TJ & DJ (no, we don’t call them by their initials)

I have two boys – and their names are Theodore Jack and Dexter Jay. 
Honestly?  I never dreamed I’d name my kids those names.
For the longest time, I loved the name Vivienne and thought for sure when (not if) I had a girl, she’d be Vivienne Margaret (Margaret after my paternal grandmother).  By the time I found out Theo was a boy, I’d marked Vivi off my list because Brangelina named their little girl the same thing.  They copied me.  I had it first.  I didn’t want to fall in their footsteps…or the footsteps of a bunch of people that named their baby Vivi because Brangelina did. That’s it – off the list.
Before Jackson became hugely popular, I loved Zavier Jackson, but R wanted it to be Xavier Jackson.  I didn’t want the “X” pronunciation and we could never agree on it, so we dropped it.  Jackson was R’s grandfather’s name.  After X/Zavier died off, there was Owen.  I had several years of wanting a baby Owen.  Then, all the sudden, there was an Owen at every pool and playground and toy store.  Again, off the list.
By the time I finally got pregnant, I didn’t have any baby names picked out.  It seemed like quite the ominous task, choosing names that this kid would carry with him for life.  I knew I wanted to incorporate my late father’s name somehow.  No lie, we were watching Cosby Show reruns one night when I said “Theo.  Theodore.”  I don’t know what it was about the name, but it felt good rolling off my tongue and it sounded right with our last name.  Within about 2 minutes, we decided our baby (if he was indeed a boy) would be Theodore.  Within a week of finding out his gender, we were calling him Baby Theo.  It fit and it stuck and there was no looking back. It took us a few weeks longer to decide if his middle name would be Jack or Alan but we ended up choosing Jack.  No one knew my dad by his middle name, Alan, and Jack just seemed perfect. 
Dexter was a different story altogether.  It was harder, and partly because we didn’t know if the baby would be a boy or a girl.  I got it in my head that I wanted the name to have a “Th” blend in it.  Like Samantha.  Or Meredith.  Or Edith.  Edith?  Yeah, Edith.  That was the name we ultimately decided on if the baby was a girl.  We’d call her Edie and her middle name would be June after R’s grandmother.  I entertained the idea of naming a girl Arizona (after my maternal grandmother) and calling her Zoey.  R wasn’t a huge fan.  Oh, and we fell in love with Mallory for a few weeks but decided against it because of my nephew named Malachi, who gets called Mal, Mali, and every other way you would naturally shorten Mallory. 
After exploring ALL “th” options for boys, I realized it just wasn’t going to happen.  So we went off in different directions.  Harrison (but R didn’t want him to be called Harry).  Griffith (too cumbersome rolling off the tongue with our last name).  I loved Calvin, but with Theodore’s name, I thought it was too close to the Chipmunks’ Alvin.  Crosby (too much like Cosby? as in Theo Huxtable/Bill Cosby).  Also, R is a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan and while I couldn’t care less, he didn’t want everyone to think he named his kid after Sidney Crosby.  Think we over-thunk it?  Maybe so.
When Dexter was born and we heard the words (and saw the evidence), “it’s a boy!” I looked at his little face and thought, he looks like a Crosby.  But for whatever reason, by noon that day, we’d decided he was a Dexter.  We chose Jay for his middle name after R’s father.  We liked Jay and June both because they started with J and had one syllable like Jack, and {bonus} had family significance. 
It’s funny how there’s a million and one names out there and you can choose any one of them – but your baby is exactly who you named him for a reason.  I just can’t imagine calling my little guys anything but Theo and Dex. 
I love baby names.  TaIking about them, thinking about them, and choosing them.  I would love to name a dozen more babies, but that means I’d have to take care of them and pay for them too.  There are no more vacancies at our inn for now, so I’ll have to be content with my two boys and the names that we chose for them. 
no regrets here,
I’m linking up with Mama G at Growing Up Geeky and Mindi at Simply Stavish this week for Toddle Along Tuesday.

this just feels wrong.

This post will from here on out be called “the one where she whines a lot.”

Something’s not quite right.  I was off work for 11 days.  11 glorious days.  A while back, I talked about how I felt guilty for not wanting to be a stay at home mom.  For liking my job.  For liking the chance to get out of the house and talk to other adults.  For wanting to use my college degree 40 hours a week.  Or 37.5…whatever. I work for the government.  Point is…

I’ve changed my mind.  I take it all back. 

I want to be a stay at home mom.  There.  I said it.

