Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vote for the Poopiest Person!

I'm sure that you have all visiting the Irritated Tulsan's site to vote for me.  Or quite possibly you voted for someone more deserving of the nomination.  Either way, you voted.  Right?

I only brought out the Poop Award once this year.  I've had plenty of other candidates to offer up but not everything is bloggable and therefore those will be awarded only in my mind.  I am now able to offer up the true Poop Award winner of the year.  Lucky me.

If you want to hear the story, it's a long one.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  There are two candidates here both belonging to the same long story - and I will let you decide who is the poopiest.

One lovely day this past April I managed to kill both Doc's and my cars.  Well, I just about killed Doc's car and mine had a nice little scratch on it.  Someone hit me in a parking lot that morning.  I switched cars with Doc so he could get an estimate on mine.  That afternoon I ran in to another car while driving the Doc's car.  I swear no one is as lucky as me.

For the record, this was the first time in my 20 years of driving that I had hit another vehicle.  There was that one incident with a post about 10 years ago but that's another story and I don't know how it got there.

When I hit the Jerk, I was driving in a lane that was marked for turning and could be used by drivers on either side of the road.  Traffic was backed up 1/2 mile and I wanted to turn left at the light.  You've all been there and you've all done this.  Don't lie.

Cars parted and let this guy through so that he could turn left.  I couldn't see him until it was too late.  I could see his face and he never looked my way.  Just kept looking to the right to see if the other way was clear.  I couldn't even swerve because he kept moving in the only direction that I could have swerved.

CRASH.

Jacob announces, "Great.  Now we have NO cars."

At the scene everyone is civil.  The cop gives me a ticket but not him.  I assume this is fair but in the back of my head I'm pissed that he didn't get a ticket for failure to yield since he never checked to make sure the lane was open.  Since his car was not very expensive and looked a mess I decided not to push the issue.

A month later, I receive a check to pay for damages to my car from the earlier parking lot incident.  Around this same time I receive a letter from Jerk stating that my insurance doesn't want to pay for the full damages to his totaled car and that he will sue me.  Turns out he only has liability insurance and not collision.

Have you ever been sued?  Receiving a letter like that made me want to throw up.  Seriously.

I called my insurance agent and then the company.  They told me to do nothing and that I was not 100% responsible for the accident so he couldn't be paid 100% of the damage.  While I'm glad that I'm not totally to blame, I tell them to just pay the guy because a law suit will cost more.  They tell me that isn't the way this works.

And then the law suit papers arrive.  Due to Jerk's lack of ability to spell my name and transcribe my address the papers arrive late.  And oh how I wanted to blog this.  As many of you know, I needed some extra stress in my life and by now school is starting.  With all of the c-r-a-p we have been dealing with here and there and adjustments for Michael's new school I did not need this.

Jerk is offered within $300 of his requested amount and declines.  That $300 was to pay for some extra charges that were not actual damage to his car.  So now he is just being stupid.  The great news here is that I now have someone hiring a lawyer for me through the insurance company and it will cost me nothing.  Jerk has pissed off the insurance company and my new attorney so much that they are ready to take this case all the way.  And they file a countersuit for damages to the Doc's car, which costs seven times more than his. 

Now Jerk finds an attorney for the mess he has created.  All for the $300 dollars extra that he wants.  This is why your insurance costs so much, by the way.  Stupid idiots who sue and spend your money over cases like this.

This whole time I felt bad for the Jerk who was carless.  Seriously.  But then my lawyer points out that my ticket was BOGUS.  Oh yes.  That I actually did not actually break any "rules of the road" and Jerk did break a few.  For starters - you can not enter in to traffic without a clear view.  You must yield to oncoming traffic.  Every time, no matter what.  There's two right there.

So the cops ticketed me with a false "charge" of driving left of center which technically would mean I'm driving in the lane of oncoming traffic, which I wasn't.  If you ask me, I got a ticket for driving a nice car and I paid all $180 of it without questioning it.

I went from feeling pity to just plain angry in a short amount of time.

We did have to go to small claims court just to officially get it moved to a bigger court.  With the countersuit filed, the cost of Doc's car damages moved us out of the price range of small claims.  Jerk smiled at me smuggly in the courtroom while sitting next to his mom.  And don't even get me started about how the brand new judge didn't understand her job.  Yikes.

I will cut to the chase here.  My insurance company wanted to go after him and I would have made money off of the deal.  The lawyer said this would be a no-brainer and we would win because the laws all favored my side quite clearly.  But they gave me the option to offer the original payment to Jerk (the original offer before he sued) if I wanted to attempt to settle it.

I asked them to offer it.  I saw this whole thing feeding an anger inside of me that I didn't want to consume me.  I was also experiencing a little momma drama with Michael's school and I couldn't take much more.

