Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Darndest Things

This year I'm working with the first grade. The kids do a center time where they rotate around the class at various activities each morning and I help one of my classes with center time. This week at one of our centers the vocabulary words were one, two, three, four, and five. Recently we have encouraged the kids to try to fit all of the words into a story, combining more than one word into a sentence.

Today one of the boys, one that struggles more than others and has a hard time catching on to things usually, set up shop at this center. Just a few minutes later he raises his hand and loudly shouts "Mrs. Arian! I'm finished!" The kids can't leave the center until I have checked their work, so I walked over to inspect his writing. Normally it takes him the entire center time to do this center so I was already suspicious. I couldn't hide my laughter when I read what he wrote though....

"I can count numbers like one two three four and five."

I almost gave him a check for ingenuity!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Direction

For eight long and very painful years I have allowed infertility to dictate so many things in my - our lives. Hubby and I have planned our dreams and our future around the possibility of me getting pregnant. We have put things off for years knowing that time was of the essence. We both agreed that we could settle for simpler things. We decided against several trips, even some overseas on the hopes that I would be pregnant and unable to go. We saved our money for medications and treatments rather than enjoying the things other young married couples enjoyed, like cruises and vacations.

Now I want it understood. We don't regret these decisions. The hope of possibility kept us afloat during these times and we learned a lot about each other. We found courage, strength, and a true love for each other. It was hard to stomach the heartbreaks, but we did it willingly, seeing the disappointments as a sort of toll on our journey.


After eight years we have also learned that God is in control and we can't plan our lives for Him. We can't stop living our lives, living our purpose here on earth while we wait for one paragraph to surface. If God intends for us to have a child, He will give us a child in His own time. When he does this He will make sure that we can handle things no matter the circumstances.

Before we moved back here I was in college for nursing. I was accepted into an accelerated program that paid my way and promised a healthy income. When we moved back here, the local college had a nursing program with a waiting list of more than five years. Nursing wasn't as needed here, so a job wasn't a guarantee either. I cut my losses and went back to what I know. My mom has been a teacher all my life and teaching has always come naturally to me. The program was local, cheap, quick, and promised possibilities.

I started working at a local school in the mean time, building my resume and earning experience. The first couple of years it was okay. I even enjoyed it. Then I got moved around a bit and I realized that once I got my degree, it would be difficult to do the things I really enjoyed. There were so many factors involved though. We needed the insurance. I needed the experience. I needed keep my foot in the door to make sure I had a job later. But I kept having to shove down this feeling of unease and frustration that I was stuck.

I am graduating in May, moving on to the last two years and my future. I began getting information from colleges all over asking me to come to their particular college. One caught my eye and a whole new world opened up to me. That college turned out to be too far from home for me and I was severely disappointed, but thankfully I am no stranger to disappointment. I was able to recognize the passion and desire that my disappointment originated from. I knew I needed to take action and I started to try on a different hat. Instead of finding a different path, I started to look for ways around the obstacles on the path I wanted to take. I was surprised to find that suddenly those enormous obstacles were mere bumps and hiccups that I had solutions to. I decided to seize my opportunity and take a chance.

I don't want my future children to see me live a life that I settled for. I want them to know they should do everything in their power to see their dreams come true. Hubby and I have done that when it comes to having children, but we sacrificed so many other unnecessary dreams in the meantime. The decision is a tough one. It will mean making a lot of changes in our lives and will definitely not be the easy way out, but once the decision was made, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I am so excited about the future.

I think sometimes that I get so used to the disappointment and failure and I forget to hope. I don't want life to slip away from me. I have hope in this new plan. I pray that things work out, but I know that if they don't I will never regret not trying!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poor Penny

I feel terrible. I know we did the right thing but I still feel just awful.

Before we adopted Penny, we called and asked about her. We had three conversations with the people at Animal Control about her and every time they were adamant that she was spayed and had her shots. When I got to Animal Control, her paperwork had "spayed" written three times very clearly. When they tried to find her vaccination records, they couldn't find anything on her. They assumed her paperwork had gotten mixed up and gave us the number to the clinic they use.

Fast forward two weeks to her appointment. After a scheduling mix up (It's only Tuesday people. The week shouldn't feel this long!) we finally made it to the clinic. I sniffled and blinked away some serious moisture as we walked out without her. The clinic is an hour away, so by the time we made it back home they had already left us a message to call them.

I called them and found out they were going to use some of their sponsor money to pay for her spay due to the mix up. Yay! I asked about her while I was on the phone. Poor thing. They managed to put her to sleep for the surgery, and they shaved her belly. That's when they saw a very clear scar from a recent spay.

We were able to pick her up early, but we have to keep her crated all night. The medicine is hard on cats and makes them a bit nuts. Poor baby is meowing constantly right now and clawing drunkenly at the walls of her crate. I feel so bad for her. Her luck seems to be a lot like mine lately. I hope she doesn't hate us when she finally comes to her senses! I wonder, do they offer therapy for catkids?

