Sunday, February 26, 2012

Charlotte and House Addition

It has been so long since I updated the sorry.  We absolutely love Charlotte so far!  What a great city to live in!  It is big enough to have everything you need; restaurants, shopping, arts/culture, museums, professional sports, etc., but not so big where you have to drive an hour, and in traffic, to get there!  We really like our neighborhood and have met some great people here.  We knew a few people before we moved through the non-profit organization we became involved with, Charlotte Bridge Home, which has been really nice.  Cohen is in preschool three days a week at a local church and he loves it!!  He always tells us how much he loves "Ms. Dana" and "Ms. Ashwee" (Cohen is not saying his "l's" very well yet!).  I am working 3 days a week for a home health pediatric company where I make my own schedule which is awesome because I am still able to work but also able to spend time with Cohen.

Adam is keeping Cohen on the days that I am working, going to some VA appointments, staying on top our house addition and still trying to figure out what he wants to do next in life.  He is not doing anymore therapy with the VA but is going for some specialty appointments such as a vision specialist, audiologist and PM&R physician (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) for his vision and hearing issues and some on-going neck/shoulder pain and headaches.  He also sees a case manager and social worker at two different VA's in North Carolina.  The VA system in North Carolina has done a fantastic job so far with Adam's medical care.  Because Adam's injury was so severe and he was at the Tampa VA Polytrauma Center he is now a part of the Polytrauma team in the VA system and is seen at the Polytrauma clinic at the VA.  The VA sees Veterans on a "tier system", so people highest on the tier get priority medical care which is where Adam has been placed, probably part of the reason his care has been so good thus far.

Onto the house...When we bought our house in Charlotte we planned on doing an addition at some point in time.  We bought in a great location where renovations and additions are very common and people often add on entire stories to the older homes built in the 30's, 40's, 50's.  Adam wanted to do to the addition right away, which is typical of Adam and his personality, and would have done it before we moved in if possible.  Me on the other hand wanted to wait, live in the house for a little while (a few months, year) then add on, which is typical of my personality!  However, after we got moved in and semi-unpacked I decided I was ready to get started with our addition, so of course Adam was on board.  So now we are in the beginning stages of adding on a master suite and a laundry room, about 650 square feet, and are so excited about our new space!!  It is definitely going to be a process and we will be living in chaos for a while but will definitely be worth it in the end.  The entire process is suppose to take 4-5 months depending on weather.

The first step of the addition was to clear out our backyard.  We love having trees in the yard (which is one of the things Charlotte is known for); however, the people who lived here before apparently never did any yard work so the back yard was like a forest.  Cohen and Cooper absolutely love the yard but we had to have a lot of trees cut down in order to clear out enough space for the new part of the house.  It took them two full days to cut down all the trees and Cohen was completely amazed and pretty much stared out the window, watching the men climb up the trees and cut them down for two days.  Great entertainment!  Here are a couple of before and after pictures of the yard.

Before, with the trees:

After the trees are gone:

 Starting to dig the crawl space:

Now that the "working men," as Cohen calls them, are here everyday he is not as interested in watching them, so not as entertaining as it was with cutting down the trees.  They are doing work almost everyday right outside of Cohen's room during his nap time and he goes to sleep and sleeps right through it for 2-3 hours! 

Framing completed: