Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Still moseying around

We had a meeting for my program yesterday. I guess there's ONE kid they think might be placed with us soon...

I am still hanging out at my old job from last year. Kind of an extra set of hands (which are not really needed -they've had a lot of kids out sick).

Hopefully, next week I'll head back to my room, and get up to speed on this new kiddo... Will this be enough to warrant keeping the classroom open & running? I have no idea. I don't know if anyone does. It's complicated.

I did get to go last Friday & check out a similar program in Eugene with my teacher & the other teacher from the south county room. They service the same population, but it's set up very differently. It seems to run pretty smoothly too, but they are set in a much larger city with many more kids to serve. We may just be too small to support our program here :(

Ah well. I'm taking it a day at a time...

And buying the occasional lottery ticket.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thank you, Connie

I know you read my blog, and I just wanted to let you know how great of a sister you are. I so appreciate your time & patience with Mami right now, and of course, all the time you spent in the hospital & ER and everything with Papi.

For those who didn't know, my mom is currently in the hospital with what looks like a bleeding ulcer (we're not totally sure yet).

Once again, Connie is taking time out of her regular days off, as well as taking work days off to be there for my mom.

I wish I could be closer to help out, but the reality is I'm pretty far away.

I just want Connie to know that I love her, and I thank God that she's there to be able to be with my mom.

((((hugs from Oregon))))


Thursday, October 15, 2009

This is when....

.... I want a new kitchen.

The rainy season has started here. It doesn't just drizzle a bit - it pours. The ground around here is pretty dense - lots of hard clay. It only absorbs so much water, fills up the holes, and drains downhill. Most critters & bugs are adapted to deal, but ants get flooded out.

The ants wind up coming into the walls of our older wood frame homes. Most people with homes likes ours get ants this time of year. Even the house rented to the MTV folks was full of them. We do have some really good ant bait that does a great job, but I think we're out right now.

The rest of the house is pretty easy to keep ant-free anyway. You just make sure the kids aren't eating in their rooms, and vacuum thoroughly everywhere. My problem area is the kitchen.

Short of yanking the cupboards & appliances out, I can't get it clean enough. I can make sure the counters & shelves are spotless - I can scrub the floor. The problem is how the kitchen is built.

It's just too old. Things are pulling up & away from each other, leaving cracks & crevices that aren't accessible for cleaning. I wind up with areas I can wipe off on top, but I can't get into the cracks in the walls, or the space between the water heater & the cupboard, or behind the wood back of the cabinet. Ugh.

The best I can do until I get more ant traps is spray bleachy stuff into all the cracks & crevices & hope that stops the stupid ants.

When we get to the point where we can, I'm going to be SO HAPPY to gut that kitchen!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where are they?

We went out for pizza tonight for dinner. Connor usually puts away a good chunk of pepperoni pizza (the only meat he eats - that's the standard visual for 'pizza' on most things, so pepperoni = pizza to him).

Well, he didn't want any of his pepperoni tonight. (He may not be feeling well). He opted for the spuds instead. I dunno. We will probably not bother getting him pizza at a restaurant again until he really asks for it.

So here we are with a bunch of pepperoni pizza. Since Trevor & I were going to do a little shopping after dropping off Connor & Lee, we figured we could give it to a homeless person on the way somewhere, and we got a box for it.

For some reason, there were none around. There are usually people begging at the freeway offramps. Or there will be people at the grocery stores. Or maybe hanging out at the park. Nope.

Eventually, we saw a guy digging through a trash can for recyclable cans. Trevor went out and told him we went out & couldn't finish our pizza. Would he like it? The guy said okay, and took the box. As Trevor walked away, I saw him open it, check the contents & then close the box again. Hopefully that meant he intended to wash his hands before starting his dinner...

Trevor thinks there's a conspiracy and someone has scooped up the homeless in our town.

Or not.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Where Am I?

Remember I had all that stuff in the summer about whether or not I got my job? Eventually, I had the job. It's paid for out of some funds designated for our program - a classroom for students with needs for a special ed teacher, special ed assistant and mental health therapist. The funds were accessed, I guess, back in the Spring to set up the classrooms, buy equipment, and hire staff (including me).

The problem is, we have no kids yet.

In order to make sure the kids we serviced were really, truly given the chance to stay in the least restrictive environment (educator-speak for allowing kids to stay as close as possible to a typical education), there are multiple steps & tiers on the way to our classroom.

We're really the last step before being put in an institutional facility, due to behavioral issues. So, tough kids. We are also the first step for the kids in an institution to try to work their way back down to a regular classroom.

All this stuff takes a lot of charting & record keeping. Mental Health services are part of it. And the kids have to be from the right area. Meetings must be called in order to determine whether the kid needs to move the next step up the ladder, or if something can be done to accomodate them where they are currently placed to help them improve. Each time the teachers, parents, mental health & whoever else is involved wants to change the placement, it's another meeting.

Since so many players are involved, it usually takes a few weeks to get the meetings together.

If it takes about 8 meetings before a kids is actually placed in our class, it would take at least two months to work up the steps to get to my classroom. Unless someone was already at the top of that ladder, we have to wait until they go through all the hoops. Apparently no one was at the top of the ladder, so we are sweating not having any kids.

The administrator for the program has to put "0" down for number of students being served when he sends in his report on how the program is going.

What does this mean? Well, they got funding for two years - I don't know if/when there's a deadline for actually having kids in the classroom - we are so ready!! My teacher is concerned. My supervisor is concerned. Therefore, I am concerned. The deadline could be approaching, and then the funding will be yanked - I'll find out when I'm told I'm laid off or being moved to another position.

In the meantime, I've spent some time working at the High School, I've done trainings for the computer system & such in my classroom, and now I'm working to help at my old job of the last 4 years, basically just so I'm not sitting in an empty room. They currently have more staff than students at my old job... So - I'm not really needed there either. At least I get to visit with people and do something that feels like work.

It could all change tomorrow - someone calls a meeting for a student ready to enter our classroom. Then we're good. Heck, we are supposed to be able to work with at least 8 kids, from K to 8th grade!! We could have a bunch of kids.

I hate the not knowing part of it.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

Gotta Sew!

Last weekend I bought some stuff to make Connor a costume for Halloween. He really liked Diana's Link costume, and wants to be Link as well - however, he wants to be "Toon Link" from the Wii game "Windwaker" - Trevor got him that for Christmas last year.
As you can see, it's a pretty easy costume. All I'm really sewing is the tunic & hat. I'll find a long-sleeved light green t-shirt (at Goodwill or Salvation Army), and a pair of white leggings.
Diana is checking at the Halloween store for the elf ears, but we won't stress if we can't find those. I will probably get gold or yellow hairspray color to use on his hair.
The shield & sword will be cardboard, and he can wear his cowboy boots for his shoes. And I will make a weird buckle for the belt :)
The tunic and hat will be sewn today, though, since Connor's already come in to give me the fabric to start about 5 times today...