Shaw Photography Group

photo by Shaw Photography Group

Had a friend recently comment on granddaughter Ireland’s name and asking about the history of it. Well, yes—it does have a history. And like almost everything else involving my grandkids, it’s kinda funny.

But first, here’s a list of the other eight grandkids and the story behind their names.

  • Jeana Ajaanna: A good example of what happens when teenagers have babies. I was a teen mom too and my son’s name is spelled funky so I’m just as guilty.
  • Landon Allen: Daddy Allen vetoed Garrett so Nina went with “Landon”. It fits.
  • Emma Rose: Garey and Ellen were in the old fashioned phase. Never known a name more suited to a child than “Emma”. Gorgeous name, gorgeous baby, gorgeous kid.
  • Ava Hailey: Allen wanted to go with Hailey but I asked him which name was more in tune with a CEO of a major corporation—Ava or Hailey. And, knowing he was a huge Sinatra fan, I threw in the fact Ava Gardner was the love of Frank’s life.
  • Paisley Rae: Brad Paisley’s song “I’m Still a Guy” was popular at the time and Ellen thought Paisley would make a cute name. It’s cute, quirky, unique—just like our Paisley.
  • Aiden Chandler: Garey and Ellen had his name picked out with their first pregnancy. Three daughters later, they were able to use it.
  • Ivy Leigh: Ivy was a somewhat difficult pregnancy which put Nina in the hospital a few times. During one of those emergency visits, a nurse told Nina she had named her daughter Avery and Nina and Allen kinda liked that. They liked that it was similar to Ava, so they changed it to an “I”, shortened it to three letters to match Ava’s and, there you go.
  • Casey Allen: Casey is daddy Allen’s mother’s maiden name and Allen liked it because it was a wee-bit Irish. Yes, Landon and Casey share middle names, named after their dad. By this time, Nina and Allen had run out of names.

And now for Ireland Chandler…coming up with a baby’s name is never easy but when you have twins, it’s double the anguish. We went back and forth with the twin cliche options—should they sound the same, begin with the same letter, compliment one another, be totally opposite, etc…

I suggested Casey and Chandler—the maiden names of each of the grandmothers. Nina and Allen liked the idea and decided that was what it would be. Casey and Chandler. Shower invitations were sent for Casey and Chandler. Everyone was excited about Casey and Chandler. Nina’s best friend Sananda McGehee made beautiful wall hangings for the nursery, one for Casey and one for Chandler.

And then sometime between the shower and the first labor pain, Nina confessed she didn’t want to name her baby Chandler. She really liked the name Ireland. She had heard it used before, and well, we are a wee bit Irish, right?

And that’s how our Ireland came to be Ireland. Possibly the only child with a wall hanging proudly displaying their middle name.image (4)