Monday, November 24, 2008

Starting off on the right foot (cause the left is stomped flat!)

First- A very big thanks to Kirsten for following my blog. The rest of you- FOR SHAME! (all 2 of you)

Last week was decent. I got a thank you note in recognition of good work isolating candy for self-injurious behavior on one of the students.

This past weekend was fun-filled. Saturday, Matt and I went went to Abbey's 4th birthday party. Lots and lots of family there. Finally met Dennis's parents and siblings, and many many children...many! Sunday was spent doing laundry in Hubbardston while Dennis and Matt went nuts trying to change my oil. First time my oil wasn't changed at a mechanics. So far so good. And the price was more than right! I had more fun playing with the play dough set Matt and I gave her Saturday than either of the kids, I'm sure.

Today we had a new kid at school and I was thoroughly schooled in an autistic tantrum. I thought I'd seen them before- how wrong i was... This wasn't a meltdown. This kid could stop pretty easily during the flops and screams if he was motivated/distracted by the right toy. He responded to directions during his fits as if he weren't desperately trying to bite, hit, kick,stomp, scratch, rip, punch, and anything else he could do to fight. I have never heard a child scream at full force for over an hour straight per tantrum. Just when you thought he'd stop because only a demon child could manage that volume and not get hoarse, he'd start making this very creepy pant and moan (I almost preferred the screaming) and start screaming again. After an hour of just letting him tire himself out on me and trying not to get bitten for a 5th time, I took a breather in the staff bathroom and realized 5 minutes later I had been shaking since I left the room. So I feel justified to just shoving kielbasa in a crock pot and climbing into bed. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind bites and I'm not discouraged. But i was impressed, scared, and drained to an achey blob by his nonstop energy to scream like we were slowly torturing him and he thought if he screamed loudly enough, his mother would hear him 5 towns over! Beet red, wet eyes, foot a-stampin, he won the Brat of the Year award his first day at school. Oh well, quittin' time came and went and now everything is peaceful. ....Oh dear God, he's coming back tomorrow...hide me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Narragansett Wedding

Last Saturday Matt and I went to Rhode Island for Ricky's sister's wedding. After all the stories about Ricky's colorful family I the worst so I could be pleasantly surprised. I mean, when it comes to talk of Deb, all I ever hear are her complainscapades or crazy tirades in the snow while Matt and Nick drop Ricky off and keep driving. Scary. But things were a lot different than what I expected. The weather was miserable on the way up- which bummed me out since, other than living through the ordeal, my goal was to bring back some good oceany pictures for the bathroom wall. Sunday was lovely, if freezing, and we got some good shots before I fell asleep in the truck. The actual wedding was in the same room as the reception in the Narragansett Towers. The Deb was nice and after a few drinks, very welcoming and the life of the party (I'm merciful so I won't include pictures of said life of party, but um WOW) Newport was awesome but freezing so we saw it from the comfort of our car.

Uh Oh!!!! Personal Rant coming! Consider yourself warned!!!!

A trip to Rhode Island, I'm told, takes around 2 hours. OUR trip to Rhode Island took the same amount of time it took to drive back from PA a few weeks ago. We got caught behind that colossal gas spill on 95 and better part of 3 hours in the same 5 mile area. One of the reasons I waited to blog about this was the craziness of people on the road. I was so upset, disgusted, and well, freakin pissed at the shere selfishness of people that a week later I can feel myself start to go off via blog and i was really hoping to avoid that. Because of the long wait and the fact that nobody had a clue what was up ahead, people started trying to use the emergency/ break down lane to get by. Highly illegal and for a good reason. About 20 minutes later an ambulance and other emergency vehicles were pretty much parked, waiting for these (first time I've ever found the term apply-EVER) Massholes to try and finagle back into traffic. They wouldn't do so unless they were gaining ground, so I was left to wonder where the humanity was in people that could sit in their SUVs and know they were blocking help to somebody who could be lying on the asphalt dying. I was out-of-control pissed. And glared at them until they looked my way and saw. I guess I was curious as to what kind of feeling they'd show- apologetic, obnoxious, inebriated?

"Wait we're not the Dunkin' Donuts line? So that MPH sign didn't take my order..:-("

What I didn't get was how I saw a few people glance at those freaks in the emergency lane, but everybody looked away. Most people just stared in front of them. Said freaks were getting off scot free. Drove me nuts. I fumed, I seethed, I even flipped a grandma off who tried to cut back into traffic in front of Matt and didn't take no for an answer. She played chicken with Matt until Matt was forced to let the crazy somethin somethin go. Even the granddaughter was sticking her tongue out and I was fuming. Vengeful. Righteous. Honestly, I figure that if people drive with that attitude, with any luck, they won't be on the streets for long....Jail people. I mean jail.

Anyway, I waited a week to tame down some of the language and hoped by the next Sunday I'd have brand-new, peace keeping perspectives. Oh well. At least we got home safe and had a lovely week (which i will blog about next) Ahh Sunday mornings.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


It feels like I have endless good news.

Yesterday I worked with a kid I didn't have much to do with until Wednesday. For HIPPA purposes, we'll call him D. He's an enigmatic, non-verbal munchkin around 12 and he has the speed and attention span of a rabbit. Wednesday he ran away from me- out of the classroom, away from me- about 4 times. A coworker told me he is very hard to work with and she's gotten in trouble for losing control of him. YIKES! Today I went in with at least 3 ways in mind to improve my work with him and everything worked! As a result, a coworker informed my boss that I handled him very well and did an excellent job today. At the staff meeting there was a public announcement about my awesomeness. It doesn't get much better than that.

