Sickness Scare

I’m going to preface this post with a note, just to be safe. I am not a doctor. If your child is sick, hurt, or not acting like themselves, consult your pediatrician.

 

Being a parent brings certain joys to your life. It also brings harrowing scares into it. Literally anything could happen to your child, and it’s nerve-wracking. You can try your best to keep them safe, but the world is not a perfectly safe place to live in. I recently encountered the unfortunate nature of the world in which we live.

My daughter woke up on a Thursday morning with a fever of 103.1°F. This isn’t uncommon in children. Most pediatricians even say that a fever usually is not indicative of anything horrible – it’s the other symptoms that are presented alongside the fever that are the issue. If your child is acting fine with a fever, they’re probably okay. Our daughter was not acting fine. She was very sleepy, wouldn’t eat or drink much, and generally, didn’t want to move. This had us nervous, but since her fever was in the normal range as far as fevers go, we figured we would let her nap a bit and see if she felt better in the afternoon.

To make matters even more stressful, I had to fly out of town Thursday afternoon for a work conference. I’d be gone for 3 days (returning Sunday). When I left the house, I told my wife to call me if anything happened, and to call the airline if we were in the air to have a stewardess inform me of any issues. I left at 2:00 PM and was a nervous wreck the entire trip to the airport, in the air, and on the way to the hotel. I was in constant communication with my wife during all of this, getting frequent updates. From her side of things, our daughter was not getting better.

At 5:00 PM, my wife informed me that our daughter had a fever of 105.3°F. That was doctor territory (possibly even ER). She called our pediatrician and explained the situation. The pediatrician told my wife to give her a full dose of acetaminophen (we usually only give half doses when we use it) and put her in the bath with lukewarm water. After 20 minutes, the doctor called back. My wife had gotten the fever down to 103.7. The pediatrician said that we should probably take our daughter to urgent care to be safe. I’m wringing my hands in the hotel through all of this, mind you.

At 6:30 PM, my wife arrives at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Liberty Campus (which is an amazing facility) and is told that there is a 2 hour wait. Apparently, our daughter’s high fever isn’t that concerning to the triage nurse. So they wait (and I text her frequently).

By the time my wife finally gets called back, our daughter’s fever had broke and was at 99.7°F. Our daughter was also acting pretty normal (if not a bit sleepy, since it was nearly an hour after her bedtime). The urgent care doctor says that fevers are usually okay depending on how the child is acting. My wife felt embarrassed like she was being a stereotypical overly concerned parent, and I’m a bit upset the doctor at urgent care didn’t reassure her that bringing our daughter in was the right call (especially since our pediatrician told us to do it).

We still don’t know what caused the fever. They tested for a UTI and flu, but both tests came back negative. The rest of my trip went fine, since I knew our daughter was doing well. The next day, she was right as rain, and my wife was able to go to a Journey concert as she had planned. My parents watched our daughter overnight and said she was fine the whole time.

It was a whirlwind of an experience, but I am now a more knowledgeable parent and will know how to react the next time a sickness like this shows up.

Happy Birthday to me

I turned 31 recently. It doesn’t feel any different than before. Turning 30 was a big deal, for sure, because that was the first year I had a daughter with me on my birthday. It’s crazy to look back at your life and see how you got to where you are. Would I have changed anything? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m pretty happy where I am right now and changing the past gets complicated. Butterflies flapping their wings and all that.

We had a few friends over for lunch and played Ticket to Ride. That is such a fun game. Super easy to pick up and play for anyone. There’s some strategy, but the rules are very simple to learn. We had a blast with it. I wish it were more players than 5, though. I suppose I’ll have to pick up the expansion soon.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

No thanks to GameStop, I procured a Nintendo Switch and have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There are plenty of reviews and other people’s opinions on the game out there. I am a big fan and agree with all the great things people have to say about the game. It is, however, a huge time sync, and with Dad being my number one hobby, it’s hard to find time to play. However, I thought I’d write about how I have been finding the time.

First, I have a wonderful wife who understands the enjoyment I receive from playing video games, so she will watch our daughter for an hour if I tell her I want to go play. For example, on Sunday, after we did some errands and I had helped clean up around the house, I asked her if I could play for an hour. I sat down in the living room and played the game while my wife and daughter were also in the living room doing their thing. I could easily pause it and give attention to my daughter when she needed it, but still had enough focus to be able to enjoy the game.

Second, I take advantage of all the sleeping my daughter still does. She takes an hour nap during the day which is great to take advantage of on weekends. She also goes to bed a few hours before us, so I have some time there. I will say that I’ve not been following my sleep schedule very well, so some late nights with tired mornings have been happening – but that isn’t typically a norm, nor should it be.

Third, my workplace is very open to people enjoying their time, so I’ve brought my Switch to work to play during lunch. There are 6 of us at work that have been doing this, and it’s fun to all be playing the same game, doing vastly different things from each other, and discussing our findings.

In general, my hobby of being a Dad takes up a lot of time. But with the right time management, I’ve been able to find time for my video game hobby, as well, which has been especially important during the early days of discovery in Breath of the Wild.

GameStop and my Nintendo Switch preorder

I don’t know why I thought GameStop would somehow do a good job with the Nintendo Switch preorder. I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with them, in general. This Switch preorder is just another thing to add to the list.

