Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What. a. day.

My not-so-good day started when I headed out of the office for a home visit and lunch. I had to stop off at the post office to mail my nephew his birthday present. It cost $27 to mail the package I mailed. Yes, I said $27. I bought the box on Sunday because it was the only choice at Walgreens. N is out of town and I realized that the box was so big it was literally impossible to take the box and the baby into the post office at the same time. So I figured I would stop on my way to my home visit this morning. $27!!! That is $9 more than I paid for what was in the package. This was just regular mail too, it will still be late even after paying that much. Note to self, do not buy the next size box just because it is convenient. When left the post office I drove toward my participant's house (aka the 'hood). As I am driving there I realize that I have my purse with me. I never bring my purse with me to the bad neighborhoods, but seeing as how I had to go to the PO to mail the package I had to bring it. I also realized about this time that I am headed to the building where a colleague from another agency called and warned me that a co-worker of hers had her car stolen from in front of the building at like 10am. I've been there since then and told myself everything would be fine. I pulled up on the side of the apartment building and saw a large group of men gathered in front. I do not spook easily, but something just wasn't sitting right. I drove off and called my participant and rescheduled. Better safe than sorry. So I didn't get to do what I needed to, but I figured maybe I would treat myself to lunch since I was near one of my favorite Greek places. I got a yummy gyro and was happy that it didn't take as long as usual. This Greek place is near my house so I drove back to the office the way I drive to work everyday. Thanks to the closure of a very huge interstate, this includes driving through a famous city park including a fabulous, and free, Zoo. Apparently every single effing person in the city was headed to the Zoo at the same time I was cutting through the park. It took me 45 minutes to go less then 2 miles through the park. I actually tried not to let it bother me. I figured that I got to enjoy a nice quiet ride through the park on my lunch break. How nice. Right. So when I finally got back to the office I parked in the street in front of our building like I always do. I got out and headed toward the door. A lady in a scooter was riding by and I looked at her and smiled with my yummy gyro in hand and she looked at me and said "you know it's pretty rude to take up 2 spots like you have by not pulling forward or backing up". I looked at her and said that I park here every day. She said she knew that (I guess she saw the work logo on my shirt) and she kept riding to the front of our office. What the heck? I park that way because the stupid people who don't want to pay for Science Center parking squeeze so close to my car that I have to do a 17 point turn to get out of the spot! And who the heck was she to tell me how to park!?! This is when I realized that I guess I was a little more irritated by the traffic than I realized. I brush it off and head inside really anxious to eat my yummy gyro. A very kind, but very chatty man I work with walked in and began to chatter about something that I really didn't understand. I tried to kindly ask him to give me some time to relax after my busy morning and come back later. He got the hint and I started heading toward the bathroom to wash my hands before lunch. On my way I see my boss who says that one of my other participants is in the front and wants to talk to me. She can see on my face that it is not a good time and says she would ask him to give me a few minutes. I walked to the bathroom and as I was walking out I see my participant in the hall! My boss was great about explaining that I was in the middle of something (in the bathroom I guess) and asked him to give me a few. I told him it was not a good time and asked him to call me later. I felt pretty bad about this later but also a little annoyed that he just showed up and expected me to drop everything to deal with his situation. I still called later and apologized. I walked back to my office and ate my long-awaited gyro from the Gyro House. Yum. About an hour later I pumped and did something I was always afraid I would do. I spilled my liquid gold ALL OVER MY DESK. Yes, not only did my son's lunch for tomorrow drip sadly onto the floor, but it also covered my desk, my chair and me. Boo. So to help myself bounce back from my pumping catastrophe, I jumped back into the many phone calls I had to finish today. I ran to the copier and on my way back caught a glimpse of delicious looking M&Ms in a jar on someone's desk. I am not the type to steal other people's candy, so I got a dollar out of my purse and headed to the snack machine to settle my craving. They didn't have regular M&Ms, which is what I really wanted, so I settled for the peanut. I watched the M&Ms start to move as the silver spinny things turn and experience the same anxiety I always do while I wait and wonder if my days sucks so badly that the candy will get stuck in the machine leaving me stranded and forced to take out my anger physically against the machine, but my luck had changed. The peanut M&Ms dropped down successfully. Behind the very bag I purchased sat the only bag of regular M&Ms. Ahhh, the irony. I considered getting another dollar and buying the ones I really wanted, but I just stuck with the peanut ones. It's amazing how little things can make or break your day. BBZ must have had a rough day too because he crashed when we got home. He fell asleep around 5:15pm and I woke him up around 6pm thinking that I really didn't want him to be in bed for the night. He woke up in the best mood and he ate some apples with rice cereal and some cooked pieces of carrots. We played his new favorite game ba-ba-ba -ba, which involves him strumming, yes strumming, a ukulele while singing ba-ba-ba-ba. A North Mississippi Allstars song came on the we just had to dance to so I whisked him up and started spinning with him around the room. He put his thumb in his mouth and snuggled into my chest in a way that he only does when he is really sleepy. He patted me on the shoulder and I felt him *say* how much he loves me. He is just amazing. What. a. day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Look alike contest!

