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Simpsons avatar

Jul 24, 04:52 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

So, have you made your Simpsons avatar yet? Go to Simpsonsmovie.com to create your own.

Here’s me, hangin’ with Homer and the fellas at Moe’s. Notice the beer belly and Duff t-shirt.

By the way, thanks to Andy, Lisa, and Jake for coming out to meet the offspring this weekend. Yeay!!

Pictures from this weekend are at our Flickr page and there are some from the party on my dad’s Flickr page.

Comment [3]
 

I ♥ Music, I ♥ YouTube

Jul 13, 07:08 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Dudes and dudettes:

I heard a song on the radio today and was thoroughly enthralled. I heard it on WRIR (Richmond Indie Radio), so it’s not something you’re likely to hear on mainstream radio. That’s what I love about indie radio… you can discover all kinds of stuff you might never have heard of elsewhere. Anyway, the song I heard was by an Irish singer/songwriter named Fionn Regan. I still haven’t heard much of his stuff, but it seems he tends to sing fairly mellow folk-ish songs with just vocal and acoustic guitar. I found a really great video of his… It’s very low-fi but really creative and entertaining. It’s just him singing his song in lots of random places. It’s great! Check it out:

While I’m at it, I’ll restate what I said about Laura Viers in a previous posting. If you haven’t checked her out yet, you owe it to yourself to do so. She’s SO AWESOME. I can’t get enough of her new CD Saltbreakers. Here’s her website. And here’s a video from that CD. This one is also extremely low-fi, but still charming and delightful. (Laura is the girl in the video).

And finally, I’ll reconfirm my love for Feist. I can’t get enough of either of her albums, and I think this video is absolutely awesome! Again, it’s really low-tech, but expertly done. It was shot all in one take with just one camera. I think the choreography is so much fun, and the colored jumpsuits are so much fun. I love it!! I hope you do too.

And on that note, I’ll mention once again how much I love YouTube. There’s a LOT of crap on there, but there’s also a lot of great stuff too. And they make it so easy to embed videos in your blog. And I love that professional musicians and average Joes use it, and it doesn’t cost a thing.

I’m full of love!! And I hope you are too… It’s good for you!!

Love Ty.

Comment [4]
 

2 Week Update

Jul 9, 12:05 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

I promised a two week update, so here we go. Technically, Kieran will be 3 weeks old tomorrow, but most of these photos were taken last week. It’s just a little slideshow set to Elizabeth Mitchell’s rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “Who’s My Pretty Baby”. Fun!

By the way, I don’t think he’s wearing anything that would qualify as a jumpsuit (sorry guys…) but he is wearing a onesie that says “Born in 2007” at one point towards the end.

Sidenote— I LOVE how easy YouTube makes it to upload your own videos and embed them in blogs like this one. I hope they archive these videos indefinitely…

Love Ty

Comment [8]
 

Kieran's Story

Jun 24, 07:39 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Okay, I’ve been promising a little write-up about our experience the past week, so I’ll give it a shot. Part of the reason it’s taken me this long is because I’ve been so busy, but it’s also partly because I’m not really sure what to say. The past week has been filled with so many emotions that I’m not sure how to put them into words.

Last Monday, Jess and I went to the doctor for her weekly check-up. We’d been going once a week for the last month or so, so we were pretty used to the routine. We’d go in, Jess would pee in a cup, get her B.P. measured, then the doctor would measure her belly, check to see if she was dilating, and listen to the baby’s heart beat. Well last week, the doctor wasn’t satisfied by the heartbeat. He hooked Jess up to a fetal heart monitor, and still wasn’t satisfied.

So he ordered a biophysical profile, which is an ultrasound where they look for the baby’s movement. The ultrasound tech watched him for 30 minutes, and he barely moved at all. He failed his test. :( So the doc told us he’d induce her that day. By this time we were already 5 days past-due, so we were expecting something anyway. But still, the news that we’d be having the baby within 24 hours was exhilarating and worrisome at the same time. He told us to go home, get our stuff and come back in a couple of hours.

