Now I Know: What Being A Mother Taught Me About My Own

 

When you become a mom, you clearly know you will have kids.  Clearly.  You think everything you learn will be based around children.  But, one of the neatest blessings of becoming a parent is that it helps you in understanding your own.  Being a parent gives you grace for your own mother and father and it gives you a whole heap of understanding for the who, what, and whys for what and how they did things concerning you.  It also gives you a grasp on what all they went through and experienced that as a child, you just couldn’t have known.  Here are a few things I know now about my mother simply by becoming one myself.

She Cried

She cried when you left your blanket behind for good because you didn’t need it anymore.  She cheerfully pumped you up for your first day at school, walked you in with a smile and then cried the whole way home.  She encouraged you that things would be better after another child was cruel to you and let her heart break when she was alone.  She choked up over the look of your sitting over your first birthday candle and she will cry all over again when she sees the pictures 25 years later.  You always thought she was so strong and invincible and she was….but just for you.

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She Saved

Every time my oldest child comes home from pre-school with a precious piece of art work or homework where I can see her little handwriting blossoming, it’s just hard to part with.  Now I understand why my mother saved my schoolwork. They are representations of a time when we were their little baby girl or boy and your mom saved them because she knew we wouldn’t always be.

You may never fully appreciate the old scribbly art that your own mother tucked in a faded folder and your child may never fully be endeared to that first sentence she wrote that you put in an album.  That’s okay.  Sometimes we save so that we can remember a time they were too young to really remember in the detail we could.  We save for the same reason she did:  because they are pieces of the children we never want to forget. It was never really just homework.

She Laughed

When she spanked your butt because you called her a booty old lady, she secretly thought it was funny and turned her face so you couldn’t see.  Turn away to smile.  Turn back around with a serious mom face.  Punish.  Call your best friend and laugh about it 20 minutes later.

She Was Rightfully Peeved By Things

Until you are a mom yourself, you don’t understand the value of silence.  As a mother, I know now why she hated the sound of the T.V. playing with no one watching it (especially the commercials) and when the music was too loud in the car on a busy day.

The sound of you and your siblings fighting. This put her near insanity.

I know why sometimes she simply didn’t want me to have the neighbor kid over or a friend spend the night. She would answer with what I felt was a patronizing, “Um, not tonight.”  I would get frustrated because I knew we would just sit at home and do nothing.  Why couldn’t I have a friend over????!!!!

Oh. That was the point.  Do nothing.  Life is crazy busy with a family and crazy for the parents of the busy family.  Let’s do nothing.  Yes.  Sounds good.  No, sounds great.

She Meant That It Hurt Her More

When someone makes you mad in life, it’s easy to imagine jerking a knot in them.  You want to ring their neck because they are ring neck-able.  So, when you are a kid and your parents are angry and then go on to punish you, you can only imagine them enjoying the act down to their bones and back up again spewing it out in words of “time out” and “You’re grounded!”

Then you raise your own kids and sometimes, it hurts you to see them lose a privilege that hits them where it hurts:  the party they can’t go to now or the special treat they had to return.  Family doesn’t like disappointing each other and that swings both ways.  I’ve even found myself thinking, “Please, just obey.  I don’t want to have to punish you/take this from you etc.” Albeit a necessary evil, it’s definitely not fun to do and sometimes, hurts you, too.

I’ve even learned that sometimes disciplining them is like disciplining yourself.  “Dang it, child,” you say in your mind, “I really wanted to go to pool today, too!”  Sometimes in parenting, you are all losers. Just like sending your kid to school in winter without a coat (nervous laugh).  We can lose lots of ways.  All the time.

She Was Overjoyed

She was overjoyed when they held you up in the delivery room.  Overjoyed when she saw you apologize to another child when she didn’t know you were looking.  She beamed when she rolled that new surprise bike in for you on your birthday and maybe even more excited than you to give you your first kitten that afternoon.

When you made the team, met “the one”, passed the class you struggled through with a meager “C”, when you made that right choice that made it feel like all your hard work paid off, when you comforted your sibling, when you chose someone else over yourself on a regular day, and when you broke up with the wrong guy even though you loved him.

