The past two days have been an exercise in ickiness. After I wrote the post before this one, I went to bed and managed to wake Alice up in the process. She proceeded to stay up nearly all night after that. Now, this is a baby who has slept through the night since day one. Seriously. And, the night of her first birthday, she was UP. It, my friends, was miserable. I noticed that her hands were a bit warm and that her nose was running, but she seemed fine other than that--mostly content to sit in her Jumperoo and watch Dora. I figured it was all a byproduct of having a bit of sugar and getting a bunch of presents and attention. I finally managed to get her to sleep at about 6:30 by walking around the living room and singing the Wow Wow Wubbzy theme song. Hell on Earth, I tell you. Especially after spending a day cooking, cleaning and decorating for a birthday party.
So at 6:30, I make my way to the bathroom. I am about to do my business when I smell something. Someone had not flushed the toilet. And it was bad. I flush, silently wishing something slightly awful on my 6 year old son, and watch as the toilet backs up, nearly overflows, and then fills with water to about 10 nanocenimeters from the top of the basin. Clogged toilet. Nice. I go to bed anyway.
So I wake up in an hour to get the kids ready for school. I had already taken the day off since I was supposed to take Alice for her one year appointment later in the day. I get them ready and ask Sam about the toilet. He tells me that it was stopped up when he used it the night before and that he didn't want to tell me because it was during the party and we had told him not to talk about potty issues in front of other people. Nice that he picks this time to be obedient. I nod, and go to the computer to look up plumbing advice. The internet isn't working. Even better.
I take the kids to school while my husband gets ready for work. When I get back, Alice is once again up, and incredibly, incredibly cranky. I spend the next hour on the phone with tech support about the internet and consoling her. She falls asleep laying across my lap. I notice that she is running a fever. I call the doctor and they tell me not to bring her in for the well-child appointment. Evidently you have to be well for that. Since I'm pretty sure this is just a cold, I decline to bring her in for a sick child appointment. So I will have to take another day off from work for the well child check. Great.
With the internet working, I check the computer about plumbing and when the remedies listed do not work, I realize that I will have to take the toilet up. I call my husband to ask his advice. He exasperatedly tells me that I will have to call a plumber and we'll have to take the money out of our discretionary fund to pay for it. I'm not in the mood for this; I have earmarked that money for clothes for all of us and a trip to a theme park in a couple of weeks (well, ok, mostly clothes for me...yes, I know that this makes me into a very selfish person). Since I consider myself to be a bit of an amateur plumber, I decide to do it myself. I go to a local hardware store, toting a sick child who is wearing new pink jammies and a pink BumGenius, and buy a $1.85 wax ring for the toilet. The hardware smells like feet. The man asks me who is fixing my toilet. I tell him that I am doing it. He smiles at me and pats my hand.
We return home and Alice falls asleep watching a new Dora DVD. And I get down to business. I plunge it until all the water is out of it, and then I manage to get the toilet up. It smells godawfully bad. I retch a few times and find the culprit: two tampon applicators that have managed to get crossed and are blocking the opening at the bottom of the toilet. I curse myself, the good people at Playtex and promise Mother Earth that I wll buy a Diva Cup. I begin sweating and my glasses fall off my face and onto one of the dirty towels. Twice. I get the new wax ring on and reinstall the toilet. I have (unnecessarily) taken the tank off, so I reaffix that. Matt calls and asks me what was clogging it. I tell him merely "stuff." He declines to ask more. He asks me how much he owes the plumber. I tell him the plumber only accepts J. Crew gift cards as payment. He hangs up the phone and calls his father who then calls me and quizzes me on how I fixed it. When everything checks out, he laughs out loud.
Then, task completed, I decide to turn the water back on. When I do this, not everything was put back on as tightly as maybe it should have been and water shoots out across my bathroom, hitting the mirror on the facing wall at incredible force. I actually give myself some gnarly whiplash trying to get out of the way. And I fall into the bathtub. Not kidding. I reaffix everything tightly this time.
Since Alice is still asleep, I clean the bathroom and then take a blistering hot 40 minute shower. Now the bathroom smells like a poop and Scrubbing Bubbles sundae. Nice. The toilet works. I flush it three times just for fun.
The rest of the night passes without much interest. Matt is amazed by the toilet, but does not pay up in gift cards. Alice falls asleep, but then wakes up every hour to nurse. Owie boobs.
Today I needed to take my oldest to the dentist, but with Alice being sick and clingy, I decided not to try it. Luckily, they find an appointment for me for next week. I had already decided to take the day off, but missing the appointment is not that big of a deal. Gabby is excited by this because this means she can go shopping with one of her friends after school. Since Alice absolutely refuses to go to sleep for an overdue nap, I decide to drive an hour and a half to go to the Gap to use my Give and Get 30% off and the Groupon. I figure Alice can sleep in the car and finally get her nap on, and then have some fun in the stroller. I pick myself out a pair of black pants (can mark that off the list!) and this shirt but with black stripes (maybe a store exclusive--not on the website). I am paying with my Groupon and talking to the SA and somehow I mention how awesome I am at fixing toilets and how I am going to use the 30% off later too to treat myself and Alice. She commends me and gives me 30% on the Groupon purchase too! She wasn't supposed to do it, but she said there is a loop hole on the computer that allowed it to work. So freaking cool. I buy another pair of Long and Lean jeans, so Gap made money in the end, but I go home happy! I also buy Alice a bunch of new togs including her first ever pairs of jeans! She doesn't care--she is happily asleep in her stroller at this point.
Alice and I stop by Old Navy on the way home, and I pick up this sweater, a couple of dresses for Alice, and a shirt for Matt. They are all striped. What is with me and stripes today? They just look so fresh and awesome. I don't know. I want to buy more for the older kids, but they are picky, so I'll have to carve out some time this weekend and take them. I love Give and Get time! It kinda balances out the whole losing-ones-glasses-on-a-feces-stained-towel-kind of thing. I also went by Target and purchased a couple of value sized bottles of toilet cleaner. And some eyeshadow.
We came home to a powerless house. Turns out a squirrel in the back yard had a death wish and bit a hole in our power line. The squirrel was dead in the backyard when I returned. So was everything else in the house. Since I don't trust myself with electricity like I do plumbing, I called the power company, who came out and fixed it. It didn't take long, but the whole thing seemed incredibly fitting with the last couple of days we've had.
So we are home now, with power, and Alice and I are both super tired. She is crawling around happily though--I am pleased to report that Alice, like most girls, can be cured with a combination of a hot bath and some new dresses. Or perhaps it was just the girl time. Matt and Sam are playing checkers and Gabby is putting on the new BFF jammies she bought tonight with her BFF. I have to say--there was a moment yesterday when I was just so mad. I cursed my life and wished I lived a peaceful, kid free existence, where discretionary income flowed freely, sleep was easy to come by, and plumbers were called with abandon. But then today, walking around with Allie, watching her smile and laugh at everyone in the mall, despite the runny nose, I knew just how lucky I am. Things are crazy sometimes and I may sometimes have to complete some less than savory tasks. But that is just my life, and it is terribly, terribly worth it.
I will hopefully post some of the b-day party pics this weekend, granted the computer does not decide to implode or my house is attacked my mutant zombie midgets from Mars.