So apparently Santa is a busy guy this time of year … have you ever waited six hours to see Santa?!?!?!

Woof!

After checking in to meet Santa sometime around 1pm, needless to say we did just about everything we could think of to kill time all afternoon while we waited.

We had lunch at the new Chicken Guy restaurant … which wasn’t bad.

We did some shopping, including buying Lego cars for Christopher and David … which was kind of fun to build to pass some time.

We went to the movies and watched Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas … or at least we tried to! I don’t know why I keep thinking that our kids are ready for the movies because they’re very much not… 😛

We even rode the train a couple of times … which is always a surprising favorite whenever we visit Disney Springs, even though it’s very much a 3rd party-operated ride and you have to pay money for it and everything.

But eventually … when the 7 o’clock hour finally rang … Santa sent us a text message announcing that he was finally prepared for our arrival!

It’s pretty common when we stay at a Disney resort to find ourselves saying afterwards that we wished we’d spent less time running around the parks and more time enjoying our resort itself.

Well, between the age of the kids and somewhat gloomy weather all week, I’m happy to say that this vacation we did exactly that!

Animal Kingdom Lodge is perfect for lounging because the atmosphere itself is both relaxing and exciting with all of the animals, and as a bonus for the kids, they actually had quite a few different activities that they could partake in between Jambo House and Kidani Village. In addition to just getting super excited spotting all of the animals, the boys also had a chance to learn a little about ecosystems and conservation from one of the cast members, Christopher worked on a scavenger hunt which gave him a chance to practice talking to people, and he and Sara also played a fun game finding various landmarks around Africa on a map.

Vacationing is definitely different with kids because try as I might, you can’t exactly just lay around all day and take in the ambiance in the manner which I would currently prefer, but nonetheless I think they all had a great time and we didn’t spend nearly as much time fighting with lines in the parks, so that’s a huge win in my book!!!

Today took us to Epcot where we had dinner at the Garden Grill, along with Mickey, Pluto, and Chip and Dale, too!

Our original intent was to watch the Candlelight Processional afterwards, but it was kind of drizzly all day and I had a very low tolerance for dealing with the rain plus cranky kid attitudes on account of said rain.

I was also a little miffed that we finally found ourselves in the park while the DVC Member Lounge was actually open at the Imagination Pavilion, but still didn’t get to go because there’s no accommodation for strollers and I didn’t feel like breaking the party up…

Anyways, we ended up just having dinner and then taking the opportunity to give the boys a couple of rides on the monorail instead, which they ended up enjoying just fine! 😀

We originally weren’t going to do Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year because it was too expensive, but there ended up being a mix-up with our room and Disney gave us comped tickets anyways!

This is always a great party for the atmosphere – snow blowing down Main Street, complimentary cookies and hot chocolate (that were actually complimentary this time!), and just the characters and other happenings that aren’t normally out during a normal day at the Magic Kingdom. Believe it or not, I even danced with Christopher because after he spotted the dance party at Cosmic Ray’s when we were on the hunt for cookies, surprisingly he just had to be a part of it himself!

What can I say – parenting brings out parts of ourselves that we never knew we had in us… 😉

Today was on and off stressful, as most days with our kids tend to be, but this picture represents one of the happy, little moments when everybody was in a good mood and looking in the same direction and everything!

I’m honestly not sure who gave him the stickers, or why they gave him so many, but I’ll have you know that he was definitely somehow wearing one curled up as a tail while this particular shot was taken… 😯

Scott’s Hospital Fun Guide!

December 12, 2018 1:51am
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So I got released from the hospital today.

I still have cellulitis, but I’m on my way to living my life without it.

Cut to a clip of me throwing a football and you’ve got the commercial for the cocktail of antibiotics that I’m on!

But seriously, kids – I do not recommend cellulitis. I haven’t the foggiest idea how I got it, but I wouldn’t suggest that anyone else give it a try. 

0/5 – Skin Infection not recommended

Thankfully, I had a pretty great care team during my stay that made the whole thing as manageable as possible … thanks to Katie, Brandon, Kristen, and Caitlin for taking care of me and finding me warm socks and all sorts of other things that I don’t think a lot of people realize are just part of the job for nurses. And while you don’t need to go to college to get someone a blanket or refill their ice water, I can’t tell you how much those little gestures helped to make my first stay in a hospital ever a little less lonely.

