Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Adventures in Parenthood - Emergency Room Nightmare Edition

[Monday Day]

Monday started off as a pretty typical day in the Horman household - Wake up early, Sarah and I get ready, get both kids up, get them ready, get them breakfast, get out the door and to the car without Teagan having to make a million stops along the way.  I planned to work from home anyways because it was supposed to be a pretty crappy commute in the morning and I didn't want Sarah loading the kids up alone if it was going to be icy outside.  I typically get up and out the door earlier than her and the kids, however, the snow removal company for our apartment complex is terrible about being proactive with inclement weather.  But, that will be another blog post for another day.

Hadley started with a cough on Friday morning.  Sarah and I let it be assuming it's just cold season and some of her friends at school also have coughs.  Not to mention, my freakin' cough is still hanging around.  Hadley's cough got much worse on Sunday, to the point on Monday morning it sounded very tight and a bit wheezy.  Sarah called Hadley's doctor's office on Monday morning to explain her symptoms and find out if they wanted to see her or not.  So Sarah got an appointment for 2:00pm on Monday.  We went to her appointment and her doctor diagnosed her with bronchiolitis which can turn into RSV at one point or another.  He said she would just need lots of fluids and a lot of patience as the next two weeks would be challenging to keep her comfortable while we wait for this to pass.

Shortly after her appointment I brought Hadley home with me to work from home for the rest of the day.  I figured it was probably best to have her sit up right so I brought her swing out to my office (aka the kitchen), plopped her in it, turned it on, grabbed her blanket and lovey, and off to sleep she went.  The last time she ate was around 1:00pm and Sarah warned me that she would need a feeding around 4:00pm.  Fair enough.  So I kept an eye on the clock, 4:00pm rolled around, 5:00pm rolled around, 6:00pm rolled around, and she was still sleeping.  At 6:15pm I turned the swing off and woke her up.  I figured she had to be starving at this point.  Got her changed, made her bottle, sat on the couch, attempted to give her a bottle and no go.  Now, keep in mind, this is the same kid that has a 5 oz. bottle religiously every 3 hours.  If we wait 3 hours and 5 minutes, she will start to get very angry and upset.  I thought maybe it was just because she wanted mom and unfortunately she was with dad.  I gave her a 10 minute break and tried again.  Still no go.  I knew Sarah would be home shortly so I waited to see if maybe it was just me. 

[Monday Night]

Sarah came home, put all her things down, grabbed up the Magoo and tried to give her a bottle.  Still no go.  Sarah did the same thing I did, gave her a few minutes and tried again.  Still nothing.  At this point we were both scratching our heads.  We knew she had a cold, but for a kid that barely misses a meal this wasn't like her.  Hadley did feel a bit warm, but she also has a cold and they checked her at the doctors office earlier in the day and he had a 99.7 fever.  We decided to take her temperature again, and this time it was 102.1.  Much warmer than we expected.  She also developed a bit of a grunt at this point while breathing, but me being a guy, I figured she is just clearing her throat.  At this point we called the doctors office to find out if there was anything we could give her to both bring her temperature down and help take the edge off of her cold.  After relaying her symptoms to the nurse the nurse suggested that we bring Hadley to be seen at either the Marlborough Hospital ER or the Worcester UMass ER on Lake Ave.  Because Sarah would be going alone while I stayed home to put Teagan to bed, we figured the Marlborough Hospital ER would be best, at least for now.  Sarah's parents were kind enough to meet her at the ER so she wouldn't be alone.

