Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wow.. really?!

It's been more than 3 months since I've posted anything! Well, I guess in my defense I've been a bit busy with life!

I'm moved into the new house... long time coming!!! It's amazing. In fact more amazing than I could have imagined! Along with the move came some interesting transitions as well. The girls are all three officially sharing a room. Sophia now has a big girl bed, which she proudly sleeps in (almost) every night! Then kids have a play room (which doubles as a guest room) that is saving my sanity!
I got to play "Miss Holiday" with the kids in their Christmas musical... I was awful... they were great... it was fun! Isaiah and Ella both had major speaking parts and Abi was a dancer.
In other news, Brian and I got married! Super quick and totally under the radar. In fact we basically didn't tell anyone until after the fact. It was perfect. No chaos, no elaborate planning - well to be honest, very little planning at all. We went away for the night that night and were back the next day... off and running. We are going to get away this weekend for a Vegas trip which should be a ton of fun!



I am still job hunting so if one of my 2 readers knows of an opening in something clerical hook me up. (As if you wouldn't already have done that for me by now anyway!)

Seeing as it's taken me this long to get around to posting I think it would be safe to say Merry Christmas now since chances are good I won't find time to post again until after the holidays!









Monday, September 14, 2009

Are they SERIOUS???

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090914/ap_on_en_tv/us_people_harry_smith
Just read this article... and it's not like I found it on PerezHilton or TMZ it's like a reputable news source...

I'm trying to figure this out. This newsman stayed home from work because, after biking 25 miles and dancing "all night" at a party, he feels achy and feverish and thinks he has Swine Flu. Possibly the funniest thing about it is that the shows medical correspondent is applauding him for staying out of circulation. Wait, because long bike rides and all night dancing are CLEARLY a communicable disease! Um, hate to break it to ya buddy but it sounds to me more like you need a vacation from your weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A piece of my story...

A few years back I wrote my "life story" out. I was barely 30 so it seemed a bit odd to me at the time but I did it anyway - because frankly I couldn't sleep the whole time I fought the idea so I finally gave in and got to work. I still don't know all of the reasons why I was so compelled to do it but it's sitting in my computer virtually unread so I decided maybe I'd start to share pieces of it here...




When I was five years old I began a journey of my first trial of faith. This would become part of my lifelong journey. I was molested. Not once or even a few times, but hundreds upon hundreds of times over the five years that would follow. To complicate matters my molester was a part of my church and a friend of the family. She was also female. I remember wishing it would stop and as I began to get brave even trying to stop it. I battled within myself for a very long time about whether or not to “tell”. I soon found out that she was also molesting one of my best friends, a neighbor girl who was younger than me. I was tormented by this but still didn’t have the courage to tell.


At one point during this time I was singing on an album for a Southern California police department’s child safety program. One of the songs on the album contained a line that said “don’t you touch me, don’t you take me. I don’t want to you can’t make me. If you don’t stop I’m telling on you.” So one day I got up the courage and I played that song for her. I told her if she did this to me or my friend again I would tell. We never spoke of it again and she never touched me after that day. Several months later I was at the home of my young neighbor friend. The molester was also there. As if to taunt me and test my resolve she molested my friend in my presence. This is the moment I knew. I would not keep her secret any longer. If this happened to me and then to my friend (and I already suspected it had happened to others I knew along the way) then it would happen to someone else too. I couldn’t let that happen.


Here is where I see God’s providence personally for the first time. The following week at my school there was an assembly. The kind that warn you about the creepy man who offers you candy or asked you to help find his dog and then “touches you in private places”. Alright, well that depiction of the molester wasn’t accurate but the touching thing sure was and I knew I had my chance. If I would ever have the resolve to tell this was the time. After that assembly I was on the playground with two of my classmates and I gave them a hypothetical “what would you do if…” scenario. Maybe this was my last ditch effort to get out of telling or maybe I just couldn’t get the words out but they reacted. Unbeknownst to me one of these friends was the daughter of a police officer. Needless to say, the wall around my secret fell fast and hard. I spent the next months and years trying to make sense of all that had happened. Why did this happen to me and why did it happen at all. I spent time in counseling and worked through what I could with the understanding I had at the time. As I said this became a lifelong journey.

The experience of the last five years behind me I went into sixth grade hoping life would be different. I hoped now that I would feel like I was one of the “normal” kids. What is normal? I don’t know but that is what I wanted. Instead I felt like an adult trapped in a child’s body. I had lived more life than the other kids my age or at least that is how I felt.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hoedown...

I have 7 kids, age 11 and under, in my house - probably some chow mien noodles on my living room floor and the Hannah Montana Movie blaring on my TV. So far, no major injuries, and no fights. I think this is about as good as it gets. I would have had 8 kids here but one of them had to work this afternoon. (She's a talented little 10 year old who sings in commercials and stuff.) So their mom let me borrow the rest of them. You might think I'm crazy to be happy to have borrowed 3 extra kids, and that I was sad to have been shorted the 8th, but I have to tell you I really enjoy these kids!
The funny thing about the fact that I have 4 kids is that I don't really like kids... well, correction, I don't really like other people's kids... most of them anyway. So I'm always really excited when I get to hang out with people who's kids are (almost) as cool as mine. To make matters even better, this particular set of kids belong to one of my best friends ever... who has been my friend for about 20 years. Add to that the fact that her 4 are all about the same ages as mine and it's like magic! I've never seen 8 kids in one place have as few blow-ups and melt downs as our 8 do. So today was a fun day!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This is what I do...

