Picking a name for your baby is an important decision. Choosing between baby names is a meaningful moment in parenting that will remain a treasured memory. It’s something that will represent that baby their whole life. The name-choosing process can bring the first feelings of parenthood to the forefront for expectant parents, especially if it occurs during the first pregnancy. Something about finalizing the name finalizes the fact that a child exists because of you and you will now be a parent. I've had the joy and privilege of experiencing this five times. Here’s how the names were chosen each of my children.
The Naming Process
For each of my subsequent baby girls, I wanted their names to be unique. In fact, their names are so unique that it's possible no one else has them - at least not exactly as they are. I put a ton of time and effort into choosing the names for my girls, composing most of their names myself, including the meanings for each one.
The names needed to include French and/or Native American influences. The first names needed to be very unique and the middle names needed to be simpler, in case the girls wished to use an easier name as they grew older. One has chosen to use her middle name with friends.
I spent entire months of each of the first two pregnancies combining letters to form possible names, keeping note of my favorites, eliminating name after name as time went on to eventually come up with the final choices. Ironically, with my second daughter, after all that work, I changed a couple letters last minute as I was filling out the paperwork for the birth certificate. It just came to me to change it for some reason.
However, with the fifth child (fourth girl), my partner (Richard Rowell) and I varied slightly by choosing something that is an existing name, but is very unique. We wanted a unisex name that still had the French and Native American influence. I narrowed the choices down to a list of several and sent it to him, not telling him which name I had in mind. He actually favored the same name. So, we went with that.
To me, there is no one like any of them and I wanted the kids’ names to reflect that. Names should reflect each person’s individuality, rather than going along with the crowd. They should not be copied, but should instead come from the heart. As the kids have grown older, it’s been fun to watch their personalities develop into exactly what the meanings of their names are. They have made me even more of a believer in baby name choice being such an important decision.
With my son, I had different thoughts. He was originally going to be a junior, simply because he was the only boy and that was special to his father (my partner at the time). But, that didn't happen. On the day of his birth, I all of a sudden got a change of heart in this baby’s name. I said to him, “I want to name him after your father”. He agreed. Two months later, his father passed away very unexpectedly. I now feel like that was not only an instinct of motherhood, but some sort of sign when I got that change of heart on the name.
The Final Names & Their Meanings
KaShayonay Amber [Kuh - Shy - Uh - Nay; Am - Ber] - KaShayonay is my first daughter. Her name means patient, kind, loving, ambitious, beautiful, strong-willed, and stylish. The spelling and pronunciation are influenced by both French and Native American languages. The middle name Amber refers to the gemstone, which is similar to the color her eyes are sometimes (they change colors). I felt it went along with the stylish and beautiful definitions. She does love fashion and is very creative. Interestingly, all of the meanings did end up fitting her personality.
Tiala Chérie [Tee - Ah - Luh; Shay - Ree (Fr.) or Shuh - Ree (En.)] - Tiala is the second born. Her name means cheerful, sweet, helpful, kind, loving, and strong-willed. The spelling/pronunciation of this name has origins in both Native American and French languages. Chérie is French for dear or sweetheart, which goes along with her sweet and helpful aspects.
Ajaléa Naté [Ah - Zhuh - Lay - Uh; Nuh - Tay ] - Ajaléa is the third-born child and third daughter. Her name means strong-willed and stubborn, creative, loving, kind-hearted, and helpful. The spelling and pronunciation is again influenced by Native American and French languages. Her middle name is French-influenced and means creative and strong. She is definitely both. (Hear the Zh sound)
Nathaniel DeWayne - Nathaniel is the fourth-born and goes by Nathan for short and never Nate. Nathaniel means “gift from God”. I’m not religious and this name was simply to carry on his grandfather’s legacy. However, I do feel he is a gift from the universe. Curiously, this is also a French name. DeWayne is his father’s middle name and means “wagon maker,” which goes along with his creative nature.
