Speaking of pseudonyms, lots of people have been asking where I got the names Junius and Pippi. Some have assumed it's an obscure literary reference. Others wondered if they were take-offs from the old family tree. Still others speculated some bizarre movie or TV character.
Actually, they are the kids' real-life nicknames. Because giving them four legal names just wasn't enough. Here's how they happened (the nicknames, that is, not the very long real names -- that's another post)...
"Junius" evolved slowly, starting from my husband calling my growing belly "Junior." As my husband was singing to said belly one day, it turned into a "Juni, Juni, Juni, Juni, Juni, June" riff a la "Hey Jude." This seemed fitting since the baby was due in June (little did we know he wouldn't arrive until July). Over time, "Juni June" turned into "Junebug." After the baby arrived and we discovered he was a he, my husband expanded "Junebug" into the formal "Junius T. Bugg" (the T. stands for "the") -- and so he became Junius.
Pippi seemed so tiny when she was born (a healthy 8 lbs. 5 oz., but still a lot smaller than her suddenly very big brother). But she was also quite noisy, always squeaking, grunting or snorting. So I started calling her "pipsqueak." That turned into "Pip," which evolved into "Pippi" -- who also happened to be one of my favorite childhood book characters (Pippi Longstocking, whose full name was Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking, but it's hardly a nickname when it's longer than your real name).
And there you have it. So does a Junius or a Pippi by any other name still look as cute? Absolutely.
Photographs by Kimberly Naranjo at Evolve Studio Photography.