Monthly Archives: June 2011

Serenity House

June seems to be catapulting by, there are baby rabbits outside the library each morning now, five or six. I’ve seen deer, elk, orioles, goldfinches, hawks and snakes, how I love this time of year. In theory, things should be easier as I haven’t had to drive Miss W hither and thither every day, but for some reason life seems as hectic as always and Miss W’s summer programme starts on Monday so all the driving is about to restart – groan! I’m not looking forward to it one bit, rousing Miss W at 5.30 am and persuading a grumpy Boy 2 into the car, then doing it all over again in the afternoon. But the trickiest thing about summer is finding a way to get groceries without Boy 2 in tow.

I’m going to look at Serenity House school for Boy 2 in a few weeks, Aurora Public Schools have offered him a place there. It is a school for developmentally disabled kids, private and not a part of APS, but funded and approved by them (unlike the Joshua School). I know they will offer a program that is more in tune with what he needs and he won’t be spending his days in a windowless poky little room within a school for typical kids, which makes me very happy, but a part of me is sad in a way I can’t really describe – I suppose because it is so obvious now that Boy 2 doesn’t belong in a ‘normal’ school. I’m really hoping that Serenity will work for him, but I’m keeping an open mind until I’ve toured it. I’m not impressed with the exterior – the school is housed in a converted daycare facility and an old gym. But it has a decent little playground and looks secure, does not open onto a main road. So fingers crossed . . .


Summer has brought with it a whole new nightime routine for Boy 2 which involves getting up at around 3.30 am, switching on as many lights in the house as possible, using the loo then noisily banging down the toilet seat and flushing. I did manage to drift back to sleep this morning, but it was very fitful and Boy 2 kept marching into the bedroom and if I opened my eyes he would look at me as if he couldn’t understand what I was doing in bed at 4 am, then he would clap loudly.

Had qute a treat at work this morning as an old coworker is visiting town with her 4 month old baby, Charlotte. She was a preemie, so only weighs 9 lbs, and I got to hold her! This is the first time I have held a baby in 11 years, so it was quite a thrill, and she really was adorable with huge brown eyes and a very interested expression. I was completely smitten and in a small way it made up for not being around Aaliyah, I have to admit I’ve been moping about that and feeling quite deprived. Came home this afternoon with the thought of making ginger and pear muffins – it is rather hot for baking but these are so good and I haven’t made them for weeks. Rifled through Nigella Kitchen, but couldn’t find the recipe (chocolate banana muffins, apple cinnamon muffins, but no pear ginger). Finally I realised that what I was searching for was in Nigella Express, which I do not own – I borrowed it from the library. Searched online for recipe and saw that it contained sour cream, which we don’t have, so this is going to have to wait now, we’ll have cherries for dessert tonight. They’re a bit of a mish-mash of rather posh recipes with difficult to find ingredients combined with comforting everyday type recipes, these Nigella books. I’m determined not to add to my recipe book collection anything I don’t cook from regularly, so I’m debating whether or not to buy Feast or Nigella Lawson Express. I’m looking for fresh rhubard at the moment, why can’t I find it anywhere?

Boiling Hot Day and a Temperemental Swamp Cooler

I am really hoping the swamp cooler will be in a better mood in days to come, but the signs are not good. It is old, set on a rotting wooden platform, and today has been busily chuffing hot air into the house instead of billows of cold air. The temperature has climbed to 89 degrees (it’s 90 outside) and me and Miss W have felt very limp and irritable, cooking supper was a nightmare. Mr W did some tinkering – I’ve just checked, temp has now fallen to 87 – so maybe I am going to survive this summer after all. I wish the thunderstorm we were promised this afternoon would arrive though, it would be very welcome.

Had a little time away from Boy 2 today, it was day off and a school day for him, so me and Miss W did some grocery shopping and checked out the Dollar Store in Bennett, then went to the library, we both came away quite happy. She found the new Warriors book, I found a brand new book about raising chickens, which I have been browsing through today as I tried to distract myself from being boiled alive. I also sorted out Miss W’s dresser and chest of drawers, and am discarding 3 bags of clothing, and made a start on chapter 10 of my novel, which I have been quite lethargic about lately, in spite of having my laptop. The problem is partly lack of time, but it’s also due to the fact that I’ve been reading some very enjoyable books – The Postmistress by Sarah Blake and now A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

Couldn’t resist these flowers today.

What Now?

This is Boy 2 this morning. He didn’t want to get up and have breakfast, but I had to rouse him out of bed as I had a meeting with APS, my chance to tell the whole story of Boy 2’s disastrous year to the Director of Exceptional Student Services. After being persuaded into his clothes he was quite cheerful about going with Jennifer from Angels of Colorado and me and Mr W went on to the meeting. Nancy from the Arc of Aurora was waiting for us and I confessed I was quite nervous. The Director of ESS was very chatty and cheerful, eager to emphasize the fact that she had a ‘background in autism’ and Nancy began by summarizing everything in a really concise way that neither I nor Mr W would have been able to. When it was my turn to speak I took out photographs of Boy 2. One showed him with his head bowed, his eyes black and a large, deep scratch running down the side of his face. Even the man who has been quite complacent throughout this whole process (I won’t mention names) looked quite shocked as I described Boy 2’s hellish past year at Jewell Elementary. I can’t recall much of what I said now (I was emotional and nervous) I didn’t need to overdramatize or embellish, the simple truth was bad enough, that he had gone from being cheerful most days, his OCD under control, looking like progress was really possible, to practically non-functioning, hurting himself and needing an increase in his medication.  Now I have to decide whether or not to press for the Joshua School (which will involve filing a legal complaint) or listening to what Aurora Public Schools have to offer, taking advantage of the strong position Nancy says we are now in. So what now? I just don’t know what to do. Will would only get a year at the Joshua School, after which it is possible he would be forced back into APS. I just want to do what is best for Boy 2, and I’m not sure what that is, but APS are now offering us what Nancy refers to as a ‘silver platter’ of improved services for Boy 2.

I was so relieved when it was over, went into a thrift store to look for shorts (for Boy 2) and spotted this gorgeous white and pink striped bag, with Dolce and Gabbanna logo. I don’t know if it’s a fake – it has lovely, buttery soft leather and very nice workmanship, decided to treat myself after my harrowing ordeal, also found shorts for Miss W and Boy 2.