Thursday, December 31, 2009

The year is over, what did I waste it on?

Well here we are at the end of another year. It was a good year, I was productive, the kiddo matured and learned things so I suppose I will call it a success.

Highlights of the year in no particular order:

We laughed a lot! We laughed at movies, each other and the great sense of humor and crack up things Maddy says.

Bruiser has firmly taken charge of the house and we are all better for it.

This year I made more time for friends and fun. Lunches out and spending time with friends is always a priority now. I hope to do it even more next year.

Maddy has really come a long way. She is more confident, she has matured, and she found a friend. I can honestly say that Maddy has better peer groups, more positive activities, and real friendships. This is not something she had in public school.

I went to Vegas twice! Once with the husband and once with my Mom. Both trips were great. I really hope that the hubby and I can spend more time away just the two of us.

Hanging in our computer room is a movie poster with the hubby's name on it. Movie not released yet, but another step closer to his goal. Progress was made this year and soon all his hard work should pay off.

I am able to stay at home and we don't have to eat mac and cheese and beans and rice for dinner every night. This was a good year for us and I think that 2010 will be an even better one.

Happy New Years to all!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sleep over

Tonight Maddy has one of her friends sleeping over. I am always so pleased when this happens. When you have a special needs kiddo/teenager it is hard to find a good peer group for them. It is difficult to find some one who is close in ability, with the same likes. Someone who enjoys Maddy for who she is and not someone thy put up with her because they feel they should.

Maddy now has a friend who is a true friend. They text, they giggle, they are so happy to see each other. It makes me all warm and fuzzy to know that for tonight Maddy and her friend can be themselves and have way too much fun.

Friday, December 18, 2009

This week at the Davidson House

Last Saturday was The Group Christmas party and fun was had by all. As always lots of laughter and catching up on the previous year or 20. My Dad came this year and was able to see friends he had not seen in more years than any of us want to count. We took generation pictures of the attendees and it is pretty cool to have 3 generations of The Group. We have a summer party planned so I can't wait to see everyone again.

Maddy has really started to ask specific questions about sex and about how things actually work. Found some good stuff online that I printed off, but the hunt is now on for a good book to let her have. I don't think it has crossed her mind to look stuff up by herself online and I sure hope to keep it that way.

I started back on the two projects I have been putting off for a while now. When we did the computer switch-er-roo I lost over a thousand pictures and the Letter of Intent I had almost finished. The pictures were recovered but are now a jumbled mess and no longer in order by year, event, families, etc. I almost have them all back in general event files and then I will get them all in the correct year folders.

For the Letter of Intent I have found most of my handwritten notes that will help with all the chronological order work I had done. My goal is to have both of these things done by the end of the year. I know I can do it!!

This morning I had breakfast with one of my favorite people in the whole world. She is one of those people that by just being around her I feel better about the whole world. She still teaches so we make sure that the last Friday of every semester we have breakfast before school. The times I am with her or the other wacky World History Crew members it makes me miss teaching, but I know that what I am doing is the most important thing in the world. Words can not express how thankful I am to be able to make a different in Madeline's life.

Sunday Maddy is supposed to start Special Olympics Basketball. She has always liked to shoot hoops, so I hope this is a wonderful, fun, positive experience for her. Thank goodness practice is after church on Sundays so it saves me from another trip to The Woodlands.

Hope every had a great week and has the best Christmas ever!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Changes in Christmas

This year no gifts will be put out from Santa. All the presents are under the tree. A couple of years ago when we put Santa to rest, she still wanted to have presents put out. She also is very quick to tell people that Santa does not come to her house, Mrs. Claus is the one who takes care of her Christmas.

While I was getting everything ready this year I asked about the leaving things out or just having everything under the tree and she agreed that all under the tree would work for her. When you have a special needs kiddo you usually get to hold on to child-like traditions a bit longer, but it is time to move past them and continue with helping her mature.

The years of staying up late to put out Christmas were fun, but I am looking forward to a more adult Christmas this year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Maddy Conversations

Yesterday when Maddy and I were out and about I happened to see a Ford Edge. I told her that my Mom was buying one and would be picking it up next week. My Mom is not a very tall person. (Let the record show I did not call my Mother short!) As we were walking by the Ford Edge Maddy asked me "Will Banma be able to get in out of this car ok? Or will it be to tall for her?"

This morning we were in the car running errands and the Lady Gaga song Paparazzi was on the radio. Maddy asked me what Paparazzi meant and so we started talking about how they take pictures of celebrities and that sometimes they can go to far. We then discussed that when you become famous you are inviting people into your life and you have to understand that privacy is something you are giving up. After a few minutes she looked at me and told me she was happy to be a "Normie". Because when you are a "Normie" no one cares what you look like when you are food shopping.

She then went on to tell me all about the Family Guy episode that was on last night. She loves Family Guy and I am thankful that a lot of the jokes go over her head as they show can at times be downright crude. For those not familiar with Family Guy I am including a scene that both Maddy and the hubby find to be hysterical.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Help from readers

I have a question that bothers me every year at Christmas time. I have looked it up before and the answers I can find do not satisfy me.

Why is "My Favorite Things" played as a Christmas song? In the movie, it is during a summer thunderstorm to help calm the children. There is one line about packages tied up with strings. How does this qualify as Christmas?

The one explanation I have found is that the sounds conjure up winter images. I don't buy it! Anyone have any other ideas why they play it at Christmas?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Party this Saturday

This Saturday I will be having a party at my house. While parties during the holidays are not unusual this is a pretty cool party to have. This party has been around for about 40 years or more.

When my parents were in college they had/made friends with 3 other couples. Throughout the years I spend many a day with them and their families. We are just called The Group. That seemed the best way to describe it, however, Gang of Random Spontaneous Fun would probably be a better description. When I was growing up there were parties for any occasion that we could find an excuse to get together. There was the Christmas party every year and their was also the dreaded 40th birthday party. I will have to do a whole post on the 40th parties!

As the years passed people moved, babies were born, spouses have changed, but once a year we all stop and gather to remember the good ole days and share what has happened in our lives over the past year. The party rotates between houses and my generation has also taken over part of the rotation as well.

This Saturday when about 20 people come to my house ranging in ages from 2.5 and up (people older than me, but not old!). My house will become their house and we will spend the afternoon and evening laughing, sharing and wishing we did this more than once a year.

It is my hope that everyone has a party like this in their lives. If you don't then you should start one!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My new favorite website

I love this site and the comments. I have actually thought about digging up some old photos that would definitely belong here.

Awkward Family Photos


Friday, December 4, 2009

The sky is falling!!

Help!! What is this white stuff that is falling from the sky? Hope to share some fun snow photo's soon.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Maddy and Christmas Cards

Yesterday I had Maddy write the inside message of Christmas cards. I like for her to do the things I love about the holidays. I am sure that is does not mean as much to her as it does me.

If you would like for Maddy to send you a Christmas card toss me an e-mail with your name and address and you can own a one of a kind Maddy Christmas card. Please know that her hand writing is legible but far from perfect. This could be a fun way for her to practice. If you want a special note written or for her to write about a specific topic just include that in your e-mail.

If you would like to send Maddy a Christmas card or perhaps a gift contact me via e-mail as well. I know she would LOVE to get cards in the mail from people who are interested in her.

Can't wait to hear from peeps contact me at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cheese and Ranch Dressing

Cheese and Ranch Dressing make everything better. So does chocolate. I can't have any of them and so far I am still alive. The doctor wants to see if I might be lactose intolerant. I had NO idea that everything has freaking milk in it.

In the morning I consume massive amount of half n half with my coffee and I have learned to switch to Non-Dairy Creamer so coffee in the morning has been saved. I am still waiting for Fabio to show up at my door since I bought some I Can't Believe it's not Butter yesterday.

So far so good on the no dairy products and last week I lost 3 pounds, but I have to admit I miss cheese! One of my great easy dinners here at the house was Chicken Parmesan so for now I will have chicken and watch the family enjoy the good stuff.

In the mean time I get to enjoy foods I have not had in ages, like a wonderful rye bread I found. YUMMY!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Car Conversations

Maddy and I spend a lot of time in the car and this is when most of our conversations take place. She will often make a statement and I challenge her to provide proof. The following conversation took place last week.

Maddy: I know every line in the movie Twilight. You know I saw it 25 times right? Especially the scene in the cafeteria.

