On the whole, life right now is pretty darn good. Honest and for true, the most likely answer these days when you ask me how I am is, “I’m really good.” I may even sound a little surprised, when I say it, because… it’s still a little unexpected. But yeah, in the big picture? Not only am I feeling grateful and appreciative of all the recent improvements and little victories, I’m feeling all HOPEFUL and CHEERFUL and crap.
At one point while I was kind of down in the pit during operation Gather Up The Shattered Pieces Of Monkey And For God’s Sake, Someone Get Some More Glue Over Here, Joshilyn wrote me an email which included the following:
But I have thought to myself, in a way that was hard to articulate, that you have moved over the last year or so from regular old Mir worldview of “A lot of the time, the glass feels half empty, but hey, I will go lick dew. Because, that’s moist!” person to a place where the glass is 2/3rds empty and rats are rubbing their diseased little tongues on the place you have to drink from, and there is no pitcher and we are all fucked and about to get plague.
At the time, that was accurate. Nowadays, I’m a hundred million times better. However, I need to vent about three recent things.
So please understand that this isn’t “Argh! The diseased rat tongues are licking my glass!” level aggravation, but even being in a pretty good place, I’m tempted to engage in a bit of primal scream therapy over the following.
Item the First: Back in October, mortgage rates completely bottomed out and Otto and I wisely decided to refinance. We went to a new loan agent on a recommendation from a friend, and all was going along swimmingly, and then in mid-November things got quiet on the agent’s end. I shot her an email in early December to ask if we’d be closing on the loan before the holidays, and she responded that no, I shouldn’t worry about it, she would extend our rate lock and we should plan to close in January. Given that she’d warned us right at the beginning that everyone and their uncle was rushing to refinance and things were moving slowly all over, we didn’t worry.
In early January I emailed for an update and didn’t hear back. And then at the end of the month I got a phone call from a loan processor who wanted to let us know that the agent we were working with was no longer with the bank (!) but that they’d assigned us a new agent (!!) and not to worry, they could probably match the original terms (!!!) except that they had no actual record of what those were, so did I mind explaining to her was supposed to be happening here (!!!!)?
We decided to soldier on with the new agent, given that our rate was supposedly still locked and rates have since risen and no one will be able to give us that good of a deal right now if we start over. Only, it turned out that old agent had never even ordered the home appraisal, and according to a popular online home value site, our house had mysteriously lost approximately 25% of its previous appraised value between November and January. If the site was correct (which seemed unlikely, because what the hell?), we might now be dealing with a loan that was over 80% off the house’s value, which becomes a lending issue, and all because of this unexpected delay.
With GREAT TREPIDATION we signed off on the appraisal, which came back much higher than the Internet site and more in line with what we’d assumed, so that was great news. With a great sigh of relief I told the loan processor we were all set, and she said great, and then a week later I got a frantic phone call from her asking us to submit our paperwork. What paperwork? ALL the paperwork. Because some of the previously-submitted items (paystubs and bank statements) were now out-of-date owing to the marathon-length processing period, and the non-time-constrained items had all been LOST. FEELING OH SO SUPER CONFIDENT ABOUT THIS BANK, lemme tell ya.
Bottom line: I just killed a forest full of trees with unnecessary paperwork and it is almost March and—sing it with me!—this is the loan that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends.
Item the Second: Monkey has been without a therapist for almost as long as we’ve been working on this refinance, because his old therapist said we needed someone else and then began the carnival of “I’ll ask around and help you find someone”s from half-a-dozen folks who kept either failing to get back to us or insisting they were waiting on more information or whatever. Sure, it didn’t help that the holidays fell in the middle, there, and Monkey is really doing very well now, but still. The kid needs a therapist.
The intersection of “therapists who take our insurance” and “therapists who specialize in Asperger’s” and “therapists who are less than an hour’s drive away” is shockingly small. Once I was finally able to shake the bushes loudly and long enough to get some names, I felt nothing but relief. This was going to be the last puzzle piece for the Right Now, and I’m looking forward to having it in place.
So I called the doctor’s office and asked to make an appointment for Monkey, only to be told that new patients are required to fill out New Patient Paperwork before they’re allowed to even schedule a time. I found that… weird, and a hassle, but… I guess I understand. Okay. Otto swung by the office one day and picked up the paperwork; the next day I drove the completed paperwork back over and asked if I could make him an appointment.
“Oh, the doctor needs to review the paperwork before deciding if your son will be accepted as a new patient.”
What the HUH? I didn’t realize we were auditioning. (“Monkey enjoys sunsets, long walks on the beach, and freaking out when his rigid autistic worldview is disrupted. He loves puns, Bakugan, and pointing out whenever you’re wrong.”) It’s been three days and I’m wondering at what point they let us know if he made the cut. (All of which is kind of unfortunate either way, because this kind of makes me hate the new doctor already.)
Item the Third: Chickadee and her fellow nerdlings are spending today at the Regional Science Fair, all hoping to win a slot at the upcoming State Science Fair. This is a very good thing, because it’s a super fun day of learning and hands-on experiments and such for the kids, and the whole thing is just a wonderful experience.
District Fair—the precursor to this event—was over a month ago. It was announced then that all winners progressing to the Regional Event should turn in their projects for “paperwork review,” because certain forms are required at the Regional level that they kind of let slide at District, but they wanted to make sure everyone was all set for Regionals. Fine. Good. Chickadee turned everything in and we never heard another word…
… until yesterday, an hour before school ended. Chickadee was called in to see the coordinator, handed a sheet requiring three authorized signatures, and told she couldn’t participate today unless said signatures were collected. I then received a freaked-out phone call at the end of school, because she’d managed to get two of the three signatures needed (a teacher and a “education administrator”), but the third had to be a “licensed medical professional.”
Um. Turns out that if you use human subjects, at the Regional level they’re kind of serious about IRB rules. Which, hey, fine. But the Regional Fair started at 8:00 this morning and at 4:30 yesterday we were still sitting in the middle school office while the principal made a bunch of phone calls, trying to figure out 1) why we hadn’t been alerted to this sooner and 2) if, indeed, she would be barred from entry without the last signature.
At 7:00 last night a friend of mine who happens to carry a qualifying degree was kind enough to sign off on Chickadee’s research, but SHEESH. I thought the poor kid was going to have a stroke, and I wasn’t too far behind her.
These three issues aside, life is totally peachy.