Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall is coming

Finally, fall may be here.  Living in the south, it's hard some times to figure out when summer ends or begins for that matter.  It's been in the high 90's even just this past week.   Finally, I think fall has arrived.  We enjoy Fall here.  LOVE summer, but really enjoy Fall as well.  The humidity goes down and so does the temperature.  Being in the 70's here is refreshing.  Our windows are finally opened this week.  Okay, so the windows that aren't broken are opened this week.  Still enough opened to feel the wonderful breezes and sense that fresh air passing through the entire house.  Just a sweet feeling to me.  Our home is surrounded by trees no matter what window you look out.  So, during this time you look out and see a rainbow of fall colors in the trees.  It is just splendid to witness.  Birds flying across a clear blue sky as you stare at leaves of bright orange, red and yellow.  We no longer have to have Alex constantly wear a wet bandana or worry about him passing out due to heat.  It's great.  We tend to do some projects in the fall as well.  This year it will be to get the girls' rooms done upstairs.  It's an undertaking for sure.  It was already supposed to be done but life got in the way.  The Fall just brings a new perspective to things.  You tend to be more family centered as you spend more time together indoors doing a variety of things such as:

Like making carmel apples!  I let the "littles"(for newbies, this is the name I call the kids I sit for during the day) go with me to the produce stand and pick out apples for them and our kids.  Here's the first batch we made w/ the "littles", Irina and Max.  Do those look appetizing or what for a fall day?!

Okay, you have to click on this picture and make it bigger.  Please, do it.  Tell me that doesn't make you want to go out and get some apples and carmel.  Yum is all I can think of right now.  

This is Irina showing off her talents of making a candy apple.  Tonight, she is off w/ one of her friends at a Sugarland concert.  I actually think this is her first concert.  Hope she has fun.

Another thing we like doing in Fall is having dinner together at the table inside.  We also tend to play jokes on each other here and there.

The other day I made spaghetti.  I put roaches underneath all their pieces of bread.  Gave strict instructions NOT to touch the plates that we were for once going to sit down together at the same time and say the blessing at the same time.  so, who do you think looked first?  Not the one above.  Nope.  It was Yana.  Screams a plenty and laughter from the rest of the bunch once they realized they were fake.  

Just posted this b/c I think she looks like a little elf here.  

And, more time for goofing off at the table in the fall.  Alex is a pro at it.

Another thing we love to do in the fall is pick out pumpkins.  The kids actually weren't w/ me when we got these.  They'll help pick out the next batch.  They are HUGE.  I know you can't tell my the picture but Bear is 125 lbs  dog.  The pumkin is about half as tall as he is.  You literally can't get your arms around the ones on the right.  Incredible and gorgeous pumpkins.  We won't carve them for a few weeks yet.  

Another thing we love about fall is having our annual Halloween Parties.  Okay, so we don't quite get to them every year.  This year, we do plan on it though for sure.  We are doing two separate parties this year.  One for the teens and one for the little kids.  The teens will invite friends over for a Halloween Dinner party and then a scary movie viewing outside in the yard.  Inside if it's raining.  For the elementary kids, we let them invite anyone and everyone.  Literally.  The most we've had at a party has been a little over 50 kids.  Umm, won't even comment on that one.  Anyhow, they come in costume, we bob for apples, do a toilet paper mummy wrap, limbo usually and a few other games.  Lots of fun and running around outside for sure.  What we've done in the past is invite anyone & everyone.  We ask for them to just show up and have fun.  We give them the option to make a donation to the orphanage.  What I do is usually ask for a necessity item or "fun" item.  One year it was gum & socks.  Typically, instead of just one pair, folks will bring an entire pack.  It's wonderful.  We box it all up and ship it off.  $100 to ship these boxes btw.  Try to pick light stuff.  however, the puzzles one year had the post office scared to death.  Umm yeh, I forgot they shake like bomb parts...dumb me.  So, no more puzzles.  LOL.  Anyhow, this year I will obviously ask for donations for the Bulgarian Orphanages.  Have to find out what they need though.  Money would definitely be easier as it's cheaper to purchase things over there.  We'll see.  

Those are just a few of the fun things we love about fall and doing together.  The fall colors are just beautiful...

Flowers of bright things to come in the fall.  Can't wait for all our fall happenings.  Though we were planning on hiking in October, that will not be happening w/ two surgeries.  So, looks like November for some great outdoor adventures.  Can't wait to share with you all our fall happenings.  We have had wonderful church gatherings, we'll have friends gathering here, and neighbors will be gathering soon as well.  We're planning on doing some type of neighborhood Harvest Festival in November.  More of a giant neighborhood outdoor picnic.  Can't wait. Also would love to hear of some of your fall activities.  So much fun to look forward to.  Nice change of season.

A shave before surgery

Ahh, a non-surgery post...finally.  I will catch up on Bojan later and on Nik's birthday party today.  For now, going to catch up on some pictures b/c my fingers are tired of typing.  LOL.  This section is a shave before surgery.  We always give the kids a haircut before their surgeries.  1) b/c it takes their mind of the upcoming surgery, 2) b/c it looks good & makes them feel good & 3) b/c it will be awhile before we can take them to get their hair cut.  Well, before Bojan's surgery, Warren cut his hair.  Bojan wanted to leave this "horn" thing on the top of his head.  Fine, but you look ridiculous I told him.  Next day he wanted it shaved off.  Warren wasn't home from work yet and Max said he could do it himself.  So, here goes:

Bojan & Max determining how their going to fix this hair issue since Warren isn't home.  

Irina, trying to prove how long Bojan's hair is by putting it in a rubber band.  Though this should be done in a bathroom, our bathrooms are not the biggest in this house.

This is Max starting on the shaving part.  He was first trying to determine what size clippers to us.  Alyona is just standing by thankful it's not her.

I love this picture as Bojan looks like he's in excruciating pain and Max is at fault.  He really wasn't in pain, just didn't want hair in his face.  Max did do an awesome job and got rid of that "horn" on his head.  Now, I need to go get Nik a haircut next week before his upcoming surgery too.  

