A Fun and Busy Weekend

To say this weekend was not a hectic one would be a lie. In all honesty, the entire month has been busy for Sam and me. Sam has been running back and forth to various doc appointments and helmet appointments, plus helping her folks out with her sister. Both of us are running on little to no sleep. How we are making in through our nights at work and our days at home, I really have no idea.

Sam was up early on Saturday. I cam home and slept about 3 hours before having to get up and get my son. I picked him up at his mom’s house and then we drove to Sam’s parents’ house. She was there with Ella and Andrew helping out with her sister. I picked up Ella and came back home.

It was beautiful on Saturday! There was a lot of sunshine and it was close to 80 degrees. Ella wanted to play outside, so she ran around the yard playing with her toys as Dimitri and I worked on a couple projects. The biggest project was the swing set that Sam bought for the kids. It took about 3 hours to put together and I was pretty impressed with it.

Back in the day, I remember my dad having to dig or drill holes for the swing set poles to set into. Then he’d have to pour cement in them and it had to dry before we could use it. This set was neat. It had “shoes” that went on the bottom of each leg. There was a stake that you “screwed” into the ground and then you bolted the shoe to the stake. That thing is solid, let me tell you! I was pretty impressed.

Ella loves going to the park and swinging on the swings and Andrew had never been on one. We ordered a toddler swing to go put on it (it came with one) so both kids could swing at the same time. They absolutely loved it!!

The kids got to swing for a bit and then we went in and had dinner. We all went to bed early, because we were all wiped out.

Sam had to work Sunday, so she was up for a bit and then went back to try to get some sleep. So I decided to take the kids for a walk before it rained. Ella wanted to take her baby doll for a walk too. So I loaded up Andrew in the double stroller and she grabbed her baby doll and we walked the neighborhood.

What made me really smile was to see the people who were passing by in cars looking at Ella, waving at her and smiling. It was awesome. She really enjoyed being able to walk her baby. After we got home, we played outside for a while. Andrew was so interested in everything. He loved just playing around on the blanket out on the lawn.

I had planned on Dimitri staying until the evening, but I guess he had some dinner to go to. So Dante’ came to pick him up and take him to the dinner. Dante’ is working a lot and going to college, so it is rare for me to see them both together. Even though it was just for a few minutes, it was nice to have them both there. I had to fight them to get them to pose for a picture!

Dimitri helped me put the swing set together and also helped me take down the remainder of the Christmas lights. Yes, I know, it is almost May! That should tell you just how crazy life has been our way. On the days I wanted to get out and do it, it was either freezing, raining, and most recently – snowing! I’m glad they are finally down!

He also helped me move some furniture around. Andrew is having some separation issues. It has been a challenge to do anything without him attached to us. If we are not in the same room with him, he loses it. He’s never really slept well if it isn’t in our arms or in our bed. So we moved the crib to our bedroom, got him his own sound machine, and hoped that he’d start sleeping in it.

Yep. That’s his crib … at the end of our bed! I’m really hoping that he gets into that crib sooner than later. Sam and I would welcome a night of sleep without getting a helmet to the head or kicks in the stomach.

Finally, some big news that is NOT family related…

As a life long Detroit Tiger Fan, it was very cool to hear that Miguel Cabrera joined an elite club on Saturday. He got his 3000th hit! Miggy has certainly made baseball fun to watch here in Michigan. Now, we just need to get back to the World Series – and win it! Congrats, Miggy!!

Weekend Wrap Up

What a crazy weekend! As much as I hate not getting a lot of sleep, I have to admit that some of the funniest stories I write about are due to lack of sleep. Take Saturday for example:

We needed groceries and a few things, so Sam went to the store. On her way home, she texted me, “On my way. I have Easter things. Like bubbles and chocolate, so watch it unloading.” So when she got home, I go out to start unloading the van. She sent Ella outside because she has been cooped up inside. The first thing she sees is two books that Sam bought. She looks up and me as says, “Go inside and read books?”

So she walks in with the books. Sam looks at me like, “what the hell?” I told her she spotted them and wanted to come inside and read them. Sam told me that she was going to put them in her Easter basket. I had no idea.

A few days ago, Sam mentioned getting some rain boots for Ella so she could splash around outside. There was a pair in the back of the van and when I walked in I said, “Looks like mommy bought some rain boots” as I held them up. Sam shoots me another look and says, “Those were for Easter, too!” “Easter things” to me are chocolate, candies, etc… I had no idea the boots or books were Easter things.

Needless to say, she has worn her rain boots almost every day since!

The day became even more uncomfortable when I had to have a talk with my middle son. It was one of those “Dad/Teen” talks that made us both squirm as we talked. I remember my dad and I having a similar talk when I was about his age. It had to happen, I just wish I had been a little more prepared for it.

