Thursday, June 30, 2011

Workin' on my fitness!

As pop diva Fergie says, "I be up in the gym, just workin' on my fitness".

So now that the pity party is over, I decided to have a productive day.

I worked out at the gym (upper and lower)
~ 10 min warm up on step mill (moves incld standing on toes, crossovers and skipping steps)
~ military press with squat using dumbbells (3 sets)
~ tricep dips using bench (3 sets)
~ concentration curls using dumbbells (3 sets)
~ dumbbell one arm row (3 sets)
~ sumo squats with dumbbell (3 sets)
~ rear curtsy lunges with middle squat using dumbbells (3 sets)

Tomorrow I will resume running and will do 3 miles.

After going home and showering, I met a friend for lunch at Thai restaurant (if you are ever in Redwood City, check out Bangkok Bay Thai Cuisine on El Camino... delicious!). We had such a productive chat.

I continued the productivity theme and went home and worked on a few projects. I got everything crossed off my to do list and now about to meet a women's group for happy hour cocktails to network.

Hope your Thursday was good!

Pity party, table for one!

Last night, I broke down and just cried. My heart ached so much, I missed DS so much. And then, I started to do some extreme worrying about DS' future etc... then I started to worry if it was too much trouble for my parents to have DS there, because he is such a handful, then I started feeling guilty.

It was painful!

So I gave myself permission to cry, worry, stress, hurt, etc... but in the morning, I had to pull my socks up.

Before I drifted off to sleep I told myself: DS will be fine just focus on the moment, not the future. Your parents will fine and be able to take care of DS. And as far as guilt, he is with family and you are doing this to earn money and save money. So it's okay!

This morning, I felt much better. Still a subtle dullness but more optimistic.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Basic instinct

My girlfriend and I were talking about instincts and how as women, we need to trust, rather doubt them. I'm a huge fan of trusting my instincts they have never steered me wrong.

The other night, I was driving home, enjoying music, I turned off of a main street and headed up the hill to my apartment. Out of nowhere, there was this car behind me and it seemed like they were trying to run me off the road they were going so fast. They were riding my bumper and had the high beams on; the lights lit up the inside of my car. I immediately pulled over to let the speed demon past me. Then they immediately pulled over in front of me and turned off the lights. I figured hmmmm.... do they live there? No one got out of the car. I got that "can't describe feeling" but it would be equivalent to the hairs standing on the back of your neck. I proceeded to drive off and kept my eyes in my rear view mirror. They pulled off 2 seconds after me with their regular lights on and drove slower.

I was like "What!? Is this SUV seriously following me?"

I was close to home but my instincts told me not to go home. I drove past my street up the hill. The car was still behind me, I suddenly turned off to the left, I had to know if they were in fact following me. Sure enough they turned left... it was official, they were following me.

Who the heck would be following me and why? It's not a car that I recognize, no one knows where I live, so who is this? This is such a safe neighborhood.

I pulled over at a random spot alongside the street, they did the same thing. I was shaking, I grabbed my phone and called a friend and turned around and headed towards the police station. I figured let them follow me there.

I think they saw me grab my phone and they just laid low. I checked my rearview and didn't see any sign of them anymore. I decided it was okay to go home, I turned off my lights a few blocks form my house and kept my friend on the phone until I was safe in my house.

It was just so scary. Someone once told me, when you get that "feeling" that is your natural ability to detect danger and to listen to it. I'm glad I did!

I have on other example of trusting your instincts. So the 2nd guy I went out on a date with has been calling and texting every day since our date, which is nice. But when I listen to his conversations (I like to just listen to people, you can learn a lot just by listening--no need for a stack of interview questions or interrogations, just let a person talk and you will see who they are).

After each conversation, my eyebrow raises more and more. I get a very shady feeling about him and some things he says are a turn off. I then go back to our first phone call (the prescreen) and our date and replay some things that don't add up. I immediately get that "feeling"; which told me, this guy is just running lines from an amateur play book. I talked with a few friends who said, give him the benefit of the doubt; see how you feel after the second date. When I relayed things to my male cousin, he confirmed that the guy was full of BS and I was wading in it if I continued to talk to him. He said, men rely on women giving guys the benefit of the doubt and he told me not to be stupid. My cousin is a very blunt guy sometimes. He confirmed, doubt means no! My instincts told me this, I just wanted to get a male perspective. I cancelled our date for Friday. Instead I'm going to meet up with a women's group for tapas and sangria!

"Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out" Burke

Weekly Menu June 29th

Short week....

Bleu's signature burger

~dinner with friends~

~dinner with friends~


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm back!

It's been a week since my last post, so here are some updates.

Trip to Nevada: We left last Thursday early in the morning. The drive was LONG from NorCal to Henderson but DS did great. He had no interest of video games or movies on the drive and he mostly slept. It was very nice to be with my family and bond. We did errands, I did laundry (yes I actually brought laundry to my parents house from California LOL. I have a coin op laundry on the premises, so why not save a little. They didn't mind) I spent a lot of time in the back (in the shade) with a glass of white wine and catching up on magazines while DS played--briefly played I might add, it was too hot. I did go to the M casino twice, lost 15 dollars the first time and gained 20 the second time, so it was a When it was time to go Sunday, I hugged my boo boo bear and kissed him up. I kept reminding him about my trip back and how he was going to stay with his grandparents. At shove off, everyone came outside, including DS and waved good bye. It was hard kissing them all good bye and I wanted to tear up, but I stayed strong.

The social story really helped DS understand what was going on and he knows I'll be back. He says, "Mommy is in California, she'll be back soon. Mommy has to work".

I have a subtle dullness in my heart without DS here, that I know will not go away until we are united. Honestly it's a bit weird without him and I think it's going to take me sometime to adjust. He's there for a good cause--so that I can work and save up money for all his needs. I'm able to work, get some projects done and I guess I never realized it, but I guess I need a break. And he is with family and they get to spend time, while they are still capable and able. He's doing good and happy which makes my heartache a little less. He did say he missed me and that HURT but when my mother said, that's normal and there would be something wrong if he didn't. I told myself, that is true and that is okay, he misses me and he'll be fine. I think by the end of the week, we'll both be better.

Work: So now without DS here the plan is to work and work and work. I didn't feel so well today but I am going to start my job search. I did register with a few temp agencies and I have a few leads will see if they pan out. If not, I may work with kids over the summer. Originally I wanted to take a break from teaching to replenish myself, but we will see.

Divorce amendment: Not sure I blogged much about this, but we finally updated the court's order and changed child support, so it's nice to have official amounts and that is one less project I have to worry about this summer.

IEP: I did hear back from the school district and we reached an agreement. They will allow DS to be mainstreamed for a few courses in the fall and see how he does. I'm still disappointed that this school isn't set up for mainstreaming/inclusion in general. It seems so antiquated for such a progressive state. Meanwhile there are plenty of schools in New York that have a mainstreaming/inclusion model in place for children who can make that work. Anyway... at least they agreed and I don't have to get legal counsel. Then I also asked for behavior support over the summer in his IEP when my son gets back and goes to camp. Originally they said no because it wasn't on school premises. I came back with a plea and they had to go back and discuss and then they came back and said yes, so that was great! I wanted a certain amount of hours and they came back with a little less, but that's fine. It really pays to stand up for something you believe in and you don't always have to take no for an answer if it's something worthwhile.

Dating: Been online for 2 weeks now. I had lots of emails, numerous phone calls and 2 dates! Woo hoo! The first guy I went out with didn't work out. He wanted me to remove my personal ad after our first meeting, which I thought was strange. I felt like I didn't even know this guy or his true intentions so why would I remove my ad after 1 hour of tea... get a life! He also talked about his dramatic ex-girlfriends and he really showed a lot of signs of possessiveness and violence. He asked for a second date but I politely decline. NEXT! The 2nd guy I went out with was nice and the date was decent, we started with coffee (my suggestion and preference) but he insisted on dinner after. I thought he was cool so we had dinner. Our date was like 3 hours long and it was nice, we had a lot of things in common. He walked me to my car and I hugged him, he asked for a kiss, but I declined. Nothing personal and I'm not a prude, but I just can't see swirling tongues around yet. He told me he had a great time and that I looked so much better than my picture (really? I though my picture was super cute LOL!) He asked for a second date for this coming Friday and I agreed. So we will see.

The other men, I spoke to on the phone had some sort of psycho trait that I just couldn't see giving any benefit of the doubt to meet.

I do feel like I'm ready for adult male companionship and I turned "my cablight on". A phrase I read somewhere, which means, just be available. It actually works, I got hit up in the car rental, the grocery store twice and the gym! LOL. But seriously, I have a 6 year old son and like I told the second guy I went on a date with, before I get close, I need to make sure of a man's intentions and what he wants. I feel I can only see that by his actions and that takes time, not just sweet nothings whispered in my ear.

Fitness: I'm back on track with working out. I went to the gym yesterday and did a few machines before hitting the weights. My weight routine combines lower and upper. I'll have to post my workout another time, but it's killer. I like to really work on core, legs and butt. I also will start running again, I pretty much stopped for a couple of weeks due to my schedule. I am registering for a 5K at the end of July and hopefully will not chicken out!

On other news, I'm a big foodie and I love to cook and I'm watching Master Chef. I decided to create my own signature burgers! The first is a poultry burger (chicken and turkey with turkey bacon and avocado). Since my stomach is super sensitive to dairy, I'm trying a mild sheep's cheese on top and since I have a gluten intolerance I found a flourless sprouted wheat english muffin, that I will use as the bun. The second is a buffalo burger (not buffalo meet, but buffalo seasoning) and this is still in development. So depending on how it goes, I will share the recipe.

Phew... this was long, sorry.

Now I need to spend some time catching up on blogs! It's been a while. Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A few methods I use in teaching ASD

As a parent of a child with ASD and a teacher of children on the spectrum, I have a couple of trusty favorites and methods that I use that I wanted to share for anyone who is just starting this journey. I have worked with severe Autism as well as High Functioning Autism.

Jed Baker, has some great ideas in "The Social Skills Picture Book". This is especially helpful for children who are going into social situation and not recognizing cues. I find a lot of children I work with, really respond well to the layout. I use my own camera and create scenarios based on real live social situations we encounter and we go back and discuss.

ABA has always been at the core of our learning and while I have some issues with ABA, I do appreciate how things are broken down and follow a perfect sequence to learning. I've had "Behavioral Intervention for Young Children With Autism" for about 4 years now and we still refer to it at times; it has been a bible for me.

My son is a very visual hands on learner, this is how I taught him math, he responded immediately to cube stacking. We also play, high card/low card with uno cards and he uses this visual to check who wins the hand.

My son learned phonics from Sesame Street and When starfall came out with books, I had to get them, they are similar to the "Bob books".

I also write a lot of social stories and they are directed from an incident that occurred; for instance when my son tried to take off his seat belt once, we wrote a social story about safety, why it's important and we also went over the outcomes of not being safe.

We are going on a road trip to see his grandparents as I pointed out in a previous post, my parents will take care of DS for a few weeks while I work. I had to write the entire scenario out in a social story. Complete with drawings of California to Nevada and I was very clear on timeframes and what he would be doing and what I would be doing in his story. He totally gets it and is okay with it. He wants to read this story all the time now.

Other great tools that have worked for me:

iPad apps (they have a ton of great apps)

Flashcards (basic but tried and true)

Teach2Talk Videos (it's how my son learned to Share)

Baby Bumble bee series (in the early intervention stage this was great!)

Positive Reinforcement in the form of a token system

One last thing that has helped me out with social situations was constantly being out and gathering real live situations so that we can practice.

With any challenging situation... naturally you would want to avoid it, but I had to face it and face it and face it, until my students (including my son) were comfortable.

