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Showing posts from July, 2010

The Sideburns

Elf refused to get his hair cut. He wanted to keep his "sideburns." He CANNOT have his sideburns cut, ever. He's absolutely freaked out about it. But he *needed* a haircut, folks. Needed.
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I've tried all kinds of goofy agreements, but they didn't work. I can't have a ten-year-old physically fight me while I'm holding scissors, so finally I just told him I'd keep the sideburns and we'll just see what they look like. *
"And you won't cut them after we see what they look like," he told me. ("Well, we'll see," I told him. "Maybe you won't like them.") *
We kept on and on this way. WHY would a ten-year-old be so concerned about sideburns? Nobody wears those any more. * "They look manly," Elf told me with a sniff.
* "Well, a lot of the really, really OLD Presidents wore sideburns, Elf," I said to try to convince him. * "Yes," he told me. "And they were manly." * Sigh. He doesn't kn…

Elder Abuse

Grandma dies on her 81st birthday, with sores large enough to see the tendons through. She had been sitting in her own filth and allowed to sit in a recliner all the time. Charges are forthcoming against the family members she lived with.

Wow.

You know, I used to be a really judgmental person on stuff like this. How could you NOT NOTICE sores in which you can see the muscles and stuff beneath? Wouldn't it stink? Wouldn't you notice that Grandma's toenails are all curled up into her skin and that she's uncomfortable?

Well, I'll say this. I'm not sure if charges are warranted or not. I'm not the cops or the hospital room attendant. I'm pretty sure the jails are crowded enough that they don't just go looking to toss people into the slammer at taxpayer expense. But I'm also pretty sure that mistakes can be made, too.

The story tells us that among other outrages, Mary Araujo had "1-inch facial hair around her mouth." Now think about this. Is th…

Please Quit Being So Fat.

Can you believe they're using REAL MONEY to implement "Healthy Schools" in the Kansas City district? Let's just consider some of the stuff they're going to "accomplish," shall we? Perhaps I'll add a little emphasis and comments of my own along the way.

"The following elements will be measured and evaluated:

*Student knowledge, attitudes and behavior regarding energy balance to maintain a healthy weight (Pray tell, HOW are they going to "measure" someone's "attitude" in regard to "energy balance?" [calories in vs. expended])

*Impact of the program on fitness scores and BMI measures (Umm... they run your kid through a physical test, WEIGH him, calculate BMI and report this information back to "the program." Wow.)

*Improved food behavior in school lunch through the use of digital photography of lunch trays pre- and post-intervention (How would YOU feel if you were stuck at school all day and the lunch mo…

A Recent Pic

of Emperor to go with my last post. He'd just finished washing up after lunch. Do you think he forgot something?? Yep, he's cute.

Please Welcome Emperor...

... to the wonderful world of autism. He got his diagnosis today.

It went about as I expected, though I wasn't prepared for the fact that IQ testing is part of the evaluation process of an older child. I don't put a lot of stock in these tests, but the fact that he is in the superior range mathematically hardly surprised me. He also answered the "do you recognize which is the angry face?" question by giving the ratio of correct answers to incorrect and then deducing the liklihood of his getting the right answer. You just have to laugh at some of the silly stuff Emperor does. Though he was wrong in his analysis; I think he failed that section... that means there was a ZERO in three chance of getting the right answer, boyo...

The hospital staff recommends that we enroll the kid in public school for the free occupational therapy, social skills training and speech therapy. Guess how much of that is happening? Go ahead and give me a ratio of "stuff they expect&q…

The Letter the Colleges Won't See

I know you're getting a lot of applications from students with excellent job records and a number of extracurricular activities as well as good grades. I'm asking you to consider my jobless son who doesn't do much at school after hours anyway. The boxes on your application form don't give us a space to adequately explain what's going on here.

His brother has severe mental illness, and from one day to the next we don't know what is going to happen. Whether it will be a "good" day or whether the police will be by. (Applicant teen) has had a friend over on perhaps four occasions during the last five years. Please note that these visits occurred when his brother was in the mental hospital. If nothing else, it would be nice if you could admit him so that he'd have a place he'd "have" to go, and he wouldn't feel obligated to give up his young adulthood as he's given up his teen years.

