We’re Having Another Baby


This winter we were presented with a little surprise.  Make that a big one: we’re expecting a baby.

Funny how I used to think I could direct my life, but in fact, this journey is more like navigating a ship through the waves and storms, the sunsets and calm stretches. Events beyond our control, like economic crashes, hurricanes, and even our innermost psychological states, do not respond to our steering wheel. They are the ocean itself.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans,” Woody Allen once said.  Accepting this gift has been a lesson in surrender, and I am humbled to say that I have given in.


Sure, I had begun to set sights on taking my writing to the next level (and eating in a restaurant where the menu is not posted over the cashier), but those ambitions were easy to put to rest. My main thought was, how am I going to manage it all? On top of a busy household, including a wild and wooly two-year-old and a budding adolescent, huge projects had already been set in motion — a major home renovation (more on that in another post) and a total website redesign after having lost all of my images last fall.

But now that I’ve emerged from the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, my new motto is, I can do it! A child is a blessing, as many couples who struggle to conceive know painfully well, and I am grateful to be entrusted with this unique joy and responsibility once again.

Already I can’t imagine life without her.

Our baby is due in August and, after much discussion with our daughters, Sofia and Virginia, we have a name: Diana Lux Fiamma.  Enrico’s Catholic mom would have called Diana a pagan name, but we think it sounds beautiful in both Italian and English, and it fits perfectly with our daughters’ love of ancient mythology.

Lux means light in Latin, and Fiamma means flame in Italian.  (I think she is going to be a feisty one.)


Sofia was the first to have two middle names, a usual practice in Italy.  We had already picked out her first middle name  — Stefania — to honor the friend who matched me and Enrico.  The second one came after the terrorist attacks of 9/11:  I was in New York visiting friends and was five months pregnant with Sofia when Enrico’s mom promised God that we would name the baby after the Virgin Mary if he would save me.  “You can’t make promises to God for other people!” I protested at first, but we all now agree that Maria has added a welcome layer of history.

Virginia’s middle names honor her two grandmothers — Emilia and Lynn — so we let our two daughters choose the middle names for their new baby sister.

Mark and Luke are nonplussed about having another sibling.  Mark, who is almost five, complained about having “another whiny baby” and suggested we name her “Breadstick.”  Luke, two years old, just said, “I want to see the baby.”

Friends and family have been so supportive, and I feel doubly blessed to have such loving, accepting people in my life. Not that long ago, five children was not a big deal, but for some reason, today it seems like a lot. Enrico was named after his grandfather who had five children, so maybe it was written in the stars long ago.


I don’t know what this baby has to do with frugality or saving money — probably just the opposite — but I wanted to tell you because, as readers of this blog, you are important to me. Getting ahead in the blogging world no longer interests me, but this blog has provided a connection to the world beyond my little life, and it makes me feel less small and alone.

Thank you for being here,

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  • Suz @ Slow Family April 17, 2013, 2:01 am

    Congratulations, Amy! You look radiant. Diana Lux Fiamma is the perfect name. And she will be coming into a beautiful, loving family. I look forward to coming along on your new adventures.

    • Amy April 17, 2013, 1:40 pm

      Thank you, Suz! The name is certainly unusual, but I have the feeling it’s going to be just right too.

      Take care,

  • Nancy April 10, 2013, 12:29 pm

    Congratulations Amy. How wonderful to have five children! And Yes, you look beautiful.
    I hope you will manage somehow to keep writing. You have talent. You owe it to yourself and to your children to keep the writing part of you alive. Plus we love your blog!

    • Amy April 11, 2013, 8:10 am

      Hi Nancy,

      I’m glad you have so much confidence in me. I will continue writing, but I think for the time being, it will only be here at Frugal Mama. I’m thankful to have this outlet for my creative love.

      Take care and keep writing you too!

  • Clare April 9, 2013, 8:31 pm

    p.s. you look BEAUTIFUL in your photograph!

