Saturday, April 7, 2012

Brotherly love

Yeh, my kids will hate me for this one day.  Oh well.  Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  You know, mostly the boys stay to themselves as do the girls.  They'll hang out together playing soccer or something but that's about it. 

Caught Reni and Alex actually sharing a chair together.  See, sometimes they do actually get along.  LOL.  

 Yep, blackmail pictures for when they're older.  The boys were mocking the girls here.  Such brotherly love.  LOL.  Later, Logan was teaching Alex and Alyona how to tie the knot on your head.  Now, Alyona already knows this but she can't do it w/ the cast on her arm. 

 Max, pretending Summer's diaper stinks.  Oh, though doing well w/ potty training, night she is not able to do it quite yet.  Just during the day for now.  Summer though Max's face was hilarious.

 Summer just absolutely adores her oldest brother.  She loves him to pieces.

Summer, yet again requesting Max put her to bed.  Just another example of brotherly love.  

Tomorrow is Easter.  We were rather busy today.  Warren and I attended and FASD meeting to talk about the future housing situations for our children.  Not just ours but other parents as well.  There is quite a need for a special community.  Just all trying to get our feet wet so to speak and figure out where to go from here.  Planning stages.  Then, went to a local Easter Egg Hunt.  Pictures from that tomorrow. After, Warren and I headed off for Easter shopping.  Yes, major procrastinators.  Shoot, this year it snuck up on us all and none of us even got the Easter decorations out or baskets for that matter.  I know, we're slack.  We've all determined that we'll be ready for the 4th of July.  LOL.  Time will tell.  Burgers on the grill for dinner and then bed for the kiddos.  Older kids were up for awhile.  Girls are beat b/c they stayed over at a friend's house last night and were up most the night.  Max is still up downstairs.  Good, he can help fill the Easter tub.  We will attempt to make it to church w/ 1) shoes on and not bedroom slippers and 2) not pushing each other off the front porch.  In addition to forgetting decorating for Easter, same is true for getting Easter clothing for church.  Hey, it's about the message and not what you wear, right?  Anyhow, have a very Happy Easter. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time for some color

For the most part, I have done nothing thus far for Easter.  We didn't even go to Palm Sunday.  Remember, Reni pushing Alyona off the steps on our way to church and the boys in bedroom slippers?  Yeh, that weekend.  Realized we didn't put up our normal Easter decorations or anything.  Just really behind this year.  I'd blame it on the surgeries but really, that only took up a week of our time.  I could blame it on soccer practices or the other things but they happen every year.  I can honestly say, I'm just behind this year.  No other excuses.  So, this week I decided we best get in the spirit at least a little bit. 

Alyona and Summer looking on at their eggs.  Irina and I did a poor guess at what color tablets go where.  LOL.

We had two egg stations going on and plenty of help.

Irina and Max were great about helping out the younger kids.

He looks awful here but Alex just came in from running around outside.  Still, he wanted to color eggs too.  Tired or not.

 Nik, always willing to smile for the camera.

Nik and Logan waiting for their eggs to color.

 Think we started to get some real beauties here.

Reni, working on her special egg.  

Since it was her birthday, she wanted to make one w/ the #10 on it.

 I think she's having fun, how about you?  Her first time coloring Easter eggs.

Logan, showing off his egg.  My new Bulgarian kiddos really did enjoy the event.  Reni and Logan did this in Bulgaria too.  Though, I hate the fact that they used to crack the eggs open w/ their heads over there. URGHH.  Blue dye all over their foreheads.  

You would think a 13yo could eat w/out getting smurf blue.  Nope.  

Everyone seemed to have a decent time.  At least, no one complained. That's always a plus.  Many things to say but for another post.  Just wanted some color on this blog.  Less words, more pictures. 

Thoughtful Thursday

I have not done one of these posts in so long thought it was high time I started up again.  for those new, we have many children with behavioral and mental health issues. They tend to get in trouble more often than not.  However, no matter what kids do or what issues they may have, we feel you can always find something that they have done that week that is thoughtful.  Shows they do have a heart and they are indeed human. I know for some parents of kids with RAD or FASD that is hard to focus on.  This helps.  Trust me, it does.  So, sometimes I can write down and jot some things they've done over the last week that has stood out or helped.  So, here goes.

