Sunday, December 28, 2008

A late Merry Christmas

I had a nice Christmas. I was glad that my sister didn't have to work the night before or had to work that day. I got to spend the day with my parents, my sister, her hubby and 3 kiddos as well as my aunt and her partner. Santa and my family were kind to me. I enjoyed cooking for everybody. I just need to learn to not cook as much.

I also got to see my best friend, her hubby and her lovely daughter Miss Holly the day after. We exchanged presents and guess what? We got each other the same purse? How is that for being best friends? We have similar yet different tastes but the purse is super cute. I was also glad that Miss Holly let me hold her. She's so sweet and funny and clever and adorable and cute and I could go on and on. She's good therapy for me, especially when she puts her arms out to me so I can hold her. I think it's because she thinks I'm a big playmate (I do a great itsy bitsy spider and I like go give her stuffed animals voices).

I also saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons yesterday. It was super duper long and it was just okay. It made me think about the movie, How Stella Got Her Groove Back...she could have gotten her groove back in an hour and not the 2 hour movie it was...My curiosity could have been sated in an hour and a half, you know what I mean? The car ride home was interesting...I learned that it's hard for me to hear other people tell me that I should be praying or doing novenas to pray for Grace to come. Did they not think that I haven't been doing that? It was definitely an ouch thing for me and made me cry a bit (I think a little bit because of hormones and a little because of frustration and a little because I am feeling my faith falter a little). I am trying very hard to stay strong and have faith, but I'm only human and not perfect. This time of year is a time of reflection and honestly, the wait time has caused great hurt and disappointment as well as a chink in my armour of strength. I will survive and I will continue waiting. I will not give up on my dream of my daughter.

I hope the RQ is correct is saying that the cutoff for referrals will be February 28th and that they will start March at the beginning of the year. I can hope and pray for miracles in 2009 that the referrals will speed up. That's all I can do. You know, next year, in a few days, I really want to take the skydive approach to things. I just need to jump and not worry about it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What would you like for Christmas?

Tomorrow will be three years ago that I got the news that I got a coveted spot in GWCA single's program. I was so excited that day. It was like the best Christmas present ever. Now here I am, three years later and I'm still hoping and praying for my daughter from China. My friends and family have often asked me what I wanted for Christmas and you know, like most of waiting parents, all we really want is our children, just plain and simple. Maybe I should have waited in line this year to see Santa and tell him what I wanted. I mean, it couldn't have hurt, except for Santa's lap. I can only imagine the look on Santa's face when he sees me coming to sit on his lap. He would totally have the cartoon eyes that pop out of his head.

My mom and I were talking about whether or not I would change anything about the agency I chose. My agency is a large, China only agency and at the time, when I thought it would only take a year, I wanted an agency that was close by and were experts in the country I was adopting from. They fit the bill. I know there are other great agencies that do multi-country and in fact, one of them was going to call me about a single's slot for their China program earlier in 2005 but I never followed up. I mean, if I had gone that route, I could have switched countries without losing as much money as I have invested now. But you know, it's not about the money (well, it is getting more expensive, but I'll deal). I don't know if I would have switched countries anyways. I know my daughter is in China and she's waiting for me. Besides, I have a history of always picking the slowest line in the grocery store, so this is par for me.

It will again be a tough holiday for us all while we are waiting. I, myself am going to have a Day Spa day next Monday to de-stress.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A day to note

This was a very interesting day. First of all, it is my sister's birthday. I have the greatest sister ever. She is one of my closest friends as well as my sister. It wasn't always that way. But, I can't imagine life without her. She is funny and has 3 great kids, even when they are driving me crazy. Today is also Shannon's cancer day...this is the day that we found out last year that Shannon had breast cancer. But, a year later, she is doing great and is cancer free. You go girl! She is one of the strongest women you'll ever meet. I have the deepest admiration for her. She has had a lot of tough times but she keeps popping back up.

Book Fair was better today than yesterday. I still think we will be going with another company if we do one in the spring. But the coolest thing ever that happened was my parent volunteer. I truly believe she is a sign for me to continue being strong in this wait. I was checking out the RQ website to see if there were any cutoff rumors (it's not looking good) and I was lamenting to Shannon about it. I told the parent that I was adopting from China. She looked at me and said, my daughters are Chinese. We adopted them...didn't you see my daughter earlier (of course I hadn't because I was fixing the book fair and was oblivious to things). So we talked about her adoptions and her girls and it just made me feel so much stronger. I tell you, God sends us signs when we are feeling kind of vulnerable to make us stronger. I looked at her daughter and smiled. I know no matter how long it takes, I will be getting my Grace. I'm hanging onto that thought.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bad days but good days

Yesterday was an Alexander Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. It actually began Sunday night with an e-mail to my personal e-mail account from my principal about an irate parent saying I hadn't returned e-mails or phone calls. That was news to me. Hadn't received one e-mail or phone call. In the end, the parent double-talks in the return e-mails to me and I carbon copy my responses to her (basically she called herself out that she hadn't tried contacting me since the 3rd week of school) which were very nice and professional. What I resented was the e-mail that was sent back to the parent from my principal before she spoke to me. Basically, bottom line, I got thrown under the bus and made to look like a complete incompetent and that really hurt. Then, we are having book fair this week and they were supposed to deliver it first thing yesterday and guess what? They screwed up and had me in the didn't come until after school and I was already livid. I wasn't about to stay after school (I already had plans for dinner with my family...sister's anniversary) Guess who they had set up the book fair? The guy (you know the one that I was so done with a few weeks ago) dad! Yeah, saw too much of him already this week. He was in the foyer when I walked in. He's a nice guy, but yeah, too much of a reminder. Oh well...thank God today was better. But you know, if I really look at the big picture, way worse things could be happening to me. One of my parents' friends was just diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and is in the hospital.

This week has been already one of those weeks. I am so ready to have Christmas vacation. I just want another break to sleep in and give myself a couple of days to wallow. It will be another tough year for those of us who are still waiting. We had hoped that last Christmas we would have our children this Christmas and the outlook isn't promising, at least number wise. We can always hope for our Christmas miracle.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

The holidays when one is waiting for something special, like waiting for your referral for your child, is truly bittersweet. I love, love, love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. I have been looking forward to it for a long time. When I woke up this morning though, I wasn't as happy or excited as I thought I would be. Maybe it was because I read a post on one of my Yahoo groups and the person was fretting about what her agency said about China adoptions (basically not speeding up, domestic adoption was increasing and yada, yada, yada). It totally conflicted with what my agency has told me. So, who is telling the truth? I don't know. I hope mine is (not that they promised any speedup or anything, just that it'll most likely get better after March LIDs and that people are dropping like flies out of the program and she didn't think it would take the whole year to do March like everybody is saying.) Maybe it was because it didn't start off well. I am in charge of cooking the turkey breast my mom bought. I told her to put it in the fridge to defrost. What neither one of us realized is that it shouldn't have been defrosted. It's one of those birds that all you do is throw it into the oven. I figured this out after I made the stuffing. I read the directions, the ran upstairs to check the butterball website on how to fix my problem...unfrozen turkey breast. I hope lowering the oven by 25 degrees will work. My stuffing was also contingent on being put in the turkey. It really is kind of flavorless. Thank God I bought some stovetop as well. Everthing else seems to be okay. I'm boiling the potatoes for the mashed potatoes and I'm cooking the pinto beans in the crock pot (mom lent me her really cool pampered chef garlic masher thing and it rocks!). It smells great. So, I guess the lesson that I am learning is that despite obstacles, you have to make lemonade out of lemons. So, I'm going to go downstairs, check on my potatoes, make the best mashed potatoes, take a shower, wear my favorite jeans, t-shirt and Ed Hardy shoes and put on a happy face and enjoy my favorite holiday. You know, I do have a great life and I'm very blessed. I have a lot to be thankful for and that's what I plan to focus on. Cheers to everybody still waiting for their referral. May you have a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

30 months of waiting!

Yep, today is my 30 month anniversary of my LID. Wow, it's incredible how long it's been. But it seems that time has been going by fast, which is good.

I saw Twilight on Friday afternoon. What was I thinking? Going to a girly teen movie the day it opens? YIKES! I had the pleasure of sitting next to some very unpleasant teen girls who were saying some pretty offensive things not to mention some a racial slur about one of the characters. Did I tell you that is when I popped both of my elbows out and connected with her bony arm? I know teen girls and saying things to these types of girls do absolutely nothing. I just glared and let my elbows do the talking for me. By the way, let's just say that I prefer the books better. What was up with the editing or Jacob's hair and this is just only a small portion of things that bugged me. But, I didn't not enjoy the movie. I guess it was like how I felt about Breaking Dawn. I didn't totally like it but it wasn't horrible either. I hear that they are going to make New Moon. Of course, I will see that one. My favorite character, Jacob is a big main character.

I am getting ready for the holidays. It was so nice sleeping in today. I ran some errands and then picked up and vacuumed upstairs. I could have made a sweater with all of Hope's hair on the carpet. I'm getting ready to vacuum and mop downstairs and spray down the oven to clean in the morning. I want a clean kitchen to prepare the food, even though I am taking it to my parents' house.

