Thursday, August 30, 2007

New IEP for Chaz in School

(Picture shows Chaz being hugged by his classmates last year.)
Well, we had another review for Chaz that is required yearly for him and to update his IEP plan for school. I put him in a new charter school this year and I am very pleased with them. I about fell off my chair when I found out that his first grade teacher spent the last 3 years working with Asperger Syndrome students and studied it. How could I get so lucky? I knew it had to be God in control again.

 When we sat down with the workers the other day, it took a couple of hours to discuss everything they have learned of Chaz's evaluation. Yes, Chaz has Aspergers, no, he does not have Bi-Polar disorder. He told me that Chaz will copy the behaviors of other children and he never should have been put in a self-containment classroom. That was the worst thing for him. He was in a pretty wild classroom last year with kids who had all kinds of aggressive behaviors. He is now in a regular classroom but is privately worked with as needed. Instead of sitting within the students in the classroom, he has his own desk next to the teacher. He told me that Chaz is extremely intelligent and does very well with Math. He loves to work and is very well behaved. He is a very good kid but has to be taught how to socially interact with other children. He also said that their senses are 3 times more than ours so when we hear music or people talking, it is 3 times louder for him. Same as touch. Also his frustration and anxiety level is so much more and he can be worked up easier. The other kids need to be taught to be sensitive to this. Also, they generally need to eat and drink more and so he is now being brought breakfast to his desk every morning since his bus doesn't arrive on time to go to the cafeteria. He will be able to snack and drink as needed rather than have restrictions.

 Also, he was not happy about Chaz having to ride the bus for long periods of time so he is possible arranging for Chaz and Ryan to both be picked up before and after school in a private car and that will be placed in his IEP plan. They helped me to understand that Asperger kids see things in pictures first before words. So the teacher has pictures she shows Chaz to give him orders. For example, if she needs him to be quiet, then she will hold up a card of a character making the quiet symbol. When they are told to be quiet, they imagine the picture first and then the words follow. Otherwise, without the pictures, it may take telling him several times before it processes fully. They said it would be good for me to label things around the house such as "bed", "refrigerator", etc. They are very visually oriented and this helps them a lot. Anyhow we talked for about two hours and there was so much discussed it would take too long to write! LOL! It was very encouraging and good know to that there are very successful people who have Asperger Syndrome in the world and it can be a gift. People such as Steven Spielberg and Albert Einstein. It is harder when they are younger but if they are put on the right path, they will do extremely well in life. As hard as it's been in the last few years, I know God has placed a gift in my hands. My little boy Chaz.

Heartbreak in Finding my Dog

A few months ago we sold our dog Sugar to a family we hoped we could trust. Sometimes you just never know. Well, we were sad to see him go but he was a lot of work for us. We didn't know at the time of selling him that labs are very difficult in their younger years. They don't really mature till they are about 2-3 years old.

 Well, today I got a phone call from the pound saying that they had Sugar and our name was on the microchip. I couldn't believe it and was very sad that he could possibly be euthenized if kept there. Charles and I drove down there in a rush to possibly pick him back up. We didn't know what health condition he was in but we wanted to rescue him and hopefully keep him or find him a good home. On the way there our van broke down and we couldn't turn our van back on. We sat there in the heat for a few minutes and just kept trying. Finally, it barely started and I gave it some gas for awhile to make sure it wouldn't stall it. We just knew not to turn the van back off till we got home.

 Finally we made it to the pound an hour later just as they closed. We begged the lady to let us in and she barely did. We were shocked to find that the cost of getting him out is $119! Plus, for every day we keep him there, it's another $35 for boarding fees. My gosh! I told the lady that first off, this isn't our dog anymore but we would rather pick him back up than have him in the pound. The other owners probably don't know where he is at and since our name is on the microchip, he is our responsibility. We don't have the owners info to call them. I just stood there dumb founded by those fees. I said, "no wonder you guys complain that people won't come and claim their animals or adopt them. The fees to even pick up their own dog is ridiculous!" My heart was absolutely broken that Sugar was in there and because my husband was laid off 3 weeks ago, I didn't have the funds to pick take him out. I begged to see him and they led me to a row of cages of all the animals. They said for me to find him. I just slowly walked down the row and saw the most adorable animals just staring at me. I stopped as soon as I saw the gorgeous yellow lab with green eyes. He is beautiful. He was real quiet, looked a little thin, and just sniffed my hand. Then I could tell that he recognized me and kept licking me. I just started to cry right there. I couldn't believe he was stuck there and no one is claiming him. They told me that most likely he won't be adopted because they get over 150 animals brought in everyday and hardly anyone adopts. That's why they have to put them down. I just cried and cried there at his cage.

