Is a 504 plan Right for Your Child- Via Military Special Needs Network

School starts next week for us (thank you!). Last night was our open house and the children got to meet their new teachers prospectively. Of course new situations don’t come without a few bumps we must maneuver around along the way. On is named Ms. Pérez, who happens not to be Diva’s kindergarten teacher for the entire year. For half of the school year, Ms. Pérez will be the teacher subbing for Diva’s real teacher who is on maternity leave until Christmas. However, at this point I feel that is the least of Diva’s worries.

Up until this point Diva as not been in a public school education or qualified for IEP to obtain admittance to a special needs preschool. She has been tested twice and told, even though she was mute during both testing periods, that would not impact her education and she still passed all the tests. Her passing the tests was remarkable to me since they reported she didn’t say one word, does not know how to spell, read or write. So here we are a year later in a new state and a new school district. Seeing Diva in a preschool setting I feel she will not qualify for a IEP, however, I feel there are certain accommodation. So how do we get those accommodations for her if she has no IEP to write them in? Say ello to my ittle friend… the 504 Plan.

I have been looking for the Dummies Guide to IEP’s and 504’s and found one today. Who can say “awesome sauce”!? Just say thank you to Samantha over at Military Special Needs Network provided us with a great explanation of the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan.


Tip{py} Tuesday…The movie called “Life”

I came across an awesome facebook post today about how one mother is intentionally limiting her kids’ use of electronics.  She wants them to hone social skills, the art of conversation, and not miss teachable moments because they are too buried in technology to interact with her.  Her post can be found here.  A lot of what she said resonated with me.  We try to monitor and limit our kids’ use of technology (i.e., our oldest is able to play angry birds once his homework is done, etc…) but I know it is a crutch I use at times.  Recently we were at a friend’s BBQ and the kids had played outside for the first hour or so we were there.  After eating, I let them go in the house and watch a movie.  She didn’t have children of her own yet, so there wasn’t much for them to play with beyond what we had brought with us.  I think of that type of technology use as “survival,” so to speak.  I definitely don’t want to give the impression that my kids never have screen time, but I like to think that it is a reasonable amount for a 4 and 6 year old.

The other day we were heading home from one of our many appointments (speech and OT) and the kids were upset because they wanted to watch a movie on the DVD player in our van.  “Look out the window,” I told them, “watch the movie called ‘Life’.”


They didn’t understand what I meant, but they did hush up and we did not watch a movie on the way home.  Instead they chatted, fought over some toys in the backseat, and sang Farmer in the Dell.  And I felt good about that.

Thoughts?  How do you limit  your kids’ use of technology?  Are there certain lengths of time you follow?  Certain games you encourage over others?  Have a great day!




Mommy Moment Mondays: My Reaction to Less is Better in Family Size


I was trolling Facebook last week while waiting for my spawn to visit all the oh so lovely snakes in the reptile house at the zoo. I made a adult decision to not expose my children to my fear of snakes and save their ears and noise sensitive bodies to my ear piercing screams. While on Facebook I ran across an interesting article from the blog Tales from the Mommy Trenches.

She wrote a post recently regarding the negative connotation today’s society has placed on families with multiple children and the choice to have medium sized families. I say medium sized because it seems people make some rational justification for families with over 4 children. However, families with between the average 2 and up to 4 require the average Joe to question why. Why would someone want more than two and no more than 4? Take the Duggers for instance. People watch their show with love and respect for a family that can raise a gaggle of children, or the past show Jon and Kate Plus 8. But when someone decides to have a third or fourth it’s met with disgust and questions.

I was fully pregnant with Diva when Bug was diagnosed with Hypogammaglobinemia. Horrifically a friend ask how we could possible consider having more children. I was confused and angered. Being 7 months pregnant I wondered how they thought I would approve and then act on their comment. Did the bulging belly of our second child not ring a bell that our choice of more than one child could not be undone? They never apologized, however they eventually followed up her comment with “your sure defiantly done now.”

Errrr….. Last I knew I was in charge of my own reproductive organs and furthermore, my husband and I were in charge of making decisions for our family.

I guess by the time SB came around they and most others assumed my child bearing days were over. Anytime a fourth is mentioned we get gasps, horrified looks and pity. I love how everyone feel they have bearing and weight on our choices of procreation. Furthermore, why was having one child ok, but additional children a horrific thought? It makes me feel like they see our children as a burden on us; that their diagnosis’s are so time and life consuming the thought of sterilization should be more on our minds.

