Wednesday, May 30, 2007

2 down, 3 to go

Congratulations Sam!!!! I'm so proud of you! You have graduated from high school with enough college credits to be classified as a sophomore, and that's awesome. But I'm more proud of you for how you have dealt with the craziness that has been our family for the past 3 or so years. I'm more proud of you for how you stepped out of your comfort zone with theater. I'm more proud of you for the way you can write a story and move people to tears with it. I'm more proud of you for your passionate faith in Christ. I am proud of that yellow cord you wore around your neck tonight for making Honor Roll, but I'm more proud of who you are inside, and for Who is inside you. I love you.

The GMA thing

It didn't air today after all, which really doesn't surprise me - they've been trying to get it on the air since May 15th. They scrapped it for today because they would have had to have cut a lot out. I'm not sure when the next tentative air date is, but I'll post when I know more.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

3 Good Things

1) It's a little silly, but it kind of pleases me - pictures that I took of my son's play ended up in his school yearbook. First of all it means other people thought the pictures were good, and second of all it means I contributed something of value to the effort. My yearbooks are priceless to me, so I know for the kids that were involved in that, those pictures will mean something to them for years to come.

2) I have needed to refinance my house for a long time, but was not able to until my divorce became final in October and I got permission from the judge. Still, I've been procrastinating and avoiding it because quite frankly, the whole thing intimidates me. I've never had great credit and after my ex-husband's arrest I was forced to file bankruptcy. That whole going from being basically a stay at home mom with a husband who made decent money (but did not manage it well) to a single parent with no job in the span of a day thing really threw a monkey wrench in the whole financial outlook. But God has provided! He told me He would take care of me and my family and He has. So knowing that my a/c is going to bite the dust any time now (it's not a luxury here in AZ!) and knowing other major repairs need to be done, I finally made the call and applied for a loan to refinance my house. I got the call today that it was approved! ME! By myself! On my income! No co-signer or anything! This is the first time in my adult life that this ever could have happened. It means so much to me that God has provided me the means to take care of my kids and provide for them. It is such a boost to my sense of self worth, coming from a background where I've felt that I needed someone else to take care of me. No, the only one I need to take care of me is God. He told me that if I trust Him and am obedient, He would bless me. And He has!

3) A while back I mentioned an opportunity to use our situation to bring God glory... well the result of that will most likely be seen tomorrow morning (Wednesday) on G o o d M o r n i n g A m e r i c a during the first hour of the show. I was interviewed for a story they did on online dating (because I met my ex-husband online) I'm pretty sure they edited out all references I made to God and faith, but still getting this story out there has the potential to help others avoid what we went through. If it only helps one person, then I'm happy I did it. But I'm praying for more opportunities to use what happened to us to bring God glory, and this could open a lot of doors. I was interviewed in silhouette, because really, I'm the last thing anybody really needs to see first thing in the morning ;) But if you happen to catch the piece, you will pretty much know it's me. If you do, please let me know what you think. BTW, I won't be watching it, I'll be at work.

Dear Convenience Store Clerk,

I'm very sorry you thought I was being rude to you when you called 911 in the middle of the night to report a beer theft. I know you were quite upset, I could tell when I answered the phone and you just started giving me the description of the thieves. I honestly wasn't trying to be rude when I told you I first needed to know what happened and where. We can't help if we don't know where the problem is. Those are the first questions I'm supposed to ask every single caller. I was just trying to do my job. I'm sorry if you thought I was being rude to you when after verifying nobody was hurt, there were no weapons involved, and you didn't have follow up information, I insisted you give me the street address and not just the cross streets, but that's how my boss wants it. We need an exact address. When you call 911 to report these things, please know that other people may be calling also and on hold until I finish your call. They might have life threatening emergencies, so the other citizens really do need you to have that address handy before you call. We ask for it each and every time. I'm also sorry you thought I was being rude when I stopped you from giving me jumbled descriptions of both suspects and asked for the descriptions one at a time. I just know that the officers have a better chance of finding people if they have accurate, complete descriptions. And again, getting that is part of my job. At that point, you asked to speak to my supervisor to complain that I was being rude to you. I could have and maybe should have apologized to you right then, but I didn't think you would listen. I really didn't think I was being rude, it's just that I handle 20 of these calls a night. I know how to get what the officers need quickly, so I can get the information out to them and you off the phone so you can handle your customers quicker. I won't even mention getting you off the phone quicker so that I can take that next heart attack or shooting call - you know, a REAL emergency. You're calling 911, that should go without saying. Yes, I was trying to make the call brief, but that doesn't equal rude. I try very hard to never be rude to my callers, so my feelings are a little hurt that you thought I was.

