Twitter status (view all)

    The fix

    I got to see my wife and my baby today!! I went to South Bend, Indiana today to help out another service rep for the day. South Bend is only about a half hour from St. Joe, Michigan - which is where Sarah is. So, I capitalized on the situation and went up there.

    Now that I've gotten that out, let's back up just a bit. I don't call Sarah when she's doing her "girls week". I let her call me when she has time. She's up there to relax and hang with the girls, so I stay out of the way. Sarah calls me once in the morning to say hi, and once in the evening for goodnights. Now, if I end up going to bed before her, I do give her a ring and leave a voicemail saying goodnight.

    Everytime we talk, I tell her to give TyTy kisses for me and to tell him I love him. Sarah tells me that she and Tyler miss me. Yesterday, she was holding Tyler when I told her to give him kisses. She did and I heard her say they were from me. She told me that Tyler started smiling. Awwwww.....

    Ok, so I get there today and scoop Tyler up from his Aunt Jenny. In the two hours that I was there, Tyler peed through his dipe and onto me, and he spit-up - PAST the burp cloth - onto me... TWO TIMES. I'd love to say that he was happy to see me, but it wasn't exactly a warm reception.

    I got to see a couple really cute pictures also. I can't wait to get the camera home, so I can check them all out and get them uploaded to show them off.

    And I'm sure I'm just being crazy here. I mean, afterall, they've only been gone 5 days. I swear that he has doubled in size. He's a beast. I really wish I could take Tyler from Sarah for a week so she can see the hell I'm going through.

    Oh, and I've got friggin poison ivy on my upper right arm now. What the heck man? I was wearing a long sleeve shirt. I've GOT to get the rest of these bushes down so I can be done with it.

    What the....

    Well... I don't have any "Tyler" stories to tell, as he is with his mother this week. I also don't want to neglect the blog. So, time for some ramblings. Delilah is my boxer-mix pup (she's actually a dog, but to me she'll always be a puppy). She is pictured here with a very strange face. Click the picture to view it larger. Also, click this one.. it's also funny.

    So, I've got a long back-yard. Between my back yard and my neighbor's back yard are a line of bushes that are about 8 foot tall. Sarah and I would like to put up a privacy fence so that we can let the dogs run free back there. Currently, we have to tie them up so they can't leave our yard. After getting a property survey done ($400), we now know that the bushes belong to us. Looks like I'll be the one chopping them down.

    I didn't realize how much work this would be. I borrowed some branch cutters from my father-in-law. When I started cutting, I realized that this was really going to take some time to complete. I got through about 5 foot the first day, but I really only spent about 30 minutes out there.

    I wasn't very careful when I did this, and I didn't realize that the bushes were INFESTED with poison ivy. In hindsight, a tanktop and shorts were not a great idea. My left arm is covered in rash and a few spots on my face are as well. I can't even begin to explain how much this itches, so I won't even try.

    But it REALLY friggin itches.

    Yesterday, I went out for another go-around with the bushes. This time, I wore pants, shoes, long sleeve shirt, a hat, and gloves. After about 2 hours, I started stumbling and couldn't keep my balance. That was when it occurred to me that I should probably get out of the sun right away! My forehead felt like it was on fire when I put my hand on it. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take a cold shower, or if that would shock the system, so I just stood in the kitchen for about a half hour before hopping under the cool water.

    Today, it wasn't as hot, so I didn't get those strange feelings, and I was able to knock out another 15 foot of bushes. I'm way over half done now and am pretty pleased with the progress. I haven't noticed any new rashes yet either *fingers crossed*.

    I've got 2 problems now....
    1. I need to get rid of the chopped bushes. I can't burn them because there's a TON of poison ivy in there.
    2. I still need to figure out how to get the roots out. When I cut the bushes, I left about 6 inches at the bottom, because that was about as low as I could get. I tried prying them up with a shovel, and promptly snapped the handle. yay
    I'm hoping to have all the bushes down by Friday, but the roots will probably still be there.

    And lastly... I consider myself to be a... uhh.... well, a nerd. Or a geek, I use the two interchangeably. I found this site online, cubeecraft, that has papercraft layouts. I made a few of them, frankly, because I could. I printed them on photo paper to get the best look.... so... here you go... Indiana Jones, a Storm Trooper, and the Companion Cube. Now I just need to figure out where to put them.

    Missing things...

    I am so unbelievably sad today.

    On Saturday, Sarah went to a Dave Matthews Band concert with a friend of hers. I was left home to babysit Tyler, ON MY OWN. It wasn't a great deal or anything. I gave him bottles when he needed them. I let him nap when he needed to. I played with him when he was awake. Oh, and I changed his dipes about every 20 minutes, it seemed. All in all, we had fun.

    On Sunday, Sarah packed up a bunch of stuff. She is going to be spending the entire week with her Aunt and her 3 sisters. It's a yearly "girls" week. They read, play cards, play in the pool, and hang out. This year marks the first year that a male has breached the sanctity of the women. Tyler went with Sarah.

    Sarah goes every year. And I miss her for the entire week. I knew that I would miss her and Tyler this week, but I had no idea how much I would miss them.

    She left yesterday afternoon. I didn't do much. I watched about 10 episodes of the first season of Heroes. I never watched it when it was on TV. I have had the first season on my computer for awhile, and I had already watched the first 18 of 25 episodes. But that was a long time back, so I started over. I went to bed around 11p or midnight, I'm not sure. Heck, it could have been even later than that.

    It was the best sleep I've gotten in 4 weeks. I sleep through the night when Sarah and Tyler are home, but I can't call it a restful sleep. I wake up tired, even though I slept for 6 or 7 hours. I can't complain, because I know Sarah's got it worse. The point is, even though I sleep, I'm not getting restful sleep.

    Last night was different. It wasn't the quiet that let me sleep as well as I did. It was the knowledge that I didn't need to be "on alert" for anything. I slept HARD. I felt so refreshed this morning. Ahhh.... it was nice.