Ok, not really a contest...remember this photo? I talked about it in the 9 months old post. My mom scanned and emailed the one of me below...

BBZ definitely looks like his daddy, but that picture of him reminded me of this one of me! I was also 9 months old in this photo and had just moved into our new house! For those of you who knew me in high school, you might recognize those stairs. This is the house we lived in throughout my childhood. My parents moved out when I was in college. I actually can't believe that BBZ hasn't discovered our steps yet. I thought about re-creating this photo, but I think I will wait until he discovers the steps himself rather than showing him!

What do you guys think???

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waaay back When-sday!!!

This weekend is the 6th anniversary of the first time I ever visited Denver, Colorado. We were on a big music run and saw 5 shows in 6 days. The first 3 were Panic in Denver, then Panic in Columbia, MO then The Dead at Riverport. It was a long run of music, worth every mile!
This is the group outside of Red Rocks Amphitheater. It's amazing how many weddings there have been and babies that have been born since this photo was taken. It feels like so long ago!

This is the boys on the lot before one of the Red Rocks shows...

This is N, Z and P on the way back to Missouri...

Here we are with our good friends Flat Foot Floozy and Z in the lot in Columbia, MO...

Those were the days!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Showing some gLove to my gDiapers! A sweet deal for buying g's!!!!

For those who don't know, I use gdiapers with BBZ. They are a 3-piece cloth system with a cute colored outer cloth with a plastic-free pant that snaps into the pants. Until today, gdiapers only offered flushable inserts for the diapers. I am pretty handy with the sewing machine so I made my own inserts to put into the snap-in liner. Well, today gdiapers launched a lot of new stuff!
First they have launched gcloth, which are cloth inserts like the ones I made for my g's. This is very exciting for long-time users of g's who aren't as sewing savvy as I am. The inserts are a little expensive...$30 for 6 of them and I spent about $50 and made about 50 for me and for my friend, Laura. This is still pretty cool though.
Second, and most importantly, gdiapers is having a contest! Each gmum and gdad (any gdiaper user who signs up to do free promoting of gdiapers throughout their communities) was given a personal code to pass out to their friends. This code gives a person $30 off of a new 6-pack of Everyday G's, which is originally $70. If 10 people purchase a 6-pack using my code I get a $100 gift card to gdiapers.com! I plan to buy a 6-pack of large because I know BBZ will be in larges eventually, and at this price you cannot pass it up! Just to compare, Whole Foods sells the gdiaper starter kit for $24 and that comes with only 2 gpants and 10 flushable refills. This is 6 gpants for $40! This deal cannot be passed by!
All you have to do is go to gdiapers.com, add one or more 6-packs to your cart, enter the code and click redeem...it's that easy!
Even if you just wonder what they are like, you should buy a 6-pack, and if you don't like them, the contest only goes until 7/31, so after that the packs will be the regular $70, so you could even sell them on eBay and at least make your money back if not more! This deal can't be beat!
So here is my personal code:
Remember, only 10 people have to use my code for me to get the $100. If I get the most people to use my code I could win a trip to Portland, OR! And just look how cute they are!

Baby Boy Z is 9 Months Old!

