Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Miracle

My husband was home until 10:30a.m. Were you expecting something more exciting? Sorry :)

We were actually able to sleep next to each other on Christmas Eve and woke up, together, in our bed, on Christmas morning. That was my Christmas miracle.

Not sure what was up with The Dude. He's a 10 year old boy but that morning I would have almost traded him for a 13 year old girl. No kidding. I suppose it's that wonderful change in hormones that's on its way (referring to HIM, my hormonal shift is in full swing now that I'm prego again). Anyhow, after a talk about being nice and appreciating togetherness on Christmas, the rest of the day rocked. He was all better.

Although we are STILL.freaking.waiting on our letter in the mail, we decided to ignore our worries and just be happy! It was great. I kept looking at hubs like "who are you?". So not used to holidays together.

The kids loved all of the overpriced junk we bought them, which we swiftly regretted due to lack of space and impending baby, but hey.. they were smiling and giggling and we were all together. I LOVE days like that. They are so few and far between.

Hope your Christmases were fabulous.

PS-Meadowlark, you are my new best friend. I LOVED the post about The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas!!! Laughed until I was choking!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Year In Review

Last night I missed a call from my Bro. He left a message which I didn't know about until 4 o'clock this morning. I always get mad when I miss his calls. I like talking to him and he usually has a great story for me. But as I listened to the message, I became a little worried.. I could hear that tone in his voice and knew he was rattled. He said, "Oh I was just calling to tell you an amusing story about how I just almost shot somebody." He's been working days mixed with some secondary bike patrol lately (at night)... so I knew he was sleeping by then and didn't want to wake him.

I called him early this morning when I knew he'd be back on the street and he told me what happened last night. Let me preface this whole thing by saying that my bro works in the MOST DANGEROUS city in the U.S.. Ok so much for anonymity, but whatever.

He was doing patrol in a very high crime area. His department puts in a lot of requests for officers to work secondary shifts as "Ghetto Foot Soldiers".

So a call came to him for a report of a prowler/suspicious person. Just so happened my bro was right at that very location and happened to look up and see a guy matching the suspect's description walking away from him with one hand in his pocket.

Bro called out to the guy, "Hey man, take your hands out of your pocket and come here so I can talk with you." .... Guy kept walking away without acknowledging bro.

Bro follows him on his bike and again calls out the same command. Guy kept walking away.

This went for nearly a block and finally bro got mad and ditched his bike in the street and unholstered and walked up closer to the guy.

The guy sort of casually glanced back at bro and kept walking.. then it registered and the guy turned all the way around quickly with eyes like dinner plates and suddenly pulled his hand out of his pocket and raised it up in the air......

.....and that's when he removed his earphones.

Thanks to bro's cool-as-a-cucumberness he didn't shoot the guy. It was so sudden bro barely had time to make the right choice.

The guy nearly had a heart attack - and bro then questioned why the guy was walking at night in that neighborhood. It's a predominantly African-American community, but as my brother jokingly put it, the guy was "about as black as Wayne Brady."

Anyway, long and short, the guy checked out ok and bro had no reason to detain him. Bro politely pointed out that if a police officer with a gun was behind him for a city block without him noticing, he'd hate to see what would happen if some thugs tried to rob him.

It turned into a major joke at his station--"Oh no look out for the guy with the ipod...". But in all reality the guys knew it was a tough situation which could have ended tragically. His department has had so much violence and loss this year alone, nobody takes things too lightly.

In March an officer was killed in a car accident while pursuing a burglary suspect. He was a former Marine and served in Iraq. He left behind his newly-wed wife.

In May an officer was shot EIGHT times by a .40 while conducting a traffic stop at a busy gas station. He survived and even gave a thumbs up when being wheeled into the trauma center. I suppose it was no shock to him, seeing as he'd been shot in major firefight as a Marine in Iraq the previous year. For that he received a purple heart. For his bravery in the on-duty incident which almost killed him, he received the medal of valor and officer of the year award.

In October two of his co-workers were shot on a routine traffic stop by the car's passenger.. all because the guy said he hates the police and wanted to kill them. Thankfully both officers survived, but one is STILL in rehab and has had three strokes. He's trying to talk again but isn't there yet.

On Saturday morning one of their Sergeants committed suicide on patrol, with his duty weapon. He leaves behind a wife and kids. He had been on the force 16 years.

More news.. which is saddening and frustrating. One of the Det. Sgts. in my father-in-law's department got shot in the face the other night. He was doing surveillance in a neighboring shithole when a guy walked up and opened the car door.. he saw the computers and realized it was a police officer and shot him in the face. Failed carjacking, but successful assault 1st on a LEO, ACA and all the other good stuff.

By the grace of God, the officer was able to pull his head back just far enough from the revolver that the shot under the chin did nothing but blow out some teeth. Completely missed major arteries and structures as well as the brain.

This particular officer is very near and dear to our family. He has been a friend of hubs for 26 years.

He is going to survive, but right now the suspect is still at large. Manhunt is underway.

Please pray for this and all these officer's families that they can somehow manage to salvage an enjoyable Christmas this year.

Here is hoping for a much brighter, happier and SAFER 2011.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's A......




BOY!!!
I had figured it was from the beginning, but didn't know until today!! Hubs was SO excited!!!




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3 Weeks Down, 1 To Go???

Well, it has been three weeks today since our little meeting. The lady said we'd have the final decision in the mail within four weeks. I'm hoping that if she does decide to deliver the news next week, that it will be nothing but excellent.... perhaps somewhere in that cold cavernous soul of hers she'll have it to give us a GOOD Christmas present.



I keep telling myself there is no way she'll make us wait until the week before/of Christmas only to devastate us, right?!



In other news, I got hubs a new phone tonight and what good timing. His died today - can't actually speak on it, can only text. So, although it's a Christmas gift, he will be getting it early. That's ok. He's got other stuff coming his way, and besides, how many of us ever celebrate Christmas ON Christmas anyway?! Not when you're married to a LEO.



Hubs managed Friday off, so I'm considering going to get my ultrasound that day so we can find out if we're having another boy. Don't get me wrong, I'll be happy with a boy or a girl, but I have TONS of boy stuff. I kept everything from Mr. Pants and if I need to get rid and buy girl stuff, I want to be prepared.



Ok wow I am totally rambling. Why is this news? JeBus. I guess this is what I do when I'm anxious.



So, well I'm heading back to the kitchen to cook ridiculous amounts of food for the next few weeks and stick it all in the freezer.



Have a good night. I hope you are all warmer than I am!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Seriously?

I am so incredibly lazy today. And spaced out, too. I was eating a sandwich for lunch and when I looked down I realized I was on my last bite.. so I looked for the other half of my sandwich and realized I had already eaten the damn thing! How does one eat an entire sandwich and not happen to notice? Seriously?



I suppose I can blame it on the baby!



I've been slacking and haven't posted an update about hubs's license. Well, a bunch of us family and police officers showed up at the Capitol and were asked to speak on hubs' behalf.



It was rather intimidating because the broad running the deal is a former prosecutor and still thinks and acts like one. The panel consisted of her and three other folks - so the break down was two men and two women.



It was an open forum, so everyone in the room was given the floor to speak about hubs and his character, his professionalism and all that good stuff. It was so touching that I found myself in tears (not being all dramatic and boo-hoo), very touched by the way that so many people look at him - as a man, a husband, a father and a police officer. It blew me away.



Then of course, I got to go last. I felt a huge lump in my throat.. between the emotions, the anxiety and the fear of sounding like an ass, I just flew by the seat of my pants.

Here is what I said.. at least what I remember. Hope it wasn't stupid.

Thank you for taking the time to hear what we all have to say today. It’s clear that there is a lot of emotion in this room today, and it’s all because we love and respect this man so much. I will tell you that the past two years, eight months and twenty-three days have been the hardest of my life. It is a chapter of our lives I am anxious to move on from.

This entire family has spent 997 sleepless nights worrying about whether or not my husband will be able to continue the career he loves, the career he is half-way to retirement in, and the career he has spent his entire adult life doing.

I can tell you that my husband is not a perfect man, as no man is. But I have seen my husband in many stressful situations both on and off-duty and I have never seen him fall short of doing the right thing. I know it’s easy to view my words as biased, but my words are true and are based on fact.

