Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!! I hope you love and are loved today! (Let me remind you, in case you’re having a hard time remembering: You’re always loved, always, even if people let you down — you’re loved intensely and without end. ❤ ❤ ❤ )
Before jumping into the consultation, I just want to let you know that I’ll be mostly off the blog for the coming week — my kids are home from school and we’ll be vacation-ing it up together! 😀 I’ll still be moderating comments and answering emails, and I’ll post my February CatholicMom column on Wednesday, and I’ll be back to cracking on Monday Feb. 22.
The mama whose consultation I would normally have posted tomorrow made a special request to have it post today — what a lovey day to talk about a lovey baby! ❤
Jenn and her husband are expecting their eighth baby, a little green bean (=gender unknown). Their older kiddos are:
Joseph Albert III, called Joey
Theresa Rose, called TT
Michaela Grace, called KK
Nicholas Daniel, called Nick
Hannah Faith, called Hanni
William Thomas, called Liam
Gianna Marie Noelle, called GG
The one name they’ve discussed is:
Alrighty, so I’ll start with their boy idea of Vincent Michael: I love it. It’s one of those names that, weirdly, says “Irish+Italian” to me, which is funny that Jenn’s hubs is 50/50 that exact mix. But of course it works with all ethnicities because of it being a saint’s name — I love that the saints’ names are used everywhere, in every country. My only hesitation with Vincent Michael is that they already have Michaela, but I’m sure they thought of that and if it doesn’t bother them it doesn’t bother me either.
So as you all know, I almost always start a consultation by looking up all the names that have already been used and that are liked in the Baby Name Wizard book as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. Doing so, and picking through my own namey head, I came up with a few suggestions for each gender that I think fit Jenn and her hubs’ taste and criteria (including girl names ending in the –a sound):
(1) Sarah, Julia
Sarah was a big winner for this family, and it’s my top suggestion. It’s Biblical like Joseph and Hannah but it totally holds its own with the other kids’ names, which are all classics. Sarah used to be quite popular, but it’s dropping quickly — it was #5 in 2000 but has dropped each year since and was at #50 in 2014 according to the Social Security baby name stats. So I don’t think Jenn and her husband need to worry that it’s too popular. They have great nicknames for their girls too, and the traditional Sarah nickname Sadie would fit in well I think.
I grouped Julia with Sarah because it’s also a biblical name, and I think it goes great with the big sibs, I just wasn’t sure they’d want to follow Gianna with Julia — too much J sound? It’s on a downward popularity arc, at #86 in 2014. Following their nickname style, I could see something like Leelee, and I’ve also seen Jilly for Julia, which I think is adorable. Or JJ?
(2) Clara, Eliza/Elisa
St. Clare is always a great patron for a little girl, and at first I was going to suggest Chiara, which is the Italian version of it and goes really well with sister Gianna … but it just seemed too Italian — Clara seemed a better fit to me. (#108 in 2014) Not sure about nicknames though? Kiki seems like it would work because of the hard C- beginning of Clara, but they already have KK. Maybe Clari, in the style of Hanni?
Eliza is because Elizabeth was a big style match for their name taste but it doesn’t end in –a. Eliza has the same sweet classic feel as their other girls’ names. A similar option in this same vein is Elisa, which is also really pretty and gets closer to the style of Gianna. (Eliza: #212; Elisa: #498) (I considered Isabella and Elisabetta as well, but Isabella seemed too popular [#4], and Elisabetta too Italian. Both gorgeous though! And I read recently about Ven. Elisabetta Sanna …) Ellie would be a great nickname with their other girls (and Izzie for Isabella, or Lizzie/Lissie and Betty [!] for Elisabetta).
(3) Maria, Olivia
I know they used Marie for Gianna’s middle name, but if they’re okay with using Michael as a middle even though they have Michaela, maybe Jenn and her hubs would be okay with Maria as a first name? It was the first idea I had for them after reading their email. All the other girl’s have names that could be considered Marian — Rose, Grace, Faith or Hannah (with Hannah being a form of Anne and Anne being Our Lady’s mom), and Marie — so it makes sense to have a Marian first or middle for another girl. And Mimi totally rocks as a nickname, and totally fits in with the other girls; Mia’s another great option as a nickname, a la Mia Farrow, whose given name is Maria. (Maria’s #115)
I wouldn’t have thought of Olivia for this family on my own, but the Baby Name Wizard said it was a style match for them, and it reminded me that one of our mamas named her daughter Olivia after Our Lady under the title Our Lady of Olives — a title I’d not been familiar with, but how great is that? And Livi! One of my favorite favorite girl nicknames! (Unfortunately Olivia’s the most popular of my suggestions—#2 in 2014! So maybe I should have included Isabella in my official suggestions, since I included Olivia …)
(4) Cora, Cecilia
Cora is totally drawn from my own life, because I know a family with a Michaela and a Nicholas, and they also have a Cora. I love it for this family because it ends in -a and we’ve had some discussion of Cora on the blog recently as a name for the Sacred Heart or the Immaculate Heart of Mary — or both! (Check out the comments on this post, as an example.) A Marian and a Jesus name in one! (#103) Coco would be a really fun nickname, or Cori.
I’m including Cecilia with Cora because both are my own ideas (i.e., not listed in the BNW). I thought of Cecilia mostly because of the nickname option of Cece, which so fits what they’ve already done with their other girls, and isn’t too popular (#206). And actually, CC could work for something like Cora Cecilia or Cora Clare or Clara Catherine. I’m loving that!
(1) Francis nicknamed Finn
I had a harder time with boy names for them! Joseph, Nicholas, William/Liam, and Vincent are all great, classic names, but the names that matched style-wise didn’t seem to work for them for one reason or another (Thomas has already been used as a middle; James is a great name but would they want to repeat the J of Joseph, especially after Gianna? Edward just didn’t seem … right, even though it’s saintly and masculine). But the fact that William goes by Liam made me think of one of my favorite suggestions, which you all know I’ve tried to push on lots of people (haha!): Francis with the nickname Finn. I think it totally works! And: Pope Francis! (Francis: #234, Finn: #234, though sure to rise because of Star Wars. Which I don’t think is a terrible thing. At all. 😉 Especially with Francis as the given name.)
Dominic is another name that says “Irish+Italian” to me, like Vincent. I actually did a post a while ago about non-Italian Dominics, because I’d heard some people say Dominic didn’t work for a fair-haired boy. I don’t know what Jenn’s kids look like, but, as I noted in my post, I first fell in love with Dominic in Kindergarten Cop — he was the little blond boy. 🙂 I’ve seen Nick used as a nickname, which obviously won’t work for this family, since they already have Nicholas, but I’ve also heard Dommy for a little boy, which is adorable. The full Dominic is really my favorite though. (#69)
Andrew seems the most likely to be a name Jenn and her hubs would like, I think. It’s classic and biblical, and has the great nicknames Andy or Drew. Or even something like Ace, if they paired it with a C middle name (Andrew Charles? Andrew Christopher?). (#22)
Speaking of Charles, it’s my last suggestion for them — I’ve been seeing it a lot in honor of St. John Paul (birth name Karol=Charles), and the day before I did this for Jenn was the feast of St. Charles Borromeo (and I read that JP2 was actually named for St. Charles Borromeo! Can anyone verify that?). Charlie is a great nickname, but they might not love it with their last name, so there are some other fun ones too, like Cal, Hutch, and Huck, among others. (#51)
And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for a little brother or sister for Joseph, Theresa, Michaela, Nicholas, Hannah, William, and Gianna?
+ xoxo ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ xoxo +