Sunday, November 30, 2008

My parents in India

A few of you have asked about my parents so I thought I'd post real quick. They are safe and thankfully were not in Mumbai during the terrorist attacks. They did fly through Mumbia the day after the attacks started, but were only in the airport. They were supposed to spend one day in another town and then fly back to Mumbai to spend their last 3 days there. Those plans changed and now they are spending extra time in the other town and then flying to Mumbai to spend just one night there before flying home. They are staying north of the financial district (where the attacks took place) and in their last email said they feel safe and have no reason to worry right now. I can imagine the security level being extremely high so possibly it's one of the safer places to be right now. Thanks for your concerns.

More posts to come later today inbetween writing my LAST few papers for my masters program!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Aunt Jo rolls

This year I won't be going home to Seattle for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, so I'm pretty sad about that. I love sharing holidays with Geoff's family, but it also means less time with my family and missing out on Abo traditions. I know it's just a new normal to get used to, but it's not all that easy for me. I feel SO grateful to be welcomed into Geoff's amazing family and I'm looking forward to the holidays with them this year, but I knew I'd have to bring a bit of home to our dinners. So, tonight I attempted to make Aunt Jo Rolls to bring to Barbara's house for Thanksgiving. We have these rolls every holiday at the Abo house. One batch makes 40 rolls and we usually only have leftovers for a day or two! Keep in mind, this is probably the easiest Abodeely traditional recipe but given my cooking history it's quite the challenge. I thought I'd take some pictures to share with my parents, who are in India. I probably would have called my mom atleast 5 times to ask her questions about the recipe, so it was sad to not be able to talk to her!

The mess

The dough is done!

In the fridge for a few days! I hope they turn out okay!

I found this as I was cleaning up. Look carefully under the Joy Of Cooking. It's a blob of dough. Not sure how that got there!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Hey friends. Happy Friday to you and I hope you have a great weekend. So, I'm considering going private on my blog. I really don't want to because it's kinda a pain for readers and I honestly don't mind random bloggers reading my posts. I'm the queen of blog stalking, so I can't hate on others for doing it! I'm just a little concerned about the creepers out their and who knows when they might find my blog and do something... well... creepy, for lack of a better word. Also, I REALLY want to do some venting about some stuff that's going down at work, but without knowing who my audience is it's probably not wise. Thoughts? Should I go private?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Operation Bus Sting: Failed

I talked to the police officer assigned to our case early this morning and unfortunately there were no under cover cops available. We decided to take this matter into our own hands and her and I worked what we thought would be the best sting ever. She gave me her personal cell # and I gave her my personal cell # and we decided that I'd get on the bus with my students, acting like I didn't know them. (Try telling a person with autism to pretend like they don't know their teacher... ha!!) So I sat on one side of the bus and my students sat on the other side and I kept a close eye on them, mostly D. I was supposed to text the police officer a description of the guy and a blow by blow of what was going down on the bus. Meanwhile, she was following the bus and would get this man when we got off. I got on the bus and waited, and waited, and turned my head to every man that came close to D's description.... but it was a no-go. The man never got on the bus and I'm thinking it was because D's mom canceled the debit card so the man probably figured out that we were on to him. I'm so bummed that we didn't catch him and the police officer was also thoroughly disappointed. She (the police officer) was fabulous and I'm so glad she was assigned to this case because she really honestly wanted to catch the guy and saw the importance of what this means for our community, especially our disabled community. The officer and I will keep in touch and we'll try another sting operation next week, but I doubt the guy will come around again.
I was INTO it though... I think I've missed my calling as an under-cover cop.

Back at the classroom our afternoon meeting was an hour long role play about bus safety and stranger awareness. I've learned that it can never be over tought and that our students need continious reminders that there are evil people out there that will take advantage of them. During the role playing D would say things like "leave me alone, please" instead of "LEAVE ME ALONE" like we tought him. It's still a long road and I'm grateful that this experience will teach us a lesson.

