Friday, August 31, 2012

Yard Sale!

So tomorrow I will drag out as much as I can out of my house and try to sell everything I can part with.  I cannot afford to move it to Arizona and I am not even certain I will be able to afford to move it to a storage room here.  Since I am still having problems with my right hand from the carpal tunnel surgery it is difficult to do a lot of lifting or much of anything else that involves a lot of use of my hand.  The scar from the surgery still looks bad, is red and inflamed and there is a lot of scar tissue under the scar making the incision painful.  I will do the best I can though tomorrow.  I have a TON of kids clothes I can sell plus a lot of household miscellaneous furniture.  I am hoping to raise at least $100.  That would be great! 

On the positive front I did get a call from UCLA and get a UCLA patient number for Joseph.  I was told the doctor will review Joseph's medical records and decide if he is going to take his case or not.  The doctor's office has until September 7th to get back with me and set an appointment.  Otherwise they will be hearing from me EVERYDAY until they get back with me.  I need to get this muscle biopsy done BEFORE we move. 

I still have no idea HOW I am going to make the move and hold over in Arizona until I can start my job AND get a paycheck.  I am trying hard not to panic over it.  I spoke to my father about my financial concerns today and mentioned that I was facing a $400 electrical bill and I had NO idea how to pay it.  I also need to move and I was not sure where that money was going to come from and I have little to no food in the house and not a lot of gas in the car.  Then I told him I was told by the doctor who did my hand surgery that he wanted me to go to physical therapy twice a week to help increase the strength in my hand, help with the scar pain, stretching the skin, and try to break up the scar tissue BUT I could not afford it since it would cost me a $20 co-pay each time I went and there is NO way I can justify spending $120 a month on the therapy when I need to spend a $20 co-pay to see my family doctor so I can get a refill of an important maintenance medication for me (which will cost $10 to get filled).  At the end of the conversation my sister called so I was told he had to talk to her but he said, "Yep. you have a lot of logistics to figure out for your move."  So I take this as he is not going to help financially. Not to mention my birthday is on the 4th and there was no mention of giving me money for my birthday (hoping that will still happen).  In the meantime I NEED this yard sale to have money to live.  I have $40 to my name right now that I can spend.  Other than that there is NO more money until September 10th.  I have half a roll of toilet paper in my house, not a lot of food and not much in the way of prospects.  I was luck enough to sell Joseph's crib today so I was able to order pizza when James asked for it today.  He never asks for things like that so it was nice when I could say OK and place an order with Papa Johns. 

On the other hand I have felt horrible when Margaret has been asking me for Hello Kitty stuff.  I know she, somehow, got a Hello Kitty doll.  She LOVES it!  So I thought I would look for some bedding stuff for her because I would like to upgrade her to a twin bed.  She saw me internet "window" shopping and asked when I was going to get her Kitty.  You have NO idea how this tore me up because, being autistic, she does not directly ask for things very often and when she does I try really hard to get it for her. 

The other day I was in Target and I saw a Hello Kitty twin comforter for $35.  It was adorable!  I wanted it SO bad for her but I knew I did not have the money.  I COMPLETELY understand why some people steal when it comes to giving things to their children.  To have your child look at you wanting something so desperately and knowing you cannot get it for them.  Yet the item in question is close at hand in the local store.  It is just a matter of taking it.  I understand the desire, I really do, but it is poor impulse control to steal and take it.  I left the store misty eyed knowing the comforter she wanted was so close but SO far out of my reach.  I am hoping I will be able to get it for her birthday in December.   Some days are SO hard at the moment.  I just have to remember that I can, no I HAVE, to make it until the end of November.  By Thanksgiving I truly will have something to be grateful for since I will have a job and be earning money. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Disney...What have you done???


Disney, Disney, Disney....what have you done???  I understand the idea of fighting childhood obesity but that is not even the reason for making your characters thinner.  As a matter of fact you did not just thin down your characters you made them look 6 feet tall and anorexic.  They look Tim Burtonesque to me.  All arms, legs and torso and very little else.

In an article by Rina Raphael from the Today show she pointed to the creative director of Barney's as being the true force behind the character's DRASTIC change in shape.  Dennis Freedman explained, "The standard Minnie Mouse would not look good in a Lavin dress...If we are going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie."  All I can say Mr. Freedman is that you have a LOT of nerve!

You have taken a classic of American culture and turned it into something that, if the Disney characters were people, it would be doubtful Vogue would allow them on their cover because they are TOO skinny!

New Skinny Minnie Mouse

Skinny Goofy


Skinny Daisy



Medial Frustration and Life in Transition


For the past 6 months I have fought with my insurance company to get a medical authorization to get Joseph a fresh muscle biopsy done to test for mitochondrial disease.  Once I FINALLY got the medical insurance to approve the biopsy I have spent the last month trying to get the doctor's office to call me to set up an appointment.  In the last month I have called them AT LEAST 10 times and I have gotten only 3 calls back.  Today was the FIRST time someone called me AND I was able to get the phone.  Keep in mind I have left two messages a day for the last three days.  I even called the insurance case manager to complain that my calls were not being returned.

When I got to speak from someone in the neurology department at UCLA I was told they did not have my son's records.  YOU'VE GOT TO BE FREAKING KIDDING ME!!!  So the guys goes on the explain I need to talk to the registration department.  I said, "why was that not in the message so I could check up on things instead of losing time?"  His response, "I don't know but I could put in a request to get the message changed to add that information."  UGH!!!  SHOOT ME!!!

So if you do not have a patient ID with the UCLA then do yourself a favor and contact the registration department (phone - 800-825-2631, fax - 310-301-5391) since they are in charge of everything anyways.  So I had to called Joseph's referring doctor again, the geneticist, and asking her office to fax over the information again.  A week ago she had faxed it over while I was on the phone and now here I was asking her to fax over the information again.  I explained how I had been trying to make this appointment for the last month and I was getting frustrated over the bureaucracy of the UCLA system.  The nurse at the geneticist's office was kind and she said she would fax it over and then call to make sure UCLA registration had what they needed.  I told her that was VERY nice and THANK YOU!

