Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What else could go wrong?

That's how I was feeling on Sunday night. It seemed like everything that could go wrong was going wrong! All non-pregnancy related though, thankfully...

To start with, late last week we discovered that the unusual aroma coming from our wardrobe was mold. We didn't notice it earlier, before we put in all our clothes. We only noticed it after 90% of our clothes were in the wardrobe and I'd asked Bernard to take out a couple of shelves for me so I could have some long hanging space (the angle he was looking at, as well as the torch he was using to be able to see under the shelf made it very obvious!). Further inspection showed that our entire wardrobe in the master bedroom as well as two sets of drawers in our spare room were both completely infested with the disgusting green growth. And mold is no good for children (like Lana), or pregnant ladies (like myself), or asthmatics (like Bernard) so we need to get it dealt with as soon as possible!!

In order to completely deal with the problem, we need to do a few things. First, remove EVERYTHING from the wardrobe/drawers and rewash it (great, that also means re-ironing it as well!!). Second, completely wash down the inside of the wardrobe/drawers to remove all the mold, and third wash the entire thing down again with bleach or alcohol to kill any remaining mold and prevent it from re-growing. 

The bright side to this situation was that on Thursday I found out that all the paperwork for our helper would be complete by today actually, and so I was thinking we may be able to have her come as early as the 13th (tomorrow) and that way she'd be able to help me to deal with the problem. 

However, when we contacted her to set a date, we found out that she is busy until the 23rd preparing to leave - so now she won't be arriving until the 26th, two more weeks away!! Some other employers probably would push for their helpers to fit into their schedule rather than working around the helpers' requests but I figure that she's the one making the move overseas to help our family, the least I can do is be understanding of her needs and ultimately, it's only 2 weeks (it's 2 weeks less pay that we need to give her as well, along with one less public holiday!) Unfortunately though, that leaves us to deal with the bulk of the mold problem!

In addition to this, Lana's new single bed mattress arrived last Tuesday so we decided to set it up on the floor and start getting her used to sleeping in a "big girl bed". We wanted to teach her this before the baby arrived and took over her cot. The first night (last Wednesday) went like a dream. We laid her down, she closed her eyes and didn't get up until morning - when she yelled out for us to come and get her. Her first nap in it went just as smooth - although when she woke up, she figured out that she could get herself out of bed and come and say hi.

It was all downhill from there. The 2nd night in her big girl bed, we had to sit with her and keep putting her back in bed because she would NOT stay there. She finally ended up falling asleep 2 1/2 hours after her regular bed time. The 3rd night was slightly better - she fell asleep after 1 1/2 hours, and the 4th only took 45 minutes. Last night was particularly good - it was really only about 15-20 min and she didn't make too much of an effort to get out of bed.

Nap times have been a little more difficult - the first day, she was a dream - but the second day we ended up putting her back in her cot because it was not working and we had a birthday party that afternoon so we couldn't afford to spend 2 hours fighting with her to stay in her bed. A couple of days we've been out and so she napped in her stroller, and today it was 1 1/2 hours of testing each other's will power again. (Mummy won in the end!!)

I know that ultimately she needs sleep and she WILL learn to sleep in her big girl bed. I can see improvement already - although sometimes I think it's a step forward and then two steps back again - but we'll get there. In the meaning though it's so draining and tiring for us!! (hence I'm using her nap time now to blog rather than cleaning more of the mold away! Our wardrobe is nearly all done now, need to finish that and start on the drawers...)

So just when we felt like we were dealing with enough issues, on Sunday afternoon, our furniture was delivered. We had a wardrobe made for Lana and the baby's room, two wooden toy boxes to replace the cardboard/fabric kind that we had been using, the single bed for Lana, and a bunk bed with wardrobe/storage/desk underneath for our helper. They set it all up, it all looked great, then we went to put the mattresses down - and they didn't fit!!! All the furniture was custom made and we were sure that we had requested a particular size, however when we looked at the plans (which we had signed), the guy had written a different length for the beds! So the beds are 3 inches shorter than the mattresses. 

Fortunately Lana's bed has no foot board so the mattress can still fit on the bed, even if the end doesn't fit properly. But our helper's bed has a rail around all 4 sides so the mattress can't even go on the bed!! 

Thankfully, when we called the guy who did the plans, he admitted his mistake so they are fixing the furniture at no extra cost to us. They theoretically could have refused to do so since the measurements were clearly written on the plans that we signed - even though we had verbally expressed that we wanted the longer size. So I am very grateful that they are doing the honest thing and fixing the situation for us though.

In the mean time though, we have our helper's mattress propped up against a wall in our dining room since it has no where else to go - and we have all the storage underneath Lana's bed which we can't really start to use since they are going to come and replace the bed for us. 

Maybe it's a good thing that our helper won't get here until the 26th because her bed should be ready by then - and also we should have dealt with the mold situation by then as well and we'll have our stuff put back in the wardrobes rather than thrown all over the house. I can assure you that she's going to have the biggest ironing pile she's ever seen in her life though!!

After hearing a good report at our ultrasound on Monday though, things started looking up. The wardrobe is slowly getting back to a state where we feel comfortable putting our clothes back in it (maybe once or twice over with bleach or alcohol just to get rid of the few remaining spots).  All the clothes have been washed, even if they have not been ironed. The beds will be replaced within about a week or so. Lana's learning to sleep in her big girl bed, slowly but surely... our helper should be here in 2 weeks time. Surely we can get back into "normal life" sometime soon and leave this chaos behind :)


  1. Where does your helper come from? I know you said she was coming from overseas...did you request certain requirements, like speak english and willing to work with a child with extra needs? Just curious/nosy :-)

  2. She's from the Philippines - and we went over the job requirements and everything - I want her mainly for the house work so I can focus on the kids. There is a bit of childcare involved - and she has experience with kids as well. I did let her know though that our current pregnancy may result in a child with special needs - but none of us really know yet exactly all that will entail... I got her reference from a missionary family over here and she's a devoted Christian (which was something I had hoped for) - so she'll fit in with our family's beliefs as well (also a lot of people worry about their helpers doing all kinds of immoral things to get more money and with a devoted Christian, there's less worry of that ;) )

  3. which furniture shop was that? i think that's quite good.

  4. It was "Jade@Home" - they have a few stores over the place - we went to the North Point store on Java Rd, I think their biggest store is in Wan Chai. Even though they made a mistake with the order, I was pretty impressed with their service and the quality of their work and price is pretty good too. I would definitely recommend them. Mistakes can happen with any store, but it's not always that you find a place that is willing to take responsibility for it.

  5. I hope she fits right in with your family! Both for her sake and yours lol I can't imagine moving to another country to live with a family I had never met. What a relief for her to arrive and find out how nice you are!!