I was going through some files on my computer and came across the excel spreadsheet Beth and I used to help narrow down baby names. I am sure you can guess whose idea it was to use a spreadsheet! And in case you were wondering, yes it was color coded and included weighted averages to rank the names; it also listed name popularity and trends based on recent Social Security Administration information.
For some reason it was much tougher for us to pick boy and girl names this time than it was with Mikayla. (I wrote about picking her name a while ago.) Looking back at the lists of names reminded me of all the thought that went into the process.
Even though we decided to find out the gender with Baby #2, there was initially some ambiguity about the sex so we had a boy name and a girl name. If we had had a girl, the name would have been Elsie Bellissima. We liked the "throw back names" that were familiar but unique, but it was the middle name that has the most meaning as it honors two children we were close to who were taken well before their time: Bella Shoemaker and Simo Dlamini. When the names were put together, it just so happened to be the Italian word for ‘Most Beautiful" which we thought was appropriate.
Other girl names we considered were:
- Gabriella / Gabrielle
- Obviously we did not have a girl so Baby #2 was named Maxwell Simo – a name we had originally picked before the gender confusion. We liked the name Max from the beginning, and it also is a way of honoring Bella since Max is the character in her favorite book "Where the Wild Things Are." We had always considering giving our child a Swazi name, and after the death of Simo last Christmas, we didn’t think about many other names. The meaning of Simo is also appropriate. It means situation/character(istic). Since being born in Swaziland will be one of the qualities that makes Max unique, it is a fitting name. And while a name can mean a lot, it is a person’s character that is most important.
In case you were wondering, here are some of the other boy names we considered:
- Max (Maxwell, Maximus, Maximillian)
- Quinn (Quinton, Quincy)
And just because I can… here is a gratuitous shot of my kids: