Saturday, March 17, 2012

Soccer time

Well, it is that time of year again.  Soccer time!  One of my kids' favorite times of year for sure.  They truly love playing. 

Time for muddy cleats.  I hate that.  Trying my best to get them to take them off at the door but so far, it's not working.  Maybe soon.  This is Summer's shoe.  Size 10.  One of the other kids said I didn't know they made them that small.  

Alex and Logan waiting for their turn to shoot.

 And, he shoots!  Logan practicing his goal shots.

Summer, just hanging out and waiting for her brothers to finish.

 Summer, goofing around in the chairs.  entertaining herself.

Alyona just hanging out for her brothers.

Reni, ready to play some ball.

Summer on the far left.  She is with all 4 year olds.  For now, best place for her as she has many, many things left to learn.  I was so proud b/c she could run.  Difficult to do w/out that left/right brain connection.  She only fell 4 times that practice.  And with time, that number should go down.

My baby girl is just styling out there.  Watching what's going on around her.

Reni, just finishing up practice.  And wow, can that girl work field.  She was right in there w/ the rest of them and wanting to kick the ball.

Alex was practicing w/ an 8th grader.  He comes over to where all us parents were sitting and said "boy, she's really kicking my butt!"  We all just laughed.  How could you not?  Very cute.  He made her day too I think b/c he thought she was in college.  LOL.  She also couldn't believe he was in 4th grade.  Just was funny all around.  Great that they could practice together and learn some things.

Those were some practice shots.  We went to a practice game today.  Then did tons of work outside.  We're beat tonight.  Planted the garden.  Well, most of it.  Tomorrow is church.  Hoping to get more done on the house.  I will have more about it later as well.  Enjoy your weekend.  It's beautiful here. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nik's makings

Haven't done one of these in awhile & considering how Nik is always making something, I figured it was time.  The other day, Nik wanted to make a birdhouse and a bird feeder.  He saw the one I had hidden in my closet. It's for them to do while we're at the hospital next week.  Keep them busy for Irina is key.  Anyhow, he was still determined, especially after we had just gotten another bird feeder the other day. 

Nik had a different concept and approach than the one above. 

Nik, very proud of starting his creation.  Why it had to take an entire roll of tape, I'll never know.  

The top part is the birdhouse.  The bottom part is the bird feeder.  He put bread crumbs in it later.  On the paper, he wrote Mom, Bob and Nik.  Bob is how he writes Dad.  He always does his d's as b's.  

He had just finished adding the door part of the bird house.  Logan was his assistant.  

They decided it belong on the front porch.  I'm guessing it may actually scare the poor birds away.  

Ahh, the finished product, bread crumbs and all.

Another view of our redneck decor.  Tell me your not jealous.  LOL.  

Tonight is Friday.  Warren and I went to Lowes and Wally World.  Needed supplies for fixing up the house.  Got Puss and Boots for our movie this evening.  Warren made homemade philly cheese steaks.  Yum.  Alex looks like a horrid zombie movie extra.  Poor kid has allergies and poison ivy so bad.  Hoping it clears up soon.  Warren was sick today.  Poor guy.  Now, my chest is killing me.  Think sinuses have jumped to my lungs.  Could be all the gardening I've been doing too.  Who knows.  No fever though & activity level the same.  It too shall pass.  Life goes on.  Time for our movie and some relaxation for a change.  Tomorrow is soccer & pending how everyone feels, possibly an outing.  Play it by ear.  Have a wonderful weekend.  I'll try to catch up on a few things soon. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Scary Sisters

Okay, so the teens may hate me for this one, I don't care.  LOL.  Here goes:

The girls and I decided to do mud masks the other night.  Found some on sale at TJMaxx.  Now, we're all ready to make sure they keep it in stock.  LOL.  We all had fun with it.  Told them next time we'll do manicures for each other.  My kids know I hate feet so no pedicures.  We had fun and plan on making this a weekly thing.  It's simple but just something silly.  All ages can do.  All abilities.  Some of the masks above were almost dry so they look lighter.  I'm behind the camera. :)  I was green too.  Just had to share.

Good news/ bad news

Great news really everyone!  No more sick kids!  Wahoo!!!  Summer went to the ophthalmologist today.  NO VISION issues.  did you hear that?!  NO VISION issues whatsoever.  No ONH (like Alyona has). NO SOD. Nothing.  This is fantastic.  These disorders are more frequent in the brain disorder that Summer has.  So, it needed to be checked. 

