Monday, November 26, 2012

By Any Other Name would Smell as Sweet....

It's Monday, Listicle day!

This week, there were two options provided by Jessica over at Jessee's Spot.

Option 1:  Share your ten favorite photos on your phone.
Option 2:  Share ten names you considered for your child(ren).

Clearly, those that know me well know that Option 1 is utterly and completely out for me. I'm not a techie person. For years, my family joked my cell phone in 2009, could be a dead ringer for the one used by Zach Morris from Saved the Bell.

I don't have an Iphone.

I only learned to text about 16 months ago...
at the insistence of my parents.

My wish list does not include any technology related items. It's not something that I have any interest.

On the contrary, I am a Name Nerd.

Certifiably obsessed with names, to the point I am regular on a message board devoted to this topic.

I like different, not made up names, and for some reason seem to gravitate to those of Irish/Gaelic roots. Lucky for me, Bryan likes most of what I like, and even suggested we use some Gaelic spellings. I convinced Bry that since we live in the States, using Méadhbh would only be problematic, and so he agreed to go with Maeve. I still do have a softspot for Aoife, Saoirse, & Mairead.  Click for pronunciation.

My love for names has always been strong. I remember coming up with elaborate names for my dolls. Prior to being engaged, Bry and I discussed future names for our kids, and imagine my surprise when I discovered sites like Nameberry, Behind the Name, and Nymbler where like minded name nerds can research and share  opinions.  

I love names, and so this second option is fabulous! 

Of course, I will not be sharing our potential names for the future member of our family, but I will however share my ten favorite guilty pleasures names in no particular order. Names I really love, but honestly could never use for various reasons. 

My Ten Guilty Pleasure Names

1. Summer
Having a last name that begins with the letter S, it really seems that any girls name which begins with the letter S does not pair well. In short, the girl sounds like a porn star or stripper. (Believe it or not I googled porn starts that begin with S and there are a lot!) Not the long term job prospect one hopes for their little pink bundle of joy. 
Summer Sanders does appear to be the exception. 

2. Gemma
I truly love this name. However, again a certain adult industry has taken it as it's own. 
Damn you!

3. Seamus
This boy's name, phonetically spelled "Shay-Mus" looks too close to semen, or at least in the eyes of Bry, and thus it's voided from our name list. 

4. Clementine
Because I love my kid, I could never subject her to a lifetime of "Oh my darling, Oh my darling" choruses echoing her every move. I love it but alas will never use it. 

5. Maximus
Isn't this a cool name? It screams warrior! Gladiator! Solider! Power!
However, again paired with our very German last name it lends itself to feel kind of wrong, almost Nazi inspired. Thus, this name is forever banned from our list. 

6. Dashiell
Another boy's name that I believe sounds very smart, intellegent, and powerful. I think the nickname Dash is fun and cute, and based off my naming patterns, Dashiell fits pretty well. 
However, Bryan disagrees, and only can think of this: 

7. Merida
Yup, the same name as the princess from Brave. 
I know. I know. I know. 
Can't do it, but seriously, doesn't Moira, Maeve, & Merida flow pretty well together? 

8. Millie
I know it's not that different of a name, but I am a fan of formal first names with the option of a nicknames. It falls into the "M" girl name, and even Mo has suggested Millie as a name in the event her future sibling is a little girl. The problem I have with Millie is for me, Millie sounds too cutesy. Some may chose to use it as a stand alone first name, but for me it doesn't work.  I have searched. High and low, I have researched for an acceptable (to me) formal first name where Millie could be used for a nickname, and I've found nothing I like.
Mildred - nope
Millicent - no way
Amelia - too popular
Camille - too stuffy
Camilla - not really my style
Emily - way too popular

9. Fiona
Bry and I are bigger people.
There's potential for our children to follow in our footsteps and be in the taller, athletic (or chubby) category.
Let's be honest here, some kids can be cruel. Based on genetics alone, should we risk it?
Do we really need to set up a daughter with the potential for this comparison?
I think not. 
So Fiona, while lovely, has been cast off to my Guilty Pleasure list. 

10. Grace
Once upon a time, I loved the simplicity of this name. It was lovely, had classic ties, and a beautiful meaning. 

And then I started teaching. 

This name is forever banished to the guilty pleasure list because I know I cannot ever forget my association to this name and the little spitfire attached. 
For the record: Christopher, Nicholas, & Ryan have been set off to similar fates. Maeve, however, got her name after a rather positive association with a Maeve my final year of teaching. I still refer to that student as "The original Maeve". 

