Next Time Around…

My OB is very nice, intelligent, and competent. It’s entirely obvious that he knows what he’s doing and is committed to having a strong professional practice. And judging from my own experience last winter, and from other peoples’ comments, I know he is very good at what he does: obstetric surgery. I was very happy to be in his hands when I needed obstetric surgery, and when we became pregnant again I knew I could trust him to take good care of me and my baby.

His is a very popular, successful, two-doctor office.

Translation: his office is BUSY.

Next time, I want a doctor (or midwife….) who has a little bit more time for me. I know that many of the prenatal checkups are intended to be quite brief, but sometimes mine seem almost ridiculously quick-paced. I often have little unimportant questions that never get asked (things I’m just curious about, because I’m the sort of person who likes to learn about things), because there’s a very clear sense that I’m using up valuable seconds on his schedule. He’s never rude, never checks his watch or anything… but there’s always this sense of nervous energy, as if he’s already got one foot out the door as soon as he walks in.

And I know what’s going on, of course. It’s just like the pro-midwifery books and blogs say: He’s a surgeon. My pregnancy is blessedly uncomplicated at this point, and as a result, I’m a boring case. He isn’t intellectually stimulated by my pregnancy (thank God). It’s like at parent-teacher conferences, when you’ve got a line of parents and the family with the A+ kid walks in. You’re perfectly happy to talk to them, and very glad that things are going so well for them and their child… but seriously, there’s a line out the door of parents whose kids aren’t gonna graduate. (And frankly, just as the perfectly normal pregnancy doesn’t necessarily need a surgeon, the A+ student doesn’t necessarily need school in order to learn….)

Next time around, I also want a doctor’s office (or whatever) that has more time for me. The receptionists and billing people, in particular, are awfully nice and I like them a lot. But when I call in with a question or concern, I never get transferred directly to a nurse (and the receptionists can’t or won’t answer even the simplest of questions). They take a message and say the nurse will call me back as soon as she’s available… and then the waiting game begins. Today, I wanted almost three hours (after calling in at the VERY beginning of their day, before any patients showed up) for my nurse to call me back and tell me that she didn’t want me to take an Advil for my arm.

That’s one thing; I mean, as painful as this is, it isn’t scary or anything. But early on, when I had a little bit of bleeding? I left an obviously-frightened message at about 10:30 in the morning, called back at 3, had to leave another message, called back at 5, still didn’t get an answer, and was two-thirds of the way to the office to ask in PERSON before someone finally called me back. It’s not because they’re being unprofessional (although, one could argue that not making time to call back a bleeding, panicky post-miscarriage first-trimester mom isn’t the most professional thing ever) — they’re just completely slammed.

There have been some pretty awesome perks with having this OB. For one thing, he really likes trotting out his ultrasound machine, so we’ve had more peeks at Kermie than we’d anticipated (or had to pay for). And I’ve felt very secure in knowing that if something were to go wrong, we’d have someone very capable to handle it.

But next time, assuming that things go as smoothly as they have this time? I want a more personal experience. A slower-paced experience. An experience where I can take a few moments to figure out if I have any questions before the caregiver has already moved on to the next patient, where I can learn about the process from an expert, where I feel like I’m important and even special even though I’m unexciting. Next time, I want a female practitioner who has had babies — someone who doesn’t try to hide a smirk as he says things like “Being uncomfortable or exhausted at work is not a medical condition” when I ask what I should do if it becomes too hard to continue working before the baby arrives.

It’s not that I’m unhappy; I’m not. I’m just not as happy as I could be, and now I know.

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36!

As of yesterday, I am 36 weeks pregnant and can, I believe, officially lay claim to the “nine months pregnant” label. Or thereabouts!

At this point, Kermie is hypothetically a six-pound bouncing baby boy. (Well, he probably doesn’t do a lot of bouncing, but he has been doing a lot of rolling and stretching, and the occasional kick or punch.) Depending on which website you ask, he’s between 18.5-20 inches long; I wouldn’t be surprised if he were on the longer end of the scale.

