Friday, September 23, 2005

What's In A Name?

Everything, if you ask me.....

Like I said in my very first post - you're looking at a Double Stuff Oreo Cookie....and, as a consequence, a name must be chosen for the "stuff" on the inside. We know its a "pink one", as opposed to the "blue one" we got last time. Here's where the quandary begins, and I get all up in arms.

The Bohunk, during our first pregnancy, refused to even discuss girls names ("it's a boy anyway - I don't make girls"). Since I felt like it was a boy, and then had that confirmed by the doctor later, it wasn't an issue. We had picked out a name - his first name wasn't "family related" but we both liked it, and his middle name is The Bohunk's little brother's middle name (another story for another day). Anyway, this pregnancy, it's supposed to be a little girl. I feel like its a girl, and the doctor also says its a girl. But The Bohunk a) still is holding out hope for a boy, b) still won't discuss girls' names, and c) insists that if it is a girl, her middle name will be "Alma" after his grandmother. Now, this irks me on more than one level. First, the actual name - I loved his grandmother...once she got to know me, she was very kind, and she was a good woman. But her name is an old name, and very heavy - not something I want to put on a 21st century girl. And, to be blunt, I don't find it to be very pretty. Second, naming our second child after another member of his family leaves out my family altogether. It may be a bit selfish, but our children will always be "Andersons", and without having part of their names having anything to do with my side of the family, that part gets lost and disappears. It's more that way for girls than boys, since boys don't lose their last names in marriage. So I think that our baby girl should have a name that honors my side of the family, so that even if she gets married someday, she will carry a part of my heritage in her name.

I had thought of one name from my family, but in examining the names of people around me, 4 of them have the same name. So I came up with another one, a variation on my grandmother's name (she is "Caldonia" - which is also old and heavy, so a variation was necessary in my mind...) that is lighter and pretty (I think). I bounced the idea off of my mom, who said it was a very strong name and felt that the women I got the names from would be proud and honored. Plus, I had a little "divine intervention" in deciding on a name (also another story for another day). The other night, I mentioned only the first name to the Bohunk in conversation, and he just dismissed it and said "We've already decided, and that's final!" That didn't sit so well with me. So now he's gonna get a list of first and middle names, and he can pick from that. But this is one issue I refuse to give up (or give in) on. It seems only fair.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Boy's Take On....Cereal

Frosted Mini-Wheats, to be exact. One morning last week, I made the boy breakfast before school - meaning, I poured some Frosted Mini-Wheats and milk into a bowl for him. The Boy dutifully ate every bite, and drank all the milk, and thanked me for making him breakfast so he "could be real strong like the big boy I am." A few days later, over the weekend, I asked him what he would like for breakfast. He said, "I want cereal, but I don't want the kind that tastes like 'nest'. If you give me that kind, I will NOT eat it." The seriousness of the statement, even from this 5 year old, was very evident. So I asked him, "It tastes like 'nest'?" He said, "Yes, and it looks like a nest too. I don't like stuff that tastes like 'nest'." I couldn't help but snicker - I had never thought of describing Mini-Wheats as 'nest'. Even still, I do prefer to eat them without milk (more like a snack than breakfast) because they get soggy too fast.

Which made me think - The Boy has always been game to eat whatever I set in front of him (always been a good eater), but now that he's getting older, he definitely has his own onions, unless they are cooked (and therefore, sweeter), no mustard ("it's too spicy on my tongue"), loves smoked kielbasa sausage, mac and cheese, PBJ's, and most veggies (even the ones his mother refuses to eat - cauliflower!).

But back to cereal - I understand his feelings....I still can't eat those nasty Froot Loops. Makes the milk look (and taste) funny if you let them sit for more than 30 seconds. And they still don't taste good, even if you eat them as fast as possible.

So, I suppose, I won't feed the boy any more 'nest', and stick to the tried-and-true choices - Honey Nut Cheerios, Special K w/ Berries, Lucky Charms....but I still refuse to buy Froot Loops.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

My Mother Always Said.....

I should have listened.....Mom always told me never to discuss religion or politics. Lately, what with the state our nation is in (like it or not), I broke that rule.

Without going into too much detail to protect the innocent, I sent a post to my book club regarding the FEMA director (it was actually a link to another website) - suffice it to say that the creator(s) of the site were pretty blunt in their opinions about the whole subject. A day after that, one member of the group decided to leave, saying that she didn't feel her opinions were welcome. Well, that sent me into a tailspin (the raging hormones don't help that either). I have felt incredibly guilty because I think that I do respect others' opinions, even when they don't necessarily agree with mine. It's a free country, and I don't have a right to impose my beliefs on anyone. Sending that link to a mixed group of people crossed the line. My circle of friends includes people who think a lot like me and some that are on the complete opposite end from me. And now I think she may not want to be my friend anymore.

My mom said that - no matter what a person may say to your face - you could hurt a person saying out loud thoughts or beliefs that are deeply held but are also divisive, and politics and religion are at the center of those deeply held beliefs. I did it, and I'm sorry for it. I shoulda kept my mouth shut.

So, I think I'll keep my political/religious thoughts to myself (and not pass on the jokes/links/stories that might offend anyone. But I still plan to put it all here on my Rant - you don't have to come here and read them, unlike something that shows up in your email inbox. I have a feeling, though, that my internal censors will be on the lookout anyway.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

On Pets and Dying

My friend Stiffa lost her kitty of 13 years today, and it made me think about the 2 dogs I have been forced to "help" go to a better place. My first dog, Ce-Ce, was a Miniature Schnauzer, and the feistiest thing on 4 legs. I got him as a birthday present from my parents when I was 3. His self-appointed job was to be my protector - even when he didn't know what he was protecting me from. He took on a full-sized Doberman that ran up to attack me while I played in my front yard, he sat outside my bedroom door when I had the chicken pox (because dogs can get it too, so I was quarantined from EVERYONE), he tried to bite my mom when she was tending wounds I got from falling off a horse and I was crying. He ended up having congestive heart failure, and we put him to sleep the day after Christmas, 1986. I was a senior in high school, he was 15 years old.

My second dog was Ben, a Golden Retriever. I got him while I was in college, when I could barely afford to feed myself, let alone a dog. But there was no question when he came into my life that I would keep him forever. He helped pick my boyfriends (he hated one guy I dated so much, he did everything he could to keep us apart - sitting in front of the TV, squeezing between us when we sat together on the couch, etc.) He stayed with my parents when I had to move to a place where I couldn't have dogs. He adored the Bohunk when I met him, which was one of the many reasons I've kept him around this long. ;-) He even helped care for the Boy when he was a baby, keeping watch over him when my back was turned, and "cleaning" his face. Ben got colon cancer and we put him to sleep 2 weeks after his 14th birthday, 2 years ago.

Stiffa had mentioned how she grew up on a farm and basically made fun of people who went off the deep end over their pets, because farm animals are "outside" animals, and are treated differently than most well-cared for housepets. Unfortunately, she's learning what I have always known - a dog or cat that sleeps with you every night and hogs the whole bed, the one that barfs on the floor and hides because he thought he'd done something wrong, the one that sheds everywhere, the one that jumps up and puts a hole in your brand-new pantyhose, sits by and licks your face when you are sick, listens while you vent about whatever, and loves you unconditionally - that dog or cat becomes a member of your family and an irrevocable part of your heart. Loving them as fiercely as we do, and doing anything to make sure that they are healthy makes it more likely that we will have to watch them grow old and waste away leaving us to decide when they die - as opposed to them crawling off by themselves and dying alone, like they did in the wild. Having to decide to let them go is heartbreaking.

I do know that when I die, I will see my Ben-dog and my Ce-Ce again - they'll meet me when I come, tails wagging. Brodie will be there to meet Stiffa, too, one day.