Thursday, May 25, 2006

Love A Good Cop Story?

I shared this story with a friend at lunch today and thought it would make a wonderful blog entry. As many of you know, my husband is a police officer. A few weeks ago, his buddy responded to a call for an attempted rape in a downtown Indianapolis neighborhood. A young woman apparently got a call from this guy (on his cell phone) and said the police are outside looking at her car because it was hit while parked and the person fled the scene. She comes out of her apartment to check it out. He is standing just outside the door and he grabs her around the neck. He pushes her back inside and throws her down on the floor. Fortunately, her sister is there with her and comes out, scaring the guy off.

When the police arrive, she says she recognizes him and knows he lives in the area. She says she also knows he is on the sex offender registry website. Note to self: reason number one to study the sex offender registry for the area. Apparently, this guy who is a registered sex offender and was charged with an A-Felony rape in 1993 and received a 30-year conviction was released on parole less than a year ago.

The chase is on for the cops, searching for him to charge him with residential entry, confinement and battery. They do everything on their end to find this guy. There are warrants issued, conversations with his parole officer, extra patrols, etc. This is a big hit for a cop-they all want to catch this idiot. But, no luck.

Then, one day a few weeks ago, my husband's buddy who originally responded to the case hears on the radio that two people were killed in a car accident overnight and State Police are having a hard time locating next of kin. They give their names. It's the suspect and his girlfriend! So, he calls the State Police to fill them in and confirm its the same guy. It is confirmed.

Here is where the story gets good. They were driving (fleeing) to southern Indiana and their car crossed the median of a divided highway. They struck a tanker truck head-on. The truck driver was fine, but the other two were dead on the scene. Alcohol certainly appears to have been a factor, but upon further investigation by the police, it appears as if he was enjoying a little "road hummer" when the accident happened. No lie here--his dick was in her mouth on impact and, well...she bit it off. It's true. It isn't in the news reports, but it's true. Disgusting, sure. But, poetic justice, defined.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Lion Killer

Okay, here is Samuel's outfit yesterday. This is not a get-up for the camera. He played like this from about 1PM until after 7PM. Here he is as he is playing lions with Phillip and their friend Mia. Phillip and Mia are the lions and Sam is the poacher. His sword as he told us, is "a lion-killer."

Massive Email Issues

Something is seriously wrong with my email and it is hardly functioning. This is a totally disaster for someone like me who LIVES through email for both work and personal communication. Any of my friends will tell you, "I hate to call you..." They all think I am so busy (which I guess I am) that they hate to call the house--so they email (yeah, all three or so of them). So, right now, I am just trying to accept what I cannot control and get by until the tech arrives sometime today (between 8-12). Wouldn't it be great if I could tell MY clients, "yeah, we can meet that day, I will be there some time between 8-12." Oh, the luxuries of a monopoly (I know what you are thinking, there are other providers than mine--okay, fine--the luxuries of an oligopoly).

Here is my day on Monday.

6:15 AM Search on Microsoft's site for a possible solution. I think I find one, print out the steps, try to implement the steps, doesn't work (on many levels).

6:45 AM Try to reach husband to have him contact his techy cop buddy who has helped me before to come over right away to help.

7:30 AM Finally page Jeff to reach him to call tech buddy. He agrees to call him.

8:30 AM Run a Virus Scan. Find three infected files and delete.

10:00AM Still haven't heard back from Jeff's buddy. Decide I must move forward with getting it fixed. Did I mention I have a huge federal grant due in about 24 hours from this point?

10:15 AM I get so frustrated, I decide to call Microsoft (it's happening in Outlook). Search on the web for number. Call--they say, that is a Dell issue because they alter the software when they install it, so call Dell.

10:30 AM I call Dell. I am triaged and sold a service package. At this point, I will pay anything to speak to a tech. But, my question was does my $219 annual service package get me English-speakers (and I am referring to ENGLISH speakers here, not learned the call interface manual in English during job training). Yes..yes...they say. Great, I will pay it. Then, she says, well there is also a call center in Thailand. It will either be Canada or Thailand.

