Happy Valentine’s Day To My Beautiful Wife

The past few days have been rough ones at our house.  JSL has come down with a stomach bug that’s got him… well let’s just say both ends are experiencing unexpected exiting procedures.  So our days have been packed with worry over JSL and our nights (with JSL invading our bed) are just packed.

Needless to say, this isn’t going to be a very romantic Valentine’s Day.

Still, I wanted to send this message to the woman I love.



Also, Happy Valentine’s Day to JC Little, aka Little Animation, the creator of Pickle Weasel.

Waste of Food

wasteOn Saturday night, we went out to dinner.  It was pretty much an uneventful dinner and my eggplant parmesan tasted pretty good.  It was a big portion, however, so I decided to save half for another day.  At the time, I figured I was being frugal.  The cost of the one dinner would pay for two meals.

The curve ball came after the kids were in bed.  My stomach began cramping bad and… well, let’s just say other "symptoms" manifested which I won’t go into here to keep this from going TMI.  B told me that obviously we were going to toss out my leftover eggplant.  Even while in the midst of my possible food poisoning, the frugal part of my brain protested.  "It might not be the eggplant," it reasoned.  "It’s a shame to waste the food," it declared.

No, I’m not going to eat it.  Yes, I’m going to toss it.  Yes, I understand that I’m better off tossing the food than risking another bout of whatever-that-was.  That frugal part of my brain is still protesting that I’m contributing an awful crime of food waste by doing so, though.

The next day, for dinner, I made the boys grilled cheese sandwiches.  This is usually a safe bet, especially with picky JSL.  Grilled cheese holds a place of honor on his all-too-short list of foods that he will eat.  I even let him pick the cheese: provolone, or as he calls it "circle cheese."

I made the grilled cheese, put it by his spot (along with a sandwich for his brother), and called the boys over.  NHL ate his and asked for another (which he ate).  JSL protested.  This wasn’t what he wanted!  The cheese doesn’t taste good!  It’s the wrong color!  We spent the next hour with him pleading for "something else" and with us telling him that he couldn’t ask for one thing and then decide, after it was cooked, that he really wanted something else.

He never did eat his grilled cheese and so, as I write this the night before this post goes live, it sits here destined for the garbage.  Even though I’m full and even with my weakened stomach, that frugal part of my brain is trying to convince me to eat his sandwich so it doesn’t go to waste.

Do you feel guilty when you throw out food?

Aloha Friday: Waking Dreams

nicubunu_Emoticons_Sleeping_faceJSL has been sick the last few days.  He had a fever, was lethargic, and didn’t want to eat.  What little he did eat… well, let’s just say that it didn’t always stay in him long.  At one point, B called me at work after he woke up from a nap.  He was crying asking for his mommy.  He recognized that B was his mother, but kept asking for his "real mommy."

Later on, after dinner, I got NHL to bed.  JSL, previously, had fallen asleep on the couch.  Suddenly, he sat up and began crying for his daddy.  I picked him up and he said "Daddy?  I want my daddy!"  I asked him who I was and he answered that I was his dad.  I asked him what room we were in and he said the living room.  I asked him my first name was and he knew that.  I even asked him how many fingers I was holding up and he answered correctly.  But after all that, he kept repeating "Daddy?  I want my daddy!"  This went on for about 10 minutes while we decided whether we were going to need to go to the hospital (and, if so, what to do about the sleeping NHL in the other room).

Slowly, JSL came out of it.  He began to realize just was going on and calmed down.  He even had some fun with what just happened by saying he wanted his daddy one more time and then smiling before hugging me.  I asked him if he was having a nightmare.  He told me that he was and that he was scared of losing us.  (As he’s never lost anyone he knows to death, I think he meant "losing us" in the sense of not knowing where we are.)

In the end, we think this was the combination of some sort of waking dream and low blood sugar.  After we got him to eat some crackers, he perked up a lot.  The next day, he stayed home and went to the doctor.  The doctor didn’t find anything wrong.  No ear infection, strep, etc.  His temperature was staying down without medicine and he was eating (and acting) better.

He’s not alone in these nighttime behaviors.  NHL has had night terrors and has even been known to sleepwalk from time to time.  My parents told me about some times when I’ve walked in my sleep, talked with them, turned around, headed back to bed with no memory of the events.  One time growing up, I got out of bed, thought I was in a different room, and couldn’t exit the room.  My mother finally heard my cries and turned on the light.  In that instance, I snapped out of the waking-dream and realized just what was happening.  (I had ended up in the closet instead of the room’s door.)

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Have you ever experienced an incident like this yourself or that your kids did?

Don’t forget to enter my $25 EdenFantasys giveaway!

P.S. If you haven’t already, go visit FollowerHQ and let me know what you think of my Twitter application.

P.P.S. For a bit of fun, try my other Twitter Application, Rout. It’s a +F in Fun!

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #124

Disclaimer: The "Emoticons: Sleeping face" clipart above is from OpenClipArt.org.

Missing My Wife When The Crisis Strikes

I’m a confident father who is ready for whatever life can throw at me.  If my wife wants to go to a family event, blogging conference, or anything else, I’m more than happy to watch the kids solo.  Most times, it’s father-son-son bonding time.  Fun times at the park, going out to eat, or just hanging around watching TV.  These things I can more than handle.  I live for these moments.  However, when something doesn’t go right, though, I feel my wife’s absence.

Don’t get me wrong.  I miss her when everything’s running smoothly.  It’s just that, when things are going well, everything’s going according to plan.  I’m comfortable on-plan.  The boys are having fun, B’s having some much-deserved time off, and I’m getting extra bonding time.  It’s win-win-win-win.  When bad things start to happen, though, I miss her insights into what we should do as well as her assistance in handling matters.  I just don’t feel as sure of myself when flying solo.

On Friday, B left for a family function.  That night, after going to sleep, JSL woke up with a coughing fit.  It sounded like he was congested and having trouble breathing.  I tried getting him to settle, but it wasn’t happening so I pulled him into my bed.  Usually, this helps him breathe better since his head will be elevated more.  It didn’t seem to help much, though.  I was up half the night with him.

The next night, after talking with B on the phone, I tried to get JSL to drink some liquid children’s Mucinex.  Now, JSL is afraid of taking this medicine.  He’s afraid it’ll make him puke.  He’s so afraid that he gets himself all worked up and… you guessed it.  He puked.  All over the hard wood floor and carpet (and again in the tub.  Somehow, he missed most of his clothes.

At this point, he was not only sick, but overtired.  There was obviously no way he would take his medicine.  Normally, I would change him and then B would stay with the boys while they fell asleep and while I cleaned up the mess.  Instead, I needed to stay with them.  I tried cleaning up the hard wood floor’s mess while asking NHL to get JSL in his pajamas, but that only resulted in NHL laughing at JSL’s shirt being on backwards.  *sigh*  Over I went, corrected the error, got the boys ready for bed (teeth brushed and gone potty), and asleep.  Then, I cleaned the floor and rug.  Then, I cleaned the tub out and reexamined JSL’s clothes just to be sure.

I’m so glad that B’s home again!

A Hot New Year’s Day in the ER

I’d like to report that we had a blast partying 2010 away and B and I shared a kiss at midnight followed by more fun on New Year’s Day… I’d like to report that, but I can’t.

I came home from work on Thursday feeling tired and sick.  I chalked up the sick feeling to eating too much bad-for-me food at work too quickly.  The tiredness, I figured, was from staying up past midnight for too many nights in a row.  When I got home, on a whim, I took my temperature: 101.  I took some Motrin, climbed under the covers, and passed out for a few hours.  B took charge, got dinner ready for herself and the boys, and got them to bed.  I ate my dinner later, when I felt good enough to venture out of bed.

The next day, I had off work, but had planned to go in so I could use the day off another day.  With fever chills and an aching throat (which I had had for a few days but thought was due to sleeping with my mouth open), I e-mailed my boss to let him know I’d be out after all.  I spent most of Friday in bed or on the couch, keeping an eye on the boys while B ran errands to get needed items.  Our usual New Year’s Eve dinner is junk food, hors d’oeuvres, veggies and dip, etc.  B procured all the supplies she could gather but I wasn’t feeling up to engorging myself on them.  Though I kept Motrin in me, my fever never seemed to go away.  My usual remedy for sore throats, tea with honey did no good either. 

After the kids were in bed, I watched Back to the Future 2 and part of 3.  B fell asleep on the couch, but I woke her up in time to see the Times Square ball drop.  I didn’t kiss her as I didn’t want to give her whatever I had.  Instead we hugged.  Ah the romantic gesture of trying to keep your spouse from enduring the illness you have!

