Thursday, April 29, 2010

Writing an Unwritten Rule

I thought this went without saying, but apparently not, so I am saying it: If you don't like the name I chose for my child, don't tell me! Please spare my feelings. If you need an outlet, I give you permission to talk about how weird or nerdy or whatever it is behind my back.

For those wondering, the first name comes from a Biblical figure and the middle name from a historical figure. Both namesakes initiated sweeping reforms in their nations. Combined, this name represents the courage, patriotism, creativity, integrity and intelligence of the role models who previously bore these names.

We wanted to choose a name that would make our son proud and serve him well throughout his life.  I hope we succeeded, but even if we didn't, negative feedback isn't going to do much good now that his birth certificate is recorded.

Once, while I was pregnant with her new little brother, I discussed my four-year-old daughter's name with her.  I told her she was named for her grandmothers and that her name meant "clever" or "curly-haired," which are both apt descriptions of her.  She giggled, beamed and shouted, "I love my name!"  I hoped I could get the same reaction from this new baby someday.

My husband and I put a lot of effort into choosing this name for our son.We perused many books and websites about name definitions, connotations, popularity, nicknames and namesakes. We checked family histories. We wrote lists. We sought a few key opinions. We tried calling our baby different names in utero to see what sounded right.

This particular decision was so difficult that we were still deliberating until the moment we filled out the birth certificate.  I admit that we weren't completely confident in our choice, but we certainly gave it our full consideration. So, if you think his name is beautiful or meaningful or charming, we need your affirmation.  If you think otherwise, please offer your silence.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Very Important Five Year-old

During your birthday month at my daughter's preschool, you are the "VIP" and must bring a photo poster to display. Here it is. (In my usual paranoid fashion, I removed her name and other names from the poster before posting it on the Internet.)

Fresh from Heaven

I made this collage of my parents with my three kids as infants as a gift for my mom:

Happy 90th Birthday, Grandma

We attended my husband's grandma's 90th birthday celebration yesterday. We contributed these pages to a family scrapbook in honor of this good woman:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Of Barn Wood and Water Valves: A Cautionary Tale with a Happy Ending

We finished another room in our remodel:  the kids' play room.
This Room's Pre-Play Room History
  1. The  previous owners of the house thought gluing barn wood to the walls of the room would be so rustic.  It was.  And like a decrepit old barn, the woody walls of this room decayed and molded.
  2. We got the moldy wood off the walls, but the globs of glue left behind would not budge.
  3. The ice-maker in the fridge upstairs broke. We raced to shut off the main water valve before the house flooded.  The previous owners made this challenging for us because they sheet-rocked the main water valve into a wall inside this room.  We had to attack the walls with a mallet in order to locate and excavate the main water valve and end the deluge.  Note to homeowners everywhere:  Valves should not be inside walls.  You are supposed to be able to turn them on and off.
  4.  We added a lovely office space onto the side of our house.  (See the 2/16/2010 post.)  Construction workers blasted through the foundation of the old house (specifically, through this room) to create an entryway connecting the old house to the new addition. 
  5. My husband and brother-in-law made fabulous improvements to the heating and cooling and electrical systems in the house.  This involved further damage to what was left of the sheet rock in this room.
  6. Fast forwarding to much more recently, my amazing husband performed major reconstructive surgery on what was left of the room, using leftover bits and pieces of sheet rock from previous household projects. He also revamped the closet into a built-in entertainment center/toy box.  I followed up with paint and striped wallpaper (50 cents/roll from the old West Jordan Lowe's that closed and liquidated its inventory a while back).
A room that has survived such past abuse is ideally qualified to deal with the atrocities my none-too-gentle kids are sure to lavish upon it.  Let the games begin.

The kids celebrated the grand opening of their new play room by playing dress-up.