Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The time has come...

To say goodbye.  Not really sure who still reads this blog, but I have lost my desire to blog anymore.  As we get busier with the kids schedules, sitting and writing about it just seems to take a back seat anymore.  I am not shutting the blog down, but unless something major happens in our live, I probably won't be updating anymore.  I will leave it open for people who are in the adoption process, and who knows maybe one day Russia will open back up and it will be a helping tool for some family.  So for those of you who still read, and I "know" who you are, friend me on FB, under Denise Boothe Denson.  I must "know" you from the blogging world, before I will add you, but you will see my adorable kids there.  If you are a random reader though, please don't be offended if I don't add you.  Just to protect my kids and our somewhat privacy.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Trip from H*E*Double Hockey Sticks

If you really know me, you know that I don't swear, never have, just don't think it is an attractive feature to hear people talk in that way.  So this trip really had to be bad to make me even THINK about using that word!

We went to Salt Lake City, Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Teton National Park.  On June 5th, Randy's B-Day, the kids and I loaded up Randy's mom's car, she dropped it off the week earlier on her move out to Utah, and we headed out on the two day journey to Utah.  Randy was flying later in the week as he had to work.  The kids were rock stars they endured 2 9+ hour days in a TINY little car but we made it! :-)  As we arrived we had been warned about my Brother-In-Laws psycho dog by my M-I-L, but she tends to exaggerate so I wanted to see with my own eyes.  Well this dog is the most psychotic dog I have ever seen in my life.  I could never live with a dog that crazy.  He bit the kids, knocked them down, he eats everything in sight, shoes, toys, etc.  I really couldn't believe how insane this dog was.  We managed to survive the next 48 hours until we left on Saturday to go get our RV.  We sent the kids ahead with Randy's sister and we went down to pick up our RV from the guy we were renting from and would meet them at the first stop.  We get the RV and start heading north. 

Right as we are about to cross the Idaho border there was about 10 miles of construction with the large orange barrels.  We're driving and these barrels were all over our lane of traffic.  I see one coming up that is most definitely in our lane and yell, "Randy your going to HIT......BOOOOOM!  Yep we hit it with the side of the RV.  In his defense, it was 4 feet into our lane, and a very small shoulder, and a wide RV.  We pull over as soon as we can.  Damage done was the clips that hold the front of the awning on were broken and the steps that you use to get in the side door of the RV were demolished.  I was about ready to cry.  We had no tools, no rope, nothing as we were on our own.  So Randy used the straps from our suitcases to hold the stair up and the shoulder strap from our camera bag to keep the awning secure. 

We arrive at our first stop, and with the help of Randy's sister and her husband we get the awning secure, and the step removed.  Now it is Saturday night, and all RV stores are closed on Sunday.  We knew we were tough out of luck.  We started scouring the Internet for replacement parts.  The prices were not pretty.  We decided to just sleep on it and try again in the morning. 

Sunday we finished heading north to Yellowstone.  Now we are simple campers, we like being in the parks, not Randy's brother and sister, they like full hook-ups.  So we stayed outside the park at a "resort" RV park, that was chock full of mosquito's.  Dasha is a mosquito magnet.  She had on a bug band, and spray and she was still getting bit.  No Bueno....We had a great time in Yellowstone, and in the mean time found a step for the RV and had it shipped to our campsite in the Tetons. 

Wednesday we headed down to the Tetons, again staying out of the park at another RV Park, got out step and was able to replace it and found some replacement parts for the awning.  There had been some family drama also, but that is to be expected from putting 4 different families together for that long period of a time. :-)  We finished out our time and started heading down back to Salt Lake City.  We stopped at Bear Lake where the mosquito's were so thick that they flew in your mouth, it was HORRIBLE!!!!!  Needless to say Dasha is one big lumpy mosquito bite by now.  Randy and I got up early the last morning and headed back to his brothers house to get the RV ready to give back to the owner.  As we were bringing in the slides the slide broke.  My heart really sank, that is NOT GOOD!!!

By this time I am swearing off camping ever again, especially in someone else's stuff.  We get back to Randy's brothers house and have to deal with the crazy psycho dog again, praise the Lord he stayed with a dog sitter while we were camping.  Randy fixes the awning and decided to see if he can fix the slide and luckily  all that happened is a bolt broke.  It was a fairly easy fix.  He finally returns it and I think finally, it is over.  Randy flies home that night and the kids and I fly home on Monday night. 

Well I woke up in the middle of the night Sunday night sicker than a dog, I will spare you the details but I thought momentarily that death might be better than what I was experiencing.  I somehow was making it through the day on Monday just praying for our flight so we could get home, and about an hour and a half before we leave for our flight, Camden says, Mom, my tummy hurts.  Then it all comes out.....

He proceeds to vomit every 10 minutes, for the next hour.   I called the airline to see if we can change our flights, sure, for $300 per person, nope, not an option, off to the airport we go.  I am in the back holding Camden, a bowl and catching puke, while trying to not puke myself.  We get to the airport, I ask for a wheelchair, curb side service, everything I can get.  As we are going through security, Camden has his head in a Wal-Mart bag puking.  I felt so bad for him....I was able to get a wheelchair for him at all the airports as we had to change planes in Denver.  We get on the first plane, and he pukes before we take off, I laid him on my lap and tried to get him to go to sleep.  He slept for 15 minutes and woke up puking.  We got to be first name basis with the stewardess after that....