Somewhat bad news.  Thought we'd be cleared by the endocrinologist.  No so fast.  All labs came back normal except for high sodium levels.  They want a recheck in 3 weeks.  URGHH!!!  Was really wanting an all clear.  But, we'll see.  Maybe it's just a fluke.  If not, we'll have to figure that mystery out next. 

We really need to next work out getting her checked out for parasites.  Pretty certain she has them.  BTW, all my kids came home w/ H-pylori but did not find out for a few years.  Some sooner than others.  I know I should have checked Summer out sooner but you have to decide w/ 3 coming home at once, others that have needs at home, what is more important a doc appointment.  So, got all the MRI's done, neurology done, pediatrician done, endocrinologist done, optometrist done, ophthalmologist done, blood work done and now we'll work on the other.  See how it goes.  We are not doing cardiology even though it was suggested by other parents w/ her disorder.  We feel confident in our team of docs that her heart is just fine.  No signs of murmurs or anything and her activity level is just fine.  I think the last thing we have left is parasite checks. 

Getting there slowly but surely making sure we don't miss anything health wise.  Typically, unless it is something drastic, I don't get my kids checked out for everything under the sun.  With Summer's different brain dx's, came many, many other issues that needed to be checked out.  With Logan, just really concerned about the epilepsy as he was taking meds when he got home.  MRI, EEG and he was weaned off all meds.  He's fine btw.  Healthy.  Allergic to some antibiotics but other than that, very healthy.  He only had blood work done and shots updated.  He had vision checked.  His hearing is fine.  So are the rest of theirs.  Hey, we know how to check all that stuff out now.  I don't even see a smidgen of allergy signs in Logan or Summer but may get them checked out anyhow.  I usually get all my kids checked out for allergies as we are in what seems like the epa center of allergy central.  Alex, myself, Irina and Max have the worst of the allergies in this house.  I'm thinking of rechecking all of us that haven't been in awhile.  It's been years.  Then, take the 3 new ones as well. To me, seems like Reni may be suffering like the rest of us.  We'll see.  Reni is another healthy one. 

Not too much else happening today.  We did history and reading already.  They are working on their math.  Reni did multiplication.  They are using a lapbook to learn.  Well, she put them all in and got only 2 wrong!  That's it!  Now, seeing what Alyona knows.  They are doing 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11's.  Once they learn those, we'll do the easier ones.  0's, 1's, and 2's.  By the end of this year, the 4 of them should know multiplication facts w/ out looking!  This is huge.  Nik is getting regrouping just fine.  I do have to go back and reteach regrouping for the rest of them though.  We can't do science today as I'm out of ink.  However, they were catching lizards, frogs, etc. earlier.  I said what makes it an amphibian? Is a lizard an amphibian?  Why not?  Etc.  They got the questions right!  They are learning.  Key is to go at their pace and not worry about what exactly they're learning but that they are indeed learning. History, they are struggling remembering.  Next year, I will do ALL lapbooks for history.  We're doing a civil war project starting next week.  For April and May we will focus all on geography.  can't wait.  Getting there. 

We have soccer practice tonight for the girls.  Boys will probably tag along.  That's fine.  Weather is gorgeous.  Kids are helping me prep our vegetable garden.  This weekend, we'll fill it up and fix up the house quite a bit more outside.  Only Reni & Alyona have a soccer game & it's just from 10 to 11.  After that, we may head to an old historic mill in Raleigh and see a blacksmith demonstration and have a picnic.  Depends upon how everyone is.  I know next weekend we're doing nothing b/c of the surgeries.  So, wanted to take full advantage of a full weekend of outdoors and sunshine.  Went through Summer's clothes today.  I give what she's outgrown to a neighbor.  It's sad to see it go.  Really is.  She IS my baby girl you know.  Got her, she was in a 3T.  That's just 4 months ago.  She is in a 5 now!  She can fit in 4T's but they are starting to shrink.  LOL.  Time for me to check some math.  Kids still have spelling to do but after that, should be able to play outside some more.  We're washing the van when Max gets home.  Only he can reach the top of it.  Yana's first track meet is today.  I REALLY wanted to go.  Bummed to find out it would cost me $50 to attend the meet.  So, she is in two more home meets. I'll pick one to go to and go to it.  Very excited to hear how it goes today.  I was tempted to go and just hang out by the fence.  I know, that's terrible of me.  Right now though, truly don't have the extra $50 to do it.  April I should.  Personally, I think parents should get in free.  Oh, if I were principal....LOL.  But, I'm not.  I will though video tape next time I go & post.  More to come later including pictures.  I've been slack lately.  How long can I use the "the kids are just home" excuse or the "I've got ten kids now" excuse?  Hoping a little while longer.  It's so beautiful outside. It really is.  Can't wait to get back out there to do some gardening.  Going to get some seeds this weekend.  See what grows.  It's in the 80's btw.  Will be in the 70's next week.  No chance of frost so we're good.  enjoy your day everyone. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sick kiddos

