Monday, July 30, 2007

Name That Baby

This is a post which requires comments from all of you, even those blog stalkers that often read but never comment.... Ben and I are still neverendingly debating names for this baby, so we decided to ask our friends and family for advice. So here's the question you need to answer: What should we name Baby Girl #2?

We encourage you to submit first names, first-and-middle name combos, and comments on others' suggestions. But before you hit the "comment" button, a few notes on our preferences:

1. We do not want to use any name that starts with a "B." While it can be cute, we are not going to be one of those families that names all their kids with the same first letter, as evidenced by the fact that we have our first 2 boy names ready to go and neither of them starts with a B. So let's just not start down that road. :)

2. We do not want to use any name that ends with the "in" sound, unless the name will automatically be shortened to something else. We realize this sounds picky, but of all the names we have discussed that happen to end in "n," all sound weird to us when paired with "Bryn."

3. Short first names are our preference, as the poor girl will be saddled with the "Meyaard Pfanschmidt" label and will have quite the time with that without having to contend with a long first name as well.

Also, to give you a heads-up, here are our frontrunner names at the moment:

* Madeline Brooke - This was our second-choice name for Bryn, and we still like it and hope to use it at some point. We would shorten it to Maddie. Unfortunately, we know a ton of people whose daughters already have this name, and since both Madeline and Madison are among the most popular names in the US right now, we hesitate to use it. Speaking as one who grew up with one of the most popular names of my generation, I know that it can be very complex to have multiple friends, neighbors, roommates, etc. with the same names as you! So while we like this name, we may just save it for future use when it's not quite as popular.

* Shea / Shay - This is Ben's favorite name at the moment. I have slight reservations, given my friendships with Jason and J.D. Shea in high school and college, but I really do like the name. Our biggest problem with it is that we can't come up with a middle name that would work with it.

And we are open to suggestions!! So, let the fun begin.... NAME THAT BABY!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Libby, I blame this all on you for "tagging" me. But since we just returned from vacation last night and I am trying to avoid the mounds of laundry covering the floor upstairs, and since Bryn has celebrated her return to her own bed by sleeping until 9:00 (and beyond?), I'm looking for an amusement--so here we go.

The Meme Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

The Facts:
1. I have a scrapbook of every year of my life from 8th grade on. Actually, I have scrapbooks up until my junior year of college, and then I have large boxes of accumulated junk for each year of my life that I swear will make it into a scrapbook someday (probably long after I've forgotten the significance of each item). I started this endeavor in the 8th grade, when my friend Melissa and I decided it would be a fun project for us to work on together. I'm guessing she has managed to avoid the ongoing insanity and junk collection though.

2. I am extremely upset that I woke up with a backache this morning. When I was pregnant with Bryn, the little darling caused my pelvis to misalign in three separate places (who even knew that was possible?), thus landing me in physical therapy for the duration of my pregnancy and chiropractic care over the past year. I was darn close to feeling good again when this pregnancy commenced, and now my back is back to the constant aching. The worst part of this all is that it actually felt pretty good after a week of sleeping in other beds on vacation but now feels cramped up and awful after a night in my own bed. I am desperately hoping that my (extremely comfortable) mattress is not the culprit.

3. When I was in high school, I developed a bit of an obsession with Superman and even went so far as to state that he was clearly my dream man. This may have been in some way related to the then-popular television series "The New Adventures of Lois and Clark" starring Dean Cain. At any rate, Ben won me over during our first Halloween together (my senior year of college) by dressing as Clark Kent for Halloween, complete with a Superman symbol taped under his button-down shirt. I think of all of this now because I am currently wearing Superman pajama pants that I have had since the beginning of college (everything else is in the wash from vacation).

4. I absolutley refuse to touch raw meat. It grosses me out to even see it. Yet I have no problem eating it once it has been cooked by someone else. Okay, sometimes I have a problem eating chicken unless it has been blacked greatly on a grill. But otherwise, I'm good to go. Side note: I also do not like lunchmeat, because the cold, damp texture of it reminds me of raw meat.

