What’s In A Name (Part 2)

When Sam told me we were expecting again, I was pretty sure the baby was a girl. As a matter of fact, I even had a dream about about it. I blogged about that here: https://nostalgicitalian.com/2021/04/23/and-the-baby-is-a/

This pregnancy has been difficult for Sam. She has been in a lot of pain. We found out that the reason for this is that the placenta is positioned anterior. Because of this, she has had a few extra ultrasounds to make sure everything is ok. While at her OB a couple weeks ago, he stated that while doing the ultrasound, he should be able to see the gender and asked if Sam wanted to know. Sam told him that we had already gone to the 3D place and found out the gender.

The doc told her that those places are right “about 50% of the time.” While he checked her, he really couldn’t tell for sure what the baby’s gender was. He even stated that there was certainly “a possibility” that it could be a girl. The reasoning was that the position of the placenta could have made it look like something it wasn’t.

This threw a big curve ball at us. What if the baby was a girl? We had already made the announcement that we were having a boy. We would have to wait and see. If it WAS a girl, we had a solid name picked out. Just like with Ella, it was a name we both agreed on almost immediately. The only thing that we hadn’t nailed down was a middle name, but we had our top choices all picked.

So we kept things quiet until this week. Sam went in for the 20 week ultrasound and we can confirm that the baby is indeed a boy. He is a very active boy (as Sam has been able to see in all the ultrasounds). Due to the placement of the placenta, however, it really limits how much Sam gets to feel him move. So with the confirmation of gender, we moved back to our list of Boy Names and had to nail one down!

We had a few names that really stood out. We went back and forth on a couple of them. We had one name that we really liked, but it was ruined by a story from a family member. There was another we liked and just really kept going back and forth with it. Finally, we came to a decision.

The baby’s name is …

Andrew Joseph to be exact.

Sam’s grandfather was Joseph, which is where the middle name comes from. Andrew was just a first name that we both liked. It works out great in the “nickname” department, too. We can call him Drew or “AJ”. I like AJ a lot!

There is lots of excitement and anticipation for his arrival. October seems a long way away, but at the same time, it will be here faster than we know it!

Funniest Observation of the Week.

Leave it to my dad! I called him to let him know the baby’s name before Sam posted it on Facebook. I loved to see his reaction. It was a few hours later that my dad commented on the post on Sam’s Facebook page. He observed that now I will have three sons and a daughter – just like Don Corleone in the Godfather!

David O’Keefe’s fantastic Godfather artwork!

Only my dad would have observed that!! That’s just one of the reasons I love him! Thanks Dad!

Ok, Ok, I’ll Write ….

I’m writing under protest.

I still don’t feel up to writing today. My last post was three days ago, and I wish I could say that I am past it. I’m not. I have nothing planned out, which is kind of a “no-no” when you are writing. I am only writing because I am forcing myself to sit here and write.

Ideas?

Do I have things I can write about? Sure. I have a few ideas I just jotted down in my blog notebook. A blogger I follow has been going through the Alphabet and featuring his favorite TV shows. I liked the idea and feel like I might be able to do something with that. Another blogger is featuring an episode by episode review of one show in particular. I might think about doing something like this, too.

A music blogger I like has a weekly post that features their five favorite albums from a certain year, while another features the Top 10 songs from that week in a specific year. Those are easy to do and can be fun at the same time.

I also have some personal things I can blog about. I was recently going back through some of the ideas I have for the project my brother and I are working on about my mom. I’m LONG overdue to work on those.

My Favorite Game Shows? What exactly makes a YouTube “star” a Star? Yeah, I have ideas….. I just don’t feel like writing about them.

I’m Hurting

With all the things going on in my life right now, I should be smiling more! I’ll be the first to admit that. Don’t get my wrong, I am happy. It’s just that right now, there are things I am trying to process.

In the past month, I’ve seen my sons only one day – for breakfast. It seems that he “doesn’t want to come over” anymore. I have given him absolutely no reason whatsoever to not want to come. This is something that I have been fighting for some time. I’m not going into detail about it, especially since I know that my ex has trolls who share things from my blog, my Facebook, and my Instagram with her.

