Monthly Archives: February 2017

Name of the Day: Rupert

The German form of Robert this name means bright fame. In the top 200 in England and Wales, its not even ranked in the top 1,000 here in the States.

Rupert Murdoch may be a strong association for some. As I work in media, I do have some respect for the empire he’s built. However, I don’t have much respect for him as a person, so let’s find some better namesakes, shall we?

Rupert Brooke was a British War poet who was also known for his boyish good looks. His most known poem is the Soldier, read it here. A young man with lots of passion, he died at the age of 27.  I would have loves to see what he would have accomplished had he lived a longer life.

Prince Rupert of Rhine was an extremely interesting individual of the 17th century. He was an artist, soldier, scientist and more. He was very bright and quick witted, but it seems he often had the temper to match. Read more about him here.

A German king in the 15th century King Rupert was given the surname Clemens meaning “the gentle”. Though his efforts were mostly for naught, he did continuously try to bring peace to his kingdom.

Rupert von Trapp is the real life oldest son in the Trapp Family singers. In the Sound of Music his character was Friedrich (which by the way is another name we love!!). Peter is a big ol’ weirdo who dislikes the movie Sound of Music (one of my all time favorites), but I believe he’s in agreement that the story of the real von Trapp family is very inspirational, so perhaps he will love this namesake as much as I do…. probably not.

Rupert is also the name of not one but two bears. Rupert Bear is a children’s comic strip in England, being published since 1935 and still today. It’s also the name of Stewie’s stuffed bear on Family Guy, which is of course my husband’s first association with the name. You can find other famous Ruperts on this Wikipedia page.




Name of the Day: Sigrid

Meaning “beautiful victory” this name is currently common in Sweden and Norway, but hasn’t ranked in the top 1,000 in the U.S. since 1915. I love the sound of it, but I also love the nickname Siri and Sigi.

Sigrid Undset was a Nobel Prize winning writer. She is best known for her trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter , a historical novel that follows the life of a woman living in Scandinavia in the middle ages from birth to death.

Sigrid Banér was a Swedish noble known for the letters she wrote detailing her family’s history. She also sponsored scholarships for students to study theology at Uppsala University. I imagine her to have been a very generous person because of this.

Sigrid Peyerimhoff is a German chemist who has written over 400 articles, won several awards and is on the executive board of several professional societies. And let’s be honest, just being a woman in the field of chemistry is pretty bad ass.

Sigrid Hunke is a German author known for her work in religious studies. She was a Pagan Unitarian, a religion based on connecting with nature and personal spiritual growth, which I dig.

Sigrid Schultz might be my favorite Sigrid. An American journalist, she was arguably the best investigative reporter leading up to and during World War II. This is all the more impressive cosnidering before her no woman was even given such a job in the media. She wrote several books as well. Above all she worked hard to uncover the truth and present information as fairly as possible, but also made her beliefs known regarding those being unfairly persecuted.

More writers, artists, royalty, athletes and more, see the Wikipedia list of influential Sigrids here.




Name of the Day: Idris

Meaning enthusiastic prince, this Welsh name is simple yet exotic. Idris is also an Arabic name meaning to learn or study. Two excellent meanings for one name? Jackpot!

Currently the best known Idris is probably actor Idris Elba. However it also belonged to Idris Gawr, or Idris the Giant. He was a king in medieval times who could apparently sit upon a mountain and keep an eye on his whole kingdom.

My favorite famous Idris is Idris Davies. A famous Welsh poet, his works discuss many significant events and struggles in 20th century Wales. He saw both the beauty and struggles in every day life and his works seem very fresh, real and believable. Some of his works have been turned into folk songs.

Other famous Idris’ include many political leaders (king, sultan, etc.), politicians, musicians and more.




Name of the Day: Colette

Short form of Nicolette, this name means “victory of the people.” I love the nickname options: Coco, Lettie, Colly, Etta, even Cole.

