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414th Friday Blog Roundup

By Thursday morning, there were already 74 posts submitted to the 2012 Creme de la Creme.  I’ve started reading them and… I know I say this every year, but this is really really really going to be an amazing list.  For everyone who has already submitted early, thank you.  It makes the task a little easier to get started now.  For everyone who has already blogged about it or tweeted about it or Facebooked about it or Pinterested it or Google+ed it or emailed about it… THANK YOU.  Getting word out before the December 15th deadline is important.  I don’t want anyone to feel left out nor do I want them scrambling come December 14th, trying to pick something and running out of time.  So please, spread word and do it often because people forget between reading the tweet and actually completing the task.

For everyone who hasn’t submitted a post from 2012 yet, what are you waiting for?  Take some time this weekend to skim your archives and then carefully read this post and learn how to get on the list.   I want every single person in the community on it.


There is a really odd situation happening in the town next to mine in which a yoga studio has split in two and both places have taken pretty much the same name.  There is the original Namaste Yoga Studio and now there is the rival Namaste Yoga Space.  So you can no longer just say, “meet me at Namaste tonight for the 7:30 class.”  I am sure that if both studios don’t end up folding under their animosity toward each other that people in the area will develop their own shorthand on how to refer to them overtime.  But until then: damn confusing.

It made me think about how we lay claim on baby names.  Is that a new thing?  In my parent’s generation, there are many people with the same name.  A few married into the family, but two of them are first cousins.  So two sisters named their two sons the exact same name.  Somehow we all know exactly which person we are referring to when we tell a story about one of the four people who all have the exact same name.

Josh and I are lucky in that no one in either family would ever use the types of names we’re drawn to so I could even tell everyone right now the potential boy and girl names we’ve chosen if we ever get to have a third child and no one would scoop them. (Of course, if the child comes to us with a name already that becomes a moot point.)  There is zero percent chance they’d come to these names on their own if we didn’t say anything.  But here’s the thing: we were really set on the Wolvog and ChickieNob’s names before they were born.  We knew those would be their names for years prior to their conception.  Would we have been able to bestow those names on them if their first cousin happened to have the same one?  Or would we have felt strange doing so — and would we worry that it would be strange for our kid or their cousin?  Would we have been able to wrap our minds around changing our name choice?  Would our kids always feel as if they received the wrong name?

Maybe those two yoga studios couldn’t imagine any other name for their business, all residents in the area be damned.

Would you use a name for your child that already exists in your family if you loved it a lot?  Or does a name come off the list once it is used by someone close to you?


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Little Bird has a very moving post about a memorial walk she went on for her daughter, Charlotte.  I was drawn to this post for the images, but I love the final line so much.  And yes, you’ll need to click over and read the post to know what it is.  Equally beautiful is the post that came after as she writes about how to teach a child that comes after about a sibling who died.  She writes, “It’s nearly been 2.5 years and all the memories are breaking apart. I’m trying to find ways to tell B about his sister, but I don’t know what to say so I just point to her picture and tell him, “that’s your sister.” … How can I expect him to love someone he’s never met?”  Again, the ending of that post is mind-blowing.

I snickered through MRKH Musings’s internal dialogue between Mrs. Brightside and Mrs. Darkside (both of her internal voices are married?) that comes before she opens a letter from her doctor.  You can practically hear the chirping optimism of Mrs. Brightside and the raspy anger from Mrs. Darkside.  I also love that both her internal voices have potty mouths, as well they should.

Lastly, Awful But Functioning has an extremely powerful post about death.  It is specifically about the death of her grandfather, but wow… it’s about all death and the afterwards and… I just loved this thought: “I’ve had so much ugly shitty and gut-wrenching death in my life the last five years, I had forgotten that death can be welcome, and peaceful, and beautiful.”  My heart goes out to her as she mourns, but I’m grateful she shared these words with us.

The roundup to the Roundup: The 2012 Creme de la Creme is open and chugging along.  Would you use a name that someone else in your family already used?  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between October 12th and 19th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Michele { 10.19.12 at 8:27 am }

Our names are all pretty intertwined. Nicholas was the IV, and named after my husband/FIL/GFIL. Bobby is named after his uncle and cousin, both who passed. My brother named his son Benjamin (which is Bobby’s middle name) Nicholas (after ours), and my sister gave my neice the middle name of Sophia, after Sophia. My stepbrother also named one of his daughters Sophia. I think it’s kind of funny that names run in families like that, and very memorable.