As I was leaving work a week and a half ago, it struck me that I have not had that much time off work (excluding maternity leave) in about three years.  I hadn’t been able to take any vacations because I was always saving up time for maternity leaves.  It was the first time I’ve had a chance to take time off while the babies were sleeping through the night and just … well… generally pleasant to be around 90% of the time.

Finally…I was off work.  And?  The boys were generally pleasant to be around.  Scratch that.  They were a blast.  My 10 year old niece from Tennessee also spent her Spring Break with me so that gave me another person to have conversations with.  We went to the zoo.  We went shopping.  We went to the park.  We went out to eat (a lot). 

Going back to work last night, something just felt off.  Just wrong.  I didn’t want to go back.  I didn’t want to send them to the babysitter this morning.  I kept thinking, it’s not fair.  Someone else shouldn’t get to spend more time with my kids than I do.  Even though I was only off work for a week and a half, it felt like longer.  It felt kind of like going back to work after maternity leave.  I didn’t want to leave my babies.  I want to be with them.  I miss them.  I miss out.  Over the last week and a half, I got to be there for so many cute, every day moments. 

Theo’s vocabulary and ability to express himself has soared in the past couple of weeks.  Now he says stuff like “guess what, mommy?” before telling me about something that’s important to him.  Now he says stuff like “Hello? It’s me,” while he’s playing with his toy phone.  All day Saturday and Sunday he said “Spencer’s coming tonight and he’s going to ride Pop Pop’s tractor with me!”  Oh yeah, and he also says things like “I’m going to sit on the couch and watch doodlebops for a few minutes.”  No lie.  Just one more.  “I’m going to sit at the table and color a little bit.”  I can only imagine how many of those phrases I would have missed if I had been at work all week. 

This week, I’m gonna miss them all.  I’m gonna miss everything.  I’m gonna work and stare at my computer.  I’m gonna stare at their pictures on my desk and hope that the lump in my throat doesn’t interfere with my ability to do my job.  I’m gonna wish I could kiss them first thing in the morning and as I put them down for their naps.  I’m gonna wish I could clean up their lunch messes and toy piles.  I’m gonna wish I could take them for afternoon wagon rides and ice cream treats just because. 

I’m gonna miss everything.  I’m gonna miss it all. 

working sucks.

project 365 (mar 7-18)

Project 365, days 67-78
67/365: Last day as 1 year old.
68/365: Birthday boy and his cupcake.
69/365: Two year checkup.  36″ tall, 26.7 lbs.
70/365: DQ ice cream cake. YUM!
71/365: A hometown tradition.  Shapiro’s
72/365: Big 2 year and 4 day old boy enjoying the amazing spring weather.
73/365: Foggy Tuesday morning. 
74/365: Springtime means pedicures and cute Birkenstocks. 
75/365: And the changing of the snowman ceiling fan chain pull to the butterfly.  
76/365: Waving at fire trucks during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
77/365: My cousin’s cousin. Pretty Little Jocie.
78/365: Maybe one of my favorite pictures.  Of all time. 
I know, I know.  I didn’t do any better this time than before at staying on top of this.  My blog has been neglected lately, but I just haven’t forced myself to sit down and take the time.  I guess you could call this project 365: Theo’s birthday edition.  He had a several days long celebration and we made the most of the big boy’s special day without going over the top.  I still have about 24 bazillion pictures to sort through before I post a photoblog dedicated solely to the festivities, but I’ll get around to it. I think.  
I’m on vacation this week.  You’d think that would mean a blog post a day, but nah.  That’s not how it works.  Oddly enough, that just means that I have even less kid-free time to myself because they are never gone to the babysitter or their grandparents.  Our babysitter has been on leave for a few weeks after the birth of her sweet baby so I planned to take this week off, hoping that it would fall into those few weeks she’s off.  It worked out well enough.  I’m excited to have some time off with my babies and my 10 year old niece from Tennessee who is here for her Spring Break.  
So, back to business as usual…my favorites this time?  68, 72, 73, and 74…is that not one of the cutest 2 year old boys you’ve seen?  And yes, I love all things SPRING.  And it is here, in full force.  And I think Spring brought a little bit of Summer with him.  I’m not complaining.  I could live the rest of my life in these high 70s temps and the amazing fresh air.  
But my very favorite has to be that last picture that I snapped today of Dexter and his daddy being sillies on the couch.  Cause, dude…I love my 3 dudes.  
Are you enjoying this amazing Spring weather too?  Which pictures are your favorites? Humor me!