Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Post...

Our Memorial Day post will have to wait till is too late to post all the fun we had.

However, if you like FREE events, and you like bowling...or can tolerate it and your childre might enjoy it, go to: and register for your children to get 2 free passes each per day in the summer. Our local bowling alley is participating in this country wide event. See if there is one in YOUR area!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

100 weeks

Little Monkey Man is 100 weeks old. Doesn't that sound odd? Most moms quit measuring their child's age in weeks somewhere between 6 and 10 weeks old. We then start to say how many months, and then after they are two or so just how many years. But I get these e-mails for all three of the kids every week (or month depending on their age) saying what developmental milestones to be looking for, funny antidotes from other moms, etc. I usually skim them or don't even open them-just delete.
Today all three kids are resting, and I am about to go rest myself. I just wanted to take the chance to check my e-mail really quick. I'm trying to be better about checking my e-mail daily, reading at least a handful of other people's blogs every couple of days, and getting on Facebook once a week. The very first e-mail was from Circle of Moms and it said "___________ is 100 weeks". I just stared at it. Really? Wow.

I would normally do something like this as a birthday post, but 100 weeks seems like a milestone to celebrate also. Below are some favorite pictures and memories I have of my little monkey.

I love you little boy, and even though you seem like my "hardest" child, I can't wait to see what the next 100 weeks will bring!

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'd Like To Share A Story

As you probably already know, my husband (#1) is a police officer. This past winter, I got the call that no officer's spouse wants to get. Only I was very fortunate to get it from my husband, and not from another officer or the chief. I haven't blogged about this because for legal reasons I needed to wait until the trial and all investigations were finished.

My husband was working the evening shift that night, and then was asked to do an undercover detail during the midnight shift. When he came home for dinner (a luxury we no longer enjoy since we moved) he asked if it was ok with me. It meant he'd be working 16 hours straight, but knowing how excited he was to do some undercover work, I agreed it was a great opportunity.
#1 assured me that he and a friend would be driving around in a non descript car wearing plain clothes watching for some guys who were breaking into cars around the city. The idea was that if they spotted anything unusual, they'd call it in and then disappear. He'd have no paperwork and would be home around 8 am. Easy overtime, fun for him.
About 7 am I answered the phone, still a little fuzzy from sleeping and trying to get ready for my Draycare kids to arrive. The boys were not up yet and I was moving slow. The first words I heard were "Don't panic, but Miller* and I were in a shooting and we're ok". I almost thought he was joking for a split second, but knew it wasn't something he'd ever joke about. He said he'd called me in case I turned on the news and saw it...he didn't want me to be worried. I don't turn on the TV in the mornings, he's the only one who does that...but it was a good thing because if I had turned on the TV and saw that two undercover officers in Smalltown USA* had been in a shooting, I would have panicked.
He went on to explain that the SWAT team was at a stand off with the suspects and he wanted to stay around and be there. He is a member of the SWAT team, but because he was part of the initial shooting, they didn't want him to be one of the guys to go in. He sat in the SWAT van early 70's vehicle they use (that is so old I'm surprised it even starts) and waited for things to unfold.
I honestly can't remember if he stayed until that happened, but they did eventually smoke (teargas0 the guys out and arrest them.
Here's what happened that night/early morning. #1 and Miller* got dressed in their very best red neck clothing to drive around in a small silver car. I can't remember the make/model. I'm not great with automobiles. As they were driving around they got a call from a fellow officer to be on the lookout for a guy on foot in their area. After spotting him, they followed him to a nearby motel. He went in, they parked in the lot and waited. They debated going in and pretending they needed to book a room just to see what he was up to, but didn't because they thought they saw him going out another door and back out the the street. They followed the person, but lost sight of him.
Sorry if the story gets a little choppy, it just is a crazy story. While they were sitting in the parking lot, the individual they saw go in actually did use a gun and rob the motel. If they had gone in and interrupted, they probably would have been shot and the man working the desk could have been killed. Instead it went "smoothly" and no one was hurt. Weird to say, I know.
So they followed this other person who actually has nothing to do with anything and then couldn't find him. But as they were driving around the area, a car flew past them and they thought maybe was related to the actual robbery, so they followed it calling in their location. At the same time, the actual aremed robber broke into an apartment and tried to assault a guy (who took away his gun oddly enough) so the midnight shift was swamped. #1 and miller* (who was driving) were told to back off and let it go because there were not enough officers to cover all the bases. (Yes, this is the same department that has had 4 officers retire/resign and is laying off 3 more this month. They never have enough people to begin with!)
As Miller* pulled over to the side of the road, a second car they hadn't noticed before came around them on the drivers side and the passenger was hanging out the window with a handgun. He was inches from their car. Immediately Miller* and #1 ducked down and Miller* returned fire through the windshield hitting their car but not injuring anyone. #1 did not get any rounds off because Miller* was literally laying on top of him.
They called in shots fired officers in need of immediate assistance (also known as "dropping a 99" in case you care) and followed the car to a nearby apartment complex. They watched the suspects get out of their car completely freaked out and run inside their apartment building. #1 and Miller* set up the best perimeter they could with two people and waited for the officers to arrive.
I can't imagine being in that situation, and I know it affected #1. I don't think he'll ever forget what happened. Smalltown USA* has a shooting about every 5 years that involves police officers. They have several shootings a month with drug people shooting each other, but #1 calls that natural selection. Sorry. Bad joke. Smalltown USA* has a population of about 40,000 people. Not a huge city, but big enough for things to happen. Police shootings are something we hate to see happen.
That night, another officer who was sworn in the same day as #1 (I'll have to tell another police story about him sometime...we met him while #1 was in the police academy and this guy was working for another department) came by the house with his wife. Phone calls and visits from several officers had been very common in the 48 hours following the shooting. This guy had been in a shooting his first week on the job! They came by because they knew how shocked we were feeling. It was good to be able to talk to people who understood.
So how did it all turn out? After #1 and Miller* gave their full statements, it was revealed to them that the gun used by the 4 suspects (local college students) was not even a real gun. It was some kind of a pellet gun that looks like a real hand gun. That bothered #1 for quite some time, but everyone assured them that it looks identical to a "real" gun and there was no way for them to know unless they handled it personally.
Miller* was cleared and the shoot was considered "good". He had every right to fire at the suspects and took the appropriate action. #1 also struggled with the fact that he personally had not been able to shoot at them, but really he had a big ol' guy laying on him and it all happened within a few seconds. Not much he could do about it. Miller* has since quit his job for the deparment and now works for the US Marshalls. Go him!
#1 received a high honor award at his award ceremony a few weeks ago. The fact that they kept their head in the game, followed the suspects, and set up a perimeter while they waited for backup in light of the situation his department found noteworthy.
We just found out that the four suspects (who by the way had NOTHING to do with the actual robbery they semi witnessed...they were just shooting at Miller* and #1 to "scare a couple of white boys" in the suspects words...they then initially thought they had messed with the wrong hill billys...they had NO idea #1 and Miller* were cops) only received a slap on the wrist in the end. They all served some time in jail while everything was sorted out, but then bonded out and pled down to a misdemeanor...inducing panic in a public area. What they actually did could be considered a felony. No one at the department was very happy with the outcome. That happens quite a bit though...people plead out and get barely anything. This happens in all cities.
So now the story is told. God always protects, and honestly I don't worry about #1 any more now when he goes to work than I did before that day in December. However, for those of you who were wondering, it is a big reason why we moved out of Smalltown USA*. That day #1 decided that we would be moving out of the city. When we couldn't find a house in the township, we moved to this other Smalltown USA*. We aren't far, and I still do 90% of my shopping, use the library, and go to church where he works...we just don't live there. Because people know him. And they know us. And he isn't comfortable with that.
This is all public record, and "now you know the rest of the story"! (I love Paul Harvey)
*Names changed

