The origin of a name

Finally, the answer to the much asked question, “How did you come up with her name?”

It all started with a delirious, giggly, late night conversation between me and Zakk. We were using an app on my iPhone to consider names for our soon to be born daughter and we weren’t taking ourselves very seriously. Zakk suggested the name Pepper. I turned it down. Although I think it’s cute, my friend and former coworker Alex told me I had to pick a name that would be appropriate if she someday became a doctor. He said that I would go to see her at work one day and they would need to page her and so it would have to sound good over the intercom. “Paging Dr. Pepper…” just made me laugh. I couldn’t take a doctor called Dr. Pepper seriously! Zakk and I were both laughing pretty hard at this point (remember I said we were delirious and it was late…). Then Zakk suggested we name her after another of our favorite vegetables, Arugula. Again, I turned him down. No way were we going to name our daughter Arugula! Then he said, “What about Rocket? The British name for Arugula? That would be an awesome name! Rocket Kuzda…I’m going to change my name to Rocket Kuzda someday!” We laughed and laughed and I told him that I couldn’t name our daughter Rocket. I suggested that would be a great nickname for her, but there was no way that would be her legal name. He took to calling her Rocket from then on. And it was cute. I liked it and I liked that he had a special nickname for her.

Fast forward a few weeks to the day of her birth. We were waiting for hours and hours in the tiny room at the hospital for them to take me into the OR so they could try to turn her so her head was down and ready for birth. Again we became delirious and again we were discussing name ideas. We really still had no plan for what to call her. We laughed until we cried at the ridiculous names we were throwing out to each other: Melba (middle name Toast), Merlin (middle name The Wizard), Refugia, and Unique. Like I said, we were delirious! Plus, I hadn’t had anything to eat for almost 20 hours! Through all of this, Zakk kept trying for Rocket and I kept turning him down.

When our baby girl was born, the OR staff asked if we had a name picked out. I told them we only had a nickname. They all loved “Rocket” and thought it would be a great name, which only served to encourage Zakk’s insistence that we make that her legal name.

Over the next 36 hours or so, as we fell completely head-over-heels in love with our daughter, we both recognized that we needed to come up with a name for this amazing creature. Zakk made a proposal. I could pick her first name if he could pick her middle name. I was wary. Of course he would pick Rocket. Was this a good middle name for our sweet girl? He made his case: we had a great memory of our first discussion of it as a name possibility, she did arrive in this world with speed and drama, it’s a nod to his British heritage because it’s what they call Arugula, and it’s just so damn cool. “Plus,” he said, “middle names don’t matter.”

So I agreed to Rocket and then decided her first name would be Colette. It was a name that had long been on my list of possibilities. I love the sound of the name Colette paired with our last name of Kuzda. And I love that it sounds both sweet and distinctive. I don’t know anyone named Colette so I felt she would be able to make her own identity with the fairly uncommon name. Finally, it met Zakk’s request (from before we struck the first name by me/middle name by him deal) that her initials make a cool sound when pronounced (CRK = crook), just as his do (ZAK), mine do (KLK), his sister Emma’s do (EAK), and his sister Cassie’s do (CAK).

Interestingly, we found out after naming her that there is a Saint Colette. According to Wikipedia, “Due to a number of miraculous events claimed during her life, she is venerated as the patron saint of women seeking to conceive, expectant mothers and sick children.” How fitting!

So there you have it. The story of how this darling girl came to be known as Colette Rocket Kuzda.

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Our sweet tiny baby at 2 days old

Back to the grind

I found out today that my employer approved my request to work only one day a week in the office and the equivalent of another day from home. So I’ll be heading back to the office on Wednesdays as of October 2nd. And I have mixed feelings about this. I always planned to return to work and I know in my mind that this is a good thing. It will be good for me to get out of the house and have an identity other than mama. It will be good for us to have the income. And it will be good for Colette and Zakk to spend a day alone together. But my heart doesn’t want to leave her for even one day a week. I don’t want to miss any of her important moments. Heck, I don’t even want to miss her everyday moments or our smiley, giggly, coo sessions. I know I have an ideal situation in so many ways and I am grateful. It will just take some getting used to after having enjoyed the ability to be home with her since she made her way into this world. Would you want to leave this sweet face???

Super Cute Face!

Beach Baby

On Wednesday, Colette and I joined some friends on the Columbia river. We hit 95 degrees here in Portland, which was a record high for the day, but it was comfortable and breezy on the river.

Before we left, Colette modeled both of her swimsuits, which her Uncle Ryan and Aunt Jenn gave her.

Pink Bathing Suit Octosuit

We decided that she should wear the pink one since it fits her perfectly right now and the octosuit seems like it might still be wearable in a few more months.

She really seemed to enjoy laying under the shady trees and watching the light dance through the leaves.


She even napped for a bit, although she did need her pacifier and to be swaddled before she was willing to fall asleep.

Mama is about to dip Colette's toes in the river

What she didn’t like was the water. I never intended to take her swimming, but I was curious how she would react to having her toes dipped in the water.

