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What's in a Name?

Being the ones to choose your child's moniker is daunting. It has to be flexible enough to follow your baby into adulthood, but distinctive enough to make him or her stand out from the crowd. It has to be able to morph along with your baby into whomever he or she becomes, whether that's a doctor, a mayor, a teacher or a scientist.

That's a lot to ask of two to four syllables.

I've long loved names. I always want to know how an author names his or her characters for each text. I'm that annoying kid who finds it frustrating to the point of distraction when parents-to-be won't share their name choice. I know many people keep their choices to themselves for fear of negative reponses, but those responses won't be coming from me. Even if the names someone else has chosen aren't ones that I would necessarily use, I still love hearing about the selection process and the meaning behind the final choices.

Landon and I are finding out whether Tadpole is a boy or a girl in two weeks. I could wait until then to tell you what we're naming him/ her.

But what's the fun in that?!

The baby will not have a hypenated last name like me (I lost that battle), so whatever first name we bestowed upon Tadpole had to be different enough to counter Landon's and the baby's very common last name. Regardless of the sex, the baby will have my maiden name as the middle name (a family tradition), so that was easy to decide, too. We also like names with personal meaning behind them, so we looked to our family trees and our interests to find the perfect name.

The winners?

If we have a daughter, her name will be Britton. It sounds familiar enough with its closeness to Brittany. Yet, it's completely different, and I've never known someone with that name. Plus, it's a not-so-hidden fact that I am an Anglophile through and through, and I love the sound association with Britain. Landon and I went on a trip of a lifetime to Scotland and England in 2011, and we both love that Britton will be so closely tied to our memories of that trip. Yes, it sounds like a place name, and it's unisex, both of which might turn some people off, but it works completely for us.

If we have a son, his name will be Gibson. It's my middle name, and my mom's maiden name, so it has a lot of personal significance to me. I love that my son will be able to carry a piece of his family around with him in his name! Plus, the name is Scottish in origin (we're part of the Buchanan clan), which completely appeals to my British loving ways. When he's little, we'll probably call him Gibb or Gibby for short, and then he can transition into Gibson when he's ready. It's not a traditional boy name at all, but I'm not a traditional kind of person.

I love both of our name choices so much that I think I'll be a little sad no matter what we have since one of my beloved names won't get used. But one positive to finding out in two weeks is that the monogramming and personalization can get underway!

How did you determine the names of your kids/ pets/ stuffed animals?

The Nursery, Version 1.0

I'm a planner. If Landon and I have a vacation, big work plans, or a party to throw, you can guarantee I'm off somewhere making a list and loving it. 

This baby has been no exception! From the moment that I found out we were expecting our little bundle of joy, I've been pinning to my baby Pinterest board and reading reviews on baby products like it's my job.

Our first big purchase? The crib! After lots of research, Landon and I chose the Graco 4-in-1 Lauren convertible crib in Espresso from Walmart. There was a great deal going on after Christmas, so we got the crib mattress bundled in with the crib for free.

The entire bundle was only $150, and I was a little wary because the crib was so much less expensive than the others we'd looked at, but the reviews were fantastic. I figured that, for $150, the crib didn't even have to make it to the toddler bed stage.

I think my worries were unfounded because the crib came in today, and it incredibly solid. It's even made of actual wood, not particle board. Yay for a good purchase!


The nursery's theme? Owls. We may also inject a little Harry Potter love into the nursery as we go along with a cute HP stuff I saw on Pinterest...but that's an entirely different post. :)

One of the first sets of items purchased for Tadpole, way back in October. My mom and dad gave this cute set to the baby for Christmas. 

Tadpole's first stuffed animal from my cousins Bonnie, Kevin, Kayla and Braxton.

Time to cruise in style! We're not buying an infant stroller, so this will serve us well when Tadpole gets a little bigger.

16 Weeks

*Note: I'm actually in my 17th week today (01/02), but I wrote this up and took the pictures last week. Those crazy holidays got in the way of posting!