We were wrong, dead wrong.  Let me just say if there was an award for absolute worst Emergency Room in New England, Marlborough Hospital would win hands down.  Sarah was keeping me posted via text messages because I was in Teagan's bedroom trying to get her to go to sleep.  Sarah informed me they first did blood work, then an x-ray, and then they had to draw urine via a catheter.  The doctor at the Marlborough Hospital ER told us her white blood cell count came back very high (30) and should be around 4.  At this point we weren't sure what this meant, but then the doctor went on to inform us that he believes she may have meningitis and she will need to be transported via ambulance to UMass Worcester.  Now if you didn't know meningitis in infants can lead to brain damage and at times be fatal.  To confirm whether or not she had meningitis, they would need to do a spinal tap.  Now, at this point in the story keep in mind that I'm still at home with Teagan and Sarah is at the hospital, alone, with Hadley.  Unfortunately, Sarah's parents had to leave and couldn't stick around.  I started running around at this point trying to figure out how to get up to the hospital to be next to my wife while making sure Teagan would be taken care of.  I know I say it time and time again, but I'd seriously put my wife up against anyone else's wife any day of the week.  Sarah really is the rock of our family.  She sat there and stayed strong while Hadley had to have a spinal tap, and let's be honest, no parent wants to see their child go through something as painful as that.  I was fortunate enough to get a hold of my parents and they rushed right over.  My mom stayed at my apartment while my dad rushed me over to the Marlborough ER.

Once I got to the ER I immediately rushed over to Sarah and my baby girl who was all bandaged up and looking helpless.

Sarah was still staying strong and just trying to take everything in and plan our next move once they confirm the diagnosis.  15 minutes after I arrived to the ER the ambulance showed up and escorted Sarah and Hadley out to the door to head for UMass Worcester.  I grabbed Sarah's car keys, jumped in her car, set my phone's GPS for UMass Worcester on Lake Ave, and off I went.  That was the longest car ride of my life.  No radio on, just the silence, while I'm playing back in my head everything that I've just heard.  The whole way there all I kept thinking was, "Where'd I go wrong, what could of I done differently, did I give her my cold and that's what started this, etc".

[Tuesday Early Morning]

After I got to UMass Worcester and parked the car, I rushed into the ER and they brought me right over to Sarah and Hadley.  I was already feeling a bit better when I saw they had a pediatric ER and all the nurses rushing back and forth.  I got into the room where Hadley was and they were quickly hooking her up to monitors to check her levels and make sure she was in a stable state.  All of Hadley's stats came back looking perfect.  Perfect heartbeat, plenty of oxygen, and her respiratory stats were a little down, but this was because of her cold.

The first male nurse we met with was very kind and actually gave us a sign of relief.  He came in and immediately asked what brought Hadley in this evening, how'd it start, when did you first notice it, etc.  Then he started asking us what the Marlborough ER did, and why they did it.  He was a bit puzzled why they did blood work and a spinal tap for a respiratory condition.  He told us that he believes that it's just a respiratory virus and that it will go away on it's own.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that all of the paper work that Marlborough sent up to UMass Worcester didn't match up with anything we had told the male nurse.  That's a much longer part of the story but I will spare you all the details and just say, don't trust the paper work that Marlborough sends you with anywhere.  A little while later we got to meet with the on-call pediatric doctor.  She was super kind and pleasant and also reassured us that Hadley was going to be fine.  She actually told us that a high white blood cell count, such as 30, in an infant is completely normal and that if it was indeed 4 while she has a cold, she would be concerned.  About 20 minutes later, the same on-call pediatric doctor came back and told us that Hadley's spinal tap results came back perfectly normal and that it's not meningitis.  She was feeling very confident that it is bronchiolitis and the start of RSV so she was going to have another doctor come in to perform some quick tests to confirm it's RSV.  A few minutes later, a very kind older gentleman came in and performed the tests.  Which to say the least, the tests for RSV are a bit strange I guess would be the best word to describe it.  I actually wish I had my camera ready to take a picture of Sarah's face while the gentleman was doing what he needed to do for these tests.  Sure enough, about 10 minutes later the on-call pediatric doctor came back and confirmed it was RSV.  Talk about a sigh of relief.  The doctor did inform us that they were going to keep us over-night for observation just in case.  A couple of minutes later, a few more fantastic staff members help us and escorted us to a pediatric room.

