Monday, November 28, 2005

Today is going better. I kept Katie home from school b/c I felt she needed one more day to get feeling really good before I let her back into the classroom setting. She is doing well today -- she ate a whole grilled cheese sandwich for lunch -- a vast improvement over not eating anything for 3 days. I ran all of my errands this morning -- and now I have this messy house to clean up. I really wonder how people do it -- with both of us working full time and me carting the girls all over I am often left to wonder when I am supposed to get anything done. Mondays are typically my day off -- so I am enjoying that. We are getting crazy at work and there is a lot of stuff going on with people changing positions and stuff that has got my head spinning. As much as I love the holidays, I will be glad for the calm down of January. Well I had better get to the baskets of folded laundry that are staring at me wanting to be put away :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What a week -- I had good intentions of blogging -but to no avail. Mary came down with the stomach flu on Monday night complete with vomiting, etc. -- and was basically lethargic and non-mobile all day Tuesday. I put in 40 hours at work, and then last night I was at the emergency room with Katie who has a double ear infection -- and she is not doing well. She was running a 103 temp and was basically lethargic and cranky -- definitely not good. She has those numbing ear drops now, which seem to be helping and they put her on an antibiotic. If I could get some sleep we would be in good shape.

Thanksgiving was good -- pretty laid back and uneventful - just the way we like it.

I also had the grandson of a good friend of mine die over last weekend which was really hard. He was born a few weeks early -- they induced the labor because they saw a spot of blood on his brain and they didn't think a vaginal delivery would be a good option. When he was delivered they ran a bunch of tests and determined that it was a brain tumor that was rapidly growing. They rushed him to the hospital at the University of Michigan, but he slipped away the next day. So that situation has been weighty on my mind as well. It's been quite a week. I have an 8 hour shift tonight --- crazy. I hope to write more often this week.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Where does the time go? Is Thanksgiving really this week? Hard to believe. Things here are crazy. I am working a ton (which is not a new development) and there has been a lot of 'drama' at my Kohls recently. Not sure what's causing it -- but it's crazy. Bill's work is just the opposite -- winding down for the winter. The girls are both busy with school. Katie is thriving, making good progress each day. I continue to be really happy with her new aide, Amy - and I am so excited to see her participating in group projects and saying new words. It's so thrilling for us. Mary is preparing for her school Christmas program. We are trying to practice the songs each day. I feel like I will never be caught up with things at home. Thank goodness for my mother who came over on Saturday while I was at work (so my dad could watch the football game with Bill ) and she put away my baskets full of laundry that I had washed and folded but hadn't quite finished up. She even finished my wash. I am blessed by her. She is fabulous! And she knows how desperately I needed the help. I feel like with the 40 hours of work and carting the girls all over town that I can barely get the house picked up, let alone thoroughly cleaned. Plus my ebay has been really busy as of late -- must be the holidays or something, so I have been trying to keep up with that when I get home from Kohls in the wee hours of the morning.

Well, I had better run -- lots to do and never enough time...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I can't believe that I haven't "blogged" since Monday -- it's been a busy week. Katie has a wonderful aide named Amy. She is great! Katie has had an excellent week in school - no class tomorrow -- but she has said "all done" several times, she has colored, participated in craft projects, sat at circle time, and has been great! Bill and I are so thrilled that she is thriving in class.

It snowed here last night -- yowsa! The roads were straight ice on my way home from work. It snowed most of the day today as well. Of course that makes my Mary very happy -- except it was too cold for them to go out at recess (after I made a special trip back to school with her boots and snowpants.) Kohls has a big sale tomorrow and Saturday, too -- and with all of this snow we will be crazy busy!

I'll try to write more tomorrow. No school for either of the kids----

When are Bill and I going to find the time to go see "Goblet of Fire"? It is supposed to be awesome -- can't wait to see it -- it is by far my favorite book of the series.

