Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm resolved to NO new Resolution

I'm not making any new New Year's Resolutions this year folks.

I'm keeping last years. *grin*

I have been working on a story and it's gone through the fine toothed comb of three edits. The process is long for me because I've not dedicated myself exclusively to it. If you've been reading my blog for the last few months, then you know what has been distracting me. Initially it was my being a reviewer, then came the crisis with my son. That saga continues. I have an apppointment with an attorney tomorrow BUT that might be affected by the 2 inches an hour of snow predicted for Late tonight into tomorrow morning. My appointment is in the morning. Oh Joy.

My other goal was to lose weight. Lose weight? Hahahahaha.

All I wanted was to lose 5 pounds...I GAINED it. Can anyone say "Stress Eating?"

I tried a new flavor of coffee the other day... Double Chocolate. Can you say "YUM" ?
So, What are YOUR plans for New Years Eve?

For the first time in years, we have plans. We've been invited to my co-workers house and it should be good. We're bringing the wine: Blackberry Merlot.
It has become my absolute favorite. It goes well with food, never looses its flavor and is smooth and tasty. I'm not a wine drinker but I make exceptions for this wine.

I have to make chocolate chip cookies and brownies too...who won't eat chocolate?

BTW - My Christmas dinner was Hot Dogs and Beans. LOL

We ended up not going anywhere because my DH and youngest ended up with colds. The two houses we were to visit on Christmas had people with compromised immune sysytems. We couldn't expose them to germs so we stayed home. Since we anticipated eating well and coming home with left-overs because we always do, we had nothing in the house. Hence, Pork and Beans for supper.

You make the best of things when you have to.
The best thing? Staying in our PJ's all day! And playing Monopoly with my little one for 2 hours. Eldest built a LEGO masterpiece - tried to anyway. It has over 1300+ pieces and he had to stop when he found he had legos missing. Replacement parts are on thier way. The Lego Company is really awesome in customer service for replacing missing parts from their kits.


Anyone have a Wii yet? Three families got together to get it for my kids.

Oh my goodness! It is SO COOL!


My kids were playing the baseball game and begged me to try it out.
Woot!

Mom goes up to bat. Not only do I get all bases loaded, I HIT A HOME RUN!!
My kid's jaws dropped to the floor. Mom is GOOD!

**VBG**
OH! I promised to show you my Cyber-Buddy, Bubba. You know, the cat who claimed me via rubbing on the PC screen? He is SO cute!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Message


Merry Christmas, Everyone!





May the Spirit of the season bring you warmth, joy, peace and comfort.



May you eat happily, sing gustily, and have plenty of reasons to laugh.



May the day after bring you Alka Seltzer, an ice pack and a foot rub.



May you have plenty of great pictures, left overs and no hangovers.




Whether you've arrived at my blog by accident or design, Hugs to ALL!




Sunday, December 23, 2007

I've Been Cyber-Claimed by a Cat

It's true. Honest!

You know Bailey?, one of my blog buddies?

Well, she has four kitties. We both have MySpace IM.

When we chat, we like to use their sound effects, limited as they are.

One that we utilize and which works incredibly loud is the 'smooch'.
We accidently discovered that Bubba responds to my cyber-smooches, muchlike if I were right there calling him.
And last night, I was cyber-playing with Bubba and Bailey said he was rubbing all over the screen.

HE WAS CLAIMING ME!!!
I was so tickled pink! I mean, here I am, a person allergic to cats in general (I pet, hug and get scratched anyway, I"m a glutton)

and I get to play with a kitty hundreds of miles away! And with no sneezing and runny eyes?
How cool is that?!!
Yep, when I MySpace IM with Bailey, I get a Very Big Grin on my face cuz I like sending smooches to Bubba.
Oh, and she nicely sent me the CUTEST picture of the furry dear so I can put in on my computer.
I had a happy moment last night.
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In other news:

More serious, so you might want to quit reading now if staying in a happy mood is important to you.... because I will now VENT my displeasure.