Mental illness is one of those odd things. …

The Dark Rider

He's really a much-beloved Japanese doll wrapped in a cloth pirate hat, but he plays his part so well. He keeps coming up behind me and whispering, "Baggins..." Can you tell we are midway through The Fellowship of the Ring?

How Does the World Work?

Not an alarmist post... but a wondering one.

Do you turn off the news when the boring "financial market" guy comes on? They talk so fast and never explain anything. I don't have any money to invest, so I really haven't bothered to find out about stocks, CDs and secret slush funds and how to manage them. So to me, words "Consumer Price Index" never meant much of anything.

But they do. And do you know where the information that makes up the Consumer Price Index comes from?

From the US Census Bureau! Really! I swear I am not making this up. I swear it isn't even Obama's fault. This is something that has apparently been going on a long time.

I saw a local newspaper article about the US Census Bureau selecting lucky, valuable, helpful Americans by a secret process (or if it isn't secret, it certainly isn't outlined!) to divulge ALL their purchases, right down to the last soda pop on several occasions. My goodness, you can't buy a roll…

Dad's Day

D finds out what's going on at home after work when he reads my blog. I find out what happens when I'm out of the house by looking at anything recently loaded onto our "2010 pictures" file on the computer. Here you see that Rose and Woodjie are good friends. Rose encourages Woodjie to "Go! Go! Go!" and get something she wants outside the gated area when I leave, and Woodjie... well, Woodjie encourages the girl to be a LOT more rambunctious than she would otherwise. She fell down the other day and hit her face on the side of a chair. She put her hands out to the SIDES of her head to catch her fall, which would be hilarious were it not for the fact that she chipped her front tooth. Rose has recently taught Woodjie that people have NAMES, and Woodjie has named Patrick, "Girlie," and "Nonnie" - that's ME! Yep. This morning, I was greeted with, "Ook, Nonnie, a Oak-ee-non." Roughly translated, that's "Look, Mommy, a Poke…

New Science Curriculum!

I printed up a sample and left it in with other "get to some other time" stuff for a good long while. I find the extremely involved (find your own platinum bar and 2300-weight brass coil, three lemons and a chickadee egg) experiments to be a bit beyond me in the Lifepac curriculum. It's fun to test which items would be attracted to magnets, but not so easy when one of the experiments casually calls for good ol' Mom to generate electricity with a cardboard tube, some magnets and a bunch of wires. I got the DVD for the set... but I still wasn't pleased with *some* of the books in the fourth grade level. Which is odd, because I thought the science was fun to teach until this year. Some of the experiments are getting harder to implement even under ideal circumstances... which we're not in. And I didn't think that the video "matched" the experiment in the workbook very well at all, so I had to have the children just answer based on the experime…

All I Ever Needed to Know About Socialization... I Learned From Facebook

I have bunches of friends from my high school days who are "friends" with me on facebook. Bunches more have figured out that I'm a fundamentalist prig and unfriended me (seriously). They haven't really changed much. Not really. I went and changed, not them.

But it does jar me a bit to see people thinking a young lady being denied the "right" to bring her lesbian girlfriend to the prom is some form of PERSECUTION that requires a status update. I kinda thought that persecution would be more along the lines of being thrown to the lions in the arena or being told that all Tea Partiers are racist because some guy yelled a racial insult at some other guy last spring. Stuff like that.

I've been burned in the comments section before, so I'm not eeeven about to put forth the rational argument that these teens aren't even supposed to even know what a lesbian IS until they go to college and see man-hating "womyn" yelling about some "social iss…

The Secret of the Shoe

Once upon a time long, long ago, Elf and Emperor accidentally busted a beanbag full of rice. Instead of ohh, I don't know, cleaning it up with a broom or asking for help, they decided the best thing to do would be to hide it here in this slipper so that they wouldn't get into "trouble." It was supposed to be a *secret,* they told me. I was never supposed to find out. I guess they thought I would NEVER go into their closet, or that winter would never get here next year, necessitating my sorting through our slipper and shoe collection. How logical.
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"What else was supposed to be a secret?" I asked them. Welllll, they broke my plastic flute. See? Elf tried to tape it, but it doesn't really work. Ok, I had them throw that into the trash.
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Anything else? Umm... they collect little plastic beads, they told me. I had them show them to me and sure enough, their "collection" is really evidence that Emperor's stuffed "Torchik" a…

Hello! :)

Well.

