Saturday, February 5, 2011

Only two days left!!!!

Only two days left!  need to hurry to place an order for one of the fabulously cute towels we have to offer.  These are unique and so creative.  Just take a look at them and tell me they don't make you smile:


Those are just two of the many, many examples we have for sale.  Towels are just $25!  Not only are you getting a great gift, a great product, but you are also helping 3 orphans be united with their forever family.  By purchasing a towel, you will be instrumental in helping rescue 3 orphans.  Saving three lives.  Truly a great deal all around.  

These are great for your kids, neighbors' kids, friends' kids, & let's not forget the grandkids!  Birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, just because gifts, Easter gifts(SOON), summer gifts, kindergarten graduations, & too many others just to name.  We are super short our goal.  To date, we've only sold 10 towels.  I know we can do so much more folks.  I know we can.  PLease help make this a big push to the finish.  It ends Monday evening.  We MUST sell more.  There is more information on this post:  towel fundraiser .  

Thank you all for your continued support.  We should have that magic piece of paper in our hands any day now.  Just don't want finances being the only hold up now.  I've seen many of you post on Facebook for us and your blogs.  I can not say thank you enough.  Have a wonderful weekend and please help spread the word about these terrific towels available. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

The sound of my son

It is different having a deaf child.  It really is.  For us now, it is normal.  Nothing phases us.  In the beginning though, I have to be honest & say it was tough.  It was tough with no communication.  Tough not hearing words from your child.  Not knowing his thoughts.  Not knowing what was wrong when he was crying.  Now we can ask him those questions and get an answer.  Well, except for the other night.  He starts screaming bloody murder in bed.  I'm looking to see if he's stuck, Alex & I are trying to figure it out.  Trying to get Nik to look at me & I'm signing what hurts, what happened, etc.  Then it hit to be foot asleep or charlie horse.  Sure enough, leg asleep.  Still, that is something if I asked one of my kids they would have answered right away.  Didn't help that Nik was half asleep.  Now though, things are different for the most part. 

We do use sign when we can.  What little we know.  Remember, we never asked to adopt a deaf son. We never wanted one who was deaf...or so we thought.  Funny how things seem to work out the way they are supposed to, isn't it?  I honest to goodness can not imagine my life without Nik.  I really can't.  For all those who used to have major concerns regarding Nik, I can say now, I have none.  Well, maybe typical teenager concerns later but as far as how Nik will do in life, not a single bit of concern.  He will do just fine.  A child who was sad, scared, misunderstood, lifeless, etc. is now thriving.  A family did that for him.  A family mixed with a little love.  Okay, so maybe a lot of love & a bit too much spoiling.  LOL.  Nik's life is different now. 

Reason I'm writing this is b/c Wednesday was a real turning point for me.  I was sitting here at the computer when Nik came upstairs, books in hand w/ reading log.  Hands me the books, looks at me and says w/ his voice "READ BOOK."  Did you hear that?!  READ BOOK!  It was clear as day.  Out of the blue.  I smiled back and said go downstairs and we'll read a book together.  He went right downstairs.  No signing needed.  Nik can also say "good job," one more," "I got it," "no," and a few other phrases.  He told his speech therapist the other day to watch.  Yep, said the word watch clear as day too.  I can not tell you what this means to me.  I am so proud of him.  He tries so hard in speech therapy.  Will he ever talk like you or I?  Most likely not.  But it looks like he will more than likely understand a lot of what we say and that means so much to me.  To hear Nik talking is just awesome. I used to sit sometimes and wonder what the sound of his voice would be.  I can tell you now, it is a very sweet sound.  I could listen to him talk all day long.  I really can't express into words what it means that Nik is talking a bit.  Just means the world to me.  Love it.  I just had to share that moment. 

Nik also received Student of the Month for January.  It was for compassion.  I found out about it by reading the paper.  I don't think a single child of mine has told me about their student of the month awards ever.  I always find out later.  Glad I read the local paper that day.  I have no fears my son is going far in life.  No fears whatsoever.  Not a one.  Shoot, Nik is talking folks!  How incredible is that.  Words here and there.  Putting thoughts together.  Putting sounds together.  I am just in awe of my son.  That may sound corny but I really am in awe of my son.  I know some times he drives me absolutely nuts but honestly, I'd love 10 more like him.  (umm, no honey, that is NOT what I'm thinking.  LOL).  Seriously though, I'm so glad we took a chance on the one no one wanted.  The one headed to the mental institution that week.  I know too many other kids in that situation.  Please really consider some of them.  Who knows, you may just have a little Nik on your hands.  And from my experience, it is the best feeling in the world!  More later on my day. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A redneck pirate ship

Our yard isn't stereotypical looking redneck as it is so my kids decided to do that to the playground.  How?  Well, it starts like this:

As if the dead garden and wire fencing wasn't enough of an eye sore, kids emptied a tub out that we use to store toys so they can make a "barrel" they told me.  Why?
To pull someone up onto the ship of course.  Don't you just love the half painted patio umbrella?  Adds a nice touch, don't you think.  Apparently, that was their "sail."  

this is the way they came up with to get on this "pirate ship."  Oh, I can't see anything happening with this idea, can you?

Oh yeh, this looks like an awesome idea kids.  Poor kid looks like she's a corpse.  Glad we don't live in one of those subdivisions where the houses touch the neighbors practically.  Otherwise, they would really wonder what's going on.  I know you can't tell but Nik is sporting this wicked laugh as he thinks Alyona is going to fall out on her head.

Alyona finally arrives "on" the ship yet looks terrified to be there.  LOL.  Max has his hand on his mouth, casually looking at the situation.  Notice no one but Yana is pulling her up right now?  It did end well.  She actually was pulled to safety.  Originally, they wanted to use the puppies for this little trick.  They didn't.  Thank goodness as they would have jumped.  Before this, they had lifted Nik & Bojan up.  Had no idea as I was inside cleaning up.  

This is some of the crew.  They brought up a picnic table to eat at.  Notice the ore in the corner?  Yep, that was to paddle the ship.  I think Max was more there for the spectacle of it all.  They don't have it up yet but they even put a gargoyle looking thing up on the top beam.  Yep, my kids loved their redneck pirate ship that day.  I think it shows imagination. 

Ahh, found a picture w/ the gargoyle mask they hung up to decorate said pirate ship.  Lovely, huh?  Nik is trying make the basket into a pulley system in the background.  Kota is checking out the ship as well.  

They had a good time that day.  All ages, all playing together.  

Well, Alex didn't really want to play on the ship so he just hung out on his own.  this kid lives to play ball.  LOVES it.  And, is an excellent player.  I'm not just saying that either.  This kid is extremely athletically inclined.  

It has been a long week.  A really long week.  So, so much happening and I will get to play catch up.  Right now though, my focus has to be on fundraising and also on getting that USCIS letter.  No, not here.  Causing me some much un-needed stress.  Just really ready to go and work on other things.  Please, please continue to help spread the word on the fantastic fundraiser.  Time is drawing to an end.  I can't believe it is Friday tomorrow & we still have not sold another towel.  I really want to have a last ditch drive of orders.  I KNOW we can do this.  Any more ideas on spreading the word, please do let me know.  Thanks so much & more later but really have to work on quite a bit. 

Too see or not to see, that is the question

Nik & Alyona had their specialist appointment today.  Warren took off work so he was with me all day which was great.  Also, only had 2 "littles" with me today so that made the room a little bigger.  Not much.  We'll start w/ Nik.  He is now petrified of the chair.  Ever since his visit to the dentist, he's petrified of the chair.  He's been to this place & doc before, no issues ever & then today cries even after us telling him it won't hurt.  Even after he saw Alyona do stuff.  Got to work on the fear.  Also, work on what they did to him at the dentist office b/c w/ this much fear, there is something fishy at play.  Anyhow, back to the appointment.  Once no fear & he relaxed, he was fine.  Nik's vision is SO much better than when he first came home from Russia.  The change is amazing.  Love it!  His script changed a tad this time but not much.  Even better news is we don't have to go to a specialist for him but every 2 years now.  Got the script & he was done.  No big or new issues w/ him.  Fantastic.

