Posts Tagged ‘ Croatian ’

Mommy and Daddy Have First Names, Too?

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

2 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

As I reached for the shower curtain and a towel to dry myself off this morning, there you were with Mommy, waiting for me to realize I had visitors. You had a sneaky look on your face.

“Hi Jill!” you proudly greeted me.

Right name, wrong parent.

We felt you were old enough to know that Mommy and Daddy have other names, or as we call them: first names.

The problem is, you think my name is Jill and that Mommy’s name is Nick.

That’s okay. You’ll get it eventually. I don’t think it’s a bad idea for you to know our first names.

What if you get lost in a store? How will you tell someone who your parents are? We figured it wouldn’t hurt to teach you our “real names” for such an unfortunate event.

Until now, I had never thought about what age is appropriate to teach you our names other than Mommy and Daddy. For all I know, maybe it’s too soon.

I wondered at first if this was a recipe for disaster since you might start mainly calling us by our first names. However, I don’t think that will be a problem. You laugh every time you say our first names; as if they are our “funny names.”

As for the next name I shall teach you, what about our last name? Shouldn’t you know that too if you get separated from us somewhere in public? Fortunately for you, it’s an easy one: Shell.

One syllable names like Jack, Jill, Nick, and Shell definitely serve as an advantage to you, as a 2 year-old. You just happened to be born into a family with easy-to-say and easy-to-spell names.

As for your Croatian and Norwegian ancestors on Mommy’s side of the family, they probably had a more difficult time with this.

Just imagine, at best your name would have been something like… Ivan Ljùštura.

(I think I’m pronouncing that right.)




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The Minor Details

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

What will be his or her heritage?  How tall will he or she be as an adult?  Boy or girl?  I’m answering the tough questions today, based on educated theories.

This series isn’t a “baby blog”.  Instead, it’s a documented journey of what a first time dad thinks about, starting from when I first found out and started sharing the news with everyone.  Because this info is coming from a man, who processes things in black and white, it’s possible that the tone will be a mix of both practical and abstract.  No goo-goo gah-gah.  But maybe a little nanu-nanu.

In fraction form, here are the proportions of my coming child’s ethnicity:

1/4 Italian (my wife and I are both this)

1/8 Croatian (from my wife; Croatia is the country we know today as “Transylvania”, The Count from Sesame Street speaks with a Croatian accent)

1/8 Mexican (from me, my mom’s mom’s family moved to Buffalo from Mexico)

1/8 Norwegian (my wife’s grandfather on her dad’s side was from Norway, but was adopted by an English couple in Iowa)

1/8 German (from me, where the Shell name comes from, as well as a little bit from my wife’s Norwegian side)

1/8 Irish (my wife’s grandmother on her dad’s side came to America as an indentured servant from Ireland)

1/8 English (from me, where the pale skin and light freckles come from)

*Greek (higher up on my dad’s family tree, there were two separate Greek ancestors; family tradition tell us that a Greek ended up on the Italian side as well)

*French (in my wife’s Italian lineage, family tradition tells us that a Frenchman got thrown in the mix)

*Jewish (my Mexican grandmother swears that my late Italian grandfather was part Jewish, and based on the family’s speech patterns, uses of random Hebrew words, and quirky behavior, I’m convinced it’s true)

Virtually, on both my wife’s side and my side of the gene pool, there is no man 6 feet tall or more, nor is there a woman 5’ 8” or more.  Combined with the fact that I am 5’ 9” (the average height of the American man) and my wife is 5’ 6” (two inches taller than the average height of the American woman), here are the most likely height ranges for our child once they become full grown:

Boy: between 5’ 8” and 5’ 11”

Girl: between 5’ 3” and 5’ 7”

Hair color on both sides generally ranges from medium brown to jet black, therefore it’s most likely the child will have semi-wavy, dark brown hairThough I do have two blonde-haired, blue-eyed aunts and also a red-headed, green-eyed aunt as well.

In one of my Mexican grandma’s dreams, the baby was a girl.  But based on a Vietnamese co-worker who correctly predicted the gender of my boss’s kid based on a Chinese calendar, he told me that there is a 70% change it is a boy.  My wife’s mom gave birth to 10 kids, and only 3 were girls.

My instinct tells me it’s a girl.  We’ll know in eight weeks if I’m wrong.

All this baby guesswork makes me think of those commercials for Puppy Surprise from 1992:  “Puppy, puppy, puppy surprise…  How many puppies are there inside?  There could be three, or four, or five…”

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:



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