Tuesday, February 26, 2008

He can call me anything he wants


I apologize in advance, I saw this on someone's blog and I cannot remember exactly which one that was.

Sawyer's nickname generator

Mine is 'cloudy'. Actually it's my second one, I didn't like the first one. Post yours, you'll see, it'll be fun. I promise!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Is it too big?

Yeah, it's too big. I just got photoshop elements and I am trying to be creative. I have to make another one in with a better size. In my past life I was really good at this kind of stuff. I am a little rusty.
Edited to add: Ok I made it smaller but I accidentally deleted a few of the cute images including my daisy, from the whole thing. Aghhhh. Tech support!!!! (extra bonus points if you know what movie that came from!)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow Day

making tracks

There is something about a snow day that makes me hungry. Apparently my bubs takes after me in this department because I have spent the entire morning bouncing between trying to keep my son occupied so he doesn't eat, and feeding him. He is relentless. Just relentless. We had a playdate over yesterday and they came with munchkins. Bubs rediscovered a new found passion for them. Any flavor. Which is odd because he has never shown an interest in them before, and they really are a common occurence in his school, they are always having a party there. He snagged one at 6:15 a.m. because I mistakenly left them on the table.

Then he hemmed and hawwed for another one, and while I don't advocate doing so, I gave him another one. In my past life as a gfcfsfeverything free momma, this is a novel approach to our lives. Then at approximately 6:18 he requested 'pirates cootie' (his approximation for pirate's booty). I told him he couldn't eat anything more till he had a good breakfast. So he agreed to let me make him some eggs and turkey bacon. I felt redeemed for the munchkins. He scarfed down my eggs and wouldn't you know it the next two words out of his mouth (and the next twenty after that) were 'pirate's cootie'. I told him he would have to wait. The way we measure time around here is in t.v. shows. I told him in 'two more shows' he could have his p.c. (as we will lovingly call it from now on). I figured he might forget about it by then. I must have been delusional to think that my child would forget about anything he wants. It's never happened yet. While I hate to load the kid up on crap I really felt like a deal was a deal. I gave him the 'p.c' and then we played a while and I took him outside with me to burn off some of the energy he had (and the snacks).

I am new to the shoveling thing. Usually the person I married (and I mean that in the most affectionate way ) takes care of it, but he didn't have time this morning. In all fairness, he did dig out my car for me (but he blasted his car radio while doing it at 5:30 a.m.). I figure it's good exercise, but I am becoming a little obsessive about it. Is there a schedule for such a thing? Do I let it pile up or go out every few hours for 'maintenance'? Bubs had fun, he was pretending to be an arctic fox.

arctic fox

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random musings

I was sitting at the dining room table today and bubs came running in with his tongue out. "Look mom", he said, not too clearly because his tongue was out. I said, "what am I looking at?" He said "my tongue". I looked at the tongue. Bubs said, "it's beautiful. I have a beautiful tongue". "Yes" said I, "it is beautiful". Off he skipped, back into the living room to continue whatever it was he was doing before he had that epiphany.

I also want to add that if you write the word 'tongue' over and over again, it stops looking like a word with any meaning.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

For better or worse


I am sitting here depressed watching 'rock of love'. I am seriously getting more depressed for the women on this show wrestling in the mud, desperately competing for a 'date' with a washed up, hair plugged up, goofball. I know this show isn't for real, it's kind of sad how hard they try to pretend it's for real. Some of these women are my age (although they probably wouldn't admit to it) and they look very foolish. It's humiliating, even though it's faker than fake. The humiliation is very real. Why do they feel the need to throw themselves in front of a bus for a 'backstage pass'and some 'brett beer'?
I should probably just shut it off but I am waiting for 'the girls next door' to come on. Now there's an evolved show for you. It's fascinating to me. I think it might be their bedrooms. The abundance of hello kitty and pink satin comforters and little yappy dogs...perhaps I missed my calling in life.
Why am I depressed? Maybe it's not depression. It's more a bit of confusion, anger and sadness rolled up into one post valentine's day horror show. I am really angry at the person I married right now. Suffice it to say that my valentines day weekend sucked and it ended with my long stemmed roses being stuffed into the trash. Not by me, I should add. There is some trouble brewing here. It's going to work out ok in the end, that much I am sure of. It just depends what the definition of 'ok' is. Is it me, or is marriage weird? I don't think I am that good at being married. I used to hate valentine's day when I was single. I hate it now that I am married. It's a stupid day.
I apologize for the grumpiness.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How to not be a good listener