I was able to make a few calls to Arizona today.  I was able to talk to an advocacy group for disabled children.  I was able to get some good information and I am sure I will get some more.  I found out about a great homeless shelter program called UMOM.  I may have to take advantage of one of their programs until I can get my first paycheck from my new job.  Otherwise I will only have $1700 to $2100 to support all of us for the month.  Plus, once I start my job I will not get any pay right away.  The first paycheck will be at least two weeks after I start and I have to find someone to watch the children for me and I will have to pay them in advance (at least partially).  Just need to determine how I am going to pay to for everything.  By taking advantage of one of UMOM's programs for a bit it will help me to get us on our feet.

On a possible positive note I remembered that Good Night Pediatrics is located out of Phoenix.  Yea!!!  I cannot recommend the office in Henderson, NV enough.  They are GREAT and MUCH faster than an emergency room.  With the office hours from 5pm to 5am I can take care of emergencies during the night with ease.  That is a HUGE relief to me since Joseph has a TERRIBLE tendency to have some sort of respiratory emergency on the weekend or during the night.

I have a lot of friends on Facebook and they are some super great people with super great information that I like to share on my blog.  One post was taking about Gluten Sensitivity and Magnesium Deficiency by Dr. Osborne.  It is a great article explaining how this can occur.   Someone also found an idea off of Pinterest that is a great idea to get yogurt into children.  You can make your own yogurt dots

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bon Bons and Birthdays!

Money is not a problem until you don't have any ~ 

This is a quote by me....lol.  Having money is great but when you do not have enough of it life becomes tough.  I have a $400 electric bill that I have to pay.  I am going to make rent for September.  It made my landlord happy since I did not pay her for July and August because I just did not have the money. Currently everything is still on but no telling how long that will last.   I have asked several people for help financially but no luck so far. It sucks being poor.

 On a positive front I have been offered a job to work for the State of Arizona. Yea!!!  This is a great job for me.  There are logistical problems like paying for a sitter to watch my children, moving to Arizona in the first place, where will we live?  I do not start my job until the middle to end of October so I am actually thinking about living in a homeless shelter for a month or two.  I have to get money in first before I can pay anything out.  I don't know what I am going to do but that is another problem what will have to wait until tomorrow.  If I think about everything now then I will just get scared about this fantastic opportunity. 

I may be going to Arizona in the beginning of October because I need to get down there a bit early to scout things out and see what aid I can get for the children and myself.  For the first month or two we will be down there we will be DIRT poor.  Once I get going in my job and get a paycheck coming in then most things should straighten themselves out.  If anyone knows about disability services and such in Arizona please let me know!

In the meantime I will try to enjoy my bon bons because I have a lot to celebrate.  My birthday is coming up soon, right after the Labor Day weekend, so I am hoping to have a good time in Las Vegas before I have to leave my beloved city.  I am hoping I will learn to love Arizona as much as I have loved Vegas. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yummy Recipes, Vaccines and Other Things



Today I went to the doctor and have him look at my hand.  The scar from the carpal tunnel surgery is VERY sensitive and there is a lot of scar tissue forming under the scar.  It hurts!  :(    In talking to the docotor he said he thought I was healing ok still but I find that debatable.  He recommended therapy to help  decrease the sensitivity of the scar and to break up the scar tissue.  I thought this was a great idea and make an appointment.  I just realized this evening that I could not pay for the therapy because each therapy session I to pay my $20 co-pay.  This SUCKS!  So I will just have to do what I can to increase the flexibility and strength in my hand.

Joseph's Medical Summary Letter
I went to the pediatrician today.  I had worked on a medical summary letter for each of the children as a rough draft for the doctor.  Took me about 2 hours for all three children. I think a medical summary letter is fantastic when you have a child with a long and complex medical history. You can pull the letter out and just hand it to another doctor to give them a quick run down on all the medical issues of your child.  Here is an example of Joseph's letter.  (if the type is too small hit CTRL and the + sign 3 or 4 times to enlarge the font).  When I got to the doctor's office I figured out I was an idiot and FORGOT to burn a disk with the letters to give the doctor's office.  Ugh!!!  I did remember to take the WIC forms to get Margaret and Joseph their Pedisure AND I got the right form filled out to get a handicap plate for my car.  It will make taking the kids out MUCH easier in some places.  The doctor was funny.  He said which child is this for since all of them could qualify.  LOL  That was both a funny and sad statement!  I got the permit for Joseph though.  I also got the information I needed sent off to to the medical supply company to get Joseph's wheelchair.  That will be SUPER helpful!  So I did pretty did pretty good today.

Just as a quick note to people in Nevada applying for a handicap plate or placard for their minor child here are the instructions on what to do.  I called the Nevada DMV twice and waited over 30 mintues on the phone for this information because I could not find it online...lol.  IF you call talk to the Special Plates Department.  Their number for the Las Vegas area is 702-486-4368 and them wait for the options and press 2, 1, and then 5.  That should get you to Special Plates.

Online you go to the Nevada DMV page for handicap plates.  Download form SP27 Applications for Disabled Persons License Plates/Placards. Once have the form you fill it out for the child you want the plate for by putting their name and address on the form. The Nevada Driver's License or Identification Number you leave blank.  For Signature of the Applicant the parent signs the form and puts in parentheses minor child.  This lets the DMV know the child will not be on the registration of the car nor have a driver's license number.   Just have the doctor fill out the medical portion and you are all done!  I just saved you at least 10 minutes on the phone.  : )

While I was at the doctor's office the doctor mentioned getting the kids vaccinated for the flu. I just brushed it off.  He is right though in one thing.  I LOVE the kids pediatrician and he is a VERY cool doctor but he is in a VERY busy practice and he mentioned that over the winter he sees a lot of super sick children.  Just taking them to the doctor's office  during the winter would be putting them at risk of catching something. It makes me worried.  I worry EVERY winter about the children and in particular Joseph.

Speaking of vaccines there is a great article by Marcella Piper-Terry saying vaccines do not cause autism.  At first I thought, "What?!?!" Then I read the article and it all made sense.  Basically the article states that vaccines do not cause autism but a host of other illnesses and conditions that are the underlying conditions of autism.  Really great read!  Then another great article by Moises Velasquez-Manoff was published in the New York Times Opinion Section called An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism.  The article has some sad information talking about the immune system of the mother attacks the child in the womb.  Autoimmune disorders significantly increase the chances of having a child diagnosed with autism.

Blog to mention is the Naked Kitchen.  Like Jamie Oliver's Food Network show Naked Chef the blog is about keeping food whole and simple.  It is a great blog with LOTS of good and healthy recipes!  Speaking of recipes I came across a great little recipe for making pizza dough.  SUPER simple and I am looking forward to trying this!

