Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just When You Think You've Got It All Figured Out...

...your child is once again up at 2 am, crying his little eyes out.


Levi has been changed, given a bottle, snuggled, read a book, given Tylenol and gas drops, and allowed to play until he curled up on the floor with a teddy. Which Mommy took as a very good hint to put said child to bed.

And now he's is alternating between 5 minutes of quiet and 1 minute or so of crying at the top of his lungs. Eventually he will cry himself to sleep...



Seriously, both the boys have been sleeping SO well for the past week or so, it's been blissful.

To escape the frustration and exhaustion, I'm going to journey back to happier days; more specifically, last night, when the boys had another confrontation with Daddy's spaghetti sauce and body painting came back into vogue.

Asher: Who made this mess?!

Oh...right...that would be me.

Attack of the spaghetti sauce!

Levi: I'm cleaner than my brother, Mommy!

Touch the camera?


Needless to say, Asher is a bit more... exuberant than his brother in the art of spaghetti sauce painting.

The good news?

Levi has now extended his quiet times to about 10 minutes at a time, and the crying fits have shortened to about 10 seconds long. Hopefully this is a good sign

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Here's To You, Boys In Blue (And Brown)!

This was sent to me by someone who shall remain nameless, and my co-workers and I found it pretty hysterical. Maybe you have to be in law enforcement in order to get it, but there is a lot of truth hidden behind the comedy. Most people hate cops until the moment when they need the police the most. Either the officers are 'harassing innocent people' (HAH! what are those?), not getting there fast enough (what did you expect to happen when you moved to the very edge of the county?), or doing their jobs in other unsatisfactory ways. For 98% of calls, they're the 'bad guys'. My job is sometimes hard and thankless, but I wouldn't ever trade them places.


Police Harassment

Recently, the Chula Vista Police Department ran an e-mail forum (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being, "Community Policing."

One of the civilian email participants posed the following question, "I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?"

From the law enforcement side, Sgt. Bennett, obviously a cop with a sense of humor replied:

"First of all, let me tell you this...it's not easy. In Chula Vista , we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as "patrol") where we do most of our harassing. The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. And at any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly,
one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.

The tools available to us are as follows:

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase used often. This means we'll come out and give somebody some special harassment. Another popular one is, "There's a
guy breaking into a house." The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver's licenses and the like. It's lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes
you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

STATUTES: When we don't have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Statutes"; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc... They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people. After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there's this book we have that says that's not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well.

We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to "harass" some people. Next time you are in my town, give me the old "single finger
wave." That's another one of those codes. It means, "You can't harass me." It's one of our favorites.

I have to admit, I get pretty defensive when I hear someone make a blanket comment along the lines of "all cops are jerks". There are so many misconceptions about what it is our officers and deputies do while on duty, and I think if the general public knew what they deal with on a daily basis they'd be a little more forgiving if an officer or deputy is a bit brusque with them. After all, when was the last time you had to tackle a guy so hopped up on drugs that he had no concept of strength or pain? Or the last time you had go to a fatal car crash and then inform the mother that her child was killed in the accident? While most people are good, law-abiding citizens, they only make up a tiny portion of our calls...and most of THOSE calls are medical.

Next time you see an officer pulling someone over or arresting a shady-looking character, just remember that they're making YOUR world a safer place. I, for one, am incredibly proud of and thankful for our boys (and girls) in Blue and Brown.

...brown is worn by the Sheriff's Deputies. FYI.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Day, Another Project

It's almost 2 am and I'm still up. Really Lindy, must you do this to yourself?

Here's the problem: I rented Julie & Julia. And me being, well, ME there was no way I could sit through a movie without a project to keep my little hands busy. Thankfully, I needed to make an ornament to give my boss for our ornament swap at work. Anyone can go out and buy someone an ornament, but a handmade one is so much fun not to mention one of a kind. And I just happened to finish it at the exact same time the movie ended. Fate? I think so. It would have only taken about 3o minutes (if that) if I hadn't decided to do some decorative hand stitching around the edges and on the front.

