Rain, Rain, Go Away!

First, an update on how the boys are managing with their super easy toilet paper roll.

tp roll

Yeah. That’s what I figured.

When does a kid’s ability to see an empty roll kick in? Teen years? College?

I don’t do everything for my children. I’d like to, because I’m very particular and highly opinionated, but I know that it’s best to give them responsibilities and teach them to do things for themselves.

They clean their own room and put away their own laundry. They’re pretty good at feeding themselves also. And they load and unload the dishwasher fine, but again not anything like I would.

So anyway. They’re all at Grandma’s this week. I decided it would be a great time to clean their room and closet to MY standards, since it doesn’t usually get nearly as clean as I like it. I also haven’t gotten around to switching seasonal clothing or pulling out too-small items in like…oh, I don’t know…since we moved here?

The three of them share one room and one closet. So it’s kinda crazy in there. I started on it back in the spring some time and never finished. I had stacks of clothes piled up on the shelves for certain categories: donate, pack away, move to younger sibling’s rack, etc. And then I realized they messed up all my piles during a game of hide-and seek (which is no longer allowed in closets in my house).

Good thing is, they have a walk-in closet. So it holds all three of their clothes (and all seasons apparently) pretty well. Bad thing is, it lets us get away with going longer between deep cleans. It was literally knee-deep in there for my five year-old. Clothes, books, shoes, blankets, stuffed animals. Since they clean their own room (and put away their own laundry when it finally gets sorted out of my room), I don’t go in there on a regular basis. I had no idea how horrible it was. (I go in their room every night, but not the closet.)

When my husband asked what I’d be working on during the three days my boys are at his moms, he thought I was joking when I said I’d be in their room the entire time. (Minus a short trip to Starbucks and Ross, of course.)

This post is really about the rain, but I wanted to ask if I was the only one who gets all basket-case crybaby mom while sorting the kids’ clothes. Am I? It’s an emotional task for me.

I have bought my youngest some new clothes over the years, since God thinks I need my kids spaced pretty far apart and no one wants to wear jeans from a decade prior, right? But we do have lots of hand-me-downs that have been worn by all three boys. When I have to move clothes that my first wore and now my youngest has outgrown, I get really sad. Where has the time gone? Can Cale possibly be too big for this Thomas shirt? Didn’t Cade *just* outgrow it?!

And then, I’m trying to decide what should go to Goodwill, and what (if anything?) should go back to the attic? I mean, how long are you supposed to keep clothes just in case you have more children when it’s becoming more and more apparent that the fertile days are probably long gone?

So then I have to stop and blow my nose a dozen times AGAIN after an ugly cry and so this closet is seriously going to take me the entire three days they’re gone.

That was all for my sake when I come back and read this blog again someday. How ’bout this weather we’re having, huh?

I love the rain as much as any sun-worshiping, pool-loving girl can. And I’m so thankful that the drought is over and water rationing is no longer required. Seriously though. I don’t really worship the sun and I do enjoy a summer thunderstorm on occasion. (Not as much as I love spring thunderstorms, because y’know…tornadoes!) But I’m so over it.

I’m sure God knows best about how much rain we need, just like he knows best about how many children I need. For real. He’s surely got this thing figured out. But I’d like more babies and for the rain to stop already.

I think I’ve told you guys a little about our yard, right? And maybe I’ve mentioned our neighborhood? I love the neighborhood. It’s not brand new, and I prefer it that way. We looked at several newer homes when we bought this one. I just kept coming back to this neighborhood. There are established trees and rolling hills. It’s lovely.

Well, it used to be lovely. Now we’re making the news because all of our houses are floating away. Kidding. Kinda. I mean, the floating part is hyperbole.

As long as the rain comes slow and steady, everyone’s yard and French drains can keep up, but slow and steady is not what we’ve been getting around here. Last week we went out to dinner on Thursday night to celebrate the hubs getting a raise (woohoo!) and a flash flood happened in Edmond while we were across town near the Quail area.

This is a few miles from my house, but check out this Edmond road.

hole road

I don’t want to give the exact location of my home since this is the internet and all, but we had to take two detours to get home. If you’re from Edmond, you can figure it out anyway. The street that we normally take all the way across town was fine until we got close to our neighborhood, then it was closed one block from home. We turned around and tried to go north to the next mile and circle around to come in the backside of our neighborhood. Nope. The north bound street was closed also.

We turned back south and went a couple miles out of the way and were able to come in the neighborhood from the opposite direction. No big deal. We had a lot of fun driving through puddles (not deep ones, just on the edge of the road by the curb. Do not drive into water!) and splashing the boys in the back of the van. Once we did get into our neighborhood, we found this…

The main entry road has a bridge where it runs over a creek. Again, not too many details, but it’s the creek that has shopping centers named after it and it runs along the south side of that one big park. (I’m so secretive.) We love that creek. It’s like the anchor to this gorgeous tree-filled, rolling-hill neighborhood. It’s normally several feet below the bridge and the creek bed is typically mostly dry, like all Oklahoma creeks, but that night it overflowed so much that it went up into the cul-de-sacs and the overflow from it is what was causing the main roads nearby to be closed. Yes. Really.

