Another trip to the ER

So at this point, since the start of 2016, the majority of our family has needed to be seen at an emergency room.. The only ones who have not made this ‘right of passage’ so far are Elise and myself. I hope I didn’t just jinx it by saying so, especially since we’re not even half-way through the year!

The latest Pellegrini to make their way to the Swedish Mill Creek emergency room was Enzo, who had to go there at 2:30 am on Thursday night / Friday morning. The poor little guy was a bit out of sorts all day with a fever and cough, but he went to bed easily at his normal time, so everything seemed fine.

Jessica was at work that night doing a really cool auction fundraiser for the Seattle Seahawks. She actually had head coach Pete Carroll and team president Peter McLaughlin at her table, so that shows you how much confidence the management at El Gaucho Bellevue has in her. Apparently it was a ‘Celebrity Server’ type of event where Seahawks players were pairing up with Gaucho servers for the night and serving all the patrons of the event. She actually had two players assisting her, but I have to admit I’m not familiar with either of them (one was a rookie and the other was going into his 2nd year). Regardless, she got to chat with Russell Wilson, who was mostly busy playing songs and singing on the piano all night, but made a few stops to visit the Pete’s at their table. The team’s GM John Schneider has a child who is autistic, so the event was held to raise money for autism research. She said people were raising $30,000 donation paddles during the auction like it was nothing. One guest ended up spending over $100k! Although I love the new career I’ve carved out for myself over the past 5 years, I have to admit that these are the types of nights that I miss from my restaurant career. I’m just glad Jessica was there to experience it.

Anyway, she got home from work around 1:00 am and could hear via the baby monitor that Enzo wasn’t doing very well. She went to check on him and saw that he had a high fever, as well as significant trouble breathing. She gave him some medicine to break his fever but it wasn’t working, plus his breathing troubles were getting progressively worse. She deliberated for a bit but ultimately his doctor’s office didn’t open until 7:00 am and she knew there was no way she was going to sleep knowing he was struggling to breathe. So at 2:30 am she woke me up and said “Michael don’t freak out but Mom and I are taking Enzo to the emergency room.” Obviously this got my attention immediately so I woke up as she explained what was going on.

Since the girls were sound asleep there was nothing for me to do besides lay there in bed. I couldn’t go back to sleep because I was worried about Enzo, so I just layed there and waited for them to return. They got back at 4:00 am and said he was doing better. They did a chest x-ray on him and it came back negative. All they really knew was that he had a virus, but there was nothing they could do besides break his fever and give him a breathing treatment. They also gave him a prescription for an albuterol inhaler, which requires a baby mask in his case.

After all this commotion in the middle of the night I decided to work from home on Friday. I try not to abuse that privilege but it certainly comes in handy from time to time. Enzo has been getting better each day since then, and today he went in to see his regular doctor, so I’m anxious to hear how that went.

If you read Jessica’s most recent post then you know all about the trouble she experienced on our anniversary. That was so crazy. I kept telling her on that Saturday evening that something was wrong and she needed to go get checked out, but of course she didn’t want to go. By the time 10:00pm came around I basically forced her to go to the emergency room. The only other times I’ve seen her in that type of pain was during childbirth. It was scary so I’m glad she finally gave in and went to get checked out. I also owe a huge thank you to my cousin Kristy for helping us out that day. She was 90 minutes away and still arrived at our house at 5:00am so I could get to the hospital to be with Jessica. If it wasn’t for Kristy I wouldn’t have been able to be with Jessica for her surgery. The timing was crazy because all of our friends in the neighborhood were on vacation for Spring Break, so Kristy really saved the day.

I ended up getting an unexpected week at home with everyone and I must say it was a really nice surprise. Although I’ve always had respect for all the hard work Jessica puts into caring for the kids, I can’t help but respect it even more now that I’ve walked a mile in her shoes. Selfishly there are times when I wish she could go be a software engineer at Microsoft for a week and let me take care of the kids, but unfortunately that’s never going to happen. Regardless the kids and I had a blast. We got really lucky with the weather that week, so basically everyday I would take them out to the park while Mom stayed home to rest. She recovered quickly and before I knew it my week was over and it was back to the grind. One positive thing we’ll take from this experience is the value of the ‘stay-cation.’ I think I’m going to start taking a week off every Spring Break to spend with Jessica and the kids. There are so many fun attractions in the Seattle area to visit, so hopefully we can make a tradition out of this.

I have to apologize for not writing a post recently. I just looked back and saw that it’s been over a month since my last post. I think that may be the longest stretch I’ve ever gone without writing since starting this blog nearly 5 years ago. During that time writing posts has become the 2nd most cathartic thing I do (behind playing music of course) so going on this long of a dry spell kinda sucks.

