Sunday, March 13, 2011
I just woke up from a nap. A nap--that's right and it was quite a nap. I slept for over 4 hours. That is unbelievable for me. I had some chores to do and I sat down in my recliner and I don't know how or why, but I slept through doing my chores, my errands and dinner. I took a nap even with all of that to do. I don't have my activity for children's church ready for tomorrow yet and we don't have any food for the bunny.
I don't get to take naps often and that is why I am surprised. I think that being overly stressed probably gave me this gift. I am sure that anyone reading this is surprised that I am chatting about a nap like it is some unusual item of high value or something, but with the hectic pace of my life recently, I haven't had a chance to do anything for myself. I had planned to catch up on my spark teams tonight, so I apologize for that.
Sleep is such an important part of healthy living, but because I have this body that hurts so much and so often combined with the life of a mother of eight who works a very demanding full time job, it doesn't happen for me the way it might for other people. This nap may be the first gift of my spring break. I can create my own song--"On the first day of spring break, I gave myself a nap." I guess I'll just have to wait and see gift I can give myself on the second day of spring break (besides daylight savings time, ha ha.)
I went grocery shopping at 8AM to start my day. Then, I spent 4 hours at my son's school with him for his music contest today. He was a bit overwhelmed with all of the people who were there and he didn't quite understand the schedule. It helped me to remember who he is and the things that are tough for someone with Aspergers. I am lucky to have the connections I have--I have a stack of good information from the psychologist I work with and I am going to read some of it in a bit to prepare for the meeting with the staff in his building on the 21st. We had lunch there and then came home to do some chores at home before going to the fitness center. I had an almost good session at the pool until the lifeguard of the day decided to close the pool up 15 minutes early. I fussed because I planned my time out to get my workout in and I needed that time. She finally relented with only 5 minutes left, but by then I was irritated a lot and I told her it was going into a letter of complaint that I am writing to the manager. She isn't a good lifeguard consistently and I am amazed that they do not do something to either help her to do her job correctly or that they let her go. There are plenty of good people who would be glad to have a job and you would think that she would care a bit more.
I had a good workout in spite of her--I got to the pool at the right time and missed a lot of the noisier families. The water was a bit warmer than its been all week as well and that helps me. I have been bringing my small hand weights and doing some strength training along with my regular workout right there in the pool. It seems like anything I do is easier and more comfortable there. We made a couple of stops on the way home and then, I sat down to delegate tasks to the kids--and somehow, I fell asleep.
I think I am going to marvel about my nap a bit longer as I move on to what needs to be done in the next few minutes before I get ready for bed. Have a great new week, one and all!!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
It has been quite a week and as you all know, I have been a bit less than visible. This week has been full of lots of work, progress reports (report cards), family issues, medical issues, car problems and I don't know what else. 2011 has become quite a handful for me.
I am looking forward to the next 2 weeks of intersession. I have a lot to do between serious work at my son's school before the meeting on the 21st. The teacher I am upset with has been "messing with me" all week and it has not been fun. I am rallying my troops and collecting informationa nd support to manage that problem.
I have a medical appointment every other day of the break. I have also made all of my follow up appointments and finally chatted with the people my PCP referred me to--they call their office "The Spine Clinic" and that makes me feel like maybe, just maybe I am on the right track. I have an appointment to see the other guy in a couple of weeks for the follow up on my bone scan. (I am assuming it turned out okay or they would have chased me down.) I also have an appointment with my pain doc and well, like I said, the list goes on.
My big goal is to get a lot of work done on my National Boards renewal. Tomorrow is my youngest son's first music contest day, so I am spending my day with him and Sunday, I have children's church. After that, each day will give me at least 3 hours for writing. I am doing three days of extra reading lessons for one of my students and I am taking down all of the snow related decorations in my classroom and making some indoors spring time. (YAY!)
However, that will leave me enough time for some chores at home, a lot more SP, my daily time at the pool, and some extra rest too!! I need this break, no doubt about it.
Gentle hugs--and happy spring break!!
