Posted by: TG | December 21, 2010

Moving Day

Well, after months away, I’m back with an announcement: I’m back. :)

And I’ve moved. My title’s the same, so I apologize for the confusion – I just needed a fresh start. So, I’m here.

I hope to see you there, and to get back into the swing of things! I’ve got some material for the foreseeable future so I’m optimistic this won’t be just a temporary adjustment.

That’s all for now…and since I spent all morning getting this set, you know that I really should get back to work.

Some things never change….


Yes ladies and gentlemen (are there any gentlemen here???), it’s time for another edition of the Face Slapping Ninja. Frankly, he’s been gone for wayyyyyyyy too long. And so, without further adieu, his triumphant return:

1)      My awesome, wonderful, wouldn’t-be-doing-as-great-at-my-job-if-it-weren’t-for-her counterpart. Yes, she’s all those things. But she does two things that drive me crazy:

a. By all accounts I’m pretty much ahead of the learning curve. I “get” what we’re doing, and I’m stepping into my position with confidence and with some skills. It feels pretty dang good. But I’m not perfect. And she seems sometimes genuinely annoyed at those imperfections. It only lasts a minute, but sometimes I can hear her grumble from her desk. She’s a total perfectionist, and I get it. But come on! Can you cut me just a teeny, tiny bit of slack? I’m not going to do everything EXACTLY the way you do! Even once I get the hang of things more! So let’s just breathe, and calm down on that one, okay?

b. She hovers over my desk after asking me to call someone. DRIVES. ME. BONKERS. I’m a little self-conscious on the phone. But now you’re going to hover so you can correct me mid-sentence? Take notes on it? What? I won’t tear down the entire organization with one phone call. And if I forget to bring something up, I can follow up with email. It’ll be okay. Now please, go back to your cubicle and let me make my phone call with a touch of privacy? Thank you!

2)      The Birthday Poet – it was my friend’s birthday yesterday. You know how I know that? Facebook told me. Not only did Facebook do him the service of telling all of his friends – which is standard FB procedure – but he made some extra efforts, to be sure that we didn’t miss it. I’ll highlight some of his recent status updates.

“3 days to 30!”

“Less than 24 hours until I’m 30!”

“Spending the eve of my 30th birthday at poetry reading – come join in as midnight strikes”

“Hey everyone – thank you all for the birthday wishes! You’re the best”

Look, I get it. You’re excited or something. But you’re not seven. One reminder would be fine. (Oh, and I only SELECTED four reminders. I wish this was an exhaustive list). And inserting your upcoming birthday into random updates as a strange aside? It’s very transparent dude. You’re fooling no one.

PS I have to miss your birthday dinner tonight. I guess I forgot that was this week ;)

3)      The Earthquake Predictor Guy  – if you don’t’ live in Southern California you might not know about this guy. He charts the likeliness that a quake will hit. He’s got a website, tweets about it, blah, blah, blah. And it’s total nonsense. If Cal Trans can’t predict an earthquake with their decades of experience, I don’t put a lot of stock in this guy’s basement operation.

And yet…..ugh! Stop it! He’s not right!

But I’ve had a serious case of the spooks for the past couple of years about earthquakes, and now I work on the top of a seven story building that shakes like the dickens when a big truck parks in the connecting structure. I just don’t need anything else to subconsciously feed my paranoia.

Even though I know he’s wrong.

4)      The 405 Freeway. Does the Face Slapping Ninja DO freeways? I don’t know, but LORD am I not into sitting in traffic every day. And I’m pretty patient. Long Board would have quit his job by now. Most people would just consider moving closer. I just want to slap the freeway. I don’t know what to do about it really. There isn’t anything TO do, I just don’t love it.

5)      Airport Police Officers. Maybe not every single police officer that’s ever worked at the airport, but sure as heck every single one that’s ever been in charge of monitoring that whole, “the white curb is for loading and unloading only.” After a few….situations, I have such extreme paranoia now when going to an airport, because these cops are always right on your ass honking at you, moving you along, threatening tickets if you are stopped for one freaking second longer than you need!

