Friday, December 05, 2008

The One About Everyday

This is one of those posts that was sitting unfinished...
I thought it was funny anyway...

Before you begin this entry dear readers, I want you to understand that I love my husband and my child more than life itself. This entry is about "the funny". Because there are those days that can only be looked at that way.......

My house contains at any given time, myself, Nyt, my husband, Himself, our child, Eggroll, and our pets...Spinner, Swooper and Miss Thing. Swooper is the newest addition and at 9 weeks old, he's already turning this place upside down.

Let us begin....

4:25AM- Awake to a full bladder and a chilly room. Silently curse the ass that said 40 was the new 30. Attempt to creep silently past Swooper's cage into the bathroom. Realize that I'm missing a sock and the bathroom floor is damn cold.
4:26AM- Relieve myself and then decide against flushing (wouldn't want to wake Swooper)
4:27AM- Creep back to bed. Realize that Spinner is not going to relinquish any blankets. Search for alternate blanket.
4:28AM- Blanket located.
4:40AM- Decide that sleep is futile
4:45AM- Give up the ghost and set sights on an uninterrupted shower
4:46AM- Plan of uninterrupted shower thwarted by squeaking Swooper
4:47 AM- Close bedroom door and release Swooper from kennel. Discover that Miss Thing is on the wrong side of the door as pitiful mewling begins.
4:48AM- Drop newspaper on floor. Swooper misses newspaper by mere inches..
4:49AM- Wash floor
4:55AM- Throw self into shower. Accomplish clean in a record 10 minutes.
5:05AM- Head for dresser and clean underwear..step in warm Swooper pee
5:06AM- Wash feet
5:08AM- Wash floor
5:10AM-Apply make-up and do hair while chasing Swooper and removing stray stuff from his mouth. Swear silently as Spinner snuggles into the covers and emits a deep sigh. Pray that I'm not mistaken for a clown....
5:20 AM- Head downstairs to take dogs outside and make coffee. Realize that it is somewhere around 15 degrees out. Before jacket is even zipped, Swooper pees again.
5:21AM- Ignore pee and stand outside in snow and wind begging tiny dog to "go potty outside"
5:27AM- Wash floor
5:30AM- Reach coffeepot. Shed tears of joy
5:35AM- Himself reaches the kitchen and announces "I would have taken the dogs out.."
5:36AM- Contemplate murder....
5:37AM- Collect dogs, dog toys, cigarettes and lighter. Settle into chair for morning coffee, smoke and news.
5:40AM- Eggroll awake and calling for Daddy. Remind Himself that 5:40 in the morning is not an acceptable time for any child to get up. Ask that he take her potty and put her back in bed.
5:45AM- Himself returns from upstairs announcing "mission accomplished". Himself departs for work.
5:56 to 6:15AM- Swill coffee and puff cigarettes throughout early newscast.
6:16 to 6:30AM- Develop plan for the day. Realize that there is little or no food in the house. Figure on hitting two grocery stores before lunch. Decide to make list.
6:31AM- Find a Swooper poop on the way to get paper for grocery list.
6:32AM- Wash floor
6:35AM- Collect pets for another potty trip to the frozen tundra. Once again, Swooper pees before my jacket is even on.
6:36 to 6:44AM- Stand outside in freezing cold and snow waiting for tiny dog to "potty outside"
6:45AM- Wash floor
6:48AM- Prepare Eggroll's breakfast along with Swooper's.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

The One Where I Collect Scattered Thoughts

In no particular order.....

* I received a call from both the auto hospital and the insurance adjuster yesterday. Vanbo has some internal damage (nothing we didn't expect). The auto hospital wanted me to know that they've already received the supplement, and the parts are on order. The insurance adjuster not only told me the same thing, but also extended the rental for the ugliest van in America for another five days. The signifigance of all of this??? ACTUAL CUSTOMER SERVICE! And I didn't have to yell, beg or threaten anyone.....

* The breeder sent photos of the three pups we have to choose from. After Himself and I rated our choices, I phoned Flipper and asked him to stop by. One must understand that to get Flipper to stop by and take a look at anything other than the Eggroll is a monumental task. When I said "puppies" he altered his schedule immediately. When he showed up he immediately went hunting for my computer. I bought up the photos, he pointed to the screen uttered "I want that one", asked if the Eggroll was home and then was gone as quick as he came...FYI, Flipper's ratings and Himself's were exactly the same...I think its a conspiracy..

* House of Nyt is undergoing the pre-holiday cleaning ritual. This is the time of the year where I drive Himself insane.... he and my OCD don't always get along. Funny thing is, as much hell as he gives me for my freakish cleaning tendencies. (he continually reminds me that my "dirty" is the rest of the world's clean), he's the first person to be apalled at someone else's dirty house. Several times during the trick-or-treating ritual, he would lean over and whisper to me..."Did you see the inside of that house?? Can you believe people live that way??" Yeah...embrace the OCD Mr. Man....embrace the OCD.

* Anyone else apalled over Prop 8?? Really?? So much for embracing change....

* I'm finding it hilariously funny that there are a few polls out there that advocate a pit bull as the Presidential Puppy. I've got nothing against the breed, but really....stereotype much???

* My Wad died.... minds out of the gutter folks, the Wad was a fish. We developed an odd attachment to one another..he would actually eat off of my finger. Strange to think that fish may actually have personalities. Anyhow, he gave up the ghost after close to 9 years...

Thattttt'ss allll fffollkksss!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The One That Puts It All To Rest

Well, it's finally over.... And it came out just the way everyone thought it would. No matter who won the presidential race, I think we can all agree that the next few years are going to be a rough, rough ride. Buckle up folks..

I'm going to wind this election season up with a few of the pluses and minuses from my point of view...

PLUS- To the Obama campaign for motivating more voters to do their duty than ever before in history

PLUS- To the democratic party for launching what will probably go down in history as the largest, most coordinated attack on American politics.

MINUS- To the media, who not only created stories, but eventually became the story themselves.

MINUS- To the Republican party who so mishandled their candidate

PLUS- To John McCain for being probably the classiest, most gracious guy in American politics. He is a dying breed in this country...

MINUS- To both parties for too much negative campaigning

PLUS- To those folks who did their homework and chose a side based on understanding

MINUS- To those that didn't....

MINUS- To both parties for never addressing the issues behind the sound bytes.

To those who stood on the other side of the fence from me... I truly hope, with all my heart, that your faith is well founded and proven right.

To everyone, don't stop questioning...don't stop learning... Just because the election is over, doesn't mean that the political, economic and social problems in this country are solved. Stay aware, stay informed, and stay curious..

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The One About People, Politics and Pets

So, today's the day folks. Time to stand in line, cast your ballot and make your voice heard. I intend to drop Eggroll off at "school" and then off to the polls. The rest of the day will be determined by how long I have to stand in line. Laundry could actually get done if the lines are short....

