Friday, March 20, 2009

What's In a Name?

*Updated at bottom*

The Pumpkin has named her first toy. It is one she has recently become attached too--a stuffed, terrycloth bath duck, which has a robe with hood and little ducky slippers on it's feet. We kept it in the bathroom for a long time, although never put it in the bath. She pulled it out one day and left it in our room. Then, all of sudden, she decides that it's THE TOY. She has to have it to go to sleep, she has to tote it around when she gets up and comes in our room in the night or morning. She leaves it in her room during the day, but always looks for it at bedtime.

And, she named it. She hasn't named any other stuffed animal, baby doll or toy. We call her baby dolls "baby doll" and her stuffed animals by the name of the toy ("Where's your lion?"). But one night, early in this new infatuation, she called the duck "Mister Quack." (At least, we are 90% sure that's what she said.) It's cute, so we are going with it. We all call him Mister Quack.

I thought to see if the Pumpkin would branch out in the naming department. I asked her one night what her baby doll's name was. She called it by her name (and she also called it baby doll). But it didn't stick. I think she was just pretending it was her because we were rocking the baby doll with us in the rocking chair trying to get the Pumpkin and baby doll to sleep.

I asked her one day recently if she had any ideas for names for the Baby Brudda. She did not seem to get it. As I have said before, she doesn't always seem to get new concepts, although my guess is she internalizes the concept for a while to figure it out, since she often seems to get it later (although we do continue to talk about it). So, she had no good ideas for names.

Londo and I do have ideas and opinions for the baby boy's name. Unfortunately, we have very different tastes in names. Londo tends to prefer classical, strong names, like Alexander and Christopher (I forget the girl name equivalents because it's been so long since we picked out the Pumpkin's name). I prefer names from romance novels or soap operas, like Hunter or Dare (short for Darius), for boys and hippy-ish names for girls, like River or Sienna.

I'm sure you can imagine how hard it is for us to find names we both can agree on, considering how different our tastes are. I know I can't name a child something as "out there" as I'd really like, and he knows that the name can't be too common or "normal" (in my opinion). We really lucked out on finding and agreeing to the Pumpkin's name, as it is traditional in nature, not way out there, not super common, sounds lovely and has some great nicknames. (We love nicknames.)

So far for the boy's name, we have ruled out Londo's top couple of names and my top couple of names. The top runner is a name that is becoming more common, but it's still different enough that I would be really happy with it. Londo has a good association with the name, and I just think it's cool. Unfortunately, no good nicknames for it, but you can't have everything.

Still, we haven't settled on it because I insist that we have to look through the boy's half of the names in the book with over 5000 names that I bought when we were choosing the Pumpkin's name. Londo is sure that our current top runner will be the one. He reminded me of his favorite example of how he knows right off when something is The One. When we went to pick out wedding china, he glanced around, pointed one set and said, "That one." I said, "Oh, no no no. We have to go through ALL of the books. Every page. We need to look at ALL our options before we pick one."

And after going through every last page of every since book of china in the store? I looked at him and said, "You're right. That one." The very first one he pointed to. He's good like that. BUT, I still need to see all the options so I also know that it's The One. I will even consider Mister Quack (although I will quickly dismiss it).

As for this site, Londo suggested Sweet Potato for the boy's pseudonym. It goes well with the Pumpkin, and is a good nickname. I'll probably go with that, although I still want to think about other options. It's my way.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Our Growing Family

The Pumpkin is really starting to get relationships. I mentioned yesterday that when we ask her what's in Mommy's belly, she answers "baby brudda." When I told this story to a coworker, she asked if the Pumpkin understand what a baby brudda entails. Something I've been wondering about myself.

What I've noticed about my girl, especially over the last few months, is that she really does pick up on more than we think she does. Her answering "baby brudda" is actually an example of this. The first time we told her about Mommy growing a baby in her belly, we didn't think she got it at all. Who knows if she did or didn't. Over the following weeks and months, we continued to talk about the baby in Mommy's belly, especially after we found out that it was a boy. Then we were able to tell her not only that she'd be a big sister, but that she'll have a baby brother.

Again, we just weren't sure how much she was getting, if anything. She is very verbally advanced and picks up on more words and phrases that we would have imagined. But she doesn't always show that she's picked them up until days later when the word or phrase pops out of her mouth.

So one day, on a lark, Londo asks the Pumpkin what's in Mommy's belly. And she totally surprised us when she said baby brudda. Our jaws dropped. So we're thinking she is understanding more than we first assumed. I do want to get some books as soon as I can get to the bookstore (maybe today?) to help her understand even more.

