Saturday, February 19, 2011

A day in the woods

We live in NC.  Typically, it's still chilly here in February.  Not in the high 70's like it was today.  But, in true NC fashion, we put shorts on (a staple in this state for like 9 months of the year if not more), and waited for the sun to beat down on us.  Warren had to work this morning so he was up here working while the kids & I went to work cleaning the backyard, weeding around the pool, picking up the yard, tearing down tacky window plastic, & various other outdoor activities for prepping a house for spring next month.  Then cleaned up inside the house...a little.  Warren & Max hauled off the trash.  Then, we all loaded up in the van and headed out.



All of us loaded in the van.  Notice next to Nik the baby dolls strapped into the "littles" carseats?  Gosh, can you ever tell Nik is white or what!  Geez, is that kid pale in winter.  LOL.  Careful, the light reflecting off his skin may hurt your eyes.  What's crazy is in the summer, he is one of our darker kids.  


We went to some local paved trails.  We thought it was time to get back to nature a bit since it's warmer.  We picked paved trails b/c Bojan's foot is still swollen and didn't want him to over do it by walking on natural terrain.  These paths were up & down and just was very pleasant out. 


They all enjoyed the walk & taking time to look around at things.  Many things were discovered and seen today.  Love it when the kids spot something out of the ordinary or something new.

A bird....


a baby turtle....



and some geese were just a few of the animals spotted today.  There were also many other neat things that the kids enjoyed looking at.  


They had some beautiful ponds in the woods for sure.  


Warren helping Nik after he had something happen to his glasses.  


Do you see it??  All but one smiling at once!  That is considered success at this house.  Don't know exactly what Alex's deal was.  And I do believe there is room for 3 more on that log.  


Ahh, a matter of time before Alex got in trouble & had to be "handcuffed" to one of us for awhile.  Hate it when he does this.  No matter where we go, what we do, Alex has the compulsion to kick or throw anything in sight.  Shoe, rock, stick, candy wrapper, does not matter the source.  Does the same thing at home.  One day, he'll eventually learn.  One day.  Today, was not that day.  He would throw anything he found on the ground.  


A neat twisted tree.  Vines are choking it.  Was interesting seeing what the kids would spot in the woods on the trail.  


Look at this cool tree.  Kids loved to sit on it. Tree goes way up.  Just made for a neat bench.  I think Yana was enjoying banging their heads together just a little too much.  

After a nice long walk, we headed home and cooked dinner.  Chicken on the grill, rice, and beans.  Just hit the spot after a nice little hike. Still craving some chocolate but none in the house.  Maybe tomorrow.  LOL.  Kids are watching Over the Hedge right now.  Cute movie.  Warren needs to do the taxes.  Church tomorrow and maybe a book fair.  Maybe.  You can get a whole box of books for $5.  A neighbor told me of the event.  Free admission and books for everyone.  Might be worth going to.  We'll see.  Hope you all got outside for such a gorgeous day. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mak's makings part II

Thought we'd share what else Max has built around the house. 


this is what our yard looked like before Max went to work.   Well, Max decided we needed a bike rack to house all our bikes, the various kids that visit the house bikes, and bikes of kids to come.  So, with that in mind, Max decided it was time to get to work.


Here is Max starting to work.  They found that workbench on the side of the road one day.  It has come in super handy.  


Once Max gets started on a project, he doesn't want to stop.  Got to love the lamp out there.  One day my guys will have a real workshop.  Mean time, this is what we have to work with. 


Max still working well into the night.  But, you can slowly see it coming together.  Nice to be able to see progress.  Once Max starts something, it is very, very difficult for him to break from it.  


And this is what Max made...our bike rack.  I think it turned out fantastic!  Now, they are not all scattered all over the yard.  We love it.  

Yes, Max is our resident handyman for sure.  And, he loves to do it.  So, it's a win-win.  Remember, he's the one that put up the fence as well.  Just had to share with you all some of what Max has been up to.  And, once the bedrooms are re-painted, we may have him do some murals for sure.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  Warren has to work tomorrow.  Might be able to slip in a hike tomorrow afternoon I hope.  More to come.

Max's makings

Thought it was time to share some of the things Max has built around the house.  He is the resident fix it man.  He fixed Bojan's pocket watch the other day.  Warren was rather impressed by that.  Wasn't an easy fix. 


Max built this teeter-toter all by himself.  Kids love it as you can see.  Not too bad for using scrap wood we had laying around.  


This is the base of it.  It is all made from scrap would.  I'd say pretty creative if you ask me.  I just don't know how he comes up with these things.


A top view of the teeter toter.  One of the littles in the picture is taking a board to make it go up and down.  She was showing me how it worked.


Alyona looks a little nervous when she first went on it.  And yes, the nails sticking up Max later removed.  They were screws & he cut them off.  


Nik helping the girls.  My 11.5 yo is a great match up w/ one of the 4yo's I watch.  The kids really have had a good time with what Max made for them.  He's tweaked it here & there but basically left it as is.  All the kids are enjoying it.  May have to move it closer to the playground though.  It's right in the path where everyone walks in & out of the yard.  

More going on at Chaos Manor.  Right now, I'm just a little miffed at the kids' school.  many reasons but common sense has left the building.  Bojan got in trouble yesterday for bringing...wait for it...wait for it...water.  Yep, that dangerous drink called seltzer water.  You know, the one w/ NO sugar, NO caffiene, and NO calories.  It's b/c it came in a can.  Now, I see kids in that lunch room sucking down chips, fruit roll-ups(fake fruit), gummy candies, etc. yet my son gets in trouble for seltzer water?!  Where on earth is the common sense folks?  This school district has lost it's mind.  Not that it had one to start with.  Let's see, what else today... Oh yeh.  Alyona got in trouble for wearing a cute outfit.  I will show a picture but don't have it loaded yet.  And it was NOT spaghetti straps.  Nice, appropriate outfit imo.  Apparently, the rules changed this year where it is supposed to be 4 finger straps instead of the 3 finger ones it has been the past couple of years.  Really?  She wore this outfit last year & she can't wear it this year?  I've had enough of this garbage with the schools.  Focus on education dog gone it.  Not my decently dressed and decently fed kids.  Oh, they also want to change the schools to year round just for elementary.  Had a teacher contradict herself this morning on the issue.  Got to love it.  More on that later.  Just fed up with the schools today if you couldn't tell.  Anyhow, gorgeous weekend so going to enjoy it.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  Let me know what you think of Max's creation.  I'll have another one of his later.

Teen kiddo update

Figured I'd update a few items on the kids.  I know pictures don't always tell the whole story.  And with all our FAS/FAE teens, it's new territory for us.  I truly believe the stages in parenting are a bit tougher for FAS parents.  You have to separate normal teen behavior with FAS behavior w/ some of us, adopted behavior as well.  Crazy stuff.  Things are constantly changing and ups & downs abound.  Last week, was tough here.  This week it's busy but it's manageable and we're making it.  So, a little about how the teens are doing here.

Irina-- Irina is still having a tough time.  As I said before, she has become more aware of her disability.  She realizes she is different and trying to deal with those emotions that one has when they finally realize they are rather mentally challenged and quite different from their peers.  Irina hates school and I can't blame her.  We have gone back & forth about homeschooling her.  Irina is also having a tough time as one of her best friends since 5th grade has finally seemed to "outgrow" her.  Remember, FAS kids tend to be about half their age socially.   Irina is 18yo, but more around 12 or 13yo socially.  Makes a huge difference.  Irina is trying to obtain her driver's permit.  She has failed the test 3 times.  Very difficult to watch.  We try to encourage her but this is something that can not be modified and we understand that.  She is deciding whether she wants to try again or not.   Hoping she decides to try one more time. 

Irina's health.  She goes to get a videoscope of her vocal chords on March 1st.  She goes to the doc next week for bloodwork.  I'm very interested in what they have to say.  I know her thyroid is normal.  Her weight is our biggest concern right now.  It has been hard to watch her deteriorate.  Don't think we haven't tried to do something.  This is a girl who was amazingly athletic.  Super shape.  She got to high school and it all seemed to fall apart.  I mean, she gets up at 5:30, gets ready & catches the bus.  Sits all day at school w/ no activity but walking between classes.  Comes home at 3 & cleans up the kitchen and does homework.  Eats dinner & the child literally wants to go to bed by 7:30.  I've been trying to get her to stay up and stay active.  Trying to make her go on walks w/ me.  We've had a serious heart to heart but still don't think she understands the gravity of the situation yet.  Though, being on all the acid reflux meds & such is helping.  Helping her understand this a bit more & now she seems to be trying harder to follow doctor's orders.  Slow progress but I'll take progress over none at all.  Irina has found a friend in one of the neighbors.  That girl is 13yo.  You can see the social maturity in Irina is definitely not anywhere near 18yo.  At 18yo I was in college, held a job, etc.  Things are different for Irina and I'm trying to adjust to that as well as a parent. 

