Sunday, May 29, 2016

Another one bites the dust!

Another school year that is!  I can say it was actually bittersweet.  Usually I'm so glad to have Princess Bear (PB) at home for 2 1/2 months and not worry about the bullshit happening at school or how broken our school district is.  This year she had a really good teacher.  Not great but really, really good.  One who tried so hard to work with each child's abilities and truly cared about the kids.  It was a very refreshing change.  Unfortunately that teacher is moving to NC.  The teacher from the class that they work in tandem with is also trying to find a job closer to home (She commutes 50 minutes each way).  It may sound awful but I'm hoping that she returns in the fall because the idea of this special needs program breaking in 2 new teachers literally is panic inducing.  My dad & I even discussed the idea of homeschooling PB for her  8th grade year if there are 2 new teachers.  I don't think that's in her best interest.  Let's just say that I'll be watching the situation very carefully.

There are a couple of things we do at the beginning and end of each school year.  Of course there are the pictures:

Then there are the surveys.  At the beginning of the year there are 3 different surveys I found via pinterest.  They are similar but different enough that its worth the time doing all 3.  Questions that PB answers herself about what she hopes for the school year, what her various favorites are, how tall she is and things like that.  Then there is a survey (just one) that covers the same things at the end of the school year.  It's so much fund to pull them out and see how her thoughts have favorites have changed as well as her handwriting throughout the year.

PB's summer is shaping up to be as busy as usual.  We are not babysitting my youngest nephew on Wednesdays this summer.  That might be the only disappointing part of it.  PB and Luke are very close and they really looked forward to their together time.  PB is going to be doing 5 of the 7 weeks at Michael's Camp Creativity this summer.  She's done there summer programs for the past 5 years or so.  The classes are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to noon.   It's $5 per class of 3 classes for $12 if you sign up in the store.  You can find more info HERE.  She's also starting private guitar lessons.  She took lessons through the park district last summer.  She had a ball but didn't learn very much.  She did meet a lovely girl, Kayla, so that's nice.  My mom and dad are sponsoring those lessons.  She has the first one this Tuesday.  She will have swim lessons twice a week and is continuing her piano lessons.  She did try to convince us that she wants violin lessons (Pretty sure this is because Pete's daughter Jillian from the Farm Kings takes violin lessons). We might add drum lessons into the mix since we still have most of the parts to my old drum set in the attic and my old drum teacher still gives lessons.  I did try to get her into crochet or knitting but that just won't work this summer.  Maybe in the fall.  The lessons started before school was out and were Saturday mornings.  Most Saturday mornings in the summer and early fall we hit one or two of our favorite farmers markets and then spend time putting food together to eat or freeze.  I'm also planing on doing more canning this summer.  PB says as long as she gets her fill in pickles she doesn't care.  PB still has Bible study once a week as well as youth group.  This year she is old enough to be a teen volunteer at VBS so she's very exciting about that.  I spend a lot of time working on my cross stitch projects this time of year since I'm spending so much time waiting for PB while she's doing her various stuff.  I'm working on a great Halloween project  right now and need to get some Christmas projects going.

So here's to another school year in the can and wishing for a great summer!  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Luke Bryan made my daughter a happy camper!

Ok- I'll go into this more on a different post.  Sorry I once again disappeared.  My computer was in need of a major overhaul.

Now on to the good stuff!  This one is deserving a post all its own.  I touched on it briefly when I talked about the Luke Bryan concert.  We had contacted his management team but never heard anything from them.  Almost 2 weeks ago I went to the mailbox and there was a FedEx mailing envelope jammed next to our mail box.  The top was ripped open and I thought to myself "wtf???".  Bring it in and look at the address.  It's not any shopping my mom & I had done & I don't recognize the return address.  I reach into the envelope since it was already open and a personalized autograph from Luke Bryan is in my hand.  Considering that the mailer had been ripped open it was by the grace of G-d that the picture was still in there!  I honestly can't think of a time that I've been so excited for my daughter.  I actually considered pulling her out of school early that day so she could see it.  I held myself back and had it on our kitchen table turned over when she got home.   This is Princess Bear receiving her personalized autographed picture from him.

