Thursday, January 31, 2008

OK MOM put her foot down......

right after Daddy told me to quit crying and remeber I know the law and all that crap!

So Miranda is going to our little school on Monday, she will be riding the bus with her sisters, and they will service her as decided upon and written in first IEP..... IT IS THEIR PROBLEM not ours, we never lied and said she could walk...... they new this.... tough "CRAP!" and a few other expletives and a lot of tears later.

So (I would love to say I had a poliete conversation .... but I really doubt I will ever have a poliet conversation about this subject with anyone)..... but Miranda will be going, it is their reaponsibility to move and accomadate her needs, and I am sorry so many people will be inconvienced..... but I am only a mom to three of them and I will deal with it with Eliza and it is the schools fault for poor planning!

SO I WILL POST photos to show her first day on Monday and don't think.... I will just send the little one on the bus and run away to the spa..... (OK I WISH!) but I will probably follow the bus and see her get off at school and I will be following up and making sure they have done what they have said they will an monitor it till it is completed!

Cause..... I gues you learn to be a bitch (or in my case a bigger one than I was) when you have a child with special needs and issues!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Miranda isn't going to OUR school now.....

Ironically a teacher said to me yesterday they were so happy that Eric and I were so proacitive at dealing wiht a problem with Colin and his inclusionary classroom. She felt and has had a lot of parents say "if it is happening at school, it is your problem....not ours".

Well today I am so starting to understand why any parent would say that! We are tired of fighting for our children and their rights by the time they get to 1st or 2nd or 4 th grade.... that we don't care, we don't want to participate by then WE ARE EXHAUSTED OF THIS UPHILL BATTLE!!

Many times I am beginning to think the school people are counting on this fact more than they will ever let on it makes the education job so much simplier.

I find it ironic that all the books and articles and everything....say "fight for inclusion, get all the early therapy and other services for your child to ensure their best potential outcome.

And we parents start this battle....from the day we find out about their disability. For some this our little one's the original birth day. For other parents this is somewhere along the developmental path when they were told their precious little bundle has deviated from the "normal".

NO ONE wants to ever hear this!!!.... no one wants to visit a therapy room or a focus room or whatever "awesome, non threatening name" an educator decides to give it...... and think is this really where my child belongs!

We are still in some denial! We always will see the child we thought they were suppossed to be! WE DO NOT WANT TO GO TO IEP MEETINGS, or make other plans or have extra time taken away from our jobs and our lives with our family to deal with this!

Even I ..... I look at my beautiful children and wonder what they would be like if they were "normal", but as an adoptive parent I also know that Eric and I would have none of my four precious angels if they had the regular 46 chromosomes. So this thought is really a slippery sword for me!

I still look for the things that would classify them as "normal", for a glimpse or a way they turn their head, something that does make them the same as their peers.

Then there are days I sometimes relish in the fact that people are so ignorant and say "hey she only looks like she has a little down syndrome" or "it has to be a mild case she looks so smart" or the all time favorite is " what oriental country is he from?"

Why does this make me secretely happy....BECAUSE for one brief moment that person did not see the "disability" untill it was pointed out and they just saw a beautiful child. MY BEAUTIFUL CHILD!


This is just human nature to want what is best for our children and we are told that different is bad! Look at our media, our beauty icons, our sports hearos, That is what we tell everyone they should aspire to be! Never once have I heard someone say.... I want my child to grow up and be confined to a wheel chair or to never speak... that sounds like a fun idea.

Several times I have heard my child describe geneticaly as a mistake! As non religious as I am I still feel that GOD (or the universeor whatever) doesn't make mistakes... maybe a "chaos" theory might be a better explanation for Colin somedays!

"I liken " (my tenessee aceent comin' back) it to the little creature SCRAT from ICE AGE with the nut, all he wants is to do something so simple... to crack it and eat it. But he ends up causing a huge catastropic event!

I am starting to feel I am chasing this LRE, inclusion, and and all that stuff and I will never get it for them and trying to get it for them will likely kill me in the process! (and sometimes I am starting to think that is the plan all along)

ALL I want for all my children is to go to school and learn to the best they can.... whatever this is....cause I don't even know their limits (and I am absolutely certain that a person who has spent only 75 minutes once with them certainly does not) but Eric and I certainly have a better clue. We will be here for them the day they are no longer a "problem" for the school system..... and they fall off that cliff.... so believe me I am thinking LONG LONG LONG TERM!

I am so tired of being presented with options to have them determine that "oh.... that won't work now."

I find it ironic that people have know all of Miranda's issues (OK most of her issues since SEPT).

I find it ironic that all the books and articles and everything....say "fight for inclusion, get all the early therapy and other services for your child to ensure their best potential outcome.

All of a sudden the fact she isn't walking is a problem since all the class rooms are in the basement! Not like they weren't there in sept or December or when we had her IEP on JAN 18th. And how about every single time I have had to drag the stroller up and down the steps at school for the last three years that someone would have noticed she wasn't walking!


Oh.... they have options.... but I don't like any of them.... and I laugh at most.... Like I want someone here in my house again! I AM TIRED OF EARLY INTERVENTION! I AM TIRED OF NOT BEING ABLE TO DO ANYTHING CAUSE I AM CONSTANTLY WAITING ON SOMEONE TO COME OR TO SHOW UP OR wondering where they are or having people call and change it at the last minute.