I am going to take my niece to Disneyworld at the end of January or beginning of February. We both need a small vacation and she is my favorite traveling buddy. We'll play hooky for 2 days. I might as well go because I probably won't be going for a while. Grace will be too little.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I want all the facts ma'am

I called my agency today and basically asked them for the 411 on wait times. I told her that people are really starting to panic and it's leading to hysteria and it's making me doubt myself. While she couldn't say for sure about timeframes, she did say that she thinks most of their families will wait 3 to 3 1/2 years. I asked her would I be getting my referral in 2010 like some people are predicting and she strongly felt that it wouldn't. She didn't think it would take the whole year to do March like other people have been saying. She said that once March is done, it should get better as far as how many dates get referred because March is mighty big. BUT...she also said that a lot of the families are dropping like flies. That makes me sad not only because they might be giving up their dream but they also lost a lot of money! I mean the amount lost is like the price of a used car, but still, a big ticket item. So anyways, the way I look at it, I still have a year or less of a wait and I'm pulling for less than a year! I felt better and more reassured. We don't have crystal balls and cannot predict the future but it so important for agencies to reach out to their clients and have these talks with them to reassure them. Shame on them for not opening the communication lines other than a monthly e-mail (yes, that is directed towards my agency who I really do like). I know they say they are a phone call away or an e-mail away, but they should be calling us to check in with us at least every other month during this wait to give us information. Sometimes, the information is almost perceived as secretive. But, I learned today that all you have to do is call and ask. So, bottom line, ask. Be your own adoption detective. Go to the horse's mouth instead of drawing conclusions based on rumors, if you can (I know, some agencies aren't as forthcoming). So, deep breath in, lotus position, I can do less than a year.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Addicted to Carmen San Diego

I am so addicted to the game Where in the World is Carmen San's sick. I found the CD-rom in my desk when my 8 year old nephew came over to my house. We played it and now it is I who is playing it every night. I LOVE IT! It's so sad how much I love it.

I went and saw my friend's band last night, PuppyJet and they sounded great. I also liked the opening band before them, The Far Cries...who woulda thought my friend's band would have an opening act huh? Anyways, I stayed for the Far Cries and left after the second song of PuppyJet, not that they were horrible or anything but the smoke was seriously affecting our breathing...that's the one thing I hate about bars like that, the cigarette smoke. It was also very bittersweet. At one time in my life, that ecletic music scene was a place that I felt very comfortable with. It was like seeing my life in my 20s with my older 30something year old eyes. It was great people watching, I especially liked watching the table of guys of varied ages, pierced and tatooed, I especially was intrigued by the 50something year old mohawk guy (yes a 50 year old with a mohawk). But at the same time, I realized I am so not that girl anymore. I really didn't fit in (even though I was wearing the black long sleeve t-shirt, jeans and Ed Hardy shoes, which are super cool). I've moved on and I guess I realized how much I have grown up. It's weird to have a wake-up call at such a place. [ sidenote to my best friend Sandra: And yes Sandra, I did behave myself and let's just say that dreams are probably better than reality and it will be super long time before I even seriously consider it. Nuff said]

Speaking of real concerts, Sandra and I may bite the bullet and see our favorite band from our youth, Duran Duran. She loved Simon LeBon (or was it John Taylor...I think Simon) and I knew I was going to marry John Taylor (like every other middle school girl during the 80s). Anyways, it should be a blast.

My dad called me the other day and said, "Jamie, I think Grace is born and I think you are going to get a referral in March." (that's the second person who has said that to me...Shannon and my dad). It's weird because my dad doesn't say things like that. AND Sandra had a ladybug crawling on her in her classroom the other day. Kinda weird. So, let's hope for the best and that '09 will be a year for our miracles.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

November already!

I can't believe that we're already almost two weeks into November. Time is flying by so fast. I did some serious retail therapy and now I am having a bit of regret on a top which I believe I will be returning to Nordstroms. It was cute but so not worth the cost. I was going to wear it to see Cobra Starship and Forever the Sickest Kids, but in the end, we didn't go. The good thing was that I had to go down a size in jeans. Yippee! I've lost like 12 pounds in about 3 weeks. My goal is a whole heck of a lot more, but I will make it. I've got a year before my next skydive. I want to wear the green suit.

We're going to see my friend Chris' band, Puppy Jet, next weekend. He doesn't go on until 11. I told him that was usually the time I'm coming home from places, not going out. It should be a good show though. I always have fun with Shannon at concerts.

I am cooking Thanksgiving for my family this year but taking it over to my parents' house. Last year was so nice and I hope it will be again. I love that all you do on that day is eat, watch TV, play games and sometimes we go to the movies. Speaking of which, Twilight starts November 21st and Shannon and I are going to go after school to see it. Yippee! I am so Team Jake but I realize that Bella and Edward belong together. If it had been me doing the picking, I so would have picked Jacob. Edward would have literally sucked the life out of me.

This year at Thanksgiving, I will be saying a prayer for all of us that we get our little ones faster than everybody is predicting. In the interim, I have finally started moving on with my life. I'm planning on applying for an NEH seminar for teachers that will take place this summer for 3 weeks in Chicago. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

So sick of the negativisim!

Can I just say that I really, really, really hate how when people see how slow the referrals are coming that they start going into negative panic mode? Then comes all of the doom and gloom predictions that say it's going to take this much longer and blah, blah, blah. Okay, I respect your right to vent and make doomsday predictions but it doesn't mean I have to like it. How do you know it's going to take 4 years? None of us, well maybe some of us, are psychics and cannot predict the future. Isn't it better to look at the glass half full than half empty? Isn't being optimistic a lot healthier than being a naysayer? Negativism breeds negativism. It's like a hoover and sucks the life out of you. You may call yourselves realists, but the bottom line is that we really don't know. I, myself, prefer to remain positive and I have to stay away from the people who are starting to seriously panic and it becomes like a serious craze and then everybody starts freaking out and it spins out of control (you know, just like Judd Nelson's character says in The Breakfast Club, "He'll get up, then we'll all get up and it'll be anarchy!" It just helps to take a deep breath, breathe, and take it one day at a time. And, I'm going to check out those sweet baby's faces to remind me of what is to come.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

It's going to be very interesting to see who wins the election tonight. I wasn't entirely thrilled with either candidate but you know there won't be a person who I think will fill all of my needs. I just pray that whoever is elected will be able to make good decisions that will benefit us all. A student asked me today if I voted and I said I had and they wanted to know who. I told her that was a personal question and that I voted who I felt would be the best candidate for the job. She said she really wanted to know and I still didn't feel right telling her. I told her it was one of those things you don't ask people, like who you vote for, how much money you make or how much you weigh. I don't think she understood but everybody has the right to vote for whoever they feel in their hearts is the best candidate for the job. Enough said.

Yesterday I had the author, Patrick Carman visit my school (Thank you Fabby from Barnes and Noble Northwood store!). He was so awesome. He told a great story about his friend and him destroying their toys including a Stretch Armstrong and an Evil Knieval doll. It cracked me up. He has a great new book coming out called Skeleton Creek that will be totally interactive with a journal and a website that has movie clips. It's like Blair Witch Project meets a Ghost Hunter's journal. It's super cool. I can't remember the website offhand, but I know one of the websites that is in the book is and the password is houseofusher. The video is super cool. I love it! I can't wait until it comes out.

RQ is saying referrals should be coming out soon and it doesn't look like a great big batch. I'm not surprised but my agency should be getting referrals this time. I hope they finish February this year. I was looking at our list of LIDs and it's sort of bottlenecks up until the middle of March (like people turned in their paperwork like in Feb and didn't get an LID until March, like almost a month later). I think after that bottleneck is referred, there might be some sort of speedup. I know people freak out over rumors and how the referrals have been super slow, but I'm thinking for me, a May 24 LIDer, I know I'll be getting my referral in 2009 and not 2010. It would be awesome to have a May or June referral so I have the whole summer and I can take some time off at the beginning of the school year, but an early fall wouldn't be horrible either. What will be will be. I'm in it for the long haul. I'm glad my I-600a can be renewed so I'm not going to sweat it out or freak out.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I should have my own action figure

Yeah, I did it. I'm proud. I jumped out of an airplane. It rocked! I'm definitely going to do it again. The weird thing was that I wasn't afraid or nervous at all. Maybe that is how my brain copes with just doesn't dwell much on things like that. I had so much fun and can I tell you that my instructor was super CUTE! He was totally what I used to go for when I was in my 20s. So, being strapped to him was no biggie! We watched the video and I was laughing so hard that I was crying (actually we all were). All I kept thinking about during free fall was the way my face was looking from the air pressure. It wasn't too pretty. When I realized I was being taped, I tried smiling because I thought that might help....yeah, not so much...imagine a blow fish on a human's body. I really can't explain the feeling but it was very peaceful and very freeing. I think at the beginning I wasn't sure what to expect but I tell you, the whole face morphing thing is not pretty, although if you look at my instructor in the video and the pictures, he totally doesn't have the same look. Hmmmmm...let's just say, girlfriend here is totally going to lose more weight before she goes back. I don't want my action figure to be Miss Flappy Blowfish face. I am attaching a couple of pictures for your pleasure. I am definitely not putting up those blowfish flappy face ones...too embarassing!

I don't know if anybody else has been checking RQ, but there is still not cut off rumors. Let's hope the silence is golden and we'll be rich in babies!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

3 times, not the charm

My dear friend Chris once told me that after 3 dates, you should be able to tell whether or not you really want to date someone. Boy, was he right on the money. I learned through this date that I have cardinal rules of dating that shouldn't be broken or it's all over. Yeah, my date on Friday broke so many of these rules that I didn't know that I had. Here are some of mine:

1. Thou shall ask me my opinions and not just do what you want...example: did I get to choose the movie? Nope. Did I even have a voice? Nope. The movie we saw was very violent and not my type of movie. When asked if I was hungry and I said a little, was I asked what I wanted to eat? Nope. It was chosen for me.
2. Thou shall listen to me and not just do what you want. Example: I said I wanted to go to a certain theater to avoid my students, guess what theater we ended up at? Yeah, the one my students go to. Not cool.
3. Thou shall not make me walk a long way in my heels...or at least ask me if I would be okay walking what it seemed like forever.
4. Thou shall not be cheap. There is cheap and there is thrifty...Big difference and he's cheap.
5. Thou shall not make fun of a gift my mother gave me...or mock mother gave me a VERY nice Philip Stein watch, you know the Oprah watch and the whole evening he was mocking it as the magic watch with the ooooooohhhhh.
6. Thou shall not treat me as a stupid girl who has no opinion and that he knows EVERYTHING about the world...the economy is not just a figment of our imaginations...we are in trouble. His thought is that the economy is just righting itself. Be that as it may, people are still having trouble making ends meet!!!!

