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Baby Name Game,Clue #7: guilty by association 

Clue #6

Being two (in some cases, former) educators, a lot of our baby name conversations involve shooting down each other’s suggestions due to previous associations.  “We can’t do ___ because I had one of those in class and s/he was always____”.    Even if we had a positive association with the name, often times it was just one student so it felt weird to use a baby name while having a visual image of only one other person who has the same name.

Having a child in preschool also lends an interesting dynamic to these conversations because we can see the names that seem to be trending upward and those names we also try to avoid.  No matter how unique a name is now, if it hits the top 50 in 5 years, no one will notice that you “used it first”.  (silly, but important to me)

So we’ve found the magic formula for naming our babies is to choose perhaps a more common name with a unique nickname.  The nickname needs to sound “on trend” without actually hitting the trend.  Make sense?

Clue #7 : Unlike our other girls’ names, we have previous associations with all 3 names (first, middle, nickname).  

This is a new one for us and it is initially why we didn’t entertain this name in the beginning. Ultimately we kept coming back to it and the associations are spread out enough (and more than one/varied) so we could justify it.

Bonus hint: two of the names have been featured on tv shows and it makes me a little nervous that it will sky rocket their popularity.  On the other hand, it could just make them a little bit more familiar to people who aren’t name enthusiasts, while they fly under the popularity radar for a few more years.  Fingers crossed for the latter!  


Baby Name Game, clue #6:Family Ties 

Clue #5

When it comes to naming our children, we often look first to our combined family trees.  Then we (and that means I) mash them up a little bit and play around with them to come up with something new but still, in my opinion, honoring.  Thankfully, N loves this idea just as much as I do and we have enjoyed telling our girls about the people they were named after and why.

Seeing how I also like vintage names, it helps that family trees often have a rich variety of names from the past.

Clue #6:  this baby will also have a name culled from our family tree

MG’s name honors 3 family members (it helps when two share a name!), Bea’s honors 4 (once again, 2 members share a name and one name is a mashup for the other 2).

This baby didn’t get quite as lucky in the family tree department but her name does honor someone significant to us.

Bonus Hint: although we didn’t necessarily choose it for this reason, one of her names has some Biblical roots

Clue #7

Eight months 

 Eight months today and feeling….well…not great?.?

It seems not a person can pass me by without asking me how I’m feeling, when the baby is coming, or what I’m having.  I don’t mind the attention, of course, but I’m getting tired of hearing myself repeating the same answer after answer.  The last question has incited a lot of enjoyable “mom of 3 girls stories” and I’m ever more excited to be welcomed into that circle.

I’ve hit a wave of nesting energy and I’m sleeping great at night.  I just wish I had the forte to tackle the one project on my list that is driving me the most crazy but seems the most out of reach (right now): cleaning up the yard beds.  I swear I will get a contraction one minute, glance out the window and see a weed the next and my body instantly recoils and says, “nope, not today”.

Admittedly, I have been unreasonably irritable lately (but nothing some vitamin D can’t fix, thank you, Lord, for the change of seasons), I am starting to experience some swelling (never had that in my other two pregnancies), and I have so much Relaxin flowing through my body that if someone were to tap me behind the knees, I think I would drop to the floor.

If you google the signs of early labor (trust me, I have), I’ve experienced pretty much everything on the list except for losing water.  This is the first time I’ve experienced any labor progress early, so I guess I am paying extra attention right now too.  On one hand I feel like my water could break any moment, on the other hand, I feel like it’s the third pregnancy so my body is extra jumpy and she will keep me waiting every single day of this last month.

This is also the first pregnancy where I’ve experienced any sort of Braxton Hicks but as of this past week, now I know why all the pregnant ladies complain about them.  Saturday night I had about three hours of non-painful ones coming every 10 minutes.  Obviously it didn’t amount to anything, and thankfully so because it still is just a bit too early, but I am starting to warm up to the idea of an April baby rather than a Mayby, if need be.

In the killing of time and burn of nesting, here are some projects I’ve made recently:


The girls decided I needed some extra additions in my hospital bag (which is mostly packed but I can’t quite bring myself to finish it yet):

See you in the next 4 weeks, Mayby!  We CAN’T WAIT to meet you -xoxo!



Four more weeks and the anticipation is reaching an all time high.  I’ve run out of project “to-do’s”, but the mailman just dropped off a huge box of fabric and I nearly squealed when I opened the door.

