Friday, October 28, 2011

A Disgustingly Funny Story. . .

We have this new puppy. Ok, so she isn't so "new" anymore, but she is still a puppy. Pippy is her name. That is short for Pipsqueak. Allison named her. I would have named her Pepper, if I was given the honor. Then we would have Chili and Pepper. Yeah, I'm funny like that.

Puppies like to eat things. Did you know that? Yep, they sure do. Everything. Baby dolls, crayons, staples, shoe strings, boxes, table legs.... you get the idea. This dog likes to chew. And eat.

So, today Audrey and Julianne took Pippy the Puppy outside to "do her business". About ten minutes later, I hear my name being called...and then yelled! I run outside thinking maybe Pippy had escaped through the gate or something.

"Mom!!! Pippy got the rabbit!!! Under the bushes!!!! She's tearing her apart and ripping out her insides and eating them!!!"

Wait. What did you just say? Surely you didn't just tell me I was going to have to climb under the bush to grab the puppy away from a killed rabbit that she was eating!

Being a grown up sucks sometimes.

So, I grab a long stick, thinking I am going to have to poke at the puppy to get her away from her fresh meat meal.

Here I go. Kneeling down in the grass, right by the fence facing my neighbors yard. Great. Not only am I doing something so disgusting that I don't let my mind process what I am about to do, but I also get to give my neighbor (yes, the one who hates us) a big bent over hiney wave hello.

"Pippy...Pippy...come here Pippy....." I say in my highest pitched voice. poke...poke with my stick.

Not working. I guess I am actually going to have to look and see. I cannot believe just two minutes ago I was gearing up for a nice cozy mid afternoon nap, and now I am about to pry a puppy off of a dead, ripped up rabbit. What the hell, ya know!

So I look. I see it. A mess of white fuzz. Now I frantically poke at the puppy to get her away from the rabbit. Oh my gosh!!!The rabbit is stiff and looks like it has been dead for awhile. At least that is what I can gather through all the branches and leaves.

I look closer. CLOSER. I stare at it, and cannot believe what I am seeing.


I bust out laughing. This is what I found. WARNING...

Oh yes. This is "rabbit". Rabbit was being torn apart and eaten by Pippy. In case you can't tell, it is a stuffed toy animal.

I laughed and sighed with relief. And then, to make this story even better, Julianne said to me, "Mom, she didn't get the baby bunny, at least." What does that mean? She then turned "rabbit" over, and said..."See, baby bunny was safe all along."

Baby Bunny: on top of the fuzz.....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Psycho-Educational Evaluation

Last night I attended a workshop titled, The Psycho-Educational Evaluation. It was held at Julianne’s school, The Miriam School. I wanted to attend this workshop because Julianne has had one of these evaluations in the past, and I assume she will have another one in the future. These evaluations are incredibly difficult for me to understand. I thought that if I went to this little workshop, that I might learn how to interpret the exam , learn about what I can expect, and yadda yadda yadda.

Well, I left there feeling anything but good.

The speakers were fantastic. The entire time that they were talking, I was trying to figure out where I knew them from. Had they worked with Julianne before? Had they been one of the people who have given Julianne this test before? Or did I just know them from seeing them at Miriam? I never did figure that out…I just know that I have met them before.

I sat and listened to the speakers discuss why somebody would want this type of evaluation, and what tests are typically given, and why social history is a factor. Parents started asking questions, and the speakers started answering the many questions, trying to explain many different things. . .

When the parents started questioning what would be needed as far as getting “services” in high school or college or “extended time” on SAT/ACT tests, I began to slowly internalize how stupid I felt. For the rest of the discussion, my mind was spinning with how much I still did not know, and how much I should know, and how very little help I can actually give my daughter…because I am just so not very smart.

Or at least, that is how I felt in that room, at that time.

I have never taken the SAT or ACTs. I never went to a real college. I fear that I will be of no help to any of my children when it comes to getting them into college, much less my child who struggles 100 times harder than the rest of us when it comes to education.

