A Dozen Good Eggs

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

BIG NEWS!

Jaeger has had some trouble in the past with taking things that dont belong to him. he also has problems sharing things that DO belong to him (or all of us). anyways some money was missing and everyone thought he took it. except HE DIDNT TAKE IT! he showed us where it was. he KNEW it was there, he KNEW it wasnt his, and HE DIDNT TAKE IT! This is huge! seriously! I told him that he isnt supposed to go in brother's room BUT I am very proud of him for making the right decision to not take the money. later I was talking to Maia about when I was pregnant with her and I said to Ben that even though I didnt grow him in my belly he is very important and I love him very much, and Jaeger wanted to be assured that he too is very important and loved. I assured him. he is really improving in a lot of areas. now if I could just convince three boys not to go straight to attack when someone does something they dont like. constant beatings lately. and Andre got a finger pinched in a door and then the other kid was mad when Andre was hitting him and screaming. he was hurting and didnt have the right words(not to mention he tends to scream when he is hurt not talk). boys.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

today dentist for three and one along for the ride because he is so anxious about his own dentist appt next week. want him to see maia and ethan come out with smiles. he tends to go into hysterics about these things. I suppose I could take them all but I dont want to drive the monster and it takes at least a half hour to get everyone loaded in that thing. and then we would just clog up the waiting room. and besides I like taking just some kids sometimes. gives them time away from each other. they live together eat together go to school together(remember I have 4 in one grade and 3 in another so they see each other a lot at school) gives everyone a break. and I wont be home until after dark I do NOT want to drive that monster home in the dark. I like driving the monster in the day though. Eric calls it the estrogenmobile or the rolling ovary. jerk. lol.

Yesterday was a pretty decent day. today has not started out as well. but I guess you cant please everyone.

I made mac and cheese home made in my new roaster and I followed the directions exactly EXCEPT I didnt cook it as long as they said and STILL it was burned around the edges. and kind of dried out. anyone have a recipe for home made mac and cheese for a crowd? Today I think its potato soup. leftover potatos from christmas and chicken broth from the christmas chicken.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas day 2010

Christmas Day

We made it through gifts with a minimum of complaint. Everyone seemed happy and contented with their gifts even though it was less than in previous years for some, and a first for others. But peaceful enough for me to hope that all will be ok with them. Currently the kids are all paired off playing with each other most peacefully, except Sophie who seems to want constant validation for every move she makes. Jaeger and Andre and Ben are playing, Diana and Natasha are downstairs dressed in new clothes. An unlikely duo is Maia and Ethan playing Polly Pockets together. I think sometimes Maia really loves having sisters but misses playing with Ethan. She has never known a time without him they came home so close together. Maia was a mere 8 weeks old when we went to Russia for Ethan. For many years they were best best friends until Sophie and Ben came and Ethan went off to school without her. So I am happy to see the two of them playing alone together. Jaeger just told me that Ben was bleeding and we found Ben in a puddle of blood and dripping out his mouth but not crying and not sure where the wound was. I guess he bit his cheek but I gave him some water and all was better.

As I thanked Jaeger for letting me know about Ben his smile, the real boy, melted my heart. He does that now and again. He has made such great strides since coming home. He was defiant and downright naughty. He stole from us. He hoarded things in his bed and refused to share. We were firm but continued to love him. And of late it seems the conflict with Jaeger is much less. Yes he still pouts now and again but he IS nine. It just isn’t constant whining and pouting over everything. In fact the only time he showed any disappointment this morning was when he realized that there weren’t any batteries for his new toy. Even than was a short lived frown. If I had realized they didn’t have batteries I would have bought them for them. The other night he gave me all his photos of his birth family. Just said here Mama for you. These previously were held in high esteem and no one had better touch them . It seems as though he thought he was waiting for his birth family to come and get him and realises now that we are his family and that the other brothers were not coming for him. I put the photos away as someday he may want to have them. But for now he wants to let that go and work on being an Enberg. I am very happy with his progress lately. He never misses a chance for a hug and never lets me out of the room at night without giving and getting a kiss goodnight. The fistfights are lessening as well. He is really becoming the beautiful boy we knew he could be. He is helpful and likes to help of his own accord(not so much when asked lol) he is sweet with Sophie and helps her eat. All the kids like to help her eat. I want her to feed herself as she IS capable but its so hard to discourage their helpfulness and kindness to her.

I always read other people’s blogs and hear how sweet and loving their kids are. And I see the Duggars with all those kids being kind to one another(probably killing each other off camera. I always think why are MY kids not like that. Why are my kids not loving and kind to one another? Why are they always fighting? I am beginning to see that while other people’s children are sweetness and light they can not ALWAYS be sweetness and light, sometimes they must cry or whine or whack a sib. I am also beginning to see that while mine often whack a sib, often cry, whine and carry on, they DO sometimes act kind and sweet. They DO sometimes do things like show concern for a bleeding sibling, feed Sophie or help her with something she can’t do, play nice together, enjoy life. I begin to notice that they always want to be near Mama. They bring me drawings and give me little gifts of things that were intended for them. And they are insistent that I take them that they truly want me to have their treasured item. So yes my kids are a little rough around the edges, but they are very kind and loving and sweet too. I bet those other blogs just tell the good parts and leave out the barroom brawl that happened because someone took the wrong colored cup at dinner. I am more of a realist. This is what happened, so this is what I write. Good or bad. And my kids are good…..and bad. And I sure do love them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gearing up!

getting ready for the big pout!(aka Christmas) There is no way on this green earth that I can make everyone happy. I tried. but I know that someone is going to pout. I dont yet know which one. but someone is going to pout. the wrong color, the wrong style, someone else got more, why didnt I get____? and I have to go to the store still for dinner supplies and my car needs repair and there is a layer of ice over everything. I wanted to go out today and get a few more things as I have nothing for my husband. I guess I will just wrap a big bow around me and I am all he gets. maybe saran wrap like in fried green tomatoes lol. it really sucks living so far from everything. and the kids need gifts for school tomorrow. since when did school become a gift giving occasion? I find it rather annoying that I am constantly asked to supply money for food, supply snack food, and buy things. so I have to come up with 7 under 3 dollar gifts for school tomorrow. and yes I knew last week but I havent BEEN anywhere that I could get them! I live in a rural community. no target here. no kmart. no walmart. Then again what kid wouldnt want a bag of candy, the grocery store has candy. I am sure I will screw that up too. It seems I can never do right of late. someone is always mad at me or sulking or refusing to eat what I cook. one sulks and takes it out on the others, never direcing her anger to me. one will out and out ask why didnt you do this or that like I wanted? one will stomp off to his room and slam the door. one will cry like a baby as if he has been terribly wronged. so yes I am preparing for Christmas, the sulkiest day of the year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

adventures from Philly

sitting in Temple University Hospital Pharmacy with a grumpy still somewhat dopey Sophie waiting a good half an hour for meds. A very large woman of color came in. She sat down in Sophie's line of site. Being the social butterfly she is Sophie says "hi". the lady smiled and said hi. usually "I'm Sophie" follows hi. but not this time. did she notice the woman's skin? we dont have a lot of variety in Isle. I try to teach the kids that people are the same inside, and people with brown skin are just like they are except they have brown skin. they have feelings and bones and families and in every aspect they are people like you. not everyone has brown eyes or blue eyes, and not everyone has pink skin. as I prepare myself to talk to her with all eyes on me when she says something about the woman's skin tone, she instead said "you sure have a big tummy!" the lady just said yeah. then Sophie went on to ask "why you have a big tummy?" I chastised her at that. gently but firmly told her that isnt nice. people dont like to talk about that. her response? "I didnt say that!" lol thanks pain meds. my kid is talkin out her ear with no clue what she says.

