This last piece was the first thing I took on in our new house, and I have to admit -- I'm pretty darn tootin' proud of it. I found this nasty old black workbench in our new basement. REALLY should have take a before picture! It was a little beat up, but again, I liked that shape, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I bought some primer and paint and went at it. First I sanded the whole piece down to try and take off the rough edges and huge scrapes. Then I just threw on a few coats of primer, and finished with a few coats of my white. I removed the old handles, and found the cute blue hardware at Lowe's. I found some cute baskets that fit perfectly in the shelves, and my piece was complete. I love this thing, and literally use it everyday. The baskets give us extra clothes storage, and I used the drawer for all of my random things that might normally accumulate on top of my dresser.
Another part of our ultra-cool ultrasound was finding out we were having a girl. It was a surreal moment – one second the tech was just looking around not saying much, the next she casually says, “Blah, blah, blah, little girl.” I honestly don’t know what she said first, but I was all of the sudden I felt shock, awe, amazement, doubt, and joy. I almost cried a little. Not because we were having a little girl (as my husband misconstrued), but because of the enormity of it all. There was a little girl in my belly. Wow. I had a baby girl. Just knowing the baby was a she (and the feeling would have been the same had it been a he), somehow bonded me to her – rooted my love deeply and fiercely. I say that before I go on, so that no one misunderstands my current fears and hesitations about her gender. One of the more common questions when I tell people we’re having a girl is, “Are you excited?” And I always feel like a terrible mother (which I’m sure is only a preview of feelings to come) when I hesitate. Because it’s not that I’m NOT excited – it’s just that I’m also terrified. Girls seem somehow more fragile, which to me translate easier to mess up. If I lose my patience and act like a jerk, a boy will forget about it by the next day (at least that’s how it works with my husband). I could scar my little girl for life. And then I also have this sense of guilt, because I’m not so good at “girly” things. Like I’m shortchanging her from the very beginning. Like every parent, I want my baby to have EVERYTHING, including all the experiences that culture tells us girls should have with their mother. And when I’m honest, none of those are in my bag of tricks. I realize that it’s 2010 and the stereotypical idea of what girls should do is no longer in place, but I still feel that guilt. I want her to remember cooking with her mom, and doing cool craft projects and having dress-up parties. I mean, I didn’t even own a purse until I was 22. I guess I’m just scared that I’ll disappoint her. Which I’m sure is a feeling all parents have about their children. And I know that what she really needs is to be loved – to be encouraged and supported and taught about the love of her Father. And I can do all those things. And I have to believe that He wouldn’t have given me this gift if He didn’t think I was up for it. That we were up for it. Because Chris and I are a pretty good team. I know he pick up slack in places where I’m lacking, and vice versa. And I know she’ll have the best daddy a girl could want, which goes a long way in my confidence that she’ll turn out okay in the end.
I have to say that the 20-week ultrasound was by far the coolest part of our pregnancy so far. It sounds so cliché to say “It changed everything,” but it really did change everything. Well, maybe it didn’t actually CHANGE everything (or anything), but for Chris and I something shifted. It took us about a year to get pregnant, and even though the tests all said positive and we’d even seen an 8-week sonogram and heard the heartbeat, there was still some part of me that didn’t quite believe it. I wasn’t feeling any movement, so I didn’t have that to reassure me. Every appointment I would be relieved when they said I was still pregnant. Once I saw her in the ultrasound, it was real. The “idea” of having a baby vanished, and the reality that WE ARE HAVING A BABY finally sunk in. She was moving around a lot during the sonogram, opening and closing her mouth and moving her little bitty baby hands. I think we finally realized that we had created someBODY, not just something. Well, God created her, but we were blessed enough to have a role in that story – and we are responsible for ensuring she is taken care of and loved and everything in between. Chris said before he saw her on the ultrasound he never really pictured an actual baby in his arms, but then there she was – our baby, wiggling around and chilling out. He’s much more protective of her now – I try to jiggle her sometimes so he might be able to see or feel her moving, but he doesn’t like that J Stop bothering her, he tells me. He already has the worried Dad mode turned on high . . . as long as he leaves the husband mode turned on too, I think it’s pretty cute. Here’s our little girl – God’s miracle, our blessing!
Yeah, yeah, I know this picture isn't nearly as exciting for everyone else as it is for us, but come on, admit it; she’s pretty stinkin’ cute already!
I’m going to do some serious back-blogging to try and catch up this blog to where we are now. Like most people, the eminent arrival of a child spurred me into the blogosphere – determined to capture for all eternity the emotional rollercoaster of creating a life. Also hoping to have something to show the little nugget later, as a reminder of how much we love her, when she becomes filled with teen angst and is sure we are out to get her. My foray was short lived; I posted one day and then nothing. But I am now unwavering in my effort to get the blog up to speed and then to write at least ONCE A WEEK, so hold me to that. Sadly, I’m already guessing I might not live up to my own grandiose expectations. This blog won’t be just about the baby, but anything that strikes my fancy (or more likely, drives me nuts). Hopefully, it will allow me to share our life with the people we care about, friends and family that are too far away to meet for coffee or go out to dinner. And even share little details with those we see more often, but tend to get too bogged down in “life” with to really open up to. I love that part of “new” media – it gives us a chance to maintain connections with great people we have met in our life, but no longer share a geographic link. And we can post one blog for ALL those friends to read, instead of stressing about finding time to call, write, or text every one individually. And we can read their blogs, facebook updates, and twitter posts and learn more about them…sometimes in intriguing and complex ways that never would have been communicated in a conversation. I don’t think of myself as a writer, but a storyteller. I like to tell stories, meaning I might exaggerate, embellish, or leave out certain information. You have been forewarned. I also like to entertain, so might at times cater more toward your enjoyment than the nitty-gritty truth. But the essentials will be accurate, and if you want clarification, just ask! This is our story: Chris, Ali, Gypsy, Smoke and Baby Girl K (keep that in mind, it’s told mostly through my eyes).
So, without further adieu, I will use my favorite Shel Silverstein poem to get started:
If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.