My doctor/hospital will no longer take extraordinary efforts to stop labor if it begins at this point. As uncomfortable as this last month is proving to be, I hope Kermie stays put for at least another couple of weeks. There is still some work to be done at home, and quite a bit of work to be done at work, before I’ll feel quite ready to install Parenthood 1.0 and reboot my world.

In the past several days, I’ve noticed that my walk has changed. If I consciously think about it, I can walk more or less normally, but I’m much more comfortable rocking slightly side-to-side as I walk, which I suppose is that “pregnant lady waddle” one hears so much about. I also don’t have a whole lot of walking in me, and find it much easier if I have a cart or husband to hang on to — just to take some of the weight off my back and pelvis. This, combined with the slightly increased frequency of bathroom trips and the slightly decreased severity of heartburn, makes me wonder if the baby has dropped… I was expecting something a little more noticeable, if so, but whatever!

My back is definitely finding this whole thing to be an ordeal, especially the fine art of finding a comfortable sleeping position. No combination of pillows and squashed-up blankets really seems to do the trick, although if I get the nest just right I can get about 2-3 hours of sleep in before my back starts to strain or my arm falls asleep.

boppy bolster pillowYesterday we took some coupons and a gift card to Babies R Us and filled out the important bits of our registry. I ended up adding a little treat for myself: a Boppy bolster. It’s a firm little sausage-shaped pillow with a removable ice/hot pack, and it turns my glider into a much more comfortable place to be. You can obviously use it any number of ways (neck roll, between the knees, etc.) but the small of the back is where I want it lately. So much better!

Well, I have a full day planned so I’d better stop blogging and start doing. Laters…

Say Cheese

Before I begin writing this, I need to say that I’m talking about my personal preferences here, and that I’m offering no judgment on what other people like — just the same as how some baby names don’t appeal to me for my kids, but if they work for you and yours, terrific! I’ve seen a lot of beautiful maternity photographs that are much-loved by the people in them, and I love them for those people. Just not for me.

Well… actually… I offer some judgment on what some other people like. But then again, there are entire websites devoted to people who are similarly judgmental…

The thing is, I’m not a big fan of formal maternity photography. It just doesn’t do anything for me. I have no interest in pictures of me with big blue bows tied around my belly, or with ABC blocks propped across the bump, or (heaven help me) with a baby photo double-exposed upside-down onto my torso. And while I appreciate the artistry of tasteful nude photography as much as the next person — and actually totally like and am intrigued by the way my body looks now — I really don’t want to strip down and bare all for the camera, even if artfully draped in chiffon.

Not to mention — have you seen some of these pictures? Not a single stretch mark in sight! Exactly how much Photoshop do we need?

The thing is… for me, a photo that exists for the sole purpose of capturing my abdomen on film doesn’t really seem like something that I want, and definitely doesn’t seem like something I’d want to hang on my wall. And it isn’t because I’m ashamed of or unhappy with the way I look; quite the opposite. I guess I just think I’d be embarrassed!

That said, I don’t want this journey to end and to look back and realize that it hadn’t been documented. I have loved being pregnant, have loved being a part of something so extraordinary and that I’ve wanted so badly. And while I don’t want any photos that look like R and I are already working on baby #2 up over the mantle, I wouldn’t mind a few pretty pictures of me (NOT just my stomach!) to have somewhere down the road. So tomorrow (at which point I’ll be 36 weeks and 1 day… hmm, maybe I ought to do a 36 week post?) I’m going to meet up with my mom, who takes beautiful photographs, and I’m going to put on a pretty outfit, and we’re going to go to the park and take some pictures. And none of them are going to look like this:

Fully clothed photos for me, please 🙂 Sorry, Ryan! You’re not going to get the chance to bail me out for indecent exposure in a public park this week.

Although I do have one slightly silly prop that is bound to make an appearance… 🙂

Anyway, I will probably share a few on here in a little while.

I guess I didn’t have much of a purpose behind this post, other than to unintentionally offend a bunch of people, so probably I should go on to bed.