I have been in this program every day for the last 7 1/2 years with one child or another..... I AM OVER IT! AND IT DOESNOT GIVE HER WHAT SHE NEEDS!!!! 3 hours each day of "typical classroom stimulation"

Am I really thinking this is just their way to force a therapy room on us..... Probably!

So no she isn't going to school and I am not going to take itinerant services either! That is not what her IEP states and I will protest any change with the highest voice I can!

They offered to do it just till spring break.....or preferably the end of the year. Then they would move classrooms around then. Great my kid gets to cause how many kids and their families an inconvenience.... great makes me feel so good~ I know a new classroom change like that would "stress my typical child and freak out Eliza.... so why are others going to be hurt because of inadequate "reactive" planning.

Why are they so reactive and not proactive when it comes to planning.

URGH!!!!!!!!!!! I am so irritated that all I want to do is scream!!!!!!! Why is this the actual hardest transition I have done!!!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Miranda has her EEG or a soap opera coma......

I am so sorry iI forgot my camera this morning! Cause the photos would have been precious!

Basically today started with..... it was the normal rush to get the kids up, and started for school, but add into the mix get Miranda dressed and ready for a ton of tests today and out the door by 7 am! (NOTE I had to keep her awake past midnight and wake her up at 4 am and then try to keep her up, have clean hair and skin with no lotion on them so all the pads and leads will stick......)

At least the roads were not crowded nor was it snowing! Huge plus in our favor!

We make it on time and get checked into the hospital. Eric went with her last time she had an EEG so I am sort of new with this one..... but I know she gets a tone of "goopy" leads stuck to her head and then we get to sit for about 45 minutes and then do some other tests with them on! (Really looking forward to this!!! LOL)

It all starts with them measuring Miranda's head and making a ton of "dots" and marks on it. Needless to say she is not please when Colin plays connect the dots on her, this stranger is getting the evil eye and she starts to squirm and wriggle!!!

I love that I get to hold her and I end up having to sing.... constantly for almost 40 minutes to keep her attention so they can proceed to scrub these marks and then apply leads. I think Miranda is in on the plot cause for each one she gets secure, Miranda seems to pull another one off!

Finally we get them all on and I have her pinned against me and have been singing the "Silly Pizza", "Wheels on the Bus", and the "5 little ducks "for so long all I want is a glass of water! and to sit down and when I am blinking she goes after them again! SO they decide to wrap her head up.

Miranda looks like a bad soap opera medical scene! For a moment I am convinced she is Erica Kane or Greenelee Smythe with amnesia and will likely be a coma or some other hospital peril in a few " soap opera minutes". But hey They just want her to drift off into a nice sleep so they can proceed to measure her brain wave activity for a 30 minutes or so......

HA HA HA HA HA!!!! No they have given my little girl 40 wires, lots of gauze and fun sticky paste and they want her to sleep.... and people laugh when I say I could win the lottery.... I am seeing sleep as harder than winning the powerball right now!

Course mom is exhausted from all the sleep I didn't get while trying to keep her up! So I could do with a 30 minute catnap!

But our beautiful Miranda never dose oblige them....she is way to interested in pulling on her "mummy" hat and trying to get the leads off.

I am probably one of the first parents they have ever had that hopes they find something wrong, so we can use it to get a better school placement or aide if she has a seizure issue.... we shall see when the results come in!

After that we went to the store and had lunch, and bought our clothes and stuff for school!

Can't wait she goes on the fourth! She will be such a big girl then! And I am so tired of people in my house four or 5 days a week a and never being able to plan stuff or do anything cause every one's schedule is so much more important than mine!

I told school I want her with her sisters at our local school.... we shall see how that goes!

But at least she and I had a fun day! and we are closer to becoming independent!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Welll..... I visited the intensive therapy room

I determined the following things that day!

1) nobody goes into the labor / delivery room hoping their child gets assigned to the "intensive therapy room" for likely nobody is ever pleased with this situation

2) I realized that had a wonderful and caring staff of paraprofessionals and a nice teacher

3) my van fits through the Starbucks drive thru (which is a big plus cause we don't fit through most....AND IT IS A BLOCK AWAY!)

4) That the room is 35 minutes one way from my house on a good traffic day (is there really such a thing)

5) That an intensive therapy program (very misleading name....cause it is actually the same number of minutes in both places) is probably what Miranda needs right now

6) That I really want her in a class with her peers....I am just not sure what her peers are

7) That the easier they try to make things for parents to understand....... the harder it really is

8) That I am not a really nice person......because all I care about is my kid, and my family and I do not want to think about anyone else!

9) That just because Miranda is not genetically mine that I still feel like I caused this somehow (something some pointed out I shouldn't feel cause she wasn't my biological daughter)

10) That I am not closer to deciding what she needs today than last week! I am just sick of reactive versus proactive planning!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The veggie's were fun....but

getting there to enjoy the movie was a huge .... but very ironically funny.... moment in the whole process!!!

Our poor little helper..... some days I think no one needs volunteer hours this bad!! Here is sort of how going to the mall . movie went!

1) We finally corral all six of the kids, get winter coats & gloves on cause of the ice cold wind chill then get them in the car...... course two manage to poop after they have been buckled in so we have to start over!

2) We drive to the Mall...about 30 minutes away and of course no handicapped parking available anywhere near the movie entrance or any entrance I can see. I actually hate to use the handicapped parking, but there are very few places you can actually fit a 15 passenger GMC van in. Course I finally manage to find a spot and squeeze the van in, but opening the side doors is next to impossible!

