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Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, October 25, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday: The Name Game

Touchy Topic Tuesday:

The Name Game

I come from a family full of kids with unusual names. Of course, you all know my name is Brae (Bray), I have a brother, Biege (Beej), a sister, Bergan, and a youngest brother Bozton.

My children don't have any strange names, though i HAVE been told that my girls have old lady names, and, yes, my son's name is less than common.

Anyway, who the heck cares?

Finding a baby name is one of my favorite parts of being pregnant. I am not the biggest fan of pregnancy in the first place. I'm a pretty tiny girl, so as soon as I get past the morning sickness, which plays out for 16 weeks as my worst nightmare, I get uncomfortable. Fast. There's not much room between my ribs and my hips, and a baby fills the space in record time.

Back aches, water retention, constipation, pinched nerves, insomnia, out of control emotions and the list goes on. I am not a fan. I LOVE my sweet babies. Which is why I do this. But I don't like pregnancy.

So, finding out if my baby is a boy or girl, and then spending hours, days and weeks pouring over books, internet sites, and throwing out polls on birth boards searching for a perfect name, arguing with Brandon over weirdness, exactly what is IN the name that can provoke ridicule from other kids, uniqueness, and other factors, is one of the things that gets me through the 9 months of pain and suffering that is pregnancy.

In roughly 10-12 weeks, we are going to have a beautiful new baby boy who will be a perfect little blank slate for me to spend the next 18 years screwing up, and apologizing to, and his name is one Brandon and I have had picked out since we were waiting to find out if Scarlet was a boy or girl.

His name will be Teague Liam MacCool.

Since I spent said months pouring over books and internet sites, etc, as was mentioned above, while waiting to find out about my new little one, I had a perfect girls name picked out too.

Earlier today, I took my youngest two children (as Lilly was in school) to a Halloween party thrown by two of my friends here. In all, there were 5 of us, and 12 children between us. While the children ran amok in their Halloween costumes, and ate pumpkin shaped ham and cheese sandwiches and waaaaaay too much candy, the moms chatted. Eventually, the conversation turned to our children, their names, what they meant and where we got them from.

As I am pregnant, I was asked what we would be naming this new baby, and, of course, I told them. I also mentioned that, if we have another girl, her name will be Hazel.

One of the other women turned around, a slight flash of fire in her eyes, and in mock good nature, slapped my shoulder. "But that's OUR name if we have another girl!"

My answer? In jest, I said "Well, I guess it's a race then, huh?"

I unintentionally left her speechless.

Of course, I laughed and shook my head, and told her "Then use it! I didn't make it up. If you want to use it, go for it! And if there are two Hazels in the same class, well, it won't be any different from there being two Ashleys or two Sarahs."

All the other women agreed, we had a laugh, and the conversation turned.

My mother has always had the opinion that one should never reveal a baby name until the baby is in your arms. In fact, I remember always waiting at my grandparents' house just waiting for the phone call to find out the name of my new baby brother or sister. That's right. The baby's name wasn't even a family secret. It was a well guarded secret which she protected with her life.

The theory is, if you tell someone your baby's name, someone who is due before you will inevitably "steal" it. So you keep it a secret so that no one else can have it. Like it's a precious gem. Like it's something no one has ever thought of before in the entire history of the planet.

Daily I see posts about this on my birth board. "Name stealing." And not just name stealing, but people get upset about someone using a name that even SOUNDS remotely like the name they have chosen.

For example, I once read a vent about someone who planned on naming her new girl Lulu- a name she says she had picked out as a little girl. Some good friends of the family had a daughter named Leelou, who was somewhere around 9 years old, and threatened removal of friendship if said woman were to keep her child's name.

Once, someone was seen to be venting online about a neighbor who was more of an acquaintance, naming their new dog Lily, which is the name they had chosen for their daughter.

However, when I was pregnant with my second baby, my first son, Mahone, I happened to live in a neighborhood which was full of pregnant women all due very near the same time I was. Out of 9 of them, 6 of them had boys.

And I blabbed Mahone's name all over the place.