    I finished season 1 of Heroes and will probably start season 2 tomorrow or Wednesday. Sarah was having a good time and Tyler was being good. I was happy for them...

    At 10:24p, I called Sarah. I wanted to tell her that I would be going to bed soon, and to kiss Tyler for me, and to have fun playing cards tonight. She said she would, of course. Then I asked how her day was. She said that Tyler was a prince and loved the attention he was getting.

    Then she said that he loved the pool and that she took lots of pictures. I almost cried. My son, for the first time in his life, was in a pool... and I missed it. It's not fair for me to have selfish thoughts about that, but I did. In that moment, I missed those 2 more than I ever thought possible. She's only been there for just over 24 hours and has 5 or 6 days more before she comes home. How the heck am I going to manage?

    I already don't see him as much as I want to, because I'm back at work. Now, he's gone for a week, and I am going to miss so many things. It just makes me sad. Even as I read back over this post, I can't find any areas to throw any funny comments in to make it even just a little funny.

    Well, here... this is a little funny. Actually, it's quite funny. Sarah swears to me that this is not a posed photo, and that Tyler actually appears to be throwing a gang sign, completely on his own.

    But, all is not funny here. There's actually something very sad about this photo. Notice his University of Michigan cap? I am so looking forward to dressing him up in his UofM gear when football season starts... but his head is just too friggin big.... this photo is the first, and probably the last, time that he gets to wear the cap.

    I'm going to bed... I'm to sad to read the internet tonight.

    na na boo. goo goo gah gah

    Today, Tyler was looking directly into my eyes. He really seemed to recognize me. He was completely wide-eyed, and fully alert - unlike the photo here. It's a very special thing to experience. I won't try to explain it here, because I know I won't be able to do it any justice. Suffice it to say, it is very, very awesome.

    Tyler is also starting to make sounds. This is aside from his typical screaming when he wants something.

    There are a few "schools of thought" with regards of how one should speak to babies. Some people prefer to keep things as simple as possible. "Mommy love Tyler", "Tyler hungry? Tyler want nursey?".

    Then there are those that say to speak to your child as if you would speak to anyone "Mommy loves you, Tyler", "Tyler, are you hungry? Do you want to eat?".

    Sarah and I belong to the latter. We speak to Tyler in full, grammatically correct sentences. I don't want him to learn poor grammar, then have to relearn the correct way to speak. Just like learning a foreign language. The BEST way to do so is to immerse yourself in it. That's what we're doing. We're immersing Tyler in it.

    Did I digress? Yeah, I think I did.... so... back on track, Tyler is making sounds. It's friggin adorable! We've heard him scream lots of times, but now we actually get to hear a voice. A voice the belongs to my son!

    He says "ooooo" and "ung-a". Of course, Sarah and I started speculating on what he's trying to say to us.

    I told her that it couldn't be more obvious. They boy weighed in at 11 pounds 5 ounces at his 2 week appointment. He's likely to be over 12 pounds. Heck, I guarantee it. He couldn't possibly be saying anything other than "hungry".

    Ung-a... hungry. It's not much of a stretch to make that connection.

    Of course, we both know that it's just nonsense right now, but there's no denying the fact that his daddy is a borderline genious. Maybe, maybe little Tyler will be the next Einstein.

    Seconds after I have this thought, Tyler cracks a smile... then farts. Yup, he is his father's son.

    baba black sheep

    Sarah is going to a Dave Matthews Band concert in Indianapolis on Saturday. It's not really the environment to bring a (wow, he's going to be 4 weeks already) baby to. Since I am not going to the concert - wasn't invited, apparently, it's a girls only thing - I get to stay at home with my son. Don't get me wrong though, I'm certainly not complaining. I can't exactly say that I'm looking forward to it. There's nothing special about it. I can hold him and play with him any time I want to, so it's just going to be more of the same, ya know?

    The big difference is that Sarah's boobs will not be here to administer feedings to our little man. Sarah's been able to pump since about week 2 (which is uncommon, apparently), and has been doing so. A few days ago, she says to me that we need to do a test run with the bottle before she leaves me for an entire day with ONLY bottles to deal with. I asked her "have you seen your son eat?" I mean, c'mon here. The boy likes his milk, and I am positive that he'll take it from whatever source is offered to him.

    Sarah still had her doubts. Well, the time came -two days ago, I believe - that Tyler was hungry wasting-away-starving and Sarah had just pumped. The tanks were empty, man. So, Sarah got a baba prepared. I was holding Tyler and asking him if he was interested in a bottle. He said "bring me whatever you've got". Sarah gave me the bottle then ran into the other room for about 5 seconds. When she came back Tyler was chugging away on the artificial boob.

    He did look slightly confused though. I'm sure he never expected to be looking into my eyes while feeding. At the very onset, he wanted nothing to do with the rubber nipple. He's not a fan of the pacifier, so this didn't surprise me. I squeezed the bottle a bit and made two drops of milk fall from it and into his mouth. The word "lunge" comes to mind when I try to think of how to express his desire for more. He couldn't get his mouth on the nipple fast enough.

    I couldn't help but think of the typical drug fiend, who will do anything for their "fix". Tyler, in an instant, was able to push from his mind the bonding experience of natural breastfeeding, and thought only of his "fix".

    In that moment, nothing existed except his nursies and the rubber nipple from which it came. Any doubts that Sarah had dissolved away.

    The proof is in the... err... video

    Here you are... a 2.5 week old, rolling over.

    Tyler James for President

    2 blogs in one day?!?! Blasphemy! But, you HAVE to watch this video!!

    Red rover, red rover, let Tyler roll on over

    To date, Tyler has rolled over 4 times. I, of course, am the typical "proud daddy". Look what my boy can do. Isn't he advanced for his age? He's just progressing so quickly. I know, I make myself sick, too.

