Thursday, March 29, 2012
We were so excited to go and begin the eternal learning process about adopting. I was also really excited to meet other families like ours using the same program.
When we arrived for the two-day training, we were among about ten other couples. Everyone introduced themselves and explained where they were in the process.
Every other couple had biological children. Every other couple was adopting through either foster care or internationally.
We were the only couple who was unable to conceive a baby and were pursuing domestic infant adoption.
We loved our weekend. We made friends and learned so much. When I think back on that weekend, I am still surprised that we were alone in our situation - especially in the one place we thought we would be among "our people."
There's not really a point to this anecdote. Just a memory I wanted to write down. This experience has made me so grateful for the online adoption community and the kindred spirits I have met through blogging. Love you ladies!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I have recently discovered a critical bit of fashion wisdom that I think is worth sharing. The length of your feet determines how high your heel should be for comfort and safety.
When wearing a heel, you need to be able to raise up on the balls of your feet and be able to lift the heel one inch off the ground. If you can't do this, then your heel is too high. No amount of dexterity will allow you to walk gracefully in the shoes.
So since my feet are a petite size 6.5, a three inch (maybe a four inch) heel is about as high as I can go.
If you really, really long for the extra height, there are a couple of ways to do a higher heel: 1) a platform heel will add height and stability and 2) a boot adds stability since it encases the top of your foot and ankle.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Most people get pregnant for free. You know the story, a man and a woman love each other very very much, get really drunk, feel fat or are wanting to get back at an ex and share a special kind of 'hug' and two weeks later freak out because she's late and they're SCREWED. No, if I want to get pregnant, I have to have a magic wand shoved into my patooter so that someone can see what's going on in my ovaries then give me crazy pills until said ovaries look like swiss cheese, stick a needle in my butt then have Efficient German Sex, void of nearly all romance and emotion because we're both freaked out that it won't work. THEN I get to wait two weeks, panic each time I feel crampy, get my hopes up each time I yawn and then go in for bloodwork and another wand in my patooter to see if it worked. Then I get to hand over $2000 regardless of the results.
Read the whole post here.
Ten points for using the word patooter. Twice.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Some things look great in pictures, but would never work in practice in my life. (All examples were found on Pinterest.com)
The idea of bare kitchen cupboard seems simplistically beautiful, doesn't it?
A clear canister to hold toilet paper. It allows you to see at a glance when you need to buy more.
Shower curtains cut and sewed into lunch sacks.
P.S. I've been sick and sleep deprived for five days. I suspect this post may be snarky and negative. I blame it on my sinuses.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
When Justin and I were first married, we were discussing how much we thought one of our professors made. He was a department head and lived comfortably. We decided he made about $16 a hour.
Oh, how naive we were.
Even though I now know professors make more than $16 an hour, I still look at their average salaries and think I would feel rich making that much money.
The FiscalTimes.com posted an interesting article with result from a poll saying how much money people would need to feel rich. Here is an excerpt from that article.
I think this article is missing a big chunk of information. Feeling wealthy and financially free isn't tied to a specific income or dollar amount. After all, plenty of millionaire celebrities are in financial hot water (see a slideshow from Starpulse.com here).
If you compared what I make now to what I made back in my college days, I definitely could be called rich. But our expenses have grown with our income. Thanks to things like this:
It doesn't matter if you make twenty grand or five million. If you spend more than you earn, you will feel tight. You'll never feel "rich." So you can't label "rich" with a dollar figure.
That said, here are some things I think I will need to consider myself wealthy.
- A year's salary in the bank
- No debt whatsoever
- No need to ever finance anything again
- A desire to finance purchases because it makes more financial sense to get hit with lender's interest rates than to lose out on interest income on my investments
- Nothing broken in my home! You know how you always neglect replacing the leaky faucet because it is just so low on your list of money priorities? None of that. Everything in perfect, working order!
- Nice vacations at least twice a year
- Some kind of cabin, vacation property, time share, second home to enjoy--completely paid off of course.
What are some things on your "when I'm wealthy" list?
Thursday, March 15, 2012
"So?" Justin asks casually.
"I haven't paid your student loans. I haven't even seen a bill. They are usually due on the fourteenth!"
Cue panic attack.
No one wants to be late on a bill.
No one wants to be late on a $$HUGE$$ bill. (The monthly payment is equivalent to the rent in our first apartment. Yikes.)
No one wants to be late on a $$HUGE$$ bill that will affect the interest discount for the next ten years you get for paying on time.
"Let's see if we can pay it online," Justin calmly suggests.
He goes online and our jaws drop. We cannot pay the bill online.
The loan has a balance of $0.
Cue happy dance!!!
Last year, Justin applied for a student loan forgiveness program - two years of work in an underserved area in exchange for loan forgiveness. Apparently, his loans were paid off this month and we didn't even know it.
I often thought of underserved areas as a teeny town in Alaska or a backwoods holler in the South and the thought of living like a pioneer for a couple of years scared me. We were happily surprised to discover that the small city/large town we currently live and work in qualifies as an “underserved area.” If you have a degree in medicine, social services, teaching, or anything on those lines, check out loan repayment programs in exchange for working in underserved areas. This is such a big benefit to our family!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Girl #1: Maybe you're pregnant.
Girl #2: I am not pregnant. If I were pregnant, I would be suicidal.
It's a good thing I was anchored to the toilet seat by a healthy stream of urine or I may just have given Girl #2 what for.
I get that pregnancy isn't the ultimate prize for most women like it was once for me. Heck, for the millions of women out there who devour a daily birth control pill, pregnancy is to be avoided like the plague.
I try to be sensitive to others' worlds while I am completely engrossed in my own.
Still, it doesn't change the fact that I peed on my favorite high heels because I dashed out of the bathroom as fast as I could so I wouldn't have the opportunity to learn the identity of Girl #2 and be forced to defend my honor and the honor of all infertile women by challenging her to a dual behind the maple trees after work on Friday.
Poor high heels.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Read round 2 here.
A third round of rhetorical questions all in good fun.
Will President Romney slip up and call his cabinet a quorum?
Will members of the staff be asked to clean the White House every week?
How long will it take before everyone on staff knows what MoTab, FHE, and the "Mish" mean?
Will President Romney turn the budget around by asking every American citizen to forgo eating once a month and donate that money to our poor and struggling citizens?
Will we start referring to the State of the Union address as General Conference?
Will fashion trends for men include the "eternal smile" and for women include sleeves and knee length skirts?
Will youth speakers start to become standard at every Presidential speech?
Will there be a national sign up sheet to take meals to a family in need?
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I "adopted" a ghost cat from Etsy the other day. I COULD NOT pass it up. Here is the description.
A most unique gift for someone or yourself if you have a love for cats. In this most unusual adoption agency I offer "spirit" cats. They roam on the astral plane and would love to have someone adopt them so they can have a home again. Adoption document with official seal, meditation, directions and welcoming prayer are included as well as the details of the cat spirit. All you have to do is believe. Results can astound you.
The materials listed are pen, ink, and ectoplasm.
This is so awesome. This will not be my first run-in with a cat from The Beyond because I totally slept with one in Salem, Massachusetts, at the Stephen Daniels House. Plus, I already have a ghost who lives with me. His name is Dennis. I don't think I've talked about him much on my blog, but he lives with me. He's generally helpful and kind. He tries to manifest at night sometimes and I scream when I see him (you would too if you woke up out of a dead sleep and saw a ghostly man by your bed), but he's stopped doing that because he knows it freaks me out. Anyway, he might be lonely and he might need a pet. I hope he likes this cat. Maybe he'll get so occupied with removing ghostly pee clumps from phantom litter that he'll stop trying to appear by my bedside and talk to me.
I hope my corporeal cat Gabby likes my new spectral cat. If not, can you imagine the cat fights? I wonder if my ghost cat will make sounds. And purr. I wonder if my ghost cat will come with a name? I imagine so, because it probably had a name in life and will want to continue to use it. But maybe I get to name it. Like with other adoptions, I get the right to name or re-name it. What will I name it? So many cat names are based on physical characteristics. Socks is my friend's cat with white feet. Smokey was a gray cat I owned once. Fluffy. Midnight. Bitty. Whiskers. What would I name my cat? Translucent? Wraithy? Ether?
I'm open to suggestions: what should I name my new ghost cat?
It's the perfect food. It's great in sandwiches, desserts, casseroles, chicken, steak, veggies, crackers, cheesecakes, brownies, frosting, bagels, fruit dip, chip dip, sushi - pretty much everything. Savory or sweet. Perfection.
2. Sarah Michelle Gellar
I love her. Sigh. I've watched almost everything she's done. She's good, she's attractive, she's grounded, she's relate-able, she's successful, she's not caught up in the Hollywood crazy train. Oh, and her daughter is the same age as mine. Someday when Sarah and I are BFFs, our kids will be too.