Last night I took Long Board to the airport. He was driving there, so we had to both get out of the car. Which creates a situation where we have to – wait for it – put the car in PARK! THE WORLD MIGHT JUST CRUMBLE RIGHT THEN AND THERE! I mean, God forbid the second Long Board’s suitcase was out of my trunk I wasn’t already in the process of driving away! Goodbyes? Uh, you can take your chances under the watchful eye of a suspicious officer!

I get it dude. You need to feel very important because your job today is to make sure people don’t linger too long at a curb. But seriously. Let’s calm down just a bit, okay? Thank you!

And how’s your day?

Posted by: TG | September 30, 2010

The [Fill in the Blank] Girl

At my last job I was known for two things: shoes and cupcakes.

If I had a meeting at the Regional office, Mae would always find me and request a close up of my shoes of the day. My volunteers would comment, “She’s always got on the BEST shoes” – high praise from impossible to please divas. (Some of them divas in the best possible way, of course!) If I couldn’t flat iron my hair every morning, make sure my makeup was impeccable (read: on my face!), or always have a purse that matched, I sure as hell could have rockin’ shoes.

At least, that was my justification for indulging in my addiction every now and then.

Then there were the cupcakes.

Before I arrived at my previous job, there had once upon a time been a party committee. It was a fledgling group when I arrived and I was tasked with joining. Breathing new life into an office with low morale was a daunting task, but I knew one thing for sure: Everyone liked cupcakes. And so it began that we morphed the party committee into the Cupcake Committee. We had the President, the Social Chair, even the Commissioner of Sprinkles!

I often volunteered to bake.

The baking I don’t mind, but the decorating I love. I made flashy cupcakes with snazzy slogans for campaigns we were running. I made holiday cupcakes to add a little something festive to an often dreary office. I even once made cupcakes with little fondant seagulls and lighthouses to fall in line with a birthday theme once (don’t ask!)

When an event would pass without cupcakes, people would turn to me and ask, “why????”

So I became the Cupcake Girl.

The Shoe Girl.

As I got closer to my start date at my new job, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of “girl” I would be there….Would they already have a shoe girl? What’s the protocol for bringing cupcakes to an office that houses 60 staff as opposed to my previous office of 10?

But the other thing that I kept rolling around in my mind was the other Cupcake. My Cupcake.

Was I going to display Cupcake’s picture at work?

As I was leaving my last job, I gingerly packed the picture that I’d displayed there. It’s perfect striped pink frame, with a face much younger than Cupcake is now staring back at me with huge inquisitive eyes…

I had a bit of a fantasy at that time. I would come into the office, an armful of trinkets to make my desk home-y. I would set everything up on my first morning, while getting to know my co-workers. My counterpart that sits next to me would exclaim, “who’s that? She’s adorable!” And I would respond, without faltering, “That’s my daughter.”

But that fantasy was just a fantasy. Nothing like that has happened. My desk is bare. My secret remains a secret. And I’ve spent some time the last two weeks thinking about why that is.

And part of it is because I don’t want to be The Girl that Gave Her Kid Away.

Someone once told me the story of someone that they worked with that was completely dysfunctional. After providing a couple examples, he put his finger on the kicker, “She gave away her kid a few years ago, so you know she’s a trainwreck.”

I don’t want a co-worker, a boss, a volunteer that hears from a gossipy co-worker, to assign my faults  – that I’m sure to have at some point  – to my first Mother status. I don’t’ want to be looked at with suspicion at my job, as people frantically look for ways that I fit into whatever stereotype of a first Mom that they might have.

I don’t want to be The Trainwreck Girl.

So I didn’t unpack the picture (something I feel less badly about now as I get accustomed to the culture, which isn’t exactly a “splatter-your-cubicle-with-photos” kind of a place anyway).

