Sunday, April 28, 2013

“It is a curious thing, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.”

Yes, it is another quote by Dumbledore- by JK Rowling.

The last month or so I have had a lot of different thoughts running through my head.
Fear- the boy is moving on soon to a totally DIFFERENT way of doing things. The world is a much scarier and not friendly place to parents like us. We have a lot of fears about where the boy is going, how he is going to get there and what he will do.

Excitement- YES! The boy did it. He is on the honor role, he is getting a scholarship; he is going far and going to come out on top. All these years of sacrificing, giving up, giving in, the tears, the nights of no sleep and like the Dr Seuss book- "There are few as brainy and footsy as you."

And sadness; I was talking to someone that I told off last year. Yes, I did, which is why I quit a lot of my volunteering and outside things.....I really let this person have it (I ripped him a new one). I promised the cuter half I would behave and keep my mouth shut if I talked to this person again- the call was by accident I thought I was calling someone else. After apologising for the call and promising I would behave; I told this person that things like this (academic awards and scholarships) don't happen to parents like us. His wish was that it could happen to more of us.

Sadly, I doubt it can. We literally have given up EVERYTHING. Our free time, money (the therapists get that), sleep, time, the gym. anything....you name it we have probably done it and or are thinking about what we are to do next for the boy. Most people would never dream of giving up all the stuff we have and wouldn't want to be bothered. What we have done with the boy is strenuous. It hurts mentally, physically and emotionally. We have basically poured it all into this kid to make certain he succeeds.

I really can't see other people doing that....maybe they do, but it sounds so over the top for the situation we are in....I just don't know.

There are so many unknowns.... and that is the hard thing to think or write about. At this point we just don't know what the boy can do.
Part of us are GLAD the boy will be getting away from these other kids who are telling him he doesn't need to learn to drive or get a job or go to college. He doesn't need to live life the way we want him to and should only live and do what he wants. The boy little realizing that he is not going to be allowed to be a "basement kid" and we won't accept less than his personal best at any given time. Most of the kids he tells  us about are so out of the loop it is a relief to know it is unlike he will hear from many of them again. I for one am glad....there was one that was telling the boy that he would get all we had when we died and the boy would be rich. Finally I had to tell the boy that he isn't getting anything because we are broke.

The next few months are going to be nerve wracking and exciting.
The next few months are going to be a time of truth. Have we hit this the right way? Did we make a mistake? Or have we had the mantle thrust upon us are are we going to go about this the right way and end up wearing it well?
I suppose time will tell.
And like a character out of JK Rowling's books “It’s the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

She is right. It is the unknown of anything that we fear.
The not knowing for certain is what is the most scary of all.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

6 secrets by Suzanne Perryman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzanne-perryman-/6-secrets-special-needs-moms-know-but-wont-tell-you_b_3081692.html

6 Secrets Special Needs Moms Know But Won't Tell You

I am a special needs mom. And I have secrets. Things I don't talk about and other moms don't know -- or maybe they just forgot about along the way. Here are six of them.



1. Special needs moms are lonely. I yearn for more time with friends and family. I have an authentically positive attitude and most often you see me smiling. I may even look like I have this SuperMom thing down, am super busy and have enough help. But I am lonely. Being a special needs mom doesn't leave me the time to nurture and maintain the relationships I really need. I could get super detailed here about the hands-on caring for my child. (Do you remember when your kids were toddlers? That hovering thing you had to do? It's that plus some.) The plus-some includes spreading my mom love around to my other child and my husband, who on a daily basis are put on hold, waiting for my attention. I don't have much time to call or email my friends and even family ... and if they don't call or email me, well then I feel massive guilt about the time that has passed. More negative stuff that I pile on my shoulders. Getting out is tough. I miss the days when I had playgroups with other moms, open-house style, dropping in and drinking coffee at a friend's kitchen table with my child playing nearby.



2. Special needs moms have to work extra hard to preserve their marriages. This work goes along with the high stress of special needs parenting and aims to combat the sky-high divorce rates for special needs families. I put extra pressure on my husband; he is my best friend, and sometimes I expect unrealistic BFF behavior from him at the end of the day (see no. 1). He is my hero: supportive, patient and loving -- and my kids would be totally lost without him. The success of our marriage will affect the health of our children. My husband and I haven't spent a night away from our kids for six years. We "date night" out of the house every few months, for a two-hour sushi date. Our marriage is a priority, so we "steal" our moments when we can.



