Huge thanks to ACullenWannabe for jumping on to beta this and Honeymoon Edward for the banner. This was based on a post I saw on FB and fell in love with. Thanks for coming along for this fun lil story.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
My husband is lucky he makes cute babies.
That was the first thought as I walked out of the maternity section at Kohl's and saw Edward walking around with a mammoth moose thrown over his shoulder.
"Edward, what are you doing with that thing?"
"Looking for someone to price-check this for me. Or maybe they have one of those scanny things. Have you seen one of those self-scanner things?" He looked back and forth so wildly, I was afraid he was going to knock over a display.
"Edward, we're not buying that. Where would we even put it?"
"In the nursery! This is for my son." The pride in his voice as he said that almost made me falter, but I stopped myself.
"Edward, that will take up too much space and it is going to be expensive. I'm sorry, but no."
"I'm buying it with my money, so I say yes."
Frustrated, I stormed off before I said something I would regret. My pregnancy hormones made me quick tempered and Edward always took it personally.
It was hard for him not to considering how his father had treated him.
I went back over to the maternity section and began to go through what I'd picked out. I calculated what I had in my hands and how much Kohl's cash I had then put away a few items, including the dress I'd picked out. I shot off a text to his cousin, Rosalie, and then walked to the front of the store.
I made my way to the register and saw one of the associates talking. "Someone's finally buying the $500 moose?"
My stomach dropped.
"They put it on sale, it's only $350 now," the girl behind the register said.
I watched as Edward handed over his credit card while I went to the next cashier. I quickly paid for my purchases and made my way over to where Edward was waiting for me.
"I think I'm done for the day," I told him, and he frowned.
"But you wanted to exchange those gifts your mother had sent and pick out a few things. What's wrong?"
"I'm just feeling tired."
"What if I run into Buy Buy Baby and get them to put the refund on a gift card? Then you can get what you need when you're feeling better. Or give me the list and I can get what you wanted while you run into Michael's? Didn't you say you needed some things for the shop?"
I sighed. I did need a few things for the orders I was working on. I'd opened my etsy shop when I was pregnant with the twins. I knew money would be tight when I quit working at the grocery store, but the cost of child care was high, and I knew Edward wouldn't like the idea of the girls spending all day with strangers. It was how he'd been raised.
"Fine, but let's drive to the other side of the shopping center."
We made our way to the SUV and I was shocked when Edward opened the front door and shoved the moose into the passenger seat.
"Baby, he's not going to fit back there with the car seats and look." I heard, rather than saw the click of the seatbelt. "Now, he's safe."
Back to feeling frustrated, I climbed into the back seat and put down my bag. My phone pinged and I looked down to see Rose had responded.
What did my idiot cousin do now?
He bought a 6 foot tall stuffed moose for $350!
I snapped a picture of the back of its head in front of me and sent it to her.
Wow, and it is sitting shotgun? I think he's spending too much time with Emmett.
Maybe. It is just embarrassing. And it's money that could have been spent on other things. He told me it was 'his' money, so he'd buy it if he wanted to.
Oh wow, so he is that stupid.
I just want to go home and work on some orders. That way I have some of 'my' money coming in.
Love you, B. I'll see you this weekend.
We made it to the other side of the shopping center. I handed off the list to Edward and went straight to Michael's. Though the prints I did were all digital and all I really needed was paper and ink, which I ordered online because it was cheaper, I liked to personalize my packaging and send little notes along with the pieces I did to thank people for shopping with me. That was what this shopping trip was for.
I was in the middle of the printing aisle looking at different options for the stickers and labels I used when Esme called.
"Bella, my darling girl, how are you doing today?"
"I'm all right. Just tired."
"Well, I wanted to let you know that the work is almost done at the house. The last room I really need input on is the nursery. Besides you both picking the color and using the furniture from the twins, I didn't know if there was any theme you wanted. I know with the girls you went with bunnies and ducks."
"You should call Edward about that. He came up with that for the girls and what he's got planned for our son might make your job all that much harder."
"What did my nephew do?"
"It doesn't matter, Esme. Just talk to him and figure it out. I know whatever you do will be lovely and I can't wait to move out of that apartment and into our home."
"We should be moving you in next week."
"Thank you, Esme, for everything."
We hung up and I grabbed what I needed and left. Edward was already in the car when I got out, so he pulled up to the curb so I didn't have to walk. He suggested ordering pizza so I didn't have to cook and I nodded, just wanting to get back home.