Lots happened today at Nik's party and I'll get all that up later.  Bojan is doing fine right now.  Trying to stretch out the pain med doses a bit.  All nausea is gone, color is back and he is sick and tired of sitting down.  Umm, haven't told him just how long he's going to have to sit in that wheelchair.  Need to go make some dinner.  Something simple...chili w/ some bread.  Windows are all open, fall is here.  Love it!  Another post on that forthcoming.  One step and one day at a time.  I have tons of emails to catch up on, tons of paperwork to get done & I believe Irina has a project due Monday.  More to come.  Just wanted to post about something other than surgery.  Stay tuned for updates galore on stuff! 

Surgical Update #9

It's 11 o'clock in the morning.  Bojan finally, finally has color back in his face.  He hasn't thrown up for a few hours and even ate a banana and crackers.  Progress for sure.  He's talking normally and feels great he says.  A little help from drugs, I'm sure.  LOL.  Alex only had one meltdown this morning so that is a bit under control.  IRina and I went to Dollar Tree w/ Nik and picked up balloons for the party and something to do a craft with.  He was driving me nuts w/ excitement so dropped him off here and ready to head back out.  Thanks for all the well wishes and very happy that Bojan is starting the road to recovery.  That is the up news and that is great.  Bad news is I came home and Warren told me he thinks Bear may have had a stroke.  He seems okay now but I don't want to go through anything like that right now.  We love Bear to pieces.  Again, only speculation at this time.  Bear seems normal right now.  Bear is 13 years old and our one and only dog.  We lost Aspen 2 years ago after he had a seizure and fell off the deck.  He had been going down hill for awhile.  Bear is covered in tumors but vet said that's not a big deal for an old dog.  Bear loves laying outside and all the kids that visit this home love him too.  Hoping & praying it wasn't a stroke.  More updates later.  Again, Bojan is doing well.  Pictures later today.

Surgical Update #8 ( New Day)

Well, I think it's a new day.  Everything has blended together.  He went to bed around 1, as did we. Got up at 5am, as did we.  Right now he's resting w/ oxycodone.  Max slept on the recliner all last night in a ball.  We have to carry Bojan (90lbs.) from the wheelchair every time he wants to go the bathroom.  Our home is not wheelchair accessible.  I honestly don't know how I'm going to do that by myself on Monday but I'll figure out something. 

I want to say something if you all don't mind.   The surgery itself went beautifully.   His surgeon, Dr. Fitch, did way more than expected and that was an awesome thing as now he will not need an amputation in the future!  The trouble at Duke had nothing to do w/ the surgeons at all.  I want to make sure I make that clear b/c I don't want any negativity surrounding the surgeon himself.  Extremely pleased w/ that.  It's what all happened after surgery.  I think doctors do need to understand that parents DO know what they are talking about some times w/ their kids.  It's like w/ one of Alyona's surgeries years ago when I said she's not breathing right.  She's fine, you're just worried. Went home & back to ER.  Her airway was swelling shut.  Bojan reacts horribly to anesthesia.  And though everything worked out in the end, I think it could have been handled a little differently and we wouldn't have had to go to the ER.  Just trying to figure out how to get him in the car is a trick.  They can't use the van as it's too high.  Warren's car, well, the doors do not open fully so very hard to get him in.  Took 3 of us to do.  All of it could have been avoided.  All the trauma, all the pain Bojan was going through, all the exhaustion could have been avoided.  The doctor (not his surgeon, he doesn't even know) on call did apologize profusely and started talking about how Duke doesn't normally do this, etc.  I said I understand totally that YOU were busy in a trauma.  What I don't understand is how they couldn't have passed off the script duty to someone else.  Or how they could have given us a "just in case" script like they do at Wakemed & UNC.  Anyhow, it' s over, it's the last I'm going to talk about it.  Bojan is safe and resting comfortably.  That's what counts.

Bojan is doing okay this morning.  It's  a new day and we will treat it as such here.  I"m getting ready to make everyone breakfast, go shopping and then get ready for Nik's party.  We're all exhausted for sure.   The other kids have seemed to returned to normal now that Bojan is okay.  My sister in-law even stopped by late last night to see if we needed help.  Very sweet of her.  We distracted them w/ a movie.  Frankly, I can't even remember what I made for dinner.  Oh, chicken.  One surgery down.  Bojan will need another surgery to correct some previous work done by another surgeon who will remain nameless.  However, those who known us for years, know what happened to Alyona and her permanent damage in her arm now.  I feel bad Bojan will need another surgery but so, so happy that his leg will be able to move finally.  That is just awesome.  Again, thank you Dr. Fitch & your team.  They were great!  Bojan doesn't even know the good news that he'll be able to actually move this foot again & RUN!!!  Flexion is important when running you know.  Something he did not have before.  He'll be thrilled.  Need to go.  Will post more later.  Since Bojan is stable and asleep, we are concentrating on making this a "Nik Day."  Bojan will be zonked out most of the day we are told anyhow due to all that happened yesterday and all the heavy drugs he is on.  That' s fine, he needs the sleep.  Great to see him sleeping peacefully and not doubled over in pain.   Alex's stomach is okay this morning.  Alyona is not happy b/c well, that stupid mouse did not come and leave her money under her pillow.  Despite windows being opened.  I know mentally she's about 4 but she is 11.  Time to do away w/ toothfairy mouse.  Can't though.  She's just too cute when she tells the story to people.  LOL.  So, mom is more coherent today, mouse will come tonight and deliver a surprise.  Off to plan for a party. 

Enjoy your weekend.  We are going nowhere whatsoever.  Kids have all been great showering bojan w/ kindness and love.  They have also been taking turns taking care of Alex & Nik in their times of despair during this process.  Please continue to think positive thoughts for Bojan and healing prayers.  I do believe calm has returned for the others.  Now, remember, we have to do this again in 11 days for Nik.  He doesn't react as severe as Bojan but the ones w/ PTSD do.  More news on the adoption front and get to it all later.  Priority is recover for Bojan and Nik's birthday.  More to come.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Surgical Update #7 (ER Update)

I realized I skipped # 6 on the last post due to urgency.  Back to #7 now.  Warren just called from the hospital.  (not Duke this time).  Bojan is resting comfortably right now.  he had many wretching episodes while at the hospital and in pain.  They gave him stuff right away.  Took Warren longer to get him in the ER from the car than it did to get seen.  He went to a satellite ER here.  They are great from what I hear.  Max went w/ Warren to help out.  I stayed here.  Was going to go but w/ Bojan going back to the hospital and Alex & Nik watching out the window like sick sobbing puppies, it was best for me to stay here w/ them and take care of that for awhile.  They're okay now. 

The plan is for Bojan NOT to stay the night there and return home. It's now 10:31 here at night.  They should be released soon and headed home.  Warren and I will then head to the all night pharmacy.  Me to keep him awake while driving.  I have night blindness and can not drive at night.  Others will go to bed once Bojan is home.  Otherwise, they won't sleep.  House will have to be as is.  We have Bojan's bed set up in the dining room now.   I'm so mad at Duke right now I'd like to spit fire.  Really, if you say the kid has bad reactions to anesthesia, do you think we're exaggerating?  I just don't get it.  They could have had a script ready just in case to use if we need it. That is what Wakemed does.  Doc on call finally called us back...a few minutes after Warren left for the ER.  I told doc I was very disappointed.  I understand they had a trauma but they could have had a nurse call in the script as we were in an emergency situation here and they knew it.  I made that abundantly clear.  Even mentioned the severe PTSD reactions that were going on in the house w/ the other kids.  I'm ready for this day to be over with and move on to tomorrow.  Just wanted to update real quick.  Bojan will be fine.  They gave him great drugs Warren said.  They are going to set him up tonight so that he should sleep for the whole night.  Poor kid looked SO sick.  I have not seen anyone that white.  Just ghostly white.  Very sickly looking when he left.  Great choice not to wait on the on call doc's return call.   Bojan just wouldn't have made it another minute like that and he was past the point where oral drugs could help. He needed intravenous help at that point.  Thanks for caring.  I will update in the morning of how he is.  Need to get up & get ready for tomorrow.  Good night.  Though, I doubt I'll be sleeping this evening.  Oh, Alex is doing okay w/ his stomach.  Got to go.  Nik's acting up again.  Sad thing is we are doing this again in about 11 days. 


Duke never called back.  Can't wait.  Bojan's in bad shape.  Going to the ER.  Update later.

Surgical Update #5 (NOT GOOD!!!)

Bojan can not keep anything down.  Duke called only to say he was in a trauma and would call us back in 30 minutes or so.  Well, it's well over 30 minutes thus far.  It's insanity at best.  At least have another person we can call at this point.  We're trying to stave off the ER as long as possible.   We can't give Bojan pain meds and have no nausea medicine.  Bojan is literally white as a ghost.  Please do some type of ring chant to get Duke docs to call us back so we can get a script and give him meds.  I feel for him.  He's watching 2012.  Anything to try & get his mind off it.  If this does not end soon, we're going to have no choice but to go to the ER.  He's not dehydrated.

To add to the joy is Alex wallering in pain.  I don't know if it is truly his stomach or just sympathy pains.  No fever but he was on the floor & I had to pick him up.  He seems stable now and no screaming in pain any more.  Girls are trying to help me pick up.  We're all taking a 10 minute break right now.  Irina made the cake. I'll decorate tomorrow. Praying this all stabilizes and passes in the next couple of hours.  Please think of poor Bojan.  He's being a trooper for sure.  Break over.  Duke, please call.

Surgical Update #4 (Home w/ issues)

Well, Bojan did make it home but we have some issues.  He has not stopped vomiting since we left the hospital.  On hold now w/ Duke 13 minutes now to see what to do next.  Guessing a new script for anti nausea.  Usually, we have phennergan or another one handy.  All those "spares" are gone.  After we get confirmation they can call it in, off to Walgreens for meds.  I still can't give him pain meds until I get the nausea under control.  Can we say rough night ahead?  And in case you're wondering, no, I haven't gotten anything for the party yet.  Will do in the morning.  Focus...Bojan. 

Other issues right now are with some of our PTSD kiddos.  Irina has seemed to have stabilized out once Bojan got home but now she's panic stricken due to the continued vomiting issue.  Alex and Nik literally fell apart sobbing like crazy as soon as bojan got in the house.  So, some of us were trying to get Bojan settled in, Yana was taking care of Alex and I was taking care of Nik.  Nik and Alex were a mess.  It was a horrible scene.  Alex is afraid when someone gets cut open.  Nik is finally coming to grips w/ his surgery.  He was upset that his surgery isn't soon and then upset b/c he's getting surgery.  URGGH!!!  Can't win for losing. 

I have a call into Duke.  Doc's not responding to page lady said.  They have moved it onto another doc so that we can get a script.  She said she has put it in as an emergency urgent request.  Told her call me ASAP.  He has not stopped vomiting and is dry heaving severely.  If he does not stop, we will be ER bound.  Lovely.  In addition, I can't give him the pain meds right now.  Everything is coming up.  Trying to keep him hydrated.  Wanting docs to call back at the very least.  Don't give me a stupid emergency # if I can't get a hold of you.  This was a great surgeon but the discharge #'s to call need to be able to help a patient.  Neither here nor there right now.  Just thought I'd ask for some thoughts and prayers for Bojan for some healing if you don't mind.  And, a sense of calm for the other children that this is having an effect on. 

Thanks for thinking of him.  Enjoy your weekend. Hopefully, next update will be good news.  Right now, I have him hooked up to video games.  It's like morphine I swear.  LOL.  It's not going to last long b/c his pain is intense we're told.  Got to go.  Max is having a meltdown and need to make a cake.  For now, we have bojan on that video morphine that I hope will last at least till we can get him non-nauseated.  Continued thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated at this time.  And someone remind me to leave the windows open for that stupid tooth fairy mouse!  I'm bound to forget.

Surgical Update #3 (DISCHARGE!!!)

