Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 56

Linking up with Jen and the rest.

1. I never officially declared my 7 in 7 intentions this weekend. Then, a Monday blog post never materialized. I am, however, pushing myself to do 7 in 7 a day late, with Monday being my 7th post. Saturday and Sunday are always my sticking points on these things, so we'll see how it goes this weekend.

2. I have never been happier that February only has 28 days. It has been one thing after another this month, so I'm glad that tomorrow will be the big calendar flip. March and all of your crazy goodness, Welcome! We're glad to have you!


3. That means Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday. Which is late, but still somehow sneaked up on me. Like, I was so used to it being "late this year" and still a few weeks off that suddenly, here is it. I'm still sorting out exactly what my plans are, especially given that I will, essentially, be pregnant for the first half and in the newborn haze for the second half. 


4. Charles finalized his rank order list for residency this week, which is good, because it was due on Wednesday. Anyway, there was lots of hemming and hawing and debating over slots 3-5, but I think we both feel good about the final list. 3 more weeks of waiting, then we'll finally know our fate. This whole residency applications thing has been a long, long process that I will not be sad to see end.

5. Today, my cousin's daughter is turning 8, which I'm pretty sure is not actually possible. My cousin is like an extra sister to me, so that means O is like my niece. I remember like yesterday the day she was born: sitting frustrated in rush hour traffic trying to get to the hospital; holding that sweet, long awaited bundle of joy; knowing, for the first time, that rush of unconditional love that only new little babies can bring. Happy Birthday, sweet girl! Just do me a favor and stop growing up!

6. When Charles was doing his nights in the ER, I sent him a lot of random pics of Clare, including a few of her sleeping. They make great filler:

7. Today marks my 35/35 point: 35 weeks pregnant, 35 days until my due date! It is definitely an exciting sign that the end is near. This week, I've been feeling a few more occurrences of baby hiccups (but still not as many as Clare had in utero) and gobs of crazy baby movement. Mr. Man feels like he's somehow dropped even lower in the last couple of days, which, um . . . yeah, I don't love. My interest in sweets has also been on the uptick for the first time this pregnancy. I had an appointment on Monday, and everything still looks good.{Hopefully, I'll actually update with a photo this afternoon!}

Have a lovely weekend!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Take me Out to the Ballgame

At the beginning of the month, Charles mentioned that Spring Training Opening Day was Feb. 26. As luck would have it, he was off (thanks ER scheduling!) and I off-handedly mentioned that we should go. Cue Valentine's Day and lawn tickets for yesterday's D'Backs-Dodgers game in my card. Awwww. No, really, it was a great  the perfect present!

So, yesterday morning, we coated ourselves in SPF 50, loaded up the diaper bag, bought our maximum number of factory sealed bottles of water, and headed to the ballpark.

It was a glorious Arizona spring day. The kind of day that brought Spring Training to Arizona in the first place. 80ish. Wispy clouds that spelled a bit of the sun drench. Good game. Big crowds. Junk food. We plopped ourselves on baby blankets on the lawn and soaked it all in (well, not all since we all survived with nary a sunburn -- go us!). Charles and I had a great day, but Clare had a BLAST. She ran all over the sloped lawn seating area (which I'm sure is the toddler equivalent of running stadiums), ate more carbs in one sitting than she is ever allowed (crackers and French fries are a balanced meal, right?!?), saw other babies, took a mini-nap in her stroller, clapped right along everyone else, and learned to say, "Yay Dime-baks!"

I only managed to snap two pictures before we dragged our sun-soaked selves home, exhausted but content in the way that only a day of fun in the sun achieves.

Lawn sitter
Stroller napper

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Baby Names

I've only named one (and a half) babies, but I couldn't resist the chance to talk about naming them (and linking up with the lovely Kathryn at Team Whitaker in the process!). :)

I'm know I've mentioned it before,  but I love baby names. They are (one of) the best parts of new babies! Needless to say, naming my own babies is a joy. Look at how much I managed to type about two names. Two!!

I apologize in advance for all my cryptic name references. God willing, we are not done naming babies, and don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves in public proclamation of naming decisions.

Clare Louise

Naming Clare was fairly easy. That didn't stop us from talking about it and mulling things over. I has decided years earlier that, if I ever had a daughter, I wanted her middle name to be Louise, in honor of my mom (whose middle name before marriage was also Louise), and Charles was able to get on board with that. We both have devotions to Saints Francis, Clare, and Dominic, so Clare had been discussed, and mostly decided, as a first name since before we were engaged.

Once I was pregnant, we did toss around another girls' name. At one point, Charles wanted to consider it for Clare's middle name. But, since Louise was important to me, and since I wanted to save it for a future daughter's first name, we stuck with Clare Louise, and have been totally happy with it. There are people like me out there who will remember it, and that' takes all the fun away (for me).

I wanted to have names somewhat settled before finding out the sex of our little one, so that we could start using the name right away. It's probably the one thing that keeps me from being Team Green. Anyway, that meant we also decided on a boy's name. The first name we chose was the one we loved before we were engaged, and the one that we're still planning on using in a few weeks. :)

Mr. Man

Naming Mr. Man (totally holding out on blog and FB name announcements until he arrives!) has been much more interesting. At the beginning of pregnancy, we had first names picked out. The beloved and leftover girl name from naming Clare and the unused boy name.

Then we started talking middle names and things got interesting. The girl name never changed, and after lots of hemming and hawing and debating we settled on a middle name we'd have probably stuck with had Mr. Man been a Little Miss. If we have a delivery room surprise, it's probably the name we'd still go with!

The boy name on the other hand . . . Charles had his heart set on using a particular middle name. I, however, don't like the way it sounds with the first name we had picked. The way the name sounds is important to me. I have to be able to yell it across the house/yard/playground. I have to be able to imagine a priest saying, "________________________, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." I have to imagine that slow, loud proclamation at graduation. There were lots of things wonderful about the middle name, but the sound with our chose first name was not going to cut it for me. I suggested changing the first name in order to use the middle name.

We discussed. We debated. We finally decided to table it until we knew whether we even needed to select a boy name.

Sure enough, we're expecting a little boy. Driving home from the ultrasound, we didn't make it out of the parking lot before we started talking. We decided together that keeping our first name was more important than a middle name. So, we set out to decide on a middle name we could both agree with. We tentatively decided on one, but still don't feel like we can say with 100% confidence, "His middle name is _______." It is not the middle name we had chosen when I was pregnant with Clare. There is at least one other middle name that hasn't been ruled out. I don't know when we'll make a final decision -- maybe we'll go with an in-hospital decision. :)

The Future

We've discussed names. A lot at this point. If we are ever blessed with another girl, we have a name we love ready and waiting. I would say that the middle name would almost certainly be placed back up for discussion, based on our experience naming Mr. Man. For boys . . . I think things would be a bit stickier. There are a few names that we like but don't love. A few names that we disagree on. A few names where we like the name but not the nicknames that go with it. Lots of potential middle names, but not so many potential first names. In all of our discussion, we have discussed our criteria for a name that gives us some loose guidance in choosing future names:
  • Saint's name: we agree that we want our kids to have a saint's name for both first and middle names. We very, very strongly prefer that we have some devotion/connection/love for the saint, rather than just conveniently having a saint with the name. We, at a minimum, have to know that the name is a saint name without researching. This is not to knock those who use that strategy. It's just the rule we've set in place for ourselves.
  • Old Testament names, virtue names and angel names, while good Christian names, are not for us. Again, not a knock, just our naming decision.
  • Nicknames are not a deal breaker, but they are a consideration. We live in an era where there are more and more Alexanders and Andrews and Michaels on the playground (vs. Alex, Andy and Mike), so by using a full-name exclusively and gently correcting those who try to nickname (at least until a baby is old enough to rebrand him/herself among his/her friends!), we think we can avoid nicknames we don't love. That's the hope for Mr. Man. Our experience with him could affect naming future boys.  
Looking forward to the arrival of Mr. Man and so many spring and summer blog babies (and their names)!!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Big Purse Dump

{Joining Kendra at Catholic All Year for her purse clean-out link up! Brilliant -- my purse got cleaned out and a post got done! Win-win!}

This is my current purse. I picked it up at Target as a birthday present to myself last September. I was at the point with Clare that I was only carrying some diapers and maybe a couple of small toys. I was pregnant and knew that I'd have two under two in the spring, so would have plenty to pack then. I have never done a full-on dump of the ol' gal.

