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Yeah its number 4 in my state which isn't ideal but James is pretty popular as well. I passed on Grace in part because of popularity and I wished I hadn't.
I do like the idea that Henry unifies our girls names with our boys!
I should clarify that my husband really likes Peter and Gabriel. Beyond just fitting the theme these are the names he's pick to use. And I see the appeal behind these names particularly Peter which 15 years ago was on our list for our first son. I'm just not loving it. It's more of the question do I break the theme to use a name I love or stick with the theme and use one of the names my husband loves (though he doesn't love them quite to the extent I love Henry.)
Peter frequently feels like its the "right name" but I haven't been sure if that is because it's meant to be or just because thematically it fits into place perfectly. When pulled out on it's own I definitely prefer Henry to all other names. In school he'll mostly be known in isolation or as @ndrew's little brother.
For sure, there have frequently been names one of us likes more than the other. My husband in fact made the same point as you that as this is our fifth boy to name having us both adore his name is much harder.
His initial response to Henry was more of a strong dislike (he didn't like the Henry VIII association or the silly song) which neither of us had with the other kids' names. He has mellowed though towards the name though but I know I've pushed him this time.
The difficulties with being an older pregnant mom has definitely made me feel like maybe it's not crazy that I should get more of a vote in the baby's name.
Just wanted to update you guys and get some more feedback. We're still basically deciding between Peter and Gabriel - with occasional talk of Jude (and I still crush on Henry from time to time but my husband isn't a fan).
Instead of using Thomas as a middle name for Gabriel I've been thinking it would be nice to use a family name from my mother's side. If we go with Peter we are thinking we'll pick Gregory (my mother's brother who died in the Korean War), but that won't work with Gabriel. So our top contenders are Timothy (my maternal grandfather) or Anthony (after my maternal grandmother Antoinette). My middle name is Antoinette after the same grandmother. Any pros and cons of Anthony vs Timothy as a middle name? Or should we stick to Thomas which is a mutual favorite name that we both don't care to use as a first name because of how it flows with our last name? A couple of our kids have family names while most don't so there isn't really a precedent one way or the other.
This site lets you enter in a lot of names http://www.magicbabynames.com/?name= although I'll be honest I sometimes feel that no matter what names I enter I get pretty similar results.
Those are gorgeous names!
I was on retreat this weekend and the priest referred to St. Ephrem the Syrian and pronounced it just as you described with the long E and 2-syllables. I immediately thought of this thread!
I had thought the combo Gabriel Peter or even brothers Gabriel and Peter might be too close to the singer Peter Gabriel.
One combo we had been thinking about is Gabriel Thomas. We both love the name Thomas but because of our last name we've never used it as a first name. I still hesitate just a bit about not saving it for a first name especially as it meets the requirements of a unique initial and classic New Testament name, but as my husband points out if we've not used it for 5 boys then it seems silly to keep saving it.
I have talked to them. My oldest doesn't really admit to caring but I got the idea he thought it was sort of sweet to share. James was also enthusiastic. M@rk firmly doesn't want to share so it's a good thing we aren't aiming for Matthew.
Cl@re thinks each kid should get their own initial but she really likes Gabe so there is a definite bias.
That is so hard to predict! We call James Jay about 1/2 the time. K@th@rine was suppose to be Kate but never has been with Kat and Kitty the current nicknames and her full name being used plenty. My youngest son is frequently Boo or Roo to most everyone in the family but he will grow out of those names. I am currently the only one whoever calls him Drew which is the nickname we had discussed before he was born.
My husband adores nicknames but not Gabe. He says he plans on using they full name but I wouldn't be surprised if he landed on something silly to call him as a little boy. I think the other kids and I will call him Gabe and that may grow on my husband. Or I could pick up on using the full name as I did with K@th@rine.
When we began calling K@th@rine by her full name I did mix up my girls and call them Clatharine for about a year but then never again. I will occasionally now refer to one of my younger boys as Anjay - combing Andrew and Jay. I've never had any issues with Mark and Cl@re's names, but like you I am quite likely just to call any child by the wrong name entirely.
I'm familiar with the name Ephrem from St. Ephrem the Syrian (love him!) so that spelling wouldn't surprise me. I always pronounced it the same as Ephraim (maybe I've been wrong). I would have a harder time adjusting to the "long e" pronunciation. However, I do think you are right with a lesser known name it's easier to "teach" people the spelling and pronuncation.
If it doesn't bother you or your husband, then I would go for it. Hayden and Everly are a great pair. You aren't using the exact same name as your niece just names that share the same potential nickname. I named my son Andrew and my only nephew on my side is Alexander exclusively nicknamed Anders. Yes, my mom will mix up Anders and Andrew especially if she's just visited with one side of the family. I'm sure my sister wasn't hoping we'd go with Andrew but in the grand scheme of things cousins with similar names is no big deal. Of course I know my sister's personality and thankfully she's definitley not the type to throw a fit.
I am not in the South but I frequently hear girls called Sissy at the park. I never hear Bubba.
The other day my 12 year old daughter who is frustrated that her toddler brother doesn't event attempt to say Clare but can "say" Paul, Kat, and Jay said "why don't I just have him call me Sissy?"
Peter John is a possibility but so maybe is another boy baby so if I didn't use it for this baby I think I'll hang on to Johhny.
We also aren't in a dire need to honor either grandpa as my toddler's middle name is L@wr3nce which is the same as my father's first name and coincidently my husband and father-in-law's middle name.
You are right about hearing James and John paired together much more often. The "sons of thunder" angle. Actually I just realize that do have a friend with a John (they call him Jack so I forget he's a John) and I believe they are planing on naming their next son James in order to have the "sons of thunder".
Yeah I like that too.
Well to get technical Peter and Andrew are New Testament brothers too. For me it's another sweet connection to the name though. (And to get even more technical we named our James after James the Less brother to Jude not James the Greater brother to John.)
I do agree that the 1-syllable element makes James and John feel more similar than Peter and Paul. And the difference between 14 years instead of 5 is pretty significant.