"Hey, you okay?" Mason asks me, interrupting my afternoon nap. I yawn and stretch, then sit up.
"Yeah, I'm fine." I reply. Even I don't believe it.
"Uh-huh," he says, "spill...what's wrong?"
"Nothing...you'll think I'm being stupid," I tell him.
"Nah, irrational maybe, but not stupid." he jokes.
I glare at him, "hasn't anyone told you not to tease a pregnant woman?"
He makes a big show of looking up, pretending to be remembering, "I seem to remember that from somewhere...oh yeah, maybe the nine children we had before this...and being around you for at least the 50 before that."
More glaring, "And yet...still with the comments."
He laughs. Laughs. Grr.
"Come on babe, cheer up...it's Halloween!" He attempts. It doesn't work.
"Hmph. Yeah, loads of fun for me...do you realize being pregnant on Halloween seriously limits my costume options? Pretty much pumpkin...or a cast member from 16 and Pregnant."
"Baby, you couldn't pass for sixteen!" He laughs hysterically at this comment.
My mouth drops open and my eyes start to glisten a bit. Okay, calm down, he didn't mean it.
Thankfully, he notices that my crazy preggo hormones are making me wacky, "Baby I'm sorry, I'm just excited...come look at TJ's costume!"
I get up off the couch and look at my son. He's most definitely not in the costume I picked out for him last week.
"What is this?" I ask accusingly. I'm not trying to sound accusatory, but...
"He's Batman! Doesn't he look awesome?" Mason asks me.
"Mason, I got a costume for him already..." I start.
"Yeah, but this is Batman! You can't say no to Batman," he insists.
According to my fractured, hormonal, pregnant brain this is the last straw.
"Mason, I got him a costume already...I wouldn't have gotten it if I wanted him to wear something else. Do you know how long it took me to pick that out?" I argue.
"Can't we come to some kind of compromise?" Mason tries.
"Hmm, okay, what...I bought him a train conductor costume...and this is a Batman costume...what's he going to be? A bat conductor?" I rant some more.
I give up and storm off saying, "Whatever, just put him in whatever then..."
I head upstairs to take yet another nap. I am so done with today. We're having a Halloween party and I have yet to put together a costume I'm happy with. It's frustrating.
I sigh as I lay down on the bed. Life has been hectic lately. It seems like right after TJ was born I found out I was pregnant again, and I haven't been able to just rest ever since. There was of course chasing after an energetic toddler, planning this Halloween party, and before that we had TJ's birthday party, which was insane, as usual.
It started out normal. Of course the whole crazy fam showed up. My parents, Mason's, aunts, uncles, cousins, and Hallie even made it in, which turned out to be a really good thing.
Everything was going fine, until time came for blowing out the candles...
Mason was standing in front of the cake with our infant son, when suddenly, the cake and the island below it burst into flames!
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. This isn't the first time these faulty cakes have burst into flames. You would think the company that makes them would do something about them, but no...I'm sure the candles are defective, but they shouldn't make those cakes so damn flammable.
As self-sufficient and savvy as my entire family is, not a one of them could grab the fire extinguisher...
Finally, Hallie stepped up, grabbed the extinguisher and put the fire out. She actually seemed quite gleeful about putting the thing out.
Thankfully no one was hurt and Mason got TJ out of there before he could be affected by smoke inhalation.
So Hallie saved the day, but we had no cake...and as I have mentioned before, not having cake around this crowd is a bad idea.
Even though no one else knew it, I was already in the first trimester of my pregnancy, and not in the mood to deal with problems, so I was pretty bummed. Zoey ends up coming out to see if I'm okay.
"Hey, don't worry about it. We still have cookies on the buffet...cookies always make us happy." She says to lift my spirits.
I can't help but bust out laughing, "So true," I agreed.
"Besides, the party can't end yet, we still haven't gotten to the presents." Zoey told me.
I remember thinking then that she seemed too excited about that.
"What presents?" I asked her.
"Come inside and I'll show you..." she answered.
I followed behind her to find all of my son's presents sprawled all over the floor in the sitting room.
And when I say sprawled out all over the floor, I mean exactly that. There isn't a single spot in this room that isn't covered by a toy, a teddy bear, a rocking horse, a toy box, a stuffed animal, etc, etc, etc.
My gleefully spoiled little boy is in the middle of the mess, crawling from toy to toy, not really sure what to play with first.
I shake my head.
My husband is standing next to his mother, way ahead of me.
"Ma, what is this?" He asked her.
She looks at him as if that was the dumbest question she had ever heard.
"What? I can't buy my grandson a few birthday gifts?" she asked in her defense.
Mason laughed and replied, "Yeah, but...did you buy out the whole toy store?"
"Hmph. Look how happy he is." Zoey said.
True, he had finally settled on a toy and he was playing contently.
I have to admit, my son is adorable. He looks a lot like Mason, but he has lighter coloring and big blue eyes with my mother's hair color.
Either way, I have learned over years of having children never to argue with grandparents about gifts for the kids.
I just thanked her and gave her a hug. I knew I had enough toys here to keep TJ and the new baby happy for years.
The party quickly dispersed and Mason took TJ upstairs for a bath and a bedtime story before bed while I cleaned the kitchen. One might think that I got the raw end of the deal, but TJ is a stubborn child (surprise, surprise) and is difficult to get to sleep, so I think I had an easier task.
Of course, when I got done, I found the two of them asleep in our bed.
I can't help but smile. My two boys...as much of a headache as they can be, I am so lucky to have them.
