Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Uncle Travis and Tanner spent most of the evening in this position. Vid-i-ots.
I love that I snapped this right at the perfect time with his little cheeks all puffed out.
More proof that our mother really does wear the color purple every.single.day.
Checking out some of his loot.
Along with the submarine toy, I also got him an outfit. Included was a package of new big boy "Cars" underwear. You know... from the movie. He's deep in the turmoil of potty training so they were a big deal. He was so excited about them that he shrieked, yelled out "Cars un-na-ware!" and kissed the package. I thought I was going to pee my own pants on that one. Typical brothers.
Daddy's little girl....sometimes.
The little Travis or "Yabis" as the three year old pronounces it.
They love their Aunt "K-ita". Yeah.... my name gets slaughtered, too. Well, technically this is my sister's youngest. Her fifth edition is about 5 months along. The newest little T will have it's debut in late August. If I have to deliver this one I'm charging a fee. LOL!
Friday, March 28, 2008
My social worker informed me today that my updated homestudy is complete. That's one less thing to cause me stress. Now I don't have to worry about more adoption paperwork until July '09 when my I-171H expires. Again. Sigh....
Last night was quite interesting. I got called back to work at 9pm.
I had to interview a couple of kids who got caught with a gun. It's part of a federal grant program to reduce gun violence. My job is to interview them to try to determine where the gun came from. (Ironic that I'm talking about guns so much on my blog lately, huh? What's up with that?) It's an overtime deal, so I don't mind too much.
Anyway, that's not the interesting part. That came just after midnight when I finally drive onto my street with only visions of my comfy bed floating through my head. I see four of my neighbors standing out in the street. Hmmmm... this is definitely not normal. I stop and ask what's going on. They all four start to talk at once. Very excitedly. This is typical of what happens when a police officer rolls up on a call. And it's confusing trying to figure it out.
The best I can decipher is that my next door neighbor startled someone breaking into his work truck. And they're pointing to a guy walking at the end of the block. Someone mentions he may be involved. He's rounding the corner at that moment and getting out of my view. Crap. I don't want him to get away if he's one of the bad guys. Crap crap crap...
So I tell my neighbor to jump in the car with me. Partly so he could finish telling me what happened. And partly so I had some back up since this was going down pretty quickly. I drive around the corner and see the guy just ahead. I pull up next to him and yell out "I'm a cop. Stop right there!" in my most menacing voice. Luckily for me, he did. LOL!
Just as I'm jumping out of the car to grab him I realize......
I'm not wearing my gun. It's in my bag.
I'm not wearing my badge. It's in my bag.
I don't have a set of handcuffs. They're in my bag.
I don't have my police radio. It's in my bag.
My bag is in the car.
And no one within the police dispatch center has any idea where I'm at or what I'm doing. Cuz I was technically off duty at this point and only thinking of getting home when I accidentally rolled into the middle of this cluster.
Can you say ....oh shit? Can you say.... really really stupid move? Well, sometimes it just happens like that.
Fortunately for me, the "Gods of Careless Police Work" were watching over me. Yes, they actually do exist and protect us in these type situations. LOL! Or maybe it was just my authoritative, intimidating demeanor? Whatever the case.... the guy actually stopped and complied with my orders to get against the car and spread 'em. (Yes... I secretly love talking to men this way.) After I patted him down and (sheepishly) asked my neighbor to get my radio out of my purse and hand it to me so I could keep the guy pinned against the car, I called for an assist and a uniform crew arrived.
Turns out this kid was not involved in the theft. He was, however, a passenger who bailed out of a recklessly driving car that was ....uhhh how shall I say?.... being "aggressively followed" by an undercover police car. (Anyone who works for a police department will understand my choice of words here.) Which just coincidentally happened at about the same time as the truck break in.
Strange. Just very strange. Because even though I'm forced to live in the city that I police, my street is actually pretty quiet. Usually. But not last night.
