Archive | December, 2010

My phone never rang last night

30 Dec

It has become a ritual – I go to bed, watch TV or read and just as I fall asleep – no matter the time – my hubby calls to check in.  Last night that did not happen.  So instead of waking up to my phone last night, I woke up to 2 half naked ballerinas, fighting over the same tutu.  I panic for a moment – look at my phone, certain that I slept through his call, only to find a dark screen.  WHAT?!  I had it plugged and on my dresser – it should have charged.

This phone is BRAND NEW – my old Centro was dying – the screen did not always come up and we stopped at the Sprint Kiosk while we were Christmas shopping and upgraded it – this phone is literally 8 days old.  My husband got the same phone and had to exchange it within a few weeks because he could only talk on speaker phone.  So, perhaps there is an issue with this model?

Now, some background – my husband and I both took a significant paycut for our current positions – essentially another salary.  Private schools don’t pay NEAR as much as the public, but let me tell you – the lack of stress in the work day is worth every penny.  Same is true of a first year firefighter, not near as much as he made in the classroom – although he will make his back up, unlike me. 😦  So, we had to tighten the belt a bit, and out went the house phone.  Vonage was nice – when it worked, we went through more  modems and most of the time calls were forwarded to my cell phone any way.  So we thought it was a no brainer – lose the house phone and gain some money.  Until today!

I don’t like this feeling – how will anyone get a hold of me if something happens?  What if I have a seizure, how will the kids call 911?  What if Liv’s sugars spike?  Since she has no dx yet, that means I have no glucagon and would have to wait until 38 got here – mind you they are literally just around the corner – but walking next door, knocking on a door, waiting for someone to answer – all takes time.  I know these are all worst case scenarios, but they are real possibilities.  I don’t like this at all.

So, do I pack up all 4 kids and pray they can behave while I exchange the phone?  I know my dad has a half day today because of a dentist appt. – maybe he can take them while I run in.  I am expected to drop some stuff off at the firehouse, but I am not sure I can make all th phone calls to get the stuff I need for him.  I cannot WAIT for this time tomorrow!!


Any Nook users out there??

29 Dec

As I am sitting here, believing myself to be so tech savvy, I am arguing with my PC.  I LOVE my Nook – it keeps my pages, allows me to have to bring my textbook back and forth from work.  In theory – I can read any of my books on my e-library on my phone, PC or Nook.  So no matter where I am, there is something to keep my attention.  Sounds good – I love toys – was so sad when I have to give up my grade program that allowed me to sync it with my PDA, have gone through several generations of i-Pods.  I love gadgets.  The tech department at school loves me – I will pilot anything.  When there was no money for a SmartBoard – I made one, literally – out of duct tape, PVC pipe, magnets, a Wii  Mote and Bluetooth dongle.  So when I cannot get something that seems to be a no brainer, it bugs the Begeezers out of me.  It should  be as simple as downloading the software and logging in, right??  NO!

I put it off until I had time, I have time and cannot get it to play nicely – with my phone or laptop.  There are 3 titles (free classics) that appear – none of my purchases  or “real downloads”.  I have searched their help section, posted on the FB Nook discussion tab, called them – only to have them tell me to, “Come on in!”  I laughed at the poor clerk.  They couldn’t figure out what was so funny.  I asked if there was anyone who could work with me on the phone – No, I must come for customer service.  So…does babysitting come with this customer service? Now she laughed, of course not, why would it.  Ummm, because I have 4 kids – 2 of whom will demand my complete and undivided attention while I am trying to troubleshoot this lovely program.  Her response – “Just leave them with their father!”  Well – duh, why didn’t I think of that!!  Oh yeah – “BECAUSE HE IS WORKING A 48 HOUR SHIFT AT THE FIREHOUSE!!” my mind screamed.  In this day and age, how do you presume there is a father, or that he is available.  If he were in Afghanistan would you feel bad??  Anyway, I smile at the phone and tell her politely that he has to work until Friday.  Her response – “Then I guess we’ll see you then.”  No think I might have to bug my dad to take the Muppets for me, so I can fix this tonight AND speak with the Customer Service manager.  The selling point for the Nook was the personalized service – this was not service at all, much less personalized.

So, in the mean time.  If anyone is a Nook user and has a suggestion, toss them my way.  I have installed and uninstalled the software, restarted the program, asked it to play nicely – all to no avail.  Let me know what your thoughts are.