The first half of New Year’s Day, I spent in bed.  My fever still refused to drop, even with Motrin.  After much pestering from B, I drove myself to the ER.  (B would have driven me, but we had nobody to watch the kids and we didn’t want to expose them to the germs in the ER.)  I must digress for a moment to explain what a big deal my going to the ER was.  This was a Saturday.  On Saturdays, I celebrate Shabbat which for me means (among other things), no driving the car, no writing and no using my cell phone.  So for me to drive to the ER, fill out forms and let B know how I was doing via my cell was a big deal.  It meant that I thought this was more than just a small bug and could be something which required immediate medical intervention.

I sat in the waiting room shivering as if air conditioning was blowing right on me.  I zipped up my winter coat zipped up and put my gloves and hat on but I still felt freezing cold.  I could tell my fever was going up.  I had skipped my usual dose of Motrin so the fever wouldn’t be masked when I was seen.  Probably not the brightest idea when it came to keeping me comfortable.  Time seemed to crawl.  On the good side, I anticipated waiting and had brought a magazine.  On the negative side, I had brought a food magazine and the bright, colorful photos of different food dishes made me feel nauseous.  I closed the magazine and turned it over (the front page also featured food, of course).

The people who arrived just before me got called in so I could see that my time was nearly up.  I saw something else too.  Something by the seat of the people who just left.  I could swear it was money.  I was called a few minutes later.  As I walked into the triage room, I picked up the item.  It was a $5 bill.  I explained to the nurse that I thought the couple in the next room had dropped it.  She thanked me and brought it to them.  I heard something about being lucky and “playing the lotto.”  Perhaps it wasn’t theirs after all.  Oh well, I figured, that could be my good deed for the day.

The nurse came back, asked me a few questions about my symptoms, took my blood pressure and took my temperature.  Blood pressure was fine, but my temperature was 102.9.  Yikes.  No wonder I felt awful.  She left and a doctor came in shortly.  The doctor listened to my breathing, looked in my throat and decided that I had Strep Throat.  She decided to not do a culture and left.  After she left, I had second thoughts about not doing the culture.  When the nurse came in to give me the first dose of the medicines they were going to put me on (Penicillin to fight the infection and Lidocaine to numb my throat), I asked for the throat culture.  She came back with the appropriate swab and, after me warning her about my horrible gag reflex, expertly performed the culture.  I was told that I’d only be informed within 24 hours if the results are positive.  Of course, if the results are negative, that would be the bigger issue since I might require different medications to fully fight this illness.  (I have yet to hear back and it has been well over 24 hours now.)

I stopped by a pharmacy on the way home.  By then the shivering had passed.  Instead, I felt like my body was radiating heat.  I ditched my hat and gloves and strode out in the cold, winter air.  After getting my medication (and some hard candies to suck on to help my throat), I left the store to head home.  Once home I stripped down (sorry for the mental image everyone), climbed into bed, got comfortable the best I could and relaxed with a New Year’s Day Mythbusters marathon.  I intended to sleep, but I just couldn’t get comfortable enough.  Seeing Jamie, Adam, Grant, Kari, and Tory blow things up made me feel better though.  (Side note: I should really submit a myth I heard growing up: A shopping center behind my house installed a propane tank and everyone in the neighborhood was worried it would blow up and take out the entire neighborhood if it was struck by lightning.  I can definitely see the Mythbusters taking that on.)

By the time B got back and we got the kids into bed, I was feeling better.  My fever was down and my throat was feeling better.  I was getting occasional hot and cold flashes which led me to joke that I was going menopausal.  Sunday, I stayed fever free, slept until 10:30am (except for waking up at 7am to take my medicine) and even ventured out (somewhere other than the ER/pharmacy).  I just hope I didn’t pass it on to B, NHL or JSL.  Definitely *NOT* the way I wanted to spend my New Year’s weekend.

P.S. I had intended to start a new diet yesterday, but obviously recovery trumps diet.  I’m not going to gorge myself, but neither shall I watch my calories like a hawk.  That being said, I did do an initial weigh-in yesterday and was 204.5.  That’s a few pounds lower than I was when I weighed myself a short while ago (before falling ill).  Apparently, Strep helped me lose some weight.  I don’t recommend the Strep Throat Diet to anyone though!