Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When life feeds you lemons...

Never a dull moment in our lives.  I used to think I was being dramatic with that sentiment, but lately I believe it couldn't be more true.  Big R claims if I didn't always have constant havoc in my life I would be bored.  Hardly seem fair to blame my boredom though, does it?  

I should be writing my thesis proposal or telling you about the incredibly awesome birthday party we had for little r this past weekend (can you believe he is 4 already?!), but instead I'm bringing you the latest craziness that has walked into our world.  I will premise this with the acknowledgement that things could be much worse (obviously).  We are all healthy and happy, and life has been otherwise pretty darn good.  

A couple of weeks after we moved into our new place - our fantastically roomy and cozy house that we have slowly called home - we began noticing water damage along the walls on our ground floor (garden level).  We were honestly trying to think of a way to ignore it.  Knowing that we were only going to be here for a year, we were super worried they were going to make us move to another unit, or worse, a completely different town.  Then came the mold, and the neighbors had it, too, so it was no longer something we could ignore.

So, Germans started showing up randomly over the course of several weeks.  Nothing like having 5 burly German men show up unannounced when you are chillin in your sweats, covered in baby puke, not having showered in days.  It was so awesome. (I seriously need to shower more often!)  I can only imagine what goes through the minds of these workers.  They decided early on that I could speak German.  Not sure how that happened.  Holy cow does the Hausmeister talk fast.  I think I capture about 20% of what the dude is saying before my eyes glaze over. Lord knows what I have been saying "ok" and "yes" to.  I kept getting flashbacks to my klinikum experience when I had Baby C and wondering why Germans decide I can understand them when it involves really important yet technical conversations.  

My favorite moment was when they decided it was a pipe leak.  This sounded insane to me.  I'm no plumber, but the entire ground floor has water about 1-2 feet up the wall, we have excellent water pressure, and lots of hot water.  That just doesn't sound like a broken pipe, yet, I am merely a housewife, so what do I know?  Here are 5 German men staring into a hole in the ground in our utility room looking at a flood of water and shaking their heads.  They were clueless.  

After doing a series of plumber things through the course of a day, they determined it wasn't a pipe break afterall.  Maybe the radiator?  Lord only knows.  My fear was mounting.  This was not going to end well.  When I lived in Oakland (holy cow that was a decade ago!), we had dry rot in our bedroom and we had to move everything out of the room and sleep in our living room.  What was supposed to be two weeks turned into two months.  It sucked.  I didn't have kids then, and it still sucked.  I was starting to get that uneasy feeling that we were heading in that direction here.  

So, this morning, a different crew of burly German men showed up (yet again, unannounced - love it) with the Hausmeister.  He and I are starting to become excellent pals.  I think we might grab a beer together when this is all through as we can actually have a conversation with each other now (if that's what you would call it, and please know that I am absolutely kidding).

My biggest fears have materialized.  Ok, maybe not BIGGEST fears, but definitely much of what I worried about is happening... The shower drain is not properly connected in the master bath.  Every time we shower, we feed this growing lake of water underneath our bedroom.  Fantastic!  They need us to move everything out of the bedroom (yikes, this is feeling eerily familiar to me), and sleep upstairs for...wait for it...6 weeks!  So fun... I tried to remain calm and not go into super hyperventilation.  Did I understand him right?  Maybe I'm hearing things. I told him I really need to talk to Housing about this. 

Yep, I heard him right.  About an hour of phone calls later, and we are moving half our furniture to the Freibad (the city swimming pool).  Hilarious.  Apparently they have a nice storage room there.  The rest of the furniture will go upstairs.  They won't put us in a hotel, but that's ok.  Living in a hotel for that long would be horrible with the kids.  The woman from Housing was wonderful walking me through everything so that I was sure to understand the nuances.  She told me that they were checking with the insurance company to see if they would pay to move us into a vacant unit in our neighborhood.  Oh sure, we can stay in this neighborhood and not have to leave this cute little town, but holy heck!  Moving the family is the LAST thing I want to do right now.  I'd prefer 6 weeks of disruption.  We can handle it.  

So, that's my story.  Monday we'll be sleeping upstairs with the kids and living out of our suitcases, while the Mayor of our town directs his crew to take our furniture to the Freibad for a couple months.  We'll have a huge plastic sheet up in our house to keep the moisture downstairs (crazy!), and loud machines running all day long to dehumidify the house.  The bedroom floor is coming up, and the foundation will be drained and aired out for a couple months.  Then they will reinstall the floor, put new carpet in, and give us the ok to move back downstairs.  Fantastic.  Sounds like hell, but at least it's better than moving again.  HA!  

My life is a fantastic episode of constant amusement.  Gotta love it. I'm sure this will bring to you many fun stories.  Until then, I need to take care of my little ones while finish this thesis proposal and do my other assignments as Big R spends the week in DC learning how to be in a better attorney. Hopefully before the week ends, I'll also get to share the awesomeness from this past weekend. On the bright side, the sun is shining for the first time in about 3 weeks, so little r will actually get to play outside and maybe we'll get to soak up some fabulous vitamin D.

In the meantime, I will go make some lemonade. Anyone want to share a glass with me?


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