On naming an entity the size of a lime.
April 23, 2012

I am sure that there comes a point in every marriage when one spouse looks at the other and is nonplussed, maybe even irritated, by what they see – and in my marriage, that point happens to be intrinsically linked to naming a baby.

Donald and I are a perfect match for each other in many, many ways.  Picking names just does not happen to be one of them.  To understand this, to some extent you have to understand where we both come from when it comes to names.

Donald’s name is very common among men twenty to fifty years older than him…but there is a significant lack of Donalds born in his generation.  The year he was born, his name was number 46 on the charts.  As a result, my husband always swore that when he became a parent, he was not going to burden his children with names that their peers did not have.  He wanted them to have popular, common names.  No “old” names, no unique names, none of that balderdash.  Donald likes the classics and mostly leans toward soft vowel sounds.  We have him to thank for Charlotte’s first name.

Names that Donald likes: Benjamin, Samuel, Jacob, Olivia, Lily, and Amelia.  All of these are in the top fifty names; Jacob has been in the top 10 names for nearly twenty years.

On the flip side, Sarah ranked number 5 the year I was born – and remains a popular name today.  One year in school, I was one of SIX children in a class with my name (two of whom spelled it without an H).  I swore that when I had children, I was not going to burden them with popular, common names that everyone else had.  I’m not personally a huge fan of super-creative names or spellings – the infamous Abcde (Ab-sidy) or Jawknee (Johnny), for example – but I do like old names and foreign names and names inspired by nature or mythology.  I also tend to prefer strong vowel sounds.  We have me to thank for Charlotte’s middle name: Anaïs.

Names that I like: Hugh, Amos, Wyatt, Ruby, Clementine, Flora.  The most popular of those are Wyatt (number 57), Ruby (number 113), and Hugh (number 963).

Sigh.  Wish us luck.

What are some of your name favorites?

** Charlotte is two years and nine months old.  I am twelve weeks pregnant.


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  1. By on April 23, 2012

    My sons name is Aidric. Its an old saint name. Not much is know about him. Ruby was my grandmothers name and if Aidric had been a girl, I wanted to name her Ruby. My husband said no :( But I do get to choose the middle name of Irene if we have a girl next time :) My husband and I went through the exact same argument.

  2. By Catherine on April 23, 2012

    Ahh, naming is a tricky one - but fun!  I, too, have an extremely common name - Catherine - and, like you, I wanted my children to have names that weren’t extremely common but not “out there”.  We have Ronan (not common at all, yet I’ve met at least four in the last four years), Isla (getting more common but I’ve only ever met one so far in almost three years) and Stellan (I’ve never met another Stellan - but my baby’s only five weeks old and this name is newly on my radar, so to speak).  We also contemplated Hugh, I love it.  :)  I do love the name Lily - common or not, I’ve actually only met one young person named Lily.  For #3, we liked Soren and I liked Wolf.  Alas - no one else liked Wolf.

  3. By on April 23, 2012

    We are done building our family, but names are something I always think about for some reason. I feel like I have some good ones that are wasted now. Lol

    Boy: Harrison (which i didnt use because i wanted a name without a built in nickname), Clark (my son’s middle name, although we occasionally wish we had used it as a first name since Liam is apparently huge right now), Max, Alexander (I’d break my no nickname rule to call him Xander)
    Girl: Lana Marie, Logan, Laurie, Lucy

    I was a fan of the L names with my second pregnancy… The cursive L is just so pretty IMO.

  4. By on April 23, 2012

    Ps - love Wyatt, Hugh, Lilly and Amelia

  5. By Amber on April 23, 2012

    My name was in the top 10 the year I was born. I grew up HATING my name SO MUCH because there were at least 2 other Ambers in my class. HATED IT. I will NOT give my children names that are common! I won’t burden them with thinking they are a dime a dozen, as I assumed I was my entire childhood.

    I still can’t stand that there are other people with my name. Seriously. :P

    My husband & I tend to disagree about all names we’ve floated over the last 8 years we’ve been together, though, so it ought to be interesting should we decide to procreate!

  6. By Ellery on April 23, 2012

    I grew up with such an odd name, I didn’t know anyone with it, I vowed I would NEVER name my children odd names.  Basically names you couldn’t find at a souvenir shop.  The problem was, I didn’t like everyday names either.

    Our first child is Weston.  I didn’t think it was all that odd, but not everyday, run of the mill either.  Also, not found in souvenir shops. :-( If Weston was a girl, his name would have been Amielia, spelled differently because my grandmother, whom I love(d) dearly, was Amie.

    We didn’t have too much trouble coming up with names the first time around, but this time around, we seem to be struggling.  If this one is a girl, she will still be Amielia, but I HATE the middle name my husband likes.  We’ve tried to compromise, but have failed.  If this one is a boy, he’ll either be Grady or Spencer.

  7. By elizabeth Mackey on April 23, 2012

    I actually like yours and Donald’s choices.

    I have an unusual first name, that I no longer go by, since I never liked it. I was tortured as a kid for it where I grew up, BUT having said that, I did grow up in a small red-neck town.
    I rebelled and named my girls more common names, and I still like the choices I made. My oldest likes her common name of Nicole, but my youngest isn’t sure she likes her name Caitlin. Caitlin has been taken over by what my daughter calles Ugg wearing, Abercrombie and Fitch girls. While I agree with her, I still love the name and she sometimes just goes by Cait. I don’t like how people have gotten “creative” with the spelling of this name though!

    I like all of your choices, and Ruby is my daughter’s favorite name.

    I’m sure you will, in the end have a beautiful name picked out.

