Thursday, January 31, 2013

Play the name game with Nametrix

When I was young and had no intention of having children, I decided that in the unlikely event I did have a daughter, her name was going to be Victoria. I made all of my friends swear they wouldn't use my name. Ummmm, M is not named Victoria. When the time came and I was trying it out talking to the wriggly little baby in my belly, I just wasn't feeling it. I had open abdominal surgery during pregnancy and needed her to be strong to get both of us through the ordeal, so I named her after the most ferocious woman I knew - my grandmother. It just... fits. Luckily a quick analysis of her name shows she's likely to be employed in the arts and a liberal. She'll fit in here just fine.

HOW did I analyze her name? With Nametrix, an app that has analyzed the names of millions of real people and their professions to tell you what people with that name do for a living and how they vote, statistically speaking. Naming your kid is hard. Their name on a resume or online dating profile could be grounds for immediate dismissal one day. Finding out too late the name you picked has girls working the pole in disproportionate numbers is just not cool. OK, so you probably shouldn't base an important decision like your child's name on some fun facts from an app, but it's still a cool way to pass some time.

The Husband will be pleased to learn that the leading contender for P2's name is shared by a good number of computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians. Who are also liberal. It's like we'll each have a kid of our own!

This is not sponsored content. I received no compensation for this post, I just think Nametrix is cool.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A little prick from the inside

I really like being the mom of a little girl. She cracks me up daily with the things she says, the clothes are adorable, and doing her hair is like creative license to play with dolls well into my adulthood. It's awesome! I have been waiting on tenterhooks since the minute the second line appeared on the pee stick to find out if I had more little girl awesomeness to look forward to. It's been my ray of sunshine through some really dark days.

This pregnancy has been troubling since the beginning. It started off as twins but we lost one of them at eight weeks. There has been pain, bleeding and uncertainty the whole time. After losing a baby earlier this year, any symptoms similar to those I had during the miscarriage strike a cold fear in my heart that I cannot begin to describe. And we're not even all the way out of the woods yet. There is a lingering but stable Subchorionic Hemorrhage that puts us at a slightly elevated risk of preterm delivery and a few other complications. It... hasn't been fun few months. 

Today, however, is a day for happiness and optimism. We learned that in spite of everything going on in the surrounding area, this little baby is doing just fine. Everything is measuring on track, all the major systems are functioning as they should, it looks just perfect in there. This kid has had plenty of opportunity to take leave of this world because it was just too hard to hang on. But no! This kid is one tough little cookie. Just like HIS mama. He probably won't mind if I play with his hair for a little while, right?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Furniture Art

Hm. Life with a Parasite began when I was pregnant. Now that I'm pregnant again, I guess the definition of Parasite the Elder must change since her sibling is currently sucking a lot more out of me than she is. How about I just call her M? Great! Glad that's settled.

M is quite the burgeoning little artist. Well meaning relatives attempt to foster this talent with gifts of art supplies, which often includes markers. Gee, thanks! Try though I may, this kid's art will not be confined to spaces that make me happy like, you know, paper on the dining room table or the goddamn easel in her room designed for this express purpose. My dining room chairs and the chair I use in the living room are made from light-coloured fabric. To a three year old, this is a blank canvas that cannot be ignored. If you think this means the brand new markers she got for Christmas are being used to "decorate" my light-coloured furniture with gusto, your thinking is absolutely correct.

You might think this would make me angry. Nope, not at all. I think if you're going to get all bent out of shape over a little marker on the chairs, you should probably reconsider the decision to have kids. Having said that, I still feel compelled to clean it up. The markers used today came from a little portable white board set, complete with dry erase markers and their eraser. When I asked M how we were going to get the marker off my chair she said, very matter-of-factly, "I'll just use the eraser." Well if I had been mad, it would have evaporated then and there. This kid. She cracks me up.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Willpower Instinct - A BlogHer Book Club Review #Spon

We all know we're not supposed to grocery shop when we're hungry, but do you know why? Ever looked down at the snack you were munching on while you were engrossed in some TV show and been mystified by an empty bag? The Willpower Instinct from Dr. Kelly McGonigal delves into the science of willpower and takes the reader through the process of strengthening their willpower muscles (it makes more sense when you read it) with real-life examples from her popular Continuing Ed class at Stanford.

It's a quick read with 10 chapters and 10 simple exercises to end what has been, for some, a lifelong struggle. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? It's not! But you have to have the willpower (HA!) to do it. Me? I'm pretty analytical. Tell me I should meditate every day because it will realign my Qi and I just might laugh out loud. Tell me it's impossible to clear your mind but meditating every day for five minutes, even if I spend the whole five minutes redirecting myself to breathing, will help me improve my focus all day and make me less apt to lose my cool with my kid, and explain the science behind it? Well now we're on to something.

I don't think anyone could adhere to all of the lessons at the end of each chapter, and that's OK. We all have different willpower challenges different personalities so it stands to reason that different things will work for us. The trick is try them all to find what works for you. I highly recommend the book and the experience!

Join the BlogHer Book Club conversation on "The Willpower Instinct" for lively, thought-provoking discussions every week!

This is a compensated review as part of the BlogHer Book Club. All opinions expressed are my own.