Friday, August 29, 2008

Hold Me!

This year is the year that S. starts kindergarten. On Tuesday night, his school had an orientation to familiarize the kids, as well as the parents, with the routines, expectations, where the rooms are, as well as meeting the teacher. I didn't realize that S. starting kindergarten would be hard for me in more than one way. Walking down the hallway and seeing all of the recently decorated classrooms, and listening to his teacher made me miss my job so much! I am used to being on the other side. I'm used to being the teacher who talks with the parents at open house. Did I also mention that S.'s school is in the same district as the one I used to teach in, and that I have been to that building, and have even met his teacher? That I could tell him exactly where everything is? Man, was that weird!

On Sunday, I had my official 'meltdown'. I can't believe my miracle baby, the baby we tried so long and hard to have, was now old enough to go to 'regular' school. He had been nervous all week, and had so much energy that I think that was how God made his leaving easier for me!

Hubby was able to work from home, so he could be there with me to walk S. to the bus stop, as well as pick him up. S. didn't know Daddy was staying home, so this was a big surprise to him! Another surprise for us is that the weather sucked! It rained, and rained and rained! Of course, after we got him on the bus, it stopped. All I can say is, it's a good thing he's a boy, because we didn't have to worry about fixing his hair.

S. has been so excited about going on the school bus all summer long. He looked a bit nervous as he boarded the bus, but he found a seat quickly and off he went! Turning around to go home was bittersweet. I was so excited for him, but at the same time I was a little sad. My baby was 'officially' a kindergartener, and he is moving farther and farther away from me.

It has been a hard adjustment for me. This kindergarten thing. My days are completely different. S. has afternoon kindergarten which means that I have to get him to the bus by 11:30. It is almost impossible to plan something for the morning. Then he is only at school two and a half hours, making only a few short trips possible. No more plays, trips to the zoo, trips to a playground, lunches out with friends or play old hanging out and doing crafts.To be honest, though, I don't deal well with change. Never have, and probably never will. Sunday nights have been hard for me lately. At least Hubby is there to talk to.

About four weeks prior to school starting, I called his principal to let her know about S.'s math abilities, so she could let his teacher know. His principal was nice and all, and even suggested maybe sending him to first grade for math. She also switched him to a teacher she felt would be better able to service/challenge him well, however she never told S.'s teacher about him. I felt like an ass when I brought S. up to her, and introduced him like she should have already known who he was, as well as his special needs. When she looked at me quizzingly, I asked her if the principal told her about S. You could tell she was peeved at her principal. I mean orientation/open house is not the time to find out that you have a student with special needs, that are not learning disabled but rather has a higher ability level. Our school district is full-inclusion, which basically means a student has to have a disability that is severe in order to be put in a self-contained classroom. (I could tell you stories!) I feel badly for S.'s teacher since she has both ends of the spectrum in her classroom. I've been there, and I can tell you how hard it is to meet every one's needs. It's almost impossible.

As I told the principal, we are going to give this school a try and see what happens. She acknowledged that S. could get bored or not want to come to school. I agree. I will be an advocate for my son. I know this district inside and out, and I know how they pull the wool over parents' eyes. Most times parents don't know that their child has a classroom with children with major learning disabilities and behavior disabilities. I'm not talking about children in wheelchairs with merely physical disabilities. I actually feel that benefits kids, and makes them more compassionate. I'm talking about having children with autism, not minor autism, children with major emotional/behavior disorders that bring box cutters to school in the THIRD grade. Students delivered by the police several times a week. Students who disrupt the entire class when their parent forgot/didn't want to give them their medicine. Students' parents that threaten you in front of other children; that actually happened to me! The police would stand out in the hallway then. I could tell you some awful stories, because I was the teacher who would get these students, because I was so good with them! Thanks!

The main thing that would bother me is these students have to be pulled from the classroom many times, and we were told that we could not teach anything else when they were gone, because they couldn't miss any of that instruction. I always tried to schedule my special needs pull-out in the mornings when I had 'Daily Oral Language' because I would simply type up what I put on the board, and when they came back they could follow with us as we went over that skill. I always felt badly for the parents, because I couldn't tell them the extent of the problem. Well, now you see why I am reluctant to send S. to this district. Now before you think we live in a bad school district, it actually has high test scores. Teachers bust their asses for this to happen. (We also have a gifted program that is in a self-contained classroom, which certainly helps.) I won't go on about my disdain over these 'tests'. I will only say that I don't like them.

Well, enough about the bad stuff. The good things are that S. likes going to school. He likes riding the bus, and feeling like a big boy. He tells his brother all about kindergarten. It's too cute! He seems to like his teacher, and loves their snack of chocolate milk and graham crackers. I hear all about that!