But the truth of the matter is you are probably new at your job. I say that because you didn't seem to know how it works, and you were all upset over a beer run. That's cool, I can understand that, everybody has to be new at sometime. I think this was probably your first beer run. I guarantee you if you keep working there it won't be your last. In fact, you probably should celebrate the fact it wasn't an armed robbery. Convenience store? 3rd shift? Large city? HELLO???? Yeah, and that part about working for a convenience store? Your company WILL NOT prosecute most instances of shoplifting. So you call me all upset on 911 when someone peacefully walks out with beer and your own employers don't really give a flying rats behind about it, when we at 911 are getting so slammed with calls our rear-ends are being handed to us a on a silver platter (and those calls could be ummmm REAL EMERGENCIES!!!) and you think I'm rude when I want to handle the call the way I know will get us both of us off the line the fastest??? I am EVER so sorry. (Read: Bite me!)


PS - if you don't like beer runs, might I suggest a job at a fast food restaurant?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

All 5

All 5 of my kids, all in one place, most reasonably cooperative. It's a miracle!

L-R DQ age 15, Sassy age 10, Snugglebutt age 7, Sam age 17, and Allison age 22. No, that's not me...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Clue #1 that a vacation is needed

Clue #1 - weird dreams about work

I don't often dream about my job, and if I do, it's usually about something that stuck with me that I didn't realize. For example once I had a caller tell me that someone shot out the windows of his house. Nobody was hurt, and I did my job well, got officers out there quickly, but I guess it kind of bothered me because a day or two later, I dreamed that someone shot out the windows of my house. It was very frightening and I was very very glad that we don't have a lot of windows that face the street. But work dreams are few and far between.

The one I had today though, I guess was kind of disturbing in a different way. See, in my dream, I was taking calls from home. I was talking to someone involved in a neighbor dispute that happened to live very near me. When I was done talking to that person, I then talked to the neighbor and 2nd caller gave a totally different story and was telling me how 918 the first caller was.

To explain, 918 is our radio code for someone that may not be firmly in touch with reality, to put it nicely. Occasionally when the courts deem that someone is a danger to themselves or others and needs mental help against their will, the police will serve mental health pick up orders, and this is when we use this code for a call. It gets used much more frequently in the comments of a call when someone is not making sense, can't be reasoned with, sounds paranoid... we will let the officers know that the caller sounds possibly 918. Like the lady who told me there was someone in her attic and her couch was breathing, yeah, she sounded a little 918. I wasn't aware at the time she didn't even have an attic.

Anyway, in this dream, I finished up talking to the second caller by telling them the officers would be there shortly. Then I got up and looked out my window to see a squad car driving by. Instead of going where this neighbor dispute was, the car stopped in front of my house. Then the officer came to my door. He asked my name and then said that he had a 918 pick up order for me. FOR ME! So I told him there must have been a mistake, because I'm not crazy. He told me "None of the crazy people think they are crazy, it's the sane ones who know they're a little nuts." Just as I started to panic about being taken away by the police to a mental hospital, the garbage truck drove by and woke me up. Thankfully! What a 918 dream...

So yeah, I'm thinking it's probably a good sign I need a vacation! Too bad I don't have one scheduled till late September!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Twenty two!!

My first baby is turning 22 tomorrow! I'm really not sure how, but I think I've mentioned that before. What I may or may not have mentioned before is that I was really young when Allison was born. Like, 17. Of course, if you've been paying attention and passed elementary math, you could have figured that out on your own. I'm not quite 40, she's 22... Yes, I was a statistic. A teen mom. I hated that at the time. I'm still not all that proud of it now. People say "you don't look old enough to have an adult daughter!" I smile and say "I'm not" and quickly change the subject. I am however, proud of her. She has survived having me as a mom!

Her birth story involves mint chocolate chip ice cream, a very rude doctor who treated me like I had no right to be living because I was a pregnant teen, and a nurse with a thick southern drawl who told me that my doctor was living proof that turds could talk. The reason I really don't like telling her birth story much is because I allowed myself to be intimidated into things and procedures I didn't really want and absolutely didn't need. I thought taking hospital sponsored birth classes was enough to educate myself, but it really wasn't. There are some parts though that get rehashed quite a bit - like the part where she peed on the nurse shortly after she was born.

