Friday, March 19, 2010

Pictures just for fun

It is such a beautiful day outside and it definitely put me in a better mood than earlier.  Sorry for that last downer of a post.  It happens sometimes.  Thought I'd post a few pictures of just stuff around the house really.  Nothing special but sometimes is just fun to see the kids and what's happening at Chaos Manor.  Hope you enjoy them.

This is Max.  He is smiling b/c he just opened his birthday present from my mom & dad.  He got a new pair of shoes and a rubiks cube that is a touch cube.  Both really cool items and Max really appreciated them.  Wish my mom would take the time to read this blog and see how happy Max is.  Since it deals with adoption, however, she will not read it.  Just wish she could see the same look on Max's face that I do.  Maybe one day.  For now, Max is happy and that is all that counts for sure!

Max could not wait to try on his new shoes.  Very excited.  I can hardly believe Max will be 15 yo next weekend.  He arrived home at 4 yo weighing just over 20 lbs. and wearing a size 18 months clothes.  Max has not asked for anything for his birthday.  He is just that type of person.  We will most likely take him out for dinner or something.  We'll see.

This was the other gift Max received from my parents.  Remember Rubik's Cube from the 80's?  Well, this is the new touch version.  It is HARD!  Lots of fun though.  Kids have all been playing with it and it is really fun.  Hope one of us can eventually slove it.  Best thing is you can get hints from this one.  

This is Alex.  He's playing w/ some homemade playdough that the tots & I make during the day.  (I watch two toddlers during the day).  It's great b/c it is all natural and won't hurt them if accidentally in the mouth.  I adjust it here and there to make it work and always double batches in this house.  I got it out of Family Fun magazine.  We've made it quite a few times and they still have fun.  I've made orange, yellow and brown.  Want to make pink but never have beet juice around.  Oh well.  

This is one of Bojan.  He really & truly is our reader.  Loves to read.  What better than a comfortable chair and a good book?  Bojan is reading more and more novels nowadays.  Soaking up a lot of knowledge for sure.  He's been getting all A's on everything lately.  Quite an improvement and very proud of him.  He does NOT write like he talks.  I was stunned the other day to read his creative writing report.  He received an A.  Read it and just did not know he could write like that.  It was wonderful and refreshing.  And, he is not bragging about his grades either.  Very modest.  Now, if he could take this much effort and apply it to his hygiene practices.  Boys.  I think they just love to stink at times.  

I'll post some more pictures tomorrow probably.  Have another post about funds but just am beat today to write anything else.  Long day.  Have a wonderful weekend.  Warren has to work this weekend and kids have basketball at the church all day tomorrow.  Last game.  I'm definitely ready to have my weekends back.  Been a great season though. 

