Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sunshine and A Broken Foot (sort of)

So, today we took it easy for the most part.  It was simply gorgeous weather outside.  Beautiful carolina blue skies and sunshine as far as the eye could see.  Slight breeze but in the 70's and you just wanted to be outside.  A local church put on a little event that we went to.  Took the little kids but Irina, Reni and Houseguest wanted to go as well.  Get out of the house and not stay w/ the boys.  We had a really good time together at such a simple event.  Even saw some old friends. 

Sofie wanted to help be the big sister and take her brother's diaper bag to the car.

Muddy the Mudcat was there.  A local baseball mascot.

Nik and Summer enjoying a lunch at the event.  We got to eat hotdogs on the grill, chips, soda, and fruit salad & dessert.  YUM!

Sofie playing a game.  Her hair is really growing like crazy.

Nik waiting for his turn. They got prizes too.

Reni and Irina.  They work well together.

My older girls really had fun w/ the cornhole game.  Need one of these for sure!  Houseguest, Reni & Irina would toss it to these two boys playing.  Just was a really nice event and we all had a relaxing time.

Well shoot.  the file won't upload.  Uploaded on Facebook but not here for some reason.  It is a picture of Bojan's broken foot. He busted the carbon fiber foot and the foot shell!  All he did was walk the dog.  So, Max took old parts and rigged it up till we can get the new one ordered.  Never dull.  Need to get going so only one post today.  Have a house showing tomorrow. 

Little Guy and Neuro

I know I haven't spoken a whole lot about our Little Guy and am obviously limited.  But, we went to neurology yesterday, Friday.  It was what we expected.  We have a wonderful neuro team at Duke.  We go to the two big hospitals here for certain things.  Or, if we need a more specialized approach.  Hence, why Alyona went to Duke for her neurosurgery and scoliosis surgery.  And, our other docs will even suggest the more specialized care if it is needed.  I appreciate that and them respecting our decision.  Like when I called our regular ENT.  Knew house guest would be fine there but asked about Little Guy. They said he'll need UNC and I agreed. 

Anyhow, we went.  We were running late and I called to let them know.   About 15 minutes late.  Went back and had the appointment.  We had suspected silent seizures for awhile now but actually saw him on Wednesday night seizing.  Hard to see your child like that.  Neuro agreed most likely from description he is having seizures and will need life long epilepsy meds.  However, for now we're all calling them 'spells' till we have confirmation from EEG.  Head doc was there too for some of appointment.  I appreciated that too as he is a more complex case.  So, walked away with OT, PT, speech, neurobehavior referrals.  Also, with referral for sedated MRI and EEG.  Genetics appointment and ortho appointment will be next week as well.  Going to be very busy soon but having answers is key when these children come home.  That way, you know which way is the best path to healing.  Helps. 

After that, picked up kids from a friend's house that was watching them.  This is one of those appointments we needed full focus for and having a bunch of little ones running around would not have allowed for that.  Nice to have awesome friends to help.  We learned that swim diapers are just not a great back up when you run out of regular diapers.  Note that one folks.  We are now washing a carseat and clothes.  At this point, doubt I'm using them in the pool either!  Since kids hung out w/ friends all day and at Civil War class, we had a very lazy night just chilling and having stroganoff and watching a movie. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dentist Appointments

Today, well  yesterday as it's after midnight, we had dental appointments for 6 of the kids.  Ended up being 7 of them b/c they squeezed in Little Guy for me.  For a well baby check.  Anyhow, 6 kids, no cavities, no issues.  Well, house guest has a baby tooth that needs pulling as blocking the permanent one.  So, scheduled that for December.  Little Guy did as expected.  His teeth were fine which is amazing.  Dentist is willing to coordinate w/ our team at Duke if necessary when other sedations take place soon.   Told him I'd keep him posted.  Kids were decent for the most part at the dental office.  Had to take them all since the older kids were being seen.  Can't very well leave Sofie and Summer home alone :)  Dentist is still giving out those stupid bouncy balls.  Hate those things.  Ironically, there is a sign saying not to play w/ them in the office.  How about not at home either.  LOL.  Glad things went well again and no significant issues.  Next batch is being seen next week. Hoping for another positive. 

Little kids went to story time today and had a great time there.  We try to go every Wednesday.  Older ones stayed home and worked on their planets research paper I assigned them.  They're doing well on it.  Tomorrow is a stay at home and work day.  Need to.  Friday is a big day for Little Guy.  Neurology, here we come.  Oh, and today, got a call from Duke that we are being seen this coming Tuesday!  Was thrilled as that appointment was originally at UNC in January.  Our docs saw Little Guy when we went w/ Alyona.  One worked personally w/ Little Guy's disorder and said let me see if we can't get you in sooner.  Relieved we'll be taking care of all the medical things soon.  Well, this post was short.  Hey, need to sleep some time.  More tomorrow as we are staying home for a change.  House guest doesn't have dance till the evening.  So, we are good to work.  Much to the dismay of my students :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How do you know you're done??

