Wednesday, December 23, 2009
We had our first home visit yesterday with the folks from DCF. It went very well. The woman had a few suggestions for us as far as home safety was concerned, but nothing that we wouldn't have done on our own anyway. Stuff like keeping medicine and cleansers out of reach, putting up gates, etc...etc... Mostly common sense stuff. However, I'm sure there are families out there that need to be told that stuff.
All in all, it went very well and she was very nice.
I'm going to go now because I've got shopping, wrapping and laundry to do.
Before I go, I want to quickly acknowledge the fact that yesterday was the 24th anniversary of my mom's passing.
I can't believe how quickly time has flown. I'm glad that I had yesterday off though, so I was able to stop by the cemetery and pay a 'visit'. Even stranger are the number of friends and neighbors who are now in the cemetery along with my mom.
It was a sad visit, but I'm glad I went.
For those of you who are new to my blog, here's the post from last year's anniversary.
It's a nice little remembrance for my mom....which I'm sure she'd appreciate. :-)
Have a great day folks....and if I don't find myself back online before Friday - have a VERY merry Christmas. xoxo
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Prashanth - Ice Cream
Muthu - Veg Biriyani
Raja - Mango Lassi (Mango flavored yogurt drink)
Suresh - Tamarind Rice
Bhaskar - Cut Fruits
Ravi – Sprite
So. Very. Excited.
Well that's all folks...I'm going to raid the office fridge and see if there's any leftover Fatata and Chana Masala (which, by the way, I totally thought was someones name when I first read it. Nice.)
Have a GREAT weekend and I'll be back on Monday.....xoxo
Here are some more pictures of the house. The outside shots are a bit blurry, but you get the idea. They were taken last year, but it pretty much looks the exact same this year, so I figured it was OK to post them. :-)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The 2009 Christmas Village!!!!
Scooter and the Christmas tree
Waiting for Santa...
Ready for the Christmas card photo shoot...
He is clearly done with us.
Monday, December 14, 2009
At this point we only have to throw one more coat of paint on a little area, take down all the painter's tape, get all the 'equipment' (drop cloths, brushes, etc.) out of there, clean up the floors, and then we can finally get a real idea of how it all came out.
Everyone that has stopped by to see it really likes what we've done - so I'm looking forward to sharing the photos with ya'll.
This weekend was a WHIRLWIND of activity. Shocking, I know.
Friday night Jim and I went to the Grille for dinner and then stayed for a few drinks with Jim's folks who arrived just as we were finishing up. We then headed home and made some adjustments to the tree so that we could finally get it into the house and let it 'fall'.
Note to self: In hindsight, using a chainsaw after a 'few' drinks at the Grille may not have been the smartest thing we've ever done, but whatever...it all worked out just fine. :-)
It was a huge relief to have it up and inside the house - as opposed to sitting outside on the screened in porch.
Saturday morning we got up early and began painting right away. By the time my friend Kerry (who was visiting from NH) got to our house we were almost finished. While Kerry and I were out running some errands, Jim finished up. Kerry and I finished what we had to do and then the three of us went out to lunch. After lunch, we came home and we all decorated the tree....it was nice to have Kerry there with us helping out. Not only was it fun - but it made things go a lot faster. We've got SO many ornaments that when Jim and I do it, it takes a LONG time. While we were working on the tree, Jim's mother stopped by to see the house so we stopped and visited for a bit with her. Once the tree was completely decorated, (YAHOO!!) Kerry helped us out further by taking our Christmas card photo. That was a HUGE help.
I'm not going to go into specifics as to what the card looks like at the moment, but I'll post it eventually. Kerry had to get back to NH, so she headed home once the 'photo shoot' was completed.
Jim and I then showered and got ready for a Christmas party we were going to in Boston with our friend Charles.
As it turned out, the party wasn't as fun as we'd hoped. It was hosted by a former co-worker of Jim's, and while it was great to see her, the crowd was a VERY odd mix of people and all the food they had there had been out since the party began (around 4-ish) so we wanted nothing to do with that. We stayed for a while, but then we ended up leaving and going out for Thai food, followed by a quick trip to Fritz, where we ran into a couple of my softball teammates and finished up the night there. FUN!!!
