I’ve left enough time between posts that I’m having a hard time knowing where to begin.

The baby is knocking on the door with increasing frequency. Was it just a few weeks ago that each little bump, each potential wiggle, stopped me in my tracks so I could note each part of each sensation? Now he kicks and twists and fidgets all day, and I give my belly a few reassuring pats and keep on moving. I’m much relieved to know that he’s been head down for about two weeks now, and the midwife feels I’m too narrow to allow him another full turn. So that’s one fewer thing to worry about.

That’s good, since we still have a pretty decent list of things to worry about. The water saga has grown more dramatic, sadly. Still, no insurance company has said definitively that this one’s on them. The good news is that the co-op insurance is fretting over a pregnant woman in a mold-festering apartment and so they’ve decided that while they aren’t officially taking responsibility, they are going to move forward with abatement while we all argue about this. I managed to get a copy of a letter (I’m a good snooper) from their lawyer to the insurance company and the board basically telling them they might not want to fool around when there are potential health implications for a newborn baby. I’d think that was good advice whether I benefited from it or not. It may have been partially related to my shrieking into the phone at the building manager, “If my son so much as sneezes plaster dust I am going to OWN this building!!!!!!”

The reality is that I’m almost phobic about the idea of hiring a lawyer and will go through all kinds of contortions to avoid it. But it’s better I keep that piece of information to myself.

The best progress so far has been that on Thursday the co-op insurance broker sent out an internationally-recognized environmental scientist to check out our apartment. While he does work for the insurance company and not for us, he was also clearly a true believer and was feeling very protective of us. He stayed for five hours taking samples, photos and using some of the coolest equipment I’ve ever seen. At one point he was using a spectrometer and I said, “That looks like something out of Ghostbusters!” and he laughed and told me it was that very equipment used in the movie. Not his personal equipment, but the same models. He was unstintingly generous in allowing me to hover over him the entire five hours and ask question after question. It was like having Bill Nye drop by. One fun fact I learned is that we have competing mold colonies fighting it out for dominance right now. He also showed me how to leave what I would call a heat shadow on the wall and then run around and look at it on the spectrometer.

I feel so lucky he was here. And yet I will say that having someone like him around is a mixed blessing. He generously decided that he wanted to look at the whole apartment for all possible hazards rather than just for mold, just as a favor to the baby. Our apartment is almost 100 years old. So… it’s really a death trap of environmental hazards. Lead, silica, biohazards from pigeons outside our windows, mold…. it went on and on. Now things like my cheerful, latticed radiator covers look like leering bear traps just waiting to bite into my baby. But better to know than to not know.

After our big five-hour exam he said he was writing up a scope for the insurance company that emphasized the urgency of the repair and that it is unarguably unsafe for me and/or the baby to be in the apartment while any work was happening. I don’t know what they’ll do about that. Relocating us would be very expensive, so the co-op insurance may begin to balk and try to push it back on us. We’ll see early next week. But the work is probably going to take about four weeks. Several walls have to come down. The bathroom will be non-functional. And as part of the scope our scientist friend said he’s noting that he wants us moved out and we aren’t to be returned until all the work is complete and he’s brought back to test again. He’s an MD, among other degrees, and was explaining how a newborn has an incomplete immune system and so should not be exposed to even routine construction/painting/etc. So… I have all cross-able extremities working to keep away any big conflict over this. Steakums, it may be that you and Nik will be staying with us this weekend… somewhere other than here. But that’s okay, it will make it more cheerful to have you there. At least I know we aren’t coming to a full stop. An environmental construction company came by this morning at 7:45am with two industrial dehumidifiers which they’ve set up and left to run until Tuesday morning. I think it will be very exciting to open our electric bill next month.

I’m trying to be sane about the fact that we likely will not get to come home with our baby, but will be going to some sort of temporary housing. I don’t think there’s any chance of me getting to good sport territory. We may still lose quite a few precious things due to contamination, and I can’t imagine being comfortable being anywhere but in my own bed when I come back from the hospital. But… just trying to keep my eye on the goal, which is a safe place for a baby.

