Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's A Process-- We get to walk!

This is the last installment of Bojan getting his lower leg prosthetic.  He had gotten surgery on July 30th and got his new leg last Friday, October 4th.  Gives you an idea of time frame.  roughly, a little over two months time.

Bojan is definitely ready.  Can you see the smile on his face?

Camouflage leg.  He's snapping it into place.  Works differently than his aka leg.

Our prosthetist explaining everything he needs to do and not do for that matter.

Alex helping him up for the first time.  Got to remember, first time he's been up on that leg in over two months.  Feels very different.

Bojan learning to get his balance right and testing it out for the first time.

He was nervous and excited at the same time that day.

Explaining all the components and what is going to happen over the next few days.  How the leg may turn purple and red.  It did.  How there may be water blisters.  There were but NOT bad this go around.  How long it should be worn on and off and things of that nature.  I will say this, our guy was astounding he got up and walked that same day.  He said most of his bilateral amputees do not.  More than that, he got this on a Friday.  That Monday, he was walking without the crutches though we've been making him use the crutches at school.  Not too bad.  Bojan did say he was determined to walk.  Well, he did.  He is finally not in pain. And I am not referring to this surgery.  I'm referring to all the years in pain spent before the surgery.  I can say for certain, Bojan is very pleased with his choice to amputate the other leg.  And, so are we. 

It's a Process-- Part 2

See, I am slowly but surely getting caught up on things to post as well as a few pictures.  Today is Saturday and perfect day to do that.  We cleaned a bunch this morning.  Warren took Max & Logan to pick up some bookcases and a dresser that someone is giving us since they were moving.  Will come in very handy in the boys' room.  Hoping to get trash hauled off this afternoon as well as Bojan's wheelchair returned.  Wahoo!!!  Few of the girls spent the night elsewhere last night w/ friends.  One already came home, other two will be home shortly.  I will probably head to the doc.  Don't you wish you could call in your own script when  you know what it is?  Sinus/ ear infection and now moving in my chest.  Time for antibiotics to clear this mess up.  You know when you try to fight it off for  a few days.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.   So my turn.  Probably take Summer w/ me as she's due some shots that they were out of the other day.  Think this evening we're going to sing to Little One and have another attempt at that dog cake.  Yes, it will be road kill I'm sure by the time I'm done with it.  Cake Boss would be ever so disappointed in me.  After that, think we'll all just kick back, pop some popcorn, watch a movie and relax. 

Back to the process of Bojan's leg.  After they molded for the liner, they got the check socket.  The casting was such a good one, this time we did not need to take another mold after the liner was done.  They went ahead and made the check socket.  This was fantastic!  Since our prosthetist is building a new office soon, for now, making some house calls instead of us going in.  Must say, wish we could do that in the future.  But, don't mind going for a good fit and someone that meets Bojan's needs. 

Bojan trying on the new liner for the first time.

Lotioning up so that the liner goes on easier.  Alex is working on homework while watching.

This is the check socket.  It's made to see if it is a good fit or not or if adjustments need to be made.

After getting all the socks and liners on, the check socket goes on.

Not ready yet.  Notice the huge gap at the bottom?  His leg has to get all the way to the bottom.

Requires lots and lots of pushing down.  Hard at first b/c it has been months since he has used this leg.  Remember, it's waking back up.

While trying to get it to fit, the boys have an idea.  to get the air out and maybe make it fit easier.  All else fails, bring on out the power tools.  LOL.  They went out back to drill the hole.

Definitely helped a bit more and Bojan pushed some more to get it in.

Lotioning up yet again.  This is a process to stop and start and try different methods to get the best fit possible w/ the socket.

Bojan for one last trial before he left.  Little One used this busy time as the perfect opportunity to seize 3 chocolate chip cookies.  This process did not take long and the fit was determined to be perfect!  Next step is making the final socket and putting all the parts together.  It's about the same as his other leg which has a knee.  This one of course does not since amputation was below knee.  Next part is his final fitting and actual socket. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Blessings Abound!

