How nice to hear from you and thank you. I hope all is well with you and your family. Helen:
Hi there, I was going to eliminate a few chapters of this fic. but after reading through them, I decided to go ahead an post them. It would have taken at least 10 pages to lay ground work for the next part of the series, so I simply edited these chapters and hope they make more sense now than they did. I'm happy to hear you liked the beginning.... Carolyn:
I think that people with that kind of money are a generous lot. I got the idea years ago while watching Christian Slater on the tonight show share a memorable thought with the host. He had his son with him while volunteering in a deprived area and his son saw a little boy with a stick pushing a sock ball down the alley way. His son looked up at him and told him that they needed a "Toys-r-us" store. Christian said it was funny but very sad. I don't think the public hears about half the good these people do and it made me want to add something like that to my fic. It's not a big thing but it's something worth thinking about. Eve:
You are probably sooooo right. But I think all little ones can be imps at one time or another. Never doubt that they don't know what they're doing. I know mine would do things when we had company that they wouldn't dream of doing when they were alone. And the things they would say would make your blood crawl. They knew exactly what they were doing and loved it. They're still characters, but I love them anyway.
Liz was very successful with her experiments at the lab and Mr. Jarred couldn’t sing her praises enough. Mr. Appleby had permitted her to conduct several experiments on her own regarding the studies of mentally challenged people and those too were also proving to be very successful.
Tess was her first subject and it was Liz who isolated her problem and found the proper medication for her. This was one major breakthrough for Liz and her colleagues were very impressed with her work.
Tess couldn’t thank her enough.
When Liz had approached her with the idea Tess was skeptical about allowing Liz to study her but she soon realized that Liz meant her no harm and became a very willing subject. Liz made sure that Tess was given the proper recognition when the time came to receive credit. She felt that Tess should be rewarded for being her guinea pig and allowing her name to be used publicly for the studies, therefore she named her discovery in Tess’s honor. Of course Max had not changed his mind about Tess no more than Liz would change her mind about her mother so Liz kept her promise and never mentioned Tess’s name in Max’s presence.
But…make no mistake, Max Evans was very proud of Doctor Elizabeth Parker Evans and Liz was just as proud of Maxwell P. Evans, Doctor of Psychology/Baseball player. Yes, Max got his doctorate while being a professional baseball player. The entire family was proud of him.
Max continued to play baseball for the Philly’s even though he had his doctorate…after all baseball was paying for all of this and it wasn’t a bad way to earn a living…playing a game you loved and being paid to do it?
The girls were about 18 months old for their second Christmas and it most likely would be their last Christmas in the big estate so there was a huge party for everyone and the magnificent seven came to decorate the grand hall with the big Christmas tree. They let the little one’s help them this year and they were using all of the stuffed animals AND the Raggedy Anne dolls. The girls just stood there making oooing and ahing sounds and pointing to all of the lights and ornaments. The boys, who were all getting a little taller and more mature just laughed at them and held them up to put the dolls and animals in the branches…Mommy, Daddy and all four grandparents sat on the stair steps and watched the festivities through the railings.
Liz could hardly wait for the opening of the Christmas stocking this year…she had a huge surprise for Max, it was becoming impossible for her to contain herself… Things had been so hectic for the past couple of months that she decided to wait and tell him at Christmas…It’s a good thing Christmas was almost here because it’s pretty hard to hide twins in a small frame for very long.
Finally the tree was finished and everyone headed to the kitchen for refreshments that Olivia had laid out before going home to her family. An array of appetizers that would replace dinner this evening and Lord knows there were enough of them to feed a small army. The boys especially liked the Buffalo Wings and the bite sized sandwiches. Max and Liz were so pleased that the seven enjoyed themselves…it was, after all, becoming a tradition in the Evans home that they would decorate the large tree.
After everyone went home and the tired little girls were sound asleep in their own room, which had been moved next door to Max and Liz’s bedroom, Liz and Max finally headed to their own rooms and got dressed for bed. Yes, they now wore pajamas like everyone else. God knows what time of the night they would have to be up and about.
Liz had redecorated the first suite for the girls about a month ago and they seemed quite content to be in their own space. The study was turned into a play room and the king sized bed was replaced with two twin sized beds with half guard rails to prevent falling out on the floor.
