Jeez Louise! How hard is it choosing a name for your new bundle of joy?! I mean, do you just pick one you like? One that has a meaning, a family tradition? Because it sounded pretty good when you shouted it out loud a few times?

When I was pregnant with Leo we talked endlessly about names. For hours. And hours. And it wasn’t until we got a few weeks away that we settled onΒ Leo. It’s not that I don’t like a lot of names but I wanted something that I really loved.

We always knew he or she would have an African middle name. It’s incredibly important to both of us that he is in touch with that side of his heritage. Anthony and his brother both have Western first names with an African middle name and I loved the idea of keeping that tradition alive. They are only addressed by their middle names within their families and it feels so special and personal. I loved that part of the naming process and I learnt a lot about where my husband is from too which was so interesting. So after a lot of name searching, double checking with Anthony’s Dad the correct pronunciations and relevance to where he grew up we settled on Obiora. It’s meaning in English is (loosely) Heart Of The Family. I was sold. He really is the heart of everything we do and so it just felt perfect. I did think that Anthony’s family would address him as Obi which was something discussed at the time but weirdly, he is Leo to everyone. Although he is very proud to tell you at any given chance that his name is Leo Obiora. Strangley, when Anthony’s Dad called home to tell the leader of his village the news of Leo’s birth (this is a guy that practically names all the kids) he said he would like to call him Obiora. We all nearly fell off our chairs. It was obviously meant to be.

So that was why he got his middle name. And Leo… Well, we wanted something you couldn’t really shorten (although believe it or not one of his nursery carers actually used to call him Lee!), we wanted something strong and that sounded nice with our surname. We whittled it down to a few but I think the top competitors at the time were Leo, Asa and Alex. Leo just seemed to roll of the tongue better and then he was born and it just suited his smushed up little face and head of beautiful black hair.

Now we have the task of thinking of another name! Gah! If you read my post a few weeks back you will see that we were toying with wether or not to find out what the sex of the new baby is. Impatience got the better of me and we got the sonographer to write it down for us. We went to get hot chocolates and cake and opened her little note. Lo and behold, we are having another boy! We are thrilled and at least now we know we only have to think of one name (although I may have a girly back up just in case!). I asked Leo what he would like to call the baby. He swiftly answered ‘uum, Toby!’. So I guess that needs to be put on the list.

I think it’s been firmly decided that his middle name with be a shortened version of Anthony’s; keeping the tradition and a nod to his fantastic daddy. So it’s just a first one to think of now. And surprisingly, I think I have a favourite already (I just need to convince Anthony now). I’ll keep that one close to my chest for now though… We need to hold on to some sort of surprise for people I think.

So, how did you choose the names for your children? Did you keep any family traditions? Maybe you made up the name? I’d love to hear all of them and where they came from and I can’t be blamed if I steal one of them!