Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Name is Kristin

and I might have a problem. I have yet to search the web to discover if a clinical term exists for my condition, or if quirky suffices. What I can tell you is this - I've developed a bit of a habit. The first time, the incident occurred innocently enough. I was pregnant with Audrey, somewhere between second-trimester carefree and get-your-bags-packed-Junior-is-on-her-way, when Jason informed me he had to leave for a business meeting. At a ski resort. In the mountains. With little chance of cell coverage. I was a first-time mother and one of my mother's three preemies, all determined to surprise the world and our relatives by arriving 5-6 weeks early. I had heard metaphors about apples and trees. I knew approximately 7 people (two of which had drivers licenses) in our then hometown outside of Richmond, Virginia. While there seemed to be plenty of time and odds were surely in our favor, I was varying shades of nervous, and in absolute need of distraction. And, we had an untouched guest room.

After Jason's car pulled away from our townhouse headed toward the mountains, I hopped in mine and drove to the hardware store. I bought two cans of paint in similar hues, a mask, and some blue tape. Once home, I pulled out our stud finder/level with a red laser and penciled a horizontal line midway down the guestroom wall (for those of you wondering how someone with only two hands tackles such a feat, the answer is simple - secure the stud finder with duct tape) and began a three day project of two-tone painting our guest room wall. I remember pulling my mask from my face long enough to assure my mother (as I stood atop a folding chair, roller in hand) that, of course, I was taking it easy. Three days later, Audrey was still right where I'd left her and Jason came home to a new room.

I'm not really sure at what point something outgrows quirky and turns to down-right addiction. What I do know is that each time I'm pregnant and Jason's car steers him toward a mountain or airport, my car finds itself in the hardware store parking lot. So, it should come as no surprise that this January, as Jason embarked on his first transatlantic trip, I embarked on an adventure of my own. It began at Home Depot. While Jason boarded a plane wearing a just-purchased winter coat for the damp London weather, I had another article of clothing on my mind - a little sweater we bought for Nate
the night we found out that he'd be having a little brother. It was striped. It had tiny brown buttons. Its bottom edge and sleeves rolled in the teeniest bit. The only thing that made it more perfect was Nate wearing it. Then, one day, I found myself looking at the sweater thinking, maybe this sweater is actually a bedroom. And so it began, at a Home Depot with two buckets of Freshaire paint in Organic Garden. The color is a gray with the perfect hint of blue, the kind of shade that makes me slow down for just a minute every time I open the door to Nate's new bedroom.

I would love to say that Jason came home from a week in England to a freshly painted bedroom. But circumstances have changed since my first foray in pregnancy-induced painting five years ago. The days of painting two-toned rooms uninterrupted are gone. Now, my painting consists of forty minute pockets of time as long as the nap is holding. So, a mere two months after I began, this project was complete (at least that's what I'm calling it, I ran out of paint regardless of what imperfections might stand). Nate has moved into his new bedroom. I daydream of curtains, bedding, art, and a few little boy touches that remind me of my sweet little man in his striped knit. But we've reached that in between time, the would-be calm before the storm, if the time before a new baby's birth were ever calm. More precisely, it's the debate-from-within time when I try to decide the best use of what time I have left before sleep deprivation and lack of free hands hits an all-time high. I would love to say that personalizing curtains or creating artwork are on my list of "will-get-dones" before the next little mister arrives. But they're not. However, a few more moments of slow, taking in my little guy's new backdrop and those first moments of his days and last snuggles of his nights - those are definitely on my list. And, that seems to suit us both just fine.

*I think this post is going to appear two-toned, just like my old guest room. That was unintentional. Before posting, I noticed an italicized "i" at the start of the post. Upon erasing it, I turned part of the post a different color. Go figure. It seems like every space has its own idea as to what it should be...

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