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.