The Nevada Organization of Parents of Blind Childrenwould like to invite families with blind children to
Yes, this mommy is frustrated in this episode of our Marley and Me series. Frustrated is putting it nicely. After arriving back from our three week vacation, we had a huge stack of mail waiting for us at the post office. One of these pieces of mail was the letter from the school district letting us know where Marley would be going in a few weeks. To our surprise, she’d been assigned a school in a completely different part of town. If roads around here actually went through instead of dying and starting up again, it would be a 10 minute drive or bus ride (that’s if we let her ride the bus, you REALLY don’t want me to get started on that issue.) Instead, the way the roads are designed down here in the south part of town, we have to go North ten minutes, west ten minutes, and back down south another ten minutes to get to the school she’s been assigned to. Why is she to go to a school so far away when there are two very good schools that are offering preschool just a mile from home? After a week of phone calls, messages, and the run around, I’ve come to this conclusion. Nobody knows anything about anything. I was under the impression during Marley’s IEP that she would be going to a community based program with, the word I hate to use being “regular” kids. Instead from what I’ve gathered from other moms, and confused receptionists, each school’s preschool is for a different type of disability. The school our address is zoned for is offering a preschool program for autistic kids. A mommy friend is forced to send her daughter on the other side of town because she need speech therapy. Umm, correct me if I’m wrong but, doesn’t that defeat the point of that they are called, “Community Based?” Apparently, if I want Marley to get the IEP, she has to go to this school they’ve assigned her too. I’m speculating when I’m saying this, but does this mean she’s going to be in school with other blind and low vision kids? This might be the county’s cheaper and easier solution, but this isn’t what we want, nor is this how her education plan was presented to us. We want our daughter in a mainstream, a “normal” school with “regular” kids. My husband wants to say f**k the IEP. I want to say f**k CCSD. I will probably be spending the next few weeks getting more and more frustrated with each phone call that I have to make. I will send Marley to school and see how it turns out to really be, and we’ll see where it goes from there. Wish me luck that I don’t blow up on anyone.
At 107 pounds, I am nowhere near fat. I just tried on my wedding dress and it is looser on me now than when I wore it over 6 years ago. I have gone from a size 6 to a size 2 in pants, and from a M to XS in dresses and shirts.
So, why is my daughter calling me fat?
Well…it’s because she heard me use the F word. After a delicious meal I’d say, “Oh…I feel so fat.” Or I might say things like, “I’m so fat in this.”
Raising children in a city like Las Vegas, where you are bombarded with billboards of strip clubs, pool parties on the Boulevard, bikini parades, and where most women pay $$$$ so they can look like Holly Madison isn’t like raising children in other cities. Where body image is everything, and obesity is now a national epidemic, I feel like I need to take extra care of how I portray a beautiful body to my daughter. Beauty isn’t about having a small waist or big bust. Beauty is about being healthy.
I haven’t lost all that weight with any crazy diet or work out regime. We’ve simply taken on a clean and healthy active life style. I love food as much as the next person. I’ve even been told that I eat like a man. Give me a bacon cheese burger and fries, and I’ll clean my plate and wash it down with a beer. Cutting out processed foods, refined sugars, family walks, and even goofy family dance parties to break a sweat are just an example of what I mean by a clean and healthy active lifestyle.
So, the next time my stomach is about to burst from a delicious meal, I’ll think twice before using the F word.
November 2, 2012
I am thankful for my friends I’ve made since moving to Las Vegas
It is not always easy when you are a blind mom in the burbs of Las Vegas. This isn’t the most pedestrian friendly city. Between the hot tripple digit summers, the wind storms, the freezing winters, I can’t exactly walk everywhere with my little ones in their double stroller. There have been many times I’ve called friends to pick up milk, diapers, or even just to come over and read me the dosage directions to a new box of medicine.
When the word got out about the wreck, concerns and support came pouring in. Everyone wanted to know if there was anything they could do.
The stress of my hubby’s accident kept me in a sour mood for days. Once my friends found this out, they all made it their goal to put some sweetness back into my mood.
I don’t have any family in town, so knowing there are friends who I can call at any time of day or night for any particular reason helps to make Las Vegas feel like we live in a small close knit community. We take turns watching each others’ kids. We borrow each other’s clothes and jewelry, We share recipes. We go out for drinks. We gossip over coffee. We throw each other birhtday shindigs and showers. We hand down our children’s clothing. We understand that sometimes things come up. We don’t judge or criticize, but rather offer comfort and hugs.
I wish all of my friends could live in the same city as me, but then there’d be no reason for me to visit SF, Austin, Tampa, Seattle, Virginia, Hawaii, China, Sweden and everywhere else in the world.
As I looked at myself in the mirror this morning while I was brushing my teeth, it really hit me how much my life has changed. I was slightly hung over from the margaritas I had at the concert the night before. I had dark circles around my eyes, thanks to the lack of sleep that accompanies motherhood. My husband was stretching on the bedroom floor, son babbling in his room down the hall, and daughter snoring in my bed. I couldn’t help but smile and thank my lucky stars for such a wonderful way to start a day.
My first time in Las Vegas was in October of 2005. My then boyfriend, now husband of five years, was moving here for work and I decided to keep him company on his drive out. I was still in college, doing the clubbing, shopping, cramming, and sleeping in until noon on weekends lifestyle. As he decided to leave Sacramento, I too decided that I was ready for a change. I had just attended my first NFB of California State Convention and realized that my, “Fake it till you make it,” philosophy was not working as well as I wanted it too. I decided that I was going to put the rest of college on hold and learn Braille, and did so by becoming a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind just a few months later.
In October of 2006, I left LCB and my safe bubble of friends who lived just a few doors away with positive blindness philosophy oozing out of my pores, and stepped off the plane into the next three years which would be filled with depression, denial, and distancing.
If you know me at all, then you know that I am a social butterfly. I thrive with the company of others. I am always smiling and love to share it with just about anyone. But, I had know idea what moving to Las Vegas was going to be like. I didn’t know anyone besides my husband and his twenty year old sister, who had her own social life that I had rather not tag along on. All of the confidence that I’d gained in Louisiana seemed to disappear after a month or so. I started to sink more and more into depression the more and more I allowed myself to stay isolated. This is probably why I volunteered so much time and energy with the NFB. So much time and energy that it started to take a real strain on my marriage. I was gone all of the time. I jumped at any chance to hop on a plane taking me to events all over the country. I even left for a summer internship in Baltimore right after we got back from our honeymoon.
Then in October of 2009, I was just weeks from having a baby, house hunting, putting together a state convention, and feeling like I was the ball in the pinball machine getting tossed all over the place. I didn’t realize how much having a baby would change my life, she was the anchor to steady me and keep me grounded,
On October 8, 2011 the last piece of the puzzle was put into place when my son was born. Yes, exactly one year ago, I was holding my brand new baby boy wishing that time would stand still.
But of course it didn’t, and it is now October 2012. My son has just turned one and tonight his big sister helped him blow out his candle on a mini cheesecake. He is now walking, actually running all over the house chasing his sister and our dog, sometimes going so fast he forgets how to slow down or stop and runs into walls. I have made so many incredible friends whom I love and consider like family. And we will all be celebrating Jackson’s first birthday this Saturday in the form of a pirate party complete with bounce house and all.
I might not have a killer body, six digit pay check, drive a fancy car, or wear designer clothes, but this is the life. I could never possibly ask for anything more. And I am so thankful for everything and everyone that I have in my life.