Monday, December 31, 2007

Poopy Puppy

This morning i was rolling and playing with the kids in bed. I noticed Java hadn't been around, which is un usual. I called her a few times. No go. Suddenly I heard her zip thru the doggie door and then she bounded onto the bed. She had wet paws and legs and a dirty, wet snout.
Then the data collated in my head.
toilet plugged up in our bathroom... shower not draining... sump pump on and off since yesterday-when it was not raining...that is not mud on her snout
POOPY PUPPY!!!
I went in the backyard and found water and sewage flowing like a river across the yard.
Now for the good news. I put in a call to a plumber and Pops called the county. Mr. County plumber arrived first. So while the crap that is flowing all over the yard may be the neighbors-it is due to a problem in the line on the street versus a pipe in our yard! So there will be no cost to us!!!!!!!!
So that is good news to me. I guess it is all in perspective taking. But I won't be inviting anyone over for a backyard picnic anytime soon.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A New Year is Upon Us

I feel like all of my creativity, time and energy for more then the the last month was devoted to the holidays and Christmas. Of course that was my choice. But as a result I have taken a huge mental vacation from: working on plans for Mom, my therapy practice and necessary work to expand and move, Aj's IEP, cleaning and organizing home and office, Aj and meds, Special Ed PTA, local school PTA, outline for a talk I am giving and the play dates I say I am going to organize and never do. So it is time to crack down. Many parts of it I look forward to. I like having projects etc that I am working on. But I must admit I prefer my work, presentations and PTA stuff to figuring out my kids and Granny. Oh and I prefer most things to cleaning. I also have down the ol' try to get more healthy. I am not going to commit myself to fail by saying I will exercise tons and diet. That is not real. My plan is to eat well, not excessively and poorly, and perhaps squeeze in some walking and yoga.
My practice continues to be somewhat slow. I am going to expand my practice into the area of pediatric feeding and swallowing. Given my training, teaching and clinical experience with adult swallowing disorders, motor speech disorders (apraxia and dysarthria), and SID (sensory integration disorder) this is not really much of a stretch. I have 3 courses I am looking into. From clinical reports for feeding/swallowing clients I have read from clinicians area, -this will be an area I feel I can take on and do a good job with. In terms of knowledge and experiences, I have most of the big pieces already. My confidence often runs behind my skill level. We'll see how it all plays out.

I love the two year olds

The other day I emailed a Mom whose two-year-old son I see for speech. I have been off for over a week, I wrote that I missed them. She replied:

we miss you, too. boy and i were playing up/down with some toys and i think he asked for you today. well, he either asked for you or a yogurt. i am still figuring out his language.

I will take that as a compliment-because I think he likes yogurt.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Granny's Arm

Ended up with a 4:30 pm MD apt. for Granny. Double Trouble graciously took and kept my growling, ungrateful children. Granny has lymphodema due removal of lymph nodes when she had a mastectomy 10 years ago. MD said she had an infection and that it was quite common in individuals who had lymphodema and was surprised she hadn't had it before. She got a shot of antibiotics and a perscription for abx pills. 24 hours later her arm looks better and is clearly improving. Good news. If that wasn't the case she would have needed IV antibiotics, meaning hospitalization. Nice to have avoided that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day Update

In no particular order:
=Aj got a CAL jersey and wanted to call jennyalice right away and tell her
=Pops got me a cooking class at Williams and Sonoma (he knows I like to cook), a lovely basket of my favorite scent from Crabtree and Evlyn and reservations for us at a place in Cambria. He is such a sweetie
=14 for dinner a group of somehow kinda maybe related people and some extras. I was a little worried when Cousin Harley Davidsonn and his fiance started doing vodka shots at 2 pm-but no worries after all.
=Pops father, whom I call The General (and he likes it), gave us a trip to Disney land last year. That was a 3 day trip with The General, Pops the kids and I. And actually it turned out great. So today for Xmas he gave it to us again. The kids are thrilled. Last year we went over spring break. This year I want to take them out of school.
=cookies and milk left out for Santa and carrots for reindeer
=Making as much food as possible in advance for xmas dinner is a good idea. But not if it includes a Butternut squash and banana puree dish. Despite its containing alcohol and orange juice and being covered and refrigerated, it will still turn and dark brown and resemble baby poop. We had a little less food than I orginally planned.
=I love it when the kids yell,"Oh Santa, this is SOOO COOL!'
=On Christmas Eve pops had Ki call NORAD, who is known for tracking and providing current up to date info about the where abouts of Santa on Christmas Eve. Working Elves answer the phone. Ki said she wanted to know when Santa was going to be at our house. Ms Elf asked her, "Where are you?" Ki told her Deadwood City in CA. Ms Elf then told her SAnta was due at our house between 10:30 and 11:00 and that she should probably go to bed soon.(You'll have to try it next year with little one
=I think I wrapped a trillion presents
=Granny's arm was swollen and red and very hot Xmas night. I kept waking up during the night trying to come up with who I could dump my kids on the next day to take Granny to the MD (Pops at work)
=Over all things went well for XMAS

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Update

I made a new batch of Chex mix, sans the coffee with flavored creamer. I have gotten a lot done, still more to do. Housekeepers come in an hour. I've been cooking and planning to try and get as much done as possible before Christmas. Especially for the dinner where there will be 14 of us. I am having 3 smaller tables and will have a buffet style and have people rotate seats after courses just to keep it fun and make my father in law crazy. Of course that will give him new audiences to talk about himself to. I have made peppermint bark, Christmas bark, chocolate covered nuts and the chex. Breakfast is baked french toast, bacon and OJ. Lunch is tortilla soup. Heavy appetizers. Dinner is a Honney Baked ham (paid for by one of the guests), scalloped potatoes (a guest), homemade applesauce, puree butternut squash with banana, broccoli and cauliflower gratin, sweet potatoes with apples, Christmas salad (spinach, pomegranate, avocado, pine nuts,w/ champagne dressing), fruit salad (a guest). Candy (above) and other dessert (guest).
Currently, time to rip around the house and clean ahead of the house keepers, then off to run a couple errands.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mushy Christmas Brain

Early last week I thought I was something else. I wrapped up pretty much all of my Christmas shopping over the Internet-via good ol' Ammazon. I also started a bunch of cooking- Christmas (candy) bark, peppermint bark, Chex mix, and homemade apple sauce. Today I planned to take kids to Stamford mall to have lunch at McDonald's and then go visit Santa.
This morning I told Aj about the plans for our day. He unhinged. He had been planning on going to Quizzno's. 20 to 30 min of screaming, crying... AAHHH! I had told myself I would crank out the last double batch of the Chex Mix and then we would leave - or some of us would. So feeling a bit tense from Aj's continuing blow up, I went into the kitchen and measured the seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder into the previously melted butter. I stirred and poured it over the 12 cups of cereal, pretzels and nuts. After mixing I placed it in 3 large pyrex in the oven. Then I turned around and saw on the counter the measuring cup of melted butter. But I had just poured that over the cereal mix? Confused, I looked into the sink and there sat my coffee cup. But I wasn't done with my coffee...oh dear. I had put the spices in my mocha-peppermint flavored coffee and thoroughly stirred it into the cereal before popping it into the oven. Now supposedly new recipes are born from mistakes, yet somehow this didn't seem like it would be one of those.
So we had compromised by having lunch at Quizzno's and then heading to McDonnalds and then to Santa. When we made it to Santa, there was a note posted that he was out feeding is reindeer and would be back in hour. Remarkably so, Aj did not melt down when I suggested we come back in the am tomorrow.
As we were driving home it occurred to me that I had received none of the items I had ordered from Amazon. That was odd, they usually sent things so quickly. I also hadn't gotten any of those emails lately that update you on the shipping process. It was then that I recalled that my computer was doing wierd things when I was trying to send that email. mmmmmmmmmmm. It occurred to me that the order never went through. AAHHH!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The annual Christmas Letter

BELOW IS A COPY OF MY ANNUAL XMAS LETTER. IT SOUNDS CHEERY ENOUGH,BACUSE FRANKLY, NO ONE EXCEPT VERY FEW IN OUR LIVES REALLY WNAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE SHITTY PARTS.

Friends and Family- December 3, 2007
The annual update:
January - On New Years Eve my Mom, celebrates her B-day. She is strikingly young looking for being over 80. She is still living with us and is a big help here at home. A group of incredible women and I formed the Special Education PTA of Deadwood City (SEPTAD) and I am elected president. Ki gets a beta fish for her b-day and names him Jack-Jack.
February - Aj leaves the following note under his pillow. Dear Tooth Fairy,
I lost my tooth. It is in my tummy because I swallowed it. I tried to get it out but I could not get it out. And my tummy really hurts. I hope I still get my money. Love, Aj
Pops continues work as a PT & manager at Physicall Health. He enjoys working a schedule of 4 ten-hour days. I continue to expand my speech therapy pratice. I feel grateful to have a career that I enjoy so much.
March - Aj plays little league and Ki plays t-ball. We continue to grow our family zoo with the addition of Java, a chocolate lab. At six months and 45 pounds, she is a bundle of untrained, unbridled, pure joy. On her 1st evening she jumps in the bath with the kids & later jumps in our bed and attempts to curl up and sleep on my head.
April - Pop’s father treats the four of us to a 3 day trip to Disney land. We go during spring break with 9 million of our closest friends. Even with the crowds, it is still a magical place. Although, admittedly it did lose some of the magic when we got stuck in It’s a Small World and were tortured by “that song”.
May - I attend a CA state PTA conference in Sacramento. My friend and I are both in denial that we have grown up to drive mini-vans and attend PTA conferences.
June - Ki gets bounced too hard in a jump house and convinces my physical therapist husband that her arm is broken. Once at the ER I rationalize, “Well she hasn’t had the obligatory every-kid-goes-to-the-ER-at-least-once.” Shortly after that Pops & I realize she is doing arm push ups in the waiting room chair. She’ll have to get that visit in another time.
July - I question why I bathe the kids when the days are: M pool, W lake, F pool, S lake.
August - We visit Arnold, CA & Kurt & I long to buy a home there. Aj starts 3rd grade and enjoys his new classroom aide, Patty. Ki starts 1st grade and loves school. September - A beta fish, whom Kianna names Dash, replaces the previously deceased Beta, Jack-Jack. Pops and I celebrate our 11th anniversary.
October - Pops, his brother & Dad go goose hunting in Canada. For Halloween Ki is a SWAT officer or SCOTT as she calls it. Aj is Darth Vader. He’s never seen Star Wars, but you can’t beat a light saber as part of a costume. Java jumps the fence & enjoys me chasing her up the street while wearing my head-to-toe Winnie the Pooh costume. Or at least the neighbors seem to enjoy it.
November - Java keeps me busy. One day in the car she bites a Pepsi can & sets off a sugary geyser. Two weeks later she sours the car after biting the lid off a gallon of milk.
December - My Dad & his wife, begin the process of selling the home I grew up in, in order to move to the Northwest. Two of my dear friends successfully publish a book, allowing me to call myself a “published writer.”
Can I Sit With You? Is a collection of stories about schoolyard social experiences, both good and bad. All proceeds from the sale of Can I Sit With You? go directly to SEPTAR.
You can check out and purchase the book and at: http://www.lulu.com/content/1466612

Peace on Earth,
Pops (40 something), Me (40 something), Aj (9), Ki (6), Granny (80 something), Bear the cat (13), Sierra the lab (11), Sammy the guinea pig (6 ish),
Buddy the guinea pig (3 ish), Java the lab (1), Dash the Beta fish (6 months)

I am sorry, what did you say?

