Monday, September 28, 2009

School Fundraiser ; Can you help? They really want the dog!!

Kaila and Alana are doing a fundraiser for school, it has tons of candy and chocolates and tons of cheap 13$ magazine subscriptions! Would you be so kind to help them out?? (it is under Kaila's name because we do it under one to get the bigger prize and she REALLY REALLY wants that rolling dog!) Student ID is 224W4QQ!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

First day of school + some ; Kindergarten, 2nd Grade

Kaila has been in some type of school since 18months old so Kindergarten wasn't much of a big change like it is for most! She started September 2nd at the same school with Alana (we had to transfer because that elementary school is not the closest to us but I wanted them together) and has been doing well since. Her class is a mix of kids from all over the district that also transferred from their close home schools to this school through the no child left behind act.

2 weeks in and we got a notice that the teacher was only a sub to start the class off and a new teacher was being brought in.. This shocked all the parents because not one of us was told she was a "sub" for the first few weeks. I like the new teacher but they should have told us that the other teacher wasn't there for the long haul because Kaila was bawling the last day the teacher was there because they had all formed an attachment to her. She is of course over it now, love the memory of a 5 year old. That day though I let her write a note to the teacher (in email) and make a picture on paint to send to her too and that helped stop the crying. So they basically started over again 2 weeks in, each teacher does things their own way and the kids had to learn about her and her about them but so far so good..

Alana was also switched about a week in to another class with most the kids she was with last year and the same classroom but another teacher. I was on totally board with her class change though, the school initiated it and I agreed. The original class she was placed in was 1st and 2nd grade Teacch program (which was a Kindergarten class last year).. last year she was in 1-3rd grade Teacch class and she was the youngest in that class so she has been used to being with the older kids (and she's been in class off and on with these kids since preschool) then they put her in a class where she was one of the oldest.. a new classroom, new teacher, all new students to her, they were only doing the work station once a day when last year she was doing it at least twice and sometimes 3 times a day... it just seemed like a huge step backwards.

I would think that they automatically would have kept her in with the same kids and that class changed from 1-3 to 2-3 and shes in second grade so the move didn't make sense. Not even mentioning that they told me nothing about her class placement this year besides she would be in the Teacch program as usual...since I wasn't told anything different, I had assumed she would've been with the same kids.. at least those 3rd grade and under and I also assumed she was staying with that same teacher since she had grades 1-3 and Alana was going into second grade but they moved the teacher without informing me and changed classes around.

I love how schools totally keep you out of the loop like you don't give a shit what class they put your child in. ((hugs)) to all those with kids on IEP's, heck anyone with kids in school period.

I am not even going to start about Kaila's bussing situation because that would make this post REALLY REALLY long.

Below is Kaila on her first day of Kindergarten.. it was an orientation day where the parents stayed. I had Donni and Donni is well in a screaming phase.. I don't think the teachers will be asking me to volunteer in class anytime soon...

Oh and we already have our first fundraisers too.

And they had their pics taken last week as well, I'll share them when they arrive.. My plan was to let them take the photos by thierselves and if they come back good then great if not then I will take them to school and supervise the retakes :-D. Crossing my fingers for decent photos!

And one of Donni too just for the fun of it.. He exists really he does.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Walk Now For Autism Speaks Update ~ Donation Bins, Thank You Cards, Bikini Stands

Walk Now For Autism Speaks Update..

The walk is fast approaching Oct 3rd in Seattle!

Can you Donate?
Anyone who donates 50$ or more will recieve a complimentary team shirt! We appreciate any and all donations.

I made 12 donation "bins" to place at local merchants. Side Note: Thanks to the guy on freecycle that happened to have a dozen empty protein powder jugs! :-) We have 2 at kids consignment shops, 1 at a kids kutz, 2 at gas stations, 1 at a mom and pop drive up burger place, 1 at the mexican restaurant I have given my life savings to, 1 at buzz inn restaurant, 1 at my favorite nail salon, 1 at a coin laundrymat, 1 at a pet store/ unique things store, & one at a hotel that one of our walkers manages. Now how much these bins will get in them who knows.. I could very well pick them up emtpy but it's worth a shot and we will know for next year the places to go again, am going to try espresso stands next year.. but you know of course not the bikini stands @@ what you don't have those where you live?? If you check the links.. you will thank your lucky stars your city/state doesn't suck... although I have thought about finding some nice women to open up a "man stand".. (use your imagination).