On the way home I am sure that everyone was thinking oh man those kids are on MY flight? sophie was screaming and crying at Ben. his crime? his toes touched her toes. Both their feet are extremely turned out right now, presumably to get a bit of OVERcorrection to allow for a bit of relapse and still be in a normal position when done. so he coudlnt help it when his toes were touching hers. back up awhile from the toes and she kept putting her head in bens face and her staticky hair would go up his nose and he didnt like that. she absolutely downright REFUSED to move. I moved her and she fought me on it. I was about to take her out and put her on the floor. anyways the moral of the story is DONT TOUCH SOPHIE, but be prepared because she can touch you all she wants. lol

the only real travel experience Sophie and Ben have had revolves around doctors. so we are happily settled in our seats flying home to Minneapolis. Except now they just announced we will be turning around and returning to Philly. I told the kids we were going back to Philly. the airport in minneapolis was closed. the only option is to go back. Ben is a go with the flow kind of guy. but Sophie was panicked. back to philly? back to the doctor? I had a heck of a time convincing her that there would be NO DOCTOR. I finally was able to get her to understand when I told her that it was saturday and doctors dont work on saturdays. I was waiting for her to realise that her own DR Daddy works on saturdays all the time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

on a plane

and the lady is giving the speech about how a mask will fall and oxygen will flow. meanwhile Ben is giving birth to a beaver. yes. I am certain that isnt something she sees every day. I thought she would crack up laughing but only smiled.

we are in the plane, right now, on the way to minneapolis. free wifi. and guess what they just announced? we are turning back to philly. we cant go on to minneapolis. the flight after us is cancelled so I guess I dont know what will happen or where we will be or for how long. Becky Ill be calling when I know something! we might get the chance to have that party afterall!

Friday, December 10, 2010

this is for becky

you guys SO rock! SO SO SO HAPPY TO KNWO YOU!! if you find yourself in MN my door is always open(and my phone too!)in fact if you find yourself in MN you BETTER find yourself on my doorstep! and did you know I very nearly named my daughter becky 14 years ago?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

another trip to philly!!

I am bored. I am at Camden Ronald McDonald House. The internet doesn’t seem to work. The clock says its 68:88 and nothing I can do changes it. We have surgery 6am. I have to call a cab to leave here at 5am to get there in time. We were downstairs where the people are but Sophie wanted to go to the bathroom and had a belly ache. Seems to have recovered and is playing with Ben. I had a great visit with my friends Becky and Sammi. Sweet Sammi sewed a little special present for each of the kids. And then brought us treats because they wouldn’t see us again before Christmas. Sami is a skater and a budding actress! And cute as a button too. Thanks Becky and Sammi we really look forward to seeing you when we come to town. Becky I love our chats. We never seem to lack for something to talk about do we?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

today was a better day

He was in a better mood today but still had a bit of trouble getting along. He is a different kid when his dad is here. Eric was on call yesterday. Today he was home all day and walked up to the store with a couple kids to buy milk. We spent the day online looking at stuff and talking about stuff. the kids watched dudley doright....twice. We had breakfast for dinner.

the girls have been telling me stories about their previous lives. Andre, not to be left out tells me stories of his except I am pretty sure they are made up. the girls tell me how they got this scar or that scar. Andre told me his grandfather came to visit him and he gave him a hug when Andre told him he was going to America. we were told no one ever visited him. The other kids confirmed that no one visited him. he is 7 now and has been in care for many years. knowing he has been there long, and hearing the tales the others tell me of time with their birth families, I am constantly amazed that they are the way they are. hats off to pryluky detsky dom because they must be doing SOMETHING right for these kids to be this well off emotionally. I dont think any kid should be in a detsky dom but if you gotta be in one I think the Mamas really care about the kids at pryluky. While I may not agree with everythign they do there, our kids seem to have come out ok.

tomorrow I have to take Jaeger to dentist and Chrysta to orthodontist. I hope they arent going to pull more of Jae's teeth tomorrow. he cries when they do that and I feel so bad putting him through it. but this SHOULD be the last visit for all this work then it will be maintenence. I think I will stop at barnes and noble and buy a date book when I am out. I need one for the new year. I have a lot of appointments to keep track of!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

drained,

my energy is drained. sapped. gone. the hatred spewed from the mouth of an 8 year old child every single day of my life has completely exhausted me. The mean and nastiness of this child doesnt wane. The constant power struggle. every single interaction is a downward spiral. the other kids look at him as if he is nuts. he can not do ANYTHING I ask, or tell. he cant even play outside for half hour. if he DOES play out he is just out there destroying something. this kid is hell on wheels. he is medicated. it isnt enough. I took him to counseling and was told to medicate him for adhd. I did. it doesnt help. and at school he has very few problems. once or twice this year he has gotten into a little trouble but not enough to get a note home or a call. why is he an angel at school and a real jerk at home? life here is so unpleasant that I am ready to run away with the circus. the circus probably would be more normal than this life is with this particular little monster. Currently he is standing outside the window screaming at me that he wants to come in. he is fully dressed for winter, snow pants hat mittens boots jacket and has been out in above zero weather for less than half hour. and I am the bad guy for making him play. WHY? he says when I say go play. is that not the child's job? to play? he threw things at the window to show his displeasure with being outside. he pounded on the window, even though his dad gave him what for last time he did that. he doesnt get the message. he is angry and loud and mean and I dont very much like him at the moment. It doesnt help much that my husband works every weekend and every day until late. so there isnt much in the way of help. I tried going out for a bit yesterday and returned to find that the boys had been quite rotton and Chrysta had the scars to prove it. Sometimes I feel bad that I ruined my other child's life bringing this one home. he doesnt sleep. he creeps about eating candy and whatever he can find and generally making messes. he wakes the other boys. this wakes ME. so I dont sleep either. this makes everything worse. even on medication he is up every night. I dont know what else to do with this kid. everything else is magnified x10 when I have to deal with this shit all the time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

wow!

santa showed up at my house today! he was dressed as the FedEx guy but I know it was Santa because he brought me a NESCO PROFESSIONAQL 18 QT Roaster Oven! yay! I will try it out tomorrow! Thanks Santa!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

update on school thing

both teachers called me. yes both girls are functioning well above their kindergarten counterparts. there is possibility to move both of them up a grade but in the mean time they will beef up their lessons a bit to challenge them a bit more. I also found out that Andre is functioning well below is class. his speech is hard to understand(duhh!) and while the teacher keeps asking for evaluation they keep refusing. so I told her to ask again that it was coming from me. I completely agree he needs to be evaluated. I cant believe they didnt do it sooner. their excuse is well the language is a problem. get an interp! it isnt like we dont have anyone in this community to who speaks the language! there are 2 that I know of for sure. one translated for Sophie and Ben when they came home. why they would pay for preschool evaluation but not elementary translation.not when its really crucial and they are already a failing school? makes zero sense. but then this is a public institution since when does it have to make sense?

frustrations with the school

The majority of the population coming into kindergarten have no academic reference or background and if they can write their name thats an accomplishment. but some kids, like mine, have had years of preschool, mom school, are very smart, and are well ahead of those other kids. the problem comes in that the curriculum bar is set SO low that my kids are bored. I remember that feeling. they dont even want to go to school now. its boring. I was an avid reader and I remember my frustration having to listen to struggling readers. it was almost painful! now imagine sitting and tracing basic numbers when you can do real math! you can add and subtract and write the answer. in fact you are getting so good at it you can do it in your head sometimes. can you imagine how difficult and boring it would be to sit and trace a number you already know how to write?

For my boys they are at that level of just learning to hold the pencil and write numbers and letters but neither has been in the country more than a year and one has physical disabilities making writing difficult for him, not to mention cognitive delays. for them this curriculum works just fine. but its sad that they snuff out the drive and love of learning in the kids who are above that level by not giving them appropriate work to do.

I called the school about it. dean of students is out. today and tomorrow. apparently it wasnt enough to have 9 days off. he needed two more. rather self centered of me I know. but it is so hard to talk to anyone there. if you call in the morning there are meetings or people arent in. if you call after school when the kids get home with info everyone is gone. if you call in the day they are either in class or in meetings. so how can I even get them doing work that is challenging? I cant. the teachers may or may not call me back if I leave a message. I really rather despise that I have to deal with them at all. but this is how ps works. I wish I could just take my brilliant learners home. The girls worked nearly through an entire workbook this week. they used to like school. used to be excited to go. now not so much. can you blame them?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my ten wonderful beautiful children. 2 came from a former life and I am thankful for that life because of all that I learned and because it brought me to where I am now. We made one, who is still joined to my heart like no other. then came a Russian who tests me regularly to help me learn to be a better person. After that two wee Ukrainians joined our family. those two have shown us the true meaning of love and courage and being yourself no matter what. four more special Ukrainians came into our family this year and every day with them is Christmas for me. beautiful bright happy children, all of them. I am thankful for them every day but today is a day of thanks so I wanted to publicly declare my love for them and all that they bring into our lives. For them we are truly thankful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

something is heavy

heavy on my heart of late. I cant see how to deal with it. the way I would like to deal just doesnt seem like an option. The other way to deal leaves me breathless and panicked. I cant really say here what is on my mind but a few of you know precisely what I mean. I just cant find a way to make rights with it. Just keep waiting I suppose and one way or another it will be resolved. For it to be resolved in the way I would want remains to be seen and I cant wrap my head around it either way. I cant explain it it just IS.

