About Me

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Charlotte, North Carolina
I am starting out my social work career and my marriage. I write to relieve stress...mostly by sarcastically telling life stories.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Updates with Meredith

Tomorrow I will officially start my real job. No more easy orientation where I can act like I am still in school. I feel like I haven't explained what I will be doing. Basically the children I will be working with have some kind of mental health diagnosis. Instead of being in a normal school setting they come to our site- called day treatment- to have a day filled with therapeutic help to get them back on track.

I will actually be in the classroom with them and have contact with them all day. The kids don't do their academic work with us- just therapeutic activities. During the summer it seems like we try to have some fun with them also. They take them swimming, horseback riding, skating, etc. Now I am trying to prepare myself to deal with children who, I know, will try to test me since I'm new.

On Friday I finally got to go see the site where I will be working and I got to meet the other girls in my classroom. I also got to find out that I will be in the high school classroom. That is making this week seem even more scary to me. Everyone who works there claims that the elementary age kids are more violent- but it is a lot easier to hold your own with a 5 year old then a huge 16 year old teenager.

At least our classroom will have three adults (including me). The other ladies seem very nice but they are very black and white in personality. They are almost what you think of as "good cop" and "bad cop". One is very tough love and the other seems like a softy. I am not very good at having confrontations but I think I may be somewhere in the middle of their personalities.

I know I can handle if these teens cuss me out, or really anything verbal. I just hope nothing ever gets physical because that would probably freak me out. Now that they realized I have my provisional therapy license they may also use me to run therapy groups with any of the age groups. That would be fun for me. 

And big life news- the countdown is on- we move next weekend! I cannot wait to move. I usually hate the process of moving but I am so excited to get there that I don't even care about that. I have gone IKEA crazy trying to make sure we have enough furniture.

First I got a coffee table and TV stand:

Yesterday my best friend and I went out to IKEA again and I gave in to a big bookcase. Our dining and living room area is going to be one big space. I have been looking at this bookcase for a month now to use as a room divider.

I guess I finally gave in!

Of course next weekend when we are having to put all this furniture together we may not like it as much!  I have heard that it is not always easy to put together IKEA stuff.

It may be a busy week and I may not have time to post. If not I hope everyone has a great week and an even better fourth of July! Next week I will post pictures and news about our move!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tan Lines

I am going to make a quick and inappropriate post about tan lines. Prepare yourself.

When you have a large chest as a female it is considered either a blessing or a curse. I kind of view my chest as a curse- I think I have mentioned that in a previous post. I also mentioned my fair skin that basically burns just knowing the sun is out for the day.

So I would now like to leave you with wonderful imagery. Last week, as I reported, my skin had turned into a lovely crayola red color because of how burnt I got at the lake. This week I have started peeling and ended up with a weird tan line which my husband may or may not have named the lobster claw.

I'm gonna let you think on that one- and realize that I have yet another point on the "bad column" for fair skin and big boobs.
Just sayin'

Saturday, June 18, 2011

First week of work: Check

My first week of work is successfully completed. I passed my restraint test and my thighs continue to whine after demonstrating those restraints so many times on adults instead of children. Who knew I would get such a workout while being trained for a therapy job?

Next week I also have to take a test on their crisis model. Basically the model of how we deescalate children who are, for lack of a better term, freaking out. I feel like I am back in school- highlighting and making color coded notes to study. Hopefully I will pass or else I won't keep getting paychecks!

During our first week of work they offered us lower rates on Sam's Club memberships. Hubby and I are pretty excited to go test out the deals tomorrow. My husband is well known as a cookie monster so I think just buying bulk cookies will make the yearly rate affordable. Seriously I'm not exaggerating- if I ate as many cookies as him I would be 300 pounds but he is 6'5 so he has lots of room for sweets. Grrr...not fair!

In two weeks I will be packing us up for our first place together. I am very excited to get this process going. I have cleaned out closets and rooms for weeks to get rid of junk and back to bare-bones so we can move easily. I'm glad that my days are now busy with work because now time is flying!

Tonight I am going to feed the boys in my life- my brother and my husband and waste away in a mind numbing night of watching them play video games and scream at the tv. I'm sure it will be highly entertaining!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What am I Getting Myself Into??

Today was an interesting day at work. I am still in orientation and sometimes that makes it easy to forget that I am getting into a job working with children who have serious mental health needs. Not just working with them but being a main care provider all day long.

Today was focused on safety- mainly the possibility of using restraints. Please do not imagine this:

Restraints now a-days, or at least at my job, are based more around using your own body weight to get the child down. You don't put weight on the child in any way that may cause asphyxiation.

