His First Visit To His New School

Kyle starts school in just a few days!  He will be starting 6th grade at a brand new school, in a new school district.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Just a bit of good news!

Yesterday, we received a bit of good news!  We received a notice in the mail that we are approved for Food Stamps!  We are so happy and relieved to be back on food stamps.  The letter stated our benefits are good between 7/11-12/11!  We have a month and a half worth of food stamps on the card right now! 

Last week, I bought 4 new pairs of pants for Kyle to wear for school, but I realize he will need a few more pairs!  He has a total of 6 pairs of pants but 1 pair is kept at school.  I also want a few more shirts for him. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

What a mess!

We put Kyle on the school bus this morning because we informed the EC Case Manager his "start date."  She and I have been emailing each other since a week before school started.  I emailed her a few days before school started that he would be a bus rider and she said she filled out the forms for us.  Apparently there was some miscommunication because here is what happened (keep in mind, we had no idea about the miscommunication as we thought everything was already set up)...

We have a neighbor girl (who is about 8 or 9 years old) who also attends the same school as Kyle.  She also rides the bus.  There are at least 10 other kids that have the same bus stop as Kyle.  Anyway, her mother asked if we wanted her daughter to "watch over" Kyle and make sure he gets on the right bus and gets off at the right place, etc.  We agreed! 

We put Kyle on the bus this morning.  The neighbor girl takes Kyle's hand while waiting in line to get on the bus (cute) and she gets on right after him.  Kyle sits down at the first seat and she sits right next to him.  She informs us through the window that there is no seat belt!  Before the bus drove off, I wanted to let the bus driver know of his "EC status" but she closed the door so fast and then drove off!  The neighbor girl's mom reassured me that her daughter would watch him.  She said her daughter is very "motherly" and loves the responsibility. 

As soon as I walked in the door [after getting Kyle on the bus], I told Shannon that there was no seat belt on the bus and the driver shut the door before I could let her know about his special needs.  Shannon immediately starting worrying about Kyle's safety (as was I).  I told him that I would email the "EC Case Manager" and let her know our concerns.  Here's the email I sent her at 7:33am, Shannon helped me with the message we wanted to convey:

Dear _____

I just put Kyle on the bus [number 750] and there were no seat belts.  Also, the bus driver seemed oblivious and I didn't have a chance to let her know of his special needs/EC status.  As soon as the last child boarded the bus, she quickly closed the bus doors and drove off.  We have a neighbor girl who also rides the same bus and she said she would "watch" over him, but as parents we can't rely on that.  While we do trust the neighbor girl, it shouldn't be up to a 8-9 year old to watch a special needs child.

  This bus situation really worries us because he does not talk and he will try to stand up or even get up in the bus and walk around without a seat belt on. 

  If the school is unable to accommodate his special needs (seat belt), we will take him to school ourselves.  However, there may be days where we are unable to take him and he won't be attending school those days. 

Shannon then wanted me to call the school to make sure he made it to his classroom, so I ended up calling a little after 8am and asked to be transferred to his classroom.  I talked to one of the assistant teachers and asked her if Kyle made it to the classroom and she said yes.  Shannon and I were so relieved!  We also decided (beforehand) that we would pick him up, so I told the teacher that we would be picking him up! 

When we went to pick him up, I asked the teacher how this morning went.  She said that he was actually standing in the other Kindergarten line!  The other assistant teacher (for his class) saw him and gathered him up to take him to class.  I was just so relieved he made it to his class.  The teacher also told me that "Mr. Harley" was supposed to call us and he didn't.  I guess he one of the "bus coordinators" for the school.  She asked if we could drive him to school on Monday and Tuesday and hopefully by then the bus would be equipped for Kyle's needs.  I even told Shannon what the teacher told me. 

Here's where it gets crazy...

This afternoon, the neighbor girl stopped by to make sure we had Kyle.  Shannon told her that we picked him up.  While they were outside talking, they find out that another girl that rides the bus was put on the wrong bus and had to be taken home by Mr. Hartley!  But it was her mom's mistake as she forgot to let the school know that she moved! 

