This IS A Post About Italy

I leave for the airport in 9 hours for the Goldblatt Agency retreat. I still haven’t packed – this surprises no one – and I still haven’t blogged about the Italian adventures that took place between my last two airport experiences.

Some of you have been demanding photographic evidence of the trip – and pictures of the Twin Belly. I can satisfy both requests simultaneously – and quickly – and then go pack!

Sorrento – and a Twin Belly! That’s because after 48 hours after WE got to Sorrento, our luggage finally caught up with us. I’ve never been so happy to change clothing.


Capri – The island is gorgeous. And hilly. LOOK how hilly. I was a brave little trouper and made it DOWN the hills, but we need a taxi to cart the Twin Belly back up.

Naples – There are castles in Naples. CASTLES.

Castles make me curtsey.
And, no worries, St. Matt came, too!

Packing. Now. Really.

This is NOT a Post About Italy

So, I tell you we’re having some babies, I accept all of your congratulations, and then I disappear again. Bad Tiffany!

I was actually unplugged and off-grid for a ten days, enjoying a “babymoon” in Italy with St. Matt. And believe it or not, I didn’t go through Petunia-withdrawal or whine about missing my laptop – not even once. *pats self on the back*

And while there are plenty of Italia stories to tell – look! I even included a teaser picture – today all I can think about is names.

Baby names.

When I’m writing a story I go crazy picking the perfect names for my characters – they have to match temperament, appearance, background, etc. But luckily, I know the character before I know the name and if I need to change it halfway through the book, that’s what the “Find and Replace” command is for.

Not so much for the Schmidtlets in my belly.

And right off the bat, there was going to be none of this “Baby A” and “Baby B” business that the doctors insist on using. We weren’t even in our car, and I certainly hadn’t recovered from the news it was twins, when I was already paling and saying: “Now we need twice as many names.”

But, seeing as we had a good four months before we’d find out gender, interim names were a must. St. Matt suggested Alpha and Beta

What can I say? He’s an engineer.

I countered with Alcott and Bronte and was resoundingly shot down. Why? Because, as St. Matt so wisely realized, “You’re going to get attached and want to actually name them that.”

He was right. Later that night I woke him up: “Alcott’s kinda cute, isn’t it? For a girl? We could call her Ally for short.”

So you can see why NON-NAME interim names became essential.

After a week of what-about-this? and what-about-that? We settled on two: Acorn, and Bean Sprout. (See how they’re still A and B words… St. Matt is SUCH an engineer).

But now there comes a bigger problem. REAL names…

I have post-its of possibilities everywhere. I’ve just about worn out Baby Name Voyager. In Italy – look, another teaser picture – I stopped St. Matt at every playbill and construction sign so I could read the names of contractors and actors.

He’s learning not to get too attached to any name, because as soon as we find something we both agree on, I change my mind.

I’m learning not to wake him up in the middle of the night when I come up with potentials – because the interrupted-REM answer is always, “No.”

The fact that we’ve got roughly five more months to find the perfect combinations of first and middle names has not prevented me from lying awake and whispering ideas at the ceiling. Or turning to the bookshelf beside my bed and scanning for ideas.

… you know, now that I think about it, Bronte’s kinda cute, too.

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