Monday, November 22, 2010

life is crazy

I actually had a post in mind as well as a title but I got distracted brushing the dog with Natasha and now I have no idea what it was. the children are all fine.

Sophie and Ben got red and green striped casts. his is red with green stripes hers are green with red stripes. Ben has been walking like crazy in his. Sophie has been working on getting to standing in hers. We are hoping to get them a tenotomy next time or the time after. still no date for Sophie's osteotomy. but we did meet Laelia who was doing pretty well after hers so we have a little bit of an idea what to look forward to. we are learning that people in a wheelchair have a very difficult time to use a bathrooom. many times our stroller will not fit in the handicapped stall and still have room to lift and move the kids. there are not very many large companion care or handicapped accessible bathrooms that are not connected to the main bathroom. we found philly has many companion care bathrooms but they are quite small and never have papertowel and in one case the smell of cigarettes was so bad the kids even commented on it. In minneapolis we found what we thought was the perfect bathroom, only to discover that we couldnt get in the door! no matter which way I turned or tried there was no getting that stroller in the dooor. if I cant get a stroller in there ( a stroller designed to go through any 36 inch door way) would a wheelchair be able to get in there? I was exhausted and the kids and I needed to use the bathroom and I was nearly reduced to tears. I can only imagine what it feels like in a wheelchair to be excluded again and again.

When we returned from Philadelphia Eric brought everyone and the new baby down to the airport to meet us. we jumped in and went to the science museum. the kids had fun there but Jaeger was afraid of virtually EVERYTHING. Diana was mad because she wanted to see king tut and he wasnt there. Maia was just happy to have her mama back with her and went to sleep in my lap during the omni movie. She has been sleeping through movies in my lap for a long time. Andre kept asking Why museum? why movie?? why this mama? why that mama? talked through the whole movie. Jaeger and Natasha were sitting next to each other and fought for the arm rest through the movie. Then all the way home they fussed about the seating arrangements. a pretty typical day with them.

One child of mine has been recalling memories of their first family. they are very unpleasant memories. so much so that you wonder if they could possibly be true. I fully believe that the horrors described truly happened and look on in wonder that this child could be so well adjusted.

Another child of mine continues to take things, including money from me. Yet another child can not be more than 2 feet away from me or Eric. they cling constantly. like an affection black hole. take and take and take never getting enough. we give and give and give but sometimes it would be nice to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING, without little hands grabbing or nonstop talk and question asking.

The other night Eric made Saurbrauten and it was NOT a hit. many blechs were heard. except one poor chid made the mistake of saying to Daddy. he was a bit hurt and mad. That child sulked through most of the rest of the meal.

Last night we had spaghetti and squash and chicken patties for dinner. two kids apparently dont eat spaghetti OR squash so they were awful hungry when it came time for ice cream sandwhiches. I generally make what I make and they have the choice to eat it or not. but if you dont eat the meal you dont get treats afterwards. so several kids went without ice cream last night.

we had a blast playing monster in the dark basement. we turn out all the lights and try to catch each other. no flashlights. no lights. just pitch black. they all love this game. Cody started it and it has taken off since then to include more kids and now me to. When Cody and Chrysta were small we used to play this.
all in all I guess things are going fairly well. we do really adore the new kids even if they can be exhausting. and we adore the old kids with all their problems as well. generally life is good, crazy, but good.

Friday, November 19, 2010

done for the day

new casts sophie and ben. one got green with red stripes and one got red with green stripes. they saw a little guy named Ryan last night and he had those colors and so they decided to get them too. Sophie really wanted purple but they didnt have enough purple and When Ben went with christmas colors she did too. we only waited a half hour for cab and now are back at rmh. kids are so tired but refuse to sleep. tomorrow is another big day, early day. we saw Tracey Schalk at shriners as well as a family from IRELAND and another family from Ohio. we are looking at tenotomies soon. next appt or the one after. still no date for sophie's osteotomies. I laughingly asked if they might have a date when they would have a date. I need a nap. if they arent going to sleep then I guess they will be tired. I am going to take a nap

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

our precious new baby

I know we didnt mention getting a new baby. but you know, these things happen. we decided it was probably time. and thankfully one practically fell into our lives. yes. its true. we have a new member of the family. Everyone is extremely excited about it. So excited that last night I took SIX kids with me to the store just to buy milk. I dont usually do that. but they were so thrilled I couldnt leave them at home. We havent named our new addition yet. but I imagine in time as we get to know her better we will come up with just the right name. The place she was before took good care of her so she is very pretty inside and out. Hey, mom be prepared next time we visit as we will DEFINITELY be bringing our new baby with us. I thought everyone would want to see a photo. so without further ado.....our new baby......
(you might have to scroll a bit)

almost there


not yet


soon!


here she is!






Sunday, November 14, 2010

snow!

kids are out having a great time. they come in and change mittens and go back out again. there was a bit of trouble while they learned to SHARE the sleds. I will probably buy them some more sleds at christmas but for now it wont kill them to learn to share. they were coming in every 30 seconds and I said work it out. figure out how to share and take turns. and I told them not to let Jaeger bully them into giving up their turn and all has been quiet since. Jaeger didnt want to go out. ohhh ow ow ow. paaaain. I zipped his coat and plopped his hat on his head and closed the door behind him. before I could get to the table(which is right behind the door and the door can hit it its so close) he was already running and sliding and playing. he would prefer to sit in front of the tv all day. I am finding that keeping the radio on all day helps all of us to not turn on the tv. and I get to listen to music too, thats a bonus. I usually only hear music in movies or the car. Even the dogs are loving being out in the snow. they chase the kids and the kids chase them. lots of fun going on. Sophie and Ben of course cant go out there so they have each other and play inside. It is melting off the road but not as fast in the yard. I suspect it wont last too long but I could be wrong. (I hope Im not wrong!)

We have to go to Philly again this week. Thursday fly out Saturday return. the kids usually do really well on the plane. This last time even Sophie was a dream girl on the way home. She is getting used to this. the first time she was awful on the way home. she had a virus and was sick on top of being uncomfortable and stuck in a cast that she didnt like or want. refused to sleep and was just surly and angry. the second time was better and the third time(this last time) was the best yet. I expect that this trip will be probably similar maybe better. it helped that she and ben were able to sit together and entertain each other. hope our flights this time have us all togehter again. its a pain to have to try and rearrange seating. then you get some grumpy lady who doesnt want to trade seats and you have to fight back a little. I am not leaving my kid who cant feed herself with a stranger. I am not leaving my kid who has new casts and just wants his mama to sit with a stranger. if they were typical kids I wouldnt worry about it as much. but I AM the mom and it IS MY JOB to take care of them. leaving them to strangers on a flight to care for their needs is not something I care to do.

Eric is on call this weekend. Chrysta had her birthday dinner last night. Diana is looking forward to her dinner this week. A couple more weeks and it will be Jaeger and then Sophie's birthday. and then Christmas! what do you buy for kids who have no sense of responsibility for anything? some are better than others. I am thinking mittens sleds snow shapers helmets bathrobes. things they need and I would buy anyways.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I get so mad sometimes!

all the muslim bashing going on. wasnt this country built on freedom? isnt their speech as free as ours? are they not as free as we to choose their religion? where do you draw the line? I am not saying dont have an opinion. I am not saying there are not muslims who really are problematic. or even a pain in the ass. but what I am saying is you can not put all muslims in the same basket unless you intend to put all christians in the same basket. all disabled people in the same basket. all women. all men. all presbyterians. all agnostics. all people of color. all people hispanic. all people with blue eyes. all people with green eyes. you can see how ridiculous it becomes. Not everyone who believes in the Muslim faith is bad. Just as not everyone who believes themselves to be of the Christian faith are not good. not everyone with a physical disability has a mental disability and not everyone with a mental disability has a physical disability. you just cant treat everyone exactly the same. and it isnt fair to anyone when we start generalising that "all muslims must go" I might be inclined to chant "all christians must go" as there are plenty of those who do no good. so next time you want to complain about the muslims dont feel you cant, but at least have the decency to say "the bastards who kill our soldiers every day" or those who wage war on our country or SOMETHING to differentiate. not all christians are good. and not all muslims are bad.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A new day

the sun is shining. the dishes are waiting. the cheerios are on the floor until the dogs get out of their crates to clean them up.

Ethan was going around having people write their names. he thinks this is a fun game. Sophie wanted to do it and he said no. you cant write your name and I dont want scribbles on here. I made him let her write her name and she sure fixed him when she wrote her name. We do not tell her she cant do things. we tell her she can and she just has to try harder if it isnt working out. fast forward to today someone gave her a pen at breakfast and she drew four little people on a note card. people with arms and legs and faces and hair and round little heads and even rosy cheeks on one!

