Sunday, June 1, 2008


Nearly two years ago, The Hubs and I were talking about names. He's never been the type to devour name books, make lists, or agonize over decisions, so he is darn lucky he married someone who takes care of the obsessive side of name-choosing.

We came down to three names; Alexia, Olivia, and Allison. I wanted a child that we could call "Allie" so the first and third choices were mine. He was standing firm on wanting Olivia. I wouldn't say we fought about it, but there were a few slammed doors, screaming fits, and divorce nothing major really (I joke).

Finally on November 19th, 2006, we made our decision. I remember the day so clearly because we were at my nephew's 6th birthday party. We were sitting around with our extended family, enjoying cake (well I was 7 months pregnant so I was shoveling cake in my mouth without pause) and we announced "We've decided to name the baby Alivia. You know, like Olivia with an A?" Everyone kind of smiled halfheartedly and said "Oh that's great." Although my mother made a bit of a face and asked "Really, are you sure???" My dad, the horrible speller, thought that was how it was spelled anyway. Even though we had mixed reactions, I felt good about our decision.

The thing with her name is that most people pronounce Olivia like "Uh-liv-ee-uh" and not "OH-liv-ee-uh". That is exactly how we say our daughter's name, with a soft A, so most people don't even know her name is spelled differently.

So, after she was born I settled down in my hospital bed to finalize paperwork. I poised my pen over the official sheet of paper (with one hand grasping the open front of my hospital gown so my boob wouldn't flop out) I asked The Hubs "Are you sure?" Without hesitation he said "Do it."

So she became Alivia Mae. Her middle name is mine, and it is also my paternal grandmother's (more about that later). So as I wrote the name down carefully, I felt a bit of apprehension. I was worried about her first day in school as the teacher stumbles over her name or calls her "ALIVE ee uh" or "A ummm liv ummm err ah umm" or telling strangers her nickname is Ali (like Allie, not like Muhammed) which doesn't make sense if they think her name is Olivia. Sigh.

So after all of the agonizing, worry, stress and explanations, I feel like we chose the right name.

As for what we call her on a daily basis....that's a whole 'nother post!


Mary Ann said...

I love her name. It is really pretty. It seems like everyone has small issues with some part of their name whether it is mispronunciation or misspelling or something. I have had to deal with everyone asking me if Mary Ann was one word or two, with an "e" or not, etc. and I survived. I think you and hubs came up with a great compromise.

amy said...

Hi! Great blog, I just found it through Jill's blog. Hope you don't mind :). I absolutely love the spelling of Alivia. I have never seen it that way before. I do hope she won't have a problem with people pronouncing it wrong. I actually had a doctor ask me if you pronounce my daughter's name Ava like Ah-va, I thought that was a bit weird myself.:)

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