Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Secrets

I have a secret.
I am not telling you or anyone what it is.
It could be money, future, traveling, life, material things, a new pet, a new room or new house, a new car, a new something.
It's a secret.

(It's a good one; a really good one)


I am not gonna tell you what it is, until maybe after it has happened; if at all.

For right now, I will let you guess.


Good guess but Um, no, that's not it.


Nope, not that either.


UnUh definitely not that....



Keep guessing....you might think of it.



I am having fun with this....it is amusing me on a night where good TV is not so good and I still need to hem some things.
This secret game is maddening to someone like the boy.
It brings him outside his comfort zone.
It's good for him....he learns to expand. And we have a secret from him too.
Besides, this way people we don't want to know what we are doing have little or no way to find out....it's a secret.

Secrets are fun.
The cuter half and I have a secret....


and we are really enjoying it (No, it's not  ________, either...keep trying) That is the only hint you get.

Lots of good guesses....none are right.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Too much to do.

This new day HAS to be better than the one before.
Yesterday was dreadful for many reasons. Only two will I mention now.

These were more frustrating than anything else. Teaching the boy calendar use is very trying.

Then, wrapping my head around other things. Which will always be beyond normal comprehension. Which makes me think I have gone beyond stupid for keeping on trying. Yeah yeah hope springs eternal and all that.

It's a new day.

Time to start again.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Manners

This picture was on FB.
I put it on my wall, but I like it so much I am including here as well.


It reminds me of the time we were shopping at the grocery store and a mom was with her family and the kids were making comments about the boy being in the shopping cart.
After the second walk by and the mom giving me dirty looks and her kids making rude comments the boy asked me what was wrong with him being the cart. I told him that only children brought up with no manners at all would make comments about people they didn't know.

The cuter half told me that the mom blanched, told her kids to shut up and very quickly went to the check out.
Reminds me of the mom trying to get free speech therapy at school when my son was non-verbal.....another case of "Let the school pay for it."

"I think God has forgotten me. "

I wonder how many people have thought the same thing?
We took the boy to a church type function last night. He was nervous. So were we. We dropped him off and came back and watched him interacting while hiding in the car. It looked like it went well.
I've had people tell me God never leaves. He's always right there. I believe that God gives us mortals the chance to learn. Our experiences have taught us that churches may not be supportive, unless kids like ours r thrown in a box and kept there.
I'm afraid to get attached at church so I don't push it anymore and we rarely go.
The boy, is totally not interested, has met w more understanding and compassion w friends outside of church. One person in particular is one of his best friends. She tells him how it is. And she doesn't go to church or believe. But u know what? She is a better Christian than many.
I don't think God has forgotten the boy. I think that God is showing him that there r many paths to God and they all aren't straight or narrow.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

There's no good magazines to read at the doc today.

This is the worlds larger fish sandwich at a resort.
Now u know what happens when I'm at a doc office w free wifi and no good magazines to read.
Bonus though- we got a front row parking spot.
Rock on Seymour.



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Misremembering

There are some nights when I wish we would "misremember" different things. The years have run by since the days of the boy having serious issues with the english language and behavior problems. To what, naturally we deal with now which is a whole nother kettle of fish.

I guess what started the cuter half and I on this was the boy.
Yeah, I know big surprise.
The boy is applying for scholarships. It kind of scares me a little. Anyway this one was asking about specific things that make the cute one and I cry. At the time we didn't realize what we were going through and how hard it was. It is like doing the laundry, cleaning the house, working on the litter boxes.....organizing the clothes....you do it
You know how it is; it was one of those things and you just did it no matter how many times we read the old magazines in the therapy office. Yes it is one more Tuesday evening and we are here for speech and we need a walk. God forbid we take a walk outside with the receptionist screaming at us "I NEED YOUR PHONE NUMBER. DON'T YOU LEAVE or I will report you." (WT_)- Knock your self out b_______.
Excuse me?
We are taking a walk around the complex because there are no more places to sit in the lobby. The pee stained floor was not our thing OK? Our therapist has our number and you are welcome to have it but by the time my son is done you will have gone home for the day.
At the school level (at the time), we had the policy that "talking to one of us is like talking to the other. We will agree with whatever the other says as long as it helps the boy."
Geez- looking at a "summary" of what has gone on in our lives with the boy is really a shocker. You don't realize the costs; and I don't mean fiscally. I am talking about the costs of time, of emotions, feelings, stress, thoughts. The nights where we have "white nights" and don't sleep because we are afraid we missed something, forgot something....didn't do something. All of it.

Here I will say, if you are a parent of a gen....you won't get the above. It's OK. There isn't anything wrong with you. That part is strictly parents of kids who are disabled. You didn't get picked and well, unfortuately this is stuff that is not easily explained.

Oddly enough, the cute one was reviewing a scholarship paper the boy was working on. The boy wasn't sure what to do or where to go with it and asked for some help. With the helping. well it brought back a TON of memories. Although, I have always said that the cute one's song is "I feel Lucky" by Mary Chapin Carpenter; this Simon and Garfunkel song has been running through my head when thinking about these difficult times.



Bridge Over Troubled Water
When you're weary
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I'm on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

I'll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Friday, February 15, 2013

basement goals.

Basement goals are the bane of my existence.

If you don't know what I mean I will explain.
Basement goals are those people that believe (or pretend to know) that your special needs student is not capable of anything. Which in the long terms means that a kid like our son is going to end up living in our basement.

After what we have been through with the boy we generally think that people who believe that shit should f- off.
OOPS - blew my clean language resolution. Pardon me.
(it was only a matter of time...)

Most teachers we have run into have basement goals for our son.

Today was a classic example.
From what we hear our son's cooking teacher had him cleaning up, with minimal work for the program today. It was a big deal and yet before she presented the group to the parents and admins there she had shoved our son off on his cab for his next classes. He wasn't going to miss anything but PE. I don't know if she thinks he will be able to become a chef but it is stuff like that that makes parents like us think that teachers like her believe that a kid like ours should live in a basement.
(say that 10 times fast)

We go from glowing, when our son's therapist tells us that we have "worked miracles" with the boy to thinking "Crap, what do we do to get him accepted?"

People believe he is nothing.
A doctor believed he was nothing.

We don't believe he is nothing.
We aren't enough.

We aren't.

We, the cute one and I, can't fight societal norms. Although societal norms suck and are stupid we can't buck them. Even those who don't think that societal norms are what they believe in; they do. Because a kid like ours should have NEVER learned to talk, go to school, get good grades, and be able to cook.

So, in today's lesson we have:
basement goals= societal norms+ 0 expectations* parental frustration with the system.

Which is why I NEVER LISTEN TO DOCTOR'S who tell me that my kid can't. Gen and special ed teachers say the same thing....."He can't"

The cuter half and I say "He can." But we are tired- no break and little support have left us disillusioned and weary. Besides what do we know? We are just the parents.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

personal space- or lack thereof

The boy is learning about personal space the hard way.

He has been poking me with his fingers. The last time someone did that they almost got decked. I hate that. I mean really hate that to the point that if people do it they should get smacked. My pediatrician (when I was 12) used to poke/tickle me and quietly pointed out to my mom that I had a right arm reflex issue.....I wanted to stop him and I couldn't...he was the doctor.

