Monday, December 15, 2008

22 weeks on Saturday & other Casa Buendia updates.....

So I was 22 weeks on Saturday--I worked overtime on Saturday for extra $$$ & was super busy yesterday, so couldn't get to this blog until now.

The baby is now the size of a spaghetti squash. I still feel it moving around several times each day, but they are very soft movements. They come once in a while, so I can't really grab hubby's hand & put it there expecting it to happen again, sometimes I don't feel it again for hours. I am sure as it gets bigger & stronger that will change.

I'm still working out as best I can. I did ride the bike a couple of times last week, but I still have to do pilates & yoga inside the house for now, the floor is still very flooded out there in the garage. At least on the bike I am above the floor, so I can put on my shoes & tiptoe to the bike & ride to my heart's content. We also have a back-up pantry in the garage (cuz our kitchen is too small for us) that we have to make our way through the flood to get to & our washer/dryer are out there. Today is actually laundry day, so I'll be out there a lot today making my way through the flood. And today it's pouring rain, it started sometime last night & I am told it's supposed to rain all the way through Wednesday. I love the rain & we do definitely need it, but the last time it rained our garage flood got even worse. I'm assuming it's because the surrounding ground is now saturated with rain water & can't hold as much water from the leak, so it starts pooling inside more.

Anyways, as for the pregnancy, all is going well for now, my next appointment with my OB is Dec 23rd & my next appointment with the high risk is Dec 30th for another ultrasound. For now my heart is doing ok, so I don't have to continue to see the cardiologist regularly unless that changes, thank God. I was really getting exhausted trying to juggle so many doctor appointments.

I can't really think of anything else to report with the pregnancy......I'm still slowly trying to shift back to healthier eating more & more all the time. I am doing pretty well, just wish I could get back to eating meat. I was craving shredded chicken, so I think I'll make some for dinner tonight & see how it goes.

My brother in law stays with us some nights, but spends most nights at his sister's house. One night when he was here we started chatting about health related stuff as we always do & he was telling me about a recent issue of baby formula being contaminated with melamine. He told me to look into it. I was already planning to do an organic formula (because with each passing day I am more & more certain that I will not be able to breast feed). But as I look into it I cannot find enough proof that even these are not contaminated. If you're wondering why they're contaminated it's just like everything else, it all comes down to greed. Melamine is a product used to make some plastic materials, but it's very high in protein. So they can put it in the formula & get a higher protein content reading without putting so much milk. It's absolutely sickening how greedy people can be. So now I'm doing some research & toying with the idea of making my own formula. It just seems like a lot of work, but I think once you get a routine down it won't be--so then I just wonder about travelling with the home-made formula, certainly not as easy as travelling with a powder formula, but of course if it's better for the baby it's worth it. But this is something I'm still thinking over. I joined a yahoo group that was recommended by the people who devised the recipes for the home-made formulas--there are a few to choose from based on your needs.

I am finding myself overly protective over the baby in a way I never expected to. I felt it first with the fire situation--not coming anywhere near the area because of fear of what the smoke might do to the baby. And I am still feeling it with other issues. My sister in law graduated with her master's degree on Saturday--I wanted to be there, but then heard my brother had the flu. I sort of panicked, not wanting to catch the flu for the baby's sake. I ended up not going & I do feel I made the right decision, even though I am sad I didn't go. My mom & stepdad both said it was really, really nice. But flu is airborne & there is really no way to protect myself unless I went wearing a mask. If it had been any other sort of cold I wouldn't have cared, cuz I just have to make sure I wash my hands, etc. But the flu is a bit scary to me right now. I know that getting flu & having a fever can be very dangerous to the baby. I feel safe at work cuz airborne illnesses are not that common in the hospital & if they are there we isolate them & wear masks when we enter their rooms. And right now during my pregnancy they don't even give me an airborne isolation patient, which is nice. So again, it comes down to handwashing, etc. But it's also very rare to see anyone hospitalized for the flu.

As for fire-damage/slab leak updates: we are almost ready to get started on the slab leak. It's definitely getting worse & we cannot continue to live like this--it's really frustrating. We got an estimate from the plumber, we got an estimate on replacing the carpet for both the bedroom & the garage, & we just need an estimate for getting an epoxy seal on our bedroom floor before laying the carpet (this has been recommended a few times to us, it will waterproof the floor & protect the carpet, furniture, etc on the floor in case a leak occurs in the future--our insurance states they WILL NOT pay to repipe through the attic, so all we can do is fix this leak & pray for no more in the future). And hopefully they can get started on that this week. I also can't wait for the smoke removal process to begin, it's getting really cold now & we can't run the heater until the ducts & attic are cleaned. Karla is about to come home from Puerto Rico on Friday (where it's all warm) & get a major culture shock suddenly having to live at 30-60 degrees, which is what is has been in our house these days. She already says it's too cold here when we keep the thermostat at 70 in the winter, & it's gonna be even worse after coming home from Puerto Rico, so this is really gonna be bad. The only thing the insurance argued was repainting the house--they will authorize cleaning & then if that doesn't remove the smell of smoke they will then authorize painting. But several companies have told us that flat paint (which is what we have) absorbs the smoke smell (glossy doesn't they said), so it's gonna HAVE to be repainted. Hubby spoke with the fire restoration guy & he said with the money they allot for the labor of cleaning they can probably paint for the same amount or close to it, so he told us not to worry, they will paint. We are really quite happy with the way the insurance is handling the matter so far, I am happy to say. Although we are looking into switching to USAA insurance for both car & house--we are told they have the BEST rates & we know someone in our community that has this insurance & couldn't say enough good things about it--the insurance actually called them when they heard of the fire to make sure they were ok, before they made the call to the insurance to report it, can you believe that??? And we also got a notice that our homeowner insurance rates are going up soon.......

As for Victor's house--I still pick up his mail daily, but recently when they dropped off a new dumpster they put it in front of his mailbox. In our community we have the world's laziest mailmen. Where I grew up the mailboxes are on the house, by the front door, so the mailmen HAVE to walk up to the house to put the mail in. Where I live now the mailboxes are on the street, at the curb, so I would assume they already have it easy, but they really take advantage & will not get out of their vans to put mail if anything is blocking the mailbox. It's really a pain. So hubby & I went over there to ask the workers if they could move the dumpster so we could continue getting his mail. As we walked through the house we couldn't believe our eyes--they have completely gutted the house. There is nothing--no drywall, no counters, no cabinets, no toilets, no showers, NOTHING, not even a floor separating the first & second floors. Just a wide open wood frame with some piping remaining for plumbing & gas & electricity. They did move the dumpster for us & they told us they are almost finished with the house. Once rebuilding is approved (which is a big process) a new crew will arrive to start on that job I guess.

As for the Hicks--I saw them the other night, they came by to borrow some Christmas decorations. I told them about Victor's house & how they had gutted it all. I asked the Hicks if their house was the same. They said no because their house is not salvageable at all. Their entire house is going to be bull-dozed down & then a whole new house will be rebuilt. They told me that with Victor's house they are going to try to save as much of the downstairs as possible, but that the whole back wall of the house will have to come down, that one wall is not at all salvageable. We are all hoping that the bull-dozing will happen soon, cuz that's gonna create a big mess, lots of dust, etc. We don't want to do a bunch of cleaning & then have to do it all over again. We are actually putting the outside cleaning process of our house (pressure washing, painting, etc) on hold until after they bulldoze the Hicks house.

I remember shortly after the fire I took a good look at the 6 burned houses surrounding us & said that the Hicks & Victor got the worst of it by far, they were TOTAL LOSSES, absolutely nothing salvagable, & it stands true. But I remember Victor arguing with me that the Hicks had it much worse than even he did. And I guess he is right, based on the rebuilding process & the fact that their house will have to bull-dozed & completely rebuilt.

I think that's all the updates I have for now............


Hubby just called--we have encountered our first issue with our insurance. Our first smoke damage estimate was for $44K I believe. When the final was written it was $39K, but then we added on the fish tank & my wedding gown. So I don't know the exact total after that, but around $40K, those two items weren't really that pricey. So the insurance just called hubby & said we were approved for $13K worth of work...........we aren't sure what this means--hubby asked them to fax the approval to him so he could see it. If we cannot resolve this we still have the name & number of a Christian public adjuster that will go to bat for us if need be. So we are not worried, just trying to understand the process for now & moving forward.

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