Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I don't like to brag, but...

I don't use this blog as a platform to brag.

Do you really want to read me be all, "I'm awesome! My kids are the smartest kids EVER! They always listen to me! I don't have any problems or insecurities at all! My minivan never gets messy! I cook organic meals from scratch every night, and my kids eat every single bite!"

Because that's a total load of crap.

However, I have decided that it is finally my turn to brag.

About this.

What is this, you ask? Well, right at this moment, it's just the thing that I'm the most proud of in the world. (Well, besides my four children, of course. They're kind of an accomplishment as well.)

It's a picture of a toilet flush valve.

But it's not just a picture of any toilet flush valve. It's the brand-new toilet flush valve inside of the toilet in my powder room.

Otherwise known as the place where my kids take care of their biz, but most of it ends up in a yellow puddle on the floor.


I know y'all are just on the edges of your seats waiting to hear about the latest adventures of my toilet, so hold onto your laptops. Brace yourself.

My toilet has been making this running sound for the last month, but it still works. Mostly. It has backed up a few times, and we've had to use the plunger, but for the most part, you can flush, and your "biz" will go down the drain.

I know. This story is riveting. Perhaps my best ever.

Anyway, where was I? Oh. Toilet, water running, biz, plunger and drain.

Before I continue, there is something you need to know about me. I am notoriously cheap when it comes to household repairs. NOTORIOUSLY EL CHEAPO. I did not marry Bob Vila, and my dear husband will gladly admit without shame that he does not have the interest in household repairs. Yes, his talents are many, but Repairman is not one of his titles. His version of getting something fixed around here involves Google and the phone. Normally, I'm down with that if it's something major that I know I cannot fix myself. However, if there is the slightest glimmer of hope that I can figure out a problem and fix it myself, and I mean the slightest, then I will attempt it.

Because I am cheap in this area. I also dream of HGTV calling me to host my own Fix-It-Yourself show for cheapo moms who'd rather spend their money on something much more exciting than home repairs. But that's a story for another day.

It is probably the reason that the first home we owned, and now this home, were both new when we bought them. New houses are boring to many, and lack the character and history of stately old homes, and I do envy my friends with gorgeous trim and crown molding from the 1940s. Old homes have stories. But, there is also something incredibly refreshing about the newness of a just-built home, boring as it may be to others.

All new homes eventually age, and for the repairs, I am self-taught. I have fixed the garbage disposal by myself. I have painted rooms. (We've had to hire out the more difficult jobs, of course.) I have hung pictures and curtain rods. I have replaced a handle on a sliding glass door. I fixed a leaky faucet. I patched a huge hole in the drywall. I replaced a hinge on a door that was almost..ahem...slammed off its hinges. (Ask my oldest child about that one.) The list is long.

So the toilet. How difficult can it be to replace a broken flush valve? I was inspired.

A sidenote to the plumbers of the world: No hate mail, please. I have no designs on putting any of you out of business. Roto-Rooter can rest easy tonight.

This morning I jauntily (yes, jauntily!) drove off to Lowes with my 5-year old son and 3-year old daughter. We headed straight to the plumbing aisle, and I recognized the part I needed immediately.

You know. Because I'm down with flush valves. I speak the lingo. Yo comprendo el flush valvos.

My whole purchase set me back $7.98, plus tax. A plumber would have charged me roughly $7.98, plus $200. Ish.

I'll spare you the riveting deets, but basically, I had to take the entire top of my toilet apart.

I know! Can it get any more exciting?!?

I didn't think so.

Stay with me, people.

Do you have any idea how satisfying it is to take most of your toilet apart, put it in pieces on the floor, REassemble it, and THEN, THEN, THEN have it actually WORK again? It was a flush that was music to my ears.


If you are a doctor or a nurse that just saved a life today or brought a new life into the world, then don't answer that.

Clearly, I need to get out more. I'm a little too excited about fixing my toilet.

AND, did I mention that I did all of this while wearing my good jeans? (I had just come home from the Parent Volunteer Luncheon at my kids' school, and I was so jazzed about replacing the flush valve that I didn't even take time to change. The excitement!) AND, I had Plumber's Crack while doing the job! (Note to self: Don't wear low-rise jeans when fixing the toilet.) AND, I didn't swear ONCE the whole time! (Mom and Dad? You know you're proud of this one.) My rugrats were sitting in the hallway watching me work, and I did start to swear, but it came out all, "SHI----EEEEE----OOOOOT."

Yay me.

I almost took a picture of me next to the toilet, just to show you how proud I am, but then I remembered that my kids are going to be embarrassed enough of their parents someday without me being THAT mom who posed next to her newly-repaired toilet, and plastered it on the internet, allowing it to live on into perpetuity.

I also couldn't decide what to wear for a photo shoot with my porcelain friend.

My husband informed me that my latest toilet-fixing adventure is sexy.

Damn straight. Tell me something I don't know.

He should also be proud that I spared us a $200 plumbing bill. However, come to think of it, that kind of cancelled itself out today when I went to Target to ONLY buy potato chips for the Boy Scout picnic that we attended this evening, and I dropped some serious coin on I-don't-remember-what.

Oh Target. You know I can't quit you. You're always seducing me.

That will be enough bragging about my plumbing prowess.

Like I always say, people, all this glamour is mine and mine alone.


  1. Marvelous blog! You sure have a lovely children and you seem to enjoy your skills in plumbing..

  2. You OWN that plumber crack. I bet that was worth $200 by itself. I am impressed with your mad toilet skills...seriously.


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