Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ice cream fundraiser today

The kids have decided to do a mini fundraiser at our house.  Well, actually, at the end of the driveway.  So, if any of you locals are reading,, do stop by even if to say good job.  They'd love to hear it.  It's going to be in the mid to upper 90's out today w/ sunshine.  So, great day to come over & get some ice cream!  Good Humor bars, fruit bars, icee pops, popsicles, brownies, cold soda, tea, water.  All money goes toward the adoption of 3 special needs children from Bulgaria.  Going to try to set up around 1:30.  Just for a few hours as I know none of us will be able to stand it that long.  Thanks in advance for all the support.  I like that this was NOT my idea and that the kids actually wanted to do it.  Despite having 15 kids here all day yesterday & 12 for a sleepover, I think we pulled it together thus far.  Hope the momentum keeps up.  Kids even picked up after the party so we are good.  Nothing hanging over our heads.  Warren is at work.  Got to go.  Lots to get ready still not to mention the Father's Day shirt is nowhere near done.  I will have some pictures up later tonight for sure.  Have a wonderful weekend & try to stay purchasing some ice cream of course!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A few pics

Thought I'd share a few more around the house pics as the last post was so wordy.  So, here goes. 

My kids have been enjoying some great swim time.  perfect weather for it here as well.  They do love each other & I think the incident the other day was simply a hug gone wrong.  Here they are, no troubles & Alyona is doing the tight squeeze.  

yes, my kids love to climb on the counter.  He was helping fill this pot up to boil corn.  For some reason, the picture is kind of blurry.  

Alex enjoying corn...again.  My kids could eat all day long if you'd let them.  And corn especially.  They love it.  Nothing like corn in the summer after a long swim.  

Two boys, no shirts.  Typical here.  Nik has an ear of corn in front of him and Bojan is snacking on leftover chips from where we had people over.  

I promise you our lives do not revolve around food despite the last few photos.  We had an another adoptive family over for dinner this past weekend.  Well, they brought their ice cream machine and we were able to have homemade icecream.  Loved it.  Kids really enjoyed taking turns making the ice cream.  And don't worry about Bojan.  If you look closer, you can see the leg is actually off.  His bone is starting to grow closer to the skin and this is a major problem.  Again, I'll do another post about him as he has some medical issues going on right now w/ his legs that need to be addressed.  

Still more to share obviously.  Our week is somewhat settling down.  We will have 13 kids here today.  Bojan is sick and "quarantined" to his room for now.  That is until I figure out if it is a bug or just his stomach issues.  Hard to tell the difference at times.  We do need to get Bojan back to a gastroenterologist soon I think.  He and the others had H-pylori but we have not taken him back for a recheck.  I do think that is contributing to some of his issues right now.  The urologist we went to a few months ago seemed to think it was no big deal but I beg to differ at this point.  So, searching for a good doc for him to resolve all this stuff.  Poor kid takes it in stride though.  Everyone is watching a movie right now.  I'm getting ready to feed them all and then it is swim time for them.  Those who want to of course.  More to come later today.  Just will be busy w/ them the next few hours.  Just know everyone is doing really well.  Enjoying summer.  they are so excited about vacation next week.  Can't wait.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Warren has to work but the rest of us will alternate between relaxation and fixing up the house a bit.  We have had a very successful decluttering session this week.  Finally.  Stay tuned for more to come. 

Checking in

SO, SO much to catch up on.  however, as you can see, I have been absent for a bit.  Our computer crashed, this time beyond repair.  Stinks just b/c of the timing of it all.  Warren HAS to have a computer for work.  No options not to unless he wants to travel there on weekends sometimes.  He commutes to work so not the best solution.  Had to go out and purchase a new computer.  Sad but when you do an adoption you think of any purchase you have to make as one in paperwork terms.  You know... oh, the computer was almost as much as the I-800A application.  Or something similar.  hate it.  Again, this is life and not much I can do about it.  this is the first night back w/ a computer so sorry about that.

