Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's all fun & games until the toilet overflows!

***Disclaimer, this post may contain TMI for some readers, so continue at your own risk!***

Last Sunday was the beginning of a very interesting week. It had been raining, and I'm not talking a gentle pitter-patter, I'm talking a torrential downpour that went on for hours and hours (and lasted for days & days...I think we got at least a foot of rain over just a few days!). Anyhoo, by Sunday afternoon our yard was officially flooded, and I have never been happier that we're on pier and beam! The flooding came within a few feet of entering our garage which is on slab, so thank goodness the rest of our house is up off the ground!

Aaron worked Sunday morning/early afternoon, and so the boys and I enjoyed a cozy day at home, enjoying the sound of the rain and feeling snug here in our little house. I had the candles going, casting homey little shadows on the walls, and all in all I felt like our home was a place of refuge and safety from the storm. It was a great day, and I was content as could be inside our little cottage of a house. That all changed early Monday...

...Monday started off fairly normal, an early wake-up call by the boys, then breakfast and my routine chores to begin the week with. I always do laundry on Mondays, it just feels good to start the week off with clean clothes, and this past Monday was no exception. I had just put Eli down for his morning nap, and threw a load in the wash and then proceeded to hang out with Johnathan and work on other stuff around the house. After a little while I heard a loud splashing sound and knew something was up...I didn't know where to look first, because it sounded like the noise was coming from either the bathroom or the garage where the washer is...well, it was coming from both! I ran to the bathroom and to my horror saw what looked like thick, oozing mud (it wasn't) coming into the bathtub. I sprinted to the garage and saw water splashing all over the place, and I quickly turned the washer off. I ran back into the house, and as I neared the bathroom I could see a wet substance all over the floor and I screamed! I didn't know what to do! I called the plumber asap, and let him know that the sewer lines were flooding into our bathroom, filling up the tub and overflowing the toilet. He said he couldn't do anything because all the city lines were flooding and he would have to wait for the rain to stop...what???!!! Couldn't do anything??? Well, I tried to think of a solution myself, and the only thing I could come up with was to stop all water usage at our house (except for washing our hands) and at least clean the mess that was there and pray that the rain would stop soon.

When I got off the phone with the plumber Johnathan came up to me saying "star sticker in nose, star sticker in nose." Great, I knew that meant he had stuck something up his nose, and sure enough, when I looked inside I could see a shiny green star sticker shoved in the back. I got the tweezers out, and thank goodness I was able to retrieve it. However, like in times past when Johnathan has stuck something in his nostrils, his nose became irritated and he started sneezing like crazy. His nose started running, and I had a bad feeling that he might get sick. A mother's intuition you might say.

I took the boys out (in the rain) to the grocery store to arm myself for the most disgusting task I've ever taken on to date. We came home with bleach, lots of paper towels, gloves and a myriad of other household cleaning items...oh and a candle too. I had to try something to get rid of the stench of raw sewage...not a pleasant thing at all to have in your home!

Luckily Aaron got home from work early on Monday and hung out with the boys while I tackled the bathroom. It was a horrible experience that I don't want to ever have to endure again, and long story short I filled a trash bag with some towels I had to sacrifice to stop the spillage from entering the hallway and with the rest of the goo and muck that I had to clean out of the bathroom. It. Was. Gross. And I have to give myself Woman of the Year for cleaning it all up!

I ran to my aunt's to shower after cleaning up the mess, and boy, did that shower feel good. Who knew when I'd get another, so I enjoyed it and trekked back home to the stink-house!

Monday night Johnathan woke up, throwing up and with Croup. Just great. We cleaned him up, and Aaron went to sleep in his room for the night. It was a bad night. And it was still raining.