I'd like to say I fell in love with her immediately when I saw her for the first time, but that would not be true. The first time they let me get a good look at her face, they had already put silver nitrate in her eyes (22 years ago, they didn't use the clear ointment) and she looked like a racoon. Her face was all red and scrunched up and the first thing I honestly thought when I saw my child was "oh my gosh, that is the ugliest thing I have ever seen." Of course I lied to everybody in the room and said she was gorgeous... The next time I saw her though (this was back in the day of long recovery room times and them whisking the baby off to the nursery, so it was probably a good 6 hours before I saw her again) I thought she was absolutely beautiful and then fell head over heals in love.

I immediately loved being a mom. I loved nursing, I didn't so much love changing diapers at 4 am, and colic didn't thrill me... but I loved this little person and watching her grow.

Now she's all grown up, and I couldn't be more proud of her. I just really don't understand how she got that old!

Another birthday, another cake

Think she'll notice that I forgot to dot the I?

this is supposed to look like the tat she has on her back - it was either this, or Tinkerbell, and uhh, I don't even want to think of trying to draw Tinkerbell in frosting!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

More slightly amusing kid stuff

I know I don't talk about my oldest daughter much here. She's got her own apartment, so I don't see her everyday. Plus, the stuff I could talk about is really her business, and not really appropriate for mom blog material. However, since I've posted slightly amusing stuff the other kids have said/done, I figured I should give her equal time.

Today, we had this text message exchange:
Me: Do you want your cake to be round or rectangle
Her: I don't care, you pick.
Me: Yay! (Because I really didn't want to have to make a layer cake)
Her: Does that excite you?
Me: I lead a dull life.
Her: Not dull, just no oomph (umm... what??)
Me: The thing I look forward to most is when I can sleep next. That's kinda dull.
Her: Oh come on mom, you know you can't wait till you turn 40!
Me: Yeah, one step closer to the grave (I was kidding, that's not how I really feel about it :P)
Her: LOL You're so funny! What do you want on your tomb stone?
Me: "Move along - nothing to see here"
Her: That's lame mom. It should say "world's greatest mom - two tombs down"

She claimed she was kidding, and she thinks I am the greatest mom, but she's still got a trip to the IPT* in her very near future!

*Isle of perpetual tickling - where they tickle you day and night, night and day, without ever stopping, even if you say pretty please! Anybody know what that's from??

7 things...

My friend Janean tagged me a while ago to share 7 things about myself. As usual, life is crazy (and I'm lazy as I may have mentioned before!) so I'm just getting to it now, sorry!

"Here are the rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things and add a copy of these rules. THEN, you need to choose 7 people to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!"

Ok, I don't know that I can think of 7 people to tag, so... if I do tag you and you don't want to do it, that's cool, I'm just trying to follow the rules!

Without further ado, 7 random things about me...

1. I hate liver.
2. I like to keep the spoon in my tea (which I take with 2 teaspoons of sugar and milk) after I stir it. Yes, I leave it in there while I'm drinking it. Miss Manners would hate me.
3. I have taken (and passed) a lie detector test.
4. I can't stand to have people in the kitchen while I am cooking.
5. I didn't go to my senior prom. I don't regret it.
6. When I was little (like 5,) I thought that Miss America was the president's boss.
7. I sometimes sleep with my head at the foot of the bed, because I'm just backwards like that.

I tag... Jennifer from They Grew In My Heart, Jessica from Raising Joey, Grafted Branch from Restoring the Years, Michelle from Between Diapers and Dishes, Julie from World According to Julie, Julie from A Joyful Life, and Rebekah from Diagonally Parked. Like I said, if you don't want to, or you've already done it, just ignore me :D

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm just not ready for this

Busy couple weeks coming up - On Saturday my oldest turns 22 (which I do not understand at all) and my 17 year old is going to his senior prom. Yes, he will be graduating from high school on May 30th. I don't understand that either.

It seems like just yesterday the oldest was hopping mad at me for bringing that baby home from the hospital (so mad, she tore the dryer vent tube thingie down from the vent to the outside!) and then a couple weeks later, she was even more mad that I dared to leave "Our baby" with my sister so I could do something with just her. And now one is an adult, and the other is almost. Anybody seen the last 16 years or so? I seem to have misplaced them...

