That time today when my parents were talking about ass

We have been without power for over 25 hours now thanks to the storm. Earlier today my babies were getting antsy so I decided to take them to the rez to visit my parents. While there my parents decided to make me coffee (because they are awesome) over the fire. As I walked towards the fire pit I overheard this conversation…

“Geez you got a little ass” (ok I don’t know why I didn’t turn around but I thought I was mistaken)

“This is my mothers ass” (um, awkward)

“Eee as if, that’s my little ass!” (now I had to interrupt and was all….”wth??”)

And my mom said, “look, Dad  is chopping wood with that little axe. “

Thank goodness they were talking about axe

#BloggessBook Inspired Post: That Time I Was Airborne

I loved Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and have been enjoying chatting about it with our #BloggessBook club on twitter.  It was hilarious when @speechtechie and I realized we had both been ejected out of moving vehicles during our childhoods.  The stories are funny now, or at least we thought so.  I promised @atklingensmith that I would write a blog post about my experience so here we go…

It was a beautiful sunny day and I was feeling grand.  I had a brand new aqua Cabbage Patch jogging suit on and I had enjoyed a Happy Meal for lunch.  I hadn’t gone to school that day because I had been at a dental appointment (which was why I had eaten McDonald’s…this was a treat I mostly only had if I had a medical appointment.)  I rode along with my parents and my younger brother Wilton (known then only as Macho because he was HUGE) in the truck as I clutched my awesome book bag (a brown corduroy briefcase type thing I borrowed from my mom because I thought it made me look older.)  I remember sitting against the door looking out the window at the trees.

Next thing I knew I was looking up at the sky, unable to catch my breath.  When I finally could take a breath I realized my mouth was full of mud (first thought – MY CLEAN TEETH!) and when I glanced around I saw I was lying in a mud puddle in the ditch. (SECOND THOUGHT – OH NOES MY JOGGING SUIT!!!) My dad checked if I could wiggle my toes and move my fingers (he used to be an orderly) and when he saw I could he lifted me up and carried me to the truck, where my mom held me on her lap for the final kilometer to our house.  They put me on their bed and left me to rest.  My brother was horrified, he stayed with me the whole time and told me, “please don’t be dead or crippled.” I sent him to make me a snack and get me a drink because I ain’t no fool.

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My mom said it was so sudden, one second I was talking and the next I was gone.  They heard a hard sickening THUMP (I had flown out clutching my beloved borrowed briefcase and had whacked it against the side of the truck) and thought that it was my head hitting the truck.  My dad jumped out of the truck and it went into the opposite ditch. Oddly (as if flying out of a truck wasn’t odd enough) I was still holding the briefcase.  My dad looked at the area later and said it looked like I hit the treeline (broken branches) and bounced into the ditch.

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My dad was furious with himself and the truck and welded the door shut. Later he realized that was also unsafe so he sold the truck because he still couldn’t stand to look at it.

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I’m pretty sure I’m fine and had no lasting effects but quite honestly, my childhood was full of crazy, horrifyingly awesome things.  It’s a miracle I escaped unscathed but I wouldn’t change anything.  It formed my twisted crazy eccentric personality.  Then again, I would change one little thing…I think my mom threw my Cabbage Patch jogging suit and the briefcase away because I never saw them again. Uncool.  They were both super sweet and awesome.

Greetings and Salutations

I laugh when people think of my title as an intellectual or fancy way of saying hello. I got that line from Charlotte’s Web (still love that book.)  What was your favourite book as a child? Mine was Morris the Moose Goes to School.  Clearly I have always been a bit of a bookworm, and it is something that I am trying to encourage in my children.

Thankfully it is working, they love to be read to and to be read to.  I admit my little speechie heart beats a little faster when my Cielo asks if we can “practice my sounds.”  She just loves the Jolly Phonics program she is learning in Kindergarten.

Yesterday I had a great day, actually I had so much good fortune I probably should have bought a lottery ticket.  I started off my day with a meeting with my Education Director at work.  That went well and I was off to print copies of all the assessments I have done so far this year for filing in central office.  I stopped at the IT department to inquire if I could have my (crappy old) laptop connected to the wireless printer.  He tried but apparently my computer had no CD rom drive and other assorted “ailments.” This came as no surprise to me as often it takes multiple attempts to even turn on; sometimes I even get a “NO OPERATING SYSTEM DETECTED” error message (that can’t be good.)  My Ed Dir came to give me a copy of the agenda for Friday…they started talking about my laptop and I ended up leaving the room with a brand new work laptop.  It is not mine to keep, but as a contracted employee I do not usually get employee perks so I was tickled. (Lucky thing #1)

Then I went for lunch with a group of area SLPs.  None of us have many colleagues so we have taken it upon ourselves to network independently.  It was great fun and I enjoyed telling them about twitter.  They thought I knew a lot of people online, and I guess I do. (Good thing #2)

I finished up at work and then grabbed myself a Tim Horton’s.  Last stop of the day was for gas at a First Nations gas station (tax free fuel.) When I arrived home my husband had a delicious mexican meal all ready for us. (Lucky thing #3)

Later on in the evening I got the news that we may be getting a Christmas Bonus from the rez this year. (Fortunate thing #4)  Later on my dad arrived with some early Christmas gifts. (Sweet thing #5)

Much later I got a phone call from the gas station.  I won their nightly Christmas draw and won a $100 gift certificate for their store! Hello? Free gas? Holla!! (awesome thing #6)

TOTALLY PUMPED FOR TODAY! Bring it universe!

Be Still My Heart

Today was Cielo’s first day of Kindergarten.  Well, actually today was her “interview” with the teacher and her orientation to the room.  Basically she was super excited to go to school with her new backpack and was ready for the adventure to begin. (Until we had to leave because she 1. didn’t want to leave and 2. didn’t want to leave her school supplies behind.)

I am so proud, nervous, happy and excited.  My little girl is growing up whether I am ready for it or not.  I am just thankful that she still thinks Dora is awesome and that I am still her best friend.

She holds my heart in her hands

Mommy may not be ready for this, but I know you are my girl.  I love you and I’m so proud of you.

Cielo - 1st Cree Prime Minister of Canada

Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton/CASLPA 4th Annual Autism Conference – Jan. 13-15, 2011

Disclaimer: it is EMBARRASSING how long this post has been sitting in my drafts folder. 

To say that I was excited to attend this conference would be an understatement. I was especially excited to get the chance to hear Temple Grandin speak. We all began gathering in the lobby at 7:30 am…I didn’t mind being there so early because I wanted a good seat. There were over 800 people registered to hear Temple’s keynote address and she did not disappoint us. I couldn’t believe that the first person I saw when I walked in was Temple. She was seated and autographing copies of her books. I quickly got in line to buy one and I got her autograph. I managed to get a great seat and even got to sit with 2 Special Education teachers from 2 of the schools I serve . The three of us were enthralled! (OK mostly me, but they totally humored me.)  The only thing that disappointed me about her talk was that we didn’t get a copy of her presentation slides in our handouts. (She said it was, “all in her books.”  Girlfriend has A LOT of books y’all.)  The following are a few quotes that I found in my many scribbled notes:

“My mind works like google images.”

“I learned ALL concepts using specific examples.”

“Some kids you can open from front, others you have to sneak in the back.”

“Kids need consistent discipline at home and at school – same rules both places!”

This is my only picture of my bestie Temple that wasn’t blurry

The afternoon of the first day seemed dry by comparison to some people, only because everyone was so excited for the morning. (That and we had been up so early.) I was still excited to meet someone so famous in the field of Speech Pathology and I was glad I had another work friend at my table. We were ready to hear Lori Frost; Lori Frost is the creator of PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and her presentation was on the “Top Ten 10 Myths of PECS.” I wish it had included more information about utilizing the PECS system but I guess she still wants people to attend PECS workshops. The main takeaway message I got was that PECS isn’t boring and that all picture systems are not PECS. Following Ms. Frost was PECS research information presented by Julie Koudys. She was extremely excited about PECS. I was surprised to learn that the population from her study came from Saskatchewan, near Regina. (I thought it interesting since she was from out east.) I think it was hard for some people to focus on her presentation because she was at the end of a long day, following very famous speakers (not me tho, cuz I’m an AMAZING listener.)

Lori Frost is my homegirl

I spent the final two days of the conference listening to Amy Weatherby.  I particularly loved all the video clips Amy Weatherby showed, providing concrete examples of autism. She seems to show great respect for technology, and even said, “I think iPads are going to revolutionize things for children and adults.” I was glad she even gave us recommendations for all the great speech and language therapy applications that are available for iPad and iTouch. She provided a  link to the FREE autism video glossary.  She also provided a link to her website, which has diagnostic checklists and information for parents and professionals.

I cropped the part where we were holding hands.

I am incredibly thankful that my work sent me to this conference (ALL EXPENSES PAID…HOLLA!)  It was amazing to be there with my colleagues and to learn from leaders in the field.  I met many other SLP’s (and a CASLPA employee) and I had an all around marvelous time. *throws confetti and spins around*