The Bathtub water faucets were provided with locks to prevent them from getting scalded. They loved water and Max and Liz were extremely aware of their safety needs. They wanted them to learn to swim as babies because of all of the swimming pools around the property and the indoor pool but they never dreamed they would be so addicted to the water the way they were. Both of the girls were very good little swimmers for babies…because that is what they still were.
When Max and Liz crawled into bed Max pulled Liz in and spooned into her back just like he had been doing for over two years now and Liz just purred.
“You know Max, I am very spoiled. It really is difficult for me to sleep when you are out of town…I know I shouldn’t do it, but sometimes I bring the girls in here and we sleep together just because Mommy is lonesome. Please, promise me you will always take care of yourself Max. If anything ever happened to you I would want to die. I know I wouldn’t but Max…I know I would want to.”
“Ditto sweetheart…I’ll be very careful because you three mean the world to me as well.” And with that Max kissed Liz on the top of her head and they went to sleep.
On Christmas Eve everyone was there to celebrate. Aunt Isabel, Uncle Alex and their new baby Sandra…all the grandparents and even Bernadette who couldn’t go home this year because she was working and had to stay in Philly. There was a beautiful dinner in the dining room, which everyone helped to prepare and serve and then after everything was cleaned up they all retired to the small living room for Christmas gift exchange.
Tomorrow morning Santa came for the girls but tonight the adults did their exchange. Liz wasn’t sure if she should wait until later for Max’s surprise or not and at the last minute she decided she wanted it to be private so she snuck upstairs and hung a stocking over the fireplace in their private rooms. When she got up there there was another stocking already hanging on a mantle that was decorated in garland and red bows. “Great minds think alike.” She thought to herself and put Max’s stocking right next to the other one.
She went back down the back stairs and stopped at the refrigerator and got herself a bottle of water and headed to the living room where everyone else was already congregated. Joanne and the girls had taught the babies “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and they were doing their rendition just as loud as they could; laughter could be heard all over the mansion.
Liz couldn’t believe what she was hearing and Bernadette was beside herself with glee. The girls had managed to keep it a surprise for Max and Liz just like she had asked them to do and now they were truly showing off and the more everyone laughed the louder they got. Max had the camcorder out and was having a really tough time holding it still. Everyone clapped and hugged the two babies when they had completed their act and then they took a bow just like Joanne, Cynthia, Claudine and Bernadette had shown them. All Liz could think was ‘my God we’re raising a couple of hams’, but she loved every minute of it. They are just as happy as Liz had hoped they would be and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
About eight o’clock Max, Liz, Alex and Isabel took their girls upstairs to get ready for bed. Max and Liz still bathed Briana and Deana in their own bathroom because they didn’t want them learning how to unlock the faucets on their tub. Children are not as stupid as parents would like to think and these parents were not taking any chances with those huge Jacuzzi tubs in all of the suites.
Liz had set one of the cribs up in Isabel’s study and put the baby bather in their tub as well so Isabel was all set for Sandra’s bath.
By nine o’clock all babies were asleep and their parents joined the rest of the adults in the small living room for some adult conversation.
Bernadette couldn’t be happier, if she had to be away from her family at Christmas there wasn’t a better place on earth to be. These people were absolutely wonderful and there wasn’t any other way to describe them. Each and every one of them were wonderful…and those babies were absolutely the most enjoyable children she had ever seen. They were spoiled with love but were not molly coddled if that makes sense…it was the only way she could put it, they understood the word ‘no’ very well and when they were told no they had to obey or they got a time out which they also understood. But mostly they were treated as one of the family and shown all of the love and consideration that the adults wanted to be shown.
Around eleven Liz said she was going to head upstairs…”Those girls will be up at 7:00 a.m. regardless of how tired they were tonight and I want to be ready for them.” Isabel laughed and said she could appreciate that and would be joining her. Max and Alex said they would be up soon and with that the two young mothers headed toward the elevator. They both had the right idea…it had been a long day. They looked at each other and giggled as they pushed number two on the pad.
“Isabel, thank you so much for coming and spending the holiday with us. You have no idea how much it means to us.”