Max-- Max has been trying our patience lately.  He's currently grounded.  For grades.  He was not doing any homework at home despite my reminders every single day.  Now, keep in mind though Max has FAS, he has normal IQ.  He HAS the ability to do the work.  He CAN do the work.  He is choosing NOT to do the work.  Epitome of laziness right now and not tolerated here.  He lost his tv he had in his room.  He had bought it w/ his own money.  He is grounded and can't hang out w/ his friend.  He's been on chore duty lately as well.  I get angry b/c I hate to see him waste his life.  I mean, even the teachers say he's smart, he's just not using it at all.  At all.  Now, he has a severe, severe learning disability in math and can not do math.  That we know.  However, everything else, is fine.  He has the ability to do better & we expect no less from him.  He got his permit revoked by the DMV this week.  I think that was a wake up call.  Of course his first response is always anger & always, always trying to blame it on someone else.  Every last one of my FASers do this.  Every single one.  None take responsibility for their own actions.  Burns me to no end.  We make it abundantly clear that they have no one to blame but themselves.  Now, on a lighter note, all his grades this semester as of yesterday & progress reports, he's doing great.  A's & B's.  What is it w/ this kid?!  Max's health is great at least.  And, he's been on this creative streak lately.  Another post will show some of his work.  We'd like to try to harnest that to be able to provide him w/ some sort of career.  Max loves to do carpentry work & is good at it.  Who knows where it will take him.  The church has asked him to do some art work as well.  And he loves to do that.  Max has always been a keep to yourself kind of guy.  Not social at all, not athletic but he has gobs of creativity & talent.  Trying to find balance.  He'll get there.  I do have to remember a lot of this is just 15yo boy behavior and nothing more. 

Yana-- Oh my oh my.  I know I haven't finished my RAD posts yet.  She is one of them.   A few weeks ago we had a RAD rage.  Quite a big one.  She said some very nasty things to us & went to full blown rage mode.  This is part of who she is and part of what we have to deal with.  More on that in the RAD posts.  Anyhow, she was grounded for that rage episode of hers.  Was due to get off grounding last Friday.  What happens?  She got an ipod confiscated at school.  Umm, she doesn't have an ipod.  Yana stole it from Irina's room.  It was out of pure revenge.  I was livid.  Didn't even want to look her in the face.  Why?  Because she got in trouble last year for the SAME thing.  Same exact thing.  URGHH!!!  Meaning, she learned nothing from the last time she pulled this stunt.  Those are the times that are frustrating as parents.  She is grounded obviously. 

On the up side, she has proven tons of dedication only to be let down by the school system once again.  Now, being that our kids come to us later in life & w/ issues, & w/ NO English whatsoever, we put them in a grade younger.  So, Yana is 15yo and in 8th grade.  Just the way it is.  Well, she has been running all year long to try to get in shape to be able to try out for track.  Even neighbors have commented on how smooth her running is.  Well, found out recently she can't even try out as she is 15yo.  Yet, I was VERY proud of her when she wouldn't let this get her down.  She decided to go a different route and ask if she could be a manager.  She could.  However, they already had picked someone else.  She is still running and hopes she can join the high school team next year.  Me too.   It would give her such the push she needs.  Academically, she is doing excellent.  Well, all except for math.  We really do expect that out of our FAS kids and that's okay.  Shoot, I had to take remedial math the first semester of college & graduated the top of my department.  So, I'm really not worried about the math bit for them.  I do understand it is very, very difficult for FAS kids to understand abstract concepts.  Hence, why they take everything so literally.  Yana overall is doing well, just has to stop doing stupid teenage things.  And, being that she's 15yo, that may not stop any time soon.  LOL.  The good thing is she has become much more driven over the last few months.  She's trying to read a book a day though we told her she needs to lower that goal a bit.  I want her to comprehend what she reads, not just to read it to cross it off some list.  HOpe that made sense.  Yana's health is also excellent.  And, not too many migraines any more. 

