The Lydster: Part 74: No Isabella Green

Lydia is trending upward too, but not TOO common…

VERY early on in this blog, I delineated the rules for naming the daughter. Primary among them: “No name in the top 10 in the Social Security list of most popular baby names for the most recent year available, which was then 2002.

Note: Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth. Name data are from Social Security card applications for births that occurred in the United States.

Among the names that were under consideration were these:
2002 10
2001 10
2000 16
1999 20
1998 21
1997 27
1996 34
1995 39
1994 50
1993 50
1992 58
1991 61
1990 72
Automatically DQed.

2002 27
2001 37
2000 42
1999 53
1998 73
1997 94
1996 126
1995 168
1994 185
1993 196
1992 212
1991 227
1990 251

2002 14
2001 28
2000 45
1999 60
1998 84
1997 114
1996 152
1995 174
1994 222
1993 319
1992 488
1991 698
1990 895

The latter two were real contenders, but I was really concerned by the trend line. I now feel much better about our ultimate choice.

2009 3
2008 4
2007 7
2006 7
2005 5
2004 4
2003 5

2009 4
2008 7
2007 6
2006 9
2005 12
2004 15
2003 20

2009 1
2008 2
2007 2
2006 4
2005 6
2004 7
2003 11

Lydia is trending upward too, but not TOO common…

The popularity of the female name Lydia Year of birth Rank
2009 118
2008 120
2007 124
2006 130
2005 119
2004 126
2003 127
2002 137
2001 140
2000 149
1999 149
1998 153
1997 160
1996 175
1995 173
1994 188
1993 206
1992 203
1991 214
1990 205

All in all, we are REALLY happy with Lydia’s name; it fits her. At least in part, we were inspired by the name appearing in the New Testament book of Acts, chapter 16: “a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth.”

So far, she’s not on any social networking sites. Here are some people named Lydia Green on LinkedIn.

Mother’s Day 2010

I saw, with my wife and daughter, my mother last month. This is a good thing; she lives in North Carolina, so it is a sometimes thing. The previous time was June 2009, with the Daughter, not my favorite visit, let’s say.

She is doing reasonably well. All her vital signs are good. Her cholesterol is in a good range, and we wonder if she still needs her medications.

She’s losing weight, about 9 or 10 pounds, and she can afford to do so, per the Body Weight Index, but it makes her look a little gaunt to me. She’s a little dehydrated, common among people of her vintage. She was 5’7″ when I was growing up, but she looks about 5’5″ now. It’s strange.

I must say that Carol is a very good mother to Lydia. These are pictures I took on the first day of school back in September. As I probably mentioned, Lydia felt ill-prepared for kindergarten, even after having been in daycare for three years. This was a self-imposed pressure, and Carol handled the situation well.

I hear some children try to pit one parent against another, and perhaps Lydia tried that when she was about four. but we’re old/WISE enough to present a united front on most issues.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Lydia’s mom, Carol’s mom, Rebecca’s mom, Alex’s mom (the latter two would be my sisters) and all the moms out there.

The Lydster (Part 14): “24”

Before she was born, I decided that I was going to keep a journal of my thoughts about Lydia as she was about to enter my life. And before she was born, I did write to her a number of times. But since then, nothing. I got caught up in the busy-ness of life with her. This electronic outlet has allowed me to write about her in a way I was somehow unable to put down before.

I don’t want to write primarily about how well she’s walking or how she says “Uh, oh” when she drops something, though both are quite endearing. I want to talk about how she’s affected me (besides sleep deprivation).


So, naturally, I need to talk about the television series “24”. The two-hour season finale was Monday night; I didn’t see it. I watched the first season intently, and thought the first 13 episodes made up a fine story arc, though the remaining 11 episodes stretched credibility (amnesia, the Perils of Kim Bauer). Still, I was willing to try it a second season, and I watched, though not as regularly. Super Jack Bauer, suffering intense torture did all THAT?

Carol and I discovered she was pregnant in July 2003. When the third season of “24” came around, I just didn’t feel like subjecting myself, and by extension, our unborn child, to such violent vibes. I didn’t see the fourth season, and won’t watch the fifth one when it starts up again in January.

It changed my movie viewing habits, too. Mystic River is a movie that, three years ago, would have gone to see in a heartbeat, but now: a film about an abused child who becomes the accused in the murder of his childhood friend’s teenaged daughter? No, thanks. A few months after Lydia was born, my in-laws in Oneonta watched Lydia while we went to the movies. There were only two choices at that particular theater: Man on Fire with Denzel Washington trying to save Dakota Fanning from being abducted (and FAILING), or Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls. Lindsay won.

