Like every parent, my wife and I tried to find the perfect names for our two daughters. Unlike some families there was no pressure to honor our progenitors by naming them after anyone in particular.  And we didn't want to saddle them with something completely unintelligible like Wynonne, which just happens to be my wife's name.  (What were my in-laws thinking?  Every time I introduce my wife, I just go ahead and spell it out right then because that's going to be the next word's from the other person's mouth, "How do you spell that?)

At the time our first daughter, Alyssa, was born Who's The Boss was one of the top sitcoms at the time and Alyssa Milano played the precocious daughter on the show.  I thought she was cute as a button, and we knew our baby would be the cutest ever, so she had to be Alyssa, too.  (Still is, I might add.)

When our second daughter came along, we had initially decided to name her Aubrey because I liked the sound of it and I knew a girl in college who had one green eye and one blue eye named Aubrey.  But when I saw our newborn lying on the warming tray right after she was born I told my wife, "She doesn't look like an Aubrey.  She's too tiny and sweet."  My wife said, "I want to name her Kristen", and so she is to this day.

Maybe those of you with kids have had similar experiences.  That's why I'm dying to know what possessed people in the state of Louisiana to choose the current most popular baby names.

The most popular boys' name in our state in 2016 is--wait for it--Liam.  Do what?  The only two people I can think of with the name Liam are Liam Payne of One Direction and Liam Neeson the actor.  And when I think of Liam Neeson, the only thing I think of are his lines from the movie Taken: "But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career...If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it...But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."  I sure wouldn't want that to the be the first thing I thought of every time I looked at my kid.

The most popular girls' name is not quite as baffling. Last year girls were most likely to be named Ava.  The rise in the popularity of the name is traced back to 1990 which is the year that legendary actress Ava Gardner died.  Many celebrities who had children in the 90's name their daughters Ava, including Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora along with Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe.  Ava was the #1 girls' name in 2006 in 6 states and its popularity shows no signs of diminishing.

But, Liam?  Somebody please explain that one to me.

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