What a crazy month and a half this has been! First, my brother Kevin and his family dropped by for a surprise visit. They were driving up from Indiana on their way to South Dakota to see Wall Drug and buy fireworks, and Kevin called us from the big Shell station on Hwy. 27 saying they'd be coming by in half an hour. You should have seen me trying to clean the joint! I was frantic! Of course, the apartment was a pig sty, which was mostly due to all of hubby Rick's old pizza boxes lying around. He says cleaning is woman's work. (If that's true, then I guess sleeping is man's work, since that's what Rick does all weekend whenever he doesn't have to be at the tire center!)

Anyway, Kevin and Paula and their three kids, Tai, Tyler, and Taylor, showed up as planned, and we had a cookout on our apartment porch. I couldn't believe how much those kids had grown! And, I must admit, it still seems weird to see Kevin acting like a responsible daddy. He used to be such a mega party animal when he was younger! He and Rick and their old high-school buddies used to hang out at the park at all hours of the night, drinking and smoking pot and listening to Jethro Tull. Then Kevin kind of cleaned up his act and pulled himself together. He's been a member of Promise Keepers for several years, and he went to the D.C. rally.

But anyway, back to Kevin and Paula's visit. Kevin and Rick were standing near the grill (I think men need to control the grill even more than they do the remote!), drinking Bud and discussing life. They were getting along royally, yakking away about NASCAR and Kevin's new electric saw and guy stuff in general. Then there was a lull in the conversation, and Kevin said, "So Rick, when am I going to be an uncle?" So clueless Rick said, "What are you talking about? You already are!" (Rick was referring to the fact that my sister Becky has kids. I'm amazed he remembered!)

"That's not what I meant," Kevin replied, smirking. "I meant, when are you and my sister going to have a litter? You've been married for how long now, almost 20 years?"

And you know what Rick said? "It's too late for the wife now. She has menopause." I couldn't believe my ears! That is not true, and he knows it! I almost decked him right there, I felt so humiliated! "I most certainly do not, Rick Teasdale!" I shouted. "Come off it, Rick," Kevin said.

So then Rick muttered something about kids being a big pain in the you-know-what, and, besides, he didn't want to have to share his beer with them. I think he was kidding about that last part, but it just goes to show Rick's flippant attitude about everything.

Kevin didn't let him off the hook, though. He gave Rick this big lecture about being a man and being responsible, and how we owe it to God to have kids, and didn't he want the Teasdale line to continue? Rick kind of grumbled and had this hangdog expression on his face, like he was a bad boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Embarrassed as I was at the time, I'm actually kind of glad Kevin made a scene and got on Rick's case. I don't see why Rick's so shy about having kids. I think they're sooo cute! Besides, it's important that we have them: Children are this planet's future.

You know, I think I'd make a pretty good mother, too. I have so many toys already, you'd think I had eight kids! Granted, a lot of my stuff isn't really for young kids because it's collectible and worth a lot of money, like my Miss History Dolls and my Partridge Family board game.

We also live right near Wal-Mart, so it wouldn't be a big hassle getting diapers. And I'm patient, too. Last week, when Taylor cracked one of my McDonald's Hercules plates, and Tai unspooled Rick's favorite Travis Tritt tape, I didn't lose my temper at all. Paula smacked them both and they made one heck of a ruckus, but I thought it was perfectly natural, kids misbehaving a bit like that.

Later that evening, after Kevin and his family left, I was in bed reading Redbook. Hubby Rick walked in, and I was startled, because he'd been so uncharacteristically quiet after Kevin's dressing-down. He kind of lingered near the doorway, looking at me without saying a word. "What's the matter with you?" I asked him. He looked down at his feet, and, semi-audibly, he said, "Wanna do it tonight?"

I couldn't believe my ears! "How much beer did you have tonight, Rick?" I asked. Rick's face flushed, and he got all defensive and said, "I'm sorry I asked, but what's wrong with a husband and wife doing it every now and then, and why do people get married in the first place, anyway?" (I hate how he calls it "doing it." Granted, it's not a swear, but it's just so... impersonal. I much prefer the term "making whoopee.") Figuring he was just drunk and didn't really mean it, I told Rick to go to bed and sleep it off.

But I was wrong! Evidently, Kevin's little talk about kids had gotten to him, because he kept persisting, one day after the next. So, a week after he first asked, I finally took him up on it. Yes, folks, you read it right—hubby Rick and I made whoopee!

I was thrilled that Rick had finally come around. (Though he hasn't changed in one respect—he still falls asleep right after he does his deed!) And I couldn't believe my luck when my period was one day late! I always get it on the 13th of the month, like clockwork. What luck!

Or so I thought. Sorry, folks, false alarm: I got my period two days later. Nope, Jean Teasdale ain't preggers yet, and there's no Jean Jr. in the works.

And, wouldn't you know it, Rick's playing hard-to-get again, always grumbling that he's tired or has indigestion or something. I guess Kevin's talk wore off, but he swears that Kevin had nothing to do with it in the first place. He says he just felt like doing it that night. Ha! Well, I'm not giving up without a fight. Come heck or high water, I'm going to relight the flame of our love. I don't care if I have to buy every plus-size teddy I can find!