What's in a Name?

I think every woman who plans to have kids some day, and even those who don't, have baby names that they like. Before we got pregnant, I kept a draft in my Gmail that I updated with boy and girl names. Some of them I came up with on my own, my husband mentioned some of them, and others we discussed together.

So when it came time to actually start choosing a name for the baby, I thought it would be a simple task.


As it turns out, naming another human is actually a lot of pressure.

You want to find a name that means something to you. You want a name that is strong. You want a name that won't get the kid made fun of his whole life. You want a name that is cute, but will also carry him or her into adulthood. You want a name that doesn't have the possibility of terrible nicknames from other little assholes. Maybe you want a family name. You want a name that is unique, but not too unique. And also one that is not too popular.

Three prime examples of terrible names.

Before we knew we were having a boy, we had two boy names we agreed that we would choose between. But as we considered girl names, we found it VERY hard to agree. Near the end, we finally agreed on one name that I'm pretty sure would have been our girl's name (and probably will be if we ever have one), but we basically decided to stop playing the name game until we knew if Baby Farrell was a boy or girl. (I recommend this - it will prevent a lot of fights.)

I call my husband "The Name Nazi." Every name I threw out there, he would ponder and come up with how said name could be used against the child. He'd come up with possible nicknames and if the possibility of a terrible nickname presented itself, the name was axed. We had to cross off A LOT of names for this reason. For example, I LOVE the name Greyson. "Grey" is such a cute little nickname. But when my husband pointed out that kids could (and probably would) call him "Gay" or "Gayson," it totally ruined it for me.

We also had the debate of "Let's name him this and call him this." For example, let's name him Bennett, but call him Ben. Which then begged the question, why, if you want to call him Ben, would you name him Bennett? You may have your own reasons and opinions on this. Ultimately, we never let this affect our name choice. Except with one name that had the possibility of a nickname/shortened version we did not want people calling him. So it got the axe.

As I said, we had two boys names that we both loved, but agreed that the one we are going with was "the one" for this baby. Hard to say why. When considering middle names, we wanted to use a family name, so we asked around on male names that ran in the family (aside from ones we knew). We've decided that, too, and are also keeping that a surprise.

Speaking of, no, we are not sharing our name prior to his being born. WITH ANYONE. My sisters try to get it out of me every time we talk. I must say, it's a fun way to torture people. (Muah hahahaha.) Our reasons for not sharing are pretty simple: We don't want your opinion.

Too many times, with family and with friends, I have heard them share their names and get a negative reaction from someone. "You're naming him what?" "I know someone named ___ and she is a bitch!" or "Ugh, that name is so snobby."

I give kudos to those parents who don't care what other people think and who share their name with everyone proudly, no matter what the opinion. For us, it's just not the route we are going with.

I can't wait to finally share with you all, and the world, what our little man is named. I'll give you a hint - JUST KIDDING. The name we chose is meaningful to us and to our family. It is strong. It is cute at the same time. It is perfect.

How did you choose your baby name?
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Week 35 || Bumpdate


Baby's size: A coconut. All of the apps have him at different sizes, but he's likely somewhere between 17-20 inches long and around 5.5 lbs. 

Baby's progress: All of his major systems are a go! At this point, his brain continues to develop, but his hearing is good, his liver is producing waste and his lungs are prepping to breathe on their own. From here on out, he'll basically just keep packing on the pounds with his mama!

Weight gain: 40 lbs 

Sleep: Comes and goes. Still taking Unisom pretty regularly. Waking much more frequently for bathroom breaks and having difficulty getting comfortable.

Movement: He is still very active in there, even though he's supposed to be slowing down in there since he's running out of room. Doesn't seem to stop him!
This week's chalkboard picture doesn't show how truly BIG my belly is.

Best moment this week: Finishing our nursery (pretty much)! We are hanging some DIY bookshelves this weekend, a new ceiling fan, and our glider is due to arrive any day. But last weekend we organized the dresser and closet and we hung things on the walls. Can't wait for the reveal...if anyone cares :) We also had our FINAL baby celebration, which was brunch with my friends and ex-co-workers. Loved seeing them and catching up!

