Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So that's how it feels?

This past week we went to TWO separate events as a whole, entire family. DH dragged himself out of bed three hours earlier than normal to hang out with us and some long time friends. I honestly did not think it was going to happen. I hoped he would come, but I had really resigned myself to not caring. Then he came (half an hour late), but was there nonetheless. Maybe because I had no expectations, it actually worked out and I enjoyed it??

The other event was a family event, which usually he shows up at physically but is mentally checked out or sleeping off his most recent shift at work. He actually got it together to be "present" this time around. At this second event, I actually thought to myself "So this is what it feels like!"

But not for long. I'll be heading out to a big party this weekend with the kids while DH is at work. Such is the single life of the LEO wife...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

joys, fears, goals, and obsessions

First, thanks to those of you who have stopped by from Friday Follow. It's been fun to visit and "meet" some new folks in the blog world.

I've been tagged by Mrs. Fuzz to list three joys, fears, goals, and obsessions. Maybe future posts will discuss some of these, because some of them could use some explanation. :) Here goes:

1. Getting a decent afternoon nap
2. A long hot shower in the morning
3. Summer's long twilight

1. Forgetting myself completely in motherhood, and having more kids to make that motherhood last "longer" (although.... once a mother, always a mother!)
2. My mom "kicking the bucket" earlier rather than later
3. Ruining my children

1. Move from our current living situation
2. Get back to my pre-pregnancies (yes, all of them) weight
3. Run a half marathon at some point in my life

1. Coffee, Scones, and Baking (yes, they are all capitalized on purpose)
2. Getting an awesome (or free!) deal on nice stuff (Dollar Store doesn't count, although I do like that place)
3. The crockpot

I'm supposed to tag SIX people. Please share your "three!"
1. Cop Mama
2. Rebecca at The Blessings of Modern Domestication
3. The Dispatcher at The Dispatcher and Her Officer
4. MonicaLnP at Loud & Proud Monica
5. Steadfast Ahoy
6. TM at The Sun is Always Blue

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday Follow

Sponsored by:

This week's Friday Follow is special, with a cash giveaway. I never win any of these things and probably never will. But hey, at least I will get to meet some new fun bloggers out of it all! :)

My dad's not such a great cop, after all

We had a unique experience recently which has really made me feel the gamut of emotions. One afternoon I was out walking with Charlotte and Dallas, just enjoying the sights and sounds of our urban neighborhood. We stopped in at the local grocery store and at one point Charlotte says "Mom! Mom! Your phone!" She could hear it ringing perfectly because I carry it in my pocket and her ear is about (mommy) pocket height. I fished it out of my pocket and just missed the call from my husband as it went to voicemail. As I was getting ready to call him back, I noticed that this was my second missed call within minutes from him. When I called back and he answered, this is how the conversation went:

DH [angry tone]: What took you so long to answer the phone?!!?
me: I'm at the grocery store and it's noisy so I couldn't hear the phone. Charlotte heard it ringing in my pocket.
DH: [Our neighbor] just got robbed in the garage.
me: What?
DH: Yeah, Austin and I are driving around looking for him. [He proceeded to give me a description of the person.] If you see him, call me. And BE CAREFUL!

The whole way home I was very aware ~ I usually am but this afternoon my senses were heightened. For the record, I'm pretty sure I didn't see the suspect. When I got home, I waited anxiously for DH and Austin to come home to hear the whole story. Evidently this guy was just hanging out waiting IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. I'm so proud of our neighbor because she actually gave up a fight and tried to get away from him, although she was unsuccessful.

The horrible thing is that DH was home the entire time that this happened, and he wishes to high heaven he could have prevented it. Thankfully our neighbor has a really good attitude about it; DH said she was so calm when he was talking to her that at first he wasn't actually comprehending what she was telling him had happened. I'm also thankful that it didn't happen to me when I have all the kids in tow, and have now vowed to never ever go gallavanting around with my entire wallet but instead just the minimal things I need for whatever my errands are. DH has renewed his campaign to keep us chained safely inside except for absolutely required trips. I'm renewing my campaign to bring some balance to his perspective.

This "inability to prevent" this incident reminds me of a story from the life of my uncle the cop. (Have I told this story before? I'm having deja vu.) Evidently my young cousin left his bike out in front of their garage, where it promptly got stolen. (To be fair, I think it was over near the garbage bins so someone could have "guessed" it was available for, ahem, "free.") When they realized that the bicycle had been stolen, my cousin was heard saying "My dad must not be a very good cop because he couldn't even keep my bike from getting stolen."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mama Guilt Monday

CopMama has a new look for MGM and she even has started a little prompt for you if you're not able to recall any of your feelings of terrible, horrible guilt. This week's prompt is "Tell us about a time you did something absent minded as a Mom!"