Andre is upset with me that he didnt get a car for his birthday(two months ago!!) he got a puzzle and ball and glove. this mentality that you will get whatever you want has to go! how bout thanks mom for a present of my own on my birthday? after listening to him for about 5 minutes why why why why you no buy me car why I no get car why me birthday no car I finally said ok andre, go play. and went on to do other things that didnt lend myself to listening to his complaints.

Ethan did really well for the last week or so but he is back to being a poop. snarky and nasty to everyone. and up in the night despite sleeping medication.

Eric went to conferences and found that our kids are doing very well. with the exception of Ben but that was no surprise. Ben is a darling but he is a little slow academically. the others are all doing well. Natasha and Jaeger are doing REALLY well at math. reading is a little harder but as to be expected. Maia of course is brilliant as always. Cody and Chrysta need to work on study skills for tests.

Friday, November 5, 2010

this sucks

the kids are fine. if a little whiny but Sophie is way better than the first cast. the kids have been troopers but meanwhile mama is losing it. at home things are not going so well without me. and we were an hour late to our appointment because our cab never came. then after our appt we called a cab and waited. and waited. and waited. and watched people leave. and then they locked the doors. and then the desk attendant left. and then we waited. and then security came and said call them back again(nigh on two hours wait at this point) so security guy called them.waited some more nice nurse lady said you guys have been waiting a long time! I bet you are hungry and came back with treats. waited some more. finally another security guy caught a cab on the street on the way to another call. he said he would take us. then tried to drive away while my door was still open. then when we got to rmh he tried again to drive away with the door open. nice indian fellow with 0 common sense. kids fed and asleep finally. I have a pink eye thing going on. I am sick with some crud that came on yesterday. my chest hurts from coughing. Sophie screamed bloody murder today at Van Bosse's office. my head hurts. and I dont know if a cab will even come for us tomorrow so we can get to the airport. this has not been a good day. but there is a bathtub in this room so I think I will use it and try to make my head hurt a little less. and tomorrow my husband is going deer hunting so when I finally get home after driving from the cities I am sure the kids will be crabby and the house a mess. so much to look forward to.

last night was therapy dog night

here at Ronald McDonald house. We met Stella and Brutus. and their humans. The kids got a kick out of the dogs, especially stella as she was a GIANT! and mellow as can be. they had MORE fun with the big stuffed dog they found and then they found a LIFE SIZED stuffed COW!!! they were all over that thing. Sophie was climbing all over it as fast as Ben. here are some pictures of that.





Thursday, November 4, 2010

back to philly

I must say that a nonstop flight was so much nicer than stopping in milwaukee and unloading the kids and reloading them a couple hours later. I must also say that the employees with Delta were so much kinder and more helpful than those we encountered with midwest and frontier(with the exception of 1). Way to go Delta, your employees are tops with me. They even gave the kids special treats.

so we are here at Erie and Front because Camden didnt have room for us. I left the airport and stepped right into a DEEP puddle. so I have a soggy shoe and sock now. I hope my sandal dries by tomorrow. I dont mind going sockless but I dont really want soggy sandals or they feel sticky. I havent heard from valerie after I called her but I am hoping she and Evan were able to get a room here for the night. we so want to see them. When we first came I had two backpacks and computer bag. then I had just two back packs. this time I have ONE BACKPACK(and that includes the computer inside of it) so no checked bags just the one carry on. makes life easier to travel light. since the kids dont need pants thats one less thing to pack haha. and since we will only be here a day or two we dont need much. I am getting good at this packing thing.

so the kids are chilling watching clifford and I am just catching my breath and not having to DO anything for a few minutes. no one needs to potty or eat or tell on someone.

Jaeger cried when we left yesterday. didnt want Mama to go. very sweet and touching especially since I havent felt all that close to him yet. lots of hugs and kisses for him and the others before I left. they had half day today at school and also conferences and happened to coincide with Daddys day off. so he is getting a bit of time with the kids today. It is raining here in Philly hope that its nice at home so the kids can play out.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

not much new news

yesterday's trip to the dentist didnt go so well for Jaeger. He had several teeth removed. he was in pain and bleeding and just not himself. but he still tried to be a helpful boy and put the stroller away in the car. He sat by mom at dinner and enjoyed that. today he seems back to himself. he cant run around though so waiting for the bus was boring for him today. and Papa wasnt there to entertain him. Eric usually goes out with them to wait for the bus. He loves Bananas though so he got to have a banana at breakfast and at lunch and for snack at school. he cant have anything crunchy. While he did go through my stuff and that upsets me he seems to understand our talk about that and I havent found anything of significance in his bed or pockets. He is speaking more English. He is about where the other kids were a month ago language wise. but at least he is trying now. he was very loving and I accepted and reciprocated his affections. it is feeling LESS like a job but not there yet. it is most definitely getting easier to love him though, which also means he is getting more comfortable and learning to love us.

Today Sophie and Ben and I head to Uncle Bob's house. We fly out tomorrow to Philly for new casts. Sophie needs to see more people with disabilities in normal settings. she is under the impression she cant do certain things because she cant walk. While she may walk one day she may never walk full time like you or I do. But she is smart! and kind and caring! and she can do anything she sets her heart and mind to even if she doesnt walk.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

wish I had something clever or profound to say

but really just more of the same. I guess thats a good thing. boys slept fairly well although I found Ethan in bed with Ben this morning and another boy who shall remain nameless wet his bed. everyone was showered dressed fed and out the door in time for the bus. We noted that while Maia and Diana want Papa's attention all the time and tickles and snuggles and laughs Natasha doesnt. She is VERY affectionate with me. hugs and kisses all the time. nearly every time we pass one another she hugs me. Jaeger is getting more appropriately affectionate as well. like he wants hugs and kisses from Mama (or papa) but not only at times when he is deflecting that he is being told something he doesnt want to hear. Andre is his every funny self. Loves his Mama more than anything and doesnt like other people picking him up or telling him what to do. Kind of like a one owner dog, he likes his mama, he generally listens to Mama, Mama can pick him up anytime anywhere for any reason, and his Mama loves him to bits but he wont let anyone OTHER than Mama do any of that stuff.

Ethan's new meds are maybe making a difference. still have the same old battles like he and ben at dinner but in general he is able to get along better lately. meds? maturity? fluke of nature? time will tell, but I like it. To be honest I just dont feel very lovey toward him when he is screaming at me because I said ANYTHING to him. but when he is calm it is easy to love him. We went for a walk yesterday and he ran ahead of me with Andre most of the way but on the way back he stayed right by my side. even when we decided to run he still wanted me to hold his hand.

Maia is still very much Maia. I adore her. the sun rises and sets in her eyes.the moon rises and sets in her eyes. for me Maia truly hung the moon. I love all of them so much but Maia is so special to me. in ways that are different than the others. I can hardley stand to see her growing up so fast! she is so doggone cute! She wont even let me brush her hair anymore. it used to be I brushed it for her and she fought the whole time now she just does it. cute. and too grown up!

Off to Uncle Bob's and Aunt Jeanne's house tomorrow night. Thursday off to Philly again. appt Friday and return Sat. today its off to st cloud with Jaeger for a dentist appointment. and Sophie doodle can ride along because wherever I go she goes!

Monday, November 1, 2010

things with jaeger are making more sense after a recent talk with a Ukrainian friend. I was enlightened about conversations with other family members. Some things are falling into place now. but it irritates me that these things happened. I cant really elaborate here because I dont feel its appropriate. but suffice to say it feels almost cruel the things that were said.

my favorite funny photo

fun photos





Friday, October 29, 2010

halloween

well lets say it was a hit with everyone, except those with whom it wasnt. how is that for vague? the kids came home from school all excited about their day. when I told them about the trick or treating in town today they were wild. Jaeger clearly expected that I already had a costume for him and should just hand it over for him. I dont work that way. in my house I do not make costumes. I do not buy costumes. if a child wants a costume he comes up with a plan and implements it with things around the house. Occasionally I will chip in with a stuffed sock for a tail or something of that sort. so thats where things started going down hill. the girls of course(being girls) planned ahead and knew precisely what they would wear. they were quick to put it on. so Jaeger is all worried and saying Jaeger costume Mama! over and over again. Andre I said could be a baby, as I knew we had sleeper pajamas that fit him. I gave him a blankie too. then something set him off and he screamed and cried and had fits until I wasnt sure I even wanted to take him. Finally MOST of them were ready. I sent Chrysta out to take pictures. Natasha posed adorably as a black cat. Maia the flower child was her happy go Maia self. The big boys settled on vampire teeth and Ethan put on a nice shirt(why? no idea but it was his plan so thats what he did). then Diana started with the whine. She didnt like the crown I offered her to wear, and she didnt like that I said she could use the same bag everyone else was using, the ones from school. she didnt like that Natasha who is older and up a grade had received a bag larger than hers. so there are no photos of Ms Sulkeypants. so off we went. things went fairly well while we were out. when we got home Jaeger was outside scootering with a sucker in his mouth and a bag of candy on the handlebars. When I told him to give me the bag(I put all the candy together and we all share) he lost it. finally I sent him to time out. I let everyone have ONE piece of candy. then he cried over that, surely Natasha had TWO!

