What’s in a name?

So we all have names. Some of us like ours, and some hate them. I’m somewhere in between. Laurel isn’t super unusual though I know it shocked my family when I was given it. Laurel and Hardy?… What’s her nickname going to be? Hippie parents? In school the kids could only come up with stupid rhymes comparatively. Floral. Rural. and Doral cigarettes. And big giggles when every year we were reminded that the state flower was the Mountain Laurel. I can’t help but think that the name still doesn’t suit me (too pretty for such a lifelong blunt slob of a tomboy), but it was well considered by my parents and I like that there was only one other Laurel at our school and that my middle name has a family connection. In NZ it is a bit more common I think – but with the octogenerians.

Kahurangi’s name was pretty much decided pretty early on – at least by me, and Chris wasn’t a hard sell. I loved all the various meanings, the shortened version, the sound of it, and wanted to give him an out by giving him middle names that had family meaning and English should he find the Maori to unusual or complicated to deal with (like I sometimes do when ordering and give the name “Laura” to save having to spell out/explain in loud venues). Currently he call himself Kah-foof or Ka-woo-nan-gee. But he does know his full name of Kahurangi James Lee Barr Cormack and tells it to people. Not too bad for a 2 year old. Maybe someday he’ll call himself Jim.

I’ve always loved that Chris’s name partiallly came from Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh, as somehow even the Shephard drawings from the books remind me of him.

So when looking at names for #2, we still weren’t sure he was going to be a boy officially. I was about 99% sure, so had erred on the side of boys names. Library trips for baby name books yielded little. Nothing seemed to sound right to me. There were a few factors in choosing one, and I was becoming increasingly stubborn which meant less and less options.
1. must like the name
2. must like sound of the name
3. must like meaning of the name
4. probably a maori name to go with Kahu’s
5. probably one that would be moderately easy to pronounce for even the American family
6. probably a shortened nickname easy to give when ordering coffees
7. no bad kiddie rhymes in Maori or in English (yes, we get Yahoo with Kahu… but if that’s the worst it gets, I’m cool with it)
8. Barr as a middle (not hyphenated) name to avoid dramas with immigration and not having the same name
9. Cormack as last name for consistency with brother

So after many hours of toiling dictionaries, websites, books, consulting people to make sure I wouldn’t offend anyone that left about 10 names and meanings, plus a list of family names for middles. In creating the list, I looked particularly at words relating to the moon. Kahu had a few very cute discussions with his in utero brother through my belly button. The baby told him “need more nappies” (which coincidently has proven true!) and that his name was “Moon Turtle” – which he then named his baby doll.

When I looked at the original due date for the baby, I saw that it was a full moon and my parent’s wedding anniversary. Maori have extensive star knowledge (which is how they navigated to NZ and engineered their planting schedules etc) and being a fan of astronomy myself, it just seemed right to look in this direction. Kahurangi’s name was ultimately chosen in my eyes for the connection it had to the skies that brought Chris and I together.

Atarau came as a potential – meaning moonlight. With further investigation, I found that many in older generations in both the US and here know the War song “Po Atarau” or “Now is the Hour”

Po atarau
e moea iho nei
e haere ana
koe ki paamamao

Haere ra
ka hoki mai ano
ki i te tau
e tangi atu nei

on a moonlit night
i see in a dream
you going away
to a distant land

but return again
to your loved one
weeping here

It just seemed to connect all the research that both Chris and I have done on World Wars, honour those in our families that had served, and those who stayed home. And the lullaby like song in it’s various creations of lyrics remind me that even though my family is spread all over the world, that we all return back to one another.

Pronunciation especially for Americans is a bit tricky. Have a listen to the songs for help.

Otherwise an American close pronunciation is
Te           teh
Po          pole or pohl or pol (like in Poland) with soft “l”
Atarau    ah-tah roeh

Chris put up his earlier blog post based on cryptic notes I had made of family lineage. Subsequent corrections of family connections to middle names have been made.

So Te Po Atarau William Creed Barr Cormack, I hope that sometime you’ll ask me why we chose this name for you, and we can sit down and tell you about the long hours we spent making it just right for you. A special name for a special boy.

…and then you can call yourself Bill.

Decoration Fascination

So I’ve heard all about this Halloween thing and mom said we’re going to be in America for it and kiwi Halloween in NZ is poopey.  She said people give you free candy. And if you get the Stalter’s house you even get a drink! and one year it even snowed and her and Uncle Tom walked all through the snow on the golf course to get the good candy at Hidden Valley.  It sounds good to me, as I’m a bit obsessed with costumes at the moment.

At daycare they have lots of fun dress ups. Mom doesn’t like dress up cause she’s afraid I’ll get lice, but I get the teachers to put the Peter Pan costume on me most days. Last week they even had “Wacky Wednesday”. Mummum said she didn’t know what that meant. Neither did Daddy.  They should be more specific, cause most moms and dads did their kids with inside out socks, or spikey hair. Not my mom, she said “Wacky… that must mean upside down ice cream cones!”

Here I am with my ice cream cone head, “sprinkle” shirt and ice cream applique pants. All handmade on the night before cause mom forgot. Oh yeah, and Mom dotted my head with markers too. My shirt says “i scream you scream we all scream for ice cream”. I liked the hat. The other kids just thought it was my birthday. Daddy was just embarrassed at the whole thing.  Mom said don’t make fun, or next Wacky Wednesday I have to go as a pickle, a pole dancer, or centaur.

It was fun and I wanted to do more dress up. Mom said not until I learn to stop playing in the sink there and going through 6 shirts each day from wet sleeves.

Tonight I just had to make do with some scraps that mom had drying for her scrap bag. Check out this little number I put together while getting ready for bed (don’t mind the pancake in my mouth).

So what should I be for Halloween guys? My grandma was an ace costume maker, and Mom always won in the West View Halloween parade. Mummy says no plastic cheesey costumes, and no prepackaged anything – the Barr family is diehard when it comes to Halloween…

I got POGS!!!!!

It was good to see some of you when i popped in last week to help mom reorganise her office (i’ve told her that paperclips are supposed to be in piles on the floor soooo many times… but she never listens!)

after many days of screaming, crying and whining, she finally caught on that i feel like i’ve been on the swing too long and that weird stuff comes out my mouth.

so she and dad took me to ED on monday night at 2 – they had a cool little house and people with their eyes closed (which i had to pry open for them) and some things called ‘pamphlets’ that were fun to throw around – it was so much fun that the doctor told me when i smiled at her that i was ok and if i was still sick that i could go to ANOTHER doctor in a few days!

well that was enough for me to make sure the rest of the night that i got to go to this other doctor place and play in the morning. so i screamed, rolled around and threw things, spit medicine and everything.

mom locked her keys in the car, so dad had to come all the way back from town in a car with lights on the roof while mom carried me and my big bag of stuff down to the doctor. he gave me a wooden stick and said “these are the days that make you wonder what the hell you were thinking having a kid.” mom said “yeah, chris said ‘i can’t do this again – no more kids!'” he said i’ve got chicken pogs. mom said the other doctor was dumb.

so i’ve been contagious for 4 days and will be for another week. that means i get to stay home with mom!!!! i love daycare, but jesse poos his pants and harmony screams a lot, so it will be nice to stay home and pull the cat’s tail and watch the doodlebops instead. i’ve already told mom that i can’t leave her lap by screaming when she goes to the bathroom.

oh yeah, and if you guys who i played with last week haven’t had chicken pogs, you might want to keep a look out cause it has a long incubation period. have a look on google for signs and symptoms. it makes you feel real bad! but if you want them, i’ve got some to share and i’ll lick you!