Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas is Coming, the Goose is Getting Fat

Austin asked me to blog the other day, I believe to relieve his boredom at work, but alas my mind has just not been in a writing mood recently. Probably because it's filled with phlegm. I caught this 3 week congestion thing, so...random blog post.

-Sammy has caught on to the fact that when I tell her that Santa Claus is a tradition, that means he's not real. After a few renditions of "Santa's not real, is he, Mom?" I finally had to tell her that when we believe in Santa, we believe in all the good things that he represents, blah blah blah, so we should choose to believe in him. Austin, on hearing about Sammy's disbelief, seemed appalled that I haven't done more to promote the myth and cult of Santa, so I've been talking him up more. We're even giving the girls presents from Santa this year instead of just stockings.

-Last night the girls and I had a sleepover by the Christmas tree. I thought it would be so magical. It wasn't. In fact, at the two-hour-past-bedtime mark there may have been some snarling involved.

-I am gaining weight at the rate of about a pound a week. 17 weeks left!

-Austin and I agree on one baby name so far. No, I can't tell you, what if you hate it?

-My emotions have all floated closer to the surface. It could be pregnancy, it could be a Cici/cold-induced lack of sleep. People and the irrational things they say annoy me more than usual, but on the other hand I feel worse about being annoyed. I just wish people would use their brains more!

-I vowed to avoid all stores other than the grocery store for the month of December. However, I decided to get some pictures at Costco, because it wouldn't involve me walking more than 30 feet into the actual store. It took me 45 minutes to get my pictures. (And that was with being aggressive and waving my belly around.)

-The best time to go shopping in December is early on a Monday morning.

-Thought provoking question for your holiday season:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Crazy People


Awww..look at that cute little face. It's hard to find an ultrasound picture that doesn't make your baby look like an alien, so this one was a keeper. I've emailed and facebooked the big announcement, but in case you didn't catch it, we're having a girl. 

Just a quick endnote here: The ultrasound tech was great, but she might have thought we were a little crazy. She asked at the beginning if we wanted a DVD of the ultrasound and I said no. I just didn't see myself ever watching it or forcing anyone else to watch it. She made some comment about how some people don't have TVs, so either she thought we were really poor or really strict. I didn't tell her I own a TV, I just don't want to watch a video of my ultrasound on it. Then I asked what the ultrasound gel was and she wouldn't tell me.  As she said, "I don't want to say the wrong thing." Maybe she thought we were natural nuts who didn't own a TV and who would freak out about the contents of the gel? Then at the end she asked us if we wanted a CD of the pictures and asked if we had a computer...Austin said yes, we were pretty tech-savvy, and she looked confused. I took pity on her and told her I just didn't think we'd ever watch a DVD, but pictures were great. I don't think she thought we were crazy anymore, but I'm pretty sure she chalked us up as bad parents.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Messiah and Marimbas

Tonight I went to a Messiah sing-in. Remember how I was whining about going to one last year, only to find that the audience didn't even get to join in with the choir on the choruses? Well this one had no choir and no director and no orchestra. We didn't even have to bring music. We just showed up. It was very modern. The music played on the auditorium screen for us and scrolled along as we sang. For the recitation parts in between choruses, LDS clips of Christ's life played during the music.

Their sound is gone out...

Now let me take a break from Handel for a moment and talk about one of my secret hobbies. My experience tonight reminded me of it. In college I thought it would be fun to take a percussion class to release some stress and become a cool drummer person. It turns out that drums weren't really my thing--not musical enough--so I focused on learning to play the marimba.

I became pretty good at it. By the time I left school I was up to four mallets and could play this song:
(At least listen to past a minute where it gets cool.)

I don't know if I'm still any good at it, because it turns out that marimbas are expensive and hard to fit in your house. So now it's not my hobby, it's just my secret hobby.

One day during class, the better percussionists were going to play a song one of the others had written. They hadn't practiced all together, but they went ahead and put three marimbas in a 'U' and the guy who wrote the song directed it. It was a mess. They weren't sure when to come in and were dropping notes right and left. They stopped, defeated. Then one of the seniors in our class stepped in. "Come on, try it again. I'll direct." With confidence and verve he led the group on to a rousing performance of the student composition.

All we like sheep are gone astray...

Now I will share a moment from the sing-in. Right before we started singing, the guy who put this thing together asked who wanted to sit while we sang. Only a few people in the large audience raised their hands. The lights went down. The music started. I looked around me to find everyone sitting. I stood up. My little brother stood up. Everyone else stayed sitting as they sang. Halfway through the song, I sat down, defeated. Sorry, bro.

