Monday, March 30, 2009

The Runaway

"Did you ever run away from home?"

Most children threaten to run away at one point or another. Their parents make them do something they don't want to do, or they don't get a particular toy that they really, really want... I, however, had a different approach. I was smart enough to know that I wouldn't make it very far out there on the streets. As my niece has said, "But who's gonna take care of us?!? We're just little kids, you know!" So when I got really mad at my parents, I locked myself in the bathroom with all of the things that I considered to be necessities to live.

Yep... I would make a big deal out of how angry I was by not speaking a word as I moved one item at a time into the bathroom. My pillows. My blanket. A book. A glass of water. A bag of potato chips. The cat. His litter box was in there, so I wanted to make sure he was taken care of. :-) The TV. I wasn't stupid. If I was going to be alone in the bathroom for the rest of my life (or until the toilet paper ran out), I needed something to do! And after I had moved in everything I could possibly think of that would sustain me for life, I walked in and locked the door.

I would settle into my makeshift bed in the bathtub to read, and usually after about 5 minutes or so I'd think of something extremely important that I had forgotten to move into my new home. I knew I couldn't leave though. Not after I had just spent over an hour moving in and having the ceremonial "locking of the door..." I refused to give them the satisfaction. I was way too stubborn for that. What was I going to do?!? Thank goodness for little sisters. "CHRISTY!!! I NEED MY ALARM CLOCK!!!" She, of course, being the dutiful little sister would bring it to the door for me. I would crack it just enough to pull in whatever item she was bringing me (or have her slide it under the door if it was small enough) and lock the door again.

Yep. I showed them! They'd think twice before doing whatever it was that made me angry again! What was it that they did again? Why am I mad? I'm kind of hungry. Man, this is boring. That catbox stinks. This bathtub's hard. My butt hurts. How long has it been? 20 minutes? Yeah... I think that's good. :-)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beware! Apparently, I'm Contagious...

I've caught a disease. It's called the "Blog Bug."

Since I began this blog last month, I've totally rediscovered my love for writing. Unfortunately, there are some nasty side effects. I have found myself thinking in "writer mode" at all times. That wouldn't be so bad, but I tend to be rather dry and sarcastic in my every day life anyway... So Tammy in "writer mode" is about 100 times worse. I just can't seem to stop myself! People don't dare do anything remotely questionable around me because my "already-quick-to-shoot" mouth is on a roll! I am sooooo going to get in trouble one of these days.

I'm constantly on the lookout for inspiration. People are frightened of me now because they are afraid their actions will end up being the inspiration for one of my blogs. I might have to start getting more creative with the names to protect the innocent. :-) But then again... Come on! You have to know I'm going to say something about it when you do or say something ridiculous. This is me we're talking about!

To be fair, I am an equal opportunity blogger. I think I provide just as many laughs (if not more) at my own expense as I do at others'. How many other people would willingly admit they squealed like a teenage groupie to a comment from a complete stranger or that they were a favorite client of the Hooter Fairy? Actually, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I humiliate myself much more than I embarrass others. So I don't feel so bad now. :-)

Not only are the side effects to the Blog Bug potentially dangerous, the Bug itself is apparently contagious! I discovered this last week when my mother started her own blog... which then spread to my aunt... to my cousin... and now to my sister! I never meant to spread this infectious disease amongst my entire extended family. Had I known I was that contagious, I would have worn a mask or something. What started out as a simple blog to update my friends and family on my foster/adopt journey has turned into a widespread disease and a major competition.

You see, I don't get my sarcastic nature and writing ability from any strangers. We're all full of it! We're also all rather competitive, so it's going to be interesting to see who tops who in the blog world. We might all be telling the world that we "just want a place to vent or keep our friends and families updated," but that's not entirely true. We secretly want to win the unspoken family competition on who has the best / funniest / most insightful / most popular blog post for the day.

