Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Grease is the word.

Awhile back, I took pieces of legal size card stock and made lists of things I had to do on each of them. I have them hanging in the hallway, so I have to go past them several times a day, and I find that I'm actually seeing them instead of them blending into the wall, which is a really good thing. And today, after updating the wipe off calendar with upcoming appointments, I marked those things off the lists that I'd gotten done since I hung them up back in August.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that I'd completed all but 2 of the dozen or so things that were on Hopper's and Scooter's lists. There is still more to do, but I'm well on my way to completing the lists by the end of the year and possibly by Thanksgiving. That will be nice. Life will hopefully slow down a bit for us by then, but things will pick up again after the first of the year, I'm sure.

My goal for tomorrow and Friday is to get the last of the tomatoes from the garden canned or made into salsa or sauce. I'm really going to miss the fresh tomatoes over the winter. Store bought tomatoes just don't have any flavor compared to what comes out of the garden. I'm already looking forward to gardening next year and to the canned salsa, sauce and tomatoes that we'll enjoy over the winter months. 

I'm thinking about getting my pressure cooker canner out and canning some soups, chili and stews, too. It just seems like it would be so handy to have it available when I don't feel like cooking or am too busy to throw something together at the last minute. Plus we'd know what was put in it, and we wouldn't have to worry about all the junk and chemicals added to store bought canned foods. I haven't decided what I'm going to do just yet, but I'll have fun thinking about it, anyway.

One of the things I'd considered canning was chicken and dumplings. I attempted my first batch of chicken and dumplings a few days ago, and they turned out really well. Everyone seemed to like them, and nobody objected to eating leftovers the following day, so I know I'll make them again. We are all looking forward to that day.

But because we'd never had them before, Hopper didn't know what they were. And because of her speech and hearing issues, she struggles with retaining certain words until she's been exposed to them enough times that she's got them down cold. I was working with her the day before when she was asking what I was making, and tried to help her get the word, "dumplings", down. She was doing pretty well, so I thought she'd gotten it. 

So the next day when I was getting ready to heat them up for supper, I asked Hopper what they were called. She could remember the "chicken" part of it, but for life of her, she couldn't remember the "dumplings" part. So I tried prompting her by saying, "chicken annnnd _____?"

Her answer?


This girl cracks me up!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Busy. Busy. Busy.

I can't believe it's been 2 months since I've posted on my blog. I remember when I first started blogging I thought I'd never be one of those bloggers who waited so long to write a post. Ha. It's funny how life can get in the way of blogging.

Thankfully, I just have a really sensitive sense of smell, and my blood sugar was not very elevated back in August when I had it checked. My fasting glucose test was totally normal, and my A1C was at borderline pre-diabetic levels, and I'm sure it's gone down since then. Still, it was a much-needed wake-up call! We've made drastic changes to our diet because of it, and we're starting to see some really positive results.

While my asthma still is not under control, it is finally responding to the new medicines I'm on, and I've been able to start tapering the steroids. I am so very thankful! I'm down to half the daily amount I started on back in June, and I'm hoping to be off them entirely by Christmas. And the number of breathing treatments I've needed has dropped by more than half. At the peak of the fires this summer, I was doing 7 a day. I'm now down to 3. It's progress for which I'm very grateful!

We've been busy with medical appointments for the girls. We've averaged 3 to 4 appointments a week since the last blog entry. The only break we had in appointments was after Hopper had surgery a couple of weeks ago. It doesn't look like things are going to slow down much on the medical front before the end of the year. We've already got another surgery scheduled and another one that we'll be scheduling next week. I'm glad the girls are getting the medical treatment they need, but I'm looking forward to a break in the action. I'm tired. 

I haven't done a lot of active dehoarding in the last few months, but I have no doubt that will come in time. I've had bigger things on my mind. The whole blood sugar scare, along with one surgeon wanting Hopper to lose some weight, so she can have a major surgery sometime next year has really opened our eyes to the way we were eating. We're now making a very concentrated effort to eat as healthily as we can. As a result, we've all lost a little weight. I'm down 15 pounds to date, Hubster is down 18, Hopper has lost 5 and Scooter has lost a couple, although she had the least amount to lose. And the best thing is that we've all been healthier than typical for this time of year. Yay for fruits and veggies!

