Saturday, February 28, 2009
For those of you just joining in, I am writing about my son Michael. Michael has Asperger's Syndrome which is a high functioning form of autism. He is part of the autism epidemic. What does that mean? Think what you want - I don't wish to debate. I just know that there are too many kids on the spectrum these days. I won't begin to pretend to understand why.
I went back and read the first entry today and guess what? I said I would finish it by April. April of 2008. Whoops!
Last entry was wrapping up 2nd grade.
The summer after second grade, Michael went to his first day camp.
One of the families I was working with through our state's autism pilot program told me about a camp offered through our parks system called DDA. The DDA camp was designed for kids with special needs but can function somewhat independently. For Michael, this was perfect. He wasn't in to sports which ruled out most day camps. Definitely made him not fit in with his peers. Most boys by this age are really into at least one sport and starting to get fairly good at it!
I couldn't trust that camp counselors would really understand Michael and know how to work with him.
This camp was different! Some of the people running the camp were Special Education teachers. They had experience matched with a passion for caring about kids who don't fit the norm.
Michael attended for three weeks that summer and had a great time!
I finally found a place that Michael could go and I wouldn't worry.
Unfortunately, camp may not be an option for him this year. Maybe I'll write more about that later, maybe I won't. It all comes down to cutbacks.
When summer wrapped up, it was time to worry about school again. Same scenario.
Who would his teacher be? Which kids would be in his class?
Third grade is a bit challenging because kids are expected to act a little more grown-up. The bar is raised, so to speak. Work is a little tougher. More time spent at your desk. Kids are starting to be more and more aware of being "cool."
A couple of weeks before school started, I went to see the principal. I was convinced that Michael needed a para-professional to assist him throughout the day. He had struggled with anxiety in 2nd grade. He was easily distracted and starting to not complete his work.
We agreed to see how he did once school started. The principal also reassured me that Michael had been placed in good hands.
We showed up at Meet the Teacher and I introduced Michael. I had not been able to talk with the teacher before this day. I asked if we could meet and briefly explained the situation.
I think I really scared her! In fact, I know I did. She had that "deer in the headlights" look.
The next day I was able to meet with her. The special education teacher joined us. Michael had a new SpEd teacher overseeing his I.E.P. this year. Michael also had a new speech teacher, new counselor - basically a whole new team. I handed over some resources and tried to do my best "Everything you need to know about Michael" speech in 30 minutes.
Turns out, this teacher was another perfect fit. She's one of those people who doesn't pick unnecessary battles. She doesn't get her feathers ruffled. And (yahoo!) wiggliness doesn't bother her. Kudos to her on that one. As a 5th grade teacher - it made me CRAZY! I would probably be a whole different teacher now than I was then. I'm a lot more aware of differences and how you can work with them. I wasn't intolerant, but I did lack an understanding of how important it was for these kids to move.
As calm as this teacher was, she was no pushover. She made him get his work done. She stood firm when she needed to. I hope she is still teaching when Jacob makes it to 3rd grade. He's going to need her! A rare combination in deed.
With the success of the buddy program from the year before, it was decided that we would continue it. The whole class participated! They didn't even question "why." They were all eager to have their turn being the special playground buddy.
Want to know my favorite part of that school year?
Want to hear what changed everything?
You'll have to catch the next installment.
Friday, February 27, 2009
My cousin and her friend a few years ago made a video that my aunt just posted (no, Sheridan doesn't know). Apparently this was at 2 or 3 in the morning and they woke the folks!
Sheridan is the one on the right (most of it) in the blond wig.
Dig the outfits, girls.
And the dancing (?) is top notch.
Watch the end when her step dad comes in and she sneaks to the camera to turn it on him.
I told my aunt this video was like West Side Story meets Pink Floyd's Wall.
Weird stuff, dude.
If Sheridan ever reads my blog, she will kill me.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Tuesday, my MIL dropped me off at the dealership to pick up my car. I was slightly annoyed that my free car wash and vacuum hadn't been done - but hey... can't have it all. After a 30 minute search for my car keys I found out that I had one new tire and was promised that the rest were fine. I had them check because of the low tire the previous week, you know. I drove home happy to have wheels again... until...
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
One more thing that I think is hysterical. You may not find it funny but I do.
This email arrived in my inbox from a neighbor.
Greetings: Thursday night someone deposited a self propelled push mower behind one of the columns on our side of the bridge. Noticed it first thing Friday a.m. from view from kitchen window Thought was weird and left it there all day thinking someone was going to use it for mowing around the creek. Decided to confiscate it since no one came to fetch it and is in my possession. Fairly new mower and seems to be in good shape. Won't describe more fully for obvious reasons. We put up a sign on the post at the bridge in case someone did leave it there with a purpose in mind, but now phone calls over the weekend. Assume someone stole it and stashed it there to pick up Friday night????? Hummmmm. At any rate if any of you know of a garage break in last Thurs. night let me know. All they have to do is describe the mower, brand, etc. Can we post a notice on the Website? Guess I will have to put on my marshal's badge and start packing again.
