Monday, August 30, 2010

Musings Upon a BIG SUV and Other Glimpses of My Weekend

For four days I babysat twin seven year old boys. The same pair I had watched at the beginning of summer, pre-Leo's unsuccessful dance with Volvos. This time around I actually had to drop them off and pick them up from school. Which was weird...very, very weird. To top it off, I also had to sit through a Tiger Cub (or Scout?) meeting my first afternoon with the kiddos. Again, very, very weird. In fact, I was quite useless at that meeting. I helped a parent and a couple of other babysitters with folders, but, that was the extent of my help. Let me tell you, 10 plus boys ages 6-7 years, in a open tiled room, makes for an interesting sensory experience. LOTS of noise! Anchored by the appeal of my new iPhone, I sat in the corner looking at the choas around me and felt a sense of anxiety when I thought, "This could be my future"
The view from the BIG A** SUV. At least 10 cars deep in all three lanes. Not to mention several cars behind me. Cuh-razy.

Fast forward twenty four hours and I'm in the drive-thru [pick up] lane at the elementary school the boys attend. One nice perk about this babysitting gig is I get to drive the family's car as opposed to my own. So, here I am, in a N-I-C-E Cadillac Escalade (I could write an entire blog entry about driving around in that thing- but, I will spare you all that torture) waiting in line at one of Tulsa's private schools with a slew of parents, nannies, babysitters waiting in their respective [nice, expensive] cars and SUVs- see picture above. The whole process took about 15 minutes. I kept running over in my head what the twins's mother told me, "No cell phones, stay in the far right, or left lane, tell them your name, don't get out of the car..." As I did this and waited my turn, again a sense of panic washed over me at the thought of, "This could be your future." That thought brought an immediate, "NO dangit! No, no, no!!"
Let me say that I understand that this specific scenario will probably not be my exact future. I believe though, that the thought of being settled in with a family, being at home, taking the kids to school and picking them up in the stereotypical American SUV, is what provoked a mild anxiety attack. I think in a nutshell it just didn't 'feel right'. I know the future holds many unexpected things, and one does the best they can with what they have for their children. I know many awesome moms and I'm ALWAYS in awe of what they do for their kids. That said, for me, I want something 'more', or different, for my children when they come into my life. More diversity at school is, at the very least, a must. Many other ideas are forming in my mind, but, not many of them can be articulated at this point in time.
I don't know why babysitting always leaves me with more perspective and sometimes panic about the future. Geez. Maybe it's my control issues coming into play? I'm not entirely sure. I will say though, I am definitely glad I'm not driving that HUGE Escalade! Though I could see over traffic for miles, I nearly fell out of the thing three times, and the amount of work it takes backing out of parking spots is just rediculous!
Nice comfortable leather seats though... I will give it that. ;-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Have Joined the Cult

Picture from I don't have my camera during this babysitting gig, so thank you Google images for doing the hard work of searching for me!
I feel like I should begin chanting, "One of us!" to everyone now. Yesterday, right before I was to meet with the mother of the twins I'm babysitting this weekend, I got a call from the AT&T store down the street. The wonderful lady gave me the good news, new iPhone had arrived. It was as if the heavens had opened up and the angels were singing, 'You have an iPhone!'
Naturally I headed there asap, the mother didn't even mind I was going as she too is an iPhone owner (told ya, we're a cult). So I got there and of course there were two people with complicated issues ahead of me. Ten, somewhat agonizing, minutes later I was called and I nearly skipped over to the counter. My little, sleek phone came out of it's package and into my dirty hands (I smudged it!! Sadness :-P).
I canNOT put this new thing down. It's next to impossible folks. I knew I would like one and would be hooked quickly, but, the this is some seriously strong punch we're talking about here. One little taste and I was immediatly addicted. Jon too has donned the robes of the iPhone cult (he switched over to AT&T and we're bundling our phone packages together and splitting the difference). Last night we were playing Words with Friends, a scrabble like game, right next to eachother. We haven't played a real board game together, ever, and here we were happily tapping our little screens and bonding over the experience.
See? It's not so bad. Come join us. It will make you 'happy' :-P*
*Mind you I have complete respect for anyone who doesn't want to or can't get this phone. It's just fun to pretend to do the whole cult recruitment peer pressure thing. Really fun in fact. ;-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Test Of Shame (aka the drug test)

