Friday, September 28, 2012

Mama vs School... Is it time??

When do you think it is time to blow the whistle on the school when they are not following an IEP?  I understand that it is illegal not to follow the IEP; but at what point do you really pull the 'you're not in compliance with this legal document' card?  Advice, opinions, and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

I found out yesterday, through casual conversation with Sadie's aide, that there are a few issues with this year's schedule.  First, I have to say that Sadie has the BEST aide on the planet.  She is wonderful, kind, works hard, and takes the extra steps to help Sadie with inclusion.  Her aide is going to school to become a teacher and you can tell that she loves to teach and really cares about the kids: especially Sadie.  Also, the reason Sadie has an aide is because she is a runner.  The school is an open campus and there have been two different times she ran into the parking lot (and once more she was released by a teacher and she wandered around trying to find me in the parking lot).  This parking lot is located next to a very busy street. 

So here's the scoop:

1) Her aide does not stay with her during lunch (because this is her break time) and there have been two 4th graders assigned to walk Sadie from the lunch area to the playground. Nobody is assigned to making sure she stays on the playground and doesn't run off.

2) Her aide drops her off for resource then goes back into the general ed. classroom to help the teacher out.   (My thought is this would be a great time for her aide to see how to modify her work and follow through with what she is learning on her level)

3) Her teacher does not modify her work- the aide does. 

4) Because of the mix of children in the school this year, Sadie does not go to Math 5 times a week for 30 minutes a day as stated in her IEP.  She only goes 3 times a week- which means she is shorted 60 mins a week or 36 hours a year.  Considering the fact that she is already behind and it takes her longer to learn, this seems like a huge disservice. 

I was able to briefly talk to the resource teacher to ask her what was best for Sadie, but she seemed worried about making sure the IEP was honored and said that she may have to put Sadie in class with older kids when higher math is being taught.  Sadie is really enjoying and thriving in school this year and I would hate to enforce the IEP just to put her in a class where it stresses her out because the material is beyond her level and the kids are too old.

Please... any thoughts?  I am not a complainer; but I feel like 36 hours less of math is huge!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Harsh Reality.. In My Opinion

I've been letting this next post kinda marinate for a week now.  I know I have strong feelings about the topic... I just hope I am able to express my thoughts keeping the big picture in mind and that those reading will not get caught up in being politically correct.  Maybe, just let what you read sit with you for awhile before becoming offended or angry :)  If  you feel differently, I would love to hear your thoughts too.

I've always had this thing about trying to make sure Sadie looked 'cute'.  I have three older girls, so pretty dresses, cute hair styles, fashionable outfits is no new thing around the Teague home.  But, with Sadie... I have found myself a bit more controlling about it.  That doesn't mean I always succeed- especially those days I am literally sitting on Sadie's back and brushing her hair like a bad round of WWF.  There has been the not so cute bangs, the very short bangs, the too short and tight shirts that caressed her Buddha belly, and the jeans that either a) are too short or b) are too big causing her to have a bad case of 'plumber butt'; but overall she leaves looking clean and cute.

I'm no fool!  I know this is a case of pride and in the grand scheme of things is very worldly and her outfit will make her no better of a person.  I've tried to loosen up- really I have.  I know exactly why Sadie looking 'cute' is important to me.  You know why too... Chances are you probably won't say it out loud.  That would be awful and shallow.

Now, let's go back a week.  I'm sitting in the first class of the school year at the Learning Program through our local Down Syndrome Association.  The topic (not word for word) was basically 'How to have a successful relationship with your child's school'.  To say I was overwhelmed with all the information being pelted in our direction would be an understatement.  I made a few notes under the 'if I ever get super powers' category.  Great ideas, support, and action plans for being that approachable and easy to work with mama.  Then, like it was an after thought, the presenter says something like 'You always want  your kids to look good.  Don't think you can always shop at target.  Go buy the nice surf shirt- Heck, I spend more money on his clothes than I do mine.  If you think people want to work with someone who is not nicely groomed... think again.  Sometimes I see a child and think- that would look dorky on a kid without Down Syndrome.  Please don't wear that!'

Your probably thinking... wow, lady- harsh!  Because that is the PC thing to do.  The 'everyone is a child of God and we are all beautiful in the inside' thing to do.  I wish that was what I was thinking; but it wasn't.  I was like, "Amen sister!  I am a believer."  Yeah, I'm embarrassed.  I like to think 'I don't judge a book by it's cover'.  I like to think I look in the inside and embrace a person's soul.  Why then, do I feel so strongly about my Sadie 'looking cute'?