There are too many factual instances to relay to you, but I would like to share those which I am most proud of. Two days before the birth of our son, I received a call from my husband’s Sergeant telling me he was in the --- river attempting to rescue five drowning children. The kids were on an outing with a church group at the riverside area when one of the boys went into the water and was viciously swept away by the current. He was quickly followed into the water by his four young relatives, none of whom knew how to swim. My husband was in that water, sinking into the mud beneath, with forty pounds of gear in one hundred plus degree heat. Never once did he stop and say “this is too hard” or “there’s nothing I can do”. And not once did he stop and ask the fifty or so onlookers to jump in with him. He struggled and fought to save those kids, and the reality is, unfortunately none of them survived. Those poor parents were left without their five children. And my husband lives with the pain of knowing that every day.

While I was and always will be saddened by this situation, I remember every day that MY child could have come into this world two days later with no father. I think it’s fair to say this is something we all take for granted; when you love or are married to a policeman they want you to forget the risk and the danger. They find a way of dismissing your fears and worries because they don’t want you to lose sleep at night over what might happen to them. But we cannot and should not be allowed to forget – no one should.

In this line of work the risks are great and the rewards are few. The pay is mediocre at best, the benefits barely cover him if he gets hurt and sustaining a family of soon-to-be five on a civil servant’s paycheck is a challenge I have become an expert in managing.

I can tell you with the most selfish part of my being I would love nothing more than for my husband to get a desk job working straight days with weekends off – with heat and air conditioning and a computer to play on. I’d love for him to walk away from all of this… the risks, the politics, the drama and everything else that comes along with it.

My husband is highly educated. He speaks two languages and is fluent in a third. He has worked as a translator for countless departments in our metro area and has trained many a rookie in how to beat the streets and come home every night to their families.

I could continue with his many wonderful characteristics, but I’m going to close my plea to you with one last thing.

My husband received a very important award from his department for his valor during an extremely difficult situation. One year to the day before the incident which brings him here today, he was dispatched to a scene where an intoxicated, suicidal male was threatening his wife and his friend with a handgun and was also threatening to shoot himself.

(Hubs) was first on scene and quickly established a perimeter. He called for an ambulance to stage at a safe location which he dictated. He advised the other responding officers of the perimeter and kept them all at a safe distance. My husband was able to calm the wife who was hiding behind the door of his patrol car. She was hysterical, screaming and crying, and begged (hubs) to go in the house and get the man.

Around that time the man fired three shots inside the house. A moment later, he came out the front door and pointed a gun at (hubs) from the front porch. The man fired into the air and went back in the house.

As the sun started to rise, (Hubs) was able to initiate phone contact with the man and after a 20 minute negotiation, the man peacefully surrendered into my husband’s arms, crying.

His patience, determination and bravery allowed this six hour standoff to end peacefully with no injuries to the suspect or any police officers.

This exemplifies not only the kind of police officer he is, but the kind of man he is. He is patient, compassionate and unwavering in his dedication to caring for others.

All of the things you have heard from us today are reasons I implore you to allow my husband to continue his career. Taking away his badge would be to take away his entire identity. This is who he is and this is what he is meant to do.

Thank you.

---So the stone cold Cruella looked at me with two big tears welling up in her eyes and says, "Thank you. You can look for our final decision in the mail within four weeks."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Tablecloth

Understand that things happen for a reason


The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned
to their first ministry, to reopen a church
in suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October
excited about their opportunities. When they saw
their church, it was very run down and needed
much work. They set a goal to have everything
done in time to have their first service
on Christmas Eve.


They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls,
painting, etc, and on December 18
were ahead of schedule and just about finished.


On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving
rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.


On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.
His heart sank when he saw that the roof had
leaked, causing a large area of plaster about
20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall
of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit,
beginning about head high.


The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor,
and not knowing what else to do but postpone
the Christmas Eve service, headed home.
On the way he noticed that a local business was
having a flea market type sale for charity, so he
stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful,
handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth
with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross
embroidered right in the center. It was just
the right size to cover the hole in the front
wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older
woman running from the opposite direction was
trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor
invited her to wait in the warm church for
the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor
while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put
up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor
could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and
it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center
aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor,"
she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check
the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into
it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had
made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria .

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor
told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The
woman explained that before the war she and
her husband were well-to-do people in Austria .

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave.
Her husband was going to follow her the next week.
He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her
husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth;
but she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home. That
was the least he could do. She lived on the other
side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn
for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas
Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the
spirit were great. At the end of the service, the
pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door
and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized
from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the
pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he
wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on
the front wall because it was identical to one
that his wife had made years ago when
they lived in Austria before the war and how
could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he
forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was
supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and
put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home
again all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to
take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten
Island
and to the same house where the pastor
had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of
stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on
the door and he saw the greatest Christmas
reunion he could ever imagine.

This story was originally published in a 1954 issue of Reader's Digest. It's attributed to Rev. Howard C. Schade, pastor of First Reformed Church of Nyack, NY. He died in 1989 without ever revealing the names of the couple.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Come The Hell On

Patience is not a virtue. Tomorrow just needs to get here already.

Thank the Lord my dear sweet bro is going to drive me to the Capitol tomorrow. Hubs is riding with his dad in his dad's police car. I kind of got the "no girls allowed" vibe.. not that my FIL would ever say that, but I think he wants some father son time. I get it.

It is a 200 mile drive, so we are leaving at the crack of dawn and everything is set to go down at 10a.m. Again, SO freaking thankful my bro is going to be there with me and for me.. for us, really!

Today is hubs's birthday. The boys and I made his gluten free cake last night and as soon as he walked in, he took a huge slice and buried it in ice cream! I was so glad he was happy. Only bad part was that the boys were already asleep.

I'm getting ready to head to the baby doc. So glad there is no pants dropping today because I am seriously not in the mood with all the stress building for tomorrow. I know it's horrible for me and the baby to get all amped up, but that's just my way of coping.. er, not coping. Whateva.

It will be interesting to see what my blood pressure looks like?! Hoping it's in a safe range.

I should be able to hear the heartbeat on doppler today. Very cool. Wish hubs could be there, but he's working. I'll be by my lonesome at the visit... bummer.

Anywho, I haven't had much of an appetite today, think it's nerves for sure. Been making myself eat and hubs made me an amazing salad at lunch!

Now I'm trying to keep from going into an after lunch coma. Tired.. think the baby is super growing or something this week. I am wiped out.

Just needed to dump some thoughts for a minute. Catch you all tomorrow.



Friday, November 19, 2010

One plus One - Need Good Thoughts Please

So, it's finally wrapping up. Hubs has to be at our state capitol on Tuesday (the day after his birthday) to find his final "punishment".

The licensing board is asking for a one year suspension followed by one year of probation on his license. Mind you, there is no criminal aspect to this.. it's only civil and related to his license.

But, that would mean not carrying the badge for an entire year.

I can't even bear the thought of it. It's devastating and it hurts so much.

His attorney is excellent and is actually very well connected (for lack of a better term) in our state, which will hopefully help. This has been so long and drawn out.. I just want to get it over with.

I told hubs that IF it results in an actual year long suspension, I will have to find a way of accepting it. I have already told myself it will be a way of him having more time with us and the new baby. I have told myself it will be the powers that be keeping him from harm if just for a while.

I am a wreck. Just trying to give it up and let it be. Whatever happens, happens. Right?



A Cop's Advice On Dealing With Cops from Huffington Post

The following is an article was produced by the Huffington Post on 11/15/2010. Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), provided his "expertise" on how to deal with Police Officers. If you'd like to get your blood boiling, go ahead and keep reading.

"As a 33-year law enforcement veteran and former training commander with the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department, I know how easy it is to intimidate citizens into answering incriminating questions or letting me search through their belongings. This reality might make things easier for police looking to make an easy arrest, but it doesn't always serve the interests of justice. That's why I believe all citizens should understand how to protect their constitutional rights and make smart decisions when dealing with officers of the law.

