Don’t call us, we’ll call you

May 31, 2010

On naming

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal — Tags: , , , , , , , — llcall @ 6:00 pm

If you’ve been following along at home, you know that I had a really hard time with the process of naming this baby girl.  It’s not that I didn’t grow up keeping a list of potential kids’ names (all 10-year-old girls do this, right?), but when it came time to actually do it, I had a lot of anxiety about the whole thing.  My two chief hang-ups were:

  1. In our LDS theology, we believe that we have existed for a long time before we are born on this earth.  And by for a long time, I mean, FOREVER.  Our spirits were in a pre-mortal state, awaiting the opportunity to gain a mortal body here.  So in light of this, I just kept thinking, doesn’t she already have a name??  How in the world have people been getting her attention all these years if she doesn’t have a name yet?
  2. The second, related concern is that naming is a way of claiming ownership.  This is also significant for us theologically (i.e. when we are baptized, we take Christ’s name upon us and confirm that we are His followers), but more of my thoughts about this are derived from my love of African-American literature.  Slaves were generally named or re-named by their owners, as a means of asserting ownership.  So I thought if I name this little girl, I am somehow claiming ownership of her.  But I have always considered parenthood to be more of a stewardship, and a mostly fluid one at that.

Taken together, it seemed entirely too much responsibility to exert over another human being, who is in fact a coexistent spirit with me.  Her mortal body is younger than mine, but her spirit may be just as old and developed.

So my solution to the problem was to give Neal the job of naming, while I merely vetoed those options that I didn’t like.  If you were at my baby shower, you know that Neal took that responsibility very seriously.  And by seriously, I mean that he gave me a 40-page document exploring the derivation of the name that he most wanted: Sage.

Probably one of the most well-known definitions of sage is something along the lines of this one from Merriam-Webster:

a mature or venerable man of sound judgment

Which totally works for our little girl since when we don’t put the aforementioned headbands and hairbows on, she reminds us of a little old man.

But the meaning that Neal was actually quite taken with relates to the sage plant, which derives from the Latin root, Salvia, meaning to save or to heal.  Apparently, in medieval times, sage was thought to be such a miracle plant that it could cure practically anything.  Hence, the beautiful saying that won me over to the name Sage,

Why should a man die whilst sage grows in his garden?

However, I felt that the first name Sage just did not work with such a short last name like Call.  From there, Neal chose Addison because it brought a certain synergy with Sage.  Although it is perhaps most famous as the name of a disease, Addison’s disease got its name from the 19th-century doctor, Thomas Addison, who identified and treated it.  A prominent healer.

Wisdom and healing.  That’s what our baby’s name is about.

May 28, 2010

Pictures for the Weekend: I bleed purple and gold

Filed under: Family, Pictures for the Weekend — llcall @ 6:00 pm

“Game 4 is a biggie, so I need to be double the Laker fan.”

“You call that a loose-ball foul.  You suck, Ref!”

[Lindsay’s note: I try to discourage this kind of language but apparently she takes after her uncle Chris in more than just looks]

“Atta boy, Kobe.  Let’s break this game open.”

“You’re killing me, Pau, you’re killing me.”

“28 three-point attempts, the Suns (the Suns?!!) keeping you out of the paint.  What the . . . “

“We’ll take ’em next game guys.  Go Lakers!”

May 27, 2010

Baby recommends: Wildcat

Filed under: Family, Music — Tags: , , — llcall @ 6:00 pm

I love it when Daddy puts me to sleep with this Ratatat song, Wildcat.  He pats my back in time with the music and I slowly drift off to sleep, anthropomorphic animals running through my head.  That’s the best way, you know.

May 26, 2010

Happiness Project Wednesday: One-sentence journal

Every Wednesday I’m recording how The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin has influenced my daily life.  To read my introductory post, click here.

Family history is a big part of the LDS faith; it serves both practical purposes and grand theological ends.  Consequently, there is a great deal of emphasis on keeping our own records, writing a journal, etc.  Unfortunately, I have always been bad at this in its more traditional form.  Even with this blog, there have been times of feast and times of famine.

So when I read about Gretchen’s experiment with keeping a one-sentence journal, it seemed like the perfect idea.  If I tell myself I only have to write one sentence a day, it doesn’t feel so daunting.  And it will still be creating a record of the early days of my daughter’s life, which, if she’s anything like her mother, she will one day just eat up.

