24 May 2012

National Missing Children's Day May 25

In 1996, 9 year old Amber Hagerman was abducted by a man who took her off her bike and pulled her into his car. She was found dead three days later and her killer was never found. From this tragedy came the AMBER Alert, a notice that is sent out over the Emergency Alert System as soon as a child is confirmed missing. The first 24 hours are the most crucial in any investigation and by making the details public as soon as possible, hundreds of children have been saved.

Most people see things and have no idea that they may be looking at a kidnapper and his victim. Something as simple as a child in the backseat of a car that stops for gas could be a potentially deadly situation for that child. The AMBER Alert helps everyday citizens realize what they are seeing and report it. They might recognize the car, the child's clothing or even the kidnapper from a description on the radio or internet and be able to report it in time to save the child's life.

Are You Prepared?

You should always have current photos of your children. This isn't hard with phone cameras and digital cameras these days. Make sure you take a good, full face shot of your child at least once a month. If something does happen, you'll have a photo you can give to the police. Hopefully nothing will ever cause you to need to share pictures with the police and you will simply have good memories for years to come.

Take your child's fingerprints. This can help the police identify a child when found with certainty. In cases where a child has been missing for several years and may look very different, fingerprinting is a good identifier.

Birthmarks and Scars
Keep track of noticeable scars and birthmarks that your child has. These can be used as identifiers should he or she go missing. Often missing posters will let people know if a child has a noticeable mark on an arm or the face, since this could be the clue they need to realize who the child is. You may want to take pictures of these marks, as well.

Buddy System
Make sure your children know and use the buddy system. They should never go anywhere alone. Most abductors will not go after children who are with someone else, even if it is another child of the same age. That doesn't mean it will never happen, but this is a good start for protection.

What Kids Need to Know

It's very important to let kids know about the potential dangers out there. If they don't know and they trust everyone, they are very easy targets for predators.

If you're not comfortable broaching the subject with your kids, then there are several books that can be helpful. You'll find these below. Here are a few things your child should know.

Make a ruckus. If someone tries to grab you, scream your head off. Yell, "You're not my mommy/daddy!" Abductors will often leave the scene without the child if they are making too much noise.

Adults don't need help from you. A common ploy of abductors is to ask a child to help them find a puppy, missing child or other aid. They then grab the child and pull them into a vehicle. Let children know not to go near strangers' vehicles. If someone asks for directions, tell them you will get your parent.

Don't take anything from strangers. Offering candy, toys or other treats is something that kidnappers do to draw kids close enough to grab. Stay away.

Never say you're alone. Answering the phone while your parents are out is ok, but you should say "Mom is busy right now, can I take a message?" instead of saying you are alone. Don't open the door when home alone, either.

Don't hide. If someone is following you, never hide. Instead, go to a crowded area or knock on someone's door and ask them to call your parents. It's dangerous to hide since the abductor can grab you without anyone seeing


11 May 2012

Home security...the dilemma

So.... Boy tried to mount an escape!
He does it all the time, but he never goes anywhere, he just likes being outside.
We've been told we need to get a security system for the house because of the twins. We have a pool, and a highway runs behind the cul-de-sac...
Firstly, the backyard is always locked, unless we are out there. And even still, since we have tots, animals, and wildlife... We have a 120 decibel alarm that sounds if something enters the pool.
To put an alarm system on the house would be impossible! We have Wife, BIL1, BIL2, girlfriend 1 & 2, Teenager, BFF1, BFF2, BFF3, babysitter, and our mothers (when they are there) going in and out of the house constantly!
12 adults! Now, how often do you think they'll remember to set the alarm? BIL1 works into the wee hours sometimes. And the girlfriends tend to come and go at odd hours too, because they both have jobs, and living with their parents. Teenager and her friends keep odd hours too!

Anyone have similar issues?

07 May 2012

Quick pix of home

We got us washing the car, their expressions when they saw me, the house when I got home, and the new shirt(s), and family "photo"

01 May 2012

A Port In Every Storm...By Wife

Wife wrote this as part of a class she was taking way back when... Thought we'd share:

I have a hideous device called a "port" surgically implanted in my chest wall. The chemotherapy I receive every three weeks is so toxic, if it were injected directly into an ordinary vein in my arm, it would disintegrate the vein and blister the skin around the injection site beyond recognition. It's so deadly, the nurses who administer my chemo are to wear special haz-mat suits. When the evil stuff is infused through the port, it is delivered straight into one of the bigger tougher veins deep in my body, where, theoretically, it can do less damage. Knock wood.

I also have a little card I'm supposed to carry in my wallet that announces, replete with random superfluous caps, "This Patient has a device
 Implanted." On the back it reports the catalog and lot numbers of my device, and informs avid readers that the Location of Portal is Right Chest Wall, and the Location of Catheter is Superior Vena Cava. I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to do with this card. Hand it out at cocktail parties? Place it on my dashboard so I can park in the blue zone? Show it to airport security personnel if my device sets off the metal detectors?

But let me tell you, the surgery to implant the device was just about the most exciting damn thing that ever happened to me. As I was coming to in the post-op recovery room, a blurry resident loomed over my face and shouted, "Mrs. _______? There's been a little problem. But everything is going to be all right, and your husband is here now."

Well shit yeah, there's a goddamn problem: suddenly I have a husband??? See, the scary thing is, I don't have a very good history with twilight anesthesia. After my first biopsy, I apparently phoned out and ordered pizza for the entire radiology department. But this time it seems I had called in the hospital chaplain and gotten myself hitched, to god only knows whom. Probably the inert appendectomy patient on the next gurney.

But thank the lucky constellations it turned out this alleged husband was only my designated driver. I guess they assumed we were married because, eww, it's just too gross to contemplate that a woman might have something as racy and exotic as a boyfriend.

Unfortunately, the "little problem" was a bit messier than a hasty marriage to a sedated stranger. During the implantation surgery, the blurry resident had used a series of guidewires 
to insert the device's catheter down into my SVC, and a 5-inch piece of one of the wires had unexpectedly broken during this delicate procedure. The renegade bit of wire immediately launched itself on a gleeful high speed joyride, tearing around through my vascular system at an alarming velocity, threatening to slice and dice.

As one of my non-husbands held my hand and the other snored his oblivious way out of his post-appendectomy delirium, the blurry resident explained that a crack team of radiological surgeons had been called in, stat. As soon as they had scrubbed, masked, and snapped their polyisoprene gloves into place, I would be wheeled into a special operating room where they would use their magic x-ray vision to locate the fugitive wire. They would then apprehend the fool thing and take it into custody, hopefully before it caused any fatalities.

I guess the radiologists had never forgiven me for ordering anchovies on their pizza after the biopsy, because this time they refused to give me any more twilight anesthesia. I'm not a big fan of being wide awake during surgeries, but fortunately for all I was still drunk enough from the morning's implantation imbroglio that I didn't put up much of a fight. I vaguely recall having an extremely interesting discussion about something or other with the chief radiologist, a distinguished, handsome, and delightfully charming man only a bit more senior of my age. As luck would have it, he discovered the idiot wire nestled in my groin, so this conversation was not without a tinge of indignity on my part.

I recovered from the consecutive surgeries without further incident (though I have yet to hear a damn word from my ex-non-husband, Mr. Appendix), and two days after it was implanted, the port was put to use in my first chemotherapy treatment.