Sorry but not much posting going on around here.  I've been up since 2am.  Alyona was throwing up non stop.  It's finally been a few hours since the last bout.  Alyona is one who can not really stand to lose many fluids.  You really have to watch her as she'll go downhill fast.  Really fast.  We always have 2 bottles of Pedialyte in our fridge at all times just in case.  She's drank about a bottle today which is fine.  She slept when she could.  Hasn't moved much.  Reni was SO worried about her.  Watched over her all night despite me telling her to go to bed.  When I went to get the boys up this morning, I was shocked to find Max still in bed.  Said his stomach hurt.  So, he went back to bed.  I made him get up at 1:30pm.  Literally slept all day.  Alex zonked out mid-day but his was allergy related. 

Alyona is okay for now.  Her fever is at 100.7.  Not bad.  Typically, when most of my children run a fever, it will be around 104 to 105.  It's just normal for them.  Alyona I'm hoping is making a turn for the better.  She hasn't gotten sick in a few hours.  Just need to get her well by tomorrow or they may not do surgery next week.  URGHH!!! 

Warren went this morning to pay the accountant this morning from our taxes.  However, checked on tax status and won't be getting a refund any time soon.  Worried about that as that is how we are going to Camp Cheerio and such.  And much needed repairs.  "predicted" time is end of April but we all know how that works w/ the government.  Our experience in years past is we always, always get it later than they say we will.  Lovely. 

We are just utterly exhausted today.  Long day.  But, got a good chunk of my vegetable garden prepped for planting.  Yard is getting worked on and it was great to spend some time out in the sunshine.  Love it.  So much needs to be done here and I feel very behind on things.  I know we'll catch up.  I guess just drained a bit.  That's what happens when you stay up w/ sick kids.  Thankfully, Warren and I are just tired and not sick. 

Tomorrow, Summer has her ophthalmology appointment.  Hoping this one is a no, you do NOT have to come back type of thing.  Yes, that's what we're shooting for.  I'll let  you know.  We're studying amphibians.  Frogs especially.  Kids found one today and had a field day.  Ooh, that's why the eyes are on the side of the head, etc.  They were actually listening to what I had said!  This is progress folks.  Really is.  Alex the other day even told Warren that male frogs are the only ones to croak.  Wahoo.  Learning.  We may be slow but we're learning.  I'm going at their pace now which is paying off.  Before, I wanted to finish in a certain amount of time.  It did not work for them.  This works better.  Next, we're doing spring for the rest of March.  Flowers & their parts, gardens, equinox, etc.  April, we're doing Earth Day study and the desert.  May is going to be either astronomy or oceans.  Leaning towards oceans...better field trip.  LOL.

Been a day.  Boys decided they wanted a pet frog.  I found it in their room.  URGHH!!!  But we're studying frogs mom.  Umm, just b/c we study dinosaurs doesn't mean we get one.  Anyhow, not too bad a day.  I'll catch up at some point.  Just not today.  Tomorrow night is the girls' soccer practice.  Friday, home school academy.  Next to the last week of it.  Saturday, thinking of taking them somewhere after the soccer game.  There is an old mill here that is giving a free blacksmith demonstration.  Might be kind of cool to do that and then a picnic lunch out.  Or, a Wendy's frosty.  Sunday is church.  Next week is surgery of course & that will eat up most our days.  Keeping hopping at Chaos Manor.  More to come.  Need to finish stuff up. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sis pics & a little rant

Had some random pictures in the last camera batch and thought I'd share.  Irina must have been at work that day as there are none in there of her.  Don't worry, we all know she's one of the sisters 5.  For now though, I'll share what I've got. 

They LOVE dressing alike.  I found these jackets at Walmart.  For $1 a piece.  Yes, just a buck!  Needless to say, they were thrilled.  Alyona and Reni still remain very, very close sisters.  You would never know Reni has only been here for 4 months now.  And Alyona is not that much taller than her.  They are the same size but Alyona had high heel boots on.  

The next series of pics, Irina took.  This is of Yana.  16yo.

 Yana and Reni posing for Irina.

These two are actually pretty close as well.  Okay, only until Reni gets on Yana's nerves.  Then, all bets are off on closeness.

Little blurry but I just thought it was sweet of the two of them.

