Monday, October 19, 2015

Happy 65th mom

My mom- 

One of my closest friends.
One of my biggest supporters.
The One I go to for advice.
The One I sound like.
The One I look like.
The one whose body I somehow have gotten in the past few years. 
One of my first phone calls when something is good.
One of my first phone calls when something is bad. 
The one who has stood by my side, through every decision. 
The one Who has whole heartedly loved each of the children I have brought into our family. 
The one who has helped me become the mother I am. 
The one who has helped me learn to grieve.
One of my favorite people. 
One of the people I look up to most. 
So thankful that the one that God gave me is the best Mom I could ever imagine. 

Happy Birthday mom...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

School board choices....

I am not a political person. I am not going to lie when i say I have voted in many elections just by listening to my dad or my husband. There aren't many things I am invested enough personally to have a strong opinion on when it comes to voting, except the Oak Hills School Board.

 In the last election I knew who I was voting for and I was a proud backer of each of those people. This time around there are 3 opponents running for 2 open spots. To me, there are really only 2 choices.
You see I spend a lot of time in the district. I attend events and volunteer.  I am at meetings and I have been around awhile now. I pay close attention to who does what, I know who cares about our schools and our kids. I can't tell you the last time I have attended anything for our district where Jan Hunter wasn't there. She is at everything and is a positive voice for our district. She was on our original levy committee and is one of the first people I go to with questions for anything PTA. She has spent years invested in our district and the last few years as a board member. She is up for re-election. 

Another face (and voice;) who is at everything is Linus Ryland. He is the PTA dad. He is more knowledgable on Robert's Rules than anyone I know. He attends and reports back at every oak hills board meeting. He has children in the schools and a vested interest in the future of the district.  I have always looked to him as someone who not only knows the district, but cares. He is a volunteer like me, yet he has the knowledge and the drive to be so much more! 

I am sorry to say I do not know the third candidate. I have heard his name a few times, Cooper, I believe. This in of itself speaks volumes to me. If I am in a place where I have had countless interactions with both Linus and Jan, but have yet to meet the third candidate, I believe that speaks of his concern for our district on some level. 

I will be at the meet the candidates forum on October 21 at RRMS at 7 pm and I urge you to go as well. The best thing we can do for the future of our schools is make an informed decision on who is in charge.

 This is that chance. 

I know this is only the two cents of a parent in the district. But, if anyone is voting for school board like I have voted in the past and needs a little help with their choices, Ryland and Hunter are getting my votes. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Filling fifty stockings... We need your help!!

Earlier this week Anna, Wy, Sam and I took a van load of stuff to Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
We took new costumes, clothes and toys. When we talked about what we wanted to donate the kids decided that the kids in the hospital may not have costumes and would want one to wear at the hospital. 
After we left we started talking about what we could do next. We thought about what a child who has to spend Christmas in the hospital may be missing. Wy said they probably miss their Christmas tree and from there Anna said what about a stocking? So our idea was born with that. 
                Filling fifty stockings. 

We are unable to donate anything edible, so we are going to stick with small toys, play doh, word searches, fun pens and markers. When I spoke with Miss Jane at CCHMC she said the best thing to donate would be gift cards. Something new that we learned is that we can get gift cards to the hospital gift shop! So not only will the kids get a gift card, but they Can go shopping themselves! 
Our goal is a big one- hoping to fill our 50 stockings with $10 gift cards each- so we need to raise $500! If you are at the hospital and would like to purchase a gift card that is great! If you would like to donate money we will purchase them with our final amount and split it 50 ways!  Our family will be taking care of the 50 stockings and we are hoping a few classes at school could help and collect pencils, markers, word searches, soduku books, pocket puzzle books and small stuffed animals. If you could help by purchasing just a few things we would appreciate this so much! 

We know we just asked for help in May, but what a great reason to get your heart ready for the Christmas Season!

 We will plan on making our delivery in early December. We would like all donations by December 5.  Please let us know if you would like to be a part of helping make Christmas a little brighter for the inpatient kids at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. 

****************update 11-12-15***********
We are on our way! Thanks to Grandma and Papa Cox we have 50 stockings! We have also received 50 cans of play dough from the Willetts, a box of toys from the Hetzels and our first gift cards from the Williams family! We have purchased small prizes and books for each stocking and have door hangers to donate as well! We have Anna's 4th grade class making cards to put in each stocking! 
We still need you! We are in need of gift cards for the gift shop at CCHMC. Please help if you can!! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

A letter to Cincinnati Children's Hospital...

Dear Cincinnati Children's, 
Sometimes when a hospital is so large and sees so many patients, you may not realize how special you make them feel. Not only did you have an employee who recognized my child's illness on her own time, but she took the steps to get her proper care. This woman went above and beyond. Not because it was her job, because she cared.

