Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quick Tree Update

Our adjuster in Ohio sent out a guy from a local damage restoration company. I think she's going to be sorry she ever did that because he's talking about doing even more work than the first guy, and thus more expensive. Anyway, he's already been here twice and Steve and I really get a better feeling from him than the first guy we had out. He's working on our estimate now and will have to duke it out with our adjuster which he said could take a while. So, we're looking at another 2-3 weeks until we start construction but at least we're starting to feel like there may be an end to all of this.

On the bright side, he's going to completely repaint our bathroom and master bedroom so we're going to find out whether we can pick our own colors. Painting in there was next on our list of to do items around here so maybe we can check that off. Right after we check off "have tree fall through house".

Friday, January 18, 2008

Little Gymnast

Bella started gymnastics this month and loves it. I think the physical activity is really good for her and she seems to really enjoy herself while she's there. She spends the whole hour laughing and smiling and then gets totally pissed off when class is over and she has to walk out of the gate to mom. Gee, thanks.

And poor Tater is really sad that she has to sit there and watch. She spends much of the class yelling Bella's name and trying to bust through the gate to the gym floor. They do have a class for two year olds at the same time as Bella's class so only a few more months until she can join in on the fun.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tree Update

Up until yesterday morning, there was exactly nothing to report on the tree front. Literally, nothing new had happened in one full week except for several unreturned phone calls to the contractor. Then, things got messy.

On a good note, neighbor Bob removed the asshole tree that fell on our house and trimmed a few others. Now the not so good stuff. The local adjuster for hire estimated $5000 for repairs and tree removal. Say what?! Tree removal alone was $1200 so that leaves $3800 to repair over a dozen holes in the roof, replace ceiling joists, relevel the house, remove and repair interior dry wall, etc. We, of course, started to freak out and our adjuster in Ohio said not to worry, when she got the estimate from our contractor she could deal with discrepancies. Made our third and final phone call to the contractor and finally got an estimate...for $16,000. Just slightly higher than $5,000, right? So now we're just playing the waiting game and freaking out.

Bella's seemed to develop a lot of anxiety over the whole tree issue. She's been having lots of accidents (only at home) because she won't go to the bathroom alone and talks about the tree all the time. Yesterday morning on the way to gymnastics, she looked at the side of the road and said, "Mommy, look at those trees. I think they're about to fall down on that house." I thought she was just being dramatic until I heard her say that yesterday. I think this whole ordeal has really consumed her thoughts and that makes me really sad. We keep telling her we'll keep her safe and she has nothing to worry about but that Friday night was scary for all of us.

Party Girl

Last Saturday was Bella's birthday party. We usually have it at home but had to move it to Round Table at the last minute because of the tree damage. In the end, I think it turned out really well. We had our party room and the kids (and grandma) had a great time playing games. I kicked everyone's ass in air hockey and I didn't have to spend two days cleaning my house for a party and then 4 days cleaning it up so I definitely was happy.

We have friends coming to stay with us this weekend and I don't think I'm going to make my usual grand cleaning effort. They have two little girls who are each about a year younger than our girls so I'm hoping they'll feel at home with dishes in the sink, toys strewn about the house, and mysterious sticky spots on the kitchen floor. Yeah, that's my excuse for not cleaning, I want Jenni to feel comfortable. Ooooo, another idea. I could invite my friend Lena over on Friday. She has slight OCD and always cleans while she's here. So, I could get a clean house without having to do it myself. But then I'd owe her a favor. So many things to consider.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday B!

According to Bella, she had a great birthday. Here's a quick rundown of her day:

-wake up and open presents, including a new bike from Mommy and Papa
-eat Cheerios in yogurt with special birthday sprinkles
-test drive the new bike
-spend lots of time hanging out with Mommy
-use the new Color Wonder princess coloring kit from Mommy's awesome friend, Keeley (thank you so much Keel's for thinking of her)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hi, I'd like to exchange this tree for some holes

Yay! We finally had the tree removed today. Took about three hours and we're left with three nice size holes in the house now. They had to remove three separate branches that were each the size of a medium tree trunk.

I met with the repair guy and he said that although there are several modular homes in the area with tree damage, we're the only one he's seen with interior damage so once we get insurance approval, we'll be bumped to the top of the list for immediate repair. I guess that's one bit of good news. He's anticipating a minimum of 5 days of construction.

During the tree removal, the owner of the tree company told Steve that the tree really needed to come down all together in addition to several trees around it. Steve called the owner of the tree and asked him to come outside. He seemed to agree that something needed to be done about the trees but didn't agree to definitely take action yet. I really hope he'll do the responsible thing or we'll live in fear every time a storm comes through town.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Just a few more tree pics

Birthday Princess

My good friend, Shanna, sent Bella a birthday gift that arrived on Friday. Bella was so excited to get her very own package and after saying, "Ooooooo, Bella, you got a package!", there was no way I could wait until this Friday (her birthday) to let her open it. She got a bunch of princess stuff and with every item she opened, she said, "Mommy, she knew I've just always wanted ______!". She wore the tiara for the rest of the night - well, until the tree came through - painted her nails and put on lippy immediately, and has only taken off her "high heels" to go outside. She even had to change into a dress right after opening her gifts because "princesses wear dresses, not sweats". Thanks Shanna!

Made it through another night

Luckily the rain was minimal last night so we didn't have to deal with water pouring into the house. After getting on the roof yesterday morning, Steve felt the girls' room was safe so we let Matea sleep in there last night but Bella was still too scared. Matea definitely notices the tree branches in the house but she's too little to remember the boom and house shaking like Bella does. Last night they came into the office to sew with me and the first thing Bella did when she walked in was check out the ceiling for trees or damage:( I think it'll probably take her a few weeks to adjust. We're hoping an adjuster will actually come out to look at things tomorrow instead of just calling to set up an appointment later in the week. We need to get this tree out of our house but we don't want to do anything until the insurance company sees it in person and we really can't afford to do anything right now anyway. This whole thing has been really upsetting to all of us and we know it'll get worse when we have to live in a construction zone so think good thoughts for us.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Some cool pics

We went to the beach this afternoon, you know, to try and forget that we have a tree in our house. Anyway, got some cool pictures of the waves and weather. And yes, that's a pig.

We're still alive:)

Ok, quick recap of last night's events. It was stormy all day and there was a wind advisory issued for our area because gusts were up to 60 mph. Steve got the generator ready and flashlights out and we all played with the flashlights in the dark in the masterbedroom for a while. Head back into the livingroom and about 20 minutes later, around 7:15pm, we hear a loud boom and the house shakes. I immediately send the girls to the bench by the front door and we see the tree sticking through the hallway ceiling. We thought that was bad enough but were in for a big surprise when we checked out the rest of the house. Our master bathroom is pretty much ruined, just a few bits of ceiling left. Steve and our friend, Travis spent over an hour on the roof, in the rain last night putting a tarp over all the holes. We slept in the front half of the house and luckily the rain pretty much stopped over night so things didn't get any worse. Now we're just waiting to hear back from insurance agents this morning. Keep your fingers crossed that fixing this won't be anymore difficult that it needs to be (yeah, wishful thinking). The tree is in our neighbors yard and one of his other trees fell on our other neighbor's house two years ago. Nice.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Mr. Tree, meet Mrs. House

This just happened to our house about an hour or so ago. Nice. Branches/trunk in hallway, master bedroom, and master bath.