The Son Also Rises

Our second child — a boy named Wyatt Paul — was born yesterday morning. Currently, everyone is doing very well and we’re still in the hospital as my wife recovers from surgery. My in-laws are staying at our house and watching our daughter.

All things considered, it seems that this delivery went even smoother than the first time. Angela has been in better health (minus horrible heartburn & nausea) and her recovery seems to be going even faster this go round. We have a very brief scare just before the scheduled surgery time when it appeared her blood pressure had dramatically dropped and his heart rate also dropped. After literally running my wife’s bed down the hall to the OR, they quickly realized all was okay and let us breathe again.


Calm Before the Storm
Operating Room

Moments later, at exactly 8:17 am, we had a handsome little baby boy. Angela, though heavily sedated, got to spend a bit of time with him before I took him off to the nursery (well, I followed the nurses, anyway). There, he was greeted by two of his grandparents and his big sister on the other side of the glass.


Wyatt Paul Coleman
Meet Your New Baby Brother

He was weighed and measured while I watched in the nursery. His weight was 7 lbs. 8 oz. (exactly what Angela had guessed) and his length was 20 1/4 in. I went out to see my daughter and talk to my family. I then went back to the room to wait on Angela and make some phone calls. Angela got wheeled back in to the room about 30 minutes later. And, much to our delight, Wyatt came in just moments thereafter. He began feeding without much trouble and has been doing great ever since.


And In This Corner...
Happy Parents

Angela’s parents have been back by with Ainsley a couple of times since. Ainsley is already pointing at her little brother and saying "baby!" As I stated earlier, Angela has been recovering very well. We’re all set to go home as soon as we can.

In the meantime, all the latest news and information on Wyatt is over at his website.

The View Gets Better

Two Thousand and Eight is finally winding down to a close.

Sitting at my desk, staring out the office window overlooking the park. It’s hard for me to really recall all that has gone on in the past year or so that got me here. I remember being upset, frustrated – angry, even. A lot. However, view now is so nice it all seems to have faded into the distance. Just one thing really reminds me of all that.

I’m exhausted.

Looking back over the past year, it has been one of extreme highs and lows. And I think that may be true for many more people than our family, even. The housing market. A presidential election. The economy. It all seems to be swinging in such wild circles.

When we decided to move back to Tennessee, I knew it was going to be tough selling out house on Fitzhugh in Richmond. I really didn’t know just how tough it was going to be. I had no idea that the country was going to be hitting one of the worst housing markets in its history. Add to that our ever increasing frustrations with our real estate agent and we had a rough time of it. We lost a very large chunk of the equity we’d built up in the home. But then again, there are a lot of people in this country who are in far worse circumstances with their homes and mortgages1. We finally got aligned with the right agent – who sold the home in twelve days. A very large weight off of our shoulders.

We found a decent apartment when we moved down, but we knew it wouldn’t be any place we could live for long. However, having spent the past six years living in a pretty urban environment, moving to Williamson County, TN has been something of a shock to us. We really do love the place but we’re still adjusting to the people here. We found a new subdivision we liked and decided to proceed on having a home built back in April. However, with the threat of not getting our home in Richmond sold by the end of the year, it was hard to get much enjoyment out of watching our home be built.
Over the coming few months, we did monitor the progress of the new house. As it drew near completion, we got the word that we had a buyer in Richmond. All seemed well.

Then, we learned that some changes in the mortgage industry which had come into place recently were going to affect us. We had to move up our sale in Richmond to coincide with the sale here. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem except we only were give four days notice. It took a massive amount of phone calls to lawyers, banks, real estate agents, builders, etc. to get it to happen; but it did. In the end, we turned in the keys to our apartment and closed on two different homes all within about four hours. Oh, this was also the day after what has been called the largest financial collapse in American history since the Great Depression. You might guess that added to our anxiety levels a bit.
2

But, like I said, those have all passed now. As they were happening, I thought they’d linger much longer but they don’t even seem to phase me at all now. Things aren’t perfect. My job demands even more of my attention. There is a laundry list of things that need to be done in a new house. The dogs need walking three times a day. Ainsley is walking now – which has created a host of new things to have to deal with. However, none of it seems complicated. All of it is wonderfully contained to us and our own abilities – not relying on some person to consider purchasing our old house nor some underwriter to juggle all the dollar signs associated with our lives.