Needless to say, I had trouble sleeping cuz of the big adrenaline dump right before hitting the sack. So I'm exhausted right about now. I see an early bed time in my future. But not before saying my prayers to the Gods of CPW to give some thanks for keeping my ass outta trouble last night. Although not the first time and certainly not the last.....
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Well, let me tell you.....interrogation is hard work. It's a complete mind f*ck. My job basically is to try to get a criminal to tell on himself. In spite of all of his best efforts not to. And preferably without violating his constitutional rights. It ain't easy. It requires serious concentration, listening to details, picking up body language, looking for physical signs of deception, role playing, asking the right questions, dissecting the story and picking it apart, etc, etc etc. And a lot of times I have to do this with people who are mean, hostile, yelling and just generally trying to intimidate me. I can't ever show weakness and I always have to be smarter than them. And it can physically and emotionally
WEAR ME OUT.
On Tuesday, I was at it for several hours. Without lunch. And this was after trudging around for a couple hours that morning in the pouring rain, mud and muck hunting these guys. So I was not in a great mood by the time my social worker approached me for our chat. On Thursday, it was the same thing. A morning spent on the hunt with an afternoon of 5 hours in interrogations without a lunch break. I was tired, cranky and my brain was pretty much fried by the time I got the e-mail from her.
So I didn't handle things as well as I'd of liked with the social worker. I let things get to me that on any other day I may have been able to overlook. I was certainly a little extra sensitive this week. Oh and did I mention my full blown PMS. Yeah... that helped, too.
This whole gun conversation was just the last straw for me. Every frustration for the last 2 years of this process just poured out of my mouth. I had hit my breaking point. Luckily, my social worker is a very kind hearted and compassionate person. She understood what was behind my meltdown and was sympathetic about all of it. I just want to be clear on that. None of this conversation with her was mean, nasty, or condescending on her part. She just didn't share the same views that I do. And was having a hard time processing my explanations.
I've gotten some e-mail suggesting I should take down these posts for fear that my social worker might see it and it negatively impact my adoption process. I appreciate the concern. I do. And I understand the reasoning behind it.
But I'm not one to back down from my beliefs. For me, my personal code of ethics means that I stand behind what I say. Whether it's good OR bad. I take responsibility for my words and actions. If I said it, I own it. And I'm not above taking a step back, getting some perspective and apologizing if I'm wrong. I'm a big enough person to admit my mistakes. But writing these posts is not one of them.
First of all, my social worker shouldn't see any of it because she doesn't know about the blog. Someone would have to go out of their way to contact her and point her in the right direction. I certainly hope that no one is that concerned with my life to do that. But I'm not naive enough to think that hasn't happened to other bloggers. I know it has. And it's sad. For a person to make such an effort to hurt someone else. Cuz that's the only purpose it'd serve. To hurt me with the hopes of killing my adoption, I guess? And to hurt my social worker's feelings cuz I admittedly was pretty pissed when I wrote this stuff.
But more importantly, I don't feel the need to take it down because I said damn near everything written here to my social worker's face. She knows how I feel. She knows that I'm a passionate person. Whether I'm angry or ecstatic. And that I'm honest and tell it like it is.
But no... I didn't cuss my way through my conversation with her out of respect. And no I didn't tell her that she has no common sense...not in that direct of a statement anyway. I did tell her at one point during our exchange "that common sense needs to prevail here". And no... I didn't tell her to kiss my ass... although at that moment I wanted to. LOL! But I stand behind what I wrote nonetheless.
This is my blog. It's my place to vent if I need to. And that's what I did this week. Thanks for the show of support. That felt good. But as one commenter suggested, I am surprised I got no "anti-gun" comments. Cuz I expected some. But what everyone needs to understand is the reason I have a gun is because it's part of the career that I have chosen. No more, no less.