I can't even begin to tell you all the week we've had here at Chaos Manor.  Amazing all mine are still alive.  And unfortunately, I mean that literally & not figuratively.  I forget the transition period sometimes that FASers go through at the end of school.  I'm still getting used to that 24 hour hypervigilent state I have to be in w/ them here.  Seriously.  This is why we must, must get cameras installed in this home w/ a monitor system so that I can see them at all times.  This is not a joke.  We were approved for one years ago based on all the disabilities here.  Company that was supposed to install never called back.  I got busy(ha, can you imagine that?) and never got to follow up either w/ the organization that arranged it all to begin with.  So, long story short, no monitoring system right now but desperate need for one.  Especially, during the summer.  URGHH!!!  Nik nearly drowned Alyona yesterday.  I honestly think this one was an accident as I had just finished taking their picture.  But it was exactly like that scene out of Lilo & Stitch where stitch kept dragging Lilo down in the water.  It was happening before my eyes.  I was getting ready to jump in but I had four kids in there next to Alyona.  Max scooped her away from Nik while Alex peeled Nik off of her.  Again, I think this was him trying to hug her as I had just finished taking pictures of them hugging each other.  Just takes a split second though. Made Nik get out & explained he was hurting her.  He told me no, he wasn't.  Still learning the sign for drown at this point.  We showed him an example using the boys & then he got it.  Alyona was fine.  Scared at first but fine.  max held her while Alex & Bojan performed the coconut dance to make her feel better.  Dont' ask.  That was one catastrophe avoided.  Next up. 

Max & Alyona were the next catastrophes here.  Max was filling up the windshield wiper fluid in the van.  No big deal.  Well, except he pretends to drink it in front of Alyona.  Now, I know he's kidding around.  She does NOT.  URGHH.  he said " I told her it's poison."  Now, I know Max would NEVER give this to her but I was more concerned of her thinking it was koolaid or something another time.  I was yelling from the window at this time.  I've explained to him her challenges and how we have to think of her as being 3 years old, NOT almost 11 years old.  Ahh, FAS thinking at work.  Other FAS parents know what I mean about that one.  max understood and reiterated to her it's not a drink.  alyona said "I know that.  I'm not stupid."  Okay, she gets it.  She said that sarcastically to him too. 

Today was much better than those yesterday happenings.  Forgot to mention Alex was an emotional nightmare.  Happens w/ transitions.  Now, today is finally, finally turning the corner and we're now semi back to normal.  Been a very rough few days w/ no computer, FAS craziness, etc.  Today, the only happenings has been Max breaking eveything.  Let me explain that better.  He breaks everything to put it back together again.  So, takes stuff apart & puts it back together or tries to.  Well, he did that to Bojan's cd player.  Still not back together yet.  Yana is reading the dictionary front to back.  Literally.  She's trying to use words I don't know.  I'm annoyed.  Know I shouldn't be but trust me, don't need to hear a new word every few seconds.  Dog has decided he doesn't like the new dog food.  Explain Bear's health later.  Irina's OCD went out of control.  Whole has is cleaned.  Umm, NOT good.  I know you think that is good but in the process I've had to dig through garbage as she throws out anything laying around including vital receipts!  URGHH.  My life.  working on a Father's Day gift.  So, we do this tacky t-shirt every year.  had the kids out working on it this morning.  Someone decides to let the dog out while paint is all over.  Do you see where this is going?  yep, Bear walks right on the t-shirt...with the paint on the paws.  I thought about leaving it but managed to cover some up.  Dirt may still be stuck on there but who cares at this point.  We also wrote names on our upcoming shirts for the trip. 

I'm having some questions on the I-800A to fill out.  Asking agency tomorrow.  Like, what do you do if you can't recall the dates of all  your last approvals?  Who knew I'd be asked this again as I thought we were done adopting after each & every adoption.  LOL  Didn't save some of this stuff.  Lovely.  Another thing to add to my to do list.  We are also getting ready for Alyona's party tomorrow.  And, a fundraiser the girls are doing on Saturday.  haven't written and since I'm watching 12 kids tomorrow, I highly doubt I'm writing tomorrow either.  Can I please have a vacation??  sorry.  This post really turned more into a whine/ vent & that is not what I meant it to be.  There are some great things happening but will share later.  Way more to say & now that we ahve a functioning computer again, I'll share more this weekend and play catch up.  Bojan's appointment was today.  need a new orthopedist & will explain in detail later.  This one's great, don't get me wrong but again, will explain more.  Trouble w/ clubfoot, trouble w/ stump now on amputated leg as well.  never dull here.  I'm still learning how to use this stupid new keyboard so if you see lots of mistakes, you'll know why. 