A big question for families in general weather families formed through birth or through adoption.  Everyone seems to want to know the answer once you pass a few kids.  Even more so if you get into bigger numbers of children.  And gee, if you're in the teens with the number of kids you have then they say will you ever stop?  So, are we done yet?  I have asked myself this many, many times before.  And, each time I say without a doubt, we are done.  I realize now, I was not done.  Clearly.  After Max and Irina came home, I practically had a nervous breakdown screaming at another mother telling her she was crazy for telling me I'd come back and do this all over again.  That was one for the books I tell you.  After Yana and Alex came home, I knew for a fact we weren't done as I was already in process for Bojan.  After Bojan though, still had a feeling maybe just one more.  Though, Warren was less than enthusiastic about that one.  LOL.  Then, we brought home Alyona and Nik.  With their high level of needs and multiple unknowns with them and a house clearly not able to hold more(yet), we gave it a rest for a few years.  In August of 2009, we were told of a situation of a baby being born with special needs.  A baby!  But, despite writing a dear birth mother letter and such, it was not meant to be.  Yet, that quick letter I wrote in a day made it clear to us that yes, we were both still open to another child.  And, if one more, why not three more.  We decided on Bulgaria and it was Summer, Reni and Logan that were to come home.

At that point, we were at ten kids.  We were done.  No desire to look on any sites or advocate for situations or anything.  I was done.  Busy with the children I had.  I was still helping other families out once home though. And then that is where Sofie's situation came about.  Doing respite to see if she may be a good fit for our family.  It was a new experience for us.  But boy, the moment she got out of the car, I just knew.  Now today, that little girl will be 5yo soon and is so full of spunk, joy and more sassiness than I care to admit right now.  Truly, she fits with this crazy bunch.  In more ways than one.  At the same time Sofie was here, another little girl was placed with our family who we tried to adopt.  Won't go into detail as it was beyond a heartbreaking time for us.  Still is.  Kids still bring up her name often and miss her.  She was with them on and off for about eleven months.  Her and Sofie were like twins and separating them was gut wrenching.  I will never forget Sofie collapsing to the ground.  I will never forget having three other adults here to deal with grieving children.  I will never forget the overwhelming grief that continue for what seemed like forever.  It still hits.  I miss her.  We all do.  The old pictures of just pure joy on her face is how we remember our short time with her.  It is a risk you take if you step into a respite/ adoption situation.  Hence, not sure if we'd EVER do that again.  Not sure our hearts could take such immense pain again.

This year.  Phew.  Never saw it coming.  Not one single bit.  Again, we were approached with a respite situation for a 13yo.  And due to her age, I will not share her story.  For it is hers to tell.  All that needs to be known is she has fit in here as well and will soon be our daughter forever.  Her, Alyona and Reni are always together.  And very shortly after she arrived, as in about a few days after, we became aware of Little Guy and his desperate need for a family.  How could we not?! 

So, that brings us to now.  And I have said this before but as I get older and have seven teens in this household now, I can safely say, we are complete as a family even if just a baker's dozen.  It is fine with us. It is not the number that matters.  It is how we mesh together as a family unit and how we function.  Quantity doesn't matter to us.  It is making sure we can love all the kids and have time for all.  And I am aware many say you can't possibly love them all.  Not true.  Love tends to be multiplied, not divided.  Would we ever be open to another child if a situation came along?  I can not say we wouldn't be open but can say it is HIGHLY unlikely.  We feel complete.  We have our baby boy now.  And though Sofie flat out refuses to let me call her baby, (she says "I not a bobby NO MORE mom!), she is my baby girl. 

So, now that complete, what then?  Well, for one, sell the house.  Those who are unaware, there is also another reason we want to sell.  We are very much considered getting certified as respite care providers.  Seeing if maybe we can help other families out.  A switching gears type of plan if you will.  We've always adopted.  Even when NOT expecting too!  Over the years though, we have met many, many, many families in crisis.  Many simply need a little break.  Even if just for the weekend.  If we had the right set up, we could provide that.  Right now, our house is not conducive to that idea.  We need a different set up to make it work.  So, that will be our focus.  Well, that and getting all our kids to reach their fullest potential possible. 

