Monday, September 1, 2014

An Overdue Update

I know- my photo editing skills are amazing.

Hey, team!

I apologize for the delayed update; things have been a tad busy lately.

Here's what been going on in the past few weeks:
  • At the urging of co-workers, I went the doctor and got my leg checked. I was diagnosed with some type of stress fracture and sentenced to time on crutches.
No one was more stunned by this news than Mel.
Unfortunately for my still-bruised leg, my time on crutches lasted about a day, because soon afterward I…
  •  Was on a plane heading to New Orleans with my brother! It was a really fun trip. I got some good sibling time, ate a LOT of food, and listened to some great music. Plus, I tried beignets for the first time! They were delicious, but if I’m being honest- I think they might be a little over-hyped.  

I still enjoyed them enough to get powdered sugar all of the hotel room floor- like a true lady.
My favorite part of the trip was listening to the Preservation Jazz Hall band at Preservation Hall.
If you get a chance to visit this place, do it. 
They were incredible- such a talented group. And the drummer fell in love with me at a bar the next night. (True story- my brother can confirm.) If we lived in the same town and he wasn’t at least 40 years my senior, I definitely would have scored his digits.

Here's my favorite photo from the trip:
I think it's obvious why it's my favorite.
  •  A few days after I got back from NOLA, my mom came to visit! This was wonderful because a) she’s really fun, and b) she helped me organize and get the house ready. I am so, so thankful for her. Seriously- I’m not sure I’d be able to get through this process without her encouragement and support. We got a LOT of stuff done while she was here, which decreased my stress levels significantly.  We built a shed for the boxes of toys (remember that last post?) and then moved said boxes into said shed, checked smoke detectors, organized the living room, put up a gate in the backyard to block an entrance to a sketchy shed that belongs to my landlord, etc, etc. Then she did some MAGIC while I was at work on Monday and Tuesday.          
We're talking a Gob Bluth-level feat, here.

She (among a million other things) single-handedly set up and organized my old room. I mean, look at these pictures:

It's horribly lit and should have been in panoramic so you could get a full view of the disaster- but it was rough. Piles of stuff outside the frame- trust me.
Hindsight 20/20, guys. But look at this! Plus- she BUILT that bookshelf!

 And that was just on Monday! She knocked a bunch of stuff out for me on Tuesday, too. So please know- when I say I’m not sure I could make it through this process without her, I really, really mean it. I’d be drowning in children’s toys if it weren’t for her. I cannot say enough how grateful I am for her help, so if you see her around town, give her a hug and buy her a margarita, because she deserves it for being such a generous mom and person.

Since she left I’ve been trying to wrap up the items on my foster-parent-licensing to-do list. The main challenges this week: dealing with inspections.

Guys- this has been the WORST.

I was na├»ve enough to believe scheduling these would just involve a phone call in which I'd say, “Hey, can you guys come look at my house?” and they would respond with, "Of course! We'd be delighted."

Apparently that is not how it works.

I was similarly disappointed.

When I called and asked to schedule an inspection, I was told I needed to fill out an application and bring it in to the office first.

I got that news from both the Health Inspector and Fire Marshall’s offices.

So the next day, on my lunch break during CPR/First Aid training, I trekked around town to drop off applications.
I had to go to two different municipal buildings (why can’t we just group them together into one? They have almost exactly the same name!), wrote TWO separate checks to the City of Waco, and then was given approval to schedule my inspections.

Which I had to do by calling the office.

As in… the office(s) I was standing in.

When I called the Health Inspector’s office- literally within an hour of leaving- I was told the inspector would be out of town for two weeks. While I feel it would have been helpful to hear about that while I was actually standing in the office, I persevered and- after a few phone calls- was thankfully able to find another gentleman willing to do it.


I was told to wait 24 hours to call the fire marshal, so I did that during my lunch break at work on Friday. During this phone call, I was informed by a very nice man who was trying to be helpful that I needed to:
1) get the house’s gas appliances inspected by a certified plumber and 
2) get my over-five-pound- fire extinguisher inspected by a fire-extinguisher-inspector. (Something I didn’t know existed until that moment.)

Now, at this point, I’m starting to panic. These inspections are 2 of 5 things standing between me and a completed checklist, so I was hoping to get them taken care of by the end of this week. And since it was Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend, I felt like my window of opportunity to get these completed on time was quickly closing. (The other three things are taking pictures of the house, updating a pet’s shot records, and signing a final form- much smaller tasks.)

With the time I had left of my lunch break (who wants to eat anyway, right?), I found a plumber that could come out that afternoon after work. I also called the fire-extinguisher-inspector company and discovered they would close for the holiday weekend at 5PM on the dot.

Except for not at all. 

After a hectic afternoon at work, I was able to rush home at 3:30.

I arrived a few moments after the plumber (sorry, bro), who moved my oven/stove forward and lit a match by my water heater before declaring the appliances acceptable- a service that costs $100, by the way, in case you are considering a new career path.

When he left, I grabbed my fire extinguisher so I could rush to the inspection office only to discover-
it wasn’t over 5 lbs.

Apparently fire extinguisher makers don’t want to waste ink printing the weight on the box, so you can only know for SURE what it weighs by opening it. Fun.

I sprinted out the door, ran to Lowe’s, found an extinguisher I thought might be over five pounds based on its size relative to the first one, and then drove to a sketchy warehouse to have it inspected.

It was give the okay just before 5PM.

Suffice it to say, it was a hectic day. Really, it was a hectic 48 hours. But now both inspections are scheduled- for tomorrow and Thursday.
And hopefully I'll pass them.
With flying colors.
Because I’m not sure I can go through that again.

With those on the calendar, this weekend has been dedicated to going through inspection checklists and making sure everything is in order. I’ve baby-proofed my stove and the cabinets containing cleaning supplies, organized closets, mowed the lawn, hung up the officially inspected and approved fire extinguisher, found locations for the medicine lock-boxes, put up pictures and artwork to make the place look homey, and cleaned like there’s no tomorrow. There’s still a bit more cleaning to do, but I’m determined to have everything ready to go by the end of the night.

Please, Lord.

In all the stress of the past week, though, I can’t help but think about what this long checklist is leading up to.
And then I can’t help but feel really excited.
And then a little terrified.
And then back to excited again.

I am rapidly approaching the end of this stage of the journey, which means my life could look drastically different in the very near future.

To be honest, I still haven’t wrapped my mind fully around that fact.

It’s odd knowing my life is about to shift in such a profound way, but at the same time have no idea what that will look like. I can’t predict when kids might arrive, how many of them there will be, how old they are, or what they’ll like to do. And, since I don’t have kids of my own, I can’t really draw from experience to make a rough estimation of what having a child in my home will look like on a day-to-day basis.

It’s times like this that I realize how crazy it is that I’m doing this.

But, crazy or not, I feel so much joy and peace in this decision. Even in the midst of the stress and fear.

As Liz Lemon would say...
Things are happening...

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