Saturday, September 7, 2013

Just A Day

This will be a boring post.  Figured I never really do a boring day post so why not.  Today we woke up semi late and had egg, ham and bagel sandwiches for breakfast.  After, Warren and 2 of the boys hauled off trash.  This was after it was discovered some critter from the woods had torn open piles of garbage bags and diaper genie bags.  Yeh, won't even get into what that took to clean up.  The rest of us stayed home and truly cleaned the house.  Like scrub cleaned it.  Needed to be done.  Everything, clean, swept, mopped, washed, etc.  Everything.  Then, Reni and & Alex went to watch friends play in a soccer game.  Some stayed home.  Warren and I took the 3 youngest girls to a special needs fair for resources.  I was rather disappointed in it.  Most was geared to one county (Wake) and a lot was geared toward autism.  Was hoping there'd be a broader range of things.  But, still not bad and did get info on a few things so who knows.  Plus, made a contact for a friend of mine for her business. 

After that, we headed to the bread outlet.  Not sure they have these in every place across the US but SO happy we have one here.  Instead of paying $3.00 a loaf for bread, I paid .20 a loaf today. It's Natures Own brand and we love it.  In addition, they carry Tastycakes there.  Enough said.  LOL.  Instead of $4.00 or $3.50 a box as at Walmart, it is $1.50 a box.  Little Ones know we get them  when we go so they were picking them out.  And after just having cleaned out the van, we let them eat cupcakes in there.  They all looked hideous and asked for the wipes. 

Headed to Walgreens to pick up a script and CVS to finally pick up pictures that I had no unearthly idea that I ordered.  Seriously.  They were from deaf camp in 2007!  Umm yeh, I don't get that one either but hey, $2,84, we took them home.  Went to pick up Reni and Alex and head home.  Only to discover once again the lack of food issue.  See, you know both fridges decided to really go out at the same time.  Repair man has been here and it will be a few days for hte parts to come in.  Meantime, we're using the one fridge by packing it w/ ice packs, etc. to keep it cold.  Got to love it.  So, we haven 't wanted to buy food till our fridges are fixed b/c we don't want to throw it out.  Freezer outside works fine but that's a subzero.  Decided on dinner.  Fish.  Fish had gone bad.  Threw it out.  Lovely.  Time to go to Walmart.  Made a list. Headed out.

Get to Walmart. Oh, list is at home on ipad Nik is playing on.  Lovely.  Don't carry the mop head replacements we need so buy a whole new mop other things.  Decided to make beef stroganoff for dinner.  Kids ended up throwing extras in the cart.  Hit some clearance items so kids were psyched at water gun purchases.  Hey, 5 for $1.  2 big ones for $1.  Can't beat it.  Went to check out.  Stood in line forever.  No kidding.  I think it was 25 minutes or so in check out.  Ridiculous.  We were all glad we decided to change little kids into diapers before we left for errands.  Best choice is all we'll say about that.  Still potty training.  They're doing okay.  Just will take time.  Came home, ate, decided on menu once fridges are fixed and Littles put themselves to bed they were so exhausted. 

Tomorrow, Yana has to get physical (cross country), Little One weighed in (for g-tube removal), and house guest a haircut.  After, big Sam's shopping trip but may hold off b/c still no fridges (URGHH!!!).  But, can at least get dry stuff.  Later, going to a park w/ a friend hopefully and enjoy the day. 

So, pretty boring day thank goodness.  Every once in awhile, having just a day is nice.  I know this coming week will be filled to the brim and we'll be hearing more about Alyona's upcoming surgery.  Taking the time to enjoy this weekend has just been pleasant.  Plus, it's our only free weekend in September.  Next weekend, at Jordan Lake, following at an FASD Symposium, following at a wildlife festival and international festival.  Hence, why I welcomed this laid back weekend of boring errands.  Even the dogs kicked back.  Hope you all had a pleasant Saturday as well.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Back to School Bash

The other weekend, one of the local churches held a back to school bash.  We decided to go.

Summer getting ready to get her face painted.

Some of the girls enjoying cotton candy.  I thought this was a great picture of the three of them.

Bojan, hanging out drinking some Mountain Dew.

Some trying her hand at cash flying around.  They collect it and then buy prizes.

Summer and Little One enjoying some popcorn.  And this would be why we buy it 50lbs at a time at Sams.

Alyona just enjoying her time there.  She met one of her old teachers who now homeschools.

Reni counting her money to see if she can get a CD.

