Monday, August 20, 2007


Instead of singing "99 bottles of beer on the wall," you drink 'em.

During the school year, keep them up at night
so that they fail and have to attend summer school.

Pretend to pass out at the wheel, weaving erratically.

Blindfold the children and tell them that you're taking them to the "Bat cave."

Sit them back-to-back, facing away from one another, and go to town with the duct tape.

Make them eat a whole turkey and let the tryptophan kick in.

You can ship a 40 lb child UPS 2nd day air for around $60.00, but don't forget the air holes.

When you get on the plane, ask your child if he or she remembered to pack their parachute.

Tell your kids that if they're extra-good, they get to ride in the "trunk seat."

For every sugary snack your kid eats, take a Valium pill.

How to Keep a Healthy Level of Insanity

  1. Page yourself over the intercom. (Don't disguise your voice.)
  2. Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Always wear them one day after your boss does. (This is especially effective if your boss is a different gender than you are.)
  3. Make up nicknames for all your coworkers and refer to them only by these names. "That's a good point, Sparky". "No I'm sorry I'm going to have to disagree with you there, Sport."
  4. Send email to the rest of the company telling them what you're doing. For example "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom."
  5. "Hi-lite" your shoes. Tell people that you haven't lost your shoes since you did this.
  6. While sitting at your desk, soak your fingers in "Palmolive."
  7. Put mosquito netting around your cubicle. Play a tape of jungle sounds all day.
  8. Put a chair facing a printer, sit there all day and tell people you're waiting for your document.
  9. Arrive at a meeting late, say you're sorry, but you didn't have time for lunch, and you're going to be nibbling during the meeting. During the meeting eat 5 entire raw potatoes.
  10. Insist that your e-mail address be: or
  11. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask him or her if they want fries with that.
  12. Send email to yourself engaging yourself in an intelligent debate about the direction of one of your company's products. Forward the mail to a co-worker and ask her to settle the disagreement.
  13. Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair dancing.
  14. Put your garbage can on your desk. Label it "IN."
  15. Determine how many cups of coffee are "too many."
  16. Develop an unnatural fear of staplers.
  17. Decorate your office with pictures of Cindy Brady and Danny Partridge. Try to pass them off as your children.
  18. For a relaxing break, get away from it all with a mask and snorkel in the fish tank. If no one notices, take out your snorkel and see how many you can catch in your mouth.
  19. Send e-mail messages saying free pizza, free donuts etc... in the lunchroom, when people complain that there was none... Just lean back, pat your stomach, and say, "Oh you've got to be faster than that."
  20. Adjust the tint on your monitor so that the brightness level lights up the entire work area. Insist to others that you like it that way.
  21. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over his or her caffeine addiction, switch to espresso.
  22. Send e-mail to the rest of the company to tell them what you're doing. For example, "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom, in Stall # 3."
  23. Reply to everything someone says with, "That's what you think."
  24. Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy."
  25. Adjust the tint on your monitor so that the brightness level lights up the entire working area. Insist to others that you like it that way.
  26. In the memo field of all your checks, write 'for sexual favors'.
  27. Dont use any punctuation
  28. Use, too...much; punctuation!
  29. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
  30. Ask people what sex they are. Laugh hysterically after they answer.
  31. Specify that your drive-through order is 'to go'.
  32. Sing along at the opera.
  33. Call the psychic hotline and don't say anything.
  34. At lunch time, sit in your parked car w/sunglasses on and point a hairdryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
  35. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.
  36. Call 911 and ask if 911 is for emergencies. (warning: you can get arrested for this, but that can be instructive too)
  37. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you're not in the mood.
  38. Have your coworkers address you by your wrestling name, "Rock Hard."
  39. When the money comes out of the ATM, scream "I Won!", "I Won!" "3rd time this week!!!"
  40. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "Run for your lives, they're loose!"
  41. Tell your boss, "It's not the voices in my head that bother me, its the voices in your head that do."
  42. Tell your children over dinner. "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."
  43. Send this e-mail to everyone in your address book, even if they sent it to you or have asked you not to send them stuff like that.

Every night, someone thinks about you before they go to sleep.
At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
There are at least 2 people in this world that would die for you.
You mean the world to someone.
Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look again.
Always remember the compliments you received.
Forget the rude remarks.

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down

when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?" The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother, "he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. "Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door.

He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: "Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!" God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.

But you must REALLY listen.
No interrupting, no daydreaming,
no planning your response.
Just listening.

Be generous with appropriate hugs,
kisses, pats on the back and handholds.
Let these small actions demonstrate the
love you have for family and friends.

Clip cartoons.
Share articles and funny stories.
Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with

It can be a simple
"Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet.
A brief, handwritten note may be remembered
for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

A simple and sincere,
"You look great in red," "You did a super
job" or "That was a wonderful meal"can make
someone's day.

Every day, go out of your way
to do something kind.

There are times when we want nothing better
than to be left alone.
Be sensitive to those times and give the
gift of solitude to others.

The easiest way to feel good is
to extend a kind word to someone,
really it's not that hard to say,
Hello or Thank You.
Someone I love...

Someone I love relies on me in ways you will never understand.

Someone I love endures pain and challenges that break my heart and renew my spirit at the same time.

Someone I love is unable to advocate for themselves for things that most of us take for granted.

Someone I love will never have the opportunities that every child should have.

Someone I love will need unconditional love and support after I am gone-this frightens me to the core.

Someone I love encounters pity, stereotyping responses and prejudice at every turn, because they look, act and/or learn differently from others.

Someone I love has needs that require me to allow outsiders" to have power and input in areas that should be mine alone to meet.

Someone I love will continue to look to me for everything in life long after other children are able to assume a place as part of the world.

Someone I love has needs that require more time and energy than I have to give.

Someone I love has needs that mean I am not able to meet basic needs of my own.

Someone I love has needs that have become the driving force behind major decisions my family makes.

Someone I love has changed me in ways I will never be able to describe.

Someone I love has taught me about love and about the really important things in life...

Dedication from: Living in My Skin: The Insider's View of Life With a Special Needs Child Copyright 2000 by Communication Skill Builders, a Harcourt Health SciencesCompany. Lori A. Hickman is the author.

Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts

* God made the back to suit the burden.

* It is never too late to do good.

* A good thing is improved by increasing it.

* Though honey is sweet, one should not lick it off thorns.

* From strong relationships often comes great grief.

* I love you, you can live in my heart, and I won't charge you rent.

* What is nearest the heart is usually nearest the lips.

* Marry in haste and be sorry at your leisure.

* A busy mother makes a lazy daughter.

* What can you expect from a pig but a grunt.

* If you put a silk dress on a goat, he is still a goat.

* You will never miss the water till the well runs dry.

* Humor is a rubber sword, it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.

* Grief, tragedy, and hatred are only for a time. Goodness, remembrance, and love have no end.

* When love is your greatest weakness, you will be the strongest person in the world.

* Raising teenagers is like nailing Jello to a tree.

* Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts.

* Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

* Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

* Wisdom comes with age but sometimes age comes along.

* Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

* Never miss a good chance to shut up.

* By degrees the castles are built.

* Better own a little than want a great deal.

* The well fed don't understand the wants of the hungry.

* A little pleases a poor man.

* There is nothing in this world as bad as going to hell.

* Pride is the author of every sin.

* It is no time to go for the doctor when the patient is dead.

* There,s no repentance after death.

* Even if you loose all, keep your good name.

* The person who brings a story to you will take two away from you.

* Leave the bad tale where you found it.

* Seeing ourselves as others see us will not do much good because we will not believe what we see.

* Wisdom knows what to do; skill knows how, virtue does it.

Where Are the Parents?
By Sue Stuyvesant, Parent
To make a long story short, earlier this week a question was asked by some nitwit official as to why there weren’t more parents (of special needs kids) involved in the local PTA and other issues that have come up that directly involve our kids. His question, which was passed on to me was, “Where are the parents?” I went home that night, started thinking - and boy was I pi**ed - and banged this “little” essay out the next day on my lunch break. By the way, I took copies of this to the school board meeting that night, gave it to a couple of influential people and it WILL get around………….
Where are the parents?
They are on the phone to doctors and hospitals and fighting with insurance companies, wading through the red tape in order that their child’s medical needs can be properly addressed. They are buried under a mountain of paperwork and medical bills, trying to make sense of a system that seems designed to confuse and intimidate all but the very savvy.
Where are the parents?
They are at home, diapering their 15 year old son, or trying to lift their 100 lb. daughter onto the toilet. They are spending an hour at each meal to feed a child who cannot chew, or laboriously and carefully feeding their child through a g-tube. They are administering medications, changing catheters and switching oxygen tanks.
Where are the parents?
They are sitting, bleary eyed and exhausted, in hospital emergency rooms, waiting for tests results to come back and wondering, “Is this the time when my child doesn’t pull through?” They are sitting patiently in hospital rooms as their child recovers from yet another surgery to lengthen hamstrings or straighten backs or repair a faulty internal organ. They are waiting in long lines in county clinics because no insurance company will touch their child.
Where are the parents?
They are sleeping in shifts because their child won’t sleep more than 2 or 3 hours a night, and must constantly be watched, lest he do himself, or another member of the family, harm. They are sitting at home with their child because family and friends are either too intimidated or too unwilling to help with child care and the state agencies that are designed to help are suffering cut backs of their own.
Where are the parents?
They are trying to spend time with their non-disabled children, as they try to make up for the extra time and effort that is critical to keeping their disabled child alive. They are struggling to keep a marriage together, because adversity does not always bring you closer. They are working 2 and sometime 3 jobs in order to keep up with the extra expenses. And sometimes they are a single parent struggling to do it all by themselves.
Where are the parents?
They are trying to survive in a society that pays lip service to helping those in need, as long as it doesn’t cost them anything. They are trying to patch their broken dreams together so that they might have some sort of normal life for their children and their families.
They are busy, trying to survive.