Thank you Dilapan for showing so well what I had to stare at today.
Let me preface this story with I should've known it was going to be one of those days when my French [coffee] press sprung a leak from a crack in the glass. This afternoon, Jon graciously offered to drive me and Leo to the clinic where I needed to take my drug test so I can be gainfully employeed. Naturally, because like it said it was one of those days, we went to the address I memorized where there was no clinic. Thanks to Jon's new, shiney Iphone we quickly cleared up that we needed to be on N. Sheridan not S. Sheridan. Way to look at the address Megan! We got there and thankfully they were not busy. After some initial confusion about Leo (look at the vest people!) I filled out my forms and nervously waited. Yes, I was nervous because I like to be nervous about things that I have no reason to be nervous about.
I was called back and was it a nice, matronly, female nurse assisting me? Oh no, no, no! It was a cute, male nurse with tattoos and who had a look on his face that screamed, "Dear God, why do I have this job???' Which of course made it difficult to joke around with him to ebb my nerves. I mean seriously, this guy was a Debbie Downer, or Danny Downer... or whatever. So I was asked to put my purse away where it would be locked (I had to watch this btw). Then he said to wash up to which I stupidly replied, "Just my hands?" Right, okay, in my defense I was nervous and really not using my brain. But lordy did I feel silly when I realized what I had said.
So I get my cup and then shown the bathroom where first Nurse Tattoo Edgy meets Depression About Job Choices dumped a blue liquid in the toliet. I looked at the whole deal rather dumbfounded and I can only imagine the look on my face when he told me not to flush the toliet, pee to this line on the cup, and the more the better. Alrighty then!! I did my business, prayed it was enough (it was), dabbed off, and very deliberatly did NOT flush the toliet. I opened the door and nursey boy was not there. OMG I had to walk down the hall, open cup, to the station?!!? I did it with my head somewhat held up and made it with no accidents, splashes, or major embarassments. Well, aside from the whole having to walk around with my urine on display in a cup.
If that ordeal wasn't 'fun' enough I had to stand there while Mr. Why God am I the Pee Nurse [cute] Man signed a few forms, poured the cup into a tube, and then asked me to initial and date the sticker label that sealed my sample. Yes, I had to initial my own urine in a tube. Woo hoo. Then to add the cherry and sprinkles on top of this load-of-fun-cake I had to stand there and watch him take a small sample and put it into a quick result tester deal. I was watching this all, having NO idea what colors meant what. I swear they do this to make you scared so if you are dirty you'll just confess to it right then and there and save them the hassle of testing.
No surprise everything was negative. However, I did have to look at the form to confirm this because Nurse in a Major Life Funk said nothing to me. Just gave me the form, told me they'd fax the results to the school district, and have a nice day. Well, no, he didn't say have a nice day... hell, I don't even know what he said I just got out of there as quickly as I could without seemingly like I really, REALLY wanted to be out of there. Because I did, but, I needed to save the last shred of dignity I had left.
Unlike this guy. No dignity there. All credit goes to
Let's not even go into what work and after work had in store for me. Like I said it was one of those days. At least the new Chinese food place and the gin were all very good.
It's the little things that help.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Deep Breath

I went to the school district's administrative building today and filled out paperwork. I guess you could say this is really happening!! Prior to today's appointment, I had a few minor panic attacks. When I was called Friday to come in this week they told me to bring in my social security card and a copy of my college transcripts. Naturally, I could not find my social security card (big WHOOPS right there) and couldn't obtain official transcripts from TU in time. Cue freakouts. I've realized that when good things start to happen I can sometimes get into this mindset of, "This is too good to be true." As a result, I was convinced the lack of a card and official transcripts would prevent me from getting the job.
Turns out I was wrong... way, WAY wrong. While I will need to bring in my card at some point for payroll to have on record, my passport, driver's liscence, and birth certificate more than sufficed to prove my identification and citizenship. The transcripts I could obtain (all TU alums are allowed access to records online- they're just not technically 'official') were more than fine though I may have to get an official one at some point. Cue big sigh of relief!
About twenty pages of paperwork later I was set. I still have to do the whole pee in a cup deal and pass the drug test. Gawd, I hope the copious amounts of Benedryl and Claritin I've been taking are legal. :-P Once that is passed and the background check proves I am not an axe murderer I will be given a start date. From the sounds of it I should recieve that call in a couple of days.
I love it when life tells me to get over it and embrace the good that happens.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