When we pulled into the apartment's underground parking lot, a few people stared as we walked towards the elevator. When someone asked him about the moose, he'd proudly tell them it was for his son. He sounded so proud, so I just carried the rest of our purchases and pressed the button to call the elevator down there.
We rode up in silence and when we got to our apartment, I opened the door and went straight to our bedroom. More of our boxes had been moved while we were out, which meant that Esme was really that close to being done with redecorating our home.
We'd been surprised to learn that Edward's paternal grandfather had left Edward money, seeing as his son had cut Edward off when he'd gone to school to become a wildlife veterinarian, but it had afforded us the ability to buy our home. Edward had put the entire inheritance towards the house, with the exception of a small amount for us to fix it up how we wanted. Esme had not only helped us with that, but she'd helped us get a mortgage that was less than our current rent.
I showered and changed into pajamas, knowing that I would actually get to relax today as Alice and Jasper, Edward's other cousin and his fiancée, were watching the girls tonight. It was nice that his aunt, uncle, and cousins were always willing to pitch in, and Maggie and Makenna loved it.
I must have drifted off, because I woke up to Edward shaking my shoulder.
"Baby, can we talk?"
"Is the pizza here?" I yawned.
"No, I was going to order it now, but I talked to Esme and Rosalie earlier and then when I came in here, I knocked over the bag from Kohl's and you only bought about half of what you'd picked out. Why didn't you buy the others? I thought the whole reason we went there was because you needed a dress for Alice and Jasper's engagement party."
"It felt silly to buy a dress when I'd only wear it once. I'll be fine with what I've got."
"Bella," he knelt beside me on the floor, "do you want me to return the moose?"
Now I felt like shit. It was an unnecessary expense, but it had made him so happy, even if his comment about the money had hurt.
"I didn't mean the money thing like that. I meant I was spending money from the inheritance. You know that everything we have is ours. I know it took a lot for you to stay home with the girls, and I love that our children will always come home to a parent there for them. He was just so big and silly looking, I couldn't imagine not having him for our son. Mac will be his protector."
And now I was crying. When Edward had found out we were having twins, he told me that he didn't want to use family names for our children, and I'd agreed. We had each made lists and as we shared our favorites and each had found a name that started with 'M' that we'd liked, we went with it. That was how Maggie and Makenna Masen had gotten their names. Edward had also gotten them each a stuffed animal early in my pregnancy. A duck for Maggie and a bunny for Makenna. And their personalities were perfect with the animals. Maggie was quiet, but you could tell the wheels were always turning, just like a duck on a pond, and Makenna was all frenetic energy.
We'd chosen the name Marcus for our son, and Edward had continued the name trend with our massive moose friend.
"Bella, are we okay?"
"Yes, we're okay. I didn't mean to blow it out of proportion."
"No, Bella. You're allowed to feel however you do. I just wish you would have said something when I upset you. You bottle things up too much."
"I know." My stomach growled and Edward smiled.
"I'd better go order our pizza."
We ate dinner and then Edward went to take some things to the new house, including Mac. He said he would guard the house until we moved in.
I got a very excited call from our daughters. It seemed that Edward had facetimed them from the house to introduce them to Mac and they were going on and on about the moose in the baby's room.
I had to laugh at that, because Edward would tell the girls and get them excited for both the move and the baby with his childlike enthusiasm.
He was gone a few hours, but when he came back, he told me that Esme had everything she needed figured out and she'd be finishing up this week.
"So when will our move-in date be?" I asked.
"Esme thinks they'll be able to get everything moved from here on Saturday and then I'll be home on Sunday to help with the unpacking. The whole family will be around so we can divide and conquer. Emmett is adamant that you don't do any heavy lifting."
"The help will be nice, because if I had to handle all of this on my own, it would take forever. Are you taking any time off from work to help?"
Edward shook his head. "I can't. Ben is on vacation, which was part of the reason everyone is coming over. Will you have all of your supplies packed up soon? That's the last major thing to pack. Everything else is things we use everyday."
"I can do that tomorrow. I put a notice up on the shop so people are aware that things won't ship until all of this is done."
"That's good, I'd hate to have you stressing about orders that need to go out."
I yawned and Edward walked over to switch off the overhead light. "I can't wait to see the house all finished. I haven't been there since the last time we were there with the realtor."
"Esme's done an amazing job with it. I'm excited for you to see everything." Edward climbed into bed next to me and pulled me close.
The week that followed flew by, but in that time, it seemed that Edward had used his trip to the house to take a million moose pictures. Mac had been to all of the major places in our relationship and in the girls' lives and he'd gotten photographic proof. The posts on Facebook started the morning after we got him, with cute captions and him tagging me each time.