2 BigP's Heather { 10.19.12 at 8:44 am }

We picked K’s middle name and both of C’s names because they are family names. But no one in their generation has them. C is after my father and grandfathers on both sides. K has the same middle name as both of her grandmothers (coincidentally they both spelled it the same too!). I do not think we would have used those names if they had a cousin with any of those names…

3 Aspgriswold { 10.19.12 at 9:03 am }


I love the honesty in this post! With the holidays coming up, there are so many things that can make our infertility journey harder. I think this post brings out some of those aspects. Family gatherings where our little ones are missing.

4 It Is What It Is { 10.19.12 at 9:19 am }

I came from a family where my uncle, dad, and I all have the same name (mine is the female version). It was always confusing, esp for my dad and uncle at family events. So, it’s just not my thing. My son’s name is from my husband’s side, a couple generations ago and his middle name is my deceased brother’s name. Baby boy #2’s name is brand new to both families and his middle name is a long ago family name on my husband’s side. I do love the symbolism/continuity of using family names or names that are a nod to special people in our lives, but I wouldn’t pick the same first name as a living relative.

5 SurlyMama { 10.19.12 at 9:47 am }

I had my boy name for years and I wasn’t shy about delcaring it my boy name, but I would also say that I would understand if one of my sisters used it because it was a family name. After over a dozen grandchildren in the family and each of my siblings having at least one boy without using it I figured it was safe. When I finally became pregnant I made it clear I would be using that name if it was a boy. Unfortunately two of my sisters were pregnant at the same time and due before me. About a week before my sister had her son she called to tell me they were planning to use the name (I didn’t know the sex of my baby yet). I told her she had the same right to name her son after our dad and Grandfater as I did, but that I still intended to use it. And of course all those pregnancy hormones made me upset and I cried about it. So she decided not to use it. I ended up having a girl so I didn’t get to use it either. We’ve decided that from this point forward there is no “saving” names.

6 Lisa { 10.19.12 at 10:06 am }

I don’t think anyone has a right to “save” a name, but it does hurt my heart when I hear someone use one of “our names.” I don’t think I could bring myself to name a child the same name as someone else in my family. For one, my husband’s family members all seem to have the same name (men and women) and it’s REALLY confusing. For two, I essentially have the same name as a cousin. I was supposed to be Elisa. Right before I was born, my uncle got remarried and the woman had a daughter named Elisa. To avoid looking like a copy cat – my mom dropped the E. Kicker is, we both go by Lisa, only now I’m Little Lisa and she’s Big Lisa. Who wants to be Big Lisa?

7 Denver Laura { 10.19.12 at 10:14 am }

We adopted and kept the first name her birth mother gave her. It wasn’t a family name, nobody in our families has that name either so it wasn’t an issue with “saving.” It fit my daughter and since she had that name for 18 months when we adopted we didn’t feel that it was right to change it. So although we had chosen a perfect boy’s name and hadn’t selected a girl’s name, in the end we didn’t get to choose either.

8 Arwen Rose { 10.19.12 at 10:16 am }

Thanks so much for the shout out! They are indeed both married lol! though there is definitely a single gal in there too! I’ll dig her out someday 🙂

I don’t think we could use a name someone already used in my family. I think Hubs and I will have unique ones ready, should we ever get lucky enough to have a child! Hubs has a very unique name indeed and I have a fairly unusual one for my generation (unless you are from deep rural Catholic Ireland!), so we’re both very keen on any child of ours having a unique name!

9 Gail { 10.19.12 at 10:26 am }

Ever since my two grandmothers passed away, I wanted to name a daughter after them using the first name of one as the first name and the first name of the other as a middle name. While in the midst of infertility treatments, I had a dream that I was pregnant with twin girls and decided to name each one after a grandmother. Coincidentally, both grandmothers’ names started with the same letter and my dream showed the girls as little babies and then as they grew up. I rarely have vivid dreams, so I thought that was special and was an omen. I told friends and family about the dream and they thought it was neat. Fast forward 2 years and I still don’t have children of my own, but my younger sister had her first child and stole my idea for the names. As Surly Mama said, it was just as much my sister’s right as mine to name her daughter after our grandmothers, but it hurt. A lot. And, now the name is off limits and can’t be used by me if I ever have a child.

