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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Girls Night

This weekend, I got to have a girl's night out because my husband reverted to a teenager for a night of beer and video games with his boys. I went with one of my best friends to see The Help:
This was one of our absolute favorite books. I read it during my last- ever- Spring Break. I was sucked it for several reasons.
1. It is set in Mississippi and considering I lived there for 7 years it is a place I still like to hear about
2. The book focused all about civil rights and the difference between whites and blacks during the Civil Rights Movement. It's right up my social work alley!

Now, I will admit that I am normally a book snob and I usually find movies based on my favorite books lacking. This movie really holds up well to the integrity of the book. It opens up a discussion of how far we have changed as a country. It also makes me think how far we have to go.

I will spare you my speech on that subject but I highly recommend this movie! Grab a friend, boyfriend,or-quite frankly- a stranger on the street and go see it!

I also recommend that you end the evening with margaritas and Mexican food- at least that's what I did! 

Monday, August 29, 2011


I have a really bad or good- however you want to look at it- habit of arriving everywhere early. On Sundays, I always have my clinical supervision with my supervisor. We meet in a shopping center with a Michael's art and craft store nearby.

This week- as usual, I was early so I entertained myself by going in Michael's. This is really never a good idea because I can always find something to do in a craft store. When I was little I would beg my mom to take me to a store like this because I would be anxious without activities at home.

I think I went a little crazy yesterday though, because I was drawn in to the Christmas stuff.
P.S. Why is Christmas stuff out in August??

But I just couldn't resist this:
It may be morbid but I loved this idea because now- even when we don't have our furry babies anymore- we will always have their little- OK huge- paw prints. These kits were definitely not made for large breed animals by the way!

I also think it's funny that their paw prints even show their personalities. Leia is my timid dog and when I did this with her you would have thought her paw was being broken off by her behavior. So her paw print is lighter and kind of undefined. Whereas, General had a sure and steady print- because he thinks he was made to rule our world.

This was a fun easy way to always have a keepsake of your pets. It is cheap and worth the whining of your dogs as you mess with their paws!

*Plus usually when I'm bored baking gets involved- this brings much less caloric intake!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Highs and Lows

This week was like a roller coaster that started off with the feeling that you are about to die as you plummet to the bottom but ended with happy anticipation of next week.

At the beginning of the week- actually just on Monday alone- I had to stop three fights. I now have small fingerprint bruises on my arm from that. On Friday, the child who caused said bruises noticed them. She asked me if my husband did it- to which I said no, you did actually. Of course, there was no remorse or "I'm sorry" from her instead she just said- Oh, because if he had I would have to kick his ass. I swear I live in a parallel universe where having a conscious is not allowed.

On Wednesday, my fellow teacher finally came back! Let us all cheer! I have someone to help me now and she doesn't leave me alone with a room full of violent teenagers. Let the world rejoice. On a not so great note I had to work very late that night because one of my kids had to be hospitalized for suicidal ideation. I had to go out to his house with the therapist and assess him- and then call 911 to get him transported.

While out there I realized that I miss that "intensity" feeling of having a crisis and being in a child's home. You never truly know what your kids go through at home when you only see them in day treatment. It opened my eyes that I really do like being in the home and I have developed a huge tolerance for being in the classically messy homes that social workers constantly have to enter.

After this day the week got better and better. I ran the best group I have so far on Friday. Shockingly, the group was making home made play dough- have I said that my kids are in high school? Even the boys who thought they were "too cool" at first ended up wanting to make some. I made them let me keep their play dough and this week I am going to make them build something that represents them- or something to that extent.

Again, it made me realize that I need to stop thinking of these kids as teenagers. They really are like little kids with hormones.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Zoo Time

Hubby and I rarely have a day off together since he works on Saturdays. Sunday is technically a day we have off together but it seems like we always have something to do. This week I staked my claim on his time and asked if we could go to the zoo.

We both like animals so this was an easy choice and a fun day. Also it was very educational- as zoos often are. Although this time the education was more funny than enlightening.

For instance, this was the "king" baboon:
You would not want to go near that thing would you? Look at those fangs! Anyway, right after I took this picture he proceeded to turn around with his back facing us and pull poop out of his butt- and then clean his fingers. I am sorry- I may be too old to find that amusing but that was funny.

We also learned that tortoises sound like they are dying when they mate
I couldn't get a good picture of them because all the people at the zoo converged on this area due to the noise- but if you look closely the tortoises apparently also enjoy a three way. Meanwhile, another tortoise enjoyed watching them
Also when you milk a cow:
the cow gets very excited so she smiles and watches you- it helps when your face shows equal amounts of excitement. It's a scientific fact.