The neighbor girl also told Shannon what REALLY happened this morning and how Kyle ended up in the Kindergarten line.  The bus stops at the school and the bus driver announces, "all Kindergartners need to get off the bus first."  The neighbor girl (not knowing what to do) tells Kyle to go ahead and get off the bus.  He gets off and he just starts walking and walking.  The teachers are oblivious because they are too busy talking to each other to watch the children.  The neighbor girl was watching this all go down through the window.  When it was her turn to get off the bus, she quickly goes to get him (because he's still walking) and puts him in the Kindergarten line.  She waited in the Kindergarten line until his assistant teacher came to get him!  I don't even want to know what would have happened if we didn't have the neighbor girl watching him! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Food Pantries

About a month ago, I was emailed a list of local food pantries from the main food bank of North Carolina.  I found at least 5 churches that are located in our zip code and made a list of their information including website and when the pantry is open.  Two of the churches on the list didn't have a website, so I need to call for more information on their food pantry. 

We went to Walmart last night and spent close to $200 buying groceries, school clothes, and school supplies for Kyle.  I think it finally hit Shannon that we need to turn to food banks for help.  I asked him about it a few days before he said we should wait another 2 weeks before we even consider that (I have a feeling it was a pride thing).  However, on the way home from Walmart, I brought up the food banks again and he agreed that we should definitely look into them. 

Unfortunately, we are still waiting to be approved for food stamps.  It's frustrating having to wait so long. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is that really necessary?

I've been looking at Kyle's school supply list over and over again and after confirming with Shannon, we are only going to get the supplies we are able to.  There are some things on the list that make me wonder if they are really imperative to his learning, rather than what the teacher needs for the classroom supply.

I plan on writing a note to the teacher letting her know that we are unable to get every item on the list due to our situation.  Since we filled out the application for free lunch, I am sending Kyle to school with lunch money until we are approved for that. 

I really don't see the need for Kyle to have latex gloves, and hand sanitizer [he'll only use it if we offer it to him, otherwise he can wash his hands like he does at home].  There is also facial tissue (2 boxes), Gallon size ziploc bags, and Sandwich bags - to which I have because I bought them with coupons.  I really think all of the items above is for the classroom supply, which I don't think we as parents should be responsible for supplying.  Then again, this is coming from a household with no income! 

Went searching for recipes...

I looked online for vegetarian recipes and stumbled onto marthastewart.com.  She had a tab for vegetarian recipes and I found a few that I liked.  I found 4 recipes that I want to try.  I am surprised that I found any recipes at all on Martha Stewart's website.  I would have thought Martha's recipes were difficult and "high class" type of foods.  The recipes I found had a short list of ingredients and it was easy to prepare! 

I made a new recipe today and Shannon said he liked it.  Hopefully I can try to make more. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Open House

We went to Kyle's Open House at his school tonight.  We arrived super early before we were supposed to be there.  They had certain times you were supposed to be there based on your last name.  They had popsicles in the cafeteria for the kids but we didn't want him eating a popsicle (it would get all over the place).  We also went to the Gym, but all they had there was booths.  The only one we stopped at was one that wasn't asking for money.  I filled out the sign up sheet with our grocery store membership number, I guess the school gets credit for every purchase...  There was a booth to join the PTA, but it was $7 ($7 we don't have).  There was another booth to purchase t-shirts and sweatshirts with the school mascot and a yearbook table.  So I skipped all of those tables. 

We met his teacher and her two teacher assistants!  We filled out the application for free lunches!  They also gave us a list of school supplies he will need, which happens to be completely different from the supply list they have on the school website!  I am a little pissed, not at anyone, but at the situation.  If they had given us a school supply list weeks ago, I would have had time to use my coupons to buy everything.  Although, there are a few items that I need to return (glue sticks, crayons).  I am upset because my husband and I are both unemployed, it's not like we have jobs and have money just laying around to buy things on a whim. 

As his first day of school gets closer, I realized he doesn't even have enough clothes to last a week of school!  We're going to Walmart to buy some of the things on his supply and also more clothes for school.  Shannon said it best, "we'll get every thing that we can."

