Sunday, September 26, 2004

Well, the eye of Jeanne is over us right now. So far so good. Amazingly, the power came back on about 20 minutes ago. I'm keeping fingers crossed that it stays on. The backside of the storm is weaker than the frontside, thank God, so maybe we'll keep power. From about 5 this morning until 11 it was pretty damn scary. The house was rumbling with the wind.

I'm so ready for hurricane season to be over.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

A while back I wrote about a friend who was going through IVF - how I had found out about it from other friends and wasn't sure if I should bring it up with her. I decided not to, and this week she told me about it all. She and her husband have been trying to conceive for over two years. She's gone though inseminations and 3 IVF cycles. The 3rd cycle resulted in a pregnancy that she lost at 7 weeks - the same day I told her and my other friends that I was pregnant.

She apologized to me for not really congratulating me. I felt terrible. I wrote her back and told her not to feel bad and how sorry I was that my timing was so awful. She hadn't told any of our other friends about the pregnancy and miscarriage until about a week ago. I also told her that I hadn't brought any of it up with her because I wanted to respect her privacy. I'm glad she finally felt able to tell me. She also was kind enough to ask about my pregnancy - I've purposely not mentioned it when I e-mail her. I can't imagine how especially hard the past couple of months have been for her.

I keep praying that she'll be able conceive and birth a healthy baby - as I'm sure she and her husband have been. They are an amazing couple who will be wonderful parents. Life can be so unfair.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Yesterday I posted about my recent fixation with mortality and the safety of my family. A few hours later, Stepmom e-mailed me to tell me about a horrific double murder of a mother and baby that happened a few miles from her and Dad's house. She said the helicopters were searching for most of the night, and she received a call from the police to lock the doors. Dad is out of town, so I got worried. Another woman was murdered nearby about a week ago. At first I wondered if they had a serial killer on the loose. My second thought was that the woman and baby were killed by her spouse/boyfriend. Thought number two was correct. It's a sad fact that the majority of women who are murdered are killed by a husband/boyfriend. Police arrested the boyfriend yesterday, but still have no leads on the week-old case. Scary stuff.

I just don't understand it. Laci Peterson, the woman in Utah, now this...and I'm sure many others that never make it as big news. I just can't understand the power trips that these men are on...that they think they "own" their families. I wonder if the boyfriend was abusive and if she was trying to leave.

Below are excerpts from today's story in the Hartford Courant. Warning: It's detailed.

Man Arrested In Double Slaying6:32 AM EDT,September 23, 2004 By JESSE LEAVENWORTH And DAVID OWENS, Courant Staff Writers NEW MILFORD --
A man whose infant son and girlfriend were found stabbed to death Tuesday has been charged with the gruesome killings.Police arrested David Stone, 29, of New Milford early today. A law enforcement official said he had confessed.Local and state police on Wednesday night said they also planned to search the Valley View condominium where Stone lived with Lisa M. Aviles and their 4-month-old son, Damion E. Stone.Fishermen, responding to screams, found the bodies of the baby boy and Aviles, 31, in a wooded area Tuesday at about 8 p.m. Damion was still strapped into a baby carrier. Aviles was found about 12 yards away, state police Sgt. J. Paul Vance said. Both died of multiple stab wounds, according to the state medical examiner's office in Farmington.Police said the killings were particularly gruesome. The infant was stabbed 10 to 15 times, while Aviles was stabbed more than 30 times, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity."In my 30 years as a state trooper, I've never seen a scene that was so horrific," Vance said.

