Friday, September 27, 2013

The Name Game

Naming someone is very hard.  Clif and I take it very seriously.  We want names that are unique but not weird.  We want names that mean something.  I don't mean that the name needs to mean peace or love or anything, but that it has something behind it.  And I do not want to see my kids' names splashed all over every kid's show and kid's store advertisement.  If it's in the PBK catalog you best believe a thousand people are falling in love with it.

We picked Ainsley from a TV show.  And not a current TV show.  The West Wing.  Which was not on when Ainsley was born, but my husband is obsessed with it and watches the whole series once a year.  Well, he used to, before we had three children. 

It is still the most beautiful name I've ever heard.  I love it.  And it's not over used.  There are lots of pretty names, but you just hear them everywhere.  Coming from a Jaime Lynn who was born the year the Bionic Woman hit the airways, I think it's nice to have a name like no one else.  Even though my mom did not pick my name because of the Bionic Woman, I ended up in elementary school with two other Jaime Lynns.  In a small school I was forever known as Jaime L.  And they were Jaime G. and Jaime M.  Then when we got to middle school there were two more Jaime Lynns.  They ended up being Jaime T. and Jaime R.

So I'm glad that Ainsley, so far it seems, will be the only Ainsley.  Her middle name is Lynn.  My middle name, my mother's middle name, my mother-in-law's middle name.  Then my sister is CaroLYN and my sister-in-law is CaitLYN.  So lots of Lynns.

Freddie was our easiest child to name, but it was the most difficult nickname.  I didn't want him going by Frederick Clifton White IV.  Though Clif and I always knew that if we had a boy, he'd have that name.  I love it and it has history behind's the 4th one in a row.  But Freddie was tough.  I didn't want him going by Clifton or Clif, not because I don't like the name but because I didn't want two in the house.  We tried to find something with the IV, like people do with III (Trey, Trip, etc), but nothing really worked.  People suggested Ivy or Court to play off the 4.  Nothing really struck me as perfect. 

Freddie was the very first nickname we thought of, but I didn't really like the idea of people calling him Fred.  So then I tried to think of other Frederick nicknames...Derick, Ricky.  All nice names, but just too common.  So about a week before I had him, we decided...Freddie.  So far we don't know any other Freddies and have not come across any in school or other activities.  I personally think there is no other name that would fit my Freddie better.  Even my mother-in-law (who once said "no grandson of mine will be named Freddie") agrees - love you, Denise.

Cohen was HARD.  Boy names are HARD.  Before we found out he was a boy and I was SURE he was a girl, we had two names picked out.  Both of which would have used my grandmother's name in some way.  So when he turned out to be a boy, we could not come up with something that we both liked.  We had lists and lists of names.  Cohen was one of the first ones I threw out there.  Clif was kind of indifferent on it.  Didn't love it, didn't hate it.  Eventually, he came around.  Flynn came from Ainsley and Freddie.  It was on our list, but it wasn't my favorite.  When we were at our wits end in the naming game, we enlisted the help of Ainsley and Freddie.  They loved Flynn.  Most likely because of Flynn Rider in Tangled.  So Cohen Flynn it was.  And I have NEVER heard the name Cohen on anyone.

And then today this in my email...


I have one thing to say...Step OFF Pottery Barn Kids.  I better not see Cohen on every page of your next catalog!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Little Miss Thaaang

This is my Ainsley the week she was born.

And here she is at her first birthday.

She has just turned four in this picture.

Cute and sweet, right?  Right.  She has always been so sweet.  I would dare say, she's just about perfect.  She listens, she hates getting in trouble, she helps out, she's a good girl.

This is Ainsley on the first day of first grade.

This picture sums up my daughter these days.  Hand on hip, check.  Cutesy head tilt, check.  Attitude, check.

There is a body snatcher in her first grade class.  I sent my sweet little girl and got back Miss Attitude.  There are fights, and tears, and screams, and door slams.

After 3 weeks of this attitude every day at the bus stop, I had to take a step back and really look at the situation.  Honestly, I was tired of losing my mind and fighting with her every. single. day.

