Chapter 3.34

I thought about Hannah’s offer for a few weeks and then headed over to take Adam up on the offer.  I was still on the fence but the kid..er man…has grounded me since he was a teen so I figured we could at least talk it through.

It also allowed Hannah and I to take a break from the Harper and Vi.  They adore each other.  They’ll be trouble in a few years!

“Take the money, Penny.  You know you want a fresh start.  There’s no strings attached.  In fact, considered it repayment for the debt of raising me.  You gave a lot and I wouldn’t be where I am without it.”

“The kids though.  I can’t trust them to another babysitter.  Last time…I don’t even want to think about it.”

“I’ve got a friend.  He’s an author and his sister is looking for a full-time nanny gig.  She’s perfect.  I’ll call him up tonight and have her get in touch with you.  Do it, Penny.  You deserve it.”

He was right.  I raised him.  I’m raising Liv’s kids.  I’ve got Harper.  We’re never going to get anywhere until I go back to school.  I really wanted a business degree.  I didn’t know what I would do with it but something said it would be worth it.

“Alright.  I’ll do it.   It’ll take some time but I think I can make it work.”

It did take a few months but the house made its “debut.”  I didn’t change much.  Mostly just expanded but we needed the extra room.

With puppies, a toddler, and two children the living room needed some room to…well, live in.

And the kitchen had a growth spurt, too.  The dining room was tossed out in favor of a playroom and office.  It was too difficult for the poor toddler to hobble up and down the stairs to either her room or the basement to play.  Dining rooms are overrated anyway.

I planned to head off to university in the spring.  Granted, I’d be attending Storybrook County College but I’d be there for 10 hours and then there was homework.  My baby was going to grow up in the arms of a nanny.

Of course I was putting my horse in front of the cart.  I hadn’t even taken my entrance exams let alone applied to the school.

The aptitude exam was more difficult than I remembered.  Of course, it had been about 15 years since I took the last one.  Also I have relatively no business skills.  It’ll be a few more months before I know the results.  In the meantime there was still a lot to do.

One was meeting the nanny.  The doorbell rang early one fall morning.

She was quite unexpected.  When I think “nanny” I think old woman.  However, Linzy was lovely and highly qualified.

As we sat drinking coffee I interviewed her.  I already knew she would be perfect but I wanted to seem like I knew what I was doing.

“So, tell me about yourself.  Why do you want to be a nanny?”

“Hm.  Well, I love children.  I’m nurturing, neat, a natural cook.  I’m a master gardener and chef.  I have a degree in education and I used to be a teacher.”

Someone up there must love me.  If there is such thing as divine intervention this is it.

I showed Linzy to her room in the basement.  One more of the remodeling projects from the summer.  It wasn’t much but she loved it regardless.

Harper took right to Linzy as if they were old friends.

For the first time in a while I actually allowed myself to feel optimistic about the future.  Things could work out for us after all.

Chapter 3.33

I took to motherhood much easier than anticipated.  Granted, I never expected to raise Harper alone but I don’t think Xander needs to know I was pregnant when I left him either.

Someone takes after her mom in more than just good looks.

Harper is brilliant.  She took to walking nearly as soon as she hit the ground.

“MAMA!  MAMA!”

I realized that I didn’t want to miss a second of this walking, talking extravaganza.

I called Hannah to watch Harper and headed to the big-box resale store out in the boonies.

Everything is marked down to 25%.  You get what you pay for but I didn’t care.  I rushed into the store.

I grabbed the closest video recorder and paid.

Hannah was due any day now with their SECOND daughter.  We couldn’t wait to meet Azalea Kalliope (to be known as Kallie) but Hannah had a bigger surprise for me.

“My aunt just died and left Adam and I $50,000.  We want you to have it, Penny.”

“Uhh…what?”  I was dumbfounded.  “What about Violet and Kallie?  They need college funds?”

“Oh shush, P.  We both know your brother makes more than that each week in book royalties.  Take it.  Upgrade the house.  Go back to college.  Pay a real babysitter and go get laid.  Do something.  It’s your money now whether you like it or not.”

I have no idea how I ended up with such a kick ass sister-in-law.  She’ll never best my missing twin but she comes damn close some days.

Chapter 3.32

It’s that time again.

Not only was Dylan having a birthday…

Which he was totally excited for…but it was Harper’s birthday too.

