Friday, July 18, 2014

What's in a name?

Before school got out...before I even had the gender revealing ultrasound...I asked my students what they thought I should name our baby and why.  I wasn't really looking for their input, just curious what their little six-year-old minds would come up with.  You know, kids say the darndest things!  I was surprised at how reasonable most of their selections were.  Here are the lists I got:

Girls: 
Angel (because it's cute), Leah (it's easy to say), Alexis (maybe you will like it), Flower (it's a pretty name that a lot of people are going to love), Emily (it's cute and really pretty), "Sharlitt" (sorry, I had to write it the way she spelled it because I thought it was sweet), Liv (it is cute), Rosy (it's a "butefull" name for little girls), and Red Rose (because her cheeks might be red).

Boys:
"Arin" James (because I have a friend named Aaron), Jack (it's a good name for a little boy), "Tomis" (It's like the movie Thomas), Mitchel (it's a pretty name for a boy), Tony (it's a cool name), Tom (Tom is a name people are never going to forget), Joey (Joey sounds like a baby's name), Toby (it is easy to write...Lol, because she wrote "Tobe"), and Swimmer (because you like the river).

Alright, so there is a story to go along with the last one.  The little guy who came up with "Swimmer" was really putting a lot of thought into it.  He came up to me with a furrowed brow and asked,  "What do you and your husband like to do when you're not working?"

I answered that we liked to cook and read and watch movies.

He thought some more, but didn't seem impressed or pleased with my response and so he added, "Well, what about outside things?"

I said we liked to walk our dogs.

Again, not thrilled with my response.  He huffed a little and the furrow in his brow got tighter.  "Do you like to do anything FUN in the summer?" was his third question.

I told him I like to run and go to the lake.

Finally he seemed  satisfied.  In fact, his index finger shot up, his eyebrows raised, and his mouth popped open with a classic "Aha!  I've got it!"

A few minutes later he comes back to show me his paper that had a picture of me and my husband swimming...and I had a very round belly with a baby inside.  Below it read "If the baby is a boy, his name should be Swimmer because you like the river."

I loved how much thought he put into the name...how he wanted it to be meaningful to me.  That's what I want...maybe not "Swimmer"...but a name with a lot of thought put into it...that feels meaningful.  

Along with feeling kicks, having ultrasounds, and decorating a nursery, perhaps one of the most fun parts of expecting a baby is picking out a name.  Or at least, I always kind of thought that part would be fun.  Don't get me wrong.  It's not that I'm not having fun looking through the name books and making lists...but it is HARD man!
If we were having a girl it might be a different story.  We didn't even have to crack a book and we had about 4 names lined up that we both really liked.
But the boy names haven't come so easy...JT leans towards pretty traditional and common boy names, where I lean toward the names that are a little more unique (but not too weird).  And I think the fact that my husband is the third of his name (the "T" in JT stands for "three") has a lot to do with our struggle to pick a name.   
The name is one of those things people want to know.  It's definitely in the top four pregnancy questions: How are you feeling?  Do you know the gender? When are you due?  Do you have a name picked out?
I always thought the name would be the part we kept to ourselves...the surprise factor for everyone else.  But I feel like everybody already feels like they know.  My in-laws have been calling him J4 since before we even knew he was a he.  I know they are just excited and it is a fun little nickname and maybe even a bit of a joke/all in good fun...but it bugs me a little that they named my baby before I did.  And my family isn't very good at hiding their curiosity about if the name will continue.  I get the feeling that they think if we do continue the name that I am weak and spineless.  Nobody has said that...I could be completely making it up.  But it's just a feeling I get.  There are certainly pros and cons to carrying the name forward another generation.  I can see both sides.  JT keeps telling me to block it all out.  That it is just noise...and he is our baby and the name is our choice.  It's a HARD choice though...I feel like there is lots of pressure around the decision and I feel like the surprise element I was hoping for is diminished significantly.
But to some degree it still will be a surprise.  We haven't settled on a name, but we both are willing to give.  Marriage requires a lot of compromise...plenty of give and take.  It's just too bad that someone is going to have to give on this one.  I also always thought I would never name my baby until I met him/her face to face...I would have some ideas in mind and "front-runners," but I would wait just to make sure the name felt right.  I still plan to do that...I just hope it is abundantly clear in that moment of meeting him what he should be called.  Because at this point, if I am going to be perfectly honest, I am not overly excited about any of the names at the top of our list.  Nothing feels "perfect."  Maybe he'll just be Ziggy forever.  Maybe there's a lesson in there for me...I rebelled against "Ziggy" at first and now I love it because it is attached to this little guy I can't get enough of.  What's in a name anyway?  Maybe it's not the name that needs to be meaningful...the person will give meaning to the name. 
What do you think?  If you have kids, did the naming process come easy? If you don't have kids yet, have you already begun the name discussion?  Did you have to compromise?
 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bump-date and Nursery Photos


