24 September 2014

Post Lake Party Cleaning Tips

This past Saturday our social calendar was overstuffed. My parents had their annual lake party which meant that we made the requisite 10 gallons of sangria with the requisite wine that my friend makes. By the way, the lake is the main source of our drinking water, and it is currently "turning over".  Our tap water tastes "musty" like I imagine the water in Herschel's 3rd well tastes right about now. Even the triple-filtered tap water at Starbuck's is off.

I couldn't help but notice that the water in the lake doesn't smell bad like our tap water does after treatment. I wonder just what they are using to filter the water. Hmmmmm...  I stuck to sangria and bottled water.

Sangria, Sangria
Sangria starter - apples, limes, lemons, oranges and blueberries soaking in brandy and red wine...
The lake party was in addition to 2 kids' soccer games and friend's birthday party at the ice rink. All of these random events made for an explosive evening Saturday.

Bianca, Nolita and Nicole
This was before things got out of hand...
We arrived at the lake party fashionably late, ready to make the second batch of sangria.  Because this was the lake party and the kids had friends in attendance, we decided to ease up on the parenting and let the kids have some freedom in making their own decisions. You gotta give them chances to show you how responsible they are, don't you?

Aubri caught on camera not making a good decision. (See end of blog post for this little story.)

The kids were riding on the golf cart, eating goodies, playing on the "beach", building forts out of driftwood, skipping rocks and generally having a good time with friends. As were their parents.


Sunset Profiles
Peaceful Lake - Not Musty
When the party started winding down, our friends asked us to join them at their house to watch part of the
OU game that they recorded and to plan our Wine Making Party. At their house, the kids jumped on the trampoline while the adults enjoyed a nightcap. Soon after, David's friend told us that David was laying in his bed and that his tummy hurt. Ruh Roh! We've been here before. That was our cue to hightail it home.

We got home unscathed and safely tucked everyone into bed with a warning that if anyone felt pukish, to get to the toilet. Things were fine until 1:30am when I heard David vomiting in his bathroom. Scott got up to check on him and praise him for making it to the toilet. When he asked if there was any in his bed, David said "just a leetle bit".  While that might have been a true statement, there was an unholy amount of puke in Aubri's bed!

David bunks on the top twin bed and Aubri bunks down below on the full size bed. Had she been sleeping where she normally sleeps, she would have had a face full of puke. Thankfully she was protected on the other side. It appeared that David puked down the side of his bed in a hazy, sleepy state and then sometime later, felt the urge again and got up. He said he didn't remember the initial puke-fest.

So we got busy trying to clean up, grumbling about the bad decisions made when given free reign, inquiring about just how many HOT DOGS he ate, etc, etc, etc. David was put into the tub while we threw bedding into the washer, into the basement laundry queue, and out onto the lawn. We didn't add lighter fluid to the items on the lawn, but it was tempting...

Aubri's mattress was soaked with stomach juices so we blotted up what we could and then sprayed the crap out of her mattress with the pet stain carpet cleaner and left it to soak.

Now, from my experience in getting through another unsavory cleanup, I am going to share my step by step process to help YOU get through future nasty clean ups and possibly save a mattress versus burning it or taking it to the dump. This is stuff you won't get from Martha. You're welcome!

De-vomitizer Kit. Not pictured, enzyme carpet cleaner and Dawn dish soap

The Real Star of the Show
Step by Step

1) Place soiled kid(s) in tub to soak.
2) Don your dish washing gloves.
3) Smear on a Mentholatum Rub mustache. Hitler style works fine. I learned this little trick from a firefighter - they use this trick when having to go back into devastated homes to retrieve bodies. Emboldened with a Vaporub 'stache, cleaning up vomit and feces becomes a manageable task.
4) Using the dustpan and your gloved hands, very quickly scoop up the chunks and flush them down the toilet.
5) Toss sheets, mattress pads, and pillow cases into the washer after spritzing with stain remover. Wash on Heavy Duty with an extra rinse.
6) Toss soaked pillows and duvets out on the lawn to air out a bit.
7) Blot the soiled areas with paper towels (or old rags).
8) Spritz down mattress/carpet soiled areas with enzyme pet carpet cleaner to soak while you hose down (with the British Telly!) the soiled kid.
9) Dry clean kid off and place him back in bed with a bucket and clear instructions on getting to the toilet.
10) Using sanitizing wipes (or a blow torch) and plastic bags, wipe up soiled bed frame.
OPTIONAL: If giving sick kid water to drink, be sure to have him soak up any immediately vomited up water and stomach juices with old rags or paper towels.
11) Place second kidlet in your bed and then seek refuge on the crappy sectional couch to try to catch a few z's. But don't actually go back to sleep because you think you hear others in the house getting up to vomit and you begin imagining you might just vomit also. Finally go back to sleep as the sun is coming up, then rise up a few minutes later to make Espresso-strength sweet nectar of the Gods.
12) Pound down 2 cups coffee in short order, and complain about the crick in your neck the entire time.
13) Switch laundry loads and throw away any pillows involved in the incident. (You can get pillows for $5 at Penney's.)
14) Wet a sponge with super hot water and a tiny dab of Dawn dish detergent, then scrub the soiled mattress and carpet beside the bed. Dawn seems to do a really good job of removing stomach acid. Rinse sponge and dab the soiled areas with clean sponge. At this point you could use white vinegar to "rinse" if you happen to have any on hand (I did not at the time.) Allow to dry.
15) Switch laundry loads and clean out more bits of hot dog from the lint trap. Be sure to wipe down the washer too. Time to wash that duvet that's been drying in the sun plus the vomity clothes that were hiding under the towels sick kid used to mop up water vomit mix. (These have been doing the opposite of mellowing during the early morning hours).
16) Now go and get your bedsheets off the bed because you are sure there was residual vomit residue/scent transferred in with the non-soiled kid. Toss those down to the basement to wait for their turn.
17) Using a spray bottle filled with peroxide, spritz down the soiled areas. While you are at it, spritz down stains on your pillow top mattress from allowing kids to nap in your bed in the past. Go ahead and spritz down the stubborn mystery carpet stains in the living room while you have your spritzer in hand. Peroxide lightens stains without bleaching them.
18) Voila! You're done cleaning.

Now all you have to do is erase the memory of the things you saw/smelled/heard/witnessed. Good luck!

So, after I cleaned up much of the puke, my parents came by to drop off food leftover from the party. Of course we refused any leftover hot dogs. My dad mentioned that they couldn't find their yellow croquet ball after the party and that they suspected a kid threw it into the lake. I immediately grilled the Usual Suspects and David started singing about how he saw someone throw it into the lake. When I asked "Who?", he said it was Aubri. Aubri immediately denied it of course. I let it go with a stern look for the moment, we could deal with the lie later.

Not too much later my Dad texted that one of the pictures I uploaded to Flickr shows Aubri clearly tossing the yellow croquet ball into the lake. Their dog looked like he was calculating whether to fetch it or not. I'm guessing not. I cannot believe I snapped a pic of the whole act.  So I guess for the time being I have to stay in "watch the kids like a hawk" mode ... at least until there is solid evidence that my kids CAN make good choices...


  1. Oh no! Busted!!! Lol I could not help but cringe at a flash back of when David was to "excited" coming from the jazz in the park. Poor guy. Poor mom & dad too! You two should wear capes.

  2. That is really a downside after having so much fun. But you shared a really great tip on how to clean this after party mess. It will be useful to those who experience the same situation. Despite of the troubles, you sure had a great time! Thanks for the wonderful cleaning tips, Nolita! Take care!

    Bo Tolbert @ HJS Supply


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