Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let's call her Sara...

Last week I had the worst family meeting I have ever had with a family. I reluctantly went back over to my client's (a thirteen year old girl) moms' house where she spends only a few court appointed hours with her a week. I went over in hopes that our second meeting would be better than our first, and I was wrong. I did everything I could to re-direct the mom when she went off again and started bringing up awful stories from the past, how awful her lawyers were, the judge lies, I was against them, everything she could do to blame everyone else for all of her problems and do absolutely nothing on her part to try and help the situation they were in. My biggest problem with all of this, despite the fact the mom didn't listen, despite the fact that her adult brother joined the yelling fit and spewed hateful things all around the room, even despite the fact that it was so uncomfortable I considered sneaking out the sliding glass door that was right behind me without saying a word to them.... my biggest problem with all of this was that the thirteen year old girl sat silently beside me during all of this. I kept trying to bring that to their attention; what you are saying is not appropriate to say when she is in the room!! But she didn't care. The mom was the most inappropriate, ignorant, irresponsible mom I have ever met with and clearly the irresponsible behavior runs in the family. The mom did not care that not only had this girl been through hell by some of the true stories she just yelled about, but now, this mom is keeping her in hell by her continued idiotic actions. By the end of the meeting I miraculously managed to wrap things up somewhat positively and the mom even said 'have a nice night' as I left, which was the total opposite of her 'I don't care what the judge thinks, and I don't care what you think!' rant a few minutes earlier.

Cut to yesterday I get to meet with my client again thankfully this time we have an individual meeting and her mom is a good few miles away from us. This meeting I tried to de-brief her about that last meeting and make sure she understood the original point of our meeting. She said she felt embarrassed by what her mom and uncle had said and she felt herself getting red sploches on her arms and chest because that's what happens when she gets uncomfortable. A while later I asked her what a healthy relationship is and she said it's one where you argue just a little bit but mostly get along. She then went on to say she thinks people should 'feel whole' before they get in to a relationship because what if that person leaves and then you are less whole? That didn't make sense to her. This girl is having to learn what a healthy relationship is but what she DOESN'T see. She has to imagine what a good relationship is and she has to guess how she thinks she should be treated. She also went on to say that she feels like her parents are racist and that makes her uncomfortable and she doesn't want to be racist. I explained to her that the cool thing about that was that she didn't have to be racist.. she didn't have to think everything her parents thought and that made her smile. This is the first time in her life where she is feeling more comfortable forming her own thoughts regardless of what people say around her and I think that's great. This is a case where I don't think I will ever help her parents, but I think she has stepped up and started to make better decisions for herself and in turn she is open to changing for the better. She is still hopeful and that makes me hopeful for her.

What a difference a week can make!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day at the zoo

This past weekend we had our nephew on Matt's side over (Hayden) for a day and a sleep over at our house. We started the day with a very fun trip to the zoo. I packed us a lunch and the weather turned out to be beautiful. Almost all of the animals were out and enjoyed a nice tram ride to break up all the walking, which by the way I bought new sandals from Target and wore them for those four hours of walking. Not. Smart. Also turns out the sandals are really uncomfortable. Not. Cool. After the zoo we came home to rest for a few minutes then headed over to my mom's neighborhood pool and spent some time with the Duh family (my sister's family). After all that fun and excitement we went to our favorite pizza place for cool salads and delicious pizza (one with pesto sauce soooo good). We spent the rest of the night at home playing tony hawk skateboarding game on the x-box, doing star wars mad libs, and burping contests, you know all the things an 11 year old boy wants to do. :) It was very fun having Hayden and I know he enjoys some time apart from his siblings to have his own time with us. We plan to have his older brother, Matthew over before the summer is up too. We like taking advantage of the time we have available now to do get to build these special times with our families.

Friday, July 9, 2010

so much to say

open up my head aaaannd let me innnn, little baybaayy! -dave matthews, anyone? i seriously feel like i have brilliant things to say almost all of the time until i sit to write a new blog post. mainly because i don't have pictures. i mean, who wants to just read words, right? get a book! but really, we have just finished our first week without cable. NO cable. when i was on the phone with time warner the lady seemed shocked at the idea of canceling ALL cable, i mean what about this package, or this one... nope, we're good, thanks lady. to be honest i have not missed it. the only times i miss it are when i want to turn on something ridiculous to have as background noise while i work (i work from home) and what good does that do? it makes me feel bad for people that feel forced to watch the actual trash that is on during the day, the judge shows, the springer shows, just crap in my opinion. i have found myself being on the computer more and have not chosen to read any more than usual. i have been able to accomplish some things i have been putting off like cleaning and organizing my art room, getting rid of gross cleaning chemicals under the sink, i mean cool stuff like that. so far netflix has been awesome. new reccommendation: the movie 'god grew tired of us' a documentary about refugees from sudan that get the chance to come to america, very interesting. and of course old office and scrubs episodes. we did not get rid of cable to stop watching shows, but i do find myself watching things more intentionally like to educate myself on something or open my eyes to a new way of living, etc. rather than watching anything to pass the time.
matt and i have enjoyed way more dinners at our kitchen table then in front of the t.v. together. if you already do this this may sound simple to you, and it is, but if you have the tendancy to eat in front of the t.v. together, i would say try not to one night and you will probably enjoy it. it's a little like that seinfeld episode when kramer freaks out about the idea of getting married and thinks that all couples do is sit around saying 'how was your day'... 'well how was your day'.. 'what kind of day was it?'. but it's a great time to check in and the conversations might get awesome, you never know.
we are having matt's nephew (mine too of course, but usually my friends think of kestan when i say that) over tomorrow and we plan to go to the zoo, the pool, and out for pizza, what's better than that? it's very cute because he is excited to get to spend his own time away from his siblings with his favorite aunt and uncle (i made up the favorite part, but i do think he thinks we're pretty cool which is nice). right now kestan's favorite people are nana and bupbup (grandma and grandpa) and if they are around i don't exist which i can handle because it so sweet to see them interact with him and his face just lights up when they are around.
i sit now in a quiet house when all the dogs are asleep, even my brother's wildly energetic dog that we are dogsitting for the weekend.. and i revel in the space, the peace, and the freedom to do whatever the heck we want. i know that someday sonner than later we will have a not so quiet house and more things we need to do as our family begins to grow and i will revel in that time just as i do today.
hey here's a really cool picture of a mountain, and then a beach, and then a monkey, what?! alright seriously no pictures, just words. that's all i've got for now. next post and or book chapter will be about my new clients. i still am amazed that in my line of work people invite us into their homes and openly discuss everything they'd like to change about their lives. very very interesting.
hope you have a good weekend!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Update: our garden

So we started with this...

Next thing we know that space is covered in green! And the squash quickly started to grow up our porch, sprouting flowers and what I assume are squash (I've never grown them before).

We have three more tomatoes growing.. and I say more because we used to have three huge ones that a damn squirrel took! These next three are getting covered with cayenne pepper in hopes of keeping critters away.

A baby cucumber sprouting!

A string of cucumbers! I planted way too many radishes and carrots in too small of a space. So because they didn't have enough room to grow, I decided to pull all of them up and give the cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash some real room to grow and hopefully plant a little wiser next year. I was just so excited that some thing was growing, I didn't really plan out the space as well as I could have.

Carrots are supposed to be a little bigger than radishes, right? :)

At least our fresh basil is going crazy and we have one cute green pepper growing too.