Monday, October 30, 2006

I’ve had such butterfingers the past couple of days. Yesterday I managed to knock over a bottle of fabric softener and had an explosion all over the floor and my pants. A short while later, I dropped a coffee carafe on the tile. There were glass shards everywhere. While dusting Peanut’s room, I knocked 3 model planes off their flimsy stands and got so pissed I ended up shoving them all in a drawer. They’ll soon be hung from the ceiling anyway. I lost count of how many times I dropped the ruler today while taking measurements for an experiment.

Hubby had a hellish week, with 19 hours worked Thursday and another 22 on Friday. Both of us were ticked off about the short and no notice for that. We felt better after a weekend of beautiful weather and two parties. Peanut’s daycare hosted a fall festival on Saturday with games, including digging for “bones” (dog biscuits), crafts, a haunted tunnel, and a miniature petting zoo with goats and a bunny. Can you guess what we did first? We followed that up with a party at Best Friend’s house. Her daughter had a Halloween party complete with a bounce house (aka space walk). Peanut was finally big enough to enjoy it and had a great time bouncing/falling down until some bigger kids got too rowdy.

Hubby and Peanut went to the r/c field yesterday to fly planes while I cleaned and did a few errands. Peanut commandeered the controller and didn’t want to give it up. When they got home, all Peanut would talk about was the laydo (radio) and Daddy-Peanut’s planes. Luckily Hubby has an older radio that Peanut can use to “fly”.

We found adorable airplane-print sheets and a coordinating blanket at Target and scooped them up. Everything I’ve found online is crazy expensive and we’re starting to redo Peanut’s room in an airplane theme since he and Daddy love them. It’s too bad the set doesn’t include wall hangings, lamps, rugs, etc. like the other sets do.

Plans are underway for Peanut’s 2nd birthday and party, which is quickly approaching. We’re loaded up with Elmo loot (the dollar store had adorable Sesame Street figures perfect for goodie bags and cheapie plastic police badges). We’re heading to the mountains the weekend before said party, to visit the grandparents, so much spoiling will ensue. Nana and Papaw are arranging a little party at their house. I can’t wait!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hubby and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on Saturday. We didn’t exchange gifts and neither of us got around to buying a card. We couldn’t think of anything special to do, so we went to the zoo. Peanut had a blast, as usual. We petted goats, rode the carousel, took a camel ride, and saw lots of monkeys. He’s all about the monkeys. The meerkats had babies since our last visit and I basked in their tiny adorableness.

Everything went perfectly until Peanut tripped and planted face on the concrete sidewalk, just as I was reaching to hold his hand. He splatted, it was that bad. He wound up with road rash on his nose and forehead and a wee bloody nose. Several hugs, kisses, and a carousel ride later, he was OK.

We lit out around 1pm when the 90ish degree temperature became unbearable. We headed over to Crazy Buffet for lunch. (If you’re in Tampa and like Asian buffet and sushi, I highly recommend it.) They continually make fresh sushi and had a variety of veggie, meat and noodle dishes. Peanut got a little ornery, but noodles, pineapple, and bananas settled him down.

After a short nap, we dropped Peanut off at a friend’s - Hubby conned her into babysitting, so we managed some “grownup time” (hubba hubba) and drinks and munchies for dessert. The waitress overheard us toasting our anniversary and gave us a funny look – I guess most people celebrate with a fancy dinner, not appetizers. After the big lunch, neither of us was very hungry. I was ecstatic to get unhurried, uninterrupted (well except for the phone call from Mom) s*x and an alcoholic drink. We need a regular babysitter. Bad.

Peanut came back from the babysitter’s wired on junk food and sugar. They went to a Girl Scouts costume party with babysitter’s daughter where Peanut was the center of attention from a roomful of rowdy little girls who took turns doting on him. When another friend called and asked if he and his family could stop by, we jumped on it. Their 16-month old had a late nap and wasn’t anywhere near ready for bed, so we let the two boys run crazy at our house in hopes of wearing them out. I succeeded in making their baby cry when I told Peanut not to whack him with a drumstick (apparently he’s a sensitive little guy and hates raised voices, especially when his friends get in trouble). Peanut got touchy about sharing his toys, but anytime we told him to be nice and share, he’d hand over the goods.

We finally got Peanut to sleep by 11 (yikes, that was late) and he slept ALL NIGHT IN HIS OWN BED. ALL NIGHT AS IN UNTIL 8 AM!!! Now we know the magic formula: sugar him up and let him run amok with friends until he passes out in a sugar-crash coma.

Last night we were back to the usual multiple wake ups and wandering into the livingroom while crying and dragging his blankie. Hubby gave up and put Peanut in our bed at 1.

We haven’t had any further success with the potty and aren’t pushing it. I think the novelty has worn off and Peanut simply isn’t ready. Last night he decided to try the potty, standing up this time. Nothing happened and he quickly wanted a new diaper, but I’m afraid of where this is heading. Our bathroom is going to stink like the local Greyhound station.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I haven’t been able to come up with any cohesive entries. Instead, I’ve had a bunch of stuff swirling around in my head.

Hubby started having chest pains a month or so ago. He went to the doctor this week. Nothing abnormal was revealed on the EKG, so he has a stress test and blood work Monday. It’s most likely stress, but we both have family histories of heart disease. Hubby’s seen enough young dead people to take his health more seriously than he used to.

