Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tomorrow is March

Well tomorrow will mark the first day of March. I thought I would spend today with saying what the theme for the NaBloPoMo for March. I got an email yesterday announcing what the theme is and how one may look at it.


The theme for next month's 31-day blogging challenge is STRANGE(R). All kinds of oddities are up for your blogular examination. (Have you seen this octopus video, for example?) If strange doesn't strike your fancy, remember the old saying, "Strangers are just friends we haven't met yet"--there are billions of them on the other side of your door, maybe one (or thirty-one) of them is worth a look?

So I will try and write on this one. I didn't write on this past months. I kind of forgot about it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy Saturday...

hello to all of you. hopefully you are having or have had a good saturday. I had to work which is nothing special. It was pretty slow for the morning and did pick up slightly...but it just seemed to drag on for quite awhile. I had the oppertunity to watch the movie Precious, but I didn't take up on it as Rob went to work with me today and so I would have had to arrange for someone to let our dogs out to pee because we would have been away from the house way too long. I heard though Precious is coming to dvd on March 9th. So I will wait then and rent it. I have heard mixed reviews on it and how it has a sad ending, but I still want to see it.

Hard to believe that tomorrow will be the last day of this month!! Where did the time go?? I am looking forward to March though. I am thinking March will be a good month. Monday, Sparky-dog turns 9 years old. What an old dog. He will be pampered with a trip to McDonald's or some place for lunch, then a trip to the park (weather permitting), then a trip to PetsMart, and then dinner out somewhere as well. Yes we treat our dogs as if they were children. We will have to find a small cake for him as well. haha In addition to Monday being Sparky's birthday, Monday is "HAPPY AMY DAY!" What is this day?? Well it marks the monthly anniversary since Rob and I were matched on Eharmony. This was all Rob's idea. So I will be taken out with Sparky to do all things Sparky does, too. No....ok...maybe not exactly all of that...but I get to pick the places that we go and where we eat. :) Rob has a phone interview on Tuesday (March 2nd) with  Minot State University which is located way way up in Minot, North Dakota. Yes people do live way up there. haha. Tuesday also marks the first day of Spring Trimester for Iona. It will be my last term at Iona. We also have a campus interview in the middle of March up in Minneapolis, MN and by the sounds of it, Rob may have a campus interview at Cleveland State as well if the cards keep playing like they are.

So that is me...hope you are well, too. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

New Movies for weekend of FEBRUARY 26, 2010 & AMC Best Picture Showcase Event

Once again, this week is pretty slow for new movies being released nationwide. Looks like quite a few people went and saw Shutter Island last week.

If you have quite a bit of time on your hands for the next two Saturdays, AMC Theatres is hosting their annual Oscar Nomination Showcase. It normally is only one weekend, but since there are ten nominees this year, it is broken into two Saturdays. The events consists of being able to view all ten movies in their entirety, so that one will be able to make up their own mind which movie should win. For more information on this event please click on the link here. This is a great deal though. 2 full Saturdays, 10 movies, for only $50, or a one-day pass for $30! You will receive a free refillable popcorn bag for the entire day on each day, in addition to a special event lanyard (at least that is what has been given out in the past.) Last year I had seen almost all five nominations, but this year I have only seen a few. There are a few on the nomination list that I am curious about, but in order for myself to watch these...I would have to buy one of the tickets to see that movie. Unfortunately you either buy for the entire day. One can not pick and choose which movies they want to see and only purchase tickets for that those showings. I have heard of people in the past buying for the whole day, figuring out what time each movie is playing, then come and go as they please for the entire day.

New movies for this are the following:

The Crazies - Rated R - Stars: Radha Mitchell, Timothy Olyphant, Danielle Panabaker - The Plot: As a toxin begins to turn the residents of Ogden Marsh, Iowa into violent psychopaths, sheriff David Dutton (Olyphant) tries to make sense of the situation while he, his wife (Mitchell), and two other unaffected townspeople band together in a fight for survival.**Once again this is a horror flick. I do not do horror flicks and I will not be seeing this film.**

Cop Out - Rated R - Stars: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan - The Plot: A comedy about a veteran NYPD cop (Willis) whose rare baseball card is stolen. Since it's his only hope to pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding, he recruits his partner (Morgan) to track down the thief, a memorabilia-obsessed gangster. **This movie looks pretty funny. If I had two hours to spare...I would sit and watch this one.**


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Internship update & progression


I have been working with my Internship at ARI for almost two months now. Hard to believe that it has already been that long. Today I had my first counseling type of session with a girl that we will J. She is 21 and I was just getting to know her a little bit today to make her feel comfortable with her being around me. I took a pad and paper with me to help record how the conversation went so that if I had to do a process recording, I would have at least something to go off of. :) The session last for about 20 minutes. I thought it had only been 10 minutes and then realized that it was already 20 minutes. I will start out at 20 minutes, but will eventually have a full 30 minutes to an hour with J. My supervisor wants me to work with J to explore what she thinks a relationship is and what a friendship is. It was a good short session...we didn't break any ground quite yet. Give it a couple sessions...and then maybe I will get somewhere.

In my group work...I am observing or using behavior analysis with the special needs adults that I work with. Today the job was to help place price tags onto some shawls that will be soon sold at a store like Burlington Coat Factory. Anyways...I was sitting down next to one L who tends to have jealousy issues when other people talk to me. She will tell them to shut up or be quiet. I worked with her today though and told her that was mean of her to say to her friends and she needed to pretend other people were not making noises or talking to me. She gets distracted real easily and so I modified her job. Her job was to take the shawls out of the package, place them into a pile so that I could put the price tag on them. What did I do?? I made the job a game. I asked her to just concentrate on five bags at a time rather than the whole stack. She would then count out her five, open them, place them on the pile. I would reward her by saying, "good job! Now do another five!" She was getting antsy with about twenty minutes before lunch. I told her, "ok...lets see if you can finish that whole stack before you leave for lunch, ok?" She agreed and wanted me to time her. With this she completed the stack that she had with in 15 minutes. I was proud of her and told her she did a great job! When I left for the day (at lunch time for her), I told her, "Now when you come back from lunch, I am not going to be here. So just pretend I am sitting right here and asking you to do five at a time." She liked that idea and I told her that I would check back in with her on Monday when I am in next.

When my group goes to lunch, I head upstairs to talk to my field supervisor and give him the run down on what has happened. He was impressed that I worked with L and made some type of progress. He said, "see! you are using the behavior analysis that I have been teaching you for the past two months!" I felt that finally all of this is clicking. I am just hoping that I will get my full 100 hours in by May. At this point...it will be awhile as I only work 2.5-3.25 hours each time I go in. I know that the readings that I am doing is counting towards my hours as well. I would have more hours in if this snow would not have came so often.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Country music...

No this post is not going to be a list of the songs that I have randomly selected off my iPod that I tend to only listen to when I am sitting on an airplane. *gasp* I know...you are now in shock that I do listen to my iPod as much as you or anyone else that you know. 