Two Ingredient Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup Self Rising Flour
  • 1 cup of Greek or natural yogurt
In a bowl combine flour and yogurt.  Stir until it forms a ball (might be a good job for a heavy duty mixer). Remove dough and turn out onto FLOURED board.  Knead dough for at least 5 to 8 minutes until the dough is nice and pliable and stretchy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Vaccines and School


With school getting ready to start I have been gearing up to get things taken care of here.  I was just contacted for the first time last week on Wednesday by the home intervention teacher from the CCSD. In my conversation I found out I have to re-enroll my children with the school.  I asked what I needed and I was told the children's current shot record and birth certificates.  I am SO confused on WHY I have to re-enroll them since none of their or my information has changed.  Since I have lost the children's pediatrician and moved to another doctor I have to find something to do concerning the children's shot records since I am not going to get them vaccinated immediately so they can attend school.  I was able to find the religious exemption form for vaccinations in Nevada.  I have to get these printed off and filled out.  The biggest pain in the ass is the part where I have to get these notarized.  I think I can get this done at my local bank.  I hope...lol.

Today will be a fun filled day.  I have to go and see the doctor about how my right hand has been healing from carpal tunnel surgery. It has not healed right.  I still have a nasty scar on my palm.  It is a red slice.  One part the skin knitted together but the way that happened it make the skin pull so that is bothersome.  Also I am still having pain shoot down my thumb occasionally, there is weakness in my hand if I try and turn things (like opening a jar) and it feels like there is a knot under the skin where it is healing and it makes the scar VERY sensitive (often painful) if it is touched.  So I have a lot of questions on what is going on.

Then I have to take Joseph to the pediatrician.  I need to rewrite a letter that states the children's diagnoses and get it up to date.  The doctor will then look at what I wrote and use it for the basis of his letter.  I want to see about getting a handicap plate.  That will make taking Joseph around a lot easier.  I have to talk to the doctor about getting a wheelchair for Joseph.  Though Joseph is starting to walk now (just recently started) he falls a lot (2 busted lips in ONE day) and he is SLOW at walking.  He needs a wheelchair so I can get him around in a safe and timely manner.   I am sure there are other things I need to talk to the doctor about.  Hopefully, I will be able to remember before the appointment.     


Saturday, August 25, 2012

And the Moon Feels a Bit Further Away

I am saddened to hear that Neil Armstrong has passed away today due to complications from cardiovascular surgery.  The unintentional hero of his time lead an amazing life.  He will be missed!  With his passing and the scuttling of the space shuttle program the moon seems just a bit further away today.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Forced Vaccination or Food for Your Children


I find it appalling that government aid would be withheld from families and, more importantly children, in order to FORCE parents to vaccinate children.  This was a study done in Georgia where families were threatened with the loss of their Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) unless the families could show up-to-date vaccinations of the children.  In the summary of the study I could see and I am not sure if any families were actually denied aid but the summary does say the families where threatened with the loss of aid.

I understand and I think most children should be vaccinated.  I do NOT agree with the current vaccination schedule by the CDC because I think it is too aggressive.  Especially for children under the age of two.  The government should not force families, who are in dire need of money and support, to vaccinate their children.  This is more than just a debate on vaccinations and if a child should be vaccinated or not but about parental rights.  That PARENTS and not the government should be making decisions for their children when it comes to vaccinations.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mercury in Crayola Crayons?


 Photo courtesy of Adrienne @ Whole New Mom
Addendum to story: I was informed by a reader that Crayola sent her the following response...

Reference Number 001191621A.

Dear LXXXX,

Crayola takes the safety of our products very seriously and we were equally concerned by the report you saw about mercury in crayons. We subsequently had two independent, non-governmental labs test these same crayons using proper chemical testing protocols. Both test results reported no mercury in Crayola(R) Crayons.

In addition, we also worked with the manufacturer of the XRF testing equipment used by the author of the post you referenced to determine how and why her test showed the presence of mercury. They determined that the tests on our crayons showed a false positive for mercury, based on an interference created by another constituent of the crayons. In short - the information in the post is inaccurate. Based on these test results, we requested that the post be removed and a correction printed in order to prevent the further spread of inaccurate information and the unnecessary confusion of others.

So in defense of Crayola I printed their response and you can read the rest of the post with this information in mind....
_________________________________________________________________________
Came across a post on Facebook and it could effect many people trying to keep heavy metals away from their children. The non-profit group Lead Safe America trying to prevent children from lead exposure in their home.  Through a fluke accident Tamara Rubin was using a Niton XRF from Thermo Fisher Scientific to look for heavy metals. Her son happen to have his Crayola crayons with him so she thought she would examine them.

According to hear readings 20 out of the 24 pack of crayons tested fine.  Four of the crayons showed high levels of mercury and low level of cadmium.  These were Indigo, Blue Violet, Red Violet and Violet.  Ms. Rubin was able to contact Crayola and they said the crayons were extensively tested and shown to be safe.  If you want to be on the safe side and you know you have a child that like to eat or put crayons in their mouth the best bet is to just remove these crayons from the box.  Better safe than sorry!

(If you are having trouble reading the text press CTRL and the + or - symbol to enlarge or shrink font size.)

Letter by Tamara Rubin












The Parent Rap

Here is a great little rap song about parenting.  Definitely good for a laugh!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Ideas Are Not Up For Debate!

I know in the arena of Autism and Vaccination I am not part of the norm.  I have my ideas on the subject and you do not have to share my opinion.  If you do not share my opinion you can state so in the comments below ONCE and then after that it gets excessive.  I do NOT want to argue.  If you disagree you are always welcome to start your own blog and state your own opinion.  :)

Chantai Snellgrove had a wonderful idea!  She developed a Cheat Sheet for her child.  The idea of the Cheat Sheet is to give a quick and concise way for teachers (and I think caregivers too) to learn about her child and their diagnosis.  What a GREAT idea!!!  I am planning on filling one out for each of my children so I can have a quick reference sheet for all the other people in my kiddos lives.