Unfortunately, this important information has remained largely unavailable to the public, despite growing concerns about police misconduct and the excesses of the war on drugs. For this reason, I agreed to serve as a technical consultant for the important new film, 10 Rules for Dealing with Police. The 40-minute docudrama aims to educate the public about basic legal and practical survival strategies for handling even the scariest police encounters. It was produced by the civil liberties group Flex Your Rights and is narrated by former federal judge and acclaimed Baltimore trial lawyer William "Billy" Murphy, Jr.

The opening scene portrays Darren, a young black man getting pulled over. He's driving home from college. This is the fifth time he's been pulled over in a year. Frustrated and scared, Darren immediately breaks Rule #1: Always Be Calm & Cool. Mouthing off to the officer, Darren aggressively exits the car and slams the door. The officer overreacts, dropping Darren with a taser shot to his chest.

Should the officer have tased Darren in that situation? Probably not. Would the officer likely be disciplined? No. But that's not the main point of 10 Rules. The point is that the choices you make during the course of such encounters have a massive impact on whether it ends with a simple warning, a tasing -- or worse. This is true even if you've done nothing illegal.

While being calm and cool is key to getting the best possible outcome, it's not enough to keep police from violating your constitutional rights. For example, when the officer commandingly asks Darren "You're not hiding any AK-47s in there? You don't mind if I take a look?", Darren gets tricked like most people do.

Intimidated and unaware of other options, he consents to the search. The officer carelessly dumps his bags, accidentally shattering Darren's laptop on the asphalt. In another "what if" scenario, the officer finds a small amount of marijuana hidden away. While someone else might have left it there, Darren winds up getting arrested.

What few people understand, but police know all too well, is that your constitutional rights only apply if you understand and assert them. Unless they have strong evidence (i.e. probable cause) police need your permission to search your belongings or enter your home. The instant you grant them permission to invade your privacy, many of your legal protections go out the window and you're left on the hook for anything illegal the police find, as well as any damage they cause in the process.

Of course, even if you know your basic rights, police officers are trained to shake your confidence. If you refuse a search, I might respond by threatening to call in a drug-sniffing dog and sternly reminding you that things will go much easier if you cooperate. Creating a sense of hopelessness for the suspect enables us to break down their defenses and gain compliance. In the film, we show several variations on these common threats, but the main lesson is that it doesn't matter what the officer says; you still have to remain calm and protect your rights.

In today's world of smart phone video, YouTube and Twitter, stories of police abuse travel fast, creating greater awareness of the problem of police misconduct. Unfortunately, this heightened awareness often serves to reinforce the notion that "cops can do whatever they want." It's true that much work remains to be done towards ensuring police accountability, but the very first step is to educate the public about basic constitutional rights.

Citizens who understand their rights are much less likely to experience negative outcomes, both on the street and in a court of law. Until each of us has the ability to protect our individual rights and recognize injustices against others, we're not likely to accomplish much in the realm of broader policy reform.

I hope 10 Rules for Dealing with Police will be embraced by parents, teachers, activists, and even police departments as we work towards reducing the tension that too often characterizes the relationship between cops and the communities they serve."

Of course the idiots unleashed their comments and started to really attack the Police - nothing uncommon after an article like this. What I enjoyed the most was one sole comment which happened to be posted by my brother. His comment was in response to a woman who said that the Police "pick on innocent people because they are too afraid to go after the gangbangers and violent criminals."

Here is what his response was:

"I am a police officer in one of the most violent cities in America. Stop on by and see how "docile" our "targets" are. And bring a fresh pair of undies. All you tinfoil hat-wearing paranoiacs will do well to remember that we're the ones who come running to help you when the shit hits the fan, and we're not out to pick on innocent civilians.We get paid shit, work lousy hours in lousy conditions, get shot, get hit by cars, harangued by people who are in trouble for their own stupid mistakes..... and then we get called "lazy" and "thugs" by a bunch of gutless know-nothings who spout bile from the comfort of their desk chairs.The day you run toward the gunshots or the fire or the blood instead of away from it, I'll be more than happy to hear your opinion about my job. "

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From The Mouths Of Babes

Tonight in the mall, my little one decided to be a royal p.i.a. It was the mall, which I rarely even venture into, so I totally got it.

On our way back to the car, we had to cut through one last store to get out of the building. Mr. Pants stopped at the sight of a remote control car he really wanted.

This is what I heard come out of his mouth:

"Mommy, I love you. I'm your best friend...... And I'm not an asshole either."

The entire store erupted in hysterical laughter. Shocked, I counted to five in my head and calmly said, "That's not very nice. Who said that to you? Did Jackson say that to you?" (he's the bad kid at school)

Mr. Pants' reply?: "No Mommy, YOU did."

How on earth was I supposed to even follow that up???

I just gently took his hand and headed for the door. I called Daddy on the way home and he could not stop laughing. It lightened his mood after working 6 in a row of 12s.

Never a dull moment.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Mildly Irritated

I really hate feeling like I have to qualify things I say. I didn't use to do such a thing, but in today's world.. I kind of feel like I must. So- this is merely a vent post, not intended to offend any one sole person or group of people in any way, shape or form. Now then....

I went out to dinner with my much younger sister last night. Her and her girlfriend. Who I am not a big fan of. My sister is in her very early twenties and currently attends one of the most liberal universities in the nation. Ok fine. I'm not a stuffed shirt conservative or anything, but I'm not the most liberal being either.

My sister and I have the same mother but different fathers. I am ten years her senior. I used to wipe both her butt and her nose (though not at the same time). She is one of those, what do you call it?... "KIDults" or in a more politically correct fashion, "Emerging Adult". You know, the ones that think they know all about everything because they've passed high school and are now in college? The ones who think because they manage to split rent with three other girls they are grown up, despite the fact that mom and dad still pay for the car, the car insurance, the cell phone and the health insurance? Oh, and the TUITION?

I love my sister, I love her dearly in fact. But I'm saddened. I don't see or hear much from her anymore because she is busy being a self-absorbed twenty-something know-it-all. That's not a crime by any means. We've all been there. The selfish part of me misses her though.

When she was in high school, she was the all-American kind of girl that just made people want to puke. Straight A student with a 4.0, Captain of the cheerleaders, funny, outgoing and unlike many high schoolers: driven. She received acceptance letters from schools like Purdue, Bellarmine, Murray State and NYU. She chose none of them. Ok fine. She ended up at a private university 8 miles from home.

And then she decided to come out as a lesbian. Totally love and support her and I really knew since she was about 12 that the day would come. Reassured her that I love her and accept her and that nothing about being a lesbian would make me love her any less.

That was a bunch of years ago and to be honest, I'm starting to realize maybe that statement is untrue. I mean, I LOVE her, but we've just totally lost that special bond we used to have.

Here is what I mean. The girl has completely enveloped herself in all things gay. What do I mean? I mean that every single thing she does from sun up to sun down involves forming some committee or marching and protesting about all the atrocities that gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered folks face.

It's like she doesn't want to be "labeled", yet she makes every single aspect of her entire life so much about gay everything that a straight person can't even hold a conversation with her anymore. She thinks all the struggles in life revolve around why women can't pee standing up and how the biggest crisis on earth is not having enough transgendered restrooms in America.

Yes, there are very real, very sad and very wrong challenges that gay folks are faced with every day. My post is NOT intended to downplay their struggles or the importance of finding some resolve.

MY struggle is with a beloved sister who has become someone I no longer know. Someone I don't feel comfortable around because she overanalyzes every single freaking word I say as being "unsupportive" or "not convincing enough" about my acceptance of her and her chosen lifestyle.

The other thing which seriously, honestly and without lying disturbs me is the fact that she chopped off all of her waist length gorgeous naturally curly hair and now looks like a guy. I think that is a perfectly normal peeve for someone who loves someone else. Her changing her appearance was more of a shock to me than changing her actual lifestyle.

Now she spends her life earning money by dressing up as a guy doing drag shows. Yeah, the kind with stuffed pants and facial hair drawn on with eyeliner and taped boobs.

I struggle with the fact that SHE took it upon herself without even consulting me to explain to my 10 year old what being gay is and that being gay is great, etc., etc. Now, while I have ZERO issue with the concept of acceptance, I DO have an issue with someone who isn't even a parent, stepping over the line with MY child who isn't even mature enough to understand romantic relationships yet being told about subject matter beyond his comprehension.

I felt like she ambushed him and that she went behind my back. She gave me no voice in the preparation, presentation or after-effects of her "chat".