  • Clare April 9, 2013, 8:29 pm

    Congratulations Amy! Lovely name and I bet your older girls are going to be a wonderful help. Good on you for taking this wonderful surprise so positively (I, personally, am not a fan of surprises in any form!!!) All the best for the coming months xx

    • Amy April 11, 2013, 8:08 am

      Thank you so much, Clare, for your compassion and kind words.

      All the best,

  • Diana April 8, 2013, 9:54 pm

    Diana is the best name!

    • Amy April 9, 2013, 8:12 am

      Straight from the source!

      Thank you, Diana,

  • Beth April 7, 2013, 5:36 pm

    Congratulations Amy! That’s such great news. Your girls are going to have a grand time with a little sister. I love the name. Diana is also the name of a very dear friend of mine from college. I’ve always thought it a beautiful name!

    • Amy April 8, 2013, 7:55 pm

      I’m so glad you like the name, Beth. You’re right that the girls are really excited to have a baby sister. It will be nice to have a couple of helpers.

      Thanks for your wishes,

  • Alison April 7, 2013, 11:10 am

    Congrats! What a lucky baby to be born into such a family. :)

    • Amy April 8, 2013, 7:54 pm

      Thank you, Alison. Great to hear from you,

  • Kim W April 5, 2013, 5:38 pm

    Congratulations ! I have to say I love the name. I am partial though as I happen to have a beautiful 14 year old daughter named Diana Jamie. <3

    • Amy April 5, 2013, 6:00 pm

      Wow, that’s so great, Kim. I don’t think it’s a very common name, right?


      • Kim W April 6, 2013, 5:54 pm

        Not common around here(Michigan) Amy. I love it because its feminine but strong and as it turns out so is my daughter! There are no other Diana’s in her entire school although there are a few named Diane. It’s different enough to not have 5 girls raise their hand for attendence when it’s called but not strange or hard to pronounce. It does still get mispelled. People try to make it Dianna alot. My Diana is named after the princess as I have loved her since I stayed home from elementary school to watch her wedding and her middle name is a nod to my grandfather and uncle who are James.

  • Alice April 5, 2013, 2:44 pm

    So happy for you and your family. It can take a bit of time to get your head around a surprise, but what a blessing they turn out to be. Thank you for sharing.

    • Amy April 8, 2013, 7:53 pm

      You’re so right, Alice. Thank you for your compassion,

  • Julie April 4, 2013, 11:20 pm


    How wonderful and exciting! Congratulations to you and your family, and thank you for sharing your news with your blog’s community. You are so right in that we often need to accept God’s plan and trust in His wisdom…and what better plan than another child! :) I think large families are just splendid and hope to have one myself one day.

    I wish you the very best as you prepare for your new bundle of joy!


    • Amy April 5, 2013, 5:59 pm

      Thank you, Julie. As a young woman, I never imagined I would be a mother of 5. Life is full of surprises, isn’t it?

      Take care,

  • Sara Tetreault April 4, 2013, 10:00 pm

    What a beautiful family and I love the name stories! Thank you for sharing and I’ll just live vicariously through you having a baby. :)

    • Amy April 5, 2013, 5:54 pm

      Thank you, Sara! And we will live vicariously through your international trips!


  • Leslie H April 4, 2013, 9:02 pm

    Congratulations! Our world needs children who have been raised by loving parents…God’s gift is not just for you, but for us all! Blessings!

    • Amy April 5, 2013, 5:53 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Leslie! I agree that loving parents are one of the greatest gifts a human being can ask for.


  • Carole Qumsieh April 4, 2013, 7:18 pm

    Dearest Amy,

    What fun to be able to write to you on your blog.

    I see how easily you can conceive and I am jealous, since it was so difficult for me!

    At my age, 5 children seems overwhelming, but I don’t know if you remember that Eli has 5 and they seemed to grow up just fine. You are an amazing young lady in many ways and I am very proud you are a part of our family!

