Tuesday, August 4, 2020

What We Read in July

July was quite the reading month for me. I was shocked to add it up and realize I had read 11 books! This is not typical for me! But I read a lot of lighter, page-turners - hence the higher book count for the month. That brings my 2020 total of books read to 55! I am sure my pace will slow down, especially in December when the baby arrives, but I am guessing I'll end up reading around 80 books this year. Not bad!

I figured I'd break my books read into categories and a select a favorite from each since I didn't have any duds this month! 

Lighter Reads


I enjoyed all 5 of these books, but "The School of Essential Ingredients" was probably my favorite. It's about a cooking class that meets at a restaurant each week. We meet a different student in each chapter, but the various characters are weaved together throughout each chapter. It was a short, fast read! 

Fiction with some heft


These fiction reads had enough heft to not quite classify them as light reads. I loved both of them, but "The Boston Girl" was my favorite of the two. It's about a woman growing up in Boston in the 1900s. In this book, she's telling the story of her life to her granddaughter so it reads like an oral history. It's a page turner! I had a hard time putting it down each night!

Nonfiction reads



All of these were great, but "So You Want to Talk About Race" was my favorite, followed by "We're Going to Need More Wine." So You Want to Talk About Race is probably the best antiracist book I've read so far. In each chapter, she tackles a topic such as police brutality, affirmative action, etc. She weaves in her personal experiences and helps you talk about these controversial issues. We're Going to Need More Wine is a memoir by Gabriella Union. She was raped while working at Payless Shoes when she was young, so she talks about her experience with that and how it's impacted her life. She's extremely vulnerable and real in this memoir. 

Paul's reads

Paul has sort of 'graduated' from board books. We still read them but he can now read longer picture books which is exciting for me as they tend to have more of a story.

But first - what  is probably an unpopular opinion: I don't really like most of the Dr. Seuss books. I know they are meant to teach kids rhyming but they are so nonsensical with made-up words and choppy story lines. Like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish stands out as one we don't like. Plus it's like 60 pages long! But Paul loves it so we continue to read it, but definitely NOT at bedtime!

Now that he's into longer books, I pulled out my favorite book from when I was young - "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." My mom gave me my copy at my baby shower. Gotta love my preschool handwriting. Also, you can see that some of the phone numbers I was practicing only had 5 digits - back in the 1980s, we only had to dial the last 5 digits for local numbers. I told Phil about this and he said that was NOT the case here in the Twin Cities area so I guess it was a rural America thing! Anyways, Paul loves this book! 



Another book he loves is "The Best Nest" by P.D. Eastman. We read this book in the hospital when Paul was getting his tubes back in November of 2018. It's about a bird couple who is looking for a house because Mrs. Bird hates their current house. At that point we were over a year into house search and Phil thought the book was hilarious (Mrs. Bird is kind of bossy and not so nice to Mr. Bird - that is NOT how I am, but I was definitely the one pushing us to buy a different house). So Phil tracked the book down - he had to order a used copy from Amazon as it's out of print. This is one of Paul's favorite books so now we get to relive the process of house hunting from a bird's perspective every day!


He also loves the Laura Numeroff books (If you give a cat a cupcake/moose a muffin/etc). They are cute and a fast read so we always read one at bedtime (he gets 4 books at bedtime so we try to pick shortish books). And lastly, he loves this 8 Little Planets book that my parents got him for Christmas 2 years ago. Phil reads this to him nearly every night and now he can ask Paul which planet we live on/which is red/which is the fastest/which one has rings, and Paul knows the answer. So he knows more about the planets than I do - for real. Science is really not my forte so Phil will be the one teaching him that kind of stuff!

What have you been reading lately? If you have kids, what books are they loving these days?

Monday, August 3, 2020

A Perfect Summer Weekend

I've mentioned before that this summer has been HOT HOT HOT. I usually love hot weather but it's just been ridiculously humid - like too hot to be outdoors in the afternoon. I guess I know what Floridians feel like!! But this weekend, drier air from Canada moved in and the weather was delightful. It was still warm and sunny but the air was so dry which makes a huge difference! So we made the most of it and tried to be outdoors as much as possible.

