How did we find our baby names?
I get asked all the time how we came to name our girls, Owen and Auli.
I have always had a soft spot for unique names. Unique names that were easy to say, and that couldn't easily be butchered as my name had been by every single supply teacher growing up, and every single Starbucks barista (okay, okay, I know. No hard feelings for that last one).
Anyways, it's May-leez. For anyone wondering. Think of the country Belize, replace the B with an M. Think of the name Elyse, add an M. Yeah, you can call me Meh-leez. It's fine. No, I don't get insulted if you don't put the accent on the E. Which E? The first one. And unless you knew me when I was twelve, I definitely cringe at the nickname 'Mel'.
Anyways, you catch my drift. From a young age, I knew I'd want a catchy name for my kids (because despite the annoyance of needing to correct people at every turn, they always remember the unique name). Being francophone, I wanted it to be easy to say in both official languages. I have a preference for short names, and prefer names that aren't attached to someone I know.
Let me tell you, we're not working with much, here, guys. After all my ridiculous requirements, the biggest challenge was getting my husband to agree. Oh boy. Here's how we came to naming our two gals:
The timing on finding a name for our sweet Owen was funny. It was the weekend before we would have accidentally conceived her, and we were on a 7-hour drive to visit some friends in London, Ontario. We'd never discussed baby names before, but with our upcoming wedding and knowing we'd start trying soon after our wedding, I figured it could be a fun game to pass the time. I pulled up the top 1000 names for boys and girls on Google, and went through them one by one, Sean yay-or-nay-ing them one-by-one. We played with the girl list first, and we didn't agree on a single name. I liked some, and he liked some, but neither of us came to a 'yes' on any of the names from the 'girl' list. Not one.
I made the joke that we'd have to pick from the 'boy' list, and we both lit up. We immediately fell in love with using more of a gender-neutral name for our kids.
Onto the 'boy' list for our names, we kept an open mind, knowing that the names we were now going through could be used either for a son or a daughter. As soon as we landed on 'Owen', I said 'no for a boy', and Sean said 'would you use it on a girl?'. And I knew - YES. Yes, I totally would! We shook hands, right there on the highway that it would be our 'girl' name should we have a daughter, I wrote it in my 'Notes' app on my phone, and we moved along.
A week later, we conceived our first surprise baby, 20 weeks later we found out she was a girl, and the rest was history! Owen was born and I couldn't think of a better name for our spirited but sweet, wild yet sensitive, and ever so intelligent little daughter.
Things were a little different with naming our second daughter, as we chose to keep her sex a surprise until she was born. We therefore needed to come up with a list both for boys and for girls, and we'd make a decision on the day we saw the little one's face.
We hadn't talked baby names at ALL since Owen was born, and barely even realized I was pregnant until I was about halfway through my pregnancy (for the record, I knew I was pregnant, I just didn't quite keep track of the weeks or the size of fruit the same as I had when I was pregnant with Owen).
Fast track to the due date fast approaching, Sean and I started to peruse the online baby name lists yet again, quickly realizing we didn't agree on any of the names.
We downloaded the Tinder-style baby name apps that we'd each have on our phones, swiping left and swiping right, hoping that we'd come across a match. No bueno, friends. No bueno. 'Horatio' just wasn't for me.
Next step - family roots. Mine were French, and we both weren't fond of many French names, finding most were difficult to pronounce in English. Sean's paternal family roots are Danish, and so we hopped onto Google for Scandinavian names.
'Ole' quickly caught our attention, but again, we weren't sold on it for a boy name because the proper pronunciation for it was 'oh-lee' and we knew that here in Canada, it just wouldn't go without being corrected all the time (and if you remember, that was one of my criteria). BUT, we had a starting point!
After some more searching, we noticed the name 'Auli' on one of the Scandinavian name websites. It wasn't an immediate 'LOVE' as it had been with naming our first, but after screaming it all around the house, and pairing it with Owen's, we definitely came to adore it.
*Side note - make sure you scream your potential baby names. You have to still like it after you scream it 87 times per day. With the last name. All of it. If you don't like screaming a name, you can't name your kid that. Must be screamable.
Now pregnant with our third baby, I'm confident that this child will be nameless. I guess you'll all have to wait and see what we come up with!