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Category Archives: Names

Why “Coolest Family on the Block”?


Why is this blog called “Coolest Family on the Block”? “Cool Mama”, “Cool Daddy”…do I have an obsession with being cool?
(No, I don’t. Well, maybe I do. Just a little.)

My daughter had just had her first birthday party and I wanted to post a blog so that I could write about the party rather than just posting pictures on Facebook. So I started this blog. When I started this blog I really wasn’t sure what I would be writing about or how often I’d be writing. I figured at the very least it would be about our family and at the most I could tie in my love of creating new and fun family traditions. Every time we get together for the holidays my aunt says, “I keep telling my kids that we’re the coolest family on the block.” We really do have a lot of fun together. I figured “Coolest Family on the Block” would tie together the family stuff along with the traditions stuff. I also hoped that the name would be different and fun enough to catch people’s interest.

I don’t care if our family is the coolest one on the block. I don’t care if we have the nicest car or the newest phone or the latest video game equipment. I don’t care if anyone else thinks that we’re cool (even though we are, so if they don’t think so then they’re totally jealous 😉 ).
What I do care about is that my kids think that we’re the coolest family on the block. I want our kids to want to spend time at home with the family. I want them to be excited about Family Fun Night, Movie Night, or Pizza Night. I want them to be engaged and interactive at the dinner table instead of absorbed with their cell phone. I want them to learn while they have fun and have fun while they learn. I want them to look forward to the time that we spend together. I want them to be anxious about birthdays and holidays, not because they get gifts, but because we go out of our way to celebrate and to teach them about giving to others.

It’s not about being their friend. It’s not about being the “cool mom” that lets them do whatever they want and give them whatever they ask for. But it is about realizing that just because we’re parents, just because we’re responsible for discipline, just because there are dishes to be done and bills to be paid…doesn’t mean that we can’t have good clean fun with our kids!

It doesn’t come easy to every parent. It’s hard for some to let the dishes sit to play another game of Candyland, or to take the freshly washed bed clothes off of the bed to make a tent in the living room, or to encourage the kids to make mudpies and dance in the rain, or to say yes to ice cream for breakfast once in awhile.

I believe if I make the effort to spend quality time with my kids, if I’m not afraid to get a little silly or a little dirty, and if I help make them feel special and loved…my kids will think that we are definitely the coolest family on the block!

I don’t want to have the coolest family on the block…I want every family to have the coolest family on the block.

So tell me…how can I help your family?
(Or are you already cool? 😉 )

If there’s a topic that you’d like to see me address on
the blog please leave your suggestions in the comments!

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

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Celebrate Your Name Week: Jennifer


March 6-12 is Celebrate Your Name Week! I figured I’d celebrate by discussing the names of our cast of characters here at Coolest Family on the Block. I told you about how Muppet got his name and how Adaline got her name and why I spell it wrong, why Cool Daddy’s name is a secret, and how we named Jordan (the baby we lost to miscarriage).

You can read about my birth story and how/why my mom named me here.

Hi, my name is Jenn (“Hi Jenn”). Of course my given name is Jennifer. I went by Jenny from birth until high school. Since my close family called me Jenny I suddenly became uncomfortable with anyone that I wasn’t close with calling me Jenny. In the 10th grade I switched over to Jenn, with two n’s. Please don’t forget the second n. An easy way to remember is “Two n’s means more of Jenn!” (and come on, who doesn’t want that?!). I never go by Jennifer, but often introduce myself as such since apparently people can’t hear and want to call me “Jean” or “Jan” (and believe me, I speak clearly). I’m certain to let people know to call me Jenn as I don’t like being called Jennifer. I think my middle name is pretty sweet so you’ll have to go here to read about it.

If you didn’t know it already Jennifer was/is a really popular name. There are a lot of us named Jennifer in the 25-40 year old age range. There certainly wasn’t anything exciting about growing up with the name Jennifer in the 80s, but at least you could be sure to find my name on a mug, key chain, or notepad. This is riveting information here, people. And it gets more exciting, let’s talk about the meaning of my name.

