Thursday, September 27, 2012

The big move

It is official…we have bought a new house and moved into it.  For a minute I wasn't sure that was possible after putting an offer on a house that ended up being the money pit as mentioned in my previous blogs.  The house we bought is a million times better than the one we walked away from.  I still can’t believe it is all ours because it is way more than ever imagined it could be.  We signed the papers almost two weeks ago.  Since then we have done so much and we are so exhausted.  The first week we painted, painted some more, had some carpet replaced, cleaned, and painted some more.  The second week we hired movers and the majority of our belongings are all under one roof.  We still have a few items at the old house and it needs a good cleaning, but we are officially moved and living in the new house.

The hardest part of this process was finding people to watch over Jackson while we got things done.  We started packing as soon as the inspection went well.  Each of us taking turns in various rooms, while the other attended to Jackson’s needs.  Then we had help from family and friends who would come over and watch him for a few hours here and there.  We are super lucky to have the help we so desperately needed.  I don’t know that we will ever be able to thank those who gave us that time, especially since we are trying new medicine for Jackson that doesn’t appear to be phasing him much when it comes to hyper activity, a calm body, and nice hands.  Jackson started on a Clonidine patch a few weeks ago since the extended release turned him into a zombie and the split pills didn’t seem to be enough.  As with any new medicine, you start off with the lowest dose and work your way up.  We just received the new dosage yesterday, so I hope it will be the perfect fit for Jackson to be able function or exist in the world without so much anxiety and whatever else may cause some of the impulsivity.  

So the rest of this blog I will break down into two parts. Part 1 will be the preparation for the move.  Part 2 will be the move itself.

Part 1: The day before the close we did our final walk though going over all the items the seller had to repair/replace for the occupancy permit.  I gotta say the Ballwin area has some strict guidelines and the seller had to do so many things.  The only area of concern for us about the house was the driveway.  It is concrete sections and some of them had sank lower than other sections, but it was nothing major.  Interestingly enough Ballwin saw that as trip hazards, so the seller had to fix the driveway.  The rest of the stuff was really minor; like a smoke detector didn’t work…it just needed a new battery. 

On closing day we packed up the car with some cleaning supplies and paint.  After signing all the papers we went over and started with painting.  We wanted to paint the living room, dining room, the master bedroom and bath, the hall bath, Jackson’s room, a spare room yet to be determined, and the basement.  The basement was the biggest area and must as it was completed in wood paneling, over 1500 sqft of wood paneling…  After Googling how to paint wood paneling we had a good plan.  So we started down there.  Taping and placing plastic down took over an hour, but we were still very excited to get this done.  Jackson was over at Sara’s mom’s house receiving his in home ABA and Sara was going leave later in the afternoon to pick him up and I was going to stay as long as I could.  We started in one corner with the prime, filing the cracks, and then painting the wall.  Filling the cracks was a very long process, but it needed to be done.  At some point I took a break from painting to pull out the old dishwasher.  Sara had to leave to go get Jackson.   Once I had the dishwasher out I went back down and decided to roll on the primer over the areas we had filled.  I came to a stopping point and headed home. 

The next morning I could barely move.   One of us needed to be at the new house for the appliance delivery, so I headed over before 8:00 AM.  Jackson was scheduled to go over the grandmas again and in the afternoon Sara was going to pick him giving her a few hours in the new house for more painting and cleaning.  We also had my High School 20 year reunion later that night and Jackson was going to go back over to Sara’s mom to stay the night.  Filling in the cracks of wood paneling sucks and I noticed that we were going to have to roll two coats of primer because where we had filled the cracks then painted over you could see the stripes.  I was worried they would show through the paint color we actually wanted.  Sara cleaned, while I painted.  Then Sara’s mom said she would just keep Jackson allowing Sara to stay with me.  Sara came down and started painting with me.  We had set a goal to get all the way around with filling the cracks.   Andie and I had been texting off and on, she was going to be in the neighborhood and stopped by.  We were almost all the way around the entire perimeter of the basement, but had to stop to go get ready for the reunion.   The reunion was awesome, but that story will have to be told another day.