It's called the "Blog Bug"... and it's a serious disease.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Journal Jar

I changed my mind and decided to post my Journal Jar entries here on I Must Be Trippin' too so I wouldn't have to deal with multiple blogs. What is a Journal Jar, you ask? Well, my cousin made homemade Christmas gifts this past Christmas, and one of them was a Journal Jar. It's basically hundreds of random questions and topics to give you a starting point for your daily journal entries. I LOVED the idea, and thought I'd carry it over to my blog. It's a great way to discover little-known facts about your family and friends, and can be saved for future generations.

"What was your first paying job?"

I always tell people that I never really had a "typical" job as a teenager or in college. I never did fast food or waited tables at restaurants. I don't really have the personality for it. I think the first time someone would have said, "Hey, Miss... My coffee's cold," I probably would have told them where the coffee pot was located and what they could do with it when they found it. :-) The only time I ever attempted retail lasted about 4-6 weeks in college. I worked in the Children's Department at Mervyn's during Back-to-School season. If that's not enough to send a person screaming in the opposite direction, I don't know what is. Retail was not for me.

I think my first paying job was working at the dentist office with my Mom when I turned 16. They had me cleaning instruments, developing x-rays, sending out mailings, cleaning the office, etc. ...pretty much all of the stuff that no one else wanted to do... :-) I really liked it though (except for the part where I had to clean out the suction traps at the end of the day. All of those tooth bits and nastiness... YUCK!). But the best part was that I only had to work about 10-12 hours a week and made the same amount of money that all of my friends made at their 20-hour-a-week fast food jobs. (They didn't like me much. :-)

I worked there for about a year when my Aunt Linda asked me if I'd be interested in coaching gymnastics at the YMCA. Heck, yeah!!! That's a COOL job, and I was good at it. I ended up coaching from the time I was 17 all through my early college years. It's good money, that's for sure. At one point, I was coaching at a nearby club about 30 hours a week around all of my college classes. I was in awesome shape... I was very bendy too. :-)

Throughout the "early years," I had all sorts of jobs. I worked at the dentist office. I coached gymnastics. I helped my aunt coach PE at a private school. I did after school care at the YMCA. I worked summer day care. I did private tutoring. I gave beginning clarinet and flute lessons. I answered the phones and did some billing a couple days a week for my uncle's piano tuning/moving company. I've even worked in several libraries (It's easy to get on at a library if you've ever even been inside of one before. :-)

I think the busiest I ever was happened around the time I was 20 or so. I had about 15-20 hours a week of gymnastics classes in the mornings, some late evenings, and Saturdays. I did after school care at the YMCA another 15 hours a week. I threw in about 6-8 hours a week of private tutoring and clarinet lessons. And my aunt and uncle let me hang out at their house and answer phones for their company a couple hours a day in between my morning and afternoon stuff so I wouldn't have to drive back to the dorms (It was very nice of them to basically pay me to do my homework :-). Crazy busy, but again, the money added up. Especially because I didn't have any free time to spend it!

I love that I never had a "typical" job when I was young. I was certainly busy, but the variety made the time fly, and I love working with kids. I kind of miss it. :-( I'll definitely be one of those PTA moms. Shoot... I'll probably be the president of the PTA knowing me. I don't do anything half-way! :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009


"All I have seen teaches me to trust
the Creator for all I have not seen."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The True Call of a Christian

"The true call of a Christian is not to do extraordinary things,
but to do ordinary things in an extraordinary way."

~ Dean Stanley


Merle Shain:

"Intimacy is a haven where your vulnerabilities don't humiliate you, where sex is always warm and close, and all your funny lines are understood. It's knowing someone so well you can no longer tell where they begin and you leave off, as in the cartoon in which one old person says to another, 'which one of us doesn't like broccoli?' It's an eye that catches yours across the room; it's pet names and making plans; a cup of tea brought to bed. It's a hug when you need it, and even when you don't; it's knowing you have a date for Saturday night."

from ~ Courage My Love

A Poem on Beauty...