She swelled with more joy and pride in mothering you than you knew possible. She took joy in you and shared it in a way that you didn’t know could or was being shared that equally….

That is until the one day they hold your own wrinkly crying baby up at a hospital on a day she knows is not too far away.

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She Was Nervous

Mothers are the master’s of, or at least try to be, master’s of braves faces.  When you stuck your neck out and tried something new.  When you got your license.  When you were the new kid at school and went in on your first day.  When she told you not to worry about how that kid would treat you at school today.  When you were sick.  When you picked that boy/girl to date.  When you went out of town alone for the first time and drove there yourself.  Picked the college 4 hours away.  Wore the crazy outfit to school in the 2nd grade that she let you pick out knowing others might be mean…she was nervous.

She Didn’t Always Know

There is no textbook to parenting and dang it, you sort of figure it out with one and then you have a child that’s totally different!  You saw your parents make all of these choices so confidently for you when you were a kid:  where you would go to school, how to discipline you day to day, how to handle insecurities they saw in you, how to talk to you about your feelings, how to teach you to navigate all of the social facets of your young years, etc.  Then, by golly, you have your own and you realize that a lot of times you are making choices and hoping you did the right thing…hoping you did the right thing to yield the result you are going for.  Until you are a mother, you don’t really know that sometimes, she was guessing.  She had to be.  Just like you.

She Knew

She knew you were going to get hurt because she knows that 5 year-olds fall off of beds when you were certain you wouldn’t as you sprang into the air.  She knew that it hurt to be left out or feel “un-cool” but you were positive she “didn’t understand”.

“That was forever ago, mom!  You don’t understand.  It’s not the same!”   Becoming an adult yourself lets you see, growing up overall is pretty universal.

She knew you peeked at the gifts but let you get away with it. She knew you didn’t still believe in Santa anymore but you both silently accepted to keep playing along. She knew you tried to clean up the nail polish you and your friend’s spilled on the carpet but she let it slide.

She knew he wasn’t right for you and that she wasn’t a good friend.  She knew those mean girls were jealous and you thought she was crazy.  Many days you thought SHE was, in fact, the mean one.  And she knew you would feel that way, too.  Why?  Because she had a mother and was someone’s child.

And in all of this, more than anything, she knew that one day you would be typing on a computer somewhere with three girls stair stepped in age sleeping quietly in rooms around you and that you would sit down exhausted and know that she was right.  Even when the trying years of raising you were in full throttle, she knew that one day, if you were lucky, you would know the depth of the joy, the hurt, the hope, the laughter, the weight of welling tears in your eyes, the heartbreak, the pride, and the sound of little ones playing in your ears that turn into the thudding footsteps of a grown child in the halls that is up way too late.  She knows that your day will come when you will live what her heart always knew and she desperately wants this for you.  Because now I know that the greatest gift she ever had was being your mom and I know that because I am one.  Thanks, mom.

 

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Crazy Things Moms Do With Their First Baby

 

Bless our bones, we all have a first child experience.  We’ve all been the crazed overprotective mom doing something totally un-necessary with our first baby.  Hey, we were worried about them and didn’t know any better.  You know, like a mom spraying the air with Lysol after someone sneezed to prevent sneeze inhalation of the invisible particles via the wrinkly ball of baby in the corner.

This post was compiled of stories submitted to me and I enjoyed the diapers off of reading them.  Thanks to everyone who messaged me their stories and thanks to Dawn for the blog idea!  Send me ideas anytime you have something you would like to see me write about.  I’m on it.  Now enjoy the crazy…..

 

“I work with a girl that has an eight month old and a week or so ago she accidentally scratched the baby’s face with her fingernail and she felt so bad that she called both sets of the baby’s grandparents and asked them each to get her a new toy and she herself went out and bought her a new toy. So the little girl got THREE new toys all because her mom accidentally scratched her and it wasn’t even that bad of a scratch.”

 

“I made my husband get up with me in the middle of the night when I nursed.  You know, it was a special moment to share…4 times a night.”

 

“With my first, I refused to eat peanut butter for months in fear of accidentally touching her with it on my hands and triggering an anaphylactic reaction. With my second, I’m pretty sure I dropped peanut butter on her head on several occasions while nursing….”

