Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flowers and fruit

It's spring time.  I'm a flower fanatic.  Used to work in a florist shop.  Though I was the office manager, she'd let me design here and there too.  I love flowers and I love color.  This is the season for it. 

 These are a first this year.  I've never seen them before.  Called double blooming impatients or something like that.  Impatients are supposed to be annuals.  However, if you let them go to seed, they come up year after year and spread like crazy.  Our whole front area by the house is covered in them over the next few months.  They are just now starting to come up.

Aren't they gorgeous?!  Love the bright colors.  We have mainly purples and pinks this year of everything so sticking w/ that theme.  Wanted to try these out so got one plant.  Seems to be very hardy and holding up well.  Full of blooms.

Our farmer called us and asked if we wanted to add strawberries to our order.  Umm, yes!  So, got a nice fresh bucket.  We need to go strawberry picking for sure this week.  We have 3 local farms very close to us to pick from.  Last year we got 9 buckets full. Hoping this year to freeze some.  These were delicious.  Yes, they are gone already. Got them yesterday.  Anyone always ask what we can use, answer is always f-o-o-d.  Always.  They go through it like water.

One of our bowls of oranges and apples.

We love the fact the apples come from the NC mountains and don't have wax on them.  A few of these apples did come from the store, hence the sticker, but the rest did not.  We get our produce order every Friday.  Last Friday I missed it b/c of a crazy week.  So, ended up w/ store bought apples.  Notice, they are still there whereas the farmer's produce goes within the first few days.  Our Fugi apples are already gone.  Got them yesterday!  We need an orchard.  LOL.  

The corn on the cob was the best I've had in a long, long time.  Really delicious.  I'm glad we get our produce and know the farmer.  Next best thing to growing your own.  Only thing thus far that's ready in the garden are onions, chives, oregano and lettuce.  Tomatoes are growing but slowly.  My strawberry test plant is actually doing well and so are the beans.  So, we're getting there.  

We just love the colors of spring.  Fresh and vibrant.  Once the camera gets working again, I need to take some pics of the yard and the flowers growing.  Our hostas are about 4' to 5' across now.  Thinking of splitting two of them again this year.  We'll see.  Just noticed today that my iris' are blooming and I have yet to pick some to put on the table.  Maybe do that tomorrow.  Love having my own fresh flowers for a centerpiece.  Enjoy your weekend everyone. 


Today we had to get up early to go to a soccer game this morning.  It was for Summer.  You can tell her processing is much slower than the other kids but she hangs in there for sure.  Even getting to kick the ball here and there.  And best part was she only fell once!  For young kids w/ c-ACC, balance can be really, really tough.  It was for her when she first came home.  Now, we're doing great.   After she played, we came home really fast and Warren and Max hauled off the trash.  Loaded back up in the car and went to Alex and Logan's game despite them not playing. 

Okay, I must say that Alex and Logan have THE BEST coaches!  Seriously.  They talked to the boys and they talked to us.  Alex even had to address the team as he was captain.  The other kids somewhat look up to him for leadership and guidance. The coaches and us saw TRUE remorse in Alex.  Trust me when I say this is huge for someone w/ RAD.  Very big.  Coaches spoke about character and responsibility.  Those were two very, very sad little boys.  That may sound rough but given their background, it was awesome for them to experience this but more than that, to feel it.  It means they can indeed relate to people in a normal way. They have feelings.  Coaches asked us to reconsider the taking away of soccer.  We are still thinking it over.  If they did go back, the coaches will help us keep them in line of on toe over the line...they're out, no questions, no discussions.  Again, lots to consider.  Lots was said, lots of points made, lots of experiences went into these two sons of mine today.  They both realized consequences for actions.  Oh, don't worry, these two are still very much grounded.  We are just really re-thinking the taking away of soccer.  Our coaches can relate.  One of them has 5 boys. 

After that, was Nik's game.  Reni and Alyona had a game last night so no game for them today.  Nik actually was in the game...playing.  I mean really, really and truly playing.  For the first time, we were watching our son play the way he was supposed to.  Not be an outsider but an actual participant.  Nice to see.  So nice to see.  We also met a lady who runs group homes.  Very interesting conversation w/ lots to think about.  Much information given to us. 