I had an ultrasound last week and although Mayby was head down with my placenta in front, we were able to catch a small glimpse of her face.  The tech printed off three pictures for me: one of her heartbeat, one of her little fingers covering her eyes, and a small capture of her face.  Really all that you can see of her face is the lower part of her nose and her lips, but it is enough.  I catch myself stopping to look at it every time I walk past it in a room.  Each time I examine it, I feel a little rush of love that grows stronger each time.  It is my only link to her right now, but it is enough.

I don’t remember the pregnancy anxiety being this strong with the other two.  I think it’s because five and a half years into motherhood, I’ve come to know so many tragic stories, their circle growing closer and closer into mine.  After she is born, I will worry over her breathing, constantly checking and reassuring at the sound.  But right now it is her kicking that is important and my only indication that she is okay.  Remembering to check for that, trying to keep up with the counts, wondering if I should be concerned when she has a slower day, that’s where the worry grows with the third.

Two of the girls in my MOPS group have had their babies and brought them to our meeting yesterday.  Both weighed around 6 pounds and all I could think was, “that’s probably how big my baby is right now.”

My emotions are extremely and embarrassingly quick at the moment.  I can cue up tears in a second.  Laughter and sorrow are so closely linked right now that they often inappropriately bleed into one another.  Last night at dinner, N was cracking me up with joke after joke, and the girls were joining in on the fun.  I was embarrassed at how much I was laughing and how I couldn’t reign it in, even after the humor should have subsided.  MG looked at me and said, “it looks like you’re crying.”  It was true; I had tears welling up in my eyes from the laughter.  But the way she said it, in a concerned and sensitive way, made me start really crying.  In about three seconds, I was sending her off to kindergarten and missing her presence and I almost had to leave the room for fear of having to explain myself for passionately sobbing.

Bea has been very affectionate lately, wanting to sit on me often and be next to me when possible.  I wonder how much I will be able to indulge her after Mayby’s arrival and that makes me cry a little bit for her.  She’s been the baby for nearly three years and now she is about to be replaced.  God blessed her with an even-keeled personality and I think she will take it in stride.

MG’s playroom is a short flight upstairs from my sewing room.  We can see each other and hear each other during our mutual work time but we’ve grown so comfortable with each other’s presence that we don’t disturb one another.  While I kneel on the floor, cutting my patterns and shuffling pins, she sits in her room, acting out her stories.  All of her stories involve princess characters, but each time the storyline is different.  Some of it is inspired, other parts are from her own imagination.  She also speaks as the narrator, “‘Don’t go that way, Aurora!’, Belle said.”  I pretend that I don’t listen, but I don’t think she minds much yet.

I wish I could sew all afternoon while the girls nap.  Truthfully, I can get a good hour in before my abdominal muscles begin to strain from bending forward so much and my back begins to ache from not sitting in a proper chair.  My stomach feels like an overfull water balloon and I sometimes worry that if I keel forward too suddenly, it will just pop.  N often comes home to me, a slug on the couch, extending my back over pillows in an effort to stretch out the muscles that are carrying all of the weight right now.

Our family is changing again. Four more weeks to capture these parts of it before they are changed for good.  My heart and mind are taking it all in for the very last time.   I feel it, the girls, I think feel it, and as much as we do to prepare for it, and talk about it, we don’t exactly know what we are coming into.  That is both really thrilling and really scary.  But we are ready.


Baby Name Game, Clue #5: All the elements

Clue #4

I can’t believe we are halfway through the clues and I only have 5 more left! If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that I’ve had a few pre-term labor scares starting at the beginning of this month.  Thankfully nothing came out of them other than some thorough check-ups, but this baby has me convinced more than ever that she may not stay in until 40 weeks.  I’m a-OK with that, but ideally she would stay in at least 2 more weeks so she comes out as healthy as possible.

Until then, we wait…

Clue #5

When choosing this name, we stuck to our roots.  We like vintage, classic, and slightly unique.  Each name she has been given  (including the nickname, not including the color name) has one of these elements.

Bonus hint: Not only does the nickname not end in -a as I said last week, but neither the first name or the nickname share a common first letter with anyone else’s name in our family.