I’ve since learned to keep my mouth shut about possible names, but the longer I’ve struggled to have a child, the less I’ve thought about possible names because there doesn’t seem to be a point.

Also, while on the topic of names, I just finished re-reading The Giver by Lois Lowry as well as the other 3 books in the quartet. (The 4th book just came out this month and is AWESOME!) Anyway, the book is set in another world similar to ours, but with much different rules. One of the rules is that children are not named until they are a year old so that they can determine their personality and pick a name that fits. While this community has other rules that I don’t agree with, I can see where this would be both a benefit and a problem.

10 EC { 10.19.12 at 10:57 am }

I was named after my grandmother, and so was my cousin. Family names are really big in my family (so there are multiple people with the same name), but my cousin and I are the ones closest in age that share a name and also don’t use a nickname. It somehow isn’t all that confusing. I guess that makes me think I would just use whatever name I wanted and not really think twice about it!

11 a { 10.19.12 at 11:02 am }

All the girls in my daughter’s generation of my husband’s family have names that end in the -ah sound. It’s getting a little weird now that there are 5 of the them… But no one has yet “stolen” a name. I would not appreciate it if someone did, though…unless I had chosen a fairly common name. (Like for instance, Namaste for a yoga studio)

12 KeAnne { 10.19.12 at 11:31 am }

My family is not a very prolific family, so I didn’t fear that our chosen names would be taken before we could use them. I didn’t have that fear about our friends either, but in either case, if the names had been used before we could use them, it would have made them off limits. Our son’s first name, Daniel, is a name unique to our families, but his two middle names are family names. His first middle name is my husband’s first name (James), and his second middle name, Gordon, honors both sides of the family and both great-grandfathers. We would do the same if we had a daughter.

13 tigger62077 { 10.19.12 at 12:06 pm }

I don’t have to worry about family taking our names – they’re all done with family building! Except possibly my SIL but that’s a long wait for a train that is probably not coming, and she still wouldn’t choose the name we gave our son.

BUT: we both have common names and didn’t particularly like it. I HATED having a popular name. We chose names for our kid(s) way back when we started TTC and by the time we got pregnant, the name we chose as our boy name had skyrocketed into popularity. This made us very very sad, as we had vowed not to choose a popular name. It took us a while to find one we liked that wasn’t popular…but we may have forgotten to look at similar names. Ah well…he’s the only one I know of, or have heard of, with his name, so that’s all well and good!

14 psammead { 10.19.12 at 12:44 pm }

There’s been a girl’s name I’ve always wanted to use. It also happens to be my grandmother’s name (happy coincidence?), but that also made the name more ‘visible’ to the family. So when my cousins started having children, I was concerned they might choose it. In the end, they didn’t, but even before that I had decided I wouldn’t let their decisions affect mine: our children wouldn’t have the same last names or middle names, and it was just as much my right to use the name if I wanted even if they had used it first.

But I’m not sure how it would have felt had either of my brothers chosen to give a child a name I felt strongly about. It’s not a situation which is even an issue at this point — I’m the oldest and neither of them have ever been in relationships yet where children were on the radar.

15 Turia { 10.19.12 at 1:28 pm }

I have really weird hangups about names, and there is no way I could use a name if anyone else in my family had used it, or anyone in my friend group. Q. and I worked hard to find names that we liked that were not popular (and not climbing up the charts quickly).

That said, our middle name choices are family names on both sides, but I would be ok with having a cousin or some other relative sharing the same middle name as E. First names, though, to me at least, are special.

16 geochick { 10.19.12 at 5:05 pm }

I have some weirdness when it comes to names. We had a boy name picked out, and when an acquaintance got pregnant and named her kid “our” boy name I was pissed. She didn’t know that was our name, but no way was I going to be accused of stealing someone else’s name. We had to choose another name. It worked outthough and I think we did good with Baby X’s name.