Jerk's lawyer told him to take the money and run, so he did.  He clearly didn't have a case.  He walked away with $600 less than what he sued over and he was lucky to get it.  I was just glad it was over.

But I'm not sure who is the poopiest.  I'm fairly certain that the bogus ticketing led the Jerk driver to believe that he had done nothing wrong and had fueled his righteousness.  So, does that make it the cop's fault?  Or is he just a Jerk for suing over $300 in the first place?

You tell me...
Who is the poopiest?

"Jerk"?

Or Cop?

Voting ends Friday

Monday, December 28, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

We went to a Christmas party...




...and they were crazy enough to let us bring the kidlets...

...but there is something wrong with this picture...

...Hi Shannon.

What exactly is wrong with this picture?
Is it...
  1. The awesome sweater full of Christmas spirit?
  2. The beer holder doesn't match that adorable sweater?
  3. Shannon seems surprised that her picture is being taken?
  4. She has balls?

Friday, December 25, 2009

We Wish You a Merry CHRISTmas!


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

from
The Baloney Family

And a bonus...


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Do You Have Room?

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Let's be intentional this year and look for ways to help others.
Make room.



See you Sunday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tis the Season to be... Crafty!

Every year, Jacob and I do this together.









In past years, Michael has declined the opportunity. 
This year, he decided he was missing out.




If you are buying these cute little (EASY) gingerbread house kits and making them with your kids you are missing out.


Remember, I don't do crafts -- so this recommendation should be considered thoughtfully.

And we are sorry to report that Gingerbread Girl was mysteriously decapitated, then eaten.  The homicide is under investigation but so far - no leads.

R.I.P. Gingerbread Girl.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Irony

I will start by telling you that the Dood is really a sweet dog -- but he is still a lab, and a young one at that.


How could I not love a face like that?
I always thought this pattern on Dood's sides was a little weird.

See it?

Then one day in puppy school someone told me those are called "Angels' Wings."
Yes, this is where the irony is.
So with his recent haircut his angelic form is shown off really well.
But the devilish side of him can not be ignored.
On Friday afternoon, I removed some unintentional dog toys from the yard.

Don't even get me started on all of the pillow stuffing still flying around out there.
And for those of you in the know, Doc promised to remove all of the pillows on the chairs for the winter. 
That was September.

I'm going to have fun buying all new chew toys pillows for those chairs in the spring...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Perfect Pairings - Matthew 26:8

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant.
"Why this waste?" they asked.

~*~
This is my IRL friend Katie.
Katie is passionate about wasting nothing.
All of our leftovers from our dinner at Pei Wei went home with her!
For the record, she did not want me to take this picture but finally posed when she saw I would take it anyway.

***
I hope you will join me each Sunday for Perfect Pairings!
Post your own bible verse and picture to share and put the link in the comments section.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Quiz Time!

I hadn't done one of these in a while, and hey - I was curious.
I'd love to know your results so feel free to cut and paste in the comments section!


You Are Dancer



Carefree and fun, you always find reasons to do a happy dance.



Why You're Naughty: That dark stint you had as Santa's private dancer.



Why You're Nice: You're friendly. Very friendly.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Two Dogs Meet...

Yesterday I volunteered in Michael's class so that his teacher could attend the teacher's luncheon.  I was certain that with teachers away and parent volunteers taking over that mayhem would ensue - but I was wrong.  Sometimes it is good to be wrong.

I look forward to opportunities like this for several reasons.  I like to see the dynamics of the kids in the classroom that Michael is in.  It's good to see how they talk to each other, how they interact, who sits by who... etc, etc.  I was amused to see that "Indian Sunburns" are still all the rage (if you don't know what it is then you don't want to) and other silly things from my own elementary years.  It is amazing how some things never change.

When I went to college, I was bound and determined to be either a Physical Therapist or an Occupational Therapist.  This probably stems from the fact that one of my cousins was born with cerebral palsy but mostly I wanted to work with kids in a therapeutic setting.

Upon completing 2.5 years of coursework towards applying to OT school I chickened out.  I had already taken cadaver anatomy, physics, zoology, botany, environmental science, statistics - all sorts of kick my booty classes.  My GPA was even a decent one.  But I chickened out.  All my life I refused to set myself up for rejection cuz that's how I roll.  I started fretting that I would apply and not get in to OT school.  And then what?

So with only one science course left to take before I could apply to OT school, I changed my major.  I drastically changed my major.  I decided I wanted to be a teacher. 

And to be honest with you, teaching always appealed to me.  I felt nudged a little to pursue the OT idea by my mom because of the income.  It wasn't that she hoped I could buy lots of things, it was that she had been a single mom without a college education to get a good job.  She wanted something reliable for her girls.

