A Mom Named Krista
Amanda, Age 11, Terrace, BC

Lots of people think mothers have the easy life. Well, not always, especially if you're married, have a job, and have a baby daughter. That's my life. My name is Krista Silvers, my husband's name is Greg and our daughter, who has red hair like me, is named Katie. We live in Coquitlam. My job is being a cashier at a small, funky cafe, 'Vango's Ear.' It's painted bright yellow on the outside, and deep blue and red on the inside.

Right now, I am sitting on the couch in the living room, watching Katie crawl on the floor near the t.v. My Rottweiler puppy, Cuddles, crawled around with her. Some people think Rottweilers are mean, but if you buy them when they're puppies, they will grown to be nice and loveable, like Cuddles. I smiled watching them, and then picked up Katie and carried her into the kitchen, placing her in her playpen that was on the hardwood floor. I fixed up a bottle of apple juice and let her drink it while I sat on the cushion by the window near the door. I finally saw Greg's dark green station wagon pull up the driveway and park outside the garage. He walked in, carrying his briefcase. He's the president of a software company, Bartell Inc.

"Hey, Greg," I said, sitting up as he entered. I took his briefcase and put it by the stairs that lead upstairs where there was three bedrooms and a bathroom.

"Hi, honey," he said to me, then slung his jacket over a chair at the island and picked up Katie.

I walked over and held one of Katie's hands, and I smiled as Cuddles tugged on Greg's pants. Greg let go of Katie, giving her to me, and bent down to wrestle the piece of cloth from Cuddles. I took Katie upstairs and put her in her swing in her room. Her bedroom is done all in Winnie the Pooh, and her wallpaper, bedspread, blankets and even some clothes are printed in it. Katie has a huge cradle, but it doesn't rock, so I use the rocking chair or the swing to soothe her. The swing rocks by itself when you flick a switch. The cushion on the rocking chair is done in Winnie the Pooh, too.

"So how was your day?" I asked Greg as he came into the room.

"Fine," he sighed. "I'm trying to decide if I should fire this guy, Richard. He plays crossword puzzles all day instead of working, but when he's not playing, he's a great helper." 

I smiled and said, "I'm sure you'll figure it out. But in the meantime, do you want to go out for dinner? I don't exactly feel like cooking." Greg agreed and went downstairs to make reservations at Earls, and start our other car, a silver Explorer. I dressed Katie in a pink dress with yellow flowers, and fancy white shoes. Her little bit of hair was in a small pony on the top of her head. I carried her downstairs with her Winnie the Pooh diaper bag, and buckled her in her baby seat in the backseat of the vehicle. Greg was behind the wheel and he backed down the short driveway, and down the road. In a few minutes we arrived at Earls. Greg turned off the car and picked up Katie, baby seat and all, and carried her into the restaurant.

I followed, and we got our table right away. Greg and I ordered our food, and played with Katie while we were waiting. But then some snobby, rich people sat down beside us, Kathy and Matt Trevors. They have a baby boy about Katie's age and he's adorable, but Matt works for a rival company of Greg's. They're the type that thinks they're never wrong, and they're really suck up. We don't care for them, and they wish we would disappear, too. Kathy works with me, serving food, but she so wants to quit and work at a day care so she can be with her baby, Jake. I stopped smiling as they ordered their food, and I looked the other way, digging through my baby bag to get some canned food for Katie. I got it out and spooned it into Katie's mouth. I put the can in the garbage as our food came, and was ready to eat, but Greg said, "You know, maybe we can get that in a box. You know, to go?" 

The waitress looked annoyed, but walked away with the plates. I gave Greg a silent thank-you. I knew he did it to get away from Kathy and Matt. "Okay, Greg, lets go then," I said, standing up as the waitress returned with a white box. I took the box and my baby bag, while Greg picked up Katie and left a few dollar bills on the table. 

On the car ride home, I said, "Thanks, Greg. I can't believe what bad luck that was, having Kathy and Matt sit next to us."

