Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Abatement begins

To my surprise they got the permit first thing this morning and were over before 8:30 to start the real sealing.  They had to put in additional taping and decontamination units.  They let the kids poke around at the end of the day. 

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We also got a temporary outhouse.   I suggested this as an alternative to staying in a hotel and they readily agreed.  I'm sure it's cheaper for them, and a lot better for us to sleep in our own beds, have all our possessions nearby, and to be able to care for the animals ourselves. 
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The worker was very sympathetic to locking off the bathroom and offered to leave it like this overnight, doing the final seal in the morning.  (Weird fluorescent lime paint and vintage wallpaper revealed in the bathroom tear our.)
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My kitchen is filled with overflow from the work area.  I didn't feel like making a mess in the kitchen and dining area, so we did Mcdonald's for dinner.  Now we are watching The Force Awakens in the basement.  Things are crazy, but we are making it work.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Halloween is coming

Mini-movie night for me and Sam. He picked the movie.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Locking picking

I have a new hobby.


This summer I started picking locks.  I love it.  That feeling when it releases is euphoric.  You can tinker mindlessly, or meticulously tease each pin like a puzzle.  

I'm a huge Sherlock Holmes fan.  I was watching the Houdini & Doyle TV show and decided to finally jump in and learn picking.  I got a started set and within ten minutes had my first padlock open.  

Reddit has a great community and sources for learning.  I have no nefarious intentions, it's purely a hobby.  In fact, there are two rules lock pickers uphold:
1) Do not pick a lock that doesn't belong to you.
2) Do not pick a lock in use.  

I only had three pad locks to play with.  When my parents were out here I let my Dad in on my hobby.  Yesterday I was thrilled to find he and my Mom sent me three new (old) locks to pick!


The cylinder locks were fairly easy.  The circular padlock gave me trouble.  After a few sessions I put some lubricant in and finally popped it today!

I picked all my locks again for fun:


Got any old locks?  I'd love to take them off your hands. :-D

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

All the problems

So as you saw, we have a leaky pipe under our master bathroom that pooled into the living room below.  Aside from structural damage, the dog bed was the only thing destroyed.  Sam auditioned the replacement bed for Jem.

We are running the damage through our homeowners insurance.  USAA is a really great company.  Glad we have them.  The damage was positive for mold AND asbestos.  Yippy!  Yesterday they set up the negative pressure seals to isolate it.  
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The leak came after I spent the weekend cleaning our couch and our armchair.  Our babysitter let the kids have milk in the living room.  I discovered milk had spilled all the way through both pieces of furniture when Molly started lapping up the puddles forming on the floor beneath them.  THEN Sam had an accident sitting in the armchair, releasing a flood of urine on the recently cleaned cushion.  But I'll tell you what, there's nothing like major home damage to make furniture spills seem inconsequential.  My brain instantly flipped from possibly getting a new living room set, to possibly getting a new living room.

Today I met with the project managers for the abatement and the reconstruction.  It looks like it will be 2-3 weeks to complete the asbestos/mold removal and dry out, then a couple weeks to plan and approve the reconstruction.  Depending on how much needs to be done it could take 3 weeks or more.  The minimum we are looking at is new drywall, new paint, and sand and finish the hardwood floors.  It could be as extensive as replacing the flooring for the entire main floor, redoing the master bath, and maybe even fixing unseen damage into the basement. We won't know until the abatement is done and they can safely investigate.

Luckily our insurance will cover the abatement and the reconstruction.  We are only responsible for the plumbing repair and anything we request beyond the "return to normal" repairs (I figure if they end up tearing up the master bath we might as well upgrade it).

I spent today re-organizing the living room and basement so we have comfortable spaces for the next couple months.  Currently we can't use the upstairs toilets.  For a short time we will be cut off from most of the main floor and possibly the basement.  This will probably cut us off from all house toilets.  I'm working on a solution so we don't have to stay in a hotel during the abatement.  That would really suck.  For now, we are trying to keep smiles on our faces.

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Halloween is coming!  Pumpkins and crispy leaves and sweaters!  School is super fun for all!  We read Harry Potter and loved it!  Ben is taking a staycation next week!  There's a lot about which to be happy and grateful.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Happy Birthday Sam!

Today my little Sam is 3 years old!  We celebrated with a family party on Saturday.  Sam had a smashing time.  He's such a big kid now.  So talkative, so creative, so adorable!


The night before I set up streamers, balloons, presents, and a new play tent.  The tent was an immediate hit.  Sam reacted on the stairs like it was a magical Christmas morning.
Sam's third birthday

Sam's third birthday

Sam's third birthday

Later (eons later it seemed) (my scheduling, but kid anxiety made it seem like forever) the family was gathered for a midday brunch. 
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Sam's third birthday

Sam soon proved to be an expert at present unwrapping.
Sam's third birthday

Sam's third birthday


Sam's third birthday

Jack was a super older brother.  He help back very well and let Sam really enjoy opening the presents.  Jack also quickly inspected each one for age appropriateness and share-ability. 
Sam's third birthday


Sam's third birthday

Sam's third birthday


Sam's third birthday

(Sam fell on his face a few days prior, his teeth cut both the inner and outer bottom lip.  That's the black scab you see on his face.)
Sam's third birthday

For months (literally!) Sam has been asking for a Bob the Minion birthday cake.  I think it turned out lovely! (Though I'm miffed the cake was dry.  I even used a cake soak!)
Sam's third birthday


Sam's third birthday


Sam's third birthday


Sam's third birthday

We went to the mall for playtime and shopping.  The boys each got a Build-A-Bear and they are their new best buds. 
Sam's third birthday

Sam's third birthday

Sam's third birthday

Earlier in the day Sam declared that he wanted to get ice cream.  We delivered. 
Sam's third birthday

Spoiled with a train ride through the mall.  Always fun!
Sam's third birthday

And we found a little playground for a quick stop before dinner at Red Robin. 
Sam's third birthday

An exhausted and happy three-year-old climbed into his new toddler bed for a long night's sleep.  Happy Birthday Samwise Storm!
Sam's third birthday