It’s never going to end.


Until we tear our house down to the slab and rebuild the whole thing.

It all began on November 5, 2012.  A fateful day when my ultra-responsible firstborn child flooded her upstairs bathroom (and spent the next week explaining how she followed all the rules and did nothing wrong.)

That happened ninety-one days ago.

In the past ninety-one days, we have:

1. Spent nine days under the watchful care and deafening sounds of multiple ServPro Blowers and Dehumidifiers.

ServPro Dehumidifier

2. Had her bathroom completely ripped out.


3. Had our carpet padding ripped right out from under the carpet in adjoining rooms.

4. Had a Decapitated Duck on our kitchen ceiling for ninety-one days and counting, making appearances at a dozen holiday get-togethers, two kid’s birthdays, and many other events.


5.  Waited three weeks for the insurance adjuster to find time in his busy schedule to file his stinkin’ report.

6. Had more tile pulled out of our bathroom.


7. Quotes, quotes, and more quotes from contractors and tilers and such.

8. Had a bathtub hammered into oblivion (you haven’t heard cacophony until you’ve heard a cast-iron tub being demolished – Ali hid in my office closet that entire day.)


9. Had a new bathtub installed.

10. Had new tile installed, taking three entire days of trying to still do school and other life around workmen obliterating our house with tile installation and an impressive layer of dust.

(But pretty tile.  Very pretty tile.)


11.  During those three days, we were blessed to have a toilet sitting in our bedroom floor.


11. Had new bathtub fixtures installed.

12. Fixed the leaky toilet (finally!)

13. Had ServPro come back out to finally reinstall carpet padding, clean the eighty-six-day-old-dirty-carpet, and tack the carpet back down.

And it was there that it all went, once again, south.

Because the carpet was deemed completely unsalvageable.

At the very moment that we thought we were almost done (“only to paint over the decapitated duck left, dear!”), they broke our hearts and broke our spirits.

“The backing has come loose from the carpet.  There’s nothing we can do – it will just unravel.  You’re gonna need all new carpet!!!”

He told me that last sentence with glee in his voice, expecting me to kiss him on the cheek with gratitude, since my insurance company would be paying for new floor coverings.

But I did not.

Because all I want more than anything in the whole world is to end my career as a Demolition Project Manager.

I came back downstairs with a downcast look of consummate despair on my face.  Ali was drawing masks at the kitchen table, and looked up with alarm at my demeanor.

“What’s wrong, Mommy??”

“The carpet.  It’s ruined.”

“What happened to it?”

“You flooded the house.  Remember?”

“Oh yeah.  Can’t they fix it?  Like with superglue?”


“Oh.  Wanna draw a scary mask with me?”



“Wow, Mommy.  That’s really scary.”

“It’s called therapy, honey.”

A few minutes later, I called Chris with the news.

He didn’t take it as well as I had.

“What??  One little bit of carpet is separated and they have to replace the whole thing?  Surely not!!”

“The guy said he’s been installing carpet his whole life and there’s no way to fix it.”


“Ali already had that idea.  And no.”

And then I found out exactly how desperate my husband was to be out from under the painful thumb of home repairs.

“I am NOT getting new carpet.  I can not live another month of the house being taken apart and destroyed!  They can put a foot of carpet in her room of a totally different color – purple – I don’t care.  We’ll call it an accent piece.”

“I don’t want new carpet either, but I don’t exactly want to destroy our home value just because we’re so over all of this.  We might as well do it right while State Farm is willing to pay for it.”

He insisted that I call our trusted friend George, the one who had helped us get such lovely replacement tile in the bathroom, to see how much trouble new carpet would be, to make sure that our insurance company wasn’t going to dump us, and in general to get reassured that all of his paralyzing fears weren’t going to come to fruition.

I did, and then I texted Chris many soothing bullet points, and he responded:


And I laughed.  Heartily.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.

Do NOT potty-train your kids.

35 thoughts on “One Thorough Butt Wipe.

  1. Like your new changes but it took me a minute to find the “leave a comment.”

    Now you have me scared because we (eventually) will be doing our master bathroom. I get overwhelmed thinking about it and all the mess and my husband and I will be doing the work so it won’t be a 91 day thing…more like 6 month thing or longer. HELP!

    1. Thanks! The comment thing was one of our last quirks to get worked out, but it’s fixed now!

      And maybe your bathroom will be easier, since it’s a choice, not a growing problem. Then again, maybe not.

  2. I’m liking the new design, Rachel! That tile is VERY pretty. I’m sorry for the pain of this remodel. It WILL end, I promise. Blessings to you today.

