maarmie's musings

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Names, names, names

How does anyone come up with a name for their child? I mean, this decision is going to likely stick with the kid for its whole life. I believe it will influence how the child is perceived and who the child ultimately becomes. That belief in mind, this is a huge decision to be made, and quick. We have to pick a name within three weeks of the baby's birth.

Because we've been told by two different ultrasound technicians that it's a girl, we've only really talked about girl names. For a long time, we were stuck on the name Hunter - after Hunter S. Thompson, the gonzo journalist who loved drugs and guns and died by making a new hole in his head with a bullet. Hm.....perhaps not the best start to give a kid?

Still, we love everything written by the guy, and we love the name. Loved the name? The charm is kind of wearing off. So, we've come up with a few more, some liked by both of us, some just by me.

Caitlin (both)
Camden (me)
Bronwyn (both)
Hunter (both)
Keegan (me)
Ainsley (me)
Bryn (me)
Dylan (both)
Rhys (me)
Elliot/Eliot (both)
Nieve (both)

Personally, I'd like to go with Caitlin Elliot Hunter Dylan Smith. Then, she can go by any of several kick-ass names, the one she favors the most. Is it considered child abuse to give a child so many?

We don't need no water

Click on any photo to get a better look

Last weekend, C*, The Boy and I tried to get some snowy mountain views on Cairngorm Mountain, but - because of the temperate winter weather this year - flooding closed the main road to the peak forcing us to turn back toward home.

In Inverness, the Ness River near our apartment has also seen some flooding. The islands, where C* and I like to walk and where Woody used to roam as well, have been closed for days. Once, the islands looked like this:

walking paths lit at night and dotted with benches and trash cans, just like a regular park. As far as I can tell, this is the main place people who live around here go to walk their dogs and to get some fresh air with their families or some exercise. Many of the walking paths are underwater right now, however, making the area look like this:

The banks of the river are spilling over as well, a somewhat regular occurrence, according to C*.

Perhaps the city should do something about this? Nah! City officials would rather spend a quarter of a million pounds on a 12-minute firework display in the middle of January than to, say, do anything that will actually benefit the city in any way.

That being said, here are a few other views near our home. This first one is the foot bridge we walk over to get to the grocery store. The cables that hold it in place are massive, but it still bounces up and down when a few people are crossing it at once. I have felt nauseous crossing this bridge more than once.

Here's a modern-day castle situated on a hill overlooking Inverness. I think the courthouse and police station are housed here. After every celebration in town, the whole side of this hill is littered with beer cans and alcohol bottles. People here litter like it's going out of style. Wait. It already did. A long time ago.

Here's the view looking toward the bridge that crosses through the center of town. See the snow-capped mountains in the far background? Nice.

And here's THE number one hotspot in Inverness, that business on the right with the lovely golden arches. Oddly enough (but not really) most of the litter you see on the streets and sidewalks is in the form of cups and wrappers from this shithole, the only business that regularly gets vandalized. Still, business here is always brisk. What can I say? They want their food, and they want it fast.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mama mia!

As promised to a few of my friends, here's an updated photo of my big, fat gut. This is me at 36 1/2 weeks pregnant:

As you can see, it's not the cute little rounded baby hut it was just five short weeks ago. It has, instead, morphed into this watermelon-shaped, stretch-marked burden that is hard for me to haul around. If I don't start labor on my own in 2 1/2 weeks, I will be induced sometime between February 4 and 11, my 40th week. I thought I was beginning the slow descent into labor hell last night when my back started aching and my belly tightened for hours, but no deal. It's getting close, though. And I'm terrified.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Woody - 1997-2008

Woody was put to sleep last night after some kind of horrible internal rupture left him in severe shock and needing surgery that the vet on duty at midnight last night said he probably wouldn't make it through. I had terrible nightmares about Woody all night last night, and I'm not going to write any more about this now. Maybe some other time. Maybe never.

Rest in peace, Woody. You were a sweet dog.

Friday, January 11, 2008

First snow day

I put Woody in the back garden yesterday for some fresh air. When I went to retrieve him a couple of hours later, I was met with the first real snow of the winter.

It has snowed plenty elsewhere in the highlands this year, especially in higher elevations, but it hadn't yet snowed this much so near to the middle of town. The flakes were huge and fluffy and melted upon impact with the ground.

This first winter in north Scotland hasn't been at all as cold as I thought it would be. Sure there are days I never make it outside because I don't feel like putting on all the clothes necessary to keep me comfortable. But I thought the weather would be absolutely unbearable no matter what clothes I wore. I've experienced colder weather in New York State. Which is odd considering we're as north as mid to north Canada. I guess the Gulf Stream is at work, even in Inverness?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I never thought I'd say this

If Hillary is the Democratic nominee for the next president, I will not be voting for her. I always thought I'd vote for a liberal-leaning female no matter who it was. But Hillary? I'll pass.

I cast my absentee ballot for Kucinich, but it seems he's not going to be getting anywhere in this election. No one I vote for ever does.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

On the horizon

I haven't been writing for a while because I haven't had anything to say, really, and we've had The Boy for the past week straight. The Boy got a Wii from his mom and her side of the family for Christmas, so we've been doing a lot of messing around on that. It has, at least, saved us from playing Monopoly twice a day like we've been doing in the past, but we've hardly touched the board games we got The Boy for Christmas. Board games. How old fashioned!

I'm getting my hair cut for the first time in six months today in preparation for the arrival of the little one. I'm thinking I won't have much time to do much of anything soon, so I'm trying to get myself in order as much as I can while I can. I'm going to be at the hospital three times a week until the baby comes taking prenatal and labor classes and going for a weekly scan to see how big this big bundle of joy is getting. The maternity nurse I've been dealing with already seems to think she'll be 8.5 to 9 pounds at birth. Lucky me.

C* and I have been acquiring all the things we need for the baby over the past few weeks. We've got a stroller, two car seats, clothing through 4 years of age (bought secondhand but in really great shape from a newspaper ad for £50), blankets, a baby sleeping bag, thermometers (body, room and bath), a baby bath, towels, washcloths, hooded robes, toys, hats, scratch mitts, socks, coats, shoes, breast pump, feeding bras, nursing pillow and changing mat. Whew! All that's really left to buy are all the lotions, wipes, creams and powders and a box to store it all in as well as a nightie, socks and a bathrobe for me to wear at the hospital.

Yes, the hospital.

It's looming on the near horizon. I'm 35 weeks pregnant come Monday. That means I could be delivering in as little as two weeks and as many as seven. Time to get my suitcase in order and figure out my delivery plan. I'm already thinking I won't be getting an epidural, that I can handle it without. We'll see when the first really strong contractions kick in. But this is the only baby I plan on having, and I want to remember, really remember, everything.