Monthly Archives: February 2012

Nomenclatural Musings

You know, if it weren’t for other people incessantly asking me about stuff, I probably wouldn’t have even these 21 posts on this blog. So, thank goodness for other people. This time, they’ve been asking me if I’ve thought of baby names. They’re not really looking for the answer that I’ve been thinking of baby names since, oh, the dawn of time, but rather if I have serious contenders now for this baby. The answer is, well, now I do!

I have a predilection for antique names and obscure saints’ names, so I’ve been rather hesitant to begin this process. I also like riffs on family names and I know I have to quench the “sounds more like a character in a book” impulses, especially when the book in question would most likely fit in the science fiction or fantasy genre. So, here’s a preliminary list of names floating around in my head. Note that NONE of these have been vetted by anyone.

Raphia Meredeth: I have always really liked the name Raphia. It’s probably my favorite. In seventh grade I wrote short story with a main character who had that name. This is one of two exceptions I make to the rule of “no character names” just because it’s such a great name. Also my husband’s Confirmation name is Raphael. As for Meredeth, yes I know it’s usually spelled “Meredith” but I don’t like how that looks and I prefer the “eth” pronunciation.
Alodia Pearl: Alodia is the name of one of two sister martyrs who were born to a Christian mother and Muslim father, and later Muslim stepfather when he died. Since they refused to follow Islam in favor of Christianity, and also refused to marry Muslim husbands in favor of remaining virgins, they were harassed and eventually sentenced to beheading. Pearl is another name for Margaret.
Anna Irene: These two names flow together really well. I thought of Irene and Anna decided it wanted to come too.
Judith Lydia: Judith is an AMAZING woman from the Old Testament who helped save the Jews by ingratiating herself to the conquering general, Holofernes, then later skewering him with a tent peg and cutting off his head as proof. Lydia is one of the first Christian converts, lauded as the first European convert (barely, as she lived in what is now western Turkey).

Peter Aloysius: Apart from the obvious, I’ve had a strong affinity for the name Peter ever since reading the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s the other “no character names” exception. Aloysius, besides being a nifty saint, is also the name of one of my great-grandpas.
Silas Jerome: “Ciceronianus es, non Christianus!” “Miserere mei, Domine, miserere mei!” Ha ha, the intellectual giant reduced to mewling terror because he likes his Cicero… Cracks me up every time. A-hrem. Jerome is a great name from a great saint, and Silas was Paul’s backup singer when they sang hymns all night in prison.
Isaac Martin: Besides being the name of a big figure in the Old Testament, Fr. Isaac Jogues was one of the first Jesuit missionaries to the Iroquois, who largely would have none of it, and subsequently tortured and martyred him. His writings are quite inspirational and a real eye-opener if your idea of Catholic missionaries in the Americas is one of thickheaded, prejudiced forced conversion and oppression. Martin is likewise a plucky soldier who is an object lesson in magnanimity to the poor.
Morgan Matthias: Morgan is the name of a greatx3 uncle of mine who fought in the Civil War, got his left middle finger shot off, and later went ’round the bend. He arranged for his niece to sneak him out of the asylum twice – the first time his doctor hunted him down and carried him back, but the second time he wasn’t so interested. The name Morgan has a pretty good military pedigree, with bearers such as Daniel Morgan and John Hunt Morgan to name a couple of examples. Matthias was the apostle chosen to replace Judas. He went on to preach to barbarians and cannibals, and eventually was either beheaded or crucified.

So there, now you know all there is to know so far about what appellation with which we might saddle this kid. Since I haven’t discussed this with anyone yet (notably the hubs) this is subject to complete overhaul. Just for kicks, what kinds of names do you all fancy?


Nifty Stuff

This part doesn’t have a theme, unless you count “convenience”, and it is the last of the list. After this post, I’ll have to think of real topics to discuss. :)

Bouncy seat: It seems like it would come in very handy when I have to do things like take a shower, fold laundry, vacuum, or remove a 450-degree pan from the oven – basically anything that calls for an awake baby to be set down. I don’t like the idea of always laying him on the floor, because that’s what you do with suitcases, and I like knowing that he can see what’s going on and doesn’t have to content himself with staring at the plain white, totally boring ceiling. I’ve read a lot of other moms say that they found it very useful so I think it’s a worthwhile purchase.

Cute lions! The toy bar is removable.

Nursing pillow: Sure, I could use regular pillows, but ours are very squishy, bulky, and lend a sort of “I live in my pajamas” vibe when taken out in public.

There are weird looking molded foam ones out there, but these make the most sense to me.

Cosleeper: We have a very small apartment, and our bed takes up most of the space in our room. There just isn’t any extra room for a crib. Also the idea of having to get all the way out of bed, walk somewhere, and lift a baby UP and OUT of a crib every single time he wants to nurse at night or just plain cries sounds like a lot of bother when it could be simplified without actually sharing a bed and worrying about squashing the baby by rolling over, which happens a lot – the rolling over I mean, not the baby-squashing. The cosleeper in this picture looks like a dream come true, since it turns into a crib for later when the baby can pull himself up and needs a comfy wooden cage to keep him from roaming the halls at night, thus rendering buying a secondary crib unnecessary. However, this particular model costs about eleventy jillion dollars. We have a very simple bedframe so anything that looks like this – e.g., that has three walls, is on level with the mattress, and ideally fastens to the bed would probably work very well.


