sort of a short one, but I'm typing as fast as I can on Chapter 18!!!
We got some unexpected news from Grandpa the next morning. My stomach bulge had grown twice as large as it had been the previous morning, and the baby was even more active. Grandpa said the baby was even growing fingers and toes. He jotted down the growth, and the results lowered my pregnancy by another month. The baby shifted a little and Grandpa looked at us excitedly. "Do you want to know the gender?" he asked. I looked at Jacob, and he nodded. I took a deep breath. "Sure." I wanted more then anything to give Jacob his 'Jennifer'. Grandpa looked at the monitor again, to confirm, and said, "It's a girl...and a boy!"
Tears rolled down my cheeks. Twins. But more importantly, a Jennifer. I turned to Jacob and he was grinning widely like he could never stop. He kissed my forehead, and I could tell he was at a loss for words.
Aunt Alice was in the room as well. She wanted to know about the baby before we told her, in case we forgot anything. She gave me a big hug and her congratulations, then demanded that we go shopping right away.
"Alice," Grandpa frowned at her. "Nessie probably isn't up to that. And she had to rest besides."
Aunt Alice's thin shoulders slumped and she frowned at the ground, her lower lip sticking out in a pout. She looked so sad that I turned to Grandpa.
"Do I really have to rest?" I asked. "I can go shopping, if that's what Aunt Alice wants." she perked up and turned to Grandpa hopefully.
He sighed. "Alright, go. But if anything troubling comes up, you need to come back immediately." I nodded. "Of course." Jacob helped me hop off the table, then all three of us crammed into Aunt Alice's Porsche. Alice drove us to the same mall as yesterday, and she sniffed out the furniture store for us.
"What room are you planning on using?" Aunt Alice said, forcing us to almost run to keep up with her pace. Jacob looked at me and I just shrugged. "The north one," he answered randomly. She nodded. "Have you thought much about color?" she asked. "No," I answered. "Sorry." Aunt Alice nodded to herself, expecting this. "No, it's okay. We'll work it out." She took us to a large store that specialized in everything baby-related. Aunt Alice pulled a long, neatly hand-written shopping list from her purse and looked at it. "Okay, you'll need a crib..." she led us over to a good selection and we looked at them. We spent a few minutes picking out two cribs for the twins, then moved on to changing-tables, highchairs, and two rocking chairs.
Furniture shopping was alright, but all three of us enjoyed the clothes shopping the most. Aunt Alice and I disagreed most of the time on clothes. She liked the flashy clothes with lots of decorative buttons and bows, while I perferred simpler styles.
I held up a cute ivory outfit with little polka dots on the shirt and pants, and on the shirt was a little puppy face. "What about this?"
Aunt Alice recoiled from it like it was a poisonous rattle snake ready to strike. She gasped. "Be serious, Nessie! You can't dress a baby in THAT!" she held up a pair of little trousers, a silver metalic sweater, a sequined blouse, and little silver slippers to match. "THIS is an outfit." "I will not have my baby wearing that!" I said, trying to stay calm. I had felt like snapping at her too often in the past few hours. Besides, the outfit looked uncomforable and like the baby was ready to be in a Broadway show! In my opinion, my outfit was comfy and the baby could move easily in it. She sighed. "Alright. How about a compromise?" she put both of our outfits in a cart and looked at me. "Half and half. You pick out some, and I pick out some." Jacob was on my side, of course; he helped me pick out outfits we both liked while Aunt Alice picked hers. She dumped them in the cart when she was finished, and I looked at them warily. The cart was covered in glitter, sequins, metalics, animal print, and bows and buttons. I put mine in on top, trying to hide her choices. She ignored me and we went to go check out.
I was exhausted. My feet draggged, and I thought I should have taken Grandpa's advice about resting for most of the day. Jacob picked up my mood and hugged me closer, kissing my hair. "We'll be home soon," he said. Aunt Alice finished paying, using her credit card (by this point I was surprised that it wasn't maxed out), and we went back to the Porsche. I could sense Aunt Alice's disapproval, so I picked up one of the sequined outfits from a shopping bag, trying to find something nice to say about what she'd picked.
What I felt next was a surprise to me. "Hey--I like this one!" I told her truthfully. It was a pair of little tan pants and a white, lacey top.
"You do?" Aunt Alice glanced back at me skeptically in the rear-view mirror.
"Yeah, it's cute!"
She sighed. "Thanks." I felt guilty because I guessed I had hurt her feelings.
"Aunt Alice, I'm sorry if I can't agree with you about all of this. We have very different opinions. But let me say this; Jacob and I can't do this without you. We can't decorate the nursery and buy everything ourselves. So we really, really appreciate your help." I looked at Jacob, to make sure I wasn't alone in this. "Yeah, we do, Alice," he assured us both. "I'm lost here! I can't figure this out! So it's really nice of you to help." She sighed and finally lost the glum look. "Thanks! As long as you want me to stick around, I'll help out." I was glad that she wasn't crabby anymore. It didn't help me much if I was stressed out for making her unhappy. I looked at a few more outfits, and most I hated, but some I had to admit were very cute. There was a little pink dress with lots of buttons, and then there was a pair of courteroy pants and a beige pull-over for a boy...
I must have dozed off because Jacob was carrying me upstairs into our bedroom. It was sunset. He crawled in next to me and held me close to keep me warm.
"I'm awake," I told him, crawling into his lap. "There's something I want to talk about. Have you decided any names for a boy?" I had thought about that most of the time we were shopping. He shook his head. "Not yet. It's tough. You've got anything?" "I like Jeth." "Jeth?" "Yeah. It it too weird? It's Jacob and Seth put together," I giggled. Seth was one of my best friends. I had seen him often before I became so involved with Jacob, and he was very friendly and easy to get along with. We had similar personalities and I loved him like a brother. "Jeth and Jennifer," Jake said slowly, grinning. "I love the sound of that!" I grinned back. "Thanks." "But Jennifer and Jeth...what? We have to have middle names." He pondered this for a moment and so did I. We sat in silence. Finally, he shrugged. "I have no idea." I yawned, suddenly too tired to do think about any type of name. "Neither do I. Let's just decide later." "You should sleep," he murmered to me, stroking my hair. "We've got a big day tomorrow. Alice just told me that she was going to decorate the nursery tommorrow, and she needs us to help." He laughed and so did I. "She'll never give us any peace," I said. But it was nice to have Aunt Alice around, as I had told her earlier in the day. Jacob began to hum--dad had been giving him a couple music lessons on our piano--and his voice was like a lullaby. My eyelids drooped and I was out in seconds.