In my last post I basically put it all out there in terms of my take on the current political campaign season, so after that I figured I should probably put my money where my mouth is. On the day before Easter, while Jessica and the girls were out at an Easter Egg Hunt, Enzo and I went to the Washington State Democratic Caucuses to show support for Bernie Sanders. I have never caucused before and honestly didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I can easily say that it was a very positive experience. Not surprisingly Enzo was a big hit, but it was a nice opportunity to meet some of my neighbors and have a good political discussion. I hadn’t planned on speaking up to the group, and certainly didn’t have anything prepared, but after a woman spoke up about why she is supporting Hillary Clinton the mediator for our group asked if anyone would like to speak up on behalf of Bernie. Instinctively my hand raised and suddenly I found myself in front of our group, holding Enzo, explaining why I support Senator Sanders. I won’t go into all of that again because it’s not important; I’ve already made all the points I need to in my last post. The important part is that we were there showing our support, listening to what others had to say and not being afraid to make our own points and share our own perspectives. I’ll definitely be doing this again in the future.

Regarding the length of time since my last post, all I can say is it’s been quite a month. I don’t want to say I didn’t have the time because I don’t care for that excuse, but I’ve added a couple things to my schedule that have been taking up the majority of the little free time I already had.
For most people having a full-time corporate job at Microsoft, plus a wife and 3 young kids is more than enough to keep them busy, but I’m an odd duck who likes to pile it on, so I’ve decided to add a second (part-time) job to my life, as well as join a band. Yep, for real.

First my new job: for the past few months I’ve been working on a new website for Card Player Cruises, which is the company my Mom has worked for over the past 9 or 10 years. The pace has really escalated over the past month though, as we prepare for the launch of our new website. Don’t bother going to look for it right now because we haven’t launched it yet. I’m still working 7 days a week to get the new site ready to go live. I can’t wait to launch it and will definitely share the link once it’s ready. I’m very proud of it and consider it the best solo project I’ve ever done. Plus it’s nice to be in such regular contact with my Mom. Once it goes live the number of hours I’m working for them will decrease, but I’ve already got plenty of ideas for future improvements and new features.

Now regarding the band, I’m really excited to be playing music with people again. It’s been far too long since I’ve jammed with people on a regular basis and I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy it. It all started off innocently enough: Jessica’s Uncle Butch and Aunt Carol have a niece named Shayla who is married to a really nice guy named Greg. He’s about my age and recently took up playing guitar. We talked about it a few times at family get-togethers so I invited him over to jam sometime. He started coming over to play guitar and we pretty much hit it off. Although he was brand new to it I could tell he had potential, so at a certain point I asked him if he would ever consider playing bass. If so we could hook up with my nephew Kallan, who is a good drummer, and form a blues rock trio. Greg jumped at the opportunity, went out and bought a nice bass guitar and amp, and the 3 of us quickly started jamming.

Kallan is currently playing guitar in another band with his Dad (who is a drummer) but he’s been telling me for a while that he wants to play drums in a blues band. Right now we’re just working on cover songs but hopefully soon we’ll start writing some original material as well. We’ve currently got 5 songs in our repertoire: Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix), Sunshine Of Your Love (Cream), Texas Flood (Stevie Ray Vaughan), La Grange (ZZ Top), and Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix). If we can add about 5 more songs we’ll be ready to start playing gigs.

Our ultimate goal is to be able to play local shows for our friends and family to attend. I joked with the guys that the pinnacle for me would be for us to play shows and earn enough money from our performance to pay for babysitters so Jessica and Shayla could leave the kids at home and come watch us play. We don’t have a name yet, but it’s Kallan on drums, Greg on bass, and myself on guitar and vocals. I get plenty of practice playing guitar at home every day but practicing singing isn’t quite so easy, and trust me – I need it. The only way to practice singing is to really belt it out, which isn’t something you can do at home with kids, so I’m limited to the car and band practice. Doesn’t matter though, we’re all just there to have fun and enjoy the moment. No one’s trying to become rich and famous here, but it’s still a lot of fun. Not to sound too much like Phil Jackson, but the journey is the reward, so I’m glad to be able to share this experience with them. Hopefully sometime around the end of this year we’ll be ready to start playing shows. I would assume we’d mostly play at bars and small clubs, plus maybe the occasional outdoor event. A car show would be cool…

Tomorrow Grandpa Tom arrives to spend a week with us. Grandma has been here about 10 days and has been super helpful with the kids as usual. Thursday is Jessica’s birthday so I think we’re all going out to dinner that night, then Friday night Jess and I will go to dinner alone while the kids hang out with G&G. Friday will also be an exciting day for us because we’re getting all new carpet upstairs at our house. That means that in the past 9 months we will have replaced the flooring on literally 95% of the house. It’s going to look really nice, and of course we picked the environmentally friendly carpet with corn-based fibers.

Since I probably won’t be writing another post in 3 days I just want to wish my amazing wife Jessica a very happy birthday. Thank you for being so supportive and always putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own. The excitement never seems to end around here but I’m thankful to get to share it with you!

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