Over-scheduled, plus photos of our Revolutionary War field trip

1. Overscheduling

This week I ridiculously overscheduled our family.  We hopped from one event to the next all week, leaving school time rushed and the house a disaster.  Many of our activities were enjoyable and fun and I thought I was going to make it through.

Until  5:45 pm today when Kevin walked in and asked if I was okay.  He looked at me with his handsome brown eyes, really searching deep into my soul…  and I burst into an ugly, snotty cry.

That’s when I finally figured out that I was, in actuality, not making it through very well at all.  (Perhaps the afternoon of nagging kids to just. finish. their. dang. chores/schoolwork should have hinted at my discontent, but I am not, in fact, very observant.  Or nice, apparently.)


Gianna hamming it up as she refuses to pay her stamp tax.

Gianna hamming it up as she refuses to pay her stamp tax.

2. I am grateful for my husband and his willingness to let me cry all over his nice work shirt, and especially when he sends me off to bed with my book and an order to stay in there until dinner is ready.

That is all.


Aliya grinding wheat.  I'm about to put this girl to work.

Aliya grinding wheat. I’m about to put this girl to work.

3. Dwija nailed it.

Did you read Dwija’s All In post?  It’s been running through my head all week and I think I’m being honest when I say that other than my husband, it’s what got me through the insanity.  Here is a snippet:

“Maybe everyone does this, but I feel like I’m particularly good (bad?) at compartmentalizing things and becoming rigid and unfeeling when I am trying to achieve a particular goal.  And then it’s as if I’m a spectator, sort of looking down on the mayhem.  My mind and heart are not “in it.”  What I want during those times is for everyone to shut up and do what I say, not for their benefit but for mine, and I’d even like them to do the things I’ve neglected to say but I just assume everyone ought to know I’m thinking because duh.  Obviously.”

Right there, she was describing me.  Like 14,967 times just this week.  Thanks to her, I did do the take-a-deep-breath and say ‘all in’ and do you know what?  It really helped.  Really and truly.  To recommit to my role as a mother and wife and a human on earth who really wants to do her best and not just make it to the next resting point?  Yes, it helps.  So say it with me: “All in.”


Gabriel under the apple trees.  He's actually eating an apple we broguht, but later we did get to munch the farm grown apples.  Yummmmmm.

Gabriel under the apple trees. He’s actually eating an apple we broguht, but later we did get to munch the farm grown apples. Yummmmmm.

4. Going out on a limb here…

and sharing a vaccine post: Exactly Who Is “Anti-Vaccine?” I would never label myself as such (I’m pro informed consent and parental rights, if you want to slap labels on me at all), but have been called so before, and in not the most charitable of ways either.  I think the link does a good job of pointing out that most people who are labeled as anti-vaccine (or in my case, as someone who “doesn’t believe in science”) are far from it.  Let’s all play nice and try to work together for a solution that works for everyone.  Name calling, stereotyping and stigmatizing aren’t productive.  Not ever.


Even the 3 year-olds can grind wheat.  Go, Zeke!

Even the 3 year-olds can grind wheat. Go, Zeke!

5. 31 Days of Blogging begins in October, and I will NOT be participating.  You’re welcome.

Not that you care, but here is just a sampling of why I won’t be doing it.

A. Re-read numbers 1 and 2.

B. The last time I did 7 posts in 7 days, I think 27% of my loyal readers fled.

C. Re-read 1 again.  Now imagine more snot.

D. Quality vs. quantity (And no, I do not consider this post to be indicative of “quality”.  But a girl can keep trying, right?)


What is this sorcery?  A water pump that requires pumping?

What is this sorcery?

6. Baby Names

We have not even come close to deciding, so this is not an announcement.  My question for those of you with children: do you always have names picked ahead of time? Or do you wait until baby comes to finalize  We usually wait, and I’m always intrigued by you planners.  How do you do it?  (Asks the girl who never met a deadline without pulling an all-nighter.)  And those of you who don’t yet have babies, do you have names already picked out?

And for everyone: who wants to give me some baby girl names?  I am such a sucker for baby name games!  So throw out some suggestions!


My little Lobster-backs/Tories.  A sad fate awaits them as they march on the waiting town.

