Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Go Jaysen, it's your birfday...

Ipod touch. That is a happy kid, folks.
We love you bunches!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Our Little Ray of Sunshine (Sunny)

Working with Furget Us Not Rescue, we found the newest member of our family!

Furget Us Not was absolutely great. Our volunteer, Nicole, was the best. She was so helpful, understanding, and knew that a good "match" meant on both sides.
Happy people + Happy pooch = Happy family. 
It's not rocket surgery, folks.

So, let me introduce you to Sunny!

Meet the fam!

Whoa!....She is beautiful!...

Sunny LOVES her ball!

Big pawz.

Yay walks!

Lurve her!

This face makes me melt....

So that's Sunny!
She is 140 lbs of English Mastiff awesomeness! GREAT with the kids, GREAT with the cats, and we absolutely ADORE her!

Jaysen loves to check the mail with her and take her for walks. Rylan loves to play ball and fetch with her. I love to basically just love on her and snuzzle. It warms my heart to see her so happy and tail-waggy when I get home. And how happy they all are playing or just chillin' out together.

Thank you, Furget Us Not (and of course Matt and Nicole)~
Much love!

Calling out Last Day Dog Rescue

I believe in rescuing animals.
Every pet I've ever had (except my kitty, Tiki), has been a rescue.
Rescues are the best.

Except when they're not.

We recently expanded our family to include a new furface. And she has been amazing! Seriously, we couldn't have asked for a better dog. She is absolutely awesome in every way. Companion would disagree with me and say that her slobber is far from awesome, but I digress. Sadly, the journey to find our dog, had not been so magical.

Let me start by saying that I understand rescues are run by volunteers. I understand that volunteering takes time and is hard work. I admire these people, despite they can be a bit overzealous and judgemental, and totally make it difficult for you, when it comes to adopting their foster.

Let me tell you, Last Day Dog Rescue (LDDR) is horrible.
(also not linking because they deserve no love from me)

After no contact and a no call/no show scheduled home visit, we were finally able to start meeting dogs to potentially adopt. It seemed that every dog we were interested in was either already adopted or "not a good fit" for us. They denied us pretty much every dog we were interested in. We were looking for a med/large sized dog (preferably a Golden or Lab), that's good with kids and cats. That was it. We couldn't find any Goldens (yes, I tried GRRoM), and LDDR deemed all the Labs "too hyper" for us.

They described a very sweet dog, Bennett, who was good with cats and kids. He was a sweetheart. He loved everyone he met. He was desperate to get out of the kennel he was in because he has severe kennel anxiety.... they kept pushing him on me, and assuring me he was perfect for us. My heart started to break for poor Bennett, and we decided we would love to adopt him. We were so excited! We drove over an hour and waited 4 hours just to meet him. I almost cried when I saw him, I was so happy.

Fast forward.

We didn't even have Bennett 24 hours.
Within hours of being in our home, he became overly protective of Companion, and would "guard" him from the rest of the family. He growled and postured at my sister. He bristled, growled, and lunged at Jaysen (thank baby Jeebus Companion was able to hold him back). He would posture and track Rylan. He was showing aggression toward the kids, and I just could not accept that.

I contacted LDDR. I was told to "ignore him. Don't show him any affection for 72 hours".
They wanted to know which kid he was showing aggression to.
Does it fucking matter???
Bennett kept going. That night, Companion slept in the living room with the dog, while I slept in my bedroom with the cats. The boys slept in their rooms with the doors closed. Needless to say, we were terrified of what would happen if one of the kids woke up first and came out of their bedroom.  It would have been different, had I been without kids. But I'm a mom, and that usually means you have children of some sort. I am in no effing way going to put my kids in danger like that.

We decided to return Bennett to the rescue.
They were pissed. Their argument was I didn't give him time to adjust. My argument was I couldn't put my children in a situation like that with a dog that has aggressive tendencies.  They didn't care.
They picked Bennett up in the morning.
They didn't want to hear about anything, and I made her take a written description of what happened, and how I didn't think he should be in a home with children.
They were pissed, and banned me from the rescue.


So... I got blacklisted for being concerned about my children's safety?
Interesting. I'm fine with that, and I guess it just speaks to what kind of "rescue" LDDR really is.

I understand that rescue people only care about the dog's well being. I get that, you crazy motherfuckers. But isn't part of the dog's well being, to find the right family?  If a dog has a taste for children, it should not be in a house with children. 

Don't get me wrong- Bennett was a great dog. Very smart, fast learner, good companion.....just not for a house with kids. Yet, he's still on LDDR's website as being good with kids. That's totally irresponsible and someone's potentially going to get hurt.