We did so much this month!
We had a nice picnic at the park...
Went to the Botanical Gardens... Walked behind a new awesome toy! and got a new car seat!
I love the look on his face in this one.
This one too. My mom has a picture of me crawling up the stairs in our new house when I was about the same age as BBZ in this pic. I think the look on his face is exactly the same! My mom is working on getting me a copy of the picture, so I hope to share it soon and see what you guys think!
Cutie pie.
He decided that he only wants to eat what he can feed himself!
He is actually really good at getting the food on the spoon...
...and mostly in his mouth!
My little boy is growing up so fast!
I can hardly believe it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not Me! Monday

When all of the babies came over this week and were crawling all over the floor, their little toes did NOT get the blackest I have ever seen. I did not think that the dirt was from when they were outside, only to later discover that the black dirt was NOT from my floors! Eeewww, that would be so gross and unclean. I would never let my child and other people's children crawl on a dirty, I mean absolutely filthy, floor.
In my fit of embarrassment and panic over my swiffer wetjet no longer doing the trick, I did NOT find a post on my gdiapers yahoo group about this very subject. I did not find out that many moms have this same problem. I also did not get some great ideas for natural cleansers that are better for the environment and for my baby.
I did NOT forget to kiss BBZ goodbye when I left him at his aunt's house this weekend. I did not get half way to my friends' wedding before I realized it and I certainly did not almost turn around. I definitely did not think about it all evening and wish I had turned around. I did not rock him for an extra long time when we got home to make up for it.
That's NOT it for tonight. I am not so tired I can barely finish typing this. I have everything done for tomorrow and get to sit on the couch and play on the computer all night! (That is NOT still part of the Not Me post!)
This blog carnival was created by MckMama over at My Charming Kids. go on over to her blog and see what she and all the other moms have not been doing this week.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

BBZ loves this guy.

From the minute they laid eyes on each other...
It was love.
The last big event for the Just For Fun T-shirt. We retired it to a frame in the music room shortly after we brought BBZ home. This t-shirt has many great memories, including this one.
He has his daddy's beautiful, long eyelashes. And loves to kiss and snuggle. He has much to learn from his daddy. And some to teach, too. They have common interests...
And the same favorite sports teams.
They go fun places together like the Zoo.
And enjoy rides on tractors.
He is also getting his love of music started very young!
They are a special team, my son and his father. BBZ is so lucky to have a man like N loving him. Happy Father's Day!!!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gullible, adj. easily deceived or cheated

