From the category archives:

Week 33

A baby by any other name

by Milton on Wed, Mar 24th, 2010

in Week 33

As a writer (by schooling, only), I’ve always been obsessed with names.  Writing a short story or a novel is really just a glorified reason to come up with names, and characters to go with names, and stories to go with characters.  Right?  I can spend weeks, or months, trying to think up a name for a minor character.  So, of course, when it came to coming up with a name for our baby, I was super excited for the task.

We went through thousands of names, suggesting even the most ridiculous names we could think of, just to get used to the waters.  Lampshade Spatula was one of the more unique name options.  After a while of suggesting names it became necessary to come up with a series of Rules that any chosen name must adhere to (no ex-boy- or ex-girlfriends, nothing that rhymes with Aiden, nothing in the top 100 names for the previous year, nothing that is too weird).  Then, we started to feel like you do when you’re tasting your 56 wine at a tasting… confused about what’s actually good anymore, also maybe a little drunk.  And we (or at least I) got a little burned out on names and then start wondering if maybe we were going about it all wrong.  I’m pretty certain every collaborative creative process goes through these same stages.

In the end, it comes down to a gut feeling, and probably timing.  The names suggested at the right point in the name-choosing process probably have a much better chance of being chosen than the early ones that sounded good but seemed untested.  Coming up with a super-meaningful name that satisfies all 18 Rules becomes less important than just feeling good about the name.  In the end, it’s the baby that’s meaningful, not his or her name (yes, we had to remind ourselves of this).

This all happened really early in the pregnancy for us.  Starting pretty much as soon as we found out Esther was pregnant, and going through ups and downs all through weeks 8-20 or so.  After what seemed like forever, we had some names chosen.  In reality, our little baby was still only have baked.  Before the 20-week ultrasound, we had a couple top names for both genders.  When we found out that our baby was a boy, it was settled.  The first name, at least.  And we started referring to him by this name.  It felt right.

The middle name followed soon thereafter, after a crazy middle name brainstorming session one Saturday-like morning (it could’ve been any day of the week but it feels like a Saturday in my memory).

We wanted to make sure we liked the name a lot, so we kept it a secret for a while.  That also helped avoid the awkwardness of having to hear about how the name doesn’t work for other peoples’ aesthetics… it’s intentional in a way, because if the name met everyone’s aesthetics (like, say, Oliver, does) then that’s a sign that the name is about to become quite popular, and who wants that?  Not us.

To help make it OFFICIAL, we thought of a little art project.  This is the end result:

Our baby's name is in this painting!

It’s the name encased in a semi-secret code.  Since it’s probably not that easy to crack, we’re telling people in person as we can.  And, I expect, by this time next week, after the baby shower etc, it’ll be public knowledge.

We haven’t decided if he’s going to need a pseudonym for this blog as well, one that matches his parents’ pseudonyms.  Hmm… probably.



by Esther on Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010

in Challenges,Week 33

Is a bitch.  Every time I think it’s gone for good, it comes back with a vengeance… for days.  I can’t eat anything, lay down, or stop myself from spitting like a sailor.  Then… it rather mysteriously disappears again.  Ever the positive person, I convince myself that it’s gone forever.  Until I find that it’s not.  It’s a pretty vicious cycle.

I try to track its causes, and have been able to successfully curb the problem to a degree… but ultimately something will get in there to knock me all off kilter.  Today, the culprit was peanuts.  Even eating a benign dinner of roasted beets and mashed potatoes after the two lousy and small handfuls of gorp didn’t kill the problem.

An old wives tale says that this baby will have lots of hair.  Mammas tell me that the preferences they had during pregnancy reflected the tastes their babies had later.  A book called “What’s Going on in There” suggests that the things I eat in my third trimester will begin shape my baby’s palate.  All I know for certain is that I am rather uncomfortable.  I guess it’s a good thing that Tums have calcium… because I eat them by the roll and this baby has seriously developing bones at this point in the pregnancy.


How Great is Our New Banner?

by Esther on Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010

in Week 33

So so great.  I mean.  Just the best!  I have the best husbandface and photographerfriendface in the whole, round, world.  Thanks, guys!

Also, looking at this banner, I recall thinking that I look SO pregnant when those photos were first shown to me.  Man.  Now I think I look teeny tiny.  Hilarious.  I wish I had started taking belly measurements when this whole business started so that I had numbers to back up my girth.  I mean, I thought I looked really really pregnant when the photos from our first pregnancy photo session were taken, back in the day.  Now, I’d be thankful to have my 8 weeks pregnant body back as quickly as 8 weeks past our baby’s birth!


33 Weeks!

by Esther on Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010

in Challenges,Week 33

I am bone tired.  I mean, really really really bone tired.  I wake up in the morning feeling not too different from how I feel just before I go to sleep at night.  Tired.  To.  My.  Marrow.  I have even started drinking coffee again on my days off, which gives Baby hiccups, but Mama needs to get through the day.  Every day is a day that we need to prepare a little bit more for our kid-on-the-way.

Milton suggested that I need to work less.  My career and I do not think that this is the correct answer.  I think a better answer would be home cooked dinner (eating out makes me more tired) magically appearing in front of me more often, the moment that work ends.  It would also be nice to have a few fairies who clean and organize the whole house while I am sleeping or at work… so that I could wake or come home to a serious and studied organization that is totally outside of my actual capability.  As I am not going to be getting a personal chef or a professional organizer any time soon, I suppose I should just relax and accept the fact that- while a girl can have an awful lot of things in life- she can’t have every wish granted with the poof of a fairy godmother’s good wishing.

In other news, I got new shoes for my baby shower next week!  The irony of feeling so much satisfaction in something that I really can’t see when I look down is not lost on me.  I’ll have to take a photo of my toes in adorable shoes when I get all geared up, pretty style, this weekend.  I can’t wait for my mom to arrive and join us for one big last, pre-baby, party!

Shower gifts have started to arrive and I’m a little overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and family.  We got our Bob stroller (in Mesa Orange!) from Milton’s lovely family- I can’t wait to go off-roading on some PNW trails with our little one!  It’s going to make for an awesome, car free, first few years.  My mother also recently picked up a glorious vintage pram that I bought off of ebay last month.  She is having it shipped out here in a few boxes.  That will serve as our newborn’s bassinet and boy will we look cute cruising Myrtle Edwards or The Pike Place Market all dressed up, together.

Big Belly Ball


New banner!

by Milton on Sun, Mar 21st, 2010

in Week 33

I added a banner to the site, which I’m happy with.  It’s actually a combination of two pictures.  Esther was in front of this flower mural across the street from our house when our friend was taking pictures of us, but all of the pictures were cropped in such a way that wide views of the wall weren’t available, and I needed something wide for the banner.  Of course, these pictures were taken a month ago and only today did I get adventurous enough to test my Photoshop skills.  The background is actually an enlarged view of a part of the wall from one picture, and Esther is taken from another picture when she was in front of another part of the wall.  Pretty neat, right?  Okay, I know… I’ll include the two pictures here:


See how I made that work?  As an English major turned software developer nerd, I’m happy with my pseudo design skills.  And, while I did have a crush on the font, Croog, for a while, I think I’ve settled on Museo as the official font of our future son.  Haha.

This is how we occupy ourselves between weeks 32 and 34.