The National Autism Association (NAA) has something called the Big Red Box. The Big Red Box is meant for autistic children who elope or wander.  Margaret is prone to this and she has scared me several times.  The kit normally sells for $35 but occasionally the NAA gets a grant and can offer the Boxes for little to no cost.  The kit comes with:

1) Educational materials and tools
          -  A caregiver checklist           -  A Family Wandering Emergency Plan
          -  A first-responder profile form           -  A wandering-prevention brochure          -  A sample IEP Letter

2) Two (2) Door/Window Alarms with batteries
3) One (1) RoadID Personalized, Engraved Shoe ID Tag*
4) Five (5) Laminated Adhesive Stop Sign Visual Prompts for doors and windows
5) Two (2) Safety Alert Window Clings for car or home windows
6) One (1) Red Safety Alert Wristband
*You will receive instructions to submit a custom personalization order online at roadid.com. Your tag will be quickly engraved with your emergency information and mailed to you at no charge.    

This kit is a MUST have if you have a child that wanders.  One the same topic of keeping an autistic wanderer safe I was also checking into ID bracelets and other identifiers.  Margaret does NOT like have barrettes  bracelets, necklaces, or anything else on.  It just drives her nuts...lol

My Precious Kid makes a variety of products for ID purpose.  They have velcro bracelets that I think Margaret would have a hard time getting off.  She has weak hand strength.  In addition to the bracelets though they have dog tags (might could sneak that on her), charms for necklaces (allergies) and shoe ID tags.  I think the shoe ID tag would be the most successful with Margaret.

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has some really great tools.  One is a tool where you can see what additives are in the vaccine itself before you decide to vaccinate.  Another tool is a vaccine ingredient calculator.  This is a neat tool and you can see if the additive in the vaccine.  The calculator will determine how much, if any, the additive in the vaccine exceeds safety standards for the person you are making the calculations using the weight of the individual.  There is a lot more information available and the site is well worth investigating.

A small study (Gehan A Mostafa and Laila Y AL-Ayadhi Reduced serum concentrations of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in children with autism: Relation to autoimmunity. Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012, 9:201 doi:10.1186/1742-2094-9-201 Published: 17 August 2012)   recently stated autistic children tend to have a low level of vitamin D in their body and a high level of antibiotics.  With the small population sample one could not call this study conclusive but it is worth thinking about and if you have an autistic child in your life I would suggest getting their vitamin D levels checked.  

I have several friends that deal with PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus) and have had a tough road to finding a diagnosis.  In an article written by Lori Parrish (
PANDAS and Autism Spectrum | Questioning Special Needs Diagnoses) does a wonderful job talking about this disease.  I think I am sadly in the majority when I said I had never heard of such a thing.  I hope to get the word out to others.  It is SO tough when you feel as though you have lost your child yet you do not know what is going on.  When you push and fight to find out people (doctors, nurses, educators, friends, and even your spouse) can turn on you and look at you like you are crazy.  All I can say is stay the course!  As the parent your instinct is often right!

One bit of homeschooling advice.  If you are looking for a site that will generate additional math worksheets for practice then Math Worksheet Site.com is a great place to turn for some FREE (LOVE that word) help.
                                               

Living in Flux and Eating Bon Bons

At the moment I think it would take me less time to tell you, my reader, the few things that are the same in my life but I am going to try and cover as many as I can in the post.  First is my living arrangement.  My husband, since he has dropped the divorce, is still out of the house the kids and I live in.  With the money I am getting from John along with the what little money I am getting from SSI I am not able to cover all my bills.  So I have been applying for jobs all over the country.  The way things are looking are: 1) move back in with John (which he does not want and really, neither do I)  (2) become homeless (not literally but I would be stuck in a cheap hotel) or (3) find a job.

For me getting a job would be great because I would LOVE to have a job and make my own money. This is especially true if I am able to land a job that is related to what I have been slaving over graduate school for the last two years. On that note, I have had two interviews.  One for the State and another for the Federal government.  I would LOVE to have either job!  They are both in my field and are RIGHT in line with the master's degree I have been working towards for the last two years.  I am hoping to hear something soon.

In the meantime I am trying to hang on to my house in Vegas.  Moving the children is hard on them.  I would like to just move once, for my job, than move several times.  On that note though I had an interesting development on Monday.  John had dropped off the children on Sunday and talked about how much they had loved attending church and what a great time everyone had.  I was happy for them all but I told John that  he could not take the children to church (an in return Sunday class) after school started.  He just looked at me.  I said he could not do that because of the risk of exposure to Joseph for respiratory diseases.  Then he said that I was asking him to give up church.  I said I was not.  I was just asking him not to go to church every other Sunday morning when he had the children.  Otherwise he was free to go to church as much as he liked.  He could go Sunday night, Wednesday night, Tuesday night for his group stuff and every other Sunday morning.  He was upset with me but I thought that was going to be the end of the story.

On Monday evening he comes by to see the children and to put them to bed.  When he comes in he says he has some good news.  I am think that sounds promising.  Then he says, "Well, I think it is good news but I am not sure you will think so."  At that moment I KNEW I was about to be PISSED off.  I did not even bother looking at him.  I just waited for him to say what he was going to say.  He tells me that he had called Joseph's pulmonologist without my knowledge and spoke to him over the phone.  He said he wanted to take Joseph to church and asked for clearance to do it.  The part of this story that boggles my mind the most is that the pulmonologist gave John the clearance without seeing Joseph!!!  So when I looked at John and said I would like to see some proof he smiled and pulled out a note on a prescription pad note that said Joseph could go to church.  To say I was angry would be a gross understatement!  I yelled at John.  He said he did not understand why I would not be happy that Joseph could go more places.  I asked him if he had even been aware of what was going on in the past year.  How could he really?  He spent most of his time away to avoid me and somewhat the children!  When he was home we rarely spoke.

I tried to calm down and explain it to John again.  Joseph has MANY medical issues and his hypotonia, narrow trachea, tracheomalacia and low weight make ANY respiratory illness for him dangerous.  Then John pointed out the 4 colds that Joseph has had in the last two years.  Yes, Joseph has had four colds and recovered from all of them well.  I told him that was not the point.  During the winter all sorts of nasty stuff floats around including the flu and RSV.  THAT is what I am concerned about.  John asked why I was getting so upset.  It was not like he was sick or something.  I told him not yet but in my opinion he was playing Russian roulette with our son's health.  I was SO angry that I had to leave.   I could not stay in my house any longer.