Mom survived another endoscopy and colonoscopy unscathed. Everything looked fine, so the G.I. doc doesn’t know why she’s having pain in the upper and lower abdomen as well as recurring diarrhea. She was diagnosed with IBS years ago which could explain the diarrhea, but the upper abdominal pain is troublesome. He recommended she see her internist and have a cat scan. If she’s still having problems in 6 weeks, he wants to see her again. Oh, mom went back to the gastroenterologist who was cold, abrubt, and seemingly uncaring the first time. The one she swore she’d never go back to. This time he was much nicer and talked patiently with her. I hope her first experience with him was just a fluke.

Peanut continues to crack us up. He’s very possessive of his woobies (blankies) and patrols mine as well, running off any unauthorized users. He repeatedly tells the cats “No! Mommy’s! Off!” A losing battle, that.

We had a leisurely morning the day of Mom’s procedures and he was happy to go to daycare late. By then most of the other kids were present and we went straight to the playground, him practically skipping along. He hopped onto a tricycle and hurried off. I had to ask for a goodbye kiss. Mom and I drove by on our way to the hospital and pulled over so she could get a glimpse. I should’ve known better. Peanut recognized the car and started crying as soon as he saw us. I did what any good Mommy would – waved and drove off. When I picked him up, the teacher told me how he started crying for Mommy for no apparent reason. Yeah, completely my fault.

This morning Hubby said Peanut had another great drop off and made a silly face when Hubby said bye – complete with eye rolling. It’s so much better than him turning into a mushy puddle of tears, but do we have to jump into teen attitude yet?

Hubby has a little entourage of 3 and 4 year olds who always have to say hi, hug him, and ask all sorts of questions about police stuff.

“Hi Mr. Policeman. Can I touch your gun?”

“No, it’s dangerous.”

“What are you doing with that baby?”

“That’s my baby.”

“Hi Mr. Policeman’s baby.”

“What’s the black thing on your badge for?”

“Well, a friend from work got hurt.”

“Is he OK now?”

“Yeah, he’s OK.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A few pictures from our trip...

Tractor pull at the Warren Fall Festival

Peanut enjoying Grammy & Grampy's back yard

Blurry view of Manhattan from the Whitestone Bridge

Sayville Dam

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The community and law enforcement turnout for Matt's funeral was amazing. Hubby called me around 4:00 as he was leaving the church. He decided not to go to the burial. The funeral procession stretched for miles. He was able to get Peanut from daycare, something which I would have had difficulty doing with the roads closed.

When I got home, he was sitting in the yard with Peanut. He kept his radio on until Matt's name and number were called off duty for the final time.

We're leaving tomorrow for a wedding and to visit my parents. We both need a break from reality. Between Matt's death and the Colorado and Pennsylvania school shootings I've been weary and sad. My heart goes out to all the families and communities involved.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hubby is at the funeral services for Matt today. I’ve been holding back tears all morning. I feel so sorry for Matt’s family and friends as well as the law enforcement community. At the back of my mind is the little niggling thought that it could have just as easily been Hubby.

Hubby’s putting on a strong front, but I know it’s bothering him, too. He came to bed late last night, after and getting his dress uniform ready. He had listened to bagpipe music and it broke him up.

Bits and pieces of the story have come together. The suspect, Angilo Freeland, ran from a state trooper in 1999, and was later caught after a concealed weapon was found in h is truck. He jumped bail and eventually his arrest warrant was dropped. He must have thought the warrant was still active, otherwise I doubt he would’ve asked about a trip to jail and bailed when Doug pulled him over.

A lot has been made of the fact that 110 rounds were fired at the suspect, that 68 hit him. I don’t know how I feel about it. To an average person it seems excessive, overdone. But as the spouse of someone who was at risk, I’m not sure. Two bullets, 8, 68…they all would have had the same outcome. When Freeland refused to drop his gun, the officers responded as trained. He had already killed one and shot at two others. What were they supposed to do, fire off warning rounds? Wait until he emptied Matt’s gun at them then arrested him?

I’ve perused the local paper’s online forums. So many people in the community are quick to trash the police. They didn’t need to shoot so many times. Why don’t the police do as thorough a job when it’s not one of their own? Why is there such an uproar over a dead cop…he knew what he was getting into when he chose that career? The cops are just a bunch of corrupt racists.

To all these people, this is my response: Put yourself in the shoes of Matt’s widow and children. Or in the shoes of any of the other LEO’s loved ones. Did your loved one risk his life to search a heavily wooded area for his fallen friend? (The area where his friend was ambushed and brutally shot to death.) Did your loved one go to the trauma room and watch blood pour out his friend’s wounds as the doctors made futile efforts to save him?

Does your loved one regularly deal with people calling him a racist just because he’s doing his job? Does your loved one have to wonder if the next person he has contact with might be concealing a gun or knife? Does your loved make regular trips to the morgue?

Or better yet, put yourselves in the shoes of a LEO.

Hubby’s cases may not draw the manpower that this situation did, but he goes into each one wanting to solve it. The baby found in the dumpster this past May: cold case. Hubby still follows any potential leads on it. He still talks about it. He won’t rest until he’s no longer a detective or the case is solved. He investigates murders, suicides, overdoses, accidental deaths, SIDS deaths, neglect deaths…all with the same drive and desire to solve them. He deals with people who kill over drug money, people whose children die because they’d rather smoke crank then care for their kids, kids who find their grandpa with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Christmas. For someone, who can’t imagine the horrors Hubby (and other cops) witness, to claim the police don’t take civilian cases seriously is an insult.

No one deserves to be murdered. Yes, I do feel pity for Freeland. He was a person, too, although I don’t understand the choices he made. He was someone’s child, someone’s companion. But he chose to brutally kill and faced the consequences of his actions.