"Tell me about it," Greg said, rolling his eyes. "I would have preferred if Matt asked to move seats, but knowing him, he wouldn't."

I nodded and stared at the trees rolling by. It was dark now, and the street lamps were on. I turned on the stereo and bopped to the music a bit, until we parked in the garage, beside the station wagon. Once again, I grabbed the box and Katie's bag, and got inside before Greg and Katie did. I put Katie's bag in her room, in the cupboard under her baby-changing table. Then I put the food on two plates and heated them in the microwave. It was at that point that Greg came in with Katie, who had fallen asleep.

"Ahhh!" I said, and Greg smiled. I followed him to Katie's room. Greg got her into her sleeper, and I got the bed ready. I kissed Katie good-night and walked back into the kitchen. Then we ate our dinner, and after he was done, Greg turned on the 32'' t.v. I headed to our room, saying, "I'm a bit tired, and I have to leave early tomorrow to take Katie to the day care, and for work. I think I'll head to bed now."

"Okay," said Greg, his eyes still glued on the screen. I shook my head and crawled into bed. That guy would never stop watching 'The Simpsons.' I personally think the show is dumb, but he never misses an episode. It ended in an hour, so I didn't even bother to read in bed, I just turned out the light and closed my eyes.

"Okay, Katie, try to be quiet," I whispered the next morning. Greg was still asleep, but I had to leave, and I didn't want to wake him up. But Katie was being fussy, so I just slipped a purple sweat suit on her and pulled back her hair, held in place at the top of her head with a purple barrette. I picked her up and carried her and her bag downstairs. I put some bottles and diapers in it, and then bundled Katie and myself up in some jackets. Underneath my jack was my uniform: A yellow shirt with 'Vango's Ear' on the sleeve, and some jeans. It was really boring and out-of-style, but I wear it almost every day. Then I put Katie in her seat in the Explorer and drove through the fog until I got into town. 

Almost no one was awake, even though it was a Friday. The sky was still dark, and it was cold outside. Plus, the fog made the day even more ugly. But I parked outside the day care and dropped Katie off. I left her playing with some blocks, and got back in the warm car, so I could go to work. But I felt bad. 

I was already ten minutes late, and by the time I parked outside the cafe, it had been almost half an hour. Luckily, I didn't get in trouble, because we had only two customers, some old men, who sat in a corner of the cafe talking quietly. So I hung up my coat and settled myself behind the counter. I could see Kathy in the back, talking to the chefs and cutting some cheese for a sandwich. I sighed, but the phone rang, and I picked it up: "Vango's Ear, Krista speaking." It turned out it was a group of teenagers, wanting to make sure there was room for two tables.

"There's room," I sighed. "When do you need the tables for?" I wrote down on a notepad that they were coming in five minutes, then hung up.

I called Kathy to come and prepare the tables. She glared at me as she put the salt, pepper and vinegar on the tables, and as she sloppily whipped them. I shrugged. So maybe she was having a good time back there, but we had customers. And since we didn't get too many people, we had to be ready. Kathy was just walking into the back with her cloth when a group of wild teenagers came in and grabbed their tables. The two men in the corner looked startled, and walked over to me to pay, almost as soon as the teenagers sat down. I apologized to them, and took the money they offered, absent-mindedly giving them their change and receipt. They walked outside, and talked for some more on the yellow porch that was dotted with plants and wicker chairs. 

Kathy took the teenager's orders, and she and the chefs hurried around in the back. I could smell soup and hot chocolate. I pulled up a stool behind the counter and sat down, scribbling on the pad with some pens in a cup beside the cash register. Then one of the teenagers came up to the counter to pay. After he had given me the money, they all left, laughing about a shared joke. 

All of a sudden I missed Greg and Katie. They were the only family I had near-by. My parents lived in Grand Forks with my brother, and my older sister lived in Prince George. I hardly saw any of them. But I forgot about it when the phone rang.

"Hi, honey!" it was Greg. "Listen, I'm going to be at work late, so I need you to pick up Katie from day care, okay?"