Overall, it could be a ton worse.  Trust me, I know a few folks in positions that I would not want to be in.  None of mine are in trouble w/ the law, none of mine are kicked out of school, none of mine smoke, none of mine do drugs, none drink, none break any curfew rules, none are pregnant, etc.  So, if you look at it that way, I'd say we're doing pretty dog gone good for parents of teens who have no idea what they're doing & have the odds stacked against their FAS kids.  Nope, not perfect by a long shot but when I hear of stories from some of my friends and what they are contending w/  with their "normal" teens, I have to say I am beyond thankful for the teens I have.  Despite the fact that they make me want to tear my hair out everyday.  I can't say that one of these things may happen to our family.  But so far, I have an 18yo and 2 almost 16yo's and we're making it work.  I think if we can keep it this way, we'll survive the teen years.  Yes, we have our drama but I also think we'll be okay.  Just taking it one day at a time, one step at a time.  Trying not to make mountains out of mole hills.  Yet, addressing issues as they arise.  Just wanted to share that we experience ups & downs of raising teens just as any other parent would do.  More updates to come & want to show you some of what Max has built.  Stay tuned for more.  BTW, no "littles" today!  Had the whole day off.  Though I spent it organizing, calling, & other stuff, it's beautiful and peaceful in the house.  It's just a nice break.  I'd take a nap but they're fixing our door & the vet is coming here soon.  Did manage to give Alaska a bath finally.  Enjoy the weekend.  I know we plan to despite Warren having to work.  Oh, and Bojan can't walk.  Think his surgery site might be getting infected.  Leaving message for the doc.  Never dull here, that's for sure. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pliers and an 8 yo boy-- what could happen???

Do you have any clue what could happen?  Which child are we talking about?


He just finished getting a bath.  What could he possibly be crying about?  Warren is talking to him & Nik is falling apart.  We just  asked him if he wanted to hear.  He said yes & started bawling.  And here's why:


You're seeing that correctly.  That is Nik's implant w/ the coil cut.  Tool of choice is the pliers right next to it.  URGHH!!!  This would NOT be covered under warranty of course.  This is out of our own pocket.  I new coil piece is either $175 or $275.  Can't remember which one.  Definitely not what we needed today.  Told him tomorrow he has to come home after school & clean up the yard for this stunt he pulled.  Really, I thought we were past having to stand in the bathroom with him.  Apparently not.  


this is Nik after the discussion.  Why so happy now?  Because he just found out we have a spare coil.  He is still going to have to do punishment chores for this stunt though.  And I have lots of leaves that need raking.  

This was my evening.  That and all the bickering back & forth.  You can always tell w/ my FASers if there is a full moon. It is the strangest thing but has proven true every single time.  Not sure if others w/ FAS have this reaction but mine do. They are just off kilter a bit.  Normally, I wouldn't have caught those shots above.  However, I happened to be on the couch looking at the pictures stored in the camera when all this started to unfold.  Figured why not shoot it & show it to him later.  He now wants to see it over & over.  Kids.  Got many things to share & think I'll do a brief kid update soon.  Lots and lots happening here.  Have a wonderful day everyone.  Tomorrow it is supposed to be 78F and sunny.  Can't beat it.  May take the "littles" to the park.  I've only had half the "littles" this week & the others are home sick all week.  Been so quiet.  And this morning, I only had one.  She even said "it's too quiet in here."  Hasn't been ever since. 

Thoughtful Thursday

It's been a very busy week.  So, I unfortunately haven't been paying as much attention as I should.  I will try my best to remember some things.  Here goes.

Irina-- Irina has been very conscientious everyday about Warren having coffee ready when he gets home.  She knows he's exhausted and just wants to do something special for him.  Very thoughtful.  Also, she knew Yana was unable to try out for track due to age regulations.  So, she said maybe you can do something else.  Yana decided to try being a manager of the team.

