Thursday, October 3, 2013

Only my child

A police car chasing a donk.  Only my child would do this!  I could not stop laughing when I saw him doing this.

Can't he just...

If you've read this blog before, you've heard of the police life shitfalls our family has been through.  We've been to hell and back.  We've survived what I am absolutely certain are some of the hardest things any couple can face in this "life". 

Afterward people spent time telling us how proud they were of our survival, our endurance, our grace (chuckle chuckle, really??). 

....and then it began to fade.  The reality will be ever-present for the hubs and me.  But for others, even our own families-they've already forgotten.

After all of the b.s. from hubs' case, he was left with no option but to take a 29% pay cut with a smaller department.  The trade: it kept him in police work and it kept our family covered by excellent medical insurance.  (Little did we know how important that insurance would turn out to be!)

Both sides of our families have been hounding us about "Can't he switch departments?  He needs to make more money! He can't work for this salary forever!"

--Really?  Please, enlighten me.  You  mean ten grand more a year would make things so much better if he (God forbid) got shot and killed or permanently disabled?  You mean ten grand more a year will fully fund retirement with 4 sons?  You mean ten grand more a year will help us recoup the $100,000+ that was pissed away in legal fees?

When I spewed this retort, it at least shut some of them up temporarily.  And now I digress....

You see, hindsight is almost always 20/20.  Not quite in this case, but I've certainly learned a lot over the past 5 years.  (*holy hell I can't believe it's been 5 years*)  I choose to see that things happened the way they did, and that while it absolutely sucked-we were blessed and fortunate in many ways at the very same time.

When hubs left his old department and came to the new one, we learned his brother was dying of cancer and had only a few months to live.  Those few months were whittled down to only weeks unexpectedly.  We were 1,000 miles away from him and had to leave town at a moment's notice when he suddenly took a turn for the worse.  The new department "carried" hubs.  He hadn't earned the time off, but his command staff didn't care.  They told him to go and they paid him anyway.  They did the same thing a week later when we had to fly back for the funeral.  His old department would NEVER have shown that kind of empathy or would have done such a thing for us.  I am confident my man and his brother would never have gotten to say their goodbyes if the forced change of being at a new department hadn't happened.

When we decided to have a fourth baby, we figured we knew everything.  Fourth time parents=experts.  Totally prepared.  Every possible scenario had been thought of and planned for.  Except for that whole emergency c-section (not the kind where they say oh gee we should probably go ahead and do a c-section) --the kind where the nurse jumped on top of me and screamed "holy shit, let's go, let's go, let's go" and they ran like a Jamaican bobsled team to the O.R.  The total bill for saving my life and the baby's life, plus room and board was about $60,000.  We only had to pay $500.  If hubs had been at his old department we would have had to pay $12,000. 

Same basic case for when hubs had to have his gallbladder removed unexpectedly.  The $15,000 surgery only cost $500 thanks to his insurance at his current department.

The schedule.  Well, let's face it.  This is the police wife life.  There is no such thing as a perfect schedule.  At the old department he used to work 8 hour shifts of 6 on 3 off then 7 on 2 off.  Getting vacation approved, even just 1 day, was a pain in the ass.  Current department works 12 hour shifts (yes I groaned, too) but it's 2 on 3 off then 3 on 2 off-which means every other weekend off!  That's twice a month we can actually go somewhere like human beings.  Soccer games, birthdays, dinners, dates, weekend trips.  In all the years before we couldn't get a single weekend out of town because of the shitty schedule, the lack of manpower on the old force and the general pain in the assedness of getting vacation approved.  Even though it's been several years now, I still look at him like "Where the hell did you come from?" on his weekends off.

So, yes, I would never want to do the going through it part again-but I think this side of things has made life better.

My mom was pressing the issue tonight and I asked her if she remembered what a pain in the ass it was to spend all day applying for dozens of jobs a day a few years ago after she was laid off.  She paused and nodded.  I gently explained that while tedious it must've been for her, hers wasn't a 42 page application that asked every detail of her entire freaking life for the past 40 years.  Where have you worked, where have you lived, have you ever been sued, have you ever paid a bill late.... her head began to spin.  "And that's just the paper part.  That's not even explaining yourself to a board of complete strangers live and in person!"

It's probably human nature for most to want more.  To need to feel better, like they're progressing or getting ahead. 