Came home.  Went to the roadside to pick up plants from a man selling them.  Bought them last year.  Much cheaper there and great plants.  Sold out of the ones we needed.  Went to Lowes for filter for fridge that is way, way, way past replacement time and for some chlorine to clear up the pool.  Came home.  Took the kids that were home (Irina and Yana were still at work) and went to drop Bojan's trumpet off for repair.  Well, we passed Krispy Kreme while downtown.  The place where  you can see them make the donuts.  Had to do a detour.  Bummed I forgot the camera.  On the way in, a gentleman gave us some cash and said treat them to some donuts!  Very sweet of him.  Sat down and ate some donuts.  Machines weren't operating at the time but kids thought it was cool anyhow.  We'll now have to go back to see the machines in action one day!  Went home and Irina and Yana were home.  Happy we saved them donuts too. 

Warren made beef and broccoli stir fry this evening.  Kids devoured it.  3 kids are staying w/ friends this evening.  Quiet here.  Tomorrow, lots and lots to do.  I doubt we'll make church just given the sheer amount of what we need to get done. One thing at a time.  That's all you can do.  More to come.  i do not like this new blogger set up.  I don't do well w/ change.  LOL. 

Blast from the past

Well, I'm a little late on this one but better late than never.  Hard to think that just a year ago, we didn't even have all the kids home yet.  Feels as though they've always been here.  So, time to share a few photos from years past.  Enjoy.

 Alyona and Nik.  This was shortly after we told them we were adopting again.  Notice the shirts.  Nik wore his w/ pride about becoming a big brother.  April of 2010.  

Alyona, reading to her baby doll.  Helps that the book can read for you.  She still loves baby dolls.  This was in April of 2010.

Irina, hanging out w/ dad while he grills. Also, April of 2010.

Max, goofing off w/ his brothers.  Some things never change!  April, 2010.

April of 2011.  Bojan and Nik goofing off at the prosthetic office.  

April of 2007.  Getting ready to do an Easter Egg Hunt.  Goodness, they look so tiny now!  Not the same kids.  No way! 

This is what happens when you let big sisters help dress you.  Alyona in April of 2007.  That was our old kitchen before we remodeled. 

D.C. trip of 2009.  Yes, we all wear the same color when we go to really large places.  Easy to spot.  Now as they're older though, we do tie dye or something like that. 

Max, Nik, Alex and Bojan enjoying a picnic in the front yard.  April of 2008.

And that was my blast from the past for April.  Being that it's almost May, we'll have to do another one soon.  LOL.  Today was busy and I'll have to do another post on it.  Good busy though.  Much to share.  Dummy me though forgot the camera.  Oh well.  Warren and Bojan are downstairs watching some movie that I don't care to watch.  The three oldest teens are off at a friend's house for the night.  More posts to follow.  Eventually, I'll be caught up.  Umm, yeh.  right.  Hope everyone had a great day today.  Today was much, much better than earlier this week.  BTW, I do not like this new blogger set up.  Not used to it yet.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nik's drawings

Okay, each week Nik has speech therapy three times a week.  She comes to the house which is awesome.  Every once in awhile he has to draw on these cards so they can practice the words.  She draws a picture and he draws.  They also play memory.  You all know Nik loves detail and loves ahem, Stephen King like drawings.  We all hold our breath when we ask him to draw something.  I mean really, can anything morbid or psychotic come out of simple words?  Well, I think you'd be surprised.  I'll show you a few.  And no, the kid does not need psychiatric help.  It's just who he is.  He LOVES anything scary.  Goosebumps, etc.

#1 is ham.  I do not think I would want to eat that ham.  Yuck!  # 2 is yum.  It's a gingerbread house scene.  #3 on the bottom is drum.  He told me someone is playing so loud that blood is coming out their ears.  That's what is coming out of the person standing next to the drum...blood.  Lovely son.  #4 is mom.  He drew me and him and a buddy holding an Easter Bunny.  

 #1 is fan.  Notice someone blowing the other person away w/ a fan?  #2 is fish.  Someone is being eaten by a fish.  #3 really is fine.  A table full of food.  Word was food.  #4 is fork.  Not sure why someone is going down a bounce house. 

Okay, #1 left top, is the word hat.  Someone is being crushed by the hat.  Picture 2 is top right.  Word is hit.  He drew Alex and Nik. I'm sure you can figure the rest out.  #3 is everyone eating birthday cake at the table.  Not sure why the birthday person is sad.  #4 is a classic.  The word was fat. And yes, that is me.  Sick sense of humor kid.  A scene from Willy Wonka.  

#1 is hot.  (top left).  Alex is going to be burned apparently.  #2 is sit.  I'm not sure but looks like some sort of interrogation.  And in case you're wondering, those are bellies, not boy parts.  LOL.  #3 is bite.  A shark is coming up and eating someone off the pier.  #4 is cat.  A cat is attacking Alex.  Guess the cat needs to go back to Pet Cemetery. 

