Naming a baby is hard work…

Pretty soon after we found out we were having a boy, Ryan and I started talking about baby names. How hard could that be, right?

Famous last words… It seems that every person has a different criteria for choosing a name they like. For Ryan, it was all about how the name sounded (i.e. not wimpy) and how it was spelled. For me, it was about the association I had with the name and if it could be turned into some sort of horrible nickname when our child was around other kids. (I even did the “banana-fana-fo” test to see if the name could be turned into a curse word by accident. After teaching middle school, I know what warped little minds can come up with).

Ryan shared a few of his name ideas and was unfortunately met with either “I don’t like that name” or “I knew a kid named that who was a chronic nose picker”, so he turned the table over to me. Now you know us girls, we’ve had a mental list of baby names in our head since we played with baby dolls, so I turned to the list I’d made in my phone. From a list of about ten names, only one got a maybe, but Ryan didn’t seem sold.

We put our conversation on hold, and I quickly hit up my best friend, Holly and my family for name ideas. They had a ton of great ideas, but I was hesitant to approach Ryan again because he’d already vetoed some of those names already. I messaged him a few suggestions.

Then I got text back that said, “I think we should go with Finn. For the simple fact that it would be awesome to teach him to say ‘I’m your Huckleberry’.” (If you got that movie reference, you and Ryan should totally hang out).

Finn was the only maybe from my list the day before, so I was surprised when he picked that name. In fact, I thought he might be joking, so here’s the text I sent back: “Do we need to spit-shake on it, or is it settled?”

He told me a spit-shake wouldn’t be necessary. Then came the next task…a middle name, and it had to sound right with Finn. I suggested a few combinations (primarily from other names I liked but that Ryan had vetoed from the first name list)…Finn Elias, Finn Josiah, Finn Henry. And then because I know how close Ryan is with his grandpa, I suggested Finn Calvin. Ding! Ding! Ding! We had a winner!

We both wanted the name to mean something special, so it seemed a perfect choice to name our first son after the man whom Ryan looks up to and admires so much.

Here’s Grandpa making sure Ryan is presentable for our wedding.

I should also mention that Grandpa is a published poet and writes a poem for each momentous occasion in the family’s lives, including each grandchild or great-grandchild’s birth. He was thrilled when Ryan called to tell him the baby’s name so he could start working on a poem for the little guy.

We didn’t originally plan to reveal the name until the baby’s birth because so often people will tell you their opinion of the name, without provocation I might add, and ruin it for you. I know they think they’re being helpful, but c’mon people! Didn’t your mother tell you that if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all? Especially when it comes to what people want to name their baby.

Anyway, we decided to be strong and not let people’s opinions affect our decision, but if you don’t like the name, please don’t ever tell me. 🙂

How about you mothers out there? Did you have a hard time naming your baby? Did anyone try to dissuade you from naming your child a certain name and you named them that anyway?



14 thoughts on “Naming a baby is hard work…

  1. Cathy Baker says:

    I love the name, Allison. You can’t go wrong when naming your child after a person who has left an indelible mark on your life (not to mention one who writes a poem in their honor!) How special.

  2. Bethany says:

    LOVE the name. A really good, old friend of ours told us that Ethans name was ” a little weak in the wrist.” I didn’t think I would ever convince Tim to go with it after that comment, but I managed. People definitely feel free to give their opinions before the baby is born. Naming a kid is so hard!!!

  3. Jenny says:

    Finn Calvin is a wonderful name!! Calvin is one of my favorite names – classic, masculine, not overused… and I love that the wee Martin will share his great-grandpa-poet’s name. So sweet.

    My nephew’s name is Davey. It’s a little different, but I think it’s groovy, and now I can’t imagine him being called anything else. He is such a Davey.

  4. Abby says:

    I love the name Finn!!! That is so cute. Good job coming up with a name, guys. Caleb almost didn’t have a name. Every name I liked Arnold said he knew someone with that name or had bad memories growing up with someone with that name. All the names he liked I said sounded to plain or “country” haha! Now he has a name that is SO common these days, so I hate that, but oh well! 🙂 The girls names were easy, on the other hand! 🙂

  5. Sonda says:

    Allison, I’m so proud of you and Ryan sharing your baby’s name. I love it! Most young couples now days do wait and I really think that is silly. What would one care if somebody didn’t like the name you picked out. So what! If you like it, that’s all that matters. 🙂

    • Allison says:

      Sonda, that’s right! No one should care, but I know some folks who can’t stop at just an opinion of the name and want to tell you why you shouldn’t name them that or you’ll ruin their life, which is even sillier. Anyway, we’re pretty set on it, so we figured why not?

  6. CPowers says:

    I love the name Finn! Finlee was in the running for us on this baby girl but of course like you mentioned, we had the negative comments and have decided against it. Oh and don’t even get me started on when we decided officially on the name Lincoln for our son!! We were definitely hit with odd looks : ) but we were so set on it that nothing could change our minds and Lincoln just suits him perfectly.
    I think Finn is lovely and adding Calvin after his grandfather is so sweet. I’m so happy for you guys! You are going to enjoy having a son do much. There is just something so sweet about them

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