Irina-- Summer pooped her pants on Monday and Irina offered to not only change her but bathe her too.  Was so nice of her to do that.

Max-- Max is an awesome big brother.  I've said it before and I'll say it again. She asks for Max to take her to bed every night and he obliges.  Max always finds the time to help Summer if need be.  Not only that, Max mowed the entire yard and weedwacked on Monday.  And no, we don't rent him out.  LOL.  Actually, I take that back.  A neighbor used his handyman skills this past weekend.

Yana-- Washed the dogs for us.  She and Irina both washed Kota and Alaska.  In addition, Yana cleaned up this past weekend while we were away at soccer.  Very thoughtful.

Bojan-- Bojan has been a huge asset while he's been out of school.  He helped me all week working with the kids on homeschool stuff.  He was my substitute teacher and even gave them a quiz.  

Alyona-- Alyona has been very helpful despite being in a cast.  She helps Bojan take his food to the table.  One-handed no less!  Very thoughtful.  

Alex-- Alex was helpful with Summer this week.  Helping her put on her shin guards for soccer.  Very sweet and thoughtful for sure.  He even got her a cup a few times.  He does enjoy the big brother role.

Logan-- Logan and Nik were extremely helpful.  Both are so happy to move to a new house that they have been cleaning this one like mad w/out being asked. 

Reni--  Reni knew I'd been cooking dinner and asked if she could get me some water.  Just was thoughtful of her to think of someone else. 

Nik-- At soccer practice, Nik was playing with Summer.  We noticed he took her inside b/c he had to go the bathroom.  Then we realized he did that so she would not be playing alone outside.  Very thoughtful of him.  He has become a tad more interactive since Summer came home.  Stepping a little further out of his comfort zone. 

Summer--   Summer is just sweetness.  She is remembering her thank yous a lot lately and just thoughtful in general to people.

Gee, I definitely have to do this every week again.  Hard some times to remember but it really is a must in families like ours.  Even with ten kids, it's doable.  Today we are supposed to have soccer practice.  With all the rain, not sure that's going to happen.  I secretly am hoping not.  Just a veg out kind of day if you know what I mean.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Random pictures

Well, today is Wednesday.  I've swept and mopped downstairs, Reni and Alyona cleaned up outside, and Max is painting the dining room.  Other kids will be working shortly.  Beautiful out but weather is turning tomorrow.  So, doing some shopping this evening for odds and ends needed & maybe some movie food for tomorrow.  Supposed to be miserable outside so we're going to call it a movie day tomorrow.  Hence, all our cleaning today.  Relaxing tomorrow.  My friend Rebecca is coming over w/ her daughter to hang out.  Every once in awhile, you need a nothing type of day.  Trying to get a bunch done today but only getting so far.  Warren's tooth fell out last night and he went to the dentist to get the crown put back on.  Called an A/C guy who will call me back this evening.  Still no news from the IRS.  It is what it is but does not make it any easier.  Really need to go to deaf camp this year.  Praying it all works out so that we can go.  Kids are really hoping it works out.  Irina is volunteering this year too.  Nik keeps talking about it and counting down the days.  Not being able to go would be crushing to everyone.  However, can't make things go any faster so trying to be patient.  Up to the IRS at this point.  Haven't received another letter so praying that no news is good news.  I've heard mixed things from other adoptive families.  Some have had to hire lawyers, some have just had to send in more receipts, some have had to do nothing.  We're in a holding pattern and that is always tough no matter what the circumstance.  So, going to get my mind off things and do some random pictures from this past week.

Alyona trying the first tart strawberry of the season.

Ignore the recycling on the counter. LOL.  Max was trying to be funny in the background with the wheelchair.  Not sure what Reni was doing either.  

Alyona and Reni working on Irina's hair.  She has high tolerance for pain remember.  That helps with these two doing your hair.  Trust me.  