These are just really a few of them.  I promise he doesn't always think this way. I really should take more pictures of the sweet stuff he does.  But these are just more interesting than the hearts and bears.  So much detail for a tiny piece of paper.  The kid has quite the imagination.  I will take some pictures that he drew just today.  My trouble now is he wants to draw whatever Max draws.  Well, his brother can draw just about anything.  Today, Nik found one of Max's old drawings.  A lady in a bikini.  I glance in the dining room and Nik has taped Max's drawing to the window and is trying to copy it.  Not trace it but draw like him.  The woman's face looked like a Picasso.  It was great.  This clearly was copied from some sort of sports illustrated page or something.  I tried to explain to Nik he needs to draw other things.  LOL.  Hey, it could have been worse, I know.  Nik just did not understand why I didn't want him to draw the lady in a bathing suit.  So, he went onto drawing a soccer field and then some weight lifters.  I keep asking him or Max to draw me a flower.  Neither one ever has.  Boys.  Pictures this weekend of some of Nik's recent artwork.  He's moving past stick figures.  Wahoo!!! 

When it's not so rosy

When it's not so rosy, what do you do?  I honestly can not write on this blog and not talk about tough times we experience.  It wouldn't be honest.  And frankly, all families go through rough patches here and there.  They're lying if they tell you they don't.  Just my opinion.  Anyhow, today has been one of those days.  One that makes you question why you're parenting at all.  Here goes nothing.

Alex and Logan are closer than close.  That is good in some ways, bad in others.  As I've said in the past, Logan did NOT have a stellar reputation where he was from.  He was a bully. I will not sugar coat it.  And, in the beginning, he was proud of this and all that he'd done in his young life over there.  However, he was in for a big change once home w/ a family.  It was a 180!  Awesome transformation to witness.  However, now we have an issue.  Alex.  Alex has slowly gone downhill a bit in behavior.  This is something that his new brother really did not need to see.  They feed off each other so to speak.  Today was the breaking point. 

Okay, the boys walk the dogs during Nik's speech therapy.  They walk Alaska.  The smaller dog.  Well, today they did not want Reni to go w/ them.  Radar went off.  I knew something was up with that.  Took Reni, Summer and Kota for a walk while Nik was here w/ his therapist.  We were actually trying something new to see if Nik would answer if I was NOT here at all.  Sure enough, he did.  Usually he seeks me out to answer for him even though I don't.  So, I left and got an ear full.  See, we've been working with Reni NOT to be a 'Cindy Brady.'  She is the worst tattle tale we've ever had.  The worst.  The other day I yelled and said unless there is blood or someone is hurt very badly, I do not want to hear it.  Today, she said you want me say if it's bad thing, right.  I said yes.  That's when she let it all spill out.  What the con artists have been doing all this time when walking the dogs.  Let's go back. 

A few weeks ago, neighbor came up and informed us our son had let their dog out of the gate to play w/ our dogs.  I said sorry about that but Nik doesn't usually go w/ them.  I'll make sure it doesn't happen again.  He said no, they've done this 3 times before!  URGHH!!!!  Nik does NOT go w/ them.  Meaning this was Logan and Alex letting the dog out to play w/ our dog.  URGHHH!!!!  Told them never to go in anyone's yard or touch anyone's property.  They are to stay on the road.  Period.  Thought that was pretty dog gone clear. 

Today, after Reni told me what they'd been doing (I'll get to it in a minute), I went home w/ them and speech therapist was just finishing.  Loaded up Reni, Summer and Nik and went in the van.  Turned the corner and caught them red-handed.  I was trying to remain calm.  Why?  Because my two sons were trespassing in a neighbor's yard playing soccer in their yard.  While they pawned off Alaska to Alyona w/ one arm that works.  Remember, Alyona is rather weak to begin with. Hence, why she is not allowed to walk the dogs.  They con the girls into walking the dogs.  Found out later that Alyona was going to walk home w/ Alaska but the boys would not let her. URGHH!!!  When I picked them up, I swear I could have spit fire I was so angry.  Boiling.  Just could not believe the downright irresponsibility, disrespect, and countless other things my two sons had just done. 

