Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's in a Name?

On Friday, November 7, 2008 at 12:01am Brett & I welcomed our child to the world and discovered that we we the parents of a daughter. During my pregnancy we chose to leave the gender of our child a mystery and to be surprised on their birthday. As a result we headed to the hospital with names in mind for both a boy and a girl, but we hadn't really settled on anything concrete and so our baby spent the first hours of her life as Baby Girl Rome. Eventually we agreed that we would name our daughter Corinne Michaela.

We knew that if our baby was a girl that we wanted to find a name that started with the letter C since both of our mothers have names beginning with that letter. We liked Corinne.

Both my brother and I have middle names that have familial tribute - my brother's middle name is the male version of our mothers' first name and I share a middle name with my paternal grandmother. Still with me? So, I knew I wanted to do something similar for our child's middle name. Corinne's middle name is the female version of her father's middle name (Michael).

Practically since the day she was born we have had people asking us what we would call her for short...I didn't realize that Corinne was such a long name that it needed to be abbreviated. I think most people figured we would call her Cori. She is not and will never be Cori to me.
I still most often refer to her as Corinne when I'm talking with someone about her and even when I am talking directly to her. However, over the last 21 months or so Corinne has had a myriad of nicknames, the most popular of which are Rin (the last syllable of her name and the way she refers to herself most of the time) or Rinna or Rinna-roo.

She also has plenty of pet-names that have absolutely nothing to do with her given name. When I was pregnant Brett & I would refer to her as 'bean' because that's what she looked like when we saw the firs ultrasound pictures. We don't call her that anymore...because that's not what she looks like anymore! These days I am more apt to call her 'punkin' or 'punky' or 'punky-doo' - none of these have anything to do with anything but they've stuck nonetheless.

And, in my mind I often refer to her as 'BG' which stems from those first few hours when she was simply Baby Girl Rome but has recently started to take on an abbreviation for big girl, our baby is growing up.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Last Couple of Weeks

My dad has 2 siblings, one who lives on the East Coast and one who lives on the West Coast so it is a very rare event that they are all in the same place at the same time. But, during the first week of August everything came together and it happened! While they were all in town they came over to visit Brett & I, take a tour of our house, and (for my Aunt & Uncle from the East Coast) meet Corinne! Their visit was wonderful and Corinne warmed up to everyone much more quickly than I could have hoped for. I guess she's getting over her stranger anxiety and figures that if her people accept someone then she can trust that they're okay.

I officially turned 29 years old and celebrated with Brett, Corinne, my mom, my brother and his girlfriend (Hi, Hayley!) by having dinner at my favorite steak restaurant. It was relaxed and low-key which was exactly what I wanted.

For my birthday weekend, Brett & I left Corinne in the care of Grandma Chris and Uncle Scott and took a road trip to Chicago, IL to meet up with Brett's sister and her boyfriend, Jamie, to enjoy the festivities at Lollapalooza. This was my first trip away from Corinne and I was nervous about how I would handle the separation. I have to say that while I most definitely did not party the weekend away (what can I say, I am a slave to my routine - early to bed, early to rise...I think I was awake by 6:30 every morning) I had a great time and it was wonderful to spend so much time with Brett and to get to visit with Lindsey & Jamie.

Upon our return it was back to life as normal with the exception of some very special visitors in the middle of the week. We were lucky enough to be treated to dinner by Craig & Candy who have been friends of our family for many, many years. Craig & I share a birthday (separated by just a few years) and we have always shared a very close bond. I consider them my surrogate parents and Corinne apparently feels the same way since she started calling them Grandpa Craig and Grandma Candy while we were at dinner. I think they enjoyed meeting her and hope that we can get together on a regular basis in the future.

Some other announcements involving Corinne reaching BIG milestones are in the works so you can expect me to blog a bit more regularly (at least for a little while).

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Day on the Farm

On Sunday Brett & I took Corinne to a living historical farm that is part of a metro-park about 45 minutes from where we live. There are volunteers who dress in the style of the 1880's and are happy to show you around, answer questions and tell you about the family who lived there.

In front of the farmhouse there is a shaded area where visitors can try out recreational toys from the period. My grandparents had stilts in their garage and whenever we were visiting, particularly when my cousins were there, we would all take turns practicing on the stilts and I would often be able to go all the way around the house without losing my balance and falling off. I was thrilled when I saw that they had many pairs of stilts and after Corinne watched me walk around on them she decided to try them out - she did great!

The farmhouse was open and we toured the parlor, living room and kitchen. There were more toys on display and Corinne particularly enjoyed a wooden toy that you could drop a marble in the top and it would roll its way down 8-10 tracks back to the bottom. She also got a kick out of this wooden man with flexible leg & arm joints, she made him dance, sit down and walk while I tried to figure out a puzzle (no success).
A pump for the well was right outside the kitchen and they had several buckets sitting there with a sign that welcomed guests to fill the bucket and help water the plants in the garden. Corinne and I each toted our bucket down the path, hers much less full than mine. You can see one of the staff/volunteers off to the right side:
We chose to treat a cabbage to a nice cool drink, making sure to pour the water close to the root as instructed.
Corinne took off with the empty buckets and headed back for the water pump for a refill.
She was rewarded for doing such a good job of helping with the chores by taking a short break in a hammock. Once she got comfortable and felt secure she kicked me out so that she could laze in the shade by herself.
We explored the root cellar and the smoke house, then we crossed over a bridge covering a dry creek bed and saw a flock of geese down by the water where the creek flows when there has been rain.
Just on the other side of the bridge was a pen for sheep and a few were laying right along the fence so Corinne was able to reach in and pet the woolly sheep. She thought they were pretty great and I thought it was awesome that the park had installed hand sanitizer dispensers near the pen! Not exactly in keeping with the 1880's, but very much appreciated.

We toured the multi-bay barn that has been restored by Amish carpenters and saw horses, cows & calves, pigs, a mother duck with her ducklings, and even some turkeys! After about 2 hours we headed back toward the car, pausing at the house so that Corinne could take a ride on the wooden swing hanging from a great big shade tree.

It was a great day and I'm excited to go back sometime this fall during Apple Days when we can see a whole different side to the farm.