After I stopped taping she started turning all red and almost started crying.  She was thrilled beyond measure.  Her picture is now framed and in a place of honor.  It was cute when before it was framed my sister went to pick it up and look at it and PB was like "fingers!  Watch your fingers!!!!".  I'd heard that Luke Bryan is a stand up guy and gives back to his fans.  Now I'm thrilled to say that I know that.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What in the bloody hell.....

are sinuses for and why are they such a pain in my a$$???  For real!  I've had chronic sinus problems since I was very little.  It's a familial thing.  My sister & I spent huge amounts of our childhood taking Dimetap when it was still a prescription drug.  I had my first sinus surgery when I was 19.  It's basically the equivalent of having your face roto rootered.  It sucks.  Then (at least back then) you returned 24 hours post op for the Dr. to take the packing out of your nose.  I still remember walking into the office & sitting in the exam chair and the nurse hands me a huge metal bowl.  I just gave her a WTF look and my mom turned her back.  The Dr then yanked out the packing.  Yeah- the bowl was very necessary as blood then started gushing, seriously gushing, out of my nose.  Good times!  So when they started telling me a few years ago that I needed to have sinus surgery again my stance become something along the lines of

Then about 2 years ago it got to the point that I was spending more time sick with sinus infections than not.  I was spending a ton of time in either my GPs office or the ENTs office.  It didn't matter what was tried but within a week of being off antibiotics I'd be sick again.  I finally agreed to do the surgery after our trip to Disney.  Yeah the trip that was 15 months ago.  Then my insurance changed and there was not an ENT within 2 hours.  So I muddled through.  I went to my GP last week for the 2nd time in the last 30 days for a sinus infection last Thursday.  She sent me for a CT scan.  The results are as jacked up as they were 2 years ago.   One maxillary sinus cavity is completely blocked and the other is partially blocked and has thickening from the previous sinus surgery.  I'd already started hounding my insurance agency about a month ago for the lack of Drs in my provider area.  I haven't been able to get into 3 specialist that I've needed to see.  Based on this last CT result and my harassing phone calls to my insurance company 1 Dr is now available.  The ENT.  I'm sure I won't get in quickly and if I have to wait until the beginning of summer to have the surgery I'm ok with that.  Princess Bear's (PB) summer schedule is busy but not as crazy as the school year.  Also with my dad being retired he can help with some of PBs summer stuff while I'm recovering.  On the upside I did find out that they no longer pack your nose like that anymore!  Something that is making the prospect of surgery a bit easier!  

My sister is having her thyroid surgery later this week.  My parents are going to be spending the night with my nephews.  I tried explaining it would make more sense for me to stay there since I've actually put them to bed any number of times but as it stands they're staying there.  Don't get me wrong.  My parents are wonderful Grandparents to PB and my nephews.  They just aren't the kind of Grandparents that keep the kids over night or spend more than a few hours with them.  Actually the last time it came down to them having to feed my nephews and get them ready for bed it lead to numerous phone calls asking me what they were supposed to be doing.  It should be interesting.  Oh- all of this is happening while my moms knee is hugely swollen.  She has an MRI tomorrow.  She can barely walk level surfaces so there is no chance of her being able to walk upstairs to put the boys down.  My dad because of the stenosis in his spine doesn't do stairs repeatedly well.  I'm thinking at the very least a great bottle of wine & some good painkillers are going to be needed.  

So that is the story here.  It's time to check out what's happening in the blog o verse and crash.  Take care!

Friday, February 26, 2016

This is the best we can do?