Sunday morning was a rough start mostly because I was completely hung over.  Someone scheduled a showing at our house for the afternoon so we had no time to be lazy and the house was disarray with packed boxes.  We also were getting laminate dropped off at our new house around the same time as the showing and my pops was going to come over and install the new dishwasher.  So I headed back over to the new house.  The dishwasher needed parts so as soon as the flooring was dropped off, we headed to Lowes.  Sara had Jackson and they were killing time for the old house showing.  We all ended up back at the new house.  Jackson was running around crazily at the new house and they left.  After getting the dishwasher connected, we pushed it under the counter, but it was getting stuck on something.  There was a copper pipe that ran behind the dishwasher to the refrigerator, but the pipe was not in the wall.  The back of the new dishwasher was right against it then all the sudden it started leaking where the pipe was fused together.  Luckily the shutoff was under the sink, but then the pipe just fell off.  My dad asked me if I had a torch.  I might be futch (not too fem, not too butch, just somewhere in-between), but I don’t own a lot of tools.  I have just enough to get by for small repairs.  My dad however has two of everything; it is just a matter of him being able to find it.   Since we weren’t washing dishes anytime soon, we stopped and rescheduled so dad could bring over his torch and other plumbing fixers (I have no idea what the actual terms are).  I called Sara with the news and all I could hear was Jackson being crazy in the background.  I could tell Sara needed a Jackson break so headed home grabbing some dinner.  After dinner Sara headed over to the house to finish filling the cracks. 

I had Monday off to get more painting accomplished.  We had so much to do and movers were coming on Saturday.  Sara had bought a really cool gray, so I tested a patch on his room and the bathroom.  Then down to the basement I went.  I was able to roll the rest of the basement before lunch.  Then after lunch I started the second coat.  Sara stopped by after work and I showed her the patch tests in the bathroom and bedroom, we both agreed it was too dark for the bathroom.  Sara couldn’t stay long and left shortly after seeing some of the progress.  Andie was going to call and come over later to help with painting and I had finished the 2nd coat of primer on the basement before she came over.  I was exhausted, but welcomed the help.  We taped off Jackson’s room and painted away.   Jackson’s bedroom is the second largest at 17’ X 12’, so it took a while, but it was awesome because it gave Andie and I some time to chat, something we haven’t been able to do in a long while.  After getting the room finished, we went to grab a bite to eat and the dining room at Lions Choice was closed, it was also down pouring.   It was around that time I realized I had been painting for 12 hours.  I also had Sara’s dad’s truck which I needed to swap back so Sara could drive Jackson to school the next day.  I was early afternoon at work the next day where my body was trying to shut down and I felt awful.   Originally I was going to go to the new house after work to do more painting, but I decided to go home.  Jackson was getting therapy that evening, so Sara worked on packing while I just lay in bed.  

I scheduled Thursday and Friday off because we weren’t sure when the carpet was going to be installed.  I figured if I had to take a day back, I would do that.  Wednesday afternoon I went to Lowes on lunch to get more painting supplies and pick a lighter color gray for the bathroom.  We got a call from the flooring people and they were going to come over Thursday afternoon to tear out the old stuff and do the install on Friday. How perfect is that?!?  After work I headed over the new house, I tested a patch over the dark gray test patch and dark purple in the bathroom, and then went downstairs to start the color.  I decided instead of filling the cracks, I would just roll it.  The roller was getting in the cracks fairly well, but the color was not coming out very well.  I painted to a spot, stopped, and headed to the old home.   I packed the car up with some stuff we didn’t want the movers to take (breakables).  

The next morning back over to paint.  I was worried that Sara wasn’t going to like the color and I was tired of being in basement.  When checking the tested patch in the bathroom I realized it was going to need to be primed.  Taping a bathroom is not an easy job I found, but I was able to get the bathroom primed.  The bathroom was a tighter space and I got a nice little buzz.  Ran out and grabbed lunch and shortly after finishing it the flooring guys showed up and got started.  I went downstairs and started painting again.  Sara had a FX mouse races meeting, so I couldn’t stay too late, when the flooring guys finished, I headed home.  I had a huge headache from the Killz and the paint.  Sara decided after the meeting she would go over and start where I left off.  Just as I thought….she hated the color. So much that she was ready to do something else.  I was so tired and exhausted I was like, too bad we are going with it.  Oh…and it will also need a 2nd coat anyway.  Friday morning I headed over early, the flooring guys came, and I continued on with the basement color.  The flooring guys got done before I did, but I was able to get all away around the basement.  I also painted a section with a second coat so we could see the outcome.  I then painted Jackson's bathroom. 

