Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #28

A Year of Gratitude #28: Michelle


Michelle and I met in December of 2006... she came to my classroom over at Childs (I was teaching 5th grade) to meet me because she was going to be doing her student teaching in my classroom. Michelle and I have another connection too though... we're both Alpha Gams from Zeta Alpha chapter (EMU). 

I had heard her name before in the alumni newsletters, and Diana (another Alpha Gam that did some pre-student teaching with me) was good friends with Michelle. While I had never met Michelle in person, I knew her name, and when Anne Kloack came to me with Michelle's folder... I thought it'd be weird to have her in my classroom with our sorority connection.

Thankfully, Anne didn't think it'd be a problem, and I ended up having the best semester with Michelle in my room.

As a cooperating teacher (what I was called having a student teacher in my classroom), it's hard to have someone new come into your room and take over. If the personalities don't "gel" it can be a REALLY long 16 weeks together. Not all student teachers make it through their program... in fact, my very first student teacher was asked to leave my classroom after being with me for a mere two weeks. I'm thankful that she is not in a classroom because she was not cut out for teaching. I did the world a favor by removing that one.

I digress... when Michelle came into my classroom, she already had a job (the same one she still has here in GA). I was very hesitant to have her in my room because I was afraid that she wouldn't give much effort or try to learn anything because she already had a job lined up.

I had a lot of fun with Michelle in my room, my kids loved her, and I trusted her early on to take the reins. This was not an easy thing to do. In fact, when you student teach, taking over is the scariest thing because you literally are teaching for the first time in your life. It's not the same as teaching a lesson one time a week to a random class for pre-student teaching. When you student teach, you're there every single day... ALL DAY. So when it's time to take over, you literally take over everything and it's scary.

It's also the biggest rush! For most, when you first take over and realize that you CAN do it... it's like a confirmation that it's what you want to do with the rest of your life. I can't quite explain it. Just know, when I handed over my classroom to Michelle, I trusted that she'd do a great job, and she did.

It helped that I felt really comfortable with her, and I viewed her as a friend. The AGD connection bonded us in a way that was unlike the bond I had with previous student teachers. With Michelle, we saw each other outside of teaching... and our personal lives intertwined.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of me and Michelle while she was student teaching with me:
At her graduation party

Revolutionary War lesson

Detroit Tigers Game with my 5th graders

At our overnight field trip at Howell Nature Center

At HNC

While we were at HNC, I got the call from Steve that he was offered the job at Burt's Bees. I had not told anyone else about him even interviewing, but I did tell Michelle. I was so excited to leave Michigan and head to North Carolina!

Well... now we're here in Georgia and Michelle lives about 45 minutes away. While it's not as close as I'd like, it's a lot closer than 12 hours!! I'm so thankful to have her close enough where I can see her, and can reconnect with her.

Michelle is a funny person. She literally makes me laugh. I love her attitude about things and while it's so vastly different from mine (I'm the rule follower remember???), I appreciate her for being as laid-back and casual about things as she is. 

She's pregnant... 36 weeks actually. If you ask her about labor and delivery, she'll say she doesn't really care. She just wants a baby. If you ask if she wants a boy or a girl (they aren't finding out until the baby arrives)... she'll say that she doesn't care. She's funny about it.

I was able to take some pictures of her when she came over for dinner last weekend... here are some of my favorites:




Hopefully, the next time I see her will be soon... and it'll be while she's in labor and ready to, as she says, "Pop that baby out." I told her, "You know they don't just pop out right??? There's a lot of pushing involved..." and her reply was, "Yeah... I guess."

I'm so thankful to be closer to her, and to have the chance to reconnect. I'm also thankful that she'll be having her baby soon and then I'll finally be able to meet her husband!! :-)

Honey Badger


So I just found out what a honey badger is... It's a kick-ass little animal that doesn't take any shit from any other animal. It is now one of my new favorite animals. If you haven't seen the YouTube video of the honey badger and the snake... you're missing out. Seriously, the snake is biting the honey badger and it keeps on eating it... like it's saying, "Bite me all you want... I'm still going to eat you." Then the poison from the snake knocks the honey badger out for two hours... he wakes up, and just continues to eat. LOL

Anyway... we had a GREAT day today!!! This morning, Gus woke up around 4am and we went up and changed him and put him back to bed and he slept until 9:15!!! Crazy crazy crazy right?!?!?!

