Friday, October 29, 2010

The Joy of Baking

Baking cookies with Daddy for the first time.

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of the flour explosion.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From the Forest Moon

Ever since I was a kid I have wanted my own Ewok.

I guess dreams do come true!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Where’s my brother?

I want to look at the baby!

I want to give Emmett a kiss.

These phrases you could put on continuous repeat.

Stella absolutely adores her brother. Every waking minute she wants to look, share, pet, kiss and see her brother.

To the point of jumping on top of Maja, leaning her full weight down to hover above her brother as he feeds.

If it were me, I think I would feel a bit claustrophobic.

Hopefully this “love” will continue.

He’s just have to get used to it.

At least he has the few hours where Stella is at the Nanny to have some down time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Today Mommy and Baby came home from the hospital. So far so good. Last night he passed his original birth weight.

Stella is fascinated with her brother. She kept telling Hannah all day at daycare that her brother’s name was “Emmett”.

She has to be by his side, looking, petting and giving kisses.

We can’t get her in bed because Emmett is feeding. We’ll see how the first night goes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Uncomfortable Silence

This afternoon Emmett fell asleep in my arms and I had the pleasure to hold him for 2 hours while he slept.

This afternoon I also had the displeasure to sit for two hours in the extremely uncomfortable visitors chair.

My butt was numb, my back screaming in pain.

But my son slept.

And I sat in an uncomfortable silence while Maja rested.

My question is this.

I think modern hospitals have come a long way in making delivery and maternity wards much more friendly and inviting. They have taken strides for the care of the birthing mother.

But when I ask are hospitals going to start considering the pain that the fathers/partners go through.

Common folks, this is the 21st century. Fathers are involved in their children’s lives. I know several fathers who have had to suffer through long labor and days afterwards in chairs where a two by four would be more comfortable.

I have to admit that this hospital has remodeled their delivery rooms and there they had really good chairs. But now my wife is going to be in the hospital for another 4 days at least and I have a wonderful plank waiting for me.

Fathers unite; our voices need to be heard. We need lazy boys in every maternity room!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An introduction is in order

After 18 hours of labor and an emergency C-section I am proud to introduce

Emmett Benn Tygielski

Weighing in at

3500 gm – 7.7 pounds

54 cm – 21inches

read the full story of the last 36 hours here.

A Maternal Drama

22:00 Friday October 15th

“You know what?” My wife asked me as we were getting ready for bed Friday night.

“No what?” I say.

“We have my bag ready for the hospital but we haven’t packed a bag for Stella. And what if he comes in the middle of the night? We haven’t created a plan with my parents.”

“We’ve got time,” I say. We’ll call your parents tomorrow and get everything straightened out. “It’s too late now anyway.”

“Good night”...and I fall into a deep, deep, sleep.

12:06 Saturday October 16th

It is shortly past midnight, I hear my name being called. I drift slowly towards consciousness.

Wife: “It’s time”

Me: What?

I’m in a gray area.

Between dream and reality.

Wife: “It’s TIME, call the hospital and ask how much time we have!”

Me: “Huh? Do what? Call who? Where’s the number, who?”

I’m mumbling incoherently

Me: “Where are you?”

Wife: “In the bathroom, my water broke!”

Me: “What?”

Wife: “IT’S TIME!”

oh…Oh…OH…What? Really? I’m here, what do we need to do? Shoot we have to call your
parents. Hope they hear the phone, oh, oh, oh.

You think your are ready but your are never really ready.

12:36 Saturday October 16th

Maja’s parents arrive, we exchange greetings in the doorway and speed off to the hospital

How do you drive slowly? The adrenaline is flowing, your in a fog, the excitement.

Stay calm but: Small villages, deer, cobble stones, get out of my way.

It’s dead quiet on the delivery ward.

Everything is okay, Baby’s heart beat is good, little to no contractions however and only 1 cm.

Hmmm…this could take a while.

02:00 Saturday October 16th

They send Maja up to the maternity ward where she can rest until morning.

Score, we’ve got a single room! 1 bed, 1 hard chair, 1 changing table.

Um, no place for Dad.

Well Dad is going to have to suck it up. I’m totally prepared to sleep on the floor. I am going to be here to support my wife.

I WON’T miss this one!

The night nurse looks at me as if I am stupid. “There’s nowhere for you to sleep. Go home until morning.”

I reluctantly take this good advice and head home.

02:20 Saturday October 16th

The dogs Susi & Holly great me at the door. That’s weird I think, they should be up with my in-laws. I try and keep them quiet when I here a faint voice… “did they send you home?”

I peak around the corner to find Benno lying on the couch. Why aren’t you up in the comfy bed?

I’ve got telephone duty he says proudly as he points to phone on the stool next to his head. In case we got a call from you guys.