Politics, tradition and common sense

29 Dec

I am not very good at politics.  I don’t play the game well and find it to be a foolish waste of time.  There are traditions in various institutions that I LOVE, others that drive me crazy.  Just because it has always been does not mean it should always be.  Examples in the fire department- EVERY house in the department makes homemade pizza every Saturday night – I think that is cool.  The hazing period for cubs – I think is silly.  Knowing about those who came before you – imperative.  Water balanced over the doors, in the cabinets – sophomoric.  Shields with Company on it – awesome, you are a team.  Cubs not being allowed to have their name on their shields because they are not a person yet – idiotic.  These are all reasons that I would make a LOUSY firefighter.  (Not that educational politics aren’t just as bad, mind you.)  Some things to me are just common sense.  The Cubs not being allowed any social contact makes no sense – don’t you want your crew to bond.  How many times can the floors be mopped, the counters wiped, bathrooms cleaned in one day? There are literally 14 TVs in the house and he cannot look at a single one.  Being required to make popcorn or cookies every night  – cool, not being allowed to eat them or take part in the comradery – foolish.

Now, I get the idea – Cubs need to know their place.  Earn their stripes.  (Insert any rite of passage cliché – here.)  Last week J came home with a bit of a strange story.  His lieutenant told him there was an opening at a busier house and he needed to apply for consideration.  Engine 2 is downtown – gets calls for college kids at Marquette, the jail, the mission – almost all med calls, not many fires.  The house his LT suggested he transfer to, is significantly busier. Now, there maybe other reasons behind this suggestion – J bumped a guy off the rig and it is believed that not everyone is happy that the crew was disrupted with this cub. So, J is handed the paperwork and walked through the process  – step by step, with supervision.  He submits it to the deputy chief’s box for consideration. Guys on the green shift somehow found out.  (I am finding that there are NO secrets in a fire department.  And J thought working with all female elementary teachers was bad!)  And they are PISSED!!  “Who is J to think a cub can request a transfer?”, “Oh, he’s too good for us, huh?”, “Since when do cubs get to transfer?”,  “WTF! We’re not good enough!!”  And now J has to do damage control.

As soon as J came on shift, one of the cubs on the Green shift pulled him aside and gave him the heads up.  J is a bit confused – he was told to do this.  If he said no – I don’t want to go to a significantly busier house – it makes him look lazy and unmotivated.  If he is excited to go to another house, it makes seem as though he has an inflated sense of self-importance.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  He starts talking to his captain, the other officers, the guys on his shift, his instructors at the BIT (especially since one of them saw himself in J – so much so, that he put J on the same rig, in the same house, on the same shift – that he started on in the department), the brass -all to let them know he is NOT unhappy or looking to leave, but that he was essentially ordered to do so.  Finally one of the officers on J’s regular shift came into the conversation and told the rest of the guys – “No, we told him to do it.” and things calmed down – a bit.

J’s concerns are this – E2 has all of the Brass of the department, just upstairs – they will hear all of this.  Will this come back to bite him in the arse?  Will everyone start look at him as troublemaker?  For such a quiet, mild mannered guy – my hubby is not enjoying his 15 minutes in the spotlight.

Politics, egos – all my pet peeves, but all things J can deal with.  There is so much more to the fire science that goes into being a firefighter.  Definitely one more reason why not everyone is cut out for this world.

Our next 48 hour shift

29 Dec

We got our fireman home yesterday, he napped for an hour and a half, then off to the in-laws for the day.  We were up late last night putting together tomorrow’s presentation – the cubs have to provide “entertainment” for the rest of the company throughout the week.  The green shift involved a live chicken.  The blue shift has this interesting PowerPoint presentation that I put together for my husband.  I feel like I am caught in a time warp –  with some silly college boys.  (Teachers don’t do this!  LOL)  I hope the guys have fun with the silliness.

J is working today for one of the guys in his class and then has his shift tomorrow.  After that he has his P.O. (Personal off day – allows the guys to NOT have overtime every month, essentially an equalizer for the 24 hour shifts) and asked if he should sign up for OT that day.  Cubs can only work OT on their PO day until they have been in for 9 months.  The new chief put this policy in when he took over and there is some disagreement with it.  Mainly because the class from Feb of 2010 CAN work OT anytime they want and this recent class cannot, even though both groups are still in their cub year.  I see the logic from the chief – allows the guys to get their feet wet and figure out the system, keeps guys who are too green from being taken advantage of, keeping the new guys from burning out, etc…still not popular with all the guys.  Anyway, will have worked 5 of the last 7 days – UH – NO, you should not work.  January 2nd is the Packers/Bears game – and he is not allowed to watch TV with the other guys – at all, yet.  And January 3rd we all go back to school.  The extra hand will be very much appreciated, as sleepyheads don’t want to get moving.  He agreed and I will have my hubby home for 5 days!!  YEAH!

It’s just one of those days…

28 Dec

when nothing seems to go your way.  That would be today.

