Friday, August 1, 2014

Green and Growing

It's the time of year where things are blooming.  We've done a lot this year in the yard but that is simply because we are trying to sell.  May actually have a new approach starting next week so stay tuned.  We must move so it will be an all out crusade almost to sell this home.  Ironically, a house flipper moved in just next door to us.  And yes, we're taking advice and getting tips :)  In all seriousness though, we want to move before school starts.  Umm, that is SOON.  So, need to get cracking on this home to sell it.  But, back to it being green here. 

Our house.  We hate to see it go but do realize it is time to move onward.  In a few days, I'll have a post about selling it and get the word out more.  Hard to say goodbye to the place you've watched your family grow.  The grass is finally growing back.  I had tomake the kids stop playing soccer in the yard in order for that to happen.

View of the front starting to green up.  That dead looking stick in the yard Max cut down yesterday.

Side view of the yard on hte right side.  Towel rack in the background.  So be it.

Another view of the side yard starting to grow more into summer time.

Closer view of that Crepe Myrtle blooming.

Overcrowded, neglected garden.  Yet, watermelon started to grow.  So far, 4 of them!

We've had quite a few cucumbers come from there which is great considering the lack of care the garden received this year.  Sad but true.  our time got away from us unfortunately.

Some of the backyard.  It's just peaceful back here.

What's green about Sofie?  Nothing.  Just cute.  However, there are green onions in the background growing and chives.  We always have those throughout the year and a few other things.  Just need a much bigger space in the yard for a much bigger garden.

One of our hostas with some impatients around it.  We love the pops of color.  We somewhat failed this year at the gardening part of our yard.  There were multiple unexpected events to be sure!  We'll try much harder next year, wherever we may end up.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Miscellaneous Pics

Today is Wednesday.  Kids had friends over. Max and Logan were helping a new neighbor fix up their house.  Irina and Yana were working.  Some swam, rode bikes, ripstick, etc.  Recently, I have not had time to check out local yardsales or consignment shops for obvious reasons.  Little Guy needs a lot of attention at the current time.  So, my finding deal days are not as frequent.  Well, put a request out to locals but maybe others can keep an eye out as well.  My kids LOVE the outdoors.  Understatement of the year.  They just do.  Hence, we invest more in outdoor items.  Bikes, pool, swingset, trampoline, and the like.  Boys love the ripstick and the skateboard.  They all share and truly need more than one of both those items.  They were even looking up skateboard wheels to try to see if they could replace just those.  Needs bearings too. Anyhow, if any of  you see a super deal on either a skateboard or ripstick, please let me know.  I want to keep encouraging outdoor play but yet retail prices are just out of reach at the moment.  Thanks for being on the lookout.  Back to miscellaneous pics.

Umm, this one has been rather lazy lately.  Working on it.  Alex.  He is taking the lazy days of summer all too seriously.  Trying to find him some volunteer work.  

Bojan and Logan playing checkers.  Bojan is really into chess though.  He's been teaching some of his sibs.  Plays against the computer too and challenges himself.  He wants to start a chess club in school as well.  Hope he can.  Good mental game.  My parents said they have a chess set they're going to give him which will be awesome. 

Sofie and Nik enjoying a hotel bed.  A rarity for us to be in a hotel.  We got home from vacation.  Got a call on Monday to be in another state on Tuesday.  Found care for 10 of the kids.  Could have found it for these two as well but these two are more 'high maintenance' and Sofie is a mommy's girl anyhow.  Plus, after just returning from our vacation of being in the RV for 9 days straight, NONE of the other kids wanted to travel.  LOL. 

Max has been busy building and putting stuff together for us.  This was one of the items.  Yes, it's a crib.  More later on this topic.  Little Guy is sleeping in it as I type this.

Alex requested a dirt cake for his birthday.  Cake, pudding, oreo cookies and gummy worms.  Can you say sweet?

Logan helping Sofie get into the pool.  He really has changed this summer.  I will have to do a transformation update on him soon.