Andrew had his first taste of real food this weekend. Carrots to start. I was really surprised at how well he did. With each day, he gets better and better at eating. I loved seeing the “this stuff is so much better than the stuff in the bottle you keep giving me” smile!

Even though it hasn’t been that long since Ella was in the high chair, I had already forgotten just how messy feeding the baby can be!

At one point this weekend, Sam just happened to have both kids on her lap. I snapped this one and I just love it.

Monday morning, Ella walks over to me as I am sitting in the living room. “Daddy needs socks,” she says. Then she proceeds to put one of AJ’s socks on my foot and walks away. “You did it, Daddy!” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at how it looked!

Andrew has been getting up earlier than Ella the past week or so. Him and I were already out in the living room playing on the floor when I saw that she was awake in the monitor. So I went to go get her. As I brought her out to the living room and she says, “Play with Bubby (that’s what she calls him)?” So I put her down and she went over to his toy box and dumped it out. She sat down and started playing with him. It was truly a heartwarming moment!

Looking ahead

You may recall a while back that my buddy, Max, wrote a couple “guest” blogs for me. His topic was the Beatles. I have said to him numerous times that I want to write a Beatles-themed blog, but just haven’t had the chance to really think about what to write. There are so many things I could do.

Well, Max and I are taking part in some musically themed blogs with our friend Dave. He will offer a topic and we (and a few other bloggers) will be writing on those things. For the first topic – he chose the Beatles. He has a specific angle he is shooting for, but he is also giving us a bit of freedom within that theme. So I am sitting her scratching my head on just how to tackle it. That should be posting within the next week, so hopefully I have something ready by then….

Thanks for reading!

Aaargh You Excited? Absolutely!

As the title of this blog suggests – I am excited. I have a couple things to be excited about and I wanted to share them with you. I guess I should explain the whole pirate flag first …

What Kind of Shoes Go With a Peg Leg?

My job often requires us to put in for time off months in advance. This is never an easy thing for me, because quite frankly I barely know what I am doing next week. At any rate, a day or two after the May schedule was posted, I found out about an event coming up that I had to go to!

There is a nature preserve and arboretum near us that is having a Daddy/Daughter event. It fell on a day that I work, so I hurried and put in a request to swap days if possible. Luckily, my boss was able to switch my schedule for the day so that I could go to this with Ella. I didn’t know much about the event, other than it has a pirate theme. Honesty, I thought it was a Daddy/Daughter dance with a pirate theme, but I don’t think that is the case now. Either way, I am excited to have a special night with my little girl.

I may have to do some searching on the internet for a pirate costume! When I thought about it, I remembered that there was an episode of Ella’s favorite show, Bubble Guppies that featured Alice Cooper (Yes, THE Alice Cooper) as a pirate named Windy Pete. Maybe we could go dressed like they did in that episode?

Of course, Windy Pete has a penguin, who he thinks is a parrot in the show. I might look a little funny with a penguin on my shoulder.

… and ear muffs! I would look weird as a pirate with ear muffs.

I can’t even begin to tell you how very excited I am to have this Daddy/Daughter event to look forward to in a few months!

Celebrating 4 Years

My wedding anniversary is coming up on Saturday. I am excited to be able to share some time with my wife. Our schedules do not allow for us to spend time together often. The schedules work well for minimizing the need for child care, but husband/wife time is lacking.

Having two children under 2 has really taken a lot out of both of us. We were lacking good sleep before, but it has reached a whole new level of tiredness. Lack of sleep is not good for anyone, and as sleep technologists we are well aware of the issues go along with that. We both tend to be a bit shorter with each other. Little things tend to get under our skin a bit more. All of it is due to our lack of sleep.

That being said, I decided that I wanted to make sure to do something special for our anniversary. My wife deserves it. I don’t know how she does it. I wish I could afford to have someone come over and watch the kids so she could sleep. She hasn’t really ever had a break and we’re both feeling the stress – her more than me!

I have never been the best gift giver. 9 times out of 10, she knows what I get before I even give it to her. I guess I really suck at that. I also am not the best at coming up with interesting things to do. I’m not sure why, but I kinda suck at that too.

I began a search of all of the nearby theaters a few weeks ago. I was hoping that somewhere there would be a play, a concert, or event we could go see. We had been talking about seeing the Symphony, but that show falls on a Sunday and she works. The only thing that I found happening on Saturday near us was a hockey game. I’m sure she wouldn’t enjoy that as much as I would (and it is not about me, but about her, so hockey was out)!

