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Honestly it sounds like you've just gotten cold feet. It happens. My suggestion would be to take name talk off the table for at least a couple of weeks. Focus on other baby-related stuff and give your brain a rest on names. When you come back to it, see if one of your names feels more "right." If you still can't decide, you could explore other names. There is also nothing wrong with going to the hospital with a solid short list and waiting to see which name "fits" the baby better. You still have plenty of time to decide, so hopefully taking some of the pressure off will help you settle into a name.
FWIW, Declan and Levi are both nice choices. My vote would probably be for Declan. I also quite like Frederick-any chance you would consider moving it to the first name?
Maeve. I really, really don't care for the other options, but Maeve is lovely.
Peter-unless you actually intend it to be a direct honor name, I think this one is out. It's a lovely name, but you just can't use the same name as your brother without people assuming it is an honor name. The problem with Peter is there aren't that many names that sound/feel like good replacement options. Paul? Patrick? Philip? Pierce and Porter seem the most similar to my ear, but they don't have the religious association you are looking for.
I agree Levi needs to be out, it's just too close to Leah. Most names I'd offer (like Leo) are also too close to Leah. Perhaps you could flip the sounds around? Eli has the sounds/cadence of Levi, but without being problematic with Leah. Ivan?
Luke is 100% out with Leah, but I'm not as sure about Lucas. If you can guarantee he'd always be Lucas & not shortened to Luc, then maybe? Perhaps Marcus or Louis/Lewis?
Reuben Abe-lyn rhymes & the names have the same cadence. It's just too much for me. It's a shame, because if it was Just Cadence or Just Rhyme, maybe it could work. I don't find Ben Abe-lyn as much of a problem. Perhaps Benjamin? Ronan also comes to mind as an option.
Titus is lovely, but it is really off with your sibset. If you loved it the most & didn't care about a coordinated sibset, I'd say go for it. But it does seem like an outlier for you.
How strong is the preference for biblical names? Is it an actual requirement, or is it something you'd be willing to give up for the right name? How strong is your desire for a coordinated sibset? I think losing some of your preferneces might open you up to more names.
Oh, those names are rather surprising to me as none of them seem intuitive if Andi is the nickname. I think a better compromise would be to find a full name he likes, that intuitively offers Andi as a nickname.
Other commenters have suggested things like Andrea, Andromeda, etc-this is more what I was expecting to be on your husband's list.
Mallory makes me think of Miranda, and I think Andi would be great as a nickname for Miranda.
Amanda could work, though it might be an uphill battle trying to avoid Mandy. Alexandra? Sandra? Harper and Kendall lean a bit unisex/surnamey for me, along those lines, perhaps Landry?
My preference would be for a more formal name with Andi as a nickname. However, that has more to do with a general preference for more formal names and not because Andi is too boyish (I would also not care for Andy as a given name for a boy). I just prefer the options of having a more formal name vs. a given name that is a diminutive.
As for the boyish issue, I think Andi-with-an-I is fairly commonly accepted as a girl name. I don't imagine there would be confusion-if that is what your husband is concerned about. I think if your husband just doesn't care for Andi as a given name (for whatever reason) having a more formal/feminine given name with Andi as the nickname seems like a reasonable compromise.
What names has your husband suggested? If you don't like any of them, maybe we can help you find other options.
I've seen Posey as a nickname option for Josephine-and it would technically be a twofer. Juniper with Juno as a nickname would be another way to get a twofer. Alice makes me think of Alyssa/Alyssum.
I don't think I've seen Linnea suggested yet. I also like the idea of a "generic" flower name, something along the lines of Fleur or Flora. Maybe Florence with Flora as a nickname? I also thought of Blossom, but maybe it's still too associated with the TV show?
I agree Mary & Jane aren't a good fit for siblings, and especially twins. In theory, using the grandmother names is a wonderful idea, I just don't think it's practical in this case.
I think tweaking the names is a good idea. If it were me, I would tweak both of them to avoid any hurt feelings about the tweaked name being less of a namesake. I would also try to tweak in the same/similar manner-for example, you could do other language variants like Maria & Gianna or Moira & Jean. Or take a mashup approach and do something like Sarajane & Rosemary. You could also look at diminutives like Molly & Jenny.
What are the grandfather names? Could you possibly move Mary & Jane to the middle positions and use feminized variants of the grandfathers' names in the first position? Looking at the grandmother's middle names also seems like it could work.
I also agree with the previous suggestion of letting us know why these are the only two names you can agree on. With more information we can offer suggestions to help move past the stalemate. Or perhaps better suggestions for ways to use the names but avoid the maryjane problem.
For Adam, I think I'd look at names like Ada, Adele, Adaline, Adelaide. Since you've already got the Adam & Eve connection with Evelyn, perhaps you'd also like Eden?
Although, if Alina is going to be her middle name, and it already starts with an A, doesn't that count your namesake for Adam? Then you only need to find a first name to honor your aunt.
I like the sentiment behind Haven, though it's not exactly my style. Have you considered Daphne? It seems like it'd fit well with the brother names.
I think my preference is to not use an M first name this time. Using another M name kind of sets the twins apart as being different from the rest of their siblings. In your situation, I think I would use an M middle name and reframe the tradition as "everyone gets one M name" with the assumption being it was simply a coincidence that the first two kids got M first names.
However, I do like the previous suggestion of something like Camilla or Amelia with Milla as the nickname. It keeps the theme as "everyone gets an M name" but also allows some wiggle room because there is more than one way for everyone to have an M.
I quite like Winter, but am not a fan of Wynter. Not a fan of creative spellings in general, but I think when using a word/nature name they can be especially problematic.
