- - - - - - - - - -
“Hmmm?” I moan as I slowly open my eyes. Standing before me is the most adorable little girl with the biggest smile on her face. I look at my window and see that it’s still dark outside. I turn and look at the clock on my side table and see that it’s 5 o’clock in the morning. “Ana? What are you doing up so early?” I whisper, trying not to wake Xavier.
“It’s my birthday!” She whispers, loudly. I let out a giggle as Xavier stirs behind him and pulls me against his body.
“Yes, baby girl. I know.” I pat the space in front of me and she climbs in. She pulls Xavier’s arm around her and snuggles in tight against me. She looks up at me with and smiles.
“Does daddy know you invited my friend Nathan to my party?” Again, whispering loudly. Xavier nuzzles into my neck and whispers loudly back at her.
“I do now.” He says as he lifts his head and looks down at Ana with a playful glare. Ana’s eyes go wide and she quickly covers her mouth and starts giggling.
“Daddy! You’re not supposed to hear that!” She says to him. She gets up and climbs over me to squeeze herself between me and Xavier. She wraps her arms around Xavier’s neck and looks into his eyes. “Are you mad at me?” She pouts. Oh my lord this girl sure knows how to work him!
“No. I’m not mad.” He sighs. I laugh to myself at how quickly he melts when she pouts at him. “Is he your boyfriend?” Ana quickly covers his mouth with her hands.
“Daddy! That’s a bad word! Don’t say that!” She says in horror. Xavier is looking at her confused and amused at the same time.
“What’s a bad word?” I ask her. Ana turns to me, still keeping her hands over Xavier’s mouth.
“Daddy said the ‘b’ word!” She says, still horrified that Xavier would say such a thing.
“Boyfriend?” I ask her. I didn’t think her eyes could get any bigger but they’re did. She quickly moves one hand over my mouth while keeping one still on Xavier’s.
“Mommy! No! No! No!” She says shaking her head. “You can’t say that word! Uncle Evan’s hair is going to fall off!”
“What?!” I say against her mouth. “Why would his hair fall off?”
“Uncle Evan said that word is bad and I can’t ever call any of my friends that word or all of his hair will fall off and I don’t want him to have no hair mommy so please don’t say that word anymore. I promised him I wouldn’t call any my friends that word.” She rambles. Xavier and I burst out laughing.
“I love your brother!” Xavier says to me. I just shake my head at him.
“Don’t worry baby.” I tell her. “Uncle Evan’s hair is not…” Xavier quickly takes his hand and covers my mouth. He turns to Ana and smiles.
“Uncle Evan’s hair will not fall off yet because we didn’t know about the bad word. But now that we do, we promise not to use it for any of your friends either.” She smiles at him and he gives her a kiss on her forehead. “Why don’t you go brush your teeth and start picking out what you’re going to wear for the party?”
“I already know what I’m going to wear.” She says proudly. “Auntie Donna helped me pick it out.” Xavier rolls his eyes and groans.
“She has you wearing a big crown and a long cape doesn’t she?” He says.
“You’re silly daddy! She didn’t give me that to wear.” Ana giggles. Xavier breathes a sigh of relief. “She gave me a small crown because the big one was too heavy, and I have a small cape because I couldn’t run around with a long one.” I burst out laughing at the grief on Xavier’s face when she answered him.
“Ok, kiddo.” I tell her as I sit up on my bed. I open my arms out to her and she jumps into my lap. “It’s still a little early but why don’t you go ahead and brush your teeth and change for breakfast, ok?”
“Ok mommy.” I lean down and give her a kiss and hug.
“Happy Birthday my sweet girl.” I tell her. Xavier leans over to kiss her and wrap us both in his arms.
“Happy Birthday baby girl.” He tells her. “We love you.”
“I love you too mommy and daddy!” She gives us one more hug before jumping off our bed and running out of our room. Xavier pulls me into his arms and kisses me deeply. A soft moan escapes me as he lifts me onto his lap so I’m straddling him. We pull apart and I snuggle close to his chest.
“I love you Cass.” He says as he nuzzles into my hair. His one arm is wrapped tight around my waist while he strokes my back with his free hand.
“I love you too Xavier.” I give him a kiss on his chest and hold him close. I know he can feel my heart racing right now. I have some news to share with him and I’m both excited and nervous to tell him.
“I love our little family.” He says to me as he kisses the top of my head. “I can’t imagine being any happier that I am now.” I can feel him smiling against my head.
“How about if our little family increased by one?” I say softly. He stops stroking my back and lifts me to look at my face. I can see his eyes starting to water as a big smile spreads across his face.
“Are you sure?” He asks, his voice shaking from excitement.