Lately, we have been very blessed and haven't even had the chance to tell them thank you.  Many friends stepped up to help us when Alyona was in the hospital and Warren was here w/ all the kids.  They cooked meals, came to watch the kids, take the kids to the park, deliver meals to the hospital and countless other things.  Just tonight, a local church gave us some leftover chicken from a BBQ.  Kids loved it and want to know what kind of sauce they used.  We're also blessed by others caring about our kids.  The other day we got a box in the mail from a friend. 

This box had clothes in it for Reni and Alyona.  On the bottom however, was hidden Nik's b-day present.  I thought he'd lose his mind.  Here is one of the shots.  But his prized posession is an electric angry bird toothbrush.  Yep.  he has not stopped brushing his teeth.  our dentist will be so proud.  Thank you Ms. Katherine!  

Tearing it open to take a peek inside.

All checking out just what this game is.

Nik and Reni enjoying a game of Angry Birds.  He's so excited he wants to take it to school next week.

A box arrived all the way from Alaska!  Dogs were disappointed it was not filled w/ dog treats.  It's funny b/c they literally sniff every box.

This box was filled to the brim with little girl clothes!  It was from a dear friend of mind from high school if you can believe it.  Yes, we're both that old.  LOL.  Miss our German days and fun times.  We both grew up and she also has a family with some little girls.  Just warmed my heart for her to think of us.  Considering I have a few little fashionistas, this helps out immensely.  Thank you Kelly!

There are just so many people who think of our family.  It just amazes me.  Melts my heart knowing people care about our family and our kids.  I still have Nik's and Yana's b-day posts to put up.  Hey, I'm getting there.  

Happy Birthday Little One!

Today one of my little girls turns four years old.  So very hard to believe.  Truly is.  I can tell you she has added so much life and joy to our family.  Little One is full of spunk.  She's our little firecracker.  You can't be tired around her, she won't let you!  She is our fun-loving, egg hating, baby loving, dog loving, compassionate, sneaky, always on the go, deep belly laughter, cuddler, mommy's girl type of kid.  We love her to pieces!  Truly, we do.  Though she'll test limits, she is just too sweet to let that last long.  That laughter is infectious!  She loves her siblings with a deep kind of love.  As I was upstairs typing this, she plopped herself on the couch next to Alex.  He puts his arm around her and she just cuddles up.  Hey, it's a rarity to have a teen cuddle up to a little sister so I'll take it! But, it is her personality.  She's a great hugger though will tease you in a heartbeat.  Little One is just the type that adds personality to an otherwise dull room.  She simply lights it up.  She loves unconditionally and with passion.  When she squeezes you, you'll know it.  LOL.  Though I know I usually show pics, I obviously am not quite yet.  Just know there was so much joy on her little face when she opened her first birthday box.  From a family who I can honestly say loves her as much as we do. 

Little One got a Leap Frog talking dog.  She absolutely LOVES it!  Carries it everywhere and sleeps with it.  Makes music and reads stories.  She also got a little doll.  Here is Nik and Reni helping take it out to give to her.

Here is Little One explaining to Yana what all she got in that box.  Yana was getting ready to deliver the cross country fundraiser items.  Oh, if you're wondering, Nik is wearing his "wings."  He made the Littles all wings as well as Summer.  They ran around the house like little fairies flying.  

Anyhow, Little One enjoyed everyone saying Happy Birthday to her today that stopped by.  She liked the cake.  We're having another cake tomorrow along w/ some folks coming over.  I know she is getting more boxes that are coming in the mail.  She will be thrilled.  Next birthday is Summer in December.  December 19th.  Nice to have a short break in between b-days.  In January, we have 4 of us w/ birthdays.  

