Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Am Thankful

I've been sitting around in a black cloud lately, baby-waiting, sleeping, reading, and just generally playing the picked-on 9 month pregnant lady role to the HILT. (Unfortunately-- or fortunately-- we're out of bon-bons. I could do without the heartburn anyway...)

Then I was reading the "Nie Nie Dialogues" and had a little wake up call. I have MUCH to be thankful for. My husband, children and I are all healthy, safe, and (generally) emotionally stable. *grin* We are so blessed!

I've been reading random blogs where people make lists of 78 things people don't know about them. I want to make a list, too, but I think it should be a gratitude list...

I'm thankful:

1. For the loving way my husband looks at me
2. That I get to spend most of every single day surrounded by my children
3. For three amazing "teens" who hate the word "teenager." They prefer "Young Adults."
4. For a baby girl who looks like my mom, and even has her name.

5. For a little girl who is my clone and my heart
6. For a boy who looks just like his daddy did when he was little
7. For a clever little blond girl who doesn't know the meaning of the word "can't"
8. For a gentle giant of a boy with gorgeous blue eyes
9. That I get to teach Shakespeare to awesome homeschooled "teens"/"Young Adults"
10. That my husband is a talented cook who often comes home and takes over dinner.

11. For an organized, determined, fibberty-gibbet girl with long hair and smiling eyes
12. For our house that fits us perfectly
13. That we live out in a more rural area, even if we haven't got our farm yet
14. That Morganne can go to early morning seminary with charter school kids, instead of at the regular high school
15. For my Asperger's kids who have taught me-- and continue to teach me-- so much
16. That I can call my mommie any day, any time, and she'll act happy to talk to me
17. For time in the temple

18. For living prophets and apostles
19. That Christ can carry all of my burdens, and loves me in spite of my whining
20. For my quiet study hour in the morning while Morganne is at seminary
21. For Morganne's quiet, noble strength
22. That Brennan is constantly playing the piano
23. That Lliam is so good with the little ones

24. For garden tubs
25. For thunder storms
26. For essential oils
27. That I am an American
28. For the right to worship how I want to
29. For the freedom of speech to say what I wish to say

30. For the freedom to teach my children where, how, and what I feel I need to
31. For inspiring classical music-- Bach, Beethoven, Debussey, Ralph Vaughn Williams, etc.
32. For good bluegrass-- old Nickel Creek, Cherryholmes, Allison Krauss
33. For Jane Austen-- God's gift to women who love to read
34. For books that speak to my soul-- "Tale of Two Cities", "Jane Eyre", "Persuasion", etc. (This list would get waaaay too long, way too fast!)
35. For Thanksgiving here in AZ, with roses blooming, and families going for walks and bike rides
36. For the rhythmic hiccups of babies in utero
37. For the freedom to birth at home

38. For a good smoothie or milkshake now and then
39. For midwives who come to me for prenatal visits
40. For the awe-inspiring power of the ocean
41. For red dirt in Georgia and Alabama
42. Peanuts with lots of salt
43. Pecans, anyway I can get them

44. For GRANNY: her funny stories, for the way she covers her mouth with her hand when she laughs, for the stash of gum and snacks she always has in her purse, for the way she slips and sometimes says a cuss word, for her thick "country girl" Southern Accent, and for the way she calls back "Whoo-hoo!" when you call her name-- there is no one like her in the universe!

45. For the smell of clean sheets, dried out on the line
46. For windows open at night, to let in the cool breeze
47. The sound of lawn mowers at dusk (9 PM) in Idaho during the summer
48. Ben and Jerry's "Chunky Monkey" ice cream
49. A big, hot, well-baked Idaho spud, dripping with butter
50. Breakfast food
51. The color red, in all its shades
52. Gardenias-- the smell, the thick white petals, the succulent, dark leaves
53. My husband's warm, strong hands
54. Good hair days
55. Losing 3 pounds, even if it was just water-weight
56. Seeing my nieces and nephews, even if they don't know me from Eve

