Friday, February 26, 2010

Reid Amani Quirk - The Name

For those of you not in the market for baby names, you'd be surprised by the literature, websites, blogs, opinions, 'experts', data, graphs, and charts available on the subject. There are books with 60,000 baby names from cultures all over the world (we've got that one), books that survey people's first impressions of different names (got that one, too), and even web-charts that update in real time as you type a name, displaying its fluctuations in popularity since the 1890's with data from the social security administration (oh, yes).
After much indecision, a decent amount of research, and most importantly a polling of friends, we had a few names in mind: Clare for a girl, and Reid or Alec for a boy. It was only after our little fellow was born into the water, alert, but very calm, that we looked at each other and agreed, he would be Reid. At the moment, Reid is making our job look easy, sleeping a lot, and demanding little. Life with Reid looks mostly like this:
Liam's middle name, Kiran, went over very well in India, because it's Indian, and we chose it to signify our time and connection to that part of the world.  We wanted to give our second child an equally meaningful middle name, one that reflects some of our family's interests and values, and we settled on a Swahili name, one that we've loved and thought of for years now: Amani.  Amani means "peace" in Swahili.  The source of this name comes ultimately from the two years that Katie spent in Tanzania, from our close friend Modesta, and our adventures and life with her.  In 2002 we returned to Tanzania to bring Modesta to India with us. We served as her quasi-parents for four and a half years while she completed her high school studies in Kodaikanal, where we taught. On the left: Modesta just before Katie met her in Tanzania.  On the right: Katie and Modesta after her high school graduation.
So, Amani is a recognition of our beloved friend Modesta and a celebration of  Tanzanian/Swahili culture. We are excited to watch how this name will grow into who Reid becomes. We hope that someday, perhaps Reid will get a chance meet his Aunt Modesta, and to spend meaningful time in Tanzania. Below, the beautiful and surreal landscape where Modesta grew up, where rolling hills strewed with random piles of massive Kopje rocks overlook the shining shore of Lake Victoria.  (If you squint, you can see Tim on top one of those kopjes.  Climbing up on that rock was much harder than it looks.)

When we got married, we decided not to change our last names.  We both loved the names we were given, and the symbolic connection to the families that we came from, and couldn't imagine asking our partner to change his/hers.  When we became pregnant with Liam we thought, "Now what?"  Katie suggested that since she got to experience the pregnancy and the birth, that Liam should be a Waring. Then when we were pregnant the second time, we asked ourselves again, "Now what?"  We revisited other options - using one of our last names as a shared family name, inventing a new family name, hyphenating - all wonderful choices, for which friends of ours had opted in the past. In the end, however, we decided to keep the last names the three of us already had and to name our second kid "Quirk." This felt balanced. Ultimately, both of our children are half Quirk, half Waring, and mostly themselves.
Of course, people will always wonder about our choice, but we will always be happy to talk about it. We've had Swedish friends who all took the mom's last name; Indian and Tanzanian friends who used the father's first name as their family name; and American friends who invented an entirely new family name for themselves.  We like our names in part because it is a unique solution. We like the feeling of nudging the equilibrium, and it feels deeply correct to honor both of our families, the male and female lines, the multiplicity of who we are as a family.


So, now we're 
Katie Quirk, Tim Waring,
Liam Waring and Reid Quirk,
one family with two surnames, 
both of which 
we love.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Family Weights

Here's what our families weights have looked like, since October.  Note that the last recorded pregnant weight for Katie just nudges above my weight at the time, around 161 lbs.  Liam has climbed, and Reid had dropped.  But Katie lost 20 pounds.  What a diet.

Reeder Beeder

The first week has has been awesome.  Reid is making having two children look easy.  He's a champion sleeper.

Here's the little friend this morning, doing his hiccups.