Suffice it to say, I've had a long week.  i think every parent does the first week of summer break.  Today is when finally saw it all starting to turn around for the better.  A sense of relief.  Nice feeling.  Been gettign to do laps in the pool and play w/ the kids some.  Getting excited about our vacation and getting nervous about the upcoming adoption stuff.  So, though this post was very whiny, next few ones definitelyshould not be.  Oh, and picture updates coming to.  You have to see some of these great kids & what they're doing.  Hey, maybe a belated Thoughtful thursday post tomorrow.  Tune in for more a bit later tomorrow.  I don't really write when I'm watching kids as they're my responsibility.   I have a ton to say & will catch up on stuff.  Just family comes first and we have lots going on w/ family lately.  Some good, some not so good.  But, nothing horrible.  Just normal family stuff.  Well, normal for our family.  Still trying to fix up the house some more.  hey, it's all cleaned now.  Not the garage b/c that's Warren's area.  Even the laundry is 100% done!  Can't believe it myself.  So, no computer has done me some good too.  Warren & I are having a weightloss competition between us.  It's a good thing.  More to come this weekend.   thanks for letting me semi-vent.  We're finally getting on track & normal routine for summer.  things have calmed down tremendouslyh from earlier this week.  See you all later. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What's photos

Lots of content in these last few posts. Thought you all might like to see what we've been up to other than paperwork and awards.  Let's get started.

Well, school just ended so we are doing some serious summer time chilling out around here.  Of course, this was after she was cleaning the house.  Remember, Irina is our daughter that is affected by OCD.  She lives to clean.  Now, the trouble is, that is combined w/ a dx of FAS.  This in turn effects decision making.  Well, the other day she kept complaining she felt really dizzy & did not feel good at all.  I asked her what she had cleaned w/.  Sure enough ammonia AND bleach!  Yikes!  A horrible combo.  She was fine after a few hours but now you know that even when they get older, you still have to make sure you are always on your toes.  I have to make a big decision in the next two weeks & decide if we should let her take driver's ed.  Some days I think she's ready & some days I don't.  IRina has spent the night at a friend's house & been dog sitting and babysitting a bit.  I think she is finally ready for a job.  So, we may go out and get applications done.  We'll see.  

I have no idea why in the world he was attacking this onion.  I really just happen to be snapping the camera.  I don't think he knows I have this picture & it may be removed later.  LOL.  I'm not going to live this one down.  But, he does like to entertain the kids as they're waiting for dinner.  I'm guessing this is when he made beef & broccoli stir fry.  

She's just so dog gone cute!  Had to take a picture of her.  Hard to believe she is growing up.  She keeps reminding me that it's her birthday soon & she'll be 11yo.  Wow.  11yo.  Only 2 more years before the dreaded teen years hit.  For now, she's still my girlie girl.  In summer, I wear bandanas on my head all the time.  She seems to have copied me a bit.  Love it.

Did I ever tell you what a great big brother Max is??  Yes, to put up w/ this mess, he has to be.  I have no idea why Nik is wearing my bandana over his head.  Max drags them across the floor like this. They love it.  

What would a weekend in our home be w/out injury?  Why a miracle of course.  LOL.  Don't know what happened to the picture but you get the idea.  Yana was helping out by weedwhacking.  And no, she wasn't doing it in barefeet.  She had socks & shoes on.  She slipped on the rocks out back(remember, the flooded yard all the time??), grabbed the on button as she was falling & sliced up her leg.  She was fine, just scared.  Doesn't that look like it stings?  Ouch.  Yana handled it well though.  Progress from earlier PTSD days for sure.  Poor girl though.  She got this AFTER she had already been stung by a wasp a few minutes prior on the same leg a little higher up. 