3. Special needs moms are not easily offended. Despite what our social media status updates say, we are vulnerable, and life messes with us daily. So really, ask what you want to ask and it's OK to start with "I don't really know how to say this, how to ask you...." I am especially touched when someone cares enough to ask me how my child is feeling, or how to include my child in a social gathering, meal or other event, and am happy to collaborate on what will work for us.



4. Special needs moms worry about dying. We worry about our kids getting sick and dying; we worry about our husbands dying and leaving us alone; but most of all we worry a lot under the surface, and especially about being around to care for our children. We watch people we know grieve the loss of their children and try not to think about it. On the upside, we live life fully and don't take it for granted.



5. Special needs moms are fluent in the transforming body language of touch. This is the first language we learn, and sometimes the language our kids know best. This therapeutic natural language can relax, redirect and heal. This should be the first language "spoken" in every home.



6. Special needs moms know to savor the gift of a child saying "I love you." For the longest time I wasn't sure if my daughter Zoe would ever speak the words. When she was a newborn, it was her sighs of contentment as I held her against my breast that told me how much she loved me. When she was a baby, it was that peaceful calm that came over her when I carried her in my arms. The first time Zoe found her words, she was already a little girl, and every time she spoke them I cried. She is 10 now, and her words are even more tender and wise. I leaned into her at bedtime the other night, and as her hand reached up, caressing my cheek, she whispered... "I love you Mom, for taking such good care of me."



Sunday, April 21, 2013

UK Education Minster discusses Good Manners (HURRAH)

Once again the topic of good manners comes to fore.
In the Daily Mail there was an article about teaching manners to unruly toddlers. Good God, what about entitled young adults and children. What about being disciplined? I like the french nursery example, however as here where I live I find it debatable that if the child had misbehaved the parents would do anything about it. I remember tutoring in college and the kid was such a brat- he wouldn't do the extra problems and informed me that it was MY job to do the work for him. EXCUSE ME? Then the mom refused to back me up and complained about me to my program coordinator. It was at that point that I decided I couldn't teach because the other teachers and the parents would drive me nuts and I would have ended up being an alcoholic.
Parents are responsible for their kids. End of story. IT is not the schools job to correct or counsel your kid. IT is up to the parents to get off their fat sorry asses and do the job and make certain their kids are able to do things for themselves.
My cuter half and I are responsible for our boy. WE are harder on him than anyone else. We don't put up with anything - I used to say, "If I haven't given birth to it I don't have to put up with its crap." It still stands and I don't put up with the boy's crap either- 11 hours of labor and pushing a bowling ball (6 lbs) out my butt....I still won't take the boys giving me garbage in the behavior department.

This is not saying the boy has perfect manners. He doesn't. Most of the time he is very difficult to deal with and is very unpleasant. I have heard this is a temporary thing and that he will improve with time- However I have also heard that this is temporary for a long time and we are still waiting to see what happens.
Many people won't like that I have said dealing with my Aspie son is unpleasant. Tough. It is- constant talking back, arguing and having a young adult behave like a 6 year old is pretty damn unpleasant. But then again, there are times that we have been a train wreck. God knows we are up for another vaca the cuter one and I but we have to get through this round of paperwork, school and life before we can move onto the next thing.

I am including the article and link below:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2312657/A-generation-unruly-toddlers-Schools-Minister-says-Nursery-children-arent-taught-manners.html
Nurseries are breeding a generation of toddlers with no manners, the education minister has warned.
Elizabeth Truss condemned ‘chaotic’ pre-schools that allow children to do what they want all day long, leaving them unable to sit still and listen by the time they get to primary school.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, she said many nurseries were filled with toddlers ‘running around with no sense of purpose’.
She called for a traditional approach akin to that found in France, where children typically start working with a graduate-level teacher from the age of two and are expected to say ‘hello’ when an adult enters the room.
The minister’s criticism comes as the Government prepares to offer tax breaks to help working parents with the cost of childcare.
From 2015, working couples will qualify for tax breaks worth as much as £1,200 a year per child.
Some Tory MPs have claimed the scheme discriminates against stay-at-home mothers, but ministers say there is evidence that up to a million women want to work but are put off by nursery or childminder costs.
Miss Truss’s intervention suggests the Government believes there is much work to be done to improve the quality of care in nurseries before the tax breaks come into effect.
She said education watchdog Ofsted will be expected to mark down pre-school providers who do not take on better-qualified staff and offer children more structure.
‘This isn’t about two-year-olds doing academic work – it’s structured play which teaches children to be polite and considerate through activities which the teacher is clearly leading,’ she said.