I can’t tell you how frenzied we felt during those couple of hours. We had to go home and get all our affairs in order for the next week. Freak out!! We rushed around trying to remember everything we needed to do, packing our stuff, calling people, and arranging for the dogs to go to the kennel.

***

We went to the hospital, checked in, and got set up for the induction. Jess was strapped to a fetal heart monitor, given a drug that helps the cervix to dilate, and we began the wait. We were there all day, just sitting around, waiting. My parents came in at 9pm, and stayed at our house. Around 10pm, the nurses gave Jess a sleeping pill and I went home to try and get some sleep myself. Let me tell you: that was nearly impossible!

I got up before dawn at 5:15am and got myself to the hospital, already sleep-deprived. The nurses had just started the Pitocin when I got there (Pitocin is the drug that starts contractions.) So again we waited for a while, then the doctor came in with an entourage of nurses and examined Jess. Turned out that even with the Cervidil (dilation drug) working all night, Jess hadn’t dilated AT ALL. He felt her belly and determined that the baby hadn’t dropped into the pelvis. So he told her he needed to do a c-section. We could tell he was expecting a fight because we obviously didn’t want a c-section… Jess made it clear on her birth plan that she wanted to have the baby naturally, with no drugs (birth plan = detailed list of how we’d ideally like the whole experience to go down.). So he gave us all kinds of statistics and worst-case scenarios, and gave her an ultimatum… either have a c-section and deliver a healthy, happy baby, or try to deliver him naturally, and deliver a {quote} “sick-as-shit baby”. So we obviously weren’t going to argue with that. I think that because we had a birth plan, he thought we cared more about following it than of doing what was best for the babe.

***

Wow, so the rest of the day is kind of a blur, but here we go…

Jess got her epidural (which was very uncomfortable for her) and started shaking uncontrollably due to the drugs. That’s apparently normal, but it was still kind of scary. Then she got wheeled into the O.R. at 11:30. I remember feeling at around 11:15, “Holy shit. This is really happening. And it’s happening NOW!”. I had to wait behind about 15 minutes for them to get her prepped. I’m sure if I was alone that would have felt like the longest 15 minutes of my life, but luckily my parents had arrived about 20 minutes earlier, so they were there with me. I had to put on this white jump-suit and a hair cap, face mask, and little booties to go over my Birkenstocks. (I was thinking about the comments Jake and Andy made about jumpsuits the day before!)

One of the nurses came to get me and walked me into the O.R. Talk about a surreal experience! It was a bright white room filled with people in blue scrubs and face masks, and for all that was going on, it was eerily quiet. A couple of beeping machines and the doctor quietly giving orders to the nurses… otherwise, silence.

I walked over to Jess and sat on a stool by her side and held her hand and kissed her. She had a mirror set up so that she could see the whole operation. (Tough girl, huh? Some people would have gotten queasy just being in the room, but she wanted a front row seat for to watch her belly being sliced open!) I managed to snap off a few shots with our little camera, and before I knew it, the baby was OUT! It was so fast, I didn’t even see it coming! I managed to take two not-so-great pics of the baby being pulled out. First they got his head out, and suctioned the liquid out of his mouth and nose. He immediately started making noise. It was at that very moment, when I first heard my son’s voice, that everything changed. It was like I was immediately transported to an alternate reality. I want to explain the emotions I felt and thoughts that raced through my head, but I just can’t. Maybe I was suspended in a few moments of shock, or maybe I was living so in the moment that I can’t remember that part. I think it’s that things were just happening so fast that I didn’t have time to think, only to watch. I do remember that my jaw hit the floor (not literally) in awe of it all. Seriously though, my eyes were bugging out of my head and my mouth opened, dumfounded.

