I'm having trouble coming up for a name for this baby we're cooking.
Problem number one is the Baby Name Wizard. A year ago, Bridget got me hooked on Laura Wattenburg's blog. My sister Anne thinks I'm silly for reading it, and frankly, before I started reading it, I thought Bridget was a little kooky for reading it as well. But, it's fascinating. As this will be the first baby I've gestated (and named) since becoming a fan, I can't help being influenced by Ms. Wattenburg. Not necessarily by the things she says, but by the trends she points out and the predictions she makes. For example, I like the name Alice a lot (and I have an ancestor named Alice Brooks who was in the Martin Handcart Company), but she predicts that it's going to take off in popularity due to Twilight and Alice in Wonderland. I can't bring myself to give the kid a trendy name.
Problem number two is I like naming my kids with family names. Lillian is named after my grandmothers and Nora's middle name is Allison, which is my sister's name.
To illustrate why this is a problem, here is a list of male names from our family tree going back to the great-grandparents:
Saul (unavailable: Saul Ball? Who would do that to a kid?)
Tracy (unavailable: too many Tracys - Tyler's uncle and brother also named Tracy)
Angus (do I really want to embrace our Scottish heritage that badly? Probably not)
James (unavailable: I have no problem with my mother's brother Jim (James), but due to some business deals that went south (I'm probably going to receive a phone call about this), let's just say that he and my father don't exactly get along. And never will. Ever.)
Ellis (I don't really like names that end in 's' because when you say them too fast it spills onto our last name: Elli Spall. It's going to confuse all the customer service reps in India and he'll have to spell and re-spell his name 10 times per call)
Ashal (unavailable: too many Ashals running around as it is - my dad, my brother, my nephew)
Eldon (unavailable: my grandmother's first husband, and, although I've never gotten the full story, I think there were some very good reasons they got divorced)
Jesse (also unavailable: my dad told me that he abandoned his wife (my dad's grandma) and small children)
Paul (see Saul, above)
Ferdinand (can't do it. Ferdinand is the name of the duck on Babe)
Albert (The one semi-famous man in the mix, he was a supreme court justice on the Supreme Court of Utah. I read his auto-biography and I think he was a funny guy. But... Albert Ball has too many Bs. Plus... Albert.)
Hayden (Not to disparage my sister-in-law who has a son named Aiden, but I can't get in on the The Age of Aidens)
I'm also contemplating something that I haven't consulted my husband about, but predict he won't like, and I don't think I have the guts to do it: Name the kid Calder Ball. Ms. Wattenburg has written about this as well. My maiden name is Calder, so that would be a nice nod to his maternal family but I can't get over the pitfall mentioned in the article of people thinking that they just didn't hear his first name. Like he'd say, "hello, my name is Calder Ball." And the other person would say, "and, what's your first name, Mr. Calder-Ball?" Maybe we'll use it for a middle name.
So that leaves three or four candidates out of a field of 17. I can't even think about girl names. I've already named two girls and I'm completely spent.
Also gumming up the works is my pesky husband, who, for some reason, is actually being picky about the names I come up with. With the first two, he would just nod and say, "yeah, that sounds nice."