Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The name game, Part II

Big news, we have a name! Although for most of you this probably isn't news at all. As the nickname Lil' J would suggest, Handsome Coastie and I have agreed that the first name will be "Jack" and the middle name will be ... a surprise!! Haha, gotcha! (Hey I'm just relieved that we've finally made a decision). But I will tell you that the middle name will not be Russell, Daniel or Bauer. :)

To compensate for this anti-climactic event, I will now launch in to the historical, cultural and theological considerations in our selection of Jack's cognomen. For those of you who attended my Pennsylvania shower, I apologize for this doubly-disappointing post, as you have probably heard all this before...

It all started long ago, before HC and I were married, possibly before we were dating, although I've misplaced my name lists from that era. And although not everyone picks out their future offsprings' titles that far in advance of parenthood, we do, and we just so happened to like the same name - Jack. Fast forward a few years to our pre-pregnancy days and my husband announces that he intends to bestow all of our impending children with "J" names (see previous Name Game post) and "Jack" immediately moves to the top of the list. Actually, no, allow me to clarify. Jack moves to the top of his list and to #2 on my list (I'm saving my #1 name for the next boy!). But a year or so later (still very much pre-pregnancy) our plans are nearly foiled when close-relatives begin to consider the same name for their soon-to-arrive baby boy. A twist of fate and "Jack" remains on the market. Followed by a positive pregnancy test, followed by an "It's a boy ultrasound," followed by HC's prompt announcement that his son will be "Jack," followed by my announcement that "Well, we think we have a name but we're not positive yet ... I don't really want to commit to anything yet ... what if we change our minds before he's born ... what if someone else having a baby before us uses the same name or the media catches hold of a horrible person named Jack ... what if he ends up actually being a girl", followed by hubby's continued assertion, followed by a second boy-confirming ultrasound, followed by shower invitations referencing a baby named "Jack," followed by shower gifts referencing a baby named "Jack," followed by me exclaiming "I give up, it's meant to be, his name is Jack!" Okay, so not exactly like that but you get the idea.

Now onto the rest of the story. HC likes the name Jack because he thinks it sounds like a studly football player/future coastguardsman turned politician. I like the name Jack because it sounds like an intelligent English author. :) My professor, a former Royal Navy officer (as in Her Majesty and not Commander in Chief) also likes the name and promptly informed me that the name is both British and nautical. According to Wikipedia, "Jack Tar was a common English term used to refer to seamen of the Merchant or Royal Navy, particularly during the period of the British Empire. Both members of the public, and seafarers themselves, made use of the name in identifying those who went to sea. It was not used as an offensive term and seafarers were happy to use the term to label themselves." He also informed me of a traditional Newfoundland and Labrador folk song "Jack was Every Inch a Sailor." Good to know our son's name is right in line with his nursery theme! :)

One of the real reasons we like the name is because it is a diminutive form (whatever that means) of John. We had actually considered naming the baby Jonathan after his Daddy and then calling him Jack, but those kind of situations can get messy so we canceled those plans. Jack means "God is gracious" or "God's gracious gift" - the same meaning as John, which also happens to be the same meaning as Janine (a diminutive form of Jane). We both feel that "grace" has been the perfect theme for this pregnancy. For not feeling wholly prepared for this season of our life, we have definitely sensed God's hand and direction over the past 8 months. We have been so blessed with a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. And it has truly only been by the grace of God that, during this pregnancy, we've both been able to work full-time, attend grad school (finish a degree) and still be able to enjoy time with eachother and summer company. We're also especially grateful for the opportunity I now have to work from home and spend more time being a mom. God has been so good, and we hope that Jack understands God's hand in his life that's been guiding his steps from the very beginning.

Special thanks to Megan for the awesome nautical "Jack" letters.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

And now, an update on everyone's favorite Lil' J

But that's enough about Mom, how about some news on Baby J! Although I don't look like I've gotten any bigger the past few weeks, he seems to have grown since I now feel him dancing on my bladder, pushing on my ribs, and kicking at my back - all at the same time. He seems to be most active at night, usually right when I'm trying to fall asleep. Both Handsome Coastie and I can feel body parts and see tiny bulges, but it's been impossible to tell just what is what. Yesterday I had my check-up. I'm measuring exactly 32 weeks, J's heartrate is perfect and he's turned head-down. I'm just hoping he stays that way for the rest of the pregnancy. We were also able to figure out some body parts. Now that I know that solid bump under my left is J's rear end, I can't stop nudging it. :)

On Friday my work friends threw a wonderful shower for me and the babe. I'm so grateful for all my work/school pals - we are so blessed!! Following our showers, we've got nursery renovations well under-way but I refuse to post pictures until everything is perfect! :) Let's just say we're busy sewing, staining, hanging, washing and building. The nursery is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house, I just wish I had more reasons to hang out there!