—Synonyms: credulous, trusting, naive, innocent, simple, green. Green? That one surprises me. Today I feel like all of the words above. Except maybe green. I'm not sure why dictionary.com included that one but, whatever. You see, I have been duped. I have been working with a woman for about 2 years. A few months ago during our regular home visit, she mouthed the words to me "I need to talk to you without her here" and she was talking about her attendant. If you don't remember what I do, check this out for a refresher. So I asked the attendant to excuse us. The participant proceeded to tell me that the attendant is stealing her medications and verbally abusing her. I explained that I am a mandated reporter and would have to call the elder abuse hotline. She tried to take back what she said, but it was too late. So I returned to the office and made the call. It got assigned to a state worker that I knew from when this participant was originally evaluated to see if she qualified for our program. I called her and suggested we have the meeting at our office because I was worried about this participant being able to be completely honest with her attendant there. So it was all set. This participant showed up and in the meeting not only reported the medicine missing, but also that she and her attendant were in a relationship that ended a few weeks prior and she was not only verbally abusing her but was also physically abusive. Because they had been in a relationship, to me this was domestic violence more than elder abuse, so we called everyone in the domestic violence world for help. They had the same resources we have for people in this type of situation- a shelter or a nursing home. We arranged for a nursing home placement and encouraged this participant not to return to the situation. FOUR hours later she decided to go back to the situation against our recommendations, but it is her right to do what she wants. We told her she could no longer employ a person who has been accused of abuse, so she fired her attendant and went back to her. Even though she went back, she told me that she did want to get away from her and wanted my help to find an apartment. I started working on that with the help of the state worker. A few days into our work, the state worker called me and asked if I was sitting down. When she said that, I expected her to tell me something terrible happened to my participant. Things like murder and blood came to my mind...I was very concerned about her well-being. But that wasn't it. She said that she spoke to the participant's daughter and the daughter reported that my participant is. not. disabled. Are you kidding me? I have known her for almost 2 years! I've seen her in her power wheelchair because of her paraplegia! How could she not have a disability? So at this point I am not convinced. I'm thinking there is some bad blood between the daughter and my participant and this is all here say. The state worker reports this to the feds and the waiting game begins. We are asked to keep up our end of services so that my participant has no idea that the investigation is going on. So we pretend. She hires her other daughter as her attendant and things go on for a while. She calls me one Monday and says the place she was staying burned down and she and her partner are now homeless. I am hesitant to help her since the investigation is still going on. The state worker hadn't been returning my calls, so I called her supervisor. I don't do this often, but it felt like we were providing services to someone who might be committing Medicaid Fraud and I had to have an answer. So this lit a fire under her and she was back on the case. The story was full of lies. My participant said that the fireman had to carry her out of the fire. The state worker called the fire department and no one had to be carried out. The state worker also called the EMT who said that everyone was out of the house when they arrived and no one had a wheelchair or needed to be carried. The more she told us, the more information we had to investigate. So the state worker decided to do a surprise visit at the hotel where they were staying to assess her need for the program. She knocked on the door and guess who answered...standing up! My participant. No wheelchair, no cane, no nothing. When she saw the state worker, guess what she did? No seriously, just guess...she DROPPED to the floor. As if her disability magically reappeared when the worker showed up. She made up some story to try and justify herself, but this was it for me. That was all I needed to hear. We closed her services for suspected Medicaid fraud. Yesterday her attendant actually had the balls to call me and ask me why she didn't get paid. I kind of let her have it. The nerve! So I was completely duped. I have been becoming more and more skeptical as this job continues, but this is the icing. This person really thought that she had the system beat. How could someone pretend to have a disability? What would go through some one's mind to fake a disability, and fake being abused? This cry of wolf is going to affect my work with people, I just know it. Already a participant asked for some assistance to buy some new furniture and I found myself drilling him. He said he had been robbed and shot. I feel like he should have to provide us with a police report or something to prove it. Until now I would never think anyone would lie about being shot, but who knows? Desperate people do desperate things. I just hate to have my time and my work wasted. 2 years I wasted my time caring about this woman. I wasted energy trying to help her improve her life. And she was lying the whole time. The funny thing is that she needs my help now more than ever. Not help getting attendant care or getting away from her *abusive* partner, but help understanding why she has lied this way. But I am so angry, I don't think I can reach out that way. Maybe I will after some time passes. I would much rather help her see what she does is wrong rather than have her move on to another agency and another sucker to lie to and deceive. I feel burnt and taken advantage of. I try to focus on the people who do really need this program, but sometimes it is very difficult.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Way back When-sday!

Remember this post about BBZ's first Cardinal's game? Well this photo was taken at the Cubs/Cards series in 2007. In the next 6 months or so, 6 of the 7 girls in this picture became pregnant. The girl in the middle we just met this day because she was dating the guy who came in from out of town. The other 6 of us who became pregnant are pretty good friends. It was really great having so many girls pregnant at the same time! The next pic was at my baby shower. We are missing just one of the girls who lives in Chi-town and couldn't travel during her pregnancy. J on the far left had her little one first, who is 13 months old today! Next is me, B in the middle was due 2 days after this picture was taken and had her little boy on the due date! Flat Foot Floosy is next who had her little girl exactly 1 week after M who is on the far right. So many babies!
Here we are at Christmas in 2008. We always host the Christmas party and in 2007 there were 2 kids and in 2008 there were 7! Would have been 8 if our friends from Chicago could have made it. Our house is not huge and our whole foyer was filled with car seats!
Here are the little ones now. Our friends from Chicago came in town last night and 5 other families were able to come over on such short notice. We are missing 2, but it was hard enough trying to get all 6 of these kiddos to look in the same direction, 2 more would have been tough! While pregnant we all knew how much fun our get-togethers would be as the kids got older, and it is already true. It will just keep getting better as the babies grow and start toddling around. How fun!

