Our plan from the beginning of the pregnancy was to keep the names of our babies secret. It wasn’t that we wanted to drive our friends and family crazy (which we did). It wasn’t that we wanted to cause a commotion. It wasn’t that we wanted to be mean. We just had one ulterior motive: we didn’t want to hear opinions.
I told people that it was because I didn’t care what people thought about the names we picked.
It was actually because I cared TOO MUCH about what people thought.
In the Jewish religion, you name your child after someone that has passed away and means something to you. The name is symbolic of that person living on through the next generation.
Too often, people (whether strangers, family, or friends) give their thoughts when it isn’t asked (“Why would you choose that?” “Ew, that’s the name you picked?” “What makes you think they aren’t going to get teased?”). For me, I had already gotten comments like this years earlier when I shared some names that I liked (long before getting pregnant). It hurt my feelings. After all, these names were after people that I loved dearly, and it hurt that I would share something intimate and then have someone turn it around into something so harsh.
So, I decided that this pregger couldn’t take the heat. My hormones and emotions are at weird levels anyway, so why risk breaking out into tears because someone gives their opinion when it isn’t needed?
Hence, the names were secret, although we had picked them out even before we knew for certain it was a boy and a girl. Remember, I had an intuition that it was one of each from about 8 weeks, so we already were talking names at that point.
As we were gearing up to celebrate Tim’s brother’s wedding, we realized something, however. We would never get our parents and siblings and Tim’s grandfather all in the same room again until long after the babies were here. Yes, our parents will be there right away, but it will be harder (and longer) for all of the siblings to gather with us as well. Did we want them finding out the names of their niece and nephew through a phone call or text? Not really.
So, we devised a plan to get everyone together immediately after my second baby shower. Everyone was in town already, so it was easy to get them all together.
A few days before, they got this in an email:
Of course, you can bet what everyone was thinking: “They are going to tell us the names!” We still played it dumb. “What, you think we would actually give up the names? Where in that does it say we are telling the names?”
So, the big day came. The shower was amazing. Then everyone left and the boys came over.
We wanted to make them suffer.
We started by thanking everyone for the incredible support they have given us. Blah blah blah lots of love.
We then handed out this coordinating survey:
Can you see how it got everyone excited? They really thought we would tell them the names!
We dragged it all out.
We then read the names that everyone guessed. Some were funny. Some were serious. We had a great time with this, although Tim and I had the best time.
Then we decided to reveal the big “double announcement.” We handed out a folded piece of paper to everyone, asking them not to open them up until everyone got one.
Once everyone had it in their hands, we told them to open the paper. This is what they received:
See? It is a “double” announcement! They would be able to celebrate Thanksgiving AND Chanukkah at our house this year (since we assumed they would be there anyway because of the babies).
Let’s just say that the looks on our parents faces were mixes of confusion, anger, upset, and let-down. This was NOT what they expected.
It was all part of our evil game.
I then looked at Tim and asked if we should give the second part out. He quickly ran back to our bedroom and got two boxes.
We asked our parents to stand together with their spouse to open the box.
With a countdown, we let them open up the boxes.
This is what they saw:
They traded boxes to see the other name.
Earlier in the week, I had made onesies using heat-transfer vinyl to reveal the names of our babies.
Let’s just say that there was a lot of hugging and happiness and tears.
In case you are curious, here are how we got the names:
Audrey: my maternal grandmother who passed away in 2007. She was a beautiful soul who always treated everyone with so much love.
Olivia: named after Tim’s maternal grandmother (Olive Elmira). She really disliked her name and went by “Pat.” Because that is my mother-in-law’s name, we weren’t going to name her Pat, but we took a spin from the original name and got “Olivia.” Tim’s grandmother was a quiet, strong, caring woman that radiated love for family.
I was very fortunate and was able to know both of these women. My grandmother knew Tim and talked to him (and loved him), but they never met in person unfortunately. I was able to spend one Christmas up in New Jersey with Tim’s grandmother before she passed away. The “shopping girl” ornament she gave me still gets a very special place on our tree each year. Having known both of these women (both in person and through family stories), their names belonged together. They represent a strong and caring woman, someone we hope our daughter can become.
David: Tim’s uncle “UD” (Uncle Dave) who passed away this summer from cancer. We loved UD so much, and it was so hard to say goodbye to him. From the moment we saw our baby boy on an ultrasound, we knew that he reminded us of UD’s spirit. This name was a no-brainer.
Alan: my maternal grandfather. Like UD, he was full of life and character. You can read about his life and personality in this post.
Papa Alan and UD met once at our wedding. One of our favorite wedding weekend moments was Papa and UD sitting at a table together during our rehearsal dinner. They were both talking at once to each other. We don’t know if they were hearing what the other was saying, but it was so funny to see them so animated and drawn to the person that was like their mirror. They were born to be friends, and it was perfect that our Baby Boy get named after both of these amazing men.
This post was linked up to: Made in a Day’s Made U Look Link Party #98