😉

Anyways, a few final thoughts on my stay before switching track into full blown Christmas vacation mode…

  • The Food Network is a terrible channel to watch in the hospital, particularly at mealtime when you’re trying to figure out how to stomach down “real eggs” and “definitely real sausage” and “not at all cardboard-based pancakes” that the dietary people swear they prepared in a bonafide kitchen and not a microwave and everything.
  • Not having reliable wifi was a real blow. Luckily, they had a decent movie selection, so I watched several during my stay, but I didn’t do a lot online because staring at my phone was bothering me and to write anything I had to do it offline, then tether my laptop to my phone to be able to post.
  • Movies!
    • 1) Get Smart … I just love this movie, so I watched this one the first night I got there. It was interesting to see where the edits for TV were made, but I was relieved that the bit with the swordfish was still included – even if “Holy shit! Holy shit! A swordfish almost just went through my head!” did get corrected to “Holy stuff…” or some other such nonsense…
    • 2) Pacific Rim: Uprising … I hated the first movie, so I figured this was going to be garbage, and it kind of was. I know these movies are more about just giant things fighting, but I have a hard time when the plot holes are big enough for Kaiju to drift through…
    • 3) Jack Reacher: Never Go Back … I thought I remembered Sara and I not really liking the first one, but this was honestly decent. It was basically almost another Mission: Impossible story that gave Tom Cruise two hours in which to be a bad ass, which is always a fun way to wait for one’s pain medication to kick in! 😉
    • Honorable Mention) A Christmas Story … I was going to slip in this one last night, but ended up making some phone calls instead. Sorry, Ralphie – you’ll shoot your eye out soon enough, though – I promise.
  • I must admit that at least once I did contemplate whether I could sneak out to my car and run home for nothing in particular before anyone noticed, considering that the hospital is barely five miles from my house. I pictured stuffing the bed with towels, a la Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and then I remembered that back in reality I couldn’t make it five feet to the bathroom without a walker…
  • I used a walker for the first time! At only 38 years old! It was kind of embarrassing, but then again, so was watching me try to walk without it.
  • A good indicator of how to know when I’m really sick is when I’m willing to wear socks to bed.
  • Also, having another person put on your socks for you is both a very humbling and very endearing thing to experience.
  • Sleeping all day in the hospital isn’t nearly as enjoyable as you think it sounds when you consider it’s because sleeping at the hospital is perpetually interrupted by lab tests and vital signs and people asking you to sign forms promising that you’ll definitely still pay, even if the charges are mutually agreed to be ridiculous.
  • And last but not least, thankfully my charges should be zero or close to it because we exceeded the Out of Pocket Maximum for our insurance two months ago.

So if you’re still thinking about getting cellulitis after all of these glowing reviews that I’ve given for it, I’d recommend waiting until the insurance company is going to pick up the tab before you stumble into the ER on an otherwise uneventful Sunday afternoon.

For best results, wait until about 5:00am and sneak into your insurance company’s room to ask if they’re cool with it – 5:00 am is when people give the best feedback, at least in my own personal experience as a veteran, one-time hospital patient…

I don’t really like to sing in front of other people.

Call it anxiety, call it reality after my bizarre stint back in high school when for like a year and a half I was somehow the singer for the rock band I was in, but as much as I’ll sing along with the radio like anybody else in the car when I’m by myself, I normally just can’t do it with any sort of an audience – even if it’s just my wife.

Yet tonight I found myself singing Christmas carols in the car with Sara and Christopher, and it was both different and kind of nice.

Part of it was because we were desperately trying to distract David from whatever the heck he was crying about, and another part of it was sheer amusement/amazement each and every time that I looked over my shoulder to see Christopher smiling and singing along with us like he knew all of the words by heart!

Considering how much he really struggled with speech over the last couple of years, and even looking back to his end of the year program at school last year where the whole class sang a couple of songs and he just sort of stood there … it was really awesome to see my kid happily singing about Rudolf and Santa and Frosty like it was just another one of those things you do for fun at Christmastime.

…before life and anxieties convince your brain that you have no business emitting any tones other than your normal speaking voice, anyways!

It’s probably hard to tell much from the picture, but I still thought it was kind of neat to notice before going to bed for my unexpected second night in the hospital. It seems that the iconic, blue lights that run the edge of the building’s roofline actually change colors, and in fact are currently set to alternate red and green for the Christmas holiday!

Admittedly I think all of these medications and the general awesome care I’ve been getting are making me a real sap right now, but I thought that was kind of neat to see as I turned out all of my lights to go to bed tonight. 😉

Being a parent of toddlers, right now I’m more so just enjoying the kids experiencing the magic and excitement of Santa for the first time … even though Christopher is four now, I’m not sure in previous years he really understood the whole presents thing. But nonetheless, I haven’t really put much thought into the next next phase where they start to pick at the thread and ask questions like, “How does Santa Claus – who’s built like a dump truck – get down all of those skinny, little chimneys in one night???”