Max-- Max has really been thinking of all the kids I watch lately.  He thought they needed more equipment in the yard.  So, he decided to build them a see-saw.  It really did turn out awesome.  Old & young love it.  I still think it's hilarious everyone who comes over wants to try it out.  From teens on down.  LOL.  That was a thoughtful act indeed.

Yana-- Okay, this one was a shocker!  I turned around and Yana was hugging, yes hugging, Alyona.  She was showing empathy & actually caring about the sister she supposedly hates.  Ha!  I knew there was a sweet soul underneath that exterior.  Very thoughtful that she was making her sister feel better & feel loved.  I still am amazed at that one.  Those with kids who have RAD know this one is a biggie.  Also, Yana had a huge heart when she knew Irina had failed her driving permit test for the 3rd time in a row.  Yana was trying to make Irina feel better. 

Bojan-- Bojan has seen that I have been really busy lately.  On several occasions he's asked if there is anything he can help me with.  Very thoughtful of him.

Alyona-- She has been making sure the needs of the "littles" is met when she gets home.  Asking them if they want to play or if they want anything to eat.  She is just really thinking of their needs & want they might like.  Thoughtful of her & nice to see the change in her.

Alex-- Alex knows Alyona can't read but that she desperately wants to.  So, he's been helping her here & there.  Though he struggles too, it's great to see him want to help his sister with the basics of reading.  It's also nice to see the encouragement he is showing her.  I know he'll go right around & do something mean to her like let her slam down on the see-saw as he jumped off it.  But still nice to see him encourage her while reading & be patient.

Nik-- I forget what it was, but earlier in the week, Alyona spilled something all over the floor.  Nik ran over to help her clean it all up.  Normally, he'd walk away.  Thoughtful of him to think to help her.

I know those were all of their thoughtful moments this week.  it was just really hard thinking of them all when I had so much else happening around me.  Someone is repairing our back door that is completed rotted out.  They'll be done w/ it tomorrow.  Our house is needing some repairs.  Just timing is not good when it's at the same time as an adoption.  It will all work out in the end.  Lots going on this week & next.  First week of March is filled w/ doctor appointments.  Many, many appointments.  Alyona may actually get into the CP/ Spina Bifida clinic.  Even though she has neither, she has so many developmental & neurological challenges that they thought it would be a good idea for her to go.  I was SO thankful.  It's at Duke.  She's also going to Duke for ortho.  Seeing if they can do anything for the botched surgery job she had done years ago.  We'll see.  Got so much to say but not enough hours in the day.  Trying to do all kinds of things to get organized & stay on top of things since I know a travel date may be coming VERY shortly.  More to come.  Chicken is done & need to go make some side dishes with it.  Pictures to come on a few things for sure.  And, a kid update soon.  Have a great evening.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Miscellaneous pictures

I know the blog has been a bit wordy lately.  Wait till my next post.  Yes, it's long.  And, it's a topic that some shudder at...RAD.  I've been adding to it,taking away, etc.  Then, just decided to write about one of my RADishes at a time.  3rd post will be how we deal with our RADishes and FASers on a daily basis.   thought I'd give you all a heads up.  I know discussing RAD or FAS can be touchy for some.  It's not easy but I want others to know what we've experienced & how we "survived" it.  It was not a cake walk & is something that needs to be more publicized by adoption agencies as a risk when you adopt.  Anyhow, I thought time for some miscellaneous pictures I've found.  So, here we go. 


I have no idea what Nik's plans are for that extra rope he's tying on there.  who knows.  The redneck pirate ship is gone so now they have to think of something else tacky to put up there.  Ahh, yard of the month my house will never receive that honor.  


Don't know why, but Alyona was really craving more rice.  Told her if you can get it out of that pot, you can have it.  And boy, did she ever try!  


Wondering why Bojan's face is so red??  Eyes watering??  Can be nothing other than a stupid brother dare.  Yep.  He and Max dared each other to eat jalapeno peppers w/out stopping and w/out water to drink.  These two do the strangest things every night.  You never know what will happen at our dinner table next.  By the end of this, Bojan's face was totally, totally red.  Tears running down his face.  And he kept going.  