On Sunday we both got up early and while I whisked Scooter off to doggie day care for the day, Jim began getting things ready for the annual 'cookie baking day' with his sister and niece, Katie. By the time I got back home, things were in full swing - so I got the hell out of the way.
At 10, Jim and I headed to church. It was a very fun service. The youth group did a 'dramatic presentation' that was quite entertaining. In fact, it was a hell of a lot more entertaining than some of the shows that the local community theatres have been churning out these days.
Anyway - it was fun and the 'kids' did a great job.
After church, Jim and I rushed home so that he could get back to baking. We had a quick lunch, Jim's parents arrived for a visit, and after about an hour or so, they left. Once they left, I went grocery shopping, ran to the store to pick up our Christmas cards (gotta love Walgreens and their SUPER FAST Christmas card making process), came home and then went to go pick up Scooter at daycare. As I pulled into the driveway, Jim's sister and niece were just leaving so I walked in the house to see Jim in full cleaning mode.
Once the kitchen/house was back to 'normal' - we both started getting to go to the TWO holiday parties that we had on the schedule for last night.
The two of us looked like we had been beaten up, but we were trying our best to stay awake and get ready. :-)
At this point, it was about 6pm, pouring out, yet it felt like it was about 11pm.
We managed to get to the first party (which was about 5 minutes down the road) but we never made it to the second one.
We were at my friends house, sitting on the couch and trying our best to stay awake, so I think we made the right call. The second party was about 30-40 minutes away and most of the people that were there are people that we're going to be seeing tonight or at some other point within then next couple of weeks.
Hopefully it will all work out and we'll see everyone before (or close to) Christmas. :-)
I'm going to end this incredibly detailed diatribe and get to work. I hope you all had a great weekend and a fantastic week.
And no - I still haven't started Christmas shopping yet.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Let me also say that I, personally wasn’t ‘contacted’ by anyone - which is OK. Initially I was a bit disappointed because out of the 5 of us that went together I was the only one who didn’t have anyone ‘speak’ to them, so I felt a little bit excluded. However, in thinking about it now, I’d much rather have no information given to me than try and force information out of the medium so that I felt ‘included’. Besides, I’m sure that all the people I know on the ‘other side’ were probably spending the night at some bar or at a party, having a few cocktails. :-)
Anyway – it was really quite interesting. Jim was ‘contacted’ by his friend Brian who passed away while they were in college. The medium had a LOT to say about him and really described Brian’s personality perfectly. He had a lot to say to Jim and there were some VERY specific things that she brought up that related to Jim and Brian. I can’t really get into all the details here, because it just won’t come across ‘right’ in reading it, but a couple of specific examples were that Brian was commenting on the fact that Jim was in the process of painting (which he spent the entire day doing) and that in general that Jim has been ‘neglecting’ his creative side. She said that we had no framed pictures of Brian anywhere and that he wanted Jim to take one of the two pictures Jim has of him tucked away somewhere, enlarge it, and frame it.
One of the craziest things was that during the chat with Brian, out of the blue, the medium asked if we had a dog.
Jim answered yes and then she said “Well, Brian says the dog likes him – and always knows when he is there.”
One of our friends then asked her if the odd things that have been happening at our house can be attributed to Brian, and his response was “I’m not doing everything!”
It was cool.
Some of the other people there had some really specific things mentioned about their family members and loved ones that have passed on (names, places, events).
When the medium was ‘talking’ to one of the women’s husband who had recently passed, she told the woman that her husband kept talking about flowers and kept saying that she should go out and buy them for herself because he wasn’t there to do it. Well, as it turns out – up until he died, the woman’s husband used to bring home flowers for her every Friday night on his way home from work. She also asked the same woman if she kept a picture of him on her nightstand (which she did) and if so, he liked it being there and it should be kept there.
Were there things that were mentioned that were totally generic and applicable to the average person?? Absolutely.
But there were SO many specific things mentioned as well, that it REALLY made you think twice.
One last thing….when Jim got up this morning, the water fountain in our Christmas Village was turned on. It definitely wasn’t on when I went to bed or when Jim got up to use the bathroom at 2am (I always make sure all the lights in the house are off before going upstairs). When he noticed it was on, he went to go shut it off and the switch was in the ‘OFF’ position. As soon as he looked at touched it, it went off.