LOVELY afternoon. Thank goodness the girls are fairly easy. Natasha has her moments but usually doesnt pull any crap with me. she gives it to the others but not me. Maybe she is still honeymooning. or maybe she is just an absolute love. Diana has MORE moments but is too a real love most the time. Maia is my dreamy dancerella who dances through life. the boys on the other hand are much more involved and demanding of my energy. it is very amazing the differences between raising boys and raising girls. Jaeger and Mama (and Papa) are trying to find our happy medium. I KNOW he is capable. I also know he has school buffaloed into believing he doesnt understand or is helpless thus they do not make him work. so for awhile there may be more negative news to report until we get to a point where we are comfortable and feeling safe with one another.

a thief. or rather, a new thief

one of my boys rifled my drawars and helped himself to anything within that he liked. apparently he has gone through other people's rooms too as he had a pocket knife. good thing he got caught with that. he would have been expelled from school if he brought it to school. I am disappointed and hurt and angry that my space has been violated. While one child has a history of this, I now have another child who steals from me. he seemed shameful. hope he learns SOMETHING from it. I want to keep the bedroom locked but their dad doesnt agree. well I guess when they steal HIS stuff maybe he will care. In orphanage settings is everything communal? or are there any things that belong just to this person or that person? Does he not know the difference? he knows now. he has been told. and I am quite certain he knows he did wrong. we found all sorts of things in his bed that dont belong to him. I guess I will pack up my stuff and take it to my moms before its lost forever. I have jewelry from my grandmother I keep in my bathroom. I have things from my childhood, many memories attached to them. I dont think there is a lot of monitary value but I would be very upset for some of it to be lost.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

what do you see when you look at the photo on this blog header? do you see happy children who know love? children who live in a family and not a "facility" for children? happy healthy loving children? did you know that many of the kids in that picture once lived in a "facility"? They did not know love of a family. they were not all healthy happy and loving. they are all now part of a loving family who will support them in their endevours. You could help another child without a family. you cant adopt you say? thats ok. you can donate to causes that help other people adopt. Adoption is very expensive. and difficult. if you donated a few dollars, the price of a cup of coffee, to reeces rainbow older kids grant fund you could make the difference in whether or not a family can afford to take one of the many kids around the world into their home and give them love and a future outside of institutions. Did you know there are 147 MILLION ORPHANS? can you even fathom that number? we wake up and worry about when we will get our fancy coffee. 147 MILLION ORPHANS wake every day wondering when someone will love them. some of them wake wondering when they will eat again. can you turn your head on 147 MILLION CHILDREN? If you, like me, are moved by the plight of the orphan, please go to my blog withoutamama.blogspot.com and donate via the chipin on that page. all monies go directly to reecesrainbow.org.

disclosure: I am not raising money for ME. I will never see any of this money, nor do I want it. it goes directly to reeces rainbow, a group that helps find homes for special needs orphans in many countries. I adopted 7 children, what have you done to help? what can you do? remember that if 100 people donate 1 dollar (which barely hurts your pocket at all) that would mean a child was that much closer to a family of their own.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

considering

changing the name of my blog from a dozen good eggs to "a brawling brood". There was much nashing of teetht oday and much storm and drang. even a bloody nose because one boy popped another. Jaeg is having difficulty with taking things that dont belong to him. he thinks if he tucks them in his bed they are his and his alone, even though he took them from someone else! today he filled his pockets with random stuff. scissors, tape, my mini cam, a deck of cards, just all kinds of stuff. It is amazing his pants stayed up they were so full of crap. he has been downright defiant of late and today he got into it with Eric. Eric does NOT put up with that stuff. he was nicer after that. He continues to think he is in charge and when we say do something he can say NO and choose not to do it. umm not doesnt work that way here. if Mama tells you to do something NO is never the answer. we have been counting like crazy with him as he also likes to ignore us when we tell him NOT to do something. he likes to use affection as a way of getting his way. well I will bat my eyes and smile and kiss and cuddle and keep on doing what you just told me not to. again, no, not happening. mama or papa said no then that means NO not kiss up until we let you.
Jaeger is quickly becoming difficult. stomps his feet and WHINES and cries still about everything. I thought the whining would let up but still plenty of that. the others seem to be adjusting easier than he. he still struggles to understand English, I do not think he is as proficient as the others in that area. school he is SMART but lazy. sometimes his spelling test is empty and not because he didnt know the letters to write but because he didnt want to. I cleaned out his bed today and found all sorts of things that he shouldnt have much less have in his bed. anyways life with him is a real struggle, although for the last two days Ethan was dealable so I guess as long as its only ONE wild child I can deal but if they both gang up on me I might jump a cliff!

Diana is having a hard time as she is very constipated and has a belly ache. poor thing. she laid on my bed all through dinner. didnt even come out once. Natasha is such a love. everyone adores her. We all love Diana too but she just doesnt steal the show like Natasha can. Andre is adorable and sweet but he can NOT BE IN THE KITCHEN when cooking! he is like an octopus on the counter. into everything opening the oven. etc. we kick him out and he comes right back. he is kind of like a bull in a china shop. but golly when he smiles at me...now if we could just get Jaeger and Ethan on the right path all would be easy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

crazy baby

This is how Sophie usually sits on the toilet.




I wait in the bedroom while she does her business. Seemed like it was taking a long time.
Sophie? are you done?
yeah.
you didnt call me, I was waiting right here.
yeah I was just relaxing mom!
indeed she was....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A day I never thought I would see

I just drove a 15 passenger van!! and it was FUN! I was nervous! but I loved it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

please consider

going to read the blog I set up for those children left behind. perhaps you can find it in your heart and your pocket to donate a dollar or two. These children stand NO chance. Special needs older kids are rarely chosen for adoption and go to horrible places where they live our their days until their death which often comes way tooo soon. please go to withoutamama.blogspot.com and donate one dollar. if you can donate more it is appreciated but even ONE dollar helps. all money goes STRAIGHT to Reece's Rainbow in support of the adoption of those left behind. There are so many beautiful kids just waiting for a mama all their own. your one dollar could make the difference in whether or not they are chosen for adoption.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WHAT A FIASCO!

4 envelopes arrived from citizenship. 4 envelopes addressed to Natasha Diana Jaeger Andre. Inside Jaeger's was Jaeger's COC. Inside Natasha's was Diana's COC. Inside Diana and Andre's envelopes were two other children from various parts of the country. We have recieved word that Natasha's was sent to wrong family. they are sending it on. Their child's is missing still. We have no idea where Andre's is. I was able to contact the family of one of the kids whose COC we got. they were very happy to know I had it. The other family I was unable to contact but will send it on to them. now where is Andre's COC? and I wonder if the family of the child whose COC we have got another child's COC. this is a huge error. not only one person had their papers screwed up but no less than 5. 6 if you count Diana's but at least it arrived at the wrong house even if under the wrong name. you have to wonder how many others are sent to wrong places. we jumped all the hoops. we paid all the fees, and we expect our reward to be that for which we paid for. instead we get a runaround. You cant actually speak to anyone at USCIS. only listen to a million different messages. so we have one little guy with no COC, no lead on his COC. one COC en route from wrong family. two COC's enroute from our family to correct family. another family with one little guy with no COC. and two COC's arrived in order to correct family, albeit under wrong name. so 2 out of 7 is not a good ratio of success. Sorry Homeland Security you guys are not doing such a hot job.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

so we are in Philadelphia again. flights were fine. kids were fine. When we got here my new friends picked us up at the airport and delivered us to RMH at Erie and Front.(thanks friends, had a great time visiting) This is supposed to be bigger nicer etc. than the one in Camden. I am not convinced. but I am here. so I guess I will stay. but next time I think Camden. Maybe we just got a dull room but it is not at all the haven that we found at Camden. Our room at Camden was so cute and painted soothing tones. This room is similar to a hotel room, painted eggshell. headboards attached to the wall like hotels. has table and chairs and dresser. the nice big bathroom is nice and handicap accessible but we cant really use the shower with the kids in casts. There is the added bonus of tv in our room but how much time can you spend watching tv? but oh well its a roof and a meal and it serves the purpose. But I think next time I will go to Camden. anyways I am hoping NEXT time someone else will be here too. Wonder how many more times we will have to do this. and how much plane tickets are going to cost since the company that has flown us here thus far is outsourcing and the new company isnt responding to my calls.

