Sunday, April 29, 2012

To Whom it May Concern

Dear World:

I solemnly promise to raise my son to not be a jackass. 

You're welcome,

PS- It would be awesome if you would try to do the same, okay? Thanks!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Rules for Naming.

I've given up trying to find a new color for the nursery. After about seven samples, I'm throwing in the towel and painting it the same color as our living room. I just love that color, and I really can't keep up this battle with the nursery. Things need to be settled and dealt with!

Also, I think we've decided on a name...maybe. I've liked Whitman Graham for a long time now, and I think last night Ben was finally convinced as well. Yay! Hopefully, my mother won't fret too much since we'll be calling him Whit for short. Growing up with an extremely popular name (and working with kids over the years) has helped me develop some rules for when I would finally name someone, shall I share?

1. Don't pick a popular name! Granted, for my mom and her mother it was a little harder knowing when a name would be popular. They didn't have the internet to tell them the most popular names of 2011, and they couldn't look up where their choices ranked in the country. However, I look at my sisters' names with envy that they lucked out with Shanna and Jolie.

2. Don't pick a name that's too weird. I'm all in support of unique names, but there is definitely a line, folks! If you live in the South, everyone supposedly knows a set of twins named Orangejello (pronounced Oh-rahn-juh-low) and Lemonjello (Luh-mahn-juh-low). Hopefully no one's really going out and doing that! But over the years of working with kids, I constantly run into names that I stumble over or have a very hard time telling the gender. Sometimes it's a very simple name to pronounce, but since the parents thought a different spelling would be unique no one can figure out the poor child's name. PS- If you're going to give your kid a weird name, don't have a hissy fit when I can't figure out how to say it! Honey, I'm a well-educated woman and if I can't figure it out, maybe the problem isn't with me. Just saying.

3. If it's very unique, make sure it's easy to figure out. Now this is where I think my parents hit naming gold with my younger sister Shanna. It seems to me that it would be the easiest name in the world to figure out how to pronounce. Notice that I say "seems". It's "Sh" and "Anna", how hard could it be? Apparently for adults over the past 26 years, very. The most common mistake was "Shania", "Shay-na" or "Shawna". Poor Shanna even got on the news once with our favorite weatherman only to be called Sharon...sigh. Though I will admit, my family is a bit more tolerable of mis-namings since we struggle with this all the time with our last name being Culpepper. The best mis-pronounciation was "Bullpetter, party of four."

4. Test it out! This one is a biggie. And you have to test it for different things. Obviously, does it go with the last name? Since our children will have Ben's last name (my consolation prize to him, since I love being a Culpepper too much to give it up), which ends with a -ey, there goes any names ending in an -ey, -ie, -ee, -y. We also couldn't have anything with a lot of S sounds in it, since I have a not-exactly-easy time saying them. There's also the PBF (Potential Bullying Factor), does the name rhyme with anything unsavory? How easy is it to pick on a kid with the name you're thinking of? We had a scare with this with picking Whitman. On our refrigerator is a huge list of names we've been narrowing down, and when my parents came to visit they started looking through it. So did my 12-year-old sister, Jolie. And when I told them I liked Whit a lot, she says, "But what if they call him nit-wit?" (silence) Uhoh, but Ben and I are hoping that kids won't be as creative as Jolie was coming up with that one. :-/

And then there's my favorite test, yell it! There will be a time when that beloved angel of yours is acting up so badly that you'll need to invoke their full name to snap them back to reality. And how will it sound? One night I was looking up middle names to go with Whitman and spent about 30 minutes just yelling out boys names: Whitman Art Lacey! Whitman Zeke Lacey! Whitman Lemonjello Lacey! (just kidding!).

5. Forgive yourself. Some of us will have children that grow up hating their names no matter what. We honestly thought about giving our children two middle names, just to give them some choices when they grow up. But I'm hoping since Whitman can be that or Whit, it will give him a few choices he can be happy with. But really in the end, you just have to accept the inevitable. Some names will end up suddenly on a crazy popular TV show after your child is born. Some names will be unpronounceable to the general public no matter what you do. And there will always be bullies who try their best to make others miserable. (My bullies couldn't come up with anything better than Sculpepper, which I still don't get.) In those situations all you can do is keep a sense of humor about it and try to stay positive.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Busy, busy, busy!

Yesterday found out my very good friend who is also pregnant, is also having a little boy! Did mention already my doctor is also pregnant and also having a boy? At least we have these youngins staggered a little bit...and by  little bit I mean two weeks a time.

Oy, things will be crazy this week, and probably just going forward in general. So I'm trying to enjoy my little bit of downtime right now. It feels like I'm being lazy enjoying this drizzly day, but eh, I'm earning it. This week I'm 24 weeks along and I'm beginning to not feel so big again. I think it must be like I have a week of growing in which I feel just kind of blah and uncomfortable, followed by a week of staying the same and I feel great. Last week was definitely my uncomfortable growing stage, but the past two days I've felt wonderful. And I still have a belly button, yay!

Today I've been trying to get orders together and pack for one of our monthly trips to Atlanta. And I'm beginning to wonder what we'll do with the business starting next month. I'll be too pregnant to help with the lifting and delivering, and soon we'll just be too preoccupied to keep it up at all. In the mean time, I'm just excited to get a couple of days off with Ben and to watch our first Braves game of the season!

Nursery-wise, I still can't decide on a color and I'm beyond annoyed with that situation, so I'm ignoring it this week. In the meantime, here's some of the things we got for the nursery when it's ready...

Our dresser/changing table craigslist find. $50, just need to finish working on it.

Pottery Barn Kids solar system mobile. It's huge and nerdy! Can't wait to hang it up!

Got a wooden moustache from Earthbound Trading, similar to this. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet.

Our friends Jelly and Brandy got us three Star Wars/Winnie the Pooh prints. This is my favorite!
Oh yeah I'm glad we're not really going with a theme. It would've been impossible to stick with one since we both love a ton of things in this world and want to share it all with our baby. That and everyone we know is extremely generous!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I can't make up my mind!

On color, on theme or non-theme, on a name, on anything! Today has driven me crazy! I thought I had a color for the nursery picked out, so much so I even bought a gallon of it already. But the more I looked at it the more I wished it was more blue. Oh dear, I knew this was going to be difficult. It took us ten samples to decide on a blue for the living room! Thankfully it's the one room I keep looking at and think man, I love that color. Why must colors be so hard for someone who loves color?

I've been pinning nurseries on Pinterest for a while now and was hoping I could just copy someone's color palette. Haha, yeah right! If I find a blue I like online, in person it's almost white. I seriously wonder if I have some strange version of color-blindness that doesn't allow me to see colors like everyone else. For instance, when I got the sample for the bottom-left color I could have sworn it was light teal. And yet, everyone that's seen it calls it green. And just recently I've conceded it's green. So today I bought the two samples on the top. On the paint chips they look very similar, in the container they look darn near identical, but for some reason when I painted them on I nervously laughed at the left and ooh'ed over the right.

I really, really dig the top right color, I just worry if it's too much for a small nursery? Or will I be able to live with a whole room of it? Le sigh. I guess if all else fails, I can always use the leftover paint from the living room.

In other news, I'm so glad to report we're *finally* getting some things done around the house! The plumber was over Friday and fixed our second bathroom's sink and gave us an estimate to fix the other problems. I just need to pick out a new faucet for the kitchen sink and that will all be done. I installed the thresholds we were missing around the house, sanded the nursery walls and did a few little decor updates. Like getting a gardenia tree for the dining room, ahhh it smells so nice! Now if we could just find someone who will finish the exterior trim and put our gutters back up. Why will no one take our money for this??

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Habitual List Maker

That's me, I am addicted to making lists. While looking through my old blog (which I was terrible at keeping) I came across exhibit A:

Anyhoo! Here's our Before Baby List:
1. Save $1000 for emergency fund.
2. Save (amount to be determined) for baby fund.
3. Get into crazy awesome shape and enjoy one last summer with a flat stomach. (My goal, can ya tell?)
4. Save up and visit Europe. (Currently trying to figure out how much we'd have to save up for this. The only estimate I've found is ~$6000.)

Haha, and can you guess how many of those were accomplished? I guess two and a half, I got into decent shape last summer and we enjoyed a few days at the beach. We did save some money that equals what I would have like to have in savings, but it's not necessarily in an "emergency fund" technically. But it's where we can get to it if we need to, and that's what is important. But the Europe thing, come on, what was I thinking? I think that will have to be quite a few years down the road. Like, after kids are born and older, we're in our forever home, and probably close to retiring by that time! Oh well.

