My Weakness

Labor Day weekend I stumbled across two little, black-ish kittens who were just hanging out in the woods by my house. It’s not uncommon to see cats there as there is actually a pretty significant feral population. How to deal with that on a large scale is a totally separate issue.

Tonight, I stumbled across what appeared to be one of the same kittens from before stuck in a nearby tree, mewing sadly. Because I was out with the dogs, I took them back inside, put on some grungy clothes, and prepared myself to climb this tree to rescue said kitten. On the way back to the tree I saw a momma cat with 3 or 4 other kittens and assumed that he was left behind or separated from the bunch. I called for her to do a head count and come get her missing baby, but that was silly. She doesn’t speak human.

I got over there with my flashlight app. I foolishly mewed to the kitten and pleaded with it to come down, but of course that was no use because I’m a large predator in the eyes of a small kitten. I found of decent footing in the dim light and got about 4 feet into the tree. I was just about eye to eye with the kitten and was able to reach out and grab him. However, in my attempt to not Lenny squeeze him into submission, I didn’t hang on tight enough and he squirmed his way farther out onto the branch. It was likely not going to hold my weight so I went no further.

I thought about stealing borrowing a ladder from a nearby utility truck and using that to grab the kitten. I decided against it because, let’s face it, a person with a ladder outside of an apartment complex in the middle of the night is a bit creepy, no matter who you are or why you need it.

So I walked back to my building, dejected and kitten-less. I do want to make it clear that I would not have brought the kitten inside. I would have set it on the ground and directed it back to the woods or near to its mother so they could be together again. However, I am toying with the notion of calling the local Humane or SPCA to come get them. Winter is coming and I don’t want them to suffer the elements. Feral life is not easy. After what happened last winter to the white cat, I don’t know if I can take much more death of innocent animals.

Here is where it all comes back to social work. As I came back into the house, Monty and Lola were very excited to see me. They get confused when we come home, then turn around and leave again. I then realized that I just made one of the serious mistakes of a social worker. I neglected my own family to try to fix someone else’s. I cried at my mistake. I hugged Monty and Lola so hard. They had no idea why I was crying, but they scooted close to me and licked my face anyways.

When Ben called on his break to say goodnight I told him this story and cried almost the whole time. He promised to drive by the tree and check to see if the kitten is still there on his way home. He’s so wonderful the way he understands me.

We see things that need to be done but we don’t always know how to correct them on our own. That’s one of the beautiful things of social service positions is that you don’t have to go it alone; you just have to find the right resource to help with what you need. I’m really glad to have made that connection between my personal and professional life so I can be more aware of it in the future.

Babies

Two of my best friends from college, who are still best friends with each other, gave birth to their first children within days of each other this week. What was that?! That’s the sound of my ovaries giving up all hope.

I really hope that it happens right away when we are ready, because this waiting because of school thing is really hard. Also, I hope that the stress on my body isn’t doing irreparable damage to my prospects.

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Squeaky Wheels

The majority if my prac cohort is unhappy with what is expected of them. By they are not making any effort to make the changes they want to see. I listen to them complain every day about how we were never told from the beginning about what would be expected of us.

The grant that was given to our team was reduced and therefore had to be changed quite a bit by the time we got there. Because of the restructuring, there was a large chunk of time at the beginning of semester that we didn’t know what we were supposed to do with the kids and how it would apply to our social work schedule.

I feel like I have been able to make the most of my time spent at the school. Right away I was able to identify a child who was being an issue in the classroom and have been working one on one with him in class in order to get the practice that I think I need. I have heard some of my cohorts explain that there are no problem kids in their class, or they don’t get enough time with the kids, or the teacher doesn’t let them participate fully in the class.

To me, all of those seem like obstacles that can be worked around. We get one-on-one time with our supervisors and have time each week to talk about these problems we run into. Granted, I’m not a part of their supervisor meetings, but when they are done, they complain that the supervisor only talked with them for 15 or 30 mins when they are allotted an hour. To me, this says that they are not bringing up their concerns or ideas on their own and not offering solutions to their problems.

To hear these same concerns every day makes me even more determined to make my voice heard. We had our problems with prac early on, but I feel that we have to move past this and do what we can to make this experience the best we can.

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Fuzzy Brain and Dry Eyeballs

My eyeballs are dry and my brain is fuzzy. I agreed to do too much this week.

After a full weekend of work, I jumped into prac on Monday with full force and ready to take on my kids. I love them all so much. They are adorable. There is this one who was almost the last to open up to me. He reminds me of my brother every time I look at him. Well, a little black version of my brother.

Monday night was a blur of paper writing. Tuesday consisted of prac, parent literacy night, and an hour of paper writing before bed. Wednesday was 10 hrs of work, ANOTHER patent night, and then 2 hrs of paper writing before bed (while I was watching Supernatural with Hubs). Today was 4 hrs of work, a shower (becauseI hadn’t showered since Monday), 2 hrs of class, a one hour accreditation meeting for the program (not required, but advised), and IEP meeting for one of my “trouble” kids at prac (also not required, but beneficial), 3 hrs of me staring at a computer screen writing another paper, and night class for 2.5 hrs which begins in 20 mins.

Sleep is going to feel SO good tonight. After prac tomorrow, I’m going to my first clinical therapy session. I’ve never been a patient before. More on that to follow. Then I hope to make a nice dinner for Hubs, write a little more of the paper that I’m not going to finish tonight, and go to bed early so I can start all over with another full weekend of work. Joy.

Woo!

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Woo! I have a place to live with my husband! I got the call today that we were approved to get the apartment we applied for. I didn’t have too much of a doubt since I know there is nothing in either of our records that would prevent something like that. But, as I’ve been telling Ben for the last week, I don’t want to count my chickens, as it were.

Now, we have to be extra cautious about our living situation. The complex only allows two pets. We have three. We have lied about the cat. I’m fine with it. We discussed giving her to a family member. My parents can’t take her with the feral cat they took in about a year ago. My brother cannot take her, even tho I think he would. Typical post-college kid; he would love her and care for her, but I also think his friends would feed her beer and tuna from a can. Beer from a bottle would be a much classier option. That leaves Ben’s family. MIL and DIL have a dog, and the cat does not care for her. Aunt and Uncle could take her because they already have a cat that gets along well with other cats. It just seems like a lot to ask. I’m going to try to keep her. It’s decided. She’ll just have to deal with the fact that she will be an indoor cat from now on. Sorry, babe.

Moving into an apartment? That will be a whole other story that I can’t wait to see play out. (Slight sarcasm.) Stay tuned. Going from a house to an apartment poses some unique challenges, like where the hell do we keep all of our stuff now?! Ben thinks we need to get a storage locker. I halfheartedly agree with him, I just don’t want to pay the extra money. The apt we are getting is at the top of our budget as it is right now. Let’s see how it all plays out!

Fuck. It’s been a long year.

This has been a crazy year. First year of grad school: done.

Second year starts today which includes a practicum. Work has been über gracious and is allowing me to move to part time. It’s only knocking one day a week off of my schedule, but that’s really all that they can afford to do with all of the people leaving. I think I might have been able to do full time if my prac wasn’t 3 days a week when everyone else’s is only 2 days a week. This means that I will not have a day off for the next year. If I don’t have to work, I have prac. If I don’t have prac, I’ll have work. There are vacation days that I can take off, and holidays are excluded from my self-pitying rambling. I have it good. I just can’t see it yet because of the confusion with my classes.

I accidentally chose a morning class this semester. If I don’t get it changed to an evening class today, I have to figure something else out with work. Any more changes to my schedule and i won’t know my ass from my elbow. This is how I feel at the start of every semester tho. Confusion and doubt. Some people come back to classes and make it look so easy. I wonder if they feel the same way I do, just hide it better. Now, I chalk up my feelings to flying back and forth between semesters. Maybe spending the breaks between semesters here will help to ground me in the program a little better.

