Of Dogs and Dance Parties

Remember the orthopedic bed Jake needed? The bed y'all so nicely bought for him? He completely destroyed it, the ungrateful jerkwad. He also destroyed two doorframes and ripped the carpet off the basement stairs. (Someone please adopt this wonderful charming amazing creature I beg of you.) His heartworm treatment dictates that he MUST stay calm and not exert himself in any way (because otherwise the dead worms will break into pieces and you know what you can just Google why if you want), so we have to keep him isolated from all the other wild and crazy animals a lot of the time since they whip each other into a crazy pack frenzy.* But Jake haaaaaates being crated, so for a little while we let him just lounge around in the basement, and everything was fine. But at some point he lost interest in the plethora of toys and chews and Kongs we leave for him, and started going full destructor mode on stuff like, books! Pillows! Paper! Anything he can pull out of the trash can! THE VERY WALLS AND FLOORS AROUND HIM. So fine, back into the crate he went, along with designated toys and blankets he's welcome... Read more →


Step Five

AND NOW WE DRINK. I must say, Ike's final IEP was worth the wait. The thrills! The chills! The supports and services! Almost 50 pages of red-hot reading/writing/spelling goals! We've got small group and one-to-one pull-outs! We've got handwriting and speech therapy hours! We've got testing accommodations and human scribes (?) and preferential seating! We even got summer school and the promise of placement in a hand-picked immersion classroom next year with full-time special education support. And another meeting in 60 days just to make sure we don't need to add another 10 pages or so. And another meeting 90 days after that because...I forget why, exactly. Maybe they just think I'm fun. (I did leave the house and then realize I was wearing a t-shirt with a marijuana joke on it, so that's actually kind of possible.) Basically, if the district offers it, Ike's getting it, effective immediately. I'm so relieved I could go lie down for seven hours, and not even from the bourbon. A Portrait of the Reader as a Young Man Read more →


A Brief Description of the IEP Meeting Process

Step One: You tell your kid's school that Hey, Something Ain't Right. Step Two: 30 days later, you attend an initial meeting to officially voice your concerns that Hey, Something Ain't Right.* A variety of tests and assessments by a variety of people are planned to confirm that Something Ain't Right. *Bonus points if you come prepared to this meeting with a pricey independent assessment that already confirms the Something, and by "bonus points" I mean hahahahahaha absolutely nothing you just played yourself, son. Step Three: 90 days after that, you attend ANOTHER meeting to go over the results of the tests and assessments, and SURPRISE: Something Ain't Right. Step Four: You wait ANOTHER 30 days for ANOTHER meeting, at which point a plan actually gets put in place to address the Something, and services and accommodations can officially begin for the Something. Step Five: Drink! So we had an IEP meeting yesterday for Ike, a meeting of the Step Three variety. The earliest he'll get help from the school is now mid-to-late January. I'm more frustrated than usual with this particular rodeo round because I've been sounding the Step One alarm since PRESCHOOL. Then all through Kindergarten. By first... Read more →


A Re-Run, But Worth It For the Sweaters

Okay, so I know we just did the whole Santa photo post, BUT BUT BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE. There was a professional photographer at the party and I just got these, and I simply must inflict them upon you. 'Tis the law of the mommyblobs, and I do not dare disobey. This is just Santa photo PERFECTION, and it only took us 13 years. And well, a few extra tries this year too. Look at that human! And now look at this human for a mind-blowing compare/contrast. We old, kiddos. I realized this was Ezra and Ike's first and only time they've gotten solo time with Santa. They made the most of it and asked for a lot of pricey electronics and roughly half the stock of books at Barnes & Noble. Ezra recently found a Pokemon card set I'd bought for Ike and accidentally left in the car. This unfortunately shook his already-wobbly belief in Santa and he asked me to tell him the truth. I got about four words into it before he changed his mind and decided he'd rather not know after all. ("This is my surprise sweater." he explained. Okay then! One must always be prepared... Read more →


Not-Mall Santa 2018

I think this is my favorite one yet. The boys still aren't too old for our annual visit to Mall Santa, but when offered a Non-Mall Alternative Santa, you can bet your ass that Jason and I decided we were EXACTLY too old for Mall Santa, and went with a way less-stressful version. Our (amazing and saintly patient) real estate agent threw a holiday party this weekend and invited Mr. Claus and a photographer for the kids. No lines, no shopping madness, just an incredibly patient Santa who probably learned more information about Titanic than he'll ever know what to do with. (The Titanic even came with her own wish list. The Heart of the Ocean diamond and some lifeboats.) The sweaters were Jason's idea this year, and he even braved not one, but two Target Hellscapes in order to procure all three of them. I had to go yesterday to fill a prescription and was like, FUCK THIS SHIT UNTIL 2019 HAVE YOU PEOPLE NOT HEARD OF THE INTERNET GAAAAAHHHHH oh DAMN 10% off Christmas wreaths I am DOWN. Read more →