On Wednesday, a box from Amazon came and I didn't know whether to laugh or scream. Three identical moose were inside, making me wonder about how many of these things we were going to have. The girls each had two dozen of their chosen animal, but they were much smaller than these guys.
"I got more than one so when one eventually gets ruined, we aren't searching for the same one. Remember Maggie when Quackers lost his wing? I didn't want a repeat of trying to remember where we got it and hoping it was still available."
Those weren't the last moose to arrive, but at least the new ones weren't in multiples.
I finished packing up the apartment, glad that our bed was only going as far as the dumpster, and the four of us settled in for the night. It was rare for us to use a babysitter, but Alice's younger sister, Cynthia was watching the girls during the move to keep them from getting underfoot. They were nearly three and at the age where they could get into anything with little effort.
When the sun rose on our moving day, Edward took the girls on his way to the zoo and I got ready to direct traffic. Emmett showed up with the moving truck with Jasper, and they loaded everything we owned. The last of the boxes were put in my Traverse then I watched as Jasper and Emmett took the things that weren't going to be moving to the new place out to the dumpster. I wasn't following right behind them, because I needed to clean the apartment now that it was empty.
It took a few hours, but I was finally ready to turn in the keys. I went down to the leasing office and gave them our keys, happy to be moving into our own place.
I drove across town to our new home and there was a ton of activity. Emmett and Jasper were nearly done unloading the truck, Esme directing traffic as they did, and she pulled me to the side as soon as I walked in.
"I thought the easiest thing for you to do today would be the closets. All of the boxes and suitcases are in the appropriate rooms, though there is some stuff already hanging in Marc's closet. Carlisle and I couldn't resist when we saw them. Call it a great aunt's privilege."
"Thank you, Esme, and I'll get to work on that. Have you all thought of anything for lunch? It is nearly that time and between my little guy and the big guys moving stuff, we should make a plan."
"How does burgers sound from that pub down the road? I can pick it up if they don't deliver."
"That sounds amazing." I looked up the menu and gave her my order and then went to the kitchen to grab a water from the fridge before I went to the bedrooms.
The meadow that Esme had painted on the walls, complete with a pond for Maggie's ducks was perfection in their room. We'd purchased economy furniture when we'd had the apartment, but Edward had been adamant that we upgrade those pieces. The girls were finally ready for big girl beds, so we converted one of them back into a crib for Marcus and the other we'd donated last week. The girls had enjoyed sleeping with their mattresses on the floor last week, but tonight it would be back to normal.
I'd kept all of their clothes that had been hung up on the hangers, so filling up their closet and then the dresser took the hour until lunch arrived.
We ate in the dining room, laughing and joking about the insanity that tomorrow would be with everyone there. When lunch was done, the guys headed out to return the truck and promised to be by bright and early.
With the lunch mess cleaned up, Esme and I went up to the master bedroom and unpacked the clothes there. From there, I took care of the master bathroom while she moved to the kids' bathroom. When we were finished with that, she told me she had a surprise for me. I hadn't made it into Marc's room yet, so I wasn't surprised when she led me to that door.
If the girls' room had been perfection for them, the forest that she'd had painted in here was just as special. It had an impressionistic feeling, with the shelving made to look like part of the trees. There was a reason Esme was so sought-after as a designer. And this room had been managed in just under a week.
"What do you think?" she asked.
"I love it."
"Check the corner."
I looked in the corner that the door hid and laughed to see Mac sitting there with little swing sitting between his legs.
"That's amazing, has Edward seen that yet?"
"He came by this morning after he dropped off the girls. I'm going to let you relax now. You've done more than enough work for the day. I'll lock up and we'll be back around seven tomorrow with breakfast."
I looked at Mac, sitting in the corner, and decided to play with Edward a bit. I may have been annoyed with the expense at first, but he really was perfect. I sat my phone on the changing table and made sure it was angled correctly before I took a few pictures. I got one of me kissing Mac, along with one of us in that cheesy prom pose, and one of him putting his paw or hoof or whatever it is on my belly. I sent the best ones of each off to Edward and my phone pinged a few minutes later.
I leave you two alone in the house for one afternoon and he's putting the moves on you?
Who's to say I'm not putting the moves on him?
So does that mean he's officially part of the family?
Yes, and this bedroom is perfect. The kids are going to go crazy.
How much did you all get done today?
The clothes have been unpacked in all the bedrooms and the bathrooms are done, other than that, nothing. And I'm tired, I may just take a shower and then nap until you get home.
