Monday, March 25, 2013

Great Expectations

I was thinking today about all the things I still want to get accomplished before the baby is born (we're down to just 5 weeks left!  Eek!), and then it occurred to me that if it's written down somewhere, maybe it will help me remember everything better?  Well, that remains to be seen, but at least this way I've got it all in one place, and as a bonus, I get to bounce ideas off of you guys!

Since this is our second baby, I don't feel like we're preparing the same way that we did for Olivia, but it still seems like there's lots to do!  I don't have to worry about shopping around for baby furniture, and preparing for breastfeeding, or every conceivable scenario with the birth process, but there are things I wish I had done before having my first baby that I'm trying to get done this time around.

  • Baby's Room
Since we're moving sometime in the near future, we debated whether we wanted to paint and "decorate" this baby's room, or just wait until the next house, but we decided that since we won't have too much to do (only 3 walls to paint, and a few pictures to hang) we could manage it after all.  I'm praising the wisdom of some brilliant person last time who suggested we stick with gender neutral bedding and furniture (I'm pretty practical anyway, but it is tempting to be specific with that stuff when you know the baby's gender ahead of time!).  We have black and white stuff, so it makes it easy to throw in some "accent colors" and call it a day.  And unless you like monkeys, or sports, there isn't a ton of "boy" stuff out there, people!  I've never been a fan of "character" themes (no Whinnie the Pooh for this Mama!) or things that are exclusively "baby" looking.  After hemming and hawing for a while, we decided on an Old World vintage-y travel themed room.  We're throwing in a few whimsical touches, like a map of Middle Earth, and some antique looking toy cars, planes, and such.  These are pictures that I found on Pinterest that are a pretty good match for what I'm working toward.

This is the wall color (more or less) that we're going with.

  • Food Prep
With my first baby, nursing got off to a crazy bumpy start.  When she was about 2 months old, she was diagnosed with infant reflux (basically really bad heartburn).  Combine that with my already fragile nursing status, and it was tough!  I had a very restricted diet for quite a while to try to minimize flare ups for her.  There are foods in general that I already know to avoid while nursing, but with a reflux baby, it really ups the ante.  With that in mind, I'm praying that this baby doesn't have any reflux issues, but "just in case" I'm trying to be mindful of those dietary needs while I squirrel away food for when he's born.  We defrosted the chest freezer a couple weeks ago, and I've been busy trying to get it filled with meals that I can either throw in the crockpot or the oven.  Also, I know that I'll be exhausted for the first few weeks, and this time around, I have not only my sweet husband to think of, but a growing toddler!  I want to make sure I've got some nutritious meal options on hand (not to mention I won't be able to eat any pizza!).  ;)  Here's what I've got stocked so far:
  1. Several crock pot meals with either chicken or beef, that just require a veggie side, and maybe some rice or pasta.
  2. A couple of casseroles that are oven ready.
  3. About 20 "chicken pillows" - pastry squares filled with a creamy chicken mixture with a crumb coating on the outside that I can bake up for lunches, or when I need a quick dinner - Good for Olivia!
  4. Frozen hoagie loaves - I can use these for a plethora of things, from oven sandwiches to making them into "baguette chips", etc.
I'm still working on getting a couple of creamy soups made (that don't have any offending veggies like tomatoes, onions, broccoli, etc in them - big nursing no no's!), non-tomato pasta sauces, and also some frozen cookie dough, and possibly a couple dessertish type things to have on hand that are ready made to hand out to nurses and staff when I'm in the hospital.  I did say these were goals, right?  ;)
  • Clothing Prep
I still need to go through the baby clothes that have generously been "handed down" to us, to figure out what gaps in his wardrobe I'll need to fill in.  With a late Spring baby, I wasn't planning on needing too many warmer outfits, but then - we did just get more snow, and it's the end of March!  What I do have needs to be washed and organized - I haven't even started with that process yet.

I also need to go through Miss Olivia's closet and switch out the things she's outgrown - see what she still needs, etc.  I am going to implement a *brilliant* system I learned from another blogging Mama (you should check her out!  She's seriously awesome!) where I put complete outfits in gallon sized ziplock bags (socks, top, shorts, etc), and place them in her dresser, so that Olivia can just grab a pre-approved choice and bring it to me.  She's not completely self-sufficient with getting herself dressed, but she's certainly capable of grabbing a bag and bringing it to me.  I'm trying to make things as easy as possible for all of us!
  • Reading
This has been near the top of my priority list.  I don't necessarily need books like "What to Expect . . ." this time around, but I still have a lot to learn before this baby comes!  Here's my current list:
  1. The Vaccine Book.  I felt pretty uninformed on this topic when my daughter was born, and it was hard to find information that wasn't either incredibly biased, or someone's horror story.  This book has been very balanced, and gives ingredient lists for each vaccine, as well as all the different brand names that your Pediatrician might use, and vaccination schedules, etc.  It's been very helpful on making decisions before the baby is born!
  2. Give Them Grace.  I have to say, when someone recommended this book to me, I was leery at first.  I don't necessarily agree with "grace based parenting" philosophies - but I can save that for another post.  :)  This book has been convicting, eye opening, and temporal shifting in my parenting approach.  How's that for high praise?  Seriously though, if you're wondering how to parent with the Gospel, this is an excellent resource.
  3. The Nursing Mother's Companion.  So, I may have been around the block once with this, but even so, this book was so helpful!  I wish I had read it with my first baby!  It probably would have saved a lot of frustration as I would have been able to quickly identify problems, and then correct them.  I'll certainly keep it handy for reference with this baby!
  • Cleaning
Okay, so this is a big one for me - but also near the bottom of my priority list.  I know I'm going to be out of "normal" commission for a while after the baby is born, and more for my own sanity, I'd like to have these bigger projects checked off.  Mainly Spring cleaning type stuff that I do around this time of year anyway, but also organizational stuff that needs to be done (de-cluttering, anyone?).  I'm not sure when we'll be putting our house on the market, but I don't want to have to try to juggle all the cleaning that's entailed with a new baby!  Honestly though, however ambitious I'm feeling, I've been pretty limited with my ever decreasing energy levels, my cankles, and a less-than-cooperative lower back.  ;)  I'll be happy to get some of it done, if not all.

Whelp, that's pretty much it!  Obviously, my "nesting" phase has kicked in, and I have more goals than I'll probably be able to complete in these next few weeks - but it's good for me to stay occupied.  It certainly makes the time pass more quickly in this final waiting phase.  Some of these projects can be completed in a day, so that helps me feel slightly more optimistic about getting them all done!  Haha!

Do you have any helpful ideas for me?  Anything that you didn't do before your baby was born that you wish you had?  Books you wish you'd read?  Now's the time to fill me in!  :)  I'd love to hear your ideas.  Until next time!

Grace and Peace,

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