Looking forward to: Our glider getting here. And another weekend at home where we can cross more things off the to-do list! I'm also looking forward to going to the doctor next week, if you can believe it. I want to see if I've started making any progress down there! Oh, and Thanksgiving is next week. 

Symptoms: My hands are starting to really cause me a lot of pain. It hurts to type at work every day, or even make a fist. Going to see if the doctor can prescribe some anti-inflammatory or something.

Workouts: Still working to get at least 30 minutes of activity every day, either through walking or going to the gym.Sometimes baby has other ideas and when that happens, I listen and just relax. 

What I miss: Going #2 regularly. How's that for real talk? Lots of things happen inside when you're preggo, One of which is your internal organs get smushed - for example, the lungs and intestines. So, going to the bathroom becomes infrequent, which can be very uncomfortable at times. So there's that. You're welcome, and I'm sorry (but not really?).

34 weeks

Things that suck: Achey joints are still not cool. The cold weather seems to make them worse.  

Things that don't suck: Knowing that in 30 days (+/- a few), we will get to meet our sweet boy, kiss his face and snuggle his little body. And knowing that all of these aches and pains and discomfort will have been worth it!
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11 Things I Love About Being Pregnant

Pregnancy can be a double-edged sword. When you're not pregnant, you're looking for "real talk" on what it's like - the ups, the downs and everything in between. I have asked friends and family to give it to me straight - don't sugarcoat that shit, I need to know how much it sucks to be pregnant.

But then when you actually are pregnant, you realize it's not that bad. (I say that as someone who has had a normal, healthy, relatively easy pregnancy. I'm sure the women who suffer from hyperemesis and other complications might not agree with me.)

To my surprise more than anyone else's, I have enjoyed being pregnant. I might even - GASP - miss it when our baby arrives (just a little though. And probably not that much since I hope to be pregnant again someday).

I've spent a lot of time on this blog trying to keep it real about some things that really aren't awesome about pregnant - the swelling, the peeing, the fluids leaking, the soberiety. But there are some genuinely amazing things about carrying your baby that don't get enough credit.

What I love about being pregnant:

1. Maternity clothes. I started wearing maternity clothes WAY sooner than I needed to. Like, way sooner. Like, I'm embarrassed to say that I wore maternity jeans at 8 weeks. 8 weeks! Do you know what I looked like at 8 weeks pregnant? Not much different than I looked at 9 weeks.

I did not look pregnant, that's for sure, and there was definitely no need to be wearing anything other than my "normal" clothes. BUT, maternity clothes are SO comfy. Think about it - these are articles of clothing that were made to be stretchy. Don't bitch and moan when you have to make the transition. Embrace the maxis, the stretchy band on the jeans and the leggings. And embrace the bump!

2. Kindness and smiles. Most of the time, people are way nice to preggos. They offer you their seat, they let you cut in the bathroom line, they help you with something you're carrying. People congratulate me at Target or when I'm walking down the street. Or sometimes, they just look at your belly and give you a knowing smile. I find this most from other mothers. It doesn't happen all the time, but for the most part, kindness is the unspoken language of pregnancy.

3. Naps and relaxing. Even before I was pregnant, I was always tired. Ask my husband. My daily woes included "I'm tired" and "I'm hungry." As a preggo, sleeping is encouraged. Who cares if you go to bed at 8pm, wake up at 10am and then take a nap at noon? NO ONE. And if you can't sleep, just having an excuse to relax is nice. Not that I needed one before, but no one argues when you say you can't do anything because the baby needs you to relax. (I need to actually relax more. Right now I'm currently in "Holy shit there is so much to do, there's no time to put my feet up!" mode.)