I’ve never understood why some people get so much pleasure in making others miserable. These people spread lies, rumors, and gossip because it brings them joy! Shame on you. You profess to be loving Christians and you get your joy from those things. Hypocrites! The Bible has over 100 verses about gossiping alone! Maybe you should read them!

Ephesians 4:29 says “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Easier Said Than Done …

Despite the issues above and all that goes with it, I do have a lot to be happy about:

My beautiful wife and I are having another baby. Another miracle! Just the thought makes me happy!

I believe, after much discussion, that we may have decided on a name for our baby boy. It was a lot harder than we thought. Of course, he is not due until October, so there is still the possibility that it can change! LOL

Lesson Learned

I wonder if my daughter has any idea that she teaches me a lesson every day. What lesson? “Find happiness in the little things.”

I need to look amongst the chaos of every day life and find “it.” I need to find that one thing that makes me wonder. What is that one thing that makes me smile? I experience these things daily, but so often over look them.

Watching Sam read a book to Ella. Watching how excited Ella gets when she goes outside.

Little things – Big Happiness.

She see’s beauty in what we see as a weed –

She gets excited to watch and try to catch bubbles –

She is thrilled to pet the new puppy that our neighbor’s brought home –

It truly is the little things …. I guess I just need to focus on them.

And the baby is a ….

I’ve been waiting for today for weeks! Because of Covid, my wife’s OB/GYN is only allowing the patient in the office. With Ella, I was at every ultrasound. I looked forward to hearing the baby’s heart beat each month. I loved that special togetherness that we felt when we were at the office. It has killed me to not be at those appointments. Today, I finally got to hear the baby’s heart beat – and we found out the gender!

You may recall that we went to a 3-D ultrasound place to find out Ella was a girl. They can tell you the gender at the 15th week of pregnancy. We called a few weeks ago and made the appointment. So I have been waiting patiently. Today, after only 4 hours of sleep, I was up and excited to go.

Today, made this more real to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve noticed my beautiful wife’s baby bump growing, so I know it is real. Not being involved with those OB/GYN appointments has really been driving me crazy. Today, I actually got to see the baby!

Regular ultrasounds are cool enough. We tried to get a 3-D shot of Ella, but she kept putting her hands in front of her face. We never really got a full face shot of her. Check out what we saw today…

It’s a little blurry, but there is the baby, looking right at us! WOW!

As I stated in a previous blog, Sam was leaning boy and I was thinking girl. We found out today. We were originally going to only tell a few people and keep the results a secret. However, since Sam kind of spilled the beans on Facebook, I can share them here….

Ella helped us make the announcement:

It’s a boy! Ella will be welcoming her little brother in October. Sam and I are naturally excited. It’s perfect. One girl and one boy!

We found out we were expecting around Ella’s birthday (2/10). On February 15th, I had a dream that my mother told me it was a girl, and actually blogged a draft when I woke up so I wouldn’t forget:

I was in asleep in our bed. Suddenly, the kitchen light turns on. I get up, not knowing if it’s a burglar. To my surprise, it’s my mom and she’s making making soup for her and my dad – in my kitchen. As I walk out I hear her say, “Oh, damn it,” as she spills it on the floor.  I told her I’d get her something to clean it up, so I grabbed some baby wipes.  She looked at me and said “It’s a girl.”

Then I woke up. It was a very vivid dream. She looked me right in the eye and said it. Of course, I thought it would be really cool if the baby was a girl because the dream would have been sort of prophetic…LOL Instead, it was probably just me and my early gut feeling. I won’t lie though, over the past couple weeks, the pregnancy has been VERY different for Sam. Because of that, I guess I kind of knew the baby was going to be a boy.

We are very excited for our son to arrive. We’ll have to do a bit of preparation, as we have all girl clothes. We also had no trouble picking a girl’s name. Finding a boy’s name has been a challenge…

This weekend, we’ll be spending time in those baby name books again!

Under Pressure …

I’ve been through this three times in my life already, but it is ultimately one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do? What is it? Picking a name for our baby on the way. Why is this so difficult?

First, I think it is so stressful because we do not know the gender of the baby yet. We will be going to find out in about 2 weeks. We did this with Ella, and it is even more important to do this with the baby on the way. Sam is a planner. If the baby is a girl, we are pretty much set. We have all of Ella’s clothes (despite the fact that “seasonally” they will be a bit different), and that is a good start. If it is a boy, however, we will probably have to go and buy a lot of new clothes. We have some “gender neutral” clothes, but “Daddy’s Little Princess” outfits are more for little girls.

