Friday, January 20, 2012

Name Our Baby

Today I'm hooking this post up to Alison and Ado’s 1st Blogoversary Blog Bash - two wonderful bloggers I've discovered recently. 

Not sure if this is my favorite post per se (I find something I don't like about all my posts, because, well... I need therapy), but since my life as of late is revolving around my newborn, this one had some ironic resonance. Punchline at the end.

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Time is running out.

I have only 5-6 weeks left until what’s-his-name makes his appearance.  And, that’s exactly the point.  What is his name, by god!!???

So far, we’ve called him Jelly Bean.  This works just fine to describe a growing bump around my mid-section, but he’ll need something more respectable when he comes out.  Though, goodness knows, we’ll be referring to him as “angel cake” and “muffin cheeks” for about the first year, so does that buy us some more time?

But, we need to get serious here.  We’re kind of at a loss.  With Caleb I really believe we nabbed the only great boy name that both could agree upon and now there seems to be something wrong with every name we think of.

Add to all of this that I keep reading about couples who have meaningful and interesting stories about how they came to name their kids.  Something with particular meaning in the local language they both learned while doing their PhD dissertations in Nambia.  Or something from a work of art mom produced while they were falling in love.  Oy, the pressure!

Really, we’re approaching this from the other angle – what NOT to name him.  Nothing that could get attention of the class bully.  Nothing so popular that he will forever be known as “John C.”  Something unique, but not “Mookilala” unique.  Something strong but not meat-head strong.  Names of people who have wronged (or simply annoyed) us are out.  So are ex-boyfriends (unfortunately, because there are some real gems in there.)   Probably can’t use names of close friends’ and relatives’ kids.  And not their pets (damn you Ezra the cat!)  What’s left?

All of this makes me see the appeal of “Colin Jr.” custom.  
Source: www.babyfirstyear.org
Colin and I were joking this morning that we should just force ourselves to name him something ridiculous like “Christian Christensen” or, better yet, “Mordechai Christensen” unless we come up with something else by a certain time.  You know…  As motivation

And we’re probably making the mistake of telling too many people the list of names we’re kicking around.  With Caleb, this was no problem.  Everyone LOVED the name.  (Or at least told us they did).  

For this one people are being a bit more brutally honest.   We like(d?) Emet.  Seems like a strong and unique name and means “truth” in Hebrew.  Seems to go with Caleb. But some people (more than one) respond to this name with that scrunchy face you make when you eat something sour, saying  “Um… it’s a little…uh… hillibilly.”  Hadn’t thought of that before.  But now…

I know what you’re going to say.  Just don’t tell people!  They’ll love the baby and whatever you name it when it arrives.  My dad hated the name Jesse when he was in utero, now he’s in love with Jesse the boy.  

Problem is that we truly don’t know what names we like, so we kind of welcome the… um… feedback.  Sort of.  We’ll still name him whatever we want despite what people say because we know the “jesse the boy” story.  But since we’re at a loss, we kind of need to anticipate if we’re stepping in to a landmine.

And don't try to tell me not to stress, that we'll know the name after we meet the baby, because we won't. We'll be arguing about it until Baby Boy Christensen graduates from college.

So, we’re open to suggestions.   Anyone?

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In the end, we named our little hillbilly baby Emmet.  Now, as predicted, everyone loves it.  And if they don't, they stay silent.

32 comments:

  1. Leon!
    Leo!
    Theodore!
    Lazar!

    My four favourites - that my husband has already ruled out, should we have any more kids...so you're welcome to 'em! (He also says they're hideous names and maybe you'll agree with him. But I'll always lament not being able to use them on any prospective new son ;)

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    1. Oh I love Leo! I had totally forgotten about that one! My husband vetoed some of my favs as well: Charlie, Simon, Jack, Sam, Henry. I guess I skew old school.

      I'll have to bring this list to "the committee" ; )

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    2. I vote for Leo. And I'm not possessive of the name, so have at it!

      Jo

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  2. I say think about the people you want your son to emulate or the qualities you want him to have. Then find the names that speak to those qualities. Because, it will be easier to remind yourself why you love this child when you find yourself screaming at him!

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  3. And, while it's fun to put this up to the general public as kind of a popularity contest for names, they won't have the emotional attachment to it - either someone you respected or want to honor or loved.

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    1. Mom, that's a whole lotta pressure though! Both on finding someone I want to admire and the little guy living up to that legacy. But it's a good way to narrow things down...

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  4. I love Emet and here are some others that you might get a scrunchy face hearing, but I like them:
    Oliver
    Owen
    Dexter (As in C.K. Dexter Haven from the Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant)
    Connor

    I like the idea of Leo, too...Cute!
    Good luck!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Kelly, that's hilarious! 2 of the other names on our short list are Owen and (just this morning) Dexter! Why is it that these names are all kind of grouped together? There are even Websites that organize names by: If you liked xxxx, you'll probably like these names...

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  5. Chase is nice hehehehe

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  6. Joel • Noah • Joseph • Daniel • Seth •

    I am particularly fond of Irish names - don't know why:
    Riley • Brady • Aiden • Killian • Liam • Quinn • Finn • Keenan

    Might be nice to have the "K/hard C" sound since the rest of you have that; not as a "gimmick"," mind you, but one wouldn't want to feel left out.