The next day I called the pulmonologist's office.  They want NOTHING more to do with me now because of this crap.  I called and told them that John and I were separated and he did this behind my back.  I wanted to know what was going on.  The nurse said John had called and left a message for clearance for Joseph on Monday.  His doctor gave it to him but did not know the entire story like John placed Joseph into a child care class with 4 or 5 other one to two year olds.  I said with John doing that I might as well just place Joseph in a daycare or school myself.  The nurse said John did not mention this.  The clearance for church was for Joseph to attend church and sit beside John in the auditorium and NOT for him to be in any sort of class with children.  The doctor's office was NOT happy to be informed that they were being used in this power play John was pulling and threatened not to see Joseph any more.  SO NOT PLEASED WITH JOHN!!!

The next day I told John I called up the pulmonologist's office to get clarification on what was going on.  I said he could take Joseph to church, which I did not agree with, but he would HAVE to keep Joseph with him.  Then John gets completely mad at me and says a lot of things but the one that hurt the most was telling me to leave.  I want to stay and work out things with him but with him going behind my back and putting Joseph's health at risk along with his attitude I am not sure I can.  He basically said I would not allow him to parent and he was basically just money and a babysitter to me so I should leave and go to California.

I did not know what to say really.  I did yell at him about saying he was babysitting for me.  I said he was taking his time with his children and NOT babysitting for me.  What a joke!  So we argued about that and I said he can give up his rights to see the children whenever he wanted and I would keep them.  I did not need him to "babysit" and I would just keep them.  Then he got defensive and said I could not keep him from seeing his children.  Yet, apparently, if he takes them, then he is babysitting for me.  WHATEVER!!!   So when I have the children am I babysitting for him???  How absurd!!!

So now our relationship is strained and he has told me to go.  I am not sure what I am going to do.  I guess this is just another problem I will have to wait and see how it plays out.  Then there is school.  I have my last class I am suppose to take.  I started the class August 6th but I dropped out on the 19th so I could get a 100% tuition refund.  I just found out that I will not be able to sign up for the class again until December.  In some ways this is good.  There is a REALLY good chance I will be moving (for work or to California), having to set up the kids services again, get settled into a job (hopefully), find someone to play wife for me (cleaning house and taking care of ALL of the children's activities), do research on my topic for my paper AND most importantly figure out HOW to collect data and write a research paper in the SHORT time frame of my class.   You know, I have nothing going on really.  I just sit around and eat bon bons.

Today it has RAINED, RAINED and RAINED!  I even had the feeding therapist tell me NOT to come to therapy session today because there were wide spread reports of flooding and their parking lot was flooded.  I have never had a therapist cancel my appointment!  The roof in the house has a leak and I have had to empty a large bowl three times.  The most water I had ever had in the bowl was 3/4 full.  I think the rain has finally died off.  It was a nice break though from all the heat and sunshine.

video



So that basically all going on in my life.  I guess I could talk about the lack of money (had to sell my sofa), lack of food in the house (I will be eating popcorn for dinner. Kids ALWAYS get feed!), the air conditioner in my van does not always work and the brakes need to be fixed, or that I have NO idea how I am going to get the money to move.  I shall not worry though.  Those problems can wait until tomorrow and I will go back now to eating my bon bons...lol.
















 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I Got An Idea!


Well, to be honest I have pilfered several ideas off my friends from Facebook and I thought I would share them here.

First idea: 10 Myths of IEPs. I thought this was a great article and I wanted to post it here. ANYONE who has to deal with creating an IEP should be armed with as much information as possible.

href="http://www.specialeducationadvisor.com/ten-myths-about-individualized-education-programs-ieps/

Ten Myths About Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
By Bob Fitzsimmons, M.A., M.Ed., Consultant Special Education

The regulations that implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are complex, detailed and broad. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about them, and it is not uncommon for school staff, who generally have good intentions, to misstate a regulation or to rely on an assumption about a particular regulation. When school staff rely on special education mythology, two things occur: the school risks being in noncompliance; and more importantly, the all-important relationship with parents is undermined, eroding the trust that is necessary to achieve genuine consensus.

The comments to the regulations that implement the IDEA state that “[t]he IEP Team is expected to act in the best interest of the child.” [34 C.F.R. Part 300, Analysis of Comments and Changes, Subpart A–General, Federal Register, Vol. 71, No. 156, p. 46657 and 46658 (August 2006)] When the parent-school relationship is undermined by ignorance, it is knowledge of the regulations that can help remedy the situation. To build knowledge of the regulations, I provide a free Special Education Tip of the Week to help correct misconceptions about the regulations and to dispel special education myths. Sign-up for this free service at my website www.SpecialEdCompliance.com

Below are ten common misunderstandings about some of the IDEA regulations, followed by an explanation that cites the pertinent regulation, explanations from the Commentary to the regulations, reference letters from OSEP (US Department of Education/Office of Special Education Programs), or pertinent case law. (Bob Fitzsimmons is not an attorney, and the information below should not be considered legal advice.)

1. Schools must give parents 10-days’ advance notice before scheduling an individualized education program (IEP) meeting or a multidisciplinary evaluation team (MET) meeting.

There is no such requirement in the IDEA. The regulations that implement the IDEA state that a school “must take steps to ensure that one or both of the parents of a child with a disability are present at each IEP Team meeting or are afforded the opportunity to participate.” Schools must notify “parents of the meeting early enough to ensure that they will have an opportunity to attend,” and schedule “the meeting at a mutually agreed time and place.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.322(a)(1)and(2)] (Emphasis added) The regulations do not specify any specific timeframe for providing parents with a meeting notice.

2. Parents must approve and sign an IEP before it can be implemented.

There is no such requirement in the IDEA.* Although it is required that parents provide informed written consent prior to the initial provision of special education services [34 C.F.R. § 300.300(b)], there is nothing in IDEA that requires IEP team members to sign the IEP. OSEP states that it believes it would be overly burdensome to impose such a requirement. [Federal Register, Vol. 71, No. 156 (August 14, 2006) pg. 46682] While working toward consensus is laudable and is an expectation of the IDEA regulations, there is no requirement in the IDEA regulations that the parties reach consensus on all aspects of an IEP before it is valid. [A.E. v. Westport Board of Education, 06-5920-cv (2nd Dist. 2007)] If consensus is not possible, schools have a duty to come up with an appropriate plan with the information from the IEP meeting, and then provide the parents the opportunity for due process if they disagree. [Doe v. Maher, 793 F.2d 1470 (9th Cir. 1986)]

* Some states may require IEP team participants to sign the IEP, but the IDEA regulations do not.