In other political news, the issue of media bias has been bandied about lately and it reminds me of a conversation that I had with our translator in China. Just as communism is foreign to us, democracy is foreign to them. The conversation had turned to the press and the media, and the fact that all media in China is controlled by the government. He asked me how tightly controlled our media is, and I had to give him an answer that surprised even me. I told him that our media was just as controlled as the Chinese media, only in a different way. While their media is controlled overtly by the government, ours is controlled by the almighty dollar. Their media swings whichever way the government does, ours follows the money. Neither provides a "whole" picture of any issue. As the close of the presidential election approaches, I'm truly saddened that so many people just accept this as what "is". It's not just that my candidate will more than likely be on the losing end of the run, it's that people all over the world will stand and fight for freedom of speech, and a free media and Americans, sheeple that they are, will merely accept whatever that 15 second sound byte tells them. They suspect nothing if all the sound bytes are the same either. It must be true because the television told me so...

In other news, yesterday found me tackling the disaster zone that was our garage. Seriously, where the hell did all that stuff come from?? I still have to scrub out the fridge out there, but for the most part, all is done. Of course, it turned out to be an all day project....ewww!

I had the Spinner outside with me all day. I have a long line attached to a tree and he spent most of the day lazing about.

I'm not one of those pet owners who allow their pets to wander about. The Spinner is a hunting dog, and all it takes is one second for things to go horribly wrong. He spent the day lazing about, chewing his bone and chasing the occasional leaf that blew by.

This one makes me especially proud. You see, when indoors, the Spinner will bark like a maniac when he sees anyone on the street. Yesterday my really good dog uttered a muted "woof" when confronted with small children walking the street. A triumph! As with any and all triumphs, there is also a downside. And the downside happened because of my addled brain. You see, before being absorbed into the House of Nyt, the Spinner was a show dog. A show dog that was trained to NEVER RELIEVE HIMSELF WHILE ON A CHAIN. I forgot that part, and the poor animal darn near exploded when I finally let him loose in the backyard... I'm hoping he'll forgive me.....

Monday, November 03, 2008

The One About My Brain and the "Boom"

I would like to remove my brain from my skull and wash it off. It seems to be rather dusty as of late. Disorganized, forgetting things...nothing a good cleaning wouldn't fix.

Halloween started out with a "boom", literally. While Eggroll and I were on the way to the grocery store, a rather large Ram decided to introduce itself to Vanbo. One loud crunch and a shower of glass later, my child looked at me in the rearview mirror, said "boom", and went right back to watching Blues Clues on the DVD player. How wonderful to be a child! Meanwhile, Vanbo suffered a crushed rear door and a blown out rear window. Nothing a couple of weeks in the auto hospital can't fix. However, most of Halloween was taken up by telephone calls, adjusters, estimates and rental agencies. Vanbo has been replaced with a Ram cousin, and so far, everything has gone rather swimmingly. And of course, because it was Halloween, we had plenty of chocolate.....that always makes things easier...

This is the week where Eggroll will spend most of day at "school". Because of the upcoming holidaze, and the approach of inclement weather, and Himself's work schedule, it has been determined that in order to get anything done...the Eggroll needs to be away from the House of Nyt. I hate to do it in one way, but she does love "school" so, and if I wait any longer the work will take twice as long. Of course, my brain did screw-up....I told the center director that she would be there for the whole week, completely forgetting that she has therapy on Tuesday and Thursday.... le sigh! I will have to admit my idiocy in public and rearrange her schedule and mine.

Because of Friday's little problem, I was forced to do my grocery shopping on Saturday. May I say that I was quite gracious on Friday, but the grocery store...I was positively homicidal. Who are all these people, and when did manners become optional??? Seriously, is it just me or is half of society raising packs of wolves? Are people just numb?? Let me just say for the record that if I would have had a cattle prod, things might have gone differently...

I hear movement....must run.....

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

The One Where Sweet Isn't Just For Candy

Seriously, the cute is almost painful..... and it scored her a ton of sugar....the real kind.....
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Monday, October 27, 2008

The One About Family and Frustration

Ahhhh, the holidaze....They're approaching rapidly aren't they? Every year around here, the holidaze bring about a multitude of problems. Some are solvable, some, not so much. Almost all of them revolve around family.

For those of you that know me, you're probably aware that I have a pretty shitty family. With the exception of Flipper, the rest of them pretty much suck. Hard.

Over the years the tension within the family grew and flourished. If I told you most of it was over money, would you be surprised? It's long and complicated but suffice it to say it revolves around the fact that although Flipper has been with me since I was nine years old, I'm not "legitimate" in their eyes. And now it's passing through to the next generation. And that's just one side of the "family"

On the other side? Well, let's just say that they'll show up, they'll take interest you when you write a check, other than that? Not so much.

Himself's family? Pretty much non-existent. His older sister is wrapped up in her religion and her own family. His younger sister?? Well let's just say that "teh crazy" really is a sexually transmitted disease... We never hear from them. Perhaps they too, feel that we're not a "legitimate" family...I'm an "other" wife, so maybe that's where their primary problem lies. (BTW, I don't remember actually doing anything to offend them. I'm from the camp that says I can't fix it if you don't tell me what "it" is)

Moving on.....

The Holidaze involve dealing with my family, both side A (Flipper's) and side B (mine). First we'll deal with side A. The A side will be here for Thanksgiving. I do this every year because it makes Flipper happy. Even though at some level he realizes that his family sucks, they are still his family and in some peculiar way, it makes him happy to have them here. It causes a load of stress that can only be tolerated with controlled outbursts of rage and OCD. Some of the "things" that have been said and or done over the years?

"Arrogant" tells me that I must be gone from my family home so that he and his girlfriend can romp in the Jacuzzi. I protest..he tells me that "it doesn't matter what you think, all this will be mine anyway when Flipper dies" He never saw the shovel coming....he refused medical treatment....

"Disturbed" asks me to stand up in her wedding. I agree (it makes Flipper happy) It costs me more than $500.00 to do so. The wedding is out of town. I'm housed away from the rest of the wedding party. I'm uninvited to the wedding party festivities, I drive myself to and from the church and reception.

"Piggy" tells me that "Your husband won't be excited over your adoption, he's had "real" children"

I asked "Disturbed" to do a reading at Momma's funeral. (in fairness, she was my very last choice) She accepts and then assaults me with the statement "We never got to know Flipper because your mother was such a bitch"

These are but a few examples of what has transpired over the years. The hardest part for me is to put on the "happy face". I want to be a good person, I really do. I want Flipper to have everything that makes him happy for as long as he's on this Earth. But I also want peace in my own home. I want peace for my daughter and husband. I want home to be a safe place, and letting these people in my home risks safety. One never knows what they may say or do... the anticipation of disaster causes unbelievable amounts of stress.

My counter for all of this... is that everything must be "perfect"... and my "perfect" is generally over and above everyone else's perfect... Anyone seeing my problem here??

Most days I can give up life's difficulties to the universe and move on... Holidaze? I give them up to the OCD monster and anger...and I don't know how to make it stop while making everyone happy at the same time......

Le Sigh.....

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

The One Where I Pledge My Undying Love

To this wonderful little gizmo...Santoku Kitchen Shears from Kitchen Aid. I found them in a multi-pack at my local warehouse store, but I've seen them on Amazon for as low as 6 bucks!! 6 bucks people! How many folks can achieve Nirvana for 6 bucks!