Fake smile.  I can spot them a mile away now.  LOL.  

Irina took this one of Reni as well.  She was wearing the necklace she made herself.  She is also one that loves to do crafts.  Like I said, she fits right in w/ this bunch.  Like they've always been here.

It's been super busy here lately.  Hence, no manic Monday post yesterday.  Today, Yana got her fundraiser cookies.  She started to deliver them.  She also won $50 cash!  She was thrilled w/ that.  Irina worked today.  Bojan got all A's and B's on progress report.  Max was asked by the art department to do perspective drawings of the cafeteria, lockers and another building.  They will then be blown up and a mural will be made for the school.  I thought that was pretty cool.  So does Max.  He's been working on them.  Finished one already. 

Younger kids had soccer practice today.  Just the boys.  To say I was mad at them, would be an understatement.  We go through this every single season and I'm about to call it quits.  If I tell you to get ready, I'm not talking to the wall.  If I tell you to put equipment on, I'm not talking to the wall.  If I tell you to fill up a water bottle (remember, one passes out & gets over heated...URGHH), I'm not talking to the wall.  If dad says get in the van, he's not talking to the wall.  How hard is this?!  Really.  How hard?  Right now, I have 3 grounded boys.  Coach even said they forget shin guards next time, they'll be by the fence watching.  I was SO happy he said that to him.  Boys didn't think he'd side w/ me so this was great.  I know, that sounds mean of me but you had to be there.  Get home and Nik let the dogs escape.  First time in awhile.  Still, shouldn't have happened.  He was laughing about it so that was like salt in a wound.  Bath time should be easy, right?  Wrong.  Apparently, Nik told Summer to pour nail polish down the drain.  Why?  no idea.  Boys have taught Summer the word stupid b/c they know all she can do is parrot words.  They think it's funny.  If looks could kill, they'd all be dead.  I can assure you of it.  I think my eyes were shooting laser beams into their skulls.  Bummer as nothing sank in.  I'm beginning to wonder if Warren's sinus headache is truly a sinus headache or simply a boys gone bad headache.

I was out of spaghetti sauce.  Made my own. Bojan:  " it's better than nothing."  Max:  "Geez mom, are you trying to kill the vampires?!"  I admit, the sauce was horrible.  But, we had nothing else to eat.  So garlicky sauce it was.  Why so much garlic you ask?  Maybe b/c I couldn't remember how much to put in between screaming at boys.  Maybe.  I think soccer nights may have to become soup or sandwich nights.  This is when I need chocolate.  Yep, I do.  I'll have another post about Irina's results from today.  Oh, we both received credit cards Warren & I today.  And we did NOT order them!  Warren went to the bank that issued them & asked what had happened.  Apparently, this is from way back when when Warren was a pilot and a member of AOPA(aircraft owners pilot association...I think).  I mean before we got married.  Banks had changed hands a dozen times over.  See, we'd used the AOPA card for Max and Irina's adoption.  BTW, only time we ever use a credit card is w/ an adoption.  LOL.  True though.  Anyhow, can't cancel them or it messes up the credit score of course.  So, we have two blank cards locked away.  Still though, they must be desperate to chase someone down after all those years & try & give them new cards.  Geez. 

Weather is great here.  More on what's happening soon.  Surgeries are next week and we are nowhere near ready.  Good news is I now have someone to check in on Irina while we're away at the hospital.  Feel a lot of relief.  Now, I need to find the time to precook some meals while I'm gone.  I say soup.  LOL.  Going to have to fight the school on the wheelchair issue it looks like.  Crazy, I know.  I'm going to finish answering some more questions as well.  Just been a bit hectic here.  But, what do you expect.  It's life.  Tomorrow brings NO appointments and NO practices for soccer.  Just track.  Maybe we can catch up.  yeh, nope.  More to come. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bulgarian Reunion!!!!

2012 Invitation: Bulgarian Adoptive Families Reunion

WHO: Families who have adopted, are submitted and waiting to adopt, or considering a Bulgarian adoption.

WHEN: June 22-24, 2012

WHERE: Winton Woods near Cincinnati, OH.

Bulgarian Cultural Activities
Arts and Crafts
Water Activities
Families sharing their adoption experiences
Kids connecting to their heritage

Because we have adopted, are considering adoption, or are waiting to adopt an orphan from Bulgaria.
Because we will all have adoption experiences to share.
Because it will be wonderful to meet and share stories
Because it will let our little Bulgarians/Americans hang out and understand that they are not alone in their journey and assimilation into American culture.
Because we plan to incorporate Bulgarian culture to keep our children's heritage alive.
Because the siblings of our Bulgarian children need to hang out and share their own stories about the adoption of their Bulgarian brother(s)/sister(s).
Because it is a great excuse to get away and to just have a... great time!

