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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

The past couple of months have been rough on me; illness, lots of traveling and feeling slightly overwhelmed by the big picture, that I am missing everything.

I allow myself to get so bogged down in the high expectations that I set for myself.

I call this the “I shoulds”.

• I should own a home by now
• I should have no debt by now
• I should not be struggling by now
• I should have a college degree by now

On and on and on.

They say that we are all our own worst critic, this is the honest truth.

I beat myself up on a daily basis for the shoulds I have listed and a plethora of others I haven’t.

Since yesterday afternoon I have felt this sense of peace that I cannot explain.

I follow many blogs mostly DIY home décor but see my tastes changing to more lifestyle/family blogs. A guest post “The Grace of Now” on Kelle Hampton’s Enjoying Small Things has made me reassess.

I need to enjoy the now which has always been something that is just beyond my grasp.

The nows are all moments that are perfect in their smallness that I will never see again or ever get back.

The nows are Leo dancing to a diet coke commercial during the Oscars completely on his own.

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The nows are a hug from Joey where the warmth of our love is felt and reenforces that he and I are meant to be.

The nows are this little family enjoying dinner together and laughing at how Leo gets so hyped up when drinking water.

I need to envelope my family and myself in love and grasp tightly to that magic.

Having my children look back when they are grown and saying that they had the best childhood is my number one goal in life.

With all of the above said and taken into consideration I am putting the below into place:

• Leave work at work
• Limit screen time when with my boys
• Embrace that I am blessed to have my son and am sharing my life with his amazing father, who loves me
• Place my worries on the back burner

That is my peace.

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FINALLY starting to fill all of those IKEA frames above Charlotte, the large center frame needed to be first due to it being the anchor of the layout.

I purchased some vinyl lettering on Etsy (surprised?) and took forever to decide what font and size I wanted. It came in the mail yesterday and I worked on putting it all together while Joey made dinner (Love him).

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After the fact I do realize that the date is a little wonky-eskew, not sure if I can fix it without ruining the letters. Oh and there is a fingerprint? smudge in the upper right.

Whatevs.

All of the items are from our Santa Monica apartment. The photo is of my nook, the 7 is the apartment number, and the keys opened the gate and the door.

The date we moved in fell on Bird’s birthday although I don’t remember.

Bird, did I call you?!

Anyway we got a huge moving truck and picked up my stuff out of storage in Burbank, why my stuff was all in storage is a story for another day.

Drove to Joey’s Venice apartment, collected all his stuff which took forever because the street he lived on was a sidewalk. If you are familiar with Venice you know what I am talking about, if not just know space is TIGHT on the beach. They cram rows and rows of apartment buildings using sidewalks and super narrow alleys to access them. The poor movers had to carry all his crap an extra half block to get to the moving truck.

The now jam packed truck is expertly driven by Joey to the new apartment.

The Santa Monica apartment.

I can’t tell you how much we LOVED this place. It was the PERFECT location, 8 blocks from the beach between Wilshire and Montana and it was a steal at $2050 a month.

I know those of you that don’t live in big cities are saying “this girl is f*cking crazy!”

It really was a bargain. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two parking spaces, hardwood floors, HUGE and hadn’t been updated EVER. We even had a view of a parking lot vs the side of a building.

It was glorious.

The location had a crazy high walk score and we could walk everywhere and we did. To the beach, to third street promenade, Montana Avenue, the grocery store, etc.

Santa Monica is famous for the weather, with a year round temperature of about 67 degrees. Colder at night in the winter and maybe up to 80 degrees on the very hottest day of the year.

All of the above is not the reason why our apartment made a place on the Charlotte gallery wall.

We became a family there.

Joey and I signed a lease together which in Los Angeles is SERIOUS. I am laughing at myself as I tell you that but it’s true. Signing a lease in L.A. is like getting married in some places.

Best of all my darling, angel baby Leo was conceived (TMI?) there.

I spent 7 months of my pregnancy in that apartment lounging in my nook.

We were incredibly sad to leave but as most parents do, you make sacrifices to better your children’s lives.

Any of you have stories of where you became a family?

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UPDATE: After Joey read this morning’s blog, he vetoed both names. Back to square one for me and more obsessing.

