Sunday, March 7, 2010

Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!!

My gracious, I've been a busy bee this weekend!!  Lance keeps coming up to me and checking for a fever... he swears I must be ill.  I've been making freeze ahead meals for when the boys come home.  I got into the IDEA of it a long time ago, but since my middle name is "procrastination" nothing ever really happened.  In the past, I've bought and tossed about 75 pounds of ground beef and chicken, all in the name of throwing some recipes together to freeze.

This weekend, however, I came through in a major way.  I've made and frozen three shepherd's pies, three meat loaves with sauce, two packages of Honeyed pork chops and an Italian sausage casserole.  YUM!!  I actually took some photos to share, but then thought about how sad it was that I was photographing food.  I got all excited because I sprinkled paprika on the shepherd's pie... all of a sudden I felt like I was on the Food Network!  Pitiful, I am just pitiful.  Clearly I am amused by a small amount of spice.

We figured out the car seat scenario... it cost a little money, but it was worth it in the long run.  We've been griping and complaining that our current compliment of car seats and boosters wouldn't fit in our Highlander.  Several of you suggested the Sunshine Radian Kids line of car seats.  Of course, being a relative cheapskate (unless it comes to keeping my roots done) I balked at the price.  $299 for a car seat!!  Did it buckle the child in by itself?  Was it platinum plated?  Dear God!  

I read a nice little article in which someone was asked the million dollar question... would you rather pay XXX amount of dollars for new car seats, or $30,000 for a new vehicle to put your old ones in?  Ahem.  I was a bit embarrassed by the revelation.  Long story short,  I started looking at the Sunshine Kids seats with a less jaundiced eye.  I called around and found a store that actually had three in stock and would let me take them out to my car to attempt to squeeze them in.  

They fit beautifully.  It was liking watching the pieces of a puzzle click together.  Three little soldiers lined up in a row... oh, my.  There are THREE car seats in my car!!  Now I'm standing in the parking lot starting to hyperventilate and the man from the store starts offering me money off the seats in an effort to calm me down.  Three children... I'm going to have three children.  It's one of those random little thoughts that crops up during the course of a normal day.  I'll be putzing along and see three little boys with their parents, or I'll be thinking about getting something for Jack and realize that I'll have three to buy for soon.  I feel like Aunt Pitty in Gone With the Wind... has anyone got my smelling salts?

Anyway, back to the carseats.  After we found out how well they fit, I wandered back to the "outlet" part of the store to see if they had any bargains.  Lo and behold... there's one of the seats I want for $30 cheaper because it's an open box return.  I look furtively around, then my sister and I pop the tape on the box to check out the contents.  Well.... it was a final sale... I had to make sure all the bits were there, didn't I?  It was all in there, along with the manuals, so I bought it.

With that one in the middle, our other two seats fit.  We're still trying to decide if we're going to keep the older seats.  Isn't there an expiration on car seats?  I thought I read they were "good" for six years after manufacture.  Does anyone know?  If we buy new ones, I found them online cheaper with no tax and free shipping.  That'll save us about $75 off the price in the store.  Every penny counts, man.

I think that's all the news that is news around here today.  Tomorrow marks a month since we met them. It seems like time is moving quickly, but still like we have forever to go... you know what I mean?  We'll be able to sign our court petition in five weeks, then things will start flying.

Have a great week, we're wishing the best to all the other waiting families!!

Friday, March 5, 2010


All of us that live in the Boston area should band together and send our local USCIS office a little love.  I have been continually amazed by their speed and courtesy.  Last August we went in on Monday the 24th for our scheduled fingerprinting appointment.  The office in Lawrence, MA is brand new, sparkly clean and the staff were so polite and helpful.  On Saturday the 29th we had our approval in our hands.  I was completely stunned.

After we got home from our first trip where we were surprised by TWO little boys, we realized that our original approval was no longer valid as our oldest son was over 24 months (the upper age limit on our form).  After speaking to our home study agency, we pulled together the paperwork to amend our USCIS approval to allow us to bring home our children.

I mailed the paperwork out last Friday... as in one week ago.  Thursday morning I received the new, amended I-171H approval.  When I got the envelope, my heart sank, I thought they were asking for more information, or telling us something was missing from our request.  When I saw the updated approval form I had to sit down.  I am just floored.  They really have it together, and they are working in the best interests of the families and children.

Thank you so much Boston office.  You have my eternal gratitude.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am one tired girl!

I knew there was a reason I only worked two days a week!  I've been picking up extra time at my job in the ER and good LORD am I tired!  There is only so much crazy one woman can bear.  For those of you that might be thinking that a trip to the ER is a necessary part of your day, let's lay a few ground rules, shall we?