When I started my first semester as a future teacher I was ashamed.  You'd think I'd enrolled in basket weaving classes.  I like to think I'm kind of smart and most people don't think of elementary teachers this way.  I would justify my major by saying things like, "But I used to be an OT major!"  As if that mattered?!

So I began to pursue my education degree as a Junior in college.  That first semester, I was enrolled in the first of four classes on how to teach reading.  Practical experience is always important and so off we went to local elementary schools.  Each of us was assigned a student with no information other than their grade.  We designed lessons for one on one tutoring with our students.

I had Chatty Cathy for my student from the 4th grade.  She shared a little too much.  It took a lot of effort to get her focused on my lesson because she wanted to tell her interesting stories. 

On my third visit to the school, she brought me a picture of her dog.  A really, really weird looking dog.  She tells me the dogs name and all of her cute doggy stories.  I ask her what kind of dog it is and she says...

"Well... it's a combination of a Rottweiler and a Dachsund.  And GET THIS - the mom is the Dachsund.  Isn't that funny?  Can you imagine?  We call it a ROTTWEENIE."

And this was the moment I knew that teaching was the perfect job for me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tis The Season... To Party!

Ahhhh.  The celebrations of the season.  The Baloney family loves to par-tay and celebrate.


One of the highlights for me each Christmas is our Sunday School's Dirty Santa gift exchange at our Christmas party.  If you know me, then you aren't surprised.  Last year, we thrilled one lucky couple with some PIMP King glassware.  I was going to purchase a ChiaObama (because that is just so wrong!) for this year but then I remembered I could pass on a fantastic win from last year's exchange.  We won a magnificent owl from the 1970s and a musical tie was our addition from the Dollar store.

In case you were looking for ideas, here you go. 
Three words or less... in rhyme.


Hey there, Doc.

Picture Shock...

Games to Do...

Whoooo?  Whooooo?

Presents Galore...

Mustaches & More...

Truck Nuts

Big Turkey Butt

Snuggies for free

Not For Me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Elves Will Rat You Out

Friday night we attended the Autism Center of Tulsa's Christmas shindig.

It's always such a great evening for a family like ours because we can relax.  No one has to worry about their child being misunderstood.  Some of these families don't get out much so these events are a great service to those in the autism community.

The families enjoyed a buffet of make-your-own sandwiches, chips and cookies.  After shoving down some chow, they kidlets moved on to running amok in the gym area.  Michael eventually gravitated to the craft tables and made some lovely ornaments for our dogs.  It will be a shame if they get lost after Christmas.  A real shame.
Some of the kids wrote a Christmas letter to Santa.  This one belongs to one of the Center's founders.

Yup.  I'm pretty sure they will be able to stick Bon Jovi under the tree. 
Nothing is impossible for Santa.

The real excitement of the evening was when Doc's dad Santa arrived on the scene.

We had to give Michael and Jacob a heads-up that their Papa was going to dress as Santa for the event.  This was actually a challenge since Jacob couldn't understand why Papa would be Santa.

Michael knows all about how busy Santa is and so he lets other guys fill in for him at the local malls, etc.  For Jacob, this news was new.  Jacob didn't know how he would possibly keep such a big secret from the other kids at the event until he was bribed.

It's so cute to watch kids talk to Santa.  My father-in-law did an amazing job and seemed to really enjoy his role.
We are all still giggling about this one.  He is the son of one of the center's founders.

I remember a time when we thought this little man would never talk.  He spent a good amount of time talking with Santa about some special items on his list.  So, so cute.  And really special if you consider how far he has come.

The best part was after he was finished talking to Santa.  He forgot to say something really important.
I'm pretty sure Santa knows these things already, but it is still good for him to have assistance like this.
He ran back to Santa with one more important detail...
"Make sure my dad is on the naughty list.  He burps and doesn't say excuse me.  He says, 'excuse YOU.'  He should get coal. Pour it all over him."

Maybe Santa will give his dad a manners book instead.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Story of Jacob, Part 10

The short version to catch you up -- fertility problems, fertility treatment (fail), adoption decision, waiting, waiting, waiting...
To actually read the other 9 updates, click here.

I know we hadn't been on board with CPO for very long at this point, but when you make this kind of decision it is hard to be patient. If you think about it we had already been working towards baby #2 for two years at this point.

Each month we attended meetings and watched as other families expanded. This gave us hope but also a little bit of envy. Leaving that last meeting the dam broke. Doc and I started the "What's wrong with us?" conversation and came up with nothing. Okay, I exaggerate but on paper we look GREAT! What really happened was a teeny bit of a pity party from parents waiting for a baby.

Shortly after this time Michael and I met the Doc for dinner out at a local burger joint. Doc had an intense need to run to the golf store so Michael and I went home to get him ready for bed.

