Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Three Little Pigs

I've been working on my latest project for quite a long time. I'm not sure why I was dragging my feet because it turned out quite nicely. If you need to decorate a nursery or playroom with some adorable little pigs, you can find this set for sale at my etsy store.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Starting Over

Since Joshua and I filled out the repair amendment for the house, we've been waiting all week to hear what the sellers are willing to do. They had five days to decide, and you better believe they used them all. Of course, the outcome is sort of what we expected; they won't fix the roof or the asbestos. What a disappointment. We're not buying a house that is going to need a new roof in a year or two. That's just not what I want to spend several thousand dollars on. The sellers are annoyed because they think we're just backing out. We're not. Why would we have gone through all this trouble just to back out?

So, the house buying process is starting over on Tuesday. We're going up to see if there's another house for us, and if there is, it needs to happen in the next two weeks. We have to move out of our apartment by the end of May. The pressure is on.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Today I signed the contract for my first real job. I'm pretty excited. I'll be working at a middle school and a high school in two self-contained classrooms for students with severe cognitive impairments (autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and other diagnoses). My caseload with be about 23 students, which is great. (A typical school caseload is 60 students.) The two curriculum teachers seem nice, and I'll be working with them to facilitate functional communication in the classroom and on community outings.

Although this job is not acute care with adults in the hospital, which was my first choice, I'm really optimistic. It's a unique position for a speech-language pathologist, and it'll be nice to have plenty of time to spend with the students and really get to know them. Not to mention, with this population, I won't spend all my time working with students who can't produce /r/. Plus, school schedule is great. Summers off, snow days, and every holiday you can think of at home. I love it!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

House Grumbles

Yesterday was the house inspection, and the report was not as positive as we hoped it would be. We were so excited to find a little home with new windows, furnace, air, and water heater, and we thought every other major thing would be okay as well. Unfortunately the roof and electrical are big problems, like several thousand dollars that would have to be spent fairly soon. I'm pretty disappointed. I was convinced that it was a sturdy little house with important components in good condition but with a few cosmetic issues that could be addressed with a moderate amount of money and some hard work. It seems that is not the case. Joshua and I haven't made any decisions for sure yet, but it's not looking good. If we're going to buy a home, we need to find it in the next two weeks. Lots to think about.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Praxis - Done

My Praxis scores came in today, and I was happy to see that I passed. I knew I would, but it's nice to have it official. All my tests are done. The only things left are one more paper, an exit interview, and finding my dream job. Does that really exist?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sad News

I love plans. I thrive on plans. I plan everything, every moment of my life is planned. I'm an anxious person, so I think things through with great care to be sure to avoid later guilt and regret.

For over a year now, Joshua and I have been planning for a dog. It has taken me time to get used to the idea. I'm not a dog person. I've never had a pet, so I don't miss the love one can offer. Joshua loves dogs. He has been telling me for years about the love and companionship a dog can offer, and I began to believe him. So we've been planning for a dog. We talked about the protection a dog can offer me in the new house and while I'm walking in the neighborhood. We talked about how much work a dog can be. Joshua was happy to carry that burden. We talked about what kind of dog we would get and what we could do with her while we were on vacation. We planned every detail, and I thought I was ready.

So little Winnie joined our family. And she was adorable, playful, and sweet. She was exactly what I thought a puppy would be. No surprises. One thing I didn't plan for was how I would feel about having a dog. Days one and two were fine. She was a great little puppy, but I felt like a stranger in my home. Joshua loved the dog immediately but could tell that I wasn't feeling the same. I tried. I really tried. I wanted the dog. I wanted to follow through on the plan. I wanted to give Joshua the dog. He loved her. I wanted so much to love her. But I couldn't. I didn't feel like myself. I felt lost. I have no idea how such a little puppy could transform my life in such a short amount of time, but I couldn't handle it.

Little Winnie went back to the breeder last night. She was adopted a by a new family today, a new family that will love her and appreciate her and give her a name like Easter Egg. And it's for the best. I know that now. This plan didn't work out, and a lesson was learned. It was a good lesson, but Joshua and I are crushed. Joshua isn't angry; he says he's just glad I tried, but he loved the dog already. It's heartbreaking. I'm upset because I let this plan go forward even though I knew I wasn't a dog person. I wanted to be. And now I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for Winnie, for Joshua, and for myself.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beware of Dog

My dear husband came home with our dogger today. She is pretty cute. Maybe she'll turn me into a dog lover yet. The important part is that she will be a very ferocious-looking guard dog. Here's our little Winifred, Winnie for short.

Our First Cottage

Last Saturday, Joshua and I again made the trip to Peoria to look for houses. I was getting a little discouraged. Some were nice, but didn't feel like home, until we looked at this little cottage in West Peoria.I loved it instantly. It's not enormous, but it's perfect for us. Here are some of the best features.

1. wood floors (Swiffer stick!)
2. attic room, my sewing tower
3. partially finished basement, Joshua is really excited
4. decent sized bedrooms, complete with double closets in the larger bedroom
5. fenced yard, if I ever get over my fear of dog ownership
6. two-car garage
7. small yard
8. quiet neighborhood that seems to have relatively low crime by Peoria's standards. Looks like we'll just have our stuff damaged instead of being murdered. That's nice.
9. nice neighbors. Joshua already made friends. I'm choosing to believe their names are Jim and Florence, a lovely older couple with a golden retriever.
10. Newer air, furnace, water heater, windows, and roof make for reasonable utilities

It's ours! Closing is May 18, and I'm so excited. It's a fantastic first home, and I can't wait to move in. Now I just have to figure out what to do about paint colors. I'm very bad at picking things out. Good thing Vanilla Bean Counter is in town. She is great and can do it for me. Until then, I just keep getting paint samples from the various home improvement stores. It's funny how much time you can spend wandering are them when you're going to be a homeowner.I also picked up some kitchen counter samples. Although I'm convinced this is the perfect house for us, the kitchen does need some help. Orange and yellow cabinets with 1950s counters don't really agree with me. More discussion on that project to come later.Other fun news for this week, I was offered a job! Woohoo! I don't have the details about the school in which I would be working. I'll find out next week. Cross your fingers for Bartonville.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Interview in My Yoga Pants

I searched for the perfect interview outfit a couple of weeks ago and finally found something professional and stylish with a little personality. Funny enough, I didn't need it for my first interview. Today I had a phone interview with Special Education Association of Peoria County (SEAPCO), so my business attire included yoga pants, no bra, and no makeup. I liked it.

The interview seemed to go pretty well. There are three speech-language pathology positions open for the 2009-2010 school year.

1. Early childhood education, ages 3-5, OH MY! I don't know if I have the patience to hang out with the little ones all day.

2. Jr. and Senior high functional life skills classroom. Different from what I had in mind, but could be really interesting.

3. Elementary school cross-categorical classroom. Seems to be more what I had in mind, but still not a typical school SLP.

The gentleman told me I would find out on April 13th. That gives me a few days to start calling medical placements to see if they want me. Time to get busy!