Being Stepford

It has come to my attention, that a lot of people have no idea what “being stepford” means. In all honesty, it is a term I came up with myself, so it makes sense that nobody else would really understand. But, I thought it was kind of self explanatory.

So here is my post about being Stepford. I apologize in advance if it seems preachy, ranty, mean, or rude. If you feel this way, perhaps you should re-evaluate how you live.

The Stepford Wives is a book/movie about a town where all of the wives seem perfect. A lady moves to town and is shocked that everyone is so happy and perfect and wonderful. The women are always impeccably dressed, their houses are always spotless. They are never in a bad mood, their make up is never messy, their hair is perfect, and they dote on their husbands as if their lives depend on it. *spoiler alert* This is because they are robots. The men in town have made the perfect women by making robots. It all seems utterly ridiculous, but I promise it really is a good story line.

The reason I chose the term Stepford for myself is not because I am a robot, I know, I was disappointed when I found this out as well. But, really, in this day and age if you are not a fat, lazy, slob who barks orders at her children from the couch and serves Mcdonalds for dinner you are considered weird, over zealous, and irrational. I try very hard to keep the basic principals of a 1950’s housewife. Because of this, I get a lot of flack from friends, relatives, and bystanders. All of which have no business sticking their nose into my business, they are mostly just mad because I am making them look bad.

Here are my terms for wife/mother:

*I get up and make coffee for my husband every morning. If he will be working at the shop, I pack him a lunch.
*I do laundry every day (I should interject that I have a brand new awesome washer that only uses the exact amount of water needed so I can seriously wash a single sock and my washer knows to only use like a teaspoon of water, before I had this washer I did laundry twice a week)
*I have dinner ready every night
*I meet my husband at the door, kiss him hello, and ask how his day was
*My house is clean 95% of the time, and “not clean” means there are dirty dishes, toys on the floor, or Wonderful Husband is working on the remodel and there is dust
*I do dishes every day (and sometimes like 900 times a day)
*I shower every day
*I do my hair and make up almost every day (this one is negotiable when WH is out of town because I hate to waste the product and am currently on an acne treatment so I like to let my face breathe)
*My toenails are always painted
*I get dressed every day
*I vacuum every other day
*I write the checks out, send the bills, and balance the checkbook

I also dote on Wonderful Husband. I bring him his dinner plate, I take his dinner plate when he is finished. I pick up his dirty clothes, dirty dishes, empty beer cans, and used tools. I sort his change and put it into the piggy banks. I mow the yard, take out the garbage, and for the most part, do the gardening. I am incredibly frugal to help keep Wonderful Husbands money in his pocket- I make all of Little Darlings baby food, I make all of our laundry detergent and fabric softener. My garden is made up of scraps and seeds I saved from vegetables I bought at Aldi. During the summer, I do not use the dryer. Only on rare occasions do I use the dishwasher.

My thoughts are the subject are this: he works incredibly hard during the day at work, while I am working equally as hard at home, it is still my job to take care of him. I am a homemaker, and when he comes home he deserves to put his feet up and relax. He is incredibly appreciative and thanks me for almost all of these things as well. He also spoils the shit out of me, pretty much anything I want, I get. In a nut shell, My job is to make the home, his job is to buy the home.

I have heard from countless people that they “just can’t do it all”. I call bull shit on this. No, you can’t get it all done when you are spending 8 hours a day with your butt on the couch watching Maury. No, you can’t get it all done when you spend all week running from your in-laws to your parents to your friends to starbucks. No, you can’t get it all done when you sleep until noon, or stay out until 2am. Yes, you can get it done if you budget your time wisely and make your priorities your home and your family.

Most of these values were instilled in me by my mother. Mom always taught us that time spent doing nothing is wasted time. Even if you are sitting on the couch watching tv you could be knitting or making tomorrows to do list (or writing a blog about not wasting time). While people mostly refer to my mother and I as being hyper, or perfectionists, we see ourselves as doing our duty. This is the job we signed up for. Being a stay at home mom means staying at home, working long hours, being constantly on call, and not complaining about it. My MIL bought me a book for my bridal shower called The Retro Housewife. And it pretty much outlines how housewives in the 1950’s were skinny because they never stopped moving and didn’t have all the luxuries of today. Imagine washing clothes with a ringer washer, or washing every dish by hand. You know how these housewives kept up? They didn’t have facebook, they didn’t have cars (hell, most of them didn’t even have drivers licenses), they didn’t have 157 cable channels, and they didn’t have this illusion that they could get away with yoga pants and greasy hair. Their motto was never complain, never show strain. They knew that their lives were the household and they did those tasks gladly.

Granted, this is a different era and times have greatly changed. There are days that your schedule completely goes to hell and you get nothing accomplished. But this generally accepted notion that moms can either be good moms or good wives, they can have either clean houses, or clean bodies, is just ridiculous. It is 100% possible to most of these tasks daily, and even more. Not only do I keep my house clean, my child happy, my husband satisfied, and myself put together, I have hobbies too.

Being Stepford, in my eyes, is being a good wife, a good mother, and doing the jobs that come along with it. I enjoy doing them, I look forward to doing them (except mowing the yard, that sucks, that sucks big time), and I am proud when my husband comes home to see my accomplishments. I am happy when we have guests come over and I can be that smiling hostess with homemade pink lemonade and fresh baked cookies. This is my job, and I love every minute of it. Even if that does make me a robot in some peoples eyes.

Taco Bake

I missed Taco Tuesday this week. Very disappointing. But I was able to make up for it on Thursday by constructing this amazing Taco Bake. As usual, I found the general concept on Pinterest (how did we survive before Pinterest??). It seemed pretty simple, but I didn’t have some of the ingredients. So I took the recipe and made it my own. The results were phenomenal.

Ingredients:

Ground Beef
Velveeta
Salsa
Shredded CheeseBrown Rice
Diced Tomatoes
Tortillas

I started by browning a pound of ground beef. We buy a cow every spring, so we have really good grass fed beef all year. We know where it came from, no weird chemicals or hormones, and it is so much cheaper than buying beef at the store!

Once the beef was browned up, I added about 2 oz of Velveeta cheese. I will be honest, I wasn’t really measuring, I just sliced off a chunk and then chopped it up in the beef. As the Velveeta was melting I added in about a half a jar of salsa.

When the beef, cheese, and salsa were all mixed together nicely I pulled out some leftover brown rice from a few nights ago, opened a can of diced tomatoes, and began layering.

In an 8 inch pie pan I sprayed it with Pam and then did the following:

Tortilla
Beef
Cheese
Rice
Tomatoes

I layered these in the pan until it was almost overflowing, I think I got 3 layers. I made sure I topped it off with lots of extra shredded cheese and then popped it into the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Let it rest for about 10 minutes when it comes out so you can slice it like a pie and get it out. I topped it with sour cream and served it with a home grown side salad from my mothers garden. It was pretty amazing, and I will definitely be keeping this recipe for the future. Wonderful husband enjoyed it enough to have a second plate full!

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Honey Rosted Chickpeas

I am constantly looking for something healthy to snack on. Snacking is my downfall. I could eat healthy meals forever, but I will still want to snack on something that tastes good. We used to sit with a bag of BBQ chips and a block of cream cheese for snacking. Now we sit with baby carrots and hummus. Its disappointing sometimes. So the other night, while we were watching Pitch Perfect 2, I got the munchies. I squiggled, and I squirmed. I got a glass of wine. I ate a handful of carrots. I ate a handful of radishes. If I didn’t get something sweet to eat I was going to die. So I turned to Pinterest and started surfing through my skinny food board. I landed on the Honey Roasted Chickpeas from PopSugar. I have a couple cans of chickpeas in my cupboard because I have been looking into making my own hummus, so I figured I might as well try it.

The recipe:

15-ounce can organic garbanzo beans
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone mat.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a colander. Place them on a towel to dry off.
  3. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until crispy. Test one, and if it’s still soft, bake for longer.
  4. While the chickpeas are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the oil, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Enjoy as is, or for a caramelized effect, place them back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so.
  5. Store leftover chickpeas in an airtight container.

