Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nouns, Love, and Awe

Do you remember learning about nouns?
A person, place, or thing, right? Something you can feel, or as one of my more memorable teacher described it, something you can haul off and kick.

     Later on, we add that a noun can also be an idea, such as love. While you can't just kick love, you certainly can feel love. We talk about love in my classroom quite often. What food do you love? What person? What hobby? My students certainly know that I love my dog Buddy. And I really do. While he's ofttimes a nuisance, what with his constant click-clack padding around the house, high-pitched bark of a warning (THERE'S SOMEONE WALKING ON THE SIDEWALK!!! Oh, nevermind. False alarm.), and his undying need to be touched,  I still love him. Like, a lot.

     I'm pretty tight with my chum Buddy...Buddy Bear...Buddrow. Sometimes, we have staring matches. Just for the record, I typically emerge victorious. But it's during these times that I wonder how love comes to be. How I can possibly love a new person more than I love my husband, my family, my dog, or pizza. While I know it is possible, I just can't fathom a love like that just yet. With each mood swing, crying spell over an empty ice cream box, or powerful punch from within, I wonder about love.

     All while baby girl is showing her love through kicks and punches, she has an army of folks showing their love in a more thoughtful manner. I'm in awe of the acts of kindness already being shown for this unborn karate kid of mine. Simply in awe. I love it.

Quilt from our dear friend, the Browns. 

Also from the Browns. Leslie's got talent!

Handmade from one of my mom's pals in Tennessee. I love that each hand stitched bear is doing something different!

From Adam's super crafty mom. 

Blanket, hat, and boots from another one of mom's pals in Tennessee. This blanket is so soft!

While I'm truly in awe of the talent and love shown to baby girl, I'm also in awe of how much food I can pack away and how large I'm getting! ;)

Lydia Claire is my favorite. My maternal grandmother's name was Lydia, and I adore the love, patience, and kindness she always showed. And Claire. It just stuck. ;)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I'm just gonna go ahead and admit it: I'm terrible at being pregnant.
Just ask the hubby.
This is seriously hard work.
I'm whiney.
My feet hurt.
And nothing fits anymore. Nothing.
This stomach is out of control, and I can't seem to get used to it. Poor Baby Boo - she must feel an earthquake a thousand times a day with as many times as I bump my bump into anything and everything.

But I love it - my belly. And I love that other people love it.
I used to always scoff at the idea that I'd let people touch my pregnant belly. I wouldn't want people touching my normal stomach, so why would it be ok for them to touch my baby belly? Rude.

I just didn't understand. I love rubbing it, and I honestly don't mind if other folks rub it.

But really, I just sometimes can't help but think of the line from Sir Mix-a-Lot  when I rub ze belly---
   It's just so big, I can't believe it's just so round, it's like out there!

And then there's this gem....

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It was perfect...

It was perfect. 
Not too shallow.
Not too deep.
Perfectly symmetrical. 

Key word - was

This bellybutton of mine, y'all, is getting weird. 
It's stretching out.
It's getting shallow. 
And I'm afraid it's gonna pop before long. 
Currently, I can see inside it, and that's never happened before. 

But on a positive note, with my expanded belly I've been able to get a closer look at this cute little constellation of freckles just above aforementioned gross belly button. They kinda look like the big dipper...or a tadpole. ;)

So, we're currently in week 24 of this transformation into parenthood. Today at my appointment I realized that I've gained a lot of weight. Not "oh, you're growing a baby" weight. It's the "hey, you've been eating too many Reese's Cups and Cap'n Crunch" weight. Time to eat my veggies. 


Monday, March 9, 2015

Catching up...

So, it’s a girl.
And sweet baby girl still has no name. 
Just to reiterate, naming a person is hard. 