How far along? 16 weeks and 4 days
Total weight gain:  about 4 pounds. I'm a little under where I should be right now, but my OB says I'm still doing well. 
Maternity clothes: About half and half. I can fit into some of my pre-pregnancy shirts, but the maternity ones are super comfy. My mom was sweet and bought me a few during A Pea in the Pod's after Thanksgiving sale, and I love them. My beloved skirts are absolutely gone, as are most of my pre-preggy pants. I'm rocking the belly band on the pants that work with it: some of the pairs that have clasps instead of buttons don't seem to work with the belly band, so they've gone into storage. 
Sleep: Good. I've been fighting a cold for most of December, which makes me tired, but that's completely unrelated to pregnancy. 
Best moment this week: Opening all of Tadpole's Christmas gifts. This is one loved baby! Gigi and Papa Jay (my parents) gave Tadpole a lightweight stroller (perfect for our Disney trips!), a matching blanket and neck pillow, and a crib sheet set. Auntie Amb (my sister) gave us the cutest selection of baby onesies. Tadpole will be one well-dressed baby!
Miss anything? Deli meats. My OB said I could have them if 1) I bought them myself and 2) heated them up before I ate them, but I want a cold, Jimmy John's Godfather sandwich. And it won't taste right warmed up. :(
Movement:  Waiting! The OB said I should feel something anytime between now and my anatomy ultrasound at the end of January.
Food cravings:  Thin crust cheese pizza. Chicken Caesar salad wraps. Whole wheat bagels with chive and onion spread. (Clearly, I haven't turned the corner and gotten my sweet tooth back completely.)
Anything making you queasy or sick?  I'm back to normal! I haven't felt sick in weeks. 
Gender:  There's some serious betting going on around here! For boy, we have: my grandfather, my cousin Bonnie and her husband, Landon's co-worker, and the nurse at the OB office. For girl, we have my co-worker, two of my students, my sister and Landon. Luckily, I've pinned adorable clothing options for both!
Labor signs:  Nope. 

Symptoms: Belly band usage, moderate acne (hello, 10th grade), sleepiness.
Belly button in or out?  In. 
Wedding rings on or off?  On. 
Happy or moody most of the time:  Still happy!
Looking forward to: Feeling Tadpole kick. 

15 Weeks

Ignore the fact that I completely skipped weeks 13 and 14! Things have been so busy around here with work, Christmas shopping and life. But I finally got it together and had Landon take my 15 week pictures yesterday morning. I'm still not super pregnant-y looking, but my bump is definitely bigger than in my 12 week pictures!
How far along? 15 weeks and 4 days
Total weight gain:  1-2 pounds, depending on when I weigh myself. I've really been eating whatever I want when I want, but between my random cravings and the cold that I've kept the last few weeks, I haven't actually wanted too much to eat. The appetite is slooowly returning, and I'm glad not to feel so nauseated all the time!
Maternity clothes: I can't button my regular pants anymore! I only have one pair of maternity jeans so far (they've been in heavy rotation), and I've been trying to utilize anything jersey, stretchy or loose. Those items are becoming increasingly snug, though. I got a BeMaternity belly band at Target last night, and I got to wear my regular jeans (above) again today (my sister is a smart one for suggesting that purchase). Hello, old friends--I missed you!
Sleep: I'm getting better at not napping all the time. There are some days after school that I come home and rest for an hour or two, and then there are other days when I won't feel sleepy until I get ready for bed at 10 PM. I still fall asleep instantly, and I'm still having wacky, vivid dreams; during nap time on Thursday, I was so worried about my housing arrangements at Clemson because I'd forgotten to tell Housing that I still wanted to be an RA! Weird. 
Best moment this week: Going through potential baby registry items online with Landon. I'm ready to start buying some loot for this baby! I also love how excited Landon's getting. Our friends just had a new baby girl this week (hello, baby Anna!), and I think he's really starting to realize how awesome this is all going to be next summer. 
Miss anything? I could drink a gallon of sweet tea right now. I also miss being able to sleep through the night without having to get up and pee like an ancient person. 
Movement:  Still nothing. I'm on high alert, though--it's got to happen in the next few weeks, right?
Food cravings:  My salty/ savory cravings remain strong. Lately, I'm loving Sun Chips and Baked Lays and onion dip.
Anything making you queasy or sick?  I'm working through my aversion to sweets. I found myself going after some of those Danish butter cookies that come in the blue tin. Yummy! 
Gender:  Landon and my sister think girl. I'm still on the fence, but if I had to go one way or the other right now, I'd also say girl. But all I'm really after here is a healthy, happy baby come June 10th--boy or girl makes little difference to me. 
Labor signs:  Nope. 

