Monday, July 14, 2014

The Power of Nesting

I have just a few more weeks before the supposed arrival of our baby girl. Crazy! She could of course deviate and not come punctually on her due date like her brother, but the guess date is the best we have at this juncture. I’m both geared up for birth – I’ve been doing lots of prep in anticipation of what I hope and pray is a successful VBAC attempt – and not quite ready for a newborn. Yet, I know the time is coming to a close; and, due to depleting energy stores, some of my late night surges of productivity have been recently replaced with reflections on the wonderful life God has given me with Husby, the joy that Lil’ O brings and how life is about to change. I’ve also taken to wandering our little home and noting all the things we’ve gotten accomplished these past few months as Husby and I have nested and made our home ready for our baby girl. Some completed projects are of course bigger than others and we certainly enlisted help, but I’m proud of all we accomplished, big and small. Below is the tally, plus some pictures.

Projects Completed
  • Decorated and transitioned all of Lil’ O’s stuff to his new big boy bedroom.
  • Prepped nursery for arrival of Lil’ Chica, complete with baby gear and freshly laundered clothing, swaddling, accessories and more. 
  • Home contractor crew built new backyard shed and Husby built a stand to store firewood.
  • Home contractors installed new kitchen shelf for my cookbooks, which I’ve since maximized and started to decorate.
  • Husby installed insulation and flooring in the attic to maximize attic storage space and ease of use.
  • Hung pictures in main bathroom.
  • Installed new home office.
  • Rearranged some furniture as we explored what to keep and what to purge.
  • Donated clothing, too-big luggage, filing cabinet and small bookshelf.
  • Recycled various dead electronics that had been collecting dust in the garage.
  • Planted some new edibles.
  • Purchased bench and planted a new aloe plant alongside the side of our home for a bit of added interest.
  • Cleaned and oiled the kitchen cabinets. 
  • G'ma deep cleaned some of the house in need of extra TLC.

The nursery, now ready for Lil' Chica
New shed, mostly for yard tools, but also serving as Lil' O's toy "garage"
Goodbye ugly over-sink lamp, hello recessed lighting & cookbook storage
New Craigslist bench and aloe plant

Yet More Remains…
I’m really proud of all we’ve accomplished, especially because it’s so hard to get ahead of routine maintenance with a toddler. Along these lines, I must confess that much of what we did finish was through teamwork – often one parent entertaining Lil' O while the other did some house task or by enlisting help – and/or completed after Lil' O's bedtime, often in the wee hours of the night. And, despite our best efforts (and lack of sleep!), this list is not meant to imply that our place is pristine. Far from it! In fairness, below is a short list of what more we could do, but likely won’t before baby. We’ve simply run out of oomph.
  • Install more sprinklers and refresh plants in the front yard. Curb appeal is not the best right now.
  • Install drip sprinklers in the backyard to ease vegetable plant watering.
  • Plant grass in our backyard's "bald spots" and fertilize the full lawn. The whole scorching summer heat has kept us from this one, so maybe next spring we'll tackle this one.
  • Add attic insulation – another task that requires waiting for the summer heat to break.
  • Add curtains to Lil’ O’s room – I have no idea what I want there!
  • Sew curtains for our master bedroom, which is honestly sad since I have all the stuff (minus thread) and this would take maybe a half hour. Ok, probably an hour since my sewing machine and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms.

Hmm, there’s probably more, especially when it comes to cleaning and organizing, but this will have to do. Baby countdown is in full effect.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lil’ O’s Transportation-Themed Big Boy Bedroom

My sweet little boy is now fully transitioned to his new big boy bedroom. Sniff! He started sleeping in his new big boy bed in mid-June, but we only completed the finishing touches to his room this past weekend. It’s great that he’s sleeping in there, but that has certainly made it harder to get into his room to add any final touches. As I suspect is true with most parents, the majority of our time to get much of anything productive done is while he’s sleeping. But, not to be outwitted by a toddler, we got it done nonetheless! Muwahaha!

Without further ado, below are the grand reveal pictures of Lil’ O’s new transportation-themed big boy room. My goals was to play up his natural love of cars and trucks and make the room kid-friendly so he’d be excited by the transition, but also hopefully spark his curiosity and inspire adventure. We’ll see about that loftier adventure goal, but he at least likes the room. Phew!

Closet organization triumph

The transition itself went really well. We talked it up for a month or two before it was actually time for Lil’ O to move from the nursery to the big boy bed and room. I think that helped a lot to make the transition go smoothly. By the time the ceiling was fixed, he was very eager to sleep in his new big boy bed. As the protective mama, though, I thought he might still get scared. Nope! We moved his stuffed animal friends from his crib to his bed and he felt right at home. He didn’t even get out of bed to explore after we tucked him in. I credit this last piece to his nap routine at daycare, but I was still quite impressed and sad as I watched the video monitor and whispered goodbye to my baby. I’m so proud of my little boy and excited by who he is becoming, but these transitions are making this pregnant mama sentimental.