Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Special education, IEPs, and the school from hell

Matty has always had great teachers.  Excellent teachers that still are interested in hearing from/about him.  I guess we got lucky because the first six years worth of teachers  (k-5) from our district were amazing.  He moved to a new school in the same district this year because 6th grade is only offered at that school in our district.  This year, this school?  Not so great.  Not. At. All. 

As in his special ed teacher went out on sick leave the fourth day of school and Matty has had a substitute teacher for the last 4.5 weeks of school.  As in his math grade is 36.  As in the email response from his "teacher" when I asked about the missing grades and his overall poor average in math was "his grades was when up a lot, and the papers that he done they are now in the system".  True story.  No capitalization.  No punctuation (to speak of).  No grammar. 

Never have I ever had to contact his school and demand ever so politely to have his teacher replaced.  Don't get me wrong.  We are involved very much with his school.  There has yet to be one week that I have not had to email the school about something.  I've already met with the Vice-Principal AND had an IEP meeting.  I've sent six emails in two days and spoke on the phone to the Special Education Coordinator just in this week alone.  INSANE.  Absolutely ridiculous.  Reason number five million, two-hundred and twenty-five why I need to work from home.  I focus on Matty and his school way more than I should and still allow my employer in good conscious continue to pay me for a full day's pay.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Where to start when things are out of countrol.

I pinned this a couple of months ago on pinterest for the day that I would need it.  That day is here or rather it came last week and we are still trying to dig out of the rubble.  I took the advice of Jessica from Life as a Mom blog and tried to focus on two things: food and laundry.  I planned out the food, went grocery shopping and have been following the schedule ever since (one whole day, whooo hoooo!)  Mellie does the laundry around here and even though she had brought home work from the office, she was still able to knock out a few loads over the weekend.  There were clean towels when I showered today.  Clean underwear when I was getting dressed and the only reason I couldn't find anything to wear is because I am over every. single. thing. in my closet, not because there were not clean clothes in the closet to begin with. 

As I blog this evening, dinner is finished, the dishes are done, and I would be in the kitchen right now making the chicken salad for lunch if I was not locked into a bitter battle with Matty over his homework.  And by homework I mean classwork that he didn't finish up last week and didn't bring home this weekend and now must finish tonight.  Holy crap being a parent is fun.  FREAKIN AWESOME (but not so much at the moment).   So he is in there searching the atlas for the Sahara Desert and I am in here trying to ignore him and let him live through his natural consequences.  Who said being a laid back parent was easy?  It's actually much, much harder than riding him every second and making him do every last thing.

PS - the wonderful sounding crockpot steel cut oats from last night? Yeah.  I awoke to the fantastic smell of burnt crockpot steel cut oats this morning.  That was fun cleaning up.  Tonight I made Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal.  That sits overnight in the fridge, so we'll see.  At least it won't be burnt. 

I just realized that I didn't get tomorrow night's dinner in the crockpot (Crockpot Honey Apple Pork Loin).  A mother's work is never done (except apparently if you are Mellie and come home to a cooked meal and then sit in your chair with your face in your phone all night).  I would do this all so willingly if I didn't have to go work eight hours somewhere else too!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Planning to Eat

Plans.  It's the only way for me to get anything done.  Meal planning has always been an issue.  When it works, it works really well.  When the plans fail or I fail to plan, we eat takeout.  A lot.  That leads to lethargy and moodiness, which leads to an unhappy family. 

The problem is, meal planning can be a pain in the ass.  It's labor intensive and I've never found a way that works for our family.  Until now.  I found this site, plantoeat.com.  It uses your recipes and you can easily add recipes from the web.  You enter the recipes one time, and have access to them forever.  You can drag them to a calendar and a shopping list will automatically be created. 

Shopping with the list was amazing.  I was in and out in 45 minutes and came in under budget.  I only bought one impulse purchase and it was sprouted sour dough bread, so I feel ok about that. 

Breakfast is Slow Cooker Banana and Coconut Milk Steel Cut Oats

Lunch is leftovers from tonight's dinner, Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Breast, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.  Matty won't eat asparagus, so he had apple sauce with the chicken and potatoes.

Dinner is Crock Pot Beer Chicken

Today I also made Chicken Stew with Kale and Cannellini Beans and Cardamom Pistachio Quick Bread.   Took some stew to a friend who just lost her mom and giving some to my parents tomorrow.  They are down with some kind of viral upper-respiratory bug.  The stew has six cups of the most gelatinous chicken stock you ever saw, all home made and full of the good stuff.  Hoping it will provide nourishment and calming healing to each of them.   I haven't tasted the bread yet, but will report back.

So, planning to plan meals?  CHECK!  Keeping up with that and making it a habit?  TO BE DETERMINED.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Is it the journey or the destination?

My life is crazy.  It's all react, react, react and I'm over it. I want to live with more intention and purpose. 

I'm not a big planner.  More acurately, I'm not good at following through.  The thing is, I have this dream.  Really, an honest to goodness dream.  I'm not a dreamer.  I'm the girl who didn't waste time imagining her wedding dress, wedding, or husband.  I didn't know what I wanted to be when I "grew up".  Fast forward a few years and here I am, a married chick with a kid, a dog, and a house that I own.  And a job.  A responsible job that pays well and offers even better benefits.   Ah, but all is not as vanilla as it seems.

We're actually a round family trying to find our way in a square world.  My spouse is my wife, Mellie (Mel).  We're not married since that's illegal.  We have been together for fourteen years.  We finally had a committment ceremony last year on a lesbian cruise.  Just the two  us (and about 100 other lesbian couples).  The kid?  The awesome kid that we have?  Not conceived from or carried in either of our bodies.  His name is Mathew (Matty) and he is the son of my brother.  We've had him since he was 1.  He's 11 now and is on the Autism spectrum.  The dog is yellow lab named Jackson.  He is the one planned member of our family.  Everyone else just came together from circumstance but sometimes that is the best way, or at least for us. 

The house is in Delaware.  Just a simple, new construction house with a little back yard, but I've got plans for that barren back yard.  I've got plans for our whole lives IF I can quit my job and make them a reality.  Actually, it's the quitting of the job that is my goal.  On the first Monday that I would have been at work but instead get to take my kid to school and come home and make my house a home, I will consider that goal met.  

The biggest threat to this plan is me and my own BS.  If I put too much into this too soon, I will burn out and never meet my goal.  That's just the way I am was.  So I'm going to try to make monthly and weeky goals in order to meet the big goal in the sky.  Think I can pull it off?  Stick around and find out.