Chapter 3.27

Before too long our tiny apartment became home.

Bug and Pickle made sure there was plenty to welcome Baby Peanut when she got here.

Early one morning in spring I woke up knowing it was time to bring Peanut into the world.  Despite never having birthed a baby something told me she was ready.

I got up and prepared breakfast before Bug went off to school.  Today was going to be as normal as possible regardless of fact that I was going to push a bowling ball out of my vagina in a few short hours.

The thought of what I was going to do was slightly shocking a bit painful to think about.  Dear God…I was going to be a mother.

The kids were oblivious to my peril (probably because there wasn’t any) but I still liked having them close.  Bug ran off to school without a look back  and I was left with Pickle.

We got in some good playtime before my contractions started.

“Are you ready to help with a baby?”

“I da baby.”

Just then I was hit by more than just a tiny contraction.

“Mama Peenee hurt?” The concern in my nephew’s voice hurt almost as much as the contractions.

“No, honey.  The baby just wants out.”

“Bad baby.  No hurt Peenee.”

I called the babysitter and told her to hurry.

I sat down on the couch but knew there wasn’t time for sitting.  I needed to get dressed.  Like hours ago.

I threw on some clothes and tried to be quite so I wouldn’t scare Pickle even more.

That plan failed.  The babysitter was still en route but there wasn’t time to wait.  I yelled across the hall for the neighbor to keep an ear out because I had to go.

I drove myself in spite of being in hard labor.  That’s just how I roll.

After 15 hours of labor Harper Gray Hanks came into the world.  She didn’t have an ounce of her father in her so I saw no need to tack on his name as a reminder.

It wasn’t long after I got home when it become painfully obvious that we were going to need a bigger place…soon.

Chapter 3.26

Welcome to Storybrook County!

We couldn’t have chosen a nicer home.  It had a huge downtown area for the city-girl in me!

There are wonderful beaches right down the road!

And rolling country hills are just outside of the suburbs.  This is a perfect place to raise children!

And speaking of children…the peanut is ready to bust into the world any day now.

Unfortunately the only place we could afford wasn’t the most child friendly area.  Yes, it does have a playground but it’s a little cramped.

It was cheap and since we came with little more than the clothes on our backs it would have to do for a bit.

I made sure the kids had nicely furnished rooms.

But we were short on playthings.

The first priority was getting some toys.  ASAP.

I hauled Bug’s butt to the toystore and told her to go crazy.  She literally went crazy.  And then she spent $2000 on toys for her and her brother.  It pretty much wiped out the bank account but it was worth it.

“PENNY!  Dylan’s eating the dolls again!”

“It’s ok, Bug.  He got that from your mother.  She always ate the dolls, too.”

We were all getting along surprisingly well without Liv.  Dylan seems mostly unphased by it and I’m not sure he actually remembers Liv and Mike.  Katie has taken on the role of ultimate protector and it doesn’t matter how annoyed she is with her brother she never sends him away.

“Darn it, Dylan!  That one was going to be great.”

“My block!”

“Ok, ok.  You can have it.  Just ask next time.”

When I wasn’t watching the kids or worrying about money, I was spending my time getting acquainted with my new sister-n-law.  Adam ran into Hannah Preston down at the grocery store the week we moved in and three months later she was Hannah Hanks.  Pretty soon she’s going to be Mama Hanks!  They just announced her pregnancy last week.

As for me, I’m busy learning how not to screw up my daughter.  I have less than 2 weeks to go.  Here’s hoping I can learn fast!

Credits

Storybrook County: My Sims Realty

Townies:

Note from SweetPoyzin:

  • Xander is now married to Gabby Gonzalo
  • Momo MoSneakers is married to Gavin Gonzalo
  • I did move the rest of the Lox-Hanks crew to Storybrook County.  Pretend you don’t see them if they randomly pop up in background scenes.

Chapter 3.25

Note from SweetPoyzin:  Bad things come in threes…sorry again.

With all the shit happening in my life something was bound to break.  It was work.  I got sloppy on the job and  a patient died during a routine surgery.  I was put on leave and that’s when I made a decision.  I called Adam to tell him.

“The kids and I are leaving.”

“WHAT!?  Why!?  Just because someone died on your watch doesn’t mean you will lose your job.”

I sighed.  “I’ve already lost my job, Adam.”