The nurses immediately brought him over to the baby assessment area and started cleaning him up, giving him oxygen with the cutest little baby-sized oxygen mask, and doing whatever else they needed to do (I couldn’t really see). I snapped off a few pictures and a couple of videos, then the nurses invited me over to see him. My legs were like rubber. I walked slowly and carefully over to him. He was laying naked on the table with his umbilical cord hanging out of him. He looked cold and scared, so I asked the nurse if I could hold his hand. She said I could, so I put my index finger in his hand and he clenched his little fingers around mine. Knowing that skin-to-skin contact is vitally important to a newborn baby, I laid my hand across his whole chest and belly. He was warm and fragile feeling, his skin soft and clammy from 41 weeks in the womb. I started to tear up a little at that moment. I was able to cut the little bit of cord still attached to him. It was already cut, but for me to cut the little end off of it was symbolic and I appreciated it.

The nurses swaddled him up and gave him to me to hold. I walked him over to Jess and sat back down and put his face next to hers. The two of them looked at each other and touched cheek to cheek. She said hi and kissed his little head. This is when I really began to cry. Jess did too. It was a magical moment. Luckily, one of the nurses in the room had the forethought to grab the camera and take a few shots. I was so thankful for that.

After they got her all stitched up (stapled, actually), they brought me to the post-op recovery room down the hall and made me wait for Jess and the baby. I think I was away from them a total of 5 minutes, but it was the longest 5 minutes of my entire life. Finally, they wheeled them down to the room. My parents came in and got to hold him and cry. Jess got a chance to breast-feed, which was very important to us, because babies who don’t feed right after birth tend to have difficulty doing so and often end up being formula-fed. Then the nurses had a chance to do a more thorough assessment.

***

I’m not going to detail the next few days for you because quite frankly, they run together in my mind. Kieran was born at 11:59am Tuesday June 19th, and we were at the hospital until noon on Friday the 22nd. The hospital stay was a long haul. We had the baby in the room with us every second that we were there except for a couple of brief times when he was brought to the nursery to various tests. His pediatrician even came to our room every morning to do him check-up rather than insisting that she do it in the nursery (where they usually do it).

Kieran is a good baby. I mean it. He doesn’t cry a lot. In fact the only times he really cries are when we change his diapers, clothes, or bathe him (which we’ve done once so far). Otherwise he’s a very happy baby. He’s sleeping about 18 hours out of every day. He’s breastfeeding like a champ. Breastfeeding was really a concern for us because so many moms try and end up getting frustrated or having problems and switching to formula. But so far he’s doing great!

And on that note, Jess is doing great too. She is absolutely a natural. The two of them have this magical connection, where she can tell exactly what he needs and when he needs it. She’s the perfect mom and he’s the perfect baby. And she’s also the perfect wife.

I can’t possibly describe the love I have for my baby and my wife. It’s beyond words.

Comment [16]
 

This is it!

Jun 18, 01:14 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Only have a sec to write this, but we’re going to be induced today! We had a doctor’s appointment this morning and they did an ultrasound to see if he was okay, and he seemed fine but he wasn’t moving as much as they would have liked. So we’re going to the hospital in a few minutes to be induced. It’s going to be a long process, and he’ll probably be born tomorrow (Tuesday the 19th).

I’ll check back in when I get a chance.

Wish us luck!!

(Here’s an illustration of what Jess and the baby look like right now. You can see it’s pretty close quarters…..)

Comment [12]
 

A new arrival

Jun 16, 12:50 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Nah, I’m just messing with you. No baby yet.

But I do have a new song!! Actually, to call it a song is a stretch. Its really just an 8 minute long ambient chill/jam track. Truly, it doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s just a layering of different sounds, including guitars, bass, beats, didgeridoo, synth pads, and human breath and whisper sounds. I put it together last night. It’s called Didg Dream, although truthfully, the didg was the last thing I added. BTW, Garage Band is super cool. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I can’t say enough about this beginner-level consumer grade recording program. One particularly cool thing it does is tunes your instrument for you digitally. My didg is just slightly flat of a D. Garage Band has this nifty little thing where it can adjust it up to be perfectly in tune.

Here it is:

Didg Dream

Speaking of music, I’m into some new stuff lately, and I think you’ll dig it. I went to Barnes and Noble the other night and had a look at what they had to offer. I tend to like their pop/rock picks, and the following were found there:

The first is Feist. Feist is actually Leslie Feist, a Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist. She’s super cool. She’s collaborated with fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene (a band I’ve recommended in the past) and spent a few years living, writing, and performing in Paris. Her first major solo album was released in 2004 called Let it Die, and received international acclaim. Now she has a new album out called The Reminder and I think it’s really fabulous. Let it Die was fantastic as well, but I don’t love it as much… it has a lot of disco influence. The new one is beautiful and contemporary and really cool. I recommend it highly. Click on the album cover to go to her website. Once there, watch her videos for “My Moon, My Man” and “1234”. Both are extraordinary songs, and both videos feature some unique and strangely enjoyable choreography.

The other artist I discovered was Laura Veirs. While I’d heard of Feist before, Laura Veirs was totally new to me. She too is a singer/songwriter/guitarist. She grew up in Colorado and now lives in Portland, OR. She’s collaborated with The Decemberists. According to her Wikipedia entry, she studied geology and Mandarin Chinese in college and lived for a time in China workiong as a translator. One of the reviews at B&N described her music as “Nerd Rock,” and I’d say that’s a very fitting label. I really love it. Her voice is delightfully amateur sounding (I mean that as a compliment), and her songwriting is innocent and beautiful. I can’t stop listening to her newest CD, Saltbreakers. Click on her album cover to go to her website. There are links to videos on YouTube and MP3s. (BTW, in a bio on her site, she says that she recorded the demo for this album in Garage Band!)

Comment [6]
 

He's coming.....

May 25, 02:40 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Holy crap.

I’m finding myself doing reality checks about 18 times a day now. “Is this for real? Are we really about to have a baby?”

We’re officially full-term as of yesterday. Kieran’s due date is June 14th, but technically we’re 37 weeks, which is considered full-term. Whoa. So now it’s just a waiting game. There’s so much stuff left for us to do… clean the house, install the car seat into each of our cars, pack a hospital bag, create a birth plan… and tons of other little stuff that just seems to accumulate that I can’t even remember.

We’re about to be swept into an alternate universe of sleepless nights, confusion, irritability, worry, and general bass-ackwardness. My mom described the feeling I should expect in an email she recently wrote to me:

As I recall, when the baby arrives, you are pulled into a vortex of sleep-deprived-everything is new-alternate reality. What happened to my old life? Why is he crying? We’re being perfect parents and he’s still crying!!! Who are those two white dogs in our house? But eventually, the weirdness lifts and life goes back to being normal. A new normal, but normal nonetheless.

I’m feeling better about everything than I was a day or two ago. I really started to freak out about money, but I think talking to you guys, and Jackie’s nice comment, made me feel a little better. But either way, this is by far going to be the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And I’m not even the one HAVING the baby!! JESS is really the one who’s about to embark on a truly defining and life-altering experience. But we’re in it together as much as is physically, mentally, and emotionally possible.

I can’t wait to meet him!

Comment [15]
 

Livin' on the Cheap - Part II

May 14, 03:11 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Jess and I are coming to terms with the fact that with her out of work when the baby comes, we’re gonna be POOR! We met with a financial advisor the other day who basically said we could do it, but it’s gonna be tight. So with that in mind, we’ve been exploring ways to live more frugally and stretch our grocery budget as far as it can go. Here then, is my offering to you:

Roast Chicken in three acts.

Act One: Roast Chicken

I began by basing this meal off of my mom’s recipe for Spring Chicken, which you can find at her blog, Beautiful Soup. (Yes, my mom has a blog.)