 I could only tear myself away from the cage because a worker started to yell at me to leave because they were closed. I cried back to the van, told Charles we couldn't rescue him, and we quietly drove away. My heart was broken that there was nothing I could do. They said he is completely healthy and there are not injuries. Just a little thin. I was quiet all the way home thinking about him. I guess sometimes things are out our hands and we can only do what we are able to do. But it's heartbreaking in the process.

English Parakeet Died

The past couple of days have been kind of tough. First off, I woke up yesterday to my Female English parakeet lying at the bottom of her cage dead. Me being the animal lover, cried. I felt horrible. I kind of saw it coming but wasn't sure. When both my English parakeets were in the big cage in the kids playroom, I noticed the other birds picking on her. I decided to move them into my other cage in my living room. They seemed real happy there and peaceful. I did notice that she had been leaning a lot on the male English Parakeet. Then a couple of days ago she was on the floor of her cage. I gave her some food and water on the floor where she could reach it and she would eat it. But yesterday morning I found her dead and couldn't bear to remove it. Charles took care of it for me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

How Girls are Different than Boys

Man, are girls hard! When Ivy turned two in July, boy did she turn two for sure. Now we have the emotions, tantrums, the "I can just bat my eyes and get my way" phase. It's different. Trickier than the boys. Now when she's doing something naughty, she just looks over at us with a really sweet smile and hopes everything will be cool because she's so cute. Girls are sneakier.

 With boys, you can say "what are you doing?" They yell back, "we're putting the cat down the laundry chute! It's so cool!". With a girl, you'll wonder why they've been quiet for so long and so you ask the same thing. "What are you doing". Her answer (done really sweetly), "Nothiiiing!" But really she's in your bathroom going through your hundreds of dollars worth of expensive make up and perfume. Smashing them and mixing them into each other.

 Man, a girl is definitely harder for me than my boys. You have to keep a closer eye. With boys I just have to make more trips to the ER. That's why the ER staff knows us so well at our favorite hospital. Yes, we have one because we've gone so often. I just wonder, what's gonna happen when Ashley gets here? Is it double trouble? In faith, I will hope not! LOL! Hmmmm....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

35 Weeks!

Visit my pregnancy journal here!

Our Pets of 2007

Here are our pet pics in case you can't see slideshow below.

Meet Our Pets!

I haven't been able to use my camera in a while but I wanted to show you pictures of our pets. We have Daisy, who is Charles' dog, our 6 month old Great Dane. She is very sweet tempered. Princess, my Chihuahua, who thinks she's Daisy's mother. Halo, our male cat, who is the calmest and most sweet cat I've ever met. He's Ryan's cat. Jasmine, our female cat with an attitude. I have to hand it to her though, she has put up with a lot. In her earlier days, she would let Ivy push her all around in her shopping cart without a fuss. She is actually Chaz's cat and when Chaz is sleeping at night, Jasmine is always laying right next to him. Then we have our two English Parakeets, Batman and Donut. They are stationed in our living room. They are sweethearts. Last but not least, is our parakeets whom Ryan named, Spongebob, Patrick, and Billy. They have some serious attitudes so they are stationed in the kids Playroom. They can hoot and holler in there all they want. Okay, enough with the intros. Just wanted you to meet the other side of our family I have never introduced you to. :o)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ryan's Crazy Birthday and Swat Teams

Charles and I wanted to surprise Ryan for his birthday by bringing cupcakes to his class and singing Happy Birthday.

 Well, when Charles and I got close to the school, we saw swat team, police, and detectives standing by the back of the kid's school. We thought maybe someone got murdered in one of the houses or something. We weren't sure. All we knew is that we had to get cupcakes to Ryan's class before the frosting melted. So we drove around the front of the school but all the gates were closed where you drive in. We wondered why they block out people from going into the school. So, I just got out of the van, undid the large gate and pushed it to the side so Charles could drive the van through, then I shut the gate. As we drove up to the school, when we parked, we noticed there were police in Riot gear hiding in the bushes and looking over a wall. We just got out, wondering what was going on. At that point I realized what was really happening. We weren't supposed to have gone through that gate. One of the police officers in gear came up to us quickly and asked us how we got in here. She said, "that gate is supposed to be locked!" Whoops. I asked her what was going on and she said a guy right there behind us in the house had a bunch of guns and was making threats to kill himself. Originally it was a domestic issue but he turned on himself. However, they wanted to make sure he wasn't gonna go psycho and start shooting little kids. So she had to immediately escort us inside the school. Once she got in there she laid into the teachers and said, "we're supposed to be in lockdown. Lock your gates!" 

