Saturday, May 30, 2009

Someone had their wires crossed

Alli and Beth's bio uncle (father of Cousin It, grandfather of this baby) has been declared terminal with cancer for a couple of months now. He has hospice services in place. Alli got a text yesterday that he'd had another stroke and a seizure. It was really no surprise tonight when Alli got a text saying he'd died. I was sitting here trying to figure out when the service would be and what I had appropriate to wear to it when I got a text from Alli saying, "He's still alive. LOL!"

Alli had called Beth to get the details. (Beth works with Cousin It now so she has all the family news more accessible to her.) Anyway, Beth said he HADN'T died. He was still gravely ill but very much alive. She even called Cousin It to confirm that he was still breathing.

Guess someone along the texting chain sent or received the wrong message. Kind of like that old game of Telephone or Gossip where everyone sits in a circle and you whisper a word around the circle and the word at the end usually doesn't even come close to being the word they started with. Only this time, we didn't have a funny word at the end. We had a dead uncle that wasn't dead. Again, only in my family...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Endings, Beginnings...

It's that time of year when some things come to an end and other things are only beginning. The school year ended yesterday. The kids came just for a few minutes - grabbed their report cards and left. It's usually bittersweet but this year I was just ready for it to be over. I liked my class but it was a stressful year (both at home and at school) and I was just ready for the end. As of noon yesterday, I'm officially on summer break. I'm off work until July 23. It will be a busy summer. Elvis has one surgery scheduled for the end of June and many, many other appointments (speech therapy, neurosurgery consults, etc.) so I'll be busy but I can handle that.

Beth graduated from high school Tuesday night. She got her diploma and everything. She's been with me just over 5 years and there were many, many times over those 5 years that I didn't think she'd ever graduate. I'm proud of her for sticking with it and graduating. With that ending comes a new beginning. She's officially moved in with her boyfriend. While I wish she hadn't been in such a hurry, she's old enough to make that choice. Of course, she left almost all of her stuff here. So she's making a new start and I've got a room full of her stuff and no idea what to do with it all.

It's also time for an ending with Alli and Boy Wonder. Two weeks ago he snapped and came into my bedroom waving his arms, cussing me, and making some threats. All because I'd had a conversation with Alli about the ethics of raising kids on welfare. That one action on his part was a loud, clear message to me that they needed to move on. I will NOT be threatened in my home. I will not be afraid to live in my own home. I've not given them a time frame yet but it's coming. It's time for a new beginning for them to learn to live on their own. The new beginning for me will be to learn to live alone. It will be an adjustment but it will be a peaceful one and I think I'm ready for it. I'm not naive enough to think it won't hurt when Alli leaves. I just think the relief of being free from BW's outbursts will be worth it.

So, the summer of 2009 will be one of endings and beginnings...some good and some painful. I'm just glad it's starting because the sooner it starts, the sooner it's all done. It's time. We all know it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Lest we forget the reason for the holiday...

Thank you to those who serve.
Thank you those who served.
Thank you to the families of those who gave their lives.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Holy Bat-Retirement!

Our Batman is retiring. He called the faculty and staff together Thursday afternoon to tell us. I've been expecting him to retire at the end of every one of the past 5 years. This year, however, I'd never even considered it. He's had, what appears to me anyway, a great year - maybe one of his best. I'm going to miss him. He kept the school running without trying to micromanage all the details. He trusted us to do our jobs and we knew - with 100% certainty, he had our backs when we needed him.

I don't do well with change and transitions. I'll spend my summer wondering who will take his place and what the new school year (with a new "Batman") will be like.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Looking on the bright side

Despite all the crap in my life these days, some good things are happening, too.

A week ago, my brother graduated from nursing school! He skipped his actual graduation but the whole family went to his pinning the night before. It was a lovely ceremony and my brother was even a speaker. He was, evidently, quite the presence in his classes, as a few of the other speakers mentioned him by name during their speeches. And, never one to risk being boring, he gave the interim director of the nursing program a little surprise after she pinned him...