"Sure," I said. "What time do you usually pick her up?"

"I should be there right now, so you'll have to hurry," said Greg.

I agreed and put down the phone. I slipped on my jacket and shoes, and told everyone that I had to go early. Kathy glared at me again, but I didn't see how me leaving affected her. Then I realized that she had to do my job, as well as take orders, clear tables and serve food. I stifled a giggle as I raced around the building to the employees parking lot.

I hopped in my explorer and drove down the road. More people were awake now that it was late afternoon, and it took me an hour to get to the day care. I ran inside, and found that Katie was the only kid there. She was in the arms of a lady, Linda, and was crying, but smiled when she saw me.

"Hi, Linda," I said, taking Katie. "Sorry, but Greg called me from the office and said that I had to hurry here, and the traffic was so slow!" I was talking about a mile a minute, but I just handed Jenna a check for the previous week and carried Katie to the car, soothing her with my words. I buckled her into her baby seat and drove out of the parking lot. We arrived home in an hour and a half, and the sun was just setting. Katie was still awake, but she was crabby and pushed me away when I tried to give her her peas and carrots. I finally just put her to bed after she ate four spoonfuls. I knew she would wake me up in the night from hunger, but at least tomorrow was a Saturday. No work for me, or Greg.

"Krista, I'm home," he called. He was smiling, but as soon as he saw me, he frowned. "Is something wrong?" he asked, picking up Cuddles and putting him in my arms. 

I shook my head and said, "No, I've just had a really frustrating day. Kathy was giving me the evil eye at work after she had to clean some tables. But I'm thinking, maybe I should quit and get a real, good job. Working at a cafe isn't going to rake in the cash."

"No," sighed Greg, settling on the couch. I sat in the armchair as he continued, "No, but we're okay. We're well-off enough, and besides, I'm designing a new computer game with the company that made up the 101 Dalmatians CD-ROM. I had a good idea for another game based on the second movie, so we're working on it. And I'll benefit from the profits, too."

"That's good," I said, as Greg flipped the t.v. on to 'The Simpons.' I rolled my eyes and stroked Cuddles fur. I tried to follow the story line, but it was way lame, and I was bored after two minutes. So I headed to bed, but stopped at Katie's door. She was crying. I sighed and fed her a bottle. By the time it was finally done, Greg was upstairs and was getting into bed. I crawled in next to him and fell asleep right away.

When I woke up the next morning, I could smell coffee and bacon, and I realized I had overslept by an hour. It was nine thirty! I got out of bed and got ready for the day, sweeping my hair into a loose pony and straightening my jean dress with little yellow flowers. Then I went downstairs. Halfway down the stairs, I realized that Greg and I don't drink coffee. But I smelt it, for sure. I walked into the kitchen and saw my sister! I gave her and her two little boys quick hugs, and then I prepared myself a bowl of cereal. 

My sister's name is Allison, and her two kids are Mikey and Jeff. They were playing with Katie and Cuddles, who had hopped in the playpen. I smiled and Allison, Greg and I started to talk. Ally had come down from Prince George on her way to Grand Forks to see my parents and our younger brother, Tom.

"Do you want to go?" she asked. "It's only for a week!"

"I don't know," I said, glancing at Greg. "Maybe we could go for a day or two, but we need to be home for work and stuff."

"So is that a yes or no?" asked Allison, sipping her coffee.

"Yes!" said Greg, and I nodded. "When are we leaving?"

"Well, I just came in for some coffee, and I plan on leaving in a few minutes, so you'll have to pack, quick," said Allison, gathering her sons up and putting them in her purple mini-van. I raced upstairs and started putting clothes into a suitcase. Then I put some things for Katie for the ride in her diaper bag, while Greg got Cuddles in a carrier with his food and bowl. He put him in the trunk of the explorer, along with our suit case. I held the diaper bag up front, and Katie was asleep in her seat in the back, and Greg backed down the driveway. 

Allison had already left, and was a few minutes down the road. Greg followed her van for three hours, until he pulled off the road to a gas station. I got out to stretch my legs, and I took Katie out, and let her get some fresh air, too. Greg took Cuddles to a group of bushes to do his thing, and came back as I was putting Katie back in her seat. We had three more hours to go, so I gave Katie a rattle to play with and sat back in the car while Greg put Cuddles in the back, and unwrapped a chocolate bar.

"Ready to go?" he said. I nodded and he pulled out of the gas station and turned down our exit. Just three more hours until we got to Grand Forks. I couldn't wait to stretch some more....and Katie was getting tired of the car, too.

Three hours later, we drove passed a sign that said, 'Grand Forks - next left'. I sighed happily, and got Katie's diaper bag and my jacket together while Greg turned left and went down a hill. We were now in Grand Forks. Greg drove past a gas station, a tiny school, and turned down a road. On either side of it was trailers, most of them were new and nice, and a convenience store. Then Greg finally pulled the explorer into a short gravel drive, that belonged to a white trailer with a blue roof and blue outline on the windows.

"This is it," said Greg, unbuckling, his seat belt making a click. "I guess we can just go in, but it doesn't look like your sister is here."

He was right. My parents' car was in the drive, but I didn't see the van anywhere. "Oh, well," I said. "I'll get Katie, and you can knock." 

Greg went up the blue porch and rang the doorbell, while I opened the back door and got Katie out. She had been sleeping, and cried when I picked her up. But I carried her and the diaper bag to the porch. Greg was inside the trailer, so I knocked and stepped in. My parents shouted and cried in joy and gave me a hug, and then, for the first time, held Katie. They were delighted, and were so happy I had come down. Because of my dad's heart, they hadn't been able to travel to Coquitlam when Katie was born.

"Isn't she sweet?" asked Greg, coming up from behind me and taking Katie back. My parents nodded, and insisted on digging out an old playpen in their crawl space. I laughed and told Greg to help my dad, while my mom started the kettle and poured me some tea.

"Thanks," I said, looking around. "So, where's Tom?"

"Actually, he went into town to get some food for Mikey and Jeff. Kraft Dinner and stuff." I nodded, and turned around as Greg and my dad appeared with a dusty playpen. My mom smiled and said, "We'll clean it up, and it'll be ready in no time!" She got a rug and anti-dust bottle and got everyone working. In a few minutes, it looked better, and it wasn't as dusty.

"Thank-you," I said. "Can I use this as a bed for Katie tonight, too?" Of course, my parents agreed and took some sheets out of the closet. They laid them and a pillow down inside it, and were about to get a toy, when I heard a horn honk outside. It was Ally, and my parents went outside to greet her. Greg picked up the playpen and took it to one of the three bedrooms. He put it on the floor beside the foam and blankets and I laid Katie down inside it. I closed the blinds and kissed Katie on her forehead, before Greg and I closed the door and left. Greg followed me onto the porch, where he and my dad talked about going into town to get some wood to repair the porch with. I made a beeline to my mom and Allision. They were sitting on the steps leading to the yard, talking and drinking lemonade. I got some lemonade, too, and sat with them, watching Mikey and Jeff play in the yard.

"Thanks for having us," I said the next morning, hugging my dad. "But I have work tomorrow, and we should really go back home."

"Well, thanks for coming," he said. "Maybe we can come up to Coquitlam after my hospital test." Then he hugged Greg and patted Katie on the head.

"We'll see you soon," said my mom, hugging all of us. Then she stepped onto the porch and waved as we drove off. It was still early, so Ally and her boys were still asleep, but we had to leave. Katie was crying a bit, so I gave her a toy to occupy her. She giggled happily and banged it around, while Cuddles whined from the hatch-back. I sighed and tried to get to sleep. It would be a long ride home.