Don't push yourself. I'll bring home dinner. Anything sound good?
That Greek and Lebanese place by the zoo, I can't remember the name.
I know the one. I'll get that and then pick up the girls. See you later.
I did exactly what I'd told Edward I would, and he found me curled up in bed a few hours later. Maggie and Makenna were so excited for their big girl beds in their new bedroom with places for all of their little friends on the shelves and toy boxes.
After dinner, Edward wanted to show us the basement, which had been done as a family room. There was a play area for the kids and plenty of room for our extended family. Rosalie and Emmett were in the process of adopting, so our kids would soon have cousins and that made me happy. I'd been an only child with a flighty mom who had no idea who my dad was, so having Edward's extended family in our lives was a blessing.
While the girls went to explore their corner of the large basement, Edward led me to a room closed off by a set of dutch doors.
"What's in here?" I asked.
"Open it and see," he murmured.
I did as he said and gasped at what was inside. There was a large work table with room for my laptop as well as to layout designs or package orders. There was also custom shelving for my art supplies as well as my shipping and packing items. But the biggest thing was a poster printer. I sold some of my designs in larger sizes, but until today, I had to send them out which ate into my profits. This one looked to be thirty-six inches, which meant I could do whatever I wanted from home.
"I wanted you to have your own space for your business, but still be able to watch the kids."
"This is wonderful," I told him. "And the printer, that'll make it so much easier to offer larger sizes and not have them be so expensive."
"The printer was a necessity for you, and I knew you wouldn't get it yourself, so I decided to buy it and you can write it off on your taxes as a business expense."
"Thank you." Just then, Marcus kicked and I had to laugh. "Marcus likes it too."
Edward knelt down in front of me and rubbed where our son was kicking. "Be careful with Mama, Son. Your sisters bruised your mom constantly."
With a kiss planted to my belly, Edward stood up and called to the girls. "Ladies, bedtime soon. Let's get you all cleaned up and ready for story time."
The girls cheered as they ran past us, holding hands as they climbed up the stairs. I moved slowly behind them, with Edward a step behind me.
"Only two more months, Mama, then you'll be able to walk easier."
"I've been a klutz since the day we met, Edward. Don't blame our son."
He laughed and when we reached the main floor, he jogged to catch up with the girls.
Edward managed bath time, then I read them both a story. I was grateful when their eyes drifted closed without complaint.
The next day was sheer madness. Our house was full and the girls ran from person to person trying to get them to play. They soon found that it wasn't going to happen until the house was done. Bribed with a trip out for ice cream with Auntie Rose and Uncle Emmett if they were good, they took up residence in the living room and watched the TV after Jasper set it up. Everyone tackled a room and by the time dinner arrived that night, we were all unpacked.
Alice just shook her head at the fact that we managed it in a day, but we didn't have a ton of stuff. Even with our storage unit being emptied, there wasn't a ton of clutter since we'd always lived in small apartments.
The family left us not long after they'd eaten, and we relaxed while Emmett and Rose made good on their promise with the girls.
Once we were settled into our new home, time seemed to speed by. Edward was busy with a pregnant monkey at the zoo, so he was staying later so he and the other vets could ensure there was always someone on duty in case she went into labor and needed help. Meanwhile, I moved steadily closer to my own due date.
The last month was the hardest. Even though Marcus was a much easier pregnancy than the twins, I was ready to be done with being pregnant and I still had three weeks to go.
Edward, being the planner and the worrier that he was, had not only arranged for Esme to take the girls when my time came, but he had bags packed for all three of us. I couldn't help but laugh at the way he repeatedly checked to make sure they had everything we needed. He knew they did, but it was how he controlled the uncontrollable. My laugh would make him stop his checking and settle back into bed.
There were more photos of Big Mac and Mini Mac on our Facebook feed these days than us, especially since Edward had commandeered one of the "replacement moose" for his own use.
Mini Mac had been all over the zoo. He'd gone shopping, to the park, anywhere Edward could get away with taking it and snapping a picture, he did.
His boss thought it was hilarious, which only encouraged it more. They were actually talking about him doing something similar for the Woodland Park Zoo Instagram account where Edward and other employees would use stuffed versions of their animal ambassadors to show people behind the scenes at the zoo.
And all of this came because my husband was a kid at heart.
Marcus was born on April 4th at 2:48 in the morning. It was thankfully a quicker labor than with the girls, and within a few hours we were surrounded by our loved ones. We both went home two days later, and Marcus' first official baby picture was taken with Big Mac and Mini Mac.
How else would we commemorate the meeting between a boy and his moose?