It feels like the kids were just getting out of school, and now? Ambrose's preschool summer camp is the week after next, and the end of next month (like, a month from now) P returns to school as a 1st grader. What on Earth??? Where is my Summer? I mean, I did joke about how I just wanted to survive this summer, what with getting bigger and slower in the central NC heat and humidity with two small boys. And it did drag those first couple weeks. But now it's like time is just flying right by!
Ambrose is pretty much potty trained, though we expect about an accident a day. Sometimes at night, sometimes after a huge meal when we aren't paying attention, whatever. For the most part, though, he hold it until we ask him to go or he'll even tell us he needs to go. He can handle himself in a restroom like a champ, locking his stall, doing his business, then coming back out. Sure, there's a lot of toilet paper fun and giggles while I call out, "Ambrose, you open this door THIS INSTANT!" but really, he's actually doing really well for a kid that isn't even 3 yet.
Paxton has lost his two front teeth and looks rather ridiculous, and of course adorable. His baby teeth just seem so tiny in his huge mouth now, so they're like these tiny spaced out white pebbles. He has 4 adult teeth down bottom, 4 new molars popping in at the back, and now two adult teeth starting to push through up top. Fingers crossed they're all coming in straight because OMG orthodontia is expensive and a hassle!
P is reading constantly and is just gobbling up books non stop. Our weekly library runs for armloads of books aren't enough for this child, he'll finish the whole pile by that night! Just the mention of the word library and I swear this kid starts to drool. He's pretty adamant that his books still need pictures, so he's not into chapter books yet. Oddly enough a lot of the older books I find at yardsales and such fit him much better, in that the font is a nice larger size, there are random pictures here and there, but the books are long and in chapters. Hard to find books from the '50's and such at the library though, at least in the children's section.
Ambrose has become fascinated with books himself, and likes to take them to the car with him and sit peacefully looking at pictures and figuring out what's going on. For the most part. Sometimes he'll blather on about a picture he found, and sometimes he gets bored in the silence then starts to hit P with a book and loses it, and Oh Lord the crying that follows that one! Ambrose also LOVES music still. Apparently he's a fan of One Republic and Bruno Mars. I mean, he'll take kids music too, but I like to do half and half in the car so I don't go insane and he's very vocal about which song he likes or doesn't like. Sometimes he dances and sings, sometimes he just sits there in silence letting the music wash over him. This is particularly enjoyable when I also like the song, there's nothing outright offensive he could learn from it, P is happily reading a book, and we're stuck in traffic. Nothing but pretty music and happy children. Seriously, it's heavenly.
We did our yearly trip up to Maine as a roadtrip this year and it was AWESOME! We're getting this roadtrip thing down! Really enjoying it, not sure I'll even fly domestic again unless I have to haha! We had a blast, spending time with family was just as magical and wonderful as we'd hoped, and we made a ton of great memories. Silly Ambrose didn't remember visiting Funtown last year and honestly thought we were making it up! He did NOT want to leave after ~6 hours there (closing time) and I can't blame him! I could only ride a few things, like the children's Ferris Wheel and the slow moving helicopters, and of course the Old Time Cars where Ambrose drove me around again and again. I sent Nik off with the big kids to watch them and play while I had Ambrose with my sister and her son (18 months). Hopefully next year we'll get to go on more rides!
My niece is coming down next week for a couple weeks in NC, then my nephew may also come down for a week before school starts. And the whole family may come down later this year! I'm really crossing my fingers for that one! We're also hoping to go to Disney again in about a year and a half and hopefully with so much time to plan this we'll be able to all go together. That would be so much fun!!!
Before I get to baby, I may as well give other updates: Nik was just promoted yesterday and got his second raise of the year! It was a shock (to me anyway) and a very welcome surprise. Apparently for his job Nik was making on the way lower end of the payscale but had good benefits, close location, and an easy schedule with lots of flexibility, which made up for it (and even the lower end of that scales seems like a lot to me, when I've only ever worked retail and food service!). Now that he's been promoted they raised his pay up to match. Since we're looking at buying a minivan (new or used) within the next, uh, month or two... and new carseats as we'll need one for the baby and the carseats in Nik's car are expiring... and a new stroller that's preferably longer lasting and easier to handle... and the fees at the birth center, and the birth classes, and baby sitters, and things that need to be fixed around the house, and then the preschool fees are coming back, and, yeah. Very welcome surprise :)
As for me, I'm at the "I'm so done with this garden!" part of the Summer where the garden is much more of a hassle than a fun project. I LOVE setting up the garden, LOVE seeing it grow and thrive, but then the point comes where it's so hot out that I would rather just wish it well from inside and give the birds my blessing as they come and steal the ripe food out of it. I mean, dude, it's triple digits, bright sun, and humid with random sudden thunder/lightning storms, hale, and strong hurricane-y winds. I was talking to Nik a couple weeks ago when a huge wind came out of nowhere and behind him a huge branch (like 15-20 feet) was ripped off the tree and went flying. Doesn't exactly make me want to spend leisurely time outside....
