Monday, July 28, 2014

Hearing tests for a few

I will bit by bit catch up.  Trying to keep with doing two to three posts a night.  Putting this one first b/c part of it happened today.  So, Nik gets his hearing checked obviously at UNC Audiology.  Been going there for years.  He went today and we discovered he's only been hearing at 50% since the t-mic broke!  Advanced Bionics has just now mentioned this 'issue.'  Not just w/ Nik. Anyhow, he had a different mic on it but was only at 50% b/c unlike the old processors, we can not just switch mics w/out switching programs.  We could on the old ones and did NOT know it was different w/ teh new implants.  Apparently, neither did a few other patients.  So, problem fixed.  Right now, AB is not high on my list.  Also this week, it was discovered by Warren that AB was debiting our credit card again at the rate of $992!  At once.  Each month.  Getting it resolved.

Now, while there, Warren also took House guest with him.  I wanted a second opinion and got one which I appreciated UNC doing for us. She is fine with hearing which is fantastic.  There is an obvious speech issue and our speech therapist will handle that from here and test her this coming week. 

I'm back tracking to finish posts again.  Yana also went w/ house guest on that first hearing check.  Yana has severe CAPD.  So want to double check every so often. And last time was in 2007 so good to double check.  Her hearing is also fine.  Thought it would be but always good to check every once in a blue moon.  That was interesting going there w/ those two at the appointment, a kid I babysit for, Little Guy, and Reni/ Irina as my helpers.  Try entertaining a 2yo and non-verbal/ non-ambulatory kid for over 3 hours in a waiting room!  Umm, not as easy as it looks.  But, we managed.  Next hearing test for Nik is in January.  Got a ways to go.  We have Little Guy getting tested in October.  All my other kids hear too well. 

Busy kind of week

Really, this week is jumping.  It is the last week of school.  Alex did not tell me he had awards today despite me repeatedly asking him when they were so we could go.  He's at the age where he does NOT want mom or dad around even at a ceremony.  His awards were today.  We missed them.  I said why did you not tell us?!  He said, "I didn't want you to go."  Nice, huh?  I know this is a phase.  Practically all my kids go through it but still makes me cringe hearing it.  He's afraid we'll embarrass him.  Didn't help that his sister said she was going to make a poster if we go.  Oh well.  He did get most improved for Language arts and A/B honor roll for 3rd and 4th 9 weeks.  Think for the year possibly too but have to check.  Just bummed he didn't want us to go.

Now, all the other kids have wanted us there and I have been there for every ceremony thus far.  Alex was our ONLY kid to say no.  Hey, I can still make him take a picture w/ the award.  Trust me, if we drove him to school, he'd be the kid asking to be dropped off a block away.  LOL.  And again, I know it's short lived.  Ironically, he doesn't want us there yet requested we home school him next year.  Go figure.

Today we went to Reni and Nik's award ceremonies.  Went to Summer's on Monday and go to Bojan's on Friday.  Yana doesn't have one and Max is/ isn't graduating.  Long story with Max.  He can walk at graduation if he wants to though has one course to take over the summer to be official.  Max is not too keen on celebrations or large crowds.  He never went to pep rallies if that gives you an idea.  So, this summer we are having a big cook out for him to invite friends and family to. 

And I started this in JUNE folks!  Beyond way behind.  I'm just going to end all the posts I started and then start again w/ catch up posts and pictures.  Easiest way I can think to do it.  So, bare with me the next few posts.  

Manic Monday

Where did my weekend go?  Time for the usual Monday morning post.  So, here goes nothing.

