Archive for February, 2008

Ben Fever

February 28, 2008

What a worry Ben has been the past day.  He was running a fever after coming home from work on Tuesday, but Ben seemed to be in good spirits by the time he went to bed, so we just hoped for the best.  At about 2:30am he was running a temperature of 101.7, so Jet planned on taking him to the doctor first thing in the morning.  When Jet arrived at the doctor’s office, there were about 15 kids already there.  Since Ben’s fever was gone and Jet didn’t want Ben to catch anything that the kids in the waiting room had, she decided to come back home and hope for the best.  By the time I got home from work yesterday, he was starting to run a little fever again, but by the time he went to bed, he seemed to cool down a bit and appeared fine.  At 3:00am this morning (Thursday) I noticed that Ben seemed a bit warm again and his temperature was 104.7.  We changed Ben into lighter clothes and let him sleep with us until the morning.  By that time Ben was really hurting and appeared like he just wanted to let us know how much he wasn’t feeling good.  Jet took Ben to the doctor first thing in the morning and only had to wait behind only about 10 kids.  I guess the flu is going around pretty bad in Alabama right now.  The doctor found that Ben’s iron level was low, but did not notice any apparent cause of his fever and was a bit concerned since he had been on anti-biotics over the past week and was still running a fever.  The doctor then had Ben go to the emergency room for blood and urine tests as well as x-rays of his chest.  Ben was pretty sore and complaining when I got home from work this afternoon, but he now has no fever (is now on Motrin) and otherwise is in good spirits.  Hopefully this will be something that will pass real soon.

I took some pictures of the trees that blew over across the street from us so you can see the extent of the damage.  It’s hard to believe that all this damage (and also around the area) was caused by a 10 minute storm.  Donald said that the trees were easier to uproot because of the recent rains we had that has made the ground very soft.  I guess those trees never stood a chance against those 80mph wind-shears we experienced.  Just one other thing to note, there were snow flurries out when I was driving to work yesterday.  With the cooler temperatures we are now getting (40’s yesterday, 50’s today), you guys up north can take your weather back!

Where’s Our Garbage?

February 26, 2008

Jet called me at work today and asked me just that – “where’s our garbage?”  She searched all around our house and had no luck.  It was only at night when she was driving through the neighborhood and found it – about 400 yards away from the house!  Jet told me that there were several trees down across the street from us and that there was damage to a few of the houses.  We were left unharmed and with no damage.  What a punch that little storm had this morning!

Ben was running a fever when I got home this evening, which seems to have improved now after eating dinner and some tylenol.  All the while he has been in pretty good spirits, which makes me think it is a part of teething.  We’ll see if it something more tonight/tomorrow morning.

Stormy Morning

February 26, 2008

We were awoken at 4:30am by the warning sirens, and after not hearing what the warning was for but knowing something was happening as there was a ton of lightning and thunder, I turned on the TV to a shock of them showing a storm about 5 minutes from hitting Anniston!  It was only about a minute later that the weatherman said that it was only a severe thunderstorm warning (not a tornado warning) and that it would quickly pass by us.  And that it did.  In about 10 minutes time, we had small-sized hail, heavy rains, and tremendous gusts of wind.  And then it was over.  Then 10 minutes later, the power went out.  After trying hard to go back to sleep, I decided to just get up and head off to work.  It was really interesting trying to get dressed and to pick out clothes in the dark.  I wasn’t sure what I chose to wear, or if it even matched, until after I manually opened our garage door and stepped outside.  Whew … I matched.

Jet’s Thai cooking class went wonderful for her last night.  She got back at a little after 9:00pm, but she was very excited to tell me how things went.  Jet even had the student evaluations with her and she received nothing but high praise and the highest ratings “excellent” from all of the students.  Outstanding.

Surgery Went Well

February 22, 2008

Just wanted to give a quick update from today … the surgery went well.  Jet is pretty sore now and is on pain medications, but she is at home resting.  Her doctor said to keep her feet up pretty much until Tuesday … a problem since Jet’s Thai cooking class is on Monday and we need to go to Atlanta to get groceries this weekend.  The doctor said that they will get the lab results from the tissue that they removed by the middle to end of next week, and that if she doesn’t contact Jet, that is good news.  Let’s hope for good news.  Unfortunately for Jet, no exercise for the next two weeks – strict doctor’s order.  And it’s too bad also now that Ben is just fine being left at the day care while Jet exercised.  Well, I hope Jet is able to get a lot of rest this weekend, is comfortable, and that we don’t have any new news to pass on next week.


February 20, 2008

There is going to be a lunar eclipse tonight, which would be nice to see, however, we may have clouds rolling in by then.  It has been in the 60’s and will continue to be in the 60’s for the next week, but what will change are those clouds and the rain that comes with them.  I heard the expert weatherman James Spann mention in a weather segment earlier this week that we are now in a pattern where we will have strong storms, good weather for four days, then strong storms again.  Well, if there is a good side to that prediction is that we should be regularly getting rain down here.