BECAUSE.... that's why.  Because, people do like working with nice looking people.  Because, kids like to have friends that look cool.  Because, I don't want shallow people to only see DS when they see my Sadie... BECAUSE she is so much more!  Because, no matter what I believe about everyone being a child of God and everyone being equal in His eyes... THE WORLD DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!

Just yesterday, I was picking up Sadie from a church activity.  A friend I have known all of Sadie's life was sharing some observations she had while teaching the girls how to exercise.  Basically she said Sadie is so cute (over and over) and then shared with me that  her son and daughter-in-law (in her late 30's) have not had a child yet.  Because of her age she has a higher risk for having a child with DS.  She then said after watching Sadie (and  other Down's kids- her words don't slam me) she sees how easy going and loving they are (haha, easy going- what?).  Then she said, "it wouldn't be so bad.  It would be nice.  Not that I would ever wish for it; but it would be good if it happened".  Before you get all DS advocate on her- she was honest, loving, and she has not made the journey we have... so I took it as a compliment; because I truly believe that is where it was coming from.  Anyway, until yesterday because she had never worked directly with her... all she knew of Sadie was how cute she was dressed on Sunday, how cute she looked singing infront of the congregation, and how much we adored her.

I think my daughter shared a good example of what I am trying to say.  She had a friend in school who had a deformed hand.  My daughter is no stranger to accepting others and how the differences in others do not define who they are. However, a couple of weeks ago she said, 'Mom, she is so cool.  For the longest time all I could think about was her hand.  Now that I know her... I hardly remember her hand.' 

I wish everyone knew my Sadie for who she really is.  She is funny, smart, stubborn, kind, loving, crazy, and compassionate.  Unfortunately, that is not who a majority of the world sees when they first meet her.  Too many see Down Syndrome.  Until they can peel the layers and get to know the real Sadie... I'm going to play the game and dress her cute!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Wetsuit, a runway, and a camera

Tis' the season for backyard fun!  Black Widows have been sprayed, dirt has been swept, and new fun toys fill the backyard in effort to distract dear Sadie from scaling the pool fence.  Unfortunately, this smart little first grader has figured out how to unlock the poolgate... so, outside fun is closely monitored. 

When Sadie was little I heard/or read once that children with DS do not 'do creative/imagination play'.  I'm not sure why (and honestly have not seen that to be the case); but it has always bothered me.  I think it goes back to my homeschooling days when I heard 85% of kids are creative at the age of 5 and by 20 only 5% of the population is creative. Sadie's creative play is always heavily influence by Disney Channel, DVD's, Nick Jr., and the endless youtube music videos she watches... so I'm not sure how much of that is imagination?  Anyway, here's a funny scene - influence by her one of her sister's, and her friends, favorite pastime's (I'm almost too embarrassed to say it)- Rupaul's Drag Race!

Daddy's wetsuit makes for a perfect runway curtain..

Work it Girl!

 Yeah, you got it!

 The ever popular 'Hairflip'
 And again...

 She walked that Catwalk at least a dozen times

Monday, June 11, 2012

A 17 yr. old, 900 miles, a roomate, and a new life....

What do you see when you look at this picture?

I see someone who has found her wings
Someone who has discovered her divine potential
and has found courage and confidence...

I see someone who is happy, validated, and hopeful....

and I am GRATEFUL!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Who's up for a little Country Boogie??

It's starting to happen more and more... you know, when you have a smorgasbord of feelings bubbling inside of you and you don't know whether to cry, laugh, smile, or shout from the rooftops how proud you are of your kids.  Yeah, that's me... the crazy lady in the corner who you ask why she is crying and she burst out in laughter that she isn't quite sure.  Today, I picked my very sore and hurt body up and drove through our California Mountains (otherwise known as little hills or bumps in the road) to take Hannieo to perform for families and children who lives have been struck with Childhood Cancer.  Of course Sadie is always up for watching a 'show' so she hopped in the car, hair still wet and not brush, and joined us for an afternoon of some country music. 

I was curious to see the show because this is the same show they are taking to the opening of CarsLand at California Adventure Disneyland this summer and I will not be able to see her because I do not have a pass.  A whole different story of how Disneyland decided to raise their prices for season passes ridiculously high!!!  Anywho (new word from Sadie)... the show was stellar, as always, but the best part?  That came after when the big kids (yes Hannah is a big kid measuring at 5' 8" at 13 years old) were asked to grab someone and teach them a dance.  fun, fun, fun!!  I was touched at Hannah's enthusiasm, kindness, patience, and easy going nature as these youngings had a very crash course in the ever popular wedding dance- The Electric Slide.  I like to think my kids are naturally nurturing and kind; but I'm sure having Sadie in our family hasn't hurt.  Well, take a look for yourself.  Introducing.....

