I'm not dead yet!

Except it's not for my chain-smoking new neighbors' lack of trying.

When I realized I was making people wonder about my safety and or life-status I figured I'd better post a quick update. I am alive, yay!

But I am also living through the reeking cigarette fog that is poisoning our apartment and our very lives. We wake up every morning (this time it was at 1:00am, yesterday it was at 4:45am, etc.) to the overwhelming stench of smoke. Aaaand then we keep smelling it. All day, every day, inside and out, everywhere, and it's getting stronger. It has been very discouraging to learn that neither the management nor the law is on our side in this matter.

Wanna know what makes this whole thing extra fun? I'm twelve weeks pregnant. Which, yes, is very exciting, but it makes this particular situation . . . well . . . also exciting. Like the time yesterday morning when I got the management on the phone and screamed with my hoarse second-hand smoker voice the words of, "I AM PREGNANT AND SO HELP ME I AM NOT GOING TO GIVE BIRTH TO A STUNTED STUBBY-ARMED BABY!!!!" at her.

(I mean, unless I am, of course. But it had better not be because of this. That's all I'm saying.)

I even went downstairs this morning and tried politely to explain my predicament to the new neighbor. ("Hi, welcome to the complex, please feel free to come on up and borrow eggs any time and oh speaking of eggs YOU ARE KILLING ME AND MY PRECIOUS TINY BABY.") She didn't really seem moved by my request that she maybe try to do the majority of her smoking on her balcony for the next couple of months (until our lease ends). Or possibly the blank stare was because there just aren't that many cells left, you know, up there.

The complex is giving me a list of available units that we can transfer into. You know, since WE'RE the one causing this situation, it's totally fitting that WE should be the ones to suddenly have to pack up all of our stuff and haul it into a different apartment this weekend, what with GH's (still) bad back and my (now-flippered) fetus. But not being able to sleep has sort of knocked a lot of the fight out of me. As have the perpetual headaches we get every time we walk into our home.

On the positive side, the baby seems to be doing well, we got to hear the heartbeat last week, and I'm feeling good (or, you know, was). I'll try to post another update soon, now that I can actually tell some of the stories I've been sitting on for the last little while.


Jonathon said... [reply]

Congratulations and condolences! (On the baby and the smoking neighbors, respectively.)

I'm just surprised that the apartment management can't do anything about it. I think every lease I've ever signed has said that there's non smoking allowed in the unit.

Kip said... [reply]

Yay, Steph! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. (I do not in this case find the use of two exclamation marks to be excessive. :))

Nemesis said... [reply]

Jonathon, it turns out that it hasn't said no smoking in every lease I've signed. Sigh . . . will never be making THAT mistake again, I can tell you. And thanks! :-)

Thanks, Kip! When do I get to see pics of your baby, huh?

Donna said... [reply]

Hi! I had to come out of lurkdom because I've been in the exact same situation. We lived above smokers and I was also pregnant at the time. It's horrible because by the time you smell it it's too late-- you're stuck in a vortex of second hand smoke in your own home. Luckily we live in a very liberal state where smokers are almost as evil as Rebublicans, and our apartment managers forced the guy to smoke at least 50 feet away from the building. So sorry you have to deal with this.

BTW, congratulations on your pregnancy! I'm also LDS, have a snarky blog, and my husband has a degree in library science. Hope that doesn't sound too stalkerish. I just enjoy reading your blog. :)

Bridget said... [reply]

Wow, congratulations! Good luck with moving.

Anne said... [reply]

So if it wasn't (probably) illegal and I had the resources, I would get a super-soaker filled with methyl-mercury and use it to spray down smokers while shouting "How does it feel to be exposed to a known carcinogen by a complete stranger!?!" It is a good thing that I a much more passive than I am aggressive. Doug brought it up at the HOA meeting that we need a new smoking policy. He always does the more responsible thing. (I figure the HOA will actually do something about 6 months after we move.)

Ana said... [reply]

Congrats on your expectant bundle of joy! :D
I must say that I do feel some sort of kinship between the two of us and our shared neighbourly woes. When I was pregnant I would get horribly ill - if it had been me in a secondhand smoke filled apartment I probably would have crawled down stairs and spewed (rather loudly - which is the only way I can...) on the offending neighbour's doormat/step. For as long as it took :P

Getting back to the neighbour woes however - my friend came to visit me the other day and said she REALLY knew she had the right house when she saw the padlock on our letterbox - now that's sayin' something innit?

Donna - I think I'm gonna have to check your blog out for sure!

Anne - your comment cracked me up! I laughed out loud and shook with laughter. And not one of those pathetic 'lol' things - REAL laughter, out loud, in REAL life :P

Azúcar said... [reply]

Can you vomit in her doorstep?

On "accident"?

Also, YAY! A tiny voice of reason inside the voice of reason!

Ana said... [reply]

I was thinking it would be more of a "your smoking is making me PUKE" sort of thing

Sarah said... [reply]

Congrats on the growing baby!

Bean said... [reply]

Go kick some smoker bum!!

Also, congratulations!! :) And you're 4 weeks ahead of me...

goddessdivine said... [reply]

I had a feeling this would be a "I'm pregnant!" post. Congrats!! Nem's going to be a mommy. Yay. ;-)

That smoker sounds like a real sweatheart. You should set a stereo right next to the wall (speakers facing wall) and pipe music really loud. And when she complains, you could strike her a deal.

