Archive | February, 2012

Be Your Child’s Advocate

28 Feb

Now, full disclosure, I am a teacher.  I have been for 15 years (dang, when did I get old?) But, I have been a mom for 12 of those years.  I am not saying that you should always take your child at full face value.  There are details that kids often hide to keep from getting into trouble.  But, you know how YOU know there is something wrong with your kids, but no one will listen to you, that is what I am talking about.  Be the squeaky wheel.

Our Kindgartener is in Speech.  That was quite a task to get to where we are.  In K3, they declined services and told us there was nothing wrong with her speech, she was young.  Ummm, yeah about that, I am her MOM and I was having a hard time understanding her, 50-60% of the time, out of context.  I should be able to translate FOR other people.  But, when she came running into the room, telling me about something that I could not look at to see what she was referring to, I struggled.  I needed a translator. I could understand her 2 year-old sister more clearly most times.  J and I both sat in that meeting with our jaws wide open.  Really?  He was an elementary teacher. <sigh> So, we switched her to Daddy’s school for K4.  D had my childhood babysitter as her teacher and a wonderful speech teacher, she was receiving services by Thanksgiving.  That is AMAZING considering how long it takes to go from referral to services in the public schools.  And the difference was noted.

Come this year, she started at the private school I teach at.  We do not provide the services, they come from the public schools. I sent her IEP in on the 2nd day, hoping to avoid it getting lost in the first day of school chaos.  Six weeks later, several phone calls to the school (remember, I teacher in the other building) no speech services and you could hear her slipping back.  So, I took things in my own hands, contacted the head of Speech and Language, explained the situation, we had a quick meeting that following Friday and services began.  Now she is doing beautifully.  Squeak, squeak.

I have friends, in real life and in Facebook.  That have concerns about their kids and take everything at face value.  If you don’t agree with the opinions you receive or your gut tells you otherwise, go for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th opinion. Be your child’s biggest and best advocate.  If you have an IEP or 504 in place and you feel your child’s needs have changed, all for a re-evaluation.  It is your right.  It is our responsibility to do whatever is in our power to give our kids the best start we can.


Those Dang Tones

27 Feb

We were on our way home from Milwaukee, just getting off on our exit when I heard the Muppets theme song coming from my purse.  J has the “house” phone since he can’t find his.  The ring explains itself.  By the time I got it out, I missed him.  So, I quickly called him back.  We got about 45 seconds into our conversation, when that well known noise in the background went off – the tones.  I think it gets both of our hearts pumping, for very different reasons.  “Bye honey. Love you.”

After so temper tantrums and tears (and not from the girls), we got everyone to bed.  Uniforms and clothes for school laid out.  Pups fed and convinced to come back into the house.  I got my syllabis taken care of and my Moodle pages set up.  I watched some TV and dosed during the news.  I turned off the TV around 11pm.  I jumped to awake at 3:56am.  

Did I miss his call?  Where is my phone?  Is everything okay?  Dang, now I have to go to the bathroom.  

And I am awake.

Find my phone, no missed calls.  But, I don’t know if he is going to work at the Montessori or if he is going to the house in Milwaukee.  I don’t know how his day and or night went.  We talk.  A lot and about everything.  I hate not knowing.

Damn tones.


24 Feb

Lent is upon us.  I have helped my kids, both at home and at work, decide what they are willing to sacrifice to help prepare them for the celebrations of the Resurrection.  We have discussed the 40 days of fasting and meditation that took place in the desert.  We also discussed the temptations of Christ while on that very spiritual journey.  I met mine head-on today…and succeeded!

fact about mcDonalds nutrition mcdonalds drink 10 Interesting Mcdonalds Nutrition FactsWe are in the midst of finals week.  Ash Wednesday being yesterday, makes it very difficult for me to get through the stress of this week.  My Lenten sacrifices, while trivial, are very real sacrifices for me.  I am giving up soda and sugary food – candy, sweets, cereal with anything other than grains, you get the idea. I am a sugar junkie.  I can moderate, beautifully.  But, Cold Turkey, that’s rough.  I am also sticking VERY true to the 2 small  meals (protein shakes), less than a full meal combined, and a full meal.  I am pretty proud of that on Day 2 of Lent.  (Don’t make fun of my small milestones.)

