- a basement toilet (called a "flush" here in Maryland) that ran constantly (and therefore needed to be repaired immediately)
- a run of sick children - each taking turns at throwing up
- Jeff going away for a two-day business trip
- a new car that had temporary tags about to expire that needed to be renewed - down in Virginia, an hour away if there was no traffic
- having to get to a government office before they closed to renew another temporary paper, in conjunction with the temporary car tags
- a new dishwasher that drained into my kitchen sink, and did not allow the kitchen sink to drain
- a backlog of laundry, exacerbated by the
- discovery that the two-year-old had pinworms and so all the sheets needed to be washed immediately (thankfully easily fixed but requiring a doctor's visit to do so)
- a utility sink in the basement that the washing machine drained into that would not drain
- my mother-in-law's impending arrival to help with everything else and be here for the baby's birth (both causes for joy)
So on the Friday just before the 15th, I decided to fix the toilet on my own. I'd done it before without trouble, but this toilet had the added problem of a stuck valve. I would have to turn off the water to the entire house to fix the toilet, which meant that once I started the project and had everything unhooked, I couldn't turn the house water back on until I had it all put back together. Maestro wasn't feeling well so he was laying low on the couch and resting. The other two boys were alternately helping with the toilet (Jeff was out of town) and helping with Buttercup. I tend not to wait on things like this once the notion hits me that it needs to be done and I just couldn't handle listening to that toilet run any more!
Well, a good two or three hours later, I was still working at getting it to stop leaking from the bottom of the tank. Sigh. So I decided I needed a break and knew I had to get to the government office to replace the temporary paper I needed. They close at 4:00 is what I thought. So with apologies to Maestro, we all piled into the car - including Maestro because I still couldn't turn on the water to the house. Arrived at the government office at 3:35 to discover they actually closed at 3:30. Really?! Fine. Stopped to get dinner for the kids, gave Maestro my last plastic bag to throw up in, and headed home. Called a few friends for ideas on why the toilet might still be leaking and what I needed to do from there. Headed back home and called in a buddy. He worked with me on the toilet until 8:20 p.m. - a good eight hours after I started working on it.
Maestro was feeling somewhat better by then - just in time for Bruiser to fall ill. He was a riot. He came up to me while I was on the phone with my in-laws and said his throat hurt. Then he started wailing - and I mean top-of-the-lungs wailing, "WHY ME, GOD?! WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE TO BE THE ONE WHO GETS SICK?!" (Never mind that he was third in the line-up to fall ill...)
Got him down on the couch, got off the phone with my in-laws (Grandpa can be a sympathetic puker so just in case Bruiser let loose, it was best to be off the line!), and set about picking up the house - discovering the process that the dishwasher that had been installed that morning was not draining properly. Saturday morning I got hold of Sears to have a repair team come out to fix it. They did a great job, right down to snaking out a pipe that I didn't know was clogged.
The rest of Saturday went pretty well. We had friends over for dinner and enjoyed our day together. Sunday was similar - we had a pretty good day as a family. Then went to change Buttercup's diaper at bedtime. What a shock to discover that a doctor's visit now needed to be added to the week's schedule. Great. Just. Great.
... I want to get in as much detail as I can so I am going to split this into a couple of entries. I know - a good blog entry is short-and-sweet, but this one is eventually for Mr. Magoo and his children to read, and for now is for my family-far-away to see, so I'll keep going with the detail and invite you to read on as well!...