Thursday, May 14, 2015

T minus 1 day till Cheerio!!!

Yes sir!  Tomorrow we leave for Camp Cheerio.  Have a lot to do so this will be super short.  We will be offline till Sunday when I'll come back and tell all that we did.   Pictures too.  Kids have been about jumping out of their skin.  So ready to go and see old friends and make new ones as well.  And what was supposed to be a disastrous weekend weather wise, seems to have turned a positive corner so let's hope so.  It is cued speech camp we are going to.  workshops for the adults and fun activities for the kids.  Not to mention awesome food that we don't have to cook.  LOL.  Our social worker was here till 9 tonight so she got to witness the excitement.  And Alex teasing his sisters and us eating an unorganized late, late dinner.  I am truly ready to go.  We all are.  This is a very fun and relaxing time of year for us.  So, much more to come on Sunday.  For now, going offline a few days to learn and relax.  Camp Cheerio, here we come!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Housewarming Gift

Truly, never expected one.  So what a wonderful surprise to come home to after prosthetic appointments today.  A package. 

I was so excited to see a package for us when we got home today.

Think the kids were just as excited as they tore into it.  They noticed where the package was from.

Aunt Heather and Uncle Kevin gave us all a huge tub of popcorn!  Their favorite.  Very sweet of them to do that for us.  Neat welcoming gift to be sure.  Went to good use.  Still some left too.  LOL.  We plan on having a housewarming party here at some point soon.  Good excuse to get together with some old friends and catch up.  Thanks again Heather. 

Sweet Neighbors

We have some great new neighbors here.  Everyone we've met has been very pleasant.  Even met a few of them at church.  In addition, they all apparently can cook.  Lots of goodies those first few weeks here and now, a cookout in the near future with some folks we met.  It has been great getting to know everyone.  Some have hobbies.  One friend is a beekeeper.  Has hives and makes wonderful honey. 

I have been looking for local honey as I use it for my allergies.  You can't get any more local than on the same street!  How awesome is this?!  And very good honey to boot.  Thank you Ms. Amy!

Really, we do have wonderful neighbors.  They look out for each other.  Our next door neighbor mowed the lawn when our mower was broken.  All take time to talk to our kids and hold in depth conversations with them.  Love it.  One gave them the two scooters the younger kids keep using.  Her kids were grown and off to college.  Made Sofie and Summer's day.  And they ride them all the time.  Many have helped us find local places to go and /or stay away from.  We have really lucked out with the neighborhood we are in.   It is sweet and feeling more and more like home.  Love the house, the neighbors, neighborhood, etc.  Only been here a month and a half but feels like years.  I think that is a very good thing. 

Game Changer for Little Guy

So, I've explained on Facebook some but not on the blog.  Little Guy has had a rough past it appears.  I won't go into details on here.  Suffice it to say, not so great at the orphanage and leave it at that.  One thing is something that triggers a memory.  One of those, is the car seat.  All he has to do is hear our diesel run and he screams and reaches for the door to the house.  Once in the car, it was even worse.  You'd think we were torturing him.  He would kick himself in the head, bang his head, scream till he could barely breath, etc.  It truly was a safety issue.  Not to mention, none of us have wanted to go anywhere for a long, long time.  Well, after trying all sorts of suggestions from therapists, docs, etc.  I turned to Facebook.  A friend suggested a car seat with no harnesses.  I had never heard of such a thing.  It was his trigger for sure.  We all knew it, just didn't know how to fix it.

