March 1: Ellie gets admitted to hospital. Diagnosed with Reactive Airway disease.
March 2: Ellie spends the entire day in the hospital and is eventually released (admittedly this is a bonus). That night is not a great night.
March 3: I get rear ended. My husband's car breaks down in B'more.
March 4: Abby gets really sick. Like, I almost took HER to the emergency room kind of sick.
March 5: Abby still sick. Ellie still getting nebulizer treatments. But at least I'm back from work.
March 6: Hallelujah! Ellie's back to normal. Abby's on the mend. I'm totally exhausted, but no one is in crisis.
March 7: Lovely day, guests for lunch, fun walk with the triplets in the afternoon. All good.
March 8: All hell broke lose in the morning. I did not handle it well. The afternoon redeemed itself.
Which brings us to yesterday.
We knew we had a plumbing issue because the last quarter of 2008 our water bill was near $700 (our normal quarterly water bill is ~$130). Our sump pump has been running regularly, which it has never done in the 4 1/2 years we have lived in our house. Never. Not once. Not even in torrential downpour that has flooded all the other neighborhood basemements. We had our handyman out to check to see if there was a problem inside the house. Nope. No problem. He shut off all the water and noticed that he could still hear water coming in the pipe into the house. He walked around the house and found that, in fact, there was a soggy ground all around the side of our house, despite there having been no rain or snow in the several weeks prior. He postulated that the pipe between the water meter and the house was broken. But he doesn't fix that kind of problem. The last time he knew someone with that kind of problem it was 5 or 6 years ago and it cost about $3K to fix. Crap.
We had our water company come back out to confirm that there really was a problem. Yes, Houston, we had a problem. We are using a thousand gallons of water a day. Clearly, there's a major leak somewhere. In older houses like ours, they didn't, for whatever reason, put the water meter at the front of the house where the plumbing was going to run into the house. Rather, they put the water meter at the back of the house and ran the pipe all the way to the front. 65 feet of pipe where that leak could have happened. Now we needed to find a master plumber. That's where yesterday comes in.
We had two plumbers come out yesterday. The first quote came in at $6500. It would involve digging a 65 foot trench, 43 inches deep, and replacing the pipe, having it inspected, all the permits, closing up the trench, etc. *gasp* He could start Monday. The second quote came in at $5850. They have a different way of doing things... they'll go through the masonry inside the house, and dig underground with an air piston for 62 feet and only dig for the last 3 feet to the meter. This involves less damage to my yard, which is good since we spent a considerable amount of money regrading the yard and redoing the landscaping last Spring. And of course, none of these costs cover the cost of redoing any of our landscaping after they destroy it. They could start the next day (today, Tuesday). We signed the contract and hired them. Six thousand dollars.
Oh. My. Gawd.