3. When a new eligibility category is determined (for a student already receiving SPED services), the school must have written consent from the parents before it can begin to provide services in that new area.

There is no such requirement in the IDEA. The regulations that implement the IDEA require that parents provide informed written consent prior to the initial provision of SPED services [34 C.F.R. § 300.300(b)]. (Emphasis added) There is no requirement that schools obtain written consent when a new disability category or new related services are determined to be necessary to provide the child with a FAPE (free appropriate public education).

4. IEP and MET teams can and should vote when making decisions.

This is neither required nor recommended. In Doe v. Maher, 793 F.2d 1470 (9th Cir. 1986), the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the question of whether, in the IEP team decision-making process, the team is required to follow a “majority rules” type of vote in making decisions. The court reasoned that a head count did not make sense due to the inconsistent makeup of IEP teams at meetings, and the potential for encouraging parties to “stack the deck.” Thus, schools have a duty to come up with an appropriate plan with the information from the meeting, and provide parents the opportunity for due process if they disagree. [Id.]

5. Summer vacation is a legitimate excuse to delay having an IEP meeting or completing an evaluation.

No. Summer vacations do not provide cover for a district for not developing an IEP for a student. An IEP must be in place for a student at the start of a school year [34 C.F.R. § 300.323(a)], even if this means that a school has to arrange a meeting with the parents during the summer. [Myles S. v. Montgomery County Board of Education, 824 F.Supp. 1549 (M.D. Ala. 1993)] The regulations that implement the IDEA state that an initial evaluation “must be conducted within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation” (or within the state timeline “if the state establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted.”) [34 C.F.R. § 300.301(c)(1)]

6. A parent can request an IEE (independent educational evaluation) at any time in the evaluation process.

No. Under the regulations that implement the IDEA, “[a] parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.502(b)(1)] (Emphasis added) A parent is entitled to only one IEE each time a school conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees. [34 C.F.R. § 300.502(b)(5)] If a parent requests an IEE at public expense, the school “must, without unnecessary delay, either file a due process complaint” on the grounds that its evaluation is appropriate, “or ensure that an IEE is provided [to the parent] at public expense.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.502(b)(2)(i)and(ii)] If a district has not yet completed an evaluation, the parent obviously cannot disagree with that evaluation until it has been completed.

7. A manifestation determination meeting must occur prior to the decision to suspend a student for more than ten days in a single school year.

There is no such requirement in the IDEA. The regulations that implement the IDEA state that “within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct,” the school, parent and relevant members of the student’s IEP team must determine if the behavior was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the child’s disability, and if the conduct in question was the direct result of the school’s failure to implement the IEP. [34 C.F.R. § 300.530(e)(i)-(ii)] The school determines on a case-by-case basis whether or not a pattern of removals constitutes a change in placement. [34 C.F.R. § 300.536(b)(1)] Therefore, the manifestation determination meeting must take place within ten school days of the decision to change the child’s educational placement for disciplinary reasons.

8. Accommodations and academic support equate with special education.

No. “Employing accommodation[s] and other compensatory strategies [such as academic support, or assisting a student with his/her assignments] without increasing a student’s skill level does not represent compliance with the IDEA; it is not sufficient to simply ‘escort’ an educationally challenged student through the school system.” [J.L. and M.L. v. Mercer Island School District, US District Court, Western District of Washington, C06-494P, 46 IDELR 273 (December 2006)] A contention that accommodations alone are sufficient to meet the test of the IDEA regulations is without merit. While some form of accommodation may well be necessary for a disabled child to have access to the general curriculum, an emphasis solely on accommodations, as opposed to specially designed instruction that moves a disabled child toward self-sufficiency and independent living “is at odds with the focus and purpose of the IDEA.” [Id.]

9. Students who are earning passing grades are not eligible for special education instruction and services.

The regulations that implement the IDEA require that in discharging its Child Find obligations, a school must include children who are suspected of having a disability, even if they are advancing from grade to grade. [34 C.F.R§ 300.311(c)(1)] The threshold for suspecting a disability “is relatively low; inquiry is not whether the student actually qualifies, but whether the student should be referred for [an] evaluation.” [Scottsdale Unified School District, Arizona State Educational Agency. 03F-II02025-ADE (SEA February 12, 2003), citing Dep’t. of Ed. State of Hawaii v. Carl Rae S., 158 F. Supp. 2d 1190, 1195 (D. Haw. 2001)]

10. In disciplinary matters, the protections of the IDEA only extend to students who have been determined eligible for special education instruction and services.


All eligible students are entitled to the protections of the IDEA. However, these protections in disciplinary matters also extend to students who are not yet eligible for special education services but who may qualify for special education services in three possible situations: (1) If the parents express in writing to a school’s administrative or supervisory staff a concern that their child needs special education, then the protections of IDEA apply; (2) when the parents request an evaluation; and (3) when school personnel express specific concerns about a student’s pattern of behavior to the school’s special education director or other school administrators. [34 C.F.R. § 300.534(b)(1)-(3)]

Bob Fitzsimmons, MEd, MA, has 30 years of experience in special education as Complaint Investigator for the Arizona Department of Education/Office of Dispute Resolution, Special Education administrator and Special Education teacher. He is now a Special Education Consultant for Special Education Compliance Group, LLC, offering guidance to districts and charter schools in Arizona about special education compliance issues. Sign-up for a free Special Education Tip of the Week at www.SpecialEdCompliance.com

Special Education Compliance Group, L.L.C.
Bob Fitzsimmons, M.A., M.Ed., Consultant
Phone: 520-419-9250
Email: bob@SpecialEdCompliance.com
Web: www.SpecialEdCompliance.com

Second idea: How to get people to eat more fresh vegetable?  These super cute ideas for vegetable trays are helpful for the coming season.  I know I got some good ideas from this article.

http://www.livinglocurto.com/2011/09/vegetable-trays/


10 Creative Vegetable Trays

Party food can be extra fun with some simple designs such as creative veggie trays!
Enjoy these unique veggie tray designs for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthday parties.

Pumpkin Veggie Tray via Taste of Home.

Mummy Veggie Dip by Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate Halloween via Hostess with the Mostess.


Turkey Veggie tray by Eating with Food Allergies.

Mini Turkey Veggie Plate by The Happy Raw Kitchen.

Turkey Veggie and Cracker Tray by Brimful Curiosities.



