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After having Nori I realised my current bedroom as well as the master suite, which used to be Mom’s room, were both too far away from the nursery so Michael and I renovated the downstairs guest suite and gym and turned them into our new master bedroom and a nursery. It was the best decision we made. Having our bedroom downstairs and right next to the nursery made the 2 am feedings and 4 am diaper changes a lot easier.

Nori was such an easy going baby, so easy going that when she got a little older and we would put her down for the evening she would sleep straight into morning. That left us with a little more time for ourselves before bed. I was finally starting to feel like myself again. I lost most of the baby weight without even trying. Lyra was right when she said breastfeeding all day burns enough calories to count as a workout. And having my body bounce back brought back other feelings as well.

I missed being intimate with my husband and I know he missed being with me too. Taking care of both Nori and the restaurant would take its toll on us to where we would both crash and burn at the end of the day. We barely had time to kiss each other goodnight, far less for anything else.

That night was the first time since before Nori’s birth and I knew he wanted it just as badly as I did. Of course, I knew we couldn’t afford to get too carried away. “I’m not back on the pill as yet.”

“Whaaat? Why?” He pouted.

“I didn’t get the time to go for a refill.”

“Well…I mean…you are breastfeeding right? According to that book, your chances of getting pregnant again while breastfeeding is smaller than…”

“Uh-uh, I’m not taking any chances! We’re barely keeping up with one baby as it is.”

He licked his lips and then smirked. “I make no promises.”

“Michael!” I playfully pushed at his chest.

“Come on Maia!” He complained. “I’m dehydrated here and you’re telling me not to drink from the fountain!”

“You can drink from the fountain…you just can’t jump around in it! You’ll contaminate the water!”

“Okay…are we still talking about the same thing here?” He chuckled.

“It’s a bad euphemism but you know what I mean!” I frowned, though unable to hide a smile. “I’m serious.”

“Alright fine!” He sighed, wrapping his arms around me. “I’ll be careful.” He then kissed me passionately, making my body tingle with every small tug of his lips against mine.

My towel hit the floor and so did his pants. When our bodies hit the mattress, we were going at it non-stop for the next half hour. He was wild and insatiable and I enjoyed every moment of it. We were both so into it that we forgot we were supposed to be careful.

Which was why when Nori celebrated her birthday,

We also had something else to celebrate.

Another little girl was on the way!

I shouldn’t have been so surprised when I saw the positive pregnancy test but I was. I started to panic a little, worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle two babies at the same time. But at least our daughters would be close in age and I saw that as a good thing because I wanted them to grow close just like I was with my siblings.

“This one’s not shy about kicking, huh?” Michael laughed as he rubbed my belly.

“No, she’s not!” It seemed like my bladder was her playground. Unlike Nori, this baby was very active.

“Mmm…you have no idea how turned on I am for you right now.” He licked his lips. “You are so sexy, babe.”

“Oh stop!” I protested playfully. I didn’t really want him to stop, I wanted him to continue. In my state, compliments were always welcomed.

“I’m serious! You’re extra sexy when you’re pregnant.”

“So that’s why you keep knocking me up!” I joked although I was beginning to wonder if that was indeed his master plan.

“I don’t do it on purpose, I just get lucky!” He smirked, pulling me closer. “I seem to hit the mark pretty well, huh?” He kissed me hard, his large hands encircling me and bringing me as close to his body as my protruding stomach would allow.

His tongue was doing things to me, driving me wild! I wanted him so bad that I almost forgot we weren’t alone. “Dada…Dada…Dada…!” Nori whined.

Michael pulled away and bit down on his lip as he gave me one last longing look. “I think she’s doing this on purpose.” He whispered.

“Dada…Dada…!” I laughed at her persistence. She always interrupted whenever she saw us kissing. Maybe she was doing it on purpose?

He bent over to face her. “Yes baby girl, what’s the matter?”

“Nori play pwease!”

“Play huh? You wanna play? Alright, let’s play!” He scooped her up in his arms and began to spin her around in the air which was exactly what she wanted.

I used to get so nervous when he did that. It didn’t bother me before when he did it with other people’s kids because I thought if the parents were fine with it then I shouldn’t see it as a problem. But this was MY kid, my first born that he was wantonly tossing around in the air and holding upside down. Sure he was her father and I trusted that he would never let anything bad happen to her, but it didn’t stop me from freaking out a little. “Please be careful, Michael!”

“I am, for the millionth time, I know what I’m doing!” He insisted, and Nori just giggled profusely when he got down on the ground and began to toss her up in the air some more.

