Saturday, January 16, 2010

Since everyone is curious about what we're naming the baby, I thought I'd let you in on the process a little bit.

We don't want to tell the name before the baby is born, so a lot of people assume that we've had the name for a while and we're just keeping it a secret. Nope, not the case! Not this time! That was the case with Nora. I think we decided pretty firmly within about a month of finding out that she was a girl. Her middle name is Grey, after my sister and my grandmother, and I'd known for years that I wanted that to be my first girl's middle name. There were a couple of other names we considered, but none seriously. Nora just "fit."

This time has been so, so hard! We've had at least four names that we've seriously considered but decided against. When I say we've decided against them, I don't mean that we're keeping them on some list somewhere. I mean that there are names I liked two months ago that I have had such a change of heart about that I cringe at the thought of one of my children having one of those horrible names. Weird? Yes. I have a lot of naming hang-ups, I'll admit. I have this weird thing about using names of my friends' children, even if the friend is really an acquaintance or someone I rarely or never see. I'm trying to get over that particular hang-up because it's been pretty counterproductive in this particular name-searching process.

The following I consider to be qualifications, but not hang-ups. I don't like to use the names that are right at the top of the list in popularity, and there are certain current naming trends that I really don't care for at all. (I won't mention them here because that would be rude.) I do like a lot of "classic" names like Abigail, Hannah, Amelia, etc. but a lot of those happen to be extremely popular right now. I don't want another name that ends with an "a," just because I don't. I have ruled out some names because they have strong "s" sounds at the end and I don't think that sounds right with our last name. I want a name that sounds good with Nora, but isn't too matchy-matchy.

There's a name I've really been digging on for a couple of weeks, but tonight Jason announced that he just doesn't like it. I think his main problem with it is that it's a little unusual and he had never heard it before. I have heard it before, not to get all "gender stereotypical" on you, but I think women generally pay more attention to such things. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, the name isn't crazy out there and I actually have an acquaintence who has a child with that name (meaning I'd have to overcome that particular hang-up to use it!). I don't mind Jason's veto, except now we've got nothing. NOTHING. My biggest fear is that the baby will be born and I we'll make a snap decision and regret it. So now we're really feeling the pressure. Wish us luck!

5 Awesome Things About My Kid

Skip this one if you don't like braggy posts. The title says it all.

5 Awesome Things About Nora

1) She's a great communicator. We can talk for hours, and I love hearing her thoughts and her opinions about everything. I love when she retells the stories she hears at school, and when she gives me her 3 year old interpretations of things that she learns at church, and when she asks a million questions. I just can't get enough of her.

2) She loves music. She may not always love the same music I do, but I've always been so impressed with her interest in all kinds of music. She's very opinionated and she will tell me whether she likes a song or not, and she'll attempt to interpret the lyrics. She can identify many instruments and has a special fondness for the banjo. She's also really curious about the violin. We're looking into lessons for next year, but I'm not sure it's in the budget. Her favorite Christmas song was Sleigh Ride--she really liked a bluegrassy version by Tony Trischka. She caught the tail end of another, soft pop version on the radio and she found it disappointing in comparison. "This is not 'Giddy-Up.' This does not have banjo," she said.

3) She's a foodie. Nora is the opposite of a picky eater. She'll eat almost anything! This is convenient, amusing, and fun for me. I've never cooked a special meal for her, and sometimes we get to try new foods at the same time (a couple of weeks ago it was roasted beets). She's always liked spicy foods, sometimes more than I do, although if she gets a bite that's too spicy sometimes she'll protest, "It's making my mouth too cool!" (Why does she think that spicy food is "cool" instead of "hot?" Who knows. But I cherish her little word mix-ups, especially since as she gets older makes these cute little mistakes less and less often. Now I wish I had written down more of what she was saying about a year ago, because it was hilarious.)

4) She's laid back. Nora is, for the most part, very sweet and agreeable. Not perfect--she has her moments (don't we all)--but most of the time, she's down for whatever. She has fun pretty much wherever she goes. She loves life, loves her friends, and...

5) She loves her mommy. I know, what kid doesn't? But let me tell you, it feels amazing to be on the receiving end of Nora's sweetness. There's not one hug or cuddle I don't appreciate. There's nothing about her I would change. I love that girl.

End overly sappy blog entry.

Friday, January 15, 2010

We're having a quiet morning at home. Nora played with her Calico Critters on and off for a couple of hours, and now she's "reading" a Mercer Mayer book. This tendency to play with the same toys for long periods of time is new. A while back she was more like a whirlwind, bouncing from activity to activity and leaving a huge mess in her wake. She's really enjoying her Christmas gifts and really all of her toys right now. That reminds me, I still need to do a "purge" and pack some things up for the future and donate a few things she doesn't use anymore. I need to do that like... now. Like I should be doing that instead of typing this. :P

Above I've posted a picture from the "Great Atlanta Snow Storm of 2009," ha ha. I actually can't believe how much it has snowed over the past few years. Last year it snowed at least twice if not more, and the year before that, too. It's fun as long as it's temporary. You'll notice that Nora is wearing her rain boots in this picture. Jason took her outside to play (briefly)--besides the rain boots she wore flannel pajama pants (?) and her big, puffy coat and gloves which I'm glad I decided to buy a while back. The snow only looked really neat for a day or so, but traces of it stayed around for almost a week since the city stayed cold. I was still seeing snow and ice in some places until late Wednesday, and it snowed last Thursday.