Anyways...some people are under the impression that I am just getting into the whole country music scene. Guess you all don't know that I grew up listening to country. My childhood to early adolescence I listened to the Christian music with artists of AMY GRANT, SANDI PATTIE, and MICHAEL W. SMITH. Now don't look away...this is my roots...and I still like listening to these artists to this day. Amy Grant was the first person who I saw in concert when I was 10 years old. She has always been my favorite. Listened to her really old albums until the tapes would become extremely warped. I am excited to hear that she will be releasing a new cd with new songs later this year. Good for her! I have seen Michael W. Smith in concert many many times. 

In my teenage years to my young adulthood (which I am still in for another five years) I have listened to a variety of music. Christian, country, classical, rock, show tunes, alternative. I just go through my phases. I listen to one genre for awhile until I get tired of it, then I move over to one of the other genres that I like, and so on. Lately it has been country. I like the country from the 90s and some of the current stuff. So one would say that a friend converted me to enjoying Jason Aldean...but what this person would not know is that I liked Jason Aldean back in 2005 when he debuted with the songs Amarillo Sky and Big Green Tractor. 

So who are the artists that I have liked and currently like?? When I was in high school I listened to John Michael Montgomery (saw him in concert a couple times with a friend), Clay Walker, Lori Morgan, Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks (this was before they spouted off, and ruined their career), Tracy Bird (saw in concert in the pouring rain), Mark Chestnut (have seen several times, once in the pouring rain at the same concert with Tracy Bird), Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. After high school the country music was really booming. This was when Shania Twain had came into the light and changed what country music was. I loved her music and will probably always love it. She made country music fun to listen to but still had the passion and roots that country music is all about. After high school I enjoyed listening to Shania Twain (who was amazing in concert), Trick Pony, Martina McBride, Clint Black (boring in concert). Currently I like all the artists that I have mentioned before in addition to Zach Brown Band, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, and Lady Antebellum to name a few. 
If you have not heard of any of these newer artists...I encourage you to check them out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

short posting

Tonight will be a short posting. I don't have much to say...but wanted to get a daily blog in since I have been blogging everyday since the first of January. Good for me, as I would say. It is sometimes difficult to sit down after a busy day or during a busy day to post a blog. Sometimes like tonight I just feel like i don't have much to say.

So how was my day? It started out a bit slow as I didn't sleep well last night. We had to move out all the bed and furniture stuff in our bedroom last night since the carpet guys were coming today to put in the new carpet. "But you are selling the house, amy...why put new carpet in?" Well we had to put new carpet in just that room because it was pretty stained (from the previous home owner) and casey (our youngest dog) dug probably a square foot of carpet up last year during a party that we held at our house. we had locked the dogs all in different bedrooms, and found out that casey has some anxiety issues. So we had to take care of that. :)

I went to the dentist office today as well. It was my last appointment for fillings!!! as of now, I have no new cavities!! yay!! So as much as I hate going to the dentist...this appointment was a good one. It only took me three years to fill or pull all of my troubled teeth. I do need to get my wisdom teeth taken care of...but they are not causing me pain...so they will be left alone for the time being. 
I was suppose to go down to class tonight...but because of the crappy weather, I opted to stay home. since i was home, rob and i did a date night. We went to dinner, the a different place for dessert and then over to the theatre to watch the new Jeff Bridges movie, "Crazy Heart." I liked it!! It is slow...but I still liked it. I will say that it is not a movie for everyone. Kind of like the movie last year called Gran Torino. 

So now we are home and I am typing out this blog before it hits midnight at my house. I hope that you had a good day, too.

Monday, February 22, 2010

You have to listen to this!!!

Ok...so late last night or maybe it was this morning, I was scanning a friend's facebook page to see what he had been up to. Yes I will admit, I tend to be a facebook stalker when it is late and when I get bored. Anyways...he is a huge fan of the new country artist Jason Aldean. Anyone else heard this guy?? Well he is amazing! His big hit that is out right now is called The Truth. Youtube the song after you read this...cause this blog is not about that song in particular.

Anyways...CMT does a special every so often called CMT CROSSROADS. This is when they pair a country artist with a pop or rock artist. The two groups or artists will sit down and sing with each other on the songs that made them "popular". Well Jason did a CMT Crossroad with one of my favorite artists, Bryan Adams. In middle school and high school I loved listening to Bryan Adams. Jason and Bryan do a rendition of Bryan's song called "Heaven". I clicked on my friend's link to watch the video to see how the song would be. Wow oh wow!! If this rendition was out when I was getting married, this song would have been played in my wedding. I almost like it better than the original. Yes I did say that even though I love Bryan's original version. Anyways...since I speak so highly of this song I will post the video below in this blog so that you do not have to google this song on your own. When you are done and are interested in more of Jason Aldean's episode on CMT Crossroads go to this link here. You will be able to sit and watch all six videos which is basically the whole episode...but you will not be disappointed!! With out further ado....here is the video, please enjoy!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

House and Job Update!

Happy Sunday evening to you!!! I hope that your weekend was productive and you are looking forward to crawling out of your warm bed tomorrow to go to work. Ok, who am I kidding?! I do not think many people look forward to going to work on Monday evening. haha.

Anyways...Rob and my real estate agent did an open house today for our house between 1pm and 3pm. I was at work and so Rob took the three dogs out for a burger and then over to the dog park for awhile. They have not been to the dog park in awhile since it has been so blasted cold up here. When Rob returned, Cliff said that the open house was pretty good. We had three people stop by with in the two hours. Cliff always comes prepared with a paper because sometimes the open houses will turn into two hours of reading the paper. Well Cliff didn't have time to even open the paper!!! Two of the stoppers were ones that could be potential interested parties and the other was a nosy neighbor from the opposite end of our street who knew the previous homeowners and wanted to see what Rob and I had done to the house. Guess there will be one of those with every open house, I am sure. Cliff mentioned to Rob that if we do not get any bites out of this...then he would like to do another Open House next month since we had pretty good traffic this week. It may have helped that I posted the Open House ad on Craigslist in the Real Estate For Sale by Broker area. Oh how I do love the internet!!!

Next up...Rob's job search update. He had a phone interview this past week or maybe it was last week with Black Hills State University (Spearfish, SD). The interview went well he said...so we will see. One of the questions that he personally asks in every phone interview is, "If you had to do it all over again, would you still chose (enter name of College or University)?" Rob said that people will sit and not respond right away sometimes. It is a good question to ask for any type of future employer!! He then received a surprise phone interview from Cleveland State University (Cleveland, OH). He said that the interview went very well, also. Minot State University emailed Rob to see if March 1st would be ok for a phone interview. THEN...March 12th, Rob and I will be flying to Minneapolis, MN for a campus interview at Augsburg College. We will spend one day at the Mall of America, so that is cool.

So this is where we stand as of right now. I am hoping that we will have a few more campus interview invites lined up before we fly up to Minneapolis.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Survivor - week 2

Anyone watch Survivor on Thursday?? Or are were we watching the men's long program over on the NBC with the winter olympics?? I was one who taped all of my regular Thursday shows so that I could watch the figure skating. Yes I rooted for Evan to win gold and I was updating my facebook status as the night went on.

