Friday, July 23

Are We There Yet????

Nope, but the countdown until move-in day / move-out day continues. 7 days and counting. We are all so exhausted. Not just physically, which is bad enough, but mentally and emotionally. My brother has been a real trooper. He starts work at the house around 10am and usually does not come home until 9 or 10pm. My sister has been my life and sanity saver. She arrived just last weekend and already, I don't know what I did until she came. Basically, she's Greta's new mom. I've been working on the house from around 10am to 6pm this week; believe me, it is a long time to be away from one's baby! But I can do it because I know she has the best of care and I don't feel the awful, nagging sense that I am inconveniencing some non-family member. Josh... poor, dear, under-appreciated, hard working hubby... goes to his "day job" from 8am to 5pm, but stops by to run errands and feed his workers on his lunch break. Then he starts his night job on the house until 10 or 11pm. Between the boys and our friend Jeremy, who is our all-knowing supervisor/contractor/we'll-make-this-work-inspiration (who also has a day job and a wife and 5 awesome kids, one of who is brand new), the house is almost done.

We must have been crazy to do this. But that's God's fault. We agreed to buy the house back in April. Then our loan took ages to process. Then the government ran out of money to fund the loan. Then we applied for a new loan. Then the government printed more money. Then our mortgage person began working for a new company that required we re-apply for a loan. So we actually closed on June 30th, just squeaking by to qualify for the First-Time-Homebuyer's tax credit. So we've basically gutted and rebuilt this house in one month. All of this would be doable, if not fun, had we longer to work on the house. However, the new renters are moving in to our rental on July 31st. Oh.... joy. Hence, the 7 days and counting.

On the to-do list still? Prime the walls, paint, install cabinets, put in flooring, install new bathroom drain, install bathroom fixtures, replace old bathroom fixtures, compound/sand/texture/paint kids' room, put in carpet in bedroom, clean out basement, MOVE IN. Thankfully, we are only moving about three blocks.

So if you have any spare prayers or happy thoughts this coming week, send them our way. We are definitely going to need them. I promise to pay you back with lots of before and after pictures in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, July 20

What's in a name?

So now that I have my virtual audience waiting with bated breath for that oh-so-exciting announcement of "boy or girl," let me take this opportunity to make you hear my diatribe on the subject of "names." Ever since I was a kid, I was obsessed with names. Under my direction, my siblings and I played an acting game that involved picking new names for oneself, an appropriate age, etc. And of course, it involved dressing up. Unfortunately, none of my favorite names back then stood the test of time. I cycled through quite a few. I recall "Christina," "Cherry," "Brittany," "Mildred," and "Karen" being top choices at one point. But what has lasted are my Hate List. "Nancy," "Nan," "Jane," "Peggy," and "Sarah" are the ones that stand out the most. (I take part of that back; "Jane" and "Sarah" aren't bad names anymore... but "Nancy"? Never NEVER NEVER!). At some point later, when our inventive interests took a turn towards reenacting the Civil War, I developed similar lists for boy names and subsequently renamed my siblings with appropriately soldierly names.... usually something from "Rifles for Waiti," "Across Five Aprils" or "Friendly Persuasion."

Oh, why do we have to grow up? If I hadn't grown up, gotten to know more people, and developed odd turns of the mind, I might happily have named all my kids for the sibling in "Across Five Aprils." But in recent years, or rather, since the reality of naming real children has struck, I don't like giving my kids a name of someone I know. It matters not whether I like said person or not. It's just that if they have a name, it's their name and I will always associate that name with them. It feels weird to me to call a brand new kid by someone else's name. Ahhhh... the things we confess to in blogs for the sake of being amusing, interesting or different! Now, I know that if everyone thought this way, we would very quickly run out of names and everyone would be called by some new fashioned, made up name like "Jayden" or Kylie." Oh wait....

So it's lucky for the human population that most of us do not think this way. However, in my case, I can't conceive of having more than a dozen children; in which case I'm sure I can humor my preference for not using the names of friends or close relations. Greta's real name is Margaret Elisabeth Rose. I adore the name Margaret, and yes, I do have a few good friends with that name. But I conveniently got out of calling her Margaret by nicknaming her the German derivative, "Greta," No one EVER gets this connection except honest-to-goodness, first generation Germans. And I love them for it.

Are you sufficiently impatient for me to get to the point about this kid's sex? Well, the English major in me won't let me do so until I've attempted to make the connection between the evolution of names and my baby's sex. You see, I want a girl because I absolutely love the girl's name we decided on. It was everything I love about a name - unique, classic, different, traditional, and Anglo-Saxon based (as are most of the names I tend to prefer). I won't tell you what it is, but I will say I checked to make sure it was NOT on the Top 100 Most Popular Girl Names for 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and so on. In fact, it peaked in popularity in the 1930's. And it is not Mildred. The middle name was a family name and worked beautifully with the first name.