I preordered my Nintendo Switch bundle the day they went live. I used PayPal as my payment method during the checkout process and got a confirmation as expected. I was excited. Today, I receive an email that my payment couldn’t be processed (with no specific reasoning as to why it couldn’t be processed) and that I have less than 48 hours to correct the issue or my preorder will be cancelled. I am directed to a self-service portal where I can “Update my credit card information.” There’s my first red flag – I used PayPal to pay, not a credit card.

When I click the “UPDATE CREDIT CARD” button on the site, I am brought to a screen that says “Please leave this window open while we attempt to process your request.” with a loading spinner. The spinner never goes away (I’ve left the page up for more than 10 minutes, and no site should take that long to load anything). I also see red flag number 2: an error in Chrome telling me that “This site is trying to load scripts from unauthenticated sources.”

Naturally, I do some digging into this error. I find from the JS console log that the HTTPS site is trying to load an HTTP error page, which Chrome does not like. The error page is a generic “Oops. Somethings wrong.” page… great. So, I can’t use the self-service page to update my credit card information. This is pointing more and more to GameStop not processing PayPal orders properly.

Luckily, there’s also an 800 number listed in the email that I can call. I have currently been on hold for 58 minutes waiting for someone to answer. I think I’m going to lose my Switch. 🙁

 

Update: After 82 minutes on hold, I was finally able to speak to a representative. She assured me that she was able to reprocess my payment, and that I’d receive a confirmation within 24 hours. That’s cutting it very close if it fails again, but here’s hoping.

 

Update 2: Turns out that GameStop did not ship my order as I was told, and then they cancelled the evening it was supposed to be at my door. Luckily, I was still nervous about the entire ordeal, so I went to Target on launch day and purchased one in the store. I am still able to play Breath of the Wild and didn’t have to worry about buying an overpriced console on eBay. No thanks to GameStop in any of this. I will decidedly not be using them ever again.

The dreaded morning wakeup

My daughter is 16 months old, so by now, we have a decent handle on sleeping. For “sleep training”, we did a mix of nursing to sleep and cry it out – depending what we thought would work best on a given day. Sleep training, in general, is an odd concept to me, since every person is different, so you can’t really use a specific methodology that will work for every kid. I still have trouble falling to sleep on some nights, so I can’t imagine why I’d expect my daughter to be some saintly sleeper.

In any case, she is now accustomed to her specific bedtime routine:

  1. Go to the bathroom and clean up
    • We give her a bath twice a week. And on days that don’t involve a bath, we brush her teeth and wipe her face, ears, hands and feet
  2. Change her diaper
    • We use cloth diapers, which I’ll be sure to write about on another date
  3. Get into pajamas
  4. Read a book
    • We read the same book every night for one week at a time
  5. Say goodnight to everything in the room
    • Mostly just the decor on the walls, since it’s easier to do as we walk around holding her
  6. Sleep
    • We rub her back for a few minutes if she’s still wide wake or cranky and needs calmed down

She doesn’t always go through the routine reluctantly. Some days are better than others, but for the most part, it works. She gets to sleep, and we get to do what we need to around the house before we go to bed (the routine starts around 7:45 PM and ends between 8:15 and 8:30 – we go to bed around 11:00).

What doesn’t always work out so well is the morning wake up. The magical days are when she sleeps until 8:00 AM. Those mornings are like little pockets of gooey chocolate in a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. The hellish days are the ones where she wakes up at 7:30 AM and starts babbling. Yes, it’s only 30 minutes, but it’s mind-blowing how much that tiny difference makes.

Now, I should note, I’m talking about weekends here. On weekdays, I’m usually up and out the door by 7:30, and in a bad mood because I push this lack-of-sleep onto myself. But weekend sleep is the most glorious of things for a parent. It’s the most sacred of events and should be treated as a gift from the gods. But when you are looking forward to it, and your kid wakes up earlier than expected, it’s like you were shoved off the top of a mountain falling to your inevitable doom.

On those mornings, I get my daughter and bring her into bed with us and hope that she’ll lay quietly for a bit longer. Otherwise, we’re up and ready to spend some solid time with our little angel.

Aside: I realize that we are quite lucky with our sleep situation, but sometimes, you gotta complain about nothing.

Ugh. Another Dad blog?

Sure. Yeah. Why not? I’ve heard that writing is a good way to decompress, so I figured I’d start doing it. If no one reads, that’s cool. If people find particular posts of mine to be awesome, that’s great, too. If someone hates my philosophy towards being a Dad… I appreciate that everyone has an opinion and hope they at least understand my point of view.

Quick introduction to me: I am, in fact, a Dad. My daughter is nearing 16 months now and is one of the most enjoyable and frustrating things in my life. My wife is still as beautiful as the day I met her, and I continue to love her more every day. We have a great life and live right in the heart of it all – Cincinnati, OH. I am a software developer (surprising no one who reads blogs) and enjoy outings with my family, video games, TV, books, and being a Dad.

I will likely be very disjointed in what I write, though I’m sure a lot will focus on being a Dad. I also doubt I’ll be keeping a steady schedule. Who knows? This could end up being my first and only post, but I sure hope not. I guess we’ll see what happens, but thanks for reading, if you are.

My daughter at a Cincinnati Reds game
Excited at the Great American Ballpark

Aside: I capitalize Dad even though it isn’t grammatically correct. I’m not going to apologize.