Month: March 2013

Happy Easter!


I love that Easter always seems to signal the start of Spring.  The flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, everything is starting to green up.  Another tangible reminder that Jesus Christ has conquered Death and given us new life.


We’ve spent the last 6 weeks in Lenten season preparing for this day.  On Thursday night, our church had a Maundy Thursday service with communion.  This morning we attended our Easter service and then had family over for a big barbeque lunch.  N has the rest of the week off and we can’t wait to enjoy it as a family.



(at least that big belly’s good for something, right, MG?)


MG understands very little about Easter this year, but one thing she was sure about is that she wanted to hunt eggs outside.

{a little video for the g-parents}


The more Mama I get, the more I appreciate this very special holiday.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying to take away our sins and offer us eternal life. 

(Also, a very special Happy Birthday to Aunt M! )
{we hope you got a peep cake this year}

Baby Name Game: Clue #3

Last week, we shared that Mayby’s name will have 3 parts and the third part will be  a color name.

The next few clues will focus on the first two names.

Clue #3

It’s a girl!

Traditionally, the remaining two names have always been girl names and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

When Mayby goes to school, the roster should immediately alert the teacher that she is a female. (and here is a bonus clue: one of Mayby’s names can be turned into a common male name with the addition/subtraction of a few letters…much like Stephan/Stephanie.  The other names cannot)

Overall, Mayby’s name will  lean more frilly, romantic, and feminine and less sporty, ambitious, or daring.

Tune in next week to find out which decade has been the most favorable to her name,

clue #4

Baby Name Game: Clue #2

Like I said last time, I have kept many lists of potential names throughout the years. Here is a look back at some of the names to have crossed my list (and off of it too):

5-6 years old: As a child, I loved baby dolls (no surprise there, MG).  I had three “My Child Dolls” which were a big deal for a while and they were named:

Emily (copied directly, and I mean directly after my cousin’s), Mallory, and Lucy

Then came Cabbage Patch dolls and it felt wrong to name them anything other then what their birth certificates christened them.  Mine were:

Sherry (ironically), Yolanda, Dustin (a name which, no offense, my mom abhors and has made me swear up and down that I would never name a son that.  Also ironic.)

7-9 years: I received one of my deepest desires–a doll that looked and felt like a real baby.  I blessed her as

Ruth Jane

had she been a boy? Peter.  I thought long and hard about those names and I remember them feeling “just right”.

9-11 years: I went through a (weird?) French phase and was really into having triplet sets of kids with similar names:

Collette, Babbette, Suzette

12-14 years: And then middle school came and my list became decidedly American

Kimberlie, Jacqueline, Kori/Korinne (Korinne was one of the first names that I ever truly fell in love with.  No idea what the inspiration was behind it, but I still smile extra big every time I meet a living one), Joshua, Tommy, Jason

15-16 years: Then I took Spanish class and (<<squeal>>) we got to pick our own names that the teacher would call us by every single day!!!  I carefully poured over the list of Spanish monikers and chose after much consideration


Still love it (especially with the “f”, as opposed to the “ph”).  Too bad about 7 years later it exploded in popularity.

Senior year, I made the leap from Sofia to


as Aurora from Sleeping Beauty had been a favorite since childhood.  (But not sure it exactly rolls of the Spanish tongue)

18 years: In high school, my favorite names began to sound a bit more preppy.  My “Baby Think It Over” in Child Development Class was thoughtfully named

Peyton Reed (boy) (long before “Peyton” became a unisex name)

College: My names swung a bit hippy

Willow, Sierra (another name that I truly, truly loved but has since been ruined), Mara, Malachi, Jonah, Cohen

Early Marriage: I put N through the gamut of names. I loved creative and unique names from place names and nouns to the Old Southern namesake names.   Because these names were all wildcards (for me), they didn’t last long on my list, but I had fun dreaming them up:

Mercedes, Stila, Hartley, Arden, Luna,

Gunner, Arlo, Emmett

N, the ever conservative, probably wouldn’t have gone for them anyway; but one phase we did go through together was a color phase.  We thought it would be fun if we had twins to name them matching color names.

