Off Topic: Frank’s Place T-shirt give-a-way #4

It’s time for another t-shirt give a way at Frank’s place.  T-shirt give a way #3 winners were a little stretched out.  Tracy, (another Tracy not my wife), who blogs at makingthetrek, won in May for guessing the item Anne Marie was wearing that indicated she had grown very big.  Dave Welty and his entire prayer group, 12 faithful men in all, won in late June for just about praying Anne Marie out of the NICU.  Plus Dave has been giving me some inside info to help me get my book published.  And his daughter, a good friend of Frank’s Place, asked me to.  And yeah, there was bias involved in that selection – sue me.

We have used a few different formats to pick winners.  This month is a newer format still.  Randomness.  I gave Frank a list of the people who follow and comment here at Frank’s place and he randomly selected 4 lucky winners.  He may have just been reaching for some M&Ms or as he calls them “nems”.  Either way his sugar induced shakes caused his hand to land on 4 winners.  As I have said before this is not some dumb reality show that creates a stupid crescendo only to go to commercial right before announcing the big thing.  We get right to it.  The winners are as follows:

From Indiana by way of Buffalo – Mike Muhleisen! Congrats Mike.  You might remember Mike from his comments to the post Wealth redistribution and the cookie exchange explained…by Frank.  Probably not.  Congrats anyway.  Send me your shipping address and shirt size to

From Fresno California – Shirley Stein!  Shirley still wears the uniform of the USAF, serving full time in the Fresno Air National Guard.  Size and shipping address to

From the middle of nowhere Tennessee – Zona Ash!  Zona, a friend of Frank’s Place and frequent commenter, is retired from the United States Air Force after a 20yr career.   Size and shipping address to

And from right here in Knoxvegas, Knoxville’s favorite daughter Laurie Halsey!  For the longest time I thought I was alone in my love of Little House on the Prairie and all things Walnut Grove until I met Laurie.  I would hazard a guess that we are the only two in Knoxville who can converse equally on politics and the adventures of Ma and Pa Ingalls.  If you don’t know who they are or where Walnut Grove is you’re probably a communist.

Congratulations to all the winners.  Please send me a shirt size and for you out of towner’s send a shipping address to

Take a look at the shirt and new logo below.

Frank’s Place T-shirt

To be eleigible you must be either a member of Frank’s Place by submitting your e-mail in the space provided under Get It Fresh Off The Belt! or be a frequent commenter.  Get your name on the list somehow.  Don’t miss out!

Diary of a Stay At Home Dad: Eight ain’t enough!

Pounds that is.  Yep, my little one pound nine ounce baby girl is an eight pounder.  8 pounds 5 ounces to be exact.  She’s taping at 20.5 inches although she gets weighed every night, she only gets measured Sunday nights so she may be longer than that as I type this. But yeah 8 pounds.  She’s a porker, a butterball, wider than she is tall.  She has more chins than a Chinese phone book.  You know cause a lot of Chinese are skinny and are nam… eh, …no, nothing.  Is this thing on?  Man, that joke killed in Peoria.

Anyway, here is the latest picture of Fatty McFatterton.  Not me you rubes, the kid.

Hey pop, might be time for a new nose hair trimmer.

Length isn’t what we’re after.  Apparently neither is weight.  We really got fixated on what we thought was the big number, her weight.  It’s important no doubt, but her weight, or lack there of, was not keeping her in the NICU.

The day they were born I got to the delivery prep room just in time for the Chief Resident to tell me they were coming.  My first response was, “hey bro, they can’t come today.  The last ultra-sound estimated them to be a pound and a half give or take.  This can’t be good.”  His reply was quick and unfaltering, “it’s not the weight, it’s lung development.  You’d be surprised at how little a baby can weigh and survive if their lungs are developed.”   Guy was sharp.  He was dealing with all this while his own wife was set to deliver their first child not a day or two later. Unfortunately for us he hit that nail right on the head.  They were both 1 pound 12 ounces at birth, but Anne Marie had lungs and Linda Claire didn’t.  As sad as it all is, it’s not much more complicated than that.

Anne Marie was 12 inches long the day she was born.  She looked tiny because she was tiny.  So naturally we wanted her to gain weight, get bigger.  Heavier meant healthier in our minds.  To some extent that was and is true but there is this small matter of breathing.

She breathes fine and has been off the oxygen for a few weeks now, maybe a month.  Can’t clearly remember back that far.  But when she is breathing, she’s the best breather we know.  The problem is she doesn’t always remember to do it; breathe that is.  When she stops breathing her heart rate slows to a crawl.  This can be problematic.  When it happens you have to get her attention.  The best method is to pat her on the chest.  Once you do that she starts to breathe again and the heart rate goes back up and all is well. Seems crazy at first, but like anything you settle into your new normal.

So now the big discussion is not her weight, but her breathing.  We may be bringing her home this week with a heart rate monitor and bidding farewell to sleep for a few months. The other possibility is she stays “in” for another week to see if she outgrows this as the heart rate drops are down to one or two a day as compared to 14 a day not too long ago.

She will outgrow it eventually, I however would prefer her to stay another month if it means coming home with no equipment.  Everyone involved has run a good race, Anne Marie included and we’re dying to have her home and Frank talks about her every day. But now is the time to finish strong and break the tape in good form, not sprint to the finish and stumble across the line.

I’m going to get belted for this next shot, but I happen to think this is a beautiful picture of Tracy.  Plus the kid looks like she’s reading.  I guess we’ll need another bean bag chair.

Reading with mom. All dad does is sleep.

Stylin even in her sleep.