As I drove home, I started to cry. And then sob. I had so many things going through my head. So many emotions at the same time.

I felt angry at myself for pretending to think I would actually be able to understand what they were going to be talking about. If I have found out anything about myself during this “special-needs kid” journey, it is that I am dumb when it comes to knowing how to help my child. I am dumb when it comes to knowing what the hell people are saying to me when trying to tell me what is wrong with her, or how to help her. I am dumb when it comes to understanding what I can do to help her to get her what she needs.

I felt sad because I couldn’t imagine Julianne being able to go to college.

I felt disappointed in myself for thinking that maybe Julianne would not be able to attend college. How dare I think such a disgusting thought. Shame and Guilt on me!!!!

I had a little meltdown.

Then I started thinking about how lucky we really are. And blessed. Devine intervention has placed many wonderful people in Julianne’s life. People who actually know what they are talking about, and know how to help her, and how to get her where she needs to be. Saving her from me, in a way. I don’t say that to be self defeating. I say that because it is truth. When I started this whole journey, I didn’t even know that there was a difference between speech and language. I had no idea about services through schools. I had never even heard of an IEP or a psycho-educational evaluation. I had no clue what OT was even for. And so on. And so on. And so on.

And so on.

But, there has been a village of people that have told me what to do for Julianne, and where to take her, and how to do it.. They have saved her…and given her a chance at a decent life. A life that will involve her potential. Thank God for them. She is a blessed child to have all these angels here for her. It is amazing, really.

So a day later, I am trying to not think about the future for her. She may or may not go to college. But based on how things have gone so far, I am confident that God will continue to bring in magical people to guide and love her.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Take These Moments...

I am a mother of five children. I am a human who sometimes is so overwhelmed with life, that I find myself forgetting everything. I am always in a constant "hurry up and do everything" state of mind. I forever try to keep track of all the dates on my calendar to do list, all the papers I have to turn in on time to school, all the money that the kids need to turn in on time, this that and the other thing. Laundry. Homework. Bills. Groceries. Meals. Housework. Sports. Birthday parties. One on one time.....

Truth be told, I suck at this. I just do.

Never-the-less, I want to address the fact that time FLIES. Specifically, time with our children. I look at my 12 year old and I can still see her crying as I left her at preschool. I find myself wishing I could go back in time and do things differently when she and the others were little-er.

Then I turn around...and there stands my 5 year old.

In a flash, I am sure she will be 12...and my 12 year old will be 17. And I am sure I will think I wish I could go back in time and do things differently.....

But today, I am really trying to think about the HERE AND NOW. There is so much chaos in my home right now...that simple sounds so out of reach. But why? Simple is the way it should be. I am tired of feeling rushed. Too rushed to pray at night, even. The other night, when Alena wanted me listen as she read two stories from the bible before I tucked her in....and I told her I didn't have time for that.

I closed the door....and my stomach immediately filled with guilt.... and two weeks later, I am still here thinking about that.

and I want to change this.

I don't know how, but I am trying to figure it out.

My daughter Alena's favorite song is "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman. It is about a dad taking the time to dance with this little girl...first as she is pretending to be a princess, then as she is going to a high school dance, and then at her wedding. As a parent, it hits home for me. I am not a dad, obviously, but I do realize that if I do not take the time to "dance" when they are little and ask me to....chances are I will regret this later in life. And the last thing I need to add to my list of emotions is regret.

I have a little video here of Steven Curtis Chapman singing this song, and then talking about how he came up with writing it. It is so, so touching...because it was taped before his little girl Maria Sue lost her life to a horrible accident.... He ends his video by saying, "Take these moments" enjoy your kids. :(

If nothing else, parents enjoy your kids today. Everything else will still be there at the end of the day, (laundry, dirty dishes, bills), but your children will be one day older when it is all said and done. One less day of childhood.

Make the most of today. Take those moments. . .and make them into great memories.