Happy Seventh Birthday To JSL

JSL-lightsaberSeven years ago today, we welcomed JSL into the world.  B, NHL, and I all fell in love instantly with the little bundle.  Over the following years, we’ve watched him grow into a wonderful little boy.  Actually, I should correct myself here.  A wonderful big boy.

Though JSL will always be my baby to me, he’s growing up so quickly.  He’s already finishing up the first grade and getting ready to move into the second grade.  He’s a wonderful little brother.  For every moment that JSL and his brother are at each others’ throats, there are a couple of moments when they are playing video games together, reading together, or just playing together.

I’ve also watched as JSL has grown as a geek-in-training.  Last year, I introduced him to Doctor Who and he quickly fell in love.  He mourned the loss of Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor, the loss of David Tennant’s Doctor, and recently saw Matt Smith’s Doctor remove his bow tie for the last time.  He wanted a sonic screwdriver of his own and insisted that I make him a fez.  (Because fezes are cool.)

JSL also recently completed watching the Star Wars trilogies.  He loved the whole thing.  He even liked Jar Jar Binks.  (What can I say, the character might disgust me, but it is the perfect mix of silly and potty humor for kids.  Out of place in Star Wars, definitely, but perfect for kids.)  He now has a line of Jedi Force figures that he plays with constantly and foam lightsabers to battle with outside.

That’s the other thing I’m proud of with him.  His imagination.  He is constantly inventing games that his Lego minifigs and/or action figures play.  With just the refrigerator and an odd assortment of magnets, he can create vast stories and characters.  If we go to a diner, he will insist on turning his paper placemat over so he can write a detailed story about what happened during his day.  (Yes, I believe we’ve got a blogger-in-the-making.)

While JSL can be agreeable and selfless, he can also be forceful and determined.  When I told him about a tabletop game idea I had, he told me that I was not to work on it at all unless he was involved.  When I took the training wheels off his bike, he was insistent on learning to ride.  (His current record is 14 seconds pedaling on his own.  Pretty good considering he’s two been practicing for two days.)

He’s my little helper, my little geek, and my sweet little boy.  He might not be my six year old anymore, but I can’t wait to see what seven brings.

Happy birthday, JSL!

Surgery Results

On Friday, I got up, dropped NHL off at Aunt S’s house, and then went back home to pick up JSL and B.  It was almost JSL’s surgery.

We packed some toys for JSL to play with and a stuffed monkey to keep him company and went to the hospital.


There, JSL sat nervously while we had our information taken and waited our turn.  They gave JSL an armband and let him fill one out for his monkey as well.


Finally, JSL’s name was called and in we walked.  They weighed JSL and checked how tall he was.  Then they showed us to a bed.

Here, JSL changed into a hospital gown and had the procedure explained to him.  He was given a medicine (versed) that helped him relax.  Pretty soon, JSL was curling up with his stuffed monkey, ready to go to sleep.  At this point, the nurse came over and wheeled his off to surgery.


We waited anxiously for news and soon enough learned that the surgery went well and he was in recovery.  Once he was conscious again, we were allowed in.  He was still tired and complained that his throat hurt (from the tube that went down it).

He ate some popcicles, took some medicine for the pain, and eventually got to ride a wheelchair out.

popcicles_after_surgery wheelchair_jsl

Unfortunately, that’s not where the story ends.  He has developed a low grade fever and a stuffed up yet somehow  leaky-at-the-same-time nose has kept him (and by extension us) up all night long.  The doctor said this is normal and recommended some medicines to help alleviate the symptoms.

Hopefully, he feels better soon and sleeps through the night.  Otherwise, we’ll seriously test just how little sleep I can get and stay coherent.

Surgery Day


Today’s the day that we’ve been nervous about for some time: Surgery Day.  Today, JSL is going to go under general anesthesia to have his adenoids cut back, his turbinates cut out, and to have his tongue tie taken care of.  JSL is understandably nervous.  So is NHL for whom surgery is an anxiety trigger.

Truth be told, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t nervous either.  I keep saying it is a routine procedure.  I keep telling myself that it will only last an hour at most.  I keep saying that the doctors do this all the time.  I keep remembering that two of my nephews have had this done with no complications.  Still, I can’t help but be scared over what will happen.  It’s all I can do to hide my nervous feelings from JSL and NHL since I don’t want them getting even more nervous.

Have you ever had a child go in for surgery?  If so, how did you handle the nerves?