Anyways, I'm glad I found out now. I know I could have stopped and said something earlier but I would have come off as a shrew and there's the whole thing that his dad is one of my vendors, goes to my church, knows my parents. It's complicated. The thing is I think he really likes me and I have to find a nice way to say that it's just not going to work. I'm glad he's not a phone talker so it can be a short and sweet conversation. I'm sorry Sandra that we didn't work. I know you had high hopes but Rex was so right, "RUN!" At least I can cross off "Go out on a date" off my list of To Do for this year. LOL

Tomorrow my mom is having a colonoscopy and so I'm taking the day off to take her. I'm eagerly waiting to hear when the next referrals will come. My sister had a vivid dream about playing with a little girl. I hope it's a sign. When I was cutting my gala apples this morning, the label had a little ladybug on it. Hope it's a good sign.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ren Fest

I had a fabby weekend with my best friend and her hubby, daughter and her hubby's friends. We drove 3 hours to go to Texas Renaissance Festival. I tell you, it is the best people watching experience ever. It cracks me up to watch people jump out of their modern day cars and SUVs and then don medieval wear. I think the chain mail bikini tops were a bit much but what really made us laugh were the men who were wearing Conan like outfits, complete with fur boots and fur loin cloths. Crazy. There was one cute Conan guy that I didn't mind watching so much. Sigh!

Next weekend or the weekend after, I am going to go skydiving with Shannon's hubby Keith while Shannon watches. It's on my list of things I've always wanted to do. Crazy, I know. But I figure I should do it before I get my daughter. I can tell my grandchildren, "Yeah, Grandma was a daredevil in her younger days. She even jumped out of a plane!" The funny thing is that I've always liked that sort of stuff for the most part but scary movies and glow in the dark things scare the heck out of me. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

hip hip hooray!

YEA! I am so glad that the USCIS is allowing us to extend our I-600A if we don't let it expire. Yipee! I was totally sweating it just because who knew if the no singles policy currently held by China would affect me (I know they said it wouldn't but you know, things have changed so often during this long wait that we never know from one day to the next). I am still hopeful that I won't have to renew again (mine expires in July 2009) but I definitely won't let it expire if it does. I am very blessed in that I have a great friend Chris, who I love and adore, who has been giving me referrals for a side job (and he himself said he was going to send me work from his own project) that is helping to build my savings/money market account. The wait has allowed me to grow these accounts so I will totally be on a cash basis and I shouldn't wipe out everything when I go to China, which is a sigh of relief. Heck though, if I could go today, I wouldn't care about wiping out the account because something always happens and God provides for my needs. I can't explain it but it always happens that way.

This Saturday, I am going to Renfest with my best friend Sandra and her hubby and their daughter and Rex's friends. It should be fun. I might even get my hair all crazy braided. It hurts but I always love the look. My parents are going to have to let Hope out a couple of times since I'll be gone all day and not coming home until late at night (we have to travel to Plantersville).

I can't believe tomorrow is Wednesday. Is it me or is time flying by super fast? You think this is God's way of making the wait bearable for us?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Neil Diamond

Tonight, my friend D and I went to see Neil Diamond in concert. I know, I know, not the typical Jamie fare but we were offered free tickets and we decided to go. We had fun even though we only knew about 7 of the songs. It was one of the greatest people watching times we had. We saw a woman in her 50s get kicked out for being too drunk. We watched people who were our parents age totally getting jiggy with it. And we got to belt out Sweet Caroline (and those of you who know my story with that song...nope, didn'thave any flashbacks, though I did see Kip's face a couple of times which made me a little nausiated). We left before it was over. The place was packed! People were having a good time which made it even more fun. I loved watching the guy who was my age in the front row with his mom. He and his mom both were clearly enjoying the show. They were up on their feet just dancing and singing along. That got me thinking...when I'm 50ish, will there be a performer that I will want to see, that will pack the house and sound like they did when they were in there heyday? I can't imagine myself then wanting to see Def Leppard, Duran Duran, AC/DC...maybe U2? Hmmmm who knows.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Okay...I am so going to air some dirty laundry right now. I'm kind of livid. Why is it that the guys I go out with end up being shady? Example, tonight. The person who I went out with last Saturday who hasn't called me all week was supposed to be going out of town to Houston...guess who I ran into at the football game? Yep, you guessed it! I'm with my girls from work going to get tickets and who do I see in front of me? So, I lean over to D and poke her and start saying under my breath, "That's him! That's the guy!" when he swoops next to me and says, "My dad says, "there's Jamie! Hide!" Okay, that was so not funny and not cool! I got caught first of all, acting like a teenager pointing him out to my friend, then I'm kind of cautious because he is supposed to be out of town. When I call him on it, he says the plans fell through. Hmmm, how is seeing your uncle a plan that could fall through? I call foul totally. I was very cool towards him and he has the nerve to say, "We're going out Friday right?" I nod, what was I supposed to say? No loser because you can't pick up a phone to say you're staying in town? He KNEW I was going to be there. I told him Saturday night. The game was fun though. I got to see my former students and even though we lost, it was a great game. We had a blast. I just don't get guys. Seriously. So, yeah, I'll go out Friday and I think I'm going to look pretty fabulous and just be cool about it. His loss. Oh yeah, and what was it about giving me a handshake? What was that all about? I gave him a hug. His dad gave me a hug when he came and talked to me and asked about my parents. Yeah, he was there with his folks. Okay, so I attact real winners. I knew there was a reason why I have stayed single.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Yikes! Dating!

I thought I was going to puke my guts out on the way to the restaurant. Yep, I said it. Pure, pure nervousness. What is it about first dates that just make you want to hurl? What's worse is that I knew him but he didn't really know me. His parents and my parents know each other, we went to the same church and same schools growing up (I graduated 3 years before he did) and it was a total fluke that we met (I had been on a Catholic dating site a long time ago...never ever checked it and got an e-mail that I had a response and long story short, we started talking). But, I have to say, I had a really good time. We ate Thai food and came back to my house and played wii. He kicked my butt in bowling, we tied in tennis and I knocked him out in boxing...must be the rhythmic boxing I do on wii fit. Then we played Idol Karoke Revolution & Rock Band. Yeah, I'm not usually a girl who will bust out a song in front of a strange guy, but I did. I am not a great singer either. But we had fun. But, just because I had fun doesn't mean this is going anywhere. He did ask me out again in a couple of weeks (he's going to Houston next weekend). But still, it doesn't mean anything at all! Besides, I still haven't let him know about Grace. Frankly, we're gettting to know each other in a buddy sort of way, which adopting my daughter really doesn't concern him at this point. I go back and forth on this issue all of the time. It's interesting throwing dating into the whole not quite a single parent mix. And you know what? He might already know because I know his dad knows I'm adopting. I work with him once or twice a year. And he still hasn't told me his secrets either...I know all of his baggage because of someone who works with his dad told me and his dad told my dad too...Oh well...too much thinking makes my head hurt.

I hope the wait will speed up.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another small batch

Boo-hoo for those of us still waiting. The batch looks to be small again, only getting to February 15th (which is what? 4 or 5 days?). I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but I can't help bums me out but at the same time I have to believe that China is going to surprise me soon in a positive way...I'm just thinking what goes down, must come up! So, I'm keeping my chin up and keeping up with my novenas...I'm seriously one candle and scarf away from being one of the little abuelitas who light the candles and pray to the santos.

On an interesting note, I actually have a date on Saturday. I know my best friend Sandra who reads my blog is jumping up and down with joy. I'm really not ready to be in any relationship but I figure a date could be fun...we're going to have bubble tea and play Wii at my house. Nothing major and in case you're wondering Sandra, I really haven't thought about what I'm wearing. You know, I like being the queen bee in my house and I'm not sure I want to give it up or share the power, especially the power of the remote control. I have yet to say anything to him about bad would it be to show him the nursery and say guess what? Just kidding!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy #28th LID Anniversary?

I can't believe my dossier has been logged in for 28 months! Wow! Who would have thunk? So, in this waiting time I've been getting my fix of Project Runway and all of the other TV shows that I won't get to watch as much. Right now I am so addicted to Project Runway. I love Leighanne, Kato & Jerrell. I can't stand Kinley! She's way too full of herself. Her dresses are pretty but they all look the same. I also can't wait until Amazing Race on Sunday! Woo-hoo! I love it so much.

On a sadder note, Shannon is in the middle of a scare...she started having pain in the same breast that had the cancer. She knew something was wrong last time when she started having pain. She had a mammogram yesterday and they are supposed to call when they know something. I am keeping her in my prayers and I hope you will too. She is one of the coolest, nicest people that you will ever meet. Last year she lost her mother suddenly and battled cancer...I hope that this year it'll be better...let's hope that it's nothing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's almost the end of September

Can you believe how time has flown by? It's almost the end of September. It seems that my days at work fly by so fast. I have never been as busy as I have been this year. I'm not sure what it is, but I like that my day goes by fast. I have been working with more teachers this year which is great. It took 7 years to get them to come to me for help.