I didn’t proudly divulge my status showing off pictures of my beautiful daughter.

I’ll let them get to know the whole me, before they can just write me off for one part of me. And maybe then I’ll let someone in on my story.

But until then, I have been wearing some fierce shoes.

Posted by: TG | September 28, 2010

I Really AM Working!

No, I haven’t decided that I’m “over” Blogland.

No, I haven’t fallen off a cliff somewhere.

No, I haven’t run off and gotten married.

I’m just working. My. ASS off!

But you know what? I’m loving it!

My job is crazy and hectic right now and I’m working all kinds of long hours and nights and weekends but it feels really, really good. I’m learning tons of new stuff (and fairly quickly I think!) and am finally starting to get the hang of what goes where and to whom. I had my first trip to one of my events, in beautiful Minnesota, and it was so awesome to be out there with the volunteers and with the participants that are so passionate about the cause. It’s exhausting getting up at dark:thirty in the morning for set-up, but seeing the even through is so worth it.

And I’ve finally caught up on my sleep to the point where I can be excited about doing it all over again in St. Louis in three weeks!

What else have I been up to……let’s see…..

Well, my fall lineup is starting again!


…..sort of.

Okay, I admit it, I’m a bit of a sucker for a few shows. Notable mentions are The Office, Modern Family, and Glee. (Yes, despite whatever protest you may have for any one of them, I still watch). I’ve also added The Amazing Race to the rotation this year – have you seen that one of the pairs is a Mother/Daughter entering reunion???? They had only met twice before the show started I believe? And they first heard each others voice on the application for the show. Wowsers. Interested in seeing how that plays out I suppose….

What else, what else?

I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be meeting a friend from Blogland this weekend, so hopefully you’ll get an earful (eyeful?) of that next week!

Of course, Long Board is still around. He’s busy working/studying so that he can finish school and get his tushie up here permanently already! He was up here last weekend for a bit, and I’m happy that we’re falling back into our autumn schedule: football, football, and more football. Relaxing weekends with the family, making dinner together, and watching the game. Days that feel like they’re meant to be, you know?

The last piece of catch up?

I suppose that would be Dee.

You might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned to much about my own adoption story recently. Perhaps because there’s not that much to tell. I haven’t heard from Dee since May or so….and I know that we’re right about at that place where I try to get a visit every year. But I haven’t heard from her. And I’d be lying if I said that didn’t dampen my plans for contact. I’ll email her, I will, but right now I’m just swamped.

And with that, I need to get back to some working from home.

I hope to be around more soon though!

Posted by: TG | September 18, 2010

The Weak People Pleaser

I’m a strong woman. A strong person. I’m loud and bold and opinionated. I’m incredibly stubborn, and so is Long Board, so sometimes we get into trouble there. But let’s face it: I’m often right. I make decisions and stick to them. Because I wouldn’t have made them if they were wrong. I love a healthy debate, and I sure as hell won’t back away from one. (Unless it’s totally inappropriate. I’m not stupid!) All that to say….I would definitely consider myself a strong person.

So how in the world is it that I found myself sitting in a neonatal intensive care unit tentatively feeding my daughter internally wondering why oh why the nurse wouldn’t tell me her weight in pounds instead of grams? I knew that there was a simple solution: ask again for the answer. Request the answer you need. Demand it if you have to. But I didn’t think I even deserved to hear the information in a language I could understand.

It wasn’t just that day in the hospital…during that whole period, I was incredibly aware of my presence in the hospital, at the social workers office, and I always felt like I was perhaps a nuisance. I would do anything that I could to make everything easier for everyone else. It was like it truly never occurred to me to think of where my needs lied in this new and foreign landscape.

I was the quintessential people pleaser.

And yet, I never would have considered myself “weak.”

The two just didn’t seem synonymous then….and I guess they still don’t to me.