We took showers and then headed out to get our errands done while Gus was awake and happy. We hit Kohl's and I printed a 20% off coupon before we went... it ended up saving us $28! Steve got a TON of shirts on clearance and I was able to get Gus some Play-Doh, the fun factory (it was $6!!) and the book "Once Upon A Potty" with sounds on the side. :-)

After Kohl's we went to try and get Gus's hair cut, but the place we went to only takes appointments (boo). Maybe during the week I'll try to take him. Then we went to Target and we got Gus a froggy potty (we have the toilet potty for the bathroom down here, but I'll use the froggy one in the livingroom and it'll be where ever we go so we're close to a potty). I'm going to make up a cleaning solution for the carpets so that if/when he goes... I can clean it up. We'll be having some naked time for sure... and I'm certain there will be accidents on the carpet.

After Target we headed to Kroger for our weekly grocery shopping. Then we came home and had lunch and then after lunch Gus went down for his nap and while he was sleeping, I was able to get the last three boxes unpacked and put away!! They were the boxes in our office and made the room look a bit disheveled. Now it looks GREAT!!!

I took some pictures of Gus today with my good camera... I think they're super cute!





Gus was the referee between Ned and Elphie




Once Gus was up from his nap (he slept for about two hours) we headed to Longhorn to celebrate Steve's birthday (tomorrow). We didn't have a wait at all... but because it wasn't busy, all our food came out at once (even though I requested that she wait to put it in and not to bring it out until we were done with our salads). We had a free appetizer... now I remember why we never order appetizers! Restaurants can't get their timing right when you have an appetizer.

Anyway... our dinners weren't awful, but it wasn't the best Longhorn experience either. Gus had a good time and did a great job sitting in his booster that we brought with us. He's too big for the high chair, but too busy for the restaurant boosters (that don't have a lap belt to keep him strapped in).
<3

The boys coloring

Totally a lefty...

"Gus... where's the horse??"

Hee hee hee... totally told them that it was Steve's birthday and they came and sang to him.  :-)

Gus did not like their singing

"What??? Ice cream???"

All in all it was a productive day and now I'm ready to go play some games!!! See ya tomorrow!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #27

A Year of Gratitude #27: Gus's Birth Family

I know I blogged about Gus's birth parents a few weeks ago, but tonight I want to express my gratitude for Gus's extended birth family.

As you know, we have an incredibly wonderful open adoption with Gus's side to our family. We value them in our family and are so thankful that God brought us all together. They're wacky, have their quirks, and are just like any typical family that you'd meet. They're, as my brother likes to say, "good people."

The main reason we wanted an open adoption was for the extended family. Yes, we wanted it for the birth parents, of course, but we also really wanted the extended family to know their kin as well. When someone chooses adoption, sometimes, there are family members who get hurt with that decision.

While it might be the best thing for the baby, and the best thing for the birth parents, the extended family members often don't see it that way. Such is the case with Gus. His birth mother's mother P was very supportive and told her that she'd support whatever C and H needed to do. If they wanted to keep the baby and parent, she would support them. If they felt that placing for adoption was the best thing, she'd support that as well.

H wasn't as fortunate. He didn't tell his mom and dad that he and C had had a baby until two days AFTER Gus was placed in our care. Let me write that again... two days AFTER Gus was born (Thursday, May 13th), he told his parents that they were grandparents. When he told them, he said, "C had a baby." His mom basically said, "What do you mean she had a baby? Where is it? What happened to it?"

Can you imagine, for a second, what that must have felt like? To have your child tell you that you're a grandparent... and it happened two days prior to you finding out???? When H told her that they placed Gus for adoption, his mom cried and was very hurt. Looking back, I see things differently, and I think, how could she not have been upset?

H has three sisters: B (15), D (17) and L(21). They are all three friends with Gus on Facebook (all of H's immediate family are FB friends with Gus-- except for his dad because he doesn't have a FB account). I'm friends with D and L as well as H's mom L.