Days, where nothing you do seems to go your
Way, you just got started, but you can’t
Wait, for that setting sun to come
Be glad your day is done
And hope tomorrow ain’t just another one
Those Days

Last night, got everyone settled in – finally.  Dogs bedded down for the night.  I went down to our bedroom to read and hopefully catch some sleep.  Dozed some time after 10:30 – good time.  My firefighter called at 11:30pm.  I am not going to miss a chance to touch base with him  so we chat for a  bit.  Which all well and good, except I am one of THOSE people.  Once I am up, I am up. My firefighter, instantly falls back to sleep.  I am so jealous. So, about 2am I started to get drowsy, only to be woken up by a great pyrenees with an upset tummy at 2:30.  Mind you – I am glad he woke me up, rather than have the alternate scenario.  That cold air definitely heightens the senses and gets the juices flowin’!  Get back to bed, watch the world news, start to drift off somewhere around 4:30.  Muppets are up at 5AM!!!!

My firefighter comes home at 9.  I asked if he would be willing to do breakfast – nope he’s tired, he had to get the ISO up twice last night.

I get to let him sleep for an hour, while I get the Muppets up and dressed, so I can drive ninety minutes to my in-laws and be happy and cheery.

Didn’t know when I woke up today
Waking up was my first mistake
My first mistake

Outside my window the sun is shining
Birds are singing, maybe it’s beginning to get better
You never know how it’s gonna go
It’s just one of those days
You think things might be looking up
But what’s that, a tow truck
Pulling up to your car
Of course it is
Cuz’ it’s just one of those days

A Good Time for New Year’s Resolution

27 Dec

I have decided on 3 things for my New Year’s resolutions. The girls and the k9 geriatric ward are sleeping, boys are heavily involved in Lego Clone Wars on Wii (tell me again why I bought new games!) and hubby is at work. So is as good a time as any to post them.

I am not a big one for weight loss, although it is always in the back of my mind.  I am a size 8 after our family of 4 is done, so nothing to sneeze at there.  Although, some days I look at pictures from college and think…

So first and foremost is to continue to work on this transition we are still making into being a fire family.  I did not marry a firefighter, this was never in my plans.  But, it is where we are and it is what makes my husband complete.  We made it through our first holiday season without too many hiccups.  Only once did I “swear” at my firefighter for not being home, so I think that is pretty good.  I am also working on being patient with the equity in housework as we make our way through this.  I know it sounds petty to complain about laundry, but we are a family of 6 and my work comes home with me and does not get done until after the kids’s homework is done, dinner is made/cleaned up and they are all tucked in for the night.  My first resolution is patience through the chaos.

On my list were several things that came and went.  First, it had to be attainable.  I thought about giving up soda – but it is my one vice and it is currently in moderation.  Then I thought about school work – having all papers graded before I go to bed each night – that only adds more stress to my world, not really worth it. Then came laundry, I work so hard to get it all done and somewhere, I always fall back behind.  So, next resolution was laundry – I will do one load of laundry from start to finish each day. Sounds silly, but somewhere along the way I always drop the ball.  I will get 1 load done- washed, dried, folded and put away -each day.  Not including Jeff’s uniforms, we have about half a load per day – this will allow me to get caught up (in time 🙂 ) without totally derailing my routine – load will go in before I get everyone up in the morning, be in the drier before we head out the door.  Then, as I am watching TV (gives me a guaranteed 30 minutes of mommy time) I will fold the load and put it away as I get everyone to bed.

I am looking for one more, had it in my mind, and now it is gone.  That is what happens when the girls wake up before I get my list done.  Ah well.  I am certain it will come to me when I can’t sleep tonight, I can always update it then.

Happy Monday!!  Thank a firefighter for helping keep your community safe.

Smarter than the average bear…

27 Dec

Our firefighter slept most of the day away yesterday and is in the kitchen as we speak getting ready to go today. Being low man on the totem pole he was mandated to work on Christmas Day – the joys of being a cub.  Nice thing about that is now they have to literally go through the ENTIRE department before they can come back and make him work a day he is not scheduled, which could be several years.  He is number 486 of firefighters, so they have to go through everyone AFTER him and then back through everyone on the list before him.

My school Christmas party was scheduled for the 12th of December, I talked Jeff into switching with a cub on a different shift at is house so he could meet everyone (this is my first year at St. Joe’s).  Wouldn’t you know it – cancelled due to weather.  Shocking, considering it is in winter in Wisconsin.  Now, the trade has come to be paid back and he will have to work the 29th.  Which means he will have worked the 24th, 25th, home on the 26th, working on the 27th, home on the 28th, working on the 29th and 30th and finally home on the 31st.  Then he is off until the 5th of January.

Now, I was thinking, perhaps there was a conspiracy at work here.  My hubby gets out of any possible family drama at the holidays, does not have to deal with any over-tired toddler meltdowns and gets to avoid the cabin fever of four kids home for break.  He is off for 5 days JUST as we all go back to school leaving him with just Olivia for most of next week.  Hmmm, maybe he is smarter than I gave him credit for!!  🙂