Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday night..what are you doing??

It's a Saturday night.  And what are you doing??  I'm waiting for my husband to get home from work and try to get all of us in the cleaning mood...unsuccessfully I might add. We had Upwards Basketball today and the kids did great.  We did not have a stellar morning getting ready however.  We were missing a basketball shirt, one needed a haircut, & one we realized had absolutely no underwear left.  Yes, typical trying to get ready morning here.  But, we fixed all that, we're out the door and on time.  Even remembered to bring apples for us to snack on while there.  Warren dropped me off at the doc's office.  My wicked sinus headache had moved to my chest and not getting better.  Antibiotics for a week and I should be as good as new.  Yeh.  However, not allowed to do cardio workouts until Wednesday.  I tried to do weightlifting this morning and you would have thought I ran 3 miles. LOL.  It was bad.  Just didn't have the air in my lungs.  I guess that's why cardio is out.  So, I'm going to do some light yardwork and walk.  That should help I hope.  Nothing much going on.  We're going to be finishing the mini dossier & starting on the big one tomorrow.  I"m ready.  Really am.  Max has a project to do.  Tomorrow we will be doing a lot of errand running and cleaning up.  Needs to be done. Lately, I have been organizing like crazy.  I dont' know if it is that nesting feeling you get w/ adoptions or just that spring fever type of cleaning.  May be a combo of both.  Tomorrow I am also goign to take the time to finish Nik's post b/c there is SO MUCH to say.  He went to all his audiology check ups this past Thursday and is begging us for a 2nd implant.  Literally, Nik is asking us for the implant.  I'llt ell mroe about it later.  He has been molded again for hearing aid for unimplanted ear and that is standard protocol.  Be nice if the hearing aid worked for him but being that it didn't work before, I'm not putting much faith in it working this time.  Time will tell.  Write more about that though in another post.  Estimates are due to come in on /tuesday  or so.  We will then decide what can get done and what is priority.  Anything structural we have no choice in the matter.  Have to do it.  5 windows have to be replaced.  One quote I received was $1650!  Waiting for a few more to come in.  Not good timing during an adoption.  But, life happens and here at Chaos Manor, we roll w/ the punches.  Some photos to break up monotany.

 

Not the best shot but hey, I'll learn.  This is Warren w/ Alyona and Nik.  They usually beg him to do this whenever they can.  Especially, after he's just gotten home from work.  He's lifting about 90 lbs. here.  They love it though.  



We've been spending the past few days "spring cleaning" outside.  This is part of our entrance way.  We have a small fountain.  Unfortunately, Warren and Max have yet to get flow right so it still sounds like someone using the toilet. We crack up and so do other people when they hear it.  Warren said he'd adjust it later.  Fine.  Anyhow, we cleaned out the winter water & dead leaves and set it back up.  We also have almost finished remulching the front walk area.  We clean out the dead stuff and put new mulch down every spring.  I still can't plant anything as it is still too cold.  But, it is so beautiful outside, we like to do a little fixing up outdoors.  I think our neighbor's will appreciate our effort.  Remember, I used to work in a florist shop so I really do love flowers.  Killing me not to plant anything yet as I'm so ready for spring.  But, weather is calling for snow Tuesday and Wednesday.  No plantings yet.  Soon though.  For now, we just clean up.  Kids are great about helping in the yard.  



More proof we are ready for spring.  I love color.  Though I can't have a whole lot of color in the kids rooms due to level of stimulation that can have, I can at least have some items in the house that are bright.  This is one of them.  This is actually a planter that looks like a coffee mug.  It is really big.  The handle is not shown in the picture.  Cute though.  We have another one like this (different design) that we got on sale.  We use it as Bear's water bowl as dog bowls are not big enough to hold the amount of water he drinks.  We improvise.  We(okay, so Warren) put goop in the bottom to seal the hole up in it as it is a planter.  Dry a few days and then Bear has a new water bowl.   Works for bear & we don't have to keep filling up the water bowl.  Plus, a nice piece to look at.  Big families seem to find practical uses for a lot of things.  I think it is because we are so used to improvising.  Bear obviously does not care what he drinks out of.  As long as it's full.




Doesn't look like it but a little going on in this picture.  I forgot what we had to eat that night but Alex did not want to eat it.  In this house, you eat waht is made.  Period.  No exceptions unless you are sick.  And not faking sick either.  We do let the kids help make the menu for the month though.  It helps.  Yana is looking out for the deer.  Our house is surrounded by woods and deer frequent our yard.  Lately, there has been a pack of about 7 deer. The kids love watching them.  They made me run down today to take a picture but I didn't catch them in time.   On the table is what appears to be a bunch of cups.  They are filled w/ seedlings of chives, onions, tomatoes, and cayenne peppers.  They start here, are transplanted to bigger pots & then in the garden they'll go.  Can't wait.  We've started many more as well.  KIds like to watch them grow & great to see happening everyday. 

More tomorrow when I'm more up to par.  have a wonderful weekend everyone.  



Friday, February 26, 2010

Flabulous to Fabulous Friday-- & pics

Okay, haven't done a Flabulous to Fabulous post in ages.  It's guilt.  I'll be honest.  I haven't worked out in about 2 weeks.  I injured my knee first.  That got better.  Then, couldn't move my neck or back for a few days.  Then, horrible, horrible sinus headache for about 5 days.  I'm finally feeling decent & will attempt a workout  tonight as well as weights.  Sad to say, I have not lost any further in the last two weeks for obvious reasons.  On the bright side, NO weight gain & that is always, always a good thing.  So, next week I expect to report to you some major weight loss news.  Can't wait.  And, w/ a possible major snowstorm headed our way, should be easy... sledding & making snowmen.  Next Friday, I should have some great weight loss news.  I could not stand not working out these past two weeks so that is also an awesome sign b/c it actually means I'm into this for the long haul.

It has been a really, really long week.  Really long.  An FAS type of week.  Not going to lie on here.  Some weeks are much better than others.  Maybe it was b/c I was sick as a dog w/ a headache, I don't know. Thursday night was another crazy one.  I watched the kids all day (my job now) and made turkey.  You would think a great turkey w/ stuffing in the oven would be nice after a long day.  Made the homemade mashed potatoes and thought great, time to take out the turkey & everyone eat.  Open the door to a pretty white looking turkey still wondering where on earth that golden brown color is.  And why on earth is the oven not hot.  (insert screaming voice here..) A-L-E-X!!!  And the reply "It's not me mom!"  I didn't do it this time.  He is famous infamous in this house for setting the timer on the stove to read while simultaneously turning off the oven.  We've had many a meals ruined this way.  Turkey delayed.  Here kids, have stuffing, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.  Turkey, well, it will be done sometime tonight.  Again, this kind of thing is normal here at Chaos Manor.  It really is.

Some pictures will follow.  Nothing exciting, just everyday stuff here.

 

We ordered Papa John's pizza the other night.  They had a special and honestly, we just needed a pizza night w/ the way things were happening here.  Well, these pizzas come w/ a hot pepper on the side.  There were 3 peppers & Yana, Max & Bojan dared each other to eat them w/ no water.  Yana is realizing in this picture it was probably a stupid idea.  This turns into a big competition in our home every time we order pizza.  I am NOT daring enough for this event.  



Two of my girls.  Irina and Alyona goofing around.  Yes, it is the middle of winter here in NC and Alyona is wearing sleeveless shirts.  My Siberian Princesses do not care one bit.  Neighbors must think my kids are nuts but they really just don't care how cold it gets here as it was always colder in Russia.  Shoot, Alyona lived on permafrost above the Artic Circle.  She should know cold and NC just does not get that cold.  Dog gone it.  At first I had really thought there was nothing on the floor in this picture.  But alas, 2 video games on the floor.  Oh well, maybe next picture.  One of these days I'll get a shot w/ nothing on the floor.  

 

Okay, stupid picture #25.  LOL.  However, there is a story here.  Alright, we've had this refridgerator for years.  Bought it brand new off ebay from a scratch & dent guy.  Great fridge.  In the beginning, we were able to get crushed or cubed ice.  Nice.  One day the ice maker broke & would only give crushed ice no matter how many times you pushed that stupid button.  It frustrates everyone here b/c if the kids push the crushed ice, they get ice all over the floor & it is all wet then.  Just a little pet peeve annoyance more than anything.  Well, we were gone the other day and Irina(you know, the one in our family obsessed w/ a clean kitchen), decided since the kitchen was clean, she'd tackle the fridges inside and out.  Irina decided to clean out the ice maker.  An aah-haa moment happened.  Why on earth not one single one of us ever thought to clean the icemaker out or check it is beyond me.  Sure enough, the path to the cubed ice was blocked.  Mind you, it's been blocked for years.  Irina unblocked it and deep cleaned it.  So, now we have an option of cubed or crushed ice and you'd think we'd hit the jackpot here.  It is hilarious b/c now everyone wants cubed ice.  