The boy hasn't grasped that I will do something if he doesn't stop. He just keeps poking me. Repeatedly and often. It is not cute or funny it is annoying
A definition of poking is, belive it or not on e-how:
A poke is a simple motion using your index finger. If you extend your index finger like you are pointing at an object, and then push your finger so it makes contact with the person, you just poked them. To make sure you are not being rude, you must monitor the hardness of your poke. You want to poke a person hard enough so they realize that they are being poked, but not too hard where it cause any sort of pain.
It is good to note that some people who are being poked may ignore you at first, however that does not mean that they are not aware that you are there, they could possibly be finishing an activity, such as a conversation or email, before getting back to you instantly. If you wait a few moments and they have not given you their attention, use your best discretion on whether or not to poke again. Poking, although useful, can be annoying if you are poked constantly in a short period of time.
It is also helpful to realize that not everyone likes to be touched. If for some reason you poke someone and they seem upset by the fact that you invaded their personal space, it would be best not poke that individual again. You may want to use other tactics such as calling their name (if you know it) or clearing your throat. A common polite phrase to get someone's attention is "excuse me."
Another method of getting someone's attention that is similar to a poke, is tapping an individual on their shoulder. This is helpful when the individual is completely turned away from you and the only spot available to touch (appropriately) is their shoulder. Some may say a tap is more acceptable than a poke, but that is up to the individual.

This is a violation of personal space. The boy has never learned that bit- about violating personal space. He gets mad if I say anything to him however tonight I chased him to his bedroom and told him to NEVER do that to anyone again.
It is a violation of that persons space.
It is mean.
It is manipulative.
It is rude.
It is UNNECESSARY.

And the boy is going to have to learn not to do it or a lesson will be required to be taught to him. I don't think  he will like it much.

Oh and Happy Valentines day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

May you live in interesting times.

Have you ever heard that phrase before?
I have.
I don't remember where- there are some notations to it- I probably heard it from my parents
there were things written about it or similar to it in the late 30's to mid 40's.

What got me on this thought was the other evening. The cute one and I were standing in line at the pharmacy to get some stuff for the boy. He had a minor skin thing that needed dealt with and we were waiting for the pharmacist.

The cute one said (jokingly), "How could anyone ever think we are interesting?"
He is right. We are at the pharmacy after working all day and coming home and cleaning up mess and then working on a bunch of other stuff....not including major litter box clean out and the fact that we have all been sick.

We then decided that we would count how many times we can go to Target in a week. Right now we are up to about 4...including last night when we were there 2x to get bandages and some stuff we forgot.

Yup you betcha we are right here with interesting. We are so blinking exciting that we get happy when the cashier at Target (pronounced "Tar-jet") remembers that we have been there before.

What we have is our sense of humor. I would estimate the last two weeks have really sucked. The boy was sick, then the cuter one got it, then I got it. Then a major disappointment. My hair color (in a box) was discontinued....that was enough to set me back for at least 10 minutes....which is about all the free time I have these days.

Then a call that the boy had a skin thingy from the sport he was in and he is now done with sports for the rest of the season. then the doctor (last 2 weeks we have been there- we are now regulars) and wait- we have to clean down the entire house, major bleach then wash then bleach some more......missed a spot? go back and spray that sucker again.....bandages and tape 2 x a day and then maybe if I am not junked up on coffee (when I don't have caffeine right after dinner I am ready for bed around 7PM)

Who the heck ever said I wanted to be interesting? I used to pray for wisdom. I didn't want interesting. Interesting means I have to work harder than I already do.
Interesting means I have to be able to function for the boy and keep my head above water or the ground depending on how you look at it.....I am not much at interesting. I prefer to be wise; girls I knew used to pray for pretty or popular....I wanted wisdom....to know what would work for me. That doesn't mean I listened to what was the best thing....I just knew what I should do and there are times I should have cut and run and didn't.

Anyhow, The boy keeps telling me that i am boring. I don't have an interesting bone in my body....and well, he thinks I am mean and a pain too because I MAKE him do stuff. I make him work out, I make him do sports I make him eat right and I make him do his homework. Then I have the audacity to force him to study for his upcoming finals.

Who the heck do I think I am anyway?

Cause like one of my favorite movie characters, Birdie, as she said to her daughter, "You know, I always thought I was gonna be, I don't know, special. But I'm not. I'm just... I'm just an ordinary person. And that's OK."
Because being just ordinary may be boring but it is just OK.
We don't need excessive amounts of cash, or tons of things or lots of people. When one family is picked over others to do what we do....it makes us special.
Maybe to others it makes us interesting too.
There are days I would trade you the interesting for a hot bath and a lovely facial....and then I know I would get bored and have to go find what makes life interesting and be back where I was before.