I couldn’t even look him in the eye.  My little brother had stood by my side for years but this blind faith in me was too much.

“Stephen and I were having an affair.”

“YOUR BOSS!?  God damn it, Penelope.  Why can’t you stay out of trouble?”

“DON”T FUCKING JUDGE ME, ADAM!  In the past 3 months I have lost my twin, my marriage, and my job –”

“They were my family, too.”  He said quietly.

At that moment I realized I was not the only one still hurting.  I was just the only one handling it so poorly.

“Fuck.  You’re right.  At any rate I need a fresh start.  The kids and I are moving to Storybrook county…next week.”

“Fair enough.  I’ll pack my things.”

“Adam.  Don’t be ridiculous.  You just bought a house.”

“Yeah, well it looks like I’m selling it now.  We both know you need someone to keep you out of trouble.  And I need to be the fun uncle to these two monsters.  Sugar before bedtime and all that jazz.”

“Well…college?”

“Storybrook County is even closer to University.  I’ll live there while I attend classes.  Boom.  Next excuse?”

“Alright.  Pack your things.  You only have a week.”

And with that we were off to our next big adventure.

Chapter 3.10

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter takes place a year after Penny had the abortion.  Things need to move along for the sake of my plot…and possibly my sanity (more on that later).

Hey there.  Notice anything different?  Yeah, I grew my hair out, got some new clothes, and decided to grow up a bit.  Hardcore life choices will do that to you I guess.

It was a rough year.  Hardy passed first.

A month later I lost Humberto.

Adam was a champ and buried both of those guys because I totally lost my marbles.  With the stress of the abortion, losing my pets was too much. Even my bird flew out the door one day and never came back. It was getting ridiculous.

Adam is the man of the house but that doesn’t make him totally stoic.

I came home from work one day and he was crying alone in his room.  Theodore Q. Rumplefugly had passed while Adam was at school.  He’d had that little guy since he became a kid.

Even I had to admit 10 years was a long time for a lizard but it didn’t make seeing my baby brother so heartbroken any easier.

I offered to clean the cage on that one but Adam refused.  He pulled himself together and did what was required.

After all that death we tried to get back into some sort of normal routine.  Adam made honor roll and stayed mostly out of trouble.

Well, until we reached Halloween.  He bought this creepy-ass costume and took my car to go trick-or-treating.

That’s right.  My car.  I let him use my car.

He did not come back in my car.  He was caught wreaking havoc all over town.  He egged houses, played ding-dong ditch, and pranked the school.

Let’s just say this night did not end well for him.  Instead of doing after school activities or hanging out with Rory he was put on babysitting duty.

Not like that is a punishment though.  Look at that face.  I figured I might as well continue Mom’s tradition with the toddler portraits.  This hangs in Liv’s kitchen now.

Girl looks just like her Daddy.  She does have some of Liv’s sweetness in her though.  Oddly enough she’s a bit of a spitfire.  I say she gets it from me.  Mom says that it is all Granny Lydia.

Speaking of Liv…We are all eagerly awaiting the birth of Pickle.  That’s right.  Pickle.  According to the ultrasound she and Mike are having a boy and they plan to name him Dylan.

Dill pickles.  It was too easy.

As for my romantic life I tried online dating for a while.  I just wasn’t ready to call Xander “The One” officially.

Then I browsed the profiles.  I saw Mike Hepworth, Oliver Lox, and Garrett Hanks along with various other men I’ve seen around town…with their wives.  Been there done that.

Xander did not have a profile and I knew he wasn’t dating anyone so I figured we could at least have dinner again.

I got a little drunk.  Well, a lot drunk.  He totally took advantage of that.

I woke up the next morning and all of his shit was living in my house.

Needless to say, I’ve got a new roommate.

Chapter 3.9

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter contains language and subject matter that might not be appropriate for all readers.  Reader discretion is advised.

The morning of my procedure did not start off well.

I woke up to discover my chameleon, Nelson, had passed away.  I knew it was my fault, too.  I could barely scrape together the cash to feed myself and Adam.  I had to rotate feeding the pets and poor Nelson couldn’t hold out any longer.

After mourning the loss of Nelson I had to face the day.  Adam was already in the kitchen digging into breakfast leftovers.

“Why don’t you let me take you to the hospital today?  I don’t think you should be alone, Penny.”