I know from past experience that it’s a super sensitive switch, but even so, the timing of everything was quite spooky.
Have a great, great, day!!!!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
As in someone who regularly has contact with the spirit world.
Our friends have heard good things about her and saw that she had an event coming up, so they bought us tickets. It should be interesting because it's being held in a little antique store in the center of town and the event is limited to 15 people. Now, there's no guarantee that she'll have something to say to all of us, but since there are 5 of us in our group, I'm hoping that at least one of us gets some 'information'.
I've never been to a medium or anything similar before. The closest I've come to anything like that was getting my cards read at the Regina Russell Tea Room back in the city where I grew up - and that was fairly generic and not all that exciting. But the idea of a medium totally intrigues me.
Maybe she'll have a message from our 'house ghost'? Or maybe from a family member that has 'passed on'?
Either way, I'm a little nervous, but also very excited...
I'm pretty sure that several readers will really be into this, so please - if you have any advice or personal experiences with mediums, feel free to share.
I know that you're supposed to go in there with an open mind - so I've got that part covered, but I'll take any more advice that you may have to offer!!!
In other news, it's snowing like crazy here but it's supposed to turn to rain in a few hours. Surprisingly, my commute was totally fine this morning. Apparently the snow kept all the lunatic drivers in check. :-)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
There are 18 shopping days left until Christmas, and I've bought one gift. YAY!!!
Actually, I'm not at all worried. I'm totally one of those people who will go out with a well-organized plan and get everything done in a day or two. No biggie. :-)
We had a VERY busy weekend, and unfortunately never made it to TWO different 'events' that we were hoping to attend. Darn it.
That being said, we had a fun weekend.
Friday night while Jim was getting his hair cut, I headed off to our church craft fair. It was exactly what I expected (lots of tables set up, filled with all sorts of crafts, baked goods, raffle items, etc.) and was full of all sorts of excited folks in the holiday spirit. It was quite nice. There wasn't anything there that I was particularly interested in buying, so I just bought a few raffle tickets and a cookie - and was on my way! I met up with Jim and Charles (Charles was cutting Jim's hair at his salon) and then we headed out to dinner, followed by 'Bear Night' at the local (and only) gay bar. that's right - from the church fair to 'Bear Night'!!
Dinner was very good, but when we arrived at the bar, we found out that it wasn't 'Bear Night' as scheduled but 'Tata Night'. Apparently there was a change that no one told us about!!
Ummm - really?!?!?
Instead of bears, we got boobs. Talk about a disappointment. (no offense to my female readers, of course.)
As it turns out, we had a really good time anyway. Charles knew a few guys there so he introduced them to us and we all hung out together, so it ended up being fun.
Saturday morning we got up, showered and immediately headed up to NH to meet with my friends Kerry and Guy. We met at their house and then were joined by our friends Leah and John. From NH we then drove (actually, John drove) to Deerfield, MA to go shopping at the Yankee Candle flagship store. We've been going for a number of years now, and we ALWAYS have so much fun. Jim and I don't usually buy a ton of candles - every year we buy one 'Medium Jar, Christmas Wreath scent' and then a few votives and some tarts. We tend to buy lots of ornaments and some fun and festive holiday/winter decorations for around the house. This year we behaved and didn't spend a ton of money. We all had coupons for 30% off our entire purchase which was HUGE. Jim and I saved about $65!!! We have lunch at the restaurant there every year (part of the tradition) as well - if you're ever there and are hungry, I HIGHLY suggest the clam chowder. We all get a bowl of it...that's right...a bowl...don't judge...and it's amazing. So good.
This year while we were shopping, it was snowing like crazy, so by the time we packed up and left there was an inch or two of snow on the ground. It was very pretty - but it made the ride home a bit longer than we'd planned.
This is what the car looked like when we left:
(Jim and I haven't loaded our pictures onto the computer yet, so I don't have ours, but Kerry sent me that one.)
We got to Kerry and Guy's house and as we do every year, we showed Kerry's mom and dad all the fun and fantastic things we got. It's one of my favorite parts because Kerry's mom gets SO excited about everything, and we get to see what each of us bought. Things get a little hectic at the store, so you don't always catch what the other couples are doing...so it's nice to 're-cap' the shopping trip at the end of the day.