Last night's olympic events were not very exciting. Not a big fan of ice dancing or any of the other stuff that was being shown. 

Last night I was able to get caught up on the taped shows from Thursday evening, and Survivor was one of them.

**Stop reading this blog now if you have not watched 
Thursday's evening episode of Survivor.**

I thought Boston Rob was going to be out early in the show as he had collapsed due to not having enough to drink. I am getting annoyed with Rupert's attitude like the other team members on the Hero's team. and I was sad to see that they didn't win immunity challenge either. Like James was saying, they must have only one voice rather than all individual voices when it comes to competitions. I am glad that I chose James as one of my pony's. My sister on the other hand...well her pony for the Hero's side was Stephanie who was sent home. James had a good point though for his team to think about. When Stephanie was on her season, she was the last one to survive on her loosing team, so maybe the probablem was actually Stephanie! The preview for next week looks good. Kind of looks like James has a breakdown and takes his agression out in one of the challenges. Guess we will have to wait and see what happens!

Friday, February 19, 2010

New Movies for weekend of FEBRUARY 19, 2010

This week's posting will be pretty short for new movies that were released to theatres nationwide. The only movie that was released at least to my theatre this week was Shutter Island. It was one of the popular movies today though during the day. Other popular movies that I ripped tickets for were Valentine's Day, Wolfman, Blind Side, and Avatar.

Shutter Island - Rated R - Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo - The Plot: When a psychotic killer (Mortimer) disappears from a mental institution on Shutter Island, a pair of U.S. Marshals (Ruffalo and DiCaprio) race against the clock in order to track her down. 
**I did hear people commenting as they walked out of this movie that they liked it. I will not be seeing this movie as it looks too creepy for me. If you see this movie...please let me know if you like it or not.**

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Curling Anyone??


The past three days or so, Rob and I have been obsessed about watching the Curling competitions through out the day for Men and Women in the Olympic Games. It is a sport that neither of us really knew much about the sport, but found it an interesting game to watch.

Rob looked up what the sport of curling was. He found over on wikipedia (love that site) the following,
"Curling is a team sport with similarities to lawn bowling and shuffleboard played on a sheet of carefully prepared ice. Two teams of four players take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones down the ice towards the house (a circular target marked on the ice). The purpose is to complete each end (delivery of 16 stones) with the team's stones closer to the centre of the house than the other team's. Two sweepers with brooms or brushes accompany each stone and use stopwatches and their best judgment, along with direction from their teammates, to help direct the stones to their resting place."

Each end is like an inning in baseball. In competitive curling there are 10 Ends. If the score is tied at the end of the tenth end, then you go into extra ends (like in baseball extra innings). The first team who scores wins the game. So how does one team score?? When looking at the board there are three circles.  Green, then white, and then a blue cirlce (well at least in the winter games these are the colors of the circles). A team wants to get their stone the closest to the inside circle, which in this case for the olympics, a team wants to be closest to the dark blue. Each team has eight stones in each end. Once both teams has thrown all their stones, the stones closest to the blue are the ones counted.

Such a fascinating game!!! If you get a chance...take some time to check out what I am talking about while it is on.

Check out the video on how the game looks while being played...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Finished...

Last night when I went up to bed, Rob was busy reading on his Sony Reader. I figured since I only had a couple more chapters left in my SisterChicks book, I would see if I could finish it. By 2am I was smiling and feeling refreshed with finishing yet another book.

I love the feeling of finishing a book that I have enjoyed or even gritted my teeth to get through the end of the book. Yes there are books that I kept a log on how many more pages were left, as it was just so bad. One of those books was Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye when I was back in high school. I picked the book as it was the book of choice for the Oprah Book Club. I regretted choosing that book for a book report from the end of the first couple chapters. Oh well, I managed through it and was relieved when I was done. Then there are books that I do not want to end, as I am enjoying the story too much. I am sad when the book is done but pleased on how it ended. Or it could have been one of the books that ends with a cliff hanger and I have to wait six months until the next book comes out. Oh I hate those ones!!! I have learned now that if I read a book that belongs to a series...I wait long enough so that when I finish one book I do not have to wait for the next one.

So what book will I start tonight?? I think I will switch over to a msytery suspense book to change up the pace from the previous story that I had to something that will be like a roller coaster ride. It is a book that I have been wanting to read for awhile and I am excited to start it. I will be reading "Before I Wake" by Dee Henderson. I will have to let you know how it is!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow, snow, and more snow

It has been snowing quite a bit in the last week or so. Rob went and took some pictures today. They are too pretty not to share!! Hope you enjoy!

 
  
  
 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Are you Game?


Today is day three of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I love this time of year. I know that some may not care for it..but it is something like I said in an earlier post this past week that I grew up watching. What are your favorite events for the Olympics?? Are there certain events that you can not miss? Watching the games this year makes me remember staying up late when I was in grade and high school watching the games to see who would win gold.

The events that I like to watch are snowboarding, luge, any of the downhill skiing, some of the cross country skiing, bobsled and figure skating are some that I try to watch. I like the men's speed skating, but can not stand that the announcers talk through the entire race!!

Rob mentioned today that he remembers watching figure skating on Saturday evenings on prime time when he was a kid. I sat and thought to myself and remembered the same thing. Yet now if you want to see figure skating, you have to either really search for it on television. Anymore you see only the holiday specials or something in that nature for figure skating.

I am enjoying some of the more modern sports that have crept into the olympics like snowboarding. I just love watching someone do tricks and or race while on a board. I too can do those same tricks when I am walking in the snow and slip on some ice. haha. I may have some wonderful sweet words to go along with it, too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Happy Valentine's Day to you!!! I hope that you have a wonderful day!! Even if you are single...you can still treat yourself to a nice dinner or a movie of your choice!!! get out there and have a fun day!! I on the other hand...have a paper to finish before I head into work. I am closing at the theatre yet again tonight. I am hoping that it will not be too busy...but we can only wait and see what happens. I wish that I could take my laptop with me to work so that I could work on my paper once it gets slow. ;)

For Valentine's Day I try to send Kaylee a card and something small since her birthday is just two weeks prior. This year I sent her a cute little sparkly puppy dog card that looked like my own dogs. I put on the inside some Princess & the Frog trading cards, and a purple bracelet. This morning I got a little note in my facebook messages from NaeDean. It was a thank you note from Kaylee. Here is what it said....

"Thank you for the cool bracelet and princess and the frog cards and
very cute dog valentines card. I love them. Kaylee
(Kaylee also says you and Rob look good together in your new facebook pic)"


This made my day!!!

Enjoy your special Sunday!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let the games BEGIN!!

Cue Olympic theme.....NBC announcer comes over the music to welcome to 2010 Winter Games, and Olympic theme dies out into the back. Oh I love this time of year. Rob can not stand watching the Olympic Games but I grew up watching them and there are certain events in each season that I love to see. In addition though to the Olympic Games starting up, Survivor: Heros vs Villians premiered on Thursday and on Sunday The Amazing Race will start. What an exciting month for me!!