  8. By Sarah@CrazyLoveGambleStyle on April 23, 2012

    I’m with you, being my name is Sarah too : )  They are everywhere and I wanted to avoid that.  Ava, even though I thought I was being original at the time, turned out to be #1 on the list, damn it.  Norah is a little less “popular” but I’m starting to hear it more and more.

    I love the name Ruby, always have.  Lauren, Harper, Elinore, Evelyn, Aubrey & Gretta are some of my favorite girl names.  I like Carter, Jacob, Mason for a boy, but to me boys names are much trickier.

    Good Luck!!!

  9. By on April 23, 2012

    Im with you. My name is Kimberly. I always had to go by my name plus last initial or just by my last name. We love older names. I do like Amelia. One of my favs at the moment is Norah. My husband likes the name Elanor and Eloise.If our Charlotte had been a boy, we would have named him Landon. Naming a person is a huge task, but once you find the perfect name you will know. It will just feel right and be something that you can’t stop thinking about or saying out loud. Can’t wait to see what y’all come up with.

  10. By Alicia S. on April 23, 2012

    My husband gave me an aneurism once when our son was 3 by informing me for the first time of a conversation he had with someone else about our son’s name when I was pregnant with him. The person asked what we were naming the baby and he said Matthew and they laughed. “Oh, so SHE picked the name.” And he was like, “Yeah. You know how it is.” I couldn’t believe it! I always thought he loved the name as much as I did—okay, okay, I’ve had the name picked out since I was in 1st grade, so maybe not AS much as I loved it, but still. I’ve since learned that he thought the name was a long list of things that made me gasp, horrified, but that he hated it less than anything else and because he knew that I loved it so much, he “gave” it to me.

    On that note, middle names have always carried a lot of weight with me. It was almost more important to me that our children have a solid, harmonizing middle name than a perfect first one. Literally the minute Matthew was in my arms, still crying, and the nurse asked us our son’s name, I changed my mind suddenly from what we had originally picked out to “Spencer” which is my husband’s name, even though we hadn’t previously talked about it at all. Surprisingly, (because both of us were anti-junior) he loved the idea. 

    (Funny fact: I am head over heals in love with my step-daughter’s name, even though it’s admittedly one that I’d never have ever picked myself. That alone gave my husband’s opinion more weight with me than I think it would have had otherwise—funny how that works out!)

  11. By Alicia S. on April 23, 2012

    **(It’s his middle name we changed the day he was born. I never specified, lol.)

  12. By Kristen on April 23, 2012

    I think there were at least 5 other Kristen’s in my high school class.  I HATED having a popular name.  We named our son Nathan (Nate for short).  I didn’t think it was that popular until after he was born, I swear every little boy I see is named that.  Oh well, I still like the name.

  13. By Megan on April 23, 2012

    I am all about the old fashioned names.  My son’s name is Leland.  For future children my short list of names includes Vera, Edna, Vilas and Rylan. 

    But you can tell your husband Clementine is gaining popularity.  My niece who was born in January has this as her middle name.

  14. By on April 23, 2012

    I love all you and your husband’s choices except for Amos…sounds too much like Anus to me!

  15. By on April 23, 2012

    I am more like you. Growing up with an unusual name I kind of didn’t like it but grew to love it. My husband has a very common name (he and my dad actually share a name… a little odd, for sure). I like a lot of the name choices that both of you have. For reference my kids’ names are Myles and Olivia. We actually chose Olivia because we had not heard it much but it wasn’t so much an unusual name. Until she was born. Now it’s quite a popular name. Some other names I have heard and liked lately are Fable, Lark, Aria, Elijah, Luka. Name picking is so very hard.

  16. By Sarah Christensen on April 23, 2012

    I should clarify that I like Lily and Amelia too (particularly Lily; I love flower names) - just not with the same fervor that I like Ruby.  And if I run into other kids with the same name, I admittedly like it less.  Donald likes Wyatt too, but again - not with the same fervor that he likes Jacob.  And if he runs into other kids with the same name, he likes it more =P

    The interesting thing is that we each have a few names we like in common (Lena, Evelyn, Arthur, Oliver) but the ones we each LOVE are the ones the other is sort of iffy on lol.

  17. By Sarah Christensen on April 23, 2012

    Terra - LOL!  I hadn’t thought of that!  Maybe Amos is more of a middle name then?!

  18. By missjoules on April 23, 2012

    My husband and I both had common names growing up so we wanted something uncommon but not weird for Robin. But then my husband shot down literally-and I do mean literally-every name suggested for about six months because he got in his mind that he also wanted a name that he didn’t know anyone with. We had absolutely no idea what we were going to call the baby when he was born, and he didn’t have a name for his first two weeks. Then Dave went and named him accidentally by ‘trying out’ Robin (which, I was never keen on) and then saying he couldn’t think of him as anything else anymore. I am afraid to say because someone else suggesting names was one of the things that made my husband say no (he is weirdly stubborn but not usually as ornery as he is coming across in this comment) but the names that I liked the most were Reed and Milo. Since I’m not supposed to have any more (well, we’ll know that for certain in May, but it’s looking likely :() you are free to use them if they take your fancy.

  19. By on April 23, 2012

    We have found picking the names of our children to be so incredibly difficult, right now we are 38 weeks along and we can’t agree on anything for our son!

  20. By on April 23, 2012

    When we came up with the name Jenson, we used a “method” we found in a magazine. I picked 10 boy names and Luke picked 10 boys names. We both picked 3 from the other person’s list and those were the 6 names we focused on. Jenson was a bit of a joke name that Luke threw out there, but once we knew we were having a boy I just fell in love with that name. Of course, we also joked about how funny it would be to have a kid with the initials JFK, so that’s how we got Fox for a middle name. Nothing really sounded nice with Jenson.