For instance, if you like to dine out but your child presents a challenge, then you target this and work on. One of my students had severe behavior problems but she loved to eat. How I helped Julie (not real name) with dining out was to pick a restaurant she liked, and talk to the owner. I explained the situation and asked if he did not mind that we come here during an off time and get her use to it. He was totally happy to help out and said to bring here in. This student was 15 years old, had issues with waiting and 3x my size, so I always needed one other person to go on field trips because her tantrums were violent. Before leaving the house, I showed her pictures of the car, the restaurant and then a picture of home and explained the situation. We would go and yes there were many times where we had to physically restrain her, but with practice she got it and her behavior in the restaurant improved to the point where she had no more aggression. We were able to move to different locations. I just want to add this took a lot of time and dedication, it was not an overnight success and it involved lots of patience and great restaurant owners and understanding patrons. It wasn't easy but we did make progress with this.

I started restaurant training when my son was 2. We started off small, like off times at a fast food restaurant, then we worked our way up. I was sure to give positive support like with Julie. Now DS can sit and behave in a restaurant for the duration of the meal and loves to dine out.

My current student has a problem initiating play on the park. This started with him just circling the parameter of the park and not going in to play. Then he moved on to just playing by himself on the swing or monkey bars. This is where I was hired. I started off with some "clinical" teaching of initiating play at home. We discussed fears, anxieties, etc... After that we did role playing in the house using family members. Then we took it to the park... we go to playgrounds and I "coach' him on how to play. I don't want him to stick out with the other kids, so I know how to do it. It started off rocky of course, but as the weeks went on and we practiced he started to get the hang of it. Last Saturday, John (not his real name) made 3 friends on the park. He was soo proud of himself, it was GREAT!!!

I really love what I do and seeing the progress and satisfaction on the students face and seeing their own pride is too much to put into words. I'm lucky to do what I love for my occupation. Since I was 5 years old I wanted to be a teacher.

I have a Masters's in Education and I plan on pursuing a PhD in Special Education and I want to focus on social skill building for children, teens and adults.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekly Dinner Menu June 19

Curry lentils and rice (was delicious!)

Chicken Etouffee

Southwestern pasta

I will not be cooking after Tuesday because we are going out of town to visit the grandparents. I can't believe I'm even cooking now, it's too hot! LOL

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all your wonderful dad's out there! My dad played such an important role in my life. He was such an involved father and taught me, standards and values on how a father is suppose to be, work ethic, the importance of an education, the importance of fitness and good health, and how a man is suppose to treat me (he also taught me about money, but I missed the mark on that one-lol) he also has such an incredible sense of humor and always told corny jokes at the dinner table. He taught me how to drive a stick shift and we played sports every Saturday morning. He was always there to support me whether it was a school function or my first heartbreak ~ and he is still there to support me.

I love my dad and I love good dads that take time to be a part of their children's development and upbringing! Enjoy your day fellas, you're the best!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Positive Reinforcement ~ Treasure chest

I have quite a few targets for DS; by targets I mean, new skills that I'm encouraging him to use, or new or challenging behaviors that I need him to master to be more effective at school or certain social venues.

DS responds more to positive reinforcement. One method that works well for us is a token system. I keep it basic by rewarding positive behaviors with a token. If we are going to be in a store for a while, I give DS the rules before we get into the store and remind him of what's at stake. It typically works.

I tried to get a little creative and added onto this method. DS has been into pirates and treasures lately, so I found a container that can pass for a treasure chest and told DS when he gets 6 tokens, he gets a map to find a hidden treasure chest.

In the chest I have faux diamonds, rubies, sapphires, money, etc... It's still a work in progress, so I'm adding other treasures as I find them. I then add a surprise in the chest (something he normally doesn't get; candy or a special toy). The map is a hand drawn map of our house and I mark an X to where the treasure is hidden. This is great skill building too, because he has to use the map to find the treasure.

It's a hit because the prize is always different and so is the location. Eventually the token system will turn into money when he gets a bit older, but for now it works.

The token chart is hanging on his wall in his room. Tokens are pictures of things he's into, instruments, trains, etc...

Arrghhh... treasure!

Posted a personal ad!

I've been online for under 48 hours and narrowed down a few categories of men that have responded to my ad.

Youngbucks: These are boys who are 15 plus years younger than me, who send me emails explaining how they are going to show me what a real man is. Really...?? While I don't doubt their... ahem... skills, I'm just not interested in the cubs, I'm looking for a man! LOL.

Mr. Senior: Yes, I'm looking for a man, but not looking to get an AARP discount. Some of these guys are probably getting social security retirement. I'm 39, really??

Hot boys: Ok ladies. These are some seriously dangerously devilishly handsome men. They are usually posed with rock hard abs, beautiful eyes and smiles, in terms of looks they are like a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10 and they are in my age range. But damn, they just seem too dangerous.

Average Joes: In my age range, regular guys, with regular to handsome good looks, nothing extreme going on, which is a good thing. Just need to establish their intent.

Desperate Dan: This is the guy who reaches out to you and you respond once and they hit reply before you even hit send and you wake up to 10 emails from them daily. Look, I love attention just like the next girl, but there is a line. Reign it in a little fellas.

For where I am right now, I'm interested in the average joe category and so far I have one potential coffee date and still talking with another guy via email.

It's fun though. I also plan to meet guys the "old fashion" way, but for my schedule right now and for where I live, online is a viable option.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fisherman Wharf outing with DS

We took the street car to Fisherman's Wharf and had a great lunch

Alcatraz ~ It was a sunny day, high 60s in the city

The sea lions hang out here, but there weren't that many; I think they disappear for food

The famous cannery, built in 1907, use to be the largest peach cannery

Historic ships at Hyde Pier

DS had so much fun on board this 1886 square-rigged ship

From the ferryboat, Eureka... just reminds me of some movie

A little dingy

DS trying to check out the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance

Famous Buena Vista... Irish Coffee anyone?

Lovely day... we had SO much fun

Our last stop was the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge. We then walked along Market street and headed home.

Man... I feel like a woman!

Yesterday morning I had an appointment and I needed to dress up. Since my job is very casual, I usually don't dress up. The only time, I get jazzy is if I'm meeting friends for dinner or something. My uniform consists of shorts and a tank top or sweats and a tank top or jeans and a tank top.

I came out of my room yesterday wearing high heels, a pencil skirt, nice blouse and my hair flowing and my son was like.... 'WOW MOMMY!!!!" I did feel kinda wow, myself.

Then he was like,

"You look like a girl!"

LOL! I thought that was too funny; I was like, Thanks? Question mark, because what the heck did I look like before.

I guess I need to bring out the dressy side of mom more often.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Heading south??

Just a quick history... I'm originally from Connecticut, born and raised. At age 20, I moved to NYC for about 6 years before I decided to move to Northern California in January 2000. I fell in love with the San Francisco, it felt right. I also met my then husband shortly after arriving in the Bay Area. My dad jokes and asks if Luke was at the airport with a sign or something, because we met so fast.

Back in the late 90s, I always knew sitting in my apartment in NYC, that California was my destiny. I've been here 11 1/2 years now and never looked back.

Now, sitting in my Bay Area apartment, I've been getting that nagging feeling for a few weeks now. The desire to move. Back then, I knew New York had run it's course and Connecticut was never for me. Although I appreciate Connecticut, it just doesn't feel like home.

I'm wondering if, Northern California is the place for me and I think our place is Southern California. Because I do truly love this state.

As I sit at home budgeting life, I realize with the high cost of living, I'm unable to enjoy life the way I want to enjoy it. So tired of being on a friggin' budget!!! Budgeting just to pay bills, we can never get ahead here and never enjoy the country club, I refer to as The Bay Area. There is sooo much to do here, but if you are just paying bills, paying for therapy, very hard to utilize and see everything there is to see and do.

We live in an apartment on the top floor and DS is super hyper and is not allowed to do things before 9am or after 10pm. Even during normal hours, his activity level is too high for the neighbors. I get that, but at the same time, I hate living in an apartment, he is so restricted. I'm restricted too!

