September 27, 2007

First of all, thank you so much for the books/movies/music suggestions! I’ve got Knocked Up added to my Netflix queue; I downloaded Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Etc (LOVE), A Fine Frenzy (feeling lukewarm about this so far, but I think it’s one that will grow on me), Giant Drag’s “Wicked Game” cover (LOVE), Kanye’s “Stronger” (this song makes me do ridiculous things with my butt); and I’ve got a fantastic to-read list (including “The Nasty Bits“, which I have been meaning to pick up for a while now because man, do I ever love me some Bourdain). You guys rock, as usual.

(Also, here’s something I’ve never known: how are you supposed to reference books or music or movies? With italics, with quotation marks, or what? Is it different for each medium?)

In the spirit of good suggestions for good things, indulge me while I plug the newly-launched business of a family friend: Steve the Art Director has created a very cool website for ordering collage artwork. If you’re like me and you have shitloads of great family photos but no idea what to do with them other than periodically posting them on Flickr, his studio can create some really amazing options—matted, framed, the whole nine yards. Recognize this suspicious little guy? I have that image as a print, beautifully matted and framed, hanging in Riley’s room right now (there are some other cool samples here). Go check it out, and if you have questions, Steve will answer.

Okay, so . . . BOY NAMES. We had a great girl name picked out, but we’re struggling a little with a name for the dong-bearing Smalltopus. If coming up with fabulous-sounding boy names is a passion of yours, your input is welcome. Some possibly-helpful parameters: the middle name will be Emmett, and our last name sounds a lot like Sparks, so first names like Sam or Sheldon are out.

We have considered and mostly discarded the following:

• Ethan (love it, but it’s also the name of my new Workplace boss, who will be starting work—and sharing my office—as of next Monday. “Hi! I’m really hoping you won’t decide to phase out my position, and as a gesture of goodwill I have named my child after you! Hope that’s not awkward, ha ha!”)

• Jake (love, but do not love Jacob)

• Dexter (possibly influenced by my deep adoration for the Showtime TV series, possibly a name most people won’t find very appealing)

• Cody (cute, but maybe too trendy-sounding, especially when combined with Riley)

• Garrett (JB’s choice. Not mine)

• Casey (too gender-ambiguous; also not sure about another name ending in an “ee” sound)

The top contender is a name we both like very much, it just isn’t ringing the same bells that Riley did for us. I’m not sure if we can expect to have another “YES! YES THAT’S IT!” moment, or if we need to let a name percolate and become more familiar. I guess we could wait until the babe makes his appearance and name him then, but I’m concerned we’d end up with something like Vermixy or Red-n-Squashed or Hiccups Von NeverSleep.

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Jennifer
Jennifer
14 years ago

The poster whose name rhymes with “Squash” is absolutely right, this is a pretty personal decision so I’ll be amazed if a blog commenter suggests something you’ve not thought of. But, stranger things have happened I suppose!

I’m surprised that 2 people have suggested “Tanner.” That’s my mother’s maiden name and if I had ever had a child (either boy or girl), that was going to be the name. I think it’s not too trendy, not too weird, and not very common either.

Now we’re all going to be excited to hear the final choice. You have this way of keeping people coming back to the blog!

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
14 years ago

Joseph.

thejunebug
14 years ago

Jake. Garett Emmett? No, JB. Sorry dear- that’s a tad much. :)

I also like Cody- too cute!

thejunebug
14 years ago

Oh oops- I thought you were getting opinions on those names. Haha, don’t mind me, I’m not reading blogs at work or anything. *shufty eyes*

My boy names, which you are free to pilfer:
Brandon
Gabriel
Jay (Ok, I’m biased, it’s a family name, and my husband’s!)
Logan
Kirk
Samuel

frannie
frannie
14 years ago

how bout Spencer? Aidan..Nathan..Landon…or Lucas.
when i think Garrett, i think Leif Garrett—not a pretty baby mental picture!
Gah!

JMH
JMH
14 years ago

In my personal experience as a teacher, I would never name a boy Ethan or Aaron….bad times, bad memories.

I LOVE Emmett I think that would be a great 1st name. Jake is my 2nd pick (but NOT Jacob…more bad memories)

stan
stan
14 years ago

While I like the name Luke, I can’t stop tee-heeing at the thought of you shouting it (with your surname) across a crowded room!

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

Like Garrett, and Emmett but not together. Dexter will likely be teased. Dislike Cody, Casey, Keegan, Grayson, Brady, etc. Jake is fine and stands on its own. I would stay away from anything that even remotely rhymes w/ Riley. Ethan is nice, but totally understand about the boss.