Just one of those days

The past few days has felt like just "one of those days."  Maybe it's the time change, maybe it is that the level of frustration is finally catching up to me.  Maybe Ishouldn't care about some things but  I do.  For some reason, kids were bugging me this morning.  Shouldn't have but they were.  Found a note in Alex's bookbag from the teacher that he hadn't done his homework and forgot his agenda.  Alex comes down w/ a t-shirt on that is most likely Nik's shirt and two sizes too small.  Alyona was not going to get out of bed.  She just wasn't.  Bojan had a shirt on that looked 4 sizes too big and looked like a nightgown on him.  Told him to go change.  He comes down w/ a shirt that looked like it had been a balled up piece of aluminum foil.  Yes, it was that wrinkled.  I let it go after that.  Nik had not done his homework I found out so yelled at him this morning and made him do it.  He's smart enough he can do it on his own which is nice.  Just seemed to start off as one of those days.  Maybe it was b/c I had no sleep or maybe it was b/c I had some news regarding funding the adoption.  That is my next post or two btw.  Not good.  Need funds is the bottom line and will explain in depth later.  Or maybe it was the fact that I just got back my apostilled mini dossier all nice & pretty & get an email that SAME day saying two of the POA's have now changed.  URGHH.  I know this feeling is a couple of things.  Many things are happening.  With the adoption and with home life.  I want things done around the house.  I'm ready for spring.  Have spring fever.  Just seems there is not enough time during the day to finish everythign I want to get done.  And, it is not for a lack of trying on my part.  I will get over whatever it is I'm feeling.  I think it is the time change quite frankly.  Which btw is another stressor for me here w/ FASers.  They always go a little nutty this time of year.  This year is no exception.  Maybe it is just having to make decisions.  I have spring fever & love flowers.  We all know this, I used to work in a florist shop.  Yet, last night at Walmart I really wanted to pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers.  But, $10 is $10 and that is desperately needed to bring our kids home.  Every little bit counts, it really does.  I don't know what it is.  Ever just feel frutrated?  I have no reason to complain and know that I shouldn't be.  So, this will be my last pity party post and will try to have a better spirit next post.  But I do think it is natural for people to feel overwhelmed or frustrated every once in a while.  Thank goodness it doesn't happen often.  It's a beautiful day, got to play outside w/ the kids I watch and am getting things accomplished.  Tempted to erase this post but think I'll leave it.  Okay, I'm now over feelign whatever it was.  Blue skies, I'm going to enjoy it for sure.  Next post or two is regarding what is going on w/ our funding of the adoption.  What we thought we could do to fund it ourselves, we can not.  Mroe to come on that.  Also, maybe some more pics & happenings around the house.  Busy, busy weekend.  Warren has to work and I have Upwards Basketball(last game) at the church tomorrow.  We'll be there from about 9:45am to around 3 or so pm.  After that, working on the yard & bathroom.  Next week, it is work on the garden we're planting and take 5 of the kids to the dentist.  Yana has a dance tonight.  Warren & Max are grilling out...grilled veggies & shrimp over rice.  Yum.  So, all in all, I should not be complaining.  About two more posts to come.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

For those new, every Thursday, I try to think of at least one thoughtful thing each of my kids has done for the week.  Sometimes, that is easier said than done.  Many w/ FAS and RAD children have to look for the good in things b/c it is so easy to get lost in the "bad" that goes on.  I have to remind myself of that somedays.  Today, was one of those days... a long, drawn out day that you wanted to end.  Somedays I just repeat to myself "with every new day, there is fresh hope."  May sound crazy but it is the truth.  It is not all roses here.  But this day is about the good and that is what I want to share.  So, here goes.

Irina-- Saw that we were having a rough night after basketball so she kindly offered to make all her brothers and sisters' lunches for them.  Very thoughtful for sure. 

Max--Knowing his dad has been working hard and a bit tired lately, Max has been offering to help around the house w/ projects and such. 

Yana-- brought me my jacket from the car after I made a comment at the McDonald's playground that I was cold.  She didn't have to do that.  She was just being thoughtful.

Bojan-- saw that Alex & Nik needed help cleaning up their room before the worker came so he volunteered to help them.  He was being very thoughtful towards his brothers. 

Alyona-- helped walk the two toddlers home that I babysit.  She volunteered to carry the stuff over there w/ the tot's older sister.  Alyona was just trying to help and being thoughtful as she knew the older sister had her hands full.

Alex-- Offered to find Nik's implant after it was lost.  And this was before we mentioned a monetary reward for it.  Alex realizes his brother needs this to hear and wanted to help him find it. 

Nik-- Has been making mommy some very sweet pictures lately and showing many signs of love and affection.  (Despite drawing a picture of humpty dumpty being pushed off the wall!-- tell you abotu that one later.  Warren and I about died in laughter)

It is always good for parents w/ children with mental health & behavioral issues to see the good that is in their children as well.  Makes a difference I feel.  Deep down, even the toughest kids can be very very thoughtful and sweet.  Hope you all have a great week.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happenings in pics

Well, I know I usually do Wednesday's Waiting child today but I'm waiting on confirmation to see if some of the kids have found homes already.  Also, there may be a new child or two to list.  So, with that being said, I figured I'd do some random happenings around the house here.  BTW, the implant has not been recovered.  We even offered to pay whoever found it.  ALL of them were trying to locate it.  Yana and Max worked hours after school today.  They happen to have early release from school today.  I still think that is the dumbest thing the schools have come up with yet.  Anyhow, here are some pics below.  Nothing special, just some random pictures.  Enjoy!