Why I'm desperately in love? Because they do everything....lettuce for salad, done! Toddler's sandwich? Done! Spaghetti in toddler's bowl? Done! Chopped veggies for toddler mentioned above? Done! They come apart so that each side may be used seperately (in case you need more leverage) and they can be WASHED....WHEN THEY'RE APART!....AND DRIED!... so you never have to think about what's growing in the parts you can't get to!!!! (My inner OCD monster is smiling broadly!) Oh and one of the great parts, if you happen to use plastic or melamine bowls or plates with your kids, they don't scratch up the inside of the plate or bowl. (there has been much speculation that scratched plastic products release toxic chemicals when exposed to heat). Love Them!!! Run out and secure them immediately, before the rest of the world finds out how awesome they are!

That is all......
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

The One About High School...

We all have memories of high school. Some great, some not so great. Some of you were the "popular" or the "cool" kids, others were the "freaks" "geeks" and "jocks". Many of you often felt that you didn't fit in, maybe there are even some of you out there that "ruled the school".

Up until today, I never gave much thought to my high school experience. I always thought that there were probably only three remarkable things that went on during those years. The first was that I was expelled from the hoity-toity all girls Catholic high school that Momma Nyt always wanted me to attend. (Surprised!? Anyone!???? I didn't think so..) The second was that I spent almost my entire junior and senior year (and three years afterward) dating a guy who was already out of school. (this will be important later) and third was I discovered theater.

So many people relate high school to the experiences. Football games, homecomings, proms..there's the stuff you got away with, and the stuff you didn't. I missed a lot of the regular stuff (see reason number two) and I got away with and was caught for a fair amount of stuff. None of that is what has me thinking today. Today, I'm thinking about the people....and about the mark they left on my life.

After expulsion from Sister Mary's Boot Camp for Young Women, I landed at the local public high school. I arrived in the middle of my sophmore year. And I was most definitely "the new kid". My family had recently made the exodus from the city to the wide open suburbs, and everything was brand new and scary...

First on the list of people who left their mark was J. J. was the wiry, Irish ,working class kid, with what would probably called ADHD today. He was the Biology partner I was assigned to. The partner that no one else really wanted. I remember the teacher, scanning my grades from St.Mary's Boot Camp and announcing in front of the whole class.."Congratulations J. with her as your partner, you now have a hope of passing the class." I made sure he passed. He taught me to just sit still and listen. He taught me to "hear" though the static. I remain forever grateful. I might have missed many things in my life if I hadn't learned the lessons that J. had to teach me.

Next up came E. and T. They saw me standing there, on my first day, in the cafeteria and offered me a seat at their table. We dined together for the rest of the year and most of the following year. I remember being so grateful for that first offer. They taught me to always extend a hand. Always try. And to this day, I always do....

M. and I had a friendship that developed without fanfare. It's as though one day she was just some kid in class with me, and the next we were inseperable. She was beautiful, boheme, brilliant and unconcerned with the conventional wisdom. She taught me that being different was a good thing. Being brilliant was better. She encouraged the curiousity in me that I still have today. Sometime during junior year, M. became involved with S. He was dark, brooding, along with brilliant and sensitive. He hated me upon first meeting...overtime M, S, and I became something like the three musketeers. He taught me that opposites really can become friends. He taught me to appreciate the differences, perhaps even to embrace them.

Lastly, there was T2. Unconventional looking, unconventional thinking, smart, funny, and artistic as hell. She taught me about standing up. And how to really appreciate a good laugh. And that there's no sin in following your matter what anyone says...

All of this comes to mind today because today, I found out that one of these people who so shaped my life is no longer with us. Someone who left their mark on me has been gone for close to ten years now. And I never knew......and I never got to tell them just how much I learned in such a short amount of time. Part of me thinks its lose track of people after such a long time.....part of me believes that it's natural....

But then there's another part of me. It's the part of me that mourns a death I never knew, and cries tears for a soul that I never should have let slip away from my own life. And the other part of me, the part of me that knows I could have done better..

Good-bye my friend.....I hope you know....and I hope we meet again....

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Monday, October 13, 2008

The One That Can't Wait Until Father's Day

One of my favorite guilty, chick flick pleasures is a movie called "Where The Heart Is". There is a line in the film that I hear in my head from time to time. "You tell them that our lives can change with every breath we take.." And it's true. That's why I need to do this now....

The picture above is Flipper and the Eggroll. They look like this together ALL THE TIME. And I can't put into words how happy that makes me. They have a love affair happening that every grandparent/grandchild should have. I don't have the words to express how full it makes my heart, and how content it makes my soul.

I wished this for both of them. When we lost Momma almost three years ago now, I worried for Flipper. He's a loner by nature, and not the most demonstrative fellow in the world. He's what we refer to as a "doer" not a "talker" and for almost 30 years, Momma did the talking for him. When she left us, I worried that he would retreat into his shell and miss so many of the simple joys that life had to offer.

I worried for Eggroll. Momma left us as the order for Eggroll was being placed, and I worried that this kid would never know the joy of being someone's grandchild.

I worried for nothing.

I hope and I pray (yes, the heathen does pray) that wherever Momma is, she can see and feel the joy that Flipper and Eggroll share. I hope that Flipper and the Eggroll both know how very very grateful I am for both of them, and the relationship they have. It is everything I could have wished for.....

Admiring the "Dancing Chickens"..

She would break out the random dance moves when she heard the banjo music. He danced with her and then smugly told me "She likes country music, she'll have taste!"

She already has taste Flipper, she chose to love you.....

P.S. It took over an hour to get this written, I have trouble typing through tears...

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Friday, October 10, 2008

The One That Fascinates and Repulses All At Once

Seriously!?! A children's book?!? At my local warehouse store?!? So much for the innocence of the young....

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The One Where I Babble Incoherently

All the news and views that you can use....or maybe not...

  • VP debate? Rocked! Sarah held her own and it seems as though it worked. For right now the press seems to be leaving her "experience and knowledge" thing alone
  • Last nights presidential debate? Kind of stinky. I was hoping to a true "town hall" forum. What I got was a bunch of distilled questions. Meh!
  • Anyone else freaking out about the whole mortgage rescue thing? The very idea that the federal government is going to renegotiate principal based on current market value makes my hair stand on end. Way to screw the folks that did it "right". Let's take a look at just what that means. You, and your neighbor each bought a 500k home two years ago. You did it by the book, your neighbor got in way over his head. You're paying your 300k mortgage, he's not paying his 500k mortgage. Meanwhile, your elected officials have decided that your neighbor needs to stay in his home, so his mortgage is reduced to current market value...let's say 400k..and records it as such. You are now out 100k in equity and oh yes, you'll still have to pay your 300k with interest. When the market recovers (and it will), your neighbor will make an extra 100k... I should have bought a bigger house...
  • I currently believe that one should be given a lifetime supply of KY when registering to vote.
  • The Eggroll is now negotiating the "twos". Fortunately she only has another 6 months or so and then "two" is over.
  • How is it that a small child can hold an entire dinner in her mouth for AN HOUR without swallowing??
  • Why is it that no matter how hard I try, I cannot stay away from the cookies in the kitchen?
  • My child now calls for Gammaw when faced with doing something she does not want to do. My mother warned me that she would stick around....apparently...she has.
  • No, she's not trying to say Gampaw...she says that very clearly...
  • Puppy arriving shortly before Thanksgiving. If anyone is keeping score that means Shit That Will Make Nyt Insane -17 Nyt Not Requiring Medication -0
  • Airfare to the great Southwest has exploded.
  • Is it worth $400 to keep my kid from missing 3 appointments with the speech therapist instead of two?
  • Why is it that I rise at 5:30 every morning and I don't even have a job?
  • Given the current market conditions, Eggroll will have to rely on our public school system.
  • That pisses me off
  • It brings tears to my eyes to see the love affair that Flipper has with the Eggroll, and vice versa.
This concludes today's incoherent ramblings.....
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Thursday, October 02, 2008

The One Where I Realize I'm Not As Smart As I Think I Am

So this morning, the Senate passed the "new and improved" bailout bill. Or to be more precise and pleasant... the "rescue" package. Or to quote a pundit "Porkapalooza". Tax breaks for wooden arrow manufacturers?? Seriously??