Monday, June 15, 2009

CCM, an irrational fear and "I tee tee tee"

Back in January I applied to sit for the Certified Case Manager exam. In order to sit for this exam, one must be certified by another governing body (in my case a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor CRC) for at least 2 years. My 2 year mark of having my CRC was in September, so my first opportunity to take the exam was in April. I paid the whopping $300 to take the exam, and I got my results today and passed! I was a little worried about this exam because when I went to study for it, the exam website said that it is practiced based. This basically means that the questions on the exam should be familiar to me because of the work I do. So I really couldn't study for it, I had to just take it and hope that I know the information from my job experience. I also had in pre-approved from my work to be reimbursed, so that means $300 is coming my way! WOO HOO!
When N and I moved into our house, he had just graduated with his MBA. He framed the diploma and hung it up in the bathroom. He has also taken lots of exams and has lots of framed certifications related to accounting, internal auditing, and finance stuff. I shared the bathroom with him for 3 years before I had a diploma or certification to add to our bathroom wall. Wondering why these sought-after papers are in our bathroom? I asked N the same thing! He likes the irony of it. Makes sense to me!
So anyhoo, see the empty space right above the top diploma? That is where this new CCM is going. That is it's new place on the wall. For everyone who comes to our house to see. While they pee.
Can you see the yellow sticky notes on the frames? This is to hide my identity from the blog world. Most people who read my blog know who I am, but I admit that I have a fear of something, who knows what, coming from strangers knowing my and my family's names. Maybe someone could steal our identities? Maybe they could see BBZ's pictures and try to come steal him. This is completely unreasonable and quite irrational, but better safe then sorry!
I actually have lots of irrational fears. I stumbled across Mama M's blog and saw one of her posts labeled "Irrational Fears" and knew right then that she and I had a lot in common. From worrying about dropping BBZ as I walk down the stairs, to being nervous carrying scissors or a knife in the kitchen because I could drop it on him while he crawled around, to my fear to give him any food that isn't mush because he could choke, to my all-time worst fear...getting into a bad car accident, these irrational fears creep up at odd times and often disappear just as fast. I try not to let them influence me too much, but at times I cannot rationalize and succumb to the fear. I actually faced one the other day and tried giving BBZ a piece of my bagel to chew on. He sucked on it for a while and the started gagging and barfed all over the place. So he is back on the mush. I have actually given his school permission to try new foods with him because while I am worried about his choking I also worry about not giving him the opportunity to try foods that he should be trying. I guess I figure they have more experience and know what he should and shouldn't be able to eat.
So anyway, enough about that. BBZ talked again this weekend! We were sitting upstairs in the rocking chair in his room and our cat, Bill, walked in like he always does when I am in there. BBZ saw him and said "I tee tee tee" (Hi kitty kitty kitty) which is what I say to Bill every time I see him! He loves his tee tee and follows him all around the house. He is so good at pulling up it is crazy!
I recorded a video of him in hopes of catching him pulling up, but no such luck. He does it all day, but as soon as I get the camera out he keeps his bum on the floor. I'll try to link to it anyway, because it is a good video! Stay tuned for that. He loves the coffee table and has bumped his head way to many times, but I guess that is part of growing up, and of being a boy especially. He's a little explorer and is seriously all over the house. Last night he found the wine rack, which I was hoping he would just not be interested in, who was I kidding!

Not Me! Monday!!!

While cleaning the kitchen and putting groceries away, I did NOT eat the rest of the cookies in the Soft Batch cookie package to make room for the other groceries. My pantry is not that small and I have plenty of room in my cabinets for all of the healthy food that I always eat.
I did NOT take a huge drink out of the milk container to wash down those cookies that I didn't eat and justify doing it by saying that I'm the only one who drinks milk in my house anyway!
I did NOT spend $56 on a new side mirror for my car following this occurrence. I was not excited when I saw it only took 3 screws and a fuse plug to install, which I was NOT sure that I could replace myself. I did not spend an hour on the Internet trying to learn how to remove the door panel of a Nissan Xterra. I did not try for a while to remove the panel and give up because I didn't want to break my door. I am NOT not happy that I will have to pay the guys down the street up to $75 to replace the mirror. Boo.

I did NOT use disposable diapers all day on Wednesday at home because a really cute pair of shorts are too small for BBZ with the cloth, but fit perfectly with the disposables. I love the Earth, I would never take a short cut for fashion purposes.