For me, some days just staying above ground is good.  Things are just that simple.  I'm happy.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

He Killed A Police Officer

I spent yesterday in the court room with my fellow police wives and lots of men and women in blue.  We attended the sentencing hearing for a thug who shot one of our officers 7 times.  I posted in 2010 about the shooting here on this blog.  It was a hard thing to swallow then but it was even harder to sit in the court room yesterday and listen to both the officer give his victim impact statement and listen to the stupid boob tell the court "I ain't even did nothin'."

The defendant in this case is 26 years old now.  He claimed he was high on marijuana and ecstasy the day he decided to pull a .40 from the backseat on a traffic stop and unload all 15 rounds, 7 of which hit the officer.  He shot the officer and when the officer dove over the hood of his car and returned fire, the defendant continued to unload, even firing after the officer was incapacitated.  His other claim: "it was like a dream... I thought I was playing a video game."  Made me sick to listen to it.

However, after swallowing the anger and rage toward this goon, the officer got up and gave his statement.  I want to share since it is likely the most moving thing I have ever heard with my own two ears.  This is what the officer said:

"Before May 27, 2010, I did not know this man.  I had never met him and I had never dealt with him in my career before nor did I know him personally.  I don't know his past or what lead him to that day.  I'll never know why he chose to do what he did to me.  But now I'd like to tell you about me.  My father is a retired officer from my same department.  I remember him driving me to my little league game when I was seven years old.  He turned around and looked at me in the backseat and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I told him, "a police officer."  Dad said, "No way.  Anything but a police officer son."  I said, "Sorry dad but that's what I'm going to be.

As I grew, up I really looked up to my older brother who was a Marine.  I decided that being a Marine would make me a better policeman, so at 17 I enlisted.  I went to Iraq and fought in Fallujah.  I considered myself lucky that during my first six month tour I was uninjured.  I came home for a bit and then went back to Iraq.  During that tour I was hit by a grenade.  Again, I considered myself lucky for making it through.  I suffered far less than a lot of guys there.

When I came home from the Marines for good, I decided to live my dream and become a police officer.  I loved it.  I enjoyed every day.  I can't describe the thrill of loading up my car and hitting the streets... seeing my buddies.. and it wasn't all about jumping out and chasing bad guys.  I learned the most rewarding thing was the difference a small act of kindness could make in someone's life.

On May 27, 2010, I was brutally ambushed.  Over the past two and a half years I have endured more physical pain and suffering than I ever thought one person could handle.  My family has suffered with me through ten surgeries, with another to take place next week.  I've had flesh torn from my skin to save other areas of my body: something I never even experienced in Iraq.  I've endured the emotional torment of not being able to do normal physical activities and know I will never be the same.

Through all of this, no pain has been deeper, no suffering has been greater than the loss of my career.  I will never again get to be a police officer, as I can no longer meet the physical requirements due to my injuries and state of disability.  Just because I survived that day, just because I stand here before you today, I lost my life.  That day - HE (pointing to the defendant) killed a police officer.  He took my life from me and if I had my wish he'd have his taken from him."

Following that statement, the judge sentenced the turd to life, plus 30 years, plus 30 years, plus 4.

Justice was served.  So glad he and his wife can move forward now.

Friday, April 27, 2012

And here we are...

The past month has been hectic, if not insane.  Lots of good times with the hubs in the land of the living, the kids with a million things running us in different directions and general, overall happiness.  (I know, you couldn't tell from my previous post last month, right?!)

Things are changing.  Mostly for the better.  It is so nice to have a few months under our belts without the stress of all the job and legal b.s.  I suppose the stress that comes with being a police wife is always there, but everyday things pale in comparison to what we were going through previously!

For those who don't know... we are officially expecting baby number 4!  The weirdos in the doctor's office hounded me with all the questions like, "Oh you must be trying for a girl finally!" and "I'll bet after all of those boys you really want a girl!" and of course the typical, "I'm guessing after this one you are DONE?" and "Don't you know what causes that?".

Seriously, I had no idea four kids is considered a gigantic family these days!  WTH?  I didn't put in the time or effort to really answer any of them.  I just smiled and thought, "Oh if I could punch you in the throat...".