(Also the yard's a mess and it's just too hot to deal with it right now so I'd kinda rather ignore it please...)
I've been trying to get into books that aren't silly romances poorly disguised as murder mysteries, but they're so boring and wordy! I swear I'll read something that's won some award that means something sometime soon... but now I'm all birth books and baby books and such. Gotta figure out what on Earth I'm doing, right? Birth classes start next Wednesday and I'd like to go in being at least a teensy bit prepared.
Okay, baby time:
She's a kicker. OH, is she a kicker.
The funny part is, she seems to know when her brothers are around. He favorite times to kick? Naptime. Yoga time. Time out with my husband or a friend. And every. single. night. From the time the boys go to sleep to the time they wake up. Yes, all night sometimes, or maybe I just remember the kicking as it wakes me all through the night.
This does not bode well...
But she's healthy and strong and growing well. Everything is always coming back great at the birth center test-wise. Passed my glucose test, passed my anemia test, measuring right on target still and her heartbeat is loud and fast and strong. She'll even wiggle a bit for the midwives, if the boys aren't there :)
We have a name for her, full name though I may tweak her second middle name, Valentine. We both love this name for both a boy and girl, and since I felt her implant on Valentine's Day it felt right to shove it in there. I'm still not sure if we'll have it be Valentine or Valentina, and if the first spelling if we'll pronounce it vall-en-tine or vall-en-teen.
Her first middle name (the one people will actually care about) is a name I adore, absolutely love, but it's so incredibly common that I simply could not bring myself to use it as her first name. Sophie. Not Sophia, just Sophie. I LOVE this name, and I know so many wonderful Sophie's. One of my favorite literary characters is Sophie Hatter of Howl's Moving Castle. I have loved this name for years and years, and finally naming a girl for real... I cannot tell you how tempted I was to just give in and make this her first name, but I couldn't. I just know too many others with the same name, and having had such a common name myself (and hating the fact that it never felt like my own name), I really just couldn't do it. So it will sit as her middle name, one she can choose to go by when she's older if she prefers a more common and traditional name. Also, having it in there now makes it a "family name," so I may have a granddaughter Sophie in 30 years time :)
As for her first name... we went through several options. For awhile Cora felt like her name, then Sarena, but Nik actually didn't like either of those which I finally got out of him after a long lecture on "seriously, just tell me what you think, it won't break my heart I swear!" So we began a name search. We each grabbed a name book, I researched names on name sites, looked up the histories of several names we liked, etc.
We had one name that kept coming up, a name that isn't in the top 1000 in the US and has probably never even been heard of here. It's up and coming in European countries and the more aristocratic societies, but not so much middle class South Eastern USA. Spelling and pronunciation might be tricky at first, but we love it.
We did a lot of looking, though. Finally one day I took a notebook and went through my favorite baby names website and wrote down every. single. name. that I could possibly see using for our daughter. That doesn't mean I liked all of them, but they weren't awful, generally went with our varied styles, and had a meaning that I could get behind. I don't like names with negative meanings or connotations, nor do I want to give my child a name they'll share with a tragic heroine. Oh, there are lots and lots of names I love that are shared with tragic heroines.
After my notebook was full and the kids were asleep, I sat Nik down and went through it, name by name, twice. I crossed out every name he said "no" to. Made it easier on him, I think, since apparently he hated the majority of the names I had been saying I liked but he didn't want to tell me! After we went through this list twice, I made a new list of the remaining names (like 20) and then said them aloud with our last name, and then with the boy's names, "Paxton, Ambrose and ___". I also pointed out that if we had a fourth child it would then be, "Paxton, Ambrose, ___ and ___" so we might want to do away with Z names unless we were totally sold on one. Arbitrary rules make decisions easier :)
So the result of this evening of name elimination?
That same name we had both started to fall for about a month earlier. The one unheard of in the US for the most part. One where we'll probably be teaching people a new name, spelling, and pronunciation.
Cosima Sophie Valentine.
Cosima is the Italian female variation on the Greek word Cosmos, which alludes to, well, the Cosmos/Universe but has the meaning of "Order and Beauty." We're pronouncing it CO-see-ma (or CO-sih-ma, kinda between those two :) ). And seriously, if you could hear Ambrose say Cosima you would fall in love with the name too. Do you have any idea how many names I made the children repeat to me just to hear the way it sounded coming from them? Oh, oooooh, Cosima just sounded so beautiful on their lips, and even as we dabbled in other names that one just kept jumping back into my head. Despite other names I adored, and have loved for years, I couldn't see this child inside me as a Gwendolyn or a Mirabelle or a Cordelia. Nothing "normal" sounded right. Beatrix was the only other name Nik and I could possibly see, but even then it just didn't feel quite like THIS child's name.
And so now we know who we're expecting in three months. Little Cosima.
Oh, and for fun I googled "Cosima Sophie". There's a really cute dog by this name, from a breeder who goes by Cosima :) I'm thinking I'll print off a screen shot to add to the baby book, because I'm weird like that.
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