Friday, August 21, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

All my bags are (mostly) packed,
I'm (almost) ready to go,
The housesitters arrived
and the cat ran to hide
Already I'm counting the minutes 'til we say goodbye...

My husband's ready, soon he'll be blowing the horn
with the minivan loaded up to head out later this morn
Kiddo will be buckled in with a chosen few of her "guys"

Let's hope that the plane is not delayed
And that Bill and other hurricanes stay away
the Orlando heat and humidity are enough - we're gonna fry

'Cause we're leaving on a jet plane
Ten days 'til we'll be back again
Oh yeah, to Disney World we will fly.......

Leaving on a jet plane
Ten days 'til we'll be back again
Ten days 'til the reunion of the internet and I.........


Which is to say, today's the day! We leave in a few hours for the airport. Housesitters in place, house all cleaned, kitty litter and fish tank water as fresh as they're gonna be, all crops harvested over at my plot in Farm Town and from my own back yard (where the sum total of the harvest thus far has been two pitiful tomatoes), copious amounts of SPF 70 packed in our suitcases and two cans of Mountain Dew Voltage coursing through my veins. Hubby and I didn't sleep well last night, though Kiddo was out like a light and even slept in past 7 this morning. I'm pretty sure I haven't forgotten anything, packing-wise, which invariably means I *have* forgotten something, but that should be no big whoop, as we have a rental car waiting for us in Orlando and therefore can race out to the store for whatever I have managed to leave behind. (Kiddo and I are both really, really hoping that we get a convertible. Hubby's rooting for the eminently more practical minivan. We'll have to see what is sitting in the lot when we arrive!)

As I mentioned in my previous post, Hubby helped me set up my ancient mobile phone so I can tweet and update my Facebook status from Florida - even (supposedly) post pictures while we're there. The bad news (for me, at least) is that I will not have regular internet access for the next 10 days (and yes, I'm twitching at that thought) since we're not paying the ridiculous internet fee and Disney hotels don't come with free wifi. (Humph!)

Now, I just have to remember that when Kiddo asks to go on the Spinning Teacups a second time *in a row* like last year.....

that it is *not* a good idea unless I want to walk around the Magic Kingdom feeling like I'm going to hurl for the rest of the day....... (that picture, by the by, I took of myself last year. The "hand on head" pose was purely functional - had to hold my sunglasses on as Kiddo and Hubby cranked the wheel on our teacup for all they were worth. It was about 9am and already a thousand percent humidity and at least a thousand degrees.)

Not sure if I'll be able to post between now and our return, but I'll definitely tweet ya while we're gone!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things I have learned...

Things I have learned that have been going through my mind this week include:

- That I shall always have Hobbity Hooves. Seriously. I had actual stress-related nightmares the night before I was planning on having my first-ever pedicure. I wound up not going, because I couldn't imagine how something that stressed me out enough to have nightmares could possibly be relaxing or enjoyable. I did slap some nail polish onto my toes and Kiddo's, and that's gonna be as good as it gets.

- That if you google "hobbit feet image" you need to be prepared for the approximately 177,000 images that come up. If you hate feet as much as I do, I'd recommend skipping that particular google search keyword combo. *shudder*

- That if, after your housesitters arrive, you spend oodles of time describing your crazy cat's typical, ridiculously bizarre behavior so that they are prepared for what they'll be dealing with over the next ten days, your cat will lounge calmly atop a box on the lanai and utterly refuse to do anything remotely nuts.

- That when the housesitters aren't in your bedroom later but you are because you're trying to pack, your cat will leap up from a dead sleep to perch precariously on top of the TV in the bedroom and then sit at full attention, gazing intently at a spot on the wall right below the ceiling, as though receiving a message of vital importance from the Cat Home Planet. Of course by the time you can collect a witness to view this behavior, the cat will no longer be atop the TV but back in a more "ordinary" cat-type position, sleeping on the edge of the bed, all "what? me? crazy? Noooooo!" (I do, however, have no doubt that she was just putting her best foot forward, because she realizes these are the humans who will be responsible for feeding her, petting her, putting up with her shenanigans and possibly cleaning up the odd hairball or twelve. I'm sure her true colors will reveal themselves soon enough, likely as not in the aforementioned hairball form...........)

- That when describing your appearing-perfectly-normal-n-mellow cat's insane behavior to the newly arrived housesitters, your child *will* pop up at your elbow - seeming to materialize out of thin air - to helpfully comment on how Mommy has stepped on hairballs barefoot LOTS of times before, isn't that hilarious?

- That when we are approached in Disney World by one of the official photographers and asked to pose for a Disney "magical" photo in which we are instructed to gaze amazed at Kiddo's empty hands as though looking in awe at the magically photoshopped-in-later Tinkerbell, I must try not to look *too* amazed, or it will merely look like I'm wanting to bite Tink's head off for a tasty, tasty snack...

But that even if I *do* overact the faux amazement, someone else is just as likely to make a goofy "reaction" face at some point, so it won't be just me...