I did NOT think it was a great idea to wait to rinse the poopy diapers until wash day (3 days worth). I did not have to scrub extra hard and get poop all over my hands, and I certainly did not seriously consider never cloth diapering again.
Ahhh, that felt great.
This blog carnival was created by MckMama, go over to her blog to see what she and everyone else have not been doing his week!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Heavy D's New Haircut

This is a big day for our little girl, Delilah, who N lovingly calls Heavy D. She got a beautiful new haircut yesterday! She is stylin'

You see, 2 weeks ago, when she still looked like this...

...her vet said that at a whopping 87 pounds, Heavy needed to go on a diet. We know that she gets lots of treats, always gets a little hand out if she waits patiently at her food bowl, but has also gone on more walks in the last year (thanks to my pregnancy and N's persistence) then she has in her whole life. We were a little surprised with the vet's unhappiness about her weight. She got hit by a car when she was a puppy and had to have a piece of her hip removed, so any additional weight on the bad hip could mean bad news for her in the future. So when she came home from the groomer yesterday, I was convinced that they shaved about 10 pounds off of her with her fur! She looks so little and healthy! I would almost like to go back to the vet for a re-weigh, but they would probably charge us $50 just for walking in the door! So her treats have started again after almost 2 weeks with very few, if any at all. She is walking around the house strutting her stuff, that's for sure. She knows she looks good!

Monday, June 8, 2009

My very own Mr. Wonderful

Mama M over at My Little Life is hosting a contest for the Wonderfulest Mr. Wonderful, and I am entering N! I would never pass up an opportunity to brag about my Mr. Wonderful!
As cliche as it sounds, he really is my very best friend and my favorite person! I love being around him, chatting with him, hearing about his day, and just sitting near him, not saying a word.
He calls me. A lot. He calls on his way home, if he's 2 minutes away, and even on his lunch break or in the middle of the day, just to say hi. When we first met he was going to school and he would call me right after class as he walked to his car. I love it and always have.
He loves his dog. She is like his daughter and daddy's little girl. I sometimes hope our next baby is a girl just because of the way I know he loves his little puppy girl, I can only imagine how much he would love a baby girl.
He loves to go for walks. He always encourages BBZ and I to accompany he and his little girl on their walks. He talks about his job, his worries, how his day was, and asks about mine and really listens. It is a very special time where we imagine what things were like in our neighborhood years ago and how they will be years from now. He loves our neighborhood as much as me and thinks it is equally as cool as I do that our BBZ will go to the same elementary school that my grandfather went to. We value the diversity and love city living.
He is smart. Not just smart like some people are smart, but smart in ways I can't even understand. He always has 2-3 books that he is reading at the same time that are likely much thicker than any of the school books I had in middle school. His knowledge of business and finance answers many of my questions, especially those that arise from working in a not-so-business-like environment. I seek out his wisdom and knowledge and value his opinions.
He is politically very different from me and will spark debate on subjects about which we don't agree. He kind of taught me how to debate. We used to fight during our debates until he explained that he will almost always take the opposing side just to have a good discussion. He has asked me before, how much fun is it to sit and agree with everything all of the time? It could get boring.
He volunteered with the Special Olympics with me when I needed him to. This may not seem like a big deal, but as a former fraternity brother, volunteering with people with special needs often becomes a big joke, but he was genuinely interested and gave it his all while there with my participants.
He empties the dishwasher. This is huge as it is my all time least favorite chore.
He loves music. He needs music like the rest of us need air. We have many stations in our house where a huge variety of music can be played with the press of a button. He stocks my ipod full of great music every now and then and always takes me to great shows here in town. He gets a look on his face of utter peace and tranquility when he hears a guitar solo and is the only other person I know who loves to hear guitars sing like I do.
He completely melts when he sees his son. He is an amazing dad with a connection to his little boy that I will happily never understand. He misses us when he is away and shows us in so many small, sweet and tiny little ways. I love him more than ever and although marriage is hard sometimes, we are in it together and work hard to keep it positive and adventurous! He is my very own Mr. Wonderful!
And one last thing...he buys me flowers for absolutely no reason.