Forget picking out the ideal nursery theme, safest car seat or ideal stroller. Moms and dads everywhere know one of the hardest parenting decisions can be what to name your new bundle of joy. Picking the right name for your child can be an overwhelming decision, but selecting a baby name doesn’t have to be! We’ve found that sometimes all you need is a little inspiration to get your own creative naming juices flowing.
One of the interesting things about baby names is how the popularity of certain names changes over time. When you view the names of The Land of Nod employees, you’ll likely see a lot of names you’re familiar with that you or friends of yours might have.
But when you look at a word cloud of the baby names The Land of Nod employees have chosen for their children, it paints a much different picture!
Recently we asked The Land of Nod employees to share the heartwarming or hilarious stories about how their name or their children’s names were chosen. Enjoy the stories below, and most of all don’t stress. Everyone decides on a name eventually.
Jennifer – Planner
- Child’s Name: Jordan– We wanted a gender neutral name, and also had a slight influence from the Chicago Bulls.
- Story Behind My Name – My parents wanted to keep my father’s initials, J.A.Y., so my brother and I were both given names with this in mind.
Ashley – Campaign Manager
- Child’s Name: Nellie Elizabeth – My husband was very close with his Aunt Nellie.
- Story Behind My Name – My name was chosen because my mother’s favorite character on General Hospital was named Ashley. My sister, however, is named “Emmaly” with the spelling to include the name “Emma” as a nod to our grandmother. Clearly one of our names had more thought put into it than the other!
Lauren – Events Manager
- Furry Child’s Name: Lola – Named after Barry Manilow’s Copacabana (My favorite TV movie as a kid).
- Story Behind My Name – My sister and I were named after the girls who lived next door to my Dad while he was growing up.
Matt – CRM and Analytics Manager
- Furry Child’s Name: Jolene – Named after my wife and I’s favorite Dolly Parton song.
Donna – Campaign Coordinator
- Child’s Name: Madeline – Even when I was in high school I always knew that if I had a daughter her name would be Madeline because I just always loved the name.
- Child’s Name: Abigail – We had so many different choices before Abigail (Abigail, Emma, Olivia, Charlotte, etc), but I let my husband be the one to decide baby #2’s name and he said Abigail because it wasn’t a name you heard often.
- Story Behind My Name – I’m a twin and my mom wanted to name me Amanda, but my Dad wanted Donna to match with my brother’s name David.
Denisse – Photo Producer
- Child’s Name: Natalia – A name that is easily pronounced in both English and Spanish! All throughout my pregnancy we had planned on naming our daughter Olivia. At our baby shower we were gifted a bunch of stuff with “Olivia” personalized on it. The month leading up to her birth, we knew three other newborns named Olivia and it turned us off. We still hadn’t made up our minds when I went into labor but, when we saw her for the first time, we both agreed that she looked like a Natalia Lucia (and it definitely fits). For a couple years she still had stuff with “Olivia” monogrammed on it and it became a running joke in my family. Lesson: Don’t share your baby names with people!
Marivi – Customer Service Supervisor
- Child’s Name: Miranda Grace – I wanted her initials to be “MGM” inspired by a visit to Las Vegas just before I found out I was pregnant. Miranda was inspired by the mom in Mrs. Doubtfire and Grace from Princess Grace.
- Child’s Name: Andrew – The youngest son on the TV show Family Ties was named Andrew and I loved the name.
- Story Behind My Name – My name is the combination of my maternal grandparents – Mariano and Victoria. Additionally, the valedictorian from my father’s medical school’s name was named Marivi.
Molly – Director of Stores
We are close to 100% Irish so our minis have Irish first names for good luck, and their middle names all have a special meaning.
- Child’s Name: Hannah Matilda – Matilda was my great-grandmother’s name. She hated it, but we loved her.
- Child’s Name: Emily Finn – My husband received his PhD in English and was supposed to be walking in his graduation ceremony the day Emily was born, but instead spent the day at the University of Washington Hospital so we went with Finn as a middle name – a Nod to our Irish heritage and his favorite character, Huck Finn.
- Child’s Name: Owen Arthur – Arthur is a tribute to his grandfather who was taken from us too soon. Owen’s middle name is a bright spot and like having a piece of Grandpa Art with us each and every day.
Shawna Smith – Home Stylist
- Child’s Name: Jackson Clark – Jackson is a very common name these days, I know. When I was younger and managing a paper goods store though, this little boy named Jackson would always come in with his mom and help me with various craft projects. He stole my heart, so I snagged his name! 🙂 Clark is my Grandfather-In-Law’s last name.
- Child’s Name: Sullivan Crosby – Sullivan’s name was inspired by one of my favorite Counting Crows songs, “Sullivan Street”. While we think his middle name is just as cool, Crosby was picked after perusing the eyeglasses online at Warby Parker.