Interrupting to tell a funny story

I had taken $100 out of our account and stuck it in my wallet to use for our anniversary. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing yet, but I wanted to have it ready. I had taken Andrew to the doctor and Sam gave me her insurance card. I put it back in my coat pocket to give back to her and forgot to do so when we got back. When I was sleeping before work, Sam was making appointments and needed the numbers off her card. So she went looking for it. No big deal, she knows the places I usually put my wallet, so she looked for her card – and found the $100.

Caught Red Handed!

When I woke up, she said she was looking for her card and asked why I had $100 in my wallet. I was so surprised that she found it, I fumbled around trying to lie my way out of why I had it. “It must have been in there for a long time and I forgot about it!” LOL – who the hell am I trying to kid?! She is my wife and knows me better than anyone! She knew I was flubbing my way through! I finally told her I was saving it for our anniversary. I should have just come out and told her, but I didn’t want her knowing I was spending that much.

This Saturday

As far as Saturday night, I knew I was going to take her to dinner. We always go to Lucky’s Steakhouse, which we love, but I wanted to do something a bit different. Some co-workers and friends offered up some really neat places (which I plan on going to in the future), but I wanted to stay semi close to home so we weren’t out all night. We have a sitter, and I know she’s totally ok with us being out late, but I know Sam would feel better if we were close.

So I have two things planned – one is dinner and the other is a surprise. I really hope that she is going to like it. I can’t wait to go. She knows what towns we are going to and keeps questioning “What is there that we can do?” She’s pretty good at figuring stuff out, so I hope that she doesn’t before Saturday.

I also ordered her a couple gifts. One has already arrived (and needs to be wrapped). The other is something that probably won’t arrive before Saturday. Again, she probably has some sort of idea about what I may have gotten her, so I hope she doesn’t figure it out. I wish that I could give gifts like she does. She hears me mention something off the cuff and stuffs it away in her mental filing cabinet until she needs it and then always surprises me. But she can always figure mine out. Example: We were at Target the other day. She saw that her favorite author, Jodi Picoult, had a new book out. I immediately think “I need to buy this for her.” If I hand her a gift bag, she will know that it is that book. (For the record – I did NOT buy that book for her! Now, I may at a later date, but not for our anniversary.

I am truly excited to have a day/night with my wife. I know she would be happy just walking the mall (as a matter of fact, she told me that!), but I am really hoping to make the day special for her. I need to make sure that I find something that we can do together at least once a month. We need a date night. It is easy to lose “us” time with two kids, and “us” is SO important right now.

I can’t wait!

That was “interesting” … and uncomfortable!

Remember a while ago when I blogged about working midnights? Yesterday was an example of just what kind of toll it can take on a person when you don’t get a lot of sleep. Let me tell you about it.

Because I wanted to make sure I spent some time with Ella for her birthday, my sleep consisted of naps Thursday. On a typical day, the amount of sleep I got would get me through the night at work and through the drive home. Once home, I could just go right to bed.

Last night, my patient was a difficult one. Not difficult as far as personality or anything like that, but difficult in the sense of “challenging.” The study was one that kept me on my toes and busy all night. By the time I was ready to clock out, I was exhausted and ready to go home.

Sam knew that I had limited sleep and she called me to make sure I was ok to drive home. Around 7:50am, another call beeped in. I saw on the Caller ID that the Hospital was calling me. In a fog, I put Sam on hold and answered it. “Is this Mr. Keith?” the voice asked me. I told her it was me and she told me that I had missed my appointment.

At that moment, the midnight guy in me came out as I realized it was not Thursday anymore (despite the fact that in my mind it was), but Friday. I had scheduled a Covid Test for Friday morning, because I have a minor surgery coming up on Tuesday. “Oh my gosh, it is Friday! I am so sorry!” I told the woman on the line. She asked if I could still make it, because they could find a way to squeeze me in.

The problem was that I was almost home and a good hour away from where I had scheduled the test! I asked if I could do it the Saturday morning, but that would be too late. It had to be done this morning. Now I begin to panic. I panic because I have already planned transportation, took time off work, and got everything in order so that I can get this surgery done. No Covid test – no surgery.

The gal explained that if I go to any urgent care and have it done, they will usually email results. The problem is, because I am not having symptoms, they may charge me. So that is out. I remembered that there was a Beaumont Urgent Care about 30-45 minutes away (which is a little closer) and that if they did it, the results would be readily available in my chart for the docs to see. I wouldn’t have to worry about printing off an email or getting a piece of paper with results to bring with me to the surgery. The gal said that it should be ok to go there. So I jump off Northbound I-75 and get back on Southbound I-75 and head to the urgent care.

While the roads weren’t terrible, it was a slow go because of the snow that came down this morning. By the time I turned around and headed south, the roads seemed to be more wet than slippery. Luckily, they were able to get me in as a “walk in” and there was no one waiting. I would say I was there about 20 minutes – tops.