This one really will be a short one but I'm horribly frightened by the fact that the best 2 candidates this country can come up with are Clinton & Trump.  Now the fat lady hasn't sung yet so there is some room for variation, especially in the Republican party.  Unfortunately, most of the other Republican candidates aren't that much better. There are 2 that I can see backing.   Any of them are better than someone with blood on their hands but really?  This is the best we've got?  My friends daughter asked her the other day that once they moved to Canada after Trump won if she could have a snowmobile.  The child in question is 12 and has a better grasp of history, politics and the candidates than most adults do. Might have to see if we can get her to do some YouTube videos!  I can also say at this point I'm SO over the election already.  I'm hoping for a Republican shake up and if not just wake me in 2020 if there is anything worth trying to salvage of the Country.  Actually if Trump wins this year don't wake me until 2024 or 2028 when hopefully we get out of the Democratic control that will follow a Trump Presidency. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stuff & such

So I said that Princess Bears (PBs) IEP went pretty well last month.   For the most part it really did.  I was worried that they would try to cut back on her minutes with the speech therapist but that wasn't even brought up.  I wasn't successful in getting her taken out of her science class but I'm considering fighting that again. I also mentioned that PB ways included in her IEP this year.  I wasn't completely happy with that but for the most part it was ok.  Until the very end of the meeting when they started wanting to make long term goals for PB to attend the local community college.  Now my daughter is convinced that she is going to go to college.  I could have killed someone.  These are the same people that within the hour had told me that it didn't really matter that my daughters math skills were around a second grade level since they were working on calculator skills with her.  WTF??????????   So in all future IEPs college plans will not be discussed until she's had a few years of high school and we can see where she's at academically. 

PB had her monthly orthodontist appointment today.  She's know rocking 3 different shades of green as her bands.  They also had her start wearing the stupid bands that go from your top teeth down to your back molars.  I hated those little fuckers.  Actually I was so stubborn that after one of those popped off in school I refused to wear them to school anymore.  I just doubled up at night.  Well, PB is in a fair amount of pain and her cheeks have puffed up quite a bit.  This  is when her being allergic to Advil/ NSAIDS really sucks.  She just came out of her room a few minutes ago begging to take them off.  I felt like such a bitch telling her no.  I did say that she could take them off in the morning and have a break until after school.  We were told that she should wear them as often as possible but absolutely at night.  I'm thinking that we might have to work up to daytime use.  The kid is such a trooper but this new glitch of NSAID allergies is really throwing a wrench in things.   She is looking forward to tomorrow.  Her class is going on a field trip to Steak n Shake.  She had planned on getting a regular meal but asked if she could have a large milk shake.  You only live once, right? 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Luke Bryan Concert

Oh my gosh you guys!!!  So Friday night was the Luke Bryan concert and it was AWESOME!!!  I had such a good time hanging out with Princess Bear (PB) at her first concert!!!

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We had great seats and got there in plenty of time since this was the first concert at the Civic Center with the new security measures in place.  It was kind of a mad house going in but wasn't as crazy as I thought it was going to be.  The big concern was if when they did the body scan that any of the plates, screws or other hardware from PBs cranial vault reconstruction surgery would trigger the alarm.  The head of security had already told me he thought it'd be ok and if not to have him paged to the entrance we were at.  Luckily it was not a problem at all.  Then we stood in line for 20 years to buy everything, ok almost everything, that PBs little heart desired. She had a budge of $135.  My parents gave her $75 for Easter and part of her birthday gift and I threw in some money.  She got up there and wanted a long sleeved t, 2 short sleeved t's, a baseball hat and a bracelet.  Yeah- she was $5 short.  It made more sense to me to give up the $5 bracelet but she decided to forgo the long sleeved t.  She was also a bit disappointed that I wouldn't let her get the only pink t shirt available.  It said Double Shot of Heaven on it and I'll be damned if my 12 year old is walking around in that!  I waivered back and forth on a khaki colored baseball hat for myself since there was some money left.  Opted not to get it and now I'm kicking myself.  Oh well.  There's always next time right?  We were there for both opening acts, Dustin Lynch and Little Big Town.  I like Dustin Lynch and good golly does the man have a strong jawline...yum!  PB and I both like Little Big Town so that was cool.  PB does this thing when she gets very excited and all her muscles become rigid and kind of freeze.  It's an excitement induced reaction.  It's gotten to the point that for years it's only been her face and we can get her to calm down very quickly.  When Little Big Town started playing Boondocks she got so excited that her whole body went rigid.  I started to worry but she was able to relax quickly.  All that kept on going through my head is that we weren't even going to make it to the Luke Bryan part of the concert.  Can't even begin to tell you how glad I was that it went away quickly!

