Hooray, We Can Spray!

I am woman, hear me roar!!! Last Sunday while Dave met up with some buddies and the baby took a super long nap (haaaaalleluiah!!), I finally hooked up our diaper sprayer. This thing is gonna make those poopy cloth diapers a breeze to handle! I am so excited about the prospect of spraying poop, it’s insane!!

So, this is what I found after opening up the package and surveying all before me. Pretty straight-forward, although the package’s touting that one didn’t need tools to install it was, um, dead wrong. No tools, my butt.

No, the floor isn’t 100% done yet. We’re getting there.

If you ever find yourself installing a diaper sprayer, here are a few tips:

– Clean your toilet first. Big time. This is for your own comfort since, depending on the space you’re working in, you may be getting quite intimate with your potty. I know I did. Plus, it’s easier to admire your handiwork when you’re done if it’s all clean.
– Follow the directions, but use your instinct. They were pretty simple but there was half a page that I zoned out over and ended up skipping. Forge ahead as did our forefathers and you’ll be fine.
– Flush when done. The hose area you use to connect everything may make a weird hissing noise. I started to get nervous and thought, “Aw, hellz no. There’s no way we can sleep listening to that all night.” Nerve-inducing, I’d say. But after a flush or two, the noise went away and I sighed a breath of, well, success. Y’know, the “woohoo, I did it, go me, I’d happy dance if it wouldn’t wake the baby” type of moment.

So, here’s my trophy. Int she purdy?? I’d like to thank my stepfather (who’s a plumber) for the years of observation on the workings of the ol’ john and the confidence from it, and, of course, the little man for the super long nap.
Now gimme one of those nasty 3-times-a-day blowouts you’re so know for! (What can I say? He’s teething.)

And a close-up of the magic… You can adjust the amount of water coming through, which totally brings back memories of French class. Bidets were a hot topic before we headed out on our trip to Europe.

Purging, Just a Little Bit

I don’t remember exactly which 90s song that is, but I was totally singing it while typing that title, no lie. (I think “Wiggle It”? Does that make sense?) We use that song, er…variations of it, with the munchkin quite a lot.

So, y’know that phase where you’ve got so many projects or cleaning duties to undertake that you’re just clueless where to start? (raises hand) That’d be me. But, lucky me, I saw this post and thought,”Oh, right! I wanted to purge my utensils.” The thought had occurred to me months ago. Whoops. So, here we go. This is what we were dealing with (in slightly dark/fuzzy iPhone pics; hit or miss):

Yeah. Two drawers and one counter-top holder; and this doesn’t count the drawer we use for everyday silverware and knives…and a separate knife holder. Wow, i’ve got a lot of kitchen crap. Anyhoo, I wanted to keep the utensil holder and I’m fine with having two utensil drawers (you can’t tell, but I was aiming for one side to be the “less dangerous-slash-less used” side and the other to be the “sharp and frequently used” side.

The baby “helped” me with this project (he wasn’t near any of the sharp stuff, pinkie-swear). I brought the utensil holder and each drawer into the living room to dump-and-purge (kinda like the sound of that) one at a time and gave him a plastic measuring cup or wooden spoon to keep him occupied. Let’s just say a miniature set of wooden spoons is now his, as is one of the extra sets of measuring stuff. #freetoysFTW

So, here’s our “afters”:

Okay, you totally can’t tell, but there’s tons more room in the blue holder. Like, I won’t cut my hand open when I try to jam tongs that clearly don’t fit into the thing…again. So, there ya go.

I got rid of tons of second…and, yes, third items. A second wine bottle sucker thing. Two additional sets of measuring cups (one donated to the baby’s cause ;-)). Spoon after spoon after spoon. Why I kept two turkey basters, I’m not sure, but they’re both in such good condition, I just couldn’t help myself.

Boy, am I hoping we can keep it this way. You know the saying “Everything in its place, a place for everything”? I’ve read (a lot) that this is the trick to keeping one’s house tidy and neat. So, when it comes to these kitchen implements, if I take the ice cream scoop from the second drawer, third item from the left, that’s where it goes back. Sounds simple, right? Why is it so dang hard??

With the flooding (and sheer loss of so many memories and important items that people have been dealing with) lately, it hits home the fact that we have plenty more to purge. Just before we had another bout of rain that ended up flooding folks (again!), we grabbed a few boxes of more valuable stuff (we really don’t have much of value; it’s stuff that we’ve collected over time) and, more importantly, emotionally-attached stuff (yearbooks, wedding stuff, my grandmother’s hand-me-downs) and dragged it up to higher ground. Looking around, we realized, “Wait. Why do we HAVE all this crap?” We don’t have a lot down there, but it makes us realize that we’ve just accumulated stuff that we simply don’t need. We also have a pile of stuff for an impending garage sale, but I’m wondering if it’d be worth just donating at this point. Gotta weigh the “will we make $100+?” with “will it give us time for a trip to the beach or the zoo?” options, if ya know what I’m sayin’.

