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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Choices

The choices we make effect our world. Big or small these choices effect everything. Yesterday, I made my choice. I made the choice to place Little Al in a District 75 school. A "District 75 provides appropriate standards-based educational programming with related service supports, including interventions and direct service delivery to students with severe challenges."
What I want was for her to be in the same school as her brother, Big Al. I want her to be in that school with a setting of 12:1:1 with a 1:1 para. Just because I want doesn't mean it is what is best for her. The little things that we take for granted in a Community School effect Little Al in a huge way. Just imagine... how overwhelming the lunch room would be to a child with severe sensory integration disorder? Having to seat in an environment that is controlled chaos 5 days a week for 50 minutes. All I see it a complete meltdown. No eating and lots of crying and sweating. You can be the best 1:1 paraprofessional in the world but would you know what to do on the very first that the meltdown happens...and the 2nd and the 100th?

I can see Little Alyson trying to make her way out of the building to go home. I don't even want to imagine how I would feel if a school called me to tall me that she is lost.

Safety is a big factor in my decision.

Now I have to hunt for the right school for our family.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Turning Five: District 75 or Community School

I really haven't blogged much about Little Al's IEP progresses. I am having a very difficult time with the entire ordeal. This entire school year seems to have become a train wreck. I can say with confidence that I know myself when it comes to Special Education in NYC and the politics that surround it. Not just letting "them" hand over an IEP and signing it is not my style. I need to pick apart what is handed over to me. I have trained my eyes to see those "common mistakes" that stereotypes almost all of special needs students. To some this just means I am a bitch.....I don't think so. After the entire progress of Little Al last CPSE IEP I have been turned off from sharing my journey. That progress became a scream-fest! The person on the other end seems to think that she is right and knows what's best for every student that walks into Easter Seals. That doesn't work for me. I am the one person in this world that know what my child needs.

I have been apart of the Easter Seals CDC family for 5 years. I have met some amazing people at work in that little building on East Tremont. I just don't feel that same love this year. I am used to the teacher being very open to me but this teacher never really contacts me. I need know what is going on...I am not an attack dog.(all the time) I feel very closed off from the classroom.

The Turning Five progress is very stressful but I am happy that it is happening. Little Al gets to move forward into the next step in life. It's my job to make sure that those steps have the right ones for her.

The progress for Big Al was easy as pie. I didn't worry much and I was just a little nervous  The team that did his progress is doing hers. They remember me and remember my drive. This team is the kind of team every one should have working on their side.  I don't think dedication is a strong enough word to use for their awesomeness. This is how awesome they are: I asked to have Little Al's Turning Five IEP meeting and Big Al's annual IEP meeting on the same at different times so that I won't have to take two days off from work. BOOM! It was done. The team is the guiding light this un-friendly place known as special education hell.

As of Friday, Little Al's meeting has been set. I have already had many conversations with the school psychologist over placement. It boils down to this...district 75 setting pending or community school (the same awesome school Big Al is in.) 12:1:1 with a 1:1 crisis management para. The school psychologist is leaning towards the D75 placement. She think that more structured and larger staff will be a better fit for Little Al. However, she doesn't want to close off the option of given her a sit in Big Al's school with a para.

There is a lot of bad karma that surrounds a D75 placement. You right away think of kids in wheel chairs with helmets. I don't see it has a bad thing. Kids with disabilities have the right to be who they are where ever they are placed. My consider is Little Al's safety. In a community school there is not a person in the lunch room making sure that she is eating. If she wants to go the bathroom she is going to walk right out of the classroom. That will give any staff member a heart attack.

So much more stuff is rolling around my head. I can't even straighten it all to write it down. Talking to the current teacher this afternoon didn't help.


I am going to have to go with my gut.....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week 84

I made this pass week my rest and recovery week from the Manhattan Half and Gridiron Classic. I did get in at least a 30 minute work out each day except on Monday. I did simple things like walking at a quicker pace and walking up and down the stairs at work instead of sending a student on the errand.

Tomorrow starts week 4 of my Even Better in 2013 Challenge. The ladies that have sign up for the challenge are an awesome bunch. We have been very supportive of each other. It's great to have great support for this healthy living challenge. For those who are involved and want to see the current standing ask to join our Facebook Group.

This pass week I started dance classes. I am taking beginner Salsa at Mambo 101 in the Bronx. I got a Groupon for lessons back in December and never used it. I got in on the deal before my Groupon expired. I am very happy that I did. When I got there I didn't know what to except  The studio is on the basement level of a multi store front building. It looked like I was going to get kidnapped or something. After seeing many students there ready to learn I knew I wasn't going to be taken away. The two hour low impact lesson was a lot of fun. I felt I learned a lot for my first day. The instructor was very lively and awesome. The one thing BIG thing I learned was I don't need to wear my sneakers to class. I need me some slippery-ish heeled-type shoes. (That's my fancy Dance Mom talk...lol) I also learned I REALLY need to work on my posture. I am really looking forward to the rest of my sessions. Depending on how successful the next few weeks are I may remain a student after my Groupon is over. If I keep going I would love to do this class was a bunch of friends....hint hint!