“Yes, baby. I’m sure.” I tell him. He crashes his lips to mine and pulls me close. Suddenly, he flips us over so I’m lying on the bed and he’s hovering over me. “Aaah!” I giggle. He kisses me again, first on my lips and then kisses a trail down to my belly.
“Hey there little one.” He says as he kisses me just above my belly button. “This is your daddy.” He continues to pepper my belly with kisses while he talks to our baby. “I can’t wait to hold you in my arms. You have two amazing big sisters and a big brother who will be so excited to meet you. I love you my little bean.”
“Little bean?” I giggle.
“Yes. I’ve seen enough ultrasounds of Selena and Isaiah to know at this stage this little one is about the size and shape of a bean.” He smiles proudly. He makes his way back up to me and kisses me again. I will never get enough of his kisses. “When do you want to tell everyone?”
“Maybe tomorrow?” I tell him.
“Why not today?” He asks, looking a little concerned.
“It’s Ana’s day today. I don’t want to take away any of the attention from her.” I tell him. He nods and kisses me again. “Baby?”
“Hmmm?” He hums against my mouth.
“We should lock the door.” I smirk. He quickly jumps off the bed and locks our bedroom door. When he returns we spend the next hour celebrating our new addition in bed…and the shower.
- - - - - - - - - -
Today is Ana’s birthday and we’re celebrating later with our family and friends. I can’t believe she’s already 6 years old. It feels like yesterday she was just learning to say my name. And now, she just finished with Kindergarten last week and will be starting the 1st grade after the summer. She’s growing so fast. Too fast for my liking.
She had been so excited about her birthday party all week, that I had mentally prepared for her to wake up early today. I’m actually surprised she was able to sleep at all. I heard her sneaking into our room this morning but I pretended to be asleep. That is, until she mentioned that kid Nathan. Ugh! Why oh why does she need to have friends who are boys right now. Aren’t boys supposed to have cooties at this age?
When she told us what Evan told her about boyfriends I thought I would pee on myself from laughing so hard. I know Cassie is going to lay into him for that scare tactic but I for one have no problem with it whatsoever. Especially if it means she won’t have a boyfriend until she’s 80.
I didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on Ana’s future marriage because as soon as she left our room, Cassie broke the news to me that we were expecting our fourth child. Oh my God! WE’RE HAVING A BABY! Oh God! We’re having another baby?! Lord, please let it be a boy. I don’t know if I can handle another girl and I’m going to need some reinforcement when Ana and Selena start dating.
After Cassie and I had our own private celebration…or rather multiple celebrations, we got our other two munchkins up and headed downstairs to make breakfast. Our parents were coming over to have breakfast with us and help us get the house ready for the party. According to my mom and Sadie, they needed at least a four hour start to get all the decorations up and cook the food so they wanted to start right after breakfast. They take their party planning very seriously.
As we’re sitting eating breakfast, I notice Charlie keeps looking back and forth between Cassie and Ana. I’m not the only one who noticed it either. I caught my dad looking over at Charlie at times with concern over his face. After breakfast, Cassie and our mothers took the kids to the backyard to start getting it ready for the party. My dad and Charlie went into the living room to talk. I follow behind them.
“What’s going on?” I ask them as we take a seat on the couch. My dad looks at Charlie who takes a deep breath.
“Something’s come up Xavier. I’m not sure yet what to make of it.” He sighs. “I have my lawyer looking into it as we speak.” I can see his eyes starting to water and he blinks back the tears that are on the verge of falling down his face. I can feel my stomach turning into knots.
“What’s come up?” I ask. I look at my dad and he has that same look as Charlie. “What’s so bad that you needed to call your lawyers already?” Charlie reaches into his pocket and pulls out an envelope. He holds it in front of him for a few seconds before handing it to me. I open the envelope and pull out the letting inside and start reading it. I read the first few sentences and my heart stops. Suddenly, I can’t breathe. I get up and walk to the back window and look at Cassie and Ana laughing as they put up decorations in the yard. I turn back to face my dad and Charlie, and now I’m blinking back the tears that are about to fall.
“Xavier.” My dad says. “We don’t know if that’s real or not. Let’s not jump to any conclusions just yet.”
“I should be hearing from my lawyers later today.” Charlie says softly, his voice a little shaky. “Whatever happens, Xavier, we are going to fight this.” I move back over to the couch and sit down. My whole world is spinning right now. My dad sits down next to me and puts his hand on my arm.
“Xavier? Say something son.” He says to me. I look at my dad blankly. I can’t believe this is happening. I look back down at the paper my eyes go over the same phrases:
‘Notice to establish paternity’
‘Challenging the adoption of Ana Montero’