Category Archives: Tiny Timchenko

She Shall Be Called

Evelina  Grace  Timchenko
eh-veh-LEE-nə }  { ɡray-s }  { tim-CHEN-ko }

Evelina / Эвелина: Light – English,  Life – Russian

People with this name are excited by change, adventure, and excitement. They are dynamic, visionary and versatile, able to make constructive use of freedom. They fight being restricted by rules and conventions. They tend to be optimistic, energetic, intelligent, and to make friends easily. They may be changeable, restless, untidy, and rebellious.

Grace / Грейс: From the word ‘grace’, derived from the Latin ‘gratia’, meaning God’s favor. 
People with this name have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family or community.

Usually, when it comes to decision making, I’m much more emotional and Alex is the logical one. But in the name game situation our roles were completely reversed. After a few weeks of flipping through baby name books and not landing on anything that felt right I was beginning to worry we’d never find the “perfect” one. Aside from loving it, my requirements were things like no weird nicknames, no embarrassing initials, the typical stuff.  His requirement? “When you say it, it has to melt your heart.” No pressure. So I started a list of ones that would work based on my criteria, and over the next week or so would read them aloud to him, see if his heart melted, and scratched more and more off the menu. Then, over dinner on our anniversary, he mentioned a few sweet nicknames he liked so we started backtracking from there. And suddenly, out of nowhere, Evelina was born. It wasn’t on my list, I can’t find it any of the name books I’d read (cover to cover), it just came to my mind, he repeated it aloud, I teared up, and it’s safe to say our hearts were melted. “Did we just decide on a name?”, I said. “Yep.”, said he. And that was that. We loved the way it sounded, the origins (more on that in a minute), and the nickname options (we are huuuuge nickname fans) (also see below). Once I found out that it means light/life in our respective native languages it felt even more perfect, as she’s bound to be the light of our lives. 

Grace followed pretty soon after. I wanted our first born to carry my maiden name, Gray, in some way, and had she been a boy it would’ve been simply Gray. (My mom’s maiden name is Graybeal so there’s a double connection.) But Gray alone felt a little masculine for her so I debated using a unique spelling of Grayce (mainly because I’m weird about following trends and kind of wanted to convey that this is about meee, not the #22 name of 2013!) but decided against it in the end (she’ll have enough pronunciation/spelling going on already to make it even more difficult). 

And now for the stats and fun facts for our Slavic/Southern girl: 
  • The popularity of Evelina peaked in the 1880’s (1887 at #528)
  • Roots and Origin – it depends on where you look but most sources agree on the following: It’s derived from the French name Aveline, a feminine Norman-French diminutive of the name Ava, meaning “wished for child”. (Also, my Dad’s name is Norman. See? So many unplanned connections!)
  • Numerology #5 – Outgoing, friendly, flexible, upbeat, versatile, easy to talk to. Loves to explore and be free and will adapt as needed to achieve this freedom. Perceptive about people which enables her to be persuasive and get along well with others.
  • Russian Pet Names: Evelinka, Evelinochka
  • American Nicknames: Evie, Eve, Evah, E, Evs, Lina, Evster (as I’ve recently started using)
  • Notable Evelina’s:
    1. Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World ” a novel by British author Fanny Burney, published in 1778.
    2. Evelina Khromtchenko – Russian journalist and influential fashion figure. (I promise I did not know this until after the fact!)
    3. Fictional character in the song, “Sweet Evelina” written in 1865 and popular with Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. 
Welcome to the world Evelina, the little light of our lives! 

40 Weeks: Fully Cooked

40 Weeks and fully cooked! 

Due day came and went, as I pretty much expected it would. Some helpful advice I received early on was to throw all pregnancy/baby related expectations out the window so luckily I wasn’t attached and devastated when December 1st didn’t become her birth day. (Although by my very first calculation, December 2nd was her due date – I guess we’ll see…) My preference is an intervention-free labor and delivery as possible so I’m in no rush to rush her. I’ve been told I’m an exception to the rule since many women are begging to be induced by this point, but I can’t say I’m that uncomfortable and really want her her to be able to come on her own time, as I believe babies and bodies are meant to do, outside of emergencies of course. However, yesterday’s appointment showed some protein in my urine which leads to 24 hours of collection and lab work this afternoon to keep a watchful eye for pre-ecamplsia, and ain’t nobody got time for that. So regardless of how this experience goes down, whatever is meant to be will be. I’ve done the planning, learning, and research to make decisions that I’m comfortable with and the rest is up to nature.