Here are a couple of things we got....one is a votive holder (gingerbread people) and the other is a tea light holder (snowmen)
Both are CUTE!!!
P.S. - Jim just sent me this picture and I kind of like it, so here it is. :-)
Friday, December 4, 2009
That was our exciting event for yesterday!!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
PS - YAHOO for Meredith Baxter (Birney) for coming out the other day.
You go, Mrs. Keaton!!!!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Grab your coffee and settle in.
Last night's class began with a re-cap of our previous class, which as you may recall, dealt with the grief/loss that the kids will experience when coming into an adoptive home. Since we're part of the pilot program, our class leaders realized that in following the new format, some things weren't covered as thoroughly as they were in the 'old' format. As a result, Noreen and Krystal (not their real names) wanted to talk a bit more about grief/loss. That discussion tied in nicely to one of this week's major topics, which was trauma and the traumatic events that the kids in the system may have faced before coming into a foster/adoptive home.
We broke up into groups of three people (a total of four groups) and were each assigned a scenario. Each group read the scenario and then had to describe the 'traumatic events' of the scenario, who was affected by the trauma, what the response to the trauma might be, and how the 'caregivers' in the scenario should deal with the traumatized children.
Our scenario dealt with a father who got drunk on Christmas, verbally and physically abused his wife in front of the children, and as a result, one of the children called the police. The father was then arrested, the mom was taken to the hospital, and the children were sent to stay with the father's parents. According to Noreen, this is a very typical scenario and something that happens way too often. Not only the abuse itself, but the fact that all the children (there were three siblings in this case) witnessed everything. Yikes.
One of the points that came out of this discussion (something I never considered) was that often times, children in the system are very much aware of their trauma anniversaries and tend to 'act out' at these times. For example, using the scenario above - assuming these children were placed in a foster or adoptive home - there is a possibility that these kids would become anxious and/or concerned as Christmas approached. Because to them, Christmas is automatically associated with violence. On a similar level, Noreen brought up an excellent point about alcohol consumption in front of certain kids.
Currently, I would think absolutely NOTHING about sitting around on a Saturday night watching TV and drinking a few beers. However, for a child raised in a home where dad downed a 30-pack and proceeded to beat him and his siblings senseless, my 'casual drinking' could have that child sitting in terror, waiting for the violence to begin. Again - something I never even thought about.
Since Jim and I are hoping to adopt an infant, this may not even be an issue for us, but I'm adding it to the list of stuff that I would never have thought of before taking these classes. :-)
The second half of the class focused on how to handle being placed with a child who had been sexually abused. Again, this is hopefully something that Jim and I won't have to deal with, but it was certainly a very interesting/educational topic of discussion.
The discussion thankfully didn't focus on specific cases, but instead, focused on how to set up 'The Healthy Home', as well as how to 'nurture' and show a child you care, without relying on any kind of physical contact with them. Noreen brought up a great example of how when she was first starting out as a social worker, it was her natural instinct when meeting a child for the first time, to approach the child and give them a hug. Well, it didn't take her long to realize that not all children were receptive to that.
That's just a high level example of something that a lot of people may not even think of.
As far as 'The Healthy Home' exercise, we all had to come up with either three 'rules' of the home that focused on making everyone feel safe and secure; or come up with an activity that encouraged family nurturing, without focusing on physical contact. We had to write our three rules/activities on Post-It notes and place them in the 'room' that the rule/activity would apply to. (There was a floor plan of a house drawn on a flip chart for us to use.)
There were some really great suggestions made, but I have to say that both Noreen and Krystal (ntrn) were fans of both mine and Jim's suggestions....without knowing that we wrote them. For example, I suggested a 'Family Walk' as one of the nurturing, yet non-intrusive behaviors and that was apparently the first time in their experience that anyone has chosen an activity outside of the home. They were also a big fan of Jim's suggestion of saying prayers/reflecting on the day before bedtime with the kids.