Another day, I asked the Pumpkin for a hug, saying, "Mommy really needs a hug." She said no, and we don't push her if she says no to a hug or kiss. That's her right, and it's her body, so we accept the no (although we may ask a couple times). This time after she said no, Londo said, "I'll hug you, Mommy!" So I went over to him and we had a nice, big hug.

Well, the Pumpkin saw this and hurried over, saying "I hug you, too, Mommy." And she did. She hugged me around my leg because we were standing. I said, "Hug Daddy, too. We'll make it a family hug!" She put her other arm around one of Londo's legs. Londo and I both said, "Awwww." And the Pumpkin said, "Awwwww. Family." It was SO cute! Londo added, "It's a family hug, with baby brudda, too!" And we patted my belly. (Also, the dog tried to get in on the hug, so we patted her too.)

I don't know how the transition will go for her, when the baby does come. She very much likes to be the center of attention and is often clingy to us, wanting to be held or go where we go. I know that these early signs of her being happy about the baby brudda do not have to translate into actual happiness when the crying, pooping, nursing, attention-needing newborn arrives. But I have faith in our family. I am prepared (I hope) for some turmoil, for upheavel. I know that I don't even know how it will go and probably can't imagine how difficult it could be to add this new member to our family. But I am confident that after time, we will all adjust to it and having two kids in our family will become normal. Hopefully it will even be a great thing to have two kids in our family!

The Pumpkin is still young, but she really seems to understand that we are her family, and the baby brudda will be part of the family, too. She even knows that the dog and cat are part of our family. We have a growing family, and a very loving one. I can't wait until we have even bigger family hugs!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Health Updates

Before I get to today's post, in which I will give health updates on the Pumpkin, the baby brudda and myself, I wanted to say a couple little things.

First, thanks to everyone who commented on this week's question of the week. All of those answers were extremely helpful, and I'm looking into all the suggestions. We are big fans of Nature's Miracle, but I was worried about using in on the antique fabric. I will just test a spot first to see if it's okay. Maybe I'll use some fabric cleaner after using it, too.

Second, I really am going to post the Pumpkin's year in review, but it's taking me a while to go through the year and write it up. I will also do her annual assessment, but I have to do the year in review first so I can accurately assess her. I'm hoping to get them finished next week.

Third, on my way to work this morning, I was thinking about last week's question of the week, and guess what came on the radio? Magic Carpet Ride, by Steppenwolf! I was so happy.

Now, on to today's post...


The Pumpkin
The Pumpkin had her two-year checkup last Friday. She weighs 34.5 lbs, and is 36.5" tall. That puts her in the 95% for weight (up from the 75%, although she was in the 95% prior to that) and in the 97% for height (where she has been since birth). She is so tall! She doesn't look chubby, because of her length, but she does still have enough baby fat to be cuddly and delicious! By the way, she does not get the height from me, since I'm only 5'2"; however, Londo is 6'4", so there you go.

She is healthy and developing well. She is definitely on the top end of the bell curve for physical skills and communication skills, but on the low end for sleeping. We talked to the doctor mostly about her becoming a sibling, starting pre-school in the fall, dealing with potty training and other age-appropriate issues. I love our doctor! She had really good advice and ideas.

The Pumpkin also got her finger pricked and blood taken and her MMR shot. She HATED both! But they're done, and everything else went well. Although we are going back for one last DTaP shot (we try to break up the shots into separate visits but I forgot to schedule it when I was supposed to, so we're doing it this week.)

Another things we remembered while at the doctors... she is NO GOOD in waiting rooms. She does NOT like to wait, sit still, stay in the room. Thank goodness Londo was with me to help corral and entertain her (and to hold her for the prick and shot!).

Baby Brudda*
The baby boy is measure on target and looks good. Two OB appointments ago, when we got the big ultrasound, the doctor pointed out that there was some extra fluid in the boy's kidneys. He told us that occassionally, this is due to a blockage, therefore he wanted to keep an eye on it. Our last OB visit was last week, and the ultrasound should the same amount of fluid. This is good news, because if there was more fluid, that would indicate blockage.

We didn't get into it much, but Londo and I like to know what's going on and be prepared. Essential, the doctor said that if it was blockage, they would have to see how long it could wait to be dealt with so that I could deliver early. He mentioned that surgery in utero is something they try not to do if they can help it.

YIKES! Yes, the thought of surgery on the baby in utero or on a premiee just after birth scares the begeezes out of me! But amazingly enough, I'm just not that worried about things during this pregnancy. With the Pumpkin, I was worried about everything, especially considering how long it took us to conceive her and the miscarriage I had prior to her. This time, I am rarely concerned about the pregnancy, except in terms of how my depression and medication might affect the baby.

Luckily, it does not appear to be a blockage. The kidneys just have a little extra fluid in them. Not much, just a little. But we will continue to keep our eye on it and get ultrasounds to ensure it stays level or even goes down. Other than that, things look good!