Here's the response (the part that made me laugh out loud) that showed up in my email inbox as well:
I have not received any phone calls or emails with regard to a missing mower. Good find and like a lost dog has a new owner. Pet it and give it gas ...you’ve got friend for life.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
And more blond.
Oh - and just plain busy.
Day before Mother's Day.
If you feel "torn" between teams and want to support each, you can always pay your runner's fee for one team and give a minimal amount (there is no minimum donation) to the other teams. Any amount of a donation makes you a team member.
Each team has a "hero" who is a kiddo on the spectrum. Each hero is recognized at the event with a trophy (at least they have given trophies in the past).
It's really fun to see how excited they are about being a hero!
This is the third year for us to run. In 2007, we had a gigantic team. I was so amazed by the support it brought tears to my eyes. Even more amazing is that these are the ones who showed up at 7 a.m. on their Saturday morning when it was 34 degrees outside... and sleeting. That is just plain love, folks. There aren't a lot of people in this world that I would do that for!
It was also the year that Callie and I ran the 5K together. My first and last 5K in case you are wondering? My joints ached for weeks and weeks afterwards. I am now officially a walker!
Needless to say, the next year wasn't much better in the weather category. There wasn't any sleet (yahoo!). But, it was very cold with winds that carried away small children. We had to hold them down with weights.
Here is our 2008 team photo (missing quite a few). Notice Doc is talking on the phone. I was a little miffed about that if you really wanna know.
Here is Michael with his good friend "SuperPizzaBoy" holding their team signs. SuperPizzaBoy belongs to my blog friend Yogi!
This isn't all of them, but these are some of the 5K racers from last year. Yup, Doc had to take over representing the fam for the run.
After the run, Michael danced with my cousin Marty to some Radio Disney tunes!
I'm hoping that any of you in the Tulsa area who want to be a part of our team will join us! There is a 5K and a 1 mile fun run (which means walk, actually).
- To be a part of Team PokéMichael, just click here.
- If you simply wish to donate but not be there the day of the event you should click where it says "Sponsor Me Now."
- If you plan to run or walk with us, click just above where it lists the "online sponsors to date" box where it says "if you want to register for this event click here."
You may have noticed that our team has t-shirts. If you want to run/walk with us and don't have a team shirt, I am happy to get one for you! Just send an email to email@example.com to let me know that you need one and what size. You must be already registered for the run if you want me to get you a shirt. There are Autism Center of Tulsa shirts in the race packet for all participants as well.
I hope that you will join our team if you are able. The support Michael sees and that Doc and I feel at this event really lifts our spirits! And your support goes to provide services in my (our) community for families with children on the spectrum.
As with all A.C.T. events, the run is very family friendly. Notice there is a post race party at 10:15 so the kids will want to stay and play.
Kids 5 and under run/walk for free. All paying participants receive a packet with an A.C.T. t-shirt and the eternal thanks of a mom.
A couple of my blogworld friends will be forming teams as well, so I will totally understand if you join theirs instead. Would just love to see you out there!
May 9th, 2009
5K 8 a.m.
Fun Run 10 a.m.
Post Race Party 10:15 a.m.
Hunter Park, 5804 E. 91st St., Tulsa
Monday, February 23, 2009
This kind of statement does not go over to well with me. It also never goes unpunished - but that doesn't stop him from trying again another day.
And yet, he is just being truthful. His dad feels the same way but would never say it out loud. He's so very kind that way.
Just for this one moment, you can laugh about it.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Weddings always make me feel a little sentimental. My very favorite part of every wedding is watching the grooms face as their bride walks up the aisle. I love it! You don't often see that kind of emotion on a man's face but the adoration is always so obvious!One of my favorite high school pals got married last weekend. Doc and I drove up to Fort Worth with another high school pal and his wife to attend. I'm sure Doc wasn't looking forward to all of the remember whens but it was a whole lot of fun for me!Lots of old memories and lots of old jokes. And somehow they are still funny (to us). It's so much fun to stay in touch with people who were like family to me and really still are. We reminisced over snotbubbles, Soccer Sunday, naps, cars, jobs, breasts (of chicken), notes - all the fun stuff high school was made of. You guys have snotbubble stories too - right?
Some ate more than their fair share of cake. Of course I photographed the evidence!
So many pictures. So many cameras. Where to look?
Some found their own new ride.
And here is Jana's attempt for a new Facebook profile pic.Don't know why she didn't use it.
Friday, February 20, 2009
So I left there today with a few life altering thoughts.
- Motion calms Jacob.