Me: Ok, what did Edward say to Bella the first time the ran in the woods?

Maddy: I don't know that line.

Me: How about this then, what did Bella say the first time Edward appeared in her bedroom?

Maddy: MOM!! I don't know that.

Me: What did Edward say to Bella in the cafeteria?

Maddy: He said, "Blah blah blah". (She quoted the line) See I told you I know all the lines!!

Me: Well not really you did not know the first two I asked you.

Maddy: Those scenes did not matter, so they don't count.

I suppose it is all in how you look at things.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Maddy the Great

Sometimes Maddy never ceases to amaze me. She has the secret power to make boys swoon and give her gifts. I never was great at this art so to watch her do it without even really trying is quite amusing.

The first major gifting was when she was in elementary school and she liked a boy named Travis. For Valentines day she just gave him the same boring, crappy Wal-Mart card that every kid got. She came up with a mid-size Lion stuffed animal and candy. She was not bothered at all that she received but did not gift to him.

In Jr. High there was another boy in choir that was most fond of Maddy. He managed to get her name for the Christmas draw and I am pretty sure that she had his name but she never let me know for sure. As we are shopping for the choir gift exchange she was insistent that the boy she had to give a gift to loved the candy Nerds. I tried to buy a whole bag of Nerds and she firmly said that it was too much money. I tried to buy a giant box and she still said no, so we finally agreed on a couple of boxes of a few flavors. It was during the holidays and even though I should have known better, I bought them, put them in a nice gift bag and sent her off to school. She came home that day with a huge teddy bear and a gift bag full of candy. When I asked about the difference in gifts she merely stated that he liked Nerds, she gave him Nerds so everyone was happy.

This week Maddy and I are on the way home from the Social Skill class I teach at the church. The boy who is now attempting to court Maddy is also in the class. Out of the blue while we are driving home Maddy says "that sure was nice of him to give me this". I look down and she has his ring on. I had been keeping an eye on them during class, but somehow when class was over and I was picking things up he managed to give her his ring to wear.

I should note that this ability is not just exclusive to just males. She seems to receive gifts from just about everyone who meets her. Just last week she was mailed a gift from her Speech therapist.

The girl is good, maybe I should take some lessons.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You think you had a bad day?

Yesterday I started the day with some worries and then I got caught up in what I call an "I" day. I had to make cookies in the morning, I had to take Maddy to the eye doctor. Then I had to sit in traffic because the appointment took 3 freaking hours. When I got home I had to finishing cleaning then kitchen, then I went out to pick up some dinner because I was not cooking. Then I had sit in traffic again both ways because I had to go to the airport and get my Dad and his girlfriend.

Honestly it was not a bad day, but just one of those days where you focus and all that has to be done and you don't enjoy anything you are doing. Boy did my priorities get re-aligned when I picked up my Dad and Marie at the airport.

They had planned a wonderful two week vacation in Costa Rica. My Dad had been earlier this year and loved it. He and Marie after a cruise discovered that they traveled well together so they immediately started planning this trip.

They flew to San Jose from Houston, yes I had to take them to the airport *snicker*. Once they arrived they were headed out to Tortuga to stay in a bed and breakfast for a few days before heading back to the Pacific side of the island. They had fishing trips planned and lots of exploration excursions.

As they left Tortuga they had chosen the take a long scenic boat ride and then a local bus ride back to civilization. Well they were in the middle of nowhere when an armed man with a shotgun stepped in the middle of the road. As the bus stopped 3 or 4 more appeared from the bushes. They were shooting and yelling in Spanish and since over half of the bus were tourists there was obviously mass panic.

They started going through the bus and taking all the money from the passengers. My Dad only had a dollar in his fanny pack at the time because before they left for Tortuga he was unsuccessfully pick pocketed. So being the sassy pants my Dad is he only put a dollar in there for the rest of the trip. When he opened his fanny pack and gave the man the dollar, the unamused bandit hit my Dad on the head with his pistol and searched him to find the rest of the money. He proceeded to take the cash, but handed my Dad back his credit cards. Marie did not have any money on her only coins and was able to convey to the bandits that her money was in the luggage.

The bandits then slashed up all the luggage and rummaged through it. They took all the cash that people had, they also took random credit cards and passports as well as destroying things by cutting up the luggage. Marie's passport was one that was taken.

Once it was over my Dad said the poor shaken bus driver drove as fast as he could on the awful roads to get to a phone. Then everyone had to wait for hours to file statements and get documentation of what was taken. Evidently the translator they had was not very good at their job either. So they were stuck in Costa Rica in their version of the FBI's office and got to leave with pretty much a "sucks for you" answer to the event. Marie had to pay 100 dollars to get a temporary passport since hers was stolen.

Once back in San Jose they debated on coming on home early and I am amazed that they did not. Dad and Marie said that the worst thing the bandits took from them was their happiness and independence. For the rest of the time they were shaken and pretty much to scared to finish out all the plans they had for the trip.

So when you get caught up in an "I" day or when unexpected speed bumps come along. Take that time to count your blessings!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

When I think too much

Today Maddy has her eye doctor appointment. There was a time when she saw this doctor once a month. He has performed 3 eye surgeries and made a huge difference in the alignment of her eyes. Dr. Mazow is truly a blessing in our lives. We are now and have been down to once a year visits with him. He is on the verge of retirement and only does follow up visits with certain patients and we are lucky enough to be one of the few. There will be a day when he gives us the name of someone else to do the yearly check up.

As much as he has made a difference in our lives, I worry about the appointment today. He will want to dilate her eyes to get the best information possible. I have to be strong and not let Maddy know that I will be worried the whole time. Last time her eyes were dilated she had a seizure later that day. It could have been coincidence or it could have triggered the seizure I don't really know. Last year when we went for the appointment I would not let them dilate her eyes.

This year I have decided that we need to do what the doctor asks so that we can get the best information from the eye exam. If we have a seizure later today we will deal with it, we always do.

Mostly I need to remember to think positive and not dwell on something that happened a few years ago.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The math skills must run in the family

I am not good at math. I am really, really, really bad at math. I know this and I don't even bother pretending anymore that I can maybe do a math problem. This weekend I got a glimpse of Maddy's math skills.

There is a boy in Maddy's church class (well a couple actually) that have become quite fond of her. So depending on the week and who is in attendance at church we have conversations regarding the various boys and their attempts at courting her.

This past week one of the boys declared his love for Maddy. Maddy decided that he would not be good for her because he is 20 and she is just 16. Enjoy the conversation below and the math skills that inherited from her mother.

Maddy: I think he might be too old for me

Me: I agree, he is a very nice boy but 20 is too old for you now

Maddy: If he is 20 now, by the time I am 20 he will probably be like 35 or something!

So if you need any help with math you know where not to come!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What about a diploma?

I get asked by several people regarding Madeline not receiving a diploma from an accredited institution. There are several factors that make this a non issue for me. The first is that we do not expect Maddy to pursue any high learning and feel that her knowing how to live somewhat independently is of much more value.

The state of Texas now says that if any child is in a Co-teach situation they will not be granted admission into a University. Madeline would only be in resource and Co-teach classes. Maddy would be a tough kiddo to place in correct classes because she is too high level for Life Skills, though trust me the school would be happy to place here there, they attempted to do that to us when she moved to Jr. High. She also would have a very difficult time passing classes in a Co-teach environment. This all would lead to frustration by everyone involved and not much learning going on.

To receive a recommended or higher diploma would require Madeline passing TAKS. We know from the Jr. High experience that will not happen. If Madeline were to graduate from public High School she would most likely receive either a Minimum requirements diploma or a Certificate of Attendance depending on what the folks in Austin decide it should be called the year she was up for graduation.

We do not believe that Madeline will attend a Community College or a Trade School, but if she did, then we would do everything possible to make that happen. The reality of the situation is that Madeline will not do those things. The hubby and I have been working very hard to secure her future and her monetary well being with a Special Needs Trust, by planning ahead to retain guardianship, and get her on SSI and Medicare when she turns 21.

Instead of looking at colleges and universities our time is spend on wading through legal paperwork, long waiting lists for assistance and making sure that she will always have good care and health.