This wasn't even about the gun really. Certainly not about preaching about my right to bear arms or anything. It was simply the fact that I had hit my breaking point with this process. The gun conversation was just the catalyst for it.
I was (and still am) sick and tired of the scrutiny and the judgement. I'm sick and tired of my decision to become a parent being placed in someone else's hands. I'm sick and tired of feeling like I'm not in control of my own choices. I'm sick and tired of feeling like I have to pass a bunch of tests for someone else to decide if I'm allowed to be a mom. And I'm being put through the ringer simply because I chose adoption. I'm beginning to think if I'd decided to get pregnant and give birth to a child, it would've been much easier. Certainly, it would've been faster. LOL!
But I'm not going to change my course. I won't give up. I'll keep on going. No matter how hard it gets. Even when I've had enough. In the end, my daughter will be worth all the struggle. Because the one thing I now know for sure is that my daughter was never meant to come from my body. I was led down this path because she's in China. Corny to say.... but that's my destiny.
Moving on now to a better, more positive week ahead. I hope.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I spoke with (the supervisor) and she is willing to sign off on the safety audit with the following provisions:
I visit with you at your home and allow you to show me that
1. Your gun is stored, in an inoperable condition, in a locked area inaccessible to children.
2. Ammunition is stored in a locked area away from the gun.
3. I can confidently document that you have an appropriate gun safety plan in mind for when your child is placed with you.
4. You are committed to reviewing that plan as your child grows and develops over time.
I'm so excited that she's going to "allow me" to show her these things. Uhh..yeah. That's called sarcasm.
This is the same thing my first SW did. You remember, the one with common sense. Why couldn't we have just handled this during the home visit without all the extra unnecessary commentary and opinions from you, Ms SW? Now you've got to make another trip to my house... which I don't appreciate.
But guess what.... my gun will NEVER be inoperable. I'm assuming that she means unloaded. And the ammunition stored in a separate locked place is just the most ignorant thing I've ever heard. Whatever. I'll play your stupid little game for the 15 minutes you'll be here.
I'm not real happy with the choice of words either. The supervisor is "willing to sign off"? Really? I hate that these people think they can come into MY HOME and tell me how things should be. And now I have to instill confidence in the SW about my appropriate gun safety plan? I'm not going over it again. If she didn't take notes the first time, then she's shit out of luck.
And how dare she use the word "committed" to me? Do you people think I'd let you continue to put me through this bullshit if I wasn't committed to this child? Do you think I'd still be in this 2 years later? And hanging on for another year or two until she actually gets here? Kiss my ass, lady. Seriously.....
Yep... I'm still not over it. I think it might be a Friday night happy hour for me tomorrow. I see a jumbo size margarita with an extra shot of tequila in my future.....
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I'm in the process of updating my homestudy cuz they're only good for 2 years in Ohio. I'm not thrilled about it. But I do it. Because I have to. I have a new social worker. The one who did my original homestudy has moved out of town. In the safety audit part of the session, they ask about firearms in the house. Well, duh. Do you remember what I do for a living, Ms Social Worker?
Now the original chick was cool. She understood my position. She understood that there is no way that I will EVER lock up my gun in a safe and then lock up the ammunition separate from the gun. I will NOT do this. My gun is loaded. ALWAYS. And accessible to me. Because if someone decides they want to come into my house, I plan to protect myself. And I won't have time to grab the key to the lockbox, retrieve the gun, go to the other lockbox, get the ammunition, load the gun and take care of business. I won't. What? Am I supposed to politely ask the burglar/serial killer/rapist to hang on a sec cuz I'm not prepared?
When the original SW came for the home visit she had me put the gun and ammo in separate lockboxes. So she could physically see that I had done this. Then she wrote it down on the paper like that. Even though she knew my position about it and knew what the reality of my every day situation is. Because I was honest with her. I don't like to lie. And because she has common sense, she understood.
