Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Naming John Paul Fulton

When you're out and about with a baby, you get lots of attention. One of the first questions most folks ask is, "What's his name?" To which we reply "John Paul", and to which they reply with a variety of fun reactions.

Some folks say, "How beautiful!"

Others say, "Is that biblical or something?"

And others, "Like the Pope?!"

We sure are wearing our Catholicness on our sleeve with a name like that.

While we were pregnant, we decided to not decide on a name for baby. We had a (long) list of names for a boy and another (long) list for a girl and we'd make our name decision once we saw our little one's face for the first time.

In order to make "the list", the names had to be a saint's name, a future saint's name, a derivative of a saint or future saint's name, or a family name. Extra points for saints or to-be saints with cool stories. Also, the name couldn't be too popular. I tend to like traditional names that are a little off the beaten path, but not too far off (i.e. St. Sexburga . . . what?!). And I really like nicknames, so if the name had a good one, I liked it even more. Sometimes I'd even think of the nickname first and try to find a saint's name that matched the nickname. Naming really is a fun game!

You'd think that with all those requirements, we would be able to narrow things down a bit, but GOSH there are a lot of saints and to-be saints out there with wonderfully classy nicknameable names!

I spent a lot of time sorting through names on this alphabetical catalog of all the saints and once I found ones I liked, I'd head on over to the Social Security website to check the popularity of the name in the US over the past 10 years. In order to make the cut, it couldn't be in the top 20, especially if it was a girl's name. I like for girl's names to be even less popular . . . out of the top 100. I was serious about names, folks!

Once a name made my list, I'd bounce it off John and try to imagine calling our child by that name throughout his or her life. I'd occasionally run names by friends or family members, but I found it was best to decide on names just between the two of us, since everyone has naming opinions, and they differ wildly!

Once a name made our list, we worked on pairing it with the perfect middle name, which was typically where the family names came in.

After all that searching, we were hoping the perfect name would become obvious once we laid eyes on our newborn, but were also prepared for our baby to go nameless for a few days if we couldn't decide. :P

All that being said, we were pretty sure if baby was a boy, he'd end up being named for his father: John. The name "John" goes pretty far back on his side of the family. All the first born sons have been named John for at least the past 3 generations, with all the men having different middle names (so there's no Sr., Jr., III). My husband, John, was open to going with a different name on the list if baby didn't look or feel to us like a John, but I could tell he really wanted to honor his family by continuing the family tradition. And I was all for making that happen.

However, I really didn't want two guys going by the same first name in our house, like my husband experienced when he lived under his parents' roof. (When we go over there, there's still confusion whenever someone says "John"!) So that's where more creativity came into play.

Since our baby boy's first name was going to honor John's side of the fam, we figured his middle name should honor my side. As luck would have it, guess what my dad's name is . . . Paul!

So, while at first glance it appears we named John Paul for St. Pope John Paul II, we also named him for both his grandfathers -- John and Paul. How cool is that?

And though his first name is just John, we enjoy calling him John Paul so there's no confusion as to who I'm talking to or about at any given moment. We also like that if he decides he'd rather just go by John some day, he has the option, hence "Paul" as a middle name.

For whatever reason, we also decided he needed a second middle name. I think part of it was because we just like so many names, so we wanted to throw another one in there. And as a former infertile, you have no idea if you'll be able to have more in the future, so I sorta felt like . . . gotta use 'em while we can!

Because we were pretty certain about the name John Paul, it was really the second middle name that we left undecided until after he was born. The two we were deciding between were Fulton, for Blessed Fulton Sheen, who is so awesome and we've both loved for a long time, and Peregrine, patron saint of illness, but more importantly the saint that Pippin from Lord of the Rings was named for. ;) We also toyed with Benedict and Francis, but then we'd be double-Pope-ing our kid, Pio, for St. Padre Pio, and Patrick, because John liked that name at the last second and it sounds good with John Paul.

But once our little man arrived, it was clear he was meant to be John Paul Fulton.

So there you have it . . . the long version of where our little man got such a big name from. :)

And in case you were curious, I'll share all the other names we were considering. Don't be too surprised if we use them (God willing) in the future, but since John Paul's birth, I've already discovered a few more names that I love. I'll keep those newer ones a secret for now. ;)

PS - If you're as name obsessed as I am, check out this Catholic naming blog, Sancta Nomina. She even does naming consultations! Be warned, you can easily get lost in her old posts for hours. :)

Friday, October 9, 2015

That Time the Internet Helped Me Answer 7 Questions

I have the best internet friends ever!

Three weeks ago, I threw a post out there, asking for help with 7 things I just couldn't figure out on my own. And you answered. It was AWESOME!