Speaking of which, I've got about 40 pounds of tomatoes from the garden that need to be processed. I already canned several pints of Tomato Basil Sauce that is amazing, but now I need to make some salsa and can it, some more sauce and some whole tomatoes to use this winter. Even though our tomatoes didn't do as well as they did last year, I'm thrilled that we'll have such yummy goodness from the garden all winter long!

I'm hoping to get back to some serious dehoarding one of these days as life slows down a little. I'm also hoping to get back to more regular blogging. I miss it. And now that we no longer need to have the air conditioner on, (it is just feet away from the computer), I can actually sit at the computer without freezing.

There's something to be said for good weather blogging.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Imagine, If You Will, A Sugar Glider In A Maple Syrup Bath House.

About 12 years ago, someone gave us 3 sugar gliders, because they could no longer keep them as pets. Technically, they gave them to Bugster, but we all enjoyed them. Imagine a small squirrel - a baby squirrel works well. That's about the size of a sugar glider. All 3 of them could squeeze into the pocket on a button up shirt. Granted, they had to cram themselves into the pocket to all fit, but they loved each other and made it work. Besides. They're social little creatures and like to snuggle. 

We enjoyed them for the time we had them. They would 'fly' from one person to the other, if the second person had a treat for them. And they were great little insectivores! They'd actually grab miller moths out of the air and eat them like a cob of corn. It was fun to watch, because, well, the miller moths got what they deserved.

They really were neat little things, but we only had them for about six months before we realized we couldn't keep them anymore. The smell was overwhelming. It's not that it was insanely unpleasant. They smelled like whatever they ate. So they smelled sweet like the strawberries, apples, oranges and other fruit that they ate. Well, except for miller moths. Well, except that they probably would have smelled like miller moths, if they'd eaten enough, and well, miller moths aren't fruit. So there's that.

And while the smell wasn't too bad one whiff at a time, it was sickeningly sweet, if you were around it for any length of time. Because everything they ever came in contact with picked up their smell. Their bedding. The cloth over the cage kept it dark and warm enough for them to sleep. The couch that was sitting a bit too close to the cage. The walls where they'd spray the moment that you wiped the walls down. Again. It didn't take long for the smell to permeate every thought, every dream and every nose hair in existence. 

So yeah. We had to get rid of them. 

And I haven't thought of them for years. But in the last week or two, they've been on my mind a lot. I could almost swear I was smelling them in my sleep again. Except that I wasn't. I was smelling myself. 

Ok. So that came out wrong. Really, really wrong.

But I really did smell like the sugar gliders did. Only like they'd taken a bath in maple syrup before they ate the miller moths. The smell was a little more subdued, but it still reminded me of them. And I realized I recognized the smell. I remember thinking it was odd when Scooter would smell faintly sweet like that when she was little and was on steroids for her asthma.

And let me see. Yep. I'm still on prednisone. I haven't been able to start the step down on the dosage yet, because my asthma is still that out of control. 

And then I remembered something that I tucked away in the back of my mind for a good 12 to 14 years. I was in a homeschool chat years ago when a regular came in and told us about her harrowing experience with her daughter. She said that her daughter came in complaining of thirst and ended up drinking 2 gallons of milk in the span of less than an hour. And when she realized it, she got her daughter, (who smelled sweet), to the hospital immediately. She was in a diabetic crisis and was on the verge of going into a diabetic coma.

And then after a talk with a friend, I knew I needed to look into the connection between steroids and blood sugar and smelling sweet. Turns out that prednisone can induce diabetes. Great. Granted, it can reverse itself once the prednisone is stopped, and that is likely what happened with Scooter when she was little, since she doesn't have diabetes. But it can also be a permanent situation. 

I went in to the asthma and allergy doc yesterday. He ordered a fasting blood glucose test and an A1c to see, if I am indeed diabetic. In the meantime, I'm doing my best to cut all sugar from my diet. It already has seemed to help. I didn't wake up at all last night from dreams of sugar gliders picking miller moths out of the air to munch, because the smell wasn't there. And I haven't had the headaches I was starting to get that seemed to go hand in hand with the smell. I will miss my morning caffeine-laden soda that I've come to depend upon, but I will not drink anymore. The last thing I need to do is end up with permanent diabetes, because I couldn't say no. If I feel like I desperately need caffeine to help with my breathing, I'll make myself a cuppa tea. 