On a lighter note, there is NO flattering angle for photographs at forty weeks. It took at least fifteen tries to get this decent one. I mean, I know the bump is big, but I need an accurate size to scale, not one where my shirt makes it look double! And can we talk about my swollen face? I don’t even look like myself. Some days just aren’t photogenic days, and yesterday was one of ’em. Each shot would go like this, “Oh my gosh, I look huge. Do it again.” and he’d say, “Peach, it’s technically due day, you should look huge.” Ugh. True, but still. I’ve said before, I hate to complain about the minor discomforts because compared to some, this pregnancy has been a breeze, but it’s still strange to not look like yourself, even though I’m not quite sure what this is anymore.

So aside from meeting her, I’m excited to feel like my old self again. And excited to *hopefully, eventually, please heavens let it be*, wear my old clothes again. I made maternity work for the last bit with about five versatile tops (I just really hated spending money on things I’d need for such a short time!) but I’ve missed my old clothes and shoes (heels!) so, so much. If these feet don’t shrink back to size I’m going to have lots of size 8.5 BFF’s knocking on my door…

Waiting patiently for you, baby girl…

Week 39 Recap: Reflections

What can I say that hasn’t been said yet? I have absolutely loved the past nine months. Getting to experience this process has been one of the greatest, most exciting experiences of my life. I never dreamed pregnancy would be so… enjoyable. I tried to savor every moment, each milestone, and truly appreciate the miracle of changes every new day could bring. The love I’ve felt personally, as well as for her, has been above and beyond anything I could have expected. The excited anticipation from friends and family meant so much and gave me such strength and support.  Time has flown by, almost too quickly, as I’m sure it will only continue to do (at an even more rapid pace!) when she’s here with us. Knowing that at any moment, she’ll arrive and I’ll instantly be a parent, responsible for her in every way, is an unbelievable and emotional thought. I’m oddly excited about labor (I guess 12 weeks of birth classes will do that to a person) and can’t wait to know what date she picks for her birth day. Pretty soon, I’ll be writing about two girls in this big world!

Week 38 Recap: Almost Ready


38 Weeks
I shared the story behind this shark on Instagram if you’d like to hear about it.

Pregnancy-wise there wasn’t much newness this week. I’m trying to keep moving (in between propping up my swollen feet, see above) and luckily a lot of the sheer exhaustion I was feeling a few weeks ago has subsided. Still feeling some contractions, but the timing and intensity depends on the day. She’s typically very active, especially after meals. My shoes and wedding rings no longer fit. My right leg sometimes falls asleep at the knee, supposedly she’s pushing on a nerve. Sleeping kind of hurts, laying on my side just makes the belly feel heavy and pulls even when propped on a pillow. At this point it’s more about getting and feeling prepared. The hospital bag is packed, she has a sleeping spot, and I think by this time next week I’ll feel comfortable in saying we’re technically ready for her earth side, but one more week or so in the womb would be just fine with me.

Since it’s the week of Thanksgiving, I felt like sharing a few things about this pregnancy that I’m grateful for as well… There was so much about being pregnant that I dreaded based on things you hear and read. I’m not sure if I’ve just been lucky or if people complain just a tad too much but most of the “worst” symptoms didn’t come until the past several weeks and I wouldn’t feel right to vent about them as any discomfort at this point should be expected.

I never:
Had a craving.
Snissed (TMI?)
Had the terrible lower back/hip pain people talk about
Had to worry about counting kicks since she’s so active!
Felt more loved

I didn’t: 
Have much morning sickness (Keep a little something in your stomach in those first weeks.)
Get stretch marks (Keep moisturizing, no matter what they say!)
Start swelling until the very end (Hyrdation helps so much!)
Resent being pregnant. Aside from missing wine and good cheese, I was able to carry on as usual.
Get super hormonal or emotional. I can count the times on one hand.
Have my sleep ruined. Even getting up multiple times in the night I would still fall right back asleep, thank goodness.