Since getting the ax at work I spent one day helping at the property. Another day was spent I guess recovering from the night shift (read: doing absolutely nothing). Thursday I took all 4 kids to the eye doctor. That would normally have been a very long project but it wasn't. I totally recommend "Hip Optics" in Riverside - wow! Really, WOW! I was supposed to arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork but got there 30 minutes early. They started seeing the kids instantly. By the time I had the paper work done all the kids pre-screening stuff was done too. Then they filed in one by one to see the eye doctor. We were done in under an hour from the time I arrived. All the kids had been seen, picked out new frames and ordered glasses. That may be the nearest I've seen to a miracle! Friday I packed. Well, to be more specific, Sarah packed while I helped between feeling overwhelmed! We got a TON done. There's still a lot more to do but it feels like a GIANT dent has been made. Then the kids had a visit with their dad. Saturday I had a kid free date with Brian for the afternoon. It was so amazing to finish conversations. That may seem like a strange thing to say but with 4 kids around all the time it is not an easy feat! Last night my friend came from out of town to visit. I got to show her the new house, then the kids and I got to go to dinner with her. It was fun to catch up... at least a little. Today we had a birthday party. We all got our faces painted. Yes all of us... I think they said I was supposed to be a bear. I dunno but it was funny. I had to stop at Target on the way home. I'm cool enough to rock the facepaint in Target. The guy at the checkout told me he thought someone may have played a trick on me while I was sleeping - that I should go look in the mirror.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Turn of events...

Sunday night I had a really good night at work. I handled several "in progress" calls and everything went smoothly. Pretty much for the first time since the beginning of this process I thought I might be ready to answer calls on my own. Even still I had come to a calm within myself about my future in this job. I was doing the best I could on every call, every day. I knew that I was supposed to be in the job for as long as I was there. It had become pretty clear that the determination of how long I lasted was not entirely dependent upon my personal progress. In fact I had a conversation with a coworker Sunday night and said "I know I'm where I'm supposed to be, because I'm here. If my time here ends tomorrow, in ten years, or the day I retire I'm ok with that." Ironically enough I came in Monday, sat thru briefing, and was escorted to the office of the Captain. I immediately knew what was coming. I was told that it was a "probationary termination - no cause needed or given." What I then found out is that 3 other trainees had been terminated in the same manner earlier in the day. Best I can guess we were, at least on some level, a byproduct of the budget issues.
I'm SO thankful that I was able to keep it together in front of the Captian with the exception of my trembling hand as I signed my paper work. Then I went and had a moment with my favorite supervisor while we went thru the rest of my final paperwork. I drove back to the property to change and pick up my other uniform to turn in. I told my parents and kids. Then I went back and turned in all my gear.
As I drove home I realized I'm kinda relieved. I mean obviously I need to find a way to support the kids and myself but I also get to pack and move without the stress of working a full time job. Getting canned is no fun but I'm content that if I was supposed to be in that job today I'd be there. So, whatever is next will come when it's supposed to.
I'm contemplating the possibility of going back to school, though I'm not sure what I'd do if I went. In the meantime, I'm officially a stay at home mom again.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's been FOREVER...

So I decided to blog. I'm, as always, way too busy and totally overwhelmed with my house and stuff that needs to get done. Here's the rundown on stuff...

The house:

Is almost ready... for reals. We should be moving in less than a month. I'm packing... just one more thing on my never ending to do list. I'm actually enjoying it in some ways. I'm literally throwing away more than I'm packing, which is awesome! I am totally looking forward to simplifying my life and decluttering. I think I'll feel like a million dollars just not having to be surrounded by so much random crap. I threw away some stuff today that gave me a chuckle and some that made me scratch my head... The chuckle - the vasectomy info packet from the Kaiser orientation for the procedure the former never had. Why on earth was that thing still on top of the pantry?!?!?! The head scratching - a brand new set of kitchen knives. The thing that makes no sense is that I had just bought a new set right before the divorce. I know I didn't buy these which leads me to believe that they were probably stolen from a fundraiser for the school district he worked for. Well, they're in the trash now seeing as I wouldn't have the slightest clue who to return them to. If you're looking for a set of knives come check my trash this week.


The Child Support: short and sweet - it isn't at the moment. $260 total in the last 2 months combined, plus a grocery donation, don't come anywhere near the $1,738 owed for that time period. Not even close.


The Man: Brian and I are engaged. I'm totally excited! Our schedules are insane. He works every day that I'm off. We both work graves so that helps a little bit but in terms of setting a date it's clearly not ideal. I don't have any idea when we will actually get married but I'm so excited! He's amazing. The kids love him, and he loves them. I love him and he loves me, but most importantly he loves the creator of the universe and is intentional about seeking relationship with HIM.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm back... but I'm not making any promises!

I've been busy beyond words. Work is tough. I just keep doing what I know how to do. Then, hoping that at some point I actually know how to do everything I have to know in order to get released to work on my own. Not much more to say about that since I'm pretty sure I shouldn't post call details on here.

Words of advise though:
If your neighbor is a jerk and parks his car halfway in his driveway with the other half blocking the sidewalk:
* it is NOT an emergency
* PLEASE do not call 911.

If your neighbor is playing that AWFUL Mexican Polka or Mariachi music or whatever it is and you insist they do this EVERY night and you just can't take it anymore:
* I know you're lying.
* You've just had enough of it TODAY and...
* it FEELS like they've been playing it everyday for the past ten years.
* But, again, this is NOT an emergency...no, really it's not.
* Don't dial 911.

Now if, however, you witness a horrible accident - which might actually be an emergency:
* don't get angry with me that it took the other agency, that answers 911 calls from cell phones, 10 minutes to answer your call just to then transfer you to me
* but please, PLEASE get the actual cross streets it happened at.
* Because the thing is, when you tell me it happened by that one gas station on the corner of ... "you know, those streets over there by the Walmart..." I, in fact, do not have a freaking clue in heck where to send the help you seek.

Oh, and also:

If you call in to dispatch just to "ask a question" and my answer does not satisfy you... and you proceed to name drop every officer you've ever spoken to in your VERY long life... I'm going to be wondering why you didn't just call one of those, your 40 closest friends, to ask these ridiculous questions! I'll help you anyway though... and I'll do it so well you'll thank me by the end of our 15 minute conversation, that tied up lines from taking in calls from people who I might actually be able to help. Congratulations!

That pretty much sums up the job front.

Now about the house:

All the rooms are painted. I even did these really cool stripes on the wall in the girls room. They were so cute. I was very careful too. I measured, I taped, I prepped properly, I painted... then I removed the tape. As I stood back to admire my work I realized... aw crap... I put one of the sets of stripes in the wrong place AGHHHHH! So, my mom volunteered to add a few more sets to make it look intentional. Thanks mom, because really I was just gonna be like "hey,if look at it from this angle and you can hardly tell I totally jacked it up!" Now I'll be able to say "see how cool those stripes are - yeah and I totally meant for them to be all randomly spaced and stuff!"