This seat, this seat right here is the game changer.  Bit the bullet and used part of tax money to buy a new car seat.  This one has no straps.  European design.  I checked with two or three car seat techs and law enforcement to see if this was okay and legal here.  It is.  I was also at first concern the shield (not shown in picture above) would not be enough.  It is plenty.  Covers his entire midsection up to his chest.  No way to thrust forward and shield tight enough, can't fall out.  We received this seat today and drove to church.  It was the FIRST time he did not cry or beat himself up in the car.  He can not kick himself in this seat.  It is tight enough, acts as a weighted blanket.  He can't really bang his head too well.  He is very secure.  I would never recommend this to infants though.  I can see them being way too small.  Plus, there is a size to it.  Weight limitations and such.  He can't unbuckle this seat either.  That black piece is extra cushioning you can remove.  He is so thin and bony, this actually helps him b/c therapists and us also figured out it hurt him to sit in the other car seat as well.  We were at the point, that I have an email I received last week about a design team designing a special seat for him at Duke.  A team of students that tries to fix problems and such.  Unique team one of our people suggested.  Anyhow, this seems to be the solution.  Everyone is at peace.  He can ride with no fear and no pain in this seat.  Worth every penny.  I know it is NOT for everyone.  We researched.  For our situation, it works.  For our son, it means no trauma, no bad memories every time he is in the car.  To us, that is priceless. Again, this is a solution that worked for us.  Won't work for everyone.  The shield in front is what makes the difference.  Need to take a picture of it all put together.  Or, the sense of calm in my son.  That would be the best picture.  No nervous drivers any more risking ALL our lives with the screams coming from him so badly that we couldn't concentrate.  Trying to look back at him and calm him.  Was a safety issue.  This car seat was the game changer.  I can not tell you how incredible we all felt this evening going to church.  I was driving w/out my heart racing worrying about him.  He was calm.  The kids were enjoying themselves again, we all felt more relaxed and I for one finally felt safer.  The car seat we had before was a Britax.  Have one for Sofie as well.  Great seats.  Just for our traumatized son, it did not work.  Wanted to share in case others have issues as well.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Manic Monday

Yes, already Monday again so time to get started on what's happening.  Here goes:

  • Had a great weekend even if just a lot of errand running
  • Did lots of necessity shopping
  • Been raining here
  • Put ten bags of mulch down today, ten to go
  • Kids have been working extra hard on the yard
  • Kids have already found jobs with the neighbors...some of which hate yard work!
  • Kids have already watched pets for neighbors
  • Doing school work this week (on ocean animals for science)
  • Warren had to work Mother's Day
  • Contemplating new (used) car as Max will need one soon too
  • Catch up on blog
  • Youth group
  • Going to Camp Cheerio!!!!
  • RV getting fixed
  • Getting another fridge (awesome deal on yardsale site)
  • Going to library
  • Joining a pool for the summer here
  • Need to order testing tomorrow as got behind due to the move
  • Organizing a few things
  • Need some things to take to camp
  • Umm, we all realized sleeping bags are still in the RV near our old house
  • Making plans for the next three months
  • Air conditioner broke.  Repairman coming tomorrow
  • Need to go to the DMV to renew plates
  • Max and Irina really starting the job hunt
Lots of other things I'm sure I forgot.   Just a ton to get done but little by little getting there.  Can't wait to get away to one of our family's favorite places.  We need this get away.  Well, time to get some other work done.  Figured I'd do a blog post or two every night from here on out. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sprucing Up

When you move into a place, especially when not built by you, you want to make it your own.  So, that is what we have been doing.  We have moved some fixtures around the house and replaced a few items. Some by choice, some (water through the ceiling) not by choice.  We are also taking items from the old house and sprucing them up.  Painting, sanding, etc.  Bringing some life into them and also, protecting from the elements if necessary.  One thing Max did last week was stain the picnic table he built at the old house. 

This is the color stain we are using.

Max working diligently on the staining. This will definitely help protect it from the elements.

Love how Summer is just standing there.  Meanwhile, Houseguest is working hard at staining a chair Max had built.  The chair now also has a big cushion on it from Big Lots.  We can all enjoy the patio.

max really did an excellent job and now is just really an enjoyable place to eat on the patio.  Well, spacing didn't work.  A shot above of Summer and Reni.  Cute.  

I will say this, Max is a fast worker.  Takes things out in no time and replaces in no time.  Even went and caulked the entire bathroom afterwards.  

You can tell you have kids with piles of bath toys in the tub.  Max is very efficient.  

We have done quite a bit of sprucing up since here.  Little things, nothing major.  -Lots of yard work as the yard is huge.  Nice to have the house the way you want it and organized.  Will pay off in the long run once we get back into the amount of activities we had before we moved.  A lot of our sprucing up is simply elbow grease and hard work.  Not so much purchasing.  We are going to paint later this mont though.  The boys are in a rather girlish room as the previous owners had three girls.  So, I promised once settled, we'd paint their rooms.  That is next.  Got to choose a color though.  The hard part.  Well, off to bed so we can spruce up some more tomorrow before heading out.  This coming weekend is Camp Cheerio.  Can't wait!