3) I make the kids leave the dolls int he car (thank heavens)! Courtney and I manage to squeeze out the wagons and the strollers and "pen the kids into between the cars while we unload, and make it into the van having to stop and pick up the wagon 4 times to go over a speed bump, a curb , and 2 medians. BUT WE MAKE IT! WE ARE IN THE DOOR! WE are halfway to our quest of seeing the movie.

4) We go upstairs to get the tickets in the elevator. I swear all malls have the slowest elevators on the planet! During this time Adrian is pointing out how many times she could have been up and down on the escalator to the top while we are waiting. (Scariest thing is she was right....almost 15 times could she have gone up and down while we waited for that elevator seemed an accurate estimate)

5) We wait in line meet a few really nice people who comment on how well behaved the children are (course they are at this moment.... they all missed the arbitrarily throw your coat off and onto the floor a few moments ago that four of the six participated in!) and they know to get to the movie they have to not drive me nuts! We get four children's & two adults tickets and then head back to the elevator to go to the food court! Another long wait for the elevator!

6) It is 1:45 pm.... and the food court is PACKED all the normal lines where the children would are about 40 minutes long (at least 20+ people / orders) so we go for the Japanese grill. I go to get in line and take Adrian and Melea with me.... While Courtney is getting the rest situated at the table.

Most of the way there I am arguing with Adrian who is furious there are no little tables..... (this mall has children's tables and she remembers that as well as that they have a two story merry go round) and of course they are all taken! Somehow I am supposed to kick out the other people and there kids to make Adrian happy. NOT This becomes a most interesting discussion with Princess Grumpy and why we wait. Now we have been waiting to order for almost 8 minutes, we are one person away when.........drumroll................MELEAS SAYS "I have to pee!"!

This is great.... cause we are potty training, but of course requires us to leave the line and go to the bathroom! Then we all love to play in the " self flushing bathrooms and the sensor operated toilets & sinks.

We finally get back in line and wait about 10 more minutes to get tot he front, mean while Melea has been coning the "Sample Guy" to keep getting little samples of the chicken ....cause she is so hungry..... that after we finally get our food and we sit down and divvy up the two dinners for five of the six kids....Colin eats noodles and shares it with mom and some of it with Melea!.

Melea keeps signing all done and only wants her water. I am concerned for a few moments till she empties her pockets. I then realize that Melea has 11 tooth picks in her pocket.... so she probably really is full from the samples.

7) We finish lunch, and head off to the "up and down" (merry go round for the rest of the world! My favorite part of the trip tot he mall is that the "Up and down" is next to Starbucks!!! Boy do I deserve one, and I need to get Courtney something... she is starting to look worn out! (My six kids can do that to ya!) Then I see how long the line is!!!!!!!! Why oh why did I promise we would go!

8) We manage to buy tokens, wait in line.... my tights have suddenly started to creep down as we are waiting! Eventually we get all the kids on the ride, everybody on an animal..... Colin is no longer freaked out, but he still only chooses animals that do not go up and down! BUT THIS IS A HUGE IMPROVEMENT! But somehow I get so we are all close to each other, get the tokens to the nice lady. As the "up and down" starts I swear the centrifugal force somehow manages to cause my tights to fall further

By the end of the ride my tights are all the way down to the tops of my boots (I guess the diet & exercise program is helping.... just didn't need to find that out NOW!) I am so thankful I have an ankle length skirt on..... BUT it is making holding Jordan and Miranda next to impossible to get back to the strollers (AND I SWEAR WE STOPPED AS FAR AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE FROM THEM!!)

We finally get to the strollers and we start walking to the elevator. I am panicked that everyone can see my tights have fallen.... there is no way to graciously or even ungraciously pull them up.... I am hoping I can at least do it in the elevator before the fall farther and I actually trip over them ! Course now there are two other moms with strollers waiting to get on! SO I just keep praying I won't trip and that we make it to the theater!

9) We go into the huge metro plex..... all the children need to be changes, tights still around my knees and I am trying to keep them from falling further...... I make it to the bathroom and we fix mine and of course Adrian needs to pee so she gets out of line for the family changing room (only place I can whip through 5 diapers and etc in 5 minutes) so We have to start that wait back over .....not everyone is as quick as me at doing this! So we wait 10 more minutes (8 minutes till movie should start) before we can enter.......

Today I take the same pattern we always do...... I ask who needs to go to bathroom .... I never actually expect a response and Courtney is setting up the massive but quick changing line...... and I turn around at Adrian's beckoning.... and there is Colin sitting on the potty! I am astounded. Then Melea and Eliza decide it is time to do the same! OK slightly over joyed......

We do some quick diaper changing after that and then off to sit in the theater!

10) Courtney and I manage to get all the kids and strollers, and wagons into the theater. We get the seats and then I take Melea and Adrian to get popcorn (I should have just stopped while I was ahead....but no I am really craving popcorn and Colin has been signing it on and off since we passed it!)