Little Vader Summer getting initiated into the mask.  No fear of it.  Thought it was hilarious.  
Reni is growing up so fast already.  Need to work with her hair.  She has such beautiful hair but doesn't want to do anything with it.  Girls.  Reni is doing really well lately.  Though, attitude is coming through.  It's the age.  I know from experience it's the age. 

Hope everyone is enjoying their day.  Got to get back to work. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Resident barber

As if Max isn't enough being the handyman, lately he has also become the resident hairdresser.  This evening, he cut Nik's hair and Reni's bangs.  Not bad.  And he did it by sight b/c we couldn't find the comb.  Great eye indeed.  He has even dared to cut his teenage sister's hair.  And, she let him!  Now, that's pretty daring if you ask me. 

 Max, trying to eye how he should cut it.  Yana, being optimistic.

No turning back now.  And, let the cutting begin.  He did really well.  Hey, this may save us a few dollars.  Actually, we may have to start paying our resident barber soon.  Max does do a great job.  And, they line up to have him cut his hair.  Reni and Nik did that tonight.  Cracked me up.  Logan wanted to but he really doesn't need his cut yet so making him wait.  Maybe I'll let him trim mine when the time comes. 

A friend in need

I wish I could write eloquently like some of these blogs do.  However, I'm more cut and dry and to the point.  Hence, why I am not a writer or even an English teacher.  A dear friend of mine who does more than her fair share for orphans, needs help.  This is not adoption help needed.  This is a family matter.  See, Jo's mother has been hurt.  Unfortunately, very badly.  Jo would truly like to be with her mother during this time which is completely understandable.  However, it has been hard financially to do that.  This is a woman with true heart.  Gives what she can, whenever she can.  Please help share her story. She has had medical issues herself and I know she can use a visit with her mom to feel a bit more at ease.  We all know what it is like when a family member is hurt.  You just want to be with them.  To touch them.  To talk to them.  To hug and hold them.  To let them know they are loved and cared for.  That is all Jo wants.  Her blog explaining it all is here.  Please share and donate if you can. 

Update on surgery patients

I thought I should update how Bojan and Alyona are doing post-op.  Very well.  Alyona has been off pain meds for quite some time.  Only gave her the hefty duty stuff for about 2.5 days.  Then, just Tylenol.  She functions fine w/ the cast on.  Even plays soccer again now.  Doc said it was okay.  She's mad b/c I won't let her on the trampoline but oh well.  Not really afraid of her hurting herself but more afraid of her knocking someone out w/ that cast.

As you can see, she has no issues sporting that cast.  She found fashion that works.  Her only major complaint now is that it itches...badly.

Bojan obviously took longer to heal as his was more major surgery.  Even now, it hurts if someone knocks into him.  But, overall, he's doing just fine.  Fine enough to do wheelies in the wheelchair, fall over and get back up.  You'd think at 13yo that common sense would kick in.  Umm, nope.  It doesn't.  Bojan's major complaint now is that he can't walk.  He's tired of sitting all day.  Since the cast is all the way up, he can't crawl around like he did w/ previous surgeries.  Its a tough one.  But, May 1st, casts are rechecked and hoping at the very least, he get a smaller cast.  If all healed, then the boot.  He's counting down the days.  

So, overall, going very well for both of them.  First few days were rough for all of us, especially since I was sick at the same time.  But, you muddle through and alls well that ends well.  More posts.  Playing catch up as usual.  Alex is spending the night at a friend's house as it's spring break here.   Soccer practice was this evening and kids did well.  Church clubs start back next week and kids are very excited about it.  Me too! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Soccer on Saturday (Mommy's here)

