August 12, 2008

Don't Jump to Conclusions

Remember how, when Bart and I did that crazy little High School Musical number, I mentioned that my family is very much about doing things the right way?

This tendency extends to many other sorts of things like Christmas. Bikes unwrapped under the tree? I should say not! Instead, we'd find an envelope under the tree, containing the end of a piece of clear thread that winds through the house and garage, around the backyard, across the street, and finally to the neighbors' front room.

I remember clearly when I was about ten, we were having family home evening and my mom suggested that, for dessert, we get some ice cream cones from Dairy Queen. My dad ran out to get them and twenty minutes later, we were all sitting around the kitchen table, eating our ice cream. After a while, I hit something hard with my tongue. It felt like ice and it was clear, so I ignored it until I realized it wasn't melting. I grabbed the end of it with my fingers and tugged it out of my ice cream - it was a little laminated piece of paper with the "#5" written on it.

I showed it to my family and ventured a guess that it was a table number at Dairy Queen and it must have accidentally gotten dropped into my cone. My family agreed it was likely and the conversation turned to something else.

Until one of my sisters found a "coming" piece in her cone. Surprised, now, we turned on the other sister, demanding that she search her cone for a laminated piece as well.

She found one - it said "is."

"#5 is coming?" Could that mean. . . .

It did indeed mean that my parents were expecting their fifth child.

Similarly, when they'd announced #4, we'd gone on a treasure hunt around the house and yard, collecting letters and then a board to assemble the letters on which announced the good news.

So, yes, you can imagine that when the time does come to announce that we're expecting a baby, a phone call simply will not cut it.

And even though I am currently not pregnant or planning to be in the very near future, I am always trying to figure out a good way to announce it when it does happen.


  1. Clever, clever parents you have!

  2. No effort is too great for your dad. One of the many reasons we love him.

  3. Wow, that's really fancy. I'm kind of surprised you kept eating your ice cream after you thought that a laminated piece of plastic from a fast food restaurant found its way into your ice cream. That would have ruined my appetite for sure.

    I'm really excited to see what you come up with!

  4. I've already thought about this too! Ever since we lived in Germany, my mom fell in love with the German form of Grandmom, Oma, and had always said that's what she wants to be called when my sister or I have children.
    When Jon and I were in Germany in May, I found a store that sold personalized pottery and bought two mugs, one with Oma and the other with Opa (grandpa). When the time comes, I plan to serve my parents coffee in these mugs and see how long it takes for them to figure it out! Until then, they are hidden away in my closet!

  5. I still remember when your parents announced the upcoming birth of one of you girls. Your dad was doing a mini-magic show for us one day. He ripped up a piece of newspaper and miraculously put it back together again. When he unfolded the paper it had "it's a girl" written on it. I was pretty young, but I still remember that experience!

  6. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn't tell anyone until after my first doctor appointment. My doctor does a pelvic ultrasound at the first visit, so I made copies of the ultrasound and snuck into our parents homes and hung the pictures in their houses. Then I went home and waited for the phone calls. We wrote something on them like, "Coming December 2006". It took us so long to get pregnant that everyone thought we were playing a sick joke.

  7. I think you should show up at their home visibly pregnant. Don't even bother to tell them you are coming to visit. Or else maybe you could tell them you were coming to visit and they could just see you at the airport. Either way, you are small enough that you probably won't need to be very far along before you start showing.

    OR! WHAT IF!!!! You played Pork? And you hand-picked a series of cards to be delivered. That would take a little more planning, but it would be pretty cool. I guess this could work with regular Taboo as well.

    The thing is, when you're at our stage in life, there's only so much you can do. Because once you start sending your folks on a wild goose chase, they're going to figure out what is going on, so it has to be kind of subtle, you know?

  8. My family is totally like this. I have one sister, in particular, whose baby creativity always amazes me. One night, my sister and her fam had been at the cabin, and my parents and I were going up to join her. The day went normally until my parents went to bed, turned out the lights, and then came screaming into the other room to hug my sister. She had gotten that glow in the dark tape stuff and made a little family with one-too-many kids on my parents' ceiling.

    Another time, at the same cabin actually, for Thanksgiving, my sister baked a little cornish hen, put baby shoes on it, and put it next to the turkey on the table. It was hilarious.

  9. Oh, me too! So far I have no great ideas, only buying a t shirt for Eli that says "Big Brother" or something and putting up pictures on Flickr of him wearing it. (not yet, though!)

  10. that is such a cute story! I would also love to find creative ways to let people know when I am pregnant, which won't be for a long, long time!

  11. Cute ideas!

    Good luck hiding something like being pregnant (when the time comes). It does help that you don't live near your parents.

    When I got pregnant with my second child, my boss figured it out before I did! Sometimes people are really perceptive. ;)

  12. what fabulous ideas! That makes it so much more fun!!! Wow, I would love to do stuff like that.

  13. i love it! i wish i could have been that creative :)

  14. Josh was prepping for this for years. Ever since we got married, every time we talk to his family he says "we're having a baby." When it came time to actually announce the good news, they didn't believe us. Seriously. It took like 15 minutes to convince his mom we were serious (and then she cried).

  15. For my first, we told our families that we were redoing the guest room (technically true!) and asked them if they wanted to see some pictures of what we were doing with it. After they said yes, we handed them a little folder with the sonogram. :)


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