"Okay, Katie, we're home," I said, later on that day. The car ride had been long and miserable, and Cuddles never stopped whining. I had slept for two hours, but that was it. I put Cuddles in the back yard, and he ran around. I went back inside, as it was raining, and followed Greg upstairs. He was changing Katie's diaper on the table in her room. I grinned and picked out a sleeper for her to wear while she napped: a pink one with a bow on each foot. I slipped it on Katie and started to sing to her, while I placed her in her crib. She fell right asleep, and I smiled and went back downstairs to heat up some leftovers for lunch. 

Greg was on the phone, asking when he could put the computer game in stores. I put two plates in the microwave, and after it beeped, passed one to Greg. He hung up and said, "Well, it seems like the game is in stores already. At the end of the week, I'll get half of the money from selling it, and that'll happen every week." I nodded and ate my food in the living room. It sounded like a good deal to me.

"So, do you have any plans for tonight?" I asked Greg. 

He put our empty plates in the dishwasher and said, "That's another thing. I got a call from my boss when you were upstairs, and he's taking me to a Canucks game tonight, and then to a bar to discuss the whole Dalmatian-game thing, and something else. I just found out, but I think you can go to a candle party. I mean, Kathy's having it, but I found an invitation in our mail box. We were supposed to RSVP tomorrow, but I think you should still go." 

I nodded. I loved collecting candles, or at least looking at them in magazines that were handed out at candle parties. Kathy was known around here for having the best candles to order. She lived in an apartment in Surrey, but a lot of people know her, and her candle parties. It was at eight, so I called Linda at the daycare and asked if she would stay late to watch Katie. I'd pay her double, since it was her free time she was wasting. She agreed, and I got changed. I got out of my clothes and put on a white shirt, that tied up at the bottom, and a black, wrap-around skirt. My hair was clipped up on top of my head, and Katie was pretty dressed up, too. She had on a pink dress, with lace everywhere, and a tiny bow on top of her head. I smiled, and held a pair of my earrings up to her ears. Yes, she would be so cute with earrings. I wanted to make her an appointment, because if she gets it done when she's a baby, it'll be over with for her, and I'd put on the cream for her ears and everything.

I let the thought drift away when Greg called me downstairs. I put the dangly, colourful earrings on, and carried Katie (I think you've guessed that I take her diaper bag everywhere with her, too) to the Explorer. Greg drove the sports car down the road, and beeped the horn as he left the neighborhood. I smiled and started the car. Katie whined in the backseat, and I put on some music for her. It was Disney music, and she squealed in delight to it, and I drove off. We arrived at the day care at half past seven. I turned the car off, and our headlights dimmed, but I left them on a bit so I could see. The annoying Disney music stopped, and I carried Katie out of the car. I walked into the day care.

"Hi, Linda," I said, and thanked her for spending an extra hour with Katie.

"It's no problem," she said over and over. 

I ran out of the building and got back in the dark Explorer. I turned Katie's music off and put my own 'U2' music in. I smiled. That was more like it, and then I raced my car to Surrey. I got there half past eight. But I smiled and confidently knocked on the door. Kathy opened it and her pink-lipsticked mouth turned into a smirk. I brushed past her and walked into her apartment's living room. Other ladies were on the couches, or leaning on the kitchen counter. I hung up my coat and purse, and took a magazine from the coffee table. Within the next hour, I ordered two candles. One was a lighthouse, and I had to put a candle inside it. When I snuffed the candle out, all of the smoke came out of a chimney in the top. I also ordered a packet of candles that were made of blue, green and yellow gel.

After I arrived, home, Greg was already in bed. I guess the hockey game was boring, or the home team was doing bad, so he left, and had a quick talk at the bar. I got changed into my p.j.'s and snuggled in next to him.

Two years went by fast with Katie growing into a healthy two year old. A few weeks after her second birthday, Greg and I found out I was pregnant, and I had been pregnant for two months. I thought, This is impossible. I would've known if I was pregnant. But I was, and had been for two months. I didn't want to find out if it was a girl or boy, (I wanted a surprise) and right away, Greg and I got in the mood.