So, I know some of my friends are purging because their stuff has been covered with water, mud, sediment, and, yes, sewage. What have you guys found that you were like, “Where did this even COME from?” Anything weird/interesting to share? I heard of a family who found the dad’s wedding ring, lost for 5 years, in the midst of removing crappy basement mud. There’s always a silver lining! And, yes, we have way more than our basement to purge. 😉 One day at a time.

Had time is our #1 priority lately, though. He’s so dang irreplaceable, and with his first birthday *next week* (gah!!!), we have so much to be thankful for!

The Crap of Life – State of Emergency

The last few days quickly turned from riding along in a train of naive, selfish regularity to rather suddenly floating in a shaky, slow boat of uncertainty and heartache for those around me. Nevertheless, the boat isn’t leaking. I can’t say the same for friends and family.

Central New York has had plenty of rain lately. It was actually not enough for me to really think much other than the fact that I wasn’t getting out of the house much. But, apparently the daily drizzles here and there were starting to wreak havoc on small tributaries, creeks, and rivers in the area. Strangely, when I woke up throughout the night Thursday, I didn’t notice once that it was raining outside, let alone that anything was amiss.

So, as I was putting the baby back in his crib after his 5:30 feeding, I heard my phone receive a text. A former student was wondering how to get in contact with Dave’s news station to report damage from flooding.

Wait, what?!

I felt badly that I had little information for her, knowing that a) the place would be bare-bones, b) Dave was off for the day (that didn’t last) and c) unfortunately, the news folks couldn’t do much to help; they’re not the support services, they’re the ones who report what’s going on.

Regardless, I realized that something serious was happening. The weather wasn’t at all serious; I almost think there was zero rain by this point. It was calm outside our windows, and birds were going about their noisy business. As I turned on the morning news and the seriousness of the flooding started to hit me, I found myself walking around the house quickly, turning around, texting, turning back upstairs, pacing, going back to the TV…aimless. From the tiny city in which my brother and his family lives to my sister’s Utica suburb, from my hometown to the tiny rural hamlets of a school I used to love working for, from my current town to where my current school is, from my grandmother and uncle’s town and further east, things were insane.

We. Were. So. Lucky. Minimal to no water in my siblings’ basements (we were bone dry, thanks to some new drain gutters and the insane idea that we’re some of the very few neighborhoods completely untouched by the upward-moving water), my mom was on top of her water situation (though without power), and everyone seemed to be accounted for. But then the pictures, video and first-hand accounts started pouring in (no pun intended).

A sweet couple from the theater would have their power and gas turned off and basement pumped twice (and counting?), in a terrible area. My uncle’s basement was filled, along with his 100+ year old church’s basement (the large area for wedding receptions, baptism shindigs (it’s where we had Hadley’s) and other church get-togethers, the library and gym for students, his office, the large kitchen area and appliances, and I believe the boiler, etc). That 5:30 texting student’s house would be deemed unlivable.   

We would later find that two women went missing in separate incidents (one is presumed dead; the other is still being searched for, so fingers crossed!), so everyone seemed to be counting their blessings. It always impresses me how the majority of the people in the area are able to joke or at least shrug and “keep calm and carry on” (maybe “keep calm and pump on” or “keep calm and shovel (mud) on” would be more appropriate) in the depths of adversity. Of course, reports of folks being charged for picking through garbage on the streets and looting open homes is beyond sickening, but for the most part the positives outweigh the morons.

That being said, we’re expecting buckets of rain today/tonight/Wednesday/etc. I’ve been in our basement moving stuff around in case we do get some water, but ultimately have realized that we’ve got lots to do down there. We’ve got a lot of stuff and I pretty much will need someone to watch the Hadman while Dave and I shuffle stuff around (same goes for our garage). That’s my lesson in this situation. Sure, we’ve wanted to simplify and purge for awhile, but seeing so many years of people’s memories and lives on the street curb covered in god-knows-what brings it home (literally). I’ve gotta learn from this situation. Sure, it may be a 100-year-flood…but we had a comparable one in 2006…so, who’s to say when it’ll hit again?

We’re just hoping and praying that the next flooding takes years, not days (or hours) to return. Our tears and hearts go out to all of the victims! The Mohawk Valley has earned its wings this year.