Aj and I had a very rough morning on wed. then around 1:00 I got a call from Pops who said the teacher had called him (seems she is avoiding calling me for some reason...). Seems Aj became frustrated in reading class and mumbled under his breath that he wanted to kill himself and the reading teacher.But then he returned to his happy self was appropriately doing reading work back in his regular class.
holy shit
well...aj often uses language without always understanding the full intent.I have been verbally banned from many things by him. When he is frustrated he goes to the language archive and accesses previously heard or used words. But none the less this is concerning and of course set of a flurry of calls/communications to principal, inclusion spec etc. I came to school before the day ended and touched base with teacher and aide in person. After school Aj and i went and talked to the reading teacher. I told him he should take ki and I there to meet her. She was lovely with him. We talked about how he can't be chosen every time he has his hand up because there is a whole class of 11 kids during reading time. And what could he do if he felt frustrated waiting. He still has no idea about the weight of the words he used or small storm left in his wake.
The good news was that he did say this under his breath so other kids (except maybe 1) didn't hear it. That comment would have been really awful to have a kid go share with his parents and friends on the playground.
The medication he is on, Daytrona, and many ADHD type meds can cause an increase in anxiety, and I think he has some anxiety already. Also, I gave him a nearly full dose instead of teh 80% we'd been doing. So it may be that and the bad morning and poor coping skills...I was telling Pops that I think he is having more blow ups lately but that I can't keep that math straight. If it is 3 or 7 it still wipes me out and makes for some miserable hours and I lose count. I will count more this weekend and see and also get in touch with MD.
Never a dull moment

Monday, December 10, 2007

Where oh where have I been

I haven't been posting much lately.
Crazy time of year.
Random thoughts in a stream of consciousness order with out the time needed for grammar and punctuations. followed by a healthy spell check:
i turned 44. had to do the math there for a second. part of me is sad that i am a mini-van driving, overweight, age spotted frumpy gal. i feel like i have a good soul and energy for most of the time and that beauty shines through. but it would be nice to feel prettier on the outside too. of course i know much of that i could change by diet and exercise. but i regress to stress/addictive eating.

aj has been on the meds for adhd for a couple weeks now. some help with his focus at school and home has been noted. i had wished for more. we can try another drug for a bit and compare (i have perscrip) i had hoped for a change in the daily occurring ugly behaviors of tantrums, yelling, name calling, blow ups, etc. i realize i am sad that this is not "fixed" at all. now what do i do. i know i need a good strong behavioral plan. it is SO hard to be consistent and ....all

in the paper today is an article about stress, it further confirmed for me that lately i am experiencing more stress then i ever have in my life. i could take more happy pills (anti-depressants) but that is not the answer, as the situation won't change. the combo of aj and granny is more then i can handle. or they are the lion's share. pops is working hard to help out too.

xmas is hard too. i love it and i tried to start things early. but it is always a lot. we will be having a total 14 of somewhat related people here for xmas dinner. and lucnh for some of them. yikes.

living here is like a fun house. there is furniture and belongings piled on top of everything. part of it is that im am an unorganized slob. the other parrt is that there are five people living here using 2 bedrooms, and all of my ever expanding work stuff filling the (Bedroom) office and threatening to take over the rest of the house. pops and i have talked and in the new year i have got to move my office and rent office space and really get my clinic up

also-i don't think i can have granny here 24/7. it is getting too hard. the chemical combo of her and aj and ki and pops and me and ...
she has significantly declined in the last few months she asks the same question or pursues tha same task within minutes of previously engaging in. again i say "in the new year" that feels like a relief to say not-now-but-then. except when "then" comes and I feel totally overcome by all that needs to be done.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Top Ten Times when NOT to have an IEP

1. on your birthday
2. on your child's birthday
3. on the "typical" sibling's birthday
4. on your wedding anniversary
5. the first week of school
6. the last week of school
7. the week of teacher conferences
8. when you are having PMS
9. when you can't find anyone to go with you
10.when the inadequate recommendations the SD gave 2 weeks ago start to sound good

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My car stinks. I mean REALLY STINKS

Java's drinking problems continue. Yesterday I headed to the store with kids and Java and bought a few necessitites. One block from home I heard the sound of glugging, pouring liquid...in the car.
"MOM! Java's got the milk!!"
Yep. This time she bit into a gallon of milk and it was pouring into the back of the van. When I got home it seemed about 1/2 a gallon was gone. Most of which was soaking in to the car's rugs. I pulled out the extra piece of carpet, sprayed down with the hose and wiped uot the rest wit towels. No go. I think it must take only a 1teaspoon of milk left in a car to get that oh so tremendous sour milk odor.
Today JAva was going for a bottl eof water in the car. I swear we keep water in her bowl at home.

My dog has a drinking problem

Last week as I was driving I heard the sound of someone cracking open a beer. Or in this case a soda. An unopened Diet Peppsi can had been forgotten on the floor of the car and was rolling around. Java, the one year old lab, had just bitten into it and was joyfully lapping at the bubbling geysers spraying the car. I was not so joyful.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Impulsivity and Slurpeees

According to the clinical dictionary in my head:

An Impulsive act- completing an action before thoroughly and appropriately considering the consequences-such as safety, social appropriateness, outcome etc.

For example:
When at 7-111, turning on the Cherry Blast Slurpeee and sucking it directly from the spout.

Who's the smart one here?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Welcome to my home...I think

Another great read.

Welcome To My Home ... I Think

Hi, Welcome to my home. I think, I mean, maybe you're welcome. I'm not sure yet. When I get to know you, I'll know for sure.

My child is disabled, and I need help to do all the things he needs done. So I need you. He needs you too, because he gets worn out and bored with me and sometimes dislikes me about as much as I sometimes dislike him (please don't start making judgments about me -- we just got started. It's just that I'm honest, and as much as he is the sole reason for my existence, there are times when both of us wear thin).

Your agency sent you here. I called for help, but I don't get a choice of who comes into my home and my life. You come at your convenience, usually between 9am and 3pm Monday thru Friday. I'm on my own evenings and weekends, when my other children tug at me and want and feel slighted and offended and I feel stretched to my limit. You call and tell me your coming Tuesday morning so I put the stack of unanswered mail and the unpaid bills in the cabinet with the cereal bowls, race dirty and clean clothes up and down the stairs, shove toys and unmated shoes in closets and under beds, and run the gauntlet with Fantastic to get fingerprints off everything, and then you call and tell me you have to cancel because of a meeting. Oh sure, I understand, yes, that's fine, Friday afternoon? Well, I was going to try to go to the library and maybe take a nap.... what? Oh. That's the only you have? Well sure, I know it's important that you come. And we really need help. Fine. Friday at 1:30. We'll be here.

My husband resents people coming in and out of our home. He says he feels as though he is living in a goldfish bowl. He says getting help means sacrificing our privacy and spontaneity. He can't scratch his stomach as he walks down the hall in his shorts anymore. Now he has to have clothes on and suck in his gut and put on company manners. And he really hates it after you
leave, because sometimes I cry because I feel inadequate and stupid and foolish and just plain wrong. Sometimes you make me feel that way when you act suspicious of what goes on when you're not here and try to trip me up when we're talking to find out if I really am doing the goals and objectives, or if I'm just taking the money and fudging the paperwork. Sometimes it's nothing you say or do, it's just that your perfectness unsettles my motherness.

Sometimes when you are great I feel threatened and because of others who came before you, I feel judged and talked about, and as though you have met with others and have developed a plan to implement on me.

I can't always tell when you're real, but my son can. So I watch him. If he responds and welcomes you, then I set aside my needs and cares and let you have everything I have, including my son. I have to trust you because he trusts you and looks forward to your step on the porch.

What? Oh, good grief! I forgot your paperwork again! Wait, I know it's here somewhere. I was working on it last week just after the hot water heater burst and right before my husband came home laid off. Wait... I think I wrote on the back when the bank called about the deposit to cover the overdraft. Yeah! I found them! Right behind the peanut butter ... wait, I'll just wipe them off a bit.

You know, I used to be normal. I used to have control of my life, my time, my home. Having a disabled child turned my life upside down. My priorities changed. What I would settle for changed. What I would ask for changed. Who I would accept changed. All that changed because my child needs things and people and ideas and funding. So my life consists of meetings,
regulations, documentation and paperwork, social workers and agency people, policies and procedure manuals and administrative decisions, delays and rumors of delays in checks, people not showing up when needed, people quitting, and people showing up when they're not needed.

Please don't judge me. And I'll try not to judge you. You see, in the long run, if I don't measure up I still am his mother. So we're stuck with each other, and I'm willing to try to make the best of it. Help me to grow, help me to become better. Accept me as a person, not some perfect saint. I really DO know my child better than anyone else, so help me express that and put it
to best use. Walk with me a ways, not to judge me, but to understand my role within the heart of my family. Give me tools and words and people that, like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, interlock to allow for my strengths and compensate for my shortcomings.

Please don't push me past my endurance, because if you do, you'll see me at my worst; short-tempered, impatient, inflexible and emotional. I'm no good to my son then, either. Each one of us has that fine line. I try to recognize when I'm approaching my line, and usually that's when I'm most cranky and complaining to you. Please realize that one facet of me is the tired bitch, just as real and acceptable as the superwomen who overcomes unbelievable obstacles. There are sunny days and then there are
thunderstorms, all part of a temperate climate.

Well, anyway, hi. Welcome to my home. I think.

By Sharon Burleson
Clarksburg, WV

I will remember article

I found this today, enjoy.