I also designed up a Thank You Card Template using our shirt design to give to all that donated or raised money or supported our team in some way. Just waiting on our final $$ tally to add to it as well as a team photo from the walk.

Custom Team Shirts are being printed for everyone, I have the first one she made looks great (design in a previous post)! I also helped design 2 shirts for friends of ours that are walking and have their own teams.

All walkers in our team were given donations forms to take to work, friends other extended family to procure donations. I added information about donating online to these forms as well as a half sheet "about me" with a photo of Alana with information about the walk.

Here's what they said (Also what is on the bins above, with the same photo):
Hi, my name is Alana, I am 7 years old and in a 2nd grade special education class . I am a very happy girl that happens to have Autism and Turner Syndrome. My family and friends and I are walking at the October 3rd Walk Now For Autism event in Seattle in support of Autism Speaks. We are asking for your support in pledging a donation to a walker in our team to help fund research and aide families dealing with autism. No donation is too small and we would be very grateful for any and all donations.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No More TV at Night ; Night Light Edition

So there has been a rule change in our house..

I'm a horrible mother and I let the girls leave the tv on in their room at night.. I grew up doing it and still leave it on in my room..with no sound. I never had a problem with them going to sleep really (now that Alana is on melatonin) but a few nights recently I have had more problem of them waking up in the middle of the night. Mind you Alana has always done this and it was never a big issue but now that Kaila is finally sleeping in her room with Alana, when Alana wakes up she wakes up Kaila (Kaila normally sleeps like a log.. rarely woke when she slept in our room). Then Kaila proceeds to stay awake with Alana watching tv at 4am.. sometimes even turning the sound back on. Obviously this is not okay..especially with school (Kaila has to catch the bus at 7:38am) as well as Alana starting the melatonin is to get better sleep and hopefully help her attention span during the day to learn better and the tv is hindering we made a new rule..

They can still have the tv to fall asleep since I've never had a problem with that before.. but it will be turned off when I go to bed and they will just have to live with their new friend below..

Side note.. I am pretty proud of this picture with my p&s camera lol.. No flash in a dark room. This was 1 of 10 shots I took..
Below is what happened when I used flash.. not exactly what I was going for.

Yummy Tummy Thursday ~ Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Freezer Breakfast Burritos
(from Laura)

I have made breakfast burritos before lots of times but have never frozen them, have only made bulk and frozen french toast and pancakes in the past but I love breakfast burritos and I am lazy in the morning :-). These burritos can be made to your liking, adding optional items to the basic list below. Optional ingredients: Ham, Hashbrowns (shred or cube), tomatoes, peppers, salsa etc. I personally made some varying kinds adding tomatoes and peppers and hasbrowns to some of them.. but all had the ingredients below. I don't add salsa in the mix but use salsa when I eat them.


12 eggs, beaten
1 lb bulk (Preferrably Jimmy Dean) sausage, cooked (or crumbled links)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
12 flour tortillas


Scramble eggs in large skillet until done and remove from heat; stir in cooked sausage and shredded cheese. Warm tortillas in microwave 20-30 seconds or until warm and flexible. Place 1/2 cup egg mixture into tortilla; roll burrito-style.Freeze burritos in single layer on a cookie sheet. When fully frozen (in about 1 hour) place burritos in large zip-top freezer bag; freeze.TO SERVE: Wrap in a paper towel.Cook in microwave until heated through (about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yummy Tummy Thursday ~ Easy Fruit Dip

Easy Fruit Dip

From Laura linked above.