I feel dangerously close, or perhaps long past, to going on far too long about this. I’ll comment on one stroke of luck and the make a quick exit.

We just switched from Tivo to a DVR box through our cable provider. It seems when you switch boxes there’s a small grace period where you get all the premium channels. I’m sure they’ll cut us off any moment now, but last night and this afternoon I’ve been having a free film festival. So that’s a little gift out of nowhere.

And even better… next weekend is our baby shower and we can’t wait to see so many of our friends! It is possible I will force seconds and thirds and fourths of fruit salad in an attempt to prolong the pleasure of their wonderful and much-appreciated company.

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72 responses to this post.

  1. Huzzah for the baby, head down and ready to go! Boo, hiss, and expletives at the water saga. I think you are entitled to be as bad a sport as you wish. I think they should make That Woman pay for your temporary lodging. Gah.

    Reply

  2. Huzzah for the baby, head down and ready to go! Boo, hiss, and expletives at the water saga. I think you are entitled to be as bad a sport as you wish. I think they should make That Woman pay for your temporary lodging. Gah.

    Reply

    • I think That Woman should have to give us their apartment. I know exactly where I’d put the spiral staircase that would make our apartment two stories. And I’m sure we’d enjoy her newly-renovated bathroom.
      And, yes, hooray for a head-down baby! I appreciate every last thing I can get off the list of things to fret about.

      Reply

      • Oooh. Yes. A spiral staircase! And then you’d have a two bathroom, 1600 sq. foot place. Oh yes. Seriously, though, what’s gonna happen to her? For doing what I suspect is thousands upon thousands of dollars of damage?

      • Shoot, we’re tens of thousands in. Just the surrounding costs like the apartment analysis and temporary housing will be thousands of dollars.
        Both my insurance company and the building insurance company will pursue HER insurance company and try to force them to pay, even though they’ve already denied the claim. I think it’s going to be a ridiculous, circular fight.

      • Shoot, we’re tens of thousands in. Just the surrounding costs like the apartment analysis and temporary housing will be thousands of dollars.
        Both my insurance company and the building insurance company will pursue HER insurance company and try to force them to pay, even though they’ve already denied the claim. I think it’s going to be a ridiculous, circular fight.

      • Shoot, we’re tens of thousands in. Just the surrounding costs like the apartment analysis and temporary housing will be thousands of dollars.
        Both my insurance company and the building insurance company will pursue HER insurance company and try to force them to pay, even though they’ve already denied the claim. I think it’s going to be a ridiculous, circular fight.

      • Shoot, we’re tens of thousands in. Just the surrounding costs like the apartment analysis and temporary housing will be thousands of dollars.
        Both my insurance company and the building insurance company will pursue HER insurance company and try to force them to pay, even though they’ve already denied the claim. I think it’s going to be a ridiculous, circular fight.

      • Shoot, we’re tens of thousands in. Just the surrounding costs like the apartment analysis and temporary housing will be thousands of dollars.
        Both my insurance company and the building insurance company will pursue HER insurance company and try to force them to pay, even though they’ve already denied the claim. I think it’s going to be a ridiculous, circular fight.

      • Oooh. Yes. A spiral staircase! And then you’d have a two bathroom, 1600 sq. foot place. Oh yes. Seriously, though, what’s gonna happen to her? For doing what I suspect is thousands upon thousands of dollars of damage?

      • Oooh. Yes. A spiral staircase! And then you’d have a two bathroom, 1600 sq. foot place. Oh yes. Seriously, though, what’s gonna happen to her? For doing what I suspect is thousands upon thousands of dollars of damage?

      • Oooh. Yes. A spiral staircase! And then you’d have a two bathroom, 1600 sq. foot place. Oh yes. Seriously, though, what’s gonna happen to her? For doing what I suspect is thousands upon thousands of dollars of damage?

      • Oooh. Yes. A spiral staircase! And then you’d have a two bathroom, 1600 sq. foot place. Oh yes. Seriously, though, what’s gonna happen to her? For doing what I suspect is thousands upon thousands of dollars of damage?

