Creative discipline, and seeking wisdom

I accomplished more items on a to-do list today than have ever been accomplished in Stephanie history.  The natural consequence of this is poor parenting.  “Quiet!  I’m on the phone.” “Stop touching each other and go do something quiet.”  “I am in a bad mood right now, so you’d better shape up.”  These are all hypothetical examples, of course.

Matt and I have dinner plans with my sister and her husband tonight so I made the kids their own dinner.  I then left them for no-more-than-four-minutes so I could go phone in my dinner order.  When I returned, I found that they had entered deadly territory:  the food fight.  The floor was covered with peas and pasta and broken pieces of biscuits.  I thought bad words in my head.  I sent the main perpetrator (who should remain unnamed but I’m mad at him:  Grant) to his room and then went and got Matt out of the garage.  “I need you to come inside before I hurt one of your children.”  This is when Matt had a stroke of parenting genius.  First he took all their plates away.

“Your dinner is now on the floor.  Eat every single piece of it, or you’re dead.”

I love my husband.

Moving is stressful.  Really stressful.  And sometimes it turns us into mean people.  I’m hoping to be nice again in about 3 weeks.

We planted a garden in our back yard and I planted zucchini for the first time.  Is this normal? (That’s my full-sized adult hand.)

Our new house has no appliances.  This is a list of the items I will have to buy next week:

  • range/oven
  • dishwasher
  • fridge
  • washer/dryer
  • microwave (hood w/fan)
  • oh, and a king-sized mattress (which I realize is not technically an appliance)

Do you own any of the above items that you LOVE (like so much that you would return your children before you’d return said appliance)?  I really want to hear your suggestions of things to consider. I have the option of gas or electric for both the range/oven and the dryer–  Any thoughts on that?  Just pretend like you’re the editor of Consumer Reports and tell me what to look for and what to avoid.  Brand names and model numbers are appreciated.

I apologize in advance if I do the same thing I did with your places-to-live suggestions (moved somewhere different) and totally ignore you.  I don’t know why I do that.  Trust me, it’s involuntary.

I was going to write more, but I can’t keep my mind off of the Chris’ Outrageous Chocolate Cake I just ordered from The Cheesecake Factory.

A Cheesecake Factory Original – Layers of Moist Chocolate Cake, Chewy Brownie,
Toasted Coconut-Pecan Frosting and Creamy Chocolate Chip Coconut Cheesecake

Oh sweet mercy.


29 thoughts on “Creative discipline, and seeking wisdom

  1. I bought Carrie a pair of Bosch appliances for Christmas in 2008. They’re the front-loading high-efficiency washer/dryer type with pedestals (big nice awesome drawers) under them. I recommend Bosch highly. We got them at Lowe’s for 20% off (floor-model returns). The whole shootin’ match was <$1500. From our prior dryer (which was $250 the year we got married) to this was a step up, but my wife is grateful for the decreased strain on her back on both fronts (or front-loaders!).

    The only tip I'd give if you have a front-loading washer is to leave the door open when your wash comes out. Failure to do so results in a mildewy smell you will not appreciate.

    Best of luck in your new digs. Sorry we never hooked up in your old ones, but you're closer now. Maybe we'll get a chance!

  2. …oops…almost forgot: electric dryer. We have gas everything else, but with thick winter stuff (like what you’ll need where you’re going–and where you came from) electric just works better (and it would’ve been $450 to run a bib in from the street for gas in the laundry room.

    Also: the High-efficiency washers use much less detergent to do their job. If you like an agitating washer, though, you’re out of luck. Flipside: when the wash comes out of the washer, it’s seriously almost dry because the spin cycle gets to like 4Gs. Nylon and other synthetics don’t even need to hit the dryer, hence: lower $$$ spent on running your electric dryer!

  3. I don’t love my appliances. But I will tell you that I have been dreaming about those refrigerators that have the two doors and a freezer drawer on bottom. It’s a lust thing for me. The rest I don’t much care about so long as they work and don’t look horrific. And IMHO, don’t go with stainless steel. Fingerprints galore. Boo. Unless you like that kind of fingerprint magnet, then go right ahead. I personally prefer white because dirtiness is not as easy to notice for longer. (And we all need that kind of time to get around to the cleaning. Unless you’re my SIL, but I maintain that she has some form of insanity.)

    I’m probably telling you a bunch of crap you’re already aware of. Mostly because I love talking about my preferences.