  • Didn't do much this weekend
  • Warren fixed the dryer
  • Max needs to cut down a small tree in the front yard
  • Need to get chlorine for the pool
  • Need to go to the bank
  • Have one of the girls being a real pistol this week
  • Trying to stay on top of birthday cards for people we know (yeh, wish me luck on this one)
  • RV still needs inspecting
  • Warren's tire got patched
  • Need some items for little guy & been suggested I make a wish list
  • Insurance owes me money.....again (was a lost pile of papers in the abyss somewhere)
  • Advanced Bionics screwed up again and debited our credit card another $992
  • Trying to figure out fall sports for the kids
  • Trying to figure out all the homeschool stuff
  • Need to withdraw quite a few from public school this week
  • Babysitting this week
  • Homestudy update is done
  • Yana is still working and saving up for transportation (undecided whether moped or car)
  • Bojan is still into playing chess 
  • Trying to find Bojan a chess club somewhere
  • Caught up on laundry
  • Adjusting to a new normal
  • Kids are wanting their friends back from vacation
  • No buyer yet for the house
  • So far behind on little things around the house
  • Job hunting with older kids this week
Well, the day got away from me so ending here.  LOL.  Shoot, MOnday is almost over.  It's been one heck of a day is all I'm going to say.  On an upside, Alex will now be taking care of someone's dogs, Logan and Max have some temporary house work w/ a neighbor, Logan and Max have more work w/ another neighbor, and Irina has yet another babysitting job that will be starting soon.  So, she'll have 2 different babysitting gigs.  Working all week and then some!  Bojan will be interning either this Friday or next Tuesday, starting.  He'll be doing that 2X a week and then I will also be getting him a job at McDonald's since he needs a work permit at his age.  Haven't had the chance to fill out.  Getting there folks. b usy, busy, busy.  I will explain more in future posts.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nik's Evaluation at CIDD

Okay, so Nik had an evaluation done at UNC on Monday.  An all day affair.  Boring for the parents for anyone going after us.  I will cut to the chase.  we are no further ahead than we were when we went.  Wow, started this back in May as his eval was the beginning of May.  The CIDD stands for the Center for Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.  It gives a team approach of how you should go forward for your child to better help them in life.  They have psychologists, behaviorists, etc.  They gather info from parents and teachers and evaluators the day you go.  And it is literally all day long.  Very boring for parents for those going in the future.  But truly, I felt I learned nothing and I felt like they were reaching for a reason to blame for the way he was.  "well, do you read to him?"  Everyday I said.  "do you read at least 20minutes?"  At least.  Well, read more.  "Does he play a lot of video games?"  No, he's very much an outdoorsy kind of kid.  Well, he could be outside more.  "Does he receive therapy?"  Yes, both private and at school.  You can increase his time?  No, he's maxed out.  We also practice with him every night.  I was answering questions that I think they thought I wouldn't be able to answer.  You could tell the lady giving me the 'speech' was all for cued speech. And I have NOTHING against that.  However, I do have a problem w/ folks only giving you biased ideas.  If the evaluator signs, it's use sign.  If they are auditory verbal, do that.  If they cue, you must cue.  You get the idea.  I just want someone to give us more direction than we've already gotten.  Over these last few years, it seems to change all the time.  Sign, oral, auditory verbal, cued, total communication, etc.  It is hard to decide what is right when you get such varying opinions.  We are going total communication route.  Period.  We had to make a decision and go with it.  Though, Nik is getting much better at talking lately. 

On to the autsim bit. Here's what they said.  They don't want to take away the autism dx that the neurologist says he has as he has a lot of qualities of autism.  However, they are not sure they'd say it is that or not.  More PDD-NOS possibly.  In other words, not sure, no further along than before.  Frustrating.

I was hoping to get a step by step plan.  I did not. Mostly stuff we either already do or already know.  Maybe we were expecting too much.  Not sure. At least we have something to give the school if nothing else.  I may try a behavior therapist and see if they have suggestions.  It's hard to want more help for your child but not knowing just how to go about getting it.  Help on things that maybe we haven't thought of yet or don't know.  Keeping fingers crossed that we can research more and find ways to help Nik succeed in life even more.  Suggestions are very welcomed. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Time for a Dip

Yes, I am well aware I have been off line this week.  It was the last week of school and to say we were busy with awards, ceremonies, end of year parties, graduations, etc. was an understatement.  Super duper busy.  For now, just doing a quick post on the pool.  finally a brand new liner and finally ready for a swim.  Kids were bugging me like crazy.  Once skimmer was up and running, I let them go in. 

And well, I started this awhile back in June as you can see.  Oh well, let me find some pool pics and just go from there.  Kids have been enjoying the pool as well as some of their friends.  New liner looks great and well, water is crystal clear.


Nik, enjoying some time in the sun and the water.