Even Irina tried her hand at it.

Summer getting ready to go down the slide.

All Nik!

Alex was playing basketball along with Logan and some of the other boys.

Yana and Irina enjoyed the dancing.  

All in all, very pleasant afternoon & sweet of the church to put this on for the community.  All of us just had a good time and relaxed.  Met quite a few folks and kids played that afternoon.  Great way to kick off school. Well, this was post #5 I believe for the night.  I may get caught up this weekend.  Yeh, right.  LOL. 

How are the Teens Doing?

You know, I know I don't talk about them a whole lot.  Most of that is to respect their privacy as they get older and in high school.  However, doesn't hurt every now and again to tell a little of how they are doing.

We'll start with Irina.  She is 20yo now.  This is her last year of high school being homeschooled.  She graduates this year.  She has found a job cleaning houses and enjoys it.  Proud of her for getting out there and doing what she needs to do.  She has been a big help adjusting the two new 'Littles' as well.  Irina is focusing on a job this year and I think that is a great goal for her.  She still takes everyone's glass away though.  Some habits are hard to break.  LOL.

Next is Max.   He is 18yo.  Hard to believe that one.  Max is a junior and was struggling in school earlier this year.  I actually received an email from his teacher earlier today.  Wahoo!!!  We are back on track and getting better.  Relief.  Max is a gifted artist to be sure.  He loves to work hard as well.  One of those people that actually enjoy hard labor.  Was hoping he could work in some construction this summer.  That is not going to happen now w/ his shoulder recover.

Okay, shoulder recovered and he did end up doing odd jobs over the summer.  He also has a piece now that is being entered into a contest.  Art contest.  Not sure where Max is headed job/ school wise.  This is his last year of high school so we'll see.  Keeping options open to be sure.

Yana.  Phew.  Didn't think I'd make it with this one last year!  Being honest.  We had some rough patches but I do whole heartedly believe we are on the right track for sure now.  Yana has joined cross country and is also in ROTC.  She is doing well in school and thinking of colleges.  She is just a junior so has plenty of time.  Just relieved we're seeing a different side of  her.

Bojan.  Bojan as you know is now a double amputee.  Doesn't stop him.  Bojan still has a love for music.  My only one.  He plays trumpet and is in band, joining stage band and trying out for jazz band.  He wants to do marching band next year in high school.  Found out this evening it will be $1,000.  So, may have to get him finding some way to raise that much.   Bojan wants to be homeschooled still.  Thinking about it for him. Told him to give it a month of school first.  Other than that, doing all right. 

Alyona.  Hard to believe she even fits in the teen category.  She is 14yo.  Though 14yo, still much, much younger.  Medically, Alyona is going to have a rough year.  She has scoliosis and a tethered spinal cord.  In addition, she has gotten some fast growing cysts on her wrists.  We go next week to find out more.  Alyona is not really interested in school.  Never has been.  We're focusing more on life skills this year.  I do not know if she'll return to school this year or not.  Time will tell.  She is still very full of life, loves becoming a young lady and is very smittened with a certain young man she met over the summer.  They stay in touch. 

Alex and Logan just became teens so not reporting on them at the moment.  That's a very brief run down. I started this over the summer.  I'm so slow.  Working on finishing posts just sitting around.  This is post #5 tonight.  Getting there.

Bojan Update

 Wow, wrote this awhile ago.  Sounds so cold-hearted now.  Trust me, we had all had enough that week.  And indeed, that was the turning point.  Me standing my ground.  Once I did that, amazingly the pain started to go away, he wanted to get up and wanted to do more.  I will have to finish the posts one day about him recovering.  I can tell you it went way up from here though.  

Forgive me for sounding a bit off, but lack of sleep will do that to you. Out of all the surgeries over the years, this has been the toughest recovery.  It's not just hard on Bojan, but the entire family.  I knew it would be tough but this has been hard.  I'm not going to lie b/c others I'm sure have wonder.  This is the attitude we've dealt with for the last week:

This is Bojan.  He's not happy as you can see.  He's been on pain meds for over a week now.  I was hoping to taper them off but that hasn't happened yet.  However, today, he did indeed say he was feeling better.  I even called Shriners, spoke w/ two different nurses and also called our prosthetist.  What Bojan is experiencing is all perfectly normal in the healing process.  The burning he describes, crushing pain, etc. is all part of the phantom pain they told me. 