That is a little of what we are thinking.  For now, we are done forming our family.  We have been given many, many precious gifts.  The feeling this time is different.  I just think you know when you are finished completing your family.  Can't say for sure as I've said this multiple times before as you know.  I was adament.  However, when a child needs you, you have the ability to parent, how can you say no?  This though is our finished family.  We are forever family like it or not.  LOL.  Those of you starting out adopting, never say never.  Never say you could never do it.  Not true.  This never ever crossed our minds when we got married.  But here we are.  Ready to face the world as a completed family.  Try new adventures.  Experience ups and downs together. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Manic Monday

Busy week ahead for us here at the house.  So, here goes nothing.

  • weekend was gorgeous
  • youth group this week
  • Spanish class/ Civil War class
  • Houseguest has dance/ boys tae kwon do
  • Little guy has neurology appointment
  • 6 of the kids have dental appointments
  • cleaning up the yard some this week
  • house is relisted
  • found some nice houses we like but still wanting to build our own
  • Max and Irina are working all week
  • Little Guy is refusing to nap today
  • kids have been working all day on school work
  • thinking of some field trips for them
  • kids are excited about upcoming camping trip
  • all are thinking of Halloween
  • Digby's cyst on his side is huge.  Vet checked awhile ago but may call her and ask.
  • knock on wood, we're all healthy here
  • Warren's car had a flat this past weekend
  • Warren desperately needs a new car but not in the budget
  • second post for today.  I'm on a roll
  • I've come to realize I'll never be as organized as I wan to be
  • making brownies today
  • not sure what we're having for dinner
  • still waiting to hear on the adoption front 
  • ran out of laser jet ink.  Kids are happy :)
  • Max and I ordered new glasses this weekend
  • Bojan is doing excellent in high school
Much, much more going on.  As usual.  Checking things off our list bit by bit.   List never gets shorter for some reason.  Always growing.  Hopefully, I'll continue to keep up with posts.  I know I have tons of pictures to get to. 

Logan's Birthday -- w/ more on Max

Well, Logan's birthday was back in August.  Yes, I'm a little late on this stuff.  Hey, I think I'll be caught up in time for Nik's and Sofie's.  LOL. 

So, each child gets to choose the kind of cake they want me to make for their birthday.  Logan wanted a dirt cake w/ pudding.  Vanilla dirt cookies.  Umm, not the best.  And, he wanted store bought icing.  More on that one in a minute.  LOL.

Yes, why it is best to eat this confection w/ no clothes on.

Best the candles.

He doesn't look happy here.  The very next picture, huge smile but the candle got in the way so a bunch of it blurred.  Bummed.

Logan, blowing out fourteen candles if you can believe it!

Irina is NOT happy w/ the icing nor was anyone else, including Logan.  They like the homemade icing I make better.  Have a recipe for a butter cream icing and we use it every time.  Logan wanted to try it this time from the jar.  He said he's not doing that again.  LOL.  

We all do a birthday bash.  This year we went to TN.  Was wonderful.  It was part of a gift from a generous man.  Water park, staying in condos and visiting around TN.  Awesome.  This coming year, kids have said they want an amusement park.  Got some in mind.  So, next April, May, June and July will most likely be some travelling months.  April tends to be birthday bash trips, May- cue/ deaf camp, June- summer vacation, and July- a high school reunion.  Would love to go camping in March a little more local so we'll see.  We spoke w/ Max tonight about moving.  If we can not sell, we will be going to most likely set up the RV here for Max to stay temporarily till he can get a place of his own that we'll help him with.  Step by step here.  No jumping the gun.  This way, transitions are easier.  Max is extremely handy and can cook.  But, still a few things that need work.  Think back to when you were in college or on your own and what you wished you had learned first. That's the opportunity we want Max to have.  Hence, if he stays on site in the RV, a good first step to independence.  Live there a couple months, learn, save and then off to an apartment if he'd like.  So, if this scenario happens, then we'll look at a travel trailer.  less on gas and gives us more options for touring new places.  We'll see.  First goal though, is to get our adult children into independence if they desire.  Max is on that path.  He is 19.  I think he'll do awesome.  And, he's smart.  Wants to save up before rushing off.  Max will be getting his license very soon and then we'll be looking into the car situation.  Gasp. 

Logan wants to work.  Being only 14yo, limited at what he can do.  He is already looking forward to turning 15yo b/c he wants a work permit.  He is determined to save up.  And, he has a great work ethic like Max.  Wants to work and when he does, works hard.  Little by little, we'll get there.  Learning as we go as parents.  Hope we don't screw them up too badly.  Hope we can instill that nothing in life is free.  There is no reason to be lazy.  Work for what you want and do a good job.  Leave things better than you found them.  Always.  Be kind.  Love with reckless abandon and follow your heart.  Course, try not to fight with your siblings would be nice but still trying to figure out how to teach that one.