In my house, Rob and I tend to pick our favorite person or team to cheer for on each reality game show that we watch. This season with Survivor I thought I would include my sister and brother-in-law into the game. No one really wins anything if their person or team wins but it is still fun to watch.

Thursday's opener for Survivor was amazing!! If you have not watched the two hour premier do not read any further as you may be upset that I gave stuff away. I figured I would blog about the show on Saturdays to allow people a day or so to watch the show. Like I said, what an opener!!! First reward challenge just minutes after the welcome to the new season. By the end of the challenge Stephanie had popped out her shoulder and Rupert had a broken toe. these all-stars are not going to go easy on each other. It will definitely be an interesting challenge.

Bryan, Dana, and I have picked one person from each side and Rob is going to pick just one person for the whole game. Bryan has picked Russell from the Villain side and Colby from the Hero side. Dana chose Boston Rob  and Stephanie. I well still have a hard time choosing. There are so many good players on the Heros side. *sigh* I think I will pick Tom for Hero's and Boston Rob for the other side. I am kind of worried to see how this all plays out based on the preview of next week when you see Boston Rob passing out. eeek!

I was glad to see that Sugar was sent home though. I never liked her from the original season that she was on and she was the one who messed up the challenge for her team to win this week.

So who are your favorites?? Who will you root for to win??

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Movies for weekend of FEBRUARY 12, 2010

Ok first off...Happy Birthday to my little sister. She turned 28 today. Just two more years and she will be the one turning 30 like I will be this year. Here...lets get down to business. Today was busy at the theatre since the public schools in Connecticut had no school due to a Teacher In-service day, so this made my life busier at the theatre than normal for a Friday. It gave me a better feel on what movies will be busy this weekend though. Here is what is new at my theatre. :)

The Wolfman - Rated: R - Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt - The Plot: Nobleman Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) returns to his ancestral homeland, where his brother has gone missing and villagers are being killed by a nightmarish beast. The search reunites him with his estranged father (Hopkins) and draws him near to his brother's fiancĂ©e (Blunt), however, Talbot's lager concern is the discovery of a side to himself which he never could have imagined existed. **This movie was popular for adults today. I heard that it is pretty gruesome, so if you are into that...then you may like this movie.**  

Valentine's Day - Rated PG-13 - Stars: Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, and many more! - The Plot: Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day. **This movie looks extremely cute and it was one of the popular movies for today. I really want to see this one, but hope that it is not a let down like "He's just not that into you" that came out last year about this time. So time will tell. I love most of the people who are in this movie. :)**


Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Theif - Rated PG - Stars: Logan Lerman, Kevin McKidd, Steve Coogan  - The Plot: Life changes in an instant for troubled 12-year-old Percy Jackson (Lerman) when he learns his birth father is the god Poseidon and he's looped in on a cross-country mission to settle a feud between his dad, Zeus, and Hades. **This was the popular family friendly movie today. I have not heard if it is good or not, but based on how popular one would think that it may be ok. Kind of find it fitting for this movie to come out as tonight is the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Game Olympics.**

So there you have it. What comes out next week? Shutter Island and The Ghost Writer.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tucson - Where to and not to eat....

Before I moved away from Tucson, I posted a blog (back when I was using Myspace) about the good and bad places to eat in Tucson. I had just read a blog from one of my favorite band's blog about how they like to eat at different places when they are on the road or on vacation. It got me thinking to the places that I ate at in Tucson. Rob and I had made a list of places to try and said yes or no after. He and I agreed on some and others we were torn. I thought it would be fun to recount some of those places. I encourage you to try the "good" places and stay far away from the "bad" ones if you travel through or to Tucson. Hey...spring training will be starting up next month and some you just may be in Tucson for a game if anyone still practices down there. ;) So here is my list.

GOOD PLACES

EL MOLILTO (Mexican Food) Location: Ina/Thornydale
This place had awesome food no matter what time we went there. The food was reasonably priced with pretty fast service. *How I miss this place!!!*

R&R PIZZA EXPRESS (Pizza) Location: River/La Cholla
If you ever get sick of Pizza Hut try this place!

EL CORRAL STEAKHOUSE (BBQ) Location: River/Campbell
This place is good if you go early before the dinner rush. otherwise you may have bad service and not so great food. If the entire party at the table asks for the house salad dressing, your server will make the dressing right at your table.

MIMI'S CAFE (american) Location: Oracle/Wetmore
This was a place that I liked but our server was slow. We only ate here once, but it would be a place that I would try again. I know that Mimi's Cafe is a chain, so for you who do not live in Tucson, you may have one near you.

CLAIM JUMPER (american) Location: Broadway/Alvernon
Oh yet another place that I wish would be nationwide. I kept hoping that NYC would get one of these and it would be worth the train ride down to the city to eat at. *sigh* Maybe I will move to a state that has a Claim Jumper. Oregon has a couple and so I tend to eat here at least once while visiting friends and family.

FAMOUS DAVES (BBQ) Location: Oracle/Wetmore
This place knows how to make good BBQ. If you go in with more than one person get their FAMOUS FEAST!! the large one can feed between 4-5 people. It is worth the money as you get a little bit of everything. Unfortunately I would have to drive to Springfield, Mass or take the train down to NYC to eat here. I may just have to do that though as we are getting low on BBQ sauce. ;)

MAGPIE PIZZA (pizza) Location: various locations in Tucson
They offer gormet style pizzas that are excellent. Magpie's has been voted number one for their pizza for many years in a row.

HARVEST MOON (chinese) Location: Oracle/Rancho Vistoso (Oro Valley)
Amazing good food for a good price. A place that is worth the extra drive. I would post a link but Harvest Moon does not have an official website.

PINNACLE PEAK @ TRAIL DUST TOWN (BBQ) Location: Tanque Verde/ Grant
If you are a visitor you MUST go here!! Pinnacle Peak is a steakhouse inside a cool little western oasis in the dessert. The food and service is great. After eating dinner take a stroll through the rest of Trail Dust Town. Try your shootin' skills at the shooting arcade and buy an ice cream for your date at the ice cream parlor.

PLACES NOT RECOMMENDED

CARUSO'S (Italian) Location: 4th Ave/7th Street
This place is one of the oldest places in tucson, and it is family owned. Several people had told Rob and I to go there and so we did. We regreted every minute of it. The food was awful and service.

KETTLE RESTAURANT (american) Location: 22nd/ I-10
Yes, it is a hokey place to eat, but the food is not that great and they didn't like it that we tried to use a coupon that was in the newspaper.

OLD FATHER INN (bar food) Location: Ina/Thornydale
We have figured out if a place has off track betting then the food is awful. Once again this fact is true on this place. Awful food and service.

WHATABURGER (aka WHATABADBURGER) (american/fast food)
lets just say if the dogs make faces while eating a burger, it should never be eaten by a human! Enough said!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, Christy!


My very best friend turns the bit 3-0 today. When I think of this...I realize that I now have less than four months until my own 3-0 birthday. Eeek!! I think back of all of the birthdays that she and I have celebrated over the years and other nonsense stuff we have done together. I love the friendship that she and I have. 