5. Stealing the idea for this fact from Libby's post...... I, too, eat Skittles and M&Ms in a very particular order. However, my order is theoretically the opposite of hers: I eat all the ones I don't like first (to get it over with) and save the good ones for the end (so I am left with that taste at the end). With Skittles, this means: purple, yellow, orange, green, red. I also eat them one at a time, but alternating which side of my mouth I chew on, as so to keep my mouth balanced.

6. If I hit the lottery, the first thing I would do would be to pay off my mortage and other bills. The next thing I would do would be to hire a maid, which I think would be really living in the lap of luxury. I absolutely hate cleaning. Love organizing and putting things in their proper places, but dusting, vacuuming, etc. just annoy me.

7. I am absolutely no good at sports. Growing up, my parents hopefully enrolled me in every sort of sports league and dance lesson available, in hopes that we'd eventually find one I was decent at or could at least enjoy. No such luck. I actually can't even go running, due to the fact that I once tore all the tendons in my foot and they grew back funny, thus landing me on crutches during my last two attempts to take up jogging. I have always been intrigued by the concept of crew/rowing, though, and I actually once coached lacrosse, in spite of never having even seen a game played before taking on the responsiblity.

8. Ever since childhood, my stated goal has been to raise 12 children myself (some biological, some adopted). This is actually still my dream, even on days when Bryn is making me crazy. I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.

So here's who I'm tagging:
Melissa, Andrea, Caroline, Crissy, Trisha, Pam, Cathy, and Jen.
Good luck to you all, and apologies in advance. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

All's Well That Ends Well

We just got back to Indianapolis a few hours ago, so I wanted to let everyone know that we made it safely. I think Bryn sensed that I was putting negative thoughts (and comments) about her out into the universe, because she shaped up almost immediately after my last post. That night she slept straight through the night without needing to be soothed back to sleep once, and Ben and I nearly died of shock when she woke us with cheerful babbling (instead of hysterical sobs) the next morning at 9:30 (instead of 6:00). My family was relieved at the arrival of "Good Bryn," and the rest of the week (okay, 2 1/2 days) went beautifully. She played on the swings, swam in the pool, and even ventured to walk in the sand (once). She also ended her hunger strike and ate a ridiculous amount of Honey Nut Cheerios, as well as crackers, fruit, you name it. Ben and I have agreed that all future trips need to be two weeks long so we can actually have time to enjoy ourselves once we break her in. :)

We left PPI yesterday (Saturday) morning and drove to Lamont, MI, where we visited Ben's Grandma Noordyk. We had a really good visit with her, and we were even able to make it to the nursing home to visit Grandma and Grandpa Meyaard. They have high hopes that Grandpa may be able to move home in a few weeks. Until then, they enjoy feeding the ducks on this wonderful little deck by a stream (Bryn enjoyed this immensely as well). We spent the night at Grandma N's house, and then today we were able to visit with Ben's mom and sister Jill at a craft show in St. Joe's where they were selling their original crystal jewelry. While there, Bryn got to see a "choo-choo" go by, which held her attention rapt.

We're now home and attempting to get unpacked and resettled. We are viewing vacation as a great transition point, so Bryn is now eating in her booster seat at the big table (rather than her high chair) and sleeping in her "big girl" toddler bed (rather than her crib). The dogs are elated to see us, as evidenced much much licking and shedding. Vacation was great (at least the end of it), especially the visits with family, but I do have to say, like Dorothy, that there's "no place like home."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Out of the Office

Ben, Bryn, and I are spending this week vacationing in Michigan and visiting various family members. We spent an afternoon with Ben's parents on the way up here from Indianapolis, then spent the night at his grandmother's house. We visited his grandpa the next morning, then proceeded to the tiny town of Onekama for vacation at Portage Point Inn with my dad, stepmom Diane, sister Kristin, and stepsister Lindsay.