When we were in the ER awaiting results, each person we came into contact with went out of their way to make my daughter comfortable, to explain things to her father and I. To make her smile. Not because it was their job, but because they cared. When we were put in our room and then rushed to surgery each person we came into contact with made those horrifying moments smoothly progress. They spoke to our daughter and to ourselves in a way we could understand without causing more fear. We were greeted beforehand by surgeons in the waiting area of the OR and kept informed during her surgery. When we sat in the waiting room scared for our child's life we were met with concern from employees. All of these things were not part of a job, it was because these people cared.
After her surgery was complete, we were met by two world renowned surgeons. They of course updated us on the procedure, but also on how our baby was and what we could expect. They answered a nervous moms crazy questions and hugged me without a second thought. Not because this was part of their job, but because they cared. As my daughter recovered and we spent a week in the hospital, each nurse, each nurses aide, each child life specialist. Each doctor, each fellow, each department we came into contact with. Every single person who we crossed paths with made this time more than tolerable. They made sure that my child was not just a patient, not just a room number, not just a surgery- she was Anna. Not because this was their job, but because they cared. With each follow up appointment, with each phone call from a frantic mother, with each question and concern, we were given kindness and treated with care. Not once did I ever feel like a nuisance or a pain, even though I may have been. We were helped through recovery with the kid gloves we needed. Not because it was their job, but because they cared. 
To the staff that cared for our daughter, she may have been just a patient, but the important part is, she never felt that way. We never felt to be "just anything". The Cincinnati Children's staff not only saved my daughters life, but they brought comfort and love to our family when we were in a very scary place. Not because it was their job, but because they cared. 
As she has made a full recovery and been given amazing opportunities through the hospital, we continue to see this care.
Through the Champions program, through the donations we have been able to give and the experiences Anna has been able to be a part of now.
There aren't many things in life where you can say you are completely happy with, but for us Cincinnati Children's Hospital would be it.
We are so lucky to live in a city with a hospital like this, a hospital that saves lives and makes individuals feel like individuals. Thank you CCHMC for doing things the way you do, not because it is your job, but because you care. 

Anna's mom 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mama's got to brag on Super Wy ...

I have to brag a bit;) look at this face- 

This is a face filled with pride! He is confident and happy and so incredibly proud of himself. This was his prize for 20 consecutive days of good behavior. 20 days on "green" in a row- 1 yellow and you started over. He did it! 
I am so blessed to be his mom everyday, but days like this deserve special recognition. 
Those who know Wy know his struggles. He has worked so hard to learn to read and he never gives up. He has struggled in school from the beginning and now happily he has all of the pieces in place to get the help he needs to be his best self. 
Sure, he still needs reminders (and more reminders), he still gets in trouble, but he is working hard on being the best little man he can be. So much of this stems from his "team" this year at school. 
I sent a letter to his teacher and intervention aide last week. I thought I would share it here because not only am I proud of Wy, but he is so proud of himself. 
Sometimes you just gotta brag a little;) 

"Tina and Caitlyn,
I am typing this out and sending it to you instead of an email, because I feel you deserve more than an email! I know neither of you knew Wyatt before August. I know that even though I shared his background and a little of who he is, it can only paint a small picture of the amazing little man he is today. 
This past year has been a very big struggle for Wy. He came into second grade after having a very difficult year with many personal struggles. He was in a place where he never wanted to be alone. He struggled going to sleep and was always worried about what was next. He was acting out and I wasn't sure what I could do to help make his life better, because the things that were stressing him were out of my control. Meechie's leaving still plays a daily part in his life, bubba (our dog) being gone is a struggle as well and Anna's hospital stay still bothers him. All of the changes last year have loomed over him and weighed heavy on his mind. 
In the past month I have noticed there is a huge difference in him. I am absolutely certain it is because of the two of you. 
Wyatt is no longer focused on what is next or what could go wrong. He is no longer worried. He comes home each day happy and smiling. He sings and whistles all of the time. When I ask him if he is happy he doesn't hesitate to say yes. He is confident. He is proud of himself. He is sure of his place in your classroom. He tells me everyday how much he loves school. 
For the first time, in the 6 years he has been with us, he goes to his room and plays by himself. He is not afraid to be alone. He is happy to do his own thing. I believe his confidence and attitude are a direct reflection of the two of you. 
I am always trying to help make life a little easier for Wy. I know that God placed him with the two of you knowing what care, love and concern you would give him. This is just a little "thank you" to you from his mom. Letting you know that how you treat your students makes their life so much better! Thank you for helping to instill the confidence and self worth that my buddy needed, when he needed it most!! 

Lots of love and admiration,
Sarah Caito "

             Wy and Mrs. "Miscalea"