Front Pocket

  • 2 of Clare's hair bows
  • 2 Chapsticks
  • 1 lip gloss
  • 2 hair ties
  • 2 partial packs of gum
  • 2 gum wrappers
  • keys
  • 2 pens
  • 1 chocolate mint
  • 2 Dum Dums from the OB's office
  • 1 mini-grocery list
  • anti-itch eye drops
  • anti-itch cream
Missing: Albuterol inhalor

Inside Pockets

  • 2 Holy Cards
  • $5 bill
  • Moose finger puppet
  • Rosary
  • Target coupons
  • Carter's receipt/cash
  • Crazy 8 coupon
  • Gift cards for Olive Garden, P.F. Chang's and Barnes & Noble
  • Stamps
  • Church envelopes
Main Compartment

  • 6 grocery lists
  • Expired Sweet Tomatoes coupons
  • Babies R Us mailing
  • 3 Rainbow Loom bracelets
  • Missal
  • Directions to doctor's office
  • Gum
  • Comb
  • 1 Cheerio
  • Pull-a-Number for the deli at the grocery store
  • 2 tissue packs
  • Sophia the First stickers
  • 2 pens
  • 1 hairtie
  • Crayons
  • Cross
  • Baby Rosary
  • iTunes gift card
  • McDonald's gift card
  • Wristlet (see below)
  • Diaper holder (see below)
  • Kohl's receipt
  • 6 grocery receipts
  • 20 Holy Cards
  • $1.55 in change (4 quarters, 5 dimes, 5 pennies)
  • panda and shark finger puppets
Diaper Holder

  • 1 diaper
  • "Pwincess wipes"
  • extra wipe in a baggie
  • cotton balls

  • Cross
  • Miraculous and St. Andre Bessette medals
  • Expired Fry's coupon (local Kroger affiliate)
  • Rhonda's earring 
  • Lip Gloss
  • Chick-fil-A receipt
  • Kohl's receipt & cash
  • $16 cash (1 each $1, $5, $10)
  • $1.78 in change (6 quarters, 1 dime, 2 nickles, 8 pennies)
  • Starbucks gift card
  • 2 Fry's VIP cards
  • Library card
  • Williams-Sonoma gift card
  • (not pictured for security) BRU card, J.C. Penney portrait card, debit card, credit card, driver's license, 4 insurance cards: 2 health, 2 car (one expired))
The Categories

1. My Favorite Thing: My wristlet. I use it instead of a wallet. It's also convenient for throwing in my phone and keys and not lugging my whole purse/diaper bag around for a quick in-and-out-type errand.

2. Wow I Have a Lot of Those: Holy Cards -- I have a total of 22 stashed. Admittedly, I use them for Clare-entertaining, but there are a lot. Especially when we play 22 Card Pick-Up.

3. I've Been Looking for Those: My purse is like a black hole for pens and hair ties. And grocery shopping by-products, apparently.

4. That Shouldn't Be in There: Rhonda's earring. She's my dad's fiancee, and lost her earring in my car a couple of weeks ago. I should send it back to her, but it has since been tucked into a (somewhat) safer place on my dresser.
Junk tossed, diapers refilled, Holy Cards not culled (but re-pocketed) = clean purse (for now)! :)

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Friday, February 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 55

After my week-long blogging hiatus, I'm back for my weekly 7QT fix. Joining Jen, of course.

1. Charles finished up the working portion of his rotation of nights in the ER, and now has a little time off. Which, paired with a leeeetle too much time watching NBC's glorious mornings of covering allll the figure skating, has left me slacking on the ol' blog. Where did the week go, exactly?!? Anyway, we are enjoying knowing that we have another lovely week off ahead of us before he hits the OR for his next rotation. Plus, that week includes Spring Training Opening Day, and we're excited for a little fun in the AZ sun (and to take advantage of Spring Training while we can!). Sorry in advance to our fellow lawn sitters if you're joined briefly by a squirrley 19 month old. And sorry everywhere that's neither AZ or FL. We may well be joining you soon enough.

Amazing what 12 months does to a kid!!

2. Which leaves me with the subject of temptation -- I want to try to not fail at Jen's blogging challenge, since I only made it to 5/7 last go 'round, and it would be a good chance to make myself actually write a couple of posts that have existed only in my head, buuuuuut . . . let's be honest. I'll probably at least try. I guess I'll let you know officially tomorrow.

3. So, I wrote about Valentine's Day last week. It's noteworthy mainly because Clare thought it was the best morning ev-ah. Charles came home with flowers and the morning was full of cards and presents and family time. So, bien sur, I'm prepared to photo dump.

Texting this was as close as I got to sending out the real deal

Tea with Daddy

Opening presents with Daddy

Her very own "fla-wows"

4. #3 was a two-for-the-price-of-one, let's let honest.

5. February in Arizona means it's time to get your planting on, lest it get too hot and fry your tomatoes. We're only doing tomatoes and peppers this year, but Clare thought planting them (ie "gahw-den-ing", ie throwing potting soil everywhere) was the best activity since Valentine's Day morning.

6. This is my new favorite picture of the Bear. She got a bunch of new "dwesses" this weekend, and spent most of Sunday ob-sess-ed. I was trying to get a cute shot of her carrying them around, but ended up with this one instead.

Dresses, dirt and mischief. That's Clare for ya!

7. I can't believe how close I'm getting to the end of this pregnancy! 34 weeks!! Things are getting really, really real. I've most definitely reached the random lumps from random baby parts stage of bump-dom. My cousin blessed me tremendously by handing down her son's baby wardrobe, so now Mr. Man has the closet of a real fashionista -- never mind that he's sharing said closet (and dresser) with his sister. (I think there should be an implied ewwwwwwww, even though I suspect these two will be partners in crime.) Anyway, I never got around to updating last week with a pic, so you get two weeks worth of comparison shots today! Lucky you!

Have a lovely weekend!!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 54

Linking up with Jen, as always. :)

1. Happy Valentine's Day! I'm not a crazy Valentine's Day fan, but I'm not an anti-fan either. I wrote a lot about that last year, so I won't repeat myself. :) Today will be pretty low key, but we'll squeeze some celebration in, too!


2. Last weekend, we went to the Vigil on Saturday evening before Charles headed into the hospital. When Sunday rolled around, I was planning on a lazy day, and dressed Clare in comfy sweats accordingly. She had other ideas. She brought me a dress, bow, ruffle socks, and "pwiddy bak" shoes. Then, one by one, insisted they be put "on." Once she was dressed, she added her purse. A girl's gotta accessorize, right?!?

Oh my (Instagrammized)

3. Clare has also been working on her diapering skills, and has been pretty cute with it. When she decides baby needs a diaper, that baby gets cleaned and changed over and over for a good 30 minutes, as long as Mama helps get the diaper under the baby's bottom. I figure I'll just let her handle diapers when Baby Brother comes. No problems with that, right?!?

4. By the time this is published (writing on Thursday night), Charles will be down to his last 3 ER shifts. Yay! Let's just say that he feels NO call to emergency medicine. And since he volunteered for night shifts (to get the whole rotation completed quickly), and is not really a night person . . . well, we'll both be glad when this is behind us (for now). As challenging as nights have been, I think we've both learned a lot . . . to be continued (perhaps ad nauseam come residency/night float time).

5. Thursday (yesterday) found me totally befuddled as to what day of the week it was. I woke up from an intense (but ill-remembered dream) really, really sure that it was Saturday, convinced myself it was Friday, and pretty much had to keep reminding myself all day what day it really was. I hate that discombobulated feeling. Ugg to the ugg.

6. Getting close to the half-way point of the Olympics, and so far, I've enjoyed the competition. I miss Bob Costas, so I hope his eyes heal up quickly. Matt Lauer is just.not.the.same. Clare is enjoying having the TV on WAY more than usual. She even gave me a little dance routine while I was watching figure skating last weekend. :)

7. I'm 33 weeks today! Yay! And oh my gosh, how crazy/scary is that?!? Things are getting close! Since I'm writing these Thursday night, and don't have a picture, but I will update with one later today. Mr. Man is as wiggly as ever. I'm still doing pretty well -- tired, achy, heartburn-y -- but nothing surprising for the end of pregnancy! I really can't believe I'm already moving into the "end of pregnancy" stage, these last few weeks are coming on us fast. I had an OB appointment on Monday, and all was well. It was pretty uneventful, just the way I like 'em!!

Have a lovely weekend!
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What We Read Tuesday {WWRW}

I was feeling a little bit masochistic and a little bit curious yesterday while I was putting books away. Since the house is basically littered with children's book from the time Clare wakes up until we put her down at night, this is actually a project every night (and the giant belly helps notatall).

Anyway, I came up with the idea of recording what Clare brought us to "wead" in the course of a day. We're working on "wead pweese." And, even at 23 reads, it was actually a somewhat low-key reading day (at least judging from the mess I should be straightening)! It also doesn't count the books she "read" to herself throughout the day. Yes, a couple of these are non-seasonal. But they were all her choices. Everything is (non-affiliate) linked just for the sake of the curious (especially for the less well-known choices). I've also included Clare's "name" for the books, mostly for posterity.

Showing me the "posows" (Apostles -- it took me awhile!)

I just hope that her early love of reading, and sometimes shocking attention span for it leads to a lifetime love of books! That would make all the dog party conversations well worth it!!

Also linking this up to What We're Reading Wednesday, 'cause I'm semi-rebellious like that.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 53

Joining Jen, per usual. (As an aside, pretty much every time I type "Conversion Diary"

1. Yesterday was one of those days. Ladies, I'm sure you know them. Guys, I know that you are flummoxed when the ladies in your life have them. It was one of those days when a tiny bit of tired mixes with hormones, mixes with life. The emotions well up. Everything suddenly seems about 10 million times bigger than it is. Maybe it spills out at tears or screams. Maybe it comes out some other way. But when it spills, it spills. It was a long day, but I felt about a million times better after a good cry. Yep, it's official: this pregnancy has me more emotional than the last!

2. On top of it, Clare decided that she didn't need a nap. No Nap Nellie talked in her crib for 45 minutes and then started crying hysterically. After I saved her, she maintained a decent mood in spite of herself until dinner. Then, she threw her food all over the floor and was a bit more up and down the rest of the evening. She went to bed early and went right to sleep. Exhausted. Surprise, surprise! Yet, even at my most frustrated, my heart just melts when she smiles at me or hugs me. Toddlerhood is going to do me in, I tell ya!

Good thing she's cute

3. I CANNOT wait for tonight's Opening Ceremonies. This is what I'll be wearing tonight. No, it does not exactly fit over my belly these days, but I am not too concerned with impressing the cable box. It was a Christmas present from my sweet hubby. He clearly knows me too well.

4. I was delighted last night that NBC actually broadcast some of the competition that takes place before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Thank you figure skating team competition. I like that NBC is not being an ostrich about things like the internet, the time difference to Russia, etc. Gobs of live streaming. Lots of daytime coverage, even of big ticket events. Being upfront about those things during the prime time broadcast. This is the first Olympics I feel like they've really embraced those realities. I am also happy so far with NBC's touching on political issues -- which might be the most interesting part of these Games. True story: I wrote a paper on the Olympics and the Cold War. I want to eventually turn some of those thoughts into a post, but I want to see what transpires as the Olympics progress, lest this turn into an all-Olympics-all-the-time blog for a couple of weeks. I also must confess to having gotten teary-eyed 30 seconds into last night's broadcast during the tape of the Closing Ceremonies from Vancouver with the call to Sochi in 2014. Stopping now . . .
5. Random upshot of Russian Olympics: chance to brush up on my extraordinarily dusty ability to pronounce Russian. I can't remember much beyond, "What's that?," so I make no claim at speaking Russian, but being able to "read" that darn Cyrillic is still a fun stupid human trick.

St. Cyril, pray for us. Via

6.  Wednesday, Clare and I spent the morning with my cousin and her kids, who had the day off for teachers' professional development. We had the best day. Clare has been talking about her cousins since we left, listing them off by name, and especially enamored with "Livia."  Our main activity was making and decorating frosted sugar cookies "for Valentine's Day." It was Clare's first opportunity to get her hands dirty (literally) in the baking department. She was a natural at the eating part, but still has a way to go on the decorating part.

What? You're not supposed to lick the frosting off as you go?
7. 32 weeks!! Things are getting real y'all. This week, we passed the "2 months to my due date" mark. Mr. Man has been having quite the dance party in my belly the last couple of days. I really think I'm in for. I just hold out hope that he's at least a good sleeper!!

Getting big! 31 weeks, 6 days (yesterday)

Have a lovely weekend!

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