Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Me v. Harry Chapin

In my short time upon this earth, I've done a fair number of chest-hair inducing things. I've flown planes, both powered and non (gliders), I've ridden and been thrown from horses, shot a fair number of guns, bows, and other missile-type weapons, started fires, been in fist-fights, raced cars, climbed mountains, righted and commandeered a capsized boat, performed home-surgery, replaced a timing belt, run a 10K, and even driven a train.

I watched the birth of my child, have held his vomit, poop, and urine in my hands and gone back to finish a meal. I marshaled his trip to the hospital when he split his brow.

I travelled in foreign countries by myself for a month.

I've had friends and family die from fire, violence, and protracted illness.

I've lived up to some pretty tough challenges. But Harry Chapin ain't one of 'em.

About a year ago, I heard "Cat's in the Cradle" on the radio for probably the 150'th time, but I'd never really listened to the lyrics before. Oh my god. By the end of the song, I was fighting back tears and clutching my child to me.

Now I start sobbing like a little girl by the 3rd verse, and it seems to be getting worse each time I hear it. I'm unable to change the station or just turn the damned radio off, like somehow the song serves as a warning that I must hear in its entirety.

So yeah: I'm a total panty-waist. Damn you Harry Chapin!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2 Years!

This time 2 years ago, Amanda and I were settling into the recovery room and trying to find a way to get some rest. We'd seen our son for all of about 10 minutes, and all of that time he'd been screaming.

A year ago, he was just starting to use some simple words like "ball" and "daddy", a few days from walking, and had just a few teeth.

Today we have a little madman. He runs, he tries to jump, he sings, dances, speaks in (almost) full sentences, complete with subject, verb, direct & indirect objects, prepositions, and a budding understanding of tense. He has favorite activities, loves to wrestle and watch football, has a full set of 16 teeth, and navigates the stairs pretty much on his own.

His memory is preternatural: he only has to see an intersection once to know that it's on the way to one place or another; he remembers each and every place he's ever seen a tractor, excavator, or skid steer; and he remembers the names of people he met back in July.

(I don't mean to brag, but I've only done this kid thing once, so it all seems absolutely amazing to me.)

Saturday we had a party for him at my dad's new house. We started it shortly before his normal nap-time, and had lots of friends and family in attendance. The theme this year was "Cars" (as in the Pixar movie), and he had a Cars cake, plates, toys, napkins, and t-shirt. Big hits included Mack, Luigi & Guido, and Fillmore. He also got his first pirate ship (the Backyardigans), a couple of toy helicopters, clothing, books, and a trike. Not just a trike, but a Trek Trikester:

He loves it, but unfortunately hasn't been able to ride it yet. It's been so bloody cold that he's had to content himself with a couple of rides in his new wagon and cruising around the living room on his Lightning McQueen ride-on car.

Happy birthday, Alastair!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Can't Catch a Break

So it seems that my domination of 2008 health scores continues. None shall trump me!

Sunday I awoke to find that I wasn't coughing. Alleluia! My bronchitis was gone! I spent the whole day waiting for the hack-attacks to start, and while I coughed a few times, I never ended up sounding like an emphysema patient.

I headed to bed excited about the prospect of going to work healthy.

Then I noticed the heat was out. Our furnace was blowing cold air. I went and saw that there was no flame, and the blower was running constantly. Great.

So I went to bed (our house takes a while to lose its heat). I awoke at 5:30 feeling a little warm, a little woozy, and just a hair nauseated. Oh well, whatever; I took advantage of my early waking to hit the shower and begin my morning. I got dressed, headed downstairs, made plans for calling a furnace repair-man, and pulled out the materials to make my breakfast. For some reason, though, just looking at the english muffins made me think better of eating.

Alastair got up, I went and sat with him for a couple of minutes, and then it hit me. I was going to throw up. Not in a few minutes, but right now. I plopped the boy on the floor, ran to the bathroom, and barely had time to open the toilet.

I think I slept about 20 hours on Monday, give or take. When I wasn't sleeping, I was huddled in the bathroom, trying to eat crackers, or crying silently. It was probably just about the worst I've ever felt. Every single time I got out of bed, I wound up getting sick. I wasn't sure if I was dizzy or not, but I definitely had no equilibrium. At one point I resolved to get to Patient First, just to see if there was anything they could do for me. I donned a pair of pants, laid back down, grabbed my pillow and slowly crawled down the stairs, laid down on the floor with my pillow, and gave up in tears. Yeah, it sucked.

Amanda slept downstairs to avoid whatever cooties I had, and I developed a nice little fever to go along with all my other problems.

Tuesday was convalescent care. No more puking, but still very little eating. I think I've had 3.5 pieces of bread, 6 crackers, 2 little cups of applesauce, and a bowl of chicken noodle soup in the past 2 days, and that includes this morning's breakfast.

But today I'm back at work. I feel better, mostly. I'm still a bit nervous about eating, but hopefully some lunch solution will present itself soon.

My darling wife took wonderful care of me throughout it all. Thanks, Babe!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Health Scores for 2008!

Off to a roaring start, we are! (So, technically this started in the last week of '07, but it's still playing out now, so suck it)

Bad cold
Double ear infection
radial head subluxation (nursemaid's elbow - 3-hour stint in the Emergency Room)

Bad cold
Acute bronchitis

Nothing! I swear, I spend all night long coughing on her, Alastair gets his snot all over her, and she's fine. What gives?

On a different not altogether, I listened to my 12th Night CD for the first time today (read wife's blog for the full story, or catch the footnote at the end). Mine was made by P'Nut, and while I didn't recognize many of the artists on the sleeve, I've been pleased. I expected more of a club-music feel, given what I remember of some of P'Nut's parties, but all in all it's fairly mainstream. The tone starts a bit longingly, with several songs about dissatisfaction in love, but then picks up a really party tempo in the middle.

Unfortunately I had the windows down on the way home, so I really wasn't able to focus on the tunes toward the end of the mix, but shockers included one Paris Hilton tune (not my speed) and one from a string quartet. I hope to listen to it again tomorrow, and hopefully I'll find some deeper purpose to the arrangement of tunes. Or maybe not. Who knows?

I really dig the 7-11 song, and Dame Shirley Bassey's cover of "Get the Party Started."

Footnote: This year's 12th Night party had an admission fee: a mix CD. Theme, no theme, whatever. I'm waiting for a reply from Mr. Gohlke before posting about my own mix, but I plan to do so soon.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year

12th Night is nigh upon us, and while I've completed my mix CD, I'm not completely over my cold, so my excitement has yet to swell. Alastair is still doing his fun "Hey, it's the middle of the night; let's party!" routine, too, although I seem to have developed the ability to sleep through the sounds of a screaming baby (that's a skill!).

But I'm not going to be a Debbie Downer. Not this early in the year. I'm still full of the false hope that with a new year comes new chances for improvement, a fresh start, and all the other blither that's been euphemized to death.

I have an 8th anniversary to look forward to, my son's 2nd birthday, my own 32nd, and hopefully some positive automotive experiences. I have a whole new year to spend with my wife, to play with the cats, and to wrestle with Alastair.

So I'm happy. Really, I am.

Except for all this Microsoft testing crap, the impending recession I've been hearing about, the declining value of the US Dollar, the raping of the Earth for "environmentally friendly" ethanol, the world's hatred of the US, my son's inability to sleep through the night, and my wife's insomnia, I predict a great year! So happy 2008!

Party hard, and insist that your employers pay you in Euros!