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I only sent one Christmas card out - to my little sister.

I finally went shopping yesterday and was ready to drop by the end of it.

It was nice to finally be free of the shackles that bound me for a month.
Son was discharged from the program.

We had an attempted IEP meeting Friday morning.
The school is fighting me.

THANK GOD FOR MY ADVOCATE!!!


The school liason tried their hardest to NOT allow me to have in writing my request that my son be allowed to be in a special program even in light of the fact that he is NOT to return to the only program they're willing to put him in upon his return. There are NO supports for him there. Yet they claim that what they have is enough. Is it geared towards teaching children with Aspergers? No.

But still they claim it's 'enough'.
NOT!

Anyway, back to the special program - we requested that he be allowed to be entered into the SCIP program for 8 weeks. They declined. Said that they couldn't, that it wasn't possible.
My Advocate forced the issue, reiterating that I still wanted it in writing that I requested it and they very reluctantly allowed the formal request to be included on the IEP meeting summary.
In the meantime, the LLP program they have him in is all they'd offer.

Oh, I take that back; they generously offered a tutor to come to my home for 2 hours a day in place of schooling.

Like THAT IS A SUPPORTIVE EDUCATION FOR A CHILD WITH ASPERGERS WITH SOCIAL SKILLS AND MEDICAL ISSUES?????
That is their bright idea for him while THEY come up with a plan to teach him. No time line given to accomplish that BTW.

So, like, I'm supposed to lose time from work and he lose ground in learning for what - Weeks?? while they see if....Grrrrr, I am NOT able to be gracious with my wording the more I think about what went on in that meeting.
What I find disturbing is that their offer came after they admitted that they do NOT have the ablitiy to provide everything we asked for that WOULD give him the education he needs. AND deserves. I'm supposed to be OK with that.
Because it's the holidays, my hands are tied.

The fact that the psychotherapist that helped us so much is gone - on an emergecy medical leave of which no one knows if he's alive or dead and have had no contact with since this journey started - is causing a major stumbling block.
I have to find a NEW child psychotherapist AND child psychologist. And I have to do it yesterday. The school demands letters and info from a therapist I no long have and one yet to be assigned.

It's a very difficult position to be in right now.
The unknowing, the uncertainity, the feeling that I will possibly have to miss work and my child's educational needs are sorely not being met and will continue to be unmet because my child won't be allowed back to school come January 2nd, is daunting, disturbing and frustrating.

And I think I rambled and perhaps wrote out of sequence, sorry about that. But I'm venting, writing as the thoughts come to me. Sharing my fears and worrys.
How the heck have other parents gotten the educational compliance they need for their children with Apergers?
Is it like this in every school district?
Doesn't anyone anywhere OFFER services without a price in blood and migraines? Not to mention serious funds having to be invested in pursuing what's best for our children.
*sigh*

It's the Christmas season; a time of miracles and hope.
I need both, but I'm also willing to work for my child to make it happen.
HUGS to all parents out there who have to deal with similar issues.
How do you keep your sense of humor alive???

If you read all this, you need something to pick your mood back up...here you go.
*******************************

Help! Get me Outta Here!!! I don't wanna be clean for Santa!

And if you want to see a pic about what said disgruntled kitty could DO with dear old Santa..click here for this cute pic!
I wanted to actually HAVE the pic, but it wouldn't load.
LOL
TTFN!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Fa-La-La-La Folly

This is a lament.

No cards sent.
No shopping done.

Almost got hit by a car when my vehicle slid on the snow and ice, propelling me into the street, into the path of an oncoming car.

The same day, went to work in my heavy clunky boots and forgot my shoes.
Had to walk bare foot at work.

That same day, was the holiday party at work. I remembered at 9PM the night before that I needed to make brownies. So, I was up late.

