Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Freeway update...

It's been a looong and HOT day!!! Tonight the house temperature hung out around 88 degrees. What was I thinking...my home is Hawaii!!

We have had a productive day with the water disaster team ripping out the laundry room and cabinetry. I didn't even know I was itchin' to give that room a good cleaning. They had to take out the cabinet and sink because after cutting a hole in the toe kick board under the cabinet they put a water probe back through the sub floor and found that water had made its way back there.

Also, the basement shop was cleared out on one side where they cut away about a foot of dry wall to help air out the wall.

The insurance adjuster guy came and was again he was really great to work with. BLESSINGS!!! I walked him through the damage and then he talked with the water guy and then spent about two hours mapping out the house and figuring out what he feels needs to be replaced. He then went to his car (probably because it was cool and quiet) and came up with a proposed claim payment. He brought me an itemized "work needed" list and a check for the full amount (minus our $1000 deductible). If we choose to sub contract the work out ourselves (which we will most likely do) or do the work ourselves then we can potentially not really have to pay our deductible because we would be saving money.

The wood floor is yet to be assessed. We need probably one or two more days to get a better idea if it is drying all the way and if the sub floor is totally drying out. From there we will decide whether refinishing the floors will solve the problem or if the wood floor needs to be totally replaced.

We got the A-OKAY from the furnace people that the actually furnace unit is okay.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a roaster of a day! I'm so thankful for two special friends that washed my loads of towels and bath mats today; with the laundry room torn up I am out a washer for a while.

I'm off to bed! Thanks for all the thoughtful notes and phone calls today. Life does go on...I'll take a house remodel any day over A LOT worse things.

Living on a freeway

Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if you decided to camp out on the middle of the freeway? I think we are getting a good feel right now at our house.

Yesterday started out as a big day...and finished as even a bigger day. The kids all had their first day of school.
Alex headed off to middle school--YIKES!!!
Tyler off to third grade, Alysee to second grade, and little Nate had his first day of full-day kindergarten.

It was a marathon of a day. After all the off to school preparation was done I put Chloe down for her morning nap and then Coop and I preceded to mow the lawn, clean up breakfast, prepare two and half dinners, do four loads of laundry, clean up the house, work on cub scout stuff, eat lunch, read a story, put Coop down for his afternoon nap, and then at last I decided to reward myself with a little break and chat with my sister online and plan my weekly trip to Hawaii (that I've been planning for two years). Chloe and I were in the office with the door shut enjoying ourselves. I found this great deal to Honolulu and I was mapping out what days would be best to travel and mentally thinking of all the fun Birch and I were going to have. At about 2:30 pm I heard a little pop sound but didn't think much of it...after all Hawaii was on my mind. About a half an hour later Chloe started to fuss so I got up to put her down for her nap. I opened the office door...

to see 1/2 inch of water down our maple hardwood floor, laundry room, newly tiled bathroom, and Alysee's carpeted bedroom. I stood there for a minute in shock and then noticed through the hallway that water was squirting fearlessly out of the wall behind the washing machine. I put Chloe down (she preceded to enjoy herself splashing in all the water with her poopy diaper) while I figured out how to turn the water off. The water had been squirting all over the wallpapered laundry room wall so the wall paper boarder was coming off.

I didn't even know where to begin. Pulling out all the towels seemed pointless with the amount of water that was swimming around upstairs. I called our friends that live close by and own a carpet cleaning business and she came over with her teenage son immediately with a load of towels. Reluctantly I called Birch and he didn't really have much insight other than to get out the water as fast as possible. So the three of us (my friend, her son, and me) quickly started soaking up the water off of the hardwood floor first and then spinning the towels in the washer (my friend is so smart) and then we went from room to room doing our best to soak up the 1/2 inch of water. Meanwhile another friend from church came over that also runs a carpet cleaning business and he started in on the carpet floors.
The culprit of the disaster...this little tiny tear in the cold water hose.

Next thing I know the kids all start coming home from school and sadly I couldn't really even pay any attention to them. Coop then wakes up from his nap to inform me that he wet the bed. Nice! I remembered about at that time that I should check the basement.

