Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Life - Junior Sick

In my previous life I'd take time off from riding if I got sick or if I had a ton of chores to do. In this life, after Junior arrived, he takes precedent over pretty much everything else. In the last week or so our main focus has been on taking care of Junior while he battles a stomach bug. He's getting sick each day (i.e. projectiling, enough so that we were doing a load of laundry each time) and has had such a marginal appetite that I can't believe he has anything left to give. He's tired and much more needy than normal, probably because his stomach isn't feeling good.

I've spent a lot of time simply holding him, his arms tucked in against his chest (he does that as he gets comfortable), his head resting sideways on my shoulder. I don't have a picture of that since I wasn't thinking of taking a picture when I was holding him (but I admit I did afterward).

Holding his giraffe, courtesy a former teammate Tom who lives up in Maine.

When he was on my shoulder that was basically him except he was on my shoulder and his elbows were at his side.

He doesn't look sick.
The bar hints at a future post.

At any rate his schedule of waking up in the middle of the night to get sick, followed by an early wake up call, then a slew of short naps during the day… it's got me all discombobulated. I tried to ride but was too tired when I had the time. I also had some pretty bad stomach cramps so I might have had a minor version of what he had. On the other hand I managed to get the garage cleared out before the temperatures dropped too much, but, honestly I really haven't gotten much else done in the prior week.


I know, it's basically clear (I did a big push on a warm day in October), but usually the right bay is full of Bethel stuff which is now becoming more "Carpe Diem Racing Event Services" stuff. Instead of putting it all away for the season I've been working a few more races, doing registration mainly, and I just pack that stuff up and head out. After Silk City Cross I finally put everything away.

My big job in the above picture was to move the shelf out of the middle of the garage. I wanted to clear that out, toss or organize the stuff on it, and give us more room. More "forgiving" room, to be completely clear - hitting a sharp edged metal shelf with a fender isn't very good. Hitting a plastic thing that will move is much better.

I also needed a day where the Missus could look after Junior. I needed to move some big stuff to our storage bay, including the tent (the tall blue thing in the middle). It would fit in our Jetta Sportswagen but that would mean removing Junior's seat. Since I have to drive to the storage bay that means that Junior wouldn't have a good place to sit so that precluded doing the work when I had responsibility for him. The Missus took over Junior's supervision for a long afternoon and allowed me to move stuff back to the storage bay.

After. The cars are waiting to pull in.
The plywood tilted against the left wall is to act as a door shock absorber. Works well, btw.

It does look a bit better. I swept the floor after I cleared stuff out. The tent, the middle shelf, my bike, some soil, and a few knick knacks all found homes. Of course I have thoughts on what I want to do next spring but we'll see how life treats me. The biggie would be doing a true epoxy floor covering. Another biggie, much less realistic, is insulating the garage. Smaller and more realistic things include shelving, more storage hooks, and organizing the stuff behind our garbage/recycling bins better. I also want to surround the air compressor with rigid foam insulation to try and quiet it down. But that's for another time.

You can see the modular work benches in the back of the left bay - they work together, the two tall ones and the one shorter one, so that I can use the miter saw (on the shorter table) and the surface of the miter saw lines up with the other two benches. This means I can support a 2x4 along the two taller benches while cutting it in the middle. I used them to cut wood for a couple projects already and it's nice not having to worry about cutting a 2x4 and then having a long piece dangling over the bench edge. The "waist height" miter saw is great too, no kneeling on the floor, and it's easy to put away. I highly recommend such a system.

The idea was to have the benches latch together to form a unit but I haven't done the latches. They roll on locking casters so if I remember to lock the wheels then the bench won't go rolling down our steep driveway.

Forgiving stuff we can hit.

You can see that the stuff between the poles is much more forgiving to a car fender. It's mainly ice melt stuff, sand, and a couple empty litter bins. The litter bins are great for water tight storage for things like sand, ice melt, and even safety equipment (I store eye and ear protection in one).

You'll notice the two "no spill" yellow (yellow=diesel) cans of fuel. We buy diesel for our two diesel cars using food points. Since the points really add up we try and buy a lot of diesel when we buy it. This means a trip with both cars plus the auxiliary fuel cans, and we park in such a way that we can fill up everything without moving any cars.

Out of view is the yellow can on the ground.
Picture is from January 2013 but you get the idea.

This saves us more money, allows us to make one trip (Junior sits in one of the cars), and helps control that "I need to get fuel" anxiety. With 10 gallons of diesel on hand it's basically a normal fill up for a 14 gallon tank. The last time we got fuel, over last weekend, we paid $2.49 per gallon for diesel. We got over 30 gallons but stayed under the 35 gallon limit, and based on the points we saved in the 40+ dollar range on that fuel trip.

Today, Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Junior has made huge progress. It started yesterday, when he finally had a "BM" (bowel movement aka poop). It's hard trying to guess what he's feeling because he can't communicate what he's feeling - we have to interpret a whimper or a sad wail or an intense shriek (the latter when he's really in trouble). However, based on our experience in the last week, a BM (or, in his case, three of them in a day) is a really good sign that whatever stomach bug he had was working its way out.

Now he's still a bit tired, fatigued-like, but alert and curious and wanting to do stuff. He's eating a lot more than before - one day he basically had one strawberry, some saltines, and some milk and water. He's not quite at the "grilled cheese and a half" record meal from a month or two ago but that's okay, we'll take the progress. We have to change his diaper during the day instead of changing it "just in case" so he's a lot more hydrated.

After what amounted to a week pause in my life I can now get going again. I have a couple things planned for the bike, some unexpected stuff to handle, and some long shot stuff to work on.

Hopefully Junior's schedule returns to normal. It's tough watching him suffer, but in this case we could only console and comfort him.

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