In my frantic, 'must get a job' to 'holy crap I have a job' to 'holy crap where is my social security card so I can have this job'* states I forgot to mention Leo has been allowed to resume normal puppy activities. Yes I forgot to tell you all that- I'm a horrible mama! Leo has been going to work and out to public places with me since last Monday. I will say while a few manners have gone to the wayside he has been doing quite well and everyday there is improvement.
I think Leo could give Gene Simmons a run for his money with that tongue!
Leo has also grown, a LOT! He's nine months old now and is already 75 pounds. He's suppose to 'thicken' up from here on out... good grief I can only imagine where he'll finally settle weight wise. I think Louie was surprised how strong and big he is now when they started playing again. I often have to give Leo 'time outs' just so he won't go too wild when puppy wrestling with Louie. That's a new problem, but, I'm sure they'll figure it out. Since Leo has been on a playing with Louie ban, along with pratically everything else, he has a lot of pent up energy to get out. I guess you could say he's making up for lost time.
What a handsome puppy, non?

One area I was worried about was getting Leo's service dog skills back up to snuff. We missed a total of eight weeks of training and while I had been working on little things at home, I was skeptical he'd get back to where he was before the accident quick. Much to my surprise this past week and a half he has begun to pick up objects, bringing them to me, and giving it to me all on command. Not even two weeks ago I was having to do a lot to coerce him into putting anything not food or toy related in his mouth! Where this new eagerness and cooperation has come from I don't know, but, you will not hear me complain. His heeling (walking beside me) has also improved leaps and bounds. I'm hoping this continues as taking him to school for my new job will definitely be a challenge with all the kids around him.

Leo discovered Mina's hidey hole square the other night. What a goofball! I think Louie's saying, "Dude... wtf?"
What I'm most pleased with, however, is Leo has become easier and easier to handle. He's having fun, getting his energy out, and that makes for a happier dog and a happier puppy raising mama. We all are getting used to being 'back in action', but, it has been a good thing to used to! I have also noticed Leo and I are more patient with eachother. He is listening better and I am a lot better at giving commands and, if need be, correcting him. Though I would've preferred not to have had to treat a broken leg it seems we have made the best out of it and are the better for having to go through the long recovery process. Life can be rather funny sometimes, can't it?

*TPS wants me to come in and get my paperwork sorted out. They told me they required a social security card, which I cannot find of course!! They also need transcripts from college, which I cannot get due to some technicalities I'm in the middle of settling with at TU. So, naturally, I've been freaking out a bit trying to figure out what to do!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Well.. Wow...

Ignore my last entry would you? I just got a call. At first I was told I wasn't going to get one of the positions at the elementary school. As my heart sank, the school secretary asked me to wait as the principal was asking her a question. She then asked me, "Well, are you interested in the para position still?" It took everything in me not to scream "HELL YES!" As soon as the secretary relayed I was very interested she came back with, "Well, you're hired!!" AHHH!! :D
As long as the paperwork and drug screening process goes smoothly, I should start in the next couple of weeks. Oh my goodness what a ride this has been!!

Holding Pattern (ie I hate waiting)

Yesterday I went to my third interview in just a week's time. I recieved a call to come in two hours before and had to ask for a different time due to the fact my car's battery decided to die last week. Still, got my coffee, ate breakfast, and got ready in plenty of time for Jon to pick me up (seriously give this boy props for being willing to leave work because I need a ride) and take me to a middle school for another para position. The rain slowed us down a bit, however, we got there a few minutes early.
The interview went really well. Apparently the magic words are, "My mother was a special education teacher." During both interviews with the principals when I say this I get very positive reactions! The vice-principal was extremely kind, albeit very neutral and hard to read for the most part. I will say though that through all of this, the reactions when I mention Leo have surprised me quite a bit. The elementary school was all for it, DHS was confused and not sure what to say, and the vice-principal stated he was neutral and needed to check with the district. Considering how many positive comments I've recieved in public the reactions during my interviews have caught me off gaurd. Finding a workplace that'll accept Leo is proving to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. Nothing like the unexpected during this time right? lol
Now I wait. I've heard nothing back from the elementary school principal about the para position there yet, and to be honest that's where I feel a pull towards. That would be the place I'd prefer to work and not just because they'd accept Leo there (though that is a major plus!). It just feels like the place I need to be. However, allotements, budgets, H.R, etc may get in the way of the position there. The middle school one wouldn't be so bad, but, I just didn't 'feel it' as much if that makes sense. But, in the end a job with those hours, pay, and benefits is paramount no matter where it is.
School starts next week and as each day passes without hearing whether I got it, or not, it's hard not to become pessimisstic. I am becoming somewhat paranoid, thinking that because I want the position so badly I won't get it. This mentality is pretty typical for me- prepare for the worse just in case, but, don't stop hoping. I think in the end I just want to start this new chapter in my life, start saving up to travel, and begin planning for bigger things ahead. That's not too much to want is it?

