So I've always thought that naming babies is the easiest and most fun part of the whole 'planning for baby' process. I've jokingly said that I would have two dozen kids just so I could name them!
Somehow my husband and I started talking about this - it had something to do with a Dr. Seuss book where a woman had a bunch of sons and named them all Dave, but she could have named them other things like Marvin O'Gravel Balloonface, and my husband said 'It would be really hard to name so many kids - maybe it would be good to name them all the same thing!'. And I said 'No, it would be fun to name so many kids!' So he said - 'I bet you couldn't come up with 25 names that you like!' - challenge accepted.
Then he grumbled something about being kidding and that it was midnight and I should just go to sleep, but now I was on a mission... so here goes. Since I have an easier time with girls names than boys, I decided to come up with 10 boys names and 15 girls.
1. Elliot Nathaniel
2. Alexander Glenn
3. Oliver Bennett
4. Simon Daniel
5. Charles Dorian
6. Caleb Aaron
7. Colin David
8. Jack William
9. Nicholas Brian
10. Noah Theodore
1. Ava Gwendolyn
2. Sophia Scarlett
3. Rachelle Elena
4. Lauren Piper
5. Ingrid Anika
6. Miriam Hope
7. Heidi Catherine
8. Hannah Naomi
9. Norah Brielle
10. Amelia Joy
11. Clara Faith
12. Lily Marie
13. Natalie Charlotte
14. Olivia Helen
15. Gillian Grace
I had to admit at the end of this, that it was MUCH harder, having already named a child - to come up with names for potential future children. It hadn't occurred to me before, but now that I'd named one child, there were certain 'rules' I now had to follow - such as, does the name mean something - like my daughter's does, do I consider the name a similar 'style' to my daughter's name and should I use names that are already in the family since I chose not to with my first?
Anyway, it was a fun little exercise - I enjoy doing this every once in awhile to see how things have changed. When I was a teenager, I thought I would have four kids - two boys and two girls - and their names would have been - Alexander, Norah, Zachary and Anaya (either spelled that way or the traditional 'Anaisa'). I guess things change.
For those of you interested in what's going on with my Dad, he's back at home now, having bounced back from this latest incident really quickly.
He is also telling a lot of strange stories that are likely a result of his dreams when he was in a drug-induced coma for two days, but he is still convinced they really happened. Other than that, he's doing well.
Our family is frustrated with the fact that there seems to be no real plan for follow up on him, and we still have no idea what is causing this bleeding...
I don't remember the exact moment that I finally figured this out, but I do remember that it hit me like a train.
I have a baby girl who isn't overly fond of 'snuggle time' and would much prefer to be independent and exploring - but I snuggle her anyway, and more often than not it annoys her. Oh well. I will always do this. I will never stop getting in her face to let her know how much I love her.
It occurred to me that in any other relationship I would eventually give up. When your friends never call you - when you are always the one extending your hand or phone call, it becomes tiresome and you eventually give up. Even in my marriage, when I feel like I have been the exclusive 'giver' for too long, I get cranky and lecture my husband on doing his part - I have my limits.
With my daughter, however, it will never matter. She can push me away her entire life, always act annoyed with my affection, and almost never reciprocate, but I won't even think about giving up. She is the one person in the world (so far) who I will let take and take from me, and i will never stop giving.
Then it occurred to me - did MY parents think this way? Did I take THEM for granted? (yes) Did I act annoyed by their very existence as a teenager? (yes) Did it occur to me how insanely much they loved me and that they would do almost ANYTHING for me? (not once).
I don't think I could have gotten it. Not until I was on the other side of that fence. I don't think a person can ever FULLY appreciate their parents and how much your children consume you until you are a parent and your own children consume you.
Just to give some background...
On June 1, 2010 (I was 3 months pregnant at the time) as I was getting ready for work in the morning I saw a text message from my Mom asking me to call her as soon as possible. My parents live directly across the street from my Grandparents (the ones I am really close to because they had a big part in raising me) and both of my Grandparents have had significant health issues that have put them in the hospital for long periods of time and have made us more than a little nervous. So, my first thought was that something serious had happened to one of them.
I never expected it to be about my Father.
Even though he had gone through cancer five years earlier, by the time he was telling me about the diagnosis, he was also able to tell me what the game plan was. He came through it beautifully - and the key words in that previous sentence were that 'he was telling me'. There is something so reassuring about hearing about something from the person who is 'not ok' - because when you can hear their voice, you know that they are at least somewhat 'ok'.