Thanks for all the concerns and comments and let's hope this doesn't happen again, EVER!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A life skills teacher worst nightmare

For those of you who don't know, I teach a program for students with moderate disabilities that focuses on independent living skills, community skills and vocational skills. This year I have some of the highest functioning kids that I've ever taught before, however my students are still vulnerable and easy to prey on.... and it has happened. It just eats me up and I can't stop thinking about it, so I thought I'd share what happened.
Yesterday one of my students with autism got off the bus at the wrong stop and my classroom aide asked him what he was doing at that bus stop. It turns out that the last few weeks D (we'll call him that) has been getting coerced by a man on the bus. D is on the same bus every Tuesday and Thursday after he leaves his job site and travels back to our class site for lunch and our afternoon meeting. This man is also on that same bus and has obviously worked D for awhile now to get money out of him. So, on Tuesdays he takes D's debit card (and any money that he has that day) and tells him he'll bring the card back to him on Thursdays. And he does. And D trusts him each week because the man tells D that he is "friendly" and that D can "trust" him. So the last 3 weeks this man has become D's "friend" and D even goes into the local liquor store with the stranger to get money out of the ATM for his new "friend".
Basically his man has totally coerced my student and has been working him the last 3 weeks. The man told D that he'd meet him back on the bus tomorrow (just as he has the last few weeks) to give back the debit card (and to probably take whatever money he has on him). I spent all morning with D and the police officer to get all the details that we could get. The problem is that it is SO hard to figure out exactly what D is saying and the difference between fact, and him saying what he thinks we want to hear. It's amazing what details D remembers such as what the man's shoes and jacket look like - but it's still hard to get all the details straight. It is shocking to me that D would do this, and even more shocking that there are evil people out there that would prey on a young adult with a disability. We are constantly teaching these skills and it's a lesson for me that the teaching is never over, no matter what you think is already learned.
I'll keep you posted as to what goes down tomorrow, but the police are planning a little sting on the bus to hopefully catch this asshole. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Erica's baby shower

Erica and Hector are expecting their baby boy mid February and me and 3 of my friends threw Erica a shower this last weekend. My friend Mitch did an incredible job with the Martha Stewart like decorations (I'm trying to hire him for our wedding favors) and everyone, including the mother-to-be seemed to have a good time. The games were fun, the food was delicious and people were able to catch up with old friends and family. Erica and Hector came over for dinner a few nights before the shower and Geoff and I gave them these cute little outfits for their little guy. The one we gave Hector said "daddy's little hero" with a firetruck on it and the onesie we gave Erica said "mommy's new man". Sooooo cute! I have to say though that the baby girl clothes out there are WAY cuter than the boy stuff and I can see why little girls get so spoiled. Don't tell anyone, but I'm starting to get a little tiny teeny itsy-bitsee twinge of the I-want-a-baby bug!

Update - I just read my friend Meghan's blog about how little sleep she's getting with her little girl's latest sleeping habits. Phewwwww, the I-want-a-baby bug went away. :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My new nephew

As I've blogged about before, my parents really need a grandchild around and our one dog in the family (Lola) is spoiled just like a baby. The good news is that we have another puppy to spoil! My sister and Shawn just got a 7 week old puppy and he is quite possibly the cutest little thing ever. Geoff and I spent the day in Santa Cruz with the three of them and he's already spoiled and just completely adorable. He's really smart and is learning so much - I am such a proud Aunt! My sis is so happy to have a new addition and having this little guy is literally a dream come true for her.

Here is a picture of me and Ziggy! (He's so dark and this is from my phone, so it didn't come out well - but atleast you can see his adorable-ness!)

Stay tuned for even more exciting Abodeely addition news :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can


We celebrated Obama's victory at our place last night with some friends. More pictures coming soon. An unbelievable night and I'm so proud to be a part of history.

I'm off to Pigeon Point with my students for 3 days - hopefully I make it back in one piece. Either way, I'll be FULLY ready for the weekend.

I have an Obama hang-over, and I love it.