We love seeing all of your hard work from this past month, and it makes us so proud to share some of our favorite rooms from the gallery. Sharing is caring, as they say, and at Project Nursery, we definitely care! Please take a look at these finalists, and vote for your favorite below. […]
Please vote for Georgia’s Peachy Punchy Room! (it’s the first one!)
Hers has to be the smallest nursery, and is also the only one photographed by a non-professional, I’m pretty sure, but my (obviously totally unbiased) opinion is that it’s undeniably the coolest (are people still doing the “empty frames” thing?? That room is totally second but I can’t. handle. the. blank. frames.)!
For a split second, six days ago, pro-choice-me considered it.
It might be selfish for me to not have considered it longer: do we have the money, time, space to raise a fourth child in the manner that we’d planned for our…intentional?…kids?
So maybe the decision was quicker and easier and more self-serving than anything else.
But it was a conscious decision made, even if I didn’t feel much control over it (for as pro-choice as I definitely am, I have felt immediately connected to each of my babies the second I knew they were there).
I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it would be for me to feel the need to opt the other way, but I’m still committed to preserving the value in that ability to opt at all.
Soooo this is a secret still because we’re not in the “safe zone” yet…
But while I was diagnosed as infertile four years ago and had to have injections and multiple rounds of IUI to have the boys…
I found out Friday that Baby # fucking FOUR is on it’s way.
Good thing P and I finalized our decision three weeks ago that our family was complete and he was going to schedule the snip snip for this week and I’m already EIGHT WEEKS PREGNANT.
In real life.
Like, my due date is three days before Georgia’s first birthday and I thought I was fucking infertile-pregnant.
Honestly, I’m still vacillating between crying (We have no room for this baby! Or money! Or time! I have to be pregnant again! And give birth!) and being okay(-ish) with it.
So maybe when I reach twelve weeks, I’ll repost my “announcement” and it will be filled with all the excitement and anticipation I wish I was feeling now, or maybe it will take a little longer…but I know I’ll get there and I know we’ll make it work because we have to/it has to…
*mums the word, my few IRL-and-TUMBLR friends, for another month :|
1. Does that make sense? Many women end their statements with,“Does that make sense?” or “Do you know what I mean?”. We do this because we want to make sure we were understood, but this phrasing suggests you think you were incoherent. Instead, ask your listeners, “What…
Every. Single. One.
A means of covering up the “bossiness” years of being a highly achieving leader gave me a reputation for?
And I wondered why I had difficulty moving up as a young woman in the male-dominated finance industry…
A pretty great city roundup of my hometown (I grew up a mile from Leon’s).
I’ll second the rec for Blue Jacket. An old friend is the bar manager and we can’t stop going back to try the seasonal, locally-sourced food and inventive cocktails inspired by the homegrown bitters (google Bittercube and stock up!).
UGH. Ex’s wedding is tomorrow and although I totally appreciated your advice on dressing for it…
I didn’t account for my recent HAVING A BABY in terms of choosing options that actually fit (properly).
It’s rough on my waist-accentuating wardrobe, to, you know, not have much of a waist right now…
So I obviously had to go shopping and now I have about 35 new (mediocre) options to choose from;
- and P obviously chose the sluttiest of them (which really isn’t that slutty) (but it’s still the most slutty of the choices) (P, if you’re reading this, your choice was just further proof that you like slutty chicks) (this is an on-going joke between us, everyone-else-who’s-reading-this)
- and the one I had highest hopes for FINALLY arrived today (thanks for nothing, Rue La La) and it is so not as cute as I’d hoped.
Did I mention it’s tomorrow?
Ugh. I’m just feeling all the feelings, most of which are self-conscious in a what-I’d-expect-people-felt, pre-Facebook,-before-heading-to-a-school-reunion-kind-of-way.
Why couldn’t he have just gotten married last summer, when I was super hot and in good-for-me shape?!