‘At the moment fewer than one-third of nurseries employ graduate-level teachers and have structured, teacher-led sessions. We know that’s very beneficial.
‘What you notice in French nurseries is just how calm they are. All of their classes are structured and led by teachers. It’s a requirement.
'They learn to socialise with each other, pay attention to the teacher and develop good manners, which is not the case in too many nurseries in Britain.’
She said of the UK system: ‘Free-flow play is not compulsory, but there is a belief across lots of nurseries that it is. I have seen too many chaotic settings, where children are running around. There’s no sense of purpose.
‘In these settings where there aren’t sufficiently qualified staff, and children are running around, we are not getting positive outcomes.
Improving care: Miss truss, a mother-of-two, says nurseries need to better prepare children for school
‘We want children to learn to listen to a teacher, learn to respect an instruction, so that they are ready for school.’
The married mother of two, who is increasingly tipped for high office, said it was clear that far too many existing nurseries are ‘not good enough’ – and stressed the importance of good preparation for primary school.
‘Children get into the habit of waiting their turn, of saying hello to the teacher when they come into the room,’ she said.
The minister highlighted the Government’s changes to rules on child-to-adult ratios, to encourage nurseries to employ better-paid graduates.
Teachers can already look after up to 13 children aged three and four years, compared with just eight for less well-qualified staff.
Her intervention will delight parents and educators who believe a more traditional approach is necessary in vital pre-school years.
However, it risks angering trade union leaders and those who insist it is best to ‘let children be children’ before they reach primary school.
From September, Ofsted will only consider ratings of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ to be acceptable for nurseries and pre-schools; the ‘satisfactory’ rating will be scrapped and replaced with ‘requires improvement’.
Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw recently decried the ‘absolute nonsense’ that more exams are needed to work with animals than young children

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Getting plonked on the head with reality.

This weekend has been a real cultural experience.

Those who know me well know that when I say that I usually mean that this weekend sucked royally and was a super drag.
After some unexpected things midweek, I had left the office on Friday feeling like something the cat dragged in (explanation- I was sicker than sick). I got a phone call...nothing unusual but the news from the call was something I wasn't expecting for a few more months.

Then some other things happened and it turns out that things I didn't think I would have to do I have to do and I don't want to but it seems like that is what is gonna work out that way and I need to do things that I would rather have someone else do but no one else can; I am gonna do it anyway. Frankly, I know of a number of people who aren't gonna be happy about it and you know what? I could give a rats ass what they think. One of those things where you are damned if you do or don't so why worry.

Ok now say the above paragraph 10x fast.

On another level, not only did we get to Tar'get 2x, and Menards and worked on fixing the back screen door, the gutter, the fountain that had sprung a leak (rubberized paint, who knew) then the new lock on the patio door the yard art needs updating (no good garbage pick the economy blows) Putting up the stuff for the boys coming party and we are prepping the yard.

Then, we heard the old gentleman next door passed away in January- he was a nice older guy and we will miss him. I was usually the person who told him to "stop" and I would send the boy or the cuter half over to do things, we would clean his gutters, rake his lawn....try to help as much as we could. I would tell the boy he had to go shovel his front walk, or his drive or whatever because the gentleman was older and it was the nice thing to do. All we can hope for at this point is that we don't get stuck with another McMansion in the neighborhood.....God knows we don't need another major flooding issue from sump pumps that run 24/7.

Life changes.

The cuter half and I werer discussing group homes. Yet another is trying to open in a nearby town and the neighbors are in an uproar, "Not in my neighborhood you won't. The housing prices will go down." Gosh, when have we heard THAT before?

Anway, back to the changes- there are times when life just makes its own alterations. It doesn't mean it is anything bad, but as we tell the boy sometimes life changes with out our permission. We can roll with it or we can let it break us out of shape.

Right now I am trying tofigure out where Sunday went. It feels like I missed out on the entire day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I think we have all had days like this....



Or as I would put it, "an accident waiting to happen."

