I am happy to say that the children finally have their new names, and I can wash my hands of the whole thing - at least until Bun is born and grows a little and I have to think of a new fake name for him/her. As if finding him/her a new real name wasn't difficult enough.
I was able to run with my original intention of naming the children after some of my favorite characters from literature, with the exception of Baby Girl, who got hers from a comic strip. But it's a really good comic strip. Without further ado:
Older Girl's new nickname will be Francie. I chose Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and the more I flip through my well-worn copy and peruse articles on the internet, the more perfect the name becomes. Francie is a bright child, and a dreamer, who idolizes her father and always seems to be at odds with her mother. She is observant and sensitive, and the little material pleasures of life always seem to bring her joy. She writes her stories about the people in her neighborhood, and her introspective nature does not lend itself to making friends quickly or easily. She is also lovable and dependable, and although she always stays a dreamer like her father, she becomes a hard-working, capable woman like her mother.
The Boy's new name, Fiver, comes from the book Watership Down, one of Rob's favorites. Fiver is the smaller, more awkward brother of the rabbits' leader, Hazel. Fiver has a sixth sense about many things in store for the rabbits, and he always gives good direction to Hazel, even while taking care not to undermine his brother's authority. The other rabbits know to listen to Fiver because he sees things that others cannot. I thought this description sounded like The Boy in a couple of ways: while it's true that he is smaller and a little awkward, he often sees the real heart of people very clearly. Plus, bunnies are cute and so is The Boy.
Baby Girl's name comes from our favorite comic strip, Peanuts. Baby Girl will be Sally, lovable little sister of Charlie Brown and Linus' number one admirer. Sally is sweet and vivacious, precocious and even a little wild, and she remains undeterred in things that she truly wants, despite the advice and actions of all the older children. Sounds just like Baby Girl to me.
The Bun in the Oven shall remain the Bun until he or she is born, and probably for a good while thereafter. It's hard to give a new baby a pseudonym until you can see some of their personality. Besides, let's face it, I'm not too proud to admit that Bun may stay Bun forever out of sheer exhaustion.
Now the real trick will be for me to remember to actually use these hard-won name alternatives!