I loved:
Seeing her tiny body on that first ultrasound and that little wave. I die.
Watching this bump grow
Hearing her heartbeat the first time (Man, was I holding my breath for that!)
Feeling the first “bubbles” of movement
Feeling the first gentle kicks
Watching her bigger kicks/shifts in my belly. We’d call them alien moments.

Even though she could make her grand entrance at any moment, it’s still a little hard to believe this part is coming to an end!

Pregnancy Quotes

{Week 20 Bump}

Over the past several months I’ve come across a few pregnancy related quotes that really resonated with me. I realize now why people become obsessed with #bumpies and oversharing their kids on social media; because before they’re even born, you devote nine months of your life doing any and everything you can to guarantee a healthy start and a safe arrival. It literally consumes you. This experience has given me a new appreciation for the miracle of life, our bodies, and the joy (and terror!) of creating and preparing for a little one. Here are a few of my favorite words on the subject….

“I ended up
 getting kind of excited to show the 
bump, as a badge of pride. “Like ‘I’m a woman! Look at me making a human! I am a goddess!'”

Enjoy the pregnancy, not racing ahead and relishing the moment. I think people see pregnancy as something to get over with, but every stage of becoming a mother is really special.”
-Olivia Wilde

“There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.” 
-Pamela S. Nadav 

“I’ve become a gentler and more patient person. Having {my daughter} in my life has forever changed my heart. She’s changed the way I see people, the way I see the world. To me, everyone is someone’s baby and I find I have much more compassion.”
-Amanda Jane Jones

“I do not care what kind of birth you have…a homebirth, scheduled cesarean, epidural hospital birth, or if you birth alone in the woods next to baby deer. I care that you had options, that you were supported in your choices, and that you were respected.” 

Week 37 Recap: Big ‘Ol Bump

Oh my goodness, how is it possible we’re already at this point?! Here’s what’s happened in week 37:

  • The Midwife felt around my belly and asked if anyone in my family is long and lean. When I said yes, a few folks, she said that’s what the baby’s size and shape feels like. Then she added, “It’s easier to birth a noodle than a brick.” I’ll take it! 
  • Swelling. I know I need more water, it’s just hard to drink sometimes. I forget, or feel stuffed. My feet aren’t ginormous but most of my shoes and socks are snug and my fingers stiff and sore in the mornings.
  • I’ve had a few labor and delivery dreams, most of them err on the negative side. (In one, I used our secret epidural code word before I even got checked in to the hospital.) For some reason I keep dreaming that I’m really bad at it!  I guess we’ll find out soon… 
  • There is sooo much happening in the bump. Between baby girl squirming more often than not, Braxton Hicks contractions, and heartburn, my stomach is as crazy as after hours club on Saturday night. And I’m feeling a lot like a ticking time bomb. 
  • Getting up and around takes help and time. Between not being able to bend or being out of breath I’ve relinquished to the fact that things are just going to take a lot more effort and longer than usual. It’s frustrating but temporary. 

Knowing that this babe could decide to make her exit any minute from this point on is exciting and terrifying! 

Week 36 Recap: Four More of Four

Four more weeks of the just the four of us. 
Two humans, two cats. Good even numbers. It’s a little bittersweet thinking of this life we’ve had for so long changing so drastically so soon. It’s been a good run. Eleven years of couch cuddles (one lap for each cat!), family cocktail hour on the balcony during warm summer nights, silly routines like Mojito always having to be in the bathroom when I shower, or Petey always sneaking and getting himself locked in the closet. Though hopefully these things remain intact, we’ll have a new girl in town, and as Faith Hill would say, a baby changes everything. I’ve loved this life of four, and as excited (and almost ready) as I am to begin our life of five, I would be remiss not to acknowledge the passing of this portion. 
I had this portrait made for Alex a few Valentine’s ago and it hangs in our living room gallery wall. Often I see it and think, “That’s my little family.” and wonder how it’s possible. Having a family of your own is such an adult thing to do! Because there are times, despite having and doing things that adults do, that I still don’t feel like one. Plus, I’m a thinker, a ponderer. I’m emotional and sentimental. Memories are my favorite and I do lots of wondering and remembering. My brain is always on. So these days, it’s a swirl of excitement, anxiety, reminiscing, and planning. As much as I love the picture above, the idea that one day, we’ll have another portrait made which will include our newest member is enough to make me squeal out loud. Savoring the last of bits of this transition time while simultaneously gearing up for our future of five, floods me with emotion and a feeling of something I just can’t wrap my head around. 
But one (ok, two) things are for sure – four wasn’t a bore, and five will be alive! 

