Friday, January 28, 2011

He's My "Ken"

So, today I get a call from Hubby just before lunch.  A co-worker/buddy of his has passed a major licensing test and they are going out to celebrate after work.  Ok.  I'm fine with that.  The catch to this one - they want me to come along.  Hubby says I will not be the only one.  His work-wife's real-life husband and son will be there and so-and-so is calling her husband to come.  Great.  What am I supposed to say?  Its not that I'm not happy for co-worker/buddy.  I am.  I just have enough trouble with social situations involving people I know and have things in common with.  He pointed out that our daughter has an after-school activity so we won't be leaving her home and lonely.  There goes my excuse.  I'm going to go to this thing and not know what to say to anyone.  I will sit quietly at Hubby's side and let him be the social one since it is his function.  The trouble there is Hubby isn't exactly Mr. Social Butterfly.  Maybe it will be different since he is comfortable around these people.  Maybe he will prove me wrong and be a Chatty Kathy all evening.  I really considered saying no when he asked if I'd come but what kind of wife would I be if I didn't support him in his supporting others?  So, I'll go.  I'll have a soda since its a pub and I don't drink (neither does Hubby).  I will smile.  I will laugh when appropriate.  I will speak when spoken to.  I will be "Wife Barbie".  I will be a non-blonde, non-sexy, non-skinny trophy wife - there for no purpose aside from  . . . well . . . I would say looking cute but . . . I've seen me.  But I will remember that he loves me and would do the same for me.  So this is what they mean by "wifely duties".  I always thought that was just sex.  This is much more difficult.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peace, Love, and Pajamas

And today on a lighter note - I love my pajamas.  I stay in them all day if I possibly can.  My family even has "Pajama Days" where we do.  If I didn't have to go to work and retrieve food from the local mega-store, I would live in my pajamas.  There is nothing more comfy and fun than a pair of fuzzy flannels with duckies or monkeys or owls all over.  I love my jammies so much that I have no problem going out in the car in them.  I drop my daughter off for school some days in them.  I pick her up from activities in them.  I will even go through a restaurant drive-thru in them.  I see nothing wrong with this.  My daughter has grown accustomed to seeing me waiting in the car in my pajamas.  My hubby thinks I am insane.  He does not agree with my casual-day-to-the-extreme attitude.  He thinks if you leave the house for any reason, you should get dressed.  I agree with that to a point.  If you are going further than the driveway/mailbox or are getting out of the car, then by all means, get dressed.  But for most of us our car is just an extension of our home anyway.  Why not feel comfortable there?  I wish it was socially acceptable to wear my jammies everywhere.  Imagine being that comfy and cozy at work.  Or how much better shopping would be if you were able to do it in your jammies.  Many people enjoy these now through the magic of the internet.  What is the big attraction to working or shopping from home?  That you can do it in your jammies.  I think that if we all wore our jammies around, we'd be a lot nicer as a people in general.  Can you really be rude to someone decked out in a sheep print?  Could you get made at someone wearing a cows jumping over the moon print?  I think the world would be a much better place if we all wore our jammies around.  Maybe this is it.  The answer to world peace.  Pajamas.  Someone call the UN and tell them I've solved world peace with my jammies.  Now if only I could solve world hunger with my Snuggie.  Hmmmmm . . .