    We’re set for girls though… We have our Isla Renault. The next girl is Lorelai Grace and the girl after that is Madeline Avy. We’re screwed for boys. I like Kail, but we’re not crazy for that name. I don’t know…

    We’re not big fans of the super popular names either.

    Ellery - I just love your name, I think it’s fantastic! Maybe it’ll go on our list… Anyway, my husband wants me to consider Weston for a boy… You just landed him some name points.

  21. By on April 23, 2012

    Our firstborn is named Jericho; definitely not a popular choice. Our second born is Anna, much more common. I believe it’s in the top 20 baby girl names. While we generally prefer either unique or old fashioned names, our daughter is named after my mom (Deanna) who passed away when I was about 16 weeks pregnant. Other girl names we like include Evelyn, Evangeline, Margaret (ok, just I like that one). If our next one is a boy, I have no idea what his name will be. Those are harder for us to agree upon!

  22. By on April 23, 2012

    Honestly, I would not stress about whether the name is popular or not.  No matter what you name your child, even if you think it is unique it will become popular soon enough.  In the end, you need to just go with your gut.  If you guys love a name, go with it.  Avoid looking at the popularity list all together they will just cause you more grief than it is worth.  Charlotte is a very popular name right now and probably was not when you named her,or so you though, but guess what - it’s an absolutely beautiful name and seems to match her personality perfectly (from what I gather from your blog posts).  And honestly, you could pick a popular name and your child may never run into someone with the same name or you may pick an un-popular name and your child will have 5 in your class. 
    Long story short, go with your gut, go with a name you guys agree and love and forget about everything else :)

  23. By on April 23, 2012

    I think my name is common enough in English but i grew up in a french community so no one else had my name and nobody knew how to pronounce my name either. I always have to spell it out to french people!
    So when i was picking names for my kids i wanted to make sure they were easy to pronounce in both french and English. My husband didn’t care about middle names so i got to pick those on my own! They are family names Rose and Emil! If my son would have been a girl i would have called him Gwen ... i like names that end with “en”....Ben, Owen, Gwen (all short because our family name is long) !

  24. By Sarah Christensen on April 23, 2012

    Shannon - One of our requirements is also that the names are easy to pronounce in French and English.  It’s hard work!  Alot of the names we like do not fit the bill, so then we try to find equivalents in French and German…and it can still be tough.  My standby for a long time was Rose, but then two relatives named their dogs Rosie within the space of about two years…so…yeah.

  25. By on April 23, 2012

    I think you have to consider how many actual kids were given that name, not where it falls on the list. For example, when I was born Melissa was the 27th name in my state, about 500 girls were given the name. That came out to five Melissa’s in my high school class, but I never had anyone in an elementary class with my name. Now consider that last year the most popular girls name in my state was only given to about two hundred kids. If a name you love is high on the list, maybe look at how many kids are named that before you count it out all together. You might be surprised.

  26. By on April 23, 2012

    I have a very unusual first name, Carma, which I didn’t like as a kid but love now.  I think the name Gemma is really pretty.  We were going to name our baby Gemma Irene if it was a girl, but we ended up with a boy, Trey Harrison.  It’s really tough to pick out a name that’s not too unusual or too common or too weird or too this or that. :)  Good luck!

  27. By on April 23, 2012

    Haha! My daughter’s favorite bear that she takes everywhere with her is called Rosie! ;)
    And yes… Bilingual names are hard to find! Especially when two people have to agree!

  28. By on April 23, 2012

    If you have not yet seen Swistle’s baby name blog, check it out.  She answers questions from people having naming trouble, and it helped me soo much in naming my baby.  There is a post where she talks about each parent assigning ranking numbers to the names on the list, and i can’t wait to use that formula.  She also has good info about popularity and what that means, etc.  I adore reading it. 
    My experience has been more like Donald’s—my name is Nancy, born in late 70s.  Most people with my name is 20-30 years older, and people still assume I will be a 60 year old when they just know my name.  It wasn’t that I disliked it not being common, it was that it had been SO common in the previous generation.  But I was named after my Grandmother, so the specialness of the story does trump the name’s popularity rise and fall.
    Oh, also the Baby Name Wizard, which is a book and a website, is an awesome resource for all things baby name.  Your and Donald’s favorites seem to me To be similar stylistically, so at least you aren’t trying to decide between Kaylee and Martha.  Look forward to seeing how you all choose!

  29. By Mailis on April 23, 2012

    If I’d had a girl, I would have named her Blythe. That was just her name. In fact, I was SO sure I was having a Blythe right up until I found out I was having a Jude instead. Ask Donald what he thinks of that name. ;)

    Ruby, Lily and Hugh are my favorites from your lists. :D I am so excited for you.

  30. By on April 23, 2012

    My step kids have unique names.  They are not weird names, or oddly spelled.  One is a last name that was used as a first name, one is a word from a different language that has is easy to say and spell. They didn’t like their names growing up, but as adults they now love their names, maybe because it sets them apart from the crowd. We chose names when our son was born and we each had veto power.  We both agreed on Wyatt.
    (I like Sam Ben,Lily,Flora,Ruby,Hugh and of course Wyatt. I love the name Cora too).