Alyona is a different story all together.  I will start w/ a little old knowledge.  Alyona has strabismus and ONH.  ONH is optic nerve hypoplasia.  Essentially, she has really small optic nerves.  Makes sense w/ her microcephaly and FAS small features as well.  Her strabismus was never corrected in Russia obviously and we adopted her at age 7.  No patching helped & I was not going to torture her w/ the drops.  The drops you blur the ONLY good eye she has and try to get the other eye to move a bit.  So, no drops here or she literally would not have been able to see.  She got new glasses when she came home from Russia but the script was not much different than what she had.  Seemed to be doing okay & we do go every year to get their eyes checked.  Well, lately, she can't even read.  Nothing.  She couldn't read her grades that were in her hands.  Couldn't read them to me yesterday.  Sad to watch.  But I smiled anyway.  She can't see the board. The teachers have said she can't see the papers/worksheets that they give her.  They started giving her large print worksheets which seemed to help a little.  But, very little.  Now, b/c of the severe strabismus in the one eye, it is blind.  Useless.  Period.  No correcting it.  Well, I think the corrected bit was 20/200 maybe.  She took her glasses off & could not read not one bloody thing w/ the left eye.  That's her bad eye.  Wasn't worried.  Then the right eye.  Saw the strain on her face.  And then, "can you see it?"  No.  Can you see it now?  No.  Can you see it now?"  No.  You get the picture.  Hard to watch.  Asked the tech how much did her vision change. She said it is much weaker.  Long story short, doc examined her after being dilated.  Yes, Alyona's vision has dramatically changed.  She can not see in front of her.  I don't know what her corrected vision is now.  Maybe 20/80?  Not sure.  Have to re-ask that one.  Good news is that the glasses should help quite a bit.  Also, he thinks the drastic change is from her eyes growing.  However, with ONH, we have always been told it is NOT a progressive disorder & her vision should remain stable & steady through the years.  It has not. Ophthalmologist doesn't seemed worried though.  So, Alyona has one good eye that isn't so good.  But, at least she can see.  Sort of.  For her, it is like looking through grains of sand.  She will of course go again next year.

We left and went to lunch.  Unwind a bit.  Not sure unwinding is the word I'd use w/ 4 little kids.  They did well though.  Paid a bill, & ordered sheets.  Why do we have to order?  B/c they were not in stock.  We have a mattress from the Original Mattress Factory which we LOVE.  However, found only sheets from them are the ones that work.  For 5 years we've had the same sheets.  Ripped beyond repair.  We have one set of sheets.  After an accident from the kids & puppies, & sleeping on the mattress w/ out sheets that night, we decided it was high time we had 2 sets of sheets.  Went to TJMaxx (love that store) and picked up a few things.  Mainly, 2 gifts for b-day parties Alyona & Nik have to go to this weekend.  I really can't afford to spend a bunch on gifts for parties.  So finding deals is key & we usually have a gift closet in my room I keep deals in.  It's dwindled.  So, was able to get 2 $30 each toys for $7.  Not bad at all.  We came home & unloaded groceries b/c we had also gone to Walmart to get the new glasses for the kids.  Yikes!  They are plastic, not titanium.  Oy!  Oh well has to be done.  Kids need to see.  LOL.  What killed me more was at the doc's office.  Specialist co-pays actually doubled!  I really wasn't expecting it.  I've been paying $20 a visit for years & we've handled it.  Not only did our premiums go up but the copays are now $40.  Keep in mind how many kids we have that see specialists...all of them.  URGHH!!!  I won't get into a political debate on here as I said I'd keep out of that stuff.  But this new health care change will literally break us.  not sure about anyone else but 10 kids, all special needs, and well, you can imagine.  I used to love my insurance.  It is private through our company.  Great insurance.  Now, I see major changes that came about this January.  Trying to re-budget for it all & calculate how much more I'll need.  Still, we are fortunate to have insurance so I'd better keep quiet.

