A Dozen Good Eggs

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


here she is!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


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