Another teacher came to me this AM, absolutely in tears over a very sensitive issue.  So, after exams, I invited her to lunch.  I figured since my FF was on shift today and my nerves are shot after the events of his last shift, I would not be hungry tonight.  We visited the Golden Arches, N picked.  I ordered my quarter pounder with cheese meal, ketchup only.  Shamrock shakes are upon us, yum, but my waistline does not need them. Got my cup and my fries.  Went to full up my cup with some ice-cold Coca-Cola and I remembered.  <sigh>  I filled my cup with water, as Ms. M and N filled theirs with sweet yummy pop.  As we left, I filled it up again – with water. <double sigh>  Totally worth it, but still so hard.  I think I know how smokers must feel when they are stressed and longing for a cigarette.  It is a sacrifice and it is good for my health.  I can make it the next 45 days. But…wow.

What are you giving up this Lent?

One of Those Scary Nights

21 Feb

We all know what can happen to our FFs on the job.  When we think about it, we shove it to the back of our minds.  But, we forget about what can happen at home while our FFs are on shift.  I have talked about the curse of the Blue Shift quite a bit.  It is the holiday shift.  My daughter has had to be taken to the hospital.  You name it, it always seems to happen on a Blue Shift.

But, they are all inconveniences.  Things that annoy us because HE is not here to help deal with the headaches, but they are just that…headaches.

Tonight was different.  I went to bed early, I wasn’t feeling good.  I sent a text to my hubby.  When he got back in, I saw that left me a feel better message.

I fell asleep watching last night’s  Smash.  I have no idea what time it was.  The next thing I know, there is an all dog alert.  My boys go running and barking like crazy down the stairs.  A key…in the door.  Someone was futzing with the lock and the kitchen door opened.  

My dogs are big, loud and protective and got out the door. My purse from the island is the only loss. AND for some reason my wallet was upstairs.  I think one of the kids may have taken it upstairs to my room when we cleared the table for dinner, it must have fallen out. I let them chase whomever it was out my back door.  They are lucky they got the gate to close, my boys would have followed them forever to protect their flock.  It is the nature of the breed.  I found my phone in the mud, when I went back out just to check to make sure the gate was locked.

So, I am here at 4:23 am.  I called into work, sleeplessness and stress lead to seizures.  I need to get the locks changed and probably talk to the management company about who has keys.  I thought we had them change the locks when we moved in. I need to get the kids off to school with some sense of normalcy. I have every light on downstairs.  Bear is following me everywhere, literally laying across the bathroom door when I have to go potty.  I wish my FF was here.  The kids slept through the chaos.  I have to decide how much to tell them and how much to leave out.  I have to stress not only closing the gate so the boys don’t get out, but locking it…all without alarming them.  

And I have to make myself feel safe in my own home again.  How do I do that?  Especially when every 48 hours, I a responsible for keeping my kids safe and secure.

Starting Over

18 Feb

After having a student, instead of a firefighter, after 5 months, we finally jumped back into the crazy fire life.

And it was easy, actually easier than having him home day in and day out.  I thought I was going to like having him home, and I did…from about 11pm until 4:30am.  I find him to be a distraction.  I stay in bed too long, I expect him to help with the kids and it is actually easier if I do it myself.  I got my groove back in one day.

 The morning was amazingly easy.  I got the FF and O out by 6 AM.  I got the other 3 muppets out the door with me ten minutes later.  I got out the door ON TIME.  Now, in my defense, I am always out the door “on time”, never later for work.  But, I like to get to school around 6:30am in order to get some work done.  I am on overload this term and I have to run the kids over to the lower campus in the morning.  If I get to work “on time”, that is 7:05, I leave to take the kids to the LC between ten and quarter after.  Kinda silly to unload everyone just to get them back in the car 5 minutes later.  AND when I get back to the Upper Campus, it is 7:25 and my kids start straggling into my class, demanding as much of my attention as my preschoolers. So NOTHING would get done if I came, on time.

