Sequel: Family Goals

Keep It Kasual

Chapter 4

**Kalista's POV**
As with Chapter 3 this is all written in English but would be spoken in French.

After lunch Kris' mother wanted to go see her grandson's room and was shocked and quite honestly horrified at what she found. "This is no good. This is not a room for a growing child." She walked back out to stand in front of her son. "That is not a good room for your son. The furniture is horrible; there is no changing table not to mention a place to sit while you sooth him back to sleep. Non, we must fix this now." She turned to me. "Kalista would you help my son be not such an idiot and get him set up to _properly_ care for his son?"

I looked up from showing how to properly burp Alex. I was about to answer when Alex spit up on me instead of the burp cloth. I chuckled and spoke to Kris. "Now you see why it's important to make sure you're covered. I'd love to help make sure you got everything for Alex." I handed Kris his son. "You change him and I'll borrow a sink to get this out before it sets."

Kris was about to protest when I pulled my long sleeve shirt off and showed that I had another under it. His mom just smiled. "Came prepared I see. Move Kris so we can get done before the stores close."

He went down the hall and I hit the kitchen sink. "He really has no clue of how hard this is going to be for him does he?" I asked quietly. Two shaking heads met my question. I sighed heavily. I was mulling something over; my photography job wasn't going as well as it could have been. In fact that was one of the reasons I was here, to try and save it. I loved taking pictures but I had so much competition that I was having a hard time making ends meet.

I looked up and asked the question I had been thinking about. "Do you think Kris would want someone to help him full time?"

"Yes." I whirled and saw that the boys were standing behind me and had heard my question. "I know I'm not a great dad yet, I don't know what he likes and doesn't. I barely know his pediatrician. In short I need _good_, _caring_ help for both of us. My job takes me all over the world. I need someone who Alex will _know will always be there even when I can't be. So, yes I want you to help us."

He came over to me and kind of blushed. "I did already have a background check done by my lawyer. She said you're so squeaky clean you've never even had a traffic ticket. She also found the Lieutenant Governor's Youth Medal you got. Your English is better than mine; you're willing to speak French to both of us. If you're willing to move here and then to Pittsburgh with us, we'd _love_ to have you."

I stood there in shock. Here was the chance to completely change my life. "Would I have to completely give up Photography or could I keep it as a hobby?" This could be a deal breaker if he said the wrong thing.

Fortunately for me he just scoffed. "I would never ask you to do that. As long as Alex is cared for, I don't care if you take him _with_ you to take pictures. You do realize that you _will_ have to move here from Toronto and sooner is better than later."

I smiled. "Yes I heard you. You can be lucky that I live in a small apartment and am not too attached to my couch. My brothers are but I'm sure they'll take it off my hands with glee. I already know my folks like the couch too so I should be able to fit everything in my car and a trailer." I mentally began pairing down what I would and would not need to move.

"What do you need to do to finish your contract here? I wouldn't want you to ruin that." We moved to the living room again to discuss this briefly.

"That's not a huge problem. I'm actually done with my project all I have to do it actually send the photos to the company. I'm not the only photographer they had working on this. I'm just the only one who was able to get my part done this soon. I can have it sent tonight and be done. That would mean that I would have to move out of the place I'm at though. With Frankie and Benj coming in next week I'm not sure that's a good idea." I was kind of worried with how this was going to work. My brothers were teenagers and hockey guys. I knew that me working with Kris and Alex would possibly upset Frankie; Benj wouldn't care.

"Tell you what, let's go take care of getting what Alex needs here and then we can discuss this further. You said all of your brothers play hockey, I can easily make room for them in my routine for the week or so they are here." We grabbed our coats and headed out to one of the many baby stores in town.

Once there and on their website in the store, Kris was quickly overwhelmed with information. I put a hand on his shoulder and started asking simpler questions. "Let's take this one step at a time. How long do you want Alex to be able to use the bed?" OF course the answer was as long as possible. "So we want a bed that he won't be ashamed of when he's 15 or so, so nothing really girly." Those two chopped our choices from over a 1000 to about 300.