My little Lobster-backs/Tories. A sad fate awaits them as they march on the waiting town.

7. I loved all your ideal birth situations from last week’s Quick Takes.

I am behind in responding to comments, but I truly enjoyed them.  So many different takes on them, and I love that there’s no one right way to do something as monumental as giving birth.

See? Dead, every last one.

See? Dead, every last one.


Now, all of you women readers, please go check out the most recent post for the Stella Maris Book Club.  I want to know which book you want to read next month!


Aaaaaaand, finally, go check out our esteemed hostess, Jen F at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes, D.C.-style.




  1. Eleanor was on our short list.
    We were planners… The conversation for baby no. 1 involved about two minutes, and then that was it and we had Lucy Revolution. Baby no. 2 was a more involved brainstorm, but we finally settled on Penelope Kippeum. Both times, though, we started calling the baby by her name and I felt like that helped me to bond and be ready to meet this strange new person.

  2. Thank you for not doing the 31 day thing. Can’t lie, when I see those challenges, I end up deleting a whole lot of posts. Even the seven day one is a lot!

    Love that article!

    For two of our children we didn’t have a name picked out until birth. And with David I think he was like 5 days old or something when we finally decided!
    Mary @ Better Than Eden recently posted…What a Hay Fight Won’t Show YouMy Profile

  3. We are baby name planners. Christopher was very very easy to name. My dad is Kris Peter. My brother is Peter Christopher. So I flipped it again and got my Christopher Peter. We had a girl name picked out for the ultrasound day but I wasn’t completely sold on it.

    Baby girl names have always been our downfall. We could name 5 boys easy. (And we have a list and we’d go down it in order.) The names we love are too popular right now and I absolutely consider that in my naming process. So, this may sound really weird but as we moved out of TTA to TTC I was totally prompted with a name. I couldn’t get it out of my head. And I loved it. So I mentioned it to Husband. And all of a sudden we had a usable girl name. And… whenever she decides to join us in the big world here we will announce it. Because we are planners but also secret keepers. In fact Husband’s family doesn’t even know we’re having a girl. They don’t find out the gender on that side. So we just didn’t tell them.

    And this is a really long comment to tell you my opinion on baby names. Boys = easy for us. Girls = we have one name we can agree on and we intend to use it in the next few weeks here. 🙂 If we ever had another girl we would be back at square one.
    Madeline recently posted…Sweet MomentsMy Profile

  4. Baby name planners over here. We get the whole family involved. We check the “popular names” lists and avoid those names. We try to make sure the name has some good meaning–either named after someone OR etymology. Sadly two of our kids’ names have strange etymologies (one means red-headed and one means hard-headed…). And by the time we got to baby 4, we realized we had a theme: last-names as first names, and my husband wouldn’t consider anything else unless it was the original baby name we’d picked out like 10 years ago.

    I get stressed out if we don’t have a name picked out by about halfway through!

  5. How about Stella or Maris? 🙂 We are planners over here and decide within days of ultrasound because I love talking baby names and my husband hates it, so he wants to get it over with asap. 😉
    Holly recently posted…Being Mama to A GirlMy Profile

  6. I’m a planner and I like the bond with the baby once we have a name picked out. I also nix any names that are in the top 50. My motto is unique but not unheard of. I love older names for girls like Rose, Francesca, Iris, Susan, Rachel, etc… Good luck!

  7. I would make lists of names I liked (gleaned from baby name and saints books and baby name wizard) and then offer them to my husband,. He’d hate them all, add some suggestions, and then we’d repeat the process the next week or month. Eventually, we’d narrow choices down. We did usually have a preference going in, but allowed for inspiration. The only time this didn’t work was when I had my youngest daughter a month early (emergency c-section) – we had NO names ready. So she wound up getting the girl name from her older brother’s list, which was originally a joke – Tabitha Kateri – Tabby Kat! However, given the circumstances of her birth and how tiny and sweet she was, it turned out just right for her.
    So make sure you have a few names in hand!
    Girl names: Tatiana, Felicity, Maeve, Veronica, Miranda, Esther, Nora, Marta.

    Have fun with the choice!