The other middle school librarians were teasing me the other day in our meeting about how cute my hair was and they liked the way my toes were painted and they told me to enjoy it now because my cute hair, outfits and toes are going to go bye-bye when my daughter gets home. I'll have food stains and food and slobber in my hair. You know what? I am actually looking forward to looking like that. I can't wait until I get to see my little one's face. It is still the question for people I haven't seen in a while. They wince when I tell them, well, at least they are in my year but it has been taking several months to do one month, but it could change or speed up. I think I have waited so long that I'm so used to the questions. They don't bother me anymore. I just told them to be prepared for the big ol scream they'll be hearing that will eminate throughout our city when I get the referral.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weird Dreams

Okay, so this post is going to sound a bit weird, but I told myself I had to write this down somewhere because when the time comes, I want to see if I was right. So, here goes...bear with me as I tread in the bizarre waters. I don't know if you have ever had the experience when you're asleep but you're sort of not, like in a twilightish state and you feel like, I don't know, I would imagine it's like when they use those shocker paddles on people to get their heart started. My whole body was like this "slam" feeling and in my ear as I was recovering from that slamming sensation, I heard a baby crying, like the first cry from a newborn. I opened my eyes, wondering where it was coming from. My room was dark and the clock said I think 4 or 5 a.m. I even got out of bed looking to see if maybe someone was out front with a baby (and of course there wasn't...why would someone have a newborn baby in front of my house that early in the morning). I thought it was strange, but it got me thinking, maybe it was a sign from above that my daughter Grace is born somewhere in China. I know, I know, it's strange, but wouldn't it be interesting if my daughter has a September birthdate???

Friday, September 12, 2008

Guess what I saw today?

I was on my front porch, opening my front door when I looked up at the porch light and guess what I saw around it? Two, that's right, two, ladybugs. Hope it's a good sign.

I am hoping that Ike will not do too much damage. The swells over the Galveston sea wall were scary. I remember hanging out there when I was visiting my friend Matt at A&M in Galveston. I'm glad my aunt sold her beach house there. I will just have to say a little prayer for the people there and I hope we get just a bit of rain here. My yard is starting to get some brown patches.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Wimberly Days and Jack Levitt

Today I spent the day with my best friend, her hubby and her beautiful daughter at Wimberly Days. It was so fun just ambling about checking things out. I bought several crosses that said, hope, love, joy, and faith as well as some cute sandals. Then we went to eat at Inos for lunch which was very good. I made the mistake of laughing at Holly when Sandra said, "Show me your nose" to which Holly did by sticking her fingers in her nostrils. I was laughing so hard that she kept doing it over and over again. I really tried hard not to, but it was funny. I hope she doesn't keep doing that over and over. I'm super dooper sorry if she does. She likes it when I laugh. I think it's because I can be hyena like.

I also just got back from going out with some friends from work (decided I should do this more before Grace comes home). Our friend, Bob, has a band called Jack Levitt (check out their website and hear their music, )and we went to see him play at the Broadway 5050. I had a good time except for all of the smoke. I won't be surprised if I wake up later today coughing up a lung. It was bad. One of my friend's friend liked this guy who was sitting across from us. Bob told us that he was a jerk and he did look like one. My friend's friend was like sort of obsessing about him so I told her, look, why not go over there and talk to him and she responded that she couldn't. So, I go all middle school and ask her if she wants me to talk to him, which she says yes. I go over to the guy and I introduce myself to his friends and then to him and I say, "My friend at the table wants to know how old you are" to which he says, well how old is she? I replied, "She's around my age." and then he says, "Well, how old is that?" I tell him, "How old do you think I am?", which I know can be a touchy question, but it was kind of a test. He pretty much nails it on the head, with, "35" and I say, "Close enough." He tells me his age is first 24 then 27 and then I ask his name. He doesn't give it to me right away. His friend tells him, "Billy, give her your name." And he says, "Uhhhhh, I'm thinking of a sexy name, uhhhhhhh, uhhhh, Todd." I said, "Dude, a guy who can't give his own name is so not sexy." Then I leave and go back to my table to tell my friend's friend what he said. We all agreed he was a total jerk and that Bob was right. I think that made her get over him. Anyways, as we were getting readyt to leave, my friend's friend goes to the bathroom and who comes over and sits in her chair right next to me? Yeah, you guessed it, our friend Mr. Sexy Todd! I looked at him and he looked at me and I said, "What? My interested friend is in the bathroom" and he said what back. Then he asked if we were leaving? We only had our purses out! I told him that we were and when you get older you go home earlier! He stomps away and I look at him puzzled. What was the deal??? Yeah, didn't get it at all. I'm just glad I'm home now, showered and smoke free. I can feel the effects from the smoke in my chest. I hope I don't end up getting sick and having to go to the doctor. Yuck!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I just love Stork Landings...Seriously

I love stork landings. They make me so happy that parents are getting to see their child's face for the first time. I think it brings home the fact that it will one day be my turn. Shannon who has never ever made predictions thinks it's going to be in the Spring of 09. I would be happy with early summer...actually, I would be happy with any day as long as I get my child! The sooner the better! Okay, 9 more days down! Yippee!

I had my author visit by Jennifer Anne Kogler. She rocks! I'll have to add the picture that she, Shannon and I took today. I felt so bad for her because our school's AC broke and it was VERY hot, like today it's 99. I'm glad she came in the morning and it wasn't as hot. If you like young adult books or you have reader kids, her book Otherworldlies is a fantastic fantasy. It's a perfect middle school book (meaning no real violence, somebody gets frozen and no sex or cursing). It's like a combo of Percy Jackson, Lemony Snicket with a small splash of Harry Potter thrown in. It's a vampire book with a different kind of bite (not typical or anything similar to Twilight series). I didn't like the first chapter because too much info was given (and my reader's A.D.D. can kick in) but it picked up and I finished it in less than a day (I didn't want to put it down and it's not a hard read).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Back in the Saddle Again

The first day of school went off without a hitch. I hit the floor running and didn't stop. It seems like I just left for the summer. It's hard to believe that I've been back for 3 weeks now. I love my faculty and staff. My goal this year is to be nice to everybody, no matter how much they irritate me and also to be equitable with my time. I know that there are teachers that I tend to favor and I'll jump through hoops for them but now I need to be fair. I have an author coming to visit next Tuesday (Jennifer Anne Kogler). I haven't yet read her two books but I'm starting on them.

I'm going through Olympics withdrawl. I miss plopping myself down on the couch and watching something new. I hope there will be a DVD of highlights that I can buy for Grace to see later on down the road. Speaking of DVDs, I watched Found in China and it was FABULOUS! I learned so much by watching this young girls go back to their homeland. There was something similar on the documentary channel right before the Olympics but the girls were from Norway, I think. I had to read the subtitles in English. It was great too. One of my favorite lines that one of the girls said was that she liked China because everybody looked so different!

I'm also reading Silent Tears which I have a hard time putting down. It really is a tear jerker but I think it can help us understand some of the things our children may/may not go through. I only have a little over 100 pages left. I hope to finish it by the end of the week so my mom can read it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Goodbye Popo!

My beloved grandfather finally found peace on Friday evening, a little after 11 p.m. I think he was waiting for my Aunt Sonia to come into town from Houston before he left us. She didn't get to see him though. She really thought he was going to make it because the hospital said he was improving earlier that day. I knew better. I knew it was coming, but maybe the next week. I went to bed Friday around 10ish because I had been tired from my first crazy week back at work. My mom then called and woke me up at 11 when the lightning/thunder storm hit to tell me to rub fabric softner sheets on Hope to calm her down, if she needed it in the storm (who would have known that softner sheets can do that...takes the static out). I also unplugged my computer because it kept coming on around that time and I thought it was the storm (which now I believe was my grandfather telling me goodbye) Then a little after midnight (I had probably just got back into my deep sleep) my aunt Sonia called from my mom's house to tell me my grandfather had passed. I called my sister and we went over to my parents' house and stayed until 2 a.m. The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity with very little sleep. Never before has a distinct rift between siblings has been so evident. We (being me, mom, dad, and sister) are pretty much the only ones in the middle territory. We're the ones who have to go back and forth to get important burial/funeral information. Actually, let me rephrase that, I've been getting a lot of information and I've been the one at the front line getting the brunt of the frustration from other family members (those in conflict with other siblings or within my own immediate family, those who feel incredibly left out of the process). I have to take it like a big ol oak tree, strong and tall, listen, tell them I'm sorry and ask what I can do to make it better. Yeah, death is WAY easier for the dying than the living. I am physically and emotionally drained and so ready for the services to be done (not to be insensitive or anything). After that, I can let go and have a really good cry instead of these brief little bouts (like now as I write this). The rosary will be Monday night and the funeral on Tuesday. I hope to be a pall bearer but who knows what will come (some family members are VERY weird and traditonal about things like that). Interestly enough, I can't wait to get back to my crazy life as a middle school librarian. My grandmother is doing okay. She said she was glad that the old man is finally at peace. I am glad too. And that's the best thing (next to my friends who have been great sources of support...thank you all so much and I have great love for you all).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting ready to mourn...

Today, I was going to write about how I finally finished Grace's 100 wishes quilt (it's uh, well, completed and definitely not perfect.) I also wanted to write about my first day back at work (good and interesting) and I wanted to talk about how we've finally finished the January 2006 LIDs (Yeehaw). However, after hearing my mom's conversation with one of my aunts, I feel compelled to write about my grandather. My grandfather has always been a very strong man in my life. He was a silent aztec warrior. He would quietly tell you things or give you warnings, but he let you make the decisions and accept the consequences (like when I wanted to know how a car cigarette lighter worked and he told me but I didn't believe him and stuck my finger on the hot coil because I truly thought a flame would shoot out like a lighter...burnt my finger but he just looked at me and said, ya didn't believe me did ya?" He and my grandmother went into a nursing home last summer and it was probably the toughest thing for not only him, but for all of us who love him. He's been suffering with a brain tumor and in the past six months he has started changing into a totally different man. It was hard for my parents especially to see him suffering and on Saturday, he was put into the hospital for pneumonia. I think I knew it was coming because I had told my friend earlier that morning that I couldn't go to the river with him and his other friends because my grandfather was sick and that I might be needed. I know in my heart that my grandfather is ready to go. I just can feel it. It's going to be soon. We visited him last night and he wasn't really making any sense. He kept saying he saw a baby and a little boy and that people were waiting and that someone was saying hello in his ear. He doesn't want to eat or take his medicine. Today he told my aunt that he was seeing the light and didn't she see the beautiful woman? I heard that my two younger cousins were so upset and just crying. But you know what? I'm more sad for us than him. I have great faith and I know that he is going to a much better place where he is free to be himself again and be without pain. Death is so much harder for the living than the dead. I know he had been afraid before but now I think he is ready. He will always be with us in spirit and he will be an extra angel watching over my girl in China. You know, he's a pretty tenacious guy. Maybe he can get the CCAA to speed up already. So, if you get a chance, say a little prayer for my grandfather that he may get the peace that he wants and deserves. I love you Popo.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I finished Stephenie's Meyer's last novel in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn today. I can't decide if I really liked it. I mean, it obviously kept me entertained as I finished the 700 plus page book in two days. I guess it wasn't how I wanted it all to end. And honestly, it went to a place that well, basically it jumped the shark (without giving anything away to anyone who is reading or wants to read it). The first three books, I easily bought into the storyline, but in this one, somehow I found myself not believing as much. I found myself a little irritated with Bella and Edward a lot of the time. I just think the bottom line is that most series never end the way we want and we're a little disappointed. I felt that way about the last Harry Potter book. I did like it though. It just wasn't how I envisioned it ending. It's the same way with Breaking Dawn.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Making Peace with the Wait