This week I will be starting my Brooklyn Half Marathon training. The Brooklyn Half will be held in May. After much reading from the book my BBB gave me, I need to get started like yesterday. I learned how to address my foot issues with stretch, icing and the right running shoes. I am even considering taking running classes with NYRR. I want to get it right. If anyone is offering free to low-cost running classes please let me know. I will NOT be training in the freezing temps. I am so over that after my last two races. I will be training at the gym and when the weather allowed I will train outside.

Another event I am training for is the Five Boro Bike Tour. 40 miles of car-free cycling in the five boro. Last year I did fairly well and this year I want to be even more awesome. I don't want to get off my bike and walk the bridges this year. I want to tackle them! I plan on using Lenny (the cruiser) and not Sheldon (the fixie). I have enough time to get use to riding a fixed gear (not free wheeling) for that distance but I think Lenny is going to be my go to bike.

I have found that these events and training has helped with all the stress with the Turning Five progress with Little Al. I am so worried about where is going to be place in September. She is on the border of the placement of Community School and District 75. I hear many opinions on what to do but it all boils down to what is good for my girl. 
Just in case you were wondering what is going on here. I have transferred my weight loss blog post over to my mom blog. It's all awesome so might as well keep it in the same spot.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What is going on over here?

Well I have decided to merge my weight loss and mom blogs. I will be doing my weekly weight loss journey posts over here instead of the other blog I created two years ago. Everything is all connect so I might as well keep it all in the same spot. You may have also noticed that I imported all my post from that blog here. I will be messing around of the template and layout of the blog until I am happy with it.

Changing Amy is moving!

I am moving this blog over to my mom blog. My mom blog is The Awesome Mom. I'll see you all over there and soon I will be disabling this blog completely. xoxo -Amy

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Amy Ran NYRR's Gridiron Classic

That's right I ran another race. I ran the Gridiron Classic a week after destroying my body running the Manhattan Half. I really didn't plan on running because my body was not telling me it was the right thing to do. Especially after two days of forced rest by a doctor, pains and weird sounds when I walked. I even told myself I wasn't going any where after Saturday night's snowfall. There was no flipping way I was going to run in the snow was a "bum" right foot.

I woke up on Sunday morning and said screw it! I am going to run this. It's only 4 miles. It's going to take me last than an hour. I got this. I left my apartment at the last possible moment to make it down to Central Park on time for the race.

When I got to my corral I was very focused and excited. I was testing my foot with this run. I sported taped that bad boy up. It felt like I was playing college volleyball again. I spent my season taped up. It was great to be around that excitement. I think I am addicted to the excitement.
When I reached the start line, I kept saying to myself what I hear from many people, don't got at the pace of the crowd. I got to my pace and got going. I told myself I will run to mile marker one. No walking until after the first mile.....and guess what.....I did just that.
My pace for my first mile was 12:52 minute/mile. That an entire minute less than what I do on my training days. I was feel so good about the pace I pushed myself to keep running without slowing down to walk until after mile marker two.....and guess what....I did just that.
My paced was at 13:15 at this point. Thank you hills for killing my speed. It's ok. I am still working on that. I told myself that it was ok if I needed to slow down and walk at any time from now on because the hills just keep coming now. I slowed down and walked for about 3 minutes around 2.5 miles. The hills were killing my good knee. That knees never spoke to me before I had to listen. I walked it out...shook it up a little and got back on to pace. The next thing I knew I came upon mile maker three!
I told myself that I am going to run this last mile. I did just that! I got it an awesome groove around 3.5 miles. I would like to thank Beyonce for that. I ran pass a bunch of people that I was pacing behind. I saw the crowd head and turned off the music. I wanted to hear the cheers. It was so awesome. I crossed the finish line with the biggest smile on my face. I grabbed a cup of water and a bagel and started crying. I knew I could do this and I did it. I end at a 13:56 minute per mile pace. My time was 55:44. That's awesome since I was totally jacked up ALL week.
 I actually think I am going to buy this image. It's to awesome too pass up.

Once I put all my warm clothes back on my body was telling me it was COLD! Every part of my body was frozen. I need to get to the train station ASAP! When I got there I started taking picture of myself to distract me from the cold in my bones.

It took me a few hours to warm back up. My body was not happy about that at all. I don't think I will be running in freezing temps ever again. I am going to run indoors to prep for my next race.

My next race is on March 3....I can't wait!

Amy Ran NYRR's Gridiron Classic

That's right I ran another race. I ran the Gridiron Classic a week after destroying my body running the Manhattan Half. I really didn't plan on running because my body was not telling me it was the right thing to do. Especially after two days of forced rest by a doctor, pains and weird sounds when I walked. I even told myself I wasn't going any where after Saturday night's snowfall. There was no flipping way I was going to run in the snow was a "bum" right foot.

I woke up on Sunday morning and said screw it! I am going to run this. It's only 4 miles. It's going to take me last than an hour. I got this. I left my apartment at the last possible moment to make it down to Central Park on time for the race.