In the past year though and throughout the pregnancy I've been trying to give up my relentless need for organizing every detail of our lives. I found this quote that I keep on the laptop to help me deal with those moments when I want to go back to planning myself into doing nothing:

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." -Joseph Campbell

And it's so true, I am nowhere near who I thought I would be at this juncture in life, but I am extremely happy. Ben and I have a great life, have had many adventures, good friends, a cute home and a wonderful (and nutty) family. So I think we are doing alright!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

it will happen one way or another...

Had another doctor's appointment yesterday. I've been so relieved Ben has been able to go to every one of these visits. I could handle them on my own, but it means a lot to me that he is always there. Pretty normal visit, mostly just talking with the doctor about what to expect, what to do/not do. She got on to me about my gladiator sandals yesterday, which is hilarious to me because normally I wear hideous sneakers. I'm very much a comfort over looks kinda gal. But the most interesting thing was, we found out that my OB-GYN is also pregnant! She's due at the end of August, a few weeks after us and is also having a little boy. It's funny I've been grumbling about people not asking if I'm pregnant or saying that I don't look it, and here was someone I've been seeing every month and I had no idea she was expecting too!

I'm only a little nervous about it. Dr. Redden thinks she will still be around by the time we deliver, but just in case we will be meeting with the other doctors at the practice (one of whom is also about to give birth in the next month or so). I swear, it really is in the water here! Now if I could just get my sister, Shanna, and her husband up here...

So excited for later on today! My parents and Jolie will be visiting again, and it will be Jolie's 12th birthday tomorrow and they're bringing baby things with them! And taking a few non-baby things away with them! I'm really excited for Jolie's birthday, since we live five hours away from each other it's been hard to visit for her birthdays. But this year, I'm baking her a rainbow layer cake (wish me luck), taking her to the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention, and Ben and I got her a few gifts. We got her a few of these Skylander toys she collects and a Justin Bieber toothbrush that sings. That last one is a joke gift since she wouldn't be caught dead liking the Biebs and Ben has been threatening to get her one for a month now. I can't wait to see her face! I have a few other ideas for things we could do if we need them, too. I just worry about her feeling left out with the baby coming. She's always been the baby of our small family and I wonder what she thinks about all this. But hopefully she (and everyone else) will have a great time this weekend!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

So quite a bit has happened since my last post. Our friends, Sara and JT came to visit. My parents plus my youngest sister, Jolie, came to visit. And that last visit was much needed! Mom and I went out shopping for baby stuff and she gave me the low down on things I'll need and things I probably won't need. It was so helpful, that afterwards I went back to my Babies R Us registry and trimmed the fat...down to about 20 items! Since then Ben and I did some research and decided on a stroller and car seat and I've added a few things so the registry doesn't look so barren. I even started another registry at Target. I'm a little nervous that I have too many things between the two registries, but my family lives where there is no Target (and they don't do internet shopping) and Ben's family lives where there's both, but Target is easier to visit for them. Plus, I know if I don't register for enough varied things, my side of the family will just buy whatever they think I need/want and I'll be stuck with it since I won't be able to figure out where it came from.

Oh! This past weekend we had a yard sale and made a whopping....$56. Wah wah wah.... Oh well. I told myself beforehand that I was more interested in getting rid of items and making room than making money. Guess I got my wish!

Nursery progress: A color has been decided upon, and we bought a dresser (and I've begun work on it). I've hung up/put away a lot of things, but now I have even more since our friend Anne sent us two huge boxes of stuff! Hopefully tomorrow I'll manage to get the room primed, taped and ready for painting! Here's a couple of (keeping it real) before shots of the nursery:

Yikes! Hey, I said I was keeping it real...
Being pregnant: Today is probably the first day I felt pregnant. Realized I'm probably too big for my normal scrubs anymore and need to buy some new ones. I keep having these strange pains or maybe I should call them pangs since they're quick. At our last visit, the doctor said it was round ligament pain, but I just don't think so. It feels like someone (oh, graphic warning here for a sec) shoving an ice pick up inside me, which just doesn't sound like round ligament pain to me.

But the biggest news by far is I finally felt the little bambino kick! I haven't felt anything until about a week ago, and boy was it a kick! Everything I read said that it feels like butterflies or gas bubbles, nahhhh. I felt nothing and then, wham!, I saw my shirt move. Ben and I were so excited and he tried so hard to feel a kick, but the little guy would never show off for his dad. One day, though.