But the new SW "has some concerns" about this. She "doesn't feel comfortable with the situation". She would "just feel horrible if something happened to my child because of the gun in my house".
So I explained my position to her. I'm a police officer. A gun is part of my job. It's part of my life. It always will be. There's no way around that. Certainly, other police officers have been approved to adopt before in this state, right? In fact, I was approved once already as well.
I explain how I'm forced by the city government that I work for to abide by a residency rule. Which means that I have to live within the city limits of where I police as a condition of my job. I know what happens in this city. Because I police it. I know how safe or unsafe these streets are. Because I police them.
Add to that the vulnerability of being a woman who lives alone. That looks pretty good to a criminal. Now add on to that the potential for any one of the mother f*ckers that I've arrested to google my name and find my address. It wouldn't be that hard. Or maybe I might run into one in the grocery store who is particularly disgruntled with me and wants to exact revenge so they follow me home. Far-fetched? Not really. See the part above about being forced to live in the city that I police. I've run into people out in public that I've dealt with on the job. Luckily, no problems have arisen. Yet.
Is she beginning to understand why I arm myself? A little. But she's still not real comfortable with it. I explain to her that I'm a trained professional. There is no way in hell that I will ever be careless with my firearm. Because I know what a 40 caliber Glock loaded with hollow point ammunition will do to somebody. Does she really think I would ever be that irresponsible?
I explain to her my well thought out plan of where my gun will be hidden. Which is inaccessible to my small child. And how I always intend to hide it there without her seeing. For as long as that lasts. And if she catches me someday, then I'll find a new inaccessible spot. Until she gets old enough, then I'll explain it to her. I'll take her to the range and teach her to shoot it herself. I'll teach her to respect it as I do. I'll teach her how to be safe with it. Because guns don't kill people. People kill people. Does she want me to lock up the fucking steak knives while I'm at it? Better get rid of that hammer in the toolbox, too. (yeah..I'm full on swearing here. No astericks or other bullshit. I told you I was pissed.)
So she's starting to get a little more comfortable with it. "She can see that I've given this a lot of thought." Ya think?! "But perhaps when I'm off duty I won't carry it once my child gets home." WTF lady?! Do you watch the fucking news?
I explain to her that in fact I'll probably carry it more often. Does she think I could even live with myself if we're sitting in McDonald's and some crazed gunman comes in and starts capping people and I can't protect my own daughter? When that's what I'm trained to do? Think it can't happen. Turn on the news, lady. And don't even get me started on the potential for opening myself up to civil liability for not acting. Or how about departmental charges for dereliction of duty. I'm certainly not saying I would be held personally responsible for not trying to intervene in a dire situation. But there's always a possibility.
She's still not quite down with the program here. So I tell her.... "You know what. That's fine. You're right. I've thought about what you said. My ideas are completely irresponsible. I'll take your advice. I'll lock my gun up every night in a lockbox and store my ammunition separately in another lockbox. Go ahead and write that down on the paper so that I can pass your test."
But now she's not comfortable with that either. Cuz we just sat here and discussed my position and she knows that's not how I really feel. Apparently, I should have just fucking lied to her from jump street. Now I'm livid. Just furious. And things start to go bad.....I tried really hard to keep my mouth shut. But you know what. I've fucking had it. With all of this.
In my job, I've seen the tragedy of some people's parenting choices. And it's ugly. Then I go to my 2nd job and watch these child abusers and crack heads come for their court ordered supervised visitation. Cuz even though they've fucked up their kids, they're still allowed to visit them. Even though junior might have to double up on his therapy session next week cuz of the trauma it causes. Or the monitor may need to keep a closer eye on the little 5 yr old so that she doesn't pull too much of her hair out during her visit as a trauma response from being forced to play fucking Candyland with her sexually abusing father. But it's okay for them to be parents.