We definitely needed a director to tell us when to stand, (Because really, who sits as they sing the Messiah? Especially after they voted not to?) and bring us in at the appropriate places. We also needed a choir in front of us to make the "rough places plain," i.e. make us sound good, and maybe a small orchestra to get some energy flowing. (Or we could have gotten off our tushies and stood up...)

After I sat down, my dad leaned over and patiently whispered to me how when everyone else was sitting you can't really stand up because you'll block their view of the music. Thanks Dad.

The quest to find a decent sing-in continues.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Name Game

Next week we find out if we're having a boy or a girl. I can think of pros and cons to both genders, so I've decided to think that either would be good. (Although if you look/sound disappointed if we announce it's a girl, I will probably punch you. What's wrong with girls?) Once we find out the gender, then I can finally start thinking about names. As a parent, you have to consider not only the first name, but nicknames, middle names, first-name last-name combos, what the initials spell, how many other kids have your child's name, and what's going to sound really dumb in 20 years.

I like discussing names. I go by my middle name, so I've had quite a few name discussions over the years. Going by your middle name is great. You get a distinguished initial in front of your signature. You can go with whatever name you feel like that day. In fact, if someone calls me on the phone I can tell who they are and how well I know them just by what name they are calling me. I like finding out that someone I know is also using their middle name, because then it's like we're both members of a secret club. The Cool Middle Name Club.

However, there are a few things that annoy people who use their middle name. And by people I mean me. (Mild annoyance, not I-will-instantly-go-home-and-viciously-blog-about-you annoyance.)

1. The question: "What's your real name?" I'm not a superhero, people. My middle name is on my birth certificate, thus making it "real." Perhaps you meant..."What's your full name?"

2. Forms that assume everyone goes by their first name and only have space for a middle initial instead of my full middle name. Because then do I put my middle name under the space for the first name? Because it's not my first name.

3. When a receptionist asks me what my name is and I sound stupid because I go, uuuuuhhh...and try to remember whether I previously gave them my first name as my name (for easier medical billing) or my middle name as my name.

4.  People who leave off the first initial when writing my name in formal situations. (Like on my credit card. Or my temple recommend.) The E. in front makes my name dignified. Leave it off and my name looks like a snowman without a head. Just not that impressive.

Which leads to the dilemma I faced when I got married. I couldn't really figure out what to do with my maiden name. Lose the first initial and use my maiden name as my middle name? Not a chance. I love that first initial. Hyphenate? Overkill with middle name usage and hyphenation usage. Keep it? Disrespectful to the concept that my husband and I are becoming one. Make Austin use my maiden name instead of his? Really, really tempting, since I had an easier last name. I didn't want to look like a dominating wife though, so I just dropped my maiden name altogether. Maybe I'll use it as a middle name for this next kid.

So now for the question you've probably already asked me if you know me. "Why do you go by your middle name?" Well, I have had a lot of answers for that question over the years. Here are some: (My first name is Elisabeth by the way. With an S.)

1. I had a really bad nickname. Lizzy. Sometimes "Lizard Breath." How did I get the worst nickname for Elisabeth? There's not even a 'z' in my name. I really like Liz, but right when I got old enough for that we moved, and there was a girl in my class named Elizabeth who went by Liz so I didn't want to seem like I was copying her.

2. In conjunction with this, growing up, I didn't know any other Lizzys, but once we moved I met a couple more Elisabeths...and I didn't really like them that much.

3. My parents named me Elisabeth because it was the only female scripture name that fit with their "A,B,C,D," + "scripture name" naming pattern. (I have actually realized recently that my parents could have named me Esther.) I like the biblical story of Elisabeth, but my middle name has a rich heritage and interesting story behind it, and reminds me of my great-grandma who also set aside her more conventional first name, Mary, in favor of using her middle name. Which is also my middle name.

4. I asked people to start calling me by my middle name when I was 12. It was a very transitional time in my life. I was going through an existential crisis and searching for my identity. I knew it wasn't "Lizzy."

These are are all good answers to the question of why the middle name, but the truest and also shortest answer is that I just like it better than my first name. I would splash my name all over my blog here, but sometimes I blog about stuff I don't want my husband's coworkers to read, and I'm 100 percent sure it would turn up in a google search for my name. (And no, I'm not being paranoid, apparently they google spouses from time to time.)

As far as our girls go, our Polish last name made it hard to get too crazy with the first name. (Hopefully they will get married someday, but I can't predict a good name combo for that.) Our strategy has basically been to pick first names that we both think are special and have positive associations with. Both middle names have been my pick. Sammy's middle name, Gene, is a variation on her dad and grandfather's middle name, so she has a bit of heritage there. Cici's middle name is Page, because I love books but also because her first name was more of a risk and she needs a solid second option. Both of our girls could actually go with their middle names if they don't like their first names, but that's for them to decide.