Special Education kiddos can attend public High School until they are 21 years of age. They can also receive their diploma via co-op by having a job. That gives the hubby and I 5 years to decide if we think she needs a piece of paper by a school system that would not give her the skills I can.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Laundry Trauma

I have been in charge of laundry in my house since its conception (our house, not laundry). I don't think about the details of what I am washing, it comes to me dirty and I make it clean. To reward this task well done I get more dirty clothes that need to be washed.

After 17 years of laundry, I don't think anything would phase me. I have found all sorts of unique things in the laundry basket or in pockets. The worst is when you don't discover the hidden treasures in the pockets until the the dryer has melted it.

Now that Maddy is learning how to do laundry she see it as our individual clothing that she has to touch. This is very interesting to me and has had some interesting effects on how she and I do laundry together. She has declared that she will be happy to do all laundry, but under no circumstance is she to EVER touch her Dad's underwear. She does like when we are shopping and I buy him new underwear, she has repeatedly told me that certainly I could take care of this when she is not with me.

I am not sure why this is, but in her mind I suppose the worst insult to the Maddy/Daddy relationship would be to see or touch his underwear. I am working hard on her independence and teaching her these skills, but a part of me is just dying to chase her around the house to watch her squeal in horror that she might have to come in contact with male underwear. As of this blog entry I have behaved like an adult and not terrorized my child.

The other day she was helping me load the washer and I was just handing her things and she was tossing them in the washer. I was in "get things done" mode and for a brief moment forgot the Maddy laundry rules. As we are working through the pile of clothes I hear "OMG" and a squeal of horror. Yep, she had touched underwear, and was furiously rubbing her hands on her pants to get of any cooties that might have appeared on her hands. After I could stop laughing long enough to talk, I let her was her hands and that seemed to stop the cootie invasion.

If she ever gets married, lets hope he does the laundry!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Are you sure you want to know?

Now that Maddy is 16 she has decided that she needs and wants to know more about the opposite sex. We were in the car the other day and she decided it was a good time to have a conversation about the "S" word. She told me that she already knows about S E X, but wanted to know more.

I let her lead the conversation with things that she knew, she thought she knew and answered questions that she had. I answered her questions honestly and with as much detail as I thought she needed to know or could handle.

As the conversation continued her body language slowly changed. It went from her looking at me and being fully engaged to her crossing her arms and leaning away from me. When her head hit the window because she just could not get any further from me I decided that we had discussed the topic long enough. I let her know that at any time she could ask me any questions and at any time she could say that she had heard enough.

She quickly informed me that she would have no problem telling me enough was enough.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Literal Life

One of the things that goes with a hubby that writes screenplays is the random script/movie type magazines. This past week we received one in the mail. It was laying on the kitchen counter face down and there was an advertisement for the new Cohen Brothers movie A Serious Man.

The advertisement had the picture above and across the top it said BEST PICTURE.
Maddy is walking past the kitchen counter and the words best picture catch her eye. She picks up the magazine, looks at the picture, looks again and says "Well that is just stupid. Why would anybody think that is a good picture, much less the best picture?".

Once the hubby and I could stop laughing we explained to her what best picture meant in this context.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Typical Day

Maddy and I have a pretty good routine down now and as things are mastered new things move in to take the place. Below is a glimpse into how we spend most of our days. I feel that we should be busy for most if not all of the day. In this house, it is not sit at the table for an hour and BINGO done.

Maddy has to get up by herself with an alarm clock and must be properly dressed for the day. We think this is an important skill for her to have. She must be downstairs and ready for school by 9 in the morning.

We start off with breakfast and depending on her mood and her desire for a certain type of food what to have can be an interesting conversation.

Maddy: Sigh *eye roll* I suppose I have to help make breakfast again?

Me: Yep, what do you want?

Maddy: Hmm..I don't really want to help cook, I guess I will have cereal.

Me: We can make muffins.

Maddy: Yummy, well I suppose I can help make those.

Once the muffins are in the oven I have her get started on the laundry. She is currently learning how to sort between light and dark clothes. As I clean the kitchen I get to answer yes or no to the constant question of "Is this a dark?".

After we eat the muffins and pick up from that she has to wipe the kitchen counters. Now that breakfast is done we can move to the table for actual school work with breaks to move or fold laundry.

Table work will consist of things like making change, I will either give her money word problems to solve and make the change for or she has to make amounts for me. Recently to help with the desire of only using dimes and pennies I have started giving her change and she has to tell me the amount. We occasionally do a little addition, subtraction, and multiplication for good measure as well.

For English she has to read, we are working in 3/4 grade grammar workbook that is great and Maddy has writing prompts each week. Currently science is all about the human body since that is her main interest right now. (Post coming about that soon!). Social studies usually consists of reading maps and geography.

Table work for us depending on how well it is working will usually last about 2 hours give or take. After that we move on to life skills and housework. Maddy has to dry mop the floors twice a week and she also has to clean the blinds and do some other general dusting. We are working up to bigger things like the dishwasher.

Life skills is a fun one. We do things like her showing me how she washes her hair so I can give her tips on how to do it better. She cuts hot dogs to work on her cutting and handling forks and knives. We use the hot dogs to work with Bruiser so they are not wasted. She has to cut and tape things from books or magazine.

Maddy is required to write out the shopping list and helps decide what we will have for dinners during the week. When we go shopping she has to help find things and at times will have to go and find me in the store. We use the self check out and she scans everything while I bag. She is also in charge of paying for the groceries.

We love to have lunch out with friends and we try to do this once every two weeks or so. She gets to interact with people and try new foods and restaurants.

At any given time a "teachable moment" might come up and off on a tangent we go. Those are the really fun days.

On a great and perfect home school day we start 9 and finish about 2:30-3:00.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What a difference 5 minutes makes

That is about how long it takes to totally change my day, my mood and make me exhausted and fretful. Yesterday was one of those days. Yesterday was seizure day at my house. As Maddy grows and changes, her seizures and the after effects change as well. This is how yesterday went for us.

Maddy and I had great plans of conquering the mall. She had birthday money and gift cards and I had Christmas pre-sales to check out. Maddy gets up, takes her pill (Lamictal to prevent seizures) and takes her shower. After her shower she comes rushing into the living room and states that she feels weird. Her key phrases are I don't feel well or I feel weird. Since it had been a while since her last seizure and because I want/need to know things I ask a lot of questions while she can still speak.

I am asking what hurts, what tingles, how do you feel and any other question I can think of. She did make a few attempts to answer my questions and then she reached the snapping point. "MOM, I AM BUSY HAVING A SEIZURE HERE!".

During her seizures she can not speak but she can hear what is being said and can do things like squeeze my hand. This time she could only squeeze with one hand not both, that was a change, but not a big one. After about 4 minutes, this is a guess this time since I could not get to a clock. She could finally speak a little signaling that the seizure is over.

I am convinced that she got a mild migraine after the seizure yesterday. This does not happen very often at all. She complained about her throat (not sure what that was about), loud noises and she wanted it to be cool and dark. With sad and worn out eyes she looked at me and said "I guess the mall is out today?" I assured her that the mall was not going anywhere and that we would get there this week. She moved to my bed and rested for about 20 minutes and then she moved to the couch. After a short stint on the couch she really wanted to be in her room.

It made me crazy as I could not watch over her, but I allowed her to move to her room. She slept until 2:30 in the afternoon. I managed to only check on her about every 45 minutes instead of every 15 like I wanted. Once she woke at 2:30 she was pale but back to normal.

Now we get to move on and will deal with the next one when ever it happens.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Now that Maddy has turned sixteen we are doing things like getting a passport, getting an ID card for her and other coming of age type things. Even though she will never drive, never live on her own, she still needs official identification to ensure that she too can enjoy standing in a long line and dealing with cranky employees. Actually getting the paperwork in for her passport was very easy. We went to the nice post office about 30 minutes from the house, walked in, and had no waiting. The lady was very nice and efficient. Once the passport comes in we will go and get her a Texas ID card.

Maddy and I were talking about getting the ID card and I was explaining to her that it will look like my drivers license but for her it would just be a form of identification. She wanted to know what all you had to do to get a drivers license and as I was going through all the things that had to be done it reminded me of getting my license.

We had a company (I guess?) that came to the school every year and we took drivers education with them during the school day. They had a portable building that housed the driving simulators. It was always fun to see who would get the simulator that was broken for the day. Mostly what I remember about the simulator was it was a fun silly time of the day when you did not have class.