Blessings abound!  Bojan was just discharged.  Pretty doped up as pain is severe but still able to come home so very thankful for that.  Expect them home after 6pm tonight.  Wahoo!!!  Wheelchair was loaned to us from the church and brought over.  Thanks a bunch Pam!  What a blessing to not have to worry about having a script to go get a chair for temporary use.  Kids here seem to be doing okay which is wonderful.  Having beyond massive school issues, yes even today, but that's a whole other post for another day.  Kid was bullying Max as the PRINCIPAL walked by and did...NOTHING.  BTW, this is the same exact kid that harassed Max last year and makes fun of him being Russian.  As soon as Bojan is back at school, I will be up at Cleveland High School.  Again, another day. 

Focus is solely Bojan and told the kids they couldn't talk about what all happened at the schools today w/ Dad or Bojan.  So, they are going to talk about Nik's party.  Nik, btw, is beyond excited.  Can't wait!  Warren gets home, I'm going to Walmart and some other places for party supplies and some very potent pain killers for Bojan. 

I think that's it for now.  I put BBQ chicken in the oven.  Having that, steamed veggies and rice.  Simple meal tonight for sure.  Never did get the chance to call the roofer.  Oh well.  Tomorrow is a new day. 

Oh, another great blessing...Warren does not have to work tomorrow.  Wahoo!!!  Thank you very much SAS.  Helps us out immensely.  They postponed what they are doing since they weren't sure Warren would be staying over night or not.  Turning out to be a sunny day indeed here at Chaos Manor.  Kids have settled down quite a bit now that they know Bojan is on his way home.  Relieved. Thanks for all the support.  Next few days & nights are going to be rough for us all for sure but we will manage.  Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers for our son during his surgery.  Many have checked on him today.  Means a lot to us.  Have to go.  Clearing pathways for Bojan and I do have to kick it into gear for party stuff at some point.  Enjoy your weekend everyone.  BTW, all Bojan's follow up appointments are coinciding w/ Nik's surgery stuff. 

Surgical Update #2

Okay, Bojan is out of surgery.  It took much longer than originally thought & surgeon did a whole lot more work on Bojan than originally anticipated.  He is very pleased w/ the work he did.  Bojan should have much more mobility w/ this foot now and not be in a locked position.  He loosened up a bunch of ligaments.  He moved bone out of the way and rotated a few things as well.  LOTS of work done.  So much so, that the idea of coming home may not happen.  Surgeon said Bojan will be in alot of pain for sure.  So, thoughts of him going to school on Monday are most likely out of the question.  This surgeon corrected some previous work.  B/c of said previous work, Bojan will most likely require another surgery after this one.  Something totally unexpected.  Remember, this previous work was done by the same person who botched up Alyona's arm.  So, maybe a good thing we sought out another opinion.  Took us awhile to find someone who would do the work Bojan required but I think it has worked out.  Warren will explain more details once home whether that is this evening or tomorrow is yet to be seen.  Right now, prayers appreciated for a speedy recovery and not so much pain for our poor guy.  More to come later on once he's home.  Now, time to put 2 kiddos down for a nap & call the roofers.  Thanks for all the support.  If you want to stop by and say hello this weekend, I'm sure Bojan would love to take his mind off the pain.  I'm expecting them at this point to stay overnight.  Surgery itself was over 2 hours.  Quite awhile.  Time to get more done and teens will be home in an hour.  They are going to hopefully help me clean up a bit and get Bojan a bed ready. 

Surgical Update #1

Bojan was wheeled back to surgery about 10 o'clock this morning.  Surgery time is scheduled for an hour and a half worth of work. Got news early this morning that he will have a cast up to the knee and then a knee immobilizer for a few days.  Phew!  So happy it's not going to be the full length cast this time.  He is indeed wheelchair bound for quite a few weeks.  Hospital will give us a script for the wheelchair but we have no idea as of yet where to get one.  Working on that.  Mean time, a wonderful lady from the church stopped by to visit Bojan this morning.  They are giving us a loaner wheelchair from the church until we can get the other one.  Fantastic!  Solves one problem.  Max will disassemble the bed after school & reassemble in the dining room.  I'll go w/ Irina to Walmart for party supplies while this is happening.  With 4 "littles" with me, I want backup so that I can think more clearly on the supplies.  Irina will help w/ that.  Other than that,I think we're going right along.  Just keep swimming.  Rain has stopped.  Thank God!  Calling a roofer after lunch and getting that in the works to get some more quotes. 

This was last night before he went to bed.  Had some homemade potato soup for dinner w/ bread.  Kids ate it right up and one of Yana's friends stayed for dinner too.  I think this picture says it all.  Bojan getting some last goofing off in and Alex holding on tight .  

That's the latest update.  No pics from the hospital.  I rarely ever take a picture in the hospital.  Just something we don't really like to do as concentrating on the kids more.  If we're there for extended stays than yes as the kids like playing w/the camera.  Anyhow, keep you posted when Bojan gets out of surgery and let you know how it goes. 

Back to work for me.  Enjoy your day. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let's see the water

Have a few pics though not that impressive.  here goes.

This is when we first discovered it starting to leak.  This is the light fixture in the kitchen.  This is where the toilet was busted and then leaked down to the kitchen.  

Another small leak from the kitchen also from the broken pipe upstairs.  Water is currently cut off up there.  

Hard to tell but this is in the living room.  The water spot is growing larger.  We have already drilled holes in the archways to catch the water as it drips.  hence, no sleep last night w/ water dripping into a metal bucket.  Ahh, no rain showers scheduled for tonight. 

think we have it all under control.  We have to get a chance to fix the upstairs toilet at some point this weekend though.  Between Bojan's surgery, Nik's party, Irina's project and other things, I think we should have some time to get it fixed.  Got to get some sleep tonight.  No dripping so hopefully... dream time.  We are calling some more roofers for some more estimates. In our minds, it's clear we have to do something.  This last photo is a load bearing wall in the living room.  We can't let the water collect too long and get the insulation soaked as well.  I highly, highly doubt this will make it to spring.  If it will wonderful.  Again, not getting hopes up too high on that.  You have to do what you have to do.  This is life.  I keep this blog truthful w/ the ups and downs of everyday life.  No matter how mundane.  Or, how chaotic it may be.  This, in the grand scheme of life really isn't a big deal.  yes, it may be an inconvenience, it may be "rough" for awhile, but it is not a big deal.  We have other "bigger deals" to worry about instead of a little water.  For now, keeping things real on here as we navigate these waters of life.  We are extremely thankful that a hurricane hasn't hit this state lately as that would have done this roof in long ago.  

