren't going for perfection, we were going for "can I please walk across any room in the house without breaking my neck?!"
We have places for things, people! Just put the books on the shelf. Put the toys in the bin. Pick up your dirty socks.
In short, we decided that every room needed to be vacuum-able. Not perfect. Just vacuum-able.
So we set about on a binge-cleaning adventure.
Eventually Andrew asked Miriam to run upstairs, retrieve the vacuum, and bring it down to the basement so he could vacuum the rooms down there that had passed inspection.
Now, as mentioned previously, part of the reason our house is in an unrelenting state of chaos is because we've filled it with small children. I recognize that that was our choice. And—don't get me wrong—they're sweet as can be!—but they are agents of chaos!
So it happened that as Miriam was coming down the stairs dutifully lugging our vacuum, Alexander came barreling around the corner (wearing his Batman outfit, of course), intending to charge up the stairs to...do what...we'll never know. He crashed into Miriam and she lost her balance and her grip on the vacuum, which tumbled down the rest of the stairs (thankfully crushing no children along the way) and...broke.
Because why not?!
Our vacuum isn't that old, but unfortunately the part that broke on it (the clip that holds the canister on) is not a piece that's offered as a replacement part, and without the clip, the vacuum doesn't suck. And here's the thing about vacuums: they suck! That's, like, their one job.
So...we ordered a new vacuum.
The exact same model, because this vacuum is fairly hardy (having made a couple cross-country moves without dying on us) and because I recently bought a couple sets of spare filters so that we can switch them out while I'm washing them and, like, come on!
So now we have a new bread machine and a new vacuum! Lucky us!
I was napping on Saturday afternoon—or attempting to—when I heard the smoke alarm going off. Andrew and Rachel were cooking an elaborate meal in the kitchen, however, and rushed to switch it off, so I wasn't too concerned and made myself stay in bed.
Relaxation is good for pregnant ladies and diabetic ladies. I happen to be both. Did you know that stress can raise your blood sugar levels? It's true. So my daily "rest time" is sacrosanct at the moment. Mommy is much happier when her blood sugar is under control (because registering a spike stresses her out, which...cascades into a whole...thing...of trying to regain control).
We won't talk about how a nine-year-old boy disappeared at the park this afternoon shortly before Mommy was due to measure her blood sugar because this post is not about that.
(Long story short: We found him; but, man, my blood sugar was a lot higher than it should have been considering what I'd had for lunch and the fact that we had been out walking through the woods for a good forty-five minutes before I checked my blood sugar. Adrenaline. It will get you every time.)
This post is about our microwave.
I figured they were burning something yummy down there (and they were, but that only accounted to some of the smoke and...chaos...which, as I mentioned reigns in our house (chaos; chaos reigns, not smoke...usually)). What I did not know had happened was that while Andrew was melting the butter, our microwave burst into flames internally.
I guess the mica plate failed. Or something.
So he opened the door, stopping the microwave...generator...and the flames died down...and it's all fine.
Except that our microwave is, essentially, dead.
In theory you can simply replace the mica plate. However, in our case the little explosion busted up our door as well (internally) so we're not sure the door is safe, either.
Unsure of what to do—because our microwave happens to be the kind that comes "as a unit" with the oven—Zoë simply made a sign that asks us all to "not use the micerwave" and we just ran out and got a cheap counter-top microwave to buy us some time while we make a very grown-up decision about what to do about the actual microwave.
Because of course we can't replace the built-in microwave without rendering our oven useless, which means we have to replace both. Which...I'm not terribly sad about because I learned, while investigating our microwave, that the whole unit was installed incorrectly and is actually just...sitting in the hole in our wall, not mounted with any hardware. So that's fun. But replacing a built-in oven like ours is a costly adventure that we're not quite willing to embark on yet.
And even if we were...we're in the middle of a pandemic and no models seem to be available until around, oh, January.
So we're making do with the counter microwave.
Alexander is excited because we put it where he can reach it, which means he gets to learn how to use it, because at our house that's what you do when you're three or four.
Sure, we've had a microwave fire or two (where things get "smokey...and a little bit flamey"), but the independence it offers us has been worth it. Besides, as we learned on Saturday, grown ups can start microwave fires as well (not that we didn't already know this).
Now Alexander is all about making food for himself.
"What's the password for oatmeal?" he asked this morning.
"What's the password for pizza?"
"What's the password for quesadilla?"
The answer to any of those questions is: "the thirty-second button."
Want oatmeal for breakfast? Grand.
Open a packet, empty it into a bowl, add water (that step is important), place it in the microwave, press "add thirty seconds" and then press "add thirty seconds" again. One minute later you'll have a steaming bowl of oatmeal. (Just make sure you don't spill it all over yourself while taking it out of the microwave (a step made easier by having the microwave lower)).
You want leftover pizza? Put a slice on your plate. Zap for thirty seconds. Check to see if it's warm enough for you. If it is, great. If it's not, thirty more seconds.
I love that button for three-year-olds. They usually don't get into too much trouble if they only use that button and if they understand that the microwave is a tool which can be dangerous.
Fortunately, Alexander was watching Daddy and Rachel cook so he was there for the microwave fire, so the power of the microwave is firmly seared into his brain. I don't think he'll be throwing caution to the wind any time soon...
We're grateful that only "small" appliances have broken (the microwave/oven combo thing is kind of a drag, but also not an immediate concern) but hope that now that we've had three things break in the space of a week or two that we can, you know, take a break from things breaking.
Knowing our house...that's unlikely...but a girl can dream!