  31. By Megan R. on April 23, 2012

    Growing up I was pretty much the only Megan in all of my classes, including college.  I do know that it is more common now, but I have always like my name.  My husband had a very common name:  Matthew.  He has always hated his name.  We both agreed, though, that we wanted something unique but not “head-turning-sort-of-crazy” unique for our child.  My sister and I were both given Irish first names, so we did try to stick with that theme…for no specific reason.  That is how Killian landed on our boy’s list.  My MIL hated it, though….booo!  So, we turned to our German roots for a boy’s name, and we settled on August (with Jay for the middle name, same as my husband’s).  Turns out we never got to use that boy name, but we both infinitely agreed on a girl’s name once I put this one together:  Finnley Piper.  Finnley is “Irish”, and we just LOVED the name Piper.  We chose to add an extra “n”  so that we could easily shorten to the nickname “Finn”.  For some reason (probably related to fish) we just liked it better than “Fin”.  Anyway, there is no science to picking a name.  Most parents will agree in the end that the name they chose suits their child’s personality.  Funny how that works!  So, best of luck.  I think all the names have redeeming qualities!

  32. By Adrianne on April 23, 2012

    I love thinking about names and reading other people’s preferences. I think I’m like you; I want something beautiful and recognizable but not too popular. My husband wants something a little more traditional and common. For our daughter, we landed on Annabel, which fit my desires and somehow he loved it too. The ONLY girls name we agreed on, btw!
    Your post and the comments here have definitely proved one thing though: no matter whether you go super popular or more unique, your kid will probably at one point not like their name:( I hated my name growing up because there were no other Adrianne’s. I would have LOVED to have been a Sarah. Yet, you wanted something more unique. Therefore, I think Kristy’s advice is best!
    I love Ruby, and Clementine is my ultimate guilty pleasure name…meaning I don’t think I could actually pull it off, but I love it so!
    Others that I love: Grant, Harrison, Brody, Graham, Weston, Claire, Summer, Noelle, Gemma, Tessa.

    P.S. Congrats on the pregnancy!! So excited for you guys!

  33. By on April 23, 2012

    My husband and I both have very classic names; they’re not unusual, but not incredibly common either (he’s a Paul, I’m a Kristine). Fortunately we both tend to like that in children’s names as well. If we have a girl, she’ll be Rosemary Gail for his grandmother and my mother, and if we have a boy, he’ll be Jack Clayton for his grandfather and my brother.

    I also love the names Imogen, Isla and Juliet for girls, and Hunter, William and Noah for boys.

    Phonetic names are big for us because our last name is quite rare and not usually pronounced correctly.

  34. By Adrianne on April 23, 2012

    Oh and since I just read you like flower names, I have to tell you that my other guilty pleasure name is Magnolia! Love that the nicknames could be Maggie, Nolia, Lia. So cute! And I love, love Magnolia trees and flowers:)

  35. By on April 23, 2012

    In our family the same names keep popping up so you say the name and 3-4 people respond. Didn’t want to do that to our kids so we went with names we had never heard used in the family. Turns out each of my boys names occurs only once per generation and in each case the person was deceased so not a subject of much conversation. Be careful with foreign names. My mom wanted to name her last baby Csaba Attilla. Yeah, you can imagine the teasing. Luckily for all of us that baby was a girl and called Agota instead.

      My DH wanted a different name for our first child than I did. After watching me go through more than 48 hours of labor, I got to make the call.

  36. By Sarah Christensen on April 23, 2012

    Adrianne - I LOVE MAGNOLIA!  I only mentioned it once to Donald because I was 95% sure he wouldn’t like it - he tends to consider most nature names “weird” - and he didn’t really comment on it at all, so I don’t really know how it went over lol.  But I love it!  I would have a hard time shortening it, though.  I think it’s perfect the way it is =)

  37. By Sarah Christensen on April 23, 2012

    Mitzie - LOL!  We went into the hospital with two names for each sex when Charlotte was born.  She came out and they announced the sex and I looked at her and thought, okay, it’s Eleanora (the name I picked).  But the nurse asked Donald if we had a name and he said Charlotte!

    I refused to call her by her name for nearly a month, I was so pissed.  I kept reminding him that I’d gone through labor and he just STOLE the name out from under me =P Now, of course, I look at her and she’s all Charlotte to me.  But we decided with this baby we better just pick one name for each because the truth is that if I labor and there’s nothing set in stone, I’m picking the name damnit lol.

  38. By on April 23, 2012

    I am a Sarah also, so I know how you feel with the too common names. I do like my name now more than when growing up. My husband and I had SUCH a hard time naming our son. He liked more classic names, but didn’t want to shorten them (love Samuel, but did not want him called Sam). I wanted something a little different. We had narrowed it down to a couple names, but didn’t decide until we were just about to leave the hospital. Surprisingly we ended up picking a name that wasn’t originally on the top of our list, Rhys. He’s 9 months old now and I can’t imagine calling him any other name!
    Good luck with the name game and have some fun with it too! I love hearing the stories on how people pick names and can’t wait to tell Rhys his story.

  39. By Meg on April 23, 2012

    My name is Meg and it’s a fairly popular name. I hate my name though. I don’t know what I wish it was but I know I don’t like Meg.

    But I’m HORRIBLE at naming anything. And I mean anything. So my husband, Mozart, names everything that needs a name. He names our plants, pets, cars, stuffed animals, and our kids.

    He named our daughter- Ava. Her middle name is Marie. Ava Marie. So pretty. Her middle name is his mom’s first name.

    He named our son- August. His middle name is Reid. August Reed. His middle name was my idea because my mom’s maiden name is Reed.

    But I don’t name our children. We actually don’t name our children in the womb. We wait to see what they look like. It took us two days to name our son.