We sat at the table last night in the middle of the restaurant while her girlfriend tongue-kissed her in front of my 10 and 4 year olds with no tact or respect. Public affection is one thing, but R-rated make-out sessions really shouldn't happen in front of young kids regardless of orientation.

Of course I said nothing because I am so afraid that any objection or challenge to ANYTHING she says or does will cause ME to be shunned, I just let it go.

I think it's time to just bow out for a while. I can't handle it.

Thanks to those who read this without thinking I am a horrible person. Just venting my personal frustration.



Monday, October 25, 2010

Roll With The Punches

Today is one of those days. Everything was going just great when it suddenly felt like the bottom fell out. I'm not talking about my water breaking! :)

We've faced such uphill challenges with hubs's work/legal/b.s. that everytime we think we've decided how we feel, we get spun.

So far the good side of things is that his license is safe. No revocation, no permanent suspension, etc.

The crappy side is STILL trying to push through the civil suit. Yes, there is a civil suit dragging its feet.

Let me pause right about now and tell you that of all the horrific bullshit a police wife can be put through, this one takes the cake. A civil suit makes you scared for your entire future, for all possible things you could ever hope to be, do or have. It keeps you awake at night, it gnaws at your guts and it exhausts you. Mentally, emotionally, physically.

With that said, we are meeting with our team of excellent, top-notch, best in the country lawyers again next week. I love them. They have been like a second family to us. I trust them completely. I have nothing but certainty they are spending sleepless nights working to save our future.

But I admit, it's hard to not start feeling sorry for myself. For us, really. It's like watching someone with cancer. It's painful and exhausting, and there is absolutely NOTHING you can do but stand there and watch and wait. Some days are good, some days completely suck.

Hubs said to me the most encouraging words I've heard him say. He isn't much for words, unless they are sarcastic and aimed at making someone laugh, but he said, "Through all of this I know with absolute certainty this is the job I am meant to do. I know that my sacrifice is and will benefit other officers."

It caught me completely off guard. It almost sounded like something scripted. But I could tell he absolutely meant it. I think as a means of protecting himself until that point, he always joked about quitting and becoming a banker. I didn't want to push too hard because I could honestly understand why all of this would push him completely out of police work forever; so I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear those words from him.

Right now I am just reminding myself to roll with the punches. It was really hard to believe that all of this crap is part of a bigger plan these past years. But getting the notice that this case has reformed how our state deals with officers and licensing, really did show me there is a higher power at work.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

COPS

Hubs and I were flipping through the channels and came across an episode of COPS where a suspect was hiding in the attic of a house. A swarm of officers and a K-9 were standing under the attic and the lead officer said, "I'm gonna count to 5 and then the K-9 is coming up after you... 1, 2, 3..."

All of the sudden the bad guy's feet and legs began descending from the attic.

Mr. Pants had been watching from the doorway (unbeknownst to us) and he busted out in a giggle and said, "Daddy that bad guy was playing HIDE and SEEK ha ha ha."

Hubs and I laughed for a good five minutes!!

It seems the hiding and the counting combined equals a game of hide and seek in a 4 year old's mind!



Friday, October 8, 2010

Uh Oh

So, there is a crabby old fart who works in the jail of Hubs's department. He is basically some washed up old dude who came from a crappy muni (which he got fired from) and now thinks he is Grand Poobah.

Anyhow, a couple of officers went to a burglary call and caught the burglar in the act. They hooked him up and one officer brought him into the jail. Officer said, "Officer X is right behind me and will be in here in a couple of minutes with his detention sheet."

The crabby old fart waited until the first officer left and walked the burglar right out the front door!!!!

When the officer with the detention sheet walked in, she asked where her burglar was.

Crabby old fart told her, "I don't keep anyone in here without a detention sheet."

She reminded him there was a span of less then three minutes from the time the burglar arrived and the time she walked in with his detention sheet.

Well, needless to say she went up the ranks on this one. Oh and wouldn't you know, turns out the burglar was wanted by TWO other departments for felonies as well.

Chief's meeting happened that night by chance and guess what made for very interesting conversation?? The Chief was PISSED. I just found this story unbelievable.

In other news, I mentioned that yesterday I had my first baby doc appointment. I am going back in two weeks to get my first ultrasound. He said it would be best to do it during that week so that we can have more accurate data on the baby. I'll have a more accurate due date and all that good stuff.

I'll post more when there is actually something to tell :)

Hope you all have a good weekend!!



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday afternoon boredom post

I love ShitMyDadSays. Here is today's post from Justin: "You don't have to be good to succeed. You just gotta be the least shitty option. Example: We're eating at The Olive Garden."

He is SOOO right. I found that a fantastic way to start my post this afternoon.. :)

Hubs has been rocking it at work, busted a whole bunch of people who he had in custody but gave fake names. It must be "fake name week" or something. Anyway, it's great listening to him tell me how he remembered "so and so" from an arrest years ago or he knows their cousin or whatever.

Even better, last night he had a girl who refused to give any name whatsoever. He played along for about 15 minutes and then he said, "Jamie, why don't you want to tell me your name?". She said, "Because I got....." and then her jaw dropped. She realized he just called her by her first name and could NOT figure out how he knew it! He is GOOOOD.

Anyway, I'm not fat. (yet) but I've already gained 4 pounds. What is it about this kid that craves broccoli? Just the WORD broccoli normally makes me gag. For Christ's sake I even chose broccoli over ICE CREAM this week. What the ....?

I craved broccoli and pickles with my first son. Looks like kid #3 is following suit. Anyway, I have my first OB appointment today. I can't remember if today is when they park the airplane in the hangar or what. Guess I'll find out in an hour.

Hope the little bean is there and that I get an u/s photo. I know, I know.. it looks like a tv station that's gone off air, but still. I want one.



Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Heart Attack Day

Eleven years ago today, my brother had a heart attack. I've posted about it before. He was 23 years old and the picture of health.

It changed my life and it changed my appreciation of family.

So, every year on this day I send him a note saying, "Happy heart attack day. I'm so glad you're still alive."

He sends me one back that says, "Thanks :) I'm enjoying being alive. Being alive is good."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fantastic Reading

A website I enjoy reading regularly is zenhabits.net. I found this guest post from Sean Platt at writerdad.com and thought I'd share. It was an excellent reminder and came at just the right time for me. Hope you enjoy.

http://zenhabits.net/7-secrets-to-raising-a-happy-child/



Monday, September 13, 2010

Finally Good News

My husband's case (see previous posts) has been a horrible, painful, long, exhausting, expensive ordeal spanning several years now. Finally... FINALLY a bit of good news. We just received word that his case is changing the way ALL police officers in our state are being managed when it comes to any sort of complaint or challenge to their license. We also learned that our state is NOT seeking revocation or termination of his license.

I cannot go into too much detail yet, but can tell you that my whole life just changed in one phone call. I am still a huge ball of emotion, but will post more on this when I can.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nothing Really Interesting

If you're like me, you had to stop and see what is not so interesting. Nice.

Today hubs was walking behind me and he asked, "Where'd your ass go?" (referring to the weight I've lost). To this I replied, "He's walking right behind me." That made him laugh hysterically. Score.

I'm glad it's fall. I hate the heat and where I live (in the buckle of the bible belt) it gets Africa hot in the summer. So, I don't mind the cold, damp, dreary rain. In fact, I love it. Reminds me of Ireland. The best place on earth - just my opinion.

Anyway, Hubs has been working so much I feel like I've hardly seen him. An idiot called in sick over Labor day so hubs had to work a 12.5 hour shift and then only got a 4 hour break before next shift. Then he had short change over, etc. The usual, hellish routine of a LEO I suppose. What does it mean when you start to get used to this crap?

In other not so interesting news, I found it funny the other night when my phone rang really late. Turned out to be my bro. He accidentally bumped his phone in the middle of an arrest and it called me. I kept saying "hello, hello" and then realized what must have happened. This is what I heard:

"Son, what's your mama's phone number"
"My momma ain't got no phone"
(sound of car door closing, followed by another car door opening)

"Son, what's your auntie's phone number"
"555-323-1234"
"Thank you"

(another car door opens)
"Well son, turns out your momma's got a phone sure enough. And guess what? I'VE GOT HER PHONE NUMBER."