10:35 AM I get a Dell tech who is in Canada. A native English-speaker. I occasionally heard an "eah" but I can easily translate that! He takes over the controls of my computer, which is great because this is such a weird problem, none one quite understands it when I describe it. We go through everything...I MEAN EVERYTHING. The 3-hours kind of everything. Cannot fix it. He is totally convinced it is an SBC issue with their server. He says I need to call them, very apologetically. I like this new Dell service package.

1:15 PM I call SBC. Can you see your email if you use the internet instead of Outlook, they ask. Yes, I can. Oh, then this is a Microsoft issue. Here is the number. I call it. It has been disconnected. It leaves a new number, which I call and enter a maze of prompts (of course). I get triaged again. And, again I have to buy the support. Fine. $35. Fine. But, their credit card processor malfunctions and he says, oh I will give it to you for free. Did you hear that, everybody Free and Microsoft in the same sentence FREE/MICROSOFT.

1:25 PM I talk to a very slow typing Microsoft technician. Steve (native English-speaker) is convinced early on that this is a server issue and is on SBC's end. Steve recreates my exact email account on his machine and gets the same error message. So, he says that eliminates the potential that it is a virus, spyware or anything else other than something wrong on SBC's end. Did I mention Steve was also a native English speaker?! Going to have to call SBC again he says. He explains to me that just because I can see my email on the web, doesn't mean there isn't something wrong. HE says they are two different servers.

2:30 PM I call SBC. Triaged again. Reach a tech, who is NOT a native English speaker and obviously just learned English during their on the job training for this job. Great, fine. At this point, if they can fix the problem, I don't care. It just might take more time because I have to have them repeat their instructions at least three times each time they open their mouth. This doesn't go so good. We start with "Unplug the modem." Okay, I have been on the phone with tech people for nearly four hours now. Don't you think we have already eliminated this kind of stuff? So, after an hour she says, this is a Microsoft problem. I say I won't accept that answer. She said, do you need a manager and I say yes.

3:45PM The manager gets on the phone (after holding for about six minutes) and I explain my frustration and the nature of my problem. He says, "Okay. Unplugg your modem and wait two minutes." I about died. I said, "I don't mean any disrespect here, but I have been working with technicians from three different companies for more than five hours--you name it, we have tried it." So, he agrees to reset all of my passwords. Still doesn't fix the problem. Finally, I request a human. Okay, he said but if when he gets there, he determines it is not our responsibility--that it is not related to the lines (which, come on, what are the odds they will say--yeah, it's all our fault), you could incur charges. Of how much, I asked. A minimum of $60 for a service call. Delighted, I say sounds good to me.

4:30PM Finished. All I can do now is wait for the tech.

4:45PM Start working since I have been on the phone literally all day.

11:30PM Finish my work and head to bed so I can get up at 5:30AM and start a new day.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Warning to Some Male Readers

Male readers who know me: (that is pretty much you two, Dad and Jeff) please remember that you read this blog by choice. I think I have recently worried too much about who was reading it and what they might think (i.e. Jeff, Dad). This is way far off from my original mission with this thing. My options are start another blog and don't tell you or keep this blog, write what I want and tell you to read at your own risk. But, I still love you both! :)

It Must Be My Time of the Year

It must be my time of the year...well, actually it happens about twice a year. And, I suspect it may continue to happen the rest of my life. While I was driving home from my conference in Louisville, I was flipping through my XM stations and heard a snip-it of "Take My Breath Away." Oh, that old cheesy song, I know. Remember Top Gun? Remember the late 80s?

Well, for me, the late 80s were high school. My sophomore year, I switched from public school to a private school. I was a new kid--something I had never been (or at least didn't have any recollection of being). Shortly after I started at the new school, I met a boy--a boy who liked me. And, wow...I liked him. He had huge dimples, braces of course, and beautiful red lips with a wide smile. He worn wonderfully faded Levi's and RayBan Aviators (come on, it was the 80s-they are back, ya know). He always complemented me and confided in me. Plus, he was older. He was a Junior.

He had recently been through a bad break-up that was legendary and had driven him to some not so great "escapes" that he, with help, had recently overcome. He fought with his parents, was jealous of his sister, and often felt like he could never please anyone. Pretty typical stuff. I loved it that he shared this stuff. I loved it that he wrote me notes discussing what he might wear at Homecoming. I still have every note he ever wrote me, packed safely away...forever.

