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The Last Homecoming

Apr 1, 04:56 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Hello friends-

This weekend will likely be our last homecoming before our baby comes, and then once he does arrive, it’s advisable to avoid long car trips until he’s at least 3 or 4 months old… so this may the last time we come up North for at least 6 months.

Anyone feeling like a visit? :)

I realize that I neglected to mention this to most of you until now. I’m sorry about that. So if you’ve already got plans, I totally understand if you can’t make it. It’s my bad for not mentioning it sooner.

Anyway, Friday, April 6th, is our Connecticut day. Would anyone be interested in a visit to my parent’s house in Redding that day/night? I know I always ask you guys to come to us rather than us coming to you, and I’m sorry about that too. But it is easiest for us after driving 8 hours to get to Redding, especially with Jess being 7+ months preggo. But on the bright side, if Andy comes, and you Central Connecticut boys come, it’s a nice halfway point! :)

So anyway, let me know if you guys are interested/available. Like I said, I understand if you can’t make it due to the short notice. And if you can’t, then that’s just more motivation for another Virginia visit (either before or after the arrival of Megatron, aka Tyjesslermica, aka Pubis, aka Baby K)! We’ve got a 3 bedroom house now, so we wouldn’t have to rent out a separate apartment for you guys to stay in!

Love Ty.

Comment [2]
 

Happy Beefday Jimmy!

Mar 28, 06:40 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Yeay for Jimmy!!

Go Jimmy, go Jimmy, it’s your birthday, have a party! Woot, woot!

And happy birthday to Jimmy’s Girlie, who’s b-day was a few days ago. I hope you both are in birthday heaven.

A gift for you: (this never gets old)

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Happy Beefday Martian!

Mar 25, 06:34 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Hooray for Bry Bry. He’s a whole year older. (That’s 382 in Martian years!)

May you have tons of fun in your new jobby job. Lucky bastard. You’ll have to hook us all up with tickets to the Bahamas.

This song’s for you:

Happy Birthday to you,
You smell like poo poo.
We call you a Martian,
And you look like one too.

Comment [1]
 

Livin' on the cheap

Mar 7, 06:02 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Well we haven’t had a posting here in a few days, so here’s this. I made a great soup on Monday night. It was super easy and super cheap, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Italian bean and sausage soup.

• One pound of Italian sausage
• A good two cups of mixed beans (i.e. navy, black, kidney, pinto, lima, garbanzo, lentils and split peas… you can get a mix of dried beans like this at the supermarket for like 79¢.)
• Water or broth to cover the beans
• One 28oz. can of tomatoes, crushed or diced
• Juice of one lemon
• One large onion, diced
• A couple of stalks of celery, diced
• 3 or 4 carrots, diced
• One bay leaf
• A 1/2 tsp or so of Italian seasoning or oregano
• A good 2 or 3 tsp. of salt and a goodly amount of black pepper
• Whatever other additions you may want, such as a splash of tabasco, a shake of cumin, maybe a splash of worcestershire, soma this, soma that…

I soaked the beans overnight, then I just threw it all in the crock pot and let it cook all day. The house smelled great when I came home from work! I had two big links of fresh Italian sausage, and I just threw them in whole. It was great, but in retrospect, it might have been better if I cooked the sausage first, then cut it up and added it. Might have made for a better distribution of sausage.

It made a ton of food, and it’s really good for you. Beans are PACKED with fiber, protein, vitamins, and phytonutrients. Plus the tomatoes and veggies are obviously good for you. It’s low fat (except for the sausage), but you could even skip the sausage altogether and make it vegetarian. I ate all the sausage the first night, so all my leftovers have been meat-free and it’s just as good.

And it’s cheap! Every one of the ingredients is inexpensive, plus I usually have all that stuff on hand anyway. Oh yeah… don’t have a crock pot? Just simmer it on low for a good 4 hours.

Comment [4]
 

Happy Beefday Iak!!

Mar 2, 04:13 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Hooray for Iak! The oldest of our group gets the pleasure of becoming the first to officially enter his LATE-twenties. You could say that 27 is still mid-twenties, sort of, but there’s no denying it when you’re 28.

Here’s a little birthday gift for you, Jake.