But me? I've gotta jump through all kinds of hoops. I've gotta fill out stacks of paperwork. I've gotta go have physicals so that my doctor can decide if I'm healthy enough to parent. I've gotta go to classes to learn how to parent. I've gotta invite a social worker into my home so they can decide if it's acceptable. I've gotta sit and answer questions about how I plan to parent. And then be scrutinized and judged about my answers. And I'm on my 2nd round of this bullshit.
What gives them the fucking right to judge me? Why do they get to decide if I'm good enough to be a parent? Did my social worker have to do this in order to have her children? Does she have any idea WHAT IT FEELS LIKE?! Why does this have to be so hard? I've been dealing with this bullshit for 2 fucking years! And there's no end in sight either. I may have to jump through their stupid hoops like a little trained monkey all over again before it's over with. Why can't I just be allowed to be a mom like everybody else???????
I am so fucking sick of all this!!
I'm not sure how much more I can take.
Now take out the cussing and add in my tears (cuz I was pretty much over it emotionally at this point) and that's pretty much how our session ended. She really caught me on a bad day. Work was stressful today and then to be dumped on with this bullshit was just more than I could handle.
Apparently. Clearly. Obviously.
She was understanding and supportive. And I apologized. But that's certainly not how I wanted to update my homestudy. I just hope she doesn't fail me.
I know tomorrow will be better. But today really sucked.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
But just when I was about to pack him up for the vet, he started to perk up. Then I remembered he'd taken a fall on Saturday. His favorite sitting spot is on the arm of the couch. Well, the klutz was stepping from the arm of the couch to the arm of the loveseat and slipped. He got stuck between the two arms and was hanging on with only his front paws and flailing wildly with his back legs. I was sitting right there so I rescued him. I think he may have strained something or maybe was just a little sore for a few days. Cuz by Wednesday he was back to normal. His usual high energy, happy little self. Thank goodness.
God answered my prayers when he made this dog. I'd always wished for the perfect man to come into my life. I just forgot to mention that he should be in human form. So I got a furry soulmate instead. The joke was on me. But we're a team... this crazy dog and I. And I wouldn't want it any other way.
I know the reality is that he won't live forever. But I can't imagine life without him. So I'm very grateful for his good health. Because I know of others who are suffering through the illness or the loss of their own furry soulmates. My heart breaks for them ...... and for me. Cuz I know that someday it'll be my turn. But for today, I won't think about that. I'll appreciate every day that I have him. I'll go on loving him with my whole heart. And spoiling him rotten, too. LOL!
So this week's 3 words are for my first baby. My little furry stinky breath soulmate. My Griffey.
* Click here for an explanation of the Sunday 3 Words Project.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wonder why I've been absent from blogging lately? Now you have the answer. I've been enraptured every night by this amazing invention. The only reason I went through with this impulsive purchase was because the store was offering 36 months no interest. How could I pass it up? I mean, it literally only costs me pennies a day. Well, maybe a couple hundred pennies...but still. Just work with me here, people. I'm rationalizing.
The picture is fantastic. The colors are amazing! I just sit and stare in awe. Just check out those American Idols. You haven't truly seen TV until you've seen it in hi-def.
When my nephews were over, we watched Twister. Remember, the movie about tornadoes? Well, there's a scene where they drive into a torrential rainstorm. The rear speakers pulled out the rain sound. So me and the boys looked behind us thinking it suddenly started raining outside. The sound is crystal clear. Absolutely amazing. It's so freakin cool!
I love my new TV!! If China's gonna make me wait forever for my baby, I might as well entertain myself, right? Oh and ladies...don't let anyone tell you differently. I'm here to say....bigger is definitely better! Gotta go check out the TV schedule for tonight. Peace out!
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Anyone who has ever lived in Ohio has heard of The Blizzard of '78 . If you actually click on that link, you'll see the snowfall total for my city after that was 12.2 inches. The news said last night that some parts of the city got up to 17 inches. But to be a true "blizzard" requires sustained winds over 35 mph consistently for at least 3 hours. The weather guy said that... that's not some useless bit of information that I already knew. And although we had crazy high wind, it was hit or miss all day long. So this snowstorm is just that..... a really bad "snowstorm". Sorry, no blizzard status this time. Even though it felt like one.