Back in high school, we were friends, probably good friends, but not best friends. We hung out with the same group and did all the same stuff together. After high school we would hang out probably every weekend together. At one point we had seen just about every movie that was playing in the theatres. 

You know how there are certain stories that you will never forget that happen between you and your best friend...well there are a few that come to mind for Christy and I. One of them was a couple years after high school and we were walking back to her car from watching a late movie. A creepy van was parked next to her car and I was getting really creeped out. So I get in her car, glance back in the backseat and freaked!! I litterally thought someone was laying in the backseat of her car. Her barn coat was positioned just right where it looked like someone was there. She and I laughed and laughed about that and called it the "man in the backseat" story. 

Another story was when I was sick in the hospital ten years ago. I had a rare allergic reaction to an antibiotic that put me in the hospital for almost a week. Anyways Christy would come visit me and one time in particular I had been given potassium to increase my levels in addition to some benadryl (sp?)  to help with the red rash I had all over my body from a reaction that I had from the cat scan juice. Anyways...the reaction to both injections at the same time made me pretty loopy. Christy was teasing me that she was going to start playing with the levers at the end of the hospital bed to see what they would do. I said, "no...because with my luck you will press one of buttons and it will make me go flying into the wall." we sat and laughed and thought about how funny but awful that would be all at the same time. 

So today...happy birthday to a life long friend!!! Christy, I hope that you have a wonderful day!!! If I were there we would spend the day together by watching movies, catching up on life, eating at some place that served yummy food, and shopping like we had all the money in the world. Cheers to many more years of friendship and funny stories that we will look back on in another 30 years. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Friendship in Music, Movies, and Books

This month I posted a little article in the Birthmom Buds monthly newsletter. I thought I would share it with my readers. Since it is a birthmom type of newsletter part of the article does have to tie into adoption. But this article could be used for just about anyone.

Friendship in Music, Movies, and Books
by Amy Schumaker

Webster's dictionary defines a friend as: "–noun 1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. 2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter. 3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile." 

I love friendships. A best friend is like a sister or a big brother. They are people who you can laugh, cry, and tell your deepest most secret thoughts with. We all have them!! Think...who is that one person that you can do this with. Was she or he the first person you told that you were pregnant? Were they the first person who called to check on you after you signed away your motherly rights and placed your child into the adopted parents arms?? If you said yes to any of these...then you indeed have a best friend. Over the years my friends have been through it all with me. Placement of my first child, the bad relationships that I got myself into, my wedding and the teary conversations finding out that my husband was infertile. All of these are life stones that my best friends helped me out with. I love every one of them. I have three best friends, one being a male.

February is a month about friendships and love. I can often relate to music, movies, and even books. I thought I would list some that correspond with Friends. 

Music
"That's what friends are for" Dionne Warrick 
"Friends" Micheal W. Smith
"You've got a Friend" James Taylor
"I'll be there for You" The Rembrandts 
"I've got friends in low places" Garth Brooks
"With a little help from my friends" The Beatles

Movies
"Circle of Friends"
"The Joy Luck Club"
"Calendar Girls"
"The Bucket List"
"Beaches"
"My Best Friend's Wedding"

Books
"Sisterchick book series" written by Robin Jones Gunn
"Winnie the Pooh" written by AA Milne
"Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom 
"The Blue Bottle Club" by Penelope J. Stokes

If you have not heard, watched, or read any of these...you should check them out!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

So where are we??

It has been about a month now and I thought I would update my readers on how everything is going with Rob's job hunt and everything. Click here to refresh your memory on the schools that Rob has applied to. Out of the listed schools, Rob has had phone interview with Belmont University and Augsburg College. He will have a phone interview with Black Hills State University which is located in an itty bitty town on the South Dakota/Wyoming border. It is a pretty good school, and I look forward to hearing what Rob tells me about what he finds out on Wednesday. In addition to the phone interview with Augsburg he has also had a written interview with them. Belmont and Augsburg both seemed very impressed with Rob's accomplishments with in the past couple of years while working at Iona. Out of the two schools that he has interviewed with so far Augsburg is the last one he really wants as of right now. He said that there is quite a bit of politics between the administration and the business school. He is not too sure if he wants to deal with that again as that is what he has to deal with at Iona as well. In addition to that, he said that the cost of living between MN and here in CT is not much less. He was playing around with the cost of living calculator a couple nights ago and figured out that he would have to be making about one percent more than what he is making now over in MN for us to live at the same level we are now. Augsburg is wanting to pay quite a bit lower as well. Now don't get me wrong...if Augsburg is the one who offers a job then yes...we will take it. It would just be nice to find a place where we are not moving every three to four years.

Last week our house was officially listed on the market. You can view our ad here at this link: http://www.trulia.com/property/1039724104-77-Grove-Ave-Derby-CT-06418. Tomorrow will be an "Agents Open House". Our agent likes to have all of his co-workers come through the house to get familiar with what our house looks like and some of the special features. That way if they are in the office answering phones and our own agent is not they will be able to know some details about the property. I am hoping we can get moving on the house. In a couple of weeks, there will be a public open house, as well. Maybe just maybe someone will like what they see!!

So that is where we are on everything right now. Keep praying that everything runs smoothly, that Rob will get some good interviews, and at least one job offer to choose from, and that our house will sell in a timely manner!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

So here we are once again...it is the time of year where two professional football teams come together to beat the crap out of each other for the Super Bowl Champion title. I am one who does tend to watch the game every year and it has been where the commercials get more of a light than the actual game. In years past though the commercials for the Super Bowl have been less than favorable. Five years ago I could have told you what the funniest commercial was from the prior year. This year though...none of the commercials from last year stand out. So what is on the menu tonight?? Most people have lots of friends and family over to watch the big game. Rob and I will only have our friend Andrew over. I will make nachos and it will be just how we like it.

Here is a recipe for the nachos that I use. I watched a friend make them and thought I would try it. :) I have never been a nacho fan but this recipe turned me to be a fan!!

2 bags of Tostitos MULTI-GRAIN tortilla chips
1 bag Mozzarella cheese
1 bag of Chedder
1 bag of Mexican blend cheese
1/2 pound of meat, cooked (ground beef, diced steak, diced chicken, shredded pork)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
spread a layer of chips on a 11x13 cookie sheet (one that has a small edge to help the chips stay on the pan)
sprinkle all three cheeses onto the layer of chips.
spread remainder chips to create another layer of chips on the pan.
sprinkle remainder of the cheeses onto the chips.
sprinkle the cooked meat on top of the chips.
place cookie sheet in oven until cheese is melted.
(keep an eye on this as the cheese will burn)

serve with sour cream, guacamole, black beans or refried beans, shredded lettuce.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Adoption Story

I have had some people asking me to post my story again. If you have not ever read this, please have tissues. I wrote the story about six weeks after placement.