It was hilarious. Couldn't have been more entertaining.. I heard him say to himself, "Ah these idiots."

I hung up and called him later to tell him what happened. We had a good time laughing about it all. Fun times.



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm Alive

I've just been really wrapped up in self-loathing. Better now. I took it as a sign of old age when the doc handed me a script for fertility drugs. Yikes. Anyway, perhaps I'll go on that adventure next month. Not really up for the "Clomid Crazies" right now. Insulin resistance sucks. Ok, enough about that.

Tale from the jail for you:
"I'm straight diabetic" -Prisoner
"Are you type I or type II?" -Jailer
"I'm just STRAIGHT diabetic" -Prisoner
"What do you mean by 'straight' diabetic?" -Jailer
"I need them INSULATION shots" -Prisoner

That was followed by all of the inmates arguing about which one of the Jackson brothers is the oldest, and whether or not they have Burger King in Saudi Arabia. This came up because one of inmates was claiming to be a muslim and said he spent time "over there" and that they also have Denny's - where you can order a grand slam WITH all the meat.

Good Lord. That's the future of America.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

KPO I Love You

My dear, sweet brother in law passed away this morning, the day before his 46th birthday. We were able to spend Friday through Monday with him. He waited until we left and then passed on.

He gave my niece a ring he had purchased in Turkey many years ago. He said to her, "When I bought this, it was long ago and at the time, I didn't know who I was buying it for. I just knew I was buying it for someone special. Turns out, the special person was YOU."

I am so proud of him for putting up a wonderful fight. He never lost his spirit, even making quips like, "Hey I have this really great weight loss plan, although I don't recommend it."

I am also proud of my husband. He did such a wonderful job comforting his big brother and saying all the right things. And he wasn't afraid to say all the things he wanted. He talked about many precious memories and he told him he loved him and will take care of his daughter and wife.

Always, always, tell the people you love just how much you care about them!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tales from the jail again

Hubs had a guy in the jail with a last name that's the same as a famous car dealer in the area.
Hubs asked, "Hey are you related to so and so?"
Guy said, "Nah man, that guy's white."
Hubs replied, "Well Angelina Jolie is white and her kids and black and vietnamese. Anything is possible."

The guy laughed so hard he couldn't breathe.

Hubs is a funny guy.

In other news, I feel like hurling. My BFF sent me an email telling me she made zuchinni orange ricotta muffins. I'm pretty sure I threw up in my mouth when I read that. She's a health nut. I hate waiting to see if there is a reason for me to feel so pukey.

I'm always afraid it's going to turn out to be psychological.

I'm eating like a hog and sleeping like a log lately. I suppose that means something? Counting down the days.. oy vey.


Monday, July 26, 2010

A Little Suspicious

Had a pretty nice weekend of enjoying The Dude's last two baseball games of the season. It was fun (minus the 109 degree heat) and Mr. Pants loved playing in the dirt.

The only downside: thirty minutes before end of shift, the Hubs texted saying, "I just got a homicide. Not sure when I'll be out of here."... Seriously people, could you not commit your violence on a weekday?? We have places to be.

Turns out some guys tried to carjack two other guys. When the carjacker made it into the car, HE became the victim. The victims of the carjacking shot and killed the carjacker. It was all figured out a lot faster than usual in those parts.

In all we were able to salvage some time together and it was quite enjoyable.

So... yeah. I am not certain, but could there be an addition to our brood?

I ate two chicken sandwiches smothered in provolone cheese and not an hour later I found myself wolfing down a White Castle cheeseburger and half a chocolate shake. Dun da dun dun...

I'm a little suspicious. We've been trying, so we'll see what happens next week if you know what I mean. Er, should I say we'll see what doesn't happen next week!



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr. Pants

Today Mr. Pants is officially "a 4 guy", as he calls it. Where in the HELL did time go?

It seems like yesterday I was bringing him home from the hospital in his little blue outfit with the yellow duck on it.

I hate acknowledging the passage of time, but, without it I wouldn't get to see and hear him do all of the amazing things he does. It's fantastic to hear him ask, "Is it my daddy??" whenever the car pulls in at home. It's hilarious to watch him shake his behind while singing all the wrong words. It's a total joy to let HIM read a book to ME - no he can't read yet. That's what makes it so much fun.

We spent time together making cupcakes to celebrate his birthday. I let him help with the frosting, which mostly meant holding the butter knife so he could lick all the frosting off, and then he giggled with delight when I let him pour the sprinkles (all over the kitchen table, chairs and floor - oh well).

I asked him what kind of party he wanted and suggested something like Thomas the Train or what's that guy's name? Diego? Anyway, Mr. Pants looked at me with a straight face and said, "No. I wanna have an ugly party."

What.the.heck? Not sure what an ugly party is, but in my mind he is a genius so I'm not going to argue with him.

I asked him if Grandma and Pop and Grandma and PaPa were invited to come to his party and he said, "No, I'm just too shy."

I told him he would probably get some gifts if they came and then he said, "Ok fine. I like to tear the paper. You can't do it though, mommy."

I wish he could stay little. Sigh



Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Ending

It was just PMS. Sorry guy readers. All is well now that I am not so hormonal.


Had a fabulous week with the family. We took the kids to the nature center earlier this week and took tons of photos and got to see three fawns hopping through the forest with their momma. The boys loved it.


Thankfully the forest is thick enough that we were shaded from the killer sun. It is AFRICA HOT here. We were up early (one of the rare occasions when I say that was a good thing) and we were able to get out and enjoy the day without rushing. Hubs was able to be there which made it even better.


Mr. Pants will be celebrating his 4th birthday on Tuesday. We are having a party on Sunday so Hubs can be there and I'm so excited my bro gets to come to. Sometimes the universe does cooperate. Last night Mr. Pants told me, "Momma - I love you. You're my girl...... (long pause) and I'm your boy." How sweet.


Hubs came home last night and told me he had something for me. He opened up this little scrap of paper ever so slightly as to taunt me. I kept asking him what it was. Turns out one of the local indoor ranges is offering a concealed carry class for Police wives only in August. They are giving a 50% discount and will certify you at the end of the day.


Perfect! I've been putting this off for a year and then out of left field comes the chance to take the class with all Police wives. I'm excited. I will let you know if I pass the class next month.. :)


Hubs spent plenty of time teasing me about how several years ago we went to the outdoor range and all I could hit with the Glock 27 were the rafters. Yikes. He said, "If we ever get robbed by someone really tall, you will blow them away."


I reminded him that a Glock 27 is a hand cannon for a 5'3" 110lb female. He told me he will work with me over the next few weeks to get me ready for the class.


Which also means I can now buy what I've been wanting to buy.. a Taurus 25 with pink grips.






Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Maybe it's just PMS

So. I'm not proud, but I won't lie. I had what I can only refer to as a complete meltdown last night. In front of my kids. Wow. I am ashamed.

I've been really lonely and overwhelmed juggling all of the pressure of motherhood and going it alone.

Nothing out of the ordinary I suppose, it just pushed me a little harder yesterday than it has in a while.

The kids were picking at each other and when one was quiet (doing something he shouldn't be), the little one yells from the other room, "Momma, come wipe me." The Dude was talking a mile a minute asking me questions like, "What is barometric pressure" and "How many degrees Ferenheit is 29 degrees celsius". You and I both know these are not questions you can just spout an answer to while picking up the laundry pile with your toes when simultaneously leaning over to wipe the behind of your littlest one!

The house is a disaster, I fed the kids leftovers (gasp, for some reason I decided last night this makes me a bad mom), I forgot to put the sheets in the dryer so (again, horrible mom) I had to put the kids to bed with the wrong bedsheets.... I know, you're asking WHY IS THIS A CRISIS?

I don't know. I guess sometimes I just feel like a single parent. I don't know how my dad ever did it. By 9pm I was ready to squeeze a lemon in their eyes!

I just need to figure out some sort of routine for my sanity (and for the kids). I have all of these great intentions about dinner or activities, but when I go to do them I find that my tank is empty and my butt is dragging three miles behind me.

It's HARD managing everything without help, ALL THE TIME.