Monday, January 24, 2011

Depression 101

Depression.  By definition - a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, and feelings of dejection.  In reality - a living hell.  You can feel sad, yes, but more importantly and more often than not you just feel confused.  You want to do things but you don't.  You don't know why.  You can't stay focused.  You can't commit to anything or follow through on anything.  You don't want to be alone but you don't want to have to deal with people either.  There is no making you happy.  Your thoughts are scattered.  You ask yourself "What's wrong with me?"  You are disgruntled, mostly at yourself.  Some people think depression is just getting sad or being sad and its so much more, much deeper than that.  You sleep a lot.  To avoid reality.  The average person gets tired and looks at the couch and wants to lie down.  The depressed person looks at the couch, is tired, and wants to crawl under it and hide.  Nobody understands.  Your motto becomes "Why?  What's the point?" and you honestly can't answer that question.  The things that used to make you smile now just make you think.  Everything starts to look pointless, then hopeless.  You stay in.  Seclude yourself.  Think about going out but think "Why bother?"  You get pangs of loss but you haven't lost anything.  You think of yourself as not worth it.  You feel like a failure at everything.  You feel as though you may cease to exist.  You may even wish that you ceased to exist.  Nothing is good.  Nothing is comforting.  Nothing is all there is.  Its a deep black hole without a bottom that you are free falling through without any control.  Its amazing how much you can cry yet you don't know why you're crying at all.  People will tell you to cheer up.  Its not that easy.  Every cell in your brain and your body says the opposite.  People will tell you to snap out of it.  If you could, you would.  Don't they know that.  It is a frustrating disorder made further frustrating because it is misunderstood.  The more people try to help, the further away you push them.  Usually till they give up and you have nobody.  But that's what you've felt all along.  Like you have nobody.  You feel alone.  All alone.  Like it will never end.

If you or anyone you know feel this way, please contact a professional for help.  Therapy and medication management are amazing things that can have a great impact on your life.  You don't have to feel this way and its not your fault that you do.  There is help out there.  Just have the strength and the courage to ask.  There should be no shame in asking for help.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Moving On, Hanging Out and Trying to Look Up

So over the last few days I've been trying to rebound from the catastrophe that was the match meeting.  I'm still not exactly sure what happened there, but they never called to schedule an interview.  I guess we are out of the running which is fine by us.  They really don't seem to want this little girl to get adopted for some reason.  I don't know why.  In the meantime, I have seen about five hundred commercials about adoption stating "you don't have to be a perfect parent" and that "kids in foster care need you".  Um . . . ok.  Then why do they make this process so hard?  But I need to put this behind me and focus on more positive things.  The problem being I can't really come up with many positive things that are happening right now.  I tried to come up with a cheerier topic for today, but just couldn't.  There is the possibility that we may rent our house soon but that has fallen through so many times in the past that I have learned not to get my hopes up.  Our daughter has her first winterguard competition coming up next weekend, but they are nowhere near finished with their routine.  So I may be paying $200 to watch her stand there for large portions of the show.  Today will be spent here in the house trying to find creative outlets to keep my attitude on the up.  I am trying to be optimistic about things but I'm just not sure how right now.  I'm trying not to let the depression creep in but it is so easy to let it consume you.  For those of you who have never experienced depression or had someone in your life with diagnosed depression, it can be very hard to understand.  Its not an easy subject to tackle but I will attempt to get my thoughts together on the topic and have an informative blog about it tomorrow.  I look forward to depressing you in the future.  Well, that came out wrong.  Hell, you know what I mean.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Under the Microscope

I feel defeated.  I finally heard from our case worker and now we have to go for an interview at the other county's social services office.  Its not that I mind the drive.  Its not that I mind answering their questions.  The thing is I don't know what more I can say than what is in our homestudy.  If they don't want us, then eliminate us.  Simple as that.  Just more hoops to jump through.  I'm tired of jumping through hoops.  I'm tired of making phone calls.  I'm tired of shopping for kids online.  I'm tired of leaving messages.  I'm tired of sending emails.  I'm just tired.  This is the first time I have really felt like throwing in the towel.  I don't want to go there and argue and defend myself as to why I would make a great parent.  I have a happy, healthy, well-adjusted sixteen year old daughter.  Can you get much more proof than that?  And all this when I don't even know in my gut if this is the right girl for us or not.  Its like they want a sure thing before they give us the ok.  How can they get a sure thing when we have nothing to go on?  We haven't seen here background information.  We haven't seen her history.  We haven't met the child but its like they want to know that the whole adoption will go smoothly before they go any further.  And in the meantime, they demean us and our case worker.  They question everything that we do.  Every choice that we make.  How do you not take that personally?  They grilled our case worker to the point where she became frustrated.  I have just convinced myself through much therapy that you can't control the "what ifs" in life.  But now I'm going to have to answer all of their "what ifs".  I don't want to play that game.  Its one thing to try to promote yourself and your family through this process.  Its an entire other beast to have to defend yourself and your family which is what I feel we're are about to face.  I have a happy family and a good life and I thought sharing that with another child would be a great thing.  Maybe not.  Trying to keep my spirits up is extremely difficult.  I can feel the depression is looming.  Where's my medication?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Death By Anticipation