The results:

I spread the chickpeas onto what I thought was parchment paper laid out on a cookie sheet, I preheated the oven and popped them in. I went back to the living room. Within minutes, the smoke alarm was going off. I sprinted to the kitchen to see smoke rolling out of my oven. I started yelling. Wonderful Husband heard me from the living room and came in after me. He starts geeking out, while I am busily pulling the smoking pan from the oven. We got the doors and windows open and the alarm turned off. Then I looked at the cookie sheet. He looked at the cookie sheet. I got a lecture on how parchment paper and wax paper are two different things (I really think I knew that, but for some reason thought you could bake wax paper, it really should say that on the box..) We pulled the wax paper off the cookie sheet and returned the chickpeas to the oven.

After about another 10 minutes, I went in to check on the chickpeas. 50% of them were burnt to a crisp, I am talking tiny, black, smoking crisps. The ones that weren’t black and smoking were hard and crunchy. I continued with the recipe, I mixed in the other ingredients, decided I did not want to put them back in the oven for any amount of time, and headed back to the living room with my “treat”.

Wonderful husband refused to touch them, which is saying something because he eats anything. I ate a few. They were hard, like eating rocks covered in cinnamon. Pretty disgusting. I finally gave up and made a bag of popcorn instead. I think I will try making these again in the future, but using the parchment paper and baking them at a lower temperature for less time. I want them warmed up, not burnt up.

Easy Meatball Subs

I married an easy going, meat and potatoes type of guy. My husband would eat steak 7 nights a week and has actually requested hamburger helper for dinner before. He just loves meat. But he is always trying to encourage my kitchen skills and is about halfway on my bandwagon of healthy eating. Which is great, because he will eat just about anything I put in front of him. He has eaten cauliflower pizza, quinoa, kale tacos, hummus, and black bean brownies.. and that’s just been in the last week.

I try to reward him for humoring me and eating my crazy recipes, so every once in a while I attempt to make something “down home” for him. I generally suck at making any type of beef dish because I don’t like it and am never sure of how to prepare it. A few months ago, his mother had brought home a meatball sub from subway that was just to die for (I have some assumptions that the reason I liked it so much was because the amount of real meat in it was limited) and ever since I have been wanting to try meatball subs at home.

I completely wussed out on homemade meatballs this time. I couldn’t handle making two new things (meatballs and subs) so I figured if the subs turned out well then next time I would make homemade meatballs. This time, I bought my meatball at Aldi, they were reasonably priced and we had leftovers so we can have spaghetti and meatballs later this week.

For dinner, I emptied the bags of meatballs into an 8×8 baking dish and covered them with the remains of a vodka cream pasta sauce that has been mouldering in my fridge for almost too long. Then I baked them for about 20 minutes.

While the meatballs were baking, I took out some hoagie rolls and cut them almost in half but not all the way through so the meatballs could nestle in there real good. I shredded up some mozzarella cheese and when the meatballs were done I assembled the subs.

We could fit about 3 or 4 meatballs into each roll, using a slotted spoon to scoop the meatballs out of the sauce so the bread wouldn’t get all soggy. Then we topped it with the cheese.

Wonderful Husband ate 2 and kept commenting on how good it was. I was happy because while I did have to buy to meatballs from the store, all the other ingredients were things that we had stocked in our freezer (my freezer addiction will be a whole other post one day). So this was a pretty simple and inexpensive meal that made WH happy. Not only that, but later this week I can make a pot of spaghetti and we can eat the leftovers without feeling like we are having the exact same thing!

Becoming Mommy

I am feeling very nostalgic this evening. The family and I spent the day in my home town visiting my grandparents and spending time with my mom. I wanted to write a post about that, but I haven’t quite found the words for it yet. So instead, I decided to post about the night I gave birth to Little Darling.

I guess I should start at the very beginning. In 2013, before Wonderful Husband was actually a husband, we were just two blissful kids, madly in love, living life, enjoying every moment. We decided in March of that year that I would go off of birth control because my doctor was concerned about my fertility. I had been on the Depo shot for almost three years and my doctor was having second thoughts. Since I had been on some type of hormonal birth control since the age of 13, and they really didn’t know how that would affect me, we made the call that I would just stop doing any type of birth control at all. Then once we really thought about it, we decided we wouldn’t even use condoms. We called it “playing the lottery” and we just hoped we would get lucky. We knew we loved each other, we knew we wanted to be together forever, a baby would just make it better (it has). Welcome to the 21st century. No judgements please.