C has two brothers, N and Z. Not sure of their ages, but they're older than her. Gus is FB friends with C, P and her dad T. He is not FB friends with either of his biological uncles... they haven't friended him, and I assume if they wanted to be friends with him, they'd take care of it. I'm not going to push them.

C's mom's sister Sharon is on Facebook... along with Sharon's husband Mike, and their three kids (Olivia, Madeline, and Michael). They're a great family and so supportive of Gus's adoption. Gus and I are FB friends with all of them (and C, P and T). We're also FB friends with C's grandma Marge. My mom is even FB friends with Marge and some of Gus's other extended family.

I'm thankful that not only do his birth parents want to know about him and care about him, but so does his extended family. He has aunts, cousins, grandparents, and great grandparents that care deeply about him. I get text messages from them, I send pictures to them, and they're so special to us.

One of Gus's aunt posted a picture on FB tonight that just warmed my heart. It was a collage of pictures of Gus and on the bottom it said "Gus Daniel Walker" and there were four or five pictures of him. She posted it to her pictures... it was so sweet. It's so nice to know that he was on her mind and she made the collage while thinking about him. <3

I read something today that totally made me smile... it was taking the concept of a family tree and instead of using a tree as a representation of a family, you use an orchard. I saw it and said, "Yes! Our Family Orchard!!" How awesome is that??? We're all different trees with different apples... but together we're one big orchard of love.

I'm so thankful for our orchard and thankful that the people that share the same blood as Gus... have welcomed us into their lives, and allow us to share in their daily lives. They have made us feel like we're an extension of their family and for that, I am so very thankful.

What A Day!

So GREAT to see him smiling today

We had a minor scare today... Gus was REALLY hot after his nap (he slept for about three and a half hours and woke up around 2). I couldn't find any batteries for our thermometer and couldn't find the rectal one that Wendy gave us. All that stuff was packed and is basically in no-man's land in either the basement or the attic. 

Anyway, I texted Steve and told him that I was worried and for him to stop at CVS and get a rectal thermometer and some Vaseline for Gus. Maybe it's a guy thing... but Steve was quite alarmed and not happy about sticking anything up Gus's toosh. I told him that you get the most accurate temperature through that end... but he wasn't happy about it.

So I eventually found batteries that worked and the ear/forehead/mouth digital one that we got when Gus was a few weeks old. It's not the best and gives random readings. I used it on myself before trying it on Gus and it said I had a temperature of 98.9 (totally average). So when I tried it on Gus, it said 102.5 and I freaked out.

I went online to find out what I needed to do to bring down his fever. It said unless it was over 103, there wasn't a definite need to take him to the dr, but to watch it closely. I gave him Tylenol, took his clothes off and let him run around in a diaper, gave him lots of liquid (cold water) and liquid food (applesauce and yogurt). He had a pretty decent appetite for lunch, so I was happy about that. 

I did notice that while he was sleeping, a tooth came through on the bottom (next to the two on the bottom). He's had a really runny nose all day and I assume the fever is going with the nasty poo and teething.

I monitored the temperature every 20 minutes and it slowly came down to 99.1 and I was happy. It was scary for a while though. He wasn't acting like he didn't feel well, but it was definitely noticeable that he had a fever. 

I think I'm going to just call the pediatrician's office next time and not wait it out... better safe than sorry.

Steve got home from work and Gus was so happy to see him. They had some popcorn and we watched The Polar Express again for the third time this week. Gus absolutely LOVES the train... it's a cute movie and he usually plays while it's on, but tonight he pretty much snuggled in Steve's lap and just watched his movie. 

I made beef stroganoff for dinner. It wasn't terrible, but wasn't my favorite. Steve seemed to enjoy it. Gus had grapes and banana for dinner because he didn't want to try the noodles or the beef. I didn't think he'd like it.

Tomorrow we're going to Longhorn for dinner to celebrate Steve's birthday (on Sunday he'll be 37)!!! His final birthday gift arrived today and I'm so happy it came before Sunday. :-)
If you look close enough, you can see the giant stream of drool coming out of his mouth

Gus decided to take a screen shot of his monster that he made on my iPhone. Yes... he knows how to take screen shots... and he knows how to buy apps... like this monster maker app. He decided to buy it for himself. He bought another one today too. He's too smart for his own good!!

