Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Should Affix Googly Eyes to the Paperwork So I Can Say It's LITERALLY STARING AT ME

Life has been moving along at an alarming rate lately. I traveled Sunday through Tuesday, will travel again Saturday through Tuesday, and again the following Sunday through Friday. In the midst of it all, we've been approved by our first choice adoption agency, and much quicker than I thought, too. I figured it would take two weeks after they'd received our application, and then six days after I'd mailed it, our approval e-mail was there in my inbox. While this was much to my relief, at the same time, I now have a stack of paperwork sitting in front of me much sooner than anticipated--some of it literally right there, some on a list of additional paperwork to acquire--that I can't (and don't want to) ignore. So between travel and the paperwork, I won't have much time on my hands. I suppose this is why I find it perfectly acceptable that I haven't done much today aside from adoption paperwork and research.

Okay, okay, I also made some brownies. But that's kind of like breathing lately, so we can take that as a given part of my day, right?

I had every intention of working out, but I skipped it. If ever there was a time to give myself a break from workouts, now is it. Between working full time hours most week, traveling, doing my best to keep up with laundry and dishes (notice that I did not mention cooking--I've given up completely on that) and the aforementioned stack of paperwork, there's just not much time left. So I'm content with yoga once a week and two levels of 30 Day Shred once a week. I have a feeling there will be plenty of time for working out once the paperwork is in and I've returned to a part time work schedule, so I'll just save it for then. So far all my trousers still fit, and I don't feel extraordinarily ashamed when I put on a two piece bathing suit, so that's that. I've grown a lot lately when it comes to accepting my body and its natural shape, and as long as I avoid pop culture publications, I feel like I'm okay with the fact that the gift my ancestors gave me was the gift of sturdiness. There's nothing wrong with being thick like a tree trunk.

Well, unless it's from eating mostly brownies for meals, which...oh...whoops.

Survival, Branson Style

Three days, two nights, four kids, two adults, one hotel room. In Branson, Missouri.

The result? Absolute mayhem.

these kids trashed my hotel room

So we put 'em in jail.

the glory of the elementary-school-aged boy

What? They deserved it.

And besides, I totally let them have ice cream and funnel cakes for lunch that day. Don't tell their parents; usually I'm the Nutrition Police, and I need to uphold my reputation.

Next year we're getting an extra hotel room and bringing extra adults. It has been decreed, and therefore the chosen adults are not allowed to decline the invitation. See you next year, suckers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I'm having to make some tough decisions about work right now. Nothing will go into effect until autumn, but I think that it's good that I know the plan so that the family it will affect most will have time to make alternate arrangements. It's hard for me to leave a family behind without having some external reason like moving or a major injury or something; I always feel like they neeeeed me and I should beeeeeee there for their chilllllllldren. But I suppose that in the end, the reason is external. I may not be injured, but there are certainly signs that my current level of exertion as it pertains to work is not doing me any favors. I am tired nearly all the time. I don't get to do a great many things I want to do, and when I do them, I often feel rushed. I feel like crying quite a bit simply because I am overwhelmed with things to do.

I've taken on more work lately for a couple of reasons: first, because I am good at what I do, and there are families that really value that, which always feels good, and second, because of financial concerns. The first reason is valid, but the second is poppycock. I see very little difference in our finances as a whole now that I am working a great deal more. Because for us, the fact is that we save a lot of money when I have more time. We eat out less, I go to Starbucks less, and I do less impulse spending.

I am happy with the decision I've made, but it will be hard to tell a family that I love very much that I won't be able to be their primary childcare provider anymore. I look forward, though, to being more involved in their lives in other ways. I also look forward to continuing to pursue my work in ways I feel are the best use of my abilities. It is good to do something well and to enjoy it, and I very much look forward to having that feeling back. Now, I'll just have to figure out what to do with all that time I was spending complaining about being tired and stressed and overwhelmed.

Perhaps I'll take more naps.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If Only

I wrote a whole different post, but what I really want to say is that I wish I were home more often. If I were home more often:

1. I would be generally calmer.

2. Also more well-rested.

3. The laundry would get folded and put away on the same day it was laundered. Also, dried on the same day it was washed! (I know, it would be like a miracle or something!)

4. I would go to Starbucks a lot less frequently.

5. The dishwasher would get unloaded on the same day it was run, not one or two or (cringing slightly) three days later.

6. I would cook dinner more than once a week.

7. The house would be much cleaner.

8. The piles of unopened mail would be opened, sorted, and put away. As it is, I triage. Are you a bill? I will open you! Not a bill? See you in six months or so!

9. I would not have just made another batch of brownies.

10. I would not be about to dig into those brownies, still hot and gooey, with a spoon.

Okay, so maybe I'm fibbing on 9 & 10. I deserve a little fibbing for all my hard work, right? Nod vigorously, please.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Was Going to Wait, But I Hate Waiting

I also figure that we could use as many good thoughts, prayers, well-wishes, and crossed fingers as possible.

I am mailing our application to our agency of choice today.

The adoption blog is here.

I am feeling nervous about this whole process; this is because I have the tendency to jump to the worst possible conclusion before there's a reason to. I also like to worry about money as a hobby, so I'm starting in on that early. I wouldn't want to miss out on any worry that could come my way!

I will keep you updated both here and over at Finding Magnolia as things progress.

Good thoughts.

Good thoughts.

Good thoughts.

And maybe some deep breaths and a few brownies, too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lazyass Gardening FTW!!!!!

