Hospitals & Me Don’t Mix

I’m reminded, as I lay here on this uncomfortable bench seat/bed, how much I hate hospitals. Not just because the bedding for overnight guests are usually the worst, but because I have some bad memories here. I lost my grandfather when I was seven years old. He was my best friend at that time of my life. Always stood up for me, and anytime I was in trouble I would run to him and he would bail me out so to speak. Before he left us, he had a series of stays at the hospital. Bad heart. Towards the last of his stays he was in a wing where they didn’t allow young children there. I remember being snuck in just so we could see one another. We weren’t gonna let a crazy hospital rule like yah keep us from one another. He passed not too long after that. My best friend, gone, and one of the last images I have of him is him in a hospital bed with tubes hanging in and out of him. I still miss him today, almost 26 years later.

My next bad experience at a hospital came my freshman year. Woke up with stomach pains and after hours and hours at the clinic they finally told me I had appendicitis. My parents took me to the hospital and I couldn’t even stand up straight by that time. I remember vomiting outside the hospital when I got there. I also remember my brother almost fainting when they were drawing my blood and a little but squirted out on the floor. The thing I remember most is being wheeled into the O.R. I thought to myself, “What if something goes wrong. What if I just don’t wake up.” Not sure if that’s normal or not for people going into surgery but it hit me hard. I spend one night there. The doctor wanted me to stay a week and recover. I refused. I would rather clean my own wound and bandage myself at home than stay another sleepless night there. And that’s exactly what happened.

A little over two years ago I lost my grandmother. She was over ninety years old. That’s a long time without my grandpa. I knew she was past ready to go. She had already seen some of her own kids pass on. Can’t imagine that’s an easy thing to experience. And even though I knew that, it still was hard for me to see her with tubes stuck to her as well. They said when she passed she smiled. I can only imagine what she saw. They say Jesus is the first person you meet in heaven. Gotta be pretty awesome to see Him.

My next memory in a hospital shortly after that was actually a great one. My son was born months later. The best thing to happen to our marriage without a doubt. Can’t really complain about that memory. I can’t really speak for my wife and she had to feel the pain before, during and after with slight complications.

And now, tonight, I sit here laying in my mom’s room as she tries to rest, I think of all those times I’ve spent in hospitals and the memories that I will probably keep forever. I hope she gets out of here soon, and recovers fast from her surgery. I hate staying the night here, and I know I probably won’t get much sleep if any before having to go to work tomorrow morning, but this is my mom. The woman who sacrificed so much for us when we were kids. There’s absolutely nothing that I will not do for her. Nothing.


Facebook Detox

Yesterday was the first time I can actually say I’ve missed Facebook. Not the drama. Not the silly posts that have absolutely NOTHING to do with people’s lives. Not the constant streams of memes that I could easily hop on Pinterest and see. But I miss the actual personal interactions with people on there. I know what you’re thinking, “That’s not personal interaction if you’re not in person.” I know, I get that. What I mean is that I miss the really meaningful interactions, conversations or discussions that I have with people. From talking about old times, or parenting issues and talking about God. I feel like sometimes God leads me to post scripture or life experiences so that I can share that with others. Am I missing out? Is someone else missing out on God’s word? I worry about that. I worry that I’m missing people right now, even as I type this. What if someone on there is looking for an answer, or even just someone to talk to, or some guidance. Right before I left Facebook I had three instances of that. All of which had some positive outcome and/or feedback about what was being discussed. It’s on my heart now. And I don’t know if that’s God telling me to get back, or me just going to withdrawals from it all.

I also don’t want to get back on so quickly after deactivating it. I feel like I haven’t really given the break a fair chance. I mean the point of the break was not only to get away from the nonsense but to also see if it’s worth keeping in my life. Can’t really do that if it’s not even been a week and I’m already back on. Doesn’t help that I have had several friends asking me why and am I gonna get back on soon. It’s like leaving Facebook Highschool. Or leaving a city named Facebook, TX. I know that’s an odd way to look at it but it’s almost like leaving all your friends behind. Digitally speaking of course.

Can’t honestly say how much longer I’ll go without it, or if I’ll find that I don’t need it and am better off without it. I really just wish I could ask God and just say, “Is this something you want or need me to do? Can I really make a big impact for you?” I’m sure when He’s ready…. He’ll answer.

Attack of The Killer Hair

Attack of The Killer Hair. That’s what I’m gonna name my first big movie. It’s gonna be a documentary too. Not gonna be hard for me to shoot any of it, cause I got plenty of hair around the house to serve as props. Whose hair? Everyone’s hair! We have hair from different species all around us! Cat hair, dog hair, people hair…. I think I might have found tiny spider leg hair.

I find hair on my clothes everywhere. I find hair in my mouth. I find hair in my food. I find hair on my computers and game consoles. I find hair in my hair. I find hair that’s not mine while I’m showering, wrapped around body parts that should NOT have hair wrapped around them!

There is hair that is white, hair that is brown, orange, black, grey, red. It comes as a solid, comes as liquid when my cat decides to spit out and I’m sure if I tried, I’d probably find some in gas and gel form.