Ich Liebe Dich (I Love You) :-) Made My Day

This afternoon, I received an email that was a comment left on my blog. TTABaby awarded me the Liebster Blog Award! I am so touched that she not only reads my blog, but she also leaves me comments. Anyone who reads this knows how much I value feedback!!

Oddly enough, I had not been following her blog, because everytime I clicked on her name, it said that her blog could not be found. That mystery is solved and now my next mystery to solve is to find out what her name is!! I've read through her posts (just this afternoon on my phone) and didn't see a mention of her name... hmmm... maybe she'll be so kind as to read this post and comment with her name!!  :-)

Anyway, back to my major award!! The Liebster Blog Award is for bloggers to award each other and say that we appreciate the time and effort put forth into expressing feelings and thoughts for others to read. It's for blogs with less than 200 followers and it's a great way to share some smaller "unknown" but awesome blogs with your followers.

I'm humbled that TTABaby awarded me, and what she had to say about me on her blog was so kind. I enjoyed looking at the four other blogs that she nominated and have found some new favorites to follow!

That being said... here are my two nominees (I should say that TTABaby nominated five blogs, but I really only have these two that I follow religiously and have less than 200 followers. Both of these bloggers inspire me and really take time to share their words with the world, and for that, I am only giving this award to them.):
  • Adri is a dear friend and new mom through adoption. She and her husband have waited so long for a baby and to see them as parents warms my heart!! Adri used to blog all the time, but now it's about a once a week or so event (that I totally look forward to BTW). Being new parents is a hard adjustment and it's not easy to find time to get to the computer and blog!!   http://willandadrifindbabies.blogspot.com
  • Heather is my SIL and I LIVE for her blog posts. I feel connected to her through the blog, and though we're miles apart, I get to feel like I'm there with them as they go through each day. The fact that she posts multiple times a day brings me so much delight and happiness. I'm so appreciative of her blogging efforts!!  http://esmerlda27.blogspot.com
  • TTABaby is the honorable mention since she awarded me!!
Rules of this Award:
  1. Show your thanks to the blogger who nominated you by linking back to their blog.
  2. Nominate up to five different blogs with 200 followers or fewer by posting a comment on their blogs.
  3. Post the award to your blog.
  4. Check out the other up-and-coming blogs have to offer!

11 Random Things

Adri over at Finding a Family tagged me in a survey called "11 Random Things" and so I am participating and will be tagging 11 friends of my own!! I love survey-type things so I'm excited to do this one!!

Rules:
1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you've tagged them
6. Tag up to 11 people
7. Have fun and be creative!

My 11 Random Things:

1. I love going out to eat. The whole experience of dining out is enjoyable for me. I like to try new places, but I am very particular about what types of food I will eat. Nothing spicy, nothing "ethnic" and nothing that has a head on it with eyes that look at me. 

2. I have a major thing about rules and following them. In 99% of cases, I don't see where it's okay to ever break the rules. I think there's a time and a place for rules, and when I meet people who don't hold rules with the same regard as I do, I get upset and end up judging them and usually, not liking them. I admit that this is a personal hang-up for me, and I'm working on my issues with rules. However, my husband is also a rule-follower (always has been), so either we're two nut-jobs that happened to find each other, or there are more like us out there and I just haven't united with them. :-)

3. I have ZERO tolerance for unruly, misbehaved, rude children. Again, back to my rule-following, if parents would stop being their children's friends and be their PARENTS... I cringe when I hear a child disrespect their parent, pick on another child, or do as they please and throw things, tantrums, and act like a spoiled brat. This being said, I do know (and understand) that all kids go through ups and downs as their learning their way through their world... however, I'm specifically talking about the kids who have parents that do not set any expectations of them and let them do as they please. These are the kids that go to school and eventually drop out, and create a bigger problem for society than is necessary. It boils down to a lack of discipline.