Today was the match meeting for one of our potential daughters.  A match meeting is where you've gotten past round one - the social worker - and are entered into round two.  It is where a board of people looking out for the best interest of the child get together and discuss any families the social worker may bring to the table.  We are represented at this meeting by our social worker.  She is there to speak on our behalf.  Today was a match meeting.  It was at 10:30 am.  I got home at 2:00 pm to nothing.  Not an email message.  Not a phone message.  I've checked my home phone, my cell phone, even Hubby's cell phone.  Nothing.  I checked my email.  Nothing.  How does this happen?  This is our future we are talking about here.  This girl may be our potential daughter or may have been ruled out.  One or the other.  But I have no idea!  I mean this is big time important and she just doesn't let us know.  My big fear is that she forgot to even go.  That would just be the icing on the cake for this whole process.  I've sent an email to her but have gotten no response yet.  Even as I write this I keep switching over to my email to check and see if she has responded.  I'm a bit anxious.  I don't really know which way I want this to turn out but I do know one thing - I just want to get it over with and get an answer.  I spent the day nesting away at work.  Cleaning out drawers.  Cleaning of my desk.  Cleaning out my wallet.  Anything I could purge, I did.  Just to keep my mind off of things.  I thought for sure when I got home from work there would be a message of some kind.  Every time I check my email I hold my breath just to have the incoming message be some promotional ad from some business.  What am I supposed to do now?  This is killing me!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Tax Man Cometh

I am super stressed.  Tax time is officially here.  I know that because I have seen approximately fifty H&R Block commercials in the last half hour.  Its still three months until I have to have them done, but our taxes are already freaking me out.  Sure, my OCD doesn't make the whole process any easier.  I have to do a trial run.  Then I have to do a check of the trial run.  Then I do a real copy.  Then I compare the real copy and the trial run hoping there are no discrepancies or else I have to start all over again.  Then, if everything agrees, I have to do a final copy.  Then I make photocopies of the final copy (usually two photocopies) and file them all away in my file drawer.  To make life easier, I could have them done by a professional.  Simple, right?  No.  Not a chance.  See the problem lies in the fact that I have kept no records of anything over the last year.  Medical expenses - no.  Donations to charity - no.  I have been a totally irresponsible adult when it comes to our financial records.  Now, I could do what I have done in the past and just short myself whatever I am rightly owed in exchange for the ease of the standard deduction and an EZ form.  However this year, my husband's company has started to put money in his 401K.  This is diving into a realm that I have no idea how to handle.  Since I have scrimped on the organization of receipts, I must try to educate myself on this new addition.  Go through all the ridiculous rules and changes to see what is what.  Then for next year, there is also the possible added bonus of having rental income/expenses and adoption credits.  But you are my witness, I am vowing to not be so financially naughty in 2011.  I will keep track of receipts.  I will keep a record of donations.  And best of all, I will take that shoebox full of all that crap someone else to do my taxes. 
Now, did I get our 2010 W-2 forms and if I did where did I put them?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

If You're Friends and You Know it Say "Hello"