I wasn't able to get a straight answer about anything. I had one person saying I was a bad dog-mom, and another saying I was great, just "the board" was being unfair and she was going to help me on the side, to adopt a better dog. She later turned out to be a huge two-faced, backstabbing, spineless jackass, but that's just par for LDDR apparently. I had them saying my adoption fee check was in the mail, but it never showed, so I put a stop payment on my check (c'mon, we had the dog less than 24 hours). They sure didn't like that because it cost them $30 when they tried to cash it. Haha bitches.

This isn't a butthurt post either. I was denied by another rescue (my cats were late on their vaccines- don't tell Jenny!), and although I thought that was BS, it was handled much differently and professionally.

In not-so-short, Last Day Dog Rescue is run by a bunch of daft volunteers, who have no freakin' clue what a "rescue" is. I'm sure David Arquette would disagree, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume we didn't get the same treatment.

I'll tell you all about the rescue that we ended up working with (who ironically branched out from LDDR because they couldn't stand LDDR's politics), in another post. I don't want to even associate the two, plus I still have to upload pics. *lazy*

Bottom line is-
Even though our experience was horrible, please consider rescuing. Just not from LDDR. They're deceitful and really don't care. About you, or their dogs.
Stay tuned for an awesome post on adoption!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Counting Mah Chikkuns

Jaysen's teacher.
I luff this man.

I've mentioned oh....maybe 50 billion, trillion, megazillion times, that Jaysen has not had a supportive school environment. I think that's a nice way of describing it, because in actuality, it sucks major donkey balls.  He basically has received NO formal education, and the education he has received, has been secondhand from his paras and supplemented at home.

Which is the main reason I decided to pull him from GenEd. He needs to build a stronger foundation. Get a sense of the educational system. Have some exposure to authority other than Mom. Learn about making mistakes and how to fix them.

He's currently in the EI (Emotionally Impaired) classroom. While there is an ASD classroom at his school, I felt the EI teacher would be better equipped to deal with Jaysen's outbursts and behaviors. He would be more used to seeing things like that, and not overreact to them. He would hopefully have the skills to help Jaysen work through them and teach him more accceptable replacement behaviors.

And I was right. :)

At curriculum night (I was the only parent to show. It was sad, but I got his teacher 1:1 for over an hour), Mr. Smith told me of the potential he saw in Jaysen. Jaysen is the farthest behind in the whole class, but he was confident he could get him caught up. He said Jaysen is very smart, he just lacks the confidence that he can do the tasks, and his anxiety gets the better of him. Yes. This is true.

We talked about Jaysen's self-harming. that his self-injury is driven by the sensory input. That we have tried alternate things, increasing his sensory diet, redirection, ignoring, etc. Nothing seems to sate that need for that proprioceptive feedback.

Then he asked me a most magical question. Mr. Smith stopped, looked at me, and sincerely asked me, "Has anyone looked into why he needs that feedback? Because I think that's important to know."

I was stunned. Nobody has ever asked me that before. Nobody has ever cared enough to even think of as to why that particular outlet (self-injury) serves a purpose for him. Nobody. And then the tears started flowing. Because I'm sensitive, dammit- and omg you actually care about and want to understand my kid.

Another awesome thing about this class?
Mr. Smith fosters a sense of Community.
This is huge. And I didn't fully understand the magnitude of it until he gave me an example.
Jaysen has a bully. One that he knew from the last school. This bully targets Jaysen, and generally makes his day miserable.
One day this bully was being especially assholish to Jaysen, he was calling him names and got up to go over to Jaysen's desk. The 3 kids surrounding Jaysen stood up from their desks, walked over to Jaysen's desk, and stood behind him.  One of the kids turned to address the bully. He told him to leave Jaysen alone, and to go back to his seat; while the other two kids flanked Jaysen, bent down to him, and told him "Okay, look. You need to ignore him. That's how we handle him. Mr. Smith will be over here in a minute, and he'll give us instruction. Then we're going to follow his instruction, because he'll know what to do."  They not only redirected Jaysen, they diffused a situation. Without instruction. That's Community, bitches.

And that? Is how it's done.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fingers crossed

Well...we started 7th grade.

You may recall my gut-wrenching decision to pull Jaysen out of mainstream education, and to place him in a self-contained EI classroom. And believe me, it was gut-wrenching. There were many tears. And wine. There was lots of wine.

The verdict-

I never thought I'd say that, but he is absolutely in the best environment for him at this time.
Not only is my kid doing real classwork- he's in a super supportive environment to boot.

Case in point: There is an obnoxious kid in the class (I can totally call him obnoxious a) because he is and b) because he picks on and bullies Jaysen). So this obnoxious kid...decides he's going to keep targeting Jaysen. Nothing remarkable here, just your everyday typical bullying that Jaysen had been exposed to.
Here's what makes it different. The teacher (I'll get to his wonderfulness in a bit), has created a sense of community in the classroom. So when this kid got up to bully Jaysen, as he does frequently, the 3 kids whose desks are around Jaysen, saw this kid coming towards him. They all got up, and stood behind Jaysen, who was still seated at his desk.

