Archive for November, 2006

Bad Blogger, Bad

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

In the last month or two, I’ve become a horrible blogger friend.  I used to sit down every night after work and read through my favorite blogs.  I would try to write comments if I had something to add.  As my list of favorite blogs got longer, I would check about half of them after work and save the other half to catch up on the weekend.  My list grew longer still and I became overwhelmed by the number of people I wanted to check in on.  I truly am curious and do care about each journey but I just couldn’t keep up.  So I started to let most of them slide.  Then I missed a couple of big events and realized that I needed to find a way to manage my reading if I want to be a part of this wonderful blogger community.

Now, there are a handful I read daily but the majority I check in on once or twice a week.  I don’t comment just for the sake of commenting usually.  Comments slow down my reading (I get another gray hair every time I have to wait for blogger to pull up the comments page and every time I have to decipher yet another word verification) so I save my comments for when I really want to agree or congratulate or whatever.  So if you are on my sidebar or a somewhat regular commenter here, I have been checking in on you even if you don’t hear from me.  I just can’t keep up with everyone daily.  I find myself drawn to those who I’ve “known” longer or those who are just home with a baby or those who are going through a painful situation more often because I feel like they need my support the most.  But it doesn’t mean I don’t adore all of you!

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Off topic – but come on, “Breasts on the Plane”?  That’s gold people!  I crack myself up!

Breasts on a plane

Monday, November 20th, 2006

A woman was removed from a Delta flight for breast feeding her child and refusing to cover up with a blanket offered by the stewardess.  The woman was in the next to last row, in a window seat, with her husband sitting on the aisle.  Delta has apologized and the stewardess has received some undisclosed discipline.  I’m not sure what disturbs me more about this:  that anyone would consider breastfeeding offensive enough to kick a woman off a plane or the abuse of post-9/11 power given to airline employees to ensure safety (kind of like the patriot act being used for all sorts of things other than terrorism).

Crap

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I hate it when my husband is a bigger person than me.  I’m whining about no family court for us during the day and what does he do?  Just randomly says to me “You know what I am thankful for?”  I said no.  He said “First that I have you in my life and second that we have the ability to do this adoption.”  Crap!  He has to go and remind me of the big picture when I’m being all petty and obsessive over the details.  Sigh…I’ve said he makes me a better person – I guess I’m still a work in progress.

Pre-Approval

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

I didn’t mention it but on Thursday evening we received our email from the US Embassy that we have Pre-Approval.  (For those not involved in Guatemala adoption, after the DNA results are submitted, the US Embassy issues Pre-Approval for the adoption from their side of things since it is their requirement.)  I guess I didn’t mention it because at this point, it doesn’t move us forward at all.  Yes, happy to know we have it.  Yes, another item to check off the list.  But since we still aren’t in family court, it isn’t a big deal for us.  We need pre-approval before we can be submitted to PGN.  But PGN comes after family court.  And we are still waiting for word that our re-submitted power of attorney has been translated and registered so we can enter family court.  A lot of people at my agency have gotten good news this week.  I’m very happy to see all of this movement.  Really.  It is much easier to be happy for others on this side of the referral I have found (so far at least).  But I am very sad that we are still stuck in the same place.  Sabrina is 2 1/2 months old and her case hasn’t moved yet.

On the bright side, we leave in 17 days to visit her.  I’m trying to stay focused on that.  Two weeks from Wednesday we are on our way to Guatemala.  I’m doing her laundry this weekend.  Amazingly, with all of the outfits I’ve accumulated for her, I didn’t have enough sleepers.  I went out today and got a couple more.  And I bought diapers.  It was very bizarre to buy diapers.  I haven’t changed a diaper since my nephew was a baby (he’s 12 now and probably would rather not be reminded that his aunt ever put powder on his butt).  As long as I focus on our upcoming visit, I am fine with the other stuff.  When we get back?  All bets are off and I will become a big old whiner.

Thank you Kossibitou

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

I, of course, had to take our new photos of Sabrina in to work this week to show off.  I just love the one of her smiling and Steve was able to correct the coloring a little bit so it wasn’t so stark.  Everyone, of course, exclaimed she is beautiful. It’s amazing that some people at work who barely know me are invested in her story and wonder when she will come home.  There is already so much love and anticipation surrounding her arrival.  Our friends, our family, and some random acquaintances look forward to each update and hope for each step forward in the process.