On Monday night Jet noticed a runny nose on Ben.  With reports of the flu going around, Jet has really been on top of this.  She gave Ben Tylenol at the first sign of the runny nose, then yesterday when Ben’s runny nose got a bit worse, she called in the doctor’s office and prescription medication to go after it.  Talk about a full-court press.  It has been a good month since anyone of us has been sick, and thinking back on it, it seems much longer than that.  I just hope that Ben get’s over this quick and doesn’t pass it on to Jet or me.  The worst part of this for Ben is having to wipe his nose.  He hates that very much.  After you wipe his nose, he wants to cry and complain about it for about 5 minutes.

Not much else new around here.  Ben appears to be getting another bottom tooth.  He also likes to bring me books so that I can read them to him.  Ben will go find a book, hand it to me (or tug on my leg until he gets my attention), I will sit down on the floor, Ben will hop on my lap, and I will read him the book.  Well, I read him the book until he gets bored.  Sometimes that happens after only a page or two.  Ben is still working on being a big helper.  Once we leave Donald and Linda’s house in the evening, Ben is now able to pick-up all of the toys that he took out and put them away.  He also puts away some of the toys at our house after he is finished with them.  I hope we can continue to train him to be good at doing chores around the house.

Happy (Belated) Valentine’s!

February 16, 2008

Yes, happy (belated) Valentine’s day to all … two full days late.  For Valentine’s this year, Jet surprised me with a donut and card waiting for me in my car – a nice surprise as I usually leave very early in the morning before anyone else is awake.  Of course I chided Jet for getting me a ‘sweet’ as a gift, but she said that since it is Valentine’s day, I should make an exception.  Who’s to argue with the boss?  I ended up getting Jet a dozen chocolate covered strawberries and she also seemed pretty surprised, 1) they almost popped out at her when she opened the refrigerator in the evening, and 2) that I remembered that she liked chocolate covered strawberries.  You’d be surprised how hard they were to find around here, but Linda helped me out and found a nice little bakery nearby that hooked me up.  It was such a nice little bakery that I think we might make a return visit soon – at least until after Lent for me.

Yes, no fish fry, you got me.  Well, it will be in the 70’s today and tomorrow, you know, just your average winter weekend in Alabama.  What is the weather like in Milwaukee?  He he he.  At least I can just go to the store and buy some fish, now can you buy some nice weather?  You could, if you would buy a plane ticket down here!  He he he.  In all seriousness, I terribly miss Friday fish fry’s with everyone up in Milwaukee.  They are just something that cannot be replicated down here.  Jet made an awesome catfish lunch for me yesterday so that I was able to make it without meat and also enjoy some of the comforts of home.  On Monday night, the lodge will be having their yearly past-master’s ceremony … simply an event to honor past master’s of the lodge.  They will be serving catfish with all of the fixin’s.  I am in Alabama, but I am not without fried fish.

Today (Saturday) there will be a ceremony at the lodge and both Jet and Ben are invited to attend.  I think the main course will be roast beef, but I will get back to you with those details later.  It should be a good meal with plenty of desserts.  With the weather the way that it has been, I am sure that we will be out and about today as well, perhaps getting a nice walk in at Oxford lake.  Ahhh, the spoils of the south.  I hope everyone fares well if the weather takes a turn for the worse in Milwaukee.

Wild Child

February 13, 2008

How quickly Ben can turn from inquisitive to a terror!  It only seemed like yesterday when he was first able to walk, and until recently, it was simply to check out new things or to have some fun.  Now it appears Ben is simply trying to get us agitated.  We stopped by Donald and Linda’s on Monday afternoon and all Ben wanted to do was wreak havoc on Linda’s poor plants.  What will be next?  A stern “no” still works at times, but it really seems that Ben is trying to test his boundaries at any chance he gets.

The weather cooled down a bit today after being in the 70’s for the past several days – only in the 50’s today.  It will warm up again starting tomorrow, but our concern is for our flowers since with the warm temperatures, all of our tulips have already started to grow and almost appear ready to bloom.  The weather has been great for getting our walks in.  I still use the Baby Bjorn carrier for Ben, but who would think only a few pounds more than a few months ago would make such a big difference.  At nearly 22 pounds, my back gets sore after carrying him around for a while.  With the good weather conditions (after my right calf is in better shape) I will look forward to getting more longer runs in around the neighborhood.  Who knows, perhaps there is still hope to run a marathon this year after all.  The country music marathon is in Nashville at the end of April – just before we will head off to Thailand.  That sure sounds like it would be a fun run to do … concerts all along the running route.  We’ll see how promising that will be as time passes by.

Monday, Monday

February 11, 2008

The weekend has ended and the work week begins once again.  The weather has almost reached 70 degrees the last few days, and it appears to be still hanging around the 60’s for the next few more.  The Aussie Rules match went very well on Saturday.  Although we were beaten pretty good and my conditioning was tested from time to time, I played fairly well and had a much improved performance from the week before.  I felt a cramp in my right calf at the end of the game which flared up yesterday after shooting the basketball around with the neighbor kids.  I hope it is just a cramp and not a pulled muscle which is what had me shelved from exercise for a good month at the end of last year.  Maybe I am just getting old and breaking down.