I'll update tomorrow as possible.  Now, off to plan a party.  That my friends is going to be simple.  

Prepping all kids for surgery

I say all kids b/c it really is.  In this house, we have children w/ all kinds of mental health disorders and behavioral issues.  We have some w/ severe PTSD.  Alex was crying when he went to bed tonight.  Hospitals terrify him due to his past trauma early in life.  To say it was horrible is an understatement.  So, if anyone is sick here or has to go to the doctors, Alex is traumatized all over again.  Tonight is no different.  He's scrared to death about Bojan getting surgery tomorrow.  Alex was crying.  I told Bojan to go upstairs and tell him see you tomorrow.  Never say goodbye to Alex.  Never.  Too traumatic.  Bojan came down and said he was going to sleep w/ Alex tonight.  Very thoughtful for  a thoughtful Thursday post.  BTW, I'll get back to doing those next week.  So, Alex has stopped crying and now their chatting.  Fine. 

Irina has been a nightmare since she got home.  Has cleaned everything.  Bathrooms, microwave, kitchen, dining room, rearranged all dvd's, etc.  Laundry too.  You may think this is a good thing, but it's not.  Her OCD has gone overboard and so has she.  It's a sign she's on the edge and we know it is related to the surgery for Bojan.  So, trying to calm her as well.  Getting there slowly. 

So, even though it is one child getting surgery, I have many more effected by it.  PTSD is not an easy thing.  Neither are attachment issues.  Events come up and the kids really "lose it."  We stay calm and really don't talk much about the "event."  Whatever it may be.  We try to talk about other things.  Keeping things low key.  Also, any time things like this go on, it is best to keep them home.  I thought about letting Irina stay home from school but feel routine may do her good tomorrow.  So, she's going to school.  Alex keeping busy w/ work will help as well.  I try to get them excited about what they'll write on the cast and things like that. 

Anyhow, if anyone local wants to come and say hello this weekend to Bojan or any of the other kids for that matter, please feel free.  Can't say the house will stay "Irina clean" but we'll try.  I have the "littles" tomorrow as well.  Trying to get stuff for Nik's party done during the day since I'm sure I'll be occupied w/ Bojan tomorrow night.  I was so busy today that I didn't even realized I'd forgotten make-up until this evening.  Hope I didn't scare folks too much today.  Have a great evening.  I'm ready to watch some mindless show on tv and read a magazine for a bit.  Worry about other details later.  You know, like where I'm getting a wheelchair ramp from.  I think we'll carry him in the house tomorrow and then build the ramp this weekend.  One thing at a time.  I feel like Dori on Nemo...just keep swimming, just keep swimming.  Glad I like the water!

Major leakage issues

Can we ever get a surgery w/out having some other major even happening?  Seriously.  Last surgery we had to call poison control.  Surgery before that, 2 other kids needed emergency surgery at the same time.  As you know in the last post, major water damage.  Now, it's spread to the kitchen.  Warren went upstairs to cut the wall open.  We found the problem thank goodness!  Well, this is only PART of the problem.  Toilet is busted and causing the kitchen leak.  How is it busted?  Let's just say FAS and leave it at that.  Our son and tools.  URGHH!!!!  Anyhow, water is cut off upstairs for now. 

However, we have roof leaking issues in the normal places and now spread into the living room.  Show you the water marks tomorrow.  Haven't yet gone to get the party stuff.  Irina is in overdrive mode of cleaning.  Seriously.  She goes ballistic whenever anyone gets surgery.  She has cleaned out the microwave, cleaned the bathrooms, cleaned the downstairs, reorganized all couple hundred dvd's(I used to work at Blockbuster), and countless other things. I like it in some ways but in others it is driving us beyond bonkers. 

Say a little prayer for Bojan tomorrow.  He'll do just fine. 

Now, down to one bathroom for the kids again.  Oh, the joy of it all.  I'm out of here tonight to hopefully workout.  I need a stress reliever at this point.  Okay, maybe chocolate may be better.  LOL.  Enjoy your evening.  HOpefully all yours are uneventful evenings.  Life.  "Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know whatcha gonna get."  so true.

Pre-op, tooth mouse, & water inside!

Okay, Bojan's surgery pre-op was today at Duke.  Umm, Warren & I are still not Blue Devil fans at this point in time.  LOL.  Anyhow, at least we have a time to be there.  8:15 tomorrow morning.  So, Warren will go, I'll stay and get the kids off to school and I'll stay home and work.  It will hopefully be outpatient but w/ Bojan it is often a wait and see approach.  He will be in a cast all the way up.  Bojan is going to be wheelchair bound starting tomorrow.  In a home that is NOT wheelchair accessible by any means.  Going to get interesting.  I have to call the bus garage to get the bus changed to the wheelchair lift bus.  On my list.  Trust me, this list is growing to about a page so far.  No joke.  Lots going on.  Other issue we have to resolve is to get him into the bathrooms here.  Wheelchair will not fit & he is much too heavy to lift any more.  Someone said try an office chair.  Ours is too big but maybe I can find an old one to borrow off someone for awhile. 

Next issue is the sleeping arrangements.  He obviously can not go upstairs for weeks now.  Works well really b/c we really must paint that room.  We had a couple of options. Bed in the middle of the kitchen.  Umm,  no.  Have Irina & Yana(fire & gasoline) temporarily share a room for a few weeks while Bojan takes Irina's bed. Umm, no.  We think we've figured something out.  Disassemble Bojan's bed upstairs and move it to the dining room.  Take the sideboard in the dining room and move it to the other side.  Trouble w/ this arrangement is Bojan is then furthest from the bathroom.  (there are urological issues w/ him as well).  But, think it is the most logical thing to do at this point in time.  Especially, since Irina went ballistic in the car at the idea of the room change.  Remember, she is our OCD freak and she literally started to panic b/c one of the "dirty" boys would be in her bed.  URGHH!!!  Sometimes, life is just not normal here. 

