Life always throws us for a loop when we least expect it, and this time I am expecting…again. Just as I had my life in order, bills whipped into shape, and a toddler I could ALMOST handle without pulling my hair out, that little blue line showed up on the strip in February. I am a science teacher by day, so naturally I SHOULD know how this sort of thing happens…but seriously??? Come on. Two under two? What kind of cruel joke is this???
That being said, with one month remaining before my due date, I have come to terms with this unexpected addition to my life after almost having a nervous breakdown. Preparing for this little one has not been as stressful in some ways since I have a lot of stuff left over from the first go round.
Things I HAVE done to prepare for the new baby:
- Traded in my 2013 Elantra for a 2011 Santa Fe. Yea, I downgraded…BUT I get more room, lower monthly payment and insurance, and decent gas mileage. I am in LOVE with the storage space, and I don’t have to hunch over to get the babies in and out of the car seats. Winning!
- Completely reorganized my closet. Got rid of 5 garbage bags of clothes we don’t need. Instead of disorganized chaos, I now have one side for my stuff and one side for the boys’ clothing, complete with basket systems to keep it all separate so I don’t go crazy looking for the right size onesie. Plus, moving all of the clothes to my room form the nursery makes it easier for us all to get ready in the morning after I go back to work.
- Stocked my freezer with ready to go meals for the first month post-partum. I never got around to doing this last time, and I desperately wish I would have. Lesson learned! Menu includes: Chicken Doritos Casserole, Eggplant Parmesan, Jambalaya, Deer Chili, Macaroni and Cheese, Rotisserie Chicken Sandwiches, Bacon Egg Cheese English Muffins, Pork Roast and Veggies, Pancakes….and I then I ran out of room for more stuff. If it sounds completely random, it’s because it is. I took the opportunity to thaw and cook everything that had been sitting in my freezer or pantry for too many months to make space for the meals (and that included a 5 pound slab of unsliced bacon that may have been stolen from my husband’s job…long story).
- Weaned baby boy number one to give my boobies a break. I really wanted to let him self-wean, but it wasn’t as traumatic as I anticipated. Oh…and he sleeps TEN HOURS STRAIGHT THROUGH THE NIGHT NOW. Totally worth the three days of crocodile tears to get some much needed, uninterrupted rest. Getting him into his own bed…not there yet. But that’s why they call it baby steps.
- Invested in some ACTUAL nursing shirts. Now I can just whip the boobs out easily since I imagine I will forced to baby wear A LOT. Also, I keep remember the first time we went out to eat after my first baby was born, and how I almost smothered him trying to nurse discretely in public in my regular clothes. These are my favorites..super comfy and actually kind of flattering! The best part is they look like clothes I wear already, so no one suspects my nipple is one inch away from being exposed.
- Created baby registries with mostly just diapers and wipes. I have all of the toys, clothes, and accessories we could possibly need, and I can’t imagine the number of wipes I will need this time around after how quickly we blew threw my ridiculous hoarder stash last time. (Check out my first Expecting the Unexpected post here to see some budget saving tips!) Don’t forget to collect the free swag from Target and Amazon registries! They actually have some GREAT items. Collectively, I received 2 Brown’s bottles, 2 Advent bottles, 3 onesies, 1 blanket, and tons of sample nursing pads, diapers, wipes, and baby toiletries. And coupons if you’re into that sort of thing.
- Goodwill, Goodwill, and more Goodwill. Also some 5miles, LetGo, and OfferUp…Though I have most things I need, I decided to invest in a double stroller and scored a Joovy Caboose for $35 on 5mile that looks brand new!!! I had also donated my first baby’s swing and bassinet after the hurricane, and I picked up a gently used Mamaroo for $30 and a bassinet for $15 (also via 5miles). Do the math…that’s like $500 worth of baby accessories for less than $100.
- Made some sensory boxes for my toddler. I am a realist and I know things won’t be the same for my toddler once the new baby gets here, but I want to make sure he has some activities that are special and engaging for those times when momma just doesn’t have time. Now…don’t get me wrong. I used to roll my eyes at all those Pinterest toddler activities, but they are actually on to something. Just find a bunch of random crap and stick it in a box…Wahlah! I made 7 different boxes to rotate through each week, and he loves them. Keeps him occupied at least twenty minutes, often times more…and that’s like an eternity in toddler time. Cleaning out my closet, I found a set of 5 smallish Tupperware containers with lids (Score!) that were the perfect size for some sensory boxes. Then I used cardboard boxes for two additional ideas. Everything I used came from my house or Dollar Tree. Here are a couple that have been wildly successful.
What are some tips for getting prepared for a new baby from you other moms out there?