We had a wonderful turn out last year and already have several new families that have reserved for this year's event. Please visit the Reunion Blog for more information or send me an e-amil from this site: please remember to "Follow" the blog and keep up to date on the event planning!

Thank you!

Yvonne and Viviane

Endocrinology Visit for Summer

Today we went to endo for Summer.  I have good news and bad news.  Good news is the pituitary is intact and so many hormone issues will most likely not be.  This is fantastic.  Pending all her blood work for various things at the end of the week comes back clean, we will not have to be back till her teen years for follow up!  Also, while there we made an appointment for Alyona.  It is time for a follow up for her for many reasons.  Doc agreed and suggested the appointment.  Made it for April b/c frankly w/ two upcoming surgeries & a possible third surgery, there is just too much happening to throw another thing in the pot.  So April it is.

Now, the not so good.  While I was there, asked if I could have a copy of the neuro report.  She said gladly.  I read it & was upset and saddened at the same time.  Why did not one but TWO neuros tell us ONLY about her ACC (missing corpus callosum)?  There are some major, major other issues going on with her that we needed to be made aware of.  Shock is wearing off a bit.  My confidence in the appointment for Wednesday is now sliding a bit.  I made it as just a formality of sorts.  You know, get checked out by the ophthalmologist thinking there is NO chance whatsoever she could have ONH or SOD.  Now, with these results, I'm a little more guarded.  It is what it is.  Alyona has ONH and we all thought Nik had SOD.  Ruled it out over the years.  That's not what's bothering me at all. 

Neuros both told me to really watch for seizures.  I figured well, she doesn't have them now, why would she?  Apparently, it is very, very common for kids w/ colocephaly.  Let me step back and write some of the report. 

"Ventricles have typical morphology for agenesis of the corpus callosum with colpocephaly present.  Volume of white matter in both cerebral hemispheres, especially in the occipital and parietal regions, is quite low. 

Now, colpocephaly is what threw me.  You can read about what it is here  and here.  She too was dx'd w/ hydrocephalus at birth.  She is mentally challenged.  Now, doc today thought she had microcephaly and even measured her head.  Measurements weren't all that bad.  2 of my other daughters have microcephaly so when it was suggested Summer had that I was a little taken a back b/c I don't see it as much as I see it in my other girls.  Anyhow, that is also a symptom of the colpocephaly. I really am surprised by all this b/c I have not seen any signs of seizures.  Those are common in these kids.  I am very very grateful to not see any signs of those or muscle spasms.  And glad we know now to look out for it. 

The low white matter is also concerning as it corresponds to development.  There are some parents out there that have this in their kids and development is slow.  Speech is a real issue which we are really seeing here.  Thankfully, we have sign to help.  I have lots of hope b/c Summer IS walking, she IS feeding herself.  Though sometimes we do have to feed her.  We are learning new things everyday.  Anything we can do to help her, we will.  This is life long.  Apparently, it is listed as rare.  Yeh, okay.  I hear that word a lot in this house.  LOL.  I just see tons of progress in her in just even the last few months.  She fell out of the door yesterday but that was the first time in a long time that she'd fallen like that.  When she was first home, Summer would fall all the time.  This weekend, she actually beaded a necklace!  Just tons and tons of progress and growth I see.  We definitely will not be going by prognosis or things of that nature, but by who she is and what she can do.  But also, w/ having these dx's, we need to be aware of things to look out for as that is important to health.  Some of these kids wear orthopedic items to help w/ what becomes shrinkage of muscles.  Like I said though, so far, so good w/ her and praying it all continues forth this way. 

Like I said before, it is what it is.  It does not change who Summer is one bit and that is fantastic.  We do NOT ever go by 'what to expect' things that dx's tend to bring up.  They told us years ago Irina would never pass a second grade level.  Umm, yeh, we didn't listen.  BTW, she's at her job today.  Working.  Doing fine.  Gaining knowledge and skills.  My advice for others out there, always take dx's w/ a grain of salt. Don't harp on the dx's.  Ever.  Use them to figure certain things out but never rely on them for how your child will develop.  Only you & them can mold them into who they will be in the future.  We have great dreams for Summer.  Without a doubt, she will reach her fullest potential in life.  More later.  I am apparently the only parent in the world who didn't know it was early release today at school.  Oh well.  Have to pick Yana up from track soon.  Tomorrow is Irina's appointment to see if she'll need surgery.