Tomorrow you will join us out here in the world! You've given us quite a crazy couple of days here, but I truly don't mind:-) It's been a wonderful pregnancy--relatively free of problems, and quite full of love and joy.
I'm sure you'll hear many times how you got the nickname of Ace. We were quite certain that you were going to be a girl, and had your name picked out from the get-go (Alexandra). Well when they called to tell us that you were a boy (we had some genetic/chromosomal testing done in NYC early on, because of my "advanced maternal age" and all, so the lab called with the results a few days later when we were back home), we were completely shocked, and had absolutely no idea what to name you. We all went out to Friendly's, and I started surfing the web on my Blackberry, looking for baby name sites. The first one that popped up had, as about the 3rd or 4th name, Ace. Ace? I said. Ace? Is that really a name? We thought it was so funny and cute that we decided we'd start calling you that. We eventually settled on Ben (Benjamin) as the name we are probably actually going to give you. But I'll be surprised if you never get called Ace.
You are being born into a busy, loving household. Your parents are crazy about each other, and couldn't be happier about your arrival. Your siblings are also thrilled. And although we all feel quite connected to one another already, you are going to give us all an extra bond. Yet another way that we are all connected. And I love that. You also give me another bond with your daddy's whole side of the family, and your daddy another bond with my side of the family, which feels wonderful.
You won't really have a room of your own, but I hope you won't mind. In fact, we've been joking that your nursery is the bathroom, which is actually only sort of a joke--the bathroom is *huge* and had lots of wasted space, so we put up a wall and put your changing table in there, and put your clothes in the big built-in cabinet and drawers. But of course we're not actually going to make you sleep in there:-) At first you'll sleep with your daddy and me, and then you'll move into your big sister Lindsey's room. When she gets ready to have her own room again, she and your oldest brother, Brad, will switch rooms (his room is on the third floor, and we don't want you all the way up there when you're little!). But we'll leave that timing up to her.
Lindsey is soooo excited about you. She talks about you all the time. She can't wait to take you to the park, and take you on walks, and change your clothes and even change your diapers. She's often sort of the odd-man out around here, because your big brothers George and Brad are often playing older-boy games that don't interest her. So she really can't wait to have someone else in the family to play with! When you get a little older she'll push you on the swings, and run around with you outside, and play ball with you, and maybe eventually help you learn to ride a bike and stuff like that.
George is also really, really happy that you are coming. He already loves you so much! He hugs my belly and kisses it and talks to you through it. He is always figuring out how old you'll be when he's various ages (he's almost exactly 10 years older than you), and has it all planned that when he's in his 20s and you're in your teens he's going to take you on vacations with him. He's very excited about teaching you how to read, and teaching you all kinds of things--he wants to homeschool you himself (unless you *want* to go to school, he always adds). Except for kindergarten--he wants you to go to the kindergarten he went to and have the awesome teacher that he had. It's just down the street from us and you might really like it. But there's plenty of time to figure that out! In the meantime, you'll have in George just about the best tutor I could imagine.
And he's going to be an awesome big brother. He's been waiting to be a big brother for a long, long time now. Since he was 4, actually, when I tried to adopt a little girl from Mexico. We got all approved (which was quite the long process) and put on the waiting list, but then they never called us with a placement. We were pretty disappointed, but now we know--we were waiting for *you*, all along!!!
I, too, was born to a busy, blended, loving household, with three older siblings, and it was awhile before I had my own room. But I never minded. In fact, I used to love sharing a room with any one of my siblings. I was much younger than they are, as you will be with your siblings, and I really loved it. I had a fabulous early childhood. I remember that there was always a pair of arms outstretched to me whenever I wanted a hug. There was always someone to teach me something or to read to me or to take me to the playground (or the beach, which you won't exactly have, but hey, we've got the pool for at least a few months out of the year!).... My oldest brother Michael, your Uncle Metro (who is currently sailing around the world, but is going to come visit you this summer), used to love to teach me all kinds of random things that I used to love walking around spouting. And your Aunt Melissa taught me the alphabet one night--I remember I had had a bad dream and was going down the hall to see my mommy, but I only made it as far as Melissa's room, and she snuggled up with me and taught me the alphabet to give me something else to think about besides my bad dream, to make me feel better. I remember that it totally worked. Anyway, my point is, although your siblings will all be so much older it could end up working out really, really well for you, as it did for me!