I’ve noticed a trend whenever we start talking about first parents as people pleasers…We’ll talk about coercion or pressure or being treated poorly. And often the response seems to be something that can be seen as a defense of first parents, but I often see it as a dismissal of our feelings and experiences.

The defense is something like this: “Claiming that first parents are coerced or pressured is ridiculous because it insinuates that all first parents are weak and can’t make decisions for themselves. They’re not! They’re strong people and I don’t buy that they’re so easily taken advantage of. I’m sorry for the people that are treated poorly, but people will treat you how you allow them to treat you.”

And some of that is true.

And some of that sounds like it’s actually empowering to first parents. That it’s affirming our strength. That it means that we’re these powerful creatures that are strong and proud and can climb any mountain. It’s a compliment on the surface….it’s what’s underneath that concerns me.

Because it also means if you WERE coerced or pressured or treated poorly, it challenges you to say, “You’re right. I’m weak. I’m pathetic.”

It takes away responsibility from the people that coerce. From the people that pressure. From the people that systematically make us feel like shit. Like we’re worthless.

And tt dismisses the experiences of those that went through that.

And I don’t think that’s fair.

I wasn’t as strong as I could have been….I admit that. But I also know that it’s because I very quickly understood what the “rules” were. I understood that there were things I didn’t deserve. Respect might have very well been one of those things. And when you’re beat down by people, by the system, by your own family….things look a lot different. I’m not just speaking for myself here, but I’m trying to tap into a variety of first parent experiences.

I think it’s of paramount importance to understand how we became people that were too afraid to ask for our children’s weight in pounds, for example.

I have lots more to say on this….but I think I might end it for today. Take some more time to think about this. Make sure that what I’m saying is making any freaking sense.

Posted by: TG | September 16, 2010

Ridonculously Busy!!!!

Hey all! I realize that I have been a horrible bloggy blogger recently, but I’ve been so insanely busy that I really AM working all day! But I wanted to make sure that I didn’t go TOO long without giving some sort of update!

The job has been great so far! Yes, it’s a LOT of training, a LOT of learning, and even a lot of work because this is the “busy season” at my new place of employment. But it’s also been a lot of fun and I think it was definitely the right move for me right now!

I’m up to my ears in to-do lists and questions that are popping up all over the place. The more I learn the more questions I have!

One of the parts of this job that really appealed to me was getting to travel! I LOVE going new places and meeting new people and yes, even being on airplanes and in airports. (I know, I know, I’m a total weirdo!) Luckily, that part of my job kicks off TOMORROW as I hop on a plane and fly to the Twin Cities of Minnesota! I’m very excited about this opportunity to see an event up close – especially so soon in my career here!
I’ve also figured out the rest of my travel season (I think) so if you happen to be in the St. Louis, Madison, or Dallas area watch out!!! I’ll be visiting those cities in the next two months as well!

I suppose that’s all the time I have for fun announcements right now….but I believe there’s a new OA Roundtable up, so fingers crossed I’ll get to that before the Adoption Free Friday kicks in….or maybe I’ll break the rules and squeeze on in tomorrow – or this weekend even!

Hope everyone in Blogland is doing well!!! And I hope to be back more regularly once I get a little settled!

Posted by: TG | September 10, 2010

Adoption Free Friday: Donuts for Breakfast

In the breakroom at work, there’s the telling pink box announcing donuts. Our office is small, and donuts aren’t a daily occurance. They usually signify a birthday, a celebration of a success, a going away.

It still hasn’t settled in that the donuts are for me. That it’s my last day here at work. That after 3 1/2 years I won’t be driving to this office anymore. It’s particularly strange that I feel a twinge of sadness as I plan to leave. I’ve spent much of the 3 1/2 years here hating my job. Complaining about my job. Loathing bosses. Detesting volunteers. But there are good parts too – I guess they just don’t make for great blogging!

Later today we’ll have a lunch. We’ll sit around talking, laughing, sharing stories. And at some point someone will say, “What are you still doing here?” Another will say, “Yeah, get outta here!” And I’ll be expected to get up, gather my things, and leave.