I still remember one day when he was in my room (yes, my parents used to let me have boys in my room--how crazy is that?) and he had on my favorite shirt of his, the 1988 Winter Olympics shirt and we were listening to music. "Take My Breath Away" came on. It was one of those moments for a young girl when you suddenly realize you like being a girl.

Our other song was "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel. Strange that I remember that? Maybe. We continued to go together (as we referred to it back in the day) off and on throughout high school. While this isn't something to be proud of, I think I cheated on every boyfriend I ever had with him and he cheated on every girlfriend he ever had with me. I loved him, no doubt about it. We found each other irresistible, yet I had not patience for his indecisiveness and insecurity. He had no patience for my desire to avoid his friends.

We met one year while our families were both vacationing in Florida. I spent the day with his family on Sanibel Island. My parents drove me over from Naples. After a few hours playing cards with his family, we left for a walk on the beach in the dark, knowing the day would soon end. We returned, me with sand in my hair and in "other" spots only to find my parents there-talking with his parents-both worried we had disappeared. This went on for years and I could never totally let go. He would still call me, corner me to talk, ask for my advice, complain about his girlfriends, and of course tell me he still loved me. The night before I left for college , he called and said he wanted to meet to say goodbye.

We met, in the parking lot of school. He was in tears as we said goodbye, of course so was I. Ever have that funny feeling that this is it? I thought this was probably it. I thought I would never return to Indy and he was scheduled to ship off to the service just a few weeks later. Certainly our paths would never cross again. I heard he got married while in the Navy. Then, I heard it didn't work out and he was moving back home. Funny, I was moving back home too.

I was home for a few weeks and always wanted to call him or stop by and see him where he used to work in high school (I was certain he was still working there). But, I never did. Whenever I was near, I looked like crap or I would suddenly be too afraid of what the outcome would be. But, I still thought about him all the time and hoped by some miracle I would run into him.

Soon, I got settled in Indy and my life started to take a shape of its own. I wanted to move forward instead of living in the past and I gave up on the idea of making contact. Months past, I started school again and met Jeff, who would become my future husband. I totally gave up on the notion of reconnecting with Chris, wasn't even on my radar screen. Jeff and I took a weekend trip to Philadelphia to pick up my household items I left in storage when I returned home. On the way, I called my dad from a rest-stop pay phone. I can see myself standing at it as if I was watching from across the room.

"What do you mean?" I asked. "No, there is no way it is Chris." "I really think it is, Kris." My dad said, "I'm telling you-it's him." Well, I was convinced it wasn't and I would just find out the truth when I got home. The truth is it was Chris. He was right. And, my denial meant I missed the funeral. What an awful tragedy. This one was horrific and isn't even worthy of describing. But, about twice a year, something will spark my memory of Chris and for days, sometimes even weeks later I will have dreams. Sometimes graphic, sometimes obscure, sometimes more like memories. But, they almost all end in the worst way--just like life ended for Chris. This must be my time of year because ever since hearing that song, I have had disturbing dreams and thoughts during the day that, if I focued on them, could no doubt bring me to tears.

I wish...I wish...I wish...I wish I would have seen him just one more time, I wish I wouldn't have been so vain as to focus on what I looked like and so little on what he meant to me. Certainly, I wouldn't want my life to turn out any other way than how it has. But, I would have given anything to see him again as an adult--to laugh and share in memories of our adventures and remember how ridiculously in love with each other we were. Sometimes I strain to remember his smile. Other times, his image almost haunts me.

And then I think about how small I was in his life--I think about his mom and dad, who I know loved him so very much and were always worried about him. I think about his wife, even though they were in the middle of a divorce, who knew him as a man. I think about his close friends and all the others who knew him and loved him more than I did. His death really changed me. Sounds sort of crazy, but I have never been quite the same. Sure, the nightmares, but also the inability to brush my teeth without worrying someone is behind me. The fear of opening the door to strangers, and the thought that I always hear something or someone when I am in the shower. His murder changed who I am. And, no doubt, loving Chris changed who I became.