"This is so exciting!" he said as we drove home from the doctor's office in our Explorer. I agreed and stroked Katie's cheek. We arrived home, and Greg phoned his parents (who were in Arizona for a vacation for the year), and then I phoned my sister, my parents in Grand Forks, and even Kathy. I was going to try and be nice to her. I also called Linda, and anyone else I could think of. Then Greg and I decided to go house shopping for two days in Vernon, where I had always wanted to live. I didn't want to have two children in Vancouver. It was too busy and dangerous for them. I didn't want to bring Katie, but I had nowhere for her to go. Luckily, Linda said she could watch Katie at her house.  

I packed all of my clothes, and Greg wrapped me in a hug. "Don't be nervous about the whole baby thing," he said. "You'll be great." 

I nodded and went back to packing, while Greg got all of Katie's clothes and some bottles into a bag. We were soon done, and I put the bag in the Explorer with Katie's bag. I also had a brochure of different kinds of paints, houses, and a map of Vernon.

Four hours later, we arrived in Vernon. The first thing we did was check into a hotel. I had on a clear blue, long-sleeved shirt with a black tank on underneath, black alligator pants, and my hair was in chopsticks. I had on a pair of silver hoop earrings, and my make-up was light. I could have easily passed for a teenager dating Greg, because when the clerk gave us the key, he said, "You kids look great together. Here, this is our honeymoon suite."  We didn't argue, and we took it, putting our bags in the room. 

Then Greg and I had lunch at the buffet downstairs, beside the waterfall, and the pool.  Greg and I shared shrimp cocktail for an appetizer, and after lunch we decided to go looking at houses that were for sale. Not many big ones were, but we finally saw on that we liked. The front outside wall was brick, but the rest of the outside was blue. There were a few brick stairs leading to the front door, and an open carport was right at the end of the short driveway. The front yard had a tree in a brick circle and a flower garden near the edge. The backyard was fenced, and had a clothes-line. We went to the real estate office, and a lady named Brittany showed us around the house. The inside was beautiful, and not too small. Upstairs there were enough bedrooms, but we planned to re-paint the nursery, where our new baby would sleep, If we bought the house. Katie could have her own room. A blue sundeck came off of the open, spacious kitchen, and a hot tub was on it. The sunken-in living room had a lot of nice, big windows over-looking the drive-way. We thanked Brittany, and drove back to the hotel.

"I loved the inside," said Greg. "Certainly not as big as our last home, but I think I don't want anything too big."

"Me neither," I said. "And it doesn't cost very much. Brittany said a plumber and an electrician were just there, and everything was fine. The walls were stable, and no bugs were lurking around. And I loved the fireplace." With some discussion, we decided we wanted to buy it. We phoned the real estate office in Coquitlam, and we told them to put a 'For Sale' sign on our house. We decided to stay in Vernon until the moving truck came with our belongings. Linda offered ever so kindly to drive Katie up, and she did. I gave her a gift basket and a lot of thanks. We had already signed the papers for the house, and we could move in whenever we wanted.

A few days before the moving truck arrived with our furniture, we received good news. Someone wanted to buy our house for $189,000! We agreed, and our house was sold. Then Greg mentioned the maybe we should go to the house and paint up the nursery. I bought some paint and some rollers, and we spent the afternoon painting it a light yellow. We bought furniture, and since Katie was getting bigger, we bought her a bed.

Most of her stuff went to the baby's room, and it matched because the walls were yellow. We bought a double stroller and sold Katie's single one. Katie was getting better at talking, and when the baby would be born, she would probably be able to say sentences. It was she who picked out some new cups with lids, because she didn't need bottles anymore. We decided not to sell her baby clothes until we knew if our baby was a girl or boy. 

While I was there, I also took Katie to get her ears pierced. We were in the mall shopping (she had a lollipop that she loved) when I saw the shop. She didn't know what was happening, until I sat her in a chair and took her lollipop away from her. She didn't feel anything because she wanted that lollipop back. I picked out tiny, diamonds that were her birthstone colour. She looked adorable, and on a hot summer day six months later, she looked like a grown-up. She had on a black bathing suit with white trim. Her hair was in pig tails. We were playing in our front yard. Greg was splashing Katie in a mini-pool, and I was drinking lemonade, sitting in a lawn chair a few feet away from the pool. The baby was expected in five days at the least. If it was born on the due date, it would be April sixteenth, two thousand one. I went to the doctor for regular check-ups. 

