March, 2015 Archive

Introducing Arielle Jane Friedman

by Bryan Friedman in Amazing Arielle, Daddy's Corner

Now that she’s one week old, it’s time to share the vital stats from the second Baby Friedman’s birth:

Name: Arielle Jane Friedman
Place: Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California
Date: 3/4/2015
Time: 1:00pm
Weight: 7 lbs, 11 oz
Length: 20.5″

If you were placing bets on weight or length, you would have done well to stick with the same exact stats from Madelyn’s birth. What are the odds?

Everything went great during the scheduled C-section, and we had a very nice time living in the bubble of the hospital for four days. Just like last time, we appreciated all the love from our friends and family as our phones lit up with endless Facebook notifications. We could not be more grateful for all the amazing support from everyone.

The Name Game

You may remember that Madelyn’s name was kept secret until the day she was born. We did the same thing with Arielle this time around.

Naming a person is hard. It’s a lot of pressure! When we were naming Madelyn, Alison and I started by each making a list of five names we liked to see if any matched. Alison’s list included both “Arielle” and “Madelynn”. My list included neither. But I liked both of those names more than most of the ones on my own list. I just hadn’t considered them before. So we ended up zeroing in on those two options.

We actually agreed on “Arielle” at first. We loved the name, but we had some reservations. First of all, we were worried it would be frequently mispronounced as AIR-ee-elle (like the mermaid) or AH-ree-uhl (like the former Israeli prime minister) instead of ar-ee-ELLE (the right way, like simply saying the letters R E L). We also figured we’d get the frequent cries of “Oh yeah. Like the Little Mermaid!” which no doubt would get old quickly, especially since Arielle’s pronunciation isn’t even like the fishy princess.

So for these reasons, we ultimately settled in on “Madelyn” instead. The spelling changed from Alison’s list because it didn’t look right to me for some reason. We didn’t want to do “Madeline” because, although we both liked it, we knew she’d go her whole life correcting people’s pronunciation of it. (Not mad-uh-LINE, it’s mad-uh-LYN.) So we figured ending in the -YN would help solve that problem. We also opted for the single N at the end to avoid having her run into spelling mistakes her whole life too. (Alison-with-one-L and Bryan-with-a-Y are well-versed in this arena.) You can see, we thought a lot about it. So unlike us, right?

Anyway, for this second kid, if we’d had a boy, the name decision would have been pretty easy for us. Our boy lists matched pretty closely. However, when we found out we were having another girl, we thought we’d start fresh with a clean slate of names and pick which one we liked best. But it turns out, we didn’t like any of them more than we liked “Arielle.” We just kept coming back to it. Except we still had all the same reservations this time. Even more so actually because of Madelyn’s obsession with The Little Mermaid. Would it now seem like the name was because of this? Would it be confusing for Madelyn?

We flirted with other names, but eventually just decided to go with what we liked the best. Madelyn won’t be obsessed with a mermaid forever, and let our reservations be damned! We just love the name, so forget all that stuff. We even told the name to Madelyn (risky!) so we could hear her say it and her cute little way, lovingly and sweetly saying the name in a sing-songy voice, sealed the deal. Arielle it is.

We weren’t wrong; most of our concerns have been validated over the past week as we find ourselves constantly correcting mispronunciations and dodging Little Mermaid references left and right. But we knew what were getting into. So little girl – you’ll just have to get used to it. Take it from Bryan-with-a-Y and Alison-with-one-L – we feel your pain. You may grow tired of repeating the phrase “it’s just like saying the letters R E L” – but we know you’ll grow to love your name as much as we love it. It’s beautiful and unique, Arielle. Just like you are.

* * *

We’ll write more soon about Arielle’s birth day and the following days at the hospital. We are settling in at home and Arielle is a sleeping and eating champ. The best part is watching Madelyn adore her baby sister. It’s a whole new era in the Friedman household and even though change can be hard, ultimately, things are good. They’re great.

  1. Sarah
    3/12/2015 9:14 AM

    I have a friend with the same name (but spelled like the mermaid) she also tells people “like saying the letters R E L” or ” like the way Sebastian pronounces the mermaid’s name”

    I think the spelling you went with will be much less confusing for people

Big Steps for Big Sis

by Alison Friedman in Marvelous Madelyn, Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

A big sister must be prepared for her sibling duties, so just like my mom made me take an SAT prep course in my junior year of high school, we enrolled Madelyn in “Siblings R Special” at Los Robles Hospital to make sure she passed the ultimate test with flying colors.

Initially, she was scheduled for the class the weekend before. It’s only offered once a month, and I opted for the date closest to our c-section so that Madelyn would have all the information fresh in her head. I was so excited to watch her have a sister experience that’s all about her, so imagine my utter disappointment when we got to the class and it had been canceled due to the teacher’s illness. The high school volunteers at the hospital almost had to admit me to a room with rubber walls.

I called first thing Monday and begged them to reschedule the class. They did! So, four days before Eviction Day, Madelyn got to take her class and we enjoyed the little nuggets of information the teacher shared. Madelyn learned how to hold the baby properly, and the teacher also explained that the belly button would look funny.