The Dude heard me crying (which I never do) and he sat down with me and talked about how he didn't realize how much I need help doing things around the house. He said, "I'm 10 years old mom. I should be helping you more. I promise to do better on chores and helping with my little brother."

I was really proud of him and completely shocked at his maturity. I gave him big hugs and apologized for crying in front of him and getting upset.

Maybe it's just PMS. Being a female sucks sometimes.

I miss the days when hubs would come through the door and crawl into bed next to me and wrap me up first thing. I miss the days when I could go meet him for dinner even if he was on duty or when he could stop home to grab a plate of dinner I actually made from scratch.

After the kids go to bed, I find myself on the couch, exhausted and emotional, missing hubs - wanting him to get home before I fall asleep so I can actually see his face.



Friday, July 2, 2010

Sixth Sense

Five years ago today I had a premonition that my husband, my father-in-law and I were at my brother-in-law's funeral. He's a Navy SEAL who has done multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq so when this vision came to me, I told my husband about it and told him I was concerned.

I told him I saw men in uniforms with white gloves and a motorcycle escort for the hearse. I told him I knew it was his brother. I just knew it. I didn't know the how or why, but I knew it was him.

Three days later a police officer in our area was murdered while on duty. My husband, my father-in-law and I all attended the funeral. There were men in uniforms with white gloves and a motorcycle escort. My husband assured me this must have been what I was tuned into.

I insisted it wasn't. I continued to express my concern about his brother.

We've just learned that the brother-in-law from my premonition has two types of terminal cancer and a very short time left to live (maybe 6 months).

Coincidence?




Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Amazing Performance

So here is one more video of a concert he put on last night.. this is just one of his performances from the show. This is a dance he learned just this summer from James Munsey of Bru Boru in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.
video

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Dude and his Dance

He once hated that I make him do this, but now at his ripe age (sigh) he's realizing the ladies love it.

video
video

Ireland

I spent this past weekend in Chicago with my kids. My eldest is very active in traditional Irish music and dance and competed in the Fleadh.

The Fleadh is where kids compete for a spot in the All-Ireland finals in Cavan, Ireland. Whoever wins the All-Ireland final is considered the best in the world.

Here is video of my kid leading his Ceili band (he's on drums).. oh, and they won first place!

Ireland in August. Woot woot.
video

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It wasn't candy

Mr. Pants has been in rare form lately. I suppose it's all just par for the course, being 3 and all.. but oh.my.god. Handful is an understatement.

I was in the grocery store and he was acting really crazy and grabbing random stuff off the shelf and tossing it wildly into the cart and then zipping up and down the aisle nearly knocking over an elderly lady. So I corralled him in the cart seat. That turned out to the be the worst possible idea. Why? I shall tell you.

I did not realize the risk of having my purse sitting in the seat right next to him. I did this so I could have access to my coupons. Yeah, great idea. As I looked to my right at the shelf and glanced between it and the coupon wad in my hand, I failed to realize that Mr. Sir (name when in trouble) was curiously going through my purse.

After a few minutes I started to notice a couple of random women looking at me strangely. Hm, what's that all about? Oh, it was then I looked down and saw my kid with one end of an object in between his little teeth, pulling and pulling to try and get it open.

He was saying, "I want this candy" (repeat 57 times, crescendo louder and louder) and as I looked more closely, I realized what this "candy" was..... it was an unopened TAMPON.

I let out a gasp, pulled relentlessly on one end in an attempt to get it away from him whilst he continued to pull on the other end.

Then in a flash, the wrapper gave way and the tampon went flying through the air like some football headed for a Heisman candidate. It landed dead smack in the middle of the aisle where God and everyone could plainly see what it was (not that the women hadn't figured it out already)...

I froze. I wanted to die of embarrassment right there. Mr. Pants turned around in the cart and looked at it a little sideways and conceded that that, in fact, was NOT candy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What You're Made Of

Today... ahem,... Today...

Today is one of those days.

I think I have become well acquainted with the ugly side of being a police wife. I've babbled on about kids and work and all the daily grind. But you haven't heard me go on a tirade about the real struggles of my life.

While I don't believe in airing dirty laundry in any public forum, I'm going to dump like hell on my blog today.

I've seen my husband survive false accusations, a forced resignation, a criminal trial and all the starting over that comes with it.

I used to have these grand ideas about what it's like being a police officer. Now that I'm married to it, I hate it some days. I've seen how quickly one person can ruin someones career, their life, the lives of their families..

and without consequence.

I have many struggles related to this topic, however I have a few which are controlling me right now and it's driving me mad.

During the non-incident that somebody decided to make into an incident, I was there and so were our kids. Our eldest has struggled with the following questions:

"But Mom, we told the truth and the other guy is lying. Why aren't the police helping us? Why are they saying Daddy did something wrong? I was there and that guy is lying. I thought Police are supposed to help you and you are supposed to trust them?".

I have tried repeatedly to encourage our son to always tell the truth and to always trust the police. Police officers will help you when you are in trouble and you can always tell them things when you need someone to trust, even if it's something you can't tell your parents or another grown up.

But the damage is done. It's evolving from our son trusting and respecting the police to him not liking them at all. He definitely doesn't trust them. He has said to me, "If you can't trust the police, who can you trust?".

I'm so resentful, not sure toward who, but I feel like a part of my ability to parent has been taken away by all this. I can't guide my son with words or even my own actions because his view of the police has now been tainted. I'm really trying and will continue to do so, but it's heartbreaking. This situation has taken away my ability to make my son feel protected and to help him have confidence in the police.

We've survived what could have been financial disaster, we've survived loss of insurance, pension and livelihood. We've survived a complete and total invasion of privacy, even having our address printed in local media. And worse than any of these is the damage to our pride.

These are the times when you find out what you're made of.

Now we are waiting to find out if hubs' license to be an officer is going to be subject to disciplinary action.

I have resigned myself to the fact that if he does lose his license, I will accept it. I have decided to tell myself it's the good Lord's way of keeping him out of harm's way.

God knows he has lived a life of public service. Those whose lives have been touched by him will never forget, and neither will he.

I will close today's post with a letter from one of those folks.

Dear XXXXXX,

I am writing you today because you hold the future of a young man in your hands. I was not there when the incident occurred between X and (hubs), so it is hard for me to render a view of what transpired. I certainly am in no position to contradict the testimony or the work of the prosecution for this case. What I can attest to is the character and demeanor of (hubs).

You see, I was there the day my adopted daughter attempted suicide. She was a minority child and a victim of years of physical, sexual and psychological abuse before my wife and I adopted her. There were many problems, but on that day, she attempted to break out a second story window and jump out of it onto a solid concrete slab. I was shattered and upset when I called XXXX police agency. The officer who arrived first on the scene was (hubs). I was trying to restrain this highly emotional teenager desparately trying to harm herself and me. The (hubs) I know is the one who calmly took control of the situation, quieted the young girl, and helped me with the most caring compassion and kindness I had ever experienced in my life. He did not know it at first, but then he realized who I was.

I have known (hubs) for over twenty years. After he grew up and became a policeman I rarely saw him, until the day he came to help my daughter and me. All his young years he was a quiet fellow with a great sense of humor and willingness to help others. He became a proud member of the police department, a husband and a father. I always knew him to be respectful and honest.

I understand the stresses of everyday life as we all do. I also realize mistakes are made, but conflict is not always bad. At times, we can learn from our indiscretions and grow from them. I know (hubs) will do the same. Whatever happened that day was not the norm for this young man. on the contrary, I have seen and want you to know, he is a good young man and very deserving of a chance to move on with his life, his children and his community. To take (hubs) from his family would be a grave injustice. I would implore you to consider not only my brief account of (hubs') compassion, but the years of service he gave to the community - the unsung and unreported deeds of kindness and care for others.

Sincerely,

MR. X

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I am such a ...

dork. It's super early where I live and I'm up becuase I can't sleep. Wish I could... I had three wisdom teeth surgically extracted mid-day. One would think I'm awake because I'm writhing in pain. Nope. I think I can't sleep because of the twilight sedation they gave me. I "slept" so hard it took away my need for sleep during sleeping hours tonight. Bleh.

I put off having this done for a couple of years because I've been having some other mysterious health stuff. I finally "womaned up" (is that a term?) and I got it over with. Awesome surgeon, real cool.. and turns out my nurse is also married to a LEO. Bonus! She was extra nice to me.