Good luck y'all.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My son is lazy

My son is a self admitted lazy person. He is proud of being a lazy slob. He thinks it is funny and that the cuter half and I will cut him slack indefinitely.
He is 18 and we have to fight to get him to practice driving, take a shower, clean his room, brush his teeth, study for tests and prepare for life. If it is something to be argued over, the boy argues. Lately the cuter half and I have stopped responding to him. The more he complains the less likely we are to say anything or respond to any of his mean or negative comments.

The cuter half and I are tired. We took a trip a week or so ago. I am ready to leave and go again. I could be packed and ready to go tomorrow. The cuter half told me we could plan a trip in 5 years. I told him I am going again sooner than that.

Although I know the boy is lazy and would NEVER ever read this, I think I will tag him on this post and ask him to read it over. Naturally he will have a cow because I will have embarrassed him. Little does he realize that being embarrassed goes both ways and his laziness is going to cost him in the long run. His dad and I are sick of it....we are not the house elves.

Wiki-how tells one how to stop being lazy:
Stop Being Lazy
Being lazy can be a very unhealthy way to live life. Perhaps worst of all, it's very easy to fall into a pattern of being consistently lazy and unmotivated. How you manage your time and what you do with it now will affect you later on in life, so read some of the tips below on how to stop being lazy and start being more productive.
 

Body, Mind and Spirit

If you're feeling lazy, it may have to do with how you're taking (or not taking) care of yourself. Look at these tips to naturally give yourself more energy:
  1. Sleep. You should ideally be getting eight hours of sleep and trying to get on a regular sleep cycle. Irregular sleep patterns or sleepless nights can lead to low energy and lazy tendencies.
  2. Wash your face. As soon as you wake up in the morning, just wash your face and freshen up. It's a very easy way to wake yourself up a bit more and start the day off right.
 
  • 3. Exercise regularly. Even something as simple as a brisk walk gives you natural energy and also releases endorphins that improve your overall mood, making you feel more inclined to go out and accomplish something that day.
     
  • 4. Watch your diet. If you're not getting enough vegetables or healthy foods into your body, it can also affect your overall energy. Try to cut out excess junk food and eat regular meals per day.
  • 5. Get help. If none of the above methods help, your feelings of laziness could possibly be linked to depression. It may be worth seeking professional help.

  • Get In The Right Frame Of Mind

    Feelings of laziness or lethargy are often directly related to how we're feeling about ourselves or life. Here are a few ways to improve your mood.
    1. Clean your home and office area. Having an environment free of clutter can often remove some of the clutter from your mind, and make you feel more motivated and productive.
    2. Start your day with positive self talk. For example, "Today, I will go for a run."
    3. Listen to energetic music. Workout songs or exercise jams that get you "pumped up" and feeling active will help set up a positive tone to your day.
    4. Change your environment. Different environments have different impacts on our productivity. For example, if you're trying to work on something in your bedroom, does it make you want to work or just snuggle and sleep? You may want to consider a different space if you're trying to accomplish a certain task.
    5. Surround yourself with productive people. Who you surround yourself with inspires your behavior. Hang out with people who are successful and motivated, and their energy will likely rub off on you.
    6. Tell others about your goals. Have you always wanted a new job or to run a marathon? Tell people about it! Whenever people see you, they will now ask you about how things are going with those goals. It's a great way to hold yourself accountable for your actions.
    7. Stop over-complicating things. Are you waiting for a perfect time to accomplish something? There usually isn't one. Unfortunately, perfectionism can be one of the biggest reasons for procrastination.
    Prioritize Your Time
    If you have a lot to do, it can be so overwhelming that you end up doing nothing. Here are some ways to maximize the time that you have:
    1. Make a list. If you have several things to do in a given day, prioritize them into "have-to's," "need-to's" and "get-to's". Do the have-to's first. Having things written out on paper often makes it easier to see what is most important.


     
    1. Do not do the worst items first. While you haven't expanded any energy yet, do the most unpleasant tasks of the day later. If you focus on the easier tasks first, you will have more time to work on the worst things later. Things that you don't like to do will obviously take more time than the usual. This creates an extra barrier in your mind as you have other works that you like to do or can easily get done with and yet, not doing them, as you are stuck with something that you don't like.
    2. Pick your projects carefully. Again, you don't want to overwhelm yourself into lethargy. Pick one or two things to focus on and fully devote yourself to those tasks. You don't want to spread yourself too thin.
    3. Break your work into small steps. Another way to avoid having work seem too overwhelming is to break a task down into individual parts, then focus on each part.
    4. Create a detailed timeline. If you have a project and all you've given yourself is the due date, it's very easy to put things off until the last second. Make a timeline that lists all the steps you will need to take leading up to that due date and give yourself a reasonable time frame to accomplish them.
    Value Your Time
    Your time is precious. Here are some ways to avoid laziness and make the most out of your day.