You have three cats waiting at home for you. I'm hoping that two of them will love you, but I'm pretty sure that one of them, Lucy, is not going to like you one bit. On the day that I brought George home from the hospital and had set him on the bed next to me, Lucy jumped up on the bed, happy to have me home, until she suddenly spied this little creature next to me. She gave me a look I'll never forget, that said very clearly, "You have GOT to be kidding me. What in the HELL is that thing, and WHAT is it doing on our bed?!" She hissed at him, and has hissed at him ever since, pretty much every time he walks by her. Which is why I got two more kitties, Coco and Leo, because George was getting such a bad impression of animals in general! Coco and Leo are Ragdolls and are supposed to be super-affectionate and love everyone, and they *sort* of are/do. But we'll see how they react to a new baby!
Your daddy and I have fun trying to imagine what you'll be like. You seem to love music already, especially rockin' music, and especially rockin' guitar solos. It almost seems like you recognize your daddy's guitar, because you respond to it so markedly! It's really sweet. We think you might end up being a guitar player. But don't worry; we won't be disappointed if you don't! We mostly just can't wait to meet you, and to get to know you here on the outside, and to see how you grow and develop. You will always have a special connection to our music, though, especially to the album we've been recording, because more than half of the songs were written either right before you were conceived or while I was pregnant with you, and several of them have been recorded during the pregnancy. Plus many of them were performed for the first time while I've been pregnant with you. We had a pretty active gigging schedule right up through the seventh month! (So clearly, it was a pretty good pregnancy, if I could swing that:-)
Plus, you are our little Woodstock baby, conceived right around our Woodstock-themed anniversary. (Won't it be funny if you grow up to be uptight and conservative! Ha! You better not! Just kidding. Sort of. :-)
What else to tell you? Well, I started knitting you a baby blanket, as I did for George when I was pregnant with him. Only I didn't finish his until he was about 3, no longer a baby! And in fact I was on track for the same with yours, but my friend Jacqui offered to finish it up for me. So you'll get to use it while you're actually a baby. It's soft and blue and has a diamond pattern on it. You also have another really soft, blue blanket with a heart pattern that we'll use with you a lot--our next-door neighbor Mary knitted it for you.
You will have extended family both near and far, which is great. Your Grandma Jane and Grandpa Bill live about 40 minutes away, and you'll get to see them a lot. My mom lives far away, in California, but that's fun, too, because we get to go visit her there. You also have uncles and aunts and cousins in various places that are lots of fun to visit.
And, you are being born into a neighborhood of people who will love you! We really are lucky to have so many amazing people as friends and neighbors. You'll see; we are really part of a community here, and I'm sure you'll love it. I had that in my early childhood in California, and I remember loving running back and forth to different neighbors' houses, feeling so at home everywhere I went. I also remember how sad I was when we moved away from that to Northern Virginia, and the neighborhood just didn't have that same kind of friendly openness. But this one sure does, and I just know you'll love it. We also have a great community of homeschooling families that we are getting closer to all the time, and I know you'll have lots of wonderful connections with them as well.
My sweet little baby boy... I've got to call it a night, because you and I both have a very big day tomorrow. I so can't wait to meet you. I do kind of wish there were an easier way for you to transition from the place where you are now to the outside world! But no matter--soon you'll be here in our arms and that's the important thing. Here's wishing you an easy and non-traumatic entry into the world, Ace. I know I already said it, but I really can't wait to meet you, this little person that's been growing inside of me and kicking me in the rib and dancing when I play Johnny Cash on the guitar or when I sing or when Bob plays just about anything on his guitar. You've already filled all of our lives with so much joy. I can only imagine how much joy you'll bring us when you join us out here!
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