I think it’s always fun to hear how people come up with baby names, so I thought it would be cool to share how we came up with all 4 of ours with you.
I actually really dislike naming babies. It’s a lot of pressure! We always end up with names that I love, though. It just takes us a full 9 months to get there.
Even when we’ve had a pretty strong feeling that we like a name from early on, I still never want to tell anyone. We haven’t revealed names, not even a short list we’re considering, until after baby is born. I highly recommend this method if, like me, pregnant rage makes you passionately dislike other people’s unsolicited opinions about all things baby.
The first boy’s name we fell in love with when I was pregnant with our first was Eli. We were mostly set on Eli… and then one of Scott’s friends had a boy and named him Eli. We weren’t even super close with them, but it was just… not our name anymore. At 6 months pregnant, we were back to square one. I thought maybe a name starting with a K would be fun. I started rattling off boy names that started with a K, and when I got to Kendall Scott stopped me and declared “That’s the one!”
I wasn’t totally sold on it, and thought we should go into birth with a couple options. I know we had some others picked out, but I honestly can’t remember them now. Right after I had Kendall, someone asked what the name was. I was way too tired to fight it. Scott declared Kendall was it, and we went with that.
I should note that at the time I only knew boys/men named Kendall. I’d heard it was also a girls name, but figured it was like Ryan or Jordan and could go either way. Every now and then Kendall will mention that the only other Kendalls in his school are girls, but it really doesn’t seem to be causing him lasting damage. I can’t imagine calling him anything else.
His middle name is my dad’s mom’s maiden name/his grandparent’s last name. He was raised mostly by his mom’s parents, and his grandfather lived with us for a few years when I was very young. I have lovely memories of Grandpa Milam, and wanted to honor him.
Before we learned that our first was a boy, I saw the name Leyna in a baby name book- back when people still looked at books with real pages for baby name ideas- and loved it. It was German (and, obviously, my husband’s family- Krause- is German), and meant “little angel.” I tucked it away as a future possibility, and it was all I could like when I was pregnant with her.
I wondered if I should change the spelling to something phonetic, like Laina, but the original German spelling was what spoke to me most.
Again, I know we had at least one other first name option, but I can’t remember what it was.
Her middle name was originally going to be Reese, but, once more, a friend was pregnant with a little girl and announced that they would name her Reese. So I scrapped it and tried to find something that had a little more meaning to us. I loved that Kendall’s middle name had a story behind it.
My pregnancy with Leyna was the first one that I experienced Pica. I craved rocks! I wound up choosing Lorelei because it’s the name of a large, steep rock on the Rhine river in Germany. Doesn’t get more perfect than that.
I’ve written about how we got Lowell’s name before, but the short story is I saw it in the credits of Parenthood early on in pregnancy and immediately fell in love with it. I loved it so much I was afraid to offer it up to Scott, afraid he’d veto. Nope. He LOVED it even more. In fact, this is the only time we didn’t have an alternate name picked out- at least for a boy.
This was the only pregnancy we didn’t find out what we were having, so we also had to have girl names. Among our contenders? ELSA. This was July, 2013. Frozen came out a few months later. COULD YOU EVEN IMAGINE? Another name we considered early on? Alexa. OMG. Ultimately, though, we went in thinking we’d name a little girl June Robin. June because… Scott loved it? And I was at a total loss. Robin after a family name on my mom’s side-Robinson.
It was a boy, and we knew immediately he was Lowell. Middle name Scott because, well, that’s his daddy’s name, and we thought he was our last, and I thought it would be nice to give one of them their dad’s name.
Little did we know he’d be Scott’s mini!
We unintentionally started a bit of a trend. All the kids had an L or two in their first name, so I liked the idea of continuing that with the 4th.
Early on, I liked the name Adler. Scott was lukewarm about it, but I thought he might come to love it. Then we remembered there’s a personal injury lawyer- Jim Adler- here in Dallas with mega obnoxious commercials, and that kinda spoiled it for us. I did keep it on the list up to the very end, though, and still really like the name minus the association.
Marshall was also up for consideration, and then a friend had a baby early in November and named him Marshall. Again, kept it on the list, but it wasn’t a top contender.
I mentioned Wallace to Scott a few weeks before I went into labor, and he declared it the winner. I still wasn’t sold until I read a common nickname for it is Ace. I don’t want people to call him Wally (unless that’s what he wants), so I wanted another nickname option.
We still call him Wallace almost exclusively, though. We’ll see if he grows into Ace or ends up staying Wallace.
His middle name was the hardest middle name to settle on of all of them. I knew I wanted it to be meaningful to us, and considered names like Truman or Jesse to honor Mizzou, where Scott and I both went to college and met. Scott vetoed both, though, and neither of those sounded good with Wallace.
Finally, about a week before I had him, I offered up Austin, and Scott gave the thumbs up. We technically got married in Bee Caves, TX, but it’s a suburb of Austin, and we’ve always had a soft spot for Austin, TX.
I love looking back at the evolution of naming the kids. If I had to pick names for all 4 before I even had my first, I never would have come up with what we have now. They certainly aren’t the names I used to practice writing in high school – do all 16 year old girls do that?
The older I got, the harder it got to name babies because I simply knew too many people and had too many name associations built up. And I’m not even a teacher!
Tell me about your baby naming evolution!