“Of course I do Liz…we spent Thanksgiving with the Whitmans’ and now we will spend Christmas with my family. I know Christmas is a little bigger holiday than Thanksgiving but next year we will probably switch…only because Sandy will be older and we will want to be home for the holidays…but this year it’s my family. I am so happy that you have all of this room to have all of us here…it really is great to be as comfortable as we are.”
“Yes, it does have its pluses doesn’t it? I wonder what it will be like next year when we have the children’s facility. I’m pretty sure everything will be finalized by then. It’s going to be different, that’s for sure.”
“I’m sure…but wherever you are I am sure you will love it.”
“Oh, I know I will. As long as Max and the girls are with me it doesn’t make any difference where we are. As long as we’re together and healthy.”
“You’re right. Well, good night Liz…you know they’ll all be up and we’d better be ready for them.”
Liz gave a little giggle and said “You better believe it…good night Isabel.”
And the young women headed to their rooms for the night.
When Liz went into the bedroom there was a light coming from the small living room. She stepped through the double doors and Max was sitting there with the teapot on the coffee table and some cookies laid out for her. He had lit a fire in the fireplace and when he saw her he motioned for her to come and sit next to him. She gave him a happy smile and sat down, slipped off her shoes and put her feet up under her and settled in next to her husband who wrapped his arm around her shoulder and gave her a kiss on her temple.
“I thought we should have a little alone time before we retire…what do you think?”
“Mmmmm…I think that’s a wonderful idea.” Liz said as she relaxed against Max’s body. And what a body it was…The man could eat anything under the sun and never gain an ounce…she sometimes felt like he was inhuman or something.
“Would you like to open your stocking now…while we have the chance to be alone?” Max asked…
“Sure, why don’t you bring both of them over here and we can take turns. Okay?”
So Max got up from the couch and took both stockings down from the mantle and headed over to Liz…He handed her the stocking trimmed in pink and he took the one trimmed in blue…then he pointed to Liz…
“You first baby.”
So Liz opened her stocking and found an envelope in it and looked at Max…he just smiled at her and she opened it up and there, in the envelope, was a deed to a house.
“Max, wha…what have you done?”
Max looked at her and smiled…
“God Liz, I have been so worried about this…I don’t know if I did the right thing or not but this property became available and it was a sweet deal so I bought it…If you don’t like it sweetheart you don’t have to move into it. I can sell it or rent it or whatever, but it really is a nice place. It’s really big Liz…not as big as this place but it has a lot of possibilities and we will be able to raise the girls comfortably…I think?” Max wasn’t so sure about this now “ …What do you say? … Liz? … Say something honey…” And Liz just stared at the envelope…
Liz was flabbergasted…she didn’t know what to say…she really hadn’t given much thought to looking for a new home yet…she thought they would have time but knew it would be happening soon…but this just took her breath away.
“Max, I know if you like it I will like it…I knew we had to move before too long but I was so preoccupied with other things that I just put it in the back of my mind. Of course I’ll like it. Thank you Max…I love you so much and please never worry about things like this…I told you before, all I ever wanted was you and now we can add the family to it … the rest is icing.”
Max pulled Liz into a fierce hug and kissed the top of her head and then Liz pointed to his stocking…Max looked inside to find an envelope also…
“Liz, you didn’t buy a house did you?”
Liz looked at Max and giggled…”No Max, just open the envelope.”
Max took the folded paper out of the envelope and opened it and looked at Liz with huge eyes…and then it registered…there were two blue circles drawn on the picture indicating two male heartbeats and Max started to tear up…his golden eyes glistened and he grabbed Liz and held her like a little baby…God, how he loved this woman.
“How far Liz?” he asked with a hitch in his voice….
“Oh, about two and a half months I think…not real sure again. I don’t know why I can’t keep better track of things but if they’re like their sisters they will be here in about five and a half months or so.”
“Oh Liz, this is the best Christmas present ever, why did you wait to tell me?”
“Because I just found out not too long ago and it was so close to Christmas and with everything else that’s going on I decided to give you a present that only I could possibly give you.”
“Well, it certainly is a wonderful present. I wonder how the girls will deal with it.”
“The girls will love their brothers because we will teach them to love them.”
“Yes, you’re right…”
“Oh, and Max…remember when I told you we could name our son after your grandfather?”
