Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Oncologist Appt.

Today was Dasha's 2nd oncologist appt.  We have to go every 3 months for a year and then once a year after that.  Dasha had to have an ultrasound first, but she had to fast before the ultrasound.  No food or drink after 8 am.  Her ultrasound was scheduled for noon.  We got in a little early and we went back to the room.  I have been pretty good about warning people of Dasha's fear of the latex gloves that they wear, but the Ultrasound technician was faster than I was.  Dasha saw the gloves and it was all over.  She freaked.  I wish I knew what it is about them, what they did at the orphanage that made her fear the gloves, because she has had a fear of them since we went to Minnesota, her first dr. appt. with us, she has a memory of them.

Anyway she cried the whole ultrasound but it went well, and we went and got some lunch.  She scarfed her food down.  We had about 45 minutes before our appt. with the oncologist so we went back to the car and I put a movie in for her.  Love the DVD player in our new car!  We then went back in the hospital and got checked in and they weighed her, checked her height, head circumference, bp, and temp.

We went back and the nurse not knowing Dasha's history at all, said that they needed a blood sample and asked where her pic line was, stomach or chest.  I blinked a moment and was like, oh, she doesn't have one.  It is very unusual to take a healthy child to an oncology clinic after all!  So they got the blood the old natural way.  We sang the bible song as she softly cried through the whole thing.  The nurses laughed as Dasha yelled BIBLE at the end of the song, as she is crying! 

Her oncologist came in and stated that her ultrasound is great, no tumors, no masses.  Clean scan.  And asked if I had any other concerns, I pointed out a bulge in her incision that has become more prominent as she has gained weight.  He poked around on it and confirmed what we thought, hernia.  He said that we was going to send an email to the surgeon to see if he would like to see her and examine it.  Most likely he will.  So we might be getting it fixed, or it might not be severe enough to fix.  If they do fix it I think I will ask them to fix her umbilical hernia at the same time.  Rather have only one surgery rather than two. 

We had to leave a potty sample and then we were all done.  I also asked about the constant pottying that she does, and he said that most likely it is just her, and to wait on the potty training when she can understand a little bit more.  A long day, but overall very good. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I have read this many times, but do not remember who...

Wrote what things.  I have come to the conclusion a few months ago, to leave Dasha's adoption out of my everyday conversations with people both old and new.  Now I am not saying that I never talk about it, but I don't go telling every person that I meet that she is adopted.  I have just decided that Dasha is my daughter and that is all that people need to know.  If they get curious, or if there is something obvious I will bring it up.  We are not hiding it, but it is her story to tell, not mine.  Though Camden loves to introduce his Russian sister!

While it is very much part of who she is, it doesn't define her.  I know that there are people who are going to need to know, like her teacher next year, but she already knows and has been prepping for her.  Mainly due to her language delay, etc.  While she improves every day, she is behind the average 2 year old.  Dasha is stringing 2-3 words together every day more and more often.  Like "Pee in Potty!"  Though she never tells me before she actually goes!

How has everyone else handled this transition?  Or have you done this transition?  What do you openly share, what do you keep to yourselves?  While I am very open on this blog, the average person in our daily lives do not read this. 

In other news, I have reached out to a family birth searcher, but we are not going to proceed right now due to the costs of it right now.  With Randy and I both in school, it is going to stretch us a lot.  But he has our documents and when he plans his next trip to Kirov, he is going to contact me.

Have a blessed day everyone!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Crazy Week

This has been a crazy busy week here at our house.  This week was the last week for Camden at school, though he doesn't get much of a break, he is going to go to summer school to try and catch up since they are putting him in the older 4's class next year, and he doesn't turn 4 until the end of June.  It will also keep some familiarity in our schedule also so that is good.  One great idea that I stole from Pinterest though is near and dear to my heart.  When I graduated high school my grandma gave me the Dr. Seuss book, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"  Well I got the idea to take the book in to his teacher at the end of the year and have her sign it and write a little message to him, I will do this every year until he graduates high school and then give it to him as a gift.  I will of course do this for Dasha also, but the original book is very near and dear to my heart.  Older children do get a little more on some things unfortunately.  Also to mention, my grandmother passes 11 years ago, so Camden and of course Dasha never got to meet her.  So Camden will have a piece of my grandmother forever.

Camden and I also had dentist appts. on Thursday, and wonderful Trisha watched Dasha for me, as my husband is NEVER home!  Saturday Randy called me to tell me that he gave himself a strep test at work and it came back positive, yuck, though this is the first time in 6.5 years of being together that I have ever seen him take medicine for anything, so he must of felt horrible.
I also started "trying" to potty train Dasha.  We have been sitting on the potty 4-5 times a day with no problem, so I decided to go full in so that she would be ready for school in the fall.  The first day was a success, the second not as good, and it has just gone down hill from there.  We have no problem going, it is the time in between she does not hold it AT ALL!  I can take her potty, and then 5 minutes later she potties in her pants again.  I have never seen a child potty as much as her.  It is nuts how much she goes!  I don't know if this is related to her missing kidney, but we are going to see the oncologist on Thursday for our 3 month follow-up, so I am going to ask him when we go.  I don't really want to wait anymore, but if she needs to be a little more mature and more language developed then I can wait, but I don't know how to get her to understand to hold it!  Or tell me either one! 