I WILL REMEMBER

On Friday, June 15th, 2001 my son, Ben, graduates with his sixth grade class from Brandon Elementary School in Goleta, California. For my family, this will be a day remembered long after most memories fade.


The sixth grade students will stand proudly on stage, each looking out in the audience searching for their parents, and when the eyes of parents and child finally meet, big smiles will appear on everyone's faces and hands will wave.


Parents will look to whoever stands next to them and say, "That's my Johnny," or "Doesn't my Melinda look so beautiful," and "Which child is yours?"


Ben won't be looking for his father or me; he will just know we are there. We won't wave, because he wouldn't be able to see if we did. But he will know the pride we carry in our hearts and in our souls - he will feel it.


Maybe, I'll wave anyway.


As other parents yell out children's names trying to catch their attention for the photo opportunity that will grace the pages of the family album for decades to come, Ben's father and I won't yell out. Ben wouldn't hear it if we did.


But, that's okay. A camera cannot capture what Ben's fellow classmates feel about him as a valued friend and neighbor.


Maybe, I'll yell out his name anyway.


Ben's father and I will almost certainly be sitting with dozens of other proud parents, tears collecting in their eyes, as they reflect upon all the years that preceded this momentous day and what it took to get there.


It was probably a hard road traveled.


Some parents will be fantasizing of the rewards they shall reap from the commitment to their children's education, imagining a future with a Nobel Prize winning scientist, a famous surgeon, or a high-powered lawyer in the family. Others will be thinking about the symbolism of the ceremony - their child's biggest step so far toward independence, self-sufficiency, and adulthood.


After all, that is what parents are supposed to prepare their children to achieve.


My thoughts will be elsewhere.


It wasn't long ago that Ben's participation in the regular classroom of his neighborhood school was not possible.


Thirty years ago Ben would not have had a chance to know about school because a public education was not available. Ten years ago Ben's only choice would have been a classroom for the "severely handicapped," far away from his neighborhood in a room at the back of a school campus, where his peers would never have known he existed.


Ben's graduation on Friday will be symbolic of tremendous change in how people with disabilities are perceived and Ben has made contributions toward this change that will likely never be rewarded, touted, or even acknowledged the way academic excellence is.


But Ben doesn't care and neither do I. Not much anyway.


Ben's reward is that his life has helped shape the future for other children with and without disabilities and someday all children will become a natural part of the human experience.


I plan on living to see this day.


As we watch our children in the graduation procession, I will remember the years that have passed since Ben's first day of kindergarten when he lined up with his new classmates to enter their classroom for the first time. The teacher said to each child, including Ben, "Welcome, I am so glad you are in my class."


I will remember when a parent ran up to me on the first day of fourth grade and said all her daughter could say to her was, "I finally get to be in Ben's class."


I will remember the day the principal said to me, "Terry, I have been getting letters from parents requesting their children be in the same class as Ben. What am I going to do? I can't possibly accommodate all the requests."


I will remember all the kids that wanted to be Ben's roommate on their adventure to Astro Camp last year, and seeing Ernesto hold Ben's hand as the class watched a movie in a Hollywood theatre last week.


I will remember when Isaac accidentally broke Ben's hearing aide case, and he asked his grandfather to drive him downtown to buy a new one. Isaac waited in the school parking lot the next morning and when Ben and I arrived, Isaac ran up to the car, new case in hand, and said, "I know how important this is to you, Ben."


I will remember the look on the on the faces of his classmates and friends, when he pushes the lever on his new wheelchair and slowly rises up to stand tall next to the friends he has learned to love and appreciate so much.


I will remember.


I dedicate today's column to Steve Minjarez, the director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services, Goleta Union School District. You made it possible.


Terry Boisot is the parent of a child with disabilities, serves on the board of directors of Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara and The Arc of the United States, and is the Chair of the Board of Directors of TheArcLink. She is concerned about all disability matters and welcomes comments at tboisot@silcom.com

Lucky Me

Two of my dear friends are about to PUBLISH a BOOK. Not only are they dear friends, they are very, truly kick ass amazing women. They are:
jennyalice at
squid at

They started the blog site "Can I sit with you".

The book contains short stories from all varieties of people about growing up and the harships of sand-box politics. Many of the writers work professionally or semiprofessionally. Or atleast blog like crazy. That would be me. My story is titled, "MENS-TRU-A-TING".
The amazing cover art was created specifically for the book, and was donated by a professional artist. The cover design, also donated by a professional. The proof reading and editing? Yep, also donated by a number of people. Actually SO many people volunteered to edit and proof that some were turned away.
The book will be available in the next week or so from LULU Press(google it) and shortly following that will be available on Amazon etc.
Title of the book, same as the blog, "Can I Sit With You?"
It is a paperback, and is 126 pages. Cost $14.00
But the BEST, most TERRIFIC part is that 100% of the profits will go to SEPTAR (Special Education PTA of Re City). That is the PTA I was involved in starting just about 1 year ago and for which I am currently President.
I am in awe of what so many people have done for this project. The fact that jennyalice and Squid are turning over ALL profit to SEPTAR is also stunning. And I'll get to say, "I'm published." Of course I wrote about having my period, but there ya go.
So, go forth and purchase this book in the next couple weeks. It is designed for kids up to ages about 13 so that they can understand they are not alone in the madness of sand-box politics and growing up. A very good read for adults as well. Becuaswe each of us have a story or two. Check out the blog. And in a couple weeks, BUY IT!

IEP update

I didn't hear from the school district after my screaming spat where I yelled and snarled and concluded with, "We don't need to talk anymore. Just let me know what you have to offer and if that doesn't work we'll go to mediation!!"
I picked up Aj from school on Fri and while he played on the playgorund I looked in his backpack to see if his aide had written a note. I found a large envelope stuffed with paper. Inside was the IEP docs that we never signed (for attending even, because I was raging). The entire triannual docuamnt was numbered over 90 pages. I just stuffed it back in. Later I got an email saying that it contained additional goals and recs (we were "discussing" the need for social skills training). We are on break for a week. I'll dig that out another time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Patriotism

This morning I took Granny and the kids to the farmers market. We bought a pastry and coffee and sat in the courtyard in front of the county courthouse. The huge courtyard was filled with tables and chairs and empty of people. As we packed up to leave I glanced about for Aj.
There he stood mid-courtyard facing the American flag, right hand clapped over his heart. And for his own pleasure and patriotic spirit, he sang the National Anthem at top volume and mostly off key.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

AJ is Nine

Aj had his b-day on Th. And now my boy is nine. And he loves all things sports.

I took him to school with his rice krispie treats and some of the kids and a Mom carried on saying happy birhtday to him. Pops and I picked him up after school. Then it was home for some homework. At 4 pm Pops took him to soccer practice, which AJ loves. Ki and I then made cupcakes for him from the mix and frosting she had previuously picked out. After being home and bathing I asked AJ if he wanted to open his presents.
"No, after dinner."
You see, that is what we must have done last year. Which means it is now a routine. Or to sound more "typical", a tradition.
We had dinner at the Lobster Shack,
Aj had chosen this spot for dinner because he thought he could get shrimp. And he did. A whole huge adult serving of fried shrimp and fries, plus a soda and some of his sister's dinner.

Pops was really the superstar about b-day gifts.
When I asked Aj what he wantd for his b-day he said an NFL jersey and nintendo.
Granny is from San Diego, so Aj keeps her posted on all San Diego teams and how they are doing. Well, Merv's had a San Diego Chargers jersey with the name of some guy you'd know if knew football. We had Granny give that to Aj. Oh the joy! What an excited guy. He keeps taking it on and off. He is saving it to wear the first day he is back at school (after Veterans Day). Every few hours he shows up with it on and he has stuffed things in it to look like shoulderpads.

Aj told us last year that he wanted to go to a Warriors game. Pops remembered and got a pair of tickets for the 2 of the two of them on Dec 7th. Aj was beside himself with excitement. They were worth every penny. You can look for him at the Dec 7th game against the Miama Heat.


Other well received gifts were new baseball cards and a CARS video game that Pops ordered for him.

It was so wonderful to have Aj request specific gifts, be able to get those for him and then see his incredible joy.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Seems she HEARD me

Well, anyone still on campus heard my tirade.
But the good news is, it seems Ms Pine, AJ's teacher, heard me. Or someone did. Right after the IEP Pops and I talked with the principal and I told her that we had specifically requested not to have this teacher when we met with her and the VP in the spring, and that I was certain the 2nd grade teacher and inclusion specialist had done the same. I said that I felt deceived. This all with tears. I also added that the teacher had never said anything nice about my son, despite my Max assist cues.

The IEP and my crazy-lady performance (see previous entries)was on T. On Wed, I sent the email apologizing for "raising my voice". Which is a nice way of saying "crazy-ass screaming". On Th it was AJ's b-day. I showed up with the rice krispie treats Ki and I had made for AJ's class. I asked her where to put them and we made brief eye contact. I still felt miserable when I left.

On Friday morning AJ woke up with a sore throat and headache, so I kept him home. I called the school and let them know. I didn't bother to email the teacher.

Ms Pine, in her inability to be a sensitive person, is in many ways an excellent teacher in terms of academics. Every Friday evening she puts in our mailbox the homework for the entire up-coming week. This gives us a chance to get a jump on it. When I went to get the home work this Friday there was a hand written note on top.
"Dear Aj,
I hope you feel better soon. Stay warm and get some rest. See you on Tuesday.
Ms Pine"

She also has a weekly newsletter that goes home to the parents. Often there are photo's on it. This week one of the 2 photos was Aj. And finally, she wrote a somewhat nice note on his rough draft for his upcoming presentation.

I see she is trying. I think the ironic thing here is that basically, she herself seems to have some social issues.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What did I say?

Well. If you are curious, I will tell you what exactly it was that I said in part of my "crazy lady" spew at Aj's IEP.

History: AJ has PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified) and ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) among other things. He is in a regular third grade class with a full-time aide. In the past teachers and therapists have reported that they have really enjoyed him.

Not this years teacher. AJ is struggling in school. Third grade is notorious for being harder and being a spotlight time for any kids having difficulties. i have met and talked with Ms. Pine about 4 or 5 times. Sometimes in an IEP and sometimes not. She goes on about how "zoned out he is", how "he just isn't really there." Now these things are true. But she goes on and never, once ever, does she say anything that could remotely be considered a compliment or positive comment. This even after I sat alone with her one day and said through tears, "As a Mom, if you could think of one good thing to say about AJ, it would really, really help me out." No go.

