Category Archives: Baby naming

Roses Are Red…

OK, enough hints. I’ll come clean. Several of you did end up guessing the name, but by brother-in-law, Matt, gets credit for being the first to get all of the hints and put them together.

We are naming our daughter Violet. I love that is more old fashioned and not common. I love the image of a small, delicate flower.


I like that it (kind of) has a family tie (there is a Viola in the genealogy). And, honestly, I’m really happy that we found a name that doesn’t end in the long “e” sound (which sounds way too cheerful with our last name—trust me, I live with it).

So, do you want to know how the clues get you there?

  1. The bratty kid from a 38 year old movie is Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I know, I know…it was a book before it was a movie. And the movie was remade a few years ago. But my husband grew up loving the 1971 version of the movie, so that is what he associated the name with.
  2. In the picture, I was wearing a purple shirt with flowers on it. Which reminds me: What the heck is up with the whole “Roses are red, Violets are blue” poem? Violets are generally purple, right? I mean, that’s why they’re called violets. Yeah, yeah, I know. “Roses are red, Violets are purple” wouldn’t work since nothing rhymes with purple. So pick a different flower to put in the rhyme.
  3. A lot of you got that there is a character in Twelfth Night named Viola. I think that Matt and Gay were the only ones that caught on that “viola” is the Latin word for “violet.”
  4. Nobody commented on my last two clues, so I don’t know if anyone got them. The first was the word “incredible.” In the movie The Incredibles, the daughter was named Violet.
  5. In the second sentence of yesterday’s clue, the important part was the word “alias.” People, I’m ashamed to even admit to this one since I think that Ben Affleck is a weenie, but he and Jennifer Garner (who starred in the show Alias) apparently have a daughter named Violet. The association with him may be the only thing the name has going against it for me. I’ll get over it, though.

So, there you go. I’m sure your life feels so much more complete now that you know. I can honestly say that my mental health has improved significantly since we finally decided.

Now, I just have to get my kids on board. Who knew that little boys would have such strong opinions on baby names?


*Between when I wrote this and when I hit the publish button, Sean asked me, “So, did we actually decide on Violet, then? I know we were talking about it, but did we say we were actually going to use it?” Aaaaaaaaargh! See, I told you people. He’s still saying we can use it. Honestly, though, I think he is conspiring to drive me completely out of my fragile mind.



Filed under Baby naming, Just for Fun

Sushi on Ice (and Other Random Bits)

This afternoon, as I was in my car driving to a Cub Scout leader training meeting (more on that later), I was listening to the local news on the radio. They were talking about the death last week of a local high-end seafood restaurant owner while he was taking pictures in Death Valley (how apropos). They mentioned that his public viewing was happening right then—at the restaurant.

OK, people. I’m sure this reveals much more of the inner workings of my mind than I should admit to. That being said…

Have you ever heard of the parties where they serve sushi off of the body of some scantily-clad model? That is where my mind INSTANTLY went. Except the concept is much less appealing (not that the concept is appealing anyhow) when you picture it on an older, dead guy.

Off course, when I called Sean from the car to ask him if he was listening and share this gem from my brain with him, he didn’t hesitate in telling me how messed up I am. Of course, as I pointed out to him, I am a product of my life experiences. I only have so much responsibility for how my brain works. But him? He CHOSE me. So, really, which one of us has the real issues?


In my church, we are given callings to serve in different capacities within the congregation. Up to this point, the entire time I have been writing on this blog I have been working with the 12-18 year old girls. I love working with teenage girls. This wasn’t the first time that I have done it, and I doubt that it will be the last.

Recently, however, I was asked to accept a new calling. This was because, obviously, God has a really wicked sense of humor. I am now a Wolf den leader. That means that the one time a week that I am likely to leave my four boys for any significant period of time, it is to spend time with eight or so other boys. Eight-year-olds. This, my friends, is what you refer to as a growing opportunity. Because goodness knows that these kids don’t need me and my complete lack of experience with scouting to get them through the program. I should have some clue as to what I’m doing when Noah’s old enough for scouts in two years. Who knows how many other peoples’ kids all mess up in the meantime.