So, on my first “mom’s day off since…May…? (And before that was…October…?), I just wasted 3 hours of my time - and a tank of gas - driving to and from Madison in ATTEMPT to trade me drip coffee maker for a free Keurig.
Since it’s raining-ish, though, the event was cancelled and I wasn’t lucky enough to be one of the “couple of people” who they gave vouchers to (for a free Keurig), I’m SOL.
Ironically, I could really use a quick cup of coffee right now.
And I am SO. HAPPY. that’s he’s invited P and I to the festivities. (I dated him through high school and college, so his family was mine for a long time, and I miss them dearly).
But also, and this is even though I was the breaker-upper, I feel the need to out-hot myself.
-Which will be a challenge, less than three months, postpardum.
So I have two questions, one of which is for myself: Why? Why this need? I love them as a couple, so why does it matter? Am I sad that he’ll be officially off my “hook” once married? It’s such a weird concern…
And also a question for you: What should I WEAR????
My due date is tomorrow and I am an emotional mess.
I just spent the last hour writing out the boys’ birth story (2.5 years following the fact, but whatever), and thought, a second AFTER clicking, “Publish,” that I should have saved a draft, maybe even to my computer (since Tumblr has effed me before and lost posts).
Tumblr lost the post.
And now I’m crying again.
That was the single most substantial thing I’ve ever written.
So I *thought* I’d mentioned that Georgia was our wishwecouldnumberonefavnameeverforbabygirl to my mom and her nonresponse was all the NO I needed to confirm that we couldn’t use it. (seriously, she has every right to want to keep anything George-related as far from her consciousness as possible - we have some extended family ISSUES up in that region…)
…but tonight, I mentioned that Jack has recently taken to calling his baby sister-to-be, Emerson, and P brought up how Georgia was still his fav (thereby effing EARNING the side-eye/mean-mug combo I whipped at his ass), and my mom was suddenly SO OKAY with it…
(there’s definitely a possibility that she just HATES Emerson that.much.)
So then, maybe I cried (I am so not proud of my preg-induced-lameness right now)…
And that’s how we officially got a totally unexpected blessing on our name
(except I still kind of love Poppy and am expecting P to give into whatever I want once I’ve birthed the child and all) (I mean, HELLO) (so there’s a chance she won’t be Georgia even though she 95-ish-% will be)
whew…and with just 2.5-ish months to go until she’s here, I suppose it’s time to worry about some actual pre-baby preparedness issues (UHM…like starting the nursery)…
Parker (this is the only one I’m not really considering b/c it’s not quite feminine enough for me)
My (obviously much better) picks:
Norah (you knew I couldn’t keep it to just 3)
Francesca (this is the only one P is actively contesting)
all with middle name, Kate, after my cousin who died very unexpectedly this summer at age 31, and after my grandma
We’re getting closer!! (and I think I’ll be pretty content going into the birth with a list instead of a more concrete decision, anyway) (plus, I’m pretty sure I’ll get my way in the name dept. after, you know, GIVING BIRTH)
I promise to stop with the name-dramz for a while, now that I’m not (literally) keeping myself awake all night, thinking of (stressing about) possibilities ;)
So last I wrote, I wrote about not being able to name our baby-to-be what we really want to name her, Georgia (or anything George-related, so Georgina is sadly also out).
And you guys were so great! And had so many fantastic suggestions!
As a recap, we’ve been tossing around:
Emerson - former front-runner, but I’ve cooled on it
Dorothy - nicknamed Dot/Dottie, but I don’t like Dorothy
Poppy - too hippie? a little sweet on the sweet/cool spectrum, but I kind of love it!
Penelope - P loves it, but I’d definitely have to think she “looks” like a Penny
Audrey - too popular?
Paige - too plain?
Loretta - too old lady?
Eliza - I like it, but is it cool enough?
