During Elder Brother’s visit, he tried to make coffee, but left out a key part of the coffee machine, resulting in 12 cups of coffee running down our counter and into the cabinet area where KrisDi keeps recipes, coupons, random stuff, and a lot of her favorite artsy things produced by the kids. We separated all of it and spread it out all over the garage floor and the dinner table to dry, and meticulously re-sorted it and put it back where it belonged. Of course, it’s damaged, but at least it’s still intact.
Mom came down to visit and see two sons and four grandchildren simultaneously. I think she had a good time, although all of us were pretty busy running around at the time.
We took them to the Space Needle. This was an expensive and rushed visit — we needed to leave at a particular time so we could get my brother’s car to the shipping company to get it to Guam. I think we spent 20 minutes on the needle, and 45 waiting in line, and another 45 or so climbing and playing on the park equipment outside.
Chilkoot also had his four year doctor appointment that day. He’s a healthy little boy.
That night, we drank and hung out. I didn’t drink as much, knowing I had to work the next morning. Actually, I didn’t end up working — I took the kids up to day care by work, and then came back down to help get my brother’s family to the airport, then drove back up to work and got a call a mile away from day care saying Chilkoot had a fever of 101 and was acting lethargic. So, I went into the office long enough to announce I was going home and reschedule some meetings, took Chilkoot back home, and spent the rest of the day there. Basically, he was fine, but couldn’t go to day care because of the fever. KrisDi had to stay home the next day. We think it was just a reaction to the vaccines the day before.
When KrisDi stayed home, she took the kids to Build a Bear, basically an unplanned Mommy Kids Day. Chilkoot stepped on the “stuffed animal filling machine”, teaching the operator that yes, he really should turn it completely off when he doesn’t have an empty stuffed animal attached to it.
KrisDi had her work picnic. Nothing particular to say — it was a little chilly, the kids had fun, played at a park, tossed eggs, were suitably adored by those in attendance.
Chilkat figured out how to climb trees. Well…one tree. One close to the facility where they take piano and tumbling lessons. It has a wide branch structure, close together and close to the ground. She really enjoys it, though, which I’m totally happy about.
The Popes’ younger daughter Sharkey was diagnosed by a rheumatologist with “polyarticular idiosynchratic arthritis”, which explained her stiff left leg when walking and lack of running. Poor girl. Hopefully she’ll grow out of it.
The False Alarms’ younger daughter B had her birthday party at Pump It Up — not a lot to say. Kids played and played and jumped and jumped. I had fun playing with the fancy camera’s low light high speed capabilities. I got decent (but not stellar) pictures. During the party, we got updates on the False Alarms’ plumbing issues: They had a friend volunteer to help replace the kitchen sink; they removed the kitchen sink, and then he disappeared. Meanwhile, False Alarms decided to also rip out a bunch of existing piping, resulting in zero water in the house.
After the birthday party, we went to the Family Fun Center, a high end Chuck E Cheese type of place. One of the things they have there is kind of like bumper cars, but boats with squirt guns. Chilkoot and I were in one both with Chilkat in another, so we got to putter around trying to soak each other. But, Chilkat’s tiny, and she can completely duck into the boat and leave nothing to hit. I, on the other hand, am like a tower. I’m hard to miss.
Of course, our help with the False Alarms’ plumbing was requested before we left the Family Fun Center. So, we went back to the house to grab a random selection of tools (not knowing what I might encounter or need, having no idea of the situation and no experience with plumbing), and heading all the way back down to Tacoma to help (would have been more effective to ask for our help at the birthday party, or better yet, beforehand…).
The situation we encountered: They had good reasons for ripping out piping. They have an old house, and the pipes were thoroughly rusted on the inside. The planning involved in it was nonexistent, however. The recommended replacement piping is Pex, but this requires a crimping tool that was not available at the hardware store two miles from their house. So, GFA decided to wing it and use PVC, which is apparently not generally used for house water piping (maybe for sprinklers or pools). No crimping required — but it’s a stiff, thick pipe and all the joints are hard and have to be epoxied together. Another friend, let’s call him Dan (a carpenter, also not a plumber, but closer than me) was along for the ride. He had a sneaking suspicion that PVC was the wrong technique. I just shrugged and played along, not knowing one way or the other.
We did not come to a resolution the first night, although we stayed pretty late.
Eventually, after 437 trips to the hardware store and with the help of a lot of beer and some green materials that are legal in this state, Dan got shitfaced and we got stuff put together to the point where we thought we could turn on the water. We did so, and we had minor leaks for about 30-45 seconds, at which point a cap blew off quite thunderously and yielded a lot of loud yelling that scared the kids and a moderate wet mess in the basement.
Then someone drove the extra 5 miles to another hardware store and bought the Pex crimping tool, I ripped out all the PVC, and by the afternoon of the second day, the False Alarms had water again — although hot and cold were swapped. I think Mrs. False Alarm enjoyed the heated toilet, though.
A few days later, another friend came along to help them switch the hot and the cold back to normal. As far as I know, they still don’t have a kitchen sink. But at least they can bath and flush.
KrisDi got another haircut. Her last haircut most would consider extreme; you might expect that she got a small trim, but instead she got another haircut that most would consider extremely.
In between the plumbing adventures, we went to see a musical production of the Little Mermaid. Both kids loved it.