Kris sighed. He wasn't as shell shocked but he was still overwhelmed. "This is impossible. How do people do this?"

I laughed. "Well normally they have more time to do research, but we can do this. Now, how dark do you want the furniture?"

"I don't like dark wood. Makes rooms look small. Lighter is better." I could see that from the penthouse so I went towards the lighter colored cribs. Doing that cut us from roughly 300 choices to under 100.

I took them one color type at a time. We agreed that either natural wood or Honey colored would be best, that left us with 26 choices. That was a much easier number. We went through each of them and ended up with 9 choices that were solid contenders. We then began to nitpick while his folks took Alex around the rest of the store for other things we would need. Surprisingly in under 5 minutes we had a decision, then it was time to see what kind other furniture we could find to go with it.

Now we searched by manufacturer and then by the name of the crib we liked. We found a changing table, 2 different dressers and a hutch that attaches to one of them in addition to the crib. Kris placed an order for a complete sets, explaining that would be delivered here and that we would like the UPC codes so we could order the same set when we get to the house in Pittsburgh.

We went and picked out sheets and such next. Kris found the cutest sports themed set, of all of them it was the only one that had hockey. He put it in the cart and I grabbed extra sheets and mattress protectors.

The next big ticket item we started looking at was a good stroller. Our discussion was held as we start looking at them. "So what kind do we want? I mean how do we know what we need?"

"Well do you want to be able to take him out with you if you go for a jog? If so then I'd suggest a jogging stroller. To use it for everyday use as well we want one with a swiveling front wheel for maneuverability." I went over and pulled down the BOB Revolution Stroller. "One of my friends in Toronto has this one and swears by it." I reached for Alex and plopped him in the seat. Buckling him in I turned it to Kris. "Take him for a spin. See how it handles with him in it."

Kris looked at me suspiciously but did as I suggested. While they were on their walk, his mother just chuckled. "How do you know so much about what a child needs?"

I smiled. "One of my best friends had her baby last October, her husband is on assignment so she asked me to help her with finding everything. I did the research and then she chose what she liked the best." Kris and Alex turned down the aisle we were on and I could see the grin on both of their faces. "She had that look too when she came back from her walk around the store too. It's a great stroller."

"You aren't kidding. Although maybe not _orange_."

I laughed. "I'm sure we can find one that will look better." That decision made, Kris looked over and saw the car seats on the rack. He pushed Alex over to them and began reading the information cards on the front of each one. "Kris we're going to go find some bowls and such for the house." He waved and we went over there. "Ah the fun part." I began going through and finding what I had chosen for my friend Paula. At first Kris' mother and step father were asking why I chose some things and not others.

"It's really easy, I know what is easiest to clean and use. I know some people who would want a bottle warmer but I don't. I've found it easier to microwave some water and mix it that way. Half hot water and half cool I've found works better than anything." I then picked up a microwave sterilizer. "That being said, I _will_ make sure that everything is sterile so that it is as safe as possible for the little man." I went through and picked out some bowls and spoons.

By then Kris and Alex joined us again. "Bowls and spoons for days." He said teasingly. I shook my head and kept looking for what would be immidiately needed. "You said something about having Alex learning to drink from a cup. What do we need for that?"

We had just turned down that aisle when he said that. "Good timing, he's got Avent bottles right?" Kris checked the bag and nodded. "So we stick with what he's used to as far as shape goes." I picked up the 4 oz. Trainer cup. "We start by giving him water in this. We keep the formula in a normal bottle. As he drinks more water, juice and other things, they go in a trainer cup too so he has the comfort of the bottle when he thinks he needs it."