That phase didn’t last, but our inspiration did.

Clue #2:

MAYBY’s third name will be the name of a color.  Just like MG’s.  This allows us to add a little unconventional flair to her name that really won’t be present in any documents other than her birth certificate and SS card.  Because of this reason alone, I debated continuing with the trend of a second middle name, but Daddy (ever the second-child-advocate) insisted.  And I’m glad that he did.  I just didn’t want to make the decision all by myself.

Considering MG’s color name is a name that you may not have heard before (unless you are an oil painter or Pantone color wheel enthusiast), you can probably (safely) bet that this baby’s will be something other than Scarlett, Violet, Amber, et. al.  But I’ve said too much already 🙂

More about her first two (and more commonly used) names next Friday,

clue #3

Thoughts Lately

We met with our doula on Monday night for a little refresher course……and things are suddenly starting to feel very real.


We mostly talked about my fears, my longings, my desires, and things I want to do differently with this birth.  She reminded me that I need to leave my feelings about MG’s birth with her birth and not carry them into this birth.  Different child, different pregnancy, different birth.  It is so obvious, but a lesson I am sure I will be learning many times over.

Many have asked me if I am considering a natural birth for this baby.  My simple  answer to that is “yes”.  But this time I think it looks just a little different.

Last time it was all about proving myself.  To others, to my doctor, to my baby, and (mostly) to myself that I could do it.  I didn’t know what I was doing, but I sure knew what I wanted.

But let’s just say “I’ve been there, done that” and don’t really care about winning the award anymore.  This time it is more about the experience.


(have you ever seen a baby being carried so high?  I can’t even wear maternity pants because they won’t stay up.  I have to buy regular pants a few sizes too big so they will button around my lower what’s-left-of-my- waist)

I’m sure there is a book somewhere out there about this, but I definitely see myself as having a sensationalist type of personality.  In all experiences, from ordinary to uncommon, I seek to get the most out of them I possibly can. For example, I rarely eat a meal that I walk away from disappointed.  Simply because it is so important to me, I make sure to add in things (or get dessert :)) so that in the end I am satisfied; if only because I can say, “well that was an enjoyable experience”. When I run errands, I try to think of a newer, prettier route to take that will make the routine trip more enjoyable.  And I don’t just clean my house, I add in my favorite playlist + cleaning products that smell amazing + maybe a new tip or technique to try.

I often find myself manipulating experiences to make them tangible, fulfilling, and ultimately satisfactory.

Maybe that was the reason I considered a natural birth in the first place.  I want to sense all of it. I want to feel my body working as it was designed.  I want to feel all of the mamas who have gone before me and done exactly what I am doing to be whispering in my ear, “you can do this!  You were made for this moment!” I want to have an experience that satisfies all of my senses.

I’ve picked out Scriptures I want read during the transitional stage.  I’m working on a playlist that reminds me of this pregnancy.  I want the smells and feelings and emotions in the room to always stick with me.  Yes, the pain is a part of it, but at the end of the day, I want to wring every last drop out of it and know that I experienced it all.

You only get to do this a set number of times in your life, afterall, and I want to walk away with (as much as it is in my control) no regrets.

*That is my deepest desire, but I do know that birthing is just another part of life that as much as you can plan, you cannot control.  So we will plan for what we want and take what we get.  And hopefully,  we will all walk away from this experience wiser, stronger, and better people for it*


P.S. I wrote this post mostly to explain why I want a natural birth and to show how it aligns with my god-given inclinations and personality.  But in no way do I condone others for choosing different methods or for wanting a different experience.  One thing I think we can all agree on: no matter the method of arrival, every single birth is a beautiful and miraculous experience that requires the greatest amount of strength , beauty, and love to come to fulfillment.  XO

