Hello, friends! We are 1 month out from baby girl’s arrival and I am attempting to finish up all the last minute things on my to do list. There always seems to be a million and one things that I try to cram into the last few weeks of pregnancy, but in reality I have been obsessing and planning them all since I saw that + sign all those months ago. And of course just as the ‘nesting’ sets in I am at my most tired and useless… but! I try to chip away at it everyday. Here’s a rambling account of what I’ve gotten done so far.
The first thing I did was start strategizing about room placement, AKA: how to position everyone to get the MAXIMAL amount of sleep once baby arrives. We have always had at least 3 bedrooms, so the planning didn’t get that intricate until baby 4 rolled on in. I tend to agonize the most about this particular issue and it has never been as complicated as I anticipated, BUT maybe that’s just due to my (over)careful planning…? Who can say. Here is how it has gone down previously:
Before Corban was born I moved Desmond (14 months) into his new room and subsequently into his ‘big boy bed’ – I have always moved my kids from crib to bed at around this age and it has ALWAYS been easy. Thank the Lord. Then Corban moved into the nursery when he came along. Easypeasy. Desmond has always been our BEST sleeper and never once woke up in the night, even with Corban wailing his head off for essentially 4 weeks straight as a loving newborn. Bless.
When I was pregnant with Rowan I knew we were going to have to move Corban in with Desmond, which we did a few months ahead of time so I wouldn’t be dealing with a newborn AND two little boys struggling with a room transition. It was a bit rough at first, since the boys were just shy of 3 years and 18 months at the time. The biggest struggle was getting them to go to sleep at the same time without getting out of bed and playing/generally mucking around for hours on end. I ended up staggering their bedtimes and waiting to put Desi down once Corban had passed out. This was successful about 25-50% of the time, when Desmond didn’t wake Corban UP once he got in there… But the real difference came when I switched them to a bunk bed – which is my biggest tip if you are looking to have two young children sharing a room! I chalked it up to them not being able to see each other and also the more difficult task of climbing down from the top bunk to facilitate any mucking around. It was like night and day for their bedtime routine. They had also been begginnnnng for a bunk for months, so maybe the novelty helped…? Either way, Clinton and I were both v v v happy once the bunk beds had moved in and worked their magic.
Once pregnant with Jasper, and still living in a small duplex with only 3 bedrooms, the rearranging got trickier and I vasilated for months on how to best organize the boys so that they (and we) could all sleep. In the end I swapped Desmond and Rowan, placing Desmond in a bed in the nursery and Rowan in the big boy room (and magic bunk bed) with Corban. I knew I could trust Desmond with a newborn and that my coming in and out of the room wouldn’t wake him (and I was right!) This ended up working really well until we moved to our current house which has FOUR bedrooms – hallelujah. At that point we kept the older two together and Rowan and Jasper got their own rooms.
Now with this baby on the way, I struggled with how to best rearrange the boys to make it as easy on us as possible. Originally I was just going to move Jasper in with Rowan and have the boys be 2 and 2, but as time went on I realized that Rowan was still pretty unpredictable with Jasper (he still doesn’t play ‘gentle’ 100% of the time) and he also wakes up early to use the washroom most days (bless his night trained self) and I DEFINITELY didn’t want him waking Jasper up at 6am – and subsequently letting him out of their room to roam the house unsupervised. So! At the last minute I decided to move Rowan in with the two older boys and leave Jasper safely on his own. A friend came over a couple weeks ago to help with the switch and we moved Rowan’s bed into the big boy’s room, to get that particular transition out of the way before baby arrives. It has gone SWIMMINGLY and I couldn’t be more happy. The older two sleep like the dead, so even when Rowan does wake up early to use the facilities he doesn’t wake them up. Win win.
I also decided to leave Jasper in his small ‘nursery’ room and revamp Rowan’s previous (and much larger) room for baby girl. I have always had tiny nurseries and seeing as I will spend a good amount of time in there nursing and changing diapers, it seemed like a previously unobtainable luxury to have a nice big space to do so. My previously mentioned sweet friend painted over the bold turquoise wall with the same grey we used on the fuchsia wall in Jasper’s room and we are well on our way to having it all set up! Other than the crib, chair, wall decor, clothes and really anything other than a change table… Ok so still a long ways to go, but progress!!
Next up is meal planning, which comes in so crazy handy postpartum. I like to have the fridge and freezer nice and stocked before baby arrives, to make things easier on my soon to be sleep deprived self.
Jk jk I have more planned than that, but these were on sale and who could resist?? One is the perfect amount for the kids to gobble down for lunch, so what more can you ask really. Anyway, my go to meal/meal helpers are as follows:
- Preshredded cheese (the options are endless, and who has time to shred cheese when you have a newborn…?)
- Chicken pot pies (Costco has delicious ones)
- Chicken strips (great for wraps and chicken sandwiches)
- WRAPS (good for everything, we eat so many of these)
- Frozen/canned veggies
- Pasta sauce
- Noodles like woah (noodles + sauce = dinner done!)
- Frozen waffles (did somebody say breakfast?)
- COFFEE (still waiting for my fave brand to go on sale – please Lord before baby arrives)
- Baby/nugget potatoes (no chopping necessary)
- Box o chicken breasts (because they thaw in a jiffy and cook almost as fast!)
- Random ingredients for crockpot meals (chicken broth, condensed milk, etc)
If you have any tried and true easy/quick meals – lemme know in the comments below! I don’t tend to do much cooking ahead and freezing leftovers, because hello I already have 4 kids and a hangry husband so what are leftovers again…? And also no time. But I find having the ingredients on hand for quick meals makes things 1000x easier postpartum. M&M Meats also has some amazing premade meals, such as pastas, stuffed chicken, kebabs, etc which are pricey but worth their weight in GOLD – my Island church family gifted me with multiple bags of them after I had Jasper and it was truly amazing. So I may head over there and see what I can find.
Something about a new babe makes me want to organize my life like crazy (possibly nesting…?) and in particular I cannot STAND clutter. I have been trying to declutter around the house, which is next to impossible with all the tiny people running around, but so far I have:
- Packed up a LARGE uhaul box of toys, which is now in the basement. I rotate their toys often, and figured this was as good a time as any to thin the herd. Now when I get them to tidy up it doesn’t take an eternity (or at the very least slightly faster than eternity)
- Capsule wardrobes. I did this in the summer and it was amaaaazing. I have an obscene amount of clothes for the boys, particularly the younger ones because SO MANY HAND ME DOWNS, but do I need all of them swimming around my house? No. So I weeded out the favourites and kept only the bare minimum in their drawers, and packed the rest away in totes. Now when I do laundry I’m not washing 12 pairs of jeans that they never wore, but dumped in the hamper when they were ‘cleaning’ their room…. I still need to do this with my own clothes, since my postpartum wardrobe will be limited to what fits anyway (which is very minimal lol). Less mess, less cleaning. Win win.
- Moved bins of kids clothes to the basement from the upstairs hallway
- Sorted newborn GIRL clothes into a separate pile and also organized 0-3 month clothes for when I need to size up
What I still need to do:
- Rotate out summer shoes/coats with winter ones
- Clean fridge/freezer in preparation for stock up
- Declutter our bedroom to make space for the bassinet, which is currently taking up a lot of space at the end of our bed…
- Put baby girl’s clothes into her dresser
- Set up the rest of the nursery
- Pack my hospital bag
All right I’ve rambled on way too much already. It’s always an adjustment adding another baby to the family, but I’m just so excited to bust out the floral and pink that I don’t even care how little sleep I will be getting for the next few months!
Let me know what your tips/tricks are for bringing a new baby home! And if you have any must have baby item suggestions. I’m currently working on a post about some new things I’ve picked up this time around.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! May your turkey be delicious and your naps be long.