  3. Oh dear… gonna say it… Bless your heart!! It seems like the only way we get any home remodeling done is when something completely and totally breaks. We just recently (like 2 Saturdays ago) got new garage doors. For the past 5 years I have had to back my car out, stop, run back and close the door every. single. time. In rain, snow, and heat EVERY morning when I left for work. Of course the track would break 2 days after we bring home baby #2 and I stop working :/ Then my kitchen faucet broke completely off and shot water across the kitchen, so I finally got one of those :) Not that either of these compare to all the fun you’ve had, but it does have me anxious to see just what other kinds of things might be covered under our insurance!

    1. Oh my!! I’m so sorry.

      And for what it’s worth, I have to get out and close my garage doors, but only on sunny mornings. If it’s cloudy or a sunny afternoon, it’ll close as it is supposed to. Explain that one!

  4. I can completely commiserate! Funny how the simplest of things can lead to such life-altering consequences. In your case one thorough butt wipe, in mine the decision to start a load of clothes washing before leaving the house to walk my son to the park. The washer broke and spewed all of the wash water over the floor. That was January 2nd and we are still living out of a hotel as they replace all the flooring except for the kitchen (after removing the underlying asbestos) a couple of walls and a bathroom vanity, and repaint almost the whole house interior. During this I ended up on bed rest with pre-term labor… Never fun, but in a hotel room with an almost 3 year old it reaches a new level of inconvenient. And we haven’t really even begun the potty training process! Perhaps I’ll let him stay in diapers until he’s 13, because I don’t think I could go,through this twice in one decade!

  5. Oh my! Good luck with getting everything FINISHED! I shared the story with my husband (and actually just read this entire post out loud to him). I think that he is now terrified of potty-training our toddler. I, on the other hand, am resolved to follow your example and look at all our little disasters in a more humorous light. Thanks for the laughs. :)

    The new blog design looks great.

  6. My friend had a similar situation, but it was a burst pipe (while they were out of town) that flooded the bathroom, hallway, and ran through to the basement. They got new tile (my husband installed it to save them some money), but they would only replace part of the carpet so they had to pay to get the rest of it done. It’s a pain to live through the remodeling, but will be worth it in the end.

    I did my own tile/carpet replacement in a townhouse I lived in. I did NOT like the carpet that was in the bathroom, so ripped it out and put in all new tile. Toilet ended up in the bathtub for awhile.

    1. Carpet in bathrooms should be outlawed. I mean, if we’re going to have Governmental Health Agencies, shouldn’t they be focusing on that sort of transgression??? ;-)

  7. I finally found something we are totally different on! I probably WOULD have kissed the guy who said I could get new carpet for free! Was it really 3 months ago that the “thorough butt wipe” happened? I would have said a month maybe. I guess this is coming from the girl who lived through 4 years of major remodel/construction. :)

    P.S. Pretty new design! Love the colors and patterns!

  8. I want to comment on your demolition woes, but I am totally captivated by the new site design! LOVE IT! Beautimus.

    Also, really, really sorry you have to wait on carpet now. BUT. When it’s finally finished, it will be so nice to have new carpet, too. :-)

  9. So, while they’re working on re-doing your whole house, you’re gonna have them install an outhouse in your backyard, right? =) Just tell the kids it’s like camping! (And it will save the rest of your house from future disasters!)

  10. So that’s how I get a new bathroom! Seriously though…my first child flushed a toy down the toilet when I was pregnant with his baby sister. Very Pregnant. And we only have one bathroom. It took a week and a half of plumbers coming to fix it before they decided they needed to just replace our one-and-only potty. I got really good at peeing in a solo cup… and was soon on first name basis with the employees at the Hardee’s down the street. (tmi? probably…) Hope it ends soon for you! Love the new design!

  11. I want to cry for you guys, and then take you out for a drink, or an ice cream. And we can all cry! Except for the kids, who will be confused. But I wouldn’t want Bennett to teach Ali or Noah what he’s been doing to our house. Like breaking vintage angel statues, finding the hidden box of matches, and figuring out how to unlock the child safety locks. Hang in there! By the way – LOVELY picture of you on your sweet new page! =)

  12. my oh my you weren’t kidding when you said things are taking a while! i’m so sorry! is your carpet almost in? the bathroom is very beautiful. if you ever move, you’re right, it’ll help resale i bet. i’m trying to teach evie to wipe her own butt. i’m not sure she’s as thorough as ali and i’m not sure that’s a good thing either….

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