Tiny Salutations

Tiny Salutations

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

House progress and life changes!

It has been a long time since my last post.  That is because so much has happened!  I kept feeling like I was too "in the middle of things" to write about it, but here is an update of what is going on in our micro world.
My husband was laid off from his job this week.  Normally this would send me into panic, because it reminds me I don't have as much control over the future as I think.  Strangely, it made me super excited.  I feel like we are opening a new chapter of our lives, and we have endless opportunities to build something extraordinary for ourselves.  I guess the optimism has returned!  Odd that it would be what is generally a family crisis- having no income- that resurrected my optimism.  Wonderful things can be found in the strangest of places. 
This bit of news also brought about something else.  We have time and strong motivation to get the tiny house done.  We have been doing demolition to the interior of the trailer.  It is tough working on the house with the two of us and a toddler, but we have been trading off on construction and parenting between the two of us.  We are basically gutting the trailer and rebuilding it.  There is water damage inside, and it is old, very dirty, and not a good layout for full time living.  We have done about half of the demolition. 
Our plan has been evolving as we have thought more about what we really need in a house.  Alternative lifestyles and actual versus perceived necessities have been dominating my thoughts lately.  Once I can sort out my thoughts into something cohesive, I will make a post about this idea.  Our house will be totally off the grid.  We will have propane for the necessities- cook top stove, convection oven, and heater- and solar for the luxuries- basically our computers and lights.  We will also have manually operated items, like a laundry machine, water pump, and food processor.  We will have a composting toilet too.  So all of the trailer's current systems are coming out too- plumbing, electricity, and propane systems.  Our next steps are to finish the demolition and reseal the exterior.  Then we can start strengthening and replacing rotten parts of the frame. 
As usual, we have some health updates.  L had his ear tube surgery.  It went so well.  He went to sleep easily and woke up easily.  He woke up quickly and happily.  He immediately wanted a drink and snack and never really got cranky.  He did complain of pain the next day, but was still in a good mood.  We also removed him from speech therapy.  I won't go into detail, but there were some very inappropriate behaviors from the speech therapist occurring in the last few weeks.  L was scared to go there, so we thought it was best to discontinue.  It's a pity since previously that speech therapist had worked out very well.  Plus, his language has improved so much that I'm not sure how necessary it even is to continue speech therapy.  He will be reevaluated though. 
I have gotten my pain better under control.  Thank goodness!  The doctors are a little perplexed though.  My kidneys are not in the best condition, but they are not in a serious state yet and regardless that type of kidney disease shouldn't hurt.  So my PCP suspects it may be my liver that hurts.  Lupus may be attacking my kidneys AND my liver.  It still hurts sometimes, but not like it was, now that I have adjusted my medications.  We haven't been hiking though.  Fall is my absolute favorite time of year.  I wish it could be fall all year round.  So I am hoping to get back out there and enjoy the wonderful wide autumn world. 

Snuggles with great grandma
The cooling weather means this little man needs to bundle up!  Notice the blue lips just from being a little chilly that morning.
Ah the pumpkin hat
A visit from my best friend!  She is caught mid sentence here, but L was so happy to hang out with her.  He kept trying to imitate her laugh which was adorable.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

House and Health

House update
I had said I would make a post about the house days ago, but I was in very poor condition.  I finally made it out to the backyard to get pictures for an update. 
Plans have changed a little.  We are not going to take it all the way down to the trailer and build a typical tiny house on that.  We are going top leave the structure of the trailer as is and improve it- a lot.  We will replace the insulation, wall paneling inside, and flooring.  We will strengthen the framing.  We will be making changes to the furniture and increasing privacy by adding some type of removable walls to create bedroom space.  By keeping the structure, we will already have the plumbing, electrical, frame (sort of), some appliances, etc.  It will simplify building and decrease expenses.
So here are our "before" pictures of what we are starting with.  We have done nothing with it yet in these photos.  Demolition begins this week!!
Looking down toward back of trailer

Kitchen
Living room
Kid's room
Bathroom- this is scary right now, yuck!
Looking down trailer toward the front

Outside

Health

Good and bad news on the health front. 

Good news first.  Our son does not need heart surgery.  He has a PFO, which is no big deal at all and doesn't require treatment.  His PDA, which is dangerous, has closed!  Yay!  So he is cleared for anesthesia for his ear surgery.  Now we wait for that surgery, which will be in a little over a week.  He does have a murmur, but the cardiologist said it was okay for his age to have this one.  He has been doing pretty well.  He had the flu, but he actually just got sick like a normal person and didn't require any emergency treatments.  Thank goodness!

Now the bad news.  I have gotten much worse.  I have been in very severe pain, particularly in my kidneys.  Two days ago, I went into the grocery store to pick up some medications.  I just went to the pharmacy counter and then stopped by on the way back toward the front for a snack, and my husband was waiting in the car right by the front door.  I could not hold back the full on sobbing before I got to the car from the immense pain.  I have gone from being able to hike well over 20 miles a week to crying hysterically about walking into the store.  This is why getting to the trailer in the backyard is actually a big deal.  A few days before that, I wanted to see the new historical line release for American Girl at their Alderwood store and had to use a wheelchair.  I have been trying to get a wheelchair to use when we go out, but they are hard to come by at a good price.  We have been trying to make a bucket list.  So many of the things I thought would be in my future I already cannot do.  I want to try and do some of my dreams before I can't.  Along with the intense pain, I get weak and tired quickly and it is difficult to breathe.  When I took L to the cardiologist at Children's I thought I might never make it out of the bathroom, because it was so hard to help him onto the potty and I was breathing like I was climbing a mountain.  Also, I am losing my hair much more quickly, and it is so itchy!  The optimism is feeling more difficult to find.  The relentlessness of the pain is difficult to bear. 

What helps?  It is just good to know that people are there and we are not alone.  Occasional notes just to say hi go a long way to lift my spirits.  Also, chemotherapy makes me crave sugar like crazy, so any dairy-free sugary treats are welcomed.  This week we are going to *hopefully* camp on the beach, not far from here, but still just somewhere pretty to cheer me up.  We have only stayed the night away from home once with L and he couldn't sleep without his own bed, so we will see how this goes.  One good thing about this lately?  I have been reading like crazy!  I am usually reading several books at once, for different circumstances, and I have finished many lately.  It has been a long time since I was unable to put a book down, but I have been like that with The Fault in Our Stars.  It's a goodun.  It has been with me 24/7, and I have almost read the whole thing in just 2 days.

Here are some beautiful/neat things so as not to leave you with that depressing thought.
Is this spider web not one of the most amazing things you have ever seen?  I was thoroughly impressed.
L is in love with Charlotte's Web so I found him this pig at the bookstore.  So cute!