The tide recedes, but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle warmth
still lingers on the land.
The music stops, and yet it echoes on
in sweet refrains...
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains.

~Author Unknown~

F/A Land Update

I promise, I haven't been holding out on you guys... I'm not keeping any big Foster/Adopt Land secrets. There just really hasn't been anything major to report the past week and a half or so.

The last potential baby call that I got was back on 3/16, which obviously didn't work out. But I got home from work that afternoon and found out that I got my new verification papers in the mail, so I was excited. I'm now officially verified for up to two children, foster/adopt, ages 0-12 years old, boy or girl. They wrote it up fairly broadly so I can just tell my case manager what to submit me for and can change my age ranges without having to go through the hassle of getting recertified. Yay! :-)
I just submitted my homestudy for consideration to adopt a 10-year-old little girl. The process is similar to that of placing foster children, but it takes longer. They want to make certain they have a solid positive match for everyone involved. I really don't have any idea how long it will be before I hear one way or the other. Her case manager didn't mention how long they would be accepting homestudies when my case manager submitted my paperwork. I guess I'll know when I know! ;-)
I'm going to be moving into a bigger apartment in the same complex in the next month or two. I decided to move back into the same floorplan that we were in when Melissa and I were roommates. It's a two story, two bedroom, two bath with a HUGE patio (I can get a swing again!!! :-). It feels a lot more like a house and less like an apartment than the place I'm in now. And I know I'll feel better having more room for the kiddos and their own bathroom. I should find out this weekend about availability and move-in costs. I'm hoping to get a corner unit by the courtyard if they have one available soon.
So that's pretty much it for now. My case manager is still on the lookout for infants ages 0-18 months for foster/adopt, and is keeping her eyes peeled for any matched adoption bulletins that open up for a little girl (6-12 years old). We'll just wait and see what happens first! or little girl... and in the meantime, I'm moving again!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"If" Question of the Week

I thought it might be fun to start an interactive "If" Question of the Week here on Tammy's Ramblings. I've owned a book entitled, "If..." by Evelyn McFarlane & James Saywell for several years, and it's a lot of fun at parties. It's got hundreds of "if" questions that really make you think. Some are funny... Some are pretty deep... But the answers you get are always interesting.

My goal is to present an "If" Question of the Week every week, answer the question from my point of view, and ask each of you to respond with your answer as well.

"If" Question of the Week - Week 1

"If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?"

I guess my first response to this would be with a question. Is this before or after I get released from the hospital after passing out from hyperventilating? Because I'm fairly certain that would be the first thing I would do.

I know the standard response to this question is ordinarily, "The first thing I'd do if I won the lottery would be to tell my boss to shove it and quit my job!" But not me... Why, you might ask... Do I love my job that much? Does the emotional gratification outweigh the monetary compensation? Do I truly feel as though "I save lives by making transfusion possible," and that no amount of money could replace the sense of accomplishment I feel in my heart for knowing I helped save a life? HECK NO! I pay bills for a living for crying out loud! It's a far stretch (even for me) to feel as though paying for a 9 cent box of paperclips is saving a life. I might feel differently if I worked in the lab or was a phlebotomist. Although I'm certain I'd still end up quitting eventually.

No... I wouldn't quit my job first thing because I'm kind of a little snot. I think it would be hilarious to run into the office, announce that I won the lotto, and then go into work every day as scheduled for a few weeks (or even months) just to sit back and watch my bosses squirm as they worry about if/when I'll be quitting. Bad, Tammy! :-) No, money might not be able to buy happiness, but in this case... it can certainly provide entertainment!

*** evil grin ***

So, what is the first thing I would do if I won the lottery? I would tell my parents to quit their jobs and set them up with a big chunk of change so they could retire and live comfortably for years to come. Goodness knows, I owe them! :-)

What about all of you? "If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed
social condition;
To know even on life has breathed easier
because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The Simple Faith"

Before me, even as behind,
God is, and all is well.

