Tuesday, August 26, 2014

last train from simpsonville

last meal at our favorite mexican restaurant, papa's and beer. (no, mom. they don't make you drink beer.)

last run on my favorite treadmill at the ymca where i received my last inappropriate comment from the unofficial ymca inappropriate comment maker. some compliments you don't want.

scarlett running her last lap on the indoor track, right before we went to her last ballet performance.

last time heading the down the "scary" stairs that reagan used to crawl up and down when we first moved here because the opening sides freaked him out so much.

athena blythe's last day as ruler of the ymca childcare. her loyal subjects sent her off with a balloon, a farewell card and TWO presents. there will never be another ymca like this ever again.

last view of my "other" house of worship in greenville. 

last view of the local strip club that i always had to drive by on my way to our doctor's offices. my wish of tinting my car windows really dark and parking and watching who goes into platinum plus during their lunch break will never be realized. (lunch shift strippers? they must have a great buffet.)

last oil change at my favorite lube shop, jesse's on main street. i never had to wait more than 20 minutes. ever. 

last swim at our neighborhood pool with our neighborhood pool friends. 

last hug with reagan's tutor, mrs. steele. i want her to move in with us and my our sisterwife. but just the sister part and in charge of all the tutoring. (this is how autistic kids show affection.)

very natural smile, reagan. 

last get together with friends, which felt more like cleaning my empty house because it was cleaning my empty house. service until the very end. i'm a lucky gal.

holly, the snookie to my jwoww.


julie. my dear julie. who just does and serves and loves and humbles me. she should write a book on how to befriend an autistic kid and put up with his mom. she does it right. 

last week of weather:
great for being outside, not that great for loading up.

last look at one of the bathrooms thomas and i painted together. true love paints together, even if they hate it.

last look at my piano going out the door. i had to go hide upstairs so i wouldn't have to listen to it squeal. thomas surprised me though and it made it here in one piece and no one threw out their back lifting it.

last look at my house, with all my little hostas that i planted out front that i'm sure our renters are going to stomp all over or ignore and the grass that thomas worked so hard to grow when he was given a barren patch of dirt to work with. the house we never really liked beside the white and black exterior, but we loved our ward and our town and our neighborhood and our friends so much.

last hugs with sammi jean.

reagan's last look in his room.

my last look at simpsonville includes my love, who i will follow to the ends of the earth, hitching up my pathfinder in the pouring rain.

the end.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

welcome to atlanta where the players play

we're here.
 the most dreadful parts of moving are completed. 
i was stressing BIG TIME about getting the kids ready for school. the house we chose to rent we specifically chose because it was located near the best rated school we could find. i don't love this house, i just wanted school to be an easy homerun. we arrived in georgia friday morning and school started the following tuesday, august 5th, so i had to scramble to get the kids registered ASAP. i showed up at our zoned school with my giant shoe box of school paperwork and IEP info and birth certificates underarm, looking like death warmed over and the kids looked and acted like unloved street urchins and i felt like we were treated accordingly. it was a struggle and we left with scarlett possibly registered at our zoned school and the uncertainty that reagan could not be placed there because they did not accommodate autistic students, but "they would let me know" his potential school. needless to say, i went home and cried a lot and then made about 213,412 phone calls trying to figure out where reagan would be going to school. school districts love crazy phone calls from concerned parents on incoming students right before school starts. by tuesday morning, i still hadn't heard any updates, so i loaded up the kids and thomas and i took them to the local school because we were going to have kids in school THAT DAY, come hell or high water or thomas's imposing lawyer stare. 

the only reason i could find any of our first day of school stuff is because i did all my school supply and back to school clothes shopping before we moved and i packed all first day of school stuff in its own box and i never let it out of my sight. scarlett and reagan put together their outfits themselves. 

at the school, they put scarlett in a classroom and she had to sit at a side table until a desk could be located for her. she was so brave and i could tell it was hard for her to go to this new classroom full of strange faces and not even have her name on the door or have a space set aside for her.
then the rest of us went to the library and waited until reagan was sorted. thomas made prolonged, imposing eye contact with administrators and reagan worked on math problems that i wrote down on scrap paper i had in my purse, which he was surprisingly compliant about. blythe opened reagan's lunch and ate it. i tried to remain positive but i was feeling streeeessssss about reagan. we had been assured that gwinnett county is great for special education, i just hadn't seen it yet. 
after about 90 minutes of waiting and feigned patience, reagan had a school assignment! and it wasn't the one we were at! we headed home to repack reagan another lunch and headed over to reagan's assigned school. once we got there, i was met at the front office by the assistant principal and the autism specialist for the 3rd graders! 
reagan was placed in a mainstream 3rd grade classroom that includes 6 other autistic students! there is always at least 1 paraprofessional in the classroom during instruction time to assist with learning and whatnot. PLUS, they have an autism resource classroom just down the hall for one on one schoolwork help, social therapy, occupational therapy and decompression(2 trampolines!). tender mercies of the Lord. i was so relieved to find that reagan would be in a great school situation. 
the next issue was getting scarlett reassigned to the same school as reagan so that i would only have to worry about one school drop off and pick up and never worry i would not make it in time. atlanta traffic is no joke even out in the ultra suburbs where we live. 
poor lamb, i went back to her school, had her withdrawn and listened to her bawl her face off about having to have 2 first days of school. imagine the anxiety of having to be brave another day at another brand new school when everyone else already had their first day anxieties the day before! she pulled through though. 
and she really liked her 2nd day of school outfit so i think that helped a lot. i know new clothes really help me feel better.

i was worried that blythe would miss buddy and sissy too much while they are gone at school but she doesn't seem bothered at all by their disappearance. in fact, she seems downright pleased to have me all to herself and not have to deal with the big kids constantly bothering her and playing jokes on her.

and no one changes the channel on her when she watches her favorite shows.

each new day is a new chance to defy death.

final notes-
scarlett has a new neighborhood friend with whom she can be weird. 

and blythe had the MOST EPIC tantrum/meltdown at the local kroger. it involved kicking me in the stomach, stripping off her dress multiple times and running away and hiding.

Yo, Yo.. Yo..Yo, Yo,
Welcome to Atlanta where the playas play
And we ride on them things like every day
Big beats, hit streets, see gangsta's roamin'
And parties dont stop til' eight in the mornin'