Overall, nice day. Tomorrow is Saturday.  Getting things done.  Next weekend all the kids are going to the day camp at Camp Woodbine for a day of activities, horses, archery, games, food, etc.  Sure we'll have a blast.  My older kids are instead going to Winterpast Farms to help out with my friend.  They're helping with a petting zoo.  So, some nice things going on here and there.  Just finally feel we can put a little of the medical whoop la behind us.  We go through those stretches every once in awhile.  Makes you appreciate things more when they are over.  I know this will be a changing year in more ways than one.  Have to remember, I have older kids that are quickly turning into young adults.  They are looking at colleges.  Colleges people!  We all worked hard to get them there and they worked the hardest.  We are trying to embrace the changes coming but naturally, we wouldn't mind if time slowed down a bit more.  So, enjoy your kids and do things together.  Well, need to get going.  Swore I'd get organized this weekend.  3 of my kids are spending the night w/ friends.  Another is hanging out till around 10 or so.  Much more quieter than usual.  Little Ones have all gone to bed.  More to come this weekend.  We have a weekend w/ NO plans.  Well, except picking up a dresser and some bookcases.  Have a wonderful weekend folks. 

Colors and Cake Fail

yes, much to catch up on.  But, kids come first here so blog gets neglected from time to time.  And that is perfectly fine.  This week has been somewhat gloomy out.  So, had to find activities to do inside as Alyona really is not supposed to do a whole lot yet.  The other day Little One received her first birthday present for the year.  And well, you know kids and a box. 

My two youngest in the box.  Well, tearing up the box to color it.  They wanted to make it a boat.  Had I known it would have been this entertaining and occupying, I would have saved all my boxes!  They were proud of their work when done.  This was the first chilly day and both girls refused to put their hoods down.  Cracked me up. they looked like little elves all day long.  LOL.  

Today, it was more gloomy out and ground saturated.  So, stayed in and Alyona & I decided it was finger paint time for the little ones.  Learned lesson from last time so shirts came off this time.  It was washable finger paint but still better safe than sorry.  

Finger paint it was.  In the kitchen.  Yeh, for wipe off floors.

Alyona even got in on the action.  The Littles' sheets were actually drying in the dining room at this time.  You can see the plates.  They were FULL of paint.  Yes, they used every last drop.  Hey, Picasso may be in their future.  Either that or working for Glidden.  But, nice little activity while the yard dries from the rain and we're stuck for the week at home.  Next week is full of activities, parks, pumpkin patches, etc. so probably good to slow it down this week.

And now for the epic fail cake.  Okay, so I used to work in a bakery and decorate cakes years ago.  years.  Typically, I can make a fairly decent cake.  Well, most definitely not this time!   Little One's birthday is today.  More on that next post.  But, she requested a dog bowl cake.  My original plan was a round cake, slant the edges, ice and put 'dog food'(aka Reece's Puff cereal) on top.  Name on dog bowl.  Well, Thanks to one of my daughters for putting away dishes, never did find that round cake pan.  So, decided to use square.  It should look about the same w/ same concept, right?  Wrong.  So wrong.  They have really and truly laughed more with this cake today than anything else.

A side view.  I even gave up smoothing out the sides.  Was pointless.  But, for a 4yo, this is heaven.  Purple cake w/ chocolate cereal on it.  I have to look at it that way.  She is not in it for the art of it all.  Little One is simply in it for the joy of her birthday and people loving her.  Plain and simple.  We're actually celebrating more tomorrow than today.  I have started to make a dog cake this go around.  However, by hte end, it may be unrecognizable and look like roadkill.  Yet my little 4yo will have the biggest smile on her face b/c her mommy made her a cake.  Don't have to be perfect to be a parent.  Thank goodness that is not a requirement.  My now 4yo would not know the difference between a Martha Stewart cake and mine.  Though, everyone else would.  Not a big deal.  I loved every part.  Her laughing as I get the bowl out.  Jumping up and down as the mixer is going around.  Squealing w/ delight as I let her lick the batter.  To see her face when the purple icing came out.  All of it.  The cake may look horrible, but guarantee you, it brought some serious joy this go around.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Another Alyona Update-- post op