One of the kids stopped the bully and was telling him to stop and turn around, and go back to his seat.

The other two kids flanked Jaysen, and reassured him to just ignore the kid, and that Mr. Smith would be there soon to tell them what to do. When they had instruction from Mr. Smith, they would follow his instruction because he'll know what to do.


Did you catch all of that awesomeness???
I know it's a lot. Allow me to bullet point.

* My child is learning. He's never had an educational environment that's been supportive of him in any way, let alone academically.

* My child's classroom is not only educational, it's a community. They look out for each other.

* My child has peers looking out for him. They not only look out for him, they encourage and mentor him!

So full of awesome, I can't even contain it.

I'll get to the awesome teacher in an upcoming post. I just had to reestablish myself in the blog world before my fans (namely, my father) leave me.

If you are still here, from back when I actually blogged for real...thank you and I love you!

*These are not actual asterisks, I am just that computer illiterate and can't master actual bulletpoints.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I am loved...

How do you know you are loved on your birthday?
By awesome birthday surprises like this!


No birthday is complete until your toilet is covered in toast.

They love me in strategically placed toast.
Totally made my day.
I love you guys!

And just because you may be wondering...

Compliments of Jaysen.
Thanks, buddy. ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2013


It must be my curse in life, to not be able to laugh at hilariously funny shyt.

Case in point: 
Jaysen got in trouble in school.  Again.

When I went to school to pick him up, I asked him why he had to apologize to his teacher (who just happens to be very bright eyed, young, cute, peppy, etc.). 

He said he called her a name.

I asked him what he called her.

He hesitated, and finally said,
"Mom.......I called her........a sausage."

*blink blink*

I couldn't do anything but stare at him with this crazy look on my face, trying to suck my lower lip into my mouth, chewin' on it like the last supper, so I didn't bust out laughing. 
What made it worse, is he saw my face, and kept telling me "mom, it's not funny", while he's trying to keep a straight face too.


Possibly related:

Monday, February 4, 2013


Head spinning....make it stop....

I have to make a decision.
I have to make a decision, and come to some terms I don't know that I'm ready to come to terms with just yet.

It's looking like next year, Jaysen will be moving into the self-contained, EI (emotionally impaired) classroom.

Okay, that wasn't too bad...

Here's what's going on.
The Autism Consultant explained it that Jaysen's educational predicament is unique because he has one foot in each program. He doesn't fit in total SpEd, but doesn't fit in GenEd either. Currently, Jaysen is struggling with mainstreaming. His behavior is impeding his classroom time, and that in turn is impeding his learning time.

Bottom line is despite everyone saying he is academically capable, Jaysen is having difficulty in the large, fast-paced, GenEd setting.  We can say he's not getting the right supports, but honestly, he's in 6th grade. How long am I going to fight for different supports, only to have yet another year wasted away? He works really well in small group or 1:1. He does awesome, in fact. He learns best when the instructions or assignment can be "chunked" and presented in a different way. GenEd isn't structured to do that.

The self-contained class I visited at the middle school was pretty promising. I really liked the teacher, and he seemed to be focused on the student's education. The teacher, being EI certified, is used to dealing with explosive behaviors, and won't necessarily take them personally, but might be able to help Jaysen work through and process them.

What sealed the deal for me though, was the promise that even in the self-contained classroom, Jaysen will still progress forward in the GenEd curriculum, and maintain on a diploma-bound track.
This is HUGELY important to me/us right now.
Jaysen wants to go to college. He wants to be a kindergarten teacher.
In reality- do I know that he will or won't go to college? No, nobody knows that at this point. He's in 6th grade. But my point to the Team was, in 6th grade, it's far too early to close that door for good. They agreed, and assured me he would, at this point, remain diploma-bound.

In a nutshell:
Jaysen will not be mainstreamed. He will be removed from GenEd and placed in SpEd full time.
He would have little to no contact with the GenEd population.
He would be in in a classroom with kids that generally have moderate-severe behavior problems (red flag to possible increase Jaysen's aggression)
If he and the teacher don't "click", too bad, it's the only teacher he'll have for the next 2 years.

Super small class size. This year, there are 2 students.
He will remain on diploma-bound grade level curriculum.
The teacher would be able to present information in different ways, so Jaysen better understands what's expected.
He could work at his own pace, and teaching would be more individualized (Y'know, like the I in IEP?).

When I discussed this with Jaysen, he seemed apprehensive about going to a new school at first. I asked him his thoughts about the bigger GenEd classroom this year, vs the smaller Resource Room, where he had basically been all year last year as his main room. He did say he liked the smaller RR better.

I'm a stressed out fracking mess, because once the motion is accepted, I am basically signing off on him saying "General Education does not work for my son".
And I am coming to terms that, y'know, it just doesn't. And that's okay.
It is okay, right?
Yes, it is okay.

Send booze.