Saint Colette is the patron saint for women trying to conceive, pregnant women and sick children. Born by a first time mother who was 60 years old, her birth was considered by her parents to be a miracle. Years later she was staying with a woman who was in labor, and it was literally killing her. Colette prayed and the lady, who lived and had a healthy baby girl, credited Colette for their survival. Colette also met a baby born deceased and wrapped him up and he came back to life. Certainly fitting stories for those expecting, especially those who are high risk or struggled to conceive.

Colette is also the more pen name of the French novelist who is best known for her novella Gigi. Her works often explored the struggles of trying to be an independent woman in a world run by men. In 1954 she was was nominated for a Noble Prize in literature. Very influential in her time, and still today, she is a great role model, as she was brave and never afraid to be herself.




Easy Sweet Ranch Meatloaf

In the 6 1/2 years Peter and I have been together, this is just the 2nd time I’ve made meatloaf. Having no idea where the recipe I used 6 years ago is… I tried something new. And if turned out much better than expected! All you need is:

1 packet ranch dressing mix

1 egg

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup ketchup

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Then shape into a loaf and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. While it’s cooking, mix ketchup and brown sugar. When the loaf is half cooked (after 20-25 minutes) pour the ketchup glaze on top.

I’m so excited by how well this turned out, and my husband was even more excited. I can say without a doubt, it will not be 6 years before I make meatloaf again!




Name of the Day: Sterling

Meaning “excellent”, Sterling is a strong name that feels modern without feeling made up. It has a long history as both a first and last name, adding to it’s appeal.

Sterling Holloway is a voice actor who probably starred in your favorite childhood movie. His biggest part has been the voice of Winnie the Pooh in many, many of Pooh’s tales. He also had smaller roles in The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, Aristocats, Bambi and more. Knowing this name belonged to someone who worked on so many movies that brought me joy makes me smile.

Sterling makes me think of Roger Sterling in the television show Mad Men. If you’ve ever watched Mad Men, you know none of the characters are particularly endearing. However, Roger was probably my favorite. He was a jackass like the rest of them, but you could tell deep down he was a good guy. I always saw Roger as a product of his environment. He was surrounded by unsavory characters who gave into their every temptation, so he did too. But aside from his as a character, the association makes me happy as it reminds me of the hours Peter and I spent watching the show together.

As usual, there is a much longer list of famous Sterlings that may be inspiring to you. A NASCAR driver, musicians, writers, and more. These are my top 2 but to see others check out these Wikipedia pages.




Name of the Day: Wren

The name of a small songbird, Wren is adorable for both sexes. I suggested it to my husband when considering music inspired names, not just because it’s a songbird but also Paul McCartney’s beautiful song Jenny Wren. Let’s see what else  can dig up on the name.

Wren is the main character in a series of children’s fantasy novels by Sherwood Smith and a main character in Amy Tintera’s Reboot series. Wren Blackberry is also a children’s author.  How fun would it be for a little girl to read these books growing up? Wren is also the youngest in comic strip Baby Blues, giving this name a comedic vibe.

As for a male namesake: Christopher Wren is a famous architect most known for St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Wren Day is celebrated in Ireland on December 26 and I just love the history of this celebration, read the Wikipedia page here. this tradition involves killing a Wren, so maybe not the best association for a baby name… but look at it this way. The Wren is sacrificed because it’s a symbol of beauty, nobility and the past year’s achievements. Just ignore the Norse theory as to how Wren Day began. 😉 If I had to assign this tradition to a gender, I would say this makes the name more masculine as it was traditionally Wren Boys hunting the Wren and collecting donations. Though they eventually let girls be Wren Boys too.




Name of the Day: Gideon

Gideon is an English name meaning “hewer” which gives it a rugged vibe. The first two syllables being pronounced “giddy” also gives me a happy feeling. I like giddy as a nickname, though as he ages, he’d probably prefer Deon. Or of course I’m always all for going by one’s full name.