All in all, not a bad day.  Still worried about Alyona and what the future may bring for her.  We'll see.  Haven't heard from USCIS yet.  If you haven't heard of the towel fundraiser yet, please do look below.  Some wonderful towels for sale that are just fantastic gift ideas.  Unique and one of a kind.  Help spread the word. Time is running out!  Only till next Monday can you place an order.

Week has flown by.  Too fast for me.  Alyona brings me home a paper on Tuesday.  It was for a concert for her that Tuesday evening.  Lovely.  Missed it of course.  A recorder concert.  Oh well.  Told her next time can you please show mommy all the papers.  My kids do this to me all the time.  Drives me insane b/c then I look like this non-caring mother that can't keep the dates of stuff straight or when things are due.  Umm, no.  Dog gone kids just either 1) don't give me the papers or 2) give them to me the day before or the day of something due.  Got to love it.  Hope no one else's kids do that.  Alex has a project due Feb. 18th.  I refuse to remind him again.  His project.  Be more than happy to help w/ it but NOT the day before it is due.  How much you want to make a bet he tries to weasel help out of us Feb. 17th?  I know I was a procrastinator but really am trying to teach the kids better.   Got to go.  More tomorrow.  Just been a super busy and super long week. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

You didn't miss it!!!!

In case you are wondering why I didn't put up a fundraising total of towels sold this evening, it is b/c you my friends have another chance to order!  That's right folks, another chance to get one of this great hooded towels:

I'm telling you the quality & time that is put into these is incredible.  And let's not forget, it is helping to rescue, not one, not two, but THREE orphans!  What could be better than getting a gift & giving one at the same time?  Not much.  These are great for boys and girls.  Different styles, colors, to choose from.  The ideas for gifts are absolutely endless.  Easter is coming up.  Birthdays are coming up.  Summer is coming.  Just because reasons are always there.  Graduating kindergarten is coming up.  Little surprises are coming up.  You just never know.  Buy for your kids, your grandkids, friends' kids, too many choices of who you could purchase for and why.  I can't stress enough the need we have to sell these towels to help bring our precious little ones home. 

I can just see my kids wearing these at the beach this summer.  Or at the pool.  What fun to have an octopus on your towel during the summer.  With all this snow in most of the country, why not cheer up with some great summer towels in great colors.  Brighten a kid's day.  These are just such cheery towels, you can't help but to smile when you give or get one!  Please help me spread the word.  We have been given till next Monday, February 7th to sell.  That is less than a week a way.  I KNOW we can do this!  We have only sold 10 thus far.  I'd love to get to at least 50.  That seems impossible right now but I know it's not. 

For all the details, please go towel fundraiser .  It's very simple to do.  thanks so much for your support & please help spread the word as far & as fast as you can!  Thanks so much.

Nik's drawings-- he loves me!

I know you are used to seeing some pretty horrific & graphic details of Nik's semi- Stephen King's little mind, but thought I'd share that every once in awhile, he'll surprise you.

See what Nik wrote?  I love mom.  Then, he circled his name.  He may have just been playing kiss up but still, I fell for it.  See, his name is up there w/ one tally mark.  he gets to 3, he's not going to a birthday party this Saturday.  Someone else wrote Alex on there.  He was so distraught at the tally mark & thought of not going to the party that he has shaped right up.  So, though this was a kiss up attempt, I still thought it was cute.  

I mean, could you ever be mad at this face??  Nik is really growing in many ways.  I love watching his growth and progress.  He said the word watch clear as day yesterday.  It's the little things that make you smile.  

Much to do this week for sure.  Nik is at the audiologist this morning.  I'm taking the 4 "littles" to the bounce house.  And, since weatherman appears to be wrong, we'll probably play outside later too.  Tomorrow is a big day.  The opthalmologist.  Can't say I'm not nervous.  Alyona can't really read letters in front of her yesterday.  She tried to read her grades to me yesterday and couldn't.  Again, ONH is NOT supposed to be progressive.  Not sure what is going on w/ her.  We'll find out soon though & address it.  They are already using larger print at school for everything for her as she can't see the board any more nor the regular sheets given to her at the desk.  let you all know tomorrow.  Nik goes too but not really concerned about his vision.  I actually think it is better than what they think.  Got to go.  More later.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Puppy pics & a present

Too many wordy posts.  Nothing like breaking it up w/ cute puppy pictures.

