Thursday, October 29, 2009

Folks, you do not want this bug.

Good news is that Wynn has largely shaken off the effects of the virus, with just a lingering cough and occasional sneeziness. She's full of energy and enthusiasm & went back to daycare on Wednesday.

Bad news is that I'm still struggling with fever - 99.5 on average, spiking to 101.5 as I woke up this morning. Have been using full doses of Advil, supplemented by smaller amounts of Tylenol. Drinking juices and water regularly. Sleep has not been a friend - I get a few hours overnight, plus catnaps during the day. (Having Wynn at school finally gives me a chance to rest.) Either the coughing or the fever will wake me up; want to wrap myself in blankets even though I'm sizzling...

Shadow snuggled next to me most of the night. Very sweet pup. But I have no energy to run around and play fetch with him like he wants to.

And when Wynn got home last night, so excited after a fun day with her friends, I was so sad that all I could do was lie there on the couch and watch her, and wish that she wasn't so loud with that beautiful voice and expressive vocabulary of hers.

I miss hugging my wife. I miss sleeping in my own bed.

Folks, you do not want this bug.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Yep, we got the flu.

I can tell you exactly when it hit: 4 am Saturday morning. I woke up to hear Wynn whimpering in her room. Usually she cries when something has bothered her enough to wake up in the middle of the night, so I knew something was wrong. When I hugged her I could tell right away ... and the thermometer confirmed, 100.9 degrees.

I got right on it with Children's Advil, cool washcloths, and water. She managed to fall asleep about 5 am and finally woke up at 8.

Saturday night was the highest fever at 104.5, but that was only when the Advil wore off. Most of the time this weekend she was perky and full of energy, with some sneezing and coughing. But when the drugs cut out, you could tell immediately.

I think her fever finally broke sometime Sunday night, as she hasn't recorded anything above normal when I check, and I haven't given her any Advil today. We spent the day at home, where so far she has played very nicely and taken it easy on me. This photo is of the nap I hear her waking up from just now...

Sure enough, about 11 this morning, the fever hit me. I've managed to even barf a little this afternoon.

Since I'm not going to be getting a lot of productive work done at the office, I should probably put a plug in for the new Learning Chart that we've just launched:

TREND enterprises, Inc. part number T-38333 "Fight the Flu"

17" x 22" chart, with reproducible activities on the back. Great for classrooms, restrooms, offices, cafeterias.

Suggested retail price just $1.99 through the end of this year.

You can find this chart at the school supply store near you, or directly from TREND.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Headed for Home

Wynn has gotten a good night's sleep,
packed her bags,
and stolen my Domo hat.
She's ready to roll.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Planes, Trains, and ... Buses?

Today we made good use of Seattle's mass transit system, taking the Link to Tukwila and transferring to a bus for the ride to the Museum of Flight. We'd been on the Link before, so that was old hat, but we rode it to the end of the line today and got to see more of the surrounding area.

The Museum of Flight was huge and impressive. Wynn got a chance to get out of the backpack and roam around a bit, racing me across the pedestrian footbridge and pushing every button and knob she could reach. She desperately wanted to get in the cockpit of a fighter plane, but there was a bit of a line. We tried to just keep going, but she was not having that. We waited our turn, and she got her picture taken at the controls.

My favorite part of the museum was outside, where we got to tour the original Air Force One (in service from the Eisenhower through Nixon administrations, so LBJ was sworn in on it on the way back from Dallas in '63) and a Concorde.

Wynn was partial to the gift shop, where she tried on the kiddy Top Gun helmet but ended up getting a box of space mission toys - think Army men with space ships and a lunar module.

We got off at the Chinatown stop on the way back to the hotel and picked up a few more goodies, including a lucky cat for Wynn. It's pink, plastic, and has a solar cell that powers it as it waves. It is currently presiding over about thirty tiny plastic astronauts on the coffee table in our room.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tonight's Lead Story

Shopping at Uwajimaya Market

Wynn decided to bring two toy animals along on our trip: a rubber gecko and her Cuddle Bunny Snuggle Bunny, which is, if you couldn't guess, a stuffed rabbit. Cuddle Bunny Snuggle Bunny sleeps in the bed with us, curled up in Wynn's arms.

When we got back from our morning's adventures - riding the light rail to the Uwajimaya Market and Kinokuniya Bookstore in Chinatown and being interviewed for the Channel 7 News about the rain (seriously, we were on tonight's local news) - Wynn was ready to nap, but couldn't find her Cuddle Bunny Snuggle Bunny anywhere. Scott dutifully pitched in, searching every drawer, digging around in the bed, etc. No sign of the rabbit. We figured out that Wynn had left the (white) rabbit in among the (white) sheets on the bed, and housekeeping had already been by, so Cuddle Bunny Snuggle Bunny was most likely on her way to being commercially laundered. Try explaining that to a three year old!

At the Completely Awesome Kinokuniya Bookstore

Wynn was distraught. The pouty lip came out. The eyes welled with tears. She held me and went on and on, "But I need my Cuddle Bunny Snuggle Bunny. She's my cuddle friend. I miss her. She is probably crying because she's lost." No nap was going to happen, so I carried my pouty, barefooted pre-schooler down to the front desk and told them our tale of woe.