Stone worked as a manager at the Dairytown Drivethru Convenience store in Danbury. Store owner Kevin Paige said the man came to work Wednesday morning and told him that his girlfriend and son were missing. The man had seen newspaper stories about the killings, Paige said, and said he was concerned about their wellbeing."I said, `Let's go and make sure it's not Lisa,'" Paige said. "He was upset over the thought of it possibly being his son."Paige said he accompanied his employee to the police station. Stone went in to speak with officers, Paige said, and that's the last time he saw him.He said he would be surprised if his employee were involved in such an awful crime. He was a reliable worker who seemed to love his son, Paige said, and he and Aviles did not have any troubles that Paige could see were out of the ordinary

Lynne Vogt, who lives near the couple in a condominium complex on Upper Valley Drive, said she and her family tried to keep away from Stone."He just didn't seem to know his boundaries. We didn't care for him," Vogt said.She recalled one day this past summer when the man, driving a car, "came flying" into the pool area of the complex and almost drove up over an embankment and into the pool where Vogt's grandchildren were playing.But Stone did seem to be "very into the baby," Vogt said. She said she had not seen Aviles or the baby for about a week before the killings.Another neighbor, Evelyn Travis, said she met the couple and their child this past summer at the swimming pool and often saw them walking the baby around the condominium complex."They both seemed like very happy parents," Travis said. "He seemed very proud, very proud of his family."

Aviles' parents, Irene and Thomas Andrews of Daytona Beach, Fla., said Aviles grew up in Highland Mills, N.Y., and had worked in retail. They did not know much about their daughter's boyfriend, but Aviles had told them that he had a criminal record, Thomas Andrews said."We didn't approve of him," Thomas Andrews said."She was a good kid," he said. "We don't know why this happened. We're absolutely befuddled by this."

Tuesday's killings are the second and third in a week in New Milford. Maria Rojas was found dead Sept. 15 behind her husband's flooring business off Route 7. The mother of two young children was killed by a blow to the head. No arrests have been made in that case. Police said Tuesday's killings and Rojas' death are not related.

Courant Staff Writers Dave Altimari and Katie Melone contributed to this story. An Associated Press report is also included.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Things checked out OK at the doctor's appointment. According to the OB, it's physically impossible for the baby to be kicking against my intestines or rectum, but things are getting squished by my ever-growing uterus. Since I'm short, I can expect a lot more discomfort.

I do wonder how much the doctor really knows is going on. The visits are short and consist of: urine sample, weight, blood pressure, listening to the baby's heartbeat for maybe 20 seconds, and measuring my belly.


Being pregnant has brought my own mortality into the forefront of my thoughts. Of course, I worry about the baby - that he'll be born healthy and without complications, and that he'll go on to live a long, happy, and healthy life. The thought of bringing a child into this world has confirmed that time goes forward. That's it. No going back. Only forward and getting older.

I've also thought a lot about hubby and my parents. I can't imagine what life would be without hubby. Sure, I could survive on my own, but I wouldn't want to. It would be sad and difficult. I pray our child can have both of his parents around, hopefully well into adulthood.

Then there are the parents. I wrote about Dad recently. I worry about Mom and Stepmom, too. Besides the mental health issues, Mom has high blood pressure and cholesterol, degenerative arthritis in her back, is somewhat sedentary, and doesn't eat too well. My grandfather died of a heart attack when mom was in her late 20s. I know he was older than she is now, but not that much - maybe 10 years. Stepmom's family has a nasty history of cancer - her mom and aunt both were heavy smokers and died from lung cancer. All three of my parents used to be heavy smokers.

I try not to think of all these things, and I know it's not worth worrying about - mortality is something we have no control over. But the thoughts creep into my head anyway.

Monday, September 20, 2004

I had a wonderful weekend – my dad was in town so I was able to see him both Saturday and Sunday. He came out to our house on Saturday and spent the day. Hubby was called out on an attempted homicide, so Dad and I had some good catching-up time together. Yesterday I drove out to his hotel and had lunch and spent the afternoon with him. We talked some about Mom and the whole situation with her. I told him how I’m still having a difficult time dealing with her and what our relationship has developed into. He helped me feel a little better about it all and shared some experiences he had with her when she was first diagnosed and was unstable for over a year.