4. I have a teacher's soul. There's nothing in this world that I could ever see myself doing for a living, besides teaching. I have no understanding of the business world whatsoever and have no desire to ever have to learn about it. I'm a mom first and foremost and will be for as long as I live... (how cool is that???) but I have the mind, heart, and soul of a teacher. I loved being in the classroom and as much as I yearn to be back, I don't miss the negatives of teaching (administration, data-data-data, dealing with ugly parent issues, the amount of time needed to do a decent job, the unrealistic expectations placed on teachers to be miracle workers, coworkers that don't have the same expectations and rule-following views as I do, and having to write lesson plans when I'm sick and not able to work). I don't know if I'll ever go back to the classroom... I definitely do not miss the negatives and I love spending each day, stress-free with Gus.

5. I love my computer games. Yes, I'm a bit of a "gamer" if you will. I have particular games that I love to play and they relax me. Some of my favorites include: Burger Shop (always makes me want Burger King after I play), The Sims Social, Zuma, The Scruffs, and Megaplex Madness. I also have a favorite, Roller Coaster Tycoon, but I can't play it anymore because there's no clock on the game and I can literally get sucked in and play for HOURS. I used to play over track outs (before Gus), and I'd start around 8 pm and then after my hand/wrist started to hurt I'd stop. It would be 4am and I wouldn't have even known it.

6. I tend to obsess about things. I get fixated on something and then that's all I focus on until it's resolved. Right now, my current fixation is on adopting again. I have been searching online for info, writing agencies and asking for information packets, and trying to get as much information as I can on the process and how it'll be different here than in NC. Since it's out of my hands when we'll sell our NC house (please pray that it's SOON), I can't do much about when we'll start. Instead, I've focused on things that I can do something about... such as creating a profile on waitingtoadopt.org, creating a blog for our next adoption, and then trying to remember to update our Dear Birthmother letter.

I know my fixating drives Steve crazy, but he's used to it. When I wanted an iPhone, that's all I talked about, looked at online, and nagged about. Eventually, it was something that I got and I found something new to fixate on. Don't think my obsessing is a bad thing though!!! When we moved to GA, I obsessed with finding a house... and spent HOURS (not kidding) looking at Realtor.com and Zillow.com as well as other sites. I created a binder of homes to see on our house-hunting trip, and had I not been so fixated on this, who knows where we'd be living right now!!

7. I used to want to go back to the Bahamas or somewhere warm for my anniversary. We went to the beach for our 3rd, and then that's it for going somewhere to celebrate an anniversary (I did get a skating rink for my finger for my 5th anniversary so I can't complain AT ALL). Now, when I think about going anywhere for any reason, I want Gus there with us. I can't imagine going on a vacation and not bringing him with us. Maybe I'm weird, but I'd feel so incomplete if he wasn't near me. It's funny how kids change your desires.

8. I HATE to fly. I'd rather be in a car for 12+ hours than get on a plane. I never hated flying until after Septermber 11th, 2001. Not just the fear of being taken over by terrorists, but the hoops you have to jump through to even get to the gate is too much... and then my ears don't pop like they're supposed to, and it's always painful. Nope... I'd take a car any day of the week over a plane.

9. I have some OCD tendencies. I'm not diagnosed OCD... but I do have to have things a particular way and if they're not, I can't move forward with anything else. For example, when I get a phone call or voice message, my phone keeps a list of recent calls and then keeps voice mails. I have to delete them... cannot have anything in a "list" just sitting there. Same for emails. I have to have a clean in-box... either everything gets put into a folder (or sub-folder) or it gets deleted. I can't stand having messages just sitting there.

10. I love... and I mean LOVE reality television. I have many favorite shows and 80% are reality shows of some sort. Don't hate on me for it. :-)

My favorites are The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Survivor, Teen Mom/16 & Pregnant, Dance Moms, and American Idol/The Voice/So You Think You Can Dance/X-Factor.

11. I love music and could spend all day listening to it (and usually I do). I don't need a tv (as long as I have a DVR to record my reality smut- lol)... just give me some music and I'm happiest. I love how listening to certain songs can instantly connect me to various memories and feelings. I have songs that remind me of situations and people, and when I hear those songs, I'm happy remembering the memories. 

I pray that I never get Alzheimer's or Dementia and lose my mind. My memories are my most precious possessions and it literally scares me to think of having my memories wiped away. I pray that a cure for these diseases is found before I'm older... and I pray that neither of my parents have to suffer from these two terrible diseases.