“No, nope, no.  I’ll be fine.  You go to school.  If I even catch a whiff that you skipped you will be so grounded.”

“Ok, ok fine.  If you need anything you call me ASAP.  I’m not going to band practice after school though.  I’m coming home to check on you.  Well, or I’m going to go hangout with Rory.  If you call I’ll come home.  Otherwise I’m going over to Rory’s.”

Adam went off to school and I didn’t really feel like being alone so I headed off to the local pond.

I sat and meditated.  I needed to quiet my heart and mind to make sure this is what I wanted to do.  I realized that Nelson’s death was really a sign.  I can barely feed myself and my brother.  My lizard died because I couldn’t feed it.  I totally did not need to bring another stomach into this mess.

And let’s be honest…I’m not the most mature young adult on this planet.  I’m in no position to raise a baby right now.

With that it was time to head to the hospital.

Three hours and $4000 later it was over.  I sat down on the bench outside the hospital and I wasn’t sure what to feel.  I was stunned, sad, relieved, and happy all at the same time.  I didn’t want to go home and be alone but I didn’t want to call Adam because he shouldn’t have to deal with this stuff.

Suddenly I knew exactly where to go.

“Can I see Katie?”

“Oh, Katie-Did, Aunt Penny messed up.”

I remember hearing somewhere that babies remember the place they come from, whether it is heaven or something else I don’t know.  I don’t even know if they can communicate with it telepathically.  In that moment none of those unanswered questions mattered.

“If you see her in your dreams, Bug, tell her I love her.  Tell her that’s why I did it.  Tell her I’m sorry.  Tell her I would have done anything to change this mess I created.  Tell her name is Piper.”

After pouring my heart out to my niece I sat down in the chair I bought for her in France where this whole mess started.  I fought back tears as I realized what I selfish person I had been.  I’m always coming over here to steal kisses from Bug and harvest food from Liv’s farm but I’ve never given anything back.

I went downstairs and amid protests from Mike I prepared cheesesteaks and apple cobbler for Liv’s family.

Once finished I headed home.

Not long after I got home Adam returned from Rory’s house.

“Are you ok?  How did it go?  How do you feel?”

“It went well.  I’m doing ok.  I think everything will be ok.”

“That’s it?  Really?”

“Yeah, Adam, that’s it.”

“You had a fucking abortion and you’re acting like it’s no big deal!  What’s wrong with you, Penny?!”

“Don’t you presume to know how I am feeling, Adam.  Don’t you dare!  You have no idea what I’m going through.  I know it is a big deal Adam.  8 hours ago there was a potential human in me.  Now there is nothing.  Do you hear me?  Nothing.  I’m still not sure how I feel about it.  Don’t you ever tell me I don’t understand.”

After that we spent the rest of the evening in silence.  Adam went off to his room to study and I was left to wonder how everything got so fucked up.

Chapter 3.8

I woke up around 2:30am on Sunday morning thinking Adam was finally wandering in from Prom.

When I got up to ask him how the dance went I came face to face with someone trying to steal my egg gem collection!

Don’t mess with my egg gems.  I took that bitch down!  The cops came but they were useless.  The woman ran right past them out the door.

When I woke up next time it was 9am and Adam was working on his latest comic book.  He’s really becoming well-known in the nerd community and his comics are bringing in a bit of money.

We both agreed that from now on I was the sole chef of the house.  We had a good laugh about the horrible waffles but money is tight and we cannot afford to be wasting food.

Adam went and got himself cursed by the fortune-teller and it’s really causing us some financial problems.  Every morning at 12:01 AM my bank account hits $0.  It doesn’t matter how much money was in there, it is immediately drained.

Which usually leaves me with no way to purchase groceries, pay bills, or pay for the procedure tomorrow.

I headed down to Mom’s gallery to sell some of my photos from my trip.  I hoped they wouldn’t sell today but tomorrow morning so that the money would still be worth something.

I also donated some of my relics to the museum area Mom set up in one wing of the gallery.

I figured while I was out I should go and visit my parents and meet my new sister, Ericka.

I was happy to see Dad looking well despite of the cancer.  Mom was still fuming that he hadn’t told her and they spent my whole visit arguing.  I didn’t even get a chance to hug Dad or talk to Mom.