Monday, August 16, 2010

"I've Got Sunshine"

The ever lovely and wonderful Annelise from box of crayons awarded me with the Sunshine award today!! Woot, woot! Rules are to list seven random facts about me and then I will pass the love onto three other wonderful bloggers. And away we go!

1. I have a morbid fear of being buried alive. If this weren't rediculous enough I developed this fear from watching a soap opera when I was younger during summer break. This is why kids NEED (yes I said need) cable folks. If we had had Nicklodeon while I was growing up I would've been watching cartoons all day instead of rediculous plots on soap operas which have scarred me for life.

2. I am a bit of a speed reader. Not like lightening fast, but, I get through books fairly quick. I've been able to do this since I first started reading around four. In fact, my mother once told me to read slower as she was tired of having to frequent the library so much so I could check out more Nancy Drew books. The downside of this ability is when I'm typing or writing something out I tend to miss typos and errors a LOT. Thanks to this blog I've been working on proof-reading several times as I realized I had a lot of typos floating around my entries. I may become a better writer because of this. Well... we can hope right?

3. I LOVE languages. Languages are fun to me- like puzzles (I love those too). What better way to gain insight about a culture than to learn its language? I really hope to learn more Spanish, as well as, German and Italian. Maybe I should buy Rosetta Stone as I have no idea how I'll have the time to learn them all!

4. When I was 10 years old I wanted to become an Olympic figure skater. I adored Kristi Yamaguchi and wanted to be just like her. Though I prefer to make my dreams happen, I am glad I didn't pursue this one. Though every now and then I still like to jump around and pose like a figure skater. It gets really bad during the Olympics.

5. From the time I could walk until I was about 14 years old I was severely knocked kneed and pigeon toed. Apparently I'm rather hypermobile in my joints and thanks to genetics my hips and knees are loosey goosey. My old ballet teacher told my parents I would never be a good dancer in part because I was so 'floopy'. My cousin had the same issue and he got inserts put into his shoes and now he can turn out like nothing else. My parents told me to just walk straight and now I struggle with turnout in Irish Dance. I swear I'm not bitter... well not THAT bitter.

6. I shouldn't be allowed to go to competitive sports games. If I'm rooting for a team I morph into a maniac fan. I will scream (never obsenities mind you), I will jump up and down, wave my arms etc. As long as it's not past that line of extremely rude I will do it. I got layrngitis this way once when the TU basketball team was competing in a tournament.

7. I scare, very, VERY easily. My brother took advantage of this while we were growing up. He often jumped from around a corner to scare me and he succeeded in doing just that. I will literally be pinned to the ceiling if I'm scared. This is why horror movies must be watched at home, with the lights on, or else I would get kicked out of a movie theatre for all the screaming I would do watching a horror flick. I'd like to think it's because I am just a passionate person with intense emotions. Yes, that sounds a lot better than I'm just a scaredy cat doesn't it?

I pass this award to...
Lovely @ Lovely in Lux
Caitie @ A Cait's Life
Sarah @ The Start of Something New