Then there is the issue of no backyard. DS wants to rump and stomp and ruckus and roar! Like the Wild Things.

I just find myself being a police officer to him and I'm tired of it.... it's so stressful.

Yes, I can find a house to rent here in the Bay Area, but that is going to be a whole lot more money. A 2bdrm one bath would run me $2300.

I'm also getting tired of the finicky weather of the Bay. One week is 90s and my little apt with no air conditioning is unbearable. Then it's friggin' cold and I have to wear a jacket in the month of June. Make up your mind weather.

The school districts aren't that great. Yes, there are some "good ones", but I'm just over fighting day and night for my son to just be a part of the school. Give me a break!!! What year is it and where are we? He is as high functioning as you can get with Autism, but yet, he has to stay in the special day class when his intelligence is through the roof, he writes better than me, reads beyond his typical peers, is socially motivated.... geesh! Mainstreaming and Inclusion was designed for this type of kid. He is bored in his SDC and he has friends in the typical class that he wants to be with. I have to literally fight for him to sit in a class or for them to find an appropriate classroom. So whack!

There aren't many private school options that offer an inclusion model. I can only think of one school and they have a waiting list and we're on it.

Then there is the men of the Bay Area. People in my age range are either married, married and trying to cheat (yes, I cannot tell you how many married men, are online trying to date or come up to me and want to date... excuse me, what about your WIFE!), or single and just looking for a FWB. I'm 40 in a few months and ready to settle down again.

The point of my bitchin' and moanin'... I can't see what is keeping me here.

I'm thinking of Southern California; specifically the Mission Viejo area. I love that area.

The weather is more consistent.

I can actually rent a house for pretty much what I pay here and we can live without as many limitations.

It seems to be a lot more efforts for inclusion and special needs advocacy.

More private special education options.

And the best part, it's 4 hour drive to my parents in Nevada. I need the SUPPORT, it's not easy to be a single parent to a child with special needs and I truly could use a hand.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud or thinking and typing. I'm not sure what will happen. But if I am to move, I want to do it within 6 months. I can't see staying here, unless DS gets into that school I like. I need to do a lot more research over the next few weeks and make some appointments to go down there.

Oh and as far as his dad goes, he can still see his son on the same time schedule. We can just meet halfway or something. We'll only be 4 hours away from him. He has a great work schedule and his home is his office, so that will not be a problem. He was actually thinking of moving to Washington State.

I will keep you posted. My bitch fest is over. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Random updates June 14, 2011

Money: managed to put $425 dollars into savings. $25 in a Christmas Fund, $25 towards Paris/Italy tix (I know I'll need way more than that), $25 DS educational fund, $350 Emergency fund. I need to upload one of those meters to keep track on my blog.

IEP/District: Ball is now in my court, they came back... can't say I'm thrilled. I threw it back in their court and trying to organize a phone meeting. I will not even go into the details.... sigh

Summer fun: Poor DS... this is the first official week of no school and we've only been to the park a couple of times. I've been swamped with appointments. Thursday I'm planning a trip to the city, we'll go to Fisherman's Wharf. We are doing our road trip to Nevada later next week, so that should be fun. DS loves a road trip.

Fitness: I have not worked out in a week! Very hard with DS to run. I am officially on a break and will resume when he is with his grandparents.

Dating: I have spring fever or summer fever... ready to date again ~ meow! I'm thinking about doing online dating... we'll see.

Off to cook... pork fried rice, tonight! DS hated the tacos. Booo!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Skimming through: The Courage to be Rich

by Suze Orman. I'm not a huge, Suze fan, but I do have this book and it's been collecting dust. And I definitely have the courage, so I'm striving for some financial freedom.

To be candid, my finances are NOT in the best shape and I'm ready to work them out. I am skimming through Suze's book to see if I can get any more helpful tips. I'm already on a budget, I don't use credit cards (because I don't have any) and I try and do conscience spending.

One thing she said first off was to create some goals. I try to always have goals, but don't really work on achieving them. I created some short term goals which I'm posting on my blog on the sidebar to hold myself accountable. I tried to make them realistic.. we'll see.

Ok, off to the playground/park with DS, round two. We already went this morning--PS... keeping my eyes out for some single dads!

Milestone--asking "where" questions

I know some of you parents out there may be like "huh, why is she happy he is asking questions, our kids ask questions non-stop!"

Well, DS has this "language disorder" added to his Autism label, and he has only been talking for about 2 plus years now and he runs his mouth constantly! But questions aren't his strong point. He will ask "What's that?", but no "why" or "where".

Today, I told him, finish your breakfast, we gotta go. And he said...

"Where we going?"

He has never ever asked a "Where" question. I quickly helped model the proper sentence "Where are we going?" And he repeated it perfectly, then I told him, to the courthouse to fill out some forms. He had no idea what the heck that was. Then praised him for asking questions! BTW... they have child care at the courthouse! I didn't know.

Yay! My baby's language is getting better every single day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekly Dinner Menu June 12

Man, a week flew by! Here's my menu for this week:

Clams in marinara sauce over linguine (will have to remove clams from DS plate, he doesn't like them)

Chicken tacos

Pork fried rice (I love making this)

BBQ Hamburgers and fries

GF fried chicken and salad

Beef stir fry

Grilled Salmon

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer fun and summer learning!

Summer is here! I'm planning a lot of fun for DS including the beach, playground, fairs and festivals, grilling outside, a visit to Grandma in Nevada that is going to include the pool, playing Wii, sleeping in late and later in the summer he will be going to summer camp.

But for DS, it will not just be fun and games, he will also have a lot of "work" to do before entering 1st grade. Of course it will not be grueling work, and we will keep it as fun as we can, but he is behind in his therapy.

I won't go into a long story, but when he was 3, we enrolled him in at ABA center, that we trusted (they had been around for a long time, they had a PhD on staff) but they really did not perform at all; they did nothing and whenever they did do something, it seemed borderline shady. We complained throughout the 1.5 years he was there and had plenty of meetings but finally decided to pull him out. Since then a lot of people have made similar complaints and now they really aren't doing well. But for us, we regret having him there, we just weren't aware of many other options. We now are just trying to move past it all and forgive ourselves as parents.

Over the past year, we've been picking up their slack. But that means, a lot of parent involvement and a lot of extra work.

DS is doing very well despite the past decisions, and ready to mainstream but we really need to help him out in the following areas this summer to make sure he transitions well: 1st grade math concepts, more language concepts, peer play, behavior modification and also trying to help DS regulate his body, he is extremely hyper. I did a quick eval/assessment and mapped out goals for him.

I have some great materials that I will post another time that have proved extremely helpful, if any parents out there are interested.

I'm ready for a great summer, DS is already started having a great summer: his dad lives right on the coast and on the beach, so he gets to play on the beach all the time. I live 25 minutes inland from the coast.

PS: Heard back from the school district; they sent the IEP to me for my review and revisions. I did have some revisions and sent it back, so now the ball is back in their court... aye caramba!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Midnight in Paris

Has anyone seen this movie? I just saw it tonight and let's just say, I feel like booking a trip to Paris! I did have plans to go this summer, but had to push them back to maybe fall or next summer.

It was a good movie. I won't give too much away, but it was creative (artists and literary greats come to life), funny, it showcased Paris wonderfully and it had a good message.

I enjoyed it! Au Revoir.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting for IEP final report

The IEP went pretty well, the director was open to my suggestions. They aren't exactly what I'd thought, but they are willing to give some things a try. Now I'm just waiting to hear back from them on utilizing their services over the summer and to read the final IEP, I don't think they added in my social goals and behavior goals. I'm hoping to get the report by the end of the week.

Now off to the divorce lawyer, we have to modify child support and add ons... always fun! NOT!

Monday, June 6, 2011

IEP tomorrow

This is how I feel. Please wish us luck and that our son get what he needs.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekly Dinner Menu June 5

Being a single parent, in the SF Bay Area of a child who requires outside therapy, I'm on a budget!

