Babies, Birthdays, and Grads

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I was one week into being a mom, and my life was filled with crying, bottles, and a bunch of smelly diapers. Thankfully Mom took a leave of absence from work so she could help me for the first few weeks, and Poppy was still on her winter break.

With Jace's parents still home for the holidays, he was basically on lockdown. His parents knew how badly he wanted to see his sons, so they had eyes on him all the time so he couldn't leave the house.

I'd text and send him pictures all the time on his secret phone. We both couldn't wait for his parents to leave so he'd be able to come here and see the boys.

Tonight, the Evertson house was packed to the brim. Mom invited a whole bunch of people over to celebrate all the things going on, and so everyone could meet the boys.

I shuffled my way in and out of the crowds to the kitchen. I didn't even know where the boys were because they were being passed around so much.

I walked in right as everyone finished singing. Poppy, who was wearing both a birthday hat and a New Year's hat at the same time, blew out the candles.

I volunteered to cut the cake. I took out the servingware from the drawer and cut Poppy a nice sized piece of Mom's homemade red velvet cake.

"How on earth is my baby sister fifteen already? Stop growing up," I said, placing the cake onto her plate.

"I know. Already in my mid-teens," she said before scampering off with Destiny.

I somehow ended up becoming the official cake-server. A line formed and I cut smaller and smaller pieces until there was none left. Mom's cakes were always a big hit.

The last person in line came up to me, which was Julia. Her face was scrunched up and she was holding Blaze, who was now a full week old.

"I think we need a diaper change in aisle three," she said.

"Here. Give him," I said. "You want to come upstairs with me? If you don't mind the smell of baby poop."

She laughed. "Considering I'm about to bring home two babies of my own, I better get used to it now."

"I can't believe it took this long. I thought for sure they'd be home by Christmas," I said.

"I'm just glad they're okay after the scare we had. That's all that matters."

Julia followed me upstairs. I walked into my bedroom and set Blaze down on the changing table. He didn't make a fuss. Even though he looked like his father, he acted nothing like him. Blaze was cool and quiet, while Oliver was squirmy and cried all the time.

"Damn, your bedroom is huge!" Julia said.

"See, just like I told you." I reached for a new diaper and some wipes. I was already a pro at diaper changes. "Okay Blaze, you ready?"

"Hey, can I have a turn? I could really use the practice on a real baby before the girls come home."

I stepped back. "Girl, knock yourself out. He's a boy though, so be really careful. They pee as soon as you get the diaper off, so remember to have one ready in your free hand."

"Okay. Got it."

I hovered over her shoulder as she changed Blaze. I was already pretty overprotective of my boys. People holding them were fine, but I was fearful every time someone tried to do something with them. Even my mom and sister changing their diapers made me nervous.

Julia closed the diaper and stepped back with her hands up. "Okay. Did I do it right?"

"The diaper's on him, isn't it?"

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