We got off in Denver, and a nice lady helped me as I had Camden in a wheel chair, Dasha, a car seat and three backpacks.  She delivered us to our next plane and said, "Good Luck."  We had one more hour and ten minute flight.  As we were pre-boarding the lady at the ticket booth, looked at Camden with his barf bag, and said that he wasn't fit to fly.  I about lost it.  I told her we were going on the flight whether she liked it or not.  She took one look at my wild crazy hair and eyes and ghostly appearance, as I was very sick also and said ok, just hide the barf bag. 

We got on the last flight Camden got sick one more time right as we were taking off and then fell asleep for the rest of the flight thank goodness.  We even got in early which was nice, but Randy wasn't there yet, and no one was helping me, so I put both kids in the wheelchair, and hung all the backpacks on the back and somehow steered the wheelchair and carried the car seat at the same time.  Got to baggage claim, got our bags right as Randy was pulling in. 

That was Monday, it is now Friday, I am better, Camden is still not.  It appears that there is a Noro virus outbreak going on in Yellowstone and Tetons right now, so pretty sure that is what we got.  He is slowly getting better, but I can't wait until my little man is back to normal.  Unfortunately my last trip to Yellowstone and Tetons also was a disaster, so maybe I just need to avoid those parks from now on!  Sorry for the long novel, just had to get it out!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Spring Program and Pre-School Graduation

Last week was the Spring program at pre-school and the Pre-School Graduation.  My little man is heading off to Kindergarten and Dasha is moving up to Ms. Jenny's class!  I am really excited about Dasha being in Ms. Jenny's class, as I really think Ms. Jenny will really challenge Dasha.  She is extremely smart, but can be very manipulative.  Her previous teacher and I had to have several conversations basically on the stuff that I found out that she was getting away with, but the teacher was giving her a pass because of her background.  While some things were okay, most were not.  She will be attending the extended day session as Camden will still be in the same building just on the grade school side, and I only want to drive up there two times a day, not 4!  So Dasha will go to school on T/R from 8-3:30. 

On to the program and graduation.  They both did SOOOOO good!  Dasha knew all her moves, and sang some of the words, and Camden was so proud in his cap and gown.  Sorry about all the red eyes, our distance from the kids, and the lighting in the room, it just didn't work out too well even with the red eye reduction.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring Pics of the kids

I am really trying to stay on top of things, but between school, the kids, and remodeling out house, by the end of the day I am just too tired to do anything, let alone try and come up with stuff to write.  Hopefully this summer will be better.  I am taking the summer off of classes.  But we are leaving for two weeks and going to the Tetons and Yellowstone.  Should be a blast.  Here are the kids' spring pics from school.  Can't believe Camden is going to Kindergarten next year!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I forgot to write about this.  A week after we got back from our cruise in February Camden had his tonsils and adenoids removed.  Knowing that Camden was going to be very clingy for a few days, my mom volunteered to take Dasha for a long 4 day weekend.  So on Thursday I met my mom half way and delivered one very excited girl to my mom and one sad boy that wanted to go to grandmas also got to come home with me. 

Camden never had a serious issue with strep, had it once or twice, but he had a bad issue with snoring and in the winter he would get a cough that would never go away.  He would cough so hard in his sleep that he would gag and throw up in his bed.  Finally after three nights in a row, I put the question out on Facebook, love that place, to see if my friends thought an ENT would even see him without a history of strep.  They all told me to try so I called and made the appt. and we went in and I explained my concern.  She really emphasised the history of strep, and I was preparing myself for a let down, but then she started talking about snoring.  Little kids are not supposed to snore, and mostly likely lead to sleep apnea issues later on.  Then she looked in his mouth.  She gasped and asked how he eats as his tonsils touch each other!  Needless to say we got our surgery.

So Friday Camden had his procedure, he got to pick out what flavor of anesthesia he got to smell and got to drive a jeep back to surgery.  The ENT came out after about 15 minutes and she was done.  He did good and they were waking him up and we would get to go back as soon as he was awake.  When we went back he was so sad and upset, it made me cry he was so upset.  They made us hang out for about 2 hours and then we got to leave.  There is one thing very unusual that Camden hates and it is band-aids.  Well when they took out the I.V. they had it taped on, oh he was MAD when they finally got the I.V. out.  We carried him out to the car and took him home to snuggle for the rest of the day.  He really did very well. 

Now one thing that they tell you is that they will have some bad breathe as their throats heal.  Well bad breathe does not even come close to describing what this smell was.  It was the smell of death, coming out of my 4 year olds mouth!  And he wanted to sit right against us ALL THE TIME.  It was enough to make me gag the smell was so bad.  I did everything I could possibly do, I gave him tic tacs, I brushed his teeth 3 times a day, I let him chew gum.  Nothing, Nada, Nyet.  It was rancid.  I resorted to most of the time to siting with my hand over my nose most of the time to try and block some of the smell. 