W/ Riley, I like Mason, Jordan, Owen, Blair, Sam, Carter, Zander, Nolan, Adam, Cooper, Finn, Ian-most of which would work great w/ Emmett as a middle name (Sam only if Samuel, I think).

Best of luck!

Denise
Denise
14 years ago

Jack (not John like my mother insists), just Jack.

bethy
bethy
14 years ago

Boy, everybody sure loves a good baby-namin’ session!! My husband and I had such an awful time with boys’ names too. We’ve also decided to keep the sex a surprise until the D-Day of March 1, so my preparations have gone into overdrive.

Our pick? Colin James.

Other contenders that my husband mostly hated but which I fiercely love:

-Benjamin
-Isaac (LOVE this one)
-Luke
-Nolan (which I think sounds pretty fantastic with Emmett, BTW)

Good luck… it’s so much fun naming.

Erin
14 years ago

SUNDRY! I’ve already told you this, but we just had our second boy in July and named him Emmett!! Emmett is a great name. Obviously, I’m biased, but yay for Emmetts!

Our other boy (who is a few months younger than Riley) is named Calum. It’s also an old Irish name like Riley and Emmett, and it means “calm.” It’s also spelled Callum or Colm. We pronounce it /Cal-um/ but it can also be pronounced /Caul-um/. We call him “Cal” for short. What about Calum? Calum Emmett? How’s this for tooting my own horn? Lame, I know.

Erin
Erin
14 years ago

I really love the names Grayer and Liam. Wish I had more little boys to use them for!!

Karen
Karen
14 years ago

Congrats on the new suspicious willy making!

My hints for names are:

Mason
Cameron
Lucas
Rhys
Dominic
Leo
Hayden

All sound good with Emmett as a middle name as good with “Snarks” or whatever your surname is! lol

Claire
14 years ago

You know, people read other peoples’ blogs because they have something in common or feel a connection. For a long time now, I have wanted to name my kid Emmet! The only problem is that my husband hates the football player Emmet Smith and well, without giving away my anonymity, I married into Smith. So my two cents is Ethan since the double E sounds really good. And besides, I just named my kid Elliot and E names rock!

Jean
Jean
14 years ago

I thought of another one, but it will again be in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer realm. Alexander, but Xander for short.

Xander Sparks
Xander Emmett Sparks

I LOVE that.

ang
ang
14 years ago

No Cody, Casey, Dirk, Hunter, Tyler, Lance, Stone, Brick etc… It all sounds either too ambiguous or possibly a little flakey. Or soap-operaish.

Garrett is my nephew’s name, but I call him G-Money. So I like that name.

Grayson was our choice for a boy. After Dick Grayson, boy wonder. My husband is a total Batman geek. But I like it.

These are the three I love personally:

Grayson Emmett ‘Sparks’ is good
Maxwell Emmett Sparks or Max for short.
Jonathan Emmett Sparks

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

I love Jackson. Thats my sons name. But for a second choice I would choose maybe….. Chance?

Anais
14 years ago

Jaden

Jeremiah

Evan

Erik

Jack

Theran

Thoren

Anais
14 years ago

My cat’s name is Elliott. =D

Erin
Erin
14 years ago

May I just say that the whole Aiden permutation trend is driving me nuts. I normally don’t get so up-in-arms about what people name their kid, but this Brayden Jaden Kayden Caden crap must stop. Aiden is a great Irish name, though now frightfully over-used. All the other ones are horrifying to me, and none of them sound like boys, honestly (and you’ll see them on girls too). Ick.

Cody has always been a bad choice. Three words: Kathy Lee Gifford.

If you like Ethan, Nathan might be a good cousin to it in terms of sound. It’s not matchy matchy with Emmett and I’ve always liked the shortened Nate, too.

Jamie
14 years ago

Casen, Connor, Parker, Hunter

pennyjar
14 years ago

Remy (doesn’t go with Emmett-but must include)
Rory
Gage
Gator
Ari
Jackson (nickname “Jax”)

Amy M.
Amy M.
14 years ago

I’ve already put in my 2 cents, but I wanted to mention the name I love, but hubby vetoed: Xavier.

I haven’t seen it in previous comments, so I thought I’d comment again. :)

Christine
Christine
14 years ago

If DD #2 was a boy we were going with Jake (our last name is an “S” name also). Jake NOT Jacob. I love this name so much I would ALMOST consider a third pregnancy to try for a boy.