~John Greenleaf Whittier

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mental Health Day

I just love Mental Health Days! That is to say, I love my mental health. Which is why after only one day in the first circle of hell... I mean... at the office... I told my boss that I was taking a Mental Health Day today.

I was kind of shocked really. He didn't ask for a full itinerary of my plans for the day or three methods of communication on the off chance they needed to contact me. He didn't remind me to put up my "Where Are You" sign. He didn't even ask me why I needed the day off or tell me to "coordinate my daily tasks with my A/P partner to make sure everything is covered" like he does with everyone else. He just said, "sounds good" and told me to have a good day. Okay, who are you, and what have you done with Anal-Retentive Timeclock Nazi?!?

I suppose in all fairness, the last time I told him that I was taking a Mental Health Day, he did ask me if everything was okay. I burst into uncontrollable tears and wailed, "I JUST NEED A FREAKIN' DAY OFF, OKAY?!?" This was before my shrink got my medications regulated and I was borderline checking into the loony bin. So yeah... I can see where he might have been having flashbacks of Bipolar Girl and didn't want to relive that wonderful moment in our working relationship. But still... After recent events at the office, his eagerness to let me leave had me slightly suspicious. I have my theories, of course...
  • He's adding up my demerits so he can fire me or demote me upon my return. They seem to do that quite a bit up there. I know of several people who came back to the office after being out who were either fired for failure to pre-plan their illnesses, or who came back from vacation only to discover someone else sitting in their desk and to learn that they were now part of the janitorial staff.
  • Perhaps Bipolar Girl is rearing her head more prominently than I realize and he's frightened of me. Sure, I'm only 5'1" and a good foot shorter than he is, but Bipolar Girl is scary. She goes from crying hysterically over her flat Diet Coke to severe rage that someone is looking at her for crying to laughing uncontrollably at her irrational behavior... all within a matter of seconds. So if Bipolar Girl is coming back, I can see where he might want to have me out of shooting distance. :-)

  • He respects my "no-nonsense, tell-it-like-I-see-it" approach. (Yeah, right :-) I always tell him exactly what I think, whether he likes what I have to say or not. You'd think it would get me into trouble, but it seems to have the opposite effect. Shoot! Sometimes he even comes to me and asks me what I think! Maybe he respects the fact that I tell him when I'm taking off, rather than asking permission. Why ask permission when I'm going to take the day off no matter what he says? I'd just call in "sick" if he said no, and he knows that. I suppose, rather than lose that battle, he just says "sounds good" so he feels like he made the decision in the end. :-)
Whatever the reason for his completely out-of-character reaction to my demand for a mental health day, I won't worry about it. I'll just lounge around the house in my pj's and enjoy the day. I guess we'll find out tomorrow if I'm still the Accounts Payable Coordinator or if I've been demoted to Towel Girl in the women's restroom. But until then... I'm "mentally-healthy" and feeling gooooood! :-)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Ultimate Compliment

I'm not one who gets completely awestruck over celebrities or who gets all flustered around public figures. I'm not easily intimidated. You pretty much have to deal with the real me no matter who you are. I call it like I see it, and I will usually say exactly what's on my mind to whoever happens to be there at the time. Granted, that's not always a good thing. I'm kind of shocked I've made it this far in life without having my mouth (or my little typing fingers) get me into serious trouble. I seem to be missing that filter between my brain and my mouth that turns my exact thoughts into something a little more appropriate for the situation at hand before speaking. Just last week I told the entire department (including my unsuspecting male boss) that the underwire popped in my bra and I was being stabbed in delicate, private places. I easily could have just excused myself, saying that I needed to "take care of something." But where's the fun in that?!? I'm all about the shock factor. ;-) To be honest, censoring myself didn't even occur to me until after his jaw hit the floor, his face turned all red, and he started trying to look everywhere except at my chest. And at that point, I was getting such amusement at his expense that there was no way I would have changed it! Bad, Tammy! ;-)