It's been hard to settle down to write. Woodjie can not only climb over the gate, he can climb over it in less than TWO seconds. One of G's workers observed that he can jump over it "like a little deer."

So... I know it doesn't seem like it should take that much time to teach him to "Quit doing that!" but it DOES. It just DOES.

Woodjie runs like wildfire, careens down the stairs and emerges with the toilet plunger. That is his fave thing to steal and run around with, though sometimes he'll operate the television or grab the giant blue ball and try to "hide" it behind the couch as though Mom would never notice.

Good grief. He does this WHILE I'M WATCHING, but I can TELL that he waits and times it so that I am indisposed changing Rose's diaper or dealing with other chaos. And he has the biggest smile, like he's getting away with something. And he's going to get hurt or lost at this rate! Arg.

Anyway, we're workin…

Sexy Senior Photo Shoot!

It seems to me that the senior pics feature mostly girls in outfits that are too form-fitting or in positions that are... suggestive. THIS ad, addressed to Patrick from the foo-foo old-fashioned place on the town square that is trying to revamp its image, I intercepted and threw into the trash. Can you picture trying to explain the "Grandma just went through an oral phase" thing to the grandkids later when they look at the old yearbooks? Have a little shame, ladies!

Sermon Notes

Rock ON, Mrs. C! Let's read those "Sermon Notes!" It's the kind of thing that makes blog reading interesting! WooooOOOO - yeah!

Sorry to disappoint you, but they aren't MY sermon notes. If they were, this would be a very, very long post and truth to tell, you probably wouldn't read the whole thing and I'd waste my time and effort posting it for your edification. But since I wasn't able to make it to church this Sunday, PATRICK took it upon himself, WITHOUT EVEN BEING ASKED, to write some notes for me.

Isn't that sweet? I'm going to just go ahead and share the knowledge that was imparted this last week at my church. Maybe the Holy Spirit will make what Pastor had to say very real in your heart, and you will come to a saving knowledge of Christ, etc. etc. (Make sure to tell me in the comment section if you prayed the salvation prayer so I can send you a free brochure and sic the prayer team on you.) Ready? Ok. Here goes:

"God...

I...

I Can NOT Believe This.

"Do you want a WRITING HAT?" I asked Mystery Child Who Is Incognito for This Blog Post. * The problem with some of Mom's questions is that she won't say what a "writing hat" is, but she'll make you wear it if you say yes. Sometimes though, the "writing hat" or "snuuuufie-zoozle" or whatever Mom is offering is something really, really cool you won't want to miss out on if you say no. * Mystery Child decided that he didn't want to take a chance on the WRITING HAT, but would do his journal entry today without it. * "Emperor, do you want a WRITING HAT?" I asked. * "Um..." he thought for a bit. "Sure. I'll try it." The adventurous boy was presented with this bunny hat and proceeded to write about the circus show he and Elf gave to the family the other day. * Mystery Child, who is umm... about Elf's age and pictured in the lower picture, became absolutely furious. It's HIS bunny hat. He should g…

Mummified Cat!

To make our mummified cat, we took some old socks and a ripped-up playpen sheet and soaked them in hot tea water overnight. I'd recommend very hot water and more tea; our socks just wound up looking skunky dirty instead of "antiqued." After we let our wrappings dry, we cut ears out of one sock and sewed them onto the other. Then we stuffed the head with old cloth diapers, tied it up, stuffed the body and wrapped the sheet strips around it. We also were supposed to find sea glass and other things to use for amulets, but we used shiny buttons and (appropriately) an old cat tag instead. Emperor drew the Eye of Horus that is visible in the top picture. We had a lot of fun with this project. We got the idea from this craft book on Ancient Egypt.

