Chapter 2.36

It’s that time of year when I wonder why I bother to put my dining room back together.  After Adam’s birthday comes Feast Day, then Lucy’s birthday, then mine, then Snowflake Day.  All of the holiday parties are at my house, of course.

This year I decided to throw one big Feast Day/Birthday Combo party.  If anyone wanted to complain about it they could have the Feast Day party at their house!

My brother took the family photos.  His professional photography business would give me a run for my money!

I had never made a Stuffed Turkey before so I read up how to do it while watching some celebrity chef make one on the cooking channel.  Adam wanted to help with the cooking this year so he hung out with me.

I spent the morning baking like some sort of crazy woman.  Garrett kept trying to sneak bites of my pies and salads so I finally threatened him with my butcher’s knife and he ran off to play with Lucy.

Since Adam was showing such a desire to bake we bought him a toy oven to practice with.  He honestly loved it and I had a blast baking with him for Feast Day.

Of course it was my baby’s birthday, too!  I love her and all but I’ve never been a baby person.  At least toddler’s sleep…sometimes.  I was not really going to miss this baby stage and I can say with full certainty that she is our last.  I know Garrett wants another boy but he’s going to have to quit his job if he ever wants to try that mess again!

Adam has also really taken a liking to building.  By building I mean destroying buildings.  It doesn’t matter if they are blocks, sand, or dollhouses.  I will have to watch him when Lucy starts getting into dolls!

I’d like to say that I was finished baking by the time everyone started arriving.  Layna showed up first with Lotus and Luka.  Poor Louis had the flu so he was staying with her parents so Ollie could visit as well.

Lotus is the spitting image of her mother!

And Luka could be my brother 25 years ago!

My brother is getting older, too!  Hard to believe he is 35 when I watch him playing video games with my husband.  And to think I’ll be 40 in a week!

I was still panicking about food when my mother arrived.  She proceeded to show me that I was too pent up by dancing around my kitchen while screaming “YOLO”.

We did have plenty of food.  Not only did everyone bring something but we also had birthday cake.

Miss Lucy’s birthday was incredible.  I have no idea where that stunning red hair came from but my Dad says his mother had the most beautiful curly red hair this side of heaven.

After dinner I was still trying to get people to eat the two tons of food I made.  My father politely declined.  Colleen also said no because she had other houses to visit.  She would not give up the name of boy.  And Holly ignored me the way kid sisters tend to do.

Everyone did their own thing after dinner.  It was fun watching Oliver interact with his son.  Mom even got in on the sandbox action!

Adam thought the best time to try and sell his goodies was after a big Feast Day meal.  He looked so proud of himself that his aunts, grandma, and I took pity on him.  Kid made out like a bandit!

Lucy got covered in cake so after a quick bath she settled in to play with Lotus.  Those two are going to be thick as thieves…and heart breakers, too!

It was about 11pm by the time I finally got everyone cleared out.  I’d been waiting all day to get the final shot for my collage.  Now it feels complete.

I took Lucy upstairs and tucked her into her big girl beg for the first time.  She was a bit nervous but settled in after a short time.

When I knew she was asleep I went into the computer room to read Olivia’s latest email.

Chapter 2.31

Our house was already full before Lucy came along.  We had maxed out the space and all the bedrooms were taken.

Luckily I still had some money from my photography business and Garrett was still getting royalties on his books.  It was time for some redecorating before I went crazy from cleaning!

We told the girls they would be moving into the office,  It was the biggest room in the house  that could accommodate two teens.  They were initially ticked off about having to give up their own spaces but when Garrett told them he would install a door from their room to the guest bathroom it was all better.  We even told them they could decorate their own space.

They called it “dorm chic.”  I called it “I can’t believe I let my teenage daughters become interior decorators.”  Also…Why are they thinking about college NOW?!  I’m not old enough for that yet!

We turned Adam’s old nursery into our office.  It wasn’t as spacious as our old one but it had enough room for everyone to still enjoy their hobbies.

We moved Adam into Penny’s old room.  It had the more masculine feel to the bathroom with its blue tub.  After some new wallpaper and new ceiling lamps it was the perfect place for our little man.

Last but not least we did Lucy’s room.  We kept the wallpaper the same and most of the decor, too.  We did have to get some new baby furniture.  We just weren’t expecting another girl…or boy for that matter!  We weren’t thinking new baby at all!

After the excitement of bringing Lucy home and remodeling the house, we quickly fell into our new routine.

Garrett loved being a new dad again.  Despite having to go to work early each morning he got up with Lucy every time she cried.  I offered to do it so he could rest but he wanted to do it.  He said since I have to deal with four kids all day while he is working makes up for his work at night.

Adam still wasn’t sleeping totally through the night.  Garrett would get up and snuggle Adam until he felt safe enough to fall back to sleep.