Anyhow, tonight I went for some regional training for new leaders. I have a few suggestions for the organizers and teachers of this training:

  1. Three hours for one meeting is expecting a lot of people.
  2. Meetings should never be scheduled to end at 9:30 pm.
  3. If you choose to go ahead and plan a three hour meeting that ends at 9:30 pm then, for the love of all things holy, END ON TIME! Because, by 10:10, I’m just going to be grumpy.

Seriously, even if you put aside the fact that I didn’t have time to eat dinner before I came, had swollen feet, and am just dog-tired by that late, assuming that what you have to say is more important than anything else 20+ people have going on in their lives is just plain rude. Because, honestly? In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, food and sleep come way before knowing which color the summer pack badge is for each age group.


Of course, you all don’t care about that. You just want the last baby name clue, right? Tonight, you actually get two. And, since yesterday’s appealed to the classic literature scholars among us, I’ll steer more towards the popular media this time:
I’m sure my daughter will be incredible. Being her mother won’t mean I’ll need an alias.
And now, I go to bed. Ah…to sleep. Perchance to dream. Most likely, though, to toss and turn and creek and ache.


Filed under A Scary Look into My Mind, Baby naming, Just for Fun, pregnancy

Sewing and Growing

Today, the promise of more heat and humidity finally got to me. I still haven’t bought any maternity shorts since I just can’t justify the idea of $40 for something I’ll wear two months (especially when I can get JEANS for $20). So, I decided to just hack the lower part off of a pair of jeans and make my own shorts.

As I was standing in my room with the pants/shorts on inside out readjusting my pins to make sure that both legs would be the same length, all of my children came in to pester me monitor my progress and ask questions. As I explained what I was doing while trying to keep the baby from grabbing my pins and attempting not to poke myself, Noah took a closer look.

“Mommy, what’s that on your leg???”


I now have a pair of shorts to keep me more comfortable as the weather gets warmer. I also have a six-year-old creeped out by my varicose veins (which have been made visible by said shorts).


Sean got dirt to put in my planter today. That means I need to make a decision. I’d like to put in an ornamental tree (the smaller the better, since it is in front of the house) and plant some flowers around it, but I haven’t been able to decide on what kind. My front-runners right now are a weeping cherry, a lily of the valley tree, or a dogwood. Maybe a Japanese maple if I could find one that isn’t too ridiculously expensive. Thoughts? Anyone?


Along the same vein with plants…

Sean finally agreed to help me put in a garden! We have lived in this house for over five years now, and I have never had a garden. Honestly, the idea intimidates the crap out of me. For the past few years, though, I have wanted to try. He has always come up with different reasons not to do it. This year’s? He tried to tell me that our neighbor (an avid gardener) wouldn’t want us to have a garden so close to her yard.


I told her that. She laughed. Since then, she has been making little comments here and there to him about how great it would be to have a garden in my yard.

This evening, I came out to see Sean talking to the neighbor, Carolyn.

“You said Carolyn was OK with where you want to do your garden, but you should have seen her face when I showed her exactly where!” he said, triumphantly.

I was confused, since I had already shown her exactly where I wanted to do it.

“You didn’t tell her that you wanted to put it back next to her driveway like Paul (the previous owner of our house) did.”

“Um, that’s because I don’t want it there.”

His face fell.

“So where do you want it?”

“I wanted to put it in this BIG, FLAT, OPEN SPOT next to our garage.”

“But that’s right in the middle of the yard!” he protested.

Which, of course, caused Carolyn and I both to laugh at him. Apparently, the back corner of our side yard—a spot where I don’t let the kids play because I can’t see them from any angle inside of the house—is “right in the middle” of our yard. Right.

I pointed this all out to him. I asked him how in the world putting it there could possibly be in his way.

His answer? He has to mow there.

Um, not once it’s tilled up and full of plants!

Anyhow, he has admitted defeat. I have been assigned the tasks of deciding how big to make it and borrowing the tiller (that’s a tough one—walk next door, ask my dad if he could show Sean how to use it). Of course, that means I get to try to plant and tend a garden while I’m all big and waddley. I’ll manage on the sheer determination to prove to him what a good thing a garden will be (I hope).