I was recently emailed these "life's lessons"..............they are definitely words to live by:

  1. Get past the obstacles in your life. Mental or physical, go through them, around them, over them, but never let them snare you or hold you captive.
  2. Never let others decide what is best for you, not doctors, counselors, parents or "experts". Be the expert in your own life. You and only you get to decide. You may seek advice, ponder it, mull it over and then throw it away or use it but YOU and only YOU decide.
  3. Be involved in a cause near and dear to your heart. It will keep you from feeling sorry or yourself and you'll help someone else in the process. You'll make the world a better place.
  4. Accept yourself as you are with all your warts and foibles and imperfections. Then strive to be the best version of yourself you can be. And not just on the outside, but on the inside-where the real important stuff goes on.
  5. Never pass up the opportunity to go on a trip. You'll get a new perspective and, most importantly, some new decorating ideas.
  6. Speaking of shopping, whenever you go shopping, buy a present for somebody else. Treasure hunt on your shopping trips and never pay full price.
  7. Be generous. Have a "what's mine is yours" philosophy with friends and family.
  8. Keep in touch with distant relatives. They are family and family is important.
  9. Use your imagination and your vocabulary as much as possible. Be articulate. Never use a two-syllable word when a three will work better. Don't be vulgar-that takes no imagination.
  10. Don't be afraid to ask questions, be inquisitive. Remember, ask and ye shall receive. Get the info. Be resourceful.
  11. Plan parties, go out to eat, go out and hear live music whenever possible. Enjoy the company of others, but be your own best friend. Spend some time getting to know yourself. Learn to enjoy solitude and silence and peace of quiet, reflective times. Strike a balance.
  12. Be a good listener. Be supportive of others' dreams and aspirations. Don't enable whiners. Encourage action. Be there for your family and the people you love.
  13. Spend a week at the beach every summer and include Cheetos and hot dogs.
  14. Buy fresh flowers for your home regularly.
  15. Have a sense of humor.

And Most Importantly:

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their family and friends.

Women have vital things to say and everything to give.


The First Day of School

I hope everyone had a great day today, moms, dads and kids, too!!! It's been a long one for me..........woke up at 4:45a, got Robert's things together, made his lunch and then got him together, he left at 6:05a without his stroller, he climbed the stairs, but fell asleep on the bus, so the teacher carried him in to school. Brittany left at 6:45a for Ida Baker HS, less than 2 miles from our house, which means no I drove her, when I got home, I got Adam together, his lunch made, etc and started to wait for his bus at about came after 8:05a.............of course there wasn't any answer at the transportation office, no matter which line I pressed. In fact, I left a message stating that I was questioning the bus stop, times and route number, when the bus was 20 minutes late........surprise,'s now 5:03p and NO RETURN PHONE CALL!!!! Once Adam got on the bus, John and I dropped Robert's many supplies off at his school (pediasure, diapers, etc).........he was sleeping quite comfortably when we arrived. I woke him up for sure, our tax dollars are not paying for teachers to clean classrooms while children sleep. There were only 2 kids in the class at that time because of late time to get some real time in with the, BOTH children were out cold when we arrived. I also found out that the infamous "Ralph" who is quite vocal here in Lee County, has a grandson in Robert's class. Then it was off to take John to work..........................All this by 9am!!!!! I was so looking forward to my "break" didn't happen! LOL! It seemed as though as soon as they were all gone, the dismissal process now Anthony and Robert are sleeping, Brittany is school shopping for some items she couldn't find on the first time around and Adam is watching tv. We've got cookies in the oven........I know, it's dinner hour, but John won't be home until 7p, so it will be a late dinner tonight. I'm hoping to get a little peace and quiet before bed, which after dinner and all my homework (form after form after form to fill out and sign), probably won't be until 12a...................then off to bed to start it all over again tomorrow..............when is our first school vacation?!?!?!?! LOL!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

God's Message To Women

When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being. When I created man, I formed him and breathed life into his nostrils. But you, woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you.

Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. From one bone I fashioned you. I chose the bone that protects man's life. I chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do. Around this one bone I shaped you. I modeled you. I created you perfectly and beautifully.

Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate organ in man, his heart. His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life.

The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart. Support man as the rib cage supports the body. You were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head, to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and be held close to his side.

You are my perfect angel. You are my beautiful little girl. You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill when I see the virtues in your heart. Your eyes - don't change them. Your lips how lovely when they part in prayer. Your nose, so perfect in form, your hands so gentle to touch. I've caressed your face in your deepest sleep; I've held your heart close to mine. Of all that lives and breathes, you are the most like me.