Said party, I refused to attend. Barefoot with a wrinkled shirt? A shirt that I thought was OK in the light of my home but in the glaring flourescent lights of the workplace, looked like I slept in it?

The same day, DH's brakes failed.

Yesterday I almost hit a tree at the bottom of my driveway. A BIG tree. I was saved by the snowbank I got stuck in. I looked to my right and spied a UPS truck parked in the driveway next door and a UPS guy was looking at me. I watched him get out of the truck and as he's heading over, I think, "Oh, how sweet, he's coming to help me."

I rolled down my window on the passenger side just as he walked up to my window. I opened my mouth to say something but whatever it was popped right out of my head when the UPS man leaned over and popped a PACKAGE through my window and said,
"Hey, thanks for waiting!".

WAITING? I was stuck! I just narrowly missed a TREE.

Men.

On top of all of that, Eldest is getting discharged from the program this Friday.
I called the school to set up the re-entry meeting which will actually be an IEP restructure session and was told they'd do it after the new year.
WHAT?
That is not appropriate! Without a program to go back TO, what use would his going back to that school be without an academic program to meet his needs?

I fought.
I got an IEP meeting for Friday.

Called my advocate.
My academic commando.
My firecracker of a guide.

I have a meeting with her tonight to make battle plans to fight for my son.

That means I have to get all my documentation in order. I had to chase down the OT report - it was never forwarded as promised. I spent an hour and a half in my cellar looking for documents from three to five years ago. Never thought I'd need them again, you know? **sigh**

At the meeting yesterday, I was informed that when my eldest was four years old, the neurologist supposedly put in his report that my son did NOT have Aspergers. At FOUR. I never knew or saw that sentence. I wasn't even there for that but for his epilepsy! (He had had multiple seizures just after he turned four years old ) The school had put it in their reports and now I have to find that neurologist report they quoted from to find out in what context that statement was made.

Then I was told by the neurologist's office that I need to come in and sit down with the medical records department head and sift through the records MYSELF. I have to do that today and my boss was counting on me being there one last day to tidy up things before I'm off for a week and a half.

Can you say Chaos?
Can you say Stress?
Can you say Why now? Why does it have to be so hard? So convoluted?
So Crazy when this time of year is inherently crazy to begin with?

Fa la la LOOPY
That's me.

Wish me luck, please. I think I may need it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

12 Inches!!!!


Yep, we got our first major snow of the season.
If you click on the pic it should enlarge.
Why would you do that?
Look at the snow coming out of the CHUTE. It looks like it came out like a solid ribbon and is shattering in the air!!!!!
And all the sparkles in the pic?
Light reflecting off of the snowflakes that are STILL falling! Pretty- yes? Best thing? Being inside while it's falling and swirling like inside a snow globe.
Worst thing? Having to drive in the aftermath tomorrow and HOPE that I make it back up our driveway.
It IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
*grin*

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Humans Suffering from Elevator Syndrome

I've noticed an interesting human phenomenon during these past few weeks while taking my eldest to that program.

I've mentioned before that the program is in a locked down facility, right?. You need a code to get in AND out.

Us parents/guardians have to enter a waiting room which is actually a part of the hallway - the separation is made by huge metal doors. The hallway becomes a room slightly bigger than an elevator and is partially soundproofed.

My observations are driving me barmy. Why? Because I want to TALK. I want to say something. But I believe even a simple "Hi" and eye contact would result in dragging these people kicking and screaming out of their comfort zone.

Seriously.

No one makes eye contact.
They ALL stare at the floor - men and women alike.
It is so silent, you can hear the whisper of fabric while the people fidget and shuffle their feet on the berber carpet.
It's very eerie.

The ceiling must be enthralling - everyone stares at that too.

I lean against the wall and make it a point to look at every one there. No one makes eye contact. No one smiles. Heck, they hardly even move!

