Dean Family Blog

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And The War Is On
I believe we are witnessing the beginning of sibling rivalry and it's a bit scary. Grace has no idea anything is going on, but that hasn't stopped Josiah from assuming her every action is an attack. All the poor kid has to do is drool in his direction and he's screaming about it. I won't deny that she's into EVERYTHING, but I think this has more to do with him being almost 3 than anything else. He's started having uncharacteristic temper fits and is testing some boundaries pretty aggressively and I'm remembering the looks on some of my friends' faces a year ago when their kids were going through this and they thought it might be the end of them. The spankin' spoon has been getting quite a work out and I just keep reminding myself I'd rather deal with these problems now than have a 13 year old who still acts this way.
To make life a little more interesting, BG (or as Josiah insists on calling the baby, 'Cinderella') has been making me feel generally gross. My hormones are all over the place and I'm crying at random things throughout the day. The fatigue that eased for a couple days has returned and I just keep trying to remember that I should be grateful that I'm not sick on top if it. Philip has been great about keeping the kids busy in the evenings so I can have some space. Second trimester is coming soon and we're hoping for a few calmer weeks. Our first appointment is Monday and we'll get to have an ultrasound and listen to the heartbeat. All of our go-to babysitters are busy so the kids will be coming with us, which should be fun. I think we're going to petition Philip to take us out to dinner afterward...
PS And just when I was getting discouraged Josiah gave Gracie one of his animal crackers (which in toddler world is HUGE) just because he knew she liked them. Maybe there is hope.


The Guest House
The fort (aka the Guest House) is done! Dad, Michael, Percy and Philip worked for 2 straight very looooong days and nights in some nasty weather, but they got it done. I keep getting caught off guard when I look out the back window and see something that looks more like a catalog picture than our overgrown woods. It's pretty amazing. Nanny and Papa have decided they are retiring to the Guest House in a few years and Josiah is already dreaming of camping out in it. An enormous load of pea gravel was just delivered this afternoon (does it get any cooler...a new fort and a dump truck in the back yard in the same day!) so we'll stay busy for a while spreading it out. Thanks Nanny and Papa...this is a pretty awesome birthday gift!

Nothing Says Happy Birthday Like...
...antibiotics. Yep, we just got back from the doctor's office and although it's slightly non-traditional, we bought Grace a round of antibiotics for her big day. She's got an ear infection that just won't budge so I think she's actually happy about it. She also got 2 tongue depressors and they've kept her busy for the last hour. Who needs expensive gifts?
Philip's family is all in this week to celebrate with us and help build the fort. The cousins have kept Josiah busy and Nanny has had plenty of baby time while the guys have faced less than great weather to get this playground assembled. I've stayed busy making the smiley face birthday cake, mopping up mud and cooking...and cooking...and cooking. Grace actually had her cake last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. She went right for the icing and had a blast shoving it by the handful into her mouth. Amazingly, none of it ended up in her hair but she and Josiah were quickly whisked away to a bath before they could touch anything.
So, for the time being we don't technically have a 'baby' in our house (they lose that title when they turn 1). We plan to spend the next 7 months getting one out of diapers, one off the bottle, both feeding themselves and probably moving one to a big boy bed...and then we'll start all over at the beginning again. The funny thing is, by this point this seems kind of normal.


Mr. Opportunity
We attended and helped out with a friends' wedding yesterday at church and it was absolutely beautiful. In a very rare move, we kept both kids up during nap time to attend and they both did amazingly well. It was one of those weddings that was just a lot of fun to be a part of and we all enjoyed ourselves...especially Josiah. What could be better than going to church, eating cake and candy and playing with balloons and bubbles? He wasn't the only kid there enjoying it, but he was one of the most single-minded. When everyone else backs away from the cake so the bride and groom can do the 'put cake in your face' routine, Josiah saw an opening and lunged for the table...twice (it was good cake). He never really understood why they didn't want him eating cake in the bottom of that picture. When everyone backs up so the bride and groom can run through all the bubbles to get in their car, Josiah sees a bunch of silly people not running through bubbles and goes for it. I couldn't really blame him, but once again we had to get out of the picture. At least he had fun.
We are preparing for Philip's family to come in tonight for a few days. Assuming the weather holds out they'll be helping us set up the fort and we'll celebrate Grace's 1st birthday. After seeing how she took care of little pieces of the cake yesterday we have no worries that she'll turn her nose up at her cake.


Chip In
This is a post from a friends' blog that touched me and I decided to put it up here too. Take a minute to pray about it...

Okay so I’ve been thinking about writing this post for some time now and today especially. When I checked my e-mail, my scripture of the day was: “let us not grow tired of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we DO NOT GIVE UP” – Galatians 6:9

For the past month or so, I’ve seen a fellow adoptive mom Heather trying to raise $1750 to build a home for a family in need in Vietnam through the group Giving It Back to Kids. Her deadline is the end of this month and she is still not half-way to her goal, yet.

Unless you have been exposed to families in extreme poverty, unless you have seen how many live in third world countries, it is hard to understand the term “shack.” A “shack” here in our country is not a “shack” in my son’s homeland. A shack there is a 5 foot by 5 foot area built out of scrap that could house a family with several kids.

Imagine what we could do if everyone gave $10 to Heather’s project? Even if ten of you do that, and then post this on your blogs, and then ten of your readers do the same, and on and on, we can get her to her goal. If you have a blog, won’t you help us get the word out? If you have food on your table, won’t you consider contributing $10 or $20 to a family who you will never meet, but whose world will be forever transformed by your generosity?

It may seem that a few people giving a few dollars can never make a difference, but that is just not true. If you put a bucket under a dripping faucet, it may seem like it would never fill, but leave the bucket for a few days and that bucket will overflow with countless “insignificant” drops.

Go to Heather’s Blog and CHIP IN!
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” – Mother Teresa

If you feel moved, please post on your blogs or chip in to Heather’s cause – You’ll be helping out others who cannot help themselves.


The Long Weekend
Since it's not PC anymore to give extra time off for Good Friday, Philip had an extra day of vacation for Memorial Day. We enjoyed having him around for 4 days in a row and considered relaxing a little...and then didn't. We ended up working on the garden, building trellises for the garden, cleaning/organizing the house, building a patio, getting the ground in the woods leveled and cleared off, finalizing where the wood burner will go, working on scrapbooks, babysitting for a friend and assembling the table saw. We are now officially exhausted and ready for a vacation, but we got a lot off the to-do list.
BG is apparently growing something big right now because I feel pretty gross and am living off saltines, ginger ale and pasta. Sure hope he can grow off carbs. I read that he's losing his tail (that will certainly make changing diapers a little easier) and getting elbows. Go BG! Whatever he's doing he's starting to give me a pooch...won't be long before the kids have to start fighting for lap space. Josiah has been a big help while I feel bad, always offering his suggestions for what will help me...letting him eat mozzerella cheese before dinner, going to the mall and doing push-ups, eating cookies, etc. Philip, on the other hand, has been a much bigger help by taking care of the stuff I have to let slide.
So here's to a short week and hopefully feeling better!


The Camp Out
We had our first Dean camp out last the living room (which is actually the best way to camp if you ask me). After Grace went to bed Josiah got to snuggle with us in sleeping bags and watch Nemo and eat popcorn. I think we totally blew his mind. Staying up way past bedtime, sleeping in the living room and finding out Nemo was actually a movie instead of just a book. We all had a really good time and got a little bit of sleep. After an hour of Josiah quietly talking to himself (and wiggling like crazy) I finally looked over to see that he had a vacuum attachment (he'd been playing with it earlier in the day) and was pretending to be an elephant. Attachment taken away, he went to sleep pretty fast and proceeded to pummel me with various body parts for the rest of the night. Nothing like snuggling with an octopus. We finished our camp out with blueberry smiley face pancakes this 6am. There are no black-out blinds in the living room so our day started with the sunrise. It was a lot of fun and we're all about to catch up on some missed sleep with a Sunday nap. Does it get any better?

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