So after 2 hours in the IEP of reading her negative body language and hearing more negative comments and her defering to the "specialists" as if she had little or no role, I was wearing thin. At 5:30 she started to pack up her things to leave this fun party with a guest list of 8.
I looked at Ben, who was running the meeting and said, "Is the meeting over?"
This was really kind of a passive aggressive comment on my part-as I knew it wasn't.
He started, "Well, I..."
Then Ms Pine said, "Come on guys. I am really tired." And she stood up to go. Like we were all burdening her by discussing AJ.
She said that to a table full of professionals, and us.
It was then that I snapped.
I stood and started yelling. Yelling in that kind of out-of-body, is-that-really-me kind of way.
"YOUR tired. Well go ahead and go home. And while you are there, think of something nice to say about my kid! BECAUSE YOU NEVER HAVE!"
Then I proceeded to carry on and wasn't quite as on target.
Earlier today I sent an email apologizing for raising my voice. I did not apologize for what I said. But I doubt that nuance was noticed.

I get to brag

Today in the mail I received our family holiday card for the year. I made them on Shutterfly and they have family photos and a personalized message. Yep, November 8th and I have the cards. Next week I will get the cutsy return address labels with cartoon people of our family and pets.

Now the reason I get to brag is that I have never once, ever, been so on top of it. Those of you who know me well, know that I specialize in running late and procrastination. Those of you who have known me for over 11 years know that I was late getting to the alter for my own wedding.

So this is big. All of use in the quirky family tribe get to brag and celebrate when we pull off a feat that is beyond that of even most typical families.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lots

Lots in my head and heart.

Aj is 9 tomorrow.
-as he ages, the differences between he and his peers becomes more apparent.
I feel sad.

Someone pushed him down at soccer practice today.
-I always go to the fact that it is because he is different and that this boy wouldn't have done this to the other team mates.
I feel sad and angry.

Aj is yelling and calling me names and homework can be a struggle. He hit Ki again.
-I yell and scream. Ki cries.
I feel angry at him, angry at me, frustrated, guilty, and emotionally fatigued

I am holding a prescription for ADHD medication for AJ. Pops and I have had it for a week. I am having a tough time taking that in to be filled. I never wanted to put him on meds. Intellectually, I think it is a good idea. But emotionally, I am having trouble. I didn't see this coming.
-I feel surprised and sad

Yesterday was part 3 of AJ's triannual IEP.
I went postal.
I lost my head and had an out of body raging experience in front of 7 other people.
Let me restate here that I am not exaggerating. It was ugly. Really, really ugly. People who, I think, use to respect me. Now, surely think I am nuts.
It has been over 24 hours since and I still have a headache. I don't think that the relationship with his teacher can be repaired. Given that AJ's b-day is tomorrow, I am not sure how I am going to get the treats to his classroom without having to interact with her.
-I feel angry, sad, deceived, embarrassed and somewhat hopeless about how I will get through the school year with this teacher. So many tears and heaviness.

Pops is an angel. The other blessing in all this are the friends I have. Friends who get it because they live in the same type of fun-house I do, -or at least friends who hold me in my sadness. Last night after IEP I went over to jennyalice's house and sobbed. I had to tell her first that no one had died or was hurt, but that I was just so very sad. I just couldn't go home. the kids would notice how awful my face looked from crying. And I just could not face the evening madness, the constant question repetition from Granny. I went home before kids bedtime and went to sleep with them in our bed. I love sleeping with my kids. I have slept a huge number of hours and still feel so tired. Emotions are so tiring.

What am I going to do tomorrow with the damn rice krispie treats for AJ's classmates?

Ki has a friend

Ki has always had difficulty making friends and playing with other kids. She is a tom boy thru and thru. She doesn't want to play with other girls who "act pretty". Which rules out the majority. A couple weeks ago she took up with a little boy in hr class. Now she and Mike play together at every recess. Having met this boy and talked to his Mom. It is very likely he has Asperger's, or is Aspy like. I guess she goes for what she knows. I am glad she is enjoying this friendship.

Monday, November 05, 2007

An AJism

On one of Aj's regular phrases.
"AJ, how was your day?"
"Oh, it was quite nice!"
What is the guy British? I don't say, "Quite nice."
One thing I have noticed is that when asked a question about how his day was or his teacher or any thing, he is eternally optimisitc. He describes all situations as "great", "good", "awesome". I don't know if he doesn't recall the marginal or indesirable events- or he just isn't too phased by them.

Better than Thin Mints

Candy Cane Jo Jo's from Trader Joe's. Oreo like with creamy peppermint candy cane filling. Yum.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"they" are often wrong

My friend's son, Bob, is over. He has a rare there-is-only-one other-person-in-the-world type of syndrome. I believe "they" initially told Bob's parent's that it was very likely he may never walk or communicate. Well "they" hadn't met Bob before. Or his fabulous Mom.
So Bob is over hanging out for awhile as his school is out this week. In the past I have seen him for speech therapy. At age 7 he has been walking for years and talks up a storm. His speech is dysarthric, but very understandable.
Everytime I see him I am amzed by how much language he has and how his speech intelligibility continues to improve. His favorite part of visiting here is seeing the dogs and Granny. I rank a disticnt third place.
Today he is amussing me with his ongoing chatter and belting of commands to our 2 labs.
"Jaba (for Java)where are you?"
"Jaba, go get the cat."
"Jaba, don't drink the toilet! Drink outta the sink! Not in the bathroom!"
"JAABAA, I'M COOMMMING!"
"Jaba, come here."
"Hey guys! Go get the cat!" (this results in the dog running in circles around the yard)
"Jaba sit!"
"Mama J. they are fighting again!" (dogs playing)
"GUUYS, don't fight. Guys, hold still!"
"Be Nice!!"
"Sisi can follow me, too!"
I just love the joy he gets from playing with the dogs.

Happy Halloween

We had a nice time on Sunday. Ki has always wanted to have a Halloween Party. So I agreed. We have been planning for a long time. She and I cut and glued pumpkin invitations. (Until I finally resorted to email for some of the invites.) We shopped and bought decorations, crafts, and all foods "orange". We made fabulous caramel apples. Actually, the whole thing took a village as jennyalice baked a million Halloween sugar cookies and Sandrini baked orange and black cupcakes. We had craft and frosting stations throughout the house and yard.
This time I let the guest list reflect Ki's peers versus my selection of fun special needs families that I enjoy, though she did invite jennyalice and family. It was a good opportunity for Pops, myself and Ki (and AJ) to get to know more "typical families". Whatever a typical family is...
Ki was dressed in her SWAT officer costume. Which she describes as, "someone who helps the police." She has been calling her costume "scott", as that seems to be easier to remember than SWAT. Per her demonstrations, SWAT officers are responsible for directing traffic. But I digress..
All other girls wore something involving a dress. Ki spent the majority of time playing with Darth Vador and Transformer-both boys. Then she was glued to her God mother, Sandrini, who donned a Mrs. Pott tea pot outfit.
I am glad we pulled off this party with 50 or so guests of kids and adults. I am getting to know more families in Ki's grade, and some in AJ's grade also. Should be a fun tradition.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Omnipresent First Grade Teacher

I sent an email to Ki's classmates and invited them to her party. Evidently one of the two teachers are also on the email group. Her teacher, Ms M, said she lived near by and would try and stop by. But she didn't tell the kids, incase she couldn't make it. Sure enough, she showed up and stayed just long enough to say a quick hello and take the caramel apple I forced on her. Ki stood by the gate and watched her leave, sending her off with a wave and a look of amazement.
Later I asked Ki, "That was pretty cool that Ms. M came over."
"Yeah! But, Mommy, how did she know there was a party and where we lived?"
I couldn't resist adding to the mystique of a first grade teacher. "Well, she is a very smart teacher. She knows ALL KINDS of things."
Ki paused, "Like she knows where all the kids in our class live?"
"Yeah, I guess she does."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More on AJ and Tim the aide

Last week AJ's aide told me that he himself had received Resource services (type of special ed services)for years while he was in school. This was not a surprise given the basic grammar and simple spelling errors that characterize his daily notes summarizing AJ's day. But AJ is responding well to this sweet-faced 18 year old fellow. And who am I to criticize a person who has learning differences. The classroom teacher reports AJ is doing better at staying on task, Tim is doing a good job at that.
But somehow the simplicity of his notes to home adds to the wacky humor necessary to cope. Yesterday's note was:
"Today in the library AJ picked his scab and ate it. Then when I told him to go to wash up he told me he always eats his scabs."
Well atleast he wasn't telling lies.

AJ Update

Just this year AJ has begun to complain that he felt sick and needed to stay home from school. This is likely a reflection on the more difficult third grade, a hard-ass teacher and some good problem solving on his part!
I have gotten 2 mails from school that AJ was "caught" eating erasers. Of course he has been an oral-sensory-seeking type of guy for a long time. So it doesn't impress me much. Oh, and you can forget about germs. Between my kid and others in the quirky tribe, they have ingested things that would make most loose their lunch just at the mention of it. If these kids haven't gotten seriously ill yet from drinking toilet water, licking the ground, eating gum stuck under public tables, then it is not going to happen. Though informal, my longitudinal, multi-subject study to proves it.

Monday's not home from AJ's aide said,
"Today Alex said he ate an eraser. Later he said his stomach hurt and he wanted to go to the nurse. We stayed there awhile and then came back to class. Later he told me he had tricked me and he thought it was funny."

Well, if you aren't aware, lying takes a certain cognitive ability, or problem solving skill to do. So after I got over snickering to myself, I asked AJ,
"What were you doing when you asked to go to the nurse?"
"Writing a thank you letter to XYZ store." (They had gone there on a field trip)
Ah, a perfect time to fake illness, as he has difficulty with writing, and hence, hates it.