- He couldn't possibly be this good twice. I've burned up my one time to get away with it.
- Cute toenails DO bring happiness.
Knowing what I know now, I checked into the massage chairs. Maybe when Jacob is crazy and out of control I can just stick him in the chair?
But there are just two problems.
1. This thing is ugly. I mean - REALLY ugly (no offense intended to those who own one). I will not put this in any regularly used room of my house and therefore it would never be used.
2. It costs $5799 before tax and shipping.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Sometimes you just can't win.
Like last night at dinner when Michael figured out I had a pattern (not intended) and knew I would choose ROCK. In fact, he knew every time I was choosing anything (but the Rock is/was my ROCK if you know what I mean).
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Finally, I have my montage of pictures done from our ski trip.
I know you all want to waste 5 minutes of your life on my vacation photos. And truthfully, my favorite pictures are the ones at the end.
Although, I will admit that Doc and I chuckle every time we see the pic dubbed "ski ninjas". It was so-named the moment it was taken of Jeramie and I. What can I say... it was COLD outside! And in case you are wondering, we were smiling underneath our face masks. Old habits never die.
So here they are.
...or take the day off from this here blog. I will understand.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday to me...
To celebrate a full year of Baloney, I'm giving away a nosepicker t-shirt. I have one Large and one XL. So maybe I will give away two - depends on how many responses I get.
I sure can pick 'em.
So if you want a nosepicker tshirt (and you know you sooooo DO!) leave your name in the comments. If you have a blog, give us the addy so we can visit! If I don't have contact info for you leave your email or wait until I post the winner.
Deadline is midnight (central time) on Friday, February 20th. I'll announce the winner on Saturday.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I do love to ski. I hate the cold. Funny combo. I've always been somewhat cautious and so I don't ski stuff that I might actually fall on. I stick to mostly blue runs (intermediate for you non-skiers) and cruise 'em. The last time I skied a lot of black diamonds was on a high school church trip -trying to keep up with the Senior boys. Talk about motivation! I would ski anything they told me to.
My current system is what I dub "cruise and perch". That means ski a little, take a break, ski a little more. I usually pretend my boot is messed up or something so I have an excuse to stop - especially as I get older. I do have a long no-fall streak. I think the last time I fell was in high school when a skier ran in to me!
That being said... I hope my kids have great memories from family ski trips. This was Michael's 4th year to ski and 1st year at a new mountain. He skied with the National Ability Center at Park City, UT. Loved it! He was amazing out there! It was Jacob's first year on the mountain and he did great, too. Of all things, they are working on gaining speed for Jacob. Who'd have guessed that? It was a shock to us!
We only had two glitches this trip. That's a record for us! Michael's ski bibs broke the first day of skiing. I'm pretty sure that is a new one -- 2 hours? Doc just tied the straps in a knot and life went on. The other was minor but annoying. When we checked in, we lugged our bags all the way to our room. Lots of bags... lots of stairs. Immediately started unpacking so we could get the boys to bed. Almost finished before I noticed our paperwork from the room had another family's name on it.
Doc went back to the front desk and after a big fiasco of "are you sure this is where you are supposed to be staying" and finally found out that we had a different room, same condos. Repacked. Moved. Voila! New room. Re-unpack.
It snowed most of each and every day that we were there. The last afternoon we saw the sun shining for the first time. Almost a shock to the system after days of skiing through clouds and snow. See?? The sun came out.
I dream of a "seamless" vacation but at least we didn't have flight issues this time. No highways or roads shut down this year to keep us from getting to the slopes. We will call this success!
We had a ton of fun with the Halverson family (Jeramie is a high school buddy) on the tubing hill and the slopes! Met some college friends of Doc's for dinner in town one night (loved seeing them and meeting their kiddos). And just really enjoyed hanging out with our little family of 4 on the slopes.
If you are wondering, Utah is very friendly. For that reason alone I adored skiing there. Also, I highly recommend the Icebreaker top paired with Hot Chillys. Best way to keep warm. Since Doc watches the thermostat around here so closely, I may have to wear that Icebreaker shirt daily just to stay warm.
I'm posting pics soon. For now? You can enjoy these videos.
This one is Doc's favorites. He thinks it proves I'm a mean mom.
But Michael learned to quit sitting down in the middle of the mountain. Lovingly taught by his mom. It's dangerous to lay down in the middle of a ski run, you know. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. And I might have enjoyed it a little bit.
And there you have it.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
But first, Baloney had to convince her mom to let her come along. She doesn't share my quirky humor so it was not an easy conversation.
BUT -- how many opportunities will Flat Baloney have to hop on a ship to... Antarctica?!
Yeah, you heard me. All the way to the South Pole.
Here she is at the beginning of the trip.
This here on the left is a glacier. I got to see lots of pictures of glaciers from their trip!
Autism Links - Educate Yourself