About an hour later, there was a knock on our door. There was a member of the hotel staff, holding Cuddle Bunny Snuggle Bunny, a card from the housekeeping staff, and a tin of Starbuck's mints for us. Wynn jumped up and down and cheered with excitement. I'll admit, I even welled up a bit to see her so relieved.

After the crisis was resolved , we walked down to the Seattle Aquarium to see the octopus. Wynn decided it was kinda creepy looking, but she loved the sea otters.

Checking Out the Anemones and Starfish

We stopped off for some salmon chowder and sandwiches at Pike Place Market and then walked back up the hill to our hotel. We've settled in for the evening - doing some laundry, reading books, and resting our legs from all the uphill climbing a visit to Seattle requires.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wet and Whiny

After dinner we went on an hour-long cruise around Elliott Bay. It started raining again as soon as we got in line for the boat, but it kept to a light drizzle - and actually cleared up by the time we got back to shore.

Wynn got a little fussy on the boat - she was tired, she was wet, and she was upset about not getting her standard allotment of play time. By the end of the cruise, she was asking to go back to the hotel. "Where's the Seattle?!" she whined over and over, wanting to get back on dry land and hang out with her toys and games again.

Icons of Seattle Tourism

We took advantage of today's lack of rain and got out to visit two of Seattle's more touristy spots: The Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. Both were fun, and neither gave off that annoying tourist trap vibe.

We went to the Market after breakfast; it's only a few blocks down the street from our hotel. There was more to it than I expected; it's not just the guys throwing the fish (though we did see the guys, and, yes, they threw the fish). There are also beautiful fruit and vegetable stands, vendors selling fresh flowers, and a whole bunch of tiny places that sell amazing-looking food from all around the world. We sighed at the freshly-made bao and promised Wynn we'd go back later to get cinnamon twists at the bakery. Wynn picked out some lovely raspberries and strawberries at one of the fruit stands, and we all snacked on them as we continued our tour.

We paused briefly to visit Starbuck's #1 (or, as we call it "The Mother Ship Calling Us Home"). Scott has been snapping a picture every time we pass a Starbuck's, and it's starting to get a bit ridiculous. Seriously, we've passed about ten of them within a mile of our hotel.

Starbuck's One

The way to the Space Needle is via the Monorail, so we got to ride on that this morning. Wynn thought it was pretty cool that we were riding on a train through the trees, but she did pitch a bit of a fit when we sat in the "wrong" seats. We made it up to her by letting her choose our seats for the return ride. The Monorail itself is, shall we say, of a certain vintage, so it has old vinyl seats and feels a bit like riding a city bus in Eau Claire; still, it was a quick, fun ride and a way to see a bit more of the city.

No Idea Who That Guy Behind Us Is,
But He Sure Seems Friendly

Speaking of seeing the city - the Space Needle rocks! Sure, it's a big ol' tourist site, but it's also really nice. The whole "architecture of the future" thing is subtle enough to be fun - not tacky, and the view from the top is gorgeous. I can't think of many other postcard places I've been to and bought the t-shirt that were so calm and beautiful. We have a deal with the City Pass we bought where we can go back to the Needle again tomorrow for free, and I'm thinking we may end up doing that in the evening to see the city lights.

Looking Up

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Here We Are, Seattle!

As we drove to the airport this morning, Wynn called from the back seat, "Here we come, airport! Here we come, airplane!" She's been excited about this trip for several weeks - both the prospect of riding on a plane and getting to visit Seattle (mostly because we told her they have an octopus at the Seattle Aquarium).

She was her usual contented self on the plane ride; though, she did have one of those moments of pre-schooler perfect timing when we hit a really rough patch of turbulence, the captain said that everyone was to stay strapped in - even the flight crew, and she immediately chimed in with, "I need to go potty." I told her that the captain was the boss, so we'd all have to wait until he said we could go. She gave the response she always gives when told she'll have to wait: "But I don't know how." But wait she did. And she used the goofy silver airplane toilet with no complaint when the time came.

It was pouring out and rather windy when we arrived, which felt kinda refreshing after all that dry airplane air. Wynn saw it and started singing "Rain, Rain, Go Away", but we figured, eh, it's Seattle. It's supposed to rain.

The ride in from the airport was very nice. Our driver and fellow passenger were outgoing and friendly, immediately striking up a conversation with us that lasted the whole way to the hotel. They recommended restaurants and sights to see and pointed out interesting stuff along the route as well. (Wow, Boeing HQ is huge!)

Our hotel is lovely. We have a full-sized kitchen, a free breakfast buffet, and a balcony we can hang out on and admire the city. We found a great grocery store - Kress IGA - just six blocks from our hotel. It's in the basement of a historic building, stocks mostly organic produce, and has an amazing deli and salad bar. We stocked up on a few necessities and walked back up the hill to, as Wynn calls it, "our home". (Our initial impression of Seattle-ites as friendly was confirmed as we struck up a conversation with another couple carrying a little girl in a backpack, just like Wynn riding on Baba's back.)

We've had our baths - it's a whirlpool tub, but I don't think Wynn's up to the turbo jets yet - eaten a snack, and lounged on the bed looking at the Seattle skyline out the window. We haven't decided what we're going to do tomorrow, but, so far, we're glad we're here.