 They were embarrassed as they saw us walk in with cupcakes, realizing their mistake. The police ordered us to not leave the building and we would have to stay until lockdown was over. Which could be hours. We figured, oh well, at least we can bring these for Ryan still and surprise him. But what a bummer it is that we couldn't leave! Since the classrooms were in lockdown we had to be let inside, which the kids were excited about. We sang to Ryan and passed out cupcakes, helped clean up and went back into hallway. Now that we left the teacher in lockdown with sugar filled kids, we didn't know where to go. We were ordered to get out of the hallway for safety while there were policeman standing by all the exit doors with guns. We went into a very boring room with white walls and our two little kids started to lose it. They just started wailing because they were bored and tired.

 After sitting there awhile, Charles and I got desperate enough to start singing every child song we could think of, including the Barney song. Someone mercifully offered to sneak us into the daycare area right across the hallway if we would run. So we took the stroller and ran for it before we got caught. Thankfully, we could let the kids out of the stroller and let them run around once inside. I had to call some friends who were coming over for lunch to tell them plans were off and we can't leave school grounds. In fact, it could be for hours. Once we were inside and doors locked, we realized the workers were hungry because no one was allowed to leave for lunch so we gave the rest of our cupcakes to them. They were ever so grateful. 

After I was done passing out cupcakes, I realized how badly I had to go use the restroom. Plus, I'm 8 months pregnant, which didn't help. I looked out the window in the door to see if there were any cops, took my shoes off, and ran for it before a cop could spot me. I went to the restroom, then looked out the door carefully as not to be spotted, then ran back to the daycare! Aha! Finally after a while, lockdown was over, everyone sighed with relief and we were headed out. By then we had only been there maybe 2 or 3 hours. Can't remember. It just felt long because we were stuck. We took the boys with us, said hi to the other kids from our church and left. Since we didn't get to go buy Ryan's present and surprise him, we had to just take him with us to toy store and let him pick it out. We later sang to him and had his home. LOL! What a weird but interesting birthday.

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Day of School

First day of school started off interesting. I woke the boys up at 6am and they were so incredibly excited. They absolutely love school and were so bitter they had to take a summer break. That was torture for them.

 We waited outside for the bus while I watered my plants in front yard. After waiting for 10 minutes I saw this bus far off but then saw it turn down a different street. Well, no bus ever came. After waiting for 45 minutes, I finally called school only to find out that the bus came, but was waiting in front of a different house one street up. Hmmm.... Thankfully, my friends live down the street who drive their daughter to the same school so I hurriedly rushed them over there.

 After they left I just sat back and thought, "this is so weird having only 2 kids at home." I could do anything! It was so adorable seeing little Kyle and Ivy running around the house, playing together, talking to each other and giggling, trying on costumes and running around as lions. So cute. When the boys got home later, there were other kids on the bus from our church and it was neat waving to all of them. I was watering plants again while waiting for them. I realized later I had top soil all over me from working on backyard just a few minutes earlier. I'm sure the kids wondered why Chaz and Ryan's mommy don't take baths. Chaz was so upset he didn't have any homework and I assured him that as time goes on, he will get some. That seemed to calm him down. For the sake of broken heart, I hope they issue some homework tomorrow. LOL!!!

My Favorite Household Hints

*I have this great book with tons of hints in it. I will share 13 of them with you. I think I'll send some out once a week or something like that. These are great.

Air Freshener
Spray aerosol furniture polish behind central heating radiators. The heat will disperse the perfume for some time. Or... Wipe down radiator with a cloth moistened with a fabric conditioner.

Arranging Flowers
Never mix cut daffodils in with other cut flowers as they produce a toxin that kills the other blooms.

Baking Powder
Test baking powder by putting a small amount in hot water. If it bubbles, it is still fresh. (I'm gonna just try that for fun).

Clogged Drain
If the drain in your sink is clogged, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda over drain. Then pour a cup of vinegar over it. Leave for a minute until it foams, then pour hot or boiling water down drain. Repeat if necessary. Or use soda crystals.

Cut Flowers
To keep cut flowers fresh for a longer time, mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a quart of water. Use this in your flower vase. And... Before you place the flowers in the vase, cut the base of each stem at an angle. Or...Add lemonade to water.

Dishwashing Liquid
This is great for cleaning greasy or soiled hands, after working on the car or in the garden. (In case you weren't sure, this also cleans your dishes. Just making sure you knew.)

Faded Carpets
Restore by hand painting with fabric dyes. (This is why I just installed ceramic tile instead. It scares me to think what's hiding in carpets more than how faded they are.)

Flies On Windows
To prevent flies landing on a window, rub with cold water and a few drops of paraffin/kerosene. (Um, really? Kerosene? I'm sure if my house caught on fire, the fireman would wonder why my windows are exploding at a rapid rate. I'll have to think about this one. Or I wonder what would happen if I walked by the windows with a lit candle? Hmmm. I don't know, maybe I'm just a worry wart.))