Hey y'all.  Just wanted to get some updated bump pictures posted along with what I've been up to in the nursery.
Thursday marks 28 weeks and the beginning of my third and FINAL trimester.  Woah!  12 weeks (assuming Ziggy is punctual) to go just sounds nuts.
Here are the latest bump pictures...

26 weeks (above)
27 weeks (below)

 
I don't feel like I look all that different in the pictures than I did weeks ago, but I sure feel bigger.  Especially in my toosh and thighs:/
And my husband assures me that we are getting bigger every weekend when he comes home. I have my glucose appointment tomorrow and a check up, so I will be eager to hear from a professional that Ziggy and I are both growing the way we should.
As far as symptom updates go, things are still pretty smooth sailing.  Yay! 
I feel good overall, but am getting more (and longer) Braxton Hicks contractions and had some more insane calf cramps again this weekend.  Ouch!  I don't have any new cravings (ooo...except maybe oreos), but my go-to diet includes lots of fruit, milk, cheese, and ice cream.  I try to balance it out with some veggies (carrots and cucumbers are my latest fad) and protein (normally in the form of chicken or peanut butter).  I don't have any foods that completely gross me out, but have no real desire to eat Mexican food.
Ziggy is moving more...or just getting bigger...so I'm feeling him more.  I love when I can SEE him move.  It's absolutely my favorite thing...I just really wish I knew how he was situated each time I feel something.  Was that a foot? An elbow? A little fist?  He's been doing this thing (I think with his little butt) where he pushes or stretches and it kind of pops out just to the left of my belly button.  It cracks me up because I look completely lopsided and have this hard, but rounded, bump jutting out.
I just love this kid. 
I've been spending lots of time working on his nursery.  I didn't take any true "before" pictures because they would have been embarrassing.  And depressing.  The room that is now the nursery has always, ever since we moved in to this house, in my mind been the nursery.  At first we just threw my twin bed, night stand, and dresser in from college and it was a simple guest room.  It looked nice, but those things were just place-holders.  Later, we made a nicer guest room with a bigger bed and moved the dresser and nightstand out into that other guest room.  So the nursery housed a lonely twin bed.  I didn't want to do anything to it because I felt like it would be transformed soon into what it was always supposed to be.  But over time it became a dumping ground for displaced items from other rooms while we were working on other projects.  Whenever we had company over I'd just close the door on it...which I probably would have done all the time if the cat's food dish wasn't in the closet.  It got to a point where I didn't want to look at that room...could hardly stand being in it because the dreams I had had for it seemed to be buried and out-of-reach in the mess that consumed the room.
It wasn't until after school was out that we finally cleared the junk from the room and started transforming it.  I was past 20 weeks by then and finally beginning to embrace that I would get a chance to rock our baby and sing and read to him in that room.
I'm not entirely finished, but I am getting awfully close.  So I thought I'd share the "before" and "after" pictures that I do have.
BEFORE-ish (all four corners of the room):



 
AFTER (three corners...still waiting on my grandma's old rocker to get refinished):



 
It's a little ridiculous how much time I spend standing in the doorway of this room day-dreaming.  I even go in there when I am brushing my teeth to just stare.  Our dog, Chester, often camps out right at the base of the crib...and somehow that just melts my heart.
Here are a few close-ups of little projects I've been working on, along with some nursery d├ęcor hacking tips.
MOBILE:



People on Etsy.com sell these kinds of mobiles for $95 a pop!  Michaels sells these little wood pieces for $0.29-$0.59 each.  I wanted the mobile to go with the woodland bedding that I got, so I had to get sort of creative with some of the pieces.  Zoo/jungle animals are much more popular right now...so if you wanted to make a jungle or zoo mobile, you'd be set!  You probably wouldn't have to paint over anything.  Also, Michaels had some cute airplane pieces that would make an adorable mobile.
 
After painting the pieces I had my sister spray them with a glossy-crafty-finishing-spray that pregnant people probably shouldn't inhale.  I used the smallest bit for my electric drill to make holes in the pieces. and fishing line to attach them to the grape-vine wreath (I've seen people use an embroidery hoop wrapped in ribbon, which is also very cute).  When it was all said and done, I think I spent about $14 on supplies...and that doesn't include my teacher discount!  I am really pleased with the finished product:


 
 
POT-HOLDERS:
 
Okay, so they are not actually pot-holders.  But a lot of the bedding sets come with soft wall art that might as well be pot-holders because that is exactly what it looks like.  I think maybe the idea is that if the art falls off the wall while your baby is sleeping it won't make them bleed or bruise...maybe just suffocate them because what is a pot-holder if not a mini bumper pad??  (Apparently bumpers are a "no no," but they sell them anyway).
 
Well, the bedding set I got came with these little pot-holders, which although they were cute, I thought were pretty tacky and would be more useful in the kitchen.  I figured that's where I'd use them until I found some frames (again at Michaels) that were the perfect size.  I had to take out the glass because otherwise I couldn't get the back of the frame on...but I think a simple frame really transforms them.  Check it out:
 


 

 

Oh, BTW, do you see the little figurine on the shelf with the owl?  It is St. Joseph (patron saint of fatherhood).  My husband is catholic.  Last weekend when he left I noticed this little contribution he had made to the nursery...I've kind of been taking charge in there.  I've vetoed some of his ideas in the past, but thought this one was so sweet and perfect.  It feels like a little piece of JT will be with us...and somebody will be looking out...even when he is hours away.  
 
CANVAS QUOTES:
I saw this quote on a canvas at Target that I fell in love with, but I didn't love the canvas itself.  So, Michaels to the rescue again!  They had these pre-painted little canvases on sale 70% off.  I bought a few and made the one for the shelves (above) as well as these for over the crib.  I love how they turned out, but I think I'll outline the letters with brown because the white is pretty subtle. 
 
Well folks, that's about all I have for you right now...or all that I have for this bump/nursery post.  I always think these posts will be short and sweet, but I end up rambling on and on.  So, congrats to you if you made it all the way to the end! 
 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Babymoon??

So, there's this term out there: babymoon.  You've heard of it, I'm sure.

I looked it up on Wikipedia, because don'tcha know, Wikipedia is a fantastic reference tool (*wink*) in our modern era, and it said:

A babymoon is a related term and refers to a vacation taken by a couple either soon before, or soon after, the birth of their baby, like the honeymoon which follows a wedding. The concept was first popularized in the 1990s as a period that parents spend bonding with a recently born baby. In the 2000s, it also described a vacation taken by a couple that is expecting a baby, in order to allow the couple to enjoy a final trip together before the baby is born. 

Well, I guess we sort of went on a babymoon this past weekend.  Sort of. 

But let's get one thing straight: it was NOTHING like our honeymoon.  We had a great time just being in the company of each other, but everything else seemed to flop a bit.  It was comical really.  And will make for good memories.

I was soooo looking forward to getting away with JT, even if only for a weekend.  Last week was full of anxiety for me...pregnancy hormones, life, overwhelming-need-to-nest-this-whole-dang-house anxiety. 

The week started off great!  On Monday (I guess not this Monday, but the last...June 23rd) I got to see our favorite little guy.  He's looking so cute and is measuring right on track.  His heart rate was 125, but then the tech retook it because she didn't like it that low and got a reading of 142 which she said was much better.  He weighed in around 1lb 8oz and I was measuring right around where I should be too.

I took my mom to the appointment since JT couldn't be there, and that ended up being pretty special.  We got to see Ziggy open and close his mouth and stick his fingers in.  We also got to see his legs crossed at the ankles again, just like in the 10.5 week ultrasound photos...that endearing quality that I fell in love with immediately! 

The only complaint I have about the appointment (because, come on, I've got to complain a little bit) is that Monday morning at 8:00 was probably not the best time to schedule.  I think I showed up for my appointment before half of the office showed up for work.  Many of the people I encountered seemed like I remember feeling on Monday mornings in May and June..."Do I really have to be here?"  They were cranky and tired.  ANNNND I had to wait 35 minutes with a full bladder before getting called back.  They couldn't have been behind because I was the first appointment.  I actually spoke up to the receptionist at 8:25 and asked, "How much longer...I didn't want to be obnoxious, but I was getting pretty uncomfortable."  I didn't expect to, but I actually had to fight through some tears it was beginning to hurt so bad.

When they finally did call me back, the u/s tech said, "Oh, you're far enough along you wouldn't have needed a full bladder."  Nice.  Thanks for sharing that with me NOW.  So, when I asked if I could go then she said, "Well, no...let's look at the baby's position first...it might be good that your bladder is full."

So then I had to go another 10 minutes on the table with her pushing on my bladder.  I couldn't even enjoy that part of it I was trying so hard not to cry or pee.  She got a good look at his heart (which is one thing they didn't get to see so well last time), but said his spine looked funny because they (Ziggy and Mega-bladder) were fighting for space.  So...she let me pee.  And then we got to see all this cuteness (plus a spine that was looking much more "baby" and much less "snake").




I kind of had a little freak out moment, but tried to play it cool and said something like, "It looks like he has a black eye," hoping she would chuckle at me and placate me and give me some explanation to calm me down when really I was thinking, "Oh my gosh!  Is something wrong with his eye?!? Did I do that?!"

Instead (maybe we can blame Monday) she ignored me and from that point I stopped trying to interact with her and just talked with my mom about how adorable and loved this little guy is.

Woops.  This started as a babymoon post...

So, the week started off great. Healthy baby = happy mommy.

Then I had to take my car in to the shop because the service engine light had been on awhile and none of the normal, simple tricks made it go off.  There weren't any symptoms though, so I figured they would just be able to reset the light and everything else would be fine. 

I ended up being carless for a couple days, but ran around with my mom shopping for bedding and a dresser for the nursery.  The first day was fun and exciting.  I had a couple different ideas in mind and found a few bedding options that would work.  I spent a lot of time looking at stuff online and getting more ideas than I needed.  I couldn't sleep that night because I was so confused about which route to go.  I know.  About bedding.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Dresser shopping was less thrilling.  One day was a complete bust.  We went to a half dozen furniture stores and nothing seemed right.  So we scheduled another day to go out looking on the other side of town.

Meanwhile, I got my car back and it cost way more than I was expecting.  Some valve was stuck open and was interfering with emissions and would eventually...honestly, who cares.  It just sucked to pay for that on the same day I planned to try my luck again with dressers and bedding.  In addition to that, I had also just written a big fat check to the guy redoing our sprinkler system.  Same day.  It put me in a rotten mood because spending lots of money in little bits of time freaks me out!  I saw a couple dressers that might have worked...but they were too expensive.

By this point in the week my anxiety was mounting.  I felt like I had this long list of things to do and to get and I hadn't accomplished any of it after nearly a week of fruitless outings...and I had managed to spend lots of money with (what felt like) little to show for it.  Yay, new sprinklers and the light on my dash isn't on anymore!  Important stuff, but not fun stuff to spend money on. 

