A few days after Alissa made the final plans for her trip, Sharlee had gone for a check-up at her doctor’s office. Skylar was eight weeks old, and the doctor released Sharlee to resume all of her normal activities. Skylar also had a checkup. She and Sharlee were healthy. Both Noah and Sharlee were deeply relieved. Sharlee couldn’t wait to start back exercising! Not just for the weight loss, but because of how good it made her feel.
Noah passed the turn off to her parent’s house. Sharlee said, “Hey, you missed the turn!”
Sharlee wondered why they were there. She walked inside and looked around her. The great room was nice and comfortable looking with a large kitchen and dining area. She looked at Noah questioningly. “Why are we here? Who lives here?”
“I hope we will, if you like it. Let me show you around.”
After that, he showed her a back deck outside, where Sharlee could do her pilates and yoga when it’s warm and let Sky play in the fenced in backyard after Sky started walking. Sharlee had been silent during the tour, and Noah was worried that she didn’t like it.
“If you don’t like this place, Sharlee, we can look for another house. I just don’t want us to get in over our heads. I don’t want to rent too expensive of a place, and I was thinking that we could rent now and save up to buy a house. The Harley campaign is doing great, and we can afford the rent here. I still have a while before I finish school, and so do you. It will be almost another year until the dealership is ready to open. Then, even though Harley expects ours to be one of their most lucrative franchises, I don’t want to count on that income before it even starts. This was the model house for this subdivision, and no one has lived in it yet. I thought a furnished place would be better for us right now. I remember how hard it was for Remi and Darion to move with a baby.”
Sharlee still didn’t say anything. Noah anxiously asked, “Babe, what….”
“It’s a very nice house, Noah. It’s just that….” She swallowed.
“Sharlee, you knew that staying with your parents was just temporary, right? I mean I really appreciate your folks letting us stay there, and you know I love your family. It’s just that I want my own place. I want to make a home with with you and Sky and take care of my own family. Also, I think your Dad and I need some space from each other.”
“Of course I know that. I understand, Noah. It’s just that I’m afraid that I’ll mess up.” She was fighting tears.
A light bulb went on for Noah. Sharlee was afraid of being completely responsible for Sky!
Sky was starting to whimper in Sharlee’s arms as she heard her mother trying to hold back tears. Noah wrapped his arms around both of them. “You know what, Sky? Sometimes your Mommy is really funny!” Sky laughed at the playful tone of his voice, and Sharlee stopped crying. “You have the best Mommy in the world, and she takes such good care of you!”
He felt Sharlee relax. “Babe, the house is just a phone call and a few minutes away from your folks. You know that if something comes up that you can’t handle, Mom and your Dad would be over here before you even finished the call! Besides, you won’t need them. I wouldn’t trust just anyone with my Sky, and I trust you completely. You are a natural, nurturing mother and you instinctively know what Sky needs. Besides, I’m here too!”
Sharlee laughed. Noah was right! She was being silly. She hadn’t expected to feel such a lack of confidence in herself, but just as she did with everything, she would give her baby girl her best. She’d shower Sky with love and everything else would fall into place.
Her wonderful husband had found a place for them to live. She looked at the house with new eyes and was excited to move in with Noah and Skylar. She imagined what she could do to make it more comfortable and warm for them. “You did good, Noah. I really like it!”
“I’m glad! We can keep sleeping bags for Aiden and Joy whenever they want to sleep over, and the Murphy bed in the study lets out to a full size bed for guests if they’d rather sleep there. We can also put a twin bed in the nursery for Cara or Shawn whenever they want to sleep over.”
They went to the realtor’s office and signed the paperwork. Then they had the utilities transferred into their name. They moved in two weeks later. It didn’t take Sharlee long to make the changes that she wanted to make to the house, and she was glad that Noah had thought of renting a furnished house for them. Although they still ended up buying some furniture of their own. Sharlee had found a great sale that they couldn’t pass up! They intended to take their furniture with them when they bought their own place. When the time came to purchase a home, Sharlee would have full input before that was purchased. They were hoping that they would be able to have a home built to their specifications when the time came.
Sharlee couldn’t believe how happy she was. She loved Noah and Sky with all of her heart. However, she was tired a lot of the time. She had started back taking classes online. Also sometimes Skylar seemed to have her days and nights mixed up, and most nights Sharlee got up with her. Sharlee insisted that Noah get his sleep because he had to get up early in the mornings for school and training.