In the meantime, the doc told me yesterday that he's concerned that I haven't been able to decrease the amount of steroids I'm taking. My asthma should be responding better to the meds I've been on, and my lung function test should have been better than it was yesterday given the small pharmacy I have at home. And I should not still be needing 4 to 6 nebulizers a day. 

So that new inhaled steroid my doctor put me on about a month ago? Yeah. He had me stop it and had me start yet another one. Technically, he had me start another two. I'm really hoping they kick in and help my breathing drastically. Because if they don't, there aren't a huge number of options left, and the one that's on the horizon sounds a little scary. It's an injection they give once or twice a month. It can cause heart attacks and strokes and anaphalaxis. To top it off, you have to fill a script for 2 epi pens before they even give you the first shot, and once you've started taking it, you must carry said epi pens around with you. Everywhere. 

The good news about it is that, when it works it works really, really well. And the percentage of people who have had the severe reactions are relatively small. And I could come off the prednisone and hopefully get my blood sugar back into normal ranges...and get my life back...and get back to dehoarding..and to painting bedrooms...and to getting more projects marked off my projects list..and....


and the list goes on...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Brain matter.

Just when I was starting to feel better, Hubster brought something home from work and decided to share. Enter Cough, Cough, Whiz, Whiz Part Two. I've been sputtering and wheezing all week. Let's just say it's been a really, really long week. And I'm really, really thankful for the cough suppressant abilities of honey. It's the only thing that really even seems to work. Now I just have to heat the bottle up in some hot water, so I can get it to come out of the bottle again! Making a mental note to put it on the grocery list, so we're not out of it next time we get sick.

In spite of the fact that I feel worse in some ways, I am better. My mind is clearer than it's been in quite some time. But part of that is the brain spatter all over the hallway walls. 

Ok. It's not technically brain matter, but it feels like it in ways.

I took some legal sized card stock I've had for a few years and made several lists. I made a list for each of us, so I can make sure nothing slips through the cracks as far as our medical, dental and vision appointments. I also made a list of what I intend to do in Scooter's room when I get around to painting it and finally finishing it up. I have a lot of ideas, and I just don't want to forget any of them. I also have lists with other projects that I have on  my mind as well as a master list of gifts that I want to make and give. 

All in all, I have 7 or 8 lists hanging in the hallway. So far. And although it feels like my mind is exposed for all to see, I can't tell you what a huge relief it's been! By having them on the wall vs in a notebook, I see them every day, I won't lose them, and best of all, I can add to them, as I need to. In fact, I have a couple other lists floating around in my noggin that I need to get out, so I'm sure there will be a couple more hanging up by the end of the weekend.

Somehow getting the thoughts out on paper like that is so helpful. I know I'm not going to forget anything, and I'm no longer carrying it all around in my head. As a result, I have been able to get more done in the last week than I have in the last couple or three months! 

Now, if I can just get rid of this cold, I'll be golden!

Ok. So maybe not golden, but at least I won't be lead!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Of Slugs and Smoke and Asthma.

The smoke seemed to have cleared up a couple of weeks ago, but the asthma has remained. There is still a haze over the city to the point that it's often hard to see the mountains, so I think we're still getting smoke from out of town. The smoke just isn't settling into the valley like it had been awhile back, but I don't think the air quality is what it should be just yet. Maybe by the end of summer, if we don't get any more fires around here. Maybe.

The fires have had my asthma more out of control than it's been in years. At the height of my breathing issues this summer, I'd been doing 7 breathing treatments a day for a couple of weeks. That's a lot. Too many. But at least doing the treatments kept me out of the hospital. The treatments combined with the massive amounts of steroids I'm on, anyway. It's taken forever to see any major improvement in my breathing, but I am finally down to only 5 treatments a day again. Considering I started the breathing treatments at the end of May, I'm a little bit frustrated. I'm trying not to be, but it's hard not being able to do much of anything around the house. 

I've been a lethargic slug for weeks now. I can't seem to do much of anything without needing another breathing treatment, and it's sort of getting old. The house is a complete and utter mess, and I'm doing my best to not let it get to me. Needless to say, I'm not getting a lick of dehoarding done. I know it will come in time, and that I will be successful, but I want so badly to get to work on it. It's just that I can't right now.

