Oh, dear. Update: I was getting really attached to the name Magnolia Irene and thought it was our front runner girl's name. Then, this morning, DH tells me he doesn't like "Maggie". WHAT? To me, that's the obvious nn for Magnolia (which he definitely likes). Apparently, he thinks Margaret is too boring, too. He really likes the nn May a lot, though, and may be able to be sold on Margot.
Can we name a girl Magnolia and NOT call her Maggie? Just May? Or would it be better to go with Mabel, which is more obviously connected to May? Or use another nn for Magnolia? Lia? (Nollie or Nolia are kind of out. We went to the University whose football team is Seminoles aka Noles...I don't want to sound like we named her after the football team!)
Or use no nn? It's hard to imagine saying all 4 of those lovely syllables 100X a day? (But then, I had a friend who was Elisabeth and was ALWAYS fully Elisabeth, no nns.)
Is Maisie too much of a stretch as a Magnolia nn?
BTW, thanks for all the lovely input. I'm glad so many like Irene as a mn name for these Ms, I was wondering if I was just biased. (It's my mom's name.)
ETA: Marlo/Marlowe is super fun, but I think it's too unisex for us. One of those "I'd love to see on someone else's kid" names!
What about Martha?