Told them they were officially in prison camp.  Haven't done a prison camp in this house for years.  Guess it was high time.  Essentially, they are prisoners.  They want to act like it, they will be treated as such.  Again, this grounding is for extreme, extreme cases in our house.  So, sent those two outside to pick up sticks in the yard.  Max and I checked on them every once in awhile.  Found them sitting.  Went outside to play warden.  Came back in.  Bojan got home.  Around 3:20 or so.  Irina came home at 3:40/ 3:45.  She said they weren't outside.  So, we go on a hunt for the boys.  Nowhere to be seen.  Max and I went out looking.  I called someone else to pick up Yana from track.  Kids were looking inside.  Called Warren and he came home from work to search.  When Yana got home, she took Kota.  Found the boys....on their bikes!  She took the bikes away from them w/ the help of her friend.  Called to let me know.  I called Warren to say we found them.  By this time, steam was coming from my ears, I'm almost sure of it.  What galled at me was when they arrive home, have a smug look on their faces and really didn't care what all they had just done.  Unreal. 

They are beyond grounded now.  No tv, no electronics, no playing, no soccer, no no church clubs, no nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  Behavior was appalling but the fact that they did not care what they had done and what pain they had caused everyone else was truly the most upsetting part.  Max laid into them as well as many other of their sibs saying how they wasted their time and now had no dinner.  Yeh, dinner got sidetracked.  Warren had to pick something up.  Keep in mind, we don't really go out to eat or pick up fast food.  Kids were not happy b/c I had planned to make baked meatballs and it's their favorite.  So, glad they actually told how they felt to Logan and Alex.  I know boys will do dumb things.  I get that.  I know mine have and will in the future too.  However, I will not have them be rude or disrespectful or anything else for that matter.  Warren and I felt this went way too far.  The fact that they blatantly went on a bike ride while punished sent a huge message to us.  So, need to make sure they get this one.  I hope this time it sinks in.  We are unsure of just how long they're grounded right now. 

With so many of ours having behavioral issues and mental health issues, some times there are gray areas as to what punishment do you give someone who really doesn't understand the why of it all.  However, if you want them to grow up in society and function normally in society, they must understand there are consequences.  For our family, we've never used their disability as an excuse for their behavior.  And frankly, there hasn't been a whole lot of trouble other than some normal petty kid stuff.  This today was more though and we felt had to be nipped in the bud before it was allowed to develop. They must understand there are consequences for their actions.  Though we hate to do it, b/c truly the punishment is a royal pain for us to do, it needs to be done.  Actions speak louder than words.  Hoping this will sink in for these boys. I really do.  Otherwise, we'll have much more work cut out for us. 

I shared b/c I don't want others to think that life with our kids is all roses.  It's not.  We too have ups and downs just like every other family out there.  We try to teach our children well.  To do the right thing.  The boys are only 11 yo right now.  I feel they can change things around for sure.  Otherwise, this is going to be a long year.  What I will say was positive about today was that the other kids stepped right up to the plate to help me out.  They also stepped up to the plate in explaining to Alex and Logan just how wrong they were & how much it affected other people.  I was listening to them talk to their brothers and was actually shocked proud it came out of their mouths.  The teens are definitely growing up.  There will be more pictures, better posts but I think sometimes reality posts are important too.  I have met some adoptive parents who think different in disciplining their kids.  Other adoptive parents of FASers who say the kids can't learn right from wrong due to no cause and effect thinking.  I don't believe that.  They all have the ability to learn in some capacity.  Just find what works. 

So, there is my not so rosy post.  And as we always say in this house  " with every new day, there's fresh hope."  Here's hoping!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Endocrinology results

Drum roll please....... ALL NORMAL!!!  You heard that correctly.  All normal for both Alyona and Summer.  Huge relief to say the least.  Made my day.  Now, just have to get Bojan taken care of this week.  Not for bloodwork.  But, he fell out of the wheelchair at school and scraped his stump all up.  It's a mess.  And, it's turning a blackish color.  Now, the wheelchair is black so think that's playing a roll and rubbing off.  But, getting him checked out just in case.  Cleaned up all the scraps.  That's separate from the blackish area.  Want him all healed up before he puts the prosthetic back on.  Other medical news, Nik got his staple out this evening and was thrilled.  Came home and shampooed. 

Kids had church clubs this evening.  I'm pretty angry with Logan and Reni right now.  They're back to testing limits.  So, made it clear that's not accepted and if they talk to you even once again during clubs, you're out.  We also are having issues with Alex lately.  Not sure what his deal is.  When he gets this way, we have to sort if it is RAD cycling through again, his age, growth spurt & meds arent' working, or hormones.  We're working on sorting that out right now.  Usually takes us about two weeks to figure out the cause and then we take care of it from there.  He has not had a med dosage change in years and has grown a ton so I am suspecting that's it.  We'll see. 