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
I've had a mega-amount of stress that is using much of my energy. I have been going to the pool as much as I can--but I missed two days due to some issues. I have eaten more on the run rather than in my usual way. I'm not eating badly, just more and a few things have slipped into my menu that I normally don't allow.
I cannot prove it, but it seems as if these things have contributed to my mood. It isn't the best mood I have ever had. Of course, not enough sleep or time to do what needs to be done doesn't help.
i have a solution--I am going back to my goals and I am going to really think about what I need and what I've been doing. That is that--chances are my goals are perfect, but just in case... My next blog will be a recommitment to myself and my goals. It will be something to help me to feel as good as I can and to use my energy on what is important.
I can do this. I know it. I need it!!
Saturday, March 05, 2011
It has been another tough week, but good news is lurking in so many places. They finally got the transmission for our car--we have held out for a rebuilt one since the difference in cost was $1300 vs $2800 and money is something we don't ever seem to have enough of. It will be good to get that resolved and make life so much easier for everyone. With so many of us working and going to school on top of my medical appointments that hit at least 3, usually 4-5 times a week along with Megan's 2-3 appointments weekly, it has not been fun to have our reliable little (economical) car down. I won't even worry you with what the extreme costs and the raising prices of gas are adding to my previously mentioned cash flow issues are like. We bought our little car for that concern and then the Suzuki dealer folded and we have to travel two hours to find another....
Big news is that Marshall started working this week. I have made it a point to ask everyone about their jobs and if they are hiring entry level people. He has a job with a cleaning group who I found out about from the ladies who clean at the fitness center. There is an entire change in his demeanor after working since Tuesday. On Wednesday, DHS sent him a letter and has approved him for their program and he will be eligible for assistance in getting back to school and for employment. Hooray--it has been a year now since he so unfairly lost his job.
Things are rattling around with Micah and the unacceptable school situation. I may need to do some damage control over my emotional outpouring on the principal, but I do have his attention. He did send the school nurse to check Micah's arms and she didn't say a lot except to ask him if he thought he might do something similar again. I got a call yesterday from the offending special ed teacher to set up a meeting with all of the staff who are involved with Micah. This is progress and although I want it soon, I am hoping to wait until after next Friday so my job won't continue to have interruptions like the past several days. That will give me time to totally plan out my expectations of them. I talked with one of his doctors who is decreasing his antidepressant because it can cause the self-injury behaviors and some of the negative talk he engaged in. The big revelation came when we saw another of his doctors. After reminding me that this wasn't my fault by either disciplining Micah in a prudent way or by not forcing an issue with that school when Matthew had similar issues 17 years ago, we moved on to construct a plan of sorts. I have some research to pull out and have started that and then, I am going to educate them on what "crimes" my son has committed, how it is part of his diagnosis, what they need to do about the issues to help him grow and get better--and then to give them no more than 30 days to comply or we will go to due process. It is absurd that once again, I am having to do this in that junior high, but as Micah's doctor reminded me, it will indeed be the last time I have to do battle with them. This time, I am going to be a bit more moral and not only work towards something better for my child, I am going to open the door for something better for all children who they are responsible for. Special education laws were created to protect people with disabilities. Micah's diagnosis is one of those particularly important in the school environment, as so many are--autism is pervasive, but Aspergers is one for higher functioning and often kids with giftedness in various areas. However, they do have enough of the autistic characteristics such as echolalia, negative types of talk, poor social skills, repetitive mannerisms, etc... that they need in this case to be protected from people who don't have the patience or knowledge to help but in most cases, to be nurtured to a higher level of functioning. !7 years ago, my oldest son Matthew was in this school. Matthew has cerebral palsy which went through a variety of diagnoses medically until that was the one that made sense. Matthew has had seizure disorders and also AD/HD (which we now understand as an adult was more likely Aspergers for him all along.) We went through trial and tribulations in this school trying to get him preferential seating and help to remember his planner and homework and so on and so on. The kids were encouraged to badger and belittle him as well and it culminated with him receiving a beating by a classmate in the lunchroom that left him covered in blood and significantly distraught. This is a school with an unhealthy understanding of human rights--or as I so untactfully told the principal--that his school was sick and I have come to realize that there is no way to correct that because having new people has not made a bit of difference. I also told him that the things that go on there are unacceptable at every level and that as an educator, I was offended by their unwillingness to do what is appropriate when I do those things willingly and daily in order to give my children success and to help them to grow as developing human beings. (I said quite a few things that maybe I should want to take back because they were a direct response to my emotions over how this all turned out and how I saw my role in it--but then again, if I can make this improve, maybe it was something long overdue. I assume that as I write this, you all realize that my other 6 children between Matthew and Micah also attended that school and none of them were unscathed from my brightest to my most average, from my gifted to my academically needy. I think some of that is the nature of junior high school, but I also don't think that damaging children is the job of any school, even if they are hormonal aspiring adolescents dealing with that unpleasant rite of passage known as adolescent opposition. It is part of the package and if you aren't up for the game, don't work with junior high or middle school kids. I don't think I would do well with it and I am not in such a setting.