I always make sure the fridge is stocked with plenty of yummy midnight snacks for Garrett.  It seems only fair to have fresh-baked cookies around if he is going to work so hard for us.

Those cookies, however, seem to stick with me since Lucy came along.  I must be getting older.  Post-baby weight and cookies are staying with me much longer than they use to when I was younger.

I can say that getting older and wiser has its perks!  I am much better at this mothering thing this time.  Especially now that I have teenagers.  These little ones seem so much easier compared to twin teenage girls!

Lucy does this.  This is all she does.  She’s a bit boring if I do say so myself!

Adam is slightly more exciting…but not really.  He eats things.  He uses the potty chair.  Sometimes he says things.

No biggie.  What do my teenagers do?

They talk to their boyfriends at 3 in the morning making them too tired to get to the bus on time meaning I have to drive them to school while juggling two cranky younger children.

They plan ways to sneak out of the house and go to a concert we prohibited them from seeing.  Then they get caught by the cops and are dropped off at the door at midnight waking up two sleeping babies which keeps everyone up for hours.

They also make their own dinner and do their own homework without being asked.  Penny has received a huge scholarship to medical school and Liv has gotten a full ride scholarship to art school

I guess they aren’t that bad after all.

Chapter 2.30

Author’s Note: My readers are probably used to this by now but immediately before writing this chapter I downloaded Midnight Hollow.  That being said I may have added a toy store to Starlight Shores.  Mollie and Adam may have visited that store in hopes of it being a plot line but I may have been so excited about the new objects that there may only be one random photo from this adventure.  It’s gonna be a little weird when we get there.  Try to go with it.  Thanks.

Yes, I am mother of the year.  I couldn’t help it.  I was nine months pregnant, caring for a toddler, and trying to parent two ridiculously rebellious teenage daughters.  I was bound to fall asleep in the rocking chair while my toddler son is eating in the other room.

His screaming when he was finished eating jolted me awake.  Well, he wasn’t dead yet so I wasn’t a total failure yet.

A new toy store had just opened downtown and I thought it would be fun to take Adam to get some new toys before the baby arrived.  I packed him up after breakfast and off we went.

He loved the toys.  They even had an area where the kids could try out the toys.  There was also a sitting area for parents and I may or may not have fallen asleep again.

This was a huge mistake.  When I woke up Adam was gone.

The clerk told me a woman named Victoria had taken him outside to the merry-go-round.  I had never seen her before but the clerk said she knew Adam.

I tracked her down outside behind the building.  She still had Adam with her.

“YOU!  Give me my son!”

“NO!  Wait!  Let me explain!”

“I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT.  YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY FAMILY!”

I toadified her.  I wasn’t even sure I knew how to perform that spell correctly.  I had never done it before.  I couldn’t help it.  I went into Mama Bear mode and reacted.

Adam seemed unconcerned.  I bought him one of everything in the store and then we left the store immediately.

When we returned home I set Adam down in the play room.  I found Garrett in the den reading the paper.  I didn’t want to tell him about the incident at the toy store because I was the one who was sleeping on the job, literally.  I didn’t want him to know I had almost failed as a mother twice in one day.

“Hey, you.  I know I’m as big as a whale but do you think you could look past my house-like size and make some time for a frisky woman?”

“It’s cute that you think you have to ask.”

Before heading upstairs with Garrett I made sure to check on Adam.  After the day we’d had I was worried he might have licked an outlet or something.  He was fine.  His real dilemma was trying to decide if he should play with his drum, car, train or one of his older toys.  Rough life.

An hour later I came down to get Adam ready for bed.

“Oh, goodness.  Mommy’s belly is getting too big for this!  I hope you are ready to be a big brother soon.  Mommy’s tummy hurts tonight.”

“Baby make mama hurt?  Bad baby!”

“No, honey.  The baby isn’t bad.  It just really wants mommy to let it out so it can meet you!”

“I DA BROVER!”

“Yes, you are, sweetie.”

It was only about four hours later that I woke up and knew that it was go time.

“Garrett, we gotta go!”

Garrett was really helpful at this point.  We had a plan but he seemed unable to follow it.

“WHAT DO I DO?  Oh, my God.  What do I do!?”

“Garrett!  Tell the girls we are leaving and they are in charge of Adam.”

“Oh my God!  I gotta wake the girls!”

I’m glad this is the last time we have to do this.  He is so not helpful when it comes to this birth thing.

I did feel a bit sad that this is the last time I will feel the excitement of a tiny life growing inside my body.  It is a pretty fantastic experience.

There wasn’t much time for thinking.  This little nugget was on it’s way.

The next day we brought Lucille Kathleen Hanks home with us.  She was a bit of a surprise since we both expected a boy but we love her nonetheless.  She has quite the set of lungs on her.  She’s the piece we didn’t know was missing.  Now, we are complete.