Brain Barf

May contain traces of nuts.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Redrum

I've never killed anything.
OK, fine, the bees and such that have hit my windshield, yes.
THAT wasn't intentional.
I was raised on a farm and bottle fed the animals my father killed for food.
I went hunting with my dad, and he even made me shoot a clay pigeon once.
But I cried every time.
~sigh~
I overdosed my fancy rat, Jill, tonight.
No laughing, it's real to me.
She's had cancer for QUITE awhile and I'm surprised how long she has lasted.
But today...When I finally saw her in pain, her body wasn't keeping temp, and she was frantically hungry, but her organs were swollen, hard and no longer functioning/digesting...I fed her Fruit Loops soaked in codeine syrup.


The positive side of this experience: it has opened discussion doors with my children about life/death and everything in-between in a larger sense.

I couldn't separate her from Jack (my other fancy rat), because you want to die with the ones you love around you, so I put a heating pad under their cage, set on low to keep her warm, until...
I've always been in favor of assisted suicide. I have watched too many people suffer and painfully linger on (mostly due to the wishes of their families needs, not theirs).
Would my views be the same if I was the one to pull the plug?
I don't know.
But I did intentionally kill a living organism tonight.
I'm OK with it right now.
At least until the morning when I have to experience the fruits of my labor.
I'm such a softie.





Times up

It seems like about every six months or so my happy hormones take a vacation and I am left drowning in a solitary sea of black depression.
I always, somehow, climb out of the swirling black hole without permanent damage.
(Don't worry, I am the master of disguise ((turtle turtle)) so my children only see me a little more weepy than usual).
But, in the midst of it, I can't imagine things getting any better.
I've tried the pills, not so much for me.
I need to feel things.
But it's coming around again.
I can still laugh that "crampon" rhymes with "tampon", so I'm OK for awhile.

http://health.msn.com/centers/mentalhealth/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100121512&GT1=7799
I'm sorry daughters.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Untouchable

Just a few things:

My boys have been removed from their "resource/transition" class, after another firmly worded letter and a nasty phone call initiated by the "principal". Leaving one to wonder if she may be losing some funding.

The bad news: Twin A, the one with the severe expressive language issues, is being tested for a learning disability. A -OK, because anyone who understands him, knows he could pull one over on them in a heartbeat. The boy is sharp.
The tests are being administered by the District Psychologist.
The problem: The psychologist will, without a doubt, be unable to understand a word Twin A is saying. They won't allow me to translate because of bias concerns (roll my fucking eye balls to Northern Siberia) and I haven't been able to communicate with his awesome Speech Language Pathologist. I have left numerous un-returned voicemails and I am worried that she is getting bogged down in the power struggle.
There are very few non-verbal tests they can give.
If they test him without adequate translation, he will test out at a three year old level and be thrown into ANOTHER "integration" class.
~Sigh~I'm prepared for the fight...Again.

Touch.
Healing touch.
A basic human need.
A mother touching her baby's cheek.
Nerve endings and beginnings.
Skin to skin.
A nuzzle.
A foot rub after a long day.
The gentle pat on the shoulder of a patient who is dying
Because everywhere else hurts too much.
The stroke on a forehead making it possible to deal with the everyday.
My lap, where problems are not allowed admittance.
An embrace that stuns all monsters into a retreat.
My hand, when held, can conquer anything.
With this touch, one is untouchable.
Be touched.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Don't fuck with Mama Bear.

It's not Valentines Day in our house it's fucking CHRISTMAS in February!

We took our boys to an independent evaluator today (an hour and a half drive each way because these facilities don't exist in our area).
Their method was to test/evaluate the boys first and get our input/information second.
BEHOLD...They completely matched.
Twin A DOES have an expressive language problem (of which we are fully aware). He does NOT have any developmental or cognitive issues (also completely aware). His troubles with reading/language arts are only due to his expressive language difficulties (DUH). He is above average in math abilities. He doesn't have any social/attention/behavior problems (Duh again). He DOES NOT belong in a resource class (redundant DUH!). He only requires the speech therapy he is (already, initiated by US) getting and a specialized curriculum.

Twin B does NOT have any speech, developmental or cognitive problems. He is above average in math abilities and average in language arts. He doesn't have any social/attention/behavior problems. He DOES NOT belong in a resource class...And the fact that he was placed there was alarming to them and only proves our point.

A beautiful bonus of this facility is that they have their OWN advocate. Now OUR advocate.
I could kiss this woman (but she hugged me first after hearing our story) This advocate has a son very much like my Twin A with severe expressive language issues. Her son is now in the University of Washington Medical school. She is available for every/any meeting we have with the school with an encyclopedic knowledge of Federal/Washington State rights/laws. She helped me compose a (another letter Thank You again Randy) letter demanding that my boys are removed from this "resource" class by the end of the week.

The confirmation of all of our concerns....The fact that they have previously noted the difficulties our school district (this facility is far outside our district) has with children that don't fit in the box....The knowledge that we are finally on the the right track and getting the help they desperately need...And that we are not crazy in demanding the best for our boys...
Made this the best 3 hours I've spent this year.

The timing is great. Parent teacher conferences for my boys is tomorrow.



(Now if someone could get my 14 and 11 year old daughter to stop the sibling arguing thing, I could die now, a happy woman.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dog Free

Fucking Blogger won't let me post....And I was having an epiphany!
It was a spoiler because I was going to tell you how it all ends! ;o) wink, wink.

I think the reason that so many people are still searching for a "god" is
1) They haven't discovered their own unique function in society.
2) They want to control their own environment and/or others.
3) They need someone to tell them what to do.
4)They want someone else to place the blame on.
5) They don't trust their own worth/judgment.
~Newsflash~
Life generally sucks ass.
You make it what it is.
I could retire to my closet right now sans tin-foil beanie, with a large list of justifiable reasons, but I choose to stare this life in the (cheap reading glasses) eyes.
At this moment in time, I know what/who I am, what/who I believe in, and where I am going and it doesn't involve an imaginary friend in the clouds, but real people who I need and who need me*.
*subject to change of course.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Keep out

Y chromosomes:
I panicked when I found out I was pregnant with, not one, but two boys.
Wait? What? I don't know anything raising boys?
I turned to Amazon and read "Real boys", The optimistic Child", "Raising Cain" and other assorted books while I was pregnant.
I breast fed both of them so they wouldn't become serial killers (insert my own paranoia induced compulsions here).
I chose not to have them circumcised because I wanted the decision to mutilate their OWN genitalia, or not, to be theirs.
I didn't allow toy guns or any other weapons (discovered, that they can make their own out of most any household item).
I never allowed television or video games.
I treated them as my just my babies and not a gender.
I learned their unique likes and nurtured them in ways that I thought were healthy.
I allowed the plastic army men, wooden castles, and assorted super hero cartoons (mixed with PBS animal/research videos).
I taught them to resolve their conflicts with words.

Then I throw them into a public school system.
With society/systems and other parents who don't share these ideals.
Who treat boys as something defective that needs to be controlled and fixed.

Have I hindered them?
Have they not learned how to effectively defend themselves because of my idealistic approach?
In my attempts to balance them, have I weakened them against this harsh world?

Who is wrong here?
Should I buy an X-box and long black trenchcoats for them now?
Who is really wrong here?
Maybe I was mistaken all along and should have prepared them according to societies expectations.

Signed,
Mom.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Causes saline leakage EVERY time.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The family of human beings.

The support I've received from my blogger family (not buddies, not faceless digital ghosts) has...Humbled, renewed, refreshed and relabeled by idea of family.

I've been at a loss as to how to fully thank Randy, for an amazing, selfless gift he sent me, (I've considered driving down to LA and mowing his lawn, tooth brushing his grout and changing the oil in his car, and making sure he knows that my kidneys are still available).

I NEED to express my gratitude for the direct influence his actions will/are having in my boys lives.
"People" are finally paying attention!


Since I'm sure Randy won't accept paypal...
My husband and I came up with a repayment plan.
We will return the gift given to us. We will be advocates. We will take everything we have been given, gathered, learned and pass it on to the next desperate parent with a child that doesn't fit into the standardized box and is being abused and/or neglected by the "system."

The gift:
Dear Superintendent:
(I cc'd the Principal, teachers, counselor, Director of Special education and the school psychologist)

We are writing about the placement of my two boys in a resource room, in which they are subjected to assaults by other children in the form of spitting, hitting, pushing and even kicks to genetalia. My husband and I have rearranged our schedules so as to be inside that room as much as possible, and we have attempted to resolve this matter with you previously. Regrettably, we have been unsuccessful in obtaining a remedy from you in this outrageous situation.