On Friday, the golf set we ordered for Paul arrived so he played with it when he got home from daycare. We tried to coach him on how to hold the club but he was not open to instruction... Ha! He was like the mad hatter from Alice in Wonderland. And he appears to have the patience of his mama (I'm the less patient person in my marriage!). But he did have fun with the set and hopefully this will nurture his interest in golf. Phil is a very good golfer and played lots of golf with his dad when he was growing up so he's hoping to do the same with Paul!


For dinner on Friday, I made these Greek Turkey burgers and they were amazing! The recipe calls for lamb but I have a weird aversion to lamb so we used turkey. The recipe says to make 6 patties but I made 4 patties instead. They were pretty large, but fit perfectly on the bun (I had a GF bun, of course). We had them with potato chips and green beans from my garden.



On Saturday, I met up with some college girlfriends to kayak! We've been talking about doing this for a couple of summers and finally made it happen. We all met at Bde Maka Ska (formerly known as Lake Calhoun). 2 of us kayaked and 1 paddle boarded. We saw 3 different lakes (Bde Maka Ska, Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake) as they are all connected by channels of water. I of course had to take a picture of the group of adolescent duckies I saw so I could show Paul. I wonder where their mom was!!



While I was out kayaking, Phil and Paul went to the park and then threw rocks into the creek. It was nice for them to get some one-on-one time together without mommy around!


I got the itch to work on a puzzle so on Friday night I started this and Paul "helped" me finish it on Saturday. Given the size of the puzzle pieces, it wasn't challenging but was still fun to put together. It's a 1980s world map so A LOT has changed since then!!


On Sunday, we all slept until about 8 am!!! I don't know that Paul has ever slept that late. So that felt amazing, especially since I had slept poorly the night before. Phil went swimming but we had to stay back as Paul has an ear infection. We need to keep his ears dry when he has infections so we went for a walk and stopped at the park. He had so much fun so he was VERY MAD when it was time to go home and have lunch! I was the mom carrying a screaming, kicking child out of the park and then had to wrestle him into the stroller. Toddlers have STRONG opinions about things!


The park/outdoor time must have worn him out as I had to wake him after 2 hours and 45 minutes of napping. I didn't want him to sleep too much and then struggle to fall asleep. I guess his body is still fighting that darn ear infection and needed the extra sleep! After his nap we went on another family walk. We've barely been able to do that this summer due to the humidity/heat in the afternoon!

It's going to be pretty mild for the next couple of days so I am soaking up this weather while it lasts. It looks like we'll be back in the 80s next week which is good since that's when we will be at the lake visiting my parents!

How was your weekend? How has the weather been where you are?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Virtual Coffee Date Catch-Up

Happy Tuesday! Can you believe it's the last week of July? Usually that would make me sad, but since this summer hasn't been typical with all the COVID precautions we've been taking, I'm not sad that it's going by quickly!

I haven't done a coffee date catch-up in a while! It's a good way to chat about a random assortment of things that are on my mind! So grab your beverage of choice and settle in. I'm writing this while enjoying a hot decaf coffee w/ vanilla creamer - I wish I liked cold coffee and it's not ideal to drink a hot beverage when it's so warm out but I can't stand cold coffee. I don't even like coffee ice cream. It's weird I know.

If we had a coffee date today...

- I'd tell you that our 20 week ultrasound went well last week. Phil was able to come with since we went to a perinatal practice. Perinatal practices tend to encounter issues since they only see high risk or complicated pregnancies, so that is why they allowed a support person. It was really nice to have Phil there. Everything looked good on the ultrasound which is such a relief. There is a slight issue with where the umbilical cord attaches to the placenta, so they'll need to do growth ultrasounds starting at 28 weeks. But so far the baby is measuring ahead so it doesn't seem like it's causing any problems. Hopefully that continues to be the case. I think now we will start to talk more seriously about names. Phil has vetoed all of my suggestions so I told him he needs to come up with some suggestions. He doesn't seem to be in a rush, though. Ha. Granted, we have 4 months but I'd like to get this decision made sooner than later!