17 Kimberly { 10.20.12 at 12:49 am }

We have 4 Michael’s on my mothers side of the family. My brother and 3 other first cousins. Another aunt wanted to name her son Michael, but figured there were already enough Michael’s to confuse. That being said, I wouldn’t care about sharing names between cousins but I would be bothered if a friend named their child a name I openly planned to use. But I’ve also never hid what names I loved.

If I ever have a son, my plan has always been to name him after my dad and hubby’s dad. So if someone I knew picked that specific name, it wouldn’t stop me from using it.

18 St. Elsewhere { 10.20.12 at 1:52 am }

74 already! Wow….looks like the list would run longer this year.

As a general rule, I would not name my kid a name that has been taken already by someone else in the family/friends. I would not pick up the name of a deceased relative either. I was in love with a boy-name, and my heart broke when I found out someone I knew had named her son the exact same name. Well, if I had a boy already, my boy would have been named this first….

If ever, I have a baby again, and a boy at that, I would no longer use that name.

At Figlia’s naming ceremony, she was given five names (with the fifth one being her actual name), but a name I considered in the five was one that my father did not want for Figlia. A beautiful name in itself, my dad knew someone of that name who died from cancer sometime in the 1960s. I never knew about that lady. I wouldn’t have even temporary named her this if I knew the history.

19 Angela { 10.20.12 at 1:45 pm }

Thank you for the mention! I love your blog!

20 missohkay { 10.20.12 at 10:07 pm }

Our girl name was picked out far in advance but was always kept secret. When my sister got pregnant, I broke our secrecy rule, and told her I was “peeing on the name” to make sure I’d claimed it as mine.

21 Sara { 10.20.12 at 10:43 pm }

I have the same name as a cousin, and I am older, so technically, if someone “owned” the name, it was me, but honestly, not only did it never bother me, but I actually love it! I have a zillion cousins, and it just feels like a special connection with the cousin that also happens to be my favorite. I don’t know how I would feel about it if I didn’t adore my cousin, but since I do, it’s fine. It really hasn’t been confusing. In fact, my sister recently gave her daughter the same name as my cousin’s sister (also our cousin). Perhaps because of this experience, I don’t really think of names as being something that can be used up.

22 Stinky { 10.21.12 at 7:14 am }

Right now I will say ‘yes absolutely’. Because this is a hot topic. Mr Stinky’s brother, in a classic case of “the hare and the tortoise’ fable, got his girlfriend of about 6 months pregnant, and called his son pretty much the same name that we had picked out for a boy. I was completely gutted and took it to mean that this name was off the agenda for us. But Mr Stinky said ‘er no, we can still use the name we chose?’. To which I figured oh well, if his family find it confusing, that is not my problem. One lives in the next street, the other will be on the other side of the planet. Nephew might have been physically created first, but we had our dream names picked out well before the girlfriend ever showed up. (A vague friend also, 6 months later, named her girl the name we picked out for a daughter we might have. While I know we don’t have the monopoly on names AT ALL, it still stings like a mofo when I find out).

On the other hand, I have the same name as my aunt, and my dad has the same name as my uncle and cousin. Petnames and nicknames were used to avoid confusion, apart from my gran, who used to rattle through every single name in the family of the gender of the one she was looking for, before arriving at the correct one.

23 A Passage to Baby { 10.21.12 at 2:22 pm }

I went through a huge database looking at primarily international names for girl names. Thought there would be no problem with other people using them. I just realized that 4 of my top 20 are listed as the top 5 names used in the US – how the hell did that happen??? Was trying to AVOID using common names.
Fortunately the boy name we have picked out is considered uncommon. It’s easy to say, well known, doesn’t sound like an old man, has good associations with it, and not used in the states frequently. (But I’m NOT saying it yet!)

24 Kasey { 10.21.12 at 6:22 pm }

If one of my siblings used a name I liked, I probably wouldn’t use it, but I also don’t consider it stealing. If a cousin or more distant relative used a name, I would use it. I have a HUGE extended family (may parents each have 50+ first cousins) so there is a fair amount of name sharing and it hasn’t been to big a deal. That said, Simon (my son’s name) was the only name we were really tied too and had zero back-ups. And my brother goes and gets a dog named Simon. There was a month where we discussed alternatives – then used the name anyway. Simon the dog has since passed, so I’m extra glad we didn’t give up a name we loved.

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