    Sarah, on the other hand, does not share my happiness. She keeps saying that he's too young and blah blah. Deep down, I feel the same. I feel like I'm going to come home from work tomorrow, and he's going to open the door and be standing on the porch to greet me. Of all the fears that a parent has, how can I even have time to have that fear?

    Speaking of work, I'm back at it this week. On one hand, it's nice to be out of the house. The 2 weeks that I was at home, I rarely left the house. So, it's nice to be out... BUT... It's very hard to leave in the mornings. I miss my son and my wife tremendously. If anyone here wants to sponsor my retirement, please send me an email.

    The last 2 days have been especially busy for me. Let me back up a second....

    I have a 2002 Alero. It looks a lot like a Pontiac Grand Prix, for those of you not up on your Oldsmobile models. I'm here to tell you that the Olds Alero was not made for car seats. Sure, it has the latches, and the base fits in just fine. Putting the actual seat (with baby) in, is a chore. You can't just crouch in there and put it in. The short, low profile of the car hinders any such maneuverability. Instead, you have to reach in but your head is still outside the car, and you're looking across the roof. You set the carseat on the base, facing you. Then, you can crouch your head in to look at the mess. Once you get your head and upper body in the car, you have to lift the carseat up, again, and rotate it 90 degrees so he's facing the rear.... THEN you can lock it in place. Getting the carseat back out.... not any easier.

    Needless to say, Tyler doesn't exactly sleep through this ordeal.

    Sarah has a 2002 Chevy Blazer. There is PLENTY of room for the carseat, and it'd be so much easier getting it in, for obvious reasons that I won't delve into. Problem is, her Blazer hasn't ran in about a year.

    When we moved down here, I got a company vehicle, and Sarah started driving my car because it gets better gas mileage. When winter rolled around, I tried to start her truck, it wouldn't start. After a lot of troubleshooting and research, I changed the fuel pump ($300ish). The truck started and ran.... for about a week, then it went back to it's previous state of not starting. I was defeated and it just wasn't a priority. She had my car, I had my company car, and I had a motorcycle... the Blazer didn't HAVE to run right now.

    The arrival of Tyler has made us rethink some of our priorities. I vowed to get Sarah's Blazer running this week. All roads were leading to it having a faulty ignition switch.

    Which brings me back to the last two days being especially busy. I tore the steering column apart on her blazer and swapped the ignition switch and wiring harness out for a good one... NOTHING!!! After some more talking with a guy at AutoZone, he said the engine was flooded. I got home and just kept cranking on the engine. Finally, it started!!!! So, yesterday, I ended up being away from Sarah and Tyler for about 13 hours.

    Today, after work, I needed to put the Blazer back together. Well... the ratcheting switch mechanism for the hazard lights was damaged. So, no hazards and no turn signals. This part is a dealer only part, so I had to run up to the Chevy dealer and spend $18 for a new one. I was pleasantly surprised, because I expected them to charge me about $50, because that's what dealers do, right?

    So, I got it all back together and decided to change the spark plugs, for good measure, as the old ones (although only 6 months old) were black from the engine flooding and no spark being delivered as a result of the faulty ignition switch. Can you tell how fun this project has been?

    After the plugs were changed, I fired her up again... SHE'S ALIVE!!! I took it for a test drive, and she's running as if she were brand new still. I'm very happy... BUT.... this made a second day of me being away from Sarah and Tyler for another 13 hours.

    Here's to hoping that today will be better...

    Where's my club card?

    I confess. I like LOVE being a father. Sarah and I, throughout our 5 years together have talked about the possibility of having kids. For awhile, I didn't want kids, for awhile, I did. Then, one day, it occurred to me that I really didn't care if I ever had kids or not. I just didn't care.

    Last year, Sarah caught the baby-bug. I'm not sure from who, although I suspect it was her sister, Jillian, that did it. She had just had a baby daughter, and was likely still contagious. Sarah went and visited her at the hospital, and caught the bug. I'm thinking of a career in forensics. My detective skills astound me.

    So, she started the baby talk with me. I had the mindset of, "sure, whatever". Once we finally decided to "start trying", though, I found myself a little excited. I told Sarah that she had BETTER NOT be one of those women who have a stopwatch going and, as soon as the alarm goes off, order me into the bedroom, because "it's time". She said "no problem" and that she'd "never do that."

    Sarah is a liar. I think it's a side-effect of the baby-bug, but I have been unable to find documented proof of my suspicion.

    She was still in school at the time, so we were living separate. She was home on weekends. Well, after we made our decision, she would come home on a Tuesday night, because it was time. Then she'd come home Wednesday night, because Thursday morning would be time again. Then, Friday night, it was time for bed, because it was time. Sunday morning, when I'm trying to sleep in??? It was time. When a woman's biological clock starts ticking... it doesn't tick like a normal clock. I was on a locomotive speed train. Next stop, baby town.

    I've really jumped off topic. When Sarah had the positive pregnancy test, I found myself getting more and more excited every day. The first time I felt the baby move... it's an otherworldly experience.

    Today, I found myself very sad, but I couldn't pinpoint it. A few hours ago, the lightbulb above my head lit up. I'm going back to work. I have been home for 2 weeks, and they have been, without a doubt, 2 of the best weeks of my life. Tyler doesn't do much beyond eating, pooping, and sleeping, but I find myself staring at him all the time. Sarah and I have created a human life. It's the greatest miracle of the world.

    But, now I'm coming face-t0-face with the fact that I have to be away from my son for 10 hours a day. Even now, I cannot fathom such a thing. If anyone here has the resources to sponsor my retirement, let me know. I'm very interested in the offer.

    12 months ago, I couldn't have cared less if I never had a child. Today, I cannot imagine anyone not wanting to become a parent. I now believe all of my friends (with children), who said that it is the "greatest, most rewarding thing you'll ever do". It's only been 2 weeks, and I know that they are absolutely correct.

