Name Game

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

...What’s in a name? that which we call a baby

By any other name would smell as stinky...

Or...however the old adage goes...right?
Gosh, the name game. I love it, I hate it, I loathe it, I adore is the most addictive and frustrating part of planning for the baby if you ask me (barring the pregnancy continues at a swimmingly normal pace). Sigh. I'll be the first to admit that I get rather obsessive about baby naming.
This probably comes as no surprise, seeing as my first daughter's full name, Matilda Hazel Darling Pardy, is a rather unusually constructed pairing of names. People love it or hate it or say stupid things about it or just simply adore it, as I do. But, nevertheless, once you meet Matilda you could simply never imagine her by any other name. She's Matilda!
So, that's partly why I seem to be so incredibly stumped on this girl growing in my belly. I ask her daily "What is your name?" and unless her name is Kicky McKickerson or Punchy Karate-chop...I'm getting no response from her.
What's worse is that I am annoying everyone around me because we are (again) not sharing the oh-so-elusive name until Miss Pardy #2 arrives. Yep, we're those aggravating name-secret-keepers that leaves everyone guessing until the end. I just find that there are far too many tactless opinions floating around my pregnancy for me to stick out my neck one more time. It seems when you wait to announce her arrival with the name, then that name is simply automatically "assigned" to her - no questions (or unwanted suggestions) offered.
"Ta-da! She's here!" and everyone is so excited and distracted by the sweet girl and intoxicated by the newborn scent in the air that no one stops to ask why you didn't name her after her Great-great Grandmother Alva or why you chose 2 middle names, etc. All that may come later - sure - but by then the adorable creature is looking you in the eyes, and it is much harder to criticize something who is unconditionally loving you right there in person. :)
All that to say - while I am sitting here complaining about this love/hate process of naming the new baby - I can't really get any help apart from my extremely patient husband! Yes, I have stranded myself up this creek without a paddle, but still - the frustration builds.
Now that we know we are going to welcome another girl, I'm also finding it hard to compete with "Matilda". Obviously that name was our first choice - and we used it! But now, I hate to think of this girl as having a "second choice" kind of name. Obviously it is our goal to absolutely love her name and not imagine anything else...but, I have a feeling that I most likely won't entirely feel that way until I meet her in person.
Naming a child is such a weird thing. It is tough enough to even try and fathom "who" she is as a newborn baby (Will she look like Matilda? Will she have her daddy's hair? My nose?) and yet, with a name - I have to try to imagine her as a teen, an adult, as a future aunt or fulfilling one of many varieties of potential occupations - "Dr. so-n-so?" "Lawyer so-n-so?" "Artist so-n-so?" and so on... I guess what I should be asking my belly isn't "What is your name" but rather, "Who the heck are you?"
Luckily, as far as we know, we have about 15 more weeks to figure it out. Until then, I will never again take Adam for granted when I read Genesis. He was so creative with naming each and every single species! My goodness. To me, Adam has a new found respect as the "Ultimate Namer" of all time. Good work, buddy, you inspire me.

Double [Stroller] Trouble

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We are now proud owners of a double-stroller! Whoa. This thing is going to take over lives, let alone our apartment. I feel like it should come with its own rentable storage unit or something. Nevertheless, we are excited to add to the "gear" collection as our brood expands.
Strollers are kind of stressful. I mean, I really researched to death (shocker) the various options for what to get. The sit-and-stand, the side-by-side, the all-terrain, the facing forward, the facing in, the lightweight...the list goes on. Not to mention the "additional options" that you might be looking for: cup holders, trays, ipod holder, storage underneath, steering wheel or handlebar, canopies, seat covers...this industry is out of control.
We ended up (for those who are curious) getting the "Joovy" Ergo Caboose.
It was our best option since we can use it right away with Matilda and baby #2. Most other double strollers are too "old" for either Matilda or for the new baby - and this Joovy will allow us to use the carseat for the new baby with Matilda in front, and then progress to have new baby in front and Matilda in the sit/stand option on the back. (If you are a parent of small children you can hopefully translate this for others who are quizzically trying to interpret my last sentence.) Long story short - it works for us! :)
Strollers are no joke, man. When you start looking into it and reading reviews, there are some super serious parents out there with extremely specific needs/wants/likes/dislikes...and, for a good reason! Your stroller can be your best friend or the bane of your existence. If you are having to lug in and out a 30 lb piece of gear every time you want to bring your kiddos out in public, you are going to want it to be worth your while.
And, yet, there still seem to be some serious flaws among the stroller design that tends to put most parents into the "we can put a man on the moon" rant while they wrangle with their baby gear.
"We can put a man on the moon, but we can't figure out how to transport a child with a device that doesn't weigh a thousand pounds?"
"We can put a man on the moon, but we can't make a five point harness that my 1 year old can't wriggle out of in the middle of Target?"
"We can put a man on the moon, but we can't have a cup holder that fits this blasted sippy cup?"
"We can put a man on the moon, but we don't make a double stroller that folds itself into my trunk that still gives me room to put a single bag a groceries?"

Am I right?
Granted, we've come a long way. I know strollers are not the metal-box-on-wheels deathtraps that our parents were forced to use when we were growing up. Now, they are luxury items that parents judge other parents over, and moms drool with envy when they see certain styles being used by other moms at the mall - little vehicles for little people that cost nearly as much as the real deal. Still, I'm thankful to "upgrade" to our new cadillac of baby gear, and super thankful that my parents are generously chipping in to help us afford it! (shout out of thanks to Gram & Koko!)
Soon enough we'll be strolling along, doubling the trouble wherever we may go. I'm sure in no time this stroller will be broken in - milk spilled on it, gold fish crackers reaching crevices never to be seen again, straps being stretched beyond their limits, and canopies being yanked in every direction...
Sounds good to me.