Also, here are a couple of pictures of the purse I made for my sister in law. My mom was very sad that she didn't get to see the finished product since she was with me when I found (and fell in love with) the corduroy fabric I used. So here are a couple of photos, Mom.

Ok, it's seriously time for bed now. Night all!

PS. I'm trying to find a fun project that will give me an excuse to go out and find some fabric that I absolutely love...you know, without hoping to get lucky at the remnant bin. I don't want to make any sort of clothes yet, though, on account of the whole still losing weight thing. Any ideas?

Speaking of losing weight, I DID manage to lose another 0.8 lbs when I weighed in on Saturday. It was a minor miracle. I have now lost a total of 27.4 lbs!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Peace Like A River In My Soul

Today was a good day.

A little hectic to start out with, but good. Asher kept me up until about 4 am (I was on baby duty while Daddy got some much-needed rest) so I got to sleep in a little bit while Nathan fed the boys their breakfast. Unfortunately, in my sleep-deprived stupor I miscalculated how long I could sleep in; somehow I thought sleeping until 9:45 would give me and hour and a half until our 'departure time' at 10:15. Don't ask.

We didn't get out of the house until 11:00. Oops.

But get out of the house we did, and headed up to Hillsboro to have Christmas festivities with Nathan's mom's side of the family...but not before dropping the boys off at Grandma's and braving Costco on the last weekend day before Christmas. One word: stupid. We did, however, manage to get in and out of Costco in 25 minutes flat. And yes, I do believe that may be a world record. It was nice to have a chance to hang out with my husband, just the two of us, doing the sort of every day stuff we use to be able to do so easily...you know, before twins.

The Christmas festivities were a bit delayed, yet incredibly relaxed which was a bit of a departure from the norm. I think my favorite part was that the gifts were all truly from the heart. With the budget being a bit tight for all of us this year, we had to get creative with our gift giving and it was such a pleasure to sit back and watch how touching each gift was. It's so easy to lose ourselves in the commercialism of Christmas and this year I really desired something...deeper. I think I got my Christmas wish.

After we got home, I (fueled by a Dutch Bro's skinny Kicker) immediately tackled the four loads worth of laundry that needed folded and put away, not to mention the dusting and rearranging of our room that has been taunting me for weeks on end. Seriously, does anyone want to hire someone to just fold and put away my laundry? That's all I want in life...to not have to fold and put away FOUR LOADS OF LAUNDRY. EVERY WEEK. Guess I should have thought of that before having twins.

I had just gotten done with putting away said laundry and was proceeding to give our master bathroom a much-needed scrub down (Got the toilet bowl cleaner from Dollar Tree, Kate. It works like a charm!) when I heard something resembling an "OH NO!" from downstairs. Evidently the downstairs bathroom door had been left open and our sons immediately proceeded to give themselves a bath in the dog's water bowl. Keep in mind that we had already attempted to put Levi and Asher to bed at this point, so we thought leaving the door open was safe.

Needless to say, a 10:30 pm bath became necessary. Have I mentioned how much the boys enjoy splashing in the bath these days?

I realized tonight just how much I wish I could be home for the nightly bedtime routine. It's pretty much impossible for Nathan to pull off the whole bath-and-a-story act by himself, with twins...they're just too wiggly. Tonight after their bath, however, we turned down the lights, curled up on our bed, and read The First Christmas while the boys snuggled with their new stuffed animals from their Auntie Kate and Uncle Eliot. Once the story was finished, they immediately settled into their cribs and I haven't heard a peep from them since. And I can pretty much same the same thing for their father, too!

I, on the other hand, finished cleaning the downstairs. I love that feeling when you get your house all clean and tidy, and then you have some time to yourself to just enjoy the order of it all before it is torn to shreds again by your children/husband/dog. Determined to make the most of it, I settled into the recliner with my down blanket, a cup of mint tea, and P.S. I Love You (the only movie that is 100% guaranteed to make me cry EVERY TIME).

Like I said, it was a good day.

Remember how I mentioned that Asher kept me up until 4 am? Here's what I did to fill the time until I was certain he was going to stay asleep for longer than 20 minutes at a time.

