Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Intro to Eastern Medicine

I assume massage could be categorized as Eastern medicine, but it's so mainstream now I'm not sure.  A few months ago a place called Turtle Dragon ran a Groupon for acupuncture sessions.  I'd always wanted to try it but never followed through.  So this struck me as a fun opportunity and I bought it.

My appointment was yesterday.  I went into the little shop that smelled a bit like a head shop with the incense (at least that's what I assume it was) filling the air.  They had all kinds of ointments and Asian knickknacks like you'd find in any Chinatown souvenir shop on display with some interesting seating and decorations putting you into that foreign culture vibe.  Just like a doctor's office there was a little windowed box with a receptionist to greet you.  She had me fill out some forms.  Most were health history and a description of a typical day with food, exercise, bathroom breaks, and stress laid out.  I was very frank and honest, why not?  Who knows what they could screw up if I tried to make myself sound better than I am.

I also put in information about the car wreck I was in a couple weeks ago.  Quick recap.  A taxi driver didn't see that me and all the traffic on the highway were stopped because an accident was being cleared out of the right lane.  He tried to jump to the right but saw a couple of police cars and smacked right into me.  Company car, so I'm not worried about the damage. His was destroyed.  He told the cops who, being on the scene helped us get safely to the other side of the highway, "He just stopped!" Without skipping a beat the officer said "and you didn't!" Humor isn't appreciated in times of stress, and especially when English is your second language!  He got a couple tickets and I got a jacked up back and neck. 

So the acupuncturist comes out to greet me.  He was about 6 foot, trim, good looking, white guy.  Not really what I was expecting but then again, I doubt an elderly China man would be caught dead associated with Groupon.  So he gets me into the room and says "20 cups of coffee?" I pointed out that it was per week, not a day. Apparently 4 cups a day is excessive...who knew? He said "don't you realize that caffeine is a toxin plants produce to warn animals not to eat them? We need to find you something else to supplement after your first cup or you will feel like crap in your 40's." Apparently he finds that confrontation is relaxing for his clients.

He has me lay down on the table and starts pushing around on different parts of my body and asking if they are tender.  He moves right into putting needles into some points around my arms, hands, legs and ankles.  I just lay there for about 10 minutes.  They didn't hurt going in, but after a little while I felt a slight burning around them, but nothing horrible.  He comes back in to put more pins in me, a few around my belly button.  After pushing around on my stomach, he informs me my sugar intake is too high and goes on about how many grams are in an apple and the behemoth bananas Dole produces.  I'm left to lie again.  I'll give him that being alone in a room at a time when I'm usually inundated with phone calls was relaxing, but I don't know how much the needles did.

Later he has me flip over (needles removed) and starts feeling around on my neck and back.  He tells me he'll focus on my neck with the next set of pins.  He asked if I'd mind him doing something a little more rigorous to help with the relief but since it was my first time he wanted me to make that call.  I let him know I wasn't apprehensive about whatever he wanted to do.  Besides, I might as well get the most out of this since I probably won't go back...yep, snap judgements are a bitch, especially when we get off on a bad foot first.

He explains that he wants to do some cupping to help recirculate the bad blood that's stored in my muscles.  No not that kind of cupping, the kind with heated glasses on your skin.  They basically act like a vacuum.  I'll admit, I understood the concept, but hadn't really though beyond that.  When he returns he rubs my back with lotion and applies the cups.  Only two of them.  He then rubs them all over my shoulders and upper back.  This was quite possibly the most painful experience I've ever willingly allowed to happen to me.  Not like breaking a bone or child birth, but the friction really did hurt like hell.

He was done and about to put more needles in my neck, shoulders, arms, and legs when he said something that startled me.  He said "you might forewarn whoever you share you life with what we did here before you take off your shirt tonight. Your back will look kinda gnarly." My head popped up and I said "like bruised?" He replied "bruisy."  I laid there the rest of the time, far less relaxed until he came in to take the pins out and send me on my way.

He may not be a doctor but bruisy isn't a word I want to hear describe what the after effects of treatment.  When I got home I wanted my wife to see because I hadn't gotten the chance to inspect it.  Looking at your own back takes more than just a glance over your shoulder.  Horrified is the only way I can describe her face when I removed my shirt.  I have a giant Kandinskyesque hickey all over my back.  I'm pretty sure an S&M club would leave me less visibly accosted. 

Gnarly is right huh?  Today, I'd describe it as "bruisy" given the purple and yellow that have joined red's party on my back. Not really diggin' the whole muffin top thing that I have going on either, but c'est la vie.

A friend of mine is way into Tai Chi and touts acupuncture's glories as well as his desire to own his own set of cups.  There's something for everyone out there.  The pin pricks were just a little red and have already gone away.  This shit ain't going anywhere any time soon!  I'll leave my health to professionals from now on.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do, Please Just Stop

Declan now mimics everything Berlin says and tries to copy everything she does too. Granted everything doesn't come out the same.  This competition is awesome.  When they are watching a TV show, he now talks back the same way she does.  She didn't develop this until she was two!

With it comes the downside.  If she's whiny, so is he.  If she throws a golf ball at the window, so does he.  That'd be my fault for bringing them home in the first place, right?

What's funny though is that in her bullying, she instantly wants to do whatever has struck his fancy.  So I guess they just feed off of each other.  Either that or they are actually learning something.

He hit the eating crayons with reckless abandon stage recently.  I can't say he doesn't stick everything in his mouth, but chalk and crayons are being chewed every time I turn around now.  I don't miss this from her.  The difference is with Berlin, I didn't have to worry about another sibling leaving them out and about.  With her it was our fault for leaving them within reach.