And, in Elvis news, I survived his IEP meeting yesterday! For those who have never had a kid in special ed and never had to sit through meeting after meeting of professionals telling you everything that's wrong with your kid, you'll never understand the feeling of relief when you can survive a meeting without crying before, during, and/or after. Well, I did it yesterday! I'd gotten a heads up last Friday that this meeting was going to be okay but I can't relax until it's actually over. The special ed class that Elvis has been a part of this year is moving to another school next year. A school quite far from both my home and my school. However, my principal agreed to let Elvis continue attending my school! He's going to be based in a regular kindergarten class and spend an hour and 45 minutes a day with a resource teacher. They doubled the amount of speech therapy he got this year AND gave him a full-time assistant. I didn't ask for any of this. They just offered it all. If I could have written up my dream placement for him, this would have been it. And I didn't have to ask for any of it...they just offered it!

So Elvis is going to real kindergarten in the fall. I hope they are ready for him and his attitude!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Tooth Fairy came!

Elvis' bottom front tooth is finally disconnected from his head. For the first time in my life, I pulled someone else's tooth. Yuck. When my students need one pulled, I take them across the hall to another K teacher who doesn't mind yanking them. Since she doesn't live with me however, I had to be the one to pull Elvis' tooth when it was obviously time for it to come out. I did get it out without much effort (but there was quite a bit of blood, though).

After I pulled it, we cleaned him and it up and then stuck the tooth in a ziploc bag and put it under the pillow. Since he's non-verbal, I really felt we were doing this more for us than for him but it felt right to go through the motions.

At bedtime, he wouldn't go to sleep. He just laid in bed and laughed. All night long, he dozed then laughed. We were up and down all night but not in the usual way. He wasn't crying or upset - he was just giggly. Finally, about 5:00 AM, I put him in bed with me, planning to doze until the alarm went off at 5:30. However, as soon as I put him down, he curled towards his bed and was staring intently at his pillow. It finally hit me that he was wanting to see what the tooth fairy had brought. As soon as I picked up his pillow and he saw his money, he was fine. He clutched the dollar but kept on laughing. I felt better at least knowing what his deal was. I also felt better knowing he had the cognitive ability to know about the tooth fairy and know that it was something to be excited about. Way to go, Elvis!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I didn't invite my girls to our family Mother's Day lunch this year. We didn't really have any concrete plans until the day or so before. Beth had already texted me that she was working. I haven't had a holiday with Alli since Boy Wonder joined us. I went ahead and made plans with my extended family and a close friend.

About an hour before I was leaving for the park, Alli asked what time everyone was coming over. Umm, they aren't. Boy Wonder was working so she did end up joining us. My mom, aunt, brother, sister-in-law, and nephews, along with friend and her husband and 5 kids all joined us at the park. It was a calm, low-key gathering for once. A good time was had by all.

Alli got me a card and Beth dropped by while I was still at the park and left a DVD for me. Meanwhile, I actually managed to get my mother a gift she really liked! I'm never good at buying gifts for her but this time, I did well. I got her a stand mixer. (Not an expensive KitchenAid one but it is a decent Sunbeam brand.) I was so sure she was going to return it for whatever reason (too big, didn't need it, etc.) that I taped the receipt inside the top of the box. She shocked me by being very excited about it and assured me she was not going to return it. It's nice to have found something she liked so much.

The countdown is on to the end of school. I'm ready to be out for the summer. Beth is still on track to graduate in two weeks. Let's hope she makes it.

Sleeping in?

What's that. Elvis got my Saturday off to an early start by having a seizure before 5:00 yesterday morning. So much for the increased med dose, huh? Anyway, I got up, dealt with that, and did sleep a little more before getting up for the day.

This morning, I was awakened at 5:30 by my nephew who had spent the night. I don't know how long he'd been up but he had lights on in 3 rooms and TVs on in two of those rooms. I didn't go back to sleep this morning because I was a little bit afraid of what he'd find to get into. By staying up with him, I could (hopefully) head off some of the mayhem.