Friday, August 13, 2010

Definitely Not Meant to Be

I called the DHS supervisor back this morning to talk to her about what the job offer entails. Before I was able to ask any questions, however, she told me that the her boss said no way Jose to Leo coming in. He is, apparently, concerned that Leo would be a liablility and they could get sued (which doesn't make a lotta sense as it's a state/public organization, but, whatev). Okay big strike one right there. I still wanted to know what the position would entail, so, I asked about benefits. No benefits for temp workers, though if I were to get hired on after six months I would get those...but, I would have to wait, and no sick leave nor holiday pay. Big ol' strike two there. Last the pay would be hourly and the wages for a temp worker is $10.66/hr. Add not being able to teach students on top of that pay and the fact a paraprofessional gets paid, roughly, about the same [not to mention there would be benefits!] and working at a school would mean I could easily have another pay check coming in from the studio for teaching piano meant STRIKE THREE!!
I told her I would have to think about it, but, I was positive what my decision was going to be. I still discussed it with my friend, my roomie, and Jon and they all agreed that I should hedge my bets with finding a position in a school. [I also have a good lead with a friend's company, which I'm going to put as plan b] This afternoon there were rumors circulating that they were trying to work to get me a job and the I recieved a telephone call from a public middle school asking if I would come in for an interview for a para position there!!
I really love it when the universe works to make things easier for me. Telling DHS I wouldn't take the position was a no brainer and I felt very 'at peace' with that. Now keeping my fingers crossed that I will land where I need to be and where I'm pretty sure I am needed to be.
ps- Thank you all for your encouraging words of support!! You guys are really helping me by reading my rambling thoughts. Just knowing there are people willing to read and 'talk' me through this is beyond amazing. THANK YOU!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Week

Okay I haven't given out a lot of details about my interviews this week. Tuesday I went in for my first interview with DHS. It was more or less an assessment interview. There are two positions available with this organization, temporary positions, with the possibility of hiring me on permanently (pending a test, drug test, background check, how the training period went yada, yada, yada). I sat in the lobby and waited five very LONG minutes before I was called in. I felt very overwhelmed waiting in the lobby. Not going to lie, sitting down I questioned whether I was cut out for this job. Despite that I turned out the charm, the brain, and the humor. It wasn't too bad! There were two supervisors and two senior workers, each with a different dept and each asking me questions. Everyone was very friendly. They were quite taken by surprise when I asked about bringing Leo into work. However, they didn't seem to object to the idea, but, they did want to check into it. Twenty minutes I was out of there not feeling so sure, but, feeling good about getting my feet wet.
Yesterday there was another impromptu interview at the elementary school where I've been helping my friend Rhonda out. She gave me a heads up that there are two positions open at her school and so I applied. They aren't uber glamorous, but, the hours are good and there are benefits. And one position, a para, invovles working with special ed/needs kids- something that I have a bit of a passion for since I began teaching piano. To my surprise the principal asked me to come in for an interview while I was helping get Rhonda's class ready! The interview went pretty well actually despite being in a t-shirt, jeans, and flip flops. The principal was very nice, seemed to get my teaching 'philosophy', and we got along well. She wants to fill the positions asap and I was feeling really encouraged this maybe the place for me.
Today I recieved a call from DHS, that I missed, and one of the supervisors told me she'd like to discuss a job offer. Holy CRAP! I don't know the details yet, if Leo is allowed to be there, pay, when I have to say yes or no, etc. The other position at the school is kinda up in the air. They want to offer me a spot, but, as it is a public school they have to wait for the nod from Human Resources. So here I am... in between pretty much two job offers, but, only one is solid. And the DHS position if a is a 40-50 hours per week kinda job- meaning if I were to take it (and even quit if I got a job at the elementary school) I would have to cut a chunk of piano students, a big chunk of students.
A lot depends on what DHS has to offer of course. I have been stressing out, which is to be expected lol. However, I maybe getting worked up over nothing. My heart wants the PARA job. It is not a big high up position, but, working one on one with kids is something I'd love and I could keep many of my students. The dual pay would be a plus, the hours a big plus, the no pay during the summer- not as great. The DHS job would be a higher step up career wise, the benefits are fab, but, the hours would be looooonnnngggg.
I don't want to sound as if I'm complaining- I'm not. I am blown away by the opportunities that are coming out of the blue and I'm trying to make sense out of it all. I will know more tomorrow and so we shall see. My goodness what a day this has been (and I didn't even cover what the staff meeting at the studio this morning was like!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sometimes I Wonder...

This is what my fortune cookie told me tonight:
"Do not worry about holding a high position; worry rather about playing your proper role."
Sooooo appropriate to what I'm going through right now. And when you add "in bed" to the end of that statement it just adds a bit of extra fun to it. Which once again, is totally what I need right now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quick Blurb Round 2

I have an interview today, specifically this afternoon in about three hours. Of course, life has a sense of humor and my car isn't working (battery is dead methinks) and I forgot to buy coffee beans and thus was coffee-less this morning. I am the worst coffee addict on the planet. However, Jon came to my rescue with coffee (thank God he doesn't work that far away and he knows Megan + Coffee= Happier World) and I'll use his car to get myself to the interview.
I have no idea what to expect. I had three outfit combos picked out last night so I think I'm prepared in the looks department. The actually speaking part?? Well, obviously, I'm nervous and I'm praying to God they don't ask me lame questions like, 'Why are you perfect for this position?' because I might scream or say, "Well, first off I'm NOT perfect as I'm human..."
Right... this is why I've hated looking for work! lol Okay, okay enough with the negativity. I am going to go in and rock that interview like nothing else. Even if they ask me lame questions. So there!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quick Blurb

