Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Which We Do More House-Type Things

Today we took Connor to see Laura, his physical therapist outside of school. Laura is currently focusing on exercises to strengthen Connor's core muscles and improve his balance so that he'll be able to sit completely on his own. She also took measurements to get him some new foot and ankle orthotics, as he has pretty much outgrown the ones he's in now. The new ones will be 3/4in longer-- that's quite the difference! Laura and Julie (Connor's feeding therapist) took a look at Connor's hives and pointed out that they are really clustered on his face, hands and around his g-tube: all places that Connor's saliva or stomach acid touch. Connor's toothpaste, which I'm more and more suspicious is the culprit, has natural strawberry flavoring in it and this could potentially be working as a skin irritant. We've stopped using that toothpaste and are switching back to one with artificial flavoring-- no new hives so far.

We also had the inspection of the house today. For the most part the issues the inspector found are relatively minor and mostly involve maintenance (cleaning the chimney and the roof, cleaning the electric furnace, etc). There were a few slightly more serious plumbing issues: the wax sealing ring on one toilet has deteriorated, there's no pan under the hot water heater, one of the faucets and a spigot outside leak (the spigot quite a bit-- it would need to be replaced before the water is turned back on) and someone broke off a few of the sprinkler heads in the front yard along the sidewalk. Since the house is being sold "as is" we want to make sure we'd be able to make the necessary repairs on our budget, so we'll be getting a quote from a plumber and a roofer. However, we're pretty sure that we're going to okay things to move forward; for a house that's almost twenty-five years old it's looking pretty good. I was a little worried we were going to get some sort of report that said things like "Roof Falling Off" or "Run, Run Far Away." So far so good.

We managed to get Jer up the two stairs into the house (it involved me pulling from the back, Jer's mom lifting from the front, Jer balancing precariously on two wheels, and a lot of muttered-under-the-breath sort of language) and so he got a chance to take a look around. He really likes the freestanding wood burning stove in the family room; I think he's already making plans to have that room be his main station in the house over the winter. We've also started talking about our timeline for renovations and moving in, and a little about what we would want to do with the house.

We're leaning towards the possibility of putting strand woven bamboo flooring down in the house. It is extremely hard and durable (much harder than regular bamboo), eco friendly, cheaper than most hardwood, easy to install, can be refinished multiple times, and it looks much more like hardwood than it does regular bamboo flooring. Some of the colors, especially the carbonized ones, are quite lovely. We wouldn't use it in the bathrooms, the mudroom, and potentially the working area of the kitchen because it doesn't care for standing water, but in the rest of the house we think it would work pretty well. We've also started talking a little about what we would use for the kitchen counters, how we would modify the landscaping, and what exactly we'll want done in the bathroom.

Speaking of landscaping, can you guess what we discovered in the front yard today?

Cherry trees. Two of them.



MFA Mama said...

Ooo...I'd never heard of that type of bamboo flooring. It's pretty! Very cool about the cherry trees--do we all get a pie?

Re: the hives...I wouldn't think Connor could be allergic to his own saliva, but stranger things have happened. I once knew someone whose skin reacted to her own breastmilk; she had to be mindful of that in nursing and pumping because she'd get an itchy rash anywhere it touched outside of her body. Weird, huh? You might ask about giving him regular doses of Zantac until his hives abate; ask Dr. Google for an explanation because I always get confused but there are H-1 and H-2 histamines involved in allergic reactions, and Benadryl only addresses one of them. Zantac addresses the OTHER one, and is used in conjunction with Benadryl by most allergists to treat severe allergic reactions. My little guy with the protein allergies and the g-tube gets Zantac and Benadryl q6 around the clock when he's hivey and it really does seem to help. If nothing else it also seems to help his reflux (yes, he's on Prevacid too, but still...). Sending you good house vibes :)

Julia said...

Good news overall about the house! Amidst all of this, I hope you're finding a little bit of me-time here and there just to relax, reflect, and get your bearings. Cuppa tea and a book sounds nice.

J. said...

oh that's exciting, lots of cherries are one of the things that I miss most about living on the westcoast - yeah for houses.

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