This is Kota.  Where in the world did my puppy go???  He is getting big.  The paws on this dog are huge.  He's only 4 months old but boy oh boy did he grow.  He's starting to loose teeth & get some adult dog fur even.  Isn't he just a really cute dog??  We love him to pieces.

This is our princess Alaska.  She's the epitome of sweetness.  Only issues we have w/ her... a big time digger & escapee.  Yep, she loves to dig out of the fence.  Also, as soon as she sees an opportunity, she bolts.  This is a runner for sure.  No doubt now she's part Austrialian Shepard.  LOL.  Alaska is really a cutie.  Enjoys the family very much and loves to lay on her back.  

Kota & Alaska constantly putting up with antics the kids are doing to them.  Both puppies are doing very well.  Go for surgery on Friday.  Yikes!  They are working on the command come.  Love our puppies for sure.  

The other day my sister in-law came and gave me a birthday present.  She said now that you'll have 3 more kids, you need a bigger bag.  LOL.  She also gave me a nice decorative candle.  Very sweet of her to think of me on my birthday.  Thanks a bunch Lisa. 

Another post this evening.  The other week I think I did 4 or 5 posts in a day.  Definitely not doing that this week.  My week is packed again.  Once Wednesday is passed, I will feel a bit better.  A little worried about Alyona & Nik's opthalmology appointment.  Keep you posted.  Irina wants to be homeschooled again.  I am behind on just about everything you can think of around here.  Ready to kick it into gear this week but have no motivation whatsoever.  I know, pitiful.  I'll get there sooner or later. 

Manic Monday

Goodness, today was quite the day.  It's finally starting to settle down a bit at 8:30.  The "littles" were all  out of sorts today.  I needed "back up" to even get to the bank.  There was no way I was risking that grand adventure on my own.  LOL.  And, it wasn't just those kids, it was mine too!  ALL were out of sorts.  Just don't get it except maybe that it's just a Monday. 

Kids got report cards today & they were as expected.  No D's or F's so that is awesome.  Warren & I don't mind if our kids are truly making C's in a regular class if they are actually able to comprehend the material.  They have done a lot of growing academically so very proud.  VERY concerned w/ Yana in the regular program though especially w/ reading.  She is going to high school next year and not sure that will work.  She was in a self-contained setting last year but they did away w/ those.  More on this topic later. 

Bojan has his new leg.  More on that later.   We think we're going to switch back to the old kind of knee.  He's not bending this new one at all.  I mean at all.  We have 30 days.  We're really thinking this one through.  Giving it some time. 

Too much on my mind lately.  Still nervous about the I-800A & really want that approval.  shoot, who doesn't?  Ready to go over.  The wait is unbearable some times. 

Alyona is better.  She went to school.  Hated that the doc thought I was a complete moron.  I really think he thought that.  Nice guy but I know he didn't know my kids like the rest of the staff does.  They know my kids & their "quirks."  They know if they come in w/ 103.5 fever not to worry.  This guy was VERY concerned.  I told him it was no big deal as most my orphanage kids run a high fever when sick.  Max's are 105 usually.  To me, I knew she had strep before we went there.  He tested her for that & the flu again.  He came in said she didn't have strep but then later said it did convert over.  Explained to me you can't give tylenol & motrin at the same exact time.  Has to be spaced apart.  Anyhow, lots of instructions & things which is great for someone who has never been through this before.  But, w/ 7 kids, we've done it over & over again.  LOL.  Plus, I told him not to listen to her.  Remember, Alyona is severely delayed & cognitively delayed.  You ask her a question, she will say yes to it all.  Does your throat hurt?  Yes.  Does your stomach hurt?  Yes.  Does your toe hurt?  Yes.  YOu get the picture.  Again, doc did know his stuff but I really think he thought I was an idiot.  Oh well. 

Speech therapist came.  Straightened out the insurance mess so he can keep receiving help.  Wahoo.  He is doing well. 

More to come in another post.  I cut my finger tonight & really hurts to type.  Can't wait to share some more news.  Stayed tuned.