4. Organization. So, I'm generally a pretty organized person. Type A, for sure. I live and die by my to-do lists. Pregnancy does affect that in a negative way, which is that now, I'm VERY forgetful. The other night I started crying because I couldn't find a gift card we received (still haven't found it). BUT, on the other hand, nesting is a very real thing. As such, we have done some house projects that have been on the list forever, and the house is always clean and I'm always finding something else to "do" around the house.

5. The belly. Huge and stretched as it is, I love my baby bump. It's instinctual to always rub it, or lay with my hands on it. I love feeling the baby kick and move in there, and sometimes, when I put my hand right where I felt a kick, he stops. I like to think it's because I'm calming him and letting him know I'm there. Not to mention, the belly makes a great shelf for anything - drinks, snacks, books, someone's head...

6. Eating. See number 3. I have always loved to eat. When you're pregnant, it's all you have. Be careful though. You really shouldn't be "eating for two" as they say, but if you want to indulge in things you were strict about before, do it. Now is the time.

7. Feeling special. Not everyone likes being center of attention. I usually don't, either. But I have enjoyed the general feeling of being celebrated. Between the baby showers and the gifts from friends we haven't heard from in forever, to being taken care of by my husband, it's nice to feel pampered and loved!

8. Body awareness. Not only has being pregnant given me a new appreciation for my pre-pregnancy body, I am WAY more attuned to my body than ever before. When you're pregnant, every ache, pain, tingle and itch comes with, "What was that? Why did that happen?" And if you're like me, you want find out. Some women call the doctor, some women Google. (Side note: I haven't called my doctor once in my entire pregnancy...is that weird?!) You learn so much about what exactly is happening inside your body. They don't say babies are miracles for nothing. It truly is so incredible what the woman's body can do and how it changes to accommodate the life inside you.

9. Anticipation. In general, for 9 months, you have something to look forward to and be excited about. Of course there are MANY things to look forward to along the way - milestones like first kicks, starting to show and baby showers. And of course, at the end of everything, you have a baby to meet! Nothing is more exciting than that.

10. Secrets. It's up to you what you want to keep secret, if anything, during your pregnancy. We chose to find out the sex of the baby and share that with people. But we kept it a secret for about a week until we told our families, and I loved sharing that tidbit of knowledge with only my hubby. Same thing with the name. We've had his name chosen for a while and are keeping it secret until he gets here. Why? Mainly because we don't want the opinions of others to color the name we love for our babe. Again though, it is fun to have something that is just between us two, since so many other details of my pregnancy have been put out there.

11. There's a baby inside me. My husband and I created a human. How cool is that?! Words can't describe how amazing it is to see and feel another life inside you. It can be creepy, I admit, and I know a lot of people get weirded out by it. But ultimately, as you learn exactly what's happening inside of you and each time you hear that little heart beat -- it's a feeling unlike any other.
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Currently I'm...

Happy Monday, friends! Instead of boring you with a weekend update, I thought I'd switch things up today. I did have a great weekend though. Very low-key and productive with SO much work done in the nursery. I can't wait to show you pictures when it's finished!

So here's what's happening with me this Monday afternoon.

Currently I'm...

Wearing: A super cozy black, hooded poncho sweater I got in my most recent Stitch Fix. I fear it makes me look a little like a house, but let's be honest, these days I am not the smallest. Comfort is key.

Reading: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. Jodi is one of my favorite authors. This book is about a 13-year old searching for her mother, an elephant researcher, who disappeared 10 years earlier.

Loving: The cool weather and first snow of the season!

Not loving: My hands are in so much pain these days. It hurts to make a fist or stretch my fingers. No relief in sight, either.

Watching: All the usual suspects (trashy reality television, Scandal, Good Wife, Grey's, Parenthood, Homeland). Some new shows I've tried that I enjoy: How to Get Away With Murder, Stalker and Marry Me.

Looking forward to: SO many things. We get our glider this week, and then our nursery will be pretty much complete. Thanksgiving is next week, and I'm all about Thanksgiving. We're putting up Christmas decorations this weekend. One of my posts will be featured on Scary Mommy this week. And we are 32 days out from our due date...I am so excited to meet my boy.