My next door neighbor in cubicle world is a man named Kossibitou.  He is from Togo, Africa.  We’ve had several conversations about international adoption.  It is a foreign concept to him.  He said in his country, children are not adopted.  If they need a home, someone in the family or the village takes them in without another thought or formal legal process.  The village takes care of its own people.  He doesn’t understand why foster care is necessary in a rich country like the US or international adoption is necessary because in his experience someone always steps up and takes care of children.  But that aside, he keeps insisting that I have no idea how much I will be giving Sabrina by bringing her to the US.  He says that she will have so many opportunities and will be very lucky to be raised here. I’ve told him I’m not doing it for altruistic reasons and that she is bringing more to our lives than we are to hers.  He refuses to hear it.  He says we have no idea of the poverty in the world outside of the US and that we are doing a great thing.

We are adopting for mostly selfish reasons.  I will be the first to admit that.  But with all of the turmoil in Guatemala right now surrounding adoptions and all of the hate and disapproval from some factions surrounding international adoption, it is really nice to hear that someone thinks we are doing a good thing.  It is nice to hear that not everyone thinks we are selfish rich Americans buying children and stealing them away from their homes.

Take a memo

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Memo to Facilities/Maintenance Department:

While we appreciate having our 1950’s tattered carpet replaced and our dingy, scuffed walls freshened with a coat of government-issue dingy white, your request that we remove all items from the walls, desks, shelves and floors is not feasible.  Unless we take all items from offices home for the weekend or we suspend them from the ceiling Mission Impossible style, they must be placed on a floor, desk, or shelf somewhere.  Perhaps you want to take a moment and re-think this directive.  And can we have some boxes to put all this crap in while you are at it?  Thank you.

P.S. The stains around my desk were there long before I moved in.  Except that Elvis shaped one…my coffee got away from me one morning.

My generation…

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

I grew up in a small neighborhood in rural Ohio. By rural, I don’t mean I lived on a farm. I had neighbors and we lived near a small town. My school wasn’t a 1 room school house – I had 130 in my graduating class – but we all knew each other. It was very Norman Rockwell-esque. The best thing about the neighborhood I grew up in? The freedom. It was a safe place where we all knew the neighbors by name and sight. There were other children to play with. In the summer, we all left the house after breakfast and didn’t return until dinner time. We might check in once during the day with mom just to tell her we were still alive or to get a band-aid for a knee. Someone’s mom would feed us a sandwich and something to drink for lunch. We ran from backyard to backyard through out the day changing games as we went. We rode our bikes down the middle of the road because there was very little traffic during the day. My mom had no idea how we spent those hours nor did she want to know. She knew I was safe, entertained, and out of her hair. Our moms let us resolve our own fights and plan our own games. The most input offered was usually “In or out…make up your minds” or “No, you can’t use my good linen tablecloth to build a fort.” If someone’s feelings got hurt, we argued it out, forgot about it, or took our ball and went home.

This article talks about one of my fears in the children being raised by my generation. I fear that we are raising spoiled, dependent, entitled children. I watch people (friends, family, strangers) with children. Parents today (generalizing here so I don’t mean you) seem to think they have to schedule dates, structure play, ensure their children are entertained at all times, negotiate all social situations to avoid conflict with other children, clap at absolutely everything children do, and shield them from any and all disappointments. We don’t allow children to explore their world and learn social skills while interacting (and resolving conflict) with other children. We don’t give them genuine feedback on their accomplishments so praise loses meaning. We don’t let them just be kids and we don’t let them figure things out on their own. How do they cope with being ridiculed in the 6th grade (and kids are cruel…they will find a reason) if they are always expecting applause? How do they deal with a fight with their best friend in the 8th grade if mom has always resolved all of their conflicts?

I have a feeling there are very few of us who live in the type of neighborhood I grew up in. I certainly don’t. We have no sidewalks and our street has blind curves so there will be no bike riding down the middle of the road. Currently there is only one child on our street to play with. So roaming the neighborhood all day might not be something Sabrina can do when she gets older. But I intend to let her figure a lot of things out herself. I want her to develop a sense of her own identity and independence so that she has the confidence to make it through the junior and senior high school years without crumbling. I certainly don’t have it all figured out but waiting until I was older to become a parent means I’ve at least learned many things I don’t want to do.