Monday, March 14, 2011

More Capers from Penny

I am firmly convinced that Penny was intended to be a part of our lives. I truly feel that God sent her to us to prepare us in a way for our future journey. It's just so easy to compare some of her behaviors to that of an adopted child. The process is taking longer than I expected for a pet, but I know with a child that process will take years, so I am actually kind of glad that we are learning. I realize that an adopted pet is a far stretch from an adopted child, but I also feel that everything happens for a reason and that all experiences are learning experiences.

A couple of nights ago we survived our first failure with Penny. We are working hard to try and show her that she doesn't have to stay huddled in one part of the house all day. I know it has a lot to do with the fact that she was kept in a tiny cage for a very long time and she hides to feel safe. I've even tried to help her find a safe place (successfully) by putting a blanket in the corner of one of the closet shelves where she likes to hide. It is now her "bedroom".

We work every day to pull her out of her hiding spot and bring her into whatever room we are in for a while, showing her that we prefer to all hang out together. She no longer hisses and runs from the dogs. In fact she sat right beside Parker today and watched him eat accepting a very slobbery doggie kiss even. At night we are trying to get her to come back into the bedroom with us to sleep. Since we found her hiding spot in there she won't come back in there with us.

Hubby picked her up a couple of nights ago to bring her in with us for a while and she panicked. She leapt full force from his arms. Hubby tried to prevent her from crashing into the wall in her panic, but only managed to change her trajectory - straight into a metal bifold closet door. Fur went flying everywhere and Penny disappeared. She refused to come out and would not even let us pet her. Hubby was devastated. He and this kitty have gotten very close.

We let her be the next day (thankfully a weekend day) and when she left her hiding spot to eat or go to the bathroom, we showered her with love. That night as we crawled into bed, four sock feet hopped onto the bed. She did not stay, choosing to return to her "room", but she loves us again. We were both afraid that we had scarred her for life, but apparently kitties can forgive.

She has a funny quirk I am certain originates from shelter life. Every single time Hubby or I walk into the laundry room where her food, water, and litter box are kept, she come running in there and hops up on the table where we keep her food bowl out of reach of the pups. It doesn't matter if there is food there or not, she has to be up there. She sits looking expectantly from us to her bowl. I didn't understand at first. I changed her water, put less food out, put more food out, petted her, all to no avail. That's when I started thinking about her living in the shelter for so long. The only interraction she had with people was when they came near her cage to change her food, litter and water out. I think it's just a compulsion to get any love she can. We've since tried to ignore her when we go in to do the laundry and instead leave the room, wait a few minutes and then go back to love her. We also work really hard to remember to go over to her hiding spot and give her attention every single time we go into the hallway. I want her to know she can get love now whenever she wants.

So far there is some progress, although not exactly what I was hoping for. She comes running every single morning as I make my ritual sprint to the bathroom for a desperate morning tinkle. She's decided that the bathroom is a great stopping point for Penny love. I hope she can finally figure out that there aren't special occasions that warrant love. Our house have more than enough love and we prefer to let it flow freely at all times!

Friday, March 4, 2011



You fought so hard for so long. I know your mom and your family are so proud of you for how long you held on. My heart breaks for the pain your family is feeling right now. There aren't any words for how hard this must be for them.

Your light, while seemingly small and brief, touched so many hearts. Your short time here on earth will always remind me that miracles really can and do happen right before our eyes.

I never met you, but I loved you. I prayed and hoped so hard that things would turn out ok. He apparently has bigger plans for you. Good-bye sweet Noah. It was an honor to have even the tiniest part in your life.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hide and Seek

I hope you all are prepared for the now occasional gushing of pride and delight over our newest family member. She's absolutely hilarious! I love watching her personality slowly slip out as she realizes that the shoe isn't dropping any time soon and that this is home.

I watch her do things and wonder if this is how adopted children will react and grow into our family too. It is a wonderful and fascinating experience.

Penny is coming out of her shell a bit. Last night my sister visited. Until now, Penny would not put her feet down on the carpet unless she was in a dead run to hide. Yesterday, that all changed.... My sister got up to go to the restroom and I heard her yelp, "Um... did you realize there is a cat draped over the back of your toilet? Just thought you would like to know!"

A while later I heard a noise in the kitchen. I looked up and there sat Penny on the counter, her head deep in a large bowl in the sink where Hubby had just polished off a bowl of ceral. She apparently has a thing for milk. She also stuck her head in his salad later that night to try and lick up the ranch dressing! Personality I tell ya....

She is exactly what I always hoped for in a kitty too. I have missed my reading partner for five years now. It was wonderful last night to curl up in bed with a long book and a purring kitty to close out the night. There's just something about cats and books that go hand in hand. We are going to have to work a bit on her part in all of this reading stuff. She loves books, preferably laying over the top of them belly up so that her new human can pet her. She also loves rubbing up against each page that I turn. My borrowed book has a fine layer of black kitty hair along the edges now.

The real kicker though............

This morning we lost her. She was no where to be found. We searched all of her hiding spots and then some we suspect she will eventually discover. Neither of us worried. The door was closed and there was no way she could have gotten out, so she was around somewhere. When I came home, Hubby triumphantly announced that he had found Penny. I asked where she had been. He said "Oh she's still there, follow me."

This is what I found!