That’s One Spoiled Baby

I am finally getting around to posting about baby showers… good grief, me! This is going to be a photo-heavy post, so I’m going to utilize the gallery feature in WordPress to cut down on space — but you should be able to click on the thumbnails to see larger images.

Ryan’s cousin Krista is due the same week as we are, so she, her sister Kara, and her mom Celia drove up from Salt Lake City in February for a lunch/double shower/get-together. It was a quick trip, but it was so nice to get to see everyone! We met in the back room at Bardenay along with many people from that side of Ryan’s family.

Then, on March 15, my friends from the English department threw me a fantastic Dr. Seuss-themed baby shower. Several of my friends from work were able to come out and eat green eggs and ham and Seussical cupcakes, see whose baby-ice cube water would break fastest, and play history/nursery rhyme trivia games.

I just love the awful facial expressions in that last picture, don’t you?

Presents from the second shower:

I had to take two pictures to show off all of the goodies, plus a separate one for the overflowing Rubbermaid bins of cute little boy clothes, plus another separate one for the “treasure chest” of pirate-themed baby things Mom collected and made! (I like pirate stuff a lot — long story, much history — and Mom knew that Kermie was going to need to get his sea legs early!)

(BTW — Paisley didn’t try to get into the glider all day when I was working in the nursery… until I put that pirate quilt in the seat. I guess she knows when something was made with love!)

Paisley Likes Pirates

My friends from my book club weren’t able to make it to that shower, but we were meeting the following night, so I had an encore shower before we started talking about books! I didn’t take any pictures that night, but I did want to memorialize those presents as well… goodness gracious but this kid is spoiled!

Shower 2 - Book Club Addendum

Finally, I had another chair full of cute things from Ryan’s folks:

Shower 1 - Bakers

That’s not even all of the things — I’m overwhelmed with all the generosity, not to mention with figuring out where to put everything! 🙂 Now that everything more or less has a place to be, I just need to write some thank you notes and do some preliminary baby laundry before the little one shows up and starts making use of all his wonderful presents. He is a very lucky little boy!

Catching Up

I am a wee bit overdue for an update. I honestly just haven’t felt like writing or reading anything for the past few days. It was a loooong week at work, and my brain has just been sapped. (I haven’t opened the book I’m “currently reading” for weeks… so much for my plan to bulk up on reading before baby arrives.)

35 weeks pregnant

Well, as of today I am 35 weeks and 3 days pregnant… and I am feeling every minute of it. Boy howdy, they are not kidding when they say that these last weeks of pregnancy are uncomfortable! The little guy is getting heavier and I’m having more frequent abdominal discomfort — not contraction-type stuff, but just tendons and skin and whatnot getting a workout — and a lot more trouble with all that leg/hip/pelvis mechanism. I really don’t think he’s dropped, as the bump is still very high up against my chest, but things are certainly changing. I’m having a hard time walking very far, increased (and increasingly random) need for the bathroom, and more back pain. It’s getting more difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, and I’m finally at a point where I actually need the recommended four pillows (head, back, under-belly, between-leg) to minimize aches and strains. I’m also beginning to see very mild ankle/foot swelling after a long day.

The most aggravating thing I’ve had in the past few days (possible TMI zone for the gentlemen) is that the girth of my belly — getting larger, and still up high — has exceeded the maximum length of my bra bands, causing painful pinching and chafing. I’m really sensitive to that sort of thing (yay team SD) so this has been a high-priority problem for me. I haven’t wanted to invest much in larger-banded underwear because I know that specific problem will go away when the baby drops (or, worst case, when baby arrives) but I found a nice stretchy nursing bra at Target, plus a package of bra extenders for only $7 that I hope get me through the next few weeks.

Aggravating in a different way? Hiccups. OMG, are prenatal hiccups (his, not mine) annoying!!! I mean, I’m glad they’re there, I’m glad I can feel the munchkin doing things. But these extended fits of hiccups could just about drive me crazy.