Comment [5]
 

Spring is Springing

Feb 21, 04:43 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

I love spring. Oh, I think it’s got to be my favorite season. It’s hard to say though, because I love all the seasons! Winter least of all though, so when spring arrives, it’s like taking a big relaxing breath. Ahhhhhhh!

It’s pretty wintery here now, but little signs of spring keep turning up. Birds singing, when a few weeks ago they were silent. Trees budding, (even though we found a cherry tree in full blossom in January!) The chill in the air is starting to lift and the breeze smells fresh. I actually smelled a charcoal grill last night… someone in the neighborhood was obviously jonesing for some grilled food! The lawn doesn’t need mowing yet, but I can tell that it will soon.

Here’s a picture of a daffodil I took in my backyard about a half hour ago. It’s cropped pretty tightly, so you can’t tell, but it’s sitting at the edge of the yard in a line of ivy. Oh this makes me so happy.

Jordan was outside with me hunting for squirrels and birds…

Daylight saving time begins this year (or is it that daylight saving time ends?) on March 11th. That’s way earlier than in the past. So that’s exciting. Daylight saving time is practically a national holiday for me! I love that extra hour of sunlight! It provides so much more time to walk the dogs, take pictures, and cook on the grill after work. I hate when in the middle of winter, I leave work and it’s already pitch dark out. That’s no longer the case for me now that it’s February, but it still gets dark pretty soon after I get home.

Speaking of holidays, one week after daylight saving time begins (I checked… it begins), it’s St. Paddy’s Day! Woo hoo! My other favorite holiday! It’s also Jess and my 1.5 year anniversary.

Well I don’t want Hajee to feel left out, so here’s a shot of him too. It’s indoors and therefore not representative of spring, which is why I didn’t include it above, but he’s cute darn it! It’s not even in focus because I wasn’t looking through the viewfinder… I had the camera at about waist-level just pointing it in his general direction. He’s looking up at me.

And one last comment on all this spring business: It’s still February… Can you say Global Warming?

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It's a....

Feb 14, 11:23 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

The moment of truth has arrived. We had our ultrasound, and it’s a….

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This is just great

Feb 6, 12:22 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

You’ve just gotta read this. I just can’t relish in the absurdity of this by myself. Just when you thought there was nothing in the news but car bombings and budget cuts, the friendly kooks at NASA bring us this:

Astronaut Love Triangle Goes Awry.

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The Family Bed

Jan 24, 12:56 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

I thought this warranted it’s own posting. I mentioned that Jess and I are planning on cosleeping (also called the Family Bed), and Andy had some very good questions. So I’ll use this opportunity to answer those and more, with knowledge I’ve learned from a book I’m reading on the subject called, Good Nights: The Happy Parent’s Guide to the Family Bed (And a Peaceful Night’s Sleep)

Here are Andy’s questions:

***

1. How do you take care of your “adult needs” (SEX) with baby in your bed?

2. At what point do you move junior to his/her own sleeping quarters, and how do you deal with the instant separation anxiety that ensues?

3. (I know I said there’d only be 2. Crap) What happens when you have Optimus Prime? Is that when Megatron gets kicked out? Or do both of them stay around and feud for your attention?

***

Glad you asked! All good questions, and I think the answer to most of them is “We’ll see.”

1. Sex: There’s a whole chapter devoted to this in the book. The book says that the Family Bed opens up a whole new world of possibilities in your love life, such as: the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the back yard, the front yard, the roof, the car, public spaces, etc… But the way I see it, when the baby is young, it’s pretty much a meat loaf (as a coworker informed me). So I say, just move Meg over, and let the fun continue… S/he won’t know the difference! Plus, we’re considering getting a “sidecar,” like a mini-crib that you put right next to your bed and lower one of the walls, so it’s like part of the same bed. If that’s the case, we can always move Meg over, raise the wall, and be extra quiet. We’ll see.

2. Transitioning to a big kid bed: Again, there’s a whole chapter devoted to this. Apparently, there are a variety of answers here. Diehard Family Bed parents say, “when the kid is ready, he’ll go on his own.” And that could be anywhere between 3 months and 13 years (to mention the extreme examples in the book). But the norm seems to be between 1 and 3 years. You mention separation anxiety, but according to the book, cosleeping actually tends to produce children with a greater feeling of independence. The theory is that children who have all their physical and emotional needs met when they’re babies tend to grow to be more trusting of their parents and the world around them, and thus, more independent. The very idea of moving to a big-kid bed in their own room is exciting for them, and they often do so without complaint. We’ll see.