Friendships are work.  For those of us with social anxiety this is especially true.  I have learned over the years that if I want to remain friends with someone that I no longer see on a regular basis, it takes effort.  Someone has to call or email or suggest you do lunch or something.  Social networking sites like facebook have made this task easier but because of this new fangled way of keeping in touch, I am having trouble with a new group of people in my life - the silent friends.  You have to know what I am talking about.  They are those people that you once knew and were great friends with but for one reason or another you no longer see each other.  They are your friend on facebook but you never ever here from them.  They don't comment on anything.  They don't message you about anything.  They don't even respond to postings that you have made on their profiles.  Facebook is a great tool, but it can also help you to feel like crap.  You can see that the person is on the site.  They are posting pictures or something of that nature but yet they don't respond to your "hello".  But they keep you on their friend list.  Why?  I don't know.  If they don't want to be friends with you then why remain "friends" with you?  It makes no sense.  Don't they know they are doing the virtual equivalent of ignoring you.  You're right there and yet you are not worth responding to.  Nice.  Maybe its just me.  Maybe everyone else is having a great time with all of their friends on facebook all the time but I can't help think that there are others out there who find this lack of interaction depressing.  Every time I cut folks from my friend list, I look at these particular people and don't know why I can't hit delete but I don't.  I guess I'm just a glutton  for punishment.  Maybe I expect too much but it really annoys me.  Should I be taking this one-sided relationship as a huge hint that they no longer are interested in being friends.  So, as an effort to resolve this dilemma, I encourage you all to go through your friend list and either delete people or post something on their wall.  You should be able to do one or the other.  If you keep them, post a greeting or send a message.  You never know.  You may really brighten someones day.  As the saying goes, "To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sex Education: The Musical Version

***Warning:  This blog contains some material that may not be suitable for younger readers.***
So I thought I was doing something nice and I bought tickets for my family to go see a show at City Playhouse.  City is close, only about 15 minutes away, and the show, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee", sounded cute and endearing.  I had a "coupon" for an outing of my choice that I had won during our Christmas Eve Wii Tournament.  So I decided to cash it in.  I went online and bought the tickets.  Two adults and one student.  $42.  Not too bad.  Then the next day I noticed on the facebook event page that if you click to "see more" and scroll down there is the following message:  "**WARNING** Parents, be wary of bringing children. Vulgar language and dirty humor run this show. Really, I mean it. If you don't want to be holding your child's ears the whole performance, don't spend the money to buy them a ticket! Have a nice day :)"  Nice of them to put this front and center so everyone could see before they bought their tickets.  When I went to the City Playhouse site to purchase my tickets, there was no warning.  There was a synopsis of the show that made it sound nice and wholesome but no warning.  I messaged one of the cast members (who had messaged those attending) asking about the level of language and dirty humor and was told to find the show on Youtube and watch the musical numbers.  I did this and well, there is a whole number dedicated to an erection.  That's right I said an erection.  I was livid.  Now my daughter is older and has probably heard worse things on the school bus but its the principle of the thing.  If I am going to purchase your product and you are not going to offer any refunds, there should be some warning posted somewhere on your site.  The only place where this warning was was on the facebook event page and even then you had to click to "see more" and scroll down.  The warning should pop up on the City Playhouse site BEFORE you buy the tickets.  So now I am out $42.  I don't want to take my daughter to see this show because I'm not sure if the erection song is the worst of the show's humor or the best of it.  I am attempting to have the box office release my tickets to me in advance so that I can have the option to try to resell the tickets to someone else.  From now on no more trying to do something nice for anyone.  Look what's its gotten me.  A little musical sex education.  Anyone interested in buying some tickets?