Monday, November 14, 2005

As if things couldn't get any more crazy, I took Katie to class this morning and her newly hired aide has pneumonia! Yikes. So, there was a sub -- which is fine, I don't want someone with pneumonia coming into my child's classroom -- but it just seems par for the course at this point. Katie had a good day. Her well -child check-up was great -- she was happy and responsive and participated in the check-up which is more than she has ever done before. He wants to see her again in 6 months just to make sure that we are covering all of the bases with her and keeping ourselves from missing anything that would be beneficial to her. She did well in school today, too -- so overall a good day. Both of the girls have school tomorrow -- so I will get about 1 1/2 hours of free time (that is how long Katie is going to class -- we are stretching it out a little at a time) - I think I just want to have a big capuccino and snuggle up in my bed for an hour --- that sounds divine!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Well, I am finished with day 7 of 7 in a row at Kohls. Thank-goodness! I am ready for a break. Katie has had a good weekend. She has her 3 year old well child check-up tomorrow. I'll be interested to see what her pediatrician has to say of her progress. He is a personal friend of ours. In some ways that is a big bonus -- he is easily accessible, but it can also be difficult because I think he doesn't always want to "tell it like it is" --that maybe I can't handle it. I know now that he knows I can deal with it. Hopefully the check-up will go well. She often cries through the whole thing ---- so we'll see.

Friday, November 11, 2005

It's Friday -- I'm slightly calmer. I don't know what we are going to do. I'm pretty sure that we are just going to let things be -- and not try to cause any more commotion. I feel like I need to do something to bring resolution to my heart though. I'm so torn up inside about how I was treated. I tend to personalize things like this -- and I have a hard time separating myself from it. It's a good thing that I work, because when I'm at work I'm able to be "Kohl's Jill" and not "mom Jill" or "Katie's advocate Jill " -- even though I still am those things, I am just able to pull myself apart from them and concentrate on somthing that doesn't take brain power. I know, I am rambling at this point -- I just feel like I'm in crazy mode or something. Well, I have to work in a few hours -- day 5 of 7 -- can it just be done?????

Katie has a cold again - Bill, too --- I have a feeling this is going to be a rough winter for illness.....Yikes!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Well I finally spoke to the Supt. of Schools and he basically told me that it was unfortunate that his secretary had to take my call on Monday morning as she was very emotionally unsettled due to being in the hospital for a week. Basically he told me that he was not going to be repremanding her, or disciplining her in any way and that I need to "move past it". He said that he was busy preparing for the school board meeting during the week she was out and that that was much more important than posting Katie's aide position. Basically he told me that I need to move on and get over it - and that he isn't going to do anything regardless. He said that he heard her side of the conversation because his desk is right next to hers and he was there when I called. He didn't even apologize for her --- nothing - I told him that I felt her response was inappropriate - and that as a parent in this school district I felt he needed to know that her behavior was unacceptable. HE DOESN'T CARE.

Bill and I have decided to proceed with the out of compliance report since it is dated prior to their posting of the job for Katie's aide. I also am considering filing a complaint against the Supt. and his secretary in regards to their unprofessionalism and I would submit this to the school board. I have to explore the options on this one -- more later....
Well believe it or not they have finally hired an aide for Katie and she will start on Monday. It is one of the gals who has subbed a few times in the ECCD classroom. I think it will be fine. I'm just glad that it is resolved.

The supt of schools finally called me back this morning but I wasn't home -- there is something wrong with Nextel around here and my phone is doing all kinds of weird things. I had called their customer support number and after a bunch of trouble shooting they told me it was my phone and I would need to take it in for service. As soon as I get there they tell me it is a problem with Nextel's towers and there is nothing they can do for me. "You're the tenth person to come in in the last 10 minutes with the same problem and it's not your phone! " Great! I hate Nextel right now - they are driving me crazy. I can't make any phone calls, or recieve any phone calls -- I think I'm going to call and request a credit for 100 minutes or something -- this is ridiculous.

If I'm able to talk to the Supt. I'll try to get back on and make a note about it. My house is so trashed - I really need to spend the afternoon cleaning before heading back to Kohl's. Day 4 of 7 in a row - Yee haw!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Well I put a call in yesterday to the Supt of Schools to speak to him about the "conversation" that I had with his secretary - but he has yet to call me back. Maybe that is a good thing b/c it is only today that I have calmed myself down about the whole situation. The aide posting is still not on the website, but I am assured that there will be an aide in the classroom on a permanent basis for Katie on Monday. I'm not sure how I will react if there isn't. I'm also not sure how I will handle it if the the Supt. doesn't call me back today. I have a feeling that he wanted to talk to her first and find out what she thinks happened (which I already know to be different from what actually happened.)