I know I am not alone here. Calling all you other name nerds!
What are you guilty pleasure names? 
Are there names that have been ruined for you? 
Feel free to share!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thrice Blessed

I have mentioned that this pregnancy I feel like  all my time is consumed with Moira & Maeve. Their respective busy lives have left me little time to dote on this future member of the family. The guilt comes in waves, often replacing the thought "Oh shit, we're having another baby!" with the "I need to get the Christmas shopping done and wrapped as soon as possible" between play dates, preschool drop off, and story hour at the library.

My mind is all over the place, and I needed something to help. 

Leave it to my good friend Ashley and my sister Jeanna to reel me in and focus for an afternoon!

Three Saturdays ago, they surprised me with a Sprinkle.

Not quite the full on, over the top affair that usually goes with one's baby shower. Instead, a few of my closest friends and family members met at our house and surprised me as I returned from a shopping trip to IKEA. Some delicious food, yummy cake, and good conversation followed.

Baby's First Christmas outfit

The kiddos 

Chocolate chip & Blueberry Velvet cakes

Rudolph hat for newborn photo

The best compliment I received later from a friend was that this shower was the best, mainly because there were no silly games, a few guests of which we all got along, little drama, and really really good food!

I do believe though, however there were a few guests who left with this on the brain. 

Photography courtesy of Ashley Pierce Photography

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


As with most pregnancies, one often has cravings.


This kid just might turn out green, as Avocados have been a staple in my daily diet since week 6. Smashed, cubed, with carrots or sweet potato chips, or yummy in quesadillas, I have not been able to get enough!

As luck would have it, I recently was introduced to the wonderful website called "House Party", and imagine my excitement when searching the various party themes to discover one sponsored by "Avocados from Mexico"!

Eagerly, I submitted my application and to my surprise, I was selected as a party hostess.

Initially, my plan was to host a play date with a number of my friends and their children, where Avocados were the central theme. Unfortunately, between the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, another Nor'easter, and some residual effects from my Sprinkle. (To be blogged about soon!), I postponed the play date.

Rescheduled for this week, unfortunately the number of guests was smaller, however, it left more avocado for me! The four adults and combined 7 children (plus two on the way) enjoyed two kinds of gucamole, avocado, tomato & black bean salad, and delicious mini sandwiches of turkey, bacon, & avocado mayo. I will admit, it was one of the tastiest playdates around!

It was a hit, as the young and older alike had their fill of tasty Avocados, and I won't lie, baby #3 enjoyed every single bit, while hanging out in utero.

Recipe inspired by Bryan
2 avocados, 1 half red onion minced, juice of one half of lime, 1 T cumin, salt & pepper to taste

Recipe Inspiration

Check out my Pinterest Inspiration Board,  HERE because Avocados Truly are Amazing!

This post was in response to my House Party sponsered by Avocados from Mexico. While I received compensation for the purchase of avocados, all opinions, images, and responses are my own. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Learning Curve

I'm here.
Still big as a turkey on Thanksgiving, eagerly anticipating the birth of this next kiddo in under five weeks!

I've been a bit preoccupied, attempting to get my Christmas shopping done, purchasing those things I need for baby, and trying to catch up on my sleep now. Not easy in my current state of hugeness, nor as Mo and now Maeve too, fight me to nap.

With that, I must admit, I must offer thanks to PBS, Sprout, Nick JR, and Disney Junior. Those 26 minutes of uninterrupted sleep I can get while Mo hangs out in bed next to me are bliss.

It's Listicle time! I'm getting back on that train just in time for this week's list suggested by Kerstin over at Auer Life, We're instructed to come up with Ten Things we've learned thus far in 2012. Stasha, our maven de Listicles has become quite the runner girl and her list reflects just that! I will admit, running is something in my head I imagined to be the perfect exercise, but in actuality, every single time I have tried, I have despised it.

As I'm on the cusp of motherhood yet again, I feel that my list should reflect just that.

Ten Things I have Learned about Motherhood in 2012

1. Before I had children, I knew everything. 
Now that I'm a mom twice, nearly thrice over, I realize I hardly know anything. 

2. For a while, I thought I needed to take Moira to a child psychologist, and then in speaking to other parents of four year olds I realized displaying characteristics of multiple personality disorder is the norm. 

3. Potty training is hell, especially poop training. 

4. Anyone that says nap time is overrated, sucks plain and simple and is probably not sleep deprived. 

5. Hearing your child repeat verbatim, "Fuck" in appropriate context does bring an usual amount of pride mixed with horror. It also brings about the realization that she learned it from you and helps curb the cursing habit. 

6. Television is not the devil. 
Caillou just might be. 

7. Never underestimate the power of a bribe. 

8. Sisterhood is amazing!
It reminds me of my own childhood fondly, and makes me grateful that the girls have each other. 