Meanwhile, Greg had sold the green sedan, and had bought a silver truck with tan, leather seats, spacious leg room (in front and back) and enough room for a car seat for Katie, and a baby seat for the new baby. We had already decided the names: if it was a boy, his name would be Bryan Greg Silvers. If it was a girl, we'd name her Amber Gayle Silvers. Katie thought up that name. My stomach was huge, and the doctor said I wouldn't have to have needles and pain when I was in labor. 

It was almost time for my regular check-up. I notified Greg and we got into the truck, with Katie in the backseat. She still needed a car seat, but not a baby seat. We drove into town, past some nice houses and some broken down houses. We arrived at the doctor's and he examined me. "Looks nice and healthy," he said. "How do you feel?"

"Awful!" I moaned. "Like it could be any day now."

"Well, it could," he said, showing me some pictures of the baby. "But now, I advise lots of walking. See you tomorrow!" 

I waved as we walked out. Katie had a light, pink dress over-top of her bathing suit, and now she was pulling it off so she could go back in her wading pool. While Greg played with her out there, I was feeding Cuddles, and getting some loose jeans, and an over-sized sweater on, so I could go for a walk.

Greg came in with Katie, who insisted on walking in her bathing suit with shorts over top, and put the leash on Cuddles. We had been complained on by some of our neighbors because they thought Cuddles was vicious, which he wasn't. But we often went for walks in the park with him. The police weren't filing any complaints, so we didn't sell Cuddles or anything.

An hour later, we arrived back from the walk. I cooked up a quick dinner: store-bought perogies and chocolate milk, which Katie loved and made a big mess on her face with. We ate in silence. Katie had put one of her dolls in the high chair and was pretending to feed it, like she'd do with her new baby sibling.

"Look, mommy!" she cried in her cute voice. "I can feed her! I know it's going to be a girl!"

"You never know," I said, loading the dishwasher. "But now, we have to change the baby's diaper. Come on, you little rascal. Take the baby with you." 

She proudly carried the doll (by its arm) to the new baby's room, which was completely ready for the new delivery, and put it on the changing table. I helped her change it with pretend diapers, and then I put them both to sleep.

"Good night, Katie," I said, turning off the light. "You're a big girl now." She smiled and her eyes fluttered closed.

That night, my water broke, meaning that it was time to have the baby. Greg got Katie out of bed. She was still sleeping, and in her pj's, but we had to go. We went in the Explorer. No time to bring any clothes, we just had to go. On the way there, Greg phoned my parents, but no one else. Not until the baby was born. My parents were taking an express flight here. They knew it would mean a lot to me to have them here. We arrived, and I was wheeled into the delivery room. The baby was coming, and coming fast.

An hour later, Greg and I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, baby girl: Amber Gayle Silvers. I was the first one to hold her, and then Greg, and finally Katie, who was brought in by my parents, and she held her new sister. She was smiling from ear to ear, and she always told the nurses walking by, "That's my new baby sister." 

I laughed, and I was told tomorrow I'd be out of the hospital. A nurse took Amber to a nursery, wrapped in pink cloth. I was so happy, I barely even heard Greg say he was taking Katie back home to get some clothes for me, and was also taking my parents so they could watch Katie overnight. I ate some icky hospital food, and spent the night tossing and turning, partly because the bed was uncomfortable, and partly because I wanted to see Amber and Katie.

But finally I got to leave in a taxi. My parents had already flown home. I walked in the door, and I loved the sight I saw: Greg playing with Amber on the couch, and Katie watching Barney on the t.v. But as soon as I entered, Katie jumped up and hugged me. Greg came over with Amber in his arms and hugged me, too. When I had unpacked, Katie showed Amber her bedroom: where the baby would sleep, where she ate, and where all the toys were kept. While Katie was explaining to Amber what happened when you wet your diaper, Greg whispered, "It's a good thing we kept all of Katie's baby clothes."

