We did it. We agreed upon a name for baby girl and neither I, nor Nate, had to file for divorce in the process. Can I get an 'AMEN'? I'm being slightly dramatic of course, but this was no easy task and I have to document the process while it's fresh. I warn you now that I'm going to be the world's biggest tease and only give you our top four names in this post, so if that annoys the heck out of you I do apologize. But think---even getting the top four is better than nothing at all, since last time with Truman we kept our lips sealed to the entire world including our friends and family. And THAT was something we vowed to skip this time around because it made us want to gouge out our eyes to ward off constant questions and detective-like tendencies from our loved ones. And so this time we have shared her name with our parents, my grandparents, and some close friends. If people straight up ask me for her name I'll probably spill the beans but I'm holding onto the surprise element for you, dear blog friends, and will refrain from announcing on Facebook as well. I'm a changed woman this time around, I tell you.
Three weeks prior to this major accomplishment by husband and wife, Nate and I drove away from our gender reveal photoshoot riding on a wave of happiness, excitement, and pure joy over seeing those darn pink balloons. I was still sort of shaking and had just gotten off the phone with my mom when Nate said, 'Well---Sidney Lorene, then, right?' Cue my face dropping to the floor for a second. You see, Sidney Lorene was our top girl pick for Truman and we both loved it....two years ago when naming our first child. But I was NOT ready to commit to such a big decision just yet. I still liked the name Sidney but I wasn't excited about it anymore, and I really wanted to find a new/fresh name that we both adored. We knew her middle name would be Lorene, though, which is pronounced--lor-EEN---like Maureen, but with an 'L.' That is my middle name, my mom's middle name, and the name of my great-grandmother so our baby girl will have a fifth generation family name attached to her. Perfect, since Truman's middle name is Anthony, which is Nate's middle name and the fourth generation on the male side of the family. Love those family names to death, so her middle name was never an issue. But her first name? Hoo boy.
And so I embarked on my quest to find the PERFECT name for baby girl. And I began to realize that my requirements were pretty specific. Not in the top 200 for names, since Truman's name is not even in the top 1000 for his birth year. Must go well with her big brother's name. Must go well with 'Lorene'. Not too cutesy, or trendy, or hard to spell. I'd like her to have a nickname, too, since I tend to shorten names automatically. I simply adore 'old' names; vintage but simple has always been my favorite type of name. But I don't want people to balk at how unique our kids' names are, not making them so out there that people think we are trying too hard to be different. I have never been a fan of 'made up' names, or ones that include crazy spellings for otherwise normal names. Of course, listing all of this out makes me realize how personal name choices can be and while I'd never name my child something in the top ten, or something with three 'Y's' in there, I know a lot of people really dig those types of names. Which is fine. But it's just not my style.
I wrote that entire paragraph just now without really mentioning the word 'we' or 'our', but with a whole lot of 'me', 'my', and 'I'. Yes, naming baby girl was something that I felt pretty selfish about at first. After all, Nate got to pick Truman's name once we narrowed it down between our two shared favorites (Grant and Truman, by the way). So I figured he'd happily oblige my wishes in getting to name our daughter, since....well, I'm the mom. Isn't that really immature and awful? But in the beginning of this name hunt I wasn't too worried about the end result because Nate and I have almost always been on the same page with big decisions in our lives. We both like the same things for the most part. So how hard could it be?
I started by fumbling through websites like The Bump, and Nymbler---which is an awesome site because you can pick one 'inspiring' name (like the name of your current child, for instance) and the site will pick a bunch of names that might fit your style. I would hit the 'find names' button hundreds of times in a row, nearly breaking my phone screen with such repetitive use. And then if I found one that I liked I'd add it to my growing list of girl names on my phone. Yes, the iPhone is a great invention, my friends.
I'd throw out a name to Nate every now and then, to gauge his reaction and see if I was falling prey to the 'looking at baby names for way too long' phenomenon. You know, when your brain doesn't even think correctly anymore and so weird names seem totally normal and fun? I somehow managed to come up with a butt load of names that I thought I liked enough to present to Nate.
Here's the 'maybe list' I created on Nameberry (another amazing site! Love it so much) which contains a TON of names that we truly considered and at least one of us really liked. I'm sure there are even more listed on my phone that never made it to that particular list. I told you, there were a lot of names tossed around in the past month.
Then there's MY list that shows all of the names that meanie Nate banished from the scene, despite my begging and pleading for him to reconsider. We've been together for nearly 1o years and I've birthed one child of his already, carrying the second like a champ. Couldn't he at least let me have my way this ONE time in our marriage? It all came to a head one night when we had narrowed down our choices to a 'top four': Alice, Sidney, Clara, and Quinn. I knew in my heart of hearts I wanted to name her Alice so badly I could taste it. I started imagining a little Alice in her new nursery, rocking my Alice to sleep, watching her grow up with her brother---and that was a dangerous choice to make, my friends. Dreaming of your daughter with a certain name that has not yet been agreed upon by your husband is like asking fate to smack you around.
Nate still wanted to name her Sidney, and he admitted that he would never be fully on board with Alice. After hearing that, and also hearing him say that one of my pins on Pinterest included a wall color that was 'a little bright', I morphed into the ugly, hormonal pregnant lady that was completely irrational. I assumed that since we weren't on the same page with girl names and now he hated my decorating tastes, we were obviously never going to see eye-to-eye on these matters and the whole world was ending. Yes. It was that ugly. And thank goodness my husband didn't run and hide from his psychotic pregnant hormone'd up wife.
So we took a nice long break from the baby name game. I told Nate to come up with some of his own ideas and when he did, I really disliked every one of them, so we had to take another break in the discussions. But then one night I was cruising around Nameberry again and found a list of classic girl names that aren't boring and then cool vintage names and their list of vintage names for girls. YES. These was getting me somewhere and I was inspired to start totally fresh. I complied a list of nine 'new' names and started feeling excited about naming baby girl again, instead of just feeling jaded and worn down.
I was honestly scared to even tell Nate I had a new list, but when I did he was all over it and wanted to hear them right away. It was pretty cute when he said, 'I bet there is one on there that I'll really like.' Meaning: I am going to settle for one of these damn names because you are driving me batty with all of these ridiculous lists. Here the list that I love and Nate did not hate, thus streamlining our final choices down to these precious names. I couldn't believe it when he said 'these aren't so bad at all'. And then we narrowed it down to four.
Penelope Lorene. Cecelia Lorene. Beatrice Lorene. Or Reese Lorene.
I love them all so much that I sort of want three more daughters so that they can each claim these names. But not really because I'm sure my mind would change by the next baby and we'd be back to the same ol' drama of naming another baby.
After we talked about our top four, it came down to two from there. And then just one. THE one that we both agreed was the best. And we are not looking back because that is her name. It feels so good to call her by name, to say her name out loud, and to try and force the name out of Truman's sweet little mouth. I immediately felt more bonded to baby girl after our gender reveal and now that she has a name, that bond has grown even deeper. I think Nate feels the same way and we are both so excited to meet this little lady (with a name!!) in May.
And that is my story about the name game drama. Pregnancy hormones make everything a lot harder, don't they?