Luckily this agency uses restraints as an absolute last possibility but there is still a chance that one day I may have to "take a kid down". Tomorrow I have to be tested to make sure I know how to restrain. The instructor (an enormous six foot five guy) taught us how to restrain safely and effectively.

I am not a violent person. I have a hard time being aggressive or having confrontations and the instructor picked up on that immediately. That may be due to my bad habit of just smiling whenever I am nervous. So, of course, I became the target to use the techniques first every single time. Basically I proceeded to flail around with the female who was standing in as an example client. While I understand why I need to know this I really hope I NEVER have to use this technique. Although I suppose if I did want to use restraints I may be in the wrong field!

So wish me luck with my test and- more importantly- that I will be more effective at helping a kid calm down verbally!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This weekend and New J-O-B

This weekend I prepared myself for returning to the work force. I was excited (to get a paycheck!) but nervous because I don't know anyone. When I am stressed I usually want to fill up time. On Saturday I decided to fill up said time with making Martha Stewart cookies! And boy did that fill up time- like all afternoon!
I wanted to start with the picture...since they are pretty amazing! The cookies are called Firework Cookies and they are really for 4th of July but I didn't have that kind of patience- plus it is normal to celebrate June 11th with Firework Cookies right? It is basically a sugar cookie- which takes awhile to make because it involves: making the dough, refrigerating it for at least an hour, rolling out the dough, cutting out the cookies, putting the cookies back into the fridge to harden them up, and THEN baking them. Time consuming.

The icing is royal icing. You make it with classic white and then put some of the icing in small bowls and tint it red and blue. The icing technique is actually simple, again just time consuming. You start with your white circle, then you pipe concentric circles of red, or blue, or both (Imagine a bull's eye and that is how you start). Then you take a toothpick and just drag it through the color. When you drag the icing in one direction and then the other direction they look like the picture above. You can also do a curve effect and it looks more like a pinwheel. (below)

On Sunday we spent the day on my husband's best friend's boat. I thought cookies would be fun to bring! All the boys greatly enjoyed them and I stand by the old saying that the way into a man's heart is with food. Regrettably I have been blessed (i.e. cursed) with pale, ivory, English skin and no matter how much suntan lotion I put on (LOTS) I get horribly sun burnt. I will spare you a real picture but imagine this and you get the picture.
Well yesterday was my first day of work- and yes I was super excited to show up with my rad new sunburn. The day went well at first. I am in orientation for two weeks so I don't have much action yet. I am still kind of concerned over whether this actual position will qualify as "clinical"- but they did say after six months they may be able to move me to a more lead therapist position. I suppose we will see. Anyway the day was fine- until I went to my car. At lunch my car would not start. I assumed it was the battery and didn't really worry that much about it. After the day was over a girl helped me attempt to jump it- to no avail.

Now let me say that I have had some crappy and unreliable cars in my life and due to this I consider myself a car jumping expert. I mean really it is a skill I have unhappily learned. I know what I'm doing and nothing would make my car start. My husband was convinced it was probably my starter. Proceed to me calling a Honda dealership and dissolving into tears when I find out that a starter is over $700! Then watch Meredith, in her manic state, to become very excited when she realizes her warranty covers starters. Tears again- AAA is cancelled. Happy again- my warranty covers towing!!

Imagine Meredith two hours later in a black car, sweating in over 90 degree heat when the tow truck FINALLY gets there just to find out- oh it is my battery and I'm fine. Oh what a day.

But then I had a great reminder of why I love my husband when I came home to Chick-fil-A and ice cream that he picked up. I really am blessed : )

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Procrastination is another pet peeve of mine. This has been brought up several times this week, although I am going to choose not to focus on who or what is procrastinating this week and therefore affecting me! When I was a little girl I often got school projects. Projects that often involved foam board- or even more exciting tri-fold boards:
My mom has always made fun of me because the day I was assigned any project like this I felt I needed to get my materials that day. I would freak out if I couldn't finish the assignment the day it was given to us, even if it wasn't due for another month. I have continued being this way all the way through graduate school. Except now my friends were making fun of me for being done with papers so early.

Normally I just laugh along because I know I am a little weird for wanting to be so freakishly on top of things. On the other hand I would like to vent for a few moments on the fact that other people have no idea how not to procrastinate. Once you become an adult and have a "big girl" job if you put things off till you want to do them it often effects someone else- and yet I don't think most people realize this.

Two times this week I am biding my time for someone else to basically do their job and while I wait I can do NOTHING on my end because I have to delay my work for their information. Maybe that is not annoying to some people but I really hate that. I guess I may need to learn to let things go because I have a feeling things will always be this way- but geez people get on it!

