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…

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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.

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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.

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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 http://TheGearharts.smugmug.com, 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.

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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…

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