I wish I could say that as time keeps creeping by, the wait would get easier. It seems that it's a constant battle of staying optimistic or total panic and depression. Lately, I have been more on the panic side...I was seriously anxious...couldn't sleep...was considering options and peace came to me in all of the weirdest my annual well woman exam appointment. I truly believe that God places people in our lives at the exact right moment to help us in our time of need. My human helper was my brand new doctor. We were having a conversation about what was going on in my life and honestly I can't exactly explain what it was about the conversation, but by the end, I felt okay with the wait again. I wasn't anxious and thinking it wasn't ever going to happen. I actually had hope. Maybe it was that she said she was going to pray for me (I know, people always say that, but there was something about her which made me realize that she was serious). I have heard that the wait will hopefully get better after the beginning of the year and I have to keep that hope alive. I have to pray that my referral for my daughter will come in 2009. I have to have faith. And because of this, I have almost finished Grace's 100 wishes quilt on my own! I have never quilted anything in my entire life. I have pieced it together and now I'm getting ready for the actual quilting. As soon as I finish it, I will post a picture. The next thing I need to work on for her is her life book. It seems that keeping my focus and positive thought of Grace coming home is keeping me sane.

On another note, I am loving the Travel Channel and all of the channels that are showcasing China. I was excited before, but now I really am excited. One of the coolest things I saw was the Pandas at Chengdu as well as Xian itself. That is a place I would love to see. There is going to be something on NBC this week about China as well that I'm going to watch. My friend D, is going to teach Chinese Cinderella (if you haven't read this biography, you have's by Adeline Mah) again to her Advanced English 8th graders. We're going to work together to develop some awesome cultural learning centers. I'm going to use my librarian/information specialist skills to get some great resources.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I wasn't meant to be a painter

I have been LAZY this summer. Not totally, but I could get done a lot more than I have. I swim most every morning and I walk most every evening. I have also been working with my wii fit. I had been putting off painting my new patio cover because well, I live in South Texas and it's hot. I decided this past week to paint it. I had to prime it first and then paint it. When I decided I was going to do this job, I didn't think it would be so hard and not that bad. How wrong I was. I really bit off more than I could chew. I was doing okay until I got to the one side of my patio that has a really big slope. I adjusted the ladder so that my weight would counterbalance the slope. I didn't take into account shifting my own weight on the ladder as I painted. So as I began to paint, I felt the ladder start to sway and move. I am probably on the 4th rung of a 6 foot ladder and I knew that I needed to get down fast. Interestingly enough instead of total panic, I threw down the roller to the ground, grabbed the patio cover and then realized I needed to shift my weight as I went down the rungs. As soon as I got off the ladder, it flipped over and went down the slope. I knew then that I had some serious angels watching over me saying, "Stupid girl, you are so not a painter!" You would have thought that I had learned my lesson, but I am stubborn. I didn't want to be a total quitter on this project so I attempted again on another part that didn't have much of a slope. It got a little too wobbly for my comfort so I quit. I have called in for a professional to finish the job. At least I got over half of it primed. The good thing is I didn't break anything.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wii fit can work your butt off!

Yesterday, my wii fit that I ordered from Circuit City online came in. Of course, I ripped that bad boy open and jumped on. I learned I am 50ish in my wii age (I'm really 36!) I also learned my balance stinks. I had a hard time knocking off those soccer balls. I was great at the hula hoop. So great that when I woke up this morning, intending to do my usual morning swim, my body was soooo sore. Holy cow! Who knew a wii fit could make you feel like you did one heck of a workout the day before. Anyways, I'm having fun. I'm working hard on getting my blood pressure back down. Before I started the adoption process, my blood pressure was awesome. As the time ticked by, my blood pressure went up, as did my weight. Interestingly enough though, I've been this heavy before but my blood pressure was always good. So, it really freaked me out towards the end of the year when it really began creeping up into a not so great zone. So, this summer I have vowed to be a better eater and to exercise more, hence the swimming most every morning, walking Hope most evenings and now the wii fit. My blood pressure has gone done a lot. I'm still not where I need to be (I'm off by like less than 3 on both sides). I don't want to have to get on medication because my health has been really good. I need to be healthy for my Grace.

I'm also going to be going to the coast in a couple of weeks. I can't wait. My friend D and I are renting a condo for two nights and kicking back and resting at the beach. YEA! I can already hear the waves calling my name. I love reading some great books and just sipping on ice cold water. Ahhhh, life is good.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Agency Did get Referrals

So, I was wrong about my agency not getting referrals. We had one log in date of January 23rd. Congratulations to all families who get to see their child's face for the first time this week. How exciting. You know, the funny thing about this wait as it goes along is that it feels so very close, but yet so far. It reminds me of this ride they had in Italy (where I spent several years) that I loved. It was basically the ride that had swings hanging down and it would spin. You would go up and there was a rope or something hanging up high on a pole. If you were the one to be able to reach and grab it, you'd win another ride. I was very successful. It must be my freakishly long arms. I had many free rides. Now, I must have t-rex arms because I'm grasping at a lot of nothing. Actually, I can feel the referral looming right in front of me, I just can't grab it. But, I have to say, this ride is not as fun as my childhood ride. But, I'm one step closer to my child as we who are all waiting are. I know it's bittersweet and the amount of days they matched really sucked for all of us. It makes us feel and think that they aren't getting anywhere anytime soon. It's like they are stuck in quicksand. I'm thinking it will probably be like that for a couple of months with the Olympics looming in the next month. I was looking at my agency's list of LID dates and I was noticing that for a while, until the latter part of March, that it took a long time for the dossiers to be logged in. It was like a month from DTC to LID. Then after that, it speeds up and there is about a week in between DTC to LID. So, maybe this is a bottleneck and after they get through those dates, we might see some real progress. I'm still hoping that my wait will be about 36 months (which puts me next May). I can only hope. Hope springs eternal right? Speaking of Hope (my dog), she got her teeth cleaned and microchipped. Poor thing...her mouth is sore and the anesthesia has messed with her. She's still a little loopy and totally tired. In fact, usually she'd be right next to me as I write this, but she's staying downstairs. I think the stairs are too much right now.

I'm getting ready to go down and watch America's Got Talent. There is a little girl on the show who was adopted from China who is an acrobat/contortionist. I want to check it out. Did anybody catch The Bachelorette last night? Okay, didn't see that one happening! I loved both guys but you know, I didn't love her. Jesse was my favorite (and Jason my 2nd favorite). I wanted her to pick Graham or Jeremy. I thought they would suit her better. She came off as spoiled and high maitenance. She was very pouty and sometimes her crying seemed a bit insincere. She may not be that way, but by the end of the show, I didn't care for her at all. Sorry.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Starting back on the swimming

Since my summer school job got scrapped, I realized that I needed to put myself on a schedule or I would just sit around and wallow and become the staypuff marshmellow woman. So, I have started my swimming in the morning at my subdivision's pool. I am getting up at 7:30, then eating breakfast and swimming around 8ish. I'm only swimming for a shorter time right now because holy cow, it can kick your butt. I'm still trying to work on my eating habits. Yesterday, we had our family 4th of July BBQ because my sister is working on the 4th. I made burgers, hot dogs, beans, and ice cream. It was good. We also went to see Wall-E which was an interesting movie. I liked it but it dragged in some parts. I will be BBQing for my parents on Friday just because. It is supposed to rain again today. It rained yesterday, thank God. We have been SO dry here. My lawn is yellow and crunchy and I haven't had to mow it in a while (which I'm glad but the yellow is yucky).

Hope went to the vet the other day. She got her annual visit and didn't pee when she saw Dr. Lord. She has to go back next Tuesday to get her teeth cleaned and to be microchipped. She's kind of confused about why I am around all of the time now. I think I'm invading her turf and her personal time.