Last week, we finally got an offer on the house which we promptly accepted. We really didn’t want to wait for another offer, and the buyers seem motivated. It’s the best thing to have Hubs out here with me now. He’s going to be needed in the coming months. The move, tho. Oh God. We have to move everything. Moving a bedroom of stuff (to college) seems like a piece of cake compared to renting a UHaul to move EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE. One day at a time, right?

On the bright side: I am very excited to show Hubs everything that this area has to offer. I’m sure he’ll like it here once he sees how much there is to do.

Lady Parts Doctor Day!

Lady Parts Doctor Day

Today I had my yearly OBGYN exam and now that I’m in a new city, that required finding a new doctor. The only thing I want to say about the visit itself is that I miss my previous Thai CNP with the small, dainty hands.

If you know me, there are few topics about which I am shy; sex not being one of them.  I happily answered all of her questions and willing threw out some tidbits of my own: came here for grad school, excited for the program to start, live with my grandparents, away from my husband but miss him oh so much, etc.
One question I hate getting is the concerned look with the raised eyebrow, “Are you on birth control?”
Then aghast disbelief, “NO?”
Then the inevitable condescension with a hint of exasperation, “Well! Do you think you can raise a baby while going to school AND working?”

You know what, maybe. But maybe not. I’m a good multitasker. Maybe it will be the easiest thing I ever do. Maybe it will be the dumbest. I don’t know and I can’t predict it. If the universe sees fit to give me a child, I’m certainly not going to say no at this point. I want to further my education. And there are ways to do that as an adult with a family. We’re in the 21st Century, and I can do what I want without fear of repercussions due to my gender and status.

I met a professor tonight who got her Ph.D at age 52 while 3 of her 4 kids were also in college. It’s possible, people.

Wherein I Hate the DMV

…even more than usual.

I have been trying to get my DE driver’s license and DE plates for weeks now, ever since Dad and I drove over.  Keep in mind we arrived on 08/02. Late last week I finally broke the evil code and am considered a resident of Delaware and have a shiny new license.
Now I am trying to jump thru their hoops to make sure that my car is properly inspected (because DE has emissions laws that need to be respected) and tagged. I want tags. I am willing to pay $300 for tags. GIVE ME THE GOSHDARN TAGS ALREADY.
When I went to the DMV again today, it is common practice for me to forget SOMETHING. (I brought my marriage certificate JUST IN CASE they needed proof of name change.) But how can I forget the most important piece of documentation, i.e. the title to my car? Fucking ridiculous. I feel like such an idiot.
So there I am, crying in the DMV parking lot. You know the feeling: utter hopelessness that you just screwed up royally, at a loss as to what to do because you are all alone, first timer in a new city and just trying to do the eight thing and still getting screwed, etc.
The first thing I did was call Ben to see if he could find the title and send.it to me. He didn’t answer. So I cried more.  Then I called my insurance company, who I also got the loan from and who sent me the title when it was paid. I wish I could do one of their commercials.  They are just so helpful. They can’t sent me a title, but they are sending me a copy of the release of lien which basically says I own it and am no longer making payments. With this little scrap pf paper, I SHOULD be able to get my new title and subsequent plates.  I hope this will be the last time you have to read about my DMV complaints until I eventually move to another new state, or have a kid in high school driver’s Ed, or they finally give us those flying cars they promised in the 50’s and they pass another set of emission rules.

Buy My Life

Our house has been on the market for seven days now and we got our first walkthrough last night. Luckily, I had a day off from work and had the opportunity to continue cleaning and organizing the house to make it really presentable. I’m sure it will pay off. We have a large house with big rooms, each of which has been totally redone. The more I talk or think about it, the less I want to leave.
I don’t want to trade 2,100 square feet for a 950 sq ft apartment. I don’t want to trade our free standing home with a yard for a shared wall and a spit of land. I can’t keep myself from thinking, what if I don’t like it?, what if I cant handle the course load?, what if the apartment complex burns down and we have no place to live and no possessions?, where will we go?! These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.
If I can only have it one way, I do hope that we can sell the house quickly; ideally to this first couple who just came in last night. But, I feel like that would be a little too perfect. I guess I HAVE always been lucky.