Mama Guilt Mondays
Well that's easy, I just did this last week!

My daughter has milk and peanut allergies. I recently noticed/realized that there are yogurts made from coconut milk and rice milk which she could eat. (I try to stay away from the soy milk based stuff.) I don't know why I didn't realize this earlier; maybe I was just in denial about actually paying $1.50 a carton for yogurt. But let me tell you, since she's started eating it and loving it so much, I feel a little guilty about having put her off for so long. Anyway, I digress...

The grocery store within walking distance to our house carries three flavors of this yogurt, and at a ridiculous price. I would buy one each time we went and make her split it into two servings. There is another grocery store that carries this and many, many other flavors and brands that is near to our house, but not walking distance and completely out of the way from most of the places we go... not to mention it is 40-60 cents cheaper per carton! I'd been telling my daughter for three days in a row that we could go and buy "her" yogurt at this store. Finally, all the stars aligned. Everyone was awake at a proper time and we could pile in the car and go buy "her" yogurt. We were ready to hit the road.

Socks and shoes times four?
Jackets times four?
Baby in car seat?
Baby toys in car seat?
And as I shut the (already locked) door...

Charlotte quickly volunteered to go back and get the keys. I played along and said "OK" but she couldn't get in the door. So she asked me to unlock the door. It was kind of a crack up watching her process what was going on.

So there we were, the baby packed in his car seat, me with just my wallet and coupons -- of course this was one of the few times I didn't bring my entire mom-backpack full of tricks. I would have been ok with the whole fiasco if I had a stroller or an ergo (a babywearing carrier) for Dallas but all I had was the monster car seat which I would NOT be carrying anywhere. I spent a few minutes trying to break in to our door, but I'll be keeping my day job and not converting to a burglar any time soon. I also tried the window (which DH has used in the past to break in) but no such luck. I started calling both my husband's cell phone and our home phone. Of course, being that it's the middle of the day, and he works in the middle of the night, what do you think he was in the middle of doing?!!? That's right! Sleeping with all the ringers turned off. :O

So we spent about half an hour playing in the garden, and although my girl was a bit disappointed with missing her trip for "her" yogurt, we had fun in the backyard and no one was the worse for wear. (Except for this mama, who felt pretty guilty!) The husband woke up after a while and let us in, and we had success in our excursion the following day. yay!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's official

Some of you have voted on what shift you would choose, and of course 10-hour weekday shifts won out over 12-hour weekend shifts. Days/Graves/Swings was not such a landslide, but I am happy to report that my husband's turn to sign up has come and gone. The decision making was much, much more difficult than times past because they have totally changed the shift days and times, and it was pretty complicated because the team members and supervisors can have a huge impact on how well or terrible a day at work goes. So we'll be in for at least 6 more months of swing shift. I'm getting used to it, so it should be OK. I hope.

On a side note, the young person I mentioned is my previous post is still alive! I'm glad that the mom was able to come and be here. The human body is pretty amazing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Not sure what to think

My husband had a long case last night which may end up in a young person dying (or living as a vegetable) as a result of their own poor choices. The young person's mom was flying in from her home town. It was kind of a mess (in terms of police/fire response) so when my husband finally got to the hospital and asked the doctor the status of the patient, she responded with "critical." When my husband asked for clarification the doctor said something to the effect that even IF the patient "makes it," it will be with a life as a vegetable.


I don't know this young person, but as a young'un my assumption is "Your whole life was ahead of you, and now you've thrown it away!"

My husband had mostly negative things to say about this person throwing away their life, quelled a bit by the story of the mom coming to, quite possibly, watch her child die. But not for long. He quickly went back to his feelings of contempt for this person's poor choices. I'm in the other camp. I'm a little more compassionate. I wonder what made this person feel like these were good choices to make. Was there hopelessness involved? The loss of a significant other? Sheer stupidity at wanting to have a good time?

I will never know. No matter what, there is a hurting family out there right now. And I'm not sure what to think.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's such a little thing...

We have a problem at our house. Actually,we have a lot of problems that all make one big problem but I'm just going to focus on ONE problem today. I'll give you a little background if you haven't heard before...

We are a family of five (mom, dad, 5 y/o, 3 y/o, and 10 mo) that live in a small, 725 sq ft apartment. This would probably be OK, but not necessarily preferable, if the mom (me) and dad (DH) had not BOTH been the roommates "with all the stuff" when we got married. We had two couches, two arm chairs, two kitchen tables, and a rocking chair. Three crockpots. Two rice cookers (and we received a third as a wedding present). You get the idea. :) So we've spent the last 6.5 years getting rid of just-enough-stuff so that we can still live a crammed life in this tiny apartment (did I mention neither one of us have an easy time getting rid of "stuff"?). Anyhow, we have lots of stuff.