Hopefully, our suggestions got us some 'extra points' :-)
Side note: Can I just say that some of the stuff that people say out loud in class really surprises me.?!?!? Clearly they want you to be honest, but typically in a public situation, surrounded by people you don't know all that well, you would think that folks would be a little bit reserved in how they voice their opinions on certain subjects. For example, last night when Noreen started the discussion about sexual abuse, one of the men in the class blurted out - "I think they should all be shot! No question."
Even if you do feel that way - which I'm sure lots of people do - would you really just throw that out there for everyone to hear?? Especially in front of the people who are going to be deciding if you're fit to be a parent or not? I don't know...maybe it's just me.
Well my peeps....this had gone on long enough.
I'm going to grab some coffee and get to work!
Have a GREAT day. :-)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
I hope you all had a better commute than I did today....yikes, what a mess!
Anyway....Jim and I had a CRAZY week/weekend, but even though it was crazy; it was great.
Let's see....here's what happened since we last 'spoke':
Wednesday: Jim and I both left work a 'tad' early, and headed to my sister's house for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. My uncle, aunt and two of my cousins were in town from Chicago visiting, so we all got together. Dinner was GREAT, as was playing catch-up with my relatives who I haven't seen in a very long time.
Thursday: We both got up early and while Jim made cornbread, biscuits, and rolls to bring to his parent's house I took Scooter for a long walk. I set the DVR to record the Thanksgiving Day parades (on both channels) so that I wouldn't miss any of the parade....and all the Broadway performances. YAHOO!! After a delicious dinner, we spent time time hanging out with the family and then went back home for a bit. Later that night, Jim and I went over to Charles' house to visit and have a few drinks. Charles and the twins took off for Dallas on Friday morning to visit Charles' family, so we wanted visit them before they left.
Friday: Jim and I got up early and spent the ENTIRE day working on the soon-to-be nursery. We sanded down all the walls, had some lunch, and then went back to work priming every surface in the room. It took us a really long time, but once it was done, we were very happy. Friday night I picked up my friend Neil (who was visiting from out of town) and we went to our friend Amy's house for the evening. It was so much fun seeing them both and catching up on all the latest news. Amy's three kids were still awake when we arrived, which was nice. I hadn't seen them in so long....I can't believe how big they're getting!!!! Makes me feel o-l-d.
Saturday: Jim and I had a fairly relaxing morning. We woke up, had some breakfast, spent a little time in the hot tub (YAY!!!), showered and then headed over to his brother's house to carpool into the city. We all (Jim's entire family) went in to see matinee performance of the Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker!!! I've never seen a ballet before (I know, right?!?!?) and wasn't sure how I'd feel about it. I ended up having a really good time. We had excellent seats and the show was great. I'm amazed at the talent these people have, not to mention the bodies on those dancers. Holy crap....those dancers are amazingly muscular and believe me, they are showing it all off. There is no hiding anything in those tights....yikes. After the ballet, we walked over to Newbury Street for a late lunch (which was quite yummy) and then headed back home. The trees along Newbury Street are already decorated for Christmas, so it was a very pretty walk back to the car. Once we got home, Jim and I fed Scooter, took him out, and then headed off to Lowe's. We decided to go in a different direction with the soon-to-be-nursery's theme. I'm very excited about it but I'm not going to tell you what we've decided. You'll just have to wait until it's done. HA!!!
We bought all the stuff we needed to paint the room and then headed home. At this point we were both VERY tired (from working on the room the day before, as well as all the walking we did around Boston) so we just sat on the couch, watched TV, and went to bed early.
Sunday: We got up, showered, went to church :-), went grocery shopping, had lunch and then went back to work on the room. We painted all the walls and then painted all the various parts of the radiator. We have baseboard heating in the room, so we had to disassemble the whole thing in order to paint it all....but it looks great so far. We're going to have to go back and do a second coat on everything (annoying), but I'm SOOOO excited that the walls turned out to be 'paintable'. I'm still having nightmares at the thought of having to put up wallpaper!!!
We have a lot going on this week, so I'm hoping that we can get a lot done on the room in the short amount of time we have. I'll definitely keep you posted and I'm sure there will be pictures posted (of the room, as well as my bearded face) very, very soon.
I hope you all had a GREAT holiday and the return to the 'real world' isn't too traumatic for any of you. :-)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Don't worry - it has nothing to do with these:
Actually - and I'm not joking - in more recent years, it's often been referred to as "The Hungry Person Dinner".
