"Old Lady" Baby Names

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Baby names fascinate me. What and why people choose to name their children really intrigues me. One baby name trend that I really love right now is "Old Lady Names." These are names that are considered "vintage" and yet making a comeback. Hannah and Abigail fit into this category, (along with the Bible names category).

A few other old lady names that I'm loving right now are:
*Evangeline (both Matthew and I like this name--which is huge, so maybe for baby #3...)
*Eliza (I used to dislike this name, but it's really grown on me)
*Eleanor (this is my grandmother's name and I love it. I really want an Eleanor and am hoping I can convince Matthew)
*Frances (this is Matthew's Mom's name)
*Beatrice (Matthew says no go to this one)

Are there any "Old Lady Names" that you like?

Please Pray

A family friend just recently passed away in a terrible accident. He was only 20 years old and such a good young man.

I can't imagine the grief his parents and brother are experiencing. Please pray for them.

I'm hugging my babies a little tighter today. 


Hannah has not quite learned the subtle differences between  names yet. She thinks that all babies are called "sister." I've been trying to teach her the differences between boys and girls and men and women. I think she's beginning to realize that Daddy is a man and Mama is a woman.

Unfortunately, she hasn't yet realized that all women aren't named Mama and all men aren't named Daddy. For the past few days, whenever she sees a man, she points to him and says "Daddy."  Praying the strange man did not just hear my daughter call him "Daddy,"I try to shuffle her along as quickly as possible.  It's makes me laugh, after the fact, but is terribly embarrassing in the moment. Ahh, the joys of parenting.

Fertility Math, Most Women Flunk

Saturday, January 28, 2012
My good friend, Kerry, sent me this article. Fertility Math? Most Women Flunk. It details how many women are completely ignorant when it comes to their own fertility. They seem unaware of the closing window on their fertility and believe the ability to have a child will be there 10, or even 15 years down the road.

I dare say, it's true. I know so many smart and well-educated women who simply have no basic understanding of their own fertility. It's a shame really. Despite advances in modern medicine and the "sexual revolution," it seems many women have become more disconnected from the natural rhythm of their bodies.

Despite popular belief, getting pregnant is actually statistically difficult. There is only a small window each month during which time conception could take place and even then there's only roughly a 20% chance of getting pregnant and that's if everything is working perfectly. The odds are actually in favor of not getting pregnant.

Which is why I'm a proponent of having children sooner rather than later. It's simply more likely that you'll have a healthy pregnancy when you're younger. Personally, once I had one baby, I wished I had more and sooner.

As women, we like to believe we can have it all. And the feminist in me believes that to be true. We just can't have it all when we want it. In the grand scheme of things, the period of a woman's childbearing years are relatively short. I figure I have about 10 more good years left, maybe. And then I'll have 40 more years, perhaps even 50, during which time I can pursue a career or take up new hobbies or travel.

I like how the article ends, with the 43 year old woman offering advice to women in their 20's and early 30's: "Start having babies now...This is not about empowering women and women’s rights. This is about science and biology 101.”

And that's my advice too. You might regret putting off having a baby, but you'll certainly never regret having one.

What Have I Done?

I just signed up for a half marathon in March!?!

I guess those last 15 pounds are coming off whether they want to or not.

Hannah At Age 2

Friday, January 27, 2012
Nicknames: Hannah Bear, Hannie, Love Bug, Bug (this is mostly what I call her), Bugaboo, Buggie, Love, Lovie.

Favorite Foods: Ice Cream, Fruit, especially bananas, apples, clementines and pears, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, guacamole and chips.


 Favorite Hobbies: Reading, especially Christmas books, coloring, puzzles, building blocks.

Favorite Activities: Playing/tickling/wrestling Abby, dancing, jumping from the ottoman to the couch, being thrown onto the bed by Daddy (pretty much any rough housing), brushing her teeth, watching Toy Story, making pancakes with Mama.

Favorite Animal: Dogs, hands down.(She loves this dog at Old Navy.)
Favorite phrases: Naming all the members of her family, “Mama, Daddy, Sister, Han-da,” "Woody," and "Barney," "All-Bye" (for all done), "Wa-wa please" (this kid loves water).

What we love about Hannah: She's incredibly precocious and very curious about the world around her. She's a wonderful big sister to Abby and so, so affectionate. She's such a loving child and likes to give hugs and kisses. She's funny and enjoys having a good time and loves to laugh. She enjoys watching TV and movies, especially her pal "Woody," and sometimes when she's watching TV we laugh because she looks such  like a teenager lounging on the couch. We have so enjoyed watching her personality blossom the last two years and truly look forward to watching her grow. We love you Hannah!

