Monday, October 19, 2009

An Update

My dear friends and loyal readers -

I just have a second, but I wanted to update you all on what's been happening in our lives. Last Tuesday night, my mom called me and let me know that her father, my grandfather Parky, my last remaining grandparent, was in the hospital in critical care. He had actually been in the hospital for nearly a week then, following what we think was a stroke, but his condition was worsening. I packed up and left Indy for Peoria on Wednesday, leaving the girls with Ben and an assist from our wonderful sitter Lauren during the day.

I was able to spend a great deal of time with my grandfather and the rest of my extended family at the hospital on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Thursday, the family met with the doctors, who told us that his condition would likely not improve. He had a living will and had made clear his wishes not to have his life sustained by artificial means, and after a difficult meeting, the family decided to withdraw any medical interventions that might cause him pain or discomfort. At that point, we knew it would only be a matter of time before he passed.

On Friday, I made the drive back to Indy for an OB appointment (more on that at some later, more cheerful time), and then Ben and the girls returned to Peoria with me--LOTS of driving! We are so grateful that we did it, though, because Parky passed on Saturday morning.

We had the final viewing for our family yesterday (he is being cremated), and now we are in a holding pattern to see what comes next. Ben returned to Indy with my sister Kristin on Sunday evening, but Bryn, Shay, and I are still in Peoria. We will have a family ceremony sometime this week to bury his ashes, and we're not sure yet when the actual funeral will occur, although that will hopefully be determined this afternoon. So for right now, the girls and I are just trying to be a help to my mom and the rest of the extended family, and waiting to hear when these ceremonies will take place. Depending on the dates that are chosen, we may just remain in Peoria for the duration, or we may return to Indy and come back another time.

Huge thanks go out to everyone in Indy that has helped with our dogs and rescheduling our lives over the past six days, as well as everyone in Peoria who has provided companionship and comfort for us. I know that many of you have been praying for us, and we certainly appreciate that outpouring of love and faith. Thank you, all, for your friendship. I'll keep you all updated as we find out more.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Brynie's Babies

We've got a bit of situation on our hands. It seems that I am not the only one in this household who is with child. Bryn tells us that she is pregnant with twins and will be delivering them any day now.

This actually started back in July, when we traveled to Peoria for a friend's wedding. While we were there, Bryn announced to Grandma and Grandpa that she had a baby in her belly. We weren't sure where she got the idea at that time, since we hadn't told her that I was pregnant yet. We kind of assumed that she was just playing pretend and that the idea would pass soon enough.


In the weeks following the wedding, Bryn continued to talk about her baby. She decided that it was a boy, and she named him Clark. (Those remembering her Superman obsession will get this reference.)

I eventually decided to use "her" baby as a jumping-off point to discuss the one that I will be having. I was trying to explain to her that we don't always know if a baby is going to be a boy or a girl before it comes, and I asked her, "What if your baby is a girl?" She thought about this very seriously for a few minutes, and then announced, "Then I will name her Lois Lane." I laughed and told her that was just fine. But after this discussion, she apparently decided that she wanted both a boy baby AND a girl baby, and now she tells everyone that she has two babies in her belly, and their names are Clark and Lois Lane.

Cute, right? Yes, but it's getting out of hand.

When Bryn saw me taking my prenatal vitamins, she asked what they were, and I explained that they were medicine to help my baby grow big and strong. She then demanded that she be allowed to take medicine for HER babies. This was okay, as we'd been trying to get her started on vitamins anyway. What is not okay is that every single morning now, she announces, "I need my medicine for my babies!"

When she saw me getting out of the shower one day, she asked me why my stomach was growing. I told her it was because the baby was growing inside there. I went to get dressed, and when I came back to the bathroom, I found that she had stripped down and was examining her own belly in front of the full-length mirror. "Look, Mommy, my babies are making my belly grow too!"

When her preschool class did a lesson on families, they made these really cute little tree crafts with a leaf for each member of the family. At the end of class, though, her teacher pulled me aside and asked me if I was having twins. I said no, and she asked why, then, Bryn had wanted to put leaves on her tree for two babies. *Sigh.*

I tried to have a reasonable discussion with her about this a few weeks back, asking her who she thought was going to take care of her babies when they came. We talked about all the things that babies need, and after thinking about it, she said, "That is a lot of work. You will need to take care of my babies for me, Mom." (Please, please, please do not let her repeat this statement during her teen years!!!)

Now that she has had babies in her belly since July (after all, 3 months are a very long time when you're 3 1/2), she is getting very impatient for them to come out. She keeps telling me that they will come soon, and she is determined that hers will come before mine. Sometimes she even gets upset and cries and says that she wants them to hurry up and come out. And how will they be coming out? Through her belly button. Or at least that's what she tells me.

Recently she came and got me during naptime with a very panicked look on her face. Completely seriously, she said, "Mommy, I think my babies are about to come out!" I had no idea what to do with that, so I sent her back to bed. This incident was closely followed by a very serious pooping incident that I will avoid describing. Let it suffice to say that she seems to fully understand that babies make your belly feel pretty gross sometimes.

The other day, while eating breakfast, Bryn took a bite of cereal, chewed, swallowed, rubbed her belly, and said, "Yum-o! That is good to baby Clark!" Then she took another bite and said, "And that bite is to Lois Lane." So it seems that she does understand that babies live in their mommies' bellies and need their mommies' food to stay healthy. What she does NOT seem to understand is that she does not ACTUALLY have babies in HER belly.

While this was all super-cute at the beginning, and it actually has given me a springboard to discuss pregnancy with her, it's all getting rather out of hand. I sat her down and had a talk about how my baby is real and her baby is pretend. She agreed and went along with this for about two days, until I realized that she doesn't know what "pretend" means. I then told her that my baby is "real" and hers is "just for play," and she got very agitated with me, insisting that hers is real too.

Our contingency plan was to buy her some baby dolls when my baby comes and tell her that they were her babies. When I tried to talk to her about this, though, she got very upset and told me that hers would be real babies, that cry and need to be rocked and like to drink milk.

So, friends, short of running out and adopting two more babies (which I would love to do, by the way!), any ideas on how to resolve this? :)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Boy vs. Man

As I mentioned in a previous post, Shay's newest saying is "oh man!" This really cracks me up. She uses it all the time, and it's so incredibly cute the way she says it. Ben, Bryn, and I have all started saying it too because it's so adorable.

What I noticed the other day, though, is that when she gets excited about something, she says "oh boy!" instead. This led me, the English major, to a contemplation of how subtly different the words "boy" and "man" are, yet how differently they are used in this context. I mean, I'm sure that Shay could not identify the difference between a boy and a man in people (nor could Bryn). Yet when used as an expression, she's got it down.

Doughnuts for breakfast?
Oh boy!

Time to clean up our toys?
Oh man!

Want to play outside?
Oh boy!

Bryn doesn't want to watch the same movie as Shay?
Oh man!

Daddy just got home?
Oh boy!

Time to get up from naps?
Oh man!
(or at least that's how I feel! :))

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Bulldog Babies

This weekend was Butler's Homecoming, and Ben and I took the girls to campus to check out the festivities. We wandered around the mall and did all the fun free stuff, but we left before the football game began in order to get home for naps. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

After naps, we hosted a Butler band reunion / cookout at our house. We didn't realize how big this was going to get when we first offered to host! We had 22 adults and 15 kids at our house, and it was crazy fun! It was so good to get caught up with old friends and to meet some of their kids for the first time. Good times--Go Bulldogs!!