One of the things that helps me save money is meal planning. I give myself a grocery budget, then I take stock of what is in my pantry, then create a menu, then shop for the things I don't have. It usually works.

Here is my weekly dinner menu for the week of June 5

Sirloin roast with roasted potatoes and asparagus

Thai curry chicken, rice and peas

Homemade salmon cakes with homemade french fries

Green salad with tri tip beef

Spanish style chicken and rice

Spaghetti with homemade sauce (I made the sauce last week; freezes nicely)

Cajun salmon and spinach

I try to make things simple, tasty and quick (and gluten free)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

You put what where?

Last night, I was working on the computer and DS walks in and says,
"Mommy, I have a pencil stuck in my ear".

Rapidly, I jump up and on initial inspection, he has nothing sticking out of his ears. As I'm firing questions at him... "OMG... Are you okay.... What happened.... How did a pencil get in your ear... Why did you put a pencil in your ear...." I'm grabbing the tweezers and the flashlight and peering inside. I see nothing. I ask him to tell me what he did. Remember, he has Autism and his communication skills can be limited.

I conclude that while he was drawing with his colored pencils, he just decided it would be interesting to put a pencil in his ear; I'm thinking the point was loose and fell inside.

I attempt to flush it out. Nothing.

It's about 6:45pm and I'm trying to make a quick decision. Go to the emergency room (on a Friday night and endure a 2 hour visit) or find a doctor to see him in the morning. I didn't want to wait. Due to his language, I was wondering, was it in fact still in there, or was he just in pain and just telling me what happened.

Immediately, I google after hour care clinics and find a pediatric after hour care clinic not far from my house. We get in the car and go. The whole time DS is happy and fine and just saying his ear hurts.

No one is in the clinic... yay! (Very nice place too~I must yelp about it) I tell them what happened and the doctor exclaims, with a chuckle... "What?! A Pencil!?" We go into the exam room and he checks his ear and yes, she sees something green. We all kinda laugh, like wow, DS... a pencil is really stuck in your ear.

I'm shocked. In 6 years, this little boy has never stuck anything anywhere, not even a sandwich in a DVD player.

So they try to take it out with tweezers, but it was too far in. They then flush it out and it comes right out.

We were all so happy. He's fine. We will go over a social story that I'm going to write about 'Keeping our Body Safe and Healthy'.

Here it is; yes I asked to save it. I want to remind DS when he gets older. LOL.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Life without a microwave

My microwave conked out a few weeks ago. I thought it was going to be a hardship, but it's really been great. The only problem I encountered was popcorn!

Then my mother reminded me of the days before microwaves. She suggested popping kernels in a pot. I was like, why not!

1/2 cup of kernels, 3 tablespoons of oil and we have wonderful popcorn. My pot has a clear lid, so DS got a kick out of watching the kernels pop into popcorn. It was DEE---LICIOUS!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Almost Friday....

I need to plan our weekend.

I think Friday we will take in a movie, Kung Fu Panda 2. Then Saturday I need to work with my student and DS will spend the day and evening with his dad. I'm not sure what I will do that night, I may go meet a friend at my favorite cafe. Sunday, is bridge day!!! I need to check the weather forecast, because it's been raining. But we'll walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and then head to Sausalito and sit in the park and watch the sailboats.

Today I have to organize myself, which includes making my to do list (live by it) and planning our menu (saves time and money) and running a couple of errands (Costco and the dollar store for some toiletries).

Have a Terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Email in Kindergarten

I just got an email from my son's classmate--addressed to my son, but sent to me (all parent's emails are listed in school directory, so that is where he found it). I opened it up and his friend John wanted to know if he got his yearbook.

Sometimes I can be behind the times, but do 6 year olds have email accounts now?

Took off 4 minutes on my walk/run

I didn't work out outside yesterday due to rain. I did run/walk on the same trail today and I got my time down. Tomorrow, I'm going to do a flat trail around a soccer field. I also changed my eating drastically, not cheating as much ~ dropped 3 pounds! I'm at my ideal weight, just need to loose 2 inches off my waist.