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White Tuesday

Tonight and tomorrow they are calling for snow in Suburbia and I am so excited.  We are even in a winter weather advisory.  I love when it snows.  Now I'm not talking about a dusting of snow although that does get me a little excited. But just a little bit.  No. I'm talking about there's-no-point-in-shoveling-because-its-just-gonna-snow-over-again-before-I'm-finished snow.  Even though I am a full grown adult, I can barely sleep when I know it is supposed to snow overnight.  In the morning, I love to get up with my daughter and watch the television screen waiting for her school's name to flash across bottom with the word closed after it.  It brings back great memories of sitting and listening as the radio announcer alphabetically listed the names of all the schools in the Hometown area that were closed.  The joy that hearing that one little word could bring.  I love it because I have a flexible job and can stay home if it snows too bad.  There is just something about being stuck at home all comfy and cozy for the whole day with mugs of cocoa.  Its like a dream day for me.  Like its own mini-vacation.  No worries.  No cares.  No obligations.  Just rest and relaxation.  An unexpected gift.  A surprise extra 24 hours of me-time with no guilt attached.  I think it helps that my daughter is older and there is no "will you go sledding with me" and "let's build a snowman".  I don't have to deal with packing on layers of clothes just to have to take them off again because someone has to pee before they go outside.  Nope.  I look forward to the snow.  And why am I writing this today and not tomorrow when the snow is actually here.  Because I don't trust the weatherman.  Too many times they have gotten my hopes up calling for snow just to be let down when there is no white stuff to be found.  So today I revel in my anticipation because tomorrow - ITS GOING TO SNOW!  YAY!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Not as Seen on TV

I have OCD.  For those of you who think you know about the disorder, this may come as a shock.  We are not all germaphobes who vaccuum our houses 24/7.  My house is a mess and I'm fine with that.  I even have pictures hanging up that aren't totally straight.  Yes, I prefer to have things piled from largest to smallest but the thing is not all people with OCD have the type of disease depicted on television.  It is a very frustrating disease.  The one thing they never show you is just how exhausting the disorder can be.  Your mind is always going - constantly thinking.  Its like having a song that is stuck in your head all day.  You know how annoying that can be.  Now imagine repeating things in your life like that constantly - both mentally and physically.  Imagine never being sure of yourself.  Always doubting if you did something or said something.  Using key words or actions to help you remember that you did something and those key words or actions becoming rituals that you must do in order to prevent something bad from happening.  You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach the moment you realize you've locked your keys inside your car?  Now multiply that feeling by ten at least and insert it into your day about 150 times.  That's what its like to have OCD.  You have to have others make decisions for you because you're too afraid the one you make will be wrong.  You have to do things twenty times just to be sure you did them (and most likely because twenty is a nice even number).  Through the marvels of modern medicine I am able to function at a fairly normal level.  I get to work on time now because I don't have to drive home to make sure I locked the door.  I can go to bed without getting up five times to check that the stove is off.  I can even throw away a box or two here or there.  There are even some advantages to having the disorder.  We're great with names and faces.  We are usually quite organized (even if its just that we know where everything is with in our mess).  We are usually good at doing math in our heads because we are always adding random numbers we see in various places.  We have great attention to detail.  Just don't be fooled by what you see portrayed on television.  There is much more to someone who has OCD than just what you see on "Monk".

For an accurate and humorous description of one woman's struggle with OCD, please read "Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood" by Jennifer Traig.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Itching for Equality

I just heard on the news about a boy in Virginia who is fighting the school board to allow him to be able to take his seizure sensing dog to school.  Now, I am all for seeing eye dogs, therapy dogs, seizure sensing dogs, etc. but as a person with severe allergies that trigger my asthma, I see a problem with this.  What if there are children who are allergic to dogs in his classroom?  I'm not talking about a little sneeze here or there which is bad enough.  I'm talking about eyes that are swollen shut, sneezing that won't stop, and airway constriction that is life threatening.  Are they just to stay home so he can go to school?  What happens in today's society when you have conflicting disabilities?  When does one disability take precedence over another and who is to make that call?  My daughter has to take medication just so she can be near people at school who have dogs at home.  What if this were happening in her school?  I feel for the child - really I do - and I hope that he doesn't encounter someone with an opposing disability.  I just can't help but wonder "what if"?  I am always afraid when I am scheduled to be in a confined space such as an airplane that someone with a disability aiding animal will be there too.  People are quick to pull out the Americans with Disabilities Act.  What they don't realize is that there are others with disabilities too.  So many people think that everyone with allergies can just take a Benedryl and go on their merry way, but that's not the case for everyone.  I take prescription allergy medication just to be able to function each day and that is with avoiding contact with the things I am allergic to.  Allergies can be life-threatening.  I hope by posting this that I can open the eyes of some people who see one disability as lesser than another.  I'm not the mean old lady who doesn't want seizure dogs in school.  I'm the lady who could die if I taught there.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where's My Rosie?