I'll leave you with a picture of my big boy getting on the bus. Tugs at my heartstrings every time he climbs onto that bus. I have to remember he's a big boy now, and I have to let him go whether I want to or not, and I'd rather not.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nature vs. Nuture?

Last Sunday, S. attended Children's Church, as he usually does, while we were in listening to the service in the sanctuary. After the service was over, we went to collect him. Apparently, they were told to draw a picture. I don't know what the directions for this picture were, but I am thinking his picture was not exactly what they were looking for!

See, I love 'Shark Week' on the Discovery Channel. I always have. Now that my children are old enough to watch it, we watch it together. I did not realize what S. would take from that week. I do now. His picture showed a shark with a smiley face going up to eat a seal that had a sad face on it. Apparently, my son was actually listening to the program! I guess he learned how 'nature' works, and wanted to share it with others. I wish he was like his brother who only wants to wear, watch and talk about sharks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reformed Snob

Our MOPS groups gets a 'little' something for each mom when they have a birthday. I volunteered to do the shopping and, since our budget is lower this year, offered to pay for them. Enter the Dollar Store.

I don't want to seem like a snob, but I haven't gone into a dollar store in decades. I figured things would be made poorly and the like. However, I wanted to buy twenty items and cheap! Well, I found nirvana there.

Not only did I get twenty presents for twenty dollars, but I found other items as well. I was so surprised to find that there were some name brand things in there! Of course, there were items I have not seen since my childhood, but all in all it was a positive experience.

I can't say this will be a store that I will frequent, but now that I know what it sells, I will now go back when I need one of those items. I will no longer be a snob about where I buy things. Okay, I will try not to be a snob about it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Politically Incorrect

S. and Tot have this thing where they squeeze each others noses and say 'Honk, Honk.' Yesterday, S. said to Tot,"Let's do our honkies." It took every fiber of my being not to laugh. I don't know what to say to him to get him to stop saying that. After all, he'll be starting school next week, and I don't think saying 'honkies' in class is the best way to start the year! Plus, can you imagine what his teacher would think about his home life? Hey, at least we ARE white! Any ideas on how to approach this???

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thankfully, He Wasn't 'The One'

I think every woman has had that special, intense, I can't live without you boyfriend that ends up not being the person you thought he was. It may take weeks, months or hell, even years for some of us, but we eventually find out the truth. And, in most cases, it ain't pretty.

I met my 'special guy' during my freshman year of high school. In the beginning of the year, I found him annoying, but by the end I was 'in love'. Jason was a popular football player, who hated my old boyfriend, another football player. We bonded over our hate for him, and later discovered that we liked each other quite a bit. That was the beginning of a three year, on again off again relationship that did not end well at all. AT ALL.

Jason spoiled me. His family had more money than mine. I had to use my babysitting money if I wanted to buy a hot lunch at school. Jason took care of that. He gave me lunch money. He would also give me my favorite candies and flowers in my locker. He treated me as if I was the most important person in his life, and in some ways I believe I was. He was also possessive, and as a teenage girl I thought that proved he loved me. When this one guy, Rick, would hit on me in Math class, Jason would literally go into the classroom to ask him what his problem was. He did this more than once. When Rick stood at my locker one day, and apparently put his hands close to my butt, Jason saw. A few hours later he beat Rick up pretty badly. No one does that to HIS girlfriend. He got suspended for that one. At my brother's graduation party that spring I had a wine cooler, my mom knew, and he freaked about the alcohol on my breath. I didn't find out for two years that his mother was a rabid alcoholic.

The end of the school year came too soon. My family and I were moving an hour away to be closer to my dad's new job. I couldn't imagine leaving Jason! My parents, though, could not stand him. I think they were happy to, what they thought would be, see the last of him. A few weeks before we moved, some things happened, and my mom told me I had to stop seeing him. You see where this is going, right? That made me want to see him more.

I hated this new town; I'll call it small town. It was so small, and there seriously was nothing to do. All these people did was have sex and drink. There was nothing else to do. I hated this place, because I wanted more. I saw Jason secretly during the summer whenever we would go back to, what I termed, civilization. I even drove with my friend and her boyfriend back to civilization while my parents were on vacation and my brother was watching me. No one in my family knows this even to this day.