Today was one of those days.  Littles left at 5, speech therapist comes at 5, had to call the hospital at 5, had to pick Bojan up at 5.  Believe it or not, I made it all.  Well, lucked out on the hospital deal as they actually called me a bit early.  Informed his teachers but have to call about the buses yet.  Now, that most of bojan's planning is nearing an end, I can concentrate on the party for Nik on Saturday.  You know, the one not planned yet.  Anyhow, Warren informed me today he has to work this Saturday. So, will mandate teens stay home to help me in case I need to do something w/ Bojan. 

Alyona lost a tooth yesterday and I convinced her tooth fairy mouse could not make it over all the mounds of stuff(had to move it b/c of carpet cleaners that came yesterday).  So, will remember tonight I hope.  My kids must be the only kids in America that have a tooth fairy mouse visit them.  And, have to leave the stupid windows open for even in the dead of winter.  May have to have a cat come in here one day and it that stupid mouse.  LOL. 

Ahh, the much needed rain.  Though our grass is now green, our issues have begun.  Well, expanded really.  No secret we have leaky roof.  Had a roofer come in the summer for $650 and patch the roof.  Said patches have not really held.  Okay, I think 2 of the 3 held.  We use buckets to collect the water and have drilled holes in the archways to help.  Yep, a little bit redneck there too.  We can get a new roof in the spring.  The adoption is priority right now.  Getting our children home.  Leaks haven't done too much right now.  We were okay w/ how things were.  Lots of rain, buckets.  Today, new leak discovered in the kitchen.  New place, not good.  Warren will look at it tonight.  This new roof may not be able to make it until spring.  If that is the case, I will need to do some major fundraising for sure in the near future.  And that's okay.  This is really the only adoption that we've ever really thought about fundraising for.  Rest, we paid for on our own and are actually still paying some off.  Well, we did do one mini fundraiser for Alyona and Nik & made about $400.  Other than that, nothing.  I feel guilty asking for money I really do.  But, sometimes I know I need to swallow my pride and get to the real goal here... bringing three orphans home to their family so they are safe, nourished and most importantly, loved.  Trying to think of some ideas now as I want something that can be fun for everyone.  And who knows, maybe we won't have to do this but I have a feeling the roof may not wait till April.  I've already gotten quotes for the new roof.  Looking at around $7000 or so.  Again, it won't take much I'm sure to raise funds.  For 1000 people to donate just one time of $10 is all that is needed.  That would raise $10,000.  That would be enough to cover what I have a feeling we're going to lose on this new roof.  And the fact that our fees are going up due to the US dollar growing weaker overseas.  Again, all talk for another day.  Focus now is getting ready for Bojan's surgery and Nik's party.  Goodnight for now.  Going to read to Nik now.  Do it every night but I'm one of those horrible parents who forgets to write the stupid books down on that reading log.  Oh well.  I'm trying.  Never claimed to be supermom.  Hey, do I get points for reading every night?  LOL.  Have a great weekend.  Keep you posted on his surgery tomorrow as I find out stuff.  Say a little prayer.  This may be a rough one.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Video worth seeing

I think this is great.  A great song.  Great call to action of sorts.  Just listen.  Only 4 minutes.  Hope you enjoy.

Bits & pieces

Today is Tuesday.  Been a busy day so far but at least stuff is getting done.  Nik's new processor came and we sent the old one back.  Anyone who has a deaf child and getting an implant, Advance Bionics is the way to go!  They are fantastic w/ customer service and those devices have gone through the ringer at this home and still survived.  Amazing.  Irina and Max's passports arrived so now we can concentrate on fixing the social security mess.  We've ordered the rest of the window sets that are clearly rotted out before it hits the structural stuff.  We had to order one window for the master and a triple for the dormer on the top...$$$...ouch!  All the windows need replacing but we are only doing what we can sort of afford right now.  The rest we are hoping to try to fix ourselves during fall and winter.  In that invisible free time we have here.  LOL.  We are still patiently (yeh, right) awaiting for our biometrics appointment w/ immigration.

Bojan gets surgery this Friday.  To say I'm disappointed in Duke's scheduling team is an understatement.  Took them over  month to call me back just to schedule the surgery & all I got then was the day.  I'm really not used to this.  We've only ever dealt w/ Wakemed or UNC and never, ever had so much trouble.  Duke told me today, after I called numerous times yesterday & the previous week, that this is just the way they do things and they can never really give us a surgery time until the day of surgery.  They didn't schedule pre-op until today after I had pestered them enough.  They finally told me it was outpatient.  Getting information was like going through an interrogation.  It was ridiculous!  It is supposed to be outpatient but w/ Bojan's surgical history, we won't know till it happens.  Mean time, we have found a lump in Irina's abdomen.  Feels like a hernia.  I'm taking her this evening to get it checked out.  Most likely, we'll be looking at another surgery I'm sure.  Bojan's surgery is Oct. 1, Nik's surgery is Oct. 13th, and Irina's probable surgery is unknown at this time.  Nik's party will be this Saturday, day after Bojan's surgery.

We really need to get the room done for Alyona.  She is currently sleeping on a mattress on the floor.  however, we've caught her up and about again and sleeping on the hardwoods by the bookcase downstairs.  Since we got rid of her dog bed(for those new, it is a long story), she is on the hardwood floor & I don't like that.  She has a mattress but needs more security.  We feel an enclosed room will help.  So, trying to get it patched up this week so that I can paint it next week.  Hopefully.  Anyone up for a painting party next weekend?  LOL.  It will get done sooner or later.

The school situations are unfortunately worse than before.  I've requested some meetings.  We'll see how it goes from there.  I can not stand what is happening to my kids.  Have to get them out and soon.  I am being lied to and have proof.  As a professional, I don't think that should happen.  Especially, in the education field.  Frustrated is an understatement.  I'll go more into detail of what is happening at a later date as I have stuff happening w/ about 5 of the kids right now. 

