Monday, July 25, 2011

When it Rains...

I was so looking forward to having a productive weekend. I wanted to hang everything on the walls and finish putting away all the last minor things so our house would be completely back to normal. I even hoped I would have a chance to do a lot of cleaning as certain areas of our house desperately need it since the remodel. Well, I guess God had other plans for us this weekend. Friday night we had a terrible storm - I was awake for about 2 hours because the thunder was so loud and the lightning was pretty much continuously lighting up the sky. I can't believe the kids slept through the whole thing as I was jolted from my bed several times due to the intensity of the thunder and lightning combined. Saturday morning, Paul and I were exhausted. The kids got up normal time and we told them they could go watch tv in the basement. They came up to tell us the tv wasn't working (which wasn't so shocking considering the storm), so Paul set up a movie for them in the family room so we could get a touch more sleep. We went out to breakfast, went grocery shopping, ran a few errands and then came home for lunch. The kids went down to see if the tv was working in the basement and called me down to look at it. I stepped off our last step into the basement into water. My first thought was that the kids spilled something so I asked them what was going on. They both sat on the couch waiting for the tv and looked confused. I took another step and realized the basement was soaking wet. It wasn't standing water, but when you stepped on the carpet it puddled around your foot. They looked at my face and said, "yeah, it was like that this morning too. And look Mom!" Ben said as he jumped off the couch and onto the floor, "When you jump like this it makes splashes!" Sure enough, as he jumped up and down water was splashing up around his feet. I opened the laundry room door to see black stuff covering the floor. I immediately called Paul down and we quickly realized that the sewer had backed up and our sump pump had gone out briefly when our power went out briefly (around 3am).

Paul started to clean up and I went to 3 stores and called a bunch of different places only to find that there were absolutely no carpet cleaners anywhere close to us available. One of the store clerks laughed and told me they were out of them by 8am...oh those lucky people who knew they had a problem earlier on! Thankfully, Domi was able to easily get a carpet cleaner down by her and brought it up with Andrew to help us the rest of the day. Domi/Andrew spent most of the day running it back and forth over the carpet (they got up over 50 gallons of water) and Paul cleaned up the sewer waste that was in our laundry room, downstairs bathroom, and utility closet. I mostly watched the kids and went to work on santizing everything. Luckily, most of the toys were actually put away and not out on the floor, so that helped a lot. we did lose some toys (a few puzzles that were on the floor and some dolls that were soaked through), but most of stuff was salvageable with some heavy sanitizing. I didn't take any pictures of the mess before we started cleaning, but here are a few once we were pretty much done and setting up fans to keep up the drying efforts.

Once fully cleaned, the laundry room became one of the sanitizing stations between running multiple loads of laundry and wiping everything down with disinfecting wipes or bleach.
And our house, which I had thought would be back to normal after this weekend, is not back to total chaos. Here is our foyer with toys and other items from the basement in it.

Our new office, which I had pretty much just finished on Friday by setting up the new kids table and chairs, is now just a toy storage place (notice though that Ben did find a spot to play legos).

So while we spent the entire weekend cleaning, it wasn't exactly the cleaning I was planning to do. It was good to get everything disinfected given how sick this family has been this summer though. We have fans continuing to run, but they aren't big fans so I am not sure how much it is helping. We did call our insurance company as the more time passes the more we think the carpet is going to have to be replaced. Ironically, our kitchen contractors were out this morning to put the glass doors on our cabinets so now that project is completely finished...just in time to start a new project! Before the kitchen, the basement was the newest and nicest area in our house...I guess it got a bit jealous of the new kitchen and decided it needed some upgrades as well. Our contractors took a look at the basement and they are guessing it will need to be replaced as well. So, we are currently waiting to hear back from our insurance company and in the meantime, are back to chaotic living. I can't tell you how anxious I am to get this house and our life back to normal, but it looks like it may be a while now.

Even though it was an awful weekend, we decided we have a lot to be thankful for. We are so thankful for Domi and Andrew for spending their Saturday helping us out - we could not have done it without their help. We are so thankful that this didn't happen while we were out of town or even on days when Paul was working - at least he didn't have to take vacation days and spend them cleaning up a sewer flooded basement! We are thankful this didn't happen when we were all so sick. And of course, it could always be worse!

And I am especially thankful for my amazing husband, who never seemed too upset about the situation (unlike me) and worked very hard getting it all cleaned up and sorted through. He spent Saturday night sleeping on the couch so he could get up every few hours and reposition the fans in the basement. And on top of everything he did for our house, he still somehow found the energy to help a widow down the street (who we had never met until Sunday) clean up her basement for a few hours. Paul, I am so lucky to have you - love you!

Whew, sorry for the long post, but I guess I had a lot to say on the matter! I will post pictures of the completely finished kitchen soon, but it is a bit of a mess right now given this weekend!
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