We’re running out of time! I’m now 37 weeks and we haven’t chosen names.
For our first child we found out we were having a boy, and therefore didn’t even pick a girl’s name. We decided on Charles (“Charlie”) Benjamin. We decided on the name just a week before he was born. We liked it because we have two separate people named Charles (one Charlie and one Chuck) who have played a significant role in our lives. Benjamin is my husband’s name. So, there were a number of reasons to choose this name besides that they sound good together and we like both the given and nickname.
For baby #2 we did not find out the gender and are now faced with the task of choosing both a boy and girl name and matching it to Charles/Charlie. For a girl, I was pretty set on Meredith. It sounds classy and familiar, but not too common (and goes well with Charlie). We are completely open for middle names. Lately, we have really liked Hazel (our children are almost sure to have blue eyes; is that a strange thing to cross my mind?). Again, completely open on middle names. I also like Abigail (but too common) and Margot, and my husband likes Miriam and Catherine. Right now our top girl choices are Meredith and Hazel.
For a boy’s name, we’re leaning toward Harrison James. I wasn’t sure about the surname as a first name, but it helps to know we aren’t the only ones who like the name (but again, not too common). James is a family name. My husband would prefer it be a first name, but it’s a little too blah for me. Plus, I don’t like “Jimmy”. We don’t really care for the nickname “Harry” (mostly because of “hairy”), but Harry is also a family name. So, we’re wondering what other nickname could be used for Harrison. Possibly “Hank”? Other names we like include Edward/Edwin/Edmund, Peter, Philip.
Our last name is pronounced GUHN-dail, so most of these names should fit just fine.
We need some other name ideas that fit with our son’s name. Please help us put this decision to rest soon!
My favorite of your girl name choices is Meredith, for all the reasons you mention. I started to try "one parent's favorite" first name choices in the middle name slot, but Abigail rhymes with your surname, and Catherine repeats the TH sound from Meredith, and Miriam and Margot both add another M sound, and none of them seem quite right. Well, maybe your other first-name choice would work? Meredith Hazel Guhndail? Hm, I like the sound of that. It works the other way, too, I think: Hazel Meredith Guhndail.
For boys, I like the name Harrison but agree that the nickname issue is tricky. I wonder what Harrison Ford's friends and family call him? Hank would be a legitimate choice: it's traditionally a nickname for Henry, and Harrison comes from Henry by way of Harry (well, or by way of Harry's son). You could also use Hal, another nickname of Harry. Or you could use Harris.
Another nickname for James is Jamie, if you like that better than Jim/Jimmy. James Harrison Guhndail is nice, and I like how Charlie and Jamie go together. Or you could make the name James longer and go for Jameson, with the same nickname option Jamie.
I'll put two polls over to the right, one for girl name options and one for boy name options. [Polls closed; see below.]
Poll results, girl names (239 votes total):
Meredith: 174 votes, roughly 73%
Hazel: 65 votes, roughly 27%
Poll results, boy names (235 votes total):
Harrison: 108 votes, roughly 46%
James: 65 votes, roughly 28%
Edward: 12 votes, roughly 5%
Edwin: 5 votes, roughly 2%
Edmund: 16 votes, roughly 7%
Peter: 17 votes, roughly 7%
Philip: 12 votes, roughly 5%
Name update 02-21-2009! Jenny writes: "Meredith Jane was born on 2/16/09. Thank you for the input; the name is perfect for her!"