School is on a 2 hour delay tomorrow for ....rain.  Bojan has pre-op at the same time so Warren will take him to Duke for that.  Bojan also has chorus practice tomorrow afternoon and Nik has speech at the same time.  I have the kids the rest of the week I believe so busy during the day.  Tomorrow evening(Thursday), we'll have to get stuff for Nik's party on Saturday.  Sent out 22 invitations and have received 4 RSVP's right now.  Hoping I know more of a definite count before the party b/c w/ surgery, I'm limited as to when I can go get stuff as we'll need to tend to Bojan that evening.  It will all work out. 

Not much else happening.  Yet, a lot happening.  now, how is that?  LOL.  Lots of rain tonight and hoping roof holds awhile longer.  We have the buckets in place. 

Time to make spaghetti as I totally forgot to put on the homemade soup this morning.  Guess that's tomorrow's dinner.  Have a great evening.  More pictures and things to come.  Lots to get done the next few days for sure.  We are welcoming cooler temps here.  Even made carmel apples today to welcome in fall a bit.  Can't wait for October.  Ready for some Halloween decorations.  Just a fun time carving pumpkins, selecting costumes, making some crafty decorations, and of course buying candy.  We also have parties for all the kids and their friends...costumes of course.  This year, Warren is takign the teens to a Fear Farm here.  I do NOT do scary.  I might take the kids to a corn maze or pumpkin patch event.  We'll see.  We also plan on having a costume dinner party for the teens and then let them watch a scary movie.  Little kids will have their annual (okay, so we didn't get to do it last year) Halloween party....mummy tp wrap, pinata, & bobbing for apples.  Such fun!  We usually have guests bring an item we want to donate to the orphanage.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An afternoon at church

Okay, so this post was supposed to be last weekend.  I'm a bit behind.  Nothing surprising about that.  We missed church service last weekend as it was just too hectic that morning.  Just chaulk it up to an FAS day and move on.  I know other FAS parents out there can relate to what I am saying.  Though we missed service that morning, we went to a church picnic that afternoon.  It was awesome!  Got to meet many people and just fellowship w/ others in the sunshine was refreshing.  Poor Warren had to go to work the whole time as it was an outage weekend.  He got to catch the last few minutes though.  Took a few shots but not many as I was talking too much. LOL

Here's Nik going down the water slide.  He had such a fun time on that.  Kids of all ages went down.  Even some of our teens.  

There was even time for the kids to swing on the swingset.  

Alex being a spectator to the baseball game going on.  This is where  a great deal of the boys hung out...on the ball field.  

Max, getting ready to take his turn at bat.  It was such a hot afternoon...the upper 90's.  

Her brothers dared her to go on the slip & slide.  And, some encouraging people sitting w/ us as well.  She went down.  Came back soak & wet & caught her w/ this face.  Can't really slide down too well in jeans.  

I love how all the older boys there were willing to share the field w/ the younger ones and help out.  Great to see them working together on the ball field.  It's one of the reasons we attend this church now, the kids.  All the kids we've met thus far seem to be genuinely good kids.  Kind hearted.  

We had a really nice time getting to know others from the church and even met the pastor's parents who were visiting from another state.  It's just very refreshing to meet so many folks who come together to worship but in the meantime, also come together to be friends.  And, I do have to get to cooking much better to keep up with these picnics.  Amazing food! 

I wish I had a picture of all the yummy food there.  This is actually some leftovers that they gave us to take home.  You have no idea how handy that chicken came in this past week for school lunches.  Last week was just really rough on us and things never seemed to go as planned.  We all have those weeks.  Anyhow, having spare chicken to just throw in the lunchbox was great.  Plus, kids thought it was cool taking something other than a sandwich.  If you look in the background, you'll see a small picture w/ a fairy in it.  The light green is going to be the color of Alyona & her new sisters' room.  Light mint green kind of.  She wanted pink but since we'll try to sell in the spring, we have to go a little more neutral.  I told her accessories. 

Last week was crazy & this week is shaping up to be a little crazy too.  More on that later. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nik's at it again

Nik is up to his old self again w/ his drawings.  Remember Humpty being pushed off the wall & then fried by the sun last year?  Well, he's at his "artwork" again this year.  I have more pictures of what he's drawn but only one loaded on here so far.  Next few weeks w/ Halloween coming, I'm sure will get interesting.  So, his first drawing of the school year:

As part of Nik's assignment, he was to finish a story w/ a drawing of what came next.  What should have come next in the story was the mommy getting wet & a picture depicting that.  Does Nik draw that?  No,of course not.  He has drawn himself in this huge tub w/ a boat.  Showerhead on the left, a little shower water drops falling on him. Shampoo is on the shelf up there, not biggie.  Now, the person on the right is me w/ my hands on my hips screaming(& yes, he signed the word screaming at me) at him to get out of the tub.  BTW, we do tend to scream when he doesn't have his implants on.  Still don't know why we do that as we're signing to him too.  I think it's just habit w/ stubborn 7yo boys.  Anyhow, that big blue stream of water is supposedly me dumping cold water on him.  URGHH!!!  I've never done that.  Now, his sister has but never me.  He's explaining this picture to me laughing the whole time.  I told him you can't turn that in.  Yes.  He said yes.  Sure did.  Not happy w/ this being his first drawing of the season.  Stay tuned for more of Nik's drawings.  I know last year I had fun posting them and really did get lots of comments from people when I stopped putting them up there.  They are very fun to look at.  This is mild for the newbies on here.  Just wait.  Like I said, it's October soon.  Last year at this time he drew someone being pushed on the swing, and then that person was decapitated by another child playing soccer near the swings.  I see therapy in his future.  LOL.  Either that, or a follower of Stephen King for sure!

This week is going to be super duper busy.  I still have yet to hear from Duke about Bojan's pre-op time, whether or not he stays over night, wheelchair or walker, post op, recovery time, etc.  NONE of that.  All I have is a day of surgery.  Hope their surgeons are much better than their schedulers.  Geez.  We also have Nik's b-day party on Saturday.  yes, call it poor planning.  Waiting on a biometrics appt. from UCIS.  Come on mail, go faster.  LOL.  We discovered tonight, Irina has a hernia(we think).  We'll have to take her this week to the doctor to confirm and then schedule surgery for her.  More to share about happenings around here but just busy right now.  Will get to more details a bit later.  Enjoy your week. 