Paci Passe

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sweet baby Matilda is growing up into "little girl Matilda" more and more every day. Pieces of her babyhood keep falling to the wayside little by little as her personality blossoms and springs forth, not-so-quietly announcing her independence. This weekend we gave up "paci". I took her to the dentist for the first time on Thursday, and while we have limited her paci-partaking to naps and bedtimes only, the dentist could see the beginning stages of it having an effect on her teeth. Nothing that can't be fixed by simply giving it up... preferably sooner than later. The dentist also suggested that, with another one on the way, it would be MUCH easier to have her give it up now than when she is already having to go through the changes of a new sibling, or potentially seeing her sister using a pacifier. Reluctantly, I accepted the challenge and decided that right then and there, we gave it up - cold turkey.
I glanced down at my purse with a little sadness, having stashed the "emergency paci" in a ziploc and now knowing it was obsolete. It made me sad. I knew I had to just approach this like ripping off a band-aid. There would be no ceremonious good-byes. She is too young to understand me taking it away or anything else actually happening to it. There would be no conversations of a paci-Fairy, or paci-balloon floating up into nowhere, or any other explanation. It was simply a magical disappearance and total denial that paci had ever been around. Sad!
I anticipated the worst. I pictured her screaming and searching and sobbing uncontrollably for hours. I had visions of me crying into the basket of collected pacis and praying outside the nursery where my sad child tried to comfort herself to no avail. But, alas! Thank you Jesus, we did not!
The first nap was okay - she was overtired, so she had already fallen asleep before I put her down (yes, that is cheating a little).
The first nighttime was the saddest. She did look in the usual spots for paci. Not in the crib, not on the ground, not in the basket...where? I couldn't even bring myself to say the word, so I just said "All gone, baby, all gone." I rocked her and she gnawed on her jammies a little. I put her in her crib and she looked for the usual collection of pacis that awaited her - not to be found. She got sad. I got sad. We cried, I picked her up, and rocked her to sleep.
Goodnight, paci. Goodbye.
And that was it! Since that night, she hasn't really looked for the paci or had any trouble sleeping without it!
Unfortunately, our timing was terrible...the next day she started really teething her incisors! YIKES! She had a horrific day of just not feeling well (and letting us know it) and of course I would have given anything to allow her the paci - but I didn't want to take two steps forward, three steps back, nor did I want to relive that first night of sadness again.
I hate that my girl is growing up... but I LOVE my growing up girl.
Changes are an inevitable part of life, and it there is so much reward and heartbreak that comes with each one. I thought it might be easier to go through Matilda's growing up since becoming pregnant and knowing that soon there will be another newborn to gaze at...but, I also have this pang in my heart reminding me that it may only get magnified as I will soon be constantly reminded (again) at just how fleeting these days of having "little ones" are.
Maybe it is the hormones talking...I know I am a sucker for nostalgia as it is...but there is just nothing better than staring at your child and being in the moment. I'm also excited with every new change that Matilda brings to our world. I wouldn't wish her to be a day younger than she is - as with every new day comes a new trick and a new smile that this girl brings me.
My days as a mother may be filled with gratitude for the moment and nostalgia for the past; but, one thing is certain... my happiness is about to be doubled.

Halfway There!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Barring any crude miscalculations, we are just over halfway to meeting our newest addition to the Pardy family! We have crossed the 20 week mark and are experiencing new wonders ("That was definitely a kick!" "My lower back is killing me!") each week. In fact, Josh finally got to feel a good "Hi-ya" miss-piggy-style kick just a few days ago, proving to him (as if there were any doubt left) that there is, indeed, a feisty little babe in there afterall.
If my last pregnancy felt like it flew by, then this one is traveling at lightning-speed. Even being hyper-aware of exactly how far along I am (20 weeks 3 days, 20 weeks 4 days, and so on) I sometimes have had to correct myself when answering people's question of how many weeks we are, because I can hardly keep up!
The second trimester is always the easiest and the fastest. After "looking ahead" through the whole first trimester, you just want to make it to the magical week that will bring you relief both physically and mentally. For me, that was week 14. Finally, I didn't feel like either puking or punching someone in the face. Finally, we got to see a squirmy little baby with a strong heartbeat on the ultrasound. Finally, I could comfortably wear maternity clothes and give in to the beautiful bulge that was creeping around my midsection. Now, at week 20, I'm feeling fairly energetic (though my 16-month-old daughter keeps that in check for me) and mostly nausea/headache-free. Hooray!
Now, I know how this works...I will warp myself through the next, oh, I don't know, 15 or 17 weeks at which time my world will halt to a slow and stuttering pace. I remember with my last pregnancy that those last few weeks of gestation felt longer than the previous 8 and a half months prior. Maybe it is the anticipation coming to a climax. Maybe it is the nervous energy gearing up for labor. Or maybe it is the pure exhaustion of not having seen my swollen toes for the last who-knows-how-long and aching back that keeps me guessing whether I am indeed a mother or a pack-mule??? Either way...I know those daunting last few weeks are coming. But, until then, I am coasting delightfully along, eating my six meals a day (note, I did not say "mini-meals")
and loving each new little spin, kick, and hiccup from the growing wonder inside me.
Keep up the good work baby, we're halfway there.
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