I read that sometime in the next few months, Juliana should be able to start recognizing her name. I realized this could be a problem, though, because I hardly ever call her by her name. I like her name a lot, obviously, having picked it out. But to be honest, I probably only call Juliana by name about once or twice a day.
About half of the time I just call her "Baby." It sounds pretty generic in general, but it doesn't feel that way when I say it to Juliana. It seems fitting and sentimental, like nobody else (or at least not like everybody else) gets to use the same name. The other half the time, I use one of a couple dozen different nicknames.
First we have the general animal variety - Froggie, Tiger (her Chinese birth year), Little Bear, Bunny. Then there are the seasonal ones - Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Little Elf... We have the descriptive genre - Squeaky, Farty-pants, Chub-chub, Grumpy-Gus, and (maybe not exactly a name) "Spit-uping-est Baby Ever." I even indulge those mushy "pet names," the kind that make you gag when used on anyone other than a miniature person in footie pajamas. Lovey-dove. Munchkin. Cutie. Snuggly. Probably the ones I use most often are just random. Little Bub, or Bub-bub. No idea why, but it just seems to fit.
"But actually my name is Juliana."
To which they will respond, "Oooh, how beautiful and graceful."
And Juliana will say, "Speaking of which, my middle name is Grace."
To which they will respond, "You have the most amazing name ever. We can't believe we are so lucky as to know you."
Besides that, Julia is a little bit easier for a 4 year old to handle. Does Juliana seem like too much name for a baby? We have to think of the short-term and the long-term here. If we did go with a nickname, she might be stuck with it for life, or at least until adolescence when she decides to change her name into something really 'cool' that we really hate.
But then, Juliana is really nice too and we could just stick with that. Sometimes nicknames are overrated. Hmm. And I thought the naming dilemma was over when we chose her name before she was born. Next up: finding a Chinese name!