Friday, August 30, 2013

It's A...

Throwing the "RULES" Out the Window

Me: (to Ritchie): If this baby is a boy, 
I really think he is Finnley. 
I feel very strongly about this. 
And, I would be giving you three boys so 
I feel I should be given the name choice."
Ritchie: Whatever you want, babe. 
Me: Really?! 
Ritchie: No. 

That was a conversation I posted on Facebook last night. The name conversations have been in full swing around here since even before I was pregnant because we were also choosing our adopted daughter's name. There's a been a bit of a "formula" if you will for choosing our current childrens' names. It's not something that was intended, but rather something we fell into. Here's the story behind each of their names:

With Maxton we KNEW we loved the nickname Max. I was adamant about a nickname because I've never had a nickname. Ritchie was insistent on a longer name because Ritchie is his legal name and he feels like he has a nickname for a name. So, we needed a longer version of Max. I immediately ruled out Maximillian or Maximus. We're just not cool enough to pull those names off. He was called Maxwell in utero for a good while before I decided that he was NOT a Maxwell. So, the longer name conversation began. We landed on Maxton (which we totally thought we made up - turns out there are lots of other Maxtons). It took Ritchie some time to love the name Maxton, but he's CLEARLY a Maxton so it totally works. 

Now, middle names need to be from my side because the last name is Ritchie's. Another name rule. We gave Maxton the middle name James after, well, me. Jamie... James.. close enough. 

When Max was only 4 months old I recall having a conversation with my BFF where I said I think we'll have two more children, another boy and a girl. Our girl name has ALWAYS been Isla. I think I said we'll have another boy and then a girl - in that order. She said she agreed that we'd have two more, a boy and a girl, but that Isla would be next and Benji would be our baby. The point of this long, ridiculous story is that by the time Max was REALLY little we knew our next boy would be Ben. However, when Kim said "Benji" I shuddered. (sorry, Kim!) I dislike the nickname Benji VERY much, so I knew right then and there that we would not have a Benjamin, but rather a more unique long version of Ben. Fast forward to getting pregnant with Ben and we chose Bennett for the boy name right away. His middle name is Andrew, after my brother. Funnily enough, those two love each other! 

Have I lost you in all of this wordiness? 

When we decided to adopt a girl, we tossed around the name Isla, but it just didn't feel right for her. I couldn't picture it. Plus, we now have a definite theme going with our kids and found ourselves discussing all of these "rules" for determining a name so that it would work with the boys' names. 

1. One syllable short name (preferably a more common one) 
2. Unique, two-syllable longer name (not the common long form of that name) 
3. Middle name must come from my side (well, not for our adopted daughter because her Chinese name will be her middle name) 
4. Since everyone thus far has their own first syllable, we wanted to continue that. So, no R, J, M or B names now. Those are taken. 

Anyway, clearly Isla doesn't fit that description. So, we began throwing around short names. We landed on Ann, Ellie or Kate. We couldn't find longer names of Ann that we liked and Ellie is actually two syllables (and a bit too common right now) and all of the longer versions of Ellie that I liked (Eleanor, Eloise) are VERY traditional. So, Kate. I mean, Max, Ben and Kate is pretty damn perfect. However, as per our rules we couldn't do Katelyn or Katherine. Too traditional for the long name. So, we finally agreed on Kadence. Unique, could (sort of...) be shortened to Kate. It worked fine. 

Fast forward about 2 months and I find out we have to name a fourth freaking child. 

So, the name convo immediately begins. Side note: how do people get to the end without a name chosen? I usually know what I will call him/her before we even find out the gender. I'm THAT insane. Okay, so the name convo. We were having a HECK of a time trying to find either a second girl name or a third boy name that fit into all of the rules. Plus, the name Kadence was starting to bug me. I just didn't LOVE it and I felt like it didn't shorten easily to Kate. Like, Maxton to Max and Bennett to Ben is super obvious. Kadence to Kate is a bit of a stretch. So, we started trying to think of TWO girl names and one boy name. 

Do you have a headache yet? 

I mean, these are REAL problems, people! 

My poor friends. Kirstie has been name texting me things that I keep shooting down for weeks and poor Kim is probably tired of hearing about it all. I love them dearly for putting up with me. It takes a special person to be a close friend to me. 

So, where have we landed.... 

Basically, we're going to just break our rules. You all saw last night that my preferred boy name is Finnley (Finn) but Ritchie's not loving it so far. I still think I could get my way on this one. 

Other boy options include Will (long name??) or Cole (Coleman? Reminds me of the camping gear) or Griffin (also Finn - but that has the whole Kadence/Kate problem to me) 

The boy names basically follow the rules. It's the girl names that have really broken the rules. We've chosen them and I ADORE them both equally. But, they both break at least two of the rules and I just don't care one little bit. 

