Prepping our family for the new baby girl

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We're in the final countdown now; only 4 more weeks until our baby girls' due date.  Cue simultaneously screaming in excitement while cursing in confusion.  This second pregnancy could not have been the same amount of time as the first - it must be an illusion...or maybe it was the preoccupation with current toddler that has kept me from psychotically counting down the weeks like I did during the first pregnancy?  In any case, we're here and we're not quite sure if we're ready to be here yet (ahh!  we're going to be responsible for 2 kids now?!)  We are attempting to prepare ourselves (all of ourselves) as much as possible for this new little being to come, but first lets go over the fun stuff...

like how my belly is bigger than a basketball.  it's hilarious to Brandon,

Those pics were taken 3 weeks ago, so you can imagine the size of my belly now...hahh, just kidding.  It's only slightly bigger, but with all the preparations going on, I haven't had time to remember to take an updated pic.  Speaking of preparations -

First order of business is preparing the house.  Like finally painting and setting up the nursery.  Gemma's room has finally made the transformation from catch-all upstairs room (acting as both a guest room & Christmas gift hiding & wrapping center) to a full blown nursery.  Bud got to work on painting over the bright purple paint with Sherwin William's White Dogwood.
Before:  bright purple walls
After:  light, soft pink for my girl
And since I'm a crazy wife/nesting momma, I have also pushed Brandon into painting the hallways since a)it needed done B.A.D. (I cannot look at those stencils one more day) and b) we aren't really going to be able to do it for awhile with a new baby around (it being the dead of winter and a new baby's lungs not really suited for paint fumes).  So due to my constant nagging asking nicely, Brandon got to painting over the bright.white hallway walls to Sherwin Williams' Nomadic Desert.

buhbye, stencils!!

still a work in progress....
Besides all the painting, I also painstakingly went through all of Greyson's clothes that he has outgrown and pulled out anything that seemed gender neutral - which means our girl is getting boat loads of brown and green hand-me-down onesies.  After the sprinkle, I also was able to wash all of Gemma's clothes (with the help of my own momma doing a load or two - thanks mum!) and Aunt Uch folded and hung up our girl's duds.

And as a double whammy to both baby prep AND working on our January Kindness, we re-organized and combed through all the toys in the playroom.  Out of it, we moved any potentially dangerous-to-a-baby's-well-being toys (like Grey's sports equipment, including hockey sticks/nets, tball stand & bat, and various small toys) up to Booboo's bedroom.  We also got a chance to toss some seriously chewed/destroyed toys in the trash and a few others went into our donation pile.

our slimmed down & organized playroom - Bonus:  freshly cleaned fish tank!
We also did a search & rescue for all our baby equipment...which surprised me how much equipment a baby requires..why did I forget so fast?  So, from the depths of our (still unpacked) garage, we found, cleaned, and re-assembled the baby car seat, high chair, swing, and bassinet.

And since we're talking about getting out the baby equipment, we might as well dive right into preparing bullet & trixie for the new baby's arrival.  Just like the last time, we have already set up all the baby equipment (swing, high chair, etc) a few weeks in advance to allow for the dogs to get used to the new items on the scene.  For Bullet this is a refresh of last time and he seems to remember pretty well that he's not allowed to touch/bite/chew on any of the baby stuff.  For Trixie, since it was already up when she came to us - she has already come to know that the stuff is off limits.

We have f.i.n.a.l.l.y. transitioned Bullet into sleeping in his crate during the night, which was not the case a few months ago.  We are totally bad dog parents and had allowed Bully (and his 80 lb booty) to sleep in our bed with us for most of his life.  But with the addition of his new, bigger crate; he is happy to snooze in there on his plush camo bed.  This has made a huge difference in my pregnant belly sleeping and will continue to make a difference as we attract more little children into our bed in the middle of the night (for b.feeding or nightmares alike).  And luckily for us, Tricky-Licky is one of those dogs that kind of loves her crate, so we have no issues with her sleeping there through the night.

