Friday, March 5, 2010

Some highlights:

1. Leaning out of the window of the huge gleaming SUV we're borrowing to ask some men for directions. Using these exact words: "We're looking for the food stamps building!" Noting a change in the men's demeanor (I think) to something more fraternal/sober. Feeling happy about not having a problem admitting need for food stamps. Frankly, excited to learn how food stamps actually work.

2. Waking up at 6:01 this morning to be at the hospital at 6:30 to get Lula's four cavities filled, thanks entirely to Medicaid. Having an all-around successful hospital experience despite fears regarding my baby being put under general anesthesia.

3. Watching Lula slip into a much happier state thanks to the "orange juice" the nurse gave her, which made her start giggling about "chicken fingers." Trying to withhold laughter as she bit her finger and said "Do you see my chicken finger?"

4. Starting counseling with Joedy at the YWCA ($10/session). Facing some issues head-on in those first fifty minutes. Thinking how much I value therapy, wanting to yell "we're in therapy" out of pure happiness because it's support, and support feels good!

5. Developing a very itchy rash on the back of my neck which soon made my left eye start to swell up and close. Thinking I was dying from eating too-rare steak at dinner or salmonella-tainted cookie dough after dinner. Later realizing it was poison oak from taking pictures in the bushes at Town Lake. Getting a cortisone shot on my upper butt.

6. Taking Lula to school--her first real school. Falling increasingly in love with the school and the tree-filled, creek-lined park behind it (pictures below). Brimming with happiness that she is so happy and that she has already made a "bug book" (Ants bit. Ants Liv iN Ant PiLS.).

7. Getting Malko to sleep through the night in his new crib, a birthday present from his grandmother. Reflecting on the fact that it's been a year since I've gone to bed at a normal hour and slept through the whole night.

8. Doing eleven loads of laundry in two hours tonight. Forgetting to put two of the loads (the reds) in the dryer. Going back to the laundry mat for them and discovering I'd left my library card there too.

9. Noting change in weather and thinking I could use some new clothes, going to the thrift store. After spending two hours examining labels and wondering if I'd actually wear a black wool turtleneck with leather patches on the shoulders with metal sailorish buttons on the patches, spontaneously deciding not to get ANY of the clothes because I shouldn't be spending money on superfluous things right now. Going back two days later to re-search and re-find much of the stuff, minus the black turtleneck, and ultimately being extremely delighted with my sort of new, cheap, wonderful clothes.

10. Realizing that despite being more or less poor, Joedy's and my (and our kids') quality of life is high: we eat good food, we have fun together, and we have loving and supportive friends and family. There are great resources out there for people who, like us, need a little help, and while I don't think it will be long before we're more solidly on our feet--thus less in need of help--I know I'll continue to appreciate those resources for a long, long time.

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