Our Asian Redneck

I know it's not politically correct but you really do have to know where we live to "get it."  LOL.  Max is Asian, came from Russia.  Both his parents were of Kazah decent.  Max has always complained that he is the "lone Asian"(his words) of the group.  No matter how much you tell him it doesn't matter, he doesn't care.  We live in the south.  There are people that live here that are indeed rednecks and proud of it.  I'm not making this up folks.  I'm sure Jeff Foxworthy has visited some of the folks here for material.  I kid you not.  You might be a redneck if...  You remember those comedic lines.  Anyhow, Max is our resident redneck at this house.  He carries his pocket knife around and can fix just about anything with duck tape.  (though, I do think that's a trait he learned from his dad).  Max never gets dressed up.  Yet, he loves wearing his dress shoes with jeans.  Got to love it.  So many things I could go on about regarding Max.  I think it's cute really.  So, here is what our son's version of a hayride is:

This is Max's version of a hayride.  Yep, hauling the kids in the lawn tractor trailer.  No hay, just a ride around the yard w/ two very content kids.  

They are all content as can be riding around in this.  So much so, that Bojan and his friend decided to climb in as well.  I was MAD about that as Bojan decided to goof around, fall out and ruin the back gate of this trailer.  Then, Max being our resident handyman decided to fix said gate by hammering it out.  URGHH!!!  So dented now.  

Max is very happy that we are adopting "kids that look like me for a change."  his words, not mine.  The future children will be of a different heritage and darker skin color versus are EE kiddos that will burn if you put them in sunlight due to their very light skin tone.    I don't care if Max claims himself to be  a redneck or not, I love him for it.  BTW, we are indeed one of those families that "tries" to get all the Christmas lights down in a reasonable amount of time but never can seem to.  The ONLY reason you don't see Christmas lights in the garage windows any  more is b/c they actually came down when we replaced the windows.  No lie.  After being up for years.  They definitely sounds like a My Name is Earl episode for sure.  LOL. 

Enjoy your week everyone.  Many more updates are forthcoming. 

You know you're an adoptive parent if....

Okay, I've heard this before but someone recently posted on their blog too.  I loved it the first time so figured I'd share it w/ you all as I'm sure some will clearly relate to this. 

You know you're an adoptive parent(or should be) if:

1.  The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.  

2.  You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.

3.  You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.

4.  The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.

5.  You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.

6.  It drives you crazy when people ask you adopt adopted child's "real" parents.

7.  You have ever been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth.  (2 years!)

8.  You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.

9.  You have ever taken an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.

10.  You believe God's heart is for adoption.

11.  You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.  

12.  You know what the word "Dossier" means, and you can actually pronounce it!

13.  You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.

14.  You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blesses one to have him or her in your life.  

Author Unknown.

Baby dolls & snakes

Today is Saturday and was not as we planned it.  We had planned to go to Peacehaven to work.  Well, after yet another late start(don't ask), we were out the door to get gas and another cake.  I always make homemade baked goods but it was not going to happen this time.  The cake is still sitting on my counter btw.  Long story.  Anyhow, we thought we were on our way.  Warren was trying to be nice and wave a guy out of a busy gas station onto the highway.  That truck in turn hit another car.  Yep, we were witnesses so had to stay.  Nothing serious, no one hurt.  Just one of those things where you have to stop and call the police.  They did.  The SHP showed up over an HOUR later.  7 kids, hot day, nothing in the car to do, and well, you get the picture.  At this point in time, there was no way we were making Peacehaven.  Though disappointed, kids handled it fairly well.  Went home for lunch and then Warren and I went to Sam's for groceries.   Rest of the day we all just hung out, some w/ friends, some not.

Well, started this post yesterday & got distracted.  A common theme here at Chaos Manor.  So, back to the post.  I wrote baby dolls but should have written punishment.  Alex is our RADish.  Though he's come far, he has a LONG way to go.  Alex tends to be a bully...likes to pick on the weaker ones in the house.  Doesn't pick on Nik any more b/c Nik will fight back.  LOL.  And, b/c now Nik can communicate what Alex did.  Love it.  Anyhow, Alex was teasing Alyona and then was being mean to Alyona's doll baby.  So, made Alex care for her baby doll for 5 minutes.  He had to rock it, hold it.  Every time he tried to be funny or doing something stupid w/ it, I made him start over.  he was not a fan of this punishment for sure.

He's trying hard not to smile.  So far, he has not picked on any more of Alyona's baby dolls.  Hey, you do what works here.  

The rest of the post title is snakes.  The other weekend, Irina and I picked up this snake at a yard sale.  The guy selling it used to keep it on his Harley motorcycle.  We thought the boys would have fun w/ it.  Well, Irina had fun w/ it first.  I SO wished I'd caught what she did on tape.  She put it under Yana's covers.  Yana had no idea we had bought it.  The screams were enough to wake the dead.  We were all cracking up.  I know she'll get revenge but still funny to watch the whole thing unfold and her coming running out of her room.  After that, no one was scared b/c all knew about it.  Still, they had fun.

Nik is showing off the snake.  It is rather creepy looking.

Now, Alyona taking her turn at holding the creepy creature.

Yana goofing off after calming down from the snake scare.  One day, I will get a picture where there is nothing on the floor in the background.  LOL.  BTW, that thing that looks like a sleeping bag is actually a new comforter for the boys.  I was able to find brand new comforters(which the boys really did need) for just $11 a piece.  They were so excited and so was I.  Girls were jealous a bit.  I always tell them I can't buy for everyone at the same time.   They just thought they were cool comforters and wanted the "girl" ones.  

3 of my goofballs having fun w/ the snake.  I must say, this snake that cost me just a dollar has provided endless hours of entertainment.  Even for the "littles" I watch.  They chase each other around w/ it.  Who knew a snake would be so much fun!  Got to go.  We're off to church in 30 minutes and then a church homecoming lunch.  Come home and house repair mode.  Enjoy your day.