While I went off birth control in 2013, we didn’t end up getting pregnant until 2014. We had time to get engaged, plan a wedding, and be only 2 months away from it. It took a solid year to get pregnant. As time went on, I had become more and more convinced that birth control had ruined my fertility. Thank god it hadn’t. The day before Easter, 2014, we found out we were expecting. It was crazy, emotional, amazing, and terrifying. While we had been so sure we wanted children and we didn’t care what other people thought of us. When it happened, we were suddenly so unsure of ourselves. Our wedding was only months away! However, our families took it great, everyone was just really excited to become grandparents, aunts, and uncles. We made it through the wedding, the honeymoon, and the next five months with pretty much no differences.

I had an amazing pregnancy. I didn’t have morning sickness, I didn’t gain weight (I actually lost almost 12 lbs my first trimester!), I didn’t have crazy cravings, I didn’t even miss work. Things got a little iffy at 7 months when I suddenly went into preterm labor and had to spend 3 days in the hospital taking massive amounts of tiny orange pills to try and stop the baby from coming early. Wonderful Husband was loving, supportive, and understanding. He brought home cheese fries from our favorite bar that I could no longer visit, made a few midnight runs for rainbow sherbert, and even let me borrow his button ups in my last couple months when even my maternity clothes wouldn’t stretch over my watermelon belly.

Little Darling was due December 22nd. So, when on the morning of December 19th I was sitting in a meeting at work and suddenly got weird feelings in my belly, I pretty much knew what was happening. I worked at a bank with some amazing ladies who treated me like their own daughter. They immediately plopped me in a cushy chair, fed me cookies (you know they won’t feed you in the hospital dear, just have one more!), and called WH to come get me. He was in West Virginia (about three hours away) and thankfully his fabulous boss let him hop right into his truck and speed home to me.

We called our doctor who told us to come in and get checked out. They were located in the basement of the hospital I would be delivering in, convenient eh? We went in, got a non stress test, and we were told I was in labor! They sent us up to the triage unit to get checked in to have a baby! WH and I were in the elevator high-fiving, eating more cookies, and giggling wildly that this would be some of our last “solo” moments.

When we got to the triage unit, they checked me in, gave me a bracelet, and put me in a room. I wasn’t even done changing into my gown before a nurse came in to tell me that I wasn’t in labor bad enough and I was being discharged. I. Wasn’t. In. Labor. Bad. Enough. ARE YOU CRAZY!? We whined and complained and they let me stay one more hour, my contractions were five minutes apart, I was miserable, WH was getting concerned. They discharged me anyway at 5pm.

* I should step in here and let everyone know that I was laboring and delivering at Magee Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Under No Circumstances do they deserve their reputation. I don’t care if you have to deliver in the Sudan during a tsunami. Do Not Deliver Here.*

We live almost an hour and a half away from the hospital. We were scared to go home. We were scared to not go home. We were pretty much just scared. We sat in the parking lot and we cried. My Wonderful Husband, who is about the manliest man that has ever man-ed, sat at a red light in the middle of Pittsburgh and cried. He said “I thought today was the day, I thought she was gonna be here…I got my hopes up.”  I was in pain so bad I was having trouble sitting still in the passenger seat. We decided that instead of going home, we would go to dinner somewhere downtown, that way if my contractions never got better we could just go back to hospital. So, Wonderful Husband treated me to an expensive dinner, and wine, at Ten Penny. A couple of our friends came to eat with us and give moral support, the waiter was terrified of me and repeatedly asked if my water had broke and if I was feeling ok. We finally decided nothing was going to change (the hospital had told us we were “not allowed” to return until my contractions were so bad I could not breathe, could not stand up, and they lasted at least 2 solid minutes each time), and we should just go home.

We got home around 11:30pm on December 19th. I got a hot shower, put on my pjs, and crawled into bed.

My water broke at 2:18am.

We drove back to the hospital – not even going into detail here, just imagine 1.5 hour ride in the middle of the night with weird fluids leaking out of your depends protective underwear.

At about 4am I was put into a triage room. They told me they were out of beds for delivery.

What?

You are a hospital, known for delivering babies. Known for delivering HIGH RISK PREGNANCIES. You are out of beds?

What?