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Living With Three: Bubbles

Before I get to the "real" post, Rosebud is 6 weeks old today. She weighed in at 9 lbs, 4 oz. She hasn't been eating as well as she normally does the past couple of days, but it is SO HOT and I think she just is very sleepy. She eats lots better in the evening.

These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to share them anyway.

And this is how Rosebud enjoys the great outdoors. She is not wearing that many clothes these days, I assure you! :o)

Thank you to everyone who gave the boys bubbles as gifts when you came to meet Rosebud. They go through them quick, but they are hours of fun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Living With Three: The Wedding

Still adjusting to living with three kids. I realized today I hadn't blogged since last week so I thought I'd take a minute while everyone is resting or napping. Blogging is always restful to me, just helps me unwind.

This is a story about a wedding. A wedding weekend.
In this story, one Dray will be missing. He is modeling his cool shades for you all, but then quickly disappearing. Because he doesn't like weddings. Or late nights. Or missing naps. Or not being able to eat what everyone else is eating. And his mommy still isn't used to juggling three. Instead, he had a nice quiet weekend at Grandmommy and Pop Pop's. He was much happier.
#1 was in a wedding this weekend a couple of hours from our house. We stayed at a hotel with a pool (don't worry, Little Monkey got to swim once too, before he exited the scene). My fish boy spent as much time in the pool as he could.

Mommy managed to get a couple of pictures while nursing and making sure he didn't drown.

Rosebud spent some time in her portable swing which was a lifesaver. I don't really like putting babies down on hotel bedspreads (are they really clean????) and I couldn't hold her all weekend.

#1 had to be somewhere at 9:30 am and the wedding didn't start until 1:30 pm. Snug and I decided to have a date and we went out to lunch. He is so well behaved at restaurants. He ordered his own food and made small talk with the wait staff.