It was so much fun to see a concert through her eyes!  She had me taking small videos & pictures throughout the night.

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I was loving what was going on with the screen during Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.  It's always been one of my favorite songs.  As they started playing it on the screen there were two rings interconnected and then they shattered apart.  For the rest of the song it was the shattered pieces just spinning around all over the place.  Very cool!  "Love me like you loved me when you loved me and you didn't have to try....".  LOVE IT!  The screen use was also very cool during Roller coaster.  You hear all this clanking going on.  PB even looked at me and asked what was going on.  Hello?  How do I know?!!?  Sit back and relax.  We'll find out!  Then you see a roller coaster track and it starts going down the track.  Great intro!  Then it went into the video.  How freaking good looking is Evan Geiselman?  I think it's an unwritten rule that surfers need to be hot.  

Now I'm sure I'm aging myself here but back in the day during songs like this everyone broke put their lighter to start waving around.  Yeah- now you just throw on your cell phones flashlight app.  This song has been said to be a tribute to Luke Bryan's siblings that are deceased.  It's a great song but I did damn near lose it.  The concert was Friday night and Saturday would have been my friend Mike's birthday.  I'm sure I've talked about him on here before.  We went to school at WIU and stayed friends afterwards.  As soon as he graduated he became a Chicago Police Officer.  I'd been a bit weepy all week with constant thoughts that his birthday was coming up.  It was beautiful to see the Civic Center lit up like that.  PB loved the "stars" song.  

Mikey- that beer's for you baby.  It was even a Miller lite.  Miss you!

Play it Again & Kick the Dust Up are PB's favorite Luke Bryan songs!

This one isn't my video but my nephew wanted to know if they were in a cage. Lol!
Here Luke Bryan and Dustin Lynch are covering Brooks & Dunn Play Something Country

Here is Luke Bryan & Little Big Town covering Let's Get it On. Not every day you see Country stars covering Marvin Gaye!

I did get in trouble because the day of the concert PB wanted to make a poster and I wouldn't let her.  We didn't have time and I didn't want people behind us to get upset because of their view being obstructed.  She seemed ok with my explanation until we got to the concert and she saw some people with posters.  She also didn't understand why she couldn't just stand around after the concert until she could meet Luke Bryan.  We did try contacting his management company and my mom's best friend tried some contacts that she had at the Civic Center and meeting him was just not in the cards.  She did have a great time and walked out an even bigger fan of Little Big Town which is cool.  I don't think it would be possible for her to love "her" Luke Bryan more than she already does!  I'm just glad that she had a good time!  

Friday, February 12, 2016

I'm back!

Man I wish there was a good reason why I haven't been posting but it's just been crazy.  Crazy busy, crazy family stuff, crazy sick.  Just crazy.  Within all the crazy there has been some awesome stuff like Princess Bears (PBs) IEP at school.

