Monday, August 04, 2008

A Really Awful Week

I left home to be closer to the midwives for the birth last week. I came home two days ago. No baby yet, but it's been one hell of a week.

Tuesday I ran around trying to finish the packing and get the house settled for our first vacation in 17 years. I was so busy I didn't conciously notice the heat index of 116F. Which isn't to say I didn't unsconciously notice it, as it sent me into precipitous labor around midnight.

All of my births have been precipitous. Once started, labor doesn't stop until late morning, when the baby is born. So, after a few frantic midnight calls to the midwives, we all agreed it would be best if I came on up.

Problem: the Sunshine and Brighteyes are sound asleep. This means an early-morning call to SIL to ask if she can come over and babysit. At 1 am. That she actually shows up is testament to her good character (a fact I sometimes have to remind myself of when -- but that's another story). So we get underway at a 2:45 am.

Did I mention the midwifery center is three and a half hours away? In the daylight? We get there at 6:45 am, find our cabin, and I get examined and immediately ordered to bed. My husband and I eat a cheese pizza we picked up on the way. I manage to convince myself it's really cheese toast with a fruit on the side in a slightly different format. Alas, my husband lacks my skill at self-delusion and had a harder time with it. We get a call from SIL to see if we made it, then crash for three hours.

SIL is supposed to call back at 11. No call. At 11:30 my husband leaves to pick up the girls. I try to talk him out of it, but he logically points out he has to pick up his paycheck today anyway, and he doesn't trust those jokers not to lose it on him. So he made the trip twice more while I got another checkup and slept the rest of the day.

With all the sleep I actually managed to stop the labor for the first time in four pregnancies. Maybe that wild yam extract the midwife insisted I take is actually doing some good. The family gets in around 10, and we finally get everyone fed, settled, and in bed around midnight.

We spent all day Thursday and Friday morning exploring, shopping for stuff that got behind left in the mad dash, and relaxing. We were feeling pretty good by lunchtime Friday when we got a call from SIL that our house now had busted-out windows.

My husband spent the afternoon and night on the phone getting damage reports while I packed everything back up. According to the searchers, the thief had broken through the window in the front door, found it unopenable, then broke a back window, made a mess, stole some change, and left without taking any large items. They couldn't tell what small items were missing and what were lost in the mess. I finally got my husband off the phone at 11pm so we could sleep.

Saturday morning I had an exam, was okayed with a stern warning to avoid stress, and we left. It was another over 100F day. The car, which had been doing fine, had it's air conditioner die once and it died twice on the way back.

The house was in a bigger mess than we'd been told about. On the other hand, it was in a mess when we left, so the searchers probably didn't realize what was us and what was the thief. On the third hand, the thief apparently found it hard to deal with. He checked a few stereotypical places, then stopped instead of doing the whole place.

Note to future thieves: even I'm not dumb enough to hide anything valuable in my panty drawer. We don't have a lot of pawnable swag. A fortune spent on books, DVDs, homeschool materials, and arts & crafts supplies isn't worth much at Leroy's Pawn Shop. It's called "investing in education". You may have heard of it?

Anyway, don't bother looking for the top pawn shop items here. I don't own any gold jewelry. I'm a silversmith, dude. That means everything I own is silver, and almost all of it is non-commercial and so distinctive tracing it would be a snap. Leroy wouldn't know what to do with it.

As for the electronics, the TV is 13 years old. The buttons have worn off the set and it has to be worked with a remote. The computer was assembled out of mostly second-hand parts put together from junked machines people brought my husband to work on. We're not worth breaking into.

Bah. It looks like the thief got a graphing calculator, around $100 worth of change inside two coin banks (one containing dd1's allowance for the past year!), a pearl necklace, some heavy commercial silver chains, a handmade silver and garnet chain, some carved wood and crystal boxes from my collection, a handful of Christmas candy(?), and some forty-watt light bulbs(?) he stuffed into a toy bucket and dropped in the backyard.

This paucity was not for lack of trying, mind you. He backed his car up to our front door with the intention of loading it up, but in the end he didn't find it worth the effort. We didn't design our house to be easy to steal from.

The next thief will have an even harder time. The broken panes have been replaced with a shatter-proof material, and the windows are being fitted with custom locks made by my husband. Never challenge a genius who has his own machine shop.

And the new front window is elegantly engraved with our family name, our business name, and a pair of dragons.

But the sherriff's department and our own searchers missed the Clues. The thief left his homemade club outside the window and left his bloodstains on the curtain and on the floor after cutting his hand opening the window. Pity we can't interest the sherriff's department enough to come collect them or even take our statement. We called and were told the officer in charge "had called this afternoon but no one picked up the phone". (Lie. Neither we nor the answering machine got any such call.) and wouldn't be available until Monday.

By Saturday night my (not) Good (definitely) Old PTSD was wearing off and I felt a bit -- frazzled. On top of all this I'm still almost 9 months pregnant and still under orders to avoid stress. And did I mention easily exhausted? It took me over 24 hours to type up this post, and I to stop once for contractions, which fortunately stopped with rest and plenty of water. I so don't need this right now.

And on top of everything else, it's probably guaranteed it'll be another 17 years before I get another vacation!

1 comment:

JC from NC said...

Wow. Doesn't sound like much of a vacation. I hope that when your delivery actually comes around, it runs as smoothly as possible.