I made this dip awhile back to serve as a dessert platter after dinner for everyone it was ALOT of food and fed us for 3 desserts I think lol.. I just chopped a new banana to serve each time as that was what was eaten the most..I served it with strawberries, grapes, bananas and apples but you can serve with whatever fruit you prefer. The kids loved it minus the strawberries.. they are weird kids and don't eat strawberries. I am making it again this weekend to take to our family reunion.


1 (8 oz.) tub of strawberry or pineapple soft-style cream cheese (i'm sure you can use any flavored cream cheese I used strawberry)
1 (7 oz.) jar of marshmallow creme
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice


In a mixing bowl, beat together ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate before serving. Serve with fresh fruit. Makes 2 cups.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our Team Shirt Design for Walk Now For Autism & Walk UPDATE!

My family is really coming out for the walk this year, so exciting! But that is in support to walk with us, we still are very low on donations which is the whole point of the walk so if you can donate I would love you forever! Anyway I will be holding a 10$ donation ticket raffle for a new IPOD in the very near future to raise some money so watch for that!

So the last few days my aunt and I have been designing up new shirts for this years Walk Now For Autism Oct. 3rd in Seattle. Last year we made shirts with fabric paint but this year I talked to my aunt because she makes custom shirts and is doing them for 3$ a piece (cost of shirt) and donating her time and other supplies to make them for the team. Anyway I wanted to incorporate the puzzle piece (had a huge one on the back last year). I wanted to incorporate Walk Now For Autism, as well as Seattle.. And of course Team Alana. Then I got the crazy idea to do a silhouette of Alana, I've seen them done for a friend of mine and I thought I would give it a shot myself for the shirt. So here is our shirt for this year!! I know the front and back colors don't match but I wanted to keep the logo the colors it is meant to be but also girly it up and you wont see the front and back at the same time :-P.

* BACK *

AND.. in case anyone was curious this is the picture I used to make the silhouette of Alana! :-)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cardboard Box Play House.. What Can You Make With Cardboard?

We had this big box from the lawn mower we bought a few months ago sitting in the garage along with a few other boxes so last weekend Kaila and I decided to make a play house with them..


Lots and Lots of duck tape
Boxes of varying sizes
Crazy Glue
and a crazy mother.

Without Further Ado... I present our house...

Below you will see the "mailbox" (aka huggies wipe box) Kaila requested her house MUST have, complete with her mail or football.. whatever.

This would be well let's see, a tunnel, a back door, a side door, a doggie door, if the flap was closed it could double as a tiny tiny bedroom.. Whatever you decide.

The "front door" view.. wow her house really looks messy inside, wonder where she gets that from?

To the left is the "chair" I made, gotta have some furniture..

Kaila's gorgeous decorations.. aka stickers, marker and scrapbook paper, even a shipping label.

Looking inside through the "window" this started as a shelf and was turned into a stove and sink.. like my stove burner artistic skills?

The sink (okay I will explain it to you the white duck taped thing would be the sink (yeah yeah its the cool above counter sink model).. the stick looking thing next to it would be the faucet).. I drew the line when asked to make a toilet.

Welcome Back To School! ~ Priceless School Supply Rant

Written BY Ginny

Dear Mrs. X:

In just over a week, you will be my son’s Grade 1 teacher. He is ever so excited to be under your tutelage. Why, since the last day of kindergarten, entering your class was all he could talk about. He gleefully thrust a piece of paper into my hand on that June afternoon, and said, “Here’s a list of the stuff I need for school next September!”

And I have to admit, I, too, was excited. I’m a school supplies geek from way back. And so, in early August, I set out to buy the items you’d listed.

It was on my fourth store that the realization began to sink in.

You’re a crafty bitch, aren’t you?

This list was a thinly disguised test. Could I find the items, exactly as you’d prescribed? Because if not, my son would be That Kid, the one with the Problem Mother, Who Can’t Follow Directions.

For example, the glue sticks you requested. In the 40 gram size. Three of the little buggers. (What kind of massive, sticky project you’ve got planned for the first day of school that would require the students to bring all this glue, I cannot imagine.) But the 40 gram size doesn’t come in a convenient 3-pack. The 30 gram size does. But clearly, those would be wildly inappropriate. So I got the individually priced 40’s, as per your instructions.

