Saturday, November 5, 2011

T- 3 days & counting!

I can't believe we're this close & it's actually happening.  We are actually leaving in 3 days.  Today, we did some running around.  I decided to let Warren to cut my bangs/ trim my ends in order to save money.  We're short funds so every little bit helps.  He cuts the boys' hair just fine.  He's a barber yes, hairdresser, NO.  It did not turn out pretty.  LOL.  I said cut to my eyebrows.  I think we both must have a different definition of the term eyebrows.  It's only hair.  Yes, I keep telling myself that.  He only trimmed a little off the back & I told him to stop & not worry about it.  I'll get it cut when we get home if I can.  Just wanted to explain the hair up to the middle of my forehead in future pictures.  But, my hair grows fast so here's hoping it grows in the next 3 days. 

After the haircut, we went to pick up all the pie fillings to distribute before our trip.  I wanted folks to have them before Thanksgiving.  Despite us having a lot to do, this needs to be done as others are waiting on this.  Can't wait till they cook a pie for themselves.  This filling is delicious!  It truly is.  A big thank you to Tracy Rafferty for allowing us to do this fundraiser and make all that filling!  It is very appreciated and such good food. I can hardly wait to make the pies for Thanksgiving.

Next, we went to Sam's.  You can really tell food costs have gone up.  We did score some leftover Halloween fruit snacks for half price though.  Love end of season for food items.  Got what we needed for when we'll be gone.  Only bought for the time we'll be gone since last time my children ate A LOT more than they were supposed to.  Keep in mind, FASD kids have poor judgment & lack of impulse control.  We constantly have to stay on them during the week about their food consumption or they would literally eat non-stop.  The other day I was too busy w/ things.  During that time from when Max came home from school till I could recognize the food issue, he'd consumed 5 tomato sandwiches, leftovers in the fridge & I believe 2 apples as well.  Now, Max is a growing boy/ young man & not an ounce of fat on him.  Still, doesn't need to eat us out of house & home.  Remember, my kids don't have an "off" switch & that goes for many areas of their lives.  So, planned accordingly.  They get snacks and things it's just the 5 sandwiches bit w/ Max & Bojan (those 2 are the main culprits) has got to stop. 

Then we went to Petsmart.  Long time ago, girls & I went to yardsales and ended up getting Irina a very, very nice aquarium for $10.  Included everything w/ it, even the food.  Promised her we'd get fish.  Just hasn't been on the priority list lately.  Today, I said we're passing Petsmart, we're stopping.  Got her some goldfish.  It's what kind she wanted so we went with it.  They are in her tank now & Irina couldn't be happier.  She's very responsible when caring for pets or plants.  Let's just say we had forgotten the boys had a fish awhile back.  The water looked like mud.  Horrifying.  Animal cruelty imo.  LOL.  Yet, the beta survived in that muck & we then transferred it to Yana's room who took care of it just fine.  I gave the boys a plant & let them try their hand at that.  Nope. I swear the boys could kill a corpse again.  Just ridiculous.  No pets for the boys...for a long time. 

Came home & did a suitcase check.  Trying to determine whether to take 3 or 4 w/ the logistics of the kids.  Know Logan can take one but also know the logistics of all this w/ kids.  It's a sight w/ tired kids & parents and piles of luggage going through airports.  I want to be able to take ALL the donations but at this point still not sure it's possible.  I'm trying very hard though.  I know I can get all the older kids' orphanage donations in.  But the expense of extra luggage & such is a tough call.  It's beyond tight w/ the funds right now as you can imagine.  Going to figure the luggage thing out by tomorrow.  Hoping to take four suitcases & all donations but we haven't even packed for Warren & I yet.  Slowly but surely it will all come together.  It will. 