Yep, as I went down into the basement hallway into the shop I saw bubbles coming out from the shop door. I opened the door to see a rainfall coming down from the ceiling and again a 1/2 inch of water covering the concert basement floor. The water was bubbling because I had a huge cardboard Costco detergent box sitting next to my washing machine that was soaping up the water as it would make it's way down to the basement. The shop ceiling (including light fixtures) was particularly bad because the water upstairs was running down all the upstairs venting (let me remind you that two years ago we put in a new heat pump and furnace) making its way to the basement shop. I went into the large game room and second kitchen to find that the water was coming from the wall ceiling and was creeping its way through that carpeted floor. I spent the next hour sweeping the water with a push broom out the door.

By this time, I decided that I did need Birch home and that maybe we needed to call the insurance company. I've always been told to never declare water damage because no one will insure your house if you want to move. We called anyways.


Align CenterI didn't even think of taking pictures when all the water was every where. Currently the hardwood floor is warped and buckling a bit...hopefully this can be fixed by having them refinished.
Showing the basement ceiling light fixture full of water and the ceiling with water damage.
This is the water that remained after I swept it out for an hour with a push broom.

After several calls to the claims department we had chosen a water disaster team to come in and assess the damage and help dry us out. That company arrived around 7:00 pm just as our carpet cleaner friend was cleaning up his stuff from working on the initial water removal from the carpet and ripping out carpet padding. For the next four hours the company mapped out the pathway of the water, set up these massive and NOISY (thus the freeway sound) drying machines, took off doors, and started ripping up some floors to allow water to circulate. These machines should be on for the next three or four days.

Today the insurance adjuster comes to further assess the damage and tell us our next step after we get the house all dried up. The water disaster team had this cool tool that could sense the water in the floors, walls, cabinetry, etc... The humidity level in the basement last night read at 64% which apparently is quite bad (I think for mold growth) and the upstairs was at 46% which is also high for a main level of a house. We are not allowed to have the air conditioning on because the house needs to stay extra warm.


Special dryer system working on sucking the water out of the hardwood sub floor.
Laundry room damage...the vinyl flooring was pulled up in some areas to expose the sub floor.
The shop is full of huge fans working on drying out the dry wall and flooring.

So Birch and I finish folding the four loads of laundry that I had done and cleaned up the kitchen. It was 11:30 pm as we readied ourselves for bed. Birch went to get a drink from the kitchen and noticed that his little toesies were wet. YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!! After emptying out everything underneath the sink Birch found that a plastic pipe going into the garbage disposal had cracked and was leaking water all over. Who has an extra plastic pipe thing in their shop?? I couldn't believe it...Birch went downstairs and and brought up just the right piece. I guess he had bought two the last time we had had a problem.

As we dropped our tired bodies in bed at midnight Birch reminded me that it's not a problem if money can fix it! I've been kicking myself for not checking out the sound that I heard. By now I think we've paid for our trip to Hawaii in insurance deductibles (did I mention that I backed into our babysitter's car a couple of months ago...causing us to get a new bumper and our babysitter to get a new car door?).

Today I am thankful for a husband that loves me, a couple of dinners that I already prepared, kids that hopefully will go with the flow (as they were getting emotional last night about the "house being ruined" we reminded them that we still have half a house that is perfect), and an insurance company that so far seems to be fairly easy to work with! I have much more exciting things to post...but for now this is on my mind. Wish me luck keeping Chloe out of all the fans, electrical plugs, and that we don't go deaf in the next four days!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Double the Pleasure

This week is a party week at our house. Birch celebrated his 36th birthday on Monday and I celebrated my 34th birthday yesterday.
I'm sad to say, Monday was pretty low-key. I was all worn out from our recent entertaining so my preparation for the day was minimal. Next year will be better Birch! We did enjoy a tasty dinner (complements of Schwanns) of stuffed chicken breast, watermelon, corn on the cob, and a tomato basil salad. Dessert was a yummy brownie turtle sundae. Alex did an awesome job at making the brownies all by himself.
Yesterday we had an intense quick rainstorm. The rain drops were HUGE. Coop, Alysee, and Nate ran outside to ride bikes in the rain. I thought they looked pretty cute in their raincoats.
My birthday was celebrated in kind of a usual stay-at-home mom day. The exception to that was the fun and tasty breakfast in the bed that Alex, Tyler, and Nate made for me. They made me muffins (from a box), toasted English muffin, and juice. When they came into my room they were prancing around IN COSTUME like nerds and hobos singing "Happy Birthday." We went to story time, met Birch for lunch, and then went to the US Air force band concert at the park for dinner. The band was awesome!
Alysee decided that she wants to be a band conductor.
Nate wants to be a dancing band conductor.
Chloe was in heaven eating pizza, licorice, and nectarines all while dancing to the great music.