Last but not least, rumor is that CCAA won't be going very far again. I think it would mean that my agency won't be getting any referrals again (unless it's expedited which it was last time). It's very disheartening for those of us waiting. I keep hoping and wishing that it's just the Olympics. I am hoping for a speedup. My paperwork (I171H) expires in July 2009. I really don't want to renew not just because it's ridiculously expensive but because we are still waiting and things haven't changed that much from the original to warrant a whole new round of stuff. I think it outrageous that we have to keep paying again and again. Our government should see that we have been waiting and waiting and waiting. We shouldn't have to pay over and over and over and over. It's like a one time fee. They should be like, "Oh, you are still waiting, okay. Let me just extend it again." Yeah, that'll happen, when pigs fly.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Ever been on a vacation and you're much more thankful that you're home? Yeah, that's my case. I'm not saying I had a bad time or anything. It was just long, sometimes stressful and trying. Picture this: 7 of us including my parents, my sister and her 3 children ages 14, 10 and 7 in a minivan, traveling over 600 miles in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi (mostly very small towns) to visit my father's family who we hardly see. Where we went was beautiful and the people were friendly. But, I have learned that I am a total city slicker. It was hard for me not to want to stomp the accelerator hard (Yes, I was the ONLY hates driving, dad can't and my mom doesn't trust my sister and the rental car was in my name). People go at a slower pace. I wasn't able to check my e-mail, not that I brought my laptop anyway. There wasn't the places and the foods that I was used to. It was about balancing everybody's wants and needs including a very verbal, stubborn and sometimes pain in the behind 7 year old boy and a mouthy 14 year old teenager who thinks he knows everything. I butted heads with my mother who is very much bossy like me and my sister who I love dearly but is very ADD and flies by the seat of her pants a lot. My dad drove me nuts because this was his trip and he wanted to go back to all these places and see all these people from his childhood/teenage years. I think he was trying to put to rest the ghosts of his traumatic past. The problem was that so much time has passed and people have moved on. He says he's going to do something but he doesn't (like stay in contact with his family and others from his past). It's weird how he HAD to do it now. I loved visiting with my Aunt Lucille in Dermott. I hated dropping in on some complete strangers who lived down the road from where my dad lived briefly with his father and his stepmother and stepsiblings. I loved seeing the historic cotton district in Monroe where my dad lived in a boarding house with his father. I was glad to visit my grandmother's grave in Epps. I also loved seeing my cousin Angelique and her children and her husband. I hated finding out that my summer school position had been cut (as I got the phone call waiting for our hotel room to be3 ready) because they were closing down summer school at the two campuses and consolidating it into one (I have to believe there's a Godly reason but I'm bummed that I won't be getting a sweet bonus this year). But, I hope my father gained some peace and some closure in his life. I hope he can let go of the past and be okay with it. I hope he can realize his horrid growing up years were not his fault. I hope he'll be okay and that he didn't reopen any old battle wounds.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane

First of all, Happy Father's Day to all dads and dads to be. I got my dad a movies gift certificate. This morning, I started the day at Circuit City trying to get a Wii Fit. I was #12 in line. Guess how many Wii fits they had? Only 10! So, needless to say, I didn't get one. I am bound and determined to find one on our trip to visit my dad's family (Pa's Historic Tour as my nephew Brennan calls it). Our flight leaves 10ish but we have to be early at the airport. We'll arrive in Jackson, MS sometime in the afternoon. We come back on Saturday. I just had to drop Hope off at the Pawderosa, which is her doggy daycare place and they have sleepaway camp. I know, it's crazy but it's leash free and she runs around and isn't stuck in a kennel all day. Last time I left her for a week, she had a scratch on her nose, probably from sticking it where it didn't belong. Wish me luck that our family doesn't kill each other. There will be 7 of us including my 14 year old nephew, 10 year old niece and 7 year old nephew. The cool thing is that Rock Band which I have preordered for my Wii, will be in when we get home. I get to play that for a week before I go back to work. My sister will also be having a colonoscopy to see why she's have stomach issues, so I'll be taking her when we get back.

Well, it seems that it was another small batch of referrals. But you know what, it's getting closer to the Olympics. Maybe in October or November the batches will begin to get bigger. We can only hope, right? Being negative does nothing for us but suck the life out of us. This wait sucks but it's making us much more patient and stronger people.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

18 Ahead of Me

So, I was looking at the chart of log in dates that my agency sends to us. It looks that if the cutoff is indeed January 22nd, my agency will not be receiving any referrals (our next day is January 23rd). I feel horribly for those who are just right there. They are one day away and I know that they are next but still, waiting that next month has got to be torture. It's like kids (or teachers) in the last couple of weeks, waiting for school to end. It's totally agonizing. I still have 18 referral dates ahead of me (as far as my agency). I read somewhere, probably Rumor Queen, that someone has a jar filled with like hearts and they take out one heart for each day they are closer. I kind of like that. It might be a visual way of seeing that the wait is going forward and that we aren't stuck in neutral, just some very slow moving traffic. People keep asking me lately if the earthquake is going to affect my wait. I haven't a clue. It is very possible. Who knows? What I have learned in this journey that ANYTHING can happen and you just have to hang on. Sometimes I have had to close my eyes and separate myself from this wait to make it this long (like sticking your head in the sand). I think what I hope for now is that I won't have to pay to redo my paperwork again before it expires in July of 2009. My focus now is getting my patio cover painted and summer school. I only have 4 more days of work and then we leave the following Monday for my dad's historical tour (yeah, that is what we're calling our little trip to visit my dad's side of the family).

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Last Day of School

I would love to sing "School's Out for the Summer" but I have to go back in July for summer school. It ended yesterday with a food fight breaking out during 7th grade lunch and throwing marinara sauce at my principal. Because I have been injured (I sprained my ankle walking Hope) I stayed in the library and Shannon, myself and my student aides played American Idol Karoke Revolution on my Wii. We had so much fun singing off key except for one of my students who won Wrangler Idol the day before. She sang REALLY well. We then ended the day party hopping. I hadn't done that in a while. I realized when I started yawning at 9ish that I am getting, ummm, well, let's say more mature. My twenty-something colleagues were having a blast and not even worried about getting up early the next day. Yeah, I remember those days. Speaking of getting mature, I realized how much I have gotten "mature" when one of my friends left a message on my answering machine saying, "Hey B**CH! Where the F***k are you?" I was embarassed for this friend as well as offended. Needless to say, I didn't return the call and frankly I didn't care that this person was in town and I hadn't seen this person in a while. Is it really necessary to refer to me as that? Wouldn't, "Hey Jamie! Where are you? I'm in town and I would love for you to come out and meet me and my special friend?" I know it's a lot of words but you did just get your Master's degree? When I listened to the other version on my cell phone voice mail, I realized that my friend had been drinking and wasn't at all as crass in that message. But what this person also doesn't get is that I have grown up and am a responsible person who doesn't hang out at the same places I did when I was in my 20s or drinks until they drop or be in smoky places that makes me sick. Yeah, I guess that happens when you grow up. I love my friend, but I hope this friend can understand this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You Are What You Read?

For Christmas, "Stevie Wonder" gave me two books because he drew my name. He's my administrator, not my friend, mind you. It's a cool idea giving a librarian a book for a gift, but it's also highly personal. I finally started reading one of those books last night. It was quite interesting. I can't remember the title, but the main character is from Alabama and was apparently quite the busy young thing initiating all young men in her class into the wonderful world of sex as well as killing a guy. I'm only at the beginning so I'm sure there's a lot more to it than the f words that fly from the narrator's mouth. It's really in my mind, the description and language are more stereotypical guy like than female. It was almost macho, which is very much like "Stevie Wonder." As I read, I had the big cartoon eyes where my eyes were bugging out of my head. It is so not my type of book. I then began to think of other books I've received as gifts. Two years ago, I received from a male friend a book that was soooo weird about a guy who through many weird twists and turns ends up having a sexual thing with his male best friend but according to the character, he's not gay. Guess what? The person who gave me this book as it so turns out has been crossing the same line and insisting he, too, is not gay. Hmmmm, a little lightbulb is starting to form...are we reflected in what we read? I love YA lit, fluffy chick lit and romance...YEP...I am a romantic at heart and I can be immature sometimes (kind of Peter Panish but not) maybe my theory is are what you read. It's food for thought. So think about what you're reading and what it might say about you...Or not.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How do you stop a dog from barking?

Okay, so here's my beloved dog Hope is now a barking maniac. Well, not so much a maniac, but when she's looking out the window from upstairs or downstairs and sees: another dog, a person or those two little kittens across the street, she goes crazy! I've taken to closing the blinds which only helps some of the time. I guess I need to ask Anna, my vet's wife, who had been working with me and Hope on walking on a leash and not licking people to death. I think the one she really goes nuts for are those kittens. They seem to relish the fact that she's inside and they like to cross the street and stretch out in my driveway just to tease her. Hope has always loved cats. I had Roscoe when I got Hope but he decided to leave because the house wasn't big enough for he and Hope. Maybe her barking is some unresolved issue over Roscoe's departure.

Go see Indiana Jones if you liked the previous triology. My family and I went today and we were all riveted, except for my mom who said he's gotten a bit long in the tooth. Well, duh mom. Harrison Ford is over 60! I still loved it for what it was...a fun, action packed movie with the similar vibe of the previous ones.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Feeling Better

I HATE, HATE, being sick. I am finally getting better. This is the first day I can actually say that I wasn't sneezing all over the place and my poor nose wasn't bright red. I stayed home and was a bum today. I needed it but at the same time, I feel like I've wasted a whole day by staying home, laying around, sleeping, reading and watching TV. But, in the end, I'm doing better. I just hope Shannon didn't get sick. I stayed at work all week because of book fair. We made just enough to make a VERY small cash profit. It really isn't worth all of the work and fuss. But, it is allowing us to buy the drawstring backpacks that we will sell and use the proceeds from that for an author and book club. We really have big plans for our next school year in the library. Hopefully it will be a cancer free school year next year for Shannon.

I'm still trying to decide if I am going to apply again for special needs. I hope to figure this out by the time school is out. Of course, I will have just a few weeks off because we're visiting my dad's family and I am working summer school in July. I just found out that the teachers get paid more money (like $50 a day) and plus the co-teaching and all that jazz I am expected to do, I also have administrative duties like bus duty, cafeteria duty and walk throughs. Geez louise. Oh well, it's money for my daughter and I don't have to deal with other librarians messing with my library.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fighting the bug and American Idol

Okay, so here I am watching the finals of American Idol. I REALLY am NOT a fan of David Archuleta. I mean, seriously, I don't think I would want to hear his album on the radio (you heard his version of Chris Brown? one word...Awkward). He's got a great voice but it is so Broadway. He also annoys me because he's like, a little girl with his, "Oh my goodness, you really like me," kind of attitude. It might be genuine but it is so exaggerated that it seems fake. I wish him luck no matter what happens. He is only 17 years old. But, the bottom line for me is that I absolutely love David Cook because I would love to hear his voice and his songs on the radio. Oh well. It's probably best he lose because history has shown that losers do better (i.e. Chris Daughtery). Okay, enough idol chat!