    • I think That Woman should have to give us their apartment. I know exactly where I’d put the spiral staircase that would make our apartment two stories. And I’m sure we’d enjoy her newly-renovated bathroom.
      And, yes, hooray for a head-down baby! I appreciate every last thing I can get off the list of things to fret about.

      Reply

    • I think That Woman should have to give us their apartment. I know exactly where I’d put the spiral staircase that would make our apartment two stories. And I’m sure we’d enjoy her newly-renovated bathroom.
      And, yes, hooray for a head-down baby! I appreciate every last thing I can get off the list of things to fret about.

      Reply

    • I think That Woman should have to give us their apartment. I know exactly where I’d put the spiral staircase that would make our apartment two stories. And I’m sure we’d enjoy her newly-renovated bathroom.
      And, yes, hooray for a head-down baby! I appreciate every last thing I can get off the list of things to fret about.

      Reply

    • I think That Woman should have to give us their apartment. I know exactly where I’d put the spiral staircase that would make our apartment two stories. And I’m sure we’d enjoy her newly-renovated bathroom.
      And, yes, hooray for a head-down baby! I appreciate every last thing I can get off the list of things to fret about.

      Reply

  3. Huzzah for the baby, head down and ready to go! Boo, hiss, and expletives at the water saga. I think you are entitled to be as bad a sport as you wish. I think they should make That Woman pay for your temporary lodging. Gah.

    Reply

  4. Huzzah for the baby, head down and ready to go! Boo, hiss, and expletives at the water saga. I think you are entitled to be as bad a sport as you wish. I think they should make That Woman pay for your temporary lodging. Gah.

    Reply

  5. Huzzah for the baby, head down and ready to go! Boo, hiss, and expletives at the water saga. I think you are entitled to be as bad a sport as you wish. I think they should make That Woman pay for your temporary lodging. Gah.

    Reply

  6. Huzzah for the baby, head down and ready to go! Boo, hiss, and expletives at the water saga. I think you are entitled to be as bad a sport as you wish. I think they should make That Woman pay for your temporary lodging. Gah.

    Reply

  7. I told my husband what happened with your water, and his answer tells me exactly how much time he’s spent in NYC: “Why doesn’t she just move?” Anyhow, I hope everything gets resolved quickly and well. Is it possible they’ll put you up in a hotel? I’m assuming they’d try to find some cheaper alternative, but having someone come and clean every day during those first few weeks would be highly desirable if you could swing it. Either way, you’ll be happy to see that baby no matter where you are staying, and the baby will be happy to be with you.

    Reply

  8. I told my husband what happened with your water, and his answer tells me exactly how much time he’s spent in NYC: “Why doesn’t she just move?” Anyhow, I hope everything gets resolved quickly and well. Is it possible they’ll put you up in a hotel? I’m assuming they’d try to find some cheaper alternative, but having someone come and clean every day during those first few weeks would be highly desirable if you could swing it. Either way, you’ll be happy to see that baby no matter where you are staying, and the baby will be happy to be with you.

    Reply

    • Your husband has a flair for sensible solutions. Which, of course, have no place in the worlds of Manhattan or insurance.
      Thank you for the good wishes. I have no clue at all what I can or can’t get out of them for temporary housing. I hope to learn more tomorrow. But maid service would be very high on the list of things that I know we would appreciate.
      I keep reminding myself that my grandpa slept first in a shoe box and then in a dresser drawer. That seemed to work out fine for him. I’m sure having our little guy around will help get our minds of mold. And, now and later, I’m trying hard to make sure the stress doesn’t roll downhill to him.

      Reply

    • Your husband has a flair for sensible solutions. Which, of course, have no place in the worlds of Manhattan or insurance.
      Thank you for the good wishes. I have no clue at all what I can or can’t get out of them for temporary housing. I hope to learn more tomorrow. But maid service would be very high on the list of things that I know we would appreciate.
      I keep reminding myself that my grandpa slept first in a shoe box and then in a dresser drawer. That seemed to work out fine for him. I’m sure having our little guy around will help get our minds of mold. And, now and later, I’m trying hard to make sure the stress doesn’t roll downhill to him.

