In the meantime she is being called Spanky Bum Bum. Superfly wasn't sticking, and Ginger suggested one day in the car that we name her Spanky Bum Bum and then erupted into heart-melting belly giggles. And frankly so did I.
We told Hazel when she came home from school and she got the giggles as well. Then when Ed came home from work the girls tried to tell him but got laughing too hard to get it out, so I told him and then we all had a good giggle. I need to try to record Ginger saying it because it's so so cute. And hey, if Spanky sticks a little after she's born, I don't mind. Everyone needs a nickname.
But back to real names. I don't have strict requirements for names - in the end it's more of a feeling. But I don't go throwing a dart at the baby name book either. We've got our guidelines:
1. It has to be a real name, or something that can be a name. It has to be something people have heard of, not a made-up word is what I'm saying. I'm not giving my kid a life of double takes - "What? What did you say your name was? Matroishkalina???"
2. It has to be spelled the way it sounds. Why oh why burden your child with a life of alternate spellings? Like a girl I knew in high school - Kyndness. You know she has to spell it for people EVERY TIME. So do I, but there are a lot of common spellings for Kari/Kerry/Carrie. Luckily mine is only 4 letters so I don't mind too much. But if it's a name or word people know, spell it the way people know, which is why we do not have Hazyl and Jinjir in our family.
3. It has to be UNCOMMON (but not unheard of.) I would like them to have names that other kids their age don't have, like all the poor Jennifers, Amys and Carries in my generation. If I truly felt clueless as to what currently popular names are (hello, Olivia, Sophia), I can always check the social security website, which tells the top 1000 boys and girls names of each year, or Name Voyager, which maps names by usage and year. Ranking high at least 50 years ago, or never, is a good indication I might like to use it.
4. No prefixes or suffixes. Sorry, Hazel. That means "Swanita" is out.
5. This is a loose guideline, but two syllables are good. Just enough to get your point across, to make it sound unique enough as you yell it across the playground so your kid knows you're talking to her, and yet not too long. Not a mouthful. Not a pain to write out.
6. Obviously, it has to sound good with the last name. For example, I like the name Ida, plus it is a family name, but "Ida Hickman" makes it sound a little too much like it's going to be "Idaho", so it doesn't work for me. Less important, but still to be considered, is how it sounds with the other names in the family. "Kari, Ed, Hazel, Ginger and Victoria Elizabeth" might not be the right direction for us.
7. I'm not necessarily against all kids starting with the same letter, or having the same ending, or following some kind of theme, as long as those are all your favorite names anyway. But sticking to a plan just to stick to it (Jason, Janelle, Jana, Jordan, etc.) when there are so many other great names out there is unacceptable to me. I get the spice comment sometimes - "Wow, all your names are spices - next you should use Cinnamon or Sage!" Never mind the blatant ignorance that Hazel has nothing to do with a spice (lamo), but I'm not going to be tied down either way to a perceived pattern. If Cinnamon was my very favorite name I'd use it but if my favorite is Glenda then that's it.
8. No naming her one thing but calling her by her middle name. That's advice from my brother-in-law who is in that situation. He said it's just confusing when people read your name and you have to correct them and tell them what you go by - "Robert?" "No, actually it's Quinn." "Oh." Name the kid what you're going to call her, then give her a middle name that is the name you're NOT going to call her. Duh.
9. It has to be fun to say, because I am going to be saying it 500 times a day until she is 18 years old. It has to have staying power so I'm not kicking myself in two years, and like I said before, not a mouthful please.
10. Not a big fan of the could-be-a-girl-or-a-boy names. You hate to look at a written name and not know if it's a girl or a boy. I was shocked as a young girl to meet a boy named Cary, though that's less common as a boy name these days. But there are a handful of either-way names and I just figure anything to avoid confusion or explanations down the road is best.
I think that's pretty much it. The main thing is, it has to be a real name but currently out of circulation - unfortunately I used Hazel on the upswing (it was #517 when she was born and is now up to #343) but it couldn't be helped. I'd had that name chosen since I was 16. The others have come along more recently but they've all been fun. And I feel pretty satisfied.
So I'm curious - what are your naming guidelines?