The other day I whined, half-seriously, that I was never going to be comfortable again nor get a good night’s sleep again. Then last night I got six hours of uninterrupted sleep, which was pretty awesome. I should take a moment to remind myself that I really have been enjoying being pregnant. I may not be able to remember that very much longer! 🙂

Anyway, at 35 weeks, Kermie is supposed to weigh about five and a half pounds and be 18-20 inches long. He doesn’t have much room to maneuver anymore, and in this particular case he isn’t really doing much in the way of kicking anymore, but he’s been stretching his legs out and pushing me in the side rather strongly. The little illustrations online and in books show that Kermie pretty much just looks like a baby now, putting on weight and all that good stuff.

I have several other posts that need writing: baby shower, stroller, maternity photography…. We’ll see if I get to those this weekend….

Long Day

I’ve read in several different places humorous lists about how pregnant women are like giant toddlers, and tonight I proved the point. Driving home, I was simultaneously starving and did NOT want to eat anything, and then I started to cry because I was tired and hungry. Waaaaah!

Today was a long day preceded by a night of pretty spotty sleep. Got up at my usual 5:30 and really struggled to find anything to wear that was clean, not hate-worthy, and was dressy enough for parent-teacher conferences. Got dressed, prettified, and fed, then drove to work. I had figured that today would be a relatively easy day (during school hours, that is); I knew I was administering a test first hour that would take the entire period, figured the lesson I’d planned for my other classes would be relatively low-maintenance, and thought that — with the exception of half an hour for a performance evaluation meeting — my prep period would be some good quiet time to prepare for conferences, grade, and maybe even relax a little bit.

Well… first hour went as planned…

Then second hour hit, and everything fell to pieces. My relatively easy, self-directed assignment turned out to be harder than I thought. On top of that, in some sort of Epic Failure of teaching, I’d forgotten that my freshmen were unlikely to be on their best behavior or highest intelligence on the second-to-last day before Spring Break. Ergo: an 87-minute-long headache.

Prep turned out to be one of those prep periods where you’re never alone in your classroom and, while largely a very pleasant way to pass the time, not very restful or productive. About 20 minutes before my scheduled eval meeting, I realized I hadn’t yet visited the restroom or eaten anything. I hit the loo, got waylaid by another situation before I could get to the fridge, and ended up with only eight minutes to eat lunch before the meeting — so instead of cooking my entire lunch, I just grabbed a small snack. I figured that if my eval meeting went the amount of time intended, I’d have almost half an hour afterward to sit down and eat.

Ten minutes after my meeting was supposed to have started, I got a call saying they were running behind and would be there in twenty minutes. Then, more people in my classroom. Then, the meeting occurred. (It was great.) And then my fourth period class was banging on the door to be let in.

And fourth period was much… uh… more challenging than second. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we? Also, did you know that a group of turkeys is called a rafter?

Immediately after school: more people in my classroom.

Let me be clear: I am in no way complaining about all the visitors. It was awfully nice, and pretty much everyone I saw today brightened my day. But I never really had a chance to be “off,” which, as an introvert, I really need in order to recharge my batteries.

Quick dinner, followed by four hours of conferences — which, thank heavens, were very slow. I had only five families all night, so I got a lot of grading done and got some of that much-needed quiet time, although I could never completely relax because someone could come in at any moment. In honesty, I really like parent-teacher conferences, and the ones I had tonight were really good ones. But by the time the end of the day finally rolled around, I was pretty worn out.

Then I got stopped by construction for twenty minutes on a back road that no one ever drives on but me. Who knew they even did construction out there?

Kind of a long, pointless story, but that sort of reflects the day, so there you have it. I have several things I want to write about (strollers! baby showers! dinosaurs!) but none of that is happening tonight. It is time for me to turn off.