(REALLY POSITIVE WAY TO END THIS SECTION 'EH???? LOL)

Adri's 11 Random Questions For Me:

1. What's your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
I love sleeping in (and thankfully, my husband allows me this pleasure). Every other Saturday I have an 11:00 nail appointment (which I look forward to and love). I usually go get my nails done and then I stop for lunch and bring it home for us to enjoy while watching television from the week that we didn't get to watch. 

I love to go shopping together, and going out to dinner is also fun. Saturday is our running around day where we get our errands done so that we can relax and not leave the house on Sunday.  As long as the three of us are together, I'm happiest.

2. Where is your favorite vacation destination?
Michigan. I love going north to see my side of our family. My twin brother is there with his family, my parents are there, and I get to see some cousins usually too. I love seeing friends that I miss dearly. 

Michigan is a beautiful state and has so many great things to offer. I love going home to familiarity. I know the cities, the roads, the lingo. I love going to restaurants that I can't visit anywhere else. I get to have Slurpees... which I can't get here. When it's time to go on vacation, Michigan, back home, is where I want to be.

Other than Michigan... I love anywhere warm with a beach, a pool, and tropical drinks. :-)

3. If you could only eat one food item for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
This is hard... I get bored eating the same thing all the time. I'd have to say (I'm going to be creative) cow. This would allow me to eat dairy (which I love), and a variety of beef (ribs, hamburger, steaks). I'd miss veggies and fruits... but at least eating cow would give me variety. 

I'm thankful this is just a "fun" question... and not something that could really be in my future. I'd hate to have to pick just one food to eat for the rest of my life. If it was my favorite item now, I'd surly hate it after a week of eating only that.

4. If you could be the parent of as many children as you wanted, how many would you have?
What a great question!! Ideally, I'd want four kids. Two boys and two girls. I'd want two of each, so that they both know what it's like to have another like them, and another that's the opposite gender. Every boy deserves to have a brother and every girl deserves a sister, and every child deserves a sibling of the opposite gender.

5. What's your favorite scent, smell, or fragrance?
I have a few:
1) Steve after a shower
2) Gus after a bath
3) Gasoline (weird I know)
4) Fresh baked bread/dessert
5) Chanel Platinum Egoist Cologne (sooooooooo good-- I'll stop here)
6) Freshly mowed grass
7) Burger King (literally... when we drive past one, Steve rolls down the window so I can sniff away like a dog)
8) Clinique Happy perfume
9) D&G Light Blue perfume
10) Black Raspberry Vanilla Bath & Body Works body spray

6. What do you have on your feet right now?
My black Nike soccer sandals

7. What's your favorite childhood memory?
I honestly have too many. They do all involve being with my brothers and my parents. Going on summer vacation (we always went somewhere for two weeks and either camped in a tent, or were in the RV), going to the UP for Labor Day, going to Florida over Spring Break each year, and all the memories of Christmas time and spending time with my grandparents.

8. Do you like your first name?
I do. I don't know too many other women named Cathy. My good friends call me Cat and I don't know of anyone that goes by Cat. My family calls me Cath... and no one else is allowed to call me that. 

I was named after my mother, Catherine Ann, and she's the most amazing female that I know. She was named after her mother Catherine Theresa. My Grandma's mother was also Catherine. 

Interesting factoid:
My grandma's mother was named Catherine and she had five children. Three girls (Helen, Fran, and Catherine- my grandma) and two boys (Bill and Tom) and the boys were identical twins.

My grandma (named Catherine) had two boys (Bill and Tom), and five girls (Mary, Helen, Catherine- my mom, Margie, and Karen). Of her kids, Mary and Helen were twins. 

My mom (named Catherine) had three children. Two boys (David and Scott) and one girl (me). Scott and I are twins.

9. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher. My dream was to teach during the school year and then be a National Park Ranger during the summer. :-)

10. What's your current favorite song?
"Not Over You" by Gavin Degraw

11. Are you as close with your friends now as you were when you were younger?
Hmmmm... I'm not sure how to interpret this question. If you're asking if I'm closer with childhood friends... no. I'm not close to anyone from my childhood.

If you're asking if I'm a better friend to my friends now that I'm older, I say yes. I've learned to appreciate the people that ARE my friends because I've learned the hard way, that good friends are hard to come by. When you find someone that you consider a good friend, they're worth fighting for.