      Reply

    • Your husband has a flair for sensible solutions. Which, of course, have no place in the worlds of Manhattan or insurance.
      Thank you for the good wishes. I have no clue at all what I can or can’t get out of them for temporary housing. I hope to learn more tomorrow. But maid service would be very high on the list of things that I know we would appreciate.
      I keep reminding myself that my grandpa slept first in a shoe box and then in a dresser drawer. That seemed to work out fine for him. I’m sure having our little guy around will help get our minds of mold. And, now and later, I’m trying hard to make sure the stress doesn’t roll downhill to him.

      Reply

    • Your husband has a flair for sensible solutions. Which, of course, have no place in the worlds of Manhattan or insurance.
      Thank you for the good wishes. I have no clue at all what I can or can’t get out of them for temporary housing. I hope to learn more tomorrow. But maid service would be very high on the list of things that I know we would appreciate.
      I keep reminding myself that my grandpa slept first in a shoe box and then in a dresser drawer. That seemed to work out fine for him. I’m sure having our little guy around will help get our minds of mold. And, now and later, I’m trying hard to make sure the stress doesn’t roll downhill to him.

      Reply

    • Your husband has a flair for sensible solutions. Which, of course, have no place in the worlds of Manhattan or insurance.
      Thank you for the good wishes. I have no clue at all what I can or can’t get out of them for temporary housing. I hope to learn more tomorrow. But maid service would be very high on the list of things that I know we would appreciate.
      I keep reminding myself that my grandpa slept first in a shoe box and then in a dresser drawer. That seemed to work out fine for him. I’m sure having our little guy around will help get our minds of mold. And, now and later, I’m trying hard to make sure the stress doesn’t roll downhill to him.

      Reply

  9. I told my husband what happened with your water, and his answer tells me exactly how much time he’s spent in NYC: “Why doesn’t she just move?” Anyhow, I hope everything gets resolved quickly and well. Is it possible they’ll put you up in a hotel? I’m assuming they’d try to find some cheaper alternative, but having someone come and clean every day during those first few weeks would be highly desirable if you could swing it. Either way, you’ll be happy to see that baby no matter where you are staying, and the baby will be happy to be with you.

    Reply

  10. I told my husband what happened with your water, and his answer tells me exactly how much time he’s spent in NYC: “Why doesn’t she just move?” Anyhow, I hope everything gets resolved quickly and well. Is it possible they’ll put you up in a hotel? I’m assuming they’d try to find some cheaper alternative, but having someone come and clean every day during those first few weeks would be highly desirable if you could swing it. Either way, you’ll be happy to see that baby no matter where you are staying, and the baby will be happy to be with you.

    Reply

  11. I told my husband what happened with your water, and his answer tells me exactly how much time he’s spent in NYC: “Why doesn’t she just move?” Anyhow, I hope everything gets resolved quickly and well. Is it possible they’ll put you up in a hotel? I’m assuming they’d try to find some cheaper alternative, but having someone come and clean every day during those first few weeks would be highly desirable if you could swing it. Either way, you’ll be happy to see that baby no matter where you are staying, and the baby will be happy to be with you.

    Reply

  12. I told my husband what happened with your water, and his answer tells me exactly how much time he’s spent in NYC: “Why doesn’t she just move?” Anyhow, I hope everything gets resolved quickly and well. Is it possible they’ll put you up in a hotel? I’m assuming they’d try to find some cheaper alternative, but having someone come and clean every day during those first few weeks would be highly desirable if you could swing it. Either way, you’ll be happy to see that baby no matter where you are staying, and the baby will be happy to be with you.

    Reply

  13. Hi there!
    We’ve been out of town so I just now read your LJ (this post only) and your last email.
    All I can say is UHHHHGGGG!!
    Oh, and that I can’t wait to see you and D. Just let us know where the taxi should take us – and if it’s easier for us to get a hotel room, we can do that too.