Winter Wilde does have a comic book character kind of feel to it, perhaps that is what is putting you off? It's very descriptive and the alliteration adds to the effective. I don't think this is a reason not to use it, but it might be something to think about. Do you plan on using Winter exclusively? Or would you use a nickname? The option for her to go by Winnie Wilde could decrease the comic book character feel if she needs/wants to do so.
I don't see the point in a double first name unless you plan to actually call her by both. Otherwise it just seems like an extra hassle for her.
Wynter Rose is too descrpitive for me-it's also a bit too princess for my taste (think Briar Rose). Winter Grace is fine-Grace seems a bit boring as it is a very common middle name. Winter Evelyn is quite lovely and would be my top pick.
I agree with all of this.
Congrats on the new cat! I'm glad you figured out something that works for everyone (and I love that a kitty got to win the pagoda cat lottery).
I actually really like Shelly for a cat. I like it because it is such an ordinary person name. Animals with ordinary people names are fantastic, especially if the ordinary name sounds like it should belong to a middle-age person or is simply too fusty to use on a real baby. I also love the inside joke of you and your BFF each naming pets after each other.
At the same time, I do appreciate a good nerdy cat name, or something with a particular pop-culture reference. If anyone has read the Bloggess' blog, her animals all have nerdy/pop culture inspired names (that are also ordinary people names). She has a cat named Ferris Mewler and a dog named Dorothy (Dottie) Barker. Something like the previous suggestion of Mary W. Shelley, called Shelley would be perfect. I also think Shelley the Wookie is a nice compromise, thought it would probably rule out a future cat called Wookie.
FWIW, my dog is named Rory, after the Doctor Who character. My sons have already declared if we get another cat, it must be named Amy. But our cat of passed away last summer at the very old age of 19 and I'm still not quite ready for another cat.
I'm so sorry for your losses.
I want to encourage you to take as much time as you need to grieve for Grendel. And I think it's a good lesson for your daughter to learn that animals (like people) aren't replaceable. If you don't feel ready to get a new cat Right Now, then don't get one. You'll know when the time is right-and your daughter will wait, even if she's less than happy about it. I think some age-appropriate conversations about grief could help her to understand.
If now, or sometime in the near future, is the right time, I think my preference is for cat #1. You already have a relationship with the cat & were thinking about adopting her anyway. This feels less like trying to replace Grendel. I would vote for the name Shelly-the connection to your BFF is hysterical and exactly the type of thing I would do.
My 2nd choice for you would be Mr. Darcy (awesome name for a cat BTW) because he is older and you know he has a gentle nature. Kittens can be a bit much for young children, especially young children used to an older and apparently very patient cat.
I've also experienced it in Latin American contexts, with the Luceli spelling. I want to say it was actually used as a nickname and not so much a given name, but it's been years and I may not remember correctly.
I think most of this list is a little too cute/matchy for my taste. I am more a fan of twin names that coordinate without being too matchy. From the list, Ruby & Violet are the only ones I'd consider, though they right on the line for me.
If you're up for a little mix & match action, I think you've got several lovely names that would coordiante well together-though you've got several different styles going on. I'd start by grouping them into style categories.
Vintage Revival: Sophie, Ruby, Violet
Classic: Zoe, Danielle
Modern: Sienna, Rylan, Raylee, Delaney, Lylah, Lainey
International Flair: Zara
Some could be divided differently or fit in more than one category. For example, I could see a case for Zoe to be in the vintage or international categories. Sophie (especially spelled Sofie/Sofia) could also be international. The spelling of Lylah you used would be modern for me, but Lilah could be vintage or international.
Then I'd suggest deciding which category appeals the most. You can then mix & match within a single category or use names from complimentary categories. Sophie & Violet, Zoe & Danielle, Sofia & Zara, Zara & Lilah, Delaney & Sienna.
posted 3 times because Captcha hates me.
I once new a Lew/Lou (not sure of spelling) whose full name was Bartholomew. Would that work for you?
I'll play along.
Girls (in no particular order): Helen, Margaret, Cordelia, Agatha, Virginia
Boys (also no particular order): Arthur, Walter, Albert, Edmund, Benedict
Are the spellings her choice? If I remember correctly, she's only 5? I'd encourage you to have her use the more standard spellings, Lauren or Tatum. I think it's more consistent with the siblings names (I noticed none of them really have alternate spellings) and I think it'd be easier for her later down the road, especially if she decides she wants to make the change permanent.
My 1st choice for her is Piper, I think it fits well with the sibling group. I also think it's nice because she would have the same initial. If the change does become permanent (and at age 5 I think that's likely a long shot) that P initial would be a nice nod to her original name.
My personal preference is Lauren; however, I don't think it works with the sibling group quite as well as Piper. It also lacks any connection at all to her given name, which could make it harder for the nickname to "stick" with other people. It seems like a similar sounding name/something with the same initial would be easier for people to remember?
I agree Tatum does seem awfully close to Teagan. I'd probably point out to her that she'd have to share an initial, which might make her like another choice better.
I'll add that at age 5, she's likely in preschool or perhaps about to enter K? If she wants to try it out at school (and you are Ok with this), I'd imagine her teachers will be more than happy to oblige. Just a quick explanation that "her name is Presley but she's going through a phase and wants to be called Piper/Lauren/Tatum" should be enough explanation. If she changes back to Presley later just a heads up that "she's over that particular phase, can you start using her given name" shouldn't be a big deal.
I agree and something like Molly Kate could be a twofer while avoiding the repeated name situation like you want.
You could also consider Lucy in the middlel spot, so that the call name isn't exactly the same as your husband's grandmother. Or perhaps something like Lucia?