- I'd tell you that I've been reading a ton lately! I'll finish my 11th book for the month tonight! Yes, 11! Insane, right? But I've read some light reads/major page-turners like The Bride Test, The School of Essential Ingredients, The Bookshop on the Shore, and Love Lettering. I'm finding myself drawn to more lighter reads right now because life just feels kind of heavy with everything going on with COVID, the fight for racial equality, etc. I am still reading 1-2 antiracist books each month, too. This month I read a young adult novel called "Stamped: Antiracism and You" and "So You Want to Talk About Race." Both were great but the second is as must-read for anyone trying to educate themselves on how to be an antiracist.

- I'd tell you that we just finished "The Last Dance" which is a documentary series about Michael Jordan's seasons with the Chicago Bulls. It was SO GOOD. There is strong language in it, so I probably wouldn't recommend it for young kids. But it was really interesting. That was such an amazing era for basketball. I did not know about all the drama going on between the general manager and owner and the players/coach. The general manager and owner definitely come off as idiotic a-holes. They basically destructed a team that had just won it's 2nd 3-peat within 8 years. It shows you how amazing Phil Jackson was/is. Funny story - my mom went to college with him at UND. She knew the girl who was dating him at the time and he was apparently the big man on campus - both literally and figuratively.

- I'd tell you that I am trying to not wish away summer but DANG it has been hot and humid. Like too hot and humid to be outside in the afternoon. We've had Florida-like humidity with dew points in the 70s and 80s. Luckily the humidity is much lower this week so I am going to try to make the most of this week before the humidity returns. People are often surprised to hear how humid it gets in MN. It's crazy to think it can be -30F with the windchill in the winter and then we can have heat indexes above 100 in the summer! I typically love summer but this year our options are so limited due to COVID so it's not a typical summer at all. Usually we'd be up at my parents lake place for a long weekend once/month and I was planning to hit a bunch of splash pads and wading pools with Paul but that is not happening thanks to COVID. All that said, I'm grateful for air conditioning! And that we have a guest room in the basement - that's pretty much where I sleep every night because it is much cooler down there. Phil has a higher tolerance for heat and prefers to keep our house at 78 which is just too hot for pregnant Lisa!

- I'd end my telling you how excited I am for our visit to my parents in August. I'm just hoping and praying our COVID tests are negative, but I really doubt either of us will be positive. We haven't had any cases at daycare since Memorial Day and we are very cautious about where we go/what we do. I will only see friends in outdoor settings with the exception of our best friends whose kids go to the same daycare. We are all living for that week off at the lake. Hopefully the weather cooperates but no matter what, I know it's going to be an awesome week of time in the water, good food, and lots of card games with my parents. Plus I know my mom is going to help out so much with Paul - or as much as he will let her!

Your turn - if we were getting coffee or tea today, what would you tell me? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

What We've Been Eating Lately!

Happy Wednesday! How is your week going? Today, I'm going to talk about what we've been eating lately as I love reading about what others are cooking. It usually gives me some much-needed inspiration! As you can see, we tend to eat a lot of Mexican and Indian dishes as these are flavor profiles we love. Plus those cuisines tend to be naturally gluten free.

1. Picadillo from my new Milk Street Kitchen Fast and Slow Instant Pot Cookbook. This is the first recipe I made from this book and it was a hit! Paul's portion is shown on the left below. I served it with beans and rice (we ate it on top of beans rice, I kept his separate as I wasn't sure if he'd eat the picadillo). It yielded several meals of leftovers and then Phil and I finished it off on Sunday - he put it on top of eggs and hashbrown. That was a really good combo! For those not familiar with picadillo, it's a Cuban dish with green olives, tomato paste, and spices such as cumin.



