Family Nicknames: We Have Over 80 Of Them!

I love Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop because I always get great ideas for stories to share or for fiction to write. This week, I read Prompt #6: Write a blog post inspired by the word: rust. As soon as I read it, for some reason I immediately thought of Rusty “Russ” Griswold from one of my all time favorite movies, Vacation.

Russell 'Rusty' Griswold from the movie Vacation, played by Anthony Michael Hall

The reason being is because we call my niece Nikki “Russ;” it’s one of her many nicknames. Long story for why we call her that, but let’s say it has something to do with this scene in the movie…


Anyways, I’ve talked about nicknames before. In my very large family, we rarely call each other by our God-given names.

If you are ever to come over to one of our family get togethers, when I introduce you to my siblings, I’ll say something along the lines of “These are my sisters Angie and Heather, and these are my brothers David and Scott.” But that’s the last time you’d here me call them by their names. After that, I may refer to them as Fun 1, Hef, Junior, and Scooter or many, many other names. You’ll be totally confused.


Hef, Fun 1, Pookums, Junior, and Scooter

Between my mom and dad, siblings, and all of our significant others and kids, a family get together is almost 30 people. Trying to remember all of our real names is hard — trying to also remember multiple nicknames is nearly impossible!

Last month, I group texted my family (we have an ongoing group text that we text each other on every day, all day) and asked them to help me come up with all of the nicknames we call each other just so I could show y’all how confusing it can get! We had fun thinking of them all, but then when I saw the writing prompt, I knew I was going to write about all of our nicknames. It’s fun, but it’ll also come in handy if you ever meet my big fat, crazy family.

Family Nicknames

My Dad (David): Pops, D.A., Big Headed Todd

My Mom (Linda): Gramma Gramma, Big Lin

Me (Natalie): Pookie, Pookums, Pook

Husband (Jason): Hoagie, Hoage

Ethan: E, T, Tater, T Nuts, E Money

Lila: YaYa, Ya, YaYa Bean

Mia: Badger, Badgie, Mia Mia Tortilla

Sister (Angie): Fun 1, Ang, Chrissy

BIL (Brian): Uncle B, Lads, Ladnier

Niece (Alexis): Lex, Sparky, Kitten

Niece (Nicolette): Neen, Neener, Russ, Uggers

Niece (Sydney): Bean, Beansie, D Bird

Nephew (Aaron): A-A ron, A Fons

Sister (Heather): Hef, Heifer, Hefernan

Niece (Hailey): Boogerman, Boog, Haney

Nephew (Ryan): Fuzz, Fizzle, Fizzle McPimpin

Nephew (Caleb): K-Luv, Beeper, My Man, Big P

Niece (Davi): Sugar, Bear

Brother (David): Junior, Junior Nuts, Cliffy

SIL (Samantha): Spammerton, Spam, Sam, Sam-u-el, Samuel

Nephew (Kannon): Kan Man, Kalhoun, Sandy

Nephew (Karter): Kartier, Karter Farter, Curlie

Niece (TBD): #16 (Not even here yet and she already has a nickname. She’ll be the 16th grandchild!)

Brother (Scott): Scooter, Scoot, Scooterlicious, Walter, Walt, Schmitty, S C O Double T

SIL (Danielle): Danny-elle, Daniel, Dando

Niece (Presley): P, Baby P, Princess P

Niece (Sawyer): #15

A-aron, Sparky, Beansie, Russ, Badger, Cartier, Tater, Kan Man, K Luv, Haney, Fuzz, Sugar, Baby P and Ya Ya

That’s 82 nicknames that we use for each other interchangeably. We also may shorten the nicknames, which creates new names, which makes it even more difficult to figure out who we’re talking about. We’ve decided that’s why we all hang out together instead of with other people…it’s just too confusing to keep up with us!

But if you are lucky enough (or unfortunate enough) to become a part of this big crazy family, chances are you’ll be given a nickname too! Big shout out to Papa Jeep, Sweet D, Bincey, Too Tall, B-ER-EN-DA!, Shawnie and Con, Mr. Bubbles, Gramma Rufus, Tommy Pants, Rodger Dodger, Big Don, Share-Bear, and many others who have been given nicknames by the Allens. You’re welcome.

Do you use nicknames in your family?


One Yellow Balloon


She sighed in relief as she turned the key to the deadbolt, glad the day was finally over. Her normally friendly, happy customers all seemed to be grouchy and in the mood to complain. Maybe it’s a full moon, that would explain it, she thought to herself.

Although her walk home was a short one, about 6 or 7 minutes if she walked the couple of blocks down Main Street, she decided to take a shortcut through the field that runs between the school and a forest of trees.

Normally at this time of the year, when it started to get dark earlier and earlier each night, she avoided walking through the field because it was unlit. But she was tired and just wanted to get home to Real Housewives of Orange County, leftover spaghetti, and a glass (or two) of wine.

The moon was bright and she could almost see from one end of the field to the other. She walked along, pulling her jacket closer because of the chill while she hummed a song she couldn’t quite place.

She heard a noise behind her and quickly turned around. There was nothing there. She walked a little faster, not realizing she stopped humming so that she could listen to the sounds that make up the night.

There it was again! The same sound. Maybe it was footsteps on the leaves of the trees in the forest? She didn’t stop this time, but turned her head quickly towards the forest. She didn’t see anything.

I’m just being paranoid,” she said to herself under her breath. She was on high alert now, the silence screaming in her ears. She stepped up her pace again. Then the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. Somebody was watching her – tracking her – she was sure of it.

She stopped again, this time turning in a slow circle peering into the darkness towards the school, again towards the forest, and then behind her. There was nothing. She turned towards home, wishing she would’ve just stayed on the sidewalks and the safety of their street lights.

That’s when she saw him. Standing directly in front of her, about 20 feet away. His face was smiling but it wasn’t a friendly smile and his eyes were glaring straight into her. Hate. His costume was stained and dirty. The face makeup was painted on quickly, messily…almost as an after thought. A blood-red frown, not a smile. Black around the eyes that ended in sharp points.

He just stood there smiling that awful smile while her feet seemed to cement themselves into the grass on the field. She was so confused. “Hello?,” she said and she was frightened even though he hadn’t said or done anything. She noticed that in one hand he held one yellow balloon, and something shiny in the other.

The clown didn’t move or respond. He just glared at her, smiling. He let the balloon go and said in a sing-songy voice, “Look at my balloon, as yellow as the sun. 1, 2, 3, you’d better run.” Then he held up his other hand and she saw that he was holding a knife. A very big knife.

She turned back towards the safety of Main Street and started to scream. She ran, so fast that she lost one of her shoes.

She looked back to see if he was chasing her, but he wasn’t. He was walking. Then she heard the clown start to laugh a vicious, terrifying laugh, as he yelled “This is gonna be fun!”

I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #5: Write a blog post inspired by the word: paranoid. I thought it would be fun to write a spooky story centered around all the creepy clown stuff going on!




I Wish I Could

I wish I could nap all day instead of having to work and mom and be responsible. I’m tired. I’m getting over being sick, and I’m tired. I’m tired of being sick and of being tired.


So instead of napping all day, I have to settle for a little time in the sun. I’m taking a break from the computer and lying outside with my eyes closed, pretending to be at some tropical resort instead of in my backyard.


I hear the rustle of the palm fronds. Bird singing sweetly. Little animals and lizards scurrying about in the bushes. The dog’s claws on the cement. Somewhere, a TV is on and a dog is barking.

I hear my own breathing slow relaxed. The sun gently envelops my face, warm. Spring is here. It’s beautiful outside, and I don’t want to get back up. I wish I could lay here like this all day.