I have a public service announcement everyone. In just five days I have filled out two applications for jobs. Two applications!! I know, this is a small number (some people looking for work have turned in three times that by now!) but for me it's a big deal. I hate job hunting, but, in just the first week of being semi-unemployed two solid leads and ins for positions came my way.
And that makes me feel damn lucky. Even if nothing happens, I am just grateful for the opportunity to get something out there.
ps-Real post w/pics about this weekend coming soon. Right now, I have to get the pets in for their shots. Woot!

Friday, August 6, 2010

What a Feeling

The heavens must've heard my boredom plight. The past two days I have been helping a friend of mine, Rhonda an elementary school teacher, get her materials and classroom ready for the beginning of school. It still amazes me how much there is to do, despite watching my mother [special education teacher] do this for years. I have been laminating, cutting, stapling, glueing, organizing, etc all in the name of getting Rhonda ready for her fourth grade class.
This may sound like a lot of tedious work, and it is most of the time, but, I have been having a blast. I haven't felt this productive in weeks... heck, probably months! Despite getting up earlier than normal and working until 4pm or 5pm I have come home with more motivation to get things done around the house. Productivity? In more than one place?? Say it ain't so!!
Today when I recieved a call from the a co-worker about an upcoming staff meeting for the studio I a funny feeling welled up inside. The general crankiness and hurt stuff is there, yes, though it is better, but, there was something else. After mulling it over for a few hours, and continuing to get stuff done, it hit me. I haven't been productive! When I began my old job I was so excited and ready to get things done, help the studio become more productive and help my boss in anyway that I can. After some months, personal drama for my boss (not her fault mind you, but, I respect her privacy so I'm not going to go into details), and other multiple issues I was just getting through each day in my job. Doing what needed to be done to keep things running, but, not really being productive.
Yes, okay, I was doing something it wasn't as if nothing got done. Heck, there were times I was practically keeping the studio together with scotch tape and a prayer. However, it was all in the name of survival. What I really wanted was to get involved in some areas at the studio, to help the partners with more that just the everyday studio needs, change how things were done, help with projects that created more business, etc. It fact, that was the original idea behind my position; to do many if not all of those things! However, I couldn't do as much as I wanted as none of the partners were actively at the studio and communication was weak at best. This led to months of frustration and I became very unmotivated and 'unproductive'.
Sure, frustration and miscommunication happens with any job. To be honest, I thought the 'survival' mode would ride out as the partners were coming together and promising a larger presence at the studio. When they started coming together, however, is when I lost my job. I have realized that, i,n a sense I was denied the opportunity to make the impact I wanted to in the studio (though I did something by keeping things running for sure). If I can feel more productive by cutting out fishes with motivational words on them, but, not running the studio I think that screams the job really wasn't working out- for ME.
There must be a position out there for me, one that despite typical frustrations that come with job, will utilize my talents. A job that will help others and be productive. Something that will give me motivation to make a difference for people. That is what I want in a job. All it took was going back to elementary school to figure this out. ;-)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Finding a New Routine

This post is going to feature Leo's new routine picture wise, but, I'm really going to discuss little ol' moi and my new routine. Today marks the third day of my new kinda unemployed status. I am still teaching as you know, however, it is so WEIRD not having a pile of emails, calls, and projects to worry about. To be honest I didn't even think I worked all that much as I did quite a bit from home, but, I'm beginning to realize I did put in more time than I originally thought.
So, I've been spending plenty of time with Leo and Louie. We can't go outside for walks as it is WAY too stinkin' hot around here. And technically Leo is not supposed to be doing much of anything so my new routine has consisted of keeping him (or attempting to as reflected in yesterday's post) calm and as still as possible.

My boys. Those faces make any gloomy day better.
Easier said than done of course, but, oh the satisfaction that comes when I and the Benedryl succeed in taking down the puppy energy. Leo's pin removal comes at such an interesting time too. Now that his pins are out I don't have to spend so much time keeping his leg cleaned. Seriously, cleaning those blasted pins could take up to 10 minutes though by the end I was getting it done in about 5-7 minutes. Now mind you I don't mind not having to take care of all of that at all. It's quite a relief actually. However, that leaves me with more time.

