Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowed In

Today I was having trouble driving on the main roads out of Federal Way. I decided that my bald tires just weren't up for the challenge of traversing solid ice at 6:00am, so I turned around in the middle of the street and came home. So here I am at home really bored, but enjoying my time with the family. I paid some bills, read a book, played a computer game, watched a movie, made everyone banana-nutmeg pancakes for breakfast and cleaned up a bit for Christmas. And all that before 2pm. Now there isn't much to do, so I thought I'd come update my blog. But nothing interesting has happened, except to say that my niece was discharged from the hospital, and that her recovery is going as well as can be expected.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Six Day Work Weeks Are Not Fun.

Today is Saturday. On any other normal week, this is my day off. It is the day I get to stay home and play with the kids and do stuff around the house. When I get to go out with my wife to dinner or something. But not the week before Christmas. This week, we throw all DOT rules and regs in the garbage and just get the packages delivered. This week I put in 65 to 70 hours (I lost track after about Thursday), which is well over what the government says is the limit. But someone has to deliver the Christmas presents, because Santa is too busy with his own stuff right now. Today I was delivering on Mercer Island. I took out about 60-ish stops and only got about half of them off of my truck. In case you didn't know, the northwest has been hit with a monster cold snap/snowstorm, at least for the northwest, and we have had sub-freezing temps since Wednesday night. So by now all of the snow has been compacted into one solid sheet of ice and no one here knows what to do when that happens. Anyway like I said, I was on Mercer Island which is probably one of the least traveled hilliest parts of the Seattle driving around trying not to slide off the roads and into other cars, people, houses, ect. I had chains on my tires and even the smallest hills were a challenge. I ended up doing a lot of walking to get my packages off. Unfortunately in the end I was only able to get about half of my deliveries done and freeze my feet at the same time. And I forgot my lunch.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Children's Hospital

Today I went to visit my niece at Children's Hospital in Seattle. The surgery has been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon (if I remember correctly) and should take a few hours. They were originally going to do it next Monday, because her blood pressure was pretty high, but I think that they finally realized that they were dealing with a 2.5 year old little girl who had never been to a hospital before and had all sorts of strange people poking and prodding, and on top of that, her parents were probably a little scared too. I imagine that all of these things made a minor contribution to elevated blood pressure levels. But now that she has been there for a while and gotten used to everything, surprisingly enough the blood pressure has dropped down to more normal levels so the surgery has been moved forward. It gives them a better shot at being out of the hospital before Christmas. But she seems mostly like her normal self. She seemed kind of grumpy today, I took some pictures of her with my cellphone camera and I only got frowny faces with one half smile. Maybe if I get a usb cord for my phone I will upload them.
Children's Hospital is a nice and friendly environment. If I had a child with problems, I would take him there. But you walk in there, and after a few minutes you want to leave. It is probably due to the fact that it is such a nice place, that you just think about being at home and so you just want to go home. They have murals on the walls, family lounges with small kitchenettes where you can put and prepare food you bring, playrooms and lots of toys for the kids... just about everything you could want. Except that it is not home.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Re: Important

So far this month there are quite a few things of importance to write about. We will see how far I get before I am interrupted. The first thing I would like to talk about is Wilms Tumor. One of my nieces was diagnosed with this type of cancer last week. It's a rare cancerous tumor that develops from immature kidney cells. It primarily develops in children from birth to about 6 or so. She is not quite three. She is at Children's Hospital now, she had a preliminary exam and they ran a bunch of tests to try and determine how far along the cancer was. The doctors figure that she has had the tumor for about a year, but that it is probably still encapsulated within the kidney tissue. That is good, in case you were wondering. It means that it likely has not spread to the surrounding tissue yet. They have her on a tentative surgery schedule for this next week, and they will remove the diseased kidney. One of my brothers also developed this same cancer when he was 6 months old, and the doctors removed his kidney as well. We are all very positive, all things considered. My father gave her a blessing the other night that had good things to say. They live out of town, and when they went to the hospital on Friday, if it was really bad they were going to schedule the surgery for that same day, or Saturday. But they determined that it was alright to wait for a little bit, so that is encouraging. The unfortunate part of putting off the surgery is that she is required to stay at the hospital until the surgery, and who wants to stay at the hospital for an undetermined amount of time. I know I don't. But she is a happy little girl, and I'm sure that their little family will make the best of it. On the bright side, I work in Seattle, and so I can go visit on my lunch breaks.
On a less serious not so distressing note, today we went and got our Christmas tree. We tried to get it last Saturday, but Rachel got out of work late (on her birthday) and the place was closed by the time we got there. It is a u-cut tree farm out in Hobart called Papa's Tree Farm. Kind of far from us, but it was fun. Racel doesn't like being cold, so cutting a tree down in the snow (it has snowed a little in the last day or two) was not the most fun for her, but I would like to make this a tradition. Anyway, we cut down a 7-foot Frasier Fir. It's a pretty nice looking tree, for a great price. I did make us look a little for it though. Rachel was going to choose the first tree she saw with a for sale sign on it so that she could get it over with and get out of the cold, but I wanted to make sure that we got a tree that we were both happy with. She ended up picking out the tree in the end. It is not a full and conical as the sheared trees that you get at the grocery stores, but that is fine by mee, cause it looks like a real tree that we went and cut down (since that is exactly what we did). I am very happy with it. Ok, I have been interrupted now. We put Noah's crib in here with the computer so that no one wakes him up by talking or whatever. So I have to get out now, since Rachel just out him down to sleep. Expect more tomorrow.