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I come to you on this dreary pre-Autumn day to tell you that our little Tyler needs to go “under the knife”. Everything’s been kind of a blur on this situation, so I really couldn’t pinpoint when things had started changing.

I would like to explain some of my fears, but there are simply too many to list. Anesthesia comes to mind first. He’s such a small little baby (even though he’s a big baby). The anesthesiologist (who I would prefer to call “the sleep doctor”, because you can say that without thinking too hard about how to pronounce anesthesiologist) could make one tiny miscalculation and… it’s just too scary to think about. Or what about the actual surgeon? He’s going to have one of the sharpest instruments that I know of, and he’ll be taking it to my son. What if his coffee was too strong that morning, and he’s all jittery and shaky? These are legitimate fears.

I would like to take the “wait and see” approach on this. I really would. Maybe it’ll clear up on its own. The dilemma that I’m faced with is that it may not clear up on its own. Wouldn’t it be better to just take care of this now, while he’s a baby and unlikely to remember the trauma of surgery, and the pain, afterward, of healing? I know I’m jumping all over the place, and I apologize. I’m quite scatterbrained over it all.

So here’s the story. Tyler is now 10 weeks old. These 10 weeks have been some of the most rewarding weeks of my life. Recently, a friend was looking through some of the photos I’ve put online of Tyler, and said something that set my head spinning. Of course, the minute I got home I started shuffling through the photos of Tyler. One after another… seeing the gradual changes. There is now no question in my mind. He needs the surgery.

While Sarah was pregnant, she said. and I quote, “I hope he doesn’t get my looks, because I wouldn’t make a handsome boy”. We were quite pleased when Tyler was pulled from Sarah’s belly and he looked just like me. He did have Sarah’s ears and cheeks, though, and they looked adorable on him.

10 weeks later and he’s starting to really look like Sarah. WTF? So now we come to the point of all my rambling. I’m going to have to foot the bill for facial reconstructive surgery. It ain’t cheap either! They don’t throw you discounts even though the patient is between 1/10th and 1/15th the weight of 99% of the rest of the patients they work on. The sleep doctor would need to do nothing more than just rub a little bit of Crown Royale on his gums to make him pass out. Would that stop him from charging me $1,409 and some change? Nope. No breaks for me. Oh! And guess what else… my insurance doesn’t cover it. They say it’s an “elective” surgery and, therefore, not covered under their policy. What the crap kind of cheap healthcare is my employer using?

Don’t get me wrong. I think Sarah’s a BEAUTIFUL woman. Picturing her as a guy though… that just sends a strange feeling through me. I’m pretty sure that Sarah’s biggest fear is of Tyler inheriting her height – or lack thereof. But she brings up a valid point. It does seem somewhat unnatural to see her features on my son. But like I said, he’s friggin’ adorable.

Anyway, I kinda got used to the thought of Tyler looking just like I did when I was a baby, and I don’t plan on allowing his genetic code to tell me otherwise. I spit in the face of DNA sequences! If I have to rely on science, technology, and medicine to fulfill my wishes, then so be it.

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I’m semi-new to the blogging world. I kinda like it. There’s a handful of blogs that I visit daily (which really means about 3 or 4 times a day, JUST IN CASE). I have been unable to visit 2 of them for the past 2 days, and it’s making me nervous. My blog roll says that their pages have been updated within the last couple hours, but that could be a fluke.

Mike and Heather, where are you!??!?!

EDIT: Looks like it’s just me:
http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/
says that the site’s are working. Guess I should have checked that before blogging about it.

Strange… and it’s ONLY those two sites that I can’t get to load all of a sudden. I’ll have to do some more looking. If Mediacom is behind this, heads will roll!

EDIT EDIT: Ok, so I ran a traceroute from my PC and the connection dies at Mediacom. I did the same from the diagnostics page for my router and the request timed out after it hit Mediacom. I sent them a SCATHING email telling them to quit blocking my crap!

EDIT EDIT EDIT: Ok, I haven’t heard back from Mediacom yet. I’ll give them one more day before I go nuts. I’ve had some luck by using http://www.accessanywebsite.com to get to those 2 sites, but I can’t leave comments when I go that route.

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I have a Samsung digital camera. It’s a good camera. 99% of the photos that I’ve been taking are with that camera. This camera is a 6 megapixel camera.

I also have a Canon Powershot digital camera. This is also a good camera. It is a 5 megapixel camera. I don’t use it very much, because we’ve got the Samsung.

I wouldn’t care if they were 1,000,024 megapixel cameras, they are junk. Both of the cameras have been rendered useless with the arrival of little Tyler.

I’ve always believed that I would grow up and be rich. I’m not talking about the high on life, “what more could a man want”, “I’m rich in the figurative sense” crap. I’m talking about wiping my butt with hundred dollar bills rich. I’m 30 years old and have not yet begun wiping my butt with hundred dollar bills, but I am here to tell you now that I have found my calling. I now know how I am going to get rich, and I’ve got Tyler to thank for it.