Not so lucky as to give up my bed however, so I wake Mason up to get TJ in his crib. I have learned that once a child sleeps in your bed, they expect it all the time, and I don't want to start that bad habit. I am not an advocate of attachment parenting. He has a bed, we have a bed. How do you think I got pregnant again? Hehe.
Anyway...back to the present...Halloween Day!!!
I come downstairs just as Mason is getting ready for work and see TJ looking afraid of the dog. He's generally a pretty brave kid, but Smokey is a spastic dog.
I scoop him up and save him from the scary dog.
"Let's get you into your real costume, TJ," I tell him.
I get him into his train conductor costume and I do have to say he looks adorable.
"See, your daddy doesn't know everything..."
Okay, I know I'm losing it.
Either way, I work with TJ for a bit on learning his words before I get ready for the Halloween party.
After working with TJ for a bit, we head outside and see that thankfully, Mason has set up a lot of stuff for the party...the buffet tables look great...
We have several pumpkins out front...
And he set up a cat toy for TJ to ride, which he loves.
I can never remember what they call these things...swing roll? I don't know. Damn pregnancy brain.
I set up the food and start the fog machines, and my job for set-up is done. Thank heavens for my husband.
Having an idea for a costume, I head upstairs to get ready as Mason gets home from work, just in time to greet our guests.
My dad and Aunt Zoey show up first. Apparently my mom is still getting ready and Uncle T-bone is having some hair fiasco that she's helping him with.
I can't wait to see them, because my dad is dressed up as a cave man, which makes me laugh.
"What made you decide to dress up like that, Daddy?" I ask him.
He answers with, "grumble, grumble, grumble...your mama...grumble, grumble, grumble."
I laugh. The older he gets, the grumpier he gets, but he would never dream of saying no to whatever ridiculous thing Mama wants him to do.
My handsome husband dresses up like Don Juan DeMarco...doesn't he look sexy? He even drew on a pencil mustache and beard.
I am confused by Aunt Z's costume, "What are you supposed to be?"
"The scariest thing I could think of," she says, "A Stepford Wife...send me to the kitchen."
"Now that is scary," Mason jabs.
Uncle T-bone shows up dressed up as a mad scientist...with a bright green wig...and his beard dyed green! Mama must have had to hold him down to get that on him.
As for me? What else could I be? I dressed up as Mother Earth.
Next to show up is Evie and Tony. Evie is another advocate of couple costumes, like my mother, and since she's had Layton and Leigha, she has been a major advocate for family costumes. Of course, this year, apparently she had opposition, what with the twins being older and all.
Leigha still went along with Evie's vision of being the family from Lost in Space.
"Woo! Look at your hair!" T comments on Leigha's wig.
"It's the only good thing about this costume, Papaw..." she complains.
Evie interjects, "..and the only way she would agree to the rest of the costume."
He laughs, "She's your daughter, baby."
Layton, however, could not be convinced to go along with the rest of the family and dressed up as an Egyptian mummy.
Mama shows up a little late, but dressed up to match Daddy, as a cave woman...with stringy blonde hair.
Lila shows up right behind her dressed up as Snow White from Snow White and the Huntsman, not the Disney version.
My old friend, Melody Sky actually shows up as well, dressed as a fairy...which I find hilarious because she's a witch...and it's common knowledge that witches and fairies do not get along and are generally suspicious of each other.
Keaton makes his entrance (late, of course) dressed in funeral clothes?
"What are you supposed to be man?" Mason asks.
"Looks like a pall bearer to me," I comment.
"Oh Lord, wait til' you hear this one," Lila says.
"Y'all shut up," Keaton says, "I'm dressed up as something that is guaranteed to get me laid."
I roll my eyes. As happy as I am that he divorced that crazy gold-digging bitch, his prowling is getting old...much like him.
"What would that be?" I ask, afraid.
"Christian Grey." He simply says. (From the Fifty Shades series by EL James)
"So you're dressed up as a man with deep-seeded psychological issues that mostly attracts women with Daddy issues?" I ask.
"Mama always taught me the way to a woman's heart is to be polite, open doors for them, pull their hair and smack their ass." He jokes.
"...and I regret it every day." Mama says.
I about die. Like, seriously fall to the floor laughing. Most mothers would be appalled hearing their children talk like that, even their adult children, but is my mother? No, she's just as raunchy as the rest of us. I don't know whether to be comforted or deeply disturbed.
Anyway, with everyone here, the party gets rolling.
Daddy plays around with telling fortunes, even though he's not very good at it. He tries to tell people how they're going to die, but he uses descriptions from the game Clue, like by Colonel Mustard, in the Billiard Room, with the wrench.
TJ is happy with playing with his toys and occasionally getting a piece of candy. As much as I try to deter everyone from giving him a ton of sugar, but that does as much good as trying to take calories out of ice cream.
Everything is going well, music playing and everyone is having a good time, when all of a sudden, a tight, sharp, familiar pain radiates through my back to my abdomen.
Followed very shortly by another one...
"Hey sis, are you okay?" Lila asks.
Thankfully I'm between pains, so I'm able to answer her, "Um, yeah...just in labor..."
This sends everyone into a panic...
"Hey baby girl, what do I need to do?" he asks.
"Don't just stand there! Get Mason!" I holler at him.
They quickly find Mason and Mama agrees to stay with TJ while we go to the hospital.
Yeah, I'm still not doing that home birth bullshit anymore.
A few hours later, thankfully it's over.
...and Piper Salem Reed-Pope has come into the world.
And the first impression of her grandmother she gets is a wacky looking cave woman...but oh well. She'll get used to the crazy.