I can't wait for my yard to look like this again. Just remind me of the snowstorm this summer when I start bitching about watering this stuff every night and weeding out the beds, okay?
Saturday, March 08, 2008
At 10:30am, I heard the weatherman report that it's accumulating at about an inch an hour and will continue through the afternoon. This is my grill right outside the back door. I actually had to push the snow away from the door to get it open.
Griffey is a little unnerved by it all. He kept pacing in the kitchen last night and barking at the back door. That's so not like him. I think the wind was freakin him out. Today he's being really clingy. Usually he lays out in the hall while I'm on the computer. But as you can see, he's sticking close to me.
Friday, March 07, 2008
I made a grocery store run on the way home. Along with everyone else in town apparently. But I managed to get my provisions.... bread, milk and tequila. LOL! At least I won't starve. I'm hunkered down and all prepared to wait this one out. Luckily, it happened on a Friday. I feel a pajama weekend coming on.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
The CC*AA has matched through January 4, 2006.
Did you hear what I said?
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
First, I installed a new light fixture in the kitchen to replace that gawd awful wooden fluorescent box light that used to be there. Okay... I didn't actually install it myself. But I asked a friend to. Either way....it's up now. Why did I live with that ugly fluorescent thing for 11 years? I'm really a creature of habit... or maybe just a skilled procrastinator. Unfortunately, I'm both. LOL!
I love love love my new light fixture! It adds so much character to the kitchen. It really fits in with the kinda Tuscan feel of it. And the lighting...oh the lighting! It's so warm and cozy. Not cold and stark like that damn fluorescent. And I love being able to direct the task lights to specific parts of the room. My kitchen has never looked better. But now I've added another job to my list. Cuz I gotta re-paint the ceiling. But that's okay.... it's worth it. Who knew a person could take so much pleasure in a light fixture?!
Next job off the list was to re-cover my dining room chairs. The cushions used to be white and were terribly stained. Let's just say I learned a valuable lesson about combining children, white fabric and colored icing. It doesn't all end up on the cookie. That's all I'm gonna say.
I did these myself. It was no easy feat either. But I love them! My mom is making me new curtains and this is one of the fabrics we're using. It's gonna look so cool when those curtains are finally finished. I'll be all coordinated....
And my last February project was to bead my new lampshades. This is the before look.
This is the finished deal. My mom helped me with the beading. It was definitely a two person job. One to glue and one to spin the shade and apply the trim. Let me just tell you.... hot glue is a miracle invention.My fabulous new curtains will also have this same beaded trim. It's going to tie in together beautifully. The curtains will hopefully be finished for next month's review. But mom has been having some difficulty with her sewing machine. Well, the truth is she killed it about mid-project and had to get a replacement. Plus she's only home a few days a month. And since I can't sew, they won't be finished until she can get it done.
Next on the agenda, the get healthy-diet plan. It took a little hit this month. I had two bad eating weekends with my girl's trip and my nephew's sleepover. I gained weight and re-lost both times. But all in all, still not doing bad.
At the end of the second month I'm down 19.5 lbs total!
My very optimistic goal was to average about 10 lbs a month. So I'm still pretty much on target. And I'm giving myself the whole year to get to my goal weight. That way I can take it slow and still have moments when I splurge. After all, a girl's gotta enjoy some pizza and a margarita every now and then. Or she'll go crazy.... okay, crazy-er. LOL!
I feel incredibly productive so far. I can't believe all the things I've gotten done already. For a skilled procrastinator, this is quite an accomplishment. I'm feeling like this time spent waiting in 2008 is being put to good use.
I'm actually enjoying my zen place again. Let's go March!