No squirrels were harmed in the making of this post

28 Mar

A young teen girl however, was slightly traumatized for a few minutes.

So the other day, it was sunny and nice and spring-like out. I lured Maura away from the crackTab and all it’s Netflix with “Why don’t you play outside?  Look! I have bubbles!”

Maura loves outside, and loves bubbles.

Of course, the dogs ran out with her. Miriam followed suit to help Maura with the bubbles and play with dogs.  I felt like, for one brief moment, I was winning at this parenting thing a little.

Then Miriam came to the door with a worried look to announce “Moooom, I think Zoey caught a squirrel!”


Those of you who follow along (you know, my favorites) know that Zoey the Big Dog has been slightly obsessed with squirrels.  There were none in Ireland.  Here, we have about 250 running through our yard.  Okay, I exaggerate a little, but I swear, the other day, there were five on my fence.  So I expect more, smaller squirrels in a couple months.

Zoey loves to chase squirrels.  Maybe she wants to just herd them – she is an Australian Shepherd.  Herding is in her blood.

But to catch one?


I had visions of Zoey with a half-dead squirrel in her mouth and my good mom moment was over – because I was NOT going out where there was a half-dead squirrel in a dog’s mouth! Ew.  But then Zoey trotted by, squirrelless, and I asked Miriam where this supposedly dead squirrel was.

“Over there.” she pointed, towards the fence.

“Okay, let’s all go play out front!” I announced, grabbing bubbles and dolls.  Miriam followed suit immediately, helping me grab stuff.  Maura balked.


Maura didn’t understand why her mom and sister were fleeing the backyard.  Mim explained to Maura that they were going to blow bubbles out front. Yes, Miriam earns that gold star a lot.

I glanced over, to where I expected to see a dying bloody lump of squirrel.  I didn’t see that, but I did see this up in the neglected landscaping portion of the side yard…

well, it is furry

well, it is furry


My first thought was “Well, that doesn’t look too fresh.”  Then I noticed it was under a fallen branch.  Then I thought “Surely we would have noticed a dead squirrel in our yard before now.”  I mean, it’s not like it’s snowed here and could have been hidden for weeks.

I went closer, and leaned in a little.  And saw stitching on the paws. And realized what the thing on the ground was…

not even a squirrel

not even a squirrel doll


Maura had been on a kick where she played with all these small puppy/kitty dolls.  Sometimes outside.  The one cat doll got left behind, for who knows how long.  Long enough to be rained upon many times and get weathered and half-buried in tree bits and resemble a dead squirrel.

“Mim! It’s just a doll!”  I announced happily.

“OH!” Mim said in relief. “Thank God!”

Never were we so happy to see a forgotten doll outside.  Maura was just happy that we weren’t trying to shove her back into the house anymore and went back to playing with her bubbles.  The dogs remained clueless.  All the squirrels were still alive, frolicking.

For now…




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The report card

27 Mar

I have to laugh that the school sends a report card for Maura.  She’s getting straight A’s.

Granted, the “A” is for “Adaptive”.  But still, get me that bumper sticker, I’ve got a straight A student!

I haven’t been allowed to read the full packet they sent because Maura keep stealing it.  (And yes, they sent a multiple page progress report – the lengths this school goes to will never cease to impress me.) What I have learned is that Maura is still not great with numbers.  She can count, she can identify, she can get to 20 sometimes.  But she’s really only consistent to ten.

However, she has sight words.  A list of words she can point to, read by herself.  All the days of the week, and words like “socks”, “Mom”, “cat”, and “rectangle”.


And there sums up life with Maura.


My Girl Wonder

Fun Times!

25 Mar

Today’s Fun Times! is brought to you by the prescription without enough information, and being On Hold.

Thank you for remaining On Hold, we will get to you as soon as possible.

Such is the life of a special needs parent.

See, as it turns out, Maura’s emergency seizure meds aren’t labeled well, and the instructions the pediatrician wrote down for the school nurse weren’t clear.

So I called the ped’s office, which really means calling their automated system, choosing “speak to nurse”, which means you don’t speak to a nurse, you leave a message and they’ll get back to you in three hours.

An hour and change later, the nurse calls…to tell me “Oh, we can’t help you, call your neurologist.  Oh, and Maura’s due back at the neurologist this month.”

Crap.  Guess which mom didn’t schedule the “see you in six months” appointment?

So I call the neurology department, which of course, means calling the automated system, and chose the “leave a message for the nurse” option – which tells me to leave all the info, and they’ll get back to me within one business day.

One. Business. Day.



So I leave my message, hang up, and then redial for “Schedule an appointment”.  After 11 minutes on hold (where every 30 seconds a perky voice startles you with “Thank you for remaining on hold!”), I get a person….who then puts me on hold.  But then takes me off hold after a minute and schedules our follow up neurology appointment.

For June.

And the stupid thing is I think “Oh, well that’s not as long as I thought it would take to get in!”  (When I called in August to get our first appointment, the first available with anyone was December – we got in earlier because of a cancellation.)  The woman asked if there was anything else I needed, I mentioned the call to the nurse about the meds and she said “Oh, great, the nurse should call you back.”

Well, I tried.

Yes, these are the fun times I lead.  This is what sometimes fills my day with the answer to “So what did you do?”  It’s also one of those things you deal with when you have a child with special needs who is actually pretty healthy – there’s a lack of urgency that is both comforting and yet makes you feel a bit neglected.

Oh well, we were on the cancellation list.  And I painted my nails while on hold. So there’s that.


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