Wren - cool, but is it strong enough? Also, as someone with a short first name, I wished I’d had a longer, girlier name all while growing up/until I was 22
Guilia/Giada - P doesn’t like the “weird” (ITALIAN!) spelling :(
Harlow - P doesn’t love it
Clementine - P didn’t like it, but may be coming around…
Lola - probably not a realistic frontrunner
Genevieve - probably not a realistic frontrunner
Sydney - too popular?
Reese - probably not a realistic frontrunner
Coco - probably not a realistic frontrunner
Delaney - probably not a realistic frontrunner
Parker (new addition and P’s top pick, but I’m not sold)
Norah (my new addition) - P’s still considering it…
Imogen - I’m digging it more and more…
Lucia - pronounced lu-SEE-a, not a frontrunner anymore bc of pronunciation issues :(
And you ladies mentioned:
Seoirse - I think this was the only suggestion we haven’t considered! The pronunciation issue is at work here, but I liked the meaning!
Portia - love it, but not the association with Porche
Lydia - the little girl I babysit for/child of some old friends is named Lydia, but we do like it
Johanna - P vetoed it, but I like it still
Leila - I liked it more than P
Julia - again, I like it more than P, but I like it spelled with a G
Lazzar…a - If one of the boys had been a girl, the boy’s middle name would probably have been Lazzaro (my maiden name), so Sandy wasn’t too far off ;)
Charlotte - I LOVE this name, but we know 2 other Charlottes
Caroline - P vetoed
Gemma - this one is actually also on our (longish) shortlist
Josie - we can’t use anything Joseph-related, since that’s my dad’s and brother’s name and will definitely be my someday-nephew’s name
Josette - another ^, which is a bummer bc I also REALLY like Josephine too
Amelia - we know an Amelia
Ruby - This, and the next two, were nixed because of the short name/old lady combo :(
Flora - P vetoed
Aria - we know an Aria who’s due to be born within the month (!), but I do really like it
Gianna/Gia - definitely like it, but prefer Giada for a possible green-eyed baby!
Geneva/Genna - have thought about them, but prefer Gemma, which P doesn’t like
Francesca/Frankie - I LOVE it! but P doesn’t so much - I think I may move it back onto the shortlist though ;)
Ainsley - I definitely like it, but prefer Huntley (P vetoed, and it’s a bit too close to Hudson), Bailey (P really like it, but it’s on the popular side for me), and Bexley (P vetoed), if we’re considering -ley names (I’ve been anti-ley because it’s a bit cutesy, but I’ve been leaning toward them suddenly!)
eek! so many options, but I know only one is the right one…and I’m realizing that this whole preoccupation with finding a name might be a diversion from all of the things we actually have to ready before her arrival (a new vehicle, the nursery, continuing hell potty training…)
I spent nap time cleaning out my closet yet again, this time removing the majority of the (lovely!) dresses that I spent years wearing, almost daily, before the boys were born.
The majority had dust on the shoulders, after having not been worn in 2.5 years…so to make room in Baby Girl’s closet, P has to take his things out, and I have to share the walk in…
Taking all of these beautiful dresses (over 100 of them!) (DVF! DKNY! Eva Franco! My all-time favorite, sadly still unworn, J Crew dress!), that actually fit, boxing them up, and taking them to the basement because they don’t fit my lifestyle…was a shock.
My images of myself as the mother I thought I’d be, working, successful, put-together, leading by example, and as the mother I am, in stretched out jeggings, no makeup, at home 24/7, compulsively trying just to keep up (with the kids, the cleaning, the Pinterest-perfect-fun-projects-all-day-moms of the Internets), collided.
I sobbed to P.
About the incessant whining and fighting and saying NO from the boys lately…
About how I’d have never gone to college or spent 10 years establishing myself professionally to be “just a mom…”
So if we could do it, our baby girl’s name would 100% be Georgia. I suggested it to my cousin nearly five years ago, he didn’t use it, and it’s stuck with P and I.
