Letter from the Editor October 2011

Jenna Hammond

I never understood what it meant to be filled up with love prior to pregnancy. But when there’s a life blossoming in your belly— someone you already adore unconditionally— a sense of completeness makes your entire being swell with awe and affection. Of course, this wonderful fullness is mere a drop in the bucket regarding the barrage of physical sensations and emotions that come with expecting a child.

I’m uncertain of the many ways that our baby-to-be is affecting my husband Jack. Physically, he’s morphing into a businessman’s version of Rocky with consistent hard-core workouts. (Meanwhile I, former early riser for the gym, get well acquainted with our couch and New York’s frozen yogurt flavors.) Still, though far from mushy feely even before adopting an Iron Man physique, Jack showed his excitement about expecting early on by broaching the topic of baby names. Planner that I am, I tried to play it casual in hearing Jack’s suggestions. I loved them. OK, I loved that my husband agreed with my name preferences for a girl. His monikers for a boy might need tailoring or at least practicing on my part (I admit, I’m falling for one of his favorites). However, I got filled up with love in a new way realizing that the love of my life and I were charged with giving our child the gift of a name.

If you’re expecting a baby or considering expanding your brood, delight in “The Name Game” by Lesley Bolton, author of The Complete Book of Baby Names and 25,001 Best Baby Names (Sourcebooks). The entertaining read guides parents in determining the ideal name for a baby-to-be. Along with explaining the five criterion for a great name, including versatility, sound, popularity, meaning and associations, the article has fun lists like the ten most popular names for boys and girls and coveted gender-neutral names. Alas, even planners unaware of baby’s sex can select a name before baby’s arrival.

Planning something else important, such as a child’s upcoming birthday or a Halloween party? Then flip to “Party Planning” by mother and freelancer Tricia Berwick. Addressing everything from how to involve a kid in organizing a birthday celebration for optimum enjoyment to where to throw the bash and what to do for structure and extras, the article has your clan covered from invitations to thank-you notes. As a bonus, Berwick provides pointers for hosting Halloween fetes complete with festive food, games and gags.

Plus, we’ve got plenty of serious stuff for you to read this October, including articles allowing kids to thrive in school, stay healthy and maintain good behavior. You’ll have to read the magazine cover to cover to see what I mean and keep your family flourishing this fall. As for me, I have to go now to find out if we’re naming a boy or a girl!

Enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond