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Tales from the Crib: The Name Game

I am coming clean. Their names are Ella and Adriana. I went through some tough negotiations during the naming wars, so I am going to honor their identities.

When I first started writing Tales from the Crib, I decided to change our daughters’ names to Emme and Addison in an effort to not embarrass them or me when sharing our daily growing pains. I must admit it is a little confusing, and sometimes I forget who is who. So, I am coming clean. Their names are Ella and Adriana. I went through some tough negotiations during the naming wars, so I am going to honor their identities.

Does anyone else have a super opinionated partner? Most of my friends were able to secure their first choice on the baby name wish list because their husband was indifferent. My friends had it easy and began monogramming everything from the moment the saw the plus sign.

My husband is Italian, and I wanted to honor his heritage with a gorgeous Italian name. I had a list 50 names deep. As it turns out, the hubster didn’t really care about an Italian name and after months and months of banter the top three were Addison, Ella and Olivia. We quickly dismissed Olivia because it reminded my husband of a girl he dated in high school; I use the word “dated” loosely.

We finally narrowed it down to Ella Marie and Addison Loren. My dream name was Addison and he wanted Ella. I was fighting hard for Addison; I felt like this was a strong name and I wanted our baby to be bold and confident. Ella just seemed a little too sweet for me. Now, seven years into motherhood, saying this out loud sounds ridiculous. It isn’t the name that sets the stage for her success or happiness in life.

One night at a charity gala, Anthony and I were sharing this dilemma with our friend. She listened to us debate, then simply said you two need to compromise and just go with Ella Loren. At that moment, we looked at each other and said yes, that is it! It was like we finally heard the bell after going nine rounds in a prize fight. Many thanks to Jen Leigh for helping us name our firstborn.

Three years later, we found out we were having another baby girl, and she was arriving via C-section.

Yes! My second chance for the name Addison. One would think that I would be declared the winner of the name game after birthing two babies this way. I mean, I was the one laboring here but my husband would not concede! I knew I was defeated so I searched for new baby names with the letter A. Not sure why, but I really wanted this vowel.

Ava and Adriana made the final cut. The house was divided so our son Dario would determine the winner by way of his basketball score. It was a rainy Saturday as we drove to his game and discussed how this tiebreaker would go down. The family decided that if Dario scored fewer than ten points in the game we would go with Ava. More than ten points and we would name the baby Adriana. I was leaning toward Ava and wouldn’t you know it in the first ten minutes of the game the kid surpassed ten points. It came as no surprise since Dario and my husband were on team Adriana. I was happy with the outcome, and after saying and writing her name for a few days I was excited.

Then I got a call from a friend who was eagerly awaiting our decision. I announced that her name would be Adriana Elizabeth — final answer. Her response was, “Oh no! Adriana means dark and evil!” Well crap, I just ordered lots of monogrammed items that I cannot return, so I guess we will just roll the dice.

It never occurred to me to research the meaning of their names. I quickly searched Ella which came back meaning light, goddess, beautiful fairy woman. Okay, so I might have one good seed and one bad seed — only time will tell.

Ironically, Adriana is our spirited child. That is what polite people say when you have a child who is strong-willed and slightly naughty. When you search her name now you can find some pretty funny stuff like, “Don’t get on her bad side or she will take you down.”

You will also find that Adriana appears in Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, a title both relatable and humorous as it describes our present-day parenting journey. Our daughters’ names really do fit their personalities. Let’s just hope the Urban Dictionary is wrong about the behavior traits.

Lynn Cristina works full time as a marketing manager. She and her family love living in Wesley Chapel. Contact her at