It's a good thing we decided not to have any more kids.
I don't know if our marriage could have survived another rousing "What Should We Name The Baby" debate.
By the time we entered pregnancy #4, I had a list of Naming Rules as long as my arm. With every child, I became pickier and more determined to not burden my kid with a bad name. The Husband had some very clear ideas, too, but I was the crazier and more hormonal half of the couple. I vividly remember the following conversation:
Fat, Crazy, Hormonal Wife: "Let's talk about names."
The Husband Who Should Have Been Nominated For Sainthood: "Okay. What about Lara?"
FCHW: "WHAT?! You mean as in Lara Flynn Boyle?! So our daughter can grow up to look like an anorexic?!"
THWSHBNFS: "You're insane."
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Yeah. Aren't you glad you didn't have to live with me? Feel free to send him your condolences.
Anywhoooo.....I know you're on the edge of your seat and DYING to hear the list, right? No? WhatEVER.
ITEM #1 - There shall be no repeating of the first initial. Exception to this rule: Nicholas is named after his father. But by the time we got to baby #4, the initials N, C, B, and A were officially off the table.
ITEM #2 - All baby names shall be gender specific and easy to spell. I absolutely adored the name Ryley, but The Husband felt like it could be a boy OR girl name (I was intending to use it for a girl). Plus, there are about 10 different ways that name could be spelled. So I lost that fight.
ITEM #3 - The chosen baby name should not be overly-popular. I obsessively studied the Social Security Administration's website which keeps track of the most common baby names every year. Although I love love love the names Emily, Emma, Ava, and Sophia, they were all in the top 10 for the past few years, so those got scrapped. In the year 2000, Nicholas was #6 on the list and it's been steadily dropping ever since. Again, though, this rule didn't really apply to his name. In 2002, Benjamin was #27. In 2005, Alexa was #66 and in 2007, Rachel was #59. Part of my thinking here was that a teacher's job is hard enough without having 5 girls named Ava in the same classroom.
ITEM #4 - Any name beginning with a K or a hard C were out. Cassandra Casalo? Carmen Casalo? Kendra Casalo? Ew. No, there's nothing wrong with those names.....until you pair them with our last name. We have some very good friends who named their first daughter Cassie. I've already informed them that, in the very distant future, if one of my boys should marry Cassie, I will wholeheartedly encourage her to keep her maiden name. Cassie Casalo? I already feel sorry for her.
ITEM #5 - NO RHYMING. Exhibit A: Angelo Casalo. Need I say more?
ITEM #6 - All names shall "fit" with our family. For some time, we seriously considered the name Shea for our girls. Shea Stadium is where the Mets used to play and we both had a sentimental attachment. We eventually decided that it didn't fit us. Casalo is an Italian name.....Shea is Irish. It just didn't work. Perhaps we'll use it if we ever get another dog. (On a related note, I fought like crazy to use the name Zoey. The Husband refused. Don't be shocked if we get a dog and name it Zoey Shea.)
ITEM #7 - Beware of the nicknames. Gabriella is a nice name. Gabby is a horrible nickname....doubly so, considering how much my girls talk. "Oh how cute! Gabby is so gabby today!" BLECH.
ITEM #8 - Beware of the initials. Would you want your kid to have the name David Oliver Richard Kingsley? His initials would spell DORK. Or Zachary Isaac Thompson (ZIT)? I didn't think so. Which is why we scrapped the name Frances Uniqua Casalo. (I'm joking. Of COURSE.)
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Luckily, all of these heated discussions left us with four really fantastic names (if I do say so myself). I've never looked at my kids and thought, "Gee. I wish we'd picked something else."
Nicholas was, duh, a no-brainer. First son...named after Daddy, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa. Benjamin was a name we just loved. Alexa was named by her older brother.
Nicholas had a friend in his kindergarten class named Alexa. So one day, in the middle of a Naming Debate, he said, "What about Alexa?" I don't remember what our immediate response was, but as I tried to fall asleep that night, I stared at the ceiling and said to Nick, "You know....I kinda like Alexa. It's not bad." He said, "I was thinking the same thing."
Rachel was another name we both loved. Our only question was "Rachel OR Rachael?" The A seemed completely unnecessary, so we left it out. Except nearly EVERYONE assumes there's an A.
Have I mentioned how glad I am that our naming days are done?