 

“I use to ride everywhere in the backseat with my newborn while my husband drove and now, I’m not sure why.  Afraid the 5-point, rear-facing, safety harnessed car seat wouldn’t hold him?  Maybe.  Spontaneous combustion?  Always possible.”

 

“A friend of mine was so afraid her child would choke on any food that she used to cut puffs into fourths to feed him. She didn’t let him have Cheerios until he was nearly a year old.”

 

“I ironed my baby’s onesies.”

 

“I took my first baby to the doctor because they cried all night.  Diagnosis: newborn baby.”

 

“With my first baby I would sanitize all of her passies after company left just in case they breathed on them. Seriously.”

 

“I had so many gadgets for my first baby that I was like a CIA agent.  I had gadgets for my gadgets and I went in the hospital to give birth with enough paraphernalia that I was more prepared than the E.R.”

 

“We went to some extreme measures so my 1 year old firstborn could take a nap. We left Holiday World & my parents drove up from out of town and met us to take the baby so they could take him to nap while we rode rides! My parents drove to a hotel lobby and set up a pack n-play. I don’t know if he actually slept in the bed or just on a couch in the lobby. It was a nice, cool place! Why not?! And to get my parents off the hook…it was my idea! Not theirs. I had them come and suggested they drive to a park or the hotel lobby for the nap. It seems so odd to go to those measures now that I have 3 kids!”

 

“A friend of mine would make sure her baby’s ears were folded a certain way when you held him because she was afraid his ears would stick out if they were pressed the wrong way.”

 

“My cousin made his mother gargle with Listerine, put on a hospital gown, shoes and hat before holding his newborn daughter!”

 

Things Mothers of Babies Need to Know In The First Year

Several times I have searched the web for the below, practical information on my children and sorely was met with only message boards and mothers swapping info.  While that can be helpful, I wanted reliable “text book” professional information on my questions and concerns.  Below I’ve complied information from reputable sites with easy to read charts and to the point info of what all mothers wonder in their child’s first year and then wonder again when they forget with their second!  Hope you, moms-to-be, and mothers you know find this helpful! Pass it around! (links of info used all included)

Growth Spurts

Sometimes your baby is going through a fussy stage and you don’t know why.  You’ve burped them, changed them, fed them until your arm or other apendeges fall off, but they are still fussy.  A lot of times in the madness of a crying baby, moms forget that a growth spurt may be the culprit.  I know for me, my babies tend to be text book in these ranges, however, growth spurts can occur at different times for different babies.  Below are typical ranges for the average baby.  Any spurt can hit within these markers. Growth spurt ranges are a good refernce to have and the info isn’t always easy to find.  Alas, here it is:

Growth spurts usually happen in 5 intense bursts in the first year according to Whattoexpect.com and ehow.com who restated the info from the whattoexpect.com site.
Bursts usually occur one at a time for two to seven day periods between…
– one and three weeks
-between six and eight weeks
– three months
-six months
-nine months
How Much Should My Baby Eat?

This info is just for bottle feeding whether it be formula or expressed breastmilk.  Their consumption averages change with age and it can be hard to know if you are giving your baby enough or too much.  For the breastfed baby, when a mom switches to a bottle so that she can run errands, it’s hard to know how much of your milk to thaw.  Here is a reference for that information:

Age:                                                                                                                     # of Feedings                Ounces


Birth to 1 week 6 to 10 1 to 3 ounces
1 week to 1 month 7 to 8 2 to 4 ounces
1 month to 3 months 5 to 7 4 to 6 ounces
3 months to 6 months* 4 to 5 6 to 7 ounces
6 months to 9 months 3 to 4 7 to 8 ounces
10 months to 12 months 3 7 to 8 ounces

*You can begin feeding your child solid foods such as iron-fortified infant cereal at four months of age. Formula consumption tends to begin declining after six months because it’s assumed that your baby will be eating more solid foods as time goes on.

Source: Manual of Pediatric Nutrition, D. G. Kelts and E. G. Jones. (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1984).

