Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We're home!!!-- part I

Ahh, technology here again.  We are back home from our trip to South Carolina.  We really enjoyed it but as always, there's no place like home.  I will tell more details of our trip in a little bit w/ pictures.   For now, settling back in.  Taking 7 kids anywhere is an adventure in itself.  Taking 7 kids w/ disabilities  anywhere is a exploration in patience & bravery.  But, we survived and are here to tell the tale.  So, we'll begin with take off.

We left on Sunday, the 27th.  That is also Irina's birthday.  She turned 17 years old.   In the next day or so, I'll do her transformation as well.  Anyhow, she wanted the cake the night before as she was afraid it would get crushed int eh car.  Good idea.   I will now do some pics & then descriptions.  This will be broken up in 2 parts as I'm too tired to write all this tonight.  Okay, so I'm lazy.  I have a quick doc appt. tomorrow but lots & lots of errands to run for adoption paperwork.  Have to love that paperwork.  Getting registration paperwork notarized tomorrow, medicals picked up from doc's office, and fundraising restarted.  So, will be busy during the day.  Oh, and Yana & Max have projects we need to do.  URGHH, hate those.  Okay, so you all are ready for the pictures not really interested in hearing about my boring day to come tomorrow.  Here goes:

This was a quick cake I made for Irina.  Nothing fancy for sure.  I make homemade icing and all the kids request it so that's what we go with. Though the cake is a box mix.  Still can hardly believe she is 17 years old.  Amazing how fast they grow up.  I can do other fancy cakes which the kids love.  Boring mom trivia...I used to work in a bakery and make cakes.  So, can write on cakes and create some things.  I'll share a picture next time I make one.  Kids chomped down the cake and then ran to get packing some more. If any of you are wondering, we sing and sign happy birthday.  Eveyrone in our house knows happy birthday in ASL.  We feel Nik should not be left out of anything as he is part of this family.  Though we are not fluent signers(neither is he yet), some things we do know through and through and happy birthday is one of them.  Irina loved the cake and was just too excited about her trip.  We did not buy her a present.  We give the older kids a choice of us buying them a present or them getting $35 to spend on what they want.  She chose the money this year.  We also spend $100 for whatever party they want.  Have to have limits as there are 7 of them.

Here is Minnie Mouse (aka Alyona) holding up one of the clues Santa left for the trip.  There were more clues but the kids threw the other ones out w/ the Christmas wrapping paper.  Oh well.  Can you tell she is happy to go??

Here is Alyona and Nik.  They are looking at one of their other clues that Santa left them.  It is the Ripley's Believe It or Not book.  They all really enjoyed looking at this.  Unlike a good chunk of families nowadays that take a trip, we do not have a tv in the van for entertainment.  We talk,look at things, listen to the radio, etc.  Yes, there is bickering at times but lots of laughter too.  Alyona is in a booster seat still.  Nik is in a regular carseat per our state's law.  When Little Bit comes home, she will also be in this type of carseat.  The other two should be able to sit in a regular carseat.  One may need a booster per our law but we'll wait and see.  Anyhow, our kids can usually be entertained in the car.  If not, just feed them and they keep quiet.

Not the most glamorous picture at all.  Okay, we were on the 6th floor of this beachside resort.  Walked into the first room and it had this "funky" smell to it.  Second room was fine.  So, called the guest services and they were up w/in 5 minutes w/ a new room for us just a few doors down.  Great service!  I was really impressed.  Another thing w/ this picture is I had told Yana to throw that stupid sweatshirt away. You can't tell from the picture but it is torn, stained, etc.  Horrible looking.  I promise you the child has great clothes but this teenager of mine would prefer to wear something that looks like it came from the garbage can.  I just don't get it.  Needless to say, I took the jacket away...again.  I swear this jacket has magical powers as it keeps reappearing.  Oh well.  We arrived Sunday and got situated in our room. That evening, we were going out to dinner for Irina's birthday.  Her pick.

You can tell you are at the beach with the tropical motif on the bedding.  This is Irina and Nik before going out to dinner.  Killed him NOT to jump on the bed.  The front part of the hotel room had two beds that slept 4 , a nice kitchenette w/ a regular sized fridge and then a back room seating area. The back room had a murphy bed that slept two and then a pull out couch that slept two.  It also had a table to eat at.  It was great for all of us.  We had two rooms just like this.  So, each room slept 8 people.  So, 12 people will fit in these two rooms as well just fine.  My kids were so excited that there were 2 tvs in both rooms.  With cable!  We don't have cable at home.  My kids love animal planet and discovery channel.  And let's not forget cartoon network.  We limited their tv here as well.

This is where Irina wanted to go for her birthday.  It is a really, really cool place inside.  They have all kinds of props and clothing from movies.  It is all authentic and not replicas the guy said.  They had Freddy Crugger's shirt & claw from the movie, one of the ninja turtles costumes, etc.  So many things.  Took a lot of pictures in there but nto showing them all.  Way too many.  They also brought Irina her own birthday sundae.  She shared with everyone.  What was even more special was what the manager did.  Okay, guessing it was the manager.  ( I used to be a restaurant manager and so can usually spot them now--LOL).  Anyhow, he saw Nik was deaf and could see that my kids really weren't quite acting like "normal" teenagers.  So, when they left I told him that Irina is 17 chronologically but about 12 mentally.  He really understood.  When she came back, he was asking her what music she liked and asked if she liked the Jonas Brothers.  Of course.  He said well, they actually sat at the table you are in!  She about lost her mind she was so happy.  He really made her night.  Irina ran into the bathroom to tell her sister Yana about the Jonas Brothers sitting at her table.  See, some people really do understand.  That little gesture made her special day even more special.  Thank you Planet Hollywood of Myrtle Beach!!!  He didn't have to do that, but he did and I greatly appreicate that.  He took time out to talk to them.  Anyhow, great place to eat.  We loved lookign at all the stuff that was in movies.

This is outside Planet Hollywood.  Always have to have at least one not smiling. This time, it was Alex.  Remember, with his meds & high energy during the day, he is usually zonked out by 7pm.  It was SO hard for him to stay awake.  After this, we went to Walmart for supplies and also an icecream cake for Irina.  Her pick.  Alex was in line crying and carrying on in "pain" that his legs hurt.  He does this with extreme exhaustion but we are totally used to this.  however, the crowds of other people looking at us as though we dont' believe our son is in horrible pain, looks rather cruel.  Umm, he had no pain.   He has FAS and this is his way of justifying he's tired and his way of coping.  Everyone in the family is used to it and as long as you don't give in too much too it, he'll eventually be fine.  You have to semi-believe him despite the fact that you know he has absolutely no pain.  To him, it is all too real.  Plus, at thistime, all our FASers were antsy.  They are used to a schedule at home so this was throwign them for a loop.  We got supplies and cake and headed to the hotel.  Had wonderful icecream cake and some tv time while eating cake.  Off to bed for a big day the next day.  Hope you enjoyed some of these pictures.  Many more to come tomorrow.  Stay tuned for more.

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