Friday was a little iffy in the behavior department at 'typical' pre-school. It seems that bubs had some issues with his teacher,Miss Wendy. She said he was a little 'sassy'. Apparently it means he is acting like the other kids. To be honest, I didn't like her 'attitude' when I picked him up. She called his name after I signed him out and he ran up to me so excited and said 'I was a good listener today. I didn't knock over anyone's blocks'. She let out a little snort and said he did knock over someone's blocks. Ok. So I grill the child on the way to the car. 'Did you knock a friend's blocks over?' 'NO' says bubs. I ask again, I get the 'check negative' from bubs. I ask one more time for good measure. I start to think he is telling the truth. He may be many things, but the kid isn't a liar.

So I wait patiently for his shadow to come to the car to settle the score. She said she didn't think he knocked anyone's block tower over. She said she was with him throughout playtime and she didn't observe any suspect block knocking over activity on bubs' part. Usually the kids tell on each other and no one told on bubs. Sometimes the blocks fall over on their own, right? But she did say, 'Ask him what happened at snack time'. So of course I did and bubs said 'I threw my juice'. 'Why?' asks the perplexed and mortified mom. 'I don't know' says a sheepish bubs who right about now is sweating his reinforcer trip to the bookstore for the afternoon. His shadow said she wasn't there for the incedent but he was apparently angry at Miss Wendy for something. I think it had to do with cleaning up snack in a timely fashion and my bubs wasn't finished with his cheddar bunnies. These are the kind of things that have me scared for next year. He didn't technically 'throw' the juice, it was more of a 'angrily knocking over a small cup of a small amount of liquid' which thankfully didn't permanently damage any other child or their clothing. I wasn't too thrilled, but on the bright side there were no other behaviors and/or tantrums other than that, and it was a short lived event at that.

So, when I picked up bubs yesterday from preschool, he happily skipped over to me and exclaimed 'I was a good listener today Mommy. I didn't throw my juice'. Did I mention I am one proud Momma. You go my non throwing juice good listening boy!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Life is good

Thanks to the wonderful Maddy at Whitterer on Autism I have been given my very first award. I have been feeling the love from my blogging colleagues this week. I know that it's my responsiblity as an award winner to pass this wonderful award on. So I will be handing out my first award to Marla, for her self titled blog site, stop by there and read this very thought provoking post about Marla's amazing daughter speaking about her sensory issues.
While I am feeling the love, I would also like to send a shout out to someone I think of as my 'cyberspace mentor', Drama Mama at her blog 'Like a Shark'. She will make you laugh, she will make you cry. Read this to see what I mean.
I am also sending an award over to Casdok at Mother of Shrek. I love to click on her blog, you are guaranteed to be reading something interesting, and insightful.
I am not picking out one specific thread though, because frankly this is starting to give me an anxiety attack.
Thanks again Maddy, and let me express my sincere gratitude to all my blogging friends!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I'm 'it'

I have been tagged by Marla over at Marla's Blog. Being a relative 'newbie' to the whole blog experience, I have also not been tagged that much (I think I was tagged once). The insecure girl who was always picked last in gym, is very happy to oblige. Does that make me sound pathetic?
Ok, here is the tag:

The rules: Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!) Find Page 123. Find the first 5 sentences. Post the next 3 sentences. Tag 5 people.

What a coinkidinky, the closest book that was over 123 pages (and not an illustrated tome on insects or reptiles) is a book called "Rules". It's by Cynthia Lord and it's actually a book for kids, I would say a 10 year old. My sister lent it to me because she read it over the summer after buying it at a scholastic bookfair. This is all probably bordering on too much information. Ok, here it goes:

"And in several of the restaurant windows surrounding the parking lot, pleople have stopped eating to watch."

"Most of them have their mouths dropped open."

"Jason waves."

~exciting stuff, huh?
Ok, now I am tagging five people whom I hope will be equally as joyous to be tagged as I was :

1) Thin by decade three
2) And then there were two
3) J, C, and Me
4) hmmm. I don't know if I know anymore people that I can ask....
5) ? Anyone reading this who has a blog who would like to participate? How's that?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Somebody pinch me


This week has been generous in it's rewards. I almost afraid to write about it, as if by doing so I will walk out my door to retrieve my garbage pails and get sideswiped by a runaway bus making it's way down my street. It's the curse. But I must give thanks, I truly must.