The doctor is even happy about my weight. I have been worried about that, because with the depression I had lost a couple pounds and I think it's the upped dosage of medication is making me constantly nauseous. Since losing some pounds, I have managed to gain back those pounds and add a few more! The doctor says I'm doing fine. I'd like to thank the makers of Ensure for providing me with an option to get nutrition in a form I can stomach even when I'm too depressed to get anything to eat or too nauseous to think of most foods. My baby and I are both getting good nutrition thanks to them. (I should be on a commercial!)

Although the major factor is definitely Londo, who has taken over all cooking duties and helps make sure I'm eating and eating mostly healthy foods. He's the best.

*When you ask the Pumpkin what's in mommy's belly, she answers "baby brudda!" It's incredibly cute, especially when she follows it up with a kiss on my belly.

Apparently I already started on me. I'm eating a bit better and am working hard to stay healthy. But let me update about my health in general, outside the pregnancy. (Is there such a thing when you are the vessel to a parasite?)

Due to the longer hours of daylight, the good weather that recurs (although interspersed with cold weather) and the time change, I am starting to feel better. Maybe it's more that my spirits are lifted because I know that I'm about to feel better. It's hard to distinguish the two from each other. At first, it was definitely the latter, as I still felt that my brain chemicals had not caught up to the dawning Spring. But now, I am definitely noticing a difference.

In the fall, my SAD starts with me getting more and more tired, and it progresses into depression. Now, in the Spring, I'm feeling less depressed, although still very tired. I know it will only get better as March turns into April and April into May. I'm planning to meet with my doctor soon and discuss a plan for weaning off the medication, which we are working to do prior to the baby's birth in June.

June... That may be a different story than April and May in terms of my sanity. Hehe. But that will be for a different, wonderful, and life-changing reason that will be well worth it.

As for next fall and every fall after, I am committed to finding the right medication at the right dosage to ensure that I'm a sane and even-keeled mommy for my kids and wife for my husband and self for myself.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Question of the Week - Help a Mama Out

I have so many random questions I want to ask around about, so many areas in which I would love some advice and opinions. How can I narrow this week's question of the week down to just one? So...

This week's question of the week is:

Can you help caramama out with answers or advice in any of the following areas?

(Hehe. See what I did there? I'm totally cheating!)

1. My daughter keeps singing some words to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle (or ABCs or Baa Baa Black Sheep--all of those have the same tune), and the words of the second line go something like, "Where you going in the night?" I have no idea where it is from, which means it probably was on some TV show I didn't watch with her (last time we had a mystery song, it turned out to be the Wonderpets song). She is singing the same words over and over, so I'm pretty sure she didn't make it up. Does anyone have any idea what she's singing? It's driving me crazy to not know!

2. I was looking at beds for the Pumpkin's new room, and most of the ones I like with drawers or trundles under have just the platform that you put the mattress on. No box spring. Londo is concerned that just a mattress might be bad for her back. Also the only ones we've slept on like that were super uncomfortable, but I think that has more to do with how hard the mattresses were then the fact that they didn't have box springs. Does anyone know anything about mattresses without box springs? I just know that the bed frames look cute.

3. I know I've gotten sibling/new baby book recommendations before, but I'm totally blanking on all of them. I keep meaning to buy some, but haven't been to a store on made an online order for a while. I'm going to REALLY soon. So, does anyone have any good recommendations for us to read to the Pumpkin to help her prepare for the new "baby brudda"?

4. Does anyone know how to safely (and hopefully easily) get cat urine out of antique fabric on a chair? I won't get into the story except to say, "Grrrrrrrrr!!!"

5. Londo and I were planning to buy a cheap dresser for the Pumpkin's new room because we are sure she will draw on it and put stickers on it and what have you. But my dad mentioned that if it's a cheap dresser it might not be that sturdy. And it is well known that my child LOVES to climb everything she possibly can. My dad was worried she's try to climb in or on a drawer (highly likely) and it would break and she's get hurt. Does anyone have an opinion on cheap vs. sturdy or a good idea to get both? (No need to recommend IKEA. I really like the idea of IKEA and the things I see other people have from there, but I can never find things I like/in my style there, unfortunately.)

6. The Pumpkin LOVES music. She also loves to push buttons, and she loves to turn on the music box attached to the crib in the nursery (where she is currently). So we would like to get her some sort of kids radio/(maybe) CD player for her new room. However, her love of climbing includes standing on toys. Also, she is not really careful with things yet, although she is learning. Anyone have any suggestions on a radio/CD player that would be good for her?

I'm sure I had more, but that's probably enough for now. I hope someone can help us out with any of these!!!