Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bad Things

I finally have a few seconds to just tell the whole story for the world. We've been asked a lot what happened on Facebook so this means some pretty quick explanations, and I realize some might think it's over kill that we moved out seven days after the incident. Hopefully, I can write it out so it makes sense and also because I just need to purge myself of the whole thing. Writing helps me purge in case my dear readers haven't noticed.

Friday, May 14 was Camille's birthday. We had an awesome day hanging out, going out to lunch, looking in a pet store, and eating cake. We decided to hit a movie in the park as a grand finale. We made it half way through the movie before the two youngest girls started to have a fit. We left to go to the grocery store and got home around 11. We gave Umberto's his medicine, fed the kids a snack, and then H spent time on the computer. I picked up a little, and then went to my room to nurse Rowena to sleep, and read to Piper. Umberto was sleeping, and Camille was on her bed reading. H was on the computer. All the lights except for the dining room one were on as Piper has gotten a glass of milk from the kitchen about five minutes before the attempted home invasion.

While I was reading, I heard a loud crash as our recycling went flying all over the kitchen. H cursed and went into the kitchen thinking it as the cat (on later thought we both realized it was much too loud for the cat). I heard a thumbing sound and though Umberto must have gone to the kitchen and was having a seizure. H started to yell in a panicked voice for me to call the cops. I was confused, trying to figure out why he wanted me to call the cops for a seizure. I walked out with Rowena to see him, holding the side door. He had moved the fridge so that it blocked the door somewhat. He looked at me and yelled that someone was trying to break in. I ran upstairs with the kids and called the police. H yelled for me to get our gun, and no we don't have a gun but it sounded good, and whoever was there ran off because I heard our neighbor's dog bark (it only barks when someone is in our backyard). The cops showed up seconds later.

Meanwhile Umberto is shaking so hard he can't hold anything. I had him sit on the floor because I was sure he going to have a seizure. I'm feeling pretty shaky myself and clinging to Rowena and the kids. Even with the police there I didn't feel safe. Initially the police acted as if we had done something to bring on such an attack but we welcomed them into the house, and made sure they had free range to roam so they could see we had nothing to hide. Eventually it sunk in that we were a family with no drugs or weapons around. They went to look for someone but considering there were parties going on all over as well as roaming bands of teens, they couldn't find anything. They did find prints on our air conditioning unit and they called CSI in to take prints.

The cop was pretty blunt that they thought whoever entered our house had entered to do harm not steal anything. The CSI guy when asked if he thought it would happen again said "As far as I know they could be hiding in those bushes across the road." This was based on the fact that it was pretty obvious we were home at the time. We figured they thought I was home alone. This freaked me out even more as a woman had been raped in front of her children earlier in the month not too far from our neighborhood. The cop then suggested we not stay the night (the door was totally busted by the way. They had kicked it so hard they broke the frame and tore out some of the wall). And suggested we get a firearm for protection. At that point, I knew we couldn't stay any longer. I am unwilling to live someplace where I need a gun to feel safe.

Umberto later told us that he saw some guys outside talking in the school parking lot across the road. He saw four guys, and then one left walking toward the main road. The other ones were half hiding behind trees, and one was kneeling on the sidewalk outside the school with his head down. We're thinking they sent the other guy to break down the door, and then were waiting to come in after him. Needless to say we were feeling utterly unsafe. We spent two nights in a hotel, trying to call the landlord to come fix the door to no avail. We then stayed with my mom until Thursday when due to some unrelated issues we spent one last night at the house. We had also gotten a new apartment that we could move into on Friday.

It was a rough night. We were all jumpy due to the house being barricaded as much as Horacio could do (he nailed boards to the outside of the broken door, and some workers for the landlord had nailed a board inside....yeah no door almost a week later). We had bookshelves against all the windows, etc. Umberto was a mess, shaking, and having a hard time calming down. He kept wringing his hands, wouldn't play, and spent half the night looking out the window. The next day while packing some teenagers came up to my fence and made some rude gestures at me...didn't do much to make feel secure.

End result is that we broke our lease and moved. Umberto would never be able to feel relaxed in the house and really neither would the rest of us. I spent a few nights thinking too much about what would have happened if H hadn't been home or if he had been sleeping and I was up alone with the baby. None of the scenarios are pretty.

So my baby moon is yet again interrupted. I moved furniture with Rowena in the sling because the only help we could get (thanks Daren) couldn't show up until later. My mom also helped us pack in a hurry. We're still moving and trying to clean up a bit. I don't dare be there too much alone so I don't end up having a lot of time to do anything. I can't wait until I can just sit and stare at my lovely baby. Of course I am thinking this as I look out at an apartment covered in stuff that needs to be organized and unpacked.

I'm hoping that this incident was the third in our streak of bad things. We found out the same week as the home invasion that H had indeed been laid off. He didn't even make it to the pool because they had eliminated so many Spanish positions. Very frustrating considering how hard he's worked this year. We also had to deal with Umberto's epilepsy earlier in the year. Really I think we deserve some good news...but in the end it is good. We have each other. H kept us safe and no one was hurt. And we have a lovely new addition that we're all in love with.


The Bear Maiden said...

Wow, Ginger. But... you are safe. And you WEREN'T home alone. And even more impressive... you found a new home in a week. That would NEVER HAPPEN here.

Jet LeBlanc said...

Ugh, Ginger. What a nightmare. I hope your new place is happy and peaceful...thank goodness you could find somewhere to go so quickly. Sorry we weren't able to help out. I don't always see all your updates (or anyone's - thanks Facebook for your nifty "improvements") but please don't hesitate to be in touch if you need something.

S said...

Very scary! I'm glad you got moved and are in a better place.

Many hugs to you guys :)

Michelle Smith said...

{{{HUGS}}} I hope you're feeling safe in your new place, and can all get over the hurt and pain and fear.

Greywillow said...

Ginger I am so sorry this happened but am soooo happy you are all safe. When my home invasion happened to me I moved out that night, I was alone 18 & scared tooo death. He chased me down the street until I could find a neighbor who was home to help me out in broad daylight. I still have a hard time feeling safe, & I am sorry that sweet Umberto had to feel unsafe.
LOVE you all!