Baby Name Game: Clue #1

*In case you missed it, I posted a Baby Name Game: Intro yesterday and you should probably read that first*

My love for names reaches all the way back to when I was a little girl as I would keep lists of potential names for all of my future children (back then, I wanted at least a dozen because that meant more naming possibilities :)).  My list has grown and shrunk, been crossed through and thought over many times since then.  But probably THE MOST important thing to me is finding a baby name that I have loved for longer than a few months.  Knowing how impulsive I can be (and more importantly, how often I change my mind!), I want to make sure it is a name that has lasting value for us and not just a crazy fling that we later regret (ahem,  Rainbow Aurora*).

(*latest celebrity name to come across my newsfeed)

While I mentioned last time that I love hearing other people’s choices for their babies, it is incredibly difficult for me to truly name my own.  Whenever I hear my friends choices, I usually think, “Wow–that is a perfect baby name for them, but it definitely won’t work for us.”  So on top of wanting to find a name that we like for a reasonable amount of time; combined with a husband who has absolutely no suggestions, just vetoes (but really, I’m okay with that); and a wife (i.e. me) that thinks way too much about baby names and could talk about them for days; coupled with the pressure of finding the perfect gem in a sea of names; well you can see this is a  role that I take none too lightly :).

Understandably, Mayby’s name has been in the works for a few years.

When MG was born, we kept her name completely quiet until her birthday and had a few potentials on standby, just in case.  I mean, what if she didn’t look like an MG?  But since then, we’ve scrapped those second and third place names (and really, how can you give another child your second place name :)?) and found some new inspiration.

When MG was about 4 months old I had a burning desire to officially name her siblings.  With no potential names on our short list and the possibility of more children in the future, I wanted to find something to fall in love with for a few years before we had to think about it again.  And that’s when we came up with Mayby’s name.

Naming subsequent children is much, much harder than naming the first.  (parents, am I right?)  You have to find a name that not only works well with your first child’s name, but that you love just as much too.  Add to that: must work well with your last name, must have a good standing with Google, must not sound too similar or too different when said with eldest child’s name,  must have strong initials (and monogramming ability, of course), and must take into consideration room for future children (if you so desire)

Whew, talk about stress.

But after all of that, we found her name.  Mama suggested it, Daddy loved it (so much so, he said, “that’s the one!” and began calling our future daughter that before we were even pregnant.  This was such a rarity that I knew it was the one.)

One the day of our gender ultrasound, after hearing those beautiful words, “Well I think you can expect another little girl!”, we finalized it.  We carefully poured over the spelling, questioned a few potential changes, and then said it aloud over and over.  And that was it.  Her name was set.  (and shortly thereafter, MG picked up on it so there was no turning back even if we wanted too :))

So, without further ado, the first clue is:

MAYBY will have 3 names.

As in a first, two middle and a last.  ( I know, how very royal couple of us).  This is keeping in the tradition of  Daddy,’s Mama’s, and MG’s names.  We all have two middle names.

To read further how these names will be arranged, join us next Friday,

clue #2

The Baby Name Game: Intro

If you know me well, you know that I have a thing for baby names.  I have strong opinions about what people should/should not name their child.  Name a celebrity and I can tell you the name of their children (I have to keep current on what names are trending these days :)).  And you better believe one of the first things I did when I visited MG’s preschool was sneak a peak at a list of all the students.  (mostly because I wanted to make sure Mayby’s wasn’t springing up everywhere but also because I wanted to get an image of what MG’s friends and classmates would look like.)

One of my very favorite things about being in this season of life is having so many pregnant friends.  I love the nine months of anticipation, the changes that we laugh about going on in our bodies, and most of all, I love hearing the names that my friends choose.  When I hear the chosen name, whether it be 4.5 months in, or on the day of their baby’s birth, it affects me.  I think about it, I roll it around on my tongue, I make a mental image of what that child will look like.  Hearing the name that will be said for the rest of their life is nothing less than an earth-stopping moment for me.

