February 28, 2007

Oh, yeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 6:44 am by Erin

The weekend with my parents was lovely, albeit too short and interrupted on Saturday by a 1.5 hour "can you watch my kids?" from my neighbor that turned into a 4-hour-and-dinner-for-3-extra-people-beyond-just-my-parents evening.  (Happy to help out, but the timing could have been better.)  No stupid comments were made and no assvice was given, so it was good.  And they didn’t care that the house wasn’t vacuumed.  I cared, but they didn’t.

We’ve been assigned a social worker!  I haven’t heard from her yet, but I got the call that she’d been assigned to us yesterday morning.  I’m so excited that we’re finally getting started with our homestudy.

We’re supposed to go to adoption seminars this Sunday and the following Sunday.  Our homestudy and adoption agencies require that we have 10 hours of international/transracial adoption learning hours–2 can come from the book of articles that they gave us, and the other 8 have to come from seminars and learning modules.  So we elected to attend the two-part seminar, partly so that we can get it done as soon as possible and partly because we’d like to meet other adoptive parents in the area.  I finally got a babysitter for P (the first two that I called never called back–what’s up with that?  I won’t be calling them again.), only to realize that the registration deadline was this past Friday.  I didn’t want to send $150 without knowing for sure that we had a babysitter, but I forgot that the deadline was on the 23rd.  So I’ve put in a frantic call to the woman in charge, begging that we be allowed to attend and offering to drive a check down today.  I hope that we can still do it.

Things are looking good!  Plus, next week is Spring Break!!!!!  I love being in academics.

February 23, 2007

It was a nice thought

Posted in The musings of Erin at 7:08 am by Erin

We did get our homestudy packet out the other day–it’s possible we’ll have a social worker assigned to us by the beginning of next week!  OK, onto why I’m really posting.

J got me house-cleaning services for my birthday–and it was wonderful.  Every other week for 20 weeks, a woman would come and clean my house.  J even scheduled it to happen on Saturday mornings so that I would be at synagogue when they came, which meant that he would be the one there to do the straightening up as they cleaned.  My house was cleaned by an entire crew of on January 13, and it sparkled.  It was cleaned again on January 27, and every surface was as shiny as a new penny.

February 10, she was supposed to come again.  She called and said she had to go out of town and would come the next weekend.  OK, not a big deal.  We didn’t have anything pressing, so I could do some of the cleaning in the meantime.  This past Saturday, she called at 8 a.m.  (Cleaning was scheduled for 10 a.m.)  Since we didn’t answer the phone, she assumed we weren’t home and didn’t bother to show up.  This upsets me because why does she care if we’re home at 8 a.m.?  She had an appointment time scheduled.  As it turns out, we were home, but J didn’t hear his phone–we have no landline, only our cell phones.

J finally talked to her that evening, and she was going to come on Sunday sometime.  She would call to give us a time.  OK, fine, though I was starting to get upset.  At this point, I’m very concerned about her reliability.  Guess who called on Sunday at about 7 p.m.?  Oh sorry, she can’t be there, she’s moving and has a million things to do.  Now I’m supremely pissed.  She hasn’t been there in three weeks.  The house is a mess because I kept thinking someone would be coming to clean, and I didn’t want us to be paying someone to clean if I’d just done it.  My parents are coming for a visit, it’s the end of the weekend, I’ve got a million things to do this week because anything I would normally do over the next weekend have to be done before my parents get here, and the house is an absolute wreck.

OK, now she’s supposed to come on Thursday.  J’s going to meet her at the house and it will be clean by the time I get home from work at 7:30 p.m.  I tell him that if it’s not spotless, she’s fired.  He assures me that if she doesn’t show up, he’ll clean the house. 

Guess who never called to confirm the appointment?  Guess whose phone number has been disconnected?  Guess who’s fired?

And then, guess whose husband had a pile of work to do last night and decided that he had to go back to his office right after she got home, leaving her with a disgusting house, a child who needed to eat dinner, get a bath, and be put to bed, and a pile of work that she’d planned on doing last night?  Guess who had slept in a little yesterday morning because she figured she could get on the treadmill after P went to bed?

Now, guess who only got part of her work done at home last night, who didn’t get on the treadmill yesterday, who spent nearly 3 hours cleaning just the kitchen, bathrooms, and family room of the house (until almost 2 a.m.), who got up this morning after 6 (because I slept in…strangely, I was tired) and immediately got back to work cleaning upstairs and making up the guest bedroom (which is where P normally sleeps), who then had to move half of P’s stuff back into the nursery and make the bed in there so he can sleep there while my parents are here, who didn’t get on the treadmill this morning (making the third time this week, and I’ve spent the last month missing no more than 1 day per week…damnit, I was doing so well), whose house STILL needs to be vacuumed, and whose parents will be there before I get home from work today (leaving me with no way to vacuum before they get there).