I was 22 years old when I found out that I was pregnant. It was the month of May 2003. I had been a friend with a guy named Scott. I had started talking to him on the Internet a year earlier. We had met a couple more times after the first time meeting in person. On the night of May 9, 2003 I went to his house for the night. We were lying in bed and he asked me if I was still on the birth control pill. I told him no because I had run out of them and had not gotten any yet. He then said, “Uh…Oh!” At that moment I knew that I was pregnant. That next morning, Scott told me to go get the “morning-after pill”. Well, since I didn’t have health insurance, I could not get a prescription for it.

A few weeks past and I still had not gotten my period. I finally took a pregnancy test, the Tuesday after Memorial Day, at work and sure enough it came back positive. I didn’t even have to wait the whole three minutes, because the pink line was very bold! That night I went home and told my mom. I was extremely nervous in telling her, but I had to, before she found out from someone else. So when she got home from work, I told her that I had something to tell her. She asked me if it was good or bad. I told her that I guess it depended on how she looked at it. I stumbled to find the right words, so I just finally came out and said it. She was very quiet and said, “Well, ok”. When my dad got home, my mom told him. It was a very uncomfortable evening, to say the least. I felt like this was just one more thing to add to my plate of wrong doings. I was mad at myself for ending up this way.

The next day I went to the Canby Crisis Pregnancy Center to confirm that I was pregnant. They asked me if I was going to parent the baby or place the baby into an adoption. I told them that I was going to keep the baby. When I got home that night and told my parents that yes I was definitely pregnant, they asked me what I was going to do. My answer was to either keep the baby or place the baby into an adoption. However, I was adamant that I was going to keep the baby.

That night I talked to Scott and told him that I was pregnant. He was furious, to say the least. He could not understand why I didn’t go and take the “morning-after” pill like we had talked about. He told me that since I didn’t take the pill, then I had to get an abortion. I told him that there was no way I would get an abortion! That was totally against what I believed in. I told him that I was going to keep the baby. He asked me why I would want to keep this baby. He told me that I was stupid for keeping it and that getting an abortion would be a quick fix. He said that I needed to go back to school and get a degree and a baby was just going to be too hard to do all of that.

That next week I went to my regular counselor. She asked what I thought about being pregnant, as what I thought about being a mom. She also asked me how I felt about adoption. I told her that 1) I didn’t know too much about it, and 2) what I did know about adoption, I didn’t really like. For homework, she has me write out a PROS and CONS list for both ideas.

As I did what she had asked, I began to see how much more adoption was. I then decided that adoption was probably my best choice. I had to stop thinking about myself and start thinking about this baby. I also had to think about what was best for this baby. I called around to about five different adoption agencies. I found that I liked an agency called Open Adoption and Family Services. Scott was actually the one who found this agency on the web (www.openadopt.com).

When I called them to set up an appointment, they were so nice. They were concerned about me AND the baby. That is one aspect of their agency that I really liked. I had my first appointment with Sari (pronounced Shari) on July 23rd. I was pretty nervous at the first meeting, since I didn’t know what to expect. Sari was so nice, and she was pregnant herself. We talked about why I had chosen adoption over parenting. She also did a “getting-to-know-you” interview, too. She sent me home to do a little bit of homework. She wanted me to look at all of my options for parenting and placing for an adoption, and then make a new PROS and CONS list for both options. I started to go see her once a month.

On September 18th, I had an ultra-sound and was told that I was going to have a little girl. Sadly, Sari told me that she was going to be leaving for her maternity leave in the end of October, so I would be meeting with a new counselor. Her name was Amy D. I found Amy to be very nice and that I could connect with her a lot more than what I did with Sari.

In October, I started looking at adoptive families. Amy told me to look them over and choose five different families. I had many regulations that the couples must have. I was looking for a family that was: heterosexual, young, went to church, lived in Oregon or Washington, had good family values, had either no kids or one other kid, and many more things. I looked at a lot of people. I found five couples that I wanted to look a little bit deeper at. Once I picked out the five couples, I called Amy to let her know. When I went to the next appointment at the adoption agency, Amy gave me a full detailed packet on each of these five families. From those five I had to narrow it down to one family.

I finally narrowed it down to a couple named Darrin and NaeDean. Their full detailed profile just seemed so down to earth. I felt like I could really get along with them. They had everything that I was looking for. They didn’t have any kids yet, they went to church, liked to go camping, very close to their families, and they lived in Oregon. I called Amy to let her know that I wanted to meet them.

A couple weeks before I met them, I had a counseling session with Amy, with Scott in attendance. This was the first time I had seen him since the night that I got pregnant. He agreed to meet with Darrin and NaeDean, too.

On the morning of December 3rd, my mom and I went to the adoption agency. This was the day that we would meet Darrin and NaeDean for the first time. I was so nervous and sick to my stomach. I told my mom that I didn’t know if I could go through with this. She just told me that it was just my nerves and that I would be just fine. The moment I walked into the mediation room at the adoption agency, all of my nerves went away. I knew that Darrin and NaeDean were the people to take my baby.

The first mediation went very well. We shared pictures of our families and told each other about our hobbies and aspirations. I was so calm and myself. I was actually a little giddy. Amy asked all of us why we had chosen an open adoption. When it came around to Scott’s turn, I was so scared in what he was going to say, since he really wanted me to get an abortion. He said, “Well, because I knew Amy would like this better than a closed adoption.”

After the meeting, Darrin, NaeDean, Scott, my mom, and I all went to lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant. The lunch was a little weird but we all got though it. We were all just nervous and didn’t really know what to say. Before we all got into our cars, NaeDean asked me if I still wanted to go through all of this. I said, “Of course!” I was so happy that she was feeling the same way I was. I felt like I had known her and Darrin for a lot longer than just a couple of hours. While we were at lunch, we exchanged addresses and phone numbers.

The next morning, I called Amy to let her know how I was feeling and told her that I wanted to take the next step in the process. Amy told me that NaeDean had actually called on her way home from lunch, which made me feel really good. Amy told me that we would set up the second mediation for sometime in early January. In December my parents and I had went down to visit Darrin and NaeDean at their house. They also came up to Canby to meet the rest of my family for dinner one night in January.

January 15th was the second mediation. This meeting was when we talked about the Open Adoption Agreement. Scott was unable to attend this meeting, due to his uncertainty about what he wanted out of the adoption. Darrin, NaeDean, and I agreed on a minimum of four visitations a year for the first five years and then two times a year until the age of eighteen. Then we agreed sending pictures and letters at least four times a year until the age of eighteen. Next we talked about names. At that point, NaeDean and I had three names picked out. We had: Katelynn Rae, Karlee Rae, and Hailey Rae. I asked if we could use either my first name or middle name as part of the baby’s name.

A couple weeks before I went into labor, NaeDean and I spent a Sunday afternoon together. We went to lunch and then saw a movie. We had begun exchanging email and phone calls on a regular basis. NaeDean and Darrin were easily becoming new members of my family.

On January 30th (four days before my due date), I started to go into labor. My mom took me up to the hospital and I was admitted at midnight. After being in labor for seventeen hours, a five-pound four and a half-ounce baby girl was born at 12:49pm. I looked at NaeDean and asked her what the baby’s name was. She hesitated and then said, “How about Kaylee Rae?” And it fit perfectly.

