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Choosing a baby name was a lot harder work than I ever imagined. We had a heck of a time agreeing on anything. I’m a list kind of person, so I constantly had a running selection of names to choose from. Invariably, I would run them past Hubby and he would say, “Are you kidding?” He was a master of coming up with some (bizarre) way the name would most certainly be ridiculed, or totally lame reasons he personally hated a particular name. Like: “There was a Lyla in my first grade class who picked her nose all the time.” Right.
Then, we were making a 20 hour drive to Florida and had plenty of time to talk. We went over my current list, but those names were quickly eliminated. At that point, we just started throwing out names. We eventually got totally silly and just started shouting out non-name nouns like “Treetop” and “Moss” (Hey – it works for celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow!)
Somewhere in our random stream-of-consciousness silliness, one of us started trying to think of German names/things. We both studied for a semester in Germany, love the country, and our last name is of German origin. After vetoing names like Heinz, Friedrich, Olga, & Gretl, one of us suggested the name of the city where we studied and lived, “Jena.” It’s pronounced “YAY-nah” for all of you non-German speakers, but whenever friends see our scrapbooks or souvenirs, they pronounce it “Gina” or “Jenna.” I think one of us joked that if we named her “Jena” everyone would just call her Jenna, and we both looked at each other in stunned silence. Hubby said, “I like that!” and I said, “Me too!”
We looked it up in our baby name book, which told us it means “One who loves peace. The fair one.” That cinched it for us. No more discussion necessary. Her middle name is “Grace” after my grandmother.
Just for the record, the boy’s name we decided on was Erik Karl. We weren’t as in love with it as we were our girl’s name, so everything worked out perfectly. Oh, and – No… we had no idea that this is the name of the famous author/illustrator for “The Hungry Caterpillar” and numerous others, until a friend pointed it out. Ha!
Take a minute to let me know how you chose the names for your kids in the comments section. Did you flip a coin? Daddy chose a “boy” name and Mommy chose a “girl” name? I’d love to hear about it.