We get to wait in line again..... I am so tired of lines by this point, we make it up to the front, we order the popcorn, drinks and I get everything set to go.....Melea is bouncing off the wall with her bag and soda! She is so excited and she is helping carry it..... then the absolute worst thing that can happen at this moment does.... the FIRE ALARM GOES OFF with instructions to evacuate. I am panicked, cause I can't go back the way we came to our theater (against flow of traffic) and poor Courtney is in the theater with three non walkers, and Colin. The strobe lights and sound are going off so loud that I am worried that Colin will have a panic attack and hold onto the chair for dear life! I am worried about Courtney with the other kids, and I am trying to get Melea to come and she spills her popcorn! SO she is now screaming that I should stop and pick it up! (I left the other five bags on the counter with the sodas ) and Adrian for a change is following directions and holding onto my hand and Meleas leg (I have her draped over my shoulder now cause she is kicking and screaming about her popcorn!)

Luckily it was just a false alarm! They let Melea, Adrian & I back in the front, I stop and get the popcorn, and the nice clerk gives Melea another bag (THANK YOU!!!!) and we head down to find the others. Well they are not in the theater. The wagon is there. I get Melea and Adrian situated with their sodas and drinks, still now one is returning at all. Another mom notices I am a little panicked and offers to watch them (BY THE WAY THEY NEVER STOPPED THE MOVIE! SO it is rolling) I go outside and find a teenager, oh... she hasn't seen them. I mention it is four kids, and a teenager and about 50 other people who have not returned. She calls her boss... and then we realize that no one ever gave them the "all clear" and let them back from where they exited. After they get them out of the cold corridor and headed back... still no Courtney and the other four .... I peer down and I see her slowly trudging up the walk with all of them and Colin pushing Miranda. I hug them all and realize......

OK this has been Mom and Courtney's terrible, awful and horrible bad day!!!! And at least we can now enjoy the movie! I promise Courtney..... this has never happened to us at the movies before! (I HOPE IT NEVER EVER HAPPENS AGAIN!)

and then we sit there watching the Veggies..... I realize for the first time ever.... THEY DO NOT HAVE ARMS! OK now I am perplexed!

11) We all make it home and the kids all enjoyed the movie, and their popcorn and the fun! So at least it was fun for them.

Anyone think Courtney will ever volunteer to go to the movies with all of us again?

At least there was no puking or pooppy diareaha etc on this visit! Just a strobe light and a lot of screaming!

Presendents's Day is next month on the 18th.... anyone want to come with us then?

Monday, January 21, 2008

All good intentions......

I had the greatest idea for Christmas this year! I would get Melea, Colin and Adrian "MyTwinn" dolls. These are amazing pose able dolls that are "sortof made to look like each child. They are very pricey IMHO, but I was going to make most of the clothes and I remember loving to dress up like my dolls when I was little.

So I saved up and bought them was early ( they are about $30 cheaper if you buy them in the late summer / early fall. I made lots of doll clothes, bought preemie girl tights at Walmart and ordered tons of shoes on Ebay. All three of the children got about 10 outfits & sweaters *& a coat (thank heaven I sew) , a bed (which was handmade and hand sewn linens); a set of sterilight containers to keep the clothes in and Colin even got glasses for his.

They loved opening them.... Melea even screamed WOW!!!!! Several times.... she was so excited it looks like her (or what I think Melea would look like w/o the DS). Colin has been signing Doll all the time.

This mom had all these crazy delusions, that they would all work on their fine motor skills with buttoning, and matching outfits and, their social/pretend play skills by interacting and taking the dolls places.

WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I already had six children I am hunting shoes for and chasing around when it comes time to put them in the car..... well now I think I actually have nine I am hunting shoes for! Colin is forever bringing me his doll & clothes and signing "help " and "doll" and "me". I was looking for it to increase communication skills.....JUST NOT WITH ME!

OK, I really do love my three new Children....Miguel, Isabelle and whatever Adrian is calling hers today.....yesterday is was Deja lili ee ooh...

But I really do like the new three for several reasons though.... they never talk back to me (anyways) and they don't eat yogurt and leave it on the floor, and they go to bed without a lot of complaints....providing the kids and I can find their pajamas in the mess the floor of the "doll bedroom"; and they never wet their pants,

So the nine of us are off to the movies this morning...Vegie pirates here we come!

ButI am sure later this afternoon I will hit myself upside of my head and exclaim " what was I thinking~!"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

You know you got through to your kids.........

when the imitate you!!!!!!!
Melea has always been so good at this! She learned to talk by mimicking me on the phone, she loves to feed her sisters and little brother and being a "mommy" to her dolls is so interesting to watch.... but today was the funniest yet.

Today Melea yelled at Jordan twice about pulling hair! Next thing I know.... Miranda is screaming and Melea is trying to put Jordan in the "thinking Chair".

So now I guess we can all chalk off the fact that Melea understands third time and you are in trouble!

I just wonder where the finger shaking comes from!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I hate it when I get blind-sided!

Yesterday was one of those "wonderful" (everyone get the sarcasm there) days every parent with a child in special education really hates! Getting evaluation results / IEP day.

You would think after so many I attended as a teacher and the fact that I have more than 30 under my belt with all my other children. I would be old school at this. It would be no big deal!!!!!!! BUT DAMM IT IS A BIG DEAL!!!

Miranda is turning three in less than three weeks, she gets to leave my nice warm safe home.... me and Jordan and her safe playroom and all the mother coddling behind and venture off to ECSE pre-school on February 4th!

I have always thought of these as bitter sweet days, my little one is growing up. They don't need me... and all that dribble everyone has.... but most of kids bring on new fears to.... will they fall out of the car seat.... what if they get on the wrong bus.... what if the fall down.

