I will never forget the day I went to Goleta Beach to play volleyball with Tim. As we approached the courts, Tim’s long time friend SJ (Scott Johnson) yells, mid-swing, “Hey, Flobis.” Tim and I practically fell to the sand laughing our butts off. Fast forward about 8 years and as I’m walking into The Ultimate Boarder office Tim Hoover shouts, “Hey, Butter, what’s up?” How or why I got these nicknames, I have no idea, but I love that people use them!
Tim is some sort of professional nickname maker upper. I think I have somewhere around 1,000 nicknames from our 10 years together. I don’t remember more than half of them and the origin of the ones I do remember seems to have escaped me. In Sierra’s 9 short months we have already come up with a handful of nicknames. I’ll do my best to explain them.
I would say that at least 90% of our friends know Sierra as Carlos…and still refer to her as such. The name Carlos had something do with with her looking like a male creature when she was born. In fact, I’m pretty sure ‘creature’ was one of her nicknames at some point in time…maybe after papa saw all the hair on her shoulders as she entered the world. She also had, and still has, a mean head of hair. We didn’t find out what we were having either so she has been known to strut around in “boyish” looking clothes which creates a lot of confusion (I’m sure this will be something she will blame us for later). Needless to say, Carlos is one of her names that seems to have stuck and I’m sure we’ll have some explaining to do when we sit down at the Akemann’s dinner table in 20 years, and Tim’s friend Pick says, “Hey, Carlos, could you pass the vino por favor.”
Papa affectionately refers to Sierra as The Monkey. It’s their little “thing.” Maybe because our “theme” for her was monkeys, but I have a hunch that this has more to do with the shoulder hair I mentioned above.
Sierra’s nanny Monica mentioned in a recent email that all her fans around the barrio have been asking, “Y, donde esta La Sierrita?” I just love this name and that she is so well known around Barrio La Planta, which means she is experiencing the local culture of San Juan del Sur.
Another of her nicknames, from papa of course, is Mini Butter. I find this one to be pretty cute since I am the original Butter and Sierra is the mini (okay, not so mini) version of me.
And last, but certainly not least (I think she actually thinks this is her name) is…Pizza. My mom, known to Sierra as Nonna, called Sierra Sweets when she was a newborn. I quickly jumped on that train but added my own twist, calling her Sweetzza Pizza, which quickly became just Pizza. This one sure creates some awkward conversations in public. I think I’ll keep using it.
I’m sure the list will get longer and longer. I just hope she appreciates the nicknames and doesn’t worry about the torture inflicted by her schoolmates when she’s older. I can just hear it now, “Hey, Pizza where’s your cousin Olive?” [kids laughing hysterically in background] (Note: My sister is pregnant with a girl and they are naming her Olive. Love that name. So cute!)