I do understand he is in pain.  But I also know my kids.  And when I see something, I tell it like it is.  Told him the living room is not his any more.  We are indeed allowed to walk in and out of it.  You can not drink all the water bottles just b/c you can.  You can help in certain instances.  Docs want him moving around not laying still ALL the time in one position.  Hello, told him this already.  He for the first time listened to that advice today from his prosthetist.  Not me.  Of course, a teen listening to their mom would be taboo.  Why do I sound so mean hearted when my child is in pain?  B/c I saw what was really going on and decided it needed to stop.  He was trying to run the household.  You can't do this around me.  You can't do that.  It's too loud.  Etc.   No, there was NO surgery on the ears folks.  Now, yes, the first few days I let the house be quiet as a mouse as best we could b/c I know what it's like after surgery.  But after awhile, we had to live here again.  AND, I gave him the option to stay in Irina's room b/c it's out of the way, quiet, etc.  He didn't like that.  So I knew then this was more wanting to be in charge of a situation.   I know that even more b/c a certain visitor came over and the entire demeanor changed and pain was not even in the cards during that visit.  

So, today, we have all turned a new leaf.  I gave him the option to stay in Irina's room if he wanted.  He refused. Said fine.  However, things will be semi normal again.  

Thoughtful Thursday

 I have a bunch of half started posts.  LOL.  I'm just going to post what I have. I never finished this one.  So hence, only two.  Long time ago this was as Bojan still had his leg then.

It has been a very, very long time since I did one of these.  It's about time.  I try to remember each week one thoughtful thing each of my kids have done.  So, here goes!


Max was very thoughtful to cut Alyona's hair.  However, she was not as happy about it.

Can you tell she wasn't happy about it?! 


Had to Get Away-- part V (a little more fun & headed home)

Left off w/ some ocean fun.  After we left the ocean, we went back to the playground area/ pool.

Nik and Summer pushing their sisters.  They think it's cool.  I'm just happy for the help.

My kids LOVE the jump pillow.  Summer could jump for hours.

Summer getting a little help from Daddy on the monkey bars.

Came back for an afternoon snack.  Grapes and chips.

It is a miracle we can even eat when we go rv'ing.  See, we used to have a big portable grill.  Could cook all our food at once & didn't take up much space. LOVED it!  After years of having it (got it before we had the RV), it had to go.  So, this micro grill was the replacement.  We have to eat in shifts which isn't always easy but we make it work.  Made burgers, mac & cheese and back beans.  Hit the spot after a long day in the water.  

Now, we are pretty lax when we go camping on things.  My kids know the rules.  Respect others property, help where needed and be polite.  Other than that, pretty much let them have free range of the campgrounds. They usually all find friends.  Rules though are 1) always have to have a sib w/ you and 2) always report back for lunch & dinner at time given.  6:30 was dinner.  Everyone knew this.  Alex and Logan came back late first.  Then, Yana and Reni shuffled in around 7:30.  Sorry, but rules are rules.  I guarantee you, they will NEVER be late again.  This was the first time it happened but they knew the rules.  I said you want freedom and all we require is 2 check ins the entire day.  Oh, and have to be back by 10pm b/c typically that's a campground rule, not a family one.  People ask us how we can take 12 kids with us on a trip.  This is how.  Must have rules yet have flexibility as well to allow them freedom and independence.

Nik in the sand box.  Playing in the playground at night.  Very cool.

Alyona and Irina.  Sisters for life.  After this, we went to the other side of the campground where they were making s'mores.  Very cool to do.  Nik rode the ripstick the whole time.  And, we've never been more happy to have taken the strollers w/ us.  LOL.

Time to tear down camp.

Nik w/ of course....Naked Ken.

Breakfast was done and stuff was getting together.  I will give my kids this, they know how to pack.

Pow wow of the minds about I don't know what.

I'm guessing Yana thinks she's supervising here b/c there is no way she's touching the hoses.  LOL.  Max and Logan typically will tear down all electrical and septic.  Not the most glamorous job but someone has to do it.

The young girls like to color.  I hang their artwork on the wall and they like that.  Summer's is in the middle.  She's getting much better at coloring in the lines.  