Once you could prove that you could fake drive via the simulator you had to clock in your actual driving hours. My drivers ed teacher was one of the coaches at the school and he he took full advantage of having 3 kids drive him around to get his errands run. We always drove out to check on his cows and many other various errands that needed to be done. Maybe this is why I am so efficient in running errands?

For the written exam that had us all sit in the cafeteria and take the test. If I remember right they even had us exchange papers and grade them for the instructors. Yeah that was a good idea.

When it came time to take my driving exam the parallel parking poles had been stolen a couple of days before. So the person giving me the driving portion of the exam asked me if I knew how to parallel park and when I said yes, they just shrugged and made me drive around the block, back up a few feet and honk the horn. After passing that grueling driving test I had my bright new shiny drivers license.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The problem with good students

Maddy is a good student. Maddy was an excellent student in public school. Maddy did not learn much in public school. Make sense? No? Let me explain.

I was a teacher of both regular education and special education. I did my best to not do what I will describe below. I am sure that once in a while I probably did. Even the best teachers I am sure have fallen into this pattern. A struggling teacher probably will use it to survive.

Maddy loves to do book work and teachers loved her for it. When you have a class full of students both regular and special education you try to find what will work for everyone. The problem is when you have a special needs kid that will sit quietly and do book work you forget to check for understanding and comprehension.

This week Maddy was doing some English worksheets I watched her work while I cleaned the kitchen. She was so quiet and looked so studious. It has taken me over a year but she will now ask me when she is not sure of how to do something or if she needs more instructions. She has learned that I will not pat her on the head and say good job without checking over all her work. She has learned that if I explain how to do something and she decides to do something else she will be required to re-do the work.

These habits were all formed in public school. She would be told to circle things and she would decided she wanted to underline the items. Instead of being told she had not completed the assignment correctly she was told good job, you tried!! In more classes than I care to admit her education consisted of copying key terms. She would be given a list of words and then sit in class and copy the definition from the glossary. Maddy no longer asks me if she can do key terms, she has learned (no pun intended here) that copying from a book is only good for improving handwriting.

Posts like these make be thankful and angry. I am so thankful that I have the ability to do what is right by my child. It makes me angry that the public school system is going in the wrong direction for special needs kiddos. It makes me angry that parents don't care enough to get involved and become a voice for their kids and demand that schools educate and that parents parent.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

House work is hard work

One of the main goals of home schooling Maddy is teaching her how to do real things in life. She is having to help cook and clean. This week I have now added doing laundry to her list of responsibilities.

When the in-laws are not traveling Maddy and her Grandmom talk every day on the phone around 4:00. When it is time to get off the phone often Grandmom will tell Maddy that Pop is hollering for dinner or for something to be cleaned. This had led to Maddy thinking Pop can not do anything for himself and that Grandmom has to do all the cooking and cleaning.

Yesterday when Maddy and I were deciding on breakfast she mumbled about having to help make whatever we were having. As we are making the blueberry muffins I hear her mumbling about Pop and maybe he is right about not cooking. As she is cleaning the counters after she is still mumbling under her breath about how much work cooking is.

Doing the laundry about made Maddy insane. She would think she was about done for the day when the washer or dryer would beep at her. By the end of the day I thought she was going to unplug them. When I reminded her that I have done her laundry for 16 years, she wanted to know why I should not keep doing it.

She has now gone from thinking that instead of Pop being lazy he is smart for not doing all the work.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hello Blog how have you been?

Wow..been a while since I have posted. Nothing earth shattering here just busy. Here is a short recap of what has happened since my last post.

Mark went out to LA for 4 days for meetings at studios. He was busy with meetings and attempting to drive out there. The trip was a success as he felt that he made some good contacts. He even had a meeting on the Warner Brothers studio lot. I call the trip a success just for the coolness factor.

While Mark was gone I went to a store called the Bra Specialist. Now call me crazy, but the name of the store would lead you to believe that they specialize in bra's and proper fitting. The girl was nice enough, but she informed me several times that did not do precise sizing and she was pretty sure of my correct bra size. She disappeared and then re-appeared with some bras and then began to man handle my boobs like I was getting a mammogram. I ended up choosing a bra that looks like it was made by a Russian woman before the cold war ended. I am still getting used to it, but by golly it does provide support!

Maddy turned 16 this past week and it was a nice day but I have to remain focused on the things she can or will do. Not the things she will never do. She had a great birthday and got several things she wanted. Her birthday cost the hubby and I a bloody fortune but you only turn 16 once and the things she wanted were a lot less than a car or car insurance!

This week should be back to a regular routine so I hope to post on a more regular basis.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Forty-seven Cents

One of the big, big things I work with Maddy on is money. This is a must as far as the hubby and I are concerned. When I first started working with her she could not tell you how many quarters in a dollar. She would love it if all money was just one dollar bills, dimes and pennies. A good friend of mine and his wife gave me a large bag of "school" money for Maddy to work with. The bills and coins are the same size and shape of real money. They probably gave us at least $150.00 in bills and change.

I still need to do basic review of money with Maddy once in a while, but we have worked up to money word problems and then she makes the change for me. Some days we just have her give me the amount I ask for. Knowing that she likes to use the bills she is familiar with I slowly work the majority of those bills and coins out of her stash.

Yesterday we were working on making change and I could see that Maddy was getting frustrated pretty quick. She declared that money was stupid and did not understand why I would torture her with this task. After I explained that she could not work at Hot Topic until she could properly make change she did attempt a little more effort.

I asked her to give me $17.47 and after a little eye rolling she started to work on this amount. Looking at her pile of coins and only seeing 3 pennies the following conversation occurred.

Maddy: This can not be done! I can't make the amount you want me to make!!!

Me: Sure you can.

Maddy: NO, I can't I don't have enough pennies!!!!!

Me: Well how many pennies do you need to make seven cents?

Maddy: *Looking at me like I am truly the dumbest person on the planet* I need seven..DUH

Me: Nope, you only need two pennies to make seven cents.

Maddy: Yeah right

Me: Ok, I tell you what, if I show you how you can make seven cents out of two pennies you have to say you are sorry for being a sassy pants.

Maddy: You are on! But..wait..when you are wrong, you have to pay me one real dollar!!

Me: Ok, fair enough

I proceed to show her how to use one nickel and two pennies to make seven cents. Crushed in defeat in her chair she quietly mumbles "I am sorry I was a sassy pants".

Monday, September 21, 2009

More than just a couple of badges

This past Saturday Maddy spent the whole day away from the hubby and I. She has joined a Girl Scout troop that a couple of her Church friends are in. I am excited that she went and earned the badges. I am more excited about the fact that she went and allowed herself to have fun.

Maddy even at almost 16 has separation anxiety. She is afraid she might have a seizure, she might get lost. She is afraid that something will happen and she will not know what to do. Since I have been homeschooling her, I am really working on independence and getting her to step out of her comfort zone. She does not even really feel totally comfortable spending the night with grandparents. However, this has gotten much better.

Maddy is a child that if I say "Oh WOW look at that!!". She will grab on to me like the boogie man is after her before she will chance taking a look. Currently the line of communication with her is that Mom and Dad would never let her get hurt or set her up to fail.

Today was a big first step, she went with friends and had a good time. She made a new friend and was able to ask for help from and adult when needed. It is my goal that next year she go to a 4 day sleep away camp. I think we are moving in the right direction.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dinner with my nephew

I have started having dinner every other week with my nephew. When I was growing up my Aunts were a very big part of my life and I would like to have the same relationship with my nephew. He is a great kiddo and I love the fact that even though he is 15 he does not mind being seen in public with me!

The first time we had dinner as we were leaving the restaurant the person holding the door open for people to leave looked at us and said, "You two behave!". What??? My nephew and I both cracked up laughing. What did this person think we were gonna do? It was both a funny and creepy moment all at the same time.

This past week when we were having dinner (different restaurant) the server kept trying to get us to have margaritas and stay for the band. My nephew is clearly not 21 years old, but that did not seem to deter this server. They were gonna make their alcohol sales for the day, laws be damned.

Wondering what the next few weeks will bring.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I have a friend who is about to have her first baby. They decided that they wanted the sex of the baby to be a surprise. This has thrown Maddy into a frenzy. When I told Maddy my friend was having a baby, she asked the question everyone does. Is it a boy or a girl? When I told her that I did not know, I had to explain that yes, I did understand the difference between a boy and girl. After we got that all cleared up I explained that they wanted the sex of the baby to be a surprise.