Oh, sure, I endured a lot of ridicule. Many people thought it was too strange, too foreign, or came up with all types of things that kids could use to make fun of it. One woman even told me that, in Spanish, it means the word sh*t, which, after only brief research, it was obvious that it does not. (As a matter of fact, it's an Irish word that means 'bear')

I just happen to be of the opposite opinion of my mom. The truth is, I sort of feel that, if my baby's name is out there and everyone knows about it, well, if someone 'steals' it, then everyone else will know that I chose it first. The name is something that was mine to begin with, even if my baby was given it later.

Anyway, in addition to my opinion that everyone should know my baby's name as soon as I do, if only for the fact that they know I'll be using it, I just honestly don't even care if someone uses the name I chose. And personally, I've never been in one place for more than two years since I've been married.

Now, I suppose that if it were one of my siblings or Brandon's siblings who decided to use the name I had planned, then to just go ahead and use the name might not be an option. Could get a little bit weird. But, for the most part, I think that getting upset over someone who works with you or lives near you using the name you have picked out is just petty. It's a name. There's no patent. Just use the name yourself.

So there you have it. Let it be known that if we are given another baby girl, her name will be Hazel. It's not changing. Or, at least, if it DOES change, it'll be because I loved a name I found more than I love Hazel. Not because someone else uses it.


How about you?

Do you think it's a better idea to keep your baby's name a secret? Do you divulge the name? What would you do if someone close to you used the name? Would you change it? Would you confront them? Would you still use that name?

Let us know!


Heather Salls said...

Generally I think a name is name and who cares if more than one person has the same name. I did how ever have a name that I planned on using since I was little, Nyal, which was my grandpa's name, he was my hero, my best friend and pretty much my everything. He died when I was a "tween" and it was really really hard on me, I ALWAYS planned on naming my first son after him. However when my brother had his first son right after high school he named him Nyal. He didn't tell me that was his plan and in retrospeck he shouldnt have had to... However I was really angry with him for a really long time over it. Either way it would have been kinda wierd to have 2 Nyals in the same family. However I am so glad that I have my boys and that they have the names that they do because nothing could fit them better.

Heather Salls said...

Also, am I crazy? Isn't it still Monday? :D

Aunt Crazy said...

Oh poo, people get pissy about the craziest stuff! I think some just have nothing better do do, seriously. There are eleventy billion people in the world, it's inevitable that some are going to share a name. I told everyone what our babies names were going to be as soon as we decided. I have a Chance and a Savanna and there aren't very many of them around, but I don't care when there are and neither do my kids.

*Jess* said...

We didn't tell anyone Jaina's name until birth just because we hadn't picked it yet!! :) We were undecided for a full 48 hours after she was born!

With Jayce, we picked it at our 20 week ultrasound. Although no one "stole" our name, it did open it up to so many comments. Most of them were nice, but some of them were less than favorable. It seems like no one says mean things if you wait until AFTER the baby is born :) But pregnancy is fair game! That doesn't make sense!

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

LOL- HEather- I usually post my entries the night before the day they're "valid"- as I only blog when my kids are asleep. Saves time. You're not crazy!!! ( And I totally agree- Asher and Griffin's names were MEANT for them! They suit so well!

Jess- I have noticed that too. Pregnancy is fair game- in more ways than just the name game. LOL- the lady who told me that the name Mahone means a bad word in spanish was actually trying to convince me to CHANGE it, several weeks after I HAD him already, so, for me, it wasn't just pregnancy that was fair game. LOL. It gets really irritating...but for the most part, I just roll my eyes or laugh it off.

Everyone thinks we're naming Teague after the pirate black beard. We're not...that is just a cool bonus!

Chapel said...

I think the problem most people have stems from the fact that a lot of people want their child's name to be unique and special (at least, as unique as a name can be, maybe I should say uncommon), so I myself would feel vaguely guilty about "stealing" a name. On the flip side of the coin, however, Camy and I get all kinds of compliments about Aeslyn's name, and I would be honored if someone chose to use it. So for me it's kind of a complex emotion ;)

I am of the same mind as you Brae. Camy was really surprised that I was pouring over baby name books and playing with different combinations. My brother is of exactly the opposite mind. Everyone really wanted to know what they were going to name their children, and by the third and fourth we learned not to ask. They didn't want to name their child until they met her. Caused me no end of frustration :).

For the record, if Camy and I have a boy, we are currently tossing around: Liam, Ewan, Alistair, and although Camy hates it, I'm still pulling for Courtney. If we have a girl: Rowene, Sepideh and I'm still looking.

