A very busy month

Oh, you guys. October was so full of good things, and some bad things too, but overall just too full. I haven’t written on the blog much lately, other than posting some pictures, because there was just so much to say and I didn’t have the time or the energy to write it down.

Gabby and I traveled to Seattle for Geek Girl Con. There was also the day trip to L.A. for Hello Kitty Con. One weekend Gabby stayed in Thousand Oaks with my parents, and one weekend we went down there again together to hang out with my brother and carve some pumpkins. Those were our travels.

For the to do list, well Gabby wanted to be Charizard from Pokemon for Halloween. I figured it’d be cute to have a Pokemon theme, so I DIYed costumes for the girls. That was a few nights’ worth of work. Then of course, there were the Halloween parties to attend.

There was also Callie’s birthday to plan for. I spent a lot of time brainstorming themes and searching Pinterest for ideas. Finally, I picked gnomes. My heart was just stalled on one thing though, finding the perfect gnome-themed invitation. I know it’s stupid, but I wanted to find just the right invitations that said gnome without having some old bearded gnome on it. Apparently it’s insanely hard to find girl gnomes. In the end, I contacted an artist I had met at San Dirgo Comic-Con and got the art custom made! She did it for a very (very!) reasonable price if I let her keep the rights to resale the image elsewhere after. Like I would care! So I got my perfect invitations and cute custom art for Callie to keep as a souvenir! My mom ended up doing pretty much everything else though, which was a life saver in this insane month!

On the list of good things, my dad bought a new car and we took his old car. I’m far from complaining, because a new (to us) car is a very good thing, but it also added more things to manage. Figuring out the right documents to present the DMV, going to the DMV to switch the title, calling around to get estimates on what it needed fixed, etc.

Also on the list of good things, Chris’ parents came for a long weekend for Callie’s birthday! So much excitement!

Meanwhile, I think everyone got sick at least once. Callie had a cold, turned ear infection, followed with 10 days of antibiotics, and now she’s got a huge mystery rash for about 2 weeks that only keeps on growing. Is it yeast? Fifth disease? Ezcema? I think we’ve picked her up at daycare early at least once a week for the last month, either because she wasn’t feeling well or to attend a doctor appointment. And don’t get me started on all the not-sleeping. Sick kids = no sleep.

Finally, the story that trumps it all: Mold. And asbestos. Here goes.

Gabby’s room always had kind of a funky smell. But then again, a preschooler lives in it so of course it smells funky. We kind of worried about it, but always figured we were being paranoid. Finally, around mid-October, the smell got worse. Chris decided to call for a mold test, because we had no idea where else to start with getting rid of that smell. So a guy came and took air samples. 

While we were waiting for the results, I started thinking… The smell got so much worse, so fast. Finally I told Chris: You know, what if Gabby accidentally forgot a piece of food in her toy chest. We hardly ever open it. Wouldn’t you know it, THAT VERY SAME DAY, Chris was watching the girls while I was at work, and Gabby comes out of her room with a bag she found in her toy chest, FULL OF MOLD. Inside was a rotten orange, moldy beyond belief, and Gabby was pulling it out of the bag, chunks of mold falling off left and right as she walked. Gross!

I could not believe I guessed it correctly and what a coincidence Gabby found it right after I said it out loud! We thought we were home free, mold smell solved! Unfortunately the mold test came back positive for black mold in the wall. Yuck. There was a leak in Gabby’s window that we didn’t know about, so that’s that. 

We had three mold-removal contractors come by to give us estimates. They all asked that an asbestos test be done on the dry wall joints or something. OF COURSE it came back positive. Two contractors backed out, saying they wouldn’t touch the mold until the asbestos was removed. Oy. We could just imagine an asbestos guy would tell us he wouldn’t touch the asbestos until the mold was removed. Fortunately the third contractor said he did both mold and asbestos, so that’s the story of how our contractor got the job.

Long story short, her room is missing some dry wall and we were waiting on a couple of things before having the contractor repair the damage. The house is upside down, with her stuff all over the place. And October included lots and lots of “work from home” days so we could meet all these contractors and testers and removers and builders. Good lord. Such a headache. Also, can I say: Expensive!!! Ouch.

Chris will have to go through and verify the shoddy window installations that caused the leak wasn’t repeated on other windows (it was, but it looks like the others didn’t leak – yet) and fix them before anything bad happens.

Hey, at least our calendar is almost completely empty for November and December, aside from the various birthdays and holidays. Now, Christmas shopping… Oy. I am trying to get it done as quickly as possible, so I can be done with all the special extracurricular things and finally relax and have things go back to normal. You know, like when all I had to worry about was work, two healthy kids, and writing. I could stand to deal with a lot less excitement and bad news for a while!

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