For the mundane relatively unimportant stuff, I must bow down to my accountant and kiss her feet. We were really frantic the last couple of weeks, convinced we would owe large sums of money to the IRS. My husband has been working many many jobs so that we could try and get ahead on this treadmill we are on. We were afraid the plan would backfire due to him putting us in a new tax bracket and the lack of taxes being taken out at his part time jobs (they base it on what you make at each job, not a total). Throw in a desired trip to Europe and some credit card bills (and some wasted fruit) and you have a tense situation. At any rate, my husband called me last night to tell me that not only did we not owe money, we were actually getting a nice chunk back. For this I am grateful.

I also lost 6 pounds this week. Granted it was my first week back at weight watchers, and I have noticed that once a month I seem to lose 6 pounds (my system is wired that way) which I slowly gain back the rest of the time, I will still take the loss and run with it. My effort will lie in keeping this newest loss off till the next time it happens.

I can now purchase the boots I have been coveting without dipping into my change jug.

Ok, now to the more important stuff:

Bubs has had his evals this week. I know in my brain that the numbers don't mattter all that much. It doesn't define the wonderfulness that is my son. In my heart though, I really want everything to be good and moving in the right direction. My life right now, is all about bubs, and if he is successful, it means I am successful. He is successful and happy, but the needy little person inside me wants good eval results. I used to think I was an intrinsically motivated person, but perhaps I am moving on over to the external side.

Ok, so he had his psych eval on Monday. I haven't actually heard from the psychologist yet, she is supposed to get back to me when she has the report all written up. Good thing bubs' shadow was there because she told me everything. I promised her I would act surprised and I will deliver on that promise. I know my bubs is smart, I do. He is just not a compliant test taker. Apparently 3 years of aba has taught him some compliance because he went up 40 points on his i.q. test. Granted the last one was when he was three and he couldn't really speak. I don't think anyone actually informed me of that score, because I probably would have had a nervous breakdown upon hearing it. I just found out the old score because they compared it to the new one. I never thought I would experience such joy at hearing that my son scored in the avg range for i.q. (actually a little above avg, but that's the annoying externally motivated me saying that). AVERAGE, never thought of it as a beautiful word, but in this case it was, maybe more soothing and calming to my tortured mind. I really felt myself breathe that day, like unbuttoning your pants after you ate too much.

Wednesday he had a speech eval. I of course had to ask his teachers how that went. What is with the secrecy here people??? I didnt' get too much information other than he scored above average in the receptive and expressive realms. Ok, what? Come again???? This is a child who was in the second percentile for expressive and receptive speech at age 3. Second percentile. I always referred to him as having a 'speech delay', especially when forced to converse with other moms at the burger king skanky play structure, when they asked me what preschool he went to . I never named it, I just said it was a center for kids with speech delays. I guess that explanation is no longer going to work for me.

The thing is, I really can't seem to grasp this. I am having a hard time trying to understand how this will all matter to bubs and his programs. I have had over 3 years of amazing services, with abysmal reports about everything. This is the first time in bubs' short life that he has gotten results like this.I am afraid, very afraid. Happy and afraid at the same time.

Bubs still needs help. I don't want them taking his help away. On paper we are looking fine and dandy, but it's not the whole story. Are they going to listen to me?

I must add that I am still very grateful, very thankful and so very very proud of bubs. It is a lesson in hope for anyone who has little or none.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Crunch time

It's a stresful time around here, well at least for me. Bubs' cse meeting is on February 27th and somehow it's creating mass hysteria at Bubs' school. There have been evals, meetings upon meetings, observations, and discussions on what to 'ask for' with regards to summer services. I have already been informed that bubs will not be eligible for summer services at his current school. I am not sure what the exact reason is. I think it has to do with his school being terrified by the chairperson of our districts special ed committee. They have given her the adorable nickname of 'Pirahana'. Lovely. So at last weeks team meeting they asked me what I was expecting for bubs' summer. Honestly I expected him to be there, but for reasons beyond my control we are being booted out. I was given the reason that given bubs' progress they could no longer justify keeping him there. On a day long ago, that would have given me immense joy. But the older wiser me has a bullshit meter running on overdrive and I know that they just don't think the district will approve it, so they won't bother asking.