Finally, I finished--sort of--my first section of National Boards writing yesterday and it needs to get some editing now. I have 2 online friends and my friend and mentor from my first round who are all going to help me with this. It is raw and I have some issues with some of it, but having a document to start working on is a good thing. This weekend will give that project a few hours as I start on another component, but report cards are a big part of the work I must do this weekend.
I also have promised myself some time and am going to lunch with my best friend today--I think we provide some therapy for each other--and she is probably doing more of that for me right now than vice versa, but we have been best friends since I started teaching and she is one of the blessings in my life. I am lucky to have her. I am also lucky to have you all in my world.
Have a wonderful weekend--I've just been informed that it is snowing here. Go figure--we have had every conceivable type of weather this week from 60's to lightning and thunder to sleet, fog, you name it. It has been a tough season and I am visualizing sunny skies, green grass and trees, and beaches that we have none of!! It's not that far off, my friends.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Life has been hectic and I am under the gun to get my National Boards Renewal finished. I have a couple of good dieter friends who are also new recruits to SP who are going to help me by reading and critiquing. I'll have some things ready for them to read this weekend. This is an important project to me, so please hang in there with me. I try to stop by here and I track food and the like each day, but I cannot get enough time to be as sociable as I like.
I am also quite frustrated with my youngest son's school. He has had some bigger issues that are, at the least, law-breaking at his school. Our youngest boy is autistic and makes noises. Check out any info on this and you will see this goes hand in hand. I am not sure if there is a change in the frequency or what, but their way of handling this is office referrals and discipline which isn't appropriate for a disability. (And, it is the special ed teacher who is writing the referrals for this!! It is her job to work with his needs and help resolve them.) It happened again yesterday and I was led to believe that my son was doing something inappropriate. I took away some privileges before I realized it wasn't something he can control, he went into the back of the house and punished himself by scratching his arms bloody. I am so ashamed of myself for punishing him on their word. I have spent many frantic hours with his doctors on the phone the past two days and today, I called the principal there and, well, I told him exactly what I thought of him, his staff and school. I told him that I held myself responsible that my child was taken to that place, but I also told him tha the and his school owned more of it than I do. I told him to take a look at the outcome of his handiwork and suggested that he and his staff aren't professional or caring on their student's behalf. (Remember that this is my youngest child of 8 and I have had issues on behalf of each of my older children in this same junior high. There is a sad, uncaring climate in this awful building.) I told him that I was going to look into due process for a better opportunity for my son to receive the education that special education law says he is entitled to.
Now, I need to take a next step. I am canceling physical therapy tomorrow to get him to the doctor myself. I will make a plan and approach them with an agenda that will not be relegated to silly conversations about absurdities and make specific requests to benefit my child and hopefully other children in his position. I am truly sick of this situation that has been horrible for far too long. As an educator, I am disheartened by this situation coupled with these poor performing people who make so many think we are lazy, incompetent people who are overpaid and who don't deserve to be treated as professionals making a respectable wage, especially when I have almost as much education and training as many doctors.
Anyway, as always, my plate is full--but this is different because my heart is heavy and I don't have a plan for this inappropriate situation. I will get it figured out, but am looking forward to a break from the stress and in helping my son to get past the damage that has been done to him.
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