And guess who, since her ex-cleaning lady absconded with 10 cleanings worth of money after only 2 cleanings, won’t be able to afford to hire someone new for the rest of the semester?  Guess whose stress level just went way the hell up?

Damnit, J did this because our biggest arguments are about how he never helps with the housework and that it stresses me out to work as much as he does but still be responsible for 95+% of the housework.  The stress of having to clean almost a month’s worth of dirt out of my house last night after 11 p.m. without J even there to help me was insane.  The idea that I’ve got to go back to fighting with him about housework (starting last night) is enough to make me break down.

I’m now working on just over 4 hours of sleep, I have a midterm to write, and a class to teach in an hour.  And my parents will be waiting at my house by the time I get home at 12:30.  I really wanted to be able to enjoy this visit with them–they’re only here until Monday morning–but I’m so stressed out now that I don’t know how I’ll calm down.

February 16, 2007

Was that something shiny over there?

Posted in The musings of Erin at 11:36 am by Erin

Thanks so much for all the "sympathy".  As it turns out, my student did not show up for class last night, so we’ve delayed the inevitable.  Is it wrong to hope that she dropped my class?

I cannot seem to focus on anything lately.  My class today ended at noon.  It’s now 2:30 on Friday afternoon and I’m still here.  Have I worked on my lecture for Monday?  No.  Have I gone to the anatomy lab to play with bones?  No.  Have I even entered grades from a quiz into a spreadsheet?  No.

I’ve been reading blogs.

I was going to leave straight after class, go home, and get on the treadmill before going to pick up P.  Then I ran into a student who asked if I would be around in a few minutes, as he had some questions (they have a test on Tuesday).  Sure, I can stick around for a few minutes.  I didn’t want to get started on something time-consuming because I was going to leave!  So I started catching up on blogs (I’ve been dropped from a couple of blogrolls because apparently I don’t comment often enough.  Ouch, yet still understandable.)  Almost 45 minutes later, he finally showed up.  I went over several points with him and hopefully it made a difference.

Did I get up and leave at 1, when he left?  No.  Instead, I’m kicking myself for not leaving to pick P up earlier (I’d planned to have him by 2 today), for not getting on the treadmill, and for not getting any work done.  I’m a big ol’ slacker.

To top it off, we had nearly everything done for the homestudy application.  All we were missing was the transracial parenting plan.  We were going to do it last night but I fell asleep as I was putting P to bed.  He woke me up at 10 by bopping me on the head with a pillow (mind you, he hadn’t fallen asleep yet, but I’d been sleeping for over an hour).  Then I was fuzzy-headed and didn’t think it was a good time to be trying to concentrate on something important.  I make really bad jokes when I’m tired.

I just don’t know why I can’t concentrate lately.  I can’t keep my focus for more than a few minutes, which is really bad when I have to make up a lecture that typically takes 3+ hours to write.  I can’t read.  It took me almost 8 days to finish the last book I read because I kept putting it down–and it was a good book.  People, I finished the last Harry Potter book in about 4 hours the day it came out.  That’s how fast and focused I normally am when I read. 

It is, however, exactly in line with P’s attention span (except for when he’s watching TV), so we’ve been having lots of fun playing lately.

Any suggestions?  I’m so glad spring break is starting in two weeks (not that I’m doing anything).  I desperately need a break.  Mind you, I’ll be writing lectures and practicing dissection over spring break, but it’s a break from classes.

February 15, 2007

Turning red for Valentine’s Day

Posted in Pure weirdness at 9:17 am by Erin

I like being a teacher most of the time (grading millions of poorly-written lab reports notwithstanding…why can’t kids these day learn to write a grammatically proper sentence?).  It’s very rewarding to have students understand something that made no sense to them an hour earlier, and to listen to them talk intelligently about biotechnologies and the ethical issues surrounding them.

About two weeks ago, I went to get the oil changed in my car.  I dropped it off and P and I walked to the nearby T@rget (where I promptly purchased the aforementioned dino set for him–he already had the little dino/mother/egg sets).  We returned and I got into line to pay, only to be told that Mark (not his real name) had taken care of it and I was ready to go.  I asked if I could meet Mark and thank him–it turned out that Mark was a student of mine from last semester who is in management there!  Very nice of him, and an unexpected perk of teaching at the college level.

But then there are other times.  I wanted to buy a special lingerie set for Valentine’s Day.  I haven’t bought anything like it since before P was born, so I decided it was time.  So I went to Vict*ria’s S*cret and it turns out that they have this collection of new and slightly more risque lingerie.  I bought a little cami top and some panties to go with it (um, those of you who know me in person can forget that you ever read that part).  I was blithely standing in line to pay when I felt eyes upon me.  It was the cashier–a current student of mine.