At this point, it's about 4:00am, and the room they put us in (which we had a roommate, lucky us) there was only enough room for one of us to sleep there.  I did offer to Sarah to stay, but in her exact words, "There is no way I'm leaving."  So I kissed her and Magoo good night and said I'd be back first thing in the morning after dropping off Teagan at daycare.  So again, I grabbed the car keys, headed out to the car, jumped on the highway, and headed home.  However, this ride home was much different than my ride there.  I didn't feel like I was going to have a minor heart attack since I was now relieved that it was just a virus and we will get through it.

[Tuesday Morning / Afternoon]

By the time I got home, thanked my parents over and over again for rushing over, and got to bed, it was about 5:00am.  I don't even remember falling asleep, however, I was kindly woken up at 7:30am by a hit to the face with a stuffed puppy.  Sure enough, it was Teagan letting me know she is wide awake and ready to start her day.  Of course the day started like any other day - Get up, get dressed, get Teagan dressed (in the best fashion possible, because usually that's mom's job), get Teagan's hair under control, get Teagan fed, get out the door and into the car with little hassle as possible.

After I got Teagan off to daycare I quickly rushed back to UMass Worcester to be by Sarah and Hadley's side.  It was quite the long day of trying to get Hadley to eat, doctors and nurses constantly checking on her, and Sarah and I keeping our sanity.  However, I have to say, while the room conditions were not ideal, UMass Worcester (specifically Lake Ave) has the most wonderful staff of nurses, doctors, and "life care" which made it worth while to be there.  Not only are they funny and keep you entertained, you can really tell that they love their jobs and love to take care of kids.  There is really nothing more reassuring than that.  All day long it was up in the air if they were going to send us home or keep us for another 24 hours.  Because I wasn't sure when I'd be leaving I asked my parents if they would be so kind to pick up Teagan from daycare.  However, when I talked to my mom shortly after she picked up Teagan from daycare and I wasn't sure who was more excited about that arrangement, my mom or Teagan.  Around dinner time the doctor came back and reassessed Hadley and felt she was definitely on the upswing from when they first saw her and felt she would be OK to go home.  So we packed up, headed out to the car, and homeward bound we were.

[Tuesday Night]

We got home, got settled, and my parents dropped Teagan off.  We quickly got Teagan into bed so we could get ourselves to bed and get caught back up on our sleep.  There is just nothing quite like your own bed.


Sarah stayed home with Hadley today, while I brought Teagan to daycare and headed into work.  Hadley is definitely on the upswing.  She is not eating as much as she should, but she is at least keeping her fluids down and seems to be in a better mood with the help of Tylenol (it's seriously like the miracle drug).  It's events like these in your life that make you stop where you are and appreciate life, because you just never know.  At the drop of a hat things can change.  Appreciate what you have today because there is no guarantee for tomorrow.  This experience was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for both Sarah and I.  It was sad, scary, happy and funny.  However, I believe that life sometimes throws you curve balls just to keep you on your toes.  Needless to say, I don't hope to see another one for quite some time.

With all of that said, I want to give a shout out to those that tended to us in the time of need:
  • Ron and Kim - Thank you so much for being by Sarah's side when I was not able to be there.
  • Mom and Dad - Thank you again for coming over late at night to stay with Teagan and make sure she is all set.  Also thank you for picking her up from daycare.
  • To all the doctors, nurses, and staff in the pediatric ER at UMass Worcester - You guys are a fantastic team.  Thank you so much for all of your help and putting our minds at ease shortly after we arrived there from "that other ER".
  • To all the doctors, nurses, and staff on the 5th floor pediatric wing - You couldn't have asked for a better group of staff than all of you.  You all really love your jobs and definitely love caring for the kids.  Having all of you while we were there helped my wife and I keep our sanity.
  • To Patriot Ambulance - Thank you very much for your care, and transporting my wife and daughter to UMass Worcester.
  • To my IT family at ER - You guys are awesome.  We really are like family.  Thank you very much for reaching out and checking to see if we needed anything.
  • To all of Sarah's staff at NGCC - Thank you all for your kind thoughts and checking in on us.
  • To anyone I may have missed - Thank you for being there for us.  Sarah and I really have the best group of friends and family that anyone could of asked for.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Twas the Night before Christmas - Horman Edition

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
The cats were actually settled, and quieter than a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the gas fireplace with care,
In hopes that Santa would soon be here.