  8. Glad your husband sent you to your room with a book. That’s just perfect. I am not a planner. At all. We didn’t find out gender till the babies were pulled from my womb and I’m pretty sure Eli was decided on while driving up to the hospital. We always have girl names no problem (by always I mean the twice). And for whatever reason it’s so hard to decide on boy names! And the 31 days of blogging sounds overwhelming to me. I can’t even imagine, but kudos to those who can! 🙂
    Amanda recently posted…7QT: Last Weekend was Great, Good, and all things WonderfulMy Profile

  9. “ALL IN!!” – I loved that… going to try it as we have alot on our plate, but I like it all individually, just feeling a bit overwhelmed.

    For kiddo number one, it was the first suggestion out of my husband’s mouth, and I loved it. We picked it really early (first trimester) and stuck with it. With the second kiddo we had many discussions with the baby name book, each of us making lists of our favorites, crossing off names on the top 20 list, and then checking to see if we had anything in common. I was worried, as it was down to the wire, and even when we chose names, we were sure of the order until the day before. Kiddo number two has already told us she will legally change her name when she is old enough, not sure if she will still feel that way when she is older, or if it is a teen phase. Kiddo number one says she loves her name.

  10. #4,,,,,loved the article

    Names…we are planners and pick a name as soon as we find out at the ultrasound. We look at means, popularity and what goes with the other kids (We try to have the sibling names sorta “go” together).. Of course what we didn’t plan on is Disney coming out with a major princess movie the year after my baby was born so our “uncommon mame’ (Elsa) isn’t so uncommon anymore. LOL. Well you can’t plan on anything.

    Since you have an Alilyah and a Gianna, I think you should stick with the “ah” sounding at the end (or is that too dorky)?

    Anna (pronounces An-ya)
    Amelia 🙂

    I had way too much fun with that. I love naming other people’s babies!
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…Why I Need A Goose for Monday and other Random ThingsMy Profile

  11. We had some baby names in advance, but didn’t decide our latest until we were in n our way to the hospital. With one, we were expecting a set of twins, had the pair picked out but didn’t know which was which until my husband had to baptize one in extremis.

    Thanks for the vaccine article. We had an interesting conversation tonight about my husband choosing to get a DTaP booster after the birth of our newest baby. He has had a nasty bit of eczema flair up at the injection site that won’t clear up, and we expected that to happen. He explained that he recognized a trade-off between a temporary inconvenience (one I can likely fix with homeopathy) and the risk of the particular disease. I find it ironic that must people would label me anti-vaccine because I see that any trade-off exists at all.
    Laura the Ringmistress recently posted…Let Me Show You My Mussels, and Other Quick Takes on FridayMy Profile

    • I’m so sorry to hear about the emergency baptism. I really hope it wasn’t necessary after all.

      As I mentioned to Abby above, that’s what frustrates me about the vaccine debate. It’s all so black and white and ANGRY. No one is willing to hear each other out or see that there are trade-offs, one way or the other.

  12. Oh, I just love the Baby Name Wizard. I could spend all night (um, have spent all night) reading that blog and playing with the name engines.

    Some of my favorite girls’ names:
    Marie (my daughter’s name 🙂 )
    Catherine recently posted…WWRW: Because I haven’t been talking about homeschooling enough on this blogMy Profile

    • Oh, yes. Baby Name Wizard is the best. I used to have the book, but it fell apart. However, I feel like the website has some pay sections? I remember feeling annoyed that it wasn’t all accessible, but it’s been a long time. I love your name suggestions, too!

  13. We’ve usually picked names before birth, and I think it’s gotten easier since we have developed a genre of girl and boys names for our current kids. Limits are a good help, I think. What about Stella Marie? Might work for you and Kevin?

    Also, really appreciated the vaccine piece. We generally vaccinate on schedule with no problems, but it’s always good for me to remember not to be judge-y, that other smart, thoughtful people who I really like might actually disagree with me about something. And that’s ok. They might even be right.

    • And that’s why I think parents are the key to the whole vaccine debate. You’re doing what’s best for your family because you know your family best! I think the thing that frustrates me the most about the whole debate is the sit-down-and-shut-up attitude people take (on both extremes of the issue, for the record). True academic discourse doesn’t require submission and I’m always very wary when public opinion demands it Call me a contrarian…