Ok, so loosely translated Jennifer basically means “hey white girl!”. Oh, yes. The meaning of the name differs slightly from one website to another but the two meanings that I found the most were “fair” and “white wave”. Fair and white are just nice ways of saying pale and pasty 😉

After reading my Celebrate Your Name Week posts on Facebook my good friend, Kelly, let me know that her first and middle names combined mean “Warrior of Light”. Um, well, that’s awesome. My name meaning stinks 😦 I already knew about “fair” and “white wave” so I figured I do a little more research to see if I could find a meaning I liked better 😉

*Fair lady
*White wave, White skin, White shoulders
(Now we’re getting very descriptive about the paleness!)
*One who is fair and beautiful
(Why, thank you 🙂 )
*Fair and Smooth, White Waves White; fair; smooth
(Jennifer…Now available in “smooth” too!)
*White, Fair and Smooth, Soft
(…and soft!)
*White, fair, blessed, holy, smooth
(Blessed and holy are nice!)
*Pure and yielding, whitewave
(Pure and yielding aren’t bad 😉 )
*Fair spirit
(Ooo, spirit)
*White Shadow, White Wave
(Shadow is cool!)
*Fair Phantom or White Wave
(Fair Phantom is sweet!)
*The White Fay, White Ghost, White Phantom, or White Fairy
(Now we’re talking…I sound awesome!)

While these meanings don’t differ that much (and certainly keep with the “white” theme) I definitely like the references to spirit, shadow, ghost, phantom, and fairy! It sounds so mysterious and a little creepy and also fantastical and dreamy. Me likey. Sure, it’s still not as hardcore as being a warrior of light, but at least it’s a little more interesting than “Hey, you need some sun!”. I’ve actually always liked the meaning “White Wave” as I thought it sounded like a Native American name.

A little more about the name Jennifer:
Jennifer is of Welsh origin from Gwenhwyfar, which also can mean “white waves” (source). The name Jennifer is a Cornish variation of Welsh GUINEVERE. There were close to 800,000 Jennifers born in the seventies, making Jennifer the top name of the decade (source).
Jenny was in existence at least as early as 1602 when William Shakespeare punned it with ‘genitive’ in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Jennifer developed in Cornwall, an area of England with strong Celtic connections, including many claims to Arthurian legend, as a separate development from Gwenhwyvar. The name only became fashionable in the rest of England and the world in the last hundred years, perhaps following the increased popular, artistic and literary interest in the Arthurian legend during the Victorian period when the British Empire was at its height (source).
The name (Jennifer) has been in use since the 18th century. Before 1906 the name was fairly uncommon, but it became popular after George Bernard Shaw used it for the main female character in The Doctor’s Dilemma. It gained even more popularity in the 1970s. Though its popularity is often attributed to the novel and film Love Story, Jennifer was already the number 3 name given to baby girls in the United States in 1969, the year before the book and movie were released (source).
According to the Social Security Administration Jennifer was one of the Top 10 baby names for 25 years straight (1966-1991) and was the #1 baby name for 15 years straight from 1970-1985 (source You will have to search “Jennifer” or a specific year as this is not a direct link.).

Jennifer is starting to decline in popularity and recently fell out of the Top 100 baby names for girls. So while the senior set will be crawling with Jennifers 30 years from now, it’s unlikely that my daughter will have many friends by that name.

Thanks for reading!
Sincerely,
A Shadowy Wave of Phantom Paleness (otherwise know as Jenn)

What does your name mean?
Tell me in the comment section!

Other “Celebrate Your Name Week” Posts:
+How Muppet got his name
+How Adaline got her name
+The meaning of Adaline’s name and why I spell it wrong
+Why Cool Daddy’s Name is a Secret
+How we named Jordan The naming of a baby we lost to miscarriage

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Celebrate Your Name Week: Jordan


March 6-12 is Celebrate Your Name Week! I figured I’d celebrate by discussing the names of our cast of characters here at Coolest Family on the Block. I told you about how Muppet got his name and how Adaline got her name and why I spell it wrong, and why Cool Daddy’s name is a secret

After almost 5 years of unexplained infertility we got pregnant. Just before 12 weeks I lost the baby. Three months later I got pregnant with Adaline. On the first baby’s due date, 03/14/2009, we “officially” named the baby Jordan Shiloh. (Coincidentally Jordan’s due date fell 2 days after I had my 20 week ultrasound with Adaline and discovered for certain that she was a girl.).

Shortly after finding out we were pregnant with Jordan, Cool Daddy and I were taking a walk and I said, “I’d like us to give the baby a nickname that we can call it until we find out whether it’s a girl or a boy. Any suggestions?” Right away he answered, “Biddle.” and I thought it was great. For the remainder of the pregnancy we called the baby Biddle. After the miscarriage we wanted to give the baby a real name, but we weren’t sure if it had been a boy or a girl. We decided to use a unisex name and Jordan and Shiloh were our favorites. I also liked that Jordan and Shiloh are Biblical place names.

Jordan is the river in the Bible where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. It was at Shiloh where Hannah prayed to God to give her a son and it was there where Samuel was later brought to live.

Jordan means “descending, flowing down” and Shiloh means “He who has been sent” and also “safe, peaceful, tranquil”. Together the name means “Descending, flowing down, He who has been sent safely, peacefully, tranquilly.” Quite honestly I didn’t even know that at the time that I picked the names. While having a name with special meaning was important to me, I just wanted to pick a unisex name that I liked the sound of and Jordan and Shiloh were my favorites. Now I think that the name is so fitting. While losing Jordan was one of the most painful experiences of my life (s)he left this world flowing down and had been sent safely, peacefully, and tranquilly to be with his/her Father in heaven.

I still often refer to the baby as “Biddle” since no one ever seems to know who I’m talking about when I say “Jordan”. I’m glad we gave our baby a name, even if we’re the only ones that remember it.

Follow the links below for more information on the names “Jordan” and “Shiloh”.
*Jordan (Male)
*Jordan (Female)
*Jordan: Meaning “descend, flow down”
*Shiloh (Male)
*Shiloh (Female)
*Shiloh: Meaning “peaceful, tranquil”
*Shiloh: Meaning “He who has been sent”
*Shiloh: Meaning “His gift”

Other “Celebrate Your Name Week” Posts:
+How Muppet got his name
+How Adaline got her name
+The meaning of Adaline’s name and why I spell it wrong
+Why Cool Daddy’s Name is a Secret
+The meaning of the name Jennifer: My name 🙂
+Why “Coolest Family on the Block”?: How I picked the blog name

Read The Short Version of our infertility/miscarriage story, or for the whole story read:
*Part 1: Trying to Conceive: Take 1
*Part 2: My First Pregnancy
*Part 3: My Miscarriage
*Part 4: Trying to Conceive: Take 2
*Part 5: Trying to Conceive: Take 3 Secondary Infertility
*Spring Ahead: Reflections on Miscarriage
*Childless Mother: Infertility Poem
*National Infertility Awareness Week

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Celebrate Your Name Week: Cool Daddy


March 6-12 is Celebrate Your Name Week! I figured I’d celebrate by discussing the names of our cast of characters here at Coolest Family on the Block. I told you about how Muppet got his name and how Adaline got her name and why I spell it wrong. And now, the name you’ve all been waiting for…Cool Daddy!

Cool Daddy is my husband. He has a real name. No, his real name is not Cool Daddy. No, I will not tell you his real name. No, I do not call him Cool Daddy in real life even if he’d probably like it if I did.

Why don’t I tell you Cool Daddy’s real name? Because it’s my blog and I can do what I want and just for good measure…because I said so. I use my real name on the blog and I use our daughter’s real name on the blog. Cool Daddy actually doesn’t care if you know his name. I’m the one trying to keep it a secret. And it’s not a huge secret, really, because if anyone did just a teensy bit of detective work, they could find out his name quite easily. Nonetheless my lips keyboard is sealed.

The real reason I don’t want my husband’s real life “identity” revealed is because of his job. He’s a superhero a spy a secret agent man a ninja a ballerina a telemarketer a politician the real creator of Windows Vista a near-sighted gynecologist Charlie Sheen (“duh, winning!”)…okay, okay…so he’s not any of those things. But honestly if I told you I’d have to kill you…which we all know would take foreva since my blog is soooo popular, and I just don’t have that kind of time. I just think it would be best for all of us to keep his name and occupation off of things just in case. Besides “Cool Daddy” is a sah-weet name.

If it makes you feel any better you can…
Suggest alternative names and occupations for Cool Daddy in the comment section!

Other “Celebrate Your Name Week” Posts:
+How Muppet got his name
+How Adaline got her name
+The meaning of Adaline’s name and why I spell it wrong
+Why Cool Daddy’s Name is a Secret
+How we named Jordan The naming of a baby we lost to miscarriage

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Celebrate Your Name Week: Adaline (Part 2)


March 6-12 is Celebrate Your Name Week! I figured I’d celebrate by discussing the names of our cast of characters here at Coolest Family on the Block. I told you about how Muppet got his name and how Adaline got her name.
Today I’d like to tell you about the meaning of Adaline’s name and why I spell it “wrong”.