Hannah and her new friend from the
Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

Company Kids taking a break from Performing to teach the kids The Electric Slide

She did it!!

Gotta give you one with Sadie and 'Hawk' -
first time she ever touched a horse

Sisters!!  Sadie loves to watch them perform!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blogging vs. Pinterest and Super Moms

Blogging vs. Pinterest - that my friends has been my delima.  It all started last semester when I went from taking Madison to school 3-4 days a week to driving in her math assignment and the occasional testing.  It's like I was fired (gladly) from a part time job that kept me going from early morning until school pickup and afterschool activities.  So, naturally the question would be... "What ever would I do with all my new found time?" 

Honestly, the first month was spent recovering and watching TV if I am to be completely honest.  Then I spent the following month with Dance, dance, dance - costumes, shows, tryouts, etc.  Lastly, I spent a lot of time doing little home improvements.  So... here I sit with lots of thoughts and creative energy ready to be let go and my next fork in the road found me looking to one side- my blog.  I've missed being able to spill my thoughts; but I haven't missed the emotions it brings up- which of course leads to sleepless nights and grumpy mom in the morning.  And down the other road? This road I see all my friends having a blast on Pinterest turning all their creative energy into yummy meals, cute decorating projects, and of course 'the never to be topped' teacher gifts.  Oh, the delima which I faced...

My blog won!  I know the days of browsing and reading blogs has passed; but frankly, I find it cheaper than therapy and I don't have to do my hair and makeup! So, my journey begins.... AGAIN.  So much has happened in the past 6 months I can't even imagine where to start.  I will leave you with an article I was featured in for OC FAMILY about Super Moms.  DISCLAIMER: I have never claimed to be a Supermom; infact I am very honest that most days I wake up hoping for the best and going to sleep wishing for a 'do-over'.  And in the past 7 years I have spent more hours in 'timeout' or crying in my room than all four of my children combined.  The article was taken from 4 1/2 pages of typed responses- so, it is a very abbrevated short version of all the things we talked about.  I will most likely post the whole interview (in pieces) because while answering the questions I did a lot of soul searching and learned a lot about myself.

Here's the article: (PAGE 72)

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's a bird... It's a plane...


Sadie was so excited about her 'clean room'.  She lead Scott and I, with closed eyes, into her masterpiece and then proceeded to flop on the floor waving her arms and legs. We won't talk about all the things stacked on her bed or the numerous items she threw into other rooms.  For now we rejoice because Sadie has enough room on her bedroom floor for... Carpet Angels!

P.S.  she cleans the greatroom with equal amounts of talent and enthusiasm.  Just don't plan on sitting on any of the couch cushions!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm back... REALLY I am!

Ok, ok... I know I say it every year BUT, now that summer is about over I am back to blogging. This time I mean it. NO really! See, my older kids do most of their schooling online and sometimes it is hard for me to get to the computer (and really if I'm on I'm at facebook or webkinz); but now they both have laptops and that leaves the home computer to me :) I promise I won't let you down... I know there is someone out there becaue my blog status said it was already viewed 41 times today. So, unless I have a seriously sick stalker I think someone wants to hear about our family :)

Just a few things I will blog later about. I guess you can call it a teaser...

Kiersten graduated (a year early)
She got accepted to the 3 schools (and you'll be surprised which one she chose)
We are on a hunt for Warm clothes (hint, hint)
Her boy got his mission call
She is attending the young adult ward

Madison finished her first year of HS
She is attending PCHS again
She had to make up 47 seminary lessons to pass
She promises to go to seminary this year
She needs to earn some $ to pay for FASKTRACK....

Hannah is ready for her last year in JR high
She has grown about 6 inches an 3 sizes in 6 months
She might get her braces off before Madison (heaven help us)
Her solo is ready and AWESOME
She might get to go on point in December

Sadie has lots of POOP issues (yes I said poop!)
She is starting to read
She has been working hard on counting by 10's
She performed in her 4th dance recital
Watch out Christmas show... she's ready!!!

We'll be back...I PROMISE!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Family Like No Other

The ds community (or family) is made up of every religion, life style, economic status, political view, educational background, race, age, and geographical location. You might find a few similarities; but the common thread is a loved one with ds. We are bound together to fight for our child's quality of life and our desire to break down stereotypes and hatred towards our child.

