Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Calm Between The Storms

Six weeks ago I had two items on my pre-baby To Do List. One: make Baby's Christmas Stocking. Two: Complete this years Christmas Shopping. The logic was simple - having a baby six weeks before Christmas would completely erase those next six weeks in terms of Getting Things Done. And, as you know, Getting Things Done before Christmas is quite a task. I figured the task was easy enough - take the stocking from looking like this:

to looking something like these:

My life was so much simpler back when I made Christopher's stocking. I knew it would be a project...didn't know HOW MUCH of a project I was looking at, though. My mom had made our Christmas stockings, and when I found kits similar to what she 'd done for us, I knew I had to do the same for our boys. Turns out that they're a liiiitle more intricate these days. And boy do they take a lot of time to complete! As life would have it, by the time I started working on it my little newborn was in a lovely pattern of being asleep by 9pm for three or four hours. At that point, I'd flip on that night's Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie and get to work. I got in nearly two hours of work each night, and yet the stocking STILL wasn't finished in time for Christmas. (It WAS, however, ready in time for New Year's which worked out quite well because that year we spent Christmas in Tahoe with my family and then had a big Second Christmas with Tim's family on New Year's Eve.) That last week was all I needed to get it finished and it was so lovely. And I was so proud that my boy would have this stocking every single year.

Life was a little different when Jake came along. He wasn't NEARLY as good of a sleeper, so my work time was really chopped up, but the fact that he was born in May meant that if I planned well, there was no excuse to not have it completed. Plus, by Jake's first Christmas, Chris was old enough to know what's up and I JUST KNOW he would have questioned why Jake didn't have a stocking for HoHo to fill. (Yes, HoHo. He still calls him that. EVERY SINGLE DAY BECAUSE HE LOVES HOHO SO VERY MUCH.) (Did I mention this takes place EVERY SINGLE DAY?) (GOOD.) This second time around, I thought it would be fun to keep track of how many hours it took for me to complete the stocking. Every night I logged my start and stop time, and friends? It took me thirty-six hours.

THIRTY SIX HOURS went into the making of that Christmas stocking. And, yes, I am just a little too proud of that.

That said, I knew that Nate's stocking was going to take a long time. I knew that there would be NO time between his birth and Christmas. I KNEW I need to start it at the beginning of October and work for at least ONE HOUR every night in order to get it done on time.

And then we went and bought a house - a process that absolutely destroyed every plan I had on my pre-baby agenda.

Don't get me wrong. I love the house. I WANTED to buy the house. I wanted to be IN the house before the baby arrived. Obviously, right? Wouldn't that make so much more sense than trying to move with a newborn? Of course it would! We'd been looking for a few months by the time we found this house, though, and as my due date was getting closer and closer I was beginning to accept the possibility and then the (I thought) reality that we would not be in a house before the baby came. I resigned myself to bringing Baby Nate home to our 3-bedroom town home (in which every room is occupied AND now that Tim works from home, no longer has a kitchen table as it has been converted to a work space) and I convinced myself that everything would work out just fine! After all, what does a baby need beyond a few jammies and a place to sleep, right? Right! OKAY, I had a few mild panic attacks, but beyond that, I was fine.

But then the price dropped on this house that I had already seen and written off because 1) it was way out of our price range and 2) I didn't like it. Don't get me wrong - it was fancy and lovely, but the floor plan wasn't my ideal and, let's face it, it's easy to "not like a house" that's too expensive for you to buy. BUT I DIGRESS. We walked through the house again (for me. For the first time for Tim.) Again I didn't like it. But Tim LOVED it. You can ask Shelby. She was there. I really didn't like it. I had Serious! Objections! And then my dear friend Shelby (who was SUPPOSED to be on my side) admitted that she liked it. And then my other friends presented easy solutions to my objections. And THEN Amy and the Blathering crew had this joke about First World Problems. And THEN I realized that maybe, just maybe, the fact that the (big! beautiful!) laundry room was not exactly where I would like it to be was not quite a valid reason to walk away from this house.

AND THEN!!!! My DAD talked me into it. My. Dad. This is a whole other post just waiting to be written.

From that point everything happened quickly and our situation changed from accepting that we wouldn't be out of our townhouse before baby was born to moving into a big, spacious home exactly one week before my scheduled c-section.

And then my head exploded.

Well, not quite. But that's how the past few days have felt. Like my head is ready to pop off...and my bellybutton too.

Suffice it to say, any plans I had to be ready for Christmas before my birthday even hit were erased from my psyche. Christmas stocking? What Christmas stocking? Shopping? Sorry! Mortgage! Getting ready for baby? Installing infant seat? Washing baby clothes? Finding bassinet attachment to pak-n-play? Fat chance!

I'm seriously losing more and more of my mind with every hour that passes. My body is getting ready to evict the baby, my brain is trying to keep everything straight, and my emotions are...well, rocky at best. But it's all good because all of this is a visible sign to me that God does answer our prayers. He does carry us through. He DOES give us blessings beyond our wildest imaginings. He did it last Thursday when we slept in our new home for the first time, and He'll be doing it again THIS Thursday when we hear that precious little squawk for the first time.

All of these blessings have been a challenge in many ways - not the least of which is the fact that we've been so busy and so scattered, that I feel like we haven't even had a moment to anticipate the baby. Yes, the physical preparations, but even more so the emotional excitement of what is to come. And yet, anticipated or not, he comes. And won't that be an exciting day?


barbetti said...

Annie, you've got skills. Compared to you, I was an absolute sloth during my pregnancy. I barely managed to paint the trim in his would-be bedroom. Seriously, if I could bottle your energy, I'd give it to every single pregnant person I knew. I honestly don't know how you do it!

The stockings! They are so adorable! All the work you put into them, WOW.

Amy --- Just A Titch said...

I still don't know how you're doing this. It's not a first world problem, it's like, THE WORST THING I CAN IMAGINE.

Manda said...

Dude this makes MY head explode and I am not even with child or moving any time soon!
And so! my unsolicited solution!
Buy the baby an embroidered stocking from PBK, and make the fancy one next year. If you feel like it. If not? It can be a long-running family joke about how the youngest ALWAYS gets the shaft with the fancy PBK stocking. And hey ... if you feel guilty just get the baby a GIGANTIC one! It's just a click away!
I wish I was there to help you find stuff you dear girl! Hang in there! And just think of the rest you'll get in the hospital! Nurses! Apple juice and food at your beckon call! Pain Killers! It's on the way!

Elizabeth said...

Those stockings are AMAZING. I tried making a MUCH easier stocking for Eli two years ago - needless to say his stocking came from Pottery Barn Kids and I spent ZERO hours working on it.

I am ridiculously excited for Baby Number Three to get here - one week! Woo hoo! And congrats on being in the new house.