Well, IRina and Nik seemed to have so much fun that now Alyona and Bojan wanted to join in.  I must admit, at first I was apprehensive about my kids slicing themselves w/ the peeler.  Those fears were quickly put to rest.  It is really hard for Alyona since she has permanent damage to her arm and can't really move it.  So, she pretty much works on one potato and Bojan does the rest.  They dont' mind though.  Again, why my kids prefer to work on the floor is beyond me.  Hey, at least it is mopped frequently.  

Odd picture, I know but I was practicing a close up shot.  Remember, I'm trying to learn.  Anyhow, I used to make my own homemade Chili-lime seasoning to go on top of things.  One day at TJ Maxx I spotted this & it has made my life a bit easier.  Just sprinkle it on and no mixing involved.  Tastes the same as the homemade I used to make.  Great on chicken and kids love it.  Trust me, I'm not one for anything spicy so it has just enough kick for me and the kids.  

Most folks would not show anything this well, not so glamourous shot.  Typically, it is piled sky high on top of the bed too.  Alright, we get asked the laundry question quite a bit.  I was asked again today.  I do approximately 4 to 5 loads of laundry a day.  At least.  When it gets this stacked up, I call in backups for help to fold.  With all of us folding, doesn't take but a few minutes and we're done.  BTW, this is what we'll be doing this evening.  

Horrible picture of him but I swear it is hard to get the teens in any picture at this point.  Funny, when they're young, you can't get them away from the camera and as they age, can't get them near it.  Oh well.  I try.  Ignore the background.  We were in the midst of cleaning.  Wall pictures are sparse for a reason.  Most are laying broken in another room.  I will definitely get back into fixing them up.  Sounds like a summer job to me.  Max would definitely not be happy if he saw this picture of him on here.  Told him next time, he should smile then.  LOL. 

This is Max helping Alex get used to his EEG cap by wearing one too.  Stickers on the face and all.  Max was a good sport.  FAS children tend to have other disorders as well.  Alex also has some sensory integration issues as well.  So, the cap and stickers(more the stickers) really bothered him.  Max helped Alex get used to the feel of it all by joking around.  Oooh, and I got that smile out of Max.  

Those were just a few pics.  Will have more later this week.  Going to take care of a few other posts first.  Have to go get a few things tonight and then do a cardio workout.  I've been doing yoga, stretching, and light weight lifting.  I have been horrible lately(last 2 weeks) about doing the cardio.  Watched the Biggest Loser last night and felt guilty.  Soo, doing a cardio workout tonight.  Got to start somewhere.  Kids are doing fine for right now.  NO major meltdowns or stuff broken this week.  Wahoo!!!  We're off on the right foot.  More going on and keep you all posted.  Got to go.  Need to finish off the homework and get bedtime ready for some.  Have a great night everyone.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

URGHH!!!-- what are they searching for???

I will just see if you can guess.  So, here goes...

Why on earth is our worker helping pull my kids up?  What could possibly be happening here??  Poor guy got dragged into this event as he was leaving. 

What on earth could these children be looking for?  Have you made an educated guess yet?