Oh my! She did not like that!

Well, let me tell you…she made it abundantly clear that she did not like it! Although the water felt perfectly comfortable to me, Colette’s tiny toes found it shockingly cold. She screamed and cried with a fierceness that is usually reserved for things like getting shots or…well, that’s about the only time I’ve heard her cry like that. Luckily, as with the shots, the crying didn’t last long. She calmed down rather quickly once she realized I wasn’t going to subject her to anymore torture. Maybe we’ll try again next summer.

Happy Anniversary

Zakk and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Well, we didn’t actually celebrate it. Yet. We were supposed to go out to dinner while our dear friend Danielle babysat Colette. It would have been our first dinner out alone since her arrival and her first time being taken care of by anyone other than us. And we were all looking forward to it. But then I became ill from food poisoning around 1am on Tuesday and proceeded to spend the next 4 hours unwillingly emptying the contents of my stomach. It was not fun. Although I was no longer feeling ill throughout the day on Tuesday, I was quite weak, probably dehydrated, and simply exhausted from lack of sleep. So we cancelled our dinner plans and will have to reschedule for another time. Now, I could complain about all of this. But it actually made me feel so very grateful. First of all, I am grateful that Colette fell asleep before I became ill and slept until I had stopped vomiting for nearly an hour. It would have been incredibly hard to breastfeed her during those 4 hours as there was hardly a break between bouts of retching. When she did wake up to feed, she was fairly quick about it and then went back to sleep for another 2 hours. Sweet girl. I am also incredibly grateful that Zakk was able to stay home on Tuesday to take care of our baby because I was definitely in no position to do so myself. He is such a good father and I feel very lucky to have him as my husband. Finally, I’m grateful that the worst of the ordeal was over in 4 hours. It could have been much worse. So, although it wasn’t the way I expected to spend my anniversary, it was a good reminder that there is always good in the bad, light in the dark, and you always have something to be grateful for.

A family photo from July 20, 2013 (Rocket was only 3 weeks old!)

A family photo from July 20, 2013
(Rocket was only 3 weeks old!)

Sleeping Babe

Sleeping Babe

If you wish to revisit our wedding festivities (and who wouldn’t!), you can get a snapshot of the day by visiting our photographer’s blog post here:

view all of the professional photos here:

password: kuzda

or watch the amateur video here:

What a wonderful day we had!

Bath Time!

Colette really seems to like being in water, which is a good thing because so do I and I can’t wait to take her swimming someday.

Bath Time

I was a little concerned she might not enjoy it because Zakk doesn’t really like hanging out in water. In fact, he used to refuse to go into the water when we went to the beach in Florida. Luckily for me and Colette, he seems to be getting over his distaste for swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Well, maybe not swimming as much as hanging out. Regardless, her enjoyment of bath time and his recent willingness to get into the water at the beach really make me look forward to our next trip to Florida!

Sunday Picnic

We met up with several friends in the park this afternoon for a lovely picnic. Although it was hard to get a good picture of all the babies together, I did get some pretty funny ones. Enjoy!

L-R: Emmett, Peri, Colette, Elio, Anastasia

L-R: Emmett, Peri, Colette, Elio, Anastasia

Peri gets beat up

Peri gets beat up

Colette socks it to Peri

Colette socks it to Peri

Peri prepares to retaliate

Peri prepares to retaliate

Peri, Colette & Elio

Friends again

Anastasia & Colette

Anastasia & Colette

I even managed to get a photo of the big kids, minus Archer. Sorry buddy.

Felix & Nathaniel

Felix & Nathaniel

But here’s one I stole from Facebook.

Special Delivery!

Special Delivery!

You grow girl!

Colette had her 2-month appointment yesterday. She took her immunizations like a champ and barely cried at all! Thank goodness for that because I was seriously anxious about it and likely to start crying myself if she didn’t calm down so quickly. But she did great!

And now for the numbers:

Weight 12lb.
75th percentile
a 4 lb. 3.5 oz. gain from her 2-week appointment

Length 22.5″
50th percentile
a 1.5″ gain

Head Circumference 38.5cm
between 50th-75th percentile
a 3 cm. gain


Babes in the Park

On Sunday afternoon, Colette and I headed to Cathedral Park to meet up with some friends. Morgan and I met in prenatal yoga when we were just 6 weeks pregnant. We became fast friends and she had her sweet baby girl Peri just two days before I had Colette. It has been wonderful to have a friend going through pregnancy, birth, and parenthood at the same points I am and it is so fun to see our girls together now!


Colette (L) and Peri (R) relaxing in the park


They were so content to lay on the blanket and hang out with each other.


We had a lovely time and are so glad our friends invited us to join them.

This is not from our visit in the park, but I wanted to share a photo of Peri with her awesome parents, Morgan and Bob.

This is not from our visit in the park, but I wanted to share a photo of Peri with her awesome parents, Morgan and Bob.

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