Saturday, May 7, 2011

the house that mold built.

 i don't know if this is what i look like now, 
but this is what i looked like around the same time 
when i was pregnant with leah.  
a little over 7 months.

since i last left you, much has changed.

here is the run-down, complete with bullet points.

  • the owner of the home & rental property management company refused to send out a professional to check and see if there was current mold in the home.  instead, they said that we could be released from our contract early, with no penalties, and with our full initial deposit.
  • we replied, with an email stating not only did we have rights as tenants to live in a safe & habitable home, but that we had some pretty severe health concerns that we were worried about.  and tried to appeal to them one more time, asking them to do the right thing and send someone out to just eliminate the thought of mold.
  • they replied with a letter from a lawyer, saying they didn't think it was mold, and that our only options were to either take their offer to vacate early, or any medical problems from that day on would be on our hands & they wouldn't be liable.
  • can i just say, at this point.....everything they're doing is totally shady??  i'm just going to put that out there.
  • we say that we will move, and cash our deposit check the same day that we enter a lawyer's office.  unfortunately we can't afford anything but the city's pro-bono lawyers, who take 2 weeks to contact us back.  the end of that 2 week window is next friday.
  • i set up an appointment to see an allergist, to hopefully get a mold allergy test done, just to make sure.
  • we frantically look for houses, and become somewhat depressed at our choices due to our financial situation.
  • we find a house!  really close to where we already live, same ward, same schools, and thank the will be ready by this week, and comes with what seems like a really decent owner.  someone who actually cares about his tenants and wants them to be happy and take care of his house.  a commodity these days, it seems.  we are both going down in size and going up in rent, but other than that we are happy with the change. 
  • i get sick again on thursday, a weird sickness.  started with a nosebleed, my first real one in years.  then the rest came on fast, dizziness, a strong headache, and sick to my stomach.  exhausted but unable to sleep.  
  • friday i go into the allergist, to be told that they are unable to do the actual mold testing on me because i'm pregnant & allergy tests can sometimes put people into anaphylactic shock.  fair enough.  but instead, they test my lung capacity.  and i test at 80%, which they told me was the minimum they accept.  they have me do a breathing treatment for 10 minutes, and then test me again.  to find that i am now at a 99%.  so i am diagnosed with full-blown ashtma, which i have never had before.  well no wonder i get dizzy and winded now when i climb the stairs.  i told myself i'd be a little more gentle with my self-esteem when i'm huffing and puffing on the treadmill in the future too. she prescribed two inhalers, a nasal spray and allergy meds & told me that if i don't improve within two weeks, i have to start a steroid.  which i guess they wanted to initially avoid because of the fetus.  immediately set up an appointment for the kids to get tested, since our insurance won't cover ben, but they will cover children.
  • checked into a hotel that night with the kids.  ben had to stay home to work on his paper, which we knew he wouldn't get done if he were in a hotel room with us.  at the risk of his own health, i guess.
  • my dad & stepmom were nice enough to help us cover the cost of a mold specialist, who came today and took samples from our air and our ceiling.  he immediately found moisture in our ceiling, from the leaks that happened in december & january, which were the cause for our concern that there was mold.  we'll have to wait one week for the results.
  • i brought the kids back to the house today for naptime/quiet time, so that i could try to pack.  my friend andrea came over, and we tore apart the garage, which had almost all of the belongings from the closet that actually had visible mold in it, found in november.  we worked for a couple of hours, which in that short time i had a major allergy attack.
  • andrea texted me tonight, telling me that she has broken out in about 20 or 30 spots on her body.  this has happened to her before.  guess when?  oh that's right, in november, when she was sitting on our couch & using a blanket from the moldy closet.  both she and ben got the same spots, within a day of each other.  we didn't know what had caused it, and at that time didn't even know there was mold. 
  • i am now back in the hotel room with the kids, and couldn't be more grateful for it.  they {meaning leah} are not the easiest to get to sleep in hotel rooms, but i will take it over their instant runny noses and coughing when we came home today.  and my allergies have cleared up.  so you do the math.
  • this week is going to be nuts.  trying to move out of a house when i can't live in it to pack it, while ben is trying to finish up his huge yearly paper, trying to frantically fight these completely dishonest people before it's too late, trying to take others up on their offers to help even if it means at the risk of their own health, and trying to stay sane through it all.

on another, bullet-free note, tomorrow is mother's day.  

being a mom is job full of a lot of responsibility.  
sometimes i get overwhelmed with worry that i'm severely messing it up.

but i watched my two kids tonight, as we were getting ready for bed, and reading and laughing and singing and saying prayers. 

i love moments where i can sit back and take a purposeful breather from my role as their mom and just watch them. 

and realize what beautiful, and good little people they are. 

they bring such pure joy to my life, 
and i am grateful that i am blessed to be a part of theirs.

i don't care what else happens tomorrow, 
as long as i get to spend it with these two.