I mention all of this because my reaction to something that happened earlier this week was completely out of character for me and caught me totally off-guard. I logged in the morning after I wrote my latest Random Rambling expanding on my great love of the highlighter and saw that I had some comments to post. That, of course, made me happy. I love comments. After all, what is a blog other than a shameless plea for comments, really? Yeah, yeah... It's a creative outlet for divulging one's innermost thoughts and feelings. Blah, blah, blah... But I like the comments. They give me the warm-fuzzies and make me feel special and important. :-)

My completely out of character, star-struck, crazy reaction came when I saw that I had a comment from "Foster Mama." My heart skipped a beat! NO WAY!!! Surely not the "Foster Mama!" Not "Foster Mama" from Postcards from Insanity "Foster Mama?!?" A friend of mine suggested her blog when I started this whole foster/adopt journey, and I love it! This woman writes the most hilarious stuff I've ever read (not to mention has some great insights and experience in the foster care arena). She's got nearly 79,000 hits on her blog. I clicked on the profile, and sure enough it was her!!! My heart started racing... My hands got all cold and clammy... I nearly started hyperventilating... Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! "Foster Mama" read my post! "Foster Mama" even liked my post!

After I calmed myself down and my heart rate normalized, I sat in total dismay at my completely ridiculous reaction. Soooo not like me! But for a person who has always secretly desired to make a career out of writing witty emails and short stories, a compliment from "Foster Mama" was like a compliment from Celine Dion to an aspiring singer or one from Angelina Jolie to an aspiring actress. It's official. Just call me a "Foster Mama" groupie, but her comment just made my day! :-)

(P.S. - If you like my sarcastic sense of humor, you'll love "Foster Mama" too. Check out her blog if you want more laughs.)

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Circus Comes to Town...

...and I am staying far, far away!

I feel a little guilty. Children love the circus, and I'm sure my niece and nephew would would be thrilled silly if Aunt Tammy took them. But quite honestly, the circus scares the living crap out of me!

I think my initial hesitation to visit the circus stems from my irrational fear of clowns. I've never been a huge fan of clowns. To be honest, they've always creeped me out a little bit. They wear all of that makeup to cover up their true identities. They play strange games and do weird things. Even as a child, I just didn't get it. But then good old Mr. Stephen King had to go and scare the living CRAP out of grown adults by writing "It," effectively ruining whatever good-natured fun that might have been remaining for the clown-loving community. Small children might still appreciate a good clown or two, but it might traumatize them to see their parents cowering in the fetal position under their chairs or run screaming from the Big Top. Thanks a lot, Mr. King!

As if my clown terror alone wasn't enough to keep me away from the circus tents, my fear of falling just adds to it. Some people are afraid of heights. Not me. I am afraid of the sudden stop at the end of the fall. I don't even like to stand on a step stool. It makes me nervous to see other people perched precariously on ladders. So the thought of sitting by helplessly as people walk on a highwire with no safety net or go hurling themselves through the air on the trapeze or doing that crazy "stacking the chairs" thing where they do a handstand at the top... Oh HELL to the no, thank you!!!

Then you've got all of the lions and tigers... Call me crazy, but I have a feeling those animals are pissed. Taking a wild carnivore and making them jump through hoops in front of loud crowds of people... That's just inviting trouble! I wouldn't want to be in that circus tent the day the lions decide they've had enough. Oh, no sir!

In fact, I think the only redeeming quality of the circus is the yummy food. But to be honest, if the twins want cotton candy or roasted peanuts, I'll be more than happy to take them to a baseball game or the State Fair. They have good food there too. ...and you don't have to worry about man-eating animals, a sudden fall to one's death, or psychotic clowns.

Yep, the circus is coming to town... but I am staying far, far away.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hooray for Highlighters!