We laid in triage until about 9am when I was finally put into a labor and delivery room. Family and friends started showing up at around 12:30, and I got my epidural by about 1pm.

Within minutes of getting the epidural, I started having the itchies. I itched. I scratched. I finally told the nurse what was going on and she told me that its actually a common occurrence for women to get itchy from epidurals (would have been nice to know…) and that a quick shot of nubain (a pain killer) would make the itchy go away. At about 4pm, a doctor was in the room checking my cervix and a nurse was giving me a shot of nubain. She verified with the doctor multiple times- 5 mg right? 5 mg. 5 mg of nubain right? She even stated to me- I have to give you 2 injections because you need 5 mg and this syringe only holds 3mg, so you will get a full one (3mg) and a 3/4 full one (2mg).

She gave me 50mg.

Within minutes of the injection, I could no longer stay conscious. My blood pressure fell. The baby’s blood pressure fell. The nurse came in and put me on oxygen. I drifted in and out of consciousness for about 3 hours before Wonderful Husband realized something was wrong. I remember coming to and whispering to my friend that WH was “like a detective, he is like investigating…and stuff…”. In reality, WH was rippiing apart the SHARPS container to find how much nubain had actually been injected into my system. He called the nurse repeatedly. He went to the nurses station. He googled “nubain” multiple times… Nobody came.

Finally at about 8pm a doctor came to see us. She brought a chair and sat down and calmly explained that a mistake had happened, it could have happened to anyone. A simple accident. They did the math, and the half life of the nubain is 5 hours. So at 9pm, the nubain would be starting to wear off. I would be conscious, baby would be conscious. I could deliver. But until 9pm, there was nothing they could do.

At about 9:20 I began to feel pressure… I will skip all this part because its gross and awful and nobody needs to hear it or think about it….Lets leave it with- the doctors and nurses ignored me.

At midnight, I became the raging, crazy pregnant lady that you see on TV. When I finally got a nurse to come into my room I became slurring threats at her about pooping babies on the floor and wandering the halls to find somebody to catch her when she fell out. Nobody seemed to understand that my cervix hadn’t been checked since 4pm, and that my babies head was pressed firmly against my vaginal opening. Wonderful Husband had become a raging lunatic, the whole family was gathered around my bed offering words of encouragement, and my epidural was wearing off.

When the doctor finally checked me, it was clear it was time to have a baby. They ushered everyone out of the room except me, WH, and a nurse. And we proceeded to start pushing. Another part to skip- push, push, push…I NEED TO HEAR SIMON AND GARFUNKEL…push, push, push… DOES SHE HAVE HAIR? CAN YOU SEE ANY HAIR?? It was this strangely surreal experience where I was having horrible pain, but it didn’t really hurt that bad because I was just so excited to see Little Darling in person. Wonderful Husband was smashing my face into my chest with every “push” session, and Hallelujah was blasting on his iPhone.

When Little Darling’s head finally popped out, the nurse says to me “ok, her head is out, stop pushing until the doctor gets here”

The whole family in the hallway heard me screaming “I CAN’T STOP PUSHING”

WH swears that he saw the nurse holding LD in by her shoulders while she was frantically on the phone calling the doctor. What was probably only minutes, felt like hours, and finally a doctor swooped in to catch our little miracle.

At 2:19am on December 21st, Little Darling popped into the world. She was purple, and slimy. I had no idea what to do and repeatedly petted her face while cooing “hi” at her. WH cut the umbilical cord and wiped away a tear from his eye. NICU nurses swept in and grabbed her up to make sure the overdose of Nubain hadn’t affected her. She was pronounced happy and healthy and laid on my chest. I looked up at WH and he looked down at me, and suddenly we were parents. He was daddy, and I was mommy. Within minutes, the family was bustling into the room to “oh” and “ah” over the bundle of joy.

What should have been a wonderful time of my life, was made a little harder by the hospital. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be all sunshine and rainbows, but I also wasn’t expecting to be OD’ed by my nurses either. I am profoundly disappointed in my experience at Magee. I have since changed my OB/GYN and will not see anyone who delivers at that hospital. Thankfully Little Darling was not affected by the medicine pumped into her tiny system, but that doesn’t make it acceptable either. I thank God that we all came out of the situation unscathed.