Tagged

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Alleen has tagged me to tell you all what is in my purse.  Figured I might as well show you (couldn’t sleep anyway).

dsc00905.JPG Here is my purse.

dsc00908.JPG An envelope of Sabrina photos in case anyone shows the slightest interest.

dsc00909.JPG Wallet, checkbook and cell phone.

dsc00910.JPG All sorts of lists and receipts floating around.

dsc00911.JPG Work ID, smashed granola bar circa 1998, mint, mini suckers from last Halloween, matches, a lighter, 6 pens (so why can’t I ever find one?), and listerine strips.

dsc00912.JPGAn Ikea gift card, Marshall’s gift card, reward cards from a dozen stores that I can never find when I am in the store, 3 kinds of chap stick, Lancome lipstick Truly, nail files, mirror, advil, Tide stick, wet wipes I stole from a restaurant, my business cards, and some crystal light peach iced tea mix.

Thank goodness I’ll never have to be out there again

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

A television show led Steve and I to declare that Sabrina would not date until she was 21.  This led to a conversation about first dates.  Do you remember your first real date where your date came to pick you up and took you out (or vice versa)?  Mine was awful.  I was 15.  He was an hour late.  It was snowing.  We drove 20 miles to go to the movies.  He hadn’t checked what was playing or when.  It was over an hour until the next movie started so he suggested we walk across the street to the mall.  Did I mention it was snowing?  Hard?  And I was wearing cute little flats (I still remember them – they were my favorite shoes) and a cute but not particularly warm coat.  We trudged across the street and the up the cement barrier to the parking lot of the mall.  We finally arrive at the doors to find the mall was closed.  We made our way back to the theater and saw the worst movie ever.  Once the movie ended, he wanted to eat.  I wanted to go home – partially because it was late and snowing hard and partially because I was 15 and didn’t want to eat pizza in front of my date.  We stopped at pizza hut, I drank pop.  He scarfed down pizza.  Conversation was stilted and awkward.  We didn’t have a good time.  But when he called me for a second date, I said okay.  I really want to try to instill more self confidence in our daughter so she can be a better date (he was a moron but I wasn’t a prize either expressing very little opinion on anything beyond “whatever you want to do is fine”) and then turn down a second date if the first one was a dud.

Dating did improve with time.  But there were other honorable mentions:

Sorry guy – spent the entire date apologizing.  At the end of the date, he apologized for wasting my time because I was out of his league.  Nice guy.  I might have been interested if he had a spine.

Nervous guy – I made this guy a nervous wreck.  We went out a few times and he never quit fidgeting.

Penis picture guy – After we went out a few times, he professed his love for me and emailed me a couple of photos of his penis to “get my attention”.  Ummm, yeah.  Creepy and not impressive enough to be showing off.

I’m-looking-for-a-nanny guy – On our first date, less than an hour in, this guy starts telling me how he wants to find a mom for his 10 year old autistic son because he is on the road a lot. He also point blank asked me if I could have children.  (“I’ve never tried but I assume all the equipment works.” Oops…I thought it did at the time.)  He ended our date by saying he felt we had a special connection.  Yeah.  Not so much.

Angry Dutch guy – wanted to aggressively argue politics (with bad circular logic on his part) through the entire date with all lulls in the conversation filled by talk of the marathon he was training for while he shoveled pasta in his mouth.  He also suggested we split the check.  Dutch starts being tacky for a first date as soon as you are out of college and have a real job.  He was 32.  I would rather have paid for the entire check myself than watch him try and split it up.

Bitter guy – spent the entire date talking about his ex and their custody battle

There are others…I’m sure some of you have some good bad date stories too.  Please share.

Someone was bored at work yesterday

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

and it wasn’t me.  Steve took this photo of me and the adorable Angus when he was a puppy:

angus-mommy.JPG

And turned it into this:

michelleandsabrina.JPG

Kind of scary looking isn’t it?  He should use his computer powers for good and shave 30 pounds off me in photos instead.


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