I stayed in the hospital for the next two days, since I could not sign the adoption papers for forty-eight hours after Kaylee was born. I kept Kaylee in my room most of the time. I let Darrin and NaeDean come and go as they pleased. NaeDean was in my room for the entire labor and then most of the day on Saturday. It was nice to spend sometime with Kaylee and NaeDean. She told me that if I wanted to be alone with Kaylee, to just tell her. But I wanted her to be there.

While I was in the hospital, I was experiencing a lot of different emotions that I had not ever felt before. I can not even really describe the emotions that I was feeling. I was so happy to see Kaylee in my arms, but yet sad at the same time. I knew that in just a couple of days she would be going home with Darrin and NaeDean, rather than with me. I did not allow myself to be in the room alone with Kaylee that much. Every time I was alone in the room with her, my eyes would start to fill up with tears.

Mainly just my family came and saw me on Saturday, and my sister stayed with me on Saturday night. I kept Kaylee in my room with me most of the night. I sent her to the nursery for just a couple of hours, so that I could get some sleep. On Sunday, my parents and Darrin and NaeDean came back to the hospital. Sunday was also Super Bowl Sunday so I wasn’t expecting visitors until late afternoon. NaeDean had brought up a huge care basket for me. It had lotions, bath gels, slippers, a journal, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

My adoption counselor, Amy, came and saw me, too. She wanted to see how I was feeling. She was glad to hear that everything went well. She told me that she would be back the next day around 11am or so to sign the papers and stuff. My bible study girls and church group all came to see Kaylee and me after church. It seemed like there was a never-ending line of people on Sunday. My mom stayed the night with me.

Monday morning, February 2nd, I woke up crying and feeling very emotional. I felt mad, sad, and even jealous. I was jealous that NaeDean was going to be taking my Kaylee home with her. I felt like I was a bad mother for giving her away. But I knew it was the right thing to do. I kept telling myself that Darrin and NaeDean were going to take good care of her, and that I was going to be able to watch her grow up.

My mom and I took a whole bunch of pictures of Kaylee and I before everyone else got there. Amy finally got there and asked me how I was doing. My mom told her that it had been a pretty emotional morning. Amy completely understood. She told me that once I felt ready to sign the papers to let her know. So around 11:30 am or so, I finally told Amy that I was ready. Darrin and NaeDean left the room. In the room it was Amy, my mom, my dad, Kaylee, and I. Amy started to read the document out loud and I was trying to be brave and not cry. But I could not fight back the tears. Once they started to roll, they came like a river. I could not really hear what Amy was saying, but I knew what the documents had said, since we had went over them at a previous counseling session. I felt like I was stuck in a bad dream, and that I was going to wake myself up and everything was going to be ok.

When Amy was done reading the first document, she asked me if I understood. I said, “Yes.” And then I signed and dated the document. She then did it a second time with the other piece of paper. The hardest part was watching Amy stamp each document and notarize them. After we got done with that, Amy gave my family some time alone in the room. All three of us just sat and cried. My dad said a prayer for Kaylee after awhile.

We finally got the composure to let other people come back in the room. Darrin and NaeDean came in first. NaeDean was crying just as much as me. I knew that her tears were of joy and sorrow. She was happy to finally become a mom, but at the same to be taking this precious baby away from her birthmother. Darrin came over to my bed and gave me a gift box. I opened the box and there was another smaller box inside. I opened that box and there was a gold heart locket. On the inside of the locket there was a picture of Kaylee, and then a picture of Kaylee and me. On the back of the locket, they had engraved “Lil’ Miss”, the nickname I had given Kaylee when I was pregnant, since we hadn’t picked out a name yet.

Then Amy came back in and Scott and his mother came in. Amy said that this was a time for all of us to sit and reflect on what had happened in the past nine months. We were all pretty quiet. Then Scott finally spoke. He thanked my parents and I for choosing such a great couple and said that Kaylee is pretty great. He got pretty choked up. It was nice to see that he was feeling the same way I was.

After Amy had everything taken care of with the hospital, we all got ready to go. Amy had to walk out with Kaylee, since I had signed the adoption papers releasing her from my care. When we got outside, we put Kaylee in her car seat and Darrin and NaeDean left. Before they left, both of them gave me a hug. NaeDean told me that she would call me to say that they got home safely. We planned on me going down to see Kaylee that next Saturday.

That first couple of days at home were the hardest. I cried myself to sleep, because my cat’s meow sounded like Kaylee’s cry. I slept with a little teddy bear that was about the same weight as Kaylee.

The next Saturday, my mom and I went down and saw Kaylee. It was so good to be able to see her within a week of her going home with Darrin and NaeDean. I feel like it helped me accept my decision a little easier.

Also during that first week of being home, I went in for my first grief counseling with Amy at the adoption agency. At that session, Amy and I sat and reflected about what had happened the past weekend. I told her that it felt like a very surreal experience. I said to her, “You go to the hospital being pregnant, do all the work, but do not end up going home with the prize.”

A couple weeks later, someone asked me how I felt on the day that I signed the adoption papers. I told them that it was a very hard thing to explain. Awhile later, I was talking to another friend who had been through the same thing as me and she explained it like this. She said, “It’s like having someone stick a knife in your heart, slowly turning the knife, while patting you on the back telling you that you are doing the right thing.” I could not believe it! She nailed it on the head on the emotions that I had been feeling! It was just amazing!

Still to this day, I do not regret my decisions at all. Yes…sometimes I wish that I could have Kaylee here at my house with me, but I know that she was meant for Darrin and NaeDean. I gave Kaylee a better life and completed Darrin and NaeDean as a family. I also feel like family to Darrin and NaeDean. Kaylee will grow up knowing her adoptive parents and her birth family, too. What more could she ask for?

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Movies for weekend of FEBRUARY 5, 2010

Here are the new movies that were released this week at my theatre. I don't know how well theses movies are doing at the box office, since I am home sick all weekend do to dealing with Vertigo.

Dear John - Stars: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Richard Jenkins - The Plot: A romantic drama about a soldier (Tatum) who falls for a co-ed (Seyfried) while he's home on leave. Their relationship is tested in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, an event that causes him to re-enlist for service.**This one looks awesome as it is based on the book from Nicholas Sparks.**

From Paris with Love - Stars: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers - The Plot: In Paris, a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador (Myers) hooks up with an American spy (Travolta) looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city. **From the previews...this movie does not interest me. It just looks dumb. I do like John Travolta...but I think I will pass on this movie.** 

Another movie that my theatre got that is Crazy Heart. Now this movie has been out for awhile but since it is getting Oscar Flutter our programmers wanted us to have it for a couple weeks. Stars for this movie are Jeff Bridges, and James Keane. The plot for this movie is: Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who's had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can’t help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Selling Open Adoption??