Katie doesn't have school today or the rest of the week --- conferences. I asked Katie if she was getting taller this morning, (b/c her pants are getting shorter) and she looked at me and said, "Yes." How funny -- how happy that makes me. She is starting to answer simple questions. Does she really know that she is getting taller - doubtful, but she answered yes and that's a start. If I get a call from the Supt. I'll post about it -- but I work 3-11:30 tonight so it may be tomorrow before I'm able to update...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Well, I have decided not to file the out of compliance report unless there is no PERMANENT aide for Katie on Monday when school resumes (no school W, Th, F). They assure me there will be. I do, however, still have the issue of the secretary who decided to use me as a stomping mat. I called the supt. of schools today and left a message for him on his voicemail that I would like to speak to him about the "conversation" that I had with his secretary yesterday. I am told that he already has a heads up about this -- hopefully this doesn't become an issue of "she said v. she said" as I have already been told that the secretary claims that I was the one who was out of line. WHO IS SHE KIDDING? I never raised my voice one time -- and I was told to call her by the monitor of the whole county's education program. She's the one that told me I didn't have the right to bother her about it. Give me a break! (Can you tell that I am still a little worked up about this?) I really hope that the supt. decides to call me back sooner than later -- or else I may lose it. I am getting really tired of dealing with this.

Katie did have a great morning in school. Apparently they were having music time (in a semi-circle, sitting on the floor) and Katie decided she wanted to participate, so she pushed the kids aside to make a place for herself to sit! How awesome! She never wants to participate in group activities, let alone taking the initiative to make a spot for herself to sit. The teacher was thrilled. On Monday we are increasing her classtime by 15 minutes. We are trying to get up to 3 hours by the first of the year --- that may be a long shot though...we'll have to see.
Well, it's actually super late on Monday night, but it will show as Tuesday on the post because it's after midnight. What a disaster of a day. The posting wasn't on the website so I called the monitor/advocate first thing this morning. She asked me to call the superintendents office and confirm that the position was or wasn't posted. When I called I spoke to the supt's secretary who proceeded to royally reem me out. She had been in the hospital for 5 days and apparently she is the only person in the entire school district who knows how to post a job (not just to the internet, but simply just to put up a job posting --- unbelievable.) Anyway -- she proceeded to twist everything aroud to the point that I was bawling -- she told me that I was going to have to give her a week to get caught up and then I could find out if the position was posted. She wouldn't even let me get a word in edgewise. I was simply just trying to tell her that we were filing a complaint today and I needed to make sure that the position wasn't posted. After I hund up with her -- and I could hardly speak at this point - I called the monitor back and told her what had happened. At that point we decided we had no choice but to file the out of compliance and I made sure to include an entire paragraph on how rudely I was treated by the supt's secretary and how Bill and I have done nothing wrong - and how upset I was that she tried to twist this back on me. If the Special Ed. Sup. had posted the position when he was supposed to, it would have been done before the secretary went into the hospital and none of this would have been an issue. What a nightmare. I faxed over the official complaint this afternoon. I'm not completely sure what will happen now, but the good news is that the position has been posted and he has already interviewed two interested individuals, both of whom have a background with autisic children, so that is a huge bonus. Hopefully I will have some info on the progress of the out of compliance complaint later on Tuesday.....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Well its Sunday, and I guess I'll be filing a complaint in the morning that the school district is out of compliance seeing as the posting for the aide is still not on the school district website. I really didn't want it to progress to this point. I had hoped that the "word of warning" from the advocate/monitor would be enough to prompt action, but apparently not.

It has been a pretty good weekend. Everyone is finally healthy, even though the weather this weekend has been yucky. I couldn't believe how hard it was raining this morning when we woke up. (And how cold it has gotten).

I have today and tomorrow off and then I have 6 days on in a row -- I can tell that I work retail and we are getting ever closer to the holidays. I can't believe we are this close to Thanksgiving already.