I bought a roasting chicken for six bucks. It was a little more than 4 lbs. I washed it off, removed the giblets, neck, and whatever else was inside it, and put them aside for later. Then I coated the whole thing with a mixture of softened butter, dried tarragon, rosemary, thyme, onion powder, salt, and pepper. I stuck it in the oven on a roasting pan. I stared the oven out real hot, at 450°, but as soon as I stuck it in, I lowered it to 425°. After 20 minutes, I added some white wine to the pan and lowered the heat to 350° and cooked it for an hour. After an hour, I poured a little more wine over it, and added a probe thermometer (A brilliant invention. If you don’t have one, get one! Here’s one on Amazon) I took it out when the probe (inserted into the thigh) read 180°. Then set it on a cutting board to rest for a few minutes, and serve.

To go with, I made a simple gravy out of the pan drippings, flour, and more wine. Then I served the chicken breasts with the gravy and some steamed potatoes and green beans. Mmmm.

Act Two: Chicken Salad

After dinner, I shredded up any leftover white meat. Add some mayo, some salt and pepper, and you’ve got a beautiful chicken salad to go on a sandwich or a lettuce salad or whatever. Simple and wonderful.

Act Three: Cream of Chicken Soup

Here’s the grand finale. I picked over the carcass and removed as much meat as I could. I fed the skin to the dogs. They were in heaven. Then I took the carcass, put it in a pot along with the innards from earier and covered with water, brought it to a boil, and then down to a simmer for about a half hour (longer would have been better, but I was on a schedule). Then I strained the bones out, and worked the gravy into the stock. It wasn’t quite as thick as I wanted (it is CREAM OF chicken soup after all), so I added some more flour. I added the meat I pulled from the carcass, as well as some frozen peas and diced red potatoes. Then I cooked it a while longer till the potatoes were done. That’s it.

One six-dollar chicken resulted in roughly eight meals. Delish!

Comment [1]
 

Time for an update

Apr 18, 05:38 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Wow. I check GoofyGuys every day, religiously, and there hasn’t been an update in over two weeks. So let’s get busy!

Let’s see… Well, as everyone knows now, there was an awful shooting here in VA on Monday. It’s just devastating and horrific. And it’s been dominating local and national news for three days. So I’ll get off that topic now, after mentioning that I just feel so sad for the victims, their families, and friends.

In other news, I just got slammed with two financial hits this week. We did our taxes on Monday and found out that we owe $2000. Ouch. We must have had our withholdings wrong. And then just a minute ago (while writing this) I found out that my car needs $1400 is repairs. Eeeek! As my coworker just put it, I’ll “be eating Ramen noodles for a while!”

Which makes for a nice transition to this posting on my blog, where I detail a very fancy meal I just cooked.

Here’s a teaser picture:

In browsing through the archive, I see that Andy hasn’t posted to GoofyGuys is 66 days, and Jimmy hasn’t posted in 97 days!! 97!!! Even Bryan has posted more recently than that! Come on guys. What’s the problem — not feeling very Goofy lately?

And finally, I’m itching to hear about Andy’s trip to Amsterdam. Spill, Pease, spill!

Love, Ty.

Comment [4]
 

Happy Beefday Andy!

Apr 2, 12:05 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

For he’s a jolly good fellow!
For he’s a jolly good fellow!
For he’s a jolly good fellooooooow…...
Which nobody can deny!
(‘Cause if you do, you’ll be slapped with a wet noodle!)

Happy Beefday Andy! May your 28th birthday be the most fantastic, incredible, remarkable, astounding, and breathtaking one yet. Cheers!

For your birthday this year, I’m giving you every college boy’s dream: a trip to Amsterdam! Okay, you have to pay for it yourself, but I’m giving you PERMISSION to go to Amsterdam… and that’s a big deal. So yeah. Have a good time. And like I mentioned on my last post, be sure to go here: The Pink Floyd Coffeeshop!

Love Ty.

Comment [5]
 
 

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