3. Brushing My Teeth
My gums are on the endangered species list because I brush too much. And I always though brushing was a good thing.
My favorite dessert. So simple. It's not some fancy, French sauce-covered chef-perfected confection. Just give me a box of Duncan Heinz brownie mix and I am in heaven.
I wish I were talking about the city in France. Alas, no. What would make me feel guilty about liking that? This one is a hard one for me to confess. I own and listen to the Paris Hilton CD Paris. Feel free to judge me. I judge myself.
7. Diablo III
I can't even express how excited I am for this computer game to come out. I have been waiting for YEARS.
8. British Royals
I read absolutely every gossipy article out there about Kate Middleton and the other royals. I can't get enough. At least she's a role model worth emulating (I'm talking about her manners and class - no trashy tabloid behavior here - not necessarily her knack for marrying well, although that should be applauded). Honestly, I miss the royal wedding. I'm sad it's all over. Time for a royal baby!!!
9. Caffeinated Pop
Diet Coke or Pepsi must be on my menu once per day or I get a massive, crippling headache. I am addicted. None of my family members are like this. When I go to visit anyone, I have to smuggle in my own soda or sneak out to a vending machine for my daily fix. I feel like a junkie.
10. White/Clear Gummi Bears
Yes, I am that picky. Yes, they taste different. Yes, they are the best.
What are your guilty pleasures? Leave a note in the comments or do a blog post and send me your link.
Monday, March 5, 2012
They say every pregnancy is different. Every adoption is different. It's naive to think otherwise. Still, it's not easy. We had a picture perfect adoption first time around. In state. Both birth parents involved and signing. Wonderful open adoption with healthy relationships with the entire biological family. Fabulous caseworkers all around. Awesome hospital staff that were very supportive of us and the adoption.
This time, everything is different. Things worry me. I'm not worried to the point of craziness or anything, but there are things that make me nervous.
- This is an independent adoption. I don't have an experienced, professionally trained social worker holding my hand, making sure everything goes smoothly and acting as a buffer in all situations.
- We have to go out of state. Buying plane tickets around the birth of a baby is hard to do!
- We have to stay in Arkansas for at least ten days. Ten days in a hotel room with a baby. Fun!
- This adoption is a lot more money. We will make it work, right?
- Our family is going to be multiracial
- Will the adoption go through as planned?
Friday, March 2, 2012
Plenty of psychological studies show that people are treated differently because of their names. Teachers grade the same work differently when it's attached to different names. Hiring managers look at the exact same resume differently based on names it's attached to. I know there are studies out there that show this stuff. But I'm too lazy to look right now, so I'll leave that up to you to Google for your homework assignment. :)
Names affect how other people treat you. Your hireability. Your marriage potential. Your earning potential. (I have sworn from day one that Newt Gingrich will not be the GOP nominee solely because his name is "Newt." True story.)
I have named one human being and I think I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself.
Now I am tasked with naming another one. It's a big deal, but it's a fun thing too. Justin and I have been mulling over names for the past month. A few have stuck out. I read an article once about naming consultants--people who professionally advise you on what impact a name will have on your child. Because people will treat your child according to their perceptions of their name, and your child will respond and develop among that treatment, a name can truly shape the personalities and behaviors of your kid.
So yeah, naming a person is a big deal. It can truly, honestly affect the trajectory of their lives. There was always that weird kid in school that had a weird name. Jocks tend to have predictable names. Same with the popular girls. The artsy kids.
Now, I would never hire a name consultant. But I did play around on a website of one, just to see some of the limited information they have out there. When you hire for a consultation, you get hours of their time and insight. And of course they consider first, middle, and last names independently, combined, etc.
This website I went to had a "Free Report Card" where you enter in a name and it grades the name on certain factors.*
I told myself I shouldn't do it. What if the name I loved came back as a stinker? It would probably affect my decision, no matter what. I couldn't resist. I typed in the name and got the report. Let's just say that if my kid has a report card with that many D's and C's, they'd be going to summer school and grounded for life.
I was bummed. This stupid website had affected my decision. Time to throw out my favorite name and find something new.
I tinkered around with the website more. I entered my name. It was a stinker, too. I entered in the names of friends, coworkers, and TV characters. I started to notice something after awhile. This website wasn't very smart. Now, I am not an expert name consultant, so who am I to judge? But something fishy was going on. I tested out other names. I tested out words.
And then I realized that this website is dumb and my favorite name is back in the running.
*I am not knocking the professional consultant behind this website. This shows me that the human brain is essential to naming a child, not just a computer algorithm.