Thursday, July 31, 2014

Family Names

I love the art of matching a first and middle name together. I ADORE double names. I have to admit that I have some pretty talented friends when it comes to naming their children and when they announce the name at birth I am always so tickled and want to hear the background/history of where the names originated from.

 We have quite the vast assortment of family names to choose from when it comes to our kids. My mother-in-law is Guatemalan and has all the exotic beautiful Latin names in her family tree. She has openly admitted to me she doesn't love them but she would adore a girl named Alexandria Victoria Fuchs. She says it sounds powerful and I agree that it does!

My father-in-law is Swiss and carries the bold strong Swiss/German names. Beyeler was a favorite for us for a boy first or middle name. Although a first name like Beyeler paired with Fuchs and I'm not sure what they would think in Kindergarten. 
A sidenote about Switzerland ancestors. When we visited Suhr in 2009 I was blown away at the cemeteries. 
They celebrate the lives of their loved ones by keeping beautiful gardens over their graves. How gorgeous is this? I will have dedicate an entire post one day to our trip to Switzerland as I had no idea how much I would fall in love that country.

And then you have the French Crazies in Louisiana from both my mother and father. 

I used my former middle and last name for my son and although I don't usually share it here I guess there is no point to keep it hidden. Maybe I used that as my last wall of privacy from a mom that doesn't keep things so private so why not?

My father's family tomb in Metairie Cemetery

My parents named me Katharine Ford Boylan after my paternal Grandmother, Katharine Ford Braselman. She married my grandfather, Robert Ambrose Boylan, and became Katharine Braselman Boylan. My son's name is Ford Boylan Fuchs. I was really happy to be able to hand down both the Ford and Boylan.....and sure enough, that kid looks all Braselman.

I tease my husband that if I'm pairing with Fuchs I get dibs on the first and middle names but in truth we try to have one picked out and agreed upon before our kids arrive. Names aren't as important to him. He and his brother's don't have middle names and all have the initial MF. I kind of love it and you better believe MF is emblazoned on all our glassware from our wedding registry. He got a kick out of that. "Yes Williams Sonoma, I just wan MF on all the glasses". 

The Fuchs men are Michel, Marcel, and Maximilian all hailing from father Peter. If this baby had been a boy Peter was the boy name I had picked out as a nod to my father-in-law.

My mother's family tomb in Metairie Cemetery

(McGehee was a contender for a middle name if this baby had been a boy. Peter McGehee Fuchs? I like it)

My mother's family has a book called the De La Barre Family, Life of a French Creole Family in Louisiana that lists every family name dating back to the 1700's
Yours truly barley made the cut!

I have had people ask me if I am going to name my daughter after my mother and while I know she would be honored she has admitted that Barbara is not her first pick for her granddaughter. Instead I think we will pick something from her family tree and I already know she loves it. ;)

Let's look at some of those crazy Creole names...

Valcour. Wininng. I am still a 12 year old and picture Falcor the flying luck dragon. Anybody?

Booty Boudreaux Fuchs. Done. That was easy.

Francois Duffossard Volant De La Barre. Hell yes. Would you like a Pledge Pin?

Interesting right?! I do have my girl name picked out and the first name is from my mother's family and the middle is from my father's. I'm not sure Max is completely sold on it but since he isn't quite sold on the idea of a girl in the first place I'm pulling rank. 

 How do you pick names for your children? Do you use names you like or feel compelled to be traditional/historical?

An ancestor of a guy with 900 bottles of wine and a serious love for organization,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I'll even post a pic like this. Kidding. Maybe holding a Cheeseburger.

We have not had a night away just the two of us since last December. And even that trip and the one in November were very rare for us as leaning on grandparents isn't something we can really do.

We really really really need a night away. I know once we have two kids we will be unable to ask grandparents for help and at that point any trip we take will climb exponentially in terms of finances because we would have to hire sitters/nannies. And I remember the first 6 months of my son's life and know that this is our last chance to just be us. AKA I'm expecting a shit storm until March so for the love of God get me out of here for a night.
So we have a 1 night window approaching next weekend that I am just itching to go away. In reality I would love to check into a hotel in Charleston (or the Sanctuary) and relax all afternoon by the pool or beach, have a few drinks (seriously) and then get dressed up in a mumu and go out to dinner. We wouldn't need a huge night on the town because I think both of us want nothing more than to collapse into a fluffy crispy white bed in a dark cold hotel room and pass out. 

Then we wouldn't wake up until the insanely late hour of 9am (10am for him) and eat breakfast in bed or hit one of Charleston's many fabulous brunch spots. My son is a 6am'er and even that rare one day a week I don't have to get up with him I'm still mostly awake listening to him and his father try to get out of the door for school.

