Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bugs, building and bikes

It's time to share a few more pictures with you all and take a break from our cleaning.  Been cleaning out the rv and prepping for the next trip in 2 weeks.  We'll be heading to the zoo this go around.  Seeing some other things such as pottery and also going to a transportation museum complete w/ a 25 minute train ride.  I think it will be fun. Or hoping for it to be fun.  We'll be doing all sleeping and cooking in the rv.  That will be a first for us.  Keeping fingers crossed it goes well.  We're also cleaning out all our other vehicles.  The van and the HHR.  Not an easy job but w/ lots of hands it doesn't take too long.  So, this is my break time.  Better get to pictures.

Nik, still my bug man for sure.  He loves hunting for bugs.  

I hate that he picks up all my rocks but I let him anyhow.  I'm never going to win yard of the year so who the heck cares what the kids do to the landscaping.  I know one day their bug hunting days will be through and I'll miss it.  

Max and the boys getting to work on the table.  

A very well supported table.  Trouble is, legs were supposed to be spaced out evenly.  They're not.  But, for a first shot, not too bad.  He was eyeballing everything.  

Max putting on the last set of legs for the table.

Max and Alex checking out the new table after a swim.  Citronella candle to keep some bugs away.  There is now a yellow umbrella in it which provides shade.  We did not put the fence up in the background.  Personally, we hate it.  But, that's just us.  Our old neighbors and us used to cross back and forth in the yards more like it was all one.  It is not that way any more and change is hard but we're getting used to it.  So, we've decided to add to the fence and box in our back yard for the dogs.  That's what we're working on this weekend.  Tearing our old fencing down to make room for the new one that we'll build.  Due to costs, we unfortunately have to build everything ourselves.  That's great but just takes us 15 times as long.  Is what it is.  I think though we will get years and years of use out of the above picnic table.  Max built it to last for sure.  I'll take a picture w/ the stain once it's done.  Need a few clear days w/out any chance of rain so it dries properly.  

We have a major bicycle issue in our home...we don't have enough and the ones we do have are pretty much broken.  Max and Warren keep saying they'll fix them but some are honestly beyond repair.  So, I know fall is coming & they'll be asking to ride again.  need to get onto some yardsales.  Give a shout out locals if you hear of cheap bikes for sale.  Here is Nik making sure this one works.

Bike is way too big for Nik.  But, he's riding it anyhow.

And, he's off!

Chaos Manor to a tee

Okay, so last night, Friday, Warren and I went out w/ friends for the first time in literally years.  And I do mean years.  Thought since kids are older, they should be able to watch them the 3 short hours we'll be gone.  My friend had won tickets to a comedy club so we got to go.  Something different, something without kids.  We also are keeping another child w/ us the whole weekend.  And my friend that I went with, her daughter stayed at our house too.  Rule was no one could go outside.  They all love the trampoline, pool, climbing & jumping from trees, etc.  So, set them up w/ a movie no one had seen...The Three Stooges.  Everyone had eaten.  they were good to go.  We left.

Got a text during the show saying Max won't take out Kota and Nik & Logan covered their bodies in nail polish.  I'm not making this crap up folks.  This is what happened.  Came home after the show.  Dogs had NO water and were very thirsty.  Watering the dog is Yana's job.  Nice.  They broke a glass jar I've had since childhood w/ seashells in it I collected over the years.  House was a mess.  That is nothing new really and was expected.  I asked Irina to fold mismatched socks.  Whatever she couldn't find a match to, she threw away!  Yep.  She threw an entire basket of socks away.  Nik and Logan painted their bodies w/ nail polish.  They also dropped Alyona's ipad (leap pad version) in the toilet after they painted it.  URGHH!!!  She's only had it since July!  They will have to pay for this and let's just say they both have b-days coming up.  Guess what they're buying?  This was just mean and uncalled for.  They found it funny.  We did not. 

I know in the grand scheme of things it could have gone a lot worse.  So, I should be thankful.  However, I was hoping maturity level would have been higher.  I should know better.  We call it Chaos Manor for a reason and this is why.  Things happen here.  It is 24/7 hypervigilence that is required to parent this bunch.  It's just the way it is.  That being said, it was wonderful to go out w/ friends and sit and laugh a bit.  Today is a work day around the house.  Big work day.  May, and I use the word may lightly, take the kids out to an event this evening.  We'll see.  Suppose to rain so it may be off anyhow.  Have a great weekend and I'll share a bit more later. 