When it was time to go buy a gift for the baby, Maddy was most perplexed as to what we could buy that would not damage the baby's ego and self esteem. "Mom, we can't buy anything with pink in it!! It could be a boy!" We finally decided on a nice neutral piece of clothing for the baby.

During lunch where we gave my friend the present Maddy asked a lot of questions regarding why the did not want to know. My friend said they wanted it to be a surprise so they did not "peek" at the baby.

On the way home Maddy asked me if we "peeked" at her. When I said yes, you would have thought I had just gone through her room and shown all my friends anything that might embarrass her. She could not believe that the hubby and I could do something like that to her! After she regained some of her composure she wanted to know why we "peeked". I explained that we wanted to know so that we could decorate appropriately and have the right kind of baby clothes waiting for her. She decided this was a good point and forgave us for invading her fetal privacy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Talking in circles

During the math lesson today the following conversation took place.

Me: Ok, the question says which badge do you think was the most difficult to earn and why.

Maddy: The Nature one because 9 people had earned it, that is the highest number.

Me: Hmmm..ok, so you think the most people went for the hardest badge?

Maddy: Yes, But that has to be the answer because it is the highest number.

Me: What? Difficult means that the badge was hard to earn.


Me: Ok, so do you think that most people would go for the easiest badge to earn or the hardest badge to earn?

Maddy: I would go for the easiest first so I guess that one.

Me: Ok, so do you think that the most people would go for the easiest badge?

Maddy: *sighes* I guess so, but you are wrong Mom.

Me: What do you mean?

Maddy: The answer has to be Nature because it is the biggest number!

Me: Let's look at the question again, did you give a reason for your answer? You sure did. Good job, lets move on to Social Studies.

Sometimes you have to know when to throw in the towel. I was getting dizzy!

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have had a hard couple of weeks and it is not my fault and it is all my fault! Typically I am a calm, rational person who could be described as having a level head. I am easy going and quick to laugh.

The past two weeks I have been a freaking mess inside. It seems that the "forty hormones" are reeking havoc with me. What makes it particularly trying is that I have a 15 year old daughter who is battling with her hormones. In doing some research I found this and it made me laugh out loud.

Midlife is not for sissies. So many changes can happen during the years after 40 that you may have trouble keeping up. Change is a source of anxiety during even the best of times and when it is a positive change. But add to that any hormone fluctuations, health problems and/or major life events and you have a recipe for feeling overwhelmed. Among the common changes and challenges that a woman faces during these years are:

* Children hitting their teens. This can cause “the perfect storm” of hormones in the household, as everyone struggles to manage the mood and behavior changes of their bodies.

For those who know me, know that we pretty much live in a constant state of change around here. We have and keep spending tons of money and time on our "money-pit" house. This means and endless stream of workers, dust, and schedule interruptions. I love havimg a nice routine and schedule, so does Maddy. Just as Maddy and I are recovering and getting our routine back, we had to take my Mom-in-law for her eye surgery at the last minute.(She is fine) It seems that the harder I try to get a routine and schedule set in place, the more things that keep it from happening.

Then I feel out of sync and the hormones see a chink in the armor and proceed to try to make me insane. As of this writing I am winning the war, but the idea of saying "fark off" to the world and sitting on the couch, watching Lifetime and eating a gallon of ice cream is very tempting!

I have found that being productive around the house helps. I feel like I have done a good thing and the husband is always quick with a nice word about how hard I work around the house. At this point I will probably work the hormones to death and they will just leave me alone.

I guess we will see if I have the cleanest house on the block or if I become an ice cream eating, lifetime watching pool of tears on the couch!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Complete Randomness

We should be back to a somewhat normal routine here which means I hope to post again on a regular basis.

While I was gone we had almost the entire downstairs floor replaced. What fun..dust and more dust everywhere!

I discovered that the Yankee Candle I bought does not smell as good as I thought it would. Now that it has been used, I can't give as a gift and how do you give a candle to someone saying I hated the way it smells, maybe you will like it? The best course of action I have decided is to put it in the guest house and use it there. This way I don't waste it and it can help keep that little house spruced up.

Maddy has joined Girl Scouts so in addition to all our Church activities we have more places to be and things to do. She has a bigger social life now that she ever had in public school!

The husband is headed back out to LA at the end of the month for some meetings. He has some exciting stuff lined up and we hope it will bring some paying work and some great new contacts.

Our dog has taken over the bed. I need to find my backbone and re-train him to sleep on his bed. Last night I had to fight the dog for my freaking pillow!

The husband and I have been playing 1vs100. It has been a fun way to spend the evenings playing trivia and working the brain a little bit. I am amazed at what we know and things we should know. We are now waiting for the game to come out of Beta and start the new season. If we win big I will let you know.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Car Conversation

Maddy and I were in the car today and the following conversation took place.

Maddy: Remember when there was that roach in my room and Uncle Larry killed it for me?

Me: Yep

Maddy: I said (very high pitched whiny voice) "Uncle Larry, come help me there is a roach in my room!".

Me: You sang opera to Uncle Larry about the bug in your room?

Maddy: No!! But I guess I could have.

Me: Would have been funny if you did.

Maddy: The bug in my room scared me, it sounded like someone was scratching on my wall.


Maddy: Do you know the sound I am talking about? Did you ever have a roach in your room?

**Now I have to be careful how I answered this. If I say no, then every noise for the next 3 weeks that sounds remotely bug like I will have to stop and listen to see if I have ever heard that noise before. If I say yes, then at the worst time possible Maddy will say "Hey Mom why don't you tell them about having roaches in your room!".

Me: I guess I know what you are talking about, I suppose at some time I had a bug in my room making noise.

Maddy: Did you get Banma to come and kill it for you?

Me: Nope, I took care of it myself.

Maddy: Did Banma know you were killing bugs? Did she hear you kill it?

Me: I don't know! You are asking me questions about things that happened thirty years ago.

Maddy: Hmmmm...and you said you have a good memory!

Me: Hey girl, why are you in my car and who are you?????

Maddy: Mom, *sigh* it is me I am your daughter. *Silence* You are really weird Mom.

Monday, August 31, 2009


We all see things differently and today was no exception. We have had a lot of work done at the house over the past 4 days. A new floor was put in and involved lots of sawing and dust every freaking where! Mark and I both told Maddy that this week would be cleaning intensive to prepare her for the tasks that would be asked of her.

This is how I saw today happen.

Maddy got up, was sweet and wonderful. Once she was up and about she did mention that she was "girl time" of the month. She had breakfast and then I asked her to clean. I gave her about 5 choices and she chose to clean the blinds. After that I asked her to run a dry mop over the new floor to pick up dust. She did this a couple of times and then when I asked her to do it again she informed me that she had enough of cleaning. No can do some school work while I continue to clean. OMG!! I had the nerve to ask her to work on her cursive writing. She had a complete fit and melt down. Refused to work, hated everything..yada, yada ,yada. I showed no reaction and she finally decided to do the work. She complained through 3 sets of school work while I continued to clean the house. After she finished the work I made her lunch and she took a shower. After the shower I let her know she could do housework or school work. She did choose to wipe all the doorknobs and light switch plates. She then switched on the attitude, so I gave her a writing assignment. The assignment was I was cranky and ugly today because...

Here is her take on the day!

My tumpy (tummy) hurt me and I did not feel good but still my Mom made me work. Then when I worked my tumpy hurt and I tried my best but my Mom made me clean the floor four times. I think this is unfair. My Mom is making me work when my tumpy hurts a lot but still I love her. (Note this is when she realized I would be reading what she wrote) I wish when this happens I could have the day off.

After she stormed upstairs, locked her door and screamed at me when I knocked. I explained that had she mentioned she did not feel well we could have had a much different day.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Amusing look at Obama Healthcare

The American Medical Association has weighed in on the new Obama health care proposals.

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

The Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception.. Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted. Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Pediatricians said, "Oh, Grow up!"

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it. Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter...."

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea. The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the ass holes in Washington .

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gonna live life, not write about it!

Howdy all..gonna take a few days off the blog.

Today is the hubby and my 17th wedding anniversary so I plan to hang out with him so we can talk about how wonderful those years have been and what we plan to do for the next 17.

