All Dogs Go To Heaven

Yesterday, we had to say goodbye to Ruby. She lived with us less than two years, but she was elderly when she came to us, and I held her while her sweet spirit crossed over the rainbow bridge. After she died, Mason kept saying that he wanted Ruby back. I'm sure Mason will continue to ask about Ruby's death since he is still asking about my aunt, and her death was nearly two years ago.
Ruby passed away on 2/27/17

A few weeks ago, Mason and I went to Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul so he could be tested for an Augmentative Alternative Communication Device. Mason is a good candidate for this type of device to help him communicate. His apraxia is so bad that most people don't understand him at all. Mason seems to have given up on trying to communicate with anyone but our family and a few people he knows at school. The device called Wego, will use a computer voice to talk for Mason. This is not meant to replace his own voice but rather to help him talk with people who don't understand him.

Mason's inability to communicate has caused many behavioral issues. We had to have an emergency IEP a month ago to talk about Mason's behaviors and how they were perceived and being framed by his teachers. There is not much I can do about his behaviors, but I can help people see them in a different light. Mason is currently undergoing a functional behavioral analysis and some IQ testing. I have been against IQ testing on him, but it may be helpful at this point. The last thing we need is for the teachers to fear Mason. He's in a situation now where he has very little contact with his mainstreamed peers. He has very few opportunities to interact with neurotypical kids his age. I recently watched him playing with some kids his age at a birthday party. He was bowling just like the other kids and then he and two other boys made up a game using the ball and pool table. He was having so much fun playing with the other kids. I would like to see him have more of these types of opportunities to interact.

Ms. Audrey is two. She is pretty much potty trained. She enjoys taking her clothes off and putting them back on several times a day. She wants to do everything by herself including putting on socks and shoes. She hates to have her hair brushed, but she loves pretty bows. She loves to dance, sing, and talk. She speaks in some full sentences. Her favorite book is Doggone Dogs. She weighs 29lbs and is 34" tall. Her pediatrician told me to cut back on her carbs, which is not working out well.
Obama is my president. I miss him.
The day after Trump was inaugurated, we held a sister march in Menomonie. I was the march organizer, and Jeanne Foley, Shayna Lund and Mark Pruett helped me. More than 4 million women marched worldwide. We marched with different issues, but we all wanted feminism to move forward and equality for women and minorities.

Elena at the women's march

Jeanne Foley and Glenda at the women's march. We estimate 400 people attended. We started at the clock tower and marched to the library with a stop at the overpass bridge.

The night before the march, Elena made beautiful signs.

Organizers meeting and Jeanne Foley's.

Disrupter's meeting at the Jones house.
This is what democracy looks like.
The resistance.

Mason is working hard to win the cupcake decorating contest.

Thank you Paula Poundstone for coming to Menomonie. You made me laugh when I needed it most.

Elena, Mason, and I snowshoed on the candlelight trail along the Red Cedar River. It was a fun night.

Glasses and lipcolor are courtesy of snapchat. The hair is 100% original.

Olive is my valentine. I love her. She reminds me of Sailor.

Mason got this special valentine from a girl in his class. I think she captured him and his love of cookies perfectly.

We had the typical OMG it's cold days. Dark days without sun causes S.A.D. in me. I usually just want to sleep.

The Stout Black Student Union sponsored a Black Lives Matter Peace March. It was a great march, and I know the students felt good about how well it went.
This beautiful barn is across the street from the Grain Bin in Hayriver, Wisconsin.

We had a week that felt like spring. Snow melted for a time, and we made a few trips to the park. Audrey and Mason held hands and jumped in mud puddles.


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