Before I left England for China in 1936 a friend told me that there exists a Chinese curse — "May you live in interesting times". If so, our generation has certainly witnessed that curse's fulfilment.
— Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen, Diplomat in Peace and War, 1949

Some years ago, in 1936, I had to write to a very dear and honored friend of mine, who has since died, Sir Austen Chamberlain, brother of the present Prime Minister, and I concluded my letter with a rather banal remark, "that we were living in an interesting age." Evidently he read the whole letter, because by return mail he wrote to me and concluded as follows: "Many years ago, I learned from one of our diplomats in China that one of the principal Chinese curses heaped upon an enemy is, 'May you live in an interesting age.'" "Surely", he said, "no age has been more fraught with insecurity than our own present time." That was three years ago.
— Frederic R. Coudert, Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, 1939
 
 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Baking Bread

We have an experiment here at the house.

About a year ago we started making our own bread. We have been able to use quality control, portions and other things to make our own bread and keep it relatively consistent.

We started with the easy stuff. Beer bread. We used light beer and the newer 64 calorie beer. Neither the cute one or I are into beer. We aren't that whipped about American beer...I have heard that European beer is MUCH better than the pale imitation we get over here.....but that is for another post.

Then I bought a bread machine. I had one YEARS ago and liked it but the cute one wasn't into it and I either gave it away or sold it. This new one is cool. I love it. We can make dough, bread, butter and all kinds of things. It is amazing.

Anyway, we started researching making bread.
This is like a really wild chemistry experiment. You have to put everything in the right order. Liquids first. Then the lighter powders then the flour then the yeast.....we have experimented with gluten. Gluten is a wheat product and there are people with allergies (celiac disease) to it. Removing it from the average American diet can be a challenge. Not so hard now as it was when the boy was young....

We use less gluten in our home made bread than the store bought bread. Most store boughts are about 10% of gluten per SLICE we use much less than that. We control the gluten by using regular flour (this has virtually NO gluten in comparison to bread flour)....then add a very small amount of gluten to the regular flour.

Here is a picture of a new loaf we made.....




adjusting the type of flour makes the bread LOOK like something it isn't (appears to be a light wheat bread doesn't it?)....

As I mentioned - this can be a chemistry experiment, a baking fun time or just a plain old nightmare. As with life, making your bread is what you put into it. Using a GOOD bread knife will help too- adjusting the SIZE of your slices....this size loaf you will only need ONE slice for sandwiches - unless you are super hungry....Cut the slice in half and you have the ability to make a jumbo sandwich with less carbs and less gluten than the regular 2 slice sandwich.

IT sounds like this takes a TON of time. To set up the bread in the machine it takes about 15-20 min. I take everything I need out of the cupboard then as I use it I put it away.....ergo clean up time is virtually zero. If I do this at night the bread bakes all night and by the AM it is ready to slice and serve.

We are finding that our bread consumption is DOWN. We aren't eating as much as we were. IT takes work to make the bread and we don't always have the time to make it. We have to plan it out. We run out more regularly, but we also have the capacity to make more....and we are going to be using soy flour next.....just to see what it does with the bread.

Inquiring minds need to know what the soy flour will do with the bread....and how we can use it to make our food consumption better and healthier.

We are finding that the boy doesn't badger us for more bread or crave it constantly. He is much more moderate in his intake.

Bear in mind each bread machine is different. We bought a cuisinart convection one that didn't work at all- the paddle got lost in a loaf we must have tossed or we never had the darn thing....anyway it was awful....The bread machine we have now that we love is a Corner Bakery one that is no longer sold.....you don't have to spend a fortune on these machines. We bought the Corner Bakery one for $2.00 at a church rummage sale.

Use what works for you. I know my sis-in-law makes bread and kneads it by hand- she is much more talented than I am....and more patient.

Or, you could always go back to beer bread. That is a quick, easy loaf that takes minutes to toss together and an hour to bake.