Teagan and Hadley were sound asleep in their beds,
While they dreamt of new toys in their little heads.
And Boe in her PJ's, and I in my boxers,
Had just crawled into bed after watching Chicago Fire.

When out on the lawn I heard a loud noise,
That I jumped out of bed and tripped over one of Teagan's toys.
I quickly ran to the window in the blink of an eye,
While wondering if I should call the police and see if they are nearby.

The bright moon illuminated the frosted ground below,
That's when I noticed strange trail marks through the new fallen snow.
I'm barely aware thinking I couldn't have drank that much beer,
As I looked out the window and noticed a fat man with eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old man, who's red outfit was stained with booze and whiskey,
That's when I realized it was Santa looking a little grizzly.
His reindeer were standing there looking like hell,
and that's when he stood proud and started to yell.

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
We still have several stops to make with a sack full of toys,
And if we have time, we will deliver coal to all of the Back Street Boys!"

I started to wonder if I was going to have to deal with this fiasco every year,
Because we may have to have a conversation about his landing gear.
Then Santa took off in a hurry with his reindeer and sleigh,
Only to land on my roof while laughing away.

So I quickly checked on the rest of the family to make sure they were still fast asleep,
That's when I started to hear the roof twist and creek.
As I started to quietly make way back to my bedroom,
Santa decided to come down the chimney with a loud boom.

He was all decked out in his famous warm red suit,
I had a bit of concern that it was tarnished with booze, ashes and soot.
But he still had his large sack of toys that followed in tow,
It was a beautiful shade of red with just a dash of snow.

His eyes were a bit glazed over, and signs of wind burn on his face,
I supposed I'd be drinking too if I had to run his one night race.
His beard was perfectly shaped and was as white as could be,
I could tell with only the reflection from the lights on our fake Target Christmas tree.

A Cuban cigar held tight in his teeth,
The smoke encircled his head like a wreath.
He had the biggest smile from ear to ear,
I wondered if I should offer him a Red Bull or a beer.

For a man that still had a long night ahead of him,
He was certainly cheery and far from grim.
As he turned to me and gave me a quick nod of his head,
I figured it maybe time to head back to bed.

He stayed completely silent as he started placing gifts under the tree,
I could only hope that he was leaving some Cuban cigars for me.
Over to the gas fireplace he tip-toed quietly,
As he flew up the chimney while defying gravity.

He hopped up into his sleigh and gave his team a brief shout,
They all quickly took off to finish their route.
But I heard him exclaim, as they were just about out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all, and too all (burp) a Good Night!"

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year... for colds.

It’s reaching that time of the year where all the trees stand naked, it gets a little cooler outside, everyone is having their holiday parties, the malls are filled with ridiculous amounts of shoppers, and the germs start to fly.  Unfortunately, this month I got the all-inclusive “man cold”.  Yes, I said it - I got the “man cold”.  However, I can honestly say, I’ve never had a cold this bad and it sucks royally.  I’m on day 11 with this freakin’ cold that doesn’t want to go away.  I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that I feel miserable, or the fact I purposely avoid playing with the kiddos so I don’t get them sick.  The problem with both of those scenarios is that it doesn’t stack in Sarah’s favor.  But needless to say, my wife is a champ when it comes to taking care of two kids on her own.  Lately, I haven’t been home as much as I’d like to because not only was I working my regular job 40+ hours, I was also doing dispatch part time at another 20+ hours to help make up for funds while Sarah was out on maternity leave. 

Just this past week, Sarah has returned to work with both little monsters.  It makes me both happy and sad at the same time because for the past 12 weeks, I have had the pleasure of working from home on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s to help Sarah with Teagan and Hadley.  While Sarah was on maternity leave we had Teagan only going to daycare part time (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) since we knew we probably wouldn’t be able to afford Teagan going full time.  On the bright side I got to see both Teagan and Hadley on those days.  But now, we are back in the full swing of things and having life return to, what Sarah and I consider “normal” status.