And Heidi?

She’s in with Stella.

I find out the next morning that while we thought Stella was sleeping during all the commotion, she heard everything and was awake when Oma went to check on her. So she laid down with her in her room.

02:36 Saturday October 16th

I’m supposed to sleep.

But how?

My mind is racing.

The adrenalin is still flowing from a few hours before.

I’m exhausted but I can’t calm down. Thoughts racing through my head. Stupid stuff like My cousin’s ranch house in Ada? Did the boys all have their own rooms or did the two younger brothers share a room? Lets retrace the faded memories you have. Why, I don’t know, it’s what’s going through my head.

My baby is almost here, My wife is in the hospital, I have to finish this and that at work, still need to arrange this and that.

An hour or so later I am able to calm my mind down enough that I fall into a light sleep…

06:29 Saturday October 16th

I hear Stella and movement outside the room. The dogs are prowling.

Stella is so excited. Oma and Opa are here. Yippeee. Where’s mommy? Daddy you coming with me?

No, I’m have to go to mommy but I’ll come later.

09:00 Saturday October 16th

At the hospital. Maja hasn’t gone down for her CTG yet. She was supposed to go down at 7. It’s poppin’ full. No rooms. Once we get in, everything is fine. Still only two centimeters. Come back at 12.

12:00 Saturday October 16th

2 cm we have a way to go. Here’s two antibacterial pills. This is to help since the there is no more water in the womb. If there’s no baby by 8pm then you’ll get too more. (Insert long moan from wife.)

14:30 Saturday October 16th

Laps around the hospital garden. Every two to three minutes contractions. Maja is getting worn out. The strength is still in her, I feel it when she crushes my shoulder or almost rips my head off when a contraction comes.

Pain escalates.

16:30 Saturday October 16th

only 4 cm – extreme pain.

Maja gets her long awaited PDA (epiderral) – two guys, really good anethesiologists, kept the mood light; using a Dräger machine. Wow I finally get to see one of these in action. I’ve only seen them in the Dräger museum.

Relaxation and a bit of shut eye.

She’s cold, turn the heat up.

Dad gets to sit down for a few minutes.

17:30 Saturday October 16th

It’s 35 degrees in here. I’ve stripped down as much as I can. I get the heavy blanket from her room.

7-8 Centimeters.

All is good.

“can’t someone get a drink around here” Uh oh, dragon lady is poking around. She promised to be nicer tomorrow though.

She gets a “get out of jail free card” this time.

17:45 Saturday October 16th

Dr. check. Baby hasn’t turned enough, theres a large fluctionation in baby’s pulse when the
contractions hit, maja isn’t doing to hot. Dr. holtcamp pulls the plug on the normal birth – we’re
doing a C-section.

The doctor leaves to get paper work. Maja tries to turn to her side and we loose the pulse of the baby. The nurse finds it again but it is fluctuating. Maja’s circulation is worsening.

Rush Maja to the operating room.

I’m sitting here alone in the delivery room.

The Heartbeat that has been throbbing in the background for the past 18 hours is gone.

The quiet moans of my wife as she deals with contractions is gone.

I hear footsteps on the cobblestones outside.

I’m left with the ringing in my head.

Lump in throat.

Sitting alone.

18:15 Saturday October 16th

Christina our nurse walks into the room with a bundle, looks at me and says, “everything is okay”

Tears just pour down my face.

She hands me Emmett and I can’t stop Smiling.

We do the measurements and then for the next 2 hours while Maja is in recovery, we get to spend some quality father and son time.

20:00 Saturday October 16th

Everyone is transferred to the hospital room.

Baby feeds.

All is good.

21:20 Saturday October 16th

I arrive at Oma & Opa's.

Stella is still awake.

I show her the pictures of Emmett.

She is all excited and asks where I was and how mommy is.

23:25 Saturday October 16th

Posting Blog post

Daddy - crashing

Friday, October 15, 2010

Speaking in tongues

Yesterday I read that by 30 months a typical child will have a vocabulary of 300 words and put sentences of 3-5 words together. At this point vocabulary then expands exponentially. The moral of the story I was reading was, watch what you say.

This reminds me of a funny moment in my childhood.

I was visiting my dad and we were driving in the car having a conversation. My then 3 year old half sister was sitting in the back seat. All of a sudden we heard “damn it” come from the back seat. Our eyes got big, we looked at each other, then back at my sister.

“damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it,” with a big smile on her face.

We look again at each other.

Me: “I didn’t say it, you did”

Dad: “No you did, I didn’t say it.”

Then we tried to figure out how to get her to stop saying this swear word before we got home and she said it in front of my step-mom. Of course everything we tried only made her say the word more often and LOUDER.

Eventually subjects changed, memory faded and luckily she didn’t say those words when we got home.

At this stage the mind is a sponge. It absorbs everything.

I’ve heard that before the age of 4 the child’s mind is completely open, without inhibition taking it all in. Therefore we really aren’t complicating matters by throwing in another language.

It’s true.

She gets it.

She understands everything I say.

And now the past few days she has started repeating words I say to her that are new.

She files them away, for use another day.

And the beauty is that she still doesn’t realize that she is learning two languages.

We’ve had plenty of arguments at the dinner table. She learned it’s a “Kastanie”, I say it’s a “Chestnut” oohh can she be stubbornly defiant as I tell her, “in daddy’s language it’s a chestnut” “KASTANIE”

(an odd side note to this story: Daddy is allowed to speak English & German however mommy is not. Stella does not like it when Mommy speaks English to Daddy. She can read or sing English but just not speak it. She always tells mommy to stop speaking.)

But sometimes the wires fire together and out of the blue she’ll answer me in English. Or she’ll throw an English word into a sentence. That word most of the time, one we didn’t know she knew.

She’s not afraid to talk (at least in front of us) and can string sentences upwards of 8 words together.

And this cognitive development develops at lighting speed.

In a new book there is an illustration of a bunch of animals carrying letters. She loves this picture and daddy or mommy singing the ABC song. In a matter of 4 days she’s learned the song.

First we sang the song to her.

All of a sudden she started singing “A-B-C-D” but was quiet the rest of the song.

The next day she would complete the next phrase such as:

Daddy: A-B-C-D

Stella: E-F-G

Daddy: H-I-J-K

Stella: L-M-N-O-P

And so forth.

When I came home tonight, she was singing the song by herself.

This simple example reminds me that we too can learn anything we want. We just have to open our minds, put any inhibitions away and have at it.

Because, you never stop learning.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Daddy's place!

Mousy’s been sick.
A raging stomach that won’t keep much down, or shoots it straight through.

4 am Saturday morning.
All in the Washing machine.
The mop has been rung to dry

We lay Stella down with mommy.
So there’s room enough, Daddy packs his pillow and blanket and moves into the kids room.
(Thank goodness she has a big bed now.)

Saturday, stella is still out of it.

She and mommy lay down together for an afternoon nap.

Sleeping in mommy and daddy’s bed has let to the following discussion at bedtime.

Daddy: “Stella, time to go up to bed”
Stella: “Stella sleep in mommy’s bed?”
Daddy: “no you can sleep in your bed tonight.”
Stella: “but I want to sleep in Mommy’s bed!”
Daddy: “And where is daddy going to sleep?”
Stella: “In Stella’s bed!”

One step away from the doghouse I’d say.
Oh wait, the dog still gets to sleep in our bed.
Fortunately tiredness overtakes,
Memory is short.
We cuddle,
She crashes in her bed.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Edward Scissorhands to the rescue!

Mark your calendars

There was no screaming

Opa didn’t have to be there

No squirming

Aunt Steffi wasn’t there

It was of her own free will

She asked us

Yes, she asked mommy and daddy

But I’m getting ahead of myself

Let me clarify
It all started as she was taking a bath

Daddy sitting on the stool next to the tub

Mommy, with extremely huge pregnant belly, can’t cut her own toenails

So daddy helps

Stella sees

Stella says…

“Me too?”

Parents do a double take

“You what? “


Hell ya, come here!

Of her own free will mommy and daddy were able to cut our own child’s toe and finger nails without a peep;

Without the aid of Aunti’s

Without the aid of Grandparents

I am marketing the calendar!

I’m basking in the glory

I’m reveling in the mystery

Who knows when this will happen again!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feeling loved

Last week Daddy was home a day …sick.
And mommy wanted to let daddy sleep.

When Stella woke up, she wanted to look out of the window.
As mommy brought her up to the windowsill, she saw Daddy’s car still in the driveway.
Her eyes lit up, “daddy’s here!” she exclaimed. “Can I go wake him up?”

Mommy explained that daddy needed to sleep, he has headaches.
“can I go wake him up?” was her reply
After you sit on the potty.
(this will buy daddy some time, she usually sits any wares from 10-20 minutes on the potty in the morning thinks mommy)

“OK” and off to the bathroom she runs.
10 seconds after mommy sits her on the potty;
Stella stands up,
Eexclaims that she’s done,
Makes a B-line straight for the bedroom
leaving a bewildered mommy in the dust.

My eyes are closed; I hear the door swing open.
Pat pat pat, I hear the little feet race towards me.
I open my eyes to be greeted with a big smile.
She leans over, blows and then kisses my head and then gives me a big hug.

It feels so good to be loved!