Benjamin is firmly on team boy because he would like our family to be equal.
Zoë is firmly on team girl because she feels sandwiched between boys and because she's so much younger than her older sisters they never spend a lot of time playing with her, which leaves her with only boys to play with, which is sometimes unfair because the boys don't always want to play the games she wants to play or tell her that she can't play with them.
"Oh, if this baby is a boy, I will play with him all the time," Benjamin said to her.
"THAT'S MY POINT!" Zoë wailed.
I didn't point out to Zoë that there will be a bigger age gap between this baby and herself than there is between Miriam and herself. I think she'll have fun playing "little mommy" no matter the outcome, but she very much wants a girl. And Benjamin very much wants a boy.
And there's really only one way to solve this argument and get everyone excited and on the same page by the time the baby arrives...so we'll be revealing the gender next week (assuming baby cooperates).
We have some preliminary names picked out. Preliminary because I always take the longest to settle on this kind of thing. Andrew and the kids seem pretty firm.
These are names that I almost found surprising because when we first started named our kids we tried to not pull from family names. Both of our potential names pull heavily from family names. And I think that's okay.
Many, many names were floated for a girl baby, but the one we kept coming back to was Phoebe.
We knew we needed a middle name that began with an A because all the girls have A-middle names so far, but I was having trouble coming up with a name that worked well and that I liked. Andrew suggested Ada, but I wasn't too fond of that and the kids immediately started saying, "Phoebe Ada apple. Phoebe Ada hot dog. Pheoebe ate a..."
So I knew that name was out.
And then one night I had a dream.
Hear me out...
I had a dream that I was looking for an A-name and I logged into FamilySearch and was clicking through our family tree and up popped the name Alta Adams!
"Alta!" my dream-self thought, perfectly confident that this was a family name (it is).
Sometimes my dreams are boringly realistic.
So I told my family this story and they all immediately began gushing over the name Phoebe Alta.
"But, no...wait!" I told them, laughing...because I couldn't believe that they all fell in love with that name so quickly (Miriam had previously suggested Alberta, and Andrew had suggested Ada, so I shouldn't be surprised that they would have hopped on board with Alta). "There's more!"
Alta Adams was the first wife of Solomon Hancock. They're my fourth-great grandparents (and they named my third-great grandfather George Washington Hancock (wonder where they got that name from)). But, after Alta passed away in 1835, Solomon soon decided he needed a wife to help him raise the children she had left behind (they had ten children together, but by 1835 only four were still living, the rest having died in childhood)...so he married Alta's niece, Phoebe!
Phoebe was the oldest daughter of Alta's sister, Betsey. She was 18 years younger than Solomon (and 16 years younger than Alta). Solomon and Phoebe got married in 1835. When Phoebe had her first daughter, in 1840, they named her...Alta.
None of this dissuaded any of my children (or Andrew) from the name Phoebe Alta, though I had only told them this story because I thought it was a funny dream!
But that's where we sit with a girl's name for now: Phoebe Alta.
We didn't float as many names for a boy. I pushed hard for Nicholas, which would have been after my both my second-great-grandfather, whose name was Nicholas, and after my grandfather, whose name was...Arnold...but whose mother stubbornly called Nixie his entire life (because she had wanted to name him Nicholas). He grew up signing his name "Nix," and that's what he would put at the bottom of love notes to my grandma.
I believe my great-grandmother would say. "Nixie-narn, get out to the barn," to herd him out the door to do chores. At least, that's a rhyme that echoes in my brain...so it must have been a story I'd heard at some point!
But Rachel pointed out that Nicholas might be a tad unfortunate for a December baby, which, I had to acknowledge was a good point.
But this baby will very likely becoming in November, so the Father Christmas connotation is a non-argument.
But Andrew didn't want Nicholas for a first name. So I claimed it as a middle name and we settled on the name Theodore for a first name.
I had really wanted to try to name the baby after Karen in some way, but you simply can't name a baby Karen with good conscience these days (thanks, internet memes) and we began to run into the same conundrum we ran into when we were first getting into the baby-naming game (that naming babies after people is a tricky business because I worry about hurting people's feelings or whatever) and names related to Karen were also names we felt we couldn't quite use.
But in a way, Theodore is "the same" name as Dorothy, and Dorothy was Karen's best friend, so somehow Theodore felt very fitting.
It's also the name of Andrew's great-grandfather (he went by Ted).
So, you see, we simply couldn't get away from family names this time around!
Will it be Phoebe Alta? Or will it be Theodore Nicholas? And which child will we have to convince that we will love the baby regardless?