Friday, May 18, 2012

Hello, Ryan!

Don't forget to check out Ryan helping out other special needs families!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I Do: Volunteer Luncheon

Today was the lunch for volunteers at the lower elementary. It was really very nice. It was a lovely little buffet, and the teachers were also allowed to come in and get free lunch (which I think is awesome), and then you sat down and ate, and maybe talked to people. Mostly, I talked to one of the teachers I volunteer for, and with Andy's teacher, but I also got to meet a couple of other volunteers doing awesome things, like the gentleman who volunteers in his daughter's classroom because his workshift doesn't let him see her when she's home, and the very nice lady who does stuff in the library. Seriously, volunteers at schools? They totally rock. I kind of forget what I do is considered on par with the wonderful helping these other folks do.

So came the question, when one is at a volunteer luncheon and knows, um, nobody: "So... who do you volunteer for? What do you do?"

Apparently, most volunteers come in and do one of three things:

They run activities, like the book fair or a special assignment, like when the kids have a project in class that requires extra hands;

They come in regularly and help out in the classroom, mostly prepping material for their kid's teacher;

They come in regularly and help out with engaging the kids while their kid's teacher runs small groups or 1:1.

And then I come out with, "I teach sign language in three of the special ed kindergarden classrooms" followed up with, "My kid is not a kindergardener; he's in second grade." And next year, I totally plan on continuing the program. In fact, if I can get myself and my money together, I'm going to try for certification through Signing Time to be an instructor. Then I want to expand the program to include more classrooms. Signing is great for getting around the processing speech problems among the kids in the SpEd rooms, so I don't see why it wouldn't make for great visual prompts and supports in other classrooms, too. They teach the kids Spanish, why not ASL?

Yeah, that's what I do. At least it apparently made for nice lunchtime conversation; and most folks I met wanted to learn a sign, which I thought was awesome. Every little bit helps, right?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moms Rock My World

I just wanted to pop in and say, you moms and dads, raising your awesome kids, or helping raise awesome kids even if you aren't a mom or dad yet, you guys are awesome. And I wanted to take a minute and mention some moms who have recently been rockin' my world, since we seem to be going through our Spring Fling with the boys- big changes. When the world is rockin' and rollin', it can be nice to just think about the awesome rocks that keep reality pinned into place.

And, yes, I could go on. I seem to know a lot of awesome moms. I think I just kinda leave the not-awesome ones by the wayside. To the awesome moms I know who I haven't mentioned here: you aren't forgotten. I just need more posts about awesome moms.


Thank you, Stimey. You Rock. 

A big thank-you to Stimey, one of the rockin'est moms ever. When the going got tough, Stimey sent hugs and good thoughts and hugs and a DS lite. Which Joey is playing on right now, instead of sleeping, but that's because he is SO happy, and it has saved our lives on multiple occasions since its arrival. And besides, Stimey likes rodents. We are total soul sisters. 

Thank you to the awesome Niksmom!

Another mom who totally rocks? Niksmom. Even when I want to just run up and hug her because her world seems so topsy-turvy and her baby isn't feeling well, she thinks of me. And asks. And sends hugs. I am thinking of you, too. And sending hugs. 

Love to my sister-in-disguise, Christina!

Want to meet an awesome mom? Come have tea with my sister, Christina. We were separated at birth. Well, we at least lived in the same town, even if we didn't share parents. Kind of. Anyway, if I had a sister, I would hope she would have been awesome and crazy like Christina. It helps to have a friend down the street. If and when we ever get to actually see each other. That's part of the "fun" of being special needs moms. 

Thank you for being awesome, Aunt Nancy!

A big hug and plenty of sugar for my Aunt Nancy. I still remember coming home on dark days to find my bed made. Your hugs have brought smiles to me when life seemed to be falling apart. Thank you for understanding my boys and having a good ear for listening. I love you. 

What? Don't you think of Maddy as a goldfish, too? 

I can never think of awesome moms without mcewen coming to mind. Whitterer on Autism is now a great resource for finding out about books and apps and stuff useful for autism. But we also still get peeks at her awesomeness with her kids. Hugs hugs hugs. 

Thank you to my no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is friend, Detre!

You know, one of the awesome treasures in life is having a friend who tells it like it is, and takes no nonsense. Thank you for showing me real strength, Detre. And lending me some of it when I needed it most. 

Hugs to Mommy Dearest!

Seriously, this woman is raising a kid with autism to play the baritone/euphonium. Just like me. How awesome is that? And her little goth girl icon makes me giggle every time I see it. Giggles are important in life. Lots of hugs. 

What? You can't see the resemblance? 

One of my other beautiful sisters; thank you to Sue, who stands by me through thick and thin and everything all around and in between. I know I don't call you enough. But I think of you every day, and send love and hugs and wishes that Texas wasn't so far away. Sue is my go-to when I need a problem solved, or a kick in the patookas to get it solved. Thank you for not letting me be a total slacker. And putting up with living with me in college. That was huge. 

Few moms totally rock like Sunday

When the going gets tough, the tough get Ryan Gosling to take care of business and cheer us all up. But even without our Ryan meme, Sunday rocks. Thank you for your encouragement and grinning photos and banshee awesomeness. 

Thank you for understanding, Kim. (And yeah, this is how I think of you). 

It wasn't too long ago that I made the attempt to at least try to be a part of the old high school crowd. It was a bit of a bust, but I got to find out who was still a real friend after years of being out of sight, out of mind. I mean, more than i was when I was actually in high school. Thinking of you, Kim, and someone who knows how to offer help in the middle of a meltdown. 

No mom is as awesome, and fabulous, and magical as my mom. 

Ever need that extra sparkle to make something extra-special? Or a helping hand to keep things even-keel? That one great idea to take a good thing and make it great? That's what my mom does every day. I hope to be as good a mom and as good a grandmom as she is. Whenever things get tough, I can always do the best I can by asking, "what would Mom do?" Thank you, Mom. I love you.