2. Chipotle Chicken Kabob tacos. This recipe caught my eye when a finance blogger I follow posted it. It's a kabob recipe but I skipped the kabob process and just cooked it over the stove top along with some peppers and onions. Originally I was going to cook this on a grill basket on our grill, but the heat index was 110F that day and I could bear to stand over a hot grill in that heat. I should have halved the chipotle in adobo sauce like the blogger did. It was too spicy for our toddler, but he did take a few bites. I used the leftovers to make burrito bowls for lunches using Spanish rice leftovers from another meal and black beans.

Sauteing the peppers/onions and the chicken while warming the corn tortillas.

My tacos with a little guac on the side for chips. I topped mine with a little sour cream to offset the heat of the chipotles!!

3. Lentil Enchiladas. The recipe I use is in the Peas and Thank You Cookbook, but this version is a copycat. We use real cheese and extra olives when we make ours. I also use green lentils instead of red so our filling takes longer to cook. I served this with Spanish rice. This is Phil's favorite meal I make and Paul loves it, too!

4. Rogan Josh from the Milk Street Kitchen cookbook. This recipe was kind of putzy as you had to reduce the sauce after the chicken cooked but it was worth the effort! It was on par with Indian take-out in my opinion!! I served it on Basmati rice with green beans from my garden. Paul did not eat any of this as I figured the Indian flavors would be too strong for him. So he had beans, rice, and enchiladas. I tried giving him some green beans but he wouldn't touch them. He's missing out!


And that's a wrap! Tell me what you've been eating lately! Typically we would have had one grilled meal during the week but the extreme heat/humidity made grilling less appealing last week!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Division of Labor

Hey hey! Happy Monday! This post has been brewing in my mind for awhile and then I heard an episode on this topic on The Girl Next Door podcast and it motivated me to actually write it!

Division of labor is something Phil and I have given a lot of thought to, especially since Paul was born. Or maybe it's more accurate to say it's something I've given a lot of thought to and have forced him to think about! Ha! A lot has changed since Paul was born, and that is a good thing. There is so much research out there about the uneven distribution of work in households. If that is ok with both partners, then the uneven distribution is fine. But if it's NOT ok, something needs to change or resentment will build - at least in my experience. Ha. But unless you talk about that resentment/frustration, nothing will change. It turns out your partner can't read your mind! Ha!

Here is how we split things, broken up by category. It's about as equitable as we can get, I think. I'm sure it will ebb and flow as our kids get older, but this system is working pretty well!

Kid related:
- Phil and I typically split drop-off and pick-up duties. When we were working in our offices, Phil did drop off and I did pick up. Now he honestly does way more of both because he goes into the office 3-4 days/week (it's very safe for him to do as he has his own office and very few people are coming in). When we both were working in the office, I got Paul ready every day as I would shower first and give him breakfast while I got ready for the day. Now Phil gets him ready nearly every morning.

- I schedule all doctor/dentist appointments, which is a lot since he sees a pediatrician, ENT, and urologist. I'm hoping we can drop the urologist appointments after his next check up when he turns 3. I tend to take him to most appointments but if I am busy at work, Phil will take him.

- We used to take turns doing bedtime, but in the summer Paul needs a bath every day. He comes home super sticky/sweaty from all the running around at daycare and he smells like sunscreen. So I do bath every night and then Phil does bedtime.

- Paul has a strong preference for mama, so sometimes that limits how much we can split duties. There are times when Paul will say, "no, mama do it," especially during mealtimes and while we could push back on that, it can result on him throwing a handful of food in frustration so we usually just give in and I help him... This will hopefully/probably change when the 2nd baby arrives.

- In general, though, I need to acknowledge that Phil is doing even more than usual right now because I have been so exhausted during this pregnancy and have had a number of flares. When I get flares, they tend to impact my hand joints so it really limits what I can do. And I also have been napping when Paul naps so Phil often gets him up from his nap and gets him his snack. 