Noah was happy too! He deeply appreciated Dale and Alissa for allowing him and Sharlee to live in their home during Sharlee’s pregnancy, but now he felt more relaxed and confident living in his own place. While living in Dale’s home, whether true or not, Noah had felt like Dale was watching for every mistake that Noah made. Noah helped Sharlee as much as he could. He spent as much time as he could with both Sharlee and Skylar, but he had a lot of catching up to do because of the time he’d taken off from classes right after Skylar’s birth and settling into their new place.
Noah came home for lunch one day, and Sharlee was just coming from the nursery. When she saw Noah heading for the nursery door, she snapped at him. “I just got her settled down! Don’t you dare go in there!”
She saw his shocked expression and immediately apologized. “I’m so sorry, Noah. It’s just been a difficult day, and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you. Skylar just wants to be held and to play, and she won’t take her nap. I haven’t had a chance to get anything done. I don’t even have any bottles made up because I haven’t had a second to pump any milk, and my breasts feel like they’re ready to explode!”
Sharlee went into the kitchen. Noah could tell that she was worn out and needed a break. She never wanted to ask for help. He had figured out a long time ago that she was a perfectionist, and that she believed that she should be able to do everything herself. When it came to other people, Sharlee was generous and forgiving even when it hurt her. However, she had a problem recognizing and accepting her own limitations. She thought that if things weren’t going well that just meant that she wasn’t trying hard enough.
Noah admired that trait in her, but he was trying to help her be more balanced with it. Especially in situations like this where she was hurting herself. Maybe therapy would be a good idea for her too!
“Hi. How are you all doing?”
“We’re alright, but Sharlee is really tired and stressed today. Is there any way that you could come to the house this afternoon and give her a break?”
“Thanks, Mom, and unless she asks, could you just act like you decided on your own to come by the house?”
Alissa laughed. “Sure, I’ll see you in a few minutes.” Alissa went into the kitchen and got some things together and then she headed to Sharlee’s house.
“Honey, you go get some rest! You’re dead on your feet! I’m staying. Sharlee, you have family just dying to spend time with Skylar and you. There is no excuse not to let us help!”
Sharlee put the bottles that she’d prepared into the refrigerator and then went into the nursery.
Noah laid Sky back into her crib.
Sharlee kissed Noah and kissed Sky too.
Then she went to their bedroom and took a well-needed nap. She was surprised when she awakened. She had slept for almost two hours! There was a delicious smell in the air. She peeked inside the nursery, and Skylar wasn’t in there. Then she went to the greatroom.
“Wow, you’ve really been busy, Mom.”
“I cooked a pan of lasagna for you and Noah and one to take home with me for dinner tonight. I also have a roast with potatoes and carrots for you and Noah in the oven. Another tip that I learned when you all were babies is that when I cooked, I tried to prepare several meals at once. That way if things were hectic during the week, I could just pull something out of the freezer or out of the refrigerator.”
“Also Sweetie, I think that you could use a break at least once a week. You need an afternoon for yourself to recharge and relax. Taking care of yourself will make you an even better mother and wife. I still have a couple of months before my show starts back in production. So we’ll set an afternoon for you to go the spa or shopping or whatever you’d like to do while I keep Skylar. After I go back to work, I know that your grandmother Kaye would love to keep Skylar, and when Remi moves here, you and she could work something out to take turns with the kids. While Skylar is taking her nap everyday take a part of that time to do your yoga and meditate or take a short nap if you need it. Just that few minutes a day will energize you. I know how much you used to love doing yoga.”
That evening as Noah kissed Sharlee goodnight, he decided that no matter how much Sharlee protested, he was going to going to take his turn staying up nights with Sky when needed. Sharlee’s rest was just as important to him as his own. He’d never needed much sleep anyway. Besides, Sky was his baby too, and he felt just as responsible for taking care of her needs as Sharlee did!
“I so hope you’re right. I mean I’m glad that I have Matthew, Crystal and Michael, but it would just feel so nice to have someone from my Mom’s side of the family that I can be close to as well. Really, I am excited.”
Dale gave her one last kiss goodbye. Then he hugged Cara and Joy and told them all goodbye. They headed to the plane. Their flight went smoothly and before long they arrived in Champs Les Sim.
The family has had a nice break from drama, but we know that can’t last! 😉
A few extra dinner pictures of the family: