Open Thread: Newest Member of the Balloon Juice Community

Happy news from commentor Loneoak:

As some of you may remember, my wife and I spent much of the last year cookin’ up a little biscuit of baby boy. This is Lorenzo “Enzo” Sylvan Loneoak, born last Saturday 12/10/11 around noon. He was 7 lb, 11 oz, 21 inches long and was born with the standard accessories, like two eyes, 10 toes, 12 fingers and kung-fu action grip. He was due Thanksgiving weekend, which means he was a full 42 weeks term (way overdue). His birth was pretty challenging, and filled with weird omens. My wife’s labor seemed to start during the freak Northern California windstorms that knocked out our power for three days and blocked 4/5 routes to the birthing center from our pretty wild outpost in the Santa Cruz Mountains. But she stayed in an early phase of labor for quite awhile, until our midwives insisted we try to kickstart it with a medical induction. That was the first sign our birth plan was going out the window. She labored for 40 very hard hours at the birthing center, and had a few scares that resulted in being monitored constantly. I woke up from my two brief catnaps during the whole event to a phalanx of doctors and nurses descending on our room to alarm bells. But the baby seemed strong, and we were committed to a birth with fewer medical interventions and we had a wonderful doula to see us through it. The most progress happened early Saturday morning, when it seemed he would be born under the full eclipse of the full moon. But much of progress ended up being illusory—he just wasn’t descending enough. So the time came when all the evidence pointed to the baby not able to come out on his own, especially with mom so incredibly exhausted, and we headed in for a c-section. The doctors in the operating room gasped and told me to get out my camera when they saw why he hadn’t descended: he had an obscenely long umbilical cord, which he had wrapped around himself several times and tied a “true knot” in it. “True knots” are pretty rare, and potentially very dangerous: the cord has to form a loop which the baby then passes through, making a knot which can constrict during delivery.
Enzo let out one big cry when he was taken out and then just settled in to meet us. He’s generally a very mellow baby, and only really lets out a good squall when he’s being changed (any tips from experienced parents on how to handle that would be greatly appreciated). I’ve developed an aptitude for swaddling and love to have him fall asleep on my chest while I read at night. My wife is doing well with her recovery and really enjoys bonding time. Our dog Turnip instantly adored Enzo and insists on following him around the house and cuddling him when she can. We have so far gotten off easy on the newborn situation with a baby that actually wants to sleep 4-5 hours at a time at night. The name Lorenzo comes from our location overlooking the San Lorenzo River Valley (and although we’re not Xtian, Saint Lawrence was cool), and Sylvan (“of the forest”) was suggested by his great-grandmother.
Anyway, thanks for your support, enjoy your new mascot!
P.S. Andy K will be proud to know that on Enzo’s second day of life he watched the Packers beat the snot out of the Raiders while snuggling on daddy.

Welcome to the world, and the blog, young Enzo!

77 replies
  1. 1
    B W Smith says:

    Aww…a baby! He is a handsome lad! Thanks for posting AL. After yesterday’s acrimony, a new baby is a great and beautiful start to the day!

    Best wishes, Loneoak. Hold him every chance you get, they grow so quickly. Your life will be enriched immeasurably.

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Beautiful baby, and that photo is so sweet it brought tears to my eyes. Welcome to the world, little Enzo! We want to see frequent photos and read about your further adventures.

  3. 3
    Raven says:

    A boy and his dog! Hell yes.

  4. 4
    Citizen_X says:

    Wow! Glad Lorenzo (& Mama!) made it out OK with all that drama. But still, I have to ask: 12 fingers?

    PS: Every baby should be greeted into the world by a loving dog.

  5. 5
    amk says:

    12 fingers ? Going by the ‘cheaper by the dozen’ principle ? :)

    Cute dog. Cuter kid. Congrats, Loneoak

    PS: But don’t leave them alone though.

  6. 6
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Ha! I just caught “12 fingers”! Went right past me on first reading.

    (Where’s that coffee?)

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    @Raven: “She had marvelous judgement, if not particularly good taste.”

  8. 8
    bemused says:

    Cuter than cute photo.

    Early this morning I was searching for one of our two 5 month old kitties. I found her 3 feet up the Christmas tree quietly, happily curled around the trunk. Now she smells of pine needles. We had just put the tree up yesterday, undecorated yet, and the kitties were in a frenzy of excitement. Not long after finding her in the tree, I came back into the room and found the tree tipped over on the floor in a pool of water with the two of them resting on the tree branches as if they were about to take a nap there. First job today is to tie the tree to the staircase banisters.

  9. 9
    HRA says:

    Congratulations to Mom and Dad. Blessings to Enzo for a long and healthy life.

  10. 10
    Keith G says:

    Hell yaa!!

    Been an arduous week both in and out of cyber-land. Thanks for a moment of peace.

  11. 11
    amk says:

    PPP- Obama crushes willard by 15 and newt by 17 in New Mexico.

  12. 12
    DanielX says:

    Squalling while being changed is no big thing as long as he calms down afterwards. Now, dealing with Chernobyl/Fukushima/weapons grade diaper loads that glow in the dark, that’s kind of a challenge. Especially when he manages to get the diaper loose and goes all Jackson Pollock on you. Gives me a vicarious shudder of memory just thinking about it.

    Oh, the places you’ll go….

  13. 13
  14. 14
    JPL says:

    Congrats and hugs to all!

  15. 15
    mileslarboy says:

    Beautiful beautiful photo. Love it!

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    Turnip is quite the mom. Our golden retriever adopted our first born and tried to pick him up when he cried. (not necessarily a good thing) There was one other problem though, she was very protective when visitors came by. When the second son was born, the golden just sighed and seemed to say this one is yours.

  17. 17
    Neil says:

    Re: changing tips
    My wife and I used to tag team my son. one would stand at his head and hold his hands to keep him occupied while they other did the dirty work. That generally kept him quiet. We didn’t have a screaming problem though, just a wiggly squirming kicking problem (he doesn’t have the nickname Mr. Wiggles for nothing (eventually bastardized into Mongoose just because he needed an animal pet name)).

    By the way, you may find this worth getting. It comes with a little “wheel of responsibility” that my wife and I spin when something smells rotten in denmark.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    Congratulations Loneoak and Mrs. Loneoak.

    Beautiful baby. Glad to see him getting some dog time/exposed to the world time.

    Much happiness ahead for you.

    I bet you wish we could virtually change diapers and Enzo-sit so that you and Mrs. L could have a date night occasionally …

  19. 19
    sb says:

    Gorgeous! Wonderful! And other complimentary adjectives with exclamation points!


  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Cycle of Life going on again. RIP Vaclav Havel.

  21. 21
    harlana says:

    but will he survive being crushed by the protective love of a giant dog?!!

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    Congratulations and my best wishes!

    Sounds like the young one has already got some special powers, considering how he got here safely.

  23. 23
    Phylllis says:

    Makes my ole curmudgeon self go ‘awwww’. Congrats.

  24. 24
    Whatsleft says:

    Millions of congratulatory good wishes to u, Mrs. L, and gorgeous baby Enzo!!!

    Try laying another diaper right on top of the exposed area n kinda work under it to see if it is exposed skin he is objecting to. This is also a good habit for boy babies in particular since they can “fountain”. Also be sure you talk to him throughout.

  25. 25
    scav says:

    RIP Havel, actually a politician one can actually rather admire, all in all. & WIR (Welcome in Revelry/Raucousness/?) to Loneoak v2.0 of the kung-fu grip and event-filled-entrance.

    Double-teaming was the one way found to handle the kid I was associated with that hated to be deprived of his creative personal acts of digestion (I was usually on the distraction end as he wasn’t technically my responsibility and I’ve a strong gag reflex). And a double huzzah for St. Lawrence! August 10 has been traditionally a bbq party chezscav, everybody wears plaid, there is a toaster shrine, & “turn me now for I am done on this side”.

  26. 26
    dance around in your bones says:

    @bemused: We always used to tie our Christmas tree to a hook in the ceiling for exactly that reason….teh kittehs find those ‘trees in the house’ SO fascinating.

    Loneoak, you and your wife’s birth story made my morning. It’s such a special and magnificent experience, and really…HOW they get out is less important than we think at the time.

    (Speaking as one who had zippo in terms of drugs during labor/delivery; but had the great good fortune to choose to be in Holland for the birth. They are so matter of fact and calm. It helped us be calm, too.)

    gads, early morning mental noodling…I had some kind of point, lost it….more coffee is needed, I guess. Anyway, CONGRATS!

  27. 27
    Hill Dweller says:

    Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Loneoak, and welcome to the world Enzo.

  28. 28
    Poopyman says:


    What a great story to see, especially after the past couple of crappy days here at BJ. Quite the lucky guy, both during and after the birth, seeing how he’s got the three of you minding him.

    Best wishes for Mom, the true hero of the whole process, and kudos to the medicos who made everything come out well in the end.

  29. 29
    harlana says:

    i love the crappiness – perhaps that’s because i don’t hang out here too much anymore – i love all the infighting

    is that wrong, like twisted-wrong?

  30. 30
    Birthmarker says:

    He shares a birthday and a bit too eventful delivery with my 22 year old son! whose original due date was November 24th!! Enjoy!! We have!

  31. 31
    Svensker says:

    Best picture ever.

    Congrats to all. And big hugs to mom — they don’t call it “labor” for nothin.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    Turnip and Enzo look so sweet together. Welcome to Earth, kiddo. And congratulations to all the Loneoaks.

  33. 33
    Hewer of Wood, Drawer of Water says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: @scav: “Truth and love must prevail over hate and lies”

  34. 34
    gnomedad says:

    Does John know where Lily is?

  35. 35
    JCT says:

    Congrats to all — talk about a dramatic entry! And sweet Turnip has a baby of her own now. We still joke about our beagle being our son’s “other mommy” because she is so devoted to him. We dread when he leaves for college next year.

    My son used to holler like Enzo when uh, exposed. We always assumed it was the cold air and used to quickly drop a cloth diaper on his chest.

    Hope mom has healed from that wicked labor, and yes, that’s why it is called “labor” instead of “picnic”. Sounds like she had a superb supporting cast there.


  36. 36
    Emma says:

    Now that is a good reason to fight for. We need to leave Enzo a better world than he found it. Welcome to the human race, kiddo. Most of us are pretty good people, in spite of the evidence.

  37. 37
    daize says:

    Welcome, Enzo. Such a great photo and story, and a pretty darn good way to start the day.

  38. 38
    Capri says:


    Experienced parent advise (have raised three to near-adulthood) – what he does in his first two weeks of life vs. the remainder of his babyhood may be very different. Anything you do now to avoid crying and upset that “works” will stop working at points in the future.

  39. 39
    R-Jud says:

    Congrats to the Loneoaks! Speaking as someone who also had a baby with true knots in the cord (two of the bastards!), be glad your medical team decided to go with the C-section. They almost certainly saved his life.

    Send them a big thank-you card and a copy of that picture (if you already haven’t)!

  40. 40
    red dog says:

    I was sure the name Enzo came from “Learning to Drive in the Rain”. A wonderful book written from a dogs perspective of his life. Please read it and you will understand how Enzo became famous. The photo of dog and babe should be the cover of this book.

  41. 41
    gelfling545 says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful boy. Re: diapering the main issue with a boy is that each change calls for two diapers – the one you will eventually put on his bottom & one to keep things covered so that you don’t need a shower & a change of clothes afterwards. As for the crying while diapering, this doesn’t mean that he is unhappy or even uncomfortable. He may just be surprised since everything is a surprise to him just now and he has few ways to express his feelings at this point. It will stop as his environment becomes more familiar although it may start again when he starts to become mobile & is angry that you are making him stop what he is doing for a silly diaper change.

    As an old teacher I have another thing to tell you and you may already know this so forgive me but an amazing number of well educated people don’t. Begin reading to him today. At this point you can read to him from whatever you may be reading, in a few weeks start the bright picture books. This is the single biggest difference between children who read fluently & those who struggle in school. (Rhyming things are especially good in the early years.)

    Best wishes to your family.

  42. 42
    PurpleGirl says:

    Congratulations. He looks so cute.

  43. 43
    Paula says:

    Congratulations! He is beautiful. A reminder to me on what’s good, so thank you for sharing.

    A suggestion, remember to give mom a break everyday, even if it’s huts 30 minutes. It’ll go a long way it keeping momma sane!

  44. 44
    Kristine says:

    Lovely photo.

    Congratulations, Loneoak.

  45. 45
    Anya says:

    What an adorable picture! Congratulations, Loneoak and the proud, and no doubt exhausted mamma!

    Welcome to the world, baby Enzo. You’ve managed to unite the feuding BJers, so you’re already doing good in the world.

  46. 46
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Congratulations, Loneoak. We also had a nearly 2 day labor/delivery many years ago, but with no C-section at the end. It took a while to get back to normal after that, especially with a new roommate.

    And I hope he will be watching the Raiders getting the snot beat out of them every week from now on.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    Aww…what a gorgeous photo. Totally adorable. Your son is a real cutie. Congratulations Loneoak and Mrs. Loneoak!

  48. 48
    BGinCHI says:

    Loneoak, if you’re still around on this thread, a Big Congrats! Was asking after you earlier this week on a thread and then didn’t think you were around.

    We’re due on Jan. 4, and hoping a blizzard doesn’t make getting to the hospital quite the adventure it was for you.

    Having a boy as well (our first and probably only; we’re getting long in the tooth), and furiously getting ready.

    It’s a great story you have and a great looking tyke. We’ll be in Santa Cruz in May for a wedding with our little guy, so maybe a meet-up.


  49. 49
    Loneoak says:

    Aww, damnit, early morning threads just don’t work for West Coasters!!! I missed the whole thing. Anyway, love you guys, thanks for the well wishes.


    Sure, sounds like a great idea! Let’s meet up.

  50. 50
    5x5 says:


    I wish all of you all the best.

  51. 51
    wmd says:

    SLV represent homie! I’m in Ben Lomond.


  52. 52
    dance around in your bones says:

    @red dog: I LOVED that book – good recommendation; everybody ought read it,

  53. 53
    passerby says:

    Awww. Welcome Baby Enzo. May you always enjoy the loyalty and support of a guardian like Turnip.

    That picture is so special it even makes me feel safe and secure across the cyber miles.

    Congrats and good luck Loneoak and kisses to Mother.

    Aaahhh, all is right with the world.

  54. 54
    Loneoak says:


    No, way! I’m in Bonny Doon, near Pine Flat and Empire Gr. We should meet up at the White Raven or something.

  55. 55
    Genine says:

    Congrats! The photo is adorable and the story is amazing.

    The kid knows how to make an entrance!

  56. 56
    hitchhiker says:

    best post ever. thank you so much for taking the trouble, and huge congratulations.

    we used to keep a small hairdryer by the changing table . .. . a little warm air plus that sound seemed to combine to distract/soothe pretty nicely.

    we thought of this b/c my husband was a big fan of his family’s vacuum cleaner as an infant.

  57. 57
    Valdivia says:

    Congrats! And welcome to the world little Enzo. You are Teh Cute.

  58. 58

    First kid? Awesome pic. Too wild – while you were all laboring, I rode a rented rice burner from SF down to Santa Cruz – took the Skyline Drive route down 35 to 9 – stopped at Alice’s Restaurant, made it through Boulder Creek and then Felton just as it got dark on that Friday night.

    You live in a majestically beautiful place, Loneoak. May Gaia bless your lands, your loves, and your lives.

  59. 59
    SBJules says:

    What a beautiful picture! You live in a lovely part of CA. All best to the new parents et al. I was anxious to see a picture of the 12 fingers :)

  60. 60
    Yutsano says:

    @Loneoak: How amazingly funny. I was talking birth and wedding stories with old friends on Facebook last night!

    And yokusou Enzo! I hope he realizes he has aunts and uncles literally all over the globe as well as cousins in Canada and England as well. Please tell me he’s not gonna grow as fast as SamKitteh. :)

  61. 61
    Loneoak says:


    I love that drive, altho I’m not a biker. I like to take the even longer route on 236 through Big Basin state park. Do that next time ; )

    My place overlooks Felton, with an ocean view.

  62. 62
    SIA says:

    Congratulations to you and thanks for the happy story and photo. Made me smile. Blessings.

  63. 63
    wmd says:

    I hang out at Monty’s Log Cabin, although presently I am mobility impaired due to major surgery on Dec 7.

  64. 64
    Angela says:

    People with remarkable birth stories are marked in a special way, I think. Congrats to you and yours, including that sweet dog.

  65. 65
    Loneoak says:


    I’m presently mobility impaired because of an infant strapped to me. But, sure, let’s do Monty’s Log Cabin sometime in the future. I’ve never been there, actually, but I’ve been meaning to. I still frequent the dive bars in town from when I lived on the West Side.

  66. 66
    ruemara says:

    Wonderful photo, congrats on the baby and that’s quite a story. If he shows any sign of laran, his life may be very interesting.

  67. 67
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    SWADDLING! Keep that baby swaddled! It gives them a real sense of security for the first few months.

    I have two boys, aged 32 and 29, and they’re the best. Enjoy yours every step of the way – it all passes so quickly.

  68. 68
    RedKitten says:

    Awww…congratulations, you guys! These early days will go by in a blur, due to fatigue and hormones, so take LOTS of pictures and videos.

    (Also, consider the Kiddopotamus swaddler, because you can then change his bum while still leaving his top half swaddled. Seriously. They’re awesome. SamKitten loved them.)

  69. 69
    wmd says:


    It’s a dive bar with a good sense of community. I’m good to go once swelling goes down – should be during week between Xmas and New Years.

  70. 70
    Meadrus says:

    Did you go to Sutter? We loved that place. Incredible staff, great facilities, shockingly good food :)

  71. 71
    Dee Loralei says:

    Welcome to the world baby Enzo!

    Congrats Loneoak and MrsL! What an amazing birth story! I love the dog being all Mommy with him too.

    Keep your mouth closed when changing his diaper, I learned that the hard way!

  72. 72

    Congrats on the baby. Quite a birth story. What really caught my attention, tho, is the picture. That dog looks like my dog’s twin. I lost Al a year ago. When I saw that picture I wondered where you had found one of him. It’s an amazing likeness. That likeness wouldn’t be worth commenting on if they were the same breed, but Al was a mongrel and I’m guessing Turnip is also a mixed breed.

  73. 73
    carpeduum says:

    That picture makes me a bit uncomfortable. I’m sure the parents trust that dog an awful lot but all dogs have an instinctive bite reaction. You never know what might set it off.

  74. 74
    Libby says:

    Popping in late with a hearty congrats to the proud parents and a big squee for that cutie-pie. He’s gorgeous.

  75. 75
    ET says:

    Turnip seems to be doing a good job of protecting the new addition.

  76. 76
    ned says:

    Oh my god! That dog has a baby growing out of its ear!!

  77. 77
    Liz says:

    I am way late to this, but wanted to add my congratulations…he must be a whole week old by now!!! Adorable.

Comments are closed.