Digging Deeper into IEP: What is PLEP?


I was educated this week about new procedures Tricare is now requiring potential and current patients of therapy (OT, Speech, PT and ect) to renew or approve their requests. Due to this, my son’s OT has now been denied twice by insurance. When I called both times they stated it was due to X reason. So I fixed X reason, and it was denied again. Then a few days later Bug’s OT got in contact with me and told me the real reason behind his therapy denials per Tricare. But before insurance would consider renewing his services, they required proof that he was not receiving OT during school hours.  You can no longer receive private therapy if you are also receiving the same therapy provided by the school system. Another way companies are trying to cheat their customers. Another day another post. To solve this issues, Bug’s OT asked for a copy of his PLEP.

<invison jaw dropping here>

For the past three years I have dealt with the special education platform. Being involved with it for three years does not make me an expert by any means, but I have become familiar with some of the parts, pieces and protocols involved with IEP’s and the SPED. So I had to look up what PLEP was and figured since I had to, I’d pass on the knowledge and a little extra to help be one step ahead on understanding your child’s IEP.


The Autism Center for Education has a great resource online here, explaining what PLEP and PLAAFP are. In addition to what they have provided there is also a well written explanation on the steps of how one is put together before the IEP meeting. I don’t see you or I sitting down to write a PLEP or a  PLAAP (unless you are a SPED teacher), but seeing how they are written allows us as parents and advocaters to be one step ahead and educate ourselves on the process so we are able to ask more educated questions about the IEP itself.

Tip{py} Tuesday…Custom Framing…

“My name is (insert name of most of the ladies I know here, myself included) and I love shopping at Hobby Lobby.”  There, we are now part of our own support group.  But seriously, I do love shopping there, it’s been a place of serious retail therapy for me many times.  But one area of the store that I really  never frequented is the custom framing department.  It just felt too “luxurious,” and I assumed I could never afford it.

Recently, I came into some things from my parent’s house when we cleaned it out.  (That’s a whole different story, for a different day).  One of the items was a chalk drawing that my mom and I had done at an Ohio theme park in the late 80’s.

mom pic close up

It was at one of those kiosks off the walking path in the park where you could have funny caricature drawings done, or a more realistic portrait  in chalk.  My mom and I got our profiles done, side-by-side, and I always loved the picture.  We never really did anything with it, my Dad had it propped up in his office in our basement for a while, but eventually I lost track of it.  Imagine my surprise when I found it tucked into a large manila envelope in the the guest room closet of my parent’s  house.  I had thought it was long gone, but here it was.  The page was torn in one corner, the colors a bit faded, but considering it was 25 years old, it looked to be in great shape.  I decided to take it with me, and that I would do something to preserve it so that it could be hung in my home.  Fast forward almost two months later, when I finally got the chance to get to my little project.

I took the picture to Hobby Lobby’s custom framing department and thought I would just ask what they could do with it.  If the estimate was too high, I could always say “no thank you” and be on my way.  The woman who helped me was so sweet and right away could tell the picture was sentimental for me.  She handled it with uber-care, and said that they framed people’s important treasures all the time.

That’s when I found out there are actually a lot of options when it comes to custom framing.  They can build you your own custom frame out of a design of your choice (the pricier option), or you can choose from several “open-frames.”  These are frames already assembled but without the matte or a backing.  They still offer lots of choices as far as size and style, and also just happened to be 50% the particular day I was in the store.  This was a way for me to get a custom frame, but at a more reasonable price.  Yippee!!  I always love a bargain.  I picked out the frame that I wanted, some matting that would coordinate well, and chose a matte glass option (another cool perk of doing a custom frame job instead of just picking up a frame with glass already on the shelf).  Okay, so now time for the price.  I cringed and waited as she crunched some numbers.  The total, with sales tax (10% where I live), was $75!  Now, I know that’s not cheap.  But for the quality of materials that I got, the preservation of a family treasure, and the knowledge that they would do a good job it was well worth the price.  Plus, they turned it around in less than two days!  You can’t beat that as far as I’m concerned!  It takes me longer than two days to do a load of laundry sometimes… 🙂

So, here is the frame in its finished glory, I’m so happy with how it turned out.

mom pic frame

And here it is in its new home, above the piano that also belonged to my mom.

mom pic piano

I’m putting pics of myself with my own two boys next to it, and love the story that the three frames will tell together.  A child with her mother, and then her own two children.  That just feels warm and fuzzy ❤  It will give me a nice place to retreat when things are happening that don’t feel so warm and fuzzy.  Have a great day!

So You Had a Baby? That’s Good: The Story of SB’s Birth


Oh, the fabled birthplan. Sometimes I think it’s a unicorn that can poop rainbows and other times it’s as reliable as the sun rises in the sky. All my birth plans read the same. It was the epidural, epidural, epidural, pain intervention, knock my over the head, drug me up type plan. I wanted to feel no pain. And that’s just what I wanted. And that’s just not what I got.
She was born 8:20 am Honolulu time. If you understand anything about this island is there are about 13 cars per mile. So imagine rush hour with only three highways island wide and only three ways to get to where you need to go in the morning; including a hospital the give birth.
She was my third. So I felt well prepared. I had a dream labor and delivery with Bug and a horrifice 5 day back labor experience with Diva. I thought between those two experiences, I would be prepared for everything in between. However, the birth experience for SB was far to the right of sceniors I could imagine.
It wen something like this:
Labor starts on Feb. 21 at 7pm; right after I lay my two children with ASD down for the night. Routine went well; well as well as it could have gone with daddy who left 6 weeks prior for a year long deployment. Knowing labor could take hours to reach pushing status, I went to bed thinking I was trying to get some sleep. My other thought was I can not go to the hospital until I was 4-5 centimeters because if I wasn’t they would send me home. The logistics of trying to find care for two special needs children day or night was a horror story all in itself. How was I suppose to get them anywhere? No husband and no family. However, since I had some advanced warning, I was able to contact my FRG leader for help. Now, we had a plan. We just need SB to cooperate.
My goal was to not frighten my kids. I achieved that goal, but wasn’t able to hold back my pain when I got an unexpected Skype call from Hubs the morning of the 22nd.
I labored all night and by 6am my contractions were 13 min apart. I figured if I could get Bug on the bus to school and walk Diva to my FRG leaders house I could call a cab and by the time we got to the hospital my contractions would be 10 min or less apart.
Um, ya. You laughing yet? Oh me and my wild plans and unrealistic dreams. When will I learn?
At 6am I went to the bathroom. Wrong move. With in 3 minutes I went from 13min apart to 3 min apart! Apparently, I thought I needed to go, errr, number 2. When in all reality, I was pushing!
However, I still had to get both kids dressed, bags packed, bug delivered on the bus (which didn’t arrive until 730) and Diva deliveried to my FRG leaders house. It was only 630am now. Then the iPad rings; Hubs unknown to the drama going on is calling from Afganastan.
“Hi” he says. I tell him hi, and to stay calm but I was in labor. I had one hand on the wall and one hand holding the iPad, walking from our bedroom down the hall to get the kids ready. Every 3 min when a contraction came, I dropped the iPad to face the floor so Hubs wouldn’t see what was really going on; me in active labor.
I got the kids dressed, called the FRG leader and calmly told the kids they would be going to stay with friends for the night. And panic insued. Question after question was flung my way. Bug wanted to know every exact detail, Diva was worried about her girrafee. All the while I had the iPad propped up on the counter so Hubs was facing the ceiling. I kept telling him the kids knocked it over, meanwhile, I was trying not to push. But I was.
By the grace of God, I was able to keep everyone calm until the bus arrived at 730. I promised Hubs it would be hours before the baby was born  and to go to bed. A bewildered Hubs obeyed and went to bed.
I was getting ready to walk Diva to our FRG leaders house (remember I am in active labor with contractions now less than 3 min apart and WALKING!). When a friend from our troop showed up; in a car with leather interior! She scooped Diva up and ran her down the road then threw me into her car.
She dialed my doula (if you are ever in my situation look up Operation Special Delivery)
on Bluetooth surround sound in the car. Which we a blessing considering my contractions where 2 min or less apart, I was pushing and we were stuck in morning rush hour (remeber there are only 3 highways on this island?!).
We reached the hosptial, but unknown to us, there were no wheelchairs on that side. My friend ran off to find a wheel chair and left me in the car pushing with my doula still on speaker. Next time I saw my friend I promised her I would get her car detailed. Poor girl, she was young, newly married and no kids. I think I scared her for life.
Soon a nurse and wheelchair appeared. Then I started screaming. “Don’t send me home! I’m not going home!”  The hospital policy clearly states you must be 4 cm dilated and contractions less than 2 min to be admitted. They hold very strongly to this policy and since it took me so long to get accommodations for the kids, I was not going home without a new baby.
They get me into the trama bay and onto a bed. I’m still screaming about not going home, clinging into the sides of the bed so if they tried to send me home, they’d have to get a forklift to pry me off that bed. Luckily, through my screams I heard “you’re 9cm!”. They all thought I must have been crazy because I started screaming for my epidural. Remember that fabled birthplan? Yea, that unicorn was dancing circles around me as it pooped rainbows on my head. So much for a controlled labor.
They couldn’t decide if I should stay in triage or move me to a room, but I decided for them when I threw myself back into the wheel chair and was ready to go.
Screaming and pushing down the hall we finally go to the room. Only probably now was I wasn’t 9cm; I was 10. And sitting in a wheelchair pushing out a baby whose water wasn’t broken. So they hilariously asked if I could climb into the bed.
Haha!!! I got to my feet and another contraction hit, I leaned over the bed and pushed. Oops! Next thing I knew two male nurses threw me on the bed. At this point in still screaming for a epidural. They all laughed saying all they could give me was aspirin. What happened to my birthplan! This was not ment to be a natural birth by any means! God created people intelligent enough to make things to help women in labor. I want to use those things.
Sadly enough they were right. By the time they got my my aspirin (yes, I still made them get me something), SB was laying on my chest.
Where was Hubs during all this? Afganastan, remember? Well, now the race was on to find him. Only problem is he went back to bed, locked the door and no one could wake him. Finally, after breaking down the door; they hand him the phone:
Him- “hello?”
Me- “hi!”
Him- “what?”
Me- “um, I had the baby”
Him- “oh, that’s good. Can I call you later?”
Yup. All the day dreams of calling Hubs and announcing the birth of our third with cheers in the background, cigars being lit and “that go man!”, was dashed in a one three second sleepy eyed crusted phone call.
Yes, he did call me back; 7 hours later. This time he was more awake but not much more emotional. Honestly, it was heart-breaking. I wanted him to be excited and thrilled. But in reality, he was emotionless. I chalk it up to his practice of bottling up his emotions during high stress times. I thought maybe when he finally got to meet her for the first time it would be more like the Hallmark commercial I envisioned…. or not.
And with that I say, happy birthday to my not so little SB.