Symptoms: Belly band usage, moderate acne (hello, 10th grade), sleepiness.
Belly button in or out?  In. My stomach really doesn't look any different, other than it's poofier.
Wedding rings on or off?  On. 
Happy or moody most of the time:  Still happy. But I think that's mostly my personality: I'm just a happy person.
Looking forward to: Opening all of Tadpole's presents next week. My family has gone all out for Christmas this year!

So, 13 Weeks Came and Went...

I'm already a terrible parent. I had every intention of taking my pictures weekly from here on out, but then last week got in the way.

For the first part of the week, we had our ancient air handler replaced. The thing was a behemoth from the dark ages (or, 1987...pretty much the same thing when it comes to appliances). It had mold and nasty junk on it, so Tadpole and I decamped to my parents' house, lest I breathe in any of the grossness. My parents had busy weeks last week, too, so more often than not, no one was home during daylight hours to take my picture.

Then, Landon went hunting the later part of the week, so I continued to stay with my parents. I'll freely admit it: I'm a weeny when it comes to staying by myself. I'm totally convinced the Mothman or some ghosts are going to come get me at night. Still no picture.

I was SO busy this weekend working on my Christmas shopping that the picture didn't even cross my mind until Tuesday, by which time I had entered my 14th week.

Luckily though, I haven't changed much at all. I'm still rocking the super tiny baby bump, which you'll see in my 14 week pictures (hopefully, coming in a day or two!!).

Mountain Weekend 2012

During the lost months of 2012 (also known as "the time when I was too tired to do much of anything productive"), I went to the mountains with my parents, sister and Landon. We've made the trip for the last three years, and it's become something to which we all look forward. I figured that, even though I'm two months late, the trip's still worth sharing.

A peek at one of our past trips (2010--I never uploaded the ones from 2011)

The first year we rented a cabin near Saluda, North Carolina, but it was deemed too "rustic" by my dad, and it also wasn't big enough for all of us to relax. Last year, we rented a different cabin that was halfway between Saluda and Hendersonville. It was more than a little off the beaten path, but it was spacious and the view was absolutely stunning. Can you guess which one we returned to this year? 

The week we went, October 15-19, was the first week that morning sickness really hit me. Woe was me on some of those winding mountain roads, as I clung to the armrest and prayed that I wouldn't barf all over my dad's new interior. 

Still, I was a trooper, and my perseverance was worth it, since we had a great time. You can tell I wasn't feeling top notch, though, by the general lack of pictures. 

One day, we went into Hendersonville, North Carolina to shop and have a snack. 
Downtown Hendersonville. I love the sidewalk cafes!

We stopped for a snack at McFarlan's Bakery. The no-sweets aversion that I'm currently experiencing hadn't hit full swing yet, so I happily indulged in a chocolate cookie!
Amber and her black and white cookie
Landon attempts to eat the world's largest cream puff. It was deemed impossible to eat without getting cream on your nose!

On another of our outings, we went to the SkyTop Orchard, where we picked out all sorts of yummy apples. If you've never tried a Pink Lady apple, your life is incomplete. Locate one immediately, and thank me later. 

