Monday, January 25, 2010

Storm Watch 2010

We had been hearing about it for about a week. January 21st was supposed to be the worst storm the Phoenix area had seen in recent memory, bringing more rainfall than all of last year combined and nearly hurricaine force winds. When the fateful day came, we found out that they weren't kidding! The rain kind of piddled all day until later in the afternoon but then really got going. We had heard on the radio on the way home that the winds in Chandler had gusted at 60 mph. Our first thought was "Oh no. Our poor roof!" And we were correct. When we got home, we found this:

In the house we could hear sections of loose shingles beating against the roof. The sound was sickening because we knew what was going on up there! But all we could do was ride it out and hope for minimal damage to the roof and pray that we didn't get any leaks. We did have one spot that started leaking, but overall we felt like we weathered the storm pretty well.

After some deliberation, we decided to go ahead and make a claim on our homeowner's insurance for the roof damage. After calling the insurance company to schedule the adjuster, Andrew, with the help of our neighbor, climbed up on the roof to attempt to tarp over the damage to prevent any more water getting into the house, since more rain was expected that night.

Since he had stayed home for the day to deal with all of these joys of home ownership, he took some time to really survey the house, and noticed that there was about a 15 foot stretch of carpet along the south wall of our living room that was wet. Because this wall borders our covered patio which didn't get wet in the storm, we figured the water was getting in through the walls, but didn't really think a lot about it.

When the insurance adjuster came out yesterday afternoon, he told us that they would replace the entire back of our roof, and he asked if there was any damage inside, so we showed him where the carpet was wet (it was STILL wet on Sunday afternoon). The adjuster (who is so super nice!) called out a company called Service Master to come and inspect our drywall and carpet to make sure it all dried properly. They had a little machine to measure the moisture in the drywall, and whenever they touched it to the wall, the thing would light up and go crazy, meaning the wall was plenty wet inside. What happened next, we never would have expected... I'll just show you.

Your eyes are not deceiving you. About 50% of our drywall is missing from our living room wall! They also ripped up our carpet, took out the pad, removed our baseboard and all of our wall insulation and set up some high power fans and a dehumidifier to dry out the wall. Holy crap! Fortunately (although that word doesn't seem to adequately express how we feel) our homeowner's insurance is paying for EVERYTHING to put our house back together, minus our deductible. If we wouldn't have torn out the drywall and mold would have grown, that would not have been covered which is a whole other nightmare, so we're happy to be inconvenienced for a time now, at no significant cost to us! In addition to what is shown in the picture, they will also have to remove a 15 foot section of our ceiling along the wall, which means they will actually end up scraping our entire ceiling (the "lovely" 80's popcorn) and redoing the whole thing, as well as painting our entire living room. While all this work is being done, we will be put up in a hotel room for a few days, but it sounds like they will put us in an extended stay apartment type hotel, like a Residence Inn or something so we should be okay.

So our adventure over the next couple of days is to live in our house without using the living room, as it is pretty much uninhabitable right now with the fans blasting (quiet it ain't!) and furniture moved about to make room for all the equipment. Hopefully everything will be dry by tomorrow and so we can at least have our house back (for now) and so we can try to get our roof replaced before we get too much more rain. In the meantime our roof will be professionally tarped, but that doesn't really give us the peace of mind that an actual roof would! I'll continue to update on the progress. I still can't believe that this is happening! But thank God for insurance, and just for His overall protection over our family. This may seem like a big deal, but at the end of the day, we're all safe and that's what really matters. Everything else is just stuff!

Friday, January 15, 2010


It all started with a 4:30 a.m. wake up call this morning... "My cheek hurts" Joshua cries to us. Andrew got up to see what was the matter and put him back to bed, but when he was then told that his forehead hurt, Andrew took Josh's temperature to find a 101.7. Well, I guess we're staying home today! So I stayed home with him. We watched TV, played board games and spent a little low key time in the backyard. The fever came back once the Motrin wore off, but we had it pretty well under control. Then, after his nap he woke up crying. I took his temperature and found it to be 105! Instantly I'm thinking flu. I called the doctor, at Andrew's urging, and they wanted to see us right away. The doctor believes that he has the H1N1 flu, although they don't test for it because the test isn't accurate enough to be reliable. We left the doctor's office with two prescriptions for Tamiflu (one for Josh and one for Ben as a preventative measure). He's a pretty darn sick little boy right now. Poor guy. But despite his obvious misery right now, he's still just as sweet as can be. We are praying that this passes through him quickly and that somehow the rest of us, especially Ben, can be spared. Until then, we'll just wait for Joshua's piggy noes and curly tail to grow in!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

They're Really Growing Up...

It has been nagging at me that we haven't been working with Ben on using a big boy (i.e., non-sippy) cup. Joshua had pretty much mastered it by this age, and I know that when Ben turns three the doctor is going to remind me that he should be off of the sippy cup (not that I feel I need to adhere to the doctor's timing on things, but on this issue I totally agree). I had tried a few times with him, but he didn't seem to understand the concept of tipping the cup and tipping his head at the same time, and I'll be the first to admit that I didn't try too hard... at all. But today I took it a little more seriously, and he totally got it. I gave him a "special" cup to use, and let him put the water in it, then to my surprise, he took a big drink from it, like he's been doing it forever! Something just seemed to click with him, and now he's a pro! At dinner he had his milk in his "special" cup and drank the whole thing nearly perfectly! I was so excited. Just another check mark on the big boy list!

Joshua also surprised the heck out of me at dinner tonight, cutting his meat with a (butter) knife and fork. It just made him look so old, and now here's one more way we've become obsolete to him.

Joshua also finished reading his very first book today. At his recent trip to the library, Andrew got him a "Dick and Jane" book to read. Most of the words in the book are ones he can read by sight, but there were plenty of new ones. These books are timeless - and awesome - for beginning readers. He has done amazing and was so proud of himself when we finished the last page of the book today. We can't wait to read our next book "Cat Can Cook" by Dr. Seuss.

I'm such a proud mama of these two beautiful little boys. Sometimes I look at them and think "How have you grown up so fast?!?" One day I know I'm going to wake up and they're going to be all grown up and on their own! It reminds me to really take the time to enjoy them, play with them and soak up as many cuddles as I can!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Andrew turned 33 years old this past Wednesday, and has been celebrating ever since! On Wednesday night we went for a family dinner at the Olive Garden. We had such a nice time! Everyone was extremely well behaved, and ate really well. I think Ben could have eaten his weight in macaroni and cheese! When we got home, Andrew opened his presents and cards...

then we cut into the turtle cheesecake that I had made for the occasion. I think I may have overdone the toppings a little, but was it ever good!

On Saturday we were able to send the kids off to Grandma and Grandpa's for the night and took the opportunity to enjoy a far too seldom date night. We had dinner at Abuelos, a Mexican food restaurant which I think will now be a new family favorite, and went to go see the movie The Blind Side which was absolutely outstanding. We really enjoyed ourselves and plan to try to make more of an effort to have more dates this year!

Then to top it all off, the Cardinals gave him a nailbiting playoff victory today!

Happy birthday, Andrew. You are a true blessing to all of us and we love you so much!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year: A Look Back

My friend Lea recently posted a "Decade in Review" on her blog, and I thought that was a great idea so I thought I'd steal it... Hope you don't mind, Lea! As we enter this new decade, here is a look back at our lives for 2000 through 2009:

2000: Andrew and I were engaged on Easter Sunday and 2 months later I took the giant leap of moving from my parents house to Santa Barbara, California to be with Andrew. I began working at Hollister & Brace, which is one of the best law firms I have ever been a part of.

2001: Andrew lost his Grandfather to lung cancer in January. That July Andrew, his mom, her husband and I took a road trip to Peoria, Illinois for his memorial service and the Weaver family reunion. In May our first nephew was born, an event that I was able to be in the delivery room for, which was such a special experience for me!

2002: Andrew and I got married on April 6th! Our wedding day was beautiful and perfect, despite the less than perfect weather that day. In June by dad's retina detached, which ultimately left him legally blind (not that it has slowed him down at all!). This made me want to be closer to my family, which prompted our move back to Arizona that August.

2003: We bought our first house, a new build in Chandler! It was so much fun to choose everything we wanted in the house, and really make it our own. We also found our church home, where we have been ever since.

2004: Andrew was laid off from his job, and in August began working with the Donor Network of Arizona, where he still works today. In September we found out that we were going to be parents!

2005: Joshua was born on June 13th and changed our lives... for the better... forever. 6 weeks later we took our first family mini-vacation to San Diego for another Weaver family reunion.

2006: With having a little one, we learned that having a 2 story home is SO overrated, so we decided to sell our house and move to a one story. Despite the declining real estate market, we were able to sell our house in 40 days and purchase the house we always wanted. It all happened with perfect timing. 5 months after moving into our new house we found out that baby #2 was on his way!

2007: Of course the best part of this year was our little Benny coming into our lives on August 10th. We also spent the better part of the first half of this year working on our backyard. I participated in a great deal of the landscaping, including ripping out a tree stump and roots, despite my growing belly. Another highlight of the year was getting Joshua out of diapers!

2008: With our new mouth to feed, we could no longer afford my part time work schedule that I had enjoyed since Joshua was born. So I decided to leave the firm I had been working at for the last 5 years, and started working full time for a sole practitioner. This job has provided me with so much experience and I really enjoy it. We also joined the ranks of the soccer moms and purchased our first minivan!

2009: What a way to round out the decade! We had a great year. Andrew and I renewed our wedding vows in February, Joshua started to learn how to read and Benny was potty trained. Hooray! The best part of our year was our first big family vacation to Illinois and Wisconsin to visit family, including the boys' first ride on an airplane. In the fall we got to take a couple small family trips to San Diego to see the beach and go to Sea World. We had so much fun!

Now we're into a new year and a new decade. We're excited to see what this next 10 years will bring. Happy New Year to everyone out there. We pray your 2010 and beyond is filled with abundant blessings!