“Vaguely…I remember you said ‘NO””
“I said no to Rufus not to Gerard…so what do you think about Gerard and Parker?”
“I love it Liz…can we share this with everyone tomorrow?”
“Yes Max…but tonight is yours alone.”
“Thank you baby…I love it. Now are you ready for bed?”
And Liz looked up at her husband and said “Yummy!”
Max chuckled, flipped the remote at the fireplace, picked up his little wife and carried her to their bed. Life just kept getting better and better at the Evans home.
The next morning found four grandparents in the kitchen preparing breakfast for the entire family along with Bernadette. They had all agreed yesterday afternoon to meet in the kitchen at eight o’clock and start cooking while all of the young parents took care of their youngsters. It was a real feast. Before going over to the apartment Bernadette had prepared three, soak overnight, French toast casseroles and also three sausage and egg casseroles that her family had been serving to large groups forever. Jeff and Philip were busy with the hash browns and toast while Nancy made the orange juice and coffee.
Diane sat the table in the dining room; she had ordered a large bouquet of fresh flowers which she had kept hidden in one of the empty classrooms for the table and it looked great. There were now four classrooms in total. She started to make room for all of the food that was going to be coming in from the kitchen on the buffet and by the time Liz, Max, the twins, Alex, Isabel and Sandy came down everything was ready to go. Liz hugged all of them and then of course the twins took their turns getting hugs from everyone too. They would not be left out. Max grabbed his mom and twirled her around the kitchen and kissed the top of her head. He was so happy he could hardly contain himself. Next year they would be in a different home but there would be just as much room for all of this he was certain. Oh life was good.
After everyone was seated and enjoying light conversation the subject of next Christmas came up. Liz smiled at Max and nodded for him to make the announcement.
“Well, yes, we won’t be here but we will still have room for all of this for anyone that is interested in sharing the holidays with us. I bought a very nice piece of property with a large home on it for Liz for Christmas. I was hoping she would like it and she informed me that as long as I was there and our family that she knows she’ll like it so we don’t have to stop this if we don’t want to.”
Everyone looked at Liz and said “Ah!”
Liz looked at all of them and giggled…”It’s true. I don’t care where we live as long as we’re together and healthy. I have a small one bedroom apartment in Connecticut that we still stay at when I have to be there and I enjoy it as much as I do this house. Of course if we lived there I would have to evict several people to make room for all of you but I think I would rather do it this way, it’s much more comfortable and no one is homeless.”
They all started to laugh at her…but she was telling the truth…she is just as happy at that tiny apartment with Max and the girls as she is in this big house.
Then Max looked at Liz and asked her if he could share his Christmas present and she said of course, if he thought it was the right time…he assured her it was…only because he couldn’t wait any longer….
“In about five months or so we are going to introduce you to Gerard and Parker Evans…Liz is pregnant with twin boys.”
“Oh my God Liz…haven’t you gotten the memo…it’s easier to give birth one at a time…” Isabel shouted.
Liz looked at Isabel and said…”Who said giving birth is easy? Whether it’s one or two it’s still giving birth!”
Nancy looked at her daughter and nearly burst with pride. Thank God this girl had friends like the Evans’ and DeLuca’s to oversee her formative years. She turned into this wonderful woman without any help from her and it made her want to leave the room. Liz got an eerie feeling when she looked over at her mother and she just looked at her and gave her a great big smile and said…
“Isn’t that right Mom?”
Nancy returned her smile and said “Well Liz, I’m not sure I would be able to deal with two at a time but if you say so then it must be.”
Liz looked at her Mom and smiled again…”Hey, it hurts like hell…what can I say? We live through it and look at the rewards.” And Liz reached over and grabbed Briana’s and Deana’s little hands and squeezed….”It’s worth every pain!” and she kissed both little girls and continued with her breakfast. The girls didn’t care what hurt as long as Mommy kept kissing them.