Andrea said...

Well said m'lady. I love your kids too. Their little faces and personalities just brighten my day. I am really excited about your new place. A new - mold free- chapter in the Strader life. What I'd love to see happen - nothing but blue skies in this new house. no mold. no problems. just normal, healthy 21st century living. plus a good lawyer comes along, free of charge, and gets those sneaky little dishonest landlords back for all the spots/ asthma/ 9months of sickness/ and also gets you guys a trip to Dinseyland. And maybe a ticket for me too...just because.

Rachel Holloway said...

aye caramba! (no clue how to truly spell that expression...) WHAT A CRAZY few weeks--I hope, hope, hope that you have the absolute MOST INCREDIBLE mothers day a woman can have while not living in her own home and dealing with illness and mold and shady characters. I wish there were something I could do to make it all go away, because you certainly do not deserve this situation. But I truly do have your family in my prayers right now (and I'm not just sayin' it!)HANG IN THERE!!!

Rachel Chick said...

Oh, dear. Lynsey. I am so sorry. I wish that there were magic fairies that could . . . well, do a host of things. One of which would be to transport me down there to help you. Good luck with the coming week. You can absolutely do it and I'll be waiting on the edge of my seat to see all that goes down . . . :)

As for your kids - the thoughts you shared are my saving grace daily. Often times I start to get overwhelmed by the responsibility of it all and feelings of failure loom large, but then, it seems as if the Lord says to me, "Look at your children." And I watch them. I watch their smiles, I watch their play, I watch their faces and their laughter. I hear the words they use and the way they look at me. I hear them pray. And realize that if nothing else, They. Are. Happy. They know that I love them. They are kind and they are relatively carefree. I am far from perfect, but somehow, through the grace of God, I'm not doing as bad as Satan would have me think I am.

You are doing a wonderful job. I can look at the sweet faces of your children (even if only in pictures) and see that. Your children are so blessed to have you as their mother.

And I'm blessed to call you my friend.

Melyni + Alma said...

Oh Lynsey! I'm so sorry that you guys are going through that! I wish I could be there to help, gas mask in tow. And a whip for those nasty landlords.
I'm almost 75% sure we are having similar issues with the mold. Blech!

Rachel said it perfectly (like she does most of the time :) . You are a wonderful mother!

Lance said...

Lynsey, here's hoping everything turns out well this coming week and that you were able to have a nice mother's day even with all that is going on!! and of course I so ditto everone else's comments on you being the best mother ever!! First off YOU sing and such before bedtime, ME: I'm yelling and locking them in their rooms.....Secondly, YOUR kids will sit in the same seat with each other and hug and be happy for you while taking pictures, MINE: won't touch each other and saying "he's touching me" while fighting and trying to annoy each other as much as possible. So I'm just saying, they are truly BLESSED to have such a good mother. Some days I wonder how Heavenly Father would even want to give me any!!! Love you and miss you guys lots!! Hope things get brighter from today on!!!! =)

Stallion said...

Oh my goodness! You have been put through some serious rig-a-ma-roll! I am so glad you are getting all this taken care of before your new little one comes. I hope it all works out in your favor.....(those stinkin landlords of yours!) And that whole bit about trying to intimidate you with a legal document just fries my grits!!

On a happy note - you look darling! Any names picked out?

Take care of yourself and that great hubby of yours. I hope he can get everything tied up quickly so that you can get on to a less stressful stage of life! (If that exists for some people :)


S and RA Beazer said...

Seriously, when it rains it pours at you house. I guess me must just be thankful that the mold didn't cause anymore serious problems, constantly sick children, miserable beyond normal pregnancy, suspicious landlords. If we lived closer we would risk the mold and help you out. HUGS and KISSES to all the Straders.

Jenny said...

OH my goodness. YOu are so awesome. Im pretty sure I would just give up and leave everything there and sit down and cry. Good luck!