Clue #6

Baby Name Game, Clue #4: Old Saint Nickname

Clue #3

The other day, MG came home from school and told some stories on her friends.  She was cracking up because there is a girl in her class named Lillie and ALSO a girl in another class named Lilly.  Whenever they see each other in the hallway, they call each other Silly Lilly.  I thought it was a cute story, but then she continued to say, “Someday, I’ll have another MG in my class and we will do that too!”.  She seemed so hopeful, and yet so naive, that I couldn’t burst her bubble just yet.

The fact is we’ve only met a handful of other MG’s and most of them are white-haired. The only time we met a school-aged one was at a Chick-fil-a in Chattanooga.

For better or worse, we like unique names.  But more so than that, we like to give our girls fairly common or classic full names with a more unique or rare nickname.

Clue #4: Just like her sisters, this baby will be called almost exclusively by her nickname

N and I coincidentally both go by our nicknames and we like the diversity this lends to our girls as well.  Their given names are mostly classic and could read Presidential or CEO, but their nicknames help them wear something cute and frilly while they are young.  If they decide to later go by their legal name or even modify their nickname, then the option is theirs.

Bonus hint: Tired of commonly mixing up our girls’ nicknames, we sought to give this baby a name that DOESN’T end in -a.

Clue #5


You know when you’ve reached the end of a long week and you can finally exhale on the weekend? That’s what last week was; the final push for N’s doctorate class (his final FINAL class is next week!!! {after 9 years of hard work, not including the 4 years of undergrad}), the extra hours he had to put in at work, leaving pregnant me and the girls trying not to grow tired of each other’s company after several days keeping company together in a row, and finally on Friday a labor scare that sent me to the hospital (which keep in mind is an hour drive away) and that I left for within 20 minutes of discovery. (Thankfully baby is doing just fine and there were no signs of labor whatsoever). Phew.
It was the kind of week where we looked forward to going out to dinner on Saturday but both preferred takeout so we didn’t have to actually go out.
We did that day finally tackle some organization projects that cleared up some much needed space in the house and perhaps may be the very thing to satisfy the little nesting bug that’s been biting me lately. The entire drive to the hospital (referenced above), I kept thinking, if this baby is going to come now (or I’m on bedrest until she does), I’m okay with that. Sure there were a few things left undone (and wet laundry in the machine, meat thawing for dinner, and two little girls I was making plans for on the way down), but I felt totally peaceful about the timing. And that was strangely reassuring.

Of course, anytime in May is most preferable, both for her health and mine.  It will be good for me to have the next month to mentally prepare for labor, have N wrap up some even more loose ends at work, and get through flu season (I really want the girls to be able to visit at the hospital).
We’ve got six or so weeks left, Lord willing, maybe a little less, maybe a little more. Things are starting to wrap up, take shape, order themselves nicely. I’m ready, but I’m not ready. But I’m ready.

(so is this belly)


Baby Name Game Clue #3: It’s a Girl

With both N and me coming from educational backgrounds, we like and appreciate names that convey gender right off the bat.

That being said, I do realize we are bucking the trend a little bit in this; gender neutral names are very hot right now and names are increasingly becoming even more gender neutral (who would have thought James would be the next hot girl name??).

Clue #3: both her first and middle names will be very feminine

I can’t think of a time in history when either of these names were given to males, (unless you include those strange times back a hundred years ago when 4 males were named Mary and 6 females were named Joseph, inexplicably).  That being said, you never know when the next Caitlyn is going to be the new Jacob.

Bonus hint: we almost changed our traditionally feminine history with one of our vetoed choices: it was given to males more so than females in the span of history.  


Baby Name Game Clue #2: a rose by any other name 

We are on vacation and typing posts on my phone is both stressful (I’ve had many a draft “disappear”) and I hate the flow (it just doesn’t appear the same way on my phone as it does on the computer).  But, I want to stay on track with the clues so I’ll go ahead and give the second one today.  I just don’t have a very good story to go along with it.

Clue #2: her third name will be a color name 

I’m sure you will recall, if you’ve been around for my other girls’ given names, that we like to use a color name as a placeholder in the third position.  We do this because we like creative names but we don’t have the gumption to use them as first names; plus the use of color names is a nod to my artistic background as well as N’s art appreciation.  We like that all of our children will have this trait in common too.

I can count on my hand the number of times I actually have to write the girls’ second middle name on a document or form so they are incredibly underused, and perhaps a bit indulgent on our part, but we enjoy the common, colored thread running through our vein of names.