The weekend is all about Maddy so I will be busy hauling her all over the place.

On Monday Maddy and I get back to our home school schedule so we will both need a few days to adjust.

Hope everyone has a great weekend..I am gonna grab a beer and relax while can!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things that crack me up every time

There are certain things that crack me up every time here are a few of them.

First the entire movie Ace Ventura When Nature Calls has me in stitches it is so very silly. If I could link the whole movie I would but below is prolly my favorite scene.

The other movie is Kingpin. This movie is so crude and yet so funny.

When people put up fake reviews on Amazon and people run with it is always funny. First there was Three Wolves One Moon and now The Secret.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Car trips

Remember when you had to take a trip in the car with your family and there was nothing to entertain you? You had to either sit and look out the window or interact with your family and play goofy games.

These are the things I remember doing to pass the time on long car trips.

I Spy
Alphabet with either the signs or license plates
How many state plates could find. Since I lived in Texas we did not play this much.
Twenty Questions

I tried to explain Slug Bug to Maddy the other day and she just rolled her eyes and said that was about the stupidest thing she had heard. Why on earth would you hit someone because a car went by.

Finally when I was a bit older the walkman came out and then for a little while you could do your own thing in the car.

Now kids don't know how long a trip is in time or miles, just how many movies until we get there. They have freaking video games in the car when they travel now as well.

I think that time when you were pretty much forced to interact with the family was a good thing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The $50.00 dollar dog

When Mark and I first married we bought a dog from a pet store and paid a lot of money for him. Ren was a registered Maltese and quite expensive. He was an excellent pet and was really pretty low maintenance for a pure blooded dog. For 14 years he was a wonderful part of our family.

We when decided to get a puppy we made the decision to not go the purebred route or buy one from a pet store. We looked into several rescue groups and the SPCA. One Sunday morning we found the most adorable little puppy and we knew we had to have him.

He was from a family that "accidentally" had puppies. He was a mixed breed and the family was only asking $50.00 and would provide the first set of shots. It was done deal and we thought what a great bargain for our newest addition to the family.

We have now had Brusier for just over one year. We took official ownership of him the last weekend of July last year. In just one year lets see how much our $50.00 dog is now worth.

Once he was of age we did have him neutered and micro chipped. I would have had any pet neutered or spade so I will not count that in the cost amount. I also will not include any of the other things like shots and other things that are typical dog costs. The micro chip cost us $55.00.

When he was about 4 months old he got giardia and had to be taken to the night time emergency clinic and then spend the next full day at the vet's office. That ran us about $700.00. About a month later we came home and he had a huge knot on his head. We waited until the morning and thank goodness it was gone.

About a month ago he was taken to the vet becuase his bottom teeth had turned grey. A trip to the vet determined that he had found something metal to chew on. Thank goodness the vet did not charge us but for my time and trouble I am going to toss in $10.00.

We have taken him to obediance school as well that was $125.00.

Not to long ago in a blog I mentioned a bump on his head. Well we did go to the vet about it and it turns out the he has a small Histiocytoma and it should go away on its own. This trip cost us about $110.00. Also it can get infected or if it does not go away we can have it surgerically removed. Fun times.

The picture below shows you what it looks like when in one year a $50.00 dog becomes a $1000.00 one. Good thing we love the heck of this trouble maker!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to School

Right now a lot of my friends are gearing up for another year of teaching. I loved teaching and if I had to work again it would be the job I would return to. However, I am so very thankful and blessed to be able to stay at home and spend time with Maddy and give her the education that Mark and I feel she needs.

When I was teaching I loved learning, expanding my knowledge and vocabulary. I loved the kinship and friendship that I made with the teachers I worked with. The ability to make an impact on a student in some cases where everyone else had given up on them. Watching the light bulbs go off when the kiddos actually understood the point we were trying to make. This was a challenge because I taught World History at a school were most kiddos had never left town.

I am always amazed and touched when former students find me and want to be FaceBook friends with me. It makes me proud to know that they will still allow me into their lives and want me to know how they are doing. There are some many great kids out there, but all we ever hear on the news is about the bad ones.

What makes me sad is that I feel the need to home school my child because I don't have the confidence in either public or private schools to provide her with skills that she desperately needs.

I get angry when I think of all the schools and teachers that are being micro managed by people who have either never taught school or have been out of the classroom so long they don't know how to relate to children anymore.

It disgusts me that we teach to the lowest common denominator and that teachers are told that they will never be questioned for passing a student but they must defend why they will fail one.

I wish that we as a society would place a much higher value on education and instilling the desire to be the best and brightest. Instead our education system has become a parent, meal provider and babysitter for the masses.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Remember When they gave swats?

Where I went to school if you got in enough trouble you would get swats. This pretty much applied to the guys in school, but once in a while a girl would get a swat or two.

You had the coaches or wood shop teacher who would look for kids to give swats to. They had the paddles with the holes in them and some of them would let the kids sign them after a particularly bad "swat session".

There was always one little old lady still teaching who thought she could still give a mean swat. That is who the girls always got sent to. If she attempted to give swats to a boy and they laughed..they were sent on to receive more swats where it would be most unpleasant.

For the guys in high school for some it was a game to see how many swats they could get in a year or from how many teachers. The best was to pull a prank, blame someone else and then witness them getting swats.

Today teachers can't touch the kiddos, but we lived through it just fine.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No child left behind

I live in the great state of Texas where we proudly have No Child Left Behind. This is one of the reasons that I am now a SAHM and home school my special needs kiddo. For those of you not familiar with this I have found the best description of the policy to share with you.

No Child Left Behind Football Style

1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all MUST win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If after two years they have not won the championship their footballs and equipment will be taken away UNTIL they do win the championship.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time even if they do not have the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities of themselves or of their parents.


3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own, without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren’t interested in football, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don’t like football.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game. It will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals.

If no child gets ahead, then no child gets left behind.

If parents do not like this new law, they are encouraged to vote for vouchers and to support private schools that can screen out the non-athletes and prevent their children from having to go to school with bad football.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Maddy Randomness

We were having a conversation during lunch on Saturday about responsibilities. We were talking about how some people don't do what we think they should do. Maddy then says, "Well they should do it, it is their duty". A few seconds later she snorts, starts laughing and says "HA, I said doodie!". I almost fell out of my chair.

Maddy is a huge Twilight fan and has almost everything that has a picture of Rob Pattinson. She even had a necklace with Edward on it she wears 24/7. The other day I was in the computer room and I heard someone in the kitchen. I thought it was Mark so I said something about the weather. When I did not get a response I went into the kitchen and found Maddy there. I said, "Oh, I thought you were Daddy". She replies with "I am a not dad and if I was a boy I would be gay". I busted out in laughter as she held up her necklace and said "See..look at the facts"!

We were at lunch after church and Maddy said she had a new helper in her class. I asked if they were nice and she said yes he was even if he was really ugly. I asked again what she said and meant and she know..ugly..really old like a grandfather. I explained to her that the word was elderly. She said yep that is what I said!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Knowledge is Power

I believe that you do truly learn something new everyday and that when you learn things you should share them. We had some work done on our house the other day that required me to be out of the computer room for quite a chunk of time. I used that time very wisely scouring the magazines given to me by my mother-in-law. The information was truly amazing and I felt the need to share it with everyone else. No need to thank me, I know how much it means to you!

In no particular order here is all the new information I have learned:

1. Obama's Gay Lover lives in the White House. Evidently hunky bodyman Reggie Love has spent more time with Obama than Michelle and she is quite jealous.

2. Madonna's daugher Lourdes has been wearing a back brace and people seem to think she is suffering from scoliosis.

3. Twilight star Taylor Lautner hates his new hunky body and would prefer to be think and wiry again. Who doesn't hate a hot hunky body?

4. Ashton Kutcher suffered from a ruptured eardrum and Demi freaked out and panicked. Guess her kids never got ear infections?

5. Oprah and Stedman are have relationship issues because she is secretly in love with Obama and has a crazy mad crush on him. Guessing she does not know about the gay lover.