There is no law that says you need to use Jacob – Jake Emmett sounds awesome, IMO.

Dorie
Dorie
14 years ago

Since I have an interesting/uncommon name, names are one of my very favorite topics. So even though you already have 175+ comments, I’m still going to give my two cents.

My favorite boy names are Owen (my baby boy’s name) and Jackson or Jack which was my first pick for baby boy, but my husband disliked. Which ended up being ok because Jackson is becoming very common.

Sue
Sue
14 years ago

OOh… I think Samuel is really great too! And maybe Louis?

Mandy
Mandy
14 years ago

More that I remembered from my short list when we were trying to think of a name for our son. I tend to go for normal-but-quirky names. I do not like trendy or made-up sounding names; makes me think of soap opera characters.

Spencer
Oscar
Oliver
Perry (my husband said he would be called “Perry the Fairy”)
Jack

anne
anne
14 years ago

You’ve already got a ton of suggestions – and I haven’t read most of them – but anyhow, my suggestions are thus:

Jack
Max
Dexter (yours, but I *love* “Dex” as a shortened version)
Alex

Congratulations, Linda & JB!

Linda – I just adore your writing. Keep up the terrific work!

AmyD
14 years ago

What about Colton?

I personally love Emmett for the first name, much like the first Amy way, way up there. It’s different, as well as strong.

Good luck!

Adrienne
14 years ago

Love your writing style and your blog and am compelled to give me $0.02 along with everyone else on this particular topic :) I like classic names that aren’t common; i.e. I would refrain from naming my child Calculator or Yoga (well, maybe for a middle name?!). Maybe ask Riley for suggestions – you could have a kid named BaPa.

Luke (Lucas)
Ramsey
Brock
Evan
Connor
Reed
Cameron

…I am sure I will think of The One right when I submit this post :)

GOOD LUCK! I look forward to seeing what you guys choose.

laughing mommy
14 years ago

In my daughter’s preschool last eyar and kindergarten this year…

Braden
Grayson
Graydon
Ethan
Evan
Joshua
Jared

names to either avoid because they are overused, or use so your child will fit right in. :)

Garrett Emmett… I agree that this name is unfortunate.

Jeanette
14 years ago

I love my sons name, Christopher but I also like Trevor for a boy too.

Cari
14 years ago

Our boy pick was Avery. It’s kind of reminiscent of your Audrey for a girl (which I love, BTW).
People sure are opinionated about what you name you own child. The Internet is funny like that. Do you think people would tell you to your face that they thought your favorite name made them think of a dog?
Good luck; I hope you will tell us what you decide before the arrival.

missval
missval
14 years ago

kolby

Kristin H
Kristin H
14 years ago

We had a hard time naming our boy so I won’t be much help. I’ve wanted to name him Aiden for years. Then it got all popular so we tried to find something different. Didn’t come up with much that we liked so in the end we said screw it, we’re using Aiden. I don’t know anyone in these parts with that name anyway (hello conservative Indiana!).

Like Emily, when I was growing up I also had a list of kids names. We were having such a hard time deciding with our boy that we consulted my 2nd grade diary. First on the list? Mumfred. Thank you, past self!

k8inhawaii
k8inhawaii
14 years ago

My all-time favourite names are:
Baird (pronounced Bay-ired)
Eben
Zed (my oldest friends let me choose this name for their boy)
George (I love this name)
Alec
Hector
Augusto
Finnbar
and then you are to imagine yelling them across the playground to see if you sound stupid.
Or if they will increase the likelihood of a beat down from the other kids, take my word for this I once knew a boy named “Mervin”.
I agree with Erin here “Cody has always been a bad choice. Three words: Kathy Lee Gifford.”

thejunebug
14 years ago

I have more!

Ian
Daniel
Cary (like Cary Grant!)
Rohan (hee)
Elphard ….. just kidding :)

Danielle
Danielle
14 years ago

You listed Jake but don’t like Jacob – which is exactly why we named our #2 Jake, not Jacob :)
Good luck – you have a lot of great suggestions here to put on your list.
It is also funny though, I wanted a name that couldn’t be shortened into an annoying nickname, and I ended up calling Jake, Jakey! Go figure

ML
ML
14 years ago

I really like the Dexter/Dex option, too (and I’ve never seen the show…yet.) What a thing for me to delurk for, though!

Robin
Robin
14 years ago

I’ve been thinking about boy names lately, since I’m newly knocked up and pretty sure this one will be another boy

Favorites:
Jared
Evan
Nathan
Adam

Dexter is great, too!

willikat
14 years ago

i think it would be awesome if you had a dexter and he was super cool. if he was nerdy he might get beat up on the playground. but i can totaly imagine you having a little dex. i think emmett is such a great name to work with and sounds well with other strong, masculine names. jackson is my favorite boy name. i secretly hung onto it for ages and now it’s getting popular, dang it. my fiance’s name is william and i LOVE it. and he has a ver;y masculine, old-school middle name too. i love declan too. i wouldn’t have thought of finnigan but now i’m loving that too. and oliver. also great.

Kim
Kim
14 years ago

Oh, I LOVE names! Thanks for asking for input.

My top choice for a son, should I have one someday: Gareth.

Know peole who just named their daughter Finley. I smell a trend.

Speaking as someone who grew up with a nickname — I HATE having one! If I had a child, I would never saddle it with a name that lends itself to nicknames. After years of being “Kim” I just cannot suddenly become “Kimberly” because it sounds so stilted & formal now, but I dislike my childish nickname. Sigh.

Finally, FYI but Vanity Fair’s Oct. issue has a Vanties article titled “Know Your Asshole Footprint.” It’s broken into age groups, and for the 14-25 group, one item asks if your name is “Skyler, Tyler, Taylor, Cat, Bryce, Morgan, Brandon, Braden, Hayden, Jaden, Brianna, or Keegan.” Your kid will be much younger than this, but it sounds like these (or very similar) names continue to enjoy much popularity — judging from previous comments — Keegan especially. Sorry, but I don’t like these trendy names & Vanity Fair doesn’t seem to, either. :-))

“Rufus” has actually started to grow on me of late.

ali
ali
14 years ago

My son’s name is Kevin Cory. Kevin Emmett isn’t bad. :o)

Mandy
Mandy
14 years ago

I wanted to add that I don’t consider Riley to be trendy.

And I’m not the Mandy who went off on “Cody.”

Brooke
14 years ago

Our (my) current choices for the Boy That May Be In My Belly are

Graham (Current fave, inspired by Gram Parsons)
Dashiell
Dean

Also had a lot of Beatles on lately, and this one is also a maybe:

Desmond

This boy’s MN must be David in our family. Dean has too many grade-school insults that rhyme with it (weenie and meanie come to mind), but oh, what a great big-boy-man name! Strong and easy to pronounce.

I love Dashiell, too, sooo much, because Dash is such a badass nicknane. However, it’s French and should be pronounced da-SHEEL, and I don’t know how I feel about Americanizing ethnic names and calling him DASH-ul. ‘Course, my daughter’s name is Hebrew and we don’t pronounce it that way, either.

Alas, I ramble.

All my names were chosen to go with “David”, though, and “Emmett” has that vowel sound, so maybe you don’t want a

Grammett
Deanemmett
Dashlemmett or a
Desmondemmett

running around. You’d have to rely on wordwide good enunciation.

Maybe I’m no help at all.

KT
KT
14 years ago

Emmett would make a great first name! It’s unique but not “too” unique, it sounds nice with Riley but not matchy, and didn’t you mention that it was a family name? You both like it enough to be sure you’d want it as a middle name, too. Just another 2 cents (or 50,000 or however many the comments are up to now!).

When you mentioned Garrett, it made me think of Bullock, from Deadwood. Seth Bullock kicks ASS! ;) Who wouldn’t want a kid named after Deadwood? ;)

KT
KT
14 years ago

…although Vermixy made me laugh and I had to Google it, but it turns out you’re the first human in the world to have come up with such a word!

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

My three year old son is Carson Addison. If we were going to have another boy we had decided on Cooper. Thankfully we aren’t planning on having any more :-) Three kiddos is enough for us!

Christen
14 years ago

We named our little guy Grayson James, and tried to decide between the spelling of “Greyson” or “Grayson.” We liked the “e” spelling but thought there would be imbeciles who called him Greeeeee-son.

Best of luck as you choose! My experience is that there was a “click” when something just felt right.

laughing mommy
14 years ago

Okay, I”m sure you’ve moved on to a new subject by now… but I was reading through these name suggestions and I just wanted to say that I love Swistle’s idea of Milo. LOVE!

Someone said Logan. LOVE! (again)

Logan and Riley
Milo and Riley

Logan Emmett
Milo Emmett

And someone actually suggested Gator for a name. I’m speechless.