    So, I'm eagerly awaiting my club card to the "Proud Fathers Club".

    And for my next trick...

    Hey there, you cute couple. You look like you've really got it together. 2 cars, a house, a happy marriage, date night, blah blah blah. Oh guess what? You're pregnant now. But you've still got it all together. You've still got date night, you're still happy. Now you've got projects! Build a crib, paint a room, put plastic things in all your plugs. Oh, and you get to go to classes to prepare you for labor. Oh, labor's here. This will be a piece of cake too, because you're prepared. Breathe, relax, breathe, relax. Well... it wasn't quite what you expected, but the 2 of you did great. Good...

    Because all hell is about to break loose.

    Tyler is definitely not a "one trick pony". He is a master of many things. Thankfully, he's easing us into all the different things he could do. On day one, he just layed there, being a baby for us to admire. On day two, he learned to cry. Very nice. Then, he learned to pee on daddy. Then, he learned to poop on mommy. Then he learned to let loose some very loud farts.

    Today.... he showed us that he can spit up. Spit up... what a stupid term. It doesn't even begin to define what the boy can do. Tyler, it seems, can double as a super soaker gun, if you don't mind milk and stomach acid as the fluid inside the weapon. He seemed to be so happy with his newly discovered skill, that he wanted to make sure to show us a few different times today.

    He gave us a double whammy today, though. Let me say, firstly, that Tyler was "trying" to lift his head not 24 hours after being born. Anyway, I was reading online today. I think I was at babycenter, and the article was talking about milestones and some other crap that I didn't care about at the time. Well, it said that we need to make sure that Ty gets "tummy time" when he's awake, so that he can learn to (better) lift his head, and eventually get on all 4's and start rocking, then start crawling, then start walking, driving, dating, graduating college. The article didn't say ALL that, but my mind wanders sometimes.

    So... I put Tyler on his tummy. He liked it. He seemed to like it a lot. About 5 minutes later, Sarah gasps. I looked over at Ty, and the little man had rolled onto his side and over onto his back.

    Slow down!! He shouldn't be doing this so early, should he? Well, maybe it was a fluke. I flipped him back onto his belly, and I'll be darned if the boy didn't do it again. He grunted, and struggled, and even cried for a minute, but he got himself rolled over. He can lift his head up too. And, he is pretty good at balancing his head when I hold him in a sitting up position.

    As a final topic/note... Sarah claims to have Spiderman's "Spider Sense". Earlier today, Sarah said that Tyler would be waking up very shortly because her boobs were tingling. Later on, she said that Tyler needed to eat, because her boobs were tingling. She was right in both instances. Don't get me wrong, I've always suspected that womens' breasts had certain magical properties, but I never knew the extent of said power.

    She never mentioned Spiderman, but I'm a nerd and it was the first thought that came to my mind. I swear to God, I will be so upset if she ends up being a super-hero, and I am the normal "romantic interest", the only person that knows the true identity of BoobGirl.

    He's asleep! Time for a nap!

    Sarah and I have kinda fallen into a routine or schedule, mostly by coincidence, I think. It goes like this... During the day, if Sarah's tired, and she has recently fed (read "just finished feeding") Tyler... she can go upstairs and get a nap. I take care of Tyler the best I can. If he gives his "I'm hungry" cry (which we call the "Nursey Cry"), and it's only been an hour, I tell him that he needs to wait. If it's been 2 hours or longer, we go get Sarah for some foods. I don't hand him off to Sarah if he's crying. He has to calm down first. I stay up until around 2am or so, and stick to the same routine, so that Sarah can rest when she needs to.

    Now, once I go to bed - anywhere between 1am and 3am - if Ty starts getting fussy, Sarah takes care of it. This is for, I would guess, 3 reasons:
    1. Sarah's got the boobs and thus, has the milks
    2. He currently sleeps in our room with us. His crib is right next to Sarah, so she's closer.
    3. Either I sleep through his cries, or Sarah has ninja reflexes and scoops Ty up before he can really turn up the volume.
    I asked Sarah once, why she didn't wake me up to help. If you remember, from a previous blog, she said "Because we didn't need you."

    So, I get one solid run of sleep during the night, and am up for the day. I have been known to nap, but I try not to. Sarah sleeps when she can. It's tough being the mom, but I wouldn't trust anyone else with the job of being my baby mama.

    Ty woke up about 45 minutes ago and started getting fussy. I held him and asked what his major malfunction was. He responded with a cry. I told him to use his words, and he responded with a cry.

    He was kicking his legs around, and his face turned red. He looked like he was really, uhhh... thinking.... very hard. And then, his butt just exploded. I felt the force, through the diaper, on my hand. But he was still straining, so I told him to take care of whatever business he had to take care of, and that I was there to support him. He let 2 more RIP. Then he yawned, and looked at peace with the world.

    I grabbed the diaper supplies and sat him down, all the while trying to mentally prepare myself for what lie between the diaper and his soft, pink skin.

    Nothing. There was NOTHING! The only thing that could have made me prouder is if he had asked me to pull his finger.

    Say Cheese

    The cutest thing I've ever seen in my life is when Tyler smiles. I know it's just a reflex thing, but it's way cool. Believe me, I've tried to get a picture, but the smile is gone by the time I get the camera powered on. It happens most while he's sleeping. We'll just look down and he'll have a smirk on his face, or even a full blown grin. So awesome. I know I've blogged about smiling once already, so I'll leave the topic be until I can get a photo of it.

    We've got two dogs. We've got a female boxer mix named Delilah and a male sheltie mix named Logan. We were slightly nervous about how the dogs would react to baby Tyler, when we all came home from the hospital. There would be a lot of energy, because they were only seeing me 3 times a day while Sarah was in the hospital. They hadn't seen Sarah in 6 days, and they've, obviously, never seen Tyler.