Like every other set of expecting parents, before Ella was born (and before we knew she was a girl) we made lists. We had a list of possible girl names and a list of possible boy names. The list of boy names was shorter than the list of girl names. Whether it was just easier to come up with girls names, I don’t remember.

I think it also helped that both Sam and I thought we were having a girl, even before we had the ultrasound. We had plenty of girls names that we liked. Boy’s names, however, they were more difficult to come up with.

Sam is always tossing names my way. I will be sitting at work and she will text. I can be sitting on the couch and she say, “What about ___?” My issue has always been that I connect other people to names. “No. I knew a _____ and he annoyed me.” “No. That was the name of the mean doctor on (name a TV show).” “No. I don’t think that flows with our last name.” “Absolutely not! The boys had a friend with that name and he/she was a little brat!”

Am I the only who does this?

We went through a Baby Name book before Ella was born. We highlighted names we liked. It’s weird how you can go back through the book and see those names and go, “Eh…..I’m not sure I like that one anymore.” How do you do that? It happens! Let me tell you, we had two or three names that we were dead set on for a boy….now, Sam isn’t sold on them. Back to the drawing board. Back to Square #1.

Then factor in that Sam likes to be able to have a nickname, and that ads a bit more to the formula (Ella’s name is Pamela, but we call her Ella). It is a process that will hopefully become a bit easier when we find out the gender in a couple weeks. Do we have any gut feelings on what the baby is? Kinda. Sam is leaning blue and I am leaning pink. Reactions from family and friends is very mixed. I feel like most were thinking we were having a girl last time, but this time it is a pretty divided.

We’ll know soon…. in the meantime, I’m feeling the pressure to narrow down some names that we both can agree on!

What’s in a name?

The title of this blog is a reference to a great quote by William Shakespeare:

rose

Based on Mr. Shakespeare’s quote, names really shouldn’t matter that much. I think many of us would disagree with him. I mean, a name is often the first thing we learn about a person, right? It is also one of the most common questions asked of expecting parents regarding their unborn child – “Do you have a name picked out?”, “Have you thought about names?”, “What are you going to name him/her?”

Can you see where this blog is going??

Weekend Recap

On Friday, my dad celebrated his birthday. My oldest son was at a friend’s house, so it was just me, Sam, and my youngest who drove down to visit him. Because of traffic, it took us a bit longer than expected to get there. When we walked in, I hugged him and wished him Happy Birthday. We all joined dad and Rose in the kitchen. I had found a neat book on Amos & Andy at a used book store and bought it for my dad, and gave it to him for his birthday.

Once we were all seated, Rose looked at me and said, “So what’s the baby’s name?” I chuckled and reminded her that we were not telling. She replied, “Well, it’s your dad’s birthday and it would be the perfect gift!” I chuckled again, and tried to change the subject. Sam reminded everyone that it was my idea not to tell anyone the name. Rose, then went on to say that she didn’t “see what the big secret was” or why we’d “want to keep it a secret”. I again, tried to not give in (even though Sam had said we should tell because we’ve been calling her by name and she was afraid to let it slip). Rose, however, didn’t want to let it go (which made me laugh even more, cause I wasn’t about to let the cat out of the bag).

At this point, Rose stated that she knew the name already anyway. So I asked her what she thought it was. So she says, with all the confidence in the world, “(First name)(Middle Name)”! Now I thought she might be able to guess one of them, but the fact that she picked out both of them – in order – caught me off guard! My face filter was non-existent! I was stunned. I looked at her and asked, “How did you know?!” Once she explained, I guess it really wasn’t that hard to figure out.

So, what’s our baby’s name, you ask?? You’ll know in a paragraph or two …

baby-girl-names

Picking a name

You may recall that I mentioned in an earlier blog that our baby is a miracle. The chances of me having a baby were like 4%. Sam and I were actually leaving a doctor appointment and we were discussing baby names. We were not even expecting yet! I don’t even remember how the discussion started. If I know Sam, she probably said, “What about _____ if it’s a girl?”