I'm realizing that this really, really negatively impacts our mental health, and I work really hard to keep up with the little things -- like dishes and dirty clothes -- but that leaves a lot of room for all the other messes to proliferate. Right now Dallas (the 10 month old) screams for an hour or two at a time in the middle of the night so it is not the time to put him in the bedroom with the older two kids. He sleeps in the living room, which is open to the kitchen. The other night DH cooked up a pizza, put it on the cutting board, and brought it to our room to eat when I put Dallas to bed in the living room. No big deal, right?

Three days later, where do you think the cutting board was?

That's right. NOT washed. Not even in the kitchen. It was over on top of the dirty clothes basket in our room, *naturally*! That is exactly where *I* put dirty dishes TO BE WASHED. Right next to the dirty clothes to be washed. I mean, it makes perfect sense to me!

I don't really remember how long it stayed there -- because I sure as heck was not going to move it -- but it was definitely three days, maybe five or six. After which time, it migrated! It moved to the kitchen, where it magically (wait for it people!!) SAT UNWASHED for another five days.

By this time, I'm mad. I'm angry. There is no "yes mom" woman to be found anywhere. I long ago decided I was going to just wait and see how long it took before my husband washed it. And one day as I'm fuming about how inconvenient it is that the very largest of our cutting boards is dirty, unusable, and taking up valuable kitchen counter space, I thought to myself "It's such a little thing, I can't understand why he doesn't just clean up after himself!" And it all went downhill from there, you know how your mind jumps from one thing to the next to the next and all of a sudden we're getting a divorce (in my head) because he won't wash his cutting board!

Needless to say this habit of mine is totally unhealthy. So it's a good thing that I had a startling revelation. If it's such a "little thing" to wash his cutting board, why couldn't I do it for him? Why couldn't I remind him to wash his own cutting board? In fairness, his claim about why he doesn't often wash his dishes is that he doesn't realize he has left them. This is completely unimaginable to me because I don't know what he thinks he eats his food off of, but it's his excuse nonetheless. And he also claims that if I would remind -- or even ask -- him to wash his dishes, he would be happy to do it.

But the thing is, I don't WANT to remind him. I spend all day long telling (making) three little people do my bidding, behave, and grow into responsible people (who will sure as heck wash their own dishes and throw out their own trash!) and I don't want to add him to my list of children; I want him to be my husband.

So, what happened? I washed the dumb cutting board. I threw away his trash. I washed his pan he cooked his eggs in. If it's such a "small thing" why can't I just do it for him?

How 'bout you? How do you show love to your mate and kids? Do you have to struggle first (like me??) before you do what you don't "have" to do to love them?

Go love someone today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Southland Tuesday!

Today is another episode of Southland. Yes! Unfortunately because of the current situation at our house, I usually have to DVR the episode and get back to it at another time. At any rate, I just found a link to a blog post by Ben McKenzie about tonight's episode. Read the article (spoiler alert!!) on TV Guide here.

The first paragraph, however, doesn't spoil anything, where Ben talks about why he'll be going solo in tonight's episode. He makes a point of saying "The LAPD always partners up patrol cops, except for the sergeants (who act more as supervisors than first-responders)." Here's Southland taking poetic license, however, by putting Officer Sherman out on his own. I hope this is not the beginning of the end of a good show ~ you know, this is the first deviance from "true" life as a cop and then it all goes downhill from there?? It's plausible, obviously, since many departments go solo. We'll just see.

I also heard some "bad" news about Southland: they haven't started filming any new episodes beyond the ones that NBC did. So let's get with it, TNT! Southland Forever! ha ha that reminds me of a yearbook signing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Can I get an amen?

If you leave a message on my answering machine and I do not know you, yet you want me to call you back, YOU BETTER LEAVE YOUR PHONE NUMBER.

Sorry, y'all, the "Yes Mama" is taking a beating today, just had to get that off my chest.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Drinking Kool-Aid, Beer, and Shopping!

There's been lots on my mind lately. In order to get it cleaned out a bit, I am sharing some random bits with you ~ you'll be rewarded because I'm saving the best for last on this post!