I am going to develop an affordable digital camera that takes a picture – wait for it – when you press the friggin button! None of this crap where you have to half-press the button, wait 3 seconds while it finds the faces, determines if flash is needed, and auto-focuses. Then you press the button the rest of the way to take the picture. Sure, I could just press the button all the way without doing the half-press, right? No, because it still takes 3 seconds to make those same adjustments, and does a poor job at it if you don’t do the half-press. It’s not a point and shoot camera. That is a point, click, wait, shoot camera.

It never bothered me before. I said “hold that pose” more times than I care to count. A critical difference between Tyler and most of the rest of the world is that Tyler does not, ever, hold his pose. With each out of focus picture that I take, I curse the digital camera engineers that dropped the ball on this one. When I go through my routine of downloading from camera to pc, tagging, captioning, color correcting, and uploading to SmugMug, I now have to delete hordes of pictures that were about half a second from being the best pictures ever taken, in all the history of the world. And I have a very difficult time deleting photos, blurry or not.

I said to myself, “Self, you just have to be smarter than the camera”. I have to think through the problem and find a way to adapt the situation to work for me.

Let’s say I want to take a picture of Tyler smiling, a feat in and of iteself. I would hold the camera in position, half-press the button to “prime the engine” and start making goofy sounds. When Tyler smiles, CLICK! Does it work? Not really. See, the camera has a setting on it, if you haven’t done anything in 5 or 10 seconds, it assumes you mistakenly pressed the button and goes back to default. So if you get that awesome smile you’re looking for and press the button, it takes an additional 3 seconds. The entire time, you’re praying to the gods of picture taking that Tyler can hold that smile for just one more freakin’ second.

That didn’t turn out so well, so I went back to my drawings and flowcharts and schematics to figure out another way. I call this next one “anticipatory picture taking”, APT for short. I thought of calling it “Anticipatory Shooting of Subject”, but I didn’t think the anagram would catch on. What you do is, you make your silly face or goofy sound, and take a picture, in anticipation of his smiling response. Does it work? Well, I did manage to get a couple pictures of Ty smiling, and about 50 of him making no face at all. Then about another 50 where half his face is cut off because I wasn’t able to pay attention to the aim of the camera.

My last attempts had me snapping picture after picture and crossing my fingers that I’d get a good one. I think that all I’ve succeeded in doing is damaging my son’s eyesight. No way should it be safe to look at a camera flash as much as he has.

These cameras have a dial at the top of them where I can select if I want to take a photo, a movie, a scenic shot, and about 5 other settings that nobody ever uses. How hard would it be to add another setting where it is in constant auto-focus mode? Sure, it’ll eat the batteries faster, but I’ll be able to snap a pic the very moment I need to. I don’t mind charging my batteries more often, if it means that I get more of the pictures that I want.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to run to the patent office to tell them my idea of a camera that takes a picture when you press the button.

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These photos are in Tyler’s “September” gallery
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Sorry for my absence. Blame it on work, Tyler, Sarah, and FOOTBALL! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, my beloved Wolverines came away, sloppily, with a win. In the NFL, I was sad to see my Lions and my Colts lose, but Tom Brady’s SEASON ENDING injury made everything good again.

Last night, I was watching the Packers game (props to Aaron Rodgers, by the way) and Sarah was giving Tyler his bath. Well, she’s in there laughing her ass off, and calls me to come “look at Tyler”.

Tyler takes his bath in a tiny plastic tub. We set that tub inside our tub. I walked in the bathroom and looked. What I saw left me speechless. After a few moments of staring, slack-jawed, all I could muster up was, “I’m getting the camcorder”. Instead of trying to come up with a creative way to explain it, just watch:

Splish splash, Tyler’s thrashin’ in the bath,
I recorded it on Monday night.
Rub-a-dub, then he pisses in the tub,
It’s sterile, so I guess it’s alright.

He was a splishin’ and a splashin’, peeing to the ceiling, movin’ and a groovin’, gigglin’ and a wigglin’, yeah.

This may all just be a matter of perspective, but I thought it was friggin’ hilarious!

Also, because I was trying out some new video editing software (Sony Vegas), here’s two more – short – videos of Tyler crying.

Tyler wants his paci, NOW:

Tyler needs his nursies:

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Tyler, 10# 2oz, at birth
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Yesterday, I had to do a full hospital bed audit at one of my accounts in Indianapolis, Indiana. As such, I needed to go to every single department of said hospital. Among those departments were Labor & Delivery, Antepartum (pre-labor)
and the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. ICU for babies).

I also need you to know that I’ve got a not-so-great memory. I go through my entire blog every week or so and re-read the stories as if it were the first time. It’s a blessing and a curse, I guess.