Thanks for listening to my vent of the day! (I feel like I should have some musical thing after saying that. like the NBC *ding,ding, ding* when they do the "more you know" PSA commercials)

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I have officially signed a lease for us to move into the amazing town home! We are so excited and now we are just waiting until we can move out in about a month. One of my biggest pet peeves is clutter. The show Hoarders is quite possibly the most terrifying compulsion I have ever seen. Somehow the show is like a train wreck that I have to watch.

Due to this it has become my mission to dig through all of my things (and my husbands!) and throw 90% of the stuff away. I just can't handle it. I love throwing things away and taking bags of stuff to Goodwill. Plus that means less stuff to move to the new place. Today I tackled the closet and found an old journal from when I had just started working at DSS. It is always interesting to go back and read about old days and thoughts. I never keep up with journals very long- that is why I started blogging. I thought having input would provide more motivation to keep writing.

Do you remember the old facebook assignment that took over for awhile- writing 25 random things about yourself? I had written my facebook list out in my journal and had the advice from my Uncle to start blogging because he always felt it was therapeutic.

So here are my top 25 random things from 2009:

1. The best thing I have ever purchased in my life is my dog, Leia. She is currently in her terrible stage and I still can never seem to get mad at her.

2. The only movie and only book I have ever literally shed tears for is Marley and Me. We had to put down my childhood dog, Maddie, a few summers ago and I guess I am still not over it.

3. I have kind of accepted that I will never truly get over my parents moving to Texas. Although I have stopped crying every time I come back to NC I still have mini-depressions for awhile once home.

4. I have gone through a lot in the last 2 years and I think I am a much different person and I like that.

5. For example....I have been known my whole life as a bitch but the people who have become friends with me in the last year tell me they think I could never do anything mean. I really like that- I am sick of people thinking I am mean.

6. I work for Child Protective Services and I love the reaction I get from people when I tell them that.

7. The two things I wish I could change about myself is my negativity and my jealousy. I need to learn how to look on the bright side of things.

8. I have been trying to keep a journal this year because everyone seems to be fascinated by my job and by the end of the year I hope I have tons of great stories. The problem is remembering to write in it everyday!

9. There is still a part of me that wants to just move to somewhere like New York or London while I'm young and just experience real city life.

10. This reminds me that I desperately want to go on vacation. I have not been on vacation in forever...

11. I, at one time, was in 4 choirs at once and felt like singing was the one thing that I had a talent for. Now I won't sing for anyone... this gets me in trouble with the boyfriend since I won't sing for him. I miss my dad's choir-but don't tell him.

12. I can't ever decide anything. It is really a horrible trait. I never know what I want for dinner, or what movie to get, or my favorite band.

13. My favorite job was working at Starbucks with Clara. Yes I am a coffee snob but I can't help it.

14. Since I started dating my boyfriend I have been excepted into the best group of friends. Although they are mostly his guys that he has known his whole life I love them to death.

15. On the same note I have trouble getting along with girls. I am quite possibly the farthest thing from 'girly' but I also finally feel like I have a handful of close girl friends. And more importantly that I try to make time for them..when before I ignored my friendships.

16. I am a minister's child...and I still don't know if I like that or hate that. On one hand I have amazing friends and second families through church but on the other hand people don't ever leave me alone.

17. I hate small talk and always feel very uncomfortable in large groups of people I do not know.

18. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I can't lie to save my life. Even if I have bought a gift for someone I can't keep it a secret.

19. I want to be a therapist one day and I refuse to give up on going back to get my masters.

20. I think I am a really good listener and I have learned just to listen, because people don't always want you to tell them how to fix everything, sometimes they just need to vent and have someone really hear them.

21. My real dream in life, as un-feminist and silly as it may be, is just to be married and have kids and be happy. When I was little I used to tell my mom when I grow up I want to be a mommy and that has never changed.

22. Once you are one of my best friends I will always have a place in my heart for you. I don't easily give up on people, which has sometimes been a bad thing.

24. I am secretly an old lady in a 22 year old body. I swear I go to bed at like 9:30 and I still love to cross stitch.

25. I am told a lot that I am really good for my boyfriend but he really is one of the best things that happened to me...but don't let him know that because I would never hear the end of it! 

This was funny to read because I would still say most of them are true. Of course now I have completed the dream of getting my Masters and finding a job outside of DSS. When you read lists like these it always feels like there is more to add about yourself. So what are your 25 random things about yourself?? I would love to read all about it!