Not trying to lay the blame on anyone, or any creature because I know I find my tiny hair here and there as well. It just really seems like lately, it’s an everyday thing. I fear that I’m gonna wake up one morning and I will be drowning in hair. If one day I come up missing, you know where’ to find me. I’ll be the one trapped under 2 tons of hair. Bring the clippers and scissors.

Why Did I Abandoned My Reno?!?

Daycare. Nothing wrong with it right? Tons of people use it every day for their children. Even though there have been a few horrid stories of bad daycare facilities, we know most of them are good. We know they screen all their employees and hire the best possible people for the proper positions. They all follow state codes and laws. And some facilities are quite beautiful and equipped with great technology. So why on earth does it feel like I abandoned my child when we dropped him off on his first day there? Why did it feel like I was taking a long loved pet back to the pound because we didn’t want him anymore and it’s breaking my heart every second that I’m there. The whole time my wife is finishing up paper work I’m walking around pretending to read stuff on the wall, when it’s really a cover up of me trying not to cry. Here I am tearing up to the activity schedule on the wall and the brochure about the webcams.

And speaking of the webcams, I’m not sure if they’re a blessing or a curse. I mean, I love that I can watch him the entire day in his class, but sometimes I can get so distracted with it. I mean, who can concentrate on work when they can sit there and just watch their little baby on the screen the whole time? The first few days watching it was just torture. I know he’s new to them, so they don’t know his likes or habits. I found myself getting angry at my monitor because they were trying to get him comfortable. I knew all they had to do was just put the little guy in the swing and he would calm down. I swear I was two seconds away from calling the place and telling them over the phone. But I didn’t want them to think I was crazy or anything. At least not more than they probably already think I am.

I must admit the last couple of days of the week, it got a little easier. Still not totally over it, but it did get easier. Now just because it was getting a little easier dropping him off, doesn’t mean that I’m not in a hurry to come and pick up my little guy. The last few hours at work seem to drag and I’m always so eager to get in my truck and head over to snatch him up. Times like these that I wish I drove a Formula One car. I think I could at least cut my time in half with one of those. Is there room for a car seat in one of those?

Daddy’s Video Games vs Reno’s Video Games

Lately, I’ve been buying a lot of the classic games that I used to own as a kid. Like my NES, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64…. just games like that. Most of it is just to have those games and a collection for myself, to be able to go back and play the originals as they were meant to be played on the original systems. But part of me also would love to be able to show Reno what the games were like when I was his age. I’m not sure if I’m just hoping that he’ll appreciate whatever technology is around at that point of his life even more. I know being someone who started playing with an Atari 2600, I’m just amazed at how much technology has advanced in just my existence. You know, from the whole one joystick and one button, and how we thought it couldn’t get any better than that.

Which brings me to another thought. What in the world is technology gonna be like in another 30 years. Or even in another four or five years when he’s able to get his hands on a controller to play. Will he laugh at my games? Will he think, “What in the world is this, dad?”. I can only imagine what will be going through his mind. Will his games in the future be all mentally controlled? Or if you’ve seen the movie Gamer, you see that kid’s setup, will it be like that? I’m a little jealous thinking about it now. I want a full 360 room for my gaming!

The other day I got a chance to sit and play a little bit. Decided why not take it back to the classic NES game, Super Mario Bros. I never realized how frustrating this game would be, should it have been a real life experience. I mean seriously, picture this: you’re a plumber, hard working, blue collar job. For some reason, you’ve been called to rescue the princess, okay, cool. It’s an honorable job. I mean a princess, pretty big job. So here you are, fighting these birds that don’t fly, turtles that walk aimlessly, man eating flowers coming out of sewer tubes, along with so many other creatures that are all the size of you or bigger. And as your battling along the way, you might as well pick up all the money you can right? Eat a couple of mushrooms and flowers to get bigger or special abilities. Then you reach the castle. Jumping over lava dodging fire balls and chains. You finally reach the end where you must fight this dragon turtle? You slay him only to find a mushroom dude, in what appears to be a diaper that thanks you and then apologizes cause the princess is in another castle. Okay so we reached the wrong castle once, but 7 times the wrong castle?!? I’m sorry, but I gotta say after the third castle I’m done here. I don’t have time for this! I got a job that I gotta get back to, and you want me to continue dodging the humongous bullets trying to kill me? Nope. She’s not even that cute. I’ll find another princess or something. And this little toad character, how the heck does he keep getting captured? I think I’d just tell the dragon turtle to just keep him, put him in a soup, eat him, whatever. You get captured 7 different times, you deserve to be a meal. Stay home! Stop going out!

I only played till the end of the third level. Didn’t have time to go any further. I just got my unlimited lives from that one turtle coming down the steps. If you played the game enough, you know which one I’m talking about. You get so many lives they stop becoming numbers and just weird symbols. I guess after this post, I really haven’t made an argument to make him want to play this one. Maybe he’ll still give it a shot one day. I think it would be fun to see.