Obviously, my husband and I are not the most serious people- don't worry we tried to stay out of the ear shot of little children as we laughed at this stuff. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day

He's my friend

The lions were pretty neat because so often you go to the zoo and they are hiding or asleep. Today the male lion was active and it was easy to get great pictures of him.

The zoo had an area where you could pay $2 to feed the giraffes. I was too cheap to do it but I took a creepy picture of someone else's kid feeding the giraffe instead!
 Elephants are my absolute favorite animal but I will resist giving you a bunch of pictures.
I wish there was not a fence on the gorilla habitat because this guy was so cute rolling around.
Anyone else feel like this little guy might kill you? He is a little Hannibal Lector if you ask me...
 Another cool feature of the zoo- the have this short little walkabout. When you go in you walk right by kangaroos- no fence or anything. Too bad they pay absolutely no attention to you.

 Did you know that grizzly bears will pose and smile on command? At least they do for me!
As we were leaving I even got a fantastic picture of the baby giraffe. So if you are bored next weekend I highly recommend a zoo trip- you never know what fun things you will learn!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Glimpse

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of why I am doing this job. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of being able to do real therapy. I live for those moments. The child who refuses to talk but always sits with me at the gym and will now tell me about his family. Or the kid who acts like he is a tough guy but has court on Monday and admits, to me, he is scared to go back to jail.

These little moments make the job worthwhile. Sometimes, I get these moments a lot and then it is a good week. Sometimes they are few and far between and I wonder why I didn't hold out for a better job that matches my credentials. Well, this week was a good week because of one letter that a kid decided to write me because he had some bad moments the day before.
First off I love that this kid is 16 years old and this letter looks like a little kid wrote it. It reminds me to keep my patience with these kids because they may have teenage bodies but their developmental abilities still need to catch up. I keep it in my desk for when I have hard days. In it's entirety it says (excuse spelling!):

Mrs. Meredith
I am writing you a letter of promiseness and humbleness about my innaproprianess and immature behaviors yesterday. Yesterday I did many things to make myself look immature. Also I did things like flip a desk, curse you, kick a trash can, and draw a innappropriate picture. I know that these behaviors you would expect out of a six year old, and I admit I was acting like one. And Mrs. Meredith I know I was wrong for many different reasons. First you don't disrespect me, second you don't kick things, third you don't flip things, you come in everyday with a smile on your face and ready to try to help someone who needs help and you sacrifice a lot of your time in your life and others and I just want to say thank you for at least trying to help me. And I am truly humble for my immature actions yesterday will you forgive me. Thanks for everything you do for me Mrs. Meredith.

Just a glimpse of what I hope I can keep doing. Maybe I will get through to them after all.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thank Goodness for Weekends!

Yes- it was a long week at work. A week that culminated in the Friday afternoon event of spraining my ankle:
How you may ask? Oh just another day in the life of a klutz. The kids were trying to get me to shoot a basketball and I finally gave in. I jumped- and when I landed my ankle gave out= sprain. It is sad really- I wasn't even playing a game of basketball. I literally shot only one basketball. This will be added to my reasons for why Meredith should never do anything athletic- ever!

At work I thought I was fine but by the time night came around I could barely walk. My ankle had swollen to the size of a baseball and I was crying in pain as my husband tried to wrap it with ice. Thankfully, after that night it feels much better. As a matter of fact, it is turning into a lovely shade of purple. Quite fashionable.

Anyway on Saturday night my family was supposed to come over to see the place. My aunt, uncle, cousin, and her kids were all coming over. I was determined to get moving- get the house clean, go to the grocery store, and make the classic cake we make on that side of the family.

All these things did take me awhile since I am kind of hobbling around but I was able to get everything done. I made our favorite Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. My mom's mom made this pound cake literally every time I saw her. It is part of our family like nothing else- well at least when you think of food. Which I always do...

Every time I eat or make this cake I remember my grandmother and it is just a classic. It is also incredibly easy so I thought I would share:

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

1 package butter flavor yellow cake mix
1 small package of chocolate jello instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup of chocolate chips
8 oz. carton of sour cream
1 Tablespoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of water
1 cup of oil

Mix all dry ingredients. Add all wet ingredients. Mix well. I usually add the chocolate chips last. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.

*Side note- I may or may not add extra chocolate chips- just saying if you like chocolate try it out!