So, I said I would ask for bubs to have a shadow go with him to camp (a great camp that I think I am going to have to sell a kidney for, so that he may attend three half days a week). I would also like some extra seit hours on the days he doesn't go to camp. I thought it was fair given that we are going from 36 hours of service to around 10. They told me that the best strategy was to ask for more services than I wanted so that I may have 'bargaining power'. I told them that I didn't realize we were buying a used car here, I thought we were discussing my child. They didn't find that too amusing. I am making peace with whatever happens. Honestly, I think I can keep bubs sufficiently occupied and structured so that his behavior doesn't take a complete nosedive. This is really my biggest area of concern for him and the one he will have the most trouble with in his inclusion class. While I know I can, this is a child who gets up at 6 am full of piss and vinegar, jumping on the bed asking me 'where are we going today?'. If you want me to be brutally honest, part of my disappointment in him not being able to attend the summer session of school is the fact that I am scared he is going to run me ragged with his oh so high activity level. What the hell am I going to do with him all day??????? I am kind of torn between being angry at the school for ditching us, and being wimps for not fighting for us, and maybe embracing the idea that it's time for bubs to experience a little freedom for a change. I know he is definitely up for the challenge, me, that's a whole other bag of beans.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Two years ago, when I was a newbie to the world of cpse and all the joys that go with it, I was faced with the agonizing decision of what do with bubs. I really wanted to keep him at home, status quo with our 19.5 hours per week of aba and 30 minutes 2x of o.t. I figured I would take him to a typical preschool a few times a week for socialization and peer modeling. I wish I could make that screeching to a halt sound over the computer, because those plans were circular filed after my first meeting with the Department Chair for special ed. She told me it wasn't my decision, and my first reaction to her was 'what...oh no she didn't....' and I told her ultimately it was my decision. I am his mother for heaven's sake. OK, so we didn't hit it off that well, and I am still not all that comfortable with her. She 'suggested' that I check out bubs' current school (which in spite of my complaints as of late, I am still thrilled with). Bubs' school has the word 'autism' in it's name and I gotta tell you that was a biiiiiiigggggggg turnoff to me. I was still clinging ever so lovingly to the pdd-nos thing, even though it's a matter of semantics to me now, back then it was a huge deal. Ok, so I didn't like it cause of the name. Bubs school has a reputation of it being kind of intense, the children all have their own rooms (cubicles to some) and work one on one for the most part of the day (when they first start out there). Combine that with the fact that I felt this chairperson lady to be a huge bully and I became somewhat 'defensive'. I yelled and told her that she had no idea who my son was, and where he should go to school. It was bad. I soon realized that I was not going to get the same services that e.i . so generously provided (thanks to my rediculous property taxes) when we transitioned to school district. They were not going to budge on that. So I went and looked at a few center based programs. The school district hooked me up with another parent from the district who had a son who attended the program. She was so kind and listened to me in my raw emotional state. She comisserated with me and shared that she had the very same reservations about putting her son in 'the school'. She also told me how great her son was doing.

My husband and I got the call that there was an opening at the 'autism named' school and I didn't want to even consider it as an option. We went anyway. We were pleasantly surprised to see a relatively cheerful place that had happy children's artwork displayed everywhere. Kids were actually out and walking around (supervised) and not chained to the wall in their barracks. Some even said hello to us. It really challenged what I had previously believed. Dare I say I was......wrong (never)?

So we took the plunge and enrolled him there, I apologized to the scary Chairperson for being so 'defensive' and I redeemed myself and became a parent member for the district. Yesterday I got a call from the district that they had some parents in for their transition meeting and felt their son would really be a good candidate for 'bubs' school'. Surprise surprise they (the parents) were not keen on the idea, for the very same reasons we were not keen. The school district wanted me to call and give her our experiences with 'the school' since not too long ago we were in the same boat. I called. I made it clear that I wasn' t a henchman sent from the district to coerce them to enroll their son in a center. That said, it kind of took me back to a not so happy time in my life. I felt so bad for them and all the critical decisions they had to make, when they should have been celebrating their child's upcoming 3rd birthday. It also made me think, wow... who would have thunk I would be on the other side of that phone call.