Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Name Game

I've always felt that a person's name has some influence on who they are. When I was growing up I was "Rebecca" to everyone except family.  I was "B" or "Becka" to most people but "Becky" to my Grandma Overdorff.  When I moved to Virginia at the age of 12 I became "Becky" to everyone.  I won't lie and tell you it wasn't a difficult adjustment.  Who was this "Becky" person, how could I be her?  When I left for college I leaped at the opportunity to be "Rebecca" again and interestingly my good college friends all call me "Becka," the natural nickname that I developed as a youngster.  I can always tell how people know me based on what they call me and I tend to interact with people differently based on that.

Before Whit was born we were going to name him "Whitfield" and call him "Whit" but for the first two years I called him "Whitfield" most of the time.  We are now working toward "Whit" but to me he will always be "Whitfield," especially when he is in trouble!   I'm sure as he gets older he will pick up other names and he will adjust who he is to fit that name.

Another post in the Wonderful Words series, this idea came about after some serious name confusion.

As with any other time in history, there are popular names that seem to crop up multiple times in a generation or every generation.  Additionally, there are countless stories about someone's name being changed because a nickname was used or someone used a different name.

The first time I encountered a name change was when I saw a letter addressed to "Stephanie Overdorff."  I looked at my mother in confusion.  Yes, she has 3 sisters and 4 brothers, but none of them are named "Stephanie;"  so who was this Stephanie person? She cleared it up and let me know that it was actually my Aunt Dawn, who was called by her middle name because my Grandfather, who is deaf, couldn't say "Stephanie."  Ah, I get it!

My brother-in-law is often called "Rico" by his family members. It began as a nickname, there's a story, but I cannot recall all of the details, and now it drops in as a greeting, cheering at a ballgame, or general conversation.

KIRK (to his mother): How's Rico doing?

Occasionally, and perhaps the most intriguing, is when a name changes because the newest member of the family doesn't pronounce the name correctly or there needs to be some distinction between people.  Whit calls Rico "Eck-ick" which is his interpretation of "Eric" (Rico's actual name).  I doubt he will stay "Eck-ick" as we are trying to have Whit to pronounce names correctly. We've recently succeeded with his second cousin Sydney who was "Sis-Sis" until just this week.

On the topic of Sydney, it just so happens that she shares this name with her father.  Needless to say when Nana says "Sidney is coming over" and Big Sid rather than Little Sydney shows up Whit is confused.  As I sit here (supposed to be doing homework) and watch the family play ball in the yard below me, I can hear the effort being made to say "Sid" and "Sydney;" to make some sort of distinction.

Other names of note:

Nanny Kate (Whit's Nanny) vs. Katie Bug (Whit's friend Katie)
Hunter (Nanny Kate's son) vs. Baby Hunter (Katie Bug's brother)
Reece (Whit's male friend) vs. Baby Reese (Whit's female friend)
Miss Marsh-Marsh (Marcia, Katie and Hunters' Mommy)
Sah-Sah (Sarah, Baby Reese's sister)
Mungka (Grandma Hylton)
Pop-Pap?? (We are still figuring out what to call Grandpa Hylton)
Opee (Nana Lucille, which started out as Whit's first attempt at "Hey Babe" and came out "Op-bee!"
Kis-tis (Aunt Kristin)
Not-Mama (one of the funniest, Nanny Christine, who he was calling "Mama" and she kept saying "I'm not your Mama, I'm Nanny Christine!" "Not Mama" was somehow the name that stuck!)

I'm sure there are some other cute names that I'm missing, so no offense meant if I left you off the list. 

Currently, Whit can say "Eamon" and Eamon can say "Whit" so there are no issues with their names. I am, however, curious to see how the name game will be played out with any future children that enter the family as I have some interesting and difficult to pronounce names in my potential baby name line up.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wonderful Words

Since I know I'm going to do several more posts about Whit's growing vocabulary, I've decided to group them together into a "Wonderful Words" series.

