Sunday, January 8, 2012

What's in a Name?

Let me introduce Vivien "Ivie" Cecilia. She is a sweet, silly, fun and happy 19-month old with bright blue eyes and unexpected blonde hair. She is the youngest of our three children and loves her older siblings.

Scott and I took naming our children very seriously. With the exception of Jackson, who Scott early on said "if it is a boy his name will be Jack", we went back and forth, between several names, consulting websites, books, friends, and family before permanently marking the birth certificates. Aida was known as "Baby Girl W" until day three in the hospital and probably only received a name on day three because the birth certificate lady gave me that look after she had come to my room four different times.

A person carries their first name with them for...the rest...of We finally choose Aida Jane after contemplating the meaning, spelling, pronunciation, and popularity. Aida (actually aaah-e-da in Italian) means happiness. Jane is my grandmother's middle name. Her name honors my grandmother and my dad's Italian heritage. Aida has been nothing but a happy child since the day she was born; living up to her well-thought out name.

Ivie was also known as "Baby Girl W" until day three. We waffled back and forth between two different names, both with significant meaning and with family honorees. After we had Aida, we found the name "Ivy" and both agreed that if we had another little girl, we would use this name. We liked the earthy tone. An ivy plant climbs and is strong. And the name was an old name. Our only reservation: Was Ivy professional? Was it too hippyish? Was it too unique? But we loved the name and its meaning.

Finally, on day three in the hospital, we decided on Vivien. What?!?!? What happened to Ivy? Well. We decided that she needed a professional name; something that would look great on a resume. We both liked the name Vivienne and the meaning: Full of life. Creatively, we changed the spelling to a less popular form "Vivien", abstracted "ivie" and that is how we arrived at the name Ivie. Cecilia was my great-aunt's first name. It was official: Vivien "Ivie" Cecilia.

Whenever we introduce Ivie to others, we are greeted with smiles and compliments on what a wonderful and pretty name.

Today, the headline is the birth of Beyonce's baby girl: Ivy Blue or Blue Ivy. I cannot even express the disappointment in the celebrity couple using the name Ivy, whether as a first or middle name for "Baby Girl Carter". I'm sure Beyonce and Mr. Carter also painstakingly waffled between several names. However, what I can guarantee is that hundreds of soon-to-be mothers will not. Americans are obsessed with celebrities in every way, including the naming of their children. I do not know if Americans are too lazy to research their own names or in such awe at the wealth and popularity of celebrities that we attach ourselves to them in any way possible.

When we chose Ivie, the name hovered somewhere between 700-800 on the Social Security Administrations list of baby names for 2007-2009. The name had not seen the top 100 since the early 1900s. I will bet that in the next two years, the name Ivie, Ivy, Ivi (however you spell it) will leap to the top 100, all because of a celebrity couple named Beyonce and Jay-Z. This is very unfortunate for someone like my Ivie Cecilia who went three days known as "Baby Girl W" as her parents searched for the perfect name. She will now be amongst other little girls whose mothers found the name on TMZ. Scott and I will probably spend our lives explaining, "No, we are not obsessed with pop culture or Beyonce." Ivie will probably also be in class with seven kids named Blue, Red, and Yellow.

So what's in a name: For us, months of research, thought, love, and family. For the rest of celebrity-obsessed Americans: The hopes of their little girl becoming the next Beyonce - or something like that.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Differences in personalities

I find it amazing that three little people can come from the same two big people, live in the same house, and have two completely different personalities! Although we are not exactly sure of Ivie's personality, we do know for sure that Jackson and Aida are VERY different.

Jackson is exactly like me: He is particular, timid, quirky, and conservative. Aida is just like Scott: She is adventurous, fun, fearless, and very outgoing. There are things that Jackson does that I know I did as a child that must have drove my parents nuts (i.e. being afraid of everything and a very specific bed time routine). I don't know about Scott, but feel bad and commend my parents for putting up with my strangeness as a child. (I commend Scott for putting up with it now.)

So what brought about this post? Well, pudding snacks of all things. The allocation of twelve pudding snacks to three kids has made me realize the very distinct personalities of my children. I had a coupon for pudding snacks AND they were on sale, which means that the kids scored three packs of pudding snacks at the grocery store (for those that do not know, I do not buy anything unless it is on sale AND I have a coupon). Three packs of pudding snacks with four cups in each pack means, well you do the math, four to each child.

(Back to the personalities: Jackson has an obsessive personality like me and Aida has an addictive personality like Scott. Both personalities equal the kids obsessing over any kind of snack or candy that enters the house.)

In an effort to curb the constant firing of questions from the kids to us about the pudding snacks, I told the kids they each get four and to eat them as they chose. If that meant eating all of them that night, then so be it. I bought the pudding yesterday. Can you guess how many each kid has left?


Jackson: 4 Aida: 0 Ivie: 1

I love those kids!

Here are some pictures from today. We had a beautiful day (55 degrees) so the girls and I were able to get outside for awhile! Unfortunately, since Jackson was at school, I didn't get any pictures of him.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Impromptu NYE Party

Happy New Year Everyone! Can you believe its 2012? I cannot. Wow, not only did 2011 go race car driver fast, but the year is now 20-12, two thousand and twelve.

We had SO much fun last night! We brought in the new year with an impromptu gathering at our place. At the last minute we invited a few friends over (Tosha and her husband and three kids and our neighbors and their two kids). Our last minute party turned into a Scott-styled spread of sandwiches, shrimp, asparagus, and spaghetti and meatballs. Luckily for our friends, Scott works in the food service industry and understands the importance of feeding people, enough food, at a gathering. I, on the other hand, would have placed a bowl of chips in the middle of the counter for eight adults and nine kids. The food was great; the company was even better. Our impromptu NYE party turned out to be one of the best NY's yet.

The family.

The kids with their grandparents.

Ivie "talking" with Canada.

The Michael Jackson game for the Wii was a hit! I don't know who had more fun, the kids or the adults. (Jackson, Jayden, Felicia and Tosha getting down)