Sometimes you just have to choose names that you love and figure it won't seem weird with your other childrens' names because you love them all. 

Thanks for reading this. It was pretty ridiculous and I didn't even tell you our girl names. Sorry about that. And no pictures! Jeeze, I really am a rule breaker. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bennett is 2

Our sweet B turned 2 today. I know, I'm supposed to say, "I can't believe it!" But, I guess I sort of can. I honestly can't even remember life without him in our family. He was meant for us. He's stubborn, yet sweet. Rambunctious, yet snuggly. Strong willed, yet generous. He's just two-year-old perfection.

On Saturday we had a party for him at the pool:

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The party basically consisted of Ben double fisting various sweets.

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He really loved when people sang him "Happy Birthday"

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It was a hit!

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Today being his actual birthday we decided to take him to a petting zoo and little park and train ride. All of his favorite things!

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Then home for presents and dinner and cake.

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While the evening and day look all fine and dandy, it was actual rather terrible. I don't know what's up with Ben, but he's feverish and not feeling well and right before cake, he barfed. So, he didn't eat cake (obv) and went to bed early. Poor guy! It was a rough day to get through, but this past year has been more than enjoyable. He's truly a ray of sunshine in our family, bringing happiness to every day.

Happy Birthday, my sweet, sweet Bennett. Mommy, daddy and Max love you SO much. I cannot wait to watch you become a big brother this year. Remember, no matter how many kids are in this family that YOU have a very special place in my heart. My B. I love you!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Adoption and Pregnancy Questions Answered!

Okay, first up, the adoption. Here's where we're at: Home study is COMPLETED! We're officially awaiting our immigration approval (it takes 60-90 days) and then all of our initial paperwork is complete! Phew! That took forever! After that we're just waiting to be matched to our girl!

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about our adoption/daughter and the answers!

Q. When will you get her?
A. We're not exactly sure, but we're "scheduled" to be matched in February and then we travel 4-6 months later. So... next summer if everything goes according to schedule.

Q. How old will she be when you get her?
A. We requested to bring home a child that was somewhere between 1-2 1/2 years old.

Q. Do you know who she is?
A. Not yet! We should get to see some pictures and read all about our girl sometime early next year (February is our estimated time).

Q. Will you keep her Chinese name?
A. We will give her an American first name that we have chosen, and we will use her Chinese name as her middle name.

Q. How long is the process?
A. It differs for everyone! We're looking at about 18 months from our application to bringing her home.

Here are some of the top pregnancy questions I've gotten and their answers:

Q. How are you feeling?
A. Terrible! The whole spectrum of symptoms. Nausea, headaches, acne, exhaustion, boobs on fire, dizziness and by the end of the day I honestly feel like I might have the flu, my whole body just hurts. Plus I look (and feel) about 26 weeks pregnant when I'm only 11.

Q. Was this planned?
A. Um, no.

Q. Do you hope this one is a girl?
A. Yes! However, the pressure is definitely off as we're going to have a daughter through adoption no matter what. Although, the thought of three boys sort of makes me want to go cry in the corner. I LOVE my boys to pieces, wouldn't trade them for the world. If this little one is a boy,  I'll feel the same about him.

Q. Will you find out the gender?
A. YES! I already did some blood work that tells you the gender and I should have the results in the next few weeks. At that time, we're going to do a little reveal party. I'll be sure to post about it then!

Q. Are you done now?
A. We were done before this one came along, so, yes. I smell a vasectomy in someone's future.

Q. Will you do another home birth?
A. No, not this time. Our insurance covered it last time, and this time it doesn't. We have chosen a midwife/birthing center in a hospital that we feel really comfortable with.

That's all everyone has been wanting to know! Any other questions, feel free to ask! I love talking about adoption, pregnancy and myself :)

Here's some fun math for you on a Wednesday. When we return home from China (as long as it's according to the estimated schedule) I will have the following aged children: Max (4), Ben (3), adopted daughter (1-2 1/2?) and Littlest Lincoln (5 months). That's 4 children under the age of 5. Hold me. And send coffee.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Life is what happens when you're making plans...

This post could also be titled "Family Planning Gone Awry..."

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Was that a clear enough announcement?

Yes, it's true!

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While we were (not-so) patiently awaiting being matched with our precious daughter in China, we received some VERY unexpected news that we would be getting a baby MUCH sooner and in a much different way than we had ever thought.

The littlest Lincoln will be born mid March of 2014. We're still awaiting being matched and are loosely "scheduled" to go to China to bring her home in August of 2014. We'll add two new children to our family next year.

Life doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes, it's SO much better.
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