Snug looked very handsome all dressed up for the wedding. I dressed the kids in the van at the church because I didn't want them to be a mess before we got there. Rosebud did spit up ALL over me, but I can deal with looking a mess, everyone just looks at the kids anyway :o)

Rosebud looked very cute for the wedding. She slept the entire ceremony. It wasn't a full Catholic mass, but it was an hour and a half.

Daddy looked very handsome all dressed up. He even got to use his police skills when one of the bridesmaids (who was 5 months pregnant) passed out and hit her head on the floor. He was crowd control.

He was also very proud to show his little girl off. His buddy who was getting married is a friend from college, and even though they have seen each other, none of his friends had met any of our kids.

The church was beautiful. Snug had lots to look at during the ceremony. He was also very good. A small snack, a pen, and a pencil entertained him the entire time. I took lots more to do, but he really just entertained himself. We sat way in the back.

There were seven children in the wedding. Yep, seven. Along with 14 attendants. WOW. They were all very cute, but the 18 month old didn't want to go down the isle, then she decided to chat with everyone in every pew on the way down. She never did make it to the front.

Another flower girl who was about Little Monkey's age made it to the front, but as soon as she stood up front, she decided her part was done and raced back down the isle. Her two sisters decided to run after her and they all almost ran over the poor bride who was on her way down. A relative snagged the three of them and made them sit in the pew opposite of us in the back.

Between the wedding and the reception was a three hour break. #1 was riding in a trolley with the wedding party taking pictures, so I took the kids back to the hotel. I let them hang out in their underwear/diapers and Snug got to watch TV.

Neither one was too happy to get back on dress clothes later for the reception.

But in the end, everyone got ready and we left.

This is the outside of the reception hall. It was beautiful. There was a photo booth inside to get family pictures taken in, and then one of the 8 shots was put into a scrap/memory book for the couple. We got to keep the rest.

I had to take the opportunity to get pictures of Snug outside of this place. He was happy to get outside and run for awhile. I saw Rosebud when she needed to eat, but daddy hadn't seen her all day and had many people who wanted to meet her.

The only way I got Snug back into his dress clothes was by promising that there would be cake. This boy will do anything for cake. I had to take a picture of him shoveling it in, because it was pretty funny. The other girls at our table thought it was so funny how excited he was about it too. They kept trying to ask him questions, and he would glance up at them, not even answer, and shovel in another bite. Normally he loves being asked questions and chatting. But that comes second to cake.

So it was a good weekend. A long weekend. A my-kids-are-still-recovering weekend. But we had fun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5 Weeks

Rosebud is 5 weeks old today. She weighs 8 lbs 10 oz, which is almost 2 lbs over her birthweight (6 lbs 11 oz.). Speaking of birthweight, I did the DUMBEST thing. I made her birth announcements, and put the wrong weight on them. Genius.

Monday, May 17, 2010

We're Not Soccer People...

...but the boys didn't get that memo.

#1 and I neither one really played soccer or have had lots of interest in the sport except to cheer on friends who played. If the boys love it though, we will be ok with it :o)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Blog? I can't blog!!!! I just wanted to let you know that I have tons of pictures to post, and no time to do it. As I type, Hannah wants to eat (again) and the boys are KILLING each other. I think I know why some people have cages in their children's bedrooms. I don't think that is a good choice, or legal...just saying I think I know why they do it.

I will do a REAL post maybe this week. #1 has a couple of days off. When he is on 12 hour shifts, I am just barely holding on during the day so blogging is out of the question. Except right now where I needed to sit down and type so I didn't do or say something I shouldn't to the boys. Because I don't have a cage in their bedroom. :o)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank You

This week is National Police Week. It has been a very rough week for #1 due to the failed levy in the city where he works. Three of his fellow officers will be laid off within the next month. He and two others are next in line, perhaps sometime this summer, and in November if the levy fails again he will for sure lose his job-he and up to five others. It is hard to get that news the week that our nation honors officers.

However, only God controls our future, and he has always provided for us. Hard as it was due to the current circumstances our family attended the city's Police Awards ceremony Wednesday night where #1 got three commendations for things he was involved in this past year along with a pin to wear on his dress blues for distinguished service (one officer a year gets this award).

Overall, this has been a hard year for officers and their families all across our nation. Many officers have been killed in the line of duty. I cannot imagine what their families are going through. I haven't blogged about it because the trials have not happened yet, but as many of you know, my husband was in a shooting in December. I am so thankful to his department for all of the love and support they showed us and I hope the families of other officers who have been in similar situations are receiving the same support.

Thank you to all of the officers who daily put their lives on the line. They put their lives on the line for people they have never met, will never know the names of, who don't support their operational levies, and who talk down about law enforcement.

Thank you to all of the officers who work crazy shifts, miss out on birthdays and parties, and who give up valuable sleeping time to help out a neighbor.

If you know an officer this week, please take the time to thank them. They really do deserve it.