Oh, so much to blog and so little time. We moved out o f the house for three days while the floors were refinished and then, hosted Mother's Day brunch for my family. I just returned from five days away at a conference. It was the first time I have ever left my children overnight and oh...I must was pure heaven! I had a great time and the conference was useful indeed. Remodeling continues, progress is being made but not a done deal yet. One day I will post update pictures. Lots of fun outings, family events, and more. But, for now, here is a picture of my Sam...the "stuff" guy in my entry below.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Dad, Sit Back and Enjoy


As a parent, I understand there are many things in life that your children do that you hope one day, just one day they understand why you found it so irritating, disgusting, annoying, or disrespectful. Yes, I was quite the handful. And even though we are so close, and always have been, I know there is no one on earth under the age of 15 who could get under your skin like I could.

Well--here you go. NOW, now I get it. Between the three boys there is something that happens almost every day that not only reminds me of my own behavior as a child, but also causes me to chuckle, knowing what look would be on your face if you were standing right next to me...the look of, "see--see, what it is like to parent a child like you were?" So, here are a few examples of things I know will make you laugh as you watch me in my parenting journey.

1) Samuel and Phillip both once day ate Ketchup on their PB&J sandwiches. They asked, and of course because I was always humiliated about my deep love for ketchup, I said sure (thinking they would hate it and stop). The both said mmmmm....that's good and kept right on dipping. It was so gross. I get it now, the whole ketchup thing (but, I still love it, dammit).

2) Samuel rolled on the floor of a public restroom recently when he got frustrated he couldn't go potty all by himself (the legislators who implemented ADA requirements must have never had a toddler who likes to pee by himself--tall toilets are of no use). I know I used to roll everywhere while whining and begging you to buy me something, anything even a ridiculous Rolex watch (but you almost did it..didn't you!). You would get so mad seeing me roll on the floor whining in restaurants (Dodd's Townhouse for one), department stores, furniture stores, anywhere I wanted to throw a fit I would hit the deck. Now, I cannot even imagine and watching my children do it sends my reformed germ-a-phob self into a state unlike any other.

3) Samuel (again. Bless his heart, he looks just like daddy and acts just like mommy) has more stuff than any child I have ever seen and carries it with him everywhere he goes. I so fondly remember my carry-on bags full of every art supply and colorform I owned. Oh, it would infuriate you! Or my collections and piles of things. It was often just too much for you. Now, I have a child whose bed looks like a toy chest and he cannot leave the house without a small collection of toys to carry in the car and all over the store. God forbid he looses one in the store, we must search and search until we find it.

4) Samuel (see? Again!) and his outfits. Just like my mom did, I let my kids pick out their own outfits, interfering only in the MOST sever cases. Blue socks? Who really cares. But, Samuel is like no other. Lately, he fancies wearing his bike helmet everywhere along with his rain or snow boots and his plastic backpack stuffed (and I mean stuffed) full of his favorite items. These items include his bug from his bed (favorite animal since he was a baby), a dried up marker he found outside, rocks, a car, a smaller backpack from a toy, identifier tags from outside plants, a small blue bunny from Pottery Barn Kids, and so much more.

So, Dad...Enjoy. And, I mean really enjoy because I am. I love these everyday things that connect me to you even more. I love that I see so much of myself in my child and I love it that i have the insight to be sensitive to these idiosyncrasies that are Samuel. Of course, I am sure there are things that he does that I am not sensitive to and he will encourage and nurture those in his children (I hope) and think of me every time he does--just like I think of you!

With Love,


Friday, May 05, 2006


I just got another batch of my cookbook printed if there is anyone who didn't get one and wanted one from the first run. You may remember, it is full of easy recipes from Cooking Light, Food & Wine, and Everyday Food for busy moms--I have tested them all and they really are easy, and yummy.

Someone said to their friend that shared, "All she did is cut out recipes and photocopy them." Ah, it may look like that, but I did much more than that. As I just mentioned, I have tested all of them. Plus, I provide you time-saving tips and side dish serving suggestions. There is a whole section in the back about batch cooking, including a complete grocery shopping list for each batch (1/2 a Saturday yields at least 6 tasty and healthy meals for your family). There is a reference section about what tools to stock your kitchen with, substitutions, freezer life of foods, and where to go for help or other ideas. Plus, she is right...I cut them out, glued them, and photocopied them. Way more work than it sounds like when you have three small kids, your own business, and are actually cooking the meals in the book.

