Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bachelor of Science, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Giving my stole of gratitude to the man who help me the most, lifted me higher, strengthened me, and believed in me. And he is darn handsome, to boot.

Walking across the stage felt like pageant walking (head up, shoulders back, don't forget to smile and make it look natural, DON'T TRIP!).

Lots of cheers and "GO MOM!" and woot-woots.

Being thrilled for myself and my sister CSEDers (Dave, you also count as a sister CSEDer, brother). We worked so hard for this!

In awe of my family's love for me.

In awe of the extravagant flowers they presented to me as I walked out with my fellow students. Whoa, does a tiara come with this?

Wishing my parents could have been there. They will be in two years when I get my M.S.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Advocacy never ending

Mr. Wonderful gave me a certificate for a spa day last Christmas. Today was the day (I finally have time now that finals are over) and I was really looking forward to some pampering. The spa I went to was voted the best spa in the Boise area. It was beautiful. Incredibly busy (not very quiet) but I expected that since I booked a day the weekend of Mother's Day. That was okay. It was going to be divine.

The manicurist was great. She helped me pick a color (OPI 'I'm not Really A Waitress') and assured me that I could carry off that color on my short nails. Made me think of Dandelion Mama's post about her short nails. We talked about her kids, my kids, cupcakes (she is tweaking recipes to start a side business in gourmet cupcakes) and how to take better care of my dry hands. She told me how great the massage therapist was that I was scheduled to see next (and she was oh-so-right). The conversation was pleasant at my table. Then, during a pause, my ear started tuning into the conversation at the next table.

"She really started making bad choices", the nail tech at the next table was talking about her sister to her client. "I swear she smoked herself retarded." Both started laughing.

I froze.

Normally, I would speak right up to the person who uttered the 'R' word. But I didn't say anything this time. I did not think it was appropriate in this setting. Instead I made a note to email the spa tonight and let them know that while I appreciated their excellent services, there was one thing in which they could improve. That choice of vocabulary is unacceptable.

I know I've said it before (and that I am preaching to the choir). The word "Retarded" is not interchangeable with 'stupid'. Using that word in that context is hurtful and demeaning.

As much as I enjoyed the spa, the memory that will probably last the longest is the choice of words of the nail tech. I wonder if my email will make any difference.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Things To Celebrate

ISATs (Idaho Standard Achievement Test) was underway last month. Moms know the drill: make sure you kids get a good night's sleep, a good breakfast, and be sure to send them off with a positive attitude.

I remember taking standardized tests by filling in bubbles on a paper test using a #2 pencil. No longer. My kids take state standardized tests on the computer. They are immediately given their scoring when they are done. Not sure how I feel about my elementary kids seeing that score. At least I wasn't sure until last week.

Thirdborn came running home to announce the news: "MOM! I scored 'Proficient' on my Language ISAT!" My jaw dropped. This is the kid who was diagnosed with dyslexia, disgraphia, Audio Processing Disorder, and a Language Disorder. He has been in language therapy with the school's SLP since he was diagnosed. He just scored 'Proficient' and he wanted to celebrate.

I talked to his resource teacher yesterday. She confirmed that he did indeed score 'Proficient' on his Language ISAT. She took him around the school to let him share his news to all those who have been working with him. This is a very big deal. So tomorrow (when we all have an hour) we shall celebrate ISATs. Thirdborn wants to go get a milkshake at his favorite place.

Firstborn competed at the Idaho HOSA (Health Occupation Student Association) state competition last month as part of his Sports Med program. His PSA video won first place at the state competition and will be taken to nationals this summer. If he wins, the award is scholarship money. He is thrilled just to make it to nationals. Also, Firstborn just got a job(!) as a developmental therapist. Turns out, having a sister with Down syndrome, a CPR certification, and experience from all the volunteer work he has done with DS foundations and Special Olympics makes him very marketable as a DT. He is thrilled to have a decent paying job with benefits. He has no time to celebrate, so that will have to wait when he graduates from high school at the end of the month.

I get to celebrate Mothers Day on Sunday, graduate from ISU on Monday, and celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Might as well start the party now. Today is Cinco de Mayo. And my twin sister's 22nd wedding anniversary.