Monday, November 14, 2011

Problems Galore

My First World Problems
In honor of my super favorite people *I like to stalk* in the whole world, Kate and Lydia, over at (Did I tell you I love them?) I have been reflecting on my life today and how awful my first world problems are. So I figured I'd take the chance to get them off my chest today.
My First World Problems which make my life seem awful:
My Children have to many toys. they are everywhere. I have no room to put them all.
My Children have to many clothes. There aren't enough closets and drawer space to keep them all.
My Washer and Dryer are downstairs in the basement. Requiring me to walk down the steps everytime I need to change a load. And then up two flights to put them away.
My Crockpot broke so now I'm forced to cook the food on the stove and in the oven.
Brother Baer wants to play his Wii all the time and stops me from watching afternoon shows except for on my little tv in the kitchen.
I got a new touch screen smart phone and it was so stupid I had to change back to an older and dumber version.
Facebook and Pintrest go down just when I feel like wasting time
When I shop online I have to spend OVER a certain amount to get free shipping.
My 8 Passenger SUV is a gas hog but it's so spacious. I can't give it up.
The Portable DVD players in the SUV are attached to the seats by velcro and it gets stuck in my hair. And that hurts. Also....the boys can grab them and rip them off the seats. Causing more pain when it grabs my hair
My GPS doesn't always know the right way to go and makes me have to turn around. (Sometimes illegally) or I get lost. Which isn't fun
I crave Mocha Frappe's everyday but getting them would require me to pack up the kids and take them to McDonalds and therefore have to buy them happy meals and it's too much trouble. (And not good for them anyways) So I don't get them very often. (Like once a week...seriously?)
My Wifi doesn't like to work on the porch....So it's slow when I set out there.
My phone service doesn't always send texts right away....So I don't get my texts for minutes to hours later....WTH?
All the shows I like to watch are on past my bedtime
My 3 children are so healthy they run around and make me crazy
I have to go to a beer distributor to get beer in this stupid state. Not just the 7-11
Facebook games are too slow and make me mad so I can't play them anymore
I'm sure I have a TON more. But that's enough for now. *phew* life is really awful isn't it?
What makes your First World Problem list?

Monday, November 7, 2011

The X games Baer Style

Well, I had my first meeting with the IU (Intermediate Unit) here in our County. This meeting was to set up and discuss our transition with Little Baer from Early Intervention into the IU. The day he turns 3 he is not eligible for Early Intervention and will move on to their services. Along with those services is the world known as IEP's....This sport is EXTREME! And it takes a lot of planning and knowledge on a parents part to get through them, get what your child needs, and not have anyone cry.
I have learned a lot from Brother Baer and his IEP's. Although he is only in first grade.....I have learned the hard way. And every ounce of information I have learned has come from another parent or an advocate. me when I say that this school and their "workers" are NOT in it for your child. They aren't looking for what's best for Little Baer. They are looking out for them. And their needs and what they want. So, knowing this and experiencing this has been a rough road. If you aren't a special needs parent, consider yourself lucky. If you are....PLEASE read up and talk to other parents. More importantly talk to them about what actually is available and do not trust and believe in what the system tells you. They tell you all kinds of things that aren't true in hopes that you aren't smart enough to realize that.
So, Anyways, Here we are this morning with the IU Case Manager and our trusted EI Case Manager. I say trusted because she is. She knows I know enough now to hold my own. And she also knows that I know what THEY don't want me too. So, she sits back and smiles at the games we played during the meeting. Oh bless her! I have loved my EI team and we have made great progress. Here are the games I played with the IU today:
Them: "We will notify you of his placement in the Preschool the IU designates"
Me: "No, actually I will be touring the facilities and telling YOU which preschool he will be placed in" *smiling*
Them: "Once he is evaluated, we can notify you of what his areas of delay are and *IF* he qualifies"
Me: "I am excited to see the evaluation reports, but I already know he qualifies for services. The 25% delay is scored at his outpatient therapy center every 13 weeks for insurance purposes. So, I keep a close eye on his progression. And he will fall below the 25%"
Them: "Well, once we know *IF* he qualifies (They keep telling me IF *rollingeyes*) we can get a script from the Dr so that he can have the services"
Me: "Please give me the paperwork to get the script now because he *WILL* qualify" (See they aren't going to tell me he doesn't have a 25% delay so they don't have to pay for OT or PT. He does and it's documented from outpatient)
Me: " My plan is to have him in the IU preschool and then transition him into a "typical" preschool next fall"
Them: "Outside preschool would be your choice but the financial responsibility would be with you"
Me: "No actually, the IU will pay for the preschool of my choice if we determine he is able to attend a typical preschool. So, we will work towards that goal, but we will start with the IU preschool."
Them: "Well if you keep him in the IU preschool we will have our therapists there for his therapy"
ME: "You will have a therapist at the typical preschool as well if that's where he is placed."
Them: "We need to talk with our transportation department on allowing you to change the school he is assigned"
ME: "No actually you don't. But don't worry about the transportation department anyways. My 3 year old isn't riding a bus"
Back and forth we go. Them...Me...Them...Me....FINALLY after about a half an hour of back and forth, she says something EPIC!!!!
"Is there anything that you DON'T know about the process that I can help you with?"
Nope, I say....I'm good thanks.
See my friends....I didn't spend the past 3 years of my life in 7 therapies a week and countless hours of research, talking, and learning my schmidt to have them tell me he "doesn't qualify" or "he doesn't need" a service. I will be the one to decide that. I will be the one to decide if and when his therapies stop or if he will be included and where he's included. I will not stand for the "least services we can give this child" attitude. I will not stand for "he's a special needs child so we don't need to educate him right" attitude. I will not allow you to push me around or push this Little Baer around. I will not do that again.....So, take note my dear, I will be in control of this child's education. I will decide the process. You will either work with me, or against me. But I can promise you I will win.
:) The X factor in momma Baer is stronger then you have estimated.
On the good side...She knows I know my Schmidt. The ground work has been laid and I can feel confident that we will have a much better go round this time. (Oh and the fact that I told her the that Will's last IEP meeting lasted 2 1/2 hours and is 64 pages long...Which sounded kind of like Rocky sayin' he was getting pumped for the next round) :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homemade Sauerkraut