Freeze Candles
Candles kept in the freezer burn more slowly and evenly. (This works great)

Fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
Freeze in an ice cube tray. You'll have small amounts for recipes that need 1 or 2 tablespoons. Thaw in microwave or drop into hot sauces. Or... Drop a cube into a glass of ice water to freshen it up.

Heat Marks on Polished Furniture
Make up a paste with cigarette ash and olive oil. Apply to the mark and then rub off. (Yeah, that'll fly. I can just see me sneaking into a restaurant to steal a full ash tray.) Or...
Pour a little linseed oil on mark and then sprinkle with sugar. Wipe off once the sugar is absorbed. (Thank goodness for the second option. I'd hate to see what headlines would say about me if I was caught stealing those ashtrays.)

Heat Stains on Stainless Steel
Hot stainless steel surfaces on toasters or kettles stain easily if they come in contact with plastic bags. Remove with nail varnish remover.

House Plants
If you have an aquarium, save the water each time you change it to water your house plants. They will thrive in this. (Yeah. that'll work great for me being that I can't even keep my fish alive for more than 4 days).

Saturday, August 11, 2007

33 Weeks Pregnant

My little girl is coming so soon! We can't wait to meet her. Oh, I'd better go update my journal now.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Laying Grass Seed

Charles and I spent 10 hours on the one side of our lawn today laying grass seed. We have such a huge yard that we only did the side of our house where our patio is leading into our house. It took so long because we have so many rocks in our yard, tilling the ground, raking, and removing all the play centers that were there to other side of yard. Also we planted 9 vines along the wall that bloom flowers certain times of the year, along with another bougainvillea. It was a long project, but worth it! I want to have a pretty outdoors. Next is planting all our trees. I'm so happy I have a big backyard. I love it. Most new houses have smaller yards so we are real grateful for this one. Anyhow, now I just need to buy about 10 more vines to go along each post of block wall along with the trees, and finish seeding the rest of lawn. The lawn you see in picture is not even the part we seeded to today. We did the side yard. As you can see, that other part of the yard is gonna be hard work!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fun at Makutu's Island

(pictures Removed)

I never got a chance to really tell you how cool Makutu's Island is! That is an indoor treehouse and you are only seeing a fraction of it in that picture. It's a huge indoor playground for kids (and adults if you're like us). Charles and I climb all throughout the tubes there and past a waterfall. There is actually a scary slide and yes, I am too scared to go down it. The kids go down just fine. I tried it once when I was newly pregnant but of course this time it wouldn't be smart at 8 months pregnant. Not cool. It was so hard to keep up with Ivy because she was so fast for me. I was crawling on my knees, in and out of holes, through tubes, it was so hard! But Ivy was worth it. I just had to take a few (dozen) breaks. Rests, that is, not broken bones. Anyhow, we went there for Chaz for his birthday and the kids really love it. Ryan's birthday is in just a few days so we'll probably go to Jungle Jim's for him. Kyle's birthday is coming up to and we'll go to Chuck E. Cheese for him. Gotta be fair! So they are all picking there places. There are birthdays everywhere! LOL!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

32 weeks pregnant!!!

Okay, I know I already have a pregnancy journal, I just wanted you to see this cool picture. So cute. That's what baby looks like in my tummy. God designed her. Amazing huh?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Restaurant Fun

We really lived it up for Chaz's birthday on Friday. First off, we took him to Makutu's Island, which we all love. I love to go through the tubes and the slides. I did have a harder time, being 8 months pregnant, keeping up with Ivy. Sometimes, with some of the tubes, I just looked at them and said "oh no". Ivy insisted I go through them with her so I did but with much sluggishness. Eventually, she did so good I didn't think I needed to go with her anymore. I'm talking to Charles, I turn around, and there is a worker holding Ivy crying "mommy" with a big bruise on her forehead! Argh! I felt so bad. In the morning, before Makutu's Island, we took Chaz to Denny's restaurant for breakfast, hence the reason I put that cartoon on here. We got him a rocket cup with a special drink in it for just him. Everytime I went to drink my coffee, my creamers would be gone because Ivy got them first. Or my sugar packets were empty because of the other kids. Usually in the middle of the meal the kids all have to potty, then usually towards the end they have to go again. That's when Charles and I point at each other and say "your turn!". LOL! After we walk away we always have to tip the waitress really good because of the mess we leave behind. That way they don't ban us from the place. Next time I go in, I don't want to have to see all the servers drawing straws on who has to get us.

Duggar Family

Congratulations to the Duggars on having their 17th child. She looks precious. I absolutely love that family because of their values. I really look up to them and admire how much they live their life according to the Bible. Never have I seen a family who live their life so according to God's plan. It amazes me. They truly are a satified and happy family. Their children are the most unselfish and happy kids, unlike most kids of these times. It is so encouraging to visit their site and read about how they train their children in the Lord.