34! Also: Brilliant Business Idea

I’m told that one’s third trimester baby can hear and recognize their parents’ voices, and that if you play a particular kind of music at this point in your pregnancy your baby is likely to find that music soothing after he is born. (Mom, Dad, did you listen to a lot of Pink Floyd before I was born?) Anyway, if that’s truly the case, then I am somewhat concerned that little Xerxes is going to come out of the womb expecting his parents to be Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne. That, or I’m pre-programming him to enjoy rocking out to public news radio…. During my long-ish 6:30 AM commute (and increasingly during the return trip) I find that I’m usually not awake enough to want music, so I’ve been tuning into NPR pretty often and letting Morning Edition (and whatever afternoon/early evening programming I happen to hit) keep me company.

web-aviator-storkAs of today, Xerxes has been cooking for 34 weeks. He’s learned two new tricks lately: hiccoughing until his mom goes crazy, and stretching his legs(?) as far as he can into my right side until I get a backache. BabyCenter.com says he’s 18 inches long and 4.75 pounds; WhatToExpect.com puts him at 20 inches and 5 pounds. At this point, were his stork to catch a tailwind and show up early, Xerxes might have to spend a little bit of time in the hospital but would be just fine, assuming no other health problems.

I think Ryan actually wants to name him Xerxes. I’d better make sure that I’m in the room when they come by with the paperwork.

I am definitely dealing with fatigue, although I don’t know how much of that is pregnancy, how much is the time change, and how much is lingering effects from this germ. At the same time, I’m getting a nice burst of mental energy, which I’m currently applying toward getting things ready at work for maternity leave. My physical energy completely runs dry by the time I get home, which is frustrating when my mental energy would prefer I tidy the house or go to a store instead of crash on the couch. Too bad for me, though — I don’t get to do either of those things most days! Who knew the last couple of months of pregnancy would be so busy? We signed up for a natural childbirth class (tonight is the last meeting) that I’m actually rather liking, and of course doctor’s appointments are increasing in frequency now.

Plus, this Friday is my baby shower! I’m excited. 🙂

I’m also becoming aware that my stress levels are pretty high. School is wearing on me, things around the house are starting to bother me, and Drama Llama has recently invited himself into my life and is running amok. One of the consequences of this is that I’ve been accessorizing my outfits (most of which are starting to fit poorly, and all of which are boring me to tears) with some pretty large, painful cold sores. Yay.

Anyway! Last night I had a dream in which I came up with a Brilliant Business Idea. Ryan and I were shopping in my dream, and we were looking at a new line of purses. They were large and roomy, but attractive. As we looked through them, we discovered that these were purses especially made for and marketed to pregnant women. There were all of these handy little compartments, kind of like with a diaper bag only not intended for the baby. There was a pocket just the right size for a bottle of Tums, and an insulated pouch for a water bottle or chocolate bar. There was (of course) a place just the right size and accessability for a cell phone, but also one about the right size for a standard pregnancy book (is it just me, or are they all exactly the same size?). There was a place for lotion, a tiny little pocket for tea bags or ginger drops — really, just about anything a pregnant woman lugs around with her, there was a designated place for it in this bag. The coolest thing, though, was that there was a built-in stethoscope so that you could listen to your baby’s heartbeat. And the stethoscope was covered in matching leather with the bag, and designed to look like a tassel…

So yeah. I think someone should probably make these and become a millionaire, and then give me some of the money. I’m not asking for much. Maybe enough to get a nice second car with four doors and a roomy back seat? 😉

Oh, here’s your weekly lousy photograph of me. Today, Dumbledore is in it too.

Man, these florescent lights really do not make for very good photographs.

Man, these florescent lights really do not make for very good photographs.

Review: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and DisappearedThe 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

My rating: 5 out of 5

Joseph Stalin. Mao Tse-Tung. Winston Churchill. Robert Oppenheimer. Sigvard Eklund. Charles de Gaulle. Presidents Truman, Johnson, and Nixon. Sonya the Elephant. Conceivably, if you lived a hundred years — the right hundred years — and were the right guy, and were in the right places at the right times, you might just interact with all of these people. In fact, if you were the right guy in the right places at the right times, you might conceivably have a pretty significant impact on some of these people and the big things they did with their lives.