If, say, someone leans against the emergency exit (no alarm sounds) and accidently opens the door with their back, they will quietly chuckle, briefly make bashful eye contact, hurriedly shift to a safe spot and hunch into themselves and/or angle themselves away from the person who've they made eye contact with.

I've been the one they avoid because I'm the one watching, daring to breach their visual personal space. I can't help it. The Elevator Syndrome fascinates me.

When their child is brought through the program doors, they can't herd themselves back into the hallway fast enough.

I don't get it.

In essence, we all are there for the same reason.

It's a curiosity as to why they exibit as being uncomfortable and awkward.
There is no reason to deny the situation, their reality.
Hey, it's my reality too.
Nothing to be embarassed about.

Have any of you experienced the Elevator Syndrome OUTSIDE of being in an elevator?

Where and what, if anything, did you find amusing?

Or is it that I have a perverse sense of humor?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Marmite




I just tried Marmite for the first time today. You know, the British Version of the Aussie Vegemite?

This is a picture of the exact product I bought.


I spent $6.79 U.S. for 4.4oz or 125g of the stuff.

It said to "spread a thin layer on toast".

So I did.



This morning.

Amazing texture - almost like molasses, looked like it too.
What was my reaction?




Projectile Spitting.

I've heard it's an acquired taste. They're right. No questions, no doubts, - they ARE right.
I had put a swipe of butter on the toast beforehand, did that make a difference?
I might try it again without the butter to see if it does.

It also suggests "as a treat" to have it with a bit of cottage cheese on a "crisp bread", whatever ever that is.

Is that a CRACKER?

I may do that.

Just to give the stuff a fair shake - or should I say, a fair spit?


Have YOU ever tried this stuff???
What was YOUR reaction?
HOW does one acquire a taste for this stuff anyway??
Or maybe I should ask, WHY?
LOL

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Crash and Burn

Did you ever have a day where the end didn't end? When you stopped moving but your head kept spinning? Where you looked back and asked "Where did it go?"

Surely in a day like that, something happened that you wished it hadn't, or that you could have done differently.

See my hand raised? Today counts as one of those.

I was up just after 5:30AM. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. I certainly didn't want to be up before the sun.

I had stayed up late (12:20AM) to try to get in most of the latest in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J. R . Ward - I finished it ...well, that comes later, but before I forget, I will go on record as stating that all the hoopla about Vishous and Butch is silly. I totally "got" what J. R. wrote and enjoyed the story as written. One line by Butch says it all; connected the feelings and emotions and made it plausible and solid.
How did everyone miss that?

Anyway, today was work.
At work I got a call. My son is now being treated for depression on top of Aspergers.
No. I'm not surprised.

At 8 yrs old he was diagnosed but there were so many things going on at the time, what with his epilepsy, ADD and med changes - the depression wasn't deep enough to medicate.
The next two years had teachers mentioning the word, but never followed up.
They wrung their hands and cooed yet no real red flags went up.

During those years, the epilepsy changed. It morphed from a single location to engulfing his entire brain. Neurologists are seeing more of that phenomenon and they don't know why.

Again, medications were being tweaked and blood was drawn. He's an expert now, doesn't even flinch.

We needed a calm period - a time for no changes to see, really see him as his is.
That came this year.

So, it came to pass that he has Aspergers, which as of last post, you already know.

But the depression has followed him and hasn't changed. Praise Be, it has not gotten worse. But, it's gone on long enough. We now have clinical proof in addition to the historical proof that it is real.

He'll start new meds tomorrow.

Then,

From work to home
Race to trumpet lessons
Race back home , Cook supper but no chance to eat..put it on low and rush out again to bring youngest to the library.
The Paws For Reading Program started tonight and he got to read to the cute black and white dog that does tricks.
Rush back home, inhale two tacos
Rush out to the book reading by John Robison.

Yep, I made it. I went and I'm now the proud owner of his book AND it's signed. Woot!