As in, it’s the only name we both love, through and through. It’s feminine but cool, and could go professional but is still cute for a little girl…
It is NOT an option though, as it has awful/painful/hurtful associations within my family.
Georgia is probably one of the very few names that 100% is not, can not be, our child’s name.
So in asking for your help/suggestions/advice, please don’t say that we can/should/might possibly be able to somehow, do it anyway, as this is not the case.
If one of the boys had been a girl, her name would have been Emerson Dawn, but we’ve fallen out of love with it (still on our short list though).
We love the nicknames Dot and Dottie, but P’s family would rather not have another Dorothy (his gma is Dorothy and even though she’s 100 years old and spunky and totally digs me, the rest of the fam, P’s parents included, has decades-old issues with her) (plus, I don’t love “Dorothy” either), and I’m even digging Dot as a middle name (although it sounds oddly like it’s missing the “com” afterward?) (which is kind of fitting for P’s geeky self?).
We’re also tossing around Poppy (P’s not sold), Penelope (getting too popular? I’m not sold), Audrey/Audra/Aurora, Paige, Loretta, Eliza, Mackenzie (she’d be “Mac,” fitting since P and I met at the Apple store).
Oh, and also, Wren, Guilia, Giada (only if she has P’s green eyes), Levi, Harlow, Lola, Genevieve, Clementine, Sydney, Kenton, Reese, Rowan, Coco, Delaney, Aletta, Azura, and Natalia…
But nothing has stuck like Georgia :(
Thoughts? Ideas? Something similar to Georgia in sound/feel/’tude that we’re overlooking? Please?
…Childcare in our area is exorbitantly expensive. Well—everything in our area is expensive. Housing is expensive. Transportation is expensive. We had done some childcare research before Isobel was born, but it was only cursory because at that time we were planning for other arrangements to work out—and they didn’t. We began looking in earnest a few months ago. There were a few problems right off the bat. First, many childcare facilities in our area have long waiting lists, even for older infants and toddlers. (It’s common for daycares to have waiting lists for newborns but at some of the fancier facilities in our area, there were year-long waiting lists for toddlers.) Second, and I want to be completely honest here—we could not afford several of the daycares that did have availability. We were willing to look into a full-time option where there was no part-time available, but soon discovered that the average full-time care cost at some of the nicer facilities that did have availability was north of $1,800 per month. The full-time cost at a daycare right around the corner from our home was over $2,200 a month. We live a comfortable life and our income is above the average for this area. But we cannot afford to pay $2,000 a month for daycare…
…In this weird world of modern parenting, there is this horrible dichotomy that says that you can make the best decisions for your children if you “know all the information,” but that also continually promotes guilt and judgment if the decision you choose is not the one that is trendy, not the one that is socially normative or not the one that upper-middle class or well-off families make. Jessica Valenti’s book “Why Have Kids?” illustrated this really well. As a collective society, we wring our hands over breastfeeding or helping kids sleep through the night or practicing attachment parenting or giving them perfectly assembled nurseries or going back to work after an extended, paid maternity leave or discussing the stresses or benefits of being at a stay at home parent. Let me be clear: you have a certain amount of privilege if these are the issues on your parenting plate. For the women who have difficulty breastfeeding and have no maternity leave, or perhaps their workplace doesn’t allow them the time and space to pump, they don’t have a choice. For the parents who don’t have a separate bedroom for their new baby because they’re living in a one-room or studio apartment, sleep training is obviously problematic. And, if you don’t have a separate bedroom for a baby, there is no nursery to decorate—assuming you have the money and time to do it anyway. Attachment parenting? For a mother who has to return to work right away, that “parenting style” is not even on the table. As far as paid maternity leave—it barely exists in this country. Let me say that again because it’s something we like to pretend isn’t a reality: PAID MATERNITY LEAVE BARELY EXISTS IN THIS COUNTRY. Oh, women have the option of twelve weeks unpaid leave at most workplaces. That’s roughly equivalent to six paychecks. How many families can afford to miss six paychecks? 40% of Americans have less than $500 in savings. Could your family afford to miss six paychecks? If you can hobble together enough sick leave, vacation days, personal days and short-term disability benefits, you may be able to eke out six weeks. What happens after those six weeks or two weeks or twelve weeks you’ve been gone from work? Two options: someone stays home and watches your child (maybe you, maybe a family member) or you find childcare. The average cost of daycare in the US is over $11,000 a year. The average wage in the US is about $43,000 per year. After childcare, that average worker is now making $32,000 per year. The average wage in Maryland is about $52,000 per year. If a Maryland resident is paying about $1,700 a month in childcare (or $20,400 per year), they’ve just negated their income entirely. They’ve nearly halved it…
(Plus, take out 25% of that salary for taxes.)