At the end of these 12 weeks, I have also hit a milestone myself - I have finally finished my training as a dispatcher.  I was recently granted permission by my boss to work on my own.  This is a huge achievement because you are only allowed to work on your own if both your co-workers and essential department heads feel confident in your abilities.  However, I’m never really by myself, because the town of Acton is fortunate enough to be able to have two dispatchers on at all times.  It is definitely an awesome job and I really like everyone I work with.  It’s rewarding in a sense that I feel like I am doing something great for a community.

I never look at the cold months as winter, but rather as snowboard season!  I love to go snowboarding.  However, my age is starting to show in the fact that I can usually only make it through a half day at the local mountain before my calf muscles are begging for mercy.  I guess that just means I need to stop being a fat ass and get out on the slopes more.  With that said, Teagan is turning 3 this December.  It’s my plan to try and get her on a snowboard this year with some lessons.  I’m not positive it will work out so well, because anyone that has a 3 year old knows that their attention span is that of a goldfish.  I’d also like to get her on ice skates, but I suppose we should probably take it one step at a time.  Ideally, I’d love to see her play girl’s ice hockey, but I guess we shall see as Sarah has other plans for her.  Be sure to check back for the follow up blog post on those adventures.

On top of it being snowboard season, it’s also the holiday party season; from Thanksgiving, to work holiday parties, to family get togethers.  I always find this time of the year to be rather special because I feel like everyone is in their happiest of moods.  It’s something about the holiday season that I can’t explain that brings out the best in everyone.  Minus “Black Friday”, those people are loony.  Just kidding.  I’m rather excited for the annual Horman / Barrett family Christmas party this year because Teagan now has an understanding of Santa and how that magic happens.  We are lucky enough to have Santa take some time out of his very busy schedule to make a special appearance to my family’s Christmas party.  I cannot wait to see the look on Teagan’s face when Santa shows up to my parent’s house.  She was also given an “Elf On The Shelf” this past weekend by my parents.  I think she has some idea about “Santa watching” but I guess we will wait and see.

For those of you who look forward to these updates, I’m sorry I cram so much into my blog posts.  Life is very busy for Sarah and I all the time and I try to take some time here and there to take notes on what to update about next.  One of my many New Year’s resolutions is to try to update this blog more often, but I guess we will wait and see what next year brings before I make any promises.  If I don’t have time to update this blog before Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, etc, I hope all of you and your families have a very wonderful holiday.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

30 Something...

So, I’m turning 30 this year and I’m not all too excited about it.  However, since becoming older I have found myself day dreaming (mostly driving to and from work since I have an hour plus commute) looking back on life and appreciating all that I have.  For starters I think about my lovely wife, Sarah.  Sometimes I just look at her and can’t believe I have found such an incredible sole mate.  One who always stands by my side regardless of the situation or crazy ideas of things I want to try or do.  Next I start thinking about my two beautiful daughters followed by the two incredible jobs I have.  Not just any old jobs, but jobs I am excited to be at and get up for every morning.

When you find your perfect soul mate you learn that when you work together as a team you are unstoppable.  When one person feels down, the other person picks you up and vice versa.  There are plenty of obstacles that Sarah and I have encountered in the 7 years we have been together, but never once did we look at each other and say, “We can’t do this”, or “We’re not going to make it”.  Rather, we turned to each other and said “How can we get around / over this obstacle”.  So any time we are faced with a challenge I always feel good knowing that we are going to make it.

The truth of the matter is relationships are work.  Doesn’t matter if you are boyfriend / girlfriend, engaged, married, a gay couple, long distance relationship – its work.  A relationship will only survive if both people in the relationship are willing to fight for it.  As soon as you don’t have that push and pull from your significant other, your relationship will fall apart.  There is not a perfect “cookie cutter” relationship out there.  Every relationship has its arguments and disagreements.  If you hear a couple say to you “they never argue”, it’s either complete bullshit or they are still in the “puppy love” stages.  Don’t worry, they will learn quickly.  Sarah and I have our disagreements, but it’s always over something we both feel passionately about.  Sometimes I want to watch the Bruins game, and Sarah wants to watch Glee (Haha!).