Yummy, Yummy- and guaranteed to make your purple, swollen ankle feel better. Just sayin'

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Same S@*#, Different Day

Today was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. (If you do not know that reference it is time to brush up on your awesome children's books).

This morning I came into my job and found out that my fellow teacher- the one the kids listen to- was not coming. I proceeded with my day as normal- tell me about a newspaper article and our journal topic. They did well so we watched a movie.

Again- they did well so we ate lunch and then went to the gym. From here follows destruction. First, one of our girls walked out of the gym in a fit. Of course, I am the only staff member with the kids. I had to run to the middle school room to get them to send a page out to the building that we had a kid who ran off.

Well, I found said girl and proceeded to talk to her, offer support, calm her down for a good 20 minutes. At the same time another staff member went into the gym with my kids to watch them. Proceed to more chaos. The kids were running out of the gym, not following directions, etc.

I couldn't even offer undivided attention to the upset girl because of the other's behavior. We went back to the room and immediately a fight almost broke out- between the same girl and another kid. The other staff member broke it up before it exploded. And I was left alone again.

 I tried to talk to my kids and ask them- Why? What can I do to help you? While they did listen it didn't help. They basically like to say that the only way they will listen is if I "slam" them. That is not going to happen. At this point all hell broke lose.

I had kids running out of the room, out of the window, and being defiant. The same girl who walked out and almost got in a fight became upset again because she would not listen to a thing I said. She threw a desk and the trash can- with milk spilling everywhere. At this point I was in tears.

Not even anger- just upset that I spent so much time trying to help her and it felt like it didn't matter. I try to be supportive and helpful and I get walked all over. But, at the same time I do not want to be severe, authoritative, and punishing. I have my therapist license because I want to be supportive. I no longer know what the happy medium may be. I was frustrated and confused.

Then, to top if off, my supervisor came to check on me and tells me that there is a chance that this teacher is not coming back- ever. At a minimum she will be out for the rest of the month. Great, does that mean that everyday I have to deal with 10-12 teenagers by myself?? Obviously, I can't deal with that at this point.

Not to mention that in two weeks school will be back in session- I am scared that I have to work out a transition plan for all 15 kids on my roster. Ahhh!!!

So today was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekend Fun

Last week I went to a baby shower for my best friend from high school. In high school there were three of us who were basically the three musketeers. My friend who is pregnant moved out of our town to go to college- and she never came back! My other friend was my maid of honor as we went to college together and came back home at the same time.

My maid of honor went to lunch with me before the shower so we could discuss how weird it is that I am married and our other friend is pregnant. I feel like we should still be about 15 years old. We were done eating early so we had to entertain ourselves somehow-
1. This is why we should still be 15
2. Is it sad that after an entire cute baby shower this is the only picture I have?

Hopefully, my friend who is pregnant may be moving back. I hope so because it is sad that we have lost touch over the years due to the distance between us. There are very few girls that I have been friends with for so long and she was one of the best!

This weekend I finally finished my embroidery project and hung them up in my guacamole bathroom
I decided to stick with birds- the little fat penguin may or may not really fit in but it was too cute and chubby to not do. I feel like embroidery is so much easier than cross stitch and I really have liked it. I have no idea what I will do next. Any ideas?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


This has been a tough week so far. I can't believe it is only Wednesday! My kids are having more behaviors than normal- and I know it is because one of the teachers was taken out of our room. Of course, they are enjoying telling me that I am not as "good", "nice", whatever as she is. I am trying to not let that bother me because they knew her longer and I know they are still testing me.

I am also worried about one of my kids because he had to go to jail yesterday. Since he is 16 he had to go to real jail not a juvenile detention center. I know that he made dumb decisions but I can't help worrying because, face it, a 16 year old is still a little kid in many ways. He is one of those kids you can't help but like. I would basically compare him to a Ferris Bueller type of personality.

If you don't know what that means: 1. Go watch that movie NOW, and 2. I will explain. He is always up to something and usually breaking the rules. He is mostly inappropriate to be honest but, at the same time he is charming. In other words, he drives you nuts but you are still concerned about him. At times I feel he may be duping me because he knows how to play the system. I am OK with that though because I will always feel like it is my role to support a kid. Hopefully, he will survive this obstacle and learn from it.
It is possible I am being dramatic...
As of today I have also officially signed up for my mega-test of death that I have to take to get my full therapy licence. Everyone says this test is super hard and, my luck, North Carolina has one of the hardest exams in the country. What fun. I have two months to study because I purposely didn't set the date until the end of October. Considering the test is a whopping $300 a pop I am going to need to pass this sucker on round one. Let the anxiety ensue.