Monday, August 22, 2011


We gave Kyle a haircut!  He really needed one, considering his last haircut was back in April!  His hair was so long.  Shannon shaved it while I made sure he stayed sitting on the counter.  After his haircut, I gave him a bath.  He looks completely different! 

He starts school in two days!  We have his open house tomorrow night! 

Almost Back to School Time!

It's almost "back to school" time for Kyle!  We have open house on Tuesday night.  I want to go so he can "meet" the teacher and "see" his classroom.  I don't want to send him to school on the first day and have him spend the day with strangers!  I think it will help a bit if he can see his teacher and the classroom before the first day. 

I also plan on applying for the free lunch program at the school for Kyle since I'm pretty sure we qualify!  I still don't have all of his "back to school" supplies but I am not going to stress over that. 

His first day of school is Wednesday.  He's going to be a bus rider, so I need to double check with the teacher.  Otherwise, we have a neighbor who will be taking the same bus to school that Kyle will be riding.  The one thing I don't like about this year and this school district is that they don't have a bus specifically for special needs children.  Kyle must ride the big bus with every bus rider (K thru 5th grade)!   And there won't be a second adult on the bus to help strap him in, so I guess I will be doing that.

We're still waiting to hear whether or not we are approved for food stamps!  I hope we get the answer soon! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dog biscuits at the bank?

My husband and I stopped at the bank yesterday and as I was waiting for the teller to finish my transaction, I look behind him on the counter (where the drive-thru counter is) and saw a box of dog biscuits sitting on the counter.  I asked him if they had a dog back there and he looked behind him confused and I said, "because you have dog biscuits on the counter."  He laughed and said that people bring their dogs through the drive-thru and they give them dog biscuits!  How sweet is that?  So unexpected, especially at a bank.  You would expect the employees to be "serious" and "professional."  On my way out of the door, I saw other customers sitting in an office with their dog with them!  

I told Shannon about the dog biscuits and he said, "only in the South."  We both laughed.  We don't mean to be offensive, it's just we would never see something like that on the West coast at a bank... 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

School Supplies and Supplements Update

I went to Walgreens for the second time this week.  I bought 12 more rolls of Cottonelle toilet paper for only $3.25 with my coupons!  I am pretty sure we're set on toilet paper for a few weeks!  *wink wink*  I also snagged a few more items from Kyle's back to school supplies list.  I bought 2 boxes of Kleenex tissue for only $0.84 each!  I used a Walgreens coupon plus a manufacturer's coupon that I found going through my coupons!  I just couldn't pass up that deal for Kleenex!  I also bought crayons and glue sticks with coupons. 

I also had to buy some Raid (ant killer) because we've been having an ant problem for awhile now.  I am tired of using the vacuum to suck them up and then they end up coming back.  Thankfully the Raid was on sale, plus I used a Walgreens coupon.  The kind that I bought is "household/indoor friendly."  They are actually made with a pleasant scent! 

I ended up purchasing another bottle of an energy/vitamin/supplement (I'm almost out).  I have used it before but stopped taking it for the last few weeks.  When I was taking it, I didn't wake up sore from my workouts the previous days.  I hate taking extra rest days due to soreness, especially with workout schedule that I want to try to stick to.  Hopefully I can get back on track with this vitamin/supplement. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's been nice!

The last few days have been so calm around here.  I love having our 928 sq ft apartment to ourselves again.  Hubby and I have gone over what my brother could have done to be a part of the household.  He chose to act the way he does and that's gotten him kicked out of Grandma's house and now our place.  Unfortunately he doesn't seem to get it. 

I hope we get approved for food stamps soon!  Using our own money to buy groceries is really taking a toll on our bank account. 

I am also slowly working on Kyle's back to school supply list!  I don't think we'll be able to get everything on the list so I'll just talk to the teacher and hopefully she can refer us somewhere that helps low income families with school supplies.  Since I don't see school supplies as a necessity for us to survive, I am putting those purchases on the back burner.  I am also waiting until I can find them on sale or a really low price!  I am now making the effort to limit my purchases at Walgreens to the things we need.  We have plenty of toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, and shampoo/conditioner to last us until the end of the year.  It's just so easy to get all of those things super cheap with coupons matchups!  Just today, I bought 12 rolls of Cottonelle toilet paper for $3.25 after coupons!  I plan on buying another 12 rolls this week since I have the coupons! 