After they finished their breakfast they cleaned up the mess and headed to the living room to see what Santa had left. This would be the first really big Christmas the girls ever had and to say that they were in awe was an understatement. They had Santa’s gifts in the small living room and then there was the large living room where they put all of the presents that had been arriving by UPS non-stop for fifteen days. They put those in the large living room because that was the only place there was room to put them. Liz looked at Max and whispered…
”We are visiting the children’s hospital later. We will take the girls with us and we will pass out toys. We won’t even look at who gave them these things we are just going to share them with those in need. Max, this borders on insanity. The five of them must have stayed up half of the night laying this stuff out.”
“Okay honey, if that’s what you want to do I’ll load up the truck…maybe everyone would like to come with us, we can make it an outing.”
“Good.”…Isabel looked over at Liz and asked in a whisper…
“Where in the hell are you going to put all of this shit? Liz, this house is big but I don’t think ‘toys-r-us’ can hold a candle to this.”
“I know…let’s go into the small living room and let them have a normal Christmas with the family….then we’ll pull all of the tags off of these things, leave them wrapped and haul them to the children’s hospital. We can use the tags to send thank you notes.”
“Liz, that’s a great idea. How do we know what’s in them.”
“Right now Iz I don’t care what’s in them…maybe we can pull corners or something and label them…I know we’re going to have some trouble finding boys things in there but maybe we can stop somewhere and pick up something for boys, or, we can just unwrap them all and take them like that.”
“I like the unwrap idea best…even the girls can help do that.”
“Great, that’s what we’ll do. Just deliver them unwrapped.”
And so they headed to the small living room and the girls were introduced to little girl toys. A play kitchen with all of the pots, pans and dishes that go with it….dolls that wet (big mistake) and the wardrobes that went with them…there were two baby doll high chairs and cradles and everything they needed to set up dolly housekeeping. They were so busy with their new toys from Santa Claus that they didn’t even miss the grownups who were busy in the large living room unwrapping every kind of gift imaginable for a two to five year old girl…and some of the games could be for boys as well. Max thought Liz’s idea was great. If the girls were subjected to this they would never be able to enjoy anything because they would have been overwhelmed. So Max brought the truck around to the side of the house and everyone took armloads of toys and put them in the truck.
Liz called the children’s hospital and told them that they had a truck load of toys and would it be all right if they brought them over for the kids. The hospital wasn’t really sure about all of this and Liz assured them that all of the items were brand new, still in the original boxes and they could go through them if they wanted to. So they got permission and headed on over there.
The girls weren’t too happy about leaving their dollies alone so Liz and Max helped them bundle up their babies and took them along with them. They had to take the dolly diaper bags and make sure the bottles were full and there were plenty of clean diapers…Max looked at Liz and mouthed a ‘thanks!’…Liz looked at Max and shrugged her shoulders…’you’re welcome’ she mouthed back and soon they had the girls and their babies and were on their way…everyone just stood there watching all the action and were glad it was Max and Liz and not them dealing with this.
The group stayed and started Christmas dinner, which would be prime rib and baked potatoes…much easier than turkey… and of course the pies from Connecticut for desert. After they put the roast on they all headed to the ice rink for a skating party with Charley and his family. Of course Johnny had his friends from school who stayed behind for the holidays for various reasons as well…and after Max and Liz delivered the truck load of gifts to the hospital they headed back to join in the festivities.
Liz had purchased some apple cider to make hot apple cider for everyone and when she got back to the estate she had Max drop her off at the house before heading to the rink so she could make up the cider in a crock pot. When she entered the house she suddenly felt a strong pain in her lower back and couldn’t move one way or the other…Oh no, God no…she thought…She took deep breaths and managed to get her cell phone out of her purse and hit number one on the dial…
“Liz?” Max said…
“Come back to the house Max…alone, I need you.”
Max could tell by the sound of her voice that things were not right. He gave his Mom a look and pointed to the girls and headed right back out the door of the rink. Diane knew immediately that things were not good. She skated over to the girls and helped them to get their little skates tied and Philip was right there beside her.
Diane replied in a whisper, “I don’t know. Max nodded to the girls and took off running…something is wrong with Liz I think.”
Philip gave Diane a very concerned look and took one of the skates and proceeded to lace up Briana’s little shoe and said a silent prayer.
Max got back to the house in nothing flat and found Liz standing against the wall bent over holding her back and he grabbed her under the legs and lifted her into his arms and headed straight back out to the truck. They were back at the hospital in nothing flat and in the emergency room.