The pin wounds have already closed up! I've been looking at those babies, cleaning them, and praying for them to close up and there they are closed up just a mere 24 hours post-surgery.
More time to do what exactly? Well, read blogs, post blog entries, do laundry, clean up, and....?? If I had a/c in my car I would go ahead and run errands, but, since there isn't a/c and the temps have been in the 100's I'm not getting in that hot box on four wheels unless I absolutely have to.

Leo still needs to take anti-biotics- that has stayed the same.
What's a girl to do? I've already put on hold library books to read, have been putting in inquires about jobs. Yet despite all I've been doing and will do, I still feel as if I have a bunch of time one my hands. I may have to start scheduling projects if this keeps up. I think I am going a bit stir crazy, which is just silly but, there nonetheless. Then there's the fun conflicts that have begun to surface. This morningI cried on the phone with Jon frustrated that the Irish dance class schedule [starts in September] will likely conflict with my [current] work schedule. How the h*** did that manage to happen? I have TONS of time during the day, as I'm not working full time any more, but, when I do work it conflicts with my life/activities?? Really?
Leo's the best pill poppin' dog in Eastern Oklahoma.
It's a challenge isn't it? Finding ways to keep preoccupied when I have all this free time. I may have to get more organized than ever before just to feel productive. I know it's too early to really have a 'new routine', but, I'm ready to have one soon. In the meantime at least I can enjoy time with my pets and getting to sleep in a bit. That's someting right?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Morning After

Don't you just love it when the high of a great moment comes crashing down?? Leo's sedatives wore off and oh-my-GAWD has it been a bumpy ride this morning. Here's the breakdown:

8am- Wake-up to barking. Yell 'Quiet', 'Wrong', and 'NO' repeatedly and try to go back to sleep.

8:30am- Barking hasn't stopped. Yell at Jon to take the dog out and drug him with Benedryl. Attempt to fall asleep. (Keep in mind I was up half the night with cramps and thus really wanting more sleep- sorry male readers for the tmi)

8:45am- Jon takes care of dog and goes to work.

8:46am- Barking starts up again. Put pillow over head and pray for sleep.

9:45am- Barking continues, as it has for the better part of nearly two hours. Decide sleep isn't going to happen, get up, take dog outside, kennel him, and get coffee and breakfast.

10am- Coffee made, dog begins to whine. Take dog outside. Feed dog, give him antibiotics, put back in the kennel, get on laptop.

10:15am- Whining and barking continues and replies to comments on blog continue to be interrupeted; about every five minutes. Begin to loose sanity.

10:30am- Dog won't stay settled and whines. Create elaborate leash system in hopes that he'll lay down next to the couch (on the leash as per doctor's orders) and settle down.

10:45am- Leo won't settle. Put him on the couch (yes I have to lift his 70 plus pound body myself) in hopes he will. Decide to give another dose of Benedryl hoping the combo will take him down.

11:05am- Dog still won't settle and makes multiple attempt to launch himself off of the couch (BIG no-no). Call Jon begging for more Benedryl (we're out) and in the middle of the conversation throw the phone down as the dog makes another attempt to kamikaze like jump off of the couch. Remove dog from couch and carry him over to the the floor pad praying, pleading for him to settle.

11:20am- Since Leo continues to whine take him outside for the fourth, or fifth?, time. Walk around outside for 20 minutes, in the 95 degree, 100 degree heat index, weather hoping he'll wear out.

11:40am- Come inside from the heat, sweaty, and cramping, and loosing it with the dog who won't listen.

11:45am- Dog continues to whine. Take him outside again. He lays in the grass- proceed to mini-'Dear God why are you doing this to me????' breakdown.

12pm- After lots of water put the dog in the kennel and start coping by vacuuming.

12:10pm- Still vacuuming as it's good therapy. Yes, I do realize how OCD and neurotic that sounds.

12:15pm- Realize the dog has been quiet for a solid 15 minutes!! A first in the past four hours.

12:30pm- Sit on the couch, dare to open the laptop again, and realize the dog is fast asleep (one would think after having two doses of Benedryl within the three hours this would've done the trick earlier, but, hey at least we have something now). Thank God and beg forgiveness for loosing it.

12:40ishpm- Blog about the morning.

