I am hoping that you can help me with our baby girl name conundrum. My husband and I have two little girls and are due to expect our third (and final) child in January. Since all reports seem to show that this child is a girl, we are looking at the girl name list for a third time! Our other daughters are Natalie Sage and Noelle Juniper. While Natalie and Noelle both are Christmas names, we named them those names because we liked the sound of the names and not because they had to do with Christmas. We are not looking for another N name, nor are we particularly interested in continuing the Christmas trend, although it would have been Nicholas if the child was a boy. We also are fond of nature middle names since we love hiking and the great outdoors. Our last name is very similar to Wice (rhymes with mice). Our short list for first names includes Alaina (Lainey), Victoria (Tori), Amelia, Avery, and Rachel. Our short list for middle names includes Wren and Acacia. I am a little concerned about some of these names becoming too popular. I don't mind a trendy name but don't want my daughter being one of three with the same name in kindergarten! We are not necessarily locked into our short lists and are open to new ideas. What name do you think we should choose for our last little girl?
Popularity is such a tricky thing. Going by statistics alone (which is dicey, since the statistics are national and might not be played out in as small a sample as a classroom), Amelia is #41 and rising. Alaina is #207, but combining it with spellings Alayna, Elena, Elayna, Alena, and Elaina (most of which are rising, but not rapidly) brings it to #36---and adding in Lainey and Laney (which I wouldn't normally recommend because it's misleading, but just to give the idea for classroom-duplication-likelihood purposes) would bring it to #23. Victoria is #32 and gradually falling in popularity. Avery is #23 for girls and rising rapidly, but it's also used for boys, which increases even further the likelihood of another Avery in a classroom. Rachel is least common at #100 and falling briskly---though my mother taught in Christian schools and it's much more popular there, so it depends on your own circle. For comparison, Natalie is #14 and Noelle is #366.
With Natalie and Noelle, my favorite is Alaina (visually I think I like it even better as Elena, but that does make the nickname harder to spell; Elaina, maybe? but then the initials are EW, so never mind this whole parenthetical). But neither middle name seems quite right with it (I like it with Wren, but then Wren Wice seems choppy and difficult to say---although middle/last flow is not typically a big deal).
I think Ivy and Holly would both be sweet nature-theme middle names: not TOO Christmassy, more like "botanical names that just happen to be cool with the Christmas theme in case that appeals to anyone to keep that going." Alaina Ivy Wice, or Alaina Holly Wice.
I also think the name Laurel works beautifully: Alaina Laurel Wice. Or Hazel: Alaina Hazel Wice. For something more whimsical, I have a soft spot for the name Clover: Alaina Clover Wice. For the sweet birdness of Wren without the choppiness with the surname, I like Starling: Alaina Starling Wice. (And the "star" part makes it just a little Christmassy. I know you said you're not looking for that, but I'm finding it such an appealing theme!)
I thought I might look for a few more first name candidates, and I started by looking up Natalie in The Baby Name Wizard to see what categories she put it in---and she has Noelle for a suggested sister name! Since she seems to have your number, I wonder if you'd like any of the other suggested sister names: Gabrielle, Brooke, Jacqueline, Bethany. Or for Noelle: Simone, Lea, Eden, and Giselle. I like Bethany and Simone best. Bethany Acacia Wice; Natalie, Noelle, and Bethany. Simone Acacia Wice; Natalie, Noelle, and Simone.
I love Clara with the sister names and with your surname, and the very subtle Christmas tie-in (I can't stop!) is that that's the name of the little girl in The Nutcracker. Clara Starling Wice; Natalie, Noelle, and Clara.
Or Eva (slight Christmas Eve tie-in, if you want it). Eva Wice; Natalie, Noelle, and Eva.
If you decided to go with a third N name after all, I think both Naomi and Nora are wonderful. Naomi Wice; Natalie, Noelle, and Naomi. Nora Wice; Natalie, Noelle, and Nora.