Up next, I got the kids enrolled in swimming lessons for June, and next is to enroll Camden in soccer, and Dasha in gymnastics.

Have a great week all!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Omaha Zoo

Back when we were adopting we signed up for a Marriott rewards card to get two free nights to use while we were in Moscow for our Embassy appt.  But because we had such a short turn around between trips we were not able to use the rewards that we had been given.  We used one night when we went to Minneapolis for Dasha's I.A. doctor's appt.  Well we also earned another "free" night in addition to these nights, and it was set to expire on May 20th.  So Randy and I decided to rearrange his work schedule so that we could get two days back to back that he had off, and we headed up to Omaha to go to the zoo.  We went with some friends of our that hadn't met Dasha yet, and we had a blast, though it was HOT.  I do have to say that I have never been to Omaha before and it is a very pretty, clean city.  We also got to enjoy a heated indoor pool the first night and man Dasha is a fish!  She is jumping in, going under water and it does not phase her in the slightest.  Hard to believe 5 months ago she was terrified of the water.  What strides we have made.

 They have a wonderful aquarium at the zoo

 Both kids loved the "underwater" tunnel!
 Dasha checking out the sharks!

 Riding the skifari!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

On Mother's Day, it was just the kids and I, but we still had a great day.  I got a great idea to make our gifts for the Grandma's.  I got the idea off of Pinterest.  While mine don't look as good at the example, I think it still came out pretty good!  See the original here!  Camden's turned out a little better than Dasha's because she was fighting me the whole time because she did NOT like the paint on her feet, so she was not happy about me using her feet as paintbrushes!  The antenna are their thumbprints which she did much better on.  See ours below!

The kids did take me out to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and they insisted that daddy pay, so I did not argue!  :-)

We have had a lot of wildlife in our backyard as of late, we had a pair of robins build a nest in our play house, so we have gotten to see that progress every day.  Camden is in love with it, I think he will be sad when the babies fly away.  We also have a rabbit that Dasha is obsessed with!  This is her after she chased it to the fence trying to get it to come back!  You can see the rabbit in the background.  Now if the rabbit would actually come back she would LOSE it, she is still terrified of animals, but she is getting better.  Which is good as we are looking at getting Camden a dog for his birthday!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I am Mom enough!

A fellow blogger gave us a challenge in recent events covering the Times article that is all over the Internet and the news.  As someone who has become a mom both the conventional way and the non-conventional way I have both experiences.  While the cover shows one thing, the article is about attachment and bonding with your child.

I did have the experience of nursing Camden and I will tell you that I HATED it, every second of it.  I agreed to nurse for 3 months and that is all I did.  After 3 months I switched Camden to formula, and I don't feel he suffered at all because of my decision. I have a wonderful relationship with my son, and I love him to death and I know he loves me to death!   It was almost a plus to switch to the bottle because then Randy could bond during feedings also. 

I also adopted a child from another country that no one wanted.  No, I am not exaggerating, she was presented to 42 Russian families, not one would even go to the orphanage to see her.  She wouldn't of been there for us if one of those families had gone to meet her, they would of fell in love with her.  Our attaching and bonding process is very different vs. a bio. child.  Lots of hugs, cuddling, being the only one to feed them, change them, comfort them when they are hurt.  That is just the beginning of the list.

So here is my list of how I am mom enough....

I'm mom enough to leave my career and stay home and do the ultimate job, where there is no pay, just hugs, kisses, and dirty floors.
I'm mom enough to take my 3 year old to Russia for 3 weeks, when he had never been on an airplane ever.
I'm mom enough to adopt a child who had cancer.
I'm mom enough to adopt a child who will always have series of Dr. appts. because of her cancer for the rest of her life, as she only has one kidney now.
I'm mom enough to admit that I did not bond or attach to my daughter right away.
I'm mom enough to keep my mouth shut when someone makes a communist comment under their breath when they find out that my daughter is from Russia and not bite their heads off!
I'm mom enough to ignore all the comments when we were in the adoption process when we were told to "buy American."
I'm mom enough to love my children unconditionally, even though they drive me nuts some days.