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Have I mentioned lately how happy I am not to have a toddler in the house?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Because I hear a lot of ugly, I like to see some pretty

I was ready to quit my job

19 hours ago, I left work, ready to never go back. I've been there two and a half years, and I'm still hearing new and different things on the other end of the phone! The shift started out tame enough, because after all, it was a Wednesday night, and not even a full moon. A couple noise complaints, beer thefts from convenience stores - the usual. It was all routine at least until about 4:30 or so when I heard a coworker say to his caller "your husband's been shot?" My trainee does about 99% of the work between the two of us, so I had time to look up the incident that my coworker and several others in the room were dealing with. I was familiar with the basic details of the story, the location, and the time, which turned out to be a very good thing. Not quite an hour later, a man called asking to speak to a detective about a shooting that may have happened. When questioned further, he said that he shot someone, and within a few minutes it was clear he was our shooter from the incident a short while before.

What do you say to someone who tells you they just shot a man? When he tells you that it was his girlfriend's husband? Or when he asks if the guy is dead? You know he is, but do you tell him that? My job was to keep this caller on the line and talking while the police got there to arrest him. I had to form some sort of a rapport with him, establish a connection. Somehow I didn't think asking him if it was hot enough for him was appropriate. And then I had to tell him to go into the street, lay face down on the ground with his arms and legs out, and listen as the officers cuffed him. This was a first for me! And I have no doubt the tape of that call will be played in court. Did I say the right thing? Did I ask leading questions? Is anything I said going to cause a guilty man to go free? I'm not so worried about causing an innocent man to go jail, because we know he's not innocent. At best it was self defense, but still, shooting someone is pretty extreme. I think I did ok, but now and then the conversation replays in my mind and I second guess myself.

Just as I regained my composure from that, at 6:53 right before the end of my shift, the phone rang and it was another new one for me. A missing 7 year old girl. I've processed several missing child reports, but they've all been older kids. The things that made this hard for me was
a) I have a 7 year old
b) It was literally right around the corner from my house.
c) I had to go home, I couldn't stay to find out if she was located.
I wanted so much to go there and help look for her after I dropped my kids off, but I can't afford to get in trouble and lose my job. Now, this many hours later, I haven't seen anything in the news, I didn't see the police helicopter out looking for her earlier, so I'm assuming she's ok.

Very little of what I hear at work bothers me. It's generally easy for me to leave work at work and think "I don't have to deal with that stuff, that is not my life." These things bothered me. But at the end of the day, I know I'm good at what I do, and I know in some way, I helped a lot of people today. I helped our shooter do the right thing, and I know I helped his victim's 3 children... and hopefully I helped that mom get the help she needed to find her daughter. And for the chance to help, I'm thankful.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Memes and stuff

I know I've been tagged for a couple memes, I'll get to them I promise! (And Jessica, thank you for the thinking blogger, I'll get to that too!) There's a little bit of work stress going on with a new phone system, and not only having to learn the new system, but teach it to my trainee at the same time! Then there's a temporary move to a different building... this might be why I'm awake after only 3 hrs of sleep! :P

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sassie's birthday cake

What she wanted: Her character on her favorite video game - Animal Crossing Wild World. This is her actual character, Bebe.

What she's getting:

Close enough! (Because she has had pink hair before!)

10 years ago today, all I really wanted was a haircut.

I did, I wanted a haircut so very badly. It was a Saturday morning, I was heavily pregnant, and I had made up my mind that it had to be that day. I was 2 days away from my due date, and the midwife kept telling me "any day now." So I fed the kids, checked my email, and took a bath. When I got upstairs and sat on the bed, plans suddenly changed. There would be no haircut. Instead, there would be a baby, because there was amniotic fluid all over the floor. I was thrilled! At that point, I was pretty much disgusted with life and wanting that little parasite out of my body. I had been having unproductive contractions for the previous 11 days, so I was beyond ready. I immediately started to feel crampy, and once my water broke with my older son, labor went quick, so I figured I'd better high tail it to the hospital. I got there shortly after noon on Saturday. I was at 3 cms. NOT in labor. But, my water was indeed broken, so they wouldn't let me go home. The maternity department of this hospital was brand new, and looked more like a hotel than a hospital. All of the rooms were private rooms in which they welcomed families to stay the whole time with the new mom. It was so family oriented, that the head nurse and the floor secretary both had their children there with them that day. So when I started walking the halls, the head nurse's 4 year old daughter kept me company. For two hours, I don't think she took a breath between sentences. But all walking did was make my back hurt. I sat down for a while and watched some TV. VH1 was making a big deal about the BeeGees being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, because the induction ceremony was taking place that weekend. I used to really like the BeeGees, and had a mad crush on Barry Gibb. It was the beard I think. Yes, I was aware he was like 20 years older than me, I didn't care. Anyhow, I watched hours and hours worth of the BeeGees, waiting, hoping, praying for labor to start on it's own. As the hours passed, I grew more and more disgusted with my body for not doing what it was supposed to be doing. Finally the decision was made to induce labor in the morning so that I could eat, rest, and be ready. Rest, yeah, right. The song Fanny Be Tender kept going through my mind all night long...