Drinking: Water. So much water, all the damn time.

Daydreaming about: Meeting my babe. Going on a vacation. Having hands that don't hurt.

Feeling: My baby roll and tumble inside my belly. He does not have much room, I can tell you that much, but with how active he is, you'd think there was a lot of space in there!

Craving: A Peppermint Mocha. Those are MY JAM during the cold months.

Thinking about: What am I not thinking about is the better question? My mind is constantly in motion these days, thinking about what we have to do for baby, etc. I'm thinking right now about the errands I have to do after work (get spray paint for a nursery DIY project and stop at Trader Joe's), the fact that I don't want to go to the gym after my errands, where I'm going to hang remaining nursery prints after I get home from the gym, and of course - what's for dinner?

Mingle 240
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A Word About Pregnancy Weight Gain

Dear Doctor,

I'm frustrated. No, that's too nice. I'm pissed off. 

At my 34-week appointment yesterday, I was told for, not for the first or second time, that you are "concerned" with my weight gain. That I am not "allowed" to gain any more weight, and that if I don't maintain until baby comes, I'm "in trouble."

A. What the fuck? What exactly will you do to me if I do, in fact, gain a dreaded pound or two?
B. I have gained 40 lbs.

They say, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight, a 25-35 lb gain is "healthy." So I guess I don't understand why alarms are going off that I've gained 5 lbs more than the recommended amount.

4 weeks pregnant

Let's look at Hayden Panettiere. Same height as me, same weight gain. Granted, I did not weigh 106 lbs pre-pregnancy (and I kinda doubt she did either). Is anyone jumping down her throat?

I have friends who have gained 60+ pounds during pregnancy. I even know women who have gained 90+ pounds. Did their doctors say a word? NOPE.

Obviously, the goal when pregnant is not to gain a ton of weight, but it's part of the process. Let's look at where some of the pounds go:
In an average pregnancy, weight gain is distributed as follows:
Baby -- 6-8 lbs.
Placenta -- 1-2 lbs.
Increased fluid volume -- 2-3 lbs.
Increased blood volume -- 3-4 lbs.
Amniotic fluid -- 2 lbs.
Enlarged uterus -- 2 lbs.
Enlarged breasts -- 1-2 lbs.
(I am confident my enlarged breasts are at least 5 lbs, and I'm not even kidding.)
Stored fat and protein (important for lactation) -- 6-8 lbs.
For shits and giggles, let's say I am on the high end of all of those numbers. That comes to 31 pounds. Which means I have 9 extra pounds floating around my body somewhere.

Am I crazy to think that's normal?!

10 weeks pregnant

Here's the other thing, doctor. I will be the first to admit that I have not been "perfect" in eating in my pregnancy. There have been days when I went over the 300 extra calories you're supposed to eat. There have been days (more than a few) when I gave in to my pizza or burger craving. I have eaten fast food, but I'm confident I can count on one hand the number of times that has happened in the past 34 weeks.


A typical day of eating for me looks like this:

Breakfast: Bagel and cream cheese or English muffin with peanut butter; fruit, orange juice. Coffee some days.
Lunch: Soup or salad, maybe a little of each. 
Sometimes a sandwich from Subway or Jimmy Johns, with chips.
Snacks: Fruits, veggies or yogurt
Dinner: Typical meals are tacos, pulled pork/chicken, or chicken stir-fry. Perhaps a chicken breast with a starch and vegetable.
Dessert: I am guilty of having a handful of candy in the evenings. Sometimes ice cream.

This menu? NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I ATE BEFORE I WAS PREGNANT. The major difference is that I eat more carbs that I did pre-pregnancy. For example, at dinner, if we have tacos, in the past I would just have a taco salad, whereas now, I go for the shells. If I have a burger, I eat the bun. Etc.
33 weeks, 6 days

I am also active. Up until about 30 weeks, I was at the gym about 4-5 times a week. Now, I only make 2-3, but on the days I don't, I make sure to at least walk for 30 minutes. I know for a fact this is more than MANY people can say, pregnant or not.

