Monthly Archives: April 2010

What’s in a Name

Our third son

A friend sent me an article about baby names and their popularity. It happened to mention one of my kids names and frankly it cracked me up! The whole naming your baby thing is a really big decision. The pressure of picking just the right name; not too common, not too unique. Do you go with a family name or a Biblical one or just make one up? Or do you take a traditional name and spell it differently? Then there is the whole challenge of the images (or people) associated with a name. We all have those names we hate strictly because there was that one girl/boy. Or the name that conjures images of everything you want for your child. The challenge is when you put Mom and Dad together and Mom’s favorite name turns out to be Dad’s old girlfriend’s name. It adds a whole new wrinkle to the game.

Lots of writers have tried to help with the process with books of names. Some have their meanings, origins, or even what their future will hold if you choose that name. You can see the top 100 names from any year for boys or girls. And back in the day, when I was having babies, we didn’t always find out the gender of the baby ahead of time. So, we had to come up with a boy’s and a girl’s name. I could have saved myself a lot of debating had I known I would have three boys – no girls! I’m good with that – for a whole lot of reasons, but that’s a topic for another day. For today, I’ll stick with the names. I can honestly say, I’m glad I didn’t end up having to use the girl names we had picked out. The first two turned out to be rather common names for girls – not what I was hoping for.

Our goal was to find that tenuous balance between unique and normal. Personally I’m not a fan of the really unusual names. My barometer was – will they ever find it on a key chain? I didn’t want to pick names that you would find on every spinner rack at every tourist trap. But, the name that you could find now and then and be really excited that they have your name. I didn’t want a name that was just a variation; a different spelling of a common name. Then you could always find your name on the spinner rack, but it would always be spelled wrong. And they would forever be cursed with having to spell their name for people – the pre-emptive spelling. You know, where you say it and immediately spell it because you know it will be misspelled. We have a last name like that, I couldn’t burden them with two spelling nightmares.

Another criteria I had was that it could be shortened for a nickname. My real name is Judy, not Judith, just Judy. I always wished it could be shortened. Sometimes it is, my hubby and a few friends call me Jud, but I never know how to spell that. Jude -like the Beatles song- is just as many letters as Judy so doesn’t really make sense. Jud looks like Judd -as in the Judds- which is not really how it’s pronounced. Thus my dilemma and my desire for a name that could be shortened. When it came down to it, we ended up with three names that can’t really be shortened. The best laid plans…

We also debated about whether to tell people the names we had chosen before we had the baby. It only took hearing one friend tell another they hated the name they had picked to settle that debate. If people know you are thinking about names they won’t hesitate to tell you what they think. Once you’ve had the baby and named him they are a little more polite. I honestly didn’t want to know what people thought ahead of time. I don’t really care about the girl from your third grade class with that name who always smelled funny. We didn’t tell anyone the names we picked for our boys before they were born and everyone loved them, or so they told us.

We went with Mason, Carter and Gage. I still like the names and only one has even made the top 100 list. So many options with so much riding on the choice. Glad that decision is behind us…


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Filed under Family

Culture Fair

Today was the Culture Fair at Gage’s school. Its a project they do every year in 6th grade. The students get to choose countries and then the research begins. They learn about science and technology, the economy, industries, religion, sports and lifestyles of the country. Then they put all the information together in a power point presentation. Throw in some “items” from the country and they are ready to go. They actually spend a month researching and preparing. It’s fun to see what the kids have done and to hear them talk about what they’ve learned. But the part I really enjoy is the food tasting. In addition to the artifacts and power point, each kid brings food from their country! If you know me, you know I’m not a real adventuresome eater. I don’t do mushrooms, most vegetables, anything spicy or odd foods. You might think there would be nothing for me to eat at this festival of international foods. Oh contraire! Think Irish potatoes, French quiche, Greek Baklava, German marzipan, Mexican flan, Russian potatoe cakes. It was heavenly! And the kids did a great job of trying a big variety of foods. Gage said he liked nearly everything he tried – except the marzipan (he doesn’t like almond flavor) and flan.

So the options today were to go with the known foods and play it safe or jump outside the comfort zone and try something new. Both Gage and I stepped out and found some things we really enjoyed. It can be fun to take a risk!

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Filed under School, Travel

Meet the Coaches

Tonight was Meet the Coaches night at the high school. Although Carter is our second child, this was a ‘first’ for us. We didn’t really have big expectations for the evening – probably a good thing. The evening started with a quick, and not-so-helpful, meeting in the gym with the athletic director. Then it was off to the mall where each sport had a table set up with the coach, or a team representative, waiting to answer questions. Here was the first choice; which tables to visit and in what order. It was really a no-brainer for Carter. He’s been playing soccer since he was 4 years old. He has played baseball and basketball, but soccer has always been his main sport. So the soccer table it is, but what else? For a high school freshman choosing where to fit in is a pivotal moment. They have so many opportunities and so many ways to get involved. There is a bit of a sense that he must pick wisely now because he’s setting the tone for his high school career.  He made good choices; bowling and basketball in addition to soccer. Sounds like a good mix. Of course the coaches will have plenty of choices as well. Now its all about conditioning and practice so he can get himself in the best position possible to make the teams.

So, we will add summer weights, basketball camp, soccer camp and summer soccer conditioning to Boy Scout Camp and the mission trip. The summer is shaping up to be another crazy one. At least we have options!

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Filed under School, Sports

To blog or not to blog…

that’s today’s question. I’ve always liked writing. And I’m inclined to think maybe someone wants to hear what I have to say:). Why wouldn’t they? I love writing creative Christmas letters, although I didn’t get around to it this year, and capturing the story of my kids’ lives is important to me. So maybe a blog is the perfect remedy for my writing itch. Time will tell! I guess this is my first option…to blog or not to blog.

I’m struck by how many times a day we are faced with options; choices. We all make so many decisions each day we become immune to the enormity of their impact on our future. From choosing our college or career path to choosing to find something pleasant in a bad situation. Some are big and have lifelong repurcussions; others seem so inconsequential we probably don’t realize we are making them. I hope to notice some of the options my boys, my husband or myself are faced with every day. It might be fun to see which path we choose.

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Filed under Randomness