3. Optimus Prime: The aforementioned chapter on transitioning also mentions that the addition of a new baby often motivates kids to get the heck out of Dodge, so to speak. However, some families choose to have everyone sleep in the bed. (Sounds crowded to me). Many people set up a twin bed either right next to the parents bed, or at least in the same room. Again, we’ll see.

Many “traditional” sleep books, those that suggest the kid has a crib in a room down the hall, promote the “cry-it-out” technique. In this case, the baby, who’s used to nursing every three hours or so during the day, is forced to go without food or affection for a full 8 hours in the dark of night. Baby of course is hungry and scared, and begins to cry. The technique here is pretty self-explanitory. You just let the baby cry it out. Many babies cry so hard they end up vomiting, and all the “experts” recommend that you just leave baby alone and let him fall asleep in a pool of his own vomit. When they become toddlers, many kids get into crying fits and bang their heads against the wall until they fall asleep. This is apparently quite common. Again, you’re expected to just let them cry it out. Proponents of these methods claim that THIS is what teaches independence. But many psychologists are beginning to find that the opposite is true. And it makes perfect sense. Babies are born 100% helplessly dependent on their parents for survival. So when they are ripped from the security of their mothers for long periods of time at night, they become clingy during the day.

I’ll point to the animal kingdom, and mention that almost ALL mammals cosleep. Think of any nature shows you’ve seen… you never see an infant chimp sleeping soundly in a tree somewhere, all alone. They’re always in their mothers’ arms (or on their mothers’ back!) Baby animals make an excellent meal for predators, and thus depend on their parents for protection until they develop their own survival skills. And evolutionarily speaking, we’re not that removed from chimps in the jungle. In the days of cavemen, the scenario was the same: leave the baby to sleep alone in a remote corner of the cave… instant sabertooth food.

It stands mentioning that much of the rest of the world cosleeps. It’s really not a new hippie idea at all. Cribs are an invention of 20th century America, and are rarely found in the rest of the world. Cosleeping is standard protocol in Japan. Much of Europe does too, although American influence is starting to change this unfortunately.

One of the most common questions new parents get asked is, “Is he sleeping through the night yet?” It’s become commonplace in our culture to expect that a new baby will mean months of sleepless nights. With cosleeping, this isn’t the case. The new baby does indeed wake up a few times during the night, but rather than screaming for 20 minutes, they just nurse on their half-asleep mothers, then go quietly back to sleep.

According to the book, (which is based largely on research, not hearsay), children raised in the family bed tend to be healthier. The thoughts are that since the amount of stress hormones are dramatically reduced, their immune system is stronger and physical, mental, and emotional development is unhindered. Family bed kids sleep better, as do their parents. Most family bed graduates go on to become incredibly confident, well adjusted people. They, and their parents, look back on their cosleeping years fondly.

This isn’t to say that crib sleeping is evil. Most of us were probably raised in cribs, with the cry-it-out technique. And we’re all happy, normal people. (Okay, well we’re all happy anyway). But cosleeping is a very attractive option for us, and we’re excited about beginning our adventure!

How’s that for a book report?!

:)

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Goofy Guys is becoming stagnant again...

Jan 23, 02:20 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

It’s time we sweep out the cobwebs, open the windows, and air this little blog out. It’s beginning to fester.

What’s up with you guys? And how about the ladies who occasionally grace us with their presence? You too are Goofy Guys, you know.

Jake, how was Australia?

Andy, ever get that bedbug problem fixed?

Jimmy, how’s the new camera treatin’ you?

How bout this weather huh? Jimmy’s been dealt a serious blow of winter weather, whereas Jess and I went for a long walk the other day in t-shirts. We came across a cherry tree that was blooming. In January! Actually, we just got our first taste of semi-wintery weather on Sunday, when it snowed a few flakes in the morning then got icy by the evening. I had to scrape my car for the first time this winter yesterday.

Feel free to jump in here…

Love Ty.

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