It'll probably change a couple of dozen more times before the baby is born :) Suggestions?

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Well, Dave, if you guys have a boy, I DEFINITELY recommend Liam! It's a good one, as it'll be part of Teague's name- but it's a middle name, so it's no biggie.

I know that Nyssa got kind of upset- aparently, Lilly and Scarlet both have names that she wanted, I guess. Lilly's middle name is Saber. That wasn't MY choice, it was Brandon's- he named her after the sword. Nyssa had a character named Siebre (see-ay-bra) and I never even saw the similarity until she mentioned it months later. Likewise, Scarlet's middle name is Serafina. I had absolutely NO idea that she wanted that name- and I told her the same thing I said in my post: Use them! My girls have the names as MIDDLE names. They don't go by them. And it wasn't my intention to swipe them. Anyway, I don't think Nyssa's too upset anymore, if she was EVER REALLY upset.

TroAndRensMama said...

I love this! I couldn't keep my kids names to myself, I was to impatient. My kids have unique names too, my son's name is Trowa (Tro-ah) and Serenity. Following you back, love your blog, Congrats on Teague!

Leslie said...

Is "Lilly" short for Lillian? Our daughter is Lillian and we call her Lilli, Lil' Lil, Little Bean, etc. etc. =) Great post!

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Trowa is such a cute name! I LOVE it!

Nope, Lilly is just Lilly. She HATES to be called Lil, which is what her brother calls her when he wants to provoke her. LOL. But we call her things like Lilapution and Lilypad. Hahah.

Shallyse said...

We learned with our first that it's not necessarily a good idea to share our name choices before the child has actually been named and the decision is irrevocable. Not because we were worried about the names being stolen, but because EVERYone had some sort of opinion about each of the names we liked, and some of those opinions ruined the name for us.

I figure once the baby has a name, friends and family members won't be quite so open with their bad opinions, and after a while the name will grow on them. :)

For the record, I think Hazel is an AWESOME name, but don't worry, we won't steal it. :) If we get to have any more babies, we already have names picked out for boys or girls.

I've always been curious, though - why two middle names, and why only for some of your kiddos? I don't think there's anything wrong with it, I've just always been curious. :)

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Shallyse- the two middle names thing wasn't intentional. When we had Lilly and Mahone, we were only looking for one middle name. With Scarlet, it had come down to Scarlet or Estelle for the first name. I loved them both and didn't want to give either of them up. Serafina is a round about way of naming her after Angie, and that was a set middle name that wasn't going anywhere. But, of course, even though we knew we'd have more babies, you never know if you'll have another girl or not. So, I didn't want to let the name go. Scarlet Serafina Estelle is just the combination we prefered. After that, it worked so well, that when Brandon and I disagreed on middle names for Teague, we just decided to use two middle names. We'll probably do it from now on with our kids though- it opens a lot of doors for me to use names I love without having to worry about ever getting the chance to use them again.

Tara said...

With my first son, I didn't want to use family names. My middle name also belongs to 5 other people in my family (some as a first name) and I have 4 uncles named Steve and just about as many named Mike. The last thing I wanted was to go to a family function and yell out my kid's name and have 5 people respond. So, I chose Aidan because it wasn't widely used. Go figure that it made the top 10 that year. Along with all the "sound alike" names (Hayden, Jaiden, etc).

The only problem I ever had with naming my kids (apart from my unmarried aunt who wasn't going to have kids for YEARS saying that I stole her name for my kid) was with my ex husband's aunt. I chose to give my son the middle name of Garreth because I liked it. Little did I know that it apparently made his aunt VERY upset becaust it was CLOSE to the name "Garrett" which was the name of her son that had died. Now, I sympathize with her (I flinch every time I hear the name Liam because that was my son's name), but it was 20 years ago... You can't get mad at someone else for using a NAME. Especially a name that just sounds like "your" name. I mean, really. I love the name Liam and I have several friends with kids with that name. Yes, it hurts some days, but some days I barely notice. You can't swear off a name because of someone else.

Tara said...

Oh, and I am keeping this little one's name all to myself until the end. I'm tired of dealing with all of the "that's weird" comments (especially from my in laws and their ridiculously traditional names). I doubt anyone would steal it anyway since it IS pretty unusual :)

Lindsey said...