So later Pops and I sat down with him and asked him how thought Tim (his aide) felt when AJ lied to him. He said "sad". we encouraged him to ask about taking a break but that it wasn't okay to lie. We then told him he would have to write a letter to Tim apologizing.
"AJ, what do you think you should say in the letter?"
"That I am sorry I fake sicked Tim?"
Well, that was a good start. We helped him clean up his grammar.
Later, when he was sleeping, we patted him on the back for using some great thinking skills.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bla Bla

Notes, thoughts and happenings in no particular order:

-dinner out Fri evening for Squid's b-day. SOOO fun!
-I rear-ended someone at a light the other day. No one hurt. I have been a flighty driver lately
-I am slowly taking on a few new clients
-I am getting more clients that are also involved physically. I am really enjoying it.
-I want to take pediatric feeding courses and specialize in that.
-I want to look into pediatric NDT certification
-seriously starting to work on stabilizing and expanding business. Working to develop policies, website content, clarify services to provide etc.
-swapping services w/ a woman who is an interior decorator. Yahoo!
-bought new couch and chair for family room-they are on order
-have part 2 of IEP tomorrow, going alone - a bit anxious. I always need to take a drink with me. Makes me feel better. Love clutching my caffeine.
- Took Mom and the kids out for Vietnamese food tonight. So nice to step outside burgers and fries on a kids menu. Chicken pho, vermicelli bowl with shrimp, orange chicken, pan fried noodles with beef and veggies, Vietnamese coffee. All SO good.
-AJ's b-day coming up. I don't know what to do for a party. I have always done spec needs kids only. I asked him who he wanted to invite to b-day party and he said "Andrew and Baby G", my friends we went to Tahoe with. Andrew is 3. I've asked a few times and I don't really get much of an answer. I'm not sure if it is because he has trouble generating ideas, he doesn't care or he doesn't want anything. He does love parties, I thought he did. He does keep telling me he wants to go to the Lobsterrrr SHackk for dinner out. Thoughts anyone????
-Pops is out of town, hunting. Slept with both kids and a lab last night. Not the best sleep ever. Then I woke up at 3 am and couldn't go back to sleep. Life thoughts swirling in my head like a broken auto-flush toilet.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wow dude.

I am a previously confessed techno dork. I just don't resonate with computer stuff. Leave me alone with a person or child with a neuro difference and I am good to go. Jennyalice and I hung out on Fri and she fixed up my blog site! See??!!! I now have a list of links to whom I read most often. AND, if you you are feeling philanthropic, you can go to the link to donate $$$ to SEPTAR ( Spec Ed PTA, Redwood City)!!
She also fixed me up with a stat counter for this site. Very fun to look at the endless amounts of data that can spit out. Where people are from that are reading, how they got there. The fact that people can pull up and read my very humble complaints and writings and be sitting on the other side of the world, still blows my mind.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I, Bitch

It is 1:30 pm.
My fuze is already pretty much gone.
AJ raging, then raging more
me saying the same thing again and again and again
Ki crying, whining (often appropriately so, as AJ as just thumped her)
Granny asking the same thing again and again
Pops is at the club today working (not for money)
He leaves town for a week, in a week
Then when he is back hunting season starts and he is gone every Sat am
I dread these winter months when it comes to SAt's

Today this lady in Taco Bell said, "You are very patient". Obviously, I had kids and Granny in tow. I thought I should be honest and told her that I was trying to breathe deep, and then I thanked her

It is such a blessing that I can't drink alcohol

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ta Da!

http://canisitwithyou.blogspot.com/Check out my buddies blog site. All proceeds go to the special ed PTA we are involved with.
I just sent in my piece. Here it is for your viewing now:


A Reflection on Junior High

For many, Junior High was a time characterized by gawky looks, lanky extremities, braced teeth and questionable skin clarity. Even for those fortunate enough to have a proportionate body, naturally straight teeth and even skin tone, no one could escape the Big P.
Puberty.
A time in life when hormones invade and ones body begins to morph and alienate its owner. Adding injury to the hormonal insult is the obsessive desire by girls to be carbon copies of their peers. Well, that’s the way it was for me. Every moment was spent certain that everyone was looking at me. I just knew the eyes of the world watched and were interested in the exact length of my pants, if my hair was brushed and if my lips were glossed. When one lives in a perpetual state of self-absorbance, the most embarrassing horrors are often caused by ones self.
With a November birthday, I was older than most of my peers. In addition, I was an “early bloomer”. So I experienced PUBERTY earlier than most. My breast buds were an AA size at best. But no matter, I was sure my voluptuous tata’s turned the corner and entered a room an hour before the rest of my body. The embarrassment of my body embracing its early spring was further fueled by my mother’s insistence on using appropriate and anatomically correct terms. Three and four syllable words were stretched and articulated nearly beyond recognition.

“Oh that’s great! You are MENS-TRU-A-TING!”
“Do you need any more SAN-I-TAR-Y NAP-KINS?”
“Are your BREASTS tender?”
“Are your NIP-PLES feeling sensitive?”
“Is your VA-GIN-A bothering you?”

In my junior high era, girls didn’t carry purses. Or I certainly didn’t. Kids also didn’t haul back packs from class to class. So this made it difficult to safely secure and hide a SAN-I-TARY NAP-KIN. Now of course, I called them “pads”, not nearly as offensive a word. No one used a tampon back then. And no one admitted to having crossed over to womanhood.
Following lunch one day, I decided to change my pad in the girls’ locker room bathroom just before P.E. But how could I carry a pad from my out-door locker to the locker room? There were no pockets in my light blue Ditto jeans. No matter that it was 95 F, I donned my lemon-yellow wind breaker and slipped the contraband into the pocket. I stepped into the swarm of moving students and headed to P.E. I can still picture it. I was ten feet from the entrance to the girl’s locker room. Suddenly, my not-so-mini pad dove out from under the lemon yellow hem. It was then that I remembered the fist-sized rip in my pocket. It was a slow motion event. After escaping, the pad jumped on a current created by all the moving bodies. It dashed left, glided right, swirled above a light-brown Wallaby and finally dipped down and came to rest on the sizzling concrete. I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to run, but I was fixated like a moth on a bulb. Should I pick it up? Should I kick it under the bush? Should I just ignore it and RUN? I decided to go with ignoring it entirely. I regrouped and cloaked my self in my best casual saunter and slipped into the girl’s locker room. But I was certain that from that moment on, everyone in the entire school knew, and cared, that I was MENS-TRU-A-TING.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

HI! WANNA CHAT???!!

HI!!
I MADE A HUGE CUP OF REGULAR PEET'S COFFEE AT 8:30 PM. I LOVE COFFEE. FOR SOME REASON I AM WIDE AWAKE WITH TONS OF LITTLE THOUGHTS DOING THE TANGO IN MY HEAD AT THIE LOVELY HOUR OF 11:52 PM. WANNA CHAT WITH ME???OH-NO ONE ELSE IS UP AND CHATTY RIGHT NOW.
SOOO.....
I JUST WENT TO THE DISNEY SITE AND ORDERED MY HALLOWEEN COSTUME. I AM GOING TO BE WINNIE THE POOH. SEEMED LIKE A GOOD COSTUME FOR ME IN THAT HE AND I SHARE THE SAME FIGURE. AND IT WAS ON SALE. SALES LOOK SO COOL WHEN ONE IS RIPED ON CAFFIENE. HALLOWEEN IS ON A WORK DAY FOR ME (I.E., LOTS OF VISITS WITH 2 TO 4 YEAR OLDS). CAN YOU WRITE OFf A POOH COSTUME???

Tri-enima

Oh-typo there. It is actually the tri-ANNUAL. As in tri-annual IEP. The joyful annual experience further magnified by LOTs of testing. No big deal for AJ, he likes the tests I think. Or he doesn't mind them.
For parents it is the opportunity to be further reminded, in hard-core, black & white, hold-no-bars data of their childs significant disability.

In all honesty, the data/reports I have from 6 different professionals (yes six-one of them was private) is not as depressing as I thought it would be. But it is for Pops. He is in the above arena. I feel like this has been an opportunity to really get clarity on the peaks and valleys of AJ's skill set. Not that we peak at "typical" too often. Specifically, more of a chance to look at issues of attention and anxiety and how to move forward with that.
I don't forsee a lot of confrontation about services except for in the area of social skills and that I hate groups for speech. Therefore-I have asked assist director of dist to attend IEP.

Maybe I won't feel quite Zen about it tomorrow.

Oh yeah and what the f*#% was I thinking when I took on to doing 2 big presentations in the same week????? That would be next week.

Yeah well

More later on the vacation story alluded to below. It is a good one-need time to record.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We've never had guests like you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Language Stimulation- The with-holding method

I offered to stay with my girlfriends son while she attended back to school night. My intention was not to provide this beautiful autistic boy with a speech therapy/torture session. I have previously heard him talk but it has been somewhat infrequent and usually in a soft voice.
We arrived and Mom put on a video about trains to both entertain and distract him while she left. She snuck out the door and all was well, until the train video ended.
Well they have a nice new flat screen tv and a satellite dish and...this techno dork couldn't figure out how to re-start the DVD. I tried offering others. That's when all the talking started, "No, I love trains". "No, Thomas". None of my other train offerings would suffice. The tension increased as I wildly pushed buttons.
"No,no,no. PUSH THE BUTTON!" It was so loud and clear, I thought it was my kid. I've never heard him so loud.
I asked, "You want this train movie?"
"This train movie!"
"movie on"
It was then that I realized the DVD I was trying to restart was actually a VHS.
"Oh no, I am sorry!!" I yelped.
"AHH" he cried.
"Go Mommy room," he told me.
So in we went. I knew he had watched movies in there previously.
He showed me the tv and continued to direct me, "Movie on."
So I rewound the movie. Or I thought I was. Turns out I wasn't and the credits ran.
"AHHH, Movie!"
Finally I figured it out and so he watched the movie again. All was well.
Until, again, it ended after its 22 minute run.
Sweet boy came out of the bedroom and ate some water melon. Then he looked up at me with his moon-sized brown eyes and said, "Where's Mama?"
"Well, she is running an errand and she'll be back."
"MAMA NO COME BACK!!??"
"Oh, she's coming back soon! It's okay,Buddy!"
"No okay Buddy!"
"Mama!"
I rubbed his back a bit and let him be.
Tears, sadness, recovery.

After a few minutes he walked up to me, gazed right at me and leaned toward me. I kissed his face.
"Buddy, Mama will be back soon."

Later we played on the bed and he told me, "Tickle me please." We tickled and played and after a bit I left to go check on my kids in the family room.
I felt a tap on my shoulder, "Come tickle" and he pulled me back to the room.
"More tickle, please."
"down please!"
We laughed and tickled and had such a sweet time. It was so lovely. I really connected with him. How nice it was to truly experience and enjoy his sweet being. My only hope is that he recalls the last half of our visit more then the first half.

"Breathe Deep"

I named my blog "Breathe Deep". You know a way of calming oneself. It is just that is hard to "breathe deep" when one's teeth are clenched

Today's email I didn't want from AJ's teacher

Hi,

Could you drop by for a chat in the next few days?

Thanks.