So now, I give you a follow-up post, in which I reveal how I solved my 7 problems using the help of a bunch of great internet friends.

(For reference, here's the original post.)


Question: What are your favorite easy recipes?


Ok, so as it turns out, there are a ton of delicious, easy recipes out there. Thanks for sharing them with me. Here are some of my favorites:
(Recipes without a link can be found in the comment section of the original post.)

 Lauren suggested eMeals, which I haven't checked out yet but may be interested in if I get in a serious food rut sometime soon.

And Danielle recommended checking out America's Test Kitchen: 30 Minute Meals from the library, which I attempted to do, but someone got fussy in the time it took me to get a library card and I didn't end up with time for book hunting. Next time, library. Next time. 

I've also recently discovered a site called I Am That Lady, which features very easy crockpot meals with ingredients all purchased at Aldi. Easy meals with very affordable ingredients? Yes please!


Question: Do you know of anyone interested in learning the Creighton Model of natural family planning?



A handful of internet friends have reached out to say they're spreading the word for me. And since that post, I've picked up two new clients! So now I only need four more by December. YAY!


Question: What's an easy way to style wet hair?


I got lots of great suggestions here too! For example:

Unfortunately, most are a bit more complicated than I have time for. :\ Though, they'll be great when I have some extra time preparing for special occasions, like date night.

HOWEVER! I recently got a haircut. I took off a few inches which has made bunning and braiding even easier! So at least there's that. :)


Question: Why does my baby fight sleep at night? Help!


Babies are weird. lololol

No, but seriously, many friends mentioned the dreaded four-month sleep regression, which was likely causing some of our issues. Thanks for reminding me of that lovely milestone. :P

Actually, two days after posting, I realized that if John Paul got a quick cat nap between 8 and 9pm, he fell asleep suuuuper easy when it was time to go down for the overnight. So, solved that one, kinda on accident. Major win!

Letting John Paul play with a shirt I've worn, as suggested by Madeline, has also been a huge help!

And giving him a small dose of Tylenol when he's in pain from teething has helped with a few naps too. Thanks, Anne!

BTW, there are a ton of other great sleep tips in the comment section of the original post if you're needing more sleep wisdom!


Question: What can I do to make grocery shopping with a 4-month-old easier?


I got so many great suggestions here.
  • Several encouraged me to wear John Paul if he's up for it. Check!
  • There's also this awesome baby hammock that Erin shared with me. 
  • Madeline suggested propping John Paul up in the cart seat until he can sit on his own OR putting grocery baskets under the cart and filling those while baby sits in the car seat in the cart.
  • If your cart has hooks under the baby seat, Justine suggested hanging bags there and putting your groceries directly into the bags. 
  • Stephanie recommended, which, in her brother's words, is and Costco's love child. I could shop for dry goods and non-perishables from the comfort of my own home.
  • Danielle shared a link to this cart seat thingy, which includes a pillow to prop up babies that need extra support.  

After reading Danielle's suggestion, I realized we already own something exactly like that! My aunt and uncle bought it off our registry for us before John Paul arrived, but it was being stored until he was ready for it. Turns out, he's ready for it! I promptly brought it out of storage and took John Paul to the grocery store with it later that day. It worked perfectly!! Problem solved. :)

And look at how happy it made him!


Question: What are daily prayer/Bible readings/reflection resources you use?


All wonderful resources, friends! 


Question: How do you remember to drink water throughout the day?

  • Amanda suggested leaving several water bottles throughout the house and asking your husband to keep an eye on them (and fill them) for you. She uses nalgene water bottles with the drink insert.
  • Lucky uses infuser water bottles to make drinking water more desirable. 
  • Justine like the water reminder app called Plant Nanny.
  • Kate shared Motivational Bottle with me, which has motivating messages along the side to encourage you to drink more.
  • Lauren uses this Thermos water bottle and a Contigo water bottle that's similar to a Camelbak, but the spout is contained and hopefully less germy.
  • And Cryptic Star recommended this bkr glass water bottle.

In the end, I sorta combined a bunch of these recs and ended up purchasing this glass Contigo water bottle from amazon. I like that it's glass with a stainless steel top, easy to drink from, and has a  carrying loop, which comes in handy when I'm carrying an 17-pound baby around all the time. Oh, and it was also $13. Score.

I'm happy to report that, since my new bottle arrived, my water intake is WAY up and I haven't felt faint (aka dehydrated) ever since. Yay!



Thank you so, so much! It was a blast reading through all your answers. And I'm thrilled that within a week, I had answers to all my big issues. What great support! You guys rock!

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