OC Family Published My Story – Check It Out

UPDATE 1:58 PM 12/29/16: Direct link is up, which you can find HERE. 

UPDATE 3:25 PM 12/27/16: Apparently viewing the web version is not mobile friendly. But the good news is a direct link will be posted within the next week or so. Once I get that link I’ll update this post with it. 

Just a quick note for those not following me on Facebook or Instagram.

OC Family today published an essay I wrote for them for their January edition, which can be found throughout Orange County starting today, or online at ocfamily.com. I wrote about Jax, dealing with grief and our New Hope (to borrow the Star Wars idea – Phoenix). On the top right click on the January digital magazine, go to page 60 and you’ll find it.

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Just a reminder you can always follow me on Instagram @sethtearz or Facebook here.

Phoenix at Three Months

Time flies. Phoenix is three months old today, which was my longest relationship before I met my wife when I was 20. RANDOM SETH TEARZ FACTOID.

If Phoenix was at a new job, he’d be eligible for health benefits by now. With that, I figured now is a perfect time to get some unseen photos out to y’all and fill you on what we know, so far, about this kid.

We call him “P”

We thought Finn (or Phinn) was a cute nickname, and Gray loved it because of the Star Wars The Force Awakens reference. But I don’t think any of us call him Phinn. He’s pretty much P, baby, or baby boy in our house.

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Chubs

He’s chubby as all hell. Definitely the chubbiest baby we’ve had. Jax and Ellie had big cheeks, but Phoenix takes those big cheeks, and raises Jax and Ellie on the chest, abdomen and legs.

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Great eater

Along with the chubs theme, I suppose, is that he’s a great eater. Always has been. My wife breastfeeds, and it’s not that he’s eating a lot or anything (he’s eating appropriate amount of ounces each day), it’s just that he’s much quicker and more efficient than the other kids. Jax hated bottles. Phoenix, in our few test runs, has excelled. The twins took forever to eat. My wife duel breast-fed, so she was dealing with two tired kiddos, or them finding each other to play with and distract, but Phoenix, when awake, knocks it out in 20 minutes and is ready to move on with life.

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He loves his sibs

Phoenix is drawn to Gray and Ellie when he hears their voices. I’ll sometimes catch him smiling and flirting with them when they’re not paying attention to him. And vice versa, they’re super attached to him. A couple of weeks ago we went to Disneyland, and my wife and P stayed home. When Gray found out, he cried so hard, which isn’t like him at all. Normally he’d be like “Ok, well, peace out, I’m going to have a great day.” This time, he cried and cried like it tore at his soul that Phoenix wasn’t going to go with us. Ellie’s been playing a great mini mommy role, too, and has already changed a few pee diapers.

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He wants to sit up

Since he was two weeks old, Phoenix has displayed an unusually strong neck/head. Now, when he’s laid back in a way, he tries to sit up. He wants to be up and involved, and with that spare tire around him, he just doesn’t have the muscles yet! He also hates playing the roll over game. He doesn’t want to do it, and he’d rather just munch on his hands in frustration.

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He’ll be a yapper

Far and away, Phoenix is the most talkative baby we’ve had. And it’s not just making sounds. It’s legit conversations. The way he looks at me when we talk makes me feel like he’s having a deep connection with me. Maybe I’m just crazy. Last night I was hanging out with him, alone, and he was laying in the boppy pillow. I’d say hi and smile, he’d flash a huge grin back, and start cooing. After a bit, with nothing having changed, his bottom lip made a frown and quivered. His eyes got red. He started to do his complaining type voice/talking. He looked scared. Then his eyes watered. He was so sad! And I couldn’t figure out why. It’s like he was telling me about something that happened earlier in the day, or some deep down fear or pain he had. A few minutes later he was back to smiling and being goofy.

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We’re all having a blast watching his personality develop. Hopefully some of these descriptions and photos give you an idea of who this little guy is today.

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Baby’s Name & One Week Update

On day three of our hospital stay, two hours before scheduled discharged, we finally decided on a name. Mainly because the birth records department forced us to. We picked Phoenix, which I’ll explain in a few, and Davis as his middle name. Davis was my wife’s grandmother’s maiden name.

Phoenix weighed an even eight pounds and stretched out to 20 inches long. The registered nurse at Monday’s mother/baby assessment said he was strong and fierce. He’s loud – though not as loud as Gray was – and has no problem screaming his displeasure. He’s a fantastic eater and is peeing and pooping right on schedule.

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Mommy is recovering okay after the c-section. She says it’s been harder compared to recovering after the c-section with the twins. I guess being five years older will do that to you.

We chose Phoenix purely for the symbolism of it all. The name was fine, but we liked another name better, if we’re comparing apples to apples. But damn the symbolism of Phoenix. I couldn’t shake it.

The phoenix represents renewal and resurrection. Mythology states that when it feels near the end, it sets itself on fire, and out of the ashes, a new phoenix arises. Death, transformation and renewal. When Jax died four years ago, the death beset our family, only to be followed up by the loss of our church, a major loss for our family, and then three miscarriages. We’ve been transformed, and not for the best. We’re just…different. Hardened. Aged. Jaded. A new appreciation of the fragility of life. A lesser fear of death.

And then the renewal. It’s been noted as a cleansing. Wash away the death and all that came with it. For our family, this baby represents that. He’s brought us hope. A new sense of life and energy.

Another plus for Phoenix is the initials. Months ago, when we started thinking of names, the wife suggested something with the initials of PD. Jax had two best buddies – Moo, a stuffed animal cow we got at the Orange County Fair when he was 2, and PD, a prairie dog he chose from the San Diego Zoo shortly after Moo joined our family.

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Moo and PD had a birthday party. Here’s PD wearing his presents.

Since we couldn’t come up with something that would feature Moo as a nickname, PD became a goal for us. In the middle of June, the wife text me the idea of Phoenix. Swapping name ideas became a hobby for us. Usually it was me throwing something silly out there, like O’Shea or Wally, and the wife shooting it down.

But when she suggested Phoenix, it grabbed me. Hard. The twins preferred it. Gray suggested calling him Finn (Phinn), largely for the Star Wars The Force Awakens reference I imagine. A friend of ours suggested Nix. Right now, we just call him baby.

 

Birth Day

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UPDATE 4:52 PM: Pic, but no name.

I’m at work. Been here for about an hour now. I needed to wrap some things up. Some trivia for ya!

Did you know? Baby boy (still unnamed!) will be our fourth child born on a Tuesday. Weird, huh? Presley’s D&E was on a Tuesday. Jax and the twins were born in the early evening on Tuesdays.

My plan is to live blog as the day goes on. I’ll head about about 9, 9:30, shower and drop the twins off at a friend’s house before taking the wife to St. Joseph’s for prep.

Keep refreshing this page for updates, as there will not be any added posts.

Just under seven hours until show time, people.

UPDATE 12:17 PM

 

UPDATE 3:41 PM

Mom and baby are in recovery. Baby Boy was born at 2:44. He weighs eight pounds and is 20 inches long. He has a mix of brown and blond hair and cried for thirty minutes while mom was sewn up. Turnout he was starving. He latched right on to mama and is in bliss now.

Name and pics to come.

 

 

 

It’s Time

Remember that c-section that was scheduled for July 22? Yeah, well, now it’s tomorrow. The wife’s OBGYN decided to go out of town instead, and 2 p.m. on July 19 was the only time slot the hospital could crowbar us in to on the surgery schedule.

All thoughts, prayers and good vibes are very much appreciated.

I’ll start a post tomorrow and live blog as the day goes on. Expect photos, baby stats and my bad jokes.

First Look at Baby Boy

First off, an update on the pregnancy. Everything has gone very well to date. The wife and Baby Boy are growing appropriately, and as far as we know, are healthy as can be. A c-section was scheduled for July 22. We’re hoping the little sucker is good at keeping appointments.

Last month, Mommy’s First Peek captured some 4D ultrasound pics for us while the wife was 28 weeks pregnant. I thought it’d be fun to compare and contrast 4D ultrasound photos of Jax, Gray and Ellie to Baby Boy.

For comparison, Jax was 30-weeks-old at time of ultrasound and the twins were about 24-26 weeks.

Let me know who you think he looks like in the comments below.

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addtext_com_MTcwODUwNDA0MzcHe’s already a conceited little sumbitch, ain’t he?

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Picking and Eating Boogers Good for One’s Health? I think (s)Not

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See what I did there? With the S? I spelled sno…forget it. Never mind.

A professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada hypothesizes that eating boogers may benefit the immune system. According to a CBC News article posted in 2013, biochemistry professor Scott Napper posed the theorem to first-year science students to illustrate how something as simple as picking one’s nose and discussing the potential benefit of the feat could lead to scientific advances.

As Napper told CBS News:

“All you would need is a group of volunteers. You would put some sort of molecule in all their noses, and for half of the group they would go about their normal business and for the other half of the group, they would pick their nose and eat it,” he said. “Then you could look for immune responses against that molecule and if they’re higher in the booger-eaters, then that would validate the idea.”

If this were true, (and I don’t think it is because, after all, THIS IS THE UNIVERSITY OF FUCKING SASKATCHEWAN! IS THAT EVEN A REAL THING? IT’S CANADA! THEY’LL EAT ANYTHING!), Gray would be the beacon of a healthy immune system. He’s going to live until he’s 118. Dude eats more boogers in a week than there are days.

We regularly catch him in the act, tell him to stop, watch him turn his head to continue in hiding and tell him it’s gross and how much it’ll make him sick. We’ve even told him his girlfriend Hayley won’t like him if he does it. Jax was the same way. There’s something about the mind of a 3-year-old Tearz boy that decides boogers are fucking fantastic, and parental shame be damned, they’re chowing down.

This must’ve skipped me. Honestly, I don’t remember ever picking my nose and eating the booger as a child. It’s disgusting. No, I’d just pick my nose, and then wipe the gooey things on the wall next to my bed enough to build a colony of crusties and pretended like they weren’t there. That’s how I rolled.

Since it skipped me, I can only assume my dad’s stomach was lined full of nose goblins until he met my mom.

Fortunately, Ellie is a classy broad (besides that whole propensity to be a stripper thing) and picks and wipes like a normal human being.

Earlier this year the web site todayifoundout.com dug in to the premise and determined that there is no known experiments to test the thesis. And they provided this fabulous “bonus fact”:

The correct term for eating one’s own mucus is the decidedly less off-putting sounding term: mucophagy, and according to the BBC, at least 10% of people who regularly pick their nose “occasionally practise mucophagy“.  Further, about 90% of the adult human population in the same survey admitted to picking their nose (a figure that climbs to 99% in younger people).  So the habit is oddly common considering the extreme taboo that surrounds it.

Vaguely related, in a college public speaking class our professor gave us an assignment to give a how-to lecture to the rest of the class. I forget the required length of the speaking engagement, but it was about five minutes. My dumb ass decided to instruct my peers how to pick your nose, roll it and flick it out the window while driving in a car. I never did figure out why none of the girls in that class showed an interest in me.

I do hope that someone decides to run an experiment to test the hypothesis and pay a lot of money to subjects which will include preschool-age children. We need to start building Gray’s college fund somehow.