"TEAHCER"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Testing...1,2,3 testing

AJ's triannaual IEP is next week. Or at at least the 1st meeting. As I mentioned previously, I said I wouldn't consent to testing until all providers emailed myself, and each other, with what tests they were going to give. Then I found the fabulous neuropsych. I met with her Friday 1 1/2 weeks ago. She is a hip, yet earthy, gal who does come across as quite intelligent and experienced. The best part of the interaction was my leaving feeling/knowing that she gets all the pieces. She gets sensory issues, stimming, processing, attention, language deficits, anxiety. She knows all those pieces and I believe will be able to really sort out AJ's picture. Hopefully things can get easier because his rages are wearing me down. Ki is also more effected by AJ and his wacky behavior lately. He yells and hits and plays too rough. Kind of typical brother stuff-but a couple notches higher. She is beginning to hit him first and say things like, "I wish AJ lived somewhere else." It can't help that the phrase that he is currently stuck stimming on and saying multiple times a day is, "Kiki is a poopoo head." He wanders around saying it all through out the day. Almost like the "It's a Small World" song being lodged in your head. I can only complain so much because this phrase replaces the prior perseverative favorite, "mama toot". In which "toot" means "fart" in our house. "Mama toot" could be shouted, whispered, hummed, and produced with a variety tunes. Often in succession, too. Like this, "mama toot. MAMA TOOT. MAAMAA TOOOOT!!!"
So, I do feel her pain.
Be careful about spending too much time at our house. The next phrase could include YOUR name and a body function.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Why country song writers are not known for their lyrics

On a country music radio station you can find the song with these words:

I'd like to see you out in the moonlight

I'd like to kiss you way back in the sticks

I'd like to walk you through a field of flowers

And I'd like to check you for tics

Friday, September 07, 2007

Random thoughts

Seems I am not alone in being techno challanged, as Double Trouble is also requesting assist in how to modify her blog. Those fancy friends of mine with links and photos n their texts are much more exciting. I have the goal of learning how to put pics in. I love taking pics. Today I volunteered to take pics of each of the kids in AJ's class, and a class photo. It was fun meeting each child briefly. I hate introducing myslef as "Mrs K.". It kills me, but I know that is what they do at school, so I vascillated between "Mrs K.", "AJ's Mom" and just "J.". The girls are really into Hannah Montana, which both cracks me up and terrifies me at the same time
Hey, I tried a link there for Hannah Montana! Thanks jennyalice for the advice!!!!
Now I am really a Hot Mama.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

kids

I just hate it when I loose a friend's kid and I'm not sure where to look first-the bottom of the lake or the traffic filled street.
Turns out he thought hiding in the life gaurd station was a cool spot.

Cooking Corn

I feel the need to pass on my favorite way to cook corn

Put 1 ear in the microwave, husks, silk and all
Cook 2 1/2 min
Let cool slightly and remove husks
eat

Friday, August 31, 2007

"I have the ____________"

I am so blessed to have such a fabulous group of women in my tribe. I feel your love. I'm much better now. It helped to be able to work thru it partly by just crying and verbalizing my sadness. Plus the fact that I feel I am moving in the right direction toward clarifying AJ's "clinical profile" and what we can do to help him be the best that he can be. Last night hubby listened and cared and shared my sadness. I took care of myself today and called one of you soul sisters for lunch out, another one of you called and let me dump my sadness on you, and Angel Sandrini happened upon us today and we also shared a dinner out. Tonight at park night for the tribe I just flat out told a lot of people that this was one of the hardest weeks and lowest points I've had in awhile. I never really do that. I usually just maintain my happy face and don't share. But some of these Mama's have been good models for me recently by reaching out during their dark times. It felt good to put it out there. All of us Mama's get "it". When I talk about how sometimes everything that is hard or sad about our kid(s) gets or feels really bad and it is all upon you at it's worst, all at once. It's like you accidentally quadrupled the regular dose of life-shit. The regular dose is doable, not always good, but do doable. But this quadrupled dose leaves one on the verge of needing to call poison control. This ugly "it" needs a name. I think if it had a name and we could throw it out quickly, we'd be more likely to tel others about "it" and thus, take better care of ourselves. . Friends we need to name it so we can just call, type or say, "I have the _____" or "I am just getting over a really bad _____",or "I feel a _______ coming on." Names?????

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sometimes...

Sometimes the sadness about what life has dished out to my loved ones sucks the liquid from my soul and I feel like I'm shriveling.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The First day of school

Tomorrow is the 1st day of school. I have been stressed for awhile now. this is not a good time of year for many of the Mom's in my tribe. For Leelo it is a new teacher and class that are farther away then he has ever been. Double trouble is happy where her boys are-but wrote that the beginning of the school year is another reminder of how atypical their lives are. Bea's son is going to new, academically advanced, school-which should ideally be good if doesn't experience too much anxiety from it.

My son ended up in a class with the teacher Ms Pine. When ever I tell people who know AJ and know or know of this teacher the exclamation "Oh no!" escapes from their mouth. I am catching on that myself, the prior teacher or the inclusion specialist having putting in preferences (i.e., not this teacher or this one other)- does not matter. He was still randomly assigned just like any other kid. I think the same is true for Signora's son. And complaining on my part just ends up in comments b=about understanding my concerns and setting up meetings, but no changing teachers even though the year has not started. One of the 1st grade teachers this year was AJ's 2nd grade teacher last year. It would've been perfect to have her take little boy M. Ms Pine gives detention if you don't COMPLETELY finish all your homework. And that she gives lots of homework. I emailed har and other members of the team my 4 page "Getting to know AJ" dissertation. In it I put it is not appropriate for him to get detention for not finishing homework. I also wrote that in the past I have at times modified the homework in volume and skipped certain parts or done them orally. One of the reasons being that it takes 2 to 3 times as long.
On Saturday the phone rang and it was MS Pine. She was calling to say hi to AJ!! They had a nice chat-she asked him about his summer and what he did. She said she does this every year with all the kids. I was impressed! She said she had gotten my email about AJ and read it and would reread it again. Also, she said there would be a raffle in her class for those who turned in summer homework. She said she didn't want to mention it over the phone and upset him. Also nice to hear. She sounded kind and friendly about Aj on the phone. We later ran into her at school and I introduced she and AJ. She walked up to him and said, "Hi, do you shake hands?". Of course AJ, who will be a professional greeter as an adult, loves shaking hands. So they shook hands and he introduced himself and they chatted a bit. I said that we had been over to read about the supplies list and that AJ read it to me while I wrote it down. "Oh you read it!", she said.
So at the end of Sat, I felt better. But I also realized that she doesn't know what he is capable of. These full inclusion kids are a mystery for these regular ed teachers. I think even a bit scary-the teachers just don't know what to expect. Even with my 4 page dissertation. But, to be honest, as a therapist and parent, I am good at identifying and listing differences-or weaknesses- so he comes of sounding VERY involved, when meeting him he doesn't seem that way.
I want to believe that it can be beneficial in a way for a kid to come into a class with a label. I think it may have been harder for a few of my friends kids in the past who were quirky or different, but not labeled/diagnosed or in the SPED system at all. I don't think they were cut any slack by teachers who were black and white thinkers (like the above). With AJ and little boy M., I am hoping that since the teachers know there is something going on-they will be more patient, lenient and loving. I was just thinking that I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the teachers have never minded how and that I have modified Aj's homework at times. I am reasonable and clearly get his strengths and weaknesses AND it means they don't have to do it!

I am also stressed about upcoming tri-annual IEP. I refused to sign the consent to test until the team told me what test each of them were giving and it's purpose, and that the other team members knew also. I sited our prior experience (not with any of these individuals) where the OT and psych gave the same test without knowing it!!! I don't think they ever talked to one another prior to the IEP.
It just doesn't seem like the proposed testing will be thorough. Inclusion spec does not respond to my queries about how they will be testing social skills. In fact, I just looked at the form and that area is not checked to be tested. But AJ has been receiving social skills group (not really, he just checks on him on the playground, but it is on his IEP). Nice avoidance technique on his part. he seems good at that. He ignores my queries that he doesn't want to deal with.
I need to go read Harry Potter. I'll never sleep with all this racing around in my head.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Midnight

I feel better. I got a chunk of stuff done tonight for special PTA and regular PTA boards I am on. And I sent off emails to professsionals about AJ. I have been avoiding seeking out further evals for him and touching base with school/spec ed about school year. I hate confrontation-so easier to avoid.
I heard about a pediatric neuropsych who is new to town but has 10 years of experience. She is also a Mom. I contacted her about evaluating AJ for ADD/ADHD and anxiety or whatever he's got along those lines. She sounded friendly and intelligent on email. Whatever that means. She is new here and trying to get her name out, so I feel like that alone means she would do (or attempt to do) a bang up job on an evaluation knowing how connected I am in the community personally and professionally. And she probably has more time and energy than the butt-rammed professionals from other large clinics and hospitals. It is all speculation who knows.
She has also done work (research) on temporal lobectomies, which is a procedure that is sometimes done on people with an uncontrolled seizure disorder. I have evaluated a few of these patients in the past at Stafford Hospital. Pretty crazy that you can have part of your brain resected and sometimes, be no worse for the wear intellectually.
I also asked if she would be interested in doing a talk for special PTA, and she would. Yipee! I just wrote so I am waiting to hear what topics she might be interested in doing.
Got my name in print again. My only concern is that by doing these interviews and being the president of Special PTA, I am outing my son more. I am not sure if I am helping or hindering him.
Check it out.
http://www.insidebayarea.com/sanmateocountytimes/ci_6663560
Last week of summer...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The new school year

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed about the new school year. You know-overcommitted, (PTA, SEPTAR, etc, work). Tight daily schedules. Early mornings... I don't know who AJ's teacher will be. Lots of homework this year. Peers. Worries over kids teasing or being unkind to AJ. Ki needs some friends...
You in the tribe, you know what I mean. Last night I had a dream that I fully remembered when I woke up. I was replayed it in my head for awhile.

I was with 2 friends from long ago and we were in a motorhome of sorts. It was raining and flooding. The flooding was increasing and we weren't sure if we should go South to our home and collect our belongings first or go North to safe and higher grounds. There was debate and conflict among us about this. Then the flooding worsened and was approaching the window level of the motor home. It seemed like we/I made the wrong decision about which way to go. We were stuck in unmoving traffic with no where else to go.

Then one of my kids, husband or a dog woke me up.

Pretty intense dream. Later I recalled that dreaming about drowning and flooding is an indicator of feeling out of control of your life. Very wacky dream. mmmmm....

One more week of summer.

I didn’t get to a number of things I had hoped to:
AJ (and Ki) still can’t tie their shoes.
I never ended up getting AJ tutoring over the summer.
We didn’t do as much math and reading etc as I had planned on, especially for AJ.
AJ had only 1 play date, or maybe no playdates, with a typical kid. (Not counting family type get togethers, and that was only 2 or 3.)
He no longer has and doesn’t know how, to ride a 2 wheel bike.
Ki doesn’t know how to ride a 2 wheeler.
Ki had only a handful of playdates.
No work on hand writing for AJ.

