I don’t think we have enough stuffed animals.
“ser·en·dip·i·ty: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for”
some of you probably remember me talking about how much i enjoyed the water-color classes i took last summer with ryan coover. i have been hoping that he would teach again this summer, since it looks like i will be spending time in austin while the kids are in summer school.
i had a chance to touch base with him this past week, to encourage him to participate in a local plein air painting competition we have every year. i have never been brave enough to participate, but this year i though, what the heck?
he agreed to join me and i jokingly wrote that while we were painting we could discuss what classes he might be teaching this summer.
it turns out he is starting a class next week (the squirm’s first week of school at the new school) that falls perfectly into my “in town” schedule.
it also falls perfectly into my new year’s resolutions, to do more drawing. it also forces me to leave my artistic safety zone and work on something i have always really wanted to be able to do, but have been scared to really work on my own. sketching from life.
so now i am really looking forward to this next phase of our lives. i know the squirm is excited to start his new school, and now i have chance to learn and grow too.
daffodils? ok, it might not be as perfect as all that, but there is some good stuff going on.
the squirm got accepted to the capitol school! not for kindergarten like we hoped, but for a half day program that focuses on intensive catching up and small ratios. there are three boys in the class and two adults. i am bummed that he needs to play catch up (bummed but not totally surprised), but glad that he has this amazing opportunity to be in a better situation for learning and growth. he starts the monday after spring break, so he got sprung early from his non-preferred old school and ran errands with my mom and i yesterday.
we toured the william’s community school last week with mr p’s parents and really liked it. i turned in applications there this past week (definitely for the squirt and maybe even for the squirm if things don’t work out at the capitol school. with spring break starting today, i am sure we won’t hear anything from this this week, but my fingers and toes are crossed that they might have an opening open up this semester, and if not they might have a couple of openings in their summer program. mr p and i both really liked the director and she did an excellent job allaying our anxieties about aba therapies. i hope we get a chance to get more involved with her and with the school.
but, until that happens, i’ll be putting my little squirt on the school bus here in the mornings, before driving the squirm to austin. the half day thing works out pretty well right now, because it gets us back to austin around 2:00 and we can pick up the squirt and head home!
some of you have heard me bemoan the fact that no girl kids means no girl scouts. and no offense to the boy scouts out there, but girl scouts and boy scouts are two completely different animals.
fortunately my friend golden is a troop leader, and she invited me to get involved this past week. the girls are designing and painting a garden mural this spring, and since i have done a few murals, she asked me to help out.
we only got as far as the background, but i am looking forward to getting back together with the troop to finish up.
who knows, maybe i will get to be an honorary troop mom
was anyone else a girl scout? i don’t remember loving it as a kid, probably because i was shy and feared the meetings, but i loved working at girl scout camp as a college student!
so it turns out that my sweet little squirm actually hit a teacher at his potential school. this is something totally unprecedented, and i can only assume that maybe actually being engaged in school, and dealing with expectations instead of being ignored, might have led to frustration and lashing out.
it doesn’t help one bit that the squirm is OBSESSED with looney tunes, and quotes yosemite sam when he gets mad. “WHY YOU!!!” but, the school was nice enough to give the squirm a second chance in their low ratio class. there are only three kids in there, so the squirm gets a lot more attention and has less potential to feel lost or frustrated.
i actually think this new class is a better fit for him, and i think he did well this week. there was only one “why you” and the teacher asked me for suggestions on how to handle it in the future, which i took positively. the class is only four hours, instead of a full day, which helps logistically.
i brought the squirt with me on the first day, but then asked mr p to take him to his regular classes the rest of the week. he seems happier when he stays in his routine, so we are going to try to have him take the school bus next week, so that both boys can get to their respective schools on time (assuming the squirm gets accepted).
so, i feel like my life is upside down (i had to quit my job and drop my class to get this far), but i have my fingers crossed we get good news. unfortunately we may have to wait until monday to find out our fate. but mr p’s parents will be here this weekend, so that will be a fun distraction. and monday we are going to see a school that is designed for kids on the autism spectrum, to see if it might be a good fit for my little squirt.
thank you to all that have been thinking good thoughts for us through this process!!!
i didn’t get a great feeling when i picked the squirt up on thursday, and i was hoping for at least a hint of the results of the trial. i was afraid to go with my gut feeling (that something had gone wrong) out of fear that i was just projecting my own doubts and fears onto everyone’s body language.
friday was a looooong day, and i didn’t really feel well. i did work at the shelter, which felt surprisingly comforting and familiar. and then i waited for the phone to ring. i ended up skipping my first class, partially due to watching the phone, partially due to feeling bad, but felt compelled to attend the second meeting at the humane society.
of course my call came 10 minutes into class and went straight to voice mail. i made the mistake of listening to it on a break because it wasn’t good news. the squirm had shown some aggression during his visit and they didn’t think they could meet his needs in that classroom. we’ll talk more about it monday morning…gah!!!!!
one of the most inconvenient things about having no home base is having no bathroom, especially at the end of a looooong drive. so our first stop was walmart, because we needed the bathroom. we clearly needed this viewmaster too. because what is cooler than a viewmaster?
after a quick stroll through walmart, and some quality time van camping in the parking lot, we decided we would check out the new austin children’s museum, the thinkery. it looked cool, was kind of crowded, and we didn’t stay too long. i think it is a place the squirm would really enjoy. the squirt preferred the playground across the street and the duck pond.
things went a little downhill from here, and mommy delayed lunch way too long. poor squirticus was beside himself by the time we finally found a place and got our french fries. clearly he and i need to make a better plan for ourselves!!
we made our first commute into austin to check out the capitol school today. i got up at 5:25 am, got the kids up at 6:15 am, left the house at 6:40 am, arrived at the school at 8:08 am. phew!
drop off was shockingly non-traumatic, but while the squirm had a really great day, the squirt flunked out by noon. it was disappointing, but i will keep looking for the right place for him. it will make the rest of this school year more challenging if the squirm gets accepted immediately.
we are off to austin again tomorrow for the squirm’s second day! not sure what the squirt and i will get up to, but i will take pictures!
you have read me complain about the experience we are having with the public school system where we live.
not only did the squirm’s kindergarten teacher leave mid year, the speech therapist did too. and apparently his special ed case manager has been gone for months, and no one bothered to tell me.
this isn’t all bad, his new kindergarten teacher is doing a great job, although i am not sure she can overcome all of the negative lessons that the squirm learned last semester. apparently his former teacher and his classmates all had the attitude that he was completely non-verbal, and didn’t expect him to participate in any way in the classroom. there is a herd of girls that wait on him hand and foot and he was never called on or expected to perform academically.
just writing about it makes my blood boil. i am surprised he has learned anything at all this year. needless to say, all of this prompted me to look into other educational opportunities for the boys.
in asking around and searching online, i found a school called the capitol school. it is a school specifically designed for kids with language delays.
i dragged my step-mom into town with me to visit the school and we both fell in love. small classes, warm environment, conspicuous lack of aba (that is a topic for another post). we observed a few classes and our impression is that it is a perfect fit for the squirm, but a little bit of a stretch for the squirt. we didn’t observe any students who were as non-verbal as the squirt. and, while the school does have students who are on the autism spectrum, it isn’t a school specifically for kids with autism (which is really fine with me).
we chatted for a few minutes with the director about the kids and about our concerns for the squirt, and she said that she might be willing to give it a go in their low ratio class for the remainder of the school year, so they could see how he might do in their pre-k class next fall.
so we left our applications and drove home super excited and fingers and toes crossed.
two weeks went by, and i was starting to worry that they were looking for a nice way to let us down easy. the only evaluations i had to give them are from our public school, and they aren’t flattering. i am not even sure they are accurate. when i met with one evaluator from the “autism team” last week, he said “i have never even heard [the squirm] talk.” i am not so excited that the people evaluating my kids don’t know them AT ALL! anyway, i was worried. and i was compulsively checking my email and voice mail.
darn verizon (or my phone) let me down! i got a voice mail yesterday that pushed through a voice mail from WEDNESDAY that i had never received. it was the school calling to set up a time for the kids to visit! i immediately called and left a voice mail with the school explaining the delay in my response and stating that of course we want to visit!
to be continued…
i had to use one of jen’s song choices as the title to today’s mix tape blog. can anyone sing about love (boom chicka mow mow) better than the great barry white?
i feel like no list of love songs can be complete without (at least) one country crooner (see what i did there, i left it open in case i feel compelled to pick another country tune later). i don’t spend a lot of time listening to c & w music, but i do have a soft spot for dwight yoakum. try not to look so pretty.
when i think of being all mushy gushy, for some reason mazzy star comes into mind.
i love a singer with an interesting voice, and iris dement really fits that bill. most people love it, or hate it.
this is a quirky little love song that i have always liked by they might be giants. i think i might prefer fun and silly love songs, to serious ones.
and, one last love song to leave you with….what should it be? it had to be cake!!
some people want to fill the world with silly love songs….