Packed up and headed home.  It's a four hour drive so not bad.  Unless, the a/c goes out!  That is correct.  We sat in a hot tin box the whole way home.  Both air conditioners are indeed shot.  they will need to be replaced.  At least before the big Bulgarian Reunion vacation.  New A/C units are around $1500...a piece!  We have 2 of them.  The RV is from 1995.  So, must be done.  We're also going to be doing some minor work on the inside to make it ours so to speak.  Painting the entire interior, painting cabinets, spray painting all brass hardware, replacing flooring and other little things.  All this can be done for under $100.  So nothing compared to our A/C.  Fortunately, nothing else went out on that trip so we consider ourselves lucky.  Anyone w/ advice on RV A/C units or where to get them at a great price, please do let us know over the next couple of months.  Can not do it now but have to next spring.  Our next trip is slated for end of October but will be cooler then.  And that trip is pending Alyona's surgery status.  

Great trip and all want to go back.  Hope to get back there one day.  Enjoy your evening.  More to come on how school is going and a few other items around here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Had to get Away-- part IV (more water fun)

So, next day was more of the same.  Relaxing, hanging out, playing, walking on the beach, playing on the playground, having no schedule, etc.  Just gorgeous weather and kids were pleasant for the most part.  Made it nice. 

Nik and Summer thoroughly enjoying themselves jumping waves.

Waiting to see some good ones coming in.

And yes, even Little One decided to get in on the action.  I know she's in a swim diaper but the one piece bathing suit was filthy.  She covered it in chocolate.  It was white on top.  Why I let her eat cupcakes in her bathing suit, I'll never know.   She's been great about being potty trained during the day but not risking it on a vacation.  LOL. 

Wipeout!  And she could careless.  

Undertoe really was rough and so were the waters.  There was a HUGE drop off right where that back wave was breaking.  Crazy.  

I taught them to stand sideways when teh waves break and you're more steady on your feet that way.  They kept doing it that way and then started to hold hands.

Though Logan spent most his time on the basketball courts, sometimes you could find him on the ripstick all around the campgrounds.  We come back for lunch and snack times.  Other than that, mostly in water of some sorts.  Don't have many of the pool b/c we were really just enjoying ourselves.  More to come and final post on the trip.

Had to Get Away part III (time to rest & wake up)

Need to finish the vacation posts. 

After all the beach activity and swimming, it was time to sleep.  Summer, Little One and House guest went to bed.  Well, after fighting over where the feet were going to be.  Remember, 3 of them now share the dinette to sleep.  We most definitely need a different set up soon.  But for now, it works.  

And this is why we're tearing out all the carpet in the RV soon.  Too many spills off the kitchen counter leading to the door outside.  This was Sunny D.

Breakfast time.  Oranges and oatmeal.  Oh, and whoppers malt balls.  Hey, live a little, you're camping!  Notice Reni on the ripstick in the background?  And Summer, well, she just fell asleep in her clothes the night before.  Great thing is, when camping, not a soul cares. 

Bojan sorting all the shells he found.

Yana with some basketballs.  Though, I think she was trying soccer out instead.  LOL.

Young kids and I took a fun ride train.  There is a VERY cute pic of Nik, Little One and Summer just really enjoying themselves.  Few short weeks, I will show you.  For now, here is Ms. Summer w/ the slight ocean breeze.  

While on the train, we tour the campground.  Don't you just love the pirate ship playground?!  

yep, I'm in trouble in a few years.  Already rummaging through her sisters' undergarments.

Swim break for Angry Birds.  He's obsessed.  He's asked me for Angry Bird pajamas.

Alex, taking a break from basketball and swimming to come in and watch a movie for a bit.  We leave the RV open so they can come and go as they please during the day.   More pics to come.

I have a bunch going on this evening.  Alyona is sick tonight.  Fever broke but was 101 when we gave her some meds.  Complained of a severe headache.  Hoping jsut a quick bug.  Poor kid.  This past week her back pain has gotten progressively worse and she seems to have slowed down a bit more.  Not sure what all is tethered cord or scoliosis related or what is other.  Just want her better is all.  She's not herself.  Summer went to her first day of Kindergarten with half the class.  First full day is September 9th.  She's growing up too fast.  She had a good time even though she cant' tell me what happened.  Her brain disorder as she ages becomes more and more prevalent.  You must appreciate the little accomplishments that much more.  Anyhow, need to get some more done and then finish this post about the beach. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Manic Monday

Ha!  I know it's Tuesday but it was a long weekend so what the heck.  Here goes nothing.