Things I am pleased about:
Trip to Pajaro dunes
Trip to Sac on the train and spending the night there
Trip to Arnold
Day trip on train to San Jose
Kids going with Sandrini to the Discovery Museum for the day
Trip to the Zoo
AJ, seemingly, successfully attended and enjoyed day camps for the first time:
Soccer camp
Baseball camp
Out door camp (twice)
Ki successfully attend and enjoyed day camps for the first time:
Sports camp
Beach dancing camp
Camp at Safari Run (with a friend)
Soccer camp (with a friend)
Time spent having kids swim at the lake and pool.
I eeked in swim lessons for both in the last 2 weeks of summer.
I got a Sponge Bob typing program and AJ has been playing with that. His writing is so poor we will need to be adept at keyboarding.
Teaching the kids how to play Yahtzee. This has been a great family game and they practiced their math.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I can't make a straight line

I made Rice Krispie Treats. No matter how often I slice off a piece, I can't make the edge straight. Then I have to carve off the offensive piece that bulges out, again attempting to even out the whole so it will have a straight edge. I am persistent and neat. I make sure none of those haggard edge pieces are left littering my kitchen.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Saint Martha Fucking Stewart was at MY house!

I just returned from our family vacation. Jennyalice volunteered to care for animals and plants.
I spoke to her this afternoon before we got home. She had been cleaning the poop out of the guinea pigs cages!!!! AHHH! No no no. I only do that once a week. This from a woman who is somewhat unnerved by the fellas.
I returned home to find gifts of veggies, milk, croissants, bread, salami and makings for root beer floats.
Then, get this. Laundry. Laundry, sheets and clothing, clean and folded and ready to be used!!! She did my laundry!!
Clothes! She cleaned out her closet and left me clothes she doesn't wear any longer. She has nice clothes!

But the piece d' resistance. SHE CLEANED MY REFRIGERATOR! Now this is a present of presents for anyone. But my refrigerator was getting to the point that I figured it would be easier to replace it, than clean it. Ahhhh, a small corner of my soul feels cleansed.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I'm obsessed

I am obsessed with buying a place up here. It is so fabulous I can't get over it. The most beautiful, darling lake with paddle boats, kayaks, docks to jump off, sand for building and sleeping on, playground. And driving access to fishing, hiking, state parks. The Stanislaus River. HUGE Lake Alpine. Many places for water sports. Not to mention winter sports of downhill and XX country skiing, sledding etc. Forest, forest, forest. peace, peace, peace. Calavaras state Park (10 min away) has daily Jr Ranger activities. Kids loved it. Cute town of Murphy's nearby (We have not actually visited).
So we are on day 4 1/2 of NEVER having the TV or VCR on.
I am reading real estate ads with Pops. We've got to make this work.
Need to come up here with some other families in the future. This lake has a shallow swim area with lifeguards.
Anyone want to go in on a house/cabin??? We need about $35,000. to $500,00. total. Some come already furnished!
Packing tonight and home tomorrow...:(

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Day 3 and the tribe’s uniform of orange Croc’s save us

A few weeks ago the family went to REI specifically to buy CROC clogs for AJ. We needed to replace the pair of knock-offs that had finally fallen apart. The only ones in his size were orange. That was fine-so we purchased them. I laughed to myself because two of our friends who are 6 year-old boys with ASD also have and love their orange CROC’s. It was beginning to seem like this was some unspecified uniform for the tribe..

Mid morning today AJ went outside and I hurled after him, “Stay on the deck.” Of course 5 min later he was down by the lake throwing rocks in. I called him back up and reminded him to stay here. I then took a shower. When I got out Granny was in her room putting things away. I forget I need to be so concrete as to remind her to look out for the kids when I am in the shower. That logic doesn’t come to her spontaneously any longer. But most often she is obsessed about where they are if she can’t see them. So I hear, “Judy where is AJ and Ki?” all day. Even when all they have done is gone into the bathroom. So today I asked her to call for him from the deck. Which she did, and did and did again.
“Okay, that’s good Mom,” I snarked in a snitty tone.
“Well, he hasn’t answered.”
“Well, he rarely does. He is probably down at the lake. I just need a couple of more minutes to get my clothes on.”
“I’ll call him some more.”
No, Mom, don’t.” I was thinking, my God sound travels here and the hysterical screaming Grandma is not what the neighborhood needs. That and I am pissed that I have to invest energy, time and emotion into looking for him when he wanders. I know he can control the wondering better than he does. I hate feeling sucked into a panicked search mode by him.
So I finished dressing THEN I walked out on to the balcony scanned around, and bellowed
”AJ”. Nothing.
Again.
Nothing.
Now I am feeling concerned AND calling him bad names in my head. So I take Ki and we head down to the lake. Granny, who has multiple joint arthritis, COPD (emphysema) and a cold says she is going to head up the street. I walk along the lake and think if he was at the shallow edge, he may have fallen in and hit his head and drown. So I am scanning the waters edge. We get to the lakes dam and a Mom looks at me with concern. Obviously she has heard me calling him. So I ask her, “Have you seen a little boy in a green shirt?” She ponders, but maintains a vague look.
Shit, I thought to myself. Of course today he has on this non-descript green shirt with a couple stripes on it. I brought bright blue, neon green and orange shirts on the trip because I feel safer dressing him in bright shirts. But he is not wearing one of those.
“Does he have orange shoes on?”
‘Yes!” The recently purchased orange Crocs from REI.
“Oh, I saw him way up the road he was just walking along peacefully.”
“Okay, thanks!”
I feel fine now because I know he is away from the water and I hear someone calling my name. Ki and I head up the road to the cabin.
Of course by then Granny and AJ had returned to the cabin and headed down to the lake. They catch up with us in a few minutes. I realize I need to figure out how I am going to handle this. Yuck. I hate discipline. So I tell Ki that I might make up a little story.
AJ,”Momma, I’m sorry, I got lost. I didn’t know which cabin was ours. “
Me, “And how did you feel when that happened?”
AJ, “I was sad.”
Me, “Were you scared?”
AJ, “Yeah, a little scared too.”
Me, “Well, I was really scared. I thought you had fallen into the lake and died.”
AJ, “No, I didn’t died.”
Me, “I know and I’m glad. But I was really worried. So I called the police.” (I didn’t)
AJ, “You called the police?”
Me, “Yeah and they were REALLY angry that you had wondered off.”
AJ, “Oh.”
Me, “So now you have a 20 minute time out.”
Now I’ve put AJ in time-out before and usually just the mention of one yields verbal raging that then continues on with me just increasing the time. I told him to go into the room Daddy and I were sleeping in, to look at the clock and to come out at 10:46. I removed the 2 magazines. And the windows don’t provide a view. He readily walked in and lay on the bed. He was ready to put in the time he knew he’d earned, no raging here. And 20 minutes for a guy with ADD/ADHD is an eternity. Ki and I then went for a walk and left Granny at home as well. We returned at 10:45. I leaned in and AJ was still sitting on the bed.
“One more minute, then come out.”
10:46 am, “Hi Mama, can I have a root beer?”
“No, not now. We’re gonna walk to the lake in a minute.”
”Is Granny coming?”
“No. She’s had enough exercise this morning. Daddy will bring her when he drives over later.”
”Put your Croc’s on. It’s time to go”

It's kinda sick, but I'm doing it anyway

I am on vacation and there is wireless at the lake. I mean AT the lake. I am sitting on a deck AT the lake while I am hooked in. Kids, Pops and Granny are 25 feet away on the beach. But really, can working and blogging be more enjoyable than this?

A saved entry:
VACATION-Night One

A decent drive up here. We are in Arnold. Specifically, we are at a cabin in a community surrounding a small lake, Lake Mont Pines Lake. So peaceful and quaint. We ate dinner outside on the deck. After dinner the five of us played Yatzee. This was the first time our family has played a game together. A big leap for us. AND we didn’t watch ANY TV or movies since arriving. Amazing.

Day 2
Kids and Pops went for a walk and threw racks into the lake in the am. We are working together to remember the various animals we see on the trip. On their walk they saw a snake (yellow and black stripes) and a blue Jay. We drove through Arnold (we are just south of town) and up to Bear Valley. We bought sandwiches in the lodge there. Back into the car and we drove up to Alpine Lake (alt. ~7,350 ft) we had a picnic at the lakeside. A big, beautiful lake. Huge granite boulders surround it making for great boulder scrambling. We missed our girls (dogs) when we saw 2 golden retrievers playing fetch in the water. Various water crafts were out on the water and available to rent-kayaks, canoes, small motorized fishing boats and sailboats. There were also some larger motor boats. Fortunately, I don’t think you can ski here. The camping sites are right on the water, tremendous sites. Given, of course, your kids are water safe. We then drove further up to Mosquito Lake and then back to our place. All of us took a nap and then headed to the lake for a late afternoon swim. Back at the cabin we had burritos for dinner and surprise root beer floats for dessert. AJ has been obsessed with root beer floats lately, so we surprised him. We had another family game of Yatzee, and then the kids went to bed. Pops is so good with the kids.
NOT ONCE TODAY, NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND, WAS THE TV ON.
Don’t get me wrong here; I am not in Utopia (except for the TV part). AJ is still having occasional ragers, Ki whines on and Granny repeats herself. But it is all less and we are all, generally, quite happy.
I want to buy a cabin here. Seems like an ideal place. The lake(s) offer lots of fun swimming and boating stuff and there are tons of hikes to take. There are places to go fishing. You are close to skiing without living in tons of snow. Also, the town is enough of a town. There are restaurants, and a big grocery store. Even a couple Caf├ęs! So if you have a couple hundred thousand lying around-let me know.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Vacation

We are heading out of town for 5 nights! Kids, Pops, Granny and myself. We rented a cabin in Arnold, a small mountain town with a nearby lake. It will be HOT, 95 and up. I will have to work om my body hair issues and don my yet-to-be-worn bathing suit. I am looking forward to a vacation that is designed to be relaxing. We can play games, go to the lake, go for a drive, read, read, read. I just bought a mindless comedy-mystery book. Perfect. Everything else I picked up was along the lines of "the family is all lovely and fine until...then they go to hell and back". No thanks. Just don't really need that. The kicker is that my TV addicted family will have to cut the cord. No TV. There are movies, which I'm sure we'll OD on, but no TV. So no baseball, cartoon network, Disney Channel etc.
I most likley will not have internet access. And I am addicted to checking e-mail and my budddies blogs. My family is probably cheering that one. I'm still going to take work and try to get current on some stuff. No biggy, I like it. Jennyalice has agreed to care for the guinea piggies and cat and plants. No small job. Expecially when considering she jumped backwards in response to my holding up one of the piggies for to admire. Admiration isn't the word I'd choose for her feelings about the boys. Java Puppy is back to the trainer and Beautiful Brown Sierra will go to the in-laws. I tried to give her to a couple families I know that have had big dogs previously and are Sierra admirers, but all are out of town. She'll be fine. But not as many potential fetch games or loving sessions.
Now that I am an adult, or so I am told. I realize that vacations are always a lot of work for the Mommy in the family. SO MUCH packing. And remembering what to pack. With 5 of us and the need to bring towels (beach, bath and kitchen), pillows and sheets-we are going to be packed to have breathing room only in the car. I'll miss hearing from my buddies...