Read more on FamilyEducation: http://life.familyeducation.com/formula-feeding/baby/39374.html#ixzz1wmhMFdbn

 

Is My Baby Teething?  When Do Teeth Come In?

As seen from the chart, the first teeth begin to break through the gums at about 6 months of age. Usually, the first two teeth to erupt are the two bottom central incisors (the two bottom front teeth). Next, the top four front teeth emerge. After that, other teeth slowly begin to fill in, usually in pairs — one each side of the upper or lower jaw — until all 20 teeth (10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw) have come in by the time the child is 2 ½ to 3 years old. The complete set of primary teeth is in the mouth from the age of 2 ½ to 3 years of age to 6 to 7 years of age.

 

Primary Teeth Development Chart
Upper Teeth When tooth emerges When tooth falls out
Central incisor 8 to 12 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor 9 to 13 months 7 to 8 years
Canine (cuspid) 16 to 22 months 10 to 12 years
First molar 13 to 19 months 9 to 11 years
Second molar 25 to 33 months 10 to 12 years
Lower Teeth
Second molar 23 to 31 months 10 to 12 years
First molar 14 to 18 months 9 to 11 years
Canine (cuspid) 17 to 23 months 9 to 12 years
Lateral incisor 10 to 16 months 7 to 8 years
Central incisor 6 to 10 months 6 to 7 years

Other primary tooth eruption facts:

  • A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt.
  • Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption.
  • Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth.
  • Teeth in both jaws usually erupt in pairs — one on the right and one on the left.
  • Primary teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than the permanent teeth that will follow.
  • By the time a child is 2 to 3 years of age, all primary teeth should have erupted.

Shortly after age 4, the jaw and facial bones of the child begin to grow, creating spaces between the primary teeth. This is a perfectly natural growth process that provides the necessary space for the larger permanent teeth to emerge. Between the ages of 6 and 12, a mixture of both primary teeth and permanent teeth reside in the mouth.

All info and chart were extracted from:  http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-health-your-childs-teeth

Down with the Crib! Literally.

Tonight is Eden’s last night in the crib.  (sighs and head shaking and possibly tears on my eye balls).  We’ve been prepping her for several days and her new mattress and box spring have been looming in the corner of the room letting her know that they are coming.

When we laid her down this evening, Lance came with me since it’s her last time in the crib.  We told her that tomorrow that daddy was going to take her crib to Salem’s room and that she would get to sleep in a big girl bed like mommy and daddy and that she could jump on it!  You may think that telling her she can jump on the bed was a bad idea but she jumps in the crib every night and hey, whatever makes a big bed exciting.

I must say though, all this big girl talk is making me barf!  She’s still a little girl, people! She won’t be 2 until next month and 2 is still very little sooooo she’s still my tiny little girl.  Even though she has been on a constant binge of saying, “I do it alllll by myself!”, over the past 3 days, she is still a little toddler and I won’t let her in on that secret.  My sister reminded me how much I’ll appreciate her assertive independence when I have a new baby next month.  True that, sister, true that…

Lance must not be liking the big girl talk either because when I told him tonight that we need to move her to her big bed tomorrow, he said in most genius fashion, “Why don’t we just wait until Salem comes to move her?”

Let that idea marinate in your head walls for a minute.

I laughed and said, “I challenge you to give me one reason why that’s a good idea.”  He sincerely tried to come up with a reason and he delivered with, “Because I figured Salem can just be in a bassinet and she can stay in her crib until she’s ready.  She’s just so young, still.  I don’t feel like she’s ready.”  He smiled and went on to say that if she isn’t ready that it was going to be a big battle.  The reason he smiled when he said that is because we both knew what he meant.  What he meant was, “It’s so much easier to leave her in her crib rather than try to battle with her getting up and down.”  Another translation could be:  We are going to be tired.

Amen and amen.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to the battle, but I did strategically choose a weekend battle so that Lance can go down for the count with me. =0)

The truth is, it’s going to be tiring for at least a few days which is why we need to do it pre-baby madness.  Not to mention, I don’t want Eden to feel like a new baby invaded the house and took over her furniture.  I want everyone to be settled before Salem arrives.

All good logic aside, I was sad to lay her down for the last time in her crib tonight.  I stayed in the doorway a little longer and talked with her a bit more while she jumped up and down and said, “but…but…but…” while she stalled and smiled behind her passy.  I just sort of laughed and smiled longingly at my firstborn, in our first nursery, in her first crib.  I looked back and forth between Eden bouncing behind the crib slats to the pics of her on the wall:  one of her when she was first born on my chest and another one when she was about 10 weeks with baby fine black hair and pursed lips.  You know they are growing up and that one day you’ll stand in their doorway with tears in your eyes and a laugh in your mouth  as you see them in the crib for the last time, but it’s hard to remember how you got there.

I’ll miss the ease of the confinement of the crib and the preciousness of laying a little girl down within in.  But, kids are made for growing and parents are made for helping them do so.  One day I’ll relive a moment like tonight in a different room, for a different milestone, a different reason, a million different times.  Parenting feels like a lot of letting go sometimes and I’ve only just started.

Still, I’m so proud she is growing up and I adore the small, wonderful person she is. And that…

is something I’ll never have to stop doing.

 

How I Get My Toddler To Eat

This is a funny title because I have not mastered the art of toddler feeding.  However, I have discovered some things that have proven successful in my desperate times which have previously been three times a day, every day.

When you have a toddler, the entire spans of Walmart’s food aisles seem like no match for your finicky eater.  I sometimes feel like there are no food options in the world left to try after feeding Eden dinner.  How can a massive grocery seem to offer me nothing?  When a child eliminates groups of foods (for Eden it was almost any vegetable) they really are knocking out one food aisle at a time at the grocery.  Boom, there goes the produce section aka the section you actually pray your kid will eat from.

Anyways, I’ve compiled a list of tricks that have worked for me in a list I call, “Eat, Dang It!”

Ahem.

Eat, Dang It!

1.  Baby Marketing

Not all things in life are desirable to a toddler as they appear normally.  Changing the name of a food can make it suddenly appealing to a little one.  For example, I’ve heard people call peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter pies.  I know not everyone wants to pitch all foods to their kids with dessert names but sometimes, it is all you can do to get a child to eat.  I’m not above this tactic myself and have gotten Eden to eat many a yogurt by prefacing it by saying that it tastes like ice cream.

Another way to baby market their foods is by making the food about something they like or that interests them.  At Cracker Barrel this week, Eden was hesitant to try her grandmother’s potato soup.  Earlier that day, Eden had watched her favorite show Little Einsteins and the episode was about rocket soup.  I told her it was rocket soup instead of potato soup and I’ll have you know, she ate it immediately and continued to eat it throughout dinner.

Other sales pitches:

cheese cubes=cheese blocks

broccoli= little trees (which may sound more disgusting but it works)

apple slices=moons

marshmallows=snowman heads

Just kidding.  As if kids need help eating marshmallows.

Everybody needs a good sales pitch!  Home Shopping Network those babies!

2.  Dip Baby, Dip

Toddlers are all about fun and making their meals fun is helpful in getting them to eat.  I’ve found that Eden can have tons of fun and takes a big interest in her food if her food becomes interesting.  My Eden is a dipper.  Put a tiny amount of ketchup, peanut butter, yogurt, etc. on her tray with foods to dip it in and she will make a colossal mess and eat it up along the way.  Plus, they stay in their seat longer and no mother hates a few extra minutes to themselves. Also, it introduces two foods instead of one so double score.  Dip on, Eden.  Dip on.

3.  I’m Not Feeding You, No.  I’m Innocently Eating Myself

I’ve learned two things about feeding a toddler:

1- Never ask them to eat it because that provokes obstinace.  I put it on her tray and let her explore new foods freely on her own.  Sure, I do encourage her to eat things but when I first place a new food on her tray, I don’t say, “Eat this.”  It makes her more turned off to the food.

2- All food are better when they are out of their  high chair, ESPECIALLY if someone else is eating it.