well since we have the whole day before us with nothing to do I am going to have to go find something for us to do. the sun is shining it looks gorgeous out, the window is open a bit letting in some breeze. surely there is SOMETHING in this GIANT city to entertain us for the day.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

here in Philly. THANKS BECKY! my new friend Becky gave us a ride from the airport. and now to bed!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Becky! we are coming to Philly Saturday. Are you around?

update





Tuesday, September 28, 2010

hangin in

things are going ok. trying to work out a way to get the kids back to school. Sophie is back to wanting me to do everything for her, including sit up. I wont of course. she is fully capable, even with casts as I have SEEN her do it. so she is mad at me a lot. and then whiny and sorry. Ben is bored I think at home. He needs to go to school with his friends. It is funny that he was SO introverted before school and rarely said a word to anyone and now he does so well at school and comes home with lots to say.

waiting to hear on flights to get back to philly. waiting to hear someone can go with me. I CAN do it alone, I got them back here didnt I? it would be a lot easier with another set of hands though.

today I have to drag sophie and ben out to take chrysta to the orthodontist.They of course think its a big adventure but I am dreading it. Im sure Sophie will sleep all the way. I have to pick up Chrysta at 11 so I wont have time to feed them lunch before we go. I guess they can eat in the car. the problem with that is that sophie CANT. and since Ben cant sit in the way back Chrysta cant sit next to her and feed her. Ben could try but his little hands are so weak he will likely drop someone's sandwhich. I hate to say it but there might be chicken nuggets in store for them today. I dont see any other way. except not feeding them until hours after lunch time. that doesnt seem right.

Ethan started his other new med last night. will see how that goes. hoping it makes a difference for him. while I was gone the boys pulled the alarm off their door. so Ethan has been wandering at night. I found the alarm outside this morning when I took Fabio out and it stil works! so I will be putting it right back up.

our kids are so funny. The other night Eric had to go in to the hospital to deliver a baby. NOT MY BABY. we keep stressing that to the kids. WE ARE NOT HAVING A BABY. but they only hear baby and get all excited. they arent understanding. So I said diasits! no mas! alles! as in ten kids! no more! thats ALL! diana said 11? natasha said 21!!! then they moved on to teasing chrysta who had a hissy fit earlier in the evening. they said when she grows up and no more school and gets married and has a baby she will be grumpy and the baby will be grumpy lol. it was histerical. Chrysta was not amused.

Andre had a birthday the other day. he is 7 now! he got a puzzle and ball and glove. he was very excited. now that I think about it his glove didnt come in last night after he and ethan went out to play catch. Poor Andre though is so little the other ones like to push him around. Diana ended up going to bed without fun or stories because she flat out REFUSED to apologise to Andre for ramming his head into the door. She is like that sometimes. She woke up all smiles this morning though so thats good. School is going well for them. they are all doing really well in their school work and Natasha seems to have settled into her classroom and made some friends. she is very happy most of the time. Jaeger has had a bit of trouble with a brat in his class. someone BIT him and left a bruise where each tooth was. so he must have bit pretty hard! then someone pushed him down into the mud. man the kids are brutal. Jaeger doesnt tell me though the other kids tell me what happens so I never know until well AFTER the fact.

Jaeger is not learning english as fast as the others so sometimes communicating with him is difficult. with him especially I need to forget to speak russian/ukrainian and speak only English so he will learn. Sophie was the same way. refused to learn english. until I stopped understanding her. then it was very quick she learned. I love that they can still speak to each other in Ukrainian but they need to learn English to function here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

a day at home

Ben brought home a little something extra from our trip. a virus. Throwing up. belly ache. burning up. miserable little guy. not eating. barely drinking. napped(he never naps not even in the car)

Sophie is improving but she is pretty warm too and yesterday she kept saying she was going to throw up and I thought it was because she was so worked up about the casts and carrying on so.

yesterday they immediately started drawing on their casts with a marker.

Natasha had a swollen gland in her neck bothering her this morning but it got better as the day progressed.

Eric took the older girls to hospital with him for rounding. meanwhile Chrysta and I hit the house hard and did up the dishes and cleaned the living and dining room. cleaned vacuumed orderly. rearranged the seating at the table putting one bench in the back. the girls werent thrilled. oh well.

well ben and sophie are crying again so I guess I better go. eric is out hunting with natasha diana andre and the dog.

Friday, September 24, 2010

rough day

rougher night.

sophie and ben are both in long casts. both kids both legs. that means 4 casts. and sophie is PISSED OFF about it. thats putting it lightly. they really REALLY pushed those feet to maximum stretch. I dont think she is in pain so much as she is mad and doesnt like it and wants them off. she was playing just fine but now refuses to sleep.

our appointment went well. except for this whole unexpected casting. they have a plan for both kids. Ben we thought would need a derotation but actually the problem is all in his FOOT not his leg. so thats why we are trying to hard to get his feet straightend. he will eventually have surgery on his one hand to move a couple tendons. Sophie is getting casting first fix up those feet them the hips will be done and then knees. she is going to need fixaters for her knees. I was so hoping to avoid that. gosh I was hoping to avoid that. but I guess its looming out there.

so anyways I will be heading back to philly in a couple weeks. and again after that. how long I dont know. until its done I guess. I sure wish I had someone to come with me on these flights and stay at RMH with me. The big kids are in school and cant really miss class. Eric has to work and the other kids have school. so who wants to come to philly with me? seriously I NEED someone to come with me to help me with TWO temporary invalids. its not easy to get two kids on a plane when neither of them walk and the stewardesses "cant hold children its against policy" so they stand and smile while you rely on strangers to help you. Not sure what purpose a stewardess serves if they cant help out in any capacity. basically they are drink delivery I guess? I dont know. anwyays I have to get up at 3am tomorrow and sophie is still wailing so I guess I should turn out the lights and try to sleep.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Philly Baby!

sophie ben and I had a long day getting to philadelphia. there was a friendly face (that turned out to be a friendly family)waiting for us. we are at Ronald McDonald house in Camden NJ. tomorrow we see the doctor.

Getting here was difficult. I have to say that I am so thankul for the kindness of strangers. Countless strangers who stepped outside of their little world and into mine. not the employees although there were a few of those who were kind and helpful. I am talking pure strangers who happen to be board the same plane. I am so so so thankful for their kindness. Perhaps it is the universe showing me that even though I get discouraged and feel my small kind deeds make no difference, they DO make a difference and when you least expect it they will come back to you.

We have been visiting with a family I knew online. love them! Sophie calls Valerie "ballerina" instead of Valerie. Valerie has a child with AMC and he and Sophie are fast friends and may even marry one day! Sophie was the bell of the ball, all of Valeries boys wanted to sit by her. well she IS gorgous.

the kids are sacked out. they insisted on sleeping ont he floor. so I am off to the shower and get some sleep before early morning and off to clinic.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

wait! you're going to ....WHAT?

Eric was taking care of the chickens. every night he and Cody go out and feed and water and move the chicken tractor. Natasha was out with them. These kids LOOOOOOOVE chicken(kulicka!) they can devour an entire chicken in no time at all if we dont set limits. they love chicken soup. chicken leftovers. and no matter what I cook they are asking is it kulicka. We always laugh about people who dont know where their trash goes...it just goes ......away. they know nothing of what happens to it. we di and thats why we compost recycle and reuse. so here was this lovely child with no clue about where things come from apparently. Eric told her what was going to happen to the chickens. she was horrified. which is just so funny to me the way she devours chicken! she likes to eat chicken but didnt know that they were once living things that were killed for her dinner. wonder what she will think next time we have chicken.

The kids and I are off to philly this week. TOmorrow I have to take them to the cities to stay with uncle Bob and aunt Jeannie.we have a very early flight out on thursday. They so kindly offered us a place to stay and a ride to the airport. Our appointment is on Friday. Then we fly out again on Saturday to return home. I hold out great hope that this doctor will see the potential in our dolly and give her a chance at a future that includes walking. at least being able to transfer and things like that. she can not go through life with her legs this way. she cant even take herself to the toilet. she is getting too heavy to carry. she still works well in a sling. but that wont help her get to the bathroom by herself! she is so smart and motivated and just plain all around beautiful inside and out, I cant bear the thought of no one giving her a chance!

