Sunday, January 24, 2010

Catching up

Well, I told you I was going to relax for the weekend!  No posts yesterday.  Nope.  We just hung out.  Sometimes with children, you just need to hang out.  Next weekend we know is going to be super, super busy so want to take this weekend to hang out at home.  Next weekend, we have Upwards Basketball all day long.  Literally, all day.  Come home, let the dog out and head out to our friend Mary's farm for a huge bonfire.  Tons of people there and it is just a blast every single year we go.  The kids wander the 10 acre farm and see all the animals.  Parents hang out and chat a bit.  2 of her children are from Alex & Yana's orphanage so makes it fun to catch up.  Anyhow, looking very forward to that next weekend.  So, just hung out here this weekend doing something close to nothing.  Some pics to catch up.  Still practicing with the camera and trying to redo settings.  You can always click on the image to make it bigger.  I'll do some today and probably some tomorrow as well.  Here goes:

This is something that never ends whether it is a lazy day or not.  Laundry.  We do about 5 to 6 loads minimum a day.  Yes, a day.  And that's even AFTER our 7-7-7 rule w/ our FASers.  Explain that in another post about FAS.  We have a front loader and we absolutely hate it.  Hate it.  When we bought it last year, first we had sticker shock--LOL.  I honest to goodness thought the salesman was kidding.  Over $1000!  Now, we use them everyday all the time and our washer had died. However, we had it for over 10 years and paid $400 for it.  Got our money's worth.  Now, these same machines are much, much cheaper.  Figures.  Still, not getting a new one for years and years.  It works and that's what counts.  I caught Nik playing in it.  He loves to watch it spin.  You are seeing this right too.  We do not have a real laundry room in this house.  It is a tiny closet.  Again, you make it work.

This was yesterday.  OMG!-- two teens in one shot?  Yes, I did & one of them even has a smile on her face.  Miracles never cease to exist.  This is twister before it went horribly wrong.  Again, don't ask.  Bojan has to take his leg off to play this game which is okay except he then can't reach everything w/ his stump.  Yet, they all find a way to make it work and Nik is finding a way to get on their nerves as little brothers do.  We stillhave plastic over the fireplace to prevent the wind from coming in so hard. Helps.  Alyona still gets confused between her right and left sometimes so she doesn't like this game quite so much.  Sometimes the other kids will help her.  They have recently realized that she is quite mentally challenged.  I give them this...they are helping her out more than I thought they would.  They are understanding that her brain doesn't work the same as theirs.  Can't say it isn't hard to watch as she is also one of our "virtual twins."  I see Bojan & what he's doing in school at his age and then I see Alyona & what she is doing.  He's reading novels, into science & soaking up knowledge left and right.  She is learning the basics and can't read or retain what she learns.  Tough.  Very tough.  So, trying to find other ways to teach her.  Plus, her vision is so bad, she only has one eye due to the optic nerve hypoplasia and some other issues.  Once again, with special needs children, you learn as you go sometimes as to what is best.  I do know, her best chances are with us and we will do what it takes to help her learn to her fullest potiential.  Whatever that may be.  Just nice to see the other kids help her out.

This is Alex.  Alex has FAS/ RAD/ PTSD/ ADHD/ & too many others to name.  Because of this, he has been part of a sensory project by UNC.  He & other children.  They follow them for years.  Like every 4 years.  We get to see things out of this which is wonderful.  This go around (Feb. 2nd), he is going to have an EEG (brain waves) study.  They want him to be able to get used to the feel of this cap.  Now, it does not hurt him but due to sensory issues, in his mind, it does.  He was going crazy to take it off.  So, we have to practice w/ this over the next week before he goes.  That and stickers all over his face.  This is great b/c we get to see areas of the brain affected.  It is a research study.  We also get compensated $100 which will go this time toward the adoption fund.  Well, that and we always take Alex out for a one on one treat.  He LOVES it.  Any study that may help future kids or Alex out for that matter, we consider.  He & Max are the only ones that have ever done a study.  BTW, Alex is getting better about wearing it.  Yeah.  Hence, why the research team sends these out in people.  Alex is looking forward to it b/c he gets to watch tv AND go out to eat w/ mom & dad.  I'll let you know next week how it goes.

Many ask how can we afford to feed our kids.  Valid question.  This is just one of the ways.  We buy produce from what is called the reduced rack.  All produce is .59 a pound.  Great deals.  So, we go and stock up.  Yesterday, we bought 96 oranges!  Yes, they'll be gone in just a few days.  Apples too.  We also were able to get a ton of veggies. Nik is checking out the yogurt.  We have great coupon deals on yogurt and our kids love yogurt.  Kids are even great about helping clip coupons or looking for great deals.  They know to let me do stuff on the computer b/c I tell them when we have extra where it goes to.  Last week, I had $7 "free" extra care bucks.  Though I originally went to CVS for some hall's defense drops, I thought the kids would enjoy a treat.  So, we bought a case of soda(rarity in our home) and chips (again, rarity).  They were thrilled & wanted me to go find more deals on the computer.  LOL.  I did.  See, we recently got a gift card from some survey I had done online.  We made homemade oreo mint milkshakes yesterday & watched a movie together.  Here is Nik, making sure the ice cream is of great quality.

I'll share some more pictures tomorrow from our very lazy, boring weekend.  Yet, we had fun.  Sometimes, it is the simple things in life, such as sipping a milkshake during a movie that the kids remember more.  Right now, all are downstairs after a day of working in the yard together.  They are watching a movie.   It's raining so their outside time is done.  They have had a long weekend b/c school was out last week.  Back to school tomorrow.  Irina is very nervous b/c it is a new semester.   Transition is very hard for FASers.  Really is.  I know I'll have to heal some "wounds" this week as she starts this new semester without her best friend.  That is hard.  Max's first day out of self-contained classroom is tomorrow.  He is thrilled but again, transition will be hard for him at first.  I know he can do it though.  Have faith in him.  Yana is trying hard to get out of that class as well.  I think seeing her brother able to get out, will inspire her to try harder.  So, new start tomorrow.  Full week of school & homework will be crazy I'm sure.  In addition, we have basketball practice tomorrow.  Though busy, it's just normal happenings at Chaos Manor.  Yet, wouldn't change it.  We have big plans this year for many things.  Some you already know about , some you don't.  I will have some more pictures tomorrow, I'm sure.  For now, we're going to eat some pizza and then the girls and I will make homemade banana nut muffins. Again, nothing special but we love it.  Oh, Alyona is feeling much better today.  So well that she actually played over at a friend's house all day.  I'll have another post up later as well.  Working on one about RAD and one about our house situation.  Enjoy your week. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stephanie!... What a great week-end!... just enjoing your beautiful family!... We did something similar in here: yersterday Full clean in the appartment and today Pasta, Movie w/icecream (Slumdog-millonaire... tough :S ) and a nap!... As you can see, we had a lazy sunday in here -Btw there is too hot in here 35ºC = 95ºF I think, and it´s imposible to do somethig outside till sunset!-Thank for the pic!... ;) Gorgeous!...
    Best luck for Alex!!!... You have a bunch of brave kids, do you?!... Although I´ve study medicine for 3 years I´m SO scared to any kind of medical intenvention!... Best wishes for him!!!...
    Kind regards from here!...