  • Summer has her first day of Kindy tomorrow
  • Cancelled Summer's doc appt. for her to go to school
  • Irina went for regular check up today
  • Irina has work this week
  • Need to go shopping
  • MAJOR appliance issues as of late
  • Fridge #2 is about to go 
  • BTW, none of said appliances are all that old but all just out of stupid warranty reach
  • Yana's b-day is this month
  • Nothing on tap for the weekend
  • Enjoyed our Labor Day Weekend
  • Advantix worked awesome for our dogs itching
  • Need to clear the clutter some more
  • Painting inside of RV this week and tearing out the bed
  • Going to junk yard for van seats for RV (we outgrew our seating arrangement and want everyone in seatbelts at all times)
  • Cleaning RV this week
  • Tons of laundry from trip
  • Alyona is in severe pain, giving motrin
  • Alyona's appt. is 9/11 & hoping for a few more answers
  • Need to write request for Summer's IEP
  • IEP team working on getting Nik the FM system he needs
  • Still waiting to hear about Nik's new implants from insurance company
  • Yana needs a physical for cross country
  • Bojan wants to join jazz band too
  • Buses for elementary are super duper late and causing us to miss speech therapy
  • Starting homeschool with Alyona this week
  • Hoping we don't have to cancel all our upcoming events due to Alyona's surgeries
  • Now need to go to our optometrist b/c of school nurse's eye exam (had they read the file, they'd understand this is the best his eyes will ever be)
  • Going to Jordan Lake, an international festival, wildlife festival and FASD Symposium
  • Max's graduation is in jeopardy
  • Going to be a very, very busy semester
  • Need to do project w/ Summer already...URGHH!!! don't these teachers get I don't have pics just laying around?  My kids ruin them.  Bojan thought I could just print them off the computer.  He has none for his project for tomorrow.  
  • I'm tired of FASD meltdowns lately
  • Doing lots of paper work  
  • Ordered a canvas print of Little One tonight (love the free specials even w/ shipping costs)
  • Dogs need a bath
  •  Have many blog posts to catch up on
  • wanting and needing to get back in shape
  • Waiting for Alex and Logan to start school.  Waiting on their schedules.
Yep, we're busy.  School is going okay.  Teams are on top of things but some things are just really getting on my nerves as of late in regards to public school.  I want my kids to learn.  At this point, I'm not sure they will.  Middle School has me highly concerned.  MOre on that later.  Need some shut eye.  Enjoy your week and stay tuned for more pictures.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Had to get away -- part II (tot he beach!)

After setting up camp, time to head to check out the campgrounds and the beach.

Bojan can not wait to be on two legs again.  He took it all in stride though.  Pool was a better place for him than the beach.

Nik LOVES the beach as you can see.

Some of the kids headed out to the water.

Alyona really loving the beach.  She truly needed this break.  She had a great time.  One of the other kids informed me she was crying sometimes b/c of her back.  It's hurting more and more everyday.  I give her motrin at times but doesn't really touch it.  Alyona wants surgery now. That says a lot right there b/c she is terrified of surgeries due to the botched surgery job she had years ago.  So, Alyona enjoyed herself despite the pain.  She is one of the reasons we needed to go here.

Just beautiful out while we were there.

Nik, really and truly loved the beach.  Wished it wasn't so rough out.

Alyona once again with a smile.

Summer, not really liking the sun.

Summer rinsing off some of the sand.

We decided to go to the giant pool.  Great decision.  One of Summer's arm bands busted.  She didn't mind though.

Summer, truly enjoying herself.  She could swim for hours.

Bojan, learning how it feels with part of the other leg gone.  Remember, you must adapt.  There's no foot to kick w/ any more.  He said it feels a bit weird.  But, can swim just fine.  No worries.  He was more worried about getting the site wet.

Reni and I hanging out for a bit.  Not long though.  These kids were everywhere and off on their own most the time.

This was the hot tub part of the pool. Alyona and House guest absolutely loved this.

Nik went down the waterslide literally for hours.

Grill meister Max was frustrated with the grill t hat wouldn't light too well due to wind.  What is bad is this tiny thing we have for a grill.  Not conducive to cooking for a large family.  We used to have a large portable grill that we loved.  We really want one of those back again b/c you can not cook for everyone at once on here.  And, we always like eating together.  But, Max makes it work.

Nik loved riding the ripstick all over the campgrounds.  It's a flat surface and we don't have that here at home.  He rode all over the place.  Logan and Alex pretty much stayed at the basketball hoops.  My kids know they must check in at lunch time and dinner time.  We eat meals together.  Rest of the time, they're free to roam.  Though, they can't go it alone.  And typically, we'll see them more throughout the day than just those two times.  Anyhow, more to come on our trip.