We did all we could before the movers showed up on Saturday.  I left early to meet the Charter guy in the morning while Sara took care of guiding the movers. I mean we can't move if we don't have Wi-Fi, Jackson won't be able to watch his YouTube and Sara wouldn't be able Pin things and FaceBook.  LOL!

Part 2 to be continued….

In the meantime enjoy some before and after pictures...  

Our New Home, a set on Flickr.
Some before and after pictures of our progress.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A few days away

(Note: I typed this up two weeks ago, so I am late in getting it posted.  My next blog post you will understand why.)

So when I last wrote I was mad at myself for not taking time to write and give myself the relief I need.  My blog is not only funny stories of my families’ day-to-day life, or informational for those who want to learn about Fragile X syndrome, but it is a huge stress release for me.  It is a lot like a journal where I can be myself and not care if anyone is judging me.  Hell…does anyone even read this?   LOL!

Any hew… when I last wrote I mentioned we were back on the path of finding a new house to call home.  I am so glad we walked away from the money pit house because not only did we save ourselves from falling into major debt perhaps keeping the money pit from sinking, but it gave us the opportunity to find something even better.   You know…a house that didn’t need major updates in every room, a house that has hardwood floors, a house with a yard that doesn’t slope, a house that doesn’t have rodents living in the attic, a house that really doesn’t need much done but maybe a few coats of paint.   We could see it in our minds…even amidst thinking we had already stumbled across it and finding so many disappointing problems. And then there she was...a bigger, gorgeous, two story home.  Not only did we fall in love with it, but we put an offer on it, got a contract, and close on it at the end of the week.  There are some rooms that need to be painted, we needed a few appliances, some carpet needs to be replaced, oh…and it needs a fence, but it is our dream house.  It has everything we wanted and more.  Sara gets her main floor laundry and walk in closet (which is almost as big as current bedroom).  Jackson gets a new bedroom and even his own therapy/play area.  I get a huge deck and a man cave.  It is perfect and I can hardly wait for Friday to get here.  The last few weeks have been busy with packing, selecting paint colors, and flooring.  The next few weeks will be more packing, cleaning the new house, and painting walls.  The basement is finished in wall to wall 1975 grayish wood paneling.  I promise to post before and after pictures of it all.

New house aside… Jackson has been on two different medicines since the conference.  The divided dose of Clonidine didn’t seem to be working well, when it wore off Jackson was bouncing off the walls.  EBK suggested trying Tenex again, which I was really leery because the last time it did not go too well.  Similar result on take 2, Jackson was not himself at all and the head banging got really bad.  School was seeing an increase in hair pulling and we were seeing that at home too.  Jackson also smashed one of those long dorm wall mirrors with his head at school.  Luckily it did not cut him or hurt any of the other kids; none of the pieces of mirror fell to the ground they stayed attached to the cardboard backing.  So for the last two weeks he has been on a Clonidine patch.  I don’t know if it is too early to tell, but Jackson is definitely himself.  Laughing at farts and wanting to eat all the time.  The head banging isn’t completely gone, but not a frequent problem and is used in an “I am not getting my way” function.  The hair pulling… again something that Is not completely gone, but is being used when trying to get out of something.  

Medicine aside, Jackson is doing really well in speech.  Every day he is making more sounds.  Like most typical 1 and half year olds he reverts to pointing and grunting, when in doubt reverts to finger gagging, but he is working really hard with using his words.  Jackson’s speech therapist is trying hard to help us get a grant proloqo2go for our iPad.  We are hoping to get a grant for it because it is really expensive.  If Jackson points and grunts, you can ask him to use his words and he tries really hard to say it and sign at the same time.  I call that major progress.

Since I brought up the iPad…Jackson’s favorite thing to do on the iPad is watching YouTube videos of people mowing their yards or vacuuming their houses.  I have actually learned a lot about cutting the grass and what our next vacuum purchase should be.   It is also very scary that people let their 2 and 3 years olds cut grass with a lawn mower.  WTF people?  Then there are the three videos of songs Sara and I are getting to know by heart which are “We are young” by fun. (the actual video by the group), “Big Green Tractor” by Jason Aldean (a video of a little boy driving around a JohnDeer), and my personal favorite “Call me maybe” by Carly Rae Jespen (a video dubbed by Missy Franklin and the USA Olympic swim team).  I always had said if my kid loves the big purple dinosaur I will shoot myself, so I will settle for these pop songs for now.  LOL!