Three times since Sadie has joined our family I have seen this community go CRAZY and trust me… these women can fight! I mean, we have been trained to be our children's advocates and if we feel our child is in danger… WATCH OUT!! Everytime it starts with an outsider, someone who is posing as a member of the community, who tugs on our hearts. We believe their stories, until their stories get too big, and someone does a little digging.

Who could blame us? Our hearts have doubled in size since our family joined this journey and we feel an instant bond with complete strangers who also landed in "Holland". But, something I have noticed, is when the 'wrong doer' is outed it doesn't stop. People start turning on each other . I think this is where our differences are most obvious. Some of us always want to root for the underdog, many are more seasoned and have put up walls, and others just like to watch the drama. Oh, and don't forget the complications technology has put on our relationships (we can't hear tone of voice or see body language on facebook or a forum). Many statements are misunderstood or blown out of proportion.

I'm not going to get into details; but I have one warning for 'our community'. We need to be cautious but not closed off. We need to keep ourselves open and willing to accept new members. We need to still be supportive and loving to those who are new on their journey. We will probably get duped again and we will rightfully be pissed off. But, maybe next time we can take a quick time out and remember why we are tied together, and respect our differences??

Just sayin'!

Oh, and BTW…. Our differences are what make our family a place where everyone can find someone who understands! Hopefully we didn't scare off any new mama's who need love, support, and guidance.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blast from the past... Sadie 1 year

Sadie Reese Teague 1 year old

Sadie at one year just before her first major surgery. She actually wasn't sitting on her own yet... we had to do the 'mom let go, quick take the picture, grab her again' trick. Sadie was very sick here. She had just spent 4 months fighting aspiration pneumonia and was almost healthy enough to have her surgery. She only weighed 11 pounds here and those are newborn soft shoes she is wearing :) Sadie has always been a very happy baby and never complains- even when she is super sick!

Thanks to Madison for scanning this picture. Looking forward to sharing pictures of all my girls now that we know how to scan :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Can You Guess What
This Little Monkey...


Be Doing
For A Long Time??? Rainbow Bars... Owie!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Guess What Sadie Came Home With?

Today Sadie came home with her first....

invitation to a typical classmate's birthday party! Mixed reactions from mama. First, I smiled and thought... how awesome. Then I thought, how many of these will she be invited to? I know- how lame. I quickly pushed aside that thought and enjoyed this moment with Sadie. She was so excited that I barely got it away from her long enough to write it on the calendar. Which is also the exact moment I realized the party is on Sunday :( We don't let our kids go to parties on Sunday because that is the Sabbath. But, lately we haven't been the best Sabbath observers (really since my kids started to perform on Sundays- heck they even went trick or treating). So, the hypocrite that I am... I'm really thinking of letting her go. Late... because it starts during church... but still letting her go.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last Day of 31 for 21: Halloween with a little blast to the past

Sadie- Minnie Mouse 2010

Early Intervention 2004 Sadie's first Halloween! She is the fourth one on the top of the couch (a black kitty)

Right Before School

Sadie and her friend Kyle. He is so sweet! He even touches her back and makes sure she gets into the door of the class.

Sadie with her class signing a Halloween Song.
The Halloween Parade. This is the only time she wasn't waving and kissing the audience. She thought it was her parade.
Her Kindergarten Class
Gavin and Sadie before the Halloween Party. Just minutes before she hid from us for 10 or 15 of the most scary minutes of my life. Gavin has been home with his forever family from Russia for 2 years. Sadie and Dad (Kip) being interviewed during the Halloween Parade at Church. When the microphone was put in her face she said, "My name is Sadie and I Minnie Mouse for the Halloween time." Awesome, clear, and greatly appreciated by many!
Sadie after giving me a high five and yelling, "I did it!" She was proud of herself. Minnie Mouse (Sadie), Tweedle Dee (Hannah), and Tweedle Dum (Selina)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"It's gonna bite me!"

I just found Sadie in the backyard belting the words to "Get'cha Head in the Game" and almost stepped on a rainy day treat.

Me: "Hey Sadie, look at this long worm."

Sadie: "Ughhhhhh! A snail... it's gonna to bite me" (running and hiding behind the swing)

Me: "It's not a snail it's a worm. Worms eat dirt not little girls. They don't bite Sadie's"

Sadie, "Oh, cool!"

Then she proceeded with an reenactment of High School Musical with the worm as her audience :)
The worm said, "The show warmed it's HEARTS!" sorry... I'm super tired and goofy! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010