Bojan has even put on gloves to try to help find the item.  Alyona is walking along the creek.  I told them NOT to look in the creek as I know that is not where it is.  Have you figured out what "it" is yet?  No?  Well, Nik did it again.  URGHH.  Hasn't done this since last year.  He and the other kids were playing in the leaves.  Originally, they were knocking the leaves in the creek.  From the driveway area.  Well, then they started sliding down.  Thought it was a game.  Told them someone was going to get hurt.  Never thought about the implant coming off during a sliding episode.  Of course, it is brown.  Goes nicely w/ the leaves, right?  This is what we'll be doing the rest of the evening.  So, my planned posts are no more till we find this implant.  Again, a normal day in the life here at Chaos Manor. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Manic Monday

I don't even really know where to begin.  Well, yesterday we ended our search for Bojan's shoes.  Thank goodness.  Treated the kids to an outdoor playground and some $1 burgers.  Let's face it, you mostly go to Micky D's for the playground  anyhow, not the food.  While on the playground, Alyona decides to show me out the plastic bubble she was in the treasure she found.  She was SO excited b/c she thought she'd get to keep it.  What was it you ask?  Why spit out gum!  YUCK and double YUCK.  We're screaming drop it and she is saying "but it's green."  I yelled back to her "So is vomit but you wouldn't stick that in your mouth, would you?"  I know, not my best parenting advice screaming that to my child on the playground.  Oh well.  Get home and had a wonderful visit from another friend who brought us a bag full of clothes and shoes for the boys.  I really don't think she truly comprehends how generous that is or just how much that helps our family.  Her company was much welcomed after a very long day.  We talked for a l-o-n-g time and really were able to swap stories.  Her son is in my daughter's class and she can relate to some issues we are having w/ one of our sons.   Again, refreshing to have someone to talk to who really understands this part of parenting.  Thanks for the wonderful chat & the clothes Renee!  Have to have you over one of these days for sure. 

Today was definitely a MOnday by all accounts.  Waking up the day after a time change is so hard.  Don't know why that one hour makes all that much difference but seemed everyone we ran into this afternoon was yawning as well.  Got off to a late start and don't even think half my kids had socks on for school.  Hey, they had a lunch today so that was progress.  They were in their typical mismatched clothes going to school.  Remember, I let them pick their own clothes out.  However, I totally forgot it was picture day till this evening about 9pm.  Again, not another proud parenting moment for me.  What mother forgets picture day for Pete's sake?!  Oh well.  Can't wait to see how they turn out.  We were running late and finally got in the car to go to Chapel Hill for a research study.  It was for Alex.  Ran into traffic, street signs were not up due to construction and a myrid of other things that made us 45 minutes late.  Honestly, I didn't think we'd get in & have to reschedule.  But, they took us in & did all the testing.  This is a sensory experiment project that they are doing for years and years.  Alex was there back in 2005.  Really neat and they are mainly doing this to help discover some things w/ Autism.  Great science and even better being a part of it.  Alex actually had an IQ test done today and we'll get the results.  This will help us w/ school placement as well so double beneficial.  Alex did great.  It also surprised me that he told all the volunteers that he was getting 2 new sisters and a brother.  He is really embracing the idea of new sibs so not worried about him a bit.  Great to see.  Sometimes kids w/ new sibs can be jealous or not want them to come but he is very welcoming of the idea.  In fact the only one not showing as much enthusiasm to new sibs is Max.  That is b/c he keeps telling us he'll have to watch them, clean up after them, etc.  What?!  The kid doesn't clean up after himself now or his sibs!--LOL.  Don't know where this idea came from.  Sounds like a classmate.  He's got time to adjust and frankly, not worried about it.  If I had all resounding 'yes's' from all my kids, then I'd be worried.  This is all normal, trust me. 

anyhow, Alex then picked pizza for lunch.  Research study you get a small(yes, small) stipend.  So, we take him out for lunch.  Just the three of us.  Great to get some one on one time here and there w/ each of the kids.  We all ordered a supreme pizza...yumm.  Very good. Then onto the EEG lab for a brain wave study.  Cool stuff and all Alex had to do was be hooked up to electrodes and watch a movie.  Lucky kid.  We left and headed home.  Big accident on I-40 so went another way.  Called the kids at home and said we were very late and to be ready for basketball tonight.  None ate when we had gotten home.  Too bad.  Again, my 3rd not so great parenting moment for the day.  Told them to go to basketball practice and I'd feed them later.  Got to the car and realized I needed help upstairs.  Duh, workers coming tomorrow and everything needs to be out of the way.  So, older kids and I stayed home and did clean up and moving of stuff while Warren took them to practice. 

