Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pregnancy Week 31: The Nesting Begins

Since leaving my job, I cannot say I have the free time I expected. I had envisioned days of taking yoga, writing at the library, decorating the nursery, reading baby-preparation books...But so far, my "free time" has been quickly filled up with activities, leaving my days feeling as full as ever. Of course, some "life items" arise that require immediate attention: life insurance (as well as other types of insurance), doctor's appointments, taxes, lesson plans, a dying computer hard drive, etc. But for most of my days, I have had the pleasure to visit with friends. I am blessed to have a great support network where I live, and many of my friends do not have 9-5 day jobs, thus leaving me plenty of opportunities to socialize during weekdays. This has been a great encouragement for me, and since I know it will not be as easy to do this once the baby is born, I feel it is also an important use of my free days. Mike and I have filled our weekends with various social activities as well, so we barely have a free day off between now and April. This was not a consciously intentional effort to pack in as much entertaining as possible before the baby, but perhaps on some level, it was in the back of our minds.

Besides socializing, Mike and I have begun the famous transitional period of "nesting." While I don't always feel some warm, gooey, foreign sensation when thinking about creating a home for three, I do occasionally feel a tinge of anxiety and an overwhelming sensation in thinking about all the work I want to have done before we bring home our baby! And I suppose that counts for "nesting" these days!

So! Here are some nesting steps we've taken so far (many fueled by very helpful time constraints, like people visiting, a party at our apartment, etc):

Nesting Step 1: Sell our guest bed.
While Mike finds this bed more comfortable than our own king size plush pillow top mattress, we know it is time to let go. He is sad. This means, if I am having restless nights of tossing and turning, or if one of us is sick, there is no second bed to sneak off to in order to give the other person a chance to sleep in peace. We'll now just have to take the coughing and the flopping and deal with it like most married couples (and thankfully, for the past few months, I have been sleeping somewhat better, so this hasn't been an issue).

Nesting Step 2: Clear out the guest room/soon-to-be "baby room."
Once the bed is gone, we now see what is left of the room. I indicate to Mike where to move the remaining furniture and Mike moves the other misc items to a pile on our table for me to sort through, which I do.

Nesting Step 3: Paint the baby room.
Now that the guest room is open, when I am at a friend's daughter's birthday party, Mike paints the guest room--er, baby room. It is his first experience painting, and armed with the Home Depot book and a few helpful comments from family members, he does a great job! When I come home, I cannot help but return to the newly painted room several times throughout the night (and the following days), "just to look at it." It is like the first time Mike buys me Tiffany's jewelry. I don't know how else to say it. You just want to keep looking at it.

Nesting Step 4: Organize baby items.
We are so incredibly thankful to have received some baby items already--both new and used. People have been very generous and helpful as to what are great things to have. However, in our tiny apartment, we now must find places to store these items (strollers, carseats, swings, clothes etc) until we have a proper place for them, or until the baby is old enough to use them. So...
-Part 1: Mike and I walk down to the outdoor storage shed we share with our landlords and look at the disaster before us. On this sunny Saturday, we then work together to throw out our old items, and rearrange the remaining items in an orderly fashion. Once this is done, we see there is a good deal of space we can use to store baby gear.
-Part 2: I wrap and tape all of the big items in garbage bags and label them. I then sort all of the baby clothes by age, put them in storage bins, and label them (I don't want to wash them until we have a dresser to put them in). Mike takes everything to the shed to store.

Nesting Step 5: Plan what steps are next!
Now that we have a fairly empty baby room, I want to start filling it up with baby furniture! The crib I had wanted has been discontinued, so I now need to start over in searching for a good crib and matching dresser/changing table. Hopefully, we can find these in the next few weeks, then work toward accessories like book shelves, a storage shelf/rack, rug, and curtains. I will also be cleaning out our closets so we can hopefully find more places inside to store items we should have handy. We also need to interview doulas, create our birthing preferences, read some baby care books, take our birthing/breast feeding/infant care classes, while Mike works and I start to teach, and still attempt to nurture our creative pursuits, our marriage, our family relationships, our friendships and our health.

I have decided to give up saying, "Next week will free up and I will have time" and now will say, "Next week is busy, but I will make the time to..." And while there is a lot to think about and to do, it's very exciting--because, I do sometimes get that warm, gooey, foreign sensation when thinking about creating a home for three...and I like it.


grandma berta said...

If you want something done, ask a busy person!

Kat said...

WOW! I was especially impressed by the "organizing the baby items" section. Do you want to come over and help me organize my kids' clothes by size? I could use the help! Seriously, what an exciting and fun time preparing and making things right for your little one's arrival. It will be one of the best days of your lives and I'm sure it will be perfect!