Wordy Wednesday…BAH!

So today was a crazy day in our house. As such, I have no new post for today, but am reblogging one. With PCS season approaching (not right around the corner but soonish), hopefully it’s at least relevant… 🙂

Wordy Wednesday…BAH!


We are getting ready to PCS in a little over a month so we have been doing lots of house hunting.  With every move, there is the question…live on-post or off?  Every post has its own waiting list, and there are positives and negatives of both, so it’s best to do your research and make the best choice for your family.  If you do choose to live off-post, BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) is a term you will become very familiar with.  If you live on-post, your “rent” is covered by the Army and you will not have to pay rent as a monthly bill.  In some places, utilities are free, some you may pay or be credited depending on your utility usage as compared with the average tenant.  If you decide to rent/ buy off-post, you will be given a housing allowance based on rank and whether…

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Tip{py} Tuesdays : DIY Driftwood Pocket Organizer


I am in a project sort of mood. I am currently working on a large cross stitch, decorative spring swag, writing a book and a little something for a friend who is expecting. So really, no much at all. So I decided I should not be so selfish and decided to add in a little heart made love project for Hubs for Valentines Day.

We all have our habits when we enter the house. Some people vomit their belongings all over the kitchen counters (cough) and other throw them in a small designated place were very cute tiny hands can reach.

I decided to fix the issue Hubs was having with his belongings missing, damaged or smudged. I recently went on a great adventure and collected some sea glass and numerous pieces of drift wood.

Piece is driftwood (I suggest a strong yet thinner piece. You need one you can drill through.

Drill (wood bites would be helpful)





Picture brackets

First I found a semi flat piece of driftwood. I wanted some texture to it. So I didn’t want a perfectly flat piece. Next, I hammered in the picture brackets so I could hang it. For my piece I used two. Is make sure it would be sturdy when hanging on the wall. Then I drilled the holes, broke a bit on a hole, had to drill new holes, then finally asked the Hubs to help. Here was the issue- my drill bits were too short to go all the wall through the wood. Which is what you need so you can screw the knobs and handles on. So we found a longer bit and some arm muscles and I drill it. Lastly I twisted the knobs and handles on and hung it up.

Get a drill bit longer than the width of your wood.

We had to go back to the store and get longer screws. The screws that were supplied with the knobs and handles were too short to go all the way through. Something I did not think through at first

Measure and mark your holes before you still. Make sure they line up. My knobs I drilled upwards into the wood. So the knobs were pointed more upward. This way when Hubs hung something on there it would not slide off and hit the floor.

Use a slightly larger drill but than your screw. It will make it easier to slide all the way through. We did buy some washers and used them for holes we made slightly to large.

Finally- use a power/electric screw driver! Do not attempt this project if you think you can accomplish it by a hand powered screwdriver. It will not work, break your screwdriver and leave multiple blisters on your hand. Don’t ask me how I know.