    Mark is visiting us this weekend as he had a FAA class in Dallas this past week and has to fly to Naples, Florida for another class on Monday. Living in Hawaii, it is painful to see them so infrequently, especially since children are involved. Claire is having their second girl around the 25th of May and they already have her bedroom fixed up. Her room was the guest room, so I don’t know where I will sleep when I go–probably the living room sofa. We are not privileged to know the name they have chosen–They always keep it a secret until the baby is born.

    Gram always said, “God never gives you more than you can handle and always prepares you for whatever He gives you” so I am giving you that bit of wisdom to cherish:)

    I guess we won’t be going to Williamsburg in August will we?:)

    I so wish you could see Andrew and Chloe. They are my sweethearts with a capital S. Wade’s foreign exchange student from Germany– Tim , age 15– has been a blessing to all or us. I am hosting his parents and brother Phillip–age 17–for a week in May when they come to get him and do some traveling in the US. Wade and Laurilyn have no room with Tim taking the guest room.

    I will cry buckets when he leaves, but he always says he will come back as soon as he can. You would love him too!

    Need to stop, but am sending my love to ALL of you and longing to see you.

    PS We were so excited to hear about Sophia and Virginia”s acting experience in The Little Mermaid! If a video was made, perhaps I can see it sometime!OXOX

    • Amy April 4, 2013, 8:37 pm

      Dear Aunt Carole,

      What fun to hear from you on the blog! I loved knowing all your news and hearing what Mark and Wade are up to.

      I’m glad that Gram thinks God never gives you anything you can’t handle — that’s good news for me.

      Love, Amy

  • Kym (Rosselot) Trenkamp April 4, 2013, 3:37 pm

    Amy & Family:
    Congrats to you all! I love reading the blog and wish you all the best in this time of happiness!

    • Amy April 4, 2013, 8:32 pm

      Dear Kym,

      It’s great to hear from you and I’m honored that you are a blog reader.

      Thank you for your well wishes,

  • Linda Greiss April 4, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing about your family. Beautiful children!

    • Amy April 4, 2013, 8:31 pm

      Thanks for the enthusiastic wishes, Linda!

      Sending you all the best,

  • Michelle April 4, 2013, 1:55 pm

    I had heard this through the grapevine. Glad to hear the wonderful news.

    Your mother-in-law would have been OK, I think. There is a Blessed Diana and her feast day is June 9th: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=408

    Best wishes to all of you!


    • Amy April 4, 2013, 8:31 pm

      Dear Michelle,

      Thank you for pointing this out! I guess she thought of pagan because Diana was a Roman goddess, but I’m sure she would be glad to know that the name is more multi-faceted.


  • Sarah April 4, 2013, 10:30 am

    Congratulations to you! Such an exciting journey.

    • Amy April 4, 2013, 8:27 pm

      Thank you, Sarah. As my friend Ashley would say, Never dull!

      All the best,

  • Shelley April 4, 2013, 10:09 am

    Blessings and congratulations to you and your family! Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful blog.

    • Amy April 4, 2013, 8:26 pm

      And thank you, Shelley, for taking the time to write me and joining in the conversation!

      Take care,

  • Candy Lyons April 4, 2013, 8:23 am


    We look forward to welcoming another baby to the neighborhood. Let me know if I can be of help in any way.

    Big hug from Candy

    • Amy April 4, 2013, 8:23 pm

      Hi Candy,

      Lots of baby girls in our neighborhood, right? It’s going to be fun!

      Thank you for offering to help,

  • Daisy April 4, 2013, 7:26 am

    Congratulations! That is wonderful news. I hope you are feeling well and I look forward to hearing more about your pregnancy and baby Diana. I suspect your big girls will be great little helpers for you.