The floors are going in. We've got 3 of the 4 tubs installed. One bathroom sink and toilet installed, and 2 of the 4 remaining sinks are on site basically ready to go in when it's time. Hopefully the rest is coming soon. It's happening, one step at a time.

I stayed down there after work a few times and let me tell you, the commute from work to the new house is WAY better than the commute from work to Rialto! It's nice on the gas tank too, which is good because while the ex is working 14 hour days 5 days a week and presumably making mountains in overtime, he seems to have misplaced his wallet...or maybe it's just all those restitution and court fees are eating him alive.

Last and totally least, I had a root beer float at 1:45 in the morning. It's kinda like dinner time to me since I work all night long. Now I'm tired though, and I have a raging sugar high!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The job... the house... life... and stuff

The job... is going well. I'm completely and totally stressed out and don't expect that to change for about a year, but I'm learning and making progress which is good. I took a pretty major (for me anyway) call yesterday and handled it really well... I didn't get anyone killed so that's good right?! I wish I could blink and be done with training, but I can't seem to find the fast forward button. Oh, and I start graveyard shift on Sunday. Fun times!

The house... is coming along. I'm gonna move in there, really I am! And I'm fairly convinced it's gonna happen sometime this summer. I've been doing some painting this week... with a little help from a friend. (Thanks Sarah!) The hall bathroom (which is really two bathrooms) is painted. My room has a coat on. I still need a second coat on the whole room. Unfortunately the ceiling is not the same color as the walls and they both need another coat. My mom has been painting and cutting tile while my dad has been laying floors... it's totally coming along!

Since my training for my job is so stressful, and add to that now I've been trying to help out at the new house, my current home is beyond awful. I am going to get at some laundry tonight and try to get my kitchen presentable. On top of all the cleaning that needs to be done I have a serious need to purge... and pack. I don't know how I'll ever get on top of it!

The kids are crazy... it's past bed time... I gotta go get them to sleep!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sunday fun...

I had planned to go to church on Sunday morning but by the time I got to Brian's house we were going to be late anyway. He was also in the middle of a project when we got there so we ended up opting for plan B. We set out for an adventure and found a church to visit Sunday night instead.

We started driving and talking about places he had wanted to show me and places I had read about that I wanted to see... things in our own backyard that we just never take the time to explore.
I had heard that the first ever McDonald's was in San Bernardino. I knew the building was still there... what I didn't know was... well... They don't serve food anymore, they only serve memories. So we found ourselves at the McDonald's "Museum."

They had just about every happy meal toy ever delivered in a happy meal... and a giant selection of happy meal boxes too. There were millions of things to look at. It was pretty interesting, and it was free. Now I will say that it was a disaster by any standard for a museum which is why I put the word in quotes above... but for a free walk down memory lane it was pretty cool. My favorite thing was the playland toys that have gone by the wayside in favor of giant indoor hamster tubing playthings! They had one of the old carousels with the McDonald characters on it. I remember thinking that it was kind of like the ones in front of the grocery store except you actually had to push it like a playground merry-go-round. The kids weren't allowed to play on that one but they did get to play in the giant hamburger!


They also dutifully posed in front of the freaky tree with a face...
Then, as luck would have it, there was a military museum right next door. It was also free. The kids thought I was amazing for planning such a fun trip. The men in the museum were very knowledgeable and there was a TON to see. This museum was very well organized and they even gave the kids coloring pages while we talked and looked at things there. It was kind of funny because the one older gentleman was obviously annoyed at the kids, even though the other men were so sweet to them. He also pulled out a book of news clippings to show me about "the women's work" in the military... he had probably 15 books put together... 1/8 of one was about "the women." Not one to be left out he also pulled out his section about "the negroes" for Brian. He really was very sweet in spite of the fact that he was obviously stuck in 1958.

There was an army jeep inside the museum. The kind gentleman told me I could put the kids in it and take a picture. So I loaded them up...

I kinda wish I'd inspected it first... not for dangerous war remnants but for inappropriate signage!!! See, there was this sticker, right by the steering wheel that said something to the effect of "Don't lean on this vehicle unless you are nude."
Guess they broke the rules in this picture... sorry buddy, my kids aren't pin ups!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nothin' much...

Just kinda wishin' I had a sitter so I could go out on a grown up date. Argh... I'm really looking forward to living closer to all the church kids who baby sit!!! I need a day off once in a while... or at least a few hours!

Since the kids don't spend time at their dad's anymore I don't have a built in break. That has been good for them and by extension for me in many ways... they are adjusting well. Now that I'm settling into a routine though I'm starting to miss the little break too.

Anyway... off to a BBQ with Brian... fun day today :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

So uh...

I answer calls now... it's sometimes scary and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the details I have to remember but I think I'm gonna be ok. I've had probably 5 dispatchers (who have all been trainers at one point) tell me, in some way or another, that I'm going to do well. My trainer actually told me that I'm the kind of trainee every trainer wishes they had... hope I can live up to that. The thing is though I really feel like none of these people had to say any of these things if they didn't really believe it, so it does make me feel good.

As for interesting calls... there have been a few, but most are pretty mundane, and many are downright stupid. I honestly cannot believe what people will call 911 for!

I finally feel relaxed enough that I am going to tackle my chaotic mess of a house tomorrow!

Oh, and Brian got hired with AMR! He's off to orientation for the next three days in Santa Clarita... fun stuff!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Filling in the details...

I took a test last Wednesday, got a 100%. We then headed out on a tour that covered the west end of the county. After work I headed to LAX and boarded a plane to DC. I slept the entire flight. Lauren picked me up at the airport at around 6:30 am (east coast time) and dropped me off at her apartment before heading to work. I slept until about noon. She got home around 12:15. Then we got ready and went out to take care of some last minute wedding errands.