1)  Please don't start off your story with "Well, it all started three months ago..."  I'm sorry, I'm not interested in three months ago... why are you here TONIGHT?  If we need to, we can back it up and talk about the distant past once we have today figured out.

2)  (related to #1) Please don't tell me that whatever is bothering you has been going on for three or four MONTHS and that you've never spoken to your primary doctor about it.  Really?  And now it's an emergency because....?

3)  (related to #2) Please don't yell at me about why I'm not giving you something for pain in Triage when you've been having pain that you've told no one about for three months.  You waited three months, you can wait for three more minutes for me to finish asking you questions.

4) Please understand that we have to take people back based on the severity of their complaint/illness.  Don't yell at me because I took the baby that couldn't breathe to the back before I took you... when you're suffering from an ingrown toenail.  (true story)

5)  Please don't tell me that your pain is a "10" on a 0-10 scale when moments before you were chatting/laughing/texting on your cell phone, calmly reading the paper, or eating Cheetos.

6)  (related to #5) Please don't come in complaining of severe abdominal pain with a bag from Mickey D's in your hand... then in the next breath ask me if you can eat.  (true story)

7)  Please don't tell me that you thought you should "just get this ~blank~ looked at".  That's what your primary doctor is for.  Is it bleeding, falling off or exploding?  Now you have my attention.

8)  Remember there are certain orifices on the body that are designed to be "exit only".  If you stick something in there, and get it stuck, please don't be offended if I ask you how it happened.  I need to make sure no one was trying to hurt you.

9)  If your child has a fever at home, PLEASE give them Tylenol or Motrin before you bring them in.  It is not necessary for me to "see" the fever to believe you.

10)  Finally, please don't let your children play with the medical equipment or ring the nurse call bell over and over again.  It makes me want to cry when I have to pick up 748 little otoscope covers from the floor, or when I have to answer the call light 15 times because you won't stop little Timmy from pushing the pretty buttons.

Most importantly, if I seem tired or stressed, it's likely because it's been a long day and I've been at it for 12 hours.  I love my job and I love helping people, but some days are just too much!

I hope you all take this with the tongue in cheek spirit in which it was meant.  I've been a nurse for over 20 years, and I've never wanted to do anything else.  Okay, perhaps I'd like to win the lottery and move to Bimini, but short of that, I'll keep doing what I love.... "fixing people's boo-boo's" (Jack's version of what Mommy does for a living).

Have a great day... I'm heading to bed!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend...

Ahhh!  The 80's.  I loved them so.  I was a huge fan of big blonde permed hair, frosted champagne pink lip gloss and black eye liner that you heated up with a lighter.  I could, and did, completely rock a banana clip!  Now I have sensible hair, subdued lip color and tastefully applied eyeliner.  When did I get old and boring?  I suppose I could try and work the eyeliner and lip gloss again, but without my spectacular neon oversize t-shirts and matching socks, the effect would be lost.

I regret not having children when I was younger.  But it just wasn't meant to be.  I didn't meet Lance until I was in my mid 30's and we flogged the fertility horse until it fell over dead in the yard.  We went through a brief (and sadly disillusioned) phase where we thought we'd be "child-free".  As usual it all ended in a crying, not Lance... and we started trying to adopt.

I wonder what kind of Mommy I would've been 20 years ago?  Would I be as self-confident?  Would I be as much fun?  Would I have been a SAHM, or would I have focused on my career?  Would I have taken my children and my family for granted?  I'll never be sure how that particluar story played out.  The only thing I'm sure of is that I wouldn't have been given the spectacular gift of being Jackson's Mom.  ~sniff, teary eyed snort~  Man, I love that boy!

Anyway, I digress.  You know what?  I'm like Dug in the movie "Up".  It's like my brain is trotting along in one direction and suddenly... "SQUIRREL!"  Now what was I talking about again?  Oh yes, I remember now... but then sometimes I don't.  I'll start a sentence and then fade off in the middle.  Lance will be looking at me with an expectant look in his eye and say "Yes? You were saying?"  To which I reply "I forgot".  Then he mutters something about me taking Aricept and Namenda for my Alzheimer's disease and how I make him crazy and how can anybody really just fall apart in the middle of a sentence...

Aaaand, there I go again.  Wow, I really did forget where I was going with this whole thing.  All I remember was singing Loverboy and reminiscing about how much fun the 80's were.  I think I'm going to go cut the neck out of a t-shirt and have a private Flashdance moment.  If you walk past an out of shape, middle aged woman wandering through Target, looking confused and singing "Maniac" under her breath, please stop and say "Hi!"  I won't remember your name, but I'll enjoy the company.