I did go into the doctor this week. She changed up my inhaled steroid to a different one, hoping it will help. I was at the highest allowable dosage on the one I'd been using for years. Unfortunately, when a person is at the highest possible dose, and they go into a major asthma attack, it tends to be much worse than it would be at a smaller dose. So here's to hoping that the new steroid will kick in and make a difference, because this is the worst attack I've had since I was in respiratory failure almost 20 years ago. Not good. Not good at all.

We sprung for a new filter for our portable air cleaner and got it installed the same day I went to the doctor. Several years ago, someone gave us a really, really good air purifier. An Austin. They're super expensive. Over $500 expensive. And the filters are over $200. But, from the reviews, they're worth it. The filters can last up to 5 years, which is amazing in and of itself. If the filter doesn't last that long, you can get a discount of up to 40% on the replacement, so we felt it was worth it. 

The person who gave us this filter several years ago used it in her aviary. When we got it, there were feathers sticking out everywhere, and it was in bad shape. But I donned a mask and vacuumed it out where I could. Then I took the air compressor and sprayed the dust out of the HEPA air filter. It literally took a couple of hours to get it clean, but I felt I got it fairly clean. Clean enough that we used it off and on for several years. It's just that it's been putting off a nasty smell since we turned it on after the fires started up this year. It was just plain time to replace the thing. No ifs, ands or buts. So considering that we've used it for probably 8 years, and the only cost we put into it was the $214 for the filter this week, it's been a good thing.

Now I'm hoping for greatness from it. 

I feel better this morning that I have in quite awhile. I'm hoping I can decrease the number of treatments I have today, but we'll see. I had to go out for doctors' appointments 3 times this week, and that means I was exposed to anyone and everyone who had coughed or sneezed in the doctors' offices. I am just praying I don't end up getting sick with anything I may have been exposed to. Steroids greatly lower the body's immunity, so if I do get something, it could be serious. 

I really need to get some vitamins going again. Anything that can strengthen my immunity. In fact, I think I'm going to go order some now...

The sooner I get started on them the sooner I get well...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Going Up In Smoke.

Last night, I couldn't fall asleep after hearing there was a fire on the grounds of the Air Force Academy. They said that they had it 100% contained, and they figured it was a result of a lightening strike, but I couldn't help but wonder, if they really had it under control. This morning when I woke up, they said that the fire was actually only 50% contained. I never really heard much more about that fire, because not long after I heard the update on it, all hell broke loose.

Colorado is on fire. Again.

Less than a year after the Waldo Canyon Fire consumed 346 homes and killed 2 people in Colorado Springs, and the High Park Fire destroyed 259 homes, killing one person near Fort Collins, the fires have started anew.

We were warned yesterday that today would be ripe with exceptionally high fire danger. Our relative humidity was only 3% today. That's low, even for Colorado. Our temperatures were to be close to 100 in Colorado Springs and as much as 105 in Pueblo. Add in winds with gusts between 35 and 40mph, and it was inevitable. 

Wildfires have cropped up all across the state. Black Forest, just north of the Springs is on fire. Several homes have already been lost since the fire started around 2:00 this afternoon. Hundreds of people have been evacuated, and my phone continues to chirp with updates to the mandatory evacuations every 30 minutes or so. 

Near Canyon City, one of our state's natural wonders caught fire from a lightening strike at nearly the same time as the Black Forest Fire started. I haven't heard how many homes have been lost yet, if any, but there are several homes that have been evacuated there as well.

About an hour after the start of the BF and RG fires I got an update that mentioned a wildfire in Huerfano County near LaVeta. Unfortunately, even though it is only about 40 to 50 acres, there have been hundreds evacuated as a result of the danger. Just when I thought we'd had enough, I heard tonight that there is also a wildfire in Pueblo. 

Please, please, please pray for Colorado!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

K Sare Ah. Sare Ah.


Wheezy and snotty.

Wheezy and snotty and tired. 

Really, really tired. 

I'm trying to keep things together until our insurance kicks in 5 weeks from now. I have been fighting something, but I'm not exactly sure what it is. I think it's likely just allergies, but whatever it is has decided to play games with my asthma. Stupid whatever it is. And it's not that I'd necessarily go to the doctor even, if we did have insurance. It's just that I'm trying to keep things together, so it doesn't get so bad I have no choice but to go in. That's all. It just feels weird to be without insurance for the first time in almost 20 years. I think I just sort of took it for granted when we did have it and assumed it would always be there.