At any rate, what I remember about this conversation was that we had a girl’s name picked out almost immediately. There was little discussion. The name was THE name. We both liked it. We loved the way it sounded. We both liked the reason behind it. That was that. We then began discussing boy names – because a boy was a possibility, too. Hell, there was also the possibility of twins!

Over the course of the next few weeks/months, the topic of a boy’s name kept coming up. We had a few that we liked, but none really stood out. When we found out that we were actually expecting, we went out and bought a baby name book – for boy names. We each had a different color highlighter and when a name we liked was mentioned we highlighted with the appropriate color. The ones with both colors would be considered if the baby was a boy.

(Side note: Sam is about nicknames. So she wanted the name to be one that could be shortened to a nickname.)

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I guess it was at this point that we heard about a place nearby that could tell the sex of the baby at 15 or 16 weeks old with an ultrasound. That’s when we went to find out. I think we both were leaning towards a girl, we both had a feeling it was a girl, and were both thrilled to find out that our baby was a girl! Now, I know that there were plenty of people who were told the baby was a girl and then found out it was a boy, so we waited a bit longer until the OB/GYN ALSO did an ultrasound and confirmed that we were indeed having a girl.

We decided to tell everyone that we were having a girl. Everyone, of course, has asked about the baby’s name. We had said that we were going to keep that secret until the baby arrived. Now at home, Sam and I refer to the baby by name when we were together. She will send texts to me that say “_______ is really kicking me tonight” or “_____ is doing flips in my belly” or “______ likes those cookies you made.”

As I mentioned before, Sam was worried that because we were both calling her by name (well, her nickname), that one of us would accidentally say the name in conversation. I told her that if that happened, we’d tackle the situation at that time. Neither one of us was expecting Rose to shout out the first and middle name this weekend. I didn’t think that I would lose my face filter and basically say, “Yep! That’s it!” Yet, that is what happened. So my dad, got a good birthday present!

This, of course, meant that we had to call Sam’s parents and tell them, too. Then we had to tell the boys. Then we had to tell her grandma (who’s been wanting to know since she found out Sam was pregnant). Then we told my aunts (my Aunt Linda also guessed the name correctly!), and Sam’s sisters. And now, here we are, spilling the beans here, and on Facebook.

Teacher writing his name on blackboard

She’s got a name …

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Looking at it now, I guess it would be easy for people to figure out. Sam’s mom and my mom were both Pamela. (Sam’s mom may have been onto the name, as she texted me last week wanting to know my mom’s middle name!) My grandma’s (Dad’s mom) name was Rose, and Dad’s Rose is going to be her grandma, so Pamela Rose covers all her grandmas! It really is the perfect name and a wonderful tribute to four special ladies!

Remember that Sam likes nicknames. We are going to call her Ella.

Hello_Ella

I truly think Dad was moved by the name, I think Rose was too. Dimitri was there and overheard the name, so he found out Friday, too. We let him tell Dante’ the name. Dante’ was overcome with emotion, knowing that his sister was going to be named for his grandma. It was a very special moment to see.

Sam knows how special this is for me, too. We have talked about the role that my mom must have played in this. “She handpicked her, knowing that we wanted a girl”, etc… For the anniversary of my mom’s passing, Sam had this made for Ella, and had me open it:

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Yes, I cried. It is perfect.

With each passing day our excitement grows in anticipation of Ella’s arrival. Each week, I go to the “Week by Week” pregnancy book to see what is going on with her. She’s always compared to a fruit or vegetable (This week your baby is the size of a pea, a plum, a lemon, a cantaloupe!). Sam always tells me when she is kicking and puts my hand on her belly so I can feel it too. Sam’s sister gave us one of those things that we can put on her belly to hear the heartbeat. I never seem to be able to find it, but Sam did this weekend. That sound is such an amazing thing to hear!!!

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Ella is due in February. As we continue to count down the days until she arrives, I cannot help but think about how blessed she will be. She is already loved by her mommy and daddy, her brothers, her grandparents, and aunts and uncles – and will be spoiled by all of us!

I cannot wait until she is here. I cannot wait to hold her. I cannot wait to sing to her. I cannot wait to see her showered in love and affection by her family. Until then, I’ll keep kissing and talking to Sam’s belly, singing to her, and letting her kick my hands.

Baby’s-Kicks-During-Pregnancy