Adam walked with me in the cool of the day and yet he was lonely. He could not see me or touch me. He could only feel me. So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you: my holiness, my strength, my purity, my love, my protection and support.

You are special because you are the extension of me. Man represents my image - woman, my emotions. Together, you represent the totality of God.

So man - treat woman well. Love her, respect her, for she is fragile. In hurting her, you hurt me. What you do to her, you do to me. In crushing her, you only damage your own heart, the heart of your Father, and the heart of her Father.

Woman, support man. In humility, show him the power of emotion I have given you. In gentle quietness show your strength. In love, show him that you are the rib that protects his inner self.

Did you not know that WOMAN was so special in God's eyes? Now we really know! Hallelujah!!

My name is Jacqui Hawkins and I am writing to you as a parent and an advocate for
the developmentally disabled. My family moved to the southwest Florida area in
November of 2004, we moved here from New York, where we were spoiled. The services
that were available to our family were numerous and it was a huge benefit to our
family. We are surely going through withdrawal now. Let me start from the beginning.
My husband and I had tried to do the right thing by his child from a previous relationship,
but mom had a number of issues and even though my husband showed that he was committed,
the courts had a hard time ruling against the mother. Well, mom made it very difficult
for us to be there for her and the child, we backed out of the child's life. Robert
was then 5 years old and while my husband felt as though he had a relationship with
the child, the child was "profoundly" retarded and likely wouldn't have
too much of reaction if my husband didn't see him any longer. In April 2003, we
were notified that the child was in foster care, after being removed from his mother's
custody for severe neglect and possible abuse. (Mom kept the child in a closet
so that she could sleep). We fought the Department of Social Services in New York
for months before finally winning custody of Robert in October of 2003. When Robert
arrived in our home he was 10 years old and as DSS stated, "profoundly"
retarded. Robert wouldn't look at anyone, preferring to participate in self stimulatory
and self injurious behaviors. Robert was on pudding consistency foods (baby food)
and needed to be fed. He couldn't even hold his own cup. Robert also did not walk.
We had been told that this was Robert, he'd always be like this and DSS hoped we
were ready. We refused to accept that. Robert now has real relationships within
our family, not only looking at us, but reaching out for us. He also has real preferences
as to who he relates with. Robert also can eat regular table food with Pediasure
supplements. Robert has difficulty loading his spoon, but can bring the spoon to
his mouth and will hand us the spoon if we are too slow in loading it for him.
He not only drinks from a cup, but lifts it to his mouth and place it back on the
table when through. While he is still very self-stimulatory and self-injurious,
he does walk. An accomplishment that in itself we weren't sure would EVER happen.
When we obtained custody of Robert, I wasn't sure how it would fit into our lifestyle.
My husband and I both worked full time outside the home, I had an additional part
time job and we had 4 other children. (3 children are from my previous marriage
and 1 child, my husband and I had together). At that time, I worked for East End
Disability Associates, Inc in Riverhead, NY as a Program Manager of In-Home Services.
There I was in charge of the residential habilitation program, which served 52 children
and adults with developmental disabilities. I also worked part time for Developmental
Disabilities Institute in the children's residential program. There I worked hands-on
with 11 children with mainly mental retardation and autism/autistic tendencies.
Both employers were very flexible with me so that I could provide the best care
that I could for my stepson. I immediately was in touch with the Office of Mental
Retardation and Developmental Disabilities in NY (OMRDD NYS), Robert was approved
for Medicaid Waiver by 1/15/04. His service coordinator worked for EEDA as well,
so that was very beneficial for both Robert and myself. Robert attended an After
School Therapeutic Recreation Program, Saturday Respite and Overnight Respite.
These services helped us immensely. It allowed me some alone time to regroup, mind
you, I lived and breathed "retarded" folks, it also allowed me and my
husband to provide some time with our other children. It also provided a huge help
in purchasing diapers for Robert. Diapers for a large child are quite expensive.
While we enjoyed what we did in NY and the money that we were making, it just wasn't
enough. We both worked so hard to really enjoy the "fruits" of our labor.
We decided to relocate to Florida where my grandparents and my aunt lived. My grandmother
had alzeihmer's disease and my grandfather and aunt were burning out. My husband
and I looked at the opportunity as a multi faceted benefit. We could help them
with her and they could help us by being there for our children. We had no idea
how difficult it would be to obtain services for Robert. We do make alot less money
here, but I am able to be home a little more, especially since as a new employee
of any company, they'd be alot less understanding and flexible with our needs.
I now work overnight shifts at Shellpoint Retirement Community. We are at our wits
end. We were able to obtain support coordination for Robert, but we have virtually
no contact with her. I've yet to receive his "plan" and I had to explain
to her what HCBS waiver was. Anyway, we have NO supports for Robert and it has
become increasingly more difficult to care for him. He still requires alot of physical
assistance to accomplish any task and constant supervision. We can't even put him
to sleep in his crib anymore because he would wake up with marks or bruises and
we didn't know where they were coming from. We now believe that he is trying to
climb out of his crib. So, he sleeps in a chair in the living room, (my husband
and I do not currently have a bedroom, so that is where we sleep). He is strapped
into the chair, so we know that he can't move about and therefore can't injure himself.
My children are overwhelmed, there are so many things in their new neighborhood
and beyond that they want to explore, but it is such hard work to take Robert with
us, that they haven't been anywhere. Robert not only requires alot of lifting to
get in and out of the car, assistance with dining, he also doesn't like crowds.
My husband and I have accepted that we won't make NY salaries in Florida, but in
the same instance, Robert still needs diapers, etc. that we just can't afford.
I was told that there is a wait list for services like nothing I could imagine,
but yet there was a surplus of money. Truthfully, I am afraid that though we believed
we were doing the right thing by taking this child out of NYS' care, we made a very
wrong decision for our family. We simply do not have enough resources here in Florida
to allow us to continue. We can not move back to NY, there is no way to afford
the cost of living there, so we are stuck. If we don't find adequate resources
here, I am afraid that we will have to seek residential treatment for Robert. It
is a shame because that will cost more money, when we are able to provide Robert
what he needs in our home with appropriate services. But you want to know what
the worst part is, the level of professionalism in Florida, for lack of a better
term, really "sucks". I can't get ANYONE to return my calls and when
I do speak with someone, I'm told, "Someone will get back to you next week."
NEXT WEEK?!?!?!? When I worked for EEDA, I was not allowed to let more than 24
hours to pass without returning a phone call, if I did, I faced disciplinary action.
If a family needed assistance and I couldn't help, I referred them to someone who
could and then followed up myself, to make sure that the person I referred them
to did in fact, assist them. Something is very wrong here and families need help,
NOW! I don't know what else could be done, but I know we can't go on like this
much longer.