For our final (and most important) dog prep, we have packed 2 receiving blankets as Bullet's and Trixie's in the diaper bag for the hospital, to deliver to the house to them before we come home with Gem.  We got this advice with the first baby and it worked wonders.  For those of you that don't already know this trick:  make sure to pack a receiving blanket (that you don't care about getting back) in the hospital bag.  On the first day, wrap the baby in it to allow the baby's scent to be on it.  Then have a family/friend take the blanket home to your dog.  It gives your pup the chance to get familiar with the smell of the new baby.  Bullet kept his in his crate until we got home with Grey:)

And then we are doing our best to prepare Greyson for his new baby sister.   We introduced a tiny bear into Grey's stuffed animal crew a few months ago as "Maxie's baby sister" to get him acquainted with the idea of a baby sister even existing.  And then by a stroke of luck and kindness, we adopted a baby sister for Bullet!

We also do a whole lot of talking about the ever elusive "Baby Gemma."  Greyson knows that there is a "Baby Gemma" in my belly (or he at least thinks we call my belly specifically by the name of "Baby Gemma"). We also have had Greyson help us in getting Baby Gemma's things organized.  So we visit Baby Gemma's room, and look at Baby Gemma's toys and clothes...I don't discourage Greyson from trying to play with or sit in Baby Gemma's things, and it only took a few times until Greyson started announcing, "Booboo too big" (like he did this morning when he tried to sit in the Bumbo chair).  This has been a good segway into talking about how Baby Gemma and Big Boy Booboo will be different and sometimes the same.  Like Baby Gemma will like to sleep a lot, but Big Boy Booboo will be able to play a lot.  And Baby Gemma and Big Boy Booboo will both like hugs from mumma and dadda.

We also have been making an effort to read books about new babies.  Our favorites right now include: Peter's Chair (Picture Puffins) by Ezra Jack Keats (especially love that Peter is at first frustrated that his baby sister is getting all his old stuff, until he realizes he's too big for all of it), The New Baby by Mercer Mayer, and Waiting for Baby (My New Baby) by Rachel Fuller.  Besides reading up on new babies, Grey has been "practicing" reading books that he will be able to "read" to Baby Gemma when she My Big Animal Book ($7.99) (My Big Board Books) by Roger Pritty, No, David! by David Shannon (one of Grey's favs right now), and his sports books: Touchdown! My Football Book and Slam Dunk! My Basketball Book both by David Diehl (he's slightly obsessed with these books, we're looking to order the Hockey and Baseball versions very soon as well.)

And either because we think its going to be helpful for him or just because we can't believe we're going to be in charge of another newborn again - we've been showing Greyson pictures of him when he was just a new baby.

And then it has been quite overwhelming to prepare ourselves, as parents to a very wiggly, squirmy toddler - to get our minds ready for a newborn again.  So I pulled out and dusted off my number one useful tool when Grey was a newborn, On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam.  I also (thank goodness) had saved all of Grey's old nap/eat/waketime schedules which has saved me from trying to re-figure all that out.  You can read more about why we use this sleep method here  (we realize every parent can make their own mind up about this stuff, so this is just for those of you that are wondering...not for those of you that want to pass judgments on our choice.)

Inspired by pinterest (when am I not?) I got into a very determined mission to make freezer meals for after the baby arrives.  See, the thing is, when we had Grey, we maybe had about 3 legit meals for the first 8 weeks of his life.  And those 3 meals arrived from our family & friends out of the goodness of their heart.  So, in an effort to not have to announce to my husband and our son every single night that we're again having cereal or frozen waffles for dinner - we've been chipping away at a list of meals for after Gemmi arrives.  Here's a little peek at what's waiting in our freezer (btw, Brandon keeps asking me, "so we have to wait until after the baby gets here to eat these right?  we can't just make this tonight?")

1. Baked Shrimp Scampi
2. Chedder & Cracker Chicken
3. Asian Salmon
4. Honey & Spice glazed pork
5. Best Burgers ever
6. Crockpot Lasagna
7. Beef Sammies Au Jus
8. Coconut Chicken 
9. Taco stuffed shells
10. Marinated Chicken for the grill
11. Brandon's chili
12. Brocolli & Wild Rice Soup
13. Roast & chopped veggies

Besides that, I've been making some impulse baby girl purchases (like at this shop and this one) on Etsy.  Sorry, I just can't reign myself in - oops!

hello pink tutu, flower headband, and adorable leg warmers!!

Okay fine, the whole point of this post was to say that we're all a little excited and getting anxious to finally meet our girl.  May the next few weeks pass quickly and painlessly...(HAH! here's to hoping anyway!)

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