Tuesday, February 17, 2009

school projects, currently reading, and mom's in town!

We just celebrated Tu B'shvat at school. Tu B'svhat is the birthday of the trees - an Israeli arbor day. Israel has always been more environmentally conscious. You plant trees, sing songs, etc. I had my kindergarten class make "flowerpots" out of egg crates and popsicle sticks - totally stole the idea from a fine motor skill in one of my programs. They had to pick out 6 colors and cut out flowers out of construction paper, write the name of the color in Hebrew, glue it to the popsicle stick, and then "plant" it in the egg crage half! I'll post pictures when I upload them from my camera.

Mom came into town last Friday morning (ugh it's already Tuesday...time w/her flies!). She will be here until Saturday afternoon. We've been really productive but also just had fun and cooked (of course) and hung out w/Adva. Yesterday we went to Duke for several hours, and Mom watched Adva's Flamenco class while I read at the coffee shop. Adva is a second semester senior, so her course load is much lighter, and one of her courses is flamenco. The instructor has her own dance company, and takes the dancing portion really seriously! Adva is one of the only non-dancers, but she's taking it on! Very courageous (not to say I wouldn't do it, as we all know I would, but still, she's putting herself out there which is great!).

I started reading Twilight last night for book club (and fun). I'm trying to figure out how to "budget" my time since I have to take the gre's and these courses for the grad program. I'm hoping that I just whip through Twilight as everyone says you do. It's good so far!

I'm waiting to hear back from the Friday Center which is a part of UNC, and offers self paced correspondence courses. I registered on Friday, and I have to wait for approval (which I don't really get because since the courses are self paced and correspondence, how can they fill up?). I sent in a letter of appeal to try to take all my courses at once instead of having to wait 12 weeks to finish two and then start two more. They are self-paced, but have a minimum time requirement of 12 weeks. Counterintuitive? I think so. I mean I guess they have their reasons, but I need to take these before the application is due! Erin Barrow, the WONDERFUL advisor for the program, told me that as long as I'm registered for the last two before the deadline, and they are completed before Aug 2nd, that I can apply with pending status, but I just want it to be done! Wish me luck please.

Okay off to do drop Odge off to get his ears cleaned and get himself groomed, then therapy w/one of my kiddos, picking him up, school, and then spa appointment w/Mom! (Wow I'm spoiled). By the way, Odge woke us up at 4 AM Sat morning (fri night?), with a double ear infection that I really thought was bleeding, but was actually black pus stuff - so gross. Poor thing was crying all night and panting out of pain. He's better now, but I felt so bad for my poor baby.

Last thing - I went to a sports bar (Hi5) for the Duke-Unc game last Wed (we lost), and it was so much fun! I really am trying to go out more but I have no interest in going at midnight every weekend and coming home at 3 am. I wish there were more "chill" options at bars or trivia nights for a more mature atmosphere. I'm sure there is just need to convince my friends to do it! (friends - let's do it!).

Okay off to get going on the day.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Food adjectives

Have you ever noticed that fancy adjectives make foods sound so much more gourmet?
When I cooked dinner for all of my sister's friends last fall, she started telling them the menu and one of them interjected and said "sorry, we need more adjectives." Green beans turned into "sauteed almonds and green beans with lemon and paprika." Chicken turned into "roasted chicken stuffed with fresh herbs, garlic, and lemons." Last night I went out to Mexican with SRR and one of my new neighbors Zak, and we passed a restaurant on Hillsborough which looked fabulous! On the menu, I just had to laugh because one of the items was served over "melted leeks." What does that even mean? Melted? I've heard of sweating, sauteing, etc. Do restaurants just make stuff up to sound fancy? Why does "fresh summer corn" sound so much cooler than "corn"? Think about it. Sauteed, baby, fresh, served with blank, with a blank reduction. It's all basic cooking techniques that just sound so much more fancy than they really are!

I went out last night for times two in a week (well year haha). It was fun but I was just too exhausted and took a taxi home by myself. Today I went to a training for Let's Talk, which was awesome. I am looking at what classes to take for my prerequisites for my masters, which I am hoping to start this fall! I am super excited.
I don't feel like going out tonight so I may just go bowling or something super lame w/my new neighbors. SRR and HG are babysitting, Erica and Lauren are working, and LK is at home, boo. Friends don't leave me!

I am off to eat some adjective filled dinner and then bowling!

Monday, February 02, 2009

oh...and currently reading - woops!

Wow I don't write in a few weeks and now 3 posts in a row! Helen Grace is probably drooling over the reading material for her.

Currently reading The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Actually I finished it and am discussing it tonight during book club.