I didn't have too many questions. Heck I didn't ask a one. I sat there and absorbed.
I found myself smiling at his stories but I don't think I LOL'd in a robust manner like I'd heard around me. I envied that. I was so into listening that my response seemed dulled.

I did raise my hand as the last person to pipe up. Told Mr. Robison that my son was diagnosed last week and how listening to him, hearing what he had to say, was a light for me.

And you know what? I felt like I crashed and burned. I knew that I'd get all flustered and hot in the face. I raised my hand anyway. And I felt my comments to be so ineffectual.

So, I got in line to have my book signed. A first for me. It was kind of cool but I still felt like a fish out of water.

Upon my turn, I had a two pronged mission. First to clarify the one piece of advice he shared that I felt would mean the most to my son. There was so much to take in but this one thing struck a chord for me.
I understood right, so now I have a new goal to set and reach.

The second was a bold and brash thing to do.

Previously, I had told my favorite librarian, Jennifer, the coordinator behind the Paws for Reading program, that I was going to attend my first book reading and why and her eyes lit up like an excited and hopeful kid.
She hurried into her office and came out with her business card, gushing about how wonderful it would be if Mr. Robison could speak about his book and Aspergers to our community. AND would I ask him and give him her card.

ME??? Me, talk to someone up-in-coming-famous and ask him to consider speaking at our library?
Isn't there some kind of protocol to follow for something like that?
Heck, I don't know, but for Jennifer I'd do it.
I did it.

Crash and Burn.

I have my book, my memories of a moment in time not to be forgotton. Just to make sure, I'm here blogging about it because this is one day, as crazy and filled with life as it gets, that I don't want to forget.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Smile, Aspergers and Education

Thanks to everyone who entered my poll. I am So glad to see that I'm not the only one that burns pans and things BUT I'm the ONLY one that burnt a soda bottle.
Figures.
:-)

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Just reporting that Santa was in a Jolly mood over the weekend. I was freezing my tuckas off while he was cracking jokes and Ho Ho Hoing - must be because the frigid temps and slicing icy winds reminded him of the North Pole. For the first time ever, Mrs. Claus was in the house. She was a delight but- Man!!!! She looked like she ate half a dozen batches of her own cookies!
ROTFL

They both were a treasure and my kids had no qualms about listing the few items on their lists.
Wouldn't you know it, the items were all electronics. My, how times have changed.

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As far as Education? I went to a presentation last night that featured a group of mothers who shared with standing-room-only attendees, thier trials, joys and successes in raising children with full blown Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

The height of the evening was when the lead speaker, a man named John Elder Robison spoke.
He has Asperger's and has written a book called Look Me In The Eye. I WILL be reading his book. He was a fantastic speaker and he taught me a few things in relation to my son. He gave advice that only another Aspergian would be able to give. He gave me hope and showed that a sense of humor is necessary in shoring up my low levels of patience when I'm facing a moment of not understanding when a behavior isn't intentional but a sign of the syndrome. My emotional response is to be...well, emotional. Hysterics teach nothing and will get me nowhere fast. I need to learn where my son is coming from - what HE sees as going on in that moment because when I do, I'll understand that he's no where near the same page as me. He's forcing me to think "Out of the box", if you will. And some of the greatest thinkers of our time and times before have all thought that way, garnering civilization with advances and amazing leaps in mathmatics, technology and understanding of our world.

THAT is what I need to remember. I need to remember those mothers - I need to remember Mr. Robison; that Aspergians CAN succeed in life, there IS a healthy future in front of my son AND not to be so concerned with what he can't do, but on what he CAN.

I saw those moms do it last night and I need to do that too. Going to the program last night was the first step of many on a road to knowing my child.

And, I'm taking you readers along for the ride because education of this sydrome is not just beginning for me, but for society as a whole. You'll be hearing more and more about Aspergers as time goes on - there are more undiagnosed adults than you can imagine -and that blows me away.