As a writer, I've come to realize that I tend to write more passionately about topics that are close to my heart or that hold meaning in my everyday life. After looking back at some of my past posts, I've discovered that (1) I spend way too much time at the office because (2) I have emotional reactions to office supplies. I find that slightly disturbing (especially because I've been regularly-medicated for a while now). I have given warnings to others about the dangers of paper products and have praised the inventor of my amazing stapler. Today, I believe I shall expand on my love of the highlighter.

I've always said that I would marry the man who proposed to me on bended knee with a package of multi-colored, free-flow ink highlighters. Diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friend and all, but I think HIGHLIGHTERS ROCK!!! :-) You see, I am one of those people who goes to bed at night with the next day's "To Do List" on the brain. I fall asleep to the soothing lull of "I need to do this... and I need to do that..." rather than to counting sheep.

Some people write down a rough "To Do List" for the day or week. The OCD in me, however, compels me to not only write a "To Do List," but to create multiple sublists within the main list! It's not so much that I need the list to remind me of what I need to do. It's because I get a total thrill every time I can mark something off as "completed" with one of my free-flow ink highlighters! It makes me feel so accomplished... So in control and ready to conquer the world! And it makes me even happier when I can color-code completed tasks by category (which is why I need the multi-color pack). They're so pretty, and the beautiful colors make me happy. Someone told me once that I could "just mark it off with a pen." I must have looked at them like they had a third eyeball. ARE YOU NUTS?!? You can't "just mark it off with a pen!" If you do that, you can't see through the ink to see what you've accomplished! DUH!!!

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that my compulsive need for lists and my affection for highlighters weren't exactly normal until I took a personality psychology class in college. The professor was discussing different personality types and some distinguishing characteristics. I wasn't really paying too much attention (I was working on my lists), but then I heard him say "Many Type A personalities will write lists of the lists that they need to write."

I glanced down at the list that I was working on:
  • Grocery List
  • To Do List
  • Homework List for Psych Class
  • Lesson Plans for Gymnastics
  • What to Pack for Vacation
Well, CRAP! That's embarrassing. I quickly slid that particular list under my book and tried to pay attention, but my highlighters were calling my name, "Taammmmy... Oh, Taaaammy... Use me, Tammy..." So I started working on my "To Do List" instead. The professor goes on to describe more Type A traits and says (as he walks over to my desk and places his hands on my shoulders), "And there are some severe Type A's who might even add something to their list that they've already done just so they can mark it off." I am certain that I turned twenty shades of red because I had done just that! The guy had been watching me the whole time just so he could use me as an example of "one who needs to be medicated."

So, while my somewhat abnormal love for highlighters has caused me some slight embarrassment over the years, I still can't help but ask for them every Christmas. To me, there's no better way to start off a new year than with a brand new package of highlighters. HOORAY FOR HIGHLIGHTERS!!! You bring me such joy... :-)

*** DISCLAIMER - Should my future husband be reading this post, be aware that my comment regarding my preference of highlighters to diamonds in no way releases you from the obligatory diamond engagement ring purchase. I may be a little quirky, but I'm no fool! :-) ***

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Run, Chunky Monkey, Run!!!

My best friend (bless her heart) mentioned the other day that she was "thinking about doing a 5K." I give her props. That is indeed quite an undertaking. I've thought many-a-time about doing a 5K. Although, I must admit, I usually wake up screaming from what would clearly be classified as a night terror by any self-respecting psychiatrist. Who in their right mind would willingly do something like that?!? Personally, I would much prefer to sit on my couch, eating Frito pie, and cheer on the contestants of The Biggest Loser as they flop themselves around the track. Run, Chunky Monkey!!! Run like the wind!!! You go, girl!!!

Katie then goes on to say, "I think it would be a good and fun way to get back into shape." WTF?!? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?!? And what do you mean by "back into shape?" Are you insinuating that my Santa Claus belly isn't sexy as all heck as it jiggles like a bowlful of jelly? I might just be offended by that! I usually revel in fact that I would be the "skinny chick" on The Biggest Loser. (I won't mention that I usually stop watching the show around week 8 when those fat chicks start weighing less than me.)

