I have been trying to think of a fun but free project to work on. We are in the grove of school and have a good routine that has left me with open time every day. (I know it is sick to have four kids six and younger and feel, I hate to say it, board.) I can only check my bank accounts hoping money has come in so many times in a day. I love multitasking and despise wasting time. I don't watch TV, in-fact we don't even have one. I used to sweep after every meal and vacuum at bed time every night, but I am trying to not "waist" so much time doing housework. I spend one on one time teaching my kids reading a piano every day. I could really use a hobby and it has to be free. I can't have reading as a hobby because it is addictive and when I am into a book I ignore my kids. So tonight it dawned on me that I have a new baby this year and that I needed to work on a Christmas stocking for her.
I am not crafty!!! There is not one single homemade thing in my house (except our window treatments which doesn't really count because it was more out of desperation than a desire to make something.) The one exception to this "no crafts" rule is our Christmas stockings. I started the first Christmas we were married. There was a stocking making project at "Super Saturday" and I made one for Josh and I. The next winter I was preggo with Caleb and added one for him to the collection. It was a vicious cycle because I now feel like I need to keep up the tradition. As a child I had a special stocking with my name on it so I thought that would be fun for my children as well. The stockings aren't that awesome, but they are a lot of work.
Andy was a Fall baby so I made his stocking shortly after he was born. Tonight as I went to get started on Ali's stocking I remember how special she is to our family. (This is great timing for such a reminder because some kind of crying, whining monster has taken over the body of my sweet baby. She is only happy being held. I am hoping it is her teeth and not a general personality problem. Currently I affectionately call her my "cry baby.")
Warning: the following story is personal, but I would tell any of you in person. I want to always remember this special experience. When Andy was born I felt the presence of another spirit. It was something like I have never experienced before. I remember being alone with Andy in the hospital room and looking over my shoulder knowing that there was someone else in the room. (I get teary thinking about this.) I knew that whoever was with us did not want to leave Andy. I felt like this spirit was lingering with him. Like it wanted to be with him as long as it could. It even scared me a little, I hoped that he wasn't going to die or something. I kept this experience quiet for a few days, but I kept feeling the presence of this spirit off and on even within the first weeks of being home. It was so real that at one point in my hospital stay I said out loud, "why couldn't you have just come together." I remember very distinctly telling Josh, "there is a girl lingering here in our home with Andy. She can't stand to leave him. We have got to get pregnant again right way." Josh recalls his response of totally agreeing. It wasn't until that moment that I had put a gender with the spiritual experience. I didn't really "know" that it was a girl and I didn't "know" that the spirit that was with Andy would be our next child, but that is what came out of my mouth. From that point on I felt an extreme urgency to have another baby. Andy and Ali were born 17 months apart.
So what does Ali's Christmas Stocking have to do with this? I was so certain that I would be having a girl soon and that we would name her Alice and call her Ali. I was so sure that I started her stocking at the same time as I did Andy's. When I got it out tonight the appliqué is all done. I even had her name ironed on. So here is Ali's stocking ready to be stitched and embellished, but made a year before she was even conceived.
I can't leave this entry without mentioning that Andy and Ali do have a very special friendship. Just this week I asked my friend her thoughts on Andy's special love for Ali. I wanted to see if it was just in my head, but she agreed that it isn't. He is so attentive to her. Who knows, as they get older, they may forget the special love that they had for each other in the preexistence, but they remember right now, and it is so sweet. I remember the first time Andy saw Ali at the hospital I know that it was a special reuniting. Many times a day I find Andy sitting behind Ali with his legs wrapped around her. It is nice to sit back and take a minute to remember how I love these special little babies and how I have so much to learn from them.