I really wanted a drug free birth. I'd been around the block a time or 3 before, and figured out that for me, my body works best when left alone. I chose a midwife who supported drug free birth, who was supposed to be with me from beginning to end. I made my wishes clear, and told her on several occasions how quickly my previous two labors went. I never ever considered that my water would break and I'd need to have pitocin. I knew it could be nasty, but I also really did not want an epidural. They started the pit at 6:15 and upped the dosage every 15 minutes. By 8:30, I was demanding an epidural and the resignation of every nurse on the floor if they didn't stop that pitocin NOW. They didn't. They also said I had to wait for the epidural. I hated them. By 9, I was crawling out of of my skin, I felt totally out of my mind and out of control. I could not understand why they could not turn off the pit, labor was well under way. At 9:15, I told the nurses I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement. They checked my progress and said I was 4, maybe 5 cms, and still had a long way to go. Homicide entered my mind. With the very next contraction, I felt an uncontrollable urge to push. I said "I need to push!" The nurse said, "no, you don't." My body didn't listen. It pushed. The nurses said, "oh we better help her, she's pushing anyway." They pulled down the covers, and no lie, there was a baby lying on the bed. I said "I told you I had to push!" One push. That's it. (And this my friends, is why SnuggleButt was born at home...)

And that's how my Sassy came into the world. Sunday, May 4th, 1997, and she's been doing things her own way ever since.

She's my hero, you know? She's been through things even I can't and don't want to imagine, and I have to take partial responsibility for those things happening. I do understand how my choices contributed to what happened to her, and I stupidly thought "It'll never happen to us" so I never told her about good touch/bad touch. I can never make that up to her, never. But you know what, for now anyway, she's not interested in being a victim. She's not interested in blaming anybody. She's interested in conquering the world. And she can do it too.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Comic relief at work

Obviously, working at 911 can at times be stressful. There are times though when it can be downright funny.

Since I'm no longer in dispatch and back in 911 full time, and I've been there two and half years, they figure I know what I'm doing well enough to help train new people, so that's what I'm doing. I have a trainee, I'll call him J, and he's doing very well. He's got excellent customer service skills, a great phone manner, and he's a quick learner. Makes my job a lot easier. So he's been at this a little over a month now, and has heard some off the wall things, as all of us have. He's learned that people will call and report some really strange things, and most of the time if they call the police, they believe what it is they are telling you. So the lady that thought her couch was breathing really did believe that, and the gentleman who thought people were camoflaging themselves to blend in with the walls really believed that too. We cannot get on the phone and say "So, what have you smoked today?" or "Did you remember to take your psych meds?" We have to treat them with the same respect that we give to calls we know are legitimate. And when you think that these people do believe that their couch is breathing, it's kind of sad to know that some people live in a constant state of terror, how horrible that must be. But sometimes when they are telling you their story, you can't help but mute the mike and laugh.

So J had one of these calls yesterday morning. I listen to all of his calls, and when necessary I interrupt or take over, but for the most part, he handles everything alone. He had to ask this particular caller to repeat herself, because he thought she said that her neighbor killed her pet dinosaur. When she said it again, we both kind of looked at each other and snickered. I know I would have had a hard time not laughing on the phone, and J did too, but he held it together very well. But going with what I stated above, he knew he had to treat her like she wasn't a nutcase. So he starts with the standard questions we ask on every call - When did that happen? She said the day before. Oh good, so we don't have to send officers on an emergency dinosaur murder call, it's just a report. Was anybody else hurt? No, just the dinosaur. Does she know who killed it? Yes, it was her next door neighbor, they've been having problems for a long time. Ok, what's the address? "Oh, you know, I'll call back later!" *click*

Why people prank call the police, I will NEVER know.

And then early this morning, we had a security guard at a bank property call in a suspicious vehicle parked by the ATM. J did an excellent job at getting the needed information, as always, and put the call in. As he was hanging up with the security guard, he said "Ok, we'll have officers out there as soon as possible, if anything changes before they get there, give us a call back." The security guard responded "Ok, thanks so much! Love you, Bye!" And they didn't even hold hands first!