Childhood Memories

Looking back on her childhood photographs, Rose will likely come to the conclusion that her parents didn't love her very much. There isn't much in the way of pictures of this kid. The few photos we've been able to get of her doing fun things... turn out like this. Does a two-year-old need privacy to wear a balloon hat? What is up with that?

Anyone Else Out There?

I'm going through an awful time. I'm very bitter about it.

I'm starting to realize that things are always going to be hard for me. That they may get better than they are now, but they will never be ALL BETTER. I don't mean the perfect all-better of heaven. I mean all-better enough to pass for normal. Family outings. Pleasant conversations.

I will never be able to take Woodjie to a restaurant and have him behave. I will never have a friend who wants to come over and spend time with me. My children will never have a regular playdate.

And worst, worst, worst of all is that no one will ever help us in our difficult situation. I don't even have a family that understands.

I know... it sounds like a lot of woe is me going on and Mrs. C needs to just get over it. But I'm upset.

I'm upset that here I have the diagnosis I need to get services, but I'm too rich to get the services that we all pay for poor people to get. I have insurance that should cover t…

Small Update.

We'll see if the power stays on long enough for me to say "hello" to you after you comment.

I received a phone call from a fellow who knew my name and said that he was from KCP&L, our power company. The power will go off around 5 pm tonight and stay off for several hours or even days. The system is overloaded, he explained, and so people in my neighbourhood will just be shut off while they do something or other.

Great. You know, that's a reallllly great way to solve the problem of having too much strain on the ol' power company. You can improve efficiency by shutting off neighbourhoods. Hey, maybe you can run at 100% efficiency by just shutting everyone off! That would work. Make sure to do it during the hottest days of the year. Thanks.

At least it's not January, I guess... but I'm not happy about it. I called my neighbour (who has a fragile child in a wheelchair) to tell her about it and she freaked out. They will either have to give her pow…

Ancient Egyptian Tomb Wall

The goddess Nut is clearly depicted in this Ancient Egyptian tomb painting. She sits near the Eye of Horus. Isis and assorted symbols, including the symbol of life, are in the lower portion of the tomb wall. The colours have been remarkably well-preserved for thousands of years.

Woodjie

has just been diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. But the team remarked that for having this degree of difficulty in his daily living, he has VERY good eye contact. Hey, it's better than good; admit it. It's a big deal. I figure that if I can get him LOOKING over to what I want him to see at least a good part of the time, that I will be able to communicate with him more. He can now say "warrr" for water when he wants a drink. What he really wants is "juice," but he can abandon hope on that most of the time. He would drink gallons of juice and play "too-too sanes" and "ah-loons" all day if he could.

FREE MONEY!

Whoops, sorry. You must run a public school to qualify.

Already, there are companies sidling up to the trough to oink big. In fact, you could download your very own "Stimulus Investment Planning Guide" from Scholastic (tm). Click here and then search for "stimulus package." It's second on the results list. Inside, you'll find insider tips on how you should spend lots of money on Scholastic (tm) products:

"As a partner to American schools for almost 90 years, Scholastic recognizes that strategic planning and investments in education are good for schools and good for the country. Together, we can use this historic moment to create significant and sustainable gains in student achievement."

*sniff*

That moved me almost as much as an Obama speech. Historic moment. Together. Good for the country. God bless America.

Whoops, not allowed to say that last one. My bad.

But seriously, folks. That doesn't look like "spending on staff" to m…

YOU Can Prevent Abuse at School

I think we all know there are some things that are wrong, no matter what the law says. Used to be you could legally buy and sell slaves at the courthouse up the street from me. Today, it's legal for certified teachers to lock children into closets. Our local high school even has paddling procedures outlined. As long as they avoid the face and hands, it's legally OK when a teacher treats a child this way.

But it's no way to treat a human being.

I've contacting you in regards to SB 2860, a bill that would reduce the incidences of restraint and seclusion in public schools. Sad to say, but we need a bill that will give children the same rights that prisoners and mental health patients take for granted.

I have a three-year-old who was diagnosed yesterday with severe autism, and I'd like to be able to send him to school when he is older. But I might not be able to do that in good conscience without your help.

The preschool is wonderful in this district, but the elementaries …