Countdown to Katie

The whiteboard on our fridge is keeping track for us.  I’ve been counting down since day 100.  This picture was taken yesterday, so it’s a little out of date.  It’s seven days to baby.  Accuracy is everything.

As Jeffrey puts it, my body is “just putting the finishing touches on Baby Katie so she’ll look like a human being.”  Everybody is predicting she’ll come tomorrow (Jan. 13), since so far everyone in my family has their birthday either on the 26th of the month (me, Jeff, Wimmy) or the 13th (Brian, Eleanor) — a coincidence that is cool but gets confusing whenever I have to fill out a form that requires me to write down everyone’s birthdates.

The nursery is all gussied up and ready.  Mucho props to my sister-in-law, Deb, who helped us pick the paint colors for the wall.  The browns are soothing and delicious, like walking into a giant candy bar.

Best of all, Brian helped the kids spend time creating art for Katie’s room.  He had a bunch of old canvases from old high school art projects that his parents recently handed over to us.  Brian painted three of them a pale yellow, then let the kids do what they wanted.

Brian helped William create this sweet number.  Can you see the foot- and handprints hidden among the flowers?  I love love love it.

Eleanor also went the flowery route, although she included mini portraits of Katie at different ages (“the one with longer hair shows Katie when she’s five years old like me”) and a self-contained landscape in the upper left hand corner.  Because, why not?

And then there’s Jeffey’s painting.  Can you guess what it is?

Time’s up — it’s Yoda.  Brian and I tried to encourage Jeffrey to think about what would match a pink-and-brown baby girl’s room, but he insisted on Yoda.  “Someone has to make sure to teach Baby Katie to go towards the Light Side of the Force instead of the Dark Side,” he told me.  “Yoda will help her do that.”  Later, Brian tried to get Jeffery to compromise.  Maybe Yoda could stand near some flowers?  Jeffrey balked at this.  “There are no FLOWERS on DAGOBAH!”

In the meanwhile, I’m scrambling to finish knitting a little pink baby sweater.  It’s made from the softest yarn, with a little cabled rib all over.  All I have to do at this point is finish sewing the buttonhole band and weave in all the loose ends (ack, a job I dislike.  Weaving in loose ends is tedious).  I feel like the girl in “The Wild Swans,” which was my favorite fairy tale in fourth grade.  In it, the princess’ brothers have been turned to swans.  She can only free them by collecting nettles from graveyards and then using them to knit (or is it weave?) into shirts for each of them — and she can’t say a single word until she’s finished.  During this labor, a handsome prince marries her, and then she’s accused of witchcraft and condemned to burn (since she can’t talk, she can’t defend herself).  On the way to the pyre, the swans come and chase the executioner away.  The princess throws the shirts on her brothers, and they become human again — except that she didn’t have time to finish one of the sleeves for the youngest brother, so he is left with one human arm and one swan’s wing.

I may not be awaiting an execution, but I’m still working under a rather unpredictable deadline (as of this writing, I’m already dilated to 3 1/2 and 75% effaced.  Labor could come at any minute).  Instead of knitting my way to a witchcraft trial, I can easily see myself knitting in a wheelchair on the way to labor & delivery, trying to finish at the very last minute.  Hopefully, it won’t come to that.

10 thoughts on “Countdown to Katie

  1. I think Jeffrey has a good point there. Katie will have no chance but to love flowers, with all the gorgeous art in her room. But having a Jedi master there to teach her to choose the right–she’ll find that valuable her whole life. It’s like a giant CTR ring, only cooler. And with more heart.

  2. I love the nursery! And yoda warms my heart! Good to know Alexander is not alone– he draws only Star Wars characters and dinosaurs. May the impending arrival be a smooth one.

  3. I totally knew it was Yoda! Do I get a prize?

    Love the book shelf in the room.

    Katie is a great name. Will it be short for anything?

    Good luck, with the knitting (wasn’t there a version of the 7 swans in A Tale Dark and Grimm?), and good luck with that other thing – the delivery.

    I hope all goes well.

    1. Katie is short for Katherine Suzanne, the names of her grandmothers. And yeah, there’s a story in A Tale Dark & Grimm where siblings get turned into birds, but the making shirts/staying silent bit isn’t part of it. The version I summarized in this blog post is the one from Hans Christian Andersen. I grew up reading the edition illustrated by Susan Jeffers, which I’ve since found at a book sale and cherish dearly.

      1. It’s nice when grandmothers can have respectable name. Gertie Beulah would be hard to live down.

        I need to find a good Anderson collection for the library. I have a few stand alones. I’ll see if Amazon has any of the Jeffers in stock. It’s nice to have a little pie night, sans pie.

        Again good luck. I got a little something for Katie today. It’s a surprise but there is a giant tortise, an elephant and a penguin involved. (Just a hint)

        I will be away from internet for a week. I will expect good news when I return.

  4. Oh Brooke! I’m bummed for you. I know how much you wanted that baby to join in on the family pattern. I’d say maybe she will come on the 26th… but have you ever gone past your due date? Little Katie needed her own special date I guess. 😉

    I love the paintings… especially williams. What a fun idea. I was just looking into paint costs to make a picture to put in the girls room. Maybe I should let Sarah do more of it than I had planned.

    I love you! Can’t wait to hear when my new niece comes!

    1. Yeah — let Sarah make some art! It’s easy to find unframed canvases at thrift stores; there are lots of people who get rid of their high school art projects this way. Just make sure the paint isn’t too thick on the canvas, then give it a fresh new base paint, and let your kids go to town.

  5. Can’t wait to see baby Katie. Too bad the 13th has come and gone. Please don’t wait until the 26th.
    Dad

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