- This will get a turned upside down again when baby #2 arrives. I'll be on maternity leave until mid-April so I will do all the night time wakes up since I can nap when baby naps. But once I'm back at work, if I'm not breast feeding we will split the night wake ups like we did with Paul.

Home/maintenance related:
- Phil mows the lawn, trims shrubs, etc. I actually don't even know how to turn on our lawn mower! But this is a task he enjoys doing. He also handles bigger projects like putting down mulch. In the winter, he does all the snow blowing and most of the shoveling. I will occasionally offer to shovel the sidewalks/steps to get a workout in but he does this 90% of the time.

- He handles all the other home maintenance stuff like scheduling the furnace tune-ups, replacing air filters, replacing light bulbs, etc.

Food/Meal related:
- This is the category that has changed the most since having Paul. I used to do the meal planning, grocery shopping and all the cooking. Now we sit down together mid-week to look at the ads for our local store and Aldi and discuss meals. I find meal planning to be fatiguing at times and while he was always happy with what I picked, having his input/suggestions really helps. Then we update the grocery list on our shared note on the iPhone and he does the grocery shopping on Saturday morning. I do nearly all of the cooking except he does the grilling and will make scrambled eggs when we have that for weekend brunch.

Laundry/cleaning related:
- Last August, Phil agreed to hire a house cleaning company and this has been a big game changer for me. We used to split the house cleaning but I hated doing it. We were gone 50+ hours/week between work and commuting and the last thing I wanted to do on my weekends when Paul was napping was clean. I realize that we are incredibly lucky to be able to hire this out, but it's been very good for our marriage/my happiness. Our cleaners come every other week and do an amazing job. They get the house cleaner than I ever could. They have a crew of 4+ people so are only here for about an hour. So I hide out in our upstairs office during that time. We do not do much cleaning in between to be honest. We'll wipe up counters and use our dust buster to vacuum up crumbs but that's about it.

- I usually start the loads of laundry, except we try to share the chore of starting Paul's diapers because that is the grossest job! Ha! We each fold our own clothes and I fold Paul's clothes.

Finances:
- Phil manages our finances. He keeps an eye on the cash balance in our checking account and will move money in if he knows of an upcoming expense, like a tax payment. He also takes care of all of the differently insurance policies.

- We have a quarterly financial review where we update the balances of all of our various investment accounts, etc, and talk about our investing plans. We are each responsible for managing our own 401k, IRA, etc.

If you have a partner, tell me about your division of labor! I always find others' approaches to this fascinating. Are there any pain points? For us, pain points are usually related to caring for Paul but we have tried to make that as equitable as possible. Now if he would let daddy do more, we'd be in an even better spot!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Currently: July

I somehow haven't done a currently post since April - where did the time go? Time felt like it crawled in the spring but it's been going by pretty quickly lately! Summer is so short here, so I'm trying to pack as much outdoor fun as I can. Plus once the cold weather hits, my social options will be very limited - we'll basically only hang out with day care families since they are in our immunity bubble... but let's not think about that yet!

Reading: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. After reading many light books, I decided it was time to read another book about race. I've heard great things about this book so I am sure I will learn a lot!

Loving: our Sunday tradition of going to a local lake. Phil swims the course and Paul and I play in the water. He loves the water so much which makes me so happy! I do wish I could get him to wear a puddle jumper life jacket so he could try swimming more independently, but he only weighs around 25 lbs and the puddle jumpers are best for kids who weigh around 30 pounds. So it seems like he won't be big enough for the puddle jumper until next summer most likely as he seems to gain about 4 pounds/year!

Feeling: better mentally/emotionally now that I've been able to get together with different friend groups. March-May were kind of tough as I felt so isolated. I'm glad that outdoor gatherings are safe! I'm trying to plan social gatherings often right now since I know our options will be extremely limited come late fall/winter.

Anticipating: our week up at my parents' lake home in August. We are all living for this vacation right now. Neither Phil or I have taken much time off in the last 4 months so we are really looking forward to a full week off from work. Plus my mom is always super helpful when we are up there so I imagine we'll get to sleep in and really relax up there. I know Paul misses Nana and Papa, too, so it's going to be a great week! I did find out this week that I need to bring my laptop out as another coworker planned a vacation for the same week and will not have cell reception, so I'll need to be available if my coworker gets overwhelmed. So that is a bummer, but summers tend to be quieter so hopefully I don't have to login. 

Struggling: with anger over people making such a stink about wearing masks. This is not hard to do and research shows it limits the spread of COVID. I've stopped reading articles about mask-wearing because it works me up so much. Phil and I wear masks anytime we are indoors. They are not required outdoors here so we don't wear them on walks. We can't get Paul to wear a mask so we don't take him to stores, etc. We didn't before COVID, though. Shopping/running errands with kids is NOT fun!

Grateful: that we haven't had any COVID cases at daycare since the 3 cases in May. I think our daycare is doing an excellent job and I am very grateful we can take Paul there. Everyone is much, much happier when he is in daycare! He learns so much and gets to do fun things like water days! 

Working: on our 2020 photo book. I try to work on 2 months, so I did Jan/Feb pages in March. But then I hadn't touched it since! But earlier this week I worked on the Mar-May pages. It really doesn't take much time when I sit down and do it, but I tend to put it off. I highly recommend working on it throughout the year so you can remember things more freshly in your mind. Plus I found it overwhelming to do alll the months at once like I did for our 2018 photo book. I'm sure I am over-documenting Paul's childhood but I know we'll appreciate having these photo books to look back on!

Listening: to Taylor Swift when I am in the car with Paul. He is a big T-Swift fan! His favorite songs are "The Man" and "Soon You'll Get Better" (which he calls "ohh ahh" since that is part of the chorus). He actually knows most of the words of "Soon You''ll Get Better." It's so cute to hear him sing along. Now I need to introduce him to Brandi Carlile!

Watching: Brooklyn 9-9. We are almost done with season 4. I will say the last couple of seasons have been a little meh compared to the first 2. But I'm thinking it must get better again since they kept making the show!

Wishing: 
for gorgeous weather during our August trip to the lake!

Bonus Paul Pictures:

Watching videos with daddy. I love how he has his hands behind his head. He loves watching Baby Shark, Old MacDonald, and some Sesame Street videos.

 Since he's a big fan of chicken and farm animals, he loves this shirt! It says "hangin' with my peeps."

Giving some of his blocks (remnants from building our deck) a ride on the slide.

What are you reading, loving, and anticipating?

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

What's in a Name?

On a recent podcast episode of The Mom Hour (great podcast about parenting!) the hosts talked about how they came up with names for the 8 kids they have between them (one host has 5 kids, the other has 3). It was a really fun episode and was a topic that is heavy on our minds right now since we have a 2nd boy on the way in December. So I thought it'd be fun to talk about the origin story for my name and how we decided on the name Paul Donald for our first child. I'll also discuss nicknames, too!

My name story:

How my name was chosen:  I was the 4th kid my parents had and my dad got to pick out my name. Wow, my mom must have really trusted him or known she would like what he picked. I can't see myself telling Phil to pick the baby's name! Maybe she had a veto option, though? He chose Lisa and I was named after.... a soap opera character!! Funny, right? My dad is a very blue collar man's man but he used to watch a soap opera when he came home for lunch each day. Apparently there was this strong, confident female character whose name was Lisa, so that was the inspiration. My middle name was going to be Suzanne, but our last name started with a D so my initials would have been LSD. My parents were NOT on board with that, so they shorted it to Anne.

Nicknames:  The main nickname I have is not derived from my name at all - I have no idea where it came from. But my parents called me Fritz when I was young. Some college friends call me "Lees" but most of the other names I've had were derivatives of my last name. At work, I used to be called "D-rod" which is the first letter and last syllable of my maiden name. Now that I've changed my name, that nickname doesn't get used as much, except by one co-worker.

How I felt/feel about my name:  well, I tried to change my name to Stephanie (after the character in Full House) in 3rd grade so that probably tells you that I wasn't thrilled with the name when I was young. I took this name change very seriously. I wrote Stephanie on all of my papers/homework and would only answer to Stephanie in the classroom. I eventually gave up and accepted that Lisa would be my name. As an adult, I'd say I've accepted my name. I know it's a very big decision that parents put a lot of thought into. And I can't imagine my name being anything else.

Paul's name story:

How his name was chosen:  We did not know the gender during the last pregnancy so we had to come up with a name for either gender. It was NOT an easy decision as both Phil and I are extremely picky. But we do both prefer strong, classic names. Early on, we decided to go with Paul for a boy. My dad's name is Paul and Phil's parents' first child was Paul. Sadly, their little boy died shortly before turning 2 due to a fall at daycare that resulted in head trauma that he did not survive. When we were leaning towards picking Paul, we talked to Phil's mom to make sure she was ok with this and said we could use it for a middle name if it would be painful for us to use that for a first name. She was completely on board with us using it as his first name, though. It is nice that the name Paul has meaning on both sides of our family and Joan has told us that our Paul reminds her of her Paul. We did not tell my parents that we chose Paul until after he was born. I remember calling my parents from the C-section recovery room, having them put me on speaker (they were on their way to the hospital), and telling them we had chosen Paul. We knew my dad would be very touched so didn't think we needed his permission to use the name. And we were right. He was incredibly honored/touched. Our Paul's middle name is Donald which is Phil's dad's name. So Paul is named after his 2 grandfathers. Family is very important to both Phil and me so I am glad we were able to use family names!

I do have a funny story about my dad and Paul sharing a name. During my maternity leave I was up at the lake for a couple of days. My mom's brother called while my mom was giving Paul a bottle, so I answered the phone for her and said my mom was feeding Paul but I'd hand the phone off to her shortly. There was this long, pregnant pause. And then my uncle realized that she was feeling baby Paul! He laughed so hard and said he was thinking - 'geez, what is going on with your dad if your mom is feeding him?' hahahaha

Nicknames: Paul goes to Spanish Immersion daycare and the vowel sound of Paul is difficult for native Spanish speakers to pronounce, so from day one he's been Pablo which quickly became Pablito because Paul is very small for his age. I think Paul knows his name is Paul, but he mostly says "Pablo" when referring to himself. And we tend to call him Pablo more than Paul. I sometimes wonder what people think when they see a white lady calling her blond, blue-eyed, fair-skinned child "Pablo." But it does really fit his personality. Once he goes to school, I am sure he will start using Paul instead of Pablo, but for now, it just fits him so well.

The next baby's name:

Well that is to be determined and we won't share the name until the baby is born. I've learned from watching others share a name before the baby is born that some people tend to say awful things about a name when it's not attached to a beautiful baby. People seem less likely to tell you to your face that they don't like the name you've chosen if you wait until the baby is born. I started a list of names in the note ap of my iPhone but so far, Phil is not ready to talk about names. So I don't think we'll start seriously discussing it until the 3rd trimester. It would have been kind of nice to have a girl, because we both still liked the girl name we had picked out before - Claire Margaret. Claire is not a family name, but Margaret is Phil's mom's middle name.

It's going to be challenging to pick another boy name. I have 5 nephews and there are so dang many boys in Phil's family. We don't really want to pick a name that is already in use and we don't like any of the options of the older males in our family. Well, I like Neil, my paternal grandpa's name, but Phil isn't on board with that as it's the name of one of his good friends. So we'll see what we come up with. I will say it will likely be another traditional name - neither one of us feels like the name needs to be unique.

Your turn! Do you know how your parents came up with your name? If you have children, was it hard to come up with names? It's such a big decision so we find it kind of difficult!