PS-the kicker is, my 2 children from a previous marriage receive medicaid because
my husband is not their father, but Robert who is severely handicapped, can not.
(Robert is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Autism, a seizure disorder, chronic congestion,
chronic constipation, reflux, microcephaly, failure to thrive, orthopedic problems,
he's nonverbal, and doesn't sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time.)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dear God:
Grant me the strength to last until Back To School Night.
Give me the energy to drive the swim team carpool, take knots out of wet shoelaces with my teeth and untangle the dog from the sprinkler hose.
Grant me the wisdom to remember the name of the red-headed kid from down the street who hasn't left our house since July.
Walk with me through the backyard over piles of wet bathing suits and empty ice-cream cups, to rescue my good lipstick from the bottom of the wading pool.
Give me the courage to accept that everything in the refrigerator either has a bite out of it, had a finger stuck in it, or is reproducing in the vegetable crisper underneath the expensive cheese.
Guide me down the hallway to the laundry room, where I can experience five minutes of peace and quiet by turning the lights off and climbing on the dryer so the kids can't see my feet underneath the door.
Help me accept the fact that even if I take the kids to the circus, install a pool in the backyard, go on a safari, and carve a redwood tree into a canoe and sail down the Congo, my children will end each day with "I'm bored".
Grant me the serenity to smile when my husband insists on tossing the Hamburger Helper on the gas grill because "everything tastes better barbecued".
In your infinite wisdom show me how to disconnect the video game console that hasn't been turned off since June 1st.
Comfort me when I realize the color of my earth-tone carpet has changed into a mixture of melted blue popsicle and the remains of somebody's purple slushie.
And if I ask too much, God, just give me the foresight to know that one day - not too many years from now - the barbecue, television, and sprinkler hose will be off, the refrigerator, front door, and garage will be closed, and I will wonder where my children - and the little red-headed boy with glasses - went.


  1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.

  2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.

  3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.

  4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.

  5. You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker >>that says: "How's my driving-call 1-800-***-."

  6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting-practice.

  7. You're convinced there's a God and he's male.

  8. You can't believe they don't make a tampon bigger than Super Plus.

  9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.

  10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.

Family Stress Test

Family Stress Test (Terry Morris)
(original, chuckle)

As part of a seminar I recently attended on stress in the workplace, I was given a packet which included a family stress test. Our family found that all of the questions fell into what we considered the "wuss" category, and generated our own family stress test:

Score 0 if the statement is never true, 1 if it is rarely true, 2 if it is sometimes true, and 3 if it is always true.

1. ____ Conversations often begin with "Put the gun down, and then we can 

2. ____ The school principal has your number on speed-dial.

3. ____ The cat is on Valium.

4. ____ People have trouble understanding your kids, because they learned to
speak through clenched teeth.

5. ____ You are trying to get your four-year-old to switch to decaf.

6. ____ The number of jobs held down by family members exceeds the number
of people in the family.

7. ____ No one has time to wait for microwave TV dinners.

8. ____ "Family meetings" are often mediated by law enforcement officials.

9. ____ You have to check your kid's day-timer to see if he can take out
the trash.

10.____ Maxwell House gives you industrial rates.


30 - a perfect score. Welcome to the neighborhood!

20-29 - You are doing reasonably well, but still have too little
going on in your life. Crank it up.

10-19 - You have mastered some of the aspects of the stress-filled
life, but still have a long way to go. Have you considered
a parallel career path?

0-9 - Enjoying all that extra time? What do you do anyway?

A Prayer for the Stressed!

A Prayer for the Stressed!

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I cannot accept,
and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had
to kill today because they pissed me off.

And also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on
today as they may be connected to the ass that I may have
to kiss tomorrow.

Help me to always give 100% at work....
12% on Monday
23% on Tuesday
40% on Wednesday
20% on Thursday
5% on Fridays

And help me to remember.....
When I'm having a really bad day,
and it seems that people are trying to piss me off,
that it takes 42 muscles to frown and
only 4 to extend my middle finger and tell them to bite me!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

As a parent of a child with special needs, I am always looking for opportunities to "acclimate" him into the world around him, especially when there is a transition that is going to take place.............Robert "graduated" from Gulf Middle School in Cape Coral, FL (I put graduate in quotes because he wasn't given the opportunity to participate in the 8th grade graduation, nor was he even invited) and he will be attending Mariner High School on August 20th, however, Robert was NOT invited to attend Triton Quest, instead, I was given a voice mail message to attend Open House at the school on Saturday, August 18th.

This is a serious injustice to my son's civil rights AGAIN, if you aren't already aware, my child was bussed to the side door of his school building for his entire school experience at Gulf Middle School, I received EVERY excuse by the school district including: convenience, safety and building construction. HMMMM..........Whose convenience and safety?!?! And building construction?!?!?! Why wasn't EVERY child rerouted to the side doors of the building then?

In this day and age, how is segregation of ANY individual acceptable?!?!?!....................................

Lee County School District

Incoming Mariner freshmen take part in Triton Quest
Program helps new students become familiar with new school

By Terry Brady

Originally posted on August 07, 200

A conga line made up of 200 Mariner High School freshman made its way across campus today as a part of the school's freshman orientation program — Triton Quest.

Students danced on the tables and through the cafeteria, cheers were made, games were played and scavenger hunts were held throughout the campus so students could better familiarize themselves with the lay of the land.

"It's excellent!" Mariner freshman Skyler Marler, 14, said while dancing to the song "YMCA."

While it seemed to be all about fun and games to the students, there was a deeper purpose.

"It's about getting the freshmen acclimated to their new environment," said Triton Quest head Angela Hancock.

The program is in its fourth year and has continually grown from its 75-student start in 2004.

"We want the kids to come out, get to know each other," Hancock said.

Hancock said the goal is to get the freshman to meet at least 15 students, a teacher and three to four upperclassmen, who are known as "navigators."

Over 40 Mariner navigators ran the all-day event by leading the new students through games, problem-solving activities and tours through the school.

"I went through the program when I was a freshman," said Emily Labarbera, 16, Mariner junior. "It helps teach you where everything is."

LaBarbera said the program helped her transition from middle school to high school and introduced her to friends she still has today.

"It teaches them that it's not bad to be outgoing and enthusiastic," she said.

To help continue to help the freshmen when school starts on Aug. 20, the navigators will wear the pink Triton Quest shirts they wore today so freshmen could easily find them if they have any first-day questions.

The navigators went through a three-day training program and went through an application and interview process to participate.

Tyrone Ward, 14, said he didn't know what to expect heading into Triton Quest today, but said after going through the program, he feels more relaxed about the upcoming school year.

"It's a whole new school for me," he said. "I'm the little guy again. (Triton Quest) has made me feel more confident. I'm not afraid."

Thursday, August 9, 2007

For My Son............