Today was post op at Duke Neurosurgery.  It did not go well.  You know we took her in this past Saturday b/c we thought the wound looked infected.  The doc took out 3CC's of fluid from her back and put her on 10 day antibiotics.  Well, our surgeon was NOT at all happy about someone sticking a needle in her back.  They are culturing the fluid.  IF it turns out to be an infection, the doc may have done more harm than good by sticking the needle in.  Pushing the infection further up the spine.  Not good.  However, our surgeon does not think it is infected.  He does think there is a small Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) leak.  Believe me, it is the lesser of hte two evils at this point in time.  She goes back on the 22nd of this month.  If it is CSF, we are looking at another surgery.  Not what we wanted to hear.  BTW, her scoliosis eval is the 21st.  Surgeon was also not happy the discharge papers said return to normal activity.  She is now to lay still again as much as possible.  Today, she went to a friend's house to watch some math videos and work on math.  Another day this week, she'll be making some hats w/ them while laying down.  This is so hard not knowing.  Really is.  Hard keeping a kid still.  Really is.  To let you know just how serious a situation is, we were given a direct fax # not the office one.  He wants lab results ASAP.  As in as soon as they are in to fax them on over.  I can't say I'm not nervous.  I can say I feel she's in good hands.  We thought we were doing the right thing by taking her to our regular office.  Shoot, we've done it many times before w/ kids after surgeries and never had an issue.  I know it is not our fault.  I do.  But as a parent, you can't help but think that at times.  The surgeon is not happy w/ the one who stuck a needle in her and that is understandable.  After that needle and fluid was out though, she was so perky and said it didn't hurt any more.  Now, back to hurting and more fluid in there.  Surgeon did not take any of her fluid out today.  And if you'd look at her, you wouldn't know anything was wrong.  Same attitude about doing school work and all. 

I have more posts but as you can imagine, been hectic.  in addition, totally forgot about tomorrow's IEP for Alex.  Thankfully, it's a quick one.  Little One's b-day is Friday.  She is so excited.  Ready to have some cake and ice cream for sure!  Just wanted to give an update on Alyona.  Please think of her the next few weeks. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Time for a little fun

As you know, our past two weeks has been less than stellar.  Many, many medical issues have come up with our kids and honestly came all at once for some reason.  Put it this way, I'm sure I've bought at least a boat for our family practice in co-pays alone.  So, that being said, we needed a little fun in the sun.  It was a gorgeous day here Saturday and there was a carnival happening.  Tiny one put on by a local church but it was outside, wasn't that far away, and there was something for them to do.  We took most of our kids and then 4 of a friend's kids b/c she was in the process of moving.  And off in Big Bird we went. 

This will not seem like a big deal to outsiders but locals know the closing of the Cornwallis bridge was a royal pain in the you know what.  This is our main way out.  When closed, it was quite the chore to go around  your elbow to get to your knee.  They opened it the day we left for the carnival.  Was a sight for sore eyes to be sure.  

Our Summer enjoying a snow cone.  Her name tag is on upside down.  This may seem cute to you all but it's not any more.  She has shown major, major disconnects and not getting any better.  I'llhave an update on her soon.  It's hard at times to watch b/c you just want to help her and know you can't.  Just working on ways to work around that missing part of the brain.

Reni is growing up so stinking fast!  

Nik and Logan played football pretty much the whole time.

Summer and Alex(had a regular goal for big kids) played basketball the whole time.

Even had games that required no skill.  Hey, we loved those!  This one was a lollipop tree.

Everyone wrapping up and getting ready to go home.

Girls were thrilled when I told them we'd use those coupons right after this.

Summer and her dinosaur mask.  She kept roaring though.  LOL.  Loudly.