Next I'm reading Twilight, and also some fluff book if I find one I can read quickly.

Okay going to make the salad for book club. Ta-ta.

Erica Strother is Determined to Have a Fabulous Week

Gotta love fb statuses...stati? Not sure what the plural is lol!

So, I am upset, yes, BUT I know I'll get past this quickly and I am going to take these few extra hours in a week and see if I can take any classes. Maybe now I can go to the GYM every day! Again, I just keep going back to the fact that I feel like my baby was taken away from me (my baby being the program I created). Everything is usually a blessing in disguise, as hard as it is to see. For example, Fiona Davis. Fiona is the lady from temple who has been battling cancer, and who has two children, the younger of which has autism. She is going through so much right now, but ya know what? If she wasn't going through it, I probably wouldn't be in their lives, and I know they're pleased that I am, so there's their happy ending. Mine is this - I am going to work out every day now. I am going to be more social. I am going to take classes towards my masters. I will also learn to speak up EARLIER in a program, and not just let 7 months go by being frustrated.

Back to Erica's fb status:
Erica Strother (and Avigail Eisenberg) is... "determined to have a fabulous week"!!! Oh yeah :-)
I'll keep updates on how fabulous it is.
Let's start with the fact that I woke up at 6 and Sara and I walked the lake. That's pretty fabulous.
Going to go run some errands for real now, expect more on my fabulous week later!

... and finally over stomach virus

SO much has happened since I last wrote. First off, I had a stomach virus for about a week. Definitely NOT fun, as I was throwing up at all hours of the day and night, but I did lose some weight out of it. Would much rather not have to go through that again though the next time I'm trying to kickstart a diet!

I really am trying to focus on my social life more, and not as much on work. I went to a wine tasting w/Lauren K. the other day and realized that I was a lot more shy and reserved than I normally am, because it was hard for me at first to come up with topics to talk about non work related. As the evening went on I got better and was more myself, just enjoying the time, but I need to work on it more.

I have book club tonight and I invited a whole bunch of girl friends to happy hour at Zely and Ritz on Thursday, so that should be a lot of fun and provide some regular good old 20 something times. I'm also excited about all the DG alumni stuff - I really think it's going to be a great season for the group and that membership will increase and become more active.

Sara has been going through a lot lately w/her job etc, but she won the battle (the two of us had  a mini freaking out session lol), and she's just had a great attitude about it all. She's been in touch w/her mom and it's made her (and as a result me) so happy. I really am so proud of her and happy for her.

Now that I said I wouldn't talk about work, I will do so, because of a sudden turn of events. Whatever - this is my blog, not social hour! I am no longer working for one of my clients, which is a sudden change and definitely a shock to me, but I feel okay about it. I am mostly upset because I really do feel like I set up the entire program, and that the client's success should be greatly contributed to my efforts, and that their reasoning is going to hurt their child's progress - let me explain. They told me it was a really hard decision to make because they know how much I care for their child, but that their child was plateau-ing (I'm sorry - what kid doesn't reach plateaus?), and that there were too many philosophical differences between me and the consultant. Dang right there were! I have basically run this program on my own, and they don't see that, because they've never had experience with this, and I have. I've worked with consultants before, and I was not getting what I needed from this consulting - they weren't providing services that we all needed for me to run the program as the therapist.  I have come up with programs, set up targets, trials, and really done most of it on my own. I finally reached a breaking point and brought this up to the family and expressed my frustrations, because since the client had advanced so much, the programs were getting more complicated and detailed, and I just couldn't wing it anymore, without the direction of the consultant, and it was not my job to take extra time (which I was doing frequently!), to work on the program at home. The ironic thing is that I spoke to the consultant about it all, and I really felt like we had a breakthrough and that it would be starting to get better. We had set up team meetings (yeah, there were none of these before...what??), etc., and I thought it would improve. I am really hoping that the family sees quickly that it was not me as the therapist that directly corresponded to their child's plateau. That is one of the most aggravating parts of it actually - I am the one who NOTICED the plateau, and the consultant just said it was expected, while I was like, NO let's fight this! Let's come up with distinct targets etc to work on, let's break it down, we'll get through this! Oh well, I'm sure they'll soon realize and hopefully they will be able to work it out because this client means so much to me and I really want them to progress and be mainstream schooled. All in all, I am more upset for the progress of the child than for my career, because I know I can find other families (with better set-up programs where I don't have to do the work). I really hope that it all works out for them because I do care about the whole family a lot.

Okay well I'm going to read a bit and then run some errands before going to school. At least I have a touch of free time now!