In spite of my worries, it was really cute seeing them play like that. And she only wants him to do it. Believe me, if I try I get shut down like nobody’s business. Only Dada knows how to do it properly, it would seem.

Sometimes I do get a little jealous of Michael. He gets to do all the fun stuff and I do most of the dirty work. I’m the one who cleans her potty when she’s finished, I’m the one who bathes her most of the time, and I’m the one who cleans up the mess when she plays with her food.

I suppose it does make sense why she would choose him. He’s with her most of the day while I’m at the restaurant. When I do come home in the evening, I’m just in time for the night time ritual of dinner, potty, bath and then bed.

“Why are you so quiet over there?”

“I’m just thinking about how you’re Nori’s favourite and you’ll probably be this baby’s favourite as well.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You’re the go-to man for fun and games. She never wants to do that stuff with me. It’s cause I’m not around as much, I think.” I shrugged while he gave me a sympathetic look. “We should put her to bed soon.”

“Mama, Nori want bunny stowy for bed. Mama, you read bunny stowy pwease!”

“See, she wants you to do some fun stuff too. She doesn’t like the way I read the stories. She only wants you to do that.”

“I guess…”

“Mama read stowy?”

“Yes, sweetie, Mama will read you the bunny story.” I picked her up in my arms and looked back at Michael before I left the room. “After I tuck her in, I’ll be back to finish what you started mister!”

The next morning I decided to sleep in instead of going to the café at the crack of dawn as I usually would. Michael and I had a really long night and not in a good way. Nori had a nightmare so she woke up crying and was so rattled by it that she wouldn’t go back to sleep right away.  Michael is such a trooper. Even though he got less sleep than I did, he was already up taking care of her by the time I crawled out of bed.

Some days I wish I didn’t have to go to the restaurant and I could stay home with her instead. Michael is so lucky he can work on his art from home and if he ever needs to focus he can drop her off next door for a play date with Amiyah. Ashely is a stay-at-home mom so she has no problem watching Nori for a couple of hours while Michael paints because Amiyah likes the company. I have to admit that sometimes I wish I were in Ashely’s shoes. It must be nice to not have to say goodbye to your baby on a daily basis and then hear them cry as you leave. At least she stopped crying now when she sees me dressed up.

“Are you eating all your food?”

She nodded. “I finish!” She beamed proudly.

“I see that!” I said, looking at the empty bowl. “Good job sweetie!” Thank goodness none was on the floor! I can’t tell you how many times I was fooled into thinking she ate everything only to step into a pile of it next to her high chair.

Michael came and sat down by the table with a bowl of ceviche and chips. “Is that what you’re gonna have for breakfast?” I asked.

“I had breakfast three hours ago. This is a snack. I figure I ought to get some fuel in before she has me running around today.”

“Aren’t you gonna drop her off at Patrick and Ashely’s?”

“Ashely is taking Amiyah to visit her brother and his wife in Newcrest today so it’s just gonna be the two of us today.”

“I hope you’ll be a good girl for Daddy today, Nori.”

She nodded excitedly but I could tell by the look on her face that she had other ideas. “Let’s hope so,” Michael said. “She got into my paint yesterday and made a big mess on the floor.”

I gasped exaggeratedly. “Nori, nooo! You know you’re not supposed to play with Daddy’s paints!” She just giggled in response like it was a big joke. She was so cute.

“And you think you get all the dirty work!” Michael said to me. “She’s better behaved around you than she is with me, I’ll tell you that!”

It was getting late and I had to leave. I really didn’t want to. I wish I could stay home with my daughter and husband but I had to go to the restaurant. I was already a couple hours late as it was. “Mommy has to go now sweetie,” I said to her as I picked her up from the high chair. She was getting so big I had to struggle a little to lift her up. With this new pregnancy, I don’t think I’d be able to carry her around anymore if she kept growing at this rate. “Give mommy a kiss.”

She gave me a long drool covered kiss on the nose which surprisingly didn’t make me squirm one bit. Usually, overly wet kisses from little kids gross me out. Not from her though. “Bye!”

“Bye Nori. I’ll be back soon.”

“Love you, Mama!”

When she looked up at me with those piercing eyes, the same colour as her father’s, I felt my heart melt into a puddle. Even Michael looked at me in surprise when she said those words. Sure we would say it to her and to each other all the time, but this was the first time she ever said it. And she said it to me.

I looked over and saw Michael pouting a little. And I thought he was her favourite.

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