Then Katie adds, "There are some that are the 'fun runs'." There are so many things wrong with that particular statement, I don't even know where to begin. Let me start by saying, "just because it rhymes, doesn't mean it's a legitimate phrase." I have never let loose of a "smart fart" or seen a "turtle girdle." I've never heard a "whiny hiney" or participated in a "skunk dunk." Rhyming, yes... Legitimate things or events, I think not. In my mind, "fun" and "run" are two words that should never be combined. The thought of running sends me into full-blown anxiety attacks. No chunky girl likes to have her "fluff" flopping around as the earth trembles beneath her feet as she attempts to quickly launch her body forward! The only time I've run since junior high was when I joined the gym a couple of years ago and Skinny Bitch made me. And believe me... There was nothing "fun" about it. I thought I was going to die. I think this whole "fun run" thing is just an evil ploy to get us to pay money for a worthy cause. Can't I just donate some money and not run? Then we could all be happy!

Just when I thought all hope was lost when it came to my BFF's sanity, she says, "and I can take a stroller to those." THANK YOU, LORD!!! She hasn't lost her mind after all! Now we're talking! I'm all about riding in the stroller! I said as much... and darned if Katie didn't yell at me on Facebook! Apparently the stroller is for the baby. Go figure!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Crazy Week

It's been a pretty crazy week in Foster/Adopt Land. In the past 6 days, I've been submitted for THREE possible placements! The first two ended up going to other families, but I'm still waiting to hear back on the latest one.

It's funny how you learn to roll with it as you get further and further into the process. Since I was verified on December 31st, I've had four potential long-term placements and one potential short-term respite care placement. I've had varying reactions as time has gone on, and I can tell now how I'm learning to take it as it comes.

My first possible respite job would have been for a 6-week-old baby girl. I would have had her for a week while her foster family was out of the state. I spent the entire week leading up to the day preparing for a 6-week-old preemie, only to find out the day before she was supposed to come that the judge ended up placing her permanently with a family member. I was SO BUMMED just because I really wanted the practice.

My second possible baby call (the first potential long-term placement) came one day while I was at lunch with my mom. I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest when I saw that my agency was calling. I thought FOR SURE I was gonna get that baby. I even freaked out because my bathroom was dirty, so my mom went over there to clean it after lunch. I was CRUSHED when I found out later that I didn't get her. :-(

Third possible baby call came last Tuesday. I did pretty well not getting my hopes up too much, although I did run around and do some quick spot cleaning at the apartment just in case. I didn't get her though. I was a little bummed, but not totally devasted like I was the first time. And I was secretly glad it happened because it forced me to do the dishes. :-) I did, however, have a little pity party for myself for a moment. "Why won't they pick me? What's the matter with ME?!?" But I got over it quickly.

Potential baby number four call came on Thursday. I was excited because I really (and I mean REALLY) wanted a few days off work (that's an entire different blog in itself. I'll probably expand on that later). They called back twenty minutes later to apologize though and to tell me that they had accidentally posted the baby in the wrong county. I was rather proud of myself though because I didn't get bummed out about not getting the baby or anything. Although I WAS really bummed about having to go back to work on Friday. :-)

Potential baby number five is in the works as I type. I'm not freaking out. I'm not even expecting that I'll get him (although I'd love it if I did). My house is FAIRLY clean, so it should be fine. I might take out the trash or something if they call and say they're bringing him over. :-) I'm learning not to hyperventilate every time I see the caller ID from my agency. At least I know HOW the process works now, so I go into it expecting that I WON'T get the baby, rather than that I WILL. It makes it much easier.

