A rough 36 hours...

Posted in Family , OldBlog with tags Quin , Ethan , HomeImprovement -

It all started out innocently enough.  We were going to church on Sunday morning, after which Ethan was supposed to attend a birthday party for a girl in his class.  While in the “gathering place” after mass, Ethan was horsing around with a buddy of his when his head got bumped and one of his loose teeth started bleeding.  On came the waterworks!  He insisted that he was in no shape to go to the party.  We drove to where we were going to meet to discuss with hosts, one of who was a dentist no less, all the while Ethan was crying in the back seat.  Luckily for us, the party was postponed due to inclement weather.

Let’s back up.  It has been raining here in Milwaukee for the last 4-5 days straight.  I’m not talking about Seattle showers, I’m talking about torrential downpours.  There is standing water to spare, and flooding is the norm rather than the exception.  Today I saw a statistic that we’ve gotten over 9 inches of rain in June, already making it the third highest precipitation accumulation for June ever, and it’s only the 9th.  What’s more, our average rainfall for the entire summer is 11 inches…  On Saturday, there were several tornadoes spotted and detected with radar, high winds, inch hail, you know, basic apocalypse stuff.

So the party was postponed.  No problem.  That should give Ethan some time to recover and he should still be able to go to the party later.  After we met with Tatum’s parents, we were asked to check out Aimee and Steve’s basement for water.  They were away for the weekend and had troubles with water in their basement in the past, so they are a bit sensitive.  We agreed and took the trip over to Ixonia to check out their basement.  On the way, Ethan managed to work his front tooth out!  We were very proud that he managed to stop crying long enough to do so.  What’s more, during the 15 minute trip over to the house, he managed to work the other front tooth out without so much as a whimper.  “Yes!!!”  He exclaimed as the second tooth lost root in his mouth.  Hopefully he will remember this next time a tooth gets loose and bleeds a little bit!  Anyway, now he has no front teeth.  You can see for yourself how he looks!  What’s funnier is to hear him talk.  He’s not too bad, but you can tell he has some troubles with “s” and “th” sounds.

Crisis averted!  The rest of the day went innocently enough.  Ethan bragged constantly about how he pulled two teeth.  We found jobs to do in the house because the sky had opened up yet again with some more rain.  Eventually, the rain stopped for a bit and we decided to grill out.  After supper, we were giving the boys baths when I noticed that Quin was feeling quite warm.  I didn’t think much of it, and gave him a bath, thinking it would cool him down.  Well, about 30 minutes later, Jenny noticed how warm he felt, so we (read Jenny) decided we should take his temperature.  Imagine our surprise to see the thermometer reading 103!!!  OK, Tylenol, the doctor said we could give it to him, so we did that.  Unfortunately that wasn’t enough for Jenny, she wanted a doctor to see him.

Gone are the days when we could both get in the car and worry equally about our baby at the doctor, we have another baby at home that needs to go to school the next day.  So I drew the short straw (because it was Jenny’s night to put Ethan to bed) and headed out to the emergency room at 7:45PM, right as the sky had opened up again for another barrage of water.

Apparently Sunday is the busiest day in the ER in Oconomowoc, because I couldn’t find a parking spot.  So I parked in the front only to find that the front doors were locked at 8:00 on Sunday.  It was 8:03.  So around the building I walked with Quin, a diaper bag, and a big umbrella that was struggling to do its job.

The ER was not entirely that interesting, but let me hit in the highlights.  Quin was feeling quite a bit better after the Tylenol, but the doctors wanted to make sure they checked thoroughly for anything they could treat.  They started checking the ears.  Once that yielded no results, they did a chest X-ray, followed by urine and blood samples.  I was wondering how they were going to get urine from a baby, like if they would try to squeeze it out of the diaper…  Nope.  Catheter baby!  I couldn’t watch.  In all, we were there for just shy of 4 hours and found out that there was nothing treatable wrong with him and we should just give him Tylenol.  While we were there, I did get to hear some interesting conversations from people trying to score some narcotics from the ER staff as well as some woman involved in what sounded like a horrible car accident, so the night wasn’t a complete loss.

Around midnight, Quin and I rolled into the driveway.  It was still raining, and the storm was picking up.  As soon as we walked in the door, the power cut out!  No problem, I knew where the flashlights were, so I was able to get the house prepared for the night.  Of course, one of our babies was sick, so we had to sleep upstairs.  As soon as I hit the pillow, I was out.  The power had still not yet come back on.

When the morning arrived, things appeared normal again.  Quin’s fever had not spiked like it had the night prior, the power was back on, and it had finally stopped pouring rain (it was still sprinkling).  After getting breakfast ready for Ethan, I went to get his toothbrush ready and found out that we had very low water pressure.  I figured immediately that we must have thrown a breaker on the water pump, so I went downstairs to check it out.  I’m not sure what possessed me to check the sump pump.  It has never run a single time in the 5 years we’ve lived here.  In fact, it has been bone dry!  Not this morning.  The water in the sump was up to the brim!  I can’t believe it didn’t come out.  The pump was working just as hard as it could, but it was fighting a losing battle.  I guess I’m not going to work today!

After a while, I realized that I needed to divert the water deeper into the yard as it was collecting right next to the house.  That seemed to appease the drain tile for awhile, but the pump just kept on working, and working, and working.  At one point, worrying that the old pump wouldn’t make it, I went out and bought a new pump just in case.  Turns out that was a wise decision.  I bought the new pump at 8:30 AM.  One of my neighbors went to the same place I bought mine an hour later to find they were completely sold out!  Oh, and the pump came in handy.  With two pumps going, I was able to finally get ahead of the water coming into the sump, at least briefly.  But the water was still coming in at an alarming rate.  It was like somebody hooked up a fire hydrant line to my drain tiles.  As I sit here at 10:00 PM, the sump pump is still working more than it is resting.  Apparently the ground has reached its maximum tolerance for water and the rest was going to follow the path of least resistance, which was my drain tile.

I don’t know the end of this story yet, but my nerves are about shot.  I’m going to try to get some sleep if I can.  I’m sure I’ll dream of breakers flipping and basements flooding, and that will prompt me to once again go into the basement to look at the sump pump doing its job.  At least the tooth fairy was good to Ethan and Quin’s fever broke, though.

Written by Brandon Grady
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