Just had to end w/ this shot b/c he looks so dog gone cute here.  Don't remember what he was doing but must have just gotten out of the pool as the implant or ha isn't on him.  I have more photos but will share in another post.  Trying to sell some things online today and organize the mini fundraiser the kids are having this weekend.  Also, lots, lots more going on.  I'm finding myself too busy to write on here.  Summer was supposedd to be slow but it seems to have sped up at Chaos Manor.  More later. 


Permission to repost:

When I adopted myson Michael from an orphanage in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan in 2007, I met a shy young girl named Diana at his orphanage.  Diana has juvenile diabetes.  Diana's diabetes in not under control.  Her orphanage doesn't have the money to get her the treatment she needs. Things like insulin pumps are very difficult to come by in Kazakhstan.  

Diana was supposed to be adopted, but the adoption fell through.  Diana is 16 now & too old to be adopted, under Kazakh law.  She came to America & received treatment fa few years ago in Texas, and the doctor who treated her felt if she couldn't get proper care she would not live to see her 18th birthday.  

She needs to be brought to America for treatment.  I am campaigning hard to find a sponsoring group or physician who would pay her way.  I sent out more than 8 emails to charitable organizations this morning but I think the more folks I talk to, the better.  Please help me spread the world, so we can get Diana the help she needs.

Any of you that have info, please contact me at  I will then pass the info onto the person spearheading this campaign to save Diana.  

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another award post

Just two awards' ceremonies left to cover.   Phew!  Time to get to it.  We left off w/ Bojan.  Next is Alyona.  As you all know, Alyona is in a self-contained classroom w/ K to 5th graders.  She has grown by leaps and bounds this year.  Yet, we are still in reality that she is really far behind peers her age.  She is starting to learn how to read and we are quite proud of that fact.  Why?  B/c just last year we were told she may never learn how to read due to her disabilities.  Not to mention the lousy eyesight.  Basically, she functions w/ one eye and the other "good" eye is grainy.  So, for her to learn how to read truly is a miracle.  I had the "littles" with me that day.  (I do not post pics of the kids I sit for but trust me, they're cuties!).  They were quite patient as we were having to classroom hop due to Alex & Alyona being in the same grade & same time celebrations.  And if it weren't for Max's FAS meltdown that morning, we would have had to school hop as well. 

Alyona's classroom also celebrated summer birthday's as well. 

Here is a picture of some of the summer birthday kiddos.  You can see Alyona in her pink dress.  She loves pink and is such our girlie girl.  The picture gives you a clear indication just how small Alyona is fo rher age.  And, I'm pretty sure some of the others are younger than her.  We were supposed to go back to endocrinology to see if a dx of dwarfism may be in order.  However, we never went back.  Sometimes, I dont' see the point in having every dx on paper.  This one we've let go.  She is who she is and that's all that counts.  Alyona has an awesome teacher this year & she's taught some of our other children in the past.  Mrs. M is the best!  Alyona is lucky that she gets to have her next eyar as well for 4th grade.  

The classroom awards' pics turned out so much better than the ones in the cafeteria.  Alyona received one for excellence in the classroom.  She's so proud.  She also recieved a school award for good behavior and one for student of the month for courage.  Again, I had no idea.  My kids tell me nothing.  She received another award for the school but can't remember what it was.  Like I said, piles of awards everywhere.  I always remember the more significant ones.  Though all are great. 

Next, we have Alexander.  Though, the week of awards I was ready to strangle him, he survived to make the awards.  LOL.  Why was I ready to do that to him?  Let's see....

Every morning, this is what he looked like.  That is AFTER we would spend 25 minutes trying to wake him up.  And then there is this:

Can't tell anything wrong w/this?  Maybe look a little closer at this hosta:

Can you see it?  Someone took scissors to my hostas!  Yep, cut off the purple flowers.  Fortunately, it was only this one. The others were untouched.  Why?  Who knows.  It's an FAS type of thing to do. The only reason I suspect Alex is b/c he's the only one who likes to cut things off.   Usually though, it is his shoes or clothes.  Not my flowers.  