I may sometimes seem to be strong willed or be able to hold my emotions back from any given situation, but as I have become older it’s starting to get harder to hold my emotions back.  Maybe it’s because I’m a parent now, or maybe I’m becoming a wuss in my old age.  A perfect example is about 2 months ago when I was putting Teagan to bed in our apartment alone.  Sarah and Hadley weren’t home yet because Hadley had just been born the day before and they were still in the hospital.  Teagan was asking to give Mommy and Hadley a kiss goodnight.  When I told her that they would be home tomorrow she just broke down in tears – This is just about when I started to lose it.  Of course, a daddy always wants to remain strong for his kids, but I ended up in tears while laying on Teagan’s bedroom floor to keep her company while she fell asleep.  I was sad because I felt like my family was split in two – half in the hospital and half at home and I wanted to be in both spots to take care of my family.  Needless to say, I hope I don’t have to be put back into that situation again anytime soon.  On a brighter note, it also made me realize just how big and smart Teagan is getting.  She understands what it is like to love and be loved.  To me, that was the silver lining of the situation.

When I look at Hadley and think that Teagan was once her size I can’t help but wonder where time has gone?  It seems like just yesterday we brought Teagan home from the hospital.  Now she is telling me what she likes, doesn’t like, what TV show she wants to watch, and when she doesn’t want to be tickled any more.  Not only that, but she is becoming witty at only two and a half years old.  Remember I mentioned in a previous blog post that Teagan is a bit of a smart ass?  Well, at school, Teagan has learned about using her manners, which I must say she is really good at.  However, she tends to use them to her advantage.  For example, I will ask her to do something that I really NEED her to do and she politely turns to me (or Sarah for that matter) and says with the most innocent face you have ever seen, “Ummm, no thank you!”  How are you supposed to argue with that?  I think Sarah and I are in for it as Teagan becomes older.

And of course, I can’t forget to speak (or write rather) about Hadley, or Hads-magoo, or Hadley-Snugglemonster, or as Teagan sometimes refers to her, Hadley-goo.  Just two weeks ago, on Thursday, she showed her first smile.  I was working from home and Sarah needed to run an errand so Hadley and I were hanging out.  Ok, maybe not exactly hanging out, but she was busy being loud and yelling playing on her play mat while daddy was busy working.  Of course with any newborn comes spit-up.  As I glanced over to Hadley to check on her I saw that she had spit-up and christened her play mat for the 1,000th time.  So jumped up out of my chair and leaned down to wipe the spit-up off of her mouth and off of her play mat.  Just as I finished she looked right at me and smiled!  Talk about moments that take your breath away.  There is just nothing quite like it.  It’s one of those special moments that parents get to share in bringing a new child into the world.  Hads-magoo now smiles non-stop.  She is especially cute when she wakes up at 4:00am to be fed and smiles (sense sarcasm here).  It’s quite the adventure being a parent, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Life moves pretty fast…

If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.  At least that's what Ferris Bueller said.  But, it's really no joke.  Sometimes I stop and look at Teagan and think, "Wow, two and a half years flew by.  Where has time gone?"  I do wonder at times if I am doing too much or trying to do too much with my life.  I'm always doing what I think is best for my family.  It's one of the many reasons I picked up a part time job being a public safety dispatcher.  I felt like my life didn't have enough stress already.  All kidding aside, it's definitely something I've always wanted to, I enjoy doing the job, the pay is pretty good (compared to other towns), and the extra money definitely helps while Sarah is out on maternity leave.

