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.
I always loved the one-on-one time spent with each one of my kids as they were babies, crying at one o'clock, then two, then three, then four, and so on. Even so, one of the most accomplished parenthood moments is getting a baby to sleep through the night. My personal method is to establish a routine from the get-go. Here’s how.
In the beginning, I always respond to the baby's every needs because, as a newborn, the baby is crying for a reason. As the baby gets older, I try to minimize response time. It's important always to check because even if baby has eaten and has been changed, there still may be a problem.
Baby could have gas, want the pacifier, or even just have an itch. One of the challenges of parenting (that gets easier over time) is figuring out what that need is. A baby whose needs are met is more likely to get a comfortable sleep.
With my first child, I made the mistake of turning on lights, playing toys with her, and much more. This led to her thinking that night time was play time. I quickly learned that to turn that attitude around, I had to change the night time routine.
One thing I always did from then on with all the children was to keep lights and other distractions to a minimum when tending to baby at night. The point is to make night time sort of boring, while still attending to baby's needs. This lets baby know that nighttime is a time for sleep and there isn't much else going on that is worth staying up for.
Cuddling is, of course, fine. You don’t want to be unloving or cold. You just want to be sure Baby knows it’s time to relax when the lights are out.
The first night that each child slept all the way through was one of those moments in parenting that isn't easily forgotten. Motherhood is awesome, but there are times where it can drain all your energy. Infancy certainly is one of those times, especially before a baby sleeps the whole night through.
The relief from an actual full night of sleep is like bliss to a parent, not only because they can sleep. But, the main benefit is knowing you have taught your baby a valuable and healthy lesson that will be beneficial throughout their life.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Often, when rainy-day activities come to mind, people think of arts and crafts or board games. We do those things as well, but sometimes we like to be a little bit more creative. Whoever said you had stay inside the house on a rainy-day? Provided there's no thunder and lightning, you can bet it wasn't me. That's for sure.
As long as there is no sign of thunder and lightning, my kids and I will gladly go right in the yard, just like any other time. Of course we wear jackets and whatever other rain gear might be necessary, but running in the rain is a rainy-day activity that the kids and I enjoy as often as possible. Just seeing their cheerful faces enjoying the fun is always a great motherhood moment.
A while back, my kids and I had one of those fun, rainy-day adventures. It was my job to crank up the music and act as DJ, while the kids danced on the patio in the rain. They requested songs and danced away until the rain stopped.
At the time,. my kids ranged in age from preschool to middle school age and they all enjoyed this fun activity. When you add creativity and think outside the box, it's often a big hit with kids. One of the best things about kids is that they are always open to having fun, even on a rainy day.
For me, parenting is all about living in the moment and taking things as they come. These tiny little moments of fun in motherhood mean everything. My mom always taught me to treasure the small stuff. Before you know it, the kids will no longer be kids and motherhood will have taken on a whole new meaning and role.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
The other day, my two teen girls and I were browsing around in a few stores. When we got to the clothing section in the thrift store, a kind helpful employee overheard our conversation about the affordability of this particular store. So we struck up a conversation with her.
About mid-conversation she says "Oh yeah, we have lots of great stuff for girls your age." She then proceeded to talk about fashion and such. Once she finished, I said something like "I'm the mom, by the way." She was in disbelief for a second because she actually believed that I was a teen, like my girls.
She then asks me how old my kids were. She thought my kids were at home and smaller. Well, she was halfway correct. The younger two were at school. I informed her that the 15 and 17 year old were those ages and were in fact my kids.
The conversation continued into more talk like that for a bit.
I’m never sure whether to be flattered or feel immature when people mistake me for a teenager. This isn’t the first time. Most of the time I take it as a compliment. But sometimes I wonder if looking too young may not always be a good thing.
Until the next adventure!
*I originally published this on PersonaPaper (I have since removed it).
If you've been reading my work, you'll know that there are many places I feel kids belong in, such as outdoors and in trees. Kids also belong at the beach. It's where they can immerse themselves right in nature -- you know, beach mud, water, and the like.
From building sand castles with their mommy's used Mountain Dew bottles (yeah there's unfortunately enough to go around) to collecting shells on the shore or squishing sand in their toes from the ocean floor, my kids thoroughly enjoy beach time. Being in Denver, we haven't had any of that in a while and these are older pics. But I can't wait until our next visit to New York state -- and finally our move there in the future. They'll get some much needed beach time there, for sure. There's a man-made reservoir not far from us, where ironically these photos were taken. But it's not the same and has been getting dirtier and dirtier over time so we haven't been going there anymore, unfortunately.