Thursday night we had dinner with her mom and some friends... then it was time to "party." We had a limo SUV and we went "bar hopping." I must say that it was an experience. We would literally walk into a bar, someone would order a round of shots or shooters for everyone and they would expect us each to down it. After a few drinks we would head to the next bar. Now, it bears noting that I'm not much of a drinker. I never finished even a single drink that was passed my way. At some point I decided I was done even tasting them so I let everyone know to take me off their list. Lauren's friend Erin (who is also from California) is not much of a drinker either so we pretty much watched everyone get drunker and drunker. On our way to bar number 3 I think it became pretty clear that one girl was down for the count. She must have only been about 90 lbs., and she had WAY too much to drink. There was vomiting, and passing out. Shortly after realizing we were down one party-er I look over at Lauren and she had her face in a bag. This is the craziest thing... all the other girls were encouraging her to "keep going" because they wanted her to "have fun." Uh... where I come from drinking to the point of vomiting does not equal fun!!! Anyway Lauren said she wanted to go home but was faced by all kinds of opposition from the party crowd, so Erin and I stepped in and said "we're taking her home."

After a long night of watching other people get plastered I sat up and studied. We got up early on Friday to go see the family. We had a luncheon around noon, then went back to get ready for the rehearsal and the dinner. All of that was fun... there was a lot less drinking that night - which was good because a hung over bridal party might not have been such a great idea! After all of the pre wedding festivities we went to the hotel and I studied.

The day of the wedding everything went very smoothly. I was SO sad to have to leave before the reception but I was glad I got to be there for the rest of the festivities. I got on a plane at 6:00 p.m. and studied nearly the entire trip home. The stranger sitting next to me took my flashcards and quizzed me several times. I appreciated the help so much!

I got back to work on Sunday morning and got another 100% on the last regular test of the academy.

Tuesday we took our final... there's a story to tell about that too but I'm out of time so I'll blog about it later.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I did it!

I'm completely exhausted and I'll need to blog more thoroughly later but the bottom line is I passed the first training phase. There is still nearly a year ahead of me before I'm completely out of the woods but tonight I am not touching a single flash card! I'm going to sleep.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

County Tour - East End

I saw the Salton Sea today, from a distance. I went from Rialto to Riverside to go to work. Then from Riverside through Palm Desert and then on to Salton Sea. I get carsick. I need to see the road. Apparently after about 8 hours of driving, with no head rest to lean back on, even seeing the road does not keep me from getting sick. We pulled off for one last potty break in Cabazon on the way back to Riverside and I almost puked. I walked in to the bathroom (yes a public restroom - scary enough as it is) and it smelled like, well, restroom. I lurched. I turned around. I ran out of the bathroom. I held it the rest of the way to Riverside. I'd rather die than vomit. I've said it a million times. I found out today I'd also rather risk peeing myself in a van full of coworkers than puke.

Tomorrow = a test. Then, County tour - West end. I'm totally hoping I can hold it together better for that one.

After work tomorrow, I'm off to DC!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just thought I'd mention...

I'm freaking TERRIFIED! We took some mock calls today. I totally choked! To be fair I should say that I was expecting a non emergency call for something that had already past when my instructor decided to make an example out of me and give me an emergency.

So, my reporting party (aka the instructor) is screaming that someone is shooting. I tried to ask good questions, really I did!

I asked who was shooting, she didn't know - but offered to go look. (I told her not to!)

I asked where it was occurring, she said "here." Well thanks. I guess I should anticipate my caller isn't going to answer intelligently unless I am totally specific though.

I asked for her name, she fought me on that.

I asked for her phone number, another fight!!!

Oh, and I flubbed the call type too. YIKES! I didn't ask who was being shot at or if they were shooting at her or her house... all pretty vital information in hindsight!

I did manage to get a good address and phone number. It wasn't a total loss. No one else in the class had a perfect, or even near perfect, call. So I know in the future I'll try to ask better questions... the future being NEXT WEEK, when we start answering LIVE CALLS... and take our final! HOLY CRAP I'M TERRIFIED!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I'm uhhhhh.... EXHAUSTED!

Today was our first ten hour day. That's not such a big deal but what IS a big deal is that the day started at 0700 hours, in Riverside. In case you didn't already know, I don't live in Riverside. It takes me about 40 minutes to get to work in the morning. (If I'm being honest it takes me about 30 but I probably break some laws on the way there... ugh, I'm thinking codes and call types right now...) I was up studying last night until about 2330 hours. Anyway, so I had to wake up during an hour called 0500. Have you ever heard of it? I guess some people call that morning. I believe they are completely delusional, or at best ill informed. That, my friends, is the middle of the freaking night! It is now 2144 hours. My body insists it's bed time. I'm beat.

Today's test...

Terrified me! I was sure I'd fail... I got a 93%. Maybe at some point I'll actually have some faith in myself. My classmates/coworkers tell me I'm ridiculous because I'm always sure I'll fail and then I end up not only passing but passing with a respectable score. All I know is I'm glad I passed.

There is a short test Wednesday, then the big test next Sunday... then finals! Whoo Hoo!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!


Abby, Isaiah, Ella, and bottom center is Sophia!

Death of the Toothfairy...

The truth is I've always been a TERRIBLE toothfairy. The problem just seems to be getting worse. I think by the time Sophia starts tucking teeth under her pillow it will be a miracle if the toothfairy EVER remembers.

Isaiah lost a tooth two days ago. He dutifully tucked it under his pillow, twice. I unceremoniously forgot to do my toothfairily duties... twice. So this morning he was all sorts of disappointed. Yesterday was bad, but today was worse!

In my defense, all I had in my wallet was a ten dollar bill. Now, the toothfairy cannot go around dropping $10's. I have four kids. They will all be freaking out if the toothfairy gives Isaiah $10 and they get $2! I had every intention of going out to break that ten while Brian stayed behind to hold down the fort... but the first night I just plain forgot. I know that's no defense. So last night it took the kids a while to fall asleep and Brian and I were in the middle of a rare kid free conversation when Sophia woke up, freaking out. Then there was the midnight sun blazing down from the chopper whirring overhead... declaring the end of a neighborhood party. There were teenagers scattering like ants. It was quite an event. Sophia didn't fall asleep until like 1 a.m.! By that time I had completely forgotten that I had a job to do...

