It’s hard to believe I’m in the final weeks of pregnancy already. This pregnancy continues to pass so quickly. Every day is drawing us closer to the day when we hold our baby in our arms!
My doctor told me at my last appointment that once I reach the 34 week mark (which comes in 2 more days), if my labor starts, they won’t stop it. Of course, we obviously want the baby to stay put until the full-term 39 week mark but that comment from the doctor made Andy and I both think. We have quite a bit to get done yet!
For a little bit of extra motivation, I thought I’d share my ongoing “Before Baby” checklist. I am hoping that the nesting urge helps me accomplish everything on my list. I know the baby will arrive whether we are ready or not…ready being a relative term, of course! Planner that I am, I am still doing what I can to make sure we are as ready as can be.
1. Buy and install a new dishwasher. (DONE)
Our dishwasher stopped working last summer. Well, it worked but left my dishes so spotty that I was rewashing almost everything. For the last six months, I’ve been washing our dishes by hand as we set aside money for a replacement. We took advantage of our last snow day to venture out and purchase a new dishwasher. My handy father-in-law installed it later that week. Yay! It’s nice to have this household project accomplished before the baby.
2. Set up the baby’s room.
I’ve already washed and sorted all the hand-me-down baby clothes we were given, and organized all the diapers and wipes. We still need to get the baby’s crib put together and hang some things on the walls. We are borrowing a bassinet from a friend for the first few weeks and have a Pack ‘n Play ready to go but the baby’s actual room needs finishing touches.
3. Finish my preschool plans through March and plan for maternity subs.
I already know all my themes for the rest of the year and have my religion plans finished through March. I still need to fill in books and activities. I plan to spend the next couple of nap times at school finishing up my plans for February and March. This way, if the baby comes early, my plans will still be finished.
I also need to plan for and meet with my maternity subs. I have three different subs covering my various roles at school. One teacher (Christa) is teaching my four-year-old class, while another teacher (Jeni) is teaching my three-year-old class. The former music teacher (Elaine) is coming back to teach my music class. They will do most of the planning necessary but I still need to meet with all of them in preparation. I also need to go through my library and lay out picture pictures for the rest of my preschool themes this year.
4. Prepare for and direct the school musical.
This is a key one for me! We moved our music date up two weeks (to March 14th) with the hopes that I can direct the musical before the baby is born. If not, I have capable fellow teachers who will step in for me – and the show will go on. Until then, I am busy teaching all the songs from “Rescue in the Night” to the Kindergarteners through 8th grade. With so many snow days in January, we’ve already lost quite a bit of practice time so we are staying quite busy in music class!
5. Cook freezer meals and organize the freezer.
My mom is flying up after the baby is born, and my mother-in-law is minutes away in town. I know the two of them will help me keep the house running smoothly in my first weeks home with the baby. Still, I want to have some freezer meals ready so Andy can help me cook dinner. I plan to cook baked oatmeal, poppy seed chicken, and a couple other freezer recipes to be determined. I already have sloppy joes, chili and cooked hamburger meat in the freezer, so that’s a nice start. Any suggestions on what else I should cook? In addition to cooking freezer meals, I need to clean out and organize my upright freezer.
6. Buy the baby’s car seat and install it in my car.
Obviously, we can’t leave the hospital without a car seat so this is certainly high on our list in importance. The local hospital where I will be delivering has car seat checks so I need to stop by and get the car seat checked by them, after we install it. We are planning on getting an extra base for Andy’s car so we can easily switch the baby between our cars depending where we are going.
7. Make website plans for during my maternity leave.
I haven’t quite decided what to do on this one yet. I’m debating whether I schedule some advance posts or whether I take the time completely off from blogging. I know you, my faithful readers, will be supportive either way. Still, do you want to weigh in on this topic?
8. Attend baby showers and write thank you’s.
Two teacher friends from school, Allison and Tonya, graciously threw me a baby shower last Saturday. The gifts are lovely, but it is even more lovely to know that everyone shares our excitement for this baby! My sister-in-law, Kara, is hosting a family baby shower for us at the beginning of March. I am a firm believer in the importance of promptly written thank you notes, so I will endeavor to stay on top of this task.
9. Pack for the hospital and keep the camera charged.
I know there is still plenty of time but I am the type who would rather pack sooner than later. Of course, I don’t quite know all of what I should truly pack since everyone seems to have so many different opinions on this. The easier task is to keep our camera charged. I also have a back-up battery but I am committed to recharging the camera battery every other week because I don’t want to miss any of those new baby moments!
10. Update my pregnancy photo book and start our 2014 family album.
Speaking of pictures, I have decided to continue with my online photo albums. I’ve been creating a pregnancy journal at Shutterfly with my weekly bump pictures and journaling about this pregnancy. I want to keep that updated by adding pictures every other week or so.
I’ve also decided to create one large yearly photo album for our family. I still plan to create smaller vacation albums since those free codes abound. However, I’d like to create one large 12 by 12 album for all our family pictures in the year. I have January’s snow pictures in the album and plan to add to the album monthly.
Because a baby is only a baby once, I decided to create a smaller 8 by 8 album with one large monthly picture and a page of journaling about the baby’s monthly growth. I spent some time creating the entire format for this album already so now I just have to add the picture and journal each month. I hope this will make it easier to complete this book for the baby.
There you have it. That is my to-do list that I want to accomplish before the baby is born. I’m sure there will be lots of other tasks that keep me busy in the evenings when I’m not teaching preschool or piano. I’m trying to get what sleep I can but this active baby of ours makes it a challenge some nights. I guess it really is true that this final trimester of sleeplessness eases you into getting up to feed the baby? Are there any other pre-baby projects that you found helpful to accomplish? I’ll keep you updated with my progress!