(That, by the by, was my growing-out-hair while in the Humidist Place on Earth from a year ago... I had my hair trimmed again this week, so it is much shorter for this go-around.)

- That if Kiddo wants to get her hair cut "super short" and I let the stylist take about 5.5 inches off of her hair, the result will be cute but that this?

Isn't quite long enough to do a single braid in the back or a single, decent ponytail. It will be interesting how Kiddo's hair gets done and how it will look when we are in the aforementioned Humidest Place on Earth.

- That you need to stop by my hilarious friend Andy's
brilliantly written blog here and enter her giveaway tomorrow morning. Trust me, you want in on this - the prize is fantabulous. I'm going to enter, which is a good thing for everyone else, because not only do I never win anything on Andy's blog, but the winners tend to be either people I know or random internet strangers who happen to post directly before or after me. Seriously. The gods hate my guts!

- That, thanks to Hubby's assistance, I will be able to live Tweet (and Facebook status update) our trip, even though I only have a crappy, old, non-full-keyboard-for-easy-texting type cell phone!!! (Unlike, say, Hubby's Blackberry or an iPhone or even a phone with an actual keyboard...) This means that you are guaranteed at least one message with typos kvetching about the heat and/or the humidity each day from tomorrow through the end of the month! Doesn't that make you want to follow me on Twitter (if you aren't already)? Heh!

- That being here

with these two people is awesome, amazing, fun and fantabulous, and that I will be there by this time tomorrow!

- That I will probably be on my computer again in the morning, so I should go to bed now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Phyllis Diller = Harbinger of Doom

...which is to say the meeting didn't quite go as well as we'd been hoping, or expecting, more accurately, based upon the draft IEP we'd been mailed a week ago.

Don't want to start crying again because it is upsetting Kiddo, so instead I shall briefly sum up and then head out to feed ducks on the canal and get some ice cream. This school district is one of the majority out there that do not recognize Sensory Processing Disorder as its own qualifying disability for classification. As SPD is not in the current DSM (the IV), they are not legally required to do so. (There is a concerted effort in place - had an August 5th deadline for research submission - to get SPD recognized and included in the upcoming DSM-V which is due to be published next year. I have all fingers and toes crossed, as do thousands of other parents of children with SPD, that it makes it in, but there's no word yet. For more info on that, you can go here and read to your heart or brain's content.)

For our family, this means that they are leaning towards declassifying Kiddo as of the beginning of December. We were stunned (I believe "gobsmacked" was the word I used when tweeting the news earlier) as we had no indication they were of this mindset or at all considering the possibility.

We have a few routes ahead of us now. The first is they can change their mind and decide to leave her current classification in place. This scenario is seeming only slightly more likely than George Clooney and Hugh Jackman showing up with landscapers' tools and removing all our dang hedges and shrubberies. The second, which they brought up to us at the meeting, is that we find another diagnosis that applies to Kiddo that *is* in the DSM and therefore recognized and accepted for continued classification. Their suggestion was ADD or ADHD. This rang some ominous bells in my head, mostly in the school psychologist's direction, as she seems to have made up her mind purely from reading reports (some over 3 years old) and never having met Kiddo in person for a second that what Kiddo has is in fact ADHD and not this fake SPD thing we're claiming, and also for the quick way they responded to the looks of shock coming from our side of the table with "but that doesn't mean she'd have to go on medication." The third is that she gets declassified, and if that happens (and it seems the most likely scenario), we can try for a 504 plan which would supposedly allow Kiddo to continue receiving the services she needs in the OT and sensory diet aide realm.

So, that's the short version. (Come on, Ronnica, it is short - for me... ;) ) Now I'm going to head out into the sunshine with my two favorite people in the world, feed some ducks, eat some ice cream, and pretend for a little bit that today didn't happen. I'll regain my optimism and good humor before we leave for vacay, I promise, and there is a good, long post I'm working on that I just don't have the heart to deal with right now.

In conclusion, if you see this visage in your dreams:

you should consider yourself doomed.

(Oh and PS - if you should ever see Kiddo's kindergarten teacher, the Special Ed teacher from her old school, or her OT from her old school, either in person or in your dreams, consider yourself extremely lucky. Those three ladies took time out of their summer to come across the county to attend the meeting with us in support of Kiddo, who isn't even their student or in their district any more. They are the AWESOMEST and there isn't enough pizza or wings in the world to thank them adequately, even if we have the best Pontillo's in the area in our new neighborhood. Thanks again, ladies!!!!)

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: WTH, subconscious?

Now, I know I have a lot on my mind (tiny as it is) these days, not the least of which is Kiddo's upcoming CSE meeting with the new school district, which is just a few, short hours from now. Still, I'm utterly perplexed as to why I had the most vividly detailed dream last night about a certain person. A person who I *know* hasn't crossed my waking mind for years - while thinking hard on the subject, I recall reading an article about this person a few years back in my beloved Entertainment Weekly, but that was definitely the last time I've had conscious thought about this individual.

Until last night, when she showed up in my dream.

WTH, subconscious? Stress as Diller? So confused........