Tomorrow is the girls' soccer practice.  Friday, is a soccer game.  Saturday is full of soccer games.  Rest of the weekend, we are working on fixing up the house quite a bit.  Despite the rain that's predicted.  If it does rain, thought about taking the kids to a movie at the cheap seats this weekend.  We have a locally family owned theater that has $3 movie seats. Used to be $2 seats.  Still, a great bargain for a night out w/ the kids every once in a blue moon. 

I still owe a post on the farm we went to.  I promise in the next day or two it will be up.  A few have asked about it.  Just been one of those busy weeks.  Report cards came out.  Bojan did excellent.  Yana did excellent except in one class.  She admitted she could do better.  Max did well except for one class.  Class that I told the school what would happen if he took it.  Sure enough, it's happening.  When on when will they ever listen to parents in an IEP meeting?  Never.  URGHH!!!  I'll be calling tomorrow & inquiring what's happening.  Amazing, I have not heard an utter word from the teacher lately.  Kids do not have long before school's out.  I want it to end on a good note.

Lots going on at Chaos Manor.  As usual.  Next few days, I'll attempt to finish up some posts I've had.  Never seems to get done.  Hey, always said kids come first.  Blog is sort of dead bottom of the list.  Why do you think I don't twitter or do pinterest?  Afraid I'll get too much time taken away.  Sounds silly but the kids are constantly growing up and don't want to be in front of a screen and miss it.  I see people at the park talking on the phones or texting as the kids play.  Gets to me.  It does.  I mean how long do you really get to push them on the swings?  Don't ever take it for granted.  Ever.  These years are just too precious.  Anyhow, sidetracked.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Party at the farm

After a long day at soccer on Saturday, we came home for an hour and then headed straight to the farm in Wake Forest. 

Poor Summer was super tired from a whole day of soccer.  We make them all take jackets b/c we're there till late at night when it's cool.  

 Where else can you get up this close and personal with the pigs?  This is a mama pig and her piglet.  We told the kids to stay away as pigs can be temperamental around their babies.

Bojan holding 3 week old baby goat 'Yana.'  Yes, named after our Yana.  Bojan had a field day with that one in the car.  LOL.  

Look how fearless Alyona is!  It's great they can touch all the animals.

Still loving all the animals around.  There were peacocks, guineas, guinea pigs, chickens, baby chicks, goats, emus, ponies, rabbits, and too many other countless animals.  My kids learn something new each time.  They get to feed the baby animals too.  I will share more on this farm in a separate post soon of how you can visit.  It really is cool as Farmer Mary is AWESOME w/ kids.  I could not do it.  I really couldn't.  She has patience and answers all kinds of questions the kids come up with.  I promise to share more soon.  This is only a glimpse of what can be done at the farm. 

Nik, LOVES this thing.  He's free as the wind.  Goes high and in  a huge circle or back and forth.  

Farmer Mary helping to put streaks in Logan's hair.  Stylin'.  

They only had purple left but Alyona did not mind one bit!  Usually she has a pile of colors to choose from.  The kids think this is so cool.  I even got one done.  

Nik, a little shy as he has a bit of a time w/ others touching him.  But, he quickly got over that and enjoyed his hair do as well.  

Summer's hair was hard to do as it's black.  But, Mary found a way to make it work.  

Summer trying to fly like her brothers did.  

I'm pretty bummed my camera batteries were on and off.  So, not a whole lot of pictures.  However, we were just plain having too much fun to take pictures.  Bonfire was nice.  Got to meet many new folks and catch up with old ones.  Food is always awesome.  We all bring a dish to share.  A really good time was had by all. Came home late.  Went to bed and then up and actually made it to church on time.  I didn't fight w/ any of them on clothing.  Summer had a pretty dress on w/ her cow rain boots but I didn't care.  I've learned to let go of them ever being dressed up.  My kids pictures have holes in pants, torn shirts, stains and the like.  I think it just shows they are non-stop action and have some fun.  They are not sitting inside missing out on life.  Yeh, that's my excuse for them being dirty.  Our goal this Summer is to finally put some of these pictures in to real life photo albums.  LOL.  We'll see.  Boys have soccer this evening.  Went to pick up Yana and she wasn't done w/ track yet.  No call from her yet.  We leave in 30 minutes w/ the boys for soccer.  Communication amongst some of my teens has MUCH to be desired lately.  Can't wait to see a meet next week.  Wished we could have gone today.  I'm going next week anyhow.  Max can get Bojan off the bus himself.  See, school wants to see a parent.  Shoot, what would  they do, keep him on the bus?  No.  Plus, Max is 17yo.  I'd like to see Yana's meet next week and not stay here waiting for a bus to "see" me.  

