Saturday, April 6, 2013

And you live in this mess?!

Yes, that's the thought I'm having about the social worker coming here Monday.  Will she understand that a remodel takes lots and lots of time.  Typically, longer than you anticipate it taking originally.  Will someone from the outside looking in understand this:

The chaos, the disorganization that comes w/ moving 5 girls into a new room.

Or the mounds of laundry piled sky high from the boys.  We cleaned their room today too as it housed some of the girls things.  We discovered how Alex, Logan and Nik have been cleaning their rooms as of late.  Bulldozing it all under the bed!  

Is this even a kitchen any more?!  We went to Target and TJMaxx last night so Reni could spend some of her birthday money.  Shoot, this is the time I wished we'd have ordered pizza instead of having to cook in this mess.  No, we didn't.  We had kilbasea tonight.   Something simple.  

Yes, Yana probably won't like this pic too much but oh well.  She's helping to mop up the room.  It is insulated and painted now.  Wahoo!!  Let the mess begin.

Warren is working on painting an old desk.  He's taped it up and will do the border color tomorrow.  Used what we had on hand.  I'll take a pic of the finished product tomorrow.  Worked out great b/c now the younger girls have a desk, Irina & Yana as well.

I know, we haven't repainted our yardsale armoire yet.  give it time.  This is the one wall by the door.  Reni and Alyona's bunks.

Camera hog is at it again.  Still need to paint some of the trim as you can see.  We'll be getting shelving for the closets but no time soon.  Shelving is expensive!  Had no idea till I went to Lowes the other day.

Had these arranged differently until Little One told me she wanted them together.  Fine.  Trouble makers.  LOL.  These are the two toddler beds.

You don't even have to guess who's bed this is w/ Dora decor.  Summer is all about Dora.  Camera hog wanted another shot.

Little bigger view.  On the left that desk will go w/ an aquarium on it.  We still need a new light for the room.  Probably will put a ceiling fan in there.  Still can't believe the flooring is peel and stick.  Looks so real.  Need blinds too.

Max, goofing around w/ t he shop vac.  I know it's still in the messy stage and not everything is where it should be at the moment.  But, for now, it's where it will be for a week or two till we decide what works best.  All 5 girls are asleep in their new room.  Ahh.  Great sound and the rest of us have our rooms back!  I'll take pics eventually when all is cleaned up and in place.  For now, we're just very excited it's done. 

My kind of peep-le

Every Easter, my kids get peeps.  Some like them some don't.  Alex LOVES Peeps.  Always has.  One time, he decided to take on everyone at home that said he couldn't eat that many.  Too much Malcom in the Middle.  Anyone remember that episode?  LOL.  Anyhow, Alex managed to down 24 peeps one year.  Went to school the next day and I happen to be there anyways b/c I had an IEP meeting for another child.  Well, he threw up.  They told me I had to take him home.  I said it was just too many peeps, he truly is NOT sick.  They said since he threw up, he has to go.  Fine.  Made him sit w/ me during the IEP meeting.  Except he was literally running around the table, jumping up and down, etc.  I said "does he look sick to you now?"  They said not a bit but still has to go home.  Common sense...gone.  24 peeps, you will eventually throw up.   Lesson learned.  This year though they enjoyed the peeps.  Warren tried one of the chocolate covered peeps in the beginning of the season and then can't find them since.  Maybe I'll come across those again one day. If any of you do, let me know where you find them. 

Nik and Reni ready to eat theirs.

Alex definitely made sure he got his share.  And yes, he ate them all.

Not sure what faces they are trying to make here.  Just know in seconds all those peeps were gone.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Some soccer playground fun

On Tuesdays, we have long, long soccer practices.  We are there from 5 to 8 at night.  Makes for a long time to just watch practices.  So, we take some of the "littles" to the playground & whoever is done w/ their practice as well.  Thought I'd share a few pics.

Reni, going down the slide on her birthday.

Summer, on top of the world.  Hasn't she grown up lately?

Such a beautiful little girl.  Don't let the smile fool you though, she too has a devilish side to her.  LOL.

No, practicing driving already?

Summer, just hanging around.  Soccer cleats and all.