Veggie Christmas Tree by Wanna Green Bean.

Veggie Cake  by Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Elmo Veggie Tray via Hatter and Hare Events.

Yo Gabba Gabba veggie tray via Wendy Will Blog.

Third idea: Since all good things come in threes (LOL) I wanted to post this idea for making a little wall plaque or maybe a stepping stone. In any case the idea was a good one and I wanted to pass it on.

In case you cannot read the recipe it is 
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 water (more or less)
Need the mixture until a dough forms.  Once it does shape the dough and then make your imprint.  Then bake in the oven for 3 (three) hours at 200 degrees. 

I thought these were some great ideas.  I especially like ides three for a possible holiday gift to family. I know I found this information useful and I hope others will as well.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Fall of Michelle

I was sitting at Dim Sum earlier today feeling bad for myself. I like Dim Sum but it is truly a social event. There were tables and tables of people sitting around me but I was sitting alone. I felt a profound loneliness. I miss my older children SO much. I have missed my little children since they have been gone after the surgery on my hand. I miss having adult company and more importantly friends. I don't know why I have such a problem finding friends. When I find a friend my friends typically stay a friend of mine for a LONG time. I just wish I could find more friends.

I decided to treat myself to Dim Sum today to have a bit of time to think about my life. It was about 7 years ago that I was happily married (at least I thought I was) and that year I worked professionally and so did my husband. We made close to $90,000 that year. It was a good year. Then we had the babies. I had to leave my federal government job in 2007. I got a few job offers in 2008 but with the traumatic birth of the children, the life-and-death status of Joseph and the lack of sleep there was NO way I was going to be able to go back to work. John was unemployed too. He was finally able to get a job in Alabama but not as a teacher due to credential problems.

When job was offered a job back in Nevada we went back to Las Vegas. I regret ever leaving but that is done now. After getting back to Las Vegas I have been applying for jobs over and over again but I have not had ANY job offers. Before 2007 I would be able to send out my resume to 5 companies and I would have at least 2 jobs offers. In the last two years alone I have applied to HUNDREDS of jobs and I have received only FIVE calls for interviews! The last interview was for a job in Phoenix and so far no hiring decisions have been made. I am keeping my fingers crossed because I SERIOUSLY need a job.

John may have made a move to patch up things in out marriage we are still in a VERY strained position. John has his own place so is not helping to maintain my place any longer. Rent for July was not paid (this is the month he left and we were fighting) and the money I got from SSI was 1/2 of what I had been getting since John had his biggest paychecks right before he left and there is a 2 month lag for when you get paid from SSI. I am not sure how much money I will get our of SSI after John gives me my allotment of basically child support. Hopefully he will give me the money but he may not. In the meantime I have told my landlady I will leave by mid-September. I could stay and make he evict me but she is a SUPER nice lady and I do not want to treat her that way.

John has not offered to let me stay with him. I have NO idea what I will do if I lose my house. Essentially I will be homeless. At Dim Sum I was disheartened by the fact that in 7 relatively short years I went from a home making about $90K a year to all most being homeless. Having the children has financially ruined my life but I LOVE them and they are one of the only joys in my life at the moment. I just have to figure out how to bounce back from the loss of my jewelry (my only asset besides my car)and find a job. I may have fallen but I will rise again. I am too much of a fighter to give up!



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Last day of July....

And boy am I GLAD to see July come to an end!

Since John left I had to take care of the children by myself. After John telling me he was leaving it was an emotional weekend with no room to take a breathe and gather myself. On Monday, July 9th, Margaret had an appointment at the dentist. That was JUST the start of one of the WORST days of my ENTIRE LIFE!!! She had pointed out to me her front left tooth was loose (thanks to Yo Gabba Gabba...lol). With the recent abscess from Joseph's dead front teeth I was concerned. So poor Dr. Sina was the dentist we went to see. Margaret did pretty well for her during the exam part. She sat in the dental chair and cried VERY little! I was SO proud of her!

All was going well until the dental assistant went to take a couple of x-rays of her front teeth. Margaret gagged a little but not too bad. I thought I was in the clear. She got up from the dental chair and ran over to me. She had a pale pallor to her skin and I was concerned. I called to her but she detoured at the last minute and headed to a narrow hallway where the appointment setter works. She stops suddenly and projectile vomits. Two bad things about this. One is that I fed her 90 minutes earlier and she should not have been able to vomit so much. The second problem was the appointment setter gets ill easily and he RAN out of the reception area. I felt sorry for her. Luckily Margaret missed vomiting on her clothes and she only got a small amount on her shoes. That was perfect since it was easy to clean her up.

Then I left there and had appointments at two different attorneys to discuss my impending divorce. The first attorney I went to said I had an excellent case to gain sole custody of my children. I was pleased and I liked the attorney well enough. The second attorney was was heading across town to make the second appointment I called the office only to be told they could not see me. Sigh! So I turned the car around and headed home. I make it home at about 2pm after leaving the house at 9am. I arrived home and opened the front door using my key. I walk in and the children go in. They did not want to stay outside because it was SUPER hot that day. The next thing I know I hear James say the TV is gone. I was talking to my friend as I walked in the door and I walk over to where the TV sits and I see it is gone. My first though was that John came back and took the TV. Then I walk back to my bedroom and I see my jewelry box sitting out on my bed instead of being at the top of my closet. ALL the jewelry was gone! Including the jewelry that was in a baby wipe container that held my nicest jewelry. I easily lost $7,000 in jewelry that I had collected over 20 years AND the inheritance of my children. I called the police and at first I was mad. As I was filling out the missing property report I could not think. Most of the jewelry I had not worn in YEARS because of the babies. Then I started to cry. I was so stressed out that night and I was scared to sleep at home. Who ever did this has to either live close to my house or goes by it on a regular basis. That is how they knew I was gone but for someone just to hit my house for the jewelry and my TV they must have been in here before or know me. That was ALL that was taken. My laptop was left behind, my prescription pills and some other moderately valued electronic stuff that was small.

Then to round out the day my husband was trying to force (or at least I felt that way) me to agree to divorce stipulations that I was not happy with. I went to speak to his friend that evening with him and I had to start my car. It was not wanting to start. It was 114 degrees outside and the car was acting like it was fried. I tried to start it again and it did start but then the air conditioner did not work, the odometer (electric) did not work and neither did the speedometer. It was tough to drive 30 minutes across town with Margaret, Joseph and myself in a van with no A/C in 144 degree heat. When we got there I was lightly sunburned and we were all beet red due to the heat. By the time our discussion with John's friend ended thankfully my car had cooled and so had the weather so my car started right up and everything worked. I was grateful for that small miracle after such a tragic and awful day!