    The day after Tyler was born, I stole borrowed one of the blankets that were used to wrap Tyler in, and brought it home. I let both dogs sniff it. When I went back to the hospital, I left the blanket on the living room floor, so that they'd be able to get used to that smell in the house. Who knows, for sure, if it really works, but that was something I had either read online, or watched on "Bringing Home Baby" on TLC.

    Then, July 1st rolled around, and it was FINALLY time to bring home our baby. When we got in the house, I immediately set the car seat (with Tyler still strapped in) out of the way. Sarah was in intense pain from her C-Section major abdominal surgery, so I had to be sure to block the super-excited dogs from jumping on her. Yes, our dogs are jumpers. Yes, we're working on it.

    Sarah went into the kitchen and sat at the dining room table. I put Tyler (still in the car seat) on top of the dining room table. Then we waited. We were waiting for the energy level to die down just a tad. It was a long wait. The dogs knew something was on the table, and they wanted to see it. When the tempo had finally slowed a little bit, I put Logan outside. I grabbed Tyler (for future reference, the entire kitchen scene takes place with him still in the car seat. I'm getting tired of notating that fact, so there ya go) and sat him on the floor. I sat, Indian style, next to him and SLOWLY let Delilah get closer. I've got ZERO fears of Delilah purposefully hurting Tyler, but she plays rough, and LOVES loves loves to kiss. I don't want her doing either with Tyler. Each time she got close and sniffed, I said "Good girl" and praised her. If she tried licking him, I tapped her nose (not quite a smack, not so weak as a tap) and said "no kissing". If her energy got too high, I pushed her away from the car seat.

    She did wonderfully, but she eagerly wanted to lick his little face off. That's the most restraint I've ever seen her exercise.

    Then it was Logan's turn. I made the mistake of thinking that I could let Delilah stay in the room as well. I'm so dumb sometimes. Things got chaotic very quickly. I gave the leash (strapped to Logan) to Sarah, and took Delilah outside. Then, I did the Logan/Tyler introduction. Logan, I do have reservations about. He was an adoption from the ASPCA, and he was an abused dog. As such, he's got trust issues. He doesn't like strangers. He has bit people before. We love Logan to death, but he's got two outs, and two strikes already against him. I told Sarah that, if I so much as see him "show teeth" to Tyler, he'll be at the vet getting put down that afternoon. And I mean it.

    As a side note, Logan's attitude/demeanor has done a 180 since we've gotten Delilah, but that doesn't mean I'm going to just flat out trust him. Either he accepts Tyler as another future alpha male in the house, or he gets put down.

    He also did wonderfully. He sniffed around Tyler for a bit, then left. That's it.

    In the following days. Logan has sniffed Ty a few times. He gets curious when Tyler is screaming. Otherwise, he just lets him be. Delilah, on the other hand, is madly in love with Tyler. She wants to sniff him (and probably kiss him) all the time. She's doing great. She tries to sneak in kisses sometimes, but for the most part, just sniffs him.

    It was much easier than I'd expected, though I won't be letting my guard down with Logan. Both dogs have been slightly attention starved, Delilah much moreso than Logan, but things are finally starting to normalize.

    Man... it's going to be so weird going back to work on Monday.

    Use your words

    The picture above has nothing to do with this post. I just think it's an awesome picture.

    Babies should be born with at least a minimal set of words pre-programmed into their brains. Words like "peep", "poop", "binky", "snuggle", "gas", and "hungry".

    Tyler spent much of today screaming. It wasn't actual "screaming", but I don't exactly know how to describe it. Yelling? Maybe. The problem is, though, that we didn't know what he wanted. I can tell you what he didn't want:
    • He did not want to be held
    • He did not need to be changed
    • He did not need to feed (just finished)
    • He did not want to be burped
    • He did not appear to want to sleep
    • He did not want to be on his belly
    • He did not want to be on his back
    • He did not want to sit upright
    • He did not want to be swaddled
    • He did not want to be in his swing
    • He did not want his pacifier
    To the best of my knowledge, and through the power of deducing, it appeared that Tyler just wanted to yell. Maybe he liked the sound of his own yells.

    I finally decided that he "needed" to take a nap, because he was being too fussy. I swaddled him and put him on his back, next to me. He yelled. After awhile, he stopped, and promptly fell asleep. He didn't wake up for 2 hours. The only reason he woke up is because I woke him up for some boobtime.

    A few hours later.... we did it all over again. Again, I decided he needed sleep. It was 10pm, so I don't think I was wrong. I swaddled him and allowed him to cry. Awhile later, he stopped and fell asleep. It's now been 2 hours and 10 minutes, and he's still sound asleep.

    I gotta say.... this officially goes in the books as being a rough day. I apologize for this post not being very clever or even remotely funny, but that's about the jist (gist?) of what's happened today. Pretty uneventful, except for yelling.

    Shattered, shattered

    This morning, I found myself wondering what I might blog about today. The answer presented itself very shortly after that.

    There must be a reflex in babies where, when I diaper is removed, they experience a violent urge to urinate. In the 6 days Tyler has been home, I have been peed on 4 times. I fully attribute this to the curse that my close friend, Adam, placed on me. The nurse at the hospital, before we were discharged, tried to rest my mind by saying that urine is sterile, and I could just deflect it by placing my cupped hand into the stream.

    Wait. What?

    Was this nurse actually suggesting that, not only do I allow my child to piss on me, but that I actually place myself in the line of fire? Does she have any idea of who I am? At all? I can't stand eating chicken with two hands, because the thought of having grease on both of my hands disgusts me. When I eat food, I wipe my mouth after every single bite of food taken. I, constantly, and chronically, clean my fingernails of any and all debris. I can't stand being kissed on the cheek if the kisser is wearing chapstick.

    It would seem, to me, that the advice given should sound something like "if your baby starts peeing while his diaper is off, get the heck out of the way."

    The thing is, Tyler waits until I'm digging for a baby wipe, or until I'm unfolding a new diaper. He daren't urinate while I actually have my full attention on him.