We continued to talk, and I found out he had sex with this girl because, as he coined it, she reminded him of me. Yeah. And I still loved him. Stupid, stupid me. Finally, we decided to take a break. Even though I loved him, it was making me depressed whenever we talked. During the next year, I still loved him, but I started dating other people as did he apparently. We talked a bit during our junior year, and both said the song 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn' by Poison, best described how we felt. Whenever we talked, we would continue to say we loved each other, and after high school we were going to see each other no matter what my parents said. I couldn't wait!

The end of that summer, the guy I had gone out with for nearly a year, broke up with me. He was going back to Southern Illinois University and, get this, decided that not seeing each often enough made it hard to sustain a relationship. We did remain friends. He was a nice guy.

After that happened, I wrote to Jason, and we started back up again. This time with my mother's knowledge. My family had to go back to civilization twice, and we got together. No, my parents didn't know. Despite my mom being okay with us talking, seeing each other was a different thing all together. When I rang the doorbell at his house, he picked me up and twirled me around as he always did. It had been over a year since we had actually seen each other, but it felt like it had been no time at all. When I had to leave, he cried. As I wiped a tear that was falling down his face, I thought there would never be anyone I could love this much. I looked forward to the summer after our senior year when we would start our lives together.

Well, things happen as they always do. Those things made me realize Jason wasn't all that I thought he was. The last time I called, his mom gave him the phone and he hung it up. Yep. I could not believe he did that! My feelings alternated between being sad and angry.

I dated again, and eventually fell in love with someone else. I made new friends through this relationship, and had a lot of fun. But the feelings for Jason, both anger and love, didn't go away.

Then the thing I never thought would happen did. My family was moving back to civilization. This time I didn't want to go. I was in small town's junior college with all of my friends and current boyfriend, and I finally was happy. How ironic was that? I had wanted to go back for four years, and now I didn't want to leave small town. Well, move we did, and this time my then boyfriend and I stayed together since, unlike Jason and I when I moved, we were both old enough that we had cars and all.

That winter I started attending civilization's junior college. My first day I ran into his sister, AND she is FIVE years older than me. I never would have expected to see HER. She apparently went home and told Jason that I was back. He didn't believe her, and called my old number in small town. Of course, it was disconnected.

After that, I told myself I needed to find out if he was going to civilization's junior college too. Of course, that wasn't why I was calling him, but I lied to myself about that one. I called him up, and we talked and I found out he had just started that semester. Lucky me! We agreed that he would meet me at my philosophy classroom the next week, and he did. He wanted to find out whatever happened to me after he hung up the phone on me that fateful day. Asshole! I was only a phone call away if he had truly wanted to talk to me. Unfortunately, I was still under his spell and decided I wanted to see him too. After all that he had done to me. I can see now how stupid I was being, and I knew I should tell him I never wanted to see him again after all that had happened, but the truth was I did want to see him.

The next week came, and I walked into the classroom where Jason was waiting for me. He immediately picked me up and twirled me around as he always had. He acted as though nothing had happened two short years ago. I was both pissed off and flattered that apparently he was 'still in love with me.' For a long time, he would meet me at my classroom every Tuesday and Thursday. Then he turned back into the asshole Jason I had known so well over the course of the last two years. He told me I wore too much make up, and he didn't like my blond hair. I was going to eventually dye my hair back to brown because I wasn't liking it so much anymore, but I dyed it brown soon after he said that. From everything that he said I finally determined that he wanted the old me back. The one that was 15 and wore very little make up. The naive', fun girl. I think he would have been happy with even my 17-year old self, but the 20-year old me? The independent me? Nope. Soon after that he told me it was my turn to come to his classroom to see him. The classroom was right down the hall from mine, so it wasn't like a huge deal for him to come to mine. Of course, one time I did. He wasn't there, and I never did that again. He was still in my dreams, and I knew it was stupid to even be thinking about him, particularly after the terrible things that he had done to me. Why was it so hard for me to de-tangle myself from this creep? History? I don't know.

I didn't see him again until that summer when was my and my gorgeous (that's another story) boyfriend's waiter. Uh-huh. Can you say uncomfortable. After that, I didn't see him until Hubster and I went to a long time friend's wedding. We walked into the church, and there he was. And I started shaking. I knew that after the church I would be spending the evening with him at the reception. Just knowing he would be there made me nauseous. Bring on the anxiety! Be there he was. Now I never dance by myself. With friends or Hubby, yes, but by myself no. When I heard the song ***'I Will Survive' by Gloria Gaynor, I got my ass on the dance floor. And I sang that song to him. And I looked right at him. Later that night, there was a slow song, and we all got onto the dance floor. Jason danced right next to me with his girlfriend. Seeing as how Hubby and I had just got engaged, I put my hand on Hubby so Jason could see my beautiful ring, and know that I was getting married to someone other than him. That felt good!