I wonder how hard it would be to just make one.

Bathtub: Yeah, the sink is always there. But ew, we drain hamburger and bacon grease into grease cans in the sink… I wash raw chicken in the sink… we wash dirty dishes in the sink! I won’t even wash my hair in the sink. So yes. I am finicky. Now, there are nice basic tubs with a comfy sling on the market like this one…


Tubs with slings seem more comfortable than leaning against hard plastic sides.

But there is also a revolutionary super cool one called the Puj Tub! It’s made out of BPA-free, PVC-free, antimicrobial, non-porous flexible material that comes flat. You just snap it into shape along two creases and poof, it becomes a tub that fits in the sink, and the baby doesn’t have to touch anything icky! There’s a drain in the bottom for when the bath is over, and you just unfold it and it stores flat and out of the way. It’s even sold in normal stores like Target, which is where I found it.

I watched about 8 videos of people using it, and it just looks cooler and cooler.

Ring sling: I’m a tactile person, so I’m really big on touching, holding, hugging, and generally being physically close to people I care a lot about. Also, babies just plain get carried a lot because it’s convenient. I like the idea of weight distribution and being able to have one or more of my hands free, so I looked up a lot of slings and wraps, and the ring sling is simple to use and doesn’t use much space when it’s rolled up. A lot of parents at my church use these (as well as other wraps, slings, and carriers), so I’ve seen them in action and they look very useful. Also the “tail” or excess fabric of a ring sling makes for a built-in nursing cover.

This pattern looks so fun.

Towels, washcloths, and yes even receiving blankets: We’re having a home birth. (There, I said it.) On the list of supplies, my midwife has specified “10 towels, 5 hand towels, 10 washcloths, and 5-10 receiving blankets.” Obviously there’s a lot of bodily fluids involved in the process of labor and birth, and something needs to be there to sop it up besides chux pads and carpet. These towels and things will encounter, among other substances, blood, so don’t bother getting fancy white plush towels from Kohl’s or anything… just lots of cheap ones.

A random Google Images homebirthing couple happily wrapping their new baby in a freakishly clean white towel.

That’s it! Now all there is to do is sit back and dream of happy, chubby babies. Well, and clean this darn place. It gets inspected at 36 weeks (June 22nd-ish) and I want to get a head start and work on maintaining it. If I got certificates from people to help clean things around here, I’d love that too, and they’d spend time instead of money.

Wherein I Mention Unmentionables

Ok, second installment of the registry list! One of my wise aunts told me recently, “What babies need most: full bellies, dry britches, warm jammies, and the love of Mom and Dad who give them lots of hugs and read to them a lot.” Well, the “warm jammies” part was the last round, and this round addresses the “dry britches”.

I have decided not to go the route of disposable diapers. I’ve done a lot of research, number-crunching, and thinking about this, and cloth diapers win every round. When I say “I”, I mean my husband says he doesn’t mind either way as long as he doesn’t have to deal with poo.

Heh. It must be nice to live in his world.

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Politics Leaves Me Feeling Gross, So I’m Going to Take a Baby Shower

A cousin and a friend have been slowly pushing me towards making a list of baby loot so they can blow all their hard-earned cash on miniature items soon to be stained, gummed, and grown out of. Now that another friend has offered to host a tea party baby shower for me, I guess it’s time to make that list. Instead of picking out specific brands from specific stores, I figured it would be better if I put up general descriptions, so that there’s no pressure to get everything brand new, or that I won’t like something if it’s not exactly what I suggest here. The pictures are so that people not immersed in the world of baby gear know what I’m talking about, and also to give a general impression of colors and things that I like. I’m leaning strongly towards not finding out the sex of this baby until birth, so the “he” pronoun here is not a subtle indicator, or clue, or anything. I don’t like looking at lots of pastel blue or pink, and hopefully this will encourage people to branch out to the rest of the rainbow and the myriad interesting shades thereof. My private nickname (not many other people know and I don’t expect anyone to use it) for the baby is Guppy, so fish stuff and orange will go over well. I’m not trying to color-code my kids (although the thought has crossed my mind before) so don’t feel like everything has to be fishy and orange. The baby is due in the middle of July, and it’s hot here until November. I’ll take any size of anything as long as it’s somewhat seasonless, and other than that I trust your judgement for tracking summer/fall/winter gear with a growing baby (eg, I think you all are smart enough not to give me a Santa suit in a newborn size because this kid will be about 5 months old in December). Finally, there will probably be a lot of rambling on about what I think is cool about XYZ feature, so if I start to sound like a catalog, it’s because I think what I’m learning about this stuff is interesting and I have some crazy notion that you will too.

I’ll start with clothes because I think they’re the cutest to look at.

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