Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Hoarder and an Air Mattress

Well, we made it through week one since our discovery of the house fire.  You never realize how much stuff you have till you see it all hauled away.

Throughout this week, we have just had those moments...moments when you realize just how utterly ridiculous all of this feels to us.

The basement was being emptied.  I was asked what we wanted to try to save.  At first, I felt like, "Take it all, I just don't even want to look at it."  We did find and pull out the boxes of photos and baby books, that were amazingly untouched in plastic tubs (although the plastic tubs that stored them were damaged).  I saw a pile of burnt items that had been tossed outside and I could not help myself, I wanted to look through them.  Only a few keepsake items that I wanted to find.  I was moving burnt and wet items, gloves on my hands and soot covered my feet since I only have sandals from our vacation bags.  This is the point when I must confess how much I enjoy the show Hoarders, probably enjoy it a little too much.  So, here I am sorting through my burnt and wet items while all kinds of chaos and more important things are going on around felt like my hoarder moment and some one was going to come around the corner for an intervention.

Caring for Brayden has been a huge challenge.  Jeremy and I didn't quite realize how accustomed we have become to our house being accessible for him.  All of the things we have done over time to make his life, and our life, easier.  Brayden is currently on an air mattress in the middle of my in-laws family room (they are out of town so we are crashing there till they get back).  Oh how much I already miss his bed.  Caring for him and lifting him from the air mattress is a challenge like no other.  Brayden on the other hand does not seem to mind much, right in the middle of all the action.  Case in point, I am trying to get everyone out the door by 8:00 a.m. for basketball camp.  Carter and Luke shout for me to come to the family room, they have to show me something.  Brayden and Luke laying on the air mattress and then Carter starts jumping on the air mattress, launching Brayden and Luke in to the air.  More bouncing and more launching, at least they are having fun.

Brayden is all for fun during the day but during the night, do not bother him.  I have been sleeping on the couch nearby.  Jeremy took the couch shift for a couple of nights, although he was determined to try and sleep with Brayden on the air mattress.  Many people often ask us if Brayden can communicate...well let me tell you how he gets his point across.  Jeremy sleeping (or attempting to sleep) on the air mattress with Brayden.  At some point in the middle of the night, Brayden decided Jeremy was no longer welcome in his bed.  Brayden started swatting Jeremy with his arm, kind of a tomahawk action, with every swing hitting Jeremy and shouting at him.  Jeremy turned his back to Brayden but Brayden was not giving up.  He started kicking Jeremy, swift hard kicks to Jeremy's back.  He wanted to him to get out of the bed.  I hear, from upstairs, Jeremy say, "Brayden, you have got to settled down."  Needless to say, no one will be trying to sleep on the air mattress with him anytime soon.

Then, you cannot come to this blog without knowing we must talk about going to the bathroom at some point.  One morning Brayden and I were at the house, waiting for everyone to arrive, the insurance people, Jenkins Restorations guys, packing people, etc.  And I realized I had to go to the bathroom, cause I drank a cup of coffee on the way there.  Problem was, the water was off in the house and neighbors were not home.  What does one do?  Well, I did not go and I vowed to drink nothing else all morning.  I was not up for going in the woods.

Last bathroom item:  Brayden, enemas, on an air mattress...a challenge and lots of chux.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

We had a House Fire

Where to even start…

I thought the biggest stressor this summer would be finding a full time nurse for Brayden.

I thought I would be coming home from our Hilton Head vacation to post pictures of all of our fun (incredibly hot/sweaty fun at the beach).  Instead we came home to find a house fire.

We had a house fire.
Saturday evening, we pulled into our driveway.  Car full of tired people.  We hopped out of car and tried to open the garage doors, nothing would open but we could see power was still on in part of the house.  Jeremy and I went in through the front door.  We walked in and knew something was terribly wrong.  But it didn’t register at first.  The house was covered in a gray haze.  Jeremy wandered one direction and I in another.  We wandered back to each other and Jeremy said, “We have a fire.”  We just couldn’t process what was happening.

The fire department was called.

There was a fire in the basement.  The fire seemed to be caused by the massive storms and lightening that rolled through our area last Tuesday night.  The fire burned in the basement.  That eventually fried lots of electrical wires and water pipes.  The busted water pipes may have helped put of the fire.  It turned in to a low smoldering fire that filled the house with smoke and soot.  We found the house fire on Saturday, we do not know how longed it actually burned.  We are not even sure the smoke detectors went off.  The inside of the house is absolutely covered in soot and reeks of smoke. 

Our house is not livable.  We do not have our house for a while.

The entire finished basement is lost due to the fire, smoke and soot damage.  The main floor is damaged a little less, some stuff will be lost.  And the top floor is damaged by the smoke and soot, but most of the stuff should be fine.  Contents on the main and top floor have all been hauled away for special fire/smoke cleaning, seeing what can be done with it all.  A lot of the items will still have to be replaced.

That is just stuff.  Things can be replaced. The house is still standing.  All of our things have been removed.  Walls, ceilings, etc. will be torn down.

We are looking for a place to stay while the house is being repaired.  Finding housing is proving quite difficult to accommodate a space for Brayden, a full bathroom on the main floor that we could use for 3 months then on a month to month basis.

The good things:
  • We were not home.  Especially since it seems the smoke detectors did not go off.  Brayden’s room is on the main floor and the smoke would have hit him first, while the rest of us are upstairs.
  • We have suitcases of clothes and the basics from our vacation.
  • We have Brayden’s primary medical equipment with us from vacation.

This will be a summer we will never forget.  More details to come later.  For now just pray that we can handle this stress on top of our already stressful life in progress...