It’s funny…as a kid I didn’t feel all that close to him. I loved him and wanted to be a part of his life, but I also was afraid of him and felt that I was part of his old life, second to his new life with Stepmom. He also was away on business a good bit of the time which didn’t help. Sometimes I’d go 2 or 3 months without seeing him. Now I’m close to him and Stepmom and have a better relationship with them than I do with Mom. I really wish they lived closer to us. It would be nice to have them drop by for dinner or spend the day shopping with Stepmom.

This morning I had a meltdown. I’m already missing my dad (shit, I’m gonna start crying at work). He’s 66, dealt succesfully with prostate cancer last year, and I know he’s not going to live forever. Since I only see him once or twice a year, he usually looks older each time I see him and it’s really hard to take. I’ve also had a cold/bad allergies kicking my ass for the past week and have been very tired. Then last night I got really bad intestinal cramps and pressure, but could not take a poop. I convinced myself I was going into early labor and got freaked out. Hubby talked me down this morning and suggested that maybe Peanut was pressing against my intestines. Thankfully, I have an OB appointment today, so I’m going to unload all my pregnancy anxiety on her and see if she has any answers.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The war against ticks rages on. Last night I vacuumed the ever-living shit out of the house. All the carpets, the couch cushions, under the cushions, under the dog bed, the baseboards and windowsill by the dog bed, the tracks in the sliding glass door.... Today hubby took on round 2 by spraying the ever-living shit out of our furniture and the dog bed. We'll wait a few days for the chemicals to dissipate, then we'll give the cats their tick treatment.

After hubby waged his battle, he gleefully told me he found a dead tick. Belly-up with feet in the air. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Things are finally getting back to normal. Last workweek was a complete clusterfuck. Monday was the holiday/tail end of Frances. Tuesday and Wednesday were actually productive. Then the power went out at work Thursday and half of Friday which meant I could get little accomplished. I ended up only working about 3 hours on Thursday. First thing Friday was spent hurricane-proofing the lab (again). The power was still out, so I said "fuckit" and went to renew my soon-to-expire driver's license. I'd have to take time off to do it anyway, so why not do it when I couldn't work anyhow. By the time I got back, the power was on, so I got cracking.

Monday was another day off (sort of) because of Ivan. The Powers That Be decided on Friday to make Monday a hurricane day. It seemed a bit early for that call, but whatever. Ivan thankfully decided to head away from us (not so fortunately for folks from the panhandle to New Orleans), so they decided to make Monday a work day. I didn't hear anything about it until yesterday, so I never came in. At least they decided not to penalize those of us who took the day off at face value.

Yesterday we had no a/c, as is always the case after a power outage (which happened LAST WEEK). After complaints from several of us, we have partial a/c now and the system should be fully functional next week. Let's just say that an 88 degree lab + a pregnant woman with nasty allergies and a raging sinus headache = a very unhappy situation.

So, on Monday, I was busy registering at the maternity hospital and by chance ran into a co-worker and her new baby. So cute! I also dropped $70 at the vet's for tick treatment for the dog, cats, and house. We are having a tick invasion and it's horrible. I cannot express how much ticks gross me out. I picked 2 out of my clothes last week and started getting concerned. Then I found an engorged one on the couch (ohmygod it was sick). After that, I made hubby help me inspect the dog. We found 5 more ticks in between her toes. I've been doing daily feet checks on the dog and generally find 1 or 2 every time I take her out for a walk. Monday I also tore apart all her favorite sleeping places and did several loads of laundry, including the doggie bed. I found two more engorged fuckers hiding under it. Monday night I was stretching out on the floor and found yet another tick crawling along.

I've been researching outdoor tick controls and may try some neem oil if I can find it. If that doesn't work, we may make the move to chemicals, which I would prefer to avoid. I generally don't use chemicals, and am worried about Peanut and the cats. Most tick controls have pyrethrins in them, which can be fatal to cats. We're also going to be more diligent about cutting the grass. It'w weird, though, because our neighborhood is fairly sterile as far as wildlife goes. We have no large trees and few bushes for hiding places.