I'm sipping a Mission St. Blonde Ale right now. LOVIN' IT! :)

Along with my Blonde Ale, I'm shopping for diapers at I see that has begun selling their own brand of diapers. I'm trying to decide if I should order them for Dallas, and what size. I'm reading the reviews and holy hot dogs!!! I can't believe how many people are passionate about the designs on the diapers their kids wear and when/if the designs show through their clothes. Here's a NEWSFLASH, moms and dads! We all know that your precious bundle is wearing a diaper, whether or not we can see the designs. I love for their customer service, amazingly fast, free shipping (free on orders over $49), AND my boxes of goodies are lugged to my front door by someone else! (BTW if I have convinced you to order from ~ use my email address on your first order for $10 off!

If you're a mom, you know what it means to work hard when you have young kids ~ even if that "work" doesn't bring about anything particularly tangible at the end of the day. If you're a LEO wife with kids (especially those small ones!), not only are you working hard as a mom, you are also working long, odd hours "alone," and that's just the tip of the iceberg for us. For a while now -- actually, since Dallas was born 10 months ago -- I've watched myself get more and more frustrated, "stressed out" (whatever that means), and the biggest, visible change: I'm angry. I have a short fuse. I want my kids to behave, obey, and I want them to do it right away. Sometimes unreasonably so. While obedience is an important trait to groom in children (for it's far reaching effects in many other ways), being unreasonable about expecting their obedience is not helpful. This is not atypical for police parents -- you work all day expecting people to give you what you want, when you want, and comply PERIOD -- so this expectation trickles down to home life as well. I'm not the police parent in our family, but I've definitely been creeping towards the unreasonable end of the spectrum over the last 10 months. I don't remember EVER yelling this much in my entire life, if ever. (I'm the one always telling my husband to pipe down when we're arguing. I don't "do" yelling during fights!) Quite simply, I do not like who I have become as a mom of three.

I've really been struggling with this lately. I miss my old life. I miss being single, wearing my cute, small(er) sized clothes and shoes, working at a job that has a tangible product produced at the end of the day... I miss going to bed and waking up whenever I feel like it. I miss hanging out with my friends and going to fancy restaurants without a bunch of hullabaloo of schedule coordinating and babysitter arrangements. And when I think about how much I dislike who I have become, I miss all these things even more. Then I remember that it wasn't all a bed of roses back then, either!

So what's a girl to do?? While I miss my old life, it doesn't mean I necessarily dislike my current life. My life is challenging now, but they are different challenges than those I experienced "PK" (pre-kids). I'm being required to grow and change and stretch in ways I never was PK. I have three adorable children who worship and love me (yes, I know this will change soon enough).

So I've decided I want to drink the Kool-Aid. I want to be a "yes" woman. What am I talking about, you ask?? The longer my husband is at his department the more officers he sees promote and "drink the Kool-Aid." They become "yes" men (or women) and the things that they formerly railed against, they begin siding with the brass on. What's wrong with me doing the same? Every time my child asks for something, I want to say "yes." I'm slowing relegating Mean Momma to the netherworld and saying YES. Don't misunderstand: I will still be one of the strictest mommas I know; I have my limits. I have boundaries, expectations, and hopefully patience. Being a YES woman is a state of mind. Stuck in line at Costco (like tonight)? It sure went a lot faster because I was playing with and chatting with the three kids and not so incredibly angry (like I wanted to be!) that the checker was incompetent, slow, and chatty with his coworkers. The kids want to eat breakfast in bed? Ok, YES, we will pick ONE DAY this week when you can do that ~ we will plan the (non-messy) menu and look forward to it all week. Everyone's happy! I said yes but I have my limits. :)

I don't want these precious, precious years with my little ones to slip by while I'm mired in anger, impatience, and totally depressed about my "horrible" life. I want to treasure what I have, while I have it. I hope you will join me and say "YES" with me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Ultimate Wedding

I don't know about you, but my dream of an "ultimate wedding" does not include a hospital bed or a recently paralyzed groom.

But that's how it was for Mary Cole and her fiancé, Densey, a Chicago police officer. On May 27, 2009 Densey was paralyzed in a head-on collision while responding to a burglary call. He was in a coma for four weeks, but he & Mary were married in the hospital when he awoke.

Here's where you come in. Like I said, that's not exactly *my* dream of the ultimate wedding, and I don't think it was theirs either. Now they are in competition for Crate and Barrel's Ultimate Wedding and I want them to win! Go vote for them (ok, or you can read about all the couples and vote for any couple you feel are deserving of this truly ultimate wedding).

When you click "vote" you will be asked to create an account. Once you verify your account by clicking on the link in your email, you've voted! Easy Peasy! :) Thank you from the LEO family!

Friday, March 5, 2010

What shift for you?

I know, don't all fall over because I post more than once in an entire day. It's just been one of those days.