Some days I have only managed a sentence like this one from April 28, written after a two-week lull:

I thought I would rock at a one-sentence journal, but apparently, I also suck at this type of journaling.

But other days I have written 4 or 5 run-on sentences.  Well done, me.

May 25, 2010

Help wanted

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 6:00 pm

What with the economy and job market the way it is right now, I thought I would mention one area that is in dire need of competent workers: copy editors for baby clothing.  It is absolutely shocking what passes for appropriate grammar on onesies and the like.  Even Addison can’t believe it:

This one in particular is just maddening to me.  I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve spent a couple of hours trying to figure out what the makers were thinking . . . as well as ranting about it to multiple people.  Overreacting?  Maybe, but look how egregious:

Now if you just read the words and consider the pictures to be decorative, it says,

My loves flowers

Surely, no one thinks a possessive adjective works in that sentence.  But if you read it as if the pictures are part of the sentence, it says,

My butterfly loves flower flowers

Also nonsensical.  Perhaps they intended for one picture to be part of the sentence and one merely decorative, like so,

My butterfly loves flowers

While this makes sense, it is ridiculously inconsistent.

Sometimes I entertain the possibility that they were trying to make it a cutesy-grammatically-incorrect sentence, the way a child might say,

Me loves flowers

But accidentally misspelled ‘me.’

I guess you can see how maddening the whole thing is; never knowing what they really intended, but knowing that regardless, it was poorly executed.

(I know I need mental help, I know.)

May 24, 2010

Baby blessing, 3 April 2010

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: , , , — llcall @ 6:00 pm

In the LDS Church, a new baby is given a name and a blessing through the power of the priesthood, usually at 2 or 3 months old.  It was no small feat to get most of our families together for Addison’s blessing, considering Neal’s parents were coming from Alabama and Baby Evie was set to arrive in April.  But the stars aligned for a wonderful evening!

Probably the most memorable part for us was some alone time that Neal and I took to pray and ponder together beforehand.  Thanks to Neal’s Aunt Karen for keeping Addison calm and comfortable so we could have those special moments!

Neal gave Addison a beautiful blessing, particularly referencing the meaning of her name (which I plan to write more about next week).  He looked quite dapper doing it, no?

Joining him in the circle was his brother Skylar, dad Kevin, our bishopric member and cousin Andrew, my dad Steve, and my brother Chris:

We had representatives from all four of Addison’s family branches to welcome her.

The Calls:

The Skidmores (Neal’s mom):

The Larsons:

The Hortons (my mom):

We were grateful that we could get most of Neal’s immediate family and all of mine together for the event.

Although it is customary for the little one to be dressed in white, we decided to go with this adorable brown-and-pink ensemble Rachel gave her, partly because we didn’t have a white dress and partly because I’m obsessed with the little matching shoes.  [I realize now that these pictures don’t do the outfit justice; I will have to remedy that soon with a photo shoot!]

We’re grateful for everyone that made the trek out here for the blessing, and for those who were there in spirit.

May 21, 2010

Pictures for the Weekend: Still trying to figure out the headband thing . . .

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Pictures for the Weekend — llcall @ 6:32 pm

Behind the ears?

Over the ears?

High on the forehead?

Closer to the eyes?

Keeping it in place?

It’s all a work in progress.

May 19, 2010

Happiness Project Wednesday: Spend out

Every Wednesday I’m recording how The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin has influenced my daily life.  To read my introductory post, click here.

This is Gretchen’s (oh yes, she’s Gretchen to me; after all we’re both redheads, concerned with the subject of happiness, and a bit miserly by nature) 7th personal commandment.  She explores various dimensions of spending out in this post, but basically she means “to stop hoarding, to trust in abundance.”

I could probably do a whole series just on this one concept because, well, it’s a big problem for me.  Like Gretchen, I “save” things.  I have long thought that there are two kinds of people in this world, those who wear a new outfit the day they bring it home and those who “save” it in its pristine, untouched form.  I am most definitely the latter.

I buy a new sponge because the old one is disgusting and I keep it under the kitchen sink because it will get dirty if I open it.

I get new underwear because my old stuff is worn out and I keep it in the package and continue to wear the old pairs.

I bring home a nice plastic bag, say from the BYU Bookstore, and I save it in my bag drawer.  [I mean, after all, I may never get my hands on such a nice bag again.  Except for the next time I go and they give me another bag, just the same as they’ve been doing for the past 15 years that I’ve been visiting the BYU Bookstore.]