Nova Skye - Nova is the fifth and is still growing in the womb, as we speak. Her name also has Native American and French roots. In English, Latin, and French, Nova means “new”. In Native American, it means “chasing butterflies”. We also chose it for the starry phenomena known as a supernova. Because of the starry connection, we chose Skye to go along with Nova. The meaning of Skye is obvious. It is a variation of the word sky. We will have to wait and see if her personality matches these definitions in the exact manner those of her siblings have.
Bonus Tips From An Experienced Mom
Is your teen having a hard time taming those frizzies? Need to find time to relate to each other? One way you can work on both issues is to make homemade beauty products together. Your teen will appreciate less frizziness, the lesson learned, and the time spent with you. All you need are a few ingredients you might already have in your kitchen. In my experience, kids of all ages enjoy this project, but the teens have enjoyed it the most. Tame frizzy hair the homemade way with this fun mom and teen moment.
Make it an Event
Don't just mix up the concoctions and leave it at that. Turn it into a whole makeover experience. You and your teen can prepare homemade beauty solutions together. Then, when finished, style each other's hair. Even if your hair is not frizzy, natural treatments for frizzy hair will still work well on other hair types and will likely give it some shine. You can also prepare party food beforehand and turn it into a pajama party. For even more fun, have your tween invite over her fellow frizzy-haired friends.
Make and Use Homemade Natural Shampoo for Frizzy Hair
Egg and honey shampoo helps maintain control and adds extra sheen. For this beauty concoction, you will need one egg yolk, one half-teaspoon of honey, one half-teaspoon of lemon juice, one fourth-teaspoon of almond extract, and one half-teaspoon of vinegar. The vinegar, lemon juice, and egg are all for cleansing and shine. The honey calms the hair and adds even more shine. The almond extract adds shine and scent.
To prepare the mixture, first beat the egg yolk with a fork until there are no more lumps. Next, add the rest of the ingredients and blend with a fork until smooth. To use the shampoo, wet the hair with lukewarm water. Apply the homemade no-frizz shampoo by rubbing it liberally throughout the hair. It may lather a bit, but it's not going to be near as lathery as commercial products. However, it will clean just as well, if not better. Let it sit in the hair for a couple minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Add homemade conditioner, if necessary.
Make and Use Natural Homemade Conditioner to Tame the Frizz
Our favorite homemade no-frizz conditioner uses mayonnaise and one of two fruits. Take a small jar of real mayo and mix in equal parts of either pureed avocado or pureed banana. Both blends contain vitamins that provide more control and shine and less frizziness. Smooth the conditioner over the entire head of hair. Think of it as a facial, but for you and your teen's hair. Leave the solution on the hair for about 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse thoroughly. If you have trouble rinsing, use a small amount of half vinegar and half water to rinse more thoroughly. Brush or comb the hair and style as usual. Air drying is recommended.
Prepare and Use Natural Hair Serum for Frizzy Hair
If your teen's hair needs some extra frizz treatment, you'll also want to use this serum. Mix 15 drops of tea tree oil in an olive oil base. For added scent and shine, you can also add one fourth-teaspoon each of almond extract and peppermint extract. Pour a small amount into the palm, rub together and spread over hair. Comb or brush through and style as usual. Store in a closed bottle in a cool area. This solution can be applied to the hair once or twice each day to control the frizz.
Prepare and Use Natural Homemade Styling Gel to Tame Frizziness
All you need to style frizzy hair is flax seeds and water. Boil one cup of water. Then, slowly add two tablespoons of flax seeds turning the heat down to simmer. Simmer and stir for about ten minutes or until the mixture is gel-like. Use a cheesecloth to strain the gel (without the seeds) into a bottle or other container. If desired, you can also add almond extract for scent and pure aloe gel for extra softness. Leave the choice up to your teen.
More from Lyn:
5 green ways to make homemade hair conditioner
Teaching teens natural hair styling tips
Teaching teens to appreciate their beauty without cosmetics
Getting advice from your mom does not mean that you are a bad parent. It simply means you are willing to admit that you aren't the only one who can solve a parenting issue. Besides, if you turned out to be a fairly decent person, your mom must know a thing or two about motherhood. No one does everything perfect, but most every woman who has embarked on motherhood has a good tip or two share.
The best piece of advice I got from my mom was actually indirect. However, I don't think it was very accidental. While she never outright told me to apply this to raising my own kids, the way she raised my siblings and I led me right into that direction.
As far back as I can remember, my mom always inserted creativity into everything we did. Before I even had kids, I knew I would do the same. That creativity is a big part of what made our childhood so fun. As a matter of fact, it also lends a great deal to my career choice as a published freelance writer and author.
Anyhow, getting to the parenting of my own kids, in some of the first moments with my newborn first daughter, my mind wandered thinking of all the creative adventures I soon would be having with her. The first creative adventure with her came in the form of cleaning up an interesting newborn mess.
However, her first craft project was much more fun than that. I remember the joy on her face as she dipped her tiny hands in finger paint and slopped it all over a big pile of papers in front of her. I had to again use the creativity as I cleaned up the mess afterward, but those creative moments shared with her were worth more than a perfectly clean house would have been.
Sometimes life can take you on a rollercoaster ride you didn't ask to be on. But, whether you know it at the time or not, it all happens for a reason. Life is a rollercoaster, but the ride is worth it. Look at our past two years as an example. They’ve been a dark tunnel of nightmares at times. But there's always been a light at the end, even though I didn't know there would be at the time.
My life partner and co-owner of this very media company (Richard Rowell) was in the middle of the battle of his life (literally) at this time last year. You see, he was fighting cancer - a massive tumor in the form of mediastinal seminoma. We never knew if he'd get through it. It was both uplifting and devastating to watch him fight for his life. I was so afraid I would lose him.
But he did it. As of his last scan, he is still cancer free. And now, we have a miracle of a baby on the way right now. You see, with the form of cancer he had, coupled with the chemotherapy he received, there was minimal chance of us ever being able to conceive.
We did just that and so far, our unborn child is happy and healthy and thriving. We just found out she's a girl and we've named her Nova Skye. Rollercoaster. Down, now up. This is his first and my fifth. We didn't ask for any of what we've been handed and he certainly didn't deserve that fight. But that's what life has handed us and I believe there is a reason.
Perhaps the reason is our unborn child. Perhaps it's something bigger - something us as a family (or that child alone) is meant to do. Who knows? But what I do know is that life is a huge rollercoaster and we have to take it as it comes because there is always a reason for everything in the circle of life.
Aside from Rich's health scare, we've had other bumps, some big and some small. But we've held each other together through the winds and downhill dives. We keep each other climbing and our love has never been an issue, not once.
Very recently, I've had to take more time off from my non-content job than we can afford, due to me having severe pain (the baby is fine and I'm under care of good doctors). But, sometimes we have to listen to our bodies, instead of our wallets. My OB doctor agreed.
We're working together to find more work content-wise in order to make it up and I'm crazy enough to have faith it will will work. It will because it has to and because I'm a stubborn ass and refuse to give up. And obviously, so is Rich. After all, he did kick cancer’s sorry butt.
There's a reason Rich and I met. There's a reason we have this baby, despite all that's going on.
Some people are judging, saying we aren't in the best position for this right now. I honestly don't care what they think. It's irrelevant because it only matters what we think and what we do to get back on top of that hill.
Others are being extremely supportive and I've cried happy tears over some of the things people have done, such as helping with our Amazon baby registry. We created it for ourselves and never expected so much help. But at least a dozen people have purchased one or two things each and a few people are sending used items. Of course we'll have to do the bulk of it ourselves - and rightly so. But it feels good to know there are people who care. Everything helps, especially right now.
As with anything in life, there will be ups and downs and it will be one hell of a ride. But we are up for the challenge. And we deserve that light at the end of this bumpy dark tunnel. And I will make darn well sure we get it, no matter what. Our family of 6 ½ deserves it.