Tuesday, March 31, 2009
My rosebush is budding
Saturday, March 28, 2009
" Section 504 is a federal act which prohibits discrimination against persons with a handicap in any program receiving federal assistance. The act defines a person with a handicap as anyone who:
1. has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (caring for ones self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working)
2. has a record as having such an impairment; or
3. is regarded (perceived) as having such an impairment"
Since Orion has ADHD, he qualifies for what they call a "504 Plan" Basically this means that because he has a condition (ADHD) that hinders with his learning process he gets to have special accomodations to ensure he has the same chance to succeed as every other child in the school.
His plan isn't anything too major, it basically ensures that it's ok for the teacher to redirect him when he gets distracted (he's a day dreamer and if the teacher sees that during testing, especially during MCAS, she needs to be able to speak with him and get him back on task) He needs to have his work broken down into smaller portions because he gets very overwhelmed when he sees a lot of stuff handed to him at once. He literally freezes and simply can not begin the test because he's so distracted by the size of the task in front of him. His time limits need to be flexible because he can not do well under pressure...it doesn't mix with ADHD well at all....he has trouble maintaining his attention span and therefore he has trouble completing tasks on time....so he needs extra time. He needs to be able to walk away and cool off when he gets into frustrating situations rather than scream at and lose his temper with other children. Orion is basically on overdrive and he will get very frustrated with other children who just don't understand stuff as quickly as he can. Social problems are directly connected to ADHD and he is in a special social group at school to help him learn how to be more social (this is another part of his plan) He also has the right to ask to go talk with the school councelor/psychologist and that will have to be scheduled as quickly as possible after he requests a meeting with her. He needs to be able to talk to someone and understand where the social situations went wrong and how he could deal with it better in the future.
Here's our history and how we came to the diagnosis of ADHD for Orion:
I have to admit, at first the concept of my child even having something "wrong" with him was appalling to me. He's my perfect little boy, he's always been active , always did things that scared me and always made me shake my head and wonder what the next trick would be. He was climbing the stair railings and the back of the couch before he could even walk on his own. He would pull himself to a stand in his crib and let go (falling stiff as a board straight backward) and laugh. The only time he didn't laugh at that trick was when he tried it in the living room and landed on hard wood floors....then he cried! I knew I had my hands full when, at preschool, I was called in because he had literally round-house kicked a boy in the head because the boy was sitting on HIS RED SQUARE...ok so there were other red squares but apparently he didn't want one of those. He was 2 1/2 and I chalked it up to 2 year old temper tantrums.
In kindergarten I was called in because he had pinched a girl, the next day he had supposedly bitten her only the bite mark was missing 2 front teeth that Orion still had so I doubt he actually did that one. One time I was called in because he had literally told another boy he was "going to kick his ass" That one I was proud of him for and will be for the rest of my life......a couple of boys had stolen a pencil from a little girl with downs syndrome and they were laughing at her and teasing her. Orion told the boy to give back the pencil or he would kick the kids ass.....ok so maybe he shouldn't have been using such harsh language at 5 years old but he was in the right to protect the little girl.
In 1st grade he couldn't get work done on time, his desk was a mess constantly and he was disruptive. I questioned the idea of ADD or ADHD but the teacher said she wasn't sure and that I should talk with my pediatrician. My husband didn't seem to see it as much as I did and I thought maybe I was just going to easy on him, seeing him through a mothers eyes so to speak. Even my mother-in-law wasn't sure that he was hyperactive and maybe he was just being a typical active boy.
But then 2nd grade came along. At the November parent teacher meeting the teacher hinted that she thought Orion might be ADHD. She told me about her personal experience with her daughter going on meds and how much it changed her life...I was determined to fix it and thought we could make it without meds. By March I was getting calls at least once a week about his behavior, notes were coming home almost daily and he was way behind in class work. The teacher would send him out onto the playground with his workbook to try to make up work that he needed to do during recess. By May I was talking to either the teacher or the assistant principal 3 out of 5 days a week about his behavior. He was swinging on bathroom stall doors, slamming doors, being rude and obnoxious to other children, having outbursts of anger that were scaring the other children and he had 1 friend left who would actually play with him or be in a group with him. It was then that I decided that no matter what anyone else said I was going to have him evaluated. It showed that he was indeed ADHD and we put him on Adderall XR.
Since going on the meds Orion is a completely different child. Although he has mood swings that remind me of a boy hitting his teen years, he also has excelled at school. The teacher loves having him, he has created some new friendships and he is getting A's and B's consistantly...mostly A's! He goes to the weekly social group meetings and the other kids are commenting on how much Orion has changed since last year....how much better he is and how well he behaves now. He's slowly but surely catching up in the social part of his life, his self-esteem is way better than it ever was (although he does still have a ways to go since he is so hard on himself) and he's really become a joy to live with. When his meds wear off or when I give him a meds vacation he has a really tough time and you can tell the difference! The psychologist and pediatrician says we should be the spokesfamily for Adderall because it has been such a success for us. I'll admit it, I feel very happy (and lucky) that we found the right meds first time around!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Matt is an an amazing guy, single father and an inspiration to thousands, if not millions of people! A year ago, 27 hours changed his life in ways he could never imagine...his daughter was born and then the love of his life passed away. Can you imagine his pain and grief?? I don't know if I could be as strong as he is, but he picked up the pieces of his life for his little girl Maddie and he created the Liz Logelin Foundation in her memory to raise awareness and funds for others who have suffered as he has. He posts in his blog with honesty, albiet sometimes harsh, about the reality of dealing with this horrible loss. Can you imagine how he must feel...celebrate your daughters first birthday and the very next day grieve for the love of your life? I can't imagine his pain, his heartache, his internal struggle. Go read his story then hug your children and loved ones and be thankful for what you have because in a heartbeat it could all be gone and then what would you do? I can only hope that I would be like Matt, pick up the pieces and find a way to make the world a better place.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
This is how it works from my end of the line.....
Phone rings for whatever infomercial or commercial is currently running, a script pops on my screen telling me EXACTLY what to say to you. IF I do not read what's in front of me I lose my job, plain and simple. Just like any other job out there, there are rules I have to follow, there are guidelines laid out for me and if I do not follow those guidelines I will be deactivated as an agent and will no longer work with this company. This causes financial strain in my household, stresses out me and my husband and makes our lives very difficult!
First of all, you have to remember that I am only doing my job!
Second, remember that no matter what, whether it's at the local mall, the local coffee shop or over the phone there WILL be additional offers. You will be asked if you want to add anything to your order, you will be offered additional products, you will be offered the "Deluxe Upgrade" Quite often you will be offered magazines or a club offer or a phone transfer, it's NOT to annoy you as you may think, it's because I HAVE TO! I DO NOT have a choice. If I skip these additional offers I will be in trouble....... UNLESS YOU SAY THE MAGIC WORDS!
Want to know the magic words to get you off the phone faster without another offer? Want to know how to get me to stop immediately and move straight to the end of the call??? It's really quite simple.....instead of saying over and over again "I only want the book" or "I only want what I called for" (these do NOT work) say instead....either "I'm going to HANG-UP" or "CANCEL this order" Hearing the word "hang-up" or "cancel" gives me the go ahead to get to the end of the order and end the call. ONLY those 2 words, they are the magic words to make both our lives easier!
Third, understand that shipping and handling is not just shipping and it's usually a lot more than you might expect. Someone has to pay me to do my job (processing your order) someone has to pay the person or persons packaging your order, someone has to pay for the actual cost of the box your order is placed in and the popcorn stuff that keeps it safe and yes someone has to pay for the actual shipping. I am sure that the cost of all those things probably doesn't add up to what you pay, occassionally it might, but for the most part you're gonna pay for the convienence of having this item shipped to your doorstep instead of you having to go to the store yourself and buy it. ALSO, many times, you are receiving a larger package than you would get at the store.
For instance: the Magic Bullet.....the one on the tv is a 21 piece AND it's buy one, get one free (just pay additional shipping and handling ) So basically you are receiving two 21 piece magic bullets for the price of 1 plus shipping and handling. Now if you go to the store to purchase the same magic bullet you might find it cheaper BUT you will NOT be buying the same thing! You will be buying a 16 piece magic bullet (not a 21 piece) AND you will NOT get a second one for free! Now one of the biggest complaints I get from people is the fact that they pay the additional shipping on the second one and they always say "so it really isn't free is it" If you must think of it this way, then concider this....where could you go to buy a 21 piece magic bullet for 19.95????? You can't!
OK so now that I have that out of my system I'll wrap up this post with a couple more minor thoughts...
Don't get mad at me if I don't fully understand your accent and ask you to spell out information....isn't it better to have to spell your name and street address then to not receive your product because I had to guess and got it wrong?
Remember that just because I process orders over the phone it DOES NOT mean I am completely stupid! I can spell simple words like ROAD and STREET, I do know how to properly abbreviate Ave and Blvd.
DO NOT take offense when I ask you if you have an apartment or unit number, do not reply "No I live in a home!" Like I'm a complete jerk for asking such a thing. First of all, A LOT of people do live in apartments, we all start out somewhere and not all of us can afford to buy a house as soon as we go out on our own. I am not psychic and can not tell if you are one of those people....and by the way....an apartment can be a home. AGAIN, isn't it better that I ask and get your address correct so that you actually receive your product in a timely manner??
Another thing...PLEASE do not assume that because I am answering the phone that I actually work for the company you are calling about. Do not get upset if I have not tried the product you are calling in for. So many times I have had customers ask me "Do you use this?" and when I say no, they ask "well how can you sell something you've never tried before?" The answer is simple, I work with a national call center. I process orders for hundreds of different products. I can not possibly try every single thing I sell. Some of the items I sell are geared solely toward men (certian kinds of pumps for instance...let your imagination wander for a second...yep THAT kind of pump...how could I try that one out lol)
Finally, when you call to order anything be thankful that you are able to speak with a human who can actually speak the language you speak. So many companies out there are turning to either the automated virtual systems or (even worse in my opinion) outsourcing to overseas places like India where you will speak with someone who can barely speak your language and won't understand half of what you are asking and you won't understand them! You think I'm frustrating to talk to, try calling microsoft customer support and you'll understand exactly what I'm talking about here!
Have a great night and PLEASE be nice the next time you place an order over the phone :) Thanks
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Last year Orion made a Wolf Badge cake
It didn't win any prizes and he was disappointed a little but it was a great cake IMO and he had fun so that's what truly mattered.
This year he decided on arrow points and he made 1 gold arrow point and 2 silver arrow points. The scouts earn arrow points by doing different tasks and learning new things. This year he took 3rd place for Best Scout Theme! He was thrilled, he walked around with that trophy in his hands and did not want to let it go at all! He was so proud of himself and his hard work!
Here's this years winning cake :)
And Orion with his trophy and cake
I'm very proud of my little man :)
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Immediately his computer went crazy....windows popped open, stuff started trying to download and install, virus protection popped up saying bad stuff was trying to access computer. He immediately pulled the internet plug, ran virus scan etc. Virus scan said there were 3 files that were password protected and couldn't be scanned but would be scanned once they were opened. Hubby reconnected to the internet and suddenly windows were popping left and right once again! He managed to download a mal-ware scanner and it detected a bunch of bad trojans on his computer and removed them.
Last night as he's playing on his computer it starts playing bubblegum pop music...now lets put it this way....bubblegum pop music makes my man wanna puke so I know it's not like it was sitting there and he accidentally clicked something. He ran the mal-ware scan again and it found more stuff and removed it. This morning as I'm sitting here waiting for my work schedule to release his computer starts playing music and then it starts giving me a news report....it's not even connected to the internet at this point.....the computer was possessed!
Bottom line, while hubby is at work I had to reformat his hard drive and start him all over from scratch! I started this process around 9:45 this morning, it's almost 1pm and I am just now getting him set back up. Between formatting, installing XP, re-installing all his drivers (which required finding the right discs) etc. I'm very angry at whoever put that website out there! Now I have to reinstall his game he's been playing and updating since 1999!!!!!!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Orion looks at me with the wierdest look on his face and says
"What do you mean they tap the trees? What do trees have to do with Maple syrup?"
So I reply
"Well where do you think we get maple syrup from?"
I burst out laughing, it was too funny to me. I always thought he knew that maple syrup started in the maple trees. This turned into a lesson on maple syrup making and he was amazed to find out that it takes about 50 gallons of sap just to make 1 gallon of syrup! Now he understands why I call it liquid gold!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Now that may seem harsh to some people, afterall he did appologize and he did say he would never do it again, but I felt a lesson needed to be learned. Think about it, how many men beat their girlfriends and/or wives only to appologize and promise to never do it again? Then they turn around and do it all over again over the stupidist stuff. These women do not deserve to get beaten yet they stay with their husbands or boyfriends, they allow the cycle to continue all in the name of love. Today my son learned a lesson, he came home from school and asked if he could play his X-Box and I told him NO! He tried appologizing again, tried begging, tried once again to promise to never do it again and I simply replied that I did believe he wouldn't do it again because the next time he wanted to hit his mother or ANY girl he would remember this day and he would think twice.
I look at it this way...you always hear about the cycle repeating itself, abusers are often victims of abuse themselves, but WHY?? I have always asked that question and you know why I can judge those people?? Because I have been there! I have been beaten, I have been molested, I have scars inside and out that will NEVER go away! However I KNOW what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the abuse and I would NEVER want to subject another human being to that kind of pain and I do not see how anyone else who has suffered abuse can say that's why they abuse others. Your mother beat you or your father raped you and that gives you permission to do it to someone else??? Does that really make your pain go away?? NO it will only make it worse IMO! Be better than the person who hurt you, be the better man (or woman) I remember my childhood for one reason and one reason only....so I know how NOT to raise my son! If an abused child can make it to adulthood then they should step up and stop the cycle! Make sure it doesn't happen in your family line anymore! Teach your children that it's NOT ok to hit people, if they are boys teach them that it's especially not ok for them to hit a female. All you feminist can come kick my butt if you want, but women ARE the weaker sex and in general any man can beat the crap out of a female, it's a fact. Women should be treated with kindness and tenderness, not with fists.
I know I kind of went off on a little tangent there, apparently I had some stuff to get off my chest lol The point of this blog is to help me vent and get stuff out and this is one topic that always gets me. I don't spank my child, I take away his favorite video gaming system instead. He isn't allowed to just appologize and move on, he does have to appologize but that appology will not make everything ok because someday he'll be a grown man and he needs to be a respectable man. If I don't teach him now then when he's grown he won't know right from wrong and the judge will not accept an "I'm sorry I won't do it ever again" The judge will take away his life and put him in jail or take away his freedom with house arrest or a restraining order, by then it would be too late and it would then be my fault for not teaching him. I refuse to be the reason he screws up, if he does it will be his decision, his choice and it won't be because I didn't teach him how to treat a lady.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Here's a little montage I created using photos from the hot tub and pool and some video that Steve recorded. The little guy in the red coat is Orion and the person in the blue fleece behind him is me
Here's how it went down:
We arrived at the hotel Friday afternoon, checked in and took Orion down to the pool that evening we went to a pretty neat place called Smitty's Cinema It's dinner and a movie all in one. We saw the new Witch Mountain movie there. Basically you go into this room and there are tables with plush arm chairs, the servers come around and take your order and then you sit back and relax in the chair, watch the movie and they deliver your dinner to the table when it's ready. You eat dinner while watching the movie. Steve and I have chicken tenders with fries and Orion had pizza. After dinner and a movie we went back to the hotel, swam some more in the pool (reality is Orion swam in the pool and Steve and I relaxed in the hot tub)
Saturday morning it was up bright and early, breakfast and off to the slopes. I decided to take a chance and let Orion have what we call "an adderrall vacation" Basically no meds for the weekend. This means my wild man was in full force all weekend but honestly, he needed it. For one thing, he eats way better when he doesn't have the meds. The meds take away his appetite and he eats like a bird. Second, the meds give him moods swings that remind me of the incredible hulk....you wouldn't like Orion when he's angry and on meds he's angry A LOT! You don't get to hear his laughter and see him smiling much on meds and darn it, I miss that so I took the leap and let him go without. Anyway, he had a 1/2 day morning lesson...basically drop him off at the learning center at 9am, pick him up at noon. This gave me a chance to get some good riding in with Steve and go faster and more aggressive (as Steve likes to call it) We picked Orion up and he was doing really well, the instructor said he was really starting to get it and he was right on the verge of connecting those turns. Orion was all about getting right back up the chair lift so instead of stopping for lunch we took him up so he could show us what he learned. He was doing a GREAT falling leaf (basically skidding on his heel edge but going back and forth like a leaf floating on the air currents) It was exciting to watch because we could really see that he was very close to connecting his turns, he just needed to get over the fear of turning that board straight down the mountain. After a few more runs with Orion we went in for lunch and Orion declared himself to be all done so we stopped for the day and went back to the hotel for some swimming (for Orion) and relaxing in the hot tub (for mom amd dad)
Sunday arrived and for the first time EVER we had a hard time getting Orion out of bed! That has NEVER happened before, this is the child who is ALWAYS awake by 6:30am!!! Once we got him up and moving though he was all about riding. He had the same instructor (Zach) which was nice because Orion has declared him to be the best instructor yet. Zach looks to be all of 15 years old but he really was great with Orion. Orion told him how we had taken him down the blue trail that goes right under the chair lift and Zach said he would take Orion on some blue stuff as long as it was ok with Mom....I thought it was great that he was taking my feelings into concideration and of course I told him to take Orion wherever they wanted to go. By noon time Orion was connecting his turns and actually carving down the mountain! When we picked him up at noon he was so excited to be really carving and it was an awesome feeling watching him connect some turns. He still did a lot of the falling leaf skid, but he did connect a few turns on the less steep stuff. I asked him about it at lunch and he told me that basically he was afraid to go fast and of course when you're carving you tend to do that....so I explained to him how he could actually carve and STILL go at his speed and have total control. I took him out there and I went ahead of him and started doing the slow controlled carve and suddenly he was copying my every move. After that, we took quite a few runs together while Steve went off to ride in the glades and hard trails with a couple of his friends who came up for the day. Orion and I had a great time riding just the two of us and I think the greatest moment was when we got on the 6 person chair together, somehow we had gotten a chair to ourselves and Orion scooted over close to me. He wrapped his arms around my arm and squeezed. He looks up at me with those big green eyes, just glowing and smiling, he was so happy. He says to me
"Mom this is really fun! Thanks for riding with me, I really like it when it's just the 2 of us."
He melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes! Moments like that are rare these days it seems, between the fact that I'm a girl and girls are disgusting and the adderrall making him so darn moody, I don't see that very often.....especially out in public where someone else might glimpse it lol
All in all, a great weekend for everyone. Orion learned a lot and stepped up into a new level of riding, mom got to have a sweet moment with her boy and we got to ride as a family which is something Orion has been wanting for quite some time. Next season should be a lot of fun, I look forward to it!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I did a couple of surveys for fun today...here are my results. If you want to find your answers to these questions just click on the picture to go directly there :)
Deb [noun] --
|A level headed person who always makes the wrong decision|
|Death through Freak Supernatural Incident!|
|You are going to die in a freak vampire/werewolf incident. I would start carrying garlic and silver bullets if I were you. There is something weird about your demeanor, and evil is attracted to you. Plus you may be a little attracted to evil too.|
Not only is Orion invited to compete in the Massachusetts Youth State Championship Tournament for candlepin bowling, but he has been invited to compete in all 3 divisions for boys 10 and under. He will not only be bowling in the individual boys division, but also in the doubles and team divisions as well. It's really an honor to be invited to bowl in all 3 divisions, not a lot of kids receive that kind of invite. I am very excited for him and so very proud of my little man! He found a sport he really likes and is really quite good at. The actual competition isn't going to happen until May 9th, so we will be spending the next month practicing and getting ready. Not only will I take him on Wednesdays for his league, but I will start taking him down at least once a week for some good practice as well.
Monday, March 9, 2009
"Good morning Orion, will you be taking another lesson today?"
I was amazed, how many kids take lessons there yet they remember my kids name after only 5 lessons, what a way to gain some serious business IMO. Even better, they remembered that he was a top to bottom rider and that he could ride the "6-pack" (that's what they call the 6 passenger chair lift) Now I know they are a small place, afterall every single time I have taken him up there we pay for a regular everyday group lesson and he ends up with a private lesson, but I find it amazing that they can remember this stuff...heck I'm lucky if I remember to buy a gallon of milk.
Anyway, Orion is doing great in his lessons. Since he can go top to bottom and ride the big chair we saw him quite a few times and saw his progression with our own eyes. I had been worried that they were just telling us he was doing great so that we would keep coming back and spending money lol At one point we passed Orion and his instructor but Orion didn't see us so we pulled over to the side and hid behind a mound of snow so we could see him coming down. He was actually connecting a few turns and we could tell he was really starting to get it. He can heel edge and toe edge wonderfully he's just working on connecting the two. It's awesome to watch though and I feel a great sense of pride and excitement when I see him going down the trail. Steve and I both love to ride and I had to take a lot of years off so that I could be home with Orion until he was old enough and we could afford to all go riding together.....afterall it's not a cheap sport in any shape or form! Between the gas to drive up, the lift tickets, lessons, lunch and snacks... and of course the dog kennel so we can be gone all day even a day trip will top out around $200.....and this is a relatively cheap place to go too. Ragged is only $59 for an adult lift ticket for the day, some of the bigger places charge $74! It's a fun sport though and I am so happy to see Orion enjoying it as much as we do. I look forward to the day I am trying to catch up to him flying down the slopes...I'm sure that'll be happening in no time, perhaps even by the end of next season!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
It happened yesterday, Orion found a quarter in the couch cushion and announced it was made in 1982. I quickly remarked "1982 was a good year" He asked me what I meant, he's obviously too young to know that's usually what people say about certian wines in movies so I paused and just replied that I wasn't sure, but I bet it was a good year. He laughed and went back to searching the couch for more money.
It was then that I started really thinking about it....the year 1982 that is....what was it about that year that would make it a good year? My childhood wasn't anything worth remembering really, so what could have possibly made that a good year? Then I realized what it was....
This wonderful lady walked into my life and changed it forever!
Her name is Karen, she was my social worker, my life saver, she picked me up from school on the next to last day of my 5th grade year, she placed me in foster care and turned my whole world around.
So many times I look at blogs on the internet and I read about how the foster care system is warped, how social workers don't care and how aweful the system is to be in. I always find myself wanting to comment, to let these people know (and other people who read their blogs as well) that they aren't all bad and some do care. If I could take Karen and duplicate her, clone her if you will, perhaps then the foster care system wouldn't be so bad. Perhaps then the social workers would all be great, they would come pick you up in their mini-van and take you for a ride just to make sure you're doing ok, that you're going to counceling like you should and trying to get you to open up and tell them what's going on inside your head. I wish there were more social workers like Karen out there, if there were then the world would be a much better place for so many children!
1982 WAS a good year, it was a great year, it was the year that my life changed in ways that I had only dreamed it could. Karen saved me from nightmares that were living reality. Karen will forever be my hero and because of her, 1982 will forever be a good year!
So Karen, if you read this...THANKS yet again! I don't think I could EVER thank you enough for the ways you turned my world around. Because of you I grew up, I went to college at the school of my choosing on a scholarship you helped me get, I met my husband down here and we created this wonderful life and have this wonderful little boy. If you EVER question whether or not you made a difference, remember me and KNOW that you did! This photo is an old one, taken just before Christmas 2007, but it will show you what you have given me...I truly and firmly believe if it weren't for you, I wouldn't have this!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
On another note, we're at the beginning of a nice storm brewing and it looks like we'll be getting a decent amount of snow again....good ole March coming in like the Lion RRROOOOOAAAAAR! I canceled out of my night shift since we're supposed to get a good amount with winds and possible freezing rain/sleet mixed in....could cancel school tomorrow so I'll take the side of caution and just take the night off...that's the beauty of my job, cancel out, don't come in and no boss to yell at ya saying you're fired if you don't come in.