Sunday, March 13, 2011

What's in a name?

When you've been through all we've been through, naming the child you never thought you'd ever have takes on a pretty big significance. It was important for us to get this right. We wanted the perfect combination of something unique, something meaningful, something timeless, something we all three liked and something that fit our family.  It was also really important to me that Lou take the lead on picking this name, since I got the bigger piece of the decision with Miss Josephine Marie.  So, with that - we arrived at Beatrice Starling Schneider.  And here's why:

BEATRICE: Meaning - "blessed voyager in life's journey; bringer of joy"

* The short version of the story is that Lou always thought it would be great to have a daughter named "Betty." For quite some time, we joked about this and Beatrice entered our vocabulary as a possibility. I wasn't too keen on the idea at all but it really did start to grow on me.  And then two funny coincidences happened: 1) One of my mom's best friends left a comment on our blog about her two Aunts Josephine & Beatrix and how Bea would be a great pick for Schneider #4. We were already leaning towards Beatrice, which was a big secret so I instantly deleted the comment and called Karen Sue to let her know she had hit the nail on the head.  2) Then, a few days later, one of my best friends Kelly sent me an email with a list of top contender names (based on names most popular at the same time Josephine was peaking) and guess what her top pick was - Beatrice!  (I should mention that Kelly also guessed "Josephine" so she simply had to be trusted!) Our love affair with the name started to grow.  Add to it my obsessions with classic names, and Josephine & Beatrice just seemed like the perfect combination.  (I gotta say, I love "old lady" names. I wanted two "porch rocker" names that guaranteed a certain longevity. Tell me you can't just see Josephine & Beatrice sitting in rocking chairs on the porch together talking about their long-gone crazy parents when their in their 90s!)
* Oh - one more thing - my top two nicknames for Josie are "Posie" and "Bug".  I liked the idea of having "Bug" and "Bee."  :)

STARLING: Meaning - "Little Star". Symbolism - In many cultures, starlings are seen as messengers from the spirit realms. They symbolize transitions from difficult times to the beginning of a new, more positive cycle.

* This one was Lou's pick as well, and I was on board with it after about a 3 minute internet search.  We both liked the idea of a bird name (as we refer to the three babies we've lost as our "three little birds" and there was the nest good omen we found when we moved into our house and wound up miraculously pregnant a couple of weeks later).
* Lou & I both searched for bird names that we liked and he came up with Starling.  (You may remember that I joked that I had to have a daughter with a "ph" in her name thanks to our years on the road following Phish, well I think that Lou's favorite singer Josh Ritter and his album "Hello Starling" might just have had something to do with this one as well.)
* As soon as I found want the Starling symbolizes, I knew it was the perfect fit!
* Another interesting note about Starling is that it means "little star."  My Nana's name was Estella - which also means "little star." My sister's second child Jack is named after my grandfather & I like that our second child has a connection to my grandmother too. 

And just for's the story behind Josie's name that we posted back on August 19th, 2007.

* We chose the name Josephine for several reasons. Josephine's first name originally comes from one of my favorite book characters - the oldest March sister in "Little Women." She's a strong, unique, creative, out-spoken woman -- all great qualities for a daughter & something we need more of in the world. As the story goes, I told my mom when I was just a little girl and first read "Little Women" that I would name my first daughter Josephine. (My grandma Mimi had bought the book for me & we used to talk a lot the character of "Jo" because my grandma used to say I was just like her - mostly for my shall-we-say stubbornness I believe.) Second (as hard as it is to admit), when Lou & I were housemates in Oxford and hadn't yet built up the courage to admit we were falling for each other, we used to use the tv show "Dawson's Creek" as an excuse to hang out with each other every week. The lead character in that show was Josephine Potter. When we started thinking about names for our daughter, Josephine was the first one we both agreed on completely. And, even though we tried & tried to come up with back-up names, nothing felt as right as Josephine. Oh- and so many people were sure we'd name her after a Phish song, but I decided a name that included a "ph" was a good comprimise - even though there actually is a Phish song named "Josie Wales." :)
* Josie's middle name - Marie - is my sister's middle name. She's an amazing, intelligent, driven, beautiful, and strong woman that I look up to greatly. I hope our daughter learns a lot from her Aunt Amanda.

Minnie's milk

Little mommy Josie gives Minnie a cuddle after I found her nursing Minnie - boppy and all.
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