Anyway, if you wanted one and didn't get one, let me know.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fellow Moms, I Need Some Advice

Two things at issue: 1) Night-time potty training and 2) Iron deficiency. As you know, I have three children, so there isn't much that we haven't dealt with before. But here are two new issues.

First, night-time potty training. Samuel wants to stop wearing pull-ups at night and of course, we are all for it. Yet, he rarely wakes up with a dry pull-up. Supporting his desire to try, we let him go without pull-ups for the past few nights. Like day-time potty training, I sometimes think they need to feel wet to make a full connection, so we were fully willing to try this.

It has only been two nights, but both nights haven't gone as I expected. Both nights, he peed but never woke up. My question is, do I keep going and let him try or do we go back to the pull-ups? To me, this is a sign he just isn't ready. Samuel was difficult to potty train and I think that a delayed night-time training is sort of predictable given his personality. I expected that once he peed in the middle of the night, he would come and wake me up for a change. Nope. He sleeps right through it. What to do?

Second, our pediatrician always orders blood work at the 18 month checkup. Oddly enough, #3 came back with an iron deficiency. I of course, am trying to figure how I caused this. Jeff took him to the appointment where she shared the results of the blood test. She gave him the impression that this was no big deal and would easily be corrected with drops. They said it is due to rapid growth and is apparently common in this age group (hence the routine test). Now, we are supposed to give him iron drops for three months twice a day. She told Jeff to hide the drops in a drink or food. I did once. Then, I read the information that the pharmacy attached.

They always paint a "worse-case" scenario with those prescription information sheets, but this is nuts and now I don't want to give it to him. For example, here is a sentence from the information, "Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under the age of 6." Has anyone every had a child with an iron deficiency? Did you give them the drops? Is there another way to increase iron that is safer? She is usually pretty open to my trying alternative approaches to solve problems.

Feedback, please!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Happy Birthday--TO ME!

Today is my birthday. Yes, I am a Taurus (couldn't you tell?). I want to include some great shots of our celebration last night. My dad and his wife were still in town, so we did the official celebrating last night. Today was simply a regular day, but inside I felt extra special. Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday cards, email wishes and other wishes. Here we are before our feast begins...this picture got fuzzy. Not sure how, but somewhere between here and there (still learning how to use the new fancy digital camera).

The rain subsided early this morning and the sun made an appearance by late afternoon. I can count on both hands the number of times it has rained on my birthday in my life. Now I am 34. My mom still moans when she talks of my long and difficult birth. But, for me it was all worth it! What a great life--I mean really. Not in some oh, look how happy my life is bullshit blog way, but in real way. This past year has been incredibly exceptional. I have met some great people who have truly made a difference in my life and who have brought me to a new place. I am enjoying this journey through life. Here is my birthday dinner spread prepared 100% in secret by Jeff (I know the picture placement is sort of random--just trying to keep it interesting). Salad, pulled pork sandwiches, yummy chips, beans--what more could a girl ask for?!? How about an end to our remodeling projects (not a hint, Dad. Just a wish.) I am sure you can spot signs of "temporary" conditions all around.

The dinner was great. It was the only real food I ate yesterday, besides oatmeal cookies. Over the past two days, I ate two full bags of oatmeal cookies that were a gift from my grandmother. I shared two with Andrew and three with Sam. Everything else was mine. Not to go off on a tangent here, but I have gained five pounds in the past few weeks. I am on a real stretch of sweets. Thanks to Very Mom I have decided I am definitely a sugar addict, despite my otherwise healthful eating habits and keen attention to "freshness." I may be happy and lovin' life, but I am still a work in progress--no doubt.

And here was the finishing touch to my birthday feast--a Dairy Queen ice cream cake! We toasted with Champaign to my birthday, my dad and Ineke's (his wife) new house, and Ineke's citizenship (last week she became a citizen of the US--she is Dutch). I still hate Champaign.

Obviously, I am not the only one who feels so passionate about the Dairy Queen cake! Happy Birthday to me!