I’m exhausted but I feel content. It’s something I haven’t felt in about a year now. I’m think I’m allowing myself to feel a lot things I’ve been suppressing during all this. Being able to really enjoy watching Ainsley learn and grow. The thrill of watching our new home come together. Sadness of leaving our home in Richmond, which is now really no longer ours. The bittersweet joy of opening a new chapter, but knowing that the old one is closed. I miss our friends in Virginia more than I have since we’ve been gone because now it feels final for this first time.

I don’t know that having all those feelings at once would be something I could have dealt with, but I can say that dragging them out over the course of a year has been extremely difficult. We made it through it somehow, though. And I’m okay with all of it.

But, this roller coaster ride of a year is now pretty much over. Here’s to even better thinks happening in 2009, minus all of the heartache and worrying.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention one last bit of news: we’re going to have another baby in April. Good thing we got a bigger place, huh?

  1. Ever found yourself thinking renting is throwing away your money? Imagine how it feels when you’ve bought a home – which everyone says is a sound investment and not throwing away your money – only to learn you’ve pretty much been still throwing your money away. Renting is paying for shelter and is most definitely not throwing your money away. Sure you may not own anything at the end of it, but you also don’t have the struggle of ever having to sell the thing, either.
  2. I should also point out that during all of this, I ended up having to provide a presentation on some new software to beta testers for work. Putting together an hour-and-a-half presentation on software that isn’t even finished also took up a large portion of my time, as you might well imagine. And though it got off to a very rocky start, I was pleased with the whole thing once it was done. It certainly took my mind off all the other issues going on around us.

Bumbo Safety Mod

So Angela sends me a quick e-mail note regarding a recall of our favorite little kids foam seat, the Bumbo1. The recall is regarding the fact that several children have been injured (some quite seriously, I understand) toppling out of the seat. Well, little toddlers being squirmy and all, they tend to do that. Especially just when mom or dad stepped away from the table and the little one gets bored.

…and they get bored in about two seconds, so this is easy to imagine and hard for me to place too much blame on the parents. We’re all only human.

For that matter, I don’t blame Bumbo, either. There’s a warning on the back of each one. In red letters! It essentially says that the Bumbo should only be placed at floor level and not on elevated surfaces. Apparently, some lawyers (the nasty kind who see everyone as suable bank accounts and not human beings) got a hold of this and determined that the warning wasn’t clear enough and that the product needed to be recalledSeriously, read the description and remedy at the CSPC’s site. Further, tell me if there is something I’m missing here.

Bumbo Warning

Note: there’s no lead paint, no flammable materials, not even any moving parts (the Bumbo is one solid piece of foam, in case you didn’t already know). And they’re recalling it because the warning on it apparently wasn’t big or simple enough for people.

Frankly, I think this is going just a bit overboard. Follow the warming label if you have any concerns or doubts. However, I don’t see any reason why the Bumbo is going to be a problem to put on a table-top provided there is some more strict supervision. I’d hate it if Ainsley got hurt, but that’s why we go out of our way to make sure she doesn’t go tumbling off of things in general, including Bumbos. But, just to put this in perspective, 28 out of over 1,000,000 Bumbos have resulted in injuries from kids taking a face-plate. That’s 0.0028 percent for the divisionally challenged. Though I don’t have any hard numbers, I’d be willing to bet a higher percentage have fallen out of people’s hands.

Just in case you’re still worried about your Bumbo, here’s a solution I came up with to help keep your child in the seat (though no word if the seat won’t go over with the especially roudy ones):

Bumbo Safety Mod

And just in case it needs saying, you take responsibility if you do this. Not me or Bumbo. Of course, you could just buy the plastic food tray that would probably accomplish the same thing.

Also:

  1. Our friends Chris and Sally first introduced us to the Bumbo when their son, Mason, was using one. We’ve had several other friends since that have also expressed their love for the Bumbo and it was one of the early gifts we received (as I recall, from C & S, even!).

Baby Got Domain

Here’s a Yahoo! News article (via Lifehacker) about the increase in infants with their own domain names, many of whom won’t be used for anything other than a parked page for years. Per one parent “One of the criteria was, if we liked the name, the domain had to be available.” I can’t say that this was actually a requirement for our daughter; just that I’d have had to been more creative in what domain name she did get.

July Has Thirty One Days

It’s been a long month that went by really quickly. However, I suspect in a couple of weeks I’ll be longing for the good ‘ole days of July ’07. I know that I’ve completely dropped the ball on writing on this site this past month. I really regret that as it’s only because way too much has been happening as opposed to just having nothing to talk about.

First of all, and most importantly, Angela is doing fine. She is currently staying the night in the hospital, but there is no cause for alarm. Her blood pressure is a bit high and she has a couple of other signs of a very mild case of pre-eclampsia. Ainsley is almost at full term, as of this Thursday (37-40 weeks is considered full term) and the doctor has indicated that she may be delivered early, although not technically pre-maturely, due to this condition (which goes away essentially immediately after giving birth). While pre-eclampsia can be dangerous to both my girls, this case is not particularly dangerous and we have a very easy fix: Ainsley is simply going to come earlier than late August. Like I said, Angela is doing just fine and no one should be worried at all; just excited that our daughter is coming a bit sooner than expected.

Angela has continued to work, though she’s been instructed by her doctor to not do anything else outside of work, ever since she’s had the elevated blood pressure (for a few weeks, now). This has led us to both make some sacrifices around the house, as I’ve been working a lot lately. That’s not gone over really well with her, but she understands. Both mom and daughter are doing well (I just left the hospital where we could hear Ainsley heart thumping away).

Okay, now that you’re up to speed on that situation, I’ll explain why I’ve not been explaining all this sooner. One of the other two engineers at my office has moved to upstate New York to open a branch office for our company. This is really exciting for him and it’s a great opportunity for him and the company. However, this has increased my work load somewhat. Add to this that the most complicated building structure I’ve worked on to date is currently in it’s final stage of design, and you can understand why I’ve been working a lot lately. Fortunately, I work with some really wonderful people who understand that when I need to go to the hospital for Angela, I’m fully expected to drop everything. My boss is going on a week-long vacation in a couple of weeks and so our other co-worker has agreed to come back down from NY for several days to help out during that time. Like I said, really great people. So far, our clients have all been equally understanding, as well.

It’s currently raining and thundering like mad outside the house right now, which is fine because I’m not really concerning myself with watering the poor, neglected lawn these days. I’m lucky to find time to come home and show the dogs some attention. It’s going to be like this for a while, I’m afraid. I’ll try and make some time to keep everyone posted with what is happening in the future, though. Certainly, you’ll all know when Ainsley arrives.

The Number Two Most Asked Question Right Now

When you discover you’re having a child, the first thing that everyone asks is “do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?” I know we do. Provided you have an answer to that question, other than “we’ve decided to not know the sex of the child,” the next question is always “do you have a named picked out?” (Note, if you aren’t going to determine the sex, our second question to you will be “why the hell not?”)

So it has been ever since we found out we were going to have a little girl. We’ve gone through at least two of those gigantic Baby Names books and Angela has said aloud practically every name in them. We kept coming back to one name that really sounded nice to the both of us. We couldn’t say exactly why; it just was one we both liked. It became the default name we would use as code between us instead of ‘baby.’ It sounded familiar, though not common (neither of us have ever known anyone with this name). It seems, to us, both feminine and strong. We’ve even gotten to the point of shortening it to first syllable, which is an acceptable nickname for us.

I won’t lie to you and say it’s gotten universal acceptance, but I suppose more positive than negative. At least those who didn’t care for it (at first; they’ll get over it once they see how cute she’s gonna be) liked her middle name. None-the-less, we feel like it’s a good name and it’s the one we realized we liked. A lot. So, without anymore stalling, get used to…

Ainsley Claire Coleman

I say ‘get used to’ because she’ll be your president someday. Whether that is before or after she stops global warming and discovers a cure for most forms of cancer is entirely up to her. No pressure, Ainse.

I wish I had a better answer to the third most asked question (“oh, where did that name come from?”) than ‘a character on a television show we both loved,’ but there’s no sense in lying to anyone. Whether or not you liked that character (I know, a likable Republican lawyer. Who knew such people existed?) or Emily Proctor, the actress who played her, does not matter. You will forget them all together as soon as our little Ainsley is born.

Oh, the last name was Angela’s decision, just like it was always going to be as far as I was concerned. While I’m proud enough of my last name, I’m far more concerned with passing on other things to her.

Lastly, I hope you’ll all keep up with her at her new website: AinsleyColeman.com

Five Fun Things Friday – Mid-June Edition

Okay, so this is turning out to be more of a bi-weekly thing than anything else. I don’t recall ever promising anything — as who would I promise it to?

Five things that have been on my radar ‘o fun over the past couple of weeks:

  1. This is a great music video by a formerly-not-known-to-me Brit indie Bats for Lashes. I like the kind of creepy, haunting sound of the song which matches perfectly the Donnie Darko inspired video imagery (via BoingBoing).
  2. Angela and I have been watching Judd Apatow’s “Undeclared” via Netflix. It’s not nearly as good as "Freaks and Geeks” but still better than your average comedy. Most of this, by Apatow’s description is due to the fact that the really good stuff that goes on at college can’t be shown on network television. True, that. Anyone wanting to go see Knocked Up, please give me a call.
  3. Last night, we went to see Son Volt at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Last week was Big Head Todd & the Monsters. Two really good bands. Frankly, I didn’t have too high of hopes for the Son Volt show as the “reunion” of that band feels a lot like Jay Farrar cashing in on the relative success of the band as compared to his solo career (especially last month’s new album, which I found disappointing). However, I really like Farrar’s songs, be they Son Volt, solo career, or Uncle Tupelo – all of which got some play-time last night.
    Uncle Tupelo Cover
  4. Per everyone-I-know’s recommendations, I read the late Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s "Slaughterhouse Five" recently. Well, after having read the book, of course the next thing to do is see the movie (no, not really – I think it’s a shame that the general notion seems to be that the highest status a novel can have is to be made into a film). So last weekend, I watched the 1972 movie based on the book. I was fairly pleased with how it got portrayed and apparently, Vonnegut was, too.
  5. Last, but probably the most important, Angela and I really enjoyed the baby shower our friends Holly and Meg threw for us at also-friend Jessica’s house. It was great and we were simply amazed at how generous our friends are. We clearly have no idea what we’re doing with this whole baby thing (apparently just like everyone else, knowledge that has kept us going). However, in addition to the really great gifts that everyone went out of their way to get us (and mail us, too!), having people to count on is a big deal. Thanks, everyone.

Five Fun Things: Week of May 10th

Here’s a list of Five Fun Things I’ve been enjoying lately, in no significant order (other than No. 1):

  1. Feeling our baby girl kick for the first time last Sunday morning. That was awesome.
  2. Super Paper Mario on the Wii – Not a very hard game, but loads of fun to play and very funny, too.
  3. LostLast night’s episode was proof they haven’t ‘lost’ it. Picking an end date means they’ll have a definite road map for the rest of the show to keep it great, unlike earlier this year when it seemed to be flopping. (Watch it on ABC’s site) Heroes owes a lot to Lost, and has really been building up to a great season finale. Both have been filling the hole left in my heart when Season 3 of BG ended.
  4. Pandora.com – All the recent news about the possibility of losing Internet radio made me realize just how awesome this site is.
  5. Freaks & Geeks from Netflix. I wish I had caught this show when it was first aired, but I don’t think my watching would have saved it for another season.

So what about any of you? Leave a comment or post it on your own site (be sure to ping me, trackback or just leave a link if you do!).

New Bugaboo for the Size Conscious

An interesting new product from Bugaboo called the Bee (yes, a baby stroller). I still prefer the Frog, as it’s more versatile. However, I keep reading complaints about the size of the other Bugaboos (as well as the cost, which is slightly more valid). Am I missing something, or is this still the same country with people who sleep on California King-sized mattresses in their suburban McMansions? Where soccer Moms drive their two kids in Chevy Tahoes and people drive solo, thirty minute commutes in Hummer H2s? But an average-sized stroller is too big? That may be reasonable from a parent who drives a Mini and carries their child in a cloth sling, but hardly from the average American parent who thinks an SUV is a requirement of parenthood. (via DaddyTypes)