Long story shorter...I eventually found a dresser and got a banging deal on it, which turned my whole week around.

However, by the time Friday rolled around I was definitely ready to get the heck outta dodge and have a romantic weekend with my husband.  I happily hopped in the car, dropped the dogs at the kennel, and made the three hour drive to where he is doing his cadet duty this summer. 

Friday night we had pizza and watched a movie in his apartment.  The place itself is pretty nice, but it is very bare-bones.  He's only really there to eat and sleep.  And he's only really there for the summer before he heads to academy.  So, he has a chair, a twin mattress on the floor, a TV (that only plays movies), and a TV tray.  And a box that he uses as a foot stool. And that's about it.  Pretty romantic setting, right?

He ended up sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor that night and let me and Ziggy have the mattress.  In the morning our plan was to drive up to some of the places he could later be stationed and just get a feel for them...walk around, check out the neighborhoods, parks, etc.  The drive was beautiful, but about 1 hour in it started raining.  About 2 hours in (maybe our second rest stop??) we received a call from our credit card company that there had been some suspicious spending with our card.  Sure enough, the spending wasn't ours, so we had to freeze the card.

We had expected to be at our first destination in 3 hours and do lunch and some sight seeing there.  But that leg of the trip took longer than expected and it was still raining like crazy, so we decided to press on to the place where we planned to spend the night and just have an early dinner. 

We ended up getting stuck in traffic/construction and tacked some more unexpected time onto our trip.  Eventually we made it to destination #2 (my husband's hometown growing up) and had dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant there.  After dinner we visited his old neighborhood and elementary school.  We even went to Babies R' Us so I could show him what I'd been up to all week.  He found a little tuxedo onesie that he really wanted to buy, but we refrained and left empty-handed.

We moseyed our way to the hotel we normally stay at and they were completely booked.  So we checked some other hotels...also booked.  We decided that even though it was getting late, we'd head to destination #3 and just stay there for the night instead.  Sure, that meant cutting out the botanical gardens, but we could hit those on the way back if we really wanted. 

So, we got back in the car and headed north.  Blizzards from  Dairy Queen were the new priority.  That and finding a place to stay.  We did find a Dairy Queen.  At 10:08.  Pretty sure they closed at 10:00.  So we got McFlurries instead, which were okay, but are not the same.  We started checking hotels to no avail.  Everywhere around there was booked too.  In fact, one of the ladies at one of the hotels filled me in on the events of the weekend and asked where we were headed.  I said," Anywhere we can find a room" and she basically told me we were out of luck...unless we headed much further north.  At another place I asked if I could at least use the bathroom and was told, "Sorry, I'm not supposed to let you."  That made me mad: clearly pregnant woman, late at night, been looking for a place to stay...come on lady!

The only real options we had were to sleep in the car.  Ummm, not happening.  Or to go back to JT's crash pad...we had taken the scenic route and some detours to get where we were, but it would still be another 3 hours in the car...and it was already 11:00.  By this point I was getting VERY uncomfortable.  My belly was sort of cutting off circulation to my legs and I was tired of being bent at a 90 degree angle.  We hadn't gotten nearly as much walking in as planned and we had spent way longer in the car than originally anticipated.  I wasn't drinking as much water as usual because I didn't want to have to use the restroom as frequently as I normally do.  The part of the trip I had been looking forward to most was just cuddling up in some luxurious bed.  3 more hours in the car sounded like hell.  But, what else could we do?

When we finally made it back, all three of us slept on the twin mattress.  It actually wasn't too bad...we were so tired, I don't think we moved much.  Except for when a terrible leg cramp woke me from my sleep.  The next day we were good and lazy.  Nothing had really worked out the way we had talked about, but we were okay with it.  We had lots of good conversation and laughs and just enjoyed each other.  I spent one more night there...again all of us on the twin mattress...and drove home the next morning after dropping JT off at work.

Some babymoon, aye?  All in all though, it was a wonderful weekend hanging out with my best friend: reminiscing about the past, laughing about the present, dreaming about the future.
25 weeks
 
Love this guy!