It was too late to turn around and leave, too late to find some full-length white flannel nightgown with a high-buttoned neck.  So we toughed it out and she sold me a sheer, pink, peek-a-boo cami top with small lacy panties that I later wore to seduce my husband.  She was very professional about it and didn’t say anything at all to indicate that she knew me–I would almost think that it was my student’s identical twin except that I think she turned pinker than the cami and never made eye contact with me.  And tonight we have to face each other in class.

J laughed about it when I told him and reminded me that she’s never going to be able to look at me without picturing me in the pink cami with nipple slits.

I wonder if I can resign before 5:30 tonight?

February 13, 2007

I’ve surfaced!

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 12:03 pm by Erin

We got the paperwork from the homestudy agency last week and have been floundering in the sea of paper that has taken over our living room since then.  The autobiographical form (one for each of us) was something like 10+ pages long, with 4-6 questions per page.  I told a friend that I didn’t even know there was that much to know about me!  Then there’s the transracial parenting plan (which is several pages long), the cultural worksheet (also several pages long), pictures, checks, general forms, firearm declaration forms, criminal background check forms, sexual offender registry check forms, swimming pool forms…ow, now my brain hurts again.

And that list didn’t include the things that need to get turned in during the homestudy process.  It was just the ones that we need to turn in before we can be assigned a social worker and start the process.

After a weekend of working on them, we’ve got nearly all of them filled out.  We’re determined to make photocopies of everything that we need to send in because if this gets lost in the mail, I’m going to cry to have to fill it all out again.  Luckily J can do that at work without any trouble.  I’m so paranoid that it’s going to get lost (and this is just the FIRST packet of papers), that I’m thinking of driving down there to drop it off.  I’m not sure what I’ll do when I have to send things overseas.  Maybe I’ll just act as my own courier.  That’s reasonable, right?

We continue to help P try to understand adoption.  He has a bunch of dinosaurs that came with a mother and baby dinosaur.  There’s another set of baby dinosaurs that comes without mothers in a little playset.  P has both types.  He was asking where the mother of the baby ankylosaurus (he can pronounce all of the names) was.  That’s one that came in the playset with no mothers.  I told him that the baby dino’s mother couldn’t be there, and that maybe he was going to be adopted by the T-Rex mother and be the little brother of the baby T-Rex.  So the ankylosaurus was adopted; even though he didn’t look like the others, they were still a family and loved each other very much.

I think it went completely over his head but we had fun playing anyway.

Next up, I’m going to look for children’s books to help explain adoption to him.  Any recommendations?  The only ones I’ve really found all deal with domestic adoption of a newborn.  I hope there are some transracial adoption books for kids!

February 8, 2007

The little blog that could

Posted in The musings of Erin at 5:23 pm by Erin

I hope it’s mine.  I’ve just felt so disjointed and rambly lately, and it makes me think, "Who wants to read a rambling and disjointed post?"  So I’ve been sparing you all of that.  Aren’t I considerate?

I have a confession to make.  I didn’t go back onto birth control pills after the last one started on New Year’s Day.  (No pregnancy announcements ahead, so don’t worry–you can keep reading safely.)  I meant to, prescription in hand, but I kept delaying bringing it in and all of a sudden, I ovulated on d20.  I’ve now had 3 unmedicated cycles in a row, and I’ve ovulated on d19, d19, and d20.  I don’t get it.  I also didn’t start spotting until 12dpo, although my period showed up right on time.  It was such a nice change to bleed for less than a week!  But did my body need 2+ years to get "regular"?  I’ve never spent that much time off birth control since I first started getting my period.  And am I completely messing it up now that I have started birth control pills again?  (Yes, I did get my prescription and started taking it last night.)  I’m frustrated and confused.  Nothing new.

As far as the adoption goes, we’ve chosen our homestudy agency (separate from our adoption agency, since they’re out-of-state) and filled out that paperwork.  A social worker should be assigned to us within a week, so we can start setting up appointments.  There are at least 3 appointments to be had.  We’re excited and nervous.  Is the house clean enough?  Will the dogs bark ferociously, and will the social worker believe that they’re really big babies (she’s welcome to meet them and find out for herself)?  Are all the dangerous chemicals put away?  Will we remember not to mention that, the other day, P got up before J and I and went outside through the basement and dog door into the backyard to play with the dogs–while in his pajamas and in cold weather?  (Oh, it wasn’t so bad–he came inside when he got cold, the backyard is fully fenced, and the gates are locked.  And now he knows that he has to wake us up to get dressed before going out to play with the dogs again.) 

How hard is it to fail a homestudy?

Anyway, I was sure that I’d be updating more often but I really can’t seem to form coherent thoughts about any issues.  I have so many that I’d like to talk about.  I just need to find the words.