Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Choosing a Baby Name: Naming Poppy

Naming a baby is hard…unless you had a name earmarked since you were in 6th grade.  And even if you did have a name selected, did you have three names picked for the same gender?

We wanted a name for our daughter that held some meaning for us.  We wanted a name that would allow her the opportunity to be a college professor or an artist.  We wanted a name that fit us as a family.

Dive into our decision making process:
The Golden Poppy is the California state flower.  Georgia and Harper (her big sisters) have names that sound very American, but this time we went a little more local and paid homage to our home state.  
Georgia, 6, realized we all have repeated letters in our names (two e's, for example).  So the name we chose needed double letters also.  Poppy wins with the triple "p".   
Poppy shares initials with her grandmother, my husband's mom.  She also shares her middle name June.   We like that Poppy has a unique name with sweet ties to her family.  
My dad chose to be called "Pop" rather than "Grandpa" as a tribute to his own grandfather.  I love my dad, but wasn't going to name my daughter Basil-ina.  This was as close as I could get.     

When selecting Poppy as our baby's name, I knew we'd meet some resistance.  I wasn't mistaken.  That's going to happen.  To all of you in the process of baby naming, I advise you ignore it all.  Find similarly minded individuals whose taste you appreciate and ask their opinion, if you feel like you need a sounding board.  Otherwise, do what feels best for you.

Babies grow into their names, and Poppy is no different.  It already fits her sweet smile and love for the outdoors.  Can't wait to see who she becomes!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Hospital Bag: The "Non-Essentials"

There are some really great lists online of what to pack in your hospital bag when you're having a baby.  But I've always been an over-packer, so here are some of the non-essentials I'll be bringing with me to the hospital.

A Zero Candle
There's so much to celebrate, and the birth of a new baby tops the list.  I adore this idea of having a birthday party on the actual birth day.  And since our baby won't be able to eat a cupcake, I'll just have to help her out with that.
Photo Credit: Spearmint Baby
Name Banner
I've been keeping our final name selection mostly under wraps.  It's a hormonal thing…and I'm okay with being mildly crazy.  So, the name banner is a sweet way to announce to all social media circles who may be waiting impatiently for that first photo shared.  Plus, it's just so darn cute!   Not so crafty?  The Purple Pug has some sweet options.

Photo Credit: The Purple Pug

Food for Dad
Included in a lot of hospital bag lists are snacks for Dad.  It's true that he does have the ability to head down to the cafeteria or have other visitors bring him something, making this item technically a non-essential.  However, I noticed that it was only when my husband left the room that the contractions would go up in severity.  Dude, not cool.

Music is a big part of our lives, and for the birth of each of our children my husband has compiled a soundtrack for the baby's first day.  Some mommas use music as a method to calm themselves during labor.  For us, it was more about starting the baby's life full of things we love.  Our second child entered the world with Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."  No joke.  My love for The Boss runs deep, and it was the 4th of July, after all.

Photo Cred: Born in the USA

Extra Room in Your Hospital Bag
A hospital isn't a luxurious hotel with awesome travel-size shampoos, but there are lots of things that might just happen to fall into your hospital bag.  An extra few diapers or pads for mama aren't going to be missed.

Celebrity Magazines
A vacation luxury in my world is sitting around reading OK or People.  And since having a baby is like sitting a pool drinking margaritas, I like to recreate the experience by picking up some lighter reading material.  Ha!  Actually, it's a good mind-numbing distraction that you can in entertain yourself with between contractions.  Double points if the magazine cover story is about a celebrity baby.

Photo Credit: People Magazine

A Code Word for Your Nurse
Most of us don't remember when our babies were brand new because we were in a zombie-like daze so we've forgotten how hard it can be to have visitors.  So if your well-meaning guests have outstayed their welcome, a way to alert the nurse to clear the room is a good idea. Let the nurse be the bad guy.

So get out your largest piece of luggage and fill her up!  You, of course, won't want to forget to all the important stuff like clothing for yourself and the baby…but a few non-essentials can keep you entertained and a little more sane on the big day.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

40 Weeks and Counting

Today I shared this photo on my Facebook page.  It was a joke really, but it turned out to earn quite a few more likes than I had expected.  Only like 999, 875 and then, hopefully, she'll appear.

Now I'm quite sure that child's mother will indeed quit smoking if the goal is reached (sure, sure) or whatever else people seek out likes for on social media, but my primary goal was to let friends and family know that there's no baby yet and I've still got a sense of humor about it.

Today was the baby's due date.  I'm fortunate in that I'm not miserable, but we are anxious and excited to meet Baby #3.  So if rounding up some likes on photos encourages her, I'm all for it.  

My older children came much sooner, so this is uncharted territory for me.  I'm doing my research and reading up on inducing labor naturally.  Some I've tried (mostly walking) and others I've dismissed.  Castor oil?  If the side effects are worse than the condition, I'm not going there.  

Do you have any tips for inducing labor?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sharing Pregnancy with Friends

2014 is the year of the baby.  My group of friends will be welcoming four new babies this year.

Babies due in February, March, May, and June

My sister and I were both pregnant with our first babies at the same time, and it was so nice being able to go through the process of becoming mommies together.  And now, we get to share the fun of pregnancy with two of our best friends.

Comparing kick counts, swapping wine for lemonade, and creating must-have lists for baby is so much more fun when it's with friends!  So if you're thinking about having a baby, you may want to consider convincing your best friends to get on board!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Maternity Leave Guilt

There are just 6 weeks left until Baby #3 is scheduled to arrive.  Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I'm assuming it won't actually be 6 more weeks.  It's been an insanely easy pregnancy, but I am noticing that things are getting more challenging (putting shoes on, not having to pee constantly, etc) and the baby's hanging out so far down that her kicks catch me off guard.