So this morning I told Isaiah I screwed up. I told him I'm supposed to help the toothfairy but I suck at it. He laughed and acted like he was surprised I'm the toothfairy... but really he wasn't. Then I recruited him. I told him maybe if he helps me I'll be a better toothfairy for his sisters. He was really excited about that. Then I dutifully listened to him explain Pokemon... for eternity. The boy was happy. He lost the toothfairy (sort of) but he got to give me game on Pokemon, which I'm pretty sure to him was WAY better than believing in a toothfairy who rarely shows up on time!

Hey mom, I think I can explain Pokemon to you now... maybe.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fun Stuff - and CRAZY BUSY!

I booked a flight to DC the other night. My best friend is getting married in Virginia and I didn't think I was going to be able to go. Between the financial issues and the fact that I didn't know what my class schedule would be, it just didn't seem feasible. Then I got my first paycheck and the financial thing wasn't going to be an issue. I started thinking over what I needed to do to succeed in class and I decided that I could study on a plane and get some work in between things while in Virginia so... I'm going after all! I'm not eating for the next week though... I tried on my dress last night and it fits but uh... yeah so anyway, do you have any tips on how to lose ten pounds in a week and a half?!

It's my "weekend" now. I have a ton of studying to do from now through Saturday. I have a test on Sunday. Yes I'm working on Easter - it comes with the territory! Then we have a tour of half the county on Tuesday, a test on Wednesday and then we'll tour the rest of the county. I leave Wednesday night from LAX on the red eye. I'll land (in theory) around 6:30 a.m. East Coast time. We'll do pre-wedding girly stuff for a few days. The wedding is at 1:30 on Saturday. I have to be at the airport by 4 for my return flight. My flight should arrive back at LAX by a little before 9 p.m. on Saturday night. Then I have a test on the geography of the County on Sunday the 19th. We are supposed to be answering live calls from the training center on Monday, Tuesday we take finals (written and practical) and Wednesday (two weeks from yesterday) is the last day of PSAP class.

It's not over yet... I have to pass PSAP hands on training within 6 weeks. If the schedule stays the same I'll work PSAP until July, then go back for a month long Radio academy. After passing the Radio academy, I have to pass the hands on Radio training and hands on Back Up training. I think after that there is one more classroom training session and I'll be through training. I'll breathe again in 2010.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm shocked... and for once it's in a good way!

I actually received child support. To make matters even better it wasn't just for the current month. There was enough to pay what wasn't paid last month too... now if I could just find a way to collect on the 7 or 8 other months worth of back support owed I'd be overjoyed!

Test #5...

95%... I am thinking it's possible that I might make it through without having to use either of my 2 retakes!!! Here's hoping! I have more studying to do this weekend as test #6 is Monday. The 7th test is on Easter Sunday. There are two more tests in the week after that and then the written and practical finals. Yikes! I find myself amazed at the quantity of information I have absorbed! I wish more of it was on instant recall, but it's all in there and that's a good thing!

Now I'm off to shower, get ready and head out to drop the kids off for their visit with their dad. I'm glad he has the money to pay for his visits really, I am. It does frustrate me that he couldn't seem to find a way to pay the court ordered child support... not even a part of it!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Test #4...

and I got... a 97%!!!! So I realized that every time I take a test I come away feeling like "Ok, if that's what I've got to deal with, I can TOTALLY handle this!" Then we get inundated with a crap load of new material and I think "how the heck am I EVER going to know all of this?!?!?!" Today I realized we are almost half way there. In terms of regular tests I think we only have 3 left. Then there are two finals. A practical and a written test. The next two tests I don't think will be as hard as the previous ones because the first is on our computer system which seems like it's going to come pretty quickly to begin with. Plus we are using it all week so I'll have TONS of in class study time! The next test is on the phone system and our instructor pretty much told us today that if we don't pass it we have WAY bigger problems because it should be that easy... here's hoping! So my next big stress points will be the geography test - we have to know all the communities and have a pretty decent knowledge of the entire county. Did I mention it's like the fourth biggest county in the country?!

Well, off I go to study... again!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Study, study, and then, study some more!!!

The kids had their first supervised visit with their dad yesterday. It went well. I spent the time studying at Starbucks.

Friday's test was a giant shock to the entire class. We had been told that they wouldn't surprise us on a test. They said it wasn't their goal to trick us. We were told over and over again NOT to get ahead of ourselves. To stay focused on what they said we needed to do. That being the case, we all studied our call types but few, if any, studied abbreviations since we were told the abbreviations test was coming up Monday. Well imagine our surprise when 20 of the 60 test questions focused on abbreviations. I think I gasped out loud when I saw them. When everyone had finished the test, only three of the 12 had passed. Thankfully I was one of them, but only barely - I got an 82%. There was a revolt in the works though before the test was graded! Probably 8 of the girls from the class were in the bathroom fuming and planning an attack on the fairness of the test. As soon as we got our tests back we basically all started complaining in rapid fire succession. The instructors defense initially was, "well, we told you that if we covered it in class it could appear on a test." but we had been given the distinct impression that we could be tested on something that had appeared on a prior test, but NOT on something that we hadn't been tested on yet. She almost immediately said she would talk to the person in charge and see what could be done. There were two new instructors in class who had never taught before and I think they were shell shocked to say the least. I'm pretty sure they didn't realize that this is what they were getting themselves into! In the end they decided to eliminate those 20 questions from the total score, which brought my grade to an 88%. Still not great, but good enough.

Anyway we have a test scheduled for Monday. It says it is on the abbreviations BUT... on Friday afternoon the instructors covered a TON of new information. Based on the whole "if we covered it in class it's fair game on a test" comments I'm pretty much not letting any of it slide. I think I have 400 flash cards worth of information I need to know by tomorrow morning! Fortunately I know about 325 of them now but most of the ones I don't know are way more involved!!!