Most of the time moving out of the at home services to in school and all my "special" children other issues that Adrian didn't have to face....just scare the expletive out of me. I have done this three times so far, Miranda will be the fourth plodding off to the bus....OK more likely being carried and placed on it! You would think this would be old school.... I would not have anything unexpected pop up.... BUT BOY WAS I WRONG!

I have been assuming that the desired school setting they would want to put her into would be the same ECSE room that all the other three have gone to. It is a great set up max of 12 children 6 with IEP's and up to 6 models (typical students). Adrian has gone to the same place as her brothers and sisters as a "model" for almost two years and she loves it (course there are days I feel she needs and IEP for her "grumpy" behavior

So I got ready for the conference Friday Colin & Melea on the bus as usual. Since it was Friday the rest could sleep late cause preschool in M-H. I exercised for about 45 minutes 3 miles + a little, showered and then got the rest of the kids up, bathed and fed. Grandma then came to take care of those not going to the EVAL/IEP conference, and Daddy and Miranda and I set out for our big "fun" .

Actually we have a fun family ritual after this initial eval/ IEP.... whose ever it is gets to pick there favorite restaurant, and go to lunch with daddy and me BY THEMSELVES!!!!!!! Then we go buy school supplies (backpack and a few fun things) and a new outfit for the first day! And since this always corresponds to close to there birthday we are celebrating a lot of things.

So as you can guess I am actually more excited about that part of the afternoon. The meeting should just be easy!!!!!!!! Been there ....done that..... NO PROBLEM was my idea.

Well we get there and it really is like normal, we are early, our RC coordinator get there just after I pull into lot, our PT is late , same room and all that, and of course I get to be read too (pet peave one from IEP's as a parent)

............ to no surprise......... she qualified for ECSE. but here is crux of the situation, the school diagnostic team is advocating for a different type of placement /setting !!!!!!!!


ACTUALLY completely caught off guard......and basically not pleased!

... the school diagnostic team think the regular ECSE setting where Colin, Melea have gone and Eliza is at currently is not an appropriate placement for her. I really hit the floor when they said this!

They want her in a "intense therapy classroom" with only four children now and no typical children at all. What the school children refer to these children is worse than the R-word!

I actually for the first time and 30+ IEP under my belt I was just so surprised and hurt and wonder why they don't see how well she has been doing! (We are not even attempting to fathom how I can be in three places at ones....the proposed school is on the other side of town....not where Adrian & Eliza or Colin & Melea are at.)

I felt like immediately demanding the other placements like Colin, Melea and Eliza have/had. But then I remembered that on Thursday evening before I was looking at pictures of Colin plodding off to school with his book bag, he could walk and sign and could carry it. I remember that Melea said a few words.... walked, run climbed carried her own pack and pretty much told me to leaver her alone the minute that bus showed up. Eliza was so ready to go to school and so excited to be a "big girl" like the others .... her smile was ear to ear, and in the first few weeks of school I swear Eliza grew 2 1/2 inches,

Then reality of who she is really fall on my head! (OK...Miranda just bashes me while wildly waving her arms for more Cheerios! and brings me back to "their" reality) I realize Miranda says only NO and signs all done and more! She smiles pretty. Loves to be tickled and to cuddled but she could never even drag her bag more than 4 feet behind her in a bear walk and probably could have a stroke at any minute.

And I remember thinking at Eliza & Adrian's Christmas party.... all these kids look do huge compared to Miranda.... what are they going to do with her. And of course I remember she still likes to eat mulch!

I am just praying the"growth fairy" would make her bigger this morning or at least before the 4th of Feb (first day for her to go to school) so she can go with her sisters,

SO....I didn't SCREAM I wanted. Eric & I told them I would visit the classroom TUESDAY and maybe take Miranda Wed and then make a decision.

I have so many concerns and since it really doesn't "give" or provide or change her therapy minutes I find the name so misleading anyways.

I have made a list of pros and cons!


  • one on one time all the time maybe it wouldn't be bad cause we could do it for rest of school year and then move into other later (anyone think that is as easy as it sounds....)

  • 35 minutes from house (not same school)

  • another short bus for morning driveway mess up

  • I am afraid Miranda will take vast quantities of germs to these kids ( from my four that go somewhere different!)

  • Adrian & Melea really upset
IN GENERAL other issues to think about:

I guess i just feel they are already writing her off! And she isn't even three!

Miranda would make 9 children in the regular ECSE room (3 would be mine) .

Her not walking sucks for both places....cause people have to carry her up and down steps!

Adrian was really looking forward to being there with Miranda too! She has been marking the days off the calendar since we took her into be evaluated!

both schools start & stop at same time and really hard to be in two places at once since not even on same side of town (different than our Elementary to Middle to high.... they are all within 2 mile of each other) including parties and activities!

And worst of all I just feel (like so many parents do.... that my kids are part of how we define ourselves) and having a child with intellectual disabilities makes it even harder to separate this from yourself.

Personally I feel that she needs this but she needs those models too! I also feel like I failed her so bad and that if they put her there she will never get anywhere.

But I do realize she is nowhere near where they other children were when they started ( she is a year behind everyone due to heart issues)

.... I want to swear she is in there and coming.... just slowly.... but is she? Am I just reading and seining something that isn't really there! Can you be too optimistic. I laugh when all people tell me "how cool" of a mom I am cause I know where my kids are and accept it?