  40. By on April 23, 2012

    I’m 36 weeks pregnant, and if it’s a girl, she’ll be Blythe, and if it’s a boy, he’ll be either Kemuel or Sebastian… leaning towards Kemuel though. 
    Felix is my firstborn, and I love it!

  41. By Jadzia@Toddlerisms on April 23, 2012

    I have an Amelia.  Although it is a lovely name, it is one that my husband chose, and I am not thrilled with it because she is only 5 months old and it is already apparent that there are a zillion little Amelias running around out there! 

    Plus—AND I WARNED HIM OF THIS IN ADVANCE—Amelia rhymes with her older sister’s name.  So for the past five months, neither of them have ever, ever been called by the correct name on the first try.  I am hoping to get better about this, but it’s not likely.

    Even though it is a beautiful name.

  42. By on April 23, 2012

    OH, and I saw this floating around somewhere recently: Hyacinth, nickname Heidi.

  43. By on April 23, 2012

    My mom thought she was special by choosing a ‘popular’ name at the time but making it different. So, while everyone is familiar with my name, they spell it 14 different ways. My mom decided to combine Maggie from the Thorn Birds & Pres. Reagan & got Meagan (pronounced like Reagan but with an M). which I personally like better than Megan but 9 times out of 10 ‘my’ name on something (school roster, name tags, etc) isn’t really MY name since ppl just assume they know how to spell Meagan. I, however, have always liked different, classical names. If we ever decide to procreate we’ve decided on Jocelyn for a girl (not sure of a middle) & William Dean (him going by Will, not bill or billy etc).
    I feel your pain & the thought of naming children with my hard-headed husband is enough to make me second-guess any thoughts I have of procreating!

  44. By on April 23, 2012

    i too am a sarah, but grew up overseas where it was an extremely uncommon and difficult name for people to pronounce.

    my husband and i had similar problems. he actually tended toward short names like Shep or Porter. i however like traditional names with a significant meaning. jude was one of our favorite names because we had never heard it before, but i am glad we didn’t choose that because we literally now know 5 little jude’s! somehow we ended up agreeing and our boys are named jeremiah and nathaniel. don’t know if we will get to name any more once we adopt but i love thinking of names.

  45. By Jessika on April 23, 2012

    Good gosh, NO popular names. You’ll destine your child to forever being a first name, last initial (the initial to differentiate him/her from the 50 billion other same-named children). Or worse: name your child a popular name and then SPELL IT WRONG (example: my name: Jessika—“jessica” was #2 in popularity in the US my year. HORRIBLE.)

    Our goal someday? Go not popular but not ridiculous/unusual. Something where people don’t look at it and go “oh, I’ve seen that 1000 times before” and also not “Oh, I’ve NEVER seen that before, your parents are weird.“

    I love Clementine. I think Amos would have grade school kids calling him “Anus” (but I do love Amos as a name, just not as grade-school mentality).

  46. By on April 23, 2012

    We have a bit of a pickle, as I am Mexican, my husband Italian, we live in France but are part of a large expat community with many americans and British people among other nationalities… So, we’ve tried to pick a name that could be pronounced by everybody quiet easily without destroying the name in the attempt to pronouncing it.  ( My name is Lucia, and I’ve been called: Luchia, Lushia, Lusha, Luzia, and it goes on and on, so now I go by as Lucy… Hehe

    At the end, we chose Alessandro for our son, although is 100% italian,  at the least he will be called Alex by everyone…
    For the next one, we are thinking Luca, Giaia, Lara, Leticia… I know, I know, our goal is not been achieved ;-)

  47. By Sarah Christensen on April 23, 2012

    Sarah in GA - I’ve wondered about that too.  We’ve talked ALOT about what to do when we proceed with adoption…and it’s so hard to know.  I cannot imagine myself changing the name of any child old enough to know and respond to their name…but I also cannot imagine what I would do if we named a biological child Jacob and then started fostering one…or putting a super unique name on a holiday card alongside other names that are more mainstream.

    Sometimes I think there’s no winning.

  48. By Katie on April 23, 2012

    I don’t have kids yet, but like many women have thought about names since I was a little girl. One of my favourite things is hearing pregnant friends’ name choices. I have also been known to flip through the odd baby name book when I come across one (for hours! :)) I like traditional “old fashioned” names, I guess. I like recognizable names, but not ones that are too common. I am also a teacher where I see and hear lots of different names and how hard it is for kids to NEVER have their name spelled right by either their teacher or their friends. (There are so many of these). I have a Zyzairia in my class which I thought was pretty different.

    I am Catherine Vera Victoria, but no one has ever called me Catherine. I have always been Katie, so I often wonder why my parents didn’t just name me Katie, but I do love how romantic Catherine Vera Victoria sounds. Vera Victoria is a family name and I love it. I think that if I had a daughter, she would be Vera, either as a first or a middle and the funny thing is that my husband’s grandmother’s name is also Vera. My mom is Elinor, and dad Calvin- both names I also love and could see using. My grandmother is June, again a favourite of mine.

    Other names I like are Colin, James, Pierce and I like Sam, but not Samuel. For girls, it seems like there are so many- Charlotte (!!!), Ruth, Laura, Natalie and Chloe.

  49. By on April 23, 2012

    First I don’t comment much so…Congrats!  I never gave too much thought to my own name (same as yours!) but I didn’t like that there were several Sarah’s and Sara’s in my classes while growing up. 