And that’s why we like to keep our baby names secret.  I revel in that very dramatic moment of the all important name reveal on the day of their birth.

All that being said, I’ve decided that I’m feeling brave enough to let you in on a few clues to our baby’s name. From here on out there will be one clue posted every Friday (fingers crossed) until she’s born (starting tomorrow)

The purpose of the clues is NOT that you will be able to guess her name, but just that you can have a hint about what to expect (and if you do happen to guess her name, we still won’t tell you :)), to build some excitement/intrigue, and just like Big Sister’s, Mayby’s name has some backstory behind it.  So the more we explain now, the less we will have to explain later.  Make sense?

If you want a real clue to guessing her name, simply mention the following words to MG: “sister”, “tummy”, “baby coming”, “girl”, “belly”, etc.  She has picked up on the baby’s name and has been freely airing it for about the last ten weeks (not that you’d be able to understand her), but it’s made for a lot of awkward conversation as people say, “what is she saying”?  And we either play dumb or move on while she continues to cock her head and say, “Mayby, Mayby, Mayby, Mayby” (like don’t you understand??).  Endearing and funny at the same time.

So there ya go.

Clue #1 coming your way on Friday (tomorrow).

clue #1


So you might not enjoy this post as much unless you are related to me (hi, Granny!) but I wanted to capture some of my favorite things about my eldest because time is fleeting and things I love about her one day are quickly being replaced by something new the next.

-she has started singing now (on her own) and by request.  Her favorite songs are mostly nursery rhymes (twinkle, twinkle, rockabye baby, monkeys on the bed) and songs with motion (hokey pokey, ring around the rosie–even better if she gets to make a dramatic “fall” at the end).  Her voice is so sweet and pure.  She also loves to request music and ever since Christmas she will say, “Uncle sing!” because we have a CD of Uncle J singing Christmas music.

-she loves to count to 10 every time she sees a number (on the elevator, putting away blocks, etc.)  The best part is that each number gets increasingly high pitched.  If she starts off high to begin with–whoa–ten reaches octaves I rarely hear.

-the other night I wasn’t feeling well (Mayby) and didn’t make it down to dinner.  Daddy must have told her why/where I was and when I came down, she ran over to me and pointed to my stomach.  “Mommy tummy hurt?” And then she proceeded to kiss it over and over.  The best medicine in the world.

-if she wants to ask you a question, or rather, if she is imitating you asking her a question (like we are playing in her kitchen and she wants to know if I want a snack) she will first try to get your attention by getting in your line of vision and making eye contact.  Then in a very small, very high pitched voice, she will ask, “Nack?”.  I dare you to refuse a request like that 🙂

-she now remembers elements about her day so when Daddy quizzes her on it when he comes home from work, we both get to enjoy her take on it.   I do have to say, talking to her is like talking to a brain injury victim.  Sometimes she skips way back in time and adds in those details.   Other times she focuses on the same thing over and over for days.  You can tell that her brain is still processing and making connections with her surroundings.

-some days still see a “nap strike” in the house, but I love peeking in on her to see what’s keeping her awake.  Last week, baby Stella was eating my birthday cake, and later she was scolding her dog for getting into “the balls”.

-she can recite book lines by memory now.  Some of her favorites being the Sandra Boyton rhyming books.  “Hey, Wake up!” is her current favorite and she loves to say, “broccoli stew—eww!”  Her memory really impresses me, maybe because I’ve underestimated all she’s been paying attention to these years.

-she still becomes very enthusiastic over little things, but now she wants to make sure we join in with that excitement.  Big inhale, “Look, Mommy, LOOK…BLUE TRUCK!!”  Along those lines, trash truck Tuesdays are a highlight around here and it doesn’t matter what we are doing…as soon as she hears those squeaky brakes, we drop everything to go watch.


-she has become quite the opinionated dresser.  We almost always let her pick: her shoes, socks, underwear, and jammies with input on her outfit sometimes too.  But she also loves to help us pick out OUR clothes with a strong gravitation to pink, orange, and purple things.


