Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Surprise! I Was Hiding Under The Bed That Whole Time!

The title of this post is so random.

Sorry everyone, for having mysteriously disappeared for a little more than two months! Things got very busy, very fast, and my blog sort of got shuffled to the bottom of my list of things to do! 

Lets see, where do I start?

I traveled out to California with my parents to see Bro and Sunny and the always adorable Squeak. I had a great time! Squeak was almost walking while we were there, and he was always smiling! He is a future pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. If you give him a ball (or any object for that matter, but I recommend you just give him a ball) he throws it like a pro! He can also catch a ball in the air, using his two chubby little hands. He's so cute, isn't he? I could hug him all day long! The hard thing is, babies change so much from month to month that, every time I get to see him ,he's like a whole new baby! That makes it super hard to leave, because you know you're never going to get to see Squeak, at that particular age and stage, ever again. For instance when I visited California way back last summer he was still so tiny and couldn't sit up by himself and had to be held all the time and fed bottles... and after I left after that two weeks, I would never see him like that again. When he came to visit our house at Christmas he was sitting up, playing in his little bouncy seat, and having tummy time... and after he left after a week, I will never see him that way again. And this summer when we saw him crawling around like a crazy dude and throwing his toys at us... I will never see him like that again. I mean, I guess everyone who knows a baby experiences that to some degree, but if you get to see them all the time you barely notice the change from day to day. Do you know what I mean?
Wow, I sure can go off on a tangent! This is what happens when I stay gone from blogging for two months!
So, here are a few pics of Squeak, and me. 

Besides hanging out with the human members of my family, I also got to spend time with one of my very favorite pitbulls, Pretty Dog (not her real name) who I have known since she was a tiny puppy. Pretty Dog is 10 years old now and has bad knees, so she does a lot of lying around. Bro and Sunny also recently adopted a second dog, Sweet Dog (not his real name) who is also some sort of pitbull mix. Sweet Dog is the sweetest boy ever, and he just loves to snuggle! When I was sleeping on the couch, Sweet Dog would curl up in my arms as close as he could possibly get to me without crawling inside my skin! 
Pretty Dog.

Sweet Dog.
If that wasn't enough, Bro and Sunny had also recently gotten two ducks and four chickens! Well, actually, they had three ducks. The first two, they got on purpose. The other one had a sad story. A friend of theirs had gotten some ducklings (which actually come in the mail, weirdly enough) but they were delivered right before he went out of town, which was sooner than he had expected. So he set up a little home for them in his tool shed, to keep them safe from predators, and he asked my brother to go by and feed them and give them water and stuff. What he hadn't realized was that, even though it was summer time and it was super hot out, ducklings that young actually need a heat lamp to stay warm. When my brother got there, all of the ducklings, except for one, had died. Bro confiscated the last duckling and brought her home, where Sunny set up a special little cage for her all by herself inside the house. On the kitchen table. The little duckling could barely move, she was so weak, but Sunny nursed her back to health. When I was there, she was still in her infirmary cage on the kitchen table. By the time I left, she was outside with the other ducks! Sunny started out keeping her outside in a separate cage from the other ducklings, because they were bigger than her and might pick on her, but when they had supervised visits with each other they all got along so well, that when she was in her separate cage the little duckling cried to be with her friends! By the time I left, they were all living together in harmony. 
The little rescued duckling in her infirmary cage.

One of the other ducklings. The other other duckling looks pretty much the same but a little bigger. I took pictures of the chickens, but I can't find them now. Just try to imagine baby chicks. 
What else... Oh yeah, I wrote another book! I can't remember if I told you about it or not. It is about a boy whose family fosters a dog. I've been donating half of the proceeds to pet rescue organizations. I actually got to go to two different walk-a-thons for local rescue organizations, where I had my own booth and sold my book! I didn't sell many... people don't bring a lot of cash to those things... but it was still a lot of fun! If you want to check out my book, you can find it here.

Moving on...I got a job teaching Extended School Year, which is basically summer school for kids with special needs. It was fun, but super exhausting! For ESY they don't give you much... just an empty classroom and a list of your students... and you have to pull everything out of your butt. I think I did a good job. I divided the five weeks into themes. The first week had a Lemonade theme, which ended with our making fresh-squeezed lemonade as a group! The second week fell near the Fourth Of July, so we had a patriotic week,  with a Carnival Of Learning at the end. (I made a ring toss game by decorating a plunger,) The third week we had an oceans and beaches week, and the kids got to dig for sea shells with sight words written on them and write about what it would be like to be a sea creature. The fourth week, we did pirate week, and the kids got to make pirate hats and wear eye patches. And the fifth week was pretty short, so we didn't really have a specific theme. It sure was fun! 