57. Singing in full belt to a packed audience
58. Speaking in public and having the audience in stitches, laughing
59. Making new friends
60. Seeing old friends
61. Talking for hours with cousins, aunts, Grandma, mother, and sisters
62. Headbands-- quickest hairdo that looks good on me
63. Great art
64. Michael Buble's voice
65. Josh Groban's voice
66. Memories of laying in my mother's lap while she stroked my hair

67. My mom's twisted fingers and her incredibly soft hands
68. The smell of leather in my dad's closet
69. Calling my brother "Bean"
70. Hugging my brother and sisters
71. Reading Homebirth stories
72. Christmas Music from September to January
73. The smell of cinnamon, orange, and pine
74. White lace curtains
75. Cookies from Grandma's cookie jar
76. The books and toys at Grandma's house when we were kids: "Little Sambo" and "Grandma Winkie"
77. Climbing to the top of a sturdy, enormous tree
78. Music by Enya

You know, I could go on, and maybe I will in my journal. God has blessed us so much. I am truly grateful...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baby Names

Holy cow-- I can't believe I'm posting two days in a row...


I LOVE looking for, talking about, trying on, and making lists of, baby names. And it's lucky that I do, since I've had so many babies that needed naming. LOL! I like traditional ones, and very odd ones, and many in between.

When Russell and I became parents, we decided to stick with a "theme" for baby naming. We are going with a Celtic or Gaelic theme. So if it's Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Manx, it's on the "approved" list. I am glad that we chose to do things this way, because I like way too many names to decide on the best one for each baby. The need to stick with a theme narrows down my list significantly, and Russell's happy because he likes pretty much any Gaelic name we find.

As for the middle names, we try to make them something meaningful, not picked randomly, and they are usually a variation on an extended family member's name. (And they don't have to fit in with the first name theme!)

So here's the run-down of our kids names, and why they have their monikers:

Morganne Natalia-- Morganne is a Welsh name that means "where the sand meets the sea" or "seafoam." It really fits her. Natalia means "born on Christmas", and while that's not exactly accurate, she was born on December 27th, which we felt was close enough! (It was either Natalia, or "Daddy's Little Tax Break", so we went with the first choice.)

Brennan Geoffrey-- Brennan is both a Welsh and an Irish name, meaning "raven." He really loves his name's meaning, and uses it a lot for various things as his "symbol" of sorts. The Geoffrey part comes from Russell's older brother, who died only a few days after his birth. (We did change the spelling.)

Lliam Donal-- His name fits him probably better than anyone else in the family! Lliam is an Irish name, though we added an extra "l". It's actually an Irish nickname for "William" which was my paternal grandfather's first name. Donal is also Irish, and is an adaptation of my maternal grandpa's name, "Don."

Bonny Dianne-- Bonny is a Scottish name meaning "beautiful," and it fits our "Bon-Bon" perfectly. Dianne is a variation on Russell's mother's name, "Diana."

Gavin Xavier-- I could go into a long, draw-out story about how this name came into being, but it's enough to say that he got that name after he was 3 or 4 months old. (His original name did NOT fit him.) Gavin is Welsh, and is a variation on "Gawain," as in the knight from Camelot. Xavier is the name of an ancestor waaaay back in the Keppner line. If Russell and I were to further traumatize poor Gavin, we would now change his middle name to "Pike" which is Russell's mother's maiden name.

Dierdre Marie-- This is another name that really fits the child! Dierdre is both an Irish name and legend. I still think it's one of the prettiest names around. Marie came from MANY sources in the family: middle name of a great-grandma, a grandma, two aunts, and my cousin.

Ronan Wainwright-- Ronan is an Irish name that means "little seal" (the animal). Wainwright is a nod to a Keppner family tradition going back the last couple generations. Russell and his father both have the middle name "Wayne," which is Grandpa Keppner's first name. So, even though our first-born son did not have "RWK" initials, at least one of our sons does.

