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Naming the Princess

Not to be outdone, Israel was on an exotic trip to Colombia while the Ortega girls went to Memphis. Last time something like this happened, I synthesized our surprisingly similar experiences in this post. Now, I’ll just give you one image:

Pigs, llamas—all the same!

Note his friend’s t-shirt, a harbinger of things to come. [It says, “Guns don’t kill people. Dads with daughters do!”] This is a clumsy way of revealing: Bebe Dos is a girl!

Your days to offer name suggestions are numbered, since the Name Summit is coming soon.

Some items we thought about during the epic summit that resulted in Mary Tobin’s name:

  • Family names: I’m a history person, so I just love family names. You’ve got meaning, roots, background, something bigger than yourself, already built in.
  • Playground test: Are you comfortable shouting the kid’s name out in public, in front of God and everybody?
  • Blind date test: If you were set up on a blind date with someone of this name, what sort of idea would you have about the person before the meeting?
  • Popularity: I didn’t want a name that’s incredibly hot right now. We love the name Zoe, but I vetoed it due to this factor.
  • Meaning: [Does this need explanation?]
  • Spanish/English: We were looking for names that could translate well in English or Spanish (or actually, not translate!). For example, something like Sophia or Lydia is lovely for native speakers of either. I didn’t want something that’s awkward to say (like my own name!) for Spanish speakers, and I didn’t want to choose a name so Spanish and en fuego that I’d have to change my own accent when saying it. “This is my daughter, Beatriz.” I would just feel dumb.

So we kept these criteria in mind. (And I’m sure there’s much more to consider: initials—monograms, of course!, how names sound with your last name, etc.) But in the end, you’ve got to go with whatever you want to do. If a name is popular, so what? Maybe because it’s awesome!

Mary Tobin, as you may know, is a family name. Mama Rote’s first name is Mary, and mi suegra‘s middle name is Maria. Tobin is a last name from my dad’s side of the family, and it means “believing God is good.” I’ve always loved double names and considered naming a daughter Mary something, which is more common in the South. It doesn’t perfectly meet the Spanish/English consideration—Tobin is kind of weird and unnatural to say for hispanics, but Mary is easy and universal.

We knew that not everyone would love it or get it immediately (Y’all, we’re like, so diverse. I mean, we know people from the north.), but we love it, and of course we love our girl and think it fits perfectly!


This time around, we’re also taking this great GQ article into counsel, which essentially explains how to not name your child so he or she will grow up to be a meth addict. It’s worth your time.

Do you have the names of all your offspring chosen? How will you, or did you, decide?


3 thoughts on “Naming the Princess

  1. Two little notes: My maternal grandmother (your great grandmother) was also a Mary: Mary Edna Davis.
    When Kyle and I got married, his Great Aunt Cynthia gave us a silver napkin ring that said
    ‘Josie Rote.’ I immediately said, “If we ever have a little girl, we should name her Josie Rote! So we did have one name chosen from the get-go.

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