This past Saturday was soccer game time.  It was pouring that morning.  And I mean down pouring.  Thought for SURE it would be canceled.  Nope.  They were playing.  So, the first 3 games for Summer, Logan and Alex, I had NO pictures b/c it was so wet that I couldn't even get the camera out.  Did not let up.  This is when we realized the effects of Pleven (Summer's old orphanage for the first few years of her life before being transferred) had taken a toll on our little girl.  Well, that is our best guess anyhow.  I know many of you have heard of Pleven and what all transpired there.  Anyhow, Summer went on the soccer field and locked up.  Frozen.  It was a sad, sad sight.  People were great about it but for us, torture to watch our little girl.  The terrifying eyes were back.  I tried to break her out of the cycle that she was locked in.  Crying.  All the other kids were playing around her.  I tried to comfort her, coaches tried to let her kick the ball, etc.  Nothing could help her.  Emotionally, she checked out completely.  I wrapped her in my coat and just kept staring her in the eyes and wiping her tears saying Mommy's here now.  Mommy's here.  You're okay.  You're okay Summer.  Needless to say, more watching happened w/ her game rather than playing.  At first, she did not even cry.  Just a blank stare.  I kind of wished I had taken pictures so you could see the look.  It is hard to describe but a mixture of fear, great sadness, and unknown. I knew what was happening but still did not make it any easier for me to witness. 

Logan and Alex were jamming at their game. I think Logan made 2 goals and Alex made 3.  Quite the players to watch.  They LOVE the game.  And, Alex is getting really good at helping others.  In addition, Logan is becoming more of a team player. 

After their games, we had to wait some for Reni & Alyona's game.  Before this, made Warren stop and get rain ponchos.  Dollar General was having a grand opening so we got goodies. 

Two cans of Pepsi, Doritos, containers, etc.  It was great after feeling like a cold, drowned rat.  

Waiting out the rain and for the other game to start.  Summer, slowly getting comfortable again.  Logan and Alex, no issues getting comfortable.  Asked if they could stay in the car.  Nope.  We watched your game, you do the same for your sisters.  Though, could have done w/out their sideline brother coaching.

 Alex, helping Summer getting a drink.  With her high sodium levels, making sure she drinks a lot of water.  Alex was glad to help her. 

 Praying before the game starts.

Found a way to keep Alyona's cast dry while playing.  Not pretty but it works.

Reni, going in for the kick.  She loves to play.  See, in Bulgaria, they told me girls weren't allowed to play soccer.  We've seen a lot that they don't think girls can do.  Unreal!  You should have seen the look on Logan and Reni's face when they saw a woman police officer.  Just glad that Logan will no longer have the mentality that women can't do anything.  And Reni, is out to prove a point when she plays.  Oh my.  Watch out for this....girl.

 Her  brother Logan, helping her come out of her shell.  After this, she was fine.  It was raining as hard in this shot. 

Summer, okay to watch her sisters play now.  It was a hard, hard time for her that morning.  Feeling rain for probably one of the first times in her life.  Think about it a moment.  They wouldn't let her out to play in the rain.  It was still such a foreign concept to her.  Our kids that have been home awhile have jumped in mud puddles, swam in the rain, played sports in the rain, caught snow on their tongues, etc.  For Summer, this will all be a bit new for her.  We must remember that.  By the end, she was okay with rain beating down on her.  She too was jumping in those mud puddles.  Simple pleasures but still so new for her.  Slowly, we'll get there.

Happy 10th Birthday Reni!!!

Today, April 2nd, is Reni's 10th birthday.  Her first one ever celebrated with a family, with a home.  I wish we could do something really fancy like some folks can.  But sometimes it's nice to just keep it simple as well. So, today we are celebrating with a birthday cake after dinner.  She requested pink icing.  Like her pink.  After dinner, her daddy is coming home from work.  She doesn't know it yet but he's bringing a balloon bouquet, just for her.  He's also got a present, just for her.  See, this is her first time for a just her celebration.  At the orphanage, they celebrated birthdays once a month.  So, I wanted this to be her day.  We may have to do something a little extra this weekend just for her as well.  Was thinking Chuckie Cheese despite me hating that place w/ a passion.  LOL.  May take her to a local bounce house place instead.  I want her to remember that this is her day and she is special.  She however, did not think the 10 spanking tradition w/ a pinch to grow on was a hot idea at first.  However, she quickly learned they were all just playing around.  Logan was hilarious because he was saying oh, they just play?  No hit hard?  We said no, Yana's just playing.  Yana & Reni ended up on the floor laughing.  Reni was laughing so that was good.  She said "but why no hurt me?"  I guess Reni still has some things to learn.  Main one being she won't get hurt.  BTW, she asked who's b-day was next.  I told her Alyona and her eyes lit up.  So, I get to do that to her?  Umm, yes dear.  But, it's for play.  Wheels spinning in her head.  Bottom line, she's having fun and learning a lot.