Another bit of fun was your request for 2 packs of 8 Crayola crayons (basic colors). The 24 packs, with their 24 different colors, sat there, on sale. I could have purchased three of the 24 packs for the price I had to pay for the 8 packs. (Clearly, you’ll not be teaching the youngsters any sort of economics lessons this year.) Even the cashier looked at me, as if to say, “Pardon me, ma’am, but are you slow?” as I purchased these non-bargain crayons. But that’s what the list said. And I was committed to following the list.

But the last item, well, now, you saved your malice up for that one, didn’t you? “8 mm ruled notebooks”, you asked for. Simple enough. Except the standard size is seven millimetres. One. Millimetre. Difference. Do you realize, Mrs. X., exactly how infinitesimal the difference between 7 mm ruling and 8 mm ruling is? Pretty small, I assure you. The thickness of a fingernail, approximately. But that millimetre, that small bit of nothingness, made me drive to four different stores, over the course of three sweaty August hours. And when I finally, finally found the last remaining 8 mm notebooks, I took no pleasure in my victory. I merely shifted my focus. To you, Mrs. X.

You wanna dance, lady? Let’s dance.

Because I am just batshit crazy enough to play your games. And, in turn, come up with some of my own.

On show and share day, my son will be bringing the video of his birth. It will be labelled, “Ben’s First Puppy.” Enjoy.

He will be given a list of words, and daily, he will ask you what they mean. Words such as, “pedophile”, “anti-semite”, and “skank”. Good luck with those.

At some point, you will attempt to teach him mathematics. And I’m quite sure that, like most of your ilk, you will require my son to “show his work”. And he will.

Through interpretive dance.

Because that is who you’ve chosen to tangle with, toots. A stay at home mom who is not entirely balanced, and has altogether too much time on her hands. But is, most certainly, A Mother Who Can Follow Directions.



Friday, September 4, 2009

Abili-Skate SUCCESS!!

We had our first Abili-Skate (skating time period for kids and adults with special needs/wheelchairs etc.) on August 20th. It was a success, about 30 people showed up which is pretty good for a first time event a few weeks before school starts in the summer! I have a feeling it will have an even better turn out once school starts and people are looking for things to do indoors after school, and with schools open the flyers can be sent home with children in special needs classes at various schools, reach more families that way! I am in the process currently of hopefully scheduling the Abili-Skate sessions for the school year. I have a list of those who "signed in" at the event to let you know as well as put out flyers everywhere I can and more with details of the next events.
As far as how it went for Alana, she has more fear and alot more timid then she was when she was younger and wouldn't let go of the stroller or the wall. About half way through she discovered the arcade games and was enamored with the guitar hero screen.. where she spent a good half of the time afterwards lol. But she did skate with me quite a bit at the beginning, and we did the hokey pokey and the chicken dance. Kaila had a blast as well, she loves skating.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yummy Tummy Thursday ~ Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

(from Laura, linked above)

It's been a long time since I made this but I distinctively remember having to add water to the crockpot/gravy because the soup was far too thick for gravy when the dry ranch was added to it(I used condensed soup (not reconstituted) this may have made a difference) and I used boneless thin pork which probably also added to the problem, once I added water it was perfect gravy. I know I made a little more potatoes then called for I just used milk to my consistency preference and seasoned to taste (after added required milk and season below).


6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick (I used thin boneless)
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
4 lbs peeled, cubed potatoes
5 Tablespoons real butter
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic (directions are below)
1- 1 1/2 Cups warm milk
1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste


Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stove top over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed. For thinner mashed potatoes add more milk, slowly until your desired consistency.Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot. I put a little parsley on top to serve.

Roasted Garlic~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bulb of garlic with skins on, wrap lightly in tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from foil and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove garlic from skins, place in a bowl and mash with a fork until completely mashed. Set aside. One garlic bulb will have around 12 cloves.

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