PLUS, dearest, doctor, you more than anyone should know that when you weigh yourself, any time you do so inconsistently, you're going to fluctuate. For example, most of my appointments with you are in the late afternoon, when I've had 2 liters of water, and at least two meals in the day. What I'm wearing is also a factor. It's fucking cold, and I'm wearing a bulky sweater and boots. How much I weigh is probably going to be different than if you weigh me first thing in the morning, naked. If you'd let me strip down, we probably wouldn't have this conversation. Case in point: The scale this morning before I stepped in the shower was a solid 5 lbs less than it was before I went to bed last night.

Bare belly at 34 weeks, 5 days. (My mirror is dirty).

Doc, I'm just frustrated because the last fucking thing I want to worry about at this point of my pregnancy is not gaining weight. I want to focus on the excitement of finishing our nursery. On the fact that we get to meet our sweet boy in 5-6 short weeks. I don't want to think about cutting out carbs and sweets. I will worry about that shit when I am trying to lose the baby weight, not grow a healthy human being.

In conclusion, doctor, while I appreciate your care and concern, what I'd really like to say is Fuck you and your opinion of my weight.

This PSA brought to you by pregnant women, everywhere.
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Week 33 || Bumpdate

Forgot to change the week, but it's 33...

Baby's size: a honeydew melon. The Bump says he's about 4.2 to 5.8 lbs and measuring 17-18.5 inches. AND, he could grow up to a full inch this week! Not sure where that's going to go...

Baby's progress: He's keeping his eyes open while awake and starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing. His bones are hardening and his little brain is continuing to have some major developments!

Weight gain: 37 lbs so far. Just keeps going up...

Sleep: Better. I've been taking Unisom, which has helped, and when I don't take it, I've still been sleeping OK, just not as great. The newest sleep issue is that I found out I am sleeping with my hands clenched, so when I wake up, my carpal tunnel is extra bad and my wrists hurt.

Movement: Like a boss. Little dude is busy. My stomach is frequently lopsided because he's in some weird position and one body part is sticking out at a strange angle. Today for example, he was completely horizonal in my tummy and my belly looked WEIRD.

Best moment this week: We've had a few in the past couple of weeks! First, we saw our sweet babe in 3D last week and he is so adorable! He has hair and he looks like my husband - which is great, considering how good looking he is. I'll do a post dedicated to this appointment soon. We also had a family baby shower this past weekend in Iowa. I can't explain what a wonderful feeling it is to know someone who isn't even here yet is so loved. We got many of our essentials and I'm feeling ready for baby to get here! And, our nursery furniture arrived! Now, let's get organized.

Looking forward to: Organizing the nursery, our glider getting delivered and going through all gifts so far to determine what we are keeping, exchanging and have yet to buy. Also very much looking forward to going to Florida this weekend for a friend's wedding where Bryan is the best man! Relaxing in the sun will not suck, but I am having a *little* anxiety at traveling at 34 weeks pregnant.

Symptoms: Well, let's see. I'm exhausted. I'm swollen. I can't breathe due to my diaphragm/lungs being sat on/squashed, and my nose is stuffed due to swelling. My carpal tunnel is getting progressively worse. I can't seem to stop gaining weight. My feet hurt all the time. I'll stop there...

Workouts: Doing my best to get at least 30 minutes of activity every day, either through walking or going to the gym. Because baby is sitting on my diaphragm, breathing is not the easiest task these days.

What I miss: Not complaining. I feel like every day is something new. 

Things that suck: Feeling like an 80-year-old woman. My joints ache all the time, I feel like I have dementia and I also think I smell all the time. Oh yeah, and I pee myself sometimes. 

Things that don't suck: Being only 40-some days away from meeting our sweet baby! Having the many items to be able to really get started on organizing the nursery. And we started our labor and delivery classes, which is helping to ease some anxieties about birth!
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