Friday, June 17, 2011

Brolin...The Story Behind The Name...

Well, our long awaited new-baby-name-guessing-game was a colossal bust. In the mad dash, the contest lasted all of 10 minutes at around 8:00 am, so naturally we had about zero guesses, with no correct answers.... Much different results from our first go 'round with Jackman. As most of you know by now, we had some fun with the naming process of our firstborn. It might help to go back and read "Jackman... The Story Behind The Name..." before you dig into this. You'll need a frame of reference if you weren't there for it, or didn't at least read the blog.

Anyway, a brief introduction is in order. Apparently when we named our firstborn 'Jackman', we knocked one out of the park. As it turns out, his name has been Hugh-ly popular (get it?). The only problem is when you knock one out of the park your first time at bat, everyone expects at least that much the next time up.

Well, obviously we never gave any thought whatsoever as to how difficult it would be to come up with a name that complements 'Jackman', and it all its own at the same time. With Jackman, it was apparent that we went with a movie star's last name - that would be the theme, although we did not know it at the time. It's qualities were that it was highly unique, yet down-to-earth and friendly. Jackman sounds like it could be every boy's name on earth, but I guarantee you don't know another one - that's what we were looking for in a name. Set the bar mighty high I know, but we definitely cleared it.

Rewind a few months - now we've got the Deuce on the way, and he needs a name... what do we do? I had another list this time, and it had several of the actors we love who just didn't make the cut, plus about a thousand -man names, plus the name Mitchum... my brand of deodorant. Hey, what's wrong with that? It's so effective you can skip a day... or at least that's what they used to say.

Well, the criteria that had to be met were as follows:
1. Actor's last name
2. Nobody's first name - unique
3. Sounds like anyone's first name - simple
4. Works with the middle name 'Cody' - Family name on Lisa's side
5. Sounds good when you yell it paired with the name 'Jackman', as if two little boys just did something they were not supposed to do, and are now in a stink-storm of trouble. Example: Jackman!!! ______!!! Get out of the garbage and get your rear ends in here right this instant!!!

Now you see why we just couldn't just name the boy Tom.

So what was the only choice possible in a world full of names?

Just look at how cool that looks. Just the grouping of letters alone looks tough enough to give you a black eye. And think about it... when you say the name 'Brolin'... we are talking about a name that is versatile enough to suit anyone from a broom-pusher to a brain-surgeon... the sky is the limit. Just read this aloud, listen, and you'll see what I mean. "Hey Brolin... you missed a spot over by those tables." Now try this one: "Hey Brolin... mighty fine work doing surgery on that dude's brain." See what I mean.

Well, you may ask "Brolin? Brolin who? Who's Brolin?" Granted, he doesn't have the same kind of status Hugh Jackman does now, but he does have the added advantage of being a super value pack - a father/son duo.

You probably know the younger Brolin, Josh. Brolin exudes pure meanness as the infamous drifter, Tom Chaney in True Grit.

He is Llewelyn Moss in No Country For Old Men, brimming with confidence, either due to the nickle-plated .45 or the circa '80's 'stache. These are by far the younger Brolin's best efforts of his entire career. Sadly, most of his work is terrible... I mean pure bilge. I think the last thing he was in that I really liked was The Goonies... a solid 25 years ago. I guess he bought into the Goonies code - never say die! Well, like the old-timers say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. The Coen Brothers got Brolin, and the rest is history.

As for the elder Brolin, his work is probably not nearly as well known to my culture-poor generation, even though his career is wrought with as much stinkiness as his son's. He was in a lot of TV stuff that I don't really remember. The one thing I do remember him in was his crowning achievement... The Amityville Horror.

Brolin played George Lutz, a dude that got totally ripped off by his realtor and subsequently possessed by evil. You could actually smell his Old Spice in this flick. He was rockin' that late 70's bulletproof hair too. This was the baddest the elder Brolin ever got, but he's still awesome in it. I mean he's sharpening his axe, and he ain't planning on bustin' wood with it.

He's also sporting that late 70's lumberjack style, both pictures from The Amityville Horror.

And by the way... I did my homework just to make certain that we got a unique name. The name Brolin isn't even really real, so to speak; or at least it wasn't until Craig Kenneth Bruderlin changed his name to James Brolin. Apparently, Bruderlin isn't a cool name, but Brolin is. It was cool enough to jumpstart a man's otherwise lifeless Hollywood career. If at this point you are wondering why we named our son after a pair of actors whose good movies over the course of a combined half-century could be counted on one hand, I'm afraid you missed the point. It's not about them... we liked the name.

In the end, I hope both of our boys' names are characteristic of who they are to Lisa and I now, and who we are confident they will become as they grow up... Each of them, matchless and one of a kind, yet unpretentious and down to-earth.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And This Is How It Happened...


Me and my son, Brolin (the Deuce)

He threw us a curve with that brown hair

Sang a little tune earlier...

Lisa, playing with her son

Sometimes things don't go according to the plan...
You would think us, of all people, would be prepared for the unexpected. Well, we were just a little bit surprised today.