    Of the 4 times I have been subjected to this cruel... uhm... torture, two times I grabbed the NEW diaper and dropped it on his winky. Man, not only was I angry that he peed on me, but he also made me waste a brand new diaper. TWO TIMES! The 3rd time was at bath time, so I was able to drop the washing cloth on him. The last time, he actually sprayed me pretty good, but I hadn't yet fully removed the dirty diaper, and was able to salvage it for some soakage.

    In my entire life, I cannot recall any time where someone has urinated on me. It's just generally considered bad form, ya know? My son, apparently hasn't gotten the memo yet. So, every time that this happens, I curse Adam's name under my breath, and not always very quietly.

    Sarah, on the other hand, had not yet been peed on. That is fine and dandy, but she felt the need to tell me, with an air of arrogance to her tone. The "air" to her tone was thick with "My child obviously loves me way more than you, Joe", and I sat there, defeated. It was true.

    This morning, I was on the computer. Once again, I was getting caught up on my daily websites. Two rooms away, in the living room, I heard a scream. It wasn't a scream of horror, but more of shock, surprise, and fear. I never once worried for the well being of my son, or my wife, because I knew. I could see it. My vivid imagination showed me Sarah opening the diaper, telling Tyler how much she loves him. I could see the happy look on his face as he opened the gates and allowed the stream to flow. And I laughed... loudly.

    But I was wrong.... Sarah trumped me.

    "It's not pee", she yelled across the house.

    I laughed harder. The day is MINE! I am the victor!!!

    "I need help", were the next words from her.

    I laughed all the way into the living room. I won't go into the graphic details, but I will say that Sarah described the "incident" as a missle. I will further say that it was a direct hit. Once again, though, there was some collateral damage. Instead of addressing the mess that was made to Sarah's clothing, I said, "This is why we shouldn't change him on the couch."

    I feel that I have been redeemed.

    Life Lessons

    I was on the computer this morning, catching up on news and my other daily websites. There are about 5 websites that I visit every day (usually multiple times per day), to get caught up on news, gossip, email, and some of my forums. I'm pretty sure that I was playing around on SmugMug today, when I heard Sarah say:

    "Well, if you want the boob, you're gonna have to stay awake."

    Much like the bat signal, the dad signal went off. My super powers were needed, immediately. With nary a delay, I left the computer, walked from the computer room, and headed directly towards Tyler, who was on his mother's lap. I whispered in his ear:

    "Son, if a hot woman puts her boob in your face, you never, never, turn it down. Life lesson number 2."

    I turned to go, and Sarah inquired, "What's number 1?"

    I replied, "None of your business."

    My wife is the enemy too!

    Today, Sarah thought she was ready to go for a walk. So, we tried. Let me explain our travel system first. There is a car seat. There is a "base" to this car seat in the car. So, I can strap Ty in the car seat while we're still in the house. Once at the car, I drop it into the base, and it locks itself in. Well, our stroller also works with the car seat. Drop it on, and you're locked.

    I strapped Ty in the car seat. I took the stroller outside (without Ty in it yet). As I unfolded it, I saw our neighbor outside on a porch swing type-of-thing. Her back was to me. The last thing I wanted was to be bothered, so I worked as quietly as I could, unfolding the stroller. I ran back in the house and told Sarah to be very quiet, so as to not draw attention our way. She was more than happy to do so.

    After I got Ty in the stroller, we started walking down the street. About 50 foot from the house, Ty started acting a little fussy. No crying or anything, but it looked like he was on the verge of doing so. Sarah says that it had been 2 hours since his last meal, and he was probably hungry. I asked, as politely as I could, why she hadn't fed him before we embarked on our journey.

    "Because I didn't want to create any... issues with anyone", was her reply.

    "Anyone" could only be one of two people. Me, or Tyler. At first glance, most would say that Sarah didn't want to disturb Ty, since he was already strapped in. Well, I'm here to tell you that you'd be wrong in thinking that.

    See, yesterday, before heading to Coldwater, I had Ty strapped in his car seat, on the living room floor. He started crying. Sarah asked if she should feed him. I was frustrated that the idea hadn't been mentioned before I strapped him in, so I told Sarah he'd be ok. Well, he decided to cry louder. Sarah asked again if she should feed him. I said "if you think you should feed him, then feed him". The problem is, I didn't exactly say it with the I-love-you-to-pieces tone of voice that I probably should have used. There was a little tension in the room as I unstrapped him and handed him off to Sarah. We quickly let it go.

    Back to today... what Sarah was obviously saying was "I didn't want you to throw a fit about unstrapping him, Joe".

    Sarah's so much more tactful than me, eh? She had me... she won the battle. I never saw it coming. She didn't say a word yesterday when I gave her attitude. Instead, she waited for her opportunity to strike, and I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of having any type of retort.

    Sneaky little girl...


    Yesterday was the 4th of July, but I'm sure you already know that. Sarah's parents were cooking burgers on the grill and invited us up. We were feeling a little stir crazy from being in the house for the last 4 days, so we jumped at the idea.

    Of course, about 2 seconds after getting Tyler secured in his car seat, he started screaming bloody murder! It had been close to 2 hours since his last feeding, so he was due for some boobage. Great. So, I unbuckled him and gave him to Sarah for a pre-ride snack. He slept like a... erm... well, like a baby for the 45 minute ride to Coldwater.

    And he slept for, pretty much, the entire visit there. Nana and Papa Bouse and Tyler's aunts were all proud of how good he was being. On the other hand, Sarah and I telepathically said to each other "Tonight is going to be hell on earth". The more he sleeps during the day, the less he's going to sleep at night.

