Sunday, November 24, 2013

Another year of Irish Dance...

And where are we now? 

After a solid year of competing,  the princess is about where she was a year ago.   It is what it is and what can you do.   I can hope she will someday be a champ but in my heart I know it's probably beyond her grasp.

Our ladies team got third at oireachtas.   That is a huge move up from last year where we got last and Nationals where we tied for last.   That is the result of lots and lots of hard work.

Ryan is about to become the Western Region U18 champion.   It's what happens when you are the only dancer in your age group.   While a bigger competition would be nice,  we will accept the first place and be happy and start planning for worlds in London :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ninja cat takes on the world

Oh Mikey I swear you are the cutest thing ever.   It's why I keep you.   When your sister was your age she wrote me passive aggressive notes.   You write me books about Ninja cats...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Teddy's day out

Meet Teddy.  Teddy is Mikey's current stuffed animal de jour.  He loves Teddy and takes him everywhere. 
Mikey tried to take Teddy to school on a day when he couldn't take Teddy to school.  He was very upset when I told him Teddy had to stay in the car.  I had to promise that Teddy wouldn't be alone and miserable all day.  I also told him Teddy would be able to come out and play at my work.
Teddy came in and was acting IT director for a while. 

It's budget season and being IT director kept Teddy very busy. After that Teddy went and hung out with an applications developer, tax guy, IT director, network manager and office manager. Everyone was happy to spend a little time with Teddy.

Finally, at the end of the day, it was time to leave.  Teddy rode home eagerly awaiting his reunion with his boy.

 Together again, Mikey and Teddy are ready to take on the world.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I've turned into angry special ed mom

Two weeks after the homeroom change, Dani is still with the original teacher for math and English. She asked me why she still had to have her for math and English. I explained that this teacher teaches the high level kids, so she’s going to have to keep going there. She then tells me she wishes she wasn’t high level. That broke my heart.

Last night we had another interesting exchange. Dani says “My back hurts”.
I ask “Why?”
She replies “It got cut”.

I lift her shirt and see a nickel sized scrape right in the middle. I ask her “What happened?”
She says “It’s a long story. I was crawling under the bathroom stall.”

My curiosity is piqued and I ask for more details. She explains that her stall did not have any toilet paper and she didn’t want to leave the bathroom with her pants down. My next question “Why didn’t you check for tp before you picked that stall.”

“Well” she says “I was in a hurry and I had an accident in the bathroom.”

Now my sweet child wasn’t potty trained until she was almost 4 but she hasn’t had accidents at school since first grade. She has trouble recognizing when she needs to go and tends to wait until it becomes an emergency. We have worked very hard on getting her to go before it becomes urgent, and she’s come a very long way. So as always, I ask her why she waited until the last minute and she says “Mrs. L (the old homeroom teacher that she still has for math and English) is charging tribal bucks to go to the bathroom and I traded all my tribal bucks for colonial cash when I changed homerooms, and I wasn’t sure if I could still use the bathroom since it costs 5 tribal bucks to go. So as soon as class was over, I quickly walked to my homeroom, because you aren’t allowed to run, got my water bottle and went to the bathroom. It was a little too late and I kind of peed myself and I didn’t even think to check for tp because I had to go so bad”

Livid mom immediately fires off an email to her special ed team to let them know that my child is to never be charged any kind of currency to use the bathroom, and needs to be specifically told that she is to never be charged any kind of currency to use the bathroom. I also let them know that she is allowed to have a bottle of water if she feels it is necessary. I told them I understand that this is Dani’s interpretation and perception of the policy, but the policy is that she can use the bathroom when she needs to and if I need to add potty breaks to her IEP I will.

I got a horrified reply back from her learning resource teacher first thing this morning letting me know that she is absolutely allowed to go to the bathroom when she needs to, without charge, and that this would be addressed. Hopefully this problem is solved, but I hate that this is a problem in the first place. I hate that things like this are even an issue. I’m ready to completely write off this entire year learning wise. Not only is she falling behind academically, she’s miserable and peeing herself.

**** UPDATE****

Email from the school - Dani is not being charged to use the bathroom. Some kids in the class are if they are excessive bathroom break abusers, but they assured me Dani would not be charged. More importantly they assured Dani that she would not be charged. The teacher also went through Dani's homework with her and clearly defined what she was expected to do each night. 30 minutes of reading. 30 minutes for math - just do odds or evens. Grammar if she can get to it in an hour. I'm VERY happy that this was addressed (but still not sure why it had to be a problem in the first place....) 

Friday, September 20, 2013

More bicycle talk. Yes. More

After determining that Minty simply wasn't going to be able to keep up with my biking needs I started scouring Craigslist for a cruiser with gears.   My friend Jessica mentioned that she loved Electra cruisers and after checking out the site I realized I had to find an Electra.   I was checking the site every day looking for new ads,  and an amazing Electra Coaster 7d showed up screaming my name.  Even though I wasn't nuts about the color,  the beautiful style and 7 speeds were demanding I buy it. In addition to the awesome price....

I immediately emailed the seller and made arrangements to go check out the bike.   I managed to pick up the kids and drive 30 miles south within an hour.   If you've ever met my kids you know how epic that feat is.   I threw my money at the seller and loaded my new cruiser into the van.

So I went from no bike to two bikes in a week.   Just when I had Minty the way I wanted her -  a new bike came into my life.   A new bike with gears that could be ridden up and down the hills by my house.   And now my life was complete.   Or was it....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gems from today's meeting with the counselor....