6. John Travolta plans to eat him self to death while mourning the loss of his son.

7. Dr. Phil and his wife are con artists. Say it isn't so!

8. Fat Kristie Alley is jealous of skinny Valerie Bertinelli.

9. Ryan O'Neal did not recognize his daughter Tatum at the funeral and hit on her.

10. Communists tried to kill John Wayne.

11. Britney Spears collapsed due to a terrifying medical scare. She has low blood sugar!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Conversations with Maddy

It is fascinating to watch the way her mind works and it can make for some very interesting conversations. We have had more of them lately and I would like to think that it is due to my work at home with her. She has had a lot of social interaction lately in many different situations so I am sure that it what has triggered this new found curiousity with the world.

Maddy: I wonder if I should learn how to drive

Mark: Well, if you think you want to try let us know

Maddy: Driving seems kinda hard. What are those pedals you push?

Mark: There is one for the gas and one to stop the car

Maddy: It is awful dark down there how do you know where they are?

Mark: It is something you just learn

Me: The pedals are shaped differently so you know which is which

Maddy: Seems like you would get tired moving your feet back and forth so much

Mark: You don't use both feet, you just use one and you keep your heel in place and just kinda pivot your foot between the pedals

Maddy: I am not sure if I want to learn how to drive, who would teach me?

Mark: There are people who teach you how to drive

Maddy: someone can teach me how to drive and then I can just drive?

Mark: Well, no it is not that simple

Maddy: But you just said that all I needed was someone to teach me to drive

Mark: That is true but there is more to it than just that

Maddy: Like what?

Mark: Well you have to learn how to drive and then you have to go and have your vision tested

Maddy: What?

Mark: They have you read an eye chart on the wall, they need to know that you can see well enough to drive

Maddy: Hmmm..I am not so sure about that part

Me: In addition, you will have to take a test

Maddy: A test, about what?

Me: You have to know the driving rules

Mark: Yep there are a lot of things you need to know.

Maddy: That would be easy!

Me: Really?

Maddy: Sure I know what almost everything on the car does! What does this do, well it is the radio, you listen to music with it. What is that? That is a horn and this is an airbag.

We tried to explain what type of questions they would really ask, but she was too busy making sure she knew what everything in the car did and why.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Remember When?

Remember when you would go to the skating rink? Real skates not these new fangled things with the wheels in a line. The cool kids had their own skates with sparklie laces and pom poms on them. There was couples skates, reverse skate, and at the skating ring I went to the night ended with the hokey pokey.

There was usually poorly stocked concession stand and you could count on the same music being played every week. For me it was this song:

And there was always one creepy guy that lurked about at our skating rink it was a guy named Todd. Kinda makes you think about this scene:

Until next time keep the good times rolling!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Friday and Four College Kids

The husband and I make an excellent team. We always have, we know what needs to be done and we get it done. This is an excellent example of what lead to spending a Friday afternoon with 4 college kids.

For those of you who don't know my husband's second job is writing movie scripts. It is truly a second job, not a hobby. He spends as much time working at home on this as he does at his full time other job. If you are interested you can follow his progress here.

When I taught high school I met a lot of great kiddos and as they have graduated and moved on to college I have kept up with some of them. Knowing that we really needed to have our scripts read out loud I contacted one of my ex-students asking him to see if he could gather a few friends and come over to help us.

Whoa..that sounds kinda cool or interesting. Actually it was both. They were the target audience for this script. They knew movies, they even brought over a short film that a couple of them had filmed this summer. They were polite, respectful, had great ideas and were not afraid to share them.

Once they arrived Mark had everything set up for them. The scripts were printed, parts were highlighted. He gave some background information and away we went. It was interesting to hear the words come to life. We enjoyed watching them laugh during the funny scenes and cringe at the horror scenes. Mark got valuable feedback on the flow of the script, where things bogged down and where things worked. The kiddos had so much fun they asked if they could come back next week and even wanted to bring a few more friends.

In addition I learned the homemade cookies are like gold to college kids. They were amazed by them and happily took us up on the offer to take them all home. Next Friday I will plan to bake tons more to pay our new "reading crew".

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Take a deep breath

One of Maddy's issues is processing situations and problem solving. We take for granted that we and those around us know what to do when things happen. For Madeline this is a learned behavior and that means lots of drama/trauma when there does not need to be.

Here is a good example of what I am talking about.

Maddy was taking a shower and she was supposed to call me when she was ready for me to dry and straighten her hair. I am doing random house things, I hear her get out of the shower and assume she is doing her after shower routine.

A few minutes later I hear her screaming for me. This is not a calling out my name, this is a fearful scream. Immediately I assume she is about to have a seizure, so I run to my bathroom full speed. As I round the corner, getting ready to deal with seizure I see Maddy holding a bottle of Diet Coke that is fizzy and spewing from the top.

She dropped her Diet Coke and instead of picking it up and leaving it in one place she panicked. All she knew what that Mom had to fix this. So she ran around in my bathroom and bedroom spreading Diet Coke all over the place.

I have to be careful when things like this happen because I need to teach her how to react appropriately. She was upset because she was scared and did not know what to do, so I have to be calm and assure her that I am not mad. Once I have her calm I can then explain what she should have done and then clean up the mess.

She did help mop the floor and now knows what to do when she drops her drink. Let's just hope she remembers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I got nuttin

I have not been on the blogging spree that I was earlier this month. I will blame it on real life shenanigans. So here is some randomness until I feel inspired to post again.

Maddy is great, she is wonderful and happy. We have lots of plans and we think she might have made an honest to goodness friend with a kiddo her age.

My house hates me. I try to love it, I try to keep it nice and clean and we are constantly improving it. The house repays us by backing up the AC drain and ruining walls and ceilings and giving us the pleasure of dealing with insurance. Ugh...

I am making great progress on the Letter of Intent and I am very pleased with the amount of information and detail I will be providing. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on this project.

My third cousin once removed (I think I figured it out correctly) was in a car wreck this weekend. It is bad, she will have a very long recovery. I pray for her and her family. I also was reminded that we need to say our words carefully for we never know when bad things can happen. I will be praying for them and if you have a spare second toss some positive thoughts their way.

My dog has developed a bump on his head, looks like a mole. He acts just fine, but I bet we take him to the Vet anyway..

I guess that is all for now...hope everyone is having a good week!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Remember When Wednesday

Just a few memories from the good ole days!

1. Remember when you got things in the mail. The real mail, birthday cards, packages with presents on holidays. You would save up labels from cereal boxes to get toys in the mail. You had at least one friend who had a pen pal from a really cool place.

2. Polaroid cameras were so cool when they came out. You could have a picture immediately!

3. When you wanted to talk to a friend you either called them on the phone or you walked/biked to their house. When you were at their house you interacted with their entire family and you did whatever their parents said.

4. Speaking of phones, they were attached to the wall and you had to dial the number, push button phones were amazing when they came out. If you lived way out in the country you had party lines, so you had to make sure none of your neighbors were on the phone before you could use it.

5. You had a record player and if you listened really, really carefully you could hear the secret messages when you played the record backwards!

Can't wait to hear what you remember/miss from the good ole days!

Monday, July 20, 2009

She WILL have her way

There are times when Maddy is so much like Mark it makes me smile. I am not wired the way they are. Typically when I am given the answer "no" with a logical reason I just move on. Not those two, if they will pursue it until they achieve their goals.

Maddy is very, very much into Twilight and the entire series. She has just about every piece of Twilight merchandise there is. She will spend hours (truly hours) scouring e-bay and all the Twilight sites for something that she just might need.

When I was in Vegas with my Mom her Grandmom took her out shopping and they purchased a good amount of Twilight stuff. While in Vegas I could not find much for Maddy as I had been there just a few months before so I also took her to Hot Topic and both the few things she still wanted. As Maddy is showing Mark all her new Twilight stuff he declared a ban on all things Twilight. He stated that she had enough and there would be nothing new purchased. He and I both know that in November with New Moon coming out it will cost us a bit more than just a movie ticket to see the show.

A few days later Maddy brought up the fact again that she needs a new mouse pad for her computer. The one she has is very old but still works. Big surprise, there is an Edward mouse pad she wants from E-bay. I went to Amazon to look there for one and she of course did not like any of those. Every Saturday she has a list for Mark of things to do for her I-Pod and I told her to put a new mouse pad on that list and we would talk about it over the weekend.