I'm off to study - forget about getting the house clean this weekend I guess... ugh!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Progress on the Dispatch Front

I ace'd my first test. It was on the 10 and 11 codes as well as the phonetic alphabet and military time. Yeah me! Don't ask me about a 10 or 11 code today though as I am up to my eyeballs in call types. The second test of the academy is tomorrow. I think I know this stuff but there is so much! I'm constantly second guessing if I really know it forwards and backwards - and inside out, upside down... you know! Anyway, it's going well. We practiced sending calls today. Just easy alarm calls but still I'm learning the CAD system. It's so much fun!!! We've listened to a few calls. Some of them were just downright funny, others were pretty disturbing. Literally everything from a first grader tattling on their dad for punishing them because they didn't know their times tables (do people really ground kids for that stuff?!?!) to a suicide.

I'm tired. I have to get the kids to bed. I haven't eaten dinner yet. Oh, and I still have to study!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh what a day!!!

Today was a big day. It was insanely boring, but in the end it was good! I went to court for the custody hearing. It was such a waste of time. I was there from 8:30 till 3:00! I was a half hour late - oops!!! I got the times mixed up - I was supposed to be there at 8 - luckily the judge didn't find out! The judge ordered exactly what the mediator recommended. I retain sole physical and legal custody. Drew gets 2 hours supervised (which he has to pay for) every Saturday. Seems to me it would have been better to just cancel the whole thing. He went in asking to increase the order to a 50/50 split plus joint legal and physical. He came out with less than he had to begin with. I'm still the bad guy in the whole thing too. Never mind that the judge and mediator agreed with me. He had every opportunity to present his position and obviously it wasn't convincing. In addition he was ordered to parenting and anger management classes. The only thing that could be considered a loss for me was the change in child support. The order went from 1700 a month to 769 a month. You know how much that matters? Well I'll tell you... NOT AT ALL! Seeing as I haven't seen a penny of support since January, in spite of the fact that he is apparently working, and I haven't received the full support amount owed in over a year - that's not going to change my life any.

The biggest loss of my day was missing almost a full day of academy training! UGH!

Oh, and on the criminal charges front, there are a few dates coming up but it is by no means over. Anyway, these are the crazy days of my life!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Because I didn't find Christina Saturday night...

Ok, so they're not the best photos, actually they kinda suck. My bathroom's not clean (we'll go ahead and let you think it might sometimes be :) ) but, since I didn't find Christina on Saturday night, I decided to post pictures.











This last picture is actually the only one I really liked, but I put the rest up so you could see the other angles too.
And there you go. I got a lot of looks and only one or two comments at church Saturday night. I will say that doing my hair like this, while it might seem like it would be time consuming, is actually really easy and quick.


Friday, March 6, 2009

End of an era... and out of another era.

My life as a receptionist for a law firm has officially ended. It was an interesting ride. One coworker got her proverbial panties in a bunch and told me yesterday that I am not her friend. In the event you think I am joking, I am not. I checked my calendar, and no, I am not in the third grade. I continued to play nice with my "un"friend anyway.

Two of my coworkers gave me a lovely card and a $50.00 gift card to Target! My cousin made good on the Donut Man. As a result of Mr. Donut, I now feel completely sugared out! I went to lunch with a couple of attorney's and our I.T. guy and had a blast!

During my exit interview I found out that I had actually been accruing vacation since my start date. So, even though I was not entitled to use my vacation until I had been there a year, I was entitled to be paid for it upon my separation. YEAH! Then my boss said "goodbye." I went about saying goodbye to a couple of coworkers and we walked out together.

As I was about to drive out of the parking lot, I got a seething text message from my "un"friend about how horrible a person I am because I didn't come back to my desk after my exit interview. That it was terrible of me to leave her to cover "my" desk. She said it was a nice way to say goodbye - I think that was sarcasm. I almost wrote her back to say that I thought she wasn't my friend... but I didn't, because I remembered I'm not a third grader.

One last thing - I totally forgot to add this part and considering the title it's kinda important... I did my hair today. It turned out super cute. Some really OLD dude came to the office today. He looked at me and told me my hair looked like it was right out of the 40's. Guess I succeeded.

And the verdict is...

Well ok, let's not get ahead of ourselves now here! Mediation was today. It couldn't have gone better for the kids - and as a result, for my position. I mean really, it must have been painful to be him today. Like really, REALLY painful. On the upside he admitted that all of the facts surrounding my concerns were true, though it seemed painfully obvious that he couldn't understand why any of it was a problem. In any event the mediator said her recommendation would be for supervised visits. Now the irony is; not only does that mean he most likely won't get a single thing he asked for, but he'll probably end up with an even less favorable situation than we started with - at least in terms of his own personal wishes. The best news of all is that in the end the kids win. They win safe visits. That is a huge victory. Now, I just hope we don't end up with some rogue judge who thinks the mediators recommendations are worthless or something.

Tomorrow is my last day at the law firm. I have a week off before I start dispatch training. I will be off work but I'll be studying my behind off so it's not like a vacation! I'm so excited for this new chapter! Oh, and my cousin who works at the firm told me she was bringing in Donut Man for me tomorrow! (er uh... I guess really today since it's past midnight... but whatever) I'm so excited that I'm not going to be able to sleep!!! If you don't know what Donut Man is you are missing out on the BEST donuts in the history of donuts. Seriously!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm seriously considering...

Wearing my hair in 40's hair rolls for the rest of the week... simply because I can. I love that I know how to do it and I hate that I don't use the skill nearly often enough.

Seriously. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ahhh... I got called out.... Welcome to my blog.

I got a call from the former - yeah the one facing criminal charges - and he proceeds to tell me a few things. First of all his relationship has ended. This is no surprise. In my mind it has always been a matter of when, not if. As a result, he tells me, he has the kids clothes and stuff to bring to them. This break up has happened a few times and never stuck. I think this time it might be the end. Who knows... but if it is, it's just one more thing for the kids to grieve.