But if I put her there is that accepting the Miranda I see doesn't exist.... or if I send her with the other two am I just delusional and expecting to much and setting her up for failure?

I just feel so helpless and like whatever I decide will be wrong! And detrimentally effect her forever!

I really cried all through her special lunch ....actually managed to drink 2 chocolate coffees, eat a ton of ice cream and chocolate, and then stop on way home for a chocolate frappacino! We never made it shopping!

I am so mad! I just really am not sure who I am mad at. Me, Eric, the diagnostics team, the whole system of "labeling and such....even as we all pretend it doesn't matter....IT DOES!

And I guess that I will take Miranda out for another special lunch another day because that one JUST PLAIN SUCKED!! It has always been fun and a "grow up " tradition thing.... and I feel we all got cheated out of that too! Because of the fact I was blindsided.

So I will go Tuesday and try to be positive and decide if I really can see Miranda in the room they want for her.... I hope they all know how hard it is for me to see her anywhere but with her sisters and brothers and smiling, having fun and being loved by one and all!

And I will take any suggestions for being in four places at one time..... putting kids on bus at our house, taking Adrian to KGN at different school & putiing Eliza on her bus to go to preschool and Miranda on hers. With Little Jordan just loving riding in his car seat!

Sorry for the pity party! I somehow always become so productive after one of these I am off to wait for that to happen!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eric versus the camera!

We...all of us have been working on making a video for a little boy we are considering adopting.

Somehow I always have a way of turning a small project into something huge! (the back yard play set, the lofts, the beds, to name a few) .

Well I guess I should start at he beginning.....

Almost ten years ago we had a beautiful and wonderful exchange student from Japan. Yoko was amazing and a whole lot of fun! Well when she returned to Japan.... she couldn't fit her video camera in..... it was something not sold in US at that time (she even had to sen us the Mini DV's for several years till they finally jumped the ocean and began selling this type of device here.

I was really excited, cause I didn't have a camcorder at that time, it was way cooler than anything available and so much smaller. Only one major problem..... all the buttons and manual in Japanese and neither Eric or I speak Japanese.

So over the years we have tried to figure it out, we have mainly used it as a monitor for theater projects, and occasionally making a tape or two (Extreme makeover home owners) and a few of the kids. We have always had big plans to get a new camera over the last 7 years.... but never have.

So over two weeks ago, mt kid wrangler and I got it out and spend about 4 hours trying to make it work..... you really wouldn't think it would be that hard..... but it was. the battery is no longer holding a charge so you have to use the power supply and a long cord. Then we can't make it work.... I search the web for a crash course in Japanese and camcorders.

I am so desperate because, the house was clean (so I wouldn't be embarrassed by how it looks on the tape) . I have help to make it that is not just Adrian and the kids are all dresses up and ready and excited. Still no luck...we waste so much time that Eric finally gets home... of course he takes 3 minutes and it just works perfectly for him. (GRRRRRR from both me and Kayla and Adrian is laughing so hard that she pees her pants...literally)

So we shoot about an hour of video..... and then put the camera away. We all decided we would shoot outside tomorrow cause the weather is supposed to be in the mid 60's and that would be a whole lot of fun!

As amazing as it sounds the next day it won't work again!!!!!!!!! We wait for Eric to get home, no luck this time (at least I know I am not as stupid as I look...cause he isn't doing any better)
I send him to Radio Shack to see if they have a plug or a converter or luck! Nothing available online either that is under 200 $ plus shipping!

So we make a new plan. Kayla is going to bring her 8mm camera and we will shoot what we didn't and then put the stuff we already shot on it after I buy a new one after Eric gets paid next.

So we plan to buy a new camera next pay day, we finish the video on 8mm, Kayla and I feel so vindicated that we get the 8mm stuff transferred to the cassette. A friend volunteers to put the other from the mini DV onto the cassette for me. I am so elated!

Then I realize that the mini dv tape is in the camera. No power to the camera so it ca not eject!!!! Ok I try all the normal things, to pry it out.... no luck. As with all the "to tight" lids on the applesauce and the impossible caps on the soda, I decide to do what every good wife does!!! I sick my husband on it!

Again I am thinking he will just "Pry it out" with a bigger screw driver! It will take maybe 3-5 minutes at the most. Well 45 minutes, almost 70 little screws and many curse words I am hoping Adrian and Colin do not repeat (finally a reason to be glad he doesn't talk). I hear ..... I did it! I have one tape! To give to my friend to finish dubbing !!!..... a huge mess.

Eric is so proud that he has finally beat the camcorder, he finally is the " supreme" over an electronic device. It is laying in many pieces with a zillion screws and little metal clips every where. It is like he is a great knight and he finally slew that dragon that has been tormenting him for years.

The ironic dragon is standing in for all those electronic equipment we own that still is blinking the time.... cause it is too much of a pain to reset each power blink.

So thanks for getting our tape back Eric and the entertainment you provided us while doing it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I was thinking today.....

you really know you are a "mom" because you really don't have a purse anymore just a diaper / snack/ hold the inhalers bag!

SO i have to have somewhere to "put" all that useless stuff most women carry in their purse.