 Sofie deciding to eat in the corner one day.  Not sure why exactly.  Just did.  I know you're thinking why a pacifier in her hand at 4yo.  Well, she has SEVERE speech apraxia and huge problem is her sucking her finger.  And trust me, we tried everything under the sun to get her to stop.  It was in her mouth..all...the...time.  Well, gave her the paci instead.  Transitioned her to that b/c we knew later, we could take it away.  Now, she rarely sucks her finger during the day anymore.  Does at night but such an improvement from before and speech is getting there.  Going to be years upon years to get it to where it should be but progress to be sure.

House guest, Irina and Reni.  All have been practicing doing hair this summer.  Other pic I have has these three and Sofie w/ her braids and Max standing next to them all.  

Just a few of the pics I have.  Told you all I'd catch up some more.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hearing tests for a few

I will bit by bit catch up.  Trying to keep with doing two to three posts a night.  Putting this one first b/c part of it happened today.  So, Nik gets his hearing checked obviously at UNC Audiology.  Been going there for years.  He went today and we discovered he's only been hearing at 50% since the t-mic broke!  Advanced Bionics has just now mentioned this 'issue.'  Not just w/ Nik. Anyhow, he had a different mic on it but was only at 50% b/c unlike the old processors, we can not just switch mics w/out switching programs.  We could on the old ones and did NOT know it was different w/ teh new implants.  Apparently, neither did a few other patients.  So, problem fixed.  Right now, AB is not high on my list.  Also this week, it was discovered by Warren that AB was debiting our credit card again at the rate of $992!  At once.  Each month.  Getting it resolved.

Now, while there, Warren also took House guest with him.  I wanted a second opinion and got one which I appreciated UNC doing for us. She is fine with hearing which is fantastic.  There is an obvious speech issue and our speech therapist will handle that from here and test her this coming week. 

I'm back tracking to finish posts again.  Yana also went w/ house guest on that first hearing check.  Yana has severe CAPD.  So want to double check every so often. And last time was in 2007 so good to double check.  Her hearing is also fine.  Thought it would be but always good to check every once in a blue moon.  That was interesting going there w/ those two at the appointment, a kid I babysit for, Little Guy, and Reni/ Irina as my helpers.  Try entertaining a 2yo and non-verbal/ non-ambulatory kid for over 3 hours in a waiting room!  Umm, not as easy as it looks.  But, we managed.  Next hearing test for Nik is in January.  Got a ways to go.  We have Little Guy getting tested in October.  All my other kids hear too well. 

Busy kind of week

Really, this week is jumping.  It is the last week of school.  Alex did not tell me he had awards today despite me repeatedly asking him when they were so we could go.  He's at the age where he does NOT want mom or dad around even at a ceremony.  His awards were today.  We missed them.  I said why did you not tell us?!  He said, "I didn't want you to go."  Nice, huh?  I know this is a phase.  Practically all my kids go through it but still makes me cringe hearing it.  He's afraid we'll embarrass him.  Didn't help that his sister said she was going to make a poster if we go.  Oh well.  He did get most improved for Language arts and A/B honor roll for 3rd and 4th 9 weeks.  Think for the year possibly too but have to check.  Just bummed he didn't want us to go.

Now, all the other kids have wanted us there and I have been there for every ceremony thus far.  Alex was our ONLY kid to say no.  Hey, I can still make him take a picture w/ the award.  Trust me, if we drove him to school, he'd be the kid asking to be dropped off a block away.  LOL.  And again, I know it's short lived.  Ironically, he doesn't want us there yet requested we home school him next year.  Go figure.

Today we went to Reni and Nik's award ceremonies.  Went to Summer's on Monday and go to Bojan's on Friday.  Yana doesn't have one and Max is/ isn't graduating.  Long story with Max.  He can walk at graduation if he wants to though has one course to take over the summer to be official.  Max is not too keen on celebrations or large crowds.  He never went to pep rallies if that gives you an idea.  So, this summer we are having a big cook out for him to invite friends and family to. 

And I started this in JUNE folks!  Beyond way behind.  I'm just going to end all the posts I started and then start again w/ catch up posts and pictures.  Easiest way I can think to do it.  So, bare with me the next few posts.  

Manic Monday

Where did my weekend go?  Time for the usual Monday morning post.  So, here goes nothing.