He slept through a late celebratory breakfast, through our morning walk, and though lunch, waking up only for feedings, and returning to sleep for Liam and Katie's nap time.  Ah. Maze. Ing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Family Adventure

We're enjoying hints of a California spring and family time with Tim  home on paternity leave.
We went to the Raptor Center on campus, where Liam pretended to be a Barn Owl and a Red Shouldered Hawk.  The big hit at the Raptor Center was the hose:
Needless to say, things got a little wet.  So, Liam changed into my fleece and we wandered down to the creek...
... for some "fishing."

Reid slept for almost the whole outing.  Something like this:

Life is good.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Activities with Parents

Yoga with mommy.

Painting with Daddy on the new easel that Daddy made.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Reid - live and unplugged

Our little friend is now decidedly less cyborg than before, having had the IV, heart monitor, blood oxygen monitor, breathing monitor, heat sensor, and oxygen tubes all removed.  He's more like what you might call a "baby."
In the bassinet at the hospital.
He IS small!
And he has furry arms, ears, and back:
Thankfully he has proven to be an expert feeder and sleeper - thus far.  We are informed that after the hormones from the womb environment wear off (2 weeks) then we'll really know how well he sleeps, and it's not likely going to be very well, since babies don't make much serotonin.
Here he is demonstrating a proper Monker position.
Compare with Liam, in 2007:

We've got a video of the Reid Monker, too.

And of the sorts of things that Liam has been up to recently:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Reid Amani Quirk arrives!!!

 As the hospital tag states, we have a new baby boy!

Reid Amani Quirk seems to be as handsome as his brother, and we can't wait to watch as he turns into his own little person.  Here is a short photo essay on how he came into the world.
Contractions had begun by 10am on the 17th of February, 2010.  Liam joined in the "magic breaths" while his mother paused from reading a book to deal with a contraction.
We had two wonderful friends with us at the birth - Mo(nique) Kolster and Erin Hardie.  They were terrific supporters and made the process as easy as could be. They took lots of photos, and video, for which we are already infinitely grateful.  Their very presence made everything feel more possible.
We monitored contractions for 20 minutes before being let in to the birthing room with the birthing tub.   This was around midnight.
Over the next couple of hours we dealt with the contractions through breathing exercises and coaching.  Katie did a lot of walking to speed up the processes.  We're not sure that it worked.  So Katie ground her way through all the pain, head-on.  She's a marvel.  Reid was born at 6:24 on the 18th.  He's 8lbs 9.8oz, which is bigger than his big brother was at the same age (8lbs, 1oz). 
I brought Liam in for a visit this evening.
Reid is pretty small, it turns out.
Since he was born, apparently, with some gunk in his lungs, possibly an infection, possibly just liquid, we'll be in the nursery for a couple of days to a week, with some special contraptions that help monitor his breathing, and make it easier. 
 Like an infant oxygen tube, and these two contraptions:
The block on the right is a "don't steal this baby" alarm, like what they have on books in the library, or expensive items in a store.  If you leave the hospital with this child, alarms will sound.  I think that's pretty dang cool.  Reid is an important guy, at less than a day old.  And, yes, his left big toe is glowing, so he's super human too.  Actually it's a really cool, non-invasive way to measure blood oxygen in newborns using light.  His blood oxygen is doing well now.
But we keep monitoring that little guy, day and night.  (Green: heart rate, Blue: breath)  But the measurements aside, I am so very impressed with the quality of the scientific medical establishment at Sutter Health in Davis, CA.  This is the sort of place that is both nurturing and scientific, comfortable and efficient, a good place for your toddler to make friends with nurses, and to learn about the science of how to keep people alive.  We are indebted, and in awe.  The people at Sutter are doing a marvelous job.

Although all this means that the family will not be united until Reid's breathing is sorted out, it has a silver lining - mommy and daddy both get full nights of sleep.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Photo Links (BELOW)

Check out our news links, at the bottom of the page!  They no longer link to a series of old albums but to our photos on Flickr, Picassa, and Ali and Cedar's pages.  Yay!