Right now my car is filled to the brim with all of my supplies from ESY, because I just don't have anywhere to put them really, so tomorrow I'm going to have to work on packing them away into the garage for the next time I get a classroom, whenever that will be. 

Which brings me to...

I got my temporary teaching license in Oregon, and I've been having a lot of interviews! I've gotten more calls for interviews in Oregon this summer than I got in the whole two years I was applying for jobs in Illinois! I think I am a lot better at interviewing via Skype or over the phone. I'm a lot calmer and more articulate. Plus, if it is over the phone, I can actually walk around while I am talking, which helps me a lot to be able to think. How often can you get up and pace around at a job interview?

I have a good feeling about one interview that I have coming up next week. I can't share many details about it yet... but it is a school for kids with emotional disabilities, most of whom are in foster care. It is different from any of the other schools I've heard about because they stress making learning fun in order to cut down on kids refusing to do the work (if it looks like fun, there won't be a power struggle), and you don't have to stick so strictly to the common core junk. I mean, you do have to sort of tie your lessons in with common core, but you're not limited to those horrid, awful "scientifically proven" programs. (Exactly whom are they scientifically testing these programs on, anyways?)

Okay. That post was exhausting to write. I am going to try to go through and read some of your blogs before bed... and I will read more tomorrow and give you some more updates on another project I'm working on! (Because I am always working on something. My brain will not allow me to rest. Whoever thinks people with ADHD are lazy has never spent a day in an ADHD-ers brain!)

Did you just read this whole thing? Congratulations! You win! 


  1. well, well, well. Look who's back! I was so glad to see you had a post up when I checked my reader! You have been busy!
    Ack, I was sad for you when you were talking about only getting to see your nephew's stage for one week, then him being a completely new baby the next time you see him. That's so true. It was buffered for me since almost all of my nieces and nephews were born around the same time as my own kids. Once he gets older, things won't change quite so much. Before you know it, he'll be texting you or chatting with you on instagram (or whatever the new thing is by then).
    Your summer job sounds like loads of fun!
    Good luck on the interview! I can't even imagine doing an interview on Skype. I do believe I'm too old to do something like that. :)

  2. Welcome back to the blogosphere! Happy to read such a happy post (even the photos were happy) and am glad your summer job went so well.

  3. I missed you - but figured that a busy bee like yourself just became caught up with other things and needed a break from writing!
    I'm so glad you filled your time with fun, family things. I really enjoyed reading about the baby and the pets. I think you'll be hired at your dream job very soon, too! Looking forward to reading about that!

  4. Welcome back! You were missed! Good luck with the interview...crossing all our crossables for you! :)-The Dose Girls

  5. Welcome back to blogging! When I started blogging again a few weeks ago I came to your blog and was sad to see you had vanished. I am so happy for you that you got to spend time with your family in California and that you got to teach! I know what you mean about kids changing every time you see them. I only get to see my cousins in Boise once per year and they are soooo different every time. They are 8, 5, and 3 now and so cute! Looking forward to reading more of your posts now that you're back!

  6. Glad that you back to the blogging world. Sometimes life gets too busy to do everything and spending time with your family is very important. I understand what you mean about little ones growing and changing so quickly. I didn't like to leave my son and go to work when he was young. I was afraid he would learn something new when I was gone and I wouldn't get to be there with him.

  7. You are really just SO amazing, do you know that??
    Congrats on the teaching license, any of your future students are very lucky to meet you and have you in their lives!
    You totally summed up the 'baby/toddler' stage of kids. Everything goes by so quickly, it's always changing. Do they do Skype? Then you can at least HEAR him when he starts talking, but unfortunately there is not yet Hugging capability :)
    Those dogs look adorable and very loving, nice to see those kinds of dogs being the loving, loyal pets they really can be.
    Interesting about the ducks! Good info for this city girl.

  8. So glad you're back, Angel! And the duck story is really sad but I'm glad the one little duckling was nursed back to health and is living with its new friends! It sounds like you totally rocked ESY - what fun!! I love the sight words game and the pirate week. Really great ideas. I didn't realize that the teachers have to bring in so much from home.
    Best of huge luck on your interviews! I know you will be an amazing teacher and I can't wait to read about you getting your job!!!


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