Oh my...I feel a politically correct headache coming on......yikes.
Anyway...the basic gist of the event is that they only sell a certain amount of tickets at $100 a couple. For that price, you get a fancy-pants dinner for two and are entered into a drawing for the chance to win one of three cash prizes ($2,500 - $500 and $250). Each couple has a number on their ticket and as the night goes on, numbers are drawn out of a hat (or something similar). If your number is drawn, you get eliminated. Whatever numbers are left at the end are the big winners. I'm not exactly sure how they determine final the three winners, but I'd be THRILLED if Jim and I won any of the prizes.
Let's hope that our number makes it to the end!!!! :-)
Whatever happens, I'm sure it'll be a fun time and the money all goes to a great cause. The event is being held at the local 'social club' and I must admit - I LOVE attending these 'townie' events. All of Jim's family will be there, as will all of his parent's friends - who are a lot of fun to be around. It certainly doesn't hurt that you can buy your entire table a round of drinks for what it would cost you to buy two drinks in any Boston bar.
Tomorrow morning, Jim's dad is coming over to help us (teach us) how to 'fix' the walls in the soon-to-be nursery. Since they're in such rough shape, we're going to have to put wallpaper up in there. I know....I know. Our only other option would be to knock down the walls and put up new drywall - and that certainly ain't gonna happen. We'd love to paint the room, but since the walls are SO old, we're just going to throw some Spackle-type wall repair stuff on them and throw up some wallpaper.
I'm not 100% sure what we're going to put up, but we're probably going to look for a solid color. We've talked about it at length, and since Jim is a H-U-G-E Curious George fan I think we're going to go with that as the theme for the room. It would certainly be very cute, and it's not gender specific....just in case. Once the 'wall fixing' has been completed, the plan is to go out on the hunt for wallpaper. I think we're going to look for a solid color....possibly yellow - a la the Curious George books...but maybe not quite as bright. We shall see!
Have a great weekend!!!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I'll try to keep this brief, but let's be honest...chances are it won't be.
We have two women running our class, Noreen and Krystal (not their real names). Noreen told us that in the class she just finished teaching, there were 11 couples taking part, and in the class before that one there were 10 couples.
As of right now, our class is made up of 5 couples and one single woman.
There is the possibility that there will be one more couple joining us next week, but that seems to be up in the air. Last night there were only 9 people in the class because we were missing one husband, the single woman, and one of the couples. According to the rules of the group - none of those people who were missing last night are allowed to miss any more classes. If they do, they're OUT!
Jim and I were the only gay couple there, and we're pretty sure that we're the youngest couple in the class. It seems like a very nice group of people. I'm not sure that we'll make any life long friends out of the class, but you never know, do you???
I do know that one of the couples has at least three children at home already...they have a 20 year old, an 18 year old, and a 6 year old. Whether they're their biological children or if they're step-children of some sort, I have no idea. One of the other couples has an 8 year old daughter and I think that the remaining 2 couples are childless. Well, put it this way - if they have children, they didn't mention them at all.
They began the class by having everyone introduce themselves and say where they were from and what they did for work. Most of the participants live locally, but there are a two couples who are traveling an hour and a half to get there. They're both from Cape Cod and our class location is the closest option for them. Yikes.
Once the introductions were finished, the class 'leaders' gave a high-level overview of what we can expect from the class, and quickly went through what we'll have to turn in when all is said and done. One of the biggest things is a 'profile' that each couple (or individual) has to complete before the end of the 8 weeks (or in our case - 11 weeks, due to the big break we have in December).
It's a very detailed 40-something page profile that is filled with all sorts of questions that we'll have to answer - some questions will be answered as individuals, some as a couple. It is a HUGE part in helping the social worker with our home study. Our friends who have been through the classes told us all about this, so thankfully we weren't taken by surprise. We haven't seen the profile yet, but it's being emailed to us today or tomorrow. THAT should be fun. The good news is that because of the 'December break' we'll have plenty of time to work on it during the non-class weeks. :-)
Last night we spent a lot of time focusing on the idea of 'permanency' for the children. We talked a lot about each of the people (foster parents, adoptive parents, social workers, birth parents/kin, etc...etc...) that are involved in the children's lives and what role each of them plays in working towards achieving the ultimate goal of permanency for the child. As you can imagine, in such a small group (again, last night there were only 9 of us) there is no hiding!!! Thankfully, both Jim and I have no problems talking in front of other people (shocking, I know). In fact, it seemed that most of the people there were OK with it. One or two of the people seemed rather quiet, but I'm sure they'll come around and start talking eventually.