Yes Ike Can

This week, Ike sat down and wrote out his Christmas wish list. AND I COULD READ IT. It wasn't perfect, but it was a far cry from past writing efforts that I couldn't make heads or tails of, and would even stump him when he tried to remember what he meant by words like LOUUOB or WOEABL. (Those were "LOVE" and "WORLD." Of course.) Ike loves loves LOVES his reading program. I'm pretty pleased with it as well, because...look at that! "Dimensions??" Are you kidding me? (He's asking for a Bumblebee, Pokemon cards, a new Lego Dimensions disc because ours got scratched and doesn't work anymore, and Minecraft Story Mode Season 2. Ezra's list asks for a computer, a diary WITH A LOCK, and "12 pairs of pants.") Meanwhile, his school STILL has not completed the assessments or made any changes to his IEP. His general education teacher is doing what she can, but it looks like official supports and services won't happen until next semester. So I'm very glad we're making progress on our own. We went with a newer program called SpellRead, which claims to be able to essentially rewire a dyslexic brain to process language and text... Read more →


Weekend Updates

UPDATE #1: I folded the laundry! All of the laundry! I guess I should've taken a photo to better communicate just how much laundry we were talking about, but it was too embarrassing. Even depressed people are entitled to some small slice of vanity, right? Anyway, it's all put away now, and I even tackled the spring/summer closet changeover to fall/winter. Then I took a nap. UPDATE #2: Speaking of the changing of the seasons, our patio toads have left us to hibernate for winter. I will miss them terribly and hope they'll be back next year. Maybe I'll register them as emotional support toads and let them loose on an airplane! UPDATE #3: Ike's IEP meeting...happened. Given the glacial pace of assessment testing (since the independent assessments we paid for didn't line up 100% with the district's standards, aaaaaaahhhhhhhdjvojfohfvoiwehfgpeh), Ike will be lucky to get formal supports and services in place by...Christmas. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhdjvojfohfvoiwehfgpeh times eleventy. So we are very, very relieved we jumped on the ONE OPEN SPOT his reading program offered us and didn't dick around any longer. He loves going, and while it's not an overnight fix or anything, I can already see some confidence creeping back... Read more →


Ladders & Chutes

The first sign of trouble was that I stopped washing my face. Some days I'd go to bed with my makeup on, and just...smear away the raccoon streaks with my fingers the next morning. I knew this wasn't great self-care, so just I stopped wearing makeup most days. But I still didn't wash my face. Other bad habits crept in after that. The laundry went unfolded. My hair went unwashed. Texts went unanswered. Work deadlines were stretched to the absolute limit, and I started working from bed again. I gained more weight, so I rarely changed out of my pajamas because I couldn't face my actual clothes. I was tired -- so, so unbelievably tired all the time, and I would regularly sleep through most of the afternoon. I told myself it was just fatigue from my antidepressant. That there was nothing wrong with wanting to work while nice and cozy and curled up with the cats. That I'd get to the laundry that afternoon, that night, that weekend. And then one night, it was there again. That flash of inevitability, a hopeless swirly thought of no other way out. So...it's been a rough few weeks. I was fine, and... Read more →


The Grifter's Defense

That feeling when you've de-fluffed and de-squeaked your favorite toy and haz ragrets. I suppose it's reassuring that the Internet is still the Internet, even after all these years. Dissecting bloggers' finances when they dare put up a donate button or Amazon wishlist or whatever (LOOK AT THAT GRUBBY FREELOADER BUYING STARBUCKS!) is a tale as old as 2003. I get it! I really do. But...it's my kid. My Ike. I owe it to him to do EVERYTHING I can to get him the best help possible, even if that means being the tacky-ass mommyblogger asking people who also care about Ike or enjoy reading about him would like to help him in this very specific way for this very specific purpose. (But it's okay if the answer is no! I won't pack up my blog and go home or anything.) I know I should just be like, whatever, but I found myself arguing with the shower wall this morning: The Vegas anniversary trip had been planned for (and saved for) for almost five full years. (We also tacked it on Jason's business trip to save on airfare and hotel.) We went super-cheap on our beach vacation (hence the whole... Read more →


All Creatures Great and Weird

So. Moving on! We had Ike officially assessed for dyslexia last week, and lo and behold, he is indeed dyslexic. Classically, wildly so. I'm not at all surprised, but now we're stuck in that annoying treading water period between diagnosis and treatment. We're waiting for a spot to open up at a private reading center, and an IEP meeting with the school is scheduled for later this month. I'm not super optimistic about the services the school can offer, and while I think we've found an amazing program that Ike will respond to really well, it's intensive and face-punchingly expensive. But of course we'll do it, because OUR BABY CAN'T READ GOOD. (Does anyone have any experience with Patreon? What do y'all think of that as opposed to say, a GoFundMe or just a PayPal donate button somewhere? Basically, what's the least tacky way to blog-grift nowadays, is my question?) (I'm taking on more work from several corporate clients already, before anybody tsk-tsk about getting a "real job." I have one! I have several! Also several painful neuroses and deep-seated anxiety issues about money and finances that my therapist says are okay to just acknowledge sometimes!) Anyway, back to the... Read more →