Thursday, May 28, 2009

Win, Lose and Draw

Win - Tom interviewed for a different job title at the base. He is the new Unclassified Operations Engineer. He doesn't know if it's just a job title or if there is money behind it. Woohoo! Kudos to him.

Lose - The city can't seem to find where the storm and sanitary sewers mix, but the result is somebody else's s@#t in my basment - it finally came up from the base of the toilet and over the shower edge last night. We tore the playroom carpet out and have talked to insurance, backhoe, plumber and flooring folks today. I am so glad Tom had planned to take today off as his "Memorial Day." We are trying to figure out where the best place is to put a check valve so it can't backflow. The mayor informed me today that they are working on a grant to find the problem. Gee, thanks! I told them there were still problems and got blown off 6 months ago.

Draw - PAT may or may not be gone, pre-k may or may not be around in the fall (could you make a decision, please?) but my kid is signed up for the private preschool in town just in case. I love C to pieces, but he needs to go somewhere!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Death of a Program - PAT

It's a sad week in our school. Illinois budget cuts have hit close to home. You'll all be happy to know that Parents As Teachers has received its grant approval for next school year. Unfortunately, there's no $$ to go with it. Our school system hasn't gotten paid for PAT since December. They have elected to cut the program altogether for next year, since the state isn't timely in it's payments. If the state starts sending $, the full-time and part-time teachers could be rehired, but it's not likely, and they might actually need to move on with their lives and earn a paycheck. Those are the facts.

Here's the emotion. I have spent 7 years of my life involved with PAT. Janet had to chase me down in the midst of gutting our bathroom and redoing plumbing in the basement when Evan was born. Boy, she was persistent in that "new baby" visit! Lynn entered the picture about the time Colby was born. They have walked with and supported us through the 2 kids, infertility and ovary surgery, Tom's illness, several deaths and how to help the kids cope, my adventure in providing home daycare and getting Colby into speech. And we aren't exactly an "at risk" family!

PAT has been cut in the hopes of saving the pre-k program, but it's part of the same grant funding. If there is no $, there is no pre-k. I was counting on that for Colby next year. There is another preschool in town, and we are lucky to have been fairly untouched by the economy. I can pay for Colby to go to preschool. There are plenty of his classmates whose parents cannot. What about the truly "at risk" folks in town? I have seen a few through my daycare days. It's not pretty.

I am so appreciative of what the PAT program has provided us. My kids have now aged out of the 0-3 years, and I am grateful for the learning they have received. Unfortunately, we are now in a town with no commercial day care, and no school involvement for the 0-3 years. It's one more strike against the youth of our community. What does our town offer my kids to come back and raise their kids here? No jobs, nothing in the community for the twenty-somethings except bars or church, nothing for the young family until they are old enough to play city baseball. I was raised in a large college town, and chose to live my adult life in urban areas. I didn't want to live in this cornfield when we got married. My job was 40 miles away. Tom's family was here, and he didn't mind a crazy commute. I went from working 1 1/2 jobs to part-time with a baby and the only people I knew were the family I married into. I needed PAT to help me meet the folks in town and make connections to survive. PAT is one of the first community activities I got involved with. I found people from church there, and we still meet every Thursday for "Jesus Lite," aka Women of Faith.

So when the state has gone to hell in a handbasket and nobody from Illinois can pass literacy tests in 25 years, here's why. Political decisions were made by corrupt politicians with no thought about the future. I won't have social security. Our kids won't have early intervention when they need it. Stop making my children pay as adults for stupid shit we are doing now!!

Soapbox away.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What a wonderfully boring weekend! Saturday was the city-wide garage sale. There wasn't much to buy nor a ton of folks to buy it. It rained all last week and Saturday's forecast was iffy, so I think folks just skipped it altogether. Bummer. I want a loveseat for my basement. Tom spent Saturday afternoon hanging stuff on the walls. I love my new curved shower curtain, and there are finally (10 years later) pics on the living room walls. I figured out that we really need to re-frame the Ansel Adams prints that I bought at someone else's garage sale 2 years ago. Maybe that's why they never went up when I bought them.

Sunday was spent with my sister and bro-in-law and their kids, his parents and my mom. Kate and Maddie had their spring dance recital, conveniently held at a former school with a playground for the boys (Zach and mine) when they got bored - about 3 minutes after we got there. My BIL stumbled onto a batting cage with a machine. It was fun watching the big boys take a swing, and my nephew helping Colby to hit a few balls. Don and Tom could still hit a few at 88 mph.

This week brings Evan's first coach-pitch baseball game, and the rest of my Mother's Day - Billy Joel and Elton John with my friend Jill from Columbia, and working next weekend.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


0712 AM - Mommy, I went poopy!

This was followed by me finding wet undies on the floor and realizing he woke up wet, removed his undies, and crawled into our bed to get warm and dry. Thank you for at least removing your offensive undies.

Happy Mother's Day to all my favorite moms. We are off to spend the day with my sister and mom to watch her girls dance recital.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sarcoidosis and Other Things

Nine weeks later, Ladies and Gentlemen, the diagnosis is sarcoidosis, by default. The petri dishes didn't grow and Tom's symptoms largely have disappeared. What is sarcoidosis? Click on it to go to the National Institute of Health website for more than you ever wanted to know unless you have been diagnosed with it. The short version - a chronic auto-immune disease that can be treated with steroids and immune-suppressing drugs. Tom's version - we won't treat with anything unless he becomes symptomatic again. It does go into remission, but I'm not sure you are "cured." He will follow up with the fine WU folks every 6 months for several years and repeat CT scans and lung tests. This is a live-able diagnosis.

Today was the zoo field trip for first grade. It has rained many years in the past when the first grade goes to the zoo, and today was no exception. But a good time was had by Evan and his pal T. I have seen FB pics from T's mom at the science center and the turtles, so they are having a blast.

I am trying to navigate the SIU-E Speech program for Colby - it's not nearly as convenient as 2 blocks away from home, but it's almost 4x the amount of minutes and they don't take the summer off. Things to think about...