Kris walked over to the Avent shelves and looked at what was there. "I will catch hell for this, but blue and green so we have more than one?" I snickered as he put them into the cart. "It's not funny. Flower alone will never stop." We grabbed a few other things, like a pair of pacifier clips and pacifiers, before moving on from this section.

"I'm sure we can stop him from giving you hell for wanting mostly neutral cup colors for Alex. The only other color completely clashes with the color scheme you've chosen after all." Then I found what I _really wanted. "Ah here they are!" I picked up 2 odd looking bowls, at least from the outside they looked like bowls. "These will be a life saver when we're out and about." I handed one of them to Kris. "These are divided bowls for formula or cereals. It means we won't have to lug around containers of those, just these. These are divided into 4 compartments which means 4 bottles worth of formula is with us at all times."

"Why two though? Do we need 8 bottles?" His stepfather asked a bit confusedly. He'd mostly listened during this entire trip, soaking in the knowledge.

I smirked. "So that one can be formula and the other can be whatever cereal we're feeding him. These two containers, a bottle, a couple spoons and bowls and some other baby food and we're set for a long day out without having to worry about what we're going to give Alex when we're out and he's hungry. We'll have it completely taken care of." As what I said sunk in Kris' eyes lit up, he got it.

He grabbed one more each of them and grinned. "I have a feeling we will be driving back to Pittsburgh, which should take 2 days." He then looked at the diaper bag and sighed. "Can we look for something less... feminine for me to carry around. I _will_ want to take him out and give you a respite. I would rather have something that I won't be completely humiliated with."

Without even thinking, I crossed myself. "Oh thank god. I don't mind a nice pattern but this isn't it." I stopped as they were all looking at me oddly. It then dawned on me what I did. "I'm Catholic, is that a problem?"

I was engulfed by mom. "It is not a problem at all. How often do you go to church?" Normally I wouldn't answer this question but she looked happy that I had said what I had.

I was flabbergasted. "Uh... I _try_ to go every week but I don't always make it. I _always_ make Holy Days and not just the big two either. As long as it's a catholic church the flavor doesn't matter to me. I've found that there is a lot of diversity in the church and some of it is beautiful to experience, other parts... Not so much."

"So if Kris were on a road trip, would you take Alex with you or stay home?" I looked at him and thought about it a second.

"I guess that would depend on how Kris felt about exposing his son to all kinds of faith. If that's ok I'd take Alex, if not I would stay home and find another way." It was as honest as I could be. Kris' faith and that of his son were important wishes to respect.

"What if I have an afternoon game and want you there? I played a lot of hockey on the weekends so while I don't mind you taking Alex, I may not be joining you as often as others might want me to." I could hear the undercurrent that it was his mother who wished he would go more often. We continued towards the diaper bags while discussing this. It didn't bother me to share my faith; it was a valid question for a caretaker.

"Your relationship with God is not where I would push. I _would_ push you to have a good relationship with your son though. As long as it does not bother you that I would go and take Alex; you could join us or not as you wished. As for afternoon games, it would probably be better to tell me when you _didn't_ want us there. I do love hockey and have gone to as many games as I could. Growing up with three younger brothers who all play it's a family addiction." We were now in front of the diaper bag section and half-heartedly looking. There wasn't much of a selection of bags for dads.

Kris wrinkled his face at what was here. "None of these are cool enough. I will look online and see if I can find something I like."

"Yeah these are pretty feminine aren't they. I'm sure we can find something that's masculine and looks good online. Until we find it and then get it, we can deal with this one." I noticed a small smile on his face but decided not to say anything about it. Yes I am female, that doesn't mean I have to dress in lace and dresses all the time. 3 brothers taught me the joys of being rough and tumble too. "You were looking at the car seats, did you find one you liked?"

"I think so. He needs a new one that is for sure. I wanted your opinion on it though and I forgot to ask when we got back because of all the distractions. Who knew there was so much baby stuff." The rest of us could do nothing but laugh at that and head back to car seats. Kris showed off the one he liked.

