The Countdown Is On!

One little monkey jumping in the bed

The third trimester is upon us, and I am very aware how unprepared we are.  We. have. nothing.  I take that back.  I just accumulated a total of 3 newborn onesies, so we should be good, right?!?  This third baby is a blessing, but was not planned.  In fact, I was so done having kids that I sold EVERYTHING.  No car seat.  No bassinet.  No swing/bouncer.  None of the big items.  ellis. I even got rid of all my maternity clothes and undies.  Fortunately, I still have our changing tables and diaper pails – thank you, Asher.  And I have the Tula because I could still use it with Asher even though he doesn’t like to be worn anymore.

Mentally, I’m ready.  Newborn Asher is still a fresh memory as are sleepless nights and feeling exhausted all the time – the latter has yet to pass!

One of the biggest preparations is figuring out how the baby is going to fit into our lives.  Where is he going to sleep?  Where can he hang out?  How will our routine affect him and vice versa?

Then there are all the worries.  I still don’t have this parenting thing perfected (darn kids keep growing and changing, as do their needs, plus they have their own individual identities – what’s that all about?); so I feel less together than when I was impatiently awaiting Ellis’s arrival.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t know what I didn’t know back then and now I’m aware that I know very little.  I tried tweaking and doing things differently with Asher than with Ellis, but none of our tweaks were actual improvements – just changes.  A lot of things we actually did better with Ellis than we did Asher – so I don’t know which way I’ll go with #3.  Will I go back to overprotective and neurotic or will I be so overwhelmed that I will maintain survival mode for years to come?  I tend to overthink and overcomplicate things and then I just become so stressed.  It takes actual work and focus to try to simplify – and I’m talking everything from routines to household maintenance to play time and self-care.

I like Asher’s room because it’s small, un-cluttered, and everything has its place.  Some of my systems need to be rethought, however.  The blue baskets at the top of his closet were for “Too Big” clothes and “Outgrown” clothes.  I have the same system in Ellis’s closet, too.  It kind of works for the “outgrown” clothes, to just throw them up in the basket out of the way until I can decide what to do with them (need bigger baskets, however), but the “Too Big” clothes are sometimes forgotten about.  When I was going through Asher’s clothes at the top of his closet to figure out what I have for his little brother, I found clothes with tags on that he could fit into now.  And a ton of t-shirts in the size that are a little big, but that I’m already putting him in.  I found some size dividers at TJ Maxx and decided that would be a better system, especially now that I will be dressing two different sized boys out of one closet.

The closet situation

The right side of the closet is sizes 12 – 24 months, or Asher’s side.  The left is what I’ve picked up for Baby #3 and Asher’s old clothes, sizes newborn – 12 months.  I didn’t find out I was pregnant until Asher was 1, so I only have his clothes from 9 months and up. I store extra diaper changing supplies in the blue bins on the left.  Behind that is the pack n play which might end up being Baby #3’s crib until he’s ready for a toddler bed or can climb out of it.

Asher doesn’t have a dresser, so his clothes are all organized by baskets:  PJs, sleep sacks, socks, swim clothes, and shoes on his book case, and then his bottoms are divided into shorts, pants, and sweats/leggings in his closet, and I hang his shirts.  I love the baskets because I don’t feel inclined to fold all his tiny clothes, making life easier and putting away his clothes a quick task.  I will probably share my dresser with Baby #3 for things like diapers, pjs, and anything I might need for him at 3 am.  Because diaper blow outs do not discriminate day or night.

I keep diaper creams, brush and comb, Dreft stain remover, nail clippers, etc. in the blue organizer on the side of the changing table.  The first chevron basket has burp cloths/old school cloth diapers that I use under his hiney for #2 changes and patting him dry after wiping.  The next basket has his day and night time diapers, and then he’s got wipes in the last bin.  The large basket underneath is where I store his extra sheets and extra changing pad cover.  And that’s a pair of shorts on top of the table because he never sits still long enough for me to get them on him.  Hence the reason he’s always running around at home in a diaper and no pants!

Asher doesn’t have much else in his room.  He has one activity cube that he really doesn’t use anymore but makes for good decor, I guess, a tub of cars, and tons of books.  I threw his stuffed animals on the floor of his closet because I don’t know what else to do with them.  Sometimes he goes in there and snuggles them, but not often.  He has a rocker (uncomfortable – I make really bad choices when it comes to this essential nursery purchase), a night stand next to the rocker, and an ottoman where I store extra blankets.

My little helpers

 

If you’re feeling charitable…

We have a baby registry set up at Amazon.com.

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Toddler Activity Calendar

Pinterest is great for finding lots of ideas for things to do with your tots.  I have a board dedicated to it.  My problem is that I hardly go back and look at the ideas I’ve pinned, and every afternoon I am scrambling for something to do with my toddler.  Our mornings are usually packed, but after nap time, we tend to hang out at home.   I try to take care of all my errands and chores in the morning and before she gets up from her nap, so that I can give her my undivided attention for a few hours before starting dinner or heading out for whatever evening plans we may have that day.  I decided to create a monthly calendar that plans out one special activity to do with Ellis every day.  Then I can see what’s coming up, prep all the materials I need, and have a fun surprise for Ellis when she gets up!

It was fairly easy to set up.  I found an editable calendar from www.sarahtitus.com, scrolled through my pins, made a list of the activities I wanted to do this month, and then chose the best day to add it to my calendar.  I think the hardest and most time-consuming part was figuring out which day to do what.  I had to look at what we have going on in the month to determine when we had time to do what.  I chose days that she had off from school to do “field trips” and days where I knew someone would be babysitting Ellis, I didn’t add an activity.

I tried to include a variety of activities including special outings, cooking/baking, learning fun, and crafts.  I also went ahead and included the letter of the week that we’d be working on to hold myself accountable.  I used to have a checklist of everything I wanted to do every day with Ellis including story time, puzzle time, crafts, imaginative play, etc. but I could never make it work, and I ended up just feeling like a failure.  Now, I’m only holding myself accountable for one thing, and everything above and beyond that is icing on the cake.

We just started this week, so there is nothing listed the first week of November.  I have big plans for December with lots of Christmas activities!  Find me on Pinterest if you want to see where I got a lot of these ideas.

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Ellis painted the mat of a picture frame for my grandmother using cotton ball paint brushes.  The picture above explains it all:  paint, cotton balls, and clothespins.  Boom.

Download my November Activity Planner here: Toddler Activities November 2015.