I am getting sick. I can feel it and I'm trying really hard to ignore it. It's like the beginning of the last time I got really sick that I had walking pneumonia. I am taking garlic, vitamin C, and other stuff. I can't get sick. We're in the middle of book fair (yuck!) and it's going to be crazy busy tomorrow.

I can't believe that next week will be 24 months waiting for Grace. Wow, 2 years. I should have some sort of party. Right now, things are so busy that I don't have time to even think about it. It's going to be another busy summer. That'll be good. Tomorrow is Wednesday and it's one day closer to the weekend. Hip, hip, hooray!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just Beachy

I am so glad that I was able to get out of town this weekend and go to the beach (Port A). It was so rejuvenating. I went with my friend D and we stayed at Island Retreat which is on the beach. It was so nice. I stayed on the beach from 10 until 4 reading two books! It was what I needed before I start book fair this week. I hate book fair but we need the money so we can buy the backpacks that we are going to sell at sixth grade orientation which will be our main fundraiser so we can get an author. I can't believe the school year is almost over. We'll be taking our trip to visit my dad's family in about a month. My sister is dubbing it the Tour of the Dollar Generals because the last time we went, that's what we mainly saw. I'll be glad to see my Aunt Lucille. She is a character. She added a lovely phrase to my vocabulary, "wompus kitten." I love it.

I think I have decided to reapply for special needs program. I don't know though. I figure it'll happen when it's supposed to happen. I don't know how the Earthquake will also affect the time frame. All I know is that I'm very sad for both China and Mynamar to have suffered great losses. I'm keeping both of these places in my prayers.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pinched Nerves, Mother's Day & Earthquakes

I have had a pinched nerve for the past week in my neck. It's actually caused my thumb on my right hand to be tingly feeling. I saw the PA on Friday who gave me muscle relaxers so this weekend and today, I've been one mellow girl. I really needed to today because we (Shannon and myself) got the "honor" of checking in textbooks and I had to deal with my favorite administrator, Stevie Wonder (I've nicknamed him this because he's blind to everything...Shannon and I have nicknames for all the administrative team). Anyways, the medicine is helping which is a good thing.

I can't believe yesterday was another Mother's Day that I didn't physically have my Grace. I hope to have her here next Mother's Day. You know, I wasn't sad or bummed this year. Maybe it's because I've somehow accepted the wait. I know when the time is right, she'll be here. I'm content right now to be Hope's doggie mama, even though she has been Miss Bark at Everything lately

Lastly, I am sending my prayers to all those in the area where the earthquake hit. I know that some of our children may come from the Sichuan and Chonqing provinces. How scary for them. I read that some schools have collapsed and many children have been buried alive in a sense. This is so horrible! My agency is putting together a special fund because some of the orphanages that we get referrals from have been affected. So, let's all say a little prayer for all of those people for strength, help and healing.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Doncha just hate it when...

I slept weird on my neck Sunday and had a bit of a crick when I woke up. Part of it was my dog stretching across the bottom of my bed and I think subconsciously I didn't want to kick her. Anyways, the next night I was having stressful nightmares over the reading tournament that I was starting the next day so the stress came out in my neck and I ended up with a pinched nerve that causes pains to shoot down my shoulder and into my arm. I was hoping it would go away but it hasn't. I'm not stressing anymore about my Clash of the Titles tournament. I only have the final round tomorrow during 8th period and it went much more smoothly than I expected. Maybe it'll go away tonight. I have those heating things on my neck and every 6 hours I'm taking motrin. On the bright side I still have neck mobility.

I got my hair cut and colored today. I love what Jennifer does to my hair. It's almost like a blondish joan jett or the chick from Paramour. At least, that's what I've been told.

I can't wait until the weekend. My parents come home from their trip to Canada. They are having such a wonderful time and my dad says that I would totally love the bread. That is a place I really would love to go to. I hear it's beautiful and I do love my Degrassi on the N (yes, I'm such a wannabe tween/teen in some of my TV taste).

American Idol comes on tonight. I hope it's Jason Castro who will go. I so love David Cook. He rocks! Yep, I'm still a reality TV junkie but, I have cut out quite a bit.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Viva Fiesta or Not!

Saturday, my best friend, Sandra, her hubby and daughter Holly and I went to the King William Fair. I have three words: hot and crowded. I got a major sunburn on my chest and poor Holly looked like she was about to melt. I spent most of my money buying large glasses of sweet tea. You know, there is something about us Southerners and our sweet tea and lemonade. You cannot get enough. It was some good people watching though. I knew San Antonio was an eclectic city but boy, you don't realize it until Fiesta week. Korn's song, "Freak on a Leash" is very appropriate during various fiesta activities when people come out showing their more interesting sides. I have never seen so many piercings, liberty spikes, various hair colors, tats and alternative lifestyles. It was fascinating. If I was an artist, I would love to have captured it on a canvas or it would have been a cool black and white photograph with the variety of people at the fair. Last year, I marched in it with my cool guys reading group. This year, I didn't get up in time to go to the parade. I did get my Pioneer chocolate chip cookies and my favorite gordita. YUM! Sandra told me that to remind her of the heat and crowds next year when she begs to go again. I hope that I'll have my daughter by then and we'll find other things to do than be herded cattle in the fiesta stampede.

The other thing I have been contemplating is whether or not I should say something in one of my yahoo groups. It seems that the wait has hurt all of us and has made us all sensitive (well duh, it sucks!). Peoples feelings are getting hurt and I think what sucks is that when we write something, our tone can't be heard. Sometimes words sound more cutting and mean than they were intended and/or people are reading other things/meanings into things. I have also heard that some members of this group have e-mailed others with children saying nasty things, which is not cool. The bottom line is that the wait sucks. I understand the envy/jealousy of people getting a SN referral before we/me getting one, but we also aren't in their shoes. We don't know what other things they are going to have to deal with. It's like being the single girl who gets upset with her friend for getting married because she wants to be married too. I totally get this last comparison, because I am a single girl and most of my friends are married. At one point, I was very envious of my girlfriends getting married but I know I haven't met my Mr. Right...just like my Miss Right Child isn't ready to come into my life right now. I have to be patient and accepting. I have to have faith because it's the only thing that can get me through this wait. I have no control so as Carrie Underwood would say, "Jesus, take the wheel..."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I should have known...

I should have known that when the cargo pocket snagged on the computer cart and ripped a 12" rip in my pants that it wasn't going to be the best day. I almost had an accident going home to change my pants. When I went back to school, the AC was out so it was hot and humid and we were doing inventory (scanning over 13,000 volumes). Then the reports that we needed to run wouldn't run and the person in charge was out and about so I had to wait about an hour before finding out if I had to rescan all 13,000 volumes we had done in the past 2 days. The good thing was that we didn't have to. We kicked up so much dust and found more mold which resulted in a huge headache which I still have. I guess the positive thing in this whole thing is that our missing list wasn't very long. YEA!

Tomorrow we (me and D) go to NIOSA. YEA! I am so going to eat Cowboy Klops and wontons and churros. I remember when I was younger, I could stay the whole time and the crowds wouldn't bother me. Not anymore. I like leaving when it gets crowded. Happy Fiesta.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Farewell to D's Grandma

One of my good friend's grandmother passed suddenly yesterday afternoon. It was unexpected. She had been on the mend. Her daughter who lives in California was in town for a school reunion and had visited earlier in the day and she was fine. My friend says she hasn't cried yet and feels like her grandmother isn't dead. She also feels guilty because she told her grandmother she'd visit her last week but she had a crazy week and din't make it. She is a great granddaughter and is always visiting her grandmother. So, Thursday is the rosary and I'll be there to support her. I know her grandmother is no longer in pain and is with Gramps. This whole thing made me think about my grandparents. We visited them this weekend and both weren't doing well. My Granny wouldn't wake up and when she did, it was to tell me to take her shoes off because her feet were hurting. My Popo was incredibly weak and he looked so frustrated. My Granny is getting her battery replaced on her pacemaker tomorrow. I hope everything goes well. I just don't want my grandparents in pain or suffering. I feel bad that they are stuck in a nursing home because they can't care for themselves and they are stuck in non-working bodies.

On a brighter note, did anyone see American Idol? I LOVE David Cook. He rocks.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Planting! Roots! National Library Week

This morning, I helped my parents plant a mountain laurel and a hibiscus in their yard. Then we came to my hard and I planted a mountain laurel in my backyard. I'm very leery of leaving Hope alone in the backyard with the new plant. She has dug things up in the past and I wouldn't put it past her to do it again. She's on chaperoned backyard visits.

I am also going to get a patio cover put in. Because my house is newer, I hardly have any big trees in my backyard and in this South Texas sun, it can be brutal sometimes. So, I'm getting one put in so I can sit out back and I'm going to have a ceiling fan installed. As soon as it's done, I'll take pictures and post them. I'm also going to get a new front door. I have solar screens on my house so it isn't really super bright inside. So, I want to get another door that'll let light in. I saw some at the Home Depot that I liked and I think I'm going to get one.

Monday starts library week. I have so much planned for my library. I have contests for both my staff and students. On Friday, I'll have a cake for people to munch on. Usually, I have TLA convention but it's in Dallas this year and I didn't feel like driving the 4 to 5 hours up there this year. Besides, Shannon comes back tomorrow. YEA! My student aides and I have been missing her very much. They had it on their calendars. I was thinking I probably should be thinking, "What am I? Chopped liver?" But Ja'Lesa put it to me this way, "I like you, but it's just that I see you every day and I haven't seen HER in forever. If you were gone a long time, I'd probably miss you too." Thanks alot. Probably. Oh well. It's middle school.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

My best friend rocks!