(Incidentally, no spoiler alert needed: the information I cited came from the trailers of those films.)


My family was visiting shortly after Lydia was born. They were watching CSI; I was reading the paper. But I couldn’t help but to note that the plot was something like this: a couple kills their own kid because they were afraid the kid would get some debilitating disease or die from a pesticide, or some such, which the kid (as it turns out) was NOT subject to. Oh, YUCK!

I need uplifting or funny or fun or silly. That’s where I am right now. So it will be a LONG while before I see Frank Miller’s Sin City movie, no matter how stylized the violence is.

Getting back to “24”, I found it humorous that not one, but two people I know, who are connoisseurs of the program, Mark McGuire of the (Albany) Times Union -who I bug occasionally, and Fred G. Hembeck (April 8-12, et al.) -who I bug more than occasionally, managed to tape or TiVo “24” this season, then fell weeks behind, only to catch up in marathon sessions. What’s THAT all about? BTW, it was Fred who put my feelings about the show best in his May 24 column: “I mean, I know it’s just a TV show and all, but the always mounting body count can be disturbing at times, especially considering the number of completely innocent people who are so casually slaughtered along the way, y’know?” Yeah, I DO know.

So, happy 14 months, Lydia. I’ve learned a lot about myself through you.


The JEOPARDY! Ultimate Tournament is over. And the winner is..I DON”T KNOW. I’m still a week behind, so PLEASE don’t tell me, don’t ask. I know Jerome is one finalist (and Ken Jennings, of course, is another,) but I haven’t seen the last pair of semi-final games, nor the three-day final. My wife knows the results, so talk with HER about it.

Sweet, Sweet Baby

My daughter is very beautiful. I will show you sometime when I figure out the photo aspect of this blog.

(PLEASE don’t tell me it’s “easy.” I’m a Luddite at heart- nothing mechanical or technological is “easy” for me.)

Anyway, this is not idle parental boasting. The trip to Washington Park just yesterday or a visit to the shopping center seems to confirm this. A woman I know once said that Lydia is the most beautiful baby she’s ever seen— including her own baby! This was, of course, in direct violation of the Law That One’s Own Baby Is ALWAYS the Most Beautiful, passed sometime during the The Peloponnesian Wars.

Of course, I want the best for my daughter, but I also want her to be viewed by her intellect (she’s also very smart) and, as someone once said, “The content of her character.”

We’ve all read how tall, attractive people seem to be treated better, get better jobs, more pay, etc. In that vein (or “vain”, if you prefer), I give you a scary little something forwarded to me recently:
“Are ugly children less loved?
“Do parents take care of their cute children better than ugly ones? Most parents would deny it, but Canadian researchers have found that physical attractiveness makes a big difference in how children are treated, according to a newspaper report.

And on that happy note, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. (And thanks to sister Marcia and niece Alex for taking care of her down in Charlotte, NC.) Also, happy Mother’s Day to Mom Powell, and all the mothers I know. Lydia, who doesn’t have her own blog yet, wants to wish her mommy and grandmas the same.

Out the In Door

Last week, my daughter Lydia had gastroenteritis. I didn’t know what gastroenteritis was, but apparently, it’s been “going around.” I DID know that seeing my 13-month old daughter throw up 11 times in about 10 hours (followed the next day by similar exports from the other end of the digestive tract) was one of the more painful things Carol and I have gone through.

We took her to the doctors twice and the ER once. The best thing about going to the ER was that the pediatric resident said that Carol and I were doing a good job with her, that we were right on top of things regarding her symptoms. This was especially gratifying because as first-time parents, we feel that we’re making it up as we go along.

She’s better now, climbing on EVERYTHING, verbalizing, taking steps. It was the lack of those activities, which made us continue to be concerned, even after the other manifestations were finished. Now we’re back to, “No, Lydia, that plant is not for eating.”

As they say on, “Having a baby changes everything.” Oops, Johnson & Johnson TRADEMARKED that? Hasn’t every adult who has kids said to people who are expecting kids, “Having a baby changes everything” for the last few millennia?

“Having a baby changes everything.” TM, (Johnson & Johnson).
“And blah, blah, blah” © Paul Simon

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