And last but not least, I'm mom enough to admit that I am not perfect, and I know I could be a better mom, but I do my best at the time and the situation.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

6 month Post Placement visit

On Monday we had our 6 month post placement visit.  Can't believe we are already at that point, it is insane!   Unfortunately on Monday I was not feeling the greatest.  We had about 5 inches of rain on Sunday and it really stirred up issues with my allergies.  I was at the point I couldn't even stand up because of so much pressure in my head.  I really need to go get allergy tested so I can switch to shots.  Anyway I took an Allegra and went about trying to clean, while blowing my nose every 2 minutes getting ready.  Meanwhile Randy was installing the bathroom faucets in our master bath and also needed to go up in the attic to attach the vent to the exhaust fan in the bathroom.  None of the 3 bathrooms had vent fans in them, it was no wonder we had so many moisture and mold issues in the two upstairs baths.  The access to the attic though is in Dasha's room, but you have to empty the closet to get up there, so I was like, it's okay, the social worker isn't going to look at the house, no biggie.

Well after 6 hours I knew I needed more medicine and took another Allegra against the label advice, and laid down for an hour while Dasha napped, and finally was feeling better, not normal, but better.  We were able to get the faucets installed, but was not able to get Dasha's room back together before the social worker came. 

She came over and did the update, though I was surprised she asked what goals I had in mind for her, wasn't prepared for that one.  My answer was language!  Then she was done and said, "Ok, I just need to see her room and the bathroom that you are remodeling", my heart sank.  I quickly explained what was going on and she was understanding!  Overall the visit took 45 minutes, and cost $300!  Oh well, now all I have to do is wait to get the report and go to Topeka and get it Apostilled and to California by the 29th of this month. 

1 report down, 3 to go, unless Russia changes their minds and adds more reports in the future.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Give, Save, Spend

This week we started Camden on a commission based allowance.  We thought that he was old enough to start earning his own money, so we came up with some jobs that he needed to perform in order to earn his money.  Some tasks are just standard jobs, that are just part of being a kiddo, pick-up your toys, put your plate in the sink etc.  So Camden's jobs are to take all the things that are recyclable out to the bin for me, which is in the garage, he helps me put away the laundry and puts all his clothes away, and he put all the silverware away, sans the sharp knives!  If he does his jobs every day without complaining he gets paid.  If he doesn't do them or has a very bad attitude about it he doesn't get paid. 

So far the first week has been great, he has been very excited about it and as soon as I tell him to come do his job he comes running!  We decided on $3 a week and then I divided that by 7 days so that he rewarded every day instead of having to wait until the very end of the week. 

I then went and got 3 small mason jars at the dollar store and wrote on them Give, Save, Spend.  We put 10% of his commissions in the give jar, 40% in the save jar, and 50% in the spend jar.  He is so excited about taking his give money to church tomorrow!  We will also put his save money in his piggy bank tomorrow, and then on Monday when Randy is home we will go to the store and see if he wants to spend his spend money.  We have decided to start him off young at teaching him how to handle his money.  While we will still buy him things, we will not buy everything.  If there is something he really wants, he will have to save for it etc. 

Here's hoping that he doesn't put us in the poor house!

 So excited about putting his money in!
If you look closely, you can see give written on the jar!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Laundry room and School

I don't know about you all but our laundry room is kinda a catch all kind of room.  As it is an actual room with a door, I can go throw stuff in there and shut the door and it is out of sight, out of mind.  I have always wanted a folding table in there but it has never really been a priority.  Well we bought new living room furniture and the couch that was my "folding table" went bye-bye!  Our new couch is not really configured to keep up that practice, so I needed to do something.  So this is what I walked into this morning in our laundry room.

  Swim diapers, that were given to me, our ice cream maker, a cooler, toilet paper, and boxes that I have been saving to put the kids' winter clothing in.  With this crazy weather that we have been having, I haven't been able to transition their clothes yet, but I took care of that task today!  I left out 2 winter outfits and the rest are packed away!  Wahoo!  The closet got cleaned out and I realize that I will never need to buy a baby, Christmas, or wedding gift bag ever again!  Stored the wrapping paper and the T.P. in the closet where they go, and the hanging rack.  Since I don't work anymore the hanging rack, which was for my nice clothes haven't been used in over a year!  The cooler got stored, and then the floor got swept and mopped. 

Then I scrounged down in the basement and found a small folding table that we were given when we had our large garage sale, and now at no cost to us, and I am sure that my husband will be much happier, as he HATES clutter, this is our laundry room now!

I left out the ice cream maker because I use it all the time, I prefer to make my ice cream rather than buy it, so I know what ingredients go into it!  And I am proud to say that I have already folded my clothes on it and it works perfectly!

As far as school, I am going back to school starting this summer, and next February I will be applying to  a Radiology program at a local community college to become a Radiology Tech, and then hopefully on to Ultrasound Technician.  So pray for our sanity as both Randy and I will be in school, he is getting his B.S.N. so he can apply to C.R.N.A. school and eventually retire from the fire dept.  Both kids will be in preschool next year so it will give me plenty of time to study!  I hope!