Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hot Sauce Festival

We live in a town that holds an annual hot sauce festival in NC every year.  It is the 9th year here.  Decided it would be fun to attend.  I suppose we all had some preconceived notions however of what we thought it would be like. 

First stop was a small car show.  Very cool all the old cars they had.  

All sorts of cars and even our neighbor's had a car in the show.  Some people don't even want their cars wet.  Hence, the plastic on the one next to it.

Some of us beside the truck.  Nik's in it!  Summer even got in the big truck.  Oh, Sofie was home sick for this and stayed behind with Max and Logan that day.

Irina and Isabelle and Reni getting ready to go in the teepee.

sisters goofing around.  After this, the teens and us split up.  We took Nate, Nik and Summer w/ us.  We tried hot sauce samples.  Nik and Summer liked those.  One incident where I wasn't paying close attention and Nate grabbed a bottle.  Had ghost peppers in the sauce so as a precaution, wiped him and myself down as per recommended by the people selling the stuff.  Didn't want to land in the hospital.

We met up with them seeing them standing in front of the ice cream stand.  Our guest had bought them all ice cream.  Why?  Well, some of them tried the hottest candy in the world and ended up crying.  Badly.  Till they reached ice cream line.  Got to love that.

Summer enjoying her ice cream of course.

Nik didn't want to share his.  some sibs shared though.

The only bottle we purchased.  Umm, not the cheapest festival to be sure.  Everything was pretty much food for sale.  Some craft stuff but mostly food we saw.  You could surely eat your way through it if you wanted.  Was hard b/c it smelled SO good.  But, we just couldn't eat out at the time and that's alright.  We thought they would have had more activities versus mainly food.  Still, was nice to get out and walk around and the food did smell delicious.

On the way out, we ran into a lady selling cupcakes.  Oh my oh my.  BEST cupcakes ever!  

Was a sweet lady and we talked for quite awhile.  She is opening her own shop in Henderson and the kids and I will most definitely have to go check it out one day.  If ever this way, you must get some.  You wil lnto be disappointed.  And the push up ones are perfect for kids.  She gave this one to Nate as a treat.  

So not what we expected but all of us did enjoy ourselves so that was nice.  Boys still want to enter the pepper eating contest for next year though.  Need to.  They'd win, no doubt.  My boys can eat fire and not flinch.  Crazy.

Friday, September 18, 2015


Today is Friday.  What is left of it.  Busier than I thought it would be.  IRina had a doc appointment this morning.  Follow up.  She lost two pounds so far so that is a good start.  Referral for an ENT b/c she has superglue still stuck to her ear drum.  They'll call me I was told.  Okay then.  Came home and we had 2 therapists here.  Lunch and then I sent Max to Walmart with Reni to do some minor errands including getting training wheels for Sofie's bike.  She is SO happy to try to ride her bike.  But since her legs and arms don't quite work right, it's hard.  Asking her PT next week to help with bike riding I do believe.  I picked Bojan up from school.  He's still loving it at Oxford Prep.  Logan had been working in the yard pretty much all day except when he had his spelling test, reading, journal, etc. to do.  He loves yard work and hey, makes our yard look awesome too.  Reni, Isabelle and Irina made stroganoff for dinner.  Friends stopped by b/c they were house hunting in the area.  They dropped off a box of Halloween costumes and kids got straight to trying them on.  Thanks to them, we have even less costumes to make now!  Watched a movie and just chilled out this evening.  We know tomorrow is busy.  Miracle League baseball and then going to work on our old house again.  More to update tomorrow. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Nate's Swallow Study

Two words:  Epic Fail.  Today, we had Nate's swallow study at Duke.  Now, this is a first for us but had asked before how it would go.  As soon as I walked into the radiology room, my heart sank.  I knew when I saw where they wanted to put him that this was not going to work.  But, put my game face on knowing these people do this every day and know every sort of kid trick known to man.  What they don't know however, is PTSD.  See, you have to put him in this chair and strap him in.  And there would be mistake #1.  Told them about his history and how he has SEVERE PTSD.  They seemed to nod in agreement.  But he only has to take one bite.  Umm, yes, but he has to sit still.  So, put him in again after I'd gotten him calmed down.  Sure enough, the head banging starts and I didn't bring his helmet.  The self- harm and slapping starts.  One lady gives him a spoon full of pudding as he's screaming thinking he's going to swallow that stuff.  In that state, he will not swallow that I said.  He said he has to eventually.  Said nope, he's going to spit it out.  Sure enough.  Warren btw was parking the car and followed the screams in the hallway.  You know, behind all those steel doors.  No lie.  They tried putting a pillow so if he banged his head it wouldn't hurt so much.  I'm guessing at that logic you know.  I know their intentions were well meant and they thought this test important.  However we got nowhere fast and had a serious meltdown to contend w/ as he's trying to claw me to get out of that seat.  Couldn't take it any more and took him out for good.  This was not a bad team by any means. I just don't think they've ever had a severe PTSD patient like Nate.  Despite me explaining it more than once.  If you are in the adoption world, please explain this to your docs.  So, took a pudding covered kid away from the fear of being strapped in.  See, they strapped him in a chair in Bulgaria to preform electroshock therapy on him b/c they thought it would help him walk.  The child is now terrified of being strapped in.  Car rides are horrifying.  So, plan is for a clinical evaluation where they see how he's eating there.  I said that may not work either b/c it's a new environment.  But, may give that one a shot. I think the best bet is to video tape him here and give it to them.  He can not be put through mroe trauma than he has to.  Bottom line.  Some things are just not worth it.  This was not a life/ death test.  I should have taken him out for good after that first reaction but I didn't.  Was trusting a team of professionals and I should have trusted my gut instinct instead.  Again, not bad team of people, just not as schooled in PTSD as what I am.  I've had more than one child w/ PTSD.  Though Nate's is not officially dx'd it has been thoroughly documented and discussed amongst all his doctors.  Plus, asked my other son's therapist today if she would even take a non-verbal child this young to see someone.  She agrees w/ me...mute point at this juncture.  Mean time, we have to make this world for Nate a 'safe' place to fall.  And some days, that means making hard calls just like today. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sneak Peak & Question