Week 35 Recap: Booty and Boo!

35 weeks

I think the baby wanted to be Miley for Halloween because she was twerking up a storm in there this week! Supposedly she’s head down now, and there’s a constant booty in my ribs. But seriously, this kid moves like crazy. I’ve become that pregnant lady who has her hand on her belly almost always. Ten percent of the time it’s just my way of saying hi to the little bean, but 90% of the time it’s because I’m afraid she’s going to just bust right on out of my skin. (As I type this it feels like a wrecking ball swinging around in there!) However, unlike the wrecking ball movements, baby hiccups (which she gets a lot) are the cutest thing ever! Totes makes me giggle.

Speaking of Halloween, we didn’t really celebrate this year, which is kind of a bummer because I love it so much. But the weather was horrible on Friday and I was still getting over a cold so we did a very adult thing which was a trip to Ikea to buy a crib – woot! (And also have a meal of food, because what’s a trip to Ikea without a plate of meatballs (for him) and a savory Swedish dessert (for me).

And speaking of food, is it possible to go an entire pregnancy with no cravings? Because that’s been the case for me so far. There might be a slight increase in my sweet tooth but it’s not like I’ve devoured a tub of ice cream or entire package of cookies in one sitting. Nothing tastes particularly amazing or better than usual. I was on an apple/juice/cider kick for a week or so but think it had more to do with fall weather and the delicious Honeycrisps in season than pregnancy. However, here’s a symptom I’ve never heard of….drooling. I drool in my sleep now. Yeah, it’s gross. And it’s something I forgot to mention before but it’s been happening for the last few months. Like, major pillow wetness in the night – ick. I’ve never heard of it in relation to pregnancy symptoms but it’s been a regular for me.

Over the weekend I did the first few loads of baby laundry. Oh, how happy it makes my heart to see her tiny clothes hanging around! Alex picks them up and holds them like a pretend baby, I get teary, and then we squeal thinking about how soon she’ll be here!

Time keeps ticking….

Week 34 Recap: The 3 T’s

Freaking love this quote! 

This week can be summed up with the three T’s, and I’m not talking Timchenko’s…. Tissues, Tums, and Tightness were the recipe for misery in numero thirty-four.

  • I caught a cold towards the end of the week as if wasn’t hard enough to catch my breath already, so stuffy sinuses didn’t help any. It also contributed to even more tiredness (didn’t think that was possible) so some major naps were had. 
  • Acid reflux crept back into the routine. There were a few rough nights this week and I can’t pinpoint a certain food or culprit, but at least it’s not 24/7, and thank goodness for Tums. 
  • Speaking of Tums…tummy tightness! For several days in a row the skin above my belly button felt stretched to the max (so tight and itchy!). I tried oiling up the belly, covering it in plastic wrap and sitting with a heating pad off and on to try to loosen it up a little. Then I was using band-aids to pull it back towards center for some relief, swapping them out and changing directions every few hours. (It’s a miracle there are no stretch marks…yet.) I knew I was allergic to medical/adhesive tape but don’t usually have a problem with short term bandages. Turns out though, four days in row of constant use caused a rash that itches worse than the stretching. Yay. 
The good news in all of this is that I still think pregnancy is one of the coolest things ever. The science of it amazes me (and helps me accept some of these strange symptoms) and even though she wiggled non-stop for five days in a row (my poor organs) it’s a great feeling knowing she’s alive and kicking in there (literally!). We had a good appointment with the midwife; the bump is measuring on track and my girls’ got a good heartbeat. So despite the moments when it feels like an elbow is scraping my insides, I’m not ready to post her eviction notice just yet. Keep bakin’ babes, we’ve got lots to do before you arrive.