July 10, 2013

Names and Rain


Dreaming up baby names has always been a big past-time for me, and it's funny to look back on the long list of favorites that started with my dolls and has continued to roll into adulthood. It's not too often that I get to participate in naming a real live baby though, and it's a responsibility that has caused a lot of second guessing over the last eight months. 

Choosing Little Smith's name was much more intuitive. I've been an Easy Rider fan since my pre-teen years and always liked the strength of the name, James loved it too... done and done. Being among the first of our crowd to have a baby, we didn't know any other kids. There wasn't much consideration over naming trends, whether it was too popular, or what 'kind' of person would choose this name for their child. Of course I now know that it is a trendy name, but luckily not very popular here in New England (guess we can all just stay here for life to avoid those name twins!).


This time around we are much more up in our heads. We had a name that we loved, but then worried that it's too on trend. We've gone through lots of unusual names (with such a common last name I will not do Jane, no matter how classic and great a name like that is), but we don't truly love any of them as much. It's easy to think of great names for a character in a story, but ultimately the name also has to resonate with our family. It has to feel like one of us.

In the end, we don't care that Little Smith's name is on the rise and fairly popular. We love it and it feels perfect for him. I think we're going back to our first choice for our baby girl too, because even if we could choose a name that we're certain is an original, there isn't much point if we don't completely adore it... except of course simply being original... and applauded for our creativity. I don't think a kid should have to carry a name that's more about our egos than our instincts. 


Adding to this naming fun, I also have to decide what to call the new baby in this space. Obviously I don't use Little Smith's first name here. With our last name being in the title of the site, and also very common, I want to protect my kids' future privacy and avoid search engines leading here. I'm aware of the hypocrisy of putting so much information out there and still trying to preserve anonymity, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

So I've contemplated Miss Smith, Little Miss... It's going to be confusing no matter what. Maybe I should go in a completely different direction and just choose a silly nickname, suggestions are welcome. And don't worry, while I won't type it in searchable text, I'll definitely share the little lady's real moniker here right away. I'm always so excited to see a new baby's name, hope ours goes over well. No guesses, or I might reconsider!

*photos are all from that dance in the rain a few weeks ago. is there anything better on a hot night than getting a little wet and muddy before bed?

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful lighting in those shots!

    Names are so hard. We had a list of girl's names but never got to use them. On the list were Hazel, Lola, Eleanor, and a few others... whenever I meet a little girl with one of those names I kind of sigh.

    I'm sure whatever you choose will be wonderful! I adore Little Smith's name, too!

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    1. I love Lola! But between the two of us that would be a whole lotta' 'L's. Hazel has definately been on our list and still a possibility if she stays put long enough for us to change our minds again (it isn't perfect with our middle name choice which is pretty set since it's after my grandma). I thought a girl would be easier, but it's not! Fun problems though.

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    2. Hazel was on a list of ours too! But we won't get to use it unless something REALLY unexpected happens.... ;)

      SO fun trying out names - can't wait to hear what you decide.

      And screw what's trendy because if you really love it it won't matter. ;)

      xo
      c.

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    3. So true, I'm coming to realize that I can't worry about what's popular and just gotta' go with my heart :)

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  2. I love the whole name choosing bit. I would have a dozen babies because of a name I've fallen in love with, but unfortunately I've had to stop at three.

    Smith is such a toughie to team up with (it's my maiden name) and I come from quite a big family so I've heard all the combinations. I guess follow your heart and maybe it may not come until instinctively you get to meet your little miss bundle of lovely.

    Nina x

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    1. Smith is impossible -right? I didn't grow up with it and to me it's more of a placeholder than a last name, James does not agree :) I love Nina by the way.

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  4. Dear "mama smith"!
    I'm reading your blog for more than one year i guess an di really enjoy it. i enjoy reading it because i love your "writing style" (sorry, i'm german!) and because i feel like: hey, i'm not alone. I'm an architect myself, just as you, have an 2 1/2 year old toddler and a 8 month old babygirl.
    I wanted to write to you for so long ... Never found the tome or right mood.

    My husband krisch and i had the same "problems", thoughts, when we had to name both our children. I found it much harder to give my little boy a name so we thought: it's fun that both our dads have the same name, peter, so we named our son peter as well. they were sooooo happy! peter is absolutely out of style in germany but everyone i meet is like: wow! (and it's intenational, in every language you can find this name!). this decision took as nearly two weeks after he was born!

    my daughter was easier. i read the name leni somewhere in a magazin while i was pregnant and thought: i will call her leni. krisch agreed.

    i was never in doubt about the names we choosed, lucky me!
    and wyatt is such great name so i think you will find the right name for your girl as well.

    thank you for writing your blog, for charing your thoughts with me/us, i enjoy it so much, even you live on the other side of the world!
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    1. Thank you so much for reading, and for taking the time to comment. I love both Peter and Leni, what a wonderful set of names! Thanks for the encouragement as well, I know whatever name we pick we'll all love because it will be our little girl :)

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  5. My gosh he is cute so beautiful isn't he! Great shots Lily! Ahh I know exactly what you mean, I began my blog four years ago and so blogging through my pregnancy etc it never occurred to me not to share Wilf's name. No going back for me now! Although I'm not sure I would. I go back and forth, it's such a hard thing to know if its the right or wrong thing isn't it. I wrote a post about the same thing back here actually http://www.tigerlillyquinn.com/2013/02/digital-footprints.html

    Can't wait to see your new little!! (and names are so v hard in general!) xx

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    1. Thanks Fritha, and yeah it's so tricky to know what is right with privacy and the Internet, I look forward to reading your thoughts on it. I know that the content is there anyway for anyone who wants to find it, just figured I'd reduce the odds :) I love Wilf's name too, and haven't ever heard it before.

