So it's been a little more than two months since we've posted. But we've got a really good excuse this time. Really. I'm sure some of you have seen that I posted a bit on Christi's facebook about the ordeal with the place we live in right now. For those of you that have not, here's the rundown:
We had been having a leak that was apparently from our bathtub and was soaking into our closet and peeling the linoleum up in the bathroom. The landlord made a claim against their homeowners insurance and the fun began. It started with the handyman coming by to check it out and pronounce that it would need a real plumber to fix (I could have made that assessment). Then the plumbers come by and determine that it's going to require removing the tub and breaking out the foundation around the drain to fix. Okay...so far so good. Then the insurance adjuster shows up and takes photos and a recorded statement from me and then pronounces to the landlord that "This won't be covered because there are too many people using the tub and that constitutes excessive use" (paraphrasing). The next day, the landlord calls and says that the insurance will indeed cover it and they want us out of the house ASAP so they can get started. This is a Wednesday and the very next day is Chad and Dalton's graduation ceremony. We're contacted by a company to arrange for our hotel stay. We had indicated that we might like to stay in Temecula to be close to Christi's dad, the easier to take the kids there for fun, but at the adjuster's advice we requested a room close to the house. Unfortunately, the only available place with 3 rooms and a suite type room is in Temecula, due to a big soccer tournament and the balloon and wine festival, so we end up there anyway (this would factor into our difficulties later). We're due to check in on Thursday, but we spend the whole day packing and getting things ready to go to the graduation. This is now more difficult due to the fact that Wednesday afternoon, a contractor has dropped off 3 large industrial drying fans and 2 dehumidifiers to begin the drying process for this whole repair situation. We were tripping over those all day Thursday as well as having to keep the kids from messing with this stuff. As it turns out, the drywall about 18 inches up all the way around the bathroom and our closet had to be removed and replaced.
Back to Thursday, we were running around like the proverbial chicken with the head cut off, about 90 minutes before we needed to be at the ceremony, and a tech shows up to test the walls for asbestos. We thought this would be an in and out deal, but it took him about 35 minutes. Meanwhile Christi is needing to shower and do all that girly stuff to get ready, so we were really pushed to the limit to get out to the graduation. We did make it, obviously, but our stress buttons had already been pushed. The graduation went well, by the way, which did ease things up for the moment. By the time we got home from the ceremony it was waaay too late to even think of packing everyone up and hustling over to the hotel for the night, so we had the boys check in for us and we left on Friday.
By the way, we did indeed have asbestos in the drywall backing, which necessitated a special crew to do the removal and drying process.
So for the next 3 weeks, we're living in 2 different hotels, having to eat more fast food than we'd like because we couldn't cook, having to herd the kids around all the while trying to be quiet and not disturb other guests. Also going back and forth to do laundry and let workers in and move furniture, because a second leak has sprung wetting the carpet in the living room, which prompted the landlord to decide to replace almost all the carpet with tile. They suggested that if we wanted the kitchen done too, we could move the furniture and appliances so they could do that. We had to send the boys over to do this for us, since I had to work, so the stuff didn't get moved as...efficiently....as it could have which became a whole other issue. All this compounded with difficulties that we were having with the adjuster which I won't go into in any detail as there may be a claim or some other further action pending at this point. It should suffice to say that Christi's stress levels were at the maximum. I was feeling it too, but let's face it, I don't have the kids on my hands 24/7 like she does...I at least had some escape at work. Oh yeah...I'm not 30 plus weeks pregnant and all....But my Babydoll...she is amazing in her capacity to cope.
I mentioned before that we stayed in a second hotel...that was a whole fresh level of hell to deal with. The booking company relocated us at our request once something close to home was available, since the hotel in Temecula was adding so much extra driving expense for us. In retrospect, we should have stayed put. In the first one, the manager and staff had some understanding of the situation, in the second hotel, we were on the premises for 10 minutes when the manager there approached me and began listing rules that the kids would have to follow and treating me as though I couldn't handle my own kids. I swallowed my resentment of this and we finished moving in, but it was quickly apparent that despite the fact that it was a brand new hotel, that it was built with very little quality. There was virtually no soundproofing in the place. I could hear the guy across the hall having phone conversations through 2 closed doors. Imagine how difficult keeping quiet was going to be with all the kids moving around. We work hard at it, but let's face it, whether you have 15 kids or 1 kid, they get rambunctious in unfamiliar places and here we were in a hotel where you could hear a mouse fart from down the hall.
After the whole hotel mess, we were then left with getting back into our house, the tile was installed by the landlord's handymen and they left a big mess of grout residue and tile cutting dust all over, razorblades lying around the house, we had to get all the furniture back into place, all the clothes back into the closet, we lost 3 pieces of furniture due to water damage which because of our deductible, won't get replaced. I wound up taking a total of 5 vacation days just to get our house in order, and although it was a huge pain in the...neck, we used the uprooting of the house as an excuse to do some spring cleaning/cleanout. We have gotten some good stuff done, but various things that were done or not done by the parties involved made the whole thing a horrible experience. We're still working through some of the after-effects of this whole thing, and now we're having to get back in the swing of everyday life. I'm sure that Christi will discuss more of this in various forums as she gets back online, but her computer access is limited since the home unit is kinda messed up. She has been using Chad's laptop from time to time, but eventually we'll have to get back to using the slow-as-molasses desktop we have.
Stay tuned for more updates and pretty soon, part 4 of "our story".