Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Weather Woes

I just thought I would let those of you with weather woes that you are not alone, no matter what state you live in. Our Spring so far has been nice day, great day, snow. Nice day, nice day, snow. You get the idea. Yesterday it was 80 here and today it has snowed all day. Ahhhh, Spring in the Rocky Mountains. It is supposed to be almost 70 this weekend again. What a roller coaster.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stephen and the mouse

Here is another one from Chuckee Cheese. We usually go there every year on Stephen's b-day and let him play for awhile and I get one of these pictures of him each year to show his age progression. This was taken on 3/26/08 which is not his birthday but I thought I would get one anyway because someday there will come a time when he may not want to do it any more. (Or he won't be able to fit in the car with the mouse because he is so tall.)

Stephen and Mom

Here is a "picture" of Stephen and I - as drawn by the picture machine at Chuckee Cheese. One of my co-workers described that place as being like a kid's casino and I have decided she is not too far off. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My 100 Things About Me List

Well, it took me a while, but here is my 100 things about me list. For those of you reading this that have not already done one (that eliminates most of the Cunninghams - Hee Hee Hee) I would encourage you to try one yourself. It was both challenging and eye-opening for me to do one. Here you go!

100 Things About Me
1. I am the oldest of five children.
2. I am the first to graduate from college.
3. I am 34 years old.
4. Turning 30 was a non-event for me.
5. 40 might be different though. It concerns me a little.
6. I have one son, Stephen who will be 10 in August of this year.
7. I am Not old enough to have a 10 year old son.
8. I almost lost Stephen during his birth.
9. If my Mom hadn't been here, I would have lost him.
10. I will believe to the day I die that the negligence of the hospital staff caused his cerebral palsy.
11. Having a son with CP has really made me grow as a person and a parent.
12. I have had to conquer my fears of being around special needs people.
13. I realize that I should not have ever feared being around them in the first place.
14. I know it was an irrational fear and I am a fairly rational person. I can't explain it.
15. Perhaps God knew I needed to get over that when he gave me the child he did.
16. I have learned SO much from my son.
17. I wouldn't trade my son for ANYTHING.
18. I am single.
19. I broke my leg when I was 12.
20. I was in a cast for 4 months that summer.
21. I was told by the doctors that I was a slow healer. Ya think?
22. I broke my leg when I stopped on a swing so I wouldn't hit my younger brother, Tom.
23. I broke my foot when I was 32.
24. I broke my foot by tripping over one of Stephen's toys.
25. I have had several sprains and other such stuff, especially when younger.
26. Apparently I was (and maybe still am) somewhat clumsy.
27. In spite of that, I took every dance class I could get my hands on while I was at ISU.
28. I did very well in all of them.
29. I always wanted to learn to dance.
30. I haven't seriously danced in years. Does goofing around at weddings count?
31. I miss dancing and would like to take lessons again.
32. Raising my child has kept me from doing much in the way of extra-curricular activities.
33. I need to lose weight.
34. I am not happy with how I look.
35. I have a somewhat low self esteem about my looks and weight.
36. I have a much better sense of self esteem about my intelligence.
37. I think both of my sisters are prettier than I am.
38. I don't like eating raw onions but I will use them in cooking and I like onion rings.
39. I hated speech class in high school but I LOVE the theatre!
40. I MISS the Clay County Community theatre and that group of people.
41. I love living in Colorado!
42. I moved cross country by myself in 1997.
43. I was not in 4-H growing up but I am the 4-H secretary at work and I started a family 4-H club and I am Stephen's 4-H leader.
44. I like to cook.
45. I know how to sew.
46. I took three years of French in high school. (I would have taken four but we didn't have enough students signed up to justify the class.)
47. I have started taking Spanish classes through Arapahoe County (where I work).
48. I won't be fluent (it is a 12-week course) but may have some hope of conducting a decent conversation.
49. I like learning new things.
50. I LOVED college.
51. I hated high school.
52. I wouldn't mind going back to school when Stephen is older.
53. I graduated college with a bachelor of science degree in Kindergarten-Primary Education.
54. I hope to own a home someday for Stephen and I.
55. I don't like living in apartments.
56. I have lived in apartments since I moved out on my own.
57. The worst are the big box apartments like the one I am in now with people all around me.
58. I feel like I live in a shoe box.
59. I like growing things.
60. I want a garden when I get a house someday.
61. I can't get enough of Rocky Mountain National Park.
62. It has several different climates all in one park.
63. I also love the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
64. Whenever my family come to visit (someday?) I want to take them to both places.
65. It has been awhile since any of my family has been to visit.
66. I have (thanks to my family for making them possible) made several trips home since I have been home.
67. I was last home summer of 2007 for MaryAnn's wedding.
68. I am the only sibling out of the five of us that has never been married.
69. Can you say old maid?
70. I moved to Colorado in October, 1997.
71. It doesn't seem like it has been that long.
72. My family goes girl, boy, girl, boy, etc. Mom is older than Dad was. It goes Mom, Dad, me, Brian, Cheryl, Tom and MaryAnn.
73. I always wanted my first child to be a boy.
74. No one out here believed me when I said that. My coworkers had the impression that since I was a woman I must want a girl first.
75. I was thrilled that Stephen was a boy.
76. At this point, I don't want any more children.
77. If I ever change my mind and do want another one (which I really don't see happening) I think I would want another boy.
78. The newest car I have ever owned is my current one and it is a 2005.
79.The oldest car I have ever owned was a 1974 AMC Hornet.
80. I liked that car, it just wouldn't stay running and I didn't have money to try to keep figuring out why.
81. I got more comments from people who liked that car.
82. If I had had the money, I would have liked to put that car back in mint condition.
83. It had a Caterpillar engine and denim seats with Levi Strauss buttons.
84. All of the cars I have owned have been used.
85. This list does require some thinking.
86. I am going to have to replace almost all of my son's summer clothes this year.
87. I am getting really tired of doing this list.
88. It has taken me several times stopping and starting to get this list done.
89. My blogspot blog is the first time I have ever blogged.
90. I love using my TomTom GPS device!
91. I am a Star Wars nut. I love (and own) all the movies!
92. I have a collection of Star Wars memoribilia in my bedroom on a shelf.
93. I even have Darth Vader's voice, C3PO's voice and Yoda's voice on my TomTom so I can listen to them tell me where to go! :)
94. I collect Monopoly games. (Yes, I have a couple of Star Wars ones. I also have Star Wars Trivial Pursuit.)
95. I love reading and watching movies.
96. I have well over 100 books on my book shelf and I own over 200 movies. (At last count.)
97. I bought almost all of my books and movies used or they were gifts.
98. I write poetry from time to time, from funny to serious and everything in between.
99. I have won a couple of awards for my poetry.
100. I made it to 100 on this list!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