Today we went and met with the district counselor to discuss Mikey's behavior. During the 2 hour meeting, we got to hear more gems than I can count... When asked if he planned to go to college, he said no. When asked about his future career goals he said "I'm going to wrestle alligators." No more Turtle Man for you child. When asked what his mom does for work he answered "She makes money". When asked what his dad did he answered "I don't know". Took him to the park last night for the first time in months. Good thing I did, she asked if he does stuff with the family or goes out to play and he gave her a long dissertation on how he rode his bike to the park last night, saw his friend Brady, played with tree bark, rolled in sand.... We almost sounded like a normal family... BUT then, when asked to describe his siblings he said "There's my brother Ryan who's almost 18 and is lazy, and my brother James who is 21 and is my mom's favorite, and my sister Danielle" She gave him a wand and told him he could wish for anything, real or not real. He thought about it and said "I wish for cats that clean. Because then they can clean the house and I don't have to". I wish for cats that clean too.... Suddenly, he has an imaginary friend (that we've never heard about before) who is a dog who smells like clouds - which smell like chocolate pie. He also told her that his brother Ryan beats him. But only when he has to watch him because he got kicked out of the summer program - and he only beats him when he's doing something like screaming, or hurting his sister, or trying to run outside. And he doesn't actually beat him, he just holds him down so he can't leave. And James is his favorite brother. At one point she was talking to him and trying to explain to him that he can say "OK Mom" or "Yes Mom" instead of arguing. But he kept arguing. He talked a lot, flopped around on the floor a lot and was typical Mikey. Overall, he came off looking like a hyper little kid who probably isn't going to sit still in class. With an incredible imagination and low career aspirations. She did say we need to make sure we get accommodations for the ADHD like the standard squish ball, and maybe have some way for him to burn off energy mid day. She also said that it's a lot to expect from a first grader who's hyper, and she recommended some kind of sand therapy? We didn't learn anything we didn't know - except for the imaginary friend. We went because we were sent and we need to do what we can on our end to make sure we are covering things at home when we go in for the IEP meeting.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nerf Rebelle

Lucky Dani!  She gets to try out the nerf Rebelle for Bzzagent! She's having a blast with this thing -  she thinks she's the next incarnation of Merida or something!  She keeps running around the house,  shooting her brother...  Because that's what sisters do lol

Monday, September 16, 2013

I want to ride my bicycle part 2

Suddenly I found myself in need of a bicycle.   I rushed to Craigslist and found Minty,  a beautiful mint green beach cruiser.  I rushed out to buy her after work one day and accessorized her to make her mine.   She's a really pretty girl isn't she? 

Here's where the story goes a bit off course.   I had been told that I would need a bike with gears.   Pshaw I said,  I will only ride at the beach.   No hills for me.   WRONG!  I found myself wanting to go to the park with the kids. And that required riding up a hill. 

The first time I tried riding up a hill,  I thought I was going to die.   Of course I blamed Minty and not my lack of physical fitness.  I want to ride up hills!   So now, what to do? 

To be continued.... 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

ODD is really odd...

I tell people I can handle adhd in my sleep.   I've got this aspergers thing down pat.   But ODD is kicking my butt.   In case anyone hasn't come across ODD,  it stands for oppositional defiance disorder and it's killing me.   My son is so sweet so smart so awesome and so so difficult.

As we go into 1st grade,  the behavior issues are coming to a head.   He can be cruel,  disruptive and destructive.   It's like the impulsively of the adhd gone mad.   He always feels bad after an episode but it doesn't make things easier.

After he was suspended for fighting on the third day of school,  the district psychologist suggested a "no fail behavior chart".   I was skeptical and really didn't feel like doing the work to make one,  but I couldn't find one on the Internet.   I threw one together in excel and it was actually quite easy.  

I attached a picture of my first try.   The printing cut off the bottom of the reward cells,  but the basic concepts is that we start off with something that he will do every day.   It can be as simple as a hug.   I used getting dressed because he's not leaving the house naked.   I put in other items that we are working on and I made sure the rewards were things that worked for me as well as him.   He loves his PBS kids shows and my parents let him watch when his homework is done.   We also put the electronics on lock down so getting to use them is now a big deal. 

I'm not sure how long it will last but he's very excited about his behavior chart.   He was so excited he used his electronics time to play leap pad and he put his pet pals on a behavior chart.   I'm willing to try anything right now...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I want to ride my bicycle Part 1

I went 25 years without riding a bike.   Could have gone 25 more if it hadn't been for Lori and her infernal plan to force us all down to the beach this summer to party.   I'm sure she had other intentions when she rented the beach house on the board walk but let's face it,  we partied hard.  As hard as a bunch of middle old ladies could party.  

Part of the plan involved bicycles to ride to bars up and down the boardwalk.  Lori borrowed a couple from her brother's girls.  I was skeptitcal at first but as I started flying down the street on 12 year old Baby Tiffany's bike - following Lori on 14 year old Baby Melissa's bike - I knew I had found heaven.  In my mind I was flying down the boardwalk with my skirt swishing saucily behind me, my hair whipping in the breeze.  My theme song is Bicycle Race by Queen and I know I look cool. 

Now I know the reality and my fantasy are no where near in practice but let me have my fantasy damnit.   Because in my reality my fat ass could barely stay balanced on a kids bike and I'm sure I'm waving all over the boardwalk.  Because reality can't be nearly as awesome as fantasy and all that.  So the realty - as defined by Queen - is actually the video below....

Yeah I own it. I'm sure I let it all hang out. And I'm not sure I made the rocking world go round :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

And where are we now?

This is Mikey.   Mikey got stung in the eye.   Poor Mikey.  

Since Mikey is the forth child,  I waited it out  for two days.   Had be been James or maybe Dani he would have been at urgent care but it was just a sting.   Or a spider bite.   So all is good.