We're still a ways away from potty training Delcan, but Berlin has been trained for all but a month of his life.  The past year, she has had fewer accidents than I can count on one hand.  That is until the past few weeks.  She'll get enthralled with the TV and not give herself enough time to run to the bathroom and get her clothes out of the way.  She's peed on the rug/stool at least 10 times in three weeks.  Twice in the hallway right after she says she has to go.  She'll announce she has to potty and we tell her to get in there. Something will preoccupy her, whether it's something we're doing, the TV, a little dance she wants to do prior or just about anything.

I'm tired of cleaning it up.  I realize she just turned 3 and I should expect this.  That said, a full year with out a hiccup and now urine on the floor every day? Tina swears she left a log on the carpet in the living room.  By the time she found it she just cleaned it up and didn't investigate.  Slacker.  The poop in the bathtub was an experiment.  I'm thinking this was too.

What would you do to change the recent messy behavior?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birthdays in the Wired World

It's my birthday.  November is a heavy birthday month for my family.  I've got aunts, uncles, cousins, and a sister with birthdays this month.  On top of that, three generations in one week.  My daughter's birthday was the 3rd, mine's the 8th, and my Mother's is the 10th. Kinda cool really. 

You hear people, myself included, gripe about Facebook for various reasons.  Days like today however make it totally awesome.  My phone dings every time some one posts birthday wishes on my wall.  Let's be realistic, I know it announces my birthday at the top of the page, so maybe people didn't just remember it.  But the constant outpouring of love coming my way makes me feel pretty good just the same. 

From Facebook, text messages, emails, and phone calls, I'm diggin this interconnected world we live in.  Hell, my aunt even sent me an Amazon Gift Card via Facebook.  While connecting your "finances" to the social network may be iffy, that was a pretty cool side affect. 

So to all you fellow Scorpios out there, I hope your day will be as enjoyable as mine has been.

Friday, November 4, 2011

3 Years

Yesterday was my little girl's 3rd birthday.  Tomorrow marks the day we actually took her home three years ago.  It's hard for me to grasp that there will soon be 5 little ones running around my house.  I am still learning as a parent.  In truth, I believe everyone continues learning as a parent their entire lives.  My parents are having to figure out how to be grandparents, theirs are learning to be great grand parents. Constantly gaining and lessening responsibility.  Also constantly gaining and imparting wisdom or at least your opinion onto the next generation. 

I've certainly, bearing my ass, have tried to impart my experience onto new parents.  Now I've learned to just keep my mouth shut.  No kid is the same.  Now that we have two that is certainly evident.  I have a friend who successfully did that whole cry it out crap with her first kid and the second kid wouldn't have any of it.  There is no guide book or correct versus incorrect.  That's what gives each of us our individuality, our personalities mixed with those of our parents and siblings all swirled into different socioeconomic levels.

So what have I learned in 3 years of parenting?

If something is breakable and within your child's reach, it will be broken.  In fact, if you leave anything within their reach, yelling at them for ruining it is really silly cause it's so your fault you ninny.  Of course I'm speaking to myself here.

Mommy and Daddy's toys are far more coveted than any other object in the house.  Cell phones, Television Remotes, Stoves, Refrigerators, Power Tools, Computers, Kindles and Cars.  Most will have to be replaced at some point because of their obsession and penchant for destroying objects!

If you want your child to eat something specific, lets say a sandwich or non pasta related food item (cause you know pasta will be devoured no problem) do not under any circumstances let them see chips, fries or any other potato related item.  Starches will win every time. 

Volume levels of children are adjusted accordingly to the importance level of a phone conversation.  Trying to get a telemarketer off the phone and your whole house is silent. Chatting with a friend or relative, there is a constant murmur with occasional bursts of "here I am" reminders.  Finding out that a relative has just passed away and you might as well be at a public playground.  Working diligently with the computer technician whom you waited on hold with for 2 hours to get to and Walmart's PA system might as well be attached to your shoulders.  Try talking to your boss while trying to convince him that working from home will cause no distractions to your work performance and 747's fueled by baby screams couldn't touch the sound level your kids produce.  I now look forward to going to my office at work and completely understand why my mother used to lock herself in the bathroom for half an hour every night.

Poop happens.  A lot.  Lose your gag reflex and always keep extra wipes around.  Same goes for snot and drool, just less gagtastic I guess.

Older siblings will hurt younger siblings.  You must defend the little ones. 

Younger siblings will annoy older siblings.  Give them separation often.

My kids are my biggest fans.  Every time I walk in the door I have 2 little people scream DADDY! Typically followed by my wife mumbling, yeah, go get your father please.  Enjoy this adoration, I've seen my friends with teenage children.  It goes away completely.  The cacophony of 5 rugrats calling out my name could be really cool though.

Speaking of names.  If you call your spouse by their real name, so will your children.  I've been Dorn my entire life and only Daddy for the past three years.  Why then is it so unnerving to hear my daughter call me Dorn?  It's even better now that we're Daddy and Tina not Mommy.  Snicker every time gets me smacked.

Pacifiers are a blessing and a curse.  My son wouldn't take one at all.  My daughter had hers taken away 6 months ago.  That was the end of non-car-educed-naps. 

Children are so much smarter than we given them credit for.  Combine them in groups and they can do serious damage.  Just because they cannot properly communicate their thoughts doesn't mean they aren't using their little heads. 

The television programs that annoy you the most are probably the ones teaching your children something.  Those you can actually stand to watch are mindless crap.  Both serve a purpose.

Yelling at your children is pointless.  They will tune you out in an instant.  You'll learn to reciprocate accordingly. 

I'm sure there's a million and five other things but I've still got forever ahead of me to continue learning.  Most important thing though is to enjoy each moment you have because time flies so quickly.  I can't wait to see what the next 3 years holds, let alone 30!