This was just a few weeks ago, but I swear I've doubled in size!

At my last prenatal appointment, however, I was a mess.  The holidays, losing my sweet aunt to pancreatic cancer on Christmas Eve, sick kiddos...it just was more than I could handle all at once.  So when I met with the nurse practitioner and asked about maternity leave, my desperation was coming through loud and clear.
Christmas morning--I miss caffeine.
Having her say that I might be able to go on maternity leave at 36, rather than 38 weeks, was such a relief.  Just knowing that it was a possibility made me instantly feel better.  There's a nap in sight?  Oh, thank God!

If you read my first birth story, then you may remember that my first daughter arrived prior to going on maternity leave.  That morning I made my mom the longest and most bizarre shopping list, because I had planned on using the last 2 weeks to get ready.  I don't want that to happen again!

After meeting with the nurse, I started stressing about work.  That's only 3 more weeks.  I've got two months of lesson plans to do, piles of grading I'm behind on, I still don't know who will be teaching my class, and I told the parents I'd stay as long as possible.    My worries about not being ready for the baby have been replaced with pangs of guilt for abandoning my classroom.  It's the difference of 2 weeks, but the way I play it out in my head you'd think I was forcing my students into slave labor.

To add to the guilt, I'm fine.  Exhausted, drowning in to-do lists, and feeling unprepared for this baby...but, physically, I'm fine.  I feel lazy for being so darn tickled at the idea of a few extra weeks to be at home.

Such is the life of a working mama.  I feel bad for working when I should be focusing on the arrival of the baby and taking better care of myself.  I feel equally as bad for wanting to not work anymore and leaving my class for 2 additional weeks.  Just wait until the going back to work guilt sets in!

What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My 5 Favorite Girl Baby Names

We've got months until the birth of our baby girl, but the pressure is on to name this baby.  We named our first daughter, Georgia, relatively quickly.  It's a family name, but also had a old-fashioned American sound that we loved.  Naming the next baby took a little longer.  We loved Harper's name but difficulty picking a middle name had us doubting ourselves until we met her.  Clementine was the middle name we chose, by the way.

What are we looking for in a name for Baby #3?  It has to be a name.  You have to take her seriously as your college professor.  It can't be too similar or too different from her sisters' names, Georgia & Harper.  It can't be in the Top 20 Most Popular names.

Here are my favorite baby girl names of the moment:

Poppy  Normally, I steer clear of floral names because they sound dainty.  However, Poppy is spunky and free-spirited.  The Golden Poppy is California's state flower, and that makes me love it even more.

Sadie A nickname for Sarah, this name has old-time charm without sounding too much like a porch-sitter.

Harlowe  We can't use this name because of it's closeness to Harper's name, but I love the old Hollywood glamour it resonates.

Hattie We stopped watching the tv show Parenthood because each episode ended up being a bummer. One of the young characters on the show is named Hattie, and it's so unique.  Tori Spelling ended up naming her baby, increasing its popularity.

Penelope  I adore this name, and have ever since the Pinback song.  It's just so darn popular right now that I don't see myself choosing it.

What are your favorite girl names?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Not Scary Birth Story #2

If you've already read about the birth of my first child, then you know two things: it was ridiculously easy and she was a little early.  Those two things are exactly what I expected when I was pregnant with my next baby.

As I counted down the weeks to her arrival, my countdown stopped at 38 weeks.  I just assumed she'd be on her sister's timeline.  Ha!  Mommy Lesson #2: even though they have the same parents and are raised the exact same, each child is completely unique.  When I hit 38 weeks I remember saying, "I've never been this pregnant before" and feeling done.

Since my pregnancies had both been extremely uneventful, my appointments at the OB-GYN went like this:
Doctor:  How are you?
Me:  Awesome.
Doctor: Any questions?
Me: Nope.  See you next week.

So when I walked into his office at 39 weeks, and said "I'm over being pregnant," I probably shocked him.  But what he said next was a bigger surprise.  He asked when I wanted to have the baby.  I get to pick?  He took out his smart phone, shared his work calendar, and said I was eligible for induction.  I picked the next available date, which just happened to be the 4th of July.

Totally naive, I didn't realize there were such mixed feelings about being induced.  When I hear people talk about it, it sounds like a full throttle, excruciating nightmare.  However, that wasn't my experience at all.

The morning she was scheduled to be born, I got up early & continued to Google baby names (we were 99.9% sure her name would be Harper, but her middle name was harder to select).  Since we had some time to kill, we got Matt some breakfast at Starbucks.  The barrista asked if we had any plans for the day, and I bet he didn't expect us to say we were having a baby in a few hours.

We checked into the hospital, got the meds started, and then waited.  I read gossip magazines because that's what I do when I'm on vacation.  Having a baby is kind of like a vacation, right???

Around 1, I requested that Matt get the nurse.  When she came in, she told us it was time.  I can't remember what we were chatting about as she prepped the room for delivery, but she told me I had to stop laughing.  Otherwise the doctor wouldn't have time to get there.

He arrived and, within minutes, so did Harper.  My own little Miss America.  It's fun to look back at baby pictures of her because there's just so much "Harper" in these.

Fortunately, my request to go home early were heard and we were able to leave early the next morning.  I had never left Georgia overnight before and was ready to get our new family of 4 together.  Seeing how tiny (6 pounds, 13 ounces) she was absolutely kills me.

Thankfully, my girls have been best friends from the second they met and the transition from a family of 3 to a family of 4 was relatively easy.  Harper was the mellowest baby on the planet, which only seems fitting since her delivery was so stress-free.  Maybe she's saving all the drama for her high school years.