It was really difficult for me to cut anything from Jaclyn’s post (for the sake of not having the world’s longest reblog). It’s a pretty great read for moms errrrbody.
I’ve got five more months to go until baby #3 makes his or HER! appearance, and obviously I just got an email from a recruiter at a company that I interviewed with five years ago and have been pining for ever since. Obviously.
So the thing about having multiples is that everything isn’t just x2. The daycare is (it’d be about $600/week for both boys). The amount of necessities is (diapers, carseats, $70 snowsuits because HELLO! We live in Wisconsin). Take their births though, and the $59K price tag that came with 10 and 13 day NICU stays (not even bad for twins!). Much more than double the average singleton birth bill, but luckily, we had great insurance which covered most of it. However, I lost that great coverage when I had to quit my job b/c without any familial/free help for daycare, I wouldn’t have been making enough after taking out for daycare and gas for my 45-minute-each-way-commute. So P’s lesser insurance coverage didn’t pay for any of Hudson’s helmet or most of his PT to correct the issues he developed inutero as is common for twins in such a tight space. During the boys’ first year of life we had to pay, out of pocket, over $12K in medical expenses. On one salary.
Sadly, even though I had a relatively generous time off package of 13 weeks paid/and another 13 of optional unpaid time off, this wasn’t doubled b/c I had twice the kids :)
The thing that upset me most during my will I?/won’t I? go back to work struggle, was that as a mom, this is uniquely MY struggle. P, as the dad, never questioned it. He was going back to work after a couple of weeks off (vacation+2 weeks paternity leave). (He was also making roughly 2/3 of our household income at the time, so this does account for a large portion of why our work/home split is so gender-traditional.) But I battled with the transition into stay-at-homedom.
Correction: I battle with it. I know I’m “lucky” to be “able” to do so. But it’s complicated because I’m doing so because we would have nearly broken even, money-wise, if I’d returned to work; the only difference would be that someone else would be raising my children if I had done so. And that was difficult for me, as a college-educated, career-oriented, woman with two promising careers already under my belt at 27, to handle. My mother stayed home when I was very young, but before I was 8 years old, had a job outside of the home. My siblings and I were the latchkey kids of the 90’s, when I was 10 and could get us all off to school in the morning and then control the three of us for the hour after school until my mom got home, so I always think of her as always having been a working mother. I never considered myself the stay-at-home type, and I’ll admit that I’m sometimes more than a little resentful that this decision was mostly made for me as soon as we heard those two little heartbeats, not by me.
So now I’ve got this almost-opportunity in front of me, again, and I know that I have to make BANK in order to cover daycare x3. But again, I’ve got a struggle ahead of me: how can I have spent 2+ years with the boys, and then possibly…whatever this (fantastic!) company can offer me in terms of maternity leave, at max in the US, probably 13 weeks paid…before leaving my new baby to return to work…? Even if it was worth it, monetarily, would I be able to leave my infant after having spent so much wonderful time with H and J…?
And on that note…we’ve got <one week to go until our 20-week anatomy ultrasound.
And we I still haven’t decided if we’re going to find out the baby’s gender this time around :|