Jet has surgery scheduled for next Friday and will undergo a procedure (“leep“) that should take only 30 minutes.  Jet’s doctor has said that there are some ‘cells’ that don’t look good and if left untreated, could lead to cancer.  I am just glad that they caught it now.  Jet is a bit worried, but I am sure she will pull through just fine.

On a different note, there is someone that you can pull for on American Idol this season, that is, if he goes far.  Michael Johns, who is an Aussie and from the San Diego audition, played for the Atlanta Aussie Rules team in 2000-2001, and was very good.  Hopefully he goes far … my prediction is yes since he has been on several of the American Idol commercials, the latest one showing him singing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in tomorrow’s show.

Thank You!

February 9, 2008

What a wonderful birthday I had yesterday and I was glad that I was able to speak with so many of you.  Ben brought me a gift (shirt and two ties) in the morning and he helped me open it, which was a lot of fun to watch.  I had my name announced on the radio yesterday as part of the ‘birthday club’, but did not win.  Nuts.  Linda got me several pairs of new shorts while Donald let me choose one of his walking sticks.  Very nice.  The funniest moment was in the afternoon when one of our Wisconsin neighbors stopped by and alerted me to a package sitting on our porch.  After opening up and taking out package after package of meat (thanks for the sausage, brats, and everything else, Maggie and Kristin), my neighbor was bewildered – ‘how often do you get stuff shipped in from Milwaukee’ … spoken with a jealous tone in her voice.  Now keep in mind that a few weeks ago I received sausage and cheese curds in the mail from Chris.  Ah, the spoils of a wonderful, thoughtful family.

I will be off to Atlanta later this morning to play a full-match of Aussie Rules football.  The all-American all star team (the Revolution) are coming here as a tune-up to their international tournament in Australia in August.  Hopefully I can put on a better show than last weekend.  Since Jet works tonight, we may need a baby-sitter to keep an eye on Ben for about an hour or two this afternoon-evening.  The children of our Wisconsin neighbors (sixth and eighth grades) have been dying to baby-sit … so this will be a good time to let them.  After all, it should be in a controlled environment as they have their parents at home across the street, Donald and Linda are available on-call two houses over, and I shouldn’t be away that long.  Hopefully all goes well.  We’ll see what Ben thinks of that.

Tornado Warning!

February 6, 2008

That is what I awoke to this morning, so it was a bit of a scramble to make sense of the sirens going off at 5:00-6:00am and whether we were in imminent danger.  After a few hectic moments, I was able to find out that the tornado was just south of Mount Cheaha … we were in the clear.  All I did then was just hang out for about an extra hour or so at home, watching the radar, seeing reports of storm damage, and waiting out the hard rain we were experiencing.  I think I heard a report of about an inch of rain that we received.  We were getting pounded.  But after the storm blew over, I was off to work and pursuing another uneventful drive to Jacksonville.

Looks like the weather in Milwaukee is getting a bit interesting as well, although the storm has arrived a little late.  Before I went to bed last night I checked jsonline and read that there was the possibility of ‘thunder snow’, ‘blizzard conditions’, and the chance of accumulations reaching 20 inches.  Holy cow.  Good luck shoveling out.

I took advantage of the good weather yesterday afternoon and got out to run , and just like Forrest Gump, I just kept on running – 5 miles in all.  And I felt good doing it.  That has gotten me to second guess myself as the Mercedes marathon is this Sunday in Birmingham.  “Maybe if I trained a little more …”.  Maybe next year.

Today is the start of Lent.  It would be easy for me to give up donuts (like Kristin has) because I rarely eat them down here.  Well, the reason it would be easy is that there are no peanut pershings.  For the second year in a row, though, I have decided to give up all sweets (with the exception of a slice of birthday cake) in an effort to kick-start some more weight loss.   If it is anything like last year, I should be in great shape by Easter.  Since Jet works this Friday night, we were thinking about going out to eat for lunch, however, the best seafood place in town only serves dinner.  That stinks.  Well, we’ll just see where we ‘settle’ on eating at.

While watching Ben last night with Linda as Jet was working out at the ‘Y’, Linda called him a ‘wiggle worm’ – and that is just what he was.  There are times that Ben seems to be hopped up on a triple dose of caffeine and you just can’t get him to stay still for one moment.   And when he’s off doing one thing, he thinking about the next three things he will be getting into.  Now that he’s getting much better at moving around, almost like a jog, you just can’t keep your eye off of him for a minute or else you will lose him.  Sometimes Ben likes to play ‘hide-and-go-seek’, mainly hiding behind curtains until you start to play along with him.  What a prankster that guy is.  Another thing we are finding out is that he is able to understand what we are saying, in both English and Thai.  I will ask Ben to go find and give a specific toy to ‘Paw Paw’ (Donald) and he will do it.  Anytime I am looking for him, I will ask where he is and he comes out to find me.  Jet will speak to him in Thai and it always seems that he responds.  And of course, he sure knows the meaning of ‘bye-bye’.  With Ben, it sure is amazing how fast he seems to be growing (update) and he has … Jet reported that Ben is now 21 pounds, 11 ounces.  What a big boy.