So, I’m going room to room, knocking on doors, introducing myself and telling the patients why I’m there, and that I need to look at their bed for less than 2 seconds. EVERYBODY was 100% fine with it. I don’t really like doing it, because I hate disrupting people, especially while they’re at the hospital. It’s my job, though, so I trudge along. Most rooms are non-eventful. People just lying around, reading, watching TV, talking on the phone, sleeping, or eating. Occasionally, though, there’s activity going on. I love coming home and sharing some of these stories with Sarah. People share a lot of things when they don’t receive a lot of visitors, ya know? Well, there are HIPAA regulations that forbid the sharing of certain information. Mainly names, social security numbers, and afflictions. Basically, I can’t say names or anything else that would make someone say “I know exactly who you’re talking about.”

In the labor & delivery rooms, I was accompanied by a nurse tech. The LAST thing I wanted to do was go in a room and see a woman, spread-eagle, with her legs up in stirrups. I only actually went in one room, and even then, I got what I needed just by peeking under the curtain, so I didn’t even see the patient.

In Antepartum (pre labor) I went in many rooms with extremely pregnant women. These are women that are, more or less, on bed rest. They were all very nice. I was in and out, so I didn’t make any small-talk. This department was non-eventful as well.

The NICU, on the other hand, really affected me. I’ve got just a couple things to share here. In one of the rooms, I knocked and introduced myself. There was a new father, a new mother, and a very new baby. I told them that I needed to look at their bed for about 2 seconds and then I’d leave them to their privacy. The father said, “Sure, no problem.” He seemed like a younger guy, mid to late 20’s. What caught me was that he was changing his baby’s diaper. So, BOOM, I started reminiscing. The first diaper I’ve EVER changed was Tyler’s diaper, at the hospital. It *appeared* that this may have been the first diaper this new father had ever changed. Don’t get me wrong though, everything I saw took place in a span of 2, maybe 3, seconds. I remembered how I was treating Tyler as if he were a very expensive, very fragile piece of fine china. He was doing the same thing. I almost wanted to give him some pointers. I don’t know what came over me… I would NEVER do something like that, but I really wanted to. He looked like he needed help!

For me, luck was on my side. A very very sweet nurse had come in the room while I was trying to figure out the logistics of diaper changing. I mean, I’ve got two hands. I need to remove a diaper, hold his feet, wipe him, and put on a new diaper. Have I mentioned that I’ve only got two hands? I was looking around the room for some type of jig, or harness, to assist in diaper changing – some type of third or fourth hand – but there was nothing. I was holding one foot with one hand and pulling the diaper off with the other. Tyler kicked his free leg and landed his foot right in that thick, tarry mess. They call it meconium, instead of “thick, tarry, black mess” for reasons unknown to me. The nurse saw that I was struggling and bestowed upon me the most ingenious technique known to man. Hold both feet with one hand. BRILLIANT!!! Why I couldn’t think of that myself, I don’t know. Nerves, maybe. It was shortly after this that I realized that Tyler is not as delicate and fragile as I originally thought. His bones aren’t going to snap if I grip his feet so that he can’t kick away (seriously, I worried about that).

I had to keep my mouth shut, though. It was not my place to try to explain all that to a total stranger. Maybe it would have been fine, but in my mind, it seems like an invasion of this man’s privacy. He’ll figure it out. We all have, right?

I loved having that memory.

Another thing that struck me, as I walked the NICU, was how lucky Sarah and I are to have had a healthy baby. Just about EVERY baby in the NICU was in what seemed like a plexiglass shell. Some had tubes and IVs hooked up to them, some were very, very underweight. A couple rooms couldn’t be entered without “gowning up” (putting on a head cap, gown, gloves, and face mask). I’m looking at these babies, and these families, and my heart sinks. It just doesn’t seem right that anybody should have to go through what these people were going through. I’ve read Mike and Heather’s story, and it’s very sad. VERY SAD. Being there, at the hospital, and seeing it. It hits you like a ton of bricks. Sarah and I had a tough labor. It was hard, painful, emotionally draining. We had to give up almost every bullet point on our birth plan due to unknown (at the time) circumstances. After the C-section, we had a healthy baby boy. Aside from a low blood sugar, he was perfect. His APGAR Score was a 9, for crying out loud. I mean, we were blessed, when it came down to it. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that these people were feeling in there.

What has Tyler done to me??? Before Sarah was pregnant I never really processed that kind of stuff. I’ve been in NICUs before, no big deal. Sure, it was sad, but because I have to see this stuff every single day, I try to not let it affect me. Man, it affected me yesterday.

Lastly, I need to get to the subject of this post. I was robbed. Saying that I was robbed “yesterday” is slightly misleading. Let me explain. Of all the babies I saw, none of them were as large as Tyler was at birth. Some were premature, sure, but some were born right on time. I feel like I’ve been robbed of having a tiny baby. Tyler was in the 95th percentile of birth weight, meaning that of 100 babies, 94 would be smaller than Tyler. I see people holding their new baby, tiny little things. We needed to use both arms to hold Tyler. How the heck did Sarah and I produce a 10+ pound baby?

So, yeah… as blessed as we are to have a healthy baby, I can’t help but feel that I’ve missed something in not having a “normal” sized baby.

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