See how this is a problem?

While the bag drawer issue is probably not going away anytime soon, since family and friends have staged interventions to no avail since I was about 9 years old, I have made a small positive change in the “spending out” arena.

Behold, the soap:

I LOVE the Bath and Body Works warm vanilla sugar scent.  Although I have never purchased any for myself (my extreme frugality is the subject for another day), my mom has been giving me the soap, lotion, shampoo, and whatever else she can get her hands on for Christmas for about a decade now.  I get so excited when I open it up, smell it, admire the pretty bottles.  I rejoice!!

And then I put it at the bottom of the linen closet to save for a time when we own our own, perfectly designed, exquisitely clean home.  Considering that I may be like 45 when Neal graduates from college, this may be ill-advised.

So I decided it was high time to spend out.  I put a bottle of the fancy soap by the kitchen sink.  I put one by the bathroom sink.  I put away the other cheap, mixed-with-water-to-make-it-last-longer soap dispensers so I wouldn’t keep using them.

Now when I wash my hands, which I do far more frequently with an infant on board, I do it in sheer luxury.  I rub my hands together longer and I smell them afterward.

Spend out.

Someday I may even work on the lotion:

Baby steps.

May 18, 2010

Play along at home . . . you be the “Marriage Ref”!

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 6:47 pm

Has anyone seen that new NBC show called “The Marriage Ref”?  Supposedly, they give married couples “the one thing they’ve always wanted: a winner.”

In my post yesterday, I emphasized the term “real” when referring to the date we went on while Kirsten babysat.  This is because Neal and I disagree a little bit about what a date entails now that we have this little girl in our life.  (Come to think of it, we’ve probably always disagreed considering that I thought our first date was about 2 months earlier than he did, but that is a story for another day.)

Neal believes that he has taken me on a number of dates to art exhibits at the BYU fine arts center, on walks around the neighborhood, to get ice cream — all with Addison strapped to his chest.  He thinks it’s unreasonable for me not to consider these official dates since Addison hardly joins the conversation.

I, on the other hand, feel that if Addison is there, it’s never a date.  I’m always a little on edge, wondering if she’s going to get fussy, hungry, need a diaper change, etc.  Rather, I consider these to be family outings.  Also good, but in a different way.

So who’s right here?

And since this is my blog and I can state my case more compellingly if I want, can I just mention that I once had to take a 15-minute nursing break in the middle of said-date?!  And I once had to eat my ice cream in the back seat of the car while Neal drove us home because Addison was getting fussy!!

So give it to us straight . . . who’s the winner?  Neal or Lindsay?

May 17, 2010

My D.C. peeps

Filed under: Family, Motherhood, Personal — llcall @ 6:50 pm

At first it seemed frustrating that Addison stopped napping unless I was holding her.  It felt like I lost my time to eat, shower, get the laundry done, etc.  While I still wish I could do those things more regularly than I do, I’ve been able to reframe the time that she’s napping on me as my blogging time.  If I’m very careful, I can get her and the computer into just the right position to be mildly comfortable.  Now I can think of it as time to blog instead of do housework, guilt-free!

***

Addison got to spend time with a couple of my D.C. ladies recently.

Kirsten is temporarily living in Utah County while figuring out where her next big adventure will take her.  And it could be anywhere (!), which is very exciting even if job-hunting is a drag.  She came over and babysat for us while Neal and I went out to lunch on a real date.

As you can see, Addison got real cozy . . . she’s an equal opportunity napper, that one.  I think Kirsten enjoyed it, minus about ten minutes of what she described as the “scream of death.”

In addition to having a way with the babies, Kirsten is undoubtedly one of the most well-read, well-informed, and well-educated (three master’s degrees, people!) ladies you’ll ever meet.  I’m so glad Utah’s been a stop on her recent journeys!!

Andrea’s visit was a bit more of a cameo, as we met her at the Salt Lake airport during a brief layover.  We spent all day Saturday planning a cute outfit for the photo shoot, and then Addison refused to look at the camera.

Thank goodness Andrea’s very photogenic, so the pictures weren’t a total loss.

Andrea has a special place in our family lore because if not for her, Addison wouldn’t be here as I would have broken up with Neal many years ago!  See, Andrea and Neal are pretty much the exact. same. person.  So every time I would vent about a conflict or frustration while we were dating, Andrea would side with Neal and talk me down from the proverbial ledge.  We’re all very grateful for that.  And for the visit.

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