I just don’t understand why a medium sized family is such a odd personal choice. Maybe it’s because with more than two children- you are out numbered. Then with more than four you can employ the buddy system within the ranks. However, what makes me the most irritated is when people assume the reason we need to be done having children is because of the special needs of our current children.

My children are not a burden, they are a blessing. Blessings that have taught me more than unconditional love. They have taught me to manage my time better, prioritizing and being thankful for when people give them clothes instead of toys for birthdays because I hate laundry and love spending more time with my spawn.

Mommy Mondays: Count Your Blessings; no ER Trip This Time


Well about 4 years ago we packed up our home and moved to Hawaii. We were idealistic and thought this would be an adventure of a lifetime. Id never thought I’d move away from my home Midwestern state and here I was, with kids in tow, hopping a plane to live an ocean away.

So four years later and hear we are again. Watching all our belongings being wrapped like mundane brown Christmas presents and loaded into a wood crate to shipped to our new home.

When the movers first arrived today, three hour late, I stood in the garage like a stalker and watched them pack it up. I would like to say I got teary eyed, but that would be a lie. I was sad to see it all go but more numb. Should I be happy? Sad? Excited? Nervous? I really didn’t know. Hubs seemed to be overly excited. Trying to help where he could and pacing back and forth like an expectant parent. It was then I reflected back to our first and disasterous pcs.

It went something like this:

We lived in southern Alabama. A rural town on the outskirts of another semi-rural town. The movers drive up from Florida straight into a storm; both literally and figuratively. Within an hour of them arriving I notice Diva was acting lethargic. Not only lethargic but lifeless. After taking a temperature, I realized something was seriously wrong. The themointer read 105.

Through wind, hail, thunder and lighting; I drove her to the nearest ER. After some tests, it was reviled she had some sort of infection; which to this day is still unknown. Diva and I spent the next six hours in the ER during a hail and tornado producing storm while Hubs was left in charge of the movers and Bug. Upon our release I frantically called Hubs. Letting him know we were on our way. With no cell service in the ER I thought he would have been panic stricken. However, he seemed oddly calm.

When I arrived home I found out why. Because he was trying to do his best to watch and help the movers, he had left Bug unattended in front of the tv. Only problem was he wasn’t in front of the tv. Bug had wandered into another room and found a open bottle of weed killer; which he drank!

So when I arrived poison control was on the phone with Hubs and the packers were wiping up Bug and the floor.

Needless to say Bug was fine. But not our car or the suitcases we had packed in a car topper on the roof of our car. Seems our car topper wasn’t as water proof as advertised. Instead, the storm had drenched our suitcases causing the black dye in them to leak onto our clothes dying and staining them permanently.

So here I sit 8 hours after our packets started this morning feeling blessed nothing dramatic or drastic has happened. Any why? Because I pawned my kids off on other people for the day. Lesson learned.

At least no one ended up in the ER

Foodie Friday: Sloppy Joe Pockets


In my never ending quest to make my kids get used to eating more than the five food they do, I stumbled upon another extremely easy and parent pleasing meal. All to often I am finding meals that either tailor to a parents or a kids taste pallet but never the same at once.

Kids love sloppy joes for their sloppyness. When else can kids make a mess at meal time and get away with it. But parents (and my non-typical children) hate the mere quality that most kids enjoy about sloppy joes- the mess. Sorry, but I really don’t want to be licking my fingers and have food spread all over my face. I left those years long ago.

So enter a incredibly smart solution. One which I can not take credit for- the sloppy joe pocket. I found the recipe on Pinterest and after the first take we adapted the recipe. I’ll include the original and our version (which we think is better).


1 pound ground beef
1 can manwich
Pillsbury flaky biscuits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make manwich mixture according to directions on can. Flatten each biscuit and lay on baking sheet. Spoon 3 tspb of mixture onto half of flattened biscuit and top with cheese. Then fold the other half of the biscuit to make a pocket. Use a fork to press the edges together. Bake for 14 or until golden brown.

It was good. But we did better.

We used the same ingredients. However, we used American slides cheese (half a slice) instead of the shredded cheddar the original recipe suggested and we used Pillsbury grands buttermilk biscuits instead of the flakey ones. We found the flakey ones made to much bread. We also baked for 6min. Enjoy!