Looking Back at the Most Popular Baby Names of 2015

Need help naming your baby? Choose from one the most popular names of 2015. #dumpcake

Baby Name Trends 2015
Parent Co projected baby naming trends of 2015. Do you want a kid whose name is on lists?

So, you’re going to have a baby.

Sure, you could pay this Swiss Company $32,000 to scheme up an original, completely one-of-a-kind name for your snowflake. But let’s get real. $32,000 is a huge investment in someone you haven’t even met yet. Yes, people name their kids before they’re born all the time, but it’s a roll of the dice.

“MY name is Steve! Steve’s a great name! WE HAVE TO NAME HIM THAT.” And then “he” comes out minus parts the sonogram wrongfully promised because the technician had too many daiquiris at lunch. Imagine putting $32 grand behind that decision. Steve will look beautiful in her prom dress, by the way.

[Tweet “Here at Parent.Co, we’re offering baby name services for a slashed price of $15,999.”]

As team of professional parents, we’ve collectively named over a dozen children we actually care about and 3 more that people have paid us to. One of our kid’s names even inspired the name of the main character in a blockbuster film. Trust us. We do juice cleanses and put fish oil in our espresso. We know things.

  • We scan the finest drugstore shelves, tropical farmers markets, pedigree dog shows, even the NASDAQ for the highest quality inspiration.
  • We will quadruple check for unfortunate acronyms by consulting with texting teens and cross checking medical journals.
  • We arrange hypnotherapy for both parents to compile an honest list of every sexual partner they’ve ever had to avoid subconscious leanings which could later, be grounds for divorce.
  • We have an in house team of particularly ruthless children of varying ages who participate in round table bullying sessions to determine the likelihood that your offspring could suffer based on our choices.
  • We will provide you with 3 choices. Feminine, masculine and gender neutral. You retain full license to all 3, which takes into consideration those who choose not to find out the sex ahead of time or the event the child’s “jaw line is not strong enough for such a bad-ass moniker”. (Thanks for your review, Tad from Greenpoint!) Should the child decide you got it wrong (listen, it’s not going to be the only time they’re going to challenge your authority. Get used to it.), the remaining two options are theirs for the taking. However, if your 18 year old daughter exercises her right to go rogue and renames herself Tawny Cherry to go work alongside the interstate, well, you probably went wrong at plenty of intersections besides name choice. We can not guarantee that invoking our services puts you on the perfect path.

Once our experts have compiled a list of six choices, we bring ourselves to you. With real life application, we’ll help you determine the 3 original one-of-a-kind namesakes for which you write your check.

  • One of us will accompany you on a shopping trip to TJ Maxx where we’ll hide in racks of clothing while you shout our proposed choices 57 times each. We will take notes from between the dresses on pitch and tone and which sit most naturally in your register. You will have the final say in the event our observations do not take into account that one of them makes you want to shave your head completely bald by utterance 43.
  • We’ll come to your house for the morning rush and spill a full bowl of cereal all over your freshly laundered work clothes while simultaneously recreating Van Gogh’s Starry Night all over freshly painted walls. (This is merely an example. We believe the element of surprise elicits the most natural reprimand on which to draw conclusions.)
  • We will provide you with a four inch stack of school intake forms, pediatrician questionnaires, little league sign ups, and permission slips so you can practice writing the sequence of letters you’ll have to scrawl several hundred thousand times for the rest of your life. Decide before committing that an eleven letter first name is too much to ask of anyone. Or not.

Feel free to contact us to set up a consultation.

 

Your Ultimate Snow Day

With the northeast poised to be slammed by the type of snow storm that clears grocery store shelves of everything from cartons of milk to decks of playing cards, it seems likely many kids are going to be home from school tomorrow whether they sleep with their pajamas inside out or not.

We know there’s a range of emotion that occurs when you’re staring down the barrel of being snowed in with children. Panic, excitement, and anxiety, followed by a mental inventory of toilet paper, alcohol, and hidden junk food stashes. So in an effort to take some of the work off your shoulders, we’ve scheduled your ultimate snow day. And if your kids argue about any of the plans, well, tell them you’re sorry but it’s on the list.

Night before preparations

  • Set bowls outside to catch the base for your sugar on snow
  • Put the cereal on the table and the milk on the lowest shelf for easy access and perhaps snag yourself a few extra moments of snow day “sleeping in”.
  • If your driveway is long, park at the end of it. Save yourself a few feet of necessary snow removal.

Morning Prep

  • In the event the cereal didn’t cut it, throw down a real snow day breakfast by whipping up these no frills pancakes, or pull out the bisquick. Out of eggs? No problem. Blow their minds by using snow. (WHAT?! It’s true. We learned it on the internet.) Two heaping tablespoons of it can replace 1 egg. Freshly fallen works best, which is great. You might be up to your eyeballs in it.
  • Challenge all participants to a winter gear round up. Capitalize on their inherent need to win and be fast while sparing yourself getting everyone dressed.

Outside

  • Sure, you could build a regular old snowman with a jaunty hat, carrot nose, and some rock buttons. Or you could be the house on the block that makes the rules by building one of these bad boys.
  • Drag your sleds to the nearest hill and bring along a serious shovel. How else do you plan to engineer an epic jump? (Pro tip: Bring some water if the snow is powdery.)
  • Fill spray bottles with water and food coloring. Turn the white canvas into winter graffiti. Don’t use just red. Unless you’re going for a look that’s more hunter/maniac chic.
  • Stage a snowball fight, or if you want to minimize the likelihood of tears, hang a cardboard target from a tree instead.

Are they asking to come in yet?

Any dissenters who aren’t old enough to stay outside alone? Haul some snow inside by the bucketful and fill the bathtub. Retrieve the sand toys you never got around to packing away properly anyway and let them have at it while you move on to warmer things.

Inside

  • Here’s the part of the day where you get all jedi mind trick. Do you want a clean house and happy entertained kids? Inform the crew that the house is about to become a movie theater. However, first that’s going to require a bit of organizing and cleaning up, for which they will earn (fake) money to be spent on the afternoon’s blockbuster. Pillows, blankets and cushions can transform the viewing area, and the craftier among the group can fashion tickets and signs. The cash they earn can pay the entrance fee and all the popcorn and hot chocolate they can eat.
  • Post movie, turn the theater into an ultimate fort for the evening’s board game competition.

Hopefully you’re well stocked on the essentials. And if they’re home longer than a day, remember if they’re old enough to walk, they’re old enough to shovel.

Need to Know: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up

tidying-upLess Clutter, More Joy

Life clutters easily with two working parents and a young child. We toss around the word “systems” a lot in our home. The hall closet is messy again, so we need a new “system”. Towels aren’t getting hung up properly, so we need a better “system”. We need to plan a trip to IKEA to find a better home office storage “system”. And our “systems” often work – for a month or two.

We’re a fairly tidy family. We regularly weed through unused items to sell or donate. We do what we can to declutter our home, yet we’re stuck in a constant cycle of reorganizing and shuffling our belongings. This is why I didn’t hesitate to read Marie Kondo’s The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up after three different couples raved about how it’s changed their lives to me within the same week. I decided to try the latest minimalist home organization trend for myself.

Marie Kondo is a bestselling author and home organization specialist from Tokyo, Japan. She’s spent decades perfecting the KonMari Method, her own personal system for decluttering homes and spaces. There’s a three-month waiting list for her services, and she boasts that clients who follow her method exactly never need her services again.

What makes Kondo’s method so different is that it is relentless in its process of weeding out clutter. The purpose of decluttering the home is to weed out all unused and unnecessary items until the only items left in one’s home are those that “spark joy.” It’s meant to be a once in a lifetime purging process that will cure your family’s clutter problems once and for all. Kondo claims the process can take up to six months to complete, but then clients never have to do it again.

Kondo says the main home organization mistake people make is focusing on what items to get rid of or throw away. Her method emphasizes what to keep by asking the question, “Does this bring me joy?” If it doesn’t, get rid of it. But it’s not always that easy. People have a hard time getting rid of things they can still use, items that hold information they might need one day, objects that hold emotional value, or things that are hard to obtain. Rational thought often makes it difficult for people to discard of items they no longer use that just sit in storage or clutter up space. Kondo recommends sticking to intuition and focusing on what currently brings you joy.

Another mistake people make is organizing room by room. All this does is reshuffle clutter around and create a revolving door of decluttering room by room. Kondo suggests focusing on categories instead. She recommends purging items in the following order: clothes, books, papers, miscellany, and mementos. By focusing on a specific category, people declutter every item in that category from their home at once, rather than shuffle it to another room.

Our family made a commitment at our last family meeting: to declutter once and for all and only surround ourselves with items that bring us joy. We know it means sacrificing some of our time the next few weeks. It means making tough decisions and letting go of items that have meant something to us in the past, but we’re ready for a more minimalist lifestyle. The first project we plan to tackle is our clothes. Kondo claims that “not every person you meet in life will become a close friend or lover.” The same can be said of the items we keep in our home. We’re ready to discard of past lovers and friends that once brought us joy or never brought us joy. You can follow us here on Parent Co. as we purge our way to joy each week and learn some decluttering tips along the way.