Now, I was initially very excited about vacation. I've been looking forward to the change in routine for months. I have been anxious for the chance to spend a whole week with Ben, as well as for Ben to have the chance to hang out with Bryn. But I have learned that vacation with a 20-month-old is not very, well, vacation-y. The other women in my moms' group at church had actually indicated this ahead of time, saying things like, "Vacation with children is just like working from another office" and "You still have to do all the stuff you do at home, just without the convienience of having all the baby's toys, snacks, etc."

This has proved to be quite true. I think the largest problem has been that we brought Bryn's toddler bed for her to sleep in. However, she still sleeps in the crib at home, and it seems that she does NOT like the change. Sleep has been few and far between since arriving. Last night, for example, she finally fell asleep around 10:00, then was up crying from 11:30 to 12:30 and then again from 1:30 to 4:30. Since she, Ben, and I are all sharing one room, none of us got much sleep. This leads to the second problem: her absolute exhaustion and disruption of her normal routine has resulted in three days of incessant screaming. No exaggeration, she has had more tantrums today alone than in the last two months combined. Last night she was thrashing around so much in her anger that she headbutted me in the nose, resulting in severe soreness and headache. The constant screaming has led to various other problems, such as not eating, not to mention the fact that her loving grandparents and aunts are now wondering aloud if there is a chance that she might actually be demon spawn. You'd think this would offend me, but I would not have been surprised in the slightest if her head had started spinning in circles during her three-hour middle-of-the-night tantrum last night, indicating demon possession. Quite seriously, it's like we left our sweet little girl in Indianapolis and somehow accidentally brought along some evil-tempered lookalike.

To sum up, vacation has not been terribly relaxing so far. It has been wonderful to catch up with so many relatives and to get away from home for a bit, but we're definitely hoping for a change of baby behavior over the next few days!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Congratulations! It's A...

I'm way behind in posting, largely due to the fact that we've had some internet difficulties at our house. In recent news, Bryn and I went to Peoria for a long weekend last week in order to visit my mom for her birthday. In spite of much screaming in the car on the way there, Bryn actually did pretty well, and now that we've been home for nearly a week, I have almost managed to forget my oath to never travel alone with a baby again. :)

This week has been excessively hot and has primarily been full of home improvement and organization projects. Bryn and I did manage to fit in a movie with Cathy and Christopher this Tuesday, and Wednesday saw the whole family playing cornhole at a cookout with Ryan, Kathy, and friends. We also managed to fit in an epic Risk battle with Alicia and Suellen, followed by another endless Risk game two nights later with Chris. Ben got a nice relaxing day off on the Fourth but has been kept really busy with work otherwise.

And now the news you've all been waiting for.... Last week, before the departure for Peoria, Ben, Bryn, and I went to the doctor's office for an ultrasound and my regular pregnancy check-up. The ultrasound tech asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby, to which I replied, "We're so excited to find out, I couldn't even sleep last night!" She asked if we had a gender preference, and I said yes, but she would be making somebody happy no matter what, since Ben wanted a boy to join him in his household of women, and I wanted a girl who could wear all Bryn's hand-me-downs so we didn't have to buy everything new (the babies will be almost exactly 2 years apart). More than anything, of course, we were just rooting for the baby to be healthy.

Bryn was incredibly cute during the ultrasound. As I have mentioned, we've been working on teaching her about big-girl beds, so she knows that when there's a pillow, you're supposed to lie down and put your head on it. So when she saw Mama on the doctor's table, she figured she must be supposed to get up there too and lay her head on the little paper-covered pillow. So I scooted over and Ben lifted her up, and she laid next to me during the ultrasound and watched the whole proceeding with great interest.

First the ultrasound tech told us that the baby was in great condition and very healthy. She said that everything was exactly how it should be, which of course was great news for us. And then came the much-awaited words, "Congratulations! It's a.... girl!!" Of course I was excited, and Ben handled it very well. :) In fact, by the time he came home from work that evening, he was talking about the inevitability of him fathering a dozen girls and how he looked forward to his little horde of daughters. We have absolutely no ideas for names at all, and it looks like we'll have to put our chosen boy name back on the shelf once again. But we've got a healthy baby, and I'm about halfway there, so we're happy!