Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Despite feeling stressed and tired and a little irritable, there are so many things that I am thankful for this year. Here are a few things in no particular order:
• The boy is FINALLY fully potty trained.
• Friends and family (even the family members that make me insane).
• A husband who respects my opinion even if he doesn’t always agree with me.
• Hugs and snuggles with a cute three year-old.
• My family is healthy, relatively happy, and we have enough food to eat.
• We have a roof over our heads at night.
• We have decent health insurance.
• Only 2 more years with Dubya screwing up this country.
• I didn’t vote for him.
• Key Republican indictments and/or investigations.

I’m sure there are others that I’m just not thinking of right now. Things have been crazy at our house lately. The husband decided to go ahead and bust up the rest of the tile in the kitchen right before Thanksgiving so we’ve had a ton of dust that I was not prepared to deal with as part of my pre-Thanksgiving cleaning regimen. In addition, I’ve been trying to squeeze in a little time to work on finishing up a baby sweater for my cousin. I’m to my favorite part of the sweater: seaming and weaving in ends. And since I loathe seaming and weaving, I keep setting it aside for other things. In addition to stressing over the excess dust in the house, I’m stressing over having the in-laws over for Thanksgiving because they sort of take over when they get here and then there’s a competition thing that we get into that makes me crazy. For example, we’ll talk before hand and decide on the menu and who’s willing to bring which dishes. Among other things, I usually volunteer to do the pumpkin pie because I use my grandmother’s recipe and it’s awesome. And EVERY SINGLE YEAR my mother-in-law brings a frozen, store-bought pumpkin pie when she knows that I’ve already baked two homemade ones. And EVERY SINGLE YEAR, they wind up taking their frozen pie home because nobody eats it. Oh, and we also have to have the same menu every year because that’s the way it’s always been done since the beginning of time. If I want to have a different side dish or if I want to do a fried turkey instead of a roasted one, she will go ahead and do the traditional side dish and roasted turkey anyway because one must never deviate from the menu. I could go on and on, but I will spare you. Anyway, I try to ignore it and bite my tongue or consume mass quantities of wine to make it more bearable because they are my husband’s family and guests in our home, but I feel less willing to do that this year. Maybe it’s the pregnancy (and I can’t drink the wine this year) or maybe it’s the fact that I’m just tired of the games that are always played, but I warned my husband that if I see a frozen pie, I’m going to spend the evening by myself in the bedroom.

But wait, there’s more! Christmas is just a month away and then it will happen AGAIN! Please send prayers or good thoughts this way that I make it through the entire holiday season without seriously injuring someone.

Just to clarify, things haven’t always been this way with the in-laws. They used to be the most wonderful people and I was the one among my friends who lucked out and got the “good” in-laws. But in recent years things have changed for one reason or another, and there’s not even a specific event that I can pinpoint as the cause for the change. It may be simply that we are all growing in a different direction. Regardless, I will try to put aside our differences and endure being around them for the sake of my husband and kids. And if they ever find out about this blog or get internet access at home, this post is totally getting edited…

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

No child left behind, my ass

I’ve had my first dealings with the school system where we live and it wasn’t positive. I know you are probably as shocked as I was (heavy sarcasm), but first let me give you the back story…

About March of this year people from DHS were coming to the daycare to do Denver II Screenings for parents who were interested. Braden’s pediatrician had mentioned that he was a little hard to understand and that I might consider getting him tested in the future so I signed up. He had just turned 3. The results of that screening, based on the 10 minutes they spent with my son, was that he had a serious speech and language delay. They referred me to the Special Services Department of my school district for further evaluation and the form they gave me used words like “intervention” and “global caution,” which are pretty scary words for a parent to read. So I called and immediately had him placed on the school system’s list.

It wasn’t until September that the school system actually tested him, and that was only after I became a total pest with phone calls and emails to the Special Services Department. In my defense, if someone had just communicated with me even a little bit, the whole pest thing wouldn’t have been necessary. So anyway, we went to the school board building and met with 3 ladies: a speech pathologist, a psychologist, and a physical therapist. Within minutes all three were agreeing that he had a “marked delay” in his speech and would probably need some speech therapy. Ok, no big deal. They left me with a ton of paperwork to fill out and took him into the next room for extensive testing. An hour later they came back and went over all his results. Long story short: he’s the lowest side of average a kid can possibly be without failing so he doesn’t qualify for any speech therapy. But wait, there’s more. The physical therapist told me that she had some concerns that he may have some neurological damage because a) he holds a pen with his fist and not his fingers, b) sometimes he walks on his toes, and c) she noticed several facial tics. WTF??? I have NEVER noticed a facial tic and neither have any of his teachers or anyone else that I asked who has regular contact with him. The pen issue we have been working with and yeah, sometimes he walks on his toes, but he does it when he’s goofing off. He knows how to walk normally and he does so on a regular basis. And it gets even better. The psychologist tells me that he doesn’t appear to have a normal response to pain because he hit his head while he was playing and he didn’t cry. He didn’t even acknowledge that he hit his head. I informed her that she was wrong and that he cries ALL THE TIME when he falls down at home. She said, “Well, he hit his head hard and it should have made him cry. You need to talk to your doctor about that.” I wanted to say, “How do you know? Could you FEEL HIS PAIN?” but I could feel myself becoming angry so I said nothing and just signed whatever forms would let me get the hell out of there. I think the thing that made me the most angry is that they are basing all these assumptions on such a limited amount of time, at a time when he was excited and hyper and showing off because he was in new surroundings among new people. They didn’t seem to take any of that into consideration and I would think that would be fairly typical of the kids they encounter. They did say something about him having no attention span and that I might ask my pediatrician about possibly testing for ADHD, and THAT I can see (we don’t him the Crackhead for nothing). But now I know that I’m on my own in getting him any help because the school system is pretty worthless.

So what brought on this rant? I finally received my written report in the mail the other day and it makes no sense. It lists scores without giving me any indication as to what the scores mean (for example, I don’t know what a large muscle score of 105 means), and it doesn’t address ANY of the things that the physical therapist or the psychologist discussed. So now we’re trying to figure out if we will have enough money to send him to a private school or if we can fix up our house and move to another district before he starts kindergarten. Not that it will matter because I suspect that a lot of school districts are this way. Only one thing is for certain – wherever he does go to school, he can count on a mom who will be a pest fighting to get him what he needs.

And with that, I will leave you with a cute picture.