“What does 649.133 mean?”
It’s my weak attempt at library humor. When I started my blog, I wanted to have a clever name that incorporated libraries, girls, and being a mom. So I looked up the Dewey Decimal number for books about raising girls — 649.133. I obviously wasn’t concerned with coming up with a blog name that would be easy to remember, as I am often referred to as “Janel from six-four-something-something…” So basically, I have the best/worst blog name on the entire Internet.
“Gonna have another one? Try for a boy?”
NO THANKS I’M GOOD.
“Mama, why is your stomach still so big if Surrey already came out?”
Well, it took a long time for my tummy to get big while Baby Surrey was growing, so it’s going to take awhile for it to get small again. Also, I really like Oreos.
“So you work AND have three kids? How do you DO it?”
“Your kids each have a different hair color! How did that happen?”
We get a new mailman every couple of years.
“Phaedra…where did you get that name?”
I honestly don’t remember; I feel like I heard it on the radio a few summers before Rob and I were married. I mentioned the name to him, and he liked it. Yes, that’s right — we had baby names picked out at an age when most people are picking out names for their fake I.D. As it turns out, it’s actually a very old-fashioned name: we’ve since met or heard of many senior citizens who go by Fay but are, in fact, actually Phaedras. In case you were wondering, Phaedra is a Greek name meaning “bright” or “shining”, which suits our Phaedra just fine.
“Bella…oh, like from Twilight?”
No. Her name is actually Bellatrix, but we call her Bella. Or Bell. Or Bubba, Bub, Bubbsy, Bubbsarella, or Asshole. Depending on our mood and what she’s doing at the moment.
“Bellatrix…oh, like from Harry Potter?”
Yes, we did indeed discover this name through the Harry Potter series, although it is the name of a star in the constellation Orion, and is Latin for “female warrior”. Rob fell in love with it, and campaigned hard for this name in favor of our originally planned name, Penelope. “But that’s all she’ll ever hear — ‘Oh, Bellatrix, like Bellatrix Lestrange? Like from Harry Potter?’ ” His response? “No, no, no, man. By the time she hits school, no one will be reading that shit anymore.” Direct quote. Looking back, I’m glad he convinced me, because there’s no way on Earth my girl is a Penelope, or even a Penny. She’s worth much more than that.
“Surrey…oh, like Tom Cruise’s daughter?”
GOD DAMN YOU TOM CRUISE. No, not like Tom Cruise’s daughter. Suri Cruise spells her name like this, and my Surrey spells her name like that. They do sound the same, I’ll grant you that. Surrey, besides being a city in England, is the stage name of January 1967 Playmate of the Month Surrey Marshe. For the first few months of my pregnancy, before anyone even knew I was pregnant, Rob and I debated hotly over names. We were running out of names for girls, and didn’t like any of the names we had picked out as 20-year-old dumbasses anymore. I would email him entire lists of names (Violet? Poppy? Olive? Ursula?), and receive the same short answer: “I don’t like any of these.” Finally, one day Rob emerged from the basement, holding one of the loose Playboy trading cards that litter the basement floor ever since he bought the box at a trading card show years ago. “I like this name for a girl.” While I think my Surrey will probably turn out to be as gorgeous as her namesake, I really hope she chooses a different vocation.