A biblical hero, this name goes way back, but I think it still feels fresh today. Besides being in the bible, it’s also the name of the bibles that you find in every hotel. This is because Gideon represents few people doing great work, beautiful! I also like that these bibles make me think of travelling. Though I should note that the organization also distributes bibles to hospitals, jails, colleges and more.

Gideon has history beyond the bible. Gideon vs Wainwright was a significant Supreme Court case that mandated all states must provide an attorney to any defendant in a criminal law case who cannot afford to hire one them self. I like this reference as it illustrates what our country offers to us: fairness, freedom and equality. I also think Clarence Gideon is inspiring as he didn’t give up, he fought for himself and his rights. He wrote to the Supreme Court from jail and this act ensured all his fellow Americans would have legal help in defending themselves so they would not be wrongly persecuted solely due to their lack of funds. In case you’re wondering, after winning this case, he was given a retrial for his original criminal case and found innocent within an hour. Many others who were doing time that for crimes they didn’t commit also got retrials and the chance to walk free.

Perhaps it’s a stretch but I’m going to say I can call Gideon a Beatles inspired name, as Rocky Raccoon mention Gideon’s Bible. This is significant to us as we accidentally started a Beatles theme with Lucille ans Lennon’s names. A theme we won’t go out if our way to continue… But if it happened, excellent! Keeping with the musical theme, Gideon is also the youngest brother in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.



Name of the Day: Pauline

Pauline is my Grandmother’s name, so I wouldn’t actually use it as a first name. But I would love for it to be our girl middle name next time around, so I thought it would be fun to see what I could dig up on it.

Obviously Pauline is the feminine form of Paul, meaning “small”. I love Paul as it’s my grandfather’s name (on the other side of my family). Also it would keep our accidental Beatles theme going via Paul McCartney.

Pauline Fossil is one of three sisters in the children’s novel, Ballet Shoes. An aspiring performer, this character would fit in with artsy namesake Lucille and Lennon.

Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins was an African-American writer. How cool, Elizabeth is also my Grandmother’s middle name. Her writing was typically romantic but also expressed her views on race and social issues.



Taking it Slow….

I’m taking a day off from Name of the Day for a little update on our lives. The truth is, there hasn’t been much to report. We’ve been working on sleeping through the night with Len and potty training with Lu, but if you’re reading this hoping for some quick advice, you might as well stop now. I have advice, but that advice is to be patient.

There are so many “3 day” or “1 week” methods for the issues I’m currently working on. But those methods aren’t for us. And I’m certainly not trying to insult these methods. If you can get your kid from diapers to underwear in 3 days, that’s excellent! But we can’t. Trying to rush things has made every member of our family miserable, and though the misery may be short lived… it seems unnecessary to me.

Lennon was moved to a toddler bed over a month ago. I breastfeed him to sleep and I usually have to breastfeed him back to sleep 3 times a night. This is progress. When we first started it took me an hour or longer to get him down at night. He’d wake up in 45 minutes, again it would take over an hour to get him back to sleep… repeat until morning. Now it takes me about 10 minutes to get him down, each time. Yes, there are exceptions. But usually, he goes down pretty well. So though I’m looking forward to him sleeping through the night, I’m grateful for how far we’ve come. I get alone time with my husband once Lennon is down for the night, something that didn’t happen when we were bed sharing. He’s getting milk 3 times throughout the night, which is a lot less then when he got milk all night long. He’s happy to be in his own bed and is in better spirits in the morning as a result of a better night’s sleep.

Could we have made this process quicker if we closed the door and let him cry? I’m sure. But I’m not sure he’d genuinely like his bed if we had done that. I like that his first few nights in his toddler bed he toddled down the hall to our room, because now the fact that he doesn’t do that anymore makes me feel accomplished. If we let him cry more, we might be done by now. But he would have definitely woken his sister, so perhaps I’d be complaining about how now we have to retrain her to sleep through the night. (For the record she does still wake about 50% of the time and needs to be snuggled back to sleep. I do not want to make this percentage go up.) My breasts would probably hurt if I went from feeding him all night to no nighttime feedings at all. And if it affected my day time supply, our misery would surely last 24 hours a day for a long time. It’d probably be over by now, yes, and my life would probably be easier in many ways. But, that’s not how we’re doing it. I’ve never been a pull the band aid off fast kind of girl. If you’re going to pull a band aid off me, do it slow, assure me you’re being as gentle as you can and that it’s almost done. Don’t just run up and rip the sucker off. Sure, the pain is over faster, but I just may consider you a jackass the rest of my life.