BNO = Baby name obsessed! That is totally a disorder, look it up in the 2012 Medical Journal of crap I make up to suit my purposes. 😉

I have been obsessed since I was a small child, thinking about what I would name my children. I’m pretty sure that’s super weird normal. Thankfully I did not have any naming authority back then because the names I liked and chose, were AWFUL!

If you ask any of my friends who have had children, they will tell you that I pestered them constantly about their name choices. (I know my nearest and dearest who are reading this are nodding to themselves!)

I made myself sick with worry when I became pregnant about giving my baby the perfect name.

Why you ask?!

I think a person’s name is very important and affects their entire life from the playground to college applications to resumes.

I also realize that naming a child is a very personal choice that should be treated with respect.

With all that being said I can take this post one of two ways: Talking about other people’s baby names which could potentially get me stabbed be offensive or my naming choice, thoughts and ideas.

We are on the same page, I knew you were thinking option 2.

Naming choice:

The long and short of my little monkeys name.

When we first discovered I was pregnant we loved Sophia for a girl and Joseph for a boy. Combine the first two letters of both names and you come up with Sojo. He was called baby Sojo until we saw his wang on ultrasound.

Sophia Bird to be more specific. Sophia because it is classically beautiful and Bird for my amazing sister Ashley who I call Bird. I’m happy now that we had a boy because although still a great name Sophia, it is EXTREMELY popular.

Popularity in 2010

Rank

Male name

Female name

1

Jacob

Isabella

2

Ethan

Sophia

3

Michael

Emma

4

Jayden

Olivia

5

William

Ava

6

Alexander

Emily

7

Noah

Abigail

8

Daniel

Madison

9

Aiden

Chloe

10

Anthony

Mia

*Source – has not been updated to add 2011 but my best guesstimation would be Sophia being #1.

Joey was adamant that he would have a junior, so we were going with Joseph Bennett, although it is not a true junior if you don’t share a middle name. I love the name Ben and Joey dislikes the name Benjamin so Bennett was the compromise.

After deciding these names we visited Joey’s 90 year old Jewish grandmother, who asked us to think about using the name Leo. Leo was the name of her husband and Joey’s grandfather, who passed when Joey was a little boy. In the Jewish faith it is custom to name children after those who have recently passed, to honor them and to keep their memory alive. No children have been born in the family since his passing, hence his “soul could not rest at peace” per Grandma.

We discussed it and I said no. Joey asked me to sleep on it and I said ok.

When I woke up my first thought was Leo the Lion and I was sold it just felt like my son’s name. I loved Leo with the middle name Joseph but Joey didn’t like it stating he wanted to save Joseph for a future son. I thought and thought and tried to pick a different middle name and nothing else seemed right. I told Joey I could only do Leo with Joseph. We compromised and both of us (and Grandma) are really happy with the choice and think it suits him perfectly.

Thoughts and Ideas:

The year I was born, Melissa (alternate choices: Mom liked Trina, Dad liked Stevie and if I had been a boy, Jeremy) was #5 on the most popular list:

Popularity in 1982

Rank

Male name

Female name

1

Michael

Jennifer

2

Christopher

Jessica

3

Matthew

Amanda

4

Jason

Sarah

5

David

Melissa

6

James

Nicole

7

Joshua

Stephanie

8

John

Elizabeth

9

Robert

Crystal

10

Daniel

Amy

Two years later Ashley was #3:

Popularity in 1984

Rank

Male name

Female name

1

Michael

Jennifer

2

Christopher

Jessica

3

Matthew

Ashley

4

Joshua

Amanda

5

David

Sarah

6

Daniel

Stephanie

7

James

Nicole

8

John

Melissa

9

Robert

Heather

10

Joseph

Elizabeth

We were both the fourth or fifth person in our class with the same name so we got the awesome privilege of being referred to as Melissa H. and Ashley H.

This did not bother me, but did bother Ashley tremendously. She dislikes her name due to it and goes by various other nicknames.

Not something I would like for my children to have to deal with.

My name requirements:

  • Classic
  • Traditional
  • Easy to pronounce
  • Easy to spell
  • Not in the top ten list (preferably not in the top 50).
  • Middle name is a family name

We plan on having two more children and believe it or not I have anxiety about their names. I’m pretty sure there is medication for this.

Joey thinks I am crazy but indulges me when I randomly send him a text with a name and a question mark. He laughs at me and says that we will find the perfect name when it is time. Kills me that he can be so laisse faire about the whole thing.