So, Halloween is sneaking up on us next month!  We have decided to go forth with our annual family camping trip despite many setbacks with the old house.  First, the trip was prepaid last year when I reserved the spot and second, RV has a full tank of gas from summer trip.  Lastly, we all deserve a break after working so very hard on the old house cleaning up other people's messes.  I'm proud of the kids and though this isn't one of our big trips, they love it, we love it and we all need a getaway from it all.  Remember, last year I scrambled at the campgrounds to find a costume for Sofie and she ended up winning the contest in her age group.  Want to be more prepared this year.  So, trying to think of some things/ ideas now for costumes.

A friend of the girls helped Sofie put on her costume.

They came outside to show their brothers her costume.

Sofie looking at her feet.

I just think she's adorable!  That being said, we have many, many more costumes to go.  OY!  Nik wants to be a bee.  Ironic as he got stung today.  Need some great bee idea costumes if you have them.  And of course, other ideas.  Reni wants to be Catniss from the Hunger Games movie.  Rest of them, no idea.  I'm going to make Summer into a campfire I think.  Nate has a lion costume and we may just use that b/c let's face it, I won't really be able to make him much of anything.  He won't put it on.  Need to get creative.  Have ideas, please shoot them my way.  Would love to hear them. 

Blessings, bumps and braids

Trying to play a bit more catch up today.  We had a light school day but still found time to make play dough and papyrus as we're studying Egypt.  Tomorrow, we go to story time at the local library and older kids do research if need be.  Mostly though, they check out books to read and have actually been reading them.  Bonus.  We also get DVD's to check out.  Tomorrow night, Max & Irina will be helping with church supper.  Rest of us will go later to AWANAS.  Older kids help out with that while younger ones attend.  So, busy tomorrow but it will all get done.  School, that is.  Well, more going on but that's a little bit for now. 

We are blessed by such great neighbors.  They are nice, don't complain about the kids (hey, that's a biggie you know), say hello, and sometimes, bring us yummy goodies. This neighbor brought us by far the BEST grape jelly we have ever tasted.  EVER!  This lady needs to sell this stuff.  Don't know how she does it but I need a recipe for sure.

Big bird has a big bump.  Hard to see in the picture.  I have a 20 year old son who drives my van.  Sad part is, this one didn't even leave the drive way when he did this!  He moved my van and hit my friend's car.  Normally, I would not call him out but this one made me mad.  Why?  Because he didn't need to move the van at all!!!

So, if I sit in the chair and type here, Reni does my hair in different styles.

Notice the green?  Yes, that's from our water.  Working on the problem.

And another one courtesy of Reni.  Is nice though having my own personal stylists here.  Got to love the messy desk as I work.  Speaking of which, I need to get back to.  Going to try to do a few posts a night. 

Flour Power Time....again

Nate has gotten to the extreme toddler stage.  All eyes must be on him 24/7.  Or, there is trouble.  The other night was no exception.  Mind you, there were like ten people in the same room until someone thought to say "where's Nate.  He's quiet."  The dreaded words of "he's quiet."  Everyone knows that is NOT a good thing.  Ever!

Just as I discovered the crime.  Notice the size of the bucket we keep our flour in.  This was not a little flour.

He decided an accomplist was in order.

She wasted no time helping him get to work.

The digging method is faster.

What's this?!  A third one to join in.  Yep.

The warden, ahem, Reni, does not seem pleased about the disorder.  I told her not to worry, we have to sweep it all up anyhow, why not have some fun.

How he made a ball out of flour, I'm not quite sure.

Back to work.  

Poor kid was covered but had so much fun.  Sensory play is what we called this mess.

Not sure which kid had the most fun really.  And, flour cleans up way easier than a lot of other spills we've had.  And this is why you don't leave a toddler unattended.  Even if in the same room. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Manic Monday

11:11 at night and just now writing this.  Oh well.  Trying to keep up.  Here goes this week:

  • Had a great weekend
  • Girls had a friend over the entire weekend
  • Went to the hot sauce contest festival
  • Kids tried the hottest candy in the world
  • Summer and Nik tried hot sauces
  • Nik is reading a lot more words
  • School is progressing
  • Bojan found a community service project to do
  • Nate  is trying a new med tonight.  Backfiring badly and keeping him up worse
  • Busy week this week
  • Kids worked on the yard today
  • Made mammogram appointment for me
  • Kids have all sorts of therapy this week
  • Early release for Bojan tomorrow
  • AWANAS this week
  • Older kids volunteering to help w/ church supper Wednesday
  • Story time this week
  • Nate's swallow study
  • Irina has a job interview at a retirement home
  • Been doing pinterest projects here and there
  • Working on the house this weekend
  • Caught our first mouse here last night
  • Old fridge hooked back up
  • Still loving our new dryer
  • Looking for winter coats for some of the kids
  • Tons of paper work to do
  • Setting up a PPR for Nate
  • So many projects not done but getting there
  • Starting a huge database for adoption resources
Much, much more going on but focusing on getting our old house up to par this week as it is the last weekend we can work on it.  So even more busier this weekend.  Can't believe we are mid-way through September.  Time is flying and I"m getting further behind but determined to catch up.