Today we're celebrating the close of the Summer semester and the end of HC's 12-hour, alternating-nights-and-days, and three day weekend shifts. Yay!! Festivities include a trip to Babies R' Us to get our stroller and carseat followed by dinner at Catch 31 (compliments of last weekend's guest - Mr. Dan, thanks buddy!!). Just trying to get in as many dates as possible before we have to start hiring a babysitter!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Attack of the raging hormones

My poor husband. This past weekend I had what has probably been my first emotional breakdown. Personally, I think that’s pretty good. Here’s what my trusted resource, Baby Center, has to say: “It's common to have mood swings during pregnancy, because of hormonal changes that affect your levels of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) and the broad range of feelings you may have about becoming a parent. Everyone responds differently to these changes. Some moms-to-be experience heightened emotions, both good and bad; others feel more depressed or anxious. Most find that moodiness flares up at around 6 to 10 weeks, eases up in the second trimester, and then reappears as their pregnancy winds to a close.”
Considering all the hormonal activity that goes on among the other ladies just in my 2 hour, once a week childbirth class, making it to 31 weeks with only one incident deserves some sort of recognition. My husband remains unconvinced. In my defense, it was a tough weekend. And after one stern reproof from hubby and a few days of self-reflection I believe I can now address the situation with all the objectivity necessary for an online blog.
My family had just left (I hate those first few hours after company leaves and the house seems sooo quiet) and I realized the next time I’ll see them is after Lil’ J’s arrival, Handsome Coastie was about to start another 12 hour night shift, 3 day weekend (I HATE these, especially since I always end up watching Law and Order by myself on Sunday night and then can’t fall asleep!!), my job had just thrown me a few loops that I wasn’t expecting, I was suffering major episodes of pregnancy brain and forgetting IMPORTANT things, and I had a growing to-do list rolling around in my head that I had neglected to translate onto paper (finish writing Thank-Yous, sew curtains, submit final project, pay college bill, mail off orders, have baby in 9 weeks, etc, etc). To top it all off I had forgotten my sunglasses. Any woman knows that if you’re going to end up fighting back tears in the middle of Wal-Mart, the first thing to reach for is your sunglasses. I was stranded.

Thankfully, we had just finished watching “Batman Begins” and I still had Bruce Wayne’s father’s wisdom in my head, “And why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” Haha, I jest. Actually, even better than Thomas Wayne, was our pastor’s sermon on Sunday about slowing down and taking time to pray. He opened with Isaiah 30:15, “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust (or confidence) is your strength.’” I know that for me personally, having an “emotional episode” or “hormonal attack” is really just a code orange, an outward indication that I need to slow down and find a quiet place to rest in God’s presence. And so I have one more thing to add to the to-do list, at the very top, and that is to simply be quiet and wait on the Lord.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wear 'em low and baggy

Photo Credit:  WORLD magazine
I saw this picture in my husband's WORLD magazine the other day, and it made me realize what I, as a pregnant woman, have in common with "hoodlums" ... we both wear our pants low and baggy. Of course, my fashion statement is not intentional. It's simply a result of my hips, stomach, and butt all merging into one unit over the past few months. What's "their" excuse?

Oh how I miss thee Gap size 4 Long and Lean pre-pregnancy jeans that fit in all the right places. I promise that we'll someday be together again in the distant future ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ahoy Matey!

Lil' J's ship has come in!

This past weekend Handsome Coastie and I went back to Pennsylvania for our FOURTH and LAST trip this summer. It's strange to think that the next time we visit the Keystone State it will be with carseat and diaper bag in tow... and hopefully some snow on the ground for Christmas!!

We got off to a late start because HC was still writing his paper until 4:30 that morning. So he drove and I wrote my final paper in the car on the way up. [Translated, I have written and submitted my last paper of the semester and only have one more project to finish before wrapping up this adventure called grad school!] Although I would have never said the 400 mile trek to PA was a breeze, it has gotten progressively more difficult with each additional trip. We also threw in a jaunt to New Jersey, and back again, the following day for another wedding.

Aside from my college-friend's momentous event, the other purpose of our excursion was J's baby shower that our mothers have been working on all summer. The theme of the shower was, of course, nautical. The ladies did an amazing job on the food and decorations.

Here are the moms/grandmas showcasing their handiwork!

Nautical flags courtesy of Marmie.

And even though I'm not a huge fan of sitting in front of a group of people while they all watch you open gifts, seeing all those adorable outfits and baby things is just too much fun!! We are so blessed to have such awesome church family and friends back home and are very grateful for everyone's generosity at the shower!

"Me sitting in front of a large group of people while they watch me open gifts" I would also like to add that I am sitting in an adirondak chair - not very easy to get out of when 7.5 months pregnant.

Now that we finally have some baby stuff around the house, the next project is to start setting up the nursery. Stay tuned for updates!

Photos compliments of Geri Schnure

Friday, August 1, 2008

Old Friends, New Adventures

This past weekend our childhood friends N and J came to visit. We had a fun time hanging out on the beach and reminiscing about growing up together. I especially enjoyed the stories about Handsome Coastie beating up N, and N removing HC's name from a list of friends he had carved in a tree. Or J and I being the only girls on the sidelines during "friend skates" at Church Camp. Or laughing about how HC's closet was just as organized 15 years ago as it is today.

When sitting out on the beach all day got old, we decided to visit the Cape Henry Lighthouse. Much to our delight, we arrived to find out that that day, and that day only, they had specially opened the NEW lighthouse for visitors to check out - for free! This lighthouse is much taller than the OLD lighthouse, so Baby J was definitely in for a trip. And although he won't remember us pointing out the spot on the beach below the lighthouse where Daddy professed his undying love for Mommy and gave her a beautiful, sparkling diamond to set this whole ride in motion ... I'm sure he enjoyed being carried up all those hundreds of steps and getting his share of the ocean breeze!

Of course, I must admit that the hubby and I had an ulterior motive in inviting this couple to visit. Seeing how many fond memories we shared with N and J, it's only natural that we would want our kids to have the same wonderful experiences. So our plan was to convince them to have a baby ASAP and join us in this adventure called parenthood. Either Hubby and I aren't very convincing or N and J have wills of steel (I think it's the latter) but we weren't very effective in our endeavours. So Handsome Coastie, who won't go down without a fight, snuck a "Virginia is for Lovers" bumper sticker on the back of their car and sent them the whole way back to New Jersey without mentioning a word. It's good to know hubby is still young at heart. :)
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