This is a note to any men out there in the cyber world who may end up reading this.  Women love shopping.  Well, most women as far as I can tell.  There is something however that you must understand about this love of shopping.  FOOD SHOPPING DOES NOT COUNT.  I'm sorry.  I know that some may argue that shopping is shopping but food shopping is a whole beast of its own.  There is nothing exciting about making a list, filling up the cart, sticking to a budget and lugging it all into the house to put it away.  It should not even be called shopping.  It should be called torture.  There is nothing to try on there.  No colors to choose from.  No clearance rack . . . no, I stand corrected on that one.  Have you ever seen the clearance rack at the grocery store?  Its sad really.  Everything is bashed and dented and smashed beyond recognition.  There are no sweet finds on the clearance rack at the grocery store.  The whole process is excruciating - picking items off the shelf and putting them in the cart like a robot.  That's what they should invent.  A robot to do your grocery shopping for you.  You could just scan in your list and then hit the Starbucks and wait while your own little personal robot gathers your necessities.  That would be great.  I would so go to a store that offered that service.  I'd even pay more for the groceries.  I have heard of some places that do grocery delivery.  You simply shop on-line and the groceries are delivered to your door.  There's only two catches: 1) You have to live in their ridiculously limited delivery area and 2) You have to sell your first born to be able to afford the groceries.  I'm all for paying more for a good service but a $7  half gallon of milk is a bit ridiculous.  So men, back to you, we do not like to grocery shop.  It is not real shopping.  It is merely gathering.  We are gatherers, yes, but if you want to go with that arguement, that makes you the hunters and I don't imagine many of you willing to slay tonight's main course.  I just need to find someone who likes grocery shopping to do it for me.  That's it.  I just need my own personal assistant.  That would solve a lot of my problems.  And if it were a robot like I mentioned before, I wouldn't have to pay it a salary.  Just the one time cost of purchase then charge her up and away she goes.  A robot maid.  Like on "The Jetsons".  Hmmmm...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Warning: Devastation Ahead?

Have you ever wanted something so much that you could feel it in your heart?
Have you ever wanted something so much that it was all you thought about?
Have you ever wanted something so much that it was all you could talk about?
Have you ever wanted something so much that you wanted to shout out loud?
Have you ever wanted something so much that you wished it to come true?
Have you ever wanted something so much that you didn't want to wait?
Have you ever wanted to not want something so much but had no control?
Have you ever felt so vulnerable as when you wanted something so much?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

10 in 2010

As this extended new year's weekend passed, I thought more about the year ending and a new year beginning.  So many people focus on the new year and what it holds, they forget about the year that just passed and what they may have learned.  So I decided to take stock and look back to remind myself of the top ten things I learned in 2010.

10) My life is not exciting enough to blog about it every day.
9) You can shop without buying something.
8) There is such a thing as too much NCIS.
7) Wii Fit is tough and exhausting.
6) I am a grown-up no matter how hard I try not to be.
5) My dad is amazing.
4) Bad things don't just happen in threes.
3) Walking in a snuggie is an acquired skill.
2) Birds can detect tornadoes.
1) The child welfare system in this country is majorly whacked up.