This time it wasn't my Dad telling me anything.
My mom was telling me that Dad had experienced an odd sort of bleeding in his brain. Although the doctors said it wasn't a stroke or an aneurism, the effects were similar. He was left unable to communicate correctly - he said yes when he meant no and the reverse. He couldn't wrap his head around long sentences and couldn't 'find' words that to most of us come to our lips without any effort. He could understand everything as far as we knew - the 'input' was working fine - but the 'output' was completely broken. Although he could make sounds with his mouth, he had forgotten how to speak, could no longer write, and had to relearn how to do simple tasks like turning on the tv and reading a book.
Over the next few months we learned very little about Dad's situation. Doctors did a number of tests and scans and could find no cause of the bleeding. He also gradually improved until he was almost completely back to normal. Only those of us who knew him really well would know that he was at all different and that his comprehension was not what it once was, and when he stumbled for words or stuttered that this was a result of his odd 'injury'. We were so hopeful.
Until it happened again.
Each time he would begin with less ability than the time before, and each time he would recover to almost what he was like before the current bleeding. It was like he was jumping down a flight of stairs, then taking all but one step up, then jumping down another flight, but each time he was ending up a step below where he had been before.
On Saturday morning I got a text from my Mom saying that it had happened again. This time he was in the ICU and they were keeping him in a drug-induced coma because each time they tried to let him wake up he would go into seizures which would only make the damage worse.
Today they removed his breathing tube.
My Dad is 52 years old, and he will never be the man I used to know. He has one grandaughter (Celia) who is nearly one, and although she might get to know this new man who acts a bit like a child and loves her dearly - she will never get to know the Dad I had growing up. This is unbelievably difficult for me. My Dad was my hero - he refused to let my mother abort me, and when he found out she was about to take off with me - he chose single parenthood over letting me go. My Dad taught me how to be strong, how to be realistic about myself and my abilities, how to work hard for what I want and how to push myself to achieve anything I want to. He taught me how to be strong about what I believe, and although he believed very differently than I do, it has been because of him that my faith has been challenged and I have become so much stronger in my faith and relationship with God. My Dad was a master craftsman who could build anything, even though he didn't really think of himself that way. He was never very good in school, but he taught me to read when I was 3 and it wasn't until I was much older that I learned that when he spent days and days with his nose in some textbook or other, that it took him three times as long to read it as I would because he was dyslexic and had to really focus to make all of the words stand still. He bought me a textbook on philosophy when I was 12 and I read it, and we discussed things in detail and debated everything. It is because of my Dad that I am the geek that I am, and that I have the passion for learning that I do. I can completely respect a view that is opposite to mine because I always respected his, and he always respected mine.
I could go on forever about my Dad, and I suppose no one would want to read it. I think my point has been made, and I hope that my next blog post will have some good news.
Okay, so I'm a day late... I just couldn't get over how awesome our costumes were this year so I had to share them.
It's not the greatest picture, but if you take a look at Robert Munch's 'The Paper Bag Princess', I think you'll agree these costumes are pretty epic. We started with the dragon costume (store bought, but we had to start somewhere) and then did some brainstorming for some costumes that we could wear that went along with hers... this idea came from one of my piano students actually, so I can't really take credit for that but I think I did a pretty good job pulling it off. And most of it was done the day of - have I mentioned I'm awesome? Obviously I'm pretty proud of myself...
I was a bit disappointed by how many people had no idea who I was (people who are either too old for or simply not fans of Robert Munch...). I did have one drive-by recognition when a girl stuck her head out of her window and yelled 'Hey! The Paper Bag Princess!!!'.
As a Christian, I struggle with Halloween - particularly when it is used to promote some really ghoulish and demonic stuff. I also, however, enjoy dressing up and I love everything involved in creating a great costume and Halloween seems to be the only chance I get to have a really great time with 'costuming'. So, as long as my children are still young enough to allow me to trick-or-treat with them, I will dress up with them and enjoy that part of it also.
Grab My Button
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.pinkbears.ca" title="On Pink Bears and Pacifiers"><img src="http://www.pinkbears.ca/images/grab-my-button.png" alt="On Pink Bears and Pacifiers" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
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