Maddy is not one to wait when she wants something so when Mark got home she told him about the mouse pad she wanted. When he told her no that he would buy her a good decent mouse pad, she was not happy. A couple of days later when Mark arrived home from work she brought down the mouse pad she was using. It had a picture of Mickey Mouse on it and she loudly stated to him that she had a mouse pad with a picture on it and that mouse pad worked just fine. She did not understand why she could not have a new mouse pad with a different picture on it.

The next day Mark ordered the new mouse pad with a picture of Edward on it. The girl is good..what can I say!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It has to be done

I am currently having to do something that hurts my heart. Like most people I try to avoid things that hurt, but in this case I must get this done. We are in the process of setting up a special needs trust for our daughter. We need to make sure that when we are gone there will be someone to take care of her and her needs. One of the key parts of this process is a letter of intent. ( Yes I know this link is to somewhere in NY but it gives a great description of what I attempting.) Even the professionals tell the parents that this will be a very difficult process but it is one of the most important. Also you are never truly done with this, it should be updated at least once a year.

After putting it off for a couple weeks, I decided I would try to just plow through and get this done. There will be input from other people involved in Maddy's life, but I need to get the basic framework done to help guide them on what information to help me add. Most projects I just get it done in a timely and efficient manner. This project however will not be that way.

Currently I can only work on it for little chunks of time. When I begin to work on it my mind goes into thoughts and places I don't want to go. I begin to question why and did I do something wrong. I question if I have done the right things by her as she has grown up and continues to grow and mature. I play the "I should have game" and I always lose.

Most days and in most situations I am a sane and rational person and can have a conversation regarding Maddy and her needs. However when I have to spell out in specifics everything she can't or will never do, it hurts. When I have to go into detail about every medical issue and procedure she has had, it hurts. Then I become upset about things I can't change and I can't truly do what needs to be done. When I get to this point, I put it down and come back later.

This will get done and I know I will do a good job with it, but I also need to not let my mind dwell on things I can't change. My focus needs to be on her future and how this letter can make that better for her.

It will take me a few weeks and a few tears, but I will get this done.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Remember When Wednesday

I am still fairly new to the blog world, but I noticed quickly that for almost any day of the week there is a theme you can use. I have not seen this yet, but I am sure it is out there somewhere. I have decided to start Remember When Wednesday and spend some time reflecting on the "Good Ole Days".

The first one is for the Dr.

1. Remember when the best water in the whole world came from straight from the water hose. Sometimes you were so thirsty you could not wait for the warm water that was sitting in the hose to run out first.

2. How about before the ATM/Pulse machine. You went to the bank drive through on Friday afternoon and they gave out the mini rolls of Lifesavers. If you did not get to the bank before the weekend, you had to make due with no money.

3. Sunday nights were all about the Wonderful World of Walt Disney followed by Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.

4. Life was not fair, you got your feelings hurt, you did not always win. You got knocked down and you learned how to stand back up again. We were better people (in most cases) for have a few hard knocks along the way.

5. When a thong was a shoe not underwear!

Hope you enjoy and feel free to add your own memories in the comments section.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sometimes you wish you had never asked

Yesterday while at my in-laws the following conversation took place. My sister-in-law had just arrived and asked what most people would consider to be an easy question.

Sister-in-law (SiL): I am thirsty can I have a bottle of water?

Mother-in-law (MiL): No, no you don't want a bottle of water, the water from my tap is filtered it is just as good.

SiL: Umm, ok, is it cold?

MiL: Well no, but you can put some ice in it. Don't worry the ice is filtered water as well from the fridge.

SiL: Can't I just use the water from the fridge if it is filtered?

MiL: No, don't do that the use the water from the tap.

SiL: *Gets glass down* Well they should be the same so I will get it from the fridge.

*Everyone has now chimed in and half are chanting fridge and the others are chanting from the tap*

SiL: Fine, fine I will get some from both

My Husband: Don't do that the water from the filter at the sink is hot water.

SiL: What?!!

MiL: *about to have a heart attack* NO, NO, that water is cold he is making that up.

SiL: Finally gets the water in the glass and sits down. *The water is in a decorative cup* EWWW this water is BROWN!

MiL: What?!! No that can not be.

Me: I think the cup is making the water look brown.

MiL: My water is white not brown, here let me get a different glass I will show you.

Me: Ummm..wouldn't white water really be no fat milk?

MiL: *Pours water into different glass* See I told you my water is not brown, it is white.

Me: I kinda think it is clear not white

MiL: Whatever

My SiL sits down to drink her white water and my MiL says.....

We have bottled water in the outside cooler.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Things I Love Part Two

I hope today finds everyone positive and thinking of the things they love. I won't take up too much of your time today but at the end of the post there will be some links if you would like to kill a bit more time.

Things I love

My Roses

I was never one to grow things, I tried a garden several times at our other house and was not successful. Where we live now I have about 10 rose bushes and they bring me great joy. I like to trim them, arrange the roses and have the fresh flower smell in the house.


I love to be around people. Going to lunch, breakfast or over to someone's house to visit is always enjoyable for me. When I look at my calendar for the week and I see plans with friends written down it lets me know I have a rich full life. To have a really good friend you must be one and I hope that all the lunches and dinners are a reflection of my friendship with others.

Baking and Cooking

My grandmother used to bake and she always made the most wonderful things. She showed me a few secrets over the years and I love when I make cookies with perfectly golden brown bottoms. When I bake not only do I think of her, but I also am showing Maddy that not all food comes from a box, can, or restaurant. You really can take all those random items in the pantry and make something with them. Mark and I like to cook together. Some of my favorite Saturday afternoons are when we together. This house has a horribly small kitchen and I think we are both ready to have a kitchen we can cook together in.


Music is almost always on in the house. We love all types and styles of music. Maddy has the love of music and loves to talk to people about it. Music is just good for the soul. It can transport you in time, make you laugh and even make you cry. A magical story is told in a short amount of time.

Let me know in the comments section what things you love!

As promised here is an additional time killer for those who are watching the clock waiting for the weekend to begin.

If you like Country music then click here and here.

If you like Old School rock n roll click here.

If you like kinda off the wall stuff then click here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Things I Love Part One

Some friends of mine call me an annoying optimist and I suppose I am. I prefer to surround myself with positive thoughts and energy. I am not a half full or half empty kind of gal with the glass of water. I am so happy to have the glass and some water and will look for someone to share it with. My past few posts I have enjoyed writing, but today and tomorrow I am going to focus on positives. Most likely this will be long winded, which is why I decided to write this over two days.

Things I love:

My Family

I love both my parents they influenced my life in very different ways. It makes me beam with pride to honestly say I love my husband and even more importantly I respect him. I respect him as a man, a father and most importantly as a friend. My daughter brings me great joy every day. One of the unique things about having a special needs child is that you get to enjoy life through the eyes of child and too many "grown-ups" forget how to do that and lose a bit of magic in life. I love my extended family. Growing up and still today I am surrounded by people who love me for me and I love them. My family reunions are a joy to me and I am thankful every year that so many people take the time each year to spend a weekend with family.


I love Sundays for a few reasons. The first is church, I have always enjoying going to church. It makes me feel good and taking the time to reflect on life in peaceful surroundings is something we should do more often. Maddy loves our new church and her youth group. It makes me so happy to see her making friends and doing social activities and having experiences that Mark and I can not provide. The second reason I love Sunday's is going over to my in-laws house. I am truly blessed with the most wonderful in-laws in the world. They love me very much and they adore Maddy. My sister-in-law comes over with her boys and for the afternoon, we laugh, swim, have challenging conversations and good food. There is not a better way to spend a weekend afternoon in my opinion.

Pizza and Beer

Probably not high on many peoples lists but I love them both and they make me happy. Enough said.


When I learn something new I feel good, there is so much I don't know that I feel like I have accomplished something when new information comes to me. The way people think and why they believe the things they do fascinates me. The ability to listen to others and not judge them makes people want to open up to you and boy can you learn a lot! It is a shame that most people don't realize that the best way to learn is to listen. ( I think this is part of what made me enjoy teaching so much.)

My Dog

Technically he is our dog, but gosh darn it I love the bejeebus out of him. The way he runs full speed around the house makes me laugh. When he pushes his toys into the back of your legs to get you to play with him. When he does the pick me up routine so he can sleep on me. Every day he makes me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy. Today I leave with a picture of Bruiser and Maddy hoping they make you smile and feel all warm and fuzzy as well.

Tomorrow I will continue with more things I love, until then stay positive in your world!