I went upstairs to meet Ericka and was shocked to find that the kid looked just like me.  Purple skin, black hair, her eyes were a blue-green that hinted at my own.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the thing in my body would look like me.  I put Ericka back in her crib and got the hell out of that house before I did something I would regret tomorrow.

I ran home and threw Adam in the car.  I needed some normalcy to life and the Fall Festival was just the place for that.

I think Adam got that because he suddenly had a take no prisoners attitude with the festival games.  He beat me at the pie eating contest.

He beat me at apple bobbing.  He would have beaten me at the mechanical bull, too but I refused to ride it.

We picked pumpkins for carving.  Adam made sure to grab a few extra so that we could use them for food.  Smart kid.  He’s learning!

Granny Liddy and Aunt Holly were also at the festival that night and we had a picnic and caught up with each other.  It was weird that Granny wasn’t pregnant since that’s how I always remember her when I was growing up.

Finally we got home after midnight.  Adam and I carved our pumpkins and ignored the fact that we were both exhausted.  Tomorrow would come too soon if we slept.

I carved a boring pumpkin while Adam got a little silly with his.  We stuck them out in front out the house even though Halloween was over a week away.

Adam finally made it to bed at 3 in the morning.  I felt bad because he’d be so tired at school.  I wasn’t the least bit sleepy.

Tomorrow was going to suck.

Chapter 3.7

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter is HEAVY in adult subject matter and language.  Readers discretion is advised.

The night I told Adam about how I got pregnant was one of the worst nights of my life so far.

“So…does Xander know yet?”

“He’s…he’s not the father, Adam.”

“Oh.  Um…do you know who is?  I don’t mean that in a bad way either.  I’m just confused I guess.”

“I met this guy back in France.  He was twice my age but we hit it off anyway.  It was supposed to end there!  Just flirting but then…  I found out right before I left that he was married.  And his wife was pregnant, too.  I’m such an idiot.  Before you ask: No, I’m not keeping it.  I have an appointment set up first thing Monday morning.”

We sat in silence for a few minutes.  I wasn’t sure what Adam was going to say.

“You are not an idiot, sis.  That asshole played you.  I’d rip his balls off if I could.  Anything to prevent you from this situation.  At least there’s a reason for you puking 900 times a day.  I thought you’d gone bulimic on me.  Not that this is any better.”

“Adam, please please don’t tell anyone about this.  Not with what Liv is going though.  And if Xander ever knew…well.  Just please don’t speak a word of it.”

“I’ll take it to my grave.  I swear it.”

“Thanks baby bro.  You are going to be a great man one day.”

It was 3am before either of us crawled into bed.  I don’t know how well Adam slept but I tossed and turned all night.  I crawled out of bed at 10am the next morning looking like a zombie.

Adam was in the kitchen whipping up some waffles.  I really had to hand it to him.  For only being 16 he really puts other people first.

Despite the prowess he showed with his toy oven the waffles were horrible!  They were a giant pile of charcoal!

We had a good laugh about it but ended up tossing them after neither one of us could dare the other into eating them.

I snagged Adam after breakfast to have another chat.

“I’ve got to go down to the resale shop and get some new clothes.  The parasite inside me is starting to take over and my pants don’t fit anymore.”

“Oh well…perhaps I could drive you?  You shouldn’t drive in your condition.”

“Adam, I’m pregnant, not incapacitated!  You don’t even have your license yet!  I’ll give you some lessons when we get home.”

“I wasn’t trying to get lessons out of you.  But if you insist.  Also, could you grab me a tux and a yellow shirt while you are out?  Prom is tonight.”

Short notice much?  I headed off with no money in my pockets and a lot to purchase.

A new clothing resale shop had opened up on the edge of town.  It looked cute on the outside but it was wretched inside.

I guess I should have figured it would look cheap.  If I can get a new wardrobe for $100 I shouldn’t expect it to look like a Neiman Marcus.

I ran by the salon on the way home.  I thought it might be too conspicuous to have lighter, flowy clothes at the beginning of fall so I needed a new hairstyle, too.  That way I could say I just wanted to change things up.

I found my new look hard to complain about even under the circumstances.  I’m such a hottie.

“Lookin’ hot, sis!  How about those driving lessons now?”

“Lookin’ hot now goes under the things you can’t say to me category.  Have you ever driven a car before?”

“Not legally.  Once I backed Dad’s car down the driveway and into the mailbox.  That’s about it.”