Everyone is finally in bed.  I'm exhausted.  Found out I don't have to work tomorrow which is a welcomed surprise after today.  Goign to visit my cousin.  Come home and do some work on this computer in regards to fundraising.  More on that tomorrow.  Lots and lots to do tomorrow.  Manic Monday does not begin to describe today.  Hope you all had a more quiet day.  Much going on this week as usual. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Upwards Basketball

Well, thought it was time for some pictures.  I know these are from last weekend but forgot my camera yesterday.  Here's some shots and hope you enjoy watching the kids have a great time.

This is Alex in action.  This was from two weekends ago.  This past weekend he actually guarded his brother Bojan.  That was a riot.  Those two were something.  One would try to out do the other.  Typical sibling rivalry.  

This is Max and Nik rooting on their brothers during a game.  I think my kids need some sun.  What do you think?  Believe it or not, Max is Asian and fairly dark complected.  Umm, not here.  Middle of winter for sure.  Nik could blind you with those little white legs.  Sunscreen please.  LOL.

There are not only basketballs during church games.  These are baby goats from a speaker that was there during the games.  During half time shows, they have different people come and minister to the kids and adults.  They have had some very inspirational people talk.  My kids are very used to being around animals so this wasn't a big deal for them.  However, it was for a good chunk of kids in that gym.  I really think it is important for kids to respect nature and animals and feel comfortable around them. 

This is Nik in the center.  I think it is going in!  He is so thrilled to make baskets as it is such a rarity at this age.  Kindergartners are such fun to watch.  

This is Alex watching a half time show.  Since he is grounded, he is not allowed to go play w/ his buddies after his game.  Not the happiest camper but maybe a lesson learned.  

Well, need to go.  Hope to have more up tomorrow night.  Will be gone all time tomorrow as it is Alex's research day.  An ongoing study he has been involved in for years.  Tomorrow is also the last basketball practice we have this season.  We decided not to do Miracle League Baseball and instead do some more family trips and such.  Next weekend Warren has to work but still hoping maybe we can get a local hike in.  We'll see.  Enjoy the week.  It is a long one for us.  Aren't they all though.  BTW, I know I have some personal emails to answer.  I am just very behind as we've been gone all day and well, frankly most of the weekend.  Will catch up.  Really was an awesome weekend. 

Visit from a friend

Well, we survived springing forward.  We are actually on a mission today to get Bojan a new pair of shoes.  Sounds easy, right?  Well, not w/ his issues.  The prosthetic foot is no big deal.  The "meaty" clubfoot, however, that's another story.  He has to have boots and finding boots that will fit his size foot in NC during spring is tough.  The only ones that seem to last our Timberlands...yikes!  We all know how much those cost.  But, it is either those or the $600 to $700 "special" shoes.  No thanks.  Not w/ kids.  He gets his AFO soon.  Taking forever for some reason.  Usually they are ready very, very quickly.  cAlling again tomorrow. 

Anyhow, we've been to Walmart, Target, Kohls, Shoe Show, Shoe Carnival, TJMaxx, and way too many others to name.  Soo, today we are going to the outlet center.  I dread that place but since it is not quite tourist season, we should be good.  Put it this way, bus tours come there to shop.  NEVER go there during Christmas season or the summer and you can avoid most tourists.  You can get some phenominal deals there and hope to today.  Shoes is priority for him as they are currently glued together w/ goop.  Seriously.  It is crazy.