Joey and I made a deal that if we had another boy his name would be Jack (my all time favorite boy name) and we already assume that our next child will be a boy. We often talk about when Jack comes, we will have to do this or when Jack comes, he and Leo can do that. Jack was #44 on the 2010 list, which I am ok with.

Problem with Jack is that we cannot decide a middle name.

Family names:

Irving, Marcus, Justin, David, Wayne, Victor, Mark, Steven, Ryan, John, Harold, and Kahler.

I either don’t like them or don’t think they flow well with Jack, except Ryan but it has a strike against it.

Jack Ryan is a famous Tom Clancy character played by my boyfriend Harrison Ford (circa 1984).

Recently my mother referred me to her Facebook (because we already talked about me deleting mine here) to check out a cousin whom I think I am a first cousin once removed to. I am not sure what that makes him to me, he is my dad’s first cousin. Their mothers are sisters, does this make him my second cousin if I am his first cousin once removed?!

Anyfreakinghow. (Seriously right?! Was your brain spinning to, at all that cousin crap?)

This cousin has old family photos posted up of my grandmother, great-grandmother, great-grandfather, dad, aunt, and other assorted great-uncles.

*Grandma, Aunt, Dad, Great-Grandma, Grace, Cousin

I learned a lot about my family history, which my dad didn’t really share when I was a kid, I called him up and asked him a ton of questions.

Things I didn’t know:

  • My great-grandmother Teresa’s Dutch name was Trintje and her maiden name was Balt
  • I had forgotten that my grandmother Arlene’s Dutch name was Akki
  • My grandparents were sponsored (to come to America) by members of the LDS church in Utah after World War II
  • They both moved to Utah and met at a church singles event
  • My great-grandfather’s name was Pieter and he died of pneumonia in 1929
  • I have a great-uncles named Nico, Jan, and Joop

All of this information is AWESOME, just knowing and seeing photos of my family is amazing. I now have several more family names to add to my list.

I like Balt as a boy middle name but it doesn’t go with Jack due to them both being one syllable.

My third boy name choice is Oliver. Oliver Balt. I love it. Done.

Moving on to my future daughter’s name, requirements:

  • Has to be named after my sister without using Ashley
  • Can’t use the nickname Bird (Joey is opposed)
  • Fulfills all of the name requirements listed above

After talking with Bird about our grandmother’s Dutch name Akki and how she has the middle name Arlene. We both like that she is double A (Ashley Arlene) and we both like Akki; so I decided that I wanted to do a double A and use the middle name Akki for a girl. Bird suggests Ava (which interestingly enough means like a Bird in Latin) but is falls into the same category as Sophia.

I went to the SSABN again and typed in the year my grandmother (1934) was born and scrolled for A names.

  • · Alice
  • · Anna
  • · Adrienne Rocky anyone?
  • · Ann
  • · Annie
  • · Arlene Can’t name her Arlene Arlene
  • · Audrey
  • · Anne
  • · Angelina Team Jennifer
  • · Agnes
  • · Alma
  • · Adele Love but Adele is the one and only
  • · Anita
  • · Alberta
  • · Annette An Aunt’s name
  • · Ada
  • · Angela
  • · Antoinette Off with her head

At #264 (#41 in 2010), I stop in my tracks at Amelia.

Notable mentions:

Amelia Bedelia who I freaking loved as a kid.

*Source

Amelia Earhart whom I played in a “big kid – for the little kids” library skit in the sixth grade.

*Source

A couple of weeks ago I had randomly seen this name somewhere and was in love, I sent it to Joey in a text with a question mark and he said not bad. Then promptly forgot all about it.

Amelia Akki it is. For now anyway, it will change a hundred times between now and potentially then.

Now you know I am even more, crazy than you ever realized. Nice to meet you, please come back soon.

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Adventure Day

We moved to the Bay area in September 2011 when I was 7.5 months pregnant. Getting into the later stages of pregnancy and then parenting a newborn, we didn’t really take advantage of living in such a beautiful area.

Mondays have since become Adventure Day (AD). We hop in the car and drive somewhere I have never been, we see what there is to see, take pictures and find a local spot to have lunch. If I can figure out how to get a map on here, I will start pinning where we have been.

Today we are off to Half Moon Bay.

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