Monday evening in class my social work professor had myself and my two other classmates do a role play as a social worker in the field that we want to go into. Therefore I played a social worker who was working in an adoption agency. I envisioned myself being in an open adoption. here is how the role play situation went down....

Me: Hi my name is Amy. What brings you here today?
Idelle: Hi, my name is Idelle and I want to know about adoption.
Me: What have you heard about adoption? What are the good and bad things you have heard?
Idelle: I have not heard anything about adoption.
Me: Ok, since you have not heard anything about adoption, I will explain the three different types. Open, Semi-Open, and Closed.
Idelle: ok...
Me: Closed is when the child and birthparent have no idea who each other are. the child grows up not knowing anything about the birthparent. Semi-open is when the birth parent has limitations on contact with the child. Open adoption is probably the best option for all parties involved. The child, birth parent, and adoptive parents all have open contact from the get go.
Idelle: ok..
Me: Do you have any questions for me?
Idelle: no. I was just curious.
Me: Are you the one who is pregnant or are you inquiring for someone else?
Idelle: Not for me, but my daughter who is 25 and pregnant.
Me: Do you think your daughter would be open to coming in to talk with me?
Idelle: Probably not because of the situation of how she became pregnant.
Me: Ok, thanks for letting me know.

End of role play.

At this time my professor reflected on the role play. She asked me, "do you think you were trying to tell your client that Open Adoption is the BEST way for everyone?" "Do you think that you were 'selling' open adoption to your client?" I said, "i do not think i was selling open adoption. i envisioned myself sitting in an open adoption agency. therefore open adoption agencies advocate for open adoptions, but it is the choice of the birth parent of what level of openness she wants with her child." I also had red flags go up when the client told me that she was inquiring for her daughter who as 25, and yet the daughter didn't want to come in due to the way of how she became pregnant. I was thinking, "Why is the mother coming in?? What is the real reason of why the daughter is not coming in? Is the client not wanting her daughter to be a mom?" I know that all of these questions would come in later with answers.

Ever since my professor asked me if i was  "selling" open adoption, it got me thinking. Were all of us open adoption birthmothers sold to choose open adoption?? I personally do not think I was. I knew walking into the agency doors that the agency does open adoptions. I did my homework before entering the agency. So here are my questions that I need to ask about. "How does a social worker phrase things in a way that don't sound to be 'sold'? How does one learn to not pass judgement on a mother just coming into the office and inquiring about the different types of adoption?"

I know that I have a lot to learn. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Feeling unproductive today

I am not feeling 100% today which is a bad thing. I have to complete that psychology disorders paper today since it is due tomorrow. *sigh* I had to go to the urgent care this morning to get meds for yet another bladder infection. I hate feeling crappy on days like today when I have so much other stuff to be doing.

On the note of the paper...i would normally be done with it by now. For some reason though this paper has been extremely difficult to write. the stuff i have written down just seems jumbled. thank goodness it is only a five paged double spaced paper...but this is like pulling teeth for me right now. anyone want to write it for me?? no...i am just kidding. I will write it, turn it in and hope for a reasonable grade...even if that would be a "B".

not much else to report today. i had a social work junior field placement orientation yesterday. i think i would have rather put needles in my eyes only because i have been with my internship for about a month now. oh well...it is part of the class and so that is what is required for me to do.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Anniversary of Relinquishment

When one thinks of the word "Relinquishment" what comes to mind?? Webster's dictionary defines this word as:  
"1. To retire from; give up or abandon. 2. To put aside or desist from (something practiced, professed, or intended). 3. To let go; surrender. 4. To cease holding physically; release." 

Funny how this word does not mean to give a better life. I hate how harsh this word is and how final it is. I hate every part of this word...but yet it is a word that is part of the adoption world. One that is talked about but yet the reality of this word does not take place until a small infant is laying in a woman's arms. If I could do one thing for the adoption world...it would be to replace this word for something different. I am not too sure what other word to use...but I would definitely change it. 

Six years ago today this word was very real in my life. I had spoken to my adoption counselor weeks before I went into labor about what this day would be like, but yet no adoption counselor could really fully prepare me for the intense emotions I would feel. Six years ago today would have been a Monday. Chilly but sunny outside in Oregon. My mom had stayed with me at the hospital over night. It was the last night that I could hear Kaylee's cries for feeding, a diaper change, or the comfort of just wanting to be held. About 7am, mom said it was time to start the day. We got dressed, and took some very teary pictures as the emotions were so overwhelming. I just wished that I could freeze time and just stay in that hospital room forever. But I knew that could not happen. Around 10am, people started arriving: such as my adoption counselor, Darrin & NaeDean, Scott, and my dad. We took some more pictures and Scott's mom was able to see Kaylee for the first time. About 11am was when the realization of the papers had to be signed. Everyone left the room except my parents, Kaylee, myself and my adoption counselor. She pulled out the very papers that she and I had read a couple weeks before to start the relinquishment process. The words on the page that she read come through as if I was sitting in Charlie Brown's classroom listening to his teacher. Then Amy would ask me if I understood and I said yes. One paper signed. Next sheet of paper the same process. While she was reading I was holding Kaylee with tears streaming down my face as if someone had left the bathroom facet on. I signed yet another paper saying that I was giving up my rights as a natural mother and would not show up at any court dates to fight what I had signed. Then it was over. The papers were signed, notarized and there they sat, just so final.
After the signing, Amy (my adoption counselor) gave parents and I some time alone with Kaylee. The three of us sat and just cried...but we all knew it was the best thing we could have done. I was 23 at the time with no job, no medical insurance, and no way to care for Kaylee at the level of what I wanted. I knew I had done the right thing. A few minutes later after some more tears and prayers, the whole crew came back in. We sat and said good thoughts about what we wanted for Kaylee. Scott even got choked up which was a sign for me that he had emotion for what was going on. Darrin & NaeDean gave me a little heart shaped locket with a picture of myself and Kaylee. On the back of the locket the name "lil miss" was engraved as that is what we called Kaylee until she was born. 

The first couple of days after the signing were probably some of the hardest days that I have ever experienced. I was dealing with emotions I had never felt before in addition to every biological aspect of what goes one after a woman gives birth. I cried and Fred (the family cat) tried to comfort me the best he knew how. He would lay in my lap and just purr.
A couple days later I was talking with another birthmom friend online. She had asked me how I was doing and I told her that I was ok, I guess. She said, "you probably feel like someone stuck a knife in your back, slowly turning it, and also patting you on the back saying, "You are strong and did the right thing.'" This is exactly how I felt!! I can not express to you the very emotion that was in that hospital room that day. It was one of those moments where you "just had to be there." 

I found a poem that I hold very deeply in my heart. I tend to read it every year on this day as it is very fitting for a day like today. 

Author Unknown

Once there were two women,
Who barely knew each other.
One is in your heart forever,
The other you’ll call mother.

Two different lives,
Shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.

The first gave you life,
And the second taught you how to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,
And the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent,
The other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.

One gave you a family,
It was what God intended for her to do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me
Through your tears,
The age old question through the years.
Heredity or environment…
Which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling… neither,
Just two different kinds of love.
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