We bought the kids some plants to take care of.  Kids with FAS and RAD do need to learn how to care for things.  Some of these kids lack empathy.  We give them plants to learn how to care for another thing.  We then will step it up to fish.  Must do it in this order.  Why?  Otherwise, there will be some dead fish.  Remember that dirty fish bowl we found in Alex's room. It is now in Yana's and has remained clean.  Boys now have the above plant.  You can't really kill a snake plant.  It's pretty much the heartiest thing you can buy as far as plants go. Very little watering required.  So, figured it would be great for the boys to start over caring for a plant & then moving back up to fish again.  We had hermit crabs at one point.  Well, need to get going.  Have a wonderful week & spend some time in the great outdoors.  That's where I'm headed now for some fresh air w/ the "littles."  Only have 2 today & we've done the bounce house already.  Had some homemade pizza (never buy frozen kind) and they've been playing for a few minutes before we head out to the sunshine.  I'll clean up a bit while they tackle the sandbox & swing set.  They're going to help me start setting up the garden in about a month & a half.  Can't wait.  We already have some seeds we just started inside but just a few peppers and herbs.   Now, off to plant an indoor plant w/ the "littles" so they can watch it grow over the next few weeks.  Hope my herbs & peppers grow just as fast.  LOL. 

Places to go

Well, the weather here in NC is just gorgeous.  Windows are open today even though a bit cool outside.  Sun shining too.  It will be almost 80F on Friday!  Great weekend.  However, Warren has an outage weekend and has to work.  We are hoping he can get it down in the morning and maybe we can escape for an afternoon hike in a local state forest.  We'll see.  Otherwise, we'll be working on the house all weekend.  Need to anyhow.  But, escaping for about 2 or 3 hours to go on an outdoor nature walk would be wonderful to me.  Something about the sun shining down on you as you walk through the forest. 

Next weekend, if it's just as gorgeous, we will go to the zoo.  We have a great zoo in Asheboro, NC.  Would love, love to feed the giraffes.  Not sure how much that option costs but I'm going to check into it.  They have really neat exhibits and we love seeing all the different animals.  I like the polar bears and the butterfly house.  Just such beautiful colors flying all around you.  We always walk the zoo & ride back to the car.  (free shuttles).  We bring a picnic lunch to eat.  Always turns out to be an enjoyable day. 

Weekend after that, we'll go to a local museum I think.  We have many free ones here.  We are just very ready to get out and explore more and travel some.  We have a zoo pass so that won't cost us anything but gas.  The downtown museums are free as is the state park.  Try to make sure costs are kept down while still enjoying things.  Not hard to do as we have a lot to do around here.  That pretty much takes care of February.  March most likely brings travel for us to Bulgaria.  So the rest of the weekends will be to prep the kids & keep them calm.  So, not much in March.  April we will go camping one weekend.  There is also an air show close by.  We're surrounded by quite a few military bases.  So, any locals you might want to check out the air show in April.  Also, it's Easter as well.  In addition, we have Special Olympics for Alyona and I may help that same evening w/ Relay for Life.  Don't know yet on the time frame for all that.  The kids will also be visiting their grandparents (Warren's) a few days at a time.  A couple kids at a time.  My mother in-law is an artist and she teaches the kids wonderful art stuff.  Plus, sometimes they go to the local beach or fishing. Boys love fishing.  In May, I know we're going to Deaf Camp in the mountains.  We also have more plans in the works.  Most of what we'll be doing has to be free or very low costs.  That's a given since we are in the midst of 3 adoptions.  But, just b/c you're doing adoptions, doesn't mean you can't have fun for low costs or free.  And, at the same time, give your children some memories and life experiences. 

Since the weather is turning around & illness seems to be gone, we really want to enjoy a few things with the kids.  Can't wait to share the experience with all my children together.  Just wanted to give you an idea of some of the places we'll be going to over the next few months.  I'm sure we'll go to the movies some too.  We have a great "cheap seats" theater here.  Lots to do & experience and we plan on doing quite a bit.  We also have an Orenburg reunion in June that we're going to.  No hotels needed since it's being hosted about an hour and a half away.  Beach is close as well so plan on going there this summer at least once.  Warren really hates the beach.  Oh well.  Once will not kill him.  LOL. 