    So, 9pm rolls around. Sarah's family are going to go watch fireworks. The three of us, however, were not. It just doesn't seem appropriate to take a 6 day old child to see fireworks. Especially with all the mosquitoes that were flying around. It took about a half hour for Nana and Aunt JiJi to say their goodbyes to Tyler. Papa Bouse wasn't exactly in nirvana over the delay, but what are ya gonna do. Tyler got a nice serving of boobage before we left. I loaded him in the car seat, put him in the car, and we hit the road. It's about 9:45p at this time.

    At 9:59p, he started bawling. 20 minutes ago, he had eaten, burped, and been changed. He couldn't possibly need anything else. Plus, we were driving. I told him, politely but firmly, that he was just going to have to cry it out. See, Tyler looks to the boob for comfort, even when he's not hungry. I, however, do not want him to associate the boob with sleep. If that becomes the case, he'll never fall asleep unless he's next to the boob. Now, I know that is probably every man's dream, but he should not be starting this particular habit so early in life. So, it's important to me that he learn to fall asleep on his own. That, in a nutshell, is why I told him he was going to have to cry it out.

    Quite surprisingly, it only took him 7 minutes to do so. It was as if a switch was turned off. He just stopped, right then and there. I even started talking trash to him from the front seat. I said something along the lines of, "Is that all you've got? Only 7 minutes?"

    Sarah, the voice of reason, informed me that it probably wasn't too wise to push the issue, and that maybe we should be happy that he had given up. Maybe it isn't a good idea to provoke a baby.

    Once we got home and I got Ty out of his car seat, I was talking to him and he started crying again. I had one hand on his bottom, and one hand on his back, holding him upright, so we were looking at each other. He burped. I felt pleased, understanding why he was crying. But he didn't stop crying.

    Then, "IT" happened. I could feel the force of the explosion against the hand holding his bottom. Speechless, I just looked at him for a second or two. Then, another bomb rocked the house. I have discovered the weapons of mass destruction that President Bush has been looking for. They have been cleverly hidden in the bowels of my own son. And they were detonating. My first instinct was to take cover. Drop the baby and dive into the nearest bunker, and pray for the survival of my wife. After a third, slightly less devastating explosion, I decided to survey the damage.

    The force of the blasts were enough to compromise the air-tight seal between leg and diaper. There was some collateral damage. Why-oh-why couldn't Sarah have been holding Tyler at the time? After using more babywipes than usual, I felt satisfied with the cleanup.

    That's when the second wave of the attack started. This clever bogey waited until my guard was down, doing cleanup, to start the chemical warfare. Without warning, urine streamed up and out, much like a overly powerful drinking fountain. Luckily, I had the new, clean, diaper handy. Ninja reflexes took over. I grabbed the diaper and intercepted the stream. I was able to minimize the destruction, but, mentally, the damage had been done.

    I guess I got to see some 4th of July fireworks afterall.

    Eh, it's just gas

    I remember reading somewhere that, when you sleep, everything that happened since the last time you slept gets "written" in your brain for permanent storage. It's a bit more complicated than that, but that's the jist of it. When Tyler was taking a nap today, I'm pretty sure he was practicing some of the things he was seeing.

    We were at dinner. Sarah's dad, Mike, came down to do a little work on his car (why his car is at our house is a different story for a different day) today. He was also gracious enough to cook dinner for us (yummy dinner, but, again, different story for a different day). While we were all sitting there, Tyler was in his car seat - hey, I had to improvise - sleeping. He was facing Sarah, and I was sitting across the table from her. My view was of the back of the car seat.

    Well, we hear a sound from Tyler, while he was sleeping. It sounded quite like "hee hee hee hee". Sarah, naturally, looked at him. Even though it's insanely painful for her to laugh right now, she did, indeed, laugh. She said that Tyler was smiling. I've caught him a couple times, myself, smiling.

    Sarah's dad said that his mom (or grandma, I can't remember) used to say that when babies smile, they have gas or are pooping. Then we considered that most people do not smile when they're farting. Please note that I said most people. I'm fully aware that some guys (and girls, even) experience great joy while they're letting loose.

    Personally, I think he's practicing what he's been seeing. Of course I don't expect you to believe me, but it's still my opinion.

    Also of note... Tyler's right eye is developing lots of "eye boogers". We have to clean it with a warm washcloth. Earlier, he had trouble opening that eye. Hopefully it's just a clogged tear duct. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure it'd have to be conjunctivitis (pink eye). He's got his 1 week checkup on Monday, so I'll ask about it then.

    There's also a chance that he has poison ivy. Sarah and I are both in denial about it, but there are some red bumps on his chest. They don't seem to be bothering him, so we're leaving them be until Monday also.

    Suck on this

    There is, pretty much, no question as to whether Tyler will be a thumb sucker or not. He's already trying to find his thumb. A few days ago, he was holding onto my thumb, and he tried pulling it into his mouth. My thumb. When he makes a fist, he tucks his thumb INSIDE the fist. This morning he had his fist at his mouth, and he was trying to get his thumb out and into his mouth. I pulled his hand away and stuck the pacifier in. I know that some people think pacifiers are taboo, and just shouldn't be used, but if I have to choose between that and thumb sucking, I'm choosing the paci. You want a reason? I don't want to promote thumbsucking, because he'll forever have thumbs (unless he cuts them off in woodshop in about 13 years). How do you wean a child off thumbsucking if he always has the tools to do so? With a paci, I can wean him off by removing the paci sometime down the road. Only time will tell if my theory is correct.

    On a side note, I added a bunch more pics of Tyler. Go to my galleries at, click on "Our Family", then "Tyler James", then "Welcome to the World - Part Deux" to check them out. If you haven't already done so, bookmark that page (and this one), so you can keep up on the exploits, and watch Tyler grow.

    Last night was glorious. I slept for about 9 hours. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me when I looked at the clock. That, coupled with the fact that it was no longer dark outside, threw me for a loop. I looked over to the other side of the bed and saw Sarah sleeping. Between her and I was Tyler, sleeping away.