 

This is Max.  Our in-house handyman.  He is putting together a new favorite item around this house now.  It is called a Shark Steam mop.  We all LOVE it.  It really does get stuff up using steam.  No harsh chemicals.  Comes with reusable mopheads as well.  Doesn't seem like anything fancy but it really is awesome.  You do have to go very slow w/ it though.  My kids were all actually fighting over mopping the floor.  It has been used quite a bit lately and that is just fine w/ me.  
Nothing much else going on here.  Warren and I just got back from CVS.  The pharmacy is great about finding meds when we have antipsychotics that need refilling and they are out.  That is what happened tonight.  Had to drive to the other side of town but it is better than the alternative...a psychotic breakdown.  Can't complain about the CVS.  They've been good to us.  Anyhow, Warren told the kids before we left that if they were good we would bring them back a suprise.  Yes, bribery indeed.  What could go wrong?  We always try to give the kids a chance to show they are old enough for us to be gone for 15 to 20 minutes.  Well, maybe next time.  Irina lit a candle.  Nothing on fire...but her face.  She said she leaned over to smell the candle and burned her lip.  URGHH.  Who smells the candles why they are lit?  Apparently, my daughter does.  She's fine, barely notice it.  Yes, she is 17.  It is much better than the time we came home from our walk & found the dog chair & Nik covered in Elmer's glue.  

Tomorrow is basketball game.  Pictures too w/ it.  We'll be there for awhile.  Had wanted to go shopping afterwards but Warren has to work tomorrow evening.  No biggie.  I'm sure we'll find stuff to do.  Have a great weekend everyone.  More to update.  Received the dossier kit today.  Compared to Russia, this looks like a cakewalk--LOL.  I know it's not, but the comparison of paperwork is very interesting.  Can't wait to start on it.  That is for next week though.  Have a great weekend. 



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Just a normal day w/ FASers

I know I owe you all a post on FAS and what all it entails.  But for now, I will have to just leave you w/ a quick thing so that you realize, yes, all my days are pretty much like this.  With FAS kids, you expect the unexpected every single day.  And, since I normally just tell the "good" it seems on here, I want you all to know we have "normal" days as well as good ones.  I say "normal" b/c it is as about as normal as you can get w/ FAS. 

Today, I had just a normal day.  Let's see what went on after school today. After they left today, I went to my neighbor's to help her out w/ 2 babies.  Came home and tried to clean up a bit of what my kids left.  URGHH.  Right now, I have one child banned from a room.  Literally, she has lost total freedom.  Sometimes, you have to up the grounding to get results.  So far, seems to be working.  However, she seems to think she doesn't have to make her bed as it is on the floor now.  No, aren't you learning anything from being grounded??  Anyhow, Irina got home.  Remember, she is our daughter w/ severe OCD and HAS to be clean.  Even her ears.  In her mind, she thought pouring water into her ears would "clean" them.  No,it doesn't.  Just plugs up the ears.  Lesson learned.  Well, we then wonder why in the world Max hasn't come home yet.  I call the school.  Apparently, he had ASD(after school detention) & never told us.  Of course not.  The IEP team knows full well they are supposed to CALL us as Max has FAS. It is a disability.  He has short term memory loss issues as well as other things. Give him paper, he will forget to give it to us.  Plus, to go to ASD, parents are supposed to sign off on it.  We never did.  Have to go to school tomorrow & straighten that mess out.  Why did he get ASD?  B/c WE the parents forgot to sign something of his.  WE FORGOT & he got punished.  Don't think I'm not going to be on their case for that one.  Had to then go pick up Yana from soccer.  She did not make the team but has committed to practicing all year for next year.  Nice to see some committment come out of all this and her motivation go up.  Came home.  IRina & I tried to pick up the room that the handyman is going to come & give us an estimate for. Meantime, Warren calls to tell me he's late coming home & getting the pizzas.  What does a good mom do when slowly trying to go more natural and organic???  Make cake for them to eat.  I know, horrible thing to do but I couldn't take one more I'm hungry.  Bojan sounds like the tin man in an accident still due to his broken prosthetic.  Irina & Yana were arguing as if they were debating for presidency.  It was ridiculous.  Alyona misunderstood me when I said"do you want to get hot water today?"  You have to understand, we desperately need another hot water heater but have yet to figure out how to do it w/ the circuits we have.  Warren has an idea but not sure what we're doing yet.  Hot water is a precious commodity at this house.  So Alyona gets a bath & Irina comes in to inform me that Alyona thought I said TAKE all the hot water.  Umm, no dear as 4 other people need a bath tonight.  URGHH.  The list goes on of things like this happening till all were in bed.  Wait, another child w/out a bed as one wet the bed.  Does he have urological issues?  NO.  He'll just sporadically choose to do this.  Trust me, NOT a physical issue as we've been to all the top specialists here & have had all the tests.  This is totally a control issue.  Another mattress ruined.  We didn't buy him a new mattress for months last time he pulled this trick.  We have lost I believe 4 mattresses, maybe more, to this issue. (that's a couple hundred dollars btw) So, me wanting to go out and buy another one, not happening any time soon.  Anyhow, this was a typical FAS day in this home.  I know something got broken, it always does.  I just can't remember at the moment.  Oh yeh, Nik was trying to hammer the new landscape lighting. 