Make It Rain, Reno…. Make It Rain

Maybe it’s the fact that the Olympics are just around the corner or not, but it reminds me of when my boy first peed on me. It’s not like I wasn’t expecting it to happen one day, I mean I heard the stories from friends and family, so the warnings were there. I guess it was more of the surprise in this kid’s power and distance. I’m talking Olympic world record distance. And it’s like they wait for you to put down your guard too. He let it go as I’m reaching for a new diaper, caught me off guard. Had no idea what was going on until I realized that all this liquid wasn’t coming from a leak in the ceiling. You think you know what you’re gonna do in certain cases or situations but when it comes down to it, you panic. You lose all preparations that were in your mind. I froze for a split second, then I was like, “I must stop this!” So I did what any hero would do, I put my body in the way. Well, it was more like my hand, but still, a sacrifice is a sacrifice. Soon I realized that it wasn’t helping only bouncing it back to the little guy, so I remembered about these little pee-pee tee-pee things that granna had bought for us, and I quickly grabbed one and put it over him. Now, it was just angling everywhere else, as I’m standing there wondering, “How much more do you have in you! For crying out loud did you drink a gallon of water?!?” Although I’m sure it probably lasted a minute at most, it seemed like I was moments away from having to call a rescue boat, or pump up the air mattress for a life raft. But once it was finally over, and after cleaning up the puddle of pee on his changing station, all was back to normal. Just another moment where you stand there and think, “What in the world just happened?” I’ll tell you what happened…. Reno happened. Guess I’d better get used to it.

The Birth… of a Father

Well it’s actually been a month now since the birth of our little baby boy. It doesn’t even seem like it’s been that long since the little guy popped out of mommy. The day he turned a month I was looking through his photos since then and it seems like the whole thing was a blur now. It all just flew by. (Says the guy who didn’t have to pop out a 9lb baby.) Even so, there are a few things that I will always remember from that whole experience.

1. My wife is a FREAKING SOLDIER! 
What do I mean by this? Who the heck squeezes out anything that’s 9lbs out of ANY part of their body and not take any drugs to help the pain?  I would have called it quits on the first contraction… threw in the towel, tagged someone else in! (Is that possible?)  I’m beginning to wonder if my wife isn’t some type of cyborg or super human.

2. Every newborn is yucky, EXCEPT for your newborn.
I’ve seen videos and photos of lots of newborns and I always find myself saying, “eew… what’s all that stuff on them?” I thought I would be that way with my little guy, but when I held him for the first time, the last thing that was on my mind was what he had on him or what he would get on me. He was too perfect.

3. The Black Poop
You know, you read about it, you hear about it, but nothing really prepares you for this sight. I had the pleasure of changing his first diaper in our hospital room. And it’s not like it totally repulsed me, because it wasn’t that. I was more shocked & curious. Your mind begins to try and process this phenomenon and you start to wonder, “What in the world is that little baby processing in that tiny body that is putting out some thick black substance?” Was he smoking in there?

4. The World’s Most Uncomfortable Chair
I’m a light sleeper and I can’t sleep in vehicles of any kind. Cars, buses, planes…. doesn’t matter, I can’t sleep like that. Probably cause I usually wake up when your head flops down because you lose control of it. After a while of sitting around and enjoying the newborn I was looking around and wondering where in the world am I gonna sleep? Well, as someone pointed out to me, it just so happens that a small chair extended out to a bed of some sort. After a puzzled look from me I thought to myself, “How bad can it be?” Well, if you don’t mind sleeping like Frankenstein you’re just peaches! Worse fold out chair ever! I would have been better off sleeping on the floor or in the truck! The only comfortable position that I could find was on my back and straightened out. Picture a soldier standing at attention. Straight, sharp and looks like a two by four, now lay that guy down on a small, extended chair…. that’s me. It was enough for me to take naps and that was about it. The first night was enough. I went home for a few hours the following days to take naps and come back at night to watch over our little guy.

5. Moms Freaking Rock.
9lbs 9oz. Doesn’t seem like much right? Or even go for a 7 or 6 pounder. I can hold that with one hand, no problem. Yeah… squeeze that out of a straw. Go ahead, I’ll wait here. You done? Major FAIL? Exactly. Just thinking that certain body parts have to expand that are normally small passages, just freaking hurts. I’ve heard someone say, it’s like squeezing a watermelon out of something the size of a pea. Think about that for a second. Still not getting it? Okay take a small rubber band, smaller than the ones you can fit around the wrist, you know what I’m talking about. Now, try to squeeze you’re entire body through there without breaking it. If you find yourself completing this, congratulations you have an eating disorder or you’re a stick. I don’t care how tough men think they are, women freaking rock. I can’t even begin to imagine trying to pop a baby out of me. Don’t want to. The world would be heavily underpopulated if men had to give birth. And that’s a fact!

All in all, it’s a moment in your life that you will never forget. It’s the start of a whole new chapter and to witness it all makes you realize why they call it the miracle of birth. Cause it really is all a miracle. From the start of that little one cell to the beautiful baby that comes out. Just simply amazing. I love our baby boy beyond all measure, but I think I’m good with one for now. 😀