I find most nights once the kids are in bed (or playing Xbox) we both turn into TV zombies. Or one of us is working. And when we do go on dates we mostly talk about things we need to do around the house, about the kids, about our "to-do" lists and don't just chill out. *I am aware we were just on vacation, but we didn't spend 20 minutes alone except when we both plugged in our phones and passed out at night.

Pool at the Ballantyne Resort

I say Charleston but technically anything within a 3 hour radius works. My son has a birthday party and we could pick him up and have him napping back at our house (hopefully by Noon) and be on the interstate by 12:30pm Saturday. That leaves Asheville, Greenville, Charleston....any other ideas? Or do we just check into Ballantyne Resort for a night?

Cons to this idea............

We didn't go on a babymoon the first time because my to-do list included scraping popcorn off ceilings and new carpet so I wanted to spend the money on the house. This time I feel silly spending $200+ for a night. But sometimes in marriage (and life) you just have to suck it up and do it right? A full blown date night if I was still boozing would run us $120 dinner, $30 drinks before, $60+ sitter...etc. 


If we go to Asheville I'll feel weird not staying at my parents. The upside is we could get a U-haul on the way back and get the twin beds for my sons room and maybe hit Tobacco Barn (SANS KIDS) and find a dresser. But I'm pretty sure the Grand Bohemian and Inn on Biltmore don't do one night rentals. Maybe a local B&B does. I kind of want to lounge in the sun though and Asheville is home...

Pool at Charleston Place

If we go down here it is the farthest and I would of course want to see my buddies down there. It would be hard to find a one night rental as well (I guess bigger hotel chains would) and at this late date I bet most of downtown is booked. Plus we wouldn't arrive until 3:30pm at the earliest and if we are doing dinner and relaxing AND maybe shopping I'm out of time. We also need to be back in Charlotte no later than 12:30pm on Sunday so we wouldn't really be able to sleep in that much.


I've never been to Greenville! I hear it's lovely but wouldn't know where to begin hotel/food wise. 

What would you do if you had 1 night? If money were no option we would fly down to Palm Beach, leave my son with my amazing sister-in-law and stay at the Raleigh in Miami.......for more than 1 night!

I blame Comfy Cozy Couture for her gorgeous babymoon at the Dunmore pics! :)

Really wanting to soak in a big bathtub, (Anna I might show up at your house)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Alzheimer's Resources

Blogging is therapeutic. I had a guy friend tease me saying "oh wow you have a blog you must be so legit" and while yes, blogs don't make you a NYT writer, I use this spot as a place to dream, vent, scheme, organize, request help, and post things I want to remember. As any blogger knows comments are the best part of the day either agreeing with you on the trials and tribulations of motherhood or helping you find that desperately sought out paint color you cannot remember. Lately my comments have turned into emails requesting my help. There is a small but quickly growing population of people in my exact position.....a younger generation with parents that have either been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, or they believe Alzheimer's or another dementia might be the case but don't know where to start. For most of my friends this is typically a disease they see in their grandparents, but for some of us it is hitting our own parents early.

What these emailers are asking for (mostly women) is advice. They need a shoulder to cry on, an empathetic ear and heart to hear their story....but overall they need some place to turn to.

When we received the official diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's disease the first thing I did was go to the Alzheimer's Association website. I signed up for updates and news from my local chapter and as soon as it was available I signed up for the walk.
I can remember going to the walk kick-off in 2012. We had a breakfast at one of the Assisted Living communities here in Charlotte and I sat at a table of former walkers and people in the industry. When they asked how I was connected to the disease and I said that my mom had been diagnosed the floodgates opened. I could have felt embarrassed but it wasn't necessary there. Those were now my people. They understood. And they hurt for me. They all had first hand knowledge of the hard road my family was going to travel and mostly offered love and encouragement. It was mind blowing and wonderful and sad all at the same time.

Walk day the first year was a sea of flowers from the memory garden and an ocean of emotions from me. My Mom held up her blue flower to signify she had Alzheimer's and she held it up proudly. 
There weren't many blue flowers there but for her it showed she understood what was going on and to have thousands of other colored flowers there supporting her made her feel like she was part of a community. 

My Blondes vs Brunettes to End ALZ Team in 2013

The Alzheimer's Association is an amazing organization. If I didn't have a pretty good gig I would seriously consider working for them for the rest of my life. Besides the Walk (and Blondes vs Brunettes powderpuff football league which was so fun!) they have support groups that I haven't yet started but my father has and he cannot say enough wonderful things about his meetings. He didn't know what to think of his first meeting in Asheville but the stories and advice and (again) empathy are soul healing for him. And I guarantee if you know my Dad he has the room laughing as he puts a slight comedic spin on his narratives of mom.