Yesterday was a typical FAS day.  Today, I am in a fog.  Feeling very under the weather as I think the kids brought something home.  Fever is gone now so hoping things will be looking up soon.  Headache is still here but not as intense.  This morning, none had lunches made.  When I dont' feel good, I unfortunately get out of that routine of checking behind them at night.  I can assure you if I went into the bathrooms today, all toothbrushes would be dry except for 2 of them.  So, mom can never be sick for long, that's for sure.  So, I'm ready to tackle this afternnoon w/ a little more gusto than yesterday.  Already have turkey stuffed and in the oven.  I don't want any surprises today but I'm sure I'll get some b/c w/ FAS, you learn to always expect the unexpected and be hypervigilent.    Here's an FAS poem that I love( you have to have humor w/ this disorder or you'll never make it past the school years):

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my sanity to keep.
For if some peace I do not find, 
I'm pretty sure I'll lose my mind.
I pray I find a little quiet
Far from the daily family riot.

May I lie back--not have to think
about what they're stuffing down the sink,
or who they're with, or where they're at
and what they're doing to the  cat.
I pray for time all to myself
(did something just fall off a shelf?)

To cuddle in my nice, soft bed
(Oh no, another goldfish --dead!)
Some silent moments for goodness sake
(Did I just hear a window break?)
And what I need not cook or clean--
(well heck, I've got the right to dream)

Yes now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my wits about me keep,
But as I look around I know--
I must have lost them long ago!

Anonymous

Again, you have to have humor to parent children w/ FAS or RAD or many of the other mental health disorders.  You just have to laugh some days and say to yourself, with every new day, there's fresh hope.  Some days here are just really awesome.  Ad dsome, well I have to be honest..they're just awful.  But, I do think this is pretty nomral in every home w/ children of any kind.  At least that is what I hear from all parents so far.  YOu have your ups and your downs.  Just have to find ways to get back up if you are down.  I know I have to do a few more posts. For now though, have to get back to cleaning up this house & then resting.  I've been doing that today.  My energy has been way down.  Guess that comes w/ feeling a little sick.  Have a great week everyone.  Tomorrow we'll have some pictures as today is just too wordy.  Oh, the reason you no longer see LOL on here that much is b/c my DH claims I over use it.  Ha!  Might have to use that one instead.  Oh, we may get some of the white stuff here tonight.  Kids will never go to bed if it starts snowing before bed time.  Last time they were in it for hours before bed.  Not supposed to stick or anything so that's good.  Just pretty snow.  Even Alex commented he was sick of snow.  He's ready for the beach & pool weather.  Me too. 

Big families easier???

I came across a blog today that had an article from Matthew Archbold.  Here is a copy of it:


Why big families are easier:

Patience. I never have to teach patience. My children know that I can’t drop everything for them if I have a baby in my arms.

Work Ethic. My children have learned to work because there are always chores to do in a small house packed with little messy lunatics. And they all learn quickly that sometimes they have to clean up a mess even though they didn’t make it.

Humility. My children have learned it’s not always their turn. They’ve accepted they can’t always get their way because other people have to get their way sometimes. They’ve learned that some children are better at certain things than they are.

