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Celebrity Sibsets: Gia and Nico, Maxwell and Ace

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By Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

I do love a birth announcement, for so many reasons.  But I’m especially interested when the birth announcement includes the name of a sibling or two.

Mario Lopez and his wife Courtney Mazza welcomed a second child last week, a son named Dominic.  The proud parents intend to call him Nico.

I think that’s just perfection.

But what also struck me was how much I liked their children’s names together: Gia Francesca and Dominic. Gia and Nico.

On their own, they’re solid names, names that are familiar but not too common.  Paired together, they’re a stand-out combination.

Naming your first child can feel like a blank slate.  Your second or third (or, if you’re the Jolie-Pitts or the Duggars, fifth, sixth, or nineteenth) is more of a puzzle.  Will your new arrival’s name match her siblings’ names?  Or is it so close as to confuse?

I could happily name two or three more daughters, but sons?  Somehow it feels impossible to meet all of my criteria with boys’ names.  But we all manage, somehow, to choose names that satisfy and hopefully wear well on our children.

Let’s take a look back at some great celebrity sibsets from the year so far:

Gia Francesca and DominicNico – There’s much to love about Mario and Courtney’s name style.  Cool enough for Hollywood, but comfortable enough to wear in South Dakota or suburban FloridaEven if these names aren’t on your shortlist, I think the Lopez family hit the unusual-but-not-strange note many parents are after.

Wilder, Bodhi, and RioOliver Hudson and Erinn Bartlett welcomed their third child earlier this year.  After boys named Wilder and Bodhi, what do you call your first daughter?  Rio strikes the right balance – Ava or Margo would be too safe, but Rio is vibrant enough to pair with such strong names.

Yates, Yardley, and Thatcher – We all wondered if Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly would chose another Y name for baby #3?  She didn’t – and yet, son Yates, daughter Yardley, and new son Thatcher sound just right together.  I like that Megyn and husband Douglas didn’t feel obligated to stick with one letter, but did stay true to their preppy surname vibe.

Leo and Luna – Of course, siblings sharing the same first initial can be quite charming.  Look no further than the names chosen by Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.  Leo became a big brother this summer when little sister Luna arrived.  Yes, there’s the risk of overload if you’re naming baby #5 and feel obligated to stick with just one letter.  But if you’re planning on a family of two or three, this can be a sweet way to link the siblings’ names.

Lyra and Margot – Model-actress-author Sophie Dahl – she’s also the granddaughter of writer Roald Dahl – welcomed a second daughter with husband Jamie Cullum earlier this year.  Her daughter’s names are very different in origin – Lyra is borrowed from the night sky and from Philip Pullman’s novels, while Margot comes from the far-more grounded Margaret.  Together, the names signal a creative, offbeat sensibility – which seems to fit on their family tree.

Mirabella Bunny and Lula Rosylea – Let’s hear it for Bryan Adams and Alicia Grimaldi and their fearless approach to middle names!  First they paired the staggeringly gorgeous Mirabella with the fluffy Bunny, then they used cockney rhyming slang to arrive at a middle for daughter number two.  The parents explained that Lula arrived at tea time, and Rosylea is rhyming slang for “cup of tea.”  Daring, different, and yet very well matched.

Joseph, Sundance, and Scout – Volleyball stars Kerri Walsh and Casey Jennings surprised everyone when they named second son Sundance.  Their firstborn received such a classic name, while Sundance was anything but conventional.  The arrival of their third child and first daughter gives the siblings a certain amount of balance.  Scout Margery, with her literary ties, strikes a balance between the buttoned-down Joseph Michael and the adventurous Sundance Thomas.

India and Dashiell – It’s no surprise that Marchesa co-founder Georgina Chapman and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein chose stylish names for their children.  Big sister India Pearl was joined by brother Dashiell Max Robert earlier this year.  Both names are attractive separately, but like Gia and Nico, I like them even better together.  I wonder if they’ll answer to Indie and Dash?

Aurora, Wynter, and Holiday – I think this might be my favorite trio so far.  Actors Harold and Brittany Perrineau have always been slightly ahead of the curve.  Their daughter Aurora was born in 1994, followed by Wynter in 2008.  This year, Holiday Grace arrived in March.  A noun name with literary glam thanks to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I can see Holiday catching on.  I’d love to hear what the Perrineaus were considering for a son!

George, Philipe, and Edward – Speaking of boys, supermodel Eva Herzigova and husband Gregorio Marsiaj have managed to get classic exactly right with their three sons.  Herzigova is Czech, and her husband is Italian.  Evergreen names like George, Philipe, and Edward are highly portable, at home nearly anywhere.

Maxwell Drew and Ace Knute – This list would be incomplete without mentioning Jessica Simpson’s baby boy, Ace KnuteJessica and football-playing fiancé Eric Johnson have borrowed names from their family history for their children.  While Maxwell Drew and Ace Knute aren’t quite my cup of tea, I do love the fact that Jessica and Eric chose richly meaningful names for their children.

Are there any great celebrity sibsets from 2013 that belong on this list?  And do you think it is harder or easier to name baby #2 and beyond?

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