Blessings abound!

Oh, so many things to share with you all.  So many wonderful things that happened this week that I had to write them down.  I don't have pictures of all of them but do of some.  No particular order.

First blessing to tell you about is all the way from Florida.  A huge box filled with school supplies which truly come in handy this time of year.  Jennifer filled it with many things I can use for homeschool.  Thank you so much.  

She even included these sensory seats.  Nik and Summer love them and actually use them.  Seems to even work for Nik which surprised me.  Kota is terrified of the things.  Dog seriously needs therapy himself.  Not kidding on that one.

Look at how FULL this box is!  It has so many things in it for school.  We'll be using it all, I'm sure.

In the mail this week, we received a box full of school workbooks!  It's great b/c it was just what we needed.  Kids were so excited, they've done a couple already and Summer is practicing the Dr. Seuss cards.  Thank you so much Janah from LA!  Very sweet of her to think of our bunch.

Another wonderful blessing this week was this electric piano.  Our friend Linden gave it to us.  The kids have been playing it ever since!  It's awesome.  

I was worried they'd lose interest quickly but not really.  They found a beginning book and began playing.  Nik found a bench that works perfectly w/ the piano.  They really are showing cooperation.  Surprisingly.  But goodness, if I hear Mary Had a Little Lamp any time soon, I may go insane.  

Logan is taking Alyona's hand and helping her w/ the keys.  As you all may be aware, Alyona is severely affected by her FAS.  She is on a kindergarten level for everything for the most part.  I think Logan has finally realized his sister needs help in certain things.  He was willing to teach her.    I can not tell you how much our family appreciated this gift.  Simply amazing.  

After soccer practice the other day, we came home to a giant garbage bag filled w/ toys and girls' clothes.  My cousin Allison had come by and delivered them to us.  Another blessing all in this same week!  Unreal.  

To top things off, my friend gave us tickets to a comedy club for this evening.  We went w/ them and laughed.  Actually laughed w/ no kids.  It was nice. Just was an awesome thing for her to do for us.  Thank you Rebecca!    Can you believe all the blessings we were showered w/ this week?!  It's been tough financially w/ high electric bills (summer heat) and trying to get all specialist appointments in for the kids.  So all these things came at the best time really.  All these people helping us out really means the world to us.  There are so many generous hearts and hope I get to return the favor one day. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Keeping the animals fed

We have some animals in this house.  3 dogs, a pile of fish, a guinea pig and of course nature all around us that we also help feed. Thought I'd share a few pics of feeding the animals.
Summer fed the dogs.  Can you tell?  What you can't really see from this angle is the mound of dog food formed on the top. I think Digby was thinking "do you expect me to eat all this food?" 

They really are working hard on these things.  Lots of concentration.  The other kids came out later and made some feeders. 

Nik, rather proud of his bird feeder.  

Reni and that stupid fake smile.  All my kids go through this stage where they don't give a real smile.  Drives me bonkers for sure.

Think they got enough peanut butter on the pine cone?

I promise you she's not scared of it.  NOt sure what that look is for.  

Nik and Reni showing off a bit.  I will get rid of that fake smile though.  Kids had fun w/ this.  It's simple, easy and it feeds the birds.  And squirrels of course.  

tonight is Friday.  Warren and I are going out with friends for the first time in ages.  Leaving the kids here w/ 2 of their friends and hoping for the best.  Warren is making them subs downstairs right now and then we'll get ready to go.  We're going to a comedy club.  Never been to one before so very excited to go for sure.  It's right in town so not far in case something happens.  The rest of the weekend is very much a work all weekend on the house.  We'll take the kids out tomorrow evening to an event.  Should be fun.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  More to come tomorrow.  Hope we laugh till it hurts! 

My Glam Bag

We are down to two subscription boxes only at this house.  One is Cravebox and the other is Glam Bag.  This help w/ keeping costs down believe it or not. There are 6 girls in this house so beauty supplies are a must.  LOL.  And, we all know make up/ lotions/ etc. are not cheap at all.  So, decided to try this box for $10 a month.  We always get well more than $10 worth in the box so really a win-win situation for us.  We divide the box up when it comes.  Helps promote sharing for sure.  Boys want a box now.  I'll have to see about that.  Told them to work on their room first and we'll take it from there.

My Glam Bag comes in an unmistakable bright pink packaging.  

Nice make up bag and we all can't wait to see what's inside the bag.

And a picture of all the goodies inside.

I got some eye shadow.  Oh, and cremes.  Anything that says anti- wrinkle or anti-aging the girls automatically give to me.  URGHH!!!  Are they trying to tell me something??  Hope not or I'm not sharing next time.  

This perfume smelled really good.  The older girls are sharing this one.  

Even Summer gets in on the action.  Nik is just the camera hog.  Summer got this make up bag.  It comes in one every time so lots of variety and chances for everyone to snag one.  Love it.

Reni, giving that fake 10yo smile.  She already painted her nails w/ this nail polish before we could even divide items up.  

Irina, happy w/ some of the items she got this go around from the glam bag.

The girls love this nail polish.  I hate it.  I'm not big on fluorescent orange.  So, let the girls share this bottle.  

This was nice lip gloss.  I have plenty though so Alyona took this one off my hands gladly. 

We really enjoyed this month's glam bag and have tried everything.  We enjoy getting the products each month and like not having to stand around at the department stores deciding what we want.  In addition, we sometimes get much higher end products than what we'd be able to afford. Waiting to see what next month brings. 

More about Bojan's leg

Yesterday was a busy day.  After cardiology, there was voc. rehab and then prosthetics for Bojan.  Bojan was supposed to get fitted for a new socket.  However, he has grown so fast, he had to be fitted for a new liner.  After the new liner comes in, he'll be casted for a new socket.  Then, check socket gets here and the final one comes in.  It's a process.  We're used to it and no big deal.  While there, we also found his running leg we kind of forgot about.  Well, not really forgot about but thought he outgrew it.  Our guy is going to check on the weight limit for it and get it all organized for Bojan to wear again.  That will be awesome! 

Bojan's old running leg that we're going to be using again for sure.  Warren put the tread on that one from an old lawn mower tire.  It grips better that way for him.  B/c of Bojan's other clubfoot, he wears one side down more so having the thick tread helped.  Our prosthetist thought that was a great idea.  He and Warren brain storm every time they get together.  

Nik, messing w/ some of the models on the table.  Thank goodness they have durable goods here.  LOL.  

What better things to do than mess w/ the gloves in the office.

Nik and Bojan goofing off.  We took Nik w/ us b/c of his umm, party peddling in the street.  I'll have to write about that one later.  

Nik looks like he just got caught in this picture.

Nik's art work.  Nik and Mom are fighting.  Nice kid.  Notice, he's bigger than me?  Apparently, I also somehow hurt him as the kid standing next to us is him as well....w/ a prosthetic leg b/c he needed surgery.  Ahh, my little Stephen King still.  

Bojan is the big scary monster in this picture.  He draws these things and than laughs.  I do believe he does it to get more of a reaction from us.  

This is the guy who's kept Bojan walking all these years.  He's awesome.  

Frank is going to work on Bojan's leg these next few weeks.  Bojan will need all new componentry as well. He's just growing too fast.  Ahh, apparently we DO feed our kids CPS.  Sorry, that was mean.  Umm, no it wasn't.  Yes, I'm still bitter about the whole thing.  Those who've lived a similar situation totally get that statement.  

Frank has also told us to let Duke call him on Tuesday if need be.  Bojan has an appointment w/ Duke regarding his recent surgery that doesn't seem to have fixed the clubfoot but made it worse.  Much worse.  Bojan is in constant pain.  His foot turns purple.  It's numb when he stands on it.  Clearly, there is a circulation problem here.  His ped agrees, his prosthetist agrees, etc.  Major issue here.  It may seem drastic to ampuate the foot.  However, Bojan has begged for this for 2 years now.  He has a right to not live in pain any more.  He's done w/ surgeries.  Done w/the promises of it will be better next time.  I don't blame him.  Yes, we will go over our options.  We've been to different surgeons over the years and it's the same old story.  I can make it better.  I can fix it.  I, I, I.  Sometimes I think it is more of what they're trying to prove than what is ultimately in the best interest of the patient.  And I think after giving it 7, almost 8 straight years, we've allowed plenty of time to make the various surgeries work and they haven't.  Each time, they've made it a little worse for Bojan.  We're now into the quality of his life and doing what is in HIS best interest.  Not the docs.  I kind of think Duke will down play this on Tuesday.  I hope not.  I hope they see other options.  We've told Bojan to be assertive at what he wants.  Doc needs to see he is ready.  Being that there are two other professionals who are feeling the same way we are and both who've known Bojan since he's come home, I think may have some barring.  I don't want Duke to think this is just some rash decision parents are contemplating.  That is NOT IT AT ALL.  This is not an easy decision at all but one that has much, much thought put into it.  And, if Duke comes back w/ some miraculous way to fix it (highly doubt it), then we'll look into it.  But at 13yo, you should not be having circulation problems the way he is.  Next week should tell a lot.  I'm hopeful.  Lots of big decisions soon I'm sure.  Bojan is totally ready for whatever may come his way though he is wanting amputation.  I told him it depends on what everyone says.  Other opinions may be in order this go around.  May go to UNC for a second opinion too.  Not sure at this point.  Tuesday we'll know more.  Just thought I'd share.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cardiology news

This will be quick as we're between appointments.  Today first up was Summer and cardiology.  See, w/ c-ACC, 20% of them have mid-line heart defects.  So, needs to be checked out.  Long story short...ALL CLEAR!!!  Wahoo!!! No cardiologist needed for Ms. Summer.  Relief.  Came home and then Warren took Irina to Vocational Rehab appointment to fill out papers.  This lady he said was MUCH better than the last one we interacted with.  She did say job prospects are grim and it will take quite some time to find a job.  So now, we need to work on references.  Going to see if the folks at Camp Cheerio would write a reference for her for when she volunteered for the pre-school group.  They said she did such a good job they want her in that same position next year.  Just need to figure out who to get in touch with. 

Next, warren and I are going to take Bojan to be casted for a new socket.  He can't even get in his any more.  Seeing if they can grind it down some more temporarily till the new one comes in.  More to come later tonight.  Got to get ready for Bojan's appointment.  Just had to share the good news.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A trip to Nana and Papa's

On Sunday we took a day trip to visit Warren's parents.  They don't live too far.  About two hours so not bad.  We hadn't seen them for awhile and decided to visit.  We decided to take the rv b/c it does need to be run more than just on big trips. 

Some of the kids ready to go.  We switch them around on long trips but this was such a short trip, we didn't bother.  They stayed in the same spot.  

Two zonked out sisters.  Guess that book wasn't as interesting.  

Alyona smiling for the camera.  I didn't get many shots as my batteries were dying.  

Irina and Reni.  All the kids love this rocking chair.  

Kids presenting Nana with a card.  

Max just chilling out.  

Umm, notice why I do NOT like my kids in this house for long??  Anyone see it?  There is crystal and glass  I cringe every time I go in it.  It just scares me.  You know stuff breaks in our home every single day.  No exaggeration. I have proof.  LOL.  

Nana Pat is an artist by trade.  It's what she does for a living.  So, she helps the kids w/ their art when they go to her house.  

Not sure what the exchange is going on w/ Summer and Bojan.  Must be intense.

Reni was getting frustrated.  It happens.  Rest are reading or drawing or taking pictures.  They did great at ignoring her drama.  

Stopped at a gas station.  Alyona is reading and Summer is annoying Bojan.  Bojan found a dvd that was apparently left by the previous owners of the rv.  We did not play a movie this trip.  That's reserved for much longer trips.  

When something goes wrong, you improvise.  We forgot the latch on the bathroom door is broken so it always swings open when in motion.  Bojan took his leg off for us to keep it shut for the trip.  Great thinkers we have in our bunch.  Max fixed the latch yesterday so it's ready to go for next trip.  No leg needed.  Our next camping adventure will be Labor Day Weekend.  Tell more about that later. 

We got to see many more people.  Sorry there are few pictures but my batteries died.  It was a pleasant visit and time went just way too fast.  We didn't get home till well after 9pm.  Everyone did pretty well.  Nothing too crazy from the kids.  That's always a good thing.