    1. Learn to do something with your free time. Take up a new interest or hobby. Life is more fulfilling when you're productive.


     
    1. Do all your projects right away. If you get a homework assignment, don't put it off until the weekend. Start working on it now while everything is fresh in your mind.
    2. Eliminate your procrastination stops. Know what you spend time procrastinating with and take action to remove it. If you waste time surfing the web, work in a place that doesn't have internet access. If texting friends is your vice, move your phone into a different room or have a friend hold on to it for the afternoon.
    3. Enforce punctuality. If you say you're going to start working on something at noon, start at noon. Don't make it acceptable to start 30 or 40 minutes later than what you committed to.
    4. Set a schedule of working and breaks. It's natural that you will need to take a break from working, but make sure that time is limited. For example, you could commit to working for the first 50 minutes of every hour and then take a break for 10 minutes.
    5. Just do it! There isn't any cure for being lazy. The only way to overcome this is by setting your mind to the task and completing it. Have self-discipline.

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    Picture day

    Today I am posting pictures from a recent vacation the cuter half and I took. See if  you can guess where they are from. (The dates marked on the pictures are wrong.)

     
     
     



     

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    Introducing Troubles

    Tonight's post is about Troubles.


    Troubles is our middle kitty; or as the cuter half says, "Second in charge superior male tabby cat." Troubles is a big boy. Really big. He has the markings of a Maine Coon and the purr of a freight train. He is a piggy when it comes to eating and will gobble up almost anything. He has an affinity for olive oil, butter, bread, and pizza. He also likes tortellini and a variety of cheeses.

    Troubles is trouble. As a kitten, he had a thing for jumping on a kitchen counter and knocking off the wine glasses hanging on the wrack. He also has a LONG memory. Troubles never forgets. Ever. He used to be a lap kitty but then one night accidentally scratched my leg and I kicked him off my lap. He never got on my lap again. I regret pushing him off; he was a young impressionable baby.

    He had ear mites so badly we thought he was deaf. He was a shelter kitty, and we spent the first 3 months treating him for infections, mites, sinus issues amongst other things.
    His eating habits have, as mentioned, always been a tad extraordinary. He did get into the boy's meds once. Troubles was taken to the vet and monitored for a day.....he also would eat non food items- broken Christmas Ornaments, pieces of plastic, fur, anything. Not so much anymore, we leave out cat grass for him and the other two to munch....it seems to help.
    We did regular diets with cans of green beans purreed into the kitty food for all 3 kitties to dig in with.
    I really need to start that up again. Troubles needs the fiber.

    Anyway, Troubles has always been a little different. His personality is that individual; which sounds kind of silly...."A cat's a cat for 'll that." But he is very different. I have had cats, pretty much all my life. I have never met one like Troubles. We have a younger cat, who we call Garfy or Kitten; Troubles then started with his gender issues by being a Momma Kat to Kitten. I tried to explain to the vet that Troubles thought he was a girl kitty and we may have to help Troubles with that as the vet was concerned that Troubles belly was very red- then vet thought I was nuts.....but really I have heard that a male cat will take over the nurturing role with a kitten. I don't know how common that is but I do know that Troubles is the Momma kitty in this house.

    Troubles knows his own path. He does his thing.

    The boy came home today and told me that most people he is "acquaintances" with at school ignore him. His friends don't but other people do- as he put it, "Just because I am different, they think I am stupid and I don't know they are ignoring me. I know I am different and I don't care if people ignore me any more."

    It is times like this I wish the boy were more like Troubles. Troubles is happy if we pay attention to him or if we don't. Troubles doesn't really care; his purr is always loud, his meow is there to greet us if we sit near him.
    The boy does care- deeply. Which is probably why he gets angry at home- people ignore him all day at school, and then he comes home and yells and the cute one and I and then we don't pay as much attention either. The yelling at us wears thin.....although we do try to talk about WHY the boy thinks like he does....mostly it backfires.

    It makes me wonder though....maybe I should encourage the boy to be more like Troubles. Maybe then, like Rhett in Gone with the Wind the boy will be able to say, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."