Here is what I found in my pockets of one of my coats today.....

a peak a block;

a spoon with what I thought was yogurt dried on it;

the missing little phillips screw driver for the computer & a machine screw about 3/4 inch long that needed a flat head screw driver;

a luggage lock;

a bunch of used tissues, as well as a few on the other side that were clean!;

one little person with their hat (I think it might actually have been a happy meal toy);

a rechargeable AA battery;

a Ziploc bag full of baby wipes;

several jolly ranchers (I have no idea when I got these.... am thinking before Jordan was born... I used to suck on them to relieve the nausea~!);

a family photo before Eliza and Jordan.....

expired coupons for our Favorite Mexican restaurant

a popped balloon

a jiggler that looks like an alligator (special needs toy....)

a roll around (like a peek a block but in a ball form)

a size 1 diaper (all kids now in size 3 or up!)

2 off white socks that sort of match and one that does not! I think that at least one of them was Colin's the other has lace & a bow

several pony tail holders, a scrunchie, a few hair clips;

one of the magnetic keys for the kitchen child proof cabniets

two broken necklaces that either Jordan or Miranda must have pulled on and snapped.... you would think I would have stopped wearing jewlery with all the kids... but I guess I tried it again.... and ended up in my pocket!

and a key to my house in Tennessee....that we haven't lived in for several years

There was so much stuff that I am absolutely sure that I was 10 lbs lighter once I emptied them!

I wonder what I had in my pockets before children! It probably was no where as interesting as what I found today!

So after finding all that....I am absolutely positively sure that I never want to carry a purse again...... what the heck would I get in there!

Friday, January 4, 2008

What an accomplishment! I am so excited!!!!!!

I am so proud and excited and happy and relieved and sad all at one time!

Miranda has decided to eat with a spoon! I mean really eat...not just the one try she used to give before chucking it away and resorting to scooping whatever it is with her hands.... because utensils just get in the way!!!! Yougurt and soup are not really very good foods to eat this way!

Last night I was just so excited... she really decided to to do this on her own..... or maybe she just decided that she could feed herself faster and better if I wasn't involved in the process.... but whatever reason..... she can do it on her own.... my littlest princess is growing up!

Less than four weeks till she starts preschool! I can't believe three is approaching that fast!
I am utterly impressed with this new medicine they have her on for pain/seizures..... she is like a different child and growing and moving and learning and just plain taking off in so many directions at once I think I will soon find it hard to keep up with her!
SIDE NOTE: "Elmos Grows Up" is at the Scott Trade Center next week...think maybe we will go and I will leave the screw drivers at home!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Possessed Elmo!

Today was one of the days that only a mother can sit and laugh at latter. (or a parent with as many Elmo dolls as we have).

It started off with me sitting straight up at 6:45 and remembering that the kids went back to school today after Christmas vacation and I am late!!!!!!!! I should have been up 30 minutes ago! Not a great start!

We somehow manage to get a mom, five kids and a dad through the shower... locate 3 pairs of shoes Colin's, Melea's and Eliza's, 2 pairs of orthotics for Colin & Melea, one pair of Snow boots for Adrian (dad got the wrong ones....I wanted her pink ones.... and socks and tights for all of them, got Jordan dressed (cause he forgot his assigned job is to sleep through morning rush!).

The second major problem of the day occurs..... Daddy and I and Adrian and Colin are all searching for Miranda's left shoe & orthotic boot!!!!!!! MISSING!!!!!!!!!! So at first Dad suggests just letting her go downstairs for therapy in her slippers (not really the worst idea.... ) but.........I then realize I will be looking for that shoe and "boot" combination for the next two or three hours and to prevent me from continuing to find the same shoe over and over (the one we always had)... I decide she is going downstairs with the right one one!

This is probably not that conducive to walking.... but at least when I find the other one I will know it the "MISSING ONE" and it won't be missing anymore!

So I manage to get all of the children downstairs and in the process of attempting to get hat, coats, gloves on four that go to school. No as easy as it could sound cause it involves fighting with Adrian over which coat she is wearing and trying to get Mr. head sensitive to put on a hat.... well at least he is carrying it in his pocket now!

I packed back packs last night except for snacks & Elmo DVD & Potty Elmo (an Elmo, a potty and a sippy cup)! So Colin is dramatically reminding me that Potty Elmo and his DVD are supposed to go to school in a pantomime that Marcel Marceau would be proud of! MR my butt...or maybe I just translate well!...

I go to get Potty Elmo... who was sitting in the "infant play area on the shelf..... I get there just in time to see Melea sweeping all the stuffed animals on the floor again!! UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Disaster number 3. Well that is if you realize that in the last 7 years they have made 48 different "stuffed talking, singing, dancing, pizza making" annoying and posessed versions of that little red devil! (I am also sure we own at least 40 of them..... not to mention the just plain stuffed versions, and all the Ernie's, and cookie monsters, and four Zoe's, and one Grover!) They are all on the floor with their potty's , and thermometers, and shoes , and other accoutrement's.

So here I am rooting through looking for Potty Elmo & his little potty & cup!!

Colin joins the search and is throwing them left and right and over the gates making a much bigger mess (and some of them are heavy enough to knock out a grown up!) He finally finds the right one.... and proves it by pressing the button....and I hear...."la dada dad dada da....Elmo went In the POTTY!" SO I am excited one part down.... I spend the next four minutes looking for the other two parts.... cursing Eric under my breath cause he should have been down 5 minutes ago and he could be handing the gloves or dealing with the ever squealing Princess Grumpy and her lost coat....

I finally find the potty and the cup and grab Colin and the Elmo and we go to he door... about 30 seconds before the first bus should be pulling up! THANK HEAVENS THEY ARE LATE!