Despite these things, I still went to his awards.  Really, I honestly would have gone no matter what he did.  He received a classroom award.  Alex had tremendous growth this year but we all felt another year in 3rd would put him over the top for sure for success.  So, Alex will be in third this coming year.  He actually is okay w/ it and we have spoken about it in length w/ him.  

This is Alex w/ his teacher.  She was wonderful too.  Alex also received an award for good behavior and for the National Fitness Test.  Alex's nickname here is 'Dash' for a reason.  

I swear all my kids must have stage fright.  I really can not get a smiling face when they get an award.  This was Alex getting his fitness award. 

All in all, the kids did beautifully this year.  ALL my elementary kids my tremendous growth academically and accomplished so much.  Yana grew the most by far.  I really do hope they keep up this pace next year.  What amazes me even more is that NONE have behavioral issues at school.   Remember, they do have multiple dx's and FAS.  For them to not get in trouble, I think is a testimony just to how much kids can move forward despite their past experiences.  That is, w/the right kind of guideance and love.  I think their teachers help w/ that guideance for sure.  

Great year overall.  We had some trouble w/ social issues such as bullying by other kids but we survived it.  Next year they will soar.  Can't wait.  

It has been a whirlwind of a few days.  Lots more to say.  Just need some more time.  Tomorrow.  Kids are out of school for the summer.  We are hvaing a full break week this week to adjust.  Starting next week, I do about 2 hours of school w/ them each day.  Some fun topics.  Just to keep them busy really.  Not so bored.  FAS kids are always needing to be in motion or doing something.  I will make sure they have stuff to do.  Kids are wanting to do a mini fundraiser this weekend.  More on that too.  Have a great evening.  More later.

Another award post

Cut to the chase as I have too much going on to be writing on here.  LOL.  Kids are all out of school but Ihave the day off from the 3 other kids that I normally watch.  Playing catch up & we're being vampires today as they're not going out in the sun much today.  We have really been out a lot and are already dark.  And this early in the season, I'm not happy about that.  Yes, we wear sunscreen but still get quite the tan.  Normally, I wouldn't mind but it is only mid-June.  Many more hot sunny months left here.  We'll be careful.  Here's a shot from earlier in the season:

This is Alex & Alyona swimming.  I wish I had a picture from yesterday.  He is as dark as Max now.  And this is with sunscreen on everyday.  Applied before they get in & yes, they have to wait 30 minutes.  Strong, strong sun.  More summer pics in another post.  I'm sidetracking again. 

Awards.  Next to report about is Bojan.  Our now 5th grader!  Yes, he moved onto 5th grade.  No surprise. This is one smart cookie.  I really am impressed w/ Bojan.  He loves anything about Egypt & wants to learn heiroglyphics over the summer.  Umm, yes Bojan, I'll help w/ that.  LOL.  Seriously though, he loves to read & just devours new things.  It is so refreshing to see.  Really is.  Bojan received Studen of the Month back in April for courage.  So did Alyona.  3 of my kids received the award & never told me.  Nice.  What really threw me for a loop was Bojan's award for art.  He received one out of his class. Art teacher picked.  But, his drawing was also selected to be in the showcase of stars in the county we live in!  I was stunned.  no one ever told me.   Otherwise, we would have gone and seen it.  I was extremely proud of him for that.  Bojan also received a National Fitness Award.  

Here is Bojan receiving one of his art awards.  now, as much as this kid is all smiles, I could not get a single shot of him smiling.  For the class award, he received loveable jokester.  Yes, he will be in television one day.  Bojan recieved an award for National Fitness, art achievement, great behavior, student of the month, and I think a/b honor roll but have to check on that one.  It has been so hectic here that awards are still scattered in the strollers, the coffee table, backpacks and who knows where else.  We get there slowly at the end of the year as far as organizing that stuff.  

There is then Alyona & Alex.  Saving them for another post as I have to load some more pics from their ceremonies.  That is it for now.  Still in declutter mode for today.  Wahoo!!!  Think we've decided what we're doing in D.C. during the Friday we're there.  Okay, Nik is messing w/ the mouse so need to just hit publish.  More coming soon.  I have about 3 more posts to do.