I mentioned in passing a while back that we moved.  We have been taking care of things with our old house to get it ready for sale.  It is actually quite comical that we moved when we did, seeing that I am pregnant again!  The Lord works in mysterious ways.  Anyhow, the old house has had a new drain system and sump pump installed and is getting a new roof on Tuesday.  Then we are having new windows put in and having the fence updated.  For those of you who have magical powers and special abilities, please pray or do something to help us get it sold.  The sale money is going to help buy me a (can hardly get it out of my mouth).... VAN. 

I asked the hubs what would be wrong with us taking two cars everywhere after the baby arrives, but he didn't think this idea was very cute.  I have no choice.  Unless I am completely overlooking some kind of vehicle that seats 7-ish?  (Ok not gonna lie, I just had to stop and count how many kids I have, er, well-will have.. yikes).  I suppose a Suburban or something could do, but I really don't want to spend that kind of money!!

Anyhow, thank sweet baby Jesus I still have over 500 size 1 diapers that Quinn never used, that I kept all of my maternity clothes, and that I still have ALL of the baby clothes and gear.  It's quite possibly the first time things are going right from the start!

Just wanted to post this update since it's been over a month since I've written anything.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Run For It

I'm having one of those days where I could just chuck my phone out the window and make a run for the border.  I am so crabby and pissed off today it isn't anywhere close to funny.

Yes, it's another day in blissdom.  Today marks the start of 12 hour dayshifts for a month.  That's one good thing, I suppose, in a whole mess of b.s.

I'm having issues.  Major issues today, and really the past couple of days.

We are supposed to be going out of state for a big music deal for the kids in a few weeks.  We go every year.  I started reminding hubs about it months ago so he could put in for the time off (it's only one weekend).  Back at the beginning of the year he told me he put in for it in writing, but with the switch to the new systems and the 12 hour shifts, they also had to put in for it electronically.  -Um, so?

Now that the date is quickly approaching, he keeps telling me he isn't sure if he is going to get the time off or not because he hasn't heard back from his Sgt.  Now, I know I am probably being a major bitch.  I do that very well, sometimes.  BUT- what I'm really miffed about is the fact that he is so ho-hum about it... like he doesn't give a sh*t. 

Something deeeeep down is really bothering me about it.  Like he'd rather have that whole weekend to himself while I travel out of town with three small children and manage all of them during one of the biggest music events in the country.  And then... it all just honestly brings me back to days of yore.  You know, the ones when he was cheating on me?  Yeah. 

Even though that was a loooong time ago, and even though things have been better than good between us for many years now, I cannot help but get angry and insecure when he acts like this.  Or maybe I should say, when something like this pops up.

What set me off was the tone in his voice on the phone today when I asked him if he had checked with the Sgt.  In what sounded like a total bullsh*t answer, he told me the Sgt. is in court the rest of the afternoon.  To boot, he just acted irritated at the very idea of having to go with me/us out of town.  He made it a big deal that he had 8 car break-ins a couple of hours ago (which I am sure is a pain in the butt), but that doesn't give him the right to talk like an ass to me.

It probably isn't helping that I am sick as hell with what feels like pneumonia, the baby won't stop crying today and I've got kids that require me to be in two different places at the same time this evening.. and we will get home just in time for hubs to miss ALL of the responsibility.

Yes, I am feeling angry and frustrated... resentful, pissed off, etc.  If I didn't blog about it, I think I'd end up going into hiding or something. 

Gotta go pick up the baby again. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What It Is?

I am so ready for tomorrow to get here.  My best friend and her hubby are coming in town from across the state.  My kids will finally have someone to bug besides me!  I will have another adult to talk to!  Her hubby will be riding with my hubby at work.. this should be interesting :).

Hubs has been totally rocking it at work.. locking up crazy bitches who shoot at ex-boyfriends, runs over the new girlfriend, takes out telephone poles.  He's gotten a lot of guns and drugs this week and has worked two arsons.  Coolio.  Me.. This past week has sucked the life out of me.  What did I do with my copious amounts of free time?  Ahem.. let me tell you.

I have dealt with homeowner's insurance people, insurance adjusters, roof people, waterproof people... the list goes on.  We moved across town a while back into a bigger place as a temporary thing.  We have kept our "old" house with the intention of building onto it and moving back.  It's where our kids were born - call us sentimental. 