Franci – HR Generalist at Land of Nod
- Child’s Name: Harrison – Being Jewish, we have the tradition of naming our children with the first letter of the last person who has passed on. My grandfather died shortly before I was married and his name was Harry. Also, my mom grew up in Park Ridge, IL and went to grade school and high school with Harrison Ford! I loved Star Wars so Harrison was the name I chose!
- Story Behind My Name – My mom originally named me Felicia after my Great Grandma Fanny. At the hospital, my Bubby hated the name Felicia and made my mom change the name. Later, my mom saw a commercial on the TV in her hospital room for the Francie Barbie doll and it stuck! This was the 60’s after all.
Jaime – Product Manager, Home Decor
- Child’s Name: Dashiell Lawrence – My husband always liked the author Dashiell Hammett who wrote The Thin Man and The Maltese Falcon. Of course there is a Dashiell in the movie The Incredibles, but even though that isn’t what inspired his name, that is the reference people are most familiar with. Lawrence was selected because my husband is a KU alum and the university is in Lawrence, Kansas. I hope my son decides to go there!
- Child’s Name: Liliana Grace – We came up with the name Liliana because my husband’s grandmother was named Lillian. We wanted a slight spin on Lillian, so we discovered Liliana. We love the name Liliana, but every time my daughter sees or hears of a Lillian, she says she wants to change her name. So much for being unique!
Gaycel – Furniture Specialist
- Child’s Name: Tyler – The name Tyler was chosen regardless of gender just because I liked the way it looked written out… Mainly the “y” and the “r.”
- Story Behind My Name – I am addressed as “Gaycel” even though it is actually my middle name. I’m named after my Aunt Gloria Gayle and Mother Cecilia, making my first name consist of 12 letters; which was just too long! Even I couldn’t spell it by Kindergarten! I wasn’t going to make Tyler go through the same hardship as I did so I made sure to pick a nice short first name!
Emily Nicole Seymour – Home Decor Merchandise Assistant
- Story Behind My Name – My mom is an accountant so it was completely ironic my sister was born on the deadline for taxes, April 15th! My dad thought this would be hilarious to name her Irene Renee Seymour, initials IRS. My mom was none too amused so she talked him into Katherine Elizabeth instead. When I was born, my dad had another grand plan to name me Emily Gene. He made the mistake of leaving the room before the paperwork came around so my mom took the liberty of vetoing Gene and opting for Emily Nicole. See, mothers DO know best!
Martha Lenor – Customer Service
- Story Behind My Name – My mother loves The Beatles and named me after the song “Martha My Dear”. She likes to joke that she would have named all of her children after Beatles songs if she could have; my sisters would have been Vera, Prudence, and Sadie. My Grandfather suggested my middle name be Lenore and my mom decided to drop the second E to make it an anagram for his name, Loren.
Marina – Furniture Expert
- Story Behind My Name – My mom was watching a cooking show and the chef’s name was Marina and she liked the way it sounded!
Deneane – Executive Assistant to Michelle Kohanzo
- Child’s Name: Francesca aka “Frankie” – My husband and I spent 2 glorious weeks in Italy. One of my favorite parts of our trip was a quaint, delicious lunch at a small restaurant nestled in a hill in beautiful Siena. While we were eating, I remember hearing a local woman call for a sweet little girl to come to her. That little girl’s name was Francesca… And I remember thinking to myself, that will be my first born daughter’s name, and it is.
- Child’s Name: Nicholas – My son is named after my husband, Nick- womp!
Shamieka – Furniture Team Lead
- Child’s Name: Mason – I was introduced to a family friend for the first time at 7 months pregnant. I was convinced that I was having a girl. She looked at my tummy and said, “That is a BOY!” She said name him “Ma-son”. So I decided to name him Mason. She and I shared a special bond in the brief time I spent with her and she will always be remembered.
Stefanie Ricciardi – Soft Goods Product Manager
- Child’s Name: Dylan Joseph – The name Dylan was picked because my husband always wanted to name a girl Dylan (if we had one). However, when we found out we were having a boy, we both loved the name so much that it stuck. His middle name, Joseph, was selected after my husband’s grandmother, Josephine, who passed away six months before he was born. We both loved her very much and know she would have loved having her great grandson named after her.
- Story Behind My Name – The spelling of my name is after Stefanie Powers, a popular actress from the 80’s.
Renee – Business Sales/Design Concierge
- Story Behind My Name – My parents chose my name because it wasn’t very common. They also did not want a name that could be shortened to a nickname and Renee fit that bill, too!
Hearing the stories of how names are chosen for children can be such a heartwarming, inspiring, and sometimes humorous experience. We’d love to hear how your name came to be, or how you chose the names for your littles in the comments.
And for those of you still on the fence, good luck!