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    1. I think we like Daniel as a middle name (partly to honor Deb). We vowed not have a hard "k" sound this time because the alliteration is getting a little out of control in this family and we didn't even think about it (I know kind of thick of us) that we'd be Kim, Colin and Caleb.. Christensen!

      I like the Irish names a lot too, but feel as a Russian/Jew I'd a big ole posser if I took one of them. ; )

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  7. I say don't rule out close friends' kids names. That is the one rule you could relax. A close friend named her little one Noah, and while I thought it was weird for a few seconds, I got over it very quickly! Now it's fun! I have that name book with the sibling names if you want me to look up Caleb. But, having gone through the same thing (we thought we had found the only boy name we could agree on with Noah), I say try relaxing one of your rules (we relaxed the rule "must sound exactly the same in Eng and Spanish). Maybe that even includes considering ex boyfriend names!

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    1. That's a really good point Whitney. I know over time it won't make any difference. Maybe I can put Asa back on the list??? But, Eli, my brother's son, probably has to stay off. ;)

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  8. Maybe you could go back to Eli - Marilyn's boys have Josie and Jorie. Maybe you should go for Daniel as a first name and use the other ones as a middle name. Maybe Ezra could come back up, seeing Whitney's comment....And, regarding my first comment --- there is something to be said for tradition. It certainly helped us figure out what we should do.

    Love you,

    MOM

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  9. also:
    Harper • Cooper • Alexander

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  10. One more comment and then I promise to stand down. Quinn means five or fifth and your new little guy would be the fifth Siegal grandchild - but I DO know what you mean about borrowing names closely identified with a particular group/country - my cousin named his daughter Kelly Peterson and, at the time, we thought that sounded peculiar, i.e. Irish Swedish, but we then got used to it. And after all, my personal name history is that my parents liked children's literature and the final two choices that remained before my birth were Heidi and BAMBI - and, boy, do I feel lucky !!!

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  11. I don't think you should rule out Ezra! I have always loved that name. But, I named my daughter Sadie knowing that there are countless dogs (hello, Oprah!) who have a pet by that name.

    Don't worry. Whatever is meant to be will be :). Love you and miss you. D

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  12. ezra, emitt,enzo and zeke were on our boy list.
    We also liked marlo with the nick name "Mo"
    we, too, unintentionally fell into naming both our girls beginning with the same letter...it just kinda happened. And actually, with Amelia, we picked her nickname "AJ" first, and then found the right names to fit in.
    knowing dogs with awesome people names made me irate...can't all dogs be named Wasabi and Bear?!! hate to say it if some of the responders believe the opposite, but the person and the spirit makes any name become beautiful and fitting. Besides, when your kid is in school, kids will call him things that have nothing to do with his name...yet he'll still want to change it and be someone different...don't we all?!!

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    1. Good point Lisa! I don't think my parents anticipated that Josh would be called "Vinny" from 6-8 grade. Takes a bit of the pressure off I guess. ; )

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  13. Hmmm could just settle for JB (maintain the jellybean brand which I quite like :) ), or drop in a couple of fave names in a hat and pick one randomly..

    But on a serious note, I quite fancy the Greek name "Ocean", radical maybe, but gives me a vastly serene and rich feel...

    Or Micah (Biblical Prophet), Baraz (ancient Persian name meaning justice), Xsayarsa (ancient Persian warrior/king of lions), Aurelius (Greek for somthing like a golden boy)....

    ps. love your blog, introduced to it by Phil

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    1. Great suggestions. Ocean does have a nice ring to it. But with JB's genes it's unlikely he'll be "cool" enough to carry it off. ; ) Micah was on the short list the last time around. Maybe we should resurrect?

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  14. by the way, i tried entering my email above and clicking "submit" didnt work :( would love to recieve posts from your blog :)

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    1. Hmmm.... I would try "following" the post (it's on the right hand side) or subscribing to the rss feed or the blog (also on the right hand side. I'll look into it... (Kim)

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  15. Old man names like Leo are definitely hip. I like Emet, and if it sounds a little hillbilly, so what? My nephew is named Zeke, and it doesn't get much more hillbilly than that. Another Hebrew possibility is Eben -- it's got the "eb" in it that could be used to honor Deb, and it means "rock," so it's definitely a "strong" name.

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  16. Emmet isn't hillbilly at all! I'm glad you went with that one. Although I had to laugh at "Christian Christensen." ;)

    (Following you from the Blog Bash linkup!)

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  17. Hahaha, Ezra the Cat! I know, why do people pinch the best names for their damn pets???

    I do like Emmet - it's not er, hillybilly at all. :)

    We decided on Scrumplet's name long before we knew he was a boy. The problem with finding a name so early on, is that we have a lot of time to get doubtful. Which we are at this point. My husband is pointing out the myriad of ways his name can get made fun of. ARGH.

    Thanks for linking this up with Blog Bash!

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  18. There was one name on my list that my husband ALWAYS intentionally said in a hillbilly kind of way, but now I can't remember what it was. :-) I love Emmet and don't think it's hillbilly at all! And I have hillbilly relatives, so I would know!

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  19. My grandpa always said to name a son so he can one day be a president. But I guess for you the question was do you want to be mama Emmet. I like it. Catchy.

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