Bojan fell out of the wheelchair today.  Skinned up the stump pretty bad as he's not wearing his prosthetic.  Hoping it heals by the time the cast is off.  All from not doing what he's supposed use the sidewalk.  When will they listen?  No appointments tomorrow but some errands I'm running w/ Irina.  Then, we have church clubs that evening.  More later.  Things to do, places to go. LOL.

Nik's Neurology Appointment

Today was the day we took Nik to neurology.  See, one thing we've been very guilty of all these years is focusing on Nik's deafness and trying to get sound to him and communication (total) to him that we seem to have failed to address other issues.   Yes, I knew they existed.  Some times though, children outgrow certain behaviors, especially orphanage kids.  In addition, Warren and I have to sort out what is related to his deafness, delays from the orphanage, typical boy stuff, FAS, and everything else under the sun.  That takes awhile.  However, I think part of me was somewhat in denial.  So, today was the day we went for a professional opinion.  A doc we've known for over 12 years now w/ Max and Irina.  She knows our family well and sees us enough for many of our kids.  We wanted unbiased thoughts.  Not hindered by a mom's thinking or a dad's thinking.  Cut to the chase stuff. 

We took Summer and Nik with us.  Irina was home from work today and stayed home with the other kids.  I brought along Nik's medicals from Russia in addition to his court docs on termination of rights and why.  Suffice it to say, Nik's young childhood was horrific.  I know I don't share too much of that stuff and focus on the here and now but part of the here and now is affected by the past.  So is the case with Nik.  Neurologist said Nik does indeed have autism tendencies.  However, it would be near impossible to separate that from the ADHD, FAS, deprivation and neglect, sensory integration, and deafness.  His past the first few years was filled with an unreal amount of deprivation and neglect that it would take years to catch up she said. And honestly, I kind of pushed his past aside.  I think deep down, I try not to think about some of their pasts.  It's too hard at times.  You would rather block it out than to accept it happened to your child.  Our neurologist said he is a mountain of issues and we are barely at the foothills.  She said he is obviously doing well w/ your family.  She told me it will be very slow going.  He is all visual which we knew already.  She did say using autism curriculum would help b/c Nik is such visual a kid. 

I know we've always had Nik's interests at heart.  Knowing if you are doing the right thing is hard.  Very hard.  We go back in six months.  Healing your child from the horrors they suffered in the past is not an easy task.  It's a long, long journey.  As a parent you hope that every decision you make for your child is the right one.  We feel the same with Nik.  Did we do this right?  Is this what's best?  Will he learn to read?  Can he learn to be social?  I will not tell exactly what all happened to Nik.  I can see the connection though as to why he would not want to be all that social.  Today, neurology helped to connect the dots and gave us reasons as to the why.  Solutions, not so much.  Just to keep doing what we're doing.  We plan to.  He's a smart kid and endless potential.  And that is what matters most. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Saturday soccer

Well, Saturday started way too early for me.  It was picture day and all the kids had games at different times.  So, we were there from 8:30am till about 4pm.  We took Bojan with us b/c the 3 older teens were working.  Though at 13 Bojan can stay by himself, he's in a wheelchair w/ a cast and I just don't feel quite confident leaving him by himself.  He was not a happy camper that we drug him w/ us.  LOL.  Oh well.  It was a beautiful day but by the end, all of us were dying to go home. Brought lunch from home.  Here's a few pics from there. 

My smallest soccer star styling in her pink shorts.

 No rain so we were good to go this go around.  Summer, kicking the ball.

I made snacks for after the game.  Blue and green cupcakes to match their jerseys.  No, I did not think of healthy snacks.  Especially, with grapes at $2 a pound!  LOL.  And, heard no complaints from the kids.  I brought snacks for all their teams except Alyona and Reni's.  

Bojan at this point was fine.  Later, I let him take all the pictures to give him something to do.  

Nik, wanting a picture in front of the cactus.  Filled w/ a mound of fire ants.  yep, that's my son.  

Wanted a picture of them separately but they wanted a picture together.  

Alex, in action!  Bojan took these shots but couldn't get any of Logan.  They were all moving so fast.  LOL.  He was there and playing, trust me.  You take about twenty shots of the fast movers and lucky if one turns out.  