    • Amy April 4, 2013, 8:22 pm

      Thank you so much, Daisy. Yes, my daughters seem to be very invested in this baby, perhaps especially because she is a girl. My eldest says she wants to make sure she is dressed fashionably. :-)

  • Joanne April 4, 2013, 4:08 am

    Hi Amy, I’ve just fallen on your blog to see great news for you and your family. I have 5 children although the eldest is now 19 and lives with his girfriend and works, but my 4 daughters are 8, 7 (today), 4 and 3 (on Monday)….I would love to add another one to my little group but my husband seems to think we have enough ! Also my mother keeps telling me that I need to stop ! Congratulations……beautiful name too ! xxx

    • Amy April 4, 2013, 7:03 am

      Dear Joanne,

      Wow, five and wanting more! You are amazing. And happy birthday to your 7- and 3-year olds! Do the two pairs of girls play a lot together?

      Thank you for coming by the blog and saying hello right away!

      • Joanne April 4, 2013, 9:53 am

        All four of the girls fight constantly, or they gang up in two’s and leave the other two out. The elder two generally play together and the two litte ones. I’m dreading Monday when the youngest turns 3 as she’s not a baby anymore :-( I’ve very sad about that lol.
        Joanne x

        • Amy April 4, 2013, 8:25 pm

          I know, why can’t everyone just get along, right? I get a little bittersweet when kids reach milestones. But when there is an ending, there is always a beginning.

  • Mylene April 4, 2013, 1:21 am

    Congratulations Amy! What a beautiful name.

    • Amy April 4, 2013, 7:01 am

      Thank you, Mylene! How is Italy treating you? I noticed that you are getting around Europe too. What an adventurous family!

  • Lindsay April 3, 2013, 10:22 pm

    Babies are such a blessing – praying for your sweet girl – what joy children bring!!

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 10:30 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Lindsay! It’s true — our kids keep life light and full of laughter.

      Take care,

  • Tracy April 3, 2013, 10:06 pm

    Congratulations, Amy! What a lucky and blessed girl Diana will be!

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 10:20 pm

      Thank you, Tracy! I hope Diana likes noise — if so, she’ll be in heaven here. :-)


  • Rana B April 3, 2013, 9:56 pm

    Congratulations Amy :)) what a wonderful and exciting piece of news! Very happy for your growing family. I can just feel God’s touch and grace upon you all :) May his love and blessings surround you always. Best of luck with the new bundle of joy!!

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 10:19 pm

      Dear Rana,

      I feel like you are giving me a blessing, and I am grateful.

      I’m wishing you the same love and grace,

  • Kevin Scott April 3, 2013, 9:50 pm

    Congratulations to you and your family. Been a long time since high school. Best.

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 10:18 pm

      Hey Kevin!

      I know — but how is it that you still look the same?


  • Natalie April 3, 2013, 9:27 pm

    What wonderful news! Congratulations!!! There really is no better news to share with the world:)!

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 10:17 pm

      Hi Natalie,

      I think you nailed it — not much better news than this. Getting married was a super happy day of my life, too.

      Take care,

  • catherine caughey April 3, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Congratulations! How exciting, the last time I saw you you handled 4 with ease so 5 should be no problem :) Glad to see you and your family are doing so well.

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 10:14 pm

      Hi Catherine,

      Great to hear from you via the blog! I was so glad to run into you, and it’s great to be in touch again.

      Thank you for stopping by to say hello!


  • Chris C April 3, 2013, 9:23 pm

    Congratulations!! I’m so happy for you!

    You look radiant! Can’t wait for you to keep us posted!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 10:13 pm

      Thank you, Chris! I’m glad you appreciated hearing the news. I felt a little shy about it, but am so glad I did now.


  • Jen @ Jen Spends April 3, 2013, 6:10 pm

    Another girl! How exciting! All of your children have beautiful names, and this one is no exception. For what it’s worth, there is a Blessed Diana (an Italian, no less) among the Catholic saints :) We are kind of at a standstill with our baby boy’s first name, but hopefully something “clicks” soon! Mark’s reaction to the news reminds me of my son–he is not crazy about babies because they’re noisy and can’t play with him, but the closer we get, the more excited he becomes. Hope everything continues to go well for you!

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 10:12 pm

      Dear Jen,

      Thank you for the information about the Italian saint named Diana. My late mother-in-law was not enthusiastic about the name when we first considered it (and ended up choosing Sofia). I’m glad that we won’t be struck down…

      It’s so hard to choose names. You would think that, with thousands of choices out there, two people could agree on one, but it’s never been that easy for us either.

      I know it will all come together for you — the name, and your son’s reception of the baby. He and his little brother are going to create great memories together.

      Take care,

  • Nichole Williamson April 3, 2013, 4:54 pm

    Congratulations!!! It’s amazing the curveballs that fly our way every single day! But in the end it sure is an awesome curveball to be thrown!

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 5:02 pm

      You’re so right, Nichole! It’s great to hear from you.


  • Tai April 3, 2013, 4:38 pm

    Congratulations! I love your children’s name’s, in fact my daughter is named Sofia Luna!! You are going to make it work and being frugal can only inspire you more with a new baby.

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 4:44 pm

      No way, I can’t believe Sofia Luna! That’s beautiful — how did you decide on it?


  • It Is What It Is April 3, 2013, 4:18 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for some time but this might be my first comment. I appreciated that you considered what a blessing this pregnancy is given what a struggle it is for some people (me being one, both of my boys were conceived with ART).

    Big congratulations on your happy news and it seems to me that the people who can manage a large family are those who are blessed to have one (which is not to say that those who aren’t, can’t, if you know what I mean). It’s just that not everyone is equipped and you surely seem like you are.

    The happy announcement of a pregnancy is such good news and lifts us all up. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and for a smooth delivery.

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 4:26 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, and for being such a longtime reader! It’s great to hear your thoughts and perspective, and to know you are out there, cheering us on.


  • Gayle April 3, 2013, 4:10 pm

    Love the name!

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 4:22 pm

      Yay! Names are such a personal thing, and it’s hard enough for one family to agree on one, so I’m always pleased when someone else likes our choice.

  • Aloadofoldtat April 3, 2013, 3:53 pm

    A wanted child is always good news.

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 4:10 pm

      Of course! We are lucky.

  • Meghan April 3, 2013, 3:51 pm


    Wonderful news….cannot wait to see that little cuteness next fall when school is back in session!

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 4:08 pm

      Thank you, Meghan! Yes, she’ll be going everywhere with me. Can’t wait to carry her around in a sling or front pack. :-)


  • Courtney April 3, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Congratulations to you! I have followed your blog for years (it feels like) and I can’t imagine how you’ve kept it all together with 4 kids. We’ve wanted to add a third to our family but adding a baby to our mix feels far too chaotic for us. I look forward to watching how you pull it all off with 5 kids and your usual grace, intelligence, humility and warmth. I only hope we continue to hear from you occassionally after the baby arrives. You really are an inspiration and your kids (and husband!) are so lucky to have you as a mom! Many blessings to you.

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 2:21 pm

      Hello Courtney,

      It’s so nice to hear from a long-time reader. Your words are so generous and encouraging, and I thank you for taking the time to share them with me. You’re right about the chaos — keeping everything under control is definitely a challenge. I love how kids keep us laughing — it’s one of the greatest gifts.

      Thanks again for saying such nice things, Courtney,

  • Noemi April 3, 2013, 2:12 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS, AMY! So happy for you – Noemi

    • Amy April 3, 2013, 2:16 pm

      Thank you for the enthusiastic wishes, Noemi! You were always a shining example to me.


  • Adrienne April 3, 2013, 1:55 pm

    So excited for you guys!! The neighborhood needs more babies, and you will handle it with the usual grace and calm that I totally associate with you.


    • Amy April 3, 2013, 1:59 pm

      Thank you, Adrienne! I’m so grateful to have such warm and friendly neighbors — our nabe definitely feels like the right place to raise children, village-style.

      See you around!