"Zach, it's not that bad. You only have to wear it for a few minutes to take the picture."
"It's itchy, Daddy," Zach argued, pulling at the neck of his shirt that he was wearing under his red sweater vest.
At just shy of five years old, Zach had started to get more talkative. He wasn't as shy as he used to be. He still wasn't a vocal as his sister, who was two minutes his senior, but he held his own.
Zach started to pull his sweater over his head, catching Zoey's attention. "Daddy, if Zach gets to take his vest off, then I don't have to wear these tights! I don't like the way they cling to my legs. I wasn't to be free under my dress!"
Shawn wrestled the vest back onto his son and turned to Zoey, his eyes wide at his daughter's words. "There will be no freedom under your dress, ever, under any circumstances."
"Is Kaelyn wearing tights? If she's not wearing tights, then I'm not either!"
"Kae's wearing tights too, honey," Juliet answered, walking into the room holding her four month-old daughter who was sporting an adorable red dress with sparkly white tights. "See, here they are. They look just like yours."
"Mommy, you're not wearing a dress!" Zoey shot back at her mother, who was wearing khaki pants with a red Christmas sweater, looking for some reason to be able to take off her outfit. She did not like dresses, and she definitely didn't like wearing tights.
"That's because Mommy's a lot older, and my legs don't look nearly as cute as yours do in a dress," Jules offered in response, used to her elder daughter's argumentative ways.
Zoey sat down and began to pout, her nose crinkling just like her mother's always did.
"Mommy, I don't like this," Zach tried, tugging once again on his sweater.
"It's just a few minutes, buddy. We just have to take the picture for the Christmas card, and then you guys can get in your jammies and out of these clothes."
Juliet eyed Shawn who smirked at her. "This is what I've been dealing with for the last ten minutes while you were with Kaelyn," he told his wife.
"It's your genes that make our kids so argumentative."
"Daddy gets to wear jeans?" Zoey asked. "Why can't I wear jeans?"
"No, a different kind of jeans, sweetheart," Jules explained. "Can we please just take the picture? This is Kaelyn's first Christmas and I want our Christmas card to be special."
"It's Christmas Eve," Zoey interceded. "Isn't it a little late for a Christmas card?"
Juliet pursed her lips. Damn, her daughter was smart. "Okay, it's a New Years card," she amended. "Either way, it could be really quick so we can put out milk and cookies for Santa and then read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, or it could take a while. Which would you prefer?"
"Quick!" Zach answered.
"Good, then everybody keep your clothes on and sit down," Shawn replied, setting the camera up for the self timer.
Zach and Zoey sat on the couch next to each other and Juliet placed Kaelyn in their laps so she was lying across both of them. She then stood behind the couch and bent her knees slightly to not be so high above her children in the picture.
Shawn hit the button on the camera and quickly made his was next to Juliet. The camera soon clicked and Shawn moved back to check to see how the picture turned out.
"Are we done?" Zoey whined. It was getting to be pretty close to the twins' bed time, and Zoey always got cranky when she was tired.
Shawn looked at the photo on the playback of the camera. "Miracle of all miracles—I think we got it on the first try!" He took the camera to show Juliet to get her approval. She nodded in agreement.
"Okay, munchkins, looks like we're done with the picture," Shawn told his kids, scooping Kaelyn up from the twins' laps.
Immediately Zoey began removing her tights and Zach his sweater vest.
"Okay, guys, you ready to open your one Christmas Eve present?"
"Yeah!" the twins cried excitedly, even though they already knew what it would be.
Shawn and Juliet each handed them a box and then together opened one for Kaelyn.
They each got a new pair of pajamas, just as they did every Christmas Eve.
"Go put them on!" Juliet told them, although they were already standing to do so.
As she waited for her kids to scurry back in the room, Juliet began undressing Kaelyn and putting her in her new PJs.
Shawn came up behind her and wrapped his arms around his wife. He stared over her shoulder at their blonde-haired, blue-eyed, baby girl, taking in her perfection.
"We've got pretty awesome kids," Juliet spoke, knowing that was what Shawn was thinking about.
"Yeah," he whispered against her neck. She could then feel his mouth turn up into a smirk. "I'm glad we took these ones home instead of the ones the hospital tried to give us."
Juliet turned and kissed Shawn on the cheek. "I love you."
Juliet finished dressing Kaelyn just as Zach and Zoey skidded into the room and sat down in the couch.
Shawn quickly turned Jules around and kissed her on the lips.
"EWWWW!" the twins yelled out at the sight of their parents kissing.
"I love you too, Jules," Shawn told Juliet softly. "Merry Christmas."
In my family, we always get to open new jammies on Christmas Eve. :)
Oh, and sometime in the future, I'm going to write a multi-chapter story about when Juliet was pregnant with Kaelyn and how the twins react to it all. That might not be for awhile, though, since I already have another full-length story that I'm writing. (But I'm nearing the finish line on that one as far as the chapters I've written [not posted], so I might be able to start soon-ish. Especially since I have 5 weeks off for winter break.)