I was in the midst of a complete meltdown during breakfast on Saturday when I had this realization: Maybe I feel unable to commit to any New Year’s resolutions because I’m already so overwhelmed by my to-do list. With just seven weeks to go before we’re due to meet the newest addition to our family, I feel completely unprepared.
Here are all the things we still need to do:
1. Turn the guest room/office into a guest room/office/nursery by adding the crib, dresser, and glider from Levi’s room, so first I need to…
2. Turn Levi’s nursery into a big boy room. He’ll need a bed (toddler or twin, I haven’t decided yet), nightstand, dresser, and bookcase.
3. Plan the who and where of the bris since we can’t schedule the actual date until the baby is born. (A Jewish baby is circumcised on the 8th day of life.)
4. Decide when we’d like family to visit after the baby. This time around I’m fixated on the idea of coming home from the hospital to a quiet, empty house. Having time alone to bond as a family of four sounds so appealing, although we will need some help juggling the baby’s and Levi’s needs.
However, I’m empathetic to the fact that our family is eager to meet the new baby as soon as possible. Sigh…just another reason why it’s so difficult living thousands of miles away from our loved ones.
5. Choose a name. Our name requirements haven’t changed from when we were naming Levi; we’re still partial to masculine names with no common nicknames. We have some frontrunners but aren’t able to commit to any of them. At least, I’m not. And we’ve reach the point where we’re starting to field (and deflect) name suggestions from family, which only adds to the stress.
6. Shop for baby things. We’re lucky to be borrowing quite a few items from my sister (which my mom has been schlepping from NJ on her visits), but we’ll need to purchase a couple of new things for the baby, including nursery decorations and gear. This time around, however, we don’t have a registry, nor do we want or expect any large gifts from friends and family who were so generous when Levi was born.
7. Research and book a photographer for maternity photos and a newborn session. If we can afford it, I’d love to use the same photographer, but for some reason I haven’t reached out and contacted her yet.
We did cross one thing off the list this weekend: “Tell Levi about the baby.” Crying at the breakfast table, I shared with JB that I felt anxious about spilling the beans. We had waited so long to tell Levi he’s going to be a big brother (mostly because we didn’t think he would care about the news so early on and partly because I have a hard time dealing with other people’s reactions to big news) that the pressure was palpable.
Without asking, JB decided to simply rip off the bandage and tell Levi then and there. No bells, whistles or video cameras. He asked Levi if he’d like a baby of his own like his friend Peter, who recently became a big brother, too. Thankfully, Levi said yes and seemed pleased that he would be getting one next month. Then he asked for more applesauce.
(Levi also suggested we name the baby Applesauce when I asked for his input the next day. I think someone might have a slight obsession with puréed fruit.)
Since our conversation, we’ve been casually mentioning the baby to Levi, and JB even drew the picture above of our family with him. Don’t I look lovely in that brown sack?
In an ideal world, Levi would potty trained and sleeping without his pacifier before the baby arrives, but I’m not sure all that change is possible — or even a good idea — in such a short time. Plus, I still have the aforementioned to-do list to get through.
How did you prepare for the arrival of your second child? Did you feel more or less organized than the first time around? What was the hardest task to accomplish?