When I got to my corral I was very focused and excited. I was testing my foot with this run. I sported taped that bad boy up. It felt like I was playing college volleyball again. I spent my season taped up. It was great to be around that excitement. I think I am addicted to the excitement.
When I reached the start line, I kept saying to myself what I hear from many people, don't got at the pace of the crowd. I got to my pace and got going. I told myself I will run to mile marker one. No walking until after the first mile.....and guess what.....I did just that.
My pace for my first mile was 12:52 minute/mile. That an entire minute less than what I do on my training days. I was feel so good about the pace I pushed myself to keep running without slowing down to walk until after mile marker two.....and guess what....I did just that.
My paced was at 13:15 at this point. Thank you hills for killing my speed. It's ok. I am still working on that. I told myself that it was ok if I needed to slow down and walk at any time from now on because the hills just keep coming now. I slowed down and walked for about 3 minutes around 2.5 miles. The hills were killing my good knee. That knees never spoke to me before I had to listen. I walked it out...shook it up a little and got back on to pace. The next thing I knew I came upon mile maker three!
I told myself that I am going to run this last mile. I did just that! I got it an awesome groove around 3.5 miles. I would like to thank Beyonce for that. I ran pass a bunch of people that I was pacing behind. I saw the crowd head and turned off the music. I wanted to hear the cheers. It was so awesome. I crossed the finish line with the biggest smile on my face. I grabbed a cup of water and a bagel and started crying. I knew I could do this and I did it. I end at a 13:56 minute per mile pace. My time was 55:44. That's awesome since I was totally jacked up ALL week.
 I actually think I am going to buy this image. It's to awesome too pass up.

Once I put all my warm clothes back on my body was telling me it was COLD! Every part of my body was frozen. I need to get to the train station ASAP! When I got there I started taking picture of myself to distract me from the cold in my bones.

It took me a few hours to warm back up. My body was not happy about that at all. I don't think I will be running in freezing temps ever again. I am going to run indoors to prep for my next race.

My next race is on March 3....I can't wait!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why Are You Crying Again?

I would like to believe I have the patience of a saint. With that said....Gosh Little Al cries a lot. Her language has improved greatly but she cries for and at everything. She is not what I would call a cry baby but her speech and cognitive delay caused a lot of confusion in her little world. When she doesn't understand something she quickly cries. Sometimes she wakes up crying. Even Big Al has had enough with this crying. Sometimes he makes it his business to get her to stop crying. Becky is her go to girl to cry too.

I don't know what do about the crying. HELP!!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

OMG! I Just Ate A 10 PointsPlus Donut!

Hello there heart shaped donut. You look so yummy. You are filled with my favorite filling. Chocolate is the great thing ever created. I shouldn't eat you but how can I say no. Let me check my WW app to see how many points you are. I have to only moderately exercise for 2.5 hours on my stationary bike to burn off the calories you contain. It will only take me one minute to eat you. 

Come closer to me sweetie. 

Yummy yum!

OMG! I just ate a 10 pp donut!

This was my one treat for the week. I am ok with eating this because I am not going to let it open the flood gates to eating these bad boys everyday. (Like I once did.)

One is ok.....12 is not. 


OMG! I Just Ate A 10 PointsPlus Donut!

Hello there heart shaped donut. You look so yummy. You are filled with my favorite filling. Chocolate is the great thing ever created. I shouldn't eat you but how can I say no. Let me check my WW app to see how many points you are. I have to only moderately exercise for 2.5 hours on my stationary bike to burn off the calories you contain. It will only take me one minute to eat you. 

Come closer to me sweetie. 

Yummy yum!

OMG! I just ate a 10 pp donut!

This was my one treat for the week. I am ok with eating this because I am not going to let it open the flood gates to eating these bad boys everyday. (Like I once did.)

One is ok.....12 is not. 


Tales of a Working Warrior Mom

Oh how I long for the day that I could be a stay at home mother. Not having to work two full time jobs. (Work and home.)

The last two days I was home with a bum foot. Even with the pain I loved being home. Big Al got sick at school and I was able to rush to his school to come to his rescue  He was so happy to see me in his time of need.

Little Al was so super happy to see me when she got off the school bus. She greeted me with kisses. Giving the kids snacks after school was a little thing but it was a big deal. When I get home from work on normal days Little Al is hunger crazed. She wanted to eat everything in sight. It's almost like she waits for me to get home to go nuts.

I like the feeling of not being rushed to get these done. Jumping from one thing to the next. I can only imagine how it feels not to worry about using all of my sick days for IEP meetings, doctor appointments and other things. Having the freedom to walk around my neighborhood....just because I felt like it.

Those who have the chance to stay home are very lucky. If I could run away from the financial responsibly I hold.... I would. Maybe I can become one of those coupon crazy moms you see on TV. They have the right idea of staying home. (Nah....that's not for me.) Maybe I could hit the lotto and say good bye to my job.

An Awesome Mom could only dream.