The apocalypse is here, and it’s in my basement…

My fellow Toronto bloggers will already be WELL aware of this, but for those who don’t follow weather news, the latest is that my city just received more rain in two hours than it normally does in all of July. We’re talking 90 mm all at once, which led to insane flooding. And where do I happen to live? Oh, just near the lake and next to a buried creek, meaning my neighbourhood suffered some of the worst water damage. Basically EVERY house on my street now has a rolled-up wet carpet on their front lawn, waiting to be picked up by the city. “How bad was it?” you ask? Well, here are some photos to demonstrate:



And right across the street from our house, an enormous tree toppled over, landing right on the women’s shelter — not because of wind, or lightning, but because the root structure got soaked to the point of being unstable:


Anyway, the result of this insanity is that our basement was one of the many that flooded, both with rainwater (our downspout hasn’t been disconnected yet, so all the rain falling onto our roof goes through the eavestroughs and down into the pipe below our house) and sewage, because the city’s drains couldn’t keep up with the pace, meaning everything back-flowed into residential pipes. There was poop-flecked water basically erupting out of our bathtub, toilet and sink, and my hubby could not bail it out fast enough. We were using huge garbage bins and buckets to bail, towels, the shower curtain and even a leftover bag of grout to try and build a dam, to at least contain it in the bathroom, and then hubs went outside to literally rip off the downspout with his hands and plug the hole with a pop bottle. In short, we tried EVERYTHING — and it still wound up pouring over into the main basement area, soaking the carpet.

It was a total shit show.

“Why didn’t you get a wet vac to suck up all the water?” you ask? Oh, we did. I bolted out the door to Walmart and spent $50 on the last one they had; got home, and then the power went out, so we couldn’t plug it in. It stayed out for the next few hours.

Did I mention that my husband also had to pack and leave for the airport about two hours after this whole ordeal began? Yep.

So anyway, he attempted to semi-clean the mess downstairs, but because the water was contaminated, he was adamant that I not go down there. Long story short: The entire house stinks, and we’ve now got a plumbing company digging up our front yard and our entire basement floor in order to install brand new pipes and a back-flow valve (to prevent sewage water from going in the reverse direction, even during heavy rain), all to the tune of almost $10,000. Because we really had that money kicking around, doing nothing (read: thank the lord for credit cards). Plus I’m more or less trapped in my house because the stairs leading up to our front door have been removed and there’s no access to the street from our backyard unless I want to scale a tall fence. Woohoo!

Want photographic evidence? This is where our front steps should be; in their place is currently a very sunburnt man in an 8-foot hole (I have offered sunscreen; he declined):



In other news, I’m around 25 weeks now (about 6 months); I’ve posted another photo to my Bump Pics page, but to be honest, it’s really no different than the previous one — the main difference is actually my bathroom, if you feel like checking that out awesomeness again. I also decided that my coping strategy in the midst of all this plumbing insanity would be retail therapy, so ended up stroller shopping with my mom (I think we’re going to try and source a good-as-new-but-a-lot-cheaper Bugaboo Cameleon from Craigslist or Kijiji), and she also bought me a baby carrier (decided to go with the Beco Gemini because it was the most comfy to wear and very simple and streamlined; the Ergo ones seem really bulky and I think you can’t wear them on your back or something, and the Baby Bjorn ones in the store had a lot of straps and fussy accessories, and the saleswoman said something about more susceptibility to back aches with those. And slings? I’m a hippie in a lot of ways, but I just don’t think I’m a sling girl… we’ll see). Then my friend and I escaped to IKEA, where I succumbed to a Poang rocking chair. My hubby wasn’t initially on board because, in his words, “A Poang is so obviously a Poang,” but they really are the cheapest and most comfy rocking chairs EVER. Aaaaand, they now make BABY POANGS FOR YOUR BABY SO YOU CAN HAVE MATCHING CHAIRS!!!

The one we got is this guy:


It’s a bit crazy looking, I know, but understand that we’re trying to create a nursery from an office that’s already been decorated as an ironic 1960s cabin, complete with starburst clock, paint-by-numbers on the wall and deer wallpaper. It’s kind of kitschy on purpose — and we’re frankly too broke to do a complete overhaul with pastel colour scheme or whatever. So baby gets a “vintage woodland” theme, as I like to call it.

22 thoughts on “The apocalypse is here, and it’s in my basement…

  1. What an ordeal!!! I’m so sorry about the flooded basement. Mother nature does some crazy things sometimes. I love that rocking chair. And your bump is bigger than the last photo. Excellent choice of wall paint color for your bathroom! We just did a whole house remodel so I am very sensitive to what others choose for their houses. Your bathroom’s makeover is great!