July 10th it was MY turn at the dentist. I have a MAJOR problem now with getting dental work because I seem not to be able to numb up with lidocaine. This makes ALL dental work at least kinda painful. I was able to convince John to take the children for part of the day for the first time since he left. I was a welcome relief from them but getting dental work cancelled that out...lol. The dentist knows of my problem and made sure he numbed me up SUPER well. I had enough lidocaine that my face was numb up to my eyes. It felt WEIRD! I had two cavities drilled and refilled. They were both large. They stated out as tiny pinprick cavities 20 years ago and now the tooth is all most gone. The next time I will have to get crowns on the teeth. :( I also had two teeth sealed. They will probably be the ONLY two teeth I have when I am old! LOL At the end of the drilling I was feeling the dentist drill. It was not too bad though. It took until the end of the day for all the lidocaine to wear off! When I got home the children were wondering what was wrong with me...lol.

On Wednesday July 11th I had feeding therapy for Joseph and while I was in the area I had an appointment with another divorce attorney. John was telling me I did not have a good case for the divorce and I thought I did. I went to another attorney to get another opinion. The last attorney told me the same thing. I had a good case. That made me relieved.

On the 12th I only had therapy for Margaret and Joseph. It was a nice break compared to the other days. July 13th John took the children for the weekend for the first time. It was nice. So Saturday I had an appointment with the Aveda school and got my hair done. It was SO nice. I needed that SO bad after all the stress of the divorce, the break-in of my home, and having the children for awhile without much of a break.

I got the children back Sunday evening and on Monday I had a WIC appointment but I could not make it to the recertification appointment. Tuesday the 17th I did not have any appointments. Thanks goodness! On the 18th Joseph had an appointment with Dr. Sina, the dentist, to clean the heavy tarter build-up on his back teeth. The tarter is so heavy because he does not chew food so the teeth do not have the tarter scraped off of them. So I took him in for his cleaning. He did SO good in sitting in the chair. When the dentist came in I sat Joseph in the dental chair, James in a small child's chair and Margaret in the stroller. I thought this was a good idea but I was horribly wrong! As the dentist started to clean Joseph's teeth Margaret became upset. I saw her stick her hands into her mouth and then the next thing I know she vomited EVERYWHERE! Vomit was in her hair, down her shirt, on her pants and she filled the bottom of the stroller with vomit so the back of her pants were soaked too. I was not prepared for that by ANY means! NEVER though she would get sick with Joseph having the dental appointment!

I had to go and leave Joseph alone while I took Margaret and James to the bathroom and try to clean up all the mess. I was able to get her shirt off without getting more barf in her hair. I rinsed out her hair and then I tried to tackle her clothes. I rinsed them off in the sink using soap and water. By the time I got everything clean her shirt and pants were completely soaked and there was no hand dryer in the bathroom not to mention that a hand dryer would have completely upset Margaret. So I did the only thing I could do. I dumped the barf in the stroller out and then tried to rinse the stroller in the sink but that was not going to happen...lol. Just would not fit. :/ I had to walk Margaret out of the dentist office with just her shoes and diaper on...LOL! The dentist was kind enough to offer me a gown for her but I said I was not worried about it. We only had a short way to walk to the car and then I was going to strap her in and take her to the house to get more clothes. I had JUST enough time to get home, grab clothes for her and then race across town to Joseph's feeding appointment. I just made it in time to walk through the door by the time I got Margaret into her change of clothes. What a wild day! By the time I got back out to my car the stroller I had rinsed out and her clothes were making my car reek of barf due to the warm weather. I was GLAD to get home! I got the clothes into the washing machine and the stroller I set up outside and then used the hose and some dish soap to get it clean. Then I left it in the sun for two days to make sure the smell would be gone.

That evening John came over and stayed so he could take me to watch the children because on July 19th I went to have carpal tunnel surgery done on my right hand. I have been having carpal tunnel issues for the last 20 years but it had gotten so bad that I could not drive, fill out a form, sew on a button or do anything that required me to grip something without my hand falling asleep. I had been tough! So I hoped surgery would solve my problem. I dove myself to the surgery center EARLY in the morning. I get there and I am nervous. I was able to settle my nerves until the nurses were trying to put an IV into the back of my hand. I just do not have good veins there especially on my left hand. So they stuck me once and it did not work so another nurse tried. She got blood but it would not flow. She was moving the needle around and I cried out in pain and starting crying. They think they were on a valve. I don't know besides it was SUPER painful so they stopped. All most the ENTIRE back of my hand was bruised for a week. The anesthesiologist came out and stuck me in my arm and got it at once. I was glad there was NO more torture!

I was wheeled in and got on the surgical bed. The anesthesiologist knocked me out. I work up later. The surgery was really short. My hand was wrapped up and I was woozy that first day but otherwise I felt fine. The next day I watched the children for a few hours while John took a nap. The children have been gone for the most part. I have had them over on Thursday and Sunday nights so that John can get up early and go workout with his trainer. Then I kept the children for 4 hours the day after my surgery, I kept them for another 4 hours one day after John got back from working out and Saturday (28th) I kept the children all most all day (10am to 7:30pm). By Saturday John was starting to beg for mercy from the children. I love the little munchkins so much but the can wear you out. I asked John if he understood why I could not do school work at night after taking care of the children all day and he said yes so I agreed to take the children on Saturday. :) I have an appointment with the hand doctor on August 1. Recovery for my carpal tunnel surgery has been difficult and I have had a lot of pain in my hand. Even now I have pain often when I move my thumb. It hurts. I am hoping he will say it is all normal and will heal great. I did have the surgeon tell me that my surgery went well and the carpal tunnel was under extreme compression. I am hoping I got the surgery done in time to keep permanent damage from happening to my nerves in my hand.

To wrap things up on the divorce end John and I are going to try and work things out so currently the divorce has been dropped. We will go the couples therapy and see if we can stay together because having disabled surviving quads we will probably ALWAYS have to deal with each other until we die. It would be easier to do that if we were able to stay together and work in unison for the children than work against one another.

Still grateful the month of July has ended! One of the worst months of my life!