I was recently asked about my kids and told how I must be so "thankful" to have such beautiful children..............My mind went reeling with all the times I yell and tell them to "pick up your clothes", "Clean up after yourself", "Get up, what are you going to sleep all day?", "Why aren't you working?", "Get a job", etc and they STILL don't listen; I thought about the time that my "genius" son traded his 2004 Hyundai Tiberon for a 1995 Honda Civic because it was a "Honda, baby"; I thought about how my son, who can't even rinse a dish out, brought home a 19 year old, when he was 17 and introduced me to her 3 year old son; I thought about my daughter and how she never quite lived up to the image of the "girlie girl" that I always wanted, in fact, she rebelled, I thought about my pregnancy with Adam and how I was told to "abort" because I had toxoplasmosis; and Robert, what more can I say?; I remembered the prescription for valium that the doctor gave me(I love that doctor), when I brought my child in because he had a "friend" give him a tattoo of the Italian flag in my lanai and he got a skin infection from it and refused to take the antibiotic.............I thought about all the grief they've given me over the last few years and truthfully, I wasn't feeling it...............I just wasn't feeling "thankful" and then this person said surely I could think of SOMETHING that I was thankful for and then something came to mind.......... the birth of my son, Anthony, when I was 17 years old. There is a song by Kenny Chesney that came out around the time that Anthony was graduating and once I heard it I balled my eyes out..........still can't listen to it, but I feel it defines our relationship perfectly. Well, anyway...........when I realized that I was pregnant at 17 years old and that my boyfriend wasn't a prize, I was so overwhelmed with a feeling of doom. I thought to myself "There Goes My Life", but there wasn't a doubt in my mind that this was my child and I was going to do what I needed to do to be responsible for the baby that I was carrying. I was told during a sonogram that I was having a girl, the most ideal situation, I thought. I knew nothing about boys, didn't care to either. My brother was 4 at the time and while he was cute and all, he was my brother............I loved him, but I couldn't do his hair, or paint his nails, play dress up, etc.....I didn't know how to relate to him...........I had never even changed a boys diaper until my brother was born. Well, June 7th came around and I went into labor (the scariest thing for a 17 year old).......... he was finally born (after 36 hours) and they said it was a boy, my exact words out of my mouth were "its a WHAT?!?!?!" I was devastated and thought, "There Goes My Life"............but then I held my son and instantly I was in love with this 7lbs 8oz bundle of boy............we had some struggles and not so pleasant times, I lost friends, and didn't have the things that I wanted or to provide to my son, but I stuck it out, this was my boy.............I married his dad, had 2 more children with him and I can't say my life was ever what I had hoped it would be, I had tolerated years of physical, emotional and sexual abuse............ And then Anthony graduated HS and I watched him take his diploma and hold it over his head and as he walked away with the rest of his HS class, I said to myself "There Goes My Life". It was then that I realized that I had alot to be thankful for..................
Well, I tried to avoid it but it 16 year old daughter has gotten her license!!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Coming Home...........

Well, I am home from my trip "back home" to Long Island, NY. I dropped my son, Joey, off with my sister. Joey has decided that he would rather "get his life together" in NY. He is 18 years old, has just graduated high school and I was in no way ready to send him out into the world.........anyway, while in NY I took care of my sister's kids, whom I love dearly, while she and her husband went camping with the rest of my a mom of older children, I wasn't prepared to care for a 6 year old and a 22 month old......but I did pretty well, I thought.............UNTIL my sister, who I swear has OCD, came home and decided that her house wasn't "clean enough", this after I cleaned her house top to bottom on a daily basis.............words were said that shouldn't have been said, but we got past it FINALLY!!! At least I thought we got past it............then she sent me home with her child's hamster. I don't mind hamsters, they don't bother me, especially when they occupy their own space and not so much mine. On the ride home, oh, did I mention we DROVE?!?!? I had driven something like 16 hours and I was EXHAUSTED, so I let my copilot take copilot was a sweet 19 year old girl ( a friend of my son) who proceeded to drive, text messages AND play with the radio, when I mentioned how dangerous that was, she stated she was a "pro"........I finally allowed myself to relax and shut my eyes (when it got so was actually at 3am, she had no one to talk to) for just a little while when I felt something "tickle" my toes, my first instinct was to kick my foot, which caused the "tickle" to turn into a BITE...............AAAAHHHHH, THE HAMSTER!!!!!!!..........I immediately began to FREAK OUT!!!! causing my sleeping 10 year old AND my copilot to laugh hysterically when they realized what was happening. I instructed my copilot to pull over and "GET THAT THING!" easy task.......this hamster did not want back in that box. I hopped out of the car, barefoot, on the side of I-75, using the light of my cell phone to locate the hamster. When she finally caught it and put it back in the box, I wasn't taking any chances..............I slipped a pillowcase off one of the pillows, placed the box in the pillowcase and closed it with my hair clips. This Houdini, err Hamster, immediately got out of the box and was now running around the pillowcase trying to find a way out. It was working on it quite laboriously when I decided that I needed to get him in his cage, which my brother in law had taken apart and folded so neatly to allow for more room in the car, I put that cage together pretty quickly for I wasn't about to have that thing loose in my car AGAIN..............getting it into the cage was hard, my 10 year old doesn't like touching the hamster and neither do I, .................we eventually got it in and if you think I was finally able to relax..................NO WAY!!!! copilot proceeded to call and text anyone and everyone about what had just happened, so I stayed awake and watched the road, listened to a 19 year old's drama and yearned for my husband.................thankfully, we made it home in 20.5 hours(without further incident) and I got 45 minutes with my husband before he got up and went to work.....................I'm happy to be home!