I’m not sure if it was the panic I had experienced earlier or what, but despite being exhausted, I actually felt awake. The nurse took my blood pressure (which was spot on – 122/81) and then the PA came in. He looked in the nose and throat, listened to my lungs, and then said they’d be in to swab.

This was my first Covid swab and up until now I only know what I have read from people who had it done. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The gal came in and asked me to put my head back and she began to swab.

When she finished with the first nostril I thought, “That wasn’t so bad.” It wasn’t until she did the other nostril that I really felt anything weird. I’m not even sure “weird” describes it well. Was there any pain? No. It tickled like crazy and immediately brought tears to my eyes. I was stumped as to why I didn’t get that sensation after the first nostril was done. Once my eyes started watering and the swab was removed I started feeling something even stranger. I am not sure I can explain it.

Burning? No. Tickling? A bit. Itching? I wouldn’t call it that, although I had to pinch my nose and tweek it so the feeling would go away. It was almost like a sneeze without the sneeze. It was just bizarre! Maybe you can help me describe it better. If so, please chime in!

By the time I got home it was after 10am. I don’t have to tell you that once my head hit the pillow I was out cold. What a morning!

So now I wait. As of 5pm today, no results yet. I’m not worried, as I have no symptoms, but I’ll keep on checking …

Be careful for nothing …

I needed to read this verse tonight. The Greek word translated “careful” in verse 6 is (μεριμνάω) merimnáō. It literally means “to be anxious” or “to be troubled with cares.” Anxious is defined: experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. So the verse is saying “Don’t be anxious about anything!” “Don’t be full of worry!” It is easier said than done sometimes.

I haven’t really said anything on here or really anywhere about this, but I think my anxiety level is starting to rise a bit too much. Ever get that feeling like things are closing in on you? Feel like you are surrounded by things that are just out of your control? That’s kind of where I am right now. I’ve been in this place before, and have been able to get it under control. It just feels like the things I was able to do to get them under control, aren’t helping like they did before.

Admittedly, there are things that I know contribute to this. Lack of sleep, for example. I am just not getting enough, and won’t be getting enough for some time. With a baby on the way, and a toddler, I’ll be grabbing sleep in little chunks for a while. What is bothersome to me about sleep is that instead of getting my usual 5-6 hours, I am waking up a lot, usually from weird dreams. Then my mind won’t shut off long enough about other things to let me fall back to sleep.

I made the choice some time ago to stop watching the news. This really helped eliminate much of the barrage of Covid stories that I was seeing. Covid and just the fear and uncertainty that came with it led to me having a breakdown a year ago. Staying away from those stories helped. However, my phone continues to “ding” throughout the day and night with Covid stories from Yahoo News and other apps. Then there is the constant stories that friends share on Facebook.

Let me put it this way, I can see why many people are choosing to leave Facebook. There is so much misinformation, countless arguments, and hatred within my newsfeed daily. I have muted or snoozed many people because of it. That doesn’t stop it, though. Any time a post mentions “Covid” or “Vaccine” there is a link that automatically shows up.

Then you have the fight between people who are pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine. This falls into the same category as whether you should wear a mask or not. It is amazing how polarizing this is. It is almost as polarizing as what we saw during the past few elections. Pro/Anti Trump. Pro/Anti Biden. There has always been divisions in our country, but it seems that it in society today, if someone disagrees with you, it leads to hatred and violence. I know way too many friendships that have been broken because of the failure to “agree to disagree”

I digress. If I am being honest, I am beginning to feel overwhelmed again. I know that I shouldn’t, yet I do. I need to take those verses and focus on them. I know that is where I will find peace.

Remember the opening of the Twilight Zone where all the things are spiraling around?

That is how I feel on a daily basis and it is taking my focus away from where it needs to be! I feel like I am surrounded by Covid and cancer and the deaths that they bring about. I feel like the vaccine is being talked about everywhere – whether the talk is good or bad. Then we have all the stuff that is going on in the Middle East, Earthquakes and natural disasters. I seem to have daily conversations with people about whether or not we are in the Biblical End Times. It is overwhelming.

THEN factor in that my wife and I are are expecting a baby and the pregnancy has had its share of scares and worry. Those worries outweigh ALL of the others. As mentioned in a pervious blog, those worries were put at ease to some degree with the latest ultrasound. However, we have 8 weeks left and I still have some concerns.

My mind is one big muddled mess at times.

I am struggling to remember things. I zone out during conversations for no reason at all. I can listen to something or read something over and over and not comprehend what I just heard/read. I’m scared about some things right now. I will spare you the details of that.

I’m hoping to dig myself out of the rut and get back to normal. I have the support of my wife and family. I have the support of my Christian friends. I have God on my side. I will do my best to “let go and let God.”

Thank you for allowing me to vent.