Before I end, I’ll throw in another baby name clue. But first, I’ll go ahead and say that the last clue didn’t have anything to do with my father-in-law’s brick condo that I was standing in front of in that picture. Ever since Nicole suggested that, though, I’ve been laughing to myself and hoping that I’ll never have any reason to feel like using this for a lullaby to my daughter:


And now, the clue:

Some of my clues may seem like Latin, but you’ll get it by the twelfth night.


Filed under Baby naming, Daily Life, Kids, pregnancy

30 Weeks—Holy Cow! Thirty Weeks!

I’m tired.

OK, I’m pretty much always tired, but we’re reaching a new level here.

When I was seventeen, my then-boyfriend-now-husband dropped me on my back. We were both sitting down at the time, goofing around and wrestling, so he didn’t drop me all that far. But it was far enough. I’ve had lower back problems ever since then (the poor guy still feels guilty every time I suck in air from a spasm). Anyhow, the problems are definitely worse when I’m pregnant. The bigger I get, the more constant the pain. Lately, it had been messing with my sleep a lot.

Now, I’m used to yawning a lot and dragging through my days. But Saturday? As I stood there wondering why a can wouldn’t scan as I was checking myself out at the grocery store (don’t ask me why, but I really prefer to do it myself)? And after several attempts I realized that I was trying to scan it over the conveyor belt instead of the scanner? Yeah, that’s when I knew that I have officially gone brain dead from lack of sleep.

Oh well. I mean, how much worse can it get over the next two months?

Wait. Don’t answer that.

In much more positive and exciting news…


OK, I picked a name. He, as usual, shot it down. A while later, I realized what his issue probably was and asked him if he might try considering the name without allowing a bratty kid from a 38-year-old movie to affect his opinion. It must have worked (well, that or the slight emotional breakdown I had over the whole naming thing around the same time). Anyhow, the next day, he said we could use the name.

I’m just not allowed to ask him about middle names. Because, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, WOMAN, ISN’T ONE ENOUGH FOR NOW? I’m OK with that. Heck, I asked him if he thought we should even give her a middle name or just omit it so she could take our last name as her middle name when she gets married someday.  I now know how people would look at me if I sprouted another head.

So, what name was finally amazing enough to break him down?

I’m not telling.

At least, I’m not telling you yet. I’m slowly starting to believe that he really does mean it and that I get to name her something that I really like. But, well, I just keep waiting for him to go, “Wait! I take it back! I just can’t do it!” Or something along those lines.

Maybe I’ll just sprinkle little clues here and there. See how long it takes you all to figure it out. You know…be totally annoying. You get your first one in this week’s picture:

30 weeks


Filed under Baby naming, pregnancy

Week 28—A Rose By Any Other Name had Darned Well Better Be Cute

This week marks the official start of the third trimester. Yay! At least, I think so.  Pregnancy is a lot like running a very long race. By the time the finish line is in sight, you are tired, sore, and just used up. But, somehow, seeing the end in sight, you can’t resist the urge to sprint because you just want it OVER. And, as grateful and awed as I am about the opportunity I have to experience pregnancy at all, there is no denying that it eventually gets to be a bit much to deal with. And I’m getting to that point. The hormones that relax everything (so it can all spread…blech) have definitely kicked in. As a result, my pelvis now feels like the result of a three-year-old trying to put together a puzzle. You know the way they take pieces that aren’t meant to go together and just POUND THE CRAP OUT OF THEM until they finally attach. Yeah, my legs just aren’t feeling like they should be hooked in where they are, which makes tasks like standing up, rolling over, and walking a real joy.

But, since it has been over three weeks since my last picture, let’s go ahead and do a little comparison:

25 weeks
At 25 weeks

28 weeks 
At 28 weeks

Notice anything different? I mean, other than the fact that my stomach is now straining so hard against the stretchy belly panel of my pants as to create a flat spot where I should round out the most? (Glaringly obvious now that I point it out, huh?)