Now, I consider myself fairly well read. And with all the hullabaloo surrounding the current presidential race, I though I was doing pretty well. I try to form my opinions after research, thought and consideration. I've never been the person who's been satisfied with "because someone said so". And I thought I was doing pretty well.......and then..... well then I realized how stupid I really am....

For those of you that don't know...I'm that rare thing in my state...Suburbanitis Republicanis. And I've voted that way for as long as I've been voting. (except for local elections, I'll explain that system later) And that my friends is precisely the problem. When it comes to the Senate and the House, well, I've just voted the straight party ticket. Now, with the recent economic emergency, I realize just how stupid I've been. I can't say I've ever researched my Senator or my Representative before an election and now it's glaringly apparent that I should have. It's glarlingly apparent that everyone should.

The office of President is no doubt the "face" of the nation. And currently, no one is really pleased with our "face". But here's the rub... The "face" is only responsible for signing legislation into law. Not making the legislation, that's up to the people I didn't research. So, while I was asleep at the wheel, the current Congress (whose majority is on the opposite side of the "face") has crippled the "face" (repeat after me "line item veto") and taken the taxpayers for a ride.

Yesterday, I was in favor of the "rescue" package. Yesterday, I really believed that the markets needed the liquidity injection that the package was supposed to provide. Yesterday, I didn't mind that it would cost my family thousands. Today, after 338 pages of tax exemptions was added to the bill, today I really mind. Today, I have decided that the best thing that could happen is to let the markets correct themselves. I'm not up for paying for someone else's poor judgement. I have empathy for those who are in real financial trouble, but I'm having trouble mustering up any sympathy. I do have sympathy for the tens of thousands of retirees who will suffer and I have empathy for those who will soon find themselves homeless. But, I'm not interested in paying anyone else's bills. Actually, I'm not interested in fattening up anyone else's hog. And that's precisely what's going on. Rescue, my ass. The only thing that this Congress is interested in rescuing is its own ass. I, personally, would rather kick their ass, right after I kick myself in the ass for allowing them into office.

None of this means that I'm switching sides in this election. I actually find my candidates call for a one year moratorium on spending refreshing. Kind of like running my country like I run my own home. I'm disappointed that my candidate voted to pass this ridiculous legislation, but I still believe in the basic message. I'll still take substance over style any day. But, never again will I vote straight party... It just costs too damn much money...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The One Sponsored By The Letter "P"

Some recent items filed under the letter "P".....

Picnic--- We attended the picnic event for the agency we hate. Himself and I both felt that it would be good for the Eggroll. That, and we were curious about the whole event anyway. The verdict? Something between plain and pitiful. Since there was no actual fee, I didn't feel all that bad, but I will say that I donated the same amount to this years block party and we certainly ate better and had more fun. I understand that they use it as a fundraiser, but really, folks are more apt to dig in their pockets if they're distracted and/or drunk.....I'm just saying....

Politeness---Two encounters at the aforementioned event really pissed me off. The first was the encounter with the resident Looneytune of my travel group. Once again she found it absolutely necessary to NOT ADDRESS ME AT ALL. For heaven's sake Looney, were you raised by wolves? One of the first things evolved people are taught and teach their children is to be kind and polite to EVERYONE. It's a shame that your hubby's such a nice keeps me from calling your ignorance out on the spot....because...that wouldn't be POLITE. I was however, pleased to see that your daughter had shoes on. Oh yeah, if you cannot be polite, please stay the hell away from my Eggroll. I'm at a loss as to how to explain to a child why the crazy lady keeps taking her picture while not speaking to her mother at all.....oh yeah, and that slip about me being in the shot WITH MY OWN KID?? I heard you.. and there's currently no way I can explain that ignorance.
The next encounter involved a lady who brought home a toddler in March. Her daughter is talking up a storm, the Eggroll mimics whatever you say, but she does not all....even when in obvious distress. So I asked, "did you encounter this with your daughter?" The Eggroll is a puzzle to the professionals and I was curious to see if anyone else might have encountered this particular behavior. Blonde snotty lady informed me that it was a behavior learned in the orphanage since they were neglected anyway. I replied that Himself and I believed that the Eggroll experienced exactly the opposite. Since the orphanage that Eggroll came from was very small, we feel that she wasn't neglected, she never had to ask for a thing. Blonde snotty lady informed me that while it was nice to think that, I was certainly wrong, all orphanages neglect their children. Ummm, Snotty Lady.... I didn't ask for your opinion on all orphanages....and.... my kid is the very first child to be adopted from her province by our agency....sure you want to do the condescending ass thing? You very well could be right, but you very well could be is condisidered POLITE to acknowledge that....

Politics---- Currently both my eyes and my ears are hemorraghing from the current campaign bullshit.

Projects--- Yes, I'm overrun by projects. I hate the spring and the fall for this very reason. Something about living in the Midwest... the to do list get exponentially longer twice a year.

Pictures--- the best part of the post...can't be posted until I "anonomize" them....

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Friday, September 12, 2008

The One Where I Toss P.C. Aside (again)

Well, then, here we are, together again. And yes, I'm still composing the China posts, but today I thought I'd chat about the latest adventures in the House of Nyt. It's been several weeks of the krazee around here, but we've managed to have a little bit of fun as well.

First off, Himself's other eye turned out to be defective. We discovered this while at a consultation on repairing the first defective eye that was repaired (sort of correctly) in March. Three doctors, two hospitals, and roughly eight hours later we had a fourth doctor and an appointment for the next day. Ever try to amuse a 2 and 1/2 year old with nothing more than a dress-up monkey and a pair of shiny shoes? Yeah, I rock. Actually, the Eggroll rocks, she really sailed through that day with nary a problem. Over the next 7 days, we travelled to the doc's office 5 times, for gas bubbles and check-ups. We survived the worst of it (himself is a LOUSY patient) and hopefully this coming Monday will be the last of the appointments for a while.

Now for one of the politically incorrect portions of the program. Why the hell are all the good doctors in areas of this city where the poorest folks are? Can someone please explain to me why I must ( yes, must) travel a minimum of 30 miles one way to see a teaching doctor in any specialty? Why are there no quality doctors here? We live in a middle to upper class suburb, we pay exorbitant taxes, and yet our community hospital is good for nothing more than stitches. And why are all the liberal blow hards whining about health care? I walked the halls of these hospitals, I sat it waiting rooms, and I can pretty much guarantee that we were the only folks there who weren't on Medicare or Medicaid. What gives? And why are so many doctors saying they can't make any money?? Hello!! Life is simple fellas, go where the money is.....