It’s funny this weekend, feeling like a person that doesn’t have a job. I mean, I suppose I DO have a job, I just haven’t been there yet. I don’t know the people, the sounds, the horrible color of the painted walls isn’t yet ingrained in my memory. (Maybe it won’t be horrible – but for the next few hours at least I’m still stuck with this piglet pink that really starts to wear on a person!)

But Monday I’ll sit at a new desk. Meet new co-workers, be introduced to new volunteers. I realize I haven’t really explained my new job, so here it is in a nutshell: It’s for a smaller non-profit, still cancer based. This one raises money and awareness about a particular cancer though. And I’ll be a regional events manager for the Southeast Region of the US (pretty sure I mentioned that part before)….where I’ll be overseeing all the volunteer run fundraising events from afar. It’s a new experience and one that I’m definitely ready to jump into!

I was packing up all the things at my current desk when I packed the picture of Cupcake. I’ve had to decide which things make the cut to go to the new office and which are crap that I’ve just accumulated in 3 1/2 years. Needless to say, Cupcake will make the cut. And next week, on a post that’s not so decidedly “adoption free” maybe I’ll figure out what that picture will mean in this new office.

If this new job is also a new opportunity for me to wear my first Mom status on my sleeve….but more on that later.

For now, I’m going back to my donut!

Posted by: TG | September 9, 2010

Pregnancy Paranoia

I woke up early this morning feeling unsettled and confused. I was trying to find an alert reality that would bring me out of the dream that still had me in it’s grasp. It was the dream that has become my most recurring, and my most disturbing. 

The pregnancy dream.

The dream is never the same. Sometimes I’m in my grandmother’s house about to give birth, refusing to let anyone in the room with me. Sometimes pregnancy isn’t even the focus of the dream, but is just one tiny facet, barely noticable except for my swollen belly and maternity dress.

This morning it was about kicking.

Well, not kicking – it’s never felt like a “kick.” It’s that gradual roll against the inside of my belly….slowly pushing small bumps around. An elbow, a fist, a foot – tiny parts that I couldn’t identify. Slightly painful, but incredibly bizarre and fascinating. In the dream, I put my hand up to my stomach as a foot presses from inside. I can measure the foot with my finger….it reaches from the tip of my pointer to the middle knuckle. I picture how large the baby must be that’s attached to that tiny foot.

And then I wake up.

I reach towards my stomach to verify the reality of the dream, relieved that I find nothing.

But the dream still haunts me.

And I don’t really know why.

Getting pregnant now wouldn’t be that big a deal. Long Board and I would keep the baby. He’d be happy about it, as he now constantly jokes that he’s going to “trap” me with a trick pregnancy. Says he’d like to be the first man in the world to pull that one! He’s not afraid of pregnancy. He doesn’t have that paranoia.

I had food poisoning a few weeks ago and a newly married friend of his said, “Oh shit, you don’t think she’s pregnant do you??” And it didn’t freak LB out in the slightest!

Which I guess I should be celebrating….except that it’s just so WIERD.

The truth is….the dreams aren’t so bad when I’m in them. I’m rarely scared. I’m often happy and comforted. It’s what they do to me in the hours that I can’t fall back asleep that gets me. The time in my day spent trying to shake it off.

I have every confidence in the world that I won’t get pregnant. I’m doing everything right, I’m not messing with my birth control, and I’m in such a good place that even if that all went to hell I’d be okay. I know this during the light of day. It’s during the darkness of night when I question it all….

Posted by: TG | September 7, 2010

News About the “New”


What a delinquent blogger I’ve been!

I’m INCREDIBLY excited about the new job that I’ve accepted, but leaving my current job is quite a process. I’m working on creating transition documents on, oh, just EVERYTHING I DO! My boss had been laid off earlier this summer and left NOTHING behind by way of information. My predecessor had done nothing either, leaving me up shit creek without a paddle (sorry, it’s a blunt kind of day!)