    Reply

  14. Hi there!
    We’ve been out of town so I just now read your LJ (this post only) and your last email.
    All I can say is UHHHHGGGG!!
    Oh, and that I can’t wait to see you and D. Just let us know where the taxi should take us – and if it’s easier for us to get a hotel room, we can do that too.

    Reply

    • Did you go somewhere fun?
      Yeah, it’s so nasty.
      But we’re dying to see you and greedy for your company, so of course we want you to stay with us. I’ll keep you posted about where that will actually be. The only way I’d let you stay in a hotel is if staying with us was going to be horribly uncomfortable for you.

      Reply

      • We went to the beach. It was fun. More stessful than in the past – but I’ll fill you in when I see you.
        Are we going to stay up all night on Friday and paint each other’s toes? Can you still see your toes?
        Just let us know where the cab should drop us off.

      • I am all for toe painting! I can still see mine, but definitely can’t reach them. And they’re starting to look pretty puffy.

      • I am all for toe painting! I can still see mine, but definitely can’t reach them. And they’re starting to look pretty puffy.

      • I am all for toe painting! I can still see mine, but definitely can’t reach them. And they’re starting to look pretty puffy.

      • I am all for toe painting! I can still see mine, but definitely can’t reach them. And they’re starting to look pretty puffy.

      • I am all for toe painting! I can still see mine, but definitely can’t reach them. And they’re starting to look pretty puffy.

      • We went to the beach. It was fun. More stessful than in the past – but I’ll fill you in when I see you.
        Are we going to stay up all night on Friday and paint each other’s toes? Can you still see your toes?
        Just let us know where the cab should drop us off.

      • We went to the beach. It was fun. More stessful than in the past – but I’ll fill you in when I see you.
        Are we going to stay up all night on Friday and paint each other’s toes? Can you still see your toes?
        Just let us know where the cab should drop us off.

      • We went to the beach. It was fun. More stessful than in the past – but I’ll fill you in when I see you.
        Are we going to stay up all night on Friday and paint each other’s toes? Can you still see your toes?
        Just let us know where the cab should drop us off.

      • We went to the beach. It was fun. More stessful than in the past – but I’ll fill you in when I see you.
        Are we going to stay up all night on Friday and paint each other’s toes? Can you still see your toes?
        Just let us know where the cab should drop us off.

    • Did you go somewhere fun?
      Yeah, it’s so nasty.
      But we’re dying to see you and greedy for your company, so of course we want you to stay with us. I’ll keep you posted about where that will actually be. The only way I’d let you stay in a hotel is if staying with us was going to be horribly uncomfortable for you.

      Reply

    • Did you go somewhere fun?
      Yeah, it’s so nasty.
      But we’re dying to see you and greedy for your company, so of course we want you to stay with us. I’ll keep you posted about where that will actually be. The only way I’d let you stay in a hotel is if staying with us was going to be horribly uncomfortable for you.

      Reply

    • Did you go somewhere fun?
      Yeah, it’s so nasty.
      But we’re dying to see you and greedy for your company, so of course we want you to stay with us. I’ll keep you posted about where that will actually be. The only way I’d let you stay in a hotel is if staying with us was going to be horribly uncomfortable for you.

      Reply

    • Did you go somewhere fun?
      Yeah, it’s so nasty.
      But we’re dying to see you and greedy for your company, so of course we want you to stay with us. I’ll keep you posted about where that will actually be. The only way I’d let you stay in a hotel is if staying with us was going to be horribly uncomfortable for you.

      Reply

    • The actual site hosts have plenty o’ space at their place, as I was reminded, as does Jota. My mom/cuzins have a hotel suite. We can *definitely* work out spaces to stay.

      Reply

    • The actual site hosts have plenty o’ space at their place, as I was reminded, as does Jota. My mom/cuzins have a hotel suite. We can *definitely* work out spaces to stay.

      Reply

    • The actual site hosts have plenty o’ space at their place, as I was reminded, as does Jota. My mom/cuzins have a hotel suite. We can *definitely* work out spaces to stay.