Little girl has plenty of attitude and sass.  She's definitely feeling high and mighty these days, so she needs to be taken down a notch.  I think Ainsley has been put in "time out" of some sorts more these past few weeks than she has in her first 6 years of life.  I'm trying not to let the attitude escalate.  She back-talks, she goes to her room.  She speaks nasty, she gets an extra chore.  She's ugly to her little brother, she gets a time out on the stairs.  She throws a fit and acts like a 2 year old, I treat her like a 2 year old and take away 6 year old privileges.

But you see, that's the easy part.  There's another component to this tug of war.  Me.

Again...this is my sweet baby girl.

And I think in some way, I will forever see her this way.  Big blue eyes, round face, bald head.  When really, this young lady stands before me.

A young lady who is just starting to find her way.  A girl who is testing the waters and yearning for independence.  A little kid, on the brink of becoming a big kid...finding her own path and desperately wishing to be grown.

It's my job to preserve her innocence, to let her be young.  But it's my responsibility to let her be free and become the strong, independent woman she'll be.

That balance is proving difficult.  I'm not quite sure how to be this parent.  For 6 years Clif and I have had to do almost everything for our kids.  We've known their every move, haven't let them out of our sight.  Now, she's beginning to pull away and part of the attitude is coming from me not letting her.

So I'm trying.  Trying to let her wander the little girl clothes in a store, while I look at shoes.  Still where I can hear/see her, but not right at my side.  Trying to let her walk ahead of me from the bus stop, still stopping at every street crossing.  Trying to let her play outside without me hovering, as long as she stays in a certain spot.

Ainsley is our oldest, so she will get the most bruises from this bumpy path.  By the time Cohen is flexing his wings, we'll be pros.  But Clif and I were both the oldest, and we turned out...okay...I think.  Parenting is the ultimate dead end job.  In order to be successful, you absolutely have to make yourself unnecessary.  The pay is terrible, but the benefits are the best around.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Temporary Life

Hello! It's been awhile, I know...and I kind of left without a word. See, I wasn't planning on being away all summer. I tried to write...I really did. But I had some other things going on.

I guess the last time I really wrote, I was getting ready to have baby #3 and be a stay at home mom for the summer. And my thought was that I'd write all the time. I'd post so much, you'd be sick of me. But here's the thing...I barely looked at a computer all summer long. I mean, I had my phone...I wasn't totally cut off from the world. But blogging on the phone...not easy.

Well, I had him. June 9th. One day after his due date, just as scheduled...

Meet Cohen Flynn.

He was born early on a Sunday morning and he weighed 9 pounds flat. We brought him home and he's perfect. Beyond perfect. I just don't know how it's possible to love someone so much. The day we brought him home we had parents night at Cheerleading practice and in-class dress rehearsal for the big dance production.

He is a third child. There were exactly 2 days of Mommy/Daddy/Cohen time before school was out and Daddy returned to work and Grandma came to stay. In those early weeks, he spent most of his time in a car seat running to preschool and end of year picnics and dress rehearsals and play dates and birthday parties. Then June was over and school was out and dance was done and most of our friends were on vacation and we were able to breath.

I spent the summer with these three.

We went to the pool, we rode bikes, we baked, we spent some rainy days watching Disney Jr in our PJs, we went to the beach, we threw parties, we rode trains, we saw animals, we did it all. And Cohen just tagged along. In the stroller or strapped to my chest. He's a trooper...but he's a third child...I guess he has to be.

I can't write it all out in this post. I'm going to try, once a week, to post summer adventures since I didn't do it as it was happening and I want my kids to always have this summer. The memories, even if they can't remember them. The summer that the four of us spent every moment together. No day care, no camps, no school, no babysitters. The summer that I got to see how the other half lives. My temporary life. So basically, this post is just to say...I had a wonderful summer, I hope you did too...but now it's over. I'm back at work, they're back in school, and I will probably be writing and reading blogs again.

This summer there was just no time for that.
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