Sauer-kraut Day 2011

Once a year, the first Saturday in November we gather together to make Sauer-kraut. It's a blast and We have homemade kraut all year long!
We start with some Coffee and Irish Creme and move on to wine and beer...Yummy food, great friends and fun.
But here is how the process is done.
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage heads and wash and let dry.
Each person in our group has a job. So the process is made easier. We pass the cabbage along from station to station.
This year my station was with the kids. haha And taking pictures. Oh and enjoying the coffee. :)
Once the cabbage is washed and dried remove the core and cut into quarters.
We do 50 lbs of Cabbage per family. Three families so we process 150 lbs of Kraut each year.
Papa Baer was in charge of quartering the cabbage. He's sporting his "Pink Hat" (Ok it was supposed to be baby Baer's pink hat but he has claimed it. LOL)
Shred your cabbage thin. We use an old wooden slider and it's set at 1/4 inch. You could use a regular grater or shredder but this makes the process super easy.
We shred it into the large red tub and use the wall to push against. :) Always little tricks and tips to make it easier.
You will weigh out the Cabbage to: 5 lb Or food grade bucket can be used as well the 5 gallon ones will hold approx 20-25 lbs of cabbage)
Layer the Cabbage into the crock and for each 5 lbs you will place 3 tablespoons of canning salt and then tamper it down with the wooden mallet.
Little Baer helping daddy tamper down the cabbage. (sorry for the darkness of the pics. For some reason the lighting was off and my camera wasn't helping. We weren't working in the dark though)
Tamper each 5 lbs layer till the liquid is coming up from the bottom. And then repeat the process of layers until the entire container or crock is full.
Once the Crock is full place a layer of cheese cloth over top and then lay a heavy plate on the top as to cause some pressure.
Store for 5-6 weeks in a room with temps around 68-72 degrees. We use the basement. A garage would work. You don't want to use your house though. One, it's too warm and stinks.
Once the process sets each week check on it and add water if needed. (It should be liquidy) Once complete (We have ours ready by New Years) you will need to skim off the top few inches of "slim" lol as I call it. And then you can can it, freeze it, cook it...or whatever you would like! Check back in January for how we do ours.
If canning (For reference) 50lbs of Cabbage will yeild approx. 18 Quarts of Kraut.

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks Through November
Each year Brother Baer and I (The babies aren't old enough yet) Give Thanks for something in our lives each day of November. It's a great way to teach him about being Thankful for all he has and to make sure he learns as he grows to always be thankful and full of gratitude.
We made our letters and strung them up on our Buffet in the dining room. So we can see and read them every night at dinner. We added in his Turkey that we made too.
Then Every night at Dinner time we write on our "leaves" what we are thankful for. Allow the kids to just tell you whatever they want. Brother Baer is thankful for Zhu Zhu Pets, Bells, and Me....Cute how those are the important things in his life.
The leaves will be put up around the Buffet all month and at the end we will see all of the amazing blessings we have in our life.
It's a really fun kid craft to do! Brother Baer loves it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cheesy Pork Chop and Potato Bake

Cheesy Pork Chop and Potato Bake.......
Seriously Delicious.

8 boneless pork chops
3 Stalks of Celery
1 small onion
1 small green pepper
1 Can of Cream of Celery Soup
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom and Chicken Soup
16 oz of Sour cream
8 oz of Velveeta Cheese
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Sticks of Butter
4 Cups of Corn Flakes
1 Bag of Hashbrown Potatoes
Garlic Powder
This recipe will feed 6-8 people. I seperated it into 2 9x13 Baking Dishes and One fed us and one fed our Aunts Family. A member of her family is in the hospital and I decided that since I was cooking anyways to make an extra dish to send to them. You could freeze the second one...or if you have a big family the recipe will feed you all!
In a large skillet melt 1 stick of butter. Add
the 8 Pork Chops and the chopped vegetables. Saute covered till Pork Chops are browned on both sides and the vegetables are softened.
I seasoned with Garlic Powder, Paprika, Salt and Pepper (All to taste and liking)
While Chops are browning..
In one bowl mix the 4 cups of Corn Flakes, 1 stick of butter (melted) and 1 cup of Parmesan Cheese.
In another bowl mix the Sour Cream, Velveeta Cheese (Cubed) and the two cans of soup.
Once the Pork Chops are browned and the vegetables are soft, (This takes about 10 minutes...give or take) remove the chops from the Skillet.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
To the skillet of vegetables add the mixture of cheese and soups. Allow it to heat enough to mix everything and melt the velveeta cheese a tad.
Pour this mixture into two greased 9x13 baking dishes (I use non stick spray)
They the Pork Chops onto the top. 4 in each Baking Dish
Top with the Corn Flake Mixture. (Half to each)
Bake uncovered on 350 for 30 minutes.