I’m hard at work marking* your homework, everyone!  

Remember when teachers used to say that and you would agitate for ‘when are we getting it BACK?! When are we getting our essays back?’ I know this probably seems like it was the exclusive domain of keeners but I remember kids across the board wanting the teacher to cough up the marks, which… why? It just meant they were able to start the assignment-assignment-test-marking cycle again, and the teachers who were slow with marking did tend to have easier classes, didn’t they? 

But I really am hard at work marking your work, or in this case, rounding out an awesome article to deploy delicious info from all the class lists you sent earlier this month. I want to deploy it Friday or Monday, so in the meantime, please enjoy this mega-mix of updates which really made me laugh. 

First there’s the solution to Emergent Arrival... 

Hi Duana

It was a huge thrill/honour to see my note to you on the blog. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts and for taking the time to offer such great suggestions. In the end I should have just ordered the Name Therapist as it took a further three weeks to settle on our name.

She just wasn't Martha or Winifred, and in the end the answer was Sylvie Marigold. 

My mother hates it so much she hung up on me. So because of that and because I'm still full of hormones and in desperate need of validation/reassurance, I'd love to hear your thoughts - positive, negative or otherwise! (Your post on the vague disappointment on Rumi and Sir Carter and their disconnect from Blue Ivy is playing on my mind).


Then there was this letter, about moving to Higher Name Ground (which caused me to make a terrible Hayden Christensen pun that I’m still not sure I’m okay with, and here’s the update about it…

Hi Duana,

Thank you for your wonderful advice and encouragement. We were most unsure about our boys' names - and we had a little boy who we named Enzo Edison. Once he was here it seemed like the obvious choice. And as you predicted, our loved ones who weren't that keen on the name are now in love with little Enzo - so any objections simply melt away.


I loved this letter about how the easier you have it, the harder it is...and I loved the response even more…

Hi Duana,

Thank you so much for all of your advice and input (and Anne of WW/P reference!). While I would have been totally on board with Kit for Katherine, I thankfully was able to direct us out of that port. I passed your suggestions along to the husband, and it prompted a great discussion. Name associations automatically culled the list (coworkers, The Honest Company founders, Chicago Hope nurses, etc.) and I wasn't willing to fight for Celine (apparently only one of us can name The Colour of My Love Tour as their first concert...). Adele actually would have been a great choice, as it's gorgeous AND a family name, but it rhymes with our last name. Sigh!

As you said, going for the slightly vintage but recently refreshed name was right up our alley. After a quick flirtation with Amalina (I would have preferred the safer Emmeline if we were going in that area), we settled on Willa. Old while feeling new again, it hit the sweet spot for us: it's lyrical with our last name, but not an exact rhyme. I also feel like it's one of those names that you hear about a lot, but that isn't actually used. (SSA had it in the mid 400s for the past few years.) It was my husband's suggestion and he's in love with it, and at this point that's all I can ask for. 

Thank you so much for your suggestions and pointing out the right attributes that we needed to focus on to get the conversation going. What a relief!

P.S. I didn't have the old people association with Toffifee either, but my husband always uses it as an old people qualifier. Maybe it has something to do with this ad


I paused here to eat some leftover holiday Toffifee. Which is exactly as sticky and unyielding in February as it was November. 

Then, of course, if your heart wasn’t full to bursting, and if re-reading After The Rainbow wasn’t going to spill you over into an emotion dump, then wait ‘til you read what happened next…


I was floored when i realized you answered my letter. After I fangirled for a solid 10 minutes I got down the business of reading your advice.

The fact that Oscar and Grover rhymed did bother me quite a lot. Gendry is so fandom specific, and I'd rather not have him labelled before he even gets a chance. It was hard to give up as it such a fantastic name. I love it even out of the GOT context. So we made a bigger list. Removing and added over the days before we picked him up.

His personality gave us only one choice in the end. He's spunky and happy and has zero fear. He's the most confident puppy I've ever known. He left mommy and never looked back.

We named him Fergus.

His registered name is Wrigley's Ray of Sunshine. She sent him down to warm my heart and help me heal.

Thank you for your collective love. It was very much appreciated.

I SOB. Look at Fergus’s little FACE. 

Love everything you guys have sent me, and the people and furbabies who are now in your worlds with the best names they could possibly have. Keep the updates coming and I can’t wait for you to check each other’s work when the homework is finally yanked out of my overworn briefcase or reuseable shopping bag and you look incredulously at me like ‘you took this long and didn’t even appreciate the allegory I made on page three?’

…or something like that. 

*I like the expression ‘grading’ better in this context, like “oh I have so much grading to do’ but I like the idea of ‘marks’ and ‘entering marks into the gradebook’ (which is just a mishmash) as kind of a cumulative thing… so sue me.