  • Didn't do much this weekend
  • Warren fixed the dryer
  • Max needs to cut down a small tree in the front yard
  • Need to get chlorine for the pool
  • Need to go to the bank
  • Have one of the girls being a real pistol this week
  • Trying to stay on top of birthday cards for people we know (yeh, wish me luck on this one)
  • RV still needs inspecting
  • Warren's tire got patched
  • Need some items for little guy & been suggested I make a wish list
  • Insurance owes me money.....again (was a lost pile of papers in the abyss somewhere)
  • Advanced Bionics screwed up again and debited our credit card another $992
  • Trying to figure out fall sports for the kids
  • Trying to figure out all the homeschool stuff
  • Need to withdraw quite a few from public school this week
  • Babysitting this week
  • Homestudy update is done
  • Yana is still working and saving up for transportation (undecided whether moped or car)
  • Bojan is still into playing chess 
  • Trying to find Bojan a chess club somewhere
  • Caught up on laundry
  • Adjusting to a new normal
  • Kids are wanting their friends back from vacation
  • No buyer yet for the house
  • So far behind on little things around the house
  • Job hunting with older kids this week
Well, the day got away from me so ending here.  LOL.  Shoot, MOnday is almost over.  It's been one heck of a day is all I'm going to say.  On an upside, Alex will now be taking care of someone's dogs, Logan and Max have some temporary house work w/ a neighbor, Logan and Max have more work w/ another neighbor, and Irina has yet another babysitting job that will be starting soon.  So, she'll have 2 different babysitting gigs.  Working all week and then some!  Bojan will be interning either this Friday or next Tuesday, starting.  He'll be doing that 2X a week and then I will also be getting him a job at McDonald's since he needs a work permit at his age.  Haven't had the chance to fill out.  Getting there folks. b usy, busy, busy.  I will explain more in future posts.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nik's Evaluation at CIDD

Okay, so Nik had an evaluation done at UNC on Monday.  An all day affair.  Boring for the parents for anyone going after us.  I will cut to the chase.  we are no further ahead than we were when we went.  Wow, started this back in May as his eval was the beginning of May.  The CIDD stands for the Center for Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.  It gives a team approach of how you should go forward for your child to better help them in life.  They have psychologists, behaviorists, etc.  They gather info from parents and teachers and evaluators the day you go.  And it is literally all day long.  Very boring for parents for those going in the future.  But truly, I felt I learned nothing and I felt like they were reaching for a reason to blame for the way he was.  "well, do you read to him?"  Everyday I said.  "do you read at least 20minutes?"  At least.  Well, read more.  "Does he play a lot of video games?"  No, he's very much an outdoorsy kind of kid.  Well, he could be outside more.  "Does he receive therapy?"  Yes, both private and at school.  You can increase his time?  No, he's maxed out.  We also practice with him every night.  I was answering questions that I think they thought I wouldn't be able to answer.  You could tell the lady giving me the 'speech' was all for cued speech. And I have NOTHING against that.  However, I do have a problem w/ folks only giving you biased ideas.  If the evaluator signs, it's use sign.  If they are auditory verbal, do that.  If they cue, you must cue.  You get the idea.  I just want someone to give us more direction than we've already gotten.  Over these last few years, it seems to change all the time.  Sign, oral, auditory verbal, cued, total communication, etc.  It is hard to decide what is right when you get such varying opinions.  We are going total communication route.  Period.  We had to make a decision and go with it.  Though, Nik is getting much better at talking lately. 

On to the autsim bit. Here's what they said.  They don't want to take away the autism dx that the neurologist says he has as he has a lot of qualities of autism.  However, they are not sure they'd say it is that or not.  More PDD-NOS possibly.  In other words, not sure, no further along than before.  Frustrating.

I was hoping to get a step by step plan.  I did not. Mostly stuff we either already do or already know.  Maybe we were expecting too much.  Not sure. At least we have something to give the school if nothing else.  I may try a behavior therapist and see if they have suggestions.  It's hard to want more help for your child but not knowing just how to go about getting it.  Help on things that maybe we haven't thought of yet or don't know.  Keeping fingers crossed that we can research more and find ways to help Nik succeed in life even more.  Suggestions are very welcomed.