A week or two ago I had asked him, at Isaiah's request, for a game controller and some other things that had been gifts to Isaiah. He said if Isaiah wanted them he would have to ask himself. So on Saturday, Isaiah mustered up the courage to ask him for them. Literally the poor kid had to psych himself out to get the courage to ask a question he must have anticipated the answer to. Drew said no. I couldn't for the life of me understand why he would tell me that Isaiah had to be the one to ask when all along he knew he was going to say no. It honestly seemed cruel to me (actually the counselor said it was cruel as well - so I don't think I'm being overly sensitive here either), but I reassured a broken hearted Isaiah that it was ok. That it was just stuff, that well ... I didn't know what to say but I tried to make him feel better about it anyway. Well, apparently Drew changed his mind because tonight he says to tell Isaiah he had those very items.

Then he cancelled plans to meet on Thursday for Sophia's birthday (which is Wednesday) because he's cooking up some bigger plan for a weekend day in the next few weeks. Did you know that kids don't really care so much about a big event as they do that you keep your word? Anyway so now the kids are telling me I lied because they aren't going to see their dad on Thursday. Awesome. I had to explain that I didn't lie. The plans changed.

Then, he tells me he has found some "stuff" on me. So I ask what kind of stuff he's referring to. He says he's seen stuff I've written on my blog and implies that he doesn't like what he's found. He tells me this as if he now has some serious dirt on me. Really. Like anything I could write here could begin to compete with a felony charge? That's funny.

Tonight I decided to read through everything I've ever written about him. You know what? I'm still proud of the way I have responded, and I don't think anything I've written has been inappropriate. In fact I think the things I've written have been pretty level headed and ultimately fair.

Maybe he didn't like the links to the articles about his (I should probably say alleged..?) crimes? You know what's really interesting? I first wrote about the arrest I knew would come way back in October of 2007. I didn't say it clearly then because I knew there was an investigation happening, but I did know the day would come when he would be caught.

I'm not worried about him finding "dirt" on me here. I don't have anything to hide.

Welcome to my blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Best Valentine's Day EVER!

Last year on Valentine's Day Brian and I had lunch at Marie Callendar's because the kids were with their dad for the morning. He bought me a ton of cute socks - which if you know me was a very cool gift! Then we took a pie home to his mom, who I met for the first time that day. We had been dating less than two months. It was a good date.

Yesterday couldn't have been more different! We got on the Metrolink in Rialto at a few minutes before 9 a.m. with my three girls, three jackets, two booster car seats, and one giant overnight bag. We got in to Union Station and caught the Metro Red line to 7th Street. From there we took the Metro Blue line to Imperial/Wilmington/Rosa Parks. We took the Metro Green line from there to Redondo Beach. We got there around noon. My aunt was planning to meet us to pick up the girls but she wasn't going to be there for a bit and we were hungry. So we walked to the only place within sight, a place called Tommy's if I recall correctly, and lucky for us it was actually pretty good. We had "lunch-fast" as we renamed it because it seemed a little late to call it brunch, and neither of us grown ups had eaten breakfast. Barbie met us there and picked up the girls. Brian and I got back on the train around one and made our way back into L.A.

We got off at Union Station and walked through admiring the building. It is really quite beautiful. I had never been to Olvera Street which I realize, having lived in Southern California my whole life, is pretty pathetic. We wandered the marketplace, and walked through the oldest house in Los Angeles. It is always amazing to me to be in a place like that where you can feel the weight of the history. There were people who's lives revolved around that home so many years ago, and here I am walking on the same wood floor. Not to mention it had the feel of what inspired my dad to design our house the way he did... it was amazing! We also watched a group of Native American dancers in full costumes with beautiful head pieces dancing and beating drums.

We walked a ways and stopped in at the Japanese American National Museum. I had heard that the government forced many Japanese Americans into camps in the 40's. In my education of that historical time I had a very antiseptic understanding of those events. In fact I think the only reason I knew anything about it at all was because of the reparations that were paid in the late 80's. I don't think my public school education ever taught me a thing about the atrocities the United States perpetuated on its own people. I was moved, and disgusted, and then inspired. These people lost everything. Most lost all of their money because they banked with Japanese banks that were seized by the government. Those who didn't have much money lost their homes because they couldn't work to continue paying for them. Those who didn't own homes lost their jobs and all of them lost their community. Even once they were released from the camps, with $25 and a buss pass, many didn't know where to go. The attitude of the American People against them was terrifying to them and they were afraid to go back to where they came from. For all their trouble, the government - nearly 50 years later, sent an apology letter and a $20,000 check to each of them. Yet, even after all they were put through, the gentleman at the museum who had lived through it was not angry. He had moved beyond it. You know it struck me that I learned an awful lot about how bad Nazi Germany was for rounding up the Jews but apparently our government things we're better because our camps didn't have gas chambers... I mean I guess that is a step up if we're qualifying atrocities.

After that museum we tried to go to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is right next door, but it is closed until the end of June or something. So we walked, and walked, and walked some more. We passed through Little Tokyo, we saw City Hall and Parker Center, Disney Concert Hall, the Courts, and the prison - which I must say has a pretty fancy look about it for a prison - about a million other things too... then we walked through the Los Angeles Public Library. That place is fantastic! It would take a month to do even a decent job of exploring the whole Library. They have the most phenomenal children's section! I can't wait to take the kids for story time in their puppet theater!

By the time we finished at the library I was pretty much beat. We had been on 7 trains and walked about a hundred miles, uphill all the way... ok, obviously not a hundred but my feet were pretty convinced it was close to that. So we jumped on the train at Pershing Square and got back on the Metrolink at Union Station. My head decided to try to explode. It provided me with one of those headaches that makes you wonder if you might die or at very least projectile vomit in the most inappropriate of places. We got off the train in Rialto, Brian drove us back to my house (with me whimpering in the fetal position the whole way) and I took a handful of various pills in an attempt to dull the throbbing ache in my head. Three advil and two tylenol and a half hour later I was starting to feel relief. Brian called in an order for dinner to Lucille's BBQ (oh, yummmy!!!) and went to work on my head. He has magic in his fingers I swear! He worked out all the knots in my shoulders, neck and head. By the time we needed to leave to go pick up our dinner I felt 100% again!