So, I get there, they do a panorex, they tell me I have three horrible wisdom teeth that are "sidewinders" and that behind one of them I have a cyst which luckily was only fluid and not very big. They did all the scaring the hell out of me by telling me my two lowers were literally sitting right on the nerve and the bone, etc. etc.

Doc has me sign my life away and leans my chair back. He puts the nitrous over my nose and swabs my arm. We had moments before discussed how we were going to avoid using fentanyl on me as it gets into my marrow space in certain uses and it causes my blood pressure to crash. Where was I? Oh swabbing the arm.. IV needle goes in. I hear him ask for the Versed from the nurse. Then I hear him ask for the fentanyl. To his shock and amazement, I opened my eyes about half way and said, "No fentanyl, remember what you said?". Luckily the nurse hadn't handed it over and they ended up giving me something else. I was still not out of it at this point and even mentioned perhaps my vein rolled on him or something. He took a look and sure enough, there was a problem with the line and he had to fidget with it to get the meds in. He looked a little shocked but I was totally calm and relaxed (thank GOD) and then he plunged the propofol and I smiled and said, "Ok now I feel that". Off to sleep I went while he cut away.

Then the most hilarious thing happened. I woke up in this really narrow room on a little cot with a small, almost inappropriately tiny blanket over me. Just so happens when I came to, the nurse had literally just stepped out and I had NO CLUE where the hell I was. I started crying (not hysterics or anything) but it was so funny. I thought I was in JAIL. HA HA HA.

The hubs and my mom came in with the nurse (turns out she was going to get them when I came to). Although I don't remember crying at all, I specifically remember thinking I was in a jail cell. Yikes!

The doc had given me a prescription for Vicodin and told me how with it being a holiday weekend he wanted me to have the "strong stuff" because I'd likely be in a lot of pain since I'm OLDER than most of his wisdom teeth patients. I told him the last pain pill I took was in 1996. He was surprised. After my neck surgery in December I only took straight liquid Tylenol. I'm really thankful for whatever freakish powers I possess that let me have a grip on painful procedures.

I'm rambling I know.. but I'm bored to tears. I took one Vicodin on the way home yesterday and my mom and the hubs were expecting me to be all goofy. I don't know if I lack the enzyme to convert it morphine or what, but it has zero effect on me....

UNTIL this morning. I was laying on the couch about 4am and I started itching like some street corner junkie. Yuck. So, needless to say I'm throwing this crap out and sticking to my Tylenol alternated with Ibuprofen.

Wish me luck that between the ice packs for the rest of today and the OTC meds I'll push through without any problems!

Thanks all for letting me ramble. Hubs is at work and I'm all alone (but don't tell the oral surgeon, ok?!)



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Brochacho

Last night I had a fantastic time watching my brother and some other family members from one district play a softball game against another district in the metropolitan area where they work. My bro is one of those guys who had the potential to play professional baseball but just didn't want to. Anyway, it was a great time, but had a scary few minutes. Bro was running to third base and knew he was going to mow over the third baseman, so he jumped to go over him. As bro jumped, the guy started to stand up which then launched my bro about five feet in the air. He promptly landed on his right side and I watched in horror as the side of his head literally bounced off the dirt. He lay there writhing for a minute and all the police there started to gather around him.

I am a very overprotective LITTLE sister. It took everything in me to NOT run out to the field and lift him up like Shera and take him back to the dugout. It was rough watching, but then all the guys scooped him up and put him back on his feet. My bro, the nice guy he is, just laughed and waved to everyone and said he was fine, only his pride was hurt.

It made me think back to September 30, 1999. He was then 23 years old. One night at 3am my phone rang. And yes, this is back in the day before I had a cell phone or caller id. This is back when, if the phone rang that time of night, you knew something was wrong.

Bro called and sounded concerned because he woke up to some really bad chest pain. I asked him for the details (I was in nursing school at the time) and decided I should come pick him up and take him to get checked out. I drove like an idiot to get to him, scooped him up curbside and drove 90+ to the hospital while trying to watch him but not crash at the same time.

I squealed up the ER doors, practically carried him over my shoulder into the ER and they hooked him up and did an EKG and some labs immediately. He was awake and talking to me, actually laughing about how the ER Doc had the same last name as one of the Simspons characters.. (go figure).

The Doc came in a minute or two later and as we were giggling about how this would probably turn out to be bad gas, the Doc said very abruptly, "You're having a heart attack right NOW".

The giggling stopped. NO.FREAKING.WAY. He was 23 years old and the poster child for healthy living. Worked out 5 days a week, ate healthy, etc.

Doc said the things he had going against him were being male and smoking cigarettes. Anyway, long story short, I vaguely remember walking next to him as they wheeled him up to the coronary care unit and the next day they did a cardiac cath on him. I was so terrified for him.

Turned out there was about 5-6% damage to his heart and the Doc said if he quit smoking and maintained a healthy lifestyle that it would probably never effect him. I breathed the hugest sigh of relief. I couldn't leave his side until he was released a week or so later.

That was eleven years ago. Even though he is a big tough Policeman now, I still can't help but worry like crazy about him whenever something happens. When he made it back to the dugout I gave him two ibuprofen, a bottle of water and a towel to wipe off the dirt with.

I am SO thankful he was ok. I watched him like a hawk for the rest of the game and then called him later on to make sure he was ok.

He's my Brochacho. I love him. (sigh)



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eighteen Years

"It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and, especially, that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before." --A. Lincoln in his letter to Fanny McCullough December 23, 1862


All of the words above hold great meaning for me, but none more so than the ones in bold letters. My father died eighteen years ago today, on his 44th birthday. He was the most amazing single father a girl could ever wish for. Meek and mild, wicked smart and with the best sense of humor, he spent his days teaching us how to lead a purposeful life.


It's hard to get through this day without thinking of how hard he struggled through the years to make ends meet, or how he worked so much I often wondered if he really got to enjoy life - but I understand now as a parent, myself, that everything we really are and everything that really matters can be seen by looking into the souls of our children.


I know that while for years and years I held onto resentment and anguish and horribly vivid memories of watching him die a long, slow, painful death from brain cancer - I am now thankful that I can say we spent the toughest times, together.


I was only 14 when he died and I used to cry my eyes out thinking of the million things he would miss. Graduation, my wedding, the birth of my kids.. It was almost too much to bear.


But when I read the last line of the letter above, "The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before.", I find solace.


I know that a part of him will always be a part of me. I see him in myself, I see him in my children. His memory is all around me.



I still miss him, but I am content at knowing that I had the chance to stand by him during his darkest hours, that I got to tell him that I loved him, and that in our final conversation he suddenly became very lucid and aware and looked straight into my eyes and with a warm smile said, "Babe, you know I love you and am proud of you, don't you?".


That, is what keeps the sad sweet feeling in my heart.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kiss My...

My wonderful, thoughtful bro decided to buy me tickets to the Steve Martin bluegrass tour for my birthday. When we were kids, one of our favorite things was to sneak a listen to some of Steve Martin's terribly inappropriate humor from the other room while our dad sat unsuspecting.

I was so surprised and delighted when I opened my birthday card and saw the tickets. I love comedy and I love bluegrass music, so it was PERFECT!

Hubs was finally off (worked 13 out of the last 15 days) so we were actually able to go together! It was pouring down rain and we had to take the public train to get downtown. My bro happens to work the district where the concert was being held, so he told us he'd be waiting in his patrol car when we hopped off the train and he'd take us the few blocks over to the concert venue.

Sure enough, we got off at our stop and bro was there waiting like the gentleman he is. I jumped in the front seat and hubs jumped in the back. We got to the venue with a huge line of people out front waiting to get in.

Hubs is always one to put on a show. I got out and then had to let him out because this was, after all, a cage car. I let hubs out and as people watched curiously, the hubs leaned into the back door and said in a very loud, stern voice, "NOW KISS MY ASS", and slammed the door. Of course my bro was laughing so hard he could not drive off.

The security guards sort of reached for their pepper spray but as the hubs turned around laughing, they just sort of looked at him confused. Hubs said, "That's my brother in law".

