Thursday, May 27, 2010

Obviously classy

If you’re anything like most people, you’ve gone through a period where you hated your name. Maybe you’ve sworn, as I did, that if you ever got the chance to name your own child, you’d do much better than your parents did.

I decided on my daughter’s first name a long time ago, so I’m lucky that the husband has similar taste. But what does our choice of names say about our taste exactly?

According to the book Beyond Ava & Aiden (the updated version of Beyond Jennifer & Jason), the name Natalie is glamorous, vintage chic, and feminine. It is also serious and grown-up, a name “your daughter may thank you for as she gets older.” And it reveals that Matt and I have a touch of Yuppy in us.

Natalie’s middle name — Claire — is all of those things, as well as “obviously classy.” Nice to know!

None of this guarantees that Natalie will like her name. The name Frances is a hipster name that is both serious and vintage. And although it has been “over looked by the masses,” it “has class to spare.” None of which changes my opinion, of course.

If you want to know what your child’s name reveals about you (or what your name reveals about your parents!) find Beyond Ava & Aiden at your local library or bookstore. Or ask me to look it up. I totally will.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New ride!

The lateness of this post is embarrassing, but here it is… finally.

In 2004, I bought a gently used Ford Focus out of sheer necessity. I had totaled my beat-up ’92 Escort and needed a ride fast. Without help from a father or husband (but with some help from a best friend), I found the perfect car for me. It was blue, had low mileage, and I could afford it on my meager salary. Plus, with four doors, it was kind of an upgrade.

Six years later, having gotten married, moved three or four times, and had a baby, I found myself needing more from my car. It didn’t fit the car seat, and barely fit the stroller… forget about groceries.

I researched for months to find a car I liked that was in our budget. I wanted something in the crossover family: not a behemoth, but bigger than my sedan. Something with good gas mileage and better safety ratings. I missed the sunroof from my old Escort, so I definitely wanted one of those. Also, I had never had a car with cruise control, power windows or power locks, and I wanted all three. And of course, it had to fit the car seat. That I found a new car with a kickin’ sound package was a huge bonus. That it was priced to sell was an even bigger bonus.

We bought it the same day we test drove it. Natalie came along, and gave it her seal of approval — she didn’t cry the entire test drive! Matt came with me, but the only opinion he gave was that it was going to be my car, so it was going to be my choice.

(I also made sure the back seat could fit three car seats across. You never know! ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Things I have learned from being a mommy

3. Your time suddenly becomes a lot more valuable.

Pop Quiz: You get home from work around 6:15 pm. You have one hour and 15 minutes before your baby goes to sleep. You choose to:
A. wash the dishes.
B. cook dinner.
C. cuddle with, play with, or take a walk with your baby.
D. update your social networking sites.

Maybe you are thinking, “That’s a cinch! I could put him in his swing in the kitchen while I make dinner. We could sing silly songs while he watches mommy be silly dancing around.”

That is a great idea, and I’ve tried it a couple of times. But when your baby is in his swing while you’re cooking — no matter how much of an effort you make to interact with or entertain him, there are going to be times you’re more focused on the cookbook, the sink, the stove, the oven, the cutting board than on your baby.

Once I became a mother, my free time completely disappeared. Not because I had no free time, but because the free time that I did have I wanted to spend with my daughter. (Or, after she goes to bed, with my husband.) Even running errands during my time with Natalie feels like I’m cheating both of us, because I can’t see her or really interact with her at all.

Although maybe at least grocery shopping will be more fun now!

Natalie's first shopping cart ride (5-9-10)