For those of you who don't know how it works, here's a little explanation:

When a baby is taken from the home and a suitable relative can't be found, the child's case worker sends out a broadcast email to the county's case managers with the details. The case managers then "submit" interested foster parents' homestudies to the child's case worker. Each broadcast email closes at a certain time to allow multiple families to essentially apply for the job of fostering. After the broadcast closes, the child's case worker chooses a foster family from the many submissions they received. So it's not like there's a waiting list and they go in order, or a first-come first-served sort of thing or anything like that. They really do want to find the best fit for the child and the foster family.

Anyway... That's the scoop for today! Wish me luck on getting a baby soon. I'll keep everyone posted.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Toilet Paper Etiquette 101

Random Rambling #1 - "Toilet Paper Etiquette 101"

As I journey evermore closely towards my lifelong goal of motherhood, I have become increasingly philosophical and introspective. What truly matters? What's really important? After serious contemplation, I've come to realize that one of the most important things in the world has, quite sadly, been neglected by millions...

... Toilet paper etiquette ...
We all have little pet peeves that drive us crazy, but I'll bet you didn't know that something as mundane as toilet paper could quite literally send people into fits of frenzy. I speak from experience. In my thirty-four years, I have not only been on the receiving end of "Toilet Paper Rage," I have also developed my own theory on proper "Toilet Paper Etiquette." I have, of course, prepared a list for future reference. Feel free to post it in your home bathrooms or in public restrooms everywhere. :-)

"Toilet Paper Etiquette 101"
  1. Always have a backup roll within reach! - Personally, I think this would be common sense to anyone stocking bathroom supplies. How many times have you neglected to check the readily-available toilet paper supply before it was "too late?" What is one supposed to do if the extra toilet paper is stored in the hall closet? I'd hate to be a guest at that party!
  2. Never cut costs by buying cheap toilet paper. - Trust me, you and your guests will thank me for this one. Yes, in these tough economic times, we are always looking for ways to save money. But believe me when I say it's just not worth it. Cut costs somewhere else... Like by buying store brand canned vegetables or eating lots of rice... Clip coupons for crying out loud! But stick with the super absorbent, double ply, quilted triple rolls when it comes to the barrier between your bum and, well, you know. That single ply sandpaper stuff just doesn't get the job done.
  3. Develop the habit of putting the toilet paper on the roll the same direction every time. - Now, I have to admit, I never gave this one a second thought until college. One of my best friends pretty much lived at our apartment, and he shared the hall bathroom with my roommate. After a year of hearing his theory on why the toilet paper must come over the top of the roll, and hearing her complain because he was constantly griping at her for putting it on "the wrong way," I have spent the past 14 years terrified of doing just that. I suppose it doesn't really matter which way it goes... over the top, on the bottom... His main point was that "you should be able to get up in the middle of the night and not have to open your eyes to find the end of the toilet paper. If you always have the end over the top of the roll, it's always there for you. It will never let you down."
  4. If you do use the last of the toilet paper, change out the roll! - You wouldn't think this would be that difficult. It takes all of three seconds to pop off the holder, discard the empty roll, and put on a new one (especially if you have followed Rule #1 and have a backup roll within reach). But I swear, I must be the only person on the planet who is capable of this mind-boggling task! There is nothing more irritating than reaching for the toilet paper only to discover an empty roll on the holder, and three mostly-used rolls sitting on the back of the toilet or on the counter 4 inches from the empty holder. I've decided that my family has some secret pact to never change the toilet paper just because they know it drives me insane!
  5. Perhaps most importantly... Don't be lazy when the end is near! - I can't tell you how many times I've gone into a bathroom, saw that there was toilet paper on the roll, only to discover that whoever had used it last had left only enough squares on the roll to circle it once just so they could say, "I didn't use the last of the toilet paper!" That's more irritating than if they had used all of it! It's not fun attempting to salvage enough useful toilet tissue off of the part that stuck to the glue on the cardboard.
Toilet Paper Rage is not pretty, and it can be avoided if these five simple guidelines of Toilet Paper Etiquette are followed. Please do your part to help make the world a better place.
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