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm "sorry" about how it all went down

I am "sorry" about how it all went down.  My brother had plenty of time to change his ways.  All we asked for is a little respect.  Be nice to us.  Say "hello" or even "good morning" to us!  Say something to us.  All he had to do was acknowledge us when he walked by.  Instead he ignored us.  If he would have just given us a little friendly chatter, he could still be living here.  If he took more initiative to help clean, offered to help pay our bills, etc that would have really helped too. 

In order for us to get this apartment, we pre-paid our entire lease (9 months).  As you can imagine, that took up a majority of our savings.  It bothered me to no end that my brother acted like he was entitled to live here.  He just basically swooped in and stayed in his room all day.  My husband and I offered him a roof over his head, a bed, a shower, paid for his groceries when he first got here and he treated us the way he did. 

He seemed fine when he first got here but as the days and weeks went on, he eventually stopped coming out to hang out with us.   He acted like he was too good to be around us.  I did not appreciate how he shut my son out and was even rude to him.   Your his only Uncle and that's how you treat your nephew?  Really?!  He just didn't want to be a part of our household/family.

My husband took my brother to find a weekly motel to stay in, so he is finally out of our apartment.  Kyle can have his own room again! 

It's just really sad that he's depending on other people to support him.  I had to stop enabling him and get him out of here. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Applying for food stamps...never-ending saga

Over two weeks ago, we went in to the Social Services office to complete our food stamp application.  Unfortunately, we were told we needed additional paperwork.  We also had to call the county we used to live in that we have since moved and to please close our file.  I made that call the next day.  In addition, we needed my husband's college to fill out a form (and return it to us) and also a copy of our lease.  Well, it took over two weeks for the college to finally fill out the form and email it back to us.  First, they sent it to the wrong department and then told us that they have since forwarded it to the right department. Then they wrote us back saying he needed to fill out a form giving them permission to send the form out, to which he had to email them back explaining what exactly he needed!  It was a confusing process and I am disappointed it took this long for them to return the form to us.

We finally have everything we need and will be mailing it out in tomorrow's mail.  Let's hope they approve our application by the end of this month, even though they have 30 days to decide whether or not we are approved. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tax Free Weekend

This past weekend was tax free on "back to school" items here in North Carolina.  They offer tax free purchases towards school uniforms and school supplies.  I took advantage and bought a binder, dividers, and scissors.  The binder that I bought came with dividers, so I really didn't need to buy the extra set.  Oh well, now I have 10 dividers!  LOL  My coupon binder is almost complete, I still need plastic baseball card holders.  For now, my coupons are divided up and in different sections. 

I still want to get new pants for Kyle.  So far, I bought 2 pairs.  He now wears size 4/5 in Boys, he is no longer in "toddler" sizes.  Since Kyle doesn't like change, he doesn't want to wear the new pairs of pants.  I've already had to throw out a pair of his corduroy pants because they had a hole in the knee and Kyle kept making the hole bigger.  His other corduroy pants have holes in the knees now.  His pants are getting thin around his butt too.  Plus his pants are a little snug in the waist and I can see they are getting shorter on him. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Shannon had his surgery yesterday!  He was gone from 11am and didn't get home until 8:20pm or so.  While he was gone, it was just Kyle and me!  We had fun!  I read a book and wrote a review, did two loads of laundry and did some cleaning here and there. 

Before coming home, they stopped at CVS for a prescription (vicodin) and a few other things.  Shannon had called me about 3 hours after his surgery and said he would need ice packs.  So I took Kyle for a walk and we went to Walgreens to get two ice packs.  They happen to be "buy one get one 50%" so I paid under $5 for two of them.  I also used $3 in Register Rewards. 

It sounds like Shannon will be recovering for at least 5 days.  Thankfully we don't have any obligations, such as school, work, etc.

Our couch is scheduled to arrive today!  I am so excited!