"It is," I nodded. "We'd have to buy more clothes, and spend a bunch of money." Before Katie could show Amber the electronic swing, the phone rang. I answered, and it was my real estate agent, who had sold our home in Coquitlam.

"I have bad news," she said. "The owners of your home in Coquitlam have to move! The husband got transferred to the U.S., and your home it too expensive for any more lookers!"

"Oh, no!" I groaned, shifting Amber to my other arm. "Well, lower it two thousand. If someone looks, let them buy it. I don't want to lose money, but, well, the economy is going down, and if I lose two thousand, but gain a bunch of money from selling the home, fine." After talking to her for a while, I returned to Greg, who was putting Katie down for her after-lunch nap, and told him the bad news.

"Great!" he said, sarcastically. "Lose two thousand dollars? No big deal? Well it is a big deal!"

"I'm sorry," I said. "But that's the only thing to do. We can't afford to pay the real estate when no one looks at our house because it costs too much."

"You're right," said Greg. "But, well, it's a lot of money. I'm sorry for freaking out." 

I accepted his apology, and suggested that we cook some soup for lunch. While I did that, Greg made grilled-cheese sandwiches. Katie was watching t.v., and Amber was in her crib, napping, even though I doubted she was asleep. Soon, the lunch was ready, and I put the pot on the table, beside the plate of hot sandwich. Greg called Katie to the table, and poured milk in all of our cups. I spooned soup into each bowl, and ate a few sandwiches, while sipping my milk and slurping my soup. I barely had time to eat a leisurely lunch, because I had to feed Amber. She drank the whole bottle, and I dressed her in a halter top and a wrap-around skirt. She looked so cute! It was hard to believe that there were clothes like that for a baby. 

Then, thinking of clothes, I decided to take Katie and Amber shopping. You know, a girl thing. So I told Greg, who was mowing the lawn anyway, and got into the Explorer. I buckled Katie into her carseat, and fastened Amber into her babyseat. Looking at Katie when I drove to the mall, it was hard to believe that she was once that small. But we finally arrived at the mall, and I had no time to think about it anymore. I put them both in the double stroller, Katie in the front, wide-eyed and excited, and Amber in the back, asleep. I bought a few new sleepers for Amber, and some pyjamas and a sweatsuit for Katie. I got myself some make-up, but that was it. When I was paying, the clerk smiled and said that the two girls were the cutest! I nodded. They were, too. And they were so close in age, that they would surely have fun together when they were older. Then the clerk handed me my bag, and I drove home.

When I got there, Greg was setting the table for dinner. He had made hamburgers on the BBQ, and had everything on the table. I thanked him and while I ate, I fed Amber her baby food. Katie took tiny bites out of her half of a burger, and excused herself after she ate dessert. I smiled. She was such a sweet kid.

Sure, I loved being a mom, but I got pretty busy sometimes. I finally confessed to Greg that two kids was enough, and even though I would've loved to have more, we'd better hold off until I got the hang of the parenting thing. I mean, I was still pretty young!

But I got old fast, and soon Katie was in high school. Amber was no longer a baby, and we didn't have a crib or diaper to our name. I was in the audience when Katie graduated, and I saw Amber's report card, explaining that she had passed grade five. I was no longer their hero. They wanted to venture on their own, and got embarrassed when I held their hand in the grocery store. They walked to school, or asked me to drop them off a couple of blocks away. Like it or not, I finally realized that they were growing up.

I'll always be their mom, of course, but not in the same way. Soon, Katie would be finished collage, and she was already married. We were all changing.

So that's where I'll finish off this story. Katie with a man named Rick and a baby soon on the way. I was almost a grandmother, and Amber, an aunt, at the age of eighteen. Being a mom has its ups and downs. Mostly ups. But I hope that after reading this, in some way, you'll want to be a mom, too.

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