We walked past the THRONGS of people waiting to eat on Valentine's Day, picked up our dinner and left. (Ha, ha suckers!!! :)) We made a quick stop at Target in search of wine because BevMo was closed. I decided I wanted to try Sangria so we grabbed that and headed home. Dinner was amazing, there are leftovers for tonight! Oh, and Sangria is yummy too! We started to watch a movie, and true to form I was asleep way before it ended... Ok, I might have been asleep by the time the opening credits were done I'm not entirely sure... but it was an awesome day! I can't wait to go back to L.A. with the kids sometime too.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Welcome to Ghetto Days Of MY Life.

I've said for a long time that the drama with my former rose to the level of daytime soap opera. Ok, I'll be honest, I also said it was like the ghetto version of said soaps. The ghetto soap opera status just got launched into the stratosphere by the latest turn of events.

Bloomington Man Arrested for Local High School Burglary

Custodian arrested on suspicion of theft - On this page the interesting article is the fifth headline down.

Bloomington Man Arrested for Local High School Burglary - San Bernardino City Site

I will say they did get something wrong... He's actually 33.

Wow. That's all I can say. Well, wow and that I am not surprised, but it's still kinda shocking. Welcome to As the Ghetto Turns.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm not sure I should be posting this... but I'm going to anyway

I have spent the last few months especially burdened for my kids and all of the things they are struggling through with their dad. I have wanted to do the best for them but my judgement about what that would be exactly had been clouded by my fear. I have been afraid to cross him, to make him angry - or angrier than he already was. I have worried that if I made him mad he would fight me in court. I dread the idea of having some random judge decide the fate of my children. I don't have any faith in the system because I've seen it go very wrong before. I also worry about the cost of that process on an already strained financial situation.

Finally though I realized that I had to act on my conviction. If I'm not willing to do what's best for them regardless of my fears, then who will? So I went with my gut. My decision to no longer allow the kids overnights or one on one visits with their dad was a tough one, but it has been reinforced in many ways. The kids counselor was absolutely in favor of it. The kids are clearly relieved. They have been overheard reassuring each other that they don't have to be afraid of dad now because they don't have to be alone with him anymore so he can't "hurt" them. The fact that they didn't know a grown up was hearing these conversations further reinforces my decision.

It had been two weeks since they had seen him but since I still don't have a monitor in place, in spite of a sincere effort to find one, I offered to meet him for a visit at a park. When I told the kids we were going to see their dad, Isaiah was apathetic, the younger two seemed to think of it as any other outing, but Ella said she was scared to go. She said she was afraid dad was going to be mad that they haven't seen him. She was afraid he was going to yell at them, or at me. I reassured her that if he yelled at me I could handle it, and if he yelled at them I would be there for her.

The visit went as smoothly as it could have. My parents, his mom and sister were all there too. He looked wrecked. He eluded in a recent phone conversation to bad news of some sort. He had said that he would be giving me more information soon. Still nothing on that front, and when asked he said he might be able to tell me more next week. I'm trying not to read too much into it though because it could be anything from actual bad news to some sort of sick manipulation or anywhere in between. He did say he was loosing it. He said he was going crazy and that the fact that he couldn't see the kids was making it worse. I reminded him that his being unstable wasn't good for them, nor is it fair for him to look to them for his stability. I told him, as I have many times before, that I wasn't trying to be mean, that this decision wasn't made lightly and was not intended to be hurtful to him, although I'm sure it ends up being so anyway.

After the visit with Drew we headed to San Gabriel and had lunch with my grandpa for his birthday. Then the kids and I headed home. We made a quick stop at Target for a few things I needed and I picked up some things for Brian's trip as he was packing at the last minute and needed a few things from the store. My cousin was supposed to be arriving at 3:30 p.m. Well, she forgot that Arizona time is not the same as ours so she arrived at 2:30 and I wasn't home yet. I got home a few minutes later, we started getting ready to go out to a big family get together. Brian came by to pick up a few things, I said goodbye to him. Then my parents arrived and got ready. Grandma Sue came right as I finished getting ready. She took the kids to church and to Carl's Jr. for dinner. The rest of us left to go to Alhambra for the family event. I got home after 11 p.m.

I didn't calculate the mileage, but I drove/rode from Rialto almost all the way to L.A. and back twice yesterday. I'm exhausted today!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's been a little bit...

I've been kinda busy. First of all the holiday's were busy, as usual. Well, maybe not in the usual way but still busy.

Brian completed the EMT program and we all went to the completion ceremony where he was recognized with an award for excellence. There was even a write up in the paper about it. His last name has apparently been officially changed to "Thomas" I guess they thought Thompson was a little too long. In any event it was fun. My parents came with us to his parents house after the ceremony and met each other for the first time that night. Now he is studying for the National exam which he is taking tomorrow.

I spent Christmas Eve with Brian's family, which was a lot of fun. I enjoy being around them! Then we came back to my house and waited for my kids to get home from their dad's house. Once we got them to bed and played Santa, Brian went home. We had Christmas morning with my parent and the kids... and my dad's home made cinnamon rolls YUMMY! Then Brian came over for Christmas dinner.

There was definitely a gaping hole in Christmas without Karissa here... which felt even bigger without Mark and Adrianne here too. They had an amazing trip to NYC though - which I followed through twitter - that is quite the fun addiction!

The day after Christmas Brian came with me and the kids to the Ashley family Christmas. He had met some of my family but he got the full force that day. It was a blast. He helped my uncle take my grandma back to the home and made major brownie points with my grandpa. Though he didn't do it to make a good impression, it is just his nature, it was still a nice side effect.

There has been a whole host of drama in the "former" department... which I want in jest to refer to as "baby daddy drama" but I'm pretty sure that would make me sound lame... not that I'm one to care much about how I sound seeing as I've lived 32 years without a functioning filter. Anyway I guess I need to make a joke of it because it's been so horrible it's one of those laugh or cry kinda deals. I have spent the better part of a year pleading for changes on behalf of the kids and it finally reached a point where their therapist was saying they shouldn't have to go, not based on anything I say but on what the kids are telling her. Now I'm working on setting up a supervised situation which the therapist thinks is a good idea.

So that was probably about 5 blogs in one because I've been lazy with my blogs for a while.