The bonus hint I will give you this time is that we searched high and low to find a name that isn’t in the same color family as the other two.  MG has Veridian (which is a blue-green but considered in the green family) and Bea has Aubergine which is an eggplant purple.

I wanted this baby to have a color that wasn’t either a green or purple. The problem being that so many of the names I loved fall into these two camps: Ivy, Iris, Wisteria, Violet, Chartreuse, etc.  BUT, I did finally find one that fit the above categories and that we both love the sound of with our other two names.

Stay tuned to find out next week more info about the format of her name ☺️


Clue #3

Lettuce Have a Baby 

Today marks 7 months, or just over 32 weeks.  Now that we are in the single digits for weeks remaining, time is just flying!

The baby is the size of a head of lettuce (but it went from a butternut squash, to a coconut, to a lettuce so not sure what that’s about).  She weighs four pounds and has almost reached the length she’ll be when we meet her.   So basically from here on out, she just fattens up and gets ready for birth. (Sounds familiar 😏)

Speaking of fattening up, I am feeling so large and maxed out.  My skin feels tight and stretched to impossible proportions.  I’m just not sure how (or where!) I’m going to continue to grow for two more months.  At the same time, the thought of bringing home a newborn right now is a little frightening, so thinking about having two more months to prepare for that feels necessary.

Physically speaking, I’ve been sewing a few more items and buying a few little things here and there to make this birth special.  I’ve washed and prepped all of the newborn clothes and they’re all hanging up in her closet.  I don’t think I will do very much to the already existing nursery, except kick Bea out at some point-ha!

Last time I wrote that I thought she may be transverse, but I’m pretty sure I felt her move that very same day to head down and I would bet that she is still there now.  The trick is to keep her that way and also for her not to be sunny side up like MG, because back labor is for the birds. (so for whomever prayed for her to move head down last time, can you keep up your prayers for me??)

My bladder feels like it has a bowling ball on it and my stomach, cramped in place, has lost it’s voracious appetite of the early days.  I can never get enough water, however, and it must be ice, ice cold.  This baby is so high up that I have no waist left whatsoever (speaking of bowling balls….).  I hate bending over and will avoid it at all costs if possible.  Thankfully my girls, who naturally are a lot closer to the ground, are willing to retrieve dropped items for me, saving me the agony whenever possible. My skin is so veiny, it is almost purple, and a nurse confirmed that “I’m a bleeder” after giving me a shot in the arm.  Basically I’m a walking pregnancy ad.

I’m still sleeping well and praying off insomnia for now.  I’m starting to get a little more energy back in the afternoons but a busy day really wipes me out more so than ever.

Mentally, my preparation has been a bit off.  I haven’t given much thought to labor or even very much about the logistics of getting the girls taken care of while traveling the hour to the hospital.  I think this is mostly because I know I can’t control either of those things so I find it easier not to overthink them.

I have been feeling a lot of stress this month, especially, and I don’t know if it’s coming from something external or just an off-shoot of the aforementioned attempt at not being stressed.  With MG, I was blissfully excited and a little naive; with Bea, I feared labor and delivery, but this stress feels different than both of those feelings.  Sometimes at the end of the day, my stomach muscles feel tight, hard and achey, almost as if I’m carrying the stress there.

My Sunday School teacher (Mr. Jay Kesler, for those of you from TU or evangelical parents in the 90’s-ha!) gave me an image I’ve been meditating on this week.  He said he was recently visiting a good friend who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.  This friend was having a moment of clarity and said to Jay, “My mind isn’t right these days.  But you know that painting that hangs in the church of Jesus with the lamb?  I am the lamb, Jay. He is carrying me” 

I’ve seen this painting, or some form of it, probably 100’s of times in my life.  It is so background to my visual that it never really meant anything to me or really even registered with me.  But as I thought about the little lamb being carried by Jesus, it instantly brought me peace.  It also reminded me of this verse, one that has always meant something to me with each pregnancy, “He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” Isa 40:11

I am meeting with my doula in a few weeks so I will have to start giving some more thought to labor, but after I hope to compile some other verses that have helped me through labor as well as my playlist for birth (#hippie).  My plan is to share them on here when I do and also on my @051816mayby account as well.


P.S. here is my 30 week update with Bea

and here is my 32 week update with her.  Funny how similar the feelings are to last time at this point.


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