Natasha is very concerned about my leaving without her. this is hard but it must be done. it makes me feel good that she so wants me to be here with her, but bad that I must leave her behind. its only for a couple days. she doesnt have enough english for me to explain that I will ALWAYS come back. I did my best to reassure her that I am her Mama FOREVER. not just when she can see me. That reminds me I have to call school again about a boy named Blake being mean to her.

Monday, September 20, 2010

morning science lesson and cookouts



this weekend we had a cookout. the kids really enjoyed being out back by the fire but were cold so they had on winter parkas. we roasted hot dogs and made smores. Natasha especially seems to relish every experience, this time was no different. she loved it. Diana didnt want to go out there but when she found it we would EAT outside she was all for it. Jaeger kept wanting to go inside. he likes to lock himself in his room alone. Mean mom enforced family time. Andre ate and ate and ate. They put away 2 full bags of chips a box of crackers a package of chocolate bars nearly an entire bag of marshmallows. they loved putting stuff into the fire but did not like mom's very strict rule that anything going INTO the fire STAYS in the fire. Andre burned his hands trying to retrieve something. not badly but still this is why we have the rule. and also it keeps kids from burning each other or burning down the forest by putting a stick in the fire and then when the tip is hot pulling it out and waving it around etc. anyways they all survived. had a great time. cant wait to do it again.

This morning we had eggs for breakfast. one of the eggs was not an egg but an EMBRYO! we cut open the sac and looked at what was inside. was really a neat moment. except for Ethan telling us we killed it. these were store eggs so it isnt like we took an egg from a hen when she was trying to hatch it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

well about 40 cavities today. yikes

my most recent article

http://millelacsmessenger.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=35763:life-as-a-dozen&catid=60:columns&Itemid=79

todays upcoming events

get four kids from school and take them to the dentist where they will no doubt offer to do thousands of dollars of work for us. their teeth are a mess. missing teeth, black rotted teeth, jagged teeth. never have I even SEEN kids with teeth this bad. Natasha's arent bad, Diana's arent great. Jaeger's arent too bad but Andre's are the WORST. I wonder if it is from the medication he was taking. liquid meds. never thought of that. Ben and Sophie came from same place and had perfect teeth.

next week I head to Philly with Sophie and Ben. what an adventure THAT will be. Hope to see you Valerie and Chelsea! Hope to hear good news. while surgical intervention is likely what will be recommended we are prepared for that and in our case that IS good news. because it means someone is willing to take a chance on them.

for now I better hit the shower and get the dishes done so I can pick up the kids in two hours.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

update






jaeger does indeed need glasses. ethan needs new glasses and a trip to the surgeon to discuss his eye problem and whether or not it needs fixing. We picked up a new stroller from a fellow freecycler as the one we had drove me nuts! I left the old one at moms to give to goodwill. the new one is very lightweight and perfectly rolls. no problems. and its cute. I like my double when I have Ben too but when I just have sophie I need a single.

I am sneezing like crazy. my nose still runs. my head still hurts. at least the razor blades in my throat have let up. Cody was home sick yesterday too.

I was looking at some photos from our time in Kiev and the kids have changed so much! in just one month! the girls no longer wear their hair in a pony 24 hours a day. they wear it down or in some other style of their own doing. Maia loves when Natasha does HER hair for her. Andre is no longer the wild child he oncce was. Although he is still very demanding but he only cries now when scolded doesnt fly off the handle and go ballistic. Jaeger seems to think when parents give an order that he doesnt care for he can just smile and say no and like magic he wont have to do it. he is learning though. mostly he is a good kid. he has a little trouble with retaliation too but he is very helpful and always ready for a kiss and hug. and they all go off to school with a smile. they still dont like my oatmeal but are getting better about eating what we offer. Last night we had chicken and potatoes and wow they LOOOOVE that. I think thats their favorite meal. kulicka and kartoshka. We had some pot stickers awhile back but they werent as good as I hoped. the kids gobbled them up thinking they were like pelmenis. Dima they didnt hold a candle to your pelmenis!

overall we are all adjusting fairly well. Even Ethan is adjusting. Jaeger is a rough and tumble kind of boy and Ethan now has a way to get out his own rough and tumble tendencies. He never could play that way with Ben because of his AMC. But Jaeg and Ethan are always laughing and rough housing with each other. the girls mostly get along and Maia sometimes feels left out or grieves the loss of her being the only little girl. mostly they are 3 muskateers though. where one is the other two will be found. Ben and Andre are good friends. so it seems everyone has a playmate except Sophie. Thankfully she is good about playing alone. Ben plays inside with her sometimes. she and he are still best best friends. I have no doubt that when they grow up THOSE TWO will be very close. I always wished I had that kind of relationship with a sibling.

this week will include another two trips to st cloud for dentist and orthodontist. but today thankfully I have nowhere to go. too bad I have to clean out the girls room. it looks like a dump truck came in and just dumped clothes everywhere.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

first attempts




we took the kids to father hennepin today. we hiked awhile and then played in the sand and on the shore. We made our first attempts at a family photo. since it is the first time we have all been together on an outing. We snagged someone nearby to take the pics.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

GRRRR! Various people have been very kind in giving us clothing for the children. one shirt was really cute for a boy. it had a plastic light up batman car on it and I try and try to make Ethan feel special. It fit him just right and I put it in his box of clothes(which I have no taken) and he cut it up! he cut it up with scissors. cut through the shirt through the plastic presumably to get out the light. he did this last night during movie time. Probably while I was at the store. who knows when. I dont even know where he got scissors. This kid is gonna be the death of me. He destroys EVERYTHING he comes in contact with. he doesnt CARE about anything. nothing. there is nothing I could take away that would make an impact. there is nothing I can do to make an impact. he just doesnt care about anything. nothing. this is my reward for letting them all stay up and watch a movie last night instead of putting them to bed as usual. and he and ben were up and started the day at FIVE AM after going to bed late. they dont even get up that early for school. I already buy very little for the kids because it just gets destroyed. I guess this is my clue to buy less. and never let Ethan out of my sight unless he is in his room which is where he is now. Jaeger is in there with him. he lashed out at Andre and hit him. I dont expect these bunk beds are going to last long. but then they can sleep or not sleep on the floor I guess.

Chrysta didnt get home until after 1 and in general the boys are up every night so I never get more than a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. I have not had solid sleep in.....I cant remember how long.

of course no one will play outside today and eric is on call and on urgent care all day. today is not a good day.

16 years ago






at this moment I had been up all night, given birth to my first born child, my teeny tiny cody, taken a bath and was back in bed holding my newborn son. Watching Cody grow has been very satisfying and rewarding. he is such a loving sweet boy. helpful and kind. shy as all get out with strangers but with family he is funny and animated and we love him to bits. Cody and I like to play practical jokes on each other. Just little things. You never know when you will find one. I love you Cody. You will always be my baby.

Friday, September 10, 2010

life and times of a public school going family

school seems to be going well. Chrysta is off to cheer at an away game tonight. her cheer team is not your average group of giggly popular conceited cheerleaders. no, hers is the small town anyone who signs up can cheer group. so it consists of one very chubby girl, one obese girl, one mentally challenged girl, one goth girl, chrysta, and one other girl I dont know anything about. interesting team huh? anyways she enjoys it so I hope she has fun tonight at the game but we will miss her at the dinner table.

I called Ethan's teacher the other day and told him I would like to have a planner used with Ethan. no reply. no planner. I am a little annoyed by this.
Natasha's teacher sent home practice for name writing and spelled our name wrong. Diana and Ben brought home notes from school(ALREADY!!!) that someone in their class has head lice. Jaeger and Ethan brought home the same note today. Everyone brought home this paper about the flouride rinse and signing for them to opt out of do nothing if they should participate, why do I keep getting all the papers I already filled out giving permission or nonpermission for things? LACK OF ORGANISATION?? Maia and Andre seem to be enjoying kindergarten. everyone is happy to go to school and happy when they come home. this makes ME happy.