  2. That’s crazy! It seems to be the year of flooding in lots of areas in Canada and the US. On the bump topic, you look awesome! I see a difference! I think I’ve gotten huge but I’m coming to realize that it’s all relative. Most people think I’m still tiny but I definitely don’t feel tiny when I have to roll out of bed in the morning.

    Congrats on the baby gear! I haven’t really bought anything. I snatched an Ergo off of Zulily this week when they were 50% off but that’s more for Penny then for Turkey. At least that’s what I’m telling myself to keep from going into full on panic attack mode. I’m almost 24 weeks so you’d think I’d be able to start looking into more purchases. But I just can’t bring myself to do it yet. Plus I’ve got to figure out how to make a nursery out of K’s office/storage/throw all the shit in there room. Sigh.

    • Yeah, we are totally making a nursery out of my office and I am refusing to go nuts on the baby stuff… kid can just deal with an office-looking bedroom. :)

      Just start buying things and keep telling yourself they’re for Penny!

  3. Oh no! So sorry to hear about your house/basement/everything. We have been getting crazy rain here in Chicago so local news has had some of the same pictures as yours. We have been SO LUCKY to only get seepage in our basement, whereas our neighbors have had tons of flooding in their basements. Lots of carpet left next to the driveway for garbage pickup.

    I hope your house goes back to normal soon. That IKEA chair looks really comfortable- I’ll have to check it out!

  4. That’s shitty…pun kind of intended. I wondered about you guys and how you were faring, knowing you lived west-ish. We happened to get lucky this time around (we were out of town and had no way of knowing until we got home three days later), but last year in almost the exact same time frame the same thing happened to us after the east end got a hundred-year rainfall. We smelled it before we saw it, then ran downstairs. There’s nothing to do at that point but call your insurance company and hope they get there fast to de-stinkify your house. If you don’t have it, might I recommend sewer backup coverage? It was the only thing that saved us from the same expense last year. Of course now if you get it you won’t need it, but the peace of mind is there.

  5. Wow. That’s a lot of rain! I remember flash floods when I was younger and all the damage they could do. Aramis is absolutely right about contacting the insurance company, but I also think you’re wise to find ways to escape the madness in order to preserve your sanity.

    On a bright note, at least you found a rocking chair!

  6. Oh my god, what a nightmare. I share your home woes right now but at least mine are occurring at our rental not where we live. Seriously I am so over homeownership right now. Sorry about the 10 grand, I hope you have a financial windfall soon to help with the cost.

  7. Daaaaaamn. That sucks about the flooding, sewage backup, and costly repairs.

    Love the nursery/office theme and chair! I hope you’ll be posting pictures of the finished room.

  8. OMG. Watching this on the news I KNEW our basement would have seeped, if not flooded (we were in the Junction though, so a little higher – figures I find a Toronto blogger the hot minute we move to the burbs. Sad face!)

    We bought the little Poang and it rules! Love the pattern.

  9. Oh no! What a nightmare! Is your insurance going to cover any of this?

    Good for you for getting out there for some retail therapy! I’m looking forward to seeing more nursery pics- I love that you’re doing something a bit different, even if it is out of necessity.

  10. Wow – total insanity. Cannot believe you guys went through that – so sorry. Also, genuinely concerned for that sunburnt man. And his judgment.
    Mostly though, totally digging the vintage-woodland-ironic-1960s-cabin-vibe. Can’t wait to see pictures!

  11. Wow, that’s a lot of rain, and OMG-that guy is a lobster -skin cancer waiting to happen. So sweet of your to offer sunscreen! he should have accepted! Glad you’re dry and can’t wait to see pics of the nursery!

  12. You look officially pregnant all of a sudden. Love it. Also, I love the IKEA rocking chair and I love that color. Also, good to know about the baby carrier. I haven’t started looking into it yet and it’s good know that one gets good reviews.

    Sorry about your basement. That really sounds awful. I can’t believe you were trapped inside and in the midst of all of that! Sometimes life just throws these things at us and there’s nothing you can do but deal with it and hope for the best. Oh. And I hope you THREW some sunscreen on that guy.

  13. That kind of water drama gives me serious anxiety, even just reading about it. So sorry you had to go through it, it sounds like a shit show (sorry, had to).

    Loving that chair! I feel like everyone (around here, anyway) gets that gliding rocking chair and it’s so cliche. Happy to see something a little different and trendy. I like things that you can use afterwards, when bambino is older and you’re redecorating the living room.

  14. Whaaaaaat! I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this crazy flooding! How terrible! I am currently nauseated by my own bathroom smells, I can’t imagine having to deal with the entire neighborhood’s sewage in my house, ugh.

    Anyway, I love the sound of a vintage woodland-themed nursery. Your baby is gonna rock that!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s