Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lil' Brudder has arrived!

One week ago today, our third son, Calvin Harris, entered the world at 1:48 p.m. He weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs and 9 oz and 22 and 3/4 inches long. See? The photo doesn't lie.

Not bad for being only five days late -- his brothers, both born at 41 weeks, weren't even nine pounds! I'm so grateful for the answered prayers -- he came all on his own without the need for a repeat c-section and labor kicked in only a few hours shy of a scheduled induction. In fact, his was probably the easiest delivery out of all three and he was the biggest by far! (I plan to share more of THAT story soon.) We are so proud to be at home now with our "little" guy, and he's eating like a champ already and figuring out this sleeping thing. Jacob and Ethan are enamored with him (who wouldn't be?!) and are very sweet to the youngest Redd brother, though perhaps not so much to each other.

Here are a few more shots from the hospital. This is one proud Dad:

I love this next picture. Look at this kid! So young, so handsome -- so much hair! Sideburns like Elvis. Big blue eyes. Chubby cheeks. So much to love! (This also may be my best-ever photo in a hospital gown.) Current nickname: Chunk-a-munk

Perhaps you are wondering about his real name. The middle name, Harris, was Gaines' great-grandfather's name, and we just liked the way it sounds. We've had this tradition so far of using family names for our sons' middle names and were trying out different ones for months. Finally, someone mentioned this and it stuck. The coolest part we found out only after the birth -- that Gaines' great-grandfather was actually named for the minister that married his parents. What a neat idea!

As for the first name's inspiration, I'll let you guess. Was it...

A) the imaginative and irreverent six-year old boy whose best friend was a stuffed tiger, created by cartoonist Bill Watterson?

B) the amazingly agile former Georgia Tech wide receiver, who now plays for the Detroit Lions? (given his size, this might not be a bad guess!)

or C) the famous 16th-century theologian and Protestant Reformer, whose best known work is his Institutes of the Christian Religion?

Of course, he is Redd 5 after all, and if we were true nerds, we might have named him Luke:

Monday, August 08, 2011

Summer Fun, Summer Sun

This may be the hottest summer on record in Atlanta. I don't know, but for me, it has certainly felt like it! I've never had a summer baby before, but now I know that the complaints are justified. Last week, I spent time in two different air-conditioned buildings and was still incredibly hot.

However, we have found some ways to beat the heat and enjoy some time out-of-doors.

May wasn't so bad. We enjoyed racing in the driveway:

Finding bugs:

Eating ice cream with friends:

Discovering new ways to enjoy the baby pool:

Hanging out by the swimming pool at a friend's apartment:

June found us taking many trips to the local sprayground/splash park:

Practicing our mad bubble-blowing skillz:

The boys made a new game of racing toy cars down the slide into the pool:

And Ethan developed a fascination with his dump truck, bringing it from the sandbox to the pool:

Jacob also took swimming lessons the first week in June, and since then we've been spending at least one day a week at a friend's pool, but I always forget to take pictures there.

July came and went much more quickly than I expected, with little energy for photos. But I found one of those sprinkler spray beach balls on clearance a few weeks ago and it, too, has brought much joy:

I'm so behind on pictures, I barely have covered half of our summer. Some events and excursions that deserve their own post (hopefully soon):

  • May's inaugural field trip to the Botanical Gardens

  • Memorial Day weekend visit to Alabama to see DeeDee and Gaga

  • June day trip to the annual Moore family reunion, also in Alabama

  • The story of our new swagger wagon

  • Preparations for little brother's arrival

  • 40 Weeks and Counting

    In the words of the illustrious Homer Simpson, "The waiting game sucks. Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos!"

    We haven't been playing that particular childhood favorite (though Candyland and Chutes and Ladders have been popular), but we have been keeping busy this last week to stave off this pregnant Mama's restlessness.

    Jacob showing off one of his drawings while we were attempting to document my basketball-like belly last Tuesday. If one more person asks me if I'm having twins...

    I'm very grateful to my mom, who has been able to be here now for an entire week, and we have filled it with many fun things, including naps for moi. Here's just a taste of what we've been up to:

    Last Monday morning, while Jacob played at a friend's house and I had a mother's helper, we rearranged the boys' bedroom, in anticipation that it will eventually become the nursery once we clean out the office and move them into bunk beds.

    On Tuesday, we attended a good friend's birthday party at a fire station. Ethan knows something is up, so he's been uncharacteristically mommy-centric lately. He didn't even want to wear a hat or climb in the fire truck! (Though almost ALL he's done ever since is wear his hat and play "fireman" in their room!)

    The festivities continued at a jumpy place, to burn off some energy.

    In the afternoon, I went to my checkup and also had time to squeeze in a pedicure!

    On Wednesday, we went swimming. But not before I snuck away to get a haircut! I have a whole other post on that, because I actually won the haircut in a contest...

    On Thursday, we mostly stayed in, but due to a wonderful surprise package from my Aunt Cindy, Jacob got to try out a new slip n' slide! They also have new matchbox cars and racing tracks to keep them occupied.

    On Friday, we took a trip to "our mall," as Jacob calls it, found Ethan a much-needed new pair of shoes, walked around a bit, and enjoyed the A/C, the food court, and of course, the carousel!

    Jacob and "DeeDee" (my mom) riding the carousel. It's amazing what a difference a year or so makes. It's only very recently that he's been willing to ride the horses!

    Ethan's milestone was that he chose to ride an animal for the first time! Yay! He predictably chose a frog. (One of his latest past times is hopping around the house and either saying "Hop like a frog!" or "Hop like a bunny!") Until now, I have had to hold him or sit on one of the benches. I apologize that this was the best photo I could get. You'd be amazed how hard it is for a pregnant woman to squeeze between the camels and horses, not to mention juggling a purse and camera and a 2 year old...

    On Saturday, we played under the sprinkler and slip n' slide some more. And then that evening, Gaines and I got to go out to dinner with a bunch of our old friends from West Merritts, the church we attended when we were first married. It was a send-off for a couple we dearly love, Ben and Kristen, who are leaving to go to Charlotte, NC. Kristen is a labor and delivery nurse and stayed all through my first labor with Jacob, but she was going out of town the day Ethan was born and apparently, will be headed out of state by the time I go into labor with this one.

    Sunday was filled with one last chance to worship at church. I had one last afternoon meeting and came home and gratefully took a nap. Two out of the other four got naps as well.

    Today, we went to my last prenatal checkup. I'm technically "overdue" at 40 weeks and 2 days, but since both of the other boys made it to 41 weeks it shouldn't surprise me. We actually received some great news. Instead of the previously scheduled repeat c-section (I had a cesarean with Jacob, and then a VBAC with Ethan), I am actually on a list for an induction for this Thursday! That is a big praise and an answer to many prayers. I know birth is unpredictable and many things could happen, including surgery, but just being given the opportunity to labor on my own is wonderful. For me, recovery from a c-section is just not on my list of things I would prefer. Plus, I'm showing way more readiness this week, even some contractions, so who knows when this baby might arrive?!

    We also got to eat dinner at Slopes tonight with some good friends, Gordon and Christy and their adorable son Joshua, who are in town visiting. I'm hoping the magical properties of the Slopes' BBQ sauce will induce labor. In fact, I'm going to go walk around the house and see what happens. :)