“Get in the car.  I swear if you even think about crashing my car I will never let you do anything fun again!  Just homework and housework!”

Adam was out the door and in the car before I could even blink.  The look in his eye was a scary combination of excitement and determination.

He did really well though.  I was still I little worried he might run over kids at the playground but he kept it on the road.

We got home just as the limo I ordered pulled up.  I figured if I had to buy him a tux I might as well rent the limo, too.  I was also living a bit vicariously through Adam since I skipped my own Prom.

Adam’s girlfriend Rory was already waiting when we got home.  He neglected to tell me she was going to come over so I felt kind of shitty about her waiting alone.  The limo seemed to make up for any anger she had though.

It was 11pm when I crawled into bed with no sign of Adam.  I figured he’d be home eventually or the cops would bring him home.  One way or another he’d show up!

I wasn’t going to set a time limit on his fun.

Chapter 3.6

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter gets a bit heavy in adult content and language later in the chapter.  Reader discretion is advised.

I don’t know why everyone keeps telling me raising teenagers is a pain in the ass.  Adam is awesome!  I know I was just a great.

He gets up every morning and makes his own food.

He does chores.

He even helps take care of the crazy critters I call my “Slime Babies”.

A few months had passed since my adventures abroad and the bills were starting to pile up.  In fact, the repo man had just left my house after stealing my washing machine.

Alas, it was time to get a job.

So I headed the salon.  I got my hair, nails, and makeup done.  I also donned a stellar new suit I picked up at a garage sale.

I realized as I looked in the mirror that I was, in fact, an adult now.  I tried not to vomit at this thought.  It was time.

I got to the hospital just in time for my interview.  I had no idea what to expect.  I didn’t think I’d get the job.  I mean, I had a mediocre school record and here I was trying to get a job as a surgeon?  They’d laugh me out of the hospital.

But they hired me!  After some celebration in front of the hospital I realized where I was and toned it down a bit.

You know how it is.  You hire a surgeon and then someone sees her dancing like a mental patient in front of the building.  Then you get fired.

I ran home to change because I had a date later that afternoon.  Not with Xander though.

“Did Bug get my gifts!?  I missed that kid!”

“Yeah, the movers came and dropped off her stuff months ago.  Why are you just now getting here!?  Also, don’t you think a whole bedroom set from France is a bit much for a 6 month old?  At least call next time and tell me a moving truck is coming with 30 things for my daughter’s room!”

“Uh, hello!  I’m pulling rank.  As the oldest twin I do not have to listen to what you say about my gifts for Bug.”

“I am the MOTHER.  Which trumps anything you are to Katie.  I appreciate the furniture and toys you got her but next time a heads up would be nice.  Also, if you turn her into a spoiled brat you get to keep her.”

“Ok, well you can ride your high horse.  I’ve got a niece to visit!”

“BUG!  I missed you, kiddo!”

The look on that kid’s face is everything to me.  I hope one day I have one just like her.

It was neat seeing the post cards that I sent her on the wall.  At least Liv didn’t toss them!

I spent some quality time with Bug in her new room.  I heard Liv crying downstairs and I took Bug to go investigate.

Liv didn’t even notice when I stuck Bug in her swing.

“Honey, what’s wrong.  What’s going on?”

“Oh, Penny.  While you were away I had a miscarriage.”

“Oh, Sweetie.  I’m so sorry…I didn’t know you were trying.”

“We didn’t either…”

“Look, I know this isn’t going to make up for what you lost but I got you something while I was away.  I have something important to do but I really want to be here for you.  Let’s have a lunch date next week.”

“Ok, Pen.  I’ll call you!”

I left Liv’ house with a heavy heart.  I will always hurt when she hurts.  Right now I had my own fish to fry.

After a staring contest with the box, willing it to go my way, I took the test.

“Penny…I’m home!  I got a promotion today!  Penny…where the fuck are you?”

“…Penny?”

“Yeah…come on in.”

“Penny…what’s wrong?  Are you sick?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Penny’s Prologue

I returned from college and everything was changing.

Mom was preparing for her baby boy to go from boy to…man boy?  Whatever a teenage boy is I guess.

Little Lucy’s photo adorned the fireplace as the final tribute to the Hanks family saga.

Oh…Colleen went from being a Lox to a Parker and welcomed little Jonah Donaldson Parker.

