Monday, September 26, 2011

Big changes to Chaos Manor

I haven't had so much time to write these past two weeks.  We have been really busy lately and trying to make some big decisions.  One of those decisions had been made.  That decision was to homeschool.  Another decision is whether or not to drop ASL.  That will definitely be a separate post and I will need opinions on that one for sure.  Another big thing happening here is obviously us  bringing home the three new kids.  That brings us to another big decision.  Has something to do with this:

Our home.  It has been our home for 7+ years now.  We moved here when we were in process(go figure) for Yana and Alex.  Moved in here in April & brought them home in May.  We had two days to find a home.  Long story on that one.  I'll spare you the details.  Just know nothing we do is ever the easy way.  LOL.  We have the best neighbors here.  I mean think about this for a moment.  There are not just 7 kids here & 3 dogs.  No.  There are 7 kids here that all have issues & most have FAS. Yet, our neighbors take it all in stride.  Before our old neighbors moved out, I asked if they minded the screaming.  He said we don't mind the screaming if you don't mind the dirt bike.  Nope, not a bit.  Nik does indeed scream.  Lately, we've gotten him to curtail that screaming quite a bit.  Let's face it though, deaf kids can't hear, especially, if the implants aren't on.  They have no idea how loud they're being.

Anyhow, we love the neighborhood, the community and w/ this market, we know we'd never be able to sell this home.  I know big families sell homes w/ 10 kids and dogs in them, but I am still amazed at how they keep above the chaos and mess that comes with it.  You can clean up one mess, and ten minutes later, there's another one in another room.  We have tons and tons of traffic in this home.  Tons of traffic.  We paint our hallways and baseboards every spring and touch up paint where needed.  If you were to walk through the hallways now, you'd think it'd never been painted.  LOL. Got to remember, there are toddlers here at times as well.  And yes, I let them paint.  Go tell them to wash up and they insist on touching the walls all the way to the bathroom. I'm making them wear rubber gloves next time.  But, knowing my luck, they'd wash w/ gloves on, and continue to drop leftover paint all over.  It's a no win really.  A house with marks I feel has happy kids.  I've been into homes that look like museums and that the kids don't look like they can touch anything.  Erie feeling.  Our house is not a museum but a home to be enjoyed.  Dirt and all.  Whether they've been climbing trees, looking for bugs, swinging, swimming, or whatever, it comes in the house with them.  And, that's okay.

Point I'm getting to is we have finally decided to stay.  After 2.5 years of desperately wanting to move, we feel this is our home and is where we belong.  However, there are some things we need to take into consideration as our kids age.  Some may not be able to leave home but we would still desire for them to have that semblance of independence.  This is where the changes are coming.  The past few weeks, we've spoken with our bank and contacted several contractors/builders.  Plans are being drawn up and we are waiting (while holding our breath of course) for estimates.  This is not a small job by any stretch of the imagination.  In it, we would not only expand but do some needed repairs such as a new roof.  As you all know, when houses reach twenty years old, some things will need to be replaced.  We are fortunate enough to be in a home that I feel was built fairly well.  Isn't to say it doesn't need work.  Anyhow, IF the estimates come back in the ballpark we are figuring them to be, we will proceed.  By doing all this, it is a definite that we would never be able to move.  It will have priced itself out of the neighborhood.  You all know what I mean by that.  Square footage wise, it would be the biggest house.  We do not like that idea but if we are to be here forever, we need to make these adjustments.

Many will say don't do this during an adoption.  We moved in the midst of Yana and Alex's adoption.  We know exactly what we'd be doing.  Financially, this will not cost us additional money.  Okay, in the long run but  you know what I mean.  This would be a total refi & construction loan tied into one.  See, since we've been trying to decide for over 2.5 years (very indecisive) whether to move or not, we never refi'd during that time like most of America did.  To get a much, much lower interest rate.  However, this is not about the payment.  Though, a big consideration to be sure.  This is about giving our daughters the independence they will most definitely need in the near future.  Well, Alyona quite a ways a way.  This would add about 2000 sq.ft. more to this home roughly.  All permitted work of course.  All professionals.  In the past, all repair work around here has been done by Warren since he's so handy.  Lately though, his hours are getting a little later in the day.  We've run out of hours during the day for any extra work outside of raising our kids. 

Whether this idea comes to pass is another story.  We must wait and see.  All the details.  We may or may not be able to do this.  If we can't, we will still on our own this spring make the garage into a room and move Bojan and Max down there.  They all would fit in the bonus room, all 5.  However, as boys are teenagers, I know they would desire not to be with the elementary kids & have that bit of separation.  So, we'd float a floor in the garage & convert to a room.  Don't even ask where the stuff would go that is stored int ehre.  No clue.  The garage is already finished and windows are new.  So a coat of paint, float a floor and we're good to go.  If we do that one, and not the big addition, I think we would still contemplate moving.  Hope to have answers in the next week or two.  It's a scary thought.  All of it.  Max drew up some of the plans for us.  

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