It was a quiet celebration for poor Dylan since Katie was away at boarding school but we made it work.

“Is all that cake for me?”

“Do you really think you need that much cake, Pickle?”

“Is that a real question, Auntie?  Cuz the answer is yes.”

Harper had a bit more pomp for birthday and Dylan made sure she knew it was special.

Immediately upon becoming a toddler she started to beat the hell out of some creepy doll some long lost relative maile her.  Good girl.

“Penny…do I get any presents?”

“Oh…um…did you check your room?”

He was up the stairs before I even had a chance to think.

“NEW STUFF!”

I made sure he had a fully stocked toy chest and a new bed.

“So…did you just get me furniture?  I love it but…”

“Did you try going to the backyard and whistling for the present fairy?”

“The what?”

“The little old lady who sometimes brings presents if you whistle for her in the backyard?  You know the story…”

“There’s no presents out here, Penny.”

“Well you didn’t whistle did you?”

“This is stupid…but ok.”

“Hello?!  Old Lady Present Fairy?”

It was funny to watch him make a fool of himself.  Of course there was no present fairy but the hollering would bring his present running.

“Well looky there, Pickle.”

“Hi there, little guy…”

Merry and Pippin were the newest and tiniest members of the Hanks family.

His smile is totally worth all the frustration that awaits us.

Chapter 3.31

Note from SweetPoyzin: Nothing exciting happens in this chapter.  It is just to show off some adorableness.

With his birthday just around the corner, I thought I would spend some time with my little guy.  I reluctantly called a babysitter for Harper and left her alone for the first time.

I must say, Mr. Dylan quite enjoyed getting out of the house for a change.  I did, too.

We headed to the toystore to pick up some birthday goodies.

It also has the added bonus of having an attached park and we spent most of the day on the playground.

More specifically, we spent 5 hours riding the bee.

“All right, bud.  Time to go.”

“NO.  Don’t wanna.”

“Oh, you’ll live.”

While we were out we ran across these guys.  Dylan took to them right away.  Too bad they belong to someone.

Dylan continued to put up a stink about leaving but passed out immediately on the ride home.

I got home just in time to find Harper dirty, hungry, lonely, and sleepy.  Fuck babysitters.  I’m never leaving her again.

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 2.35

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter is from Garrett’s POV.  I always regretted Victor not having his say in Generation One.  Well, we’re coming to the end of Generation Two and Garrett is in the same position.  So now, on the eve of Adam’s birthday, it’s Garrett’s turn to speak.

A Second Note from SweetPoyzin: My game hates Adam.  More specifically it hates his birthday.  My hard drive crashed after aging him up to a child the first time.  The second time my mouse stopped working and the party guests went home unhappy (I was lucky to save).  This third time Adam was unable to use the birthday cake no matter where I placed it.  Regardless Adam aged up but there is a weird blank spot where the whole cake thing should be.  Sorry.  Let’s hope this is the last catastrophe.

I’m not really a sentimental man.  I don’t get weepy and I don’t always think deep thoughts about life and whatnot.  Lately, though, we’ve been redecorating the house with some old photos we found in the attic.

My kids…well they aren’t little kids anymore.

Adam, my only other source of testosterone in this house, is growing up today.  He’s gonna be a kid!  It’s going to be great.  We’ll play football and soccer.  We’ll go boating and fishing!

First we have to get him out of his baby sister’s room.  We’ve been remodeling his nursery into a “big boy room” and so he’s been hanging out with Lucy.

Since my son doesn’t have a birthday everyday, I called work and told them I wouldn’t be coming in today.  I’m spending the day with my family!

Adam was wide awake when I went in to grab him.  He looked happy as usual.  This kid is awesome when it comes to being happy and laid back.

“Hey, Monster!  Are you ready for your birthday today?”

“Yes.  But Daddy…Will there be cookies?”

The serious look on his face and the worry in his voice made me burst out laughing.

“Cookies, you ask?  I think there will be cookies.  But first there will be RASPBERRIES!”

“AHHHHHHH”

Adam’s giggle fills my heart until I think it will burst.  We really lucked out on the adoption front.  And to think…I wanted to say no.  I thought life was complete with just my girls but Adam and Lucy?  They were the parts I never knew were missing.

“Come on, nugget.  Let’s get you dressed and then you go play!”

While I was cleaning up the play room I heard giggles from the kitchen.

That could only mean trouble for Mollie.

“Mama…are those cookies for me?”

“They won’t be for anyone if you don’t let me finish making them, Cookie Monster!”

“Come on, Champ.  Let’s get out of Mommy’s hair.  Grab some toys and we’ll bury them in the sandbox!”

“AWESOME!”

“You know, Adam, your sisters and I used to play out here, too!”

“They don’t love me anymores.”

“Why do you think that, Nugget?”

“They leaved.  Theys didn’t get me a birthday present either.  I got them presents from my own toy box.  But theys forgot about me.”

“Come here, Nugget.  They didn’t forget you.  They grew up and they have their own lives.  One day you will grow up, too.  You’ll forget about your old man and have your own life.”

“I’ll never forget you, Daddy!  And I’ll always give you lots of presents!”

While Mollie played with Adam in the front yard I ran inside and changed the name on some of the presents.  I know Penny and Liv love their baby brother.  I just wanted to make sure he knows that, too.

I’ll write an email to the girls to let them know they bought their brother that robot action figure he wanted so badly.

While we waited for the guests to arrive, Mollie, Adam, and I sat on the front porch making bad jokes to each other.

“Adam…Why do firemen wear red suspenders?”

“I dunno, Daddy…why?”

“To hold their pants up!”

“Oh, jeez, Garrett…that was terrible!”

Mollie has never been a fan of my bad jokes.  Adam’s giggle whenever I tell one is winning her over though.

Adam’s eyes lit up when he realized the gifts were for him.  I had to keep holding him back from the gift table and finally Mollie and I decided to distract him with cake.  It was, of course, his birthday cake but the guests didn’t mind.  After all, Grammy Liddy and Gramps Vic have been there done that with the toddler scene!

After the party Mollie and Liddy were cleaning up and I snagged Adam.

“Hey, Nugget!  I want you to see this.”

“Dad, that’s Lucy.  I’ve seen her.  Did I mention I’ve also smelled her?”

“She’s your baby sister, Nugget.  See how small she is?  When I’m gone I want you to always look out for her and protect her, okay?”

“Uh, sure Dad.  Are you feeling ok?”

“Just fine, son. Just fine.  Come on…I’ve got another surprise for you!”

“Wanna see your new big boy room!”

“YEAH!  DON’t DROP ME!”

Adam was totally taken aback.  I’d like to say I had a part in this but it was all Mollie and Victor.   He built all the furniture and painted while Mollie thought up the whole design.

“OH WOW!  This is so COOL!  OH MY GOSH!  Is that…”

We aren’t really dog people.  Or cat people.  But we thought it was important for a kid to have a pet.  So we got him a gecko.

“Hey there, friend.”

“What are you going to name him, Nugget?”

“His name is Theodore Q. Rumplefugly.”

“Wow!  That’s quite a name, kiddo.  Should we call him Rumple for short?”

“Ugh…Dad.  His friends call him Cue Ball…because he’s bald.  Jeez.”

I was impressed with the creativity Adam possessed.  I have so many hopes for him but as long as he is happy I’ll be okay with whatever he chooses.

“Alright, say goodnight to Cue Ball.  It’s time for bed!”

“NO!  Daddy, it’s my birthday!”

“Tough cookies.  Get your pajamas on, kiddo.  If you hurry I’ll read you a bedtime story!”

And by bedtime story, I meant Science textbook.  It’s never too early to get a jump-start on knowledge.

He loved it.  That’s my boy!

For not being sleepy the kid conked out pretty fast.  It had been a big day for everyone.  I cannot believe this little guy is a kid.  He’s been part of our lives for five years already!

“Goodnight, Nugget.”  I whispered good thoughts in his ear in hopes he wouldn’t have nightmares.  After watching him breathe for several minutes I snuck out of his room to go find Mollie.

She was downstairs watching old home movies.  On the TV table she had placed a new photo.

“Damn, I forgot I had an earring back in the day.  Shit, Mol, we’re getting old.”

“Not that old though!  I’m only turning 40!  And what are you?  35!  Knock it off!”

“We’ve got a lot to plan in the next couple of weeks.  Lucy’s birthday is next and we’re doing that the same day as our Feast Day party.  Then your birthday and I’ve got that planned.  What do you want for your birthday?”

“I want my girls home.  I heard from Penny today.  She sent an email.  I’ll read it to you tomorrow.  Let’s go to bed.”

Chapter 2.32

The morning started like any other day.

I enjoyed another “delicious” salad in hopes of getting rid of those baby pounds and Garrett ate whatever the hell he felt like eating.  Today it was corn dogs because he doesn’t want to get any tonight.

The one thing that wasn’t normal?  Penny and Liv were having a birthday today.  Like they were going to let us forget that they would be young adults, college bound and everything.

Since the twins and Colleen shared a birthday I called my mom and we planned an impromptu triple birthday bash for the girls.  Everyone would come over to our house that evening for a mega party.

Boyfriends were not allowed since Penny and Colleen still could not settle on who gets to date Greg.  Personally, I think neither girl should have dated him since he seemed fine with dating two girls.  But what do I know…I’m only older and wiser.

After getting the party details in place it was time to hangout with the best party planning assistant a mother could ask for.  Lucy was still sleeping so Adam and I had a little time to ourselves before I had to run off to get gifts and cakes.

“Mommy…Sissies told me they wants cookies for the party.  They says I gets to try the cookies whiles you are making them.”

“Your sisters said that?

“Yeah, they saids I’m the bestest cookie eater so I had to taste all the cookies.  Yup.”

“Interesting.  Well, I guess you could have one cookie before lunch.”

I was going to have to watch out for this little nugget.  Only 3 years old and he’s already trying to pull the wool over mom’s eyes.  Little Adam is a dangerous combination of Momma’s Boy, Genius, and Adorable.

I made some other food for the party while Adam chowed down on his cookie.  It was going to be one of our biggest parties yet and I needed lots of food.  Most of which I wouldn’t eat thanks to my stinky diet.

“Mommy’s got to go get some gifts for Penny and Olivia’s birthday party.  You be good for the babysitter ok?”

“I’m the best boy ever, Mommy.  So you should brings me back somfing, too.  Ok, Mommy?”

“You’re birthday is next month, Little Man.  You can wait.”

“Well…ok.  But I might not be good then.”

“That’s a chance I’m willing to take.”

We hadn’t really utilized babysitters since the twins were toddlers.  That bad experience really shook me.  Adam is so self sufficient though and he will let us know if anything is amiss with a sitter.  He also watches out for Lucy, too.  He’s my eyes and ears now.

I drove into town to check out the new art supply shop.  With Liv going to University for her art degree it seemed like the perfect place to find her some gifts.

I immediately thought I was in the wrong place when a pink luxury convertible pulled up next to my old SUV.

We had hit a money snag since the remodel and we had been living paycheck-to-paycheck.  Things were getting so bad that I was thinking about heading back into the workforce after Adam and Lucy were just a smidge older.

The gear here was seriously overpriced.  I ended up getting Liv a drafting table and some models to work from in class.  Penny was the spendy one.  She was going to medical school and her gear was outrageously priced.  We’ll be in the red for awhile but Garrett and I will make it work.  We always have.

When I got home I realized that the house was a mess.  I’ve been taking care of Adam and Lucy and well…the house wasn’t a huge priority.  Until I realized my whole family would be visiting and I had several months’ worth of laundry on the floor.

Garrett was home and he occupied the itty bits.  He really loves being a dad to little ones again.

Even Lucy was excited for the party.  I doubt she knew what was going on but she could tell there was some hub-bub about and it was going to be fun.

Garrett cleaned up the playroom while I set up the gifts and party decorations.

Adam was displeased by this.

“Hey, Big Guy…what’s the issue?”

“You are picking up my toys, Daddy.”

“Yes.  So what’s the issue?”

“I was gonna let Sissies pick a present from my toys and you put thems away!”

“Well, they can pick from your toy box.  If they are all over the floor someone might trip.  They’ll like it just the same.”

“Fine.  I’m not gonna have fun at the party though.”

I decorated the dining room with the girls old pictures.  Since I had gotten in the habit of photographing them before each birthday I had one from their toddler years, childhood, and teen years.

I proudly displayed their photos around the room in chronological order.

Finally, was the photo I took of the girls before school today.  I also had smaller copies made and framed in their favorite colors.  They could take the photos with them to university and beyond and always remember their love for each other and their mother’s love for them.

Finally the gifts were set out and everything was ready and waiting.

Now we just needed the girls to get home from school.

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.

Chapter 2.29

We were over the moon with Adam in our lives.  Everything finally felt complete.  Which is why I was a little nervous about the impending birth of our fourth child.

To take my mind off my fears I redecorated our lower level.  We never really used this space and I thought it would make a great play area for Adam and I.

However, I couldn’t help but feel terrible every time I went in to get Adam out of bed.  We adopted him because we couldn’t get pregnant.  We wanted to give him an amazing life.  He was our missing puzzle piece.

Garrett and I had thrown caution to the wind for years just figuring that there was no way I was going to get pregnant again.  Then after 15 years and one beautiful adopted son…I’m pregnant.  I felt horribly guilty.

I was determined to spend as much time with Adam as I could before the new baby arrived.  I kept telling myself that he would love me even if he had to share my attention with a new baby.  I promised myself that I had enough love and energy for all of my children.

Garrett was great!  He really understood my fears and stepped up to the plate.  He did all the icky parenting parts like potty training.  He also really helped out with the house chores.

We both were over the moon about this pregnancy.  We were a little afraid of it, too.  Both of us worried that I could lose the baby.  It had taken us to long to get this far.  Garrett made sure I had lots of rest time so that I could grow us a healthy baby.

There was one point in the pregnancy when I realized that I might be resting a bit too much.

I am the chef in our family.  There is no disputing that fact.  I got it from my mom.  Well, I was busy eating cookies morning, noon, and night.  It’s what the Little Nugget wanted!  Don’t judge!

I cooked other things for everyone, too.  The issue started when Garrett insisted that I rest more.

Men don’t always think about ALL the places that need to be cleaned.  The refrigerator is one of these places Garrett didn’t think about.

Luckily I was done with my morning sickness at this point.  I spent an entire week cleaning up after everyone.  My husband was more of a baby than the girls!

I did feel bad for them though.  They missed a whole week of school due to food poisoning and then another week due to snow days.

“LIV GET OUT!  IT’S MY TURN TO PUKE!”

“FIND YOUR OWN TOILET!  THIS BATHROOM IS MINE!”

After the food-borne plague left our house and everyone went back to school I realized two things.

1.  Thank goodness little Adam isn’t eating solids yet.

2. Garrett is off cleaning duty for the rest of his life.

Chapter 2.28

Today was our big snowflake day party!  We invited my family and the twins’ boyfriends.

The only problem was the fact that I felt awful.  The flu had attacked our family for the past week and now it was my turn.

Penny was not making things any easier on my stomach.  Colleen had politely declined my invite after the issues we’ve had with her and Penny dating the same guy.  Colleen had reconciled with her beau but as soon as he walked in the door Penny decided to lay claim again.  Needless to say the whole family was clearly upset with her at that moment.

We all got it together long enough to open gifts.  We could at least pretend to be one big happy family long enough to get some loot!  Penny got some sports gear and Liv ended up with more makeup and clothes.  Garrett gave me cooking gear and I bought him a new laptop.  Everyone was pleased with their goodies!

“Ugh…Be right back!”

It was terribly embarrassing that I was vomiting through the whole party.  I’ve never been so sick.  It was the worst Snowflake Day ever.  I don’t know why anyone stayed.

After I had composed myself Lanya pulled me aside.

“Mollie…could you be pregnant?”

“Of course not, Lanya.  That’s why we just adopted.  We’ve tried for 15 years to get pregnant.  No, I’m not pregnant.”

“Come on.  We’re going upstairs.”

“Just take the test, Mollie.  What’s the worst that can happen?”

“No, Laney.  I’ve seen way to many negative tests.  Even though we have Adam now I just don’t want to do that to myself again.”

“Look.  I am gonna stand outside and barricade that door until you pee on this stick.  So just do it.  Otherwise my three kids will go hungry because I’m not leaving your house until you take this test.”

So I took the test.  Mostly just so Lanya would let me out of the bathroom.  While I waited for the stupid thing to come up negative I analyzed the beginnings of wrinkles in the mirror.

After three minutes of waiting I looked down at a positive pregnancy test.

I wasn’t sure what to do with that.  So I did what any other woman would do after waiting 15 years to see it.  I danced like a maniac.  Then I went back to the party and didn’t tell anyone.