Monday, April 28, 2008

Our Weekend...and a Note on Names

Last Monday, Jon and I started discussing what we wanted to for the weekend. The first idea that came up was camping, which I was really excited about. There’s a mountain range about three hours northeast of us called the White Mountains, and they’re supposed to be amazingly beautiful. Lakes, meadows, cliffs, you name it. So I got advice from some people at work, did a little research online, and called up the Rainbow Campground to make a reservation, only to be told that ALL the campsites are closed. Why could this be? Renovations? Fire danger? No. They still have a foot of snow up there. In my defense, it’s been pushing ninety in Tucson. I forgot about the rest of the world, I guess.

We came up with our next idea on Tuesday. A trip up to Phoenix. I’ve got an aunt and uncle up there, and they’re always super welcoming whenever we want to get away from Tucson for a weekend. So we started planning where we’d go…Cabelas, IKEA, and a Western-style cookout at a ranch, complete with cowboy poetry. And then…I remembered that my aunt is in Europe. And what’s a trip to Phoenix with no aunt?

Idea three was the shortest-lived of all the suggestions. Disneyland. It’s only about a 7 hour drive, and I work half-days now on Fridays, so we’d have almost two days at the park…but the more we thought about it, the more it kind of crashed and burned.

So, what DID we do this weekend? Hmm. Funny you might ask. Well, we did lots of laundry. And I cleaned the toilets, and scrubbed the bathtub. Jon did the dishes and I wiped down the countertops in the kitchen. We organized the front room, adjusted the rug, and vacuumed. And fixed the slip cover – an event that usually only takes place when we’re expecting company. I HATE that stupid slip cover. Each time I tuck it in, I swear up and down that we’re getting new furniture in our front room. But then, I change my mind, because if we’re going to be moving across town or across the country any time soon, I don’t want to have to worry about new furniture getting wrecked in the process. I worry about stuff like that. So we keep putting it off. And it’s starting to drive me crazy.

And ANOTHER thing we did this weekend was celebrate the birth of a brand new little niece, Norah Grace. Jon’s sister, Kelsey, went into labor Friday morning, and had the baby at about 5 in the morning Saturday. We haven’t seen pictures yet, but Kelsey seems to think she's pretty cute. Mom and baby are doing alright, even though it was kind of a long labor. Norah’s being monitored in the NICU for a couple of days, but it’s just mostly precautionary stuff. Anyway, I was so excited when they told us the name. It’s so beautiful it makes me want to cry. They were being very secretive about their name choices, which I think is really smart.

I’m mildly obsessed with names. I think about them a lot more than most people, I’m pretty sure. But seriously, naming a child is a huge deal! They will go by that name for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. Idaho and Utah are notorious for bad naming. In fact, my mom made my day a couple of weeks ago when she sent me the annual listings of every single child born in the Madison Memorial Hospital during the previous year. I'm not out to offend anyone..but please, give your child a name that is actually a name. Don’t make anything up. It’s their NAME. People will judge them by it for the rest of their lives. I can’t even list all the made-up atrocities I encountered while reading the announcements, but I DO want to throw in a few highlights.

A popular trend is the mix-n-match. Choose any beginning from column A, and an ending from column B.

Seriously, it works. Watch. Tambree. Kymee. Taydyn. Mayleigh. Kamsee. Kyler. TOLD you. Idaho Naming 101. See how easy it is?? The more I think about it, I don’t know why anyone ever complains about this being a hard decision.

Another trend, at least in Idaho, is naming your baby boy the most masculine word you can think of. Here are some examples, straight from Rexburg.

Triton Duke

Or, the ever popular H's-Are-Silent-And-My-Child's-Name-Is-More-Unique-With-One, as evidenced by little Tyhler and Mhya. Poor Cheznee and Jerzee got landed with the Let's-Take-a-Word-That's-Not-a-Name-and-Change-the-S's-to-Z's treatment. Or what about taking a perfectly legitimate name, but making it almost completely unrecognizable? I'm not talking about changing a letter or two, here... I'm talking about making the entire name an ABOMINATION. Kwin, Saije, and Logyn will suffer for the rest of their lives.

And it looks like, in Idaho at least, if all else fails, just name your kid Braxton. Male or female. And hey, if you don’t like Braxton, just spell it with a Y instead. Braxtyn. There were FOUR Braxtons, and TWO Braxtyns in this paper! As my good aunt Mariann once put it, "What if she marries a ‘Hicks’???"

Holy name tangent. I’m done, I promise. Now you all know how I feel about it, so you’ll know that when you tell me that you named your kid "Amberleigh," even though I’ll say "aww, that’s neat," I’m really thinking "Amberleigh? AMBERleigh?? She’s got to put that on her RESUME, you know!"

Just as long as we have that clear between us. We can still be friends, right?

PS- Thankfully, my dad named his dog Gunner, no thanks to all of you that ignored my petition for help ;-)


  1. I hope you have lots of friends in Utah and Idaho that read your blog. These people need some serious baby-naming help.

  2. ok, Gunner is the greatest name for a dog on the planet, why didn't any of us think of that? its my dads all time favorite name, his dog was gunner! good thing we didn't go with 'nohlyn' eh?

  3. Seriously like elizabeth henry emily or all traditional names are any better? Who are you to say what names a ridiculous? I for one would like to thank you I think I will name my next son Gunner!

  4. Reading carefully through your post I just wanted to make a quick comment, first categorizing people who use these names is at the least offensive underlining Utah and Idaho, "Really" there is nothing wrong with the whole of Idaho or the whole of Utah. This naming process isn't just an Idaho or Utah thing it has been going on since names started being created. look outside of the united states. real quick before i end this there is nothing wrong with a manly name especially since almost every single one of those names are from ancestors so unless you are saying it is bad to name your children after your ancestors then you have no place to categorize names... nice that you share your thoughts your judgement is really partial though...

  5. Wow. That was a really long run-on sentence.

  6. Anonymous 2 above - seriously - I do think a child named "elizabeth henry emily" - all lower case would be a stupid name too. Did you mean for a boy or a girl???

    But for the rest of us - ohhh Jessica - you are my kindred spirit. From all the way here in Australia!

  7. I don't know you, but I love you.

    Seriously! The names people come up with! If you want your kid to be unique try raising them to be unique. OR try picking a name that you actually like not just a name no one else has. There is a reason no one has that name!!!

  8. I don't think Gage is that bad at all. It actually shows up in baby name books and Web sites and was the name of a pivotal character in Steven King's Pet Sematary. The rest of the family in the book was named Louis, Rachel and Eileen, so it wasn't like they were a family giving their kids weird names or something. Drake also has literary and historical precedent.

    The rest are indeed bad.

  9. We always said our kids names had to pass at least two tests: 1) The back porch test - Could you yell the name off the back porch when calling your kids home for dinner, and the whole neighborhood would not be sniggering or scratching their heads? 2) the General Conference test - If your child was sustained as a church officer, and their name was read in General Conference, would it sound respectable? Other that that, we liked out kids names to have a good meaning. Good article, though. :)

  10. My daughter's name is Kamdyn and I live in Alabama!

  11. But I'm not offended. I wanted a name that started with a K and I was watching an episode of Bones and a character's name was Camden, and we just changed the spelling so it would start with a K and be girlier with the Y.

    You are hilarious!

  12. I know people who named their son Kwinten. I think he has a bright future in klown kollege. (and btw, we're Canadian.)

  13. I just read all your Idaho baby name posts. It made my laugh... my son is Ridge, we live in Utah! Found it in a baby name book. My cousin's son is Taggart (city in Utah) they live in Idaho. So crazy!