Wonder who will show up in my dreams tonight? Guess it will depend upon how the meeting goes....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Sunshine and Sunflowers

There is a field up the road a bit from our house that was planted chock full of sunflowers. We've been waiting for the field to be in full bloom for weeks now, ever since the plants were first recognizable when they were but tiny, green stems mere inches above the ground. We pass by this field a few times a week, as it is on our way to many things, like Wegmans and the post office and Target... For weeks, nothing but taller and taller stalks of green greeted us as we went on our way to run errands. Then, finally, there was one, lone, yellow flower poking up amidst the green. Then five, then a dozen, and when we drove by last Friday, there were maybe fifty flowers in bloom.

Yesterday, we came over the rise on the road past the field and were greeted with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of flowers in bloom. Of course, I was prepared. I pulled over to the side of the road, changed Kiddo out of her shorts-n-shirt into an appropriately floral sundress and grabbed my camera out of my purse. A few moments later, we'd trespassed far enough into the field for me to take these pictures of my sunshine with the sunflowers...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Phriday Photo Phun Phiesta: Photos, the Next Generation

Wow, I've totally deserted my blog of late, sorry 'bout that. I have many excuses, truly I do. It appears I last posted on a Wordless Wednesday a week ago, and now here we are with a Phriday Photo Phun Phiesta. I would have phantabulous photos to share, if I hadn't had my excuse-laden week happen. (By the way, I'm totally about to plagarise myself from a comment I left over on the fantabulous Andy's blog. Oh, and she is having a giveaway right now so you might want to pop over there, but then again, *I* want to win the giveaway, so maybe never mind, not to mention then you'd see this next bit in its orginal context....) Anyhow, I’ve been hit with a double whammy this week, part one consisting of a massive allergy attack following my lawnmowing escapades of Monday afternoon, which resulted in two subsequent days of red, watery eyes, red, stuffed up, Rudolph-would-be-jealous nose and a permanent fog from massive doses of antihistamines that would only clear for a few brief seconds during “damn, I think I actually just sneezed my nose off” sneezing spells. Whammy Part Deux came the day before yesterday, when, coming off the heels of my allergy attack, I was at the gym and pulled something in my lower back. Well, okay, fine, I actually began to pull the something in the shower before going to the gym, when I dropped my little scrubby bath puff thingy and had to BEND ALL THE WAY OVER to retrieve it from the shower floor and my back said “BEND ALL THE WAY OVER? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? SOMEONE YOUNG AND LIMBER? HAHAHAHAHAHA!” and twanged ominously. But, since hurting oneself at the gym at least sounds like one isn’t utterly pathetic and my back did twang ominously again while stepping down off the elliptical machine, I’m going with that. Annnnnnyhow, however it began, I pulled something in quite a painful way two days ago, and it got progressively worse as yesterday wore on, so I’ve been hobbling around slowly and heavily, all hunched over, for the past 24 hours, cursing myself for choosing to put the ibuprofen (along with all the other medicine-type things) waaaaaaay up on the top shelf of the medicine cabinet so Kiddo can’t get to them because, as I’m presently about 2/3 of my height, I can’t reach them either. Kiddo has proved useful in other ways, though, such as fetching me icepacks from the freezer…

"Wow!" you're no doubt thinking to yourself, "this blog post claimed to be full of Photo Phun and so far all I've read is Heather whinging on about her hunchbackedy sneeziness!" (Oh, and by the by, have you ever had a massive sneezing fit while suffering from extreme lower back pain? Ouch to the nth degree, let me tell you!) "Hmmm," you further are thinking, "When and where are these phun photos going to appear?"

Well, fear not, dear reader, because Kiddo has stepped up to the plate, pinch-hitting for her Rudolph-Hunchback mama. You see, Kiddo is a shutterbug in her own right, albeit one with a fairly lame, low-quality digital camera. Kiddo has been snapping pictures like mad all week, and since *she* took 286 photos this week to my 0 photos, she is going to be featured here today.

On with the show!

Here's proof that I am, in fact, Quasimodo:

Working hard on my computer, if by "hard" one means "playing Farm Town and Farkle on Facebook" .....

Sitting at the table, trying to read, eat breakfast and remain upright all at the same time:

(You'll note the abundance of wadded up tissues next to me in each shot above; sorry her camera isn't high-quality enough to capture the Rudolphian/W.C. Fields nose itself.)

As I was turning out to be quite a boring subject, Kiddo turned her camera to more exotic species of wildlife in the form of Chompy, one of the rabbits that frequents our yard. These were from Chompy's daily visit as taken out one of the office windows:

Once Chompy had ventured on to yards beyond our own, Kiddo found herself another model. This is Buster, a member of her Stuffed Animal Entourage...

Posing on top of a TV tray,

on top of my rapidly dwindling supply of Puffs Plus in my office,

on a placemat on the dining room table,


Kiddo also took many self portraits.... This one's my favorite.

So, there you have it. Photo Phun courtesy of the Next Generation Shutterbug in my house! Hoping you are all having a much more upright kinda Phriday, and for more Photo Phun, pop on over to Candid Carrie's!