 Alyona, enjoying some sun.  I sprayed 45 SPF sunscreen on all of us b/c I knew we'd be there all day in the open sun. 

Alex, getting his water.  He did not overheat this time but is showing signs all the time.  Endocrinology panel was normal.  They told us go back to neuro b/c they think it's a brain disorder.  URGHH!!!  He just wants to play ball w/out passing out.  Too much to ask??  

Nik's game was last.  Nik, kicking the ball.  

All the kids played hard.  First long day in the sun all day.  They were troopers though.  All of us were ready to go home though.  Got home, let the dogs out and got ready to go to the farm.  Farm post next!  Need to get ready for Nik's neuro appointment tomorrow though.  Have a great evening everyone.

Social worker visit (PPR)

In adoption, you must comply with whatever rules the country you adopted from sets forth.  You agree to that before you take custody of them.  One is that you won't use them for body parts (don't laugh, it's included in some court decrees!) and another is that you will report back to the country they came from with how they are doing.  This is what we do.  And, after 28 PPR's thus far, we know what to do.  I personally like sending these back so that they can see these children are healthy and thriving in their new families. 

Now, you come to Chaos Manor though, you best be prepared.  You never know what exactly may happen here.  Okay, right before she was due to come here, I said these:  "Alyona, put the razor blade down (she was cleaning the stove top)."  "Nik, get off Logan. (piggy back riding)."  "Summer, get the dog ball out of your mouth."  Clearly, I could see what direction they were headed in for the upcoming visit. 

We were gone all weekend.  Soccer, farm, church, etc.  We did clean on Sunday.  Even sorted the boys' clothes.  Now, I had no idea she'd need to see their rooms again.  Had I known, my kids would have been doing that versus school this morning.  Oh well.  Live and learn.  Boys room was hideous.  Girls' wasn't too bad.  No beds made of course.  But the boys...oy.  They cleaned it yesterday mind you.  Looked like a demilitarized zone today.  How?  How can boys do that?  How?  Downstairs wasn't too bad.  We're repainting the dining room (selling purposes) so paint, tape, ladder, etc. is out but I consider that par for the course.  not a mess but has to be in order to paint.  Make sense?  Shoot, even laundry and dishes were done.  Yet boys' room...much, much to be desired.  Clearly if these PPR's were on a point scale, they'd have points off for that.  LOL. 

Anyhow, she's great with the kids when she comes.  They're comfortable with her and I like that.  They definitely are themselves.  All of them.  They don't hold back.  During this visit, Summer peed her pants b/c Alyona wouldn't let her in the bathroom.  She runs around bottomless for a bit.  Alex and Logan kept goofing off and then fighting.  Set them up to do punishment chores and they spill not one but two bowls of water they were using for cleaning.  On the carpeted stairs no less!  URGHH!!!  They were all loud.  Oh, you all will love this one.  This one pretty much takes the cake.  Nik made a sign out of kinex in the shape of an arrow.  He attached paper to it.  He wanted me to write on it.  He kept signing mountains, trip, money and ice cream.  I could NOT for the life of me piece it together at the time.  So, I wrote Mohican (name of our cabin at camp) and Camp Cheerio on it.  Go back to talking to the social worker.  Go to check on kids that went outside.  I look out and there is Nik sitting in the Spongebob camping chair w/ the STOP, kids at play sign.  Along with his sign.  Then it dawned on me and I went yelling for Nik to come in.  The child was trying to fundraise so he could go to camp.  Yes, yes he was.  I kept signing if he wanted to go shopping at camp & he said no.  Just kept signing trip.  Then I had realized that we told him if we don't have the money (taxes), we can't go.  I've tried to explain before when we found out about the generous donor allowing us the opportunity to go to camp.  But, explaining how that works to a 9yo is a little tough. I just kept reiterating we're going to camp and he did not need money.  Still a little boy w/ a stop sign & a hand made arrow pointing to himself kind of cracks you up.  I should have taken a picture in retrospect.  A Nik classic. 

So, loud children, punishment chores, a kid trying to fundraise...for himself mind you, and many other little things here and there, I'm sure she was ready to go home.  She has one child.  A little girl.  She's great though and does understand kids.  A MUST for a social worker in my book.  We survived.  Bonus is no one got hurt.  All in all, nice visit.  Hey, they must see everyday life here.  And, when the kids know mom is talking to someone, they have no school work assigned, they tend to take advantage of the situation.  Hey, alls well that ends well, right?