All else is going alright.  As best as can be expected.  Remember when I said it was all going great w/ all the kids & I was surprised that nothing was surfacing?  Yeh, those days are gone.  Kids are all antsy now, nervous, PTSD is starting up in some, not going to bed till after 11, etc.  For those new to adoption, this is not uncommon to happen to kids who've been through traumatic events or changes before.  It takes calming, reassurance, & patience to work through some of the changes that are to come.  This is why Warren and I need prayers for strength, guidance and peace during this transition time for our kids.  These are huge changes for them.  They know it.  No matter how many times they go through it, it is still tough.  Wasn't so bad in June when we went on the first trip b/c they had just gotten out of school, had the pool to distract them, knew we were not bringing the kids home, etc.  This time, they know there are major changes ahead for the entire family.  For those that don't know, children affected by FASD do not do that great with transitions.  Changes can throw them off.  Add to this not only the adoption but the upcoming Holiday season and you have an interesting set up.  Warren and I are fully capable of handling this for sure.  Especially now since we have the church that has offered to help in numerous ways.  Still, that doesn't make what is about to happen to this family any easier.  It is just something we'll have to work through together just as we have done with all our other adoptions in the past.  Praying the transition with these 3 go as easy as it did w/ Alyona & Nik.  Won't know till we get home & I think the uncertainty is what gets to everyone. 

Otherwise, all is okay for now.  We're getting ready to have pork chops on the grill w/ some stuffing and green beans.  Simple dinner but good.  Then, I think all of us will watch a movie together.  Kids cleaned the whole house while we were gone today & were so proud.  They did an awesome job!  I mean super cleaned it.  Could not believe it when I got home.  Bojan & Alyona's alterior motive was they wanted to be ungrounded.  LOL.  Alyona was grounded yesterday.  She cheated.  Yes, in homeschool.  URGHH!!!  I had forgotten to tear out one of the answer keys.  Umm, if you answer w/  "answers may vary," chances are mom will know you copied it.  I get so aggravated b/c I KNOW she is capable of doing more.  See, with being in special education classes all these years, I saw a lot of "spoon feeding" going on in terms of learning.  I want her to know she has a mind and she can use it.  They'd give her answers and that just is not helping anyone learn.  It's really not.  She doesn't know a definition, I make her look it up.  She tells me I never had to do that at school.  They told me the answer.   You're mean mom.  You know what?  She CAN find the answer in the dictionary and only needed my help twice w/ it.  Not bad, huh?  With all the modifications given to her in school, it took away her learning abilities I think.  She looks for an easy way out now.  I don't give it to her.  Yes, I know she is mentally challenged.  However, I also have seen her learn and do it if she has no choice but to do it on her own.  And she is SO much prouder and confident after she completes it on her own.  I've been teaching her on her grade level.  Reason they'd have to practically spoon feed her at school is teachers MUST teach on grade level according to the state & federal regs.  So, even though she couldn't even read, last year they had her working on 4th grade things that she clearly had no idea what they were.  Words IEP meant nothing to me.  Not individual unless you talk about modifications.  Teach them on their level.  Alyona is happier learning on her level.  We're keeping things simple.  Yet, if I know she's just being lazy, I don't tolerate it.  I told her this past week if you can't tell me the four major oceans by tomorrow, you'll write them 100 times.  Oh, she was bawling.  Now, some of you may say that's mean, she has FAS, she can't remember stuff.  Really?  You can follow a movie plot & remember, you can learn.  BTW, she named those 4 oceans just fine.  I'm working w/ her on the continents next.  Alyona partially needs confidence back that she can do stuff.  I'm trying to do that but in the same time let her know she's not allowed to get away w/ stuff and mom is not giving you the answers.  She tells me over and over they did it all together last year so they didn't need the answers.  We see where that got her.  Again, I liked her teacher.  However, the regulations put in place that she has to follow makes it near impossible to teach children like our Alyona.  I know she will never be on grade level.  That is okay.  I just want her to reach her potential but also don't want to put limits on it.  Hope that made sense.  Geez, I got sidetracked.  Lots on my mind besides this trip.  That's life though.  Always something going on.  More to come.  We haven't lost our minds yet!  Ready to go. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

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