Per Ardua, Ad Astrid

My favorite nick name for you right now is Dolly.

Your father wasn't especially keen on the name right away. "She isn't a doll!" he protested. But I promise that's not how I think of you. Already you assert your own independent, wonderful personality.

I love to call you Dolly because it was your great-grandmother's nickname for me. It was also the last thing she ever said to me.

Maybe when you're older I'll tell you how hard the year before you were born was for our family. Your foster sister left, we put our first family pet to sleep, destroyed the odd friendship or two along the way. And I lost both my Tutu and my Grammie.

I can't wait until you are old enough to tell you about the amazing women that came before you. Tutu was Hawaiian, worked at Pearl Harbor as a teenager, and got a degree in piano performance. She loved music, the same way your father loves music. She was always singing, always playing something, and always, always smiling. Her picture sits on our piano now. Your father put it there, one pianist's tribute to another.

Grammie was the survivor. She grew up an Iowa farm girl during the depression. She survived a tornado, breast cancer (twice), colon cancer, skin cancer, and a broken back. She survived everything but the Alzheimer's that ended her life just shy of her 91st birthday. Her picture sits on my desk, reminding me that I can make it through anything, just like she did.

Just before you were born I lost both these amazing women. But then I got you.

My Dolly. My Astrid.

I can already see parts of Grammie and Tutu in you. You love to talk, and have so many opinions, just like Grammie. And you love music just like Tutu, especially when Baba plays piano. And you are so strong! At just three months old you are bound and determined to sit up. I think you want to get big fast, to keep up with that crazy big brother of yours.

I hope when you page through our blog someday you don't feel slighted. I did write far more about him than I have thus far about you. It isn't that I was any less excited for your arrival. But with him, I had ten months at home to love and enjoy him. With you I had just over two months of maternity leave, and I wanted to spend every possible minute loving you. Who wants to blog when you have a baby to snuggle? That's why its only after a month back at work that I've managed to find the time to sit down and write. Even now you're laying right beside me, talking to me.

But before I leave to take you for a walk, to snuggle you, and talk to you some more, I just want you to know how special, how loved you are. Your brother may have created the family you were born into, but you, my dolly, completed it. You have an amazing life ahead of you, and like the women who came before you, you can do anything.


We've developed some nicknames for our little cutie, Astrid.

Oh really? I'm listening!
Here are a few:
  • Asteroid
  • Asterism (part of a constellation, like the Big Dipper)
  • Squeaker (she made lots of squeaky sounds early on)
  • Beautiful
  • Lovely Lady
  • Peanut
  • Little Bean
  • Booger (more specifically, "My Booger" spoken exclusively by Kyra)
  • Stink-topus (another name by Kyra)
  • Id (Aster-Id, you know, since she's an Id...)
I must mention that I find it awesome that she shares part of her name with part of the name of one of my favorite fields in science: Astronomy! And all sorts of related things! Like Asteroids!

I'm not sure if the name Astrid and the root word aster- are related, but aster- means "star" (reference), which is close to the meaning of the name Astrid, "divine strength" or more paganly "heavenly strength". As noted on Wiktionary, Astrid is derived from an Old Norse name, Ástríðr. The name has two parts, either ást ("love, joy") or áss ("deity") and fríðr ("beautiful").

Astrid certainly is a "beautiful joy", that's for sure, no matter what we call her!

For a trip down memory lane, here's the same topic about Luca: Luca's Nicknames.

Dear Astrid, Letter 1

Dear Astrid,

We had our first dances today. You were entranced by the silly music on the clock. I thought it would help you overcome your hiccups, or at least distract you while they went away.

As we danced, you laid your head on my chest. I hope we have many more dances just like that. I love you!

-- Chris

Happy Birthday, Petunia

We miss you, and we love you. Hope you have a good day!

Birth Announcement

Name: Astrid Rose

Date: April 28, 2015
Time: 3:14 AM

Gender: Female
Weight: 7 pounds, 11 ounces
Length: 20 inches

Welcome to the world!