The Problems I've Experienced in Florida

I want to make everyone aware of the problems here in Florida for children
with disabilities. I am a stepparent of a child with profound disabilities.
Almost 4 years ago, my stepson was in foster care after having been removed
from his mother's custody for abuse and neglect. His mother also
"neglected" to notify the state of NY when they removed the child that while
his father did not have contact with the child for almost 10 years (HER
choice - the finest example of parental alienation), he DID pay child
support faithfully AND had a HUGE interest in being a part of the child's
life (yes, he did file petition after petition, but all mom got was a slap
on the wrist and empty threats, while dad was reminded that he was a
"scofflaw" because he had a suspended license due to unpaid traffic
tickets), so this child sat in the foster care system for over a year.
Somehow they were able to find him, not to tell him that his son was in
foster care and give him the opportunity to care for his child, but to
request $1500 a month in child support to keep him there. We immediately
began "the hunt" to retrieve his child............Child Protective Services
gave us a hard way to go. But in the end, his child came home with us. We
continued to live in NY for a little over a year ( we had lived in NY all
our lives) and we decided that in order to better provide for our family, we
needed to find a "more affordable" place to live. While in NY, this child
received medicaid waiver in less than 45 days, went to a therapeutic after
school program every day, had a Saturday respite program, overnight respite
once a month, automatic delivery of diapers, gloves and chux, all his
equipment needs were met without MUCH delay, brand new equipment. I guess
you could say that we had it "good" and in that aspect we did. However, I
worked 3 jobs at one time and my husband worked long hours at one. I didn't
have anytime to spend with my family, let alone "dates" with my husband, as
a result, we were fighting constantly and truthfully on the verge of
divorce. We decided to take our family to Florida, this was not an
uneducated decision, I looked into EVERYTHING, including the available
services for a child like our child. I contacted the local Department of
Children and Families and found out that yes, they did have medicaid waiver
and that yes, they did have services similiar to what we received in NY, I
even received a "provider listing"................the odd thing that I
noticed was that it was all "privatized", no real agencies to provide the
services, but private citizens who gave their "business" a name. I should
have been alerted immediately, but hey, as long as he had access to the
medicaid waiver, than I'd work to find the right providers for him. I
already knew that I wasn't going to be able to find employment similar to
the job I had in NY. I worked as a manager of residential habilitation
programs serving children and adults with developmental disabilities and
with "privatized" services, there wouldn't be a need for the job that I did,
but I always enjoyed being "hands on", I didn't need to be the manager, I
was okay with the idea of becoming a "privatized" provider of residential
habilitation. We moved to Florida in November 2004. Almost immediately, I
should have known that we were going to have problems, of the 5 employers
that offered my husband a job when we returned, none of them were willing to
hire him now that he was here. I also quickly realized that there weren't
ANY services for a child like ours, I called EVERYONE that I could to secure
SOMETHING, I was offered a few hours of respite on a Saturday, which I
jumped on, until that program disappeared, too. We met with our support
coordinator who was brand new and knew NOTHING about medicaid waiver, I
filled out her paperwork for her and told her what waiver was. She soon
disappeared too. Eventually, I was told that we had a wait list of over 5
YEARS for medicaid waiver...........despite filling out a crisis tool. I
had such anxiety and depression; for on one hand, I only needed to work one
job and my husband and I actually began to like each other again, I had more
time to spend with my children and more money in my pocket to do "little
things" with them, but on the other hand, I had a child with profound
disabilities that was no longer receiving ANY services, it wasn't just
medicaid waiver and the services that THEY provided, but health care in the
area where I live is severely lacking, which means that I travel to Tampa
and Miami to go to some of his specialist appointments, Both Tampa and
Miami are over 2 hours away. Schooling isn't any better, the child went
from OT, PT and Speech 2-3 times a week, to one hour a month for OT and PT
and 30 minutes of Speech each week. These services are severely lacking and
I'm told that our child's problems are "medical not educational", they
recommended outside therapy, we've been on the wait list for months. So
there, the level of frustration is high. And now, I read articles like the
one describes the state's solution to a huge problem for the
APD. Less money means less services for the individual already on waiver,
which in turn means that my child will be on the waitlist alot longer than
originally thought. No access to diapers, new equipment (which is
desperately needed), and services. Diapers cost on average $75.00 a month
with shipping, equipment costs thousands of dollars and services are
available if I want to pay out of pocket for them ($8. an hour), This
doesn't include the cost of gas (which is OVER $3. a gallon in SW FL), to
get to and from the medical appointments hundreds of miles away. Never mind
that both my other child and I both see specialists on a regular basis, at
the cost of $45. per visit and our medication costs over $100 a month and
that is WITH insurance. Move, you say? With the amount of money that we
spend on the things I've mentioned (don't even get me started on the cost of
water, in a state SURROUNDED by it), we don't have money to get out of here.
Our new support coordinator's suggestion? Put the child in foster care....................