So another year older and MUCH wiser for the two of us! I'm feeling a bit older as I decided to go with a new hair cut style for my birthday makeover and I even have noticed that I need to wear deodorant a bit more than in the past. Maybe I'll advance from my training bra next year...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Herbivore meets Carnivore

We have had a really fun couple of weekends. My sister, Laura and her husband Jared came to visit us from Logan, UT.
They got married last October so it was really fun to spend two great weekends with them and get to know Jared better and have some Laura bonding time. Not only are they super fun to be with but Laura is also a vegetarian (hence the title) and I am no where near being vegan. I think my refrigerator went into shock when I stuffed it full of all sorts of veggies it has never seen. Who knew you could grill eggplant (who even knew what an eggplant looked like in the inside)? We also all partook of our first taste of silken tofu in a chocolate mouse tofu pie. I have to admit it was quite edible even for a non-chocolate lover.
It was super hot the first weekend they were here but the kids still enjoyed playing outside together.
The kids were excited to have some new competition in playing freebie golf. Coop couldn't get enough of Jared. Jared was so sweet with the kids and spent some quiet storytime with Coopy. Monday afternoon we had quite the adventure hiking to Boulder Cave. We have done this hike twice before and it continues to be a favorite. Laura insisted in hauling Chloe around. She is much more buff than me (and can I just say that I LOVE her hair)!! I love this picture because it captures Nate to a "T": sweet, fearless...but at the same time cautious, a bit explosive in his temperament, and cute. Coop was a great hiker. Here we are the two of us going up to see a waterfall. Two lovers by the waterfall. Here's the whole hiking group just getting ready to go cave spelunking. We were all really brave. Chloe didn't enjoy the darkness very much but she hung in there.Coop...ready to give us some light.
Instead of coming back from the cave down the same trail that we hiked up we decided to throw in a little adventurous fun and come back through the river bed. It proved to be quite an experience! After Coop fell in the first time and got over it...we couldn't keep him or Nate out of the water. Nate doing a little river bed push-ups. I'm not sure we could have done this without Laura and Jared's help. The little boys loved clinging to Jared for extra support. Some spots in the river started to get a bit deep so Alysee decided to do a little Daisey Duke action. Alysee did great! Unfortunately mom's recommendation of shoes to wear weren't such a great idea but Alysee was a trooper.
Tyler was a great hiker. He carried all the snacks. At one point in the river we found a little homemade rock slide. Love this picture of Nate and his ribs going down the slide. Alex tried out the slide too. We made it!!
The fun didn't stop there, though.
Jared and Laura organized a mini-car wash for our cars. The kids had a great time. Not sure Laura did. The last weekend that Laura and Jared were here our good friends, The Whites, from our early married years came to visit us for a night. We loved every moment with their family. Their four kids and our six loved each other immediately. Before the White's continued on their trip we all went to see the Wenas Mammoth that is being excavated. We went a couple of years ago but Birch didn't get to come along. Although the tour was a bit long for young group we still all thought it was pretty cool. Chloe and Laura were two peas in a pod. This is such an amazing for several reasons...Chloe is a people hater. Well, not her family but just about anyone else. She loves to flirt with anyone but as soon as they go to pick her up she quickly hides (or starts screaming). This photo is also amazing because I can never get Chloe to go to sleep in my arms anymore. Church is a three hour struggle with her. So the fact that Chloe is snuggled in her aunts arms is such a sweet memory for all of us!!

We loved every minute of Laura and Jared's visit. Now who is going to eat all the leftover vegtables? Good thing we still have our bunny Oreo!