Abby Claps!

I love, love, love this last picture. They were giggling and having so much fun together.

There But For the Grace of God, Go I

Thursday, January 26, 2012
I had a pro-life post all planned for the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It was going to detail how now that I’m a mother abortion has become so much more difficult for me to discuss or to even debate because my response to it so much more visceral. My Mama Bear instincts rise up whenever there’s talk of harming a little cub.

But something funny happened about a week ago and I feel called to write a little about it and the issue of abortion from a slightly different perspective. Last week, we received the official report from our meeting with Abby’s geneticist. (I’ll have to write a separate post on the whole meeting-with-a-geneticist thing.) Whilst reading over the section of the report that discussed our medical history, it noted that we had procured a “therapeutic abortion” prior to having our first child. My first thought was “what the hell?” We did have a miscarriage before Hannah, and miscarriages are sometimes referred to as “spontaneous abortions,” but that is a big difference than a therapeutic abortion. Big difference. Huge. I actually had to look up “therapeutic abortion” because I wasn’t sure what it was exactly. Perhaps it was another term for miscarriage. It’s not.  Much to my dismay, “therapeutic” is just a word they throw in there to make abortion sound better. 

After my initial shock wore off, I became a little angry; especially when I noticed that copies of this report had been sent to several of Abby’s other doctors. My pride flared up and I started to think, “They think I had an abortion? Me, of all people? I would never…”  

Later, at dinner, when I showed Matthew the flawed report, he pointed out that that if we actually had had an abortion it would be something we would forever have to report to doctors. This thought completely changed how I perceived the entire situation. Suddenly, I was thrust into the shoes of a woman who actually had undergone an abortion and the embarrassment and shame of carrying that fact around for the rest of my life. And that started me thinking. It’s been said before, but I feel compelled to say it again, abortion is absolutely horrible for the women who have experienced them. 

It’s an undeniable thing that the taking of an innocent life is a horrible tragedy. But I like to think those innocent little babes go straight into the arms of their Maker and enjoy endless cuddles from Our Lady in Heaven. It is the mothers of those innocents who must endure the pain and guilt for the remainder of their days here on Earth. How awful that must be.

The Boston Archdiocese is offering an upcoming retreat hosted by Project Rachel for women who long to find healing after their abortion. I feel compelled to laud those women who will be attending the retreat. Man oh man, does that take courage.  I also want to do something for the women who will be attending the retreat. Any ideas? I thought about perhaps making a delectable dessert and delivering it, or sending a small donation for the retreat organizers to buy a fancy dessert. Those women deserve to be pampered a little because I’m sure a retreat like that cannot be easy.

Will you please join me in praying for them? There but for the grace of God, go I.

To Our Sweet Girl

Sunday, January 22, 2012
Happy Birthday, Hannah.

We couldn't love you more.

Friday Quick Takes

Friday, January 20, 2012

1. It's so good to be back blogging! Now that I have a little more free time (I'm no longer coaching), I'm trying to be better about blogging regularly and documenting my life with the littles.

2. Hannah's 2nd birthday is this weekend. Can you believe it? Two, it sounds so old. She's been talking up a storm lately. Her favorite thing to do right now is point to each of us and say our name, "Daddy" y "Mama" y "sister," she must have been Spanish in a past life or something because she really does use "y" in place of "and." When I ask her what her name is she says "Hana-da," (it's sounds like Canada, with an H). It's fantastic. She's a genius. And I love that she's talking more, so fun!

3.Matthew went to a beer brewing class last week. (I gave him the class as a Christmas gift.) So we're going to try our hand at brewing again. It's one of our hobbies and we both want to become more knowledgeable about the subject. Wish us luck!

4. I've finally started to lose the baby weight, finally. This time around was a lot harder and I didn't actually start losing weight until Abby was about 5 months old. I've read that sometimes with nursing, the weight doesn't start to come off until the baby is 6 months old. That seems to be the case for me this time. Anyways, I've started running and modified my diet again and it's nice to see the scale going down. I have about 12-15 more lbs to go, but I'll get there. I figure by the time Abby is about a year the weight should be gone. Can't weight (haha, bad joke).

5. I've been reading a lot of decorating blogs lately and it has inspired me to add little pieces of flare here and there around our home. I think I'll do an "around our home" blog post soon.