Oh, this is a good one Brae! Personally, I did not reveal the name that Tyler and I chose before Quinn was born, not because I was afraid someone would steal it, but because I KNEW that as soon as I told certain people, they would spend the duration of my pregnancy trying to convince me to use the name of their choice, ridiculing my choice, etc. As soon as it was on the birth certificate, there's nothing more to say. In fact, when Tyler called his grandmother and told him what we'd named our new baby girl, she was so offensive the entire family refused to talk to her until she appologized.

Jansen Family said...

We didn't tell anyone Kaia's name until she was born because we didn't know for sure. We did get some interesting feedback as we were considering names, though, and finally we decided that when we decided that was it! We wouldn't change it based on anyone's opinion, no matter who we told. It was nice to have that decided when we had Harry because that name had been chosen for him for over a decade.

Eschelle said...

I love the names you have chosen. If and when i ever have a girl we have picked the PERFECT name and i think you'll agree lol.

Eve Scarlet Loftus... i love it.

I had to threaten to name our boys without my hubby he couldn't agree on anything. My first was named after his best friend who was killed when we first met (he knew this boy from the age of three). And our second was a battle and a half since the only suitable name was given to my first lol! But you're right it sure as hell does pass the time of horrific pregnancy (i hated it too!)

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

I love this post. It is so true. Some people get super worked up about their baby's name being unique and special. I like unique names, but obviously it isn't that much less unique if another baby has it too. So what? My kids are Diego and Nino. I haven't met any others with their names (except on TV of course), but I wouldn't mind if I did. I love what you said to your friend about your future Hazel. You are fast on your feet! I can never think of what to say in the moment.

Travel Queen said...

Love this post. My deal with names was that I only had girl names picked - and had since my teenage years. So duh, I get two boys. The first was going to be Erik in honor of his Norwegian heritage. Took one look at him when he came out - nope, not an Erik, so we made it his middle name. By the second I'd learned my lessoned and didn't pick a name until we saw him. Bad idea - my husband wanted to name him Frodo because he looked so weird. So we came up with a nickname first, then figured out names to go with the initials. We're all crazy.

Mary said...

Love this post! We shared the name of our son as soon as we picked it out. We were so happy we finally agreed on one! LOL.

Awesome blog you have here!


Ihilani said...

I saw this and just had to read it. I LOVE unusual names and I think Teague is an AWESOME name. Just as a side note, I'm also LDS. I didn't realize we were both LDS until I saw your button at the top. Cool.

So my mom served a mission in France, and decided to give us all french names, except my brother, whose name is Brandon. I'm Joelle, my sister is Rochelle, and my brother is Bruce. Then we were all given Hawaiian names except Bruce who is a namesake and has a Japanese middle name.

I love my name, but I to different people I'm either Joelle, or 'Ihilani, my Hawaiian name, and it gets confusing because neither are common, and I often forget who knows me as what.

So when I got pregnant I knew I wanted my daughter to have a name she can relate to and a name with an good meaning that she can rely on throughout her life, and I wanted her first name to be Hawaiian so she didn't have to juggle being called two different names depending on who she was talking to. I didn't care what it sounded like with her last name or anything like that. Naming in Hawaiian is very important - it sets the stage for their entire life.

The first part of the name I chose for her, I KNEW as soon as I found out she was a girl: Nōweo (pronounced Noh-vay-oh). It means "Bright". But I wanted more. So I added "keaolaʻi" (kay-ow-lah--ee). Altogether, Nōweokeaolaʻi means "Bright is the tranquil dawn." It's a message to her that when she has peace in her life, she can be a light to others. Just as a calm clear morning is brighter than a stormy one. Her middle name is Japanese - Aiko after her great grandmother who happens to be one of the best possible role models I can think of for her.

I blabbed her name everywhere as well, because I wanted people to understand that she was a person. Not just a baby, an "it". Even in the hospital, I specifically asked in my birth plan for all the staff to refer to her as Nōweo. I donʻt know if it made a difference to anyone else, but it really made a difference for me.

Sure itʻs a weird name that most people are intimidated by at first, but when they understand what it means and how to say it, they love it. And I must admit, I LOVE that NO ONE else has her name :) Though I wouldn't object to naming my child a more common name. Phew this is a long comment. Hope you made it to the bottom :)

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