Happy Tuesday everyone!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Actually Happening...

Before... On our way to the vet this morning.

Blissfully unaware he was about to be neutered.

Home sweet home!! Sans an item or three... ;-)
After... Notice anything different??? Yes that's just a bandage on his leg he's finally hardware free!!! I am still processing it all, but as you can imagine, I'm SO thankful and relieved!! The neutering and the pin removal went off without any problems. Dr. Mary, vet extrodinaire, said she actually had to really concentrate to find the break on the x-rays his bone looked so good. The next two weeks we'll have to work [hard] to keep Leo more low-key as now the wounds and bone have to heal from having the pins in. As long as he doesn't do anything too stupid (yes, we have a bit of a challenge ahead!) he can go back to being a normal, bouncy, playful, and [most importantly] healthy puppy.

Two weeks. I can actually say there is an end to all of this, I am actually beginning to believe that we are almost done. I haven't been able to think about the end for so long because I had to focus on keeping Leo from injuring himself and mainting his hardware to prevent infection. All of that is paying off now and I am starting to breathe again. Yes, Leo is a dog and I know some people would think it strange I spent so much energy on his recovery. To be honest, if it had been even my roomie's dog with the pins in I would've done the same thing. However, factor in that Leo is going to help someone someday in a way that I cannot comprehend and my sense of responsibility was heightened. I believe that I owe it to Leo's future partner to do everything in my power to ensure Leo will recover and come back 100 percent from this injury. Because if it were me needing a service dog I would hope that my service dog was given the best care in the world. I couldn't in good conscience allow Leo's leg to not recieve the best care that I could dish out. And so I gave Leo's recovery every ounce of enegery I could spare, sometimes to my detriment, but, the importance of what his recovery means for his future partner always won out.
I have no regrets at all. Though I think I should've taken a chill pill or two during this process. Would've smoothed a bump or two [or ten] over for me. ;-) Here's to two more weeks!


Louielou keeping Leo's kennel warm for him. Isn't that ear sticking up hilarious?
Nothing major to report, but, as I'm full of nerves and anticipation I just had to take a picture and post. Call it a compulsion, coping mechanism, whatever I just had to post something. Leo's at the vet and is going to be neutered and maybe be 'de-pinned'. I don't know when the vet will call me to tell me how everything went and if we have to wait another week or not. So here I am, an hour away from work, tons of things around the house to clean-up and all of those things I can't really think about as I'm anxious and waiting to hear some news.
Where's Prince Valium* when I need him? ;-)
*please note that's a joke!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Last Day???

Leo is such a good poser now. He held this position for at least a minute! Oh and ignore the dirty floor and hair everywhere, it has been a busy weekend for me.
Brace yourselves here guys....okay you ready? Have you sufficiently braced? Today just maybe the last full day Leo has his external fixator on!! Tomorrow we'll drop Leo off at Dr. Mary's vet clinic where she will later take Leo to get x-rays at the other vet clinic where he had his surgery. Can you believe how accomodating she is and how awesome she will be there with him? Couldn't ask for a better vet!
As he will be sedated for the x-rays they will go ahead and neuter Leo. Typically they wait until service dogs in training are about a year old so that way the dog has a chance to fully grow (and bigger service dogs are good for the physically disabled) as hormones help with that. However, since Leo is taller and longer than many of the full grown service dogs in training Therapetics isn't exactly worried about him needing more time to get bigger. If the x-rays show the bone is healed up they will remove the pins out of his leg; yes Leo will get a two surgeries in one deal! Worse case scenario? We wait one more week for pin removal.
Either way folks it's one more day or one more week of pin cleaning, hardware wrapping, and, making sure Leo doesn't do anything stupid (ie being a puppy). I can hardly comprehend it! Though it has been just eight weeks since the accident there are moments when I feel as if this recovery process has lasted for eight months! I actually cried when the vet told me that there was a good possibility Leo would be pin free by tomorrow. Honestly, I'm trying not to get too worked up about this, however, I do think Leo is ready. He has been running as if there's nothing wrong, is acting more and more like his pre-accident self, and despite a close call with an infection last week he walks with virtually no limp! We will see, there's no telling until the x-rays have been processed.
But either way we are in the final stretch and I couldn't be more elated! Thank you all again and again for all the support, good vibes, prayers, etc. You guys have really helped me and thus Leo throughout this whole process. Couldn't have done this without ya!