9. It's okay to ask for help,
 to admit defeat, 
to hide in the kitchen or bathroom, 
to need to step away from the chaos, 
or to have days where bedtime cannot come soon enough. 
I will say it's a whole helluva lot easier to deal though when there's the option of drowning one's sorrow in wine, beer, or liquor. Ben & Jerry's doesn't quite offer the same amount of kick.  

10. Having a good partner makes this whole ride that much more enjoyable. 
On that note, thanks Bry for everything and always being able to make me laugh. 

What have you learned this year? 
Link up with Stasha and her Monday Listicles

Thursday, November 8, 2012


When I was pregnant with Moira, I think one could have described me as obsessed. Between the message boards, the baby books, and weekly email reminders, I was absorbed in every little happening, and relaying the information to anyone who would listen.

I was wrapped up in the joy of pregnancy. From the stretch marks to kick counts, and everything in between, that first pregnancy was a most memorable experience.

After discovering I was pregnant, my good friend Sami had a small gift for me. She introduced me to the wonderful world known as the Baby Bargains Book.

Unfamiliar with this book and respective website?
Basically, every item, brand, and style on the market for any or all product related to baby is reviewed both with letter grade and synopsis, and then compiled into book form. Unlike Consumer Reports which offers it's assessments on it's own testing, Baby Bargains relies on input from real people, in addition to outside sources.

Bry became a man neurotic about the registry, scouring the book, updating and changing our online registry for Babies R Us, based on new information he discovered at all hours of the day and night.  I would sneak a peak, wanting to see if things were being purchased and I'd discover items added or missing or changed.

During my pregnancy with Maeve, I felt like I had a nice balance between expectant mama and little more experienced mom. Moira was just under two when I had Maeve, so the entire baby process was still fresh in my mind. She still regularly napped leaving me time to relish being pregnant. I posted on two under two message boards. I worried about the balance of having two so close in age, and obsessed from the buying standpoint over finding the perfect double stroller*.
*I did. The Bumbleride Indie Twin in seagrass green and aqua. 

While I was consumed most of the time with Moira, I still found time to enjoy that pregnancy.

And now here I am, thirty three weeks pregnant with kid #3, and I'm guilty.

Between school, play dates, potty training, holidays, and the like, I have no time.

Already this kid is ignored.

I made a weak attempt at a registry, in between making dinner and officiating a living room brawl over a ukulele. I go to my OB appointments, eagerly waiting to hear the cadence of his or her heartbeat, while dishing out goldfish crackers, fruit bars, and insisting the stirrups and flexible light are not drums and a microphone. I sit hoping to savor the moment he or she moves around my belly, and then must readjust as the two and half year old asks, "Hold me Mama" and takes up the little room I have left in my lap.

I feel guilty because I haven't been consumed with pregnancy.

Apparently this week the kid is the size of a durian.
Courtesy of the Bump

A durian? 
Had to read up on that one, and my brother in law in Taiwan explained, via Facebook, that this funky fruit is popular in Asia and can be compared to creamy smelly cheese in flavor and consistency. 

So kid #3 is about the size of this smelly ass fruit, and I had no idea.

He or she is also doing the following in utero, or at least, this is what the professionals are saying:

your baby at 33 weeks
  • He's keeping his eyes open while awake.
  • He's also starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing.
  • His bones are hardening.
  • And he going through (more) major brain development -- that's one smart baby

Facts courtesy of the Bump. 

Good to know that he or she is almost ready to join us. Maybe I should get a little more prepared? 

Perhaps buy some diapers, pull out the infant car seat, and do some loads of laundry? Maybe I should pack the bag for the hospital? Get a going home outfit. Figure out how to get to the maternity section of the hospital. Things that are kind of important in the scope of birthing a baby. 

Does this make me a bad mom? 

Well, I believe the answer is no, and yes. 

I'm a good mom. 

I honestly believe that. I am a good mom to the two children residing outside of my body. This pregnancy has not kept us from having a life outside our home. We still head out almost daily to places like the zoo, Sesame Place, and trips to the park. My girls lives have not stopped because mommy's put on a few pounds. I move a bit slower, and can't hold them as much, but we're still out and about.  

I will confess, however, that I'm not too sure how I'm measuring up as a mama to be for this new kid? 

Once he or she is here, I know that things will be different. Our lives as we know them will change, and hopefully for the better as this new little one comes. 

However, for now, I'm going to try and find a bit of a balance. This will be our last baby, and so this is my last time being pregnant. Even with the indigestion, frequent trips to the bathroom, and stretchmarks, I will be doing my best to savor it, whenever I have time to that is. 

Family photo from Boo at the Zoo