6. Hmm, something about Abby. She is quickly outgrowing her helmet. Last week she developed a blister on the side of her head and this week there's a tiny welt on her face. My poor baby. She gets to have a break from the helmet when this happens, which is a nice break for both of us. I get to kiss her head and cuddle her without that big bulky helmet. She's getting her new helmet in about a week and thankfully our insurance is pretty much covering the whole thing. That was a nice surprise. I didn't think we had met the deductible for this year yet, so I was fully expecting to pay out of pocket for it. We have to pay just 20%, which comes to $400. That means her helmet cost $2,000, can you believe that? I thought it was around $1,200, but $2,000, that's crazy. Oh well.

7. One of my New Year's Resolutions this year is to cook more meals from scratch. I tend to do this anyways, but I want to be more diligent about it. I want to know every single ingredient that goes into my family's bodies and the easiest way to do that is to cook and bake from scratch. It's been so fun getting back to basics in this way.

For more Quick Takes visit Jen over at Conversion Diary.

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I swore I never would, but I caved, I now wear skinny jeans. And truth be told, I love them. My legs are currently the thinnest part of my body, so I figure, why not accentuate the positive? I only wear them with my boots because I think it just looks better. Regular jeans stuffed into boots= no go. Skinny jeans in boots = much better.

It was really hard to get a picture in which my whole outfit was present. I really wanted to show you my boots, but you can at least see the top part of them. You get the idea.
The top half.

The bottom half.

Please ignore my chubby tummy and my hair--I need a haircut, stat. Outfit:Jacket (Shade Clothing), White Shirt (also Shade),Skinny Jeans (Target), Boots (Boden).

Abby's Photo Shoot

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I'm having a couple pictures of the girls made into 12x18 canvases. CVS is currently having a promo of 25% off their photo canvases, so I figured now was my chance. For Hannah I used the picture from the sidebar and the canvas turned out beautifully. I love it. For Abby I think I used the last picture, but it was a tough choice, I loved the middle one with the teeth, haha.

p.s. isn't her head looking great? Only 5 more months to go with the helmet...

Baby On A Budget

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mandi over at Catholic Newlywed is writing a series on having a baby on a budget. I think it’s a fantastic idea and really interesting to hear people’s takes on what is and isn’t necessary when raising a baby. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it and I believe the pre-Cana curriculum for engaged couples would benefit immensely from practical tips and ideas, such as Mandi's and other mothers raising babies on a budget. I think if couples knew that having a baby is not all that expensive as it is sometimes claimed, they would be much more inclined to have a baby and/or use NFP. I think teaching NFP and teaching baby budgeting ideas go hand in hand

With that said, I’ve decided to jump on the 'baby on a budget' bandwagon and add my two cents about what I believe is necessary for having a little one. (Mandi, I hope you don’t mind!)

In my opinion, it seems so many women and couples have a great deal of fear surrounding having a baby. They seem fearful of the change it will inevitably bring to their life, fearful of the cost they might incur and perhaps fearful of deviating from their original or so-called "responsible" plan. So to young (or older) couples considering adding to your family, the first thing I have to say to you is: Be Not Afraid!

Babies are not as scary and as expensive as popular culture would have you believe. A child will change your life, yes, but probably not as drastically as you fear (and the change will definitely be for the better). So here are my arguments for throwing the money issue out the window and having that baby already.

First of all, it takes nine long months (ten in my case) to go from “we’re having a baby?!?” to actually having a baby. That’s a long time. It’s nearly a year to get everything in order that needs to be put in order. That’s enough time to save some money or even pick up an extra job, if need be. It’s sufficient time to get your finances and a plan in order.

Secondly, once your baby is born, he or she really doesn’t require many “things.” Babies are simple creatures. All they truly need is milk to fill their bellies, clothes to keep them warm, diapers to keep them clean and most importantly, their Mama (and Dada too). That’s it, it really is that simple!

It has been said before and will be said again, but babies really only need breastmilk (for up to a year or longer) to satisfy them. Breastfeeding is healthy, convenient (most of the time) and free! Breastfed babies are also less likely to get sick, so there are less sick visits to the pediatrician. Breast is best! That also means your food budget and grocery bill will not change for at least a year.

As for clothes, these will be given to you in droves once your baby is born. Before we had Hannah I purchased a few items from places like TJ Maxx and Old Navy and I probably spent $25, at the most. The nice thing about baby clothes is that they’re cheap. Once we had Hannah people were overwhelmingly generous and sent us so many beautiful clothes. We did not need to buy her any clothes until around her first birthday. Honestly, clothing is a minimal expense for a baby.

The one thing you will have to buy is diapers. Of course, some people practice “elimination communication,” in which case diapers aren’t necessary, but personally we don’t roll that way (If you do, more power to you). If you do decide to purchase diapers, they can be either disposable or cloth. The cloth diapers option is a one-time investment and probably the more cost friendly alternative. My suggestion, if you’re really on a strict budget, ask for a set of cloth diapers as a shower gift.

Lastly, babies need their Mama and Daddy. These two people are crucial for the baby to develop and thrive. Aside from what a baby needs, all a baby really wants is love.

All other items, toys, cribs, strollers etc. are certainly nice accessories, but aren’t essential. If you’re lucky to have generous family and friends, many of these things will most likely be given to you as gifts. It always surprises me how incredibly generous people are when a baby is born. Everyone loves babies and everyone will love buying something for your baby. The Spanish proverb that “every baby comes with a loaf of bread under their arm” is certainly true.

So if the fear of the potential cost of having a baby is preventing you from actually having one, I would encourage you to reconsider. Babies can be had on strict budgets, it's been done before, it will be done again. Plus, they're worth every penny you might spend. 

Okay, one more thing you will have to buy for your baby is a car seat. The law and the general public tend to frown upon a baby sliding around in the backseat. Again, car seats can be a shower gift or even borrowed.

First Snowfall

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Last year we were bombarded with snow, so it's a bit odd that it's nearly the end of January and we haven't really had a snowstorm yet.

But, a few days ago we awoke to our first real snowfall of the season. What a delight! When I walked Hannah to the window to show her the snow, she said, "ice cream." Wouldn't that be nice, a yard full of vanilla ice cream.

After breakfast we bundled up and took a nice stroll through the snow. It was lovely and Hannah had a ball.


I love Target, but this made me laugh.

p.s. Thanks Mom & Dad for the Target gift cards!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Many bloggers are choosing one word to represent this upcoming year and I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. I must admit, at first I didn't think I could choose just one word. But after thinking about it for a couple of days, the word seemed obvious: Simplify.

This last year was a busy one for us. Between Abby's birth and surgery and every day life with two under two, well, things were fairly hectic. Plus, one of my New Year's resolutions for 2011 was to accept- emotionally- the idea of living in Massachusetts. So I signed us up for a bunch of activities. We made lots of friends and attended a lot of events and in time, I came to enjoy living in Massachusetts. 2011 New Year's Resolution? Check.

But my attempts to become more involved also meant more activities, more obligations and more time spent outside the home.

So this year, my goal is to focus inward- on my family and on my home. I want to slow down and enjoy life with my little family. That means less outings and less activities and more time spent at home, simply being.

We are going to simplify our activities. This means I've had to say no to some things, which although difficult, has also been somewhat of a relief. We are going to simplify our home. That means less stuff. I hate excess stuff anyways, so this is pretty easy for me. Less clothes means less laundry. Fewer toys means less cleanup.

I feel like by simplifying my life, our lives, it will allow us the time and space to truly enjoy life. My children are only little for so long and I want to savor every moment with them. I don't want to miss this time. So 2012, welcome, but let's keep it simple, okay?

To My Abby

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Dear Abby,

I can't believe you are 7 months old already, where did the time go? I apologize that this is the first time I'm writing to you.
Abby, I am so proud to have you as my daughter. Your Grams likes to say that you've been blessed with an amazing spirit and we agree! You are able to face whatever life brings you with such grace. Craniosynostosis, surgery, helmets, eye examines, glasses (eventually), you bear your crosses with such acceptance and fortitude. For that I admire you. It may sound silly to say I admire my 7 month old daughter, but I do.
Right now I'm watching you play with your sister's coloring book. You like to flip through the pages to hear the noises the paper makes. You are babbling away, you are such my little chatterbox. Your father and I joke that you'll probably be speaking before your sister. You just have so much to say.

At 7 months there is so much that you can do. You can sit-up on your own, roll around, almost crawl, say Mama (at least I like to think so), wrestle with your sister. All of your doctors are so impressed with how mature you seem for 7 months. But despite this, you so desperately want to be bigger. You want to be able to run and keep up with your hero, Hannah. You love your Mama and Daddy, but you adore your sister. No one can make you laugh like she does. I pray the two of you always remain close. Even though you want to grow up, I want you stay my little bug for just a while longer.
If I could choose just one word to describe you I think it would have to be "friendly." You love people, if ever I saw a people person, it would be you. You have a smile for everybody, young or old, black or white, you don't care. You have such a kind soul and I like to think of you as a little saint in the making.
Thank you for coming into our lives and thank you for being such a wonderful daughter. We love you Abigail!

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