If I want Eden to try a new food, if I just take it into the living room and eat it myself, she is definitely going to try to hit me up for some.  It must be good if mom is eating it, right?  Plus, she doesn’t feel like she is caged in a seat and forced to be fed something she’s not sure of.  Eden has eaten kiwi, white bean soup with spinach, and even tuna for the first time this way.  It’s a non threatening way to introduce something and it’s almost a guarantee to peak their interest when someone else is enjoying it freely.

As a matter of fact, Eden has never eaten a green vegetable in her entire 21 months until about 5 weeks ago.  We were at my mom’s house and she saw my younger siblings snacking on bowls of broccoli in the living room.  Not knowing what it was, she asked for some and went on to eat a bowl herself and ask for it the next three nights in a row.  Do you know how many times I presented her with it on her tray and then when she saw it in a non threatening way, she ate it right away all on her own?  These kids, I tell you what. They just make you say, dang it. Rascals.

4.  The Whole Shebang

Okay, so there may be some foods you don’t want to apply this too but I’ve found that if Eden won’t eat her PB & J ripped up into pieces, there is something about the WHOLE sandwhich that is more fun and intriguing.  Try giving your child the half of the sandwhich so they can pick it up like a big kid or try giving them the entire banana to hold instead of slicing it up.  With bananas, I like to baby market and tell her that she’s eating a banana like a monkey and how much monkies like bananas.  It works almost every time.  Again, I think the key with this is just that they feel like a big kid and that the food becomes more interesting.

5. Shapes, Faces, & Bears Oh My!

Playing with your food when you are kid can be both discouraged and encouraged, but I’m not talking about throwing your food, which Eden loves to do in groups of people aka the best time to throw food, har har.  What I mean is cutting their food with cookie cutters or making faces out their food.  They may not want to eat a pretzel but dang it, if you make it into ears, give me that pretzel!

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SOOOO, all of you desperate moms out there looking at the entire plate of food your toddler DIDN’T eat, I hope my meager mom attempts might get your kid to swallow at least half a strawberry.  Feeding your kid can be so frustrating and if you are like me, you stress over what they are or aren’t getting.

I’m no scholar, just a mom who hopes and prays the peas are gone off the tray when she turns around.  Happy eating!  (hopefully. maybe.  If not, dang it.)

 

 

How To Creatively Name Your Baby

After posting my baby name, I had 2 people ask me to help them come up with a name. Aw, thanks y’all!  And some people just thought, “Gross, I hate her names.”  That’s the way it goes with baby names: some think you are creative and others, crazy.

Anyways, that’s pretty hard to find a unique, creative name when you don’t have the wealth of knowledge of the parent’s who are naming the child BUT I did give one of these girls some suggestions that I use to drive my search for a name so I thought I would share them.  Maybe it will help you name your nameless little one and give you a name you will always love.  I figured since I was coming up with a good list of suggestions, might as well blog!

1-Look through family trees and pay attention not just to first names but middle, last, and maiden names on both sides of the family. Make sure to dig deep and get the full names both married and pre-marriage from both sets of grandparents on each side.  If you like a name, search the meaning or ask a family member why that person got that name.  Meanings and personal stories can make a name one that you fall in love with.  All of my names have a story and I use the opportunity to tell the story behind it when people ask what my child’s name is.  When you have unique names, people will almost always ask where the name came from and you get to tell them something that is special to you because the story is largely why you loved the name in the first place.  My grandfather would be so pleased to know that I carried his grandmother’s maiden name on to my child and that it lives on and is being talked about.

2- I adore last names as first names, aka surnames.  Adair was almost Salem’s first name as a surname. If you don’t care about name meanings or personal stories, you can search on the web “common surnames”  “European surnames” “American surnames” etc. etc. and get lists of a last name that might just be the most awesome first name.

3- Think about things or places that are related to you and your spouse and your married and dating relationship. Place names can be very cool and unique. For example, the first place lance and I kissed in college was at a park and I thought of naming a baby with the park name somewhere in it. That name would also have been a surname (double win) and have a neat story to tell because someone would always ask them how they got that name. How cool to have a name that when it’s passed down you could say, “This name came from where my great, great grandparents kissed when they were college sweethearts.”  History builds the character of any name.