I can’t do that to whoever should follow me. SO, that means wracking my brain trying to capture in documents everything that I do in the course of a year. My brain is a frazzly mess.

And I only have four days to make it….well, less frazzly.

Then this weekend I babysit my brothers kids, take them to Disneyland, celebrate the beginning of the NFL football season, and begin Monday anew.

New job (yay!), new commute (boo!), a dash of new wardrobe (I could afford a new pair of pants and blouse at the Banana Republic outlet this weekend!)

Perhaps my favorite part of this new job?


I LOVE to travel. And I really don’t mind it. I like planes, I like the time to read and relax on them, I like seeing new places. And yes, I’ve heard from everyone with travel-y jobs that it gets old, but that’s okay. For now, it’s NEW.

And it’s starting FAST!

Friday, September 17th I’ll be heading to the Twin Cities!

I don’t know what my schedule will be like when I travel, but my secret (okay, not so secret!) hope is that I’ll be able to find moments to meet some of my friends across the country here and there. So if you’re not afraid of meeting the crazy girl from the internet (yes, that’s me) then keep an eye out because I’ll try to update you as soon as I know where I’m heading next!

Until then…..I gotta keep grinding on these transition documents….

Well, that and see if there’s a new OA Roundtable…I’m looking for bloggy inspiration!!!

Posted by: TG | August 27, 2010

Adoption Free Friday: Announcements

1) I’m alive. I’ve just been….not blogging. I have no idea why.

2) I suppose some of you want an update on that whole “References” business. Well, a day after I gave my references they called them all. The next day, they called with an offer. But it wasn’t the right offer for me. It was for a different position, and while it paid more than I currently make, it just didn’t feel right. I thought it over for a few days, but ultimately I declined.

Monday (a week later) they contacted me again to talk about the original position. Yesterday I met with them again. Yesterday afternoon they made an offer. What I believe is the right offer. I’ve thought it over for a day. I think I’ll be accepting today.

3) In between the declined offer and the new offer, Long Board and I booked a trip. Yes, we go on more trips that we probably deserve, I know this. But after thinking about it, we really try to do thrifty trips. We drive. We stay with friends and family. We camp. We buy groceries and do lots of cooking. And we’re always with other people. We’ve never ever not once gone somewhere where it was just us.

This new plan appealed to us very much.

Then, like a miracle from the heavens, magical timeshare points fell into our laps. (Or Long Board’s Mom and stepDad weren’t going to use their’s this year and gave them to us). We had airline miles too….this could work! And so, we are flying to Hawaii the day after Thanksgiving. Ah, 91 days…..

4) I hate to fuel a fire that I’ve complained about, but I still feel like I kinda need to get it out so that I can go back to business as usual and not be the one that’s thinking about this.

Two weeks ago Long Board worked the following question into our conversation:

So, do you want to, like, come and pick our your own ring?

Uh, no! But beyond that – this is the first time that engagement has been almost less than hypothetical. The wedding, marriage, and kids we can talk about ad nauseum, but the real parts that need to happen first are generally glossed over.

A few days later he asks,

How does that ring fit you?

signalling the ring I wear daily.

This feels…..wierd.

Not bad! Just….wierd.

Of course, the speculation has now become that Hawaii, our first solo romantic trip, will be the site of a proposal. I am not going to expect this. I am going to just enjoy my trip. I am not going to hype this up for the next three months.

Now if I could just get Baby Sis to stop having tears well up in her eyes every time I mention anything remotely having to do with us, vacation, or the future – even if that means next weekend….

Thank GOD no one else in my family knows anything about this….

(Baby Sis would have been kept out of the loop, but in case of a freak out by Long Board wherein he eventually, whenever that happens doesn’t know what ring to buy, he’s supposed to consult her.)

5) It’s Friday. Hazzah!!!

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