Back to my point, beach time is both fun and necessary. Humans have a special bond with dirt. We like to get dirty. But that's really not the whole of it. Mud and sand is actually good for our skin -- and our soul. It has important nutrients that smooth our skin. But maybe more importantly, that feeling of squishing beach sand between the toes is irreplaceable, as is sifting the dry sand through our hands. Splashing in the water, feeling the ripples of the waves, and even feeling little fish swim between your legs is all a part of the experience as well. It's sad to think that some kids will never experience these things.
Watching boats, duck families, fish, and more from the pier is also a peaceful action that satisfies the soul. Kids these days are so stressed out and I firmly believe that it's because many of them are so immersed in television, video games, and other manufactured forms of entertainment that their brains never get a rest. Kids need nature, such as the beach in order to truly be at peace. I'm not saying they can't have a little fun with those other things -- mine do. But make sure your kids to a beach or other form of nature often. Let them get right in the thick of it, get dirty in it, meditate in it, explore in it, just have fun.
As I write this, I am at a park with my kiddos and their friends and they are relaxing out in a field of sand on some large rocks but were disappointed that the water in the small creek bed has dried up. It's a natural thing for kids to do to gravitate toward sand, water, and nature in general. Kids belong at the beach and elsewhere outdoors. When we can't get to the beach, we try to create that scene in other ways by getting out in nature the way we can. Before we had an apartment, we even built a mock beach in our backyard.
Have your kids been to the beach lately? If you are like us and don't have one near you, what other things do you do to replicate it?
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
A few weekends ago, the kids had some good friends over and being a holiday (though, not one we celebrate in the most popular way), I had promised I wouldn't work too much. I never promise a whole day off because I'm a workaholic and a single mother. I also work at home so my work is readily available, but I digress. An opportunity presented itself to wing it, so I did.
Forming A Brilliant Idea
Because we had nothing better to do, I get this brilliant beyond brilliant idea to take all of my kids, both of our dogs, plus some of their friends and an extra dog to the park. I don't have a vehicle, so of course the plan was to walk on the trail that led us to the intended park. Our nature trails can take us to several parks, depending on which way we choose to go. We chose the largest park and headed that way. Yes, I am insane enough to take a walk with six kids and three dogs with only me as the sole adult. Us single parents know how to work it whatever it may be.
Learning the Many Ways To Wing It
The kids wanted to play on the way, of course. So who was going to walk the dogs? Why me, of course. Yep, winging it because I had never walked the extra dog before, nor had she been walked with our dogs and here I was about to hold all three of their leashes together. Thankfully, it worked out well. They had been introduced briefly a few times and apparently that was enough to satisfy them all. In some situations, you just have to go with the flow and let the chips fall as they may.
The restroom and drinking fountain were closed and of course the kids needed both so we made use of a nearby store for both purposes and went right back to playing. The dogs wanted to run around and the kids wanted to use the playground so I found a spot in the field that was next to the playground so I could run with the dogs while watching the kids.
Life Lessons In Winging It For Everyone
Throughout this walk and park visit, many interesting situations came up where I had to wing it. But that's life. No matter how much you plan things, sometimes you just have to wing it and in the end, you may find out that winging it is the both the best lesson and the best fun you've had in quite a long time. It's quite fine to plan things. You have to have goals. But it's also good to just let it go and let it flow.
All of these scenarios could have been stressful and some may not have gotten involved in the whole thing, to begin with. But I've quickly learned in many experiences that if you have an open mind and are aware of your surroundings (and all the many ways you can use them to your advantage), life can lead to some fun adventures.
Just wing it! Your life is waiting for you!
Welcome to "Momtrepreneur Moments". Being a business-savvy mom provides quite an interesting life.
There are moments where you just have to stop and laugh at things that happen with the kids, with the business, or even with both at the same time.
There are also moments when you need to reevaluate strategy, pat yourself on the back and pay it forward, or even times when you need to just break down and cry.
But in the end, it is all worth it - for both the business and family side. Join me as I discuss the ups and downs of being a mother and entrepreneur all at once.
With me, you'll laugh, cry, scream in frustration, learn, and teach all at the same time. Such is the life of a mom in the business world. Parenthood and business both teach life-long lessons, some tough and some so simple you'll wonder why you never realized them before.