With the new year I decided to focus on one task at a time. I thought if I devoted all my hours to one task, didn’t let myself feel guilty about the others, they’d get done quicker. Lennon sleeping through the night in his own bed was task one, Lucille potty training is task 2. I decided this week that Lennon has made enough progress that I should move onto task 2… but for some reason I was not as willing to be patient this time.

Probably about a year ago Lucille seemed very ready to potty train. She’d ask questions about it and seemed genuinely fascinated. I helped her use her little ducky potty a few times and she was so happy about doing something new that I didn’t even need to reward her with candy or cookies… but I also had a 7 month old son and I didn’t focus on potty training like I should have. Putting her in a diaper was easier when I was having endless feeding sessions with Lennon. So that’s what I did. And since I didn’t encourage potty training consistently, she lost all interest. I think my guilt surrounding this led me to think we needed to get her potty trained the quickest way possible, to catch her up to where she should be. So I read people’s advice regarding 3 day potty training… and started loosely following it. (I say loosely because no way was I waking her up in the middle of the night to go pee. Or letting her run around commando since we have a lot of carpeting, we chose to use underpants.)

Day 1 started off so well. Poopy in the potty first thing in the morning. The next 2 days were followed by a lot of success and even more accidents. Every 15 to 20 minutes I made her try again. She would get so excited when she “did it!!” But she hated constantly trying. And Lennon hated it. I was ignoring him because I had to spend every second with Lucille. Seriously, our whole day revolved around the potty. Now, some people are probably reading this thinking how could she give up after 2 days? She was 1 day away! Well, I wasn’t. I wasn’t following the whole 3 day process so I fully expected my variation to take longer. We had a good week of this routine left, I’m certain. I didn’t give up on the methods all together, either. But I am relaxing how often she has to try. I’m letting her wear cloth diapers instead of underwear sometimes. For the sake of my sanity. For the sake of my neglected son. Mostly because by the end of the 2nd day, Lucille acted terrified that I was going to put her on the potty again. She was sick of it. It broke my heart. I don’t want to do it this way.

I’m sure someone will read this and think “well, she’s soft. She’s letting her kids walk all over her.” And that’s accurate. I am soft. And that’s why I want to let my kids do things at their pace. Because when people pressure me, I feel hurt, I feel that I’m not good enough. And I don’t want my kids to feel that way. So in this house, we’re going to continue to be sleep deprived and wonder where that urine smell is coming from a little while longer…. and probably I’m going to go back to Name of the Day posts a bit longer because I can’t gather my thoughts enough to write about parenting until I get a better night’s sleep. But a bullet point list of facts on  names, I can handle that!

Oh and one last piece of advice. Don’t compare your family to others. When I feel impatient with a lack of progress that my family is making, regarding the tasks mentioned above or regarding handfuls of other tasks,  its almost always because I’m comparing us to someone else. And that’s just crazy. Because we’re all different. I know kids younger than Lucille fully potty trained. Does that mean I’m doing something wrong? Or worse, is something wrong with her? No! I know baby’s 1/10th of Lennon’s age who sleep through the night. Does that mean I’m going to be breastfeeding him to sleep at 15? No! If you feel the need to rush for your own personal reasons, I certainly respect that. If it’s because others are commenting on your family’s need to change their ways, or you are pressuring yourself because Facebook friends have kids further ahead than your own, I advice you to step back and refocus. It doesn’t matter. Be happy in the journey, breathe and take it slow, one day at a time.