I realized I haven't posted about the pregnancy recently. I'll be 35 weeks tomorrow, so I have a month or so to go, give or take a couple of weeks. I really don't know what to expect because I was induced with Nora right around 40 weeks. Some women seem to love being pregnant and others seem to hate it. I fall somewhere in the middle--I don't mind it, but I don't really savor it either, although I do appreciate the miracle and wonder of it all. I don't feel "done" being pregnant and last time was kind of the same. I'm anxious to meet my baby, but not in a hurry. The only thing I'm ready to be done with is diabetes. It's not that bad, but sometimes it's a drag to make sure I have my injections ready, make sure that I have enough to eat certain times of day, etc. Like breakfast is the worst--I am always in a bit of rush trying to get Nora fed and both of us out the door with jackets, mittens, etc. but I have to find something fast and good to eat for myself and prepare an injection and take oral medication. Sometimes I really don't feel like dealing with all that.

Physically, though? Late pregnancy is not that bad. I've experienced major fatigue before (when not pregnant) and at this point I don't feel that tired, though I'm slowing down a little bit lately. I am becoming limited in more ways, though, like the obvious bending over and picking things up (like say... toys) and getting up and down from the ground. I have some soreness when I'm sleeping, and sometimes I hop out of bed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and I realize that I can't really move as quickly as I thought I could. Overall, though, it's very manageable. And we're seriously so busy, time is flying.

Oh--and I finally discovered that there is a perk to having gestational diabetes. (Accentuate the positive, right?) I'm having bi-weekly prenatal testing these days, which is not a perk but more like a pain in the rear. Yesterday, though, I went to a new location for testing and I ran into the ultrasound tech I had in my last pregnancy. She was so sweet and I had actually wondered what happened to her. The test on the baby went quickly so the sonographer switched over to 4D, which is something I've never seen before. That's something that some people pay big bucks for, but I never have because I already get so many ultrasounds it's really not necessary. I didn't feel like I was missing much since I already get to "see" the baby so much, but when I saw the baby on the 4D it was really quite clear and a lot more amazing than I thought it would be. Anyway, here's one of the pics.


The first thing everyone notices is the chubby cheeks! Nora had chubby cheeks at birth, but she lost some weight after she was born and after that she was a fairly petite baby. I spent the whole time trying to figure out if she looks like Nora, but I can't decide. Jessie says that she thinks this one looks a lot like Jason again, but we'll see. There's only so much you can tell from an ultrasound, even a fancy one. This makes me even more excited about seeing her in person!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We have had a busy, busy couple of months. I knew the months around the holidays would fly, and they did! We stayed here the weekend of Christmas and enjoyed some quiet time as a family. My sister and her husband were here for a few hours on Christmas day and we all went to brunch at the Ritz Carlton Downtown Atlanta. Oh. My. Gosh. Recommend. I am usually a fan of "traditional" Christmas dinner (i.e. turkey/ham/all the trimmings, cooked at home!) but being about eight months pregnant was an excellent excuse for breaking tradition. (I also just wasn't in the mood to cook.)

Here's Nora in her Christmas dress before church on Christmas Eve.




Jason with the longest hair he's ever had (he's had it cut since then):


Here's a blurry pic of our tree.


A couple of things about the tree--every year I laugh at how pathetically skinny and unrealistic-looking it is. But I kind of love it for being that way. You can't tell this from the picture, but about 50% of the ornaments are concentrated in the bottom 1-2 feet of the tree (Nora hung them). I think it's silly-looking, but perfect at the same time.

Jason had to work the week after Christmas, but we did make it to Pensacola for about two days around New Year's. There, we opened many more presents and we got to visit with a lot of people, though not everyone we would like to see. We did see six different groups of people, though, and opened presents with all of them! Whew.

We've been doing a lot of stuff around the house. We got new furniture for the living room and slowly that room is finally coming together--for the first time, really, since what we had before was a mishmash and we were never really happy with it. We still need to hang pictures and do a few other things in there, but I am really liking it these days. Our new couches are so comfortable! (Ask Jason--he keeps falling asleep on them!) we moved out old, ugly computer desk in there and it doesn't really match anything else, plus it's not meeting our storage needs. There's a secretary desk I've been eying on, but we don't have the money right now. It sold out a couple of days ago, but I'm going to cross my fingers that it comes back in stock in a few months when we expect to have a little more cashflow.

See? Pretty.

Jason's in the process of painting Nora's new room. We hope she'll be moved in sometime this week. I know "they" say that you should have this taken care of a few months before the new baby comes (we're looking at ~6 weeks) but, well, obviously that didn't happen. I need to do a major toy and clothes purge. Most of what we've been working on lately is going through all of our things and trying to get rid of things we don't use anymore. Living in a small space is challenging! I'm probably the least likely candidate for making the most out of the least amount of space, but I'm trying. As I type this I'm going through all of our old CDs and making sure we have them on ITunes so I can give away the physical CDs. We just don't have room for them anymore! There are some boxes/crates/closets that haven't been completely cleaned out since we moved in almost five years ago, so I guess it was time, anyway.

I realize this is pretty much the most boring blog in existence, but there you have it.

Conversation with Nora

Just writing this down so I don't forget it.

Nora: All right! Now I have my suitcase all packed so I can go to North China.

Me: What's in North China?

Nora: It's a country.

Me: I know. But what's there? Like why are you going there?

Nora: Oh... I...

Me: You're just going to hang out? See the sights?

Nora: I'm just going to... go there and get some sleep. But first I need to put on my fairy wings so I can fly there!