More incorrectness....the Eggroll is fascinated with people of color. I can't fault her for it, she's probably never seen them before she came to this country. She's only been here a couple of months folks.... Anywhooo... standing outside one of the jillion hospitals I visited, I struck up a conversation with an older lady who had a small child with her. The Eggroll kept poking at the small child, and I couldn't figure out why. Then, the following week at pre-school (she's enrolled in a pretty diverse place), she tried to wash the black off the teacher. Now, actually, to me, that's pretty damn funny. She's tried to wash the scar off my hand innumerable times. However, other folks don't find it so funny and I'm stuck explaining that she's only been here several months and has never really seen people of color before. It annoys me that people just can't take any action for what it is. It must mean something else. Or that everything must be explained... Like the lady we walked past who Eggroll was staring at, and the woman felt it necessary not to say hello, but to announce to my 2 and 1/2 year old "I'm African American" literally, no greeting, nothing. Seriously? And what's with that anyway.... is it a nationality, is it a race, what?? Is everyone of color African American, or are they Kenyan African American? or Ghanaian African American? What's up with that?? Why does it matter? I don't saunter up to every person who's different from me and announce that I'm Nyt and I'm Caucasian Irish American and this is my husband Himself, who is Caucasian German American, and this is our Eggroll whose Asian Chinese American......although, maybe I should....

We did manage to have a lovely day at the zoo during all this hoopla. You've just got to love the zoo in the middle of the week. Not crowded at all..

I love a good merry-go round. I'm glad she does too.....Props to Himself for making this shot work. He never uses my camera and of course, he's rocking the busted eye. I told him to hold the camera up and hold the button down. LOL! And wouldn't you know, he got a shot worth keeping....

Butterflies with Himself.

And then, there was the Sandwich Fair. The last fair of the season. We really had a good time. I'm not a big "country" girl...something about nature getting all over my shoes, but it really is fun to see all the tractors and animals. The Eggroll had a blast as well. I was so excited that she decided that the backpack was a good thing. (we toted that damn thing all over China and she HATED it) She hung out in it whenever there wasn't something that she wanted to see, it really is sooooo much easier in crowds. Himself wore it for a while and then it was my turn for the rest of the night. It didn't feel like much when I was wearing it but OMG! the next day my legs hurt, my abs hurt.. I must be in really bad shape, I have purses heavier than that. I guess because it forces you to stand aligned... you get a bit more exercise than what you think...
One thing I did notice, traipsing around in the wilds of farm town. People have some pretty strong feelings about blended families. And often times, it's written all over their faces. Some were happy, but there were some that had disapproval written all over them. No one said anything, as X and I (we went with our friends X and Y) were walking one particular path, I asked her.... do you feel it... she did... That's precisely when the Eggroll threw her hands up in the air and yelled "Ta Daa". It really doesn't get any better than that.....

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

The One Where I Bang the Political Drum

It happens every election season. The vein above my right eye begins to pulse, my hands get sweaty, my brow furrows and I find myself counting to ten before speaking quite often. It's not the necessarily the candidates that do it to me, it's not even the media (although, I confess I have come close to denting the LCD).
It's the people.... the regular, ordinary people that bring on the stroke symptoms. All one of then has to do is open their mouth and I can feel my eye twitch and my ears begin to bleed.....

This election season is not different. Once again, I'm not on the "side of the angels" and Oprah has not endorsed my candidate. (seriously?!? Oprah!?!)

The common intellect of American society blows me away every time. So, I going to be my usual incorrect self and just lay it out there......

On the issues;
Iraq--- No one really wants to be in Iraq, but so many people refuse to educate themselves on the geo-political consequences of not being there. The Middle East is still (and probably always will be) the hot-spot of the world. Simply put, do we really want to leave it unattended? Just how much are we willing to pay for a gallon of gas?
Terrorism--- Let's face it, whether you agree or disagree with what Bush has done, the fact remains that there have been no more attacks on American soil. That being said, should there be another attack, do you really want someone who'll just negotiate? I don't.
Energy--- There is no question that we as a nation need alternative sources of energy. That being said, we must acknowledge that our energy needs and desires are a mult-level problem. No matter what form of energy we choose to use, we have to be willing to develop it, build it, and use it. That means uncomfortable people. We're going to have to give up the idea of "not in my backyard". We're going to have to accept that energy is going to cost us more before it costs us less. We're going to have to accept the fact that it's going to require some governmental interference to get it done. No matter what our choice, it's going to affect us in our own homes and in our everyday lives, we'd better be prepared for the cost to come.
Enviroment--- Once again, it costs to save the enviroment, and we have to be prepared to pay the price. That means everyone. Fining and taxing corporations raises some money, but ultimately, the end user must also pay the price. I think people are overlooking that in their zeal to condem the current policies. We must also be prepared to sacrifice convienience in our own homes. Anyone out there know what percentage of our everyday products impact the enviroment? We know it takes forever for a plastic water bottle to degrade, but do we really know how much of our enviroment is impacted to make that bottle? Or your shampoo bottle, or the bottle for your dish soap.....etc. etc. etc.....
Health Care--- Everyone's favorite whipping post. It would be wonderful to have health care for every American. It's not possible without moving towards or directly into socialized medicine. And again, someone has to pay for it. And again, that someone is the regular guy on the street. It flat out means more money out of everyone's pocket....
Housing--- The housing crisis is an individual-created crisis. That means that there is an entire section of this country who bought homes that they couldn't afford based on the idea that we are ENTITLED to own a home in this country. Predatory loans, are a product, and only exist because there's a moron out there that's willing to purchase it. Now, the government (who just bailed out Fannie and Freddie) will be asking you to pay for it, and me, and your kid, and my kid..... Seriously, how much are you willing to pay for your neighbors stupidity??

So here's where I am. I support the McCain/Palin ticket. And I don't agree with all of their positions. But, when I sort through the chaff, the grain works for me. I want a team with political experience. I want a team that has been dedicated to public service, not just politics. I want a team that's willing to cross the aisle to get things done, and I want a team that is unafraid to make the "unpopular" decision. Actually, I want a team that will MAKE a decision, not just talk about it.

Change is always uncomfortable folks...just how uncomfortable are you willing to be??

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

The One Where We Talk About Boobs and Boors

So Sarah Palin wowed them last night at the GOP convention. If I had any questions before, I don't have any now. I'm good with it. Now let's not make any mistakes here, I'm not totally supportive of her platform. I'm not pro-life, and I'm a spiritual person rather than a religious one. But I'm in.....

From my seat, I don't care if she was chosen because she's female. And I don't believe that her gender is the only reason she was chosen. I think in the whole process of vetting and scoring potential candidates she got a few extra points for having boobs. On the Dems side, I find it very hard to believe that Barack didn't get a few extra points for being an African American. We'd be extraordinarily foolish to believe otherwise. The question is, do we take offense? I don't. Life is a plus/minus and people would do well to get right with that. After last night's speech, it's hard to believe that there was any other potential nominee that would have made the kind of connection that this woman did. Score one for the boobs!

Now for the boors. Since the announcement of Palin as McCain's running mate, the press and the interwebz has been buzzing with her personal and family life. Is that perhaps because they have very little to attack her for professionally? Today, rather than address the points that she made, the Obama camp declared it more Bush rhetoric. Mmm-hmm.. I didn't here a single reference to Dubya, did you?

Much has been made about her "lack of experience". Point for point, she actually has more government experience than Barack. Hell, she has more experience than Hillary. I won't say that she's more savvy than Biden, I'll reserve that call for after the debates (and a bit more research on Biden) but I think it'll be a close call.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The One Where I Try And Explain Where The Hell I've Been

Tap tap.....this thing on?? Can you guys in back hear me?? Good........

So, where the hell have I been? Halfway around the world and back. Upside down, inside out and right side up again.

I'll start at the beginning. After almost three years, mountains of paperwork, and enough cash to purchase a new Lexus, Himself and I finally set off to pick up our daughter from China. Now, being that this adventure involves us, you've got to know that our adventures are never run of the mill. If there is a perfect storm, he and I will be in the middle of it. We always come out the other side better for the experience, but we never seem to avoid the rain.

Take our departure for example. Since the flight to Beijing is roughly 14 hours long, and since we both are slightly larger than Barbie and Ken, we decided to purchase a third seat for our flying comfort. Should be a simple task no? Since we were bringing our daughter home, we figured we would have an empty seat flying to and a seat full of child on the return. How silly we are! You may not split that ticket Mr. and Mrs. Nyt. You must purchase seat number three at full price, and then, you have the privilege of purchasing a one way ticket for your daughter at a somewhat discounted price. Oh yes, and by the way, the luggage restrictions are per person, so you will not be entitled to any extra luggage weight for the empty seat. That will be $6700.00 please. For that low, low, price we (the airline) will also leave 6 hours late....feel free to sleep in, but if you miss your flight, we will charge you to change all 3 of your tickets....

Now the funny thing is, I had been up the entire night before we left. I actually had intended to stay up ( it's the way I do jet-lag) What I had not intended was staying up all night puking my guts out. Yes, I'll admit it. When stress gets to me, I get the whoopsies. Once I whoopsie, I continue to whoopsie. Once the whoopsies slow down, any cough or sneeze will start them up again. (laughing will as well). So, when morning arrived, I had nothing in my stomach, I couldn't eat anything for fear of triggering another whoopsie bout, and I (we) had to take our injections (DVT preventitives) before we left the house. Did I mention that I had quit smoking the day before? Yeah... but that didn't add to the stress at all... Oh yeah, then I got to spend six hours hanging around the airport when I only live an hour away. It actually worked out for Himself. My whoopsie all-nighter cost me my voice. At least he couldn't hear me bitch and moan.

BTW, the Nytshde Stops Smoking Experiment of 2008??? FAIL!!

The flight itself was uneventful. Long, but uneventful. I will admit to wanting to poke my husband with something sharp several times, I'm horribly jealous that he can sleep on command.

We arrived in Beijing to some of the most oppressive heat and humidity I have felt in my life. I believe that I announced that we had now arrived in the 7th circle of Hell. Two weeks in country would not change my mind......

Monday, June 02, 2008

The One That Teams With Wild Life

Meet Fred and Ethel.....

Fred and Ethel have taken to using the backyard at House of Nyt as a country club. They don't actually live here, but they like to stop by quite often for a nosh, a cocktail, and some fun in the sun....

Meet The Spinner.......
He looks harmless doesn't he? All cute and fluffy and sweet. Except.........

This is what happens the moment you let The Spinner outside. Now The Spinner is a bird dog, Fred and Ethel are birds. The Spinner should theoretically just point at Fred and Ethel. Notice I said theoretically.....

The spinner treats Fred and Ethel very similar to his football...... Anyone notice the stuffing hanging out the side of the football? I'm trying to keep that from happening to Fred and Ethel. So far, we've been lucky. I've remembered to check outside for Fred & Ethel before I let The Spinner out. I will spare you photos of myself chasing Fred & Ethel.... especially the ones where I chase them at 5:30 in the morning.... Suffice it to say, neither Fred nor Ethel are particularly interested in leaving the country club in any kind of rush. They merely waddle about the yard quacking with annoyance. They have now figured out that the human is good for about three laps, then she's winded. As soon as she's winded, it's safe to go back to whatever you were doing. I need a better way here people..... I obviously can't fire a gun at them, but I need a way to scare them off that doesn't involve a felony, a heart attack, or bits of bone and feather...... any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The One Where The Cards Hit The Table

I thought that this post would come later. I really thought that all of this wouldn't boil over until our journey was complete. I was wrong. Suffice it to say that I have reached the point where it's not good for me, or anyone around me, to hold it in any longer. The universe has spoken, so now I will too...Buckle your seat belts, keep your arms and legs inside the ride, and please remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop...

Way back when, Himself and I decided to complete our family. Our path first led up to adoption, and then on to international adoption. We attended seminars from different agencies, did the research and talked to people who had already adopted. We did everything we knew how to in order to make an informed decision. We tried our hardest to find the perfect "fit". Ultimately, we chose our agency based on their "seminar" and several personal recommendations. The agency we chose, was, at that time, at the top of the local price range. We ignored the financial end of it, and decided that we needed to "extra, personalized" help that they offered. We were clueless to the mechanics of international adoption. This was in the spring of 2005.

By mid summer, the agency phoned us with the news that prices were due to go up, and if we wanted the lower price, we needed to commit then. Never ones to turn down a bargain, we committed. We were going to anyway, the news just served as the little push we needed. We attended another seminar, with other prospective families, and learned about the intricacies of paperwork. At the close of the seminar we were given a Xeroxed list of all the documents we needed to obtain and forms we needed to submit.

Our "paper chase" covered three states, two marriages and one divorce and at least two federal entities. In between filling out forms and waiting for documents to be returned, we were personality tested, inspected, and the like. We started in August of 2005 and by November, we were inches away from being complete. Throughout all of the paperwork, we never heard from our agency. The only contact we had was during our home study and our personality testing. The advertised "step by step" assistance was nowhere to be found. Late in November, himself called with a question. His call was returned immediately, and during the answer portion of the call, he was told that there was only one more dossier group that was going to be sent out for the year and if we wanted to be a part of it, we needed to get our documentation in ASAP.

So we pushed the last portion of the paperwork. I took time from work, we paid extra fees to expedite stamps and approvals. We met with our agency's "paperwork queen" and had our contents checked. We were given a short list of paperwork that we still needed to attend to, and then the "passport" incident occurred. I had kept my maiden name for quite a while after we were married, and my passport needed to be in my married name for the dossier. I spent a day and extra money to get my passport re-issued in a hurry. "Paperwork Queen" flipped through the newly issued passport, and tossed it at me. "This is no good" she declared. I excused myself and went to the washroom. It was the best choice, my only other choice was to slap her. Turns out, the passport was perfectly good, I just hadn't signed the last page.....