About halfway through the class we took a break and then when we returned, we watched a video - yes, a video....not a DVD....a video - that, in spite of the horrific wardrobe and hair styles (clearly this was filmed in the late 80s, early 90s) had a very nice message.
It told several stories about people bringing new children into their homes, how they dealt with the initial arrival, how they handled discipline, how they dealt with 'acting out', etc...etc...
One of the more interesting points the video covered was the concept of creating a 'life book' for your child. Essentially, it's a scrap book that contains photos, memorabilia, etc. from the beginning of their life up to and continuing on through the time that they're placed with you. According to Noreen and Krystal, they've found that the birth parents are more than happy to contribute to their child's life book. They've seen birth parents pass on ultrasound photos, the baby's first hospital pictures, as well as other items that will have meaning to the children as they get older. All of the things that make up the life book will help them to better understand where they came from, and what their life was life before they became part of your family. Once the video was over, we had a brief discussion about the video and then class was over.
It was a little overwhelming because they threw SO much information at us, but I'm sure we'll be fine. I should have mentioned this earlier, but they did tell us that part of the reason for us being in a smaller group is that DCF is re-designing and re-configuring some of the MAPP training, and we're going to be piloting parts of the new curriculum. It's always interesting to be part of a newly developing process, so I'm sure that there will be some bumps in the road due to the changes. Even the leaders aren't sure how it's all going to play out, but at least we'll all be figuring it out together!!!
If anyone is still reading this - THANK YOU!!!
I hope it wasn't too tedious to sit through.....but the good thing is, you'll probably only have to suffer through one of these posts once a week.
Monday, November 16, 2009
My how time flies.
Jim and I had a very busy weekend....but it was quite fun.
Friday night I ended up going to the show solo (that would be 'Reckless' @ SpeakEasy) because Jim got home from work and wasn't necessarily 'feeling it' - so I knew it would be much better to go alone, rather than force him to join me. You know how that is, right?? Right.
Anyway....the show was SOOOOO good. I had no idea what to expect and I was more than pleasantly surprised. I'm not going to go into detail about the story itself, but I will say that I enjoyed it VERY much. I laughed a LOT and cried as well. Granted, I cry at TV commercials, but there were some truly great moments in the play that had me welling up.
Visually, it was beautiful, fun, and festive and it was clear that the director (Scott Edmiston) was responsible for the show working so well. After seeing the show, I want to get a copy of the script so that I can appreciate his direction even more. I know that there is a lot of stuff that he put in there (transitions, etc...) that aren't included in the script - and all those things are what made the show work so well. If you're in the area, I highly suggest making the trip into Boston to see it.
Go here for the specifics. :-)
On Saturday I pretty much lounged around the house (the weather was gross and rainy) until I had to go to my softball meeting that evening. It was great to see my teammates and catch up with them. We were getting together in order to discuss the upcoming year and to introduce the new players that we're adding to our roster (we're definitely adding 4 new players, possibly 5) since we lost a few players at the end of this season. After the meeting we all grabbed some dinner and then we headed over to Fritz (Yay Fritz!!) for a few drinks. Jim and our friend Charles met us there as well so that was fun.
Sunday morning we slept in and while Jim drained, cleaned out, and re-filled the hot tub, I did some picking up around the house and once he was all set, we showered and headed out to go grocery shopping. We got home from shopping and then stopped be his mom's house to visit for a bit. We then went home, had some dinner and then tried to stay awake on the couch for the rest of the night. We were both SOOOO tired - but we managed to stay awake until 10pm, when we finally decided to hit the hay.
Tonight we're having Jim's parents over for dinner. Since Jim is making his sauce, meatballs and sausages - and it feeds about 20 people - we decided to have them over. I'm sure it'll be fun.
Have a great day.....10 more days until Thanksgiving!!!!
Friday, November 13, 2009