And finally, a small guide in translation:

-“pem-mase”: excuse me. No idea why this one sounds so far from the original, but very cute.

-“help me”: can I help?  One of my personal faves.

-“big girl, uh BIG GIRL”: the first greeting given to anyone who acknowledges her. What can I say, she’s a proud one!

-“bun-in”: bunny.  AKA the bunny she received for dropping her paci.

-“NO assa-dents, NO ASSA-DENTS” = no accidents (potty training).  I try to get her to say it often simply because it makes me laugh.


Keep the MGisms coming, girl.  We love you!


My Butternut Squash

This week Mayby is the size of a Butternut squash.

IMG_0324 copy

(My sweet and amazingly talented photographer friend, Kimmy, took these photos when we were eating dinner at her house one night.  My favorite thing about them is that they were taken in her backyard and truly capture the beauty of where we live in the last throes of winter.)

IMG_0329 copy

Well I am 30 weeks and that means a few things: bi-weekly doctor appointments; a terrible, uncontrollable urge to nest; waning energy; a growing and rather cumbersome belly; a bladder that will never be quiet; and that the countdown has officially begun!  10, 9, 8….each week that passes brings us closer and closer to meeting her.

It also means that starting next week, I will begin revealing some clues to her top-secret name!  But more on that later…

For all of you who so kindly ask me on a regular basis, I am proud to report that as far as nausea goes, I am feeling GREAT!  I have been for about the last 4 weeks.  Maybe my body has finally adjusted to this whole pregnancy thing? *update: so I wrote this PRIOR to last night when I came down with a case of full-blown first trimester nausea which I still haven’t kicked.  Verdict’s out to whether it is a fluke or will be sticking around till the end.  Wah Wah.*

It does, however, like to remind me of how large I am getting by giving me roaring joint pain at the end of the day, especially in my hips and lower back.  I guess they are stretching out and easing into preparation for what’s to come.

Sleep has still been good to me.  Other than catching myself trying to sleep on my back (bad) and stomach (worse), I am only waking a few times a night and then able to go right back to sleep.  As far as dreams?  I could write a book on their inspiration alone.  Most likely it would be a dystopian novel with a hastily concocted, cliffhanger ending.  No idea what’s fueling them.

There’s a song by Marc Broussard called “Lonely Night in Georgia.”  The lyrics speak of a man coming home to his wife after a long  journey and there’s a line that says, “Now my senses are heightened by the last hundred miles.”  I feel that.  My senses have been heightened.  My emotions are quick.  My heart is holding onto things ever tightly.  My feelings are sensitive.  My eyes and ears and hands are noticing the smallest of details.

It’s as if it is saying: “Your life is about to transform.  Notice this, remember this moment, savor this time.  It won’t ever be like this again.  Soon you will be changed.”

It makes me laugh and it makes me cry.  Both sometimes together.  Tis the life of the pregnant mama!


Oh we are waiting on you, Baby Girl. Two more months until you are ours!

Surviving Mamaland: Consignment Sales (part ii)

Here is my first post about consignment sales.  And my second.


One of my absolute favorite things to do every spring and fall is shop the baby consignments.   I started going to these back when MG was just a poppyseed in my belly and I’m still going strong.  I first heard about them when searching on Craigslist to find things like “baby bjorn” and started seeing them advertised.

Back in those days, I furnished much of MG’s wardrobe and found amazing deals on many baby essentials.  But what I didn’t know then is that there is a whole underground network of pre-sale passes that are such a hot commodity, you will find yourself meeting friends at a shady corner of a local gas station to exchange passes through the window (totally not at all like a drug deal).

Anyway, I got in totally legit  the night before the sale opened to the public during one  of the prearranged time slots.  Now you definitely don’t have to arrive at a presale time to get good stuff, but it is my favorite way to play.  I love the adrenaline of the long entry line, the frenzy of all the hormonal pregnant women, and the mad dash throughout all corners of the gym in search of the best deal on that one item on your list.

I have been very pleased that MG has adored all of the toys I have purchased at these things (still going strong with the singing teapot, pug purse, shopping cart, etc.)  and I’ve loved the discounted equipment and most especially the clothes.

This year, I walked away with: a Bjorn papasan lounger,


a twilight turtle (lights up and shines stars on the ceiling)


brand new tiny diners mat ($2) {parents, do you own these?  We have one and love it for eating out}! ,

a pottery barn brand boppy newborn head rest,


and a leapfrog lap game + a few other electronic toys for car trips.

In the clothes department, I scored big in dresses for MG. (sidenote: moms of girls, don’t you just love dresses?  They fit through several seasons/sizes.  And now that MG is no longer wearing diapers, she’s having a hard time keeping her 24mo. pants up around her waist but they are getting too short around the ankles.  That means lots of dresses for us!)


Nearly all of my takeaway included brand names like Mini Boden, Gap, and, Ralph Lauren.  I passed on a few Matilda Jane, tea,  and Mudpie that either weren’t the right size or price (fingers crossed, they’ll still be there on Saturday 1/2 price).

 My favorite being this smocked number which I definitely paid the most for ($10), but up here, these are few and far between…so you have to get while the gettin’s good.


She also got shoes, sandals and stride rite sneakers for this summer.


(her faves)

Mayby didn’t get too much but a few zippered sleepers in sizes we’re lacking and one Gymboree romper with matching hat and shoes (couldn’t resist).


Finally, I scored big on some big bows for both girls that only cost me $2.


 Al in all I spent just over $100 for everything. (which is my normal takeaway for these sales)

Another consignment sale victory for the books!

This Winter

We’ve seen a lot of indoor time.


Usually I like to fill our time with  field trips and play dates, new experiences and old familiar ones.  But both the setting (potty training), weather (yuck), and all of the illness going around (double yuck) has kept us at home and at bay.

I thought I would hate it.

But I don’t.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our relaxed change of pace and I think MG has too.

Some of the ways we’ve filled our time:

rice play: There’s no denying this is a messy one, but worth it (IMO) for an hour of play time.  We scoop, dump, and pour it and take turn hiding things in it (like small animals).  If  you’re a texture person, like myself, it is almost a form of therapy



water play: MG would happily play at the sink for an hour or more.  I turn the water on a low trickle and load her up with pots, cups, serving spoons, and more.  She loves to  “cook” at the same time I am.



-imaginary play: cooking, kitchen, dolls, and cleaning.  She has “helped” me cook dinner (adding ingredients, stirring pots, setting the table), and clean.  When I grab my dust rag, she asks for one too and we happily wipe down surfaces together.

(She was really excited because she had just drawn a “snake” on the wood with the wet rag.  Totally picture-commerable-worthy)


All of this help around the house has led to much more imaginative play with her own kitchen and “children” to care for. I love to see her imitation and her imagination at work.

-art: dot markers, regular markers, stickers, and crayons.  They have all been at request this month and she is starting to show a real interest in drawing pictures!  (last night she drew a “dolphin” for me :))


turning things that aren’t toys into toys: (and bringing out old ones)



My crafty cousin gave us these paper blocks-turned-picture puzzle a few years ago.  They have always set out as decoration, but I decided that MG was old enough to gently play with them.  Never mind she was several sets of blocks, because these were new and different, they totally excited her.



After building several towers, she began sorting them in different containers.


You can’t say that she doesn’t have somewhat of a perfectionistic gene hiding in there!

Along those lines, I also have some toys on rotation that stay hidden for days like these.   Every time they come out they are always a hit because they are like new!

And finally, we can’t leave out our stand-by friend: Play-doh



We’ve also had a few nice days in between the February ones so we’ve been able to get out for a few walks and even a few play ground visits here and there.

And the best news of all??  Spring is just around the corner!  Would you all join me in a collective sigh of relief?


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