That said, I really liked this anecdote that Erik shared on social media the other day as an awesome way to transform the whimsical kids tale into an inspirational message for adults to lead their own lives by.

In my experience so far, a huge part of how we teach our kids to be the best people we can is through leading by example. It makes me very proud whenever someone remarks that Christopher is so polite, and a lot of that comes from him just being around me and mimicking whenever I tell someone please or thank you.

And if the idea of Santa Claus is a way to push forward those acts of kindness through the whole year by tying them to such a special, childhood favorite, well, talk about the gift that keeps on giving, indeed! 😉

What the hell is cellulitis, anyways?!

December 9, 2018 10:44pm
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A father calls his son a few days after being put into a nursing home…

“Son, you’re not going to believe it! This morning while my nurse was helping me get dressed, I got an erection … and she just gave me a blow job – just like that!” he said enthusiastically.

“Dad, that’s incredible!” replied his son.

“Thank you so much for putting me in this place…” he said before the two said their goodbyes and hung up the phone.

A few hours later, the son received a much more frantic call from his father…”

“Son – you’ve gotta get me out of here! I was walking down the hallway and I slipped and fell, and out of nowhere these two orderlies showed up and fucked me in the ass!”

“Well, Dad…” the son consoled his father, “earlier you said you got a blow job from your nurse, and you’ve gotta take the good with the bad…”

“No, no,” his Dad interrupted him. “You don’t understand – I get an erection once a month, I fall down three or four times a day!”

I love that joke!

So anyways … I’m in the hospital … with cellulitis!

I didn’t know what it was until I googled it, either, so feel free to check out that link above. In my case, it means that my left shin looks like hell and feels even worse to walk on.

And here I’m supposed to be going on vacation the day after tomorrow?!

Truth be told, this is the first time I’ve ever been admitted to the hospital. Sara’s spent the night as a patient more times than I can count, but I’ve been relatively lucky until this point. We’re hoping that I’ll get discharged tomorrow after a few more bags of antibiotics do their thing, so we’ll see.

It does, however, give me a new perspective on how lonely hospitals can be. I mean, my caregivers have all been great so far, but my time down in the ER before I got admitted was really rough – I was by all myself (because Sara stayed home with the kids), and the room was freezing, and I couldn’t eat or drink anything until they decided on a treatment plan, and all of my devices were low on batteries, and it didn’t matter anyways because the hospital’s wifi is shit…

It definitely gives me a newfound sympathy for my fellow inmates here.

Down in the ER, I almost felt guilty because there were so many moans and groans, and my biggest complaint was just being cold because my leg doesn’t really hurt if I keep off it.

For a while they had parked an old lady who was 91 years old right outside my room and I honestly wasn’t sure if she was alive or dead until she too started moaning.

I don’t think I could work in a place like this, but I tip my hat to my wife and sister-in-law and every other nurse and doctor and tech who rises to the challenge each and every day.

One thing I was kind of impressed with is how technology integration is improving. Before I was allowed to watch TV, I had to sit through a handful of tutorial videos about “how to be a good patient” that were actually really good because they talked about how it’s ok to ask questions if you don’t understand something, and to tell your caregivers information even if you’re not sure whether it’s relevant, and even telling patients to call out their caregivers if they don’t wash their hands before they enter the room.

It was a unique way to present what was previously probably just another paper to sign, and I think it gets the message across a little better.

I also like how the TV gets a pop-up whenever someone enters the room that shows you their name, picture, and job.

There are some areas that still have a ways to go – the “learn about my meds” option just goes to a search box, which was useless to me because I only have controls on my remote, not a full keyboard.

Same for the Patient Portal, which just loads a webpage for access to their web portal and ultimately wants a username and password … again, useless without a way to actually input letters and numbers!

I don’t know if maybe there’s a wireless keyboard hiding around this room somewhere, but the key to any good interface is simplicity, so I shouldn’t have to look or ask.

Anyways, the kids already came to visit and Christopher tried stuffing his graham crackers into the controls for my bed, so hopefully they won’t have to move me anywhere tonight!

I’m comfortable, but very restless.

I do have a nice view of my primary care physician’s office from across the little pond thingy, which is better than the roof/construction zone Sara had when she was pregnant with the twins!

Time to watch a bad movie or two before bed…

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