On a happy note, Peanut was really active last night. Hubby and I were on the couch watching TV, so I put his hand on my belly. He couldn't believe the strenght of Peanuts kicks. As usual, he kicked once or twice, then stopped...It never fails. So, we tried talking to Peanut and it worked! He responded by kicking some more. Hubby kept grinning.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

We survived hurricane Frances unscathed. Phew. 2 hurricanes in 3 weeks. And Ivan may be headed our way.

I am so very glad we don't have any large trees around our house and that the retention ponds are at the other end of the neighborhood. One of the ponds flooded into the road, but luckily not onto anyone's private property. We did lose power for about 38 hours and had to toss all the fridge perishables, but amazingly the frozen stuff stayed frozen. The newscasters kept repeating that a full freezer can keep for 48 hours, and thank-the-lord, ours was PACKED.

Thursday night, friends came over and helped hubby put plywood over our windows and slider. Friday night, we went over to their house and did the same for them. Well, by we I mean hubby and the husband of the other couple. Wife friend and I hung around and ate while the guys worked.

Saturday, I picked up Mom, roommate, and the cats. Between Mom and her one pissy cat, I was ready to crack. The cat hissed at everything and everyone. Constantly. Mom was full of helpful advice like telling roommate not to flush in case we ran out of water. Umm, as long as there's water, we're flushing. Besides, we had filled the bathtub just in case. Roommate then got all stressed out about going to the bathroom. I think she held it for most of the day because she finally asked if it was OK to go. She's 85 and has a history of UTIs and kidney infections. Not a good plan on Mom's part. After the power went out, Mom was full of gems like "It'll probably be a week before you get power back." Actually, crews were already out the night of Frances fixing traffic lights and such. Our town had minimal damage and everyone around us had power (I swear our neighborhood was the only one in the area without) so we figured it wasn't that bad. And it wasn't.

On my first attempt to take them home, a tornado warning came over the car radio. It was headed straight for the area where they live. So back home it was. Finally, the weather calmed down enough for me to take them home around dinnertime last night.

Hubby and I celebrated having our house back by making grilled potatoes and homemade sloppy joes (aka shit on a shingle) on the grill. By that point we said fuck the fridge and rescued whatever we could. It was pointless in trying to do the old don't-open-the-fridge routine. Anything that was going to spoil already had, and the meat came from the freezer. We ate on the back porch, the coolest room in the house, and let the dog lick the pan after we had our fill. Finally at bedtime the power came back on. Hubby did a happy dance and the neighbors hooted with joy.

Now I keep hearing about an "Ivan". Shit.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

It looks like hurricane Frances is heading for us. The county just got back to normal last week and now it looks like we'll be hit again. Oh joy.

I think I was uninvited to a cookout. I'm trying not to take the whole thing personally, but it's hard not to. The coworker who's hosting it casually mentioned it to me last week. He has out-of-town visitors here for a wedding, so they all rented a big house in a really nice community with a pool and other amenities. Yesterday I overheard him talking with another coworker and I think he was giving her directions to the house - here's the part where I'm not exactly sure - both of them are bilingual and weren't speaking English. I can pick up a few words here and there and I'm pretty certain he was giving directions. He's on vacation till the guests leave, so it's pretty obvious that I won't be receiving any directions. Anyway, I'm bummed about the whole thing. They used to invite me to lunch every now and then which stopped. Granted, I usually rest or take a nap during part of lunch, so I stay in the office, but it's nice to be included. And most times I did accept when invited.

I've also felt some awkwardness around his girlfriend. She's really nice, but very shy. I'm not good at making small talk, so she and I often have awkward conversations, and I'm getting the feeling that she may not like me. I don't plan to bring any of this up, but it's made for a bit of a weird work situation lately.