That being said, we’ve made quite a few strides.
We painted the nursery blue.
Yep, blue.
I’m not sure what I was thinking. Actually, I cried about the matter. A lot. Then we put all the pretty pink stuff in there, and it’s now my favorite room in the house. I sometimes just go in there and sit. :) 

Nursery, complete with the guard dogs. :)

We bought Adam a baby carrying case. He practiced using it with the teddy bear Baby Girl has. He even gave himself the disheveled-up-at-2am-hair look. It cracks me up every time I look at it. 

Baby Girl, whom we’re calling Claire this week, and I ran a half marathon. I shouldn’t say we ran it - it was more of a shuffle walk. But we did it. And got our picture made with a pirate at the expo. 

He tried to smile for the picture, but that just didn't seem right.
So, I asked him to "go all pirate" for the picture. 

And here we are....

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Never have I ever loved the words everything looks normal so very much.

Now, is it a boy or a girl?

This has to be one of the worst videos I've ever made, yet it is my absolute favorite. :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Different - Like Steven Tyler

In high school, one of my closest friends had a cool older brother - he had an epic music collection and let us borrow his CDs. She also had a younger brother, and as younger brothers go, she sometimes didn't get along with him.

Ahhh, high school chums. :)

With her room next to her younger brother's, she'd often get so angry when he played his favorite band, Aerosmith, over and over again. In fact, she began to dislike Aerosmith so much that we'd have to change the radio station at the first strum of Joe Perry's guitar.

It's hard not to think of her when I hear Aerosmith on the radio, but I don't always change the channel. Today, I didn't switch stations when "Dream On" came on - I listened to it for the first time in a while. Now, it's not my favorite song, and they aren't my favorite band. But I listened.

Have you ever noticed how different this song is from the rest? That's actually Steven Tyler's real voice. I like.

 But, today, Aerosmith got me to thinking about how different things are going to be soon.
Well, soon as in tomorrow.


Tonight's the last night I go to sleep with a mystery in my belly. What's in there? 
Welp, tomorrow's the big day. The last time I saw Bitty Baby Hill was when I was 8 weeks along. It was a barely identifiable blob. I imagine things will be different tomorrow.

I'm so excited.

Really, I think Jessie knows what I'm talking about.  ;)

Monday, February 2, 2015


In the past, I've written about difficult things... you know, like having a tornado hit our house, training for a marathonrunning a marathon. Difficult stuff.

But this, folks, is pretty difficult.

Naming a person.
Now this is difficult.

It's hard to try to write about names and not have Juliet's famous line come to mind...
"What's in a name?"      
                  (Romeo & Juliet)

Well, sister, I'm here to answer that question for you: everything!

Adam and I didn't seem to have this problem with bestowing the most regal of names on our two dogs. Easy peasy. But there's just so many things to factor into naming a person - this is something they'll have forever. 

Now, our parents did a great job. Adam has a cool name. I have a cool name. The pressure is on. My name actually comes with a great story! My real name is JaNell --- a combination of my father's name (James) and my mother's name (Myra Nell). 

Here's where we come to the first downfall of my name and, consequently, the first criteria in my name search. It should be unique, but not strange to spell. For me, I had to spell my first and last name for 23 years. Janell Merriman. How many times do you think that was misspelled? Jenelle Merman. Geanell. Merryman. Janelle. Marymen.   I lost count. For this child, I plan to have something easy to spell. 

The second criteria in my name search is that I can't have any sort of bad connection to it. I hate it when someone mean ruins a perfectly good name. Like those strange classmates or dorm mates I had in school. Or those kids I've had while teaching. Between my list and Adam's, we've unfortunately ruled out many a good name. 

Le sigh.

Finally, I'm not a big fan of names that easily lend themselves to nicknames or silly sayings.
Justin? Just-in-time
Benjamin? Been-jamin

Uuuuuuugh. I've spent hours pouring over lists and books. Still, nothing. 
When I get stressed out about it, I just watch this video --- just as long as I don't come up with something like this, I think it'll be alright. ;)

So, do you have a suggestion?