Today I finally got some info about the upcoming shift change at DH's department. I've added a poll so you can vote on what YOU would choose; you can choose more than one, but I assume you'll pick weekdays OR weekends, AND one of the times of day ~ days, swings, or graves (overnights).

We are less than six years into this and already I'm "so over" the whole shift change thing. Interesting to note, I recently heard someone say that only the people who still have a hang up about "X" ever say "I'm so over 'X' " ... and that would be true in this case for me! More appropriately I should say "I'm so fed up" with the whole shift change thing. Every time it feels like playing Russian Roulette, choosing blindly and hoping that whatever shakes out works for us as a family and for my husband as an employee. Things like:

Who's your sgt?
Who else is on your shift?
What is going on at home?
Which kid is doing what?
Is it spring, summer, winter, or fall?

More things that I can't think of right now, but it just seems complicated when it feels like you can "control" your destiny (i.e. choose your shift) when in reality you -- rather, *I* as the stay-at-home Mom -- feel completely out of control and royally screwed no matter which way you look at it.

So I'm wondering, where should I aim when I pull the trigger and make a request one way or the other this time? And can I convince DH?

Five Question Friday

I found this on CopMama's blog and I wanted to share with you all. Five Question Friday comes from Mama M. at My Little Life.

1. What's your guilty pleasure?

A long, hot MORNING shower. How sad is that? Seriously, it's about the only non-fattening, non-life-threatening thing I do very simply ONLY for myself. I don't get these so much any more as a mom with three kids but when I can, I savor them to the max!

2. What is your favorite TV series?

For a while it has been Grey's Anatomy, but if Southland sticks around it will be a big competition! My guilty pleasure TV series (can I make this up?) are all the "Real Housewife" series on Bravo (except for Atlanta, that one didn't really float my boat). They are like train wrecks -- you know you should stop watching but you just can't make yourself. I was in TV heaven last night with new episodes of Grey's, Real Housewives of Orange Co AND New York!

3. Can you speak any foreign languages?

Yes, I am fluent in Spanish and know a few things in other languages that make me dangerous but not helpful.

4. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

How many pairs I own, or wear, or actually fit?!?! My feet have changed quite a bit over the course of having three kids. I'm only willing to give my shoes away to people who will enjoy them. For some reason the Good Will is a-ok for cast off clothes and household items, but those precious shoes will not do over there. I think it feels like another link to my "previous" life without kids. I had lots of nice, cute shoes but now... not so much. So basically I have way more shoes than my husband would like hanging around.

5. What's your favorite kind of M&M's...peanut, almond, straight up regular, etc.?

Back in the day, your only choices were peanut, regular, and I think around Easter (or was it Christmas?) there was the mint option. I was a plain only girl. Sometimes I'd go for the mint ones, but no peanut, no way, no how. In 8th grade they came out with peanut butter and those were great. Now my taste buds have matured and it all depends on my mood whether I head for plain or (gasp) peanut. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday (no whining!)

I had another whiny, poor me post half written and then I decided -- y'all don't want to hear about that! Neither do I, in fact. I realized that today is THURSDAY! Yes, people, that's right! Thankful Thursday. :)

Today I am thankful that...
  • I was able to get antibiotics for Dallas and he is not allergic to them (found out he has an ear infection yesterday while at his well baby checkup!)
  • I stocked up at the grocery store yesterday
  • Today is a new day
  • Husband has a job
  • John Piper reminded me that the desert may come before the oasis and it may last a long time (in the case of Joseph, 12 years!)
  • Nearly free tickets to the aquarium
  • I got my Southland fix last night
  • We have an awesome pediatrician
  • My friend is pregnant with #3
  • The punky skateboarders who were skating where we live didn't attack me yesterday
  • Not much "excitement" for DH back to work last night :) Makes ME happy and him unhappy but that's ok!
That's all for now. Go forth and be thankful!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

what does it mean to be "subpoenaed" ?

Let's take a look at the definition of "subpoena" shall we? (Courtesy of Webster himself.)

"a writ commanding a person designated in it to appear in court under a penalty for failure"

I'm thinking that said "writ" must be given TO the designated person SO THAT he knows he is required to appear in court. I'm just saying, if you are commanding someone, it doesn't do any good to write it down and not give it to 'em, because then in that case you aren't commanding them. You are, well, just writing.

What's the point of this, you ask?

My husband was evidently subpoenaed for a case first thing in the morning tomorrow. He accidentally found out about it because another officer called and asked for a ride. The subpoena came while he was off last week and so he wasn't officially served. Hm. There goes his prime sleep time.

But we'll, er, I'll be happy to have the OT. ;)