Always place the baby on a hard table and  squeeze at the neck.

Always place the baby on a hard table and squeeze at the neck.

The baby will always be very still and quiet.

The baby will always be very still and quiet.

Even professional Daddies need practice. Also, it's totally OK turn your babk and leave babies unattended on tables.

Even professional Daddies need practice. Also, it’s totally OK turn your back and leave babies unattended on tables facing the wall.

Madelyn got to color a picture that would go on the baby’s cart-bed and — nice touch — the volunteers took a family photo of us at the beginning of class that was ready by the end, so we could affix the photo to Madelyn’s picture.

This is the first piece of art that Madelyn's little sister will see in her own little baby Louvre.

This is the first piece of art that Madelyn’s little sister will see in her own little baby Louvre.

The class ended with a tour of the maternity level and a stop at the nursery so she could see where her little sister would be right after delivery. We looked at the new babies in there and she recalled pictures she’d seen of herself in the very same nursery just over three-and-a-half years ago.

I definitely think she aced the class. The final exam is on Wednesday. We’ll see how all her studying pays off.

Madelyn recalled her entire experience in this nursery. Home videos are a magical device.

Madelyn recalled her entire experience in this nursery. Home videos are a magical device.

Oh, and P.S., I cried about 6 separate times during the class. That’s pretty much every ten minutes. I blame hormones. Either that, or there was an invisible kitchen in the classroom with an invisible chef cutting up onions in the back. Why would seeing Madelyn hold an oversized, plastic, lifeless baby doll without any of my DNA make me well up? Or walking past the nursery and seeing other strangers’ fresh, new babies? Psshhh. Hospital fumes.

After Big Sister Academics on Saturday, it was time for Big Sister Extra Curriculars. Madelyn, ever the ultimate girly-girl, has always admired my nails after I come home from a manicure or pedicure. She loves to rub her fingers of the smooth polish and analyze the color I’ve picked. She also likes to watch me put on my makeup every morning and regularly declares, “I’m not a big girl yet, but when I am one day, I will get to wear makeup and get my nails painted, right Mommy?” I always tell her that, yes, makeup is for grown up ladies and that painted nails are for super big girls. Honestly, I’ve avoided putting nail polish on her fingers simply because I haven’t wanted to open up a can of worms of vanity or set up expectations that it can be a regular thing for her.

But between solidifying the idea that she’s about to be a big sister — and, therefore, a “big girl” — and the selfish fact that I’m an emotional mess, holding on to every last bonding opportunity with my only child who made me a mommy in the first place, I decided that the week of the baby’s arrival would be a good time to finally treat her to her first manicure!

After school on Monday, I told her we were going to do a surprise. She immediately began guessing. “Trader Joe’s?” “The bagel store?” “Nordstrom?” I suppose she has me pegged. But I told her it was something she’s never done at a place she’s never been to. She guessed: “A new Target in a new city?”

This girl is a victim of routine.

We walked into the nail salon and she didn’t seem to catch on right away. So I explained to her what we were doing and her eyes lit up. I told her to pick a color and she immediately picked up a sweet pink — shocker! — but then I switched it out for a better brand! OPI’s “Pinking of You” was the winner. I explained the pun. She was not as impressed as her mother. One day.

Some of the most important life decisions a girl will make.

Some of the most important life decisions a girl will make.

Pinking of You -- always, pinking of you, Madelyn.

Pinking of You — always, pinking of you, Madelyn.

I had my nails done first; a set of sparkly, soft pink gels to really ensure a good two weeks out of my paws. Madelyn stared at the UV box in horror and I reassured her that her manicure did not entail this exercise.

When it was her turn, her manicurist, Nancy, simply painted her nails pink and Madelyn watched with very big eyes. I had to keep reminding her to stay very still and to let her hands relax and stay away from touching anything. At the very end, Nancy added white flowers to her thumbs with jewels in the middle of the petals. Madelyn lit up. She loved it. She could not stop staring at her nails and I loved watching her awe.

She was nervous for the moments before, but settled into the experience pretty quickly.

She was nervous for the moments before, but settled into the experience pretty quickly.

A girl could get used to this.

A girl could get used to this.

These are the silliest milestones, yet those are the ones that are most memorable: "Baby's First Mani"

These are the silliest milestones, yet those are the ones that are most memorable: “Baby’s First Mani”

Mother-Daughter manicures forever! Mother-Daughter tattoos NEVER!

Mother-Daughter manicures forever! Mother-Daughter tattoos NEVER!

Having a daughter just got a little bit more expensive.

Having a daughter just got a little bit more expensive.

When we got home, she ran into Bryan’s office and was so excited to show him. She’s been staring at her nails all night and I made sure to remind her a few times that she got to have a manicure because she’s a big girl and it’s what we do for very special occasions — like becoming a big sister!

Next big beauty milestone will likely be an eyebrow wax in about ten years. That’s a little less exciting and glamorous, so I hope she savored today.

I’m so happy that all of the photos of Madelyn holding her sister on Wednesday will have a glimmer of our special, surprise mommy-daughter manicure day together.