Sophie and I had a quiet day at home. getting into routine without the kids. send the big kids off. send Ben off(seperate transport) take dog out, do dishes, do laundry and put away. bake or do something else(today we went to a rummage sale) Eric comes home for lunch, Sophie naps after her lunch. I dozed in the chair today because the dishtv kept cutting out. so Fabio and I snuggled up and snoozed. then the kids come home and backpacks and lunch boxes and papers and chaos begins. Natasha's stories about her day always crack me up. yesterday was about her and two other girls on the swings and when she couldnt understand the one girl she got mad and moved to the other side of the other girl. Today she was telling me about a BIG boy (and puffed out her cheeks) and he has freckles(she poked her face all over and says like Jaeger) and how the boy was looking elsewhere and didnt go when it was time and then when he did go he ran into her. most of this is gathered via her few English words and a lot of crazy sign language and mime act.

Maia is wanting family movie night tonight. Looks like its going to rain. It is almost time for Eric to come home so I better go cook something for dinner.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

school



they went off to school yesterday all happy and smiling. They all came home happy and smiling. I guess thats a good sign. I only cried a little when they went. Maia and Ben were the hard ones. Maia is my adorable happy go lucky loves life and dances through everything as if it were music just for her. I didnt want her to go to school. I wanted her to stay my baby girl. I was teasing her after school about if she missed me. she insisted she didnt. I told her to lie and tell me she missed me just to make ME feel better. she laughed and said Mom I didnt miss you! little imp! I told her I was glad she had a good time and now she wouldnt have to go back and she could stay home and be my baby (this is a careful dance, with some kids they would see this as an opportunity to turn it on you and say they wont go to school) she smiled and laughed in her Maia way and said she is going back there every day.

Natasha told me she made 2 girlfriends. Ben told me someone pushed him down on the slide and his big brother stuck up for him.(this is a big deal because that same brother has had animosity for Ben forever) I made sure to praise big brother for sticking up for his brother. Diana came home with a smile but didnt tell me much. (but she was tired, and today she was a grump and didnt want to get out of bed or shower or eat or get ready or do anything) Jaeger and Ethan both brought me some work they did. Jaeger is absolutely thrilled to go to school. jumps right out of bed to shower and get ready. he had a very difficult beginning but is really getting better all the time and shows a lot of love and is very helpful. Ethan had a bit of a hard time in first grade. much work, little play. hard transition. and he was very distracted by the other kids so much so he had trouble working. Cody and Chrysta had a good day too. Andre came home happy and smiling and forgot his lunch box in his backpack and had hot lunch at lunch time. same thing happened to ethan last year.

I am a little annoyed with the school that they take ALL the K students down to breakfast so they know where it is. so guess what? they ate breakfast! after I fed them at home. and by the way breakfast isnt free. Maia had a doughnut and Andre refused home breakfast today thinking he was getting breakfast at school. how can you take them all down there and then say no YOU cant eat and YOu cant eat but YOU can. its really rather stupid. and mean. and they dont care that it is costing US money when the kids are eating two breakfasts and will now be in the habit of going to breakfast at school. the kids have no idea that it costs money for breakfast. if you qualify for free lunch and breakfast that is one thing but many families DONT. not to mention they have milk 3 or 4 times a day and have to pay seperately for classroom milk time and lunch milk time. it is expensive to send a kid to FREE PUBLIC SCHOOL!

I asked what the plan was for the Ukies and they were advised to see how it goes and let them get settled and go from there because there is no translator or esl teacher for russian in this district. not sure how long they are planning to wait but they are losing out on lessons going much past next week. I suppose they will do nothing and I will have to pull them out and teach them myself letters and numbers and catch them up. I wonder what will happen with Ben. will they give him services? he gets them for his physical disabilities but his mental achievement is on the lower side and he is not a quick learner. but he is a real love.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What a surprise

here I was happily rolling along thinking everything was fine. and what a lovely honeymoon it was. and WHAM! I got hit in the face with "what have I done? am I nuts? will they EVER understand me? what the heck is the deal with their sudden behavior problems?" after this always comes the "how long until I can find them a new home? how will I do that? what will the children think of me then??" I have these feelings every time we have a new child/children. I have a freakout before they arrive and then I calm down and then they DO arrive and everything is going swimmingly and then something completely normal and par for the course happens and I start to wonder if I have lost my head. In fact I wonder why it took so long. Happened with Chrysta, Maia, Sophie and Ben, of course it would happen when you add FOUR children to your family. It isnt easy making four strangers into family. Especially four strangers old enough to walk and talk and speak another language. While we do love them all they do have their own personalities and experiences which guide them and sometimes its hard to understand what makes them tick that way. Thankfully it is only a fleeting thought that happens when things are going badly. MOST of the time the things we deal with are extremely normal childhood things or sibling things. some of it is lack of education on their part that they just dont understand how to live in a family. It will come in time. I have to remind myself that it isnt a personal assault when I find other peoples things under a child's pillow. They just dont understand that not everything is community property as where they came from everything was community property. and sadly I just dont have enough language skills to communicate to them all the time. My second language skills are woefully inadequate. but I learn new nouns all the time, problem is that all nouns and only one or two verbs makes it hard to talk to them.

I guess I am on track with Traci in that I am mourning my loss of freedom a bit. the changes in my life. While I chose these changes they are still changes and sometimes you just LONG for those easy days when all of this was a happy pipe dream. or when you only had 2 daughters and 2 sons so it was easy to buy 2 of anything. but when you have ten its hard to buy enough of something. If I think awww this is cute, I could buy it for the girls, then I have to buy 5 of them. in seperate colors of course so they know which one is theirs. Meanwhile husband goes off to work, comes home reads the news waits for dinner, and his life is much the same. It isnt that he doesnt help me. he helps me a lot when he is home. it is just that his world isnt changing like mine. and he still has plenty of outside communications. I have little to none. I long to talk to a grown up for awhile! but there is little point in calling anyone as I will be constantly interrupted and impossible to actually have a conversation. My mom calls now and then. She tries to catch me at not busy times. but with ten kids, who can say when its gonna be busy? I used to call her daily. I rarely have time for that now. Maybe when the kids are off to school all day I will have more time to call her. just me going through adjustments I guess. up until now it was all about THEIR adjustment. well its finally about my adjustment. things are different. things have changed. they are still changing. and I have to adjust. that takes time and energy. and when the boys are up all night I have little energy to face changes.

the rainy cold weather is not helping my spirits much. I am a sunshine girl. although I do love a good thunderstorm. I completely missed out on one last night. by the time I got finished getting everyone ready and to bed it was over and I had no time to enjoy it. winter is coming and I almost completely missed out on all the summer things I love. we cant even have a cookout, a favorite fall activity, because it would be too dangerous for the boys as they dont listen so great yet.

well I better get off this thing and get clothes for everyone for school open house in 2 hours.

Monday, September 6, 2010

WAHHHHH!

tomorrow I take my baby to kindergarten. I take all my other babies to school as well. some of them are also in K. I dont want her to go! I dont want her to grow up! I wanted her to stay 5 forever but she got 6 and now she is off to school. WAHHHH!

everyone is excited for school. backpacks are packed and ready. tomorrow is only drop in day for us. pictures and meet the teacher and find your classroom.

in other news, everyone here is always happy....
unless.....

1. they dont get their way
2. they dont get what they wanted
3. they dont feel like doing what you asked
4. they didnt bother to do what you asked
5. the think the rules dont apply to them
6. they think everything belongs to them
7. they have natural consequences
8. They have chores
9. it's the middle of the night
10. you have the big D and I dont mean Dallas.

other than that yeah everyone is usually pretty happy.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

time? time on my hands? what?

school starts next week! I will have 3 first graders and 4 kindergarteners! as well as a sophomore and an 8th grader! and a preschooler!! I am looking forward to a bit of quiet time while they are at school and its just Sophie and I here at home. although it wont be that quiet as we have doctor appointments all over the country for various children, dentist appts for various kids, etc. and about a week after school starts I will be here crying how I miss them and wish they were home with me and why do I have to send them to school anyways? but for a week it will be heavenly.

The other day I was waiting for chrysta to get out of surgery. there was no one in the waiting room. I read my book awhile. Had two doctored up cups of coffee(as in added hot choco to make it more mochachino like and a creamer to make it creamy...and yes it was good) but after a bit I started to pace. I was bored! I realised I dont know how to sit. just sit. I have not had time like that in so long. I always have little kids. while I love our little kids and when we had them I was totally NOT ready to not have little kids around. but now I think I am ready for the kids to start growing and not having more babies or little people. just big people live here. I will relearn how to entertain myself with scrapbooking and sewing. the neverending cleaning that needs to be done. half hour after its clean it looks like a disaster when ya have kids!

So today we head out to enjoy a picnic and play in the pool awhile and enjoy one last summer hurrah together before they go off to school. wow life will be so different next week!