This was a great practice.  My camera died so hardly any pics of what I wanted.  Reni's team was SO sweet.  They sang Happy Birthday to her and even brought her cupcakes and candy!  How cool is that?!  Loved it.  Great team and great coach.  Thanks a bunch Coach Carmen.  You made her day for sure.  Today, we were finishing up the drywall and painting in the girls' new room.  Starting to move them in there tonight!  Yep.  Probably just beds for the evening but it's a start.  Tomorrow, we'll finish moving all their stuff in.  Can't wait to share an after picture w/ you all.  Believe it or not, when I told them all today, one of the "littles" ended up trying to push her toddler bed out of my room.  LOL.  I think she's ready for her own room.  I know all are thrilled.  Pictures will have to be this weekend.  More posts to come. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bubble fun

Today we had soccer practices.  It's also Reni's birthday which will be a separate post.  Just a short post this evening as I still have paperwork to do.  Beginning to really hate paper.  But, we all understand on these journeys we take that it is indeed a process.  Albeit slow, but a process.  Sunday was Easter and I still have those pics.  But later in the day, the kids went out to play w/ the bubbles they had gotten.  Sorry I can't show all the pics but truly, it was not just Nik playing. 

Such concentration.  Really cool the big bubbles they made w/ these.

We improvise at our house.  Plastic bin lid serves as a big bubble supplier.

Why this showed up here, no idea.  Some of the girls enjoying one of the games we received from a friend.  Notice the mess behind them?!  Piles of games, diapers, clothes, aquarium, etc.  We had to move everything out of the room so insulation could be blown in there.  Kitchen is it's current refuge.  Tomorrow though, it should be able to be moved back in.  Wahoo!!!

He looks so happy, doesn't he?!  He was blowing bubbles for all the little girls and they were just having a ball.

Do you think Summer had fun too?  You better believe it.  They all had a great time with the bubbles.  So much so, they used ALL the bubble solution.  Need to make some soon.  

Well, need to get going.  Dog gone Bojan cracked his socket tonight.  How?  No clue.  Those things are usually durable.  He also is due for a new socket as his height has changed big time and socket is no longer fitting.  Love how he tells us last minute at age 14.  You'd think as it's not starting to fit the kid would speak up.  It's like when my kids' shoes get 2 sizes too small.  Didn't you know it was small?  Wasn't it tight?  Unreal!  No mom.  One day, I'd love to visit inside their heads for just one day.  More to come tomorrow.

Monday, April 1, 2013

And the floor is down

Many of you have recently caught on to happenings with our family.  Especially, the locals who've seen us out and about.  For those in the blog world, they've noticed we've acquired 'Big Bird' due to outgrowing the old van.  You've seen us remodelling to allow for more space in the house.  Yes, these things are all leading towards adoption.  Due to the nature of everything and the circumstances this time, it will be more tight lipped so to speak.  This adoption is different than any other that we've done.  And that's okay.  I've learned something with every single adoption we've done and am learning once again from this adoption.  I can tell  you this, we are very much at peace and very happy.  I honestly can not wait to share more.  When  you're filled with joy, you want to shout it from the mountains.  It has got to be one of the hardest part of any adoption.  Me not being able to share pictures of my kids before we got them was just as hard as hard can be.  I wanted to show people Logan, Reni and Summer so others could see what I saw.  Trust me, you'll have your fill of pictures once all is said and done.  For now, that is all I will say.  I said it b/c I've been getting many more questions and emails lately so wanted to come out and share a little of the mystery of missing posts, tired eyes, etc.  LOL. 

The flooring went down this past weekend in the girls' new room.

Love the natural light coming into the room.

Still not done painting but won't take long at all.  needs a second coat.  Max put the entire flooring down all by himself.  Looks great I think.

An up close of the flooring.  It is peel and stick tile made to look like hardwood flooring.  It is just .98 a sq. foot.  We priced carpet but was way out of budget and knew they'd get nail polish or slime or something on it.  

The insulation was supposed to go in yesterday.  It is going in tomorrow.  Finally.  Then, we'll be moving our girls in.  All of them.  The house will return to normal for a change.  Can't wait to show you all the final results.  We realized today we're going to need blinds.  Duh.  So, may be sheets for a week or two just so we can move them in and not wait on blinds.  We'll see.  Just thought I should share the progress of the room.

Blessing beyond measure

On Friday, we received a card in the mail.  It had a gift card in it with some instructions of how to find out what exactly was on the gift card.  It was to the Apple Store.  I have never even been to an Apple Store.  I don't even own a cell phone and my husband's phone is through work.  We don't have ipads in this home, no fancy computers.  In fact, just one computer we all share.  Teens have their ipod touches they bought w/ their own money but other than that, not much technology here. 

I have said on here that we'd love to have ipads for the kids.  My speech therapist tries to explain the benefits and Nik & Summer both use one.  The Littles will be using one soon in a few months as well.  We tried to buy a cheap imitation tablet but didn't have the apps on it we needed and couldn't add them.  We needed an Apple Ipad.  My kids all needed the special needs apps.  They really do.  With recent happenings around here, the spare money was not there.  It just wasn't.  We received more than a generous gift.  This is life changing.  It truly is for my kids. 

With the amount, we will be able to get 2 ipads w/ all the apps necessary.  We may even be able to get three ipads!  One will be filled completely with developmental apps./ learning apps.  One will be filled completely with ASL/ speech apps and things.   One will be filled w/ specific learning/ OT type things.  The children will share and it will be monitored to be sure.  These are not 'toys' but are learning tools.  This will make their lives so much better believe it or not.  Their potential is endless.  It really is.   The people who donated this gift certificate to our family/ kids wishes to remain anonymous and I respect that.  I'm just not sure they truly grasp how life changing this is and just how much it will help my children.  We've already seen the difference in Nik using one when he has speech therapy.  He practices talking with it and it talks back! 

We are very excited about getting to go to the Apple Store.  I have been told by others that at our Apple Store there is even someone who knows ASL and will be able to assist w/ all sorts of apps.  I was told to make sure we plan on being there a couple of hours.  Yikes!  If anyone has any tips or helpful things we should know, please feel free to share.  We want to do as much as we can with this generous gift in order to better educate and help our kids learn in life.  I am very excited about this wonderful opportunity that has been given to my children.  To know that there are others that care about them as much as we do, is just awesome.  It is a wonderful opportunity that we will not take for granted.  Thank you is not enough.  I can't wait to see the look on their faces.  I'll be able to practice speech with 4 of them and our therapists will be able to show us what all they can work on.  I just am about to explode with joy.  Our therapists are off this week so haven't told them yet.  To say this was a blessing would be a grave understatement.  It was indeed a blessing beyond measure.  For you can't put a measure on potential.  These ipads will aid in my kids' potential without a doubt. 

Manic Monday

Wow, a lot went on last week.  This week, hoping to be not so busy.  Here goes:

  • planting outside today (mostly clean up)
  • kids in public school are on spring break
  • Yana comes home today
  • flooring in girls' room was put down
  • insulation still not in
  • everyone frustrated about the room
  • chocolate overload today
  • cleaning house today
  • Logan most likely has strep throat
  • need to go to bank
  • Alaska got a bath
  • Digby needs a bath
  • still finding granola in my room
  • sorting all kids' shoes today
  • registering for Camp Cheerio today.  Wahoo!!!
  • no April Fool's jokes planned today
  • can't wait to see about going to the Apple Store
  • Reni's birthday is Tuesday
  • Logan went to doc.  No strep but viral.  Antibiotics in case it gets worse
  • working on paperwork again
  • Digby is feeling much, much better
  • can't wait to spend a ton of time outside this week
  • no speech therapy this week
  • calling contractor today
  • Nik's eval forms are becoming priority this week
  • think we'll finish up the basics of the Civil War
  • lost $350 check.  On a mission to find it.
  • still no state refund in yet
  • lawyers are expensive (just a general observation)
  • many great gifts to tell you all about recently
  • need to go downtown to pick up marriage cert copies and criminal background checks
  • Max is working today
  • Irina is working today
much, much, much more going on at Chaos Manor lately.  But, really on a mission to get papers done today and out today.   We can do it! 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blast from the past

April already.  So hard to believe.  From time to time, I look through some old photos.  For some reason, don't have many from April.  Just two years.  No idea why.  But, figured I'd share a few anyways for kicks.

Alyona and Nik.  Got them these shirts.  This was when we finally told them we were adopting 3 kids from Bulgaria.  April of 2010.  We knew before that but waited to tell them.  They displayed their shirts proudly.

Also taken in April 2010.  This is Irina.  On the phone as usual.

Nik helping peel potatoes.  Of course he has to carve a scary face in it.  This was April of 2011.

Nik and Alyona getting ready to do an egg relay race in the front yard.

This was April of 2012.  Alex helping Summer around the field after a down pour.  It was a traumatizing day for her to be stuck in the rain.  Remember, she was only home a few months at that point.  No fear of the rain any more.  

Summer and Max.  April of 2012.  Forgot she was still in diapers at this point.  Wow, what a difference a year makes.  

And that's a short blast from the past.

You just have to laugh

Okay, so I know I've been fairly quiet about a few things as of late.  And, due to circumstances, must not say a whole lot.  But, but tonight is just too funny not to share.  I can laugh now.  Some moments, you wish you could capture on film.  This was one of those times to be sure.  We put the 'littles' to bed.  They were quiet so thought it was all okay.  Should have been a sheer sign there was trouble brewing.  Anyhow, Warren walks into the bedroom.  Feels something weird on his feet.  Then quickly notices the beds are emptied.  Turns on the light and finds the littles covered in what he at first thinks is sand.  Upon closer observation, realizes it is a Sam's sized bag of strawberry granola pieces.  We thought we had everything out of reach.  did not think they'd search the drawers for things to dump.  See, we have to hide food here and there in our room b/c we have so many FASers.  Lack of impulse control can be a bad thing at times.  So, some items we must keep hidden until use. 

The bedding, pajamas, dog, flooring, etc. was covered in this stuff.  They were happily sitting in their pile of sensory seeking granola.  LOL.  So, three brooms, 2 dust pans and 2 screaming littles later, we got the room fairly clean.  Changed their bedding and everything else.  The crying started when they discovered they were busted.  Seriously didn't think that bag held that much granola pieces.  Looks different spread out all across a bedroom.  They were content as could be playing in that stuff.  My partners in crime.  Thinking baby monitor or hidden cameras soon.  This surely would have ended up on AFV (America's Funniest Videos).  Typically, they have as of late, stripped down naked and gone into the bathroom screaming and singing w/ delight in the shower.  Thankfully, they can't reach the lever yet.  Give them time.  Yes, we are kept on our toes to be sure!  Just was too funny not to share.  Surprised I had time tonight to do four posts.

Goodie basket

For Easter, we stopped doing individual baskets when we reached 7 kids.  Really, candy is not cheap and frankly not all that great for you.  Not that we don't eat it.  You all know way better than that.  Just my kids are really outdoorsy type kids and wanted to give them something to reflect that.  So, we started getting one big bucket a few years back.  This year, we used a giant planter which this week I'll put in the yard.  We stack it with a mix of goodies and play things. 

A close up of a tier of gumballs.  Found them at Sam's and they really are pretty.

That's my extra large planter for outside.  My $1 yardsale find years ago is literally disintegrating.  Figured it was time for a new one.  Loaded it up w/ a big ball at the bottom, air rockets, paddle ball set, sand bucket and toys, and quite a bit of chocolate and gum.

A friend of mine called me up and asked if I wanted some chocolate rabbits that were on sale.  They were on sale before Easter b/c all their heads were decapitated.  LOL.  Trust me, my kids don't care.  Though they did ask what happened to all the heads.

A harmonica Bojan has been bugging us to get.  So, it's in there.  Plenty of bubble blowing tools as well.  More to come on Easter morning and what all we did today.  Right now, Littles need to get to bed.

Coloring Eggs

The other day we decided to color some Easter Eggs.  No shaving cream or any Pinterest recipe here.  We cheat w/ the Paas kits.  Vinegar and water works just fine.  One day I'll learn not to look on Pinterest and feel like such an underachiever.  LOL.  Anyhow, the Littles did their eggs first because it was getting late.  We had gone out for Chinese earlier that evening and it really was turning into a late evening.  So, wanted to get them done and down for the night.  Plus, I knew they'd be a bit messier than the others.

Summer, getting excited about getting ready to color Easter Eggs.

Coloring is serious business you know.  Notice that giant pot?  Yes, it was pretty full of eggs.  I think we boiled like 5 or 6 dozen eggs.  Wanted everyone to have a few.

Such pretty colors.

Nice and bright.  Cheery for spring.

Nik is writing on his egg.  The artist.  Summer is seeing that moment where she discovers the color on the egg.

Nik, showing me the start of his egg.

His speech therapist would be proud.  He drew a duck and said quack.

Reni, where is your smile??

Summer is slowly turning into a smurf.  We tried to tell her not to grab the eggs.

Irina making all sorts of nice colors.

After the Littles went down for bed, Irina, Reni, Nik and Summer were left to color eggs.  No one else wanted to which surprised me.  But, was kind of nice w/ just a few and less chaotic to be sure.  

They made some really gorgeous eggs.  We did end up eating quite a few so far.  Making egg salad with the rest for lunches.  Yum.  Usually, we have that in the summer time.  Nice treat really.  Yana left on Thursday and arrives home tomorrow, Monday.  She was supposed to be home Easter but it didn't work out that way.  She spent the last few days with a friend in New Bern.  They did quite a bit of work on the farm but had a good time as well.  Kids liked doing face time with her on the ipod.  Anyhow, more to come. 

A sweet surprise

I know I'm way, way behind on posts.  What can I say?  Life caught up to me and seemed like being out sick made me that much more behind.  Happens.  The other day I received a package.

Opening the box with a hopeful helper.

A box arrives.  I knew what had to be in here b/c I've received one in the past.  So really, really looking forward to a box addressed to me!

Yeh, not sure how this got out of sync.  Opened the card and it was from my Mom and Dad.  Said Happy Easter.  Very sweet surprise.

Out of order yet again.  URGHHH!!!  This is Nik really enjoying one of the strawberries.  

Look at the size of these things!  They were ripe and very sweet of course.  Delicious.  

I forgot who took the picture but they got me good.  LOL.  Right when my shock look came up.  Or more the look of do I really want to share all these berries.  And yes, they were as good as they looked.  Thanks Mom and Dad for making our Easter a little sweeter.