Tomato Sandwiches

Squid (a friend) told me about the tomato sandwiches she makes for her family in the summer. I am currently scarfing down my second meal of tomato sandwichs.

My take on it:
Italian slipper bread, sliced
thickly sliced tomato
pesto (in a jar from Trader Joes)
mayo
salt and pepper

combine into open faced sandwich

SO very good

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why is it ...

AJ has trouble following the directions, "Put your shoes in the basket and go in your room and get 2 pairs of socks".
But he can tell me,
"Today we drove past Aunt Mary's house. We took 680
to 24
to 13
to 580
to 238
to 880
to 92
to 280
and then home."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Update on my face (see prior post)

When I looked in the mirror this morning I was greeted with:
- a right eye more swollen than from the previous day
- The "scrapes" on my right eye lid more prominent
- "scrapes" on my left lid that I hadn't realized were there
- scabey sores all over my upper lip

I look like a diseased, beaten woman.
I did the waxing so I would "look better"(?)
So the question is, do I tell the mothers of my clients why I look like a diseased-beaten woman? I don't typically discuss my body hair issues with just anyone. Then again, who wants there child alone in a room with a diseased-beaten woman? ...mmmmmm

Hot mama's

You just never know what might happen when they get together.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

denuding myself

Ah, the little, and sometimes not so little, hairs that sprout in unwanted places. It's been awhile since I've defurred my face. Based on my past experiences, I have trepidation about doing this myself. Years ago I waxed my bikini area and ended up with horrifying bruising in my groin area. On my upper lip I've always broken out in a mustache of acne.
I made a few calls to salons-but never got in. And the little hairs continued to flourish. I can't stand the little hairs any more! So last night at 11 pm I decided it was time to rip those babies out with my recently purchased facial wax strips.

I went to bed with my upper eyelids and upper lip burning. I don't remember it hurting this much. I awoke to swollen eye lids. On one of them I actually managed to pull off some skin - so now I look like I walked into a wall. And the upper lip, it is in shock as evidenced by the newly acquired acne mustache.
Good thing I didn't go for the bikini wax.
If there is a nexttime for all this-I'm scheduling in advance and paying up front.

A question

If the week looks like this:
M swim at the pool
T swim at the lake
W swim at a friends pool
Th swim at the pool
F swim at the lake
S swim at Grandpa's pool

Then when and how often does one need to bathe the little children?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I cherish my coffee and my coffee time

Currently I am reading Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith. It is the 7th book in the series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. They are sweet, simple books that serve as a nice escape. I loved the following piece where the main character shares her thoughts on life and tea (the sister to coffee on my mind).


"She put the paper aside and marshalled her thoughts. It was all very well sitting there on her verandah thinking about the problems of others, but it was getting late in the afternoon and there were things to do. In the kitchen at the back of the house there was a packet of green beans that needed to be washed and chopped. There was a pumpkin that was not going to cook itself. There were onions to be put in to a pan of boiling water and cooked until soft. That was part of being a woman she thought, one never reached the end. Even if one could sit down and drink a cup of bush tea, or even two cups, one always knew that at the end of the tea somebody was waiting for something. Children or men were waiting to be fed; a dirty floor cried out to be washed; a crumpled skirt called for the iron. And so it would continue. Tea was just a temporary solution to the cares of the world, although it certainly helped... Most problems could be diminished by the drinking of tea and the thinking through of things that could be done while tea was being drunk. And even if that did not solve the problems, at least it could put them off for a little while, which we sometimes needed to do, we really did." page 12-13

Monday, July 23, 2007

Follow up on the little one

I called case manager and expressed my concerns. Requested speech 3 times a week, an OT eval for SID and concurred with rec to have family see psych there that does ASD diagnosis. I held eval to go over with mom at first therapy session. There are 5 pages of details that one who "is in the know", would "know" what I was outlining without labelling. It is touchy-technically I am not supposed to diagnose. If the family were to look up things online, they would be able to match up symptoms to my report. I know that a dx will likely be provided in the next couple months. I feel that starting the therapy and family education process is good. It still breaks my heart knowing that one day soon all of their fears will be confirmed.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

GOOSE!

One of my dearest clients is a six-year-old boy with ASD (Autism Spectrun Disorder or Autism). At times when he is frustrated or confused by the task at hand he may bang his head on the wall, floor or the nearest person.
Last week we had a productive, successful session and I was wrapping up. It was hot and I was wearing white pants with the thought that the light color would make me cooler. While he stood on the rug, I began to clean-up a few things on the floor. I turned, and bent to pick up a puzzle.
It must have been the size of the target and the bright white. Suddenly, while in my precarious position, I received a head butt to my hind quarters that nearly landed me in the second shelf of the bookcase.
If I had been him, I would've done the same thing. It was funnier than anything.

My son?

I took Granny and the kids out to breakfast the other day.
The waitress arrived and I ordered. She then said, "And what does he want", while motioning to my...daughter.
When I turned and looked at Ki, I couldn't fault the waitress. There sat Ki in her favorite new hat. It's a Spiderman baseball hat that she claimed after her brother brought it home from a birthday party. This was paired with her A's t-shirt.
The only thing feminine about her is her beautiful face.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

AJ "Wanna see my finger?"

AJ has pretty much recovered from the fracture and nail avulsion of his right middle finger. He still enjoys sharing his injury with people. Of course modelling the injury is best done by folding down the fingers beside the recovering finger and holding it up to the face of the observer. My sweet boy has no idea what he is communicating.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

mmmmm

  1. Situation ::
  2. crazy
  3. Theme song ::
  4. I'm a nut
  5. Kelly ::
  6. Merriefield (high school friend)
  7. Club ::
  8. soda
  9. Swerve ::
  10. beause I was talking on the cell
  11. Couch ::
  12. with my big butt
  13. Bigfoot ::
  14. that's me
  15. Arbitrary ::
  16. bla bla
  17. Inventor ::
  18. Roy W. my friend
  19. Blazer ::
  20. Simpson





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Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Eyes Have It

While sitting on the couch AJ queries, "Momma, why is there a rope coming out of your vagina?"
I remember I am having my period and respond, " ."
Given his simpler thinking as demonstrated below-I avoid an explanation.
AJ, "Momma, can we cut the rope or pull on it?"
Me, "NOO! I mean, uh, No."

Concrete?

me at dinner time, "AJ! THERE IS A PIECE OF PIZZA IN THE KITCHEN WITH YOUR NAME ON IT!"
AJ shows up and stares at the pizza on the plate, "Where's my name?"

Friday, July 06, 2007

Your chance to diagnose

In my practice 50% to 75% of my caseload are from my Regional Center contract to provide early intervention services to children up to the age of three. Monday I had a new evaluation. So for you out there, here is an exam for you. Parents and therapists alike are invited to participate. If you are a Mama in my tribe you're likely to score better that many of the therapsits out there.

Read portions of my evaluation below and write a brief summary, include your clinical impressions and recommendations.
Client:A two, nearly three, year old boy.
me,"Tell me about his talking."
Mom," Well, he use to have some animal sounds, but he is not making them any more."
me, "What does he say or what sounds do you hear.?"
Mom, "ma or mamamam, ba, da, yi, raspberries, humming, squeals."
me,"Does 'ma' or 'da' ever mean 'Mama' or 'Dada' or is it just a babble?"
Mom, "I think sometimes he does, if he is really mad."

me,"How does he let you know what he wants?"
Mom, "He takes my hand and pulls me, or pushes me, or pushes my hand in the direction of what he wants."
me, "Does he ever point to what he wants?"
Mom,"No."
me, "Does he point to pictures, like in a book."
Mom,"No."


Mom,"He really likes having things in order. If he picks up something off the table or his plate, he puts it back in exactly the same place. He's very neat, if cat chow comes out of the bowl onto the floor, he picks it up and puts it in. He loves to close doors, turn lights on and off and flush the toilet. We hope he'll still be so tidy when he is older!"

me, "What toys or activiteis does he enjoy?"
Mom,"He loves puzzles and is really good at them. Also, balls and cars. His favorite toy that plays music and lights up when you press the alphabet letters. Oh and he loves running. He could run all day. He has a lot of energy. He loves wrestling with his Dad."

me," How is eating for him? Does he have specific likes or dislikes?"
Mom, "OH Yeah! He is a very picky eater! He will only drink milk and it has to be in one of these 3 cups that are the some. He's chewed the straws down on the cups. I changed the straw, but then he wouldn't use the cup at all. He loves, pizza, and pasta-but only if it is filled pasta. He'll eat meat only if it is ground. He won't eat fruit unless it is babyfood. Even if I put in little chunks of banana in the baby food banana, he spits out the chunks. If I spill something on his tray, he likes touching it-like yogurt or milk. But he doesn't like hacing his hands dirty. He didn't like the playdough at school. I don't think he knew what to do with it so he just poked it with the little knife they gave him. He liked playing in the rice though, because he could pour it."

me,"I notice he is sitiing in your lap facing you. He did look at me and wave hello. Will he sit on the floor with you?"
Mom, "This is what he usually does when we are anywhere but home." She attempted to turn him to face away from her chest, and he refused both physically and by vocalizing. "He likes really tight hugs in situations like this, it seems to calm him. He is very afffectionate"
me,"Well, our first goal will be to get him use to tolerating being here. Our first step will be to see if he can tolerate facing out whiole you hold him. Then we'll see if he will tolerate sitting on your lap on the floor. At that time we'll have you sit further back on the carpet, in the corner. That way he won't consider that you might stand up and go out the door.This will also become a safe place for him"

Other things to consider:
I do not yet have any forms with history from the family-as they weren't able to get them until the day of the evaluation. (Does that matter?)
He is an only child. (why does that matter?)
Family (both parents present) never asked about prognosis or diagnosis.
They clearly adore him and do not appear overly concerned.