That was the last time I saw him until this weekend, which was odd, because I have had to drive by his parent's house every day for two years when I drove S. to preschool. Anyway, Hubby was driving and the two kids were in their car seats. I immediately spotted him as we drove by. I stopped talking, and Hubster knew something was up. The good thing is that Jason has a shaved head, and it looks awful. Hubby says that men do that when they're balding. Ha!

The past crept in my head, but this time it wasn't for long. Hubby reminded me of who I am now, and how much we have together. How wonderful a life we have. I knew I could never have had that with Jason. So, I guess when it's all said and done, things worked out in my life much better than they could have if Jason and I had stayed together. I love my family;I am truly blessed with good friends as well. I know I will never forget that time of my life. How could I? I guess the good thing that came out of it is that I found out how strong I am. You know, after someone has broken up with you, when people tell you how you are better off without him? Or it's loss? I believe it is. I really do. Finally.

***'I will Survive', by Gloria Gaynor
At first I was afraid,
I was petrified,
kept thinking I could never live without you by my side,
but then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong,
and I grew strong,
and I learned how to get along!
As so you're back, from outer space,
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face,
I should've changed that stupid lock
I should've made you leave your key,
if I had known for just one second,
you'd be back to bother me.
Oh now go,
walk out the door,
just turn around now,
cause you're not welcome anymore,
weren't you the one who tried to break me with good-bye,
you'd think I'd crumble,
you'd think I'd lay down and die!
Oh no not I,
I will survive,
Oh as long as I know how to love I know I'll stay alive,
I've got all my life to live,
I've got all my love to give
I'll survive, I will survive!
It took all the strength I had not to fall apart,
just trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart,
and I spent oh so many nights just feelin' sorry for myself,
I used to cry,
but now I hold my head up high,
and you see me,
somebody new,
I'm not that chained up little person still in love with you,
and so you felt like dropping in,
and just expect me to be free,
but now I'm saving all my loving for someone who's loving me.
Oh, now go,
walk out the door,
just turn around now,
cause you're not welcome anymore,
weren't you the one who tried to break me with good-bye,
you'd think I'd crumble,
you'd think I'd lay down and die!
Oh no not I,
I will survive,
Oh as long as I know how to love I know I'm still alive,
I've got all my life to live,
I've got all my love to give
I'll survive, I will survive!...........

Friday, August 01, 2008

Falling Down; Not Just For Kids

This week, I fell. I fell hard. Down the stairs. What was I doing? Running upstairs to get Tot's shoes so we wouldn't be late for Summer Camp. It seems that I always am running late! This week, I made sure I was up and ready to go earlier than I needed to be!
Anyway, I slipped on the stairs. I admit that I was running. Down I went with a thump. It was one of those moments where I thought I could catch my footing, but soon realized it was beyond my control. I slid on my left side all the way down the stairs. Not only did I feel stupid, but I sustained injuries. They still hurt almost a week later. I took some pictures. They are blurry, but you can the idea.
This is the black and black-and-blue carpet-burn that I sustained on the way down. This is also the bruise that caused people to ask what in the world happened to me. Imagine parent-tot swim. It's bad enough to have to wear a bathing suit without this little number! And for all of you who have looked at those waterproof sport band-aids. They don't work. Even when you put two on, they don't keep the water out. Let me tell you what chlorine inside my wound felt like!

My elbow which sustained the same injury. Not a good picture, but I tried.

My pinky toe was not to be spared. Half of it fell off. I didn't realize this until I went to drive. I had to go, because I didn't want S. to be late. So I went with an elbow bleeding, and half a nail. Ah...what mothers do for their children.

I will say my boys were awesome. They immediately ran to the bottom of the stairs to see how I was doing. Now S., being a numbers man and all, told me that I started to fall from the second step. Good to know, S. That kid surprises me everyday! Anyway, they both hugged me, and we went on our way. Oh, when I was on the bottom of the stairs, I said to them,"What did we learn here?" Their faces were blank. I told them, "This is why we never run in the house!" Hey, the experts say that actions speak louder than words, so we should show our kids. And that I did.

Of Computer and Maybe Blogger

First off, I have not been able to read most of the blogs from blogger for, of, about two weeks. Either it's my computer or blogger itself that is the main culprit, but either way I can't pull them up. When I try to a lovely Do you wish to continue, or something, comes up on the blog I am reading, and I always hit the 'yes' button, but it doesn't budge. I then have to log off the entirely, and then the computer shuts down entirely. It is really pissing me off! So if I haven't e-mailed you lately, please don't take it personally.