I did want to comment, mostly for my own future reference, that Katie has been eating so well as of late. I don't know if I had mentioned it before on this blog, but in general, autistic children, especially toddlers and preschools tend to be horrible eaters -- extremely picky and very finicky. One day they will eat something and the next they will throw it on the floor with no explanation as to why. Katie has always been a good "drinker", but solids are another story. She usually will only eat crunchy foods (like chips and pretzels), and her new favorite - OREO's, but yesterday she ate 6 chicken nuggets, and a bunch of fries (made at home, not McDonalds) for lunch, and then tonight she ate about that many chicken nuggets again. I think she has finally realized how hungry she actually is. She is growing, too. She has been wearing the same size clothes for almost a year now, but I can see it in her legs that she is getting taller and finally starting to grow -- that is exciting for me.

Well, I'm sure I'll have more tomorrow on the whole "out of compliance" issue.... Goodnight.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Well, it's Friday, November 4 and once again, Katie's aide position is still not posted. I called the monitor for the county and told her I wanted to begin the process of filing a formal complaint for being out of compliance with the IEP. She called the Special Ed Supt and told him that if the position wasn't posted by the end of the day today, we would be filing a complaint first thing on Monday am - and if they don't have an aide hired by next Friday and in the classroom on the following Monday, we will be filing a complaint. She is awesome --- I'm so pleased to have such a great advocate. As of this time tonight, the position is not posted on the school webpage, so it looks as though I'll be filing a complaint Monday Morning. This isn't really how I wanted things to shake down, but I feel as though we are running out of options.

School was good for Katie today. She loves it a lot. I found out that her new thing is trying to climb into the sand table. We have quite a large sand box in the back yard, and she doesn't seem to be able to figure out that the sand table isn't a sandbox, and you can't sit in it, or at least you shouldn't. So now they put sand in a dishpan and let her sit in that. It's pretty funny!

I worked tonite..and I'm tired. I'm feeling much better, but I'm still coughing a little.. not a lot of fun. But I have Sunday and Monday off before 5 days in a row, so that should help knock the cough out for good.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Anyone care to guess what today is? November 3rd and we are now 3 days out of compliance on Katie's IEP. I am starting to lose my grip on this one. Bill and I have decided to file a formal complaint against the school district for being out of compliance with the IEP. I really didn't want to have to go down this road, but unfortunately we feel like we have no other options left. I was able to speak with a wonderful parent who is also in my school district - who has two autistic children ( I can't even imagine) and who encouraged me to continue to be Katie's best advocate by pursuing this further with a formal complaint. She feels, as do I, that by filing a formal complaint, they will quickly resolve the situation by posting the aide position, so that they will again be in compliance with Katie's IEP. I called the special ed supt. again today, and again received no return phone call --- so this is where we are.

On a lighter note, Katie said "Please" today when they asked her if they could button up her OT vest (a weighted vest that she often wears during therapy). How exciting. It is great to finally see her use purposeful speech at the age of 3.

I don't have to work today, and I actually caught a nap this afternoon while Katie was napping --so from that aspect it has been a great day.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

It's NOVEMBER 2 and the school still has not posted the aide position yet. The aide was supposed to have been hired and in place by yesterday. I'm getting really frustrated. Katie was in class this morning and she actually said, "Hi, Jen" to one of her teachers in the hallway. It was awesome. It just shows me how important it is for her to be in class every day. She is doing so well -- and really showing daily improvements...but it bothers me that I have to fight just to get her IEP implemented.

I worked til 12:30 last night, and tonight again, too. I just bought some yummy French Vanilla Cappuccino at the store...I'll have to brew a gallon of it this afternoon to keep me going...but the good news is that I have tomorrow off. Hopefully I'll have some good news about Katie's aide today...I'm going to call the supt. right now!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Well it's Tuesday, NOVEMBER 1st, and Katie's IEP is supposed to be effective today. She did go to class this morning (and loved it) and there was a sub there, who seemed to be perfectly fine... and let me state that I have no problem with a substitute aide, my problem is that they were supposed to have a "permanent" person in place by today, and they don't. Katie said "all done" today and was really happy all morning. I'm so excited that she continues to excel in that environment. If they don't have a permanent fixture in place by next Monday I am going to have to see what our options are.

And, by the way, I didn't punch out of work til 2:20 AM last night, or should I say this morning, so I am once again wiped out. Plus, good 'ole Kohls is open until Midnight I should be good and tired tomorrow, too when I have to get up to take katie to school....thank goodness for coffee, b/c I am going to be living on it!!!!