The day was memorable. The day before the party I had baked the cake, but not frosted it. For some unfathomable reason I decided to paint the bathroom just days before the party...I like to torture myself I guess. I only invited four little boys, two sets of brothers, and their moms, so was keeping it small, but there is still a lot of work in making treat bags, decorating the cake, decorating the room with balloons and such, and most of all, cleaning the house for guests after a painting spree. The night before one of the mom's called and said they would not be able to make it, although we were disappointed, it was probably for the best considering how the day unfolded.
I was right on schedule to get all done and meet our friends at the Children's Museum for the first part of the party. I'd finished the cleaning and was just about ready to decorate the cake and then take my shower, when it happened. As I walked past the bathroom I saw an actual wave of water flowing toward me in the hallway...a wave of water? It was surreal. I ran to our rag pile and grabbed all of them and threw them on the spreading water just before it reached the hardwood floors in the hallway. I stepped on them and went into the bathroom to see where this water was coming from and was stunned to see a fan of water spraying out from behind the toilet where the coils go into the wall. I grabbed all the bath towels out of the closet and threw them on the floor and tried to turn the nozzles to shut the water off but it wouldn't stop so then took a trash can and tried to make the fan of water go in the trash can, it filled immediately so I stood there catching it and tossing it in the tub over and over trying to think fast how to stop this disaster. Gordon heard the commotion and came running. I told him to bring me the phone, he did. First call - Dad. He's 4 hours away, but will always be my first call in a crisis. Unfortunately he had no idea where our water shut off would be, just that I needed to find it. Next call - Shannon, at his mom's house in VA where he stays while working up there. Since he works nights he was sleeping so I had his mom wake him and said "it was an emergency". Gordon heard that word and caught on right away that this was important and ran around the house squealing that "It's an emergency! It's an emergency!" Shannon explained that there was no water shut off valve on the house, only in the water box buried in the front yard where the city access lid requires their key. Third call - the City of Greensboro - I just said "Hurry - I need someone to come and turn off my water" and they said they were on their way. Fourth call, the plumber we had at the house in October - Williams Plumbing Heating & Cooling. They actually just replaced these coils along with the flushing mechanism last month. I again used the word "emergency" which set off a new round of squealing by Gordon. All of this has been done while bailing water at a record pace to keep up with it. Within 20 minutes the plumber showed...I didn't have time at the moment to be embarrassed over my unshowered, barely dressed (in paint/cleaning clothes) appearance - I was bailing too fast and told Gordon to let the plumber in, he ran to the door, opened it and squealed to the plumber getting out of his van (and the whole neighborhood) that "WE HAVE AN EMERGENCY, MOMMY'S IN THE BATHROOM!" I've never been so happy to see a plumber. He stopped the water. I immediately felt my panic level come down a notch. He replaced the coil - which had been improperly connected somehow. The city workers showed up, but I told them "never mind, thank you for coming". The plumber didn't charge a thing since it was a problem from their work/part - but I highly recommend this company if you are in this area, they sure stand behind their work and have great response time too, plus everyone we had out here (we also used them for inspecting/tuning up our furnace in October) was very nice and professional. So he was on his way and life was back to normal...well except for the mountain of wet towels & rags, the undecorated cake, and the unshowered slightly stressed mommy & the hyped up 4 year old still squealing "we're having an emergency" over and over like it was the best thing since Thomas the Train. I called my friend with the two boys we were to meet at the Children's Museum. She came here instead so the boys could play while I got everything else done. By some miracle we were only running one hour behind. Shannon and his mom showed up just as we left for the museum. The boys had a blast playing together. My friend drove us, the three boys strapped in three car seats in her backseat - they sang and held hands on the way to the museum. In the parking lot they were so excited the three boys all hugged each other in a circle, it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen...it all allowed me to relax and de-stress. Seeing these boys have so much fun was all the therapy I needed. Here they are in the "big red chair":The youngest, turned three that same week, at the wheel of the postman's truck - Gordon looks a bit concerned.
Busy times in the giant sand box Changing tires on the race car
Firemen off to find an "emergency"
And Gordon's favorite of course, trains.
The last minute highly stressed decorating job I did on the Thomas the Train cake...next year...definitely ORDERING a cake...this is my last year attempting to be a cake decorator! Yes, Thomas the Train's face is yellow. I bought some fondant for the face...but it only came in a box of colored fondant, I didn't realize until I opened it that white was not included in the box...so he had a little jaundice...The birthday boy making a wish