Allan Karlsson, as it turns out, is the right guy. But when this quirky, amusing, intelligent novel begins, he is also a hundred years old, fed up with life in a nursing home, and anxious for a stiff drink. The novel opens with his undramatic escape from the Malmköping Old Folks’ Home and takes a sharp left turn into the twin stories of Allan Karlsson: his present-day adventures as he flees across Sweden, pursued not only by police who want to save him but crooks who want him dead, and his astonishing life story that shows the reader how Allan Karlsson became the man he is today.

The 100-Year-Old Man bills itself as a Forrest Gump story in the back cover copy, and that’s not a bad way to characterize it, at least on the surface. Like Gump, Karlsson has — largely through sheer dumb luck — found himself a player in a disproportionately large number of major historical events. Also like Gump, Karlsson has navigated these events devoid of political or economic motivation beyond simple survival and a “why not” attitude. Unlike Forrest Gump, Allan Karlsson is a brilliant explosives expert, and this expertise propels him beyond the sidelines straight into the action. Without intention or motivation, Karlsson drives and changes the course of history itself. Jonasson’s novel paints this now-unassuming centenarian as the pivotal figure in multiple international conflicts, assassination attempts, intrigues, and conspiracies. Yes, The 100-Year-Old Man is kindred to Forrest Gump, but it also shares genes with Catch Me If You Can and perhaps even Water for Elephants; heck, there might even be a wee dash of Douglas Adams in there.

The result is a novel that I was reluctant to put down, that I recommended multiple times to the people around me as I read, and that was chock-full of passages that I just couldn’t help but read aloud. For example:

If it is possible to become stone-cold sober instantly after having just downed a whole bottle of tequila, then that was what Vice President Harry S. Truman did. The news of Roosevelt’s sudden demise meant that the vice president had to conclude the pleasant dinner with Allan and fly immediately to Washington. Allan was left behind in the restaurant to argue with the headwaiter about the bill. In the end, the headwaiter accepted Allan’s argument that the future president of the United States was probably reasonably credit-worthy and that, in any case, the headwaiter now knew his address.

I greatly appreciated Jonasson’s dry humor, the somehow believable absurdity of both storylines, the fascinating gallivant through 20th century international history, and the unabashed way in which Jonasson drew present-day Karlsson as a vivacious and personable protagonist despite or even because of his advanced chronological age.

I love it when I stumble upon a book by accident — or perhaps its the book fairies, or fate, or angelus liborumi — and it turns out to be a real winner. This particular book was crammed into a shelf of used crafting and home decor books in a crowded corner of a thrift shop in a small Idaho town; I’d already gone through the entire book section but had returned while waiting for someone else in my party to finish shopping. The book’s bright orange cover caught my eye; the ridiculous title and its placement made me think it was going to be an interesting nonfiction, perhaps in the sociological vein, and then the first few pages convinced me to gamble a dollar on it.

In all honesty, I was initially skeptical of this book based on the highly scientific fact that it was written by a Swedish author (originally in Swedish, naturally). I had failed to make it through the first chapter of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I had the erroneous idea that Jasper Fforde’s books — which I desperately want to like but cannot — were of Swedish descent as well. From these two disappointments I had drawn the conclusion that I Dislike All Swedish Literature, which is approximately as fair as stating that one dislikes all meatballs based on the frozen nuggets available at IKEA. I’m glad that, despite the word “Swedish” emblazoned several times across the cover, I gave this novel a chance. It’s one of my favorites of the academic year thus far, and definitely one I hope to share with others. Heck, this book would be equally appropriately recommended to my highly educated book club friends and with at least some of my 17-year-old students. I may have to track down a second copy for my classroom library!

Pablo

This is Pablo.

This is Pablo. He is my little monkey but will one day soon be passed on to my firstborn. This is funny, you see, because some people like to refer to their babies as being little monkeys.*

I’ve had to stop thinking of Kermie as Pablo because I was actually getting attached to the name, and I don’t think it’s necessarily the most appropriate fit of all time! (Ryan says if the baby is born on May 5, we can name him Pablo; I don’t necessarily think of the name as being from Mexico so much as from Spain, though. Like Picasso! Of course, Pablo Neruda — whose poetry I love — was from Chile. So there you have it.)