I must say that I've become a bit addicted to sewing. I can't seem to stop. I guess I find it soothing and rewarding, something that gives me a bit of a break from being mom/wife/911 dispatcher. I found these two fabrics in the 99 cent fat quarter bin at Joann Fabrics and instantly fell in love...they're so soft and I love how they contrast (one is modern while the other is flowery-girly) and yet compliment each other so well. And the pattern was incredibly easy. You can find it here. I left out a couple of elements because I didn't want to clutter up the simplicity of the outer fabric but I made a second purse for my sister in law with more of the detail work and it was still quick and simple.

Now I just have to find my next project!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Christmas of Two Trees

*Disclaimer: This post was started three days ago and I'm just now getting around to finishing it...maybe.

It's been kind of crazy around the Labunski abode lately. Ok, when it is not? I know. But I feel like I haven't really stopped since before Thanksgiving.

The good news is that I have almost all Christmas presents made and wrapped, as of about 2 am last night. I've made about half of all presents this year, which has been fun and tiring at the same time. My sewing machine has gotten quite the workout, let me tell ya.

On top of all that, the boys each got double ear infections at the beginning of the month. Of course, we first took Asher in to the doctor alone, being concerned about his chronic coughing. Their doctor diagnosed the ear infection and put Asher on amoxicillin; this was after I had informed her that the boys had been given a different antibiotic because their previous doctor thought they might be building up a resistance to amoxicillin. The next day, Levi was showing signs of an ear infection, so we got him into the doctor and received the same diagnosis and prescription.

Fast forward 13 or so days. The boys have finished their round of antibiotics and yet are still coughing and fussy. So we made another appointment for them and sure enough, the ear infections weren't gone. This time, their doctor prescribed a different antibiotic, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that this one will work.

On top of the ear infection, Asher also had some wheezing when he breaths, so the doctor had us do a 5 minute round with the nebulizer (like an inhaler for asthma, but bigger); Asher was understandably thrilled. After the treatment, the wheezing had lessened, meaning that Asher has a mild form of asthma. So now we the proud owners of an at-home nebulizer, and poor Asher has to go through treatments once every 4 hours for about a week (or until his cough goes away).

Needless to say, Mommy is a bit stressed.

Add the boys' health problems to the following list:

  • We've been scraping by on less-than-healthy food for the past week or so due to low funds (man, Christmas time is rough on the pocketbook).
  • Once I finally got paid, I was unable to access our bank account online in order to update my register book and plan out the monthly budget, effectively keeping us from going shopping for the things we so desperately need. The boys' health problems and my funky work schedule made it difficult to get to the bank to fix this problem.
  • Our house is a mess. Not so much tidy-wise, but more cleanliness-wise. It's driving me insane. We're out of toilet bowl cleaner. 'Nuff said.
  • Our Christmas tree died as a result of a lack of water in the tree stand. As in, turned-brown-needles-falling-off-major-fire-hazard dead. Muy no bueno. We haven't been able to turn on the tree lights for a good week or so, effectively diminishing the oh-tannenbaum effect. Due to the above-listed reasons, we haven't been able to replace the dead as a doornail tree.
  • I need to do laundry. Badly. Yet worrying about all the above-listed things makes me just want to sleep. A lot.
  • Because of our less than healthy eating habits for the past week, there is NO WAY the scale will be dropping when I weigh in on Saturday. So I've been debating not going to weigh in, using the excuse that my mom won't be there anyway. Yet I know that's the cowardly way out. I haven't missed a single weigh in since I started 17 weeks ago, and I just hate to break that track record.
  • I'm sure there's more that has been weighing on my mind, but that's all I could come up with at the moment.
And yet despite all these stressful things going on, there are a lot of positive things that have made my life seem a bit brighter (this is going to be a long post, so sorry):
  • We had a great dinner with our friends/neighbors across the street on Saturday. We just love spending time with them, and the opportunity doesn't come around very often.
  • I got to go to our church's Moms & Tots group on Tuesday morning, which was a wonderful time with some great ladies from our church. It was fun to see how all the kids at different ages interact, especially since I don't have much experience with young kiddos. And it was SO nice to just chit chat with other moms for a bit.
  • I finally called our bank and had them resolve our online account issue for us. I was afraid they wouldn't do it over the phone, but Nathan reassured me the would. Because of that, I was able to balance my checkbook and figure out our budget for the month. YAY! HUGE weight off my shoulders.
  • Nathan is going grocery shopping at this very moment. I love having groceries.
  • I really really enjoy my current trainer at work. She and I have a very similar sense of humor, and she keeps me from being too hard on myself and stressing myself out more than necessary, which definitely helps keep work fun.
  • Between making Christmas presents, I found time to make myself an absolutely adorable purse. I figured that I should make myself at least one thing, and it was a ton of fun to do...thankfully it didn't take too long.
  • We borrowed the first season of Monk from the library to watch tonight. We needs some humor up in this place.
  • Nathan got a new Christmas tree today. My house smells like Christmas again. Mmmm. I think I feel hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps in my very near future.
  • Despite the frustration that goes along with the boys' health problems, we are blessed to have the financial ability to take care of them, the insurance to help us with the costs, and access to amazing health care. They'll be better in no time.
Moral of the story:

It's ok to take stock of the things that are stressing you out, because then you can eliminate those things one by one. But don't forget to list your blessing as well.

And don't forget to water your Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

After a dismal week for my weight loss (or rather, gain) last week - I blame the four Thanksgiving dinners - I have bounced back. With a vengeance. And it feels SO good!

I stepped on the scale this morning and watched the leader write down the following weight:

149.2 lbs!!!!!!!

The above number translates into a lot of things for me.
  • I lost 3.4 lbs in one week. That's a lot of stuffing and turkey being shed!
  • I have finally busted through the 150 barrier that has been taunting me for weeks.
  • According to Weight Watchers, I am now officially no longer obese.
  • The weight stated on my driver's license is actually higher than my real weight.
  • I haven't seen the 140's since...wow, I really don't remember. You can bet they won't be sticking around for long!

I have lost a total of 25.2 lbs!!!!!

Wow. For some reason 25 feels like a much larger number than 20, which went pretty much unremarked. But see, at 25 lbs you get this nifty award that looks incredibly similar to a washer...you know, the kind you use to build things, not the kind you use to wash things. But this one is special. It has '25 lbs' stamped in it. And it goes on the key ring I earned when I reached my 10% goal, which hangs on the keys I use every single day as a reminder to myself of how far I've come.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm very proud of myself. And yes, sometimes I do a double-take when I see myself in a mirror unexpectedly.

On the goal weight front, I'm going back and forth on what I want my final goal to be. You see, I want to reach a healthy weight, but also one that I am able to maintain. According to my BMI, my healthy weight range is anywhere from 110 lbs to 130 lbs. Originally, my plan was to shoot for 120, but I'm beginning to think that I should start with 130, see how my body looks and feels, and then see if 120 is realistic.

So for now I've decided that my goal weight is 130 lbs. Which means I only have 19.2 lbs left to lose!

I'm more than half way there!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the HUGE thing that happened tonight! Nathan and I wanted to get out of the house and get some Christmas shopping done for the boys at a time that we'd be able to go together. So we did some arm twisting and got Grandma Jan to watch the boys for a bit (believe me, we didn't have to twist very hard). When we got there, Jan was holding one of Asher's hands and he was standing there reaching out to me with his other. I took his hand, then both Jan and I let go. He stood there a moment and then TOOK HIS FIRST STEP!

And it wasn't a fluke! Later, after we got back from shopping, Nathan was sitting in a chair and helping Asher stand. Several times in a row, Nathan let go of Asher's hands and Asher took 2-3 steps at a time in order to get to the chair Nathan was sitting it. We tried to get photos, but a first step isn't exactly something you catch with a still photo, it's more of a video thing. And, of course, our video camera was 40 miles away in McMinnville. Pooh.

Regardless of the lack of proof, it still gives me happy chills to think that one of my babies is starting to walk on his own. And where one is walking, the other isn't far behind.