Monday, February 22, 2010

down the drain

And just when we thought it couldn't get worse, the downstairs toilet backed up AGAIN on Sunday night. Then AGAIN on Monday morning.

Poop. Toilet paper. All over the floor. BLERGH.

I'm still traumatized. I'm also still gagging, even though my saintly husband took most of the heavy lifting (i.e. picking up poop and scrubbing black stuff off the floor).

The plumber came by again and started spouting off about what the possible causes might be- tree roots in the pipes, uneven pipes, bends in the pipes, sediment resulting from a year of the house sitting empty, etc. I started sweating when he suggested we might need to EXCAVATE the basement and front yard to replace the pipes throughout the house.

And then, he pulled out a toy. One of Gabe's toys, and I instantly recalled a moment a few days beforehand when Gabe had informed me that the stick man went bye-bye in the toilet. We had a long talk at the time about not flushing things, but I didn't honestly believe he'd flushed a toy. Until now.

We had another loooonnngggg and stern talk about not flushing things, and he is now on lockdown when it comes to the bathroom. He is allowed to go in by himself, but he does not flush until I come look at the toilet.

Thankfully, it has been a week and we've had no more backing up issues (knocking on wood) and I'm praying the toy is the real source of our problem, and not any of those other major issues the plumber suggested.

$1000 later, though, and my dreams of sending Gabe to a couple of days of summer camp per week are down the drain (literally). It looks like I'll be looking for lots of free or next to free activities for kiddos. Ideas? I'm still saving pennies for a swing set, so I'm hoping I'll at least be able to throw them out back and sip margaritas from a lawn chair.

Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?


stacy said...

Big Hugs.
From my experiences, I would say the toy is in fact the problem and you will be saved any further poop over flow.

Free and almost free. Start checking every zoo, museum, and such website-I have found that they all offer free admission days at various times. Some places its every tuesday, others it is one specific day each quarter. Get the summer program information from the library. Check a few different ones. Most have really cool activities for free in the summer.

Get the kids a kiddie pool for the back yard, the blow up ones are cute and all but will be destroyed quickly, buy a good hard plastic one like the kind walmart carry you will spend under $30 for a nice hard plastic one that they can't destroy easily.

a swing set and a sand box. It will keep them entertained so freaking much, that it is worth it. Even if all you can afford is the cheapest swing set (ie $100 walmart one) it will last for several years and be amazing.

Get a big tub of art/craft supplies, and play dough for rainy days.

This may all be stuff you know, but its worth listing.

Anonymous said...

A thought about the pipes--we were also told that we might have to dig out a section of our pipe etc etc by our plumber. Before you do that, I would suggest calling R00terman (I am in your general area, so I am sure they would service your area too...) We called him first (before scheduling what sounded like inevitable and expensive excavation), and he was awesome, not too expensive, and very effective--much more so than our plumber.
(He said he often hears that plumbers recommend big expensive fixes, when he is often able to solve the problem).
Anyway, just a thought--it really saved us a lot of $$.

--Neighbor Lady

p.s. we are also looking at a low key summer--it can be great I think--we did camp ALL last summer, and it was the kids who really asked for a low key summer this time...There's a lot to be said for a slower pace without a lot of frills. I second the idea of a little plastic pool for the backyard--just be sure you set it up in the area where you want to dump it out later. Those suckers are impossible to move with water in them. (Probably seems obvious, but I had to learn the hard way....)

Chatty Cricket said...

Camp is 1000% overrated. I agree with Stacy's suggestion, and second Anon, a blowup pool and even a sprinkler (or! a sprinkler flowing INTO the pool- like we do at our house)(it's fancy, like a fountain!)is your new best friend.

Playdates with friends playing in the back yard and running through the sprinkler, and making homemade juice ice pops are what Summers should have more of.

Also remember to move the pool- otherwise you might burn a patch in your husband's glorious lawn like I did. Oops.