Sunday, November 30, 2008

What's In A Name?

Kellan got me thinking about names with this post.

Toni is a fairly common name these days. When I was a kid, though, the only other kids named Tony were boys and that always drove me crazy. In my family, it was sort of customary (for some strange, unknown reason) to name daughters with traditionally boy names. I have an Aunt Tomie and a cousin Terri, among others.

People called me Tonya and Judy (!?) a lot. I never had pencils with my name on them. Until I was doing driver's ed, though, the whole Toni name was little more than an irritation.

When the elderly instructor was calling role, she paused at my name. "Toni D.....?"


"Sweetie, could you come up to the desk, please?"

"Uh, okay," and approached the desk, puzzled why I was being asked to come to the desk two minutes after the course began and before she had finished calling out the names of the other students.

"Toni, I need you to write your real name on this list."

"That IS my real name."

"No, sugar, your god-given name. The one on your birth certificate."

"That is it. My name is Toni Lynn D..."

"No, honey, your Christian name. What your mom calls you when you are in trouble."

"No, I get it," I am growing frustrated that this old lady is insinuating that I didn't know my real name at sixteen years old. "My name is Toni. THAT is my NAME."

"Well, you're wrong, dear. Tomorrow bring in your birth certificate and we will sign you back up with your real name. That is something that we need to ensure is correct or you won't be able to drive."

Well, duh.

Much to the old hag's dismay, I did, in fact, know MY NAME. It was, surprisingly, Toni on my birth certificate- not Antonia or Antoinette, as she suspected. She informed me that my name was "simply ridiculous" and my mom "must have hit her head" before naming me.

Incidents like these really stuck with me and influenced the decisions my husband (who goes by initials and is called every wrong group of them imaginable- most offensively, O.J.) and I made when we named our children. While I love the trend of naming both boys and girls last names (like Riley, Cooper or Taylor), I was not setting them up for any of this confusion.

So, what trouble has your name caused you??? Or your kids?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reality Bites

I went to a baby shower this Sunday for my cousin, Dianne.

Dianne is only a few years younger than I am but this will be her first baby.

While I hated going to my own showers, I have grown to really enjoy going to them for other people. I get away from my kids for a couple of hours, get to eat and visit with other adults! What's not to love?

I am always amazed, though, at how little first time expectant moms know about the changes a baby causes in your life. I don't know why but statements like these still really crack me up coming from the mouths of pregnant women:

Oh, I would never sleep with the baby!

I am not going to sit around and hold her all the time; I have way too much else to do.

Breastfeeding is natural, right? How hard could it be?

I was a clueless wonder when I was expecting the first time, too. I said things to other people like,
My baby is not going to cry as much as that one does and My kid will never act like that.

Yeah. Right.

I still want to kick my own ass when I remember saying those things because God heard it too and he decided to prove a point by making me eat my own words over and over. My babies aren't great sleepers and are as badly behaved as any other kid. I can't count how many times I have prayed for the floor to open up and swallow me whole because of a screaming, fit throwing kid.

I learned really quick not to make judgments based on what you see other people or their kids doing because, most of the time, they are just trying to get through the day.

So, tell me, what was the biggest shock to you when your baby arrived? What words did you have to eat?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cagefighting Continues

Don't be fooled by this sweet face...

I have lamented that my son is a future cagefighter before.

Now, he has caused me to join the ranks of professional wrestling because diaper changing this kid takes one these days.

He rolls. He kicks. He sticks his foot in poop. He spits. He bites. All while growling and shouting like a rabid animal.

I dread diaper changing.

I mean, I
loathe it. If there isn't poop or so much pee that it is sagging to his knees than I am leaving that diaper on there because it is not worth risking my life. Or my glasses.


Now, please, please tell me that your kid is doing this (or has done it) so that I can at least believe he isn't a complete and total brat.

Come on. Throw a sister a bone here, m'kay?


Today has been on my mind for a few weeks.

I had an appointment with the OB-GYN today (no, I am NOT pregnant, in case you were wondering). An appointment I have been worrying over and dreading and considering canceling.

This appointment was to have a Mirena placed.

I have been stewing over this appointment because I was afraid it would hurt. I was afraid my uterus was weakened by 2 c-sections and would tear, resulting in an immediate and emergency hysterectomy.

I also was afraid of what I would feel like after it was done. This decision sort of signaled to me that I am done bearing children and even though I knew this was the right decision for me I still didn't know how it would feel, you know?

Before my son was born I always left the door open to more children. When I looked at babies, my arms and uterus ached. I picked out names. I browsed the baby section. I knew I wasn't done.

But, after his birth I felt like I didn't want to do it again- the pregnant thing. I am not pretty; nor do I glow during pregnancy. I just get swollen and sweat. And puke!

Still, though...

I didn't want to close the door completely. I couldn't. I feel good that I went through with it. I feel a sense of relief that I didn't expect to: I am safe from pregnancy for at least 5 years (well, I will be in a month). Instead of feeling sad about that, I find that I am feeling, well, free.

I have a gorgeous son and a beautiful daughter. This didn't make the possibility of another child gone forever just a little more difficult to achieve.

And it totally didn't hurt as bad as I expected. And, that is ALWAYS a good thing.

So, tell me something new with you....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Have A Confession....

Sometimes I hide from my children.

Yep, I do.

I go into my bedroom and pull the curtains closed making it a little dark and hard to see in there. Then I pile pillows at the bottom of the bed so as to obstruct the view from the doorway of the chair that sits in my room.

My children will come to the door, look in and not see me even though I am in the chair.

Then they move on to another room, looking for me.

And sometimes (sometimes!) they will get distracted by something in another room and forget they were looking for me! And I get a few minutes to be Toni and not Mom!

Now, those are the moments a mom cherishes:sitting in a quiet, slightly dark room, sipping mouthwash a cold drink and relishing the solitude.

Today will be one of those hide in the bedroom days. Indeed.

Claire is home from school and bored to death for the holiday and Liam awoke on the wrong side of the toddler bed at 5!AM!

Yes, today I will skulk into my room and briefly hide from my children.

And, you know what? I'm not even ashamed of it.

Legal note: No children are neglected or injured as a result of this mother's reprieve. She can totally hear everything going on and only hides for a few minutes to recoup her sanity.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


This photo of my two children was taken by a friend of ours last weekend and it is one of my favorite ever taken. While Liam is not smiling, he is sitting still- something at 22 months is quite a feat! I chose to share this image because I love it and that you can see the beautiful brown of both of their eyes, as well as the affection they share. It is moments- and photos- like this that I will cherish for years to come.

That ends the unusual sappiness- now back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shhh...Listen To That!

Do you hear it?

Or, rather, do you NOT hear it?

My phone has finally stopped ringing. Thank God.

For the last month my telephone has been ringing incessantly each and every day from the political party that I am affiliated with reminding me to get out and vote. But, today, glorious day, it has been silent in my home.

And that is a sweet, sweet sound.

Living in Ohio- a battleground state- is never really fun or crazy cool, fo' shizzle, but watching TV or having a moment's peace has been next to impossible because of Obama and McCain's persitence in trying to win my vote.

Well, one of them did.

But, despite Obama's landslide victory of last evening,
I feel like the winner today. I have won back my phone and my TV- y'know, the important things...

Ain't America grand?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Exercise It...

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
—Samuel Adams