4- Google “social security popular baby names” and that will take you to a site that you can search any name over the past 60 years that has registered social security cards associated with it and it will tell you if and how high that name ranks in popularity along with giving you ideas or maybe even helping you decide against a name that may be too popular for your taste. You can look at baby name sites all day long but they aren’t accurate. Social security is done by every person registered with that name with a ss card for that year so it is the only accurate ranking of names and only misses illegal immigrants. They do anything ranking in the top 1000 names. You can even search popularity by state so you know what is common or less common in your region.

5-  What is your heritage on both sides of the family for both you and your spouse? Adair is an Irish name which is from my great, great grandmother who immigrated here from Ireland in the 1800’s. Any Irish name would carry a meaning for my lineage. What are your family roots?  Search those names.  Furthermore, when you find a name on any search that you like, use the “similar name” tool on the site you are on if it’s provided.  I found that when I did that on pages that it usually suggested other names I already loved, along with some new ones.

6- What is significant in your life?  I am a christian, married to a pastor and this is what my life is about.  For that reason, I love the strength of a unique, biblical name.  What is important to you?  I know musicians that have named their baby Lyric.  I don’t love that name but I love that it has to do with what the parent’s love.  Is there an adjective that sums up your personality or your heart?  Look for a name that means that.  Don’t just think Hope, Joy, or in that literal direction if you find yourself an optimistic extrovert.  Look for  words in the Bible in Greek or Hebrew that mean certain attributes or names from other countries that are different words to describe certain attributes in a person. For example, if you are a happy person or just thrilled to be pregnant, instead of Joy, search “names that mean happy”.  If you did, you’d find names like Asher meaning happy or blessed.  That way it has the meaning but is more unique.  I know that name is getting more popular but you get the point of what I’m saying.  Throw me a bone here!

7-  Is there a story to your child’s conception?  We had infertility so we could have easily looked for names that meant persevere, faithful, “God provides”, etc.  Take that concept and apply it to your journey if having a baby for you has a story.  That could be infertility, the baby that showed up 8 years later after your last baby, a baby you had late in life, a first successful pregnancy after many losses, etc.

It is hard and near impossible to name a baby something that no other baby in the world is named.  Moreover, it’s hard to name a baby anything that someone doesn’t have a name association with whether it’s the name of the kid that drove them crazy in middle school or simply that they knew someone who knew someone with that name.

In my opinion, you have to have the name that just does it for you.  One you will love when others don’t because people will not like your name.  Especially if it’s out of the box much at all.  That’s why it’s good to have a REASON you love a name.  If it’s just a name you made up or heard, you can lose the excitement over a novel name but if you love it because it’s from your family, from your history, etc., that’s enough to make the name eternally endearing to you and the stories usually win over even more conservative namers.

Whether it’s Sally or Suri, do what you love and love why you did.  That’s the advice of a creative mother of 1 and 1/2 kids. You know with my 2 name experience…. Hey, it’s creativity that gives me the credentials =0)

Hope this helps someone come up with a name that just slaps them in the jugular and lets them know, that THIS was the name you were looking for. You can kill yourself looking in baby books and looking will probably make you want to. Here is some direction for those longing for a little spice in their baby name list.

Happy thinking!  Happy naming!  Good luck agreeing on a name with a spouse.  May the force be with you.

Food Chaperones

When you are pregnant, your baby is a parasite.  Then you give birth and they become leeches.  Then once you are done bottle or breastfeeding, they become scavengers.  Vultures.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to eat again.  I cannot put anything in my mouth or, even say, above my shoulders without Eden radaring the substance and asking for my food.  The second anything resembling something edible is within my radius, Eden will start pointing frantically to her mouth saying “bite, bite, more, more”.  It doesn’t matter if she has just eaten a Thanksgiving dinner complete with huge caveman-ish turkey legs, as soon as she sees me eating, she is starving. 

A couple of weeks ago I snuck a popsicle into the front seat so I could eat it peacefully while I drove.  Now Eden’s carseat was facing backwards but there is a mirror above her seat so that I can see her in the rearview.  At best, Eden can see my eyes in the mirror so no worries for me.  Ahhhhhhhhhh.

“More bite, more, more, more!”