And now, I will have to wait to use it.

Yes, we're having a boy. Once again, Josh was right and I was wrong, With Greta, I was subconsciously sure that I was having a boy, but Josh "thought it would be nice" if we were having a girl. That is how my husband is about these things... never pushy or assertive, but pleasantly suggestive. Well, his "suggestion" proved correct in Greta's case. Once I got used to the idea that I was having a daughter and might have to raise someone like myself, I was very excited about Greta. This time, Josh "thought it would be nice to have a boy. Just for variety, Maria." There, future rebellious, teenage son of mine. Read that and feel sorry for yourself. No, Josh tacked on the last part because I'm sure he knew how much I loved my girl's name and how much easier I thought it would be to have another girl at this point in time. No new wardrobe, no new momma skills to learn, two cute, little girls to dress... sigh.

But now that I actually know we're having a boy... whoopeeeeee! I can finally call "it" something other than "it" and I can start talking to Greta about her little brother. And everyone I know seems to like their little boys very much, saying that they are less complicated and more fun, etc. And who knows? Maybe Little What's His Name will love me as much as Greta adores her Daddy. So when all is said and done, I'm very excited that this baby is a boy... my first little boy, my wee Christmas angel.

But oh, what to name him!

Josh wanted "Ingeborg" for Greta. His equally creative suggestions this time were "Ignatius," "Otto," or "Honorius."  I'm going to assume that he was and is joking. We've tentatively come up with a name... not telling, of course, but here are a few you can rule out. 1) No Italian names. I hate them. No offense meant to the growing number of people whouse them, but I've been conditioned by years of reading English and American literature to associate such names with effeminacy and a lack of manliness. Thank the WASP movement for that unconsciously anti-Catholic sentiment. 2) No made-up new names. I am not a fan of all the Jaydens, Kaydens, Haydens, Raydens and their ilk running around. Maybe Sayden. Josh suggested that, but in the interests of being Catholic, I think we will pass.

Well, here's to the next 20 weeks until we meet our first baby boy. If nothing else, there's always "Nicholas Nickelby." Then Josh would feel like we are more related to our dog, Smike. "Nicholas Nickelby Montagnini." Now, that has a unique ring to it!

Thursday, July 8

Aches and Pains and Pregnancy, oh My!

I was formerly of the opinion that people should abstain from blogging if they have nothing of possible interest to blog about. Writing about how much the bones in one's ass hurt during pregnancy is about as bad as it gets in the ranks of "worst blog entry ever." But that's what it's come to. We have been SO busy lately and I have been SO tired that the only thing that comes to mind as a possible topic is the only thing on my mind right now, which is... the aches and pains of pregnancy.

I suppose this opening necessitates a word of explanation as to just why I am so busy, achey and tired (other than from the work of growing a baby). We finally (yay) bought a house. Buying a house is all well and good, typically as cause for celebration. In our case, it was a very long and out process. We started back at the end of March and concluded on June 30th. To make matters more exciting, it is a fix-er-up-er in the real sense... or at least we have turned it into one. But no. No, I could not live with wall paneling of the alternating white and dark wood variety. Just no. Nor could I live with a pink bedroom. Even more so could I not live with a bathroom with no ventilation and floor to ceiling mirror tiles AND carpeted floors. I suppose I could have survived the faux brickwork in the kitchen, but that would have been a stretch. The house also had minor issues, such as bad wiring. All in all, it was the best price for a nice little house with lots of potential. So much for the house. Josh and I are wanna-be handymen (women) so redoing it would not be a big deal except for the unforseen kicker - we learned on July 1st that we have new renters moving into our current house on July 31st.

That makes me extremely unhappy. If I hate moving, I hate moving quickly into unfinished houses even more. Wait. Isn't that what happened when we moved to Gallup? Ha. And I thought it was deja vu. On the bright side, at least we are only moving a few blocks away. Also, it won't be December this time.

All this to say that I have been assisting the deconstruction and clean up efforts in the past week. Hence, I feel like a very old, achey pregnant woman at the moment. The pain in my left hip makes me fall sometimes because I just can't feel my leg at times. I know... hie thee to a chiropractor and fix the pain in thy ass! I know, I know. My feet ache, I guess because I am fattening up for the pregnancy. But should an extra 5 lbs. make you feel this way? Somehow I doubt it. Just within the past week I have become insatiably tired. I mean, don' tired. I'll work at the house for two hours, doing something lame like sweeping the floors and carrying out wood scraps. Then I come home, get Greta to bed, and pass out for two hours. I used to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at 8am. Now I'm unconscious until Josh makes me get up to watch Greta when he leaves for work.

I know this won't last forever and I know the end results will be worthwhile, but I predict a rough month ahead. If you have any spare prayers or kind thoughts, send 'em our way. Ciao.