Two days before the deadline, I made my way to the agency to turn in all my paperwork. I had an accordion file filled with at least four copies of every piece of paperwork we needed. I handed the entire file to the Paperwork Queen and told her to take whatever she needed. She went through each section pulling copies as she went. When she handed me back the file I asked her if she had everything she needed. She said she did, and I went on my merry way. Later that evening she called to say that she did not have everything that she needed. She was one document short, and if we wanted to make the deadline, we had a fifteen minute window the following morning, to get her the document. We checked the accordion file, the document was there and Himself made the fifteen minute window. Annoyed, but unconcerned we resumed everyday life and waited for the letter that would give us our log in date. When the letter arrived we were astounded to see that our log in date was for 2006 and not 2005. Even though we had made the "deadline" our dossier was not sent with the others, it was held for two weeks. The real cost of this? 4 months of wait time and close to $1000.00. We never received an explanation or an apology. The stage was set for what has ultimately become a wary and contentious relationship.

Time passed. A lot of time. During 2006, we heard nothing from our agency. There were sporadic updates on their website. Updates that encouraged us to be patient, not to talk amongst ourselves, to give no credibility to rumors or opinions from anyone other than them, to pray. In the beginning, when the snail mail would bring us envelopes with the agency's logo on them, we would tear into them eagerly. They never contained anything other than solicitations for donations. We stopped tearing into them and started laughing when they arrived.
In the beginning, we were told that they would keep track of all the important dates for us. Some of the documentation has/had expiration dates. We would go through our paperwork sporadically, checking the dates ourselves. We weren't concerned, after all, our agency would let us know when/if we had to renew something. Ultimately, we came within two weeks of an important document expiring with no warning from our agency. We handled it ourselves and accepted the fact that we were on our own. Very recently, one of our federal documents was due to expire. We quickly renewed it, paying over one hundred dollars to do so. Only afterwards, did we find out that that fee could've been waived. And no, it wasn't our agency that told us.

If any of you have read the last few posts, you already know that the issues continue. You already know that our translation has come in incorrectly not once, but twice. You already know that our personal friend has done most of the translation "unofficially". The most recent? Reminding our agency that we will need an addendum to our home study due to the age of our child at referral time.
The current "wildest" issue? Our daughter was referred to us from a province that our agency has never dealt with before. It appears that we had all of the Institute and contact information before they did.....

As the final leg of this journey approaches, the families involved are coming together. Past and present, these families are sharing information and supporting one another. The saddest part of all of this is that our story is not unique. Other families have had "issues", other families have had their journey marred by the practices of an agency they turned to for guidance and help. Most of them are quiet and polite, some are afraid to articulate their woes, but so many have had their joy tempered. It shouldn't be that way....

For those of us, past and present, the journey is an onerous one. We plod through, we adjust our lives, we adjust our thinking. We wait patiently for a word, a sign, anything, to let us know that we are on the right path, that we are not alone. It reminds me of being a kid, and graduating from the kiddie rides to the big roller coaster. You knew you could ride alone, but it ride was much less frightening when you had someone to grab onto. Most of us were promised a hand to hold, most of us paid for a nanny (agency) to hold our hand. Many of us were bitterly disappointed.

My agency plays their cards close to the vest. They appear to resent anyone or anything that may give their clients more information than they are willing to release. Their attention seems to focus when the checkbook appears and becomes cloudy as soon as the check clears. They control information and opinions fiercely.

Cards on the table.... you are breeding a culture of mistrust and suspicion and resentment. You're clients are going to get the information, whether you want them to or not. They are going to form their own opinions whether you want them to or not. They are going to share that information and those opinions whether you want them to or not. You're holding my hand now though, not because I need to you, but because you need to. See, my process is holding up your process so now, my every thought is important to you.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I lost my sh*t last night. Literally lost it. The aftermath involves a repairman and some replacement purchases. Thank you agency o' mine for the push. After a loss of impulse control and a cocktail I feel much better this morning. Another secret, I'm polite because I have to be, I'm cooperative because I have to be.

Know this agency o'mine, I may have slapped the cards on the table, but I'm not the one holding aces and eights......

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The One Where I Trade Frustration for Exhaustion

The process is sucking the zoom-zoom right out of me. My current issue, the translation.....You know, the one that every family waits for? Yeah, that one. Ours was supposed to be available Monday. Our agency chose to use a translation service out of Georgia and this past week-end, the Southeast suffered though some pretty heavy weather. No power means no translation. I needed the translation to be able to keep an appointment with a University Adoption Clinic. Clinic is held once a week, and if I miss this one, I'll have to wait until next week. And so will all the other waiting families. Himself and I have refused to sign an acceptance until we get an opinion from a doctor. Monday, we left the social worker's office with some photos, and the a copy of the original Chinese referral. I'm thinking that the doc doesn't read Chinese.....assurances were given that the translation would arrive in my inbox the following morning.

As if.......

Rather than being able to take care of the regular "business" of life, I spent the morning hitting refresh on my inbox every few minutes. By eleven I had to get dressed in my grown-up clothes for a noon meeting with some financial advisors. Just as I was stepping into the shower, a phone call from the social worker....the translation will not arrive until later in the afternoon. I'm not surprised by the delay, but I am surprised that forty minutes have gone by. Ten of those minutes were devoted to me asking the questions that I needed to and relaying my displeasure with the whole "our translator is official" thing. (we could have had an un-official translation done by a friend of ours over a week ago) The other thirty minutes were devoted to her pouring on her sugary platitudes. Gah!

I hang up with her and immediately call the financial guy. Crap! Voice mail. I leave a message that I'm running fifteen minutes behind. I throw myself into the shower, slap on some make-up and clothes, stuff the spinning dog into the kitchen (please Lord, let his bladder be relatively empty) and jump in the car. The car, is the equivelent of a rolling garbage dump. Complete with copious amounts of bird poop. We've been tending to spring chores on the outside of the house, so we've used both the Nytmobile and Vanbo to carry around all different kinds of ourdoorsy stuff, and since there is currently numerous yards of mulch residing in the middle of my driveway, whoever gets home first gets the garage, the other party is forced onto the street with it's many wildlife laced trees. Obviously I was refreshing my inbox when I should have been at the car wash....

Halfway to my destination, finance guy calls, he hasn't checked his voice mail and is itchy for me to arrive...grrrr...I'll be there in five minutes. I breeze in to finance guy's office, meet him (we've only spoken on the phone) and his partner (I didn't know he was working with one). I know the partner, he was a regular at a bar that I worked at, and on top of that he's friends with the one owner of that bar that I can't stand. Sh*t! Now on top of being late, frustrated, and flustered, I have to watch my P's and Q's as well!?! Crap! I hate this small world thingy!

In the middle of the pitch (errr...meeting) syrupy social worker calls to inform me that the translation is now in my inbox. I inform her that I am nowhere near my inbox, that I'm in a meeting and I will check my inbox as soon as I
get home. "That's alright" she coos. "I just wanted to let you know it was there and let you know that your child has a small, but very common malformation but not to get upset". Splendid! Thanks for the warning. I'll look at it when I get home. The meeting continues, finance guy makes the play for the stuff I clearly told him was not up for discussion, partner smooths it over, and I leave them with the understanding that I will get in touch with them in the next few weeks.