I am never trying hard again. I mean, look:

little yellow

how about some bush basil

also growing tiny peppers

heirlooms

peapod

all my tomatoes outgrew their cages

That last one is of all my tomato plants outgrowing their cages. Turns out a little half-assed labor is all you need to succeed. Go forth and be mediocre!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Whosawhatsit HUH?

We seem to be encountering some confusion when it comes to our intention to adopt, and it's occurred to me that we (okay, mostly me) are to blame. A lot of people seem baffled by our confession that we don't intend to pursue pregnancy. After all, weren't we the people who got pregnant, miscarried, and then were all, "Wait, we can do that? Yay! Let's!" Yes, we were. But that was so three months ago! And now it's time to catch up.

The short story is that through the process of miscarriage and the subsequent realization that we could actually create a baby using our own bodies, like, for real, man, we discovered that, well, we didn't actually want to. It's not that we are completely opposed to the idea; if, despite prophylactic measures, we were to find that I'd gotten knocked up, we certainly wouldn't be down in the mouth about it. However, it turns out that neither of us is particularly attached to the idea of pregnancy or of passing on our own precious DNA, whereas we are really into adoption.

I suppose I have known this for a long time. While we were researching adoption last December, I e-mailed a friend that I really felt excited about adoption, that I actually didn't want to become pregnant at all, and wouldn't it be funny if I had gotten pregnant that one time we weren't careful? Ha ha ha, send me some more adoption information! Let me fill out another request for a packet from another agency! And then, well, it turned out that we probably did get pregnant that time I joked about. This is where the whole thing broke down. Suddenly, we could get pregnant, and we knew it. We'd discussed having one biological child before adopting, so it seemed like maybe it would be a good thing to try. I talked to a lot of other women who had miscarried and then became pregnant. I asked for advice and made plans and figured out when would be a good time to vacation should we happen to get knocked up right away.

And then I held a friend's newborn. After that, it was all over for me.

I have held a lot of newborns in my life as a nanny. I'll likely hold a lot more. Many times I thought, "Oh, how sweet, I would like one of these squishy infants." But something was different this time. I realized that the brand new babyness was not something I'd miss if it didn't come to our house. I thought about pregnancy, and grasped that it was not something that I particularly felt drawn to experience. It was not long after that that I asked Jarod, while sitting on the Latte Land patio, if he was particularly into passing on our DNA, or if maybe adoption would be our best option regardless of whether we could get pregnant or not. And what do you know, he wasn't bent on birthing a child with our genes either.

So here we are, preparing to apply to an adoption agency, hopefully on the road to building our family through adoption. The short version of the answer to the question "Why?" is simply that we believe that every child deserves a family, and we would like to make a family. We think that makes for a pretty good fit. We'll be the parents; now all we need is to find our kids.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Nothin', Really

Tonight as I was passing the Waldo park & ride on my bicycle, I noticed hair that looked like Jarod's on the back of a head in one of the shelters. At that same moment, I got a text. It was from Jarod, wondering if I could pick him up from the park & ride. I wheeled around and said no, unless he wanted to ride on my handlebars. We decided to just walk home together instead.

...

When I got home, I stood around admiring my lazyass gardening handiwork while Jarod did some actual weeding. He says it's cathartic, and I say that I hope he wants some catharsis every single day because these hands only do what is absolutely necessary. I did weed around my carrots as I thinned them since I recognized that they didn't stand a chance against the rapidly growing grass, but other than that I just trusted that the other plants got enough of a head start post-tarp-removal that they'll bear fruit (er, vegetables?) just fine. The peas are blossoming nicely, the green beans are looking hardy, and the potatoes are reaching for the sky. We'll see about the carrots, and though I haven't killed the cantaloupe yet, I still have my doubts. Down in the lower garden, the tomatoes are already showing small green globes for my small efforts, and the first round of dill I planted is starting to look like a bush. I think my pepper plants are a bit small, but I keep seeing other pepper plants around the city that are roughly the same size, so perhaps I'm doing it right after all. With lazyass gardening, only time will tell.

...

After allowing Jarod to weed under my admiring gaze, we came inside, and I headed straight back out (or is it straight front out?) to remove the front storm door. I busted the screen out with my butt months ago, and it hasn't been doing anything but getting in the way since. I intended to remove it with just my bare hands and a screwdriver, but pretty soon Jarod came out with a drill and it was all quick and painless after that, aside from the part where the top bit of the aluminum frame detached from the rest of the door and fell on my head. Even that didn't hurt as much as my pride; what am I going to say I did with just my bare hands and a small tool now? Nothing, that's what. I removed a few screws from our busted screen door with just my bare hands and a screwdriver! See, it just doesn't sound as impressive.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Tall Order

Oh, internet, I need your help again. I am having trouble finding The Perfect Black Flats. Here is the criteria:

1. Not too formal, not too casual, must be versatile enough to be worn with jeans or with a nice skirt. Nothing too clunky or too prissy.

2. Cute detailing, preferably in black. My go-to shoes that are now falling apart have a black flower off to the side of the toe. I'd accept silver or pewter detailing, but no brass or gold.

3. Comfortable enough to walk in. A lot. This means at least a bit of arch support and no bits that might cause blisters.

4. Size 10 if they run true to size, size (ahem) 11 if they don't. Bonus if they run small and you can find a 10 1/2.

5. Under $100, preferably under $75, huge bonus if they're under $50.

I actually love these, even though they're a tiny bit more on the prissy side than I prefer, but you'll notice they don't fit the price range, and I'd have to put in arch supports. Also, where did the Boden reviews go? I need more info, Boden! Fit! Comfort! Etc.!

Ahem. Get window shopping, people. I expect to see some options.