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  6. Those pictures of your little man amazing. What an expression he has sometimes, so playful and mischievous. I have so many girl names saved up from childhood fantasizing and had nothing for when our boy was born. Eventually, we went with one of our favorite characters from War and Peace, Nicholas. Definitely not an original name but Nicholas Rostov is just wonderful and so beloved by his family.

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    1. Thank you, he is indeed both playful and mischievous! Classic names like Nicholas are so great, if we didn't have this super plain last name then I would be more inclined to go that route. I love the literary inspiration too.

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  7. oh i understand the naming thing...we have two names that we are still tossing up between and baby is coming tomorrow! eeeeep!

    with olive it was always olive...from the moment we found out she was a girl we discussed a few names and as soon as we both said 'olive' we knew that was it. easy!

    my friend has just had a baby girl four weeks ago and she was unnamed for three+ days as they couldn't decide -- i wonder if it's a second child thing that makes it a bit harder...i don't know.

    good luck with choosing something, i'm sure it will be beautiful and the perfect fit for your little miss smith. :)

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    1. Tomorrow?! How exciting, congratulations! Olive is such a great name, it's my mom's very favorite. Can't wait to see what you guys pick for the second, I'm sure it will be wonderful, and hope it's a smooth delivery too!

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  8. I can relate! My husband and I had a name narrowed down, then 2 weeks before Kinsey was born we had second thoughts. I kept hearing the name on the playground (Ella) and our sister-in-law named her dog Bella. Which seems silly, but it did affect our choice! So we made up a new name and surprised everyone :)

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    1. I know, it is tough to hold strong to a name that you love when you hear it too often. There's a few great girl's names (Ella among them) where we have too many toddler pals for them to be usable. Although the name we like isn't uncommon, we don't actually know any, and I think that helps. Kinsey is great, and very unique! We are keeping our choice secret too, it's always fun to surprise everyone.

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  9. Beautiful pictures! We are trying to decide on a name right now too... it's tough! Good luck:)

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  10. How exciting! I am no where near pregnant (to the best of my knowledge) but I already have a list of names I keep on my phone for giving one-day children (which I like to review alot of the time), and I already have two firm favourites. Is that so bad?! I don't know, but I really enjoy choosing one-day baby names and picturing them as toddlers, kids, teenagers and adults.

    Also, you never know what you may end up knowing your child as on a daily basis. My younger brother was named Douglas but being only 18 months older than him I struggled to pronounce it. In nineteen years of his life he has never ever been known as Douglas and has forever been known at school, work, with friends and family, as 'Gus'. It stuck and he has never used the name my mum and dad gave him. (oops!).

    I'm sure you will choose what feels right - it doesn't matter at all what anyone else thinks!


    Flora
    x

    www.twowithseven.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. Love your rain dance pictures! So darling. Good luck with the naming. We had a tough time balancing between something that wasn't wacky, but wasn't too popular at the same time. Ugh! It's so hard. You did great with W, so I can't wait to hear what you come up with for the little miss!

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  12. I love names too. I remember getting strange looks at the library check out counter when I'd borrow baby name books... in middle school. Our little ones are David and Norah. I love that these names are classic, and strong, and easy enough for them to pronounce and learn to write in preschool. :) I've noticed Norah getting more popular, and at first it bugged me, but what can you do?

    If you like names from literature, maybe you could nickname your girl Wendy, from Peter Pan. It's another name I've always loved!

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  13. Oh, choosing names for my rascals was so much fun - loved it! Love the pics by the way!

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  14. I loved choosing my babies names. We had the same trouble with our son-- when we decided on his name we thought it was completely unique. Of course, we knew it as a last name, but neither of us had ever heard of it as a first name {and it had historic symbolism for us & we loved the sound of it}. When he was in 2nd grade, there was another boy with his name in his class! We couldn't believe it. And now we hear it all the time. Ah well. You can't choose a name based on its popularity {either for it or against it}, like you say, it has to feel right & fit in the family & belong. Your pictures of Little Smith are always such an inspiration for catching the wee moments {the awesome ones that are too easily forgotten}. I've no doubt the new Smith will be equally photogenic, whatever her nom de plume!

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  15. Good luck in the name game!=] I know whatever name you pick, it will be just perfect for your newest little one. And I thought I'd put my two cents out there and say "little miss" is such a cute way of referring to your next little bundle of joy here. Plus it goes so well with little smith=]

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