A quick stop for some food (was I supposed to eat? Seriously, I don't remember) and a pick-up from Walgreens (I was three hours late for that) and I'm home checking the inbox.

Now there is a story here (isn't there always?) From the photos we received, it appears that our child was prepped for adoption to another family in September of 2006. For whatever reason, that adoption never took place. As I'm reading the translation, I notice that we have two sets of bloodwork, with different results but the same dates. Truth, fiction, or simple error? Um, yeah, the dates are 2006. Entire sections were marked as "illegible" by the translator, but characters are clearly visible on the Chinese copy. At least one section of the translation still contains the Chinese characters, but with no English translation. The only developmental report is from 2006.


Back to the phone and the syrupy social worker. "It's probably just a mistake, I can't read Chinese, but I'm sure that everything is just fine." Followed by the one that almost pushed me to a loss of impulse control, "Well, I'm sure that your friend can clear up any discrepancies with the translation". After a deep breath, I voiced my concern about having a developmental report that is over a year and a half old. "Well, certainly we can ask, but it may not be happen, I can ask our Chinese contact to look into it, but....." That tears it folks, Miss Nyt has reached critical mass. I sweetly informed the syrupy social worker that if her Chinese contact couldn't get to it, mine could. And that I have all of the information that I need to reach the Welfare Institute, and the Director of the Institute and that our friend's wife (Chinese) is an attorney who spent a portion of her career finalizing adoptions on the U.S. side. I'm pretty certain I can tend to the matter myself. The panic from her was palpable. She informed me that the CCAA gives agencies a hard time when families go outside the boundaries. I acknowledged her concerns, but in my head the only thing I could think was "tough sh*t". As it stands right now, our friend is currently re-translating all of the Chinese documents and comparing them to the "official" translation. Oh, and all those sections marked "illegible" aren't....

The "stupid" is exhausting me. If the doctor received the "official" translation in time, I will spend $500.00 and an evening listening to the doc opine on information that is over a year old. The medical may be close to current, but obviously, the developmental will not be. Shall we discuss the $1850.00 that my lovely agency charges as a referral fee? You know, the one that covers translation? The translation that is incomplete and inaccurate? The one that our friend is having to re-do? I shudder to think what it will cost to properly "thank" our friend and his wife for all their help. Did I mention that this entire process causes one to hemorrhage money? I shall not, after all it would be in poor taste to do so.......And heaven forbid I do or say anything that might be in "poor taste"... :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The One Where Everything Changes Yet Stays The Same

After almost three years, we finally got a glimpse of exactly who is going to change our lives. Thousands of miles away from here is a child who we will call our own, a child who we will willingly sacrifice everything for, a child who will fill our hearts as we will do our best to fill hers.
Meet our Jade.....

So now that everything has changed, everything is still the same. Our agency still does not have our translation. They were kind enough to give us a copy of the original Chinese paperwork (which they could have done more than a week ago, and I could be working with an "unofficial" translation) and I'm awaiting the translation via e-mail. I need the translation for the consultation with the doctor, who only does consults on Wednesdays, and who needs the paperwork prior to the Wednesday evening appointment. If the translation doesn't arrive today, I will have to reschedule the appointment for the following week, and delay our acceptance for another week. This will also hold up travel plans for the rest of the families. Le Sigh......

As usual there has been no acknowledgment of the current events in China, just an e-mail that Bill, his family, and the adoptive family traveling with him are alright. Nevermind the waiting families who's travel may be delayed due to the events...and nevermind the condition of the referred children and their Welfare Institute. We feel very blessed in an odd sort of way that our daughter is currently in the northernmost province of China, an area that was virtually unaffected by the quake.

There is also the fact that we appear to be the only family with a child in that province, and our agency has never dealt with them before. It could be complicated....there is no acknowledgment of that....

I've been thinking about yesterday's post, and as I sit here now, I'm more committed to my position than ever. My child will be two and a half years old before she finds her way to her "forever" family. We know that at least twenty-five of those months have been spent in the Welfare Institute, under the watchful eye of her caregiver, and for that, we feel lucky. But, it does mean that in the whole grand scheme of things, I will be my child's third mother. She will have her birth mother, her "house" mother, and her last mother. It makes me a non-mom mom people.... and I'm perfectly alright with that. It makes me different from other mom's, it makes my kids vision of the world a bit different than that of her peers. My child is old enough to have memory of at least one of these women and their contribution to her life must be acknowledged. There is a woman out there who has tended to her every need, loved her, watched her roll over, crawl, helped her stand, watched her take her first steps, fed her, taught her to feed herself, laughed with her, cried with her, kissed boo-boos, and shaped who this tiny child is. We owe her not only a debt of gratitude, but a measure of respect for everything, and every little piece of her soul she has given up.

Many of you have adopted your children as actual babies. Maybe they were months old, maybe they were a year old, but they passed milestones and developed in many ways with you. My child will develop with me as well, but not in the ways that other children and "regular" moms do. And, I'll never pretend that she did. I may want to, I may have those moments of insecurity where I may crave the validation, but I promise, I will not allow myself to be that weak. I will not be weak for my child and I will not be weak for myself. I hope to send my grown child out into the world with an unshakable sense of self, and an appreciation for all that the world and the people in it have to offer. For those reasons, and a few more, I will relish the title of non-mom, and I will celebrate the women who have contributed to to life of an amazing child.

I've read so much about this topic in the last few days, and my thoughts and opinions certainly won't win me any popularity contests. I am the grown adopted child. Adopted by a woman who was adopted herself. I am the child who looked nothing like her Mom. (I was tow-headed with skin so light it was almost clear, my mom was olive-skinned with black hair) I am the grown-up child who was asked repeatedly throughout my life if that was my real mom and if I was adopted. I am the child that knew for as long as I can remember that someone else gave me blue eyes, someone else brought me into this world, but someone else, my mom, gave me a family. That's the part that's important, and that's the part that's different. And that's also the part that will always be different, no matter what path I walk in life.

For all of you that find judgements in labels, for all of you that scrabble to join the ranks of the ordinary, I beg of you, get over yourselves. For your kids sake....cowboy up. Live the life that you were given and embrace it. Stop trying to slap the square peg into the round hole. None of this is about you, it's about your child and their vision of themselves and their family. It's time to get right with who and what you are, it's time to get right with your reality. The world is never going to be as PC, or as kind, or as considerate as you might like it to be. Prepare your kids for that. In retrospect, my parents gave me all the tools from the very beginning. In retrospect, I used them fearlessly. I remember being in kindergarten and one of the other children saw my mother and asked me if it was my "real" mom. I told the kid it was my "real" mom and then I was asked why I didn't look like her. Fearlessly, I answered that the mom he was looking at was out of eggs, so she had to use an "egg" mom. Ms. Huizenga (the kindergarten teacher) is probably still in therapy to this day because she had to explain to a kindergarten class about eggs and remains, to this day, one of the finest scenes I have ever created. The point here is that my mother was different, and when it was acknowledged that she was different, it no longer became an issue, for her, for me and for other people around us. I was different, it was acknowledged and everyone moved on. Adoption, the idea of having another mother, never seemed any different than having 10 fingers and 10 toes. It was the reality, and it was embraced.

Enough for today...