November 17, 2009

More Catsup/Catch-up

I am happy to share that I am still charmed by my very bad pun and will use it again. If this adoption of bad puns lasts until July 23rd, when I end this narrative, I will be very impressed. I hope - for everyone else’s sake - that I realize how silly this is and revert to "normal" word usage. Then again - why should I?

Once again I find myself in a place where I should provide some updates about past entries.Thus this catsup or should I say catch-up entry.

For one, Alex found the ugly and disgusting blue shoes and tried to wear them. I busted her and she explained she was only going to wear them in the car. Yeah - right! So, since I believe she can wear normal shoes in the car, I took drastic action and threw them away. I do feel a bit guilty about this - I have never been so devious in my life. I do have about two hours before the garbage truck arrives to change my mind....No - they will go to the land fill with all the other garbage.

I finally completed all the paperwork required for the National Special Olympic Games - not mailed - completed. After all, it is not due until December 30th - why rush? I still need to get two passport pictures of Alex - they will be used for her athlete's badge. Very exciting!

We were able to spend time with the As and the Ds in Chicago. It felt like we had never left, the kids all gave me big hugs and shared their grades. I knew they were all smart - and I was so proud of them. Their parents were very supportive, it was such a comforting feeling. Alex was able to spend two of the nights with her best friend Sarah. As promised, I will write about Sarah soon, she is one of those kids who is so special it will be hard to do her justice.

Basketball season has started for Alex - and she will be practicing every day after school for two hours. If this doesn’t help her lose weight I am going to throw out all the food in our house and not eat for a week. Okay - a bit drastic - but I am assuming this will not happen. The I-pod touch will arrive under the Xmas tree.

There are many revelations that have occurred as I write about our journey, particulary around school. I try to be as objective as possible about Alex's educational experience. I have praised the good and tried to remain neutral on the bad. However, I am coming close to my tolerance level.

Alex will be graduating from high school in two and a half years, and then eligible for a school transition program until she is 21. In this program she will learn the skills needed to hold a job and live independently. Based on our experience to date - I do not believe the school district understands and/or can help our kids realize their dreams. I have tried to get her "team" together a number of times and have been unsuccessful. We have not even had her IEP meeting yet - this is in direct violation of all laws regarding Special Education.

Fortunately for me, and not the school district - there are a number of parents who have come to this same conclusion. We are meeting soon to talk about different ways we can work with the school district to help our kids. I believe that grassroots efforts like this work. I am sure we will hear about funding and resource issues, but these are not excuses to hinder Alex's education. I feel my mama bear persona emerging.....

Alex's play is this weekend - so this week she is doubling up on basketball and play practice. Last night she did not even have time for dinner. Too bad, it did not worry me one bit. There is always Thanksgiving dinner and Alex loves turkey!

Finally, and most importantly for our family right now, we miss grandpa very much. The other kids and I have gotten used to Lucy's loss - but this has only compounded Alex’s sadness. We get through our day to day lives - but there are many moments of sadness when we gather in the evening. Music has helped Alex – she goes to her room and sings along with her favorite CDs. This seems to soothe her and minimize the sorrow.

That’s the update to date, or as I prefer to say the Catsup.

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