Foreign language skills. You can learn a lot of Spanish by watching ten years of Dora the Explorer that you just can’t pick up in two. And now with the Diego spin off I’m practically fluent.

Laughter. The children have learned to laugh at the insane non sequiturs of younger siblings. They’ve learned that laughing just feels better when seven people are doing it along with you.

Competition. Do I really need to go into this? Everything is a competition in big families. The children compete over who reads faster, who drinks their milk faster, who gets to the bathroom first…etc. Everything is a competition and they’re all keeping score.

Balance. The floor of the front room of my home is a minefield of toys and childhood paraphernalia. Just walking through the room requires great skill and balance. I’m absolutely convinced my two year old will be a favorite for Gold on the balance beam in the 2016 Olympics. (She might have to lay off the cookies a little but I’ll deal with that later.)

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you just give it to the baby because you want a little quiet. Not all the time. But sometimes.

Just say “No.” Being able to say “no” may be the most undervalued skill in this world. The need to be liked is pervasive. The need to be cool even more so. Having brothers and sisters teaches children to say “no” about 143 times a day. It’s a good skill.

Praying. They learn that nothing beats praying together as a family.

Nature/Nurture. Having many children has taught me that nature has a lot more to do with who my kids are than nurture. This is helpful, especially when your children misbehave you don’t have to feel bad about it. Just say “Stupid nature!!!” and blame your spouse’s genes.

Namecalling. You can occasionally call your child by the wrong name and still not be considered a terrible parent. They know who you mean just from your tone. Sometimes if you need something done you can call the wrong name and someone will still show up. That helps.

Spying. My children have learned that they can’t get away with anything. I have spies who look a lot like them who are willing to drop the dime on them for anything. Even at school I’ve got a child in just about every grade. If they do something I’ll hear. That keeps them nervous. And I like keeping my kids a little nervous.

Friendship. The children have many friends. They’ve got girly friends, crying friends, fun loving friends, consoling friends, and crazy friends. And they all have the same last name. And they’ll be there forever for each other. No matter what.

Love. I think my children have learned to love because there are others around them to love and who love them. I honestly can think of no better way to teach children to love than siblings.

I could not have said it all better myself.  This is so true.  The link is here:

 http://www.ncregister.com/blog/why_big_families_might_be_easier

I have a lot to do today.  I was supposed to be babysitting today but was sick as a dog all night & woke up w/ a fever.  Didn't want to pass it on to anyone.  However, fever is gone & feeling a little better though not 100% up to par.  Should be able to sit tomorrow and get more done.  Just wanted to share this post though.  Much going on here & will write a few mroe posts later.  Talk soon & hope you all enjoy this article. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hodge podge of a post

Title is definitely something to be desired but my brain is tired today.  Couldn't think of  any catchy title.  Not too much going on here at Chaos Manor at the moment.  Today we find out if Yana made the soccer team.  She tried out for goalie.  There can't be too many of those you know.  Very proud of her for trying and putting herself out there at a sport she hasn't been playing too long.

We missed basketball practice last night and the kids were bummed about it.  Don't blame them.  Trouble was Warren was stuck at work late last night.   I can't take them as it is at night or when it is getting dark.  Why?  Because I have night blindness.  yes, it is very real.  Had it since college but was hoping it would slow down a bit.  Well it has progressed quite rapidly and after this past spring's incident, I don't dare drive at night ever again.  See, last spring Irina needed to be picked up from a friend's house.  I said "I'll go get her."  Warren, said "Are you sure?  It's getting dark."  "yes, I'll be fine, it's not quite dark yet."  I went out the door to go get Irina.  Picked her up and it was pitch black by the time we were supposed to come back.  Driving out of the subdivision, I almost hit a father/ daughter walking their dog.  For the life of me, I could not see them.  After that, have not been behind the wheel at night ever since.  I can not risk someone else's life b/c I can not see at night.  My perception is totally off, the lights are blinding to me and I can't see things like people.  My optometrist said good idea.  Now, in summer it's fine.  Stays light out late.  My kids know this.  They know mom can not see at night and it can't be fixed by glasses.  Fortunately, most activities are during the day.  Helps immensely.  But, basketball was not.  They do have games this weekend and we'll be there.  Wish I could drive at night but just not risking it.  Optometrist said this is not uncommon but can't do anything about it.  Just as my kids have to learn to live w/ some of their issues, so do I.