Once we snap some pictures of her, we'll have to show you.  Reni has come a huge way in such a short time.  We went shopping yesterday at a consignment store and she and Alyona were having a blast trying on clothes.  Reni has no issues expressing her opinion of what she likes and doesn't like.  She also has a sense of safety now that you can scream around her and the child won't move a muscle.  You know, like go clean your room for the 1000th time.  For those who don't know, any loud noises used to terrify her when first home.  And with Nik being deaf, it is really loud in here.  Let alone, there are 12 people here.  Noise is common place here.  She has become so comfortable here, doesn't phase her a bit.  That's good and bad.  Great, b/c now she understands she is safe and okay.  Bad, b/c lately I seem to be being ignored.  Today, made her write lines (it's our punishment sometimes) and she did NOT like it one bit.  Made her write I will follow directions.  She has also learned what it means to be grounded and is very sneaky when she is grounded.  LOL.  Trying to sneak a peek at tv and things like that.  She'll learn.  Takes time. 

This is our birthday girl!  10 years old today if you can believe it.  We were sorting the upstairs toy boxes.  So, ignore the mess.  Concentrate on that beauty.  Reni has the thickest hair of all the girls and a bit naturally curly.  I do believe she enjoyed her day today.  Cake, balloons, mp-3 player.  She has waited a long time for a family but so glad she came to us.  Reni has come a long way and deserves to be celebrated on her birthday.  Happy Birthday Reni!  You are beautiful and will go a long way in life.

Manic Monday

Oh my goodness.  What a weekend and week it has been.  Already.  Honestly, it has been non-stop around here and just trying to catch up on daily activities has been hard.  I'll try to do a quick run down.  Have a few posts coming up but one thing at a time here.  Yeh, right. 

Reni's 10th b-day is today.  Whole post about that next.

A/C is not working right.  Have to call someone.  Praying for a simple fix.

Worked on the outside of the house all day today.  Starting to look good.  Have banned kids from playing soccer in the yard so that we can get grass to grow.  They've kicked it all up.

Yana and Irina worked today.  Off tomorrow & that's great b/c need their help.

Fixed Bojan's wheelchair situation w/the school.

Fixed Nik's insurance problem w/ speech therapy. 

Need to get the van yesterday! 

Got the lovely IRS letter.  Dated today but got it on Saturday.  According to the letter, they are reviewing our return for 45 days.  Will request more items if they need it.  So, where it stands, we may not be able to go to deaf camp.  If the return doesn't come back (which according to their time frame it won't) then we can't go to camp.  The tax return is how we pay for it every year.  Kids are crushed we might not go.  So am I.  We learn SO much there to benefit Nik.  Hard.  I know many others who've gotten this letter.  Some, had to hire attorneys to get their refund back.  Not what we need right now.

Been a lot of stress around here lately.  Gee, can't imagine why.

Easter is Sunday.  Nothing out. Nothing bought.  Not even an M & M in this house.  LOL.

No medical appointments this week.  However, I'm watching a child over spring break. 

Weather is gorgeous here.

Bojan is on my nerves.  Being honest here.  In fact, he's getting on everyone's lately.  I'm pretty sure it's the confinement.  We have taken him out of the house to prevent cabin fever and such but he's ready to walk again and I can understand that. However, that does not justify the attitude.  Of course, could just be 13yo boy attitude if you know what I mean.

Irina bought herself and ipod touch w/ some of her earnings.  She has enjoyed it very much. 

Making a photo album for a friend to take to Kardzhali with her when she picks up her daughter. 

Still no word on Reni & Logan's bio sib in Bulgaria.  It will take a few weeks so no big deal.

Social worker will be coming out soon.  Love to show her the changes in the kids.

Summer is potty trained...sort of.  Had one accident in the last few days so not bad at all in my opinion. 

Soccer is in full swing.

Many things happening and I really haven't listed it all.  Playing catch up.

Selling the house and tons to do with that.

More to come for sure.  Kids to bed took priority.  Enjoy your week everyone.