Dear Annie: I'm a mom to three beautiful little boys, all under the age of 10. Although I love my kids more than anything, I've always wanted to have a little girl. When I talk about it with my husband, he says he's content with our boys and that if we have another child, it's bound to be another boy, so we shouldn't even try.
I've tried to focus on our life and our family, but I constantly feel like it's not complete without a little girl. My husband thinks I'll be very upset if we do have another boy, but I simply told him that if it's another boy, then it's God's way of saying that I wasn't meant to have a girl. And that's fine. I just don't want to go through my life thinking that I should have tried for a baby girl. -- Wife and Mommy
Dear Wife and Mommy: Children are little walking, talking miracles. If you truly will be OK if it's another boy, you should go for it. When we look back, we usually regret the things we didn't do more than the things we did. Taking risks and trying is what living a full life is all about. Besides, if you get a fourth boy, you never know -- maybe he will marry a wonderful woman who will take care of you and your husband in old age.
Dear Annie: Twenty-three years ago, we bought a second home at Lake of the Ozarks with an inheritance. We had one income and three kids headed for college; we were not rich.
One of our new neighbors -- an older, plain-speaking woman -- offered this advice: "When you have guests -- and you will have lots of requests from relatives and friends to visit -- ask them to bring their favorite snacks, or at least their beverage of choice. You will go broke if you try to supply everyone's requests for drink and snacks. Providing all their meals for three or four days will be expensive enough."
Annie, not every guest is a close friend. There is no word for "a friendly person I know in passing," so we call them friends. But these are not your buddies who remember your birthday. They are great fun to share your lake home with, but they should be willing to help a little with the cost of their visit.
We are glad to pay for everything, including meals and expensive gas for days of boating, and do the extra loads of laundry and dishes in exchange for enjoying time with people we LOVE. But for acquaintances who are guests -- and their spouses and children -- they just need a suggestion on how to show appreciation for their family vacation at the lake. -- Welcome to the Lake
Dear Welcome to the Lake: Your neighbor gave wise advice. Just because someone offers hospitality doesn't mean the guests shouldn't pull their own weight. I'm printing your letter for hosts and guests alike who are sharing a home with someone they don't know very well.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette - is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.