(The first Neruda poem I ever read, coincidentally, was about socks.)

Anyway, Pablo is from a grocery store in McCall, Idaho. That is, perhaps, an odd place to find a blue sock monkey with specially-embroidered eyes so that tiny humans with oral fixations don’t chew off the buttons and choke. Nevertheless, that is where Pablo came from. He had a friend who was rainbow colored with a mohawk; if you want a monkey friend, you can probably go to McCall and adopt one for yourself. Or, y’know, since he’s made by TY, you could probably find one somewhere else as well.

Pablo has been trying to help Ryan and I figure out what — if not actually Pablo or Kermit — to name our impending progeny.

Pablo with name book

As of today, Pablo (and Kermit) notwithstanding, there are eight names still on the list. Eight is better than twelve but still not as good as 2-3, so we took advantage of a very nice overnight getaway to see if our brains functioned any better at 5,000 ft than they did at 2,700 ft. We put each of the eight names onto its own little sheet of paper, and independently ranked them and compared the results, only to find that we had almost exactly opposite rankings — except for the #1 choice which, as soon as I began thinking of it as a real possibility, began to lose its appeal. BECAUSE I AM A FREAK LIKE THAT AND DO THAT TO EVERY SINGLE NAME YAAARGH WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.

Ryan then seized the opportunity to do some magic math, and combined our two rankings into one composite ranking. You can see Ryan and Pablo hard at work in the extremely well-lit photo here.

Ryan and Pablo do magic math

I then proceeded to drive him crazy by questioning his technique, criticizing his list, and rejecting his results. He responded by throwing me out into the snow and locking the door behind me calmly trying things the way I suggested, coming up with almost the exact same results, and being very nice to me even though I was a nutcase.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Just because we came up with a ranked list this past weekend doesn’t mean that we actually have an answer, a top-three list, or anything that we’re ready to share with anyone. I’m sorry if that hurts anyone’s feelings, but that’s what we need right now as we continue to get our bearings on this.

Some of the names that had been early frontrunners are very traditional, fairly common names; three of the eight names, in fact, are among the top 20 nationwide from 2011. I didn’t necessarily have an enormous problem with that, especially given that these three names aren’t quite as popular in Idaho as they are across the country… until I got to thinking about the fact that our last name is so incredibly common. Ryan has had trouble getting a unique email address for this reason, and even in our relatively small city I’ve had my medical records mixed up with another woman with my name. I had begun thinking that it might be in Kermie’s best interest to have a little bit less common first name so that he wasn’t one of a thousand Google hits.

Of the other five names, only one is in the top 100 in the United States; the other four didn’t make the cut, although three of them are in the top 300 and the last is in the top 600.

The name that ended up in the #1 spot has two obvious diminuative forms (think Kate for Katherine or Sue for Susanna), one of which — the one we’d prefer — has some definite cultural associations. These are positive but slightly nerdy connotations, and I’m not really uncomfortable with them, even though I’m sure some people would think we named our child “after” one of the famous bearers of said name (which wouldn’t be the case). Oh well!

Two of the names in the top 8 have no apparent nicknames, which is something that kind of bugs me… but maybe not as much as it used to.

Of course, both Ryan and I had favorites that were the other person’s least favorites. It’s too much to ask that, despite always scoring exactly the same on personality tests, etc., we’d like exactly the same names! His #3 is my name #8, and his #4 is my #7; I had a tie for #2, and the two names on my list in that spot are his #6 and #8 choices.

Hmm. Well, we’ll see. I guess it’s at least saying something that, at that particular moment in time, we both liked the same name for choice #1…

Pablo face

* The sentence immediately preceding the asterisk is hilarious. It’s okay if you don’t know why, though. It’s a location joke. Nothing to see here. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, etc.