We have been told that because my boys do not qualify for special education services excluding speech therapy, that their placement in the resource room is not governed by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., and that we therefore have no right to have input into the resource room placement.

Resource rooms are defined as a supplementary special education service in Washington. Wash. Admin. Code 392-172-174(2)(b) (continuum of alternative service deliveries). This being so, we believe that the placement in a resource room is a de facto special education placement. See Wash. Admin. Code 392-172-045(1) (definition of special education). Moreover, our children have not been evaluated and determined to be eligible for special education services, See Wash. Admin. Code 392-172-108 (evaluation procedures), 392-172-111 (determination of eligibility and parental notification), nor have we been notified of any finding of eligibility for special education services. See Wash. Admin. Code 392-172-111 (parental notification). Additionally, there have been no Individual Education Programs (IEPs) designed for the children, and no IEP conferences have been held, meetings that we would, of course, attend and in which we would participate fully See Wash. Admin. Code 392-172-156 (IEP meetings). Finally, placement in special education without our consent flatly violates the law. See Wash. Admin. Code 392-172-170 (parental consent for initial placement).

We therefore request that our children be removed from the resource room and placed back in their general classroom. If the system believes that the special education resource room placement is appropriate, then we request full evaluations and application of all of the procedural safeguards of the IDEA. If our children do not qualify for special education services, but their disabilities are such that special treatment is necessary, we request an explanation in writing of why that is so. See Wash. Admin. Code 392-172-020(2) (obligation to provide education services for children with disabilities that do not qualify under IDEA).

We want to work with the system to provide the best education for our children. We will not, however, allow our children to be railroaded into a situation that is not appropriate for them. The bullying and assaults in this resource room must stop; the fact that they occur at all speaks poorly for the resource room staff and the school administration. Indeed, it amounts to a deliberate indifference to the safety of the children in the room.

Yours, Keri and Husband.


Sorry about ratting you out and for being so goopy Randy, but you deserve it. (You will be on the graduation announcement list in 2017). (Dear Mrs. Randy, please kiss this man.) (Oh, and Dear Adam and Toby, I know you know, but your Dad is amazing).





Friday, February 03, 2006

No child left behind, right.

This is the sixth time today I have been frustrated to tears.
It started with a return call from the Director of Special Education for our school district.
This is a man who, I was told was very sympathetic towards families/children with special needs and would most definitely be able to help us.
After many patronizing and condescending words, apparently I'm just another one of those difficult parents who won't admit that their children are really just unintelligent because they don't fit in the "box", and I should really just quit trying to buck the system. He read their file (translated, he talked to their principal, this principal who retires next year after 17 years and doesn't have time for anything other than the next call from her travel agent).


He offered me NOTHING.
He only got worse when I broke into desperate tears.

My boys are stuck in no mans land.
IEP's are not required in no mans land.

I feel frantic, frustrated, and outraged but refuse hopelessness.
I feel frantic to get them out of this "SYSTEM" before my boys accept this as normal.
I feel frustrated because everywhere I have turned has so far been a rude dead end.
I AM outraged because it JUST SHOULD NOT be like this.
I refuse to be hopeless because, I won't stop. I won't accept no. I won't accept "doesn't qualify". I won't accept the standardized FUCKED up square my round little boys are trying to be forced into.


PLEASE, someone, tell me what hoop to jump through, and I will bring my jetpack and pogo stick.

I have some options left. I have contacted a non-profit advocacy service (thank you beyond words Randy). I have an appointment on the 14th with an independent evaluator (similar to Sylvan). If it becomes necessary I will sell my kidney and any other body parts for an attorney who will help us. My husband and I are doing our best to be in every single class, every single day with my boys (damn those jobs and bills).


Gawd these futile emotions...I'm the MOM; I am supposed to be able to fix everything. That's my JOB. This is the one job I can't fail. I feel like I am.

...and every single day my boys go to this school...today Devon was spit on, and
I am disgustingly grateful it was only spit. Hopefully tomorrow it will only be a punch in the stomach. They are only six years old.

...make this number seven on the times I have been frustrated to tears today. They are only six years old...six very small innocent years on this planet.
(I tried to re-read my copy of "the Optomisitic Child" today, when I got angry beyond reason and threw it against the wall. The irony of an optomisitic child in a system
that crushes their worth was too much).