  4. Gas for stove and definitely electric for dryer. There is a store here in Utah R.C. Willey that is a huge appliance store,, one stop shopping!
    Have Fun!

  5. Your husband is a GENIUS! I wish we could come up with that kind of discipline on the spot! 🙂
    As for appliances – my hubby works at Lowe’s and so therefore we had a PLETHORA of choices. First off – convection ovens- so not worth it. They don’t do nearly the good job they are supposed to. I agree with the idea of the freezer on bottom (that’s what we have) but only if that leaves the majority of snack foods within a child’s reach. I love mine because it puts the fruits and vegis at eye level for my kids. A dishwasher? I’d like one that doesn’t require my 2 hands and finding the right mix of hot and cold water!
    For the washer/dryer. If you want front loaders – they are awesome. But make sure you get pedestals for under them or you will kill your back in no time. The ones that get the best reviews from my hubby/family/customers are the Bosch brand.
    OK – that was a lot. Sorry. 🙂 I guess my MAIN thought to leave you with – don’t get a million extras!!! Find the appliances with the basics you want/need and leave it at that! Those ‘extras’ that they try to get you to buy usually aren’t worth it. OH – and don’t be afraid to ask if you can get a discount if you are buying more than 1 appliance at 1 place. AND – 1 more thing (sorry— I keep thinking up new things!). Right now Lowe’s has a promotion with an extra 10 or 20% off if you buy energy star appliances – plus you get a tax credit for them. 🙂 Good luck!

  6. I love gas stoves. There are so much more heat sensitive than electric. When you turn the heat off the heat is OFF. I have a 5 burner top. The middle is a long oval that I can change out the grate and put a cast iron griddle in the middle. It also has a power burner that makes boiling water and other things so much faster. Its a GE. I LOVE it!

    I also have a LG front loading washer. Saying I despise my washer would be an understatement. It holds water in the front seal which causes an awful mildewy smell if the door stays shut when not in use.

    Good luck with the appliance/mattress search.

  7. Joel says electric oven and gas range. Boils water faster and cooks cakes more evenly. COnvection oven is a must have for a large family or RS president,
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my front loader washer and dryer. Worth every penny. The amount of clothing I can wash, and also that everything is really clean when you are done, is amamzing. Yes, I love them more than Joel. (some days)
    LAUGH OUT LOUD at Matt. That is hilarious. I love your husband too, but in a counsiny I – know-we-are-related, and does the best turtle impression kind of way. ;0) Joel and I will both miss you guys.

  8. Eating off the floor. BRILLIANT.

    I want cake.

    My appliances are old but I LOVED the switch from electric to gas burners. Ceramic top stoves are EVIL (I worked at a furniture store and the rep from the appliance manufacturer told me so. And fridges with the freezer on the bottom are WAY more energy efficient.

    Good luck?

  9. Smart husband you have there.

    Moving IS stressful. I feel for you!

    I have nothing really wonderful to add on appliances, as I have never had much of a choice. Our house came with everything already there. But I will say that you should definitely get a gas stove. We had one a couple houses ago, and it is so much better. Also easier to keep clean, in my opinion.

  10. As a parent of young children, I would not recommend stainless steel for your appliances. We have a stainless steel fridge, and it always has hand prints and water stains on it. It is a pain to clean. It looks great when clean (about once a year), but not practical.

  11. “They” say you shouldn’t pressure can food on a ceramic top stove, only a gas one. Not that I would know.

    Our double oven came with our house and I really, really, really love it. The top oven is about half the size of a normal oven so it heats up fast and I can bake most things it it. When I need more space, I use the bottom, normal sized oven. It has been so very convenient to have both ovens going at the same time. This is especially critical on pizza night so that the adult pizza is done at the same time as the kid pizza :-). No really, it has been a bigger help than I would have ever thought but, of course, they cost more.

    I really love that we have a water/ice dispenser on our fridge so the kids can get their own drink. Just make sure you get one with a lock.

    If money was an issue (and it always is) then I would splurge more on the mattress than anything else. There is just nothing like a good night’s sleep…especially when you have children.

    Good luck!

  12. I love my front-loading, energy-efficient washer and dryer. Also, I have a fridge with the fridge-part on top and the freezer part on bottom. Love it. So much. I have a glass-top range that is electric, and I really like it. Cleans so easily.

    I love what Matt did. I recently read “Parenting with Love and Logic” and that’s a classic example of imposing logical consequences (it’s a good thing!). Love it! Way to think on your feet, Matt.