We had some intense storms and tornadoes here last month and with that our roof was ruined.  I learned this week that what I thought would be a simple, common process is NOT simple at all.  I learned that thinking of a figure in my head to cover all necessary expenses was stupid.. because the actual amount required for just ONE of the necessary projects turned out to be SIX times more expensive than that little figure I had in my head.  Holy shizz!

We had water damage as well, which revealed an ages old mold problem we never knew we had - which came from the previous owner who flat LIED to us about it apparently.  Ugh.. I hate to even write about all of it.  This week has been a $10,000 week.  And it's only Wednesday. 

I am certain that God hates me.  No, really.  I'm not looking for cute reassurance.  That's not a question there.  That's a statement.  He hates me.  For real.

Not sure what I did, but it sure would be nice if life could just back off with the crap sandwiches for a bit.  I'm starting to understand why people go postal.  Clearly some powers that be like to see me live on the edge.  I keep looking for the candid camera, or thinking I'm on punk'd. 

Please baby Jesus.  Give me a break- before I break!!!

I have a bottle of strawberry stoli, a case of 7-up and a best friend who's on her way.  I think things are about to turn the corner.

Hoping the hubs has a good night at work because he sure was a crabass this morning!!  Whew.

End woe-is-me rant.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do I or Don't I?

The time is upon us... erm, wait.  How do I begin this post?

Quinn is almost 10 months old.  He is adorable.  He is fun.  He is so stinking lovable.  He is amazing.  He is wonderful.  All three of our boys are wonderful.

Hubs is dying to have another (actually another *several*).  I, in so many ways, LOVE this idea.  But that's the thing.  Do I understand the reality of this?  I came to terms with the fact that going from 2 children to 3 children was the biggest adjustment of my life.  Some days I think "I've got my hands full already, so, meh, what the hell?".  Other days I think things like, "I am getting wayyy too old for this.  Physically it's harder, emotionally it's harder to do by myself and sleep is far more precious now than in my younger days!"  And quite frankly, plenty of days I actually say to myself, "Wow, what a failure (sort of jokingly) I am today.  I suck at this!"

Hubs gets so frustrated when I share the bad stuff with him and he gently reminds me that raising kids and managing a house is hard to do alone, even with only one child.  He reminds me that he is proud of me, that he appreciates me, and that above all, the kids and I are the most important things in his life.  We are his greatest source of joy.  I like this part because then he starts listing off the things I never think he notices or cares much about (like always making sure there is food in the crockpot for him at any given hour, I make sure he has clean drawers ;), etc.)

He also takes time to point out how rotten our children are sometimes and highlights the fact that I have more grace than I give myself credit for.  He tells me to stop blaming myself for the hundreds of things the kids do on any given day that cause frustration.  He tells me I am not a bad mom, that kids are a challenge and especially when they know how to wear a person down until they have no fight left to be the enforcer and daddy's not home!

All of these conversations help me love him more, but especially help me love myself more.  I genuinely love being a mother.  Not to go psychological here, but I never got to have a close relationship with my mother.  My parents divorced when I was 5 and I was raised by a single dad, until he died when I was 14.  I never got to have a morning where I woke up and my parents were in the kitchen making breakfast.. or looking into the crowd at one of my sporting events to see both of my parents cheering me on, together.  I don't even have to go into the holidays and how I don't have a single memory of a Christmas or Thanksgiving with both parents.  I'm sure I sound like a million other people in the world, but to me, I promised myself that I would create those memories for my kids.  I also vowed that my family would be my number one priority in life.  I know I will never be rich, but know that my life will be fulfilled by the years of memories with my husband and children.

I became a mother at 22.  If I had another baby-RIGHT NOW-I would have raised a child at home, under my roof, for THIRTY YEARS by the time the new baby graduated high school.  Sometimes I worry that there would never again be "alone time" for the hubs and me.  There again, we don't have that anyway with his schedule and the children we already have! 

I know that my children have caused more self-realization and self-reflection than anything else I have ever experienced.  I love them for that.  Although it doesn't seem like it on an average basis, I know they make me a better person and help me find more love than I ever knew I had in me.  When I think about the fact that the ability to have more babies is diminishing more quickly than I care to acknowledge, it makes me stop and ask myself; "Would I be ok with it if I COULDN'T have another?"

Guess it's time to talk to big man.  (And no, I don't mean the hubs!)