The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Gwyneth

nameWhat’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.  Possibly, but if said flower was called “fart monster,” I bet fewer people would actually try to smell it.  Names are important, which is why my husband and I have devoted 99% of my pregnancy to trying to choose one wisely (and the other 1% to actually learning how to care for a baby).

The Top 10 Categories for Naming Your Baby

1.) Type of Name:  Sports Authority
Sample Names:  Peyton Manning, Jeter, Madden
What this will say about you: Your raging fandom extends to your wee ones.
What your child will be like:  Due to mild asthma and flat feet, the only thing your child will play is the tuba in the marching band.

2.) Type of Name:  Literary Heroes
Sample Names:  Hammett, Huckleberry, Lolita, Holden
What this will say about you: You are a well-read intellectual
What your child will be like: Super-cute, but dumb as a bag of pop rocks.

3.) Type of Name:  Old-fashioned
Sample Names:  Esther, Beverly, Dorothy, Maude, Irving, Ira
What this will say about you: You had an unusually close relationship with your great-grandparents
What your child will be like: Male or female, they will grow up to look like Bea Arthur

 4.) Type of Name: Celebrity Trends
Sample Names:  Khloe, Angelina, Scarlett, Taylor, Katy, Ashton
What this will say about you: You have your finger on the pulse of pop culture and current events.
What your child will be like:  Will someday get paid in singles.

5.) Type of Name:  Gender Benders
Sample Names: Jeff, Trevor, Gregory (for girls); Kimberly, Diana, Sue (for boys)
What this will say about you: You refuse to conform to societal norms
What your child will be like:  British.

6.) Type of Name:  Kreative Spellor
Sample Names: Jenyphr, Derryk, Peeta, Jazmene
What this will say about you: You like to think outside the box. Or are possibly dyslexic.
What your child will be like: Constantly pissed off that, at amusement parks, they will never find a keychain with their exact name on it.

7.) Type of Name: Presidential
Sample Names:  Monroe, Jefferson, Van Buren, Taft
What this will say about you: You have a strong sense of patriotism and history.  Also, you just read a restaurant placemat that lists all the presidents.
What your child will be like: A budding anarchist.

8.) Type of Name:  Random Stuff Around the Room
Sample Names: Apple, Salami, Twig, Blender, Luger
What this will say about you: You clearly do not care if your child is mistaken for a household appliance
What your child will be like: Frequently mistaken for a household appliance

9.) Type of Name: Music Lover
Sample Names: Ringo, Beck, Morrissey, Cher
What this will say about you:  You want everyone to know what good taste in music you have.
What your child will be like:  The best karaoke star at their prep school.

10.) Type of Name:  World Traveler
Sample Names: Seville, Cairo, Orlando, Geneva, Newark
What this will say about you: You want your child to have a meaningful connection to the place of their conception.
What your child will be like: Really, really grossed out by their name.


Your Bouncing Baby (and her Bouncing Stuff)

registryCreating a baby registry is like getting to commit legal armed robbery: you point a gun at an object, and eventually someone gives it to you.  Here are my Top 10 tips on how to use your registry for your own amusement.

1.)   Register for big-ticket items no one will ever purchase

If you register for a minivan, that $400 stroller will seem like a bargain.

2.)   Turn your registry into a grocery list

The whole point of a registry is to list things you want or need, and have other people buy them for you.  So if they’re already getting you diapers and detergent, why not throw in light bulbs, toilet paper, and eggs?

3.)   Register for items that will cause your family embarrassment to purchase

If possible, choose items/brands that must be purchased in-store, so your friends and family have to directly ask sales clerks for said items.  It will be nothing short of pure magic having to open the box of butt cream or panty liners your Aunt Margaret was forced to buy, since there was nothing else left on your registry.  And make sure you tell her you’re thinking of her every time you use it.

4.)   Register for as many items as possible that have the word “nipple” in it.

When you open the present at your shower, make sure to say the name of the item multiple times: “Grandma Becky got me the nipple paste I asked for!  Thank you, Grandma, for the nipple paste.  I can’t wait to use my new nipple paste.”

5.)   Use your registry to confuse people as to your baby’s gender

“Wait, she wants a onesie that says “Daddy’s Princess” and one that says “Mommy’s Fancy Man?”  Blue and pink swaddles?”

They don’t need to know that you plan on returning all of that stuff anyway to purchase more nipple paste.

6.)   Do not register for clothes

90% of your baby’s 1st year wardrobe will be gifted to you anyway.  And as long as you don’t mind receiving at least five pink velour tracksuits, or dressing your infant son like a turn-of-the-century paperboy, there’s no need to waste a potential gift on a duckie romper.

7.)   Make sure there are lots of super-cheap items on your registry for your super-cheap friends to get for you.

And you knew that when you gave your friend a serving spoon as a wedding gift, she would someday pay it forward by gifting you a single pacifier.  Serves you right, you tightwad.

8.)   Don’t forget about a bouncer/ swing/ rocker/ vibrating chair/ playmat

Pick out the most expensive one in the store.  Your baby will probably hate it, but may end up liking the box.

9.)   Register for as many mattress pads, burp cloths, changing pad covers, and plastic wraps as you think people will shell out for. 

Babies spew fluid from every orifice.  Their fluids are gross, and will make your home seem like a dog park unless you take proper precautions.  Remember when your grandmother kept her couch wrapped under layers of plastic?  It wasn’t a fashion statement; she was trying to keep children from literally shitting all over her furniture.  You’d be wise to follow in her footsteps.

10.) See if you can snooker someone into gifting you a Netflix subscription

You will spend a lot of the wee hours feeding, rocking, or passing out while holding your baby.  And nothing says “quality bonding time with newborn” like a Game of Thrones marathon.

How the Grinch Stole Valentine’s Day

valentineHusband: Hi, Hon. Happy Valentine’s Day.  I made dinner.

Me: Aw, that’s so sweet.  I’m totally craving burritos.

Husband: I made steak.

Me: Steak burritos?

Husband: No, just steak.

Me: (pause) That sounds great too.

Husband: (taking off my coat) You look nice.  I love your…oversized…raggy sweatshirt…thing.

Me: Thanks.

Husband: I didn’t know they still made R.E.O. Speedwagon gear.

Me: It’s the only thing that fits.

Husband: You look great in it.  Glowing.

Me: How soon ‘til dinner?

Husband: Almost done.  Um, I think a piece of your sleeve just fell off.

Me: Whoops.

Husband: Okay, dinner is served.

Me: No wine?

Husband: You can’t drink, so what’s the point?

Me: I can look at it.  I can smell it.

Husband: It seemed silly to pay $15 for something you can’t consume.

Me: $15?  Who am I, the Queen of England? (taking a bite of steak)  It seems a bit well-done.

Husband: I know, but you can’t have undercooked meat.

Me: But your steak is rare.

Husband: That’s because I like my steak delicious.

Me: Trade ‘em up, buster.

Husband: But the baby-

Me: Baby, schmaby.  Mama wants some bloody cow.  (eats husband’s steak).  Delicious, Honey.

Husband: So, for dessert, I figured we’d split a piece of pie a la mode.

Me: (blank stare)

Husband: And by “split,” I mean, “each get our own piece, with an extra one to pick off of.”

Me: Hooray, pie!

Husband: So…the baby’s still asleep.  You know what that means…

Me: Foot rub?

Husband: Um, yessss.  The one part of you I was really looking forward to touching was your foot.   Fine.  Okay.  (starts rubbing feet)  You know you have a hole in your sock, right?

Me: I haven’t seen my feet in about three months.  I could have a hole in my actual foot and have no idea.

Husband: Seriously, though.  The entire bottom of your sock has dissolved.  How can you not feel this?

Me: My boots cut off the circulation in my feet.

Husband:  Perhaps we should put the $15 wine money toward new boots.

Me: Or you could rub my feet more.

Husband: (ignoring request) Want to watch a movie?

Me: Nah, too tired.  Something shorter, like one of the tv shows we DVR’ed six months ago and never watched?

Husband: I have something better in mind.  (pulls out phone)

(Watch video of our daughter spinning in a circle while singing the “Map” song from Dora the Explorer)

Me: Best Valentine’s Day ever.

Mr. and Mrs. Mainhart Build Their Dream Room


No matter how much we tried to keep the baby (both existing and impending) from taking over our home, the stuff slowly crept in.  All attempts at containment failed, and every surface of our apartment was covered in pacifiers, milk rings, and petrified Cheerios.  After reaching into my drawer and accidentally using diaper cream as sunscreen, I realized something had to give: we needed to create a baby nursery.  A real one, not just a sock drawer decorated with Elmo stickers.

Function:  A new baby is moving in permanently.  The hard part is letting go of that extra room, which has been the guest room/ library/ studio/ farting space for so long.  Our bookshelves slowly got taken over: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Of Mice and Men, and The Sun Also Rises were replaced by 10 Minutes til Bedtime, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and Goodnight, Moon.  It was time to officially move our books out.  And while the baby could ensure the legacy of the farting space, my art supplies would all warrant a call to Poison Control if swallowed.  Out, out, out.  And perhaps we should buy a crib.

Décor: We have a daughter, with another baby girl on the way.  It seems easy enough to trick out the nursery in enough princess and unicorn decals to make our daughters puke glitter.  Despite this fact, we opted for a more neutral look, mainly because we are lazy, and didn’t want to buy a lot of Disney crap.  We decided that the room should be yellow (because the room was already yellow).  We decided there should be blinds on the windows (because there were already blinds on the windows).  And we decided to keep the beige carpeting, partly because it was already there, and partly because beige can hide a majority of baby body fluid stains.

Theme: Friends keep asking what our nursery “theme” is, as if a nursery is a miniature bar mitzvah.  My husband and I brainstormed and rejected several unsuitable themes.  He nixed my “Dead Presidents” theme (I realllllly wanted to include Abe Lincoln Logs, a Martin Van Bureau, and James Polk-a dots).  I nixed his idea to cover the walls with comic book characters.  And we both agreed that “Spiders of the Australian Outback” would only lead to night terrors.  So we hung up a “Winnie the Pooh” picture, making our nursery theme “Pictures We Already Owned.”

Safety:  There are the obvious safety measures, like bolting down furniture so our kid won’t tip it over when she tries to climb it (and burglars can’t make off with our fancy IKEA bookcases).  We put bars on windows and tied up blind cords so the baby wouldn’t be tempted to escape by seeing the outside world.  We plugged up our outlets with plastic covers that we haven’t been able to remove for almost two years.  For even more security, we installed a “BabyCam” on the wall to monitor the baby while she sleeps.  This is both a lot less creepy, and a whole lot more boring than it sounds.  While the BabyCam has never shown us anything as dramatic as the baby trying to “Great Escape” out of the crib, it has occasionally helped us stop her before she finger-painted with her own feces.

Storage: Babies have a lot of stuff.  The secret is to find dual uses for the storage contraptions.  It’s not just a dresser; it’s a changing table.  It’s not just a toy bin; it’s a bench you can nap on while watching your baby play with a spoon for 45 minutes.  It’s not just a Diaper Genie; it’s the first place you look when your car keys go missing.

And of course, the most important rule of creating a nursery: no clowns.