This was after we got them all McFlurries.  Buy one get one free coupons helped.  Think Summer was beyond happy?  And before you say anything, no her seatbelt didn't stay like that and Nik did buckle up.  You have to always check after Summer and Nik.  Always.  

We all had a really good time for a few hours.  It was simple but sometimes simple fun is what we all need.  Just was a beautiful day and a beautiful time had by all that went.  Happy we went.

Incident on the bus

Okay, so you all know I'm not a real big fan of the public schools here, right?  Schools know it too so truly no big secret.  Well, today it was taken to a whole other level.  I honestly still can't believe it.  Really.  Just cutting and pasting the gist of it from what I wrote on Facebook earlier.  Here goes:

OMG! What is wrong w/ people?! Bojan just got off the bus & told me what transpired this morning on the bus. Lady insisted he was to go back on the special needs bus. Told him "well, we don't give any special treatment here." He said "well, I don't need any." She then announced to the entire bus that they would have to come early to the bus stop b/c Bojan was too slow. BTW, Alex and Logan help him up on the bus. He sits down and it's fine. She said she'd have to find another seat for him and on and on and on. The stuff she said and the way it was said was totally uncalled for! Other kids who KNOW him said does she think you're stupid man? The afternoon bus driver...NO PROBLEMS whatsoever w/Bojan. He sat w/ two other kids and no one complained. Warren is going to the school in the morning. I think if I went I'd be arrested for not shutting my mouth. BTW, this is not all of what was said. Totally, totally uncalled for. And no, he needs maybe one extra minute to enter the bus but that's it! He is out of the wheelchair. Has been for a long time. Just got his second leg but learning to walk on it so uses crutches. Puts the crutches in the seat behind him. No one has a problem w/ any of this. Just the morning bus driver! Anyone ever encounter such an issue?? In addition, the other special needs bus driver was never informed about the transfer. Bojan gave her the paper work. If you see smoke coming from my ears, you'll know why.

I just don't think this was handled the right way.  Considering there was nothing wrong whatsoever to begin with.  Truly, I was glad if this happened to any of my kids it was Bojan.  Hear me out.  Bojan is very outgoing, comedian type, let's things slide off of him type of guy.  Some of my other kids would have been hurt beyond belief and would have melted down right then and there.  See, the only issue Bojan has is his physical ones.  Kid is as sharp as a tack.  I even said "why didn't you give her one of your typical sarcastic responses?"  He said Mom, that would have been a bad idea.   Bojan said he was not offended.  I said I don't care if you were or weren't.  The point was that was rude and unnecessary.  Should have never ever happened.  Warren will be going to the school first thing in the morning.  I told you all, it is way more stressful for me to send them to school than it is to homeschool them.  What ever happened to decent people any more?  I will let you all know tomorrow what the school says about it all.  Anyone have similar experiences they care to share and how you handled it?

A Fresh Start

Okay, a few things have been going on here lately.  Some I've told you about and some I haven't.  For awhile now, I've been wanting to get back into shape.  So, with a friend's help (& her nutritionist guiding her), we're doing one thing different each week and step by step.  Sounds simple and easy and for the most part, really is.  First week, I made sure I took my vitamins.  I'd been slacking.  Did that and found the second week it was second nature.  Next, made sure I had plenty of water each and every day.  Was pretty decent at this before but now, really on top of it.  And again, no issues doing it consecutive weeks b/c it becomes second nature.  So, had the vitamins water down pat.  Next, I added making sure I had fruits and veggies every single day.  Again, wasn't too bad at this one before but notice I'd catch myself thinking more about it.  Making simple choices such as last night when we had salad and homemade pizza.  All the pizza I made we put assorted peppers on and onions.  It's the little things that will help.  This week, my goal is to go to bed by 11:30.  I have been going to bed at 1am or later every night.  It's taking it's toll.  I always want to finish stuff up but this is not healthy.  So, that's the goal this week. 