When I was younger, I can remember my dad always having more than one job to help provide for us.  I think that's where I get my work ethic from.  I always want to make sure I can afford everything I need for my family.  Not necessarily wants; but definitely the needs.  We need a roof over our heads, we need food on the table, we need gas in our vehicles – you get the point.  My mom had one full time job working in a local school system as an Occupational Therapist.  Mom only had one job because when she wasn't working, she was taking care of us 3 kids.  I now totally understand how taking care of kids is an additional full time job.  Not to mention, any free time you do have (which is usually after 11:00pm) is typically put towards planning fun activities for your family, or just having some quiet alone time with your significant other.

Every day this past week, after working my regular full time job, I had to go to my APCO Public Safety Telecommunicator 1 training at night.  It's a 40 hour course divided up into 5 nights.  In the *fabulous* state of Massachusetts, you cannot answer 911 calls until you have completed the Vesta Pallas 911 training, Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) training, and the APCO PST 1 training.  To which, at the end of each course you are required to complete an exam.  If you pass the exam, you are then certified in these areas.  Hooray.  I suppose it probably helps to put people's minds at ease to know that public safety dispatchers are properly trained for their duties.  Especially since public safety dispatchers are people who essentially have other people's lives in their hands over the phone.  Not to mention the ton of liability that comes with the job, but that's another blog post for another day.

With my availability this past week I have to say my wife is a saint.  Actually, any wife that can tend to a 2.5 year old and a 1 month old for 5 nights in a row by herself is most likely a saint.  This includes but not limited to picking Teagan up from day care 3 out of the 5 days with Hadley, bathing both of them, feeding both of them, and getting both of them to bed at a reasonable hour.  Well, I guess Hadley is an exception.  She prefers to eat every 4 hours, and either sleep or party in between.  Now if we could just get her to party during the day and sleep at night we'd be in better shape.  However, I probably shouldn’t complain considering some of the horror stories my wife has shared with me about her friends and their new babies who either don't sleep at night and/or want to feed every 2 hours.  We are lucky enough that Hads-magoo (Yes, that’s my current nick name I have going for her at the moment) does sleep for 5 to 6 hour increments between feedings in the evening hours.

I was recently at a vendor conference / outing a few weeks ago in Boston.  It started with a "meet and greet" at Jillian's next to Fenway, followed by a presentation. After the presentation all of us packed up and headed to the Red Sox game.  Now, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a good baseball game and more so when it's free; however, I stopped following the Red Sox a few years ago when they became the laughing stock of Major League Baseball.  I can't even tell you who is who anymore on the team.  I've moved on to far better things – hockey.  Go Bruins!  But, that's not the purpose of this paragraph.  I actually had a great time at Jillian's.  I met a lot of great new people to network with, learned a thing or two about "network threats" and enjoyed the free food and drinks.  It wasn't until I got to the game, sat in my seat, surrounded by the same people I had just met that it sunk in – I wasn't having fun at the game.  It wasn't because I stopped following the Red Sox, but it's because I didn't have my family with me.  I kept thinking how if I had Teagan next to me how cool it would be to see the expressions on her face at such an exciting type of place.  Even though Hadley is too little at the moment, I would have still liked to have her and Sarah there as well.  Maybe not the place for a baby, but I'd just want to share in the excitement with my family.  I actually ended up sitting a little while longer thinking that the feeling would pass and I should have a little fun while I was already in Boston, but it wasn't passing.  It was the bottom of the 4th inning that I finished my beer, got up out of my seat, thanked the vendor for everything and explained that I had to get home.  While I was walking out of Fenway, I saw another father and his younger daughter walking out of the "Red Sox Shop".  It actually made me well up a bit and it made me think to run in there and get something for Teagan – a hat – since she is always stealing my way-to-big-for-her-head Red Sox hats.  On my way to the Fenway T stop to head back to Riverside, I sent a text message to Sarah letting her know I was on my way home around 8:30pm.  I sent a text message because Teagan typically goes to bed around 8:00pm and I didn't want to call and wake Teagan in case she had just fallen asleep.  I was a bit taken back when Sarah messaged me back saying, "Why aren't you staying to watch the game?"  My reply was simply, "Because I miss my family."  The conversation went on a little longer as Sarah was a bit puzzled that I wasn’t staying.  I actually felt relieved when I got into my truck at the Riverside parking lot to head home.  There is nothing that quite beats the feeling of coming home, walking through the door, and seeing my beautiful wife waiting for me.

The moral of this blog post – I'm certainly thankful for a lot in my life.  My life and family time may feel crazy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but I always come home with a smile on my face.  Even with a head cold, training, late night feedings, early mornings, and "Teagan Toy Tornados" running rampant through our apartment.  I think what kept me going strong through this very long week was when I'd call Sarah on my dinner break from training.  She'd put her cell phone on speaker phone so I could talk to Teagan.  It was each night I'd say to Teagan before hanging up, "I love you", that she would reply and say, "I love you too."  Nothing is more heartwarming than hearing your child tell you they love you.  I think it's the fact that you can hear it in their voice that you know they have those feelings towards you.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Remember in my Facebook post a few nights back I mentioned the "frustration" piece of bring home a new baby and adjusting?  Last night, or rather, early this morning at the same time Hadley woke up because she was hungry; Teagan also woke up.  However, Teagan didn't wake up because she was hungry, she woke up because, as Sarah put it, couldn't find her binkie under the 27 puppies, 2 pillows, 3 trains, a dinosaur and 3 blankets.  Which is no lie, you really can't make that stuff up.  Teagan has a bit of a "puppy" obsession along with bringing everything to bed that she thinks she could possibly need in the middle of the night which has also, at times, included puzzle pieces.  

So while Sarah fed Hadley and put her back to sleep, I found myself laying on Teagan's floor assuring her that she wouldn't lose her binkie again.  Now mind you, the girl takes 3 binkies to bed at night.  You'd think she would of found one of them.  I should actually give Teagan some credit here because she actually looked for her binkie on her own for about 30 minutes before yelling for mom and dad.

Once I got Teagan back to sleep, or I had thought, I slowly crept back out of her room and went back to my very comfortable bed.

You know when you just about reach that point where you find yourself super comfortable in bed and on the verge of falling back asleep?  That was me... right before Teagan started yelling for me again.  So, back I went to lay down on her floor and repeated steps 1 through 3 again.

I can honestly say that since Sarah was pregnant with Teagan I have not had a good nights sleep.  I've actually come to terms with the fact that I'll sleep when I'm dead.  My night of sleep is actually so interrupted (getting up to use the bathroom, checking on Teagan, making sure the cats haven't destroyed anything, etc) that I wasn't nervous about bring Hadley home and losing any additional sleep. 

In the past couple of days on a few occasions I have said to Sarah, "It's funny to think that's where Teagan was at one point" while she is holding Hadley.  When Hadley was born she only weighed an additional ounce than when Teagan was born.  With Hadley being a part of our lives, it really strikes me with amazement when I look at Teagan now and realize how well she is growing up along with smart she is (and sometimes a bit of a smart-ass without realizing it, but that's a story for another day).

But still, even with my lack of sleep, endless bottles to clean, and messes to constantly pick up I wouldn't trade this life for anything. 

Coming to you live from the comfort of my couch with a cup of coffee!

Well, here it is.  I said I'd try to give the blog thing a go, so here you are.  You're welcome!

So, for those of you who don't know me, or are just stalking me, here's a little bit about me, this blog, and other useless fun facts:
  • My life consists of myself, Sarah (my wonderful caring wife), Teagan (daughter, AKA my three feet of fury), and the newest member of the bunch, Ms. Hadley (newborn daughter).  I don't have any clever nick names for Hadley yet, but I'm working on a few.
  •  The title of my blog is unique in that I'm the only male party in this household.  Granted, we have a male and female cat, but that just ups the odds so they don't count.
  • I'm a full time IT engineer and a part-time public safety dispatcher.  I think this bullet point is self-explanatory; kids are not cheap.
  • Most American car horns honk in the key of F.
  • 101 Dalmatians, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and Mulan are the only Disney cartoons where both parents are present and don't die throughout the movie.