What?  Are you kidding me? What is this kid some sort of body language specialist that she can read my eyes?  Two blinks a little close together means delicious popsicle or something?  You have got to be kidding me.  She is the one with eyes in the back of her head.  Eden has me figured out and knows everything about me.  She’s like a baby Santa Claus:

She sees me when I’m sleeping.  She knows when I’m awake.  She’s knows if I have an Edy’s fruit bar so try to be conspicuos and don’t move your eye balls for cryin’ out loud.

I’ve heard stories before of mom’s locking themselves in pantries and bathrooms in order to be able to eat their snacks in safety.  Now I understand.

I mean, I feed you, sister.  You are soooo taken care of.  Can a mother get a yogurt? Can I hear an amen two times?  Better not say amen too loud or baby Santa will think I’m eating.

I know the normal thing is for mom’s to gain weight after having children but sometimes, I don’t know how.  We are running around all day and don’t have time to eat.  Shouldn’t the babies be getting fatter and the mommies smaller?  It doesn’t work that way for reasons only our stomach rolls understand.

I guess it works to our advantage for our children to be constantly in starvation mode because many a Cheerio has allowed me peace and quiet while walking through the store.  At times, even a sucker has saved the day but be careful oh peaceful mother, because once they identify a circular object on a stick as something delicous, anything meeting that description will send them in to full blown predatory behaviors for life.  She’ll be crying for your make-up brush if it’s round enough because it’s round and on a stick.  Everyone loves hairy suckers.  At least, they do.  Or they think they do.  Once they start crying you’ll wish they did because it’d be easier to put on your blush with your thumbs and let them eat the brush.

Ca-Cawwww. Ca-Cawwwww.  I hear my vulture waking up from her nap just in time for dinner.  What? Vultures don’t say ca-cawwww?  Neither does Eden so they have a lot in common. Probably why they are such good friends.

Good luck to all hungry mothers out there today.  Today’s challenge:  eat an entire apple…by yourself.  If your child is like mine, my best advice is to avoid eye contact.   They will still see your food and might ask for it, but they will get to see you act oblivious which is a good lesson in pretending.  Mabye they will learn to pretend themselves and create an imaginary friend. 

They can eat their food.

Up

Eden has been enjoying standing at the base of my legs, holding on to my thighs, crying, and saying “up” every morning for the past three days, while I get ready.  It lasts for mostly the entire extent of my daily “get ready to leave” prep.  Only Eden knows why.  I think it’s because I’m her favorite but her hanging on to my leg like a desperate koala is not my favorite.  I’ll be throwing all sorts of things on the floor trying to get her to be distracted but no matter how many times I give her a tube of Neosporin, she wants me every time.

Her intense mommy love is awesome and for the bulk of the day, I love it but she has been wearing me over the past 72 hours.  A few days ago it was driving me Bonkers.  Aw, I just accidentally capitalized Bonkers as in Bonkers the late good man mister the cat.  Rest in peace, toe biter.  You were a gentle man.

What I meant to say was bonkers as in driving me crazy.  What makes your baby constantly following you around the house crying to be picked up even worse?  Well, at the point that you are trying to escape just for five seconds to boil a pot of water to get dinner started, you’ve resorted to doing all sorts of things to engage them or make them happy.  What does this mean?  It means that inevitably at your most fragile moment of sanity you have put on some sort of baby show and you have the soothing sounds of Old MacDonald to ease your nerves.  What’s worse than a fussy baby?  A fussy baby over the melodies of the low budget free OnDemand show that has every tone deaf 9 year old they could find singing the alphabet.  I’m convinced people have been driven to crime over nursery ryhmes.

She was wearing me out so finally, I sat on the floor and thought she would be content to sit next to me or in my lap.  That didn’t work because she began to climb me like Mount Everest thinking, I guess, that if she could just perch on my shoulders than she would at least feel like I was picking her up.  I literally couldn’t get anything done and there are only so many times you can play bubbles, read books, bounce balls, and hide things. Not to mention, there are only so many things you can do with a 20 pound baby on your hip. I HAD to get some stuff done.

Finally, I lie on the floor because then she would have to leave me be for a minute because there was nothing else she could do.

I call this picture “Defeat”.

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