Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 4 - A Reese By Any Other Name

This week our topic challenge is to tell the story behind our babies' names. My little pumpkin is named Reese Raymond (last name omitted). I wish I had a fun story to share but, really, Justin and I agreed on the name pretty early - about 16 weeks into the pregnancy when we first found out we were having a boy. We both had an abundance of girl names we liked but very few boy names. I always assumed I would have girls (no idea why - maybe because my mom had two daughters so that's all I knew growing up). So we had to brainstorm a little.

We were driving to LA for a wedding and I threw Reese out there. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the first time we discussed that name but now that we knew it was a boy we were taking things more seriously and actually considered it.

We both loved it. We drove for awhile and discussed other names but kept coming back to Reese.  By the end of the drive, we'd settled on it.

I had a few requirements for names. First, I wanted to pick a name that is easily pronounced. Growing up, both my first and last names were horrifically butchered constantly. Not only did the mispronunciations sound awful but as a shy kid, it drew a lot of attention to me that I could have done without. I constantly had to correct people (or not correct them and just be called something that wasn't my name) or answer questions about my name story/history (mostly my last name - my first name isn't that uncommon).  I didn't want my kid to have that issue so I was determined to pick a name that is easily pronounced.

Reese. It sounds almost exactly how it's spelled. We considered the alternate spelling of Rhys instead WHICH I LOVE but we were too afraid he would be called "Rice." He is almost 11 months old and we haven't had any mispronunciations yet so I think we did a pretty good job. Woohoo!

While I didn't want a difficult name, my second requirement was that I didn't want a name that was too common either.

I struggled with how common of a name we picked. According to the Social Security Administration, Reese ranks 549th in the most common boy names. That's stomach-able. BUT! For girls, Reese is about the 128th most popular. Not horrible but I was hoping for something a bit more rare than that. Justin and I talked a lot about it and ultimately decided that we needed to pick a name WE liked and not worry so much about how common it is. And if we picked a name that absolutely no one else had, it would probably be bizarre and ugly anyway. So, Reese survived the second prong.

Finally, and this sort of goes with the second, the name needed to be a little unique and distinct since our last name is verrrry common.

I really like the way Reese sounds with our last name. It has just enough flavor to offset the commonality of it.

Reese's middle name, Raymond, was a lot more straightforward. Raymond is Justin's first name but his parents have never called him that or any variation of it. It's also Justin's dad's first name and he went by Ray. Justin's mom told me she'd like Raymond to be worked in the name somehow. So we settled on it as the middle name.

Just before Reese was born, I started backtracking and wanted to change the middle name to Justin so Reese would have the same initials as his dad and they would share the same middle name. Justin talked me out of it though. I'm glad he did because Ray passed away this last July and it meant the world to Justin that his dad knew that Reese was named after him.

Reese was actually due on Ray's birthday, November 2nd, which was another reason we liked Raymond for a middle name. He surprised us though and came two days early on Halloween! I loved this because Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have and probably always will be my favorite candy so it's like I got the ultimate Reese's treat that Halloween. And yes, we call him Peanut Butter Cup. :)

That's it! My little Reese Raymond.

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