  13. Also? Get a good dishwasher, one that’s quiet. After having two loud ones that sounded like they were going to launch themselves into orbit, I really love my quiet one. Bosch makes a good one, but they’re super expensive. I have a Whirlpool. (I also have a Whirlpool stove and microwave, and an Amana fridge, FYI).

    • Your zucchini is pretty common–in fact I posted a picture of one from my garden just last week. I have found the trick with zucchini is to catch them when they are small. They taste better. The larger ones have bigger seeds inside that make for a poorer texture overall. But if you get some large ones like that you can always scrape the seeds out and each them, or grate them into a recipe.

  14. “Come in here before I hurt one of your children” Wish I could say I never said that before 🙂 Husbands have a great way to discipline. Usually quite different from moms! Love it! Way to go. That is what the kids will laugh about when they are older and have kids of their own. 🙂

  15. I don’t have fancy shmancy appliances. If you’re getting old-school washer/dryer, I’d suggest gas. So much more efficient than my electric dryer. If you’re getting newer front-loaders, though, sounds like that might not be the most efficient.

    Definitely spend the extra money for a good mattress. We had a cheap one for a few years and I didn’t know how horrible it was till we got a pillow top. The different was NIGHT AND DAY when it came to pregnancy.

    We’ll be moving in the next few weeks, too. Actually closed on our house last night and now I have a million and one things on my to do list. Obviously blogging is at the top. :o)

  16. I love my fridge. It’s a GE:

    It’s a french door fridge with freezer on bottom. I echo the sentiments of having a water dispenser is extra cool so the kids can get their own water. It also has an alarm on it for when the fridge gets left open. It’s more “series of small, quiet beeps” than “alarm”, but it’s still good, even I sometimes think I’ve closed the door and realize a minute later that I didn’t push it closed hard enough. The delivery guy commented that the handles are sturdy enough that kids can hang from it. Apparently he has monkeys like I do, because they seriously do hang from them (even though I’ve asked them not to!) The freezer has an upper drawer which makes it nice so that food doesn’t get lost in there as easily as it might considering the ginormous capacity.

    P.S. Seeing the pic of it on the GE site makes me realize I really need to clean my fridge…

    Happy Moving!

  17. Ok, that food fight story is the best ever! I laughed out loud at my computer. You and your husband sound so familiar to me…. Seriously, thank you for the laugh.

    Oh, and don’t worry too much about the mean; lucky for me, kids always forget. You’re always doing better than you think you are.

    You’re great. And a half.

  18. We had to replace our fridge a few years ago and I thought I would get one with the freezer on bottom and the french doors on top. Much to my surprise I didn’t. The models with the french doors were just *so* much more expensive, and a few of the little things inside the fridge seemed like they would break easily. I think the produce drawers were also smaller, which doesn’t work for a family with 6 kids! We ended up getting a freezer on bottom model with a regular door on top and we LOVE it. We don’t have water in the door which makes me a little sad, but we got over it!

  19. I adore my LG washer and dryer, they have been amazing. I also have to tell you that both my husband and I REQUIRE a bowed dishwasher in our kitchen, because they do not need pre rinsing. I have made caramels and put the pan straight in the dishwasher and it has come out clean every time….

  20. I finally replaced my dishwasher which truly got the dishes dirtier and not cleaner with a Bosch. I would marry that machine. Quiet, efficient, hardworking – what’s not to love?
    And I have a confection oven and love it! So, a little different opinion from another reader.

  21. May I just say now that I’m six weeks on the other side of a new house/new neighborhood/new ward that, yes, you will definitely less of a need to kill your children on a regular basis. I promise.

  22. The house we are renting has 25 year old appliances. But in a few short months I will be choosing my own brand new ones. I do love my HE washer/dryer which I moved with us. With everything you’re buying I would suggest a online subscription to Consumer Reports to see how brands compare before buying. They also have guides in what is best to buy for what you need.

  23. We love our LG washer and dryer combo. It’s just one unit and gives me extra space in the laundry. It’s very effecient and with the ‘pedestal’ thing drawer it sits on, it’s gentle on our backs. The only ‘disatvantage’ is the a load will take 3-4 hours to finish or 5 for a sanitary cycle. (most of the time is the drying through condensation) But i don’t have to switch each load to the dryer (not that it’s hard or a big deal) but it’s nice that you just put in a load and when

  24. Sorry… I meant ‘disadvantage’
    And I did not finish my sentence…
    …when it dings it’s all done to get folded… Not that I do that often :). But this appliance has been one of our best buys ever.

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