Reni, blowing up a raft.  We go to end of season clearance and stock up each year.  Only buy when 75% to 90% off.  They go through pool toys like water so have to do it that way.


Summer letting me know she loves me.  And just relaxing.


Reni in a float again.  This time, she didn't have to blow it up.


Ahh, the rare teenage son caught on camera.  Alex.


Summer and Nik doing what they do best.  Hard to believe they haven't known each other forever.  2 countries across the ocean and they end up together like this.  Who'd have thought it?


Alex helping get Little Guy's float ready.  We need one with a canopy.  Searching for one.  Doesn't the water look so inviting though?


What pool would be complete without a kid lounger?  Found it on a local yard sale site and Sofie and Summer love it.  Too cute for it too.  

Sorry not all kids are shown.  It is hard b/c older kids and house guest are usually together.  Soon enough though.  For now, just know all the kids and their friends are indeed having a good time with the pool this summer.  Even Little Guy is loving it.  This weekend is another hot weekend so we are ready.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Vacation-- Day 9 (heading home)

After some of the kids slept under the stars and we had a big breakfast, it was time to hit the road for the long drive home.  7 hours. 


And as is typical on these trips, the older kids seem to want to sleep the whole way and the younger ones just want to giggle the whole time.  Drives me nuts.  But, we made it home safe and sound and that's what counts.  We did have a wonderful vacation overall without too many incidents.  For the most part, they all seemed to get along.  Though it was threatened to come home more than once.  LOL.  Now, we will begin our planning for next year's vacation.  We intend to go back to the reunion for sure.  Though, we may explore a new state or two this time.  Our next RV trip is a Halloween trip in October.  Though, we may be throwing in a September trip too.  Not sure yet.  So, October and November, there will be more trips.  And the spring.  We love the campgrounds.  Wished we had a travel trailer to be sure but the RV brings us closer if nothing else.  We'll finish our inside paint job and finally get those cushions sewn.  New dinette cushions for the little dinette is next but need to first sew the new ones.  But, we made it work this time.  The RV trips are our getaways.  We love to learn new things or experience new things.  Whether from a riverboat cruise, bison farm, cave exploring, skipping stones in Lake Erie, amusement park, water park or what have you, we like to try at least something new and different each time.   I know we don't stay at fancy hotels and our RV is probably classified as an antique soon, but it allows us to travel and for that, we are very grateful.  Making memories.  Pray we can continue to do so.  I think for Christmas we're asking for gas cards.  Thanks for allowing me to share our trip this year.  Now, to catch you up on all the happenings around Chaos Manor.  Been incredible!  Got home on a Friday and on Monday, we got a call to make big plans to leave on that Tuesday.  Talk about a whirlwind.  Much more to come.

Summer Vacation-- Day 8 part 3 (WVA water fun!)

We made it to WVA after the bison farm.  We unpacked and kids and I went down to the pond area they have to swim.  So much stinking fun!  All must wear a life jacket.  Dock you can jump off of, blow up stuff, giant trampoline, etc.  Good, water fun.  All of us and one other in the water.  Perfect.  After a long drive, was just pleasant. 


 Alex checking to see who he had beat up the slide. 


Logan in action.


Summer and Sofie were afraid to go down this mini slide.  Irina was kind enough to demonstrate for them.

Alex coming down, other kids going up.


Logan, thinking if he'll do a back flip this time or not.


Sofie, growing up before my eyes.


Love how they help each other.  Bojan has incredible arm strength for obvious reasons.


Blurry but cute of Nik jumping off.


Giant trampoline.  Course they had fun on this thing as well.  Half the battle is getting up there.


Nik helping Summer go on one of the inflatables.  They really do help each other when needed.  Trips do a lot for my kids.  Wish we could take more!


Nik and another jump.  He never tires of doing this.  He, Logan and Alex were jumping off this thing over and over again.

Rinse off time.  Bojan in the background putting his legs on.


Summer does everything with finess and style.  Even rinsing off her feet.


On the way back, Summer caught a lightening bug.  So much better than catching it in our own yard.  LOL.  Came back to the RV, had a nice dinner and dessert and it was off to bed.  Some of the kids since we were still sans tent and sleeping bags, decided to sleep under the stars that night.  Was fantastic!