Hubby had a crazy day for his first day in a med unit (and that was before the witching hour), but I think it helped pass the time and he really enjoyed himself.  I am curious to hear if he got any sleep. 

Speaking of sleep, I forgot that I don’t much of it while he is at work.  We went to Red Robin with grandpa last night, watched Harry Potter and I think I got the boys to bed when my dad left at 10 pm.  I started going through my DVR, which I have missed doing, may I just say. And at some point I dozed…until the sirens went off.  My hubby’s ringtone, shockingly, is indeed the siren for a fire engine.  (I know it is him without having too look.  Although it has scared the bejeezus out of complete strangers in the middle of Target before!) It was only 11pm.  So, I chatted with him for a bit and planned to go back to sleep.  But, once I got the pack upstairs and got settled in, I was now wide awake.

I watched totally useless TV, which is a nice distraction.  But I watched totally useless TV until at least 3:34 am.  The pitter patter of little feet to the bathroom started at 6am, which means I have to go through this crazy day on 2 1/2 hours of sleep.  <sigh>  I am as bad as the kids.  I stay up way too late, just because I  can.

So, I am looking forward to hearing from my hubby, I am going to be meeting him, rather than him coming home.  But, it is nice for the first day back to be a Friday, it is a nice way to shake off the dust.  I was so happy to hear the excitement in his voice come back.  Some of the politics and being a cub, took some of that away.  

I Love My Attitude

17 Feb

But sometimes, I wish I had a more mild personality.  I have a big mouth and a strong personality.  Both are definitely assets, but both can be detrimental.  I am finding at home and at work, politics and my persona are clashing.  I am biting my tongue, but it truly is eating me alive inside.  

Say what you need to say.  My motto.  Plain and simple.  However, not everyone lives by that or can handle that.  Not everyone can handle me.  Sometimes I live up to the name of this blog.  

But, I try.  I try to be politically correct, I try to say things nicely instead of bluntly.  I do.  I really do.  

But it eats at me.  I feel like I lose part of me.  I feel like I am disappointing people.

To thine own self be true.

Sometimes it SUCKS to be a grown up.

Valentine’s Day, Geek Style

15 Feb

Okay, after last Valentine’s Day, we decided to not make a big deal at all about the day.  We agreed no gifts, I do think it is indeed a Hallmark holiday.  I much prefer the just because types of flowers.  

So, we had lunch together, not because of me, but because of our oldest.  On V-day, our middle school has a special luncheon with kids and their parents.  Unfortunately, being a high school teacher, our lunch hours are different.  My hubby is helping out at the Montessori this week at the other campus, so he could not make it.  So, he ran to Rocky’s and picked up a Heart Shaped pizza with some breadsticks and the three of us had lunch in my room.  It was such a nice lunch.

After school, my hubby went on a mission with me and after we ran some errands.  We grabbed some cargo netting to make a pet net for the girls and I wandered over to the bead section.  I miss making jewelry.  I have not made anything since O was born.  So we are talking over 4 years.  So, my hubby is pushing me a bit.  So, he bought me things to make a few rings and now… I have the bug again.  Then we ran to the office supply store, it is science fair time again.  He picked up a board and suggested we get a clicker for my class.  I was in heaven!

See, I told you I was a geek.  I suppose the proper term is a Presentation Tool.  All I know, is my laptop is tied to my desk due to the lack of outlets in my room.  I teach for 5 1/2 hours straight and my battery life just can’t keep up.  Which makes for constant trips to my desk during a lecture.  Now, I have a laser pointer and I can move about my room.  Can you say heaven???

Oh yeah, after my geek tool, he took me to Applebee’s, sans muppets.  He then came home and did the submarine experiment with N, helped him write it up and create the chart.  Ahhh, I could get used to this!!

I am so easy to please.  Sometimes it is just the simple things that make life easier! 

Friday we go back into the fire world and my hubby goes back on shift.  Wish me luck on getting my groove back.