The house we rented is on the very top of a mountain. While this location makes for some interesting (ahem) driving to get to (read: a near vertical driveway that makes you feel like you're on a roller coaster...only without any restraints, and no promise to get you to the station safely), the views are gorgeous. On a clear day, you can see all the way to South Carolina!

Then, on the worst day of morning sickness, we visited Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. I was absolutely NOT feeling the hike up to the top of the mountain, but my dad and Landon walked with me  every step of the way. It took twice as long as my mom and sister, but I made it!

I'm hoping that we'll get to go next year, too. It might be Tadpole's first road trip!

12 Weeks

I had my first maternity photo shoot last night (i.e. Landon nicely acquiesced to my result during his late lunch break and snapped a few pics in our backyard). I don't know why, but these made me feel so weird.

Maybe it's because I look pudgy in them. Though, as Landon keeps reminding me, it's not pudge--it's Tadpole!

Maybe because the pregnancy is starting to feel real now that I'm beginning to show. I mean, I guess I could have had a really long bout of the stomach flu this whole time, right?!

Either way, I'm excited to finally be at this stage in my pregnancy...even if it means feeling totally awkward during my weekly pictures. I've still got many, many weeks left to perfect them, though.

No, I didn't eat too many pieces of pizza. That's the world's scrawniest baby bump!
Isn't the shirt adorable? My co-worker Brittany made it for me as my birthday present. About a week before my birthday, I'd admired a shirt just like that on Pinterest, but hadn't mentioned it to Brittany. A week later, guess what shows up in my birthday bag? Great minds must think alike!

And then Landon got super fancy and artsy and wanted me to stand on the tree next to the marsh. 

And now, to steal an idea from Becky over at Welcome to the Good Life

A weekly Q and A!
How far along? 12 weeks and 4 days
Total weight gain:  0-1 pound, depending on when I weigh myself. My mom and sister are betting on how much I will gain, which makes me wonder what they think of my eating habits!
Maternity clothes: Most of my regular sized pants are super snug and uncomfortable. I can wear my stretchy jeggings (like in the pics above) with no problem, as well as anything with a jersey waistband. I did buy a pair of maternity jeans that I've worn twice--they are a little big right now, but they are so comfortable! My mom and I went shopping for several tops this past weekend, but I haven't worn any of our purchases yet. 
Sleep: I could sleep all the time right now. I'm totally in bed by 9:20 every night or I am a grumpy, grumpy person the next day. 
Best moment this week: Telling my students at school. They were so excited! One of the little girls kept saying, "Ms. Natalie is going to get a baby!" like I would pick it out at Walmart when it was time. After I explained that I already had the baby, but it was getting stronger inside me, she kept patting my stomach and calling me "Ms. Mommy Vereen-Davis" the rest of the day. I was so happy that they were happy for me!
Miss anything? Sweet tea, Diet Cokes and caramel Frappachinos. Yum yum yum. 
Movement:  Nothing yet. I'm really excited to finally feel the baby!
Food cravings:  Anything salty or savory. I've particularly been in love with Chik-fil-A's Chicken Caesar Cool Wraps. I could eat them three times a day. Pizza, pasta, and anything buffalo chicken has also been a big draw lately. 
Anything making you queasy or sick?  I'm hopefully over most of the queasiness, but I still don't like looking at or smelling raw meat. I still have a complete and utter aversion to all things sweet, though. 
Gender:  No clue. We're finding out at the end of January!
Labor signs:   Thank heavens, no.
Symptoms: Sleepiness, random bouts of crying, food cravings. 
Belly button in or out?  Still looks exactly the same--in!
Wedding rings on or off?  On. I told Landon he was going to have to buy me a sparkly replacement when that time comes. I'm not holding my breath.
Happy or moody most of the time:  Mostly happy. My students haven't even gotten to me yet, which I definitely would have thought would have happened by now. 
Looking forward to: Finally having a real baby bump, rather than the pizza/ beer gut it looks like I'm currently rocking.