And to make my morning even better? I went to get my laundry from the dryer. Only is was no longer in the dryer. It was on the laundry room floor. And it was still quite damp. I guess Boy Wonder needed something washed and dried last night and chose not to wait until mine got dry. If he'd put my wet stuff back in the dryer, I wouldn't have cared. Leaving my damp clothes on the floor however? Pisses. me. off.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Well said, Claudia

I needed this reminder during the lovely Mother's Day weekend.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Shark Boy

Elvis always does things the hard way. This trend is continuing with his teeth. He has his first permanent tooth growing in...behind the baby tooth it's supposed to replace. I"m intrigued to see if the trend continues and he actually grows a whole second row of teeth like some sharks have. The better to bite us with, I guess.

The good news is that the baby tooth in front of the permanent tooth is a little loose. It's hard to wiggle, though. When he sees one of us reaching in to wiggle it, he shoves his tongue forward and folds his lip of his bottom row (rows) of teeth. On the odd time we do get to touch the tooth, it's hard to wiggle because you can't rock it backwards. It just hits the big boy tooth back there.

It's a good thing I love this kid. He'd be pretty tough to take otherwise.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cori update

I got a text from Cori this afternoon. As of 9:00 this morning, she's officially adopted. I'm so glad this family is working out for her. She's 17. It's time she has a forever family.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I forgot to include the outcomes of the neurologist visit in the last post.

#1 He's outgrown his current dose of seizure meds, as evidenced by the fact that he had 4 seizures in April. (He usually averages less than 1 a month.) So we kept one med the same and increased the other by .5 mls twice a day. Seems like a tiny increase to me but he says we shouldn't even average 1 seizure a month with this new dose. Sounds good to me. His seizures still scare me to death.

#2 I told the doctor to go ahead and refer Elvis for the surgery consult for the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. It's been a year since the neurologist first suggested it. It's time to, at least, meet with the local doctor who performs this surgery and see how he compares to the out-of-state doctor who invented the procedure. Bottom line: Elvis' insurance will cover the local doc but not the far away one. If we like the guy and he thinks the surgery would be in Elvis' best interest, I guess we'll schedule the surgery.

#3 The doctor filled out the paperwork for Elvis' school special ed certification. I'll drop it off at school tomorrow and we'll get down to scheduling his IEP. Yuck. I hate those meetings.

A day off

I'm off school today to take Elvis to a neurologist appointment. It was at 9:00. We had to leave home by 7:15 to get there, even though it's supposed to be about a 50 minute drive. Morning traffic stinks.

We were in and out of the appointment in about 40 minutes. Gotta love that. I enjoy the waiting room there. It's a group of parents (well, grandparent in my case) who all have something in common - a kid they love that just happens to have some sort of neurological deficit. Though their disabilities may vary, we're all in the same boat. We all enjoyed the handsome teen boy (with autism, I'd guess) who doesn't speak a word but sang beautifully. When his caretaker (she just said she wasn't his mom but she'd been taking care of him for many years) asked him if he was ready to get something to eat, he replied with a huge grin and nodded his head enthusiastically. The other family in the waiting room with us was a dad there with his son. I'd guess the little guy to be about 7 or 8. He was wearing a Superman shirt and carrying a well-loved baby doll. In most settings, that would be odd. There in our little private world, no one thought anything of it.

Sometimes I wish the real world was more like our little private waiting room world...a place where every one gets along and accepts others for the unique things they have to offer.

After the appointment, we went to lunch at Golden Corral. We don't have one at home and I hadn't eaten there in years, so stopping at this one was a treat. We were the first customers there and several of the female employees stopped to flirt with Elvis. He tends to have that effect on women.

We were back home a little after noon. Alli's gone off to her room. Elvis (who napped in the van on the way home) is lying on my bed watching a movie. I'm enjoying the peace of not being in kindergarten at this time of year. (Kindy gets a little wild during the last weeks before summer.) All in all, it's been a good day...except that we heard this song FOUR times and this song THREE times in the van this morning on the same radio station. Give 'em a break, people!