The older I get, the harder I find it to be, to make new friends. People get set in their ways, and most people have good friends already, so to make room for another, isn't always easy or desired. I've found myself out there "wandering" and looking for friendship and it's not always been an easy road.

11 People I am Tagging:
1. Heather @ Mindless Ramblings
2. Beth @ Stapes House
4. Kristine @ Our Big Surprise
7.  Kristen @ The Journey to Me
8. Lacey @ Change of Pace
10. Mindy @ The Wilson's World
11. Christie @ RubyLolaQuin

11 Questions For the People I've Tagged:

1. What's your biggest regret so far in your life?
2. Who do you miss the most (living or dead) from your life?
3. What's the one movie you could (and maybe do) watch over and over again and not tire of it?
4. What's your favorite office supply?
5. What accomplishment are you most proud that you did?
6. What's your absolute most favorite meal? Be specific.
7. What's your favorite website? (And don't say Facebook)
8. Name five things that you hope to do in 2012.
9. If you could remodel any part of your house (with an unlimited budget) what would you do?
10. What's your favorite pair of shoes, and give a memory associated with those shoes.
11. How did you come up with the names that you have for your child/children.

I'm eager to read your posts with the answers to my questions and to read your 11 random items!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #26

A Year of Gratitude #26: Safe Travels for Steve

Today I am most grateful and thankful that my husband made it back to our family safe and sound. He said goodbye to us Tuesday morning around 4:30am and I prayed for his trip to be uneventful and that he would make it to California without any problems. Mission accomplished.

This was his first work trip since moving to GA and it was unique. When we were looking for a house here in GA, one of the things that was most important to us was to find a neighborhood/area that was safe and I'd feel comfortable in when Steve is traveling. While he doesn't travel as much as a lot of spouses do, it's more than he did at Burt's Bees and more than we're used to.

He flew into San Francisco on Tuesday and stayed overnight and then Wednesday morning he flew from San Francisco to LAX. He was in LA last night and then this afternoon he flew back to Atlanta. His plane was delayed by almost two hours because of a mechanical issue... so they went back to the gate. Thankfully, he not only made it back to GA okay, but then was able to get himself back to our house safely.

He had a slight glitch with coming home on the MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority-- subway). He got off at the wrong station and didn't know that after 7pm, the one line doesn't go north (where he needed to go). You live and you learn I suppose.

Anyway, Steve brought me some chocolate covered macadamia nuts (my fav) and a cookbook that was autographed (and written) by the head chef at the one restaurant where they dined in San Francisco (Greens).

I'm thankful that I get to sleep next to my best friend again... I've missed him so much this week. Gus will be thankful tomorrow, when he gets to be reunited with his favorite person on the planet-- his daddy.  :-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #25

A Year of Gratitude #25: Dina

I just met Dina a few weeks ago... she's new to the area and is from Florida (by way of Arizona and New Jersey). She has a daughter named Becca who was born May 14th, 2010... she's three days younger than Gus.

I met Dina through AAM and when she joined she introduced herself in the "introduce yourself thread" and she saw my introduction and messaged me. She doesn't have any family here in GA and knows no one. She's in the same boat as me.

I invited her over for a playdate a week ago or so and got to meet her and Becca and had a great time. She and I text throughout the day because I hate talking on the phone (I told her upfront... I don't call but I'll text the shit outta you).  :-)

She and I have so many similarities. Not only do we both love reality television (which that alone is enough to give us plenty to talk about and discuss), she and I have the same "life path number": 8.

Anyway-- she and I have a lot in common and we get along quite well. I enjoy talking to her, laughing with her, and getting to know her. She's one of my only friends that I have here and I'm so thankful that I found her and that we get along as well as we do!!!

A Bad Playdate :-(

It was bound to happen eventually, but I didn't think it would be as awful as it was. We went to a playdate this morning with my AAM group and I totally went into it with my guard down. I wasn't nervous, thought it was going to be fun. It was the opposite.

We got there at 10:30 and there were three other moms there including the mom who was hosting. She was very friendly and welcoming, and when we went in, I thought to myself, "This is going to be fun." 