Before I continue telling you about how/why Adaline got her name, I’m going to take a moment to tell you how we pronounce it. Adaline is said exactly how it is spelled Add-ah-line. It is not Ay-da nor is it linn or leen. All those versions of the name are pretty, but we use the classic pronunciation of Add-ah-line.
Okay, moving on…

I’d always wanted to give my kids Bible names. I’m not really sure why, I just liked the idea of it and the Bible contains some really beautiful timeless names (and some really weird ones too). While I was looking up Biblical names I kept seeing the name “Adah” and I thought that it was really pretty. I felt that “Adah” had the same appeal as Ava, Ella, Emma, and other two-syllable names that end with the “ah” sound. My husband didn’t like it. I think he thought it sounded like an old lady or something. I knew I probably wouldn’t just name my daughter “Adah” especially since I was still hanging on to “Hannah” at the time. When my husband brought up the name “Adeline” while looking through a baby book, not only did I find the full name beautiful but right away I thought about the nickname “Ada”.

Since the meaning of the name was something that was important to me, I began researching the name Adeline and other versions/spellings of the name. Repeatedly I found that Adeline means noble, nobility, of the noble sort, and sometimes kind. I thought that these were all great meanings, so I thought I’d dig a little deeper. I’m a bit obsessive in my researching and this was no different. I decided to research the name Ada into the depths of the internet until my search engine was screaming for mercy. I was thrilled with what I found. I loved that all of the meanings were nice and lovely and I loved that there were 13 different meanings for the name in 13 different countries! In parts of Africa the name means “firstborn daughter”, which was perfect! Many of the websites showed the pronunciation of “Ay-da” while others showed “Aa-da” and some showed both. I decided to change the spelling from Adeline to Adaline so that she would have the prefix of the name “Ada” which has so many wonderful meanings. Also then it wouldn’t be so much of a stretch to use “Ada” for a nickname.

Below is a list of the meanings and origins of the name “Ada” along with links to the sources.

ADALINE/ ADELINE
MEANINGS: Noble, Nobility

ADA
MEANINGS: Brightness, Beautiful, Adorned, Adornment, Ornament, Noble, Kind, Oldest/First Daughter, Wealthy, Prosperous, Happy, Sweet, Pleasant, Joyful

ORIGINS: Hebrew / Biblical, African, Germanic, French, Greek, Danish, American, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Teutonic, English, Hawaiian

+Hebrew / Biblical: Brightness, Beautiful, Adorned, Adornment
+African: First Daughter, Oldest Daughter
+Germanic: Noble, kind, of the noble sort
+French, Greek, Danish: Noble, Nobility
+American, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian: Noble, kind
+Teutonic: Happy
+English: Prosperous; happy, Wealthy, Happy
+Hawaiian: Happy, Ornament
+Other Meanings: Sweet, Pleasant, Joyful

Origins of Ada
(I’ve edited this due to length. To read the entire text please go here http://www.babynamespedia.com)
1: Ada has its origins in the Germanic language. It is used largely in the English, German, Hungarian, Polish, and Romanian languages. Derived from the word
adal meaning ‘noble, honorable’. The name was born in the 4th century by the sister of Mausolus, the builder of the first mausoleum, and by a 7th-century abbess in France. The name was introduced from Germany to English speakers in the late 18th century. It later became popular in the 19th century, during which Lord Byron gave the name to his daughter Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), a prominent mathematician and patron of Charles Babbage the inventor of the early mechanical computer. The computer language Ada was later named after her.
2: Ada’s language of origin is Hebrew. Biblical name: In the Old Testament of the Bible, a number of women were named Adah, with various meanings such as ‘ornament’ and ‘brightness’.

Another reason I chose the name Adaline over Hannah was because of the song “Sweet Adeline”. I love Barbershop Quartet music and it’s a pretty song and I thought it would be neat to be able to sing this song to her.

In conclusion (for both posts) Adaline got her name because:
1. Daddy found it in a baby book
2. I liked the “old fashioned” name and the barbershop quartet song about it
3. It’s not too popular and trendy like many similar names
4. It’s not too different and sounds similar to other names that are popular (Addison, Madeline)
5. It has a lovely meaning.
6. The prefix and nickname “Ada” is a Bible name that can also be found in 12 other countries with 13 different beautiful meanings including “firstborn daughter”.
7. It’s perfect 🙂

So, at the risk of now making the name more trendy and popular…don’t you want to name your daughter Adaline as well?! 😉

Does your child’s name have a special meaning?
Tell me in the comments!

Be sure to stop back tomorrow when I’ll be talking about the name of our most mysterious family member…Cool Daddy!

Other “Celebrate Your Name Week” Posts:
+How Muppet got his name
+How Adaline got her name
+The meaning of Adaline’s name and why I spell it wrong
+Why Cool Daddy’s Name is a Secret
+How we named Jordan The naming of a baby we lost to miscarriage

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Celebrate Your Name Week: Adaline (Part 1)


March 6-12 is Celebrate Your Name Week! I figured I’d celebrate by discussing the names of our cast of characters here at Coolest Family on the Block. Yesterday I told you about how our furbaby, Muppet, got his name.
Today we’ll talk about naming Adaline.

My baby bump has a sinister handlebar mustache. Don't be jealous.

At some point during our relationship Cool Daddy and I discussed what we’d name our daughter if we had one in the future. I’m not sure exactly how it all came about, but we’d both decided that we liked the name Rebecca Paige.
We had it settled.

Time went on and on and on…and I still wasn’t getting pregnant. It took 4 ½ years of unexplained infertility before we conceived our first baby. I started looking through baby name books and searching online. I’m not really sure if I was actually looking for a name or if I just felt that it was a rite of passage that I wanted to indulge in. Although I’d never really thought about it before, now that I was pregnant the meaning of the name became very important to me. I had already felt myself letting go of Rebecca, but once I read the meaning of the name* I was pretty sure it wasn’t for me. I felt very strongly about naming the baby Hannah if it were a girl. I’d always wanted a Biblical name and now I really related to Hannah. My husband and I thought Hannah Grace would be the perfect name for our little girl (Coincidentally Hannah also means “grace”).
Just before 12 weeks I lost the baby.

Three months later I was pregnant again. Once again I began looking in baby name books and searching online. I’m not sure why. We’d already chosen names during the last pregnancy. Still I felt myself letting go of Hannah Grace. I think part of it was because it was a name I was considering for the other baby and I just felt a little uncomfortable using it for this baby. One day while my husband and I were looking through baby name books he said, “What about Adeline? That’s pretty isn’t it?” I told him, “I love Adeline! Great pick, honey!” And I put it on my short list. I was still searching but from that moment on the baby was “Adeline” to my husband. Part of me wanted to keep both Adeline and Hannah and then decide once I saw the baby. In my mind Adaline had blue eyes and blond hair like me while Hannah had brown hair and brown eyes like her daddy. Somewhere around 34 weeks I had made up my mind.
Her name would be Adaline and here is why…

I loved the name Hannah but I felt like it was becoming too popular. Everyone seemed to be named Hannah (along with many other names that I liked including Emma, Ella, Isabella, and Ava). Because of that it seemed like the significance of the name would be lost in a sea of other Hannahs. I know a little about having a popular name (says the Jennifer from the 80s with a sister named Jessica). Then there’s Hannah Montana. I don’t have any problem with the show, but it can be a little irritating if as soon as you say “Hannah” someone thinks (or says) “Montana!”. And then one time my sister referred to the baby as “Hannah Banana”, and while that’s a cute little nickname…I know my sister. She would’ve started calling the child that all of the time and getting her everything with bananas and monkeys on it. It would’ve been overkill. So that’s why I didn’t name her Hannah. (I still love the name, though, so please do not let my hang ups stop you from naming your daughter Hannah. It’s a lovely name!).

I did name her Adaline because it’s a beautiful name. I also loved that it wasn’t popular, however, similar names like Addison and Madeline are popular. This would mean that plucking the name Adaline out of the early 20th century wouldn’t seem as foreign with similar sounding names being popular. She would also have the option of going by Adaline and being a little more unique or going by Addy like the other Addy’s and Maddy’s she’ll likely encounter. (There was no way to make Jennifer more unique. Unless you go by Lola, which isn’t Jennifer at all actually…so it doesn’t count.). We gave her the middle name “Rose” simply because I thought it sounded beautiful (and roses are my favorite flower, but it has nothing to do with the name selection). Other middle names that we considered were Grace, Joy, and Jayne.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the meaning of Adaline’s name including why I spell her name wrong 🙂

*Meaning of the name Rebecca: To bind, to ensnare, tied, captivating, knotted chord
(I still think Rebecca is a beautiful name 🙂 )

How did you choose your child’s name?
Tell me your story in the comments!

Other “Celebrate Your Name Week” Posts:
+How Muppet got his name
+How Adaline got her name
+The meaning of Adaline’s name and why I spell it wrong
+Why Cool Daddy’s Name is a Secret
+How we named Jordan The naming of a baby we lost to miscarriage

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

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