Thursday, April 8, 2010

Roller Coaster of Emotion

Since we last left you, things in the poop-filled apartment drama have both gotten better and more frustrating.

Tuesday morning I met with our complex manager - let's call her "Stonehearted Bitch" (pardon my language) or "SB" for short - and she said that her boss told her to "do everything they could to accommodate us" and she'd work on lowering our lease-breaking fees. I also filled out our intent to vacate forms and gave them a letter regarding the issues from Travis. I left the meeting feeling like SB had finally come around and was willing to work with us. We continued our apartment search and found our new home, ready to move in on April 13th. I continued my afternoon in a pretty good mood and took my brother to class and picked up my sisters. I retrieved a few more necessities out of the poop-filled apartment and noticed it was still stinky and parts of the contaminated area still uncleaned. I called SB to find out what her progress was on the financial front and she told me that the complex was "not going to approve the move-out and will expect a full lease-breaking fee." She claims her grounds for this decision are that we did not give the 60 day notice of our intent to vacate, as dictated by our lease. I told her that we would not pay it and would likely file legal action against her and the complex and SB said, "I'm sorry you feel you have to do that." I wanted to scream and curse, but I did not and just spent the rest of the evening fuming.

Tuesday night was one of the longest nights I've had with the boys in a VERY long time. Travis spent the night on his friends' couch and I stayed at my mom's house with Eli and Jude. They were exhausted and went to sleep with little trouble. Then Eli decided that it was time to wake up and start the day at 3:30 am and I tried to ignore him so he'd go back to sleep. About 45 minutes later, I simply couldn't lay 3 feet from him ignoring his cries any more and held him and rocked him to sleep - something I haven't done in probably 9 months. When I put him back into his pack 'n' play, he woke up screaming louder than before. Now Jude is awake too. They both scream at me, shaking their pack 'n' plays as I'm trying to soothe them both at once for almost an hour, before I give in and let them just sleep in my bed with me. I had trouble falling back asleep because I was so worried that one of them would fall off of the bed. The sun was rising by the time I finally let my eyes close - with one hand awkwardly on each baby's back. I may have slept another hour before we all woke up at about 7:15 and I decided to just let the boys get up and play.

Wednesday was almost immediately better. Our renter's insurance company called and informed us that whoever we spoke to on Monday was wrong and we are covered for all of the damages and a hotel stay until we move or our apartment is livable. It felt like a huge weight was lifted off of our shoulders. They said they'd send an adjuster out to look at the damage that afternoon. I spent the morning with my mom and brother, then went to get a few more things from the poop-filled apartment - still stinky and parts of the carpet STILL WET!!! - before checking into our extended stay hotel room. Travis walked the apartment with the adjuster who said she "hadn't seen a flood this bad in an apartment ever, let alone sewage" and was stunned at how we'd been treated. She took note of all of the things that were not to code and told Travis that we should try to stay out and wear face masks whenever we entered. She went to go talk to SB to try to expedite the gutting and repair of our apartment. SB was out of the office and the staff shut her down. The adjuster said she had never dealt with anything like this and could not believe they were treating their TENANTS this way. She told us to keep a detailed record of everything that we find damaged and wrote us a small, preliminary check for some damaged linens, towels, and the deposit on the new apartment. Travis and I then went to go sign our lease in our new, awesome apartment complex. It's so cool, it deserves it's own post. I'll talk about it later. Wednesday evening at about 5:30 pm, I get a call from SB. She sounds apologetic - though I'm sure it's all an act after our previous meeting - and says that Travis or I need to drop by in the morning to sign a form saying we'll move all of our electronics and valuables out of our apartment by 1:00 pm on Thursday (the next day!!!) so they can replace the damaged carpet. I say "I wish I'd known about your plan to replace the carpet earlier in the day, so I could have been looking for a storage facility," and she replied, "I only just found this out right now." We called our adjuster and were told to start getting things if we choose to, but SB's required to give us 24 hours notice for things like that so we don't need to worry about the 1:00 pm deadline.

This morning (Thursday) started pretty normally. Travis went over to the apartment to start to disconnect all of our electronics and pack them up so it's easy for him to reconnect everything next week then had to go to his doctor's appointment. I've stayed in the hotel with the babies, playing and reading. They're now napping. But, Travis told me that our fears of continued damage have been realized. There appears to have been some seepage on the wall behind our dresser that we couldn't see. Because it went untreated, it spread on the carpet and has destroyed most of my clothes. I was in the process of washing and organizing my entire wardrobe to see what fit me and what needed to be sold/given away. I haven't been in to look yet, but Travis said that the casualties also include at least one pair of my shoes (likely two or three, if I remember what was in that corner correctly). Luckily our dresser was still on top of plastic from when we moved in and the carpets were still wet from being cleaned so it may not need to be professionally cleaned/thrown out. On the bright side, it gives me an excuse to buy some new clothes! The adjuster also said that she's looking into a packing company so that we spend as little time as possible in the contaminated rooms - especially Travis who is immune compromised - so hopefully we'll hear about that in a few hours.

I just want to wrap up by saying that I cannot stress enough how important renter's/homeowner's insurance is. We are so lucky that Travis decided to buy our policy A MONTH AGO! If this had happened to us before we'd had insurance, we'd be responsible for replacing and cleaning all of our furniture and clothes, our new deposits, and our hotel stay. We also wouldn't have a professional advocate on our side when dealing with SB. The day that we didn't have the help from our insurance was so stressful that I was almost ready to give up and give in to SB's demands. I'm so glad we did not.

Sounds like Jude's awake, so that's all for now! Stay tuned for the next exciting developments in the poop-filled apartment saga!

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