What’s Your Name, Sweet One?

When you’re pregnant, you’re a planner, and you’re OCD like me, you want to name that baby. Specifically, you’d like to name that baby so you can speak about it without saying “it” all the time. Hubby rarely wants to talk names until we know the gender around 20 weeks, which I guess I understand, but still… isn’t it fun to think of names?! Even really silly ones you know you’d never use?!

Naming a child is serious business. They keep it forever… they can truly become the name. It helps mold them into themselves. The pressure is on, in other words, to choose wisely.

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When naming EK, I knew immediately the route I wanted to take. I’d had a dream about four months before I got pregnant with her that I had a baby girl named Ella Katharine. I specifically remember in my dream that Katharine was spelled like Katharine Hepburn (and yes, that was the association in my mind). However, when we got pregnant and started talking names, we wanted to use family names. So I started looking for something approximating Ella and Katharine in our families. And of course, nada for both. However, I came up with a way to honor two wonderful women, and mostly keep with the name for my daughter that I had dreamed of. EK’s full name is Elena Kathleen, and we call her Ella Kate. Elena is my mom’s first name (who goes by her middle name, by the way) and Kathleen is my ,om’s mom’s mom’s name – my maternal great-grandmother, Mamaw, whom I knew and loved for my first 18 years. I was so pleased with the full name, the nickname, and the whole idea of it that I knew it couldn’t be topped.

When naming our son, we had a different thought – no dream this time to help us out. We still wanted to use family names though, and when we found out it was a boy, we had it narrowed down to two options. We knew his middle name would be Stevens (Hubby’s mom’s maiden name, and middle name of Hubby’s middle brother) but we had two first names we’d tied with. Both were family names, and both had been used a few times within the family. We ended up choosing Joseph, Hubby’s dad’s name, and also Hubby’s eldest brother’s first name (which he doesn’t go by). We literally covered all Hubby’s immediate family with his full name, Joseph Stevens. It worked out really well!

Now that we’ve used two names from my family and two names from Hubby’s, we haven’t decided whether we want to use more family names (we have several more we’d love to incorporate) or whether we want to go completely out of the box. Obviously we don’t know gender yet, so Hubby hasn’t made too many contributions to the conversation, but my mind is spinning with possibilities, options for pleasant-sounding double names if it’s a girl (I do love a good, southern, double name.) or strong, handsome boy names.

image from birth.com.au

The main problem I have thinking about baby names is the same problem I had picking tile for the bathroom floor, and paint color for the walls: I like everything. I literally like so many different things that it’s difficult for me to choose. I love Biblical names and their accompanying history. I love Celtic names and the way they sound when you speak them. I love strong, traditional, common names, that everyone will know how to pronounce and spell. I love family names and the honor we can give to people we love. I love non-traditional, unique names – to an extent. But let’s be honest: I shan’t be using “Apple” or “Blue”.

I came across this app (now I can’t even remember where I read about it) called Baby Name Genius, and it took over my life for a little bit. A name pops up, you give it the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”, and it generates a name you might like, based on your previous opinions. I wasted several minutes (read: hours) throughout a couple of days giving my approval or disapproval of names, until I felt like it was giving me the same names over and over again (including ones I had thumbs-downed!). Bummer. It says the app has tens of thousands of names. I didn’t see that many. Anyway, I’ve been doing random research reading lists of celebrity baby names, names for girls based on adventurous women, names for boys based on sensitive men, you get the idea. Reading short lists is better than starting at “A” on nameberry.com.

All this is to say that I’m going to post a few fun or funky lists of names that have caught my eye for one reason or another. But you’ll have to wait. I don’t want to give it all away in one post! How dare I? Make you come back?! I know. I’m stringing you along, aren’t I? Hopefully these baby-naming posts will culminate in an actual decision about what Hsu Baby #3 will be called! If you’d like to weigh in with a suggestion, leave it in the comments!

4 thoughts on “What’s Your Name, Sweet One?”

  1. We actually named Teagan at your house. We couldn’t agree on a single girl name so I grabbed your baby name book and just let the book open to whatever page it just happened to open to. It landed in the Ts and we only scanned the page for a millisecond before we both saw “Teagan” and pointed to it at the same time. Thus, Teagan was born. 😁


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