MacKenna Elyse-- If anybody (including MacKenna) would let me change her name, I'd do it in a second! It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I hate how popular it is, especially in Mormon-dom. *rolleyes* I do wish we had gone with something else, but I guess it's a little late, now that she's two. *sigh* MacKenna is a Scottish last name. Elyse is a variation of my great-granmother's name "Lizzie." (Lizzie, Elizabeth, Elyse...) Okay, it's a far stretch, I admit. But we thought they sounded pretty together. Then, after the birth certificate was registered, etc., I realized why they sounded good together-- the movie "Somewhere in Time" had a heroine named... "Elyse MacKenna." POOH!

Grayse Dawn-- Russell found the name Grayse on a list of registered Manx names. My pregnancy with her was a very difficult one for me, and I felt that it was only through the grace of God that she arrived safe and sound. I love the unusual Manx spelling. Dawn is my mother's middle name, and I've been wanting to use it for a long time. Since Grayse looks a lot like my mom, I think it works perfectly.

Baby #10-- Now that we know it's a girl, I can make a tighter list of possibilities. We also decided since this might be our last baby *sniff* to go out with a BANG! I really want this baby to have a very unusual name, like Lliam and Dierdre.

So far, we like Eilonwy Michelle. Eilonwy is not really Welsh, though it's a created name following the rules for Welsh, if that makes any sense. It's the name of the heroine in the "Prydain Chronicles" series. ("The Black Cauldron", etc.) And Michelle is the name of one of my favorite cousins.

I won't make the same mistake I made with Gavin and stick with a pre-chosen name, whether it fits the baby or not, so this is not set in stone!

Another name I just came across, and like VERY much, is Saoirse (pronounced "sear + sha"). It is the Irish word for "freedom" or "liberty." How cool is THAT?!

I guess we'll see what the baby looks like and go from there. :-)

Okay, I gotta go scrub down the house now...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baby Ramblings


I'm expecting baby #10 in around 6 weeks (I am no longer a believer in due dates. As if ANY baby gave any credence to when others think they should arrive!)

Pardon me, I'm almost 9 months pregnant, and thus a tad unstable.

So. Where was I?

Oh, ya. Baby coming.

Nesting instincts are coming on strong, and in this week alone, I have cleaned and reorganized both my garage and my closet. Now, you might ask WHY in the world I would choose those two areas of my house to clean when there are so many other spots that need serious attention. First of all, I don't clean house any more-- that's the job of my children. (Who are looking forward to a fun-filled Saturday, let me tell you! Don't worry, I'll bribe them well.) Second of all, because I have taken over as a Shakespeare teacher in our homeschool group this year, I inherited scenery, fabric, costumes, accessories, etc. that have been living in my garage and closet since the Spring. And since summer here is like winter up north in the way of discomfort, we don't spend time out of doors (or in garages) between May and October.

WHAT does this have to do with the impending birth, you say? Well, with the baby coming, I needed room in my walk-in closet, and so the closet HAD to be gutted. And where could it all go but the garage? So I had to clean and organize said garage to make room.

CONFESSION: Since I am by no means a clothes horse, I have TONS of space in the master bedroom's walk-in closet. And since I have tons of space in there, guess where the bassinet goes? Now before you cry "child abuse!" and start dialing CPS/Satan's Minions, you should know the following:

1) The closet is air-conditioned,
2) It has its own WINDOW, for the love of Pete (!),
3) After the bassinett and baby parefenalia, I could still fit a rocking chair in there,
3) It has a sliding door that keeps noisy toddlers out,
4) It is in the master bedroom, so baby can nap closely, but quietly near us,
5) My babies sleep in bed with me at night anyway, so this closet arrangement is only used during the day.

PUT DOWN THE PHONE!!! Yes, I DO sleep with my babies. It's worked with all the other nine, so do you think I'm going to change now? I don't think so. Besides, which is worse, a mother who is sleep-deprived or one who gets a good night's rest with limited interruptions where all she has to do is roll over?! I ask you...

Um, when I get the scanner hooked up, I may post the baby's ultrasound pics. But, just in case anyone wanted to know, we're expecting a...





And, she's gonna be CUTE! I can't wait to meet her!

Just let me get my bedroom and bathroom cleaned first...