Book Smart, Street Dumb

Another busy week has wrapped up.  Ben had a cold (coughing, congestion, no eating, but no fever) into Thursday when it appeared that his illness turned the corner.  Yesterday (Friday) morning started out well until we went out for lunch at the Porterhouse cafe’ at 11:00am.  Ben was cranky on the way there, while we were there, and on the way back, so we put him down for his nap a few minutes early (around noon instead of 12:30pm – 1:00pm).  Just under 1 hour later, Ben was back “half” awake as you could tell that he was still very sleepy, but continued to cry for no apparent reason.  Ben did not have much of an appetite again as well.  After Jet went to work at 4:00pm, I thought it would be a good idea to kill some time with Ben by taking him shopping with me at Wal-Mart.  About a half hour into walking around the store and not finding anything I needed on my list, I sensed a “meltdown” approaching.  Being a bit “book smart, street dumb” (thanks, Bryon), I thought I could buy some time by taking Ben to the toys section to calm him down.  That worked … for five minutes.  Unfortunately we were in the toys section of the store when the meltdown started to advance again, located in the back of the store, furthest away from everything on my list that I still needed to get and furthest from the checkout counters.  Another brilliant plan foiled.  That was the first time that Ben ever screamed on my through a store, or at least the first time I could remember Ben doing that in a long while.  Ben was still in a bad mood once we arrived back home, but the best I could do was just calm him down by watching Spongebob Squarepants and Thomas and Friends.  Ben still did not want to eat, but that did kill a little over an hour and got us to his bedtime, which he went down with no problems.  Whew!  As an aside, Ben likes watching Spongebob, but hisfavorite part of the show is when the pirate shows up at the beginning.  When this happens, a huge smile goes on his face and he turns to me because he knows that I will sing along with the pirate.  Even when Ben was as miserable as he was last night, a small smile creeped onto his face through his pacifier once that pirate showed up on the TV.

It has also been a rough week for both Donald and Linda.  Linda has been battling a cold with symptoms similar to Ben and Jet.  Donald had two separate surgeries.  On Wednesday, Donald had a skin cancer removed on the back of his neck which went well, but I gathered was painful and has kept him from turning his head much since.  Donald has also been experiencing back pain for the past few weeks and has had various forms of treatment to address it.  His doctor in Birmingham finally figured the source of the problem and scheduled surgery for 6:00am yesterday morning to have part of the bone and ligaments in his back taken out.  This was obviously a bit more challenging than his surgery to remove his skin cancer, but we were relieved when his recovery after the surgery went so well that he was able to return home (instead of spending the night in the hospital) in time for dinner.  Like I said, a tough week, but at least it appears that they have been able to pull through.

Tonight is the lodge Christmas party.  I was very glad that Jet was able to switch her shift at the Olive Garden to be working during the day so that she would be able to attend with Ben and me.  By switching to the morning shift, that means that we will not be going to Atlanta for the last Aussie Rules match of the season.  Oh well, there is always February when the season starts back up again.  If there is a countdown, it will be roughly one week until we head back up north to Wisconsin for the holidays.  Since there has not been the same deals for flights as there were for Thanksgiving, it looks like we will be driving again.  Let’s hope that we have the same fortune for weather as we had over the Thanksgiving holiday (fingers crossed).  We will likely leave a week from tomorrow (Sunday) and return around New Year’s Day, but of course those dates can shift a little depending on the weather (I have learned my lesson).  On the 23rd, one of the grandchildren of our neighbors (Danny and Sarah) is taking part in a Boston Butt fundraiser, so unfortunately we will miss bringing BBQ back with us by only a couple days.  We would love to stay past the New Year’s holiday too, but we don’t know yet when Sup will need to be picked up from the airport in Atlanta and I have a conference to attend in Savannah, Georgia (home of Paula Deen) from January 5-9, which runs right into the first day of class for the spring semester.  Needless to say, there will be a lot of things waiting for us once we return to Alabama after the holidays and things should continue to stay busy.  At least we have the holidays.  Nothing to stressful about that, right?

And finally, congratulations Sandy!  It has been a long, troublesome journey with a lot of tough classes and countless hours studying.  Great job.  We couldn’t be more prouder, though we wish we could have been there to celebrate with you.  Congratulations indeed.


One Response to “Book Smart, Street Dumb”

  1. Sandy Says:

    Thank you for that! It was a fun gathering yesterday at my house and great food. I think everyone was kicking themselves for eating so much. I brought Bryon some spagetti early this morning so he would not have to be forced to eat that horrible hospital food they have been giving him. I know Dad’s house may be full this time around and Matt and I both are offering a place to stay for any family if they like. Give us a heads up though. Well one week can’t wait!

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