This weekend Matt and I are going to Rich's sister's wedding. I've never met Tracy, but I'm excited to go to Rhode Island. We got an excellent deal on a room in a very swanky beach resort for less than everyone else in the wedding party- by a lot. I had planned on letting Matt go crazy and take pictures of the shore for the bathroom. It looks like it's going to rain and rain hard the whole time. Still, I'm so excited. After all, our trip to Maine kicked ass and it was dark and stormy and freezing 80% of the day. Nothing like sideways rain to make you snuggle up and appreciate the atmosphere.

The only downers this weekend are that I'm missing Maddie's birthday and I don't have cumfy yet sexy shoes for Saturday. But Maddie got her presents last week, I still have a day left to shop, and there's a white merlot calling my name!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Air (And Other Nice Things)

So lately I've been feeling a little confused. Recently, I slacked off my blogging routine (yeah, I know. what routine Miss -10 -posts- in -3 -months?) because I just felt like being unemployed and doing pretty much the same thing every day was not blog worthy. See below:
1.Woke up early for no good reason other than self respect.
2. Made lists of all the stuff I was going to get to.
3. 11:30 call from Matt. Puttered around online and did a chore every hour or so. 4.Took a nap.
5. Revised list to include things I'd already done but didn't count so that it looks like I've checked off a lot.
6. Threw out list.
7. Snacked and snacked and snacked.
8. Waited eagerly for my favorite guy to come home.

Now I have some place to go and interesting, often ridiculous, bizarre, or very funny stuff to do. But since I've been getting things together (frequently cooking, having people over, maintaining a decently clean bedroom and possibly kitchen) all I seem to appreciate is how lovely it feels to be in New England. The weather seems charming even when it's not. Warm drinks never tasted so good. It's probably the same temperature in PA- or close to it, but the air in the late afternoon feels so crisp it could break. It's got this satisfying bite to it. And that smell of woodsmoke a few streets over- MMMMMMMmmmmm!!
Maybe I'm focusing on how nice it feels up here to offset the homesickness that followed me back from PA. That's only natural, but I can't help feeling guilty when I don't feel homesick, because my friends and family miss me a lot AND guilty when I do feel homesick, because I have great people around me everywhere- home, work, holden, hubbardston, and across the hall if it's just me at 3-8 and I get lonely. Then I start to worry that I'm overanalyzing everything and missing out on how much fun I'm having building my life. So yeah, I think for now I'll just go with the flow and enjoy the cool, clean air. It's nice.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Help... can't feel my toes

Right now I'm so into that hard day's work feeling. After not working for 2 months, it feels great to get back into the groove. And groove I did. Today I ran a few discrete trial programs and even took some data. We worked on matching "Match book with book, please!" and numbers "Find 2 please!" and 1:1 Correspondence "Count to 6 please!" Everything is followed by a YAY! After ever 5 1 and 1/2 minute periods with no self-biting (SIBs- self-injurious behaviors) my kiddo gets to bounce on an exercise ball for 5 minutes and spent most of those fun times being bounced by me while he pushed off my toes. After his 3rd break, my toes could take no more. After my shower I noticed, upon stretching my legs, that everything hurt a bit except my toes, which are regaining feeling and protesting today's bouncing breaks.

All in all, I find my job easy to jump into, fulfilling, and more demanding than my last stint with these special kiddos. Now that I see how much work is involved in being the head teacher, I'm not nearly as disabppointed I was offered an Assistants position first. Can't wait to start Monday, where a coworker is bringing in lunch for the whole staff. A surprise fusion of African and European. See why I can't wait?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hello. My Name is...

This is one of the several attempts to compensate for ignoring my blog for a loooong time. As I sip my sugar free cider, I am warmed. It's not just the apple cinnamony goodness- cause that's a little too hot right now. It's the knowledge that I'm once again, gainfully employed. Honestly, I did not care for the long wait for a returned phone call, but after two months of job searching, I got desperate. I admit- I was at a loss for purpose. Cleaning up after the boys- um no. I tried. I swear I did! But I need to be out and about. I'm especially good at being about.
So, here's the job situation. When I finally caught Stephanie (and i started calling every hour and then at 3 about ever 8 minutes- soooo pathetic, i know) she offered me an Instructional Assistant position. Here's what that means:
1. I work one on one with a kidlet and swap ever hour or so when needed.
2. I have a head teacher in charge of overall everythings that need done, but works along side me.
3. I have A LOT of room for advance- and advance I shall.

So I'm very excited about working tomorrow morning. WOOHOO!
Hello. My Name is Caitlin. And I'm employed!

Catching up

It occurs to me I've been VERY remiss in keeping up with my blog. That always seems to happen in my blogging history. I just felt there wasn't much to say, but since that never stops me in person, why should it silence my blog?

Just recently, however, there have been several new things I can gladly share. Big things first, I got a call back from West Boylston about the job I interviewed for over a month ago. I was really ticked after I was called back and then never heard from them for weeks, but I guess those clearances take a long time to get in from PA. Still, I'm pretty certain returning a phone call wouldn't have killed anyone- and if so, they should've called anyway! Well, after I called and said I had another offer, but would still love to work at WB because it was so close and I liked them so much (not so much anymore) they called back. Fishy. I should try that a lot from now on. This job is as an ABA aid, not as much money or as high a position as the Evergreen Center job.