    We like names that may be rising but haven’t yet risen. I tend to like a little more obscure but my husband not so much.  I love the name Isla but I can’t stand the thought of making my child spell her name everywhere she goes.  My husband and I have running list of mutually acceptable names…. Amelia, Isabel, Charlotte, Annabelle, Owen, Elliott, and Ethan are all among them.  I used to always want to name a boy Noah but it’s in the Top 10 now so it’s off my list!  Btw…I love Clementine and Ruby but my husband squashed them both!

  50. By Alicia S. on April 23, 2012

    It’s funny that you mention how the name will fit together with the names of their siblings… That was always SO important to my mom that it made me laugh whenever shed bring it up. I do love the way my kids’ names all seem to ‘go’ with one another, especially since one of them came to me with a name already :) but I have a hunch that whatever name your adopted child comes to you with will wind up seeming irreplaceable after a short time, if only because it belongs to them and they make it perfect.

  51. By on April 23, 2012

    I have an Oliver and a Violet on the way.  Both names are not terribly popular now, but certainly trending upward.  They are also essentially the same name only scrambled up with one differing letter. We realized this after we chose the name Violet. Probably why they sound so nice together. It was nothing short of a miracle when we found a girl’s name we both liked because our taste in girl names is so divergent. Incidentally, his first choice was Sarah.  It is a lovely name.

    Really like all your choices so far! Amelia is so so pretty.

  52. By Sarah Christensen on April 23, 2012

    Kristin - Donald and I both love Oliver and Violet too =)  In fact, the only reason we haven’t considered Violet for this baby is because I think it’s a little too rhymey with Charlotte, but it made our short list last time and I’m sure it will again.  We’ve also been worried about using Oliver because it was our top boy name last time and we were really excited when we finally settled on it, but a relative got REALLY upset because apparently it was a name they want to use one day and I think we were supposed to know? or something? by magic?  Anyway, the thing is that we have no idea what the etiquette is for using a name that someone else likes.  Do you have to wait five years?  Ten?  Are you never allowed to use it?  Even if they never do?  I mean…?!?!?!?!  At least I know that if a friend or relative HAS a baby with a specific name that we like, I can wait a few years and then ASK if it’s okay.  But I don’t know what to do about a name that hasn’t been used yet.  So.  Yeah.

    Anyway, I never noticed that they were similar letter-wise until you said so!  Interesting!

  53. By Karen on April 23, 2012

    Reading through the comments as well as your post it jumps out at me that just about everyone with a common name hated that and people with a very different name hated that. Maybe choosing a name that is neither very odd nor very common is the only way to eventually end up with an adult child without issues surrounding how they feel about his or her name! So many of the names you are considering are quite lovely.

    I really wanted to give my son the name Vitaliy as a middle name after the doctor that made it possible for us to conceive him. My husband felt very strange about the idea of giving another man’s name to his son, so he got my husband’s middle name instead.

  54. By on April 23, 2012

    My niece is Magnolia.  She is called Nolie.

  55. By Jessika on April 23, 2012

    shoot. First Charlotte and now considering Violet. Thank goodness you’re 900 miles away and won’t (hopefully) hate me if we end up with children of a same name.

  56. By on April 23, 2012

    Not to go on and on about Swistle baby names, but here is a bit from a recent post:
    “I bring out the idea that no one owns a name. People who have used a name (or have planned to use it) don’t get to say that now that they’ve used the name, no one else may now use it”

    http://swistlebabynames.blogspot.com/2012/04/name-ownership-vs-name-associations.html

    There are about four other posts in the reference section about “stealing” someone else’s name, which might apply to your Oliver question.

  57. By on April 24, 2012

    Funny, I seem to be one of the few people around that actually loves my name! Emily is common enough that everyone knows how to spell it, but I have only ever known 2 others with my name. I HAVE known a lot of Emma’s though.

    We have Evelyn Michelle (Evie) and if this one is a girl will most likely be Elizabeth Kate (Ellie) or William James (Will) if a boy. I also really like Nathan and Joshua for boys. Obviously we go for the classic names (some of which are also family names). To be honest though I wasn’t a fan of Evelyn at first - it was my husbands choice - but kids definitely seem to grow into their names and I can’t imagine Evie being called anything else now.

  58. By Alicia S. on April 24, 2012

    Emily: I LOVE your name choices. I was crushed to find out that I could never have a daughter named Emily or Evelyn (because my husband of course *knew* someone by both of those names once… blah, blah, blah). I think they are both gorgeous. Nathan has also always been one of my favorites. My husband and I have extremely different tastes in girl names. It’s funny how after butting heads so hard for months, we came up with Scarlett Rebecca and both fell instantly in love.

  59. By on April 24, 2012

    I also spent a lot of time thinking about my daughters’name. I wanted to make sure it was spelled and pronounced the same way in both French and English but also pronounced correctly here in China where we live (I had to mainly avoid the ‘R’ sound which is difficult to pronounce, it mostly transforms into ‘L’ sound).
    Picking a bilingual name is quite tricky, you have to take the gender into consideration as well. Alexis is a French name for boy only but in the US, it is a name for girl. Same goes for Jean (for boy in French) and for girl in English.

    I had always loved Chloe and naturally named our elder daughter Chloe. She is 4 now and there is a Chloe in every playgroup / classroom. I knew it was popular in the US and France at the time she was born but I thought the trend wouldn’t pick up here in Asia. I was so wrong!
    Still I like the name a lot.

    So for our younger daughter born last year, I made sure to choose a less common name : Alexia. Haven’t met anyone by this name yet here in China.
    We have also shortlisted Amelia and Lily, both beautiful names.