Now, this past weekend we actually did a little shopping.  A rarity here.  But, this was more for essentials than anything else.  Though, the kids were able to spend any leftover money they had from Christmas/ birthdays.  Some of mine have given their money to charity for Dribbling for Drew at basketball.  So they had a little less to spend but they did not mind at all.  Very proud of them to understand the power of giving at such a young age.  Despite all they did w/out all those years at the orphanages, they are still willing to give so much.  Anyhow, here are some pics from this past weekend's excursions. 

 

This is Max.  We let him have his birthday money early to add to some of his other money he's earned.  With part of it, he bought this watch.  He was so proud of it.  Can you tell?  He's trying to act "tough"in the picture but I see a hint of a smile.  Remember, capture the teen pic when you can.  I told Max the watch is as big as his arm.  He didn't care.  He liked this one.   Going to keep Alex away from it I hope.  See, Alex has gone around and cut everyone's watches.  Don't ask.  RADishes and FASers do some crazy things sometimes that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Alex does this to watches and shoe laces.  Max has a hiding place from his brother so that should help.  Max still has some money leftover that he wants to save.  Fine w/ me.  Most of my kids tend to buy more practical things.  Well, except for Bojan.  But, as we've told all our kids, it is your money, spend or give it how you see fit.  And like I said, most have given to the cause at church.  Bojan has given too.  Bojan spent the rest of his on a Wii game.  Not the most practical but hey, he had fun w/ it.  And, he's sharing the game.  So, I can't complain. 




What do you know!?  More shots w/ things on the floor.  One day folks, that floor will have nothing on it.  Guess I have to wait till the kids are out of the house for that one , huh?  This is Alyona w/ pajamas on and her sister's high boots.  She's sitting on a desk that my friend Jamie gave us.  Very grateful for the desk.  Since I watch 2 young children now part time, this gives them another place to color and play.  Even has a light.  It is now upstairs and not in the middle of the kitchen.  The mat to the right is for next fall.  We buy everything off season as to save money.  This past weekend, we went to the 75% off sale at CVS for Valentine's Day stuff. I bought all V-day cards for next year and all the toys that come w/ it for their classmates.  New pair of slippers for one of the girls and some gift bags.  Had a $10 off coupon from doing a survey so that made the shop even more worth it.  Bought plates and napkins so am set for all the kids' parties next Christmas and Valentine's Day.  Even surprised the kids w/ a box of Reeces peanut butter cups.  All in all, not a bad deal for all of it.  Could resist something.  Even bought Little Bit and Cutie Pie a stuffed animal for us to take w/ us when we see them.  Sometimes as an adoptive parent to be, you have to do that type of stuff.  You just do.  I did this kind of thing w/ all my other kids coming home.  Oh, I bet Alex would like that or Bojan would get a kick out of those pajamas.  Found myself doing that this past weekend.  Some of you may think it crazy to buy for kids that aren't even home, but I find it comforting.  Just means to me that I'm thinking about them.  




We also got some of the kids haircuts this weekend.  Here are Yana, Alex and Alyona showing off their new styles.  Usually, Warren cuts Max & Bojan's hair.  This time, he let the hairstylist cut Max's b/c Max had let his mohawk grow out.  Nik had gotten his haircut not too long ago as well as Irina.  I need mine cut but I told myself I'd wait till I had officially lost 10 lbs before getting my haircut.  Just gives me a little more incentive.  



This is Bojan, Max and Alyona.  Okay, Alyona had gotten her haircut and looks like someone from a movie.  Have any of you ever seen the newer version of Yours, Mine & Ours w/ Dennis Quaid?  Alyona is the look alike for Ms. Munyon w/ her new haircut!  It is uncanny for sure.  Max was carrying Alyona around the house and Alyona was screaming "give him the chair!"  It was a seen played out in the movie.  We were all cracking up.  
It was a long day that weekend we took them all shopping.  We were originally looking for Bojan new shoes but never found any.  Still looking.  Poor kid has his shoes super glued together.  But, can't help it.  Tried to find some and can't.  He has to have boots due to his clubfoot.  Has to be sturdy.  The only ones that ever seem to work for him are timberlands.  We've been to Shoe Carnival, Shoe Show, Playless, Rackroom, Kohls, Target, Walmart and I forget where all else.  Nothing.  And he needs to try stuff on.  We have an outlet center in Smithfield we're trying this weekend.  

I swear people are going to start to talk if they haven't already.  Kid has a broken leg(prosthetic is really broken..parts on order), shoes are superglued together, bookbag is too small(he likes it this way), and never has a matching pair of socks.  Yep, that's my kid.  All of mine are works in progress I say.  Sometimes I hate going to the school and seeing the very well matched, well groomed kids.  My kids are clean...most of the time.  I do make them get a bath every night.  Or try to. Yet, I let them make their own choices.  They can pick out what they want to wear to school.  If it is inappropriate(like sleeveless in the dead of winter w/ flipflops) then of course they have to change.  But, they are indeed allowed to pick out their own clothes and have their own sense of style.  Nik is more of a "prep."  He loves to wear pants and sweaters to school.  Alex is all about sports shirts ans sweats.  Bojan loves wearing polo type shirts for whatever reason.  Max is a jeans and t-shirt kind of kid.  Sweatshirt in the winter.  Irina is my conservative one.  Very modest in the way she dresses.  Likes to show no skin(fine w/ me!).  Alyona used to be our girlie girl and wear dresses all the time.  Still a girlie girl but more into pants now.  Yana tries to test the limits and see if she can practically paint on the pants.  Yes, quite a few have gone into the trash can right before school.  Not allowed in this house.  Though I go to the schools and see stuff that I feel should be more in a bar than a school.  Crazy.  In our house we have rules regarding the clothes.  No pants off the butt.  Can't stand that.  Nothing dragging on the ground.  Nothing too small or tight.  Other than that, I let them have at it regarding their own sense of style.  My kids play rough and play hard.  They get holes in their pants.  It happens.  I don't worry about it.  I really have learned over the years not to worry so much about what others think about our kids.  We just need to know they are healthy, happy and clean(again, most of the time--LOL).  Yet sometimes, when I see the kids at school all fancied up in their best clothes, I wonder, how would my kids look if I picked everything out for them?  Would they be any better for it?  Would I?  Would anyone even notice?  Frankly, I really don't care.  I don't mind going to school and having lunch w/ them and seeing that Nik forgot to wear socks that morning(we're progressing...he used to never wear underwear).  Or that Bojan's shoe is still untied.  Or that Alex is already dirty from playing soccer on the playground.  Most of the time you'll drive by my house and see one of them outside in pajamas trying to play soccer before I've had the chance to call them in Saturday morning.  My kids are being kids.  I won't apologize for the way they look or if they are not spic and span clean.  I will say we do manage to get one pretty, cleaned up picture at Christmas time though.  My kids climb trees, play in the woods, make bow & arrows out of scrap tree limbs, explore, dig in the sandbox, and just about anything else you can come up with.  They might not be the most pristine bunch in school but I can assure you they are very healthy and active kids who are living out their childhood the way they should be...frogs out of the pockets & leaves in the hair. 



Monday, February 22, 2010

Manic Monday

Got to love Mondays.  Today, I'm not doing much of anything.  Don't have to watch the babies today so really wanted to be super productive outside.  Well, it's pouring out.  no go.  Plus, I can not move my neck.  Saturday, I slipped in the boys' room...remember what it looks like:

 

It was actually worse than this at the time when I slipped.  URGHH.  So, now I can't move my neck and it's killing me.  Hurts like crazy along w/ my back.  Thought I could "work" out the kink by doing yard work yesterday.  Ummm, no is the answer to that stupid idea.  Though, part of the yard is looking better.  Live and learn.  I decided to do basically nothing today but phone calls and computer work.  Hoping to let the muscles relax.  I went for a walk this morning but not far.  Walking was okay but walking uphill was actually painful.  Ridiculous!  Chiropractor is out sick for the first time in years.  Can't go until Wednesday.  I'll make it.  Ironically, I used to think chiropractors were scam artists.  Biting my tongue on that one nowadays.  I have found an awesome chiropractor locally.  BEFORE I found the practice, I had allergies(severe), back pain(again, severe), sinus headaches, pain and numbness in my arms, messed up stomach, etc.  Starting going to him and continue for maintenance just twice a month.   I no longer have numbness, no back pain(unless I fall in the boys' room!), rarity I have sinus headaches, no stomach troubles and no allergy medicine needed.  It is awesome.  Feel better too.  Highly recomend one and that says a lot coming from the biggest skeptic in the world.  I will hopefully feel better after Wednesday's treatment.  

Meantime, I'm calling places.  For what you ask?  I think it is high time we get some repairs done to this house.  We try to fix this house when needed and appreciate having this home to live in.  What most of you don't know on here is last house we lived in was a nightmare.  We bought a model home..brand new.  It literally fell apart before our eyes and one day I may tell the whole story.  Suffice it to say, it was one of our greatest mistakes.  We left that home w/ a $30K debt that was NOT our fault but incurred from all the repairs that had to be done to the house.  Builder was shady as was the developer.    Again, very long story and hope to share one day.  It took us forever to pay off that money.  That $30K would have come in handy today for this adoption for sure.  But, we live and learn life's lessons and move forward.  This home is almost 20 years old but in great shape.  Still, when a home ages, it needs repairs.  Our biggest concern besides the heat pump, are the windows.  Here is what some look like:




It is not so much that it is ugly as anything, it is the fact that this is now becoming a structural problem and we don't want that.  We've had estimates on fixing the window rot.  We now unfortunately, have to buy new windows.  And since this is the garage and will become Alyona, "Little Bit," and "Cutie Pie's," room, it needs to be done for safety reasons.  Hoping we can find someone reasonable but having my doubts.  There are quite a few that need to be replaced and during an adoption, that is always tough.  Not impossible though so working on it.



These are the dormer windows.  Did a zoom shot.  The roof is not in that great of shape either and we realize that.  However, there are no leaks at the moment.  But a roof lasting for 20 years is about at the end of it's life for this house.  What you all can't see is on the inside of the windows, mold has started to grow.  Now, we left the last house b/c the mold made me so, so sick.  And b/c the house was falling apart.  We don't want a repeat so it is imperative the worst windows get fixed first.  They are old and not very good windows to begin with.  Not well insulated for sure.   They have done their job well over the years though.




Blurry but you might be able to see the extensive damage that's been done.  This is one of the master bedroom windows.  Almost looks like it's melting away from the house.  When we looked at this one is when we discovered the back porch rot.  Warren is going under the house this weekend to see if it has reached the structural stuff and support beams yet.   This is not all b/c of bad craftsmanship.  This is just wear and tear on an aging house.  Just wish it didn't age all at once-_LOL.  So, we have shifted some of our priorities of getting stuff done.  Safety has to be # 1 priority for sure.  That and health.  The add ons can wait if they must.  Though, they can't wait for long.  Getting some fundraising done is going to have to become priority over the next few weeks.  Discuss more of that tomorrow.  

If any of you locally know of great window replacers or some other folks that do odd jobs, please do contct me and let me know thier information.  We are looking around for sure and already have a few calls in.  But, like to use local help w/ recommendations over anything else.  

Once windows and some little odd fix it up jobs are done, we are going to be building our own shed.  This is the 1st step in the girls getting their new room.  Shed will be built, stuff in the garage will be moved to the new shed and sold as well or thrown out.  Lots to go through.  Then, the construction on turning the garage into an actual girls' room will begin.  Hey, any locals that want to help, we are all for it and will throw a "barn raising" party for sure!  This weekend we will start work on our organic garden we are going to be doing.  A rather large garden and hope that it will give us enough room to produce a majority of veggies and fruits for us.  That would be awesome.  So, lots of work going on in this home the next few months.  We'd rather get it all done now before the three kids get home.  It is a nightmare to have new children home and get them adjusted while major construction is going on.  This is what we had to do when Yana, Alex and Bojan came home.  Not doing it again.  So, working full force to get all this accomplished before our kids get home.  Part of the adoption process is making room for the ones coming home.  That's what we are doing.  Making room.  Keep you all posted on our progress and we do have spare hammers..hint, hint.  LOL.  Have a great week.  We have Upwards Basketball practice this evening.  So, need to get ready for dinner early.  I'll have a few pictures tomorrow on our weekend.  Nothing exciting.  Oh, quick tidbit of info.  ALL the kids' progress reports were excellent!  Many, many hundreds in there too which happily suprised me.  Max is doing fine being out of his self-contained class.  Yana is doing awesome in her academics as well.  they are considering taking her out of self-contained at the end of the year.  Irina is working hard on her occupational program as well.   She is now liking school better this semester so I am relieved.  Good bye.