Dina had texted me to tell me that she wasn't going and then I saw that Heather (the only other mom that I had already met) took her name off the list. I decided to still go and meet some new moms. I wish I had stayed home.

When we walked into the play area, there were two moms there talking... I had to introduce myself to them as they didn't stop their conversation to introduce themselves to me. No big deal... but then they kept talking and neither talked to me.

Weird.

Then another mom showed up, and the two that were in the conversation knew her, exchanged hugs, and then the three of them started talking. The one that came in just after me never introduced herself to me and didn't ask who I was. It was almost as if she didn't see me... I was invisible.

Then ANOTHER mom came... and she didn't really talk to anyone either, but she sat on the floor and eventually started talking to the other three... then the hostess came in and she asked me a few questions and tried to include me on the conversation that she was having with one of the other moms, but I still wasn't "in" on the convo. 

It was horrible. Being new and not knowing anyone, I naturally was more on the shy side and more of an observer, but it was really painful. I wanted to just get up and leave after just 15 minutes. Gus was Gus... walking around and playing with all the new toys and oblivious to what the adults were doing. There were quite a few older kids there (ages 3-4) and it was weird to see the bigger kids... while I'm sure they're great, I totally prefer playdates with kids Gus's age. 

There was a little boy named Ian (he's the hostess's son) and he was 17 months. He was very little and I was surprised that he was only three months younger than Gus... he acted much younger. IDK... then there was a 15 month old and he was cute and the three little little ones played on one side of the room while the bigger kids played on the other. It was sorta funny.

Anyway, while I wasn't ignored the ENTIRE time, I was left out and felt really stupid sitting there watching these strangers have their conversation. They talked about other moms that I don't know, and preschools, and stuff that I have no clue about. It was just like being invited into a world that I clearly don't fit into or belong in.

I think the fact that no one asked me who I was, who was Gus... it just was really odd. The one was the area co-moderator and while I'd never met her, I have talked to her on the forum... so I "knew" her without knowing her. She was the only one that talked to me and like I said, it was for a minute.

When it was 11:45, some of the moms started to get lunches out for their kids and I decided it was time to leave. The hostess said, "Are you sure you're going to leave? We are about to have lunch." I told her that I was going to take Gus home for lunch and then put him down for a nap. She said, "You can have lunch here..." and I said, "No... I don't think so." I felt bad saying it like that, but my God... I needed to get the hell outta there.

I got Gus and I told him to say his goodbyes... he waved goodbye and I thanked the hostess for having us... she said it was nice to meet me and then I walked out. 

NO
ONE
ELSE
SAID
ANYTHING

Not one other person said goodbye to us. Not one other person said it was nice to meet me. Not one other person thanked me for joining them today.

It was so horrible. 

So now I'm torn... I thought I was really going to love AAM... all my interactions have been so good... they planned a trip to the zoo for me for Pete's sake!! I've really liked everyone that I've met so far... and our area group is very small... I thought I was going to "gel" with everyone.

Now I'm not so sure. The people that I do know and like, (I've actually met them) weren't there... so maybe I just go to things that they're at? I don't know...

On another note... one of the moms from MOMS Club emailed me and invited me to go to a women's Bible study with her. I explained that I'm Catholic and not looking for a new religion (except for maybe becoming an Orthodox Quaker- LMAO) and she said that there's no "selling" of religion. It's a mom's group and they talk about parenting and how the Bible comes into it.

It sounds really interesting to me so I said I'd go. I honestly believe that God presents us with opportunities for a reason. So it's every other week... and I told her I couldn't go today because of my playdate (BAD MOVE)... so in two weeks I'll join her.

I have been added to my MOMS Club playdate rotation schedule... and I have addresses for where the upcoming events will take place. I'm eager to go to the next one (they're every Monday) and see how it goes. I had fun this past Monday and so did Gus. Maybe my MOMS Club will be the right thing for me. I saw on their newsletter that they only have 18 moms... and I met seven already. LOL

We'll see... but for now I'm thankful to be home and in my happy place away from awkwardness and an uncomfortable position. I texted Dina on the way home and told her to be glad she wasn't there. She said the next one should be better (next Thursday). We'll see... if it isn't, I might be done with AAM.

Later!