Tuesday morning I took Monkey to the doc and came home with the diagnosis of Croup and a double ear infection. Okay, so could things get much worse??...of course they can, they can always get worse...and better too...but this was just one of those times when our lives were on a downhill slope. I called the plumber again...really hoping he'd try to come and see if he could fix our plumbing...and was told the same thing, he couldn't do anything, the rain was still steadily pouring, and there was just nothing he could do 'til it stopped, and that he would try to come by the next day...if the weather held. At this point I was thoroughly frustrated with him, surely he could do something...or at least come by to see if he could figure out the problem. I was more than a little upset with him. How did he expect us to live without a was going on day 2 with no working toilet or shower in our home, and what's a girl supposed to do when nature comes a callin'?! I was stuck at home, with a sick boy and a baby, and sooner or later I had to "go"...and so I did, in a trash can, y' a trash can! That poor trash can saw my behind several times, because for 3 days we didn't have a bathroom! I felt like I was in the olden days, going in a slop bucket! Boy am I thankful that we live in a time with the convenience of modern plumbing...and I couldn't wait to get mine back!

By Tuesday night I was completely worn out and frustrated. Crying. I was a mess. We called our landlady and told her the plumber she preferred us to use was just not cutting it. She okay-ed for us to call another company, one that we'd used in the past, and we called for them to come out first thing Wednesday morning. By this point Johnathan was on the mend, so that was one thing that I was grateful for, but boy, did I want to be able to go in a toilet again! And I was tired of our house smelling like the sewer, literally.

Wednesday the reliable plumber came, and found out the problem...roots, clogging the sewer line which couldn't handle all the rain and our home usage, and a clog in the bathroom pipes from when the sewer line had backed up into it. Problem solved, and problem under an the rain. I wanted to hug the plumber I was so happy. I had my washer back...I had my tub back (after some major bleaching)...and I had my toilet back!!! I was happy! I did call that other plumber back and told him not to worry about coming. I told him that I had found someone who could come and fix the problem...and you know what he said..."Oh, I thought that it (the backed up tub/toilet) would just go down when the rain stopped." Are you kidding me?!! Poor business in my opinion! My goodness!

So, now it is Saturday, the end of a interesting, frustrating, and stinky week. The house is clean and smells good again. Johnathan is recovering nicely. Eli has managed to stay well. The sun is shining. And I am thankful that things are normal...but then again, what's normal?!

Happy Saturday!



Here is our front yard during the the worst of the flooding. As you can see, pretty much the entire yard is under several inches of water...probably about 6 inches deep at its deepest point.

I had to move our car up because the water started to get close to going over the rim of the wheels, and I didn't want it sitting in all that water. When Aaron got home from work, he had to take off his shoes and roll up his pants to avoid getting totally soaked...the water was about 3 inches deep at the middle of our driveway at that point.

Another view of our front yard. That little patch of green eventually was under water too! Seriously, I felt like we were living on the edge of the bayou or something, it was so wet!

You can see a portion of our neighbor's home, also pier and beam, and look at how close the water is to the bottom of it! And after this point it kept raining for 3 more days! Thankfully, the water started to recede a bit tho!

Here I am trying to have good humor about the job I was about to tackle. I felt like I should have been on Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe...yeah, it was that disgusting!


Mom said...

Whoa! I'm soooo glad that this particular week is behind you (oops, did I say behind!). I'm sure you're building up an amazing amount of endurance and will continue to be Woman of the Year on another day (hopefully another year). You do an amazing job of chronicling your family's goings-on and I still say that you need to write for a publication or begin a day in the life of a mommy column, but then I guess that is what a blog is, of sorts!! Glad you can look back and smile (if not, laugh, yet) at your week and be glad that things are normal- for now!

Love you, sweetie,


Kayla said...

I have to give it to ya, certainly Woman of The Year in my book. I know those few days must have been more than frustrating and overwhelming. I would have been right there bawling my eyes out too if I were you. There is just something awful and terrible about having sewage overflow into your house. Like your mom said "Glad it is behind you!" ............and using the trash can as a toilet one! I will have to remember that!