Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our Little Pupa


We’ve started calling Alice a little pupa when she’s all swaddled up (I’ll write more about swaddling later). Somehow she just doesn’t resemble a baby burrito anymore and she writhes and wriggles just like I imagine a pupa would. Anyway, that prompted a discussion about what exactly a pupa is so I had to do some web-based research to clarify. I found out that pupa is Latin for ‘doll,’ which is awesome, and learned something else even more awesome (via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pupa).
In a nutshell, a pupa is found only in insects who undergo a complete transformation; the pupal stage is between the larval stage and adulthood. Pupae are inactive and unable to move about, and can be enclosed in other structures like a coccoon (or a shell, etc). The pupae of different groups of insects are called different things, such as chrysalis (for moths and butterflies) and tumbler (for mosquitoes). The term chrysalis is derived from the metallic gold color of many butterflie pupae, referred to by the Greek term for gold; chrysόs. But here’s where it gets awesome...
According to Wikipedia (so let’s assume it’s true), Aurelia is an old synonym for chrysalis derived from the term aurelian, which was used to describe someone who studies butterflies’ emergence from chrysalides. How fantastic is that?? Aurelia sort of actually MEANS pupa!!!
I’m glad I came about this knowledge after she was already named, when my version of a pupa is a cute, smiling baby wriggling around in a swaddle. I mean, chrysalides are pretty cool and they spit out butterflies and all, but this info might have given me pause had I learned about it before she was born. As it is now, Alice Aurelia is a lovely name for an adorable little pupa who is sure to become a beautiful butterfly herself.



Monday, July 26, 2010

I don't get out much...



The only thing I needed to do today was take a trip to Costco to buy cereal so I could eat breakfast tomorrow. Around 9am, I started thinking I should get my act together. By 10am, I was showered and almost ready to go, but Alice needed to eat. There was gas, there were diapers, there was more eating and more gas, and some fussing, more diapers, more fussing... It was 12:30 by the time I walked out the door.
As I was gathering my things, I spied my new credit card on the desk where it has been laying since it arrived in the mail a few days ago (and by days, I probably mean weeks). Because the old card expires in August and the new one has a new security code, the old one I’ve been carrying around won’t work (and probably hasn’t in some time) but I haven’t had any need to use it recently. Anyway, I popped the new card in my wallet and removed the old card. I didn’t take the time to shred it just then, I stashed it in a drawer instead. 
So we finally made it to Costco and moseyed around for a while. Alice fell alseep en route to the registers, and I was jealous. It wasn’t until the check out machine was rejecting my card that I realized I had taken out my DEBIT card and left my old credit card in my wallet along with the new one. Since Costco doesn’t accept credit, I had no choice but to abandon my cereal and go home. I almost cried.
On our way out of the store, I rolled the cart over the red band of bumps in the fire lane. The look on Alice’s face as her eyes snapped open and her cheeks jiggled furiously was absolutely priceless. She fell back asleep immediately. I laughed out loud like a maniac all the way to the car, and decided the trip was worth my time after all. I’m just glad my debit card was waiting at home, safe in the drawer where I stashed it. Maybe I should leave the house more often...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Moby Love




Erin’s secret recipe for getting things done:
  1. Put on Moby wrap
  2. Feed baby
  3. Insert baby
  4. Sit on excercise ball & bounce baby to sleep (preferably while watching trashy television or surfing internet) - apply pacifier as needed
  5. Get things done! Do the dishes or laundry! Sweep! Write emails/blog/facebook on a real keyboard WITH TWO HANDS!
* Advanced technique includes doing any of the above while also talking on the phone or eating. Bonus points for doing three things at once.




Seriously though, I LOVE the Moby wrap. Even better, so does Alice (see photo above - look how she smiles and points to the logo!! Despite the low pixel quality, I’m considering sending that to Moby for promotional use.). The Moby is also a must for any outings where we'll want to lull Alice into sleeping submission.



Here we are aboard the Queen Mary and below, at the San Clemente farmer’s market (with her Uncle Joshua). These photos all show our black Moby, but we got another in the natural cotton color to wear outside during the summer. The black was just too warm, it’s amazing how much cooler the lighter color is!


I’m sure the Moby is an adaptation of many different cultures’ practical application of wearing their infants, but I’m really glad it’s caught on here. I’m sure we’ll add another nifty contraption at some point but I can’t imagine that anything else would be as comfortable or comforting to a little baby than being skin to skin with mama. I’m sure I’m not the first mom to discover how such an invention can make my life easier but when it’s your first child, don’t you always feel like you and your baby alone are discovering uncharted territory?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What IS an Alice?



People keep asking if there’s any meaning behind the name we chose for our darling daughter. Someone recently asked us if Alice was named after Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Um, no. The truth is, we’d had this name picked out for a long time before we were even thinking about actually having a baby, and we can’t really even remember how we settled on it. I wish I had a good story to satisfy these questions, but we just think it’s a pretty name.










I CAN tell you some of the reasons why we like these names so much. I love the Alice in Wonderland story and all the various incarnations. I like that Alice is a classically lovely name, and it means “noble,” or “truth.” It also reminds us of Jon’s Grandma Senge whose middle name was Alyce (A-leece). As a fire sign Leo whose favorite color is orange, I love that Aurelia means “golden.” There is a character named Aurelia in “Love, Actually,” one of the first movies Jon & I saw together, on our first quasi-date - it remains one of our very favorites. I took the book pictured above on our trip to Paris last summer, I thought it only fitting... Gerard de Nerval was a French “eccentric” writer who used to walk a lobster around Paris, using a pale blue ribbon as a leash. The last pages of his story, “Aurelia,” about the love of his life, were found in his pocket when he hung himself. Beautifully bizarre.
We thought that Aurelia was a bit too fancy for a first name though. We figured she’d never be able to find keychains or toy license plates at tourist attractions (I hope they’ll have Alice ones)! I mean how many Aurelias have you met? The only one I’ve come across worked at the J.Crew in Pasadena, she was from Romania. 
I have a minor obsession with names. When I was little, I chose names for all the paper dolls I made and wrote them on the back - sometimes first, middle, and last. Now that we’ve used our girl name, we’re already trying to think of a second, matching option to have lined up for the next time. It was such a relief to not have to think about that aspect of having a baby, with everything else you have to worry about when you’re pregnant. For as much as I’m already obsessing, I know I wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure of doing it while pregnant, hormonal, and facing a deadline. We’re taking suggestions but just like this name, the final choice will remain a secret until baby can actually use it!
In the meantime, Alice Aurelia is the light of our life; our golden, noble truth.