Our next step was Memory Care. We had to get a recommendation before going there but once her former Neuropsychologist made the diagnosis we started looking around for a better fit doctor wise.

Memory Care is in Asheville, NC and is a non profit organization for patients and families. They do not only treat the patient but they treat the caregiver. We visit 2-3 times a year with a Dr and a nurse. While Mom gets her overall health and cognition checked, Dad and I meet with the Nurse (I would call her a life counselor) and get advice on where we go from here. I want these meetings to last forever. We have so many questions and so many stories and what if scenarios. The information we gain from these appointments is invaluable and I will post some below.

The last step is research. These are the books I have read/am reading. If you think you might be dealing with a form of dementia I would order all of these on Amazon right away.

Two I want to read:

My techy advice would also to follow these organizations on twitter/facebook/blogs...etc so that you can see their updates, attend events, and follow their stories.

Follow Maria Shriver. 

Read other blogger's stories.

Sign up to be an ambassador through the Alzheimer's Association. 
I was able to go to a meet and greet with Congressman Robert Pittenger last year and tell him our story and voice my concerns through an event planned by the ALZ Association.

I guess you could say as a family we doing okay. We have seen a rather steady decline in cognitive function and while we have hired help and set up schedules and done as much as we can to keep her comfortable and happy in her life the next step is always on the horizon. In home daycare? Out of the house daycare? We aren't sure where we go next but we have made sure we have someone to hold our hand along the way. I would say she is in good spirits most of the time but my father bears the brunt of the sundowning/mood changes. These are daily now and can range from pouting to serious screaming to complete lost control. He is who I worry about the most. 

Last but not least here are some bookmarks/pins for you. Social media is truly a great way to start learning and you can visit my Alzheimer's board on Pinterest here:

Safe Return Bracelet ordered here:

I know this post is lengthy but I hope it helps some of you in your own fight against Alzheimer's. And lastly to my Mom...
You go BB! Want to walk with us this year? Here is our page.

A Caregiver

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paint Color Decisions

I could seriously paint my house all blues. Got the hell no from the man of the house.

Way back in 2010 I got a frantic email from my husband while I was pregnant and working uptown. All it said was PICK PAINT COLORS NOW. THEY ARE HERE AND NEED COLORS IN THE NEXT HOUR. I hadn't picked colors yet (wrote about that here) and this was not a pleasant email to receive. 

Yeah, Um, have you met me???? I stopped whatever work I was doing and began a google search on light blues and light greens, the colors for the nursery and guest room. I was NOT amused. I sent a hail mary email to Marianne and she (being the adorable sweetheart she is) responded with some advice which I took and made sure not to go too dark. I quickly emailed back my decisions and then got a reply that I needed to pick Sherwin Williams colors b/c that is what our painters use. F*&K!!!!

So in the span of about 2 hours I picked our colors and then had to google image them to death to find the SW counterparts. Fun? NO. Not when you are 6 months pregnant with your first child and making very important decisions. BUT..........the rooms turned out beautiful and now we are here again swapping it all up.

Like I wrote before we are doing quite the shuffle upstairs but we have a guest room that has 1. A locked gun safe in the closet and 2. access to the half attic. I only feel comfortable putting the oldest kid in there (12 year old stepson) so the green room becomes his room. Not a single clue on what to paint for him in there. White?

Current Guest Room. The green paint, curtains and bed are moving into the nursery for baby girl. This room will become my stepson's room. 
So the current nursery will have the blue painted over to green and the curtains hung and double bed stuck under the window. I'm thinking green nursery with pink and purple accents? Like my lovely "For James" by Katie Long Stevenson? 

Our Grassland by Sherwin Williams is beautiful in some light, but sometimes it can look a tad yellow. What do you think? Nursery appropriate?


Here is Sherwin Williams Ancient Marble

Benjamin Moore's Vale Mist

Phoebe Howard loves Healing Aloe but it might not be green enough for me? (Not healing Aloe but a very very close wallpaper by Phoebe)

Healing Aloe

And now on to the Current Nursery (Possible big boy room color)-Icelandic Blue
Big boy room color? Yes? I was going to re-use the current Icelandic Blue but this image from Ashley Whittaker is haunting me. 
The blue is a more purplish blue/gray and I love the way it looks. So what do you vote...try to find this blue/gray or go with Icelandic? Elle Bright Designs saved the day and let me know it is close to Manor Blue from Benjamin Moore. (This room above is actually a wallpaper...buzzkill!)


Manor Blue

Decisions decisions. Is Manor too dark? Do you like Grassland Green? I think Manor would be a wonderful color to grow up with. I do love his Icelandic though. And between moving him, no more pacifier, being potty trained and big boy beds soon...I'm one emotional mama!

Furiously Nesting Cracked out K with No AC