In my spare time, like when she's sleeping, I like to vote on Baby Name Polls on babycenter.com. I don't know why, but I find it relaxing. And sort of fun. It's interesting to see the mix and match of names that other parents put together! Some of them are really creative, and some of them are not. Some of them are really nice names, and some of them are really stupid. I never vote on the really stupid names that I think are really boring.
It took us awhile to come up with Salma Yelena. I've always liked the name Yelena, and I actually had it paired with something else. I've always had it in my mind to have 'Yelena' as the middle name of my first daughter since I was don't know how old. And I distinctly remember a page from my old notebook/filofax with the list of names I liked with 'Yelena' in the mix. My ultimate favorite name is 'Natalia', which is too close to my own name, so I don't think I'll ever name my child that. I also liked the name 'Teresa', which in my own imaginings, I would end up calling 'Reesa'. For those that really remember my writing from waaaay back when I was a svelte 45kg, I always named my main character 'Reesa'. I thought of naming my daughter the arabic "Raisa", but didn't like it too much.
I actually get annoyed by people who misspell or mispronounce my baby's middle name, but I don't tell them, or I don't let it show because the first person that did it was my own family. The first time was on first day of Raya when one of my aunts or cousins commented that it was like my cousin, Ilaine's name but ending with an A. Which is totally wrong. It's not meant to be Elena. It's YElena. But nevermind. Hard Y, silent Y... both are still better than "Alina" or "Iliyana". For the first 2 weeks my mother-in-law actually thought it was "Iliyana". And then during her cukur jambul, the ladies were all singing "Selma Alina" which I was actually appalled at. But then my husband soothed me and said, "It's not like these old ladies would know how to pronounce Salma Yelena... so let it be, it's better than nothing..." But I think he was pissed off, too, at first.
I actually thought of spelling it 'Selma' or 'Thalma'. But that's too weird. 'Salma' is just right, and I really liked the meaning of it: "Safe". I hope she stays safe and sound her whole life. Like never in danger. I don't even mind if she's not a risk taker. In the dreams I had, it's her little sister that's the bold one. But that is an entirely different story, still unwritten...