Okay, back from the shopping adventure.  URGHH!  Hate going w/ the boys.  LOL.  Men are just not made to shop.  I made that comment in a store today and a man standing next to me laughed and nodded in agreement.  Anyhow, we found Bojan 2 new pair of boots.  Finally.  Fortunately, they did not cost as much as originally thought.  We found Alyona a few items as well.  And while in the Osh Kosh store, Nik promised he would be a good boy if we got him the dinosaur shirt.  I caved.  He got the t-shirt.  It was on super clearance so no big deal but couldn't resist the cuteness as I usually can.  Teens also picked up some polo type shirts.  Again, typically we go to yardsales but like to mix it up w/ new clothes here and there and if they're on super clearance, it doesn't make it so bad to buy.  I even got a great pair of pants for just $7.  AND, best part was, I needed a smaller size.  Wait, did you hear that?!  A smaller size!  I was thrilled.  Found a great travel bag for $12.  Great deals.  We did not spend much but did really well for some things that we truly needed. 

Okay, remember when I said I'd buy that shirt if he were good?  Well, I did.  Regrets.  Nik behaved excellently until we went into a store for the teens.  They were waiting to go into the dressing room and wham!  I catch Nik looking under all the stalls to see if people were in them.  Guess he didn't want his sisters to wait.  Too bad.  I yank him up off the floor and really lay into him w/ sign , angry voice and expressions and all.  He just breaks down in tears.  I know, I look like mean mom in there yelling at a deaf child.  Didn't care.  He knows better than to look under the stalls.  He really does.  Warren took him outside w/ the rest of the boys while the girls and I finished up. 

After that incident and finishing up at one more store, we decide to head home.  First, thought we'd suprise the kids w/ a trip to McDonalds w/a playground.  They were thrilled.  WE all ate outside b/c it was so nice out.  Kids played on the playground quite a bit.  Beautiful day and best part is my kids will actually listen when it is time to go.  They know not to whine or cry.  We ask them to leave, they put their shoes on and we go.  I must say, they are typically well-behaved when we go out places.  The only one who had an issue today was Nik looking under the stalls.  However, I honestly think he was looking for his sisters.  Either way, he knows better. 

Now, about last night.  We had a friend come over w/ her son. 
She has a 9yo son that also has RAD and FAS.  For any of you out there struggling w/ a child w/ these disorders, do, do see if there is anyone nearby that you can talk to.  It was SO incredibly refreshing to speak to someone who knew exactly what I was talking about.  Who's son does the same type of stuff that my son does.  Whose worries are the same as mine.  Are we doing the right thing parenting them, can we do something different, will they make it are all questions that come up.  Knowing someone out there feels and thinks the same way is a weight lifted to say the least.  REally is.  You no longer feel alone.  Someone else who has had to restrain their child during a rage.  Someone who even knows what on earth a RAD rage is.  Or even how long they last.  Our record is 4 hours at this house but not something you want to be proud of.  We talked, we laughed, and we ate.  She brought the most delicous cookies and cake.  Wow!  Loved it.  We ate all the cookies.  Fantastic.  Cake is gone.  Kids told me mom, you have to get the recipe.  I will for sure.  My kids of course were well behaved.  Ahh, deceptive packaging.  LOL.  As soon as she left, they started up.  The whining, not wanting to go to bed or get a bath.  Why?  I got a bath yesterday.  The list goes on.  My boys were fighting over who helped her son earlier while she was here.  Yep, they were arguing in front of a guest.  Yet, she "got it."  She understood why they were doing what they were doing.  She understood how we had to talk to them.  Was nice not having to feel like we were walking on egg shells.  Really nice.  Lori, can't say enough of a thank you.  Do hope we get to connect on more topics soon.  Kids watched tv together just fine, built legos together just fine, chased each other just fine so I do think we'll be seeing more of them sometime.  I implore others w/ kids affected by RAD or FAS or both to really try to talk to someone face to face.  Swap those horror stories and listen to each other.  It helps.  It really does.  Got to go.  Two of mine are whining about who's cleaning what.  Crazy, huh?