My eyes are closed and I see patterns on my eyelids from the sun; dancing squiggly lines and dots the colors of the rainbow.

Was that my phone ringing? Never mind, it will be there when I’m done.

I hear plane slowly cruise by overhead. I hear the honk of a horn and a siren. I hear a hummingbird buzzing happily near her nest.

I wish I could record the quietness and play it on repeat in my office. It’s so relaxing.

And I hear the sound of bees. The low, dull droning sound of bees working away. A lot of bees. Oh shit, a TON of bees!

I sit up quickly and look around. I hear them, but I don’t see them. Are they at the top of the house trying to get into our attic like they did a few years ago? No, thankfully not there.

I look into the trees on the hill behind our house. I see small birds and a squirrel, but no bees. Where are those bees?

And just like that, my quiet time in the sun is over. I wish I could lay there like that all day. But with all those bees around, maybe tomorrow would be better.

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #3: I wish I could…

I actually wrote this yesterday after I laid down in the backyard trying to get away from the computer for a few minutes. I snapped the pictures too. Then this morning I decided to check on Mama Kat’s writing prompts and it fit!

Just One Night

I wish that I could sleep the whole night through for just one night.
That I could sleep without being awakened my kids.
Or the dog.
Or noises outside.
Or the need to pee.
Or tossing and turning.
Or waking up at 2 in the morning thinking about my To-Do List.

I wish that I could sleep the whole night through for just one night.
That I could sleep an uninterrupted sleep.
A quiet sleep.
A dreamless sleep.
A deep, delicious, peaceful slumber.
Wrapped in the warmth of my blankets.
Like a baby. In sweet little pink pjs.

Little Miss Lila, around 8 months old.

For just one night, I wish I could sleep the whole night through.
But I guess that’s never possible again, now that I’m a mom.

I wrote this after waking up at 1:12 am this morning, for no particular reason. Actually, this kind of wrote itself in my head as I was trying (unsuccessfully) to get back to sleep.

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #4: Write a blog post inspired by the word: pink.

The Stain

She had scrubbed at the stain on the carpet for so long that her knuckles were raw. She hadn’t even noticed that she was actually scrubbing the carpet with her outer knuckles instead of the rag that they held. She realized that she had tears dripping down her face, or was it sweat?

The stain represented a bittersweet moment in her life: both an ending and a beginning. She hadn’t planned on what happened, but she had fantasized about it too many times to count.

She could smell the cloying scent of clean, the bleach, mixed with the coppery scent of pennies, the stain.

She wasn’t cleaning the stain. In fact, she was making it worse. She didn’t feel the pain of the bleach leeching into her body through her raw knuckles, but she knew that it had. Her blood was mixing in with the stain that had already been on the floor.

She stood up too quickly and felt dizzy. She needed a break.

It was then that she realized that the stain wasn’t just on the floor she had been scrubbing. The stain was on the ceiling, the walls, in her hair, on her clothes. She ran to the mirror in the bathroom, stepping over but not even noticing Joe and the knife sticking out of his chest still. She looked in the mirror and saw the dried reddish, brown stain was on her face too.

She stepped on top of Joe’s stomach this time, and heard a squishy sound as more of the stain seeped out from around the knife. Did he moan quietly in pain or was that the voice of the devil inside of her head, laughing?

She knelt down at the stain once again, and began to scrub. She scrubbed as if she could scrub the memory from her mind. She tried to scrub away the abuse, the words Joe said that would never leave her mind, the tears…the endless tears and bruises and broken bones. She scrubbed away at the stain searching for her broken soul.

She could just get up and walk out. She could run away and never look back. They wouldn’t find her; she’d hide in Canada or Mexico or maybe in plain sight.

But she knew she wouldn’t leave until the stains were all gone. Nobody had ever been able to say that she didn’t keep an immaculately clean house.

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #5: Write a blog post inspired by the word: stain.