      Reply

    • The actual site hosts have plenty o’ space at their place, as I was reminded, as does Jota. My mom/cuzins have a hotel suite. We can *definitely* work out spaces to stay.

      Reply

    • The actual site hosts have plenty o’ space at their place, as I was reminded, as does Jota. My mom/cuzins have a hotel suite. We can *definitely* work out spaces to stay.

      Reply

  15. Hi there!
    We’ve been out of town so I just now read your LJ (this post only) and your last email.
    All I can say is UHHHHGGGG!!
    Oh, and that I can’t wait to see you and D. Just let us know where the taxi should take us – and if it’s easier for us to get a hotel room, we can do that too.

    Reply

  16. Hi there!
    We’ve been out of town so I just now read your LJ (this post only) and your last email.
    All I can say is UHHHHGGGG!!
    Oh, and that I can’t wait to see you and D. Just let us know where the taxi should take us – and if it’s easier for us to get a hotel room, we can do that too.

    Reply

  17. Hi there!
    We’ve been out of town so I just now read your LJ (this post only) and your last email.
    All I can say is UHHHHGGGG!!
    Oh, and that I can’t wait to see you and D. Just let us know where the taxi should take us – and if it’s easier for us to get a hotel room, we can do that too.

    Reply

  18. Hi there!
    We’ve been out of town so I just now read your LJ (this post only) and your last email.
    All I can say is UHHHHGGGG!!
    Oh, and that I can’t wait to see you and D. Just let us know where the taxi should take us – and if it’s easier for us to get a hotel room, we can do that too.

    Reply

  19. I think That Woman should have to give us their apartment. I know exactly where I’d put the spiral staircase that would make our apartment two stories. And I’m sure we’d enjoy her newly-renovated bathroom.
    And, yes, hooray for a head-down baby! I appreciate every last thing I can get off the list of things to fret about.

    Reply

  20. Your husband has a flair for sensible solutions. Which, of course, have no place in the worlds of Manhattan or insurance.
    Thank you for the good wishes. I have no clue at all what I can or can’t get out of them for temporary housing. I hope to learn more tomorrow. But maid service would be very high on the list of things that I know we would appreciate.
    I keep reminding myself that my grandpa slept first in a shoe box and then in a dresser drawer. That seemed to work out fine for him. I’m sure having our little guy around will help get our minds of mold. And, now and later, I’m trying hard to make sure the stress doesn’t roll downhill to him.

    Reply

  21. Did you go somewhere fun?
    Yeah, it’s so nasty.
    But we’re dying to see you and greedy for your company, so of course we want you to stay with us. I’ll keep you posted about where that will actually be. The only way I’d let you stay in a hotel is if staying with us was going to be horribly uncomfortable for you.

    Reply

  22. Oooh. Yes. A spiral staircase! And then you’d have a two bathroom, 1600 sq. foot place. Oh yes. Seriously, though, what’s gonna happen to her? For doing what I suspect is thousands upon thousands of dollars of damage?

    Reply

  23. The actual site hosts have plenty o’ space at their place, as I was reminded, as does Jota. My mom/cuzins have a hotel suite. We can *definitely* work out spaces to stay.

    Reply

  24. We went to the beach. It was fun. More stessful than in the past – but I’ll fill you in when I see you.
    Are we going to stay up all night on Friday and paint each other’s toes? Can you still see your toes?
    Just let us know where the cab should drop us off.

    Reply

  25. You all are d’bomb!
    I can’t wait to see everyone!

    Reply

  26. Shoot, we’re tens of thousands in. Just the surrounding costs like the apartment analysis and temporary housing will be thousands of dollars.
    Both my insurance company and the building insurance company will pursue HER insurance company and try to force them to pay, even though they’ve already denied the claim. I think it’s going to be a ridiculous, circular fight.

    Reply

  27. I am all for toe painting! I can still see mine, but definitely can’t reach them. And they’re starting to look pretty puffy.

    Reply

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