Nik's drawings

Nik is now obsesses with moving.  All the kids are.  They are ready.  At a good point in our lives where moving would be the best thing for everyone and not to mention the fact that everyone has accepted it and is ready to move should the time come.  Our focus in the next few weeks will be solely on selling the house.  Kids are well aware of this.  Next weekend is a work on the house kind of weekend for us.  More to come soon on all this.  Thought I'd share what Nik is up to.

This is what Nik said our house will look like.  Wow, three stories...I'm impressed.  Kind of has that Adam's feel doesn't it?  LOL.  

Okay, so he had just started these floor plans.  Have to take one of the finished product.  The round thing on the left is a staircase w/ a slide.  But Summer can no go on it b/c she'll be too scared is what he told me.  LOL.  This is a side view of the floor plans btw.  Back half (right side) is 12 rooms.  2 of those are bathrooms.  So, girls' bathroom and a boys' bathroom.  10 of those are rooms.  Thing on the top in the middle is a movie room he told me w/ seating all around so everyone can sit down.  Yes, seating is a current issue at times.  Though no one wants to share a couch.  Go figure.  Front door is on the left side of the paper.  Opens to a big living room he told me w/ a fireplace.  

Got to admit, he's using his imagination.  Now, to concentrate on selling.  Upcoming weeks, that's all we'll be concentrating on for sure.  Need to go make some spaghetti tonight.  Quickie meal this evening b/c we've just been busy w/ the social worker today so no meat prep time went on.  More pictures later, a bit about our visit (never dull here!), and a bit about our weekend. 

Manic Monday

Well, quite a busy weekend but finally a good busy.  Saturday we were at soccer from 8:30am to 4pm.  L-O-N-G day.  Gorgeous out though.  Came home, let the dogs out and off to the bonfire at the farm.  My batteries died in the camera but did get a few shots I'll share later.  Figured I'd do a quick manic Monday post.

  • Social worker comes today for PPR.
  • Gone all weekend so did no clean up.
  • A/C is fixed and feels good.  Going to be 85 today here.
  • Nik has neuro appt. tomorrow.  Asking about autism.  
  • Soccer practices Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Church clubs on Wednesday.
  • Saturday, soccer games.
  • Invited to an awesome church luncheon next weekend.  Checking on it.
  • Sent IRS receipts in.  Praying all goes well.
  • House for sale.  Major advertising needs to be done.  Need more hours.
  • Alyona has been relegated to sleeping on the floor for a week.  Downstairs.  And for the FIRST time in weeks, we've had NO issues upstairs.  Yep, she's the catalyst.  Need a solution after this week.
  • No one feels like doing school, including me.
  • Looking very forward to Camp Cheerio.
  • Nik is diligently drawing up plans for the new house.
  • Organized the boys' clothes this weekend. URGHH!!!
  • FASD Support group meeting tomorrow.  Not sure we can attend yet.
  • Trying to get homeschool EOY testing organized.  
  • The teen girls have reached an all new high of disagreements.  We have contemplated taking away individual rooms and making them share again.
  • Spring fever has hit everyone hard.
  • Waiting for endocrinology results for the girls.
  • Casts are getting old around here.  
  • Nik's staple needs to come out this week.
  • Bus for Bojan broke again today.  This time, in front of the house.  The lift keeps breaking on it.  
  • I pick Yana up from track all week.
  • Going to go to her meet tomorrow pending weather holds out for us.
  • Lots of decisions to be made soon.  
  • Bojan's trumpet needs fixing.  Needs to be priority soon as concert is in 2 weeks.  
  • Warren dropped Bojan's leg off for repair.  
  • Garden is growing.  
Lots to get done today before social worker comes out.  School stuff.  She knows us well enough to know that the house can be clean one minute and literally ten minutes later you're asking "where did that come from ?"  Kids are drawing all kinds of house designs for the new house.  We already know what it's going to look like but let them have some fun w/ it.  Warren still keeps reiterating the fact that just b/c there are 12 bedrooms, does not mean we'll have to bring another home. LOL.  Men, always thinking ahead.  My kids have taken artistic license.  A slide in the house.  A fire pit.  Pool.  Soccer field and too many other things to name.  It is interesting to say the least.  Hey, anything to get them motivated to clean up this one.  Anyhow, need to go.  Enjoy your week.  I'll definitely have more posts this evening.  Lots to say, lots going on.  Lots on the mind.  But, school is calling, social worker visit and the like.  This is our ONLY day that we don't have to be anywhere.  We're staying put!