Now, not only me is going to make a change.  Need to make a few changes for the kids but not due to diet. Their changes in eating is more due to frustration w/ the schools and impulse control.  I used to buy granola bars, fruit snacks, etc.  Easy to pack stuff that apparently wasn't all that filling but was good.  Good enough for them to steal it from the house or pack extra and then I'd run out.  Selfish and I called them on it.  Decided you can't handle this, it's all gone.  Maybe, just maybe, the fresh stuff will fill you up better.  Plus, so sick and tired of wasted food coming home from school or school telling me I have to have a separate snack for Summer.  Anyhow, said when we go for groceries again, we're getting ALL fresh fruit and veggies.  BTW, my kids LOVE fruit.  Always been limiting though as it is so much more expensive than some of the other stuff.  We have fruit everyday, always have. But, would love for them to eat more fresh stuff. So the other day we went to Sam's Club.  Had to remind myself no box stuff or such.  Wanted us to try something new too.

Came across these things and thought why not?  We love kiwi, love berries, why not try.  This box was small, and not very tall.  It's not like one of those Sam's grapes boxes.  No, this was flat.   At $4, not a bargain whatsoever but it was more for the try something new bit.  They taste a little like kiwi and grapes combined.  We all agreed an odd flavor.  Some were way more tart than others.  Consensus?  No, not buying again.  

This is one of our fridges.  Top part.  We have milk, cheese, yogurt, lemons, grapes, carrots, eggs, squash, salad mixes, green beans,etc.  Not really any 'junk' to grab.  My kids btw, will eat those grapes in one sitting.  

If you are wondering if we will do this again?  Would LOVE too!  Financially, not sure we can.  The dramatic difference in cost was realized at the register.  Those who say it doesn't cost more to eat healthy are lying.  I think for us though, it is sheer quantity.  And no, don't assume we eat like garbage normally.  That's not it.  But I wanted it to get all healthy w/ exceptions for parties or special times.  Plus, majority of my kids really do love fruits and vegetables.  It's an experiment for the month to see how it goes.  

Okay, kids just came home.  Alex and Reni both said Mom, I couldn't eat everything.  That sandwich and apple really filled me up!  Those apples were gigantic and I just couldn't eat any more.  Ahh, just what I wanted to hear. Normally, they'd come home and eat an entire other meal before dinner.  It really was busting the budget. So maybe, maybe in the long run the initial cost will pay off?  Don't know.  Really am keeping a cost journal on this experiment.  But, very, very pleased the kids came home full, ready to work on homework and not tired or hungry.  Going to try a f ew other things as well.  Let you know how it turned out at the end of October.  You know, candy time.

Manic Monday

Never dull here at Chaos Manor, that's for sure.  Thought I'd give a quick run down of a little of what's happening this week.

  • Disappointed in two boys around here for showing a church!
  • Babysitting today
  • Going to be a rainy day
  • Alyona has post op this week
  • speech therapies this week
  • volunteering at a church this week
  • Max may or may not start PT this week
  • Yana has 2 more cross country meets
  • Waiting for a piece of paper from the clerk of court (hoping this week)
  • Trying to get all our October plans lined up
  • Organized this weekend
  • Nik starts his new IEP stuff this week 
  • Determined to catch up on posts and pictures this week
  • Alyona's back got infected at the surgical site.  On antibiotics 
  • Warren's parents came to see the kids this past weekend
  • Little One's birthday is this week and dying to share a picture of her
  • Need to sort out Max's schooling
  • Alyona is getting back to school work this week
  • Meeting w/ Yana's coaches today
  • Slowly changing eating habits
There really is way more than this but during the day, eyes are fixed to three toddlers wondering around.  Not on a computer.  So, I'm off to making play dough now.   Enjoy your week.  More picture posts to come to make up for the last two weeks.  Promise the camera isn't dead.  LOL.