Say that again


A guest blog from my wonderful sister So Many Words

The Name Game


Have you ever considered how many ways there are to say "no?"

You can say  "nope, never, no (in spanish, which is just no), uh-uh, negative"
You could simply shake your head. 
And then there are the phrases that, when you get down to it, really mean "no."  "Stop that! Don't do that! Don't touch that! Don't eat that..." need I go on?

Children are inundated with "no," is it any wonder that they learn it very quickly?  Or, in some cases, very slowly....

As Whit embraces the "twos" (I can't bear to call them terrible, because many aspects of them are wonderful) he has learned many ways to tell me "no." His favorites are "uh-uh" and "nope." 

ME: "Whit, we need to take a potty break, do you need to potty?"

WHIT: "Nope!"

I could go on in this vein, but I think you all get the point.

As with all of my other parenting decisions, I am trying to give Whit a start in life that gives him the most potential to be a satisfied, self-sufficient and functional citizen of the world.  With that said, I say "no" very little.  We've created a few things that mean "no" such as "freeze your feet" for "no, don't go any further" and "Not a toy" for "No, don't play with that."  We try to save "no" in it's most basic form for truly dangerous things.  (Whit does not hold that same opinion).

A few of my favorite ways to tell Whit "no":

"Not right now, honey"

"I don't think that's a good idea"

"Maybe later" (I got that one from my mother, thanks Mom!)

"Let's do this instead"

See other Wonderful Words posts 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Birthday Pictures!

A tired boy who was not very excited for a party!
This past weekend we hosted a few fun friends for Whit's 2nd birthday.  Many thanks to all of those who made the day special!
A hug for the first party guest!

Time for presents!

Too many girls at a party?
Time for cake!
Blowing out the candles

Yes, he stayed that clean the entire time!

The girls did not...

And finally a smile!

 One more thing I want to add here is the video I took when Whit opened his gift from Grandma (aka Munka) and PapPap Hylton.
(Translation: "Whoa! Hear the music!!")

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


It's hard to believe that it was two years ago that we welcomed Whit into the world.

Two years.... what does that even mean? At times two years seems an eternity.  One day seemed an eternity two years ago as we waited, waited, waited for Whit to come.  And yet, the last two years has seemed to pass in the blink of an eye.

With lack of sleep, postpartum depression, work stress and the simple chaos of bringing an infant into our lives I'm surprised I can remember any of the last two years. 

It's funny how memories work.  I have this fuzzy image of a hospital room with a very clear memory of the first time I locked eyes with Whit. I remember looking up at Kirk and thinking that I could never love more than I did at that moment. I've surprised myself by loving more and more every day.  We seem to have no limit for love, an infinite capacity... I think I read that somewhere.

And here we are two years later. Thousands of changed diapers, a lot of nursing, some sleepless nights, a few million lullabies, a couple frantic phone calls to the doctor, discipline, lots of laughter, never enough hugs and kisses and more love than can be measured. 

By far the best two years of my life.  (So far).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Loving Summer

Although it took longer than I had expected to adjust back to Eastern time after our trip to Alaska I think we've finally settled into a routine. I don't expect it to last as we will head home around the 4th of July and then to the beach the end of July for what I'm sure will be an amazing wedding followed by a family vacation. Trips like these always seem to disrupt our schedule for at least several days. But for now, I'll take what I can get.

We will revel in our slow daily routine punctuated with play dates, birthdays and vacations.  We will play, cuddle, tickle and tackle. And we will love it. 

I've spent much of the last two years pushing the pain of leaving Whit every day to the back of my mind and the furthest reaches of my heart.  I've made the most of the time I had and tried not to dwell on the time I did not have. I had a feeling when I first took a teaching position last year that it would further my goal to spend more time with one of my two favorite people. Actually, it has helped me to spend more time with both of my favorite people.  I'm overjoyed, overwhelmed and overly grateful for the blessing of this time we have together.

Our last day with Nanny Kate!! We love you!

Just looking adorable

Pool party for Katie's Bday