To begin with let's go with my sister.  Now I love my sister but she can also drive me bat shit crazy.  There are times that I'm thoroughly convinced that the only reason I deal with her is because I love my nephews so much.  There are other times we have a ball together.  Now my sister is one of those type A people that just can't relinquish control at all.  Lately there are a couple of things in play.  She has a growth on her thyroid that is growing pretty quickly.  They made the decision to remove the growth and see if they had to remove part of her thyroid.  That surgery was supposed to happen in January.  Then it got bumped back farther and farther.  Now why she is ok with this I have no clue.  Get that shit removed!  The reason this comes into play for me is that there are certain things that I've been kind of holding off on until I have more time.  People with autoimmune diseases don't heal as quickly from anything and surgery definitely takes longer to bounce back from.  So I started putting off stuff around the holidays thinking "OK....I'll get to this after Kate's surgery".  I figure it's going to be at least a month, possibly longer, of my parents and I pitching in and helping in any way we can.  So at this point the surgery has been scheduled for March 10.  Hoping it doesn't get bounced back again and hoping that it's smooth sailing.  My sister also hurt her wrist.  She's had awful carpal tunnel since her first pregnancy and thought it was that.  It got to the point that she couldn't turn her wrist enough to start the ignition in her car one day.  She had an MRI ordered but hadn't scheduled it.  Then she was in so much pain that she wanted it yesterday.  When she did call to schedule it was going to take a week or so.  Then she was wanting my mom's help to see if she could pull off a scheduling miracle.  The result was it had nada to do with her carpal tunnel and that small fact that she tore cartiledge in her wrist. Ooops!  Not good.  The week before that we'd just been discussing my hand surgeon because I'd finally decided that I was ready to go ahead with my carpal and cubital tunnel surgery this fall.  My sister informed me that my Dr. is battling cancer and it doesn't look good.  My sister knew she was going to be referred to an ortho and was trying to get referrals on who was known to be good.  Long story short she was referred to my Dr.  Who's trying to stay in the game by still working 2 hours a day.  In addition to her cartiledge being torn she also has a cyst in her wrist.  The Dr said at some point surgery is going to be necessary.  No don't get me wrong.  I totally respect my Dr for wanting to stay in the game but can someone tell me what a Dr with a brain tumor is doing operating on people?  Along with my sister is the fun stuff being my nephews.  We had an awesome day a few weeks ago where my parents, PB, myself, my sister, bil and nephews went out to lunch and then to the Caterpillar Visitor Center.  It's basically a museum about Caterpillar and has a ton of there different machines on display.  I have a to of pics though so that will be it's own post.

PB's IEP was a couple of weeks ago.  I was less than happy that PB was sitting in on her IEPs already but what was done was done.  This year the teacher sent me a list of goals that she had in mind BEFORE the IEP and asked my opinion!!!!  OMG!!!!!!!  This teacher rocks in so many ways!!!!  My mom laughed at me because I still needed to listen to Rammstein a few times before going in.  She doesn't get how I can listen if I don't understand what I'm listening to.  It's angry music.  It gets my pissed off on.  I have one play list like that named Pissed off/Get in the pit.  It's usually best to avoid me when that's on.  I'm already pissed or working my way into it.  Anyway PBs tutor also sat in on the IEP which was nice.  Always helpful to have people on your side.  My big concern was the fact that PB is in a regular division science class.  She's actually doing very well in it.  I just don't know what real knowledge is going to be retained from this.  So while she is doing well it's also frustrating.  My idea was since she's so into the Arts why can't she take both Art and Chorus as her elective courses.  It's still getting her in regular division classes so the peer interaction is there but it's stuff she likes.  Isn't life stressful enough and if there is no long term knowledge being gained what is the point?  Well, they're trying to convince me it's the fact that she's learning study skills.  So no pulling her out.  I'm not happy but we'll see.  I did get it written into her IEP that they have to have 1 class period a day dedicated to reading, vocabulary and comprehension.  So overall it was a win.

For the second time since December my mom, PB & I have been sick. This one has SUCKED!  Respiratory influenza and at the same time I had a raging sinus & ear infection.  The cool thing is with my Dad being retired he really helped pick up the slack.  Today was PBs first full day back since she got sick last Tuesday.  She'd done a half day Tuesday, stayed home all day Wednesday and a half day yesterday.  Since I was feeling like death warmed over and it didn't conflict with having to pick my mom up from work on the days she was there only a half day my Dad picked her up.  He'd bring her home and feed her lunch.  It was awesome to have the help! I have read 4.5 books in the last week!  Another plus!

Tonight was PBs monthly PuP social.  PuP stands for People with Unlimited Potential.  They have a monthly social event for special needs individuals.  Tonight was a Valentine's Dance.  Dinner is provided as well as door prizes.  PB was so stoked to "be going to a dance!". I'm not sure how things will work for her in high school so I do love that she gets to have these experiences.  My name was one of the ones drawn for a door prize so I let PB pick it out.  She's now the proud owner of a Star Wars calendar.  I still don't get how she and my nephews are completely obsessed with Star Wars when they have seen any of them.

Last but not least.  This is what is going to be going down a week from tonight.

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 PB is so excited that she's about ready to launch!!!!