Everyone, this is the last chapter of No One Said It Would Be Easy! I can't believe its only been four months since I started it! I just feel like it's been years! I sincerely hope that you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! I can't tell you how thankful I am to all of you for reading and reviewing! It means the world to me! Without further ado, Read on! Disclaimer: The Hunger Games was written by Suzanne Collins, not me.
*One Month Later*
It's been five years since Peeta and I boarded the rollercoaster that is parenthood. Today was Phoenix Aiden Mellark and Ivy Sky Mellark's fifth birthday. Today, Peeta and I had arranged for a hopefully very memorable party.
We had decided that a petting zoo would be very fun for all the kids. So, we arranged with a local farmer to bring a few of his animals. I knew that both Phoenix and Ivy would just love the chance to play with all the animals. Ivy is going to love it because she just loves learning about and experiencing new things. Phoenix, I think, will love it because he'll get to see some animals he's never seen before. All in all, I am hoping it is a very good day for my not-so-much babies.
Phoenix and Ivy are both excited for their party. The petting zoo is sort of surprise, but they are still excited to see their grandma Everdeen and to have cake and open presents. It is amazing how much excitement there is in our house right now.
Peeta is currently in the kitchen baking the birthday cake. He and Haymitch were going to bond over the grill later as they grill the hotdogs and hamburgers that would be on the menu for today's party.
I was bustling around; making sure the house was as clean as I could get it before the party started. Really, since the party was outside, it wasn't majorly important that the house was clean but I felt like it should be as clean as I could get. I mean, you can only keep the house so clean when you have four kids running around it.
My mom arrives about an hour before the party is to start. The kids all rush to her and she gives them each a million hugs and kisses. It does suck that she is so far away and can't be here all the time but she tries to visit as often as she can. And she always makes sure she's here for special occasions such as this.
An hour later, the party is starting. The petting zoo is all set up and Phoenix and Ivy absolutely love it! The local farmer brought over some alpacas, goats (which reminded me of Lady, which in turn, reminded me of Prim.), horses, pigs, and sheep. Ivy just goes nuts and starts petting all the animals and asking the farmer all sorts of questions. Phoenix more calmly and cautiously pets the alpaca. Peeta, of course, makes sure to get a whole bunch of pictures.
Haymitch, Effie, and Alex are the first guests to arrive. Ivy drags Alex over to the petting zoo. They will most likely remain inseparable for the rest of the day. The Hemlocks and the Hawthornes arrive at the same time. All the kids are magnetized to the petting zoo. Haymitch seems to really be enjoying the animals, too. Well, he technically just a really big kid.
As I sit at a picnic table with my husband, I can't help but going through all the tribulations of starting a family in my head. First off, there was the miscarriage that Peeta and I went through. That was before I knew I even wanted children. I had just gotten used to the idea of having a baby when the miscarriage happened. Then, I spent those next few weeks in a depression.
Then, I was finally ready to have a baby again. And, well, we ended up with two babies. Things definitely got interesting after we had Phoenix and Ivy. From sleepless nights to first steps and first words, every moment was just as magical as the next.
Then, just over two years later, the totally unexpected thing happened: I got pregnant . . . with another set of twins. The pregnancy had been rougher than the last. I had high blood pressure the whole time and that put me and my babies at risk. At seven months into my pregnancy, I had a placental abruption and needed to have a Caesarian section to get the babies out. After all that was over, the doctor had to do a full hysterectomy to stop the bleeding.
Our house was just crazy after we brought Lilac and Finnick home. Having four children under the age of three was . . . very, very hectic. And I wouldn't trade a single day of it, not for anything in the world.
I don't think any else has children as different as Peeta and I. Each of our children had a completely different personality. Ivy was always trying to learn something new. And she was always getting into trouble. When she a baby, she would try to climb on anything and everything she could find. Peeta was always so worried about her. The first day she went on the monkey bars I actually had to keep him from running over there to get her down. Honestly, if she fell it would just be a learning experience.
Phoenix is just the little artist of the family. It took him about two years before he started showing a real interest in art but once it came out he was really into it. Honestly, he would rather sit at the kitchen table and draw or color than go outside with his sister. He was also just a very sweet, kind little boy. He was always willing to help me clean or pick things up.
Lilac was the little princess of the family. She had her daddy completely wrapped around her little finger. I can't wait to see what she tries to get away with a few years from now. She also loved to dance and sing. She always wanted to have the radio on or she always wanted me to sing with her. And whenever there was music, she was movin' and grovin'. I couldn't imagine having better children as my own.
I was very glad that they had family and other kids their own age so close by. Alex was just the sweetest little boy anyone could meet. He's always so polite and his shyness just makes him even cuter. His and Ivy's friendship was very cute, too.
Ash and Liam were great little boys, too. I honestly thought that Johanna's prediction of a love triangle between them and Lilac did have a pretty good chance of coming true. Oh, Peeta will not like it when that happens.
"Presents time," Peeta's announcement pulls me out of reminiscent. All the kids come rushing over to the picnic table where all the presents are sitting. First, Phoenix and Ivy open the presents from their grandma Everdeen. They both receive a pair of roller blades. I can tell by Peeta's facial expression that he will not be very keen on letting Phoenix and Ivy ever use them.
From the Hemlock family, Phoenix gets a few paint-by-number pictures. Ivy gets a big book that tells about all kinds of animals and insects; a perfect gift for a curious little mind like hers. They get a joint gift from Gale and Liam, a multipurpose game table that has air hockey, ping pong, pool, etc.
Annie and Kyle do another joint gift and this one is slightly more for the whole family then for just Phoenix and Ivy. Their present is a blow up pool for the kids to swim in. It is a really long drive to the beach. Effie, Haymitch, and Alex get Phoenix a complete art set that has colored pencils, crayons, paints, and even some clay. Ivy receives a few science experiment kits.
Once the kids are all done chatting excitedly about their presents, it is time for cake. Peeta brings out the cake and we all stand up so that Peeta can record the singing.
"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Phoenix and Ivy, Happy Birthday to you," We all sing.
"Let's eat cake!" Peeta exclaims as we turn back to the cake. The scene in front of us makes us all laugh out loud. Bacon, on the pigs from the petting zoo, is standing on the picnic table in front of the cake with chocolate cake and frosting on his jowls and there is a huge dent in the middle of the birthday cake. I look over to Peeta as the kids all start getting upset because the cake has been devoured by a big, pink porker.
"Well, no one said it would be easy." Peeta chuckles as he wraps his arm around my shoulders.
I just love that ending! I hope, for you all, that it was a sufficient ending. I swear, I'm still not sure if I'm going to laugh or cry after typing all this. Again, because I can't say it enough, thank you for reading, reviewing, favoriting, alerting, etc. etc. I never thought my writing would receive such a positive reaction. The sequel will be up today so get ready! It's called "It Must Run in the Family" so keep your eyes out for it. Thank you all again. I love you all so much. ~ The Doc.