Colin then pushes the button.... no potty song, no asking for a drink nothing! I think what up.... how can my luck be that bad....batteries die now!!!!!!!!!

He is crying and Melea is jumping up and down trying to get in the exercise saucer with Jordan and Eliza is just sitting on the floor moping and looking completely sad and dejected!

I grab Elmo...whack him a few times on the counter fo good measure & check his off switch!

No luck.... so I start the tedious process of hunting a screw driver....then batteries all while trying to watch for the bus (actually put Adrian in front of window and make it her job to tell me if she sees it since it is way to cold to wait outside!!!).

I start to attempt to change the batteries..... this is nowhere as easy as it sounds 2 little Phillip's screws to come out the size that seems to way to small for a normal #2 Philip's driver and way to large for the one that works on my computer (I SWEAR THE DO THIS ON PURPOSE!)

So I finally get them out..... then change them. Screw him back up...and hand him to Colin and then proceed to attempt to get snacks (still no bus by the way and it is 8:05 am)

Colin starts stamping his foot and he hits me with Elmo! He is trying to point out Elmo is still not working!!!! I wrestle the velcro open (it is strong enough to suspend a ford truck) and and check to see if the switch is off, can't find it, reopen the battery compartment....still no bus.... check batteries, no change.... ask about the bus.... take out insert the batteries... not bus yet..... I start looking for a loose wire....NO Eric either.... getting a little more irritated again at him.... I screw down the battery compartment again...... see a funny whole... it looks like a data port. The light dawns on me slowly!

.... OH NO it is Elmo Know's MY NAME!!!! The Elmo that talks in sentences and ask questions and uses Colin's name and the other kids names and words/stuff Colin likes.

Now why is this a problem... sound like a great toy....ACCEPT ours has never worked correctly.... I talks when it feels like it not when you push the button or motion activate or anything when ever / where ever it feels that it should say something!

I panic... not potty ELMO..... it is Colin's possessed Elmo..... THE ONE I scares me.... the one I swore I would never put batteries in again.......... he has batteries!!!! A Red devil chuckey look alike... I envision the massacre awaiting me when I return from putting the children on the bus....

All of a sudden Adrian is screaming "BUS...BUS.... BUS..." It is the elementary bus not the preschool one..... so I run once to infant play room, while Colin & Melea go to bus with Adrian carrying the book bags. ... check for the real potty Elmo, grab him and run to stick him into one of the back packs. Wave good bye and run back to the house with Adrian cause it is freezing.

Adrian then throws "Possessed Elmo"' into the pile......the next bus is here in a flash and short bus derby is over for the first day back....

In that short time between buses, I got dad forgotten lunch, found toilet paper to wipe a noncomplient little one's nose; get dad out of the drive way with the recycling, found out about the nurse's Christmas holiday, as well as pondering why the 8:00 bus has now has decided to get here consistently after the 8:15 bus....

and as I am walking into the mud room... I lean over to grab Jordan....I hear that annoying Elmo voice from the other room (where no one is) say "Colin would you like a cheese sandwich?"...... "Colin will you be my friend?"..... and put Jordan down to a protest, find a screw driver and decide it is time for possessed Elmo to .......

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

We go back to normal tommorrow!

School Starts back up Thursday!!!!! Can you hear me singing! I am sort of excited, but I might actually miss a continuously messy house, taking someone to the bathroom every 5 minutes and having Melea demand a "peurply" candy every 15 minutes!

I has been a fun, exciting and occasionally challenging Christmas break! But is it over, yes it is over and the short buses will start sliding up the driveway tomorrow! Yeah!

We actually had a great end of vacation today. We all went to get hair cuts (kids day at custom cuts ....saves $3 a kid and that add up with 6 children), then a walmart run for yogurt and then we all went to the Chinese restaurant for lunch!

It is amazing what my children will how it actually costs us the same to eat there as McDonald's. Colin just started branching out from the silly chicken (sweet & sour). He now like beef or pork lo-mein as well as devouring the fried rice, and a crab Rangoon.

Melea still only likes the "silly" chicken, but she did try a bit of the sauce today and a bite of egg roll! Though she loves those fortune cookies.

Adrian has to eat with chopsticks (I am sure the way she eats is not the actual way...she sort of skewers it a lot!).... She also seemed to try drowning her "silly chicken" in soy soup today! But she at least was excited cause the bathroom was next tot he table....and there is no exit near it so she got to go by herself....she is so proud of this!

Eliza and Miranda just love the noodles from my wonton soup and the rice. Eliza still has the most problem with chewing any type of chicken.... but boy does she try.... the same piece sometime three times. I am so good at eating soup...I can eat it with one hand and catch the pieces she is spitting out with the other! But she is self feeding and so proud of her ability to put her own plate in the sink or trash that you would look at that smile ant think she won a million dollars!

Miranda was just happy to be out and mad that it was so cold....she hates to be cold!

All in all it was a great outing with the kids and our helper Miss Kayla today!

I really was proud of all of them....including when Melea laid on the floor at walmart and had a screaming fit! Cause I asked her if I needed to find a thinking chair and she looked up at me....then jumped up and shook her head no! (though a few minutes latter she was in trouble again and lost her privilege to walk and had to get into the cart!)

..... but she is taking so much responsibility ... pushing the cart..... getting stuff off shelves... counting as we put stuff into the cart... but she is still stuck on TWO!