Yes, I cut my hair. A lot. And, while this picture was taken at the very end of the day after I had taken a nap and flattened a lot of the curls, I actually do love it. It has, however, left me pondering the ways in which pregnancy has changed me over the years.

  1. OK, let’s just get rid of the obvious one first. I will probably never see the inside of a pair of size 4 jeans again (yes, I really was that small before my first pregnancy—sigh).
  2. My hair. Something about pregnancy hormones caused my hair to develop multiple personality disorder. I grew up with straight hair. And, while I still usually wear it that way when my hair is long, I go through a lot of effort with a round brush to accomplish that feat. Once I started having kids, my hair went curly. Or wavy. Or, well, curly in some spots, wavy in others, and still pretty much straight here and there. Which is why I go through all the effort of straightening it when it’s long. But when I wear it short? I can get away with just diffusing it and leaving it curly. Right now, I’m loving that.
  3. My legs. No, not just the restless legs issues. With my last pregnancy, I got some varicose veins. Which wasn’t so horrible since I was due in the dead of winter and they pretty much went away after I delivered. But this time? I’m going to be huge during the height of shorts weather (would anyone like to explain to me why maternity shorts seem to be about twice as expensive as maternity jeans???). And I’m pretty sure that I could find my way through New York City with only the back of my right calf as a navigational tool. Lovely.
  4. My complexion. Honestly, I probably spend more on skin care than clothing (don’t worry—I’m a jeans and t-shirts kind of a girl). There is a reason for that, though. I thought that the complexion issues would all be behind me once I just got past those oh-so-enjoyable teen years. Um, no. As a teenager, I had horrible acne on my back. I couldn’t stand the thought of being seen in a swimsuit. But at least my face was clear. Now? Well, my back wouldn’t keep me out of a swimsuit (the weight and veins, however…). But, oh my gosh people, my face is much more adolescent now than it ever was back then. Thankfully, it seems to be easing up some as I go into the home stretch.

But you know, I’d still do it again. Theoretically. I just have to keep reminding myself of that sometimes as I peruse the compression socks and burn through buckets of concealer.

But you really don’t care about all of that. I’m sure you’re all dying for a name update, right? Because, really, your life won’t be complete until I finally reveal the name we have chosen for this kid.

OK, maybe it’s just my life that won’t function normally until this kid has a name which, sadly, she still does not. Some of the short list names have been thrown out. Another has maybe been added on.  The list of irrational excuses for not using a name, though, seems to be endless. My latest favorite:

Me: What do you think of Paige?

Him: It’s a cute name.

Me: So, would you actually consider it?

Him: I don’t know…I mean, it’s a really cute name. And, you know, what if she isn’t really cute?

He now, of course, denies saying this. Whatever. I was there and I know what I heard. Not to mention there was an entire conversation after that statement that started with me saying something like, “Are you seriously saying you’re afraid our daughter won’t be cute enough to pull off the name Paige???”

Oh well. She’ll end up with one name or another. At this rate, the big question is whether or not she’ll end up with a father.


Filed under Baby naming, Daily Life, pregnancy

Twenty-Three Weeks: It Begins

I think that I have mentioned once or twice before that my personality can sometimes tend towards the, um, obsessive side of the spectrum. Just a little. Sometimes. Or frequently. You pick.

So, a couple of weeks ago I talked about the little gold baby bracelet that I wished I had bought before I knew that I was pregnant. What I didn’t mention was that, a few days later, I made a quick trip into Kohl’s for no other reason than to see if they still carried the bracelet. Because, you know, I just couldn’t let it go. They still had it.

I didn’t buy it, though, because it wasn’t on sale. And, dang it, once I see it for $15, there is no way I’m going to pay $40. I basically told the nice woman behind the jewelry counter as much. She informed me that they were going to be having a BIG SALE this week that would, most likely, drastically effect the price of jewelry. But I didn’t hear that from her. Oh, and that I’d get an even better discount if I used their charge card. Which I don’t have. But my mom does…

So, Friday evening, Mom and I went for a little Big Sale girls’ time:


Mission Accomplished


Of course, we had to see what else they had. Baby girl clothes (on sale!) are soooo dangerous:


I absolutely love the pink and brown combination



Butt ruffles! You just can’t do butt ruffles when you have little boys.