Neighbors had water in their floor A/C vents. Standing water in their kitchen. Many people had flooded garages and their neighbors had landslides, depending on which side of the hill they live. Land washed out under fences to where dogs can easily go underneath. I’ve heard all kinds of stories from the neighbors at the pool and on their FB posts.

We appear to live up on a hill if you look at our house from the front. And we do. We actually are on a hill higher than people to the south of us, but we’re not on the top of the hill. The house behind us is probably at least 15 feet higher than we are. We have three levels in our backyard; here’s a pic of my son standing on the highest one.

tallest tier

Our neighbor’s yard starts over his head. Their yard line is almost as high as the roof of our house. (Our TWO story house!) Apparently rain management has been sufficient for 30 years, since their house hasn’t yet come crashing down into our backyard, but I’m not sure we’ve had flash flood after flash flood after flash flood like this ever in those 30 years.

Add that to the fact that these railroad ties are getting worn out and it’s a horrible combination. The clay/thick/rich part of the dirt seems to be holding, but the retaining wall almost acts as a sifter for the sand. We just keep cleaning sand off our patio. A lot of sand!

Here’s a video from one of the flash floods we had back in May. That water is running out of the dirt in the ground. How can there be so much water in the ground that it runs out like from a faucet?

Friday morning after that last big flash flood, I drove through the neighborhood and was legitimately concerned by the amount of sand covering our neighborhood streets. Good thing is, the people around here really take care of things. I’ve seen lots of people out filling low spots and having dirt delivered. We’re all getting right on it after each storm. There are few exceptions, of course, but mostly it’s being dealt with and the neighborhood will continue to be beautiful for another three decades.

We came back from dinner to find that the area where the hubs had been working on the sprinklers in the front yard had washed out significantly. The grass that we just planted was doing really well and had gotten nice and thick quickly. It stayed intact, but the dirt underneath it ran out the retaining wall with the rain water. So it looked like we had planted grass in a hole, if that makes sense? It was dark and I tried to get pics, but they were horrible. The hubs had already started digging up the grass before I knew he was working on it the next day.

It was July 3 and since the 4th was on Saturday, many places were closed on Friday. We tried to get some dirt and/or new railroad ties from a materials yard in town, but they weren’t open. Since we only needed a small amount for that area, we bought bagged top soil from Lowe’s. It’s less than $2 per bag, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you needed a lot of dirt. (We used four bags.) It’s much more affordable to buy it by the cubic yard or truck load. We just wanted to hurry up and fix this spot before our grass died.

The hubs pulled the grass out in little tufts. Almost like scraping up his own sod, but it didn’t require much scraping since the dirt had washed away. It washed out pretty far down; he could stand in the hole almost to his knees (about the equivalent of a 5 year-old’s bottom).

cutie

We tossed some rocks in there to help hold back more of the sand, and because we have a kajillion around here.

rocks

And then the hubs added dirt a little bit at a time making sure to stomp it down so that it packed very tightly.

topsoil stomp dirt

Those are his holey shoes that he wears for getting muddy. He has better ones, I promise.

You could buy a tamper if you needed it to be perfectly level (like for under pavers or something).

The hubs added the grass back a tuft at a time and then we just waited for more rain. Which we got. For days. No major floods yet, but it’s holding fine and the best news is that the transplanted grass didn’t burn up and die. Thank goodness for 70° July days!

grass1 grass2 grass3

We also came home to a puddle in the bathroom that Thursday night. Thankfully, it turned out to be a place that just needed some new caulk around a vent in the roof. It’s pretty normal for these places to reveal themselves after such a huge rain. Fix it right away and it should be fine. (We had a house in Norman that needed a spot of new flashing after the rain they’ve had also. And we’re getting a new roof on a different house, but that’s not from this round of rain. It’s from a tornado back in the spring. It took forever to deal with the insurance, but the new roof is ready to go on any time the rain decides to stop long enough.)

We checked around the rest of the house for any leaks or water seeping in at ground level. The hubs went to get a flashlight from the garage to look at the source of water in the bathroom and found standing water in the garage. Many people had flooded garages that night, but our driveway slopes away from the house and the water wasn’t anywhere near the door. We followed the trail and found that it was coming in through the wall. Yes, that’s what I said. Through the wall. Our garage walls aren’t even drywall. They’re concrete.

You know why they’re concrete? Because our garage is built sort of like a basement. It’s partially underground. There are shelves against the wall that I didn’t bother pulling out just for a picture, but here’s a look at the crack from between the shelves. (The wall texture kinda looks like cracks in these pictures, so I tried to highlight the actual crack for you.)

crack2 crack1

That white pipe is to our sprinkler system. I’m guessing that the dirt wasn’t packed as tightly where they added the pipe underground and that’s where the water was able to rush through quickly? Just a thought.

Okay, the crack scared me at first. I thought maybe it was the ground pressure causing it, and that would have been horrible. But it isn’t (according to my husband and people who know what they’re talking about). It was just from the water rushing through the ground much like in the video above where the water was rushing through the railroad ties.

Now, it’s not ideal and it isn’t preferable and it isn’t something to ignore. But, our house isn’t about to cave in so that’s good. We bought a product that you paint on and it seals everything all up and you can live happily ever after.

Holy cow this is long. K. Bye.

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