Month: January 2018

Baby Name Game (Round 4), Clue #3

Clue #1

Clue #2

Gender neutral names are super hot right now, and are one of the growing current trends in baby names (at least according to, my favorite online naming source)  I like some of those names and I can appreciate the parents who don’t want their daughter (say in her resume) to be discriminated against simply because of her name.

That being said,

Clue #3: we once again chose two very obviously feminine names for our baby’s remaining two names.  

Both of these names have a history of nearly 100% femininity and we can’t see either ever making the leap over to the boy’s side (though I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would see the day that James was given to so many little girls…).  We picked very feminine names for our other three girls, and we will continue that trend to our fourth.

Since this is my final round of baby names, I will let you in on a few of my favorites, now crossed off of our list forever. For a while, I did like Evelyn (one of those 100% female names today which actually has a history of being commonly given to males), and also considered Edith (another name shared with males back in the 19th century)  Evelyn would have been nicknamed Evy but I didn’t like that it rhymed with “heavy”.  Edith I didn’t care for as much as our other girls’ first names, but I did like Edy as a nickname (rhymes with needy).  I didn’t like that both of these names shared a first letter with Sib’s given name, though that was something I was willing to overlook if we couldn’t find anything else we were in love with.

Suffice it to say, we scratched both of those when we came up with daughter #4’s name, as we found something that suited us better and met all of our criteria 100%.  Two final hints I will leave you with

  1. both of those nickames I listed above require a pronunciation guide (much like our first and sometimes second daughters’ nicknames).  This baby’s nickname pronunciation should be obvious to all who encounter it.
  2. Though both of her given names will be strongly feminine, one of her names has a common male counterpart (i.e. Stephen/Stephanie)


Baby Name Game (Round 4), Clue #2


                                                                      Clue #1

So as I said last week, this baby will have three given names, followed by our last name.  That means she will have two middle names, with the second one being more of a “stick it on there because it looks/sounds pretty”, versus something she will forever be legally documenting.  All of our girls have the same formula for their names and this means

Clue #2, Baby Surprise’s second middle name will be a color name

Yes, we did this on a whim with our first, but it stuck for the second and we like that all of our girls will have this, both as a conversation piece and also as a common thread amongst them.  Why a color name?  Well, there’s no good answer to that.  I have some artistic background (and that’s mostly where I’ve come across the color names we’ve used previously, in oil paint sets and the like) and N appreciates and has a deep love for art.  So I guess you could say it harkens back to that.  A slight nod to our interests.

Least you think we will use something like Blue, Scarlett, or Violet, let me warn you first, though:

1) This color name is in a different color family than the others we’ve used before. This was important to me even though I found myself, once again, drawn to so many shades of blue, green, and purple and their prettily named variants. I would rather the girls each have their own shade.

Truthfully, I initially had my sights set on Marigold. This satisfied the equation since it is a yellowy-orange color, not one of the named above.  I also like that it had Downton Abbey ties, which is silly, but all of our girls so far, have had a piece of their name featured on the show.  but…

2) N really wanted us to use something that wasn’t so obvious. Since we often explain our girls’ names to people and then have to explain what color their color names actually describe, he wanted this baby to have her own illustrious but inconspicuous name.  He went on a hunt and came up with a short list to present to me (a first for both of us).  One name on there stuck out and long story short, it won.

It satisfies both criteria: different from the other colors we’ve chosen and uncommon enough that we have to tell people what color family it is from. (plus it sounds good with her name, which, of course was our unnamed third criteria).

So there you go.  Another piece of the convoluted puzzle as to how we come up with our babies’ names.  This one a shout-out to dad, who for the first time ever, both suggested and partially named one of our girls.


Clue #3

Asparagus Spear me the details

Well surprise, Surprise, we have come upon another month, month seven.  I’m about 31.5 weeks and we are down to the final countdown.  10, 9, 8…single digits from here on out.  It just struck me yesterday that I will only write two more of these.  And that’s IF I make it all the way to my due date (which seems more than likely given my history, but a pregnant girl can hope–for just a few days early, right??)

Baby Surprise is the size of an asparagus stalk (really??) and growing bigger/fatter each day. This is an important season of brain growth and lung development for her, as well as packing on the pounds to be as ready as possible for birth.  She is still not a very active baby, but when she is, it is very noticeable.  Her movements are a lot more forceful now that she’s bigger, and I can also feel the more subtle ones as well.  Standing up has become a new dread, because as soon as I do, all of the pressure from her little body and extra fluid goes right to my bladder.  Not a good time of year to also have a cold, let me just say that.

I do believe she is head down now, based on where I can feel her most forcefully.  Occasionally she goes somewhat diagonal, head pointing to my left hand side, a favorite position for all my babies.

In a moment of candidness the other night, I was attempting to tell MG how I always get a little sad following the close of Christmas and the beginning of a new year. But then I realized that I have one VERY exciting thing to look forward to and it is just around the corner.  Sadness squashed.

This is a great time of year to be large and pregnant because winter has finally arrived and in many ways, I have found it refreshing.  I rarely find myself cold these days (well, indoors), an improbability if you look at my past history.  Skin, as a whole, is covered up and pools are closed so it is easy to hide beneath a large sweater and jeans that feel like pajamas.  There are treats in abundance right now, and seeing as how I passed my second GD test, I am able to enjoy them without counting the cost of every single one. There have been many retellings of the Christmas story, each one a boon to pregnant women and the stirring up of the emotional mirth as it relates to being a mom, having a baby, giving birth.

The only downfall, as I see it, is the sickness going around.  And this year it has been especially bad.  The flu, strep, stomach bugs, and all kinds of mysterious upper respiratory junk is going around and this month alone, we’ve had fevers, coughs, and a terrible amount of mucous.  MG brought it home first and true to form, about a week later, I found myself feeling like I was going to die (or at least wishing someone would come and put me out of my misery).  Ten o-clock at night, after a day of prepping for Christmas activity and talking all day, my throat feeling like cut glass every time I spoke or cough, my voice baritone with congestion, I found myself violently shaking from chills, unable to even sleep for about two hours as this precipitated into a fever.  The fever thankfully, for myself and the baby, only lasted for about 24 hours and never got above 101, but it cost me my extended family Christmas that I was looking forward to and bought me a recovery day on the couch in an empty house.

These mysterious illnesses are always miserable, but imagine having this while you are pregnant, so there are literally no medicines you can take without severe warnings (and potentially harsh consequences), you must continue to monitor your baby throughout, making sure she is kicking around normally, and there are no comfortable positions as you may not recline on your back or stomach so that baby has enough blood flow and room to move.  Misery.

Anyway, the hope is that we will have an iron immune system for the rest of the pregnancy and first precarious months of the baby’s life, and I think we’ve earned it, too, with the amount of stomach bugs, colds, and coughs we faced in 2017.

On the horizon of this month, I see another chiropractor appointment (and because I FELL in a slippery parking lot this month {while holding Sib}, I’m hoping she can correct whatever damage I did in that), bi-weekly doctor appointments, a babymoon for just N and I, a LOT of sewing/prepping (or at least I am hopeful), and gathering the last of the baby items.  Oh, and we still haven’t transitioned Sib up to her new room but we’ve started the process of transforming the room and it feels so good.  January is the longest month of this pregnancy we have left, as February is just a short four weeks and then it’s baby month!

January is also always a purging month and I love to hop aboard that train after filling our house with sweets, Christmas decor, and lots of new toys. We’ve been selling a lot of unused items via Craigslist and marketplace and that is certainly something that scratches the nesting itch for me.  As soon as the Christmas decor came down, I felt an OVERWHELMING need to clean, organize, discard, and prepare. I spent the first few days of the year doing just that and it felt just as good as I imagined it.  I now feel like I can breathe, create, and continue to make way for this baby.  I’ve got my lists and I’m checking them off, twice!

There has been little sleep this month, but lots of rest, with a nearly three week Christmas break and lots of time at home with little sick ones.  Insomnia has plagued me hard, though not in the traditional sense.  If I get woken up in the night (other than to use the bathroom, of course, which still happens with great regularity), a fairly common probability with all the people that live here, it takes me no less than two hours to fall back asleep, sometimes more.

I’ve tried all the tricks in the book, thinking about nothing, thinking about every problem and solving them 100x over, breathing techniques, not looking at any screens or turning on any lights, relaxing, etc.  Frankly, I just lay there, eyes closed, often surprised when I have to visit the restroom throughout the duration, that another hour has passed.  It’s a costly problem to have when you have children hard-wired to wake up at a pre-determined early time every single day, but the only thing I can do to help it is to go to bed early and hope for the best.  So that is the continual plan for now.

Soon those awake hours will not result in a restful, prone position, but rocking and shushing for undetermined amounts of time. So I’ll count my blessings for now and pray that the next two months bring us a lot less sickness and more time enjoying our final moments as a family of five!


Baby Name Game (Round 4), Clue #1

If you haven’t already, check out our Intro to the Games here, first

It’s time to begin the clues and the first one should come to you with very little, well, surprise:

  1. This baby will have three given names, followed by our last name.

As I said previously, we have a little baby name box that we neatly try to fit all of our girls’ names into (and would-have-been-boys as well).  We didn’t start out thinking we would create our own baby naming guidebook (for ourselves), but after the first two were set just so, we wanted the third and fourth to feel a part of the group too.  Having three names to pick for EACH girl has been a little trying at times (especially towards the end), but also fun as it gives us a little bit more of a creative stretch.

In truth, almost no legal forms have ever asked for our girls’ second middle name; so in the eyes of the law, these names are nearly non-existent. BUT, we enjoy that each of our girls have the same formula to their names, a bond they can share over the years.

When they get married, they will almost certainly drop one, if not both, of their middle names.  But we like that they have the choice in that and which one they will keep going forward.  A theme you will see woven throughout is that we like to give our girls options.  Both N and I ALSO have two middle names as he was given two in the hospital (his parents couldn’t agree in the moment which one to use and therefore decided to go with both).  And I added my maiden name onto my legal name when I got married, in order to match, so technically I have two as well.

We are a family of four-namers, and we like it that way,


Clue #2