  60. By Melissa on April 24, 2012

    My partner and I approached naming from the same perspectives as you guys - he has an uncommon name that is ALSO spelled differently, and I have a name that was very popular when I was born, so there was little movement for a while on the name front…
    Eventually we both eased up a bit on our stances, and we ended up with Devin - it’s hardly heard of here in Australia.
    And speaking of, Ruby was actually the second most popular name for baby girls in Australia in 2011. (Lily was number one.) Anais, believe it or not, isn’t so uncommon, either.
    All of my most favourite names are foreign names, and would be completely mispronounced here. My one absolutely loved name, Audrey, is suddenly becoming very popular. It’s tricky business, naming!
    Congratulations and good luck!

  61. By on April 24, 2012

    I’ve loved reading this post and everyone’s comments. It’s so interesting. My name is now quite common, but when I was little it was not. I have always loved it! While I gather most names inspired from nature will be off the table for Donald, I do love the name Autumn for a girl. I’ve also heard a few more girls names Sage recently, which I think is kind of cool (and a wonderful spice!). My favorite girl name is Margaret though. I think it’s beautiful! I’m terrible with coming up with boy names. Naturally, I had a boy! Love his name, but my husband and I did have a hard time picking it. So happy for your guys!!!!!!

  62. By on April 24, 2012

    There have been a number of comments about common names and unusual names and how children hated whatever they were blessed with. It made me think of a little boy I knew a long time ago whose mother named him Crispin.  Crispin is unusual, but he could always go by Cris she said.  I thought that was a lovely solution.

  63. By Sarah Christensen on April 24, 2012

    Jessika - I won’t mind at all =)  I have a sister who fully intends to name her son (if she ever has one) Jacob, which is Donald’s all-time favorite and therefore a top consideration for us.

    They’ll be name buddies!

  64. By Lindsey on April 24, 2012

    Love, love, love Clementine! And Ruby…all those names you listed are great.

    My fiance (Ben) wants to name all our children after scientists and I’ve told him several times that while Darwin is a nice, strong name, there is no way we are naming any of our kids that - it’s just too polarizing. The only scientist name he has won me over to is Sagan (for a girl only though).

    I like names that are a little softer, a little gentler…I like a lot of names that start with L or have several L’s in them (Lorelai, Leta, Laila, Leia, etc). I also like names that are inspired by nature or mythology (Fable, Leta again, Nova). My favorite name combo for a long time was Fable Evangeline…but now I think I might like Sagan more than I like Fable. I wouldn’t be surprised if we gave our kids two middles names. Evangeline is my FAVORITE for a middle name. In fact, I like it more than all my first name picks…but I don’t want to bump it up to first name status :) I care very much about what the names mean or what can be construed from them. One of the reasons I liked Fable Evangeline so much is because a Fable is a story and Evangeline means good news and comes from evangelize which means to share the good news - I like the idea of my daughter having/being a “good news” story that she shares with the world (in a non-religious sense as we are secular).

    Boy names are harder for us for some reason - the only ones we have ever discussed (other than Darwin), were Finn (which I;m not crazy about) and Atlas (which I’m also not crazy about). So…yeah.

    I’m so excited for you guys!!! Can’t wait to hear what this new little bebe will be called!

  65. By on April 24, 2012

    My husband and I tried to name our twins loosely on a theme and tried scientists (as Lindsey mentioned), but found it hard to do since we didn’t know what sex they were until they were born. They remained “Twin Boy A” and “Twin Boy B” for at least a day and a half while we hashed out the details and finally decided on Atticus (from To Kill a Mocking Bird (something I said I wanted to do for a while)) and Isaac (as in Isaac Newton) and gave the boys middle names to honor family members. We decided to wait until we met them to make our final decisions, but it was hard for us to even come up with a short list since my husband wanted to name them something waaayyyy exotic and I did not like most of them :P

  66. By on April 24, 2012

    I am loving the name Ruby, sounds so sweet, like a gem :)

    Our first daughters name is Elliot May, Elliot is from the show Scrubs (my husbands favorite!) She still gets misinterpreted as a boy over the phone and things but as soon as people see that its a girl they say they love the name and it fits her perfectly. Our other daughters name is Cora and I guess it isn’t after anything, we just both liked it. I haven’t met any kids with either of those names and I think I like it that way :)

    Good luck with picking out names, cant wait to hear them!

  67. By on April 24, 2012

    I love your name choices, Sarah, especially Ruby, Clementine, and Flora. I’m like you; I like original/unpopular names that aren’t too crazy. I mean, who wants to have a name everyone else has? :D

    Since Donald got to pick Charlotte’s first name, you should get to pick the next one’s! ;)

  68. By on April 24, 2012

    I loved having a unique name. If I knew someone who referred to another Marie-Claude they knew (which was rare), I would think to myself “HEY! That’s my name. I’m the only one.“ LOL

    We also have the same issue as you for baby names (not too popular, not weird, bilingual) and also my husband’s last name is super difficult so the first name has to be short and easily spelled. And now that we’re looking at girl names, suddenly we realized anything ending in -a doesn’t flow well with his last name. At least it’s narrowing down our options!

    Boy names we liked before we picked James: Elliott, Vincent, Sebastien.

    Girl names we are considering: Claire (my fav so far), Juliette, Annabelle, Isabelle, Evelyn, Madeleine, Elizabeth.

    One thing that helped us narrow down our first to James was using the name in practice before the birth. Rather than refer to him as “the baby” or “Guimauve”, we tried calling him by our top 5 choices. We felt James felt more “natural”. I actually liked Elliott better as a name, but in practice not so much.

