I am delighted that it is finally summer and that I can become uncomfortably sweaty by working outside… and also quite cognizant that I am already fighting off freefall despair about the fact that the days actually start getting shorter (in the Northern Hemisphere) from here. 

So to counteract that and a bit of the Mondays, here are a few really delightful updates… 

First, feast your eyes on what happened with the family from Cannot Compute

Hi Duana!

Thank you so much for your quick response regarding Neve and her parents who really couldn't agree on a name. I was in a bit of a rush when I wrote you and didn't have all the facts, apparently, because guess what? One of the names they DID in fact agree on was Ivy! So basically you are very good at this.

HOWEVER, when Julie strolled into the hospital 9mm dilated and gave birth a cool few hours later, they ended up naming her Brynn, which was another name I forgot to mention but that Julie liked a lot and her husband didn't. 

Her husband's choices were mostly gleaned from fantasy novels, I guess, and Julie likes the short and sweet (Haley is in reference to a Phish song I found out); I think I was pushing her too hard with the exotic and beautiful names of your column, but the outcome is we swayed her with Sabine.

So everyone pretty much wins.

(As for the whole Magnolia debacle, I teased her that the kid could easily grow up to be a super-goth and avenge her parents by choosing to go by 'Gnolia).

Thanks again, and here's to a generation of Fergus' and beyond!

Then I will admit that I got a bit of an ego stroke from the couple in Defying Categorization & 80s soaps (apparently I’ve had soaps on my mind for a bit longer than I realized…), because there is nothing that melts me as quickly as someone saying I made them laugh…

Hi Duana!

As I speed towards my return to work after a year of maternity leave, I’m tackling a to do list that includes sending in a name update! I’m embarrassed it’s taken me so long, but here we are. Your post, Defying Categorization and 80s Soaps, had me and my husband howling. You nailed my husband’s taste on the head- Dallas all the way. Before I went into labour, we were decided on Tessa for a girl, but still struggling with a boy’s name. So of course we had a boy!! Welcome Daniel Mackenzie, lovingly called Danny. You did steer us away from Spencer and solidify the decision to use MacKenzie as a middle name. It was such a thrill that you took the time to deal with our little ‘dilemma’ and I’m glad we could add a name category (or two) to your list! My apologies for taking so long to send an update.


P.S. My brother and sister-in-law (with the middle name and cat named Russell) just had a baby boy and named him Cooper Russell!! I’m happy to have a Cooper in the family and so glad we left Russell to the rightful namesake! 

Then, remember the letter writer who was most concerned with making sure the name chosen reinforced that her daughter was going to be “a force”, something that I love to this day? Here’s the update: 

Hi Duana,

It’s been almost a year since you wrote your advice for me, and since our baby was born! And I wanted to let you know what we chose. You published my letter as "Strength, style, in that order"  

Let me just say, the way you spun my pregnant ramblings into a rich tapestry of possibility, was truly impressive. And your advice combined with lengthy brainstorming inspired the name Carina Isabel. Culture crossing, elegant, strong, with weight and with meaning.

Carina means sweet, dear one in Italian, means keel of a ship in Latin and is a constellation containing the second brightest star in the sky. We found it, and it felt perfect. 

Thanks again for your words and inspiration.

I mean you guys, all I’m ever looking for is to hear that the name you ultimately chose for your kid ‘felt perfect’. If you’ve guessed that I’m using these updates as a form of cheap therapy, you’re right, but I hope they’re working for you too… 

…And to that end, it’s my duty to remind you that sometimes you had the answer yourself the whole time… as was the case in Loving Guts But Not Names:

Hi Duana - 

As an update, we named our third healthy baby - Vaughn Grant Berdusco. 

I received your email advice in the recovery room 45 minutes after a delivery that I am still trying to forget and I knew opening it was a tad risky, as I think in my heart I had "settled" as much as I could on a name by that point. What if Duana hates it? What if she suggests something more appropriate and I am forced to do a last minute substitution? Will I forever thank or despise her? I opened it nervously on my phone when my husband left the room for food when my nameless baby was only known to us... Without knowing, you shared in a special little moment with a fresh sticky cutlet in my arms. Thank you. Your thoughtful response was greatly appreciated. 

Thankfully you only affirmed my decision and we are more then happy with our selection 3.5 months out. "Love" as much as I think I am capable of! Being out of Ontario and away from all familiarity with the city of Vaughan, the reaction has been quite positive for its uniqueness and strength. He'll undoubtedly have to deal with spelling clarifications but having survived and thrived as a "Randa" I am completely okay with that.

I respect and admire how you are energized by your work! - It shows!

See? You have all the inspiration inside of you… or whatever would be on an inspirational Instagram post of that ilk! Keep the updates coming, especially on the ones where I say I have no idea how it’s going to go down!