That was interesting…She was dating a guy named Forrest Donaldson when I left.  Aunt Lanya said something about Grampa Vic convincing Dad to banish Forrest in some sort of revenge against all men impregnating unmarried daughters thing.

It’s all rumor of course.  Although Forrest is missing…whatevs.

Speaking of shotgun weddings…Mike finally proposed to Liv.  Probably with Dad watching from the porch threatening him with bodily harm…or banishment.  Either way I came home just in time for the wedding!

Well, not everything’s changed.  Mom and Dad were still all over each other…ALL THE TIME.  Ew.

“There’s my favorite person!  Hi there little awesome niece!”

“It’s nice to see you too, Penny.  I mean, Doctor Hanks.”

“Jealous, I see.  Get used to it, deary.  This baby is so my favorite person ever.”

“We are going to have so much fun!  She’s going to be my little sidekick and she will worship my awesomesauce.”

“Please stay away from my daughter when she is learning to talk.  I never want to hear awesomesauce from the mouth of a 2 year old.”

“Oh, Liv.  Lighten up.  She will say all the things.  And I will teach her.”

The next morning I was helping Liv get ready for her wedding.  She really did glow.  I, on the other hand, did not.

Glowing isn’t my thing on a good day.  I wasn’t sure this was a good day.

“Can you believe I am getting married?”

“I can believe it.  I can’t believe you are having a shotgun wedding.  What were you thinking, Liv?”

Before she could answer it was time to head off for the ceremony.

I had to admit, she really did look happy.  As obnoxious as it was losing my twin to marriage I knew that we had to part ways at some point.

At least Mike makes her smile in a way that nobody else can.  So help me I will do terrible things to that man if he ever hurts my twin.  I’m a brain surgeon now…and only average, too…I can really eff him up!

I’m not going to think about that in the context of actual patients.

Poor Adam!  With all the crap going on involving banishments, weddings, and babies we pretty much missed his birthday.  We honestly grabbed junk from around the house and called it presents.

He went with it!  This means my brother is either super sweet and amazing or totally unobservant and dumb.  I am going to guess he’s just awesome.

One morning about a month before AwesomeSauce the Kid (Liv totally hates that name) arrived I took her shopping for some baby items.  Mike had bought them an old farmhouse and was renovating it which meant I got to play baby room designer.

Can I just say…I was super excited to go to the toystore.  After dropping about $500 in toys for the tot we headed off to buy some real furniture for the house.

The store was a bit overwhelming.  Lucky for me, Liv knew what she wanted so I just wandered and enjoyed looking at things I can’t afford to purchase.

The baby section was the best.  I, of course, spent my time figuring out how to spoil my niece.  Liv took the logical approach and bought essential items.

“You know, Liv…I never pictured you as a farmer.”

“Well, Penny, I never pictured you as a doctor.”

“Touche.”

Liv totally went all the way with this farmer thing.  Cows and chickens.  This should be a reality show.

I have to say that Liv and Mike will be awesome parents.  The rest of the house is furnished with cheap furniture so they could afford the best stuff for Baby Girl Hepworth.

I mean, it’s like a fairy tale in that room.  The kid will totally be aware that she is a girl.

After a long day of shopping we returned to home.  Two hours later I heard Liv scream from the music room.

“OH MY GOD!  LIV YOU’RE IN LABOR!  WHAT DO I DO!”

“YOU WENT TO MEDICAL SCHOOL AND YOU’RE ASKING ME WHAT TO DO?!”

“I STUDIED BRAIN SURGERY NOT BIRTHING BABIES!  HOSPITAL!  WE SHOULD GO THERE!”

I got us there without killing anyone!  I was so proud.

I called Mike (once the nurse told me maybe I should call the father) and he hurried over from his renovations.  Nobody expected the baby to come a month early but here we were.

The next evening we all piled in a taxi headed for home.

Everyone was excited to meet Katherine Penelope Hepworth.

I had no idea Liv and Mike were making me a namesake.  Everyone calls her Katie but I call her Bug.  Katydids are a Bug.  It’s unique.  I’m not weird.

Three weeks later we packed Liv, Mike, and Katie off to their new house and things returned to normal.

Well, until Mom stopped me one day.

“I’m pregnant!”

“I’m so buying a house and moving out.  I mean, congratulations!”

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.