Dean Family Blog

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The Arkansas of the North
Apparently there is a competition among the states of our country to have the worst roads. Until recently I would have said Arkansas won hands down, but after a valiant effort Illinois might be closing in on them.
We made a crazy one-day trip to Chicago yesterday to get a new (to us) car for Philip. We really wanted to go with a Honda Civic because of their reliability and gas mileage and just couldn't find anything around here. So we piled the kids in the car at 6am and headed off. While the kids and I stayed at Nanny and Papa's house to eat and rest, Philip and Dad went off to brave the used car lots. We think they did a good job and just pray we made the right decision. At any rate, we're happy to have 2 cars again and grateful to have been able to pay for them both in car payments is a great thing.

I am happy to say we all made it home safely, despite the horrendous roads. There is one stretch that seriously (no exaggeration here) looks like something from a movie about the end of civilization...both sides crumbling, holes several feet wide, huge gaps between lanes. I suppose the upside is that after a very long day it helped keep us awake because we lived in fear that another car would run into us trying to avoid the mess on their side of the road. Ok, enough whining about the roads.

On the way over yesterday we got a call from the doctor's office that we were pregnant...they seemed to think we would be surprised by this. Why else would I go in? Anyway, my OB waits on this test to agree to make a first appointment and I got mine set for next month. Apparently they are doing ultrasounds at these first ones now instead of just at 20 weeks. I'm kind of curious what BG will look like at that stage and I'll be glad to confirm that there's just ONE kiddo in there. For some strange reason I've got a weird feeling there's more and it's freaking me out a little (a lot). At any rate, whoever's in there is making me really tired and I'm going to veg for half an hour before Grace and Josiah wake up.

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Donut In The Viking Range
We thought we had found a cute way to announce we are expecting and sent pictures of ovens with a bun inside the oven door to our parents and Philip's brother (an idea we shamelessly stole from a friend). However, 3 out of the 4 houses were very confused and couldn't figure it out without help. We've been very entertained by the responses we got...

You and Philip did it again. We got your letter/picture yesterday and Bill gave it to me to open while he opened other mail and Sandi was there opening her mail. Well, I looked at it, opened the oven door, and showed it to Bill. We stood there discussing whether the bread was a round loaf of bread, a bun, or a donut (Bill's input). Sandi asked to see it and immediately she said, "Oh, they are pregnant". I asked what the picture had to do with being pregnant and Bill started laughing (the light bulb came on) and explained to me. Okay, I got it but once again everyone had a great laugh at my expense. I've always known that I'm special but could never explain how and now I know, my thought process works differently from the normal. Here were my thoughts: you got a new stove; you found a new bread recipe and you were showing us the finished product.

...the next day we got a call from my family with an almost identical response except that they hadn't figured it out yet. So, just to clarify, we did not buy a $900 Viking range and we didn't learn to bake buns or donuts, but we are expecting #3 around December 27th.

We told Josiah a couple weeks ago and asked him what we should name the baby. His suggestions were either Baby Jesus or Mary. Since that seemed a little sacrilegious we're going with BG (Boy/Girl)until we find out the sex. However, Josiah renames 'her'(he thinks it's a girl) every few far we've had Samantha, Avery, and Cinderella. He's very interested in seeing pictures of what the baby looks like, but just can't understand why she's so little. He was also worried when he realized she didn't have a bed and asked if the baby would have to sleep in a hotel. We assured him we'd find a bed somewhere in our house. Grace, obviously, has no idea what's going on and happily searches for Walmart bags and used tissues to chew on while we're talking about the baby.

In the meantime, we're having a very busy Spring and continue to try to work our way down a never-ending to-do list. We're currently trying to get the garden going, have had to start mowing and weeding, need to get places prepared for the wood burner and some play ground equipment to be installed, are still hunting for another car (Philip found one he liked in San Diego, but none around here), cleaning the garage and celebrating 8 years tomorrow (Happy Anniversary Sweetie!). All with the 'help' of a little boy who would much rather be eating dessert or playing ball with Dad and a little girl who always seems to be eating something inedible. Life is not boring.


Don't Give Them The Dirty White Van!
We've had an eventful week. It's been rainy most of the week and on Monday we learned that slick roads, quick stops and a car without ABS aren't a good combination. As Josiah says, 'Daddy bonked a truck.' The pickup was fine (as were all the people) since no one was moving very quickly, but our car is not. It's old and the repairs would cost more than it's worth so the insurance totaled it. Josiah thinks it's cool that he can see inside Daddy's engine and the rest of us are just grateful everyone's ok and that we have collision insurance. The kids and I dropped Philip off at work this morning so I could run the title by the insurance office and sign it over to them. Everything seemed to be going pretty smoothly until Josiah went into a complete meltdown...crying, runny nose, whining...the whole nine yards. When I could get him to calm down enough to figure out what was going on he told me, "Don't give them the dirty white van!" Apparently he was a little confused and is much more attached to his car than we realized. Lord help us when we have to replace it. Now we get to start the process of finding another commuter car. According to Josiah it should be gray and 'not bonked by a truck.' What we do without his advice?

Just Because It Makes Me Smile
I know, he's going to hate this picture when he's older, but I giggle every time I see it.

I remember the days when I would take Josiah to a play group and he would quietly play by himself, not really care when other kids took his toys and smile contently through the whole thing. Outside I admitted that this was just a phase and he would one day join the chaos, but inside I was so pleased that my little boy was behaving so well and letting me talk to my friends. Oh, those days have come back to bite me in the hiney! Don't get me wrong, our little dude is awesome and is making tremendous strides in learning to share and use his self control, but he's learning these lessons the hard way many times. We had a playdate today with a new lady from MOPS and her 18 month old who is in that wonderful, non-chaos stage. I noticed the look of, 'Wow, your kid is pretty whiny/fussy/not sharing so well/wacking my kid in the head' and took the opportunity to let her know that a year ago it wasn't like this. Her face fell a little as she looked at her son and wondered what she was in for. I couldn't help but feel a little bad for her as I remembered how hard it was to accept that my child was, in fact, not perfect and was going to go through these stages just like everyone else.

On the brighter side, we've had a few days of disrupted naps and extreme whininess that, a year ago, would have totally ruined my day and brought me to tears. I've been encouraged to notice that it's a little easier to take it in stride now. I still don't enjoy it, but I know it won't last forever and I just have to focus on doing the next right thing. God is certainly teaching me patience and humility through our kids.


Who Is That?
I had nursery duty this morning at church and heard this question a couple times in reference to Grace because of how much she's changed in the past couple months. The baby who was once banned from the nursery now sits smiling, playing contentedly by herself, talking to whatever toy has her interest. Her personality is really starting to show and it's much more like Josiah's than we thought it would be originally. She's become pretty easy going, smiles and laughs a lot and loves books...although she's more interested in eating them than reading them. Her appetite is picking up a bit, but she still prefers anything that belongs in the recycling bin over real food. Paper and plastic bags are her favorite. She also has a fondness for ladybugs, which is pretty disgusting because she has a hard time swallowing them and they crawl back out of her mouth. When I realize she's a little too quiet it's a safe bet to assume she's trying to catch her 'snack' with her tongue as it attempts to escape. During one of our lunch picnics this week she attempted to eat a ladybug, the rose bush, rocks, grass and her brother's lunch...all in about 3 minutes. She loves to eat paper from the printer (Josiah did too...I just don't get it) and is fascinated with the DVD player. I came in the other day to find her sitting in front of it with a jump drive in one hand and the DVD from the player in the other. I didn't even know you could open the thing without a remote, but she'd opened it, gotten the movie out and closed it again. She also loves picking up all the toys in the living room and throwing them into the toy box. I'm thrilled with this, but it annoys Josiah because she cleans while he's still playing with them. She is much more independent than Josiah ever was and can play alone for long periods of time...something her brother still hasn't figured out. I'm just amazed at how much she's changed recently and can't quite believe she'll turn 1 soon.

Food-formula, Cheerios
Game-wrestling on the floor and peek-a-boo
Toy-Thomas and her feet


The Ultimate Compliment....
...from a 2 year old boy is, "Mom! Your foot looks like a bulldozer!" I don't really know what he meant; I thought it just looked like a perfectly ordinary, VERY white, foot. But in his world this was a major compliment so I suppose I'll take it as it was intended. Thanks, buddy.

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