The guards breathed a huge sigh of relief and started chuckling. One of them said, "Oh thank GOD".

Hubs makes me have fun wherever we go.

The music was great, the comedy made it even better.. and just having a night out with hubs was so much fun. We walked around downtown holding hands afterward and when we came to a huge rain puddle, he threw me over his shoulder and carried me over it. All the people on the street were saying, "Awwwww".


He made me laugh and he made me very proud. I love those days.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Happy Birthday

So Tuesday was my birthday. The hubs worked all afternoon and night. Welcome to the life of a police wife. (sigh)

He took me to lunch which was great! He woke me up when he came home, as I had fallen asleep on the couch hoping to catch a glimpse of him at some point.

We decided yesterday we would go this fancy restaurant to celebrate. We got into the restaurant and the snooty hostess acknowledged we had a reservation and in an offput tone said, "It's not ready yet".

We waited about twenty minutes and finally looked around, looked at each other and I said, "Let's go get a burger". We both busted out laughing and merrily walked out and went to the burger joint.

Sure we were way too dressed up for burgers, but it was fun! And it beat the heck out of some snooty restaurant that was way overpriced anyway.

I'm just glad I got a few hours alone with hubs. I had a great time listening to his latest work stories and laughing my butt off. I hadn't realized how little we've actually talked to each other recently.

We do the hellos and goodbyes and talk about if the kids' lunches are made, etc. but we haven't talked about real grown up stuff. I miss him.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Another Officer Badly Injured

I am so sick and tired of these dirtbags. Last night another officer was shot three times in the neck and shoulder and is now paralyzed from the waist down due to one of the bullets hitting his spine. He is only 30 years old.

The only "good" news out of this is his partner returned fire on the bad guy and last I heard the bad guy has a "gaping hole" in his head. Technically still alive. We'll see what happens.

All this from a domestic. Lovely.

I hate the way people make me feel some days. I hate that my heart is filled with nothing but cynicism. I hate that this is the world my kids are growing up in. And mostly, I hate that the hubs (and all of yours) walk out that door every day to face situations like these. It sucks.

It's just a down kinda day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vocabulary Lesson

It's been a busy week. Monday evening the hubs, some friends/co-workers and my mom all went to Dave's visitation. My brother was part of the honor guard and did "casket watch". We made our way up to the casket and paid our respects. My mom turned to Dave's mom and said, "I don't know you and I didn't get to know Dave, but for the grace of God I could be sitting in your chair. My son is standing at your son's feet."

Dave's mom stood up and gave my mom a huge hug and told my mom she is proud of both their sons. How awesome his family is.

I was so proud of my bro standing up there at attention with the white gloves and full dress uniform. It was very humbling to see him standing watch like that.

So afterward, we all went out and spent time together. My bro says, "I gotta tell you this new word I learned on a call the other night".

He starts telling me how he got a call for a disturbance and on the way to the address, he kept telling his partner that the address seemed all too familiar. They shrugged it off and approached the front door.

"The front door opened and there is this itty bitty old lady who tells us "He's already gone, officer.""

"From behind the old lady comes a slightly younger lady with the "wonkiest wall-eyes I've ever seen. It was at that moment I remembered dealing with these folks before."

The younger of the two ladies starts going on a tirade saying "I'm a diabeteee and I had brain surgery in 1965. If my brother comes back here again I'm gonna kill him..".

So, after listening to this for several minutes, my bro decided to go a couple doors down and talk to the man regarding this disturbance and tells the ladies not to let the man in the house anymore since he doesn't live there.

Bro knocks on the door and the man answers. The man has a huge welted area on his forehead. Bro looks at him and asks, "Jesus, man. How'd that happen."

Guy responds by saying, "We got to arguin and she hit me with a smoov."

"A 'smoov'?", Bro asks, intrigued.

"Yeah, you know.. that thing you smoov your clothes with."

"Oh, you mean an iron?", Bro asks.

"Yeah, that thing."

Gotta love it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

RIP Dave

So the way I'll remember Dave is this:

One night a couple of months back, my bro and I were going to a shindig at a bar in the district where he typically works secondary. There was a guy in plainclothes near the corner, wearing a ski mask. I remember these piercing blue eyes looking at us.



As we got about ten feet away, my bro looked closely and asked, "Haynes??".



Dave lifted up his ski mask and with a huge grin asked, "How'd you know it was me?". We all busted out laughing together. And that's how I'll remember him. Smiling from ear to ear.



Prior to becoming an officer Dave served as a Marine in Iraq. The text below is something I thought was pretty profound. I'm unsure of the author, but wanted to share it as it sent chills down my spine and brought tears to my eyes. Please feel free to copy it and pass it on.





WALKING THE POINT

There are some things you just can’t do without suffering casualties… very literally and profoundly, and our job is one of them. You can’t race cars without crashes. You can’t dig mines without cave-ins, and you sure as hell can’t send cops out into the streets of a violent society without violent deaths.



Our fallen brothers and sisters knew that and did it anyway… as we all do or have done.

Their friends will tell you they did the job because they loved it, and any of us who can’t say that should envy them for it. At least they died as rare and precious people, doing what they loved to do, and doing it for the noblest of reasons. That is something we can never explain outside our profession.



You see you can’t be a good cop simply because you couldn’t find another job. You can only be a good cop because you want it. And there is an answer to why they died, something I learned a half world away many years ago as a young Marine, preparing to face an enemy in combat for the first time. It was then that my Sergeant explained that, like it or not, there are only three rules in war:

RULE NUMBER ONE IS "YOUNG MEN DIE"

RULE NUMBER TWO IS "YOU CAN'T CHANGE RULE NUMBER ONE"

RULE NUMBER THREE IS "SOMEBODY HAS TO WALK THE POINT"

You see when soldiers advance, knowing the enemy is near, there is always one man way out in front of everyone else. His duty is to look and listen and sense that first contact, to spot the enemy, pinpoint the ambush, fire that first shot, and as a consequence, take those first shots.


It offends the logical mind and denies the instinct for survival. It ages and saddens and wizens, and frequently kills those who take their turn “WALKING THE POINT." But it must be done, or there will be no protection for the rest, just more bloodshed and more grief…for the "POINT MAN" is there to save lives, even if he gives his own in the process.


Society might not be a company of soldiers, but it certainly has and needs someone walking the point. Every time you go out the station door. Every time you answer a radio call, every time you stop to check out something suspicious, you are "WALKING THE POINT"...And you can’t change rule number one.


If I could say something directly to the people of our society, it would be this. I know some of you will remember our fallen brothers and sisters, but that’s not good enough. I want you to honor them for what they did for you... that which they needn’t have done.

I’m not just talking about that day or night that a "ROUTINE" call or traffic stop went horribly bad. I mean what they did for you day after day, in darkness and light, rain or shine, on holidays and on their loved one’s birthdays. Without even expecting a "THANK YOU" in return.


They volunteered to "WALK THE POINT."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Officer Down

I am saddened by the news of my brother's co-worker. He was going code this morning with lights & sirens in pursuit of a robbery suspect and was t-boned first in the driver's side and then again on the passenger side.

He was dead on arrival at the hospital.

He just learned last week his wife is expecting their first child.

He was only in his twenties.

Please pray for his wife, his unborn child and all the rest of his family, including his family in blue.

Thanks.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I.Hate.Afternoon.Watch.

Can I just tell you how much I hate afternoon watch? It's been a looonng time since the hubs has worked any (I know, clearly I've been spoiled).

Here is what I've learned so far today, 7 hours into his shift:

Three year olds can re-program a Wii. Not break it, just do something funky to it that I can't figure out.

Chewing gum does indeed stick to a soaking wet toddler - IN THE BATHTUB (including little butt cheeks).

As I got Mr. Pants out of the tub (after removing the chewing gum from various orifices), he looked at me and asked, "Mommy are you upset?" To which I replied, "No, I just don't like it when you get into the chewing gum without permission." He quickly said, "I'm sorry." What a sweet little devil.

I don't know what it is with these two lately but as soon as Daddy leaves for work in the afternoon I find myself asking, "Who are these kids?"

When they are finally in bed, asleep after lots of wrangling and threats of discipline, I settle onto the couch watching tv and waiting for hubs.. only to fall asleep ten minutes before he walks through the door.

Poop.