    We all came downstairs as a family, so that Tyler could get some boobage, and I could get some Cookie Crisp cereal. I asked Sarah why she didn't wake me up last night to take care of the little man for awhile. Her response, though very simple, was clear to the point.

    "Because we didn't need you."

    I guess, when you're breast feeding, there's just not much that the father can do. The night before was very rough for both of us. There was only one difference between that night and last night, and it made a world of difference for all involved. Sarah's milk had come in. I have to steal a term coined by Sarah here. When Tyler gets his milk, he goes into a "milk coma".

    And we're not complaining. He sleeps anywhere from 2 to 4 hours after getting his fill. That's much better than the 45 minutes to an hour from the night before. He's actually in a milk coma now, right next to me on the floor. I'm lying next to him on my laptop. He's in the boppy sleeping very peacefully.

    Something I never knew before this pregnancy is that milk doesn't "come in" for about 4 to 6 days after the birth of your baby. What you have before the milk is called cholostrum. It's sometimes called "early milk" and is full of fats, proteins, and antibodies. Well... the cholostrum was running dry and the real-deal milk wasn't quite ready, which resulted in a very fussy baby.

    I'm currently praying that every night will be this easy, although I know that I've got a better chance of winning the lotto than having that happen.

    Sleep? I remember that word.

    The picture above is of Tyler yawning. I figured it was appropriate for this post, even though Sarah and I are the ones doing the yawning.

    My son isn't doing such a hot job of realizing that nighttime is for sleeping and daytime is for being awake. He likes to sleep during the day, and scream during the night.

    We were finally discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon, after 6 days there. Sarah kinda went downhill on Monday afternoon, into Tuesday. Nothing to get worried about, but she was having lots of intense pain as a result of the C-Section. I actually caught a glimpse of the surgery. After Tyler was "born" I went to the other side of the room with him and our midwife, Michelle. I looked back to Sarah a few times and would say things like, "He's got your cheeks", or, "He's beautiful".

    Well, the last time I looked over, I turned a little too far to the right and caught a glimpse of her midsection. It's something you never, never, never want to see happening to someone you love. The word "C-Section" is thrown around too casually now. A very close friend hit the nail on the head by saying "It is MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY".

    Anyway, the couple days following the surgery were very, very painful for Sarah. The Percocet only took the edge off the pain, but it was still there. You top that all with the fact that it was a very less-than-ideal weekend, and you have a girl that was just emotionally spent. She just wanted to give up, and that was hard to watch.

    We had high hopes of walking out of the hospital yesterday, but she was in too much pain. Sarah ended up being wheeled down in a wheelchair. She could barely walk up the stairs in the house. If she sat down for more than 5 minutes, she couldn't stand back up. It quite literally took her 10 minutes to get off the couch yesterday. It's very horrible. We know that everything that happened was completely necessary, but that doesn't make the recovery any easier.

    So, last night was our first night at home with Tyler. My goodness. I don't know how often he was up. I was so tired, that it was too depressing to look at the clock... so I didn't. Finally, at 5am, I grabbed him, came downstairs, and closed all the doors between Sarah and us. I wanted Sarah to get at least some sleep. I ended up in the computer room. I looked at Tyler and told him that he was just going to have to cry it out. He had just been fed and changed, so now he needed to sleep. I just sat there and held him for about 20 minutes of screaming. No tears, just screaming. And he had no interest, at all, in the pacifier. Then... he just fell asleep. After another 20 minutes, I figured he was out for a while. I went into the living room, lied down on the couch with Tyler on my chest, and fell asleep for 2 hours. It was a glorious 2 hours. Sarah finally came down, very happy to have gotten 3 hours of sleep.

    And guess what? We get to do it all again, because he is screaming his head off even as I finish this last sentence...

    Swaddle me this

    We're still at the hospital. Sarah is having some very bad surgery pains. The percocet helps, but not much. I feel horrible for her. We should be getting discharged sometime today. The big question is whether we can get Sarah feeling better or not.

    The last couple of nights with Tyler have been... interesting. See, the first night of his life was very uneventful. Translation = Quiet. No crying, or screaming, or anything. Just a whimper here or there.

    Then he got a bath.

    That is when Sarah and I got a taste of just what kind of noise could come out of something so small. He cried and screamed and thrashed all around. I'm pretty sure that Tyler liked the noise of himself crying, because he's been practicing and honing his pitch and volume ever since.

    He's finally able to latch on to the boob fairly quickly. If you remember, Sarah had to get an epidural. Breastfeeding is pretty difficult when mom gets an epidural. The first couple days were difficult. Now that the drugs are out of her system (and out of his system), he can't wait to get on the breast.

    Here's what we expected:

    Feed on one boob
    Feed on other boob

    Here's what really happened:
    Feed on one boob
    *try to burp, but get nothing*
    *weird noises and vibrations around his bottom*
    Feed on other boob for barely a minute or two
    *try to burp, but get nothing*

    It's been fun. The best is in the middle of the night when he starts thrashing around and asking for food, only to fall asleep as soon as he gets close to Sarah's boob.

    Oh, and he has very little interest in a pacifier. yay.

    Our midwife, Michelle, came by to check on us around noon today, while on her lunch break. I told her that Tyler is a little Houdini, and has mastered the art of getting out of a swaddle. Not just my swaddles either. I'm talking about nurse swaddles. Swaddles that should be more confining than a straight-jacket. It takes Ty no longer than 3 minutes to wriggle both arms free.

    Michelle, angel that she is, said that she would teach us the "master swaddle". Tyler was screaming during this demonstration. About 10 seconds after she finished, he was sound asleep!!!! It's been about 2 hours now, and he's still sound asleep.

    Where the heck was she 24 hours ago!?!?!?!!?

    Our family doctor came by today to check Tyler out. She had to remove the swaddle to do so, so I got to practice the master swaddle. Mine isn't as "clean" looking as Michelle's, but he quit crying immediately after I finished turning him into a burrito.

    Best. parenting. trick. EVER!!!