Once all the kids are home, we really want to travel with the 10 of them.  I mean really travel, really explore this country we live in.  We're making them make lists of where they'd like to go to.  We don't mind camping so that is most likely how we'll go to places a little further away.  D.C. is not that far and we've visited there the last two years.  You learn something new each time.  Can't wait to see where everyone wants to go and try to make plans to see some of the sites.  For now, we have to enjoy the sites close by. 

Got to go.  we have an FAS Support group meeting this evening.  I do like getting together with others who have similar experiences with their children.  Nice to bounce ideas off each other.  Enjoy your week.  Ours is 100% better than last week.  Amazing what a little time can do.  Pictures to come soon. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Manic Monday

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Nothing special happening here that I'm aware of.  Yesterday was pretty low key for us.  Went to church and then to Big Lots for bread.  They were wiped out completely as the store is moving & everything is 30% off.  Picked up a few school supplies while there but nothing really much of anything.  Warren fixed a few things around the house.  Not sure why but our toilet paper dispensers get ripped out of the wall all the time.  We even bought them a free standing one & they broke that too!  If they don't have something, it ends up in the toilet.  URGHH!!!  One of those pet peeves for sure.  Girls went to youth group.  Decided since we forgot to leave meat out, we'd have some fresh veggies grilled over rice.  Yum.

Today is busy as well.  Warren took Irina to attempt her permit test again.  She did not pass.  It is her third time taking it.  I feel really bad for her.  She tries so hard.  Just wish she could pass it.  The first time, she's missed it by 1 question.  The last two times, 6 questions.  Hoping she'll give it another shot.  Lady even let her wear headphones today.  She did better w/ headphones on.  Lady talked to Warren a bit and could tell something was up w/ Irina.  She's seen enough go in & out of the DMV that I'm sure she can spot the challenged ones.  It is hard sometimes with children that are cognitively delayed.  They try so, so hard.  The motivation, desire, & effort is there.  The ability is not however, and that makes it very tough for them.  We said we'd work with her this next time. 

Went to the bank to get some notarizing done.  Also, dropped off apostilles at SOS office.  I also spent time last night getting organized.  Our list of stuff to do is a mile long & trying to tackle it one thing at a time.  Many things require some time off for Warren so trying to figure the best time for him to take off work.   Poor guy.  One day he'll actually use a vacation day for a vacation.  Some things we need to tackle:  1) upstairs room needs to be converted to the girls' room (painting) 2)  Irina needs to apply for SSI now that she's 18.  3)  Both cars need to be taken in for repairs.  4)  Tons of doc appts. need to be made.  5)  Yard needs to be prepped for spring.  6)  Pictures need to be mailed to Serbia. I can do some of this on my own. Today, I actually have the entire day off and am getting phone calls made, appointments made and such.  It's SO quiet though with no "littles" here.  Mind boggling.  Yet, everyone once in awhile, it is really nice to sit back and enjoy the silence. 

Lots getting done today for sure.  I've started this post several times.  Just was able to accomplish so much today w/ no littles here!  It was awesome.  So many phone calls made, insurance issues straightened out, papers organized, papers filled out, etc.  Just pleasant to be able to have stuff done.  Max & I even went for a walk today w/ the puppies.  Beautiful day outside to boot.  Sun shining and everything.  Flowers are already starting to pop up here & there so spring will be right around the corner, I'm sure.  Got to go and finish start homework w/ the kids.  Then, workout time.  Last week was a nightmare at Chaos Manor w/ more than just the kids.  Just was a crazy, very hard week.  Now, this week has been fantastic already.  Love it.  Last week I was horrible on the counting calories and actually doing my routine & such.  So, this week, I'm back in the groove.  Like I said, Max & I went walking.  Getting ready to go weightlift a little downstairs & stretch.  Later, it's cardio.  never do that until Warren is home b/c I hate having to stop &  tell the kids something.  Just feels great to be back to normal.  Not sure if you all know what I mean but just got out of sync and being back in sync feels great.  Much more to come.  I have started two separate RAD posts and really wnat to finish at least one of them soon.  It's a very hard topic.  It really is.  It's honest & may hurt to the core.  But, sometimes that is part of healing.  I just have read it over & over making sure that others will understand this view of RAD and what all it entails.  I want it to be real.  More on that later.  Nik is not making his lunch for tomorrow so need to go take care of that.