Note: The "gloved hand with scalpel" image is by johnny_automatic and is available from OpenClipArt.org.

Conflicting Messages To Santa

Santa Claus didn’t factor heavily into my life growing up.  He’s appear on countless holiday specials, and would be sitting in malls waiting for children to sit on his lap to ask for certain Christmas presents.  Being Jewish, I didn’t care for the Christmas specials and has no interest in siting on a strange man’s lap.

In fact, my feelings towards Santa didn’t end at indifference.  On Christmas eve, I would ask my father to light a fire in the fireplace.  I wasn’t intending this to be a signal or a warning to Santa Claus, but a trap.  I was actually hoping that Santa would somehow forget that we didn’t celebrate Christmas, would come down our chimney, and would get roasted.

Five years ago, my nephew came up with this idea on his own.  Yesterday, JSL brought home a letter that he wrote to Santa as part of a school project.  (I’ll leave aside for now that he was told to write a letter to Santa in his class when he doesn’t celebrate Christmas.  That’s a completely different subject.)


Here’s what he wrote:

Dear Santa,

I don’t want you to get stuck in the chimney so here is my advice: Don’t eat so much not healthy food on Christmas or on any other day.



JSL seems to want to help Santa out, not have him burned alive.  A much different sentiment expressed than the one I had for Santa when I was young.

Geek World Problems – Spray Ground Solutions

whovian-in-trainingFor the past week, JSL has been a bit grumpy.  It all started on my birthday.  As part of my birthday gifts, B and the boys got me a sonic screwdriver.  JSL decided that he loved it so much that he wanted one of his own.  Only, he wanted the tenth Doctor’s sonic screwdriver.  Not the eleventh like I had.

At every opportunity, he’d remind us about his desire for his own sonic.  Every store we went to, he would inquire whether or not they carried Doctor Who merchandise.  If they did, he would complain loudly about how he wanted a sonic screwdriver SO MUCH!

I really felt for my little Whovian.  The geek in me wanted to buy him a sonic screwdriver – or at least let him use some of his saved up gift card money to buy one.  The parent in me, however, knew how this would proceed.  He would play with the sonic screwdriver for a few days – a week tops – and then it would get dropped in the heap of toys that he ignores when he complains about how bored he is.

(As a side note: This is the second Doctor Who-related obsession.  Before my birthday, he wanted bow ties to give to his stuffed animals… and he wanted REAL bow ties from the men’s department.  Whovian or not, I wasn’t going to spend $35 each on stuffed animal bow ties!  Thankfully, this demand seems to have died down.)

Yesterday was particularly bad.  I took JSL out to look for some presents for his brother’s upcoming birthday.  We were hunting some blind bag Doctor Who figures that NHL had expressed a desire for.  Unfortunately, they were sold out as is every other place in the area.  (We’d order them online, but for items like this the shipping can cost as much as the item itself.  Besides, he’s getting something else Doctor Who for his birthday – shhhhhh!)

JSL did not take this shopping trip well.  Here we were standing in a store with loads of Doctor Who items and I was steadfastly refusing to buy him anything.  What’s more, I was adding insult to injury by implying that we might buy multiple things for NHL.  What a horrible dad I am!

JSL was in such a horrid mood that we went home immediately and he got sent to his room to calm down.  After awhile, we thought that perhaps an outdoor activity was warranted.  After all, it was sunny and warm out.  Summer doesn’t last forever and we need to take advantage of these warm days while we can.  So we went to a local spray grounds.

A magical transformation occurred as we headed out.  Gone was Grumpy JSL and in his place was Happy JSL.  The boys splashed, ran, and had a massive amount of fun.  I only found myself wishing that they would be so enthusiastic about water pouring over their heads when they were in the shower as when they were at the spray grounds.


Sadly, spray ground fun can’t last forever and we did head home.  Even more sadly, the spray ground high didn’t last.  Soon enough, Grumpy Whovian JSL was back bemoaning his lack of a sonic screwdriver.

At this point, I’m thinking that I need to look through Pinterest for make-your-own sonic screwdriver ideas.  Perhaps modeling clay with sparkles (for the "light") or something similar.  Sure, it won’t look exactly like the show’s, it won’t light up, and it won’t make sounds.  However, it also won’t need batteries and will be something they make themselves.  This might make it even more special to them.  We might wind up gathering around the TV for the next episode of Doctor Who with all of our sonic screwdrivers in hand.

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