As I read the safety information on the card, I liked what I was reading. It was a convertible seat that could be used for years, that was a good thing. As I compared it to others of the same range, I found that it looked to be the best. "This is a great seat. Do we want just one or two? I do have a car of my own that I'll be bringing with me when I move here. This might sound bad but there are going to be times that you need to go one way and he and I might be going another." Kris nodded as if he understood.

"That makes sense, why don't we just get one until you have your car here. We will need to get you a car when we get back to The Burgh, but that can wait too. If we can get the same seat, it will be easier for Alex to go back and forth between cars." I could easily agree with this, if it were easy for Alex, it would make our lives easier.

"I would suggest getting this one then. We could even trade this one out here before we leave, they can help us set it up if we ask. It would be better for Alex." The next decision was what color he wanted.

Looking at all the options, Kris sighed. "He will have enough black and blue things, I like the teal and tan one the best of what is here." I looked at the one he was speaking about and felt it; it would be easy to clean when it was needed.

"Alex looks good in those colors, brings out his green eyes." I said forgetting that I also had green eyes.

Kris nodded his head. “He does, so do you. The boys at the gym thought you were his mom.” I blushed hard. “You do, it brings out your eyes.” He moved the car seat into the basket and surveyed what we had. “Do we want anything else?”

To get myself under control I had turned away and began reading the packaging for a 1 cup baby steamer. This looked like a great idea. Next to it were some portion cups that had freezer ice packs that went in the lids. “Yeah, these.” I picked up both and showed them to Kris. “It means that when we’re cooking for us, we can do the same for him and then mush it up. It will save on baby food.”

“Do we need something to do that in? If so where do we look?” Kris was looking around for something.

I held up a hand and dialed a number I knew very well. It rang twice and Adam picked up the phone. “Kallie! When are you coming home, your niece wants to see you!”

I laughed. “Hey Adam, is Paula around? I’m looking to take some of the extra baby gear you have off your hands.” I was quickly passed to her and after greeting her explained why I called. “Hey you know that manual baby food maker you got two of and love? Do you think I can buy your second one off of you?” I then quickly explained that no I wasn’t pregnant but that I was going to be starting a new job. I didn’t tell them _who_ I would be working for but that I would be the caregiver for a 7 month old. Paula was happy for me. “You can’t be serious? No I can’t let you do that… Fine I’ll stop arguing.”

“I have something else you can have too. Little bit is big enough now that she’s off of formula. That means our temp control kettle is no longer needed in this house. I know how you love it, especially for evening and morning feedings.” Then she made the leap and asked. “So, when do you move to Montreal? How can we help you be ready for that?”

I could have cried with joy. “Honestly I need to pack and get what I am taking back here as soon as we can. I haven’t told my folks yet, but they will be getting my couch for downstairs. Other than that most everything else will be coming with me. If you guys would be willing to at least get a start on that it would be a _huge_ help to me.”

Kris touched my shoulder. “I would be willing to come help too. If you are willing I think I might be able to get us some help in packing and loading thing up.”

I did some mental math. “Hey Paula, it looks like I might be coming to empty everything out sooner than I thought I could and maybe with extra help. Once I know what’s going on I’ll call you back.”

“Tell you what, let’s get all of this back to the house and _then_ start making plans to get you moved. I might be able to talk a couple guys into helping.” We got through the line with a couple autographs and pictures. We were also able to figure the car seat out without help. We even got the mirror set up without anyone helping.

Back at the house we unloaded and then washed everything we just bought. Alex decided that it was naptime so Kris put him down for it. I tried to do more but Kris’ mom stopped me. “Go pack your things and come back here. We can stay and make sure Alex is fine. If you get your project turned in tonight you might be able to go within the next few days and get the rest of your things.” That easily Kris and I were on my way to the borrowed condo I was in to move me into his home.
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I tried! I got tired though so I finished it today and got it up ASAP! <3