On a Brighter Note

Stephen had to go get a physical on Wednesday of this week. He participates in a Special Olympic Field Day each year. It is not a sanctioned event, they don't get medals, it is kind of more for fun. The kids do get ribbons though. Stephen always has a good time at them. (Plus he and the other kids in the ADAPT program get to get out of school for most of the day and his classmates in the main classroom have to stay at school and work. After they get back, they get to show the other kids their ribbons and then play games till school is out.) I will try to get some pictures up here after this year's event, but it is not till 5/5 so it will be awhile yet. Anyway, I guessed before we went to the physical that he weighed 63 lbs.and was 4 1/2 feet tall. Well, when they weighed and measured him, he weighed 63 lbs. and was actually 4' 7 1/4" tall. Not bad for guesses, huh? Stephen was amazed that I got so close. What can I say, I guess I know my boy. The doctor was the master of the understatement. She said "wow, he is tall for his age." Gee, you think? At 9 1/2 years of age, 4' 7 1/4" tall is quite tall. He only has just a hair over a foot left (at 9 1/2) to catch up to me. YIKES!!!! He told me when he was younger that he was going to be as tall as his Uncle Brian (6' 4") and his Uncle Tom (6' 7"). At this rate, I think he could very well make it. Other than that his weight is normal and he is healthy. Yea!! He got a very clean bill of health to participate in his S.O. field day. The good thing about this event is that his physical is good for three years so we are good to go for awhile now.

(The picture is Stephen and T-Bone at Easter this year.)

Ever Have One of Those Days? Probably, huh.

Today was sure one of those days for me.

It started out okay. I got to work and got a couple of compliments in an email from another county employee on my writing skills. That is pretty good considering she previously told me I didn't write my 4-H monthly newsletter in the AP journalistic style. (Since I was a Kindergarten/Primary Education major in college and my free time - what there was of it - was spent at Clay County Community Theatre, it was kind of a well, duh moment.) That was about the only good thing today. (Except of course, for my Stephen!)

I left work at 10:45 a.m. to go to Stephen's IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting at school. I have to meet with his ADAPT (special ed) teacher, his occupational therapist, his speech therapist and his classroom teacher every year to revise his goals for the upcoming school year. It was going along okay until they told me they wanted to pull him out of the main classroom for math. He is already pulled out for reading, writing and spelling. He was always able to remain in the main classroom for math up until this point. It has been a strong point for him. When they announced that, I was pretty sad. I almost cried at the meeting. It is not his fault, of course. The curriculum they are using is not working too well for him. Duh, I can't stand the curriculum. It switches between topics every day and the kids are never on one topic long enough to learn it before they have to go on to something else. We were doing algebra for homework the other night and he doesn't even know his addition facts yet. Anyway, he will be getting a new curriculum that focuses on mastery more than variety. It sounds like a good fit for him. The only reason I was upset is because I felt sorry for him (and yes,I am aware it could be so much worse, so please don't remind me of that - I thank God Stephen is who he is every day) in that he was getting pulled for yet another class. He is getting older now and starting to realize how different he is from some of the other kids. Some of the lovely (heavy on the sarcasm here) children have begun to pick on him this year and told him he couldn't read. Of course, I didn't let on to him that it upset me in anyway. I made it sound exciting because it will help him learn better and it might possibly make his homework easier. He liked the idea. It will be fine, I know that. I want what's best for him. Logically, of course, I know that this is best for him in order for him to succeed and become independent. I know all that. This is not about logic. This is more from a mom's heart and not just being able to fix this for him. Logic has nothing to do with it. Those of you that are moms will understand this I am sure.

After I got back to work from that a few co-workers indavertantly, I am sure, made me a little late picking him up from school. That irritated me.

When I got to school to pick him up and take him to daycare, they had the calendar for next school year in there. This year they gave the kids a half day off every month for teacher workshops. Now, someone in their infinite wisdom (again, heavy on the sarcasm) decided to do away with those and have every Monday, yes - every single one, be a late start Monday. That means that instead of starting school at 8 like every other day, they will be starting on Mondays this summer at 9 a.m. I am a single Mom (the only chauffer in the household) and I have to be at work at 8 every morning. That made me really, really mad. They don't get our opinions, they don't say oh, by the way, we are thinking of doing this, they just go ahead and do it. They also are starting school a week earlier this year (which screws up something I was supposed to do for work that day) than they have in the past. They also forgot to send us Stephen's class picture that I ordered.

When I got back to work, I was thinking about this coming Monday issue and I broached an idea to my boss. I suggested that if I could come in on Mondays at 9 then I would take only 1/2 an hour for lunch instead of my usual hour and would work until 5 p.m. instead of 4:30 (if Stephen's daycare provider would agree also). That way, I would still be working my 8 hours and everything would still be okay. My boss said he would have to check policy. I was amazed he said that. It was not like I was just asking to come in late every Monday without making it up. I re-explained everything to him and emphasized that I would still be getting in my 8 hours, the only thing getting shorted was my lunch hour. He still would only say he would sleep on it. That irritated me too. (This is part of why I am so mad at Englewood Schools, now I am having to re-arrange my whole work schedule on Monday - if my boss will allow it - just to get my child to school.) Say some prayers that my boss lets me do it this way and doesn't give me any grief.

I have been SO tired this evening after all this that I am just drained. Now that I have probably bored you all to death, I will end this post. I know nothing is un-surmountable here and that it will all work out how God wants it to, I just needed to vent I guess.