The phone was ringing when I walked in the door and I sprinted to catch it. Some of you know my phone phobia so you will understand the miracle behind the fact that I actually sprinted to answer a phone. Never happens. Typically when the phone rings around here I run the opposite direction.

My heart stopped when I answered and found out Cheryl from CPO was on the other end of the line. It literally stopped.

Cheryl explained to me that a baby was born that morning and his mother wanted to make an adoption plan. She was not formerly involved in any way with CPO - more of what they refer to as a "drop in." She showed up at the hospital to have her baby and CPO was recommended to her by the social worker at the hospital when she said she needed to give her baby a family.

The information flowed in. I can't really give you all of the details but I will tell you some key points given to me.

1. The baby had had no prenatal care.
2. His birth mom could not keep her baby and had picked our scrapbook.
3. He was 7 pounds at birth and so far there were no concerns.
4. He was Creek Indian (approx. 1/4 by tribe registration).
5. Potential for special needs was present due to prenatal circumstances.
6. According to Cheryl, this was one of the most gorgeous babies she had ever seen.
7. It's a BOY by the way.
8. His birth mom wanted his name to be Jacob. This was very important to her.

So I stand in my kitchen holding a phone, taking it all in.
And Doc is buying golf equipment.

I'm wondering how I am going to talk him into this.

I tell Cheryl I will have to call her back.

- More later -

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Perfect Pairings - John 1:4-5



What came into existence was Life,

and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn't put it out.
(The Message)

***
Join me Sundays and post your own perfect pairing.
Pair a photo with a bible verse and post your link in the comments section.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Reality

What I Want to See This Christmas...


What I Will See This Christmas...


Don't Be Jealous.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Will Work For...

On Thursday mornings I volunteer in one of the special education classrooms. I really, really love it. The kids are finally getting used to me. I was greeted by several when I arrived today and it was fun to feel a part of a classroom again.

One thing about teaching, you have to be flexible if you want to have success. In the case of a SpEd classroom this is especially true.

Sometimes flexibility is required because of behavioral issues. This must come with an extra dose of compassion as well. We don't always understand the "why" behind their actions but we have to find a way to patiently work through it and help them re-wire their brains to more acceptable responses. It's tricky. One mis-step and you have a lot of groundwork to redo.

The other flexibility comes in the academic arena. And honestly, these two challenges usually go together with any one child. Not only are adjustments made to the actual work (decrease the number of problems, write for the child to decrease frustration, special equipment that aides them...) but also figuring out the best way to teach them. Each child learns in a different way. Sometimes it is hard to come up with new ways to explain things that come easy to us.

It was no surprise to me today when one of the students needed a little extra motivation. As a reward for completing a very long and tedious assignment, this student was given an opportunity to watch one (approved) video on You Tubewith the teacher at the teacher's desk. To this particular child, watching this video once was worth the hour he spent writing definitions from the social studies book. It was worth staying on task - which to many of these kids is a big challenge.

Want to know what video he chose?
You know you do.
I watched it with them and I'm speechless.

I haven't checked the rest of the series out yet, but I bet you do.
Michael and Jacob laughed hysterically when I showed this to them.
They are men of refined taste and culture.

We all need a little starfish in our life.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thumbs UP

They did it.

They really did it.


Mr. Awesome from Thumb Wrestling Federation sent the toys and

happiness reigns in the Baloney household.



I seriously can not begin to tell you how much both of my kiddos love these toys.


Michael has obsessed over them it is like I'm a prisoner set free.


I guess Michael is a prisoner set free too.


Hallelujah!




Michael loved being called a loyal fan in Mr. Awesome's email.


It was the highest compliment a 10 year old could imagine - no joke.


Jacob got defensive -- "I'm a loyal fan too!"



Michael read the letter then attacked the box of goodies.



Not only do we now have 6 thumb wrestlers but we have an assortment of stickers and tattoos.



And what do you DO with thumbwrestling toys?

I had a great video with Michael showing off a match but technical difficulties prevent me from posting it. Ditto on the thank you video to Mr. Awesome.

Bummer!


So... TWF and Mr. Awesome, thank you

from the bottom of our hearts.

You did a great thing for a red-headed, 10 year old fan.


And since we can't go anywhere without these things,

think of the advertising my boys will do for you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We 3 Doods

Someone thinks he is one of the boys. For the record, my dogs are not allowed on the couch.

Autism Links - Educate Yourself

  • www.aspergermomnetwork.com
  • http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/
  • http://www.autism-society.org
  • http://www.okautism.org/homepage/
  • http://www.aspect.org.au/publications/Thinking%20and%20Learning%20in%20Autism.pdf
  • www.autismtulsa.org
  • http://www.oklahomadisabilitylaw.org/
  • http://www.asperger.net/index.htm
  • http://www.rdiconnect.com/
  • http://embracingaspergers.com/

But Who's Counting...