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  • Elijah Ricks

Fun With Plumbing

Updated: Feb 8

This was another cold and snow-covered week, with plenty of fun with our water leak...


We spent most of Sunday out in the front yard, playing with snow. The boys built two snowmen to serve as sentries to the main fort, and we made two lookout shelters on either side of the driveway, although the boys used those mostly for climbing over.

Two neighbor kids came over to play also, but they seemed more interested in knocking our stuff down. We got them to instead help build onto them, and that mostly worked. I realized a little too late that the neighbor girl had been ripping up a bush to put branches around the fort, but maybe it will heal...

In any case, once we were all tired of being outside, we came in for dinner and the evening routine. I made a cheeseburger tater tot casserole as an experiment. Although the flavor was pretty good, it was a little dry.


Monday morning after Kira had left to drop Avey at school, I was sitting to feed Merritt breakfast and I saw a white car slow down in front of our house. I wondered if someone was here to drop something off, but I watched as the woman stopped, then took a photo of our forts and then kept going. That was fun.


Kira got ready to go to work in the morning and after her shower there was a little water drip through the ceiling below. I figured it must be the knob on the shower, because it leaks into the tub a lot, so I wondered if it was also leaking back into the wall and down through the ceiling. I called the plumber and they sent some guys right over. They got in there with some trouble and replaced part of a pipe that looked like it was the culprit, as there was some rust on it.

They got on our new knob and everything, and then left. We all thought that would take care of the leak...


I was in a phone meeting when the boys got home from school, but then I came downstairs to chat with them. Hakan told us that there's a girl in his class who, he suspects, has a crush on him. I asked him why he thought so, and he said that she sits next to him during art, and sort of giggles every time he looks at her. Yep, that sounds like a 1st Grade crush. We asked if he likes her, too, and he said that she's really short. We're not really sure what that means, because he's pretty short for his age. Anyway, he seems to at least be flattered, and at least he's nice to her.

Kira was at work at bedtime, and then came home on the phone with her friend in Colorado until late.


She had a rough night, so took a nap in the morning after we got the kids to school. I then got ready to do my remote teaching, and after my shower I found more water dripping from the ceiling downstairs. I was totally defeated. I was just about ready to just sell the whole place.


During my class, Kira took Merritt and Apollo to the park, where it was very cold, thanks to the wind. I had some lunch and then recorded a lecture for another class, and then I had a phone meeting while Kira took Hakan and Apollo on a walk in the neighborhood.


I drove to pick up Avey from drama club, where she found out that they will be doing three live shows after all! We picked up a pizza that Hakan earned for reading, and then came home.


When it was bedtime, and Merritt was hoping to finish off the day with a pillow fight, he actually pronounced the "L" sound really well: "pilllllouw fight." That was great, because he normally refuses my coaching on that particular phoneme. He tried a couple other words with no change, but he's enunciated the "L" in Apollo's name, and so I think he's going to be ok by Kindergarten.

With the remote learning day on Wednesday, we older people slept in a bit. During our morning showers, there was more water leaking again. I had a faculty meeting and then I took over so that Kira could work on balancing her finances from work so that I could file our taxes. I baked Carver a cake to have some slices on hand, and I took the younger boys to one of their favorite parks with Apollo. We picked up Hannah on the way, which was really helpful - without Carver to keep an eye on the boys on the play equipment, and with Apollo wanting to sniff and pee on everything in sight, it's a tough job to keep track of them all.


The park was very cold, and covered with still maybe 5 inches of snow, but that didn't slow down the boys. Hakan discovered that the tall slide was especially fast with his slippery pants and coat, and so he went down that thing a few dozen times, getting ejected from the exit like a bullet from a gun. I was worried he'd break a limb with how fast he was launched out of the tube slide, but he thought it was the greatest thing ever.


I cut Hakan's hair, despite his insistence that it looked just fine. He loves having it long, which is fine, but I really needed to do something about the sides and the back, as he was beginning to look homeless. He let me trim the sides some, and it looks much better, but I still want to touch it up some. He, of course, refuses.


In the evening, Kira and Avey went shopping for some clothes Avey needs. I was ruminating hard on the leak. I decided to let the plumber know that the leak was still there. He called me and tried to troubleshoot, but he seems to not have a great memory for what I've already tried (he just coordinates his workers, as he's too old to do the work himself). He was really trying to figure it out, but after we hung up I decided to try my last best guess. There's a hair crack in the tub, and I wondered if that was where the water was leaking from, but I had filled the tub before with water and got no leak. This time, I had Hakan on a walkie talkie downstairs, watching, while I filled the tub high and then put on a rain boot and stepped on the crack with all of my weight. Within a few seconds he radioed "Dad, there's a lot of water!" Finally - we had officially found the problem. I texted Kira at the store to ask her to find a heavy duty waterproof tape so that we could temporarily solve the problem. I told the plumber what I found, and he recommended a tub resurfacing place. I got an estimate from them the next day, and it's pretty reasonable, so we'll do that as soon as our tax return comes. I'm so sick of this problem, but I'm so very glad to finally know for sure what the cause was.


Thursday was a standard day of chaos. We got the kids to school and then Kira took me to the train station. I had a very long and exhausting day. Both of my 2.5-hour classes went the entire time, which was not helpful. There was a snowstorm starting up in the afternoon, and so drama club was cancelled for Avey, but the snow didn't turn out to be too much. It delayed my train home by 20 minutes, so Kira and I got to bed much later than we wanted, and then we were both wiped out on Friday.

Avey's Latest Wall Art

Friday we were awoken by Hakan and Merritt chatting very loudly in their room, as if nobody else were in the house. It was a very cold day, so we bundled the boys up very well before they went to school. I had some phone meetings, and Kira went to the store for some essentials.


Saturday was also ridiculously cold, so we all holed up inside most of the day. We did breakfast and then Kira got going on some projects that she had scheduled to do. She finished the tax information, so I filed our taxes that night. While she was busy with that, I vacuumed, installed two paper towel racks in places I thought they'd be useful, and got the kids bathed. Merritt let me cut his hair, but I tried a new style, and I missed some big spots the first time around, so I had to do it again in the evening. I made a shopping run in the afternoon just to get out of the house for a little while. Avey took Apollo on a very cold walk, and then Kira took the kids to the dollar store and to pick up some dollar shakes at Arby's. After the bedtime routine, we watched the new movie, Tenet, which required way too much thinking than we could handle with our energy, but it was interesting, for sure. It snowed again in the evening, but Hannah made it home alright.

A Gorgeous Sunset One Night

This morning, after getting everybody ready for church, I went out to shovel our driveway. Our next-door neighbor is out of town, and he usually uses his snow blower to do two other driveways for older people in the neighborhood, so I shoveled his driveway and then those other two. It took only about an hour, and it wasn't too much snow, thankfully. The cold was no fun - Apollo bailed on me halfway through the first driveway - but once I got the heart pumping it was tolerable.


We're very likely to stay inside the rest of the day. We've got plans for some Superbowl-like snacks with Hannah, even though we probably won't even turn on the game.


Let's hope for some warmth this week, and no contact with any more plumbers for a while...

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