What you don’t see are the adorable little bloomers to go with the dress.
Too cute!


By the time we left, I found myself insisting to my mom that, really, I had only wanted her discount—I wasn’t asking her to buy stuff for me. But it turns out that she was pretty into the baby shopping, too. Thanks, Mom!


So, I know that your week just won’t be complete without a baby naming update (ha!).  Well, after finally getting him to sit down and make a list of about twenty names that he likes, can I just say that:

My husband is so full of crap.

What has brought me to this conclusion? Hmmm…Let’s see…

First, he tells me that Lorelei is out because he couldn’t imagine yelling that out the back door.

Then, he puts Cosette on his list.

He tells me that he is into names that are traditional and ultra-feminine.

Then, he writes down Dakota, Reagan, Bailey, Riley, Taylor, and Peyton.

See??? Totally full of crap.

And, can I just say, Peyton??? I mean, yes, I do think that it is a cute name. But, hello? We already have a son named Eli! Naming our daughter Peyton would just be so wrong! People would assume that we are the crazy football nut family. And, honestly folks, I don’t even know what teams the Manning brothers play on.

You have to think about these things.

So, at this point, we have a four-name “short list”: Adelaide, Audra, Gwyneth, and Angelina. (And I’m not saying which one, but there is one there that I would actively fight against, so we’re closer to a three-name short list.)

Technically, there are two front-runners . Naturally, I lean more towards one, and Sean leans more towards the other. But at least we’ve found some common ground.


Full Bloom

Unlike the flowers, I am (sadly) nowhere even close to being in full bloom.


Filed under Baby naming, Daily Life, pregnancy

Week 22—What’s That About a Glow?

You just about can’t be a pregnant woman without hearing all of the goofy little old wives’ tales about gender prediction. You know: heartbeat speed, belly distribution, rings on hair dangled over the belly, what color Drano turns if you pee in it (who the heck had the idea for that one???)…

And then there is one of my favorite gems: A baby girl sucks all of the beauty out of her mother. So, you know, if you are glowing and radiant, expect a boy. If you’re all haggard and ugly, start buying pink.

A week or so ago, I had spent the day in front of my computer working on my new pet project of learning Joomla. My progress was of the sort where a lot of time was spent with my face plopped in my hands. The most this pose had done for me was, apparently, to wear off my makeup. At one point, I looked up to see Sean staring at me with an odd expression on his face. He got a bit closer, obviously examining me with some amount of confusion.

“Are you breaking out?” he asked.

Um, yeah. Thanks for noticing.

A few days later, I was standing out in the yard talking to my father. At one point, he stopped, looked at me, and asked, “What’s that on your face? Did you get into something?”

When I recounted this exchange to Sean he laughed and asked if I responded by saying, “No, but you sure just did.” He said that, after so many years of raising daughters and being married, my dad should have known better than to make such a rookie mistake. I resisted the urge to remind him that he had displayed his own rookie status quite well just a few days ago–thankyouverymuch.

Hormones have always wreaked havoc on my skin, but this time around—yikes. All I can say is: Thank goodness for years of practice with foundation and concealer.

22 weeks

For those who are wondering, no, the baby is still nowhere near having a name. Tonight, I decided that if I was going to get more active participation from Sean in this process, I was going to have to take a bit of a Goldilocks approach. I didn’t want him going through the one baby name book that I have because it is so limited in what it offers. I knew there was no chance of ever getting him to sit down with the 100,000 name book because it is just too overwhelming (and you just space out after awhile of reading lists of names that you have never heard of).  So, this evening, I bought another book. Hopefully, this one is “just right.”  This book boasts a much more manageable 20,000+ names, has lists based on categories, and is visually appealing. He’s going through it right now. And he’s written down several names.

Then again, I’ve written down several names, too. A lot of good that’s done me.


Filed under Baby naming, pregnancy