Labor is hard, birth is actually a little easier, and being mommy is the greatest thing I have ever done. Just make sure you always question everything you are given while in the hospital because even professionals can make mistakes!

Pampered Chef Pineapple Peeler

I have a wonderful friend who sells Pampered Chef, and she is always telling me about these fabulous products she uses and how they make her day so much easier. Normally I am not one to buy into these fancy things and find a way to not get involved. But, she invited me to do a freezer meal workshop right after Little Darling was born and it pretty much saved my life in those first few months when I was first turning into a Stepford wife/mother. The workshop was so fun and the food was so good, I became a pampered chef believer. Then, when a girl I knew passed away in a car accident and her family was suffering both emotionally and financially, my friend stepped in and offered to host a party in the girls honor. With 10% of the proceeds going to the family. Nothing much, but anything helps!

I, of course, shopped that fundraiser like a mad woman. Wonderful Husband set a strict budget and I actually came in under budget. However, I got some amazing pieces. I bought a gift for my friend getting married in a couple months, I bought a “quick stir pitcher” (AMAZING), I got an herb infuser, a steamer, and the pineapple peeler. I bought the peeler as an aside because I wanted to hit the point where I got the free collapsible bowl (I know! I am senseless). I love fresh pineapple, and if my future pregnancies are anything like my pregnancy with Little Darling I will be craving it non stop. The only thing I hate about pineapple is the fact that you need a degree from Harvard in order to cut/peel one. It is always a sloppy, juicy mess with lots of curse words, cut fingers, and if WH is home he normally has to step in and finish it for me.

Enter- The Pineapple Peeler. It looks harmless enough

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Like a giant apple peeler.

I cut the ends off the pineapple and sat it on the cutting board. Then I laid the pineapple peeler on top

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That didn’t see right, the pineapple isn’t big enough. I begin feeling nervous. Wonderful Husband isn’t here if this goes horrible awry. I forged ahead, flipping the pineapple over and realizing that the bottom is bigger and should work better.

Then I began to push on the peeler, its like an apple peeler right? It should slide gracefully down over the pineapple and make me all warm and happy inside… wrong. I pushed and pushed and was about to give up when it finally worked! I pushed hard on the right side and it sunk blissfully into the pineapple. Then I pushed on the left side and it did the same. Success! I began the wiggle technique and within seconds I knew I loved this little gem.

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WHY HAVE I WAITED 24 YEARS TO PURCHASE A PINEAPPLE PEELER!? EVERYONE NEEDS ONE OF THESE!

Even when I got to the bottom, the pineapple fell right off! I barely even had to tug on it.

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My complaint: My pineapple was too small and the top had some skin left on it. I gently hand peeled that part, sliced the pineapple into pieces and got it ready to go to my moms tomorrow for our Memorial Day cook out.

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This thing is amazing. I am genuinely upset that I have waited this long to get one. It is a total game changer for pineapple lovers!

Now to pull out some of those pina colada recipes…

No good deed…

Last weekend we went to Wonderful Husbands hometown for his cousins wedding. I am always leery about leaving the house for any amount of time and a whole weekend really puts me on edge. I double checked and triple checked every packed bag, locked door, and light switch before we left. We drove down on Friday evening, stayed at his parents, and then on Saturday his parents took Little Darling home after the reception dinner and we got a hotel room to enjoy an evening to ourselves. I only cried a little bit. Sunday morning we went back to his parents for a few hours and then headed home, exhausted and ready to relax for the evening before the hustle and bustle of Monday came.

Monday morning it was business as usual, I unpacked all the suitcases and headed down to the basement to do laundry. When I opened the door and looked down the steps, something looked amiss. Our concrete isn’t really that dark is it? Hmm.. As I headed down the steps and my bare feet landed on the carpet remnant we have covering the laundry area it dawned on me. While we did get a good deal on a nice squishy carpet remnant for our basement, we did not get a squishy WET carpet! Our basement had flooded!!

Now we have lived in this house for almost 3 years, the basement has NEVER flooded. I mean, we knew it was a possibility, the previous homeowners had installed a sump pump. But, doesn’t that mean it shouldn’t flood again? I grew up in a house with a basement that flooded anytime the weather even considered raining, but I never actually paid attention to the how and why of it.

I quickly trotted back upstairs and said to Wonderful Husband- “I need you to take a deep breath and not panic….the basement has flooded”. He, of course, didn’t believe me – silly woman who doesn’t understand that a sump pump means the basement CAN’T flood. We headed back downstairs. Once he saw it, and stepped in it, he believed me. What followed were lots of words that I can’t type and keep a G rating. He fiddled and he futzed, he pulled and he pinched. We had no idea where this water had come from, or where it was going to go. We decided the best plan would be to plug in the dehumidifier, set the humidity as low as it would go, and go to bed. Problem solved, right? HA.

Tuesday morning I began my usual routine. Gathered laundry, did the dishes, and once LD was napping I headed down to pop in a load of clothes. I had honestly forgotten about the flooded basement until I got down there. The next several hours went as follows:

The dehumidifier hoses were not plugged in correctly, so the dehumidifier had been dripping water back onto the concrete floor for the past 24 hours, essentially we were filtering the water and then putting it back on the floor. I loaded the washer and turned it on. Then I proceeded to deal with the dehumidifier. I pulled off all the hoses, got the manual, and reconnected all the hoses correctly. Then I decided I should try to move the carpet so it would dry out. Unfortunately, I am quite small compared to the carpet, and soaking wet it probably weighs 3x what I do, so I settled for flipping up the corners to try and dry the floor underneath. I found a fan and turned it on hoping to aid the dehumidifier. Then I saw the drain…

We have two floor drains in our basement, one is in the back where we have the exercise equipment and one is up in the front in between the washer and the sink. While fiddling with the carpet I happened to look over at the drain and realize there was about 3 inches of water standing over it. The water was backed up to the edge of the carpet, which was probably contributing the the carpet not being able to dry out. I figured the drain cover was probably just clogged from all the dirt in the basement. I ran upstairs, grabbed a screwdriver, and popped the drain cover off… unleashing the smell.

Anyone who has ever dealt with standing water, drains, dead bodies, portals of hell, or satan himself will know the smell I am talking about. When dirty water stands for too long, all the gross, nasty, smelly dirt settles to the bottom where it sits peacefully and doesn’t bother anyone. When you touch the standing water and disturb the dirt, the smell comes to the surface and makes you wish you could just set the house on fire and call it a day. After I had recovered from the stench that was burning a hole through my nasal cavities, and realized that the drain still wasn’t draining, I called WH. He always deals with these home issues, that’s why he is wonderful. Unfortunately, he was currently away on a job and working the midnight shift, so I jolted him out of his slumber by screaming incomprehensible things such as “SATAN IS IN THE BASEMENT” and “THERE MUST BE A DEAD PERSON IN THE DRAIN”. He calmly explained to me that the drain must be plugged and I should get the plunger and plunge the drain for a while, like a toilet. Best of luck.

Now everyone just envision for a moment, me in a sundress and flip flops, trying to plunge the toilet hole of my basement. Really the only thing missing were the heels and pearls. I plunged, and I plunged, and I plunged. I made a frantic phone call to my mother leaving a voice mail screaming obscenities and declaring how badly I hate being both a grown up and a homeowner. I plunged until I got a blister on my hand. When the drain still wasn’t draining I took a step back to reevaluate the situation. At which time, the washer started to empty…into the sink…which drains… into the clogged drain.

*sigh*

I reflooded my own basement with the water from my washer. Add that to the list of things to never tell WH.

After that, I called it a day and went upstairs, closing the basement door and hoping demons don’t know how to work doorknobs. I ignored the basement the rest of the day until about 7pm when WH came home. We tip toed down the steps to see the damage…

The drain was clear. No water. No flood. No hell portal or demon spawn. WH looked at me, conveying that he thought I may have possibly lost my mind. I began pleading that I wasn’t crazy and there really had been water and stench and awfulness. But it was too late.

WH proceeded to drag the carpet remnant outside and toss it over the privacy fence to dry, reposition the fan to get the floor dried out, grab a beer, and settle on the couch. I proceeded to question my sanity and remind him that in the future I won’t be wasting my time plunging anything- that’s all him.

*UPDATE*

Wonderful Husband decided to humor me, and brought home a snake the following evening. Turns out, The Grudge has been living in my basement drain..

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