Needless to say, I'll be happy to see the insurance cards come in the mail when the time is right.

I have slowly but surely getting my mental energy back. The physical energy is coming along bit by bit as well, but I have to admit that I look forward to being able to being able to put in a full day's work more often than I have been without being totally worn out for the following few days. I need to get back into taking my vitamins more regularly. I sort of got off track back in February when I had my second tonsillectomy, and my train is still derailed.

I do have to admit that part of the fatigue today has to do with the events of the weekend. We finally got the second raised garden bed in the backyard built last weekend, and we got it all filled with the good soil and manure and compost and such yesterday. So now my tomatoes and peppers are all planted! I'm so excited!

I still want to get the pallet garden done, so we can have lettuce and spinach and peas and such, but at this point, I honestly think I'll be okay, if it doesn't happen. I mean, I'd really, really like to get it done, so I haven't ruled it out just yet. I just don't know, if it will happen this year or not. 

Whatever will be, and all, right?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy! Happy! Happy!

Buster thinks she's coming down with an ear infection, so she stopped by this morning and asked me to look in her ear with our otoscope. There's definitely something going on in there, so she'll be going to the doctor to have them check it out. She hung around for awhile afterwards, so we could catch up on the latest with work and the rest. 

I always love when she stops by and we get to see her unexpectedly. It just brings sunshine to my day. And while we were visiting, the day just got brighter and brighter...

Hopper and Scooter has stayed the night at Bugster & Bubster's house a couple weekends ago when we went on a date. They'd taken their clothes and strings and such over in duffel bags, because they were quicker than getting out the little overnight case that's stored under the stairs and takes a bit to get to.

I'd unpacked Scooter's duffel bag earlier and had put it away, but I hadn't gotten around to Hopper's. We've been busy since our overnight date installing exterior doors and other such adventures, so I'm behind on things around the house again. So I just hadn't gotten around to unpacking it. That's all.

And sometimes this morning, Hopper decided to use it to carry her strings and boots around. The girls are funny that way. They love to pack and unpack bags, purses or even grocery sacks. So the duffel bag was just an extension of that. Nothing out of the ordinary.

And while I had done a quick inspection of her duffel bag when I was looking for Scooter's shirt, I hadn't torn it apart. What I'd seen when I looked in was the same thing that I'd seen when she brought it home from her weekend at Bugster's. But while Bugster and I were talking, Hopper pulled something out of her bag...               

It was red.

I saw a flash of black and white, and I just held my breath while Hopper worked at turning it right side out. 

It was the butterfly shirt!!!! 

Scooter was sitting there and was just beaming! She was definitely excited that it was still here! She decided to put it on, so Bugster could see it, and so she could go show her daddy, and all this was with a smile as wide as the Grand Canyon on her face! Heck! We all had smiles that wide! We are so very happy! So very, very relieved!  

We're so relieved that she didn't throw it away, even though she pointed to the picture of the garbage can. Then again, I hadn't drawn a picture of a duffel bag, and she may have pointed to that picture, because she'd put it 'in' something. It's a frustrating thing that we all deal with with her inability to communicate. I'm just so very thankful it worked out in her favor! 

I feel like I've got Snoopy in my head doing the Happy Dance right now! 


Friday, May 10, 2013

When clothing is more than cloth and thread.

A few years ago, Scooter wore a shirt to school that Bugster had given her. She loved that shirt. After all, her sister had given it to her. It was a black thermal underwear shirt that had little skulls all over it. I personally can't stand skulls on shirts, but these were so little that it was easy to forget that they were on there, and because of her affinity towards it I let her wear it. It did say, "La De Freakin' Da" on it, but she didn't know what it said. She just thought it was fun.

She wore it to school at least a couple dozen times with no problem. Then one day when she wore it, someone said it was inappropriate to wear to school, and she was told to turn it inside out and wear it like that for the rest of the day. She had no idea what she had done wrong. (Neither did we, for that matter, since they'd never had a problem with it the first 2 dozen times she'd worn it!) She just knew she felt horrible and was totally humiliated by having to wear it inside out. After all, that meant that any student or faculty who saw her knew that she was a bad girl for wearing it. 

We still don't know why the teacher didn't: a) call us and let us know there was a problem, b) put a tshirt on over it that we'd sent in for spare clothing for her in case of an accident, or c) take it off and have her wear a spare shirt for the rest of the day. But she had the same teacher that sprayed her with industrial strength air and surface sanitizer. So poor Scooter didn't have much of a chance in the entire situation. When she got home, she was heartbroken.

She got off the bus absolutely glaring at me and hitting herself in the head alternating with trying to pull her sleeve off. She was exceptionally upset. When we got inside, and I read her communication notebook, I guess I could understand where they thought it was inappropriate, but I still didn't understand why they felt the need to humiliate her. Then again, we didn't know that she was being sprayed yet, either.

She immediately tore her tshirt off and wanted to throw it in the garbage. She wanted nothing more to do with it. I told her I'd wash it up and get rid of it, but we didn't need to throw it away. It was gone within the week, and she never had a problem with it again. 

Until last week, that is.

Scooter's classroom had a community outing, and the forecast was for it to be 85 degrees. It didn't get that warm. Only got to the mid-60s. She'd worn her very favorite long-sleeved tshirt that her my mom and sister had gotten her. She absolutely adores butterflies, and this tshirt had huge ones on it. It couldn't have been more perfect. Long sleeved and butterfliesShe wore a denim jacket, because it was chilly when she went to school, and we felt that was perfect with the weather the way it is. I mean, she can wear long sleeves in the summer and never break a sweat. I've never been able to do it, but she sure can!

When she got home, though, she wasn't wearing the shirt. She was wearing a spare short sleeved shirt that we'd sent in for use in the case of a spill. She was so upset. Before she even got off the bus, she signed to me that it 'stinks' and 'broken'. The broken had to do with her necklace that had come apart, but the 'stinks' was because she didn't have her shirt on. I just figured she'd gotten it dirty. 


The teacher felt like she would be too warm in her long sleeves and denim jacket, so she took her tshirt off her and had her wear a short sleeved one for their community outing under her denim shirt. I didn't receive a phone call. Just a note after the fact. While I was reading the note, I saw in my peripheral vision that Scooter had taken the shirt and had headed into the kitchen with it. I assumed she tossed it downstairs, so it could be washed, but I didn't check that she had.

The next day was trash day, and Hubster took care of it. I didn't really think much of it until it was time to get the red clothes washed yesterday. I looked all over for the tshirt. 

It was nowhere to be found.

My heart just sank. When she got home from school, I drew her a picture of the shirt and reminded her of the situation, and then I drew a picture of the garbage can and a picture of the stairs with dirty clothes at the bottom. I asked her, if she'd thrown the shirt away in the trash can, or if she'd tossed it downstairs to be washed.

She pointed to the trash can. 

I asked her, if she'd thrown it away, and she signed, 'yes'. Then she signed, 'sorry'. I just about cried.

Even though she apparently had no negative reaction at school to changing into a different tshirt, she obviously thought about it for the rest of the day. And I know that in her little mind it was no different than when she had to wear the tshirt inside out, because she'd been 'bad'. 

My heart breaks for her. That was probably her favorite tshirt. She would get it out of the dirty clothes and wear it, if she didn't feel like I'd gotten my act together quick enough with the laundry. She'd wear it dirty for weeks at a time, if I didn't insist that it needed to be washed. And it just makes me so sad that even if she was confused about what I was asking her, and it shows up somewhere around her that it will never be as special to her as it once was. 

It's not like she gets to ever have a boyfriend or even a real friend. She'll never be able to get a job or go to college or have a family of her own. She doesn't play with toys much at all. In fact, her scarves, jewelry, boots, and clothes are really all that matters to her. I mean, she's got a toy here and there that she loves, but they are the  rare exception. I think one reason that they mean so much to her is that they are a way for her to express herself. And being nonverbal, expressing oneself is really, really important!

I know that the teacher was doing what she thought she could to help Scooter be more comfortable during their outing, but I really wish she'd have called me first to check with me before she took it upon herself to have Scooter change clothes. I made it very clear that I am not angry with the teacher but that I expect her to talk to me before she does something like that again. 

And then I cried my eyes out at Scooter's loss.