    By the way, people change their minds all the time. If your relative feel they have “dibs” on a name, I wouldn’t take it seriously. When/if the time comes that they are ready to pick a name, they might not even pick the one you like….

  69. By Charity on April 24, 2012

    Wouldn’t miss a chance to opine on the name game!  To go with Charlotte, I love Hazel and Jewel for a girl and maybe Quinn, Everett or Roman for a boy.  Our fourth boy is going to be Luke, which I love even though it was hard to come up with a FOURTH boy name (to add to Warren, Jack and Nolan).  Good luck and have fun with it.

  70. By Sarah Christensen on April 24, 2012

    Charity - Hazel is one of our favorites to go with Charlotte =)  It’s a beauty, right?

  71. By on April 24, 2012

    I am not fond of a few names that you and Donald have chosen, but mostly for personal associations (Ruby in particular). Also Hugh just makes me think of Hugh Grant. Other than that they are all lovely! I just like having lots of nicknames option, so I don’t know what that would be for Wyatt - Wy? Or Rube for Ruby?

    Charlotte is one of our top girls names, but Lottie for short rather than using the first half (partially since my parents’ dog is named Charlie). My very first pick is Dieuwke, which I worry is a bit too tough for non-Dutch folks, but I figure Dew or Dewy might be a cute anglicized nickname.

    I am an Emily who went by Emilie from grades 6 through 8 and would have much preferred a unique name, which definitely influences my naming choices. My partner also has a common name. For a boy our top pick is Aengus, since he wants something Irish.

    Of course, this may all change in the next 25 weeks. I was totally set on Anneke right when I got pregnant, since both my sister and sister-in-law have names that start with “An”. I also really want to work William in somewhere, as every generation on my dad’s side has a William, including my brother. Luckily this is our first of hopefully a few, so I don’t feel like we’re stuck when we have to narrow it down.

  72. By on April 24, 2012

    This are fun comments to read through!

    I am also one of the few that loves my name -Kirsten.  (rhymes with beer ear and deer) , even though it gets mispronounced daily.  My husband has an ethnic Greek name and only now likes it , sort of, but he grew up in a rednecky part of the northeast where everyone was a John mike or Dave (those are not redneck names at ALL) and they made fun of his name incessantly.  I LOVe his name and did the moment I heard it. And that is before I knew he was straight so I was not biased in the least.
    Our children are named by Greek tradition ( this is a repeat story for you Sarah) which means I got to name my daughter after my mom! Her name is Lorelei. ( pronounced Lora LIE) I looove her name. And we gave her the middle name Vivi , accent on the second Vee.  It is French, yes, but also a nickname of my MIL’s very very Greek name. Which I am glad we didn’t have to name anyone because I don’t really like it. I love her, just not her name. Shhhhhhhh.

  73. By Sarah Christensen on April 24, 2012

    Kiki - I totally understand!  I want soooo badly to name a baby in honor of a particular someone in my life…but I’m not a big fan of their name.  So I find myself looking for other variations all the time! =)

  74. By on April 24, 2012

    Olivia Grace

  75. By on April 24, 2012

    I see your point about Violet and Charlotte being a bit close phonetically, but I don’t thing it would be a problem. But Hazel…THAT is such a great name. I didn’t consider it for Violet because family members had it on their short list for a girl even though they didn’t end up using it…they want more kids, so… The etiquette thing is SO weird! When we chose Violet, I called a close friend of mine who recently had a baby who she gave Violet to as a middle name. I thought it would be fine, but felt compelled to ask. My husband thought I was being loony.

    What a fun thread of comments! It will be so fun to hear what you decide on.  The story of Charlotte getting her name is hilarious although I can see how it wasn’t AT ALL funny to you at the time. Eleanora is beautiful too.  Ah, fun stuff!

  76. By on April 24, 2012

    A name that I heard for the first time this year and absolutely love is the name Thea! It’s just so sweet and feminin. There is a Thea in my daughter’s class and in french they call her “Tay-a” which isn’t so bad either. but i definitely prefer Thea! ;) (and she has a sister named Ruby) ;)

  77. By Sarah@CrazyLoveGambleStyle on April 25, 2012

    I LOVE Hazel.

  78. By on April 25, 2012

    My oldest daughter is named Magnolia Clare and we call her Maggie.  I have loved her name since I was young (in fact, I made my husband agree to name our first daughter Magnolia as a condition of our engagement).  I love that (almost) everyone knows how to pronounce or spell Magnolia and Maggie but neither one is very common. 
    When I was pregnant with my second daughter last summer I seriously considered naming her Lillian or Lily because I LOVE that name. But, I didn’t want to be the lady with all the flower kids, so we went with Lucy Eleanor instead.  It fits her perfectly.
    Of course, before Lucy was born I had only met one other one, but in the past nine months, I have probably met 40!

  79. By on April 25, 2012

    My best friends name is Azure and I have always loved it. I would name a daughter after her. But as for as traditional names go, I like Alice, Alexander, Micah, Allison (another friends name) and Kara. Boys names are harder for me. Girl names just sound so pretty. As for my own name, I have not (surprisingly) met to many other Samantha’s. But I go by Sam. It actually annoys me when people call me by my full name. And I like Sam. Short and sweet. I also really like my middle name of Adrienne.

  80. By on April 25, 2012

    Then if you notice, my initials are SAM(S). My sisters are the same way KIM.

  81. By Sarah Christensen on April 25, 2012

    Elizabeth - I didn’t realize that Lucy was so popular!  Donald and I talked about Lucy pretty seriously for Charlotte, but his heart wasn’t in it.  I keep hoping that maybe down the road he’ll change his mind! =)

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