My best friend Sandra and I finally got to celebrate my birthday this weekend. We (her hubby, her beautiful baby Holly and I) went to dinner. We ordered a bottle of wine and she gave me the coolest pair of shoes. It's funny how well she knows me and what I like. I get her things like a bread warmer or luggage (that's what she wanted) and she gets me cool clothes and jewelry. Of course, when we go to dinner, exciting things happen such as a guy two tables over having a seizure at the fire dept's EMS came and took the man to the hospital. Now that I think about it, it has been kind of drama lately in my life. A person I know was put on administrative leave and nobody knows why. You just get that leaky tire sound and the shaking of the head when you mention that persons name to the people in charge. Then a student threw a letter on my desk that said that they didn't want to live in their pain anymore and so I had to run after the student and take them to the nurse. On top of all of that, I overspent my magazine budget unintentionally. The bookkeeper told me the wrong amount in that account at the beginning of the year so I had to go to my principal to bail me out. I was so embarassed. I'm really a good money manager. She already thinks I'm a little ditzy because I am so not like the librarian from the school she came from. Heck, I'm not like most librarians. I love what I do and am exuberent about it. There's nothing wrong with that and my kids like to come in, visit with me and get a book. I think that's more important than being the stereotypical librarian.

My arms are super sore from wrangling the weed eater this weekend. It's time again to start yard work. I am not a big fan of the lawn mower but it's a heck of a lot cheaper to do it yourself. Tomorrow is the beginning of another week and another TAKS test. I'm crossing my finger and saying a prayer for my 8th graders who have to pass it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

All is Well

The worst part of having tests done to someone you love is the waiting. My dad's appointment was for 10 a.m. He didn't have the test until 2:00 p.m. Once they got rolling, it was only an hour and a half later, an angioplasty with a stint, that my dad was in his room to recover overnight. It turns out he had 3 blockages: 2 100% blockages and 1 80% blockage. The 80% was a major one so they did the stint on that one. He's doing very well. I did the Race for the Cure this morning and my mom brought my dad home. He said he's just a bit sore and can't bend over to tie his shoes because it hurts. Other than that, he's doing great. I'm so glad. I think I'm feeling worse than he is after that early morning 5K walk this morning. My whole body aches. I think that's a sign for me to get a little more exercise than my strolls with mom and Hope in the afternoon.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dad's heart test

I should be at work right now but I have taken the day off. I am taking my dad to his heart test at the heart hospital today. It's where they go in through the groin and go up into the heart. Hopefully, everything will turn out to where he doesn't have have any other procedures done except the test. He's a bit nervous and I can't say that I blame him. So, say a little prayer that everything goes all right.

On a brighter note, Sunday is my 36th birthday. It's so weird to think that I am in my later 30s, going towards 40, which isn't a bad thing. It just seems that I was 20 something a blink of an eye. I love my 30s because I definitely haven't made the boneheaded mistakes I made in my 20s...yeah one word: Kyle. I had to get my driver's license renewed at the actual DMV and I begged them to keep the old picture but it seems I can't be 27 forever. My birthday wish is that I get Grace before I turn 37. OH WAIT! Am I supposed to be revealing my birthday wish? Is it a jinx that I just said it aloud? Oh well! The truth of the matter is that I will be getting my daughter sometime in the not too distance future. That's a great present.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter, Mom's Birthday and Chicago

Today was not only Easter but my mom's birthday. I bar b qued some burgers and hot dogs and we all hung out. It was a nice day and I think my mom had a nice day.

I LOVED Chicago, up until Thursday at the airport. My favorite part of the trip was seeing Wicked. It is now my favorite musical. We almost won front row tickets for $25.00 but they only had one seat and I had to turn them down because I needed two seats. The food was great (Tempo breakfasts rocked!) as was the Art Institute. My favorite section of that museum was the impressionists. My friend, D was cracking me up because she was playing the cloud game while she looked at these paintings. She saw a hot dog and a lucha librador's (a mexican wrestler's) mask on a bridge in a Monet painting. The Navy Pier was also cool. It has a stained glass museum. Our phrase of the trip came from a little girl telling a little boy, "That's not Jesus! That's a woman!" as they looked at a stained glass window. We loved the cool weather coming in from 90 degrees the day before in Texas. We also loved riding on the El. We didn't get to do a whole heap since we were only there a few days but I want to go back. So, what did I hate about Chicago? O'Hare airport. First of all, I lost my earring there (one of the ones I made...I was so proud that I made a necklace, bracelet and earrings in beading class that previous weekend). I think I am the only person who was way early for a flight and still missed her plane. We got there early and we weren't told that flights often move gates. So....long story can probably guess what happened...they moved our flight, didn't make an announcement and we missed our flight because we were sitting at the gate that was listed on our boarding pass. We had to fly on stand by and the next flight was 5 hours later. Not a great day. You know that song by Van Halen, "Jamie's Crying", yep that was me. At least I got caught up with my reading (Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers) for my Cool Guys Read book club and another chick lit book (something about a non-blonde cheerleader) for my 8th grade girls book club.

I am glad to be home. Tomorrow, back to the library grind. It's our day to get fingerprinted. Oh joy!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

One more week until Spring Break

I have been getting ready for my trip to Chicago next week. I realized that being a Southern Texas girl, I'm probably going to freeze my booty off (which might be a good thing since I have gained some weight in this LONG wait). I love lists because it keeps me on task so I have made a list of things that I need to pack and I hope I bring enough warm things. I have to take Hope next Sunday to the Pawderosa (yes, that's what it's's doggy daycare and boarding) for her mini vacation from me. Now I need to make a list of the places we want to go.

The Waiting Child program has changed again in my agency. I wish they would make up their mind on how they are going to handle it. It's frustrating because it's constantly changing and I don't think they have told their clients exactly why it's being changed and how it's going to work now. It still frustrates me that people who aren't clients of my agency might apply and receive a special need referral before someone who has been waiting a long time. I know there isn't a perfect way of matching in this program. I just wish that they would at least show the profiles of the children. I am at the point where I am probably going to wait for apply again because I am going to be working summer school this year and if the price of the donation fee is going to increase, I'm going to need the extra time to have EVERYTHING and a little more (you know that little extra padding so I don't totally wipe out my savings account).

Last but not least while I'm venting, I have to vent about a mother of one of our students. It has been discovered that this child (less than 14 years old) is pregnant and guess what? Her mom is EXCITED about becoming a grandmother. Mind you, financially, they are strapped....on government assistance. She's glad that her less than 14 year old daughter is pregnant! I don't understand! She's a BABY having a BABY! I'm glad the baby isn't being aborted, but what about adoption? Are they setting this child up for the same thing, the same vicious cycle of babies having babies? I know so many couples who can't have children who would die to adopt this child (as well as many singles, including myself) and would offer the baby so many more opportunities. I am sure it's devestating to give up a child and I know I shouldn't judge, but I feel she is being incredibly selfish. I just had to vent my frustrations about this. I'm sad for all the parties involved. The father is the same age (actually maybe 14) and I like him but he's been kicked out of school because of drugs and other things. I guess I am going to save a prayer for them that everything will be okay.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Torture All Kids Slowly (better known as TAKS)

My 10 year old niece, Alex, has informed me that TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge & Skills) is really Torture All Kids Slowly. You know, after what I've seen and have had to do in the last five years, I would have to agree with her. It makes me sad that 3rd graders are getting sick because they're stressing over a TEST! My niece was a bit freaked out because she was getting 2s on her practice writing samples. We had kids coming to school sick and barfing during the test because this test is so important. I had to cover all of my posters in my library because heaven forbid they are inspired by a poster of a Dewey Decimal sign or a picture of a monkey or a poster of Coolio reading. Seriously, I had better things to do with my time than cover my walls with green paper (that I think is a serious waste of paper as well). You have to cross you t's and then quadruple check that you did and make sure everybody else does as well. It's crazy. I'm glad the first one is over but there are at least 5 more of these days to come. May the force be with all Texas public school students.

Congrats to all families who got their referral. It looks like the babies in this batch were very young. All I know is that a part of me is glad that I am able to save a little more especially since I've seen the rumor that a couple of provinces are increasing their donation fees! YIKES!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Laments and Ladybugs

Last week was one of the craziest weeks I have ever had. I realized how much I have come to depend on Shannon. When I first became a librarian, my assistant wasn't the best. I pretty much did everything by myself. The second year, they took away our assistants at middle school and again, I was on my own AND I also coached basketball, volleyball and track. I had no problems do everything on my own. The third year, we got our assistants back and Shannon came to work with me. I was able to give up many of my jobs to her to make the library run more smoothly and efficiently. Now, stupid cancer, has put a big ol road block in the smoothness. Shannon got sick this week and was out for several days. I knew it was going to happen. We had to do TAKS training and this teacher, who I know wasn't thinking, but I can't help but be upset with her, sat down next to Shannon. This teacher is ALWAYS sick, coughing and sneezing. And guess what, she sneezed but really didn't cover her face, but turned away, and of course, several hours later, Shannon was sick as a dog. Seriously folks, if you are sick, don't sit next to the bald woman going through chemo-therapy. She's already sick, don't add more stuff to her. I don't know who I was frustrated with more...Shannon for not wearing a mask and sitting by everybody or Sneezy teacher. It was a crazy week in which I had to juggle two classes a day by myself (no assistant), a retirement party, and broken tvs, overheads, and crazy computers. I was frustrated and honestly was a bit angry at the whole situation. I wanted to blame someone, but nobody deserves the blame.

On a brighter note, my parents bought me a mountain laurel. On its leaves was guess what... a ladybug. Referrals should be coming soon. I'm very excited to see all of the babies. It makes me very happy. I think after this referral batch, there are only 19 LID dates for my agency that are ahead of me. That's not too shabby.

This week is TAKS week. Rumor has it that TEA will be making a stop at our school (AGAIN...our special ed got audited this past week and it went well). I hate testing. I hope by the time my daughter starts school TAKS will be done. I can only wish.