Donna--seriously? I think I'll just keep my opinions to myself on that one.....

Giggles said... [reply]

I was just wondering today how long it had been since we've heard from you.

I really like Anne's idea. Can we try that one?

Smoking makes no sense. It kills you. Costs a lot of money. Makes you wrinkly with yellow teeth. It stinks to high heaven. And it kills you. Really, why would someone do that?

My first apartment only allowed smoking on the street around the complex. I liked that. My last apartment must have said no smoking inside but go ahead and stand on your balcony where the wind will sweep through and blow it all in my apartment. Now in our house the wind likes to blow garbage around and I find several butts in our yard a week. I hate the filthy things.

But congratulations on the rest of it.

And a fist shake at your management for not being more forward thinking and banning smoking.

Mart -n- Marci said... [reply]

Hooray - she's back!!

And with yet another snarky story.

Yay for baby snarky....I'm so thrilled.

Señora H-B said... [reply]

Hooray! Congratulations!!

Sorry about the smokers. Blech.

emandtrev said... [reply]

Lady! I have so been missing your posts (and I am sure the rest of the Internet world has been too), but YAY!! Congratulations!! Can we now have permission to have a book clubbers shower?

I'd really like to kickbox both your neighbor and the management there. What treasures. I hope it is much better from here on out. Let me know if you need help with the moving. Please!

Janssen said... [reply]

We have had smoking troubles too and UGH, there is nothing worse. Hate. Congrats on the baby!

mj said... [reply]

Ugh. I never really liked that whole super-powered sense of smell while pregnant thing. I could smell people smoking blocks away. To smell it in one's own apartment would be the pits. At least there's no smoking in the library so your baby can get some smoke-free air every day. Congrats and good luck escaping this particular torment.

Debbie Barr said... [reply]

Yay for babies! Sorry about the smokers. Moving even short distances is no fun, but I will send good vibes your way.

Sherry said... [reply]

Congrats on the baby! And double congrats on having a reader as funny as Anne. Holy cow, that made me laugh a lot.

Kristeee said... [reply]


There's nothing worse than being forced to second-hand smoke and living like that. Oh wait, yes there is - it's being pregnant and feeling crappy and having super smelling powers that make you want to puke every time you smell it. As if pregnancy headaches weren't bad enough all on their own...

Good luck getting the situation sorted out.

MBC said... [reply]

Yay! Congratulations on the baby!

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Not surprised. Your blogging hasn't been all that regular--it is usually a sign.

Hope you aren't feeling too pukey.

I thought of you this morning. "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" ran a bit about things libraries are doing to become more modern. The three stories (two sham and one real):

A) Bouncers in the children's section
B) Classic-themed cocktail parties
C) Save a librarian by having one board at your house

The truth? A. Some library in England is starting this. LOVED IT.

When I was about 12 weeks pregnant with my oldest we saw U2 perform in Houston. Somebody about three rows up from us kept lighting up the sweet ganga. Now, whenever my oldest does something bizarre I think, "It's the pot."

Spitfire said... [reply]

Let me know when you do switch to another apartment, I may be able to come and help. Thanks for writing!

Lady Susan said... [reply]

Congratulations! Babies are wonderful!

@Anne: Brilliant!

AmandaStretch said... [reply]

Congratulations! Yay babies! Boo smokers!

Kelly said... [reply]

Congratulations!!! That's wonderful news!

And I know from bad neighbors. No fun.

abby said... [reply]

Congratulations! I thought you must be pregnant since you weren't posting. Don't let this blog die a mommy blog death. Keep staying snarky.

Jenny said... [reply]

Yay for being pregnant. I am so glad I don't have to keep that secret any longer.

beckyww said... [reply]

Congrats! Try throwing up on your neighbor's door mat.

Elsha said... [reply]

Congratulations!! I hope more snarky pregnancy stories are on the way:)

Kristy said... [reply]

Congratulations! I absolutely loved my experience with a midwife, hope you do too. Hopefully, the smoke situation will improve and you'll feel better. Maybe karma will dictate that some day your child will pick all the smoker lady's flowers, and then you can give her the blank stare back. Because, you know, we all love it when we get The Blank Stare, don't we?

Of course. We all know you would never GIVE the blank stare, and your darling fetus would never pick anyone's flowers without permission, because you were raised right. We're just dreaming about getting even on your behalf.

Hornbill said... [reply]

Congrats !

Science is on your side to fight the smoke

Get an ionizer and place it where the smoke is coming from

The device would generate ions into the air and neutralize the smoke

Get a good one and see the wonders

best of luck !

Banana said... [reply]

Congratulations on the baby! That's such wonderful news :-)

Audrey said... [reply]

Smokers suck, but BABIES?!? Now that's wonderful news!!!

(PS - My word verification is "jugghies." Appropriate for a pregnancy post!)

Nells-Bells said... [reply]

so i don't get how restaurants and public places, parks, etc can put a "no smoking" ban but apartments still allow it. really?!!?? really. super crazy and ultra lame. i HATE the smell of cig smoke and can totally feel your pain. i'm glad you were able to move and hopefully find a better place once your lease is up.

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