After 4 days we went to get Dasha and she was ready to come home.  I think she is well attached!  She was ready to come home and I was ready for her to come home.  :-)  Camden finally started acting normal about 7 days post surgery.  Hoping Dasha's hernia surgery goes just as well or better than Camdens'!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Snowmagadden 2013

I have mentioned before that we have been in a terrible drought the past few years.  Last year we got 3.9 inches of snow.  This year we had been doing better than last year, we were up to 5.9 inches! ;-)  Impressive right?!?  So the weathermen started talking about this HUGE storm that was coming our way and we were in for a lot of snow.  Now we were nearing the end of February and it just isn't normal to get a lot of snow that late, so I was expecting a few inches of snow.  Well we got hammered.  At our house we got 12+ inches on Wednesday night into Thursday on the 20th of February.  That is pretty good right.  Well then they said we were going to get another round on Monday night into Tuesday.  I was done after the 12 inches.  Well we got hit again with another 12 inches of snow.  The second snow was a wet heavy snow, the kind that breaks trees, and power lines.  When we got up that morning I even told Randy, "hey we still have power so we are good!"  There was so much snow it was crazy, the dog didn't know what to do as she couldn't even squat to potty as the snow came up past her stomach!

I had bought donuts the day before because I knew we would be snowed in and we were sitting on the couch getting snuggled in to watch a movie and Poof, the power went.  Randy and I looked at each other and we knew we were in for a LONG day!  We reported the outage and cuddled up to stay warm.  About 15 minutes later I hear a zinging in the back yard so I got up to go see what was going on and this is what I saw!!!

Our backyard was on fire.  I called 911 and the firetruck came out.  They checked everything, and put in another request to BPU, and since the trees weren't on fire they couldn't do anything as you can't put water on live electric lines.   The line quits arcing and we hunkered down again.  About an hour later the line started again and our neighbor called 911.  Not us, we were watching but knew they couldn't do anything.  So the fire truck came again! They went next door and told them to not call again unless something was actually on fire. Put in another request to BPU from the fire dept.  We lost power at 8:30 that morning.  By 4:30 the house was down to 59 degrees and the kids were COLD!  We were also. :-)  So we booked a hotel room.  We left hoping the house would still be standing when we got back the next morning and we would have power!

We had a fun time at the hotel, had dinner, went swimming etc.  The next morning we still didn't have power but Randy had to go to work so the kids and I were at the house and it was down to 53 degrees!  We lasted two hours and then I called a friend and asked if we could hang with them until the power was back on.  Power was finally restored at 6:30 that night!  34 hours later. 

The next day we finally got to go out and play in snow and Randy built the kids a fort and they made their first snowman!  I tell you what, I never want to go that long without power again.  Yes I know we are spoiled, and I am okay with that!
 Round 1, it was still snowing when we measured!
 The fort under construction
 All done
 Our neighbor gave us a snowman kit!

Friday, March 8, 2013

18 month plan

Yes, we are planners!  We have been contemplating this for a LONG time, but we have always put it off saying next year, next year.  Well now we have a plan.  I don't know if I have ever mentioned this but, Randy bought our house when he was single, and he also bought in the height of the market.  While I have never been a fan of the house, it is a good house, I am just not a fan of DIY.  The other major negative of our house is the local school district.  It is HORRIBLE!!!  Not only are their scores in the tank, the environment is not one I want my children to be in.  As Camden will be entering Kindergarten next year, we knew that he would not be going to public school.  We found a great private school and he has been accepted for Kindy.  Last night we were going over the numbers.  With just Camden it is feasible.  When we add Dasha 2 years later, it becomes a lot harder to manage. 

The hard part of this plan is like when I mentioned above, Randy bought in the height of the market.  There were some bad loan terms and we refinanced when we got married.  We rolled the closing costs into the loan, which raised the mortgage on the house, etc.  As we all know it takes FOREVER to make a dent in a mortgage.  Then the market crash happened.  Houses started foreclosing all around us and we lost about $50,000 in our home value.  Plus we were saving for a $50,000 adoption.  So for the next 5 years we trudged along.  Then we were finally able to refinance through HARP 2.0 last year.  We lowered our interest rate by almost 2% and for the last year we have been able to pay extra on our house, we are making a dent now.  But it takes a long time for home values to rise and to pay down a mortgage to close that $50,000 gap.  So the plan, in 18 months, we are putting the house on the market with a hopeful timeline that it will take 6 months for it to sell.  We hope that by that time, the home remodel will be done, we will have paid down enough of the principle that we will only need to write a small check for closing costs and Realtor fees, and we plan on renting out in our desired school district.  We are limited by our school districts as Randy has to live in the county for his job.  There are only 4 districts in the county and only 1 is actually a school district worth sending your kids to.  So that is the plan.  We will hopefully have the house sold by the time Camden is done with 1st grade, and both he and Dasha can enter public school when he is in 2nd grade and she is in Kindergarten.

So that is the plan, here's to making it all work out!