Rewind to yesterday, the 13th. Brolin was already a day overdue, and we went to the baby doc to see what's up. He said he had a full load of inductions the next day (today, the 14th), so he lined us up to be induced at 6:30am, Wednesday morning, the 15th.

Well, me and Lisa decided to go buck wild with our guaranteed extra day (at least that's the way I went about it). We didn't go throw a party or anything, just got some lunch together, one last time before the kids go off to college, and picked up some necessities, like cookies and frozen chicken sandwiches. We enjoyed the evening with the Boy, and went off to bed, knowing full well we had another day to mentally prepare for the new addition.

From my point of view, the story picks back up around 4:3oam, when I heard Lisa on the phone with a baby doc, explaining that she was having unbearable contractions. You have to understand neither of us have slept well for about a month, because if Lisa ain't sleepin', I ain't sleepin'. After a minute or two, I came to grips with the fact that this was actually happening, NOT according to the plan.

I soon found out Lisa had been up since 2:30am having contractions. The doc told her to hold tight, and come in later when they got closer together (they were over 15 minutes apart, and sort of sporadic when she called). Within 30 minutes they were clicking like clockwork at 6 minutes apart, and the cliche', chick-flick, mad dash to the hospital was on. We virtually passed my mother on the way out the door (still not ready to leave Jackman at home alone - too mischievous).

I saw a new side to my loving wife on the way to the hospital... the fire-breathing side. Rush hour traffic will bring out the worst in all of us, but you should try it one day while you're having a baby. Seriously, Lisa did really well. God was smiling on us this morning. No kidding, if we had left five minutes later, Brolin would have been born on I-65 North.

We checked into the hospital at 7:07am. Lisa was at 7cm. They called for the anesthesiologist immediately. Lisa was screaming in pain just like in those bad acting movies... I promise, no one slept late in Homewood/Mountainbrook this morning. Well, he came in approximately 7:30, and the nurse told him Lisa was already over 9cm. I remember her saying, "It's too late to give her an epidural". You have never seen a wave of hopelessness rush over a human being like it did my wife in that moment. She went pale, her bottom lip rolled out, and her eyes started welling up. This was BAD. There was that uncomfortable silence that lasts a lifetime, then this old-timer, renegade, cowboy anesthesiologist said, "lay the bed flat and roll her on her side, I'm gonna make mama feel better". He made anesthesiology look cool, just like Run DMC did for Adidas. That dude is gonna get a Christmas card.

The baby was ready to be born when we got to the hospital. At this point we had to wait an extra 10 minutes for the medicine to take effect. Then it was finally time to call the doc in. It literally took less than 5 minutes. He just walked in and caught the boy. It was over so fast I wondered if I had missed something. Brolin was born at 8:01... 56 minutes after we walked in the door.

We both breathed a silent sigh of relief after Brolin got to stay in the room with us past the 10 minute mark. We've had him with us all day. We just look at him and each other, and wonder what to do next. It's kind of neat. It's such a unique experience - our second-born is like a first-born. We're tired, but really looking forward to all four of us being together.

Thanks to all of you who have taken care of us, kept up with us, and prayed for us.

I'm thankful God does things his way.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

ETA... Unknown

Lisa feeding the Boy while he's passed out cold

Well, so much for keeping everyone up to date. All I can say is that "Cyclone" would have been a fitting name for my firstborn. That should go a long way towards explaining the difficulty I have had with keeping the blog current, and provide sufficient reason for why I probably won't update it everyday after the Deuce is born. Now that the excuse-ities are out of the way...

Today marks the official due date of the Deuce (Baby Boy Harper II). It is also exactly two months before Jackman's second birthday. That's a lot of twos. Maybe too many.

If the Deuce were born today, it would complete my perfect would of easy-to-remember dates. He and the Boy would have the same birthday, just different months. Lisa's birthday is September 17th, the same as my bro's. I proposed to her that day - on her birthday. We got married on New Year'e Eve - a Tuesday; easy to remember. My birthday, November 5th, is the same as Roy Rogers', Ike Turner's and Kevin Jonas'... who couldn't remember that. Perfectionness.

It looks like the Deuce will make his own special day. That will be okay. I can memorize another birthday I guess, I'll just have to forget one of your's to make room. But Facebook has that covered, so everything is just peachy.

You probably want to know how Lisa is feeling, and probably haven't had a second thought about yours truly. That's okay... I've had 2 years and 9